than my own children's, the buying the estate we live on, and several other things, which my receipts and notes will account for, as you may see after my decease. I have, to oblige you on this head, almost descended to particulars, which I never thought to have done; but as I have, rest yourself contented, and be well assured that I have not wilfully thrown any of your substance away.'
I could not tell what he meant by saying he had not wilfully thrown any of my substance away. These words puzzled me, for I found by his discourse I was to have but £500 of all I had brought him, at his decease, which I looked upon to be near at hand. I had but one thing that was any satisfaction to me, which was this: I was assured by him that he had not bestowed above the £15,000 he mentioned to me, on his children by his former wife; and, on an exact calculation, he made it appear that he had bestowed on my son Thomas alone near £13,000 in buying the plantation, shares in vessels, and merchandise, besides several valuable presents sent to his wife, both by him and me; and, as for my daughter Susanna, she was very well married to a factor, with a fortune of £2000 (which was a great sum of money for a woman to have who was immediately to go to the East Indies), besides some handsome presents given to her both by him and me. In fact, her fortune was, in proportion, as large as her brother's, for there is but very few women in England or Holland with £2000 fortune that would venture to the coast of Malabar, even to have married an Indian king, much more to have gone over with a person that no one could tell what reception he might meet with, or might be recalled at the pleasure of the Company upon the least distaste taken by the merchants against him. Neither would I, though her own mother, hinder her voyage, for she had been the author of all the misfortunes that had happened to me; and, if my speaking a word would have saved her from the greatest torment, I believe I should have been quite silent. And I had but one reason to allege for the girl's going so hazardous a voyage, which is, she knew that the match was proposed by my lord, and if he had not thought it would have been advantageous for her, he would never have given £2000 to her husband as a fortune; and again, as my lord was the only friend she had in our family, she was cunning enough to know that the bare disobliging of him would have been her ruin for ever after; to which I may add, that it is possible, as she had made so much mischief about me, she was glad to get what she could and go out of the way, for fear my lord and I should be friends; which, if that had happened, she would have been told never to come to our house any more.
As my lord's death began to be daily the discourse of the family, I thought that he might be more reconciled if I entered into the arguments again, pro and con, which we had together before. I did so, but all I could say was no satisfaction, till I importuned him on my knees, with a flood of tears. 'Madam', said he, 'what would you have me do?' 'Do, my lord', said I, 'only be so tender to my years and circumstances as to alter your will, or, at least, add a codicil to it; I desire nothing more, for I declare I had rather be a beggar than live under my child's jurisdiction.' To this he agreed with some reluctance, and he added a codicil to his will.
This pleased me greatly, and gave me comfort, for I dreaded nothing so much, after all my high living, as being under any person, relation or stranger, and whether they exercised any power over me or not.