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‘ [60] rudeness, the roysterers who swarmed there, besides the damning oaths they belched out against each other, looked very sourly upon us, as if they grudged us the horses which we rode and the clothes we wore.’ They had proceeded but a little distance, when they were overtaken by some half dozen drunken rough-riding cavaliers, of the Wildrake stamp, in full pursuit after the beautiful Quakeress. One of them impudently attempted to pull her upon his horse before him, but was held at bay by Ellwood, who seems, on this occasion, to have relied somewhat upon his ‘stick,’ in defending his fair charge. Calling up Gulielma's servant, he bade him ride on one side of his mistress, while he guarded her on the other. ‘But he,’ says Ellwood, ‘not thinking it perhaps decent to ride so near his mistress, left room enough for another to ride between.’ In dashed the drunken retainer, and Gulielma was once more in peril. It was clearly no time for exhortations and expostulations, ‘so,’ says Ellwood, ‘I chopped in upon him, by a nimble turn, and kept him at bay. I told him I had hitherto spared him, but wished him not to provoke me further. This I spoke in such a tone as bespoke an high resentment of the abuse put upon us, and withal pressed him so hard with my horse that I suffered him not to come up again to Guli.’ By this time, it became evident to the companions of the ruffianly assailant that the young Quaker was in earnest, and they hastened to interfere. ‘For they,’ says Ellwood, ‘seeing the contest rise so high, and probably fearing it would rise higher, not knowing where it might stop, came ’

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Thomas Ellwood (4)
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