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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

helpless that I knew not how to get the least help to keep me from starving—that I should be caressed by a prince, for the honour of having the scandalous use of my prostituted body, common before to his inferiors, and perhaps would not have denied one of his footmen but a little while before, if I could have got my bread by it.

I say, I could not but reflect upon the brutality and blindness of mankind; that because nature had given me a good skin and some agreeable features, should suffer that beauty to be such a bait to appetite as to do such sordid, unaccountable things to obtain the possession of it.

It is for this reason that I have so largely set down the particulars of the caresses I was treated with by the jeweller, and also by this prince; not to make the story an incentive to the vice, which I am now such a sorrowful penitent for being guilty of (God forbid any should make so vile a use of so good a design), but to draw the just picture of a man enslaved to the rage of his vicious appetite; how he defaces the image of God in his soul, dethrones his reason, causes conscience to abdicate the possession, and exalts sense into the vacant throne; how he deposes the man and exalts the brute.

Oh! could we hear the reproaches this great man afterwards loaded himself with, when he grew weary of this admired creature, and became sick of his vice, how profitable would the report of them be to the reader of this story! But, had he himself also known the dirty history of my actings upon the stage of life that little time I had been in the world, how much more severe would those reproaches have been upon himself! But I shall come to this again.

I lived in this gay sort of retirement almost three years, in which time no amour of such a kind, sure, was ever carried up so high. The prince knew no bounds to his munificence; he could give me nothing, either for my wearing, or using, or eating, or drinking, more than he had done from the beginning.

His presents were after that in gold, and very frequent and large, often a hundred pistoles, never less than fifty at a time; and I must do myself the justice that I seemed rather backward to receive than craving and encroaching. Not that I had not an avaricious temper, nor was it that I did not foresee that this was my harvest, in which I was to gather up, and that it would not last long; but it was that really his bounty always anticipated my expectations, and even my wishes; and he gave me money so fast that he rather poured it in upon me than left me room to ask it; so that, before I could spend fifty pistoles, I had always a hundred to make it up.

After I had been near a year and a half in his arms, as above, or thereabouts, I proved with child. I did not take any notice of it to him till I was satisfied that I was not deceived; when one morning early, when we were in bed together, I said to him, 'My lord, I doubt your Highness never gives yourself leave to think what the case should be if I should have the honour to be with child by you. I 'Why, my dear', says he, 'we are able to keep it if such a thing should happen; I hope you are not concerned about that.' 'No, my lord', said I; 'I should think my self very happy if I could bring your Highness a son; I should hope to see him a lieutenant-general of the king's armies by the interest of his father, and by his own merit' Assure yourself, child', says he, 'if it should be so, I will not refuse owning him for my son, though