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The Fortunate Mistress (Parts 1 and 2)
by Daniel Defoe
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The good family in whose care they had been, I had resolved to take more than ordinary notice of; and Amy, by my order, had acquainted them with it, and obliged my daughters to promise to submit to their government, as formerly, and to be ruled by the honest man as by a father and counsellor; and engaged him to treat them as his children. And to oblige him effectually to take care of them, and to make his old age comfortable both to him and his wife, who had been so good to the orphans, I had ordered her to settle the other L2000, that is to say, the interest of it, which was L120 a year, upon them, to be theirs for both their lives, but to come to my two daughters after them. This was so just, and was so prudently managed by Amy, that nothing she ever did for me pleased me better. And in this posture, leaving my two daughters with their ancient friend, and so coming away to me (as they thought to the East Indies), she had prepared everything in order to her going over with me to Holland; and in this posture that matter stood when that unhappy girl, who I have said so much of, broke in upon all our measures, as you have heard, and, by an obstinacy never to be conquered or pacified, either with threats or persuasions, pursued her search after me (her mother) as I have said, till she brought me even to the brink of destruction; and would, in all probability, have traced me out at last, if Amy had not, by the violence of her passion, and by a way which I had no knowledge of, and indeed abhorred, put a stop to her, of which I cannot enter into the particulars here.

However, notwithstanding this, I could not think of going away and leaving this work so unfinished as Amy had threatened to do, and for the folly of one child to leave the other to starve, or to stop my determined bounty to the good family I have mentioned. So, in a word, I committed the finishing it all to my faithful friend the Quaker, to whom I communicated as much of the whole story as was needful to empower her to perform what Amy had promised, and to make her talk so much to the purpose, as one employed more remotely than Amy had been, needed to be.

To this purpose she had, first of all, a full possession of the money; and went first to the honest man and his wife, and settled all the matter with them; when she talked of Mrs. Amy, she talked of her as one that had been empowered by the mother of the girls in the Indies, but was obliged to go back to the Indies, and had settled all sooner if she had not been hindered by the obstinate humour of the other daughter; that she had left instructions with her for the rest; but that the other had affronted her so much that she was gone away without doing anything for her; and that now, if anything was done, it must be by fresh orders from the East Indies.

I need not say how punctually my new agent acted; but, which was more, she brought the old man and his wife, and my other daughter, several times to her house, by which I had an opportunity, being there only as a lodger, and a stranger, to see my other girl, which I had never done before, since she was a little child.

The day I contrived to see them I was dressed up in a Quaker's habit, and looked so like a Quaker, that it was impossible for them, who had never seen me before, to suppose I had ever been anything else; also my way of talking was suitable enough to it, for I had learned that long before.

I have not time here to take notice what a surprise it was to me to see my child; how it worked upon my affections; with what infinite struggle I mastered a strong inclination that I had to discover myself to her; how the girl was the very counterpart of myself, only much handsomer; and how sweetly and modestly she behaved; how, on that occasion, I resolved to do more for her than I had appointed by Amy, and the like.

It is enough to mention here, that as the settling this affair made way for my going on board, notwithstanding the absence of my old agent Amy, so, however, I left some hints for Amy too, for I did not yet despair of my hearing from her; and that if my good Quaker should ever see her again, she should let her see them; wherein, particularly, ordering her to leave the affair of Spitalfields just as I had done, in the hands of my friend, she should come away to me; upon this condition, nevertheless, that she gave full satisfaction to my friend the Quaker that she had not murdered my child; for if she had, I told her I would never see her face more. However, notwithstanding this, she came over afterwards, without giving my friend any of that satisfaction, or any account that she intended to come over.

I can say no more now, but that, as above, being arrived in Holland, with my spouse and his son, formerly mentioned, I appeared there with all the splendour and equipage suitable to our new prospect, as I have already observed.

Here, after some few years of flourishing and outwardly happy circumstances, I fell into a dreadful course of calamities, and Amy also; the very reverse of our former good days. The blast of Heaven seemed to follow the injury done the poor girl by us both, and I was brought so low again, that my repentance seemed to be only the consequence of my misery, as my misery was of my crime.



CONTINUATION

(From the 1745 Edition)

In resolving to go to Holland with my husband, and take possession of the title of countess as soon as possible, I had a view of deceiving my daughter, were she yet alive, and seeking me out; for it seldom happens that a nobleman, or his lady, are called by their surnames, and as she was a stranger to our noble title, might have inquired at our next door neighbours for Mr. ——, the Dutch merchant, and not have been one jot the wiser for her inquiry. So one evening, soon after this resolution, as I and my husband were sitting together when supper was over, and talking of several various scenes in life, I told him that, as there was no likelihood of my being with child, as I had some reason to suspect I was some time before, I was ready to go with him to any part of the world, whenever he pleased. I said, that great part of my things were packed up, and what was not would not be long about, and that I had little occasion to buy any more clothes, linen, or jewels, whilst I was in England, having a large quantity of the richest and best of everything by me already. On saying these words, he took me in his arms, and told me that he looked on what I had now spoken with so great an emphasis, to be my settled resolution, and the fault should not lie on his side if it miscarried being put in practice.

The next morning he went out to see some merchants, who had received advice of the arrival of some shipping which had been in great danger at sea, and whose insurance had run very high; and it was this interval that gave me an opportunity of my coming to a final resolution. I now told the Quaker, as she was sitting at work in her parlour, that we should very speedily leave her, and although she daily expected it, yet she was really sorry to hear that we had come to a full determination; she said abundance of fine things to me on the happiness of the life I did then, and was going to live; believing, I suppose, that a countess could not have a foul conscience; but at that very instant, I would have, had it been in my power, resigned husband, estate, title, and all the blessings she fancied I had in the world, only for her real virtue, and the sweet peace of mind, joined to a loving company of children, which she really possessed.

When my husband returned, he asked me at dinner if I persevered in my resolution of leaving England; to which I answered in the affirmative. "Well," says he, "as all my affairs will not take up a week's time to settle, I will be ready to go from London with you in ten days' time." We fixed upon no particular place or abode, but in general concluded to go to Dover, cross the Channel to Calais, and proceed from thence by easy journeys to Paris, where after staying about a week, we intended to go through part of France, the Austrian Netherlands, and so on to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or the Hague, as we were to settle before we went from Paris. As my husband did not care to venture all our fortune in one bottom, so our goods, money, and plate were consigned to several merchants, who had been his intimates many years, and he took notes of a prodigious value in his pocket, besides what he gave me to take care of during our journey. The last thing to be considered was, how we should go ourselves, and what equipage we should take with us; my thoughts were wholly taken up about it some time; I knew I was going to be a countess, and did not care to appear anything mean before I came to that honour; but, on the other hand, if I left London in any public way, I might possibly hear of inquiries after me in the road, that I had been acquainted with before. At last I said we would discharge all our servants, except two footmen, who should travel with us to Dover, and one maid to wait on me, that had lived with me only since the retreat of Amy, and she was to go through, if she was willing; and as to the carriage of us, a coach should be hired for my husband, myself, and maid, and two horses were to be hired for the footmen, who were to return with them to London.

When the Quaker had heard when and how we intended to go, she begged, as there would be a spare seat in the coach, to accompany us as far as Dover, which we both readily consented to; no woman could be a better companion, neither was there any acquaintance that we loved better, or could show more respect to us.

The morning before we set out, my husband sent for a master coachman to know the price of a handsome coach, with six able horses, to go to Dover. He inquired how many days we intended to be on the journey? My husband said he would go but very easy, and chose to be three days on the road; that they should stay there two days, and be three more returning to London, with a gentlewoman (meaning the Quaker) in it. The coachman said it would be an eight days' journey, and he would have ten guineas for it. My husband consented to pay him his demand, and he received orders to be ready at the door by seven of the clock the next morning: I was quite prepared to go, having no person to take leave of but the Quaker, and she had desired to see us take the packet-boat at Dover, before we parted with her; and the last night of my stay in London was spent very agreeably with the Quaker and her family. My husband, who stayed out later than usual, in taking his farewell of several merchants of his acquaintance, came home about eleven o'clock, and drank a glass or two of wine with us before we went to bed.

