Page:Moll Flanders (1906 edition).djvu/213

This page has been validated.

being himself unacquainted with the country, and with the methods of settling anywhere. Then I thought we would both go first, and that when we were settled I should come back to Virginia; but even then I knew he would never part with me, and be left there alone. The case was plain; he was bred a genleman, and was not only unacquainted; but indolent, and when we did settle, would much rather go into the woods with his gun, which they call there hunting, and which is the ordinary work of the Indians; I say, he would much rather do that than attend to the natural business of the plantation.

These were, therefore, difficulties unsurmountable, and such as I knew not what to do in. I had such strong impressions on my mind about discovering myself to my old husband, that I could not withstand them; and the rather, because it ran in my thoughts, that if I did not 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 lose whatever it was my mother had left me; and yet, on the other hand, I could never think it proper to discover the circumstances I was in, as well relating to the having a husband with me as to my being brought over as a criminal; on both which accounts it wat 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, that we should presently be made public there; whereas if we went to any other place in the world, we could 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, so we should be sure of agreeable reception, and without any possibility of a discovery of our circumstances.

I told him too, that as I had several relations in the place where we was, and that I durst not now let myself be known to them, because they would soon come to know the occasion 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, inquire after what was my due, be received with respect, and, at the same time, have justice done me; 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 a loss, be obliged to have recourse to England, and, it may be, to fail at last, and so lose it. With these arguments, and having thus acquainted my husband with the whole secret, so far as was needful to him, we resolved to go and seek a settlement in some other colony, and at first Carolina was the place 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