Amy went to see her adopted son, and ordered his schooling, clothes, and other things, but enjoined them not to tell the young man anything, but that they thought the trade he was at too hard for him, and they would keep him at home a little longer, and give him some schooling to fit him for other business; and Amy appeared to him as she did before, only as one that had known his mother and had some kindness for him.
Thus this matter passed on for near a twelvemonth, when it happened that one of my maid-servants having asked Amy leave (for Amy was mistress of the servants, and took and put out such as she pleased)—I say, having asked leave to go into the city to see her friends, came home crying bitterly, and in a most grievous agony she was, and continued so several days, till Amy, perceiving the excess, and that the maid would certainly cry herself sick, she took an opportunity with her and examined her about it.
The maid told her a long story, that she had been to see her brother, the only brother she had in the world, and that she knew he was put out apprentice to a ——; but there had come a lady in a coach to his uncle ——, who had brought him up, and made him take him home again; and so the wench run on with the whole story just as 'tis told above, till she came to that part that belonged to herself. 'And there', says she, 'I had not let them know where I lived, and the lady would have taken me, and, they say, would have provided for me too, as she has done for my brother; but nobody could tell where to find me, and so I have lost it all, and all the hopes of being anything but a poor servant all my days'; and then the girl fell a-crying again.
Amy said, 'What's all this story? Who could this lady be? It must be some trick, sure.' 'No', she said, 'it was not a trick, for she had made them take her brother home from apprentice, and bought him new clothes, and put him to have more learning; and the gentlewoman said she would make him her heir.'
'Her heir!' says Amy. 'What does that amount to? It may be she had nothing to leave him; she might make anybody her heir.'
'No, no', says the girl; 'she came in a fine coach and horses, and I don't know how many footmen to attend her, and brought a great bag of gold and gave it to my uncle ——, he that brought up my brother, to buy him clothes and to pay for his schooling and board.'
'He that brought up your brother?' says Amy. 'Why, did not he bring you up too, as well as your brother? Pray who brought you up, then?' Here the poor girl told a melancholy story, how an aunt had brought up her and her sister, and how barbarously she had used them, as we have heard.
By this time Amy had her head full enough, and her heart too, and did not know how to hold it, or what to do, for she was satisfied that this was no other than my own daughter, for she told her all the history of her father and mother, and how she was carried by their maid to her aunt's door, just as is related in the beginning of my story.
Amy did not tell me this story for a great while, nor did she well know what course to take in it; but as she had authority to manage everything in the family, she took occasion some time after, without letting me know anything of it, to find some fault with the maid and turn her away.
Her reasons were good, though at first I was not pleased when I heard of it, but I was convinced afterwards that she was in the right, for if she