The Occasion Of The Law Suit. Chapter I
Poem By John Arbuthnot
I need not tell you of the great quarrels that have happened in our
neighbourhood since the death of the late Lord Strutt; how the
parson and a cunning attorney got him to settle his estate upon
his cousin Philip Baboon, to the great disappointment of his cousin
Esquire South. Some stick not to say that the parson and the
attorney forged a will; for which they were well paid by the family
of the Baboons. Let that be as it will, it is matter of fact that
the honour and estate have continued ever since in the person of
Late King of Spain.
* Cardinal Portocarero.
You know that the Lord Strutts have for many years been possessed of
a very great landed estate, well conditioned, wooded, watered, with
coal, salt, tin, copper, iron, etc., all within themselves; that it
has been the misfortune of that family to be the property of their
stewards, tradesmen, and inferior servants, which has brought great
incumbrances upon them; at the same time, their not abating of their
expensive way of living has forced them to mortgage their best
manors. It is credibly reported that the butcher's and baker's bill
of a Lord Strutt that lived two hundred years ago are not yet paid.
When Philip Baboon came first to the possession of the Lord Strutt's
estate, his tradesmen, as is usual upon such occasions, waited upon
him to wish him joy and bespeak his custom. The two chief were John
Bull,* the clothier, and Nic. Frog, * the linendraper. They told
him that the Bulls and Frogs had served the Lord Strutts with
draperyware for many years; that they were honest and fair dealers;
that their bills had never been questioned; that the Lord Strutts
lived generously, and never used to dirty their fingers with pen,
ink, and counters; that his lordship might depend upon their honesty
that they would use him as kindly as they had done his predecessors.
The young lord seemed to take all in good part, and dismissed them
with a deal of seeming content, assuring them he did not intend to
change any of the honourable maxims of his predecessors.
The first letters of congratulation from King William and the
States of Holland upon King Philip's accession to the crown of
* The English.
** The Dutch.