She refined her skills apprenticing for other sculptors as well as working on large commissions. She specializes in sculpture commissions, and continues to participate in exhibitions throughout Europe, as well as sculpture symposiums, including Project Giotto for the G8 international summit meeting in Genoa, Italy.
Since she has lived and worked in Palm Springs, California. She has also completed a number of public and private commissions out of her second studio in Phoenix Arizona; as she continues to work with marble studios and bronze foundries in Pietrasanta, Italy. Roxana is represented by a number of galleries both in the U. Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Los Angeles, CA. El Camino Memorial Park. Pietrasanta, It. Pubblica Assistenza di Fabiano. Torre Upezzinghi. Pontedera, Italy Migrazioni. Atrio del Palazzo Comunale di Savona. As a result, Roxana decides to return to England, but being considerably richer than when she arrived thanks to the jeweler and the Prince, she gets in contact with a Dutch merchant who could help her to move her considerable wealth back to England.
Roxana wishes to sell the jewels in the case the jeweler had left her the day he died, and the Dutch merchant arranges for them to be appraised by a Jew. The Jew recognized the jewels as being the ones which had been allegedly stolen from an English jeweler many years prior. The Jew demands that she should be brought to the police, for she was surely the thief, and plots to keep the jewels for himself. The Dutch merchant alerts Roxana of the Jew's scheme and they devise a plan to get her out of France and secure her passage to England through Holland.
Roxana successfully evades the Jew and the law and ends up safely in Holland where the Dutch merchant joins her.
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The merchant courts her and manages to bed her, hoping she would then agree to marry him. Roxana makes her intentions to remain single clear, to the merchant's astonishment. Roxana ends up becoming pregnant, which makes the Merchant plead for her to marry him so that the child should not be a bastard, which she still refuses. Roxana returns to England on a ship which nearly founders in a storm, on which Amy is stricken with guilt for her sins and wicked ways, but Roxana believes there is no truth in sea storm repentance and promises, so she herself does not feel the need to repent as Amy does: but she realizes that anything Amy is guilty of, she is much more guilty of.
Upon arriving in England Amy sets Roxana's estate up in London as Roxana returns to get the other half of her money in Holland. Roxana sets herself up in Pall Mall, invests her money, and becomes a great hostess in England where she becomes famous for her parties and the Turkish dress she wears and the Turkish dance the slave taught her.
This exotic display earns her the name of Roxana prior to this moment, Roxana is never named, we only know she is called Roxana through this incident, but that her true name is Susan, according to a comment she makes later about her daughter. She quickly gains a lot of attention, and a three-year gap is announced, and implies she even became mistress to the King, who saw her at one of her parties.
Following this she becomes an old man's mistress, which she becomes quickly sick of. Her reputation as a mistress and a whore tires her, and she wishes to lead a more simple life.
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Roxana moves to the outskirts of London and takes board in a Quaker woman's house, with whom she quickly becomes friends. This modest house allows her to become a new person and hide from those who may want to harm her. One day she comes across the Dutch merchant who had helped her return to England, and marriage is envisaged. Roxana finally relents on her wish to remain independent and they marry.
Hoping to avoid the children from her first marriage should they come looking for her, she moves to Holland with the Dutch merchant where she becomes a countess to her great pleasure. However, her new life is threatened by the reappearance of her oldest daughter, Susan which Roxana admits to be named after her, unveiling possibly her true name. Susan's motives to have her mother recognize her as her daughter are unclear.
Nevertheless, Roxana feels threatened, and Amy proposes to murder her. The novel ends on ambiguity as to whether Amy actually kills Susan. Roxana only laments the crime that has tainted her life, strongly suggesting Susan was murdered for Roxana to retain her status and reputation. The text ends on an "unfinished" note, with Roxana living in wealth with her husband in Holland, but assuring the reader that events eventually bring her low and she repents for her actions and experiences a downturn in fortune. Then the manner of his death was terrible and frightful to me, and, above all, the strange notices I had of it.
