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side at six in the morning, in seeming good health) finding him dead at nine, lying on his pillow, just as he left him. He had recently completed his 86th year. "I was vain enough to think," says he, "that I had more ways than one to come at applause and that, in the variety of characters I acted, the chances to win it were the strongest on my side. That, if the multitude were not in a roar to see me in Cardinal Wolsey, I could be sure of them in Alderman Fondlewife. If they hated me in Jago, in Sir Fopling they took me for a fine gentleman. If they were silent at Syphax, ne Italian cunuch was more applauded than I when I sung in Sir Courtly. If the morals of Aesop were too grave for them, Justice Shallow was as simple and as merry an old rake as the wisest of our young ones could wish me. though the terror and detestation raised by King Richard might be too severe a delight for them, yet the more gentle and modern vanities of a Poet Bayes, or the well-bred vices of a Lord Foppington, were not at all more than their merry hearts, or nicer morals, could bear." In answer to Pope's attack upon him for plagiarism, Mr. Cibber candidly declares, that whenever he took upon him to make some dormant play of an old author fit for the stage, it was honestly not to be idle that set him to work, as a good housewife will mend old linen when se has no better en ployment; but that, when he was more warmly engaged by a subject entirely new he only thought it a good subject, when it seemed worthy of an abler pen than his own, and might prove as useful to the hearer as profitable to himself. And, indeed, this essential piece of merit must be granted to his own original plays, that they always tend to the improvement of the mind as well as the entertainment of the eye; and that vice and folly, however pleasingly habited, are constantly lashed, ridiculed, or reclaimed in them, and virtue as constantly rewarded. There is an argument, indeed, which might be pleaded in favour of this author, were his plays possessed of a much smaller share of merit than is to be found in them; which is, that he wrote, at least in the early part of his life, through necessity, for the support of his increasing family; his precarious income as an actor being then too scanty to supply it with even the necessaries of life; and with great pleasantry he acquaints us, that his muse and his spouse were equally prolific; that the one was seldom mother of a child, but in the same year the other made him the father of a play; and that they had had a dozen of each sort between them, of both which kinds some died in their infancy, and near an equal number of each were alive when he quitted the theatre. No wonder then, when the Muse is only called upon by family duty, that she should not always rejoice in the fruit of her labour. This excuse, we say, might be pleaded in Mr. Cibber's favour: but we must confess ourselves of the opinion, that there is no occasion for the plea; and that his plays have merit enough to speak in their own cause, without the necessity of begging indulgence. His plots, whether original or borrowed, are lively and ful of business; yet not confused in the action, nor bungled in the catastrophe. His characters are well drawn, and his dialogue easy, genteel, and natural. And if he has not the intrinsic wit of a Congreve or a Vanburgh, yet there is a

luxuriance of fancy in his thoughts, which gives an almost equal pleasure, and a purity in his sentiments and morals, the want of which, in the above named authors, has so frequently and so justly been censured. In a word, we think the English stage as much obliged to Mr. Cibber, for a fund of rational entertainment, as to any dramatic writer this nation has produced, Shakspeare only excepted; and one unanswerable evidence has been borne to the satisfaction the public have received from his plays, and such a one as no author besides himself can boast, viz. that although the number of his dramatic pieces is very extensive, a considerable part are now, and seem likely to continue. on the list of acting and favourite plays.

THE PROVOKED HUSBAND;

Or, a Journey to London. Acted at Drury Lane 1728. This comedy was begun by Sir John Vanburgh, but leit by him imperfect at his death; when Mr. Cibber took it in hand, and finished it. It met with very great success, being acted twenty-eight nights without interruption; yet such is the power of prejudice and personal pique in blasting the judgment, that Mr. Cibber's enemies, ignorant of what share he had in the writing of the piece, bestowed the highest applause on the part which related to Lord Townly's provocations from his wife, which was mostly Cibber's, at the same time that they condemned and opposed the Journey to London part, which was almost entirely Vanburgh's, for no other apparent reason but because they imagined it to be Mr. Cibber's. He soon, however, convinced them of their mistake, by publishing all the scenes which Sir John had left behind him, exactly from his own MS, under the single title of The Journey to London.

LORD TOWNLY.

SIR F. WRONGHEAD.

MANLY.

