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inform himself rightly of the time of the gentleman's journey, which he did with great certainty, before they separated. At his arrival in town, he fixed on two whom he regarded as the most resolute of his gang for this enterprise; and accordingly having summoned the principal, or most desperate, as he imagined him, of these two, (for he never chose to communicate in the presence of more than one,) he proposed to him the robbing and murdering this gentleman. Mr. Marybone (for that was the gentleman's name to whom he applied) readily agreed to the robbery; but he hesitated at the murder. He said, as to robbery, he had, on much weighing and considering the matter, very well reconciled his conscience to it; for though that noble kind of robbery which was executed on the highway, was from the cowardice of mankind less frequent ; yet the baser and meaner species, sometimes called cheating, but more commonly known by the name of robbery within the law, was in a manner universal. He did not therefore pretend to the reputation of being so much ho
nester than other people ; but could by no means satisfy
himself in the commission of murder, which was a sin of the most heinous nature, and so immediately prosecuted by God's judgment, that it never passed undiscovered or unpunished. Wild, with the utmost disdain in his countenance, answered as follows: “Art thou he whom I have selected out of my whole gang for this glorious undertaking, and dost thou cant of God’s revenge against murder? You have, it seems, reconciled your conscience (a pretty word) to robbery from its being so common. Is it then the noyelty of murder which deters you? Do you imagine that guns, and pistols, and swords, and knives, are the only instruments of death' Look into the world, and see the numbers whom broken fortunes and broken hearts bring untimely to the grave. To omit those glorious heroes, who, to their immortal honour, have massacred whole nations; what think you of private persecution, treachery, and slander, by which the very souls of men are in a manner torn from their bodies? Is it not more generous, nay, more good-natured, to send a man to his rest, than, after having plundered him of all he hath, or from malice or malevolence deprived him of his character, to punish him with a languishing death, or what is worse, a languishing life 2 Murder, therefore, is not so uncommon as you weakly conceive it, though, as you said of robbery, that more noble kind, which lies within the paw of the law, may be so. But this is the most innocent in him who doth it, and the most eligible to him who is to suffer it. Believe me, lad, the tongue of a wiper is less hurtful than that of a slanderer, and the gilded scales of a rattle-snake less dreadful than the purse of the oppressor. Let me therefore hear no more of your scruples; but consent to my proposal without further hesitation, unless, like a woman, you are afraid of blooding your clothes, or, like a fool, are terrified with the apprehensions of being hanged in chains. Take my word for it, you had better be an honost man than half a rogue. Do not think of continuing in my gang without abandoming yourself absolutely to my pleasure ; for no man shall ever receive a favour at my hands, who sticks at any thing, or is guided by any other law than that of my will.” Wild thus ended his speech, which had not the desired effect on Marybone : he agreed to the robbery, but would not undertake the murder, as Wild (who feared that by Marybone's demanding to search the gentleman's coat he might hazard suspicion himself) insisted. Marybone was immediately entered by Wild in his black-book, and was presently after impeached and ‘....". whom his leader could not place sufficient&epe ênce; • thus falling, as many rogues do, 'sacrifice; not to f i° N roguery, but to his conscience: So Z * x ~ * CHAPTER IV. In which a young hero, of wonderful good promise, makes his first appearance, with many other GREAT MATTERs. OUR hero next applied himself to another of his gang, who instantly received his orders, and instead of hesitating at a single murder, asked if he should blow out the brains of all the passengers, coachman and all. But Wild, whose moderation we have before noted, would not permit him ; and therefore having given him an exact description of the devoted person, with his other necessary instructions, he dismissed him, with the strictest orders to avoid, if possible, doing hurt to any other person. The name of this youth, who will hereafter make some figure in this history, being the Achates of our AFneas, or rather the Haiphestion of our Alexander was Fireblood. He had every qualification to make a second-rate GREAT MAN ; or in other words, he was completely equipped for the tool.of a real or first-rate GREAT MAN. We shall therefore (which is the properest way of dealing with this kind of GREATNEss) describe