"No gentleman," he went on, going more lamely at each word-- "notwithstanding your great beauty--no gentleman--"
"Would marry me?" the young lady ended for him, with merciful good- humour.
"For if you--if a young lady be permitted to bear herself in such a manner as will cause her to be held lightly, she can make no match that will not be a dishonour to her family--and--and--"
"And may do worse!" quoth Mistress Clo, and laughed until the room rang.
Sir Jeoffry's rage was such as made him like to burst; but she restrained him when he would have flung his tankard at the chaplain's head, and amid his storm of curses bundled the poor man out of the room, picking up his hat which in his hurry and fright he let fall, and thrusting it into his hand.
"Tell his lordship," she said, laughing still as she spoke the final words, "that I say he is right--and I will see to it that no disgrace befalls him."
"Forsooth, Dad," she said, returning, "perhaps the old son of a--"-- something unmannerly--"is not so great a fool. As for me, I mean to make a fine marriage and be a great lady, and I know of none hereabouts to suit me but the old Earl of Dunstanwolde, and 'tis said he rates at all but modest women, and, in faith, he might not find breeches mannerly. I will not hunt in them again."
She did not, though once or twice when she was in a wild mood, and her father entertained at dinner those of his companions whom she was the most inclined to, she swaggered in among them in her daintiest suits of male attire, and caused their wine-shot eyes to gloat over her boyish-maiden charms and jaunty airs and graces.