Page:Moll Flanders (1906 edition).djvu/310

This page has been validated.

that he aimed at the money. But how surprised did he look, and how was he confounded, when he found me receive his proposal with coldness and indifference, and still tell him that it was the only thing I could not grant!

He was astonished. 'What! not take me now', says he, 'when I have been a-bed with you!' I answered coldly, though respectfully still, 'It is true, to my shame be it spoken', says I, 'that you have taken me by surprise, and have had your will of me; but I hope you will not take it ill that I cannot consent to marry for all that. If I am with child', said I, 'care must be taken to manage that as you shall direct; I hope you won't expose me for my having exposed myself to you, but I cannot go any farther.' And at that point I stood, and would hear of no matrimony by any means.

Now, because this may seem a little odd, I shall state the matter clearly, as I understood it myself. I knew that, while I was a mistress, it is customary for the person kept to receive from them that keep; but, if I should be a wife, all I had then was given up to the husband, and I was thenceforth to be under his authority only; and, as I had money enough and needed not fear being what they call a cast-off mistress, so I had no need to give him twenty thousand pounds to marry me, which had been buying my lodging too dear a great deal.

Thus his project of coming to bed to me was a bite upon himself, while he intended it for a bite upon me; and he was no nearer his aim of marrying me than he was before. All his arguments he could urge upon the subject of matrimony were at an end, for I positively declined marrying him; and, as he had refused the thousand pistoles which I had offered him in compensation for his expenses and loss at Paris with the Jew, and had done it upon the hopes he had of marrying me, so when he found his way difficult still, he was amazed, and, I had some reason to believe, repented that he had refused the money.

But thus it is, when men run into wicked measures to bring their designs about. I, that was infinitely obliged to him before, began to talk to him as if I had balanced accounts with him now, and that the favour of lying with a whore was equal, not to the thousand pistoles only, but to all the debt I owed him for saving my life and all my effects.

But he drew himself into it, and though it was a dear bargain, yet it was a bargain of his own making; he could not say I had tricked him into it. But as he projected and drew me in to lie with him, depending that was a sure game in order to a marriage, so I granted him the favour, as he called it, to balance the account of favours received from him, and keep the thousand pistoles with a good grace.

He was extremely disappointed in this article, and knew not how to manage for a great while; and, as I dare say, if he had not expected to have made it an earnest for marrying me, he would not have attempted me the other way, so, I believed, if it had not been for the money which he knew I had, he would never have desired to marry me after he had lain with me. For where is the man that cares to marry a whore, though of his own making? And as I knew him to be no fool, so I did him no wrong when I supposed that, but for the money, he would not have had any thoughts of me that way, especially after my yielding as I had done; in which it is to be remembered, that I made no capitulation for marrying him when I yielded to him, but let him do just what he pleased, without any previous bargain.