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the right I had to a share in the prize, and sometimes they are hanged; and the best they would fain have put me off with twenty pounds ; || can look for, if they are convicted, is to be transbut I let him know that I was not so ignorant as ported. he supposed I was, and yet I was glad, too, that This was a narrow escape to me, and I was so he offered to bring me to a certainty. I asked i frightened, that I ventured no more at gold one hundred pounds, and he rose up to thirty; watches for a great while. There was indeed a I fell to eighty pounds, and he rose up again to great many concurring circumstances in this ad. | forty. In a word, he offered fifty pounds, and I venture which assisted to my escape; but the consented, only demanding a piece of lace, which chief was, that the woman whose watch I had I thought came to about eight or nine pounds, as pulled at was a fool, that is to say, she was ignoif it had been for my own wear, and he agreed to | rant of the nature of the attempt, which one it; so I got fifty pounds in money paid to me would have thought she should not have been, 1 that same night, and made an end of the bargain; seeing she was wise enough to fasten her watch nor did he ever know who I was, or where to in- so that it could not be slipped off; but she was quire for me ; so that if it had been discovered in such a fright that she had no thought about 1 that part of the goods had been embezzled, he her proper for the discovery, for she, when she' would have made no challenge upon me for it. felt the pull, screamed out and pushed herself
I very punctually divided this spoil with my || forward, and put all the people about her into governess, and I passed with her from this time disorder, but said not a word of her watch, or of for a very dexterous manager in the nicest cases. a pickpocket, for at least two minutes' tiine, I found that this last was the best and easiest which was time enough for me and to spare; for sort of work that was in my way; and I made it as I had cried out behind her, as I have said, my business to inquire out prohibited goods, and and bore myself back to the crowd as she bore after buying some, usually betrayed them. None forward, there were several people, at least seven of these discoveries amounted to anything con or eight, the throng being still moving on, that! siderable, like that I related just now; but were got between me and her in that time; and I was willing to act safe, and was still cau then I crying out a pick pocket rather sooner than tious of running the great risks which I found she, or at least as soon, she might as well be the others did, and in which they miscarried every person suspected as I, and the people were conday.
fused in their inquiry; whereas, had she, with the The next thing of moment was an attempt at I presence of mind needful on such an occasion, as a gentlewoman's gold watch. It happened in a soon as she felt the pull, not screamed out in the crowd, at a meeting-house, where I was in very } manner she did, but turned immediately round great danger of being taken. I had full hold of| and seized the next person that was behind her, her watch, but giving a great jostle, as if some she had infallibly taken me. body had thrust me against her, and in the junc This is a direction not of the kindest sort to ture giving the watch a fair pull, I found it the fraternity, but it is certainly a key to the clue would not come, so I let it go that moment, and of a pick pocket's motions; and whoever can cried out as if I had been killed, that somebody follow it will as certainly catch the thief as he had trod upon my foot, and that there was cer. || will be sure to miss if he does not. tainly pick pockets there ; for somebody or other I had another adventure which puts this matter had given a pull at my watch, for you are to ob out of doubt, and which may be an instruction serve, that on these adventures we always went to posterity in the case of a pick pocket. My very well dressed, and I had very good clothes on, good old governess, to give a short touch at her and a gold watch by my side, as like a lady as history, though she had left off the trade, was, as other folks.
I may say, born a pick pocket ; and, as I under. I had no sooner said so, but the other gentle stood afterwards, had run through all the several woman cried out a pick pocket too, for somebody, degrees of that art, and yet had never been she said, had tried to pull her watch away. taken but once, when she was so grossly detected,
When I touched her watch I was close to her, that she was convicted and ordered to be transbut when I cried out I stopped as it were short, ported; but being a woman of a rare tongue, and the crowd bearing her forward a little, she and withal . having money in her pocket, she made a noise too, but it was at some distance found means, the ship putting into Ireland for from me, so that she did not in the least suspect provisions, to get on shore there, where she lived! me; but when she cried out a pick pocket, some and practised her old trade for some years, when body cried " Ah, and here has been another; this | falling into another set of bad company, she gentlewoman has been attempted too."
