The Fortunate Mistress (Parts 1 and 2) or a History of the Life of Mademoiselle de Beleau Known by the Name of the Lady Roxana by Daniel Defoe

The Fortunate Mistress (Parts 1 and 2)  or a History of the Life of Mademoiselle de Beleau Known by the Name of the Lady Roxana by Daniel Defoe

Author:Daniel Defoe [Defoe, Daniel]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Historical fiction, Picaresque literature, Mistresses -- Fiction, Adventure stories, Great Britain -- History -- Charles II, 1660-1685 -- Fiction, Women -- Great Britain -- Fiction, Women -- Europe -- Fiction, Europe -- History -- 17th century -- Fiction
Published: 2009-10-26T16:00:00+00:00

This, however, shows us with what faint excuses and with what trifles we pretend to satisfy ourselves, and suppress the attempts of conscience, in the pursuit of agreeable crime, and in the possessing those pleasures which we are loth to part with.

But this objection would now serve no longer, for my lord had in some sort broke his engagements (I won't call it honour again) with me, and had so far slighted me as fairly to justify my entire quitting of him now; and so, as the objection was fully answered, the question remained still unanswered, Why am I a whore now? Nor indeed had I anything to say for myself, even to myself; I could not without blushing, as wicked as I was, answer that I loved it for the sake of the vice, and that I delighted in being a whore, as such; I say, I could not say this, even to myself, and all alone, nor indeed would it have been true. I was never able, in justice and with truth, to say I was so wicked as that; but as necessity first debauched me, and poverty made me a whore at the beginning, so excess of avarice for getting money and excess of vanity continued me in the crime, not being able to resist the flatteries of great persons; being called the finest woman in France; being caressed by a prince; and afterwards, I had pride enough to expect and folly enough to believe, though indeed without ground, by a great monarch. These were my baits, these the chains by which the devil held me bound, and by which I was indeed too fast held for any reasoning that I was then mistress of to deliver me from.

But this was all over now; avarice could have no pretence. I was out of the reach of all that fate could be supposed to do to reduce me; now I was so far from poor, or the danger of it, that I had £50,000 in my pocket at least; nay, I had the income of £50,000, for I had £2500 a year coming in upon very good land security, besides three or four thousand pounds in money, which I kept by me for ordinary occasions, and, besides, jewels, and plate, and goods which were worth near £5600 more; these put together, when I ruminated on it all in my thoughts, as you may be sure I did often, added weight still to the question, as above, and it sounded continually in my head, "What next? What am I a whore for now?"

It is true this was, as I say, seldom out of my thoughts, but yet it made no impressions upon me of that kind which might be expected from a reflection of so important a nature, and which had so much of substance and seriousness in it.

But, however, it was not without some little consequences, even at that time, and which gave a little turn to my way of living at first, as you shall hear in its place.


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