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Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Part 7 out of 7

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'No, sir,' says I, 'she is no relation to me, but she is a dear
friend, and all the friends I have in the world.' 'Well,' says
he, 'there are few such friends in the world. Why, she cried
after you like a child,' 'Ay,' says I again, 'she would give a
hundred pounds, I believe, to deliver me from this dreadful
condition I am in.'

'Would she so?' says he. 'For half the money I believe I could
put you in a way how to deliver yourself.' But this he spoke
softly, that nobody could hear.

'Alas! sir,' said I, 'but then that must be such a deliverance
as, if I should be taken again, would cost me my life.' 'Nay,'
said he, 'if you were once out of the ship, you must look to
yourself afterwards; that I can say nothing to.' So we dropped
the discourse for that time.

In the meantime, my governess, faithful to the last moment,
conveyed my letter to the prison to my husband, and got an
answer to it, and the next day came down herself to the ship,
bringing me, in the first place, a sea-bed as they call it, and
all its furniture, such as was convenient, but not to let the
people think it was extraordinary. She brought with her a
sea-chest--that is, a chest, such as are made for seamen, with
all the conveniences in it, and filled with everything almost
that I could want; and in one of the corners of the chest, where
there was a private drawer, was my bank of money--this is to
say, so much of it as I had resolved to carry with me; for I
ordered a part of my stock to be left behind me, to be sent
afterwards in such goods as I should want when I came to
settle; for money in that country is not of much use where all
things are brought for tobacco, much more is it a great loss
to carry it from hence.

But my case was particular; it was by no means proper to me
to go thither without money or goods, and for a poor convict,
that was to be sold as soon as I came on shore, to carry with
me a cargo of goods would be to have notice taken of it, and
perhaps to have them seized by the public; so I took part of my
stock with me thus, and left the other part with my governess.

My governess brought me a great many other things, but it
was not proper for me to look too well provided in the ship,
at least till I knew what kind of a captain we should have.
When she came into the ship, I thought she would have died
indeed; her heart sank at the sight of me, and at the thoughts
of parting with me in that condition, and she cried so intolerably,
I could not for a long time have any talk with her.

I took that time to read my fellow-prisoner's letter, which,
however, greatly perplexed me. He told me was determined
to go, but found it would be impossible for him to be discharged
time enough for going in the same ship, and which was more
than all, he began to question whether they would give him
leave to go in what ship he pleased, though he did voluntarily
transport himself; but that they would see him put on board
such a ship as they should direct, and that he would be charged
upon the captain as other convict prisoners were; so that he
began to be in despair of seeing me till he came to Virginia,
which made him almost desperate; seeing that, on the other
hand, if I should not be there, if any accident of the sea or of
mortality should take me away, he should be the most undone
creature there in the world.

This was very perplexing, and I knew not what course to take.
I told my governess the story of the boatswain, and she was
mighty eager with me treat with him; but I had no mind to it,
till I heard whether my husband, or fellow-prisoner, so she
called him, could be at liberty to go with me or no. At last I
was forced to let her into the whole matter, except only that
of his being my husband. I told her I had made a positive
bargain or agreement with him to go, if he could get the liberty
of going in the same ship, and that I found he had money.

Then I read a long lecture to her of what I proposed to do
when we came there, how we could plant, settle, and, in short,
grow rich without any more adventures; and, as a great secret,
I told her that we were to marry as soon as he came on board.

She soon agreed cheerfully to my going when she heard this,
and she made it her business from that time to get him out of
the prison in time, so that he might go in the same ship with
me, which at last was brought to pass, though with great
difficulty, and not without all the forms of a transported
prisoner-convict, which he really was not yet, for he had not
been tried, and which was a great mortification to him. As
our fate was now determined, and we were both on board,
actually bound to Virginia, in the despicable quality of
transported convicts destined to be sold for slaves, I for five
years, and he under bonds and security not to return to England
any more, as long as he lived, he was very much dejected and
cast down; the mortification of being brought on board, as he
was, like a prisoner, piqued him very much, since it was first
told him he should transport himself, and so that he might go
as a gentleman at liberty. It is true he was not ordered to be
sold when he came there, as we were, and for that reason he
was obliged to pay for his passage to the captain, which we
were not; as to the rest, he was as much at a loss as a child
what to do with himself, or with what he had, but by directions.

Our first business was to compare our stock. He was very
honest to me, and told me his stock was pretty good when he
came into the prison, but the living there as he did in a figure
like a gentleman, and, which was ten times as much, the
making of friends, and soliciting his case, had been very
expensive; and, in a word, all his stock that he had left was
#108, which he had about him all in gold.

I gave him an account of my stock as faithfully, that is to say,
of what I had taken to carry with me, for I was resolved,
whatever should happen, to keep what I had left with my
governess in reserve; that in case I should die, what I had with
me was enough to give him, and that which was left in my
governess's hands would be her own, which she had well
deserved of me indeed.

My stock which I had with me was #246 some odd shillings;
so that we had #354 between us, but a worse gotten estate was
scarce ever put together to being the world with.

Our greatest misfortune as to our stock was that it was all in
money, which every one knows is an unprofitable cargo to be
carried to the plantations. I believe his was really all he had
left in the world, as he told me it was; but I, who had between
#700 and #800 in bank when this disaster befell me, and who
had one of the faithfullest friends in the world to manage it
for me, considering she was a woman of manner of religious
principles, had still #300 left in her hand, which I reserved as
above; besides, some very valuable things, as particularly two
gold watches, some small pieces of plate, and some rings--all
stolen goods. The plate, rings, and watches were put in my
chest with the money, and with this fortune, and in the
sixty-first year of my age, I launched out into a new world,
as I may call it, in the condition (as to what appeared) only
of a poor, naked convict, ordered to be transported in respite
from the gallows. My clothes were poor and mean, but not
ragged or dirty, and none knew in the whole ship that I had
anything of value about me.

However, as I had a great many very good clothes and linen
in abundance, which I had ordered to be packed up in two
great boxes, I had them shipped on board, not as my goods,
but as consigned to my real name in Virginia; and had the
bills of loading signed by a captain in my pocket; and in these
boxes was my plate and watches, and everything of value
except my money, which I kept by itself in a private drawer
in my chest, which could not be found, or opened, if found,
with splitting the chest to pieces.

In this condition I lay for three weeks in the ship, not knowing
whether I should have my husband with me or no, and therefore
not resolving how or in what manner to receive the honest
boatswain's proposal, which indeed he thought a little strange
at first.