turned midwife and procuress, and played a budAt that very instant, a little farther in the dred pranks there, which she gave me a little crowd, and very luckily too, they cried out a history of in confidence between us as we grew pick pocket again, and really seized a young fel. more intimate ; and it was to this wicked creature low in the very fact. This, though unhappy for that lowed all the art and dexterity I arrived to: the wretch, was very opportunely for my case, in which there were few that ever went beyond though I had carried it off handsomely enough me, or that practised so long without any misbefore ; but now it was out of doubt, and all the fortune. loose part of the crowd ran that way, and the II It was after these adventures in Ireland, and poor boy was delivered up to the rage of the when she was pretty well known in that country, street, which is a cruelty I need not describe, and that she left Dublin and came over to England, which, however, they are always glad of, rather | where the time of her transportation not being than to be sent to Newgate, where they lie often ll yet expired, she left her former trade for fear of a long time. till they are almost perished, and I falling into bad hands again, for then she was
sure to have gone to wreck. Here she set up 1| see carelessly laid anywhere, and we made sevethe same trade she followed in Ireland, in which | ral very good bargains, as we called them, at she soon, by her admirable management and a this work. And as we kept always together, so good tongue, arrived to the height which I have || we grew very intimate, yet he never knew that already described ; and, indeed, began to be rich, || I was not a man; nay, though I several times though her trade fell off afterwards.
went home with him to his lodgings, according I mention thus much of the history of this as our business directed, and four or five times woman here, the better to account for the con- || lay with him all night. But our design lay ancern she had in the wicked life I was now lead. || other way, and it was absolutely necessary to ing, into all the particulars of which she led me, Il me to conceal my sex from him, as appeared as it were, by the hand, and gave me such direc afterwards. The circumstances of our living, tions, and I so well followed them, that I grew coming in late, and having such and such busithe greatest artist of my time, and worked my. ||ness to do as required that nobody should be self out of every danger with such dexterity, that trusted with coming into our lodgings, were such when geveral more of my comrades ran them as made it impossible to me to refuse lying with selves into Newgate by a time they had been half him, unless I would have owned my sex, and, as a year at the trade, I had now practised upwards |it was, I effectually concealed myself. of five years, and the people at Newgate did not || But his ill and my good fortune soon put an so much as know me; they had heard much of end to this life, which I must own I was sick of, me indeed, and often expected to see me there; too, on several other accounts. We had made but I always got off, though many times in the several prizes in this new way of business, but extreniest danger.
the last would have been extraordinary. There One of the greatest dangers I was now in was was a shop in a certain street which had a warethat I was too well known among the trade, and house behind it that looked into another street, some of them whose hatred was owing rather to the house making the corner of the turning. envy than to any injury I had done them, began Through the window of the warehouse we saw to be angry that I should always escape when | lying on the counter or show-board which was they were always catched and hurried to New- I just before it, five pieces of silks, besides other gate. These were they that gave me the name stuffs ; and though it was almost dark, yet the of Moll FLANDERS, for it had no more affinity | people being busy in the fore shop with customwith my real name, or with any of the names Iers, had not had time to shut up those windows, had ever gone by, than black is of kin to white, or else had forgot it. except that once, as before, I called myself Mrs This the young fellow was so overjoyed with Flanders when I sheltered myself in the Mint ; | that he could not restrain himself. It lay all but that these rogues never knew, nor could í within his reach, he said, and he swore violently ever learn how they came to give me the name, to me that he would have it, if he broke down or what the occasion of it was.
the house for it. I dissuaded him a little, but I was soon informed that some of these who saw there was no remedy, so he ran rashly upon were gotten fast into Newgate had vowed to im- | it, slipped a square out of the sash window peach me ; and as I knew that two or three of them dexterously enough, and without noise, and got were but too able to do it, I was under a great out four pieces of the silks, and came with them concern about it, and kept within doors for a | towards me, but was immediately pursued with good while ; but my governess, who I always la terrible clatter and noise. We were standing made partner in my success, and who now played together indeed, but I had not taken any of the a sure game with me, for that she had a share of goods out of his hand, when I said to him the gain, and no share in the hazard, I say my hastily, “ You are undone ! fly, for God's sake !" governess was something impatient of my leading He ran like lightning and I too, but the pursuit such a useless, unprofitable life, as she called it ; I was hotter after him, because he had the goods, and she laid a new contrivance for my going ll than after me He dropt two of the pieces, abroad, and this was to dress me up in men's || which stopped them a little, but the crowd in. clothes, and so put me into a new kind of prac creased and pursued us both. They took him tice.
