قراءة كتاب Seven Wives and Seven Prisons Or, Experiences in the Life of a Matrimonial Monomaniac. A True Story

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‏اللغة: English
Seven Wives and Seven Prisons
Or, Experiences in the Life of a Matrimonial Monomaniac. A True Story

Seven Wives and Seven Prisons Or, Experiences in the Life of a Matrimonial Monomaniac. A True Story

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 3

more money, which my wife, brother and I industriously did for some minutes. It was full four weeks before I found out where that ten dollar bill came from. Meanwhile, my wife was received and was living in her new home, being treated with great kindness by all of us. It was evident, however, that she had something on her mind which troubled her, and one morning, about a month after her arrival, I found her in tears. I asked her what was the matter? She said that she had been deceiving me; that she did not pick up the ten dollar bill in the road; but that it was given to her by the clerk in the public house in Bainbridge; only, however, for this: he had grossly insulted her; she had resented it, and he had given her the money, partly as a reparation, and partly to prevent her from speaking of the insult to me or to others.

But by this time my hitherto blinded eyes were opened, and I charged her with being false to me. She protested she had not been; but finally confessed that she had been too intimate with the clerk at the hotel. I began a suit at law against the clerk; but finally, on account of my wife's family and for the sake of my children, I stopped proceedings, the clerk paying the costs of the suit as far as it had gone, and giving me what I should probably have got from him in the way of damages. My wife too, was apparently so penitent, and I was so much infatuated with her, that I forgave her, and even consented to continue to live with her. But I removed to Greenville, Greene County, N. Y., where I went into the black-smithing business, and was very successful. We lived here long enough to add two children to our little family; but as time went on, the woman became bad again, and displayed the worst depravity. I could no longer live with her, and we finally mutually agreed upon a life-long separation—she insisting upon keeping the children, and going to Rochester where she subsequently developed the full extent of her character.

This, as nearly as I remember, was in the year 1838, and with this came a new trouble upon me. Just before the separation, I received from my brother's wife a note for one hundred dollars, and sold it. It proved to be a forgery. I was temporarily in Troy, N. Y., when the discovery was made, and as I made no secret of my whereabouts at any time, I was followed to Troy, was there arrested, and after lying in jail at Albany one night, was taken next morning to Coxsackie, Greene County, and front thence to Catskill. After one day in jail there, I was brought before a justice and examined on the charge of uttering a forged note. There was a most exciting trial of four days duration. I had two good lawyers who did their best to show that I did not know the note to be forged when I sold it, but the justice seemed determined to bind me over for trial, and he did so, putting me under five hundred dollars' bonds. My half-sister at Sidney was sent for, came to Catskill, and became bail for me. I was released, and my lawyers advised me to leave, which I did at once, and went to Pittsfield, and from there to Worthington, Mass., where I had another half-sister, who was married to Mr. Josiah Bartlett, and was well off.

Here I settled down, for all that I knew to the contrary, for life. For some years past, I had devoted my leisure hours from the forge to the honest endeavor to make up for the deficiencies in my youthful education, and had acquired, among other things, a good knowledge of medicine. I did not however, believe in any of the "schools" particularly those schools that make use of mineral medicines in their practice. I favored purely vegetable remedies, and had been very successful in administering them. So I began life anew, in Worthington, as a Doctor, and aided by my half-sister and her friends, I soon secured a remunerative practice.

I was beginning to be truly happy. I supposed that the final separation, mutually agreed upon between my wife and myself, was as effectual as all the courts in the country could make it, and I looked upon myself as a free man. Accordingly, after I had been in Worthington some months I began to pay attentions to the daughter of a flourishing farmer. She was a fine girl; she received my addresses favorably, and we were finally privately married. This was the beginning of my life-long troubles. In a few weeks her father found out that I had been previously married, and was not, so far as he knew, either a divorced man or a widower. And so it happened, that one day when I was at his house, and with his daughter, he suddenly came home with a posse of people and a warrant for my arrest. I was taken before a justice, and while we were waiting for proceedings to begin, or, possibly for the justice to arrive, I took the excited father aside and said:

"You know I have a fine horse and buggy at the door. Get in with me, and ride down home. I will see your daughter and make everything right with her, and if you will let me run away, I'll give her her the horse and buggy."

The offer was too tempting to be refused. The father had the warrant in his pocket, and he accepted my proposal. We rode to his house, and he went into the back-room by direction of his daughter while she and I talked in the hall. I explained matters as well as I could; I promised to see her again, and that very soon. My horse and buggy were at the door. Hastily bidding my new and young wife "good-bye," I sprang into the buggy and drove rapidly away. The father rushed to the door and raised a great hue and cry, and what was more, raised the neighbors; I had not driven five miles before all Worthington was after me. But I had the start, the best horse, and I led in the race. I drove to Hancock, N.Y., where my pursuers lost the trail; thence to Bennington, Vt., next to Brattleboro, Vt., and from there to Templeton, Mass. What befel me at Templeton, shall be related in the next chapter.



At Templeton I speedily made known my profession, and soon had a very good medical practice which one or two "remarkable cures" materially increased. I was doing well and making money. I boarded in a respectable farmer's family, and after living there about six months there came another most unhappy occurrence. From the day, almost, when I began to board with this farmer there sprung up a strong attachment between myself and his youngest daughter which soon ripened into mutual love. She rode about with me when I went to see my patients, who were getting to be numerous, and we were much in each other's company.

On one occasion she accompanied me to Worcester where I had some patients. We went to a public house where she and her family were well known, and when she was asked by the landlord how she happened to come there with the doctor, her prompt answer was:

"Why, we are married; did'nt you know it?"

She refused even to go to the table without my attendance, and when I was out visiting some patients, she waited for her meals till I came back. We stayed there but two days and returned together to Templeton.

A month afterward her brother was in Worcester, and stopped at this house. The landlord, after some conversation about general matters, said:

"So your sister is married to the Doctor?"

"I know nothing about it," was the reply.

This led to a full and altogether too free disclosure to the astonished brother about the particulars of our visit to the same house a month before, and his sister's representations that we were married. The brother immediately started for home, and repeated the story, as it was told to him, to his father and the family. Without seeing