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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

'Indeed', says I, 'so I was; that foolish young girl held us all in a Canterbury story; I thought she would never have done with it.' 'Why, truly, I thought she was very careful to let thee know she was but a cook-maid.' 'Ay', says I, 'and at a gaming-house, or garning-ordinary, and at t'other end of the town too; all which (by the way) she might know would add very little to her good name among us citizens.'

'I can't think', says the Quaker, 'but she had some other drift in that long discourse; there's something else in her head' says she; 'I am satisfied of that.' Thought I, 'Are you satisfied of it? I am sure I am the less satisfied for that; at least 'tis but small satisfaction to me to hear you say so. What can this be?' says I; 'and when will my uneasiness have an end? 'But this was silent, and to myself, you may be sure. But in answer to my friend the Quaker,; returned by asking her a question or two about it; as what she thought was in it, and why she thought there was anything in it. 'For', says I, 'she can have nothing in it relating to me.'

'Nay' says the kind Quaker, 'if she had any view towards thee, that's no business of mine; and I should be far from desiring thee to inform me.'

This alarmed me again; not that I feared trusting the good-humoured creature with it, if there had been anything of just suspicion in her; but this affair was a secret I cared not to communicate to anybody. However, I say, this alarmed me a little; for as I had concealed everything from from her, I was willing to do so still; but as she could not but gather up abundance of things from the girl's discourse, which looked towards me, so she was too penetrating to be put off with such answers as might stop another's mouth. Only there was this double felicity in it, first, that she was not inquisitive to know or find anything out, and not dangerous if she had known the whole story. But, as I say, she could not but gather up several circumstances from the girl's discourse, as particularly the name of Amy, and the several descriptions of the Turkish dress which my friend the Quaker had seen, and taken so much notice of, as I have said above.

As for that, I might have turned it off by jesting with Amy, and asking her who she lived with before she came to live with me. But that would not do, for we had unhappily anticipated that way of talking, by having often talked how long Amy had lived with me; and, which was still worse, by having owned formerly that I had had lodgings in the Pall Mall; so that all those things corresponded too well. There was only one thing that helped me out with the Quaker, and that was the girl's having reported how rich Mrs Amy was grown, and that she kept her coach. Now, as there might be many more Mrs Amys besides mine, so it was not likely to be my Amy, because she was far from such a figure as keeping her coach; and this carried it off from the suspicions which the good friendly Quaker might have in her head.

But as to what she imagined the girl had in her head, there lay more real difficulty in that part a great deal, and I was alarmed at it very much, for my friend the Quaker told me that she observed the girl was in a great passion when she talked of the habit, and more when I had been importuned to show her mine, but declined it. She said she several times perceived her to be in disorder, and to restrain herself with great difficulty; and once or twice she muttered to herself that she had found it out, or that she would find it out, she could not tell whether: and that she often saw tears in her eyes; that when I said my suit of Turkish clothes was