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through innumerable narrow passages, alleys, and and if I," says he, “that am but a poor lad, should dark ways, we were got up into Fenchurch'street, venture to go for the money, they will presently and through Billiter lane into Leadenhall street, I say, how should I come by such a bill, and that and from thence into Leadenhall market.
I certainly found it or stole it; so they will stop It was not a meat-market day, so we had room me,” says he ; "and take it away from me, and it to sit down upon one of the butchers' stalls, and may bring me into trouble for it, too; so,” says he bid me lug out. What he had given me was a | he, “ I did say it was too big for me to meddle little leather letter-case, with a French almanack | with, and that I would let the man have it again, stuck in the inside of it, and a great many papers | if I could tell how; but for the money, Jack, the in it of several kinds.
money that we have got, I warrant you he should We looked them over, and found there were have none of that ; besides," says he, “who ever several valuable bills in it, such as bills of ex he be that has lost this letter-case-to be sure, change, and other notes, things I did not under as soon as he missed it, he would run to a goldstand; but among the rest was a goldsmith's note, smith and give notice that if anybody came for as be called it, of one Sir Stephen Evans, for the money they would be stopped, but I am too 3001., payable to the bearer, and at demand; old for him there,” says he. besides this, there was another note for 121. 10s., “Why," says I, “and what will you do with being a goldsmith's bill too, but I forget the pame; the bill, will you throw it away? If you do, somethere was a bill or two also written in French, body else will find it,” says 1; "and they will go which neither of us understood, but which it and take the money.”_"No, no,” says he ; "then seems were things of value, being called foreign they will be stopped and examined, as I tell you bills accepted.
I should be,” I did not know well what all this The rogue, my master, knew what belonged to meant, so I talked no more about that; but we the goldsmith's bills well enough, and I observed, fell to handling the money. As for me, I had when he read the bill of Sir Stephen, he said, “This never seen so much together in all my life, nor is too big for me to meddle with ;” but when he did I know what in the world to do with it, and came to the bill 12. 10s., he said to me, “ This once or twice I was going to bid him keep it for will do, come hither, Jack;" so away he runs to me, which would have been done like a child inLombard street, and I after him, huddling the deed, for, to be sure, I had never heard a word other papers into the letter-case. As he went more of it, though nothing had befallen him. along, he inquired the name out immediately, and However, as I happened to hold my tongue as went directly to the shop, put on a good grave to that part, he shared the money very honestly countenance, and had the money paid him with with me; only at the end he told me that though out any stop or question asked; I stood on the it was true he promised me half, yet as it was other side the way looking about the street, as the first time, and I had done nothing but look pot at all concerned with anybody that way, but Ion, so he thought it was very well if I took a observed, that when he presented the bill, he little less than he did; so he divided the money, pulled out the letter-case, as if he had been all which was 121. 10s. into two exact parts, viz. merchant's boy, acquainted with business, and lol. 5s. in cach part; then he took ll. 5s. from had other bills about him.
my part, and told me I should give him that for They paid him the money in gold, and he made hansel. “Well,” says I, “take it then, for I think baste enough in telling it over, and came away, || you deserve it all;" so, however, I took up the passing by me, and going into Three-King court, rest; “and what shall I do with this now," says I, on the other side of the way; when we crossed "for I have nowhere to put it?"_" Why, have you back into Clement's lane, made the best of our no pockets?" says he.--" Yes," says I, “but they way to Cole-harbour at the water-side, and got are full of holes." I have often thought since that,
a sculler for a penny to carry us over the water and with some mirth too, how I had really more || to St Mary-Over's stairs, where we landed, and wealth than I knew what to do with, for lodging were safe enough.
I had none, nor any box or drawer to hide my Here he turns to me; “ Colonel Jack," says he, || money in, nor bad I any pocket, but such as I say " I believe you are a lucky boy; this is a good was full of holes; I knew nobody in the world job; we'll go away to St George's fields and share that I could go and desire them to lay it up for our booty.” Away we went to the fields, and || me; for being a poor, naked, ragged boy, they sitting down in the grass, far enough out of the would presently say I had robbed somebody, and path, he pulled out the money—“ Look here, I perhaps lay hold of me, and my money would Jack," says he ; "did you ever see the like before be my crime, as they say it often is in foreign in your life?"_“ No, never,” says I ; and added countries; and now, as I was full of wealth, bevery innocently, “must we have it all ?"_“ We hold I was full of care, for what to do to secure have it!” says he; “who should have it?" my money I could not tell; and this held me so * Why,” says I, “must the man have none of it | long, and was so vexatious to me the next day, again that lost it?”—“ He have it again !" says | that I truly sat down and cried. he; “what d'ye mean by that?"_“ Nay, I don't Nothing could be more perplexing than this know," says I; “why, you said just now you money was to me all that night. I carried it in my would let him have the t'other bill again, that hand a good while, for it was in gold all but 14s., you said was too big for you.”
