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Mr. Wild if he ever saw so prodigious a run of luck; (for so he chose to call his winning, though he knew Wild was well acquainted with his having loaded dice in his pocket;) the other answered, it was indeed prodigious, and almost sufficient to justify any person, who did not know him better, in suspecting his fair play. No man, H believe, dares call that in question, replied he. No, surely, says Wild, you are well known to be a man of more honour; but pray, sir, continued he, did the rascals
rob you of all? Every shilling, cries the other, with an
oath; they did not leave me a single stake. While they were discoursing, Mr. Snap, with a gentleman who followed him, introduced,Mr. Bagshot into the company. It seems Mr. Bagshot, immediately after his separation from Mr. Wild, returned to the gaming-table, where, having trusted to fortune that treasure which he had procured by his industry, the faithless goddess committed a breach of trust, and sent Mr. Bagshot away with as empty pockets as are to be found in any laced coat in the kingdom. Now as that gentleman was walking to a certain reputable house or shed in Covent-garden market, he fortuned to meet with Mr. Snap, who had just returned from conveying the Count to his lodgings, and was then walking to and fro before the gaming-house door; for you are to know my good reader, if you have never been a man of wit and pleasure about town, that as the voracious pike lieth snug under some weed before the mouth of any of those little streams which discharge themselves into a large river, waiting for the small fry which issue thereout; so hourly before the door or mouth of these gaming-houses doth Mr. Snap, or some other gentleman of his occupation, attend the issuing forth of the small fry of young gentlemen, to whom they deliver little slips of parchment, containing invitations of the said gentlemen, to their houses, together with one Mr. John Doe”, a person whose com
pany is in great request. Mr. Snap, among many others
* This is a fictitious name which is put into every Writ; for what purpose the lawyers best know.
of these billets, happened to have one directed to Mr. Bagshot, being at the suit or solicitation of one Mrs. Anne Sample, Spinster, at whose house the said Bagshot had lodged several months, and whence he had inadvertently departed. without taking a formal leave, on which account Mrs. Anne had taking this method of speaking with him. Mr. Snap's house being now very full of good company, he was obliged to introduce Mr. Bagshot into the count's apartment, it being, as he said, the only chamber he had to lock up in, Mr. Wild no sooner saw his friend than he ran eagerly to embrace him, and immediately presented him to the Count, who received him with great civility. --oCHAPTER XII. Further particulars relating to Miss Tishy, which perhaps may not greatly surprise after the former. The description of a very fine gentleman. And a dialogue between Wild and the Count, in which public virtue is just hinted at, with, &c. - - MR. Snap had turned the key a very few minutes before a servant of the family called Mr. Bagshot out of the room, telling him, there was a person below who desired. to speak with him; and this was no other than Miss Laefitia Shap, whose admirer Mr. Bagshot had long been, and in whose tender breast his passion had raised a more ardent flame than that which any of his rivals had been able to raise. Indeed she was so extremely fond of this youth, that she often confessed to her female confidants, if she could have ever listened to the thought of living with any one man, Mr. Bagshot was he.—Nor was she singular in this inclination, many other young ladies being her rivals in this lover, who had all the great and noble qualifications necessary to form a true gallant, and which nature is seldom so extremely bountiful as to indulge to any one person. We will endeavour, however, to describe them all with as much exactness as possible. He was then six feet high, had large calves, broad shoulders, a ruddy complexion, with brown curled hair, a modest
assurance, and clean linen. He had indeed, it must be confessed, some small deficiences to counterbalance these heroic qualities; for he was the silliest fellow in the world, could neither write nor read, nor had he a single grain or spark of honour, honesty, or good-nature, in his whole composition. As soon as Mr. Bagshot had quitted the room, the Count taking Wild by the hand, told him he had some. thing to communicate to him of very great importance : ‘I am very well convinced,” said he ‘ that Bagshot is the person who robbed me.’—Wild started with great amazement at this discovery, and answered with a most serious countenance, ‘ I advise you to take care how you cast any such reflections on a man of Mr. Bagshot's nice honour; for I am certain he will not bear it.”