A Ruse Uncovered

ladysmag250Southampton, April 4: A circumstance has occurred in the neighborhood of a large town in Hampshire which has occasioned much conversation. A young lady, twenty-three years of age, who will inherit a large property upon her father’s death, was recently discovered by him to be pregnant; and on the enraged parent’s demanding to know who had been the seducer, she, to his utter astonishment, answered that it was her maid, Harriet. Harriet was immediately called before him, and an examination took place, when it appeared that the young lady, during a visit last June at a friend’s house near London, became acquainted with a handsome youth, who was shop lad at a circulating library, of whom she became enamored, and a secret marriage was the consequence. Fearing her father’s anger at such an unequal match (the youth being poor), the idea of being obliged to part with him gave birth to the following stratagem: The youth assumed the female habit and accompanied his fair bride to her father’s house, where he has, until within this fortnight, figured away as her maid. The old gentleman, however, is now reconciled to the loving couple, and Harry (alias Harriet), is as happy as wealth and beauty can make him.”

The Lady’s Magazine, April 1809

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