SQUIRE RICHARD.

COUNT BASSET.

ACT I.

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SCENE I.-LORD TOWNLY's Apartment.
Enter LORD TOWNLY.

LADY GRACE,

LADY WRONGHEAD.

MISS JENNY.

MRS.. MOTHERLY.

MYRTILLA.
TRUSTY.

thinks it a greater merit still, in her chastity, not to care for her husband; and, while she herself is solacing in one continual round of cards and good company, he, poor wretch, is Lord T. WHY did I marry?-Was it not left at large, to take care of his own contentevident, my plain, rational scheme of life was ment-'Tis time, indeed, some care were taimpracticable with a woman of so different a ken, and speedily there shall be-Yet, let me way of thinking? Is there one article of it not be rash-Perhaps this disappointment of that she has not broke in upon?—Yes-let me my heart may make me too impatient; and do her justice-her reputation-That-I have some tempers, when reproached, grow more no reason to believe, is in question-But then, untractable-Here she comes-Let me be calm how long her profligate course of pleasures awhile. may make her able to keep it-is a shocking consideration! and her presumption, while she

Enter LADY TOWNLY.

keeps it, insupportable! for, on the pride of Going out so soon after dinner, madam? that single virtue, she seems to lay it down

Lady T. Lord, my lord! what can I pos

Lord T. What does my sister, lady Grace,

as a fundamental point, that the free indul-sibly do at home?
gence of every other vice this fertile town
affords, is the birthright prerogative of a wo-do at home?
man of quality.-Amazing! that a creature,
so warm in the pursuit of her pleasures, should
never cast one thought towards her happiness
-Thus, while she admits of no lover, she

Lady T. Why, that is to me amazing! Have you ever any pleasure at home?

Lord T. It might be in your power, madam, ] confess, to make it a little more comfortable to me.

Lady T. Comfortable! And so, my good table-throw a familiar levant upon some lord, you would really have a woman of my sharp, lurching man of quality, and if he de rank and spirit stay at home to comfort her mands his money, turn it off with a loud husband!-Lord, what notions of life some laugh, and cry you'll owe it him, to ve. him, men have! ha, ha!

Lord T. Prodigious!

[Aside.

Lord T. Don't you think, madam, some ladies' notions are full as extravagant? Lady T. These now, my lord, are some Lady T. Yes, my lord, when the tame doves few of the many modish amusements that live cooped within the pen of your precepts, distinguish the privilege of a wife from that of a single woman.

I do think them prodigious indeed!

Lord T. And when they fly wild about this town, madam, pray what must the world think of them then?

Lady T. Oh, this world is not so ill bred, as to quarrel with any woman for liking it. Lord T. Nor am I, madam, a husband so well bred, as to hear my wife's being so fond of it; in short, the life you lead, madamLady T. Is to me the pleasantest life in the

world.

Lord T. I should not dispute your taste, madam, if a woman had a right to please nobody but herself.

Lady T. Why, whom would you have her please?

Lord T. Sometimes her husband. Lady T. And don't you think a husband under the same obligation?

Lord T. Certainly.

Lady T. Why then we are agreed, my lord-For if I never go abroad till I am weary of being at home-(which you know is the case)—is it not equally reasonable, not to come home till one is weary of being abroad?

Lord T. If this be your rule of life, madam, 'tis time to ask you one serious question. Lady T. Don't let it be long a coming then, for I am in haste.

Lord T. Madam, when I am serious, I pect a serious answer.

Lord T. Death, madam! what law has made these liberties less scandalous in a wife than in an unmarried woman?

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Lady T. Why, the strongest law in the world, custom-custom, time out of mind, my lord.

Lord T. Custom, madam, is the law of fools; but it shall never govern me.

Lady T. Nay then, my lord, 'tis time for me to observe the laws of prudence.

Lord T. I wish I could see an instance of it. Lady T. You shall have one this moment, my lord; for I thi k when a man begins to lose his temper at home, if a woman has any prudence, why she'll go abroad till he comes to himself again. [Going.

Lord T. Hold, madam; I am amazed you are not more uneasy at the life we lead. You don't want sense, and yet seem void of all humanity; for, with a blush I say it, I think I have not wanted love.

Lady T. Oh, don't say that, my lord, if you suppose I have my senses.

