|188||THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF MOLL FLANDERS|
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 women-servants, lusty wenches, which my old governess had picked up 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 out a stout boy, about seven months after our landing.
My husband, you may suppose, was a little surprised at the arriving of this cargo from England; and talking with me one day after he saw the particulars, '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 returns for it all?' I smiled, and told him that it was all paid for; and then I told him that, not knowing what might befall us in the voyage, and considering 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 settled in a way to live, I had sent for, as he might see.
He was amazed, and stood awhile 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 fore finger. 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 a 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 plot 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