« PreviousContinue »
IV. Boniface and Ainswell.
You're my landlord I suppose. Bon. Yes, Sir, I'm old Will Boniface ; pretty well known upon this road, as the saying is.
Aiir. O, Mr Boniface, your servant.
Bon. O, SirWhat will your honour please to drink, as the saying is?
Aim. I have heard your town of Litchfield much famed for ale : I think I'll taste that.
Bon. Sir, I have now in my cellar ten ton of the best ale in Staffordshire : 'tis smooth as oil, sweet as milk, clear as amber, and strong as brandy ; and will be just fourteen
years old the fifth day of next March, old style. Ain. You're very exact, I find, in the age
your ale. Bon. As punctual, Sir, as I am in the age
my children: I'll show you fuch ale !-Here, Tapster, broach number 1706, as the saying is.-Sir, you shall taste my anno domini.--I have lived in Litchfield, man and boy, above eight-and-fifty years, and, I believe, have not consumed eight-and-fifty ounces of meat.
Aim. At a meal, you mean, if one may guess by
Bon. Not in my life, Sir: I have fed purely upon ale : I have eat my ale, drunk my ale, and I always. Deep upon ale.
[Enter Tapter with a tankard. Now, Sir, you shall see-Your worhip’s health : [drinks]-Ha! delicious, delicious !_Fancy it Burgundy, only faney it,—and 'tis worth ten shillings a quart.
Aim, [drinks.] 'Tis confounded strong, Bon. Strong! it must be so, or how should we be ktrong that drink it ?.
Aim.. And have you lived so long upon this ale, landa. lord ?
Bon. Eight-and-fifty years, upon my credit, Sir: but is kill'd my wife, poor woman, as the saying is.
Aim. How came that to pass !
Bon. I don't know how, Sir,- he would not let the ale take its natural course, Sir : fhe was for qualifying it cyery now and then with a dram, as the laying is;
and an honest gentleinan that came this way from Ire. land, made her a present of a dozen bottles of usquebaugh—but the poor woman was never well after-but, however, I was obliged to the gentleman, you know.
Aim. Why, was it the usquebaugh that kill'd her?
Bon. My lady Bountiful laid fo-She, good lady, did what could be done : fhe cured her of three tympanies ; but the fourth carried her off. But she's happy, and I'm contented, as the saying is.
Aim. Who's that lady Bountiful you mentioned ? Bon. Odd's my life, Sir, we'll drink her health :[drinks.]-My lady Bountiful is one of the best of wo
Her last husband, Sir Charles Bountiful, left her. worth a thousand pounds a-year; and I believe she lays out one half on’t in charitable uses for the good of her neighbours.
Aim. Has the lady been any other way useful in her generation
Bon. Yes, Sir, she has a daughter by Sir Charles ; the finest woman in all our county, and the greatest fortune. She has a son too, by her first husband, 'fquire Sullen, who married a fine lady from London t'otherday: if you please, Sir, we'll drink his health. [Drinks..
Aim. What sort of a man is he?
Bun. Why, Sir, the man's well enough ; fays little, thinks less, and does---nothing at all, faith: but he's a man of great estate, and values nobody..
Aim. A sportsman, I suppose ?
Box. Yes, he's a man of pleasure ; he plays at whift, and smokes his pipe eight-and-forty hours together sometimes.
Aim. A fine sportsman, truly! and married, you: fay?
Bon. Ay; and to a curious woman, Sir.But he's my landlord ; and fo a man, you know, would notSir, my humble service to you. [drinks..]-Though I value not a farthing what he can do to me: I рау him. his rent at quarter day ;: I have a good running trade;, I have but one daughter, and I can give her-but no, matter for that.
Aim. You're very happy, Mr Boniface : pray, what: ather. company
have you in town:
Bun. A power of fine ladies ; and then we have the French officers.
Aim. O that's right, you have a good many of those gentlemen : pray, how do you like their company?
Bon. So well, as the saying is, that I could wish we had as many more of them. They're full of money, and pay double for every thing they have. They know, Sir, that we paid good round taxes for the taking of 'em; and fo they are willing to reimburse us a little : one of 'em lodges in my house. [Bell rings.]I beg your worship's pardon-l'll wait on you again in half a minute.
V. Lovegold and Lappet.
- Is it you, Lappet? L'ap. I should rather aik if it be you, Sir : why, you look fo young and vigorous
Love. Do I, Do I?
Lap. Why, you grow younger and younger every day, Sir :. you never looked half so
in Sir, as you do now. Why, Sir, I know fifty yomg fellows of five-and-twenty that are older than you are.
