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And when it prospers Which the great robber sons of fratricide Cas. 'Tis no rebellion.
Have made their never-ceasing scene of slaughter Arn.
Will it prosper now! Cas. The Bourbon hath given orders for the as. Aru. But what have these done, their far And by the dawn there will be work. (sault, Remote descendants, who have lived in peace, Arn.
The peace of heaven, and in her sunshine of And shall the city yield? I see the giant
Piety? Abode of the true God, and his true saint,
Cas. And what had they done, whom the old Saint Peter, rear its dome and cross into
Romans o'erswept ?-Hark! That sky whence Christ ascended from the cross,
They are soldiers singing Which his blood made a badge of glory and
A reckless roundelay, upon the eve Of joy (as once of torture unto him,
Of many deaths, it may be of their own. God and God's Son, man's sole and only refuge).
Cæs. And why should they not sing as well as Cas. 'Tis there, and shall be.
They are black ones, to be sure.
So, you are learu'd, Above, and many altar shrines below.
I see, too? Also some culverins upon the walls,
Cæs. In my grammar, certes. I And harquebusses, and what not; besides
Was educated for a monk of all times, The men who are kindle them to death
And once I was well versed in the forgotten Of other men.
Etruscan letters, and-were I so mindedArn.
And those scarce mortal arches, Could make their hieroglyphics plainer than Pile above pile of everlasting wall,
Your alphabet. The theatre where emperors and their subjects
And wherefore do you not! (Those subjects Romans) stood at gaze upon
Cæs. It answers better to resolve the alpnabet The battles of the monarchs of the wild
Back into hieroglyphics. Like your statesmen, And wood, the lion and his tusky rebels
And prophet, pontiff, doctor, alchymist, Of the then untamed desert, brought to joust Philosopher, and what not, they have built In the arena (as right well they might,
More Babels, without new dispersion, than When they had left no human foc unconquer'd);
The stammering young ones of the flood's dull ooze, Made even the forest pay its tribute of
Who faild and fled each other. Why? why, marry, Life to their amphitheatre, as well
Because no man could understand his neighbour, As Dacia men to die the eternal death
They are wiser now, and will not separate For a sole instant's pastime, and 'Pass on
For nonsense. Nay, it is their brotherhood, To a new gladiator !--Must it fall?
Their Shibboleth, their Koran, Talmud, their Cæs. The city, or the amphitheatre ?
Cabala ; their best brick-work, wherewithal The church, or one, or all ? for you confound
They build more-
(sneerer! Both them and me.
Arn. (interrupting him.] Oh, thou everlasting dru.
To-morrow sounds the assault Be silent! How the soldier's rough strain seems With the first cock-crow.
Soften'd by distance to a hymn-like cadence ! Cæs. Which, if it end with Listen !
Cas. The evening's first nightingale, will be
Yes. I have heard the angels sing. Something new in the annals of great sieges;
Arn. And demons howl. For men must have their prey after long toil.
And man, too. Let us listen: Arn. The sun goes down as calmly, and perhaps
I love all music. More beautifully, than he did on Rome
Song of the Soldiers within. On the day Remus leapt her wall.
The black bands came over Cæs.
I saw him.
The Alps and their snow; Arn. You !
With Bourbon, the rover, Cas. Yes, sir. You forget I am or was
They pass'd the broad Po. Spirit, till I took up with your cast shape,
We have beaten all foemen, And a worse name. I'm Cæsar and a hunchback
We have captured a king, Now. Well ! the first of Cæsars was a bald-head,
We have turn'd lack on no men, And loved his laurels better as a wig
And so let us sing ! (So history says) than as a glory. Thus
Here's the Bourbon for ever! The world runs on, but we'll be merry still.
Tinough pennyless all, I saw your Romulus (simple as I am)
We'll have one more endeavour Slay his own twin, quick-Lorn of the same womb,
At yonder old wall. Because he leapt a ditch ('twas :hen no wall,
With the Bourbon we'll gather Whate'er it now be); and Rome's earliest cement
At day-dawn before Was brother's blood; and if its native blood
The gates, and together Be spilt till the choked Tiber be as red
Or break or climb o'er As e'er 'twas yellow, it will never wear
The wall: on the ladder The deep hue of the ocean and the earth,
As mounts each firm foot,
I look upon
Our shout shall grow gladder,
Bourb. They no not menace me. I could have And death only be mute.
