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Chapter 15
You loggerheaded and unpolish'd grooms,
What, no attendance, no regard, no duty?
Where is the foolish knave I sent before? TAMING OF THE SHREW.
There is no period at which men look worse in the eyes of each other, or feel more
uncomfortable, than when the first dawn of daylight finds them watchers. Even a beauty
of the first order, after the vigils of a ball are interrupted by the dawn, would do wisely to
withdraw herself from the gaze of her fondest and most partial admirers. Such was the
pale, inauspicious, and ungrateful light which began to beam upon those who kept
watch all night in the hall at Sayes Court, and which mingled its cold, pale, blue diffusion
with the red, yellow, and smoky beams of expiring lamps and torches. The young
gallant, whom we noticed in our last chapter, had left the room for a few minutes, to
learn the cause of a knocking at the outward gate, and on his return was so struck with
the forlorn and ghastly aspects of his companions of the watch that he exclaimed, "Pity
of my heart, my masters, how like owls you look! Methinks, when the sun rises, I shall
see you flutter off with your eyes dazzled, to stick yourselves into the next ivy-tod or
ruined steeple."
"Hold thy peace, thou gibing fool," said Blount; "hold thy peace.
Is this a time for jeering, when the manhood of England is perchance dying within a
wall's breadth of thee?"
"There thou liest," replied the gallant.
"How, lie!" exclaimed Blount, starting up, "lie! and to me?"
"Why, so thou didst, thou peevish fool," answered the youth; "thou didst lie on that
bench even now, didst thou not? But art thou not a hasty coxcomb to pick up a wry word
so wrathfully? Nevertheless, loving and, honouring my lord as truly as thou, or any one,
I do say that, should Heaven take him from us, all England's manhood dies not with
"Ay," replied Blount, "a good portion will survive with thee, doubtless."
"And a good portion with thyself, Blount, and with stout Markham here, and Tracy, and
all of us. But I am he will best employ the talent Heaven has given to us all."
"As how, I prithee?" said Blount; "tell us your mystery of multiplying."
"Why, sirs," answered the youth, "ye are like goodly land, which bears no crop because
it is not quickened by manure; but I have that rising spirit in me which will make my poor