all of the youth, for she had not seen him since he was about two years old; and it was evident he could have no knowledge of her.
However, she talked with him, and found him a good, sensible, mannerly youth; that he knew little of the story of his father or mother, and had no view of anything but to work hard for his living; and she did not think fit to put any great things into his head, lest it should take him off of his business, and perhaps make him turn giddy-headed and be good for nothing; but she went and found out that kind man, his benefactor, who had put him out, and finding him a plain, well-meaning, honest, and kind-hearted man, she opened her tale to him the easier. She made a long story, how she had a prodigious kindness for the child, because she had the same for his father and mother; told him that she was the servant-maid that brought all of them to their aunt's door, and run away and left them; that their poor mother wanted bread, and what came of her after she would have been glad to know. She added that her circumstances had happened to mend in the world, and that, as she was in condition, so she was disposed to show some kindness to the children if she could find them out.
He received her with all the civility that so kind a proposal demanded, gave her an account of what he had done for the child, how he had maintained him, fed and clothed him, put him to school, and at last put him out to a trade. She said he had indeed been a father to the child. But, sir', says she, '’tis a very laborious, hard-working trade, and he is but a thin, weak boy.' 'That's true', says he; 'but the boy chose the trade, and I assure you I gave 20 with him, and am to find him clothes all his apprenticeship; and as to its being a hard trade', says he, 'that's the fate of his circumstances, poor boy. I could not well do better for him.'
'Well, sir, as you did all for him in charity', says she, 'it was exceeding well; but, as my resolution is to do something for him, I desire you will, if possible, take him away again from that place, where he works so hard, for I cannot bear to see the child work so very hard for his bread, and I will do something for him that shall make him live without such hard labour.'
He smiled at that. 'I can, indeed', says he; 'take him away, but then I must lose my 20 that I gave with him.'
'Well, sir', said Amy, 'I'll enable you to lose that £20 immediately'; and so she put her hand in her pocket, and pulls out her purse.
He begun to be a little amazed at her, and looked her hard in the face, and that so very much that she took notice of it, and said, 'Sir, I fancy by your looking at me, you think you know me, but I am assured you do not, for I never saw your face before. I think you have done enough for the child, and that you ought to be acknowledged as a father to him, but you ought not to lose by your kindness to him, more than the kindness of bringing him up obliges you to; and therefore there's the £20', added she, 'and pray let him be fetched away.'
'Well, madam', says he, 'I will thank you for the boy, as well as for myself; but will you please to tell me what I must do with him?'
'Sir', says Amy, 'as you have been so kind to keep him so many years, I beg you will take him home again one year more, and I'll bring you a hundred pounds more, which I will desire you to lay out in schooling and clothes for him, and to pay you for his board. Perhaps I may put him in a condition to return your kindness.'