The Scene is laid in Brussels.
Scene I.—Soldiers and Citizens (with cross-bows)
Jetter (steps forward, and bends his cross-bow).
Soest, Buyck, Ruysum
Soest. Come, shoot away, and have done with it! You won’t beat me! Three black rings, you never made such a shot in all your life. And so I’m master for this year.
Jetter. Master and king to boot; who envies you? You’ll have to pay double reckoning; ’tis only fair you should pay for your dexterity.
Buyck. Jetter, I’ll buy your shot, share the prize, and treat the company. I have already been here so long, and am a debtor for so many civilities. If I miss, then it shall be as if you had shot.
Soest. I ought to have a voice, for in fact I am the loser. No matter! Come, Buyck, shoot away.
Buyck (shoots). Now, corporal, look out!—One! Two! Three! Four!
Soest. Four rings! So be it!
All. Hurrah! Long live the King! Hurrah! Hurrah!
Buyck. Thanks, sirs, master even were too much! Thanks for the honour.
Jetter. You have no one to thank but yourself. Ruysum. Let me tell you-
Soest. How now, grey-beard?
Ruysum. Let me tell you!—He shoots
like his master, he shoots like
Buyck. Compared with him I am only a bungler. He aims with the rifle as no one else does. Not only when he’s lucky or in the vein; no! he levels, and the bull’s-eye is pierced. I have learned from him. He were indeed a blockhead, who could serve under him and learn nothing!—But, sirs, let us not forget! A king maintains his followers; and so, wine here, at the king’s charge!
Jetter. We have agreed among ourselves that each—
Buyck. I am a foreigner, and a king, and care not a jot for your laws and customs.
Jetter. Why, you are worse than the Spaniard, who has not yet ventured to meddle with them.
Ruysum. What does he say?
Soest (loud to Ruysum). He wants to treat us; he will not hear of our clubbing together, the king paying only a double share.
Ruysum. Let him! under protest, however! ’Tis his master’s fashion, too, to be munificent, and to let the money flow in a good cause. (Wine is brought.)
All. Here’s to his Majesty! Hurrah!
Jetter (to Buyck). That means your Majesty, of course, Buyck. My hearty thanks, if it be so.
Soest. Assuredly! A Netherlander does not find it easy to drink the health of his Spanish majesty from his heart.
Soest (aloud). Philip the Second, King of Spain.
Ruysum. Our most gracious king and master!
Soest. Did you not like his father, Charles the Fifth, better?