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As foolish hens at times hatch vipers, by
Sitting upon strange eggs. Out, urchin, out! SCENE I.-A Forest.
[Erit Bertha. Enter ARNOLD and his mother BERTAA.
Arnold (solus). Oh mother! - She is
gone, and I must do Bertha. Our, hunchback!
Her bidding ;-wearily but willingly Aruold. I was born so, mother! I would fulfil it, could I only hope Bertha. Out!
A kind word in return. What shall I do? Thou Incubus! Thou Nightmare ! Of scven (Arnold begins to cut wood : in doing
this he wounds one of his hands. The sole abortion !
My labour for the day is over now. Arnold. Would that I had been so, Accursed be this blood that flows so fast; And never seen the light!
For double curses will be my meed now Bertha. I would so too!
At home.- What home? I have no home, But as thou hast - hence, hence--and do no kin, thy best.
No kind—not made like other crcatures, or That back of thine may bear its burthen ; 'tis To share their sports or pleasures. Must More high, if not so broad as that of others.
I bleed too Arnold. It bears its burthen ;-but, my Like them? Oh that each drop which falls heart! Will it
to earth Sustain that which you lay upon it, mother? Would rise a snake to sting them, as they I love, or at the least, I loved you: nothing, have stung me! Save you, in nature, can love aught like me. Or that the devil, to whom they liken me, You nursed me-do not kill me.
Would aid his likeness! If I must partake Bertha. Yes—I nursed thee,
His forın, why not his power? Is it becauso Because thou wert my first-born, and I I have not his will too? For one kind word knew not
From her who bore me, would still reconIf there would be another unlike thee,
cile me That monstrous sport of nature. But get Even to this hateful aspect. Let me wash hence,
The wound. And gather wood!
(Arnold goes to a spring and stoops Arnold. I will : but when I bring it,
to wash his hand: he starts back. Speak to me kindly. Though my brothers are They are right; and Nature's mirror So beautiful and lusty, and as free
shows me As the free chase they follow, do not what she hath made me. I will not look spurn me :
on it Our milk has been the same.
Again, and scarce dare think on't. Hideous Bertha. As is the hedgehog's,
wretch Which sucks at midnight from the whole- That I am! The very waters mock me with some dam
My horrid shadow - like a demon placed Of the young bull, until the milkmaid finds Deep in the fountain to scare back the cattle The nipple next day sore and udder dry. From drinking therein. (He pauscs. Call not thy brothers brethren! Call me not
And shall I live on, Mother; for if I brought thee forth, it was a burthen to the carth, myself, and shame
Unto what brought me into life? Thou blood, You deem, a single moment would hare Which flowest 80 freely from a scratch, let me
Mine, and for ever, by your suicide ; Try if thou wilt not in a fuller stream And yet my coming saves you Pour forth my woes for ever with thyself Arnold. I said not On earth, to which I will restore at once You were the demon, but that your approach This hateful compound of her atoms, and was like one. Resolve back to her elements, and take Stranger. Unless you keep company The shape of any reptile save myself, With him (and you seem scarce used to And make a world for myriads of new
such high worms!
Society) you can't tell how he approachess This knife! now let me prove if it will sever And for his aspect, look upon the fountain, This wither'd slip of nature's nightshade- And then on me, and judge which of us my
twain Vile form- from the creation, as it hath Looks likest what the boors believe to be The green bough from the forest.
Their cloven-footed terror.
To taunt me with my born deformity?
Now 'tis set, Stranger. Were I io taunt a buffalo with And I can fall upon it. Yet one glance
this On the fair day, which sees no foul thing like Cloven foot of thine, or the swift dromedary Myself, and the sweet sun, which warmed with thy sublime of humps, the animals
Would revel in the compliment. And yet In vain. The birds – how joyously they sing! Both beings are more swift, more strong, So let them, for I would not be lamented : more mighty But let their merriest notes be Arnold's In action and endurance than thyself, knell ;
And all the fierce and fair of the same kind The falling leaves my monunient; the With thee. Thy forin is natural: 'twas only
Nature's mistaken largess to bestow Of the near fountain my sole elegy. The gifts which are of others upon man. Now, knife, stand firmly, as I fain would Arnold. Give me the strength then of fall!
the buffalo's foot,
the knife, his eye is suddenly caught Near enemy; or let me have the long
The helm-less dromedary ;-and I'll bear The fountain moves without a wind: but Thy fiendish sarcasm with a saintly patience. shall
Stranger. I will. The ripple of a spring change my resolve? Arnold (with surprise). Thou canst? No. Yet it moves again! The waters stir, Stranger. Perhaps. Would you aughtelse? Not as with air, but by some subterrane Arnold. Thout mockest me. And rocking power of the internal world. Stranger. Not I. Why should I mock What's here? A mist! No more?
What all are mocking? Tbat's poor sport [A cloud comes from the fountain. He methinks.
stands gazing upon it: it is dis- To talk to thee in human language (for pelled, and a tall black man comes Thou canst not yet speak mine), the forester towards him.
Hants not the wretched coney, but the boar, Arnold. What would you ? Speak!
Or wolf, or lion, leaving paltry game Spirit or man?
