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How Jack hanged himself up by the persuasion of his
friends, who broke their words, and left his neck ia
ACK W25 7 prófested enemy to implicit fuith, and more balcly abused, than upou this occasion. now with his old friends, in ihe state of a poor disavded officer after a peace, or rather a wounded soldier after a battle; like an old favourite of a cunning minister after the job is over; or a decayed beauty to a cloyed lover in quest of new game ; or like a himdred such things, that one lees every day. There were new in trigues, pew views, new projeéts on foot; Jack's life was the purchale of Diego's friendship *, much good inay it do them. The interest of Hociis and Sir William Crawley, wbich Wis now more at heart, made this operation upon poor Juck abfolutely necessury, You may easily guess, that his rest that night was but Small, and much difturbed ; lowever, the remainirg part of his time he did not employ (as the custom was forinerlv) in prayer, ineditation, or linging a double verse of a priim; but amuled himself with disposing of his bank-itock. Many a doubt, mary a qualm overspread bis clouded imaginarion : “Mufti "then, quoth he, hang up my owo personal, natural,
individual felf, with these two hands! Durus sermo ! “What if I should be cut down, as my friends tell me? " There is something intamous in the very attempt ; the " world will conclude, I had a guilty conscience. Is it "pollible that good man, Sir:Roer, can have so much
pity upon an fortunate scoundrel, that has perfecut"ed him so many years ? No, it cannot be; I don't love " favours that pass through Don Diego's hards. On " the other side, my blood chills about my heart at the
* The Earl of Nottingham made the concurrence of the whigs to bring in and carry this, bill, one of the conditions of his en
elgiging in iteir cause.
. " thought
thought of these rogues, with their bloody hands grabbling in my guts, and pulling out my very intrails : hang it, for once I'll trust
friends.' So Jack re. folved; but he had done more wisely to have put himself upon the trial of his country,aud made his defence in form; many things happen between the cup and the lip; witneife's might have been bribed, juries managed, or pro. secution stopped. But so it was, Jack for this time had a fufficient stock of inplicit faith, which led him to his ruin, as the sequel of the story shews.
And now tle fatal day was come, in which he was to try this banging experi.nent. His friends did not fail him at the appointed hour, to see it put in practice. Habbikkuk brought him a smooth, strong, tough rope, made of many a ply of wholesome Scandinavian hemp, compactly twisted together, with a noole that lipt as glib as à bird-catcher's gin. Jack Ihrunk and grew pale at first light of it; be bandled it, he measured it, itretched it, fixed it against the iron-bar of the window to try its strength; but vo familiarity could reconcile him to it. He found fault with the length, the thickness, and the twist; nay, the very colour did not please him, “ Will “ nothing less than hanging serve, quoth Jack? Won't
my enemies take bail for my good behavionr? Will “not they accept of a fine, or be satisfied with ihe pillory " and imprisonment, a good round whipping, or burn“ing in the cheek?"
Hab. Nothing but your blood will appease their rage; ! make hafte, elle we shall be discovered. There's nothing like surprizing the rogues : how they will be dilappointed, when they hear that thou hast prevented their revenge, and hanged thine own self?
Jack That's trne ; but what if I should do it in effigies? Is there never an old Pope or Pretender to hang up
tead? we are not so unlike, but it may pass. Hab. That can never be put upon Sir Roger,
fuck Are you sure he is in the next room? Have you provided a very harp kuife, in cale of the worst?
Hab. Doft take me for a common lyar? be satisfied, no damage can happen to your person ; your friends will take care of that. Jack, Mayn't I quilt my rope ? Ii' galls my neck
Atrangely: besides, I don't like this running-knot, it holds too tight; I may be stifled all of a sudden.
Hab. Thou haft so many if's-and.and's; prithee difpatch ; it might have been over before ibis time.
Jack. But now I think on't, I would fain settle some affairs, for fear of the worst :: have a little patience.
Hab. There's no having patience, thou art such a faintling, lilly creature.
fack. O thou most detestable, abominable paflive cbe. dience! did I ever imagine I should become thy votary in so pregnant an instance ! How will my brother Martin laugh at this story, to see himself out-done in his own calling? He has taken the doctrine, and left me the practice.
