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picces, half and quarter pieces, with ninepences, || is between Swithin's alley and the Exchange, just and soarpence halfpennies, all old crooked money, !| by a passage that goes out of the alley into the Scotch and Irish coin; so he was disappointed in || Exchange; when seeing the book pass and repass that: but, as it was, there was about 171. or 181. |into the pocket, and out of the pocket as above, in the bag, as I understood by him ; for I could it came immediately into my head, certainly I not tell money, not I.
might get that pocket-book out if I were nimble, Well, he parted this money into three; that is and I warrant Will would have it, if he saw it go to say, into three shares, two for himself, and one and come to and again as I did; but when I saw for me, and asked if I was content ? I told him it hang by the way, as I have said; now it is yes, I had reason to be contented; besides, it was mine, said I to myself, and crossing the alley, I 80 much money added to that I had left of his brushed smoothly, but closely by the man, with former adventure, that I knew not what to do my hand down flat to my own side, and taking with it, or with myself, while I had so much about hold of it by the corner that appeared, the book me.
I came so light into my hand, it was impossible the This was a most exquisite fellow for a thief;gentleman should feel the least motion, or any. for he had the greatest dexterity at conveying body else see ine take it away. I went directly anything away, that he scarce ever pitched upon forward into the broad place on the north side of anything in his eye, but he carried it off with his the Exchange, then scoured down Bartholomew bands, and never, that I know of, missed his airn, lane, so into Tokenhouse yard, into the alleys or was caught in the fact.
|which pass through from thence to London wall, He was an eminent pick-pocket, and very dex- || so through Moorgate, and sat down on the grass terous at ladies' gold watches; but he generally in the second of the quarters of Moorfields, topushed higher, at such desperate things as these; | wards the middle field; which was the place that and he came off the cleanest, and with the greatest Will and I had appointed to meet at if either of success imaginable, and it was in these kinds of us got any booty. When I came thither, Will the wicked art of thieving that I became his was not come, but I saw him a-coming in about scholar.
half an hour. | As we were now so rich, he would not let me As soon as Will came to me, I asked him what
lie any longer in the glass-house, or go naked and booty he had gotten? He looked pale, and, as ! ragged, as I had done ; but obliged me to buy two thought, frighted; but he returned, “ I have got shirts, a waistcoat, and a great coat; for a great nothing, not I; but you lucky young dog," says coat was more for our purpose in the business we he, “what have you got? Have not you got the were upon than any other. So I clothed myself gentleman's pocket-book in Swithin's alley ?" as he directed, and he took me a lodging in the “ Yes," says I, and laughed at him; “why, how same house with him, and we lodged together in did you know it ?" “ Know it !" says he, “why, the a little garret fit for our quality.
gentleman is raving and half distracted; he soon after this we walked out again, and then stamps and cries, and tears his very clothes; he pe tried our fortune in the places by the Ex says he is utterly undone and ruined, and the folks change a second time. Here we began to act in the alley say there is I know not how many | separately, and I undertook to walk by myself ; ||thousand pounds in it; what can be in it?" says and the first thing I did accurately, was a trick 1|| Will; “ come, let us see." played that required some skill for a new beginner, Well, we lay close in the grass in the middle of for I had never seen any business of that kind the quarter, so that nobody minded us; and so done before. I saw two gentlemen mighty eager we opened the pocket-book, and there was a great in talk, and one pulled out a pocket-book two or many bills and notes under men's hands; some three times, and then slipt it into his coat-pocket goldsmiths', and some belonging to insurance
