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side, endeavouring to persuade her to return with me, or to discover where she lived; but she obstinately refused to return, or to let me see her retreat ; and here (says Mr R—t) I begged that she would grant me a kiss, but she would not willingly. However, after some bustle in the street, I took a farewell kiss. Poor dear soul! (sighed he) she is rather too spiritual; for notwithstanding I laid by her side near six inonths, she would never be prevailed upon to do anything carnal; and although I did all in my power to get the better of her spiritual scruples, yet she was always so in love with Christ her heavenly spouse, that when she eloped from me she was, I assure you, as good a virgin as when I married her.”
I must give you a story or two of the same nature with the preceding;
A gentleman of London, happening to be on a visit at Bristol about three years since, fell in love with a handsome young lady who was one of the holy sisterlood; after a few weeks' acquaintance he made her an offer of his person and fortune; and the young lady, after proper inquiry had been made into the gentleman's family, fortune, &c., consented to make our lover happy. They were soon after married, and the same day set off in a post-chaise towards London, in order to sleep the first night at an inn, and so save the lady the blushes occasioned by the jokes common on such occasions; this happy couple had been in bed about an hour, when the cry of murder alarmed the house; this alarm proceeding from the room that was occupied by the bride and bridegroom, drew the company that way; the inn-keeper knocked at the door and demanded admittance; our Benedict appeared at the door, and informed the host that his lady had heen suddenly ill, in a kind of fit, he believed, but that she was better ; and after the inn-keeper's wife had been sent into the room to see the young lady, and had found her well, all retired to bed.
They had however not lain more than two hours, when the cry of murder, fire, &c., again alarmed the house, and drew many out of their beds once more.
Our young gentleman then dressed himself, and opening the door, informed the company that he had that morning been married to the young lady in bed, and that being married, he had insisted on being admitted to the privilege of a husband, but that the young lady had talked much about the good of her poor soul, her spiritual husband, &c., and that instead of granting what he conceived to be the right of every husband, she had thought proper to disturb all in the house. He added, that having been thus made very ridiculous, he would take effectual care to prevent a repetition of the same absurd conduct.
He then ordered a post-chaise, and set off for London, leaving our young saint in bed, to enjoy her spiritual contemplations in their full extent; nor has he ever since paid her any attention.
Some time since, being in a large town in the West, she was pointed out to me by a friend, as she was walking in the street.
I am also informed, from undoubted authority, that in the same town there are a couple who have been married upwards of three years, and as yet the husband is not certain as to the sex of his wife ; and on every attempt of the husband for that purpose, the servants are alarmed with the screams of the pious lady, who would not permit such carnal communication for the world.
The preceding stories put me in mind of what Ovid says was practised by young maids on the festival of the celebrated nymph Anna Perenna, thus translated by I know not whom :
“ With promises the amorous god she led,
With joy the god prepares the golden bed ;-
While rage and shame alternate swell his breast.” I know that there are now in Mr Wesley's society, in London, some women who, ever since they were converted, have refused to sleep with their husbands, and that some of those will not pay the least atten. tion to any temporal concern whatever, being, as they term it, wholly wrapped up in divine contemplation, having their souls absorbed in divine love, so as not to be interrupted by the trifling concerns of a husband, family, &c.
Mrs G left her husband and children, one of whom was sucking at her breast, and came from Ireland to London; and when she was upbraided with her unnatural behaviour, she replied, It was the will of the Lord, she had left all for Christ's sake, and followed the guidings of his spirit. To sit under the preaching of Mr Wesley was of more importance to her than husband and children. For a long time she lived on what she had brought away from her husband ; after that was gone, she lived a halfstarved life, by taking in plain-work. What became of her at last, I could never learn.
I am, dear friend, yours.
“ Women that leave no stone unturn'd,
New Bath GUIDE.
DEAR FRIEND, BECAUSE some of the holy sisters are in their amours altogether spiritual, you are by no means to understand that they are all totally divested of the carnal propensity.
Some of these good creatures are so far from thinking that their husbands are too carnal in their affections, that they really think that they are not enough 80; and instances are not wanting, in which, owing to their having husbands too spiritual, they have been willing to receive assistance from the husbands of other women.
It is but about a year since a certain celebrated preacher used to administer carnal consolation to the wife of his clerk. This holy communication was repeated so often, and so open, that at last it came to the clerk's ears, who, watching an opportunity, one day surprised the pious pair at their devotion, and so belaboured the preacher with his walking staff, that the public were for near a month deprived of the benefits resulting from his remarkable gift of eloquence.
“ The pious Methodist may chance to fail, :
As I am in the story-telling way, I cannot 'resist the temptation of telling another; for, as Mat Bramble says,
Here my subject is not barren; But in rare anecdotic matter rich." A certain holy sister who lately kept a house in a country village, within ten miles of London, took in (as they called it) Mr Wesley's preachers; by taking in, is only meant, that when they came in their turn to preach in the village, she used to supply each with victuals and a bed : (no doubt but they slept alone.) This lady was so very remarkable for her spiritual experience and divine gifts, that she attracted many to her house, besides such as came in the regular course of their duty, and among the former a preacher from London, from whom I learnt the affair. This preacher, happening to want a wife, and being very spiritually-minded, actually married her, in December 1790, merely for her great gifts and grace, as her fortune was not above the fiftieth part as much as his own; and as to person, she is scarcely one degree above ugliness itself; although her husband is well-proportioned, and upon the whole a handsome man. They had been married a week, when this simple preacher discovered that his gifted gracious saint was an incarnate devil, who had married him only to rob, plunder, and
Milton's Sampson Agonistes.