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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,
Were, on the quarry of these murdered deer,
To add the death of you.

Mal. Merciful heaven !
50 What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;

Give sorrow words: the grief, that does not speak,
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.

Macd. My children too ?-
Rosse. Wife, children, servants, all that could be

found. 55 Macd. And I must be from thence! my wife killed

Rosse. I have said.

Mal. Be comforted :
Let's make us medicines of our great revenge,

To cure this deadly grief. 60 Macd. I shall do so ;

But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me.

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,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now!

Shakspeare. 48.

William Tell.
Gesler, the tyrant, Sarnem, his officer, and William Tell, a Swiss peasant.

Sar. Down, slave, upon thy knees before the governor,
And beg for mercy.

Ges. Does he hear ?
Sar. He does, but braves thy power. [To Tell]

Down, slave,
And ask for life.


5 Ges. [To Tell.] Why speakest thou not?

Tell. For wonder.
Ges. Wonder ?
Tell. Yes, that thou shouldst seem a man.

Ges. What should I seem ? 10 Tell. A monster.

Ges. Ha! Beware!-think on thy chains.
Tell. Though they were doubled, and did weigh me

Prostrate to earth, methinks I could rise up

Erect, with nothing but the honest pride 15 Of telling thee, usurper, to thy teeth,

Thou art a monster.—Think on my chains !
How came they on me?

Ges. Darest thou question me?
Tell. Darest thou answer ?
Ges. Beware my vengeance.
Tell. Can it more than kill ?
Ges. And is not that enough?

Tell. No, not enough :

It cannot take away the grace of life-
25 The comeliness of look that virtue gives

Its port erect, with consciousness of truth-
Its rich attire of honorable deeds-
Its fair report that's rife on good men's tongues :-

It cannot lay its hand on these, no more
30 Than it can pluck his brightness from the sun,

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. Canst tell me any news from them ?
Tell. Ay ;-they watch no more the avalanche.

Ges. Why so ? 40 Tell. Because they look for thee. The hurricane

Comes unawares upon them : from its bed
The torrent breaks, and finds them in its track.

Ges. What then?


45 Tell. They thank kind Providence it is not thou.

Thou hast perverted nature in them. The earth
Presents her fruits to them, and is not thanked.
The harvest sun is constant, and they scarce

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
The thought of thee doth wither to a curse,
As something they must lose, and had far better

Ges. 'Tis well. I'd have them as their hills
That never smile, though wanton summer tempt
Them e'er so much.

Tell. But they do sometimes smile.

Ges. Ah !--when is that?
60 Tell. When they do pray for vengeance.

Ges. Dare they pray for that ?
Tell. They dare, and they expect it, too.
Ges. From whence ?

Tell. From Heaven, and their true hearts. 65 Ges. [ To Sarnem.] Lead in his son.

Now will I take
Exquisite vengeance. (To Tell, as the boy enters.] I have

destined him
To die along with thee.

Tell. To die! for what ? he's but a child. 70 Ges. He's thine, however.

Tell. He is an only child.
Ges. So much the easier to crush the race.
Tell. He may have a mother.

Ges. So the viper hath-
75 And yet who spares it for the mother's sake ?

Tell. I talk to stone. I'll talk to it no more.
Come, my boy, I taught thee how to live,-
I'll teach thee how to die.

Ges. But first, I'd see thee make
80 A trial of thy skill with that same bow.

Thy arrows never miss, 'tis said.

Tell. What is the trial ?
Ges. Thou look’st upon thy boy as though thou guess-

est it.
85 Tell. Look upon my boy! What mean you?

Look upon my boy as though I guess'd it !-
Guess’d the trial thou’dst have ne make!-
Guess'd it instinctively! Thou dost not mean-
No, no,

-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,
Three hundred paces off.

Tell. Great Heaven ! 95

Ges. On this condition only will I spare
His life and thine.

Tell. Ferocious monster! make a father
Murder his own child !

Ges. Dost thou consent ? 100 Tell. With his own hand !

The hand I've led him when an infant by !
My hands are free from blood, and have no gust
For it, that they should drink my child's.

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.
Boy. Father-

Tell. Speak not to me ;-
110 Let me not hear thy voice-Thou must be dumb,

And so should all things be-Earth should be dumb,
And Heaven, unless its thunder muttered at
The deed, and sent a bolt to stop it.--

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 !
Ges. What is't to thee, fairly or not?

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
Upon the mark, and not on him that shoots-
I will not shoot against the sun.

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.
Tell. You've picked the smallest one.

Ges. I know I have. Thy skill will be

The greater if thou hittest it. 135 Tell. (sarcastically.] True !—True! I did not think

of that.
I wonder I did not think of that. A larger one
Had given me a chance to save my boy.-

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.]
Tell. Let me see my quiver. It is not
One arrow in a dozen I would use

To shoot with at a dove, much less a dove 145 Like that.

Ges. Show him the quiver.
[Sarnem returns and takes the apple and the boy to
place them.

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
For Heaven's sake, and be my witnesses,
That if his life's in peril from my hand,

'Tis only for the chance of saving it.
155 For mercy's sake keep motionless and silent.

[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 ?
Tell. To kill thee, tyrant, had I slain my boy.


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