gall, and then out it came again, and papers offices, as they call them, and the like; but that were taken out, and others were put in; and then |which was, it seems, worth all the rest, was, that in it went again, and so several times; the man in one of the folds of the cover of the book, where being still warmly engaged with another man, and there was a case with several partitions, there was two or three others standing hard by them. The a paper full of loose diamonds. The man, as we last time he put his pocket-book into his pocket, understood afterward, was a Jew, who dealt in he might be said to throw it in, rather than put such goods, and who indeed ought to have taken it in with his hand, and the book lay end-way, more care of the keeping of them. resting upon some other book, or something else Now was this booty too great even for Will in his pocket; so that it did not go quite down, himself to manage ; for though by this time I was but one corner of it was seen above his pocket. come to understand things better than I did fore
This careless way of men putting their pocket. | merly, when I knew not what belonged to money, books into a coat-pocket, which is so easily dived I vet Will was better skilled by far in those things into by the least boy that has been used to the Itban I. But this puzzled him too, as well as me. trade, can never be too much blamed; the gen- | Now were we something like the cock in the tlemen are in great hurries, their heads and I fable: for all these bills, and I think there was thoughts entirely taken up, and it is impossible lone bill of Sir Henry Furness's for 12001., and they should be guarded enough against such little l all these diamonds, which were worth about 1501. hawk's-eyed creatures as we were ; and, therefore, Il as they said ; I say, all these things were of no they ought either never to put their pocket-books Il value to us, one little purse of gold would have up at all, or to put them up more secure, or to been better to us than all of it. “But come,". put nothing of value into them. I happened to | says Will, "let us look over the bills for a little be just opposite to this gentleman in that they || one.” call Swithin's alley; or that alley rather which !! We looked over all the bills, and, among them,
we found a bill under a man's hand for 321. ; | for you at all." Then the losing gentleman said to “ Come," says Will, “ let us go and inquire where one of the other, Tell him, that if he can get it this man lives." So we went into the city again, I lower, the overplus shall be to himself.” William and Will went to the post-house, and asked there; l said he would be very glad to do the gentleman they told him he lived at Temple bar: “Well," || such a service, and would leave the reward to says Will, “ I will venture; I'll go and receive the | himself. “Well, young man," says one of the money; it may be he has not remembered to send gentlemen, “whatever you appoint to the young to stop the payment there."
artist that has done this roguery, (for I warrant But it came into his thoughts to take another he is an artist, let it be who it will), he shall be course ; “ Come," says Will, “ I'll go back to the paid, if it be within the 1001., and the gentleman alley, and see if I can hear anything of what has is willing to give you 501. besides for your pains." happened, for I believe the hurry is not over yet.” “ Truly, sir,” says Will, very gravely, "it was It seems the man who lost the book was carried by mere chanoe, that coming by the door and see. into the King's Head tavern, at the end of that | ing the crowd, I asked what the matter was; but alley, and a great crowd was about the door. if I should be instrumental to get the unfortunate
Away goes Will, and watches and waits about gentleman his pocket-book, and the things in it the place, and then, seeing several people to again, I shall be very glad; nor am I so rich nei. gether, for they were not all dispersed, he asks ther, sir, but 501. is very well worth my while one or two what was the matter; they tell him a too." Then he took directions who to come to, long story of a gentleman who had lost his pocket- and who to give his account to, if he learned any. book, with a great bag of diamonds in it, and bills thing, and the like. for a great many thousand pounds, and I know not what; and that they had been just crying it, and had offered 1001. reward to any one who
CHAPTER IV. would discover and restore it.
