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the blows of his adversary, and to get out of the way of his terrible weapon, that his great fiery face seemed all in a muck.
“ That for thy action of battery, old Brazennose!” replied Harry Daring, dealing him so 'famous a poke in his stomach that it clean sent him over the three-legged stool, with his heels in the air, his hat flying away to one place, his rapier to another, and his back coming with a monstrous thump upon the floor.
“ Yield thyself my prisoner-rescue or no rescue !” cried the boy, stepping up to the fallen combatant with the air of a conquering knighterrant.
“Oh, my back! my back!” groaned the captain as he attempted to rise.
By Gog and Magog, thou shalt not rise from this till thou hast agreed upon thy ransom, Sir Brazier,” said the apprentice gravely, as he poked him down again with his pole.
“ Wilt murder me, varlet ?" asked Captain Swagger, looking at the dreadful weapon of his opponent as if there was instant death in it.
“ Nay, I will harm thee not, by the honour of chivalry, provided thou dost agree to two or three things I shall require of thee.”
Prythee tell me what they be, and let me up." “ First, thou shalt acknowledge thyself conquered in fair fight.”
“ Granted. Oh, my back!”
“ Secondly, thou shalt pay for thy ransom one shilling of good and lawful money of our sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth.”
Agreed. My ribs be as soft as butter. Oh!”
Lastly, thou shalt from this time forward and for ever, hold in most especial veneration and respect the goodly weapon that hath caused thy overthrow—to wit, a barber's pole.”
Spare me there, I prythee !” groaned the prostrate captain, in the most piteous accents ever heard, “ I would pay thee another shilling sooner.”
“ What, dost murmur, Sir Brazier?” cried out Harry Daring, and was just about to give him an additional poke, when the door opened, and turning round he beheld Master Francis. 66 Ah! I am right glad to see thee !” he exclaimed, going up to his visitor and shaking him by the hand with great heartiness, “ for in truth I have missed thee exceedingly.”
6 But what hast been about with this good gentleman, Harry?” enquired his young friend, who marvelled greatly at seeing of them in such a position.
6 What! hast dared to rise ?” exclaimed the boy, upon perceiving that as soon as his back had turned the captain had sprung on his legs, with a wonderful agility considering how hurt he was.
“ I pray you hold him, good sir,” cried Captain
Swagger, as he made haste to pick up his sword and hat. “ He hath used me villainously. He hath hurt my back, my ribs, and my toes, beyond all endurance, by poking me with that heathenish weapon of his. Indeed, he be the horriblest young wretch, and the absolutest little villain—"
• Ha! dost call names, Brazen-nose?” shouted the apprentice, lifting up his pole as if to renew the combat; but no sooner had the captain caught sight of his intention, than, with a look of the most exceeding horror and alarm, he made two or three tremendous strides to the door, and was out of the house without another word.
“Oh, Master Francis, I have had such exquisite fine fun!” said the boy, after a long fit of laughing, upon seeing of Captain Swagger take himself off in so evident a fright; and then he told the other the whole account of his attempts at chirurgery-at the which, though his companion seemed in a monstrous melancholy humour, he could not help smiling more than once. “ Indeed, Master Francis," added he at the last, 66 if thou hadst heard me speaking of my fine Latin, and the infinite gravity of my behaviour, thou wouldst never have forgotten it. But the rage of the old witch-that was the fun! Nay, I do think that the sight of Brazen-nose skipping away from the pole like a roast chesnut bouncing from the fire, was the exquisitest fun of the two. But what aileth thee?
for in honest truth thou lookest marvellously disturbed.”
6 'Tis nothing–Harry!—’tis nothing," replied Master Francis.
“ At least I rejoice exceedingly to see thee so famously attired,” continued his companion, looking with admiring eyes upon his handsome dress, "and to wear a sword too! Well, he that says thou art not worthy of it lies in his throat; and I would like to cudgel him within an inch of his life. For in truth, in my estimation, thou art good enough for anything. Dost remember when we too were at old Tickletoby's, and thou wert a reading to me the romance of King Arthur and other famous histories? Thou didst then say, if so be thou shouldst ever have the good hap to become a knight, which I always thought would be the case, then should I be thy faithful esquire. Prythee tell me if it be possible to be where thou art--if so, I will straight shew my indentures a fair pair of heels; for though I
may have sport enough sometimes, in honest truth I would rather wear a sword as thou dost; and should think nothing so pleasant as to be alongside of thee fighting of the paynims and such like caitiffs. Indeed, there be none I think so true a friend as art thou, when I remember the many times thou hast saved me the birch by helping of
tasks.” “ Hast forgot, dear Harry, how many uncivil
boys thou hast beat who did call me names ?” enquired Master Francis kindly. “Some nearly twice thy size too."
“ Ah, thou wert then exceeding delicate,” replied Harry Daring," and unfit to cope with such. Yes,
, I remember me what a bout I had of it with big Jack o' the Turnstile, for calling of thee 6 Mollycoddle'-a murrain on him! He got two famous black eyes, and had his villainous nose pummelled for him till it was as red and as big as a carrot. By Gog and Magog, that was exquisite fine fun!” And then the boy chafed his hands as if with wonderful delight. “But I should like to fight for thee all my life long if there be need of it; and be thy faithful friend and follower wherever thou goest.”
“ If I can get thee to be where I am, Harry, it shall be done,” replied Master Francis.
6. That be brave news indeed !” cried the barber's apprentice very joyfully—“ then a fig's end for old Lather-and Esculapius, and Aristotle, and all the whole tribe of such pestilent knaves and thorough going villains as they are, that can do nothing but give the horridest crack-jaw Latin names to things, that ever puzzled an innocent poor boy's brains to remember, may go hang !"
Harry Daring now went and restored the pole to its proper place.
“ Seeing Geoffrey Sarsnet, the jolly mercer, at his door," said the boy, as he returned to his com