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Part 1 Chapter 8

An Adventure where Wild, in the Division of the Booty, Exhibits an Astonishing Instance of Greatness.

The count was one night very successful at the hazard-table, where Wild, who was just returned from his travels, was then present; as was likewise a young gentleman whose name was Bob Bagshot, an acquaintance of Mr. Wild’s, and of whom he entertained a great opinion; taking, therefore, Mr. Bagshot aside, he advised him to provide himself (if he had them not about him) with a case of pistols, and to attack the count in his way home, promising to plant himself near with the same arms, as a corps de reserve, and to come up on occasion. This was accordingly executed, and the count obliged to surrender to savage force what he had in so genteel and civil a manner taken at play.

And as it is a wise and philosophical observation, that one misfortune never comes alone, the count had hardly passed the examination of Mr. Bagshot when he fell into the hands of Mr. Snap, who, in company with Mr. Wild the elder and one or two more gentlemen, being, it seems, thereto well warranted, laid hold of the unfortunate count, and conveyed him back to the same house from which, by the assistance of his good friend, he had formerly escaped.

Mr. Wild and Mr. Bagshot went together to the tavern, where Mr. Bagshot (generously, as he thought) offered to share the booty, and, having divided the money into two unequal heaps, and added a golden snuff-box to the lesser heap, he desired Mr. Wild to take his choice.

Mr. Wild immediately conveyed the larger share of the ready into his pocket, according to an excellent maxim of his, “First secure what share you can before you wrangle for the rest;” and then, turning to his companion, he asked with a stern countenance whether he intended to keep all that sum to himself? Mr. Bagshot answered, with some surprize, that he thought Mr. Wild had no reason to complain; for it was surely fair, at least on his part, to content himself with an equal share of the booty, who had taken the whole. “I grant you took it,” replied Wild; “but, pray, who proposed or counselled the taking it? Can you say that you have done more than executed my scheme? and might not I, if I had pleased, have employed another, since you well know there was not a gentleman in the room but would have taken the money if he had known how, conveniently and safely, to do it?” “That is very true,” returned Bagshot, “but did not I execute the scheme, did not I run the whole risque? Should not I have suffered the whole punishment if I had been taken, and is not the labourer worthy of his hire?” “Doubtless,” says Jonathan, “he is so, and your hire I shall not refuse you, which is all that the labourer is entitled to or ever enjoys. I remember when I was at school to have heard some verses which for the excellence of their doctrine made an impression on me, purporting that the birds of the air and the beasts of the field work not for themselves. It is true, the farmer allows fodder to his oxen and pasture to his sheep; but it is for his own service, not theirs, In the same manner the ploughman, the shepherd, the weaver, the builder, and the soldier, work not for themselves but others; they are contented with a poor pittance (the labourer’s hire), and permit us, the GREAT, to enjoy the fruits of their labours. Aristotle, as my master told us, hath plainly proved, in the first book of his politics, that the low, mean, useful part of mankind, are born slaves to the wills of their superiors, and are indeed as much their property as the cattle. It is well said of us, the higher order of mortals, that we are born only to devour the fruits of the earth; and it may be as well said of the lower class, that they are born only to produce them for us. Is not the battle gained by the sweat and danger of the common soldier? Are not the honour and fruits of the victory the general’s who laid the scheme? Is not the house built by the labour of the carpenter and the bricklayer? Is it not built for the profit only of t............

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