WILL RETURNS THE POCKET-BOOK AND OBTAINS " I wish,” said he, to one of them that parleyed THE REWARD-WE ROB AN OLD KNIGHT IN SMITHwith him, “I did but know who has it, I don't FIELD OF A BAG OF MONEY-OTHER ADVENTURES, doubt but I could help him to it again ; does he IN ALL OF WHICH WE ARE SUCCESSFUL-THE NOremember nothing of anybody, boy, or fellow, that TION OP MY BEING A GENTLEMAN, WHICH I ALWAYS was near him ? if he could but describe him, it
ENTERTAIN, KEEPS ME FROM SWEARING, DRINKmight do." Somebody that overheard him was || ING, AND such LIKE VICES-WILL SEDUCES ME so forward to assist the poor gentleman, that they TO BECOME HIGHWAYMAN-ADVENTURES ON THE went up and let him know what a young fellow, ROAD. meaning Will, had been talking at the door; and Will stayed so long, that, as he and I agreed, I down comes another gentleman from him, and, || went home, and he did not come to me till night; taking Will aside, asked him what he had said for we had considered before, that it would not be about it? Will was a grave sort of a young man, proper to come from them directly to me, lest that, though he was an old soldier at the trade, they should follow him and apprehend me. If he had yet nothing of it in his countenance; and he had made no advances towards a treaty, he would answered, that he was concerned in business have come back in half an hour, as we agreed; where a great many of the gangs of little pick but staying late, we met at our night rendezvous, pockets haunted, and if he had but the least de which was in Rosemary lane. scription of the person they suspected, he durst When he came, he gave an account of all the say he could find him out, and might perhaps get discourse, and particularly what a constervation the things again for him. Upon this, he desired the gentleman was in who lost the pocket-book, him to go up with him to the gentleman, which and that he did not doubt but we should get a he did aceordingly; and there, he said, he sat ll good round sum for the recovery of it. leaning his head back to the chair, pale as a cloth: We consulted all the evening about it, and condisconsolate to a strange degree, and, as Will || cluded he should let them hear nothing of them described him, just like one under a sentence. the next day at all, and that the third day he
When they came to ask him whether he had should go, but should make no discovery, only seen no boy, or shabby fellow, lurking near where I that he had got a scent of it, and that he believed he stood, or passing, or repassing, and the like, || he should have it, and make it appear as difficult he answered, “ No, not any; neither could he as possible, and to start as many objections as he remember that anybody had come near him." could. Accordingly, the third day after he met * Then,” said Will, “ it will be very hard, if not with the gentleman, who he found had been un. impossible, to find them out. However," said || easy at his long stay, and told him, they were Will, “ if you think it worth while, I will put || afraid that he only flattered them to get free from myself among those rogues, though,” says he, “ 1 || them, and that they had been too easy in letting care not for being seen among them; but I will || him go without a further examination. put in among them, and if it be in any of those llHe took upon him to be very grave with them, gangs, it is ten to one but I shall hear something and told them, that if that was what he was like of it.”
to have for being so free, as to tell them he thought They asked him then, if he had heard what he might serve them, they might see that they had terms the gentleman had offered to have it re wronged him, and were mistaken by his coming stored; he answered, “ No," (though he had been || again to them; that if they thought they could told at the door); they answered, he had offered do any thing by examining him, they might go 1001. " That is too much," says Will, but is about it, if they pleased, now; that all he had to you please to leave it to me, I shall either get it say to them was, that he knew where some of the for you for less than that, or not be able to get it Il young rogues haunted, who were famous for such
things, and that by some inquiries, offering them them at all. He said, he was very willing to trust
much money, at or before the delivery of them,
"Why, sir," says he,“ how can you expect any not all; and he would have the said writing sealed
They were entirely confounded with the diffi value about 2501. culty; they asked him to try if he could get the A little paper, containing three large rough things into his hands, and they would pay him! diamonds, and one large one polished and cut, the money before he let them go out of his hand,' value 1851. and he should go away half an hour before they For all these things they promised, first, to give went out of the room.
him whatever he agreed with the thief to give * No, gentlemen,” says he, “that won't do now. I him, not exceeding 501., and to give him 501. more If you had talked so before you had talked of for himself for procuring them. apprehending me for nothing, I should have taken Now he had his cue, and now he came to me, your words ; but now it is plain you have had and told me honestly the whole story as above: such a thought in your heads, and how can I, or so I delivered him the book, and he told me that any one else, be assured of safety?"