Mood Board: Lady Roxana
I had never pretended to the second sight or anything of that kind, but certainly if any one ever had such a thing, I had it at this time, for I saw him as plainly in all those terrible shapes as above. First, as a skeleton, not dead only, but rotten and wasted; secondly, as killed, and his face bloody; and thirdly, his clothes bloody; and all within the space of one minute, or indeed of a very few moments.
These things amazed me, and I was a good while as one stupid. However, after some time I began to recover and look into my affairs. I had the satisfaction not to be left in distress or in danger of poverty; on the contrary, besides what he had put into my hands fairly in his lifetime, which amounted to a very considerable value, I found above seven hundred pistoles in gold in his escritoire, of which he had given me the key, and I found foreign bills accepted for about 12, livres; so that, in a word, I found myself possessed of almost ten thousand pounds sterling in a very few days after the disaster.
Amy was so dexterous, and did her work so nimbly, that she gutted the house, and sent the key to the said manager almost as soon as he had notice of the misfortune that befell their master. Upon their receiving the surprising news of his death, the head manager came over to Paris and came to the house. I made no scruple of calling myself Madame — — the widow of Monsieur — — the English jeweller; and as I spoke French naturally, I did not let him know but that I was his wife, married in France, and that I had not heard that he had any wife in England, but pretended to be surprised, and exclaimed against him for so base an action; and that I had good friends in Poitou, where I was born, who would take care to have justice done me in England out of his estate.
I should have observed that as soon as the news was public of a man being murdered, and that he was a jeweller, fame did me the favour as to publish presently that he was robbed of his casket of jewels, which he always carried about with him. I confirmed this, among my daily lamentations, for his disaster, and added that he had with him a fine diamond ring which he was known to wear frequently about him, valued at pistoles, a gold watch, and a great quantity of diamonds of inestimable value in his casket, which jewels he was carrying to the Prince of, to show some of them to him; and the Prince owned that he had spoken to him to bring some such jewels to let him see them.
But I sorely repented this part afterwards, as you shall hear. This rumour put an end to all enquiry after his jewels, his ring, or his watch; and as for the pistoles, that I secured. For the bills which were in hand, I owned I had them; but that as, I said, I brought my husband 30, livres portion, I claimed the said bills, which came to not above 12, livres, for my amende; and this, with the plate and the household stuff, was the principal of all his estate which they could come at.
As to the foreign bill which he was going to Versailles to get accepted, it was really lost with him; but his manager, who had remitted the bill to him by way of Amsterdam, bringing over the second bill, the money was saved, as they called it, which would otherwise have been also gone. The thieves who robbed and murdered him were, to be sure, afraid to send anybody to get the bill accepted, for that would undoubtedly have discovered them. By this time my maid Amy was arrived, and she gave me an account of her management and how she had secured everything, and that she had quitted the house and sent the key to the head manager of his business, and let me know how much she had made of everything, very punctually and honestly.
I should have observed in the account of his dwelling with me so long at — — that he never passed for anything there but a lodger in the house, and though he was landlord, that did not alter the case; so that at his death, Amy coming to quit the house and give them the key, there was no affinity between that and the case of their master who was newly killed. I was visited with great civility on this sad occasion of the loss of my husband as they thought him by a great many ladies of quality; and the Prince of —— to whom it was reported he was carrying the jewels, sent his gentleman with a very handsome compliment of condolence to me; and his gentleman, whether with or without order, hinted as if His Highness did intend to have visited me himself, but that some accident, which he made a long story of, had prevented him.
I took care to let the ladies see that I knew how to receive them, that I was not at a loss how to behave to any of them; and, in short, I began to be very popular there. But I had an occasion afterwards which made me decline that kind of management, as you shall hear presently. About four days after I had received the compliments of condolence from the Prince of — — the same gentleman he had sent before came to tell me that His Highness was coming to give me a visit.