soon after with the other two pieces upon him, I was tall and personable, but a little too and then the rest followed me. I ran for it, and smooth-faced for a man ; however, as I seldom Il got into my governess's house, whither some went abroad but in the night, it did well enough : 1 quick-eyed people followed me so warmly as to but it was a long time before I could behave in I fix me there. They did not immediately knock my new clothes, I mean as to my crast. It was at the door, by which I got time to throw off my impossible to be so nimble, so ready, so dexter. Il disguise, and dress me in my own clothes; besides, ous at these things in a dress so contrary to when they came there, my governess, who had nature ; and as I did everything clumsily, so I her tale ready, kept the door shut, and called had neither the suecess nor the easiness of escape Tout to them and told them there was no man that I had before, and I resolved to leave it off ; come in there; the people affirmed there did a but that resolution was confirmed soon after by man come in there, and swore they would break the following accident.
open the door. As my governess had disguised me like a man, * My governess, not at all surprised, spoke calmly so she joined me with a man, a young fellow that to them; told them they should very freely come was nimble enough at his business, and for about and search her house, if they would bring a con. three weeks we did very well together. Our stable, and let none in but such as the constable , principal trade was watching shopkeepers' coun-would admit, for it was unreasonable to let in the ters, and slipping off any kind of goods we could ll whole crowd. This they could not refuse, though
they were a crowd ; so a constable was fetched as able, to prosecute him, that they offered themimmediately, and she very freely opened the selves to enter into recognizances to appear at door. The constable kept the door, and the men the sessions, and pursue the charge against him. he appointed searched the house, my governess However, he got his indictment deferred, upon going with them from room to room, When she promise to discover his accomplices, and par. I came to my room she called to me, and said ticularly the man that was concerned with him aloud, " Cousin, pray open the door; here are in this robbery, and he failed not to do his en. ! some gentlemen that must come and look into deavour, for he gave in my name, whom he your room.”
called Gabriel Spencer, which was the name !! I had a little girl with me, which was my gover went by to him, and here appeared the wisdom ness's grand-child, as she called her; and I bade of my concealing my name and sex from him, her open the door, and there sat I at work with which if he had ever known I had been undone. a great litter of things about me, as if I had been | He did all he could to discover this Gabriel at work all day, being myself quite undressed, Spencer; he described ine-he discovered the with only night clothes on my head, and a loose place where he said I lodged, and in a word all the morning gown wrapt about me. My governess particulars that he could of my dwelling; but having made a kind of excuse for their disturbing me, concealed the main circumstances of my sex from telling me partly the occasion of it, and that she him I had a vast advantage, and he never could had no remedy but to open the door to them, hear of me; he brought two or three families and let them satisfy themselves, for all she could into trouble by his endeavouring to find me, but say to them would not satisfy them. I sat still they knew nothing of me, any more than that I and bid them search the room if they pleased, for || had a fellow with me that they had seen, but }} if there was anybody in the house, I was sure || knew nothing of ; and as for my governess, though i they were not in my room; and as for the rest of || she was the means of his coming to me, yet it was the house, I had nothing to say to that; I did not done at second hand, and he knew nothing of understand what they looked for.
her. This turned to his disadvantage, for having Everything looked so innocent and so honest I promised discoveries, and not being able to make about me, that they treated me civiller than I it good, it was looked upon as a triding with the expected, but it was not till they had searched justice of the city, and he was the more fiercely the room to a nicety, even under the bed, in the pursued by the shopkeepers who took him. bed, and everywhere else where it was possible I was, however, terribly uneasy all this while anything could be hid ; when they had done this, and that I might be quite out of the way, I went and could find nothing, they asked my pardon for away from my governess's for a while, but not troubling me, and went down.
