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with the inn at Rochester where the two carriers in Falstaff's time passed so restloss a night. A traveller who had stayed in this house a year or two before Johnson's visit, described it as being " crowded and confused. The master lives in the stable, the mistress is not equal to the business. You must not expect breakfast before nine o'clock, and you must think yourself happy if you do not find every


��room fresh mopped." The date of 1683 inscribed upon the large window above the outside steps, 2 .showed that even in Johnson's time it was an old house. For the whole of the eighteenth century it was one of the chief starting places for the stage-coaches. It sank later on into a carrier's inn, says Sir Walter Scott, " and has since been held unworthy even of that occupation. It was a base hovel." Yet James Boyd, who kept it, retired with a fortune

1 Gentleman's Magazine for 1771, p. 543. Edinburgh, p. 187, says that "the date is de-

  • J. and H.'s Storer's Descriptions of Hdin- ficient in the decimal figure 16 3."

burgh. Dr. Chambers, in his Traditions of 3 Croker's Bonvell, 8vo. ed. p. 270.

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