A FIRST EXPERIENCE Those of my readers who peruse the following pages and expect to find a pretty tale of surpassing interest, embellished with all the spice which fiction can suggest and a clever pen supply, will be egregiously mistaken, and had better close the volume at once. I am a plain matter-of-fact man, and relate only that which is strictly true, so that no matter how singular some of my statements may appear to those who have never passed through a similar experience, the avouchment that it is a compendium of pure fact may serve to increase the zest with which I hope it may be read. I was born some fifty years ago in the little town of H-, about seven miles from the sea, and was educated at the grammar school, an old foundation institute, almost as old as the town itself. Up to the age of sixteen I had remained in perfect ignorance of all those little matters which careful parents are so anxious to conceal from their children; nor, indeed, should I then have had my mind enlarged had it not been for the playful instincts of my mOther's housemaid, Emma, a strapping but comely wench of nineteen, who, confined to the house all the week and only allowed out for a few hours on Sunday, could find no vent for those passionate impulses which a well-fed, full-blooded girl of her years is bound to be subject to occasionally, and more especially after the menstrual period. It was, I remember well, at one of these times that I was called early by my mOther one morning and told to go and wake Emma up, as she had overslept herself, and the impression produced upon me as barefooted and in my nightshirt I stepped into the girl's room and caught her changing the linen bandage she had been wearing round her fanny was electrical
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