Amelia HTML version

In Which Amelia, With Her Friend, Goes To The Oratorio
Nothing happened between the Monday and the Wednesday worthy a place in
this history. Upon the evening of the latter the two ladies went to the oratorio, and
were there time enough to get a first row in the gallery. Indeed, there was only
one person in the house when they came; for Amelia's inclinations, when she
gave a loose to them, were pretty eager for this diversion, she being a great lover
of music, and particularly of Mr. Handel's compositions. Mrs. Ellison was, I
suppose, a great lover likewise of music, for she was the more impatient of the
two; which was rather the more extraordinary; as these entertainments were not
such novelties to her as they were to poor Amelia.
Though our ladies arrived full two hours before they saw the back of Mr. Handel,
yet this time of expectation did not hang extremely heavy on their hands; for,
besides their own chat, they had the company of the gentleman whom they found
at their first arrival in the gallery, and who, though plainly, or rather roughly
dressed, very luckily for the women, happened to be not only well-bred, but a
person of very lively conversation. The gentleman, on his part, seemed highly
charmed with Amelia, and in fact was so, for, though he restrained himself
entirely within the rules of good breeding, yet was he in the highest degree
officious to catch at every opportunity of shewing his respect, and doing her little
services. He procured her a book and wax-candle, and held the candle for her
himself during the whole entertainment.
At the end of the oratorio he declared he would not leave the ladies till he had
seen them safe into their chairs or coach; and at the same time very earnestly
entreated that he might have the honour of waiting on them. Upon which Mrs.
Ellison, who was a very good-humoured woman, answered, "Ay, sure, sir, if you
please; you have been very obliging to us; and a dish of tea shall be at your
service at any time;" and then told him where she lived.
The ladies were no sooner seated in their hackney coach than Mrs. Ellison burst
into a loud laughter, and cried, "I'll be hanged, madam, if you have not made a
conquest to-night; and what is very pleasant, I believe the poor gentleman takes
you for a single lady." "Nay," answered Amelia very gravely, "I protest I began to
think at last he was rather too particular, though he did not venture at a word that
I could be offended at; but, if you fancy any such thing, I am sorry you invited him
to drink tea," "Why so?" replied Mrs. Ellison. "Are you angry with a man for liking
you? if you are, you will be angry with almost every man that sees you. If I was a
man myself, I declare I should be in the number of your admirers. Poor
gentleman, I pity him heartily; he little knows that you have not a heart to dispose
of. For my own part, I should not be surprized at seeing a serious proposal of