Containing Many Surprising Adventures
"There," continued he, "I remained the whole day in hopes of a happiness, the
expected approach of which gave me such a delight that I would not have
exchanged my poor lodgings for the finest palace in the universe.
"A little after it was dark Mrs. Harris arrived, together with Amelia and her sister. I
cannot express how much my heart now began to flutter; for, as my hopes every
moment encreased, strange fears, which I had not felt before, began now to
intermingle with them.
"When I had continued full two hours in these circumstances, I heard a woman's
step tripping upstairs, which I fondly hoped was my Amelia; but all on a sudden
the door flew open, and Mrs. Harris herself appeared at it, with a countenance
pale as death, her whole body trembling, I suppose with anger; she fell upon me
in the most bitter language. It is not necessary to repeat what she said, nor
indeed can I, I was so shocked and confounded on this occasion. In a word, the
scene ended with my departure without seeing Amelia."
"And pray," cries Miss Matthews, "how happened this unfortunate discovery?"
Booth answered, That the lady at supper ordered a bottle of wine, "which neither
myself," says he, "nor the servants had presence of mind to provide. Being told
there was none in the house, though she had been before informed that the
things came all safe, she had sent for the maid, who, being unable to devise any
excuse, had fallen on her knees, and, after confessing her design of opening a
bottle, which she imputed to the fellow, betrayed poor me to her mistress.
"Well, madam, after a lecture of about a quarter of an hour's duration from Mrs.
Harris, I suffered her to conduct me to the outward gate of her court-yard,
whence I set forward in a disconsolate condition of mind towards my lodgings. I
had five miles to walkin a dark and rainy night: but how can I mention these
trifling circumstances as any aggravation of my disappointment!"
"How was it possible," cried Miss Matthews, "that you could be got out of the
house without seeing Miss Harris?"
"I assure you, madam," answered Booth, "I have often wondered at it myself; but
my spirits were so much sunk at the sight of her mother, that no man was ever a
greater coward than I was at that instant. Indeed, I believe my tender concern for
the terrors of Amelia were the principal cause of my submission. However it was,
I left the house, and walked about a hundred yards, when, at the corner of the