« VorigeDoorgaan »
lodgings for privacy; besides I considered, that I did my lord was so merry with her upon his I might live very handsomely, and yet not so l éclaircissement, as he called it, that Amy did not publicly, so I needed not spend so much money know what to do with herself. by a great deal ; and if I made 5001. a year of Not that Amy was such a nice lady in the main, this generous person, it was more than I had any if she had been fairly dealt with, as has appeared occasion to spend by a great deal.
in the former part of this work ; but now she was My lord came readily into this proposal, and surprised, and a little hurrie:1, that she scarce went farther than I expected, for he found out a knew where she was; and besides, she was, as to lodging for me in a very handsome house, where his lordship, as nice a lady as any in the world, yet he was not known; I suppose he had em and for anything he knew of her, she appeared ployed somebody to find it for him; and where as such. The rest was to us only that khew he had a convenient way to come into the garden, ll of it. by a door that opened into the Park, a thing very I held this wicked scene of life out eight years, rarely allowed in those times.
reckoning from my first coming to England; and By this key he could come in at what time of | though my lord found no fault, yet I found with. night or day he pleased ; and as we had also a little out much examining, that any one who looked in door in the lower part of the house, which was my face might see I was above twenty years old, always left upon the lock, and his was the master and yet without flattering myself, I carried my key, so if it was twelve, one, or two o'clock at| age, which was above fifty, very well too. night, he could come directly into my bedcham. I may venture to say that no woman ever lived ber.-N.B. I was not afraid I should be found a life like me, of six and twenty years of wickedabed with anybody else, for in a word I conversed ness, without the least signals of remorse, withwith nobody at all.
out any signs of repentance, or without so much It happened pleasantly enough one night, his as a wish to put an end to it; I had so long lordship had stayed late, and I not expecting him habituated myself to a life of vice, that really it home that night, had taken Amy to bed with me, appeared no vice to me. I went on smooth and and when my lord came into the chamber we pleasant, I wallowed in wealth, and it flowed in were both fast asleep I think it was near three upon me at such a rate, having taken the frugal o'clock when he came in, and a little merry, but measures that the good knight directed, that I had not at all fuddlcd, or what they call in drink ; | at the end of the eight years 2,8001. coming and he came at once into the room.
yearly in, of which I did not spend one penny, Amy was frighted out of her wits, and cried being maintained by my allowance from my lord out; I said calmly, “ Indeed, my lord, I did not - , and more than maintained by above expect you to-night, and we have been a little 2001. per annum; for though he did not contract frightened to-night with fire." “O!" says he, for 5001. a-year, as I made dumb signs to have it “ I see you have got a bedfellow with you." I be, yet he gave me money so often, and that in began to make an apology : “ No, no," says my such large parcels, that I had seldom so little as Jord, “ you need no excuse, 'tis not a man bed seven to eight hundred pounds a-year of himn. fellow I see ; but then," talking merrily enough, one year with another. "hark ye,” says he, “now I think on't, how shall I must go back here, after telling openly the I be satisfied it is not a man bedfellow ?” “0,” || wicked things I did, to mention something, which, says I, “I dare say your lordship is satisfied 'tis however, had the face of doing good ; I remempoor Amy ;” “yes,” says he, “'tis Mrs Amy, but bered that when I went from England, which bow do I know what Amy is? It may be Mr || was fifteen years before, I had left five little Amy, for ought I know; I hope you'll give me children, turned out as it were to the wide world, Jeave to be satisfied.” I told him, “yes, by all || and the charity of their father's relations; the means, I would have his lordship satisfied, but I eldest was not six ycars old, for we had not been supposed he knew who she was.”
married full seven years when their father went Well, he fell foul of poor Amy, and indeed I away. thought once he would have carried the jest on After my coming to England, I was greatly before my face, as was once done in a like case ; || desirous to hear how things stood with them; and but his lordship was not so hot neither, but he whether they were all alive or not, and in what would know whether Ainy was Mr Amy or Mrs | manner they had been maintained; and yet I Amy, and so I suppose he did, and then being I resolved not to discover myself to them in the satisfied in that doubtful case, he walked to the least, or to let any of the people that had the farther end of the room, and went into a little breeding of them up know that there was such a closet and sat down.
