The Adventures of Captain Greenland, 1752

This humorous novel imitates the comic novels of Henry Fielding, and in the two chapters excerpted here, it is interesting to see an appreciation of homosexual desire which, though considered unnatural, is not really treated as an abomination, but as something humorous and even somewhat sympathetic because understandable. Mr Moggy the sodomite is said to have married probably for money, but his sexual desires are directed exclusively towards men. The recognition that homosexual desire is both sometimes innate (as in Mr Moggy) and sometimes just an opportunity to be taken in certain situations, is indicated in the sodomites' hope that the handsome hero is "at least liable, if not inclined to" such practices.

C H A P.   XI.

Silvius's Charms make a very sudden and extraordinary Conquest: Who and what his Paramour was; with some Part of his Behaviiour in this Affair.

AS Silvius was an entire Stranger in Town, and Wilful not much better, it was agreed between them to take up their Lodging at a Coffee-House in some Part of Westminster: Where they should not be only near to the Captain's Directions, but also to the Court, Playhouses, Westminster-Hall, the Park, Chelsea, and many other Places they intended to visit, as far as their Time and Opportunity would permit.

The next Day after they were thus settled in their new Lodgings, they attired themselves in proper Habilliments for an Excursion to some of those Places; and in which Court, Mr. Wilful undertook to be the Pilot. And we may here observe, that it is no very great Wonder that our agreeable Silvius was so general a Favourite amongst the Fair-Sex; when his sprightly Charms were even capable of also captivating the Hearts of those of his own. For we can assure our Readers, that in this his very first Appearance in London, (in his best Decorations) he made [p.188] an instantaneous Conquest of a very delicate Creature, not less than six Foot high.

As some of the most experienced and ravenous Debauchees are always upon the Watch for the eager Ruin of every fine, fresh Country-Girl that falls within their utmost Power; so, likewise, was this amorous Son of Sodom so exquisitely wrought by the youthful Roses which glow'd upon his rural Face; and the Bloom of which was so highly illustrated by the lifely, swift, and pleasant Glances of his sprightly eyes, that, he was melting, from the very first View of him, with a most intense Desire. His Chaps perfectly water'd; his Observations were keen and hungry; and his whole Soul was quite wound up with Love, Hope, and Fear.

Poor Silvius was quite innocent and unapprized of the mighty Tempest he had thus raised; and his Insensibility of the least Part of any such unnatural Passion, caused him to advance a very great Encouragement in the Mind of his Devotee; and which was occasion'd by his happening to return a gentle and pleasant Answer to a Question which this lascivious Cat had now propounded to him, in order to begin an intended Conversation with him; and in which he only meant to sound his Disposition. But, [sic]

As this Story is an actual matter of Fact, and as the same amorous Gentleman is happily still alive, [p.189] (for all this our true Romance is founded on Facts) we shall here endeavour to present our Readers with his exact Portrait; that by his looking upon it, he may judge himself, how minute a Difference here is between this Picture, and that which he every Day admires in his own Looking-glass.

He is born of a Family which has given as much Honour to his Birth, as his remarkable Behaviour has been a Disgrace to himself: He is a thin, pale, black Figure, (I had like to have call'd him Man, for which I ask Pardon of all those who deserve that Name) he is about six Foot high, wears his own Hair, and may be about some forty Years old. He was marry'd at a little above twenty Years of Age, to a very pretty and agreeable Lady of a good Family, and a large Fortune: To whom he paid so high a Regard, that very few Footmen ever enter'd her Service during her whole Life with him, who have not been complimented with his am'rous Addresses. Nay, and so general is his Love towards all Men, that even in the Stables, several of his own Postillions have had his repeated Invitations to partake of it. After several Years Cohabitation with the above Lady, which was heavily accompany'd with innumerable Complaints of those detestible Abuses; and all her continual tender Remonstrances of this deprav'd and [p.190] unaccountable Practice, producing no Degree of Reformation in him; it, at length, broke her Heart, and she sunk into the Grave an unpity'd Martyr by the wretched Brute that kill'd her.

