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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

child. He smiled. 'So all the ladles say, my dear', says he, 'when they are with child.' 'Well, however, my lord', said I, 'it is but just that care should be taken, that what you have bestowed in your excess of bounty upon me should not be lost'; and upon this I pulled a paper out of my bosom, folded up, but not sealed, and I read it to him, wherein I had left order that all the plate, and jewels, and fine furniture which his Highness had given me should be restored to him by my women, and the keys be immediately delivered to his gentleman in case of disaster.

Then I recommended my woman, Amy, to his favour for a hundred pistoles, on condition she gave the keys up as above to his gentleman, and his gentleman's receipt for them. When he saw this, 'My dear child', said he, and took me in his arms, 'what! Have you been making your will and disposing of your effects? Pray, whom do you make your universal heir?' 'So far as to do justice to your Highness, in case of mortality, I have, my lord', said I, 'and who should I dispose the valuable things to, which I have had from your hand as pledges of your favour and testimonies of your bounty, but to the giver of them? If the child should live, your Highness will, I don't question, act like yourself in that part, and I shall have the utmost satisfaction that it will be well used by your direction.’

I could see he took this very well. 'I have forsaken all the ladies in Paris', says he, 'for you, and I have lived every day since I knew you, to see that you know how to merit all that a man of honour can do for you. Be easy, child; I hope you shall not die, and all you have is your own, to do with it what you please.'

I was then within about two months of my time, and that soon wore off. When I found my time was come, it fell out very happily that he was in the house, and I entreated he would continue a few hours in the house, which he agreed to. They called his Highness to come into the room, if he pleased, as I had offered, and as I desired him; and I sent word I would make as few cries as possible to prevent disturbing him. He came into the room once, and called to me to be of good courage, it would soon be over, and then he withdrew again; and in about half-an-hour more Amy carried him the news that I was delivered, and had brought him a charming boy. He gave her ten pistoles for her news, stayed till they had adjusted things about me, and then came into the room again, cheered me and spoke kindly to me, and looked on the child, then withdrew, and came again the next day to visit me.

Since this, and when I have looked back upon these things with eyes unpossessed with crime, when the wicked part has appeared in its clearer light and I ha**p seen it in its own natural colours, when, no more blinded with the glittering appearances which at that time deluded me, and, as in like cases, if I may guess at others by myself, too much possessed the the mind; I say, since this, I have often wondered with what pleasure or satisfaction the prince could look upon the poor innocent infant, which, though his own, and that he might that way have some attachment in his affections to it, yet must always afterwards be a remembrancer to him of his most early crime, and, which was worse, must bear upon itself, unmerited, an eternal mark of infamy, which should be spoken of, upon all occasions, to its reproach, from the folly of its father and wickedness of its mother.

Great men are indeed delivered from the burthen of their natural children,