body left in the world as their mother. In the meantime Amy and I got up, and I bid Amy was the only body I could trust with such her run and make the bed in another chamber a commission, and I sent her into Spitalfields, to for my lord, and I gave her sheets to put into it; the old aunt, and the poor woman that were so which she did immediately, and I put my lord to instrumental in disposing the relations to take bed there ; and when I had done, at his desire, some care of the children, but they were both went to bed to him. I was backward at first to Igone, dead and buried some years. The text come to bed to him, and made my excuse because inquiry sne maa
inquiry she made was at the house where she had been in bed with Amy, and had not shifted 'carried the poor children, and turned them in at me, but he was past those nicetics at that time ; | the door; when she came there she found the and id as long as he was sure it was Mrs Amy and house inhabited by other people, so that she ". Amy, he was very well satisfied, and so I could make little or nothing of her inquiries, Jest passed over; but Amy appeared no more and came back with an answer, that indeed was
at night, or the next day, and when she no answer to me, for it gave me no satisfaction at all. I sent her back to inquire in the neigh- || little of the story of his father or mother, and had bourhood, what was become of the family that no view of anything but to work hard for his lived in that house ? and if they were removed, ll living; and she did not think fit to put any great where they lived ? and what circumstances they || things into his head, lest it should take him ofi were in ? and withal, if she could, what became | his business, and perhaps make bim turn giddy. of the poor children, and how they lived, and headed, and be good for nothing ; but she went where? how they had been treated ? and the and found out that kind man, his benefactor, wbo like.
had put him out; and finding him a plain, well. She brought me back word upon this second meaning, honest, and kind-hearted man, she going that she heard, as to the family, that the opened her tale to him the easier. She made a husband, who, though but uncle-in-law to the long story, how she had a prodigious kindness for children, had yet been kindest to them, was the child, because she had the same for his father dead; and that the widow was left but in mean and mother; told him that she was the servantcircumstances, that is to say, she did not want, ll maid that brought all of them to their aunt's but that she was not so well in the world as she | door, and run away and left them; that their was thought to be when her husband was alive. poor mother wanted bread, and what came of
That, as to the poor children, two of them, it her after she would have been glad to know. seemns, had been kept by her, that is to say, by She added that her circumstances had happened her husband, while he lived, for that it was to mend in the world, and that, as she was in against her will, that we all knew; but the honest condition, so she was disposed to show some neighbours pitied the poor children, they said, kindness to the children if she could find them heartily ; for that their aunt used them barbar out. ously, and made them little better than servants He received her with all the civility that s in the house to wait upon her and her children, kind a proposal demanded, gave her an account and scarce allowed them clothes fit to wear. of what he had done for the child, how he had
These were, it seems, my eldest and third, maintained him, fed and clothed him, put him to which were daughters; the second was a son, school, and at last put him out to a trade. She the fourth a daughter, and the youngest a son. said he had indeed been a father to the child.
To finish the melancholly part of this history “ But, sir,” says she, “'tis a very laborious hard. of my two unhappy girls, she brought me word working trade, and he is but a thin weak boy." that so soon as they were able to go out and get “ That's true,” says he; “but the boy chose the Any work they went from her, and some said she trade, and I assure you I gave 202. with him, had turned them out of doors; but it seems she and am to find him clothes all his apprenticeship; had not done so, but she used them so cruelly and as to its being a hard trade," says he, “that's that they left her, and one of thein went to ser- the fate of his circumstances, poor boy; I could vice to a neighbour's a little way off, who knew not well do better for him." her, an honest substantial weaver's wife, to whom “Well, sir, as you did all for him in charity," she was chamber-maid, and in a little time she says she, “it was exceedingly well; but, as my took her sister out of the Bridewell of her aunt's resolution is to do something for him, I desire house, and got her a place too.
you will, if possible, take him away again from This was all melancholly and dull. I sent her that place, where he works so hard, for I cannot then to the weaver's house, where the eldest had bear to see the child work so very hard for his lived, but found that, her mistress being dead, I bread, and I will do something for him that shall she was gone, and nobody knew there whither ll make him live without such hard labour." she went, only that they heard she had lived with He smiled at that. “I can, indeed," says he, a great lady at the other end of the town; but |“ take him away, but then I must lose my 20%. they did not know who that lady was.
