The Lining of the Patch-Work Screen, by Jane Barker

Galecia's Dream;

She dream'd that she was walking somewhere, in a very rough bad Way, full of great Stones, and sharp Flints, which hurt, and cut her Feet, and almost threw her down; in some places Coaches and Carts overturn'd; in other places, Horse−men thrown, Limbs broken, Robbers rifling, Ladies affronted, Maids deluded by false Lovers, insolvent Debtors drag'd to Jayls by rude surly Bayliffs, Wives mis−used, Husbands abused, Whores slanting, honest Women despised, Girls trappan'd by Bawds, Boys mis−led by Drunkards, Jilts and Thieves; In short, she dream'd of nothing good or happy; which we will suppose, proceeded from her serious reflecting on Mr. Dyke'sConsiderations.

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Then she thought her self on the Sea, amongst Fleets, in danger of being cast away; and sometimes of being seiz'd by Pyrates; a Noise of Wars, Towns bombarded, Cannonaded, taken and retaken; at which she very often started in her sleep.

After many of these frightful Visions were past, she imagin'd she came into a pleasant Valley, fertile of Corn, Fruits and Pasturage; pleasant Brooks, Rills and Springs, such as are rarely to be found; for they never froze in Winter, nor abated of their Water in Summer. Woods replete with singing Birds, Shoals of Pigeons in the Dove−House, which cooed about the Yard, in amorous Addresses to their innocent constant Mates. Sure, said Galecia to her self, this is the Eden of old, or at least, the Land of Promise, flowing with more delicious Streams than those of Milk and Honey. She was extreamly delighted with this Valley, thought it almost a terrestrial Paradice, excelling in fact, whatsoever the Fancies of Poets or Romances could represent: Here she thought she walk'd secure from Wolf, Bear, or wild Boar, to fright or molest her Walks by Day; or carking Cares to disturb her Sleep by Night; not being so divided from Neighbours, as to render it a Desart; nor so near, as to have their Houses intercept either the rising or the setting Sun.

Thus she thought herself very happy: But it fell out, as she was one day walking beyond her usual bounds, towards a little rising Hill, a strange and hideous Giant came out of his Den, where he liv'd upon Rapin, Malice and Mischief; he studied the Black Art, and with the Claws of his Hands, or rather his Fore−feet he wrote strange Figures and Cyphers, wherewith he conjur'd up Spirits, and inchanted People, and so got 'em into his Den: For he could not run fast enough to catch anybody, his Toes being rotted, or broken off, which was the reason he often miss'd of his Prey; and by this means Galecia escaped his Clutches. At the sight of him she ran down the Hill with the utmost speed; and at the bottom she met with a good Philosopher, who study'd the Stars, and had a place in Astrea's Court: He took her into his Cave, and so secured her from the Attempt of Omrison, for that was the Name of the Giant.

After this Fright, she thought, a pretty young Man took her by the hand, telling her, he was her good Genius, and would conduct her to some Diversion after her Surprize; so he led her up a Hill, which he told her, was Parnessus; and said he would introduce her, to see some of the Diversions of the Annual Coronation of Orinda †. They came somewhat late; so that the grand Ceremonies were over: But they were time enough for the Singing and the Dancing.

Thus, all things being placed in perfect Order, and Orinda seated on a Throne, as Queen of Female Writers, with a Golden Pen in her Hand for a Scepter, a Crown of Laurel on her Head; Galecia's Genius plac'd her in a Corner, where she might see and hear all that pass'd; when lo, a Band of Bards came, and cast themselves at Orinda'sFeet, and there offer'd their Crowns, Wreaths, and Branches of Laurel, every one making a Speech in Verse, in praise of her Wit and Vertue; which she most graciously accepted, and bid them rise; when ranging themselves on each side her Throne, one began to sing as follows.

The Bard sings.

We allow'd you Beauty, and we did submit
To all the Tyrannies of it.
Cruel Sex, will you depose us too in Wit?

Hereupon, there were a Choir of pretty Creatures in form of Grasshoppers, with Golden Wings, but as large as new−born Babes: And these answer'd the Bard in Chorus, twit, twit, twit, twit, twit, and this they repeated with an harmonious Melody, charming one's Senses into an absolute Transport. After this, the Bard proceeded; and when he came to these Words,

As in Angels, we
Do in thy Verses see,
Both improv'd Sexes eminently meet,
They are than Man more strong, and more than
Woman sweet,

A great Flock of Nightingales (glorious like Angels) joyn'd with the Grasshoppers, which again repeated their Chorus, as if Echoes to the Bard, whensoever his Cadence suited to their Voices; singing in an admirable Consort, with strange Turnings, Flights and Strains, Sweet, Sweet, Sweet, Sweet, Sweet, &c.

In this manner, the Bard, the Grasshoppers and the Nightingales finish'd their Song. Then another † Bard began his Song in praise of this Queen: To which the Choir of Nightingales sung the Chorus: But his Song not being in English, Galecia did not rightly understand it, so as here to repeat the Words; but the Musick was extreamly fine.

