By GEORGE FARQUHAR
Scene, an inn.
Enter BONNIFACE, running.
BON. Chamberlain!1 maid! Cherry! daughter Cherry! all asleep? all dead?
Enter CHERRY, running.
CHER. Here, here! why d'ye bawl so, father? d'ye think we have no ears?
|BON. You deserve to have none, you young||5|
CHER. And let 'em wait farther; there's neither
|red-coat in the coach, nor footman behind it.||10|
BON. But they threaten to go to another inn tonight.
CHER. That they dare not, for fear the coachman should overturn them tomorrow. -- Coming! com
|ing! -- Here's the London coach arrived.||15|
Enter several people with trunks, bandboxes, and other luggage, and cross the stage.
BON. Welcome, ladies!
CHER. Very welcome, gentlemen! -- Chamber
|lain, show the Lion and the Rose.3|
Exit with the company.
Enter AIMWELLin riding-habit, ARCHERas footman carrying a portmantle.
BON. This way, this way, gentlemen!
|AIM. [to ARCHER]. Set down the things; go to||20|
ARCH. I shall, sir. Exit.
AIM. You're my landlord, I suppose?
BON. Yes, sir, I'm old Will Bonniface, pretty well
|known upon this road, as the saying is.||25|
AIM. O Mr. Bonniface, your servant!
BON. O sir! -- What will your honor please to drink, as the saying is?
AIM. I have heard your town of Lichfield much
|famed for ale; I think I'll taste that.||30|
BON. Sir, I have now in my cellar ten tun of the best ale in Staffordshire; 'tis smooth as oil, sweet as milk, clear as amber, and strong as brandy; and will be just fourteen year old the fifth day of next
|March, old style.4||35|
AIM. You're very exact, I find, in the age of your ale.
BON. As punctual, sir, as I am in the age of my children. I'll show you such ale!--Here, tapster,
|broach number 1706,5 as the saying is. -- Sir,||40|
|AIM. At a meal, you mean, if one may guess||45|
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.
|Now, sir, you shall see! -- (Filling it out.) Your||50|
AIM. (drinks). 'Tis confounded strong!
|BON. Strong! It must be so, or how should||55|
AIM. And have you lived so long upon this ale, landlord?
BON. Eight-and-fifty years, upon my credit, sir;
|but it killed my wife, poor woman, as the saying||60|
AIM. How came that to pass?
BON. I don't 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,6 as the say||65|
|gentleman, you know.||70|
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Publication information: Book title: British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan. Contributors: George Henry Nettleton - Editor, Arthur Eillicot Case - Editor. Publisher: Boston ; Houghton Mifflin company,.. Place of publication: Boston; New York. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 353.
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