that I gave with him.” These inquiries took us up three or four weeks, I “ Well, sir,” said Amy, “ I'll enable you to lose and I was not one jot the better for it, for I could that 201. immediately," and so she put her hand hear nothing to my satisfaction. I sent her next | in her pocket and pulls out her purse. to find out the honest man, who, as in the begin- | He begun to be a little amazed at her, and ning of my story I observed, made them be enter. | looked her hard in the face, and that so very tained, and caused the youngest to be fetched much that she took notice of it, and said, " Sir, from the town where we lived, and where the || I fancy by your looking at me you think you parish officers had taken care of them. This || know me, but I am assured you do not, for I gentleman was still alive; and there she heard i never saw your face before; I think you have that my youngest daughter and eldest son were done enough for the child, and that you ought to dead also ; but that my youngest son was alive, be acknowledged as a father to him; but you and was at that time about seventeen years old, ought not to lose by your kindness to him, more and that he was put out apprentice by the kind. I than the kindness of bringing him up obliges you ness and charity of his uncle, but to a mean trade, to; and therefore there's the 201.," added she, at which he was obliged to work very hard. “and pray let him be fetched away."
Amy was so curious in this part that she went “ Well, madam," says he, " I will thank you for immediately to see him, and found him all dirty, the boy, as well as for myself; but will you please and hard at work. She had no remembrance at |to tell me what I must do with him?" all of the youth, for she had not seen him since " Sir," says Amy, “as you have been so kind he was about two years old ; and it was evident as to keep him so many years, I beg you vil he could have no knowledge of her.
take him home again one year more. and 11 However, she talked with him, and found him bring you 1001. more, which I will desire you to a good, sensible, mannerly youth ; that he knew I lay out in schooling and clothes for him, and to
pay you for his board ; perhaps I may put him in || vide against farther inquiries; for it was not a a condition to return your kindness."
strange for young women to go away poor to the He looked pleased, but surprised very much, || East Indies and come home vastly rich; so she and inquired of Amy, but with very great re || went on with directions about him, and both spect, what he should go to school to learn, and | agreed in this, that the boy should by no means what trade she would please to put him out to. | be told what was intended for him, but only that
Amy said she should put him to learn a little | he should be taken home again to his uncle's, Latin, and then merchants' accounts, and to that his uncle thought the trade too hard for him, write a good hand, for she would have him be and the like. put to a Turkey merchant.
About three days after this, Amy goes again, Madam,” says he, “ I am glad for his sake to and carried him the 1001. she promised him, but hear you talk so; but do you know that a Turkey then Amy made quite another figure than she merchant will not take him under 4001. or did before ; for she went in my coach, with two
footmen after her, and dressed very fine also, with “ Yes, sir,” says Amy, “ I know it very well.” | 1 jewels and a gold watch; and there was indeed
“ And,” says he, “that it will require as many || no great difficulty to make Amy look like a lady, thousands to set him up?".
for she was a very handsome well-shaped woman, « Yes, sir," says Amy, “I know that very well || and genteel enough; the coachmen and servants too ;" and, resolving to talk very big, she added, I were particularly ordered to show her the same “ I have no children of my own, and I resolve to respect as they would do me, and to call her make him my heir; and if 10,0001. be required || Madame Collins, if they were asked any questo set him up, he shall not want it. I was but tions about her. his mother's servant when he was born, and Ill When the gentleman saw what a figure she mourned heartily for the disaster of the family ; | made, it added to the former surprise, and he and I always said if ever I was worth anything in | entertained her in the most respectful manner the world I would take the child for my own, and possible; congratulated her advancement in for. I'll be as good as my word now, though I did not || tune, and particularly rejoiced that it should fall then foresee that it would be with me as it has to the poor child's lot to be so provided for, con. been since." And so Amy told him a long story trary to all expectation. how she was troubled for me, and what she would | Well, Amy talked big, but very free and fagive to hear whether I was dead or alive, and miliar; told them she had no pride in her good what circumstances I was in ; that if she could || fortune ; (that was true enough, for to give Amy but find me, if I was ever so poor, she would her due, she was far from it, and was as good take care of me, and make a gentlewoman of me humoured a creature as ever lived); that she was gain.