After this, there came in a Band of Fairies, following their Queen, dressed in her Royal Robes; with a Crown on her Head, singing an old Song, as follows.

The Queen of Fairies sings.

Come, follow, follow me,
You Fairy Nymphs, with Glee,
Come, trip it on this Green,
And follow me, your Queen;
Hand in Hand we'll dance around,
In praise of Queen Orinda, crown'd:
Hither, ye chirping Crickets come,
And Beetles, with your drousie Hum;
And if with none of you we meet,
We'll dance to th' Echoes of our Feet.

Hereupon they struck up a Dance, whilst a Multitude of Crickets, and Beetles, sung the Measures, such as made incomparable Musick; quite otherwise than what they make in our Chimneys, or such as we hear the Beetles hum in a Summer−Evening.

Whilst they were thus Dancing, the Fairy Queen spy'd Galecia, as she was in a Corner: And whether she was angry to see a Mortal in that Assembly; or that she was excited by Charity, is unknown; but she took a Handful of Gold out of her Pocket, and gave to one of her Gentlemen−waiters, bidding him carry it to that Mortal, and command her away from thence.

Galecia was very attentive to the Musick and Dancing; when lo, an hasty Knocking at her Chamber−door awak'd her out of her pleasant Dream: The Person that knock'd, was a Gentleman, very well dress'd, who ask'd for Galecia, and she answered him respectfully, that she was the Person; He presented her with a Purse of Gold, and, instantly turning short, would not, by any means, be persuaded, either to stay, to tell his Name, or who sent him.

Galecia was greatly pleas'd with the Receit of this unexpected Treasure; and after having counted it over and over, she lay'd it by, and went to Bed; But, to shew that Money does not always make us happy she was very uneasie and restless all the Night, being disturb'd with the Thoughts how, or in what manner she should dispose of it to the best Advantage, whether in the Funds, Lotteries, in Building, Traffick, &c.

Thus she lay tumbling and tossing full of Inquietude; according to the following old Story of a Cobler, who sate daily in his Stall, working hard, and singing merrily, any thing that came in his head. Now, it hapned, that a rich Usurer, whose Lodging was just over this poor Man, wonder'd very much at his being continually so very merry, who had nothing to support him, or to depend upon, but this his daily Labour; whilst the Usurer underwent perpetual Thoughtfulness, sleepless Nights, and anxious Days, how to dispose of this Sum, how to recover that; how to enter this Process, and how to pursue that: His Head and Hands were incumber'd with Bills, Bonds, Mortgages, Buildings, Dilapidations, Forfeitures, and a thousand other the like Vexations. In the mean time the poor Cobler was always merry and unconcern'd: He resolv'd at last to try whether Money would discompose him; so watch'd an Opportunity when the Man was out of his Stall, and privately convey'd there a Bag of Money amongst the Rubbish: Which, as soon as the Cobler found, he was seiz'd with a great Consternation, not knowing how it should come there. Various Conjectures and Apprehensions appear'd to his View, not worth repeating; he was unwilling to discover, but afraid to conceal it, lest it should be found upon him, and by some Mark or other, on the Bag, or some of the Pieces therein, he might be seiz'd for a Felon; or, if none of these hapned, then, what he should do with it, either to secure, or turn it to Profit. In short, a thousand things revolv'd in his Thoughts, which disappointed him of his ordinary mirth; so that his wonted Chearfulness was turned into a dull pensive Melancholy, and his Singing quite ceas'd.

The Usurer took notice hereof, and ask'd him what was the reason he was not so jovial as heretofore? The poor Man frankly told him his Case, and the cause of his Inquietude. What succeeded between them, matters not; We are to apply the Story to our Galecia; who, as before said, had tost about all night, till weariness brought her into a gentle Sleep, which held her to her Pillow till the Morning was pretty far advanced, when she was waked, by the coming of a Sea−Captain from the Indies, who was her very good−Friend; and whose safe Arrival was great satisfaction to her.

After the usual Salutations, and Congratulations on such an occasion. She ask'd him what sorts of Goods he had brought from the Indies that Voyage? He told her, that the greatest of his Cargo was Female Vertues; which he hop'd would sell well in this Country, where there was so great a Scarcity. Of this Galecia, considered a little; and immediately resolv'd to lay out her Fairie −Treasure in this Merchandize and so engaged the Captain, her Friend to send her some Parcels of his Cargo. He perform'd with all convenient speed sending her the choicest, and nicest of the Female Vertues.

She thought it her Duty and Interest to send to the Court in the first place: Accordingly, she put up a large Quantity of Sincerity, and sent it thither; The Factor or Agent offer'd it to Sale, with good Grace and due Recommendation; insomuch that the Ladies all commended the Goods; saying they were curiously wrought, and safely brought over; but 'twas pity they did not come sooner; for now that kind of Merchandize, was quite out of fashion. Nevertheless, she went from Appartment to Appartment, from Lodging to Lodging, traced the Galleries over and over, every where offering her Traffick, till the Guards, Centinels, and Waiters almost took her for a Spectre; so she was forced to return without disposing of any.

