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market, and nobody will take our word for sixpence. A very fine spark this esquire South! My husband took him in a dirty snottynosed boy; it was the business of half the servants to attend him, the rogue did bawl and make such a noise: sometimes he fell in the fire and burnt his face, sometimes broke his shins clambering over the benches, often pissed abed, and always came in so dirty, as if he had been dragged through the kennel at a boarding-school. He lost his money at chuck-farthing, shuffle cap, and allfours; sold his books, pawned his linen, which we were always forced to redeem. Then the whole generation of him are so in love with bagpipes and puppetshows! I wish you knew what my husband has paid at the pastry-cook's and confectioner's for Naples biscuit, tarts, custards, and sweetmeats*. All this while my husband considered him as a gentleman of a good family that had fallen into decay, gave him good education, and has settled him in a good creditable way of living, having procured him, by his interest, one of the best places of the country: and what return, think you, does this fine gentleman make us? He will hardly give me or my husband a good word, or a civil expression: instead of sir and madam †, (which though I say it, is our due) he calls us goody and gaffer suchaone: says, he did us a great deal of honour to board with us: huffs and dings at such a rate, because we will not spend the little we have left, to get him the title and estate of lord Strutt and then, forsooth, we shall have the honour to be his woollen-drapers. Besides, esquire

Something relating to the manners of a great prince, superstition, love of operas, shows, &c.

+ Something relating to forms and titles.

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South will be esquire South still; fickle, proud, and ungrateful. If he behaves himself so, when he depends on us for his daily bread, can any man say, what he will do when he is got above the world?

D. DIEGO. And would you lose the honour of so noble and generous an undertaking? Would you rather accept this scandalous composition, and trust that old rogue, Lewis Baboon?

Mrs. BULL. Look you, friend Diego, if we law it on, till Lewis turns honest, I am afraid our credit will run low at Blackwell-hall. I wish every man had his own; but I still say, that lord Strutt's money shines as bright, and chinks as well, as esquire South's. I don't know any other hold, that we tradesmen have of these great folks, but their interest; buy dear and sell cheap, and I'll warrant ye you will keep your customer. The worst is, that lord Strutt's servants have got such a haunt about that old rogue's shop, that it will cost us many a firkin of strong beer to bring them back again; and the longer they are in a bad road, the harder it will be to get them out of it.

D. DIEGO. But poor Frog! what has he done? On my conscience, if there be an honest, sincere man in the world, it is that Frog.

Mrs. BULL. I think, I need not tell you how much Frog has been obliged to our family from his childhood; he carries his head high now, but he had never been the man he is, without our help *. Ever since the commencement of this lawsuit, it has been the business of Hocus, in sharing our expenses, to plead for Frog. "Poor Frog," says he, "is in hard

On the other side complaint was made of the unequal burden of the war;

"circum

"circumstances; he has a numerous family, and lives "from hand to mouth; his children don't eat a bit "of good victuals from one years end to the other, "but live upon salt herring, sower crud, and bore"cole; he does his utmost, poor fellow, to keep "things even in the world, and has exerted himself

beyond his ability in this lawsuit; but he really has "not wherewithal to go on. What signifies this "hundred pounds? place it upon your side of the ac"count; it is a great deal to poor Frog, and a trifle "to you." This has been Hocus's constant language, and I am sure he has had obligations enough to us to have acted another part.

D. DIEGO. No doubt Hocus meant all this for the best, but he is a tenderhearted, charitable man; Frog is indeed in hard circumstances.

Mrs. BULL. Hard circumstances! I swear this is provoking to the last degree. All the time of the lawsuit, as fast as I have mortgaged, Frog has purchased: from a plain tradesman with a shop, warehouse, and a country hut, with a dirty fishpond at the end of it, he is now grown a very rich country gentleman, with a noble landed estate, noble palaces, manors, parks, gardens, and farms, finer than any we were ever master of *. Is it not strange, when my husband disbursed great sums every term, Frog should be purchasing some new farm or manor? So that if this lawsuit lasts, he will be far the richest man in his country. What is worse than all this, he steals away my customers every day; twelve of the richest and the best have left my shop by his persuasion, and whom, to my certain knowledge, he has under bonds

and of the acquisitions of the Dutch in Flanders; during these debates the house took in consideration

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never to return again: judge you if this be neighbourly dealing.

D. DIEGO. Frog is indeed pretty close in his dealings, but very honest: you are so touchy, and take things so hotly, I am sure there must be some mistake in this.

Mrs. BULL. A plaguy one indeed! You know, and have often told me of it, how Hocus and those rogues kept my husband John Bull drunk for five years together with punch and strong waters; I am sure he never went one night sober to bed, till they got him to sign the strangest deed, that ever you saw in your life. The methods they took to manage I'll tell you another time; at present I'll read only the writing.

ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT

BETWEEN

JOHN BULL, CLOTHIER,

AND

NICHOLAS FROG, LINEN-DRAPER *.

him

I. THAT for maintaining the ancient good correspondence and friendship between the said parties, I Nicholas Frog do solemnly engage and promise to

a treaty which had been concluded by the lord Townshend at the Hague between the queen and the states in 1709, for securing the protestant succession, and for settling a barrier for Holland against France. And it was resolved, that several articles of this treaty were destructive to the trade and interest of Great Britain, that lord Townshend had no authority to agree to them, and that he and all those, who advised ratifying the treaty, were enemies to their country.

keep

keep peace in John Bull's family; that neither his wife, children, nor servants give him any trouble, disturbance, or molestation whatsoever, but to oblige them all to do their duty quietly in their respective stations and whereas the said John Bull, from the assured confidence that he has in my friendship, has appointed me executor of his last will and testament, and guardian to his children, I do undertake for me, my heirs and assigns, to see the same duly executed and performed, and that it shall be unalterable in all its parts by John Bull, or any body else: for that purpose it shall be lawful and allowable for me to enter his house at any hour of the day or night; to break open bars, bolts, and doors, chests of drawers, and strong boxes, in order to secure the peace of my friend John Bull's family, and to see his will duly executed.

II. In consideration of which kind neighbourly office of Nicholas Frog, in that he has been pleased to accept of the aforesaid trust, I John Bull having duly considered, that my friend Nicholas Frog at this time lives in a marshy soil and unwholesome air, infested with fogs and damps destructive of the health of himself, wife, and children; do bind and oblige me, my heirs and assigns, to purchase for the said Nicholas Frog, with the best and readiest of my cash, bonds, mortgages, goods, and chattels, a landed estate, with parks, gardens, palaces, rivers, fields, and outlets, consisting of as large extent, as the said Nicholas Frog shall think fit. And whereas the said Nicholas Frog is at present hemmed in too close by the grounds of Lewis Baboon, master of the science of defence, I the said John Bull do oblige myself, with the readiest of my cash, to purchase and enclose

the

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