he thought it was reasonable we should take the Well, they thought of a great many particulars, full sum; becarise he would seem to have done but nothing would do; at length the other people them some service, and so make them the easier. who were present put in, that they should give | All this I agreed to; so he went the next day security to him, by a bond of 10001., that they to the place, and the gentlemen met him very would not give the person any trouble whatso- ll punctually. ever. He pretended they could not be bound, He told them at the first word, he had done nor could their obligation be of any value, and their work, and, as he hoped, to their minds; and that their own goods being once seen, they might told them if it had not been for the diamonds, he seize them; and what would it signify, said he could have got all for 101., but that the diamonds to put a poor pick pocket to sue for his reward ? || had shone so bright in the boy's imagination, that They could not tell what to say ; but told him, he talked of running away to France or Holland, that he should take the things of the boy, if it and living there all his days like a gentleman; at was a boy; and they would be bound to pay him which they laughed. “ However, gentlemen," said the money promised. He laughed at them, and he, “here is the book ;" and so pulled it out, wrapt said, “ No, gentlemen, as I am not the thief, so I up in a dirty piece of a coloured handkerchief, as I shall be very loth to put myself in the thief's black as the street could make it, and sealed with stead, and lic at your mercy.”
a piece of sorry wax, and the impression of a farThey told him they knew not what to do then, I thing for a scal. and that it would be very hard he would not trustll Upon this the note being also unsealed, at the same time he pulled open the dirty rag, and showed) was in the pocket, and hung a little out, which the gentleman his pocket-book; at which he was the boy, who had watched it a good while, perso over-surprised with joy, notwithstanding all the ceiving, he passes by close to the gentleman, and preparatory discourse, that he was fain to call for carried it smoothly off, without the gentleman's a glass of wine or brandy to drink, to keep him perceiving it at all.” from fainting.
He went on, and said, “ 'Tis very strange genThe book being opened, the paper of diamonds tlemen should put pocket-books which have such was first taken out, and there they were every things in them into those loose pockets, and in so one, only the little paper was by itsel, and the careless a manner." “ That's very true," says the rough diamonds that were in it were loose among gentleman; and so, with some other discourse of the rest ; but he owned they were all there safe. no great signification, he came away to me.
Then the bills were called over, one by one,!! We were now so rich that we scarce knew what and they found one bill for 801. more than the to do with our money ; at least I did not, for I account inentioned; besides several papers which had no relations, no friend, nowhere to put any were not for money, though of consequence to the thing I had but in my pocket; as for Will, he gentleman, and he acknowledged that all was very bad a poor mother, but wicked as himself, and he honestly returned : “And now, young man,” said | made her rich, and glad with his good success. they, “ you shall see we will deal as honestly by We divided this booty equally ; for, though the you ;"and so, in the first place, they gave him gaining it was mine, yet the improving of it was 501. for himself, and then they told out the 501.his, and his management brought the money; for for me.
neither he nor I could have made anything proporHe took the 501. for himself and put it up in tionable of the thing any other way. As for the his pocket, wrapping it in paper, it being all inbills, there was no room to doubt, but unless they gold: then he began to tell over the other 501. ; || had been carried that minute to the goldsmith's but when he told out 301., “ Hold, gentlemen,” for the money, he would have come with notice to says he," as I have acted fairly for you, so you stop the payment, and perhaps have come while shall have no reason to say I do not do so to the the money was receiving, and have taken hold of end. I have taken 301., and for so much I agreed the person. And then as to the diamonds, there with the boy; and so there is 201, of your money | had been no offering them to sale by us poor boys again."
to anybody, but those who were our known re. They stood looking one at another a good ceivers, and they would have given us nothing for while, as surprised at the honesty of it; for till them compared to what they were worth ; for, as that time they were not quite without a secret I understood afterwards, those who made a trade suspicion that he was the thief, but that piece of of buying stolen goods, took care to have false policy cleared up his reputation to them. The weights, and cheat the poor devil that stole them, gentleman that had got his bills, said softly to one at least one ounce in three. of them, “ Give it him all ;" but the other said, I Upon the whole, we made the best of it many (softly too,) “ No, no; as long as he has got it ways besides. I had a strange kind of uninabated, and is satisfied with the 501. you have structed conscience at that time; for, though I given him, 'tis very well ; let it go as it is." This made no scruple of getting anything in this manwas not spoke so softly but he heard it, and said, ner from anybody, yet I could not bear destroying “ No," too; “I am very well satisfied ; I am glad their bills and papers, which were things that I have got them for you;" and so they began to would do them a great deal of hurt, and do me no part.
