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as many prudential, considerations; but if the last mentioned motive does not prevail, I despair of succeeding by any other; and shall therefore conclude my paper with a very remarkable story, which is recorded in an old chronicle published by Freher, among the writers of the German history.
Eginhart, who was secretary to Charles the Great, became exceeding popular by his behaviour in that post. His great abilities gained him the favour of his master, and the esteem of the whole Court. Imma, the daughter of the emperor, was so pleased with his person and conversation, that she fell in love with him. As she was one of the greatest beauties of the age, Eginhart answered her with a more than equal return of passion. They stifled their flames for some time, under apprehension of the fatal consequences that might ensue. Eginhart at length resolving to hazard all, rather than live deprived of one whom his heart was so much set upon, conveyed himself one night into the princess's apartment, and, knocking gently at the door, was admitted as a person who had something to communicate to her from the emperor. He was with her in private most part of the night; but upon his preparing to go away about break of day, he observed that there had fallen a great snow during his stay with the princess. This very much perplexed him, lest the prints of his feet in the snow might make discoveries to the king, who often used to visit his daughter in the morning. He acquainted the Princess Imma with his fears; who, after some consultations upon the matter, prevailed upon him to let her carry him through the snow upon her own shoulders. It happened, that the emperor not being able to sleep, was at that time up and walking in his chamber, when upon looking through the window, he perceived his daughter tottering under her burden, and carrying
his first minister across the snow; which she had no sooner done, but she returned again with the utmost speed to her own apartment. The emperor was extremely troubled and astonished at this accident; but resolved to speak nothing of it till a proper opportunity. In the mean time, Eginhart, knowing that what he had done could not be long a secret, determined to retire from Court; and in order to it begged the emperor that he would be pleased to dismiss him, pretending a kind of discontent at his not having been rewarded for his long services. The emperor would not give a direct answer to his petition, but told him he would think of it, and appointed a certain day when he would let him know his pleasure. He then called together the most faithful of his counsellors, and acquainting them with his secretary's crime, asked them their advice in so delicate an affair. They most of them gave their opinion, that the person could not be too severely punished, who had thus dishonoured his master. Upon the whole debate, the emperor declared it was his opinion, that Eginhart's punishment would rather increase than diminish the shame of his family, and that therefore he thought it the most advisable to wear out the memory of the fact, by marrying him to his daughter. Accordingly Eginhart was called in, and acquainted by the Emperor, that he should no longer have any pretence of complaining his services were not rewarded, for that the Princess Imma should be given him in marriage, with a dower suitable to her quality; which was soon after performed accordingly.
No. 182. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1711.
Plus aloës quàm mellis habet.
JUV. SAT. vi. 180.
The bitter overbalances the sweet.
As all parts of human life come under my observation, my reader must not make uncharitable inferences from my speaking knowingly of that sort of crime which is at present treated of. He will, I hope, suppose I know it only from the letters of correspondents, two of which you shall have as follow:
66 MR. SPECTATOR,
"It is wonderful to me, that, among the many enormities which you have treated of, you have not mentioned that of wenching, and particularly the insnaring part. I mean that it is a thing very fit for your pen, to expose the villany of the practice of deluding women. You are to know, sir, that I myself am a woman who have been one of the unhappy that have fallen into this misfortune, and that by the insinuation of a very worthless fellow, who served others in the same manner, both before my ruin, and since that time. I had, as soon as the rascal left me, so much indignation and resolution, as not to go upon the town, as the phrase is, but took to work for my living in an obscure place, out of the knowledge of all with whom I was before acquainted.
"It is the ordinary practice and business of life with a set of idle fellows about this town, to write
letters, send messages, and form appointments with little raw unthinking girls, and leave them after possession of them, without any mercy, to shame, infamy, poverty, and disease. Were you to read the nauseous impertinences which are written on these occasions, and to see the silly creatures sighing over them, it could not but be matter of mirth as well as pity. A little 'prentice girl of mine has been for some time applied to by an Irish fellow, who dresses very fine, and struts in a laced coat, and is the admiration of seamstresses who are under age in town. Ever since I have had some knowledge of the matter, I have debarred my 'prentice from pen, ink, and paper. But the other day he bespoke some cravats of me: I went out of the shop, and left his mistress to put them up into a band-box in order to be sent to him when his man called. When I came into the shop again, I took occasion to send her away, and found in the bottom of the box written these words, 'Why would you ruin a harmless creature that loves you?' then in the lid, There is no resisting Strephon:' I searched a little further, and found in the rim of the box, At eleven o'clock at night come in a hackney-coach at the end of our street.' This was enough to alarm me; I sent away the things, and took my measures accordingly. An hour or two before the appointed time I examined my young lady, and found her trunk stuffed with impertinent letters and an old scroll of parchment in Latin, which her lover had sent her as a settlement of fifty pounds a year. Among other things, there was also the best lace I had in my shop to make him a present for cravats. I was very glad of this last circumstance, because I could very conscientiously swear against him that he had enticed my servant away, and was her accomplice in
robbing me: I procured a warrant against him accordingly. Every thing was now prepared, and the tender hour of love approaching, I, who had acted for myself in my youth the same senseless part, knew how to manage accordingly; therefore, after having locked up my maid, and not being so much unlike her in height and shape as in a huddled way not to pass for her, I delivered the bundle designed to be carried off to her lover's man, who came with the signal to receive them. Thus I followed after to the coach, where, when I saw his master take them in, I cried out, Thieves! thieves!' and the constable with his attendants seized my expecting lover. poke se! I kept myself unobserved till I saw the crowd suffilefciently increased, and then appeared, to declare the goods to be mine; and had the satisfaction to see my man of mode put into the round-house, with the stolen wares by him, to be produced in evidence against the next morning. This matter is notoriously known to be fact; and I have been contented to save my 'prentice, and take a year's rent of this mortified lover, not to appear further in the matter. This was some penance; but, Sir, is this enough for a villany of much more pernicious consequence than the trifles for which he was to have been indicted? Should not you, and all men of any parts or honour, put things upon so right a foot, as that such a rascal should not laugh at the imputation of what he was really guilty, and dread being accused of that for which he was arrested?
ho dress is the w in ter
in order hen la
"In a word, Sir, it is in the power of you, and such as I hope you are, to make it as infamous to rob a poor creature of her honour as her clothes. I leave this to your consideration, only take leave, which I cannot do without sighing, to remark to you, that if this had been the sense of mankind thirty