Samuel Peeps (The First Epistle)

by Paulus the Woodgnome

Master Harrington his House
at Belching Lane
Citie of London

16th September
in the Year of Our Lord 1643

My Dear Brother

As well you know I am something Dilatory in my devotion to the Epistolary Muse, yet knowing you to be Anxious for News, and prompted by Master Harrington, of whom more anon, I write at last to tell you that I am safe come to lodging here in London Town.

Our journey was good, meseemed it but little after I left yr loving Bosom that the stage, which was swift tho' passing comfortless, came rattling into the Smokes and Dins of this great Citie. You having so often instruckted me of yr Concern that I should swiftly find respectable Lodging, I made haste to find yr Friend, Master Harrington, you being certain that he would find for me a Place.

Brother, you will comprehend the Vastness of this Town when I tell you that I occupied fully the Half of an Hour in traversing it !

Finding myself (with the Aid of a passing Stranger, who tho' something rough in his Manner was withal good enough of Heart to shew me wherein lay my Way) in this Street, I beheld at once that Master Harrington must be a Man of both Breeding and Substance if his Dwelling spoke truly. Much heartened, I made myself known to Master Harrington his Servantry, and was bid wait upon his Pleasure.

Awaiting my Summons, I discoursed some little with the Manservant, whose name I discovered out to be John, but tho' nothing loath to speak upon Common Matters I found him to maintain a proper Reserve concerning his Master, contenting himself with some Hints that tho' a fair and generous Man, he was of a cholerick Disposition if his Rule were not obeyed.

Shortly I was bid go up to Master Harrington's Study. I found him (as you must surely know, Dear Brother) a most handsome, well-made Fellow, in his Thirtyeth Year or near it, dressed plain, but in good Stuff as I judged it. He greeted me with Curtesie, and when I had explained that I was yr Brother and Ward, our parents being dead, and that you had bid me presume upon his Acquaintance thru yr Connexion at the University, shewed every Evidence of Delight that I should have done so. When I enquired (I own, in a timid Fashion, for saving your own good Graces I had no wish to Presume) if he might use such Knowledge and Influence as was his in aiding me to find Rooms, he laughed and would hear nothing but that I should lodge with him for as long as it should take me to make my Way, explaining that London was an abode of great Wickedness, wherein a country Lad such as I might come to Mischief, unless he were checked by Guidance and Good Counsel.

So I came to lodge here at Belching Lane, and soon grew passing Familiar with this Districkt. Master Harrington having some Influence in the Matter, I gained Employment with another Crony of his, Master Joseph Barr, a Potecary, who employed also another Lad, Thos. Wale, with whom I am become fast Friends. Lest you should fear (being, as I have cause to know, ever concerned for my Instrucktion) that I am taken up with a Naughtie Set, you had best know of what chanced last Thursday, being two Weeks exactly to the Day that I came here.

It chanced that Master Barr being summonsed to bleed and physick a rich Merchant, he closed up his Establishment two Hours after Noon, and gave us our Liberty for that Day. Tho' young Thomas would have me visit an Alehouse nearby where we were wont to sup (but only in Moderation, yr Teaching being strong in me), I bethought me to return early to Belching Lane. Entering quietly, I chanced to overhear a most curious Noise from Master Harrington his Study, and creeping to the Door I found it something ajar, revealing a most curious Sight.

Master Harrington was seated in his great Chair, his face turned sidewards to the Doorway. His face was Stern, and somewhat reddened of Countenance and across his Lap lay Jane, the Maidservant. I perceived at once on seeing her in that Position in which you have so often Instruckted me in my Errors that her Master had found Cause for her Chastisement. Her Pleading, the which had First attrackted my Notice, was in vain, for her Master cast up her Skirts and Pettycotes. His Brow grew black with Rage on discovering out her Secret, that she was wearing mannish Drawers, after the fashion (so I am told) of the Doxies on the Streets, rather than remaining bare in her privy Parts as is Proper for Women of decent Kind.

With no ado he ripped the linen from her, revealing to my eager Gaze her hinder Parts. Her twin white Globes were like some firm and luscious Fruit, as white as Moons over the Cleft that drew my Eyes. Yet not for long were they to remain Pale as Cynthia's Orb (you see Brother that I have not forgot all my Learning). Master Harrington's firm Hand descended upon her. The sound of it made me to Wince, I confess it, in remembered Distress. He laid on with a Will, and soon every Inch of those upturned Buttocks grew flushed, and her Squeals gave way to Sobbing. Yet struggle tho' she might, she could in no wise Evade her Punishment, until indeed her Backside seemed rather like two fine ripe Plums, so bright did his Spanking paint her.

At length he paused.

