Moll Flanders HTML version

Chapter 15
I had a great many thoughts in my head about my seeing him again, and was often
sorry that I had refused it. I was persuaded that if I had seen him, and let him know that
I knew him, I should have made some advantage of him, and perhaps have had some
maintenance from him; and though it was a life wicked enough, yet it was not so full of
danger as this I was engaged in. However, those thoughts wore off, and I declined
seeing him again, for that time; but my governess saw him often, and he was very kind
to her, giving her something almost every time he saw her. One time in particular she
found him very merry, and as she thought he had some wine in his head, and he
pressed her again very earnestly to let him see that woman that, as he said, had
bewitched him so that night, my governess, who was from the beginning for my seeing
him, told him he was so desirous of it that she could almost yield of it, if she could
prevail upon me; adding that if he would please to come to her house in the evening,
she would endeavour it, upon his repeated assurances of forgetting what was past.
Accordingly she came to me, and told me all the discourse; in short, she soon biassed
me to consent, in a case which I had some regret in my mind for declining before; so I
prepared to see him. I dressed me to all the advantage possible, I assure you, and for
the first time used a little art; I say for the first time, for I had never yielded to the
baseness of paint before, having always had vanity enough to believe I had no need of
At the hour appointed he came; and as she observed before, so it was plain still, that he
had been drinking, though very far from what we call being in drink. He appeared
exceeding pleased to see me, and entered into a long discourse with me upon the old
affair. I begged his pardon very often for my share of it, protested I had not any such
design when first I met him, that I had not gone out with him but that I took him for a
very civil gentleman, and that he made me so many promises of offering no uncivility to
He alleged the wine he drank, and that he scarce knew what he did, and that if it had
not been so, I should never have let him take the freedom with me that he had done. He
protested to me that he never touched any woman but me since he was married to his
wife, and it was a surprise upon him; complimented me upon being so particularly
agreeable to him, and the like; and talked so much of that kind, till I found he had talked
himself almost into a temper to do the same thing over again. But I took him up short. I
protested I had never suffered any man to touch me since my husband died, which was
near eight years. He said he believed it to be so truly; and added that madam had
intimated as much to him, and that it was his opinion of that part which made his desire
to see me again; and that since he had once broke in upon his virtue with me, and
found no ill consequences, he could be safe in venturing there again; and so, in short, it
went on to what I expected, and to what will not bear relating.