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" fervants in my family, talk of you with the utmostre“spect. I have always, as far as in me lies, exhorted “ your servants and tenants to be dutiful; not that I
any way meddle in your domestic affairs, which were very unbecoming for me to do. If some of your
ser“ vants exprefs their great concern for you in a manner " that is not fo very polite, you ought to impute it to " their extraordinary zeal, which deserves a reward, ra“ther than a reproof. You cannot reproach me for “ want of fuccess at the Salutation, since I am not “ master of the passions and interests of other folks. I "have beggared myself with this law-fuit, undertaken “ merely in complaisance to you; and if you would « have had but a little patience, I had ftill greater things « in reserve, that I intended to have done for you. I. s hope, what I have said will prevail with you to lay a“ fide your unreasonable jealoufies, and that we may “ have no more meetings at the salutation, spending our “time and money to no purpose. My concern for your u welfare and prosperity almoft makes me mad. You. may, be assured I will continue to be
" Your affectionate :
John received this with a good deal of fang froid: Tranfeat, quoth John, cum cæteris erroribus. He was now at his ease; te saw he could now make a very good bargain for himself, and a very fafe one for other folk's.
My shirt, quot l'he, is near me, but my skin is nearer: 6 whilst I, take care of the welfare of other folks, no
body can blame me to apply a little balsam to my own “fores. It is a pretty thing, after all, for a man to do " his own business ;: a man has such a tender concern for“himfelf, there's notling like it. This is something
betrer, I trow, than for Jolin Bull to be standing in " the market, like a great dray-horse, with Frog's paws
upon his head. What will you-give me for this beaji? “ Serviteur Nic. Frog, you may kits my backlde, if you "please. Though John Ball has not read your Aristotles, 45. Platos,, and Machiavels, he can see as far into a mill
“ stone as another.” With that John began to chuckle and laugh, till he was like to have burst his fides.
CH A P. XX.
The discourse * that passed between Nic. Frog and Esquirt
South, which John Bull overheard.
OHN 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. Oh the ingratitude and injustice of mankind! that John Bull, whom I have honoured with my friendship and protection so long, should Ainch at last, and pretend that he can disburse no more money for me! ;
that the family of the Souths, by his sneaking temper, .fhould be kept out of their own!
Nic. Frog. 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 prefer his fcandalous pelf, the duft and dregs of the earth, to the prosperity and grandeur of my family!
Nic. Frog. Nay, he is mistaken there too; for he would quickly lick himself whole again by his vails. It is strange he should prefer Philip Baboon's custom to Esquire South's.
Ejq. South. As you say, that my clothier, that is to get so much by the purchase, should refuse to put me in poffeffion; did you ever know any man's tradesman ferve. him fo before ?
Nic. Frog. No; indeed, an't pleafe 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 pence, you would not hear it fo well as you do
E/q. South. It is most intolerable, that's certain, Nic.. and I will be revenged.
Negociations between the Emperor and the Dutch for continuing the war, and getting the property of Flanders.
Nic. Frog. Methinks it is strange, that Philip Baboon's tenants do not all take
part, considering how good and gentle a master you are.
E/q. South. True, Nic. but few are sensible of me- . rit in this world : it is a great comfort, to have so faithful a friend as thyself in fo critical a juncture.
Nic. Frog. If all the world should forsake you, be affured Nic. Frog never will; let us stick to our point, and we'll manage Buil, I'll warrant ye.
Efq. South. Let me kiss thee, dear Nic. I have found one honeft man among a thoufand at last.
Nic. Frog. If it were possible, your Honour has it in your power to wed me still closer to your interest.
E/. South. Tell me quickly, dear Nic.
Nic. Frog. You know I am your tenant; the difference between
lease and an inheritance is fuch a trifie, as I am fure 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 Thall be able to manage
him then to some Efq. South. Say no more, it shall be done, Nic. to thy heart's content.
John all this while was listening to this comical dialogue, and laughed heartily in his fleeve at the pride and fimplicity of the Esquire, and the fly 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 bawled out aloud,“ No composition, * long live Érqutre South and the law!" As John was going to proceed, some roared, fome stamped with their feet, others stopt 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 rezonable *
All. Very fine indeed, stop proceeding, and so lose a term.
7. Bult. Not fo neither; we have something by way of advance, he will put us in possession of his manour and castle of Ecclesdown,
* Proposals for cessation of arms, and delivery of Dunkirk.
Nic. Frog. What doft thou talk of us, thou meanest thy elf.
J. Bull. When Frog took possession of any thing, 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 fingularity than Nic. Frog; or, take it so, the constant doctrine that thou haft preached up for
many years, was, that thou and I are one ; and why must we be supposed two in this case, that were always one before? it is i'r.poffible that thou and I can fall out, Nic. we must trust one another ; I have trusted thee with a great many things, prithee trust me with this one trifle.
Nic. Frog. That principle is true in the main, but there is fome Specialty in this case, that makes it highly inconvenient for us both.
J. Bull. Those are your jealousies, that the common enemies fow between us; how often haft thou warned me of those rogues, Nic. that would make us miftrustful of one another!
Nic. Frog. This Ecclefdown-cafte is only a bone of contention.
J. Bull. It depends upon you to make it fo, for my part I am as peaceable as a lamb.
Nic. Frog. But do you consider the unwholefomeness of the air and soil, the expenses of reparations and servants? I would scorn to accept of such a quagmire.
7. Bull. You are a great man, Nic. but in my circumstances, I must be even content to take it as it is.
Nic. Frog. And you are really so filly as to believe the old cheating rogue will give it you?
7. Bull. I believe nothing but matter of fact, I ftand and fall by that, I am resolved to put him to it.
Nic. Frog. And fo relinquish the hopefulleft caufe in the world, a claim that will certainly in the end make thy fortune for ever
7. Bull. Wilt thou purchase it, Nic. ? thou shalt have a lumping pennyworth ; nay, rather than that we should differ, I'll give thee fomething to take it off my hands.
Nic. Frog. If thou wouldft but moderate that hafix, impatient temper of thine, thou shouldit quickly fee a better thing than all that. What shouidit thou think to find
old Lewis turned out of his paternal estates, and the manfion-house of Clay-pool * ? Would not that do thy heart good, to see thy old friend Nic. Frog, Lord of Clay-pool ? then thcu and thy wife and children should walk in my gardens, buy toys, drink lemonade, and now and then we Ihould have a country-dance.
7. Bull. I love to be plain, I'd as lieve fee myself in Ecclesdown-castle, as thee in Clay-pool. I tell you again, Lewis gives this as a pledge of his fincerity; if you won't stop proceeding to hear him, I will.
'CH A P. XXI.
The rest of Nit's fetches't to keep John out of Ecclef
dorun-castle. HEN 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 law-suit, and therefore begged that his good friend would not leave him. When he saw that John was still inexorable, he pulled out a case-knife, with which he used to snickersnee, and threatened to cut his own throat. Thrice he aimed the knife to his wind-pipe with a molt determi. ned threatening air.“ What fignifies life, quoth be, in this " languishing condition ? It will be some pleasure, that my friends will revenge niy
this barbarous “ man, that has been the cause of it.” All this while John looked fedate and calm, neither offering in the least to snatch the knife, nor stop his blow, trusting to the tenderness Nic. had for his own perfon : when he perceived, that John was immoveable in his purpose, he applied himself to Lewis.
- Art thou, quoth he, turned bubble in thy old age,
• Clay-pool, Paris. Luteia + Attempts to hinder :he cellation, and taking perionion of Dunkirk,