Love. That may be, that may be, Lappet, considering the lives they lead ; and yet I am a good ten years: above fifty.
Lap. Well, and what's ten years above fifty ? 'tis the very fower of a man's age. Why, Sir, you are now in the very prime of your life.
Lovs. Very true, that's very true, as to understand. ing; but I am afraid, could I take off twenty years, it. would do me no harm with the ladies, Lappet.-How goes on our affair with Mariana ? Have you mentioned any thing about what her mother can give her? For,, now-a-days, nobody marries a woman unless the bring something with her besides a petticoat:
Lap. Sir, why, Sir, this young lady will be worth to you as good a thousand pound: a-year as ever: was, told.
Love. How ! a thousand pound'a-year?
Lap. Yes, Sir. There's, in the first place, the ar. ticle.of a table.: she has a very little ftomach ; she does
11@t eat above an ounce in a fortnight: and then, as to the quality of what she cats, you'll have no need of a French cook upon her account. As for sweet-meats, she mortally hates them : so there is the article of desserts. wiped off all at once. You'll have no need of a confectioner, who would be eternally bringing in bills for preserves, conserves, biscuits, comfits, and jellies, of which half a dozen ladies would swallow you ten pounds worth: at a meal. This, I think, we may very moderately reckon at two hundred pounds a-year at least.–For clothes, she has been bred up at such a plainness in them, that should we allow but for three birthnight-suits a-year. faved, which are the leaft a town-lady would expect, there go a good two hundred pounds a-year more.
For jewels (of which she hates the very fight) the yearly in. tereit of what you must lay out in them would amount to one hundred pounds.- Lastly, she has an utter de. testation for play, at which I have known feveral mode. rate ladies lose a good two thousand pounds a-year. Now, let us take only the fourth part of that, which amounts to five hundred, to which if we add two hundred pounds on the table-account, two hundred pounds in. clothes, and one hundred pounds in jewels--there is, Sir, your thousand pound a-year in hard money.
Love. Ay, ay, these are pretty things, it must be: confessed, very pretty things ; but there's nothing real. in them.
Lap. How, Sir! is it not something real to bring you? a vast store of fobriety, the inheritance of a love for fim.plicity of drefs, and a vast acquired fund of hatred for play!
Love. This is downright raillery, Lappet, to make me up a fortune out of the expences the won't put me: to. But there is another thing that disturbs me. You know this girl is young, and young people generally love: one another's company; it would ill agree with a person. of my temper to keep an assembly for all the young rakes and flaunting girls in town.
Lap. Ah, Sir, how little do you know of her ! this: is another particularity that I had to tell you of; she has a moft terrible aversion to all young people, and loves none but persons of your years. I would advife:
you, above all things, to take care not to appear too young. She infifts on fixty at least. She says that fiftyfix years are not able to content her.
Love. This humour is a little strange, methinks.
Lap. She carries it farther, Sir, than can be imagined. She has in her chamber several pictures; but, what do you think they are ? none of your smock-faced young fellows, your Adonis's, your Paris's, and your Apollo's: no, Sir, you see nothing there, but your handsome figures of Saturn, king Priam, Old Neftor, and good father Anchises upon his son's shoulders.
Love. Admirable ! this is more than I coald have hoped: to say the truth, had I been a woman, I should never have loved
fellows. Lap. I believe you : pretty fort of stuff, indeed, to be in love with, your young fellows ! pretty masters, indeed, with their fine complexions, and their fine feathers!
Love. And do you really think me pretty tolerable!
Lap. Tolerable ! you are ravishing : if your picture was drawn by a good hand, Sir, it would be invaluable ! Turn about a little, if you please-there, what can be more charming? Let me see you walk-there's a person for you ; tall, straight, free, and degagée : why, Sir, you have no fault about you.
Love. Not many-hem, hem,--not many, I thank heaven: only a few rheumatic pains now and then, and a small catarrh that feizes me sometimes.
Lap. Ah, Sir, that's nothing : your catarrh fits very well upon you, and you cough with a very good grace.
Love. But tell me, what does Mariana say of my perfon?
Lap. She has a particular pleasure in talking of it; and I assure you, Sir, I have not been backward, on all such occafions, to blazon forth your merit, and to make her fensible how advantageous a match you will be to her.
Love. You did very well, and I am obliged to you.
Lap. But, Sir, I have a small favour to ask of you ; I have a law-suit depending, which I am on the very brink of losing for want of a little money, [He looks gravely.) and you could easily procure my fuccefs, if