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A MAD MARRIAGE, BETWEEN MARY, A SEAMAN'S MISTRESS,
MARGARET, A CARPENTER'S WIFE,
Being a full relation of a cunning Intrigue, carried on and managed by two Women, to hide the discovery of a great Belly, and make the parents of her Sweet-heart provide for the same; for which fact the said parties were both committed; and one of them now remains in the Round-house at Greenwich, the other being bailed out. London, printed by Geo. Croom, at the sign of the Blue Ball in Thames-street, over against Baynard's castle, 1684. Quarto, containing eight pages.
T hath been the policy of the prince of darkness in all ages, when any work of his was to be carried on, which required a more than ordinary cunning, to employ a female craft therein: Nor indeed from his first attempt in that kind, in the betraying our mother Eve, did he ever find reason to blame his discretion in the said method, since he scarce ever failed thereby of his ends. It was by a Dalilah he betrayed the strongest; by strange women the wisest; by an adulteress the best of men in scripture chronology. Whence it is no wonder, if still he courts them; and every day he shews us what advantage he can make to himself of that subtle sex. A remarkable instance whereof I shall here present you with.
At Deptford in the county of Kent, at the sign of the King'sHead, for some time past, as a maid-servant in the house, there hath lived one Mary, who hath pretended herself, in her conversation, reserved and honest enough for one of her age, being thirty or thereabouts, till about seven or eight months past she used ordinarily to keep company with one Charles Parsons, a young man lately gone to sea, with whom she was observed to be somewhat familiar; insomuch that the neighbours looked upon her as either married to him, or at least as free of her favours as if she had; and in a little time her squeamish stomach gave her mistress cause to regard her more narrowly, and began to suspect that her sweetheart had given her a belly full of love, as afterwards it proved but
• Thia is the iH'■it Article In the catalogue of Pamphlets in the IlaricJu library.
too I ruo; for that, about the beginning of this last month of July, the same appeared so evident that none but observed it, and charged her therewith, much about the time that Charles Parsons left her, to pursue a voyage to the Indies; upon which, being no longer able to hide the same, she freely confessed that Hans in Kelder was then six months old, and that Charles Parsons was the father thereof, apply. ing herself accordingly to his mother, and acquainting her that they were married, desiring her to assist her towards her lying-down.
The mother, suspecting the matter, began a little to demur there, upon, and enquire into the time and place, when and where the same was consummated; to which questions our said Mary returned a satisfaction; but yet the old woman, still doubting thereof, urged that she might produce her certificate; and that, if she found the same true, she would provide for her, and what she went with; which if she could not procure, she was resolved never to look on her. This answer, put so close to Mary, began to make her look about herself, and set her wits upon the rack how she should deceive the mother, which at length she compassed, wit being then certainly readiest, when necessity is the strongest; but thinking as the old woman when she carried her dog a gossiping, that two heads were better than one, she was resolved to advise with a neighbour of her's that was her friend, and by name Margaret, the wife of a carpenter living hard by, how she should accomplish her intent, which after some time, remembering a story that had been told in the neighbour. hood, how that two men, that had a design on a parson's wife, agreed to dress the youngest in women's cloaths, and accordingly to marry each other; thereby designing, by a liberal reward to the parson, to get an admission for the first night into the house to play the love, scuffle for the pretended wife's maiden-head; by which oppor. tunity, whilst the parson was at his morning studies, the party who represented the wife, and was enamoured of the good man's bed-fellow, changed beds, and left her nominal husband, to enjoy the real wife; which the parson not at all suspecting, readily assented to, and ignorantly brought cuckoldom upon himself. Remembering I say this story, they consented with themselves, that two women might as well commit matrimony as two men, and in a different garb deceive the eyes of any who should be the spectators thereof.
Which design being thus agreed on, the carpenter's wife gets a suit of her husband's cloaths, in which she arrays herself, and sets to work (without her chief-tool) to act the man's part, practising her congees and dialect, to be perfect therein, against the day she designed to act the same, which soon after came about; and, having all things ready, away they trudged for St. George's church in Southward, the carpenter's wife taking upon her the name of Charles Parsons, and representing him: They gave notice of their intentions to the dark of the parish, that they desired to be joined in matri. mony, which the minister and dark, at first not at all suspecting them, alreadily consented unto, but in the time of administering the ceremony they began a little to hesitate at what they were a doing; imagining, by the softness of her tone, which she could not so well counterfeit, that she was not what she represented: and the rather when she was to answer to those words, I Charles take thee Mary, &c. she mistook the words, and cried, I Margaret; but thus she excused it, that she had been at the marriage of a sister of her's, who was then in her thoughts, and which occasioned the mistake, confidently averring herself a man, and, being of a large make and an impudent carriage, carried on and compleated the deceit. After which, the ceremony being ended, and the certificate a making, she drew the clark aside, telling him, that true it was, dabbling with his said wife before marriage, he had got her with child, and that she was very forward, being near six months gone of her time; and, fearing that his wife's relations, and his own, might take notice of the date of the certificate to his disadvantage, desired that the same might be antedated, promising the clark to reward him for so doing: which, after many importunities, he at last consented to; and, accordingly, dated the same about six months before. Having obtained which certificate, away they return for Deptford,and thought themselves now secure of their booty: so that the same day they repaired to the mother of Parsons aforesaid, and produced what she desired, the certificate beforementioned; which the old woman took into her own hands, beginning to think herself happy in her daughter-in-law, and that in a short time she should be blessed with a grand-child, rummaging her old chests for linnen to provide for clouts and other necessaries for the production of her great belly. Nor was Mary her daughter less glad at the success of her enterprise, it being what she thought would take off the reproach that was likely to succeed upon her, for the unlawfulness of her former frolicks; and likewise as to the establishment of her future fortunes. But this sunshine was not long before the same began to be overshadowed by the clouds, that soon after discovered themselves, in relation to her present circumstances.
