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After three or four hours of friendly potation
We took leave each of other in courteous fashion,
When each one, to keep his brains fast in his head,
Put on a good night-cap, and straight way to bed.
Next morn, having paid for boild, roasted, and

bacon,
And of sovereign hostess our leaves kindly taken,
(For her king (as 'twas rumour'd) by late pouring

down,
This morning had got a foul flaw in his crown,)
We mounted again, and full soberly riding,
Three miles we had rid e'er we met with a biding;
But there (having over night plied the tap well)
We now must needs water at place callid Holmes

Chapel :
“ A hay!" quoth the foremost, “ho! who keeps the

house?”
Which said, out an host comes as brisk as a louse;
His hair comb'd as sleek as a barber he'd been,
A cravat with black ribbon ty'd under his chin;
Tho' by what I saw in him, I straight 'gan to fear
That knot would be one day slipp'd under his ear.
Quoth he, (with low congee) “What lack you, my

lord ?”
“ The best liquor," quoth I, “that the house will

afford ?” You shall straight,” quoth he; and then calls out,

Mary, Come quickly, and bring us a quart of Canary." “Hold, hold, my spruce host! for i’ th’ morning so

early, I never drink liquor but what's made of barley." Which words were scarce out, but, which made me

admire, My lordship was presently turn'd into squire :

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“Ale, 'squire, you mean?” quoth he nimbly again, What, must it be purl'd?”—“No, I love it best

plain.” “Why, if you'll drink ale, sir, pray take my advice, Here's the best ale i’ th' land, if you'll go to the

price ; Better, I sure am, ne'er blew out a stopple; But then, in plain truth, it is sixpence a bottle.” “Why, faith,” quoth I, “friend, if your liquor be

such, For the best ale in England, it is not too much: Let's have it, and quickly.”—“O sir! you may stay; A pot in your pate is a mile in your way: Come, bring out a bottle here presently, wife, Of the best Cheshire hum he e'er drank in his life.” Straight out comes the mistress in waistcoat of silk, As clear as a milkmaid, and white as her milk, With visage as oval and sleek as an egg, As straight as an arrow, as right as my leg: A curtsey she made, as demure as a sister, I could not forbear, but alighted and kiss'd her: Then ducking another with most modest mien, The first word she said, was, “Will 't please you

walk in?” I thank'd her; but told her, I then could not stay, For the haste of my bus'ness did call me away. She said, she was sorry it fell out so odd, But if, when again I should travel that road, I would stay there a night, she assur'd me the na

tion Should no where afford better accommodation : Meanwhile my spruce landlord has broken the cork, And calld for a bodkin, though he had a fork;

But I show'd him a screw, which I told my brisk

gull A trepan was for bottles had broken their scull; Which, as it was true, he believ'd without doubt, But 'twas I that apply'd it, and pull’d the cork out. Bounce, quoth the bottle, the work being done, It roar'd, and it smok'd, like a new fir’d gun; But the shot miss'd us all, or else we'd been routed, Which yet was a wonder, we were so about it. Mine host pour'd and fill'd, till he could fill no

fuller : “Look here, sir," quoth he, “both for nap and for

colour, Sans bragging, I hate it, nor will I e'er do't; I defy Leek, and Lambhith, and Sandwich, to boot.” By my troth, he said true, for I speak it with tears, Though I have been a toss-pot these twenty good

years, And have drank so much liquor has made me a

debtor, In my days, that I know of, I never drank better : We found it so good, and we drank so profoundly, That four good round shillings were whipt away

roundly; And then I conceiv'd it was time to be jogging, For our work had been done, had we staid t'other

noggin. From thence we set forth with more mettle and

spright, Our horses were empty, our coxcombs were light; O’er Dellamore forest we, tantivy, posted, Till our horses were basted as if they were roasted : In truth, we pursui' might have been by our haste, And I think sir George Booth did not gallop so fast,

Till about two o'clock after noon, God be blest, We came, safe and sound, all to Chester i' th’ west.

And now in high time 'twas to call for some meat, Though drinking does well, yet some time we must

eat; And i' faith we had victuals both plenty and good, Where we all laid about us as if we were wood : Go thy ways, mistress Anderton, for a good wo

man, Thy guests shall by thee ne'er be turn’d to a com

mon ; And whoever of thy entertainment complains, Let him lie with a drab, and be pox'd for his pains.

And here I must stop the career of my Muse, The poor jade is weary, 'las! how should she

choose! And if I should farther here spur on my course, I should, questionless, tire both my wits and my

horse : To night let us rest, for 'tis good Sunday's even, To morrow to church, and ask pardon-of Heaven, Thus far we our time spent, as here I have penn'd

it, An odd kind of life, and 'tis well if we mend it: But to morrow (God willing) we'll have tother

bout, And better or worse be't, for murther will out, Our future adventures we'll lay down before ye, For my Muse is deep sworn to use truth of the

story.

CANTO II.

After seven hours' sleep, to commute for pains

taken, A man of himself, one would think, might awaken ; But riding, and drinking hard, were two such spells, I doubt I'd slept on, but for jangling of bells, Which, ringing to mattins all over the town, Made me leap out of bed, and put on my gown, With intent (so God mend me) I have gone to the

choir, When straight I perceived myself all on a fire ; For the two fore-nam'd things had so heated my

blood, That a little phlebotomy would do me good I sent for chirurgion, who came in a trice, And swift to shed blood, needed not be call'd twice, But tilted stiletto quite thorough the vein, From whence issued out the ill humours amain ; When having twelve ounces, he bound up my arm, And I.gave him two Georges, which did him no

harm : But after my bleeding, I soon understood It had cool'd my devotion as well as my blood ; For I had no more mind to look on my psalter, Than (saving your presence) I had to a halter; But, like a most wicked and obstinate sinner, Then sat in my chamber till folks came to dinner : I din'd with good stomach, and very good cheer, With a very fine woman, and good ale and beer; When myself having stuff'd than a bag-pipe more

full, I fell to my smoking until I grew dull ;

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