At the end of this time, behold my husband came on board.
He looked with a dejected, angry countenance, his great heart
was swelled with rage and disdain; to be dragged along with
three keepers of Newgate, and put on board like a convict,
when he had not so much as been brought to a trial. He made
loud complaints of it by his friends, for it seems he had some
interest; but his friends got some check in their application,
and were told he had had favour enough, and that they had
received such an account of him, since the last grant of his
transportation, that he ought to think himself very well treated
that he was not prosecuted anew. This answer quieted him at
once, for he knew too much what might have happened, and
what he had room to expect; and now he saw the goodness of
the advice to him, which prevailed with him to accept of the
offer of a voluntary transportation. And after this his chagrin
at these hell-hounds, as he called them, was a little over, he
looked a little composed, began to be cheerful, and as I was
telling him how glad I was to have him once more out of their
hands, he took me in his arms, and acknowledged with great
tenderness that I had given him the best advice possible. 'My
dear,' says he, 'thou has twice saved my life; from henceforward
it shall be all employed for you, and I'll always take your advice.'

The ship began now to fill; several passengers came on board,
who were embarked on no criminal account, and these had
accommodations assigned them in the great cabin, and other
parts of the ship, whereas we, as convicts, were thrust down
below, I know not where. But when my husband came on
board, I spoke to the boatswain, who had so early given me
hints of his friendship in carrying my letter. I told him he had
befriended me in many things, and I had not made any suitable
return to him, and with that I put a guinea into his hand. I told
him that my husband was now come on board; that though
we were both under the present misfortune, yet we had been
persons of a different character from the wretched crew that
we came with, and desired to know of him, whether the captain
might not be moved to admit us to some conveniences in the
ship, for which we would make him what satisfaction he
pleased, and that we would gratify him for his pains in procuring
this for us. He took the guinea, as I could see, with great
satisfaction, and assured me of his assistance.

Then he told us he did not doubt but that the captain, who was
one of the best-humoured gentlemen in the world, would be
easily brought to accommodate us as well as we could desire,
and, to make me easy, told me he would go up the next tide
on purpose to speak to the captain about it. The next morning,
happening to sleep a little longer than ordinary, when I got up,
and began to look abroad, I saw the boatswain among the men
in his ordinary business. I was a little melancholy at seeing
him there, and going forward to speak to him, he saw me, and
came towards me, but not giving him time to speak first, I said,
smiling, 'I doubt, sir, you have forgot us, for I see you are very
busy.' He returned presently, 'Come along with me, and you
shall see.' So he took me into the great cabin, and there sat
a good sort of a gentlemanly man for a seaman, writing, and
with a great many papers before him.

'Here,' says the boatswain to him that was a-writing, 'is the
gentlewoman that the captain spoke to you of'; and turning to
me, he said, 'I have been so far from forgetting your business,
that I have been up at the captain's house, and have represented
faithfully to the captain what you said, relating to you being
furnished with better conveniences for yourself and your
husband; and the captain has sent this gentleman, who is made
of the ship, down with me, on purpose to show you everything,
and to accommodate you fully to your content, and bid me
assure you that you shall not be treated like what you were at
first expected to be, but with the same respect as other passengers
are treated.'

The mate then spoke to me, and, not giving me time to thank
the boatswain for his kindness, confirmed what the boatswain
had said, and added that it was the captain's delight to show
himself kind and charitable, especially to those that were
under any misfortunes, and with that he showed me several
cabins built up, some in the great cabin, and some partitioned
off, out of the steerage, but opening into the great cabin on
purpose for the accommodation of passengers, and gave me
leave to choose where I would. However, I chose a cabin
which opened into the steerage, in which was very good
conveniences to set our chest and boxes, and a table to eat on.

The mate then told me that the boatswain had given so good
a character of me and my husband, as to our civil behaviour,
that he had orders to tell me we should eat with him, if we
thought fit, during the whole voyage, on the common terms
of passengers; that we might lay in some fresh provisions, if
we pleased; or if not, he should lay in his usual store, and we
should have share with him. This was very reviving news to
me, after so many hardships and afflictions as I had gone
through of late. I thanked him, and told him the captain should
make his own terms with us, and asked him leave to go and
tell my husband of it, who was not very well, and was not yet
out of his cabin. Accordingly I went, and my husband, whose
spirits were still so much sunk with the indignity (as he
understood it) offered him, that he was scare yet himself, was
so revived with the account that I gave him of the reception
we were like to have in the ship, that he was quite another man,
and new vigour and courage appeared in his very countenance.
So true is it, that the greatest of spirits, when overwhelmed
by their afflictions, are subject to the greatest dejections, and
are the most apt to despair and give themselves up.

After some little pause to recover himself, my husband came
up with me, and gave the mate thanks for the kindness, which
he had expressed to us, and sent suitable acknowledgment by
him to the captain, offering to pay him by advance, whatever
he demanded for our passage, and for the conveniences he had
helped us to. The mate told him that the captain would be on
board in the afternoon, and that he would leave all that till he
came. Accordingly, in the afternoon the captain came, and we
found him the same courteous, obliging man that the boatswain
had represented him to be; and he was so well pleased with
my husband's conversation, that, in short, he would not let us
keep the cabin we had chosen, but gave us one that, as I said
before, opened into the great cabin.

Nor were his conditions exorbitant, or the man craving and
eager to make a prey of us, but for fifteen guineas we had our
whole passage and provisions and cabin, ate at the captain's
table, and were very handsomely entertained.

The captain lay himself in the other part of the great cabin,
having let his round house, as they call it, to a rich planter
who went over with his wife and three children, who ate by
themselves. He had some other ordinary passengers, who
quartered in the steerage, and as for our old fraternity, they
were kept under the hatches while the ship lay there, and came
very little on the deck.

I could not refrain acquainting my governess with what had
happened; it was but just that she, who was so really concerned
for me, should have part in my good fortune. Besides, I wanted
her assistance to supply me with several necessaries, which
before I was shy of letting anybody see me have, that it might
not be public; but now I had a cabin and room to set things in,
I ordered abundance of good things for our comfort in the
voyage, as brandy, sugar, lemons, etc., to make punch, and
treat our benefactor, the captain; and abundance of things for
eating and drinking in the voyage; also a larger bed, and bedding
proportioned to it; so that, in a word, we resolved to want for
nothing in the voyage.

All this while I had provided nothing for our assistance when
we should come to the place and begin to call ourselves planters;
and I was far from being ignorant of what was needful on that
occasion; particularly all sorts of tools for the planter's work,
and for building; and all kinds of furniture for our dwelling,
which, if to be bought in the country, must necessarily cost
double the price.

So I discoursed that point with my governess, and she went
and waited upon the captain, and told him that she hoped ways
might be found out for her two unfortunate cousins, as she
called us, to obtain our freedom when we came into the country,
and so entered into a discourse with him about the means and
terms also, of which I shall say more in its place; and after
thus sounding the captain, she let him know, though we were
unhappy in the circumstances that occasioned our going, yet
that we were not unfurnished to set ourselves to work in the
country, and we resolved to settle and live there as planters,
if we might be put in a way how to do it. The captain readily
offered his assistance, told her the method of entering upon
such business, and how easy, nay, how certain it was for
industrious people to recover their fortunes in such a manner.
'Madam,' says he, ''tis no reproach to any many in that country
to have been sent over in worse circumstances than I perceive
your cousins are in, provided they do but apply with diligence
and good judgment to the business of that place when they
come there.'

