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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

by night and by day; she haunted my imagination, if she did not haunt the house; my fancy showed me her in a hundred shapes and postures; sleeping or waking, she was with me. Sometimes I thought I saw her with her throat cut; sometimes with her head cut, and her brains knocked out; other times hanged up upon a beam; another time drowned in the great pond at Camberwell. And all these appearances were terrifying to the last degree; and that, which was still worse, I could really hear nothing of her; I sent to the captain's wife in Redriff, and she answered me, she was gone to her relations in Spitalfields. I sent thither, and they said she was there about three weeks ago, but that she went out in a coach with the gentlewoman that used to be so kind to her, but whither she was gone they knew not, for she had not been there since. I sent back the messenger for a description of the woman she went out with; and they described her so perfectly, that I knew it to be Amy, and none but Amy.

I sent word again that Mrs Amy, who she went out with, left her in two or three hours, and that they should search for her, for I had a reason to fear she was murdered. This frighted them all intolerably. They believed Amy had carried her to pay her a sum of money, and that somebody had watched her after her having received it, and had robbed and murdered her,

I believed nothing of that part; but I believed, as it was, that whatever was done, Amy had done it; and that, in short, Amy had made her away; and I believed it the more, because Amy came no more near me, but confirmed her guilt by her absence.

Upon the whole, I mourned thus for her for above a month; but finding Amy still come not near me, and that I must put my affairs in a posture that I might go to Holland, I opened all my affairs to my dear trusty friend the Quaker, and placed her, in matters of trust, in the room of Amy; and with a heavy, bleeding heart for my poor girl, I embarked with my spouse, and all our equipage and goods, on board another Holland's trader, not a packet-boat, and went over to Holland, where I arrived, as I have said.

I must put in a caution, however, here, that you must not understand me as if I let my friend the Quaker into any part of the secret history of my former life; nor did I commit the grand reserved article of all to her, viz., that I was really the girl's mother, and the Lady Roxana; there was no need of that part being exposed; and it was always a maxim with me, that secrets should never be opened without evident utility. It could be of no manner of use to me or her to communicate that part to her; besides, she was too honest herself to make it safe to me; for, though she loved me very sincerely, and it was plain by many circumstances that she did so, yet she would not lie for me upon occasion, as Amy would, and therefore it was not advisable on any terms to communicate that part; for if the girl, or any one else, should have come to her afterwards, and put it home to her, whether she knew that I was the girl's mother or not, or was the same as the Lady Roxana or not, she either would not have denied it, or would have done it with so ill a grace, such blushing, such hesitations and falterings in her answers, as would have put the matter out of doubt, and betrayed herself and the secret too.

For this reason, I say, I did not discover anything of that kind to her; but I placed her, as I have said, in Amy's stead in the other affairs of