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Which knowing, he will therefore cleave to me.
Besides, he learns the minds of men toward me
Here and in Ghent, how each man stands affected.
For this and other serviceable arts,
Not out of friendship, do I show him favour.
Have you not seen a jackdaw take his stand
On a sheep's back, permitted there to perch
Less out of kindness to so foul a bird
Than for commodious uses of his beak ?
As to the sheep the jackdaw, so to me
Is Gilbert Matthew; from my fleece he picks
The vermin that molest me.—Here he comes !

Enter GILBERT MATTHEW.
Well, honest Gilbert, are the knights not gone?

GILBERT.

Not yet, my lord; they urge in lieu of lives
The forfeiture of sundry burgages
To fill your coffers. I denied them roundly.

EARL.

I bid thee not!

GILBERT.

Lives, lives, my lord, take freely; But spare

the lands and burgages and moneys. The father dead, shall sleep and be forgotten; The patrimony gone,—that makes a wound That's slow to heal ; heirs are above-ground ever.

EARL.

Well, be it so.

GILBERT.

The knights wait here without.

They ask an audience of leave, and bring
A new adherent.

EARL.

Give them entrance, Gilbert. GILBERT MATTHEW goes out, and returns with Sir SIMON BETTE

and SIR GUISEBERT GRUTT.

SIR SIMON.

This audience we made bold to crave, my lord,
To advertise your highness that our friend
Of whom we spake, the valiant Lord of Occo,
Has come here at great hazard in disguise
To show how matters now proceed in Ghent.

EARL.

He shall be welcome.

Does he wait ?

SIR SIMON.

He does ; And with your highness' leave I'll bring him to you.

[Exit.

EARL

Think'st thou he may be steadied ?

GILBERT.

At this time
He has great power to do your highness service;
And your free pardon for all past misdeeds,
And promise of preferment, will do much
To make him wholly yours.

EARL.

Well, well, so be it. 'Tis no such urgent need we have of him ; But if he be so contrite, it is well.

Re-enter SIR SIMON BETTE with Occo. You're a bold man, my Lord of Occo, you That have so long borne arms against your liege, Without safe-conduct to have ventured here.

OCCO.

My sole safe-conduct is the good intent
I bear to your affairs, my noble lord;
Nought else impelld me hither, and nought else,
I trust, is needed for my safe return.

EARL.

Thou shalt return in safety. Say, what news
Bring'st thou from Ghent?

OCCO.

My lord, Peace, peace! is there The only cry, except with desperate chiefs, Who are so weak that fair conditions now Would draw their followers from them to a man.

EARL.

Our proffer of conditions is made known
Already to our good Sir Simon Bette
And Guisebert Grutt.

SIR GUISEBERT.

My lord is pleased to grant Indemnity to all save some three hundred ; The list to be hereafter named by him And dealt with at his pleasure.

OCCO.

This is well! These terms are just and merciful indeed ! But then they must be proffer'd presently. You know, my lord, the humour we of Ghent

Have still indulged—we never cry for

peace But when we're out of breath ; give breathing-time, And ere the echo of our cry for peace Have died away, we drown it with War! war! Even now the faction hopes to be redeem'd By a new leader, Philip of Artevelde.

EARL.

Ha! Artevelde? that name is ominous.
Whenever sunshine has come near my house
An Artevelde has cast his shadow there.
I have not heard the name of Artevelde
Since that usurper Jacques died the death.
This Philip then was in his infancy.
What is he made of? Of his father's metal ?
A dangerous man, in truth, sirs, if he be.

GILBERT.

Oh fear him not, my lord ; his father's name
Is all that from his father he derives.
He is a man of singular address
In catching river-fish. His life hath been
Till now, more like a peasant's or a monk's
Than like the issue of so great a man.

OCCO.

Yet is his name so worshipp'd of the people,
That were the time and scope permitted him
To grow expert, some danger might come of him.
Wherefore 'twere well to note him on your list.

EARL.

Let him be noted. Think you, then, Sir Guy,
That they'll accept our terms, or still hold out ?

OCCO.

Let these good knights make instant speed to Ghent
And call the burghers to the market-place;
Then let to-morrow, at their bidding, wear
The aspect of to-day, and all will prosper.
Take them whilst yet Nivelle is in their thoughts.

EARL.

You counsel well. Prepare, sirs, to depart;
We'll have the terms engross'd and send you them.
Farewell, my lord ; farewell, Sir Simon Bette ;
Sir Guisebert Grutt, farewell.—We'll send

you

them. [Exeunt the EARL, GILBERT MATTHEW, Occo, and Sir Simon

BETTE. A8 SIR GUISEBERT GRUTT is following, he is detained by D'ARLON.

D'ARLON. One word, fair sir.

SIR GUISEBERT.

My good lord, at your pleasure.

D'ARLON.
I have a foolish errand in your town.
There is a damsel ... but your

head is white; You will not heed me.

SIR GUISEBERT.

Pray proceed, my lord,
I have not yet forgotten how in youth
A damsel's love, amongst the amorous,
Was more than bed of down or morning posset.

D'ARLON.
In brief, kind sir, conveyance hence to Ghent
Is what I crave. Methinks amongst your train,
And habited like them, I well could pass
And no one mark me.

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