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OCCO.

Fair damsel, I am happy in the fortune
Which shines upon me from two spheres at once.

Fair sir,

CLARA,
I thank

you
for

your courtesy.
No lady lives in Ghent with ears to hear,
Who has not heard recounted night and day
The exploits of Lord Occo.

OCCO.

On my soul, I blush to hear it said ; though true it is I have perform'd what little in me lay To bring renown to Flemish chivalry. I give to God the glory; and next Him 'Tis due to her whose charms would kindle valour In the most coldest heart of Christendom.

CLARA.

Whoe'er inspired your valour, your exploits
Must give that lady high pre-eminence.
Three hundred men at arms, I think it was,
You freely fell upon with sword in hand,
After the storming of the Fort at Sas,
And not a soul survived ?

OCCO.

Your pardon, lady; Some other trifle's in your thoughts; at Sas There is no fort, and they who perish'd there Were but three hundred peasants who were burn'd By firing of a barn to which they'd fled.

CLARA.

Ah, was it so ? At Zeveren then surely

OCCO.

What happen'd there too, was of no account.

CLARA.

Oh, pardon me; the modesty which still
Accompanies true valour, casts in shade
Your noble actions. I beseech you tell
What came to pass at Zeveren.

OCCO.

The town

Was taken by surprise.

CLARA.

Ay, true, and then The garrison that made themselves so strong Within the convent's walls—

OCCO.

At Zeveren

There was no garrison.

CLARA.

You say not so? How false is Fame! I'm certain I was told Of a great slaughter in the convent there.

OCCO. True; a proportion of the sisterhood Met with mishap. But, lady, by your leave We'll treat of other things. Haply you know not The usages of war, and scarce approve Proceedings which its hard necessities Will oft-times force upon us warriors. A softer theme were meeter, and there's one On which I burn to speak.

CLARA.

Alack, alack!
Then I am gone; soft speeches please mine ear,
As do soft pillows—when I fain would sleep.
But what's the time of day? Come hither, Henry:
We walk by high examples in this world ;
Let's to the poultry-yard and win our spurs.
Give you good day, my lord.

(Exeunt CLARA and Page.

OCCO.

A merry lady Your friend appears; but now that she is gone, I must entreat your hearing for a word Of graver import-grave, if aught imports The life or death of this poor heart of mine. A burning fiery furnace is this heart; I waste like wax before a witch's fire, Whilst but one word from thee would make earth heaven, And I must soon be nothing or a god ! There's an unutterable want and void, A gulf, a craving, and a sucking in, As when a mighty ship goes down at sea. I roam about with hunger-bitten heart, A famine in my bosom- -a dry heat, A desperate thirst, and I must glut it now, Or like a dog by summer solstice parch'd I shall go mad.

ADRIANA.

O no, my lord, your pardon ;
You flatter me or else deceive yourself;
But, so far as I may, I yield you thanks,
Lamenting that I cannot be so grateful
As you may think I ought.

OCCO.

Nay, lady, nay: Deem that I've been tormented long enough And let this coyness have a timely end.

ADRIANA.

I am not coy, and plainly now to speak (When aught but plainness should be less than just) I cannot be your wife.

OCCO.

And wherefore so ?
It is not that your nature is unloving ;
You will not tell me that ?

ADRIANA,

I've told

you

all Which it can profit you to know.

OCCO.

Ah! now

I see it clearly; there's some smooth-tongued knave
Has been before me, yea, some wheedling minion,
With song and dance and lute and lily hands,
Has wriggled into favour, I the while
Fighting hard battles to my neck in blood.
Tell me in honesty if this be sooth:
If it be not, in charity say No.

ADRIANA.

In charity I never will speak more
With you, Sir Guy of Occo,
Nor till I see a sign of gentle blood,
Or knightly courtesy in one so bold,
Will I again hold converse, or with him,
any

that abets him. This to me!

Or

[Exit.

OCCO.

Thanks, gentle lady! Thanks, kind, loving soul !
I am instructed; there came out the truth;
Those flashing eyes could hold it in no longer.
They are as plain to read as are the stars
To him who knows their signs. Would that I knew
The name of him who thrusts himself between us,
And what star rules him in the house of life!
Who rides this way and waves that long salute ?
Philip Van Artevelde, as I'm a knight!
Then no more need I knowledge of the stars.

SCENE III.-The Stadt-House.

Enter MYK STEENSEL, followed by several Burghers.

MYK.

And who is Van den Bosch, resolve me that:
I say, sirs, who is he to lay on taxes ?

FIRST BURGHER.

Or Ackerman, or Launoy, who are they ?

MYK.

I say, sirs, if our goods be not our own,
Better our natural liege lord should have them
Than thus to render them to John or Peter.

SECOND BURGHER.

Why, look you, sirs, our case stands simply here :
The Earl of Flanders is a valiant lord,
And was a gracious master, till the Devil,
Who never sleeps, awaken'd them of Bruges

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