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V. 2.
In Which Booth Pays A Visit To The Noble Lord
When that day of the week returned in which Mr. Booth chose to walk abroad, he
went to wait on the noble peer, according to his kind invitation.
Booth now found a very different reception with this great man's porter from what
he had met with at his friend the colonel's. He no sooner told his name than the
porter with a bow told him his lordship was at home: the door immediately flew
wide open, and he was conducted to an ante-chamber, where a servant told him
he would acquaint his lordship with his arrival. Nor did he wait many minutes
before the same servant returned and ushered him to his lordship's apartment.
He found my lord alone, and was received by him in the most courteous manner
imaginable. After the first ceremonials were over, his lordship began in the
following words: "Mr. Booth, I do assure you, you are very much obliged to my
cousin Ellison. She hath given you such a character, that I shall have a pleasure
in doing anything in my power to serve you.--But it will be very difficult, I am
afraid, to get you a rank at home. In the West Indies, perhaps, or in some
regiment abroad, it may be more easy; and, when I consider your reputation as a
soldier, I make no doubt of your readiness to go to any place where the service
of your country shall call you." Booth answered, "That he was highly obliged to
his lordship, and assured him he would with great chearfulness attend his duty in
any part of the world. The only thing grievous in the exchange of countries," said
he, "in my opinion, is to leave those I love behind me, and I am sure I shall never
have a second trial equal to my first. It was very hard, my lord, to leave a young
wife big with her first child, and so affected with my absence, that I had the
utmost reason to despair of ever seeing her more. After such a demonstration of
my resolution to sacrifice every other consideration to my duty, I hope your
lordship will honour me with some confidence that I shall make no objection to
serve in any country."--"My dear Mr. Booth," answered the lord, "you speak like a
soldier, and I greatly honour your sentiments. Indeed, I own the justice of your
inference from the example you have given; for to quit a wife, as you say, in the
very infancy of marriage, is, I acknowledge, some trial of resolution." Booth
answered with a low bow; and then, after some immaterial conversation, his
lordship promised to speak immediately to the minister, and appointed Mr. Booth
to come to him again on the Wednesday morning, that he might be acquainted
with his patron's success. The poor man now blushed and looked silly, till, after
some time, he summoned up all his courage to his assistance, and relying on the
other's friendship, he opened the whole affair of his circumstances, and
confessed that he did not dare stir from his lodgings above one day in seven. His
lordship expressed great concern at this account, and very kindly promised to