good ; and I was so tormented about it that I But just before they were going away, one of could not rest night or day till I made the people the gentlemen said to him, “ Young man, come, easy from whom the things were taken. you see we are just to you, and have done fairly, I was now rich, so that I knew not what to do as you have also, and we will not desire you to with my money, or with myself. I had lived so tell us who this cunning fellow is that got such a near and so close, that although, as I said, I did prize from this gentleman; but as you have now and then lay out 2d. or 3d. for mere hunger, talked with him, pr’ythee, can you tell us nothing yet I had so many people, who, as I said, employed of how he did it, that we may beware of such me, and who gave me victuals, and sometimes sparks again ?”
clothes, that in a whole year I had not quite spent ! « Sir," says Will, “when I shall tell you what the 15s. which I had saved of the custom-house they say, and how the particular case stood, the gentleman's money; and I had the four guineas, gentleman would blame himself more than any which was of the first booty before that, still in body else, or as much at least. The young rogue my pocket--I mean the money that I let fall into that catched this prize was out, it seems, with a the tree. comrade, who is a nimble experienced pickpocket But now I began to look higher; and though as most in London, but at that time the artist Will and I went abroad several times together, was somewhere at a distance, and this boy never yet, when small things offered, as handkerchiefs had picked a pocket in his life before ; but, he and such trifles, we would not meddle with them, says, he stood over against the passage into the || not caring to run the risk for small matters. It Exchange, on the east side, and the gentleman || fell out one day that, as we were strolling about stood just by the passage ; that he was very in West Smithfield on a Friday, there happened earnest in talking with some other gentlemen, and to be an ancient country gentleman in the mar. often pulled out this book and opened it, and took | ket selling some very large bullocks; it seems papers out, and put others in, and returned it || they came out of Sussex. His worship, for so they into his coat-pocket; that the last time it hitched || called him, had received the money for these bul. at the pocket-hole, or stopt at something that li locks at a tavern, whose sign I forget now, and
having some of it in a bag, and the bag in his shop in Lombard street with it ; paid in the most hand, he was taken with a sudden fit of cough of it there; insomuch that it grew dark, and the ing, and stands to cough, resting his hand with goldsmith began to be shutting in shop, and the bag of money in it upon the bulk-head of a candles to be lighted; we watched him in there, shop just by the Cloyster gate in Smithfield, that and stood on the other side of the way to see is to say, within three or four doors of it ; we were what he did. When he had paid in all the money both just behind him. Says Will to me, “ Stand he intended, he stayed still some time longer to ready ;" upon this he makes an artificial stumble, take notes, as I supposed, for what he had paid, and falls with his head just against the old gentle and by this time it was still darker than before; man in the very moment when he was coughing, at last he comes out of the shop with still a pretty ready to be strangled, and quite spent for want of large bag under his arm, and walks over into the breath.
