he hear the sentiments of the exciseman, than he embraced that opportunity of declaring his own, and expressed a hearty wish that such a matter could be brought about.

“Could be brought about!” says the exciseman: “why, there is nothing easier.”

“Ah! sir,” answered Partridge, “you don’t know what a devil of a fellow he is. He can take me up with one hand, and throw me out at window; and he would, too, if he did but imagine—”

“Pogh!” says the exciseman, “I believe I am as good a man as he. Besides, here are five of us.”

“I don’t know what five,” cries the landlady, “my husband shall have nothing to do in it. Nor shall any violent hands be laid upon anybody in my house. The young gentleman is as pretty a young gentleman as ever I saw in my life, and I believe he is no more mad than any of us. What do you tell of his having a wild look with his eyes? they are the prettiest eyes I ever saw, and he hath the prettiest look with them; and a very modest civil young man he is. I am sure I have bepitied him heartily ever since the gentleman there in the corner told us he was crost in love. Certainly that is enough to make any man, especially such a sweet young gentleman as he is, to look a little otherwise than he did before. Lady, indeed! what the devil would the lady have better than such a handsome man with a great estate? I suppose she is one of your quality folks, one of your Townly ladies that we saw last night in the puppet- show, who don’t know what they would be at.”

The attorney’s clerk likewise declared he would have no concern in the business without the advice of counsel. “Suppose,” says he, “an action of false imprisonment should be brought against us, what defence could we make? Who knows what may be sufficient evidence of madness to a jury? But I only speak upon my own account; for it don’t look well for a lawyer to be concerned in these matters, unless it be as a lawyer. Juries are always less favourable to us than to other people. I don’t therefore dissuade you, Mr. Thomson (to the exciseman), nor the gentleman, nor anybody else.”

The exciseman shook his head at this speech, and the puppet-show man said, “Madness was sometimes a difficult matter for a jury to decide: for I remember,” says he, “I was once present at a tryal of madness, where twenty witnesses swore that the person was as mad as a March hare; and twenty others, that he was as much in his senses as any man in England.—And indeed it was the opinion of most people, that it was only a trick of his relations to rob the poor man of his right.”

“Very likely!” cries the landlady. “I myself knew a poor gentleman who was kept in a mad-house all his life by his family, and they enjoyed his estate, but it did them no good; for though the law gave it them, it was the right of another.”

“Pogh!” cries the clerk, with great contempt, “who hath any right but what the law gives them? If the law gave me the best estate in the country, I should never trouble myself much who had the right.”

“If it be so,” says Partridge, “Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.”

My landlord, who had been called out by the arrival of a horseman at the gate, now returned into the kitchen, and with an affrighted countenance cried out, “What do you think, gentlemen? The rebels have given the duke the slip, and are got almost to London. It is certainly true, for a man on horseback just now told me so.”

“I am glad of it with all my heart,” cries Partridge; “then there will be no fighting in these parts.”

“I am glad,” cries the clerk, “for a better reason; for I would always have right take place.” “Ay, but,” answered the landlord, “I have heard some people say this man hath no right.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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