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with the affair, he then resolved, whatever pains
it cost him, to communicate the whole truth him-
self to Amelia, from whose goodness he doubted
not but to obtain an absolute remission.



CHAPTER yill

In which Amelia appears in a light more amiable than gay.

WE will now return to Amelia, whom we
left in some perturbation of mind de-
parting from Mrs. Atkinson.

Though she had before walked through the
streets in a very improper dress with Mrs. At-
kinson, she was unwilling, especially as she was
alone, to return in the same manner. Indeed,
she was scarce able to walk in her present con-
dition; for the case of poor Atkinson had much
affected her tender heart, and her eyes had over-
flown with many tears.

It occurred likewise to her at present that she
had not a single shilling in her pocket or at home
to provide food for herself and her family. In
this situation she resolved to go immediately to
the pawnbroker whither she had gone before, and
to deposit her picture for what she could raise
upon it. She then immediately took a chair and
put her design in execution.

The intrinsic value of the gold in which this
picture was set, and of the little diamonds which
surrounded it, amounted to nine guineas. This
therefore was advanced to her, and the prettiest
face in the world (such is often the fate of beauty)
was deposited, as of no value, into the bargain.

212



AMELIA 213

When she came home she found the following
letter from Mrs. Atkinson: —

*'My dearest Madam, — As I know your good-
ness, I could not delay a moment acquainting you
with the happy turn of my affairs since you went.
The doctor, on his return to visit my husband,
has assured me that the captain was on the re-
covery, and in very little danger; and I really
think he is since mended. I hope to wait on you
soon with better news. Heaven bless you, dear
madam! and believe me to be, with the utmost
sincerity,

Your most obliged, obedient, humble servant,

Atkinson."

Amelia was really pleased with this letter ; and
now, it being past four o'clock, she despaired
of seeing her husband till the evening. She there-
fore provided some tarts for her children, and
then, eating nothing but a slice of bread and
butter herself, she began to prepare for the cap-
tain's supper.

There were two things of which her husband
was particularly fond, which, though it may
bring the simplicity of his taste into great con-
tempt with some of my readers, I will venture
to name. These were a fowl and egg sauce and
mutton broth; both which Amelia immediately
purchased.

As soon as the clock struck seven the good
creature went down into the kitchen, and began to
exercise her talents of cookery, of which she was



214 AMELIA

a great mistress, as she was of every economical
office from the highest to the lowest: and, as no
woman could outshine her in a drawing-room, so
none could make the drawing-room itself shine
brighter than Amelia. And, if I may speak a
bold truth, I question whether it be possible to
view this fine creature in a more amiable light
than while she was dressing her husband's sup-
per, with her little children playing round her.

It was now half an hour passed eight, and the
meat almost ready, the table likewise neatly
spread with materials borrowed from her land-
lady, and she began to grow a little uneasy at
Booth's not returning when a sudden knock at
the door roused her spirits, and she cried, ''There,
my dear, there is your good papa;" at which
words she darted swiftly upstairs and opened the
door to her husband.

She desired her husband to walk up into the
dining-room, and she would come to him in an
instant; for she was desirous to increase his pleas-
ure by surprising him with his two favorite
dishes. She then went down again to the kitchen,
where the maid of the house undertook to send up
the supper, and she with her children returned
to Booth.

He then told her concisely what had happened
with relation to the girl — to which she scarce
made any answer, but asked him if he had not
dined? He assured her he had not eaten a mor-
sel the whole day. ''Well," says she, "my dear,
I am a fellow-sufferer; but we shall both enjoy
our supper the more; for I have made a little



AMELIA 215

provision for yon, as I guessed what might be
the case. I have got you a bottle of wine too.
And here is a clean cloth and a smiling coun-
tenance, my dear Will. Indeed, I am in unusual
good spirits to-night, and I have made a promise
to the children, which you must confirm; I have
promised to let them sit up this one night to
supper with us. — Nay, don't look so serious: cast
off all uneasy thoughts, I have a present for you
here — no matter how I came by it." — At which
words she put eight guineas into his hand, cry-
ing, ''Come, my dear Bill, be gay — Fortune will
yet be kind to us — at least let us be happy this
night. Indeed, the pleasures of many women
during their whole lives will not amount to my
happiness this night if you will be in good hu-
mor. ' '

