steeds, kicking in the air. Encumbered as they
were, some little time elapsed before they could regain
their feet, and their lances having been removed in
the mean time, by order of Sir John Finett, as being
weapons of too dangerous a description for such truculent
combatants, they attacked each other with their broad
lathen daggers, dealing sounding blows upon helm, habergeon,
and shield, but doing little personal mischief.
The strife raged furiously for some time, and, as
the champions appeared pretty well matched, it was
not easy to say how it would terminate, when chance
seemed to decide in favour of Davy Droman; for, in
dealing a heavier blow than usual, Archie’s
dagger snapped in twain, leaving him at the mercy of
his opponent. On this the doughty Davy, crowing
lustily like chanticleer, called upon him to yield;
but Archie was so wroth at his misadventure, that,
instead of complying, he sprang forward, and with the
hilt of his broken weapon dealt his elated opponent
a severe blow on the side of the head, not only knocking
off the porringer, but stretching him on the ground
beside it. The punishment he had received was
enough for poor Davy. He made no attempt to rise,
and Archie, crowing in his turn, trampling upon the
body of his prostrate foe, and then capering joyously
round it, was declared the victor, and received the
gilt chopines from the judge, amidst the laughter
and acclamations of the beholders.
With this the public sports concluded; and, as evening
was drawing on apace, such of the guests as were not
invited to pass the night within the Tower, took their
departure; while shortly afterwards, supper being
served in the banqueting-hall on a scale of profusion
and magnificence quite equal to the earlier repast,
the King and the whole of his train sat down to it.
CHAPTER X.—EVENING ENTERTAINMENTS.
Other amusements were reserved for the evening.
While revelry was again held in the great hall; while
the tables groaned, for the third time since morning,
with good cheer, and the ruby wine, which seemed to
gush from inexhaustible fountains, mantled in the
silver flagons; while seneschal, sewer, and pantler,
with the yeomen of the buttery and kitchen, were again
actively engaged in their vocations; while of the
three hundred guests more than half, as if insatiate,
again vied with each other in prowess with the trencher
and the goblet; while in the words of old Taylor,
the water poet, but who was no water-drinker—and
who thus sang of the hospitality of the men of Manchester,
in the early part of the seventeenth century—they
bak’d, too, too much, white, claret, sack.
Nothing they thought too heavy or too hot,
Can follow’d can, and pot succeeded
—during this time preparations were making
for fresh entertainments out of doors.