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hour to live... I ran out, pulling my hair off, and crying like any mad after the women, but never could hear a word of them from that day to this. When I came back, the poor infant, (which is our Joseph there, as stout as he now stands,) lifted up its eyes upon me so piteously, that to be sure, notwithstanding my passion, I could not find in my heart to do it any mischief. A neighbour of mine, happening to come in at the same time, and hearing the case, advised me to take care of this poor child, and God would perhaps one day restore me my own. Upon which, I took the child up, and suckled it, to be sure, all the world as if it had been born of my own natural body; and, as true as I am alive, in a little time I loved the boy all to nothing, as if it had been my own girl.-Well, as I was saying, times growing very hard, I having two children, and nothing but my own work, which was little enough, God knows, to maintain them, was obliged to ask relief of the parish; but, instead of giving it me, they removed me, by justices’ warrants, fifteen miles, to the place where I now live, where I had not been long settled, before you came home. Joseph, (for that was the name I gave him myself—the Lord knows whether he was baptized or no, or by what name,) Joseph, I say, seemed to me about five years old when you returned; for I believe he is two or three years older than our daughter here, (for I am thoroughly convinced she is the same,) and when you saw him, you said he was a chopping boy, without ever minding his age; and so I, seeing you did not suspect any thing of the matter, thought I might e'en as well keep it to myself, for fear you should not love him as well as I did. And all this is veritably true, and I will take my oath of it before any justice in the kingdom.’ The pedlar, who had been summoned by the order of Lady Booby, listened with the utmost attention to gammer Andrews's story; and when she had finished, asked her, If the supposititious child had no mark on its breast? To which she answered, ‘Yes, he had as fine a strawberry as ever grew in a garden.’ This Joseph acknowledged, and, unbuttoning his coat, at the intercession of the company, showed to them. “Well,” says gaffer Andrews, who was a comical, sly old fellow, and very likely desired to have no more children than he could keep, “you have proved, I think, very plainly, that this boy doth not belong to us; §. how are you certain that the girl is ours?” The parson then brought the pedlar forward, and desired him to repeat the story which he had communicated to him the preceding day at the alehouse; which he complied with, and related what the reader, as well as Mr. Adams, hath seen before. He then confirmed, from his wife's report, all the cir
cumstances of the exchange, and of the strawberry on Joseph's breast. At the repetition of the word strawberry, Adams, who had seen it without any emotion, started, and cried, ‘Bless me! something comes into my head.” But, before he had time to bring any o out, a servant called him forth. When he was gone, the pedlar assured Joseph, that his parents were persons of much greater circumstances than those he had hitherto mistaken for such; for that he had been stolen from a gentleman's house, by those whom they call gipsies, and had been kept by them during a whole year, when, looking on him as in a dying condition, they had exchanged him for the other healthier child, in the manner before related. He said, as to the name of his father, his wife had either never known or forgot it; but that she had acquainted him, he lived about forty miles from the place where the exchange had been made, and which way, promising to spare no pains in endeavour1In ...i. to discover the place. ut Fortune, which seldom doth good or ill, or makes men happy or miserable by halves, resolved to spare him this labour. The reader may please to recollect, that Mr. Wilson had intended a journey to the west, in which he was to pass through Mr. Adams's parish, and had promised to call on him. He was now arrived at the Lady Booby's gates for that purpose, being directed thither from the parson's house, and had sent in the servant whom we have above seen call Mr. Adams forth. This had no sooner mentioned the discovery of a stolen child, and had uttered the word strawberry, than Mr. Wilson, with wildness in his looks, and the utmost eagerness in his words, begged to be showed into the room, where he entered without the least regard to any of the company but Joseph, and embracing him with a complexion all pale and trembling, desired to see the mark on his breast; the parson followed him capering, rubbing his hands, and crying out, Hic est quem is ; inventus est, &c. Joseph complied with the request of Mr. Wilson, who no sooner saw the mark, than, abandoning himself to the most extravagant rapture of passion, he embraced Joseph with inexpressible ecstacy, and cried out in tears of joy, “I have discovered my son, I have im again in my arms!’ Joseph was not sufficiently apprised yet, to taste the same delight with his father, (for so in reality he was ;) however, he returned some warmth to his embraces: but he no sooner perceived, from his father's acceount, the agreement of every circumstance, of person, time, and place, than he threw himself at his feet, and embracing his knees, with tears, begged his blessing, which was given with much . affection, and received with such respect,
mixed with such tenderness on both sides, that it affected all present: but none so much as Lady Booby, who left the room in an agony, which was but too much perceived, and not very charitably accounted for by some of the company.
