ANOTHER EPISTLE FROM YOUNG SAMUEL, being the Further Ventures of a Simple Country Lad of Good Family, gone into the World to seek what Fortune may grant. In which Our Hero's Intentions are Mistaken, and he Learns a Little of the Things that may Befall a Pretty Lad in the World's Naughtiness.
Oxted Hall, Abbess Roding
in the Countie of Essex
this day the 13th of Sept
in the yr of Our Lord 1643
Dear Master Harrington
I am bid by my Brother to send you his fondest Wishes for your health and prosperity, and his Thanks for the kindness with which you have undertaken my Instrucktion since I have been in your Care.
My Journey homewards for this Visit would have had littel of Incident, save that one of the posthorses foundered when we were but a mile from Epping, and we must perforce pass the night there. And there befel certain Events, which I am bid by my beloved Brother, to Relate you and thereby seek your Judgement, he holding your Wisdom in Esteem as great as mine Own.
Having of your Kindness bestowed upon me 6 shilling and fourpence for my Provision upon the Journey, I had no fear to pass the night without comfort, but when the Stablelad, a handsome dark young Fellow, had take off the sick Horse, and we were gone in, the innkeeper, one Master Stivers (a Dutchman come over from the Low Countries, or I miss my Guess) gave me to know that the Hostelry having let rooms to a party on their way to Ipswiche, and many other of more Consequence than myself being among our own Party, I must needs bed down with the ostler. Tho' something out of Countenance, I was cheered by the good Host's saying that I should nonetheless eat and drink my fill at his Expence, he having shown me such rough Hospitality else.
I made shift then to pass the Evening in some Merriment, with a good Lobster, the largest I did ever see, and a ham cured black in the Suffolk fashion, a sallet and some cheese and bread, and just a little pease pudding besides, for I did not wish to seem too Greedy. And the tap room Wench, who was passing Pretty, did bring me a sufficiency of strong Ale, more than I am wont to Drink. And being a little Moved by the ale and all the Merry Talk, I fear I did flirt more than a little with this Maid, being named Meg.
At the last she did bid me Seek my Bed, tho' I think had her Master not appeared, she had like to offer me her own. But Master Stivers came up like Old Scratch, most present when least wanted, and brought the ostler Lad to guide me to his pallet. (But the maid did give me a fine Buss on parting).
Yet no sooner were we come out into the stable yard, when my Guide thrust me with a great Shove into the Dirt and Muck of the yard. Then he bid me Rise, that he might Knock me Down again, and Thrash me as I deserved. I fear I was too Bewildered with Strong Drink to answer the Ruffian as Stoutly as he deserved, but rather lay there, shaking (tho' alone with Cold, the night being chill). Then he did reach down, and grasping me by my Collars, did lift me whole from the Ground, and laugh in my Face.
"Why thou art nobut a mewling Whelp," he said, "Lips wet with thy Mother's Milk" at which I took great Offence and kicked him Smartly in the Shin (for indeed he can have been no more than in his Twentieth Year, and I am a young gentleman nigh of Sixteen, and not to be theed and thoued by the Likes of Servantrie). He howled at this Blow, and shook me as would a Mastiff shake a Rat.
"I would have thrashed thee fist to fist," says he, "hadst thou been a Man, for those Attentions thou did thrust upon my Meg. But for a Boy there are other Punishments more Suited." And grasping me by the Ear, in a Fashion most Injurious to my Dignitie, he led me perforce into those Quarters where he lodged.
Twas indeed a comfortable lodging that any Serving man would own Gratitude for, with a stout built wooden Cot, and good Table of stout wood, wherein by the light of the Lanthorn I beheld the crumbs from his Supper. Yet I saw no more than a glimpse ere with his free Arm he had cleared all from the rough Wood, and bent me Across it. Then with no more Ado he took a crop and began to belabor the seat of my Hose.
My Rump grew mighty Hot under those stinging blows, but I would in no wise give him the Satisfacktion of hearing me Beg his Pardon, but rather did Grit my Teeth not to let one sound Escape me. And soon enough he did tire (not having, it seemed, your Strength of Purpose in these matters Good Master, whom I have found so Zealous to correct my Errors !).
"It seems thou art well padded," says he, "but I have a sure Remedie for that !"