She then inquired of him what things it was necessary we
should carry over with us, and he, like a very honest as well
as knowing man, told her thus: 'Madam, your cousins in the
first place must procure somebody to buy them as servants,
in conformity to the conditions of their transportation, and
then, in the name of that person, they may go about what they
will; they may either purchase some plantations already begun,
or they may purchase land of the Government of the country,
and begin where they please, and both will be done reasonably.'
She bespoke his favour in the first article, which he promised
to her to take upon himself, and indeed faithfully performed
it, and as to the rest, he promised to recommend us to such as
should give us the best advice, and not to impose upon us,
which was as much as could be desired.

She then asked him if it would not be necessary to furnish us
with a stock of tools and materials for the business of planting,
and he said, 'Yes, by all means.' And then she begged his
assistance in it. She told him she would furnish us with
everything that was convenient whatever it cost her. He
accordingly gave her a long particular of things necessary for
a planter, which, by his account, came to about fourscore or
a hundred pounds. And, in short, she went about as dexterously
to buy them, as if she had been an old Virginia merchant; only
that she bought, by my direction, above twice as much of
everything as he had given her a list of.

These she put on board in her own name, took his bills of
loading for them, and endorsed those bills of loading to my
husband, insuring the cargo afterwards in her own name, by
our order; so that we were provided for all events, and for
all disasters.

I should have told you that my husband gave her all his whole
stock of #108, which, as I have said, he had about him in gold,
to lay out thus, and I gave her a good sum besides; so that I
did not break into the stock which I had left in her hands at
all, but after we had sorted out our whole cargo, we had yet
near #200 in money, which was more than enough for our

In this condition, very cheerful, and indeed joyful at being so
happily accommodated as we were, we set sail from Bugby's
Hole to Gravesend, where the ship lay about ten more days,
and where the captain came on board for good and all. Here
the captain offered us a civility, which indeed we had no reason
to expect, namely, to let us go on shore and refresh ourselves,
upon giving our words in a solemn manner that we would not
go from him, and that we would return peaceably on board
again. This was such an evidence of his confidence in us,
that it overcame my husband, who, in a mere principle of
gratitude, told him, as he could not be in any capacity to make
a suitable return for such a favour, so he could not think of
accepting of it, nor could he be easy that the captain should
run such a risk. After some mutual civilities, I gave my
husband a purse, in which was eighty guineas, and he put in
into the captain's hand. 'There, captain,' says he, 'there's
part of a pledge for our fidelity; if we deal dishonestly with
you on any account, 'tis your own.' And on this we went
on shore.

Indeed, the captain had assurance enough of our resolutions
to go, for that having made such provision to settle there, it
did not seem rational that we would choose to remain here at
the expense and peril of life, for such it must have been if we
had been taken again. In a word, we went all on shore with
the captain, and supped together in Gravesend, where we were
very merry, stayed all night, lay at the house where we supped,
and came all very honestly on board again with him in the
morning. Here we bought ten dozen bottles of good beer, some
wine, some fowls, and such things as we thought might be
acceptable on board.

My governess was with us all this while, and went with us
round into the Downs, as did also the captain's wife, with
whom she went back. I was never so sorrowful at parting
with my own mother as I was at parting with her, and I never
saw her more. We had a fair easterly wind sprung up the third
day after we came to the Downs, and we sailed from thence
the 10th of April. Nor did we touch any more at any place,
till, being driven on the coast of Ireland by a very hard gale
of wind, the ship came to an anchor in a little bay, near the
mouth of a river, whose name I remember not, but they said
the river came down from Limerick, and that it was the largest
river in Ireland.

Here, being detained by bad weather for some time, the captain,
who continued the same kind, good-humoured man as at
first, took us two on shore with him again. He did it now in
kindness to my husband indeed, who bore the sea very ill, and
was very sick, especially when it blew so hard. Here we
bought in again a store of fresh provisions, especially beef,
pork, mutton, and fowls, and the captain stayed to pickle up
five or six barrels of beef to lengthen out the ship's store. We
were here not above five days, when the weather turning mild,
and a fair wind, we set sail again, and in two-and-forty days
came safe to the coast of Virginia.

When we drew near to the shore, the captain called me to him,
and told me that he found by my discourse I had some relations
in the place, and that I had been there before, and so he supposed
I understood the custom in their disposing the convict prisoners
when they arrived. I told him I did not, and that as to what
relations I had in the place, he might be sure I would make
myself known to none of them while I was in the circumstances
of a prisoner, and that as to the rest, we left ourselves entirely
to him to assist us, as he was pleased to promise us he would
do. He told me I must get somebody in the place to come and
buy us as servants, and who must answer for us to the governor
of the country, if he demanded us. I told him we should do as
he should direct; so he brought a planter to treat with him, as
it were, for the purchase of these two servants, my husband
and me, and there we were formally sold to him, and went
ashore with him. The captain went with us, and carried us to
a certain house, whether it was to be called a tavern or not I
know not, but we had a bowl of punch there made of rum, etc.,
and were very merry. After some time the planter gave us a
certificate of discharge, and an acknowledgment of having
served him faithfully, and we were free from him the next
morning, to go wither we would.

For this piece of service the captain demanded of us six
thousand weight of tabacco, which he said he was accountable
for to his freighter, and which we immediately bought for him,
and made him a present of twenty guineas besides, with which
he was abundantly satisfied.

It is not proper to enter here into the particulars of what part
of the colony of Virginia we settled in, for divers reasons; it
may suffice to mention that we went into the great river
Potomac, the ship being bound thither; and there we intended
to have settled first, though afterwards we altered our minds.

The first thing I did of moment after having gotten all our
goods on shore, and placed them in a storehouse, or warehouse,
which, with a lodging, we hired at the small place or village
where we landed--I say, the first thing was to inquire after my
mother, and after my brother (that fatal person whom I married
as a husband, as I have related at large). A little inquiry
furnished me with information that Mrs. ----, that is, my mother,
was dead; that my brother (or husband) was alive, which I
confess I was not very glad to hear; but which was worse, I
found he was removed from the plantation where he lived
formerly, and where I lived with him, and lived with one of
his sons in a plantation just by the place where we landed,
and where we had hired a warehouse.

