the girl hath no notion what sort of equipage we travelled with, it was not easy to make a discovery of me, unless she accidentally, in her travels, light upon you (meaning the Quaker), or upon me; either of which must unavoidably blow the secret I had so long laboured to conceal.
Quaker. As thou intendest to stay here to-morrow, to see the things which thou callest antiquities, and which are more properly named the relics of the Whore of Babylon; suppose thou wert to send Thomas, who at thy command followeth after us, to the place called Dover, to inquire whether such a young woman has been inquiring for thee. He may go out betimes in the morning, and may return by night, for it is but twelve or fourteen miles at farthest thither.
Roxana. I like thy scheme very well; and I beg the favour of you in the morning, as soon as you are up, to send Tom to Dover, with such instructions as you shall think proper.
After a good night's repose I was well recovered, to the great satisfaction of all that were with me.
The good-natured Quaker, always studious to serve and oblige me, got up about five o'clock in the morning, and going down into the inn-yard, met with Tom, gave him his instructions, and he set out for Dover before six o'clock.
As we were at the best inn in the city, so we could readily have whatever we pleased, and whatever the season afforded; but my husband, the most indulgent man that ever breathed, having observed how heartily I ate my dinner at Rochester two days before, ordered the very same bill of fare, and of which I made a heartier meal than I did before. We were very merry, and after we had dined, we went to see the town-house, but, as it was near five o'clock, I left the Quaker behind me, to receive what intelligence she could get concerning my daughter, from the footman, who was expected to return from Dover at six.
We came to the inn just as it was dark, and then excusing myself to my husband, I immediately ran up into my chamber, where I had appointed the Quaker to be against my return. I ran to her with eagerness, and inquired what news from Dover, by Tom, the footman.
She said, Tom had been returned two hours; that he got to Dover that morning between seven and eight, and found, at the inn he put up at, there had been an inquisitive young woman to find out a gentleman that was a Dutch merchant, and a lady who was her mother; that the young woman perfectly well described his lady; that he found that she had visited every public inn in the town; that she said she would go to Deal, and that, if she did not find the lady, her mother, there, she would go by the first ship to the Hague, and go from thence, to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, searching all the towns through which she passed in the United Provinces.
This account pleased me very well, especially when I understood that she had been gone from Dover five days. The Quaker comforted me, and said it was lucky this busy creature had passed the road before us, otherwise she might easily have found means to have overtaken us, for, as she observed, the wench had such an artful way of telling her story, that she moved everybody to compassion; and she did not doubt but that if we had been before, as we were behind, she would have got those who would have assisted her with a coach, etc., to have pursued us, and they might have come up with us.
I was of the honest Quaker's sentiments. I grew pretty easy, called