But the growth of their son, too rapid for his years, and which brought with it symptoms of pulmonary disease, alarmed Lord and Lady Aveleyn; and, by the advice of the physicians, they broke up their establishment, and hastened with him to Madeira, to re-establish his health. Their departure was deeply felt both by Forster and his charge; and before they could recover from the loss, another severe trial awaited them in the death of Mrs Beazely, who, full of years and rheumatism, was gathered to her fathers. Forster, habituated as he was to the old lady, felt her loss severely: he was now with Amber, quite alone; and it so happened that in the following winter his wound broke out, and confined him to his bed until the spring.
As he lay in a precarious state, the thought naturally occurred to him, “What will become of this poor child if I am called away? There is not the slightest provision for her: she has no friends, and I have not even made it known to any of my own that there is such a person in existence.” Edward Forster thought of his brother, the lawyer, whom he knew still to be flourishing, although he had never corresponded with him; and resolved that, as soon as he was able to undertake the journey, he would go to town, and secure his interest for the little Amber, in case of any accident happening to himself.
The spring and summer passed away before he found himself strong enough to undertake the journey. It was late in the autumn that Edward Forster and Amber took their places in a heavy coach for the metropolis, and arrived without accident on the day or two subsequent to that on which Nicholas and Newton had entered it on foot.
coaches, drays, choked turnpikes, and a whirl
Of wheels, and roar of voices, and confusion,
Here taverns wooing to a pint of ‘purl,’
There mails fast flying off, like a delusion.
this, and much, and more, is the approach
Of travellers to mighty Babylon;
Whether they come by horse, or chair, or coach,
With slight exceptions, all the ways seem one.”
When Newton Forster and his father arrived at London, they put up at an obscure inn in the Borough. The next day, Newton set off to discover the residence of his uncle. The people of the inn had recommended him to apply to some stationer or bookseller, who would allow him to look over a red-book; and, in compliance with these instructions, Newton stopped at a shop in Fleet-street, on the doors of which was written in large gilt letters—“Law Bookseller.” The young men in the shop were very civil and obliging, and, without referring to the “Guide,” immediately told him the residence of a man so well known as his uncle, and Newton hastened in the direction pointed out.