The next morning, the whole family got up about five o'clock, and I, with my husband's consent, made each of the Quaker's daughters a present of a diamond ring, valued at L20, and a guinea apiece to all the servants, without exception. We all breakfasted together, and at the hour appointed, the coach and attendants came to the door; this drew several people about it, who were all very inquisitive to know who was going into the country, and what is never forgot on such occasions, all the beggars in the neighbourhood were prepared to give us their benedictions in hopes of an alms. When the coachmen had packed up what boxes were designed for our use, we, namely, my husband, the Quaker, myself, and the waiting-maid, all got into the coach, the footmen were mounted on horses behind, and in this manner the coach, after I had given a guinea to one of the Quaker's daughters equally to divide among the beggars at the door, drove away from the house, and I took leave of my lodging in the Minories, as well as of London.

At St. George's Church, Southwark, we were met by three gentlemen on horseback, who were merchants of my husband's acquaintance, and had come out on purpose, to go half a day's journey with us; and as they kept talking to us at the coach side, we went a good pace, and were very merry together; we stopped at the best house of entertainment on Shooter's Hill.

Here we stopped for about an hour, and drank some wine, and my husband, whose chief study was how to please and divert me, caused me to alight out of the coach; which the gentlemen who accompanied us observing, alighted also. The waiter showed us upstairs into a large room, whose window opened to our view a fine prospect of the river Thames, which here, they say, forms one of the most beautiful meanders. It was within an hour of high water, and such a number of ships coming in under sail quite astonished as well as delighted me, insomuch that I could not help breaking out into such-like expressions, "My dear, what a fine sight this is; I never saw the like before! Pray will they get to London this tide?" At which the good-natured gentleman smiled, and said, "Yes, my dear; why, there is London, and as the wind is quite fair for them, some of them will come to an anchor in about half-an-hour, and all within an hour."

I was so taken up with looking down the river that, till my husband spoke, I had not once looked up the river; but when I did, and saw London, the Monument, the cathedral church of St. Paul, and the steeples belonging to the several parish churches, I was transported into an ecstasy, and could not refrain from saying, "Sure that cannot be the place we are now just come from, it must be further off, for that looks to be scarce three miles off, and we have been three hours, by my watch, coming from our lodgings in the Minories! No, no, it is not London, it is some other place!"

Upon which one of the gentlemen present offered to convince me that the place I saw was London if I would go up to the top of the house, and view it from the turret. I accepted the offer, and I, my husband, and the three gentlemen were conducted by the master of the house upstairs into the turret. If I was delighted before with my prospect, I was now ravished, for I was elevated above the room I was in before upwards of thirty feet. I seemed a little dizzy, for the turret being a lantern, and giving light all ways, for some time I thought myself suspended in the air; but sitting down, and having eat a mouthful of biscuit and drank a glass of sack, I soon recovered, and then the gentleman who had undertaken to convince me that the place I was shown was really London, thus began, after having drawn aside one of the windows.

"You see, my lady," says the gentleman, "the greatest, the finest, the richest, and the most populous city in the world, at least in Europe, as I can assure your ladyship, upon my own knowledge, it deserves the character I have given it." "But this, sir, will never convince me that the place you now show me is London, though I have before heard that London deserves the character you have with so much cordiality bestowed upon it. And this I can testify, that London, in every particular you have mentioned, greatly surpasses Paris, which is allowed by all historians and travellers to be the second city in Europe."

Here the gentleman, pulling out his pocket-glass, desired me to look through it, which I did; and then he directed me to look full at St. Paul's, and to make that the centre of my future observation, and thereupon he promised me conviction.

Whilst I took my observation, I sat in a high chair, made for that purpose, with a convenience before you to hold the glass. I soon found the cathedral, and then I could not help saying I have been several times up to the stone gallery, but not quite so often up to the iron gallery. Then I brought my eye to the Monument, and was obliged to confess I knew it to be such. The gentleman then moved the glass and desired me to look, which doing, I said, "I think I see Whitehall and St. James's Park, and I see also two great buildings like barns, but I do not know what they are." "Oh," says the gentleman, "they are the Parliament House and Westminster Abbey." "They may be so," said I; and continuing looking, I perceived the very house at Kensington which I had lived in some time; but of that I took no notice, yet I found my colour come, to think what a life of gaiety and wickedness I had lived. The gentleman, perceiving my disorder, said, "I am afraid I have tired your ladyship; I will make but one remove, more easterly, and then I believe you will allow the place we see to be London."

He might have saved himself the trouble, for I was thoroughly convinced of my error; but to give myself time to recover, and to hide my confusion, I seemed not yet to be quite convinced. I looked, and the first object that presented itself was Aldgate Church, which, though I confess to my shame, I seldom saw the inside of it, yet I was well acquainted with the outside, for many times my friend the Quaker and I had passed and repassed by it when we used to go in the coach to take an airing. I saw the church, or the steeple of the church, so plain, and knew it so well, that I could not help saying, with some earnestness, "My dear, I see our church; the church, I mean, belonging to our neighbourhood; I am sure it is Aldgate Church." Then I saw the Tower, and all the shipping; and, taking my eye from the glass, I thanked the gentleman for the trouble I had given him, and said to him that I was fully convinced that the place I saw was London, and that it was the very place we came from that morning.

When we came to Sittingbourne, our servant soon brought us word that although we were at the best inn in the town, yet there was nothing in the larder fit for our dinner. The landlord came in after him and began to make excuses for his empty cupboard. He told us, withal, that if we would please to stay, he would kill a calf, a sheep, a hog, or anything we had a fancy to. We ordered him to kill a pig and some pigeons, which, with a dish of fish, a cherry pie, and some pastry, made up a tolerable dinner. We made up two pounds ten shillings, for we caused the landlord, his wife, and two daughters, to dine with us, and help us off with our wine. Our landlady and her two daughters, with a glass or two given to the cook, managed two bottles of white wine. This operated so strong upon one of the young wenches that, my spouse being gone out into the yard, her tongue began to run; and, looking at me, she says to her mother, "La! mother, how much like the lady her ladyship is" (speaking of me), "the young woman who lodged here the other night, and stayed here part of the next day, and then set forward for Canterbury, described. The lady is the same person, I'm sure."

This greatly alarmed me, and made me very uneasy, for I concluded this young woman could be no other than my daughter, who was resolved to find me out, whether I would or no. I desired the girl to describe the young woman she mentioned, which she did, and I was convinced it was my own daughter. I asked in what manner she travelled, and whether she had any company. I was answered that she was on foot, and that she had no company; but that she always travelled from place to place in company; that her method was, when she came into any town, to go to the best inns and inquire for the lady she sought; and then, when she had satisfied herself that the lady, whom she called her mother, was not to be found in that town or neighbourhood, she then begged the favour of the landlady of the inn where she was, to put her into such a company that she knew that she might go safe to the next town; that this was the manner of her proceeding at her house, and she believed she had practised it ever since she set out from London; and she hoped to meet with her mother, as she called her, upon the road.

I asked my landlady whether she described our coach and equipage, but she said the young woman did not inquire concerning equipage, but only described a lady "so like your ladyship, that I have often, since I saw your ladyship, took you to be the very person she was looking for."

Amidst the distractions of my mind, this afforded me some comfort, that my daughter was not in the least acquainted with the manner in which we travelled. My husband and the landlord returned, and that put an end to the discourse.

I left this town with a heavy heart, feeling my daughter would infallibly find me out at Canterbury; but, as good luck would have it, she had left that city before we came thither, some time. I was very short in one thing, that I had not asked my landlady at Sittingbourne how long it was since my daughter was there. But when I came to Canterbury I was a very anxious and indefatigable in inquiring after my daughter, and I found that she had been at the inn where we then were, and had inquired for me, as I found by the description the people gave of myself.

Here I learnt my daughter had left Canterbury a week. This pleased me; and I was determined to stay in Canterbury one day, to view the cathedral, and see the antiquities of this metropolis.

As we had sixteen miles to our journey's end that night, for it was near four o'clock before we got into our coach again, the coachman drove with great speed, and at dusk in the evening we entered the west gate of the city, and put up at an inn in High Street (near St. Mary Bredman's church), which generally was filled with the best of company. The anxiety of my mind, on finding myself pursued by this girl, and the fatigue of my journey, had made me much out of order, my head ached, and I had no stomach.

This made my husband (but he knew not the real occasion of my illness) and the Quaker very uneasy, and they did all in their power to persuade me to eat anything I could fancy.

At length the landlady of the inn, who perceived I was more disturbed in my mind than sick, advised me to eat one poached egg, drink a glass of sack, eat a toast, and go to bed, and she warranted, she said, I should be well by the morning. This was immediately done; and I must acknowledge, that the sack and toast cheered me wonderfully, and I began to take heart again; and my husband would have the coachman in after supper, on purpose to divert me and the honest Quaker, who, poor creature, seemed much more concerned at my misfortune than I was myself.