I was a little surprised at first, but as I ventured to satisfy
myself that he could not know me, I was not only perfectly
easy, but had a great mind to see him, if it was possible to so
do without his seeing me. In order to that I found out by
inquiry the plantation where he lived, and with a woman of
that place whom I got to help me, like what we call a chairwoman,
I rambled about towards the place as if I had only a mind to
see the country and look about me. At last I came so near that
I saw the dwellinghouse. I asked the woman whose plantation
that was; she said it belonged to such a man, and looking out
a little to our right hands, 'there,' says she, is the gentleman
that owns the plantation, and his father with him.' 'What are
their Christian names?' said I. 'I know not,' says she, 'what
the old gentleman's name is, but the son's name is Humphrey;
and I believe,' says she, 'the father's is so too.' You may
guess, if you can, what a confused mixture of joy and fight
possessed my thoughts upon this occasion, for I immediately
knew that this was nobody else but my own son, by that father
she showed me, who was my own brother. I had no mask,
but I ruffled my hood so about my face, that I depended upon
it that after above twenty years' absence, and withal not
expecting anything of me in that part of the world, he would
not be able to know anything of me. But I need not have used
all that caution, for the old gentleman was grown dim-sighted
by some distemper which had fallen upon his eyes, and could
but just see well enough to walk about, and not run against a
tree or into a ditch. The woman that was with me had told me
that by a mere accident, knowing nothing of what importance
it was to me. As they drew near to us, I said, 'Does he know
you, Mrs. Owen?' (so they called the woman). 'Yes,' said
she, 'if he hears me speak, he will know me; but he can't see
well enough to know me or anybody else'; and so she told me
the story of his sight, as I have related. This made me secure,
and so I threw open my hoods again, and let them pass by me.
It was a wretched thing for a mother thus to see her own son,
a handsome, comely young gentleman in flourishing
circumstances, and durst not make herself known to him, and
durst not take any notice of him. Let any mother of children
that reads this consider it, and but think with what anguish of
mind I restrained myself; what yearnings of soul I had in me
to embrace him, and weep over him; and how I thought all my
entrails turned within me, that my very bowels moved, and I
knew not what to do, as I now know not how to express those
agonies! When he went from me I stood gazing and trembling,
and looking after him as long as I could see him; then sitting
down to rest me, but turned from her, and lying on my face,
wept, and kissed the ground that he had set his foot on.

I could not conceal my disorder so much from the woman but
that she perceived it, and thought I was not well, which I was
obliged to pretend was true; upon which she pressed me to rise,
the ground being damp and dangerous, which I did accordingly,
and walked away.

As I was going back again, and still talking of this gentleman
and his son, a new occasion of melancholy offered itself thus.
The woman began, as if she would tell me a story to divert me:
'There goes,' says she, 'a very odd tale among the neighbours
where this gentleman formerly live.' 'What was that?' said
I. 'Why,' says she, 'that old gentleman going to England,
when he was a young man, fell in love with a young lady there,
one of the finest women that ever was seen, and married her,
and brought her over hither to his mother who was then living.
He lived here several years with her,' continued she, 'and had
several children by her, of which the young gentleman that was
with him now was one; but after some time, the old gentlewoman,
his mother, talking to her of something relating to herself when
she was in England, and of her circumstances in England,
which were bad enough, the daughter-in-law began to be very
much surprised and uneasy; and, in short, examining further
into things, it appeared past all contradiction that the old
gentlewoman was her own mother, and that consequently that
son was his wife's own brother, which struck the whole family
with horror, and put them into such confusion that it had almost
ruined them all. The young woman would not live with him;
the son, her brother and husband, for a time went distracted;
and at last the young woman went away for England, and has
never been heard of since.'

It is easy to believe that I was strangely affected with this story,
but 'tis impossible to describe the nature of my disturbance. I
seemed astonished at the story, and asked her a thousand
questions about the particulars, which I found she was
thoroughly acquainted with. At last I began to inquire into the
circumstances of the family, how the old gentlewoman, I mean
my mother, died, and how she left what she had; for my mother
had promised me very solemnly, that when she died she would
do something for me, and leave it so, as that, if I was living, I
should one way or other come at it, without its being in the
power of her son, my brother and husband, to prevent it. She
told me she did not know exactly how it was ordered, but she
had been told that my mother had left a sum of money, and
had tied her plantation for the payment of it, to be made good
to the daughter, if ever she could be heard of, either in England
or elsewhere; and that the trust was left with this son, who was
the person that we saw with his father.

This was news too good for me to make light of, and, you
may be sure, filled my heart with a thousand thoughts, what
course I should take, how, and when, and in what manner I
should make myself known, or whether I should ever make
myself know or no.

Here was a perplexity that I had not indeed skill to manage
myself in, neither knew I what course to take. It lay heavy
upon my mind night and day. I could neither sleep nor
converse, so that my husband perceived it, and wondered what
ailed me, strove to divert me, but it was all to no purpose. He
pressed me to tell him what it was troubled me, but I put it off,
till at last, importuning me continually, I was forced to form
a story, which yet had a plain truth to lay it upon too. I told
him I was troubled because I found we must shift our quarters
and alter our scheme of settling, for that I found I should be
known if I stayed in that part of the country; for that my mother
being dead, several of my relations were come into that part
where we then was, and that I must either discover myself to
them, which in our present circumstances was not proper on
many accounts, or remove; and which to do I knew not, and
that this it was that made me so melancholy and so thoughtful.

He joined with me in this, that it was by no means proper for
me to make myself known to anybody in the circumstances
in which we then were; and therefore he told me he would be
willing to remove to any other part of the country, or even to
any other country if I thought fit. But now I had another
difficulty, which was, that if I removed to any other colony, I
put myself out of the way of ever making a due search after
those effects which my mother had left. Again I could never
so much as think of breaking the secret of my former marriage
to my new husband; it was not a story, as I thought, that would
bear telling, nor could I tell what might be the consequences
of it; and it was impossible to search into the bottom of the
thing without making it public all over the country, as well
who I was, as what I now was also.

In this perplexity I continued a great while, and this made my
spouse very uneasy; for he found me perplexed, and yet thought
I was not open with him, and did not let him into every part
of my grievance; and he would often say, he wondered what
he had done that I would not trust him with whatever it was,
especially if it was grievous and afflicting. The truth is, he
ought to have been trusted with everything, for no man in the
world could deserve better of a wife; but this was a thing I
knew not how to open to him, and yet having nobody to
disclose any part of it to, the burthen was too heavy for my
mind; for let them say what they please of our sex not being
able to keep a secret, my life is a plain conviction to me of the
contrary; but be it our sex, or the man's sex, a secret of moment
should always have a confidant, a bosom friend, to whom we
may communicate the joy of it, or the grief of it, be it which
it will, or it will be a double weight upon the spirits, and
perhaps become even insupportable in itself; and this I appeal
to all human testimony for the truth of.

And this is the cause why many times men as well as women,
and men of the greatest and best qualities other ways, yet have
found themselves weak in this part, and have not been able to
bear the weight of a secret joy or of a secret sorrow, but have
been obliged to disclose it, even for the mere giving vent to
themselves, and to unbend the mind oppressed with the load
and weights which attended it. Nor was this any token of folly
or thoughtlessness at all, but a natural consequence of the thing;
and such people, had they struggled longer with the oppression,
would certainly have told it in their sleep, and disclosed the
secret, let it have been of what fatal nature soever, without
regard to the person to whom it might be exposed. This
necessity of nature is a thing which works sometimes with
such vehemence in the minds of those who are guilty of any
atrocious villainy, such as secret murder in particular, that they
have been obliged to discover it, though the consequence
would necessarily be their own destruction. Now, though it
may be true that the divine justice ought to have the glory of
all those discoveries and confessions, yet 'tis as certain that
Providence, which ordinarily works by the hands of nature,
makes use here of the same natural causes to produce those
extraordinary effects.