Being the last. In which this true history is brought to a happy conclusion. FANNY was very little behind her Joseph in the duty she expressed towards her parents, and the joy she evidenced in discovering them. Gammer Andrews kissed her; and said, She was heartily glad to see her, but for her part, she could never love any one better than Joseph. Gafter Andrews testified no remarkable emotion: he blessed and kissed her, but complained bitterly that he wanted his pipe, not having had a whiff that morning. Mr. Booby, who knew nothing of his aunt's fondness, imputed her abrupt departure to her pride, and disdain of j. family into which he was married; he was therefore desirous to be gone with the utmost celerity: and now, having congratulated Mr. Wilson and Joseph on the discovery, he saluted Fanny, called her sister, and introduced her as such to Pamela, who behaved with great decency on the occasion. He now sent a message to his aunt, who returned, that she wished him a good journey, but was too disordered to see any comÉ. he therefore prepared to set out, ving invited Mr. Wilson to his house; and Pamela and Joseph both so insisted on his complying, that he at last consented, having first obtained a messenger from Mr. Booby, to acquaint his wife with the news: which, as he knew it would render her completely happy, he could not prevail on himself to delay a moment in acquainting her with. The company were ranged in this manner: the two old people with their two daughters, rode in the coach ; the Squire, Mr. Wilson, Joseph, Parson Adams, and the pedlar, proceeded on horseback. In their way Joseph informed his father of his intended match with Fanny; to which, though he expressed some reluctance at first, on the eagerness of his son's instances, he consented ; saying, if she was so good a creature as she appeared, and he described her, he thought the disadvantages of birth and fortune might be compensated. He however insisted on the match being deferred till he had seen his mother; in which Joseph perceiving him positive, with great duty obeyed him, to the great delight of Parson Adams, who by these means saw an opportunity of fulfilling the church forms,
and marrying his parishioners without a licence. Mr. Adams greatly exulting on this occasion, (for such ceremonies were matters of no small moment, with him,) accidentally gave spurs to his horse, which the generous beast disdaining, -for he was of high mettle, and had been used to more expert riders than the gentleman who at present bestrode him, for whose horsemanship he had perhaps some contempt, immediately ran away full speed, and played so many antic tricks, that he tumbled the parson from his back; which Joseph pereeiving, came to his relief. This accident afforded infinite merriment to the servants, and no less frightened poor Fanny, who beheld him as he passed by the coach ; but the mirth of the one and terror of the other were soon determined, when the parson declared he had received no damage. The horse having freed himself from his unworthy rider, as he probably thought him, proceeded to make the best of his way; but was stopped by a gentleman and his servants, who were travelling the opposite way, and were now at a little distance from the coach. They soon met; and as one of the servants delivered Adams his horse, his master hailed him, and looking up, presently recollected he was the justice of peace before whom he and Fanny had made their appearance. The parson presently saluted him very kindly ; and the justice informed him, that he had found the fellow who attempted to swear against him and the young woman the very next day, and had committed him to Salisbury jail, where he was charged with many robberies. Many compliments having passed between the parson and the justice, the latter }. on his journey: and the former aving with some disdain refused Joseph's offer of changing horses, and declared he was as able a horseman as any in the kingdom, remounted his beast ; and now the company again proceeded, and happily arrived at their journey’s end. Mr. Adams, by good luck rather than by good riding, escaping a second fall. The company arriving at Mr. Booby's house, were all received by him in the most courteous, and entertained in the most splendid manner, after the custom of the old English hospitality, which is still preserved in some very few families in the remote parts of England. They all passed that day with the utmost satisfaction; it being perhaps impossible to find any set ofJ. more solidly and sincerely happy. Joseph and Fanny found means to alone upwards of two hours, which were the shortest but the sweetestimaginable. In the morning Mr.Wilson proposed to his son to make a visit with him to his mother; which, notwithstanding his dutiful inclinations, and a longing desire he had to see her, a little concerned him, as he must be obliged to leave his Fanny; but the goodness of Mr. Booby relieved him; for he proposed to send his own coach and six for Mrs. Wilson, whom Pamela so very earnestly invited, that Mr. Wilson at length agreed with the entreaties of Mr. Booby and Joseph, and suffered the coach to go empty for his wife. On Saturday night the coach returned with Mrs. Wilson, who added one more to this happy assembly. The reader may imao: much better and quicker too than I can escribe, the many embraces and tears of joy which succeeded her arrival. It is sufficient to say, she was easily prevailed with to follow her husband's example, in consenting to the match. On Sunday Mr. Adams performed the service at the squire's parish church, the curate of which very kindly exchanged duty, and rode twenty miles