I went soon to bed, but for fear I should be worse in the night, two maids of the inn were ordered to sit up in an adjoining chamber; the Quaker and my waiting-maid lay in a bed in the same room, and my husband by himself in another apartment.

While my maid was gone down on some necessary business, and likewise to get me some burnt wine, which I was to drink going to bed, or rather when I was just got into bed, the Quaker and I had the following dialogue:

Quaker. The news thou heardest at Sittingbourne has disordered thee. I am glad the young woman has been out of this place a week; she went indeed for Dover; and when she comes there and canst not find thee, she may go to Deal, and so miss of thee.

Roxana. What I most depend upon is, that as we do not travel by any particular name, but the general one of the baronet and his lady, and the girl hath no notion what sort of equipage we travelled with, it was not easy to make a discovery of me, unless she accidentally, in her travels, light upon you (meaning the Quaker), or upon me; either of which must unavoidably blow the secret I had so long laboured to conceal.

Quaker. As thou intendest to stay here to-morrow, to see the things which thou callest antiquities, and which are more properly named the relics of the Whore of Babylon; suppose thou wert to send Thomas, who at thy command followeth after us, to the place called Dover, to inquire whether such a young woman has been inquiring for thee. He may go out betimes in the morning, and may return by night, for it is but twelve or fourteen miles at farthest thither.

Roxana. I like thy scheme very well; and I beg the favour of you in the morning, as soon as you are up, to send Tom to Dover, with such instructions as you shall think proper.

After a good night's repose I was well recovered, to the great satisfaction of all that were with me.

The good-natured Quaker, always studious to serve and oblige me, got up about five o'clock in the morning, and going down into the inn-yard, met with Tom, gave him his instructions, and he set out for Dover before six o'clock.

As we were at the best inn in the city, so we could readily have whatever we pleased, and whatever the season afforded; but my husband, the most indulgent man that ever breathed, having observed how heartily I ate my dinner at Rochester two days before, ordered the very same bill of fare, and of which I made a heartier meal than I did before. We were very merry, and after we had dined, we went to see the town-house, but as it was near five o'clock I left the Quaker behind me, to receive what intelligence she could get concerning my daughter, from the footman, who was expected to return from Dover at six.

We came to the inn just as it was dark, and then excusing myself to my husband, I immediately ran up into my chamber, where I had appointed the Quaker to be against my return. I ran to her with eagerness, and inquired what news from Dover, by Tom, the footman.

She said, Tom had been returned two hours; that he got to Dover that morning between seven and eight, and found, at the inn he put up at, there had been an inquisitive young woman to find out a gentleman that was a Dutch merchant, and a lady who was her mother; that the young woman perfectly well described his lady; that he found that she had visited every public inn in the town; that she said she would go to Deal, and that if she did not find the lady, her mother, there, she would go by the first ship to the Hague, and go from thence, to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, searching all the towns through which she passed in the United Provinces.

This account pleased me very well, especially when I understood that she had been gone from Dover five days. The Quaker comforted me, and said it was lucky this busy creature had passed the road before us, otherwise she might easily have found means to have overtaken us, for, as she observed, the wench had such an artful way of telling her story, that she moved everybody to compassion; and she did not doubt but that if we had been before, as we were behind, she would have got those who would have assisted her with a coach, &c., to have pursued us, and they might have come up with us.

I was of the honest Quaker's sentiments. I grew pretty easy, called Tom, and gave him half a guinea for his diligence; then I and the Quaker went into the parlour to my husband, and soon after supper came in, and I ate moderately, and we spent the remainder of the evening, for the clock had then tolled nine, very cheerfully; for my Quaker was so rejoiced at my good fortune, as she called it, that she was very alert, and exceeding good company; and her wit, and she had no small share of it, I thought was better played off than ever I had heard it before.

My husband asked me how I should choose to go on board; I desired him to settle it as he pleased, telling him it was a matter of very great indifference to me, as he was to go with me. "That may be true, my dear," says he, "but I ask you for a reason or two, which I will lay before you, viz., if we hire a vessel for ourselves, we may set sail when we please, have the liberty of every part of the ship to ourselves, and land at what port, either in Holland or France, we might make choice of. Besides," added he, "another reason I mention it to you is, that I know you do not love much company, which, in going into the packet-boat, it is almost impossible to avoid." "I own, my dear," said I, "your reasons are very good; I have but one thing to say against them, which is, that the packet-boat, by its frequent voyages, must of course be furnished with experienced seamen, who know the seas too well even to run any hazard." (At this juncture the terrible voyage I and Amy made from France to Harwich came so strong in my mind, that I trembled so as to be taken notice of by my husband.) "Besides," added I, "the landlord may send the master of one of them to you, and I think it may be best to hire the state cabin, as they call it, to ourselves, by which method we shall avoid company, without we have an inclination to associate ourselves with such passengers we may happen to like; and the expense will be much cheaper than hiring a vessel to go the voyage with us alone, and every whit as safe."

The Quaker, who had seriously listened to our discourse, gave it as her opinion that the method I had proposed was by far the safest, quickest, and cheapest. "Not," said she, "as I think thou wouldest be against any necessary expense, though I am certain thou wouldest not fling thy money away."

Soon after, my husband ordered the landlord to send for one of the masters of the packet-boats, of whom he hired the great cabin, and agreed to sail from thence the next day, if the wind and the tide answered.

The settling our method of going over sea had taken up the time till the dinner was ready, which we being informed of, came out of a chamber we had been in all the morning, to a handsome parlour, where everything was placed suitable to our rank; there was a large, old-fashioned service of plate, and a sideboard genteelly set off. The dinner was excellent, and well dressed.

After dinner, we entered into another discourse, which was the hiring of servants to go with us from Dover to Paris; a thing frequently done by travellers; and such are to be met with at every stage inn. Our footmen set out this morning on their return to London, and the Quaker and coach was to go the next day. My new chambermaid, whose name was Isabel, was to go through the journey, on condition of doing no other business than waiting on me. In a while we partly concluded to let the hiring of men-servants alone till we came to Calais, for they could be of no use to us on board a ship, the sailor's or cabin boy's place being to attend the cabin passengers as well as his master.

To divert ourselves, we took a walk after we had dined, round about the town, and coming to the garrison, and being somewhat thirsty, all went into the sutler's for a glass of wine. A pint was called for and brought; but the man of the house came in with it raving like a madman, saying, "Don't you think you are a villain, to ask for a pot of ale when I know you have spent all your money, and are ignorant of the means of getting more, without you hear of a place, which I look upon to be very unlikely?" "Don't be in such a passion, landlord," said my husband. "Pray, what is the matter?" "Oh, nothing, sir," says he; "but a young fellow in the sutling room, whom I find to have been a gentleman's servant, wants a place; and having spent all his money, would willingly run up a score with me, knowing I must get him a master if ever I intend to have my money." "Pray, sir," said my husband, "send the young fellow to me; if I like him, and can agree with him, it is possible I may take him into my service." The landlord took care we should not speak to him twice, he went and fetched him in himself, and my husband examined him before he spoke, as to his size, mien, and garb. The young man was clean dressed, of a middling stature, a dark complexion, and about twenty-seven years old.

"I hear, young man," says he to him, "that you want a place; it may perhaps be in my power to serve you. Let me know at once what education you have had, if you have any family belonging to you, or if you are fit for a gentleman's service, can bring any person of reputation to your character, and are willing to go and live in Holland with me: we will not differ about your wages."

The young fellow made a respectful bow to each of us, and addressed himself to my husband as follows: "Sir," said he, "in me you behold the eldest child of misfortune. I am but young, as you may see; I have no comers after me, and having lived with several gentlemen, some of whom are on their travels, others settled in divers parts of the world, besides what are dead, makes me unable to produce a character without a week's notice to write to London, and I should not doubt but by the return of the post to let you see some letters as would satisfy you in any doubts about me. My education," continued he, "is but very middling, being taken from school before I had well learnt to read, write, and cast accounts; and as to my parentage, I cannot well give you any account of them: all that I know is, that my father was a brewer, and by his extravagance ran out a handsome fortune, and afterwards left my poor mother almost penniless, with five small children, of which I was the second, though not above five years old. My mother knew not what to do with us, so she sent a poor girl, our maid, whose name I have forgot this many years, with us all to a relation's, and there left us, and I never saw or heard of or from them any more. Indeed, I inquired among the neighbours, and all that I could learn was that my mother's goods were seized, that she was obliged to apply to the parish for relief, and died of grief soon after. For my part," says he, "I was put into the hands of my father's sister, where, by her cruel usage, I was forced to run away at nine years of age; and the numerous scenes of life I have since gone through are more than would fill a small volume. Pray, sir," added he, "let it satisfy you that I am thoroughly honest, and should be glad to serve you at any rate; and although I cannot possibly get a good character from anybody at present, yet I defy the whole world to give me an ill one, either in public or private life."

