wrong side. He asked me if I had taken care to provide myself with a bed, which was a circumstance I had never once attended to.

“That’s unfortunate,” cried he, “as you are allowed here nothing but straw, and your apartment is very large and cold. However you seem to be something of a gentleman, and as I have been one myself in my time, part of my bed-clothes are heartily at your service.”

I thanked him, professing my surprise at finding such humanity in a gaol in misfortunes; adding, to let him see that I was a scholar, “That the sage ancient seemed to understand the value of company in affliction, when he said, Ton kosmon aire, ei dos ton etairon; and in fact,” continued I, “what is the world if it affords only solitude?”

“You talk of the world, sir,” returned my fellow-prisoner; “the world is in its dotage, and yet the cosmogony or creation of the world has puzzled the philosophers of every age. What a medley of opinions have they not broached upon the creation of the world. Sanconiathon, Manetho, Berosus, and Ocellus Lucanus have all attempted it in vain. The latter has these words, Anarchon ara kai atelutaion to pan, which implies —. “I ask pardon, sir,” cried I “for interrupting so much learning; but I think I have heard all this before. Have I not had the pleasure of once seeing you at Welbridge fair, and is not your name Ephraim Jenkinson?” At this demand he only sighed. “I suppose you must recollect,” resumed I, “one Doctor Primrose, from whom you bought a horse.”

He now at once recollected me; for the gloominess of the place and the approaching night had prevented his distinguishing my features before.—“Yes, sir,” returned Mr. Jenkinson, “I remember you perfectly well; I bought a horse, but forgot to pay for him. Your neighbour Flamborough is the only prosecutor I am any way afraid of at the next assizes: for he intends to swear positively against me as a coiner. I am heartily sorry, sir, I ever deceived you, or indeed any man: for you see,” continued he, showing his shackles,’ ‘what my tricks have brought me to.”

“Well, sir,” replied I, “your kindness in offering me assistance when you could expect no return, shall be repaid with my endeavours to soften or totally suppress Mr. Flamborough’s evidence, and I will send my son to him for that purpose the first opportunity; nor do I in the least doubt but he will comply with my request, and as to my own evidence, you need be under no uneasiness about that.”

“Well, sir,” cried he, “all the return I can make shall be yours. You shall have more than half my bedclothes to night, and I’ll take care to stand your friend in the prison, where I think I have some influence.”

I thanked him, and could not avoid being surprised at the present youthful change in his aspect; for at the time I had seen him before he appeared at least sixty. —“Sir,” answered he, “you are little acquainted with the world; I had at that time false hair, and have learnt the art of counterfeiting every age from seventeen to seventy. Ah! sir, had I but bestowed half the pains in learning a trade that I have in learning to be a scoundrel, I might have been a rich man at this day. But rogue as I am, still I may be your friend, and that perhaps when you least expect it.”

We were now prevented from further conversation by the arrival of the gaoler’s servants, who came to call over the prisoners’ names, and lock up for the night. A fellow also with a bundle of straw for my bed attended, who led me along a dark narrow passage into a room paved like the common prison, and in one corner of this I spread my bed, and the clothes given me by my fellow prisoner; which done, my conductor, who was civil enough, bade me a good night. After my usual meditations, and having praised my heavenly corrector, I laid myself down and slept with the utmost tranquillity till morning.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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