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vast influence which some of the favourites of that King had over the affairs of State, and the dreadful effects, both moral and political, which must ensue, when women of bad character and dispositions are allowed to interfere with the sovereign authority.
“ The love of pleasure, pomp, and profusion, which the King excited, and rendered either habitual or indispensably necessary ;. the consequent, speedy, and almost general impoverishment of the nobility; the eagerness after favour, places, and pensions, resulting from urgent necessities and pressing embarrassments; and the desire of making and advancing fortunes, were still more powerful causes of the upiversal corruption of morals. Men of rank, and even Princes, cringed before the king, before his ministers and his mistresses, before their minions and the favourites of the latter; and this example, set by husbands and fathers, was followed by their wives and daughters. The women began to live in a low familiarity with men of business. Those who could not aspire to the comptroller, or the farmers-general, insinuated themselves into the good graces of their agents and clerks. They delivered in new projects, and proposed fresh taxes. They sold their patronage; they sold their virtue; they sold the marrow of the people. The labouring part of the nation was oppressed by the lovely part *. Those who possessed power made use of it for the purpose of plunder, or to sell to others the liberty of robbiny and cheating with impunity. Such as durst not, or would not, have recourse to these expedients, sought to raise themselves in the world by advantageous marriages. Men of the highest rank courted the daughters of opulent financiers, or of favourites, by whose recommendation they hoped to obtain large dowries, lucrative places or pensions f. The blood of the French nobility became depraved; the distinctions of rank were almost abolished, and wealth was the only standard by which the worth and
* Mem. de Maintenon, II. p. 114.
+ For a piece of Madame de Maintenon, even a Prince of the house of Lorraine, and the son of the Duke de Noailles, durst pot offer themselves as suitors. The latter obtained her hand, and Mademoiselle d’Aubigny was the commencement of the prodigious fortune which the house of Noailles in the sequel acquired. Mem. de Maintenon, IV. p 250,
consequence of persons and families was estimated. Among the whole court, small indeed was the number of beautiful women, who would not have offered, or have been ready on the slightest intimation, to sacrifice their own honour, and that of their families, to the happiness of being the mistress of the King. There was, in fact, not a family at the Court of Louis XIV. but what built the hope of honours and fortune on the beauty of their daughters, and encouraged the latter to make it their study to gain the affections of the King *.
.66 The same wants and desires which originated in the avidity for favour, places, and pensions, were increased and still more generally diffused by the passion for play. 'The King, as I have already related in another place, prohibited the most ruinous games of hazard in the capital, upon pain of death; but at the same time tolerated them at court. He played himself; the Queen, the Princes, and the Princesses, were passionately attached to play. The courtiers followed their illustrious . examples, and played so high, that a person sometimes lost one hundred thousand pistoles in an evening. Gentlemen and ladies of the highest rank kept gaminghouses or banks, which were so many lures for the avarice of men ; so many abysses that engulphed the fortunes · of families; so many rocks on which the happiness, honour, and virtue of natives and foreigners were wrecked. From these places emissaries were sent out to discover such persons as had been left a rich inheritance, or had received a considerable present, or had gained an important law-suit, or had won a large sum at play, or who were willing to stake upon a card the momes with which they were entrusted. Numberless were the instances of persons who totally ruined themselves by gaming, and had no other excuse to make, than that they could not live without play.”
* This was the case with Mademoiselle de la Mothe ;-Hist. Amour. des Gaules. II. p. 24, and afterwards with Mademoiselle de Fontages, as well as many others.
Poems, and Tales ; by Miss Trefusis, 12mo. 2 vols.
10s. Tipper. 1808.
With many faults, these poems possess great excellencies : an elegant simplicity is their prevailing character; and the amiable author, who survived the publication but a few months, seems to have been careful to blend the purest inorality with the effusions of her fancy, We cordially recommend them to her fair countrywomeu..
Observations on Seduction and Prostitution, and on the
evil Consequences arising from them ; extracted from Matthew Henry's Exposition on the Old and New Testament ; by Mary Smith, a Penitent, late of the Magdalen Hospital; and published for her Benefit : with a Poen, by Mr. Pratt, on the same Subject. Second Edition. To which are prefixed, preliminary Observations; and an Address to the Legislature, containing some proposed Measures for the Suppression of Sea duction and Female Prostitution. 12mo. 2s.6d. Hatchard, 1808.
