If I had had the eyes of Argus I should have seen with them all on this occasion. I knew that this was my son, and one that, among all my inquiry, I could never get any account of. The Quaker seeing my colour come and go, and also tremble, said 'I verily believe thou art not well; I hope this Kentish air, which was always reckoned aguish, does not hurt thee? 'I am taken very sick of a sudden', said I; 'so pray let me go to our inn that I may go to my chamber.' Isabel being called in, she and the Quaker attended me there, leaving the young fellow with my spouse. When I was got into my chamber, I was seized with such a grief as I had never known before; and, flinging myself down upon the bed, burst into a flood of tears, and soon after fainted away. Soon after, I came a little to myself, and the Quaker begged of me to tell her what was the cause of my sudden indisposition. 'Nothing at all', says I, 'as I know of; but a sudden chilliness seized my blood, and that, joined to a fainting of the spirits, made me ready to sink.'
Presently after, my husband came to see how I did, and finding me somewhat better, he told me that he had a mind to hire the young man I had left him with, for he believed he was honest and fit for our service. 'My dear', says I, 'I did not mind him. I would desire you to be cautious how we pick up on the road; but as I have the satisfaction of hiring my maids, I shall never trouble myself with the men-servants, that is wholly your province. However', added I (for I was very certain he was my son, and was resolved to have him in my service, though it was my interest to keep my husband off, in order to bring him on ), 'if you like the fellow, I am not averse to your hiring one servant in England. We are not obliged to trust him with much before we see his conduct, and, if he does not prove as you may expect, you may turn him off whenever you please.' 'I believe', said my husband, 'he has been ingenuous in his relation to me; and as a man who has seen great variety of life, and may have been the shuttlecock of fortune, the butt of envy, and the mark of malice, I will hire him when he comes to me here anon, as I have ordered him.'
As I knew he was to b hired, I resolved to be out of the way when he came to my husband; so about five o'clock I proposed to the Quaker to take a walk on the pier and see the shipping, while the tea-kettle was boiling. We went, and took Isabel with us, and as we were going along I saw my son Thomas (as I shall for the future call him) going to our inn; so we stayed out about an hour, and when we returned my husband told me he had hired the man, and that he was to come to him as a servant on the morrow morning. 'Pray, my dear', said I, 'did you ask where he ever lived, or what his name is?' 'Yes', replied my husband, 'he says his name is Thomas ——; and as to places, he has mentioned several families of note, and among others, he lived at my Lord —— 's, next door to the great French lady's in Pall Mall, whose name he tells me was Roxana.' I was now in a sad dilemma, and was fearful I should be known by my own son; and the Quaker took notice of it, and after wards told me she believed fortune had conspired that all the people I became acquainted with, should have known the Lady Roxana. 'I warrant', said she, 'this young fellow is somewhat acquainted with the impertinent wench that calls herself thy daughter.'
I was very uneasy in mind, but had one thing in my favour, which was always to keep myself at a very great distance from my servants; and as