Moll Flanders HTML version

Chapter 22
This was really so prudently and wisely managed, that I found my son was a man of
sense, and needed no direction from me. I told him I did not wonder that his father was
as he had described him, for that his head was a little touched before I went away; and
principally his disturbance was because I could not be persuaded to conceal our relation
and to live with him as my husband, after I knew that he was my brother; that as he
knew better than I what his father's present condition was, I should readily join with him
in such measure as he would direct; that I was indifferent as to seeing his father, since I
had seen him first, and he could not have told me better news than to tell me that what
his grandmother had left me was entrusted in his hands, who, I doubted not, now he
knew who I was, would, as he said, do me justice. I inquired then how long my mother
had been dead, and where she died, and told so many particulars of the family, that I
left him no room to doubt the truth of my being really and truly his mother.
My son then inquired where I was, and how I had disposed myself. I told him I was on
the Maryland side of the bay, at the plantation of a particular friend who came from
England in the same ship with me; that as for that side of the bay where he was, I had
no habitation. He told me I should go home with him, and live with him, if I pleased, as
long as I lived; that as to his father, he knew nobody, and would never so much as
guess at me. I considered of that a little, and told him, that though it was really no
concern to me to live at a distance from him, yet I could not say it would be the most
comfortable thing in the world to me to live in the house with him, and to have that
unhappy object always before me, which had been such a blow to my peace before;
that though I should be glad to have his company (my son), or to be as near him as
possible while I stayed, yet I could not think of being in the house where I should be
also under constant restraint for fear of betraying myself in my discourse, nor should I
be able to refrain some expressions in my conversing with him as my son, that might
discover the whole affair, which would by no means be convenient.
He acknowledged that I was right in all this. 'But then, dear mother,' says he, 'you shall
be as near me as you can.' So he took me with him on horseback to a plantation next to
his own, and where I was as well entertained as I could have been in his own. Having
left me there he went away home, telling me we would talk of the main business the
next day; and having first called me his aunt, and given a charge to the people, who it
seems were his tenants, to treat me with all possible respect. About two hours after he
was gone, he sent me a maid-servant and a Negro boy to wait on me, and provisions
ready dressed for my supper; and thus I was as if I had been in a new world, and began
secretly now to wish that I had not brought my Lancashire husband from England at all.
However, that wish was not hearty neither, for I loved my Lancashire husband entirely,
as indeed I had ever done from the beginning; and he merited from me as much as it
was possible for a man to do; but that by the way.