The Disabled Soldier Part 3

I
had some dis-position to be a scholar, and was resolved at least to know my letters:
but the master of the workhouse put me to business as soon as I was able to
handle a mallet; and here I lived an easy kind of life for five years. I only
wrought ten hours in the day, and had my meat and drink provided for my labor.
It is true, I was not suffered to stir out of the house, for fear, as they
said, I should run away; but what of that?

Business well enough

I
had the liberty of the whole house, and the yard before the door, and that was
enough for me. I was then bound out to a farmer, where I was up both early and
late; but I ate and drank well; and liked my business well enough, till he
died, when I was obliged to provide for myself; so I resolved to go seek my
fortune.

“In
this manner I went from town to town, worked when I could get employment, and
starved when I could get none; when, happening one day to go through a field
belonging to a justice of peace, I spied a hare crossing the path just before
me; and I believe the devil put it into my head to fling my stick at it. Well, what
will you have on’t?

I
killed the hare, and was bringing it away, when the justice himself met me; he
called me a poacher and a villain, and collaring me, desired I would give an
account of myself. I fell upon my knees, begged his worship’s pardon, and began
to give a full account of all that I knew of my breed, seed, and generation;
but though I gave a very true account, the justice said I could give no
account; so I was indicted at the sessions, found guilty of being poor, and
sent up to London to Newgate, in order to be transported as a vagabond.

“People
may say this and that of being in jail, but, for my part, I found Newgate as
agreeable a place as ever I was in in all my life. I had my belly full to eat
and drink, and did no work at all. This kind of life was too good to last
forever; so I was taken out of prison, after five months, put on board of ship,
and sent off, with two hundred more, to the plantations.

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