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Macd. If it be mine, 40 Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it.
Rosse. Let not your ears despise my tongue forever, Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound That ever yet they heard.
Macd. Ah! I guess at it. 45 Rosse. Your castle is surprised; your wife and babes
Savagely slaughtered : to relate the manner,
Mal. Merciful heaven !
Give sorrow words: the grief, that does not speak,
Macd. My children too ?-
found. 55 Macd. And I must be from thence! my wife killed
Mal. Be comforted :
To cure this deadly grief. 60 Macd. I shall do so ;
But I must also feel it as a man.
Did heaven look on, And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff, 65 They were all struck for thee ! naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Sar. Down, slave, upon thy knees before the governor,
Ges. Does he hear ?
5 Ges. [To Tell.] Why speakest thou not?
Tell. For wonder.
Ges. What should I seem ? 10 Tell. A monster.
Ges. Ha! Beware!-think on thy chains.
Erect, with nothing but the honest pride 15 Of telling thee, usurper, to thy teeth,
Thou art a monster.—Think on my chains !
Ges. Darest thou question me?
Tell. No, not enough :
It cannot take away the grace of life-
Its port erect, with consciousness of truth-
It cannot lay its hand on these, no more
Or with polluted finger tarnish it.
Ges. But it may make thee writhe.
Tell. It may, and I may say,
Go on, though it should make me groan again. 35 Ges. Whence comest thou.?
Tell. From the mountains.
Ges. Why so ? 40 Tell. Because they look for thee. The hurricane
Comes unawares upon them : from its bed
Ges. What then?
45 Tell. They thank kind Providence it is not thou.
Thou hast perverted nature in them. The earth
Return his smile. Their flocks and herds increase, 50 And they look on as men who count a loss.
There's not a blessing Heaven vouchsafes them, but
Ges. 'Tis well. I'd have them as their hills
Tell. But they do sometimes smile.
Ges. Ah !--when is that?
Ges. Dare they pray for that ?
Tell. From Heaven, and their true hearts. 65 Ges. [ To Sarnem.] Lead in his son.
Now will I take
Tell. To die! for what ? he's but a child. 70 Ges. He's thine, however.
Tell. He is an only child.
Ges. So the viper hath-
Tell. I talk to stone. I'll talk to it no more.
Ges. But first, I'd see thee make
Thy arrows never miss, 'tis said.
Tell. What is the trial ?
Look upon my boy as though I guess'd it !-
-Thou wouldst not have me make 90 A trial of my skill upon my child ! Impossible ! I do not guess thy meaning.
Ges. I'd see thee hit an apple on his head,
Tell. Great Heaven ! 95
Ges. On this condition only will I spare
Tell. Ferocious monster! make a father
Ges. Dost thou consent ? 100 Tell. With his own hand !
The hand I've led him when an infant by !
I'll not murder my boy for Gesler. 105 Boy. You will not hit me, father. You'll be sure
To hit the apple. Will you not save me, father?
Tell. Lead me forth-I'll make the trial.
Tell. Speak not to me ;-
And so should all things be-Earth should be dumb,
Give me my bow and quiver. 115 Ges. When all is ready. Sarnem, measure hence
The distance—three hundred paces.
Tell. Will he do it fairly !
Tell. [sarcastically.] 0, nothing, a little thing, 120 A very little thing; I only shoot At my
[Sarnem prepares to measure.] Tell. Villain, stop! You measure against the sun.
Ges. And what of that? 125 What matter whether to or from the sun ?
Tell. I'd have it at my back. The sun should shine
Ges. Give him his way [Sarnem paces and goes out.] 130 Tell. I should like to see the apple I must hit.
Ges. (Picks out the smallest one.] There, take that.
Ges. I know I have. Thy skill will be
The greater if thou hittest it. 135 Tell. (sarcastically.] True !—True! I did not think
Give me my bow. Let me see my quiver. 140 Ges. Give him a single arrow. [To an attendant.]
[Tell looks at it and breaks it.]
To shoot with at a dove, much less a dove 145 Like that.
Ges. Show him the quiver.
While this is doing, Tell conceals an arrow under his garment. He then selects another 150 arrow, and says,
Tell. Is the boy ready? Keep silence now
'Tis only for the chance of saving it.
[He aims and shoots in the direction of the boy. In a moment Sarnem enters with the apple on the arrow's point.]
Sarnem. The boy is safe. 160 Tell. (Raising his arms.] Thank Heaven!
[As he raises his arms, the concealed arrow falls.] Ges. [Picking it up.] Unequalled archer ! why was
this concealed ?