Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

nonplussed, and greatly surprised at that ques. || have provided for her if she had not a mind to tion.

have her known; and, therefore, seeing she had " True," she says; "the Lady has several heard all she had said of the Lady Roxana, and women servants, but I do not know all their was so far from owning herself to be the person, names."

that she had censured that sham lady as a cheat “ But her woman, her favourite," adds thel and common woman; and that it was certain girl ; “is not her name Amy?"

she could never be brought to own a name and “ Why, truly,”says the Quaker, with a very character she had so justly exposed. happy turn of wit, “I do not like to be examined; Besides, she told her that her lodger, meaning but lest thou shouldst take up any mistakes, by|| me, was not a sham lady, but the real wife of a reason of my backwardness to speak, I will knight baronet; and that she knew her to be answer thee for once, that what her woman's honestly such, and far above such a person as name is I know not ; but they call her Cherry." she had described. She then added that she had

N.B. My husband gave her that name in another reason why it was not very possible to jest, on our wedding day, and we had called her to be true, and that is, says she, “ Thy age is in by it ever after ; so that she spoke literally true the way; for thou acknowledgest that thou art at that time.

four-and-twenty years old ; and that thou wast The girl replied very modestly, that she || the youngest of three of thy mother's children ; was was sorry if she gave her any offence in so that by thy account thy mother must be asking; that she did not design to be rude to her, extremely young, or this lady cannot be thy or pretend to examine her ; but that she was in mother; for thou seest," says she, “and any one such an agony at this disaster that she knew not may see, she is but a young woman now, and what she did or said; and that she should be cannot be supposed to be above forty years old, very sorry to disoblige her, but begged of her if she is so much ; and is now big with child at again, as she was a Christian and a woman, and her going into the country; so that I cannot give had been a mother of children, that she would | any credit to thy notion of her being thy mother ; take pity on her, and, if possible, assist her, so and if I might counsel thee it should be to give that she might but come to me, and speak a few over that thought as an improbable story that words to me.

does but serve to disorder thee, and disturb thy The tender-hearted Quaker told me the girl head; for," added she, “ I perceive thou art much spoke this with such moving eloquence, that it disturbed indeed." forced tears from her; but she was obliged to U But this was all nothing: she could be satis. say, that she neither knew where I was gone, fied with nothing but seeing me ; but the Quaker or how to write to me; but that if she did ever | defended herself very well, and insisted on it, see me again she would not fail to give me an that she could not give her any account of me; account of all we had said to her, or that she and finding her still importunate, she affected at should yet think fit to say; and to take my last, being a little disgusted that she should not answer to it, if I thought fit to give any.

believe her, and added, that indeed, if she had Then the Quaker took the freedom to ask a known where I was gone, she would not havegiven few particulars about this wonderful story, as she any one an account of it, unless I had given her called it; a' which the girl, beginning at the orders to do so; “but seeing she has not acfirst distresses of my life, and indeed of her own, I quainted me,” says she, “ where she is gone, 'tis went through all the history of her miserable an intimation to me, she was not desirous it education, her service under the Lady Roxana, should be publicly known ;” and with this she as she called me, and her relief by Mrs Amy, with rose up, which was as plain a desiring her to the reasons she had to believe that as Amy rise up too and begone, as could be expressed, owned herself to be the same that lived with her except the downright showing her the door. mother, and especially that Amy was the Lady Well, the girl rejected all this, and told her, Roxana's maid, too, and came out of France with she could not indeed expect that she (the Quaker) her, she was by those circumstances, and several should be affected with the story she had told others in her conversation, as fully convinced her, however moving, or that she should take that the lady Roxana was her mother as she was any pity on her. That it was her misfortune, that the Lady — at her house (the Quaker's), that when she was at the house before, and in was the very same Roxana that she had been the room with me, she did not beg to speak a servant to.