I was indeed surprised at that, and perfectly at a loss how to behave. However, as there was no remedy, I prepared to receive him as well as I could. It was not many minutes after but he was at the door, and came in, introduced by his own gentleman, as above, and after by my woman Amy. He treated me with abundance of civility, and condoled handsomely the loss of my husband and likewise the manner of it. He told me he understood he was coming to Versailles, to himself, to show him some jewels; that it was true that he had discoursed with him about jewels, but could not imagine how any villains should hear of his coming at that time with them; that he had not ordered him to attend with them at Versailles, but told him that he would come to Paris by such a day, so that he was no way accessory to the disaster.
I told him gravely I knew very well that all His Highness had said of that part was true, that these villains knew his profession, and knew, no doubt, that he always carried a casket of jewels about him, and that he always wore a diamond ring on his finger worth a hundred pistoles, which report had magnified to five hundred; and that if he had been going to any other place, it would have been the same thing.
After this His Highness rose up to go, and told me he had resolved, however, to make me some reparation, and with these words put a silk purse into my hand with a hundred pistoles, and told me he would make a further compliment of a small pension, which his gentleman would inform me of. You may be sure I behaved with a due sense of so much goodness, and offered to kneel to kiss his hand, but he took me up and saluted me, and sat down again though before he made as if he was going away , making me sit down by him. He then began to talk with me more familiarly; told me he hoped I was not left in bad circumstances; that Mr.
I replied, with some tears, which I confess were a little forced, that I believed if Mr. His Highness returned, with an air of concern, that he was very sorry for it, but he hoped if I settled in Paris I might find ways to restore my fortune. At the same time he complimented me upon my being very handsome, as he was pleased to call it, and that I could not fail of admirers. He stood up and, taking me by the hand, led me to a large looking-glass which made up the pier in the front of the parlour.
There was in it a grant from His Highness, or an assignment, I know not which to call it, with a warrant to his banker to pay me two thousand livres a year during my stay in Paris, as the widow of Monsieur —— the jeweller, mentioning the horrid murder of my late husband as the occasion of it, as above. Now I began to understand him, and resolved, if His Highness did come again, he should see me under no disadvantages if I could help it. I told him if His Highness did me the honour to see me again, I hoped he would not let me be so surprised as I was before; that I would be glad to have some little notice of it, and would be obliged to him if he would procure it me.
He told me he was very sure that when His Highness intended to visit me he should be sent before to give me notice of it, and that he would give me as much warning of it as possible. He came several times after this on the same errand, that is, about the settlement, the grant, requiring several things yet to be done for making it payable, without going every time to the Prince again for a fresh warrant.
The particulars of this part I did not understand, but as soon as it was finished, which was above two months, the gentleman came one afternoon and said His Highness designed to visit me in the evening, but desired to be admitted without ceremony. I prepared not my rooms only but myself, and when he came in there was nobody appeared in the house but his gentleman and my maid Amy; and of her I bid the gentleman acquaint His Highness that she was an Englishwoman, that she did not understand a word of French, and that she was one also that might be trusted.
When he came into my room I fell down at his feet before he could come to salute me, and with words that I had prepared, full of duty and respect, thanked him for his bounty and goodness to a poor desolate woman, oppressed by the weight of so terrible a disaster, and refused to rise till he would allow me the honour to kiss his hand. I was dressed in a kind of half-mourning, had turned off my weeds, and my head, though I had yet no ribands or lace, was so dressed as failed not to set me out with advantage enough, for I began to understand his meaning; and the Prince protested I was the most beautiful creature on earth.
This was the way, in all the world, the most likely to break in upon my virtue, if I had been mistress of any, for I was now become the vainest creature upon earth, and particularly of my beauty; which, as other people admired, so I became every day more foolishly in love with myself than before. He said some very kind things to me after this and sat down with me for an hour or more, when, getting up and calling his gentleman by his name, he threw open the door.
