Изображения страниц

Alb. What you would have me like, I'll be like, As far as will to labour join'd, can make me. Emma. Well said, my boy! Knelt you when you

got up To-day? · Alb. I did ; and do so every day! Emma. I know you do! And think you, when you

To whom you kneel?

Alb. To Him who made me, mother.
Emma. And in whose name ?

Alb. The name of Him who died
For me and all men, that all men and I,
By trust in Him, might live.

Emma. Remember that!
Forget all things but that-remember that!
'Tis more than friend or fortune ; clothing, food ;
All things of earth ; yea, life itself. It is
To live when these are gone, where they are nought,
With God !—My son, remember that !

Alb. I will !.
Emma. You have been early up, when I, that


The sluggard, in comparison, am up
Full early; for the highest peaks alone,
As yet, behold the sun. Now tell me what
You ought to ponder, when you see the sun
So shining on the peak ?

Alb. That as the peak
Feels not the pleasant sun, or feels it least,

So they, who highest stand in fortune's smile,
Are gladden'd by it least, or not at all !
Emma. The lesson, that remember'd, pays the

And what's the profit you should turn this to ?

Alb. Rather to place my good in what I have,
Than think it worthless, wishing to have more ;
For more is not happiness, so oft
As less.

Emma. I'm glad you husband what you learn.
That is the lesson of content, my son ;
He who finds whicb, has all—who misses-nothing !

Alb. Content is a good thing.

Emma. A thing, the good
Alone can profit by.

Alb. My father's good.
Emma. What say'st thou, boy ?
Alb. I say my father's good.
Emma. Yes; he is good! what then ?

Alb. I do not think
He is content-I'm sure he's not content;
Nor would I be content, were I a man,
And Gesler seated on the rock of Altorf!
A man may lack content, and yet be good.

Emma. I did not say all good men find content. I would be busy ; leave me.

Alb. You're not angry ?
Emma. No, no, my boy.
Alb. You'll kiss me?
Emma. Will I not !

The time will come you will not ask your mother
To kiss you!

Alb. Never !
Emma. Not when you're a man?

Alb. I would not be a man to see that time :
I'd rather die now that I am a child,
Than live to be a man and not love you !
Emma. Live- live to be a man and love your


[They embrace—ALBERT runs off into the cottage. Why should my heart sink? 'tis for this we rear them! Cherish their tiny limbs ; pine if a thorn But mar their tender skin; gather them to us Closer than miser hugs bis bag of gold ; Bear more for them than slave, who makes his flesh A casket for the rich purloinéd gemTo send them forth into wintry world To brave its flaws and tempests !—They must go ; Far better, then, they go with hearty will ! Be that my consolation.—Nestling as He is, he is the making of a bird Will own no cowering wing. 'Twas fine~'twas fine To see my eaglet, on the verge o' the nest, Ruffling himself at sight of the huge gulf He feels anon he'll have the wing to soar ! Re-enter ALBERT from the Cottage, with a bow and ar

rows, and a rude target, which he sets up during the

first lines, laying his bow and quiver on the ground. What have you there?

Alb. My bow and arrows, mother.

Emma. When will you use them like your father,

boy? Alb. Some time I hope.

Emma. You brag! There's not an archer
In all Helvetia can compare with him!

Alb. But I'm his son; and when I am a man,
I may be like him. Mother do I brag
To think I some time may be like my father ?
If so, then is it he that teaches me;
For ever as I wonder at his skill,
He calls me boy, and says I must do more
When I become a man!

Emma. May you be such
A man as he !—If Heaven wills, better !—I'll
Not quarrel with its work; yet 'twill content me
If you are only such a man !

Alb. I'll show you
How I can shoot. [Shoots.] Look, mother! there's

within An inch! Emma. O fy! it wants a hand. [Going into the

cottage. Alb. A hand's An inch for me. I'll hit it yet. Now for it! [Shoots


[While ALBERT continues to shoot, the light gra

dually approaches the base of the mountains in the distance, and spreads itself over the lake and valley.

Enter TELL, watching ALBERT some time in silence.

Tell. That's scarce a miss that comes so near the

mark! Well aim'd, young archer! With what ease he draws The bow. To see those sinews, who'd believe Such vigour lodged in them? Well aim'd again ! There plays the skill will thin the chamios' herd, And bring the lammer-geyer from the cloud To Earth. Perhaps do greater feats—Perhaps Make'man its quarry, when he dares to tread Upon his fellow-men! 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 !

Alb. Ah!—
My father! [Running to Tell, who embraces him.
Emma. [Running from the cottage.] William !

Welcome, welcome William!
I did not look for you till noon, and thought
How long 'twould be ere noon would come; You're

How soon 'twill now be here and gone! O William !
When you are absent from me, I count time
By minutes ; which, when you are here, flies by
In hours, that are not noted till they are out !
Now this is happiness! Joy's doubly joy
That comes before the time-It is a debt,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »