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78 THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF MOLL FLANDERS

I spoke warm and high, my husband came into the room, and I desired him to come in and sit down, for I had something of moment to say before them both, which it was absolutely necessary he should hear.

He looked a little disturbed at the assurance with which I seemed to speak it, and came and sat down by me, having first shut the door; upon which I began, for I was very much provoked, and turning myself to him, 'I am afraid', says I, 'my dear' (for I spoke with kindness on his side), 'that you have a very great abuse put upon you, and an injury done you never to be repaired in your marrying me, which, however, as I have had no hand in it, I desire I may be fairly acquitted of it, and that the blame may lie where it ought and nowhere else, for I wash my hands of every part of it.' 'What injury can be done me, my dear', says he, 'in marrying you? I hope it is, to my honour and advantage every way.' 'I will soon explain it to you', says I, 'and I fear there will be no reason to think yourself well used; but I will convince you, my dear', says I again, 'that I have had no hand in it.'

He looked now scared and wild, and began, I believed, to suspect what followed; however, looking towards me, and saying only, 'Go on', he sat silent, as if to hear what I had more to say; so I went on. 'I asked you last night', said I, speaking to him, 'if ever I made any boast to you of my estate, or ever told you I had any estate in the Bank of England or anywhere else, and you owned I had not, as is most true; and I desire you will tell me here, before your sister, if ever I gave you any reason from me to think so, or that ever we had any discourse about it'; and he owned again I had not, but said I had appeared always as a woman of fortune, and he depended on it that I was so, and hoped he was not deceived. 'I am not inquiring whether you have been deceived', said I; 'I fear you have, and I too; but I am clearing myself from being concerned in deceiving you. I have been now asking your sister if ever I told her of any fortune or estate I had, or gave her any particulars of it; and she owns I never did. And pray madam', said I, 'be so just to me, to charge me if you can, if ever I pretended to you that I had an estate; and why, if I had, should I ever come down into this country with you on purpose to spare that little I had, and live cheap?' She could not deny one word, but said she had been told in London that I had a great fortune, and that it lay in the Bank of England.

'And now, dear sir', said I, turning myself to my new spouse again, 'be so just to me as to tell me who has abused both you and me so much as to make you believe I was a fortune, and prompt you to court me to this marriage?' He could not speak a word, but pointed to her; and, after some more pause, flew out in the most furious passion that ever I saw a man in my life, cursing her, and calling her all the whores and hard names he could think of; and that she had ruined him, declaring that she had told him I had £15,000, and that she was to have £500 of him for procuring this match for him. He then added, directing his speech to me that she was none of his sister, but had been his whore for two years before; that she had had £100 of him in part of this bargain, and that he was utterly undone if things were as I said; and in his raving he swore he would let her heart's blood out immediately, which frightened her and me too. She cried, said she had been told so in the house where I lodged. But this aggravated him more than before, that she should put so far upon him, and run things such a length upon no