Lord T. What is it I have done to you? What can you complain of?

Lady T. Oh, nothing, in the least! 'Tis true you have heard me say I have owed my lord Lurcher a hundred pounds these three ex-weeks; but what then? a husband is not liable to his wife's debts of honour, you know; and if a silly woman will be uneasy about money she can't be sued for, what's that to him? As long as he loves her, to be sure, she can have nothing to complain of.

Lady T. Before I know the question?
Lord T. Pshaw!-Have I power, madam,
to make you serious by entreaty?
Lady T. You have.

Lord T. And you promise to answer me sincerely?

Lady T. Sincerely.

Lord T. By heaven, if my whole fortune, thrown into your lap, could make you delight in the cheerful duties of a wife, I should think myself a gainer by the purchase.

Lady T. That is, my lord, I might receive your whole estate, provided you were sure I would not spend a shilling of it.

Lord T. Now then, recollect your thoughts, and tell me seriously why you married me. Lady T. You insist upon truth, you say? Lord T. I think I have a right to it. Lady T. Why then, my lord, to give you Lord T. No, madam; were I master of your at once a proof of my obedience and sincer- heart, your pleasures would be mine; but, difity-I think I married-to take off that re- ferent as they are, I'll feed even your follies straint that lay upon my pleasures while I to deserve it-Perhaps you may have some was a single woman. other trifling debts of honour abroad, that Lord T. How, madam! is any woman un- keep you out of humour at home-at least it der less restraint after marriage than before it? shall not be my fault if I have not more of Lady T. Oh, my lord, my lord! they are your company-There, there's a bill of five quite different creatures! Wives have infinite hundred-and now, madamliberties in life, that would be terrible in an unmarried woman to take.

Lord T. Name one.

Lady T. Fifty, if you please-To begin,

Lady T. And now, my lord, down to the ground, I thank you.

Lord T. If it be no offence, madam— Lady T. Say what you please, my lord; 1 am in that harmony of spirits, it is impossible have men at her toilet-invite them to dinner to put me out of humour.

then-in the morning-A married woman may

appoint them a party in the stage-box at Lord T. How long, in reason then, do you the play-engross the conversation there-call think that sum ought to last you? them by their christian names- talk louder Lady T. Oh, my dear, dear lord, now you than the players: from thence, clatter again to have spoiled all again! how is it possible I this end of the town-break, with the mor- should answer for an event that so utterly ning, into an assembly-crowd to the hazard-depends upon fortune? But to show you that

I am more inclined to get money than to flat simplicity of that reply was admirable. throw it away, I have a strong prepossession that with this five hundred I shall win five thousand.

not a

Lady G. Pooh, you tease one, brother! Lord T. Come, I beg pardon, child—this is point, I grant you, to trifle upon; thereLord T. Madam, if you were to win ten fore I hope you'll give me leave to be serious. thousand, it would be no satisfaction to me. Lady G. If you desire it, brother; though, Lady T. Oh, the churl! ten thousand: what! upon my word, as to Mr. Manly's having any not so much as wish I might win ten thou- serious thoughts of me-I know nothing of it. sand!-Ten thousand! Oh, the charming sum! Lord T. Well-there's nothing wrong in what infinite pretty things might a woman of your making a doubt of it-But, in short, I spirit do with ten thousand guineas! O'my find by his conversation of late, he has been conscience, if she were a woman of true spirit looking round the world for a wife; and if -she-she might lose them all again. you were to look round the world for a husband, he is the first man I would give to you. Lady G. Then whenever he makes me any offer, brother, I will certainly tell you of it. Lady T. Well, my lord, to let you see I Lord T. Oh, that's the last thing he'll do! design to play all the good housewife I can, he'll never make you an offer till he's pretty I am now going to a party at quadrille, only sure it won't be refused.

