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Of birds on yon oak!
Let his flesh be the purest
Of mould, in which grew
The lily-root surest,

And drank the best dew!
Let his limbs be the lightest.

Which clay can compound,
And his aspect the brightest
On earth to be found!
Elements, near me,

Be mingled and stirr'd,
Know me, and hear me,

And leap to my word!
Sunbeams, awaken

This earth's animation!
'Tis done! He hath taken
His stand in creation!

[ARNOLD falls senseless; his soul passes into the shape of Achilles, which rises from the ground; while the phantom has disappeared, part by part, as the figure was formed from the earth.

Arn. (in his new form). I love, and I shall be beloved! Oh life!

At last I feel thee! Glorious spirit!

Stran.

Stop!

What shall become of your abandon'd garment,
Yon hump, and lump, and clod of ugliness,
Which late you wore, or were?

And if

Arn. Who cares? Let wolves And vultures take it, if they will. Stran. They do, and are not scared by it, you'll say It must be peace-time, and no better fare Abroad i' the fields.

Arn.

Let us but leave it there; No matter what becomes on 't.

Stran. That's ungracious, If not ungrateful. Whatsoe'er it be, It hath sustain'd your soul full many a day.

Arn. Ay, as the dunghill may conceal a gem
Which is now set in gold, as jewels should be.

Stran. But if I give another form, it must be
By fair exchange, not robbery. For they
Who make men without women's aid have long
Had patents for the same, and do not love

Adam means "red earth," from which the first man was formed.

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Clay thou art; and unto spirit
All clay is of equal merit.

Fire without which nought can live ;
Fire but in which nought can live,
Save the fabled salamander,

Or immortal souls, which wander,
Praying what doth not forgive,
Howling for a drop of water,

Burning in a quenchless lot: Fire the only element Where nor fish, beast, bird, nor worm, Save the worm which dieth not, Can preserve a moment's form, But must with thyself be blent: Fire man's safeguard and his slaughter: Fire! Creation's first-born daughter,

And Destruction's threaten'd son,

When heaven with the world hath done. Fire! assist me to renew

Life in what lies in my view

Stiff and cold!

His resurrection rests with me and you!
One little, marshy spark of flame-
And he again shall seem the same;

But I his spirit's place shall hold !
[An ignis-fatuus flits through the wood and rests
on the brow of the body. The Stranger dis-
appears: the body rises.

Arn. (in his new form). Oh! horrible! [thou?
Stran. (in ARNOLD's late shape). What! tremblest
Arn.
Not so-

I merely shudder. Where is fled the shape
Thou lately worest?

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Your betters keep worse company.
Arn.
My betters!
Stran. Oh! you wax proud, I see, of your new

form:

I'm glad of that. Ungrateful too! That's well;
You improve apace; — two changes in an instant,
And you are old in the world's ways already.
But bear with me: indeed you'll find me useful
Upon your pilgrimage. But come, pronounce
Where shall we now be errant ?

Arn.

Where the world Is thickest, that I may behold it in Its workings.

Stran.

That's to say, where there is war And woman in activity. Let's see! Spain-Italy-the new Atlantic worldAfric, with all its Moors. In very truth, There is small choice: the whole race are just now Tugging as usual at each other's hearts.

Arn. I have heard great things of Rome. Stran. A goodly choice And scarce a better to be found on earth, Since Sodom was put out. The field is wide too; For now the Frank, and Hun, and Spanish scion Of the old Vandal are at play along The sunny shores of the world's garden.

Arn.

Shall we proceed?
Stran.
Like gallants, on good coursers.
What ho! my chargers! Never yet were better,
Since Phaeton was upset into the Po.
Our pages too!

How

Enter two Pages, with four coal-black horses.
Arn.
A noble sight!

Stran.
And of
A nobler breed. Match me in Barbary,
Or your Kochlini race of Araby,
With these!

