Thus it was with me; and thus, no doubt, considering parents always find it, that their own children are a restraint to them in their worst courses, when the sense of a superior power has not the same influence. But of that hereafter.
There happened, however, one good circumstance in the case of this poor girl, which brought about a discovery sooner than otherwise it would have been, and it was thus. After she and Amy had been intimate for some time, and had exchanged several visits, the girl, now grown a woman, talking to Amy of the gay things that used to fall out when she was servant in my family, spoke of it with a kind of concern that she could not see (me) her lady; and at last she adds, 'Twas very strange, madam', says she to Amy, 'but though I lived near two years in the house, I never saw my mistress in my life, except it was that public night when she danced in the fine Turkish habit, and then she was so disguised that I knew nothing of her afterwards.'
Amy was glad to hear this, but, as she was a cunning girl from the beginning, she was not to be bit, and so she laid no stress upon that at first, but gave me an account of it; and I must confess, it gave me a secret joy to think that I was not known to her, and that, by virtue of that only accident, I might, when other circumstances made room for it, discover myself to her, and let her know she had a mother in a condition fit to be owned.
It was a dreadful restraint to me before, and this gave me some very sad reflections, and made way for the great question I have mentioned above; and by how much the circumstance was bitter to me, by so much the more agreeable it was to understand that the girl had never seen me, and consequently did not know me again if she was to be told who I was.
However, the next time she came to visit Amy, I was resolved to put it to a trial, and to come into the room and let her see me, and to see by that whether she knew me or not; but Amy put me by, lest indeed, as there was reason enough to question, I should not be able to contain, or forbear discovering myself to her; so it went off for that time.
But both these circumstances, and that is the reason of mentioning them, brought me to consider of the life I lived, and to resolve to put myself into some figure of life in which I might not be scandalous to my own family, and be afraid to make myself known to my own children, who were my own flesh and blood.
There was another daughter I had, which, with all our inquiries, we could not hear of, high nor low, for several years after the first. But I return to my own story.
Being now in part removed from my old station, I seemed to be in a fair way of retiring from my old acquaintances, and consequently from the vile, abominable trade I had driven so long; so that the door seemed to be, as it were, particularly open to my reformation, if I had any mind to it in earnest; but, for all that, some of my old friends, as I had used to call them, inquired me out, and came to visit me at Kensington, and that more frequently than I wished they would do; but it being once known where I was, there was no avoiding it, unless I would have downright refused and affronted them; and I was not yet in earnest enough with my resolutions to go that length.
The best of it was, my old lewd favourite, who I now heartily hated, entirely dropped me. He came once to visit me, but I caused Amy to