Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

they were debarred from all manner of business, and never Puffered to touch the least thing within the boule *; if they off-red to co ne into the warehouse, then trait went the yard ilipover their noddle; if they ventured into the counting room, a fellow would throw an ink bottle at their head ; if they came into the best apartinent, to set any thing there in order, they were faluted with a broom; if they ineddled with ally thing in the kitchen, it was odds but the cook laid them over the pate with a ladie; one that would have got into the stables, was met by two rascals, .who fell to work with him with a brush and a curry.comb; soine climbing up into the coach-box, were told, that one of their companions had been there before, that could not drive; then flap went the long whip about their ears.

On the other hand it was complained, that Peg's fervants were always asking for drink-money t; that they had more than their share of the Christmas-box : to say the truth, Peg's lads bustled pretty hard for that, for when they were endeavouring to lock it up, they got in their great fifts, and pulled out handfuls of half-crowns, Shillings, and lix-pences. Others in the scramble picked up guineas and broad-picces. But there happened a worse tling than all this ; it was complained that Peg's servants had great stomachs, and brought so many of their friends and acquaintance to the table, that Jalin's family was like to be eat out of house and home. Instead of regula. ting this matter as it ought to be, Peg's young men were thrust away from the table; then there was the devil and all to do ; (poons, plates, and dishes flew about the rooin like mad: arid Sir Roger, who was now major domo, had enough to do to quiet them. Peg said, this was contrary to agreement, whereby she was in ali things to be treated like a child of the family; then be called up. on those that had made her such fair promiles, and un• dertook for her brother John's good behaviour ; but, alas! to her cost she found, that they were the first and readieft to do her the injury, John at last agreed to this regu

* By the test-art dissenters are excluded from places and employments. Endeavoured to get their share of places,

"lation

[ocr errors]

lation; that Peg's footmen * might fit with his book-keep er, journey-men, and apprentices ; and Peg's better fort of servants might fit with his footmen, if they plealed.

Then they began to order plumb-porridge and mincedpyes for Peg's dinner : Peg told then she had an aversion to that sort of food ; that upon forcing + down a mels of it some years ago, it threw her into a fit, till she brought it up again. Some alleged it was nothing but humour, that the same mess should be served up again for fupper, and breakfast next morning; others would have made ule of a horn; but the wifer lort bid let her alone, and the might take to it. of her own accordo

C H A P, VI...

The conversation between Fuhu Bull-and his wife,
Mrs Bull.

"TE

HOUGH our affairs, honey,are in a bad

condition, I have a better opinion of them, since

you

seemed to be convinced of the ill course you have been in, and are resolved to submit to proper remedies. But when I consider your immenfe debts, your foolish bargains, and the general disorder of your business, I have a curiosity to know what fate or chance has brought you into this condition.

J. Bull. I wish you would talk of some other subject ; the thoughts of it make me mad; our family must have

Mrs Bull. But such a strange thing as this never hapi pened to any

of

your family before: they have had law. suits; but though they spent the income, they never mort• gaged the stock. Sure you must have some of the Normau or the Norfolk blood in you. Puithee give me some account of these matters.

J. Bull. Who could help it? There lives not such a fellow by bread as that old Lewis Baboon : he. ię the molt cheating contentious rogue upon the face of the

their run.

* Articles of unjon, whereby they could make a Scots Com-nioner, but not a Lord, a Peer. t: lutroducing Episcopacy into Scotland, by Charles I.

earth.

[ocr errors]

on

earth. . You must know, one day, as Nic. Frog and I were over a bottle, making up. an old quarrel, the old fellow would needs have us drink a bottle of his Cham. pagne, and so one after another, till my friend Nic, and I, not being used to fuch heady stuff, got bloody drunki Lewis all the while, either by the strength of his brain, or finching his glais, kept himfelf fober as a judge.“ My " worthy friends, quoth Lewis, henceforth let us live “ neighbourly ; I'am is peaceable and quiet as 1.mb, of my own temper, but it has been my misfortune tó “ live among quarrelsome neighbours. There is but

one thing can make us fill out, and that is ttie inheri: tance of Lord Strutt's estate ; I am content, for

peace fake, to wave my right, and submit to any expedient to prevent a law-fuit ; I think an eqmal divisi.

