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THE KING.

We do.

BOURBON.

Save him, our number is complete.
Sir Oliver of Clisson, unto thee,
By virtue of thine office, appertaineth,
More than to any here, to point the course
Of the king's armies: wherefore he desires
Thou open this day's business.

THE KING.

'Tis our will.

THE CONSTABLE.

May it please your majesty—my lords, and you !
So much was said on Friday of the choice
'Twixt Lille and Tournay-that the more direct
And this, 'tis justly held, the safer road-
That I should waste your patience and your time,
Did I detain you long. To Lille, my lords,
Were two days' journey; thence to Warneston
Were one day, let or hindrance coming none;
But should the rains continue, and the Deule-

THE KING.

What ails my Lord of Burgundy, good uncle ?

BOURBON.

The gout, sweet cousin. May it please your grace To hearken to the Constable.

THE CONSTABLE.

My lords, If with these luckless rains the Deule be flooded, As there is cause to think it is already, From Armentières to Quesnoy, and the Marque

Be also fuller than its wont, what days
Should bring us to the Lis were hard to tell.
But grant we reach so far, all over-pass'd
Without mishap the intervenient waters,
The bridges on the upper Lis, we know,
Are broken down; and on the further shore
Lies Van den Bosch—and where are we to pass ?
I put it to you, where are we to pass ?
How do we cross the Lis ?

LORD OF SAIMPI.

May it please your grace, I would be bold to ask the Constable Hath not the Lis a source ?

SIR LOIS OF SANXERE.

Yea, one or more.

LORD OF SAIMPI.

Why, then it may be cross'd.

THE CONSTABLE.

My Lord of Saimpi, Surely it may be crossd, if other ways Present no better hope. My lords, ye

all Have voices in the council; speak your minds, And God forefend that any words of mine Should blind your better judgments.

SIR AYMENON OF PUMIERS.

Higher up, A few leagues south, by Venay and St. Venant, The Lis is fordable, and is not kept.

SIR RAOUL OF RANEVAL.

Not kept, my lords ! why should it ? Van den Bosch

Were doubtless overjoy'd to see us strike,
Amidst the drenching of these torrents, deep
Into the lands of Cassel and Vertus ;
An English force, for aught we know, the while
Borne like a flock of wild geese o'er the seas,
And dropp'd at Dunkirk. On the left are they,
The Flemings on the right, strong towns in front;
And so we plunge from clammy slough to slough,
With fog and flood around us.

SIR LOIS OF SANXERE.

Yea, wet-footed.

SIR RAOUL OF RANEVAL.

What say you?

SIR LOIS OF SANXERE.

For the love of God, my lords,
Keep we dry feet. Rheumatic pains, catarrhs,
And knotty squeezings of the inward man,
Thus may we fly the taste of.

SIR RAOUL OF RANEVAL.

Soft, Sir Lois ; Spare us thy gibes; I've stood more winters' nights Above my knees in mire, than thou hast hairs Upon the furnish'd outside of thy skull.

SIR LOIS OF SANXERE.

I say, my lords, take heed of mists and swamps ;
Eschew rain water; think on winter nights;
Beware the Flemish on the Lis; beware
The English, that are in much strength-at London.
Ye've brought the king to Arras in November,
And now ye find that in November rain
Is wont to fall ; ye find that fallen rain

Swells rivers and makes floods ; whereof advised,
Take the king back with all convenient speed,
And shut him up at Senlis.

THE KING.

Hold, Sir Lois ;

I will not go.

SIR LOIS OF SANXERE.

I crave your Grace's pardon; I little dream'd you would ; you are a man.

SIR RAOUL OF RANEVAL.

Lois of Sanxere, I ask thee in this presence,
Fling'st thou these girds at me ?

THE CONSTABLE.

My lords, my lords ! I do beseech you to bethink yourselves. Remember where ye are. SIR RAOUL OF RANEVAL (drawing off his glove).

Lois of Sanxere[Here TRISTRAM OF LESTOVET, in arranging some parchments,

touches the mace, which rolls heavily from the table, and falls close to the feet of Sir RAOUL OF RANEVAL. He starts up.

LESTOVET.

No hurt, my lord, I hope? Thank God! thank God !
Most humbly do I sue to you, my lord,
To grant me your forgiveness.

SIR RAOUL OF RANEVAL.

Nay, 'tis nothing; It might have been a bruise, but

Enter an Usher, followed by SIR FLEUREANT OF HEURLÉE.

USHER.

Please your Grace,

Sir Fleureant of Heurlée waits without,
Hot from the Flemish camp, which he but left
Two days agone, and he can tell your

Grace
How all things stand in Flanders.

BOURBON.

Now we'll see !
This is an apt arrival ; welcome, sir !
What is the news you bring us ?

SIR FLEUREANT.

Please your Grace, The letters patent I sought means to send To Ypres, Ghent, and Bruges; but to the first Only they reached in safety, though from thence Doubtless the terms have spread. The Regent, warn'd Of what was machinated, as I hear, Sent orders to the Lis for Van den Bosch To split his power, and throw a third to Ypres To fortify Vauclaire ; whilst he stood fast, But held himself prepared, if Bruges should rise Or Ghent, to drop adown the Lis to Heule, Or Desselghem, or Rosebecque, there to join The Regent's force, that then should raise the siege Of Oudenarde, and gather on the Lis.

BOURBON.

These are good tidings; yet I deem the Lis
Is still too strongly guarded for our force
There to make way.

THE CONSTABLE.

Your Grace is ever just

In all your

views.

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