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Tell. My boy! (Holding out his arms to him.)
Tell. If thou canst bear it, should not I?- Go now,
My son, and keep in mind that I can shoot.
Go, boy,-be thou but steady, I will hit
My bow! (Sarnem gives the bow.)
I'm sure of thee,-I know thy honesty;
Thou'rt stanch, stanch :-I'd deserve to find thee treacherous,
Could I suspect thee so. Come, I will stake
My all upon thee! Let me see my quiver. (Retires.)
The point, you see, is bent, the feather jagged;
Another. (Tell examines it.)
Tell. Why, 'tis better than the first, But yet not good enough for such an aim As I'm to take. 'Tis heavy in the shaft: I'll not shoot with it! (Throws it away.)
Bring it! 'tis not one arrow in a dozen
I'd take to shoot with at a dove, much less
Let me see
A dove like that! What is't you fear? I'm but
A naked man, a wretched naked man!
Your helpless thrall, alone in the midst of you,
His hand. What can I do in such a strait
Will you give it me or not?
Ges. It matters not.
Show him the quiver.
(Tell kneels and picks out an arrow, then secretes one in his vest.)
Tell. I'm ready! Keep silence, for (To the people)
Heaven's sake! and do not stir, and let me have
Your prayers,--your prayers:—and be my witnesses,
'Tis only for the chance of saving it.
Now, friends, for mercy's sake, keep motionless
(Tell shoots; and a shout of exultation bursts from the crowd.) Ver. (Rushing in with Albert.) Thy boy is safe! no
hair of him is touched!
Alb. Father, I'm safe!-your Albert's safe! Dear father,
Speak to me! speak to me!
Ver. He cannot, boy!
Open his vest, and give him air.
(Albert opens his father's vest, and an arrow drops; Tell starts, fixes his eyes on Albert, and clasps him to his breast.) Tell. My boy! my boy!
Ges. For what
Hid you that arrow in your breast? Speak, slave!
Would, at thy downfall, shout from every peak!
XIII.-TELL TO HIS NATIVE MOUNTAINS.
YE crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
Of awe divine. Ye guards of liberty,
I'm with you once again!—I call to you
Scaling yonder peak,
Of measuring the ample range beneath
And round about; absorbed, he heeded not
The death that threatened him. I could not shoot'Twas Liberty! I turned my bow aside,
And let him soar away!
Heavens! with what pride I used
How happy was I then! I loved
Its very storms. Yes, I have often sat
In my boat at night, when midway o'er the lake-
Then I have thought of other lands, whose storms
Have wished me there;-the thought that mine was free
XIV.-HENRY VIII. AND ANNE BOLEYN.
SCENE IN THE TOWER.-ANNE BOLEYN and a CONSTABLE of the Tower.
Anne Boleyn. Is your liege ill, sir, that you look so anxious?
Constable of the Tower. Madam!
Anne. I would not ask what you may wish
To keep a secret from me; but indeed
This right, I think, is left me; I would know
If my poor husband is quite well to-day.
Constable. Pardon me, gracious lady! what can prompt To this inquiry?
Anne. I have now my secret.
Constable. I must report all questions, sayings, doings, Movements, and looks of yours. His Highness may Be ruffled at this eagerness to ask
It would incense him: he made only one,
And Heaven alone that heard him must remind him.
He scarcely was what kings and husbands should be.
Warm hearts (and Henry's heart was very warm)
And upon strong resentments: I do fear
He has those too. But all his friends must love him.
He may have passed (poor Henry !) a bad night,
Constable. Lady! I grieve to tell you, worse than that; Far worse!
Anne. Oh, mercy, then! the child! the child! Why not have told me of all this before?
What boots it to have been a guiltless wife,
When I, who should have thought the first about it,
Departure from this world would never be
Would mingle with them scarcely with fresh sweetness.
Arise, sir constable !
And you weep!
Heaven's joys lie close before you.
Few days, I know, are left me; they will melt
All into one, all pure, all peaceable:
No starts from slumber into bitter tears;
No struggles with sick hopes and wild desires;
To crush the child that sits upon its bough