Upon this information, Amy began to cool in her farther meddling with him, and told me it was not safe for me to attempt doing him any good, unless I resolved to put him upon suspicions and inquiries, which might be to my ruin in the condition I was now in.
I was soon confirmed in this part of his character, for the next time that Amy came to talk with him, he discovered himself more effectually; for, while she had put him in hopes of procuring one to advance the money for the lieutenant's commission for him upon easy conditions, he by degrees dropped the discourse, then pretended it was too late, and that he could not get it, and then descended to ask poor Amy to lend him five hundred pistoles.
Amy pretended poverty, that her circumstances were but mean, and that she could not raise such a sum; and this she did to try him to the utmost He descended to three hundred, then to one hundred, then to fifty, and then to a pistole, which she lent him, and he, never intending to pay it, played out of her sight as much as he could. And thus being satisfied that he was the same worthless thing he had ever been, I threw off all thoughts of him; whereas, had he been a man of any sense and of any principle of honour, I had it in my thoughts to retire to England again, send for him over, and have lived honestly with him. But, as a fool is the worst of husbands to do a woman good, so a fool is the worst husband a woman can do good to. I would willingly have done him good, but he was not qualified to receive it or make the best use of it. Had I sent him ten thousand crowns, instead of eight thousand livres, and sent it with express condition that he should immediately have bought himself the commission he talked of with part of the money, and have sent some of it to relieve the necessities of his poor miserable wife at London, and to prevent his children to be kept by the parish, it was evident he would have been still but a private trooper, and his wife and children should still have starved at London, or been kept of mere charity, as, for aught he knew, they then were.
Seeing, therefore, no remedy, I was obliged to withdraw my hand from him, that had been my first destroyer, and reserve the assistance, that I intended to have given him, for another more desirable opportunity. All that I had now to do was to keep myself out of his sight, which was not very difficult for me to do, considering in what station he lived.
Amy and I had several consultations then upon the main question, namely, how to be sure never to chop upon him again by chance, and to be surprised into a discovery, which would have been a fatal discovery indeed. Amy proposed that we should always take care to know where the gens d'armes were quartered, and thereby effectually avoid them; and this was one way.
But this was not so as to be fully to my satisfaction; no ordinary way of inquiring where the gens d'armes were quartered was sufficient to me; but I found out a fellow who was completely qualified for the work of a spy (for France has plenty of such people). This man I employed to be a constant and particular attendant upon his person and motions; and he was especially employed and ordered to haunt him as a ghost, that he should scarce let him be ever out of his sight. He performed this to a nicety, and failed not to give me a perfect journal of all his motions from day to day, and, whether for his pleasure or his business, was always at his heels.