If I had had the eyes of Argus I should have seen with them all on this occasion. I knew that this was my son, and one that, among all my inquiry, I could never get any account of. The Quaker seeing my colour come and go, and also tremble, said, "I verily believe thou art not well; I hope this Kentish air, which was always reckoned aguish, does not hurt thee?" "I am taken very sick of a sudden," said I; "so pray let me go to our inn that I may go to my chamber." Isabel being called in, she and the Quaker attended me there, leaving the young fellow with my spouse. When I was got into my chamber I was seized with such a grief as I had never known before; and flinging myself down upon the bed, burst into a flood of tears, and soon after fainted away. Soon after, I came a little to myself, and the Quaker begged of me to tell her what was the cause of my sudden indisposition. "Nothing at all," says I, "as I know of; but a sudden chilliness seized my blood, and that, joined to a fainting of the spirits, made me ready to sink."

Presently after my husband came to see how I did, and finding me somewhat better, he told me that he had a mind to hire the young man I had left him with, for he believed he was honest and fit for our service. "My dear," says I, "I did not mind him. I would desire you to be cautious who we pick up on the road; but as I have the satisfaction of hiring my maids, I shall never trouble myself with the men-servants, that is wholly your province. However," added I (for I was very certain he was my son, and was resolved to have him in my service, though it was my interest to keep my husband off, in order to bring him on), "if you like the fellow, I am not averse to your hiring one servant in England. We are not obliged to trust him with much before we see his conduct, and if he does not prove as you may expect, you may turn him off whenever you please." "I believe," said my husband, "he has been ingenuous in his relation to me; and as a man who has seen great variety of life, and may have been the shuttlecock of fortune, the butt of envy, and the mark of malice, I will hire him when he comes to me here anon, as I have ordered him."

As I knew he was to be hired, I resolved to be out of the way when he came to my husband; so about five o'clock I proposed to the Quaker to take a walk on the pier and see the shipping, while the tea-kettle was boiling. We went, and took Isabel with us, and as we were going along I saw my son Thomas (as I shall for the future call him) going to our inn; so we stayed out about an hour, and when we returned my husband told me he had hired the man, and that he was to come to him as a servant on the morrow morning. "Pray, my dear," said I, "did you ask where he ever lived, or what his name is?" "Yes," replied my husband, "he says his name is Thomas ——; and as to places, he has mentioned several families of note, and among others, he lived at my Lord ——'s, next door to the great French lady's in Pall Mall, whose name he tells me was Roxana." I was now in a sad dilemma, and was fearful I should be known by my own son; and the Quaker took notice of it, and afterwards told me she believed fortune had conspired that all the people I became acquainted with, should have known the Lady Roxana. "I warrant," said she, "this young fellow is somewhat acquainted with the impertinent wench that calls herself thy daughter."

I was very uneasy in mind, but had one thing in my favour, which was always to keep myself at a very great distance from my servants; and as the Quaker was to part with us the next day or night, he would have nobody to mention the name Roxana to, and so of course it would drop.

We supped pretty late at night, and were very merry, for my husband said all the pleasant things he could think of, to divert me from the supposed illness he thought I had been troubled with in the day. The Quaker kept up the discourse with great spirit, and I was glad to receive the impression, for I wanted the real illness to be drove out of my head.

The next morning, after breakfast, Thomas came to his new place. He appeared very clean, and brought with him a small bundle, which I supposed to be linen tied up in a handkerchief. My husband sent him to order some porters belonging to the quay to fetch our boxes to the Custom-house, where they were searched, for which we paid one shilling; and he had orders to give a crown for head money, as they called it; their demand by custom is but sixpence a head, but we appeared to our circumstances in everything. As soon as our baggage was searched, it was carried from the Custom-house on board the packet-boat, and there lodged in the great cabin as we had ordered it.

This took up the time till dinner, and when we were sitting together after we had both dined, the captain came to tell us that the wind was very fair, and that he was to sail at high water, which would be about ten o'clock at night. My husband asked him to stay and drink part of a bottle of wine with him, which he did; and their discourse being all in the maritime strain, the Quaker and I retired and left them together, for I had something to remind her of in our discourse before we left London. When we got into the garden, which was rather neat than fine, I repeated all my former requests to her about my children, Spitalfields, Amy, &c., and we sat talking together till Thomas was sent to tell us the captain was going, on which we returned; but, by the way, I kissed her and put a large gold medal into her hand, as a token of my sincere love, and desired that she would never neglect the things she had promised to perform, and her repeated promise gave me great satisfaction.

The captain, who was going out of the parlour as we returned in, was telling my husband he would send six of his hands to conduct us to the boat, about a quarter of an hour before he sailed, and as the moon was at the full, he did not doubt of a pleasant passage.

Our next business was to pay off the coachman, to whom my husband gave half a guinea extraordinary, to set the Quaker down at the house he took us all up at, which he promised to perform.

As it was low water, we went on board to see the cabin that we were to go our voyage in, and the captain would detain us to drink a glass of the best punch, I think, I ever tasted.

When we returned to the inn, we ordered supper to be ready by eight o'clock, that we might drink a parting glass to settle it, before we went on board; for my husband, who knew the sea very well, said a full stomach was the forerunner of sea-sickness, which I was willing to avoid.

We invited the landlord, his wife, and daughter, to supper with us, and having sat about an hour afterwards, the captain himself, with several sailors, came to fetch us to the vessel. As all was paid, we had nothing to hinder us but taking a final leave of the Quaker, who would go to see us safe in the vessel, where tears flowed from both our eyes; and I turned short in the boat, while my husband took his farewell, and he then followed me, and I never saw the Quaker or England any more.

We were no sooner on board than we hoisted sail; the anchors being up, and the wind fair, we cut the waves at a great rate, till about four o'clock in the morning, when a French boat came to fetch the mail to carry it to the post-house, and the boat cast her anchors, for we were a good distance from the shore, neither could we sail to the town till next tide, the present one being too far advanced in the ebb.

We might have gone on shore in the boat that carried the mail, but my husband was sleeping in the cabin when it came to the packet-boat, and I did not care to disturb him; however, we had an opportunity soon after, for my husband awaking, and two other boats coming up with oars to see for passengers, Thomas came to let us know we might go on shore, if we pleased. My husband paid the master of the packet-boat for our passage, and Thomas, with the sailors' assistance, got our boxes into the wherry, so we sailed for Calais; but before our boat came to touch ground, several men, whose bread I suppose it is, rushed into the water, without shoes or stockings, to carry us on shore; so having paid ten shillings for the wherry, we each of us was carried from the boat to the land by two men, and our goods brought after us; here was a crown to be paid, to save ourselves from being wet, by all which a man that is going a travelling may see that it is not the bare expense of the packet-boat that will carry him to Calais.

It would be needless to inform the reader of all the ceremonies that we passed through at this place before we were suffered to proceed on our journey; however, our boxes having been searched at the Custom-house, my husband had them plumbed, as they called it, to hinder any further inquiry about them; and we got them all to the Silver Lion, a noted inn, and the post-house of this place, where we took a stage-coach for ourselves, and the next morning, having well refreshed ourselves, we all, viz., my husband, self, and chambermaid within the coach, and Thomas behind (beside which my husband hired two horsemen well armed, who were pretty expensive, to travel with us), set forward on our journey.

We were five days on our journey from Calais to Paris, which we went through with much satisfaction, for, having fine weather and good attendance, we had nothing to hope for.

When we arrived at Paris (I began to be sorry I had ever proposed going to it for fear of being known, but as we were to stay there but a few days, I was resolved to keep very retired), we went to a merchant's house of my husband's acquaintance in the Rue de la Bourle, near the Carmelites, in the Faubourg de St. Jacques.

