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V. 4.
Containing Matters That Require No Preface
When Booth and his wife were left alone together they both extremely exulted in
their good fortune in having found so good a friend as his lordship; nor were they
wanting in very warm expressions of gratitude towards Mrs. Ellison. After which
they began to lay down schemes of living when Booth should have his
commission of captain; and, after the exactest computation, concluded that, with
economy, they should be able to save at least fifty pounds a-year out of their
income in order to pay their debts.
These matters being well settled, Amelia asked Booth what he thought of Mrs.
Bennet? "I think, my dear," answered Booth, "that she hath been formerly a very
pretty woman." "I am mistaken," replied she, "if she be not a very good creature. I
don't know I ever took such a liking to any one on so short an acquaintance. I
fancy she hath been a very spritely woman; for, if you observe, she discovers by
starts a great vivacity in her countenance." "I made the same observation," cries
Booth: "sure some strange misfortune hath befallen her." "A misfortune, indeed!"
answered Amelia; "sure, child, you forget what Mrs. Ellison told us, that she had
lost a beloved husband. A misfortune which I have often wondered at any
woman's surviving." At which words she cast a tender look at Booth, and
presently afterwards, throwing herself upon his neck, cried, "O, Heavens! what a
happy creature am I! when I consider the dangers you have gone through, how I
exult in my bliss!" The good-natured reader will suppose that Booth was not
deficient in returning such tenderness, after which the conversation became too
fond to be here related.
The next morning Mrs. Ellison addressed herself to Booth as follows: "I shall
make no apology, sir, for what I am going to say, as it proceeds from my
friendship to yourself and your dear lady. I am convinced then, sir, there is a
something more than accident in your going abroad only one day in the week.
Now, sir, if, as I am afraid, matters are not altogether as well as I wish them, I
beg, since I do not believe you are provided with a lawyer, that you will suffer me
to recommend one to you. The person I shall mention is, I assure you, of much
ability in his profession, and I have known him do great services to gentlemen
under a cloud. Do not be ashamed of your circumstances, my dear friend: they
are a much greater scandal to those who have left so much merit unprovided
Booth gave Mrs. Ellison abundance of thanks for her kindness, and explicitly
confessed to her that her conjectures were right, and, without hesitation,
accepted the offer of her friend's assistance.