word with me in private, or throw herself upon My good friend, the Quaker, though terribly | the floor at my feet, and claim what the affection shocked at the story, and not well knowing what of a mother would have done for her; but since to say, yet was too much my friend to seem con she had slipped her opportunity, she would wait vinced in a thing, which, if it was true, she could for another; that she found by her (the Quaker's) see plainly I had a mind should not be known;ll talk, that she had not quite left her lodgings, so she turned her discourse to argue the girl out but was gone into the country, she supposed, for of it. She insisted upon the slender evidence the air; and she was resolved she would take so she had of the fact itself, and the rudeness of | much knight-errantry upon her, that she would clai

niming so near a relation of one so much above | visit all the airing places in the nation, and even her, and of whose concern in it she had no all the kingdom over, ay, and Holland too, but knowledge, at least, no sufficient proof; that as she would find me; for she was satisfied she the lady at her house was a person above any could so convince me that she was my own child, disguises, so she could not believe that she would that I would not deny it; and she was sure I deny her being her daughter, if she was really l/ was so tender and compassionate I would not her mother; that she was able sufficiently to Il let her perish after I was convinced that she was

my own flesh and blood; and in saying she would || conclude, that my ladyship was gone thither; visit all the airing-places in England, she rec- for, she said, she knew I loved to see a great deal koned them all up by name, and began with, of company. Tunbridge, the very place I was gone to; then I Nay,” says my friend, "thou takest me wrong, reckoning up Epsom. North Hall, Barnet, New-ll I did not suggest," says she, “that the person market, Bury, and at last, the Bath; and with || thou enquirest after is gone thither. peither do I this she took her leave.

| believe she is, I assure thee." Well, the girl My faithful agent the Quaker, failed not to

smiled, and let her know that she believed it for write to me immediately; but as she was a cun | all that ; so, to clench it fast,“ Verily," says she, nin, as well as an honest woman, it presently with great seriousness, “thou dost not do well, for occurred to her that this was a story which, thou suspectest everything and believest nothing. whether true or false, was not very fit to come I speak solemnly to thee that I do not believe to my husband's knowledge; that as she did not || they are gone that way ; so if thou givest thyself know what I might have been, or might have the trouble to go that way, and art disappointed, been called in former times, and how far there do not say that I have deceived thee." She knew might have been something or nothing in it, so well enough that if this did abate her suspicion it she thought if it was a secret, I ought to have would not remove it; and that it would do little the telling it myself ; and if it was not, it might || more than amuse her ; but by this she kept her as well be public afterwards as now; and that, in suspense till Amy came up, and that was at least, she ought not to leave it where she enough, found it, and hand it forwards to anybody with.

When Amy came up she was quite confounded out my consent. These prudent measures were

I to hear the relation which the Quaker gave her, inexpressibly kind, as well as seasonable ; it had

and found means to acquaint me of it ; only been likely enough that her letter might have come publicly to me, and though my husband

letting me know, to my great satisfaction, thai

she would not come to Tunbridge first ; but that would not have opened it, yet it would have

she would certainly go to Newmarket or Bury looked a little odd that I should conceal its con

first. tents from him, when I had pretended so much

However, it gave me very great uneasiness; to communicate all my affairs.

for as she resolved to ramble in search after me In consequence of this wise caution, my good

over the whole country, I was safe no where, no, friend only wrote me a few words, that the im

not in Holland itself; so, indeed, I did not know pertinent young woman had been with her, as

what to do with her; and thus I had a bitter in she expected she would; and that she thought

all my sweet, for I was continually perplesed it would be convenient that, if I could spare

with this hussy, and thought she haunted me like Cherry, I would send her up, (meaning Amy), because she found there might be some occasion

an evil spirit. for her.

In the mean time Amy was next door to stark

mad about her : she durst pot see her at As it happened this letter was inclosed to Amy

v herself, and not sent by the way I had at first

lodgings for her life ; and she went days without ordered; but it came safe to my hands; and

number to Spitalfields, where she used to come, though I was alarmed a little at it, yet I was not

and to her former lodging, and could never mect acquainted with the danger I was in of an imme-||

with her ; at length she took up a mad resolution diate visit from this teazing creature till after

creature till after. || that she would go directly to the captain's house wards; and I run a greater risk, indeed, than

in Rotherhithe, and speak with her; it was a mad ordinary in that I did not send Amy up under

step, that's true; but as Amy said she was mad, fourteen days, believing myself as much concealed

so nothing she could do could be otherwise. For at Tunbridge as if I had been at Vienna

if Amy had found her at Rotherhithe, she (the girl) But the concern of my faithful spy, (for such

would have concluded presently that the Quake: my Quaker was now, upon the mere foot of her

had given her notice, and so that we were all of own sagacity), I say, her concern for me, was my

a knot; and that, in short, all she had said ris safety in this exigence, when I was, as it were,

right. But as it happened, things came to hit keeping no guard for myself; for, finding Amy

better than we expected; for that Amy going

out of a coach to take water at Tower Whar not come up, and that she did not know how soon this wild thing might put her designed meets the girl just come on shore, having TOY ramble in practice, she sent a messenger to the

the water from Rotherhithe. Amy made as if captain's wife's house, where she lodged, to tell

she would have passed by her, though they inst her that she wanted to speak with her. She was

ke with her. She was so full that she did not pretend she did not see at the heels of the messenger, and came eager

1 her, for she looked fairly upon her first : but then for some news; and hoped, she said, the lady,

turning her head away with a slight, offered to (meaning me), had been come to town.

go from her; but the girl stopped, and spoke The Quaker, with as much caution as she

first, and made some manners to her was mistress of, not to tell a downright lie, made Amy spoke coldly to her, and a little angryi! her believe she expected to hear of me very | and after some words, standing in the street, u quickly; and frequently, by the bye, speaking of passage, the girl saying she seemed to be angry, being abroad to take the air, talked of the land would not have spoken to her, “ Why," says country, about Bury, how pleasant it was, how || Amy,“ how can you expect I should hare aos wholesome, and how fine an air ; how the downs more to say to you after I had done so much for about Newmarket were exceeding fine; and you, and you have behaved so to me?" The what a vast deal of company there was, uow the girl seemed to take no notice of that now, but court was there : till at last, the girl began to answered" I was going to wait on you DON.

to

“ Wait on ine!” says Amy; “ What do you mean || wicked she was, still she was true to me; and by that?"_“ Why," says she again, with a kind even this rage of hers was all upon my account, of familiarity, “ I was going to your lodgings." and for fear any mischief should befal me

Amy was provoked to the last degree at her, But be that how it would, I could not bear and yet she thought it was not her time to resent, || the mention of her murdering the poor girl, and because she had a more fatal and wicked design lit put me so beside myself, that I rose up in a in her head against her ; which, indeed, I never rage, and bade her get out of my sight, and out knew till after it was executed, nor durst Amy l of my house; told her I had kept her too long, ever communicate it to me ; for as I had always and that I would never see her face more. I had expressed myself vehemently against hurting all before told her that she was a murderer, and a hair of her head, so she was resolved to take her | bloody-minded creature ; that she could not but own measures without consulting me any more. know that I could not bear the thoughts of it,

In order to this, Amy gave her good words, | much less the mention of it; and that it was the and concealed her resentment as much as she impudentest thing that ever was known to make could; and when she talked of going to her such a proposal to me, when she knew that I was lodging Amy smiled, and said nothing, but called really the mother of this girl, and that she was for a pair of oars to go to Greenwich; and asked my own child ; that it was wicked enough in her, her, seeing the said she was going to her lodging, but that she must conclude 'I was ten times

go along with her, for she was going home, I wickeder than herself if I could come into it. and was all alone.

That the girl was in the right, and I had nothing Amy did this with such a stock of assurance to blame her for ; but that it was owing to the that the girl was confounded, and knew not what wickedness of my life that made it necessary for to say; but the more she hesitated the more Amy me to keep her from a discovery ; but that I pressed her to go; and talking very kindly to would not murder my child, though I was other. her, told her if she did not go to see her lodgings wise to be ruined by it ; Amy replied somewhat she might go to keep her company, and she || rough and short, would I not, but she would, she would pay a boat to bring her back again ; so, in said, if she had an opportunity; and upon these a word, Amy prevailed on her to go into the boat words it was that I bade her get out of my sight with her, and carried her down to Greenwich. and out of my house; and it went so for that

'Tis certain Amy had no more business at Amy packed up up her alls, and marched off, Greenwich than I had; nor was she going thither; land was gone for almost good and all. But of but we were all hampered to the last degree with that, in its order, I must go back to the relation the impertinence of this creature; and in parti. of the voyage which they made to Greenwich cular I was horribly perplexed with it.

together. As they were in the boat Amy began to re 1 They held on the wrangle all the way by water; proach her with ingratitude in treating her so the girl insisted upon knowing of her, that I was rudely who had done so much for her, and been || her mother, and told all the history of my life in so kind to her; and to ask her what she had got the Pallmall, as well after her being turned away by it, or what she expected to get. Then came || as before ; and of my marriage since, and which in my share, the Lady Roxana. Amy jested was worse, not only who my present husband with that, and bantered her a little ; and asked was, but where he had lived, viz. at Roan in her if she had found her yet.