knowing whither to wander, I took a maid ser. When they had thus searched the house from || vant with me, and took the stage coach to bottom to top, and then from top to bottom, and Brickill to my old landlord and landlady, where could find nothing, they appeased the mob pretty I was married to my late husband the banker. I well; but they carried my governess before the Here I told them a formal story, that I expected justice. Two men swore that they saw the man iny husband every day from Ireland, and that whom they pursued go into her house. My | I had sent a letter to him that I would meet him governess rattled and made a great noise that her at Brickilll at their house, and that he would house should be insulted, and that she should be certainly land, if the wind was fair, in a few days. used thus for nothing; that if a man did come in so that I was come to spend a few days with he might go out again presently for aught she them till he should come, for he would either knew, for she was ready to make oath that no come post or in the West Chester coach, I knew man had been within her doors all that day as not which ; but whichsoever it was, he would be she knew of, and that was very true indeed ; that | sure to come to that house to meet me. it might be indeed that as she was above stairs | My landlady was mighty glad to see me, and any fellow in a fright might find the door open, my landlord made such a stir with me that if I and run in for shelter when he was pursued, but had been a princess I could not have been better that she knew nothing of it; and if it had been used, and here I might have been welcome a so he certainly went out again, perhaps at the month or two if I had thought fit. other door, for she had another door into an | But my business was of another nature: I was alley, and so had made his escape and cheated very uneasy (though so well disguised that it them all.
was scarce possible to detect me) lest this fellow ! This was indeed probable enough, and the sliould some how or other find me out; and justice satisfied himself with giving her an oath | though he could not charge me with this robbery, that she had not received or admitted any man having persuaded him not to venture, and having into her house to conceal him, or protect or hide also done nothing in it myself but run away, yet him from justice. This oath she might justly he might have charged me with other things, take, and did so, and so she was dismissed. and have bought his own life at the expense of
It is easy to judge what a fright I was in upon mine. this occasion, and it was impossible for my This filled me with horrible apprehensions ; !! governess over to bring me to dress in that dis. || had no resource, no friend, no confidant but my guise again; for, as I told her, I should certainly old governess, and I knew no remedy but to put betray myself.
my life in her hands, and so I did, for I let her My poor partner in this mischief was now in a know where to send to me, and had several bad case, for he was carried before my lord mayor, || letters from her while I stayed here ; some of and by his worship committed to Newgate, and them almost scared me out of my wits; but at last the people that took him were so willing, as well" she sent me the joyful news that he was hanged,
which was the best news to me that I had heard had not been long out of the shop, but the mercer a great while.
missed his piece of stuff, and sent his messengers, I had stayed here five weeks, and lived very one one way and one another, and they presently comfortably indeed (the secret anxiety of my seized her that had the piece of damask upon mind excepted), but when I received this letter her; as for me, I had very luckily stepped into a I looked pleasantly again, and told my landlady house where there was a lace-chamber up one that I had received a letter from my spouse in pair of stairs, and had the satisfaction, or the Ireland, that I had the good news of his being terror indeed, of looking out of the window upon very well, but had the bad news that his business | the noise they made, and seeing the poor crcature would not permit him to come away so soon as dragged away in triumph to the justice, who he expected, and so I was like to go back again immediately committed her to Newgate. without him.
I was careful to attempt nothing in the laceMy landlady complimented me upon the good chamber, but tumbled their goods about pretty news, however, that I had heard he was well. much to spend time, then bought a few yards of " For I have observed, madam," says she, “ you edging, and paid for it, and came away very sadhave not been so pleasant as you used to be ;hearted indeed for the poor woman who was in you have been over head and ears in care for tribulation for what I only had stolen. him, I dare say,” says the good woinan; “ it is Here, again, my own caution stood me in good easy to be seen there is an alteration in you for stead, namely, that though I often robbed with the better," says she.
