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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

house, and had a number of servants; our equipage, such as coach, chariot, horses, and their attendants; a handsome fortune my lord had given to my daughter, and a very noble one to my son, whom he loved very well, not for his being my son, but for the courteous behaviour of him in never aspiring to anything above a valet, after he knew who he was, till my lord made him his secretary or clerk. Besides all these expenses, my lord, having flung himself into the trade to the Indies, both East and West, had sustained many great and uncommon losses, occasioned by his merchandise being mostly shipped in English bottoms; and that nation having declared war against the crown of Spain, he was one of the first and greatest sufferers by that power; so that, on the whole, our estate, which was as above, dwindled to about £1000 per annum, and our home stock, viz., about, £17,000, was entirely gone. This, I believe, was another great mortification to his lordship, and one of the main things that did help to hasten his end; for he was observed, both by me and all his servants, to be more cast down at hearing of his losses, that were almost daily sent to him, than he was at what had happened between him and me.

Nothing could give more uneasiness than the damage our estate sustained by this traffic. He looked upon it as a mere misfortune that no person could avoid; but I, besides that, thought it was a judgment upon me, to punish me in the loss of all my ill-got gain. But when I found that his own fortune began to dwindle as well as mine, I was almost ready to think it was possible his lordship might have been as wicked a liver as I had, and the same vengeance as had been poured upon me for my repeated crimes might also be a punishment for him.

As his lordship was in a bad state of health, and had removed to a country lodging, his study and countinghouse, as well as his other rooms, were locked and sealed up; all business was laid aside, excepting such letters as came to him were carried to his lordship to be opened, read, and answered. I also went to see him morning and evening, but he would not suffer me to stay with him a single night. I might have had another room in the same house, but was not willing the people who kept it should know that there was a misunderstanding between us; so I contented myself to be a constant visitor, but could not persuade him to forgive me the denying of my daughter, and acting the part of Roxana, because I had kept those two things an inviolable secret from him and everybody else but Amy, and it was carelessness in her conduct at last that was the foundation of all my future misery.

As my lord's weakness increased, so his ill temper, rather than diminish, increased also. I could do nothing to please him, and began to think that he was only pettish because he found it was his turn to go out of the world first. A gentleman that lived near him, as well as his chaplain, persuaded him to have a physician, to know in what state his health was; and by all I could learn, the doctor told him to settle his worldly affairs as soon as he conveniently could. 'For', says he, 'although your death is not certain, still your life is very precarious.'

The first thing he did after this was to send for the son he had by me from the university. He came the week afterwards, and the tutor with him, to take care of his pupil. The next day after my lord came home, and, sending for six eminent men that lived at The Hague, he made his will, and signed it in the presence of them all; and they, with the chaplain, were appointed the executors of it, and guardians of my son.