—“D—n his honour, quoth the enraged Count, ‘nor can I bear being robbed; I will apply to a justice of peace.” Wild replied with great indignation, “Since you dare entertain such a suspicion against my friend, I will henceforth disclaim all acquaintance with you. Mr. Bagshot is a man of honour, and my friend, and consequently it is impossible he should be guilty of a bad action.” He added much more to the same purpose, which had not the expected weight with the Count; for the latter seemed still certain as to the person, and resolute in applying for justice, which, he said, he thought he owed to the public, . as well as to himself. Wild then changed his countenanceinto a kind of derision, and spoke as follows: “Suppose it should be possible that Mr. Bagshot had, in a frolic, (for I will call it no other,) taken this method of borrowing your money, what will you get by prosecuting . him 7 Not your money again; for you hear he was stript at the gaming-table;' (of which Bagshot had, during their short confabulation, informed them;) “you will get then an opportunity of being still more out of pocket by the prosecution. Another advantage you may promise yourself, is the being blown up at every gaming-house in town, for that I will assure you of; and then much good
may it do you, to sit down with the satisfaction of having discharged what it seems you owe the public. I am ashamed of my own discernment, when I mistook you for a great man. Would it not be better for you to receive part (perhaps all) of your money again by a wise concealment ; for however seedy [poor] Mr. Bagshot may be now, if he hath really played this frolic with you, you may believe he will play it with others, and when he is in cash, you may depend on a restoration; the law will be always in your power, and that is the last remedy which a brave or a wise man would resort to. Leave the affair therefore to me; I will examine Bagshot, and if I ... find he hath played you this trick, I will engage my own honour, you shall in the end be no loser.” The Count answered : “if I was sure to be no loser, Mr. Wild, I apprehend you have a better opinion of my understanding than to imagine I would prosecute a gentleman for the sake of the public. These are foolish words of course, which we learn a ridiculous habit of speaking, and will often break from us without any design or meaning. I assure you, all I desire is a reimbursement, and if I can by your means obtaia that, the public may ’ concluding with a phrase too coarse to be inserted in a history of this kind. They were now informed that dinner was ready, and the company assembled below stairs, whither the reader may, if he please, attend these gentlemen. There sat down at the table Mr. Snap, and the two Miss Snaps, his daughters, Mr. Wild the elder, Mr. Wild the younger, the Count, Mr. Bagshot, and a grave gentleman, who had formerly had the honour of carrying arms in a regiment of foot, and who was now engaged in the office (perhaps a more profitable one) of assisting or sollowing Mr. Snap in the execution of the laws of his country. ' Nothing very remarkable passed at dinner.—The conversation (as is usual in polite company) rolled chiefly on what they were then eating, and what they had lately eaten. In this the military gentleman, who had served in Ireland, gave them a very particular account of a new manner of roasting potatoes, and others gave an account of other dishes. In short, an indifferent by-stander would have concluded from their discourse, that they had all come into this world for no other purpose than to fill their bellies; and indeed, if this was not the chief, it is probable it was the most innocent design nature had in their formation.
As soon as the dish was removed, and the ladies retired, the Count proposed a game at hazard, which was immediately assented to by the whole company, and the dice being immediately brought in, the Count took up the box, and demanded who would set him : to which no one made any answer, imagining perhaps the Count's pockets to be more empty than they were ; for, in reality, that gentleman (notwithstanding what he had heartily swore to Mr. Wild) had, since his arrival at Mr. Snap's, conveyed a piece of plate to pawn, by which means he had furnished himself with ten guineas. The Count, therefore, perceiving this backwardness in his friends, and probably somewhat guessing at the cause of it, took the said guineas out of his pocket, and threw them on the table; when , lo! (such is the force of example) all the rest began to produce their funds, and immediately, a considerable sum glittering in their eyes, the game began.
4 chapter of which we are extremely vain: and which in
deed we look on as our chef d'oeuvre, containing a won
derful story concerning the devil, and as nice a scene of
honour as ever happened. My reader, I believe, even if he be a gamester would not thank me for an exact relation of every man’s success; let it suffice then that they played till the whole money vanished from the table.—Whether the devil himself carried it away, as some suspected, I will not determine ; but very surprising it was, that every person protested he