“I tell thee,” said Lambourne, leading the way into the turnkey’s apartment, “thou art an ass. Go bolt the wicket on the stair, and trouble not thy noddle about ghosts. Give me the wine stoup, man; I am somewhat heated with chafing with yonder rascal.”
While Lambourne drew a long draught from a pitcher of claret, which he made use of without any cup, the warder went on, vindicating his own belief in the supernatural.
“Thou hast been few hours in this Castle, and hast been for the whole space so drunk, Lambourne, that thou art deaf, dumb, and blind. But we should hear less of your bragging were you to pass a night with us at full moon; for then the ghost is busiest, and more especially when a rattling wind sets in from the north-west, with some sprinkling of rain, and now and then a growl of thunder. Body o’ me, what crackings and clashings, what groanings and what howlings, will there be at such times in Mervyn’s Bower, right as it were over our heads, till the matter of two quarts of distilled waters has not been enough to keep my lads and me in some heart!”
“Pshaw, man!” replied Lambourne, on whom his last draught, joined to repeated visitations of the pitcher upon former occasions, began to make some innovation, “thou speakest thou knowest not what about spirits. No one knows justly what to say about them; and, in short, least said may in that matter be soonest amended. Some men believe in one thing, some in another—it is all matter of fancy. I have known them of all sorts, my dear Lawrence Lock-the-door, and sensible men too. There’s a great lord—we’ll pass his name, Lawrence—he believes in the stars and the moon, the planets and their courses, and so forth, and that they twinkle exclusively for his benefit, when in sober, or rather in drunken truth, Lawrence, they are only shining to keep honest fellows like me out of the kennel. Well, sir, let his humour pass; he is great enough to indulge it. Then, look ye, there is another—a very learned man, I promise you, and can vent Greek and Hebrew as fast as I can Thieves’ Latin he has an humour of sympathies and antipathies—of changing lead into gold, and the like; why, via, let that pass too, and let him pay those in transmigrated coin who are fools enough to let it be current with them. Then here comest thou thyself, another great man, though neither learned nor noble, yet full six feet high,