France. She knew nothing of Paris, or of where But Amy was both surprised and enraged we were going to live, namely, at Nimeguen; but when the girl told her roundly that she thanked | told her in so many words, that if she could not her for what she had done for her, but that she || find me here, she would go to Holland after me. would not have her think she was so ignorant as U They landed at Greenwich, and Amy carried not to know that what she (Amy) had done was her into the Park with her, and they walked by her mother's order, and who she was behold. | about two hours there in the farthest and reing to for it. That she could never make instru motest walks; which Amy did, because as they ments pass for principals, and pay the debt to talked with great heat, it was apparent they were the agent, when the obligation was all to the quarrelling, and the people took notice of it. original. That she knew well enough who she They walked till they came almost to the wil. was, and who she was employed by. That she derness, at the south side of the park; but the knew the Lady - very well, (naming the girl perceiving Amy offered to go there among name that I now went by), which was my hus. the woods and trees, stopped short there, and band's true name, and by which she might know would go no farther ; but said she would not go whether she had found out her mother or no. in there.

Amy wished her at the bottom of the Thames ; 11 Amy smiled, and asked her what was the matand had there been no waterman in the boat, Ilter? She replied short, she did not know where and nobody in sight, she swore to me she would she was, nor where she was going to carry her, have thrown her into the river. I was horribly and she would go no farther; and without any disturbed when she told me this story, and began more ceremony, turns back, and walks apace to think this would, at last, all end in my ruin ; laway from her. Amy owned she was surprised, but when Amy spoke of throwing her into the and came back too, and called to her, and asked river and drowning her, I was so provoked at her what she meant ? her that all my rage turned against Amy, and I The girl boldly replied she did not know but fell thoroughly out with her. I had now kept she might murder her ; and that, in short, she Amy almost thirty years and found her on all I would not trust herself with her, and never · occasions the faithfulest creature to me that ever would come into her company again alone. woman had; I say, faithful to me; for, however !! It was very provoking, but, however, Amy kept

her temper, with much difficulty, and bore it, that she hoped I should not be troubled much knowing that much might depend upon it; so more with her. she mocked her foolish jealousy, and told her she It was in this time that Amy gave me the need not be uneasy for her, she would do her no history of her Greenwich voyage, when she spoke harm, and would have done her good, if she of drowning and killing the girl in so serious a would have let her; but since she was of such a manner, and with such an apparent resolution of refractory humour. she should not trouble her- ll doing it. that, as I said, put me in a race with self, for she should never come into her company her, so that I effectually turned her away from again ; and that neither she, or her brother, or me, as I have said above, and she was gone; nor sister, should ever hear from her, or see her any did she so much as tell me whither, or which way more ; and so she should have the satisfaction of she was gone; on the other hand, when I came being the ruin of her brother and sister, as well to reflect on it, that I now had neither assistant as of herself.

nor confidant to speak to, or receive the least inThe girl seemed a little mollified at that, and|| formation from, my friend the Quaker excepted, said, that for herself, she knew the worst of it, it made me very uneasy. she could seek her fortune; but it was hard her I waited, and expected, and wondered, from brother and sister should suffer on her score ; || day to day, still thinking Amy would one time or and something that was tender and well enough, other think a little, and come again, or at least, on that account. But Amy told her it was for let me hear of her; but for ten days together I her to take that into consideration; for she

heard nothing of her. I was so impatient, that would let her see that it was all her own ; that I got neither rest by day or sleep by night, and she would have done them all good, but that

what to do I knew not. I durst not go to town having been used thus, she would do no more

to the Quaker's, for fear of meeting that vexatious for any of them; and that she should not need

creature, my girl, and I could get no intelligence to be afraid to come into her company again, for where I was; go I got my spouse, on pretence of she would never give her occasion for it any | | wanting her company, to take the coach one day more. This, by the way, was false in the girl, and fetch my good Quaker to me. 100; for she did venture into Amy's company

