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Wrench'd with an iron hand from firm array,
Are routed loose about the plashy meads,
Of honour forfeit. O that my known voice
Could reach your dastard ears, and fright you more!
Fly, cowards, fly! Glocester is at your backs!
Throw your slack bridles o'er the flurried manes,
Ply well the rowel with faint trembling heels,
Scampering to death at last!
Ist Knight.

The enemy Bears his flaunt standard close upon their rear.

2nd Knight. Sure of a bloody prey, seeing the fens Will swamp them girth-deep. Stephen.

Over head and ears. No matter! 'Tis a gallant enemy; How like a comet he goes streaming on. But we must plague him in the flank,-hey, friends ? We are well breath'd,- follow!

Enter Earl Baldwin and Soldiers, as defeated. Stephen.

De Redvers ! What is the monstrous bugbear that can fright Baldwin ?

Baldwin. No scarecrow, but the fortunate star Of boisterous Chester, whose fell truncheon now Points level to the goal of victory. This way he comes, and if you would maintain Your person unaffronted by vile odds, Take horse, my Lord. Stephen.

And which way spur for life? Now I thank heaven I am in the toils, That soldiers may bear witness how my arm Can burst the meshes. Not the eagle more Loves to beat up against a tyrannous blast,

Than I to meet the torrent of my foes.
This is a brag,- be 't so,- but if I fall,
Carve it upon my 'scutcheon'd sepulchre.
On, fellow soldiers ! Earl of Redvers, back!
Not twenty Earls of Chester shall brow-beat
The diadem.

(Exeunt. Alarum.

SCENE II.—Another part of the Field.

Trumpets sounding a Victory. Enter GLOCESTER,

Knights, and Forces.

Glocester. Now may we lift our bruised vizors up And take the flattering freshness of the air, While the wide din of battle dies away Into times past, yet to be echoed sure In the silent pages of our chroniclers. Ist Knight. Will Stephen's death be mark'd there,

my good Lord, Or that we give him lodging in yon towers ? Glocester. Fain would I know the great usurper's fate.

Enter two Captains severally. Ist Captain. My Lord! 2nd Captain. Most noble Earl ! Ist Captain. The King2nd Captain,

The Empress greetsGlocester. What of the King ?

Ist Captain. He sole and lone maintains A hopeless bustle 'mid our swarming arms, And with a nimble savageness attacks,

Escapes, makes fiercer onset, then anew
Eludes death, giving death to most that dare
Trespass within the circuit of his sword !
He must by this have fallen. Baldwin is taken;
And for the Duke of Bretagne, like a stag
He flies, for the Welsh beagles to hunt down.
God save the Empress!
Glocester.

Now our dreaded Queen: What message from her Highness ? 2nd Captain.

Royal Maud From the throng'd towers of Lincoln hath look'd

down. Like Pallas from the walls of Ilion, And seen her enemies havock'd at her feet. She greets most noble Glocester from her heart, Intreating him, his captains, and brave knights, To grace a banquet. The high city gates Are envious which shall see your triumph pass; The streets are full of music.

Enter and Knight. Glocester.

Whence come you? 2nd Knight. From Stephen, my good Prince

Stephen! Stephen! Glocester. Why do you make such echoing of his

name? 2nd Knight. Because I think, my lord, he is no man, But a fierce demon, 'nointed safe from wounds, And misbaptized with a Christian name. Glocester. A mighty soldier!— Does he still hold

out? 2nd Knight. He shames our victory. His valour still Keeps elbow-room amid our eager swords,

And holds our bladed falchions all aloof.
His gleaming battle-axe, being slaughter-sick,
Smote on the morion of a Flemish knight,
Broke short in his hand; upon the which he flung
The heft away with such a vengeful force
It paunch'd the Earl of Chester's horse, who then
Spleen-hearted came in full career at him.

Glocester. Did no one take him at a vantage then ? 2nd Knight. Three then with tiger leap upon

him flew, Whom, with his sword swift drawn and nimbly held, He stung away again, and stood to breathe, Smiling. Anon upon him rush'd once more A throng of foes, and in this renew'd strife My sword met his and snapp'd off at the hilt. Glocester. Come, lead me to this man—and let

us move In silence, not insulting his sad doom With clamourous trumpets. To the Empress bear My salutation as befits the time.

(Exeunt GLOCESTER and Forces.

SCENE III.—The Field of Battle. Enter STEPHEN,

unarmed.

Stephen. Another sword! And what if I could seize One from Bellona's gleaming armoury, Or choose the fairest of her sheaved spears! Where are my enemies? Here, close at hand, Here come the testy brood. O, for a sword ! I'm faint-a biting sword! A noble sword ! A hedge-stake-or a ponderous stone to hur!

VOL. III.

25

With brawny vengeance, like the labourer Cain.
Come on! Farewell my kingdom, and all hail
Thou superb, plumed, and helmeted renown!
All hail! I would not truck this brilliant day
To rule in Pylos with a Nestor's beard -
Come on!

Enter De Kaims and Knights, &c.
De Kaims. Is 't madness, or a hunger after death,
That makes thee thus unarm'd throw taunts at us?
Yield, Stephen, or my sword's point dips in
The gloomy current of a traitor's heart.

Stephen. Do it, De Kaims, I will not budge an inch.
De Kaims. Yes, of thy madness thou shalt take

the meed.
Stephen. Darest thou ?
De Kaims. How, dare, against a man disarm'd ?

Stephen. What weapons has the lion but himself? Come not near me, De Kaims, for by the price Of all the glory I have won this day, Being a king, I will not yield alive To any but the second man of the realm, Robert of Glocester.

Thou shalt vail to me.
Stephen. Shall I, when I have sworn against it, sir?
Thou think'st it brave to take a breathing king,
That, on a court-day bow'd to haughty Maud.
The awed presence-chamber may be bold
To whisper, There's the man who took alive
Stephen -me-prisoner. Certes, De Kaims,
The ambition is a noble one.

De Kaims.
And, Stephen, I must compass it.

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