to the Lady Booby's parish so to do; being particularly charged not to omit publishing the banns, being the third and last time. At length the happy day arrived, which was to put Joseph in the possession of all his wishes. He arose, and dressed himself in a neat but plain suit of Mr. Booby’s, which exactly fitted him; for he refused all finery; as did Fanny likewise, who could be prevailed on by Pamela to attire herself in nothing richer than a white dimity nightgown. Her shift indeed, which Pamela F. her, was of the finest kind, and ad an edging of lace round the bosom. She likewise equipped her with a pair of fine white thread stockings, which were all she would accept; for she wore one of her own short round-eared caps, and over it a little straw hat, lined with cherry-colored silk, and tied with a cherry-colored ribband. In this dress she came forth from her chamber, blushing and breathing sweets; and was by Joseph, whose eyes sparkled fire, led to church, the whole family attending, where Mr. Adams performed the ceremony; at which nothing was so remarkable, as the extraordinary and unaffected modesty of Fanny, unless the true Christian piety of Adams, who publicly rebuked Mr. Booby and Pamela for laughing in so sacred a place and on so solemn an occasion. Our parson would have done no less to the highest prince on earth; for though he paid all submission and deference to his superiors in other matters, where the least spice of religion intervened he immmediately lost all respect of persons. It was his maxim, that he was a servant of the Highest, and could not, without departing from his duty, give up the least article of his honour, or of his cause, to the greatest earthly potentate. In
deed, he always asserted, that Mr. Adams at church with his surplice on, and Mr. Adams without that ornament, in any other place, were two very different persons. When the church rites were over, Joseph led his blooming bride back to Mr. Booby’s, (for the distance was so very little they did not think proper to use a coach;) the whole company attended them likewise on foot; and now a most magnificent entertainment was provided, at which Parson Adams demonstrated an appetite surprising, as well as surpassing every one present. Indeed the only persons who betrayed any deficiency on this occasion, were those on whose account the feast was provided. They pampered their imaginations with the much more exquisite repast which the approach of night promised them; the thoughts of which filled both their minds, though with different sensations; the one all desire, . while the other had her wishes tempered with fears. At length, after a day passed with the utmost merriment, corrected by the strictest decency; in which, however, parson Adams, being well filled with ale and pudding, had given a loose to more facetiousness than was usual to him; the happy, the blessed moment arrived, when Fanny retired with her mother, her mother-in-law, and her sister. She was soon undressed; for she had no jewels to deposit in their caskets, nor fine laces to fold with the nicest exactness. Undressing to her was properly discovering, not putting off ornaments; for as all her charms were the gift of nature, she could divest herself of none.—How, reader, shall I give thee an adequate idea of this lovely young creature? the bloom of roses and lilies might a little illustrate her complexion, or their smell her sweetness: but to comprehend her entirely, conceive youth, health, bloom, neatness, and innocence, in her bridal bed; conceive all these in their utmost rfection, and you may place the charming anny’s picture before your eyes. Joseph no sooner heard she was in bed, than he fled with the utmost eagerness to her. A minute carried him into her arms, where we shall leave this happy couple to enjoy the private rewards of their constancy; rewards so great and sweet, that I apprehend Joseph neither envied the noblest duke, nor Fanny the finest dutchess, that night. he third day, Mr. Wilson and his wife, with their son and daughter, returned home; where they now live together in a state of bliss scarce ever equalled. Mr. Booby hath with unprecedented generosity given Fanny a fortune of two thousand pounds, which Joseph hath laid out in a little estate in the same parish with his father, which he ow occupies, (his father having stocked it for him;) and Fanny presides with mostexcellent management in his dairy; where, however, she is not at present very able to bustle much, being, as Mr. Wilson informs me in his last letter, extremely big with her first child. Mr. Booby hath presented Mr. Adams with a living of one hundred and thirty pounds a-year. He at first refused it, resolving not to quit his parishioners, with whom he had lived so long; but, on recollecting he might keep a curate at this living, he hath been lately inducted into it. The pedlar, besides several handsome resents both from Mr. Wilson and Mr. by, is, by the latter's interest, made an exciseman; a trust which he discharges
with such Justice, that he is greatly beloved in his neighbourhood.
As for the Lady Booby, she returned to London in a few days, where a young captain of dragoons, together with eternal parties at cards, soon obliterated the memory of Joseph.
Joseph remains blessed with his Fanny, whom }. dotes on with the utmost tenderness, which is all returned on her side. The happiness of this couple is a perpetual fountain of pleasure to their fond parents; and what is particularly remarkable, he declares he will imitate them in their retirement; nor will he be prevailed on by any booksellers, or their authors, to make his appearance in high life.