I could give several remarkable instances of this in my long
conversation with crime and with criminals. I knew one fellow
that, while I was in prison in Newgate, was one of those they
called then night-fliers. I know not what other word they may
have understood it by since, but he was one who by connivance
was admitted to go abroad every evening, when he played his
pranks, and furnished those honest people they call thief-catchers
with business to find out the next day, and restore for a reward
what they had stolen the evening before. This fellow was as
sure to tell in his sleep all that he had done, and every step he
had taken, what he had stolen, and where, as sure as if he had
engaged to tell it waking, and that there was no harm or danger
in it, and therefore he was obliged, after he had been out, to
lock himself up, or be locked up by some of the keepers that
had him in fee, that nobody should hear him; but, on the other
hand, if he had told all the particulars, and given a full account
of his rambles and success, to any comrade, any brother thief,
or to his employers, as I may justly call them, then all was
well with him, and he slept as quietly as other people.

As the publishing this account of my life is for the sake of the
just moral of very part of it, and for instruction, caution,
warning, and improvement to every reader, so this will not
pass, I hope, for an unnecessary digression concerning some
people being obliged to disclose the greatest secrets either of
their own or other people's affairs.

Under the certain oppression of this weight upon my mind, I
laboured in the case I have been naming; and the only relief
I found for it was to let my husband into so much of it as I
thought would convince him of the necessity there was for us
to think of settling in some other part of the world; and the
next consideration before us was, which part of the English
settlements we should go to. My husband was a perfect stranger
to the country, and had not yet so much as a geographical
knowledge of the situation of the several places; and I, that,
till I wrote this, did not know what the word geographical
signified, had only a general knowledge from long conversation
with people that came from or went to several places; but this
I knew, that Maryland, Pennsylvania, East and West Jersey,
New York, and New England lay all north of Virginia, and
that they were consequently all colder climates, to which for
that very reason, I had an aversion. For that as I naturally
loved warm weather, so now I grew into years I had a stronger
inclination to shun a cold climate. I therefore considered of
going to Caroline, which is the only southern colony of the
English on the continent of America, and hither I proposed to
go; and the rather because I might with great ease come from
thence at any time, when it might be proper to inquire after
my mother's effects, and to make myself known enough to
demand them.

With this resolution I proposed to my husband our going away
from where we was, and carrying all our effects with us to
Caroline, where we resolved to settle; for my husband readily
agreed to the first part, viz. that was not at all proper to stay
where we was, since I had assured him we should be known
there, and the rest I effectually concealed from him.

But now I found a new difficulty upon me. The main affair
grew heavy upon my mind still, and I could not think of going
out of the country without somehow or other making inquiry
into the grand affair of what my mother had done for me; nor
could I with any patience bear the thought of going away, and
not make myself known to my old husband (brother), or to my
child, his son; only I would fain have had this done without
my new husband having any knowledge of it, or they having
any knowledge of him, or that I had such a thing as a husband.

I cast about innumerable ways in my thoughts how this might
be done. I would gladly have sent my husband away to
Caroline with all our goods, and have come after myself, but
this was impracticable; he would never stir without me, being
himself perfectly unacquainted with the country, and with the
methods of settling there or anywhere else. Then I thought
we would both go first with part of our goods, and that when
we were settled I should come back to Virginia and fetch the
remainder; but even then I knew he would never part with me,
and be left there to go on alone. The case was plain; he was
bred a gentleman, and by consequence was not only
unacquainted, but indolent, and when we did settle, would
much rather go out into the woods with his gun, which they
call there hunting, and which is the ordinary work of the
Indians, and which they do as servants; I say, he would rather
do that than attend the natural business of his plantation.

These were therefore difficulties insurmountable, and such as
I knew not what to do in. I had such strong impressions on
my mind about discovering myself to my brother, formerly
my husband, that I could not withstand them; and the rather,
because it ran constantly in my thoughts, that if I did not do
it while he lived, I might in vain endeavour to convince my
son afterward that I was really the same person, and that I was
his mother, and so might both lose the assistance and comfort
of the relation, and the benefit of whatever it was my mother
had left me; and yet, on the other hand, I could never think it
proper to discover myself to them in the circumstances I was
in, as well relating to the having a husband with me as to my
being brought over by a legal transportation as a criminal; on
both which accounts it was absolutely necessary to me to
remove from the place where I was, and come again to him,
as from another place and in another figure.

Upon those considerations, I went on with telling my husband
the absolute necessity there was of our not settling in Potomac
River, at least that we should be presently made public there;
whereas if we went to any other place in the world, we should
come in with as much reputation as any family that came to
plant; that, as it was always agreeable to the inhabitants to
have families come among them to plant, who brought substance
with them, either to purchase plantations or begin new ones,
so we should be sure of a kind, agreeable reception, and that
without any possibility of a discovery of our circumstances.

I told him in general, too, that as I had several relations in the
place where we were, and that I durst not now let myself be
known to them, because they would soon come into a knowledge
of the occasion and reason of my coming over, which would be
to expose myself to the last degree, so I had reason to believe
that my mother, who died here, had left me something, and
perhaps considerable, which it might be very well worth my
while to inquire after; but that this too could not be done
without exposing us publicly, unless we went from hence; and
then, wherever we settled, I might come, as it were, to visit
and to see my brother and nephews, make myself known to
them, claim and inquire after what was my due, be received
with respect, and at the same time have justice done me with
cheerfulness and good will; whereas, if I did it now, I could
expect nothing but with trouble, such as exacting it by force,
receiving it with curses and reluctance, and with all kinds of
affronts, which he would not perhaps bear to see; that in case
of being obliged to legal proofs of being really her daughter,
I might be at loss, be obliged to have recourse to England, and
it may be to fail at last, and so lose it, whatever it might be.
With these arguments, and having thus acquainted my husband
with the whole secret so far as was needful of him, we resolved
to go and seek a settlement in some other colony, and at first
thoughts, Caroline was the place we pitched upon.

In order to this we began to make inquiry for vessels going to
Carolina, and in a very little while got information, that on the
other side the bay, as they call it, namely, in Maryland, there
was a ship which came from Carolina, laden with rice and
other goods, and was going back again thither, and from
thence to Jamaica, with provisions. On this news we hired a
sloop to take in our goods, and taking, as it were, a final
farewell of Potomac River, we went with all our cargo over
to Maryland.

