Page:Moll Flanders (1906 edition).djvu/442

This page has been validated.

'Now, madam', said my lord to my daughter, 'if you please to proceed. 'My lord', continued she, 'my mother's third child, which was a daughter, lived with the relation I did, and got a place to wait upon a young lady whose father and mother were going to settle at Boulogne, in France; she went with them, and, having stayed at this gentleman's (who was a French merchant) two years, was married to a man with the consent of the family she lived in; and her master, by way of fortune, got him to be master of a French and Holland coaster, and this was the very person whose ship you hired to come to Holland in; the captain's wife was my own sister, consequently my lady's second daughter; as to my youngest sister, she lived with the uncle and aunt Thomas ran away from, and died of the small-pox soon after. My youngest brother was put out apprentice to a carpenter, where he improved in his business, till a gentlewoman came to his master and mistress (which I take by the description they gave me, to be Mrs Amy), who had him put out to an education fit for a merchant, and then sent him to the Indies, where he is now settled, and in a fair way to get a large estate. This, my lord, is the whole account I can at present give of them, and although it may seem very strange, I assure you, it is all the just truth.'

When she had finished her discourse, my lord turned to me, and said, that since I that was her mother had neglected doing my duty, though sought so much after, he would take it upon himself to see both the girl and Thomas provided for, without any advising or letting me know anything about them; and added, with a malicious sneer, 'I must take care of the child I have had by you too, or it will have but an indifferent parent to trust to in case of my decease.'

This finished the discourse, and my lord withdrew into his study, in a humour that I am unable to describe, and left me, Amy, Thomas, and my daughter Susanna, as I must now call her, in the parlour together. We sat staring at each other some time, till at last Amy said, 'I suppose, my lady, you have no farther business with your new daughter; she has told her story, and may now dispose of herself to the best advantage she can.' 'No', said I, 'I have nothing to say to her, only that she shall never be admitted into my presence again.' The poor girl burst out into tears, and said 'Pray, my lady, excuse me, for I am certain that were you in my circumstances, you would have done the very action I have, and would expect a pardon for committing the offence.'

After this, I said to Thomas, 'Keep what has been said to yourself, and I shall speak to you by-and-by'; and then I withdrew, and went upstairs to my closet, leaving Amy with Susanna, who soon dismissed her, and followed me.

When Amy came to me, 'Now, my lady', says she, 'what do you think of this morning's work? I believe my lord is not so angry as we were fearful of.' 'You are mistaken in your lord, Amy', said I, 'and are not so well acquainted with the deep and premeditated revenge of Dutchmen as I am, and although it may not be my husband's temper, yet I dread it as much, but shall see more at dinner time.'

Soon after this, my husband called Thomas, and bid him order the cloth for his dinner to be laid in his study, and bid him tell his mother that he would dine by himself. When I heard this, I was more shocked than I had been yet. 'Now his anger begins to work, Amy', said I, 'how must I act?' 'I do not know', answered she, 'but I will