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Lord T. And I had rather it should be so, madam, provided I could be sure that were the last you would lose.

to trifle with a little of it, at poor two guineas Lady G. Now you make me curious. Pray a fish, with the duchess of Quiteright. [Exit. did he ever make any offer of that kind to you? Lord T. Insensible creature! neither re- Lord T. Not directly but that imports proaches nor indulgence, kindness nor sever- nothing; he is a man too well acquainted with ity, can wake her to the least reflection! the female world to be brought into a high Continual licence has lull'd her into such a opinion of any one woman, without_some lethargy of care, that she speaks of her exces- well-examined proof of her merit; yet I have ses with the same easy confidence as if they reason to believe that your good sense, your were so many virtues. What a turn has her turn of mind, and your way of life, have head taken! But how to cure it-take my brought him to so favourable a one of you, friend's opinion-Manly will speak freely-my that a few days will reduce him to talk plainly sister with tenderness to both sides. They to me; which, as yet, notwithstanding our friendship, I have neither declined nor encouraged him to do.

know my case-I'll talk with them.

Enter WILLIAMS.

Lady G. I am mighty glad we are so near

Wil. Mr. Manly, my lord, has sent to know in our way of thinking; for, to tell you the

if your lordship was at home.

Lord T. They did not deny me?
Wil. No, my lord.

Lord T. Very well; step up to my and say I desire to speak with her. Wil. Lady Grace is here, my lord.

Enter LADY Grace.

sister,

truth, he is much upon the same terms with me: you know he has a satirical turn; but never lashes any folly, without giving due encomiums to its opposite virtue; and, upon such occasions, he is sometimes particular in [Exit. turning his compliments upon me, which I don't receive with any reserve, lest he should imagine I take them to myself.

Lord T. So, lady fair, what pretty weapon have you been killing your time with?

Lady G. A huge folío, that has almost killed me-I think I have half read my eyes out. Lord T. Oh! you should not pore so much just after dinner, child.

Lady G. That's true; but any body's thoughts are better than always one's own, you know. Lord T. Who's there?

Re-enter WILLIAMS.

Leave word at the door I am at home to nobody but Mr. Manly. [Exit Williams. Lady G. And why is he excepted, pray, my lord?

Lord T. I hope, madam, you have no obJection to his company?

Lord T. You are right, child; when a man of merit makes his addresses, good sense may give him an answer without scorn or coquetry. Lady G. Hush! he's here

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Man. Then I am glad I am here, my -Lady Grace, I kiss your hands-What, only you two?-How many visits may a man make before he falls into such unfashionable company! A brother and sister, soberly sitting at home, when the whole town is a gadding; I question if there is so particular a tête-a-tète again in the whole parish of St. James's.

Lady G. Fie, fie, Mr. Manly, how censo1rious you are!

Lady G. Your particular orders, upon my being here, look indeed as if you thought had not.

Lord T. And your ladyship's inquiry into the reason of those orders shows, at least, it was not a matter indifferent to you.

Lady G. Lord, you make the oddest constructions, brother!

Man. I had not made the reflection, madam, but that I saw you an exception to it—Where's my lady?

Lord T. That, I believe, is impossible to guess.
Man. Then I won't try, my lord.
Lord T. But 'tis probable I may hear of
her by that time I have been four or five hours

Lord T. Look you, my grave lady Grace -in one serious word-I wish you had him. in bed. Lady G. I can't help that.

Man. Now if that were my case-I believe

Lord T. Ha! you can't help it, ha, ha! The I-But I beg pardon, my lord.

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Lord T. Indeed, sir, you shall not: you he married a profuse young hussy for love, will oblige me if you speak out; for it was without a penny of money. Thus having, like upon this head I wanted to see you. his brave ancestors, provided heirs for the fa

Man. Why then, my lord, since you oblige mily, he now finds children and interest-mome to proceed-I have often thought that the ney make such a bawling about his ears, that misconduct of my lady has, in a great mea- at last he has taken the friendly advice of his sure, been owing to your lordship's treatment kinsman, the good lord Danglecourt, to run

of her.

Lady G. Bless me!

Lord T. My treatment?

his estate two thousand pounds more in debt, to put the whole management of what is left into Paul Pillage's hands, that he may be at leisure himself to retrieve his affairs, by being a parliament man.

Man. Ay, my lord; you so idolized her before marriage, that you even indulged her like a mistress after it: in short, you continued the lover when you should have taken up the husband; and so, by giving her more power than was needful, she has none where she wants it; having such entire possession of you, she is not mistress of herself.-And, mercy on us! how many fine women's heads have been turned upon the same occasion! Lord T. Oh, Manly, 'tis too true! there's Man. If my intelligence is right, my lord,. the source of my disquiet; she knows, and he won't sit long enough to give his vote for has abused her power. a turnpike. Man. However, since you have had so much Lord T. How so?

