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Till I sting mine own heart! (Aside.) There is no hope!

Aur. One hope there is, worth all the rest-Revenge! The time is harass'd, poor, and discontent;

Your spirit practised, keen, and desperate,-
The senate full of feuds-the city vext
With petty tyranny-the legions wrong'd-

Cat. Yet, who has stirr'd? Aurelius, you paint the air With passion's pencil.

Aur. Were my will a sword!

Cat. Hear me, bold heart. The whole gross blood of

Could not atone my wrongs! I'm soul-shrunk, sick,
Weary of man! And now my mind is fix'd

For Libya there to make companionship


Rather of bear and tiger, of the snake,

The lion in his hunger,-than of man!

Aur, I had a father once, who would have plunged
Rome in the Tiber for an angry look!

You saw our entrance from the Gaulish war,
When Sylla fled ?

Cat. My legion was in Spain.

Aur. Rome was all eyes; the ancient totter'd forth The cripple propp'd his limbs beside the wall;

The dying left his bed to look-and die.

The way before us was a sea of heads;
The way behind a torrent of brown spears:
So on we rode, in fierce and funeral pomp,
Through the long, living streets.

Cat. Those triumphs are but gewgaws.
What is it? Dust and smoke.

All the earth,

I've done with life!

Aur. Before that eve-one hundred senators,
And fifteen hundred knights, had paid-in blood,
The price of taunts, and treachery, and rebellion!
Were my tongue thunder-I would cry, Revenge!
Cat. No more of this! Begone and leave me !
There is a whirling lightness in my brain,
That will not now bear questioning. Away!

(Aurelius moves slowly towards the door.) Where are our veterans now? Look on these walls; I cannot turn their tissues into life.

Where are our revenues-our chosen friends?

Are we not beggars!

I see no swords and

I shake the state!

Where have beggars friends?
bucklers on these floors!
I-What have I on earth

But these two hands? Must I not dig or starve?
Come back! I had forgot. My memory dies,
I think, by the hour. Who sups with us to-night?
Let all be of the rarest,-spare no cost.

If 'tis our last;-it may be-let us sink
In sumptuous ruin, with wonderers round us!
Our funeral pile shall send up amber smokes ;
We'll burn in myrrh, or-blood!



Verner and Albert.

Ver. Ан! Albert! What have you there?

Alb. My bow and arrows, Verner.

Ver. When will you use them like your father, boy? Alb. Sometime, I hope.

Ver. You brag! There's not an archer

In all Helvetia can compare with him.


Alb. But I'm his

may be like him.

To think I sometime

son: and when I am a man,

Verner, do I brag,

may be like my

If so, then is it he that teaches me;

For, ever as I wonder at his skill,


He calls me boy, and says I must do more
Ere I become a man.

Ver. May you be such

A man as he-if heaven wills, better-I'll

Not quarrel with its work; yet 'twill content me

If you are only such a man.

Alb. I'll show you

How I can shoot.

(Goes out to fix the mark.)

Ver. Nestling as he is, he is the making of a bird

Will own no cowering wing.

Re-enter Albert.

Alb. Now, Verner, look! (Shoots.) There's within

An inch!

Ver. O fy! it wants a hand.

(Exit Verner.)

Alb. A hand's

An inch for me.

I'll hit it yet. Now for it!

(While Albert continues to shoot, Tell enters and watches him some time, in silence.)

Tell. That's scarce a miss that comes so near the mark! Well aim'd, young archer! With what ease he bends The bow! To see those sinews, who'd believe

Such strength did lodge in them?

That little arm,

His mother's palm can span, may help, anon,
To pull a sinewy tyrant from his seat,
And from their chains a prostrate people lift
To liberty. I'd be content to die,

Living to see that day! What, Albert!

Alb. Ah!

My father!

Tell. You raise the bow

Too fast.

(Albert continues shooting.)

Bring it slowly to the eye.-You've miss'd.

How often have you hit the mark to-day?
Alb. Not once, yet.

