Moll Flanders HTML version
It happened one day that he came running upstairs, towards the room where his sisters
used to sit and work, as he often used to do; and calling to them before he came in, as
was his way too, I, being there alone, stepped to the door, and said, 'Sir, the ladies are
not here, they are walked down the garden.' As I stepped forward to say this, towards
the door, he was just got to the door, and clasping me in his arms, as if it had been by
chance, 'Oh, Mrs. Betty,' says he, 'are you here? That's better still; I want to speak with
you more than I do with them'; and then, having me in his arms, he kissed me three or
I struggled to get away, and yet did it but faintly neither, and he held me fast, and still
kissed me, till he was almost out of breath, and then, sitting down, says, 'Dear Betty, I
am in love with you.'
His words, I must confess, fired my blood; all my spirits flew about my heart and put me
into disorder enough, which he might easily have seen in my face. He repeated it
afterwards several times, that he was in love with me, and my heart spoke as plain as a
voice, that I liked it; nay, whenever he said, 'I am in love with you,' my blushes plainly
replied, 'Would you were, sir.'
However, nothing else passed at that time; it was but a sur- prise, and when he was
gone I soon recovered myself again. He had stayed longer with me, but he happened to
look out at the window and see his sisters coming up the garden, so he took his leave,
kissed me again, told me he was very serious, and I should hear more of him very
quickly, and away he went, leaving me infinitely pleased, though surprised; and had
there not been one misfortune in it, I had been in the right, but the mistake lay here, that
Mrs. Betty was in earnest and the gentleman was not.
From this time my head ran upon strange things, and I may truly say I was not myself;
to have such a gentleman talk to me of being in love with me, and of my being such a
charming creature, as he told me I was; these were things I knew not how to bear, my
vanity was elevated to the last degree. It is true I had my head full of pride, but, knowing
nothing of the wickedness of the times, I had not one thought of my own safety or of my
virtue about me; and had my young master offered it at first sight, he might have taken
any liberty he thought fit with me; but he did not see his advantage, which was my
happiness for that time.
After this attack it was not long but he found an opportunity to catch me again, and
almost in the same posture; indeed, it had more of design in it on his part, though not on
my part. It was thus: the young ladies were all gone a-visiting with their mother; his
brother was out of town; and as for his father, he had been in London for a week before.
He had so well watched me that he knew where I was, though I did not so much as
know that he was in the house; and he briskly comes up the stairs and, seeing me at