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 minx! The company of the Warrington2 a coach has stood in the hall this hour, and nobody to show them to their chambers.
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! coming! -- 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! -- Chamberlain, 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 the stable, and see my horses well rubbed.
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.435
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 you shall taste my Anno Domini. I have lived 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 45 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.
Now, sir, you shall see! -- (Filling it out.) Your 50 worship's health. -- 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 55 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, sir; but it killed my wife, poor woman, as the saying 60 is.
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 ing is; and an honest gentleman that came this way from Ireland made her a present of a dozen bottles of usquebaugh7--but the poor woman was never well after. But, howe'er, I was obliged to the gentleman, you know. 70____________________