Summary and Analysis Chapter 30



Two days later, Moll arrived at her Quaker friend's home. She brought with her, for use on her plantation, many gifts from her son including horses, hogs, and cows. When she reached home she told her husband everything except that her cousin, as she called him, was actually her son. She explained the arrangements about the management of the plantation, and Jemmy was so touched and thankful that Moll believed he was truly a penitent and reformed man. At this point in the story, Moll explains that she could write volumes about their reformed selves but she doubts that such books would be as interesting as the account of their wickedness.

After this she returns to her own story, telling the reader that they continued managing their plantation and adding to their stock of money.

During the second year in America, Moll wrote to her old governess, telling her about the joy of their success, and asking her to send Moll's money to her in goods. This the old governess did, sending Moll and Jemmy a good supply of clothes, wigs, swords, fowling-pieces, a saddle with holsters and pistols, a cloak — everything Moll thought would make Jemmy appear the fine gentleman she felt him to be. In addition, they received iron-work, harness for the horses, tools, and clothes for servants. The governess also sent them three servant-women.

Jemmy was amazed by all these goods, and Moll finally told him of the money she had left behind in the bank and with her governess. When Moll asked him what he made of it all, Jemmy declared, "Make of it? ... Why, who says I was deceived when I married a wife in Lancashire? I think I have married a fortune, and a very good fortune too."

In eight years the plantation was worth £300 annually. One year after her first visit, Moll went again to see her son, in order to collect the yearly income from her Virginia plantation. She was surprised to learn that her brother was dead, but she admits that this was not unpleasant news. Before she left her son, she told him that she thought she might remarry. Again she left with many presents.

Shortly thereafter, Moll let her son know she was married. Then she told Jemmy the truth about her son, and explained the events surrounding their relationship. Jemmy was "perfectly easy" about the story, and joined Moll in inviting her son to visit them.

Moll and Jemmy lived a happy and comfortable life together. Moll concludes her story:

We are now grown old; I am come back to England, being almost seventy years of age, my husband sixty-eight, having performed much more than the limited terms of my transportation; and now, notwithstanding all the fatigues and all the miseries we have both gone through, we are both of us in good heart and health. My husband remained there some time after me to settle our affairs, and at first I had intended to go back to him, but at his desire I altered that resolution, and he is come over to England also, where we resolve to spend the remainder of our years in sincere penitence for the wicked lives we have lived.


In this chapter we see how thoroughly Moll believed in Jemmy's penitence and reformation. She felt that she could fill a larger history than the story of her life with proof of this fact, but she realized that it would probably go unread. Here Moll presents an indictment of the public for their preference for books about wickedness over those about goodness.