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Mich. I'll question now, perhaps not then obey
Tell. A man! a man!

Sar. 'Tis Gesler's will that all

Bow to that cap.

Mich. Were it thy lady's cap,

I'd courtesy to it.

Sar. Do you mock us, friend?

Mich. Not I. I'll bow to Gesler, if you please ; But not his cap, nor cap of any he

In christendon.

Tell. Well done!

The lion thinks as much of cowering.

Sar. Once for all bow to that cap.

Do you hear me, slave?

Mich. Slave!

Tell. A man! I'll swear a man! Don't hold me, Verner. Sar. Villain, bow

To Gesler's cap!

Mich. No! not to Gesler's self.

Sar. Seize him. (Soldiers come forward.)

Tell. (Rushing forward.) Off, off, you base and hireling pack!

Lay not your brutal touch upon the thing

God made in his own image.

Sar. What! shrink you, cowards? Must I do

Your duty for you?

Tell. Let them stir-I've scattered

A flock of wolves did outnumber them

For sport I did it.-Sport!-I scattered them

With but a staff, not half so thick as this.

(Wrests Sarnem's weapon from him—Sarnem and Soldiers fly.)

Men of Altorf,

What fear ye! See what things you fear-the show

And surfaces of men. Why stand you wondering there?
Why gaze you still with blanched cheeks upon me?

Lack you the manhood even to look on,

And see bold deeds achieved by others' hands?
Or is't that cap still holds

your thralls to fear?

Be free then.-There! Thus do I trample on
The insolence of Gesler.

(Dashes down the pole.)



Druid. Say, thou false one!

What doom befits the slave who sells his country?
Elidurus. Death-sudden death!

Druid. No! lingering piecemeal death;
And to such death thy brother and thyself
We now devote. Villain, thy deeds are known;
"Tis known, ye led the impious Romans hither
'To slaughter us even on our holy altars.

Elid. That on my soul doth lie some secret grief, These looks perforce will tell: it is not fear, Druid, it is not fear that shakes me thus; The great gods know it is not: ye can never: For, what though wisdom lifts ye next those gods, Ye cannot like to them, unlock men's breasts, And read their inward thoughts. Ah! that ye could. Arviragus. What hast thou done? Elid. What, prince, I will not tell. Druid. Wretch, there are meansElid. I know, and terrible means;

And 'tis both fit that you should try those means,

And I endure them; yet, I think, my patience
Will for some space baffle your torturing fury.
Druid. Be that best known when our inflicted goads
Harrow thy flesh!

Arvi. Stranger, ere this be tried,

Confess the whole of thy black perfidy;

So black, that when I look upon thy youth,
Read thy mild eye, and mark thy modest brow,

I think, indeed, thou durst not.

Elid. Such a crime

Indeed I durst not; and would rather be

The very wretch thou seest.

Druid. Brethren, 'tis so.

This youth has been deceived.
Elid. Yet, one word more.

I'll speak no more.

You say, the Romans have invaded Mona.
Give me a sword, and twenty honest Britons,
And I will quell those Romans. Vain demand!
Alas! you cannot; ye are men of peace:
Religion's self forbids. Lead then to torture.

Arvi. Now on my soul this youth doth move me much.
Druid. Think not religion and our holy office
Doth teach us tamely, like the bleating lamb,
To crouch before oppression, and with neck
Outstretched await the stroke. Mistaken boy!
Did not strict justice claim thee for her victim,
We might full safely send thee to these Romans,
Inviting their hot charge. Know, when I blow
That sacred trumpet, bound with sable fillets
To yonder branching oak, the awful sound
Calls forth a thousand Britons, trained alike
In holy and in martial exercise;

Not by such mode and rule, as Romans use,
But of that fierce, portentous, horrible sort,
As shall appall even Romans.

Elid. Gracious gods!

Then there are hopes indeed. Oh, call them instant!
This prince will lead them on: I'll follow him,

Though in my chains, and some way dash them round

To harm the haughty foe.

