Summary and Analysis Chapter 12



After about two months of happy marriage and expensive living, Moll's husband suggested they go to his estate in Ireland. He also suggested that Moll would probably want to return to London to settle her affairs and to transfer her funds to Ireland. Moll, startled at this suggestion, said she had no affairs to settle. Thus began the revelation of truth: Moll discovered that her "friend" had deceived both Moll and her husband by telling her "brother" that Moll had a great fortune, and by telling Moll that the gentleman was her brother when actually he was an ex-lover. Moll also discovered that there was no estate in Ireland and that, obviously, her husband had no intention of going there. However, both realized their affection for each other and regretted that they could not remain together since neither had much money.

When Moll awoke one morning she discovered that Jemmy, her husband, had gone, leaving her a broken heart, a note, two guineas, his gold watch, and two little rings, one diamond and one gold. Having spent the day grieving his departure, Moll was surprised and delighted when Jemmy returned at nightfall, saying he could not bear to be away from her. He said he would accompany her to the outskirts of London, but would not discuss why he would go no further. Moll persuaded him to stay with her for a while in an inn about thirty miles outside London, while she tried to think of a way for them to stay together. She told Jemmy about the plantation in Virginia and tried to convince him that they could quite easily make a good living there. However, he rejected this plan and suggested that he go to Ireland to try to make his fortune; if he failed, they then might consider going to Virginia. After a month the two parted, with directions about how to get in touch with each other.


The focal point of this chapter is the deep affection between Jemmy and Moll. Even though Jemmy left, he returned because he could not bear to be parted from Moll.