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But, my brethren, you will stare your eyes out with astonishment, and we may pave a whole country with men's heads. The Turk, as I said a short time ago, won't rest, and would like to give Austria a slap. But look! There that puffy-cheeked master rope-maker, Reuwerz, is on a cask, and babbles something to the monkey-faced creatures that stand round him. That lot are unendurable. Since the rope-maker, Michel Ruyter, has become a hero of the sea every one thinks if he can twist a cable of tow he must have the making of an admiral in him. Every apprentice who turns a windlass thinks we have to thank him for the hundred ships of war and the hundred merchantmen we could send to sea any day; and a boy who has not a hair in front of his ears babbles about freedom and rights. But there is no God in Heaven if things do not change again soon. Then men of standing and education were something; my father was first valet—"

"Ay, there you warm to the old story again; we have heard that a hundred times, and have always told you we will have none of the Orange rule. Stadtholders they may be, we have nothing to say against that, but under their rule we might starve, and now we have enough to eat if we don't sit with our hands in our laps."

So said Maessen Blutzaufer, who spoke for his comrades, and before the barber could look round he was deserted by his audience.