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Part 2 Chapter 13

The Conclusion of the Boat Adventure, and the End of the Second Book.

Our hero passed the remainder of the evening, the night, and the next day, in a condition not much to be envied by any passion of the human mind, unless by ambition; which, provided it can only entertain itself with the most distant music of fame’s trumpet, can disdain all the pleasures of the sensualist, and those more solemn, though quieter comforts, which a good conscience suggests to a Christian philosopher.

He spent his time in contemplation, that is to say, in blaspheming, cursing, and sometimes singing and whistling. At last, when cold and hunger had almost subdued his native fierceness, it being a good deal past midnight and extremely dark, he thought he beheld a light at a distance, which the cloudiness of the sky prevented his mistaking for a star: this light, however, did not seem to approach him, at least it approached by such imperceptible degrees that it gave him very little comfort, and at length totally forsook him. He then renewed his contemplation as before, in which he continued till the day began to break, when, to his inexpressible delight, he beheld a sail at a very little distance, and which luckily seemed to be making towards him. He was likewise soon espied by those in the vessel, who wanted no signals to inform them of his distress, and, as it was almost a calm, and their course lay within five hundred yards of him, they hoisted out their boat and fetched him aboard.

The captain of this ship was a Frenchman; she was laden with deal from Norway, and had been extremely shattered in the late storm. This captain was of that kind of men who are actuated by general humanity, and whose compassion can be raised by the distress of a fellow-creature, though of a nation whose king hath quarrelled with the monarch of their own. He therefore, commiserating the circumstances of Wild, who had dressed up a story proper to impose upon such a silly fellow, told him that, as himself well knew, he must be a prisoner on his arrival in France, but that he would endeavour to procure his redemption; for which our hero greatly thanked him. But, as they were making very slow sail (for they had lost their main-mast in the storm), Wild saw a little vessel at a distance, they being within a few leagues of the English shore, which, on enquiry, he was informed was probably an English fishing-boat. And, it being then perfectly calm, he proposed that, if they would accommodate him with a pair of scullers, he could ............

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