Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

And deeming this some tustle with your wives
For pulling of a blanket here or there !
Five hundred marks—begone, and bring the money.

MYK.

Begone we will. Let's to our homes, my friends.
And what we'll bring thee thou shalt know betimes
Nor wait the setting of to-morrow's sun.
Not gold, sir, no, nor silver, be thou sure,
But what shall best befit a brave man's hand.

[Exeunt Myk and the Burghers; manent VAN DEN Bosch,

Occo, and FRANS ACKERMAN.

VAN DEN BOSCH.

Ye see, sirs, how the knaves take heart and rail
On this mishap.

OCCO.

I saw both that and more ;
Our White-Hoods look'd like very renegades,
As though they knew not which to fear the most,
Thy rod and gallows-tree, or the Earl's bailiff.
Trust me, we're falling fast to pieces, Peter.

VAN DEN BOSCH.

My lord of Occo, thou hast judged aright.
But what can I? Our chiefs drop one by one;
Launoy, too truly, perish'd at Nivelle;
Le Clerc lies leaning up against a hedge
(Till some one dare go bury him), at Chem ;
Thy cousin fell with Launoy. Now, Van Nuitre
And Lichtenvelde are good for men-at-arms,
But want the wit to govern a great town.
And I am good at arms, and want not wit;
But then I'm sore suspected of the rich,

By reason of my rudeness, and the fruit
Which that same gallows-tree of mine hath borne;
And to say truth, although my wit be good,
It hath a fitter range without the gates,
In ordering of an enterprise, than here.
The city leans to peace for lack of leading,
And we must put a head upon its shoulders.

OCCO.

Hast thou bethought thee of a man that's wise,
And fit to bear this rule ?

VAN DEN BOSCH.

Why, there be such ; Though one that's wise would scarce be wise to take it. What think'st thou, Frans? And thou, my lord of Occo? Know ye a man that, being wise, were willing ?

ACKERMAN.

There is no game so desperate which wise men
Will not take freely up for love of power,
Or love of fame, or merely love of play.
These men are wise, and then reputed wise,
And so their great repute of wisdom grows,
Till for great wisdom a great price is bid,
And then their wisdom do they part withal :
Such men must still be tempted with high stakes.

OCCO.

Tempt them and take them ; true, there be such men; Philip Van Artevelde is such a man.

VAN DEN BOSCH.

That is well thought of. Let us try him then.

[blocks in formation]

He saw me through the lattice, and stayed his horse an instant under the window.

CLARA.

Was that all ?

ADRIANA

Yes-no-yes--I suppose so.

CLARA,

Oh that maids would learn to speak the truth, or else to lie becomingly !

ADRIANA.

Do I not lie becomingly?-Well, 'tis from want of

What should I say?

use.

CLARA.

What say? Had my sworn friend so question'd me,
And I been minded, maugre our sworn friendship,
To coil my thoughts up in my secret self,

I with a brave and careless hardihood
Had graced the disavowal of my love.

ADRIANA

But did I

say I loved him not? Oh, God!
If I said that, I say since truth was truth
There never was a falsehood half so false.
I

say I love him, and I say beside
That but to say I love him is as nothing;
'Tis but a tithe and scantling of the truth!
And oh! how much I love him what can tell ?
Not words, not tears—Heaven only knows how much ;
And every evening when I say my prayers,
I pray to be forgiven for the sin
Of loving aught on earth with such a love.

CLARA,

Well, God forgive you! for you answer now
Like a true maid and honest though a sinning.
But tell me, if that's mention'd in your prayers,
For how much love has he to be forgiven ?

ADRIANA.

Alas! I know not.

CLARA.

Nay, but you can guess.

ADRIANA.

Oh! I have guess'd a thousand times too oft.
And sometimes I am hopeful as the spring,
And up my fluttering heart is borne aloft
As high and gladsome as the lark at sunrise ;
And then, as though the fowler's shaft had pierced it,
It comes plumb down with such a dead, dead fall.

CLARA.

And all the while is he, I nothing doubt,
As wayward and as love-sick as yourself.

ADRIANA.

He love-sick! No-it may be that he loves me;
But if he loves me 'tis with no love-sickness.
His nerves are made of other cord than mine;
He saunters undisturb'd along the Lis,
For ever angling as he used to do.
And when he told me he must come to-night,
And that he then would lay a burden down
Which he had borne in silence all-too-long,
His voice was strong and steady, calm and clear,
So that I doubted if could be love
That then was in his thoughts.

OLARA.

Oh! much the doubt! But this was what I knew had come to pass, When answering with your vacant no and yes, You fed upon your thoughts and mark'd me not.

ADRIANA.

But honestly, think you it must be love
He comes to speak of?

CLARA.

Why, 'tis either that, Or else to tell you of what fish he caught.

ADRIANA,

Oh, do not tease me; for my heart is faint
With over-fulness of its expectations.

CLARA.

Nay, if your love's so lamentable sick,
Nurse it yourself; I'll go.

« AnteriorContinuar »