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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

three suits were made and brought home. I told him, If he pleased, I would rather dress me in that suit which I knew he liked best. He asked me how I could know which he would like best before he had seen them. I told him I would presume for once to guess at his fancy by my own; so I went away, and dressed me in the second suit, brocaded with silver, and returned in full dress, with a suit of lace upon my head, which would have been worth in England two hundred pounds sterling; and I was every way set out as well as Amy could dress me, who was a very genteel dresser too. In this figure I came to him, out of my dressing-room, which opened with folding-doors into his bedchamber.

He sat as one astonished a good while, looking at me, without speaking a word, till I came quite up to him, kneeled on one knee to him, and almost, whether he would or no, kissed his hand. He took me up, and stood up himself, but was surprised, when, taking me in his arms, he perceived tears to run down my cheeks. 'My dear', says he aloud, 'what mean these tears?' 'My lord', said I, after some little check, for I could not speak presently, 'I beseech you to believe me, they are not tears of sorrow, but tears of joy. It is impossible for me to see myself snatched from the misery I was fallen into, and at once to be in the arms of a prince of such goodness, such immense bounty, and be treated in such a manner; it is not possible, my lord', said I, 'to contain the satisfaction of it; and it will break out in an excess in some measure proportioned to your immense bounty, and to the affection which your Highness treats me with, who am so infinitely below you.'

It would look a little too much like a romance here to repeat all the kind things he said to me on that occasion, but I can't omit one passage. As he saw the tears drop down my cheek, he pulls out a fine cambric handkerchief, and was going to wipe the tears off, but checked his hand, as if he was afraid to deface something; I say, he checked his hand, and tossed the handkerchief to me to do it myself. I took the hint immediately, and with a kind of pleasant disdain, 'How, my lord', said I, 'have you kissed me so often, and don't you know whether I am painted or not? Pray let your Highness satisfy yourself that you have no cheats put upon you; for once let me be vain enough to say I have not deceived you with false colours.' With this I put a handkerchief into his hand, and taking his hand into mine, I made him wipe my face so hard that he was unwilling to do it, for fear of hurting me.

He appeared surprised more than ever, and swore, which was the first time that I had heard him swear from my first knowing him, that he could not have believed there was any such skin without paint in the world. 'Well, my lord', said I, 'your Highness shall have a further demonstration than this, as to that which you are pleased to accept for beauty, that it is the mere work of nature'; and with that I stepped to the door, and rung a, little bell for my woman Amy, and bade her bring me a cup full of hot water, which she did; and when it was come, I desired his Highness to feel if it was warm, which he did, and I immediately washed my face all over with it before him. This was, indeed, more than satisfaction, that is to say, than believing, for it was an undeniable demonstration, and he kissed my cheeks and breasts a thousand times, with expressions of the greatest surprise imaginable.

Nor was I a very indifferent figure as to shape; though I had had two children by my gentleman, and six by my true husband, I say I was no