Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

CHAP. XX.

The discourse * that passed leovo Nic. Frog and Esquire South, which John Boli ovocard.

JoHN thought every minute a year, till he got into Ecclesdown castle; he repairs to the Salutation, with a design to break the matter gently to his partners; before he entered, he overheard Nic, and the esquire in a very pleasant conference. Esq. South. O the ingratitude and injustice of mankind that John Bull, whom I have honoured with my friendship and protection so long, should flinch at last, and pretend that he can disburse no more money for me! that the family of the Souths, by his sneaking temper, should be kept out of their own | Nic. FRoo. An't like your worship, I am in amaze at it; I think the rogue should be compelled to his duty. Esq. South. That he should preser his scandalous pels, the dust and dregs of the earth, to the prosperity and grandeur of my family Nic. FRoo. Nay, he is mistaken there too; for he would quickly lick himself whole again by his vales. It's strange he should prefer Philip Baboon's custom to esquire South's. Esq. South. As you say, that my clothier, that is to get so much by the purchase, should refuse to put me in possession; did you ever know any man's tradesmen serve him so before ? Nic. FRog. No, indeed, an’t please your worship, it is a very unusual proceeding; and I would not have been guilty of it for the world. If your honour had not a great stock of moderation and patience, you would not bear it so well as you do. Esq. SouTH. It is most intolerable, that's certain, N1c., and I will be revenged. Nic. FRog. Methinks it is strange, that Philip Baboon's tenants do not all take your honour's part, considering how good and gentle a master you are. Esq. South. True, Nic., but few are sensible of merit in this world: it is a great comfort to have so faithful a friend as thyself in so critical a juncture. Nic. FRoo. If all the world should forsake you, be assured Nic. Frog never will; let us stick to our point, and we'll manage Bull, I'll warrant ye. Fso. SouTH. Let me kiss thee, dear Nic, I have found one honest man among a thousand at last. Nic. FRog. If it were possible, your honour has it in your power to wed me still closer to your interest. F89. SouTH. Tell me quickly, dear Nic. Nic. FR og. You know I am your tenant; the difference between my lease and an inheritance is such a trifle, as l am sure you will not grudge your poor friend; that will be an encouragement to go on; besides, it will make Bull as mad as the devil: you and I shall be able to manage him then to some purpose. Esq. SouTH. Say no more, it shall be done, Nic.,

* Negotiations between the emperor and the Dutch for continuing the war, and getting the property of Flanders.

S 4. put

to thy heart's content. John John all this while was listening to this comical dialogue, and laughed heartly in his sleeve at the pride and simlicity of the esquire, and the sly roguery of his friend Nic. Then of a sudden bolting into the room, he began to tell them, that he believed he had brought Lewis to reasonable terms, if they would please to hear them. Then they all bawl'd out aloud, “No composi“tion, Long live esquire South and the laws" As John was going to proceed, some roared, some stamped wi h their feet, others stopped their ears with their fingers. Nay, gentlemen, quoth John, if you will but stop proceeding for a while, you shall judge yourselves whether Lewis's ‘proposals are reasonable. All. Very fine indeed, stop proceeding, and so lose a term. J. Bull. Not so neither, we have something by way of advance, he will put us in possession of his manor and castle of Ecclesdown. Nic. FRog. What dost thou talk of us, thou meanest thyself. J. Bull. When Frog took possession of anything, it was always said to be for us, and why may not John Bull be us, as well as Nic. Frog was us * I hope John Bull is no more confined to singularity than Nic. Frog, or, take it so, the constant doctrine, that thou hast preached up for many years, was, That Thou and I are One ; and why must we be supposed Two in this ca-e, that were always One before ? It's impossible that Thou and I can fall out, Nic. ; we must trust one another; I have trusted thee with

* Proposals for cessation of arms, and delivery of Dunkirk. a great a great many things, prithee trust me with this one trifle. Nic. FRoo. That principle is true in the main, but there is some speciality in this case, that makes it highly inconvenient for us both. J. Bull. Those are your jealousies, that the common enemies sow between us; how often hast thou warned me of those rogues, Nic, that would make us mistrustful of one another Nic. FRoc. This Ecclesdown castle is only a bone of contention. J. Bull. It depends upon you to make it so, for my part I am as peaceable as a lamb. Nic. FRoo. But do you consider the unwholesomeness of the air and soil, the expenses of reparations and servants : I would scorn to accept of such a quagmire. J. Bull. You are a great man, Nic, but in my circumstances, I must be e'en content to take it as it is. Nic. FRoo. And you are really so silly, as to believe the old cheating rogue will give it you? J. Bull. I believe nothing but matter of fact, I stand and fall by that, I am resolved to put him to it. Nic, FRog. And so relinquish the hopefullest cause in the world, a claim that will certainly in the end make thy fortune for ever. J. Bull. Wilt thou purchase it, Nic. thou shalt have a lumping pennyworth ; nay, rather than we should differ, I'll give thee something to take it off my hands. Nic. FRog. If thou would'st but moderate that hasty impatient temper of thine, thou should'st quickly See see a better thing than all that. What shouldst thou think to find old Lewis turned out of his paternal estates, and the mansion-house of Claypool " ? Would not that do thy heart good, to see thy old friend Nic. Frog, lord of Claypool " ? that thou and thy wife and children should walk in my gardens, buy toys, drink lemonade, and now and then we should have a country dance.

J. BULL. I love to be plain, I'd as lieve see myself in Ecclesdown castle, as thee in Claypool. I tell you again, Lewis gives this as a pledge of his sincerity; if you won't stop proceeding to hear him, I will.

CHAP. XXI.

The rest of Nic.'s fetches to keep John out of Eccles

down castle *.

WHEN Nic. could not dissuade John by argument, he tried to move his pity; he pretended to be sick and like to die, that he should leave his wife and children in a starving condition, if John did abandon him; that he was hardly able to crawl about the room, far less capable to look after such a troublesome business as this lawsuit, and therefore begged that his good friend would not leave him. When he

* Claypool. Paris. Lutctia. + Attempts to hinder the cessation, and taking possession of Dunkirk. SaV.

« AnteriorContinuar »