|THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF MOLL FLANDERS||77|
who appeared still the same as before; great even to magnificence, and nothing less than a thousand pounds a year could support the ordinary equipage he appeared in.
After we had been married about a month, he began to talk of my going to West Chester in order to embark for Ireland. However, he did not hurry me, for we stayed near three weeks longer, and then he sent to Chester for a coach to meet us at the Black Rock, as they call it, over against Liverpool. Thither we went in a fine boat they call a pinnace, with six oars; his servants, and horses, and baggage going in a ferry-boat. He made his excuse to me, that he had no acquaintance at Chester, but he would go before and get some handsome apartments for me at a private house. I asked him how long we should stay at Chester. He said, not at all, any longer than one night or two, but he would immediately hire a coach to go to Holyhead. Then I told him he should by no means give himself the trouble to get private lodgings for one night or two, for that Chester being a great place, I made no doubt but there would be very good inns and accommodation enough; so we lodged at an inn not far from the Cathedral; I forget what sign it was at.
Here my spouse, talking of my going to Ireland, asked me if I had no affairs to settle at London before we went off. I told him no, not of any great consequence, but what might be done as well by letter from Dublin. 'Madam', says he very respectfully, 'I suppose the greatest part of your estate, which my sister tell me is most of it in money in the Bank of England, lies secure enough; but in case it required transferring, or any way altering its property, it might be necessary to go up to London and settle those things before we went over.'
I seemed to look strange at it, and told him I knew not what he meant; that I had no effects in the Bank of England that I knew of, and I hoped he could not say that I had ever told him I had. No, he said, I had not told him so, but his sister had said the greatest part of my estate lay there; 'and I only mentioned it, my dear', said he, 'that if there was any occasion to settle it, or order anything about it, we might not be obliged to the hazard and trouble of another voyage back again'; for, he added, that he did not care to venture me too much upon the sea.
I was surprised at this talk, and began to consider what the meaning of it must be; and it presently occurred to me that my friend, who called him brother, had represented me in colours which were not my due; and I thought that I would know the bottom of it before I went out of England, and before I should put myself into I know not whose hands in a strange country.
Upon this I called his sister into my chamber the next morning, and letting her know the discourse her brother and I had been upon, I conjured her to tell me what she had said to him, and upon what foot it what that she had made this marriage. She owned that she had told him that I was a great fortune, and said that she was told so at London. 'Told so?', says I warmly; 'did I ever tell you so?' 'No', she said, it was true I never did tell her so, but I had said several times that what I had was in my own disposal. 'I did so', returned I very quick, 'but I never told you I had anything called a fortune; nor that I had £100, or the value of £100, in the world. And how did it consist with my being a fortune', said I, 'that I should come here into the North of England with you, only upon the account of living cheap?' At these words, which