As soon as his gentleman had set it all down he ordered him to withdraw. I knew not what to say to him for a good while, but blushed and, looking up towards him, said I was already made happy in the favour of a person of such rank, and had nothing to ask of His Highness but that he would believe me infinitely obliged. About half an hour after, the Prince told me that I offered to wait a little before, that if I would now take the trouble he would give me leave to give him some wine.
So I went to the table, filled a glass of wine, and brought it to him on a fine salver which the glasses stood on, and brought the bottle, or decanter for water, in my other hand, to mix it as he thought fit. He smiled and bid me look on that salver, which I did, and admired it much, for it was a very fine one indeed. It now began to grow late and he began to take notice of it. He said something exceedingly kind on that head, but not fit to repeat, adding that my company would make him amends.
About midnight he sent his gentleman on an errand, after telling him aloud that he intended to stay here all night. In a little time his gentleman brought him a nightgown, slippers, two caps, a neckcloth, and a shirt, which he gave me to carry into his chamber, and sent his man home; and then, turning to me, said I should do him the honour to be his chamberlain of the household, and his dresser also.
I smiled, and told him I would do myself the honour to wait on him upon all occasions. I can go no further in the particulars of what passed at that time, but it ended in this, that, in short, I lay with him all night. I have given you the whole detail of this story, to lay it down as a black scheme of the way how unhappy women are ruined by great men; for though poverty and want is an irresistible temptation to the poor, vanity and great things are as irresistible to others.
To be courted by a prince, and by a prince who was first a benefactor, then an admirer, to be called handsome, the finest woman in France, and to be treated as a woman fit for the bed of a prince: these are things a woman must have no vanity in her, nay, no corruption in her, that is not overcome by it; and my case was such, that, as before, I had enough of both.
I had now no poverty attending me. On the contrary, I was mistress of ten thousand pounds before the Prince did anything for me. Had I been mistress of my resolution, had I been less obliging and rejected the first attack, all had been safe; but my virtue was lost before, and the devil, who had found the way to break in upon me by one temptation, easily mastered me now by another, and I gave myself up to a person who, though a man of high dignity, was yet the most tempting and obliging that ever I met with in my life.
I had the same particular to insist upon here with the Prince that I had with my gentleman before. I took this for a satisfactory answer, and told His Highness that I had the same thoughts in respect to the manner of his attacks, for that his person and his arguments were irresistible; that a person of his rank and a munificence so unbounded could not be withstood; that no virtue was proof against him, except such as was able too to suffer martyrdom; that I thought it impossible I could be overcome, but that now I found it was impossible I should not be overcome; that so much goodness, joined with so much greatness, would have conquered a saint; and that I confessed he had the victory over me by a merit infinitely superior to the conquest he had made.
He made me a most obliging answer; told me abundance of fine things which still flattered my vanity, till at last I began to have pride enough to believe him and fancied myself a fit mistress for a prince.
As I had thus given the Prince the last favour, and he had all the freedom with me that it was possible for me to grant, so he gave me leave to use as much freedom with him another way, and that was to have everything of him I thought fit to command. And yet I did not ask of him with an air of avarice, as if I was greedily making a penny of him, but I managed him with such art that he generally anticipated my demands; he only requested of me that I would not think of taking another house, as I had intimated to His Highness that I had intended, not thinking it good enough to receive his visits in.
But, he said, my house was the most convenient that could possibly be found in all Paris for an amour, especially for him, having a way out into three streets, and not overlooked by any neighbours, so that he could pass and repass without observation, for one of the back ways opened into a narrow dark alley, which alley was a thoroughfare or passage out of one street into another, and any person that went in or out by the door had no more to do but to see that there was nobody following him in the alley before he went in at the door. This request I knew was reasonable, and therefore I assured him I would not change my dwelling, seeing His Highness did not think it too mean for me to receive him in.
