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<- Previous | First | Next -> Digital Library - Flanders by Daniel Defoe

He was very fond of me for about a quarter of a year, and
what I got by that was, that I had the pleasure of seeing a great
deal of my money spent upon myself, and, as I may say, had
some of the spending it too. 'Come, my dear,' says he to me
one day, 'shall we go and take a turn into the country for about
a week?' 'Ay, my dear,' says I, 'whither would you go?' 'I
care not whither,' says he, 'but I have a mind to look like
quality for a week. We'll go to Oxford,' says he. 'How,' says
I, 'shall we go? I am no horsewoman, and 'tis too far for a coach.'

'Too far!' says he; 'no place is too far for a coach-and-six. If
I carry you out, you shall travel like a duchess.' 'Hum,' says
I, 'my dear, 'tis a frolic; but if you have a mind to it, I don't
care.' Well, the time was appointed, we had a rich coach, very
good horses, a coachman, postillion, and two footmen in very
good liveries; a gentleman on horseback, and a page with a
feather in his hat upon another horse. The servants all called
him my lord, and the inn-keepers, you may be sure, did the like,
and I was her honour the Countess, and thus we traveled to
Oxford, and a very pleasant journey we had; for, give him his
due, not a beggar alive knew better how to be a lord than my
husband. We saw all the rarities at Oxford, talked with two or
three Fellows of colleges about putting out a young nephew,
that was left to his lordship's care, to the University, and of
their being his tutors. We diverted ourselves with bantering
several other poor scholars, with hopes of being at least his
lordship's chaplains and putting on a scarf; and thus having
lived like quality indeed, as to expense, we went away for
Northampton, and, in a word, in about twelve days' ramble
came home again, to the tune of about #93 expense.

Vanity is the perfection of a fop. My husband had this
excellence, that he valued nothing of expense; and as his
history, you may be sure, has very little weight in it, 'tis
enough to tell you that in about two years and a quarter he
broke, and was not so happy to get over into the Mint, but got
into a sponging-house, being arrested in an action too heavy
from him to give bail to, so he sent for me to come to him.

It was no surprise to me, for I had foreseen some time that
all was going to wreck, and had been taking care to reserve
something if I could, though it was not much, for myself. But
when he sent for me, he behaved much better than I expected,
and told me plainly he had played the fool, and suffered
himself to be surprised, which he might have prevented; that
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