Arn. The mighty steam, which volumes high From their proud nostrils, burns the very air; And sparks of flame, like dancing fire-flies, wheel Around their manes, as common insects swarm Round common steeds towards sunset.

Stran.

Mount, my lord:

They and I are your servitors.

Arn. And these Our dark-eyed pages-what may be their nanies? Stran. You shall baptize them. Arn. What! in holy water? Stran. Why not? The deeper sinner, better saint.

Arn. They are beautiful, and cannot, sure, be demons. [beauty Stran. True; the devil's always ugly; and your Is never diabolical.

Arn.

I'll call him
Who bears the golden horn, and wears such bright
And blooming aspect, Huon; for he looks
Like to the lovely boy lost in the forest,

And never found till now. And for the other
And darker, and more thoughtful, who smiles not,
But looks as serious though serene as night,
He shall be Memnon, from the Ethiop king
Whose statue turns a harper once a day.
And you?

Stran. I have ten thousand names, and twice As many attributes; but as I wear

A human shape, will take a human name.

Arn. More human than the shape (though it was mine once)

I trust.

Then call me Cæsar.

Stran.
Arn.
Why, that name
Belongs to empires, and has been but borne
By the world's lords.

Stran.
And therefore fittest for
The devil in disguise—since so you deem me,
Unless you call me pope instead.

Arn.
Well, then,
Cæsar thou shalt be. For myself, my name
Shall be plain Arnold still.

Cas.
We'll add a title-
"Count Arnold: " it hath no ungracious sound,
And will look well upon a billet-doux.

Arn. Or in an order for a battle-field.

[steed

Cas. (sings). To horse! to horse! my coal-black

Paws the ground and snuffs the air! There's not a foal of Arab's breed

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Of life. The planet wheels till it becomes

A comet, and destroying as it sweeps

The stars, goes out. The poor worm winds its way,
Living upon the death of other things,
But still, like them, must live and die, the subject
Of something which has made it live and die.
You must obey what all obey, the rule
Of fix'd necessity: against her edict
Rebellion prospers not.

And when it prospers

Arn.
Ces. 'Tis no rebellion.
Arn.

Will it prosper now?
Cas. The Bourbon hath given orders for the assault,
And by the dawn there will be work.

Arn.

Alas! And shall the city yield? I see the giant Abode of the true God, and his true saint, Saint Peter, rear its dome and cross into That sky whence Christ ascended from the cross, Which his blood made a badge of glory and Of joy (as once of torture unto him, God and God's Son, man's sole and only refuge). Cæs. 'Tis there, and shall be.

Arn.

What?

Cæs.

The crucifix

Above, and many altar shrines below.
Also some culverins upon the walls,
And harquebusses, and what not; besides
The men who are to kindle them to death
Of other men.

Arn. With the first cock-crow.

Cæs.

Arn.
And those scarce mortal arches,
Pile above pile of everlasting wall,
The theatre where emperors and their subjects
(Those subjects Romans) stood at gaze upon
The battles of the monarchs of the wild
And wood, the lion and his tusky rebels
Of the then untamed desert, brought to joust
In the arena (as right well they might,
When they had left no human foe unconquer'd);
Made even the forest pay its tribute of
Life to their amphitheatre, as well
As Dacia men to die the eternal death
For a sole instant's pastime, and " Pass on
To a new gladiator!"- Must it fall?

Cas. The city, or the amphitheatre ?
The church, or one, or all? for you confound
Both them and me.

To-morrow sounds the assault

Which, if it end with The evening's first nightingale, will be Something new in the annals of great sieges; For men must have their prey after long toil.

Arn. The sun goes down as calmly, and perhaps More beautifully, than he did on Rome On the day Remus leapt her wall.

[Suetonius relates of Julius Cæsar, that his baldness gave him much uneasiness, having often found himself, upon that account, exposed to the ridicule of his enemies; and that, therefore, of all the honours conferred upon him by the

Cas.

