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SECOND BURGHER.

Why so ?

FIRST BURGHER.

Good friend,
Did'st ever know a secret to lie close
Under a goose's wing?

SECOND BURGHER.

I think 'twill out.

'Twill surely out.

FIRST BURGHER.

The frighten'd fox sits fast; Folly with fear will flutter still and cackle. [Aloud). This will be known.

I am for rising now, Slaying Vauclaire and Roosdyk in their beds Before they nose it, sounding through the streets King Charles's pardon and the town's submission, And so to present issue with it all.

BURGOMASTER.

Mercy! what foolishness will young men talk !

FIRST BURGHER.

Under

your favour-old men too at times.

THIRD BURGHER.

а

De Vry, a word. I marvel at thy rashness ;
We are not ripe for action: in a week,
Perchance a day—nay, it

may

be this hour,
Or Van den Bosch will conquer at Commines,
Or the French force the passage. If the first,
In vain were this revolt, for Van den Bosch
Would quell us in a trice ; and if the second,
Then were the time to rise, for all the town
Would then rise with us.

а

SECOND BURGHER.

In good time, Verstolken; The axe's edge is turn'd towards us now, And what shall save us, if this mooncalf here Should let his errand out?

VAN MUCK.

Call

you me mooncalf? I am an honest man; I dare To signify me other.

you, sir,

SECOND BURGHER.

Hold thy peace.
Whilst the French king is look'd for at Commines,
Too wise is Van den Bosch to break his strength
With sending soldiers hither. He but counts
Nine thousand men,

FOURTH BURGHER.

The double were too few

To be divided,

FIFTH BURGHER.

More than some two thousand Would hardly march on Ypres, should we thrive; And if they did, we'd bowl them down like nine-pins.

SECOND BURGHER.

He'll never waste his forces upon us
Whilst the French king's to come; and then the news
Of Ypres fallen off, will cheer the French,
Sicken the White-Hoods, and make sure the loss
Of that famed passage, which shall magnify
Our merits with King Charles.

Enter a Sixth Burgher.

SIXTH BURGHER.

Away, away! Vauclaire has word of all you do; a troop Despatch'd by Van den Bosch to give him aid Is riding into town. Van Muck's commission Is whisper'd of, and loudly.

BURGOMASTER.

There now, there!
I told you so—I told you this would come ;
But still you talk'd of rising. Run, Van Muck,
Thou villain run, and be not seen abroad
With honest citizens.

SECOND BURGHER.

Aye, get thee hence;
Best quit the town, and make thy way to France.

VAN MUCK,

I will, your worships.

[Exit, but returns immediately.

Please you, sir, the street Is full of men-at-arms that come this way.

BURGOMASTER. I said so ; there! and still

you

hearken'd not! Oh Time and Tide! Oh wala-wa! Oh me!

THIRD BURGHER.

What shall we do?

SECOND BURGHER.

Van Muck, stand fast; they come : It is Vauclaire himself.

BURGOMASTER.

Say you sell pots.

Enter VAUCLAIRE and ROOSDYK followed by a troop of

Men-at-arms.

VAUCLAIRE.

Ah, Master Burgomaster, here you are !

ROOSDYK.

Make fast the doors.

VAUCLAIRE.

And thou, Verstolken-nay ! Here's Goswin Hex, and Drimmelen, and Breero ! And thou, De Vry-Van Rosendaal, and thou ! How rare a thing is faith! Alas, my masters ! Here is a work you put me to !

ROOSDYK.

Stand forth, Master Van Muck! where are you ?—which is he ?

THIRD BURGHER.

What is it, sirs, you charge us with ?

ROOSDYK.

What think ye? Say treason, and I'll call you conjurors.

VAUCLAIRE.

I have my orders-stand thou forth, Van MuckAnd I must needs obey them. Say, what art thou ?

ROOSDYK.

A villain.

VAN MUCK.

No, sirs, I am not a villain. I am a travelling trader; I sell pots.

ROOSDYK

Thyself—thou sell'st thyself—a precious vessel !
Where is the provost marshal? Hark you, sir !

,

Put irons on them all, and give Van Muck
A taste of what you have.

BURGOMASTER.

Hold off! what's this?

I am your master.

ROOSDYK.

Knock him on the head ; Bid him be patient.

VAUCLAIRE.

I am amazed at this!
So sweetly as you all demean’d yourselves !
A guileful world we live in! God forgive us !
Make fast the gyves and take them off to prison.

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The Stadt-house. You shall all be heard Except Van Muck, whose treason is too rank To be excused.

I must obey my orders ; First to the rack they doom him, then to the gallows.

VAN MUCK.

Sirs, grant me mercy; I am not a traitor ;
I'll tell it all.

ROOSDYK.

That shall you, or the rack
Is not so good a singing-master now
As it was wont to be.

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