Lord T. A most admirable scheme indeed!
Man. And with this politic prospect he is
now upon his journey to London-
Lord T. What can it end in?

Man. Pooh! a journey into the country again. Lord T. Do you think he'll stir till his money is gone, or at least till the session is over?

patience, my lord, even go on with it a day Man. Oh, a bitter business; he had scarce or two more; and, upon her ladyship's next a vote in the whole town besides the returnsally, be a little rounder in your expostula-ing officer. Sir John will certainly have it tions: if that don't work-drop her some cool heard at the bar of the house, and send him hints of a determined reformation, and leave about his business again.

her-to breakfast upon them.

Lord T. You are perfectly right. How valuable is a friend in our anxiety!

Man. Therefore, to divert that, my lord, I beg, for the present, we may call another cause. Lady G. Ay, for goodness' sake, let us have done with this

Lord T. With all my heart.

Lady G. Have you no news abroad, Mr. Mauly?

Man. Apropos-I have some, madam; and

Lord T. Then he has made a fine business of it indeed.

Man. Which, as far as my little interest will go, shall be done in as few days as possible. Lady G. But why would you ruin the poor gentleman's fortune, Mr. Manly?

Man. No, madam, I would only spoil his project to save his fortune.

Lady G. How are you concerned enough to do either?

Man. VVhy-I have some obligations to the

I believe, my lord, as extraordinary in its kind- family, madam: I enjoy at this time a pretty Lord T. Pray let us have it.

estate which sir Francis was heir at law to; Man. Do you know that your country but-by his being a booby, the last will of an neighbour, and my wise kinsman, sir Francis obstinate old uncle gave it to me. Wronghead, is coming to town with his whole family?

Lord T. The fool! what can be his business here?

Man. Oh! of the last importance, I'll assure

Re-enter WILLIAMS.

Wil. [To Manly] Sir, here is one of your servants, from your house, desires to speak with you.

you- No less than the business of the nation. Man. Will you give him leave to come in, Lord T. Explain.

Man. He has carried his election sir John VVorthland.

my lord?

against Lord T. Sir-the ceremony's of your own
making.
[Exit Williams.

Lord T. The deuce! What! for-forMan. The famous borough of Guzzledown. Lord T. A proper representative indeed! Lady G. Pray, Mr. Manly, don't I know him? Man. You have dined with him, madam, when I was last down with my lord at Bellmont. Lady G. Was not that he that got a little merry before dinner, and overset the tea-table in making his compliments to my lady? Man. The same.

Lady G. Pray what are his circumstances? I know but very little of him.

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James. At our house, sir: he has been gaping and stumping about the streets, in his dirty boots, and asking every one he meets if they can tell him where he may have a good Man. Then he is worth your knowing, lodging for a parliament man, till he can hire can tell you, madam. His estate, if clear, I a handsome whole house, fit for all his family, believe, might be a good two thousand pounds for the winter. year; though, as it was left him saddled

Man. I am afraid, my lord, I must wait with two jointures and two weighty mortga- upon Mr. Moody.

ges upon it, there is no saying what it is- Lord T. Prythee let us have him here; he But that he might be sure never to mend it, will divert us.

Man. Oh, my lord, he's such a cub! Not but he's so near common sense, that he passes for a wit in the family.

Lady G. I beg of all things we may have him; I am in love with nature, let her dress be never so homely.

Man. Then desire him to come hither, James. [Exit James. Lady G. Pray what may be Mr. Moody's post? Man. Oh! his maitre-d'hôtel, his butler, his bailiff, his hind, his huntsman, and sometimes -his companion.

Moody. Why, we came up in such a hurry, you mun1) think that our tackle was not so tight as it should be.

Man. Come, tell us all.
Lord T. Come, let us sit down.

[They take Chairs.

Man. Pray how do they travel? Moody. Why, i'the awld coach, measter; and 'cause my lady loves to do things handsome, to be sure, she would have a couple of cart-horses clapped to the four old geldings, that neighbours might see she went up to Lord T. It runs in my head that the mo- London in her coach and six; and so Giles ment this knight has set him down in the Joulter, the ploughman, rides postillion. house, he will get up to give them the earliest. Man. Very well! The journey sets out as proof of what importance he is to the public it should do. [Aside] What, do they bring in his own county. all the children with them too?

