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CHAPTER XII.

MORE HUMOURS OF POPULAR ELECTIONS.-FREE

HOLDERS KNOCKED DOWN WITH THEIR OWN CLUB-FABLE OF THE FROG AND THE BOY.

On the 8th day, Bonnet led the way, and Merryman closed the rear. Sammy Brownbread congratulated the independent electors on the state of the poll, in which his friend Merryman was gaining ground. With respect to the objections against his other friend, Bonnet, he deprecated the idea that a placeman could not be a delegate to the Common Hall.

Mob. Are not you, yourself, in expectation of a place, Sammy? (No answer.) What! Sammy, are you ashamed to avow that you are going to turn tail on your former principles to gain a seat in the second story :-Come, come, we have had enough of brown bread let us have the grinners-put on the horse-collars.

When the two knights were arrayed in their

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collars, they advanced to the front of the stage, and Merryman thus began :--)s not Mr. Sheers the agent of a rebellious tenant of Oude Farm?

Is he not in correspondence with the Bantam?

Does he not know that the Gulls threaten to invade us before the next meeting in the Common Hall ?

Sheers. Gentlemen ; This night died the Last Hope of Dicky Merryman, treasurer of the flotilla. This lady, after a short but painful illness, expired, with a violent struggle, in the arms of her daughter, Despair, greatly lamented by all her friends, as, by her death, that renowned patriot will be deprived of every means of subsistence, she having been his sole support for a great number of years. Her obsequies will be attended to the grave with all due solemnity, accompanied with the groans and tears of all the placemen, pensioners, household stewards, clerks, collectors, tax-gatherers, fraudulent debtors, gamblers, swindlers, rogues and vagabonds, connected with the family.

Mob. May all the family speedily follow! · On the ninth day, the poll closed as on the .

preceding one; but Merryman still gained ground on Sheers, and his spirits again began to flow, and he addressed the populace in the following manner with an affected air of good humour :-You were rather harsh towards me yesterday; but it proceeded from a confederacy against me. I was surprised to find that the journeymen, in particular, were entrapped into the confederacy—the shoemakers especially—the very class of persons from whom I should expect a decided partiality—the very persons by whom I have been six times chosen a delegate to the Common Hallwith wliom I fondly thought myself as great a favourite as Crispin himself, Indeed, I ought to be popular with journeymen of every description, as I always chose them for my drinking companions in preference to their masters, and I once made one of the journeymen calico-printers drunk at his own expense, and afterwards helped him over a gutter in his way home, although I could scarcely stand on my own legs. The fellow, out of gratitude, made me a present of a set of calico bed-furniture, which I was glad to accept, althougla, at that time, I had no bedstead to hang it on. Howe

ever, the bed-furniture was carefully preserved by my uncle, and when my exertions for the public good were crowned with success, and I had gained a bed, and money enough to redeem the furniture, I put them up, and now make use of them. It was also reported that the journeymen printers were in the confederacy; but that report was false ; they have been friends to me, and I have been a friend to them. You see that I now move on, though I lagged at first; but I now look with confidence to the result, and conclude with saying-Sammy Bonnet and myself for ever! · Sheers. Gentlemen ; Ff Mr. Merryman should be successful, he should bave the modesty to at. tribute it rather to your mercy, than his own deserts. What is it he solicits from you?-A place in the Common Hall, which is to him what a cathedral would be to men who had, in former times, violated the laws. He implores you not to consign him to his merciless creditors who, he fears, would unanimously return him to a large stone-building, not called the Common-Hall, but

which is, nevertheless, a very common house. - What he has told you of his services to journey.

men calico-printers, I believe to be a fact, although, if there had been shame in him, he should have blushed to have owned it. As to the printers, he certainly encourages them, for there is now in the press-a new, and correct edition of a celebrated and often-performed play, called THE DOUBLE DEALER; with considerable additions, commentaries, annotations, and illustrations, by that most admired playwright and shifter, Dicky MERRYMAN, treasurer of the flo-tilla, pensioner of 4000 livres a year, drawn from: the vitals of the industrious poor.

Mob. Hang him, draw him, and quarter him, and stick up a quarter in each corner of the abode of the grand adviser, and patron of all: apostates !

On the tenth day, the state of the poll was similar, but Merryman was still gaining ground on Sheers, on which, with great self-command of temper, he recommended moderation to his competitor.

On the eleventh day, Merryman got a-head of Sheers, and said that he could not express himself without some emotions of joy and exultation. Mr. Sheers might endeavour to persuade some of

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