Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/635

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527
DEVONSHIRE WRESTLERS


The Master wi' his cocked-up hat
   He flourishéd his sword,
Wi' "Come and follow me, brave boys,
   I warn't we'll try to board."
I vollowed he thro' thick and thin,
   Tho' bless'y I culdn't see'n;
The gurt French chap was on to he
   Wi' sword both long" and keen.

I rinn'd up to the Master's help,
   I niver rinn'd no vaster,
I zed unto the gurt French chap,
   "Now don't ee hurt the Master!"
Then "Wee, wee, wee, parlez vous Frenchee!"
   He zed—I reck'n he cuss'd—
But "Darny," sez I, "if that's your game,
   I reck'n I must kill ee fust."

The Master jumped 'bout the French ship
   And tore down all her colours,
And us jumped 'bout the French ship, too,
   A whoppin' them foreign fellers.
As for the chap as Master threat'n'd
   I beat that Parley-vous,
From the niddick down his lanky back,
   Till he squeaked out "Mortbleu!"

Now here's a lesson to volks ashore,
   And sich as ostlers be,
Don't never say Die, and Tain't my trade,
   But listen, and mark of me.
There's nobody knaws wot ee can do,
   Till tried—now trust me well,
Why—us wos ostlers and ort beside,
   Yet kicked the Frenchies to——Torpoint.

Carew gives us an account of the way in which wrestling was conducted in the West of England in the days of Charles I. "The beholders cast or form themselves into a ring, in the empty space whereof the two champions step forth, stripped into their dublets and hosen, and untrussed, that they may so the better command the use of their lymmes; and first, shaking hands, in token of friendship, they fall presently to the effects of anger; for each striveth how to take hold of