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The Armourer s Prentices, Charlotte M. Yonge The armour, new and brilliant, concealed the worn and shabby leathern dress beneath, and gave the tall, spare figure a greater breadth, diminishing the look of a hungry wolf which Sir John Fulford’s aspect suggested. However, as he passed some of the wealthier stalls, where the apprentices, seeing the martial figure, shouted, What d’ye lack, sir knight? and offered silk and velvet robes and mantles, gay sword knots, or even rich chains, under all the clamour, Stephen heard him swearing by St. George what a place this would be for a sack, if his Badgers were behind him. If that poor craven of a Warbeck had had a spark of valour in him, quoth he, as he passed a stall gay with bright tankards and flagons, we would have rattled some of that shining gear about the lazy citizens’ ears! He, jolly King Edward’s son! I’ll never give faith to it! To turn his back when there was such a booty to be had for the plundering. He might not have found it so easy. Our trainbands are sturdy enough, said Stephen, whose _esprit de corps_ was this time on the Londoners’ side, but the knight of the Badger snapped his fingers, and said, So much for your burgher trainbands! All they be good for with their show of fight is to give honest landsknechts a good reason to fall on to the plunder, if so be one is hampered by a squeamish prince.


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