here. As to the character of Lady Roxana, which you so nicely managed', said he, 'did that become a woman that had five children, whose necessity had obliged you to leave them, to live in a continual scene of pageantry and riot, I could almost say debauchery? Look into your conduct, and see if you deserve to have the title or the estate you now so happily enjoy.' After this speech, he walked about the room in a confused manner for some minutes, and then addressed himself to Amy. 'Pray, Mrs Amy', says he, 'give me your judgment in this case, for, although I know you are as much as possible in your lady's interest, yet I cannot think you have so little charity as to think she acted like a woman of worth and discretion. Do you really think, as you knew all of them from infants, that this young woman is your lady's daughter?'
Amy, who always had spirits enough about her, said at once she believed the girl was my. 'And truly', says she, 'I think your man Thomas is her eldest son, for the tale he tells of his birth and education suits exactly with our then circumstances.'
Why, indeed', said my lord, 'I believe so too, for I now recollect that when we first took him into our service at Dover, he told me he was the son of a brewer in London; that his father had run away from his mother, and left her in a distressed condition with five children, of which he was second child, or eldest son.'
Thomas was then called into the parlour, and asked what he knew of his family; he repeated all as above, concerning his father's running away and leaving me; but said that he had often asked and inquired after them, but without any success, and concluded, that he believed his brothers and sisters were distributed in several places, and that his mother died in the greatest distress, and was buried by the parish.
Indeed', said my lord, 'it is my opinion that Thomas is one of your sons; do not you think the same?', addressing himself to me.
From the circumstances that have been related, my lord', said I, 'I now believe that these are both my children; but you would have thought me a mad woman to have countenanced and taken this young woman in as my child, without a thorough assurance of it; for that would have been running myself to a certain expense and trouble, without the least glimpse of real satisfaction.'
'Pray', said my lord to my daughter, 'let me know what is become of your brothers and sisters; give me the best account of them that you can.'
'My lord', replied she, 'agreeably to your commands, I will inform you to the best of my knowledge; and to begin with myself, who am the eldest of the five. I was put to a sister of my father's with my youngest brother, who, by mere dint of industry, gave us maintenance and education suitable to her circumstances; and she, with my uncle's consent, let me go to service when I was advanced in years; and among the variety of places I lived at, Lady Roxana's was one.'
'Yes', said Thomas, 'I knew her there, when I was a valet at my Lord D——'s, the next door; it was there I became acquainted with her; and she, by the consent of the gentlewoman', pointing to Amy, 'let me see the Lady Roxana's fine vestment, which she danced in at the grand ball.'
'Well', continued my daughter, 'after I left this place, I was at several others before I became acquainted with Mrs Amy a second time (I knew her before as Roxana's woman), who told me one day some things