“With this Stock, I had the World to begin again; but you are to consider, that I was not ow the same woman as when I liv’d at Redriff, for first of all i was near 20 years older, and did not look the better for my age, nor for my Rambles to Virginia and back again; and tho’ I omitted nothing that might set me out to Advantage, except Painting, for that i never stoop’d to, and had Pride enough to think I did not want it, yet there would always be some difference seen between Five and Twenty, and Two and Forty.”
In this passage, Moll is explaining her concerns of finding a new husband and how it might be more difficult than before due to her age. She is not 42 years old, as she says “two and Forty,” and is aware that she does not look the same as she used to. While she is aware of this, she does everything she can to look her best, except for “painting.” Painting refers to painting of the face to look better, similar to makeup. However, Moll says that she never “stoop’d” to this level because painting was commonly used by actors and whores at this time. Also, Moll has referred to the amount of money that she has saved up following her husband’s death. She later describes her concerns about being in the position of being a single woman with money. She talks about how men will use her to get to her money, and claim that they love her and make promises to her along the way. At the same time, she knows that this is a dangerous position to be in and must protect herself and her money.
This passage is significant because it shows how Moll feels pressure to be as perfect as she can be in order to find another husband. Moll feels as if she must be beautiful in order to attract attention from men, and “omitted nothing” that could help her achieve this goal. Moll is also self conscious about her looks even more now due to her age, and realizes that time has affected her looks. She feels that she will have more difficulty finding a husband now that when she was “Five and Twenty.” Finally, Moll is aware that people may use her to get to her money, and later describes how she must be careful to protect the money that she has saved up and earned for herself.