When I had her, I durst ask her no questions, again after that once too much, as I shall relate

nor hardly knew which end of the business to by itself.

begin to talk of; but of her own accord, she told They grew cooler, however, afterwards, and me, that the girl had been three or four times Amy carried her into a house at Greenwich, | haunting her for news from me ; and that she had where she was acquainted, and took an occasion

been so troublesome, that she had been obliged to leave the girl in a room a while, to speak to to shew herself a little angry with her; and at the people in the house, and so prepare them to last, told her plainly that she need give herself own her as a lodger in the house ; and then no trouble in searching after me by her means; going in to her again, told her, there she lodged, ll for she (the Quaker) would not tell her, if she if she had a mind to find her out, or if anybody knew ; upon which she refrained a while. But | else had anything to say to her. And so Amy

on the other hand, she told me it was not safe for dismissed her, and got rid of her again ; and

me to send my coach for her to come in, for she finding an empty hackney-coach in the town,

had some reason to believe that she (my daughcame away by land to London, and the girl, ter) watched her door night and day; nay, and going down to the water side, came by boat.

watched her, too, every time she went in and This conversation did not answer Amy's end out; for she was so bent upon a discovery that at all, because it did not secure the girl from she spared no pains, and she believed she had pursuing her design of hunting me out; and taken a lodging very near their house for that though my indefatigable friend the Quaker || purpose. amused her three or four days, yet I had such I could hardly give her a hearing of all this, notice of it at last, that I thought fit to come for my eagerness to ask for Amy; but I was conaway from Tunbridge upon it; and where to go | founded when she told me she had heard nothing I knew not : but, in short, I went to a little vil- || of her. It is impossible to express the anxious lage upon Epping Forest, called Woodford, and thoughts that rolled about in my mind, and contook lodgings in a private house, where I lived tinually perplexed me about her ; particularly, I retired about six weeks, till I thought she might reproached myself with my rashness in turning be tired of her search, and have given me over. away so faithful a creature, that in so many years

Here I received an account from my trusty I had not only been a servant but an agent ; and Quaker, that the wench had really been at Tun

not only an agent, but a friend, and a faithful bridge, had found out my lodgings, and had told

friend too. her tale in a most dismal tone; that she had fol. || Then I considered, too, that Amy knew all lowed us, as sho thought, to London ; but the the secret history of my life,-had been in all the Quaker had answered her, that she knew nothing || intrigues of it, and been a party in both evil and of it, which was indeed true; and had admo- !| good,—and at best, there was no policy in it; nished her to be easy, and not to hunt after peo- that as it was very uogenerous and unkind to ple of such fashion as we were, as if we were run things to such an extremity with her, and for thieves; that she might be assured, that since I an occasion, too, in which all the fault she was was not willing to see her, I would not be forced l guilty of was owing to her excessive care for my to do it; and treating me thus would effectually safety; so it must be only her steady kindness disoblige me. And with such discourses as these to me, and an excess of generous friendship for she quieted her; and shc (the Quaker) added, ll me, that should keep her from ill-using me in

return for it; which ill-using me was enough in || backward to go to her?" says she. Now it hapher power, and might be my utter undoing. pened there was a back-door in the garden, by

These thoughts perplexed me exceedingly, and which we usually went and come to and from the what course to take I really did not know. I house ; so I told her of it. “ Well, well," says began indeed to give Amy quite over, for she had she, “go out and make a visit, then, and leave been gone above a fortnight ; and as she had the rest to me." Away I run, told the lady (for taken away all her clothes, and her money too, || I was very free there,) that I was a widow towhich was not a little, and so had no occasion of day, my spouse being gone to London, so I came, that kind to come any more, so she had not left not to visit her, but to dwell with her that day; any word where she was gone, or to which part because, also, our landlady had got strangers of the world I might send to hear of her.

