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And in an hour shall we, bound hand and foot,
Be on our way to Bruges.*

Art. Not so, not so.
My rule of governance has not been such
As e'er to issue in so foul a close.

Bosch. What matter by what rule thou mayst have governed ?
Think'st thou a hundred thousand citizens
Shall stay the fury of their empty maws
Because thou 'st ruled them justly?

Art. It may be
That such a hope is mine.

Bosch. Then thou art mad,
And I must take this matter on myself. (Crosses L.)

Art. (R.) Hold, Van den Bosch ! I say this shall not be.
I must be madder than I think I am
Ere I shall yield up my authority,
Which I abuse not, to be used by thee.

Bosch. This comes of lifting dreamers into power !
I tell thee, in this strait and stress of famine,
The people, but to pave

the
way
for

peace,
Would instantly dispatch our heads to Bruges.
Once and again I warn thee that thy life
Hangs by a thread.

Art. Why, know I not it does ?
What hath it hung by else since Utas' eve ?
Did I not, by mine own advisëd choice,
Place it in jeopardy for certain ends ?
And what were these ? — To prop thy tottering state ?
To float thee o'er a reef, and, that performed,
To cater for our joint security ?
No, verily; not such my high ambition !
I bent my thoughts on yonder city's weal;
I looked to give it victory and freedom ;
And, working to that end, by consequence,
From one great peril did deliver thee,
Not for the love of thee or of thy life,
Which I regard not, but the city's service;
And if, for that same service, it seem good,
I will expose thy life to equal hazard.

Bosch, Thou wilt?
Art. I will.
Bosch. Truly! to hear him speak!
What a most mighty emperor of puppets

* Pronounce Broozh. Pronounce Bosch, Bosk.

THE SIEGE OF GHENT.

215

Is this that I have brought upon the board !
But how if he that made it should unmake ?

Art. Unto His sovereignty who truly made me
With infinite humility I bow !
Both, both of us are puppets, Van den Bosch ;
Part of the curious clock-work of this world ;
We scold, and squeak, and crack each other's crowns ;
And if, from twitches moved by wires we see not,
I were to toss thee from this steeple's top,
I should be but the instrument — no more —
The tool of that chastising Providence
Which doth exalt the lowly, and abase
The violent and proud. But let me hope
Such is not mine appointed task to-day.
Thou passest in the world for worldly-wise.
Then, seeing we must sink or swim together,
What can it profit thee, in this extreme
Of our distress, to wrangle with me thus
For my supremacy and rule ? Thy fate,
As of necessity bound up with mine,
Must needs partake my cares.

Let that suffice
To put thy pride to rest till better times.

Bosch. Tush, tush ! Van Artevelde ; thou talk'st and talk'st, And honest burghers think it wondrous fine ; But thou mightst easi’lier, with that tongue of thine, Persuade

yon smoke to fly i' the face o' the wind,
Than talk away my wit and understanding.
I say yon herald shall not enter here.

Art. I know, sir, no man better, where my talk
Is serviceable singly, where it needs
To be by acts enforced. I say, beware,
And brave not mine authority too far.
Bosch. Hast thou authority to take my

life?
What is it else to let yon herald in
To bargain for our blood ?

Art. Thy life again!
Why, what a very slave of life art thou !
Look round about on this once populous town;
Not one of these innumerous house-tops
But hides some spectral form of misery,
Some peevish, pining child, and moaning mother,
Some agëd man that in his dõtage scolds,
Not knowing why he hungers ; some cold corse
That lies unstraightened where the spirit left it.

Look round, and answer what thy life can be
To tell upon the balance of such scales.
I too would live I have a love for life
But rather than to live to charge my soul
With one hour's lengthening out of woes like these,
I'd leap this parapet with as free a bound
As e'er was school-boy's o'er a garden wall.

Bosch. I'd like to see thee do it.

Art. I know thou wouldst.
But for the present be content to see
My less precipitate descent; for, lo !
There comes the herald o'er the hill!

(E.cit, R.)
Bosch. Beshrew thee!
Thou shalt not have the start of me in this.
(Calls.) Van Artevelde !
What ho! Beware! Beware, I say ! (Follows hastily.)

HENRY TAYLOR.

XI.

- SYLVESTER DAGGERWOOD.

FUSTIAN and DAGGERWOOD discovered ; FUSTIAN sitting in one chair, DAG

GERWOOD asleep in another. The clock strikes eleven.

Fustian. Eight, nine, ten, eleven? Zounds! eleven o'clock, and here I have been waiting ever since nine for an interview with the manager:

(A servant crosses.) Hark ye, young man, is your master visible yet ?

Servant. Sir ?
Fus. I say, can I see your master ?
Serv. He has two gentlemen with him at present, sir.

Fus. Ay, the old answer ! Who is this asleep here in the chair?

Serv. O, that, sir, is a gentleman who wants to come out.