This was a long and unpleasant voyage, and my spouse said
it was worse to him than all the voyage from England, because
the weather was but indifferent, the water rough, and the
vessel small and inconvenient. In the next place, we were full
a hundred miles up Potomac River, in a part which they call
Westmoreland County, and as that river is by far the greatest
in Virginia, and I have heard say it is the greatest river in the
world that falls into another river, and not directly into the sea,
so we had base weather in it, and were frequently in great
danger; for though we were in the middle, we could not see
land on either side for many leagues together. Then we had
the great river or bay of Chesapeake to cross, which is where
the river Potomac falls into it, near thirty miles broad, and we
entered more great vast waters whose names I know not, so
that our voyage was full two hundred miles, in a poor, sorry
sloop, with all our treasure, and if any accident had happened
to us, we might at last have been very miserable; supposing
we had lost our goods and saved our lives only, and had then
been left naked and destitute, and in a wild, strange place not
having one friend or acquaintance in all that part of the world.
The very thought of it gives me some horror, even since the
danger is past.

Well, we came to the place in five days' sailing; I think they
call it Philip's Point; and behold, when we came thither, the
ship bound to Carolina was loaded and gone away but three
days before. This was a disappointment; but, however, I,
that was to be discouraged with nothing, told my husband
that since we could not get passage to Caroline, and that the
country we was in was very fertile and good, we would, if he
liked of it, see if we could find out anything for our tune where
we was, and that if he liked things we would settle here.

We immediately went on shore, but found no conveniences
just at that place, either for our being on shore or preserving
our goods on shore, but was directed by a very honest Quaker,
whom we found there, to go to a place about sixty miles east;
that is to say, nearer the mouth of the bay, where he said he
lived, and where we should be accommodated, either to plant,
or to wait for any other place to plant in that might be more
convenient; and he invited us with so much kindness and
simple honesty, that we agreed to go, and the Quaker himself
went with us.

Here we bought us two servants, viz. an English woman-servant
just come on shore from a ship of Liverpool, and a Negro
man-servant, things absolutely necessary for all people that
pretended to settle in that country. This honest Quaker was
very helpful to us, and when we came to the place that he
proposed to us, found us out a convenient storehouse for our
goods, and lodging for ourselves and our servants; and about
two months or thereabouts afterwards, by his direction, we
took up a large piece of land from the governor of that country,
in order to form our plantation, and so we laid the thoughts
of going to Caroline wholly aside, having been very well
received here, and accommodated with a convenient lodging
till we could prepare things, and have land enough cleared,
and timber and materials provided for building us a house, all
which we managed by the direction of the Quaker; so that in
one year's time we had nearly fifty acres of land cleared, part
of it enclosed, and some of it planted with tabacco, though
not much; besides, we had garden ground and corn sufficient
to help supply our servants with roots and herbs and bread.

And now I persuaded my husband to let me go over the bay
again, and inquire after my friends. He was the willinger to
consent to it now, because he had business upon his hands
sufficient to employ him, besides his gun to divert him, which
they call hunting there, and which he greatly delighted in; and
indeed we used to look at one another, sometimes with a great
deal of pleasure, reflecting how much better that was, not than
Newgate only, but than the most prosperous of our circumstances
in the wicked trade that we had been both carrying on.

Our affair was in a very good posture; we purchased of the
proprietors of the colony as much land for #35, paid in ready
money, as would make a sufficient plantation to employ
between fifty and sixty servants, and which, being well
improved, would be sufficient to us as long as we could either
of us live; and as for children, I was past the prospect of
anything of that kind.

But out good fortune did not end here. I went, as I have said,
over the bay, to the place where my brother, once a husband,
lived; but I did not go to the same village where I was before,
but went up another great river, on the east side of the river
Potomac, called Rappahannock River, and by this means
came on the back of his plantation, which was large, and by
the help of a navigable creek, or little river, that ran into the
Rappahannock, I came very near it.

I was now fully resolved to go up point-blank to my brother
(husband), and to tell him who I was; but not knowing what
temper I might find him in, or how much out of temper rather,
I might make him by such a rash visit, I resolved to write a
letter to him first, to let him know who I was, and that I was
come not to give him any trouble upon the old relation, which
I hoped was entirely forgot, but that I applied to him as a sister
to a brother, desiring his assistance in the case of that provision
which our mother, at her decease, had left for my support, and
which I did not doubt but he would do me justice in, especially
considering that I was come thus far to look after it.

I said some very tender, kind things in the letter about his
son, which I told him he knew to be my own child, and that
as I was guilty of nothing in marrying him, any more than he
was in marrying me, neither of us having then known our
being at all related to one another, so I hoped he would allow
me the most passionate desire of once seeing my one and only
child, and of showing something of the infirmities of a mother
in preserving a violent affect for him, who had never been
able to retain any thought of me one way or other.

I did believe that, having received this letter, he would
immediately give it to his son to read, I having understood
his eyes being so dim, that he could not see to read it; but it
fell out better than so, for as his sight was dim, so he had
allowed his son to open all letters that came to his hand for
him, and the old gentleman being from home, or out of the
way when my messenger came, my letter came directly to my
son's hand, and he opened and read it.

He called the messenger in, after some little stay, and asked
him where the person was who gave him the letter. The
messenger told him the place, which was about seven miles
off, so he bid him stay, and ordering a horse to be got ready,
and two servants, away he came to me with the messenger.
Let any one judge the consternation I was in when my
messenger came back, and told me the old gentleman was not
at home, but his son was come along with him, and was just
coming up to me. I was perfectly confounded, for I knew not
whether it was peace or war, nor could I tell how to behave;
however, I had but a very few moments to think, for my son
was at the heels of the messenger, and coming up into my
lodgings, asked the fellow at the door something. I suppose
it was, for I did not hear it so as to understand it, which was
the gentlewoman that sent him; for the messenger said, 'There
she is, sir'; at which he comes directly up to me, kisses me,
took me in his arms, and embraced me with so much passion
that he could not speak, but I could feel his breast heave and
throb like a child, that cries, but sobs, and cannot cry it out.

I can neither express nor describe the joy that touched my very
soul when I found, for it was easy to discover that part, that
he came not as a stranger, but as a son to a mother, and indeed
as a son who had never before known what a mother of his
own was; in short, we cried over one another a considerable
while, when at last he broke out first. 'My dear mother,' says
he, 'are you still alive? I never expected to have seen your
face.' As for me, I could say nothing a great while.

After we had both recovered ourselves a little, and were able
to talk, he told me how things stood. As to what I had written
to his father, he told me he had not showed my letter to his
father, or told him anything about it; that what his grandmother
left me was in his hands, and that he would do me justice to
my full satisfaction; that as to his father, he was old and infirm
both in body and mind; that he was very fretful and passionate,
almost blind, and capable of nothing; and he questioned
whether he would know how to act in an affair which was of
so nice a nature as this; and that therefore he had come himself,
as well to satisfy himself in seeing me, which he could not
restrain himself from, as also to put it into my power to make
a judgment, after I had seen how things were, whether I would
discover myself to his father or no.