the same as ever, and that she always loved this He told her that, as to the child's mother, she | boy, and was resolved to do something extraorhad been reduced to the last extremity, and was dinary for him. obliged (as he supposed she knew) to send the | Then she pulled out her money, and paid down children all among her husband's friends; and if || 1201., which, she said, she paid him that he it had not been for him they had been all sent to || might be sure he should be no loser by taking the parish ; but that he obliged the other rela
obliged the other rela- him home again, and that she would come and tions to share the charge among them; that he | see him again, and talk farther about things with had taken two, whereof he had lost the eldest, || him, that so all might be settled for him, in suc who died of the small-pox; but that he had been a manner as the accidents, such as mortality or as careful of this as of his own, and had made | anything else, should make no alteration to the very little difference in their breeding up, only
ne in their breeding up, only || child's prejudice. that when he came to put him out he thought it || At this meeting, the uncle brought his wife best for the boy to put him to a trade which he || out, a good motherly, comely, grave woman, who might set up in without a stock, for otherwise his spoke very tenderly of the youth, and as it aptime would be lost; and that, as to his mother, peared, had been very good to him, though she he had never been able to hear one word of her, had several children of her own. After a long no, not though he had made the utmost inquiry || discourse, she put in a word of her own. “Maafter her; that there went a report that she had | dam," says she, “I am heartily glad of the good drowned herself; but that he could never meet || intentions you have for this poor orphan, and I with anybody that could give him a certain ac Il rejoice sincerely in it for his sake; but madam, count of it.
you know, (I suppose) that there are two sisters Amy counterfeited a cry for her poor mistress; || alive too; may we not speak a word for them? told him, she would give anything in the worid | poor girls," says she, “ they have not been so to see her, if she was alive, and a great deal || kindly used as he has, and are turned out to the more such like talk they had about that ; then || wide world." they returned to speak of the boy.
“ Where are they, madam," says Amy. He inquired of her, why she did not seek after “ Poor creatures,” says the gentlewoman, “they the child before, that he might have been brought || are out at service; nobody knows where but up from a younger age, suitable to what she de I themselves; their case is very hard." signed to do for him.
“ Well, madam," said Amy, “ though if I could She told him, she had been out of England, Il but find them, I would assist them; yet my conand was but newly returned from the East Indies. || cern is for my boy, as I call him, and I'll put him That she had been out of England, and was but || iu a condition to take care of his sisters." newly returned, was true, but the latter was | “But madam," says the good compassionate false, and was put in to blind him, and to pro- ll creature," he may not be so charitable, perhaps aunt."
by his own inclination, for brothers are not fa- | “He that brought up your brother?" says thers; and they have been cruelly used already, || Amy; "why didn't he bring you up too, as well! poor girls; we have often relieved thein, both || as your brother? Pray who brought you up?" with victuals and clothes too, even while they | Here the poor girl told a melancholy story, were pretended to be kept by their barbarous | how an aunt had brought up her and her sister,
ll and how barbarously she had used them, as we “ Well, madam," says Amy, “what can I do have heard. for them; they are gone, it soems, and cannot By this time Amy had her head full enough, be heard of? When I see them, 'tis time enough.” || and her heart too; and did not know how to hold it,
She pressed Amy then to oblige their brother, || or what to do, for she was satisfied that this was out of the plentiful fortune he was like to have, no other than my own daughter; for she told to do somcthing for his sisters when he should be || her all the history of her father and mother, and able.
how she was carried by their maid to her aunt's Amy spoke coldly of that still, but said she || door, just as is related in the beginning of my would consider of it, and so they parted for that || story. time; they had several meetings after this, for | Amy did not tell me this story for a great Amy went to see her adopted son, and ordered while, nor did she well know what course to take his schooling, clothes, and other things, but en- in it; but as she had authority to manage everyjoined them not to tell the young man anything, I thing in the family, she took occasion some time but that they thought the trade he was at too aster, without letting me know anything of it, hard for him, and they would keep him at home to find some fault with the maid, and turn ber a little longer, and give him some schooling, to fit away. him for better business; and Amy appeared to | Her reasons were good, though at first I was him as she did before, only is one that had not pleased when I heard of it, but I was conknown his mother, and had some kindness for vinced afterwards, that she was in the right; for him.