these people I never let them know who I was or « Well. I am sorry he cannot come vet," says where I lodged; nor did they ever find out my my landlord, “I should have been heartily glad lodging, though they often endeavoured to watch to have seen him; but I hope when you have me to it. They all knew me by the name of certain news of his coming you will take a step Moll Flanders, though even some of them neither hither again, madam,” says he. “ You shall be || believed I was she nor knew me to be so. My very welcome whenever you please to come." name was public among them, indeed, but how
With all these fine compliments we parted, to find me out they knew not, not so much as and I came merry enough to London, and found how to guess at my quarters, whether they were my governess as well pleased as I was; and now at the east end of the town or the west ; and this she told me she would never recommend any | wariness was my safety upon all occasions. partner to me again, for she always found, she I kept close a great while upon the occasion said, that I had the best luck when I ventured of this woman's disaster. I knew that if I should by myself; and so indeed I had, for I was do anything that should miscarry, and should be seldom in any danger when I was by myself, or carried to prison, she would be there and ready if I was I got out of it with more dexterity than to witness against me, and perhaps save her life when I was entangled with the dull measures of at my expense. I considered that I began to be other people, who had perhaps less forecast, and very well known by name at the Old Bailey. were more rash and impatient than 1; for though they did not know my face, and that if I though I had as much courage to venture as any should fall into their hands I should be treated of them, yet I used more caution before I under as an old offender; and for this reason I was took a thing, and had more presence of mind resolved to see what this poor creature's fate || when I was to bring myself off.
should be before I stirred abroad, though several I have often wondered even at my own hardi- times in her distress I conveyed money to her ness another way, that when my companions were surprised, and fell so suddenly into the At length she came to her trial, and she pleaded hands of justice, and that I so narrowly escaped, | she did not steal the things; but that one Mrs yet I could not all that while enter into one Flanders, as she heard her called, (for she did serious resolution to leave off this trade; and not know her) gave the bundle to her after they especially considering that I was now very far came out of the shop, and bade her carry it home from being poor, that the temptation of necessity, to her lodging. They asked her where this Mrs which is generally the introduction of all such Flanders was? but she could not produce her, wickedness, was now removed; for I had near neither could she give the least account of me; five hundred pounds by me in ready money, on and the mercer's men swearing positively that which I might have lived very well if I had thought she was in the shop when the goods were stolen; fit to have retired; but I say I had not so much that they immediately missed them, and pursued as the least inclination to leave off; no, not so | her, and found them upon her; thereupon the much as I had before when I had but two hundred | jury brought her in guilty ; but the court conpounds beforehand, and when I had no such | sidering that she really was not the person that frightful examples before my eyes as these were. stole the goods, an inferior assistant, and that it From hence it is evident to me, that when once was very possible she could not find out this we are hardened in a crime no fear can affect us, Mrs Flanders, meaning me, though it would save no example give us any warning.
her life, which indeed was true; I say, considerI had, indeed, one comrade whose fate went ing all this, they allowed her to be transported, very near me for a good while, though I wore it off which was the utmost favour she could obtain, too in time; that case was indeed very unhappy. I only that the court told her that if she could in I had made a prize of a piece of very good || the meantime produce the said Mrs Flanders, damask in a mercer's shop, and went clear off they would intercede for her pardon; that is to myself, but had conveyed the piece to this com-say, if she could find me out and hang me, she panion of mine when we went out of the shop, I should not be transported. This I took care to and she went one way, and I went another. We make impossible to her, and so she was shipped off in pursuance of her sentence a little while || lar with me. First he told me he would put in il after.
|| for me to raffle, and did so; and some small matI must repeat it again, that the fate of this ter coming to his lot, he presented it to me; 1|| poor woman troubled me exceedingly; and I be- i think it was a feather mufl. Then he continued gan to be very pensive, knowing that I was really to keep talking to me with a more than common the instrument of her disaster; but the preser- appearance of respect; but still very civil and vation of my own life, which was so evidently in much like a gentleman. danger, took off all my tenderness; and seeing she He held me in talk so long till at last he drew was not put to death, I was very easy at her me out of the raffling place to the shop door, and transportation, because she was then out of the then to take a walk in the cloister, still talking way of doing me any mischief, whatever should of a thousand things cursorily, without anything happen.
to the purpose ; at last he told me that, without The disaster of this woman was some months compliment, he was charmed with my company, before that of the last recited story, and was in- and asked me if I durst trust myself in a coach deed partly the occasion of my governess pro- i with him; he told me he was a man of honour, posing to dress me up in men's clothes that I and would not offer any thing to me unbecoming might go about unobserved, as indeed I did; but | him as such. I seemed to decline it a while, but I was soon tired of that disguise, as I said, for | suffered myself to be importuned a little, and indeed it exposed me to too many difficulties. then yielded.
