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Part 2 Chapter 11

The Great and Wonderful Behaviour of Our Hero in the Boat.

It is probable that a desire of ingratiating himself with his charming captive, or rather conqueror, had no little share in promoting this extraordinary act of illegal justice; for the Frenchman had conceived the same sort of passion or hunger which Wild himself had felt, and was almost as much resolved, by some means or other, to satisfy it. We will leave him however at present in the pursuit of his wishes, and attend our hero in his boat, since it is in circumstances of distress that true greatness appears most wonderful. For that a prince in the midst of his courtiers, all ready to compliment him with his favourite character or title, and indeed with everything else, or that a conqueror, at the head of a hundred thousand men, all prepared to execute his will, how ambitious, wanton, or cruel soever, should, in the giddiness of their pride, elevate themselves many degrees above those their tools, seems not difficult to be imagined, or indeed accounted for. But that a man in chains, in prison, nay, in the vilest dungeon, should, with persevering pride and obstinate dignity, discover that vast superiority in his own nature over the rest of mankind, who to a vulgar eye seem much happier than himself; nay, that he should discover heaven and providence (whose peculiar care, it seems, he is) at that very time at work for him; this is among the arcana of greatness, to be perfectly understood only by an adept in that science.

What could be imagined more miserable than the situation of our hero at this season, floating in a little boat on the open seas, without oar, without sail, and at the mercy of the first wave to overwhelm him? nay, this was indeed the fair side of his fortune, as it was a much more eligible fate than that alternative which threatened him with almost unavoidable certainty, viz., starving with hunger, the sure consequence of a continuance of the calm.

Our hero, finding himself in this condition, began to ejaculate a round of blasphemies, which the reader, without being over-pious, might be offended at seeing repeated. He then accused the whole female sex, and the passion of love (as he called it), particularly that ............

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