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mighty regard for their relations; We must not eat to-day, for my uncle Tom, or my cousin Betty, died this time ten years: Let's have a ball to-night, it is my neighbour such-a-one's birthday; She looked upon all this as grimace; yet she constantly observed her husband's birthday, her weddingday, and some few In Ore. Though she was a truly good woman, and had a sincere motherly love for her son John, yet there wanted not those who endeavoured to create a misunderstanding between them, and they had so far prevailed with him once, that he turned her out of doors”, to his great sorrow, as he found afterward, for his affairs went on at sixes and sevens. She was no less judicious in the turn of her conversation and choice of her studies, in which she far exceeded all her sex : your rakes that hate the company of all sober, grave gentlewomen, would bear hers: and she would, by her handsome manner of proceeding, sooner reclaim them than some that were more sour and reserved : she was a zealous preacher up of chastity, and conjugal fidelity in wives, and by no means a friend to the new-fangled doctrine of the indispensable duty of cuckoldom ; though she advanced her opinions with a becoming assurance, yet she never ushered them in, as some positive creatures will do, with dogmatical assertions, This is infallible; I cannot be mistaken ; none but a rogue can deny it. It has been observed that such people are oftener in the wrong than any body. Though she had a thousand good qualities, she was not without her faults; among which, one might
* In the rebellion of 1641. per
perhaps reckon too great lenity to her servants, to whom she always gave good counsel, but often too gentle correction. I thought I could not say less of John Bull's mother, because she bears a part in the following transactions.
The character of John Bull's sister Pego, with the quarrels that happened between master and miss in their childhood.
JoHN had a sister, a poor girl that had been Starved at nurse ; any body would have guessed miss to have been bred up under the influence of a cruel step-dame, and John to be the fondling of a tender mother. John looked ruddy and plump, with a pair of cheeks like a trumpeter; miss looked pale and wan, as if she had the green-sickness: and no wonder, for John was the darling, he had all the good bits, was crammed with good pullet, chicken, pig, goose, and capon, while miss had only a little oatmeal and water, or a dry crust without butter. John had his golden pippins, peaches, and nectarines; poor miss a crab apple, sloe, or a blackberry. Master lay in the best apartment, with his bedchamber toward the south sun. Miss lodged in a garret, exposed to the north wind, which shrivelled her countenance; however, this usage, though it stunted the girl in her growth, gave her a hardy constitution; she had life and spirit in abundance, and knew when she was is! used: now and then she would seize upon John's commons, snatch a leg of a pullet, or a bit of good beef, for which they were sure to go to fisty-cuffs. Master was indeed too strong for her; but miss would not yield in the least point, but even when master had got her down, she would scratch and bite like a tiger; when he gave her a cuff on the ear, she would prick him with her knitting-needle, John brought a great chain one day to tie her to the bedpost, for which affront miss aimed a penknife at his heart". In short, these quarrels grew up to rooted aversions; they gave one another nicknames: she called him Gundyguts, and he called her Lousy Peg ; though the girl was a tight clever wench as any was, and through her pale looks you might discern spirit and vivacity, which made her not, indeed, a perfect beauty, but something that was agreeable. It was barbarous in parents not to take notice of these early quarrels, and make them live better together, such domestic feuds proving afterward the occasion of misfortunes to them both. Peg had, indeed, some odd humours, and comical antipathies, for which John would jeer her. “What think you of my sister Peg “ (says he) that faints at the sound of an organ, and “yet will dance and frisk at the noise of a bagpipe * “What's that to you, Gundyguts (quoth Peg) every “ body's to choose their own musick.” Then Peg had taken a fancy not to say her Pater noster, which made people imagine strange things of her. Of the three brothers, that have made such a clutter in the world, lord Peter, Martin, and Jack, Jack had of late been her inclinations * : lord Peter she detested; nor did Martin stand much better in her good graces, but Jack hath found the way to her heart. I have often admired, what charms she discovered in that awkward booby, till I talked with a person that was acquainted with the intrigue, who gave me the following account of it.
* The nation and church of Scotland. and
• Henry VIII, to unite the two kingdoms under one sovereign, offered his daughter Mary to James V of Scotland; this offer was rejected, and followed by a war: to this event probably
the author alludes. three
Jack's charms, or the method by which he gained Peg's heart f.
IN the first place, Jack was a very young fellow, by much the youngest of the three brothers, and people, indeed, wondered how such a young upstart jackanapes should grow, so pert and saucy, and take so much upon him. Jack bragged of greater abilities than other men; he was well gifted, as he pretended ; I need not tell you what secret influence that has upon the ladies. Jack had a most scandalous tongue, and persuaded Peg that all mankind, beside himself, were poxed by that scarlet-faced whore signiora Bubonia . “As “ for his brother, lord Peter, the tokens were evident “ on him, blotches, scabs, and the corona : his “brother Martin, though he was not quite so bad, “ had some nocturnal pains, which his friends pre“tended were only scorbutical; but he was sure it “ proceeded from a worse cause.” By such malicious insinuations, he had possessed the lady, that he was the only man in the world of a sound, pure, and untainted constitution: though there were some that stuck not to say, that signiora Bubonia and Jack railed at one another, only the better to hide an intrigue; and that Jack had been found with signiora under his cloak, carrying her home in a dark stormy night. Jack was a prodigious ogler; he would ogle you the outside of his eye inward, and the white upward. Jack gave himself out for a man of a great estate in the Fortunate Islands; of which the sole property was vested in his person: by this trick he cheated abundance of poor people of small sums, pretending to make over plantations in the said islands; but when the poor wretches came there with Jack's grant, they were beat, mocked, and turned out of doors. I told you that Peg was whimsical, and loved any thing that was particular: in that way, Jack was her man, for he neither thought, spoke, dressed, nor acted like other mortals: he was for your bold strokes, he railed at fops, though he was himself the most asfected in the world; instead of the common fashion, he would visit his mistress in a mourning cloak, band, short cuffs, and a peaked beard. He invented a way of coming into a room backwald, which, he said, showed more humility, and less affectation: where other people stood, he sat; where they sat, he stood; when he went to court, he used to kick away the State,
* Love of presbytery.