The next Venture Galecia sent out, was a parcel of Chastity; which she sent into the Hundreds of Drury, not doubting but to make a good return from thence: Here it was greatly lik'd, and highly prais'd, and gladly they would have bought, but had not wherewith to purchase so rich an Imbellishment. The Factor offered to give them credit, if they had any Friend that would pass their word for payment; but that was not to be found: For their Friends were lost, and Credit broken to that degree, that they had not Cloaths to cover them (even upon occasion of Profit) but what they either hired or borrowed;

Amongst this Crew, there was one, that looking over the Parcels of divers of the Dealers, who had help'd to Stow the Ship; found thereon the Mark of two or three of her Acquaintance who had lived with her in the same Court, viz. Betty Bilk; Sarah Shuffle, Polly Picklock, &c. Ah, said she, is it possible that these Girls are grown such great Dealers in this kind of Ware? They were my intimate Friends; I narrowly escaped being carry'd with them to Newgate; and I wish I had gone, since they have had such luck by means of their Transportation: But alas, it is too late to repent now, not being able to do any thing; for I have been so far from gaining by my Profession here, that I have lost Health, Wealth, Credit, Friends, and am become a poor abandon'd rotten Skeleton which is not only my Fate; but the Fate of most of those who deal in this way of Trade.

The Factor could not forbear asking her how she came at first to be deluded? Alas, said she, it is a great difficulty to have so much Foresight to avoid all the Traps lay'd in this Town, to ensnare and catch our Innocence: But my Ruin was by a young Girl, my Play−fellow, whose Brother cast a wicked Eye on me; and under pretence of courting me for a Wife, deluded me into Wickedness: The Subtilties, and methods he used, are too tedious to tell you at this time; but whenever you are more at leisure, if you will take the trouble to come, I will give you such a Catalogue of the Mis−adventures, as would make the brightest Vertue burn blue and ready to go out, at such relations.

The Factor finding her time elasp'd, and that she was not like to sell any of her Parcel, told her, she would come another time, hear some of their Adventures; and bring with her some other sorts of Vertues, as that of Penance, Piety, or the like. So the poor Factor, was forced to return, with her Merchanize, but no Mony.

Having such bad luck at Court and Places adjacent, Galecia was resolv'd to try the City; which being accustom'd to Traffick, she hoped there for better Success: Wherefore she put up a good Parcel of Humility, and sent amongst those rich and haughty Dames: Knowing, this sort of Goods was scarce amongst them, she doubted not of of a good Market. But alas, it prov'd quite otherwise: for they would not so much as look on the Ware, nor permit the Factor to open her Parcel, telling her, they had greater store thereof in the City than they needed; which appears daily (said they) by giving your Ladies place every where, by following their Fashions at all times; Whereas our Riches give us a right to be fantastical, and setters−up of new Modes; But 'tis our Humility that pervails with us, and makes us their Apes, at the same time; many of them being but meanly descended, they often run in our Debt, for their gaudy Trappings; and their Husbands borrow of ours, to support their Equipage, on the credit of their Acres.

To which the Factor reply'd, that the Humility they boasted of was only Home−made, whereas, that she offered, was right Indian. Away, reply'd they, you know, Indian Goods are prohibited; had you brought some from France or Spain, from the Battel of Bleinheim, or from Madrid, when King Philip fled from thence; nay, if it had been but English Humility from Preston; it had been something like: But to come into the City with your prohibited Ware, is Insolence in a high degree; Therefore be gone, before my Lord Mayor's Officers catch you, and punish you according to your Deserts. Hereupon our poor Factor was forced to hasten away, and glad when she had got safe through Temple−Bar.

This was but a sorrowful Return to our Galecia, who had lay'd out her whole Fairy Present in these Indian Goods: She began to despair of making any Advantage: but her Factors, who had been up and down the Hundreds of Drury; beg'd her to try there once more, not with the Vertue of Chastity, for it was to no purpose; but they had great hopes that Repentance and Piety might take. So Galecia sent away a good Parcel of each of those Vertues.

The Agent, or Factor carry'd them to the same House, where she had before promised to come, viz. to one Mrs. Rottenbone's, who receiv'd, her kindly and look'd carefully into her Parcels; fitted her self with divers Suits, both of Piety and Repentance; and sent to several of her Neighbours to come and do the same.

The first who came, was one Mrs. Castoff, who took of each a pretty Quantity: After her, came three or four more; and when they had fitted themselves, Mrs. Rottenbones, desir'd Mrs. Castoff to tell our Agent how things happen'd, that she came to esteem these Vertues, so as to dress herself therein; which she related briefly, as follows.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/barker/jane/lining/chapter16.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31