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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

by this time, being a little recovered, I told her what discourse my husband and the captain had had together, and what the captain had said. This put Amy into such a hurry that she cried, she raved, she swore and cursed like a mad thing; then she upbraided me that I would not let her kill the girl when she would have done it, and that it was all my own doing, and the like. Well, however, I was not for killing the girl yet. I could not bear the thoughts of that neither.

We spent half-an-hour in these extravagances, and brought nothing out of them neither; for, indeed, we could do nothing or say nothing that was to the purpose; for if anything was to come out-of-the-way, there was no hindering it, or help for it; so, after thus giving a vent to myself by crying, I began to reflect how I had left my spouse below, and what I had pretended to come up for; so I changed my gown that I pretended the candle fell upon, and put on another, and went down.

When I had been down a good while, and found my spouse did not fall into the story again, as I expected, I took heart, and called for it. 'My dear', said I, 'the fall of the candle put you out of your history, won't you go on with it?' 'What history?' says he. 'Why', says I, about the captain.' 'Oh', says he, 'I had done with it. I know no more than that the captain told a broken piece of news that he had heard by halves, and told more by halves than he heard it—namely, of your being with child, and that you could not go the voyage.'

I perceived my husband entered not into the thing at all, but took it for a story, which, being told two or three times over, was puzzled, and come to nothing, and that all that was meant by it was what he knew, or thought he knew already—viz. that I was with child, which he wished might be true.

His ignorance was a cordial to my soul, and I cursed them in my thoughts that should ever undeceive him; and, as I saw him willing to have the story end there, as not worth being farther mentioned, I closed it too, and said I supposed the captain had it from his wife; she might have found somebody else to make her remarks upon; and so it passed off with my husband well enough, and I was still safe there, where I thought myself in most danger. But I had two uneasinesses still; the first was lest the captain and my spouse should meet again, and enter into farther discourse about it; and the second was lest the busy, impertinent girl should come again, and, when she came, how to prevent her seeing Amy, which was an article as material as any of the rest; for seeing Amy would have been as fatal to me as her knowing all the rest.

As to the first of these, I knew the captain could not stay in town above a week, but that, his ship being already full of goods, and fallen down the river, he must soon follow, so I contrived to carry my husband somewhere out of town for a few days, that they might be sure not to meet.

My greatest concern was where we should go. At last I fixed upon North Hall; not, I said, that I would drink the waters, but that I thought the air was good, and might be for my advantage. He, who did everything upon the foundation of obliging me, readily came into it, and the coach was appointed to be ready the next morning; but, as we were settling matters, he put in an ugly word that thwarted all my design, and that was, that he had rather I would stay till afternoon, for that he should speak to the captain the next morning, if he could, to give him some letters, which he could do, and be back again about twelve o'clock.