I saw him.

Árn. You!
Cæs.
Yes, sir.
You forget I am or was
Spirit, till I took up with your cast shape
And a worse name. I'm Cæsar and a hunchback
Now. Well! the first of Cæsars was a bald-head,
And loved his laurels better as a wig
(So history says) than as a glory. 1 Thus
The world runs on, but we'll be merry still.
I saw your Romulus (simple as I am)

Slay his own twin, quickborn of the same womb,
Because he leapt a ditch ('t was then no wall,
Whate'er it now be); and Rome's earliest cement
Was brother's blood; and if its native blood
Be spilt till the choked Tiber be as red
As e'er 't was yellow, it will never wear
The deep hue of the ocean and the earth,
Which the great robber sons of fratricide
Have made their never-ceasing scene of slaughter
For ages.
Arn. But what have these done, their far
Remote descendants, who have lived in peace,
The peace of heaven, and in her sunshine of
Piety?

Cas. And what had they done, whom the old Romans o'erswept ? - Hark!

Arn. They are soldiers singing A reckless roundelay, upon the eve Of many deaths, it may be of their own.

Cas. And why should they not sing as well as

swans ?

They are black ones, to be sure.
Arn.

I see, too?
Cæs. In my grammar, certes. I
Was educated for a monk of all times,
And once I was well versed in the forgotten
Etruscan letters, and—were I so minded —
Could make their hieroglyphics plainer than
Your alphabet.

So, you are learn'd,

Arn.

And wherefore do you not? Cas. It answers better to resolve the alphabet Back into hieroglyphics. Like your statesman, And prophet, pontiff, doctor, alchymist, Philosopher, and what not, they have built More Babels, without new dispersion, than The stammering young ones of the flood's dull ooze, Who fail'd and fled each other. Why? why, marry, Because no man could understand his neighbour. They are wiser now, and will not separate For nonsense. Nay, it is their brotherhood, Their Shibboleth, their Koran, Talmud, their Cabala; their best brick-work, wherewithal They build more

Arn. (interrupting him). Oh, thou everlasting

sneerer!

Be silent! How the soldiers' rough strain seems
Soften'd by distance to a hymn-like cadence !
Listen!

Cæs. Yes. I have heard the angels sing.

Arn. And demons howl.

Cæs.

I love all music.

And man too. Let us listen:

senate and people, there was none which he either accepted or used with so much pleasure as the right of wearing constantly a laurel crown.]

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Phil. Doubt not our soldiers. Were the walls of adamant,

They'd crack them. Hunger is a sharp artillery.
Bourb. That they will falter is my least of fears.
That they will be repulsed, with Bourbon for
Their chief, and all their kindled appetites
To marshal them on were those hoary walls
Mountains, and those who guard them like the gods
Of the old fables, I would trust my Titans ;-
But now.

Phil. They are but men who war with mortals. Bourb. True: but those walls have girded in great ages,

And sent forth mighty spirits. The past earth
And present phantom of imperious Rome
Is peopled with those warriors; and methinks
They flit along the eternal city's rampart,
And stretch their glorious, gory, shadowy hands,
And beckon me away!

Phil. So let them! Wilt thou Turn back from shadowy menaces of shadows? Bourb. They do not menace me. J could have Methinks, a Sylla's menace; but they clasp, [faced, And raise, and wring their dim and deathlike hands, And with their thin aspen faces and fix'd eyes Fascinate mine.

Look there!

I look upon

Phil.
A lofty battlement.
Bourb.
Phil.

Not even

A guard in sight; they wisely keep below,
Shelter'd by the gray parapet from some
Stray bullet of our lansquenets, who might
Practise in the cool twilight.

And there!

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Placed in the rear in action-but your foes Have never seen it.

Bourb.

That's a fair retort, For I provoked it: -but the Bourbon's breast Has been, and ever shall be, far advanced In danger's face as yours, were you the devil. Caes. And if I were, I might have saved myself The toil of coming here.

