“I know not what you mean,” said Tressilian, inferring, however, too surely, that this licentious ruffian must have been sensible of Amy’s presence in his apartment; “’i but if,” he continued, “thou art varlet of the chambers, and lackest a fee, there is one to leave mine unmolested.”
Lambourne looked at the piece of gold, and put it in his pocket saying, “Now, I know not but you might have done more with me by a kind word than by this chiming rogue. But after all he pays well that pays with gold; and Mike Lambourne was never a makebate, or a spoil-sport, or the like. E’en live, and let others live, that is my motto-only, I would not let some folks cock their beaver at me neither, as if they were made of silver ore, and I of Dutch pewter. So if I keep your secret, Master Tressilian, you may look sweet on me at least; and were I to want a little backing or countenance, being caught, as you see the best of us may be, in a sort of peccadillo—why, you owe it me—and so e’en make your chamber serve you and that same bird in bower beside—it’s all one to Mike Lambourne.”
“Make way, sir,” said Tressilian, unable to bridle his indignation, “you have had your fee.”
“Um!” said Lambourne, giving place, however, while he sulkily muttered between his teeth, repeating Tressilian’s words, “Make way—and you have had your fee; but it matters not, I will spoil no sport, as I said before. I am no dog in the manger—mind that.”
He spoke louder and louder, as Tressilian, by whom he felt himself overawed, got farther and farther out of hearing.
“I am no dog in the manger; but I will not carry coals neither—mind that, Master Tressilian; and I will have a peep at this wench whom you have quartered so commodiously in your old haunted room—afraid of ghosts, belike, and not too willing to sleep alone. If I had done this now in a strange lord’s castle, the word had been, The porter’s lodge for the knave! and, have him flogged—trundle him downstairs like a turnip! Ay, but your virtuous gentlemen take strange privileges over us, who are downright servants of our senses. Well—I have my Master Tressilian’s head under my belt by this lucky discovery, that is one thing certain; and I will try to get a sight of this Lindabrides of his, that is another.”
Now fare thee well,
my master—if true service
Be guerdon’d with hard looks, e’en cut the tow-line,
And let our barks across the pathless flood
Hold different courses—the shipwreck.