give me leave to shine sometimes,
My Lord?
   Lord. Thou hast a gallant spirit, which I fear
Will be imposèd on by the closer sort. [Aside
   Clar. Well, I'll endeavour to take
Lord Percy's advice; I have been usèd so much
To dignity that I'm sick on 't.
   Queen Phil. Fie, fie, Lord Clarence! you proceed not to business,
But speak of your own pleasures.
I hope their Lordships will excuse your giddiness.
   Clar. My Lords, the French have fitted out many
Small ships of war, that, like to ravening wolves,
Infest our English seas, devouring all
Our burden'd vessels, spoiling our naval flocks.
The merchants do complain and beg our aid.
   Percy. The merchants are rich enough,
Can they not help themselves?
   Bish. They can, and may; but how to gain their will
Requires our countenance and help.
   Percy. When that they find they must, my Lord, they will:
Let them but suffer awhile, and you shall see
They will bestir themselves.
   Bish. Lord Percy cannot mean that we should suffer
This disgrace: if so, we are not sovereigns
Of the sea -- our right, that Heaven gave
To England, when at the birth of nature
She was seated in the deep; the Ocean ceas'd
His mighty roar, and fawning play'd around
Her snowy feet, and own'd his awful Queen.
Lord Percy, if the heart is sick, the head
Must be aggriev'd; if but one member suffer,
The heart doth fail. You say, my Lord, the merchants
Can, if they will, defend themselves against
These rovers: this is a noble scheme,
Worthy the brave Lord Percy, and as worthy
His generous aid to put it into practice.
   Percy. Lord Bishop, what was rash in me is wise
In you; I dare not own the plan. 'Tis not

Mine. Yet will I, if you please,
Quickly to the Lord Mayor, and work him onward
To this most glorious voyage; on which cast
I'll set my whole estate,
But we will bring these Gallic rovers under.
   Queen Phil. Thanks, brave Lord Percy; you have the thanks
Of England's Queen, and will, ere long, of England. [Exeunt

Scene. At Cressy. Sir Thomas Dagworth and Lord Audley meeting.

   Audley. Good morrow, brave Sir Thomas; the bright morn
Smiles on our army, and the gallant sun
Springs from the hills like a young hero
Into the battle, shaking his golden locks
Exultingly: this is a promising day.
   Dagworth. Why, my Lord Audley, I don't know.
Give me your hand, and now I'll tell you what
I think you do not know. Edward's afraid of Philip.
   Audley. Ha! Ha! Sir Thomas! you but joke;
Did you e'er see him fear? At Blanchetaque,
When almost singly he drove six thousand
French from the ford, did he fear then?
   Dagw. Yes, fear -- that made him fight so.
   Aud. By the same reason I might say tis fear
That makes you fight.
   Dagw. Mayhap you may: look upon Edward's face,
No one can say he fears; but when he turns
His back, then I will say it to his face;
He is afraid: he makes us all afraid.
I cannot bear the enemy at my back.
Now here we are at Cressy; where to-morrow,
To-morrow we shall know. I say, Lord Audley,
That Edward runs away from Philip.
   Aud. Perhaps you think the Prince too is afraid?
   Dagw. No; God forbid! I'm sure he is not.
He is a young lion. O! I have seen him fight
And give command, and lightning has flashèd
From his eyes across the field: I have seen him
Shake hands with death, and strike a bargain for
The enemy; he has danc'd in the field
Of battle, like the youth at morris-play.
I'm sure he's not afraid, nor Warwick, nor none--
None of us but me, and I am very much afraid.
   Aud. Are you afraid too, Sir Thomas?
I believe that as much as I believe
The King's afraid: but what are you afraid of?
   Dagw. Of having my back laid open; we turn
Our backs to the fire, till we shall burn our skirts.
   Aud. And this, Sir Thomas, you call fear? Your fear
Is of a different kind then from the King's;
He fears to turn his face, and you to turn your back.
I do not think, Sir Thomas, you know what fear is.

Enter Sir John Chandos.

   Chand. Good morrow, Generals; I give you joy:
Welcome to the fields of Cressy. Here we stop,
And wait for Philip.
   Dagw. I hope so.
   Aud. There, Sir Thomas, do you call that fear?
   Dagw. I don't know; perhaps he takes it by fits.
Why, noble Chandos, look you here--
One rotten sheep spoils the whole flock;
And if the bell-wether is tainted, I wish
The Prince may not catch the distemper too.
   Chand. Distemper, Sir Thomas! what distemper?
I have not heard.
   Dagw. Why, Chandos, you are a wise man,
I know you understand me; a distemper
The King caught here in France of running away.
   Aud. Sir Thomas, you say you have caught it too.
   Dagw. And so will the whole army; 'tis very catching,
For, when the coward runs, the brave man totters.
Perhaps the air of the country is the cause.
I feel it coming upon me, so I strive against it;
You yet are whole; but, after a few more
Retreats, we all shall know how to retreat
Better than fight. -- To be

  By PanEris using Melati.

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