see him, and be acquainted a little with him. So we came after dinner to talk of the ship and the conveniences on board, and the captain pressed me earnestly to come on board and see the ship, intimating that he would treat us as well as he could; and in discourse I happened to say I hoped he had no other passengers. He said no, he had not; but, he said, his wife had courted him a good while to let her go over to Holland with him, for he always used that trade, but he never could think of venturing all he had in one bottom; but, if I went with him, he thought to take her and her kinswoman along with him this voyage, that they might both wait upon me; and so added, that if we would do him the honour to dine on board the next day, he would bring his wife on board, the better to make us welcome.
Who now could have believed the devil had any snare at the bottom of all this? or that I was in any danger on such an occasion, so remote and out of the way as this was? But the event was the oddest that could be thought of. As it happened, Amy was not at home when we accepted this invitation, and so she was left out of the company; but instead of Amy, we took our honest, good-humoured, never-to-be-omitted friend the Quaker, one of the best creatures that ever lived, sure; and who, besides a thousand good qualities unmixed with one bad one, was particularly excellent for being the best company in the world; though I think I had carried Amy too, if she had not been engaged in this unhappy girl's affair. For on a sudden the girl was lost, and no news was to be heard of her; and Amy had haunted her to every place she could think of, that it was likely to find her in; but all the news she could hear of her was, that she was gone to an old comrade's house of hers, which she called sister, and who was married to a master of a ship, who lived at Redriff; and even this the jade never told me. It seems, when this girl was directed by Amy to get her some breeding, go to the boarding-school, and the like, she was recommended to a boarding-school at Camberwell, and there she contracted an acquaintance with a young lady (so they are all called), her bedfellow, that they called sisters, and promised never to break off their acquaintance.
But judge you what an unaccountable surprise I must be in, when I came on board the ship, and was brought into the captain's cabin, or what they call it, the great cabin of the ship, to see his lady, or wife, and another young person with her, who, when I came to see her near hand, was my old cook-maid in the Pall Mall, and, as appeared by the sequel of the story, was neither more or less than my own daughter. That I knew her was out of doubt; for though she had not had opportunity to see me very often, yet I had often seen her, as I must needs, being in my own family so long.
If ever I had need of courage, and a full presence of mind, it was now; it was the only valuable secret in the world to me, all depended upon this occasion; if the girl knew me, I was undone; and to discover any surprise or disorder had been to make her know me, or guess it, and discover herself.
I was once going to feign a swooning and fainting away, and so, falling on the ground, or floor, put them all into a hurry and fright, and by that means to get an opportunity to be continually holding something to my nose to smell to, and so hold my hand or my handkerchief, or both, before my mouth; then pretend I could not bear the smell of the ship,