This he liked very well; only, he said, that he would by no means have me confined, that it would injure my health, and that I should then take a country house in some village, a good way off from the city, where it should not be known who I was, and that I should be there sometimes, to divert me. I made no scruple of the confinement, and told His Highness no place could be a confinement where I had such a visitor; and so I put off the country house, which would have been to remove myself further from him and have less of his company, and I made the house be, as it were, shut up.
Amy indeed appeared, and when any of the neighbours and servants enquired, she answered in broken French that I was gone to England to look after my affairs, which presently went current through the streets about us. For you are to note that the people of Paris, especially the women, are the most busy and impertinent enquirers into the conduct of their neighbours, especially that of a single woman, that are in the world; though there are no greater intriguers in the universe than themselves, and perhaps that may be the reason of it, for it is an old but a sure rule that.
Thus His Highness had the most easy and yet the most undiscoverable access to me imaginable, and he seldom failed to come two or three nights in a week, and sometimes stayed two or three nights together. Once he told me he was resolved I should be weary of his company, and that he would learn to know what it was to be a prisoner; so he gave out among his servants that he was gone to — — where he often went a-hunting, and that he should not return under a fortnight.
And that fortnight he stayed wholly with me, and never went out of my doors. Never woman in such a station lived a fortnight in so complete a fullness of human delight. For, to have the entire possession of one of the most accomplished princes in the world, and of the politest, best-bred man, to converse with him all day and, as he professed, charm him all night, what could be more inexpressibly pleasing, and especially to a woman of a vast deal of pride as I was?
To finish the felicity of this part, I must not forget that the devil had played a new game with me, and prevailed with me to satisfy myself with this amour as a lawful thing; that a prince of such grandeur and majesty, so infinitely superior to me, and one who had made such an introduction by an unparalleled bounty, I could not resist; and therefore that it was very lawful for me to do it, being at that time perfectly single and unengaged to any other man — as I was, most certainly, by the unaccountable absence of my first husband, and the murder of my gentleman who went for my second.
It cannot be doubted but that I was the easier to persuade myself of the truth of such a doctrine as this, when it was so much for my ease and for the repose of my mind to have it be so. Besides, I had no casuists to resolve this doubt. The same devil that put this into my head bade me go to any of the Romish clergy and, under the pretence of confession, state the case exactly, and I should see they would either resolve it to be no sin at all, or absolve me upon the easiest penance. This I had a strong inclination to try, but I know not what scruple put me off it, for I could never bring myself to like having to do with those priests.
And though it was strange that I, who had thus prostituted my chastity and given up all sense of virtue in two such particular cases, living a life of open adultery, should scruple anything; yet so it was, I argued with myself, that I could not be a cheat in anything that was esteemed sacred, that I could not be of one opinion and then pretend myself to be of another, nor could I go to confession who knew nothing of the manner of it, and should betray myself to the priest to be a Huguenot, and then might come into trouble; but, in short, though I was a whore, yet I was a Protestant whore, and could not act as if I was Popish upon any account whatsoever.
But, I say, I satisfied myself with the surprising occasion that as it was all irresistible, so it was all lawful; for that Heaven would not suffer us to be punished for that which it was not possible for us to avoid. And with these absurdities I kept conscience from giving me any considerable disturbance in all this matter, and I was as perfectly easy as to the lawfulness of it as if I had been married to the Prince and had had no other husband. So possible is it for us to roll ourselves up in wickedness, till we grow invulnerable by conscience; and that sentinel, once dozed, sleeps fast, not to be awakened while the tide of pleasure continues to flow or till something dark and dreadful brings us to ourselves again.
I have, I confess, wondered at the stupidity that my intellectual part was under all that while, what lethargic fumes dozed the soul, and how it was possible that I, who in the case before, where the temptation was many ways more forcible and the arguments stronger and more irresistible, was yet under a continued inquietude on account of the wicked life I led, could now live in the most profound tranquillity, and with an uninterrupted peace, nay, even rising up to satisfaction and joy, and yet in a more palpable state of adultery than before; for before, my gentleman who had called me wife had the pretence of his wife, being parted from him, refusing to do the duty of her once as a wife to him.