I was now easy as to all fear of witnesses I was at a loss in my thoughts to conclude at against me, for all those that had either been first what this gentleman designed; but I found concerned with me, or that knew me by the name afterwards he had had some drink in his head, and of Moll Flanders, were either hanged or trans- that he was not very unwilling to have some ported; and if I should have had the misfortune to | more. He carried me in the coach to the Spring. be taken I might call myself anything else as garden at Knight's-bridge, where we walked in well as Moll Flanders, and no old sins could be the gardens, and he treated me very handsomely, placed to my account ; so I began to run a tick but I found he drank very freely; he pressed me again with the more freedom, and several suc- also to drink, but I declined it. cessful adventures I made, though not such as I Hitherto he kept his word with me, and of had made before.
fered me nothing amiss ; we came away in the We had at that time another fire happened not coach again, and he brought me into the streets, a great way off from the place where my governess and by this time it was near ten o'clock at night, lived, and I made an attempt there, as before ; and he stopped the coach at a house, where it but as I was not soon enough before the crowd of seems he was acquainted, and where they made people came in, and could not get to the house Ino scruple to show us up stairs into a room with aimed at, instead of a prize I got a mischief, || a bed in it. At first I seemed to be unwilling to which had almost put a period to my life, and all go up, but after a few words I yielded to that my wicked doings together; for the fire being too, being indeed willing to see the end of it, and very furious, and the people in a great fright in in hopes to make something of it at last. As for removing their goods, and throwing them out of the bed, &c., I was not much concerned about windows, a wench from out of a window threw a that part. . feather-bed just upon me. It is true, the bed Here he began to be a little freer with me than being soft, it broke no bones, but as the weight he had promised; and I by little and little yielded was great, and made greater by the fall, it to everything, so that in a word he did what he beat me down and laid me dead for a while; nor pleased with me; I need say no more. All this did the people concern themselves much to deli- || while he drank freely too, and about one in the ver me from it, or to recover me at all; but I morning we went into the coach again. The lay like one dead or neglected a good while ; till air and the shaking of the coach made the drink somebody going to remove the bed out of the he had get more up in his head than it was before, way, helped me up; it was indeed a wonder the || and he grew uneasy in the coach, and was for people in the house had not thrown other goods | acting over again what he had been doing before ; out after it, and which might have fallen upon it, but as I thought my game now secure, I resiste and then I had been inevitably killed; but I was him and brought him to be a little still, which had reserved for further afflictions.
not lasted five minutes, but he fell fast asleep. This accident, however, spoiled my market for I took this opportunity to search him to a that time, and I came home to my governess) nicety: I took a gold watch, with a silk purse oli much hurt and bruised, and frightened to the last | gold, his fine full-bottom perriwig, and silver, degree, and it was a good while before she could | fringed gloves, his sword and finc snuff-box, and set me upon my feet again.
gently opening the coach door, stood ready to It was now a merry time of the year, and jump out while the coach was going on; but the Bartholomew fair was begun. I had never made coach stopping in a narrow street beyond Temple any walks that way, nor was the common part of bar to let another coach pass, I got softly out, the fair of much advantage to me, but I took a fastened the door again, and gave my gentleman turn this year into the cloisters, and among the and the coach the slip both together, and got off rest, I fell into one of the raffling shops. It was very securely. a thing of no great consequence to me, nor did Il This was an adventure indeed unlooked for, expect to make much of it; but there came all and perfectly undesigned by me; though I 18 gentleman extremely well dressed, and very rich, ll not so past the merry part of life as to forget and as 'tis frequent to talk to everybody in those | how to behave when a fop so blinded by his apshops, he singled me out, and was very particu. l petite should not know an old woman from o