BOOK XII. CONTAINING THE SAME INDIVIDUAL TIME WITH THE FORMER.
6. Chapter vi. From which it may be inferred...
From which it may be inferred that the best things are liable to be
misunderstood and misinterpreted.
A violent uproar now arose in the entry, where my landlady was well
cuffing her maid both with her fist and tongue. She had indeed missed
the wench from her employment, and, after a little search, had found
her on the puppet-show stage in company with the Merry Andrew, and in
a situation not very proper to be described.
Though Grace (for that was her name) had forfeited all title to
modesty; yet had she not impudence enough to deny a fact in which she
was actually surprized; she, therefore, took another turn, and
attempted to mitigate the offence. "Why do you beat me in this manner,
mistress?" cries the wench. "If you don't like my doings, you may turn
me away. If I am a w--e" (for the other had liberally bestowed that
appellation on her), "my betters are so as well as I. What was the
fine lady in the puppet-show just now? I suppose she did not lie all
night out from her husband for nothing."
The landlady now burst into the kitchen, and fell foul on both her
husband and the poor puppet-mover. "Here, husband," says she, "you see
the consequence of harbouring these people in your house. If one doth
draw a little drink the more for them, one is hardly made amends for
the litter they make; and then to have one's house made a bawdy-house
of by such lousy vermin. In short, I desire you would be gone
to-morrow morning; for I will tolerate no more such doings. It is only
the way to teach our servants idleness and nonsense; for to be sure
nothing better can be learned by such idle shows as these. I remember
when puppet-shows were made of good scripture stories, as Jephthah's
Rash Vow, and such good things, and when wicked people were carried
away by the devil. There was some sense in those matters; but as the
parson told us last Sunday, nobody believes in the devil now-a-days;
and here you bring about a parcel of puppets drest up like lords and
ladies, only to turn the heads of poor country wenches; and when their
heads are once turned topsy-turvy, no wonder everything else is so."