affair of this kind without danger of any imputation on his honour. All he desires, therefore, is, that you will before me make some acknowledgment; the slightest in the world will be sufficient; and he intends this afternoon to pay his respects to you, in order to obtain your leave of visiting the young lady on the footing of a lover.”

“I don’t understand much of what you say, sir,” said the squire; “but I suppose, by what you talk about my daughter, that this is the lord which my cousin, Lady Bellaston, mentioned to me, and said something about his courting my daughter. If so be that how that be the case—you may give my service to his lordship, and tell un the girl is disposed of already.”

“Perhaps, sir,” said the gentleman, “you are not sufficiently apprized of the greatness of this offer. I believe such a person, title, and fortune would be nowhere refused.”

“Lookee, sir,” answered the squire; “to be very plain, my daughter is bespoke already; but if she was not, I would not marry her to a lord upon any account; I hate all lords; they are a parcel of courtiers and Hanoverians, and I will have nothing to do with them.”

“Well, sir,” said the gentleman, “if that is your resolution, the message I am to deliver to you is, that my lord desires the favour of your company this morning in Hyde Park.”

“You may tell my lord,” answered the squire, “that I am busy and cannot come. I have enough to look after at home, and can’t stir abroad on any account.”

“I am sure, sir,” quoth the other, “you are too much a gentleman to send such a message; you will not, I am convinced, have it said of you, that, after having affronted a noble peer, you refuse him satisfaction. His lordship would have been willing, from his great regard to the young lady, to have made up matters in another way; but unless he is to look on you as a father, his honour will not suffer his putting up such an indignity as you must be sensible you offered him.”

“I offered him!” cries the squire; “it is a d—n’d lie! I never offered him anything.”

Upon these words the gentleman returned a very short verbal rebuke, and this he accompanied at the same time with some manual remonstrances, which no sooner reached the ears of Mr. Western, than that worthy squire began to caper very briskly about the room, bellowing at the same time with all his might, as if desirous to summon a greater number of spectators to behold his agility.

The parson, who had left great part of the tankard unfinished, was not retired far; he immediately attended, therefore, on the squire’s vociferation, crying, “Bless me! sir, what’s the matter?”—“Matter!” quoth the squire, “here’s a highwayman, I believe, who wants to rob and murder me—for he hath fallen upon me with that stick there in his hand, when I wish I may be d—n’d if I gid un the least provocation.”

“How, sir,” said the captain, “did you not tell me I lyed?”

“No, as I hope to be saved,” answered the squire, “—I believe I might say, ’Twas a lie that I had offered any affront to my lord—but I never said the word, ‘you lie’—I understand myself better, and you might have understood yourself better than to fall upon a naked man. If I had a stick in my hand, you would not have dared strike me. I’d have knocked thy lantern jaws about thy ears. Come down into yard this minute, and I’ll take a bout with thee at single stick for a broken head, that I will; or I will go into naked room and box thee for a belly-full. At unt half a man, at unt, I’m sure.”

The captain, with some indignation, replied, “I see, sir, you are below my notice, and I shall inform his lordship you are below his. I am sorry I have dirtied my fingers with you.” At which words he withdrew, the parson interposing to prevent the squire from stopping him, in which he easily prevailed, as the other, though he made some efforts for the purpose, did not seem very violently bent on success. However, when the captain was departed, the squire sent many curses and some menaces after him; but as these

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