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saw that John was still inexorable, he pulled out a case-knife, with which he used to Snick and snee, and threatened to cut his own throat. Thrice he aimed the knife to his windpipe with a most determined threatening air. “What signifies life,” quoth he, “in this languishing condition ? It will be some plea“sure, that my friends will revenge my death upon “ this barbarous man, that has been the cause of it.” All this while John looked sedate and calm, neither offering in the least to snatch the knife, nor stop his blow, trusting to the tenderness Nic. had for his own person: when he perceived, that John was immovable in his purpose, he applied himself to Lewis. “Art thou,” quoth he, “turned bubble in thy old “age, from being a sharper in thy youth P What “ occasion hast thou to give up Ecclesdown castle to “John Bull his friendship is not worth a rush; give “it me, and I'll make it worth thy while. If thou ‘ dislikest that proposition, keep it thyself; I'd rather ‘ thou should'st have it than he. If thou hearkenest “ not to my advice, take what follows; esquire South “ and I will go on with our lawsuit in spite of John • Bull's teeth.” L. BABoon. Monsieur Bull has used me like a gentleman, and I am resolved to make good my promise, and trust him for the consequences. Nic. FRoc. Then I tell thee thou art an old doting fool. With that, Nic. bounced up with a spring equal to that of one of your nimblest tumblers or ropedancers, and fell foul upon John Bull, to snatch the cudgel” he had in his hand, that he might thwack Lewis with it: John held it fast, so that there was no wrenching it from him. At last 'squire South
* The army,
buckled * The separation of the army. “ Yours
buckled to, to assist his friend Nic. : John hauled on one side, and they two on the other; sometimes they were like to pull John over ; then it went all of a sudden again on John's side; so they went seesawing up and down, from one end of the room to the other. Down tumbled the tables, bottles, glasses, and tobacco-pipes: the wine and the tobacco were all spilt about the room, and the little fellows were almost trod under foot, till more of the tradesmen, joining with Nic. and the 'squire, John was hardly able to pull against them all, yet would he never quit hold of his trusty cudgel: which, by the contrary force of two so great powers, broke short in his hands". Nic. seized the longer end, and with it began to bastinado old Lewis, who had slunk into a corner, waiting the event of this squabble. Nic. came up to him with an insolent menacing air, so that the old fellow was forced to skuttle out of the room, and retire behind a dungcart. He called to Nic. : “Thou insolent jackanapes | Time was when “ thou durst not have used me so ; thou now takest “me unprovided; but, old and infirm as I am, I “shall find a weapon, by and by, to chastise thy “impudence.” When John Bull had recovered his breath, he began to parley with Nic. : “Friend Nic., I am glad “ to find thee so strong, after thy great complaints: “really thy motions, Nic., are pretty vigorous for a “ consumptive man. As for thy worldly affairs, Nic., “if it can do thee any service, I freely make over “ to thee this profitable lawsuit, and I desire all these “gentlemen to bear witness to this my act and deed.
“Yours be all the gain, as mine has been the charges;
[John Bull was so overjoyed that he was going to take possession of Ecclesdown, that nothing could vex him. “ Nic.,” quoth he, “I am just a going to “ leave thee; cast a kind look upon me at parting.”
Nic. looked sour and grum, and would not open
J. Bull. I wish thee all the success that thy heart can desire, and that these honest gentlemen of the long robe may have their bellyful of law.
[Nic. could stand it no longer; but flung out of the room with disdain, and beckoned the lawyers to follow him.]
* Difficulty of the march of part of the army to Dunkirk.
J. Bull. Buy, b’uy, Nic.; not one poor smile at parting 2 won't you shake your day-day, Nic. 2 b'uy, Nic. With that, John marched out of the common road, 'cross the country, to take possession of Ecclesdown.
Of the great joy that John expressed when he got possession of Ecclesdown ".
WHEN John had got into his castle, he seemed like Ulysses upon his plank after he had been well soused in salt water: who (as Homer says) was as glad as a judge going to sit down to dinner, after hearing a long cause upon the bench. I dare say John Bull's joy was equal to that of either of the two: he skipped from room to room; ran up stairs and down stairs, from the kitchen to the garrets, and from the garrets to the kitchen ; he peeped into every cranny; sometimes he admired the beauty of the architecture, and the vast solidity of the mason's work; at other times he commended the symmetry and proportion of the rooms. He walked about the gardens; he bathed himself in the canal, swimming, diving, and beating the liquid element, like a milk-white swan. The hall resounded with the sprightly violin, and the martial hautboy. The simily tript it about and capered, like hailstones bounding from a marble floor. Wine, ale,
* Dunkirk. and
and october flew about as plentifully as kennel-water: then a solick took John in the head to call up some of Nic. Frog's pensioners, that had been so mutinous in his family. J. Bull. Are you glad to see your master in Ecclesdown castle : All. Yes, indeed, sir. J. Bull. Extremely glad 2 All. Extremely glad, sir. J. Bull. Swear to me, that you are so. Then they began to damn and sink their souls to the lowest pit of Hell, if any person in the world rejoiced more than they did. J. Bull. Now hang me, if I don't believe you are a parcel of perjured rascals; however, take this bumper of october to your master's health. Then John got upon the battlements, and, looking over, he called to Nic. Frog : “How d'ye do, Nic. D'ye see where I am, Nic. : “I hope the cause goes on swimmingly, Nic. When “dost thou intend to go to Claypool, Nic. : Wilt “ thou buy there some high heads of the newest cut “ for my daughters ? How comest thou to go with “thy arm tied up? Has old Lewis given thee a rap “over thy fingers-ends Thy weapon was a good “ one, when l wielded it, but the butt-end remains in “my hands. I am so busy in packing up my goods, “ that I have no time to talk with thee any longer. It “would do thy heart good to see what waggon-loads “I am preparing for market. If thou wantest any “good office of mine, for all that has happened, I “ will use thee well, Nic. Buy Nic.”