His Robe Of State Hung In Ribbands From
His Back, And But Ill Concealed The Ravages He Had Suffered In The
He had received kicks and cuffs from all sides, during the
tumult; for every one took the opportunity of slyly gratifying some
lurking grudge on his fat carcass.
He was a discreet man, and did not
choose to declare war with all his company; so he swore all those kicks
and cuffs had been given by me, and I let him enjoy the opinion. Some
wounds he bore, however, which were the incontestible traces of a
woman's warfare. His sleek rosy cheek was scored by trickling furrows,
which were ascribed to the nails of my intrepid and devoted Columbine.
The ire of the monarch was not to be appeased. He had suffered in his
person, and he had suffered in his purse; his dignity too had been
insulted, and that went for something; for dignity is always more
irascible the more petty the potentate. He wreaked his wrath upon the
beginners of the affray, and Columbine and myself were discharged, at
once, from the company.
Figure me, then, to yourself, a stripling of little more than sixteen;
a gentleman by birth; a vagabond by trade; turned adrift upon the
world; making the best of my way through the crowd of West End fair; my
mountebank dress fluttering in rags about me; the weeping Columbine
hanging upon my arm, in splendid, but tattered finery; the tears
coursing one by one down her face; carrying off the red paint in
torrents, and literally "preying upon her damask cheek."
The crowd made way for us as we passed and hooted in our rear.
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