History of John Bull

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Author: John Arbuthnot

Chapter XIX. Nic. Frog’s Letter to John Bull: Wherein He Endeavours to Vindicate All His Conduct, With Relation to John Bull and the Lawsuit.

Nic. perceived now that his Cully had eloped, that John intended henceforth to deal without a broker; but he was resolved to leave no stone unturned to cover his bubble. Amongst other artifices he wrote a most obliging letter, which he sent him printed in a fair character.

"DEAR FRIEND,—When I consider the late ill-usage I have met with from you, I was reflecting what it was that could provoke you to it, but upon a narrow inspection into my conduct, I can find nothing to reproach myself with but too partial a concern for your interest. You no sooner set this composition afoot but I was ready to comply, and prevented your very wishes; and the affair might have been ended before now, had it not been for the greater concerns of Esquire South and the other poor creatures embarked in the same common cause, whose safety touches me to the quick. You seemed a little jealous that I had dealt unfairly with you in money-matters, till it appeared by your own accounts that there was something due to me upon the balance. Having nothing to answer to so plain a demonstration, you began to complain as if I had been familiar with your reputation; when it is well known not only I, but the meanest servants in my family, talk of you with the utmost respect. I have always, as far as in me lies, exhorted your servants and tenants to be dutiful; not that I any way meddle in your domestic affairs, which were very unbecoming for me to do. If some of your servants express their great concern for you in a manner that is not so very polite, you ought to impute it to their extraordinary zeal, which deserves a reward rather than a reproof. You cannot reproach me for want of success at the ’Salutation,’ since I am not master of the passions and interests of other folks. I have beggared myself with this lawsuit, undertaken merely in complaisance to you; and if you would have had but a little patience, I had still greater things in reserve, that I intended to have done for you. I hope what I have said will prevail with you to lay aside your unreasonable jealousies, and that we may have no more meetings at the ’Salutation,’ spending our time and money to no purpose. My concern for your welfare and prosperity almost makes me mad. You may be assured I will continue to be
"Your affectionate
"Friend and Servant,
"Nic. Frog."*

* Substance of the States letter.

John received this with a good deal of sang-froid; "Transeat," quoth John, "cum caeteris erroribus." He was now at his ease; he saw he could now make a very good bargain for himself, and a very safe one for other folks. "My shirt," quoth he, "is near me, but my skin is nearer. Whilst I take care of the welfare of other folks, nobody can blame me to apply a little balsam to my own sores. It’s a pretty thing, after all, for a man to do his own business; a man has such a tender concern for himself, there’s nothing like it. This is somewhat better, I trow, than for John Bull to be standing in the market, like a great dray-horse, with Frog’s paws upon his head. What will you give me for this beast? Serviteur Nic. Frog, though John Bull has not read your Aristotles, Platos, and Machiavels, he can see as far into a mill-stone as another." With that John began to chuckle and laugh till he was like to have burst his sides.

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Chicago: John Arbuthnot, "Chapter XIX. Nic. Frog’s Letter to John Bull: Wherein He Endeavours to Vindicate All His Conduct, With Relation to John Bull and the Lawsuit.," History of John Bull, trans. Evans, Sebastian in History of John Bull Original Sources, accessed September 22, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D2L45KK7HG1BYPY.

MLA: Arbuthnot, John. "Chapter XIX. Nic. Frog’s Letter to John Bull: Wherein He Endeavours to Vindicate All His Conduct, With Relation to John Bull and the Lawsuit." History of John Bull, translted by Evans, Sebastian, in History of John Bull, Original Sources. 22 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D2L45KK7HG1BYPY.

Harvard: Arbuthnot, J, 'Chapter XIX. Nic. Frog’s Letter to John Bull: Wherein He Endeavours to Vindicate All His Conduct, With Relation to John Bull and the Lawsuit.' in History of John Bull, trans. . cited in , History of John Bull. Original Sources, retrieved 22 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D2L45KK7HG1BYPY.