The shocking prevalence of Seduction, of which Prostitution is the necessary and almost unavoidable consequence, demands the serious attention and strongest check of the legislature. In what mode, and to what extent, the law should be allowed to act, we do not presume to suggest ; but surely some measures should be devised and sanctioned by Parliamentary authority, for the severer punishment of seduction, and adultery, crimes which stand foremost among the crying sins of the nation. In these observations their moral and religious guilt is forcibly painted, and, as brought forward, or rather compiled, by a Penitent female, who has tasted the bitterness of Prostitution, but has happily been snatched from the perdition to which it leads, they may have a beneficial effect if properly circulated among her more unfortunate sisters. Under this impression we strongly recommend the present painphlet, which may also be read with advantage by every description of persons, male and female. We are aware of the difficulty
of adopting new legislative measures for the punishment of seducers and adulterers, and that some of our most zealous moralists have been foiled in the benevolent at. .tempt to establish them. . But the endeavour is not yet hopeless ; and when the times shall be under less political
without the serious consideration due to it.
We need not offer any apology for quoting the following Observations from Mr. Colquhoun's Treatise on the Metropolis.
" In contemplating the case of those unhappy females who support themselves by prostitution in the metropolis of London, and in the country towns, it is impossible to avoid dropping a tear of pity. Many of them, perhaps, originally seduced from a state of innocence, while they were the joy and comfort of their unhappy parents many of them born and educated to expect a better fate, until, deceived by falsehood and villany, they see their error when it is too late to recede. In this situation, abandoned by their relations and friends, deserted by their seducers, and at large upon the world, loathed and avoided by those who formerly held them in estimation, what are they to do? In the present unhappy state of things, they seem to have no alternative, but to become the miserable instruments of promoting and practising that species of seduction and immorality of which they themselves were the victims. And what is the result : It is pitiable to relate-They are compelled by necessity to mingle with an abandoned herd, who have long been practised in the walks of infamy, and they too become speedily polluted and depraved. Oaths, imprecations, and obscene language, by degrees hecome familiar to their ears, and necessity compels thein to endure, and at length to imitate, and practise, in their turn, upon the unwary youth, who too easily falls into the snare. ,.“ Thus it is from the multitudes of those unhappy females, that assemble now in all parts of large cities and towns, that the morals of the youth are corrupted ; that unnecessary expenses are incurred; and undue, and too often criminal, means are resorted to for the purpose of gratifying passions, which, but for these temptations constantly assailing them in almost every street in the metropolis of London, and in all the large cities and towns in the country, would not have been thought of. Through
this medium, apprentices, clerks, and other persons in trust, are seduced from the paths of honesty, masters are plundered, and parents are afficted; while many a youth, who might have become the pride of his family, a comfort to the declining years of his parents, and an ornament to society, exchanges a life of virtue and industry for the pursuits of the gambler, the swindler, and the vagabond. Nor is the lot of these poor deluded females less deplorable. Although some few of them may obtain settlements, while others bask for a while in the temporary sunshine of ease and splendour, the inajor part end a short life in misery and wretchedness. • “What has become of the multitudes of unfortunate females, elegant in their persons, and sumptuous in their
attire, who were seen in the streets of the metropolis of "London, and in other large cities, and at places of public amusement, twenty years ago? Alas! could their progress be developed, and their ultimate situations or exit from the world disclosed, it would lay open a catalogue of sufferings and affliction beyond what the most romantic fancy could depict or exhibit to the feeling mind.
“ Exposed to the rude insults of the inebriated and the vulgar, the impositions of brutal officers and watchmen, and to the chilling blasts of the night, during the most inclement weather, in thin apparel, partly in compliance with the fashion of the day, but more frequently from the pawnbrokers' shops rendering their necessary garments inaccessible, diseases are generated which even their unhappy vocation does not produce. No pitying hand appears to help them in such situations. The feeling parent or relation is far off. An abandoned monster of the same sex, inured in the practice of infamy and seduction, instead of the consolation which sickness requires, threatens to turn the unhappy victim out of doors, when the means of subsistence are cut off, and the premium for shelter is no longer forthcoming; or, perhaps, the unfeeling landlord of a iniserable halffurnished lodging afflicts the poor unhappy female, by declarations equally hostile to the feelings of humanity, till, at length, turned out into the streets, she languishes and ends her miserable days in an hospital or a workhouse or, perhaps, perishes in some inhospitable hovel alone, without a friend to console lier, or a fel.