Tell. You're not steady. I perceived

You waver'd now.

Stand firm. Let every limb

Be braced as marble, and as motionless.
Stand like the sculptor's statue, on the gate
Of Altorf, that looks life, yet neither breathes
Nor stirs. (Albert shoots.) That's better!
See well the mark. Rivet your eye to it!
There let it stick, fast as the arrow would,
Could you but send it there..

(Albert shoots.)

You've miss'd again! How would you fare,
Suppose a wolf should cross your path, and you
Alone, with but your bow, and only time
To fix a single arrow? "Twould not do
To miss the wolf! You said, the other day,
Were you a man, you'd not let Gesler live-
'Twas easy to say that. Suppose you, now,
Your life or his depended on that shot!—
Take care! That's Gesler!-Now for liberty!

Right to the tyrant's heart! (Hits the mark.) Well done. my boy!

Come here. How early were you up

Alb. Before the sun.


Tell. Ay, strive with him. He never lies abed When it is time to rise. Be like the sun.

Alb. What you would have me like, I'll be like,

As far as will to labour join'd can make me.

Tell. Well said, my boy! Knelt you when you got up To-day?

Alb. I did; and do so every day.

Tell. I know you do! And think

To whom you kneel?

you, when you kneel

Alb. To Him who made me, father.
Tell. And in whose name?

Alb. The name of Him who died

For me and all men, that all men and I
Should live.

Tell. That's right. Remember that, my son:
Forget all things but that-remember that!

'Tis more than friends or fortune; clothing, food; All things on earth; yea, life itself!—It is

To live, when these are gone, where they are naught— With God! My son, remember that!

Alb. I will.

Tell. I'm glad you value what you're taught.

That is the lesson of content, my son;

He who finds which, has all-who misses, nothing.

Alb. Content is a good thing.

Tell. A thing, the good

Alone can profit by. But go, Albert,

Reach thy cap and wallet, and thy mountain staff.

Don't keep me waiting.

(Exit Albert.)

(Tell paces the stage in thought.)

Re-enter Albert.

Alb. I am ready, father.

Tell. (Taking Albert by the hand.) Now mark me
Albert! Dost thou fear the snow,

The ice-field, or the hail flaw? Carest thou for
The mountain-mist that settles on the peak,
When thou art upon it? Dost thou tremble at
The torrent roaring from the deep ravine,
Along whose shaking ledge thy track doth lie?
Or faintest thou at the thunder-clap, when on
The hill thou art o'ertaken by the cloud,

And it doth burst around thee? Thou must travel

All night.

Alb. I'm ready; say all night again.

Tell. The mountains are to cross, for thou must reach Mount Faigel by the dawn.

Alb. Not sooner shall The dawn be there than I.

Tell. Heaven speeding thee.

Alb. Heaven speeding me.

Tell. Show me thy staff. Art sure

Of the point? I think 'tis loose. No stay! 'Twill do Caution is speed when danger's to be pass'd.

Examine well the crevice.

Do not trust the snow!

"Tis well there is a moon to-night.

You're sure of the track?

Alb. Quite sure.

Tell. The buskin of

That leg's untied; stoop down and fasten it.

You know the point where you must round the cliff?
Alb. I do.

Tell. Thy belt is slack-draw it tight.
Erni is in Mount Faigel: take this dagger
And give it him; you know its caverns well.

In one of them you will find him.

Eaglet of my heart!
The land was free!


(They embrace.

Exit Albert.)

When thou wast born,
Heavens! with what pride I used

To walk these hills, and look up to my God,
And bless him that it was so. It was free-
From end to end, from cliff to lake-'twas free!
Free as the torrents are that leap our rocks.
How happy was it then! I loved

Its very storms. I have sat at midnight

In my boat, when midway o'er the lake,

The stars went out, and down the mountain gorge
The wind came roaring. I have sat and eyed
The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled
To see him shake his lightnings o'er
my head,
And cried in thraldom to the furious wind,

Blow on!

This is the land of liberty!


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