Fus. Come out! then wake him, and open the door. Upon my word, the greatest difficulty in this house is to get in.

Serv. Ha, ha! I mean he wants to appear on the stage, sir : 't is Mr. Sylvester Daggerwood, of the Dunstable company.

Fus. O ho! a country candidate for a London truncheonsucking Prince of Denmark. He snores like a tinker : fatigued with his journey, I suppose.

Serv. No, sir. He has taken a nap in this room for these five morning but has not been able to obtain an audience here yet.

Fus. No hor at Dunstable, neither, I take it.

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SYLVESTER DAGGERWOOD.

217

; you 'll let

.

Serv. I am so loth to disturb him, poor gentleman, that I never wake him till a full half-hour after my master is gone out.

Fus. Upon my honor, that's very obliging! I must keep watch here, I find, like a lynx. Well, friend your master know Mr. Fustian is here, when the two gentlemen have left him at leisure. Serv. The moment they make their exit.

(Exit.) Fus. Make their exit! This fellow must have lived here come time, by his language, and I'll warrant him lies by rote, like a parrot. (Sits down and pulls out a manuscript.) If I could nail this manager for a minute, I'd read him such a tragedy!

Daggerwood. (Dreaming.) Nay, and thou 'lt mouth - I'll rant as well as thou.

Fus. Eh ! he's talking in his sleep! Acting Hamlet before twelve tallow candles in the country.

Dag. “ To be, or not to be" Fus. Yes, he's at it: let me see. (Turning over the leaves of his play.) I think there's no doubt of its running.

Dag. Dreaming.) “That's the question” ...“who would fardels bear"

Fus. Zounds! There's no bearing you ! - His grace's patronage will fill half the boxes, and I'll warrant we'll stuff the critics in the pit. Dag. (Dreaming.) “ To groan and sweat,

When he himself might his quietus make." Fus. Quietus! I wish, with all my heart, I could make yours.

-The Countess of Crambo insists on the best places for the first night of performance : she 'll sit in the stage-box.

Dag. (Still dreaming.) “With a bare bodkin!”
Fus. O, the deuce, there is no enduring this! Sir, sir, do

you intend to sleep any more ?

Dag. (Waking.) Eh! what? when ? Methought I heard a voice say, “Sleep no more!"

Fus. Faith, sir, you have heard something very like it; that voice was mine. (They rise.)

Dag. Sir, I am your servant to command, Sylvester Daggerwood, whose benefit is fixed for the eleventh of June, by particular desire of several persons of distinction. You'd make an excellent Macbeth, sir.

Fus. Sir!

Dag. Macbeth doth murder sleep, the innocent sleep, balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course – nay, and sometimes her first course, too — when a dinner is unavoidably deferred, by your humble servant, Sylvester Daggerwood.

Fus. I am very sorry, sir, you should ever have occasion to postpone so pleasant a performance.

Dag. Eating, sir, is a most popular entertainment, for man and horse, as I may say; but I am apt to appear nice, sir; and, somehow or other, I never could manage to sit down to dinner in

bad company.

Fus. Has your company been bad, then, of late, sir ? Dag. Very bad, indeed, sir — the Dunstable company, where I have eight shillings a week, four bits of candle, one wife, three shirts, and nine children.

Fus. A very numerous family.

Dag. A crowded house, to be sure, sir, but not very profitable. Mrs. Daggerwood, a fine figure, but, unfortunately, stutters, so of no use in the theatrical line; children too young to make a debut, except my eldest, Master Apollo Daggerwood, a youth only eight years old, who has twice made his appearance in Tom Thumb, to an overflowing and brilliant barn house, I mean with unbounded applause.

Fus. Have you been long on the stage, Mr. Daggerwood ?

Dag. Fifteen years since I first smelt the lamp, sir; my father was an eminent button-maker, at Birmingham, and meant me to marry Miss Molly Mop, daughter to the rich director of coal works at Wolverhampton ; but I had a soul above buttons, and abhorred the idea of a mercenary marriage. I panted for a liberal profession, so ran away from my father, and engaged with a traveling company of comedians. In my travels I had soon the happiness of forming a romantic attachment with the present Mrs. Daggerwood, wife to Sylvester Daggerwood, your humble servant to command, whose benefit is fixed for the eleventh of June, by desire of several persons of distinction; so you see, sir, I have a taste,

Fus. Have you ? Then sit down and I'll read you my tragedy. I’m determined some one shall hear it before I go out of this house. (Sits down.)

Dag. A tragedy! Sir I'll be ready for you in a moment; let me prepare for woe. (Takes out a very ragged pocket-handkerchief.) “ This handkerchief did an Egyptian to my mother give."

Fus. Faith, I should think so; and, to all appearance, one of the Norwood party.

Dag. Now, sir, for your title, and then for the dram'atis perso'næ. (Sits.)

Fus. The title, I think, will strike; the fashion of plays, you

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