"Now Jane," he said, his Manner something kinder than before, "I trust you shall have learned your Lesson from this and that I shall not need repeat it. And discard that unsuitable Garment, lest you should be thought a mere Drab, walking the Streets."

He released her up from the Bondage of his Arm, revealing her tear-stained Countenance, which seemed so Woebegone that I must stifle uncharitable Laughter.

Alas, not well enough ! Some small Sound escaping caused Master Harrington to look in my Direcktion, and perceive me at the open Door. His Manner, which had seemed Gentle again, was in a Twinkling once more possessed with a Rage.

"Come here Boy," he snapped. "What means this Swinking and Spying at my Door ?" I gaped foolish, unable to think of any Device that might excuse my Prying. He grasped me by the Shoulder and shook me. "Explain yourself !"

I stammered and gasped, but he simply nodded his Head.

"So that is how the Matter lies," he said. "Well, I too have been at fault in this, for I have neglected your Guidance since you have been here. That shall certainly be put right. Drop your Breeches !"

"Sir ?"

"You heard me, I think, well enough," he returned, with that Curtesie that I have ever found to presage the most severe Retribution if it be pressed further. I thought it better to obey. Yet as I reached to my Belt I beheld Jane, not yet given her Quittance.

"Sir, what of Jane ?"

He laughed, tho' passing unpleasantly. "Since you presumed to peep on her Chastisement uninvited, it seems only fair that she should witness yours."

I flushed Scarlet to think that a mere Woman should witness my Shame yet I dared no longer Delay. I loosened my Breeches and dropped them about my Stockings, then being summoned forward, I was grasped by the Neck and drawn down upon the sturdy Thighs of Master Harrington.

His left Hand drew up my Shirt, exposing my bare Arse to the World like a Scotchman's, then pressed me firmly down upon his Lap. Then his Hand descended with great Force upon my Cheeks, one and two, leaving my helpless Flesh burning and smarting. Yet it seemed I was not Positioned entirely to his Satisfacktion, for I must needs rise, trying the while to avoid the Eyes of Jane, and then be once again bent over like a small Boy with my Bum all-aquiver, awaiting his Pleasure.

I am sure good Master Harrington must have Palms as hard as Bootleather, Brother, for he was like to skin me ! With a most methodickal Rhythm he applied his Hand to every inch of my helpless Flesh, from the Crown to that Place where my Backside joined my Legs, which drew from me a mighty Gasp, the skin being there so Tender (at which he laughed and I heard Jane to snigger).

Tho' I was Resolved in no wise to cry out, yet soon the Catching of my Breath became something ragged, and against my Will I found that I would Moan at the blows, and some further Whacking being forthcoming it was not so very much longer before Tears started unbidden to my Eyes. Heedless of Jane or any other, forgetful of my Shame and Contumely, I howled like a very Turk and begged of Master Harrington his Pardon if only he would remit any further Punishment.

"Why Samuel, you are, I think, a decent Lad at Heart," said he, "and your manners bespeak that your Bro. hath not undertaken yr Guardianship ill, yet you must learn to restrain the Follies of your Youth. Know that I do but treat you as I treat all those under my Guidance, for your own Profit and Instrucktion, and in no wise for any Pleasure. Nonetheless, I think a further Lesson is in order. Jane, pass me my Rod."

The Maidservant hastening to obey, she swiftly brought him a Wand of Hazel, thin and pliable, whose handle was all chased in Silver.

"I shall add six Strokes to your Burthen," quoth he. "Rise up, Boy, and bend over my Chair."

Tho' I dreaded any further Punishment, I obeyed him, rising carefully. The Fires of Judgement seemed to burn in my Arse from his Spanking. I bent over the great Chair, and felt his Presence close behind me as he lifted up my Shirttails and forced my Legs apart, so that the twin Globes of my Arse were proud and parted. I waited in most horrid Anticipation.

Swish ! the Wand descended, and I yelled out at the Pain. Again, and again did he do his Work, and I was mightily sure that he had taken a Sword and sliced me open to the very Bone, so sharp and fierce was the Agony. Another, and another, and another, and I was released, crying as freely as a Babe whose Lips are yet wet with his Mother's milk. Master Harrington placed an Arm about me and in his fatherly Embrace I sobbed until he soothed me.

Now since that Day he is become the best of Friends to me, Brother, and has taken Pains (most of them, alas, mine) to Ensure that I am Diligent and Wise. It was, I fear, his Discoverie that I had neglected my Duty to you in Writing and telling you of these Events, that hath prompted this Epistle. I write therefore from Master Harrington's own Study, on Master Harrington's own Paper, but I fear it shall be a Day or two ere I am in the way of using Master Harrington's own Chair.

All else goes well (tho' Jane is wont to Smile when I pass her on the Stair, which vexeth me). I pray for you God's Blessings, and remain

Yr loving and devoted younger Brother


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