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you to drink away your drought, and draught away your drink.” And away went the portly tapster, with a loud chuckle at his own conceit.
“ Doth that fellow laugh at us?” said Peter with exceeding fierceness. Nay, and by goles I'll rap him over the pate an' he do."
“ Prythee do not,” said his companion urgently, 66 for rememberest thou what Sir Nicholas Throckmorton said — Mention my name on no account, and of all things keep out of brawls.'”
“ Ha ! so said he sure enough, Diggory,” replied the other, “I mind it well, and will be as close upon this business as if I knew it not. Nay, if there be any so daring as to say I be Sir Nicholas Throckmorton's serving man, I'll swear he lies in his throat, and slit his weasan for him.”
“ Dost think Stephen Shortcake will be long, Peter ?” asked Diggory.
“ Indeed, I cannot say,” responded he sharply. “ To tell thee the truth, Diggory, I like him not; for when I wanted to cut off that impudent varlet's ears that did seem to dog us so as we came along, he would on no account let it be; and did give me a rating for seeking to endanger the reputation of our mistress by my quarrelsomeness. 'Slife, I take him to be a very precise fellow, Diggory.”
“ Here you are, my masters !” cried mine host, bringing in the liquor and setting it before his cus
tomers, 66 and never tasted
better stuff, I'll be bound for it.”
66 Our master, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, hath better liq-Hang thee, Diggory, what dost tread on my toes for !” exclaimed Peter, cutting himself short in the middle of his speech, and making an exceeding wry face.
“ Here's the money, good sir,” said Diggory in a civil manner to his host, “ and doubt I not the excellency of your liquor, believe me.”
“ I'll believe any one who pays without being asked for his reckoning," replied Ephraim Spigot with a knowing look; and thereupon proceeded out of the room.
“ I marvel at thee, Peter," exclaimed the other, immediately mine host had turned his back, “ thou wouldst have begun thy brawling had I not stopped thee."
** 'Slife! and shall a paltry tapster have better ale than our master?” cried Peter indignantly. “ By goles, I could out with my tool and beat the knave into shavings."
Prythee be quiet, and take a drink,” said Diggory.
“ Well, here's to thee, and confusion to all beggarly knaves that cannot fight their way,” replied his companion, taking a hearty swill at the tankard.
“ How look the roads, my master ?” exclaimed an honest looking yeoman in the next corner.
Why, but indifferently, good sir,” responded Diggory, with a like civility. 6 Indeed, I may say that ever since I left the house of my master, Sir Nicholas Throck-Hang thee, Peter, what dost pinch me so for?” cried he, turning sharp upon the other.
“ 'Slife, man, thou wert a saying Sir Nicholas Throckmorton's name, which be against the law," said Peter in a whisper, which was overheard by every one in the room.
“ Thou didst right to interrupt me then,” replied Diggory. “ But prythee don't pinch quite so hard again," and then he took a hearty swill at the tankard.
“ All that be not sea-faring men be cowards !" cried out a drunken boatswain, as he woke up from his sleep on the bench.
“ Thou liest, dog!" shouted Peter, drawing out his rapier, “ I be no sea-faring man, yet will I prove myself valiant upon thy villainous body."
“ Have at thee, then !” exclaimed the seaman, endeavouring to stard up and draw his weapon.
“ Peter ! Peter !” cried Diggory, beating his fist against the other's back to make him attend. “ Rememberest thou the law? Peter, I say, thou knowest there must be no brawling. Put up thy weapon, Peter, I prythee !”
“ For shame upon you, my masters !” exclaimed Simon Mainsail, running in between the combatants, and assisting with others to make them desist of their intended violence; whilst the two apprentices, like prudent youths, as soon as they saw they was like to be a fighting with swords, took to their heels.
“ No brawling, I pray you, my masters !” exclaimed mine host, rushing into the room as if with a fear of mischief.
66 Make not an honest man's house a place for the shedding of blood,” cried the handicraftsman.
Hang him, villain !" shouted Peter, endeavouring to get at his opponent, who was held from him by the bystanders. - Shall he call me a coward because I be no sea-faring man? He lies in his throat! By goles, I'll cut off his ears for’t !”
“ Peter! Peter, I say !” cried Diggory, pulling and thumping him with all his might. " 'Slife ! man, dost want to pound my
back to a powder !” bawled out Peter to his companion. “ I will let out my. valour upon him. I'll cut him over his knave's pate at least. Nay, our inaster, Sir Nicholas Throck
“ Put up thy weapon, varlet, this instant !” angrily exclaimed Stephen Shortcake as he entered the room and seized his uplifted arm. “ How darest thou draw upon any man? Wert not expressly forbid to brawl and to mention names? and I leave
thee only for a short space, and find thee a doing of both. Up with thy weapon, or thou shalt rue it.”
Peter slowly and somewhat reluctantly put away his rapier, and the friends of the sea-faring man hurried him out of the room.
“ O’my life thou art the most pestilent knave that lives,” cried the old butler to the pugnacious serving man. - Thou art like to bring us all into trouble by thy villainous quarrelsomeness. What need hadst thou with a drawn weapon in thy hand; nay, I marvel hugely that thou shouldst be allowed a weapon at all.”
6 He did say that all were cowards except seafaring men,” replied Peter doggedly, “and I could not stand by and disgrace our master by stomach
“ 'Thou hast disgraced thy master as it is,” said Stephen Shortcake, looking very wrath at him.
But see that thou offend not again, or it shall go hard with thee. And I am ashamed of thee, Diggory, that thou shouldst have stood by and hindered him not,” he added, turning sharp round upon the other. Nay, I do assure you,
all means to withhold him from it,” answered Diggory. “ I did remind him that our master, Sir Nicholas-Oh!”
Hang thee, thou babbling knave !” cried the enraged old man, as he seized the uncautious