Peg Plunkett's Memoirs - CHAP. XI.

Memoirs of Mrs. Margaret Leeson



This purse will tell you that I thank you.
Is ev'ry thing in order?用ut on your best looks, as well as clothes;
Gold, that does ev'ry thing, shall make you smile:
Carry an invitation in your face,
To ev'ry one you see, no matter who,
Naught shall appear
Within these walls but plenty, mirth and love.
No matter what the fools of form shall say,
Let them believe us mad, we'll pity them,
And their dull want of knowing how to love.

STILL more inconsistencies! I had no sooner turned my back on the couple I had put together, but my old companion, Jealousy, came to visit me. I revolved in my mind the agreeable hours I had passed with Mr. L覧, all his good and amiable qualities recurred to my remembrance: I saw they were then all lost to me. They were transferred to another, and I myself had negotiated the transfer. I could have cut out my own tongue for having desired him to visit her. But the die was thrown, there was no remedy and I must abide by the cast. These thoughts so rankled in my mind, that when I came home I did not find Mr. Cashel (for whose sake I had committed this folly) half so agreeable as he had hitherto appeared to be, and I was not in the best of humour even to him, nor could I conquer my jealousy for some time.

In the mean while Kitty acquired an ascendency over Mr. L覧, little less than fascination; of which his pocket soon found the effects. She was ten-fold more expensive to him than I had been. She was insatiable in her wants, and made him bring her presents from every shop, wherein he could establish any credit; which his being a clergyman, made it more easy for him to obtain, than it might otherwise have been. He ran some hundreds with Mr. Grogan, the mercer, for silks and satins; with Mr. Moore, the jeweller, for diamonds, and many other shops for other articles, till at length he pretty well ran himself a-ground.

When I saw this profusion of presents, I condemned myself that I had not engrossed the like: But for my inexcusable folly all these things might have been mine: I looked upon it as a robbery from me; and became ten times madder than I was, the night I had left them together. Besides, Kitty treacherously told him all my secrets that I had entrusted to her; and my attachment to Cashel, amongst the rest. This completely shut the door against his return to me, which was the more grievous to me, as I began to be in want of money, and my dear Cashel could not supply me with any.

Equally stung with envy, pride, jealousy, and resentment, I resolved to take a signal revenge on my treacherous she-friend. She then was kept by Mr. Kilpatrick, who had been exceedingly generous to her. I sent for him, told him every circumstance of her faithless and abandoned conduct in respect to him; not reflecting that I was equally guilty in regard to others, and bade him give me as his author: For, like Zanga, I did not think my revenge was complete, without she knew the stroke that would destroy her, came from my hand. The gentleman seemed to have his eyes opened, he thanked me for my intelligence. He broke off with her immediately, and never visited her again, but shortly after married an amiable lady, nearly related to the Earl of Belvidere.

In due time I was brought to bed of a young Miss L覧. The father, though he saw me no more, yet behaved like a gentleman. He liberally paid all the expenses of my lying-in, till I went abroad; and paid for the child in every respect, till she was four years old.

Miss Netterville and I, after the mutual ill offices we had done each other, broke out into an open war: We indeed, fought at a distance, and spoke all the ill we could of each other. However, at length she hired a set of ruffians, to go into the upper gallery of the play-house, and thence call out scurrilous names, and abuse me whenever I appeared in the lattices. This was so constantly repeated, that the mob made it their nightly practice to join in the clamour, till it became unnecessary for Kitty to hire people for that purpose. I had no other part to take, but to sit still and give no heed to their abuse, but pass over in silence what I could neither avoid nor remedy.

Giving myself up entirely to a round of pleasure, and admitting much company, I soon found my little house too small to entertain them. I therefore, took a large one in Drogheda-street, and Sally Hayes lived with me. I hired a handsome chariot, and we dashed away, cared for nobody, wanted for nothing, had numerous presents, frequented every public amusement, were every night at the play superbly dressed, and lived like princesses. We constantly drove to the Curragh races, in a coach and four, my servants in liveries of scarlet and gold, and Isaacs, the dulcimer player in our rear. I always took rooms for the week at Burchell's, the Nineteen-mile House, to the joy of our male, and the envy of our female acquaintance. We thus lived without care, and without thought or reflection, supposing this way of life would ever last; and that age and wrinkles would never approach us; that, as Roe says,


覧Then all was jollity,
Piping and minstrelsy, gay mirth and dancing;
Till life flew from us like an idle dream,
A show of mummery without a meaning.


Prev Next