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Amelia

I.6
Containing The Extraordinary Behaviour Of Miss Matthews On Her Meeting With
Booth, And Some Endeavours To Prove, By Reason And Authority, That It Is
Possible For A Woman To Appear To Be What She Really Is Not.
Eight or nine years had past since any interview between Mr. Booth and Miss
Matthews; and their meeting now in so extraordinary a place affected both of
them with an equal surprize.
After some immaterial ceremonies, the lady acquainted Mr. Booth that, having
heard there was a person in the prison who knew her by the name of Matthews,
she had great curiosity to inquire who he was, whereupon he had been shewn to
her from the window of the house; that she immediately recollected him, and,
being informed of his distressful situation, for which she expressed great
concern, she had sent him that guinea which he had received the day before;
and then proceeded to excuse herself for not having desired to see him at that
time, when she was under the greatest disorder and hurry of spirits.
Booth made many handsome acknowledgments of her favour; and added that he
very little wondered at the disorder of her spirits, concluding that he was heartily
concerned at seeing her there; "but I hope, madam," said he--
Here he hesitated; upon which, bursting into an agony of tears, she cried out, "O
captain! captain! many extraordinary things have passed since last I saw you. O
gracious heaven! did I ever expect that this would be the next place of our
meeting?"
She then flung herself into her chair, where she gave a loose to her passion,
whilst he, in the most affectionate and tender manner, endeavoured to soothe
and comfort her; but passion itself did probably more for its own relief than all his
friendly consolations. Having vented this in a large flood of tears, she became
pretty well composed; but Booth unhappily mentioning her father, she again
relapsed into an agony, and cried out, "Why? why will you repeat the name of
that dear man? I have disgraced him, Mr. Booth, I am unworthy the name of his
daughter."--Here passion again stopped her words, and discharged itself in tears.
After this second vent of sorrow or shame, or, if the reader pleases, of rage, she
once more recovered from her agonies. To say the truth, these are, I believe, as
critical discharges of nature as any of those which are so called by the
physicians, and do more effectually relieve the mind than any remedies with
which the whole materia medica of philosophy can supply it.
 
 
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