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Cas. Let it be
A brief one, then.-What wouldst thou ?

Fitz-Ed. Oh, my father!
The tempest that my slighted speech foretold,
Hath it not burst upon thee!

Cas. And 'tis this
To tell me this, that thou art here—to vaunt
Thy skill in divination ?

Fitz-Ed. No.-I come
To break thy commerce with the midnight wolf-
To pluck thee from the lair where foxes litter :-
Restoring thee to all those social joys
That flow from man's communion with his kind :-
To place thee once again,

Cas. Beware-beware.-
If I thought that thou knowest my temper-hence,
Nor urge it farther.

Fitz-Ed. Oh, I must, and thou
Must hear me, too.-Enough of constancy-
Enough of valor hath thy heart displayed. -
We are a fallen people.—To contend
With fortune now, were desperate vanity.
The sceptre hath departed from our land :-
The kingly sway-

Cas. Patience-oh, patience, heart!

Fitz-Ed. Nay, hear me on.—Is not all lost ?—and thouDost thou still singly labor to oppose The common doom ?-oh, idle all. - There now Is left thee but one way to save thyself :But one—and I must speak it, howsoe'er It grates against thine ear-it jars within Thy bosom—I must speak it—'tis submission.

Cas. Heaven !-are thy thunders idle ?—and thou, earth That yet endurest his tread thou wilt not part Beneath him, and deep hide his infamy! No-thou disdainest that such a rank pollution Should rest within thy bosom!—This to me!Submission !- Breathes the recreant to confront Caswallon with such counsel ?-Yes-behold him! There—with the uttered wish—the hateful hope Fresh reeking from his lips, he stands before meEndless disgrace !-a Cambrian, and-my son!

Fitz-Ed. Yet—vet I will be patient.

Cas. No-thou blot
On the pure 'scutcheon of thy noble fathers-

Thor shalt not plume thee in my fall, nor show me
A humbled spectacle to swell thy pride
With—“Lo! my work, and there the untamable !".
I read thy heart's deep purpose.

Fitz-Ed. Dreadful thought !-
'Tis not within thy hate's extremest bound
To think me so immeasurably base-
Oh, these hot stinging tears !-
Away, weak heart_
In upright conscious honesty, I stand-
And shake thy loose aspersions from my soul,
As lightly as the falcon from her wing
The dews of evening.

Cas. I will not hear thee.—Hence.

Fitz-Ed. Obdurate man, bow thy proud spirit down,
If ta'en thou diest.–Submit, and thou shalt live :-
(Imploringly upon his knees.) Beloved father!
By heaven's whole host, I will not see lost!

(Starting up resolvedly:)
No—if thou scorn to yield, I'll instant hence,
And to the troops that now beset thee round,
Reveal the secret of thy lurking place.

Cas. Reveal !-betray me to— ?
But no-thou art
Caswallon's son, and thus far he will trust thee.

Fitz-Ed. Oh, agony of heart!

Cas. (Going.) Nay, follow not.
Attempt to stay me, and a father's curse
Cling to thy soul, and hold thee lost for ever! (Exit.)

Fitz-Ed. Hark are there thunders crashing in the air !
Or what is't stirs my brain ?-a father's curse!
It fell not-'tis not that that


here. That misery still is spared me. He is gone!




(The people have gathered to one side, and look in the opposite direction with apprehension and trouble.)

Verner. Now Tell observe the people.

Tell. Ha! they please me now-I like them now-their looks Are just in season.

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Pierre. 'Tis Sarnem.
Theodore. What is that he brings with him?

Pierre. A pole ; and on the top of it a cap
That looks like Gesler's—I could pick it from
A thousand!

Theo. So could I !—My heart hath oft Leaped at the sight of it. What comes he now To do?

(Sarnem enters with soldiers bearing Gesler's cap upon a pole, which he fixes into the ground; the people looking on in silence and amazement.)

Sarnem. Ye men of Altorf!
Behold the emblem of


And dignity. This is the cap of Gesler,
Your governor ; let all bow down to it
Who owe him love and loyalty. To such
As shall refuse this lawful homage, or
Accord it sullenly, he shows no grace,
But dooms them to the penalty of bondage
Till they're instructed—'tis no less their gain
Than duty, to obey their master's mandate.
Conduct the people hither, one by one,
To bow to Gesler's cap.

Tell. Have I my hearing?
Ver. Away! away!

Tell. Or sight?-They do it, Verner!
They do it!

Look! Ne'er call me man again!
I'll herd with the baser animals !
Look !-Look! Have I the outline of that caitiff
Who to the servile earth doth bend the crown
His god did rear for him to heaven?

Ver. Away,
Before they mark us.

Tell. No! no !-since I've tasted,
I'll e'n feed on.
A spirit's in me likes it.

Sar. (Striking a person.) Bow lower, slave!

Tell. Do you feel that blow—my flesh doth tingle with it.
I would it had been I!
Ver. You tremble, William; come-you must not stay.

(Enter Michael through the crowd.)
Sar. Bow, slave.
Michael. For what?
Sar. Obey, and question then.


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.

hear 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

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 himSarnem 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! T'hus do I ople 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

Arviragus. What hast thou done?
Elid. What, prince, I will not tell.
Druid. Wretch, there are means

Elid. I know, and terrible means ;
And 'tis both fit that



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

wretch thou seest, I'll speak no more.
Druid. Brethren, 'tis so.
This youth has been deceived.

Elid. Yet, one word 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.

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