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band. Austin, however, being introduced to the gar dener, was told, that he could not have any employment; but the gardener promised to recommend him as a labourer to a master bricklayer! But, as Austin did not possess even a labourer's tools, this prospect of employment vanished.
Mr. STIKEMAN, at this time, directed Mrs. Austin to bring her child to Montague House, the next day being the 5th of November, and gave her particular instructions in what manner she was to act on the occasion. He directed her to come to Blackheath at a certain hour, and to place herself near the door of Montague House; to lay the child on her arms, in the same manner as she would, if it were to be christened ;— in full view, so that HER ROYAL HIGHNESS might see it as she was getting into her carriage. It happened, however, that the day was very unfavourable, raining almost incessantly from morning till night; and Mrs. Austin was prevented from going. This circumstance rendered her peculiarly uneasy, and she hesitated, whether (as she had been unable to attend the appointment) she should go any more to Montague House, until she received further instructions.
On the next day, being the 6th of November, about one o'clock, Mr. STIKEMAN came to Deptford to inquire the reason of her not bringing the child according to appointment, She urged the unfavourable state of the weather as the only cause of her absence; and expressed the sorrow she felt on the occasion; but said, that she was fearful of endangering her own and the child's health, by going so far (being about two miles) in a pouring rain.
Mr. STIKEMAN appeared much displeased, and at last became quite angry; telling her she must leave what she was about imme liately, dress herself and the
child, and hasten, with all possible speed, to Montague House, as the Princess was anxious to see it immediately; that when she came she must inquire for him,-and not speak to any of the servants, or take the least notice of the circumstance to any person whatever. He farther observed, that he could ill spare the time to call upon her, and that he must return without delay; or he should be too late for dinner.
She instantly gave the child to a Mrs. Davis, who lived in the next room, to dress it, while she changed her own apparel. Mrs. Austin made all possible haste, and arrived at MONTAGUE HOUSE about two o'clock. In her way thither she met her husband, who accompanied her, and assisted in carrying the child. He remained at the door, and Mrs. Austin entered and inquired for Mr. STIKEMAN, who being called from the steward's room, and came to her-went up the staircase, and desired her to follow him. Mr. STIKEMAN then shewed her into a room, called the Blue-room, obtained some refreshment for her and the child, and told her that she was now to be introduced To HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, who was then taking a walk, but that she would soon return. Mrs. Austin waited for about two hours. During this time, she felt much agitated, fearing that she should not conduct herself with propriety in her Royal Highness's presence. These facts she communicated to Mr. STIKEMAN who told her she had nothing to apprehend; "that HER ROYAL HIGHNESS was a very affable, good sort of a lady, and that she would say all for her."
At length, HER ROYAL HIGHNESS made her appearance, coming into the room where Mrs. Austin was, from an adjoining one, accompanied by two ladies; but of these ladies Mrs. Austin has no knowledge. HER ROYAL HIGHNESS came to her as she stood with the
child in her arms, and touching the child under the chin, said, "O what a nice one ;-how old is it?" Mrs. Austin replied, about three months. Her Royal Highness then, without saying another word, turned to her ladies, and conversed with them in French; but of the purport of this conversation Mrs. Austin could form no idea. Immediately afterwards her Royal Highness retired, with one of the ladies, into the same room from whence she came, leaving the other lady .and Mr. STIKEMAN, with her and the child. Mr. STIKEMAN and this lady also, retired for a few minutes into an adjoining room; and as they were shutting the door, she heard the lady say to Mr. STIKEMAN, "What do you know of this woman?" the door closing, she heard no
The lady then returned and asked her whether she thought she could make up her mind to part from the child, and leave it with her Royal Highness, observing "what a fortunate woman she would be to have her child taken under the protection of so illustrious a personage, and that the child would, in all respects, be brought up and treated as a young prince; and if he should behave properly as he grew up, what an excellent thing it would be for him." Mrs. Austin replied, that she thought she could part from it to such a person as her Royal Highness, rather than keep it, and suffer it to want. The lady then gave her a pound note, and desired her to go into the coffee-room, and get some arrow-root and other necessaries, for the purpose of weaning the child; as she then suckled it. Mrs. Lloyd, the woman who superintended the coffee-room, was directed by Mr. Stikeman, to give the arrow-root to her, with instructions how to mix it; and Mrs. Austin was ordered to begin weaning the child that night, but if the
weaning appeared to hurt the child, she was not to persevere, but to inform them.
She then went with Mr. STIKEMAN into the coffeeroom, where he ordered Mrs. Lloyd to give her the necessary articles. After she had received them, Mr. STIKEMAN accompanied her out of the house, between four and five o'clock. As they were going out, a carriage stood at the front door, and a lady who came from the house was getting into it. Mr. Stikeman accompanied her to the carriage-door, and said to the lady, "This is the little boy which her Royal Highness is going to take, "Oh, is it," she replied, and what is his name? He answered WILLIAM; "why, that is the very name to which her Royal Highness is so partial." Who this lady was she does not know. The carriage driving off, they proceeded, and were joined by Austin, who had waited all the time on the Heath. Mr. STIKEMAN walked some distance with them, conversing very freely as they walked along; and her husband spoke to him of his afflicted state of body. Mrs. Austin said, "I believe her Royal Highness is going to take the child," to which Mr. STIKEMAM observed, "Yes, I believe she will;" but requested them not to say any thing about it to any person for the present, as they could not be certain that this would be the case. She then asked him what answer she should give to any person who might inquire about it; he replied, "say nothing for the present, but when the child is finally left with her Royal Highness, tell the truth, and say that she has taken the child under her protection." Mr. STIKEMAN then left them, and returned, charging her to inform him how the child took its weaning, or if she could not do this he promised to call on them; ordered her to come when she wanted more arrow-root, and wished them a good night.
Mrs. Austin went again to Montague House on the Thursday following, and saw Mr. Stikeman. He said he expected her before, as they were anxious to know how the child took its weaning. Mr. STIKEMAN called at Deptford, twice afterwards, in the course of that week, and observed, that the child appeared to be doing very well, and looked quite as healthy as when she suckled it.
Mrs. Austin called at Montague House again on the Sunday morning, and inquired for Mr. Stikeman, who was not then stirring; but she waited at the door till he came. He gave her more arrow-root, and desired her to wait, and he would inquire of the ladies on what day Her Royal Highness would want the child. He soon returned, and said, that she must bring it on the next day, (Monday the 15th of November) by eleven o'clock in the forenoon; and observed, that he had asked for a day or two more for her, but Her Royal Highness said, "No: she could not wait any longer, and must have him by that time.”
On Monday, about 11 o'clock, Mrs. Austin left home, calling on a Mrs. Jones in Butt Lane, an acquaintance, that she might take leave of the child before she finally parted from it. In her way to Montague House, she met Mr. STIKEMAN, near the sign of the Green Man, talking to a gentleman. When he saw her he crossed over the way to her, and said she was rather behind her time; that the ladies had been looking out for her to see which way she would come; and that the house. maid had been twice to the gate looking for her. He said he was going to Greenwich to purchase a night lamp for the child. Observing her cry, he inquired the cause of her grief; she told him they were the mingled tears of joy and grief at parting from her child. He said, "Make haste up, and make free and ask for any thing you want, and the ladies will not think the worse of you by seeing you in trouble at parting from your child!" He