Silva. And has he not brought us hither in silence?
Gomez. Nothing can be said against that. Of a truth, we, who witnessed the address with which he led the troops hither out of Italy, have seen something. How he advanced warily through friends and foes; through the French, both royalists and heretics; through the Swiss and their confederates; maintained the strictest discipline, and accomplished with ease, and without the slightest hindrance, a march that was esteemed so perilous!—We have seen and learned something.
Silva. Here too! Is not everything as still and quiet as though there had been no disturbance?
Gomez. Why, as for that, it was tolerably quiet when we arrived.
Silva. The provinces have become much more tranquil; if there is any movement now, it is only among those who wish to escape; and to them, methinks, the duke will speedily close every outlet.
Gomez. This service cannot fail to win for him the favour of the king.
Silva. And nothing is more expedient for us than to retain his. Should the king come hither, the duke doubtless and all whom he recommends will not go without their reward.
Gomez. Do you really believe then that the king will come?
Silva. So many preparations are being made, that the report appears highly probable.
Gomez. I am not convinced, however.
Silva. Keep your thoughts to yourself then. For if it should not be the king’s intention to come, it is at least, certain that he wishes the rumour to be believed.
Ferdinand. Is my father not yet abroad?
Silva. We are waiting to receive his commands.
Ferdinand. The princes will soon be here.
Gomez. Are they expected to-day?
Ferdinand. Orange and Egmont.
Gomez (aside to Silva). A light breaks in upon me.
Silva. Well, then, say nothing about it.
Enter the Duke of Alva (as he advances the rest draw back)
Gomez (steps forward). My lord.
Alva. You have distributed the guards and given them their instructions?
Gomez. Most accurately. The day-patrols—
Alva. Enough. Attend in the gallery. Silva will announce to you the moment when you are to draw them together, and to occupy the avenues leading to the palace. The rest you know.
Gomez. I do, my lord.
[Exit. Alva. Silva.
Silva. Here my lord.
Alva. I shall require you to manifest to-day all the qualities which I have hitherto prized in you: courage, resolve, unswerving execution.
Silva. I thank you for affording me an opportunity of showing that your old servant is unchanged.
Alva. The moment the princes enter my cabinet, hasten to arrest Egmont’s private Secretary. You have made all needful preparations for securing the others who are specified?