For so it is, that most of the sex, though excellently well accomplished in the contriving a deceitful intrigue, yet is their humour such, that, when once they see the same to take its first promises of perfection, they are apt to brag of its effects, before the means are thoroughly settled, that lead to the ends thereof; and then most especially when the good wives are together toping their noses over the brandy-bottle, or hot-suppings, at a merry-meeting amongst themselves. And by such methods came this intrigue to a discovery; for, several of the neighbours being together, and talking of the change of Mary's condition, Mary and Margaret could not chuse but smile thereat, and lovingly called each other by the name of husband and wife, saying, that they knew a couple that had been six weeks wedded, and both as likely as any two in England, and yet neither of them had one bout since they were married.—One bout, replies an old woman, that is much; I would cut off the tool of that husband that should have a wife for two whole days and nights, and never put it to the exercise that God made it for.— Some rogue, I warrant him, replies another, to tantalise a wife after that rate.—Did I know the dull dog, pursues a third, I would set him up for all our neighbours in Deptford and Greenwich, to make a publick pissing-post of.—Intolerable, says a fourth, a whole month and a half to put a poor wife upon longing, he deserves to be carbonadoed; and, were the good woman of my mind, if I pawned my petticoat that covered me, I would have some honest fellow to relieve me in what I most wanted, and make him do it before the rogue's face, that he might see and be satisfied he was what he deserved to be, the most notorious cuckold in Deptford:— and there are, says another, as many good crests, to my knowledge, in this town, as any place of its bigness between this and Gravesend.
The discourse between them being much to this purpose, the parties concerned fell out into a great laughter to see their neighbours in such a feud, and told them it was a truth; and scarce one in that company but knew the parties, and that they had conversed with them that day, which set them all upon the tenters, to know the person, every one guessing at his neighbour, and examining who it should be:—Well, says Margaret, as for that, in a few days, you shall be made acquainted therewith, but, for the present, left them to consider thereof; till, being further urged, she added, why may not two women be married together in Deptford, as well as Susan and Sarah at Fish-street-hill?
Upon this, some of the company began to suspect the matter, and told Mrs. Parsons of the discourse abovesaid; possessing her so far therewith, that she resolved to go and inquire at the church where the certificate had mentioned her son and supposed daughterin-law to have been married; upon inquiry whereinto, the churchbook was searched, and, at the day mentioned therein, no such persons were found to have been recorded; which further increased her suspicion, so that she, entering upon the description of the parties, and acquainting the clerk with her supposition, put him in remembrance of the late couple he had joined, and, turning to that time, found the same out; adding withal, that, ever since the said marriage, he had been highly suspicious of, and concerned within himself, at the cheat. The matter then appearing very plain, home goes the old woman, and discards her supposed daughter from her favour, alledging the falsity of her pretences, and declaring to all the neighbourhood how base a trick had been put upon her.
Insomuch, that it became the publick discourse of the whole town, and none but were talking of the seaman's mistress, that had married Margaret, the carpenter's wife; every one bestowing one twit or other upon her for the same, the young maids laughing at the flat sport they had the first night; the graver matrons at the impudence of the parties that should so vilify and disgrace the honest state of matrimony; looking upon it as a scandal to their sex in general. Upon all which, the parson, that married them, made a complaint thereof to the civil magistrate, who committed them both to the Round-house in Greenwich, and bound them over to answer the same at the next assizes, where Margaret hath been since bailed out, and Mary yet continues there.
THE SIEGE OF LUXEMBOURG,
THE FRENCH KING'S FORCES,
COMMAND OF THE MARSHAL DE CREQUI;
Containing a full Account of all that passed in the Siege and Surrendry of the Town.
London, printed by J. G. for D. Brown, at the Black Swan, without Temple-Bar; and are to be sold by W. D. in Amen Corner, 1684. Quarto, containing fifty-six pages.
JLiUXEMBOURG, the metropolis of the duchy, bearing the same name, is finely seated, commodious, of a great compass, and very strong; being also indifferently full of houses: the principal church is dedicated to St. Nicholas. There is besides, a very fair convent which, as it is said, the inscriptions also upon the walls thereof, testifying as much, was one of the first of St. Francis's order, built in his life-time. This town has undergone many misfortunes, having, upon all occasions of war, served for the butt, whereat fortune discharged her arrows. It was, in the year 1542, taken and plundered by the French, under the command of the Duke of Orleans, son to the great king, Francis the First. In the year 1543, it was again taken and plundered by the French, and was finally, on the fourth, of June, in this present year, 1684, brought under the dominion of the French.
The town of Luxembourg is built upon a rock, washed almost on every side, by a little river, called Alsiette, which comes from the south; and, having almost encompassed that place, continues its course towards the north. The part of the rock, invironed by the river, is exceeding steep, and needs no other defence but its natural situation; so that they have scarce built any fortifications on those sides. The side not invironed by the river, which looks towards the west, is fortified with four bastions cut into the rock, as is also the ditch, which is very deep. There are before these bastions, counterguards, half-moons, and ravelins cut into the rock, as are also the ditches that cover them. Before all these works, there are two open ways, with their causeys; the first whereof is defended by four