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A Promise To Pay

Jests Home




JOE HAINES was more remarkable for his practical jokes than for his
acting. He was seized one morning by two bailiffs, for a debt of 20l.,
as the Bishop of Ely was passing by in his coach. Gentlemen, said Joe,
here's my cousin the Bishop of Ely going by his house; let me but speak
to him, and he'll pay the debt and charges. The bailiffs thought they
might venture this, as they were within three or four yards of him. Joe
went boldly up to the coach, and pulled his hat off to the bishop. His
lordship ordered the coach to stop, when Joe whispered him gently, My
lord, here are two men who have such great scruples of conscience,
that I fear they'll hang themselves.--Very well, said the bishop; so,
calling to the bailiffs, he said, You two men come to me to-morrow
morning, and I will satisfy you. The men bowed, and went away
pleased. Early on the following day, the bailiffs, expecting the debt
and charges, paid a visit to the bishop; when, being introduced, his
lordship addressed them. Well, my men, what are your scruples of
conscience?--Scruples! echoed the bailiff; we have no scruples. We
are bailiffs, my lord, who yesterday arrested your cousin, Joe Haines,
for a debt of 20l.; and your lordship kindly promised to satisfy us
to-day. The bishop, reflecting that his honor and name would be exposed
were he not to comply, paid the debt and charges.





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