and that is to say, it was four guincas, and that He laughed at me. “ You are but a little boy,” || 14s. was more difficult to carry than the four says he, “ that's true; but I thought you had not ! guineas. At last I sat down and pulled off one been such a child neither :" so he mighty gravely il of my shoes, and put the four guineas into that ; explained the thing to me thus :-" that the bill, but after I had gone awhile, my shoe hurt me so of Sir Stephen Evans was a great bill for 3001., ll I could not go, so I was fain to sit down again, the opportunities were so many, the country || as an offence: I looked on people that come to London so foolish, so gaping, trade, and thought I was to and so engaged in looking about them, that it it is true, this was when I was a trade with no great hazard annexed to it, I ciety, as well as younger in and might be easily learned, if I did but know in I understood it to be only general the manner of it, and how they went we were catched, we ran about it.
ducked or pumped, which
then all was over; and we CHAPTER II.
ing our rags wetted a litt)
stood, till a great while aft GET ACQUAINTED WITH ONE OF THE MOST NOTED || capital, and that we might PICK POCKETS IN TOWN-WE STEAL A LETTER
it, till a great fellow, almo CASE FULL OF BILLS-DREADFULLY DISTRESSED
society, was hanged for it HOW TO DISPOSE OF MY SHARE OF THE BOOTY
bly frightened, as you shal -MY COMRADE PROPOSES I SHALL RETURN THE Well, upon the persuasir BILLS AND GET THE REWARD PROMISED-PRO out with him ; a poor inno CEEDINGS THEREUPON.
member my very thought The subtle devil, never absent from his business, i no evil in my intentions ; but ready at all occasions to encourage his ser thing in my life ; and if a vants, removed all these difficulties, and brought in his shop, with heaps me into an intimacy with one of the most ex round me, and bade me.. quisite divers, or pick-pockets, in the town; and not have touched it; I w this our intimacy was of no less a kind than that, subtle tempter baited his as I had an inclination to be as wicked as any of child, in a manner suitabl, them, he was for taking care that I should not be I never took this pickin. disappointed.
honesty, but, as I have He was above the little fellows who went about it as a kind of trade that : stealing trifles and baubles in Bartholomew fair, ll and so I entered upon it, and ran the risque of being mobbed for 3s, or 4s. | in it beyond the power o " His aim was at higher things, even at no less than was made a thief involu considerable sums of money, and bills for more. length that few boys do,
He solicited me earnestly to go and take a common period of that k walk with him as above, adding, that after he had transport-ship, or to the shown me my trade a little, he would let me be! The first day I went as wicked as I would ; that is, as he expressed | structor, he carried me ".. it, that after he had made me capable, I should || as we went first to the set up for myself, if I pleased, and he would only || the long-room at the Cu: wish me good luck.
Il a couple of ragged boys Accordingly, as Major Jack went with his gen- | the worse: my leader ha tleman, only to see the manner, and receive the neckcloth ; as for me, I purchase, and yet come in for a share ; so he told nor had I spoiled my me, if he had success, I should have my share as have a hat on my head: much as if I had been principal ; and this he as- || was now some years. sured me was a custom of the trade, in order to keep always in sight, ar encourage young beginners, and bring them into | to him, nor to take any the trade with courage, for that nothing was tol till he came to me; ar be done if a man had not the heart of the lion. Il pened. I should by no
I hesitated at the matter a great while, object- || tend to have anything ing the hazard, and telling the story of Captain I observed my orde Jack my elder brother, as I might call him: peered into every cort “ Well, colonel," says he, “I find you are faint- everybody, I kept my hearted, and to be faint-hearted is indeed to be went always at a dista unfit for our trade, for nothing but a bold heart of the long-room, look can go through stitch with this work ; but, how. || picking them up out o ever, as there is nothing for you to do, so there | them, and then stickin: is no risque for you to run in these things the first || I had at last got fortytime. If I am taken,” says he, “ you having my eye was upon my nothing to do in it, they will let you go free; for was very busy among it shall easily be made appear, that whatever I|| stood at the board, doii have done, you had no hand in it."
