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Part 4 Chapter 1

Sentiment of the Ordinary’s, Worthy to Be Written in Letters of Gold; a Very Extraordinary Instance of Folly in Friendly, And a Dreadful Accident which Befel Our Hero.

Heartfree had not been long in Newgate before his frequent conversation with his children, and other instances of a good heart, which betrayed themselves in his actions and conversation, created an opinion in all about him that he was one of the silliest fellows in the universe. The ordinary himself, a very sagacious as well as very worthy person, declared that he was a cursed rogue, but no conjuror.

What indeed might induce the former, i.e. the roguish part of this opinion in the ordinary, was a wicked sentiment which Heartfree one day disclosed in conversation, and which we, who are truly orthodox, will not pretend to justify, that he believed a sincere Turk would be saved. To this the good man, with becoming zeal and indignation, answered, I know not what may become of a sincere Turk; but, if this be your persuasion, I pronounce it impossible you should be saved. No, sir; so far from a sincere Turk’s being within the pale of salvation, neither will any sincere Presbyterian, Anabaptist, nor Quaker whatever, be saved.

But neither did the one nor the other part of this character prevail on Friendly to abandon his old master. He spent his whole time with him, except only those hours when he was absent for his sake, in procuring evidence for him against his trial, which was now shortly to come on. Indeed this young man was the only comfort, besides a clear conscience and the hopes beyond the grave, which this poor wretch had; for the sight of his children was like one of those alluring pleasures which men in some diseases indulge themselves often fatally in, which at once flatter and heighten their malady.

Friendly being one day present while Heartfree was, with tears in his eyes, embracing his eldest daughter, and lamenting the hard fate to which he feared he should be obliged to leave her, spoke to him thus: “I have long observed with admiration the magnanimity with which you go through your own misfortunes, and the steady countenance with which you look on death. I have observed that all your agonies arise from the thoughts of parting with your children, and of leaving them in a distrest condition; now, though I hope all your fears will prove ill grounded, yet, that I may relieve you as much as possible from them, be assured that, as nothing can give me more real misery than to observe so tender and loving a concern in a master, to whose goodness I owe so many obligations, and whom I so sincerely love, so nothing can afford me equal pleasure with my contributing to lessen or to remove it. Be convinced, therefore, if you can place any confidence in my promise, that I will employ my little fortune, which you know to be not entirely inconsiderable, in the support of this your little family. Should any misfortune, which I pray Heaven avert, happen to you before you have better provided for these little ones, I will be myself their father, nor shall either of them ever know distress if it be any way in my power to prevent it. Your younger daughter I will provide for, and as for my little prattler, your elder, as I never yet thought of any woman for a wife, I will receive her as such at your hands; nor will I ever relinquish her for another.” Heartfree flew to his friend, and embraced him with raptures of acknowledgment. He vowed to him that he had eased every anxious thought of his mind but one, and that he must carry with him out of the world. “O Friendly!” cried he, “it is my concern for that best of women, whom I hate myself for having ever censured in my opinion. O Friendly! thou didst know her goodness; yet, sure, her perfect character none but myself was ever acquainted with. She had every perfection, both of mind and body, which Heaven hath indulged to her whole sex, and possessed all in a higher excellence than nature ever indulged to another in any single virtue. Can I bear the loss of such a woman? Can I bear the apprehensions of what mischiefs that villain may have done to her, of which death is perhaps the lightest?” Friendly gently interrupted him as soon as he saw any opportunity, endeavouring to comfort him on this head likewise, by magnifying every circumstance which could poss............

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