court, which was then very dark; in the middle The violence of the blow beat the old gentle of the court is a boarded entry, and farther, at man quite down; the bag of money did not imme- the end of it, a threshold ; and as soon as he had diately fly out of his hand, but I ran to get hold set his foot over the threshold, he was to turn on of it, and gave it a quick snatch, pulled it clean his left hand into Gracechurch street. away, and ran like the wind down the Cloysters L“ Keep up," says Will to me, “be nimble;" and with it; turned on the left hand, as soon as I was l as soon as he had said so, he flies at the young through, and cut into Little Britain, so into Bar- || man, and gives him such a violent thrust, that tholomew close, then cross Aldersgate street, I pushed him forward with too great a force for him through Paul's alley into Red cross street, and to stand; and, as he strove to recover, the threshSo cross all the streets, through innumerable | old took his feet, and he fell forward into the alleys, and never stopped till I got into the second other part of the court, as if he had flown in the quarter of Moor fields, our old agreed rendezvous. Il air, with his head lying towards the Quakers'
Will, in the meantime, fell down with the old meeting-house. I stood ready, and presently felt gentleman, but soon got up; the old knight, for || out the bag of money, which I heard fall, for it such it seems he was, was frightened with the fall, I flew out of his hand, he having his life to save, and his breath so stopped with his cough, that he not his money. I went forward with the money, could not recover himself to speak till some time; and Will, that threw him down, finding I had it, during which nimble Will was got up again, and ran backward, and as I made along Fenchurch walked off; nor could be call out, stop thief, or || street, Will overtook me, and we scoured home tell anybody he had lost anything for a good together. The poor young man was hurt a little while; but, coughing vehemently, and looking with the fall, and reported to his master, as we red, till he was almost black in the face, he cried, I heard afterward, that he was knocked down, "Thero Hegh, hegh, hegh, the rogues-hegh | which was not true, for neither Will nor I had any -baregot-hegh, hegh, hegh, hegh, hegh, hegh," || stick in our hands; but the master of the youth -then he would get a little breath, and at it was, it seems, so very thankful that his young again : “ the rogues-hegh, heglı;" and, after a man was not knocked down before he paid the great many heghs and rogues, he brought it out, // rest of the money (which was above 1001. more) -" have got away my bag of money !"
to the goldsmith, who was Sir John Sweetapple, All this while the people understood nothing of that he made no great noise at the loss he had; the matter; and as for the rogues indeed, they | and, as we heard afterward, only warned his had time enough to get clear away, and in about l 'prentice to be more careful, and come no more an hour Will came to the rendezvous; there we || through such places in the dark; whereas the sat down in the grass again, and turned out the man had really no such deliverance as he money, which proved to be eight guineas, and || imagined, for we saw him before, when he had 51. 128. in silver, so that it made just 141. together. all the money about him; but it was no time of This we shared upon the spot, and went to work day for such work as we had to do, so that he the same day for more; but whether it was, that, I was in no danger before. being flushed with our success, we were not so l This booty amounted to 291. 16s., which was 141. vigilant, or that no other opportunity offered, I | 18s. a-piece, and added exceedingly to my store, know not, but we got nothing more that night, | which began now to be very much too big for my nor so much as anything offered itself for an management; and indeed I began to be now full attempt.
of care for the preservation of what I had got: 1 We took many walks of this kind, sometimes wanted a trusty friend to commit it to, but where together, at a little distance from one another, I was such a one to be found by a poor boy, bred and several small hits we made ; but we were so up among thieves? If I should have let any flushed with our success, that truly we were || honest body know that I had so much money, above meddling with trifles, as I said before, no, I they would have asked me how I came by it, and not such things that others would have been would have been afraid to take it into their hands, glad of; nothing but pocket-books, letter-cases, ll lest, I being some time or other catched in my or sums of money would move us.
rogueries, they should be counted the receivers The next adventure was in the dusk of the l of stolen goods, and the encouragers of a thief. evening, in a court, which goes out of Gracechurch | We had, however, in the meantime, a great street into Lombard street, where the Quakers' || many other successful enterprizes, some of one meeting-house is; there was a young fellow, who, ll kind, some of another, and were never so much as we learned afterward, was a woollen draper's as in danger of being apprehended; but my comapprentice in Gracechurch street; it seems he || panion Will, who was now grown a man, and enbad been receiving a sum of money, which was couraged by these advantages, fell into quito very considerable, and he comes to a goldsmith’s II another vein of wickedness, getting acquainted