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Part 1 Chapter 11

Containing as Notable Instances of Human Greatness as are to Be Met with in Ancient or Modern History. Concluding with Some Wholesome Hints to the Gay Part of Mankind.

Wild no sooner parted from the chaste Laetitia than, recollecting that his friend the count was returned to his lodgings in the same house, he resolved to visit him; for he was none of those half-bred fellows who are ashamed to see their friends when they have plundered and betrayed them; from which base and pitiful temper many monstrous cruelties have been transacted by men, who have sometimes carried their modesty so far as to the murder or utter ruin of those against whom their consciences have suggested to them that they have committed some small trespass, either by the debauching a friend’s wife or daughter, belying or betraying the friend himself, or some other such trifling instance. In our hero there was nothing not truly great: he could, without the least abashment, drink a bottle with the man who knew he had the moment before picked his pocket; and, when he had stripped him of everything he had, never desired to do him any further mischief; for he carried good-nature to that wonderful and uncommon height that he never did a single injury to man or woman by which he himself did not expect to reap some advantage. He would often indeed say that by the contrary party men often made a bad bargain with the devil, and did his work for nothing.

Our hero found the captive count, not basely lamenting his fate nor abandoning himself to despair, but, with due resignation, employing himself in preparing several packs of cards for future exploits. The count, little suspecting that Wild had been the sole contriver of the misfortune which had befallen him, rose up and eagerly embraced him, and Wild returned his embrace with equal warmth. They were no sooner seated than Wild took an occasion, from seeing the cards lying on the table, to inveigh against gaming, and, with an usual and highly commendable freedom, after first exaggerating the distressed circumstances in which the count was then involved, imputed all his misfortunes to that cursed itch of play which, he said, he concluded had brought his present confinement upon him, and must unavoidably end in his destruction. The other, with great alacrity, defended his favourite amusement (or rather employment), and, having told his friend the great success he had after his unluckily quitting the room, acquainted him with the accident which followed, and which the reader, as well as Mr. Wild, hath had some intimation of before; adding, however, one circumstance not hitherto mentioned, viz. that he had defended his money with the utmost bravery, and had dangerously wounded at least two of the three men that had attacked him. This behaviour Wild, who not only knew the extreme readiness with which the booty had been delivered, but also the constant frigidity of the count’s courage, highly applauded, and wished he had been present to assist him. The count then proceeded to animadvert on the ca............

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