BOOK IX. CONTAINING TWELVE HOURS.
4. Chapter iv. In which the arrival of a man of war...
He then proposed a libation as a necessary part of the ceremony at all
treaties of this kind. Perhaps the reader may here conclude that he
was well versed in antient history; but this, though highly probable,
as he cited no authority to support the custom, I will not affirm with
any confidence. Most likely indeed it is, that he founded his opinion
on very good authority, since he confirmed it with many violent oaths.
Jones no sooner heard the proposal than, immediately agreeing with the
learned serjeant, he ordered a bowl, or rather a large mug, filled
with the liquor used on these occasions, to be brought in, and then
began the ceremony himself. He placed his right hand in that of the
landlord, and, seizing the bowl with his left, uttered the usual
words, and then made his libation. After which, the same was observed
by all present. Indeed, there is very little need of being particular
in describing the whole form, as it differed so little from those
libations of which so much is recorded in antient authors and their
modern transcribers. The principal difference lay in two instances;
for, first, the present company poured the liquor only down their
throats; and, secondly, the serjeant, who officiated as priest, drank
the last; but he preserved, I believe, the antient form, in swallowing
much the largest draught of the whole company, and in being the only
person present who contributed nothing towards the libation besides
his good offices in assisting at the performance.
The good people now ranged themselves round the kitchen fire, where
good humour seemed to maintain an absolute dominion; and Partridge not
only forgot his shameful defeat, but converted hunger into thirst, and
soon became extremely facetious. We must however quit this agreeable
assembly for a while, and attend Mr Jones to Mrs Waters's apartment,
where the dinner which he had bespoke was now on the table. Indeed, it
took no long time in preparing, having been all drest three days
before, and required nothing more from the cook than to warm it over