Phil.

Why so?

Cæs.

One half
Of your brave bands of their own bold accord
Will go to him, the other half be sent,
More swiftly, not less surely.

Bourb.

Arnold, your Slight crooked friend's as snake-like in his words As his deeds.

Cæs.
Your highness much mistakes me.
The first snake was a flatterer-I am none;
And for my deeds, I only sting when stung.
Bourb. You are brave, and that's enough for me;
and quick

In speech as sharp in action-and that's more.
I am not alone a soldier, but the soldiers'
Comrade.

Cas. They are but bad company, your highness: And worse even for their friends than foes, as being More permanent acquaintance.

Phi. How now, fellow! Thou waxest insolent, beyond the privilege Of a buffoon.

Cas.

You mean I speak the truth. I'll lie it is as easy: then you'll praise me For calling you a hero.

Bourb.

Philibert !

Let him alone; he's brave, and ever has
Been first, with that swart face and mountain shoul-

[der,

In field or storm, and patient in starvation;

And for his tongue, the camp is full of licence,
And the sharp stinging of a lively rogue
Is, to my mind, far preferable to

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Retain'd her sway o'er nations, and the Cæsars,
But yielded to the Alarics, the Alarics
Unto the pontiffs. Roman, Goth, or priest,
Still the world's masters ! Civilised, barbarian,
Or saintly, still the walls of Romulus
Have been the circus of an empire.
'Twas their turn-now 'tis ours; and let us hope
That we will fight as well, and rule much better.

Well!

Cæs. No doubt, the camp's the school of civic
rights.

What would you make of Rome ?
Bourb.

Cæs. In Alaric's time?
Bourb.

No, slave in the first Cæsar's,
Whose name you bear like other curs.
Cas.

And kings!

'Tis a great name for blood-hounds. Bourb.

There's a demon In that fierce rattle-snake thy tongue. Wilt never

Be serious?

Cas.

On the eve of battle, no;

That were not soldier-like. "Tis for the general
To be more pensive: we adventurers

Must be more cheerful. Wherefore should we think?
Our tutelar deity, in a leader's shape,
Takes care of us. Keep thought aloof from hosts!
If the knaves take to thinking, you will have
To crack those walls alone.

Bourb. You may sneer, since 'Tis lucky for you that you fight no worse for 't.

Cæs. thank you for the freedom; 'tis the only Pay I have taken in your highness' service.

Bourb. Well, sir, to-morrow you shall pay yourself. Look on those towers; they hold my treasury: But, Philibert, we'll in to council. Arnold, We would request your presence.

Arn.

Is yours, as in the field. Bourb.

That which it was.

In both we prize it, And yours will be a post of trust at daybreak. Cæs. And mine?

Bourb.

Prince my service

X 3

To follow glory with the Bourbon.

Good night!

Arn. (to CESAR). Prepare our armour for the assault,

And wait within my tent.

[Exeunt BOURBON, ARNOLD, PHILIBERT, C.
Cæs. (solus).
Within thy tent!
Think'st thou that I pass from thee with my presence?
Or that this crooked coffer, which contain'd
Thy principle of life, is aught to me

Except a mask? And these are men, forsooth!
Heroes and chiefs, the flower of Adam's bastards!
This is the consequence of giving matter

The power of thought. It is a stubborn substance,

And thinks chaotically, as it acts.

Ever relapsing into its first elements.

Well! I must play with these poor puppets: 'tis
The spirit's pastime in his idler hours.

When I grow weary of it, I have business
Amongst the stars, which these poor creatures deem
Were made for them to look at. 'T were a jest now
To bring one down amongst them, and set fire
Unto their anthill: how the pismires then
Would scamper o'er the scalding soil, and, ceasing
From tearing down each other's nests, pipe forth
One universal orison! Ha! ha!

[Exit CESAR

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