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to the forgetfulness of your fears, your good-nature, I believe, will trouble you no more.
Fine Gent. And this is your advice, my dear, eh.
Esop. My advice, Sir, would go a great deal fartherI should advise you to drink to the forgetfulness of every thing you know.
Fine Gent. The devil you would; then I should have travell’d to a fine purpose truly ; you don't imagine, perhaps, that I have been three years abroad, and have made the tour of Europe?
Esop. Yes, Sir, I guess'd you had travell’d by your dress and conversation : but, pray, (with submission) what valuable improvements have you made in these travels ?
Fine Gent. Sir, I learnt drinking in Germany; music and painting in Italy; dancing, gaming, and some other amusements, at Paris ; and in Holland-faith nothing at all: I brought over with me the best collection of Venetian ballads, two eunuchs, a French dancer, and a monkey, with tooth-picks, pictures and burlettas—In short, I have skimm’d the cream of every nation; and have the consolation to declare, I never was in any country in my life, but I had taste enough thoroughly to despise my own.
Esop. Your country is greatly obliged to you ;—but if you are settled in it now, how can your taste and delicacy endure it?
Fine Gent. Faith, my existence is merely supported by amusements; I dress, visit, study taste, and write sonnets; by birth, travel, education, and natural abilities, I am entitled to lead the fashion; I am principal connoisseur at ail auctions, chief arbiter at assemblies, profess'd critic at the theatres, and a fine gentleman-every where
Esop. Critic, Sir, pray what's that?
Fine Gent. The delight of the ingenious, the terror of poets, the scourge of players, and the aversion of vulgar.
Esop. Pray, Sir, for I fancy your life must be somewhat particular) how do you pass your time; the day for instance?
Fine Gent, 1 lie in bed all day, Sir.
Fine Gent. I dress in the evening, and go generally behind the scenes of both Play-houses; not, you may imagine, to be diverted with the play, but to intrigue, and shew myself I stand upon the stage, talk aloud, and stare about
which confounds the actors, and disturbs the audience ; upon which the galleries who hate the appearance of one of us, begin to biss, and cry off, of, while i undaunted stamp my foot so -loll with my shoulder thus-take snuff with my right-hand, and smile scornfully_thus.This exasperates the savages, and they attack us with vollies of suck'd oranges, and half eaten pippens
Esop. And you retire.
Fine Gent. Without doubt, if I am sober - for orange will stain silk, and an apple may disfigure a feature.
Esop. I am afraid, Sir, for all this, that you are oblia’d to your own imagination, for more than three fourths of your importance.
Fine Gent. Damn the old prig, I'll bully him-[Aside.? Lookee, old philosopher, I find you have pass'd your time so long in gloom and ignorance below here, that our notions above stairs are too refined for you; so we are not likely to agree, I shall cut matters very short with you, Bottle me off the waters I want, or you shall be convinc'd that I have courage in the drawing of a cork;dispatch me instantly, or I shall make bold to throw you into the river, and help myself. What say you to that now? eh?
Esop. Very civil and concise ! I have no great inclination to put your manhood to the trial: so if you will be pleas'd to walk in the grove there, 'till I have examined some I see coming, we'll compromise the affais between us. Fine Gent. Yours, as you behave-au Revior!
[Exit Fine Gentlemani. Enter Mr BOWMAN ( bustily.) Bow. Is your name Esop. Esop. It is, Sir..Your commands with me?
Bow. My lord Chaikstone, to whom I have the honourto be a friend and companion, has sent me before, to knowo if you are at leisure to receive his lordship.
Esop. I am placed here on purpose to receive every mor tal that attends our summons
Bow. My lord is not of the common race of mortals, I assure you; and you must look upon this visit as a particular honour, for he is so much afflicted with the gout and rheumatism, that we had much ado to get him across the river. Esap. His lordship has certainly some pressing occasion A 6
for the watera, that he endures such inconveniences to get at them.
Bow. No occasion at all- -His legs indeed fail him a little, but his heart is as sound as ever, nothing can hurt his spirits; ill or well, his lordship is always the best company, and the merriest in his family
Esop. I have very little time for mirth and good company; but I'll lessen the fatigue of his journey, and meet him half way.
Bow. His lordship is here already—There's a spirit! Mr Esop-There's a great man!-See how superior he is to his infirmities; such a soul ought to have a better body.
Enter MERCURY with Lord CHALKSTONE. Lord Cbalk. Not so fast, monsieur Mercury—you are a little too nimble for me. Well, Bowman, have you found the philosopher?
Bure. This is he, my lord, and ready to receive your commands.