Methinks, a Sylla's menace; but they clasp,
And raise, and wring their diin and deathlike hands,
And with their thin aspen faces and fix'd eyes
Fascinate mine. Look there!
A lofty battlement.
A guard in sight; they wisely keep below,
Shelter'd by the grey parapet from some
Stray bullet of our lansquenets, who might
Practise in the cool twilight.
You are blind.
Phil. If seeing nothing more than may be seen
Bouro. A thousand years have mann'd the walls
With all their heroes,--the last Cato stands
And tears his bowels, rather than survive
The liberty of that I would enslave,
And the first Cæsar with his triumphs flits
From battlement to battlement.
Then conquer But our leader fron: France is,
The walls for which he conquer'd, and be greater !
Bourb. True: so I will, or perish.
You can not.
In such an enterprise to dic is rather
The dawn of an eternal day than death.
(Count Arnold and Cæsar advance. Cas. An indifferent song
Cas. And the mere men-do they too sweat beneath For those within the walls, methinks, to hear. Thre noon of this same ever-scorching glory? Arn. Yes, if they keep to their chorus. But here Bourb.
Welcome the bitter hunchback! and his master, The general with his chiefs and men of trust. The beauty of our host, and brave as beauteous, A goodly rebel !
And generous as lovely. We shall find
You will find, You are not cheerful?
So please your highness, no less for yourself.
Bouro. And if I do, there will not be a labourer
You may well say so, Bourh. If I were secure!
For you liave seen that back-as general Phil, Doubt not our soldiers. Were the walls of Placed in the rear in action--but your foes adamant,
Have never seen it. They'd crack them. Hunger is a sharp artillery. Bourb.
That's a fair retort, Bourb. That they will falter is my least of sears. For I provoked it :--but the Bourbon's breast That they will be repulsed, with Bourbon for
Has been, and ever shall be, far advanced Their chief, and all their kindled appetites
In danger's face as yours, were you the devil. To inarshal them on-were those hoary walls
Cæs. And if I were, I might have saved myself Mountains, and those who guard them like the gods The toil of coming here. Of the old fables, I would trust my Titans ;
Why so? But now
One half Phil. They are but men who war with mortals. Of your brave bands of their own bold accord Bourb. True • but those walls have girded in great will go to him, the other half be sent, ages,
More swiftly, not less surely. And sent forth mighty spirits. The past earth
Arnold, your And present phantom of imperious Rome
Slight crooked friend's as snake-like in his words Is peopled with those warriors; and methinks As his deeds. They fit along the eternal city's rampart,
Your highness much mistakes me. And stretch their glorious, gory, shadowy hands, The first snake was a flatterer-I am none; And beckon me away!
And for my deeds, I only sting when stung. Phil.
So let them! Wilt thou Bourb. You are brave, and that's enough for me; Turn back from shadowy menaces of shadows?
In speech as sharp in action-and that's more.
Ces. They are but bad company, your highness;
How now, fellow !
Cas. You mean, I speak the truth.
It would be well
Be silent! Cas. Ay, but not idle. Work yourself with words. You have few to speak. Phil.
What means the audacious prater? Cas. To prate, like other prophets. Bourb.
Arn. I have heard as much, my lord.
Since I must not lead.
There's a demon In that fierce rattlesnake, thy tongue. Wilt never Be serious ?
Cos. On the eve of battle, no;That were not soldier-like. 'Tis for the general To be more pensive : we adventurers Must be more cheerful. Wherefore should we Our tutelar deity, in a leader's shape, (think! Takes care of us. Keep thought aloof from hosts! If the knaves take to thinking, you will have To crack those walls alone. Bouro.
You may sneer, since 'Tis lucky for you that you fight no worse for't.
Cas. I thank you for the freedom; 'tis the only Pay I have taken in your highress' service. (sell.
Bourb. Well, sir, to-morrow you shall pay your. Look on those towers; they liold my treasury; But, Philibert, we'll in to council. Arnold, We would request your presence. Arn.
Prince ! my service Is yours, as in the field. Bourb.
