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Amelia

III.6.
Containing Matters Which Will Please Some Readers.
"Two months and more had I continued in a state of incertainty, sometimes with
more flattering, and sometimes with more alarming symptoms; when one
afternoon poor Atkinson came running into my room, all pale and out of breath,
and begged me not to be surprized at his news. I asked him eagerly what was
the matter, and if it was anything concerning Amelia? I had scarce uttered the
dear name when she herself rushed into the room, and ran hastily to me, crying,
'Yes, it is, it is your Amelia herself.'
"There is nothing so difficult to describe, and generally so dull when described,
as scenes of excessive tenderness."
"Can you think so?" says Miss Matthews; "surely there is nothing so charming!--
Oh! Mr. Booth, our sex is d--ned by the want of tenderness in yours. O, were they
all like you--certainly no man was ever your equal."
"Indeed, madam," cries Booth, "you honour me too much. But--well--when the
first transports of our meeting were over, Amelia began gently to chide me for
having concealed my illness from her; for, in three letters which I had writ her
since the accident had happened, there was not the least mention of it, or any
hint given by which she could possibly conclude I was otherwise than in perfect
health. And when I had excused myself, by assigning the true reason, she cried--
'O Mr. Booth! and do you know so little of your Amelia as to think I could or would
survive you? Would it not be better for one dreadful sight to break my heart all at
once than to break it by degrees?--O Billy! can anything pay me for the loss of
this embrace?'---But I ask your pardon--how ridiculous doth my fondness appear
in your eyes!"
"How often," answered she, "shall I assert the contrary? What would you have
me say, Mr. Booth? Shall I tell you I envy Mrs. Booth of all the women in the
world? would you believe me if I did? I hope you-- what am I saying? Pray make
no farther apology, but go on."
"After a scene," continued he, "too tender to be conceived by many, Amelia
informed me that she had received a letter from an unknown hand, acquainting
her with my misfortune, and advising her, if she ever desired to see me more, to
come directly to Gibraltar. She said she should not have delayed a moment after
receiving this letter, had not the same ship brought her one from me written with
rather more than usual gaiety, and in which there was not the least mention of
my indisposition. This, she said, greatly puzzled her and her mother, and the
worthy divine endeavoured to persuade her to give credit to my letter, and to
impute the other to a species of wit with which the world greatly abounds. This
 
 
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