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Part 4 Chapter 2

A Short Hint Concerning Popular Ingratitude. Mr. Wild’s Arrival in the Castle, with Other Occurrences to Be Found in No Other History.

If we had any leisure we would here digress a little on that ingratitude which so many writers have observed to spring up in the people in all free governments towards their great men; who, while they have been consulting the good of the public, by raising their own greatness, in which the whole body (as the kingdom of France thinks itself in the glory of their grand monarch) was so deeply concerned, have been sometimes sacrificed by those very people for whose glory the said great men were so industriously at work: and this from a foolish zeal for a certain ridiculous imaginary thing called liberty, to which great men are observed to have a great animosity.

This law had been promulgated a very little time when Mr. Wild, having received from some dutiful members of the gang a valuable piece of goods, did, for a consideration somewhat short of its original price, reconvey it to the right owner; for which fact, being ungratefully informed against by the said owner, he was surprized in his own house, and, being overpowered by numbers, was hurried before a magistrate, and by him committed to that castle, which, suitable as it is to greatness, we do not chuse to name too often in our history, and where many great men at this time happened to be assembled.

The governor, or, as the law more honourably calls him, keeper of this castle, was Mr. Wild’s old friend and acquaintance. This made the latter greatly satisfied with the place of his confinement, as he promised himself not only a kind reception and handsome accommodation there, but even to obtain his liberty from him if he thought it necessary to desire it: but, alas! he was deceived; his old friend knew him no longer, and refused to see him, and the lieutenant-governor insisted on as high garnish for fetters, and as exorbitant a price for lodging, as if he had had a fine gentleman in custody for murder, or any other genteel crime.

To confess a melancholy truth, it is a circumstance much to be lamented, that there is no absolute dependence on the friendship of great men; an observation which hath been frequently made by those who have lived in courts, or in Newgate, or in any other place set apart for the habitation of such persons.

The second day of his confinement he was greatly surprized at receiving a visit from his wife; and more so, when, instead of a countenance ready to insult him, the only motive to which he could ascribe her presence, he saw the tears trickling down her lovely cheeks. He embraced her with the utmost marks of affection, and declared he could hardly regret his confinement, since it had produced such an instance of the happiness he enjoyed in her, whose fidelity to him on this occasion would, be believed, make him the envy of most husbands, even in Newgate. He then begged her to dry her eyes, and be comforted; for that matters might go better with him than she expected. “No, no,” says she, “I am certain you would be found guilty. DEATH. I knew what it would always come to. I told you it was impossible to carry on such a trade long; but you would not be advised, and now you see the consequence-now you repent when it is too late. All the comfort I shall have when you are NUBBED [Footnote: The cant word for hanging.] is, that I gave you a good advice. If you had always gone out by yourself............

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