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Nor yet through love.

[To the Herald. Sir, you have leave to speak.

HERALD.

My lord, I humbly thank you. I entreat
That in my speech should aught offend your ears,
You from the utterer will remove the fault.
My office I obey and not my will,
Nor is a word that I'm to speak mine own.

ARTEVELDE.

Sir, nothing you can say shall be so gross,
Offensive, or unmannerly conceived,
As that it shall not credibly appear
To come from them that sent you; speak, then, freely.

HERALD

Philip of Artevelde, sole son of Jacques,
Maltster and brewer in the town of Ghent,
The realm of France this unto thee delivers :
That forasmuch as thou, a liegeman born
To the Earl of Flanders, hast rebelled against him,
And with thy manifold treasons and contempts
Of duty and allegiance, hast drawn in
By twenties and by forties his good towns
To rise in fury and forget themselves,
Thus saith the puissant and mighty lord,
The earl's affectionate kinsman, Charles of France :
Thou from before this town of Oudenarde
With all thy host shalt vanish like a mist;
Thou shalt surrender to their rightful lord
The towns of Ghent, and Ypres, Cassel, Bruges,
Of Thorout, Rousselart, Damme, Sluys, and Bergues,
Of Harlebeque, Poperinguen, Dendermonde,

Alost and Grammont; and with them all towns
Of lesser name, all castles and strong houses,
Shalt thou deliver up before the Feast
Of Corpus Christi coming, which undone
He the said puissant king, Sir Charles of France,
With all attendance of his chivalry,
Will raise his banner and his kingdom's force,
And scattering that vile people which thou lead'st
Will hang thee on a tree and nail thy head
Over the gates of Ghent, the mother of ill
That spawn'd thee ;-and for these and sundry more
Just reasons and sufficient, thou art warn'd
To make thy peace betimes, and so God keep thee!

ARTEVELDE.

First,

Sir Herald, thou hast well discharged thyself
Of an ill function. Take these links of gold,
And with the company of words I give thee
Back to the braggart king from whom thou cam’st.

:-had he lived to know
His glories, deeds, and dignities postponed
To names of barons, earls, and counts (that here
Are to men's ears importunately common
As chimes to dwellers in the market-place)
He with a silent and a bitter mirth
Had listen'd to the boast: may he his son
Pardon for in comparison setting forth
With his the name of this disconsolate earl.
How stand they in the title deeds of fame?
What hold and heritage in distant times
Doth each enjoy—what posthumous possession ?
The dusty chronicler with painful search,
Long fingering forgotten scrolls, indites

of my father :

That Louis Mâle was sometime Earl of Flanders,
That Louis Mâle his sometime earldom lost,
Through wrongs by him committed, that he lived
An outcast long in dole not undeserved,
And died dependent: there the history ends,
And who of them that hear it wastes a thought
On the unfriended fate of Louis Mâle ?
But turn the page and look we for the tale
Of Artevelde's renown. What man was this?
He humbly born, he highly gifted rose
By steps of various enterprise, by skill,
By native vigour to wide sway, and took
What his vain rival having could not keep.
His glory shall not cease, though cloth of gold
Wrap him no more, for not of golden cloth,
Nor fur, nor minever, his greatness came,
Whose fortunes were inborn: strip me the two,
This were the humblest, that the noblest, beggar
That ever braved a storm!

SIR FLEUREANT.

My lord, your pardon ; Nothing was utter'd in disparagement Of your famed father, though a longer life And better would he assuredly have lived, Had it seem'd good to him to follow forth His former craft, nor turn aside to brew These frothy insurrections.

ARTEVELDE.

Sir, your back Shows me no tabard, nor a sign beside, Denoting what your office is that asks

A bearing in this presence ; nor know I yet
By what so friendly fortune I am graced
With your good company and gentle speech.
But we are here no niggards of respect
To merit's unauthenticated forms,
And therefore do I answer you, and thus :
You speak of insurrections : bear in mind
Against what rule my father and myself
Have been insurgent : whom did we supplant ?-
There was a time, so ancient records tell,
There were communities, scarce known by name
In these degenerate days, but once far-famed,
Where liberty and justice, hand in hand,
Ordered the common weal; where great men grew
Up to their natural eminence, and none
Saving the wise, just, eloquent, were great;
Where power was of God's gift, to whom he gave
Supremacy of merit, the sole means
And broad highway to power, that ever then
Was meritoriously administer'd,
Whilst all its instruments from first to last,
The tools of state for service high or low,
Were chosen for their aptness to those ends
Which virtue meditates. To shake the ground
Deep-founded whereupon this structure stood,
Was verily a crime; a treason it was
Conspiracies to hatch against this state
And its free innocence. But now, I ask,
Where is there on God's earth that polity
Which it is not, by consequence converse,
A treason against nature to uphold ?
Whom may we now call free? whom great ? whom wise ?
Whom innocent ?—the free are only they
Whom power makes free to execute all ills
Their hearts imagine; they alone are great
Whose passions nurse them from their cradles up
In luxury and lewdness,—whom to see
Is to despise, whose aspects put to scorn
Their station's eminence; the wise, they only
Who wait obscurely till the bolts of heaven
Shall break upon the land, and give them light
Whereby to walk ; the innocent,—alas !
Poor innocency lies where four roads meet,
A stone upon her head, a stake driven through her,
For who is innocent that cares to live ?
The hand of

power
doth
press

life
Of innocency out! What then remains
But in the cause of nature to stand forth,
And turn this frame of things the right side up ?
For this the hour is come, the sword is drawn,
And tell your masters vainly they resist.
Nature, that slept beneath their poisonous drugs,
Is up and stirring, and from north and south,
From east and west, from England and from France,
From Germany, and Flanders, and Navarre,
Shall stand against them like a beast at bay.
The blood that they have shed will hide no longer
In the blood-sloken soil, but cries to heaven.
Their cruelties and wrongs against the poor
Shall quicken into swarms of venomous snakes,
And hiss through all the earth, till o'er the earth,
That ceases then from hissings and from groans,
Rises the song—How are the mighty fallen !
And by the peasant's hand! Low lie the proud !

the very

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