This was really so prudently and wisely managed, that I found
my son was a man of sense, and needed no direction from me.
I told him I did not wonder that his father was as he had
described him, for that his head was a little touched before I
went away; and principally his disturbance was because I
could not be persuaded to conceal our relation and to live with
him as my husband, after I knew that he was my brother; that
as he knew better than I what his father's present condition
was, I should readily join with him in such measure as he
would direct; that I was indifferent as to seeing his father,
since I had seen him first, and he could not have told me better
news than to tell me that what his grandmother had left me
was entrusted in his hands, who, I doubted not, now he knew
who I was, would, as he said, do me justice. I inquired then
how long my mother had been dead, and where she died, and
told so many particulars of the family, that I left him no room
to doubt the truth of my being really and truly his mother.

My son then inquired where I was, and how I had disposed
myself. I told him I was on the Maryland side of the bay, at
the plantation of a particular friend who came from England
in the same ship with me; that as for that side of the bay where
he was, I had no habitation. He told me I should go home
with him, and live with him, if I pleased, as long as I lived;
that as to his father, he knew nobody, and would never so
much as guess at me. I considered of that a little, and told
him, that though it was really no concern to me to live at a
distance from him, yet I could not say it would be the most
comfortable thing in the world to me to live in the house with
him, and to have that unhappy object always before me, which
had been such a blow to my peace before; that though I should
be glad to have his company (my son), or to be as near him as
possible while I stayed, yet I could not think of being in the
house where I should be also under constant restraint for fear
of betraying myself in my discourse, nor should I be able to
refrain some expressions in my conversing with him as my
son, that might discover the whole affair, which would by no
means be convenient.

He acknowledged that I was right in all this. 'But then, dear
mother,' says he, 'you shall be as near me as you can.' So he
took me with him on horseback to a plantation next to his own,
and where I was as well entertained as I could have been in his
own. Having left me there he went away home, telling me we
would talk of the main business the next day; and having first
called me his aunt, and given a charge to the people, who it
seems were his tenants, to treat me with all possible respect.
About two hours after he was gone, he sent me a maid-servant
and a Negro boy to wait on me, and provisions ready dressed
for my supper; and thus I was as if I had been in a new world,
and began secretly now to wish that I had not brought my
Lancashire husband from England at all.

However, that wish was not hearty neither, for I loved my
Lancashire husband entirely, as indeed I had ever done from
the beginning; and he merited from me as much as it was
possible for a man to do; but that by the way.

The next morning my son came to visit me again almost as
soon as I was up. After a little discourse, he first of all pulled
out a deerskin bag, and gave it me, with five-and-fifty Spanish
pistoles in it, and told me that was to supply my expenses from
England, for though it was not his business to inquire, yet he
ought to think I did not bring a great deal of money out with
me, it not being usual to bring much money into that country.
Then he pulled out his grandmother's will, and read it over to
me, whereby it appeared that she had left a small plantation,
as he called it, on York River, that is, where my mother lived,
to me, with the stock of servants and cattle upon it, and given
it in trust to this son of mine for my use, whenever he should
hear of my being alive, and to my heirs, if I had any children,
and in default of heirs, to whomsoever I should by will dispose
of it; but gave the income of it, till I should be heard of, or
found, to my said son; and if I should not be living, then it was
to him, and his heirs.

This plantation, though remote from him, he said he did not
let out, but managed it by a head-clerk (steward), as he did
another that was his father's, that lay hard by it, and went over
himself three or four times a year to look after it. I asked him
what he thought the plantation might be worth. He said, if I
would let it out, he would give me about #60 a year for it; but
if I would live on it, then it would be worth much more, and,
he believed, would bring me in about #150 a year. But seeing
I was likely either to settle on the other side of the bay, or
might perhaps have a mind to go back to England again, if I
would let him be my steward he would manage it for me, as
he had done for himself, and that he believed he should be
able to send me as much tobacco to England from it as would
yield me about #100 a year, sometimes more.

This was all strange news to me, and things I had not been
used to; and really my heart began to look up more seriously
than I think it ever did before, and to look with great thankfulness
to the hand of Providence, which had done such wonders for
me, who had been myself the greatest wonder of wickedness
perhaps that had been suffered to live in the world. And I must
again observe, that not on this occasion only, but even on all
other occasions of thankfulness, my past wicked and abominable
life never looked so monstrous to me, and I never so completely
abhorred it, and reproached myself with it, as when I had a
sense upon me of Providence doing good to me, while I had
been making those vile returns on my part.

But I leave the reader to improve these thoughts, as no doubt
they will see cause, and I go on to the fact. My son's tender
carriage and kind offers fetched tears from me, almost all the
while he talked with me. Indeed, I could scarce discourse
with him but in the intervals of my passion; however, at length
I began, and expressing myself with wonder at my being so
happy to have the trust of what I had left, put into the hands
of my own child, I told him, that as to the inheritance of it, I
had no child but him in the world, and was now past having
any if I should marry, and therefore would desire him to get
a writing drawn, which I was ready to execute, by which I
would, after me, give it wholly to him and to his heirs. And
in the meantime, smiling, I asked him what made him continue
a bachelor so long. His answer was kind and ready, that
Virginia did not yield any great plenty of wives, and that since
I talked of going back to England, I should send him a wife
from London.

This was the substance of our first day's conversation, the
pleasantest day that ever passed over my head in my life, and
which gave me the truest satisfaction. He came every day after
this, and spent a great part of his time with me, and carried
me about to several of his friends' houses, where I was
entertained with great respect. Also I dined several times at
his own house, when he took care always to see his half-dead
father so out of the way that I never saw him, or he me. I
made him one present, and it was all I had of value, and that
was one of the gold watches, of which I mentioned above,
that I had two in my chest, and this I happened to have with
me, and I gave it him at his third visit. I told him I had nothing
of any value to bestow but that, and I desired he would now
and then kiss it for my sake. I did not indeed tell him that I
had stole it from a gentlewoman's side, at a meeting-house in
London. That's by the way.

He stood a little while hesitating, as if doubtful whether to
take it or no; but I pressed it on him, and made him accept it,
and it was not much less worth than his leather pouch full of
Spanish gold; no, though it were to be reckoned as if at London,
whereas it was worth twice as much there, where I gave it him.
At length he took it, kissed it, told me the watch should be a
debt upon him that he would be paying as long as I lived.

A few days after he brought the writings of gift, and the
scrivener with them, and I signed them very freely, and
delivered them to him with a hundred kisses; for sure nothing
ever passed between a mother and a tender, dutiful child with
more affection. The next day he brings me an obligation
under his hand and seal, whereby he engaged himself to
manage and improve the plantation for my account, and with
his utmost skill, and to remit the produce to my order wherever
I should be; and withal, to be obliged himself to make up the
produce #100 a year to me. When he had done so, he told me
that as I came to demand it before the crop was off, I had a
right to produce of the current year, and so he paid me #100
in Spanish pieces of eight, and desired me to give him a receipt
for it as in full for that year, ending at Christmas following;
this being about the latter end of August.

I stayed here about five weeks, and indeed had much ado to
get away then. Nay, he would have come over the bay with
me, but I would by no means allow him to it. However, he
would send me over in a sloop of his own, which was built
like a yacht, and served him as well for pleasure as business.
This I accepted of, and so, after the utmost expressions both
of duty and affection, he let me come away, and I arrived safe
in two days at my friend's the Quaker's.

