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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

and who you went with', says the girl; 'did not my Lady Roxana come back again with you? I know it all well enough; though I was but a child, I have heard it all.' And thus she run on with such discourse as put Amy out of all temper again; and she raved at her like a bedlam, and told her she would never come near her any more; she might go a-begging again if she would; she'd have nothing to do with her. The girl, a passionate wench, told her she knew the worst of it, she could go to service again, and if she would not own her own child, she must do as she pleased; then she fell into a passion of crying again, as if she would kill herself.

In short, this girl's conduct terrified Amy to the last degree, and me too; and, was it not that we knew the girl was quite wrong in some things, she was yet so right in some other, that it gave me a great deal of perplexity; but that which put Amy the most to it was that the girl (my daughter) told her, that she (meaning me, her mother) had gone away with the jeweller, and into France too; she did not call him the jeweller, but with the landlord of the house; who, after her mother fell into distress, and that Amy had taken all the children from her, made much of her, and afterwards married her.

In short, it was plain the girl had but a broken account of things, but yet that she had received some accounts that had a reality in the bottom of them, so that, it seems, our first measures, and the amour with the jeweller, were not so concealed as I thought they had been; and, it seems, came in a broken manner to my sister-in-law, who Amy carried the children to, and she made some bustle, it seems, about it. But, as good luck was, it was too late, and I was removed, and gone, none knew whither, or else she would have sent all the children home to me again, to be sure.

This we picked out of the girl's discourse, that is to say, Amy did, at several times; but it all consisted of broken fragments of stories, such as the girl herself had heard so long ago, that she herself could make very little of it; only that in the main, that her mother had played the whore; had gone away with the gentleman that was landlord of the house; that he married her; that she went into France. And, as she had learned in my family, where she was a servant, that Mrs. Amy and her Lady Roxana had been in France together, so she put all these things together, and, joining them with the great kindness that Amy now showed her, possessed the creature that Amy was really her mother, nor was it possible for Amy to conquer it for a long time.

But this, after I had searched into it, as far as by Amy's relation I could get an account of it, did not disquiet me half so much as that the young slut had got the name of Roxana by the end, and that she knew who her Lady Roxana was, and the like; though this, neither, did not hang together, for then she would not have fixed upon Amy for her mother. But some time after, when Amy had almost persuaded her out of it, and that the girl began to be so confounded in her discourses of it, that she made neither head nor tail, at last the passionate creature flew out in a kind of rage, and said to Amy, that, if she was not her mother, Madam Roxana was her mother then, for one of them, she was sure, was her mother; and then all this that Amy had done for her was by Madam Roxana's order. 'And I am sure', says she, 'it was my Lady Roxana's coach that brought the gentlewoman, whoever it was, to my uncle's in