coast, they can always stand away for another, and run afore it', as he called it, 'for one side or other.' But when I came to tell him what a crazy ship it was, and how, even when they got into Harwich, and into smooth water, they were fain to run the ship on shore, or she would have sunk in the very harbour; and when I told him that when I looked out at the cabin-door, I saw the Dutchmen, one upon his knees here, and another there, at their prayers, then, indeed, he acknowledged I had reason to be alarmed; but, smiling, he added, 'But you, madam', says he, 'are so good a lady, and so pious, you would but have gone to heaven a little the sooner; the difference had not been much to you.'
I confess, when he said this, it made all the blood turn in my veins, and I thought I should have fainted. 'Poor gentleman', thought I, 'you know little of me. What would I give to be really what you really think me to be!' He perceived the disorder, but said nothing till I spoke; when, shaking my head, 'Oh, sir!' said I, 'death in any shape has some terror in it, but in the frightful figure of a storm at sea and a sinking ship, it comes with a double, a treble, and indeed an inexpressible horror; and if I were that saint you think me to be (which God knows I am not), it is still very dismal. I desire to die in a calm, if I can.' He said a great many good things, and very prettily ordered his discourse between serious reflection and compliment, but I had too much guilt to relish it as it was meant, so I turned it off to something else, and talked of the necessity I had on me to come to Holland, but I wished myself safe on shore in England again.
He told me he was glad I had such an obligation upon me to come over into Holland, however, but hinted that he was so interested in my welfare, and, besides, had such further designs upon me, that, if I had not so happily been found in Holland, he was resolved to have gone to England to see me, and that it was one of the principal reasons of his leaving Paris.
I told him I was extremely obliged to him for so far interesting himself in my affairs, but that I had been so far his debtor before, that I knew not how anything could increase the debt; for I owed my life to him already, and I could not be in debt for anything more valuable than that. He answered in the most obliging manner possible, that he would put it in my power to pay that debt, and all the obligations besides that ever he had, or should be able to lay upon me,
I began to understand him now, and to see plainly that he resolved to make love to me, but I would by no means seem to take the hint; and, besides, I knew that he had a wife with him in Paris; and I had, just then at least, no gust to any more intriguing. However, he surprised me into a sudden notice of the thing a little while after by saying something in his discourse that he did, as he said, in his wife's days. I started at that word, 'What mean you by that, sir?' said I. 'Have you not a wife at Paris?' 'No, madam, indeed', said he; 'my wife died the beginning of September last', which, it seems, was but a little after I came away.
We lived in the same house all this while, and as we lodged not far off of one another, opportunities were not wanting of as near an acquaintance as we might desire; nor have such opportunities the least agency in vicious minds to bring to pass even what they might not intend at first.
However, though he courted so much at a distance, yet his pretensions were very honourable; and, as I had before found him a most disinterested