* will be the faire{t way. Well moved, old Lewis, quoth Frog !' and I hope my friend John here will not be refraltory. At the lume time he clapped me on the back, and flabbered me all over fro:n check to cheek, with his great tongue. Da as you please gentlemeti, quoth I; it is alt. one to John Bull. We agreed to part that night, and next imorning to meet at ihe corper of Lord : Strutt's park-wall wish our surveying instruments, which accordingly we did. Old Lewis carried a chain and a semicircle; Nic. paper, rulers, and a lead pencil; and 1 follow. ed at some distance with a long pole. We began first with firveying the meadow ground; afterwards, we measured the corn fields, close by close ; then we proceeded to the wood-lands, the copper and tin-mines f. All this while Nic laid down everything exactly upon paper, cal. culated the acres and roods to a great nicety. When we had finished the land, we were going to break into the house and gardens to take an inventory of his plate, pictures and other furniture.

Mrs Bull. What laid Lord Strutt to all this?

J. Bull. As we had almost finished our concern, we were accosted by some of Lord Strutt's servants: Hey ".day! What's here! what a devil's the meaning of aH

[ocr errors]

* A treaty for preserving the balance of power in Europe by a partition of the Spanish doniuions. . + The West Indies.

66-these

over my

" these trangrams and gimcracks, gentlemen ? what in " the name of wonder are you going about, juinping

master's hedges, and running your lines cross "bis grounds ? If you are at any field pastime, you "might have asked leave, my master is a civil well-bred “person as any is.'

Mrs Bull, What could you answer to this? $ J. Bull. Why truly, my neighbour - Frog and I were still hot-headed; we told him his maiter was an old doating puppy, that minded nothing of his own bufiness; that we were furveying his estate, and fetiling it for him, lince be would not do it himself. Upon this there happened a quarrel, but we being stronger than they, fent them a. way with a flea in their ear. They went home and told their master, My-Lord, laid they, there are three "odd sort of fellows going about your grounds with the “strangest machines that ever we beheld in our life: I

fuppofe they are going to rob your orchard, fell your

trees, or drive away your cattle: they told us strange "things of settling your eftate: one is a lusty old fel"low, in a black wig, with a black beard, without "teeth ; there's another thick squat fellow, in trunks bose : the third is a little, long.nofcd thin man. (I was then lean, being just come out of a fit of fickness.) "I suppose it is fit to send after them, left they carry " something away.”

Mrs. Bull. I fancy this put the old fellow in a rare tweague.

3. Bull. Weak as he was, he called for his long To. ledo, swore and bounced about the room, 6. 'Sdeath ! "what am I come to, to be affronted so by my tradel"men? I know the rascals: my barber, clothier, and " linen-draper dispose of my estate ! bring hither my " blunderbuss. I'll warrant ye, you shall see day light "through them. Scoundrels ! dogs! the frum of the earth! Frog, that was my father's kitchen-boy, " he pretend to meddle with my estate! with my will ! Ah

poor Strutt, what art thou come to at last? Thou "baft' lived too long in the world, to see thy age and

* This partition of the King of Spain's dominions was made without his consent or even his knowledge.

«

infirmity

[ocr errors]

CH A P. VII,

Of the hard Mifts Mrs. Bull was put to, to preserve the

manor of Bullock's Hatch; with Sir Roger's methaul to keep off importunate duns*.

AS

S John Bull and his wife were talking together

, they were furprized with a fudden knocking at the door : "

Those wicked scriveners and lawyers, no doubt," quoth John; înd so it was: fome asking for the niorey lie owed, and others warning to prepare for the approach. ing term.

" What a cursed life do I lead ? quoth John, " Debt is like deadly fin : for God's lake, Sir Roger, get " me rid of tlie fellows." “ I'll warrant you, quoth “ Sir Roger ; leave them to me. And indeed it was pleasant enough to observe Sir Roger's method with these importunate duns ; his fincere friendship for John Bull made him submit to many things for his fervice, which he would have scorned to have done for himself. Someijmes het would stand at the door with his long.staff so keep off the duns, 'till Jobo got out at the back door. When the lawyers and tradelnien brought extravagant bills, Sir Roger used 10 bargain before-band for leave to cut off the quarter of a yard in any part of the bill be pleased; he wore a pair of scissars in bis.pocket for this purpole

, and would lip it off so nicely as you cannot imagine. Like a true goldsmith, he kept all your holidays; there was notone wanting in bis calendar : when ready money was scarce, he would let them a selling a thousand pounds

* After the dissolution of the parliament, the sinking minihry endeavoured to support themselves, by propagating a potion, that the public credit would suffer if the Lord Treafurer Gedelphin was removed; the dread of this event produced it: the monicd men began to fill their shares in the bank ; the governor, depuiy governer, and two directors applied to the Queen to prevent the change; the alarm became general, and all the public funds gradually funk. Perhaps by Bullock's-Harch the author mcant the crown-lands: see p. 241. + Manners of the Earl of Oxford.

ja

« AnteriorContinuar »