This being a remote part of the city, on the south side, and near several pleasant gardens, I thought it would be proper to be a little indisposed, that my husband might not press me to go with him to see the curiosities; for he could do the most needful business, such as going to the bankers to exchange bills, despatching of letters, settling affairs with merchants, &c., without my assistance; and I had a tolerable plea for my conduct, such as the great fatigue of our journey, being among strangers, &c.; so we stayed at Paris eight days without my going to any particular places, except going one day to the gardens of Luxembourg, another to the church of Notre Dame on the Isle of Paris, a third to the Hotel Royale des Invalides, a fourth to the gardens of the Tuileries, a fifth to the suburbs of St. Lawrence, to see the fair which was then holding there; a sixth to the gardens of the Louvre, a seventh to the playhouse, and the eighth stayed all day at home to write a letter to the Quaker, letting her know where I then was, and how soon we should go forwards in our journey, but did not mention where we intended to settle, as, indeed, we had not yet settled that ourselves.

One of the days, viz., that in which I went to the gardens of the Tuileries, I asked Thomas several questions about his father, mother, and other relations, being resolved, notwithstanding he was my own son, as he did not know it, to turn him off by some stratagem or another, if he had any manner of memory of me, either as his mother, or the Lady Roxana. I asked him if he had any particular memory of his mother or father; he answered, "No, I scarce remember anything of either of them," said he, "but I have heard from several people that I had one brother and three sisters, though I never saw them all, to know them, notwithstanding I lived with an aunt four years; I often asked after my mother, and some people said she went away with a man, but it was allowed by most people, that best knew her, that she, being brought to the greatest distress, was carried to the workhouse belonging to the parish, where she died soon after with grief."

Nothing could give me more satisfaction than what Thomas had related; so now, I thought I would ask about the Lady Roxana (for he had been my next-door neighbour when I had that title conferred on me). "Pray, Thomas," said I, "did not you speak of a great person of quality, whose name I have forgot, that lived next door to my Lord ——'s when you was his valet? pray who was she? I suppose a foreigner, by the name you called her." "Really, my lady," replied he, "I do not know who she was; all I can say of her is, that she kept the greatest company, and was a beautiful woman, by report, but I never saw her; she was called the Lady Roxana, was a very good mistress, but her character was not so good as to private life as it ought to be. Though I once had an opportunity," continued he, "of seeing a fine outlandish dress she danced in before the king, which I took as a great favour, for the cook took me up when the lady was out, and she desired my lady's woman to show it to me."

All this answered right, and I had nothing to do but to keep my Turkish dress out of the way, to be myself unknown to my child, for as he had never seen Roxana, so he knew nothing of me.

In the interval, my husband had hired a stage-coach to carry us to the city of Menin, where he intended to go by water down the river Lys to Ghent, and there take coach to Isabella fort, opposite the city of Anvers, and cross the river to that place, and go from thence by land to Breda; and as he had agreed and settled this patrol, I was satisfied, and we set out next day. We went through several handsome towns and villages before we took water, but by water we went round part of the city of Courtrai, and several fortified towns. At Anvers we hired a coach to Breda, where we stayed two days to refresh ourselves, for we had been very much fatigued; as Willemstadt was situated so as to be convenient for our taking water for Rotterdam, we went there, and being shipped, had a safe and speedy voyage to that city.

As we had resolved in our journey to settle at the Hague, we did not intend to stay any longer at Rotterdam, than while my husband had all our wealth delivered to him from the several merchants he had consigned it to. This business took up a month, during which time we lived in ready-furnished lodgings on the Great Quay, where all the respect was shown us as was due to our quality.

Here my husband hired two more men-servants, and I took two maids, and turned Isabel, who was a well-bred, agreeable girl, into my companion; but that I might not be too much fatigued, my husband went to the Hague first, and left me, with three maids and Thomas, at Rotterdam, while he took a house, furnished it, and had everything ready for my reception, which was done with great expedition. One of his footmen came with a letter to me one morning, to let me know his master would come by the scow next day to take me home, in which he desired that I would prepare for my departure. I soon got everything ready, and the next morning, on the arrival of the scow, I saw my husband; and we both, with all the servants, left the city of Rotterdam, and safely got to the Hague the afternoon following.

It was now the servants had notice given them to call me by the name of "my lady," as the honour of baronetage had entitled me, and with which title I was pretty well satisfied, but should have been more so had not I yet the higher title of countess in view.

I now lived in a place where I knew nobody, neither was I known, on which I was pretty careful whom I became acquainted with; our circumstances were very good, my husband loving, to the greatest degree, my servants respectful; and, in short, I lived the happiest life woman could enjoy, had my former crimes never crept into my guilty conscience.

I was in this happy state of life when I wrote a letter to the Quaker, in which I gave her a direction where she might send to me. And about a fortnight after, as I was one afternoon stepping into my coach in order to take an airing, the postman came to our door with letters, one of which was directed to me, and as soon as I saw it was the Quaker's hand, I bid the coachman put up again, and went into my closet to read the contents, which were as follows:

"DEAR FRIEND,—I have had occasion to write to thee several times since we saw each other, but as this is my first letter, so it shall contain all the business thou wouldst know. I got safe to London, by thy careful ordering of the coach, and the attendants were not at all wanting in their duty. When I had been at home a few days, thy woman, Mrs. Amy, came to see me, so I took her to task as thou ordered me, about murdering thy pretended daughter; she declared her innocence, but said she had procured a false evidence to swear a large debt against her, and by that means had put her into a prison, and fee'd the keepers to hinder her from sending any letter or message out of the prison to any person whatever. This, I suppose, was the reason thou thought she was murdered, because thou wert relieved from her by this base usage. However, when I heard of it, I checked Amy very much, but was well satisfied to hear she was alive. After this I did not hear from Amy for above a month, and in the interim (as I knew thou wast safe), I sent a friend of mine to pay the debt, and release the prisoner, which he did, but was so indiscreet as to let her know who was the benefactress. My next care was to manage thy Spitalfields business, which I did with much exactness. And the day that I received thy last letter, Amy came to me again, and I read as much of it to her as she was concerned in: nay, I entreated her to drink tea with me, and after it one glass of citron, in which she drank towards thy good health, and she told me she would come to see thee as soon as possible. Just as she was gone, I was reading thy letter again in the little parlour, and that turbulent creature (thy pretended daughter) came to me, as she said, to return thanks for the favour I had done her, so I accidentally laid thy letter down in the window, while I went to fetch her a glass of cordial, for she looked sadly; and before I returned I heard the street door shut, on which I went back without the liquor, not knowing who might have come in, but missing her, I thought she might be gone to stand at the door, and the wind had blown it to; but I was never the nearer, she was sought for in vain. So when I believed her to be quite gone, I looked to see if I missed anything, which I did not; but at last, to my great surprise, I missed your letter, which she certainly took and made off with. I was so terrified at this unhappy chance that I fainted away, and had not one of my maidens come in at that juncture, it might have been attended with fatal consequences. I would advise thee to prepare thyself to see her, for I verily believe she will come to thee. I dread your knowing of this, but hope the best. Before I went to fetch the unhappy cordial, she told me, as she had often done before, that she was the eldest daughter, that the captain's wife was your second daughter, and her sister, and that the youngest sister was dead. She also said there were two brothers, the eldest of whom had never been seen by any of them since he run away from an uncle's at nine years of age, and that the youngest had been taken care of by an old lady that kept her coach, whom he took to be his godmother. She gave me a long history in what manner she was arrested and flung into Whitechapel jail, how hardly she fared there; and at length the keeper's wife, to whom she told her pitiful story, took compassion of her, and recommended her to the bounty of a certain lady who lived in that neighbourhood, that redeemed prisoners for small sums, and who lay for their fees, every return of the day of her nativity; that she was one of the six the lady had discharged; that the lady prompted her to seek after her mother; that she thereupon did seek thee in all the towns and villages between London and Dover; that not finding thee at Dover she went to Deal; and that at length, she being tired of seeking thee, she returned by shipping to London, where she was no sooner arrived but she was immediately arrested and flung into the Marshalsea prison, where she lived in a miserable condition, without the use of pen, ink, and paper, and without the liberty of having any one of her friends come near her. 'In this condition I was,' continued she, 'when you sent and paid my debt for me, and discharged me.' When she had related all this she fell into such a fit of crying, sighing, and sobbing, from which, when she was a little recovered, she broke out into loud exclamations against the wickedness of the people in England, that they could be so unchristian as to arrest her twice, when she said it was as true as the Gospel that she never did owe to any one person the sum of one shilling in all her life; that she could not think who it was that should owe her so much ill-will, for that she was not conscious to herself that she had any ways offended any person in the whole universal world, except Mrs. Amy, in the case of her mother, which, she affirmed, she was acquitted of by all men, and hoped she should be so by her Maker; and that if she (Mrs. Amy) had any hand in her sufferings, God would forgive her, as she heartily did. 'But then,' she added, 'I will not stay in England, I will go all over the world, I will go to France, to Paris; I know my mother did once live there, and if I do not find her there, I will go through Holland, to Amsterdam, to Rotterdam; in short, I will go till I find my mother out, if I should die in the pursuit.' I should be glad to hear of thine and thy spouse's welfare, and remain with much sincerity, your sincere friend,

"M.P.