This Person (whom I have not a proper Epithet to distinguish him justly by) well observed, by what past between these Youths and the Landlord of the Coffee-House, that they were absolutely raw; and in all Probability quite unacquainted with what he hoped to find poor Silvius, at least liable, if not inclined to. The Reason why he preferred Silvius before his Friend, might be his more ruddy and pleasant Countenance; which was also something brighter than Wilful's by an Exemption from the least Mark of the Small-Pox; as well as his being both fairer, and some few Years younger.

Mr. Moggy, (for so we shall here call him) first attack'd silvius with distant Questions of no great matter of Import; and so by degrees grew more and more familiar: At length, finding his own Desires (according to Custom) to be waxing a little impatient; he solicited the Favour of being admitted to sup there with them that Night. silvius, at this Proposal remember'd his Master Scribblewell's Exhortation, to be cautious what new Acquaintance he contracted; and therefore he withheld his ready Consent [p.191[ from the repeated Solicitions of Mr. Moggy, for a considerable Time: Till happ'ning to cast his Eyes that Way, he receive'd several Winks and Hints from the Landlord, which he rightly construed was, for some especial Reason, that he should grant his Consent. Accordingly he did; and the Hour of Appointment was fix'd for nine o'Clock that Evening. Which Point being settled, Silvius and Wilful left the Direction of this Affair to their new Acquaintance, who absoltuely and voluntarily took it upon himself; and then they set out in search of new Adventures. Their first Purpose was to carry Silvius's Bill for Acceptance, which was accordingly done; and that Business leading them consequently into the City, they finish'd that Day's Fatigue in the Review of what was most accounted worthy of the Admiration of Stranger. Being now pretty well tired, and the Day so spent, they return'd home to their Lodgings: Where they had but just Time enough for their Landlord to give them a full History of the Gentleman they had engaged to sup with, before he came into the Coffee-Room to enquire for them. However, he now assured them that he should not have been so forward to promote their future Acquaintance, had he not, by their Over-Night's Conversation, discern'd them to be Men of a merry and sprightly Disposition; [p.192] and therefore as he intended to give them a full and honest Account of the Person they had now to deal with before they sat down to Supper, he did not in the least doubt but that they would readily join, in some measure, to reward his insolent Villainy, in case he should make any indecent Advance, that but in the least indicated a criminal Design; and in which Plot, he, (the Landlord) said he would willingly subscribe his very utmost Assistance. Silvius, upon hearing this History, would fain have declined his Promise of supping with him, and indeed could hardly be persuaded that there really were any such kind of Creatures in the World: But Wilful stuck hard for the Motion of the Landlord, and hearily prayed that he himself might but prove the desirable Object of his Flame; but this was an Honour and Happiness not to be even hoped for, because the Landlord had remarked in the Morning, how lasciviously he had obled and addressed himself particularly to Silvius; and added, that her was well assured Mr. Moggy did not in the least suspect that he knew any thing at all of him, for he never saw him in the Coffee-room before. But, said he, I both knew his Father and all his Famly; and I know the Multiplicity of Anxieties he has cost them. The Landlord having informed them thus much, and the appointed Minute drawing now near, [p.193] they all adjourned together, by Consent, to a Room Up-stairs, where they held a Consultation on what Plan they should conditionally proceed; and their Scheme was but just agreed upon, when they received Intelligence of his present Punctuality.

C H A P.   XII.

Shewing Mr. Moggy's am'rous and complaisant Behaviour at Supper towards his dear Silvius; and the Impatience and Consequence of his fierce Love afterwards, which fully concludes their Amour. Silvius is disappointed of his Passage with Captain Log-line; he and Wilful are introduced to the laudable Society of Antigallicans.