who pass the entries, • Upon those persuasions I ventured out with At length he comes him; but I soon found that my new friend was a || if he would take up thief of quality, and a pick-pocket above the ordi- || something into my ha nary rank, and that aimed higher abundantly than and follow me down my brother Jack. He was a bigger boy than I a run, but shuffled aloi. great deal ; for though I was now near fifteen and went down, not years old, I was not big of my age, and as to the came in at, but a lit nature of the thing, I was perfectly a stranger to other end of the lon it ; I knew indeed what at first I did not, for it found I did, and so was a good while before I understood the thing ll as I expected, nors
ind a little fob to put your
in, when you get it." strange kind of joy, that I to put my money in, and again in a hollow tree, that h the breeches out of her that I should be such a fool ing me a pair of breeches have a pocket to put my y it about two days together my shoe, and I knew not rave her 2s, for the breeches, e church-yard and put them o my new pockets, and was
is with his coach and six ne good woman too for the puld come again when I got some other things I wanted,
: true, but I thought myself
a pocket to put my money y to find out my companion, i it; but I was frighted out ard that he was carried to
question but it was for the , I should be carried there voor brother Captain Jack's lead, and that I should be elly as he was, and I was in knew not what to do. on I met him; he had been , it seems, upon that very at again; the case was thus: d luck at the Custom-house ikes his walk thither again, ong-room, gaping and staring ays hold of him, and calls to ut sat behind, “ Here,” says ing rogue that I told you I 'other day, when the gentleise and his goldsmith's bills;
that stole them.” Immeowd of people gathered about d him point blank; but he
such things to be frighted what he knew they could not thing about him belonging to ley, but sixpence and a few
him, and pulled, and hauled st pulled the clothes off his nissioners examined him; but ld own nothing, but said he the room only to see the place, iime before, for he had owned 'e; so as there was no proof fact, no, nor of any circumo the letter-case, they were
him go; however, they made him to Bridewell, and they did te to see if they could make ig; but he would confess nod no mittimus ; so they durst the house, nor w "''the peohim, I sup:
had, rrant for p
could go Ito an al ctter*hat thi
and take it out of my shoe, and carry it in my || Beggar's at Bethnal green. When I came a little hand; then I found a dirty linen rag in the street, way in the lane I found a foot-path over the and I took that up, and wrapt it all together, and fields, and in those fields several trees for my carried it in that a good way. I have often since turn, as I thought ; at last, one tree had a little heard people say, when they have been talking of hole in it, pretty high out of my reach, and I money that they could not get in, I wish I had it in climbed up the tree to get it, and when I came a foul clout : in truth, I had mine in a foul clout; there, I put my hand in, and found, as I thought, for it was foul, according to the letter of that say || a place very fit; so I placed my treasure there, ing, but it served me till I came to a convenient and was mighty well satisfied with it; but, beplace, and then I sat down and washed the cloth hold, putting my hand in again, to lay it more in the kennel, and so then put my money in commodiously, as I thought, of a sudden it
slipped away from me, and I found the tree was Well, I carried it home with me to my lodging hollow, and my little parcel vas fallen in quite in the glass-house, and when I went to go to out of my reach, and how far it might go in I sleep, I knew not what to do with it; if I had let knew not; so that, in a word, my money was any of the black crew I was with know of it, I quite gone, irrecoverably lost; there could be no should have been smothered in the ashes for it, || room so much as to hope ever to see it again, for or robbed of it, or some trick or other put upon | 'twas a vast great tree. me for it; so I knew not what to do, but lay with As young as I was, I was now sensible what a it in my hand, and my hand in my bosom, but fool I was before, that I could not think of ways then sleep went from my eyes. Oh, the weight to keep my money, but I must come thus far to of human care! I, a poor beggar boy, could not throw it into a hole where I could not reach it: sleep, so soon as I had but a little money to keep, | well, I thrust my hand quite up to my elbow, but who, before that, could have slept upon a heap | no bottom was to be found, or any end of the hole of brick-bats, stones, or cinders, or anywhere, as or cavity; I got a stick of the tree, and thrust sound as a rich man does on his down bed, and it in a great way, but all was one; then I cried, sounder too.