from London. So having framed this orderly And I was troubled on another account too, I lie, I pulled some work out of my pocket, and viz., that my spouse and I too had resolved to do added, " I did not come to be idle.” very handsomely for Amy, without considering As I went out one way, my friend the Quaker what she might have got another way at all; went the other, to receive this unwelcome but we had said nothing of it to her ; and so I || guest. The girl made but little ceremony; but thought, as she had not known what was likely | having bid the coachman ring at the gate, gets to fall in her way, she had not the influence of down out of the coach, and comes to the door ; that expectation to make her come back. Il a country girl going to the door, (belonging to

Upon the whole, the perplexity of this girl, || the house,) for the Quaker forbid any of my who hunted me as if, like a hound, she had had a maids going. Madam asked for my Quaker by hot scent, but was now at a fault, -I say, that name, and the girl asked her to walk in. perplexity, and this other part, of Amy being | Upon this, my Quaker, seeing there was no gone, issued in this, I resolved to be gone, and hanging back, goes to her immediately, but put go over to Holland ; there, I believed, I should on all the gravity upon her countenance that she be at rest. So I took occasion one day to tell was mistress of, -and that was not a little, inmy spouse, that I was afraid he might take it ill || deed. that I had amused him thus long, and that, at When she (the Quaker) came into the room, last, I doubted I was not with child; and that, || (for they had shewed my daughter into a little since it was so, our things being packed up, and parlour,) she kept her grave countenance, but all in order for going to Holland, I would go away said not a word ; nor did my daughter speak a now, when he pleased.

good while; but after some time, my girl began, My spouse, who was perfectly easy, whether in and said _“ I suppose you know me, inadam ?" going or staying, left it all entirely to me; so I “Yes," says the Quaker, “I know thee.”— considered of it, and began to prepare again for And so the dialogue went on. the voyage. But alas ! I was irresolute to the | Girl. Then you know my business, too. last degree. I was, for want of Amy, destitute; Il Quaker. No, verily, I do not know any busiI had lost my right hand; she was my steward, || ness thou canst have here with me. gathered in my rents, I mean my interest | G. Indeed, my business is not chiefly with money,-and kept my accounts; and, in a word, l you. did all my business; and without her, indeed, ilQ. Why, then, dost thou come after me thus knew not how to go away, or how to stay. But || far? an accident thrust itself in here, and that even| G. You know whom I seek. [And with that she in Amy's conduct, too, which frighted me away, | cried.] and without her, too, in the utmost horror and Q. But why shouldst thou follow me for her, confusion,

since thou knowest that I assured thee more than I have related how my frithful friend the once that I knew not where she was ? Quaker was come to me, and what account she G. But I hoped you could. gave me of her being continually haunted by my | Q. Then thou must hope that I did not speak daughter; and that, as she said, she watched her | the truth, which would be very wicked. very door night and day. The truth was, she G. I doubt not but she is in this house. set a spy to watch so effectually, that she (the Q. If those be thy thoughts, thou mayest enQuaker) neither went in nor out but she had quire in the house ; so thou hast no more busi. notice of it.

ness with me. Farewell ! [Offers to go.] This was too evident, when the next morning G. I would not be uncivil; I beg you to let after she came to me, (for I kept her all night,) ne see her. to my unspeakable surprise, I saw a hackney. Q. I am here to visit some of my friends, and coach stop at the door where I lodged, and saw I think thou art not very civil in following me her (my daughter) in the coach all alone. It || hither. was a very good chance, in the middle of a bad G. I came in hopes of a discovery in my great one, that my husband had taken out the coach || affair which you know of. that very morning, and was gone to London. As | Q. Thou camest widely, indeed; I counsel for me, I had neither life nor soul left in me; I thee to go back again, and be easy; I shall keep was so confounded, I knew not what to do or to my word with thee, that I would not meddle in say.

it, nor give thee any account, if I knew it, unless 'My happy visitor had more presence of mind I had her orders. than' I, and asked me if I had no acquaintance G. If you knew my distress, you could not be among the neighbours. I told her - Yes, there || so cruel. was a lady lodged two doors off that I was very | Q. Thou hast told me all thy story, and I intimate with. “ But hast thou no way out I think it might be more cruelty to tell thee than

« VorigeDoorgaan »