As for me, my circumstances were the same; but as for the Prince, as he had a fine and extraordinary lady, or Princess, of his own, so he had had two or three mistresses more besides me and made no scruple of it at all. However, I say, as to my own part I enjoyed myself in perfect tranquillity, and as the Prince was the only deity I worshipped, so I was really his idol. And however it was with his Princess, I assure you his other mistresses found a sensible difference; and though they could never find me out, yet I had good intelligence that they guessed very well that their lord had got some new favourite that robbed them of his company, and perhaps of some of his usual bounty too.
And now I must mention the sacrifices he made to his idol; and they were not a few, I assure you. As he loved like a prince, so he rewarded like a prince; for though he declined my making a figure, as above, he let me see that he was above doing it for the saving the expense of it — and so he told me — and that he would make it up in other things. First of all he sent me a toilet with all the appurtenances of silver, even so much as the frame of the table, and then for the house he gave me the table or sideboard of plate I mentioned above, with all things belonging to it of massy silver; so that, in short, I could not for my life study to ask him for any thing of plate which I had not.
He could then accommodate me in nothing more but jewels and clothes, or money for clothes. He sent his gentleman to the mercers, and bought me a suit or whole piece of the finest brocaded silk, figured with gold, and another with silver, and another of crimson, so that I had three suits of clothes such as the Queen of France would not have disdained to have worn at that time. Yet I went out nowhere; but as these were for me to put on when I went out of mourning, I dressed myself in them, one after another, always when His Highness came to see me.
I had no less than five several morning dresses besides these, so that I need never be seen twice in the same dress. To these he added several parcels of fine linen and of lace, so much that I had no room to ask for more, or indeed for so much. I took the liberty once in our freedoms to tell him he was too bountiful and that I was too chargeable to him for a mistress, and that I would be his faithful servant at less expense to him, and that he not only left me no room to ask him for anything, but that he supplied me with such a profusion of good things that I scarce could wear them or use them unless I kept a great equipage, which he knew was no way convenient for him or for me.
He smiled and took me in his arms, and told me he was resolved, while I was his, I should never be able to ask him for anything, but that he would be daily asking new favours of me. After we were up, for this conference was in bed, he desired I would dress me in the best suit of clothes I had. It was a day or two after the three suits were made and brought home. I told him, if he pleased, I would rather dress me in that suit which I knew he liked best. He asked me how I could know which he would like best before he had seen them. In this figure I came to him out of my dressing-room, which opened with folding doors into his bedchamber.
He sat as one astonished a good while, looking at me without speaking a word, till I came quite up to him, knelt on one knee to him, and almost, whether he would or no, kissed his hand. He took me up, and stood up himself, but was surprised when, taking me in his arms, he perceived tears to run down my cheeks.
As he saw the tears drop down my cheek, he pulls out a fine cambric handkerchief and was going to wipe the tears off, but checked his hand as if he was afraid to deface something. I say he checked his hand, and tossed the handkerchief to me to do it myself. Pray let Your Highness satisfy yourself that you have no cheats put upon you; for once let me be vain enough to say I have not deceived you with false colours. He appeared surprised more than ever, and swore, which was the first time that I had heard him swear from my first knowing him, that he could not have believed there was any such skin, without paint, in the world.
And when it was come I desired His Highness to feel if it was warm, which he did, and I immediately washed my face all over with it before him. This was indeed more than satisfaction, that is to say, than believing, for it was an undeniable demonstration, and he kissed my cheeks and breasts a thousand times with expressions of the greatest surprise imaginable. Nor was I a very indifferent figure as to shape. Though I had had two children by my gentleman and five by my true husband, I say I was no despisable shape.
And my Prince I must be allowed the vanity to call him so was taking his view of me as I walked from one end of the room to the other. At last he leads me to the darkest part of the room and, standing behind me, bade me hold up my head, when putting both his hands round my neck, as if he was spanning my neck to see how small it was, for it was long and small, he held my neck so long and so hard in his hands that I complained he hurt me a little.