if she had told me of it, I should have been in Thus this matter passed on for near a twelve- ll great perplexity between the difficulty of conmonth, wher, it happened that one of my maid | cealing myself from my own child, and the inconservants having asked Amy leave, for Amy was | venience of having my way of living be known mistress of the servants, and took in and put out among my first bushand's relations, and even to such as she pleased; I say, having asked leave to my husband hiinself; for as to his being dead at go into the city to see some friends, came home Paris, Amy seeing me resolved against marrying crying bitterly, and in a most grievous agony she | any more, had told me that she had formed tbat was, and continued so several days, till Amy, story only to make me easy, when I was in Hol. perceiving the excess, and that the maid would | land, if any thing should offer to my liking certainly cry herself sick, she took an oppor. l! However, I was too tender a mother still, not. tunity with her, and examined her about it. withstanding what I had done, to let this pocr
The maid told her a long story that she had girl go about the world drudging, as it were for been to see her brother, the only brother she bread, and slaving at the fire, and in the kitchen, had in the world, and that she knew he was put || as a cook maid; besides it came into my head, out an apprentice to a — ; but there had come that she might marry some poor devil of a foota lady in a coach to his uncle who had | man, or a coachman, or some such thing, and be brought him up, and made him take him home undone that way, or, which was worse, be drawn again ; and so the wench run on with the whole in to lie with some of that coarse cursed kind, story, just as 'uis told above, till she came to | and be with child, and be utterly ruined that that part that belonged to herself, and there, I way; and in the midst of all my prosperity this says she, “I had not let them know where I gave me great uneasiness. lived, and the lady would have taken me, and As to sending Amy to her, there was no doing they say, would have provided for me too, as she that now; for as she had been servant in the has done for my brother, but nobody could tell house, she knew Amy as well as Amy knew me; where to find me, and so I have lost it all, and and no doubt, though I was much out of her all the hopes of being anything but a poor ser- || sight, yet she might have had the curiosity to vant all my days :" and then the girl fell a have peeped at me, and seen me cnough to know i crying.
me again, if I had discovered myself to ber; se Amy said, “what's all this story? who could | that, in short, there was nothing to be done that this lady be? it must be some trick sure."—"No," || way. she said, “'twas not a trick, for she had madell. However, Amy, a diligent indefatigable crea. them take her brother home from apprentice, . ture, found out another woman and gave her ber and bought him new clothes, and put him to errand, and sent her to the honest man's house have more learning; and the gentlewoman said | in Spitalfields, whither she supposed the girl she wonld make him her heir."
would go, after she was out of her place; and ." Her heir," says Amy, “what does that bade her talk with her, and tell her at a distance amount to? it may be she has nothing to leave that as something had been done for her brother, him ; she might make anybody her heir." so something would be done for her too; and
“ No, no ;" says the girl, “ she came in a fine i that she should not be discouraged, she carried coach and horses, and I don't know how many || her 201. to buy her clothes, and bid her not go to footmen to attend her, and brought a great bag | service any more, but think of other things; that of gold, and gave it to my uncle he that || she should take a lodging in some good family, brought up my brother, to buy him clothes, and || and she should soon hear further. to pay for his schooling and board."
" The girl was overjoyed with this news, you
may be sure, and at first a little too much ele. || swered him, and told him his lady was not at vated with it, and dressed herself very handsomely | home, but there was Mrs Amy above ; so he did indeed, and as soon as she had done so, came and not order her to be called down, but went upstairs paid a visit to Madam Amy, to let her see how | into the dining-room, and Mrs Amy came to bim; fine she was. Amy congratulated her, and he asked where I was?“ My lord,” said she, wished it might be all as she expected; but “my mistress has been removed a good while admonished her not to be elevated with it too || hence, and lives at Kensington." _ * Ay, Mrs much; told her, humility was the best ornament of || Amy! how come you to be here then ?"_" My a gentlewoman; and a great deal of good advice | lord," said she, “we are here till the quartershe gave her, but discovered nothing.