I brought over with me for the use of our plantation, three
horses, with harness and saddles, some hogs, two cows, and
a thousand other things, the gift of the kindest and tenderest
child that ever woman had. I related to my husband all the
particulars of this voyage, except that I called my son my
cousin; and first I told him that I had lost my watch, which
he seemed to take as a misfortune; but then I told him how
kind my cousin had been, that my mother had left me such a
plantation, and that he had preserved it for me, in hopes some
time or other he should hear from me; then I told him that I
had left it to his management, that he would render me a
faithful account of its produce; and then I pulled him out the
#100 in silver, as the first year's produce; and then pulling
out the deerskin purse with the pistoles, 'And here, my dear,'
says I, 'is the gold watch.' My husband--so is Heaven's
goodness sure to work the same effects in all sensible minds
where mercies touch the heart--lifted up both hands, and with
an ecstacy of joy, 'What is God a-doing,' says he, 'for such an
ungrateful dog as I am!' Then I let him know what I had
brought over in the sloop, besides all this; I mean the horses,
hogs, and cows, and other stores for our plantation; all which
added to his surprise, and filled his heart with thankfulness;
and from this time forward I believe he was as sincere a penitent,
and as thoroughly a reformed man, as ever God's goodness
brought back from a profligate, a highwayman, and a robber.
I could fill a larger history than this with the evidence of this
truth, and but that I doubt that part of the story will not be
equally diverting as the wicked part, I have had thoughts of
making a volume of it by itself.

As for myself, as this is to be my own story, not my husband's,
I return to that part which related to myself. We went on with
our plantation, and managed it with the help and diversion of
such friends as we got there by our obliging behaviour, and
especially the honest Quaker, who proved a faithful, generous,
and steady friend to us; and we had very good success, for
having a flourishing stock to begin with, as I have said, and
this being now increased by the addition of #150 sterling in
money, we enlarged our number of servants, built us a very
good house, and cured every year a great deal of land. The
second year I wrote to my old governess, giving her part with
us of the joy of our success, and order her how to lay out the
money I had left with her, which was #250 as above, and to
send it to us in goods, which she performed with her usual
kindness and fidelity, and this arrived safe to us.

Here we had a supply of all sorts of clothes, as well for my
husband as for myself; and I took especial care to buy for
him all those things that I knew he delighted to have; as two
good long wigs, two silver-hilted swords, three or four fine
fowling-pieces, a find saddle with holsters and pistols very
handsome, with a scarlet cloak; and, in a word, everything I
could think of to oblige him, and to make him appear, as he
really was, a very fine gentleman. I ordered a good quantity
of such household stuff as we yet wanted, with linen of all
sorts for us both. As for myself, I wanted very little of clothes
or linen, being very well furnished before. The rest of my
cargo consisted in iron-work of all sorts, harness for horses,
tools, clothes for servants, and woollen cloth, stuffs, serges,
stockings, shoes, hats, and the like, such as servants wear;
and whole pieces also to make up for servants, all by direction
of the Quaker; and all this cargo arrived safe, and in good
condition, with three woman-servants, lusty wenches, which
my old governess had picked for me, suitable enough to the
place, and to the work we had for them to do; one of which
happened to come double, having been got with child by one
of the seamen in the ship, as she owned afterwards, before
the ship got so far as Gravesend; so she brought us a stout
boy, about seven months after her landing.

My husband, you may suppose, was a little surprised at the
arriving of all this cargo from England; and talking with me
after he saw the account of this particular, 'My dear,' says he,
'what is the meaning of all this? I fear you will run us too
deep in debt: when shall we be able to make return for it all?'
I smiled, and told him that is was all paid for; and then I told
him, that what our circumstances might expose us to, I had
not taken my whole stock with me, that I had reserved so
much in my friend's hands, which now we were come over
safe, and was settled in a way to live, I had sent for, as he
might see.

He was amazed, and stood a while telling upon his fingers,
but said nothing. At last he began thus: 'Hold, let's see,' says
he, telling upon his fingers still, and first on his thumb; 'there's
#246 in money at first, then two gold watches, diamond rings,
and plate,' says he, upon the forefinger. Then upon the next
finger, 'Here's a plantation on York River, #100 a year, then
#150 in money, then a sloop load of horses, cows, hogs, and
stores'; and so on to the thumb again. 'And now,' says he, 'a
cargo cost #250 in England, and worth here twice the money.'
'Well,' says I, 'what do you make of all that?' 'Make of it?'
says he; 'why, who says I was deceived when I married a wife
in Lancashire? I think I have married a fortune, and a very
good fortune too,' says he.

In a word, we were now in very considerable circumstances,
and every year increasing; for our new plantation grew upon
our hands insensibly, and in eight years which we lived upon
it, we brought it to such pitch, that the produce was at least
#300 sterling a year; I mean, worth so much in England.

After I had been a year at home again, I went over the bay to
see my son, and to receive another year's income of my
plantation; and I was surprised to hear, just at my landing there,
that my old husband was dead, and had not been buried above
a fortnight. This, I confess, was not disagreeable news,
because now I could appear as I was, in a married condition;
so I told my son before I came from him, that I believed I
should marry a gentleman who had a plantation near mine;
and though I was legally free to marry, as to any obligation
that was on me before, yet that I was shy of it, lest the blot
should some time or other be revived, and it might make a
husband uneasy. My son, the same kind, dutiful, and obliging
creature as ever, treated me now at his own house, paid me
my hundred pounds, and sent me home again loaded with presents.

Some time after this, I let my son know I was married, and
invited him over to see us, and my husband wrote a very
obliging letter to him also, inviting him to come and see him;
and he came accordingly some months after, and happened to
be there just when my cargo from England came in, which I
let him believe belonged all to my husband's estate, not to me.

It must be observed that when the old wretch my brother
(husband) was dead, I then freely gave my husband an account
of all that affair, and of this cousin, as I had called him before,
being my own son by that mistaken unhappy match. He was
perfectly easy in the account, and told me he should have
been as easy if the old man, as we called him, had been alive.
'For,' said he, 'it was no fault of yours, nor of his; it was a
mistake impossible to be prevented.' He only reproached him
with desiring me to conceal it, and to live with him as a wife,
after I knew that he was my brother; that, he said, was a vile
part. Thus all these difficulties were made easy, and we lived
together with the greatest kindness and comfort imaginable.

We are grown old; I am come back to England, being almost
seventy years of age, husband sixty-eight, having performed
much more than the limited terms of my transportation; and
now, notwithstanding all the fatigues and all the miseries we
have both gone through, we are both of us in good heart and
health. My husband remained there some time after me to settle
our affairs, and at first I had intended to go back to him, but
at his desire I altered that resolution, and he is come over to
England also, where we resolve to spend the remainder of our
years in sincere penitence for the wicked lives we have lived.


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