nay, roared out, I was in such a passion; then Every now and then dropping asleep, I should I got down the tree again, then up again, and dream that my money was lost, and start like one thrust in my hand again till I scratched my frightened; then, finding it fast in my hand, try arm and made it bleed, and cried all the while to go to sleep again, but could not for a long while, most violently; then I began to think I had then drop and start again. At last a fancy came not so much as a halfpenny of it left for a halfinto my head, that if I fell asleep, I should dream penny roll, and I was hungry, and then I cried of the money, and talk of it in my sleep, and tell again : then I came away in despair, crying and that I had money ; which if I should do, and one roaring like a little boy that had been whipped; of the rogues should hear me, they would pick it then I went back again to the tree, and up the out of my bogom, and of my hand too, without tree again, and thus I did several times. waking me ; and after that thought I could not The last time I had gotten up the tree I hapsleep a wink more; so I passed that night over pened to come down not on the same side that I in care and anxiety enough, and this, I may safely went up and came down before, but on the other say, was the first night's rest that I lost by the side of the tree, and on the other side of the bank cares of this life, and the deceitfulness of riches. also; and, behold, the tree had a great open place
As soon as it was day I got out of the hole we in the side of it close to the ground, as old hollow lay in, and rambled abroad in the fields towards trees often have ; and looking into the open place, Stepney, and there I mused and considered what to my inexpressible joy there lay my money and I should do with this money, and many a time my linen rag, all wrapped up just as I had put it I wished that I had not had it; for, after all my into the hole: for the tree being hollow all the ruminating upon it, and what course I should way up, there had been some moss or light stuff, take with it, or where I should put it, I could not which I had not judgment enough to know was hit upon any one thing, or any possible method not firm, that had given way when it came to drop to secure it, and it perplexed me so, that at last, | out of my hand, and so it had slipped quite down as I said just now, I sat down and cried heartily. at once.
When my crying was over, the case was the I was but a child, and I rejoiced like a child, same; I had the money still, and what to do with for I hollo'd quite out aloud when I saw it; then it I could not tell : at last it came into my head I ran to it and snatched it up, hugged and kissed that I would look out for some hole in a tree, and the dirty rag a hundred times; then danced and see to hide it there till I should have occasion for juinped about, ran from one end of the field to it. Big with this discovery, as I then thought the other, and, in short, I knew not what, much it, I began to look about me for a tree; but less do I know now what I did, though I shall there were no trees in the fields about Stepney never forget the thing, either what a sinking grief or Mile end that looked fit for my purpose; and it was to my heart when I thought I had lost it, if there were any that I began to look narrowly | or what a flood of joy overwhelmed me when I at, the fields were so full of people, that they had got it again. would see if I went to hide anything there, and While I was in the first transport of my joy, I thought the people eyed me, as it were, and that l as I have said, I ran about, and knew pot what two men in particular followed me to see what I ll I did: but when that was over I sat down, intended to do.
opened the foul clout the money was in, looked This drove me further off, and I crossed the || at it, told it, found it was all there, and then I road at Mile end, and in the middle of the town | fell a crving as violently as I did before, when I went down a lane that goes away to the Blind I thought I had lost it.
It would tire the reader should I dwell on all il pockets,” says she," and a little fob to put your the little boyish tricks that I played, in the ecs. | gold in, or your watch in, when you get it.” tasy of my joy and satisfaction, when I had found It struck me with a strange kind of joy, that I my money, so I break off here : joy is as extra- || should have a place to put my money in, and vagant as grief; and since I have been a man, I need not go to hide it again in a hollow tree, that have often thought, that had such a thing befallen || I was ready to snatch the breeches out of her a man, so to have lost all he had, and not have a hands, and wondered that I should be such a fool bit of bread to eat, and then so strangely to find never to think of buying me a pair of breeches it again, after having giver. it so effectually over, before, that I might have a pocket to put my -I say, had it been so with a man, it might || money in, and not carry it about two days together have hazardod his using some violence upon him in my hand, and in my shoe, and I knew not self.
how; so, in a word, I gave her 2s. for the breeches, Well, I came away with my money, and having || and went over into the church-yard and put them taken sixpence out of it, before I made it up on, put my money into my new pockets, and was again, I went to a chandler's shop in Mile end, as pleased as a prince is with his coach and six and bought a balfpenny roll and a halfpenny-worth horses. I thanked the good woman too for the of cheese, and sat down at the door after I bought | hat, and told her I would come again when I got it, and ate it very heartily, and begged some beer more money, and buy some other things I wanted, to drink with it, which the good woman gave me and so I came away. very freely.
