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on these stools were placed the king and queen: namely, the master of the house and the captain.
And now the ambassador was introduced between the poet and the doctor; who, having read his sermon, to the great entertainment of all present, was led up to his place and seated between their majesties. They immediately rose up, when the blanket, wanting its supports at either end, gave way, and soused Adams over head and ears in the water. The captain made his escape, but, unluckily, the gentleman himself not being as nimble as he ought, Adams caught hold of him before he descended from his throne and pulled him in with him, to the entire secret satisfaction of all the company. Adams, after ducking the squire twice or thrice, leapt out of the tub and looked sharp for the doctor, whom he would certainly have conveyed to the same place of honour; but he had wisely withdrawn. He then searched for his crabstick, and having found that, as well as his fellow-travellers, he declared he would not stay a moment longer in such a house. He then departed, without taking leave of his host, whom he had exacted a more severe revenge on than he intended; for, as he did not use sufficient care to dry himself in time, he caught a cold by the accident, which threw him into a fever that had like to have cost him his life.
Leonard and Paul
LEONARD and Paul were two friends, who, having been educated together at the same school, commenced a friendsh which they preserved a long time for each other. It was so deeply fixed in both their minds that a long absence, during which they had maintained no correspondence, did not eradicate nor lessen it. But it revived in all its force at their first meeting, which was not till after fifteen years' absence, most of which time Leonard had spent in the East, while Paul had served his king and country in the army. In which different services they had found such different success, that Leonard was now married and retired with a fortune of thirty thousand pounds; and Paul was arrived to a degree of a lieutenant of foot and was not worth a single shilling.
The regiment in which Paul was stationed happened to be ordered into quarters within a small distance from the estate which Leonard had purchased, and where he was settled. This latter, who was now become a country gentleman and a justice of peace, came to attend the quarter sessions in the town where his old friend was quartered, soon after his arrival. Some affair in which a soldier was concerned occasioned Paul to attend the justices. Manhood and time and the change of climate had so much altered Leonard that Paul did not immediately recollect the features of his old acquaintance. But it was otherwise with Leonard. He knew Paul the moment he saw him; nor could he contain himself from quitting the bench and running hastily to embrace him. Paul stood at first a little surprised, but had soon sufficient information from his friend, whom he no sooner remembered than he returned his embrace with a passion which made many of the spectators laugh, and gave to some few a much higher and more agreeable sensation. Leonard insisted on his friend's returning with him to his house that evening; which request was complied with, and leave for a month's absence for Paul obtained of the commanding officer.
If it were possible for any circumstance to give any addition to the happiness which Paul proposed in this visit, he received that additional pleasure by finding, on his arrival at his friend's house, that his lady was an old acquaintance which he had formerly contracted at his quarters, and who had always appeared to be of a most agreeable temper; a character she had ever maintained among her intimates, being of that number every individual of which is called quite the best sort of woman in the world.
But, good as this lady was, she was still a woman; that is to say, an angel, and not an angel. For though her person was of that kind to which men attribute the name of angel, yet in her mind she was perfectly womanly. Of which a great degree of obstinacy gave the most remarkable and perhaps most pernicious instance.
A day or two passed after Paul's arrival before any instances of this appeared; but it was impossible to conceal it long. Both she and her husband soon lost all apprehension from their friend's presence, and fell to their disputes with as much vigour as ever. These were still pursued with the utmost ardour and eagerness, however trifling the causes were whence they first arose. Nay, however incredible it may seem, the little consequence of the matter in debate was frequently given as a reason for the fierceness of the contention, as thus: “If you loved me, sure you would never dispute with me such a trifle as this." The answer to which is very obvious; for the argument would hold equally on both sides, and was constantly retorted with some addition, as, “I am sure I have much more reason to say so, who am in the right.” During all these disputes Paul always kept strict silence, and preserved an even countenance, without showing the least visible inclination to either party. One day, however, when madam had left the room in a violent fury, Leonard could not refrain from referring his cause to his friend. “Was ever anything so unreasonable,” says he, “as this woman? What shall I do with her? I dote on her to distraction; nor have I any cause to complain of, more than this obstinacy in her temper; whatever she asserts, she will maintain against all the reason and conviction in the world. Pray give me your advice." "First," says Paul, “I will give my opinion, which is, flatly, that you are in the wrong; for, supposing she is in the wrong, was the subject of your contention any ways material? What signified it whether you were married in a red or a yellow waistcoat? For that was your dispute. Now, suppose she was mistaken; as you love her, you say, so tenderly—and I believe she deserves itwould it not have been wiser to have yielded, though you certainly knew yourself in the right, than to give either her or yourself any uneasiness ? For my own part, if ever I marry, I am resolved to enter into an agreement with my wife that in all disputes, especially about trifles, that party who is most convinced they are right shall always surrender the victory; by which means we shall both be forward to give up the cause.” “I own," said Leonard, “my dear friend,” shaking him by the hand, “there is great truth and reason in what you say, and I will for the future endeavour to follow
They soon after broke up the conversation, and Leonard, going to his wife, asked her pardon, and told her his friend had convinced him he had been in the wrong. She immediately began a vast encomium on Paul, in which he seconded her, and both agreed that he was the worthiest and wisest man upon earth. When next they met, which was at supper, though she had promised not to mention what her husband told her, she could not forbear casting the kindest and most affectionate looks on Paul, and asked him, with the sweetest voice, whether she should help him to some potted woodcock. “Potted partridge, my dear, you mean," says the husband. "My dear," says she, "I ask your friend if he will eat any potted woodcock; and I am sure I must know, who potted it.” “I think I should know, too, who shot them," replied the husband, “and I am convinced that I have not seen a woodcock this year. However, though I know I am in the right, I submit, and the potted partridge is potted woodcock, if you desire to have it so." "It is equal to me," says she, “whether it is one or the other; but you would persuade one out of one's senses. To be sure, you are always in the right in your own opinion; but your friend, I believe, knows which he is eating." Paul answered nothing, and the dispute continued, as usual, the greatest part of the evening.
The next morning the lady, accidentally meeting Paul, and being convinced he was her friend and of her side, accosted him thus: “I am certain, sir, you have long since wondered at the unreasonableness of my husband. He is indeed, in other respects, a good sort of man, but so positive that no woman but one of my complying temper could possibly live with him. Why, last night, now, was ever any creature so unreasonable? I am certain you must condemn him. Pray, answer me, was he not in the wrong?” Paul, after a short silence, spoke as follows: “I am sorry, madam, that, as good manners obliges me to answer against my will, so an adherence to truth forces me to declare myself of a different opinion. To be plain and honest, you were entirely in the wrong; the cause I own not worth disputing, but the bird was undoubtedly a partridge.” “Oh sir!" replied the lady, "I cannot possibly help your taste." "Madam," returned Paul, “that is very little material; for, had it been otherwise, a husband might have expected submission." "Indeed, sir,"