day, because the goods are not removed, and to All this was acted in the first years of my set- il give answers, if any one comes to ask for my ting up my new figure in the town, and while the lady. "__"Well, and what answer are you to give masks and balls were in agitation: and Amy to me?”“ Indeed, my lord,” says Amy, “I have carried the affair of setting out my son into the no particular answer to your lordship, but to tell world, which we were assisted in by the sage | yoni, and everybody else, where my lady lives, advice of my faithful counsellor Sir Robert Clay- || that they may not think she's run away."_" No, ton, who procured us a master for him, by whom ! Mrs Amy," says he, “I don't think she's run he was afterwards sent abroad to Italy, as you away, but indeed, I can't go after her so far as shall hear in its place; and Amy managed my ll that.” Amy said nothing to that, but made a daughter too very well, though by a third hand." curtesy, and said, “ she believed I would be there
My amour with my Lord - began now to again for a week or two in a little time."_"How draw to an end, and indeed, notwitstanding his little time, Mrs Amy ?" says my lord. “ She money, it had lasted so long, that I was much comes next Tuesday,” says Amy.“ Very well," more sick of his lordship than he could be of me; says my lord, “ I will call and see her then ;” and he grew old, and fretful, and captious, and I must so he went away. add, which made the vice itself begin to grow Accordingly I came on the Tuesday, and stayed surfeiting and nauseous to me, he grew worse || a fortnight, but he came not; so I went back to and wickeder, the older he grew, and that to Kensington, and after that I had very few of his such degree, as it is not fit to write of, and made | lordship's visits, which I was very glad of, and in me so weary of him, that upon one of his capri | little time after was more glad of it than I was at cious humours, which he often took occasion to first, and upon a better account too. trouble me with, I took occasion to be much less For now I began not to be sick of his lordship complaisant to him that I used to be ; and, as I I only, but really I began to be sick of the vice; knew him to be hasty, I first took care to put || and as I had good leisure now to divert and enjoy him into a little passion, and then to resent it, || myself in the world, as much as it was possible and this brought us to words, in which I told || for any woman to do that ever lived in it; so I him I thought he grew sick of me; and he an found that my judgment began to prevail upon swered in a heat, that truly so he was. I an. me to fix my delight upon nobler objects than 1 swered, that I found his lordship was endeavour- had formerly done, and the very beginning of ing to make me sick too; that I had met with this brought some just reflection upon me relating several such rubs from him of late, and that he did | to things past, and to the former manner of my not use me as he was wont to do, and I begged || living; and though there was not the least hint his lordship he would make himself easy. This | in all this from what may be called religion or I spoke with an air of coldness and indifference, conscience, and far from anything of repentance, such as I knew he could not bear ; but I did not or anything that was akin to it, especially at first; downright quarrel with him, and tell him I was yet the sense of things, and the knowledge I had sick of him too, and desire him to quit me, for of the world, and the vast variety of scenes that I knew that would come of itself; besides, I had I had acted my part in, began to work upon my received a great deal of handsome usage from senses, and it came so very strong upon my mind him, and I was loth to have the breach be on one morning when I had been lying awake some my side, that he might not be able to say I was time in my bed, as if somebody had asked me the ungrateful.
question, 'What was I a whore for now? It But he put the occasion into my hands, for he occurred naturally upon this inquiry, that at first came no more to me for two months ; indeed, II yielded to the importunity of my circumstances, expected a fit of absence, for such I had had the misery of which the devil dismally aggraseveral times before, but not for above a fortnight | vated, to draw me to comply; for I confess I had or three weeks at most: but after I had staid a strong natural aversions to the crime at first, month, which was longer than ever he kept away partly owing to a virtuous education, and partly to yet, I took a new method with him, for I was a sense of religion ; but the devil, and that greater resolved now it should be in my power to con- | devil of poverty prevailed ; and the person who tinue or not, as I thought fit. At the end of a laid siege to me, did it in such an obliging, and I month therefore I removed, and took lodgings at | may almost say, irresistible manner, all still ma. Kensington Gravel Pits, and that part next to | naged by the evil spirit, for I must be allowed to the road to Acton, and left nobody in my lodg- || believe ihat he has a share in all such things, if ings but Amy and the footman, with proper in || not the whole management of them. But, I say, structions how to behave, when his lordship, being it was carried on by that person in such an irrecome to himself, should think fit to come again, Il sistible manner, that (as I said) when I related which I knew he would.
the fact, there was no withstanding it: these About the end of two months he came in the circumstances, I say, the devil managed not only dusk of the evening as usual ; the footman an- Il to bring me to comply, but he continued them as