in Lichfield, man and boy, above eight-and-fifty years, and, I believe, have not consumed eight-and-fifty ounces of meat.
Aim. At a meal, you mean, if one may guess your sense by your bulk.
Bon. Not in my life, sir: I have fed purely upon ale; I have eat my ale, drank my ale, and I always sleep upon ale.
Enter Tapster with a bottle and glass, and exit. Now, sir, you shall see![Filling out a glass.] Your worships health.[Drinks.] Ha! delicious, delicious! fancy it burgundy, only fancy it, and tis worth ten shillings a quart.
Aim. [drinks]. Tis confounded strong!
Bon. Strong! it must be so, or how should we be strong that drink it?
Aim. And have you lived so long upon this ale, landlord?
Bon. Eight-and-fifty years, upon my credit, sirbut it killed my wife, poor woman, as the saying is.
Aim. How came that to pass?
Bon. I dont know how, sir; she would not let the ale take its natural course, sir; she was for qualifying it every now and then with a dram, as the saying is; and an honest gentleman that came this way from Ireland, made her a present of a dozen bottles of usquebaughbut the poor woman was never well after: but, howeer, I was obliged to the gentleman, you know.
Aim. Why, was it the usquebaugh that killed her?
Bon. My Lady Bountiful said so. She, good lady, did what could be done; she cured her of three tympanies, but the fourth carried her off. But shes happy, and Im contented, as the saying is.
Aim. Whos that Lady Bountiful you mentioned?
Bon. Ods my life, sir, well drink her health.[Drinks.] My Lady Bountiful is one of the best of women. Her last husband, Sir Charles Bountiful, left her worth a thousand pound a year; and, I believe, she lays out one-half ont in charitable uses for the good of her neighbours. She cures rheumatisms, ruptures, and broken shins in men; green-sickness, obstructions, and fits of the mother, in women; the kings evil, chincough, and chilblains, in children: in short, she has cured more people in and about Lichfield within ten years than the doctors have killed in twenty; and thats a bold word.
Aim. Has the lady been any other way useful in her generation?
Bon. Yes, sir; she has a daughter by Sir Charles, the finest woman in all our country, and the greatest fortune. She has a son too, by her first husband, Squire Sullen, who married a fine lady from London tother day; if you please, sir, well drink his health.
Aim. What sort of a man is he?
Bon. Why, sir, the mans well enough; says little, thinks less, and doesnothing at all, faith. But hes a man of a great estate, and values nobody.
Aim. A sportsman, I suppose?
Bon. Yes, sir, hes a man of pleasure; he plays at whisk and smokes his pipe eight-and-forty hours together sometimes.
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