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“ but this old rogue will take the management of the “ young lord's business into his hands; besides the “ rascal has good ware, and will serve him as cheap “ as any body. In that case, I leave you to judge ~ what must become of us and our families; we must « starve, or turn journeymen to old Lewis Baboon; “ therefore, neighbour, I hold it advisable, that we « write to young lord Strutt to know the bottom of “ this matter.”
A copy of Bull and Frog's letter to lord Strutt.
I SUPPOSE your lordship knows, that the Bulls and the Frogs have served the lord Strutts with all sorts of drapery-ware time out of mind : and whereas we are jealous, not without reason, that your lordship intends henceforth to buy of your grandsire old Lewis Baboon; this is to inform your lordship, that this proceeding does not suit with the circumstances of our families, who have lived and made a good figure in the world by the generosity of the lord Strutts. Therefore we think fit to acquaint your lordship, that you must find sufficient security to us *, our heirs and
* “ security to England and Holland for their dominions, na"vigation, and commerce, and to prevent the union of the two " monarchies France and Spain.” To effect these purposes, queen Ann was by
assigns, assigns, that you will not employ Lewis Baboon; or else we will take our remedy at law, clap an action upon you of 20,000l. for old debts, seize and distrain your goods and chattels, which, considering your lordship's circumstances, will plunge you into difficulties, from which it will not be easy to extricate yourself; therefore we hope, when your lordship has better considered on it, you will comply with the desire of
Your loving friends,
JOHN BULL, NIC. FROG.
Some of Bull's friends advised him to take gentler methods with the young lord; but John naturally loved rough play. It is impossible to express the surprise of the lord Strutt upon the receipt of this letter; he was not Aush in ready either to go to law, or clear old debts, neither could he find good bail; he offered to bring matters to a friendly accommodation; and promised upon his word of honour, that he would not change his drapers; but all to no purpose, for Bull
and Frog saw clearly that old Lewis would have the ' cheating of him.
How Bull and Frog went to law with lord Strutt
about the premises, and were joined by the rest of the tradesmen.
LL endeavours of accommodation between lord Strutt and his drapers proved vain; jealousies increased, and indeed it was rumoured abroad, that lord Strutt had bespoke his new liveries of old Lewis Baboon. This coming to Mrs. Bull's * ears, when John Bull came home, he found all his family in an uproar. Mrs. Bull, you must know, was very apt to be cholerick. “You sot,” says she, “ you loiter about “ alehouses and taverns, spend your time at billiards, “ ninepins, or puppet-shows, or flaunt about the “ streets in your new gilt chariot, never minding me “nor your numerous family. Don't you hear how “ lord Strutt has bespoke his liveries at Lewis Ba“ boon's shop? Don't you see how that old fox steals “ away your customers, and turns you out of your “ business every day, and you sit like an idle drone “ with your hands in your pockets? Fie upon it! up “ man, rouse thyself; I'll sell to my shift, before I'll “ be so used by that knave.” You must think Mrs. Bull had been pretty well tuned up by Frog, who chimed in with her learned harangue. No farther delay now, but to council learned in the law they go,
the parliament precipitated into the war as a principal. Among her allies were
who unanimously assured them both of the justice and infallible success of their lawsuit.
I told you before, that old Lewis Baboon was a sort of a Jack of all trades, which made the rest of the tradesmen jealous, as well as Bull and Frog; they hearing of the quarrel, were glad of an opportunity of joining against old Lewis Baboon, provided that Bull and Frog would bear the charges of the suit; even lying Ned, the chimney-sweeper of Savoy *, and Tom, the Portugal dustman to put in their claims; and the cause was put into the hands of Humphry Hocus the attorney I.
A declaration was drawn up to show « That Bull « and Frog had undoubted right by prescription to be “ drapers to the lord Strutts ; that there were seve“ral old contracts to that purpose; that Lewis Ba“ boon had taken up the trade of clothier and draper, “ without serving his time or purchasing his freedom; “ that he sold goods that were not marketable, with« out the stamp; that he himself was more fit for a “ bully than a tradesman, and went about through all " the country fairs, challenging people to fight prizes, “ wrestling, and cudgel-play ;” and abundance more to this purpose.
• the duke of Savoy and
1 John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, was appointed general in chief of the confederate army.
The true characters of John Bull, Nic. Frog, and
FOR the better understanding the following history, the reader ought to know, that Bull, in the main, was an honest plain-dealing fellow, cholerick, bold, and of a very unconstant temper; he dreaded not old Lewis, either at back-sword, single falchion, or cudgel-play ; but then he was very apt to quarrel with his best friends, especially if they pretended to govern him: if you fattered him, you might lead him like a child. John's temper depended very much upon the air ; his spirits rose and fell with the weather-glass. John was quick, and understood his business very well; but no man alive was more careless in looking into his accounts, or more cheated by partners, apprentices, and servants. This was occasioned by his being a boon companion, loving his bottle and his diversion; for, to say truth, no man kept a better house than John, nor spent his money more generously. By plain and fair dealing, John had acquired somie plums, and might have kept them, had it not been for his unhappy lawsuit.
Nic. Frog was a cunning, siy whoreson, quite the reverse of John in many particulars ; coverous, frugal; minded domestic affairs; would pinch his belly to save his pocket; never lost a farthing by careless servants, or bad debtors. He did not care much for any sort of diversions, except tricks of High German artists, and legcr-de-main : no man exceeded Nic. in