Arvi. A thousand Britons,

And armed! Oh instant blow the sacred trump,

And let me head them. Yet methinks this youth

Druid. I know what thou wouldst say, might join thee. prince.

True, were he free from crime, or had confessed.

Elid. Confessed. Ah, think not, I will e'er-


Either thyself or brother must have wronged us:
Then why conceal-

Elid. Hast thou a brother? no!

Else hadst thou spared the word.

Hear me, Druid:

Though I would prize an hour of freedom now
Before an age of any after date :

Though I would seize it as the gift of heaven,
And use it as heaven's gift: yet do not think,
I so will purchase it. Give it me freely,
I yet will spurn the boon, and hug my chains,
Till you do swear by your own hoary head,
My brother shall be safe.

Druid. Excellent youth!

Thy words do speak thy soul, and such a soul,
As wakes our wonder. Thou art free; thy brother

Shall be thine honor's pledge! so will we use him,
As thou art false or true.

Elid. I ask no other.

Arvi. Thus then, my fellow-soldier, to thy clasp
I give the hand of friendship. Noble youth.
We'll speed, or die together.

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Raimond. When shall I breathe in freedom, and give scope To those untamable and burning thoughts,

And restless aspirations which consume

My heart in the land of bondage?—Oh! with you,

Ye everlasting images of power,

And of infinity! thou blue-rolling deep,

And you, ye stars! whose beams are characters
Wherewith the oracles of fate are traced;

With you my soul finds room, and casts aside

The weight that doth oppress her. But my thoughts

Are wandering far; there should be one to share

This awful and majestic solitude. (Procida enters unobserved.) Procida. He is here.

Rai. Now, thou mysterious stranger, thou whose glance Doth fix itself on memory, and pursue

Thought, like a spirit, haunting its lone hours;

Reveal thyself; what art thou?

Proc. One, whose life

Hath been a troubled stream, and made its way

Through rocks and darkness, and a thousand storms,
With still a mighty aim.-But now the shades

Of eve are gathering round me, and I come

To this, my native land, that I

Beneath its vines in peace.

may rest

Rai. Seekest thou for peace?

There is no land of peace; unless that deep

And voiceless terror, which doth freeze men's thoughts

Back to their source, and mantle its pale mien

With a dull hollow semblance of repose,

May so be called. He were bold

Who now should wear his thoughts upon his brow
Beneath Sicilian skies. And this it is

To wear a foreign yoke.

Proc. It matters not

To him who holds the mastery o'er his spirit,
And can suppress its workings, till endurance
Becomes as nature. We can tame ourselves
To all extremes, and there is that in life
To which we cling with most tenacious grasp,
Even when its lofty claims are all reduced
To the poor common privilege of breathing.-

Rai. I deemed thee, by the ascendant soul which lived, And made its throne on thy commanding brow,

One of a sovereign nature, which would scorn
So to abase its high capacities

For aught on earth.-But thou art like the rest.
What wouldst thou with me?

Proc. I would counsel thee.

Thou must do that which men-aye
Hourly submit to do.

Where is he, whose heart

valiant men

Lies bare, through all its foldings, to the gaze
Of mortal eye?—If vengeance wait the foe,
Or fate the oppressor, 'tis in depths concealed
Beneath a smiling surface.-Youth! I say
Keep thy soul down!-Put on a mask!-'tis worn
Alike by power and weakness.

Rai. Away, dissembler!

Life hath its high and its ignoble tasks,
Fitted to every nature. Will the free
And royal eagle stoop to learn the arts

By which the serpent wins his spell-bound prey?
It is because I will not clothe myself

In a vile garb of coward semblances,
That now, e'en now, I struggle with my heart,
To bid what most I love a long farewell,
And seek my country on some distant shore,
Where such things are unknown!

Proc. (Exultingly.) Why, this is joy!
After long conflict with the doubts and fears,
And the poor subtleties of meaner minds,
To meet a spirit, whose bold elastic wing

Oppression hath not crushed.-High-hearted youth
Thy father, should his footsteps e'er again

• Visit these shores

Rai. My father! what of him? Speak! was he known to thee?

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