so supply her that she could live comfortably, and not want it for bread or other necessaries, she should not make use of it, but lay up the income of it, and add it every year to the principal, so to increase the annual payment, which in time, and perhaps before she might come to want it, might double itself; that we were very willing whatever she should so lay up should be to herself, and whoever she thought fit after her; but that the forty pounds a year must return to our family after her life, which we both wished might be long and happy.
Let no reader wonder at my extraordinary concern for this poor woman, or at my giving my bounty to her a place in this account. It is not, I assure you, to make a pageantry of my charity, or to value myself upon the greatness of my soul, that should give in so profuse a manner as this, which was above my figure, if my wealth had been twice as much as it was; but there was another spring from whence all flowed, and 'tis on that account I speak of it. Was it possible I could think of a poor desolate woman with four children, and her husband gone from her, and perhaps good for little if he had stayed I say, was I, that had tasted so deep of the sorrows of such a kind of widowhood, able to look on her, and think of her circumstances, and not be touched in an uncommon manner? No, no; I never looked on her and her family, though she was not left so helpless and friendless as I had been, without remembering my own condition, when Amy was sent out to pawn or sell my pair of stays to buy a breast of mutton and a bunch of turnips; nor could I look on her poor children, though not poor and perishing, like mine, without tears; reflecting on the dreadful condition that mine were reduced to, when poor Amy sent them all into their aunt's in Spitalfields, and run away from them. These were the original springs, or fountain-head, from whence my affectionate thoughts were moved to assist this poor woman.
When a poor debtor, having lain long in the Compter, or Ludgate, or the King's Bench for debt, afterwards gets out, rises again in the world, and grows rich, such a one is a certain benefactor to the prisoners there, and perhaps to every prison he passes by as long as he lives, for he remembers the dark days of his own sorrow; and even those who never had the experience of such sorrows to stir up their minds to acts of charity would have the same charitable, good disposition did they as sensibly remember what it is that distinguishes them from others by a more favourable and merciful Providence.
This, I say, was, however, the spring of my concern for this honest, friendly, and grateful Quaker; and as I had so plentiful a fortune in the world, I resolved she should taste the fruit of her kind usage to me in a manner that she could not expect.
All the while I talked to her, T saw the disorder of her mind; the sudden joy was too much for her, and she coloured, trembled, changed, and at last grew pale, and was, indeed, near fainting, when she hastily rung a little bell for her maid, who, coming in immediately, she beckoned to her for speak she could not to fill her a glass of wine; but she had no breath to take it in, and was almost choked with that which she took in her mouth. I saw she was ill, and assisted her what I could, and with spirits and things to smell to just kept her from fainting, when she beckoned to her maid to withdraw, and immediately burst out in crying, and that relieved her. When she recovered herself a little, she flew to me, and, throwing her arms about my neck, 'Oh!' says she, 'thou hast almost