inging a merry drinking-catch, with the ring of glasses and the stamping of spurred heels. "Hark to 'em," he repeated, with a gesture of infinite disgust; "these are creatures the which, having all the outward form and semblance of man, yet, being utterly devoid of all man's finer qualities, live but to quarrel and fight--to eat and drink and beget their kind--in which they be vastly prolific, for the world is full of such. To-night it would seem they are in a high good humour, wherefore they are a trifle more boisterous than usual, indulging themselves in these howlings and shoutings, and shall presently drink themselves out of what little wit Dame Nature hath bestowed upon 'em, and be carted home to bed by their lackeys--pah!"
"How--what?" gasps Jack, while I sat staring (very nearly open-mouthed) at the cool audacity of the fellow.
"Are you aware, sir," cries Jack, when at last he had regained his breath, "that the persons you have been decrying are friends of mine, gallant gentlemen all--aye