Booth fetched a deep sigh, and cried, ''How un-
happy am I, my dear, that I can't sup with you
to-night ! ' '

As in the delightful month of June, when the
sky is all serene, and the whole face of nature
looks with a pleasing and smiling aspect, sud-
denly a dark cloud spreads itself over the hemi-
sphere, the sun vanishes from our sight, and
every object is obscured by a dark and horrid
gloom ; so happened it to Amelia : the joy that had
enlightened every feature disappeared in a mo-
ment ; the luster forsook her shining eyes, and all
the little loves that played and wantoned in her
cheeks hung their drooping heads, and with a
faint trembling voice she repeated her husband's
words, "Not sup with me to-night, my dear!"*



216 AMELIA

' ' Indeed, my dear, ' ' answered he, * * I cannot. I
need not tell you how uneasy it makes me, or
that I am as much disappointed as yourself; but
I am engaged to sup abroad. I have absolutely
given my honor; and besides, it is on business
of importance."

"My dear," said she, *'I say no more. I am
convinced you would not willingly sup from me.
I own it is a very particular disappointment to
me to-night, when I had proposed unusual pleas-
ure; but the same reason which is sufficient to
you ought to be so to me."

Booth made his wife a compliment on her ready
compliance, and then asked her what she intended
by giving him that money, or how she came by it ?

"I intend, my dear," said she, "to give it you;
that is all. As to the manner in which I came by
it, you know, Billy, that is not very material.
You are well assured I got it by no means which
would displease you; and, perhaps, another time
I may tell you."

Booth asked no further questions; but he re-
turned her, and insisted on her taking, all but one
guinea, saying she was the safest treasurer. He
then promised her to make all the haste home in
his power, and he hoped, he said, to be with her
in an hour and half at farthest, and then took his
leave.

When he was gone the poor disappointed Ame-
lia sat down to supper with her children, with
whose company she was forced to console herself
for the absence of her husband.



CHAPTER IX

A very tragic scene.

THE clock had struck eleven, and Amelia
was just proceeding to put her children
to bed, when she heard a knock at the
street-door; upon which the boy cried out,
"There's papa, mamma; pray let me stay and see
him before I go to bed." This was a favor very
easily obtained; for Amelia instantly ran down-
stairs, exulting in the goodness of her husband
for returning so soon, though half an hour was
already elapsed beyond the time in which he
promised to return.

Poor Amelia was now again disappointed; for
it was not her husband at the door, but a servant
with a letter for him, which he delivered into her
hands. She immediately returned up-stairs, and
said — *'It was not your papa, my dear; but I
hope it is one who hath lirought us some good
news." For Booth had told her that he hourly
expected to receive such from the great man,
and had desired her to open any letter which
came to him in his absence.

Amelia therefore broke open the letter, and
read as follows:

"Sir, — After what hath passed between us, I
need only tell you that I know you supped this

217



218 AMELIA

very night alone with Miss Matthews: a fact
which will upbraid you sufficiently, without put-
ting me to that trouble, and will very well ac-
count for my desiring the favor of seeing you
to-morrow in Hyde-park at six in the morning.
You will forgive me reminding you once more
how inexcusable this behavior is in you, who are
possessed in your own wife of the most inestima-
ble jewel.

Yours, &c.

T. James.
I shall bring pistols with me."

It is not easy to describe the agitation of Ame-
lia's mind when she read this letter. She threw
herself into her chair, turned as pale as death,
began to tremble all over, and had just power
enough left to tap the bottle of wine, which she
had hitherto preserved entire for her husband,
and to drink off a large bumper.

The little boy perceived the strange symptoms
which appeared in his mother ; and running to her,
he cried, "What's the matter, my dear mamma!
you don't look well! — No harm hath happened
to poor papa, I hope — Sure that bad man hath
not carried him away again?"

Amelia answered, '*No, child, nothing — nothing
at all." And then a large shower of tears came
to her assistance, which presently after produced
the same in the eyes of both the children.