· No sooner had he uttered these words, but like a man of true courage, he tied the fatal cord to the beam, fitted the noofe, and mounted upon the bottom of a tub, the inside of which he had often graced in his prosperous days. This footstool Habbakkuk kicked away, and left poor Jack swinging, like the pendulum of Paul's clock. The fatal noofe performed its office, and with the most frict ligature squeezed the blood into his face, till it alsumed a purple dye, While the poor man heaved from the very bottom of his belly for breath, Habbakkuk walked with great deliberation into both the upper and lower room to acquaint his friends, who received the news with great temper, and with jeers and scoffs instead of pity. Jack has hanged himself, quoth they! let us go " and see how the poor rogue swings.” Then they call. ed Sir Roger, “ Sir Roger, quoth Habbakkuk, Jack has “ banged himself, make halte and cut him down.” Sir Roger turned first one ear, and then the other, not understanding what he said.
Hab. I tell you, Jack has hanged himself up.
Sir Roger. Then let him hang. I don't wonder at it, the fellow has been mad these twenty years. With this he flung away;
Then Jack's friends begun to hunch and push one an-
other, other, “ Why don't you go, and cut the poor fellow “ down? Why don't you? And why don't you ? Not « I, quoth one ; Not I quoth another ; Not I, quoth a “ third; he may hang till doomsday before I relieve “ him.” Nay, it is credibly reported, that they were fo far from fuccouring their poor friend in this bis dismal circumstance, that Pischirolooker and several of his companions went in and pulled him by the legs, and thumped him on the breast. Then they began to rail at bim for the very thing which they had advised and justified before, viz. bis getting into the old gentlewoman's family, and putting on her livery. The keeper, who performed the last office, coming up, found Jack swinging with no life in him; he took down the body gently, and laid it on a bulk, and brought out the rope to the company.
“ This gentlemen, is the rope that hanged Jack ; is what must be done with it?" Upon which they ore dered it to be laid among the curiosities of Gresham.Col. lege*, and it is called Jack's rope to this very day. How. ever, Jack after all had some small tokens of life in him, but lies at this time past hope of a total recovery, with his head hanging on one thoulder, without speech or motion. The cironer's inquest, !uppuling him to be dead, brought him in non compos.
CH A P. XIV. The conferences between Don Diego and John Bull. URING the time of the foregoing transactions,
Don Diego was entertaining John Bull. D. Diego, t hope, Sir, this day's proceeding will con. vince you of the sincerity of your old friend Diego, and the treachery of Sir Roger.
J. Bull. What's the matter now?
D. Diego. You have been endeavouring, for several years, to have justice done upon that rogue Jack ; but what through the remissness of constables, justices, and packed juries, he has always found the means to escape.
* Since removed with the royal fociety into Crane-Court in Fleet street,
J Bull. What then ?
D. Diego. Consider then, who is your best friend ; he that would have brought him to condign punishıent, or he that has faved bin By my persuasion Jack had hanged himself, if Sir Roger had not cut him dowo. J. Bull
. Who told you, that Sir Roger has done so ? D. Diego. You seem to receive me coldly; methinks
services deserve a better return. J. Bull. Since you value yourself upon hanging this poor scoundrel, I tell you, when I have any more hang. ing-work, I'll send for thee : I have some better employment for Sir Roger : in the mean time, I desire the poor fellow
be looked after. When he first came out of the north-country into my family, under the pretended name of Timothy Trim, the fellow seemed to mind his loom and his spinning wheel, 'rill somebody turned his head ; then he grew fo pragmatical, that he took upon him the government of my whole family : I could ncver order any thing within or without doors, but he must be always giving his counsel, forlooth : nevertheless, tell him, I will forgive what is past; and if he would mind bis businefs for the future, and not medule out of his own sphere, he will find, that John Bull is not of a cruel dif. position.
D. Diego. Yet all your skilful physicians say, that no• thing can recover your mother, but a piece of Jack's liver boiled in her foup.
J. Bull. Those are quicks : my mother abhors such cannibal's food : she is in perfect health at present : I would have given many a good pound to have had her so well fome time ago. There are indeed two or three troublefome old ourses *, that, because they believe I am tenderhearted, will never let me have a quiet night's rest with knocking me up : " Oh, Sir, your mother is taken ex
tremely ill ! she is fallen into a fainting fit! she has a
great emptiness, wants luftenance !” This is only to recommend themselves for their great care : John Bull, as simple as he is, understands a little of a pulle.
* New clamours about the danger of the church.