Moody. Noa, noa, only the younk squoire and miss Jenny. The other foive 2) are all out at board, at half-a-crown a head a week, with John Growse, at Smokedunghill farm. Man. Good again! a right English academy

Moody. Anon, sir. [Not understanding him.
Lord T. And when do you expect them

Man. Yes, and when they have heard him, he will find that his utmost importance stands valued at-sometimes being invited to dinner. Lady G. And her ladyship, I suppose, will make as considerable a figure in her sphere too? Man. That you may depend upon; for (if for younger children! I don't mistake) she has ten times more of the jade in her than she yet knows of: and she will so improve in this rich soil in a here, John? month, that she will visit all the ladies that Moody. Nay, nay, for that matter, madam, will let her into their houses, and run in debt they're i'very good hands; Joan loves 'em as to all the shopkeepers that will let her into tho'f they were all her own; for she was wet their books: in short, before her important nurse to every mother's babe o'um — Ay, ay, spouse has made five pounds by his eloquence they'll ne'er want a bellyful there. Why we at Westminster, she will have lost five hun- were in hopes to ha' come yesterday, an it dred at dice and quadrille in the parish of St.

James's.

Lord T. So that, by that time he is declared unduly elected, 1) a swarm of duns will be ready for their money, and his worship-will be ready for a gaol.

Man. Yes, yes, that I reckon will close the account of this hopeful journey to LondonBut see, here comes the fore horse of the team!

Enter JOHN MOODY.

Oh, honest John!

Moody. Ad's waunds 2) and heart, measter Manly! I'm glad I ha' fun3) ye. Lawd, lawd, give me your hand! Why that's friendly naw. Flesh! I thought we would never ha' got hither. Well, and how do you do, measter? - Good lack! I beg pardon for my bawldness I did not see 'at his honour was here.

had no' been that th' awld weazlebelly horse tired: and then we were so cruelly loaden that the two fore wheels came crash down at once in Waggon-rut-lane, and there we lost four hours 'fore we could set things to rights again.

Man. So they bring all the baggage with the coach, then? Moody. 'Ay, ay,, and good store on it there is-Why my lady's geer alone were as much as filled four portmantel trunks, beside the great deal box that heavy Ralph3) and the monkey sit upon behind. Lord T.

Lady G.

Man.

}

Ha, ha, ha!

Lady G. Well, Mr. Moody, and pray how many are they within the coach?

Moody. Why there's my lady, and his

Lord T. Mr. Moody, your servant: I am worship, and the younk squoire, and miss glad to see you in London: I hope all the good family are well?

Moody. Thanks be praised, your honour, they are all in pretty good heart, tho'f we have had a power of crosses upo' the road.

Lady G. I hope my lady has had no hurt, Mr. Moody?

Moody. Noa, and please your ladyship, she was never in better humour: there's money enough stirring now.

Man. What has been the matter, John?
1) A sad proof of the want of purity in the election of

the members of Parliament.

2) This is a specimen of the dialect of the people in the north of England, where they pronounce almost as

broad as the Scotch, so that, if we compare the change

of orthography with the difference of pronunciation,

we shall easily be able to understand: for instance, waunds for wounds, lawd for lord, naw for now, elc. 3) Found.

Jenny, and the fat lapdog, and my lady's maid, Mrs. Handy, and Doll Tripe the cook, that's all-Only Doll puked a little with riding backward; so they hoisted her into the coach-bos, and then her stomach was easy.

Lady G. Oh, I see them! I see them go by me. Ha, ha! [Laughing

Moody. Then you mun think, measter, there was some stowage for the belly as well as the back too; children are apt to be famished upon the road; so we had such cargoes of plumcake, and baskets of tongues, and biscuits, and cheese, and cold boiled beef-And then, in case of sickness, bottles of cherry brandy, plague water, sack, tent, and strong beer so plenty as made th' awld coach crack again. Mercy upon them! and send them all well to town, I say. Man. Ay, and well out on't again, Johu, Moody. Odds bud, measter! you're a wise 1) Must. 2) Five. 3) The name of a do

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