Amelia, after a short silence, looking tenderly
at her children, cried out, "It is too much, too
much to bear. Why did I bring these little



AMELIA 219

wretches into the world? why were these inno-
cents born to such a fate?" She then threw her
arms round them both (for they were before em-
bracing her knees), and cried, '^O my children!
my children ! forgive me, my babes ! Forgive me
that I have brought you into such a world as
this! You are undone — my children are un-
done ! ' '

The little boy answered with great spirit,
"How undone, mamma? my sister and I don't
care a farthing for being undone. Don't cry so
upon our accounts — we are both very well; in-
deed we are. But do pray tell us. I am sure
some accident hath happened to poor papa."

*' Mention him no more," cries Amelia; ''your
papa is — indeed he is a wicked man — he cares not
for any of us. Heavens ! is this the happiness
I promised myself this evening?" At which
words she fell into an agony, holding both her
children in her arms.

The maid of the house now entered the room,
with a letter in her hand which she had received
from a porter, whose arrival the reader will not
wonder to have been unheard by Amelia in her
present condition.

The maid, upon her entrance into the room, per-
ceiving the situation of Amelia, cried out, ' ' Good
Heavens! madam, what's the matter?" Upon
which Amelia, who had a little recovered herself
after the last violent vent of her passion, started
up and cried, ''Nothing, Mrs. Susan — nothing ex-
traordinary. I am subject to these fits sometimes ;
but I am very well now. Come, my dear chil-



220 AMELIA

dren, I am very well again; indeed I am. You
must now go to bed; Mrs. Susan will be so good
as to put you to bed."

"But why doth not papa love us?" cries the lit-
tle boy. "I am sure we have none of us done
anything to disoblige him."

This innocent question of the child so stung
Amelia that she had the utmost difficulty to pre-
vent a relapse. However, she took another dram
of wine ; for so it might be called to her, who was
the most temperate of women, and never ex-
ceeded three glasses on any occasion. In this
glass she drank her children's health, and soon
after so well soothed and composed them that
they went quietly away with Mrs. Susan.

The maid, in the shock she had conceived at
the melancholy, indeed frightful scene, which had
presented itself to her at her first coming into the
room, had quite forgot the letter which she held
in her hand. However, just at her departure she
recollected it, and delivered it to Amelia, who
was no sooner alone than she opened it, and read
as follows:

''My dearest, sweetest Love, — I write this
from the bailitf's house where I was formerly,
and to which I am again brought at the suit of
that villain Trent. I have the misfortune to
think I owe this accident (I mean that it happened
to-night) to my own folly in endeavoring to keep
a secret from you. my dear! had I had reso-
lution to confess my crime to you, your forgive-
ness would, I am convinced, have cost me only



AMELIA 221

a few blushes, and I had now been happy in your
arms. Fool that I was, to leave you on such an
account, and to add to a former transgression a
new one ! — Yet, by Heavens ! I mean not a trans-
gression of the like kind ; for of that I am not nor
ever will be guilty; and when you know the true
reason of my leaving you to-night I think you
will pity rather than upbraid me. I am sure you
would if you knew the compunction with which I
left you to go to the most worthless, the most in-
famous. Do guess the rest — guess that crime
with which I cannot stain my paper — but still be-
lieve me no more guilty than I am, or, if it will
lessen your vexation at what hath befallen me,
believe me as guilty as you please, and think me,
for a while at least, as undeserving of you as I
think myself. This paper and pen are so bad, I
question whether you can read what I write: I
.almost doubt whether I wish you should. Yet
this I will endeavor to make as legible as I can.
Be comforted, my dear love, and still keep up
your spirits with the hopes of better days. The
doctor will be in town to-morrow, and I trust on
his goodness for my delivery once more from this
place, and that I shall soon be able to repay him.
That Heaven may bless and preserve you is the
prayer of, my dearest love.

Your ever fond, affectionate,

and hereafter, faithful husband,

W. Booth. ^'

Amelia pretty well guessed the obscure mean-
ing of this letter, which, though at another time



222 AMELIA

it might have given her unspeakable torment, was
at present rather of the medicinal kind, and served
to allay her anguish. Her anger to Booth too be-
gan a little to abate, and was softened by her con-
cern for his misfortune. Upon the whole, how-
ever, she passed a miserable and sleepless night,
her gentle mind torn and distracted with various
and contending passions, distressed with- doubts,
and wandering in a kind of twilight which pre-
sented her only objects of different degrees of
horror, and where black despair closed at a small
distance the gloomy prospect.



BOOK XII
CHAPTER I

The book begins with polite history.