He did take me again by my Ear, and drew me over to his Cot. Then placing his Hand in the Back of my Hose he did Rip them down entirely, breaking all the Lacets, and hauled me Bare-Arsed across his Lap. I Wriggled mightily at this Indignitie, but his Response was to Throw one Leg across mine, trapping me, and begin to Belabor my Bum.
Now Master Harrington you have a Hard Hand, as hath my Dear Brother, but you will know I mean you no Disrespect when I say that it was softest Silk beside this Rustick's palm, and he did Smack me with such Science that every Inch of my poor Nates were visited with a Fire like unto one of the Plagues of Egypt. Now all my Resolves to be Silent went for Naught, and I did cry blue Murther, which served but to make him very Jolly.
"Ah now I have thine Attention," he cried, "for thy Face is red as thy Bum. But I'll make it Redder yet - thou shalt have a very Cherry to sit upon ere I am done !" And he continued to Spank me while I Bucked and Wailed. At last he grew Tired, and his Hand descending like a very Thunderbolt one final time, he said:
"Now thou hast learned to keep thine Eyes from another's Woman, hast thou not, nor Act the Man when thou art but a Boy ?"
Snuffling some little bit, I agreed it was so, and he turned on me a look as Merry and Friendly as first his Countenance had been Wrathful.
"Why then tis done," said he. "I will rub thy Bum with somewhat Soothing, then, for thou art a pretty Lad withal. Lay still." And he found out some Simple, that I think was for the Horses, and began to Rub it on my blazing Cheeks. And I found it passing strange that one who had been so Rough could yet manage a Touch so gentle. And indeed, twas most cooling to my Arse, yet something stimulating too, and I found my Privy Member to grow passing Big and Hard.
Then did he lay beside me, and let off his Hose, and I found him too grown to Bigness. And he did show me such sport as Grooms are wont to enjoy among themselves, which I had not known of, save for once with Thomas Wale when we were both in Drink the First time. And though I was terrible Sore, yet I found that it did but Excite in me more Pleasure, and such Pleasures as he took with me that Night were also Pains at first; having thought the Two separate, I was much Surprised to find them so close akin.
At last to sleep. Yet alas for me, in the Morning I woke nigh too Raw to walk, and could in no Wise contemplate the further Journey on the hard seats of the Post coach to my Brother's house. So I sent Word to my Brother with the Coach that I was Unwell, and would stay a little Longer at the Inn. In truth, I had hopes to Learn a little more of such Conceits as Master Tom Joyce the Ostler might have a Fancy to teach me, and I think from the Bold look in his Eye that he was nothing Loath to do so.
Yet the day was not half done ere my Brother came riding in to see what had befallen me. Indeed it had been no part of my thought to cause him Anxiety, yet he was something Vexed at finding me, to his outward eye, quite Well. Seeing me there, he bid me up behind him, on the big Grey, but I could nowise bear the Bumping of a Horse against my Rump, which were to be Spanked all over again.
"So that is it," quoth he, "someone has had Need to mend thy Manners for thee. Well, thou shalt ride, sirrah, but since it seems thou hast been well whipt for thy Misdeeds, thou must needs go the other way up." And he hoist me like a Sack of Grain, on my Belly, over the Back of the horse before him, and with so little Ceremonie did I quit Epping and travel the long twenty Mile to that House wherein I was Born.
And being there quizzed up by my Brother what had befallen, I related this Tale. Then he grew most Dark of Countenance. "In truth, this is very Ill-done," he said. "Surely this Lad has used you very grievously, and I shall have him Punished by the Law." Then I must needs Plead for Tom, and say how he Thought himself Provoked, and that he had been afterwards Kind (at which my Bro. frowned), and that he could not bring the Matter to Law save by exposing Me, and through Me his own Name, to great Contumely. At last he did Agree it, but he said that I having done Wrong must surely suffer the Consequences.
Yet he is a Fair man, and I having made my Representations to him he has agreed to Abide by your Judgement, dear Master. So tell me true: since I have already been well Leathered for my Actions, and that Unjustly, must I in truth feel my Brother's Hand as well ? My Brother bids you send Word as to my Fate by the next Post. As ever, you who are Dear to me as a Father, I await your Missive with keen Anticipation.
Post scriptum. Since John has gone you have no man to keep your Equipage. Has it come to your mind to take an Ostler ? S.