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Chapter 43: WHEREIN IS SHOWN HOW THE ARTFUL DODGER GOT INTO TROUBLE
'And so it was you that was your own friend, was it?' asked Mr. Claypole, otherwise Bolter, when, by virtue of the compact entered into between them, he had removed next day to Fagin's house. ''Cod, I thought as much last night!'
'Every man's his own friend, my dear,' replied Fagin, with his most insinuating grin. 'He hasn't as good a one as himself anywhere.'
'Except sometimes,' replied Morris Bolter, assuming the air of a man of the world. 'Some people are nobody's enemies but their own, yer know.'
'Don't believe that,' said Fagin. 'When a man's his own enemy, it's only because he's too much his own friend; not because he's careful for everybody but himself. Pooh! pooh! There ain't such a thing in nature.'
'There oughn't to be, if there is,' replied Mr. Bolter.
'That stands to reason. Some conjurers say that number three is the magic number, and some say number seven. It's neither, my friend, neither. It's number one.
'Ha! ha!' cried Mr. Bolter. 'Number one for ever.'
'In a little community like ours, my dear,' said Fagin, who felt it necessary to qualify this position, 'we have a general number one, without considering me too as the same, and all the other young people.'
'Oh, the devil!' exclaimed Mr. Bolter.
'You see,' pursued Fagin, affecting to disregard this interruption, 'we are so mixed up together, and identified in our interests, that it must be so. For instance, it's your object to take care of number one--meaning yourself.'
'Certainly,' replied Mr. Bolter. 'Yer about right there.'
'Well! You can't take care of yourself, number one, without taking care of me, number one.'
'Number two, you mean,' said Mr. Bolter, who was largely endowed with the quality of selfishness.
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