Moll Flanders HTML version
I jested with him extremely about the figure he would make in Virginia; but I found he
would do anything I desired, though he did not seem glad to have me undervalue his
plantations, so I turned my tale. I told him I had good reason not to go there to live,
because if his plantations were worth so much there, I had not a fortune suitable to a
gentleman of #1200 a year, as he said his estate would be.
He replied generously, he did not ask what my fortune was; he had told me from the
beginning he would not, and he would be as good as his word; but whatever it was, he
assured me he would never desire me to go to Virginia with him, or go thither himself
without me, unless I was perfectly willing, and made it my choice.
All this, you may be sure, was as I wished, and indeed nothing could have happened
more perfectly agreeable. I carried it on as far as this with a sort of indifferency that he
often wondered at, more than at first, but which was the only support of his courtship;
and I mention it the rather to intimate again to the ladies that nothing but want of
courage for such an indifferency makes our sex so cheap, and prepares them to be ill-
used as they are; would they venture the loss of a pretending fop now and then, who
carries it high upon the point of his own merit, they would certainly be less slighted, and
courted more. Had I discovered really and truly what my great fortune was, and that in
all I had not full #500 when he expected #1500, yet I had hooked him so fast, and
played him so long, that I was satisfied he would have had me in my worst
circumstances; and indeed it was less a surprise to him when he learned the truth than
it would have been, because having not the least blame to lay on me, who had carried it
with an air of indifference to the last, he would not say one word, except that indeed he
thought it had been more, but that if it had been less he did not repent his bargain; only
that he should not be able to maintain me so well as he intended.
In short, we were married, and very happily married on my side, I assure you, as to the
man; for he was the best-humoured man that every woman had, but his circumstances
were not so good as I imagined, as, on the other hand, he had not bettered himself by
marrying so much as he expected.
When we were married, I was shrewdly put to it to bring him that little stock I had, and to
let him see it was no more; but there was a necessity for it, so I took my opportunity one
day when we were alone, to enter into a short dialogue with him about it. 'My dear,' said
I, 'we have been married a fortnight; is it not time to let you know whether you have got
a wife with something or with nothing?' 'Your own time for that, my dear,' says he; 'I am
satisfied that I have got the wife I love; I have not troubled you much,' says he, 'with my
inquiry after it.'
'That's true,' says I, 'but I have a great difficulty upon me about it, which I scarce know
how to manage.'