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to the forgetfulness of your fears, your good-nature, I be lieve, 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 in

stance?

Fine Gent. I lie in bed all day, Sir.

Esop. How do you spend your evenings then?

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

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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, off, 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 volles 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 oblig’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 youBottle 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 myselfWhat say you to that now? eh?

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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 affair between us. Fine Gent. Yours, as you behave- au Revior! [Exit Fine Gentleman.

Enter Mr BOWMAN (bastily.)

Bow. Is your name Esop.

Esop. It is, Sir.-Your commands with me?

Bow. My lord Chalkstone, to whom I have the honourto be a friend and companion, has sent me before, to know 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.

Esop. His lordship has certainly some pressing occasion A 6

for

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 Chalk. Not so fast, monsieur Mercury-you are a little too nimble for me. Well, Bowman, have you found the philosopher?

Bow. 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 through 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.

Esop. 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 more 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 French wines and French

cookery,

cookery, to save the souls and bodies of the whole college of physicians

Esop. My lord has fine spirits indeed! [To Bowman. Lord Chalk. 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 better; 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 Chalk. 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 I'll lay you a hundred guineas –

Esop. Does your lordship propose a wager as a proof of the goodness of your head?

Lord Chalk. 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; and 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 Chalk. 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 Chalk. I'll tell ye how- -When gentlemen quarrelled 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.

Esop. Most casuistically argued, indeed, my lord; but how can it preserve family affections?

Lord Chalk. 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.

Lord Chalk, Ergo, an old woman with a good constitu

tion, and a damn'd 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 Chalk. None of your waters for me; damn ’em all; I never drink any but at Bath—I came merely for a little conversation with you, and to see your Elysian fields here [Looking about thro' bis glass.] which, by the bye, Mr Esop, are laid out most detestably-No taste, no fancy in the whole world!. -Your river therewhat d'ye call

Esop. Styx

Lord Chalk. Ay, Styx-why, 'tis as strait as Fleet-ditch -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 drank 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 lordship's halves, ha, ha, ha.

Esop.

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