Carpenter. Were such an one to cry, “Halt!” and level his musket, think you one would stand?
Jetter. I should fall dead upon the spot.
Carpenter. Let us go home!
Jetter No good can come of it. Farewell.
Soest. Friends! Neighbours! Carpenter. Hush! Let us go.
Soest. Have you heard?
Jetter. Only too much!
Soest. The Regent is gone.
Jetter. Then Heaven help us.
Carpenter. She was some stay to us.
Soest. Her departure was sudden and secret. She could not agree with the duke; she has sent word to the nobles that she intends to return. No one believes it, however.
Carpenter. God pardon the nobles for letting this new yoke be laid upon our necks. They might have prevented it. Our privileges are gone.
Jetter. For Heaven’s sake not a word about privileges. I already scent an execution; the sun will not come forth; the fogs are rank.
Soest. Orange, too, is gone.
Carpenter. Then are we quite deserted!
Soest, Count Egmont is still here.
Jetter. God be thanked! Strengthen him, all ye saints, to do his utmost; he is the only one who can help us.
Vansen. Have I at length found a few brave citizens who have not crept out of sight?
Jetter. Do us the favour to pass on.
Vansen. You are not civil.
Jetter. This is no time for compliments. Does your back itch again? are your wounds already healed?
Vansen. Ask a soldier about his wounds? Had I cared for blows, nothing good would have come of me.
Jetter. Matters may grow more serious.
Vansen. You feel from the gathering storm a pitiful weakness in your limbs, it seems.
Carpenter. Your limbs will soon be in motion elsewhere, if you do not keep quiet.
Vansen. Poor mice! The master of the house procures a new cat, and ye are straight in despair! The difference is very trifling; we shall get on as we did before, only be quiet.
Carpenter. You are an insolent knave.
Vansen. Gossip! Let the duke alone. The old cat looks as though he had swallowed devils, instead of mice, and could not now digest them. Let him alone, I say; he must eat, drink, and sleep, like other men. I am not afraid if we only watch our opportunity, At first he makes quick work Of it; by-and-by, however, he too will find that it is pleasanter to live in the larder, among flitches of bacon, and to rest by night, than to entrap a few solitary mice in the granary. Go to! I know the stadtholders.
Carpenter. What such a fellow can say with impunity! Had I said such a thing, I should not hold myself safe a moment.
Vansen. Do not make yourselves uneasy! God in heaven does not trouble himself about you, poor worms, much less the Regent.