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them; which the merchant perceiving, and knowing their force was too little to accomplish their wishes, with a settled countenance, s poke to them to the following purport: Honest friends, for such you have approved yourselves to me, you have seen the hardship of

my fate; and, since it is drove to this point, I am resolved never to be her executioner, who hath been so loving and just a wife to me; but in her stead am resolved myself to be the sacrifice; and

therefore what I have to say to you is, that you stand her friends, 6 when I am dead; what is in this vessel does, as you know, belong

to me; spare nothing of it to serve her, and with these notes, if ever that you arrive at Rotterdam, though all in this cargo be lost, you shall be plentifully rewarded. Which after he had said, and hey with tears had heard, being about to answer him, he drew a pistol from his pocket, which he so unexpectedly discharged, that they had not time to prevent it, and shot himself in the head, of which wound he immediately died.

The cry they made at his fall, and the noise of the pistol, were quickly heard by the rest of the ship's crew, which soon called them thither; nor was his wife long absent, who, poor lady, had been preparing herself for her end, which, by this less pleasing disaster, she saw prevented. The tears she shed and extravagancies she acted at so dismal a tragedy, were but needless to recount, since none are so hard-hearted but may in some measure judge: she sounded and almost died with grief, and begged to be her own exe. cutioner, but she was too narrowly watched by her servant and Carpinger, to effect so cruel a purpose; their eyes never left her, and their cares were more for her preservation than their own; but in vain was all their watchfulness against the enemy from without, when she harboured in her own breast a foe sufficient to destroy a greater strength than grief had left her; for no intreaties could per. suade her to feed on that dear corpse she had so often cherished, but what share thereof, the hardship of her fate allowed her for her food, she embalmed with her tears, and by renewed vows promises to share fortunes with it, and be buried in the same unwonted grave in which that flesh was distributed, she once so much admired; which she had near accomplished, having had no food in that time but two rats, which were fortunately taken, and presented to her by Car. pinger, at such time as the fatal lot was to take its second round, in which she was resolved to share, notwithstanding all the intreaties of Carpinger and her servant; and, in short, she had her wish, and drew again a second time her own sentence, which she welcomed more than a bridal day; and, being just ready to yield her throat to the executioner's knife, she had certainly fell, had not Carpinger, with two more, whom he hired, stepped in, and resolutely withstood the execution; upon which quarrel they drew their faulchions, and four persons were slain, amongst whom the faithful servant was one. This was a sufficient morsel for the present, and staid the bloody hunger of the survivors, who were now reduced to five or six per. sons besides the lady; with the bodies of the slain they were then Red more plenteously than for some months preceding, but such

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was the rigour of their fate, that, by the unusual diet, most of their men were dead, just as they got sight of the Lands-end of England; and, having but very few hands to work their vessel, they found that, from the dangers they had been so long in, a second threatened them from the severity of the late season, for, the ice being there in very great flakes, they found themselves drove amidst the same towards the shore, from whence they could not disengage the ship ; in which time, Carpinger, being a person of a voluble tongue, and formerly well bred at Stepney near London, where his father, captain Carpin. ger, had long lived, used all the consolation he could, by words or device, to comfort the despairing lady, till, at length, she was prevailed to hearken to him, and give her promise to spare all violence on herself, and wait her better fortune; in this case they lay for six days, till all but two persons, besides themselves, were dead, and these so miserably weak they could not leave their cabe bins, so that, being froze in, they could not stir. Carpinger with the lady resolved to venture on the ice, and set forward towards the shore; which she the rather undertook, for that she hoped hereby to find a grave in those waves on which she had lost what she loved above her own preservation. With this resolution, Carpinger, taking charge of the lady, got a plank and a long pole in his hand, and with these left the ship, and, with great danger and difficulty, in six hours got safe to shore, having opportunity only of saving a casket of jewels, which he brought off with him, where, at my own house, the said parties now remain, in reasonable health: and, considering the care and kindness of Carpinger, the lady seems much to favour him, and, when the time of mourning is over, will, undoubtedly, make him happy in her embraces.

SIR, You may, according to the credit I have with you, communicate this to the publick, if you think fit; after Easter I intend to see you at London, and, in the mean time, I am

Your Servant,
Plymouth,
Feb. 3, 1683.

J. G.
Postscript.
I should have given you some account of the ship, called the
De Ruyter of Rotterdam, which we see at a distance: but as yet the
frost is so hard we cannot get to her, but have small hopes of pre.

j. G.
Serving her.
This relation is justified for truth, by us,

John Cross,
William Atkins,

a

Seamen.

THE SHE-WEDDING;*

OR

A MAD MARRIAGE,

BETWEEN MARY, A SEAMAN’S MISTRESS,

AND

MARGARET, A CARPENTER'S WIFE,

AT DEPTFORD.

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.

IT 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 adul. teress the best of men in scripture chronology. Whence it is no wonder, if still be 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's. Head, for some time past, as a maid-servant in the house, there hath lived one Mary, who hath pretended herself, in her conversa. tion, reserved and honest enough for one of her age, being thirty or thereabouts, till about seven or eight months past she used ordi. narily 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 sweet. heart had given her a belly full of love, as afterwards it proved but

• This is the 504 th Article in the catalogue of Pamphlets in the Harleian Library,

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too true; 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 neighbourhood, 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 lovescufile 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 Southwark, the carpenter's wife taking upon her the name of Charles Parsons, and representing him : They gave notice of their intentions to the clark of the parish, that they desired to be joined in matri. mony, which the minister and clark, 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 ac, complished 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 es. pecially 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 too! 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

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