What he did it for I knew not, nor had I the least suspicion but that he was spanning my neck.
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But when I said he hurt me, he seemed to let go, and in half a minute more led me to a pier-glass, and behold I saw my neck clasped with a fine necklace of diamonds. If I had an ounce of blood in me that did not fly up into my face, neck, and breasts, it must be from some interruption in the vessels.
I was all on fire with the sight, and began to wonder what it was that was coming to me. A fine face and neck and no necklace would not have made the object perfect. But why that blush, my dear? Thus far I am a standing mark of the weakness of great men in their vice, that value not squandering away immense wealth upon the most worthless creatures; or, to sum it up in a word, they raise the value of the object which they pretend to pitch upon by their fancy — I say, raise the value of it at their own expense, give vast presents for a ruinous favour which is so far from being equal to the price, that nothing will at last prove more absurd than the cost men are at to purchase their own destruction.
I could not, in the height of all this fine doing, I say I could not be without some just reflection, though conscience was, as I said, dumb as to any disturbance it gave me in my wickedness. My vanity was fed up to such a height that I had no room to give way to such reflections.
But I could not but sometimes look back with astonishment at the folly of men of quality, who, immense in their bounty as in their wealth, give, to a profusion and without bounds, to the most scandalous of our sex for granting them the liberty of abusing themselves and ruining both. 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 for 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 now 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.
UBC Theses and Dissertations
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 hope you are not concerned about that. He professed himself overjoyed at the discovery, but told me that now it was absolutely necessary for me to quit the confinement which he said I had suffered for his sake, and to take a house somewhere in the country in order for health as well as for privacy against my lying-in. This was quite out of my way, but the Prince, who was a man of pleasure, had, it seems, several retreats of this kind which he made use of, I suppose, upon like occasions.
And so leaving it, as it were, to his gentleman, he provided a very convenient house about four miles south of Paris, at the village of — — where I had very agreeable lodgings, good gardens, and all things very easy to my content. But one thing did not please me at all, viz. I did not like this old woman at all.
She looked so like a spy upon me, or as sometimes I was frighted to imagine like one set privately to dispatch me out of the world as might best suit with the circumstances of my lying-in. And when His Highness came the next time to see me, which was not many days, I expostulated a little on the subject of the old woman, and by the management of my tongue as well as by the strength of reasoning I convinced him that it would not be at all convenient, that it would be the greater risk on his side, and that first or last it would certainly expose him and me also.
I assured him that my servant, being an Englishwoman, never knew to that hour who His Highness was, that I always called him the Count de Clerac, and that she knew nothing else of him, nor ever should; that if he would give me leave to choose proper persons for my use, it should be so ordered that not one of them should know who he was or perhaps ever see his face, and that for the reality of the child that should be born, His Highness, who had alone been at the first of it, should if he pleased be present in the room all the time, so that he would need no witnesses on that account.
This discourse fully satisfied him, so that he ordered his gentleman to dismiss the old woman the same day; and without any difficulty I sent my maid Amy to Calais and thence to Dover, where she got an English midwife and an English nurse to come over on purpose to attend an English lady of quality, as they styled me, for four months certain. The midwife, Amy had agreed to pay a hundred guineas to, and bear her charges to Paris and back again to Dover; the poor woman that was to be my nurse had twenty pounds, and the same terms for charges as the other.
I was very easy when Amy returned, and the more because she brought with the midwife a good motherly sort of woman who was to be her assistant and would be very helpful on occasion, and bespoke a man-midwife at Paris too, if there should be any necessity for his help. Having thus made provision for everything, the Count, for so we all called him in public, came as often to see me as I could expect, and continued exceeding kind, as he had always been. One day, conversing together upon the subject of my being with child, I told him how all things were in order, but that I had a strange apprehension that I should die with that child.