Lord Chalk. Ha! ha! ha! there he is, profecto!-toujours le meme! [Looking at bim tbrougb a glass] I should have known him at a mile's distance-a noble personage indeed! and truly Greek from top to toe. Most venerable Esop, I am in this world and the other, above and below, yours most sincerely.
Esp. I am yours, my lord, as sincerily, and I wish it was in my power to relieve your misfortune.
Lord Chalk. Misfortune! what misfortune? _I am neither a porter nor a chairman, Mr Esop-My legs can bear my body to my friends and my bottle: I want no mo!e with them; the gout is welcome to the rest- -eh Bowman?
Bow. Your lordship is in fine spirits ! Esop. Does not your lordship go through a great deal of pain ?
Lord Chalk. Pain? ay, and pleasure too, eh Bowman! -When I'm in pain, I curse and swear it away again, and the moment it is gone, I lose no time; I drink the same wines, eat the same dishes, keep the same hours, the same company; and, notwithstanding the gravity of my wise doctors, I would not abstain from Frer.ca wines and French
cookery, to save the souls and bodies of the whole college of physicians
Esop. My lord has fine spirits indeed! [To Bowman.
Lord Cbalk. You don't imagine, philos pher, that I have hobbled here with a bundle of complaints at my back. My legs, indeed, are something the worse for wear, but your waters, I suppose, can't change or make 'em beta ter; for if they could, you certainly would have try'd the virtues of 'em upon your own-eh Bowman! ha, ha, ha..
Bow. Bravo! my lord, bravo !
Esop. My imperfections are from head to foot, as well as your lordship's.
Lord Cbalk. I beg your pardon there, Sir; though my body's impaired-my head is as good as ever it was; and as a proof of this 111 lay you a hundred guineas
Esop. Does your lordship propose a wager as a proof of the goodness of your head?
Lord Cbalk. And why not?-Wagers are now-a-days the only proofs and arguments that are made use of by people of fashion: all disputes and politics, operas, trade, gaming, horse-racing, or religion, are determin'd now, by six to four, and two to one ; ard persons of quality are by this method most agreeably releas'd from the hardship of thinking or reasoning upon any subject,
Esop. Very convenient truly !
Lord Cbalk. Convenient, ay, and moral too.This invention of betting, unknown to the Greeks, among many other virtues, prevents bloodshed, and preserves family affections
Esop. Prevents bloodshed!
Lord Cbalk. I'll tell ye howWhen gentlemen quarFelled heretofore, what did they do? they drew their swords I have been run through the body myself, but no matter for that what do they do now? they draw their purses before the lie can be given, a wager is laid; and so, instead of resenting, we pocket our affronts.
Isop. Most casuistically argued, indeed, my lord; but how can it preserve family affections?
Lord Cbalk. I'll tell you that too-An old woman, you'll allow, Mr Esop, at all times to be but a bad thing—What say you, Bowman?
Bow. A very bad thing indeed, my lord.
tion, tion, and a damn'a large jointure upon your estate, is the devil-My mother was the very thing and yet from the moment I pitted her, I never once wish'd dead, but was really uneasy when she tumbled down stairs, and did not speak a single word for a whole fortnight.
Esop. Affectionate indeed!—but what does your lordship mean by pitted her?
Lord Chalk. 'Tis a term of ours upon these occasions I back'd her life against two old countesses, an aunt of Sir Harry Rattle's that was troubled with an asthma, my fat landlady at Salt-bill, and the mad-woman at Tunbridge, at five hundred each per annum : She outliv'd 'em all but the last, by which means; I hedg’d of a damn’d jointure, made her life an advantage to me, and so continued my
filial affections to her last moments.
Esop. I am fully satisfied--and in return your lordship may command me.
Lord Cbalk. None of your waters for me; damn 'em all; I never drink any but at Bath:-) came merely for a little conversation with you, and to see your Eiysian fields here-[Looking about tbro' bis glass.] which, by the bye, Mr Esop, are laid out most detestably. no fancy in the whole world! -Your river there what d'ye call
-You should have given it a serpentine sweep, and slop the banks of it -- The place, indeed, has very fine capabilities ; but you should clear the wood to the left, and clump the trees to the right: in short, the whole wants variety, extent, contrast, and inequality- -[Going towards the orchestra, stops suddenly, and looks into the pit.] Upon my word, here's a very fine bab-bab! and a most curious collection of ever-greens and flow'ring-shrubs
Esop. We let nature take her course; our chief entertainment is contemplation, which: I suppose is not allowed to interrupt your lordship's pleasures.
Lord Chalk. I beg your pardon there. No man has ever studied or diank harder than I have except my chapJain ; and I'll match my library and cellar against any nobleman's in Christendom-shan't I, Bowman, eh?
Bow. That you may indeed, my lord; and I'll go your bordship’s halves, ha, ha, ha.