In both we prize it, And yours will be a post of trust at daybreak.
Cæs. And mine? Bourb. To follow glory with the Bourbon. Good night!
Arn. (to Cæsar.) Prepare our armour for the And wait within my tent.
lassault, 1 Exeunt Bourbon, Arnold, Philibert, &c. Cas. (solus.)
Within tly tent! Think'st thou that I pass froin thee with iny pre
sence? Or that this crooked coffer, which contain'd Thy principle of life, is aught to me Except a inask? And these are men, forsooth! Heroes and chiefs, the flower of Adam's bastards! This is the consequence of giving matter The power of thought. It is a stubborn substance, And thinks chaotically, as it acts, Ever relapsing into its first elements. Welli I must play with these poor puppets : 'tis The spirit's pastime in his idler hours. When I grow weary of it, I have business Amongst the stars, which these poor creatures deem Were made for them to look at. 'Twere a jest now To bring one down amongst them, and set fire Unto their anthill: how the pismires then Would scamper o'er the scalding soil, and, ceasing From tearing down each other's nests, pipe forth One universal orison! Ha! ha! (Exit Cæsar.
Cas. Upon its topmost, let us hope :
Cas. No doubt, the camp's the school of civic What would you make of Rome ?
That which it was. Cas. In Alaric's time? Bourb.
No, slave I in the first Cæsar's, Whose name you bear like other curs. Ces.
And kings! 'Tis a great name for bloodhounds.
the Army in motion, with ladders to scale the
Nature's eye is melancholy
To the wall, with hate and hunger,
Numerous as wolves, and stronger,
On they sweep. Oh, glorious city!
Must thou be a theme for pity?
Fight, like your first sire, cach Roman!
Alaric was a gentle foeman,
Match'd with Bourbon's black banditti!
Rouse thee, thou eternal city;
Rouse thee! Rather give the torch
With thine own hand to thy porch,
Than behold such hosts pollute
Your worst dwelling with their foot
Ah! behold yon bleeding spectral
Ilion's children find no Hector;
Priam's offspring love their brother;
Rome's great sire forgot his mother,
When he slew his gallant twin,
With inexpiable sin.
See the giant shadow stride
O'er the ramparts high and wide!
When the first o'erleapt thy wall,
Its foundation mouru'd thy fall.
Now, though towering like a Babel,
Who to stop his steps are able ?
Stalking o'er thy highest dome,
Remus claims his vengeance, Romel
Now they reach thee in their anger:
Fire and smoke and hellish clangour All the warlike gear of old,
Are around thee, thou world's wonder
Death is in thy walls and under.
Now the meeting steel first clashes,
Downward then the ladder crashes,
With its iron load all gleaming,
Lying at its foot blaspheming!
Up again ! for every warrior
Slain, another climbs the barrier.
Thicker grows the strife: thy ditches
Europe's mingling gore enriches.
Rome! although thy wall may perish,
Such manure thy fields will cherish,
Making gay the harvest-home;
But thy hearths, alas I on, Romel
Yet be Rome amidst thine anguish,
Fight as thou wast wont to vanquish!
Yet once more, ye old Penates I
Let not your quench'd hearths be Até's!
Yet again, ye shadowy heroes,
Yield not to these stranger Neros !
Though the son who slew his mother
Shed Rome's blood, he was your brother: Ye who weep o'er Carthage burning,
'Twas the Roman curb'd the Roinan ;Weep not-strike! for Rome is mourning."
Brennus was a baffled foeman.
Yet again, ye saints and martyrs,
Rise ! for yours are holier charters!
Mighty gods of temples falling,
Yet in ruin still appalling!
Mightier founders of those altars, • Scipio, the second Africanus, is said to have re
True and Christian,--strike the assaulters! peated a verse of Homer, and wept o'er the burning
Tyber! Tyber I let thy torrent of Carthage. He had better have granted it a capitulatioll.
Show even nature's self abhorrent
Let each breathing heart dilated
Cas. Good night, lord constable I thou wert a man. Turn, as doth the lion baited !
(Cæsar follows Arnold; they reach the battle. Rome be crush'd to one wide tomb,
ment; Arnold and Cæsar are struck down. But be still the Roman's Rome !
