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Amelia

III.2.
Containing A Scene Of The Tender Kind.
"The doctor, madam," continued Booth, "spent his evening at Mrs. Harris's
house, where I sat with him whilst he smoaked his pillow pipe, as his phrase is.
Amelia was retired about half an hour to her chamber before I went to her. At my
entrance I found her on her knees, a posture in which I never disturbed her. In a
few minutes she arose, came to me, and embracing me, said she had been
praying for resolution to support the cruellest moment she had ever undergone or
could possibly undergo. I reminded her how much more bitter a farewel would be
on a death-bed, when we never could meet, in this world at least, again. I then
endeavoured to lessen all those objects which alarmed her most, and particularly
the danger I was to encounter, upon which head I seemed a little to comfort her;
but the probable length of my absence and the certain length of my voyage were
circumstances which no oratory of mine could even palliate. 'O heavens!' said
she, bursting into tears, 'can I bear to think that hundreds, thousands for aught I
know, of miles or leagues, that lands and seas are between us? What is the
prospect from that mount in our garden where I have sat so many happy hours
with my Billy? what is the distance between that and the farthest hill which we
see from thence compared to the distance which will be between us? You cannot
wonder at this idea; you must remember, my Billy, at this place, this very thought
came formerly into my foreboding mind. I then begged you to leave the army.
Why would you not comply?--did I not tell you then that the smallest cottage we
could survey from the mount would be, with you, a paradise to me? it would be
so still--why can't my Billy think so? am I so much his superior in love? where is
the dishonour, Billy? or, if there be any, will it reach our ears in our little hut? are
glory and fame, and not his Amelia, the happiness of my husband? go then,
purchase them at my expence. You will pay a few sighs, perhaps a few tears, at
parting, and then new scenes will drive away the thoughts of poor Amelia from
your bosom; but what assistance shall I have in my affliction? not that any
change of scene could drive you one moment from my remembrance; yet here
every object I behold will place your loved idea in the liveliest manner before my
eyes. This is the bed in which you have reposed; that is the chair on which you
sat. Upon these boards you have stood. These books you have read to me. Can
I walk among our beds of flowers without viewing your favourites, nay, those
which you have planted with your own hands? can I see one beauty from our
beloved mount which you have not pointed out to me?'--Thus she went on, the
woman, madam, you see, still prevailing."--"Since you mention it," says Miss
Matthews, with a smile, "I own the same observation occurred to me. It is too
natural to us to consider ourselves only, Mr. Booth."--"You shall hear," he cried.
"At last the thoughts of her present condition suggested themselves.--' But if,'
said she, 'my situation, even in health, will be so intolerable, how shall I, in the
danger and agonies of childbirth, support your absence?'--Here she stopt, and,
looking on me with all the tenderness imaginable, cried out, 'And am I then such
 
 
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