WHEN they were all sat down to Supper, Mr. Moggy was extremely officious to help his beloved Silvius to all the nice Bits which he possibly could pick out for him, and his Civility was returned by him with equal Complaisance. Supper being over, he justled his Chair as close to Silvius's as he well could, and now began to address him with all the softest, tenderest Terms of Affection; nay, sometimes, [p.194] he even bless'd Mr. Wilful with the sweet Epithets of dear Creature! and lovely Child! and at last my dearest Angel! was hardly good enough for either of them. From these pretty Endearments, he privately proceeded to lay his Hand upon Silvius's Thigh, and by gently squeezing of it, gave him to understand that he had further Hopes in View. Silvius, with much inward Impatience, acted here the coy, cold, and insensible Object of his eager Desire for some Time; but at length, tipping Wilful a Wink, he went out of the Room, and left them to finish the utmost of their Loves by themselves, and which, perhaps, was concluded much sooner than our good Readers may possibly expect; for now the very Instant that Wilful had left the Room, the am'rous and impatient Mr. Moggy, thrusting his Hand into Silvius's Bosom, (before he had Time either to speak, think, look, or act) snatched him in a Moment to his transported Arms, and ravished a Kiss on his Face. This momentary Embrace, howsoever sweet and precious it might seem to the enamoured Mr. Moggy for the present Moment, immediately drew after it the ungrateful Accomplishment of that distasteful Proverb, which truly asserts, that sweet Meat is frequently attended with sour Sauce; for Silvius was no [p.195] sooner sensible of this unexpected and most sudden Obligation, but his generous and grateful Soul instantly suggested to him the immediate Necessity of returning the mighty Favour; and thereupon, in order to support the amorous Scene as highly as he could, he bestowed upon his pretty white Face, such a gentle Pat with his Fist, as not only heightened his Complexion, but also lowered his Carcase; and as much Alacrity as he might have in falling, he could not reach the Boards before he felt another of those Love-toys on the other Side of his Face; which so improved his meagre Visage, that his Cheeks, which but a Moment before were a sallow pale, long, and lank, in a Minute more, were not only finely painted, but plump'd up, likewise, as round as a Trumpeter's. The Agitation of this pretty little Love-scene, which was so differently acted between them, made the very House jar again, and thereby conveyed some intelligent Suspicions to the Ears of the Landlord and Wilful (who were now in a close Conversation about it, and who also heard this Shock) that their amorous Intentions were now come to a Crisis: However, they did not chuse to interrupt their present Pastime, till they were in a manner constrained to it by the dreadful Repetition of Murder! Murder! when those two charitable Friends being thus inspired with [p.196] the loud Cries of the Distress'd, flew to his Assistance with about the rapid Speed of a Funeral March: So that by that time they came to see what was the Occasion of this lamentable Outcry, the active Fingers of the now ungentle Silvius had pummel'd the Fire of his amorous Admirer all out of his Heart into his Head; by which means his Nose, Mouth, and Eyes, all boiled over with Tears, Blood, and Snivle. But being now demaned what was the Matter? Silvius made answer, with great Temerity, that that villainous mollying Rascal! wanted to be concerned with him; that he had bore several of his audacious Intimations, without either proclaiming them, or resenting them as they deserved, in consideration that he was a Stranger to him; but that the very Moment that his Friend had left the Room, he both forced his Hand into his Bosom, and at the same Instant poluted [sic] his Face with a Kiss; and for which odious Assault, he said, he was absolutely determined to have his full Satisfaction. And so say, he once more darted at him, and with one single Blow laid him sprawling again on the Floor.

Here the Landlord and Wilful interposed, and, with much ado, conveyed him from the Reach of his Assailant. When having now washed his [p.197] Hands and Face from their Crimson Stains, and that they had prevailed upon him to discharge the Bill for Supper, &c. as he had before engaged to do, they put him into a Chair, and advised him to go directly to a Bagnio. All which being happily compleated, the honest well-pleased Landlord came and joined their Company, and with their agreeable Subscription of each Man his Bottle, they mutually enjoyed their equitable Reflections on the Issue of the past Rencounter. . . . [p.198]

SOURCE: The Adventures of Capt. Greenland, [by William Goodall], London: Printed for R. Baldwin, at the Rose in Pater-Noster-Row, 1752 (4 vols), vol. 2, pp. 188-198.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "The Adventures of Captain Greenland, 1752", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 24 April 2007 <>.

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