"The ninth of the month called October.

"P.S.—If thou hast any business to transact in this city, pray let me know; I shall use my best endeavours to oblige thee; my daughters all join with me in willing thee a hearty farewell."

I concealed my surprise for a few minutes, only till I could get into the summer-house, at the bottom of our large garden; but when I was shut in, no living soul can describe the agony I was in, I raved, tore, fainted away, swore, prayed, wished, cried, and promised, but all availed nothing, I was now stuck in to see the worst of it, let what would happen.

At last I came to the following resolution, which was to write a letter to the Quaker, and in it enclose a fifty pound bank-bill, and tell the Quaker to give that to the young woman if she called again, and also to let her know a fifty pound bill should be sent her every year, so long as she made no inquiry after me, and kept herself retired in England. Although this opened myself too full to the Quaker, yet I thought I had better venture my character abroad, than destroy my peace at home.

Soon after, my husband came home, and he perceived I had been crying, and asked what was the reason. I told him that I had shed tears both for joy and sorrow: "For," said I, "I have received one of the tenderest letters from Amy, as it was possible for any person, and she tells me in it," added I, "that she will soon come to see me; which so overjoyed me, that I cried, and after it, I went to read the letter a second time, as I was looking out of the summer-house window over the canal; and in unfolding it, I accidentally let it fall in, by which mischance it is lost, for which I am very sorry, as I intended you should see it." "Pray, my dear," said he, "do not let that give you any uneasiness; if Amy comes, and you approve of it, you have my consent to take her into the house, in what capacity you please. I am very glad," continued he, "that you have nothing of more consequence to be uneasy at, I fancy you would make but an indifferent helpmate if you had." Oh! thought I to myself, if you but knew half the things that lie on my conscience, I believe you would think that I bear them out past all example.

About ten days afterwards, as we were sitting at dinner with two gentlemen, one of the footmen came to the door, and said, "My lady, here is a gentlewoman at the door who desires to speak with you: she says her name is Mrs. Amy."

I no sooner heard her name, but I was ready to swoon away, but I ordered the footman to call Isabel, and ask the gentlewoman to walk up with her into my dressing-room; which he immediately did, and there I went to have my first interview with her. She kissed me for joy when she saw me, and I sent Isabel downstairs, for I was in pain till I had some private conversation with my old confidante.

There was not much ceremony between us, before I told her all the material circumstances that had happened in her absence, especially about the girl's imprisonments which she had contrived, and how she had got my letter at the Quaker's, the very day she had been there. "Well," says Amy, when I had told her all, "I find nothing is to ensue, if she lives, but your ruin; you would not agree to her death, so I will not make myself uneasy about her life; it might have been rectified, but you were angry with me for giving you the best of counsel, viz., when I proposed to murder her."

"Hussy," said I, in the greatest passion imaginable, "how dare you mention the word murder? You wretch you, I could find in my heart, if my husband and the company were gone, to kick you out of my house. Have you not done enough to kill her, in throwing her into one of the worst jails in England, where, you see, that Providence in a peculiar manner appeared to her assistance. Away! thou art a wicked wretch; thou art a murderer in the sight of God."

"I will say no more," says Amy, "but if I could have found her, after thy friend the Quaker had discharged her out of the Marshalsea prison, I had laid a scheme to have her taken up for a theft, and by that means got her transported for fourteen years. She will be with you soon, I am sure; I believe she is now in Holland."

While we were in this discourse, I found the gentlemen who dined with us were going, so we came downstairs, and I went into the parlour to take leave of them before their departure. When they were gone, my husband told me he had been talking with them about taking upon him the title of Count or Earl of ——, as he had told me of, and as an opportunity now offered, he was going to put it in execution.

I told him I was so well settled, as not to want anything this world could afford me, except the continuance of his life and love (though the very thing he had mentioned, joined with the death of my daughter, in the natural way, would have been much more to my satisfaction). "Well, my dear," says he, "the expense will be but small, and as I promised you the title, it shall not be long before the honour shall be brought home to your toilette." He was as good as his word, for that day week he brought the patent home to me, in a small box covered with crimson velvet and two gold hinges. "There, my lady countess," says he, "long may you live to bear the title, for I am certain you are a credit to it." In a few days after, I had the pleasure to see our equipage, as coach, chariot, &c., all new painted, and a coronet fixed at the proper place, and, in short, everything was proportioned to our quality, so that our house vied with most of the other nobility.

It was at this juncture that I was at the pinnacle of all my worldly felicity, notwithstanding my soul was black with the foulest crimes. And, at the same time, I may begin to reckon the beginning of my misfortunes, which were in embryo, but were very soon brought forth, and hurried me on to the greatest distress.

As I was sitting one day talking to Amy in our parlour, and the street door being left open by one of the servants, I saw my daughter pass by the window, and without any ceremony she came to the parlour door, and opening of it, came boldly in. I was terribly amazed, and asked her who she wanted, as if I had not known her, but Amy's courage was quite lost, and she swooned away. "Your servant, my lady," says she; "I thought I should never have had the happiness to see you tete-a-tete, till your agent, the Quaker, in Haydon Yard, in the Minories, carelessly left a direction for me in her own window; however, she is a good woman, for she released me out of a jail in which, I believe, that base wretch" (pointing to Amy, who was coming to herself) "caused me to be confined." As soon as Amy recovered, she flew at her like a devil, and between them there was so much noise as alarmed the servants, who all came to see what was the matter. Amy had pulled down one of my husband's swords, drawn it, and was just going to run her through the body, as the servants came in, who not knowing anything of the matter, some of them secured Amy, others held the girl, and the rest were busy about me, to prevent my fainting away, which was more than they could do, for I fell into strong fits, and in the interim they turned the girl out of the house, who was fully bent on revenge.

My lord, as I now called him, was gone out a-hunting. I was satisfied he knew nothing of it, as yet, and when Amy and I were thoroughly come to ourselves, we thought it most advisable to find the girl out, and give her a handsome sum of money to keep her quiet. So Amy went out, but in all her searching could hear nothing of her; this made me very uneasy. I guessed she would contrive to see my lord before he came home, and so it proved, as you shall presently hear.

When night came on, that I expected his return, I wondered I did not see him. Amy sat up in my chamber with me, and was as much concerned as was possible. Well, he did not come in all that night, but the next morning, about ten o'clock, he rapped at the door, with the girl along with him. When it was opened, he went into the great parlour, and bid Thomas go call down his lady. This was the crisis. I now summoned up all my resolution, and took Amy down with me, to see if we could not baffle the girl, who, to an inch, was her mother's own child.

It will be necessary here to give a short account of our debate, because on it all my future misery depended, and it made me lose my husband's love, and own my daughter; who would not rest there, but told my lord how many brothers and sisters she had.

When we entered the room, my lord was walking very gravely about it, but with his brows knit, and a wild confusion in his face, as if all the malice and revenge of a Dutchman had joined to put me out of countenance before I spoke a word.

"Pray, madam," says he, "do you know this young woman? I expect a speedy and positive answer, without the least equivocation."

"Really, my lord," replied I, "to give you an answer as quick as you desire, I declare I do not."

"Do not!" said he, "what do you mean by that? She tells me that you are her mother, and that her father ran away from you, and left two sons, and two daughters besides herself, who were all sent to their relations for provision, after which you ran away with a jeweller to Paris. Do you know anything of this? answer me quickly."

"My lord," said the girl, "there is Mrs. Amy, who was my mother's servant at the time (as she told me herself about three months ago), knows very well I am the person I pretend to be, and caused me to be thrown into jail for debts I knew nothing of, because I should not find out my mother to make myself known to her before she left England."

After this she told my lord everything she knew of me, even in the character of Roxana, and described my dress so well, that he knew it to be mine.