BEFORE we return to the miserable cou-
ple, whom we left at the end of the last
book, we will give our reader the more
cheerful view of the gay and happy family of
Colonel James.

Mrs. James, when she could not, as we have
seen, prevail with Amelia to accept that invitation
which, at the desire of the colonel, she had so
kindly and obediently carried her, returned to
her husband and acquainted him with the ill suc-
cess of her embassy; at which, to say the truth,
she was almost as much disappointed as the colo-
nel himself ; for he had not taken a much stronger
liking to Amelia than she herself had conceived
for Booth. This will account for some passages
which may have a little surprised the reader in
the former chapters of this history, as we were
not then at leisure to communicate to them a hint
of this kind; it was, indeed, on Mr. Booth's ac-
count that she had been at the trouble of changing
her dress at the masquerade.

But her passions of this sort, happily for her,
were not extremely strong; she was therefore
easily balked ; and, as she met with no encourage-

223



224 AMELIA

ment from Booth, she soon gave way to the im-
petuosity of Miss Matthews, and from that time
scarce thought more of the affair till her hus-
band's design against the wife revived hers like-
wise; insomuch that her passion was at this time
certainly strong enough for Booth, to produce a
good hearty hatred for Amelia, whom she now
abused to the colonel in very gross terms, both on
the account of her poverty and her insolence, for
so she termed the refusal of all her offers.

The colonel, seeing no hopes of soon possessing
his new mistress, began, like a prudent and wise
man, to turn his thoughts towards the securing
his old one. From what his wife had mentioned
concerning the behavior of the shepherdess, and
particularly her preference of Booth, he had lit-
tle doubt but that this was the identical Miss
Matthews. He resolved therefore to watch her
closely, in hopes of discovering Booth's intrigue
with her. In this, besides the remainder of af-
fection which he yet preserved for that lady, he
had another view, as it would give him a fair
pretense to quarrel with Booth ; who, by carrying
on this intrigue, would have broke his word and
honor given to him. And he began now to hate
poor Booth heartily, from the same reason from
which Mrs. James had contracted her aversion
to Amelia.

The colonel therefore employed an inferior kind
of pimp to watch the lodgings of Miss Matthews,
and to acquaint him if Booth, whose person was
known to the pimp, made any visit there.

The pimp faithfully performed his office, and,



I



AMELIA 225

laving last night made the wished-for discovery,
immediately acquainted his master with it.

Upon this news the colonel presently dispatched
to Booth the short note which we have before
5een. He sent it to his own house instead of Miss
Matthews 's, with hopes of that very accident
svhich actually did happen. Not that he had any
ingredient of the bully in him, and desired to be
prevented from fighting, but with a prospect of
injuring Booth in the affection and esteem of
Amelia, and of recommending himself somewhat
to her by appearing in the light of her champion ;
for which purpose he added that compliment to
Amelia in his letter. He concluded upon the
wrhole that, if Booth himself opened the letter, he
w^ould certainly meet him the next morning; but
if his wife should open it before he came home
it might have the effects before mentioned; and,
for his future expostulation with Booth, it would
Qot be in Amelia's power to prevent it.

Now it happened that this pimp had more mas-
ters than one. Amongst these was the worthy
Mr. Trent, for whom he had often done business
of the pimping vocation. He had been employed
indeed in the service of the great peer himself,
under the direction of the said Trent, and was
the very person who had assisted the said Trent
in dogging Booth and his wife to the opera-house
on the masquerade night.

This subaltern pimp was with his superior
Trent yesterday morning, when he found a bailiff
with him in order to receive his instructions for
the arresting Booth, when the bailiff said it would

! Ill— 15



226 AMELIA «

be a very difficult matter to take him, for that to
his knowledge he was as shy a cock as any in
England. The subaltern immediately acquainted
Trent with the business in which he was employed
by the colonel; upon which Trent enjoined him
the moment he had set him to give immediate
notice to the bailiff, which he agreed to, and per-
formed accordingly.

The bailiff, on receiving the notice, immedi-
ately set out for his stand at an alehouse within
three doors of Miss Matthews 's lodgings; at
which, unfortunately for poor Booth, he arrived
a very few minutes before Booth left that lady
in order to return to Amelia.

