"Splashed, quoth-a!-why I thought you were soused all over.-Come, come, don't mince the matter, never spoil a good story; you know you hadn't a dry thread about you-'Fore George, I shall never think on't without hollooing! such a poor forlorn draggle-tailed-gentlewoman! and poor Monseer French, here, like a drowned rat, by your side!"
"Mother," mumbled the poor stifled voice, "be not so awful with me! I would fain speak; but being without wits, what can I say?" "Thou canst speak, darling, canst thou?" cried Mother Rigby, relaxing her grim countenance into a smile. "And what shalt thou say, quoth-a! Say, indeed! Art thou of the brotherhood of the empty skull, and demandest of me what thou shalt say?
The woman was ready to flutter with vexation; and Lord Jackey laughed as if he would burst his sides: G d d n me, Beck, said he, you'd better let her alone to my lady here for she'll be too many for twenty such as you and I! And then he laughed again, and repeated I can't scold, quoth-a! but, by gad, miss, you can speak d d spiteful words, I can tell you that! Poor Beck, poor Beck!
"Your La'ship knows I am but too happy to obey you; but, 'pon honour, I can't speak a word, if you won't all promise me the most inviolable secrecy." "I wish you'd wait for that from me," said the Captain, "and I'll give you my word you'd be dumb for one while. Secrecy, quoth-a!-'Fore George, I wonder you an't ashamed to mention such a word, when you talk of telling it to a woman.