When she had quite gone through her long relation, "Well, madam," says he, "now let me see if I cannot tell how far she has told the truth in relation to you. When I first became acquainted with you, it was on the sale of those jewels, in which I stood so much your friend, at a time that you were in the greatest distress, your substance being in the hands of the Jew; you then passed for a jeweller's widow; this agrees with her saying you ran away with a jeweller. In the next place, you would not consent to marry me about twelve years ago; I suppose then your real husband was living, for nothing else could tally with your condescension to me in everything except marriage. Since that time, your refusing to come to Holland in the vessel I had provided for you, under a distant prospect of your being with child, though in reality it was your having a child too much, as the captain told me of, when I, being ignorant of the case, did not understand him. Now," continued he, "she says that you are the identical Lady Roxana which made so much noise in the world, and has even described the robe and head-dress you wore on that occasion, and in that I know she is right; for, to my own knowledge, you have that very dress by you now; I having seen you dressed in it at our lodging at the Quaker's. From all these circumstances," says he, "I may be assured that you have imposed grossly upon me, and instead of being a woman of honour as I took you for, I find that you have been an abandoned wretch, and had nothing to recommend you but a sum of money and a fair countenance, joined to a false unrelenting heart."

These words of my lord's struck such a damp upon my spirits, as made me unable to speak in my turn. But at last, I spoke as follows: "My lord, I have most patiently stood to hear all it was possible for you to allege against me, which has no other proof than imagination. That I was the wife of a brewer, I have no reason now to deny, neither had I any occasion before to acknowledge it. I brought him a handsome fortune, which, joined to his, made us appear in a light far superior to our neighbours. I had also five children by him, two sons and three daughters, and had my husband been as wise as rich, we might have lived happily together now. But it was not so, for he minded nothing but sporting, in almost every branch; and closely following of it soon run out all his substance, and then left me in an unhappy, helpless condition. I did not send my children to my relations till the greatest necessity drove me, and after that, hearing my husband was dead, I married the jeweller, who was afterwards murdered. If I had owned how many children I had, the jeweller would not have married me, and the way of life I was in would not keep my family, so I was forced to deny them in order to get them bread. Neither can I say that I have either heard or known anything of my children since, excepting that I heard they were all taken care of; and this was the very reason I would not marry you, when you offered it some years since, for these children lay seriously at my heart, and as I did not want money, my inclination was to come to England, and not entail five children upon you the day of marriage."

"Pray, madam," said my lord, interrupting me, "I do not find that you kept up to your resolutions when you got there; you were so far from doing your duty as a parent, that you even neglected the civility of acquaintances, for they would have asked after them, but your whole scheme has been to conceal yourself as much as possible, and even when you were found out, denied yourself, as witness the case of your daughter here. As to the character of Lady Roxana, which you so nicely managed," said he, "did that become a woman that had five children, whose necessity had obliged you to leave them, to live in a continual scene of pageantry and riot, I could almost say debauchery? Look into your conduct, and see if you deserve to have the title or the estate you now so happily enjoy."

After this speech, he walked about the room in a confused manner for some minutes, and then addressed himself to Amy. "Pray, Mrs. Amy," says he, "give me your judgment in this case, for although I know you are as much as possible in your lady's interest, yet I cannot think you have so little charity as to think she acted like a woman of worth and discretion. Do you really think, as you knew all of them from infants, that this young woman is your lady's daughter?"

Amy, who always had spirits enough about her, said at once she believed the girl was my daughter. "And truly," says she, "I think your man Thomas is her eldest son, for the tale he tells of his birth and education suits exactly with our then circumstances."

"Why, indeed," said my lord, "I believe so too, for I now recollect that when we first took him into our service at Dover, he told me he was the son of a brewer in London; that his father had run away from his mother, and left her in a distressed condition with five children, of which he was second child, or eldest son."

Thomas was then called into the parlour, and asked what he knew of his family; he repeated all as above, concerning his father's running away and leaving me; but said that he had often asked and inquired after them, but without any success, and concluded, that he believed his brothers and sisters were distributed in several places, and that his mother died in the greatest distress, and was buried by the parish.

"Indeed," said my lord, "it is my opinion that Thomas is one of your sons; do not you think the same?" addressing himself to me.

"From the circumstances that have been related, my lord," said I, "I now believe that these are both my children; but you would have thought me a mad woman to have countenanced and taken this young woman in as my child, without a thorough assurance of it; for that would have been running myself to a certain expense and trouble, without the least glimpse of real satisfaction."

"Pray," said my lord to my daughter, "let me know what is become of your brothers and sisters; give me the best account of them that you can."

"My lord," replied she, "agreeably to your commands, I will inform you to the best of my knowledge; and to begin with myself, who am the eldest of the five. I was put to a sister of my father's with my youngest brother, who, by mere dint of industry, gave us maintenance and education, suitable to her circumstances; and she, with my uncle's consent, let me go to service when I was advanced in years; and among the variety of places I lived at, Lady Roxana's was one."

"Yes," said Thomas, "I knew her there, when I was a valet at my Lord D——'s, the next door; it was there I became acquainted with her; and she, by the consent of the gentlewoman," pointing to Amy, "let me see the Lady Roxana's fine vestment, which she danced in at the grand ball."

"Well," continued my daughter, "after I left this place, I was at several others before I became acquainted with Mrs. Amy a second time (I knew her before as Roxana's woman), who told me one day some things relating to my mother, and from thence I concluded if she was not my mother herself (as I at first thought she was), she must be employed by her; for no stranger could profess so much friendship, where there was no likelihood of any return, after being so many years asunder.

"After this, I made it my business to find your lady out if possible, and was twice in her company, once on board the ship you were to have come to Holland in, and once at the Quaker's house in the Minories, London; but as I gave her broad hints of whom I took her for, and my lady did not think proper to own me, I began to think I was mistaken, till your voyage to Holland was put off. Soon after, I was flung into Whitechapel jail for a false debt, but, through the recommendation of the jailer's wife to the annual charity of the good Lady Roberts, of Mile End, I was discharged. Whereupon I posted away, seeking my mother all down the Kent Road as far as Dover and Deal, at which last place not finding her, I came in a coaster to London, and landing in Southwark, was immediately arrested, and confined in the Marshalsea prison, where I remained some time, deprived of every means to let any person without the prison know my deplorable state and condition, till my chum, a young woman, my bedfellow, who was also confined for debt, was, by a gentleman, discharged. This young woman of her own free will, went, my lord, to your lodgings in the Minories, and acquainted your landlady, the Quaker, where I was, and for what sum I was confined, who immediately sent and paid the pretended debt, and so I was a second time discharged. Upon which, going to the Quaker's to return her my thanks soon after a letter from your lady to her, with a direction in it where to find you, falling into my hands, I set out the next morning for the Hague; and I humbly hope your pardon, my lord, for the liberty I have taken; and you may be assured, that whatever circumstances of life I happen to be in, I will be no disgrace to your lordship or family."

"Well," said my husband, "what can you say of your mother's second child, who, I hear, was a son?"

"My lord," said I, "it is in my power to tell you, that Thomas there is the son you mention; their circumstances are the same, with this difference, that she was brought up under the care of a good aunt, and the boy forced to run away from a bad one, and shift for his bread ever since; so if she is my daughter, he is my son, and to oblige you, my lord, I own her, and to please myself I will own him, and they two are brother and sister." I had no sooner done speaking, than Thomas fell down before me, and asked my blessing, after which, he addressed himself to my lord as follows:

"My lord," said he, "out of your abundant goodness you took me into your service at Dover. I told you then the circumstances I was in, which will save your lordship much time by preventing a repetition; but, if your lordship pleases, it shall be carefully penned down, for such a variety of incidents has happened to me in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, France, and the Isle of Man, in which I have travelled for about eighteen years past, as may prove an agreeable amusement to you, when you are cloyed with better company; for as I have never been anything above a common servant, so my stories shall only consist of facts, and such as are seldom to be met with, as they are all in low life."

"Well, Thomas," said my lord, "take your own time to do it, and I will reward you for your trouble."

"Now, madam," said my lord to my daughter, "if you please to proceed." "My lord," continued she, "my mother's third child, which was a daughter, lived with the relation I did, and got a place to wait upon a young lady whose father and mother were going to settle at Boulogne, in France; she went with them, and having stayed at this gentleman's (who was a French merchant) two years, was married to a man with the consent of the family she lived in; and her master, by way of fortune, got him to be master of a French and Holland coaster, and this was the very person whose ship you hired to come to Holland in; the captain's wife was my own sister, consequently my lady's second daughter; as to my youngest sister, she lived with the uncle and aunt Thomas ran away from, and died of the smallpox soon after. My youngest brother was put out apprentice to a carpenter, where he improved in his business, till a gentlewoman came to his master and mistress (which I take by the description they gave me, to be Mrs. Amy), who had him put out to an education fit for a merchant, and then sent him to the Indies, where he is now settled, and in a fair way to get a large estate. This, my lord, is the whole account I can at present give of them, and although it may seem very strange, I assure you, it is all the just truth."