These were several matters of which we thought
necessary our reader should be informed; for,
besides that it conduces greatly to a perfect un-
derstanding of all history, there is no exercise of
the mind of a sensible reader more pleasant than
the tracing the several small and almost imper-
ceptible links in every chain of events by which
all the great actions of the world are produced.
"We will now in the next chapter proceed with our
history.



CHAPTER II

In which Amelia visits her husband.

AMELIA, after much anxious thinking, in
which she sometimes flattered herself
that her husband was less guilty than she
had at first imagined him, and that he had some
good excuse to make for himself (for, indeed, she
was not so able as willing to make one for him),
at length resolved to set out for the bailiff's cas-
tle. Having therefore strictly recommended the
care of her children to her good landlady, she
sent for a hackney-coach, and ordered the coach-
man to drive to Gray's-inn-lane.

When she came to the house, and asked for the
captain, the bailiff's wife, who came to the door,
guessing, by the greatness of her beauty and the
disorder of her dress, that she was a young lady
of pleasure, answered surlily, "Captain! I do not
know of any captain that is here, not I!" For
this good woman was, as well as dame Purgante
in Prior, a bitter enemy to all whores, especially
to those of the handsome kind; for some such she
suspected to go shares with her in a certain prop-
erty to which the law gave her the sole right.

Amelia replied she was certain that Captain

Booth was there. "Well, if he is so," cries the

baihff's wife, "you may come into the kitchen

if you will, and he shall be called down to you if

227



228 AMELIA

you have any business with him/' At the same
time she muttered something to herself, and con-
cluded a little more intelligibly, though still in a
muttering voice, that she kept no such house.

Amelia, whose innocence gave her no suspicion
of the true cause of this good woman's sullenness,
was frightened, and began to fear she knew not
what. At last she made a shift to totter into the
kitchen, when the mistress of the house asked
her, ''Well, madam, who shall I tell the captain
wants to speak with him?"

''I ask your pardon, madam," cries Amelia;
*'in my confusion I really forgot you did not know
me — tell him, if you please, that I am his wife."

"And you are indeed his wife, madam?" cries
Mrs. Bailiff, a little softened.

'^Yes, indeed, and upon my honor," answers
Amelia.

''If this be the case," cries the other, "you
may walk up-stairs if you please. Heaven forbid
I should part man and wife ! Indeed, I think they
can never be too much together. But I never will
suffer any bad doings in my house, nor any of the
town ladies to come to gentlemen here."

Amelia answered that she liked her the better:
for, indeed, in her present disposition, Amelia
was as much exasperated against wicked women
as the virtuous mistress of the house, or any other
virtuous woman could be.

The bailiff's wife then ushered Amelia up-
stairs, and, having unlocked the prisoner's doors,
cried, "Captain, here is your lady, sir, come to
see you." At which words Booth started up



AMELIA 229

from his ciiair, and caught Amelia in his arms,
embracing her for a considerable time with so
much rapture, that the bailiff's wife, who was an
eye-witness of this violent fondness, began to sus-
pect whether Amelia had really told her truth.
However, she had some little awe of the captain ;
and for fear of being in the wrong did not inter-
fere, but shut the door and turned the key.

When Booth found himself alone with his wife,
and had vented the first violence of his rapture
in kisses and embraces, he looked tenderly at her
and cried, **Is it possible, Amelia, is it possible
you can have this goodness to follow such a
wretch as me to such a place as this — or do you
come to upbraid me with my guilt, and to sink
me down to that perdition I so justly deserve?"

"Am I so given to upbraiding then?" says she,
in a gentle voice; "have I ever given you occasion
to think I would sink you to perdition ? ' '

"Far be it from me, my love, to think so," an-
swered he. * ' And yet you may forgive the utmost
fears of an offending penitent sinner. I know, in-
deed, the extent of your goodness, and yet I know
my guilt so great — "

"Alas! Mr. Booth," said she, "what guilt is
this which you mention, and which you writ to
me of last night? — Sure, by your mentioning to
me so much, you intend to tell me more — nay, in-
deed, to tell me all; and not leave my mind open
to suspicions perhaps ten times worse than the
truth."

"Will you give me a patient hearing?" said he.

**I will indeed," answered she, "nay, I am pre-



230 AMELIA

pared to hear the worst you can unfold ; nay, per-
haps, the worst is short of my apprehensions."

Booth then, after a little further apology, began



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