1 A person who in London liv'd of late,
2 By dire misfortue Sunk in his Estate,
3 From good esteem reduc'd to low degree,
4 His credit turn'd to Abject Poverty;
5 No comfort left to Sweeten human life,
6 But faithful counsels of a virtuous Wife,
7 Who under Fortune's frowns wou'd often try
8 All means to shew her love and constancy;
9 While he with heavy heart wou'd oft lament,
10 Her present Straits, her Ample Fortune Spent,
11 With kind endearments and a chearful Air
12 She ever Strove to free his mind from care.
13 Her Eldest Daughter being (as 'tis Said)
14 In bloom of Youth, a fair and comely Maid,
15 Was sent unto a Country friend that She,
16 The downfall of her Parents might not See.
17 A Noble Lord of good Estate liv'd nigh,
18 And on this lovely Beauty cast his Eye,[Page 55]
19 The chaste behaviour of this Graceful Dame,
20 Did daily add new vigour to his flame;
21 He her addrest his lawful Bride to be,
22 And to the same she did at length agree,
23 Tho' basely he her ruin did design,
24 And to betray her sought a lucky time:
25 While both with diff'rent ends themselves amuse,
26 From London came the most unwelcome News.
27 Her tender Parents were depriv'd of all
28 Their worldly Store; her Sorrows were not small
29 At their dire Fate; When to compleat her woes,
30 Her Lover doth his base design disclose.
31 A Mistress he must have, he wants no Wife,
32 Propos'd four Hundred Pounds a year for life
33 At her command, and if she will comply,
34 Her Father's debts he'll likewise satisfy:
35 Thus like the Cursed Serpent tempting Eve,
36 He laid a Golden Bait her to deceive.
37 But here his hopes and promises were vain,
38 The Fair one left him with a brave disdain,
39 Such Virtue in her Spotless breast Did reign;
40 Tho' their misfortune griev'd her tender heart,
41 Her noble Soul abhors his treach'rous Part,
42 To the designing Lord She bade Adieu,
43 Nor wou'd Admit another Interview. [Page 56]
44 Chagrin'd and vex'd the Spark resolv'd to try
45 Another Plot for to way-lay her by,
46 Dispatch'd a Messenger without delay,
47 To hear what her perplexed Friends wou'd say,
48 Hoping that their Indigence a means might be
49 To gain his end by their Authority.
50 By cruel Fate, her Father's forc'd from home,
51 The Letter to her Mother's Hands did come,
52 His flatt'ring lines she then perused o'er,
53 His Vile proposals did afflict her more,
54 Then all her sad disasters heretofore:
55 She from his Servant her intent conceal'd,
56 And to her Virtuous Child her mind reveal'd,
57 To this effect. My dearest Girl, Said She,
58 I've hear'd from one pretending love to thee,
59 A Gentleman of wealth and high degree,
60 By whose pretences we may plainly find,
61 A wicked heart and base insulting mind,
62 He takes advantage of our mean Estate,
63 And Strives to make our Sorrows more compleat,
64 He thinks our present wants to Satisfy,
65 We will betray our Child to Infamy,
66 Heaven forbid, that we so vile Shou'd be
67 By Sin and Shame to Shift of poverty! [Page 57]
68 The Power above some other way will find
69 To ease our woe, or give us peace of mind
70 Dear Child, my will already is resign'd!
71 As Worldly grandeur to thyself and Friends;
72 For Virtue's loss can never make amends;
73 Therefore I charge thee take a Special care,
74 Refuse the Bait, and So avoid the snare;
75 Let not a foolish pity take a place
76 Within thy breast, true Virtue to deface,
77 Our case is not so bad as you may fear,
78 From me in time you better News may hear;
79 I have been interupted by a Friend
80 And have already, better News to Send
81 The Minute just now past, I have receiv'd
82 A Debt long due by which I am reliev'd;
83 For Sev'ral days before I freely own,
84 All views of comfort and support were gone,
85 What little I cou'd raise I did dispose
86 To thy Dear Father, partner of my woes,
87 Who at this present time is torn from me
88 I hope he'll Soon regain his liberty;
89 'Tis not to grieve thee I these things relate,
90 Most patiently I bear my instant Fate,
91 But with a Mother's tenderness intreat
92 Thee not to make my Suff'rings yet more great,[Page 58]
93 'Tis our Misfortune not our fault, that we
94 Are at this time involv'd in Poverty,
95 And Providence may yet us reinstate
96 To the affluence we enjoy'd of late,
97 Without accepting terms so vile and base;
98 Heaven preserve, my Child, from Such disgrace!
99 These lines she sent with care and Speed I hear,
100 By his false Servant to her Daughter Dear
101 Anxious for the Event, shaking with fear.
102 He to his Master did the Same convey
103 Such Snares were laid her virtue to betray.
104 He open'd it, but much surpris'd to find
105 A true Portraiture of a noble mind
106 Whom pinching wants nor Golden Bribes cou'd move,
107 To favour him in his illegal love:
108 Reflecting on his Enterprise with Shame,
109 Applauds her choice and found himself to blame,
110 His reason prompts him, that it wou'd be in vain,
111 Content or peace of mind thereby to gain;
112 Reflecting clamly on his wretched case,
113 Resolv'd thenceforth to quit attempts So base,
114 The Letter seal'd with nicest art and care,
115 To See his Love he doth himself prepare,
116 And by it got admittance to the Fair.
117 While She her Mother's Letter did peruse,
118 Her lovely face, he with attention views:[Page 59]
119 Her piercing Sorrows caus'd her eyes to flow,
120 With pearly drops of Undissembled woe.
121 The deep concern that in her breast took place,
122 Heighten'd her charms, improv'd each blooming grace
123 His stubborn heart relents amaz'd to See,
124 Her deep distress and noble constancy.
125 Reclaimed thus by Virtues charms alone,
126 For all his former folly to attone,
127 Assur'd her on his honour she shou'd find,
128 In him, a Faithful friend and Husband kind;
129 And to London he sent the Second time.
130 Implores her Mother's pardon for his crime,
131 Pleads his Misfortune that he did not know
132 Their Family, and therefore us'd them So,
133 Not only beg'd Excuse for what he had done,
134 But wish'd to be accepted as a Son.
135 This Letter by his Steward to her he Sent,
136 And in Short time in Person thither went.
137 Her happy Parents were to Wealth restor'd,
138 By the Assistance of this Gen'rous Lord:
139 Married Amanda was and liv'd a happy life,
140 He a kind Husband, she a Virtuous Wife.