him negatively, and content ourselves with telling our reader what qualities he had not ; in which number were humanity, modesty, and fear, not one grain of any of which was mingled in his whole composition. We will now leave this youth, who was esteemed the most promising of the whole gang, and whom Wild often declared to be one of the prettiest lads he had ever seen, of which opinion, indeed, were most other people of his acquaintance, we will however leave him at his entrance on this enterprise, and keep our attention fixed on our hero, whom we shall observe taking large strides towards the summit of human glory. Wild, immediately at his return to town, went to pay a visit to Miss Laetitia Snap ; for he had that weakness of suffering himself to be enslaved by women, so naturally incident to men of heroic disposition; to say the truth, it might more properly be called a slavery to his own appetite; for could he have satisfied that, he had not cared three farthings what had become of the little tyrant for whom he professed so violent a regard. Here he was informed, that Mr. Heartfree had been conveyed to Newgate the day before, the writ being then returnable. He was somewhat concerned at this news; not from any compassion for the misfortunes of Heartfree, whom he hated with such inveteracy, that one would have imagined he had suffered the same injuries from him which he had done towards him. His concern therefore had another motive; in fact, he was uneasy at the place of Mr. Heartfree's confinement, as it was to be the scene of his future glory, and where consequently he should be frequently obliged to see a face which hatred, and not shame, made him detest the sight of. To prevent this, therefore, several methods suggested themselves to him. At first, he thought of removing him out of the way by the ordinary way of murder, which he doubted not but Fireblood would be very ready to execute ; for that youth had at their last interview sworn, D—n his eyes, he thought there was no better pastime than blowing a man's brains out. But besides the danger of this method, it did not look horrible nor barbarous enough for the last mischief which he should do to Heartfree. Considering therefore, a little farther with himself, he at length came to a resolution to hang him, if possible, the very next sessions. Now, though the observation, How apt men are to hate those they injure, or how unforgiving they are of the injuries they do themselves, be common enough, yet I do not remember to have ever seen the reason of the strange phenomenon, as at first it appears. Know therefore, reader, that with much and severe scrutiny we have discovered this hatred to be founded on the passion of fear, and to arise from an apprehension that the person whom we have ourselves greatly injured, will use all possible endeavours to revenge and retaliate the injuries we have done him. An opinion so firmly established in bad and great minds (and those who confer injuries on others, have seldom very good, or mean ones) that no benevolence, nor even beneficence on the injured side, can eradicate it. On the contrary, they refer all these acts of kindness to imposture and design of lulling their suspicion, till an opportunity offers of striking a surer and severer blow; and thus, while the good man, who hath received it, hath truly forgotten the injury, the evil mind which did it, hath it in lively and fresh remembrance.
os we scorn to keep any discoveries secret from our readers, whose instruction, as well as diversion, we have greatly considered in this history, we have here digressed somewhat to communicate the following short lesson to those who are simple, and well-inclined; Though as a christian thou art obliged, and we advise thee to forgive thy enemy; NEveR TRUST THE MAN who HATH REASON To SUSPECT THAT YOU KNOW HE HATH INJURED YOU.
-oCHAPTER W. More and more gREATNEss, unparalleled in history or ro2nct?!ce.
In order to accomplish this great and noble scheme, which the vast genius of Wild had contrived, the first necessary step was to regain the confidence of Heartfree. But however necessary this was, it seemed to be attended with such insurmountable difficulties, that even our hero for some time despaired of success. He was greatly superior to all mankind in the steadiness of his countenance, but this undertaking seemed to require more of that noble quality than had ever been the portion of a mortal. However at last he resolved to attempt it, and from his success, I think, we may fairly assert, that what was said by the Latin poet of labour, that it conquers all things, is much more true when applied to impudence.
When he had formed his plan, he went to Newgate, and burst resolutely into the presence of Heartfree, whom he eagerly embraced and kissed ; and then, first arraigning his own rashness, and afterwards lamenting his unfortunate want of success, he acquainted him with the par