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Part 1 Chapter 13

A Chapter of which We are Extremely Vain, and which Indeed We Look on as Our Chef-D’oeuvre; Containing a Wonderful 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 had lost, nor could any one guess who, unless THE DEVIL, had won.

But though very probable it is that this arch fiend had some share in the booty, it is likely he had not all; Mr. Bagshot being imagined to be a considerable winner, notwithstanding his assertions to the contrary; for he was seen by several to convey money often into his pocket; and what is still a little stronger presumption is, that the grave gentleman whom we have mentioned to have served his country in two honourable capacities, not being willing to trust alone to the evidence of his eyes, had frequently dived into the said Bagshot’s pocket, whence (as he tells us in the apology for his life afterwards published [Footnote: Not in a book by itself, in imitation of some other such persons, but in the ordinary’s account, &c., where all the apologies for the lives of rogues and whores which have been published within these twenty years should have been inserted.]), though he might extract a few pieces, he was very sensible he had left many behind. The gentleman had long indulged his curiosity in this way before Mr. Bagshot, in the heat of gaming, had perceived him; but, as Bagshot was now leaving off play, he discovered this ingenious feat of dexterity; upon which, leaping up from his chair in violent passion, he cried out, “I thought I had been among gentlemen and men of honour, but, d — n me, I find we have a pickpocket in company.” The scandalous sound of this word extremely alarmed the whole board, nor did they all shew less surprise than the CONV— N (whose not sitting of late is much lamented) would express at hearing there was an atheist in the room; but it more particularly affected the gentleman at whom it was levelled, though it was not addressed to him. He likewise started from his chair, and, with a fierce countenance and accent, said, “Do you mean me? D— n your eyes, you are a rascal and a scoundrel!” Those words would have been immediately succeeded by blows had not the company interposed, and with strong arm withheld the two antagonists from each other. It was, however, a long time before they could be prevailed on to sit down; which being at last happily brought about, Mr. Wild the elder, who was a well-disposed old man, advised them to shake hands and be friends; but the gentleman who had received the first affront absolutely refused it, and swore HE WOULD HAVE THE VILLAIN’S BLOOD. Mr. Snap highly applauded the resolution, and affirmed that the affront was by no means to be put up by any who bore the name of a gentleman, and that unless his friend resented it properly he would never execute another warrant in his company; that he had always looked upon him as a man of honour, and doubted not but he would prove himself so; and that, if it was his own case, nothing should persuade him to put up such an affront without proper satisfaction. The count likewise spoke on the same side, and the parties themselves muttered several short sentences purporting their intentions. At last Mr. Wild, our hero, rising slowly from his seat, and having fixed the attention of all present, began as follows: “I have heard with infinite pleasure everything which the two gentlemen who spoke last have said with relation to honour, nor can any man possibly entertain a higher and nobler sense of that word, nor a greater esteem of its inestimable value, than myself. If we have no nam............

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