Cas. A precious somerset! Is your countship Bourbon, Arnold, Cæsar, and others, arrive at the injured ?
[Remounts the ladder. foot of the wall. Arnold is about to plant his ladder.
Cas. A rare blood-hound, when his own is heated ! Bourb. Hold, Arnold ! I am first.
And 'tis no boy's play. Now he strikes them down!
His hand is on the battlement-he grasps it Arn.
Not so, iny lord. Bourb. Hold, sir, I charge you! Follow! I ain
As though it were an altar; now his foot
Is on it, and What have we here? a Roman? proud
(A man falls. Of such a follower, but will brook no Icader. (Bourbon plants his ladder, and begins to mount.
The first bird of the covey ! he has fallen Now, boys! On! on!
On the outside of the nest. Why, how now, fellow? (A shot strikes him, and Bourbon falls.
Wounded Man. A drop of water!
Blood's the only liquid Cas.
Nearer than Tiber. The host will be appall'd,-but vengeance I ven
Wounded Man, I have died for Rome. (Dies.
Cas. And so did Bourbon, in another sense. geance! Bourb. 'Tis nothing-lend me your hand.
Oh, these immortal men! and their great motives! (Bourbon takes Arnold by the hand, and rises ;
But I must after my young charge. He is but as he puts his foot on the step, falls again.
By this time i' the forum. Charge ! charge!
(Cæsar mounts the ladder; the scene closes. Conceal my fall-all will go well-conceal it !
SCENE II.-The City.-Combats between the BeFling my cloak o'er what will be dust anon;
siegers and Besieged in the streets. Inhabi: Let not the soldiers see it.
tants flying in confusion. Arn. You must be
Cas. I cannot find my hero; he is mix'd
With the heroic crowd that now pursue
The fugitives, or battle with the desperate.
That do not seem in love with martyrdom. Till they are conquerors-then do as you may. How the old red-shanks scamper! Could they doff Cas. Would not your highness choose to kiss the Their hose as they have doff d their hats, 'twould be cross?
A blessing, as a mark the less for plunder, We have no priest here, but the hilt of sword
But let thein fly; the crimson kennels now May serve instead :-it did the same for Rayard. Will not inuch stain their stockings, since the mire
Bourb. Thou bitter slave! to name him at this Is of the self-same purple hue. But I deserve it.
(time! Enter a Party fighting; Arnold at the head of the Arn. [to Cæsar. ) Villain, hold your peace !
Besiegers. Cæs. What, when a Christian dies? Shall I not
He comes, A Christian Vade in pace'?
(offer Hand in hand with the mild twins-Gore and Glory. Arn
Holla! hold, count ! Those eyes are glazing which o'erlook'd the world, dru.
Away! they must not rally, And saw no equal.
Ces. I tell thee, be not rash; a golden bridge Bourb.
Arnold, shouldst thou see Is for a flying enemy. I gave thee France-- But hark! hark! the assault grows A form of beauty, and an warmer-Oh!
Exemption from some maladies of body, For but an hour, a minute more of life,
But not of mind, which is not mine to give. To die within the wall! Hence, Arnold, hence ! But though I gave the form of Thetis' son, You lose time-they will conquer Rome without I dipt thee not in Styx; and 'gainst a foe Arn. And without thee
(thee. I would not warrant thy chivalric heart Bourb.
No: so; I'll lead them still More than Pelides' heel; why, then, be cautious. In spirit. Cover up my dust, and breathe not And know thyself a mortal still. That I have ceased to breathe. Away! and be Arn.
And who Victorious.
With aught of soul would combat if he were Aru, But I must not leave thee thus.
Invulnerable? That were pretty sport. Bourb. You inust--farewell -Up! up! the world Think'st thou I beat for hares when lions roar? is winning (Bourbon dies.
(Arnold rushes into the combat Cæs. [to Arnold.) Come, count, to business.
Cas. A precious sample of humanity! Arn.
True. I'll weep hereafter. Well, his blood's up, and if a little's shed, (Arnold covers Bourbon's body with a mantle, Twill serve to curb his fever. mounts the ladder, crying
(Arnold engages with a Roman, who retires ! The Bourbon | Bourbon. On, boys! Roine is ours !
wards a por:ics