I was but a boy 'tis true, but I thought myself Away I went then for the town, to see if I || a man now I had got a pocket to put my money I could find any of my companions, and resolved I || in, and I went directly to find out my companion, pould try no more hollow trees for my treasure. | by whose means I got it; but I was frighted out As I came along Whitechapel I came by a bro of my wits when I heard that he was carried to ker's shop, over against the church, where they | Bridewell; I made no question but it was for the sold old clothes, for I had nothing on but the | letter-case, and that I should be carried there worst of rags; so I stopped at the shop, and || too; and then my poor brother Captain Jack's stood looking at the clothes which hung at the | case came into my head, and that I should be door.
whipped there as cruelly as he was, and I was in “Well, young gentleman,” says a man that such a fright that I knew not what to do. stood at the door," you look wishfully, do you | But in the afternoon I met him; he had been see anything you like, and will your pocket com- carried to Bridewell, it seems, upon that very pass a good coat now, for you look as if you be-affair, but was got out again; the case was thus: longed to the ragged regiment?" I was affronted having had such good luck at the Custom-house at the fellow. “What's that to you," says I, || the day before, he takes his walk thither again, "how ragged I am? if I had seen anything I and as he was in the long-room, gaping and staring hked, I have money to pay for it; but I can go about him, a fellow lays hold of him, and calls to where I shan't be huffed at for looking."
one of the clerks that sat behind, “ Here," says While I said this pretty boldly to the fellow, || he, “is the same young rogue that I told you I comes a woman out, " What ails you," says she saw loitering about t'other day, when the gentleto the man, “ to bully away our customers so ? a man lost his letter-case and his goldsmith's bills; poor boy's money is as good as my lord mayor's ; || 1 dare say it was he that stole them.” Immeif poor people did not buy old clothes, what || diately the whole crowd of people gathered about would become of our business ?" and then turn the boy, and charged him point blank; but he ing to me, “ Come hither, child,” says she, “ if was too well used to such things to be frighted thou hast a mind to anything I have, you shan't || into a confession of what he knew they could not be hectored by him; the boy is a pretty boy, I prove, for he had nothing about him belonging to assure you," says she, to another woman that was it, nor had any money, but sixpence and a few by this time come to her. “ Ay," says the other, || dirty farthings. " so he is, a very-well looking child, if he was They threatened him, and pulled, and hauled clean and well dressed, and may be as good a him, till they almost pulled the clothes off his gentleman's son, for anything we know, as any of back, and the commissioners examined him; but those that are well dressed: come, my dear,"| all was one, he would own nothing, but said he says she, “ tell me what is it you would have ?" walked up through the room only to see the place, she pleased me mightily to hear her talk of my both then and the time before, for he had owned being a gentleman's son, and it brought former he was there before; so as there was no proof things to mind; but when she talk'd of my being against him of any fact, no, nor of any circumnot clean, and in rags, then I cried.
stances relating to the letter-case, they were She pressed me to tell her if I saw anything forced at last to let him go; however, they made that I wanted; I told her no, all the clothes I la show of carrying him to Bridewell, and they did saw there were too big for me. “ Come, child,” carry him to the gate to see if they could make says she, “ I have two things here that will fit | bim confess anything; but he would confess noyou, and I am sure you want them both; that thing, and they had no mittimus; so they durst is, first, a little hat, and there," says she (tossing not carry him into the house, nor would the peoit to me), “ I'll give you that for nothing; and ple have received him, I suppose, if they had, here is a good warm pair of breeches; I dare say," li they having no warrant for putting him in prison. says she, “they will fit you, and they are very Well, when they could get nothing out of him, tight and good; and," says she, “if you should they carried him into an alehouse, and there they ever come to have so much money that you don't told him that the letter-case had bills in it of a ADOW what to do with it, here are excellent good very great value, that they would be of no use to