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And hurled its arrow to her glorious height,
Dou. Had the harsh tongue of slander so presumed,
Raby. But who?
Raby. (Puts his hand to his sword.) You ?
Dou. Percy ;-knowest thou that name?
Raby. I'm on the rack !
Dou. Not the two Theban brothers bore each other Such deep, deadly hate as I and Percy.
Raby. But tell me of my child.
Dou. (Not minding him.) As I and Percy!
Raby. What proof of guilt is this?
Dou. E'er since our marriage,
Just at the hour she thought I should be absent,
Raby. Percy is absent. They have never met.
Dou. At what a feeble hold you grasp for succor!
Raby. Be patient.
Dou. Be a tame convenient husband, And meanly wait for circumstantial guilt ? No-I am nice as the first Cæsar was, And start at bare suspicion. (Going.)
Raby. (Holding him.) Douglas, hear me: Thou hast named a Roman husband ; if she's false, I mean to prove a Roman father.
Verner. Ah! Albert! What have
Ver. You brag ? There's not an archer
Alb. But I'm his son: and when I am a man,
Ver. May you be such
Alb. I'll show you
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. Oh 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 aimed, 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!
Tell. You raise the bow
Alb. Not once, yet.
Tell. You're not steady. I perceived You wavered 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 missed 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.
Alb. What you would have me like, I'll be like,
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 you, when you kneel, To whom
kneel? Alb. To Him who made
father. Tell. And in whose nanie?
Alb. The name of Him who died
Tell. That's right. Remember that, my son:
Alb. I will.
Tell. I'm glad you value what you're taught.
Alb. Content is a good thing.
Tell. A thing, the good
(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,
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
Tell. Heaven speeding thee.
Tell. Show me thy staff. Art sure
Alb. Quite sure.
Tell. The buskin of
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. Farewell.
(They embrace. Exit Albert.)
up my God,
SELECTION XXIV. PRINCE ARTHUR-HUBERT-ATTENDANTS.—Shakspeare. Hubert. Heat me these irons hot; and look thou stand Within the arras ; when I strike my foot, Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth,