Amelia HTML version
In Which Mr. Booth Relates His Return To England.
"Nothing remarkable, as I remember, happened during our stay at Paris, which
we left soon after and came to London. Here we rested only two days, and then,
taking leave of our fellow-travellers, we set out for Wiltshire, my wife being so
impatient to see the child which she had left behind her, that the child she carried
with her was almost killed with the fatigue of the journey.
"We arrived at our inn late in the evening. Amelia, though she had no great
reason to be pleased with any part of her sister's behaviour, resolved to behave
to her as if nothing wrong had ever happened. She therefore sent a kind note to
her the moment of our arrival, giving her her option, whether she would come to
us at the inn, or whether we should that evening wait on her. The servant, after
waiting an hour, brought us an answer, excusing her from coming to us so late,
as she was disordered with a cold, and desiring my wife by no means to think of
venturing out after the fatigue of her journey; saying, she would, on that account,
defer the great pleasure of seeing her till the morning, without taking any more
notice of your humble servant than if no such person had been in the world,
though I had very civilly sent my compliments to her. I should not mention this
trifle, if it was not to shew you the nature of the woman, and that it will be a kind
of key to her future conduct.
"When the servant returned, the good doctor, who had been with us almost all
the time of his absence, hurried us away to his house, where we presently found
a supper and a bed prepared for us. My wife was eagerly desirous to see her
child that night; but the doctor would not suffer it; and, as he was at nurse at a
distant part of the town, and the doctor assured her he had seen him in perfect
health that evening, she suffered herself at last to be dissuaded.
"We spent that evening in the most agreeable manner; for the doctor's wit and
humour, joined to the highest chearfulness and good nature, made him the most
agreeable companion in the world: and he was now in the highest spirits, which
he was pleased to place to our account. We sat together to a very late hour; for
so excellent is my wife's constitution, that she declared she was scarce sensible
of any fatigue from her late journeys.
"Amelia slept not a wink all night, and in the morning early the doctor
accompanied us to the little infant. The transports we felt on this occasion were
really enchanting, nor can any but a fond parent conceive, I am certain, the least
idea of them. Our imaginations suggested a hundred agreeable circumstances,
none of which had, perhaps, any foundation. We made words and meaning out