daughter, were she yet alive and seeking me out; for it seldom happens that a nobleman, or his lady, are called by their surnames, and as she was a stranger to our noble title, might have inquired at our next door neighbours for Mr ——, the Dutch merchant, and not have been one jot the wiser for her inquiry. So one evening, soon after this resolution, as I and my husband were sitting together when supper was over, and talking of several various scenes in life, I told him that, as there was no likelihood of my being with child, as I had some reason to suspect I was some time before, I was ready to go with him to any part of the world, whenever he pleased. I said, that great part of my things were packed up, and what was not would not be long about, and that I had little occasion to buy any more clothes, linen, or jewels, whilst I was in England, having a large quantity of the richest and best of everything by me already. On saying these words, he took me in his arms, and told me that he looked on what I had now spoken with so great an emphasis, to be my settled resolution, and the fault should not lie on his side if it miscarried being put in practice.
The next morning he went out to see some merchants, who had received advice of the arrival of some shipping which had been in great danger at sea, and whose insurance had run very high; and it was this interval that gave me an opportunity of my coming to a final resolution. I now told the Quaker, as she was sitting at work in her parlour, that we should very speedily leave her, and, although she daily expected it, yet she was really sorry to hear that we had come to a full determination; she said abundance of fine things to me on the happiness of the life I did then, and was going to live; believing, I suppose, that a countess could not have a foul conscience; but at that very instant, I would have, had it been in my power, resigned husband, estate, title, and all the blessings she fancied I had in the world, only for her real virtue, and the sweet peace of mind, joined to a loving company of children, which she really possessed.
When my husband returned, he asked me at dinner if I persevered in my resolution of leaving England; to which I answered in the affirmative. Well', says he, 'as all my affairs will not take up a week's time to settle, I will be ready to go from London with you in ten days' time.' We fixed upon no particular place or abode, but in general concluded to go to Dover, cross the Channel to Calais, and proceed from thence by easy journeys to Paris, where, after staying about a week, we intended to go through part of France, the Austrian Netherlands, and so on to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or the Hague, as we were to settle before we went from Paris. As my husband did not care to venture all our fortune in one bottom, so our goods, money, and plate were consigned to several merchants, who had been his intimates many years, and he took notes of a prodigious value in his pocket, besides what he gave me to take care of during our journey. The last thing to be considered was, how we should go ourselves, and what equipage we should take with us; my thoughts were wholly taken up about it some time; I knew I was going to be a countess, and did not care to appear anything mean before I came to that honour; but, on the other hand, if I left London in any public way, I might possibly hear of inquiries after me in the road, that I had been acquainted with before. At last I said we would discharge all our servants, except two footmen, who should travel with us to Dover, and one maid to wait on me, that had lived with me only since the retreat of Amy, and she was