Amelia HTML version

The Story Of Booth Continued.--More Surprising Adventures
From what trifles, dear Miss Matthews," cried Booth, "may some of our greatest
distresses arise! Do you not perceive I am going to tell you we had neither pen,
ink, nor paper, in our present exigency?
"A verbal message was now our only resource; however, we contrived to deliver
it in such terms, that neither nurse nor her son could possibly conceive any
suspicion from it of the present situation of our affairs. Indeed, Amelia whispered
me, I might safely place any degree of confidence in the lad; for he had been her
foster-brother, and she had a great opinion of his integrity. He was in truth a boy
of very good natural parts; and Dr Harrison, who had received him into his family,
at Amelia's recommendation, had bred him up to write and read very well, and
had taken some pains to infuse into him the principles of honesty and religion. He
was not, indeed, even now discharged from the doctor's service, but had been at
home with his mother for some time, on account of the small-pox, from which he
was lately recovered.
"I have said so much," continued Booth, "of the boy's character, that you may not
be surprised at some stories which I shall tell you of him hereafter.
"I am going now, madam, to relate to you one of those strange accidents which
are produced by such a train of circumstances, that mere chance hath been
thought incapable of bringing them together; and which have therefore given
birth, in superstitious minds, to Fortune, and to several other imaginary beings.
"We were now impatiently expecting the arrival of the doctor; our messenger had
been gone much more than a sufficient time, which to us, you may be assured,
appeared not at all shorter than it was, when nurse, who had gone out of doors
on some errand, came running hastily to us, crying out, 'O my dear young
madam, her ladyship's coach is just at the door!' Amelia turned pale as death at
these words; indeed, I feared she would have fainted, if I could be said to fear,
who had scarce any of my senses left, and was in a condition little better than my
"While we were both in this dreadful situation, Amelia fallen back in her chair with
the countenance in which ghosts are painted, myself at her feet, with a
complexion of no very different colour, and nurse screaming out and throwing
water in Amelia's face, Mrs. Harris entered the room. At the sight of this scene
she threw herself likewise into a chair, and called immediately for a glass of
water, which Miss Betty her daughter supplied her with; for, as to nurse, nothing