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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesAmelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VII
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Amelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VII Post by :tcant Category :Long Stories Author :Henry Fielding Date :January 2011 Read :910

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Amelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VII

Chapter VII - The story farther continued.


Mrs. Bennet proceeded thus:

"I was at length prevailed on to accompany Mrs. Ellison to the
masquerade. Here, I must confess, the pleasantness of the place, the
variety of the dresses, and the novelty of the thing, gave me much
delight, and raised my fancy to the highest pitch. As I was entirely
void of all suspicion, my mind threw off all reserve, and pleasure
only filled my thoughts. Innocence, it is true, possessed my heart;
but it was innocence unguarded, intoxicated with foolish desires, and
liable to every temptation. During the first two hours we had many
trifling adventures not worth remembering. At length my lord joined
us, and continued with me all the evening; and we danced several
dances together.

"I need not, I believe, tell you, madam, how engaging his conversation
is. I wish I could with truth say I was not pleased with it; or, at
least, that I had a right to be pleased with it. But I will disguise
nothing from you. I now began to discover that he had some affection
for me, but he had already too firm a footing in my esteem to make the
discovery shocking. I will--I will own the truth; I was delighted with
perceiving a passion in him, which I was not unwilling to think he had
had from the beginning, and to derive his having concealed it so long
from his awe of my virtue, and his respect to my understanding. I
assure you, madam, at the same time, my intentions were never to
exceed the bounds of innocence. I was charmed with the delicacy of his
passion; and, in the foolish thoughtless turn of mind in which I then
was, I fancied I might give some very distant encouragement to such a
passion in such a man with the utmost safety--that I might indulge my
vanity and interest at once, without being guilty of the least injury.

"I know Mrs. Booth will condemn all these thoughts, and I condemn them
no less myself; for it is now my stedfast opinion that the woman who
gives up the least outwork of her virtue doth, in that very moment,
betray the citadel.

"About two o'clock we returned home, and found a very handsome
collation provided for us. I was asked to partake of it, and I did
not, I could not refuse. I was not, however, entirely void of all
suspicion, and I made many resolutions; one of which was, not to drink
a drop more than my usual stint. This was, at the utmost, little more
than half a pint of small punch.

"I adhered strictly to my quantity; but in the quality I am convinced
I was deceived; for before I left the room I found my head giddy. What
the villain gave me I know not; but, besides being intoxicated, I
perceived effects from it which are not to be described.

"Here, madam, I must draw a curtain over the residue of that fatal
night. Let it suffice that it involved me in the most dreadful ruin; a
ruin to which I can truly say I never consented, and of which I was
scarce conscious when the villanous man avowed it to my face in the
morning.

"Thus I have deduced my story to the most horrid period; happy had I
been had this been the period of my life, but I was reserved for
greater miseries; but before I enter on them I will mention something
very remarkable, with which I was now acquainted, and that will shew
there was nothing of accident which had befallen me, but that all was
the effect of a long, regular, premeditated design.

"You may remember, madam, I told you that we were recommended to Mrs.
Ellison by the woman at whose house we had before lodged. This woman,
it seems, was one of my lord's pimps, and had before introduced me to
his lordship's notice.

"You are to know then, madam, that this villain, this lord, now
confest to me that he had first seen me in the gallery at the
oratorio, whither I had gone with tickets with which the woman where I
first lodged had presented me, and which were, it seems, purchased by
my lord. Here I first met the vile betrayer, who was disguised in a
rug coat and a patch upon his face."

At these words Amelia cried, "O, gracious heavens!" and fell back in
her chair. Mrs. Bennet, with proper applications, brought her back to
life; and then Amelia acquainted her that she herself had first seen
the same person in the same place, and in the same disguise. "O, Mrs.
Bennet!" cried she, "how am I indebted to you! what words, what
thanks, what actions can demonstrate the gratitude of my sentiments! I
look upon you, and always shall look upon you, as my preserver from
the brink of a precipice, from which I was falling into the same ruin
which you have so generously, so kindly, and so nobly disclosed for my
sake."

Here the two ladies compared notes; and it appeared that his
lordship's behaviour at the oratorio had been alike to both; that he
had made use of the very same words, the very same actions to Amelia,
which he had practised over before on poor unfortunate Mrs. Bennet. It
may, perhaps, be thought strange that neither of them could afterwards
recollect him; but so it was. And, indeed, if we consider the force of
disguise, the very short time that either of them was with him at this
first interview, and the very little curiosity that must have been
supposed in the minds of the ladies, together with the amusement in
which they were then engaged, all wonder will, I apprehend, cease.
Amelia, however, now declared she remembered his voice and features
perfectly well, and was thoroughly satisfied he was the same person.
She then accounted for his not having visited in the afternoon,
according to his promise, from her declared resolutions to Mrs.
Ellison not to see him. She now burst forth into some very satirical
invectives against that lady, and declared she had the art, as well as
the wickedness, of the devil himself.

Many congratulations now past from Mrs. Bennet to Amelia, which were
returned with the most hearty acknowledgments from that lady. But,
instead of filling our paper with these, we shall pursue Mrs. Bennet's
story, which she resumed as we shall find in the next chapter.

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Amelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VIII Amelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VIII

Amelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VIII
Chapter VIII - Further continuation."No sooner," said Mrs. Bennet, continuing her story, "was my lorddeparted, than Mrs. Ellison came to me. She behaved in such a manner,when she became acquainted with what had past, that, though I was atfirst satisfied of her guilt, she began to stagger my opinion, and atlength prevailed upon me entirely to acquit her. She raved like a madwoman against my lord, swore he should not stay a moment in her house,and that she would never speak to him more. In short, had she been themost innocent woman in the world, she could not have spoke nor
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Amelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VI Amelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VI

Amelia - Volume II - BOOK VII - Chapter VI
Chapter VI - Farther continued.Mrs. Bennet, returning into the room, made a short apology for herabsence, and then proceeded in these words:"We now left our lodging, and took a second floor in that very housewhere you now are, to which we were recommended by the woman where wehad before lodged, for the mistresses of both houses were acquainted;and, indeed, we had been all at the play together. To this new lodgingthen (such was our wretched destiny) we immediately repaired, and werereceived by Mrs. Ellison (how can I bear the sound of that detestedname?) with much civility; she took care, however, during
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