When she had finished her discourse, my lord turned to me, and said, that since I that was her mother had neglected doing my duty, though sought so much after, he would take it upon himself to see both the girl and Thomas provided for, without any advising or letting me know anything about them; and added, with a malicious sneer, "I must take care of the child I have had by you too, or it will have but an indifferent parent to trust to in case of my decease."

This finished the discourse, and my lord withdrew into his study, in a humour that I am unable to describe, and left me, Amy, Thomas, and my daughter Susanna, as I must now call her, in the parlour together. We sat staring at each other some time, till at last Amy said, "I suppose, my lady, you have no farther business with your new daughter; she has told her story, and may now dispose of herself to the best advantage she can." "No," said I, "I have nothing to say to her, only that she shall never be admitted into my presence again." The poor girl burst out into tears, and said, "Pray, my lady, excuse me, for I am certain that were you in my circumstances, you would have done the very action I have, and would expect a pardon for committing the offence."

After this, I said to Thomas, "Keep what has been said to yourself, and I shall speak to you by-and-by;" and then I withdrew, and went upstairs to my closet, leaving Amy with Susanna, who soon dismissed her, and followed me.

When Amy came to me, "Now, my lady," says she, "what do you think of this morning's work? I believe my lord is not so angry as we were fearful of." "You are mistaken in your lord, Amy," said I, "and are not so well acquainted with the deep and premeditated revenge of Dutchmen as I am, and although it may not be my husband's temper, yet I dread it as much, but shall see more at dinner time."

Soon after this, my husband called Thomas, and bid him order the cloth for his dinner to be laid in his study, and bid him tell his mother that he would dine by himself. When I heard this, I was more shocked than I had been yet. "Now his anger begins to work, Amy," said I, "how must I act?" "I do not know," answered she, "but I will go into the study, and try what can be done, and, as a faithful mediator, will try to bring you together." She was not long before she returned, and bursting into tears, "I know not what to do," says she, "for your husband is in a deep study, and when I told him you desired him to dine with you in the parlour as usual, he only said, 'Mrs. Amy, go to your lady, tell her to dine when and where she pleases, and pray obey her as your lady; but let her know from me that she has lost the tenderness I had for her as a wife, by the little thought she had of her children.'"

Nothing could have shocked me more than the delivery of this message by Amy. I, almost bathed in tears, went to him myself; found him in a melancholy posture reading in Milton's "Paradise Regained." He looked at me very sternly when I entered his study, told me he had nothing to say to me at that time, and if I had a mind not to disturb him, I must leave him for the present. "My lord," said I, "supposing all that has been said by this girl was truth, what reason have you to be in this unforgiving humour? What have I done to you to deserve this usage? Have you found any fault with me since I had the happiness of being married to you? Did you ever find me in any company that you did not approve of? Have you any reason to think that I have wasted any of your substance? If you have none of these things to allege against me, for heaven's sake do not let us now make our lives unhappy, for my having had legitimate children by a lawful husband, at a time that you think it no crime to have had a natural son by me, which I had the most reason to repent of."

I spoke the latter part of these words with a small air of authority, that he might think me the less guilty; but, I believe, he only looked on what I had said as a piece of heroism; for he soon after delivered himself in the following speech: "Madam, do you not think that you have used me in a very deceitful manner? If you think that I have not had that usage, I will, in a few words, prove the contrary. When first I knew you, soon after the jeweller's death at Paris, you never mentioned, in all that intricate affair I was engaged in for you, so much as your having any children; that, as your circumstances then were, could have done you no harm, but, on the contrary, it would have moved the compassion of your bitter enemy the Jew, if he had any. Afterwards, when I first saw you in London, and began to treat with you about marriage, your children, which, to all prudent women, are the first things provided for, were so far neglected as not to be spoken of, though mine were mentioned to you; and as our fortunes were very considerable, yours might very well have been put into the opposite scale with them. Another great piece of your injustice was when I offered to settle your own fortune upon yourself, you would not consent to it; I do not look on that piece of condescension out of love to me, but a thorough hatred you had to your own flesh and blood; and lastly, your not owning your daughter, though she strongly hinted who she was to you when she was twice in your company, and even followed you from place to place while you were in England. Now, if you can reconcile this piece of inhumanity with yourself, pray try what you can say to me about your never telling me the life you led in Pall Mall, in the character of Roxana? You scrupled to be happily married to me, and soon after came to England, and was a reputed whore to any nobleman that would come up to your price, and lived with one a considerable time, and was taken by several people to be his lawful wife. If any gentleman should ask me what I have taken to my bed, what must I answer? I must say an inhuman false-hearted whore, one that had not tenderness enough to own her own children, and has too little virtue, in my mind, to make a good wife.

"I own I would," says he, "have settled your own estate upon you with great satisfaction, but I will not do it now; you may retire to your chamber, and when I have any occasion to speak with you, I will send a messenger to you; so, my undeserving lady countess, you may walk out of the room."

I was going to reply to all this, but instead of hearing me, he began to speak against the Quaker, who, he supposed, knew all the intrigues of my life; but I cleared her innocence, by solemnly declaring it was a thorough reformation of my past life that carried me to live at the Quaker's house, who knew nothing of me before I went to live with her, and that she was, I believed, a virtuous woman.

I went away prodigiously chagrined. I knew not what course to take; I found expostulation signified nothing, and all my hopes depended on what I might say to him after we were gone to bed at night. I sent in for Amy, and having told her our discourse, she said she knew not what to think of him, but hoped it would, by great submission, wear off by degrees. I could eat but little dinner, and Amy was more sorrowful than hungry, and after we had dined, we walked by ourselves in the garden, to know what we had best pursue. As we were walking about, Thomas came to us, and told us that the young woman who had caused all the words, had been at the door, and delivered a letter to my lord's footman, who had carried it upstairs, and that she was ordered to go to his lordship in his study, which struck me with a fresh and sensible grief. I told Thomas, as he was to be her brother, to learn what my lord had said to her, if he could, as she came down; on which he went into the house to obey his order.

He was not gone in above a quarter of an hour before he came to me again, and told me she was gone, and that my lord had given her a purse of twenty guineas, with orders to live retired, let nobody know who or what she was, and come to him again in about a month's time. I was very much satisfied to hear this, and was in hopes of its proving a happy omen; and I was better pleased about two hours after, when Thomas came to me to let me know that my lord had given him thirty guineas, and bid him take off his livery, and new clothe himself, for he intended to make him his first clerk, and put him in the way of making his fortune. I now thought it was impossible for me to be poor, and was inwardly rejoiced that my children (meaning Thomas and Susanna) were in the high road to grow rich.

As Amy and I had dined by ourselves, my lord kept his study all the day, and at night, after supper, Isabel came and told me that my lord's man had received orders to make his bed in the crimson room, which name it received from the colour of the bed and furniture, and was reserved against the coming of strangers, or sickness. When she had delivered her message she withdrew, and I told Amy it would be to no purpose to go to him again, but I would have her lie in a small bed, which I ordered immediately to be carried into my chamber. Before we went to bed, I went to his lordship to know why he would make us both look so little among our own servants, as to part, bed and board, so suddenly. He only said, "My Lady Roxana knows the airs of quality too well to be informed that a scandal among nobility does not consist in parting of beds; if you cannot lie by yourself, you may send a letter to my Lord ——, whom you lived with as a mistress in London; perhaps he may want a bedfellow as well as you, and come to you at once; you are too well acquainted with him to stand upon ceremony."

I left him, with my heart full of malice, grief, shame, and revenge. I did not want a good will to do any mischief; but I wanted an unlimited power to put all my wicked thoughts in execution.

Amy and I lay in our chamber, and the next morning at breakfast we were talking of what the servants (for there were thirteen of them in all, viz., two coachmen, four footmen, a groom, and postillion, two women cooks, two housemaids, and a laundry-maid, besides Isabel, who was my waiting-maid, and Amy, who acted as housekeeper) could say of the disturbance that was in the family. "Pho!" said Amy, "never trouble your head about that, for family quarrels are so common in noblemen's houses, both here and in England, that there are more families parted, both in bed and board, than live lovingly together. It can be no surprise to the servants, and if your neighbours should hear it, they will only think you are imitating the air of nobility, and have more of that blood in you than you appeared to have when you and your lord lived happily together."

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