Page:Moll Flanders (1906 edition).djvu/244

This page has been validated.

in the room which was appointed for himself Amy was doing something. 'Well, Amy', says he, 'I intend to lie with you to-morrow night.' 'To night, if you please, sir', says Amy very innocently; your room is quite ready.' 'Well, Amy', says he, 'I am glad you are so willing.' 'No', says Amy, 'I mean your chamber is ready to-night', and away she run out of the room, ashamed enough; for the girl meant no harm, whatever she had said to me in private.

However, he said no more then; but when Amy was gone be walked about the room, and looked at everything, and taking me by the hand he kissed me, and spoke a great many kind, affectionate things to me indeed; as of his measures for my advantage, and what he would do to raise me again in the world; told me that my afflictions and the conduct I had shown in bearing them to such an extremity, had so engaged him to me that he valued me infinitely above all the women in the world; that, though he was under such engagements that he could not marry me (his wife and he had been parted for some reasons, which make too long a story to intermix with mine), yet that he would be everything else that a woman could ask in a husband; and with that he kissed me again, and took me in his arms, but offered not the least uncivil action to me, and told me he hoped I would not deny him all the favours he should ask, because he resolved to ask nothing of me but what it was fit for a woman of virtue and modesty, for such he knew me to be, to yield.

I confess the terrible pressure of my former misery, the memory of which lay heavy upon my mind, and the surprising kindness with which he had delivered me, and, withal, the expectations of what he might still do for me, were powerful things, and made me have scarce the power to deny him anything he would ask. However, I told him thus, with an air of tenderness too, that he had done so much for me that I thought I ought to deny him nothing; only I hoped and depended upon him that he would not take the advantage of the infinite obligations I was under to him, to desire anything of me the yielding to which would lay me lower in his esteem than I desired to be; that, as I took him to be a man of honour, so I knew he could not like me better fordoing anything that was below a woman of honesty and good manners to do.

He told me that he had done all this for me, without so much as telling me what kindness or real affection he had for me, that I might not be under any necessity of yielding to him in anything for want of bread; and he would no more oppress my gratitude now than he would my necessity before, nor ask anything, supposing he would stop his favours or withdraw his kindness, if he was denied; it was true, he said, he might tell me more freely his mind now than before, seeing I had let him see that I accepted his assistance, and saw that he was sincere in his design of serving me; that he had gone thus far to show me that he was kind to me, but that now he would tell me that he loved me, and yet would demonstrate that his love was both honourable, and that what he should desire was what he might honestly ask and I might honestly grant.

I answered that, within those two limitations, I was sure I ought to deny him nothing, and I should think myself not ungrateful only, but very unjust, if I should; so he said no more, but I observed he kissed me more, and took me in his arms in a kind of familiar way, more than usual, and which once or twice put me in mind of my maid Amy's words; and yet, I must acknowledge, I was so overcome with his goodness to me in