She made me some general questions about my country, and my travels, which I answered as distinctly, and in as few words, as I could. She asked whether I would be content to live at court. I bowed down to the board of the table, and humbly answered that I was my master’s slave; but if I were at my own disposal, I should be proud to devote my life to her majesty’s service. She then asked my master whether he were willing to sell me at a good price. He, who apprehended I could not live a month, was ready enough to part with me, and demanded a thousand pieces of gold, which were ordered him on the spot, each piece being the bigness of eight hundred moidores; but, for the proportion of all things between that country and Europe, and the high price of gold among them, was hardly so great a sum as a thousand guineas would be in England. I then said to the queen, since I was now her majesty’s most humble creature and vassal, I must beg the favor, that Glumdalclitch, who had always attended me with so much care and kindness, and understood to do it so well, might be admitted into her service, and continue to be my nurse and instructor.
Her majesty agreed to my petition, and easily got the farmer’s consent, who was glad enough to have his daughter preferred at court, and the poor girl herself was not able to hide her joy. My late master withdrew, bidding me farewell, and saying he had left me in good service, to which I replied not a word, only making him a slight bow.
[Illustration: “THIS GRACIOUS PRINCESS HELD OUT HER LITTLE FINGER.” P. 32.]
The queen observed my coldness, and, when the farmer was gone out of the apartment, asked me the reason. I made bold to tell her majesty that I owed no other obligation to my late master, than his not dashing out the brains of a poor harmless creature, found by chance in his field; which obligation was amply recompensed by the gain he had made in showing me through half the kingdom, and the price he had now sold me for. That the life I had since led was laborious enough to kill an animal of ten times my strength. That my health was much impaired by the continual drudgery of entertaining the rabble every hour of the day, and that, if my master had not thought my life in danger, her majesty would not have got so cheap a bargain. But as I was out of all fear of being ill-treated under the protection of so great and good an empress, the ornament of nature, the darling of the world, the delight of her subjects, the phoenix of the creation; so, I hoped my late master’s apprehensions would appear to be groundless, for I already found my spirits to revive, by the influence of her most august presence.