To petty burghers, who leave once a year Stranger. As man is both, why not Their walls, to fill their household-calSay both in one?
drong with Arnold. Your form is man's, and yet Such scullion-prey. The meanest gibe at You may be devil.
thee, Stranger. So many men are that Now I can mock the mightiest. Which is so called or thought, that you Arnold. Then waste not may add me
Thy time on me: I seek thee not. To which you please, without much wrong Stranger. Your thoughts to either.
Are not far from me. Do not send me back: But come: you , wish to kill yourself;- I am not so easily recalled to do pursue
Arnold. What wilt thou do for me? Arnold. You have interrupted me. Stranger. Change Stranger. What is that resolution which Shapes with you, if you will, since yours
can e'er Be interrupted? If I be the devil
Or form yon to your wish in any shape.
so irks you;
Arnold. Oh! then you are indeed the The form of the Stohe demon, for
Or Sophist of yore... Nought else would wittingly wear mine. Or the shape of each Victor, Stranger. I'll show thee
From Macedon's boy The brightest which the vorld e'er bore, To each high Roman's picture, and give thee
Who breathed to destroy Thy choice.
Shadows of Beauty ! Arnold. On what condition 1
Shadows of Power! Stranger. There's a question !
Up to your dutyAn hour ago you would bave given your soul
This is the hour! To look like other men, and now you pause (Various Phantoms arise from the To wear the form of heroes.
waters and pass in succession before Arnold. No; I will not.
the Stranger and Arnold. I must not compromise my soul.
Arnold. What do I see? Stranger. What soul,
Stranger. The black-eyed Roman, with Worth naming so, would dwell in such a The eagle's beak between those eyes which carcass?
ne'er Arnold. 'Tis an aspiring one, whate'er Beheld a conqueror, or look'd along the tenement
The land he made not Rome's, while Rome In which it is mislodged. But Dame your
His, and all theirs who heir'd his very name. Must it be signed in blood ?
Arnold. The Phantom's bald; my quest Stranger. Not in your own.
is beauty. Could I Arnold. Whose blood then ?
Inherit but his fame with his defects! Stranger. We will talk of that hercafter. Stranger. His brow was girt with laurels But I'll be inoderate with you, for I see
more than hairs. Great things within you. You shall have You see his aspect-choose it or reject. no bond
I can but promise you his form; his famo But your own will, no contract save your Must be long sought and fought for. deeds.
Arnold. I will fight too, Are you content ?
But not as a mock-Cæsar. Let him pass; Arnold. I take thee at thy word. His aspect may be fair, but suits me not. Stranger. Now then!
Stranger. Then you are far more diffi[The Stranger approaches the fountain, cult to please and turns to Arnold.
Than Cato's sister, or than Brutus' mother, A little of your blood, Or Cleopatra at sixteen-an age Arnold. For what?
When love is not less in the eye than heart. Stranger. To mingle with the magic But be it so! Shadow, pass on ! of the waters,
[The Phantom of Julius Cæsar disappears. And make the charm effective.
Arnold. And can it Arnold (holding out his wounded arm). Be, that the man who shook the earth is Take it all.
gone Stranger. Not now. A few drops will And left no footstep? suffice for this.
Stranger. There you err. His substance [The Stranger takes some of Arnold's Left graves enough, and woes enough, and blood in his hand, and casts it into
fame the fountain.
More than enough to track his memory; Shadows of Beauty!
But for his shadow, 'tis no more than yours, Shadows of Power!
Except a little longer and less crooked Rise to your duty
l' the sun. Behold another ! This is the hour!
(A second Phantom passes. Walk lovely and pliant
Arnold. Who is he?
Arnold. He is
Stranger. Such was the curled son of of the form I will mould,
Clinias ; wouldst thou
Invest thee with his form?
Arnold. Would that I had
I will look further.
[The Shade of Alcibiades disappears. Stranger. Lo! Behold again!
If there be atoms of him left, or even Arnold. What! that low, swarthy, short-Of the more solid gold that formed his urn. nosed, round-eyed satyr,
Arnold. Who was this Glory of mankind? With the wide nostrils and Silenus' aspect, Stranger. The shame The splay feet and low stature! I had of Greece in peace, her thunderbolt in warm better
Demetring the Macedonian and Remain that which I am.
Taker of cities. Stranger. And yet he was
Arnold. Yet one shadow more. The carth's perfection of all mental beauty, Stranger (addressing the Shadow).
Get And personification of all virtue.
thee to Lamia's lap! But you reject him ?
[The Shade of Demetrius Poliorcetes Arnold. If his form could bring me
vanishes : another rises. That which redeemed it--na.
Stranger. I'll fit you still, Stranger. I have no power
Fear not, my Hunchback. If the shadows of To promise that; but you may try, and That which existed please not your nice find it
taste, Easier in such a form, or in your own. I'll animate the ideal marble, till
Arnold. No. I was not born for philosophy, Your sonl be reconciled to her new garment. Though I have that about me which has Arnold. Content! I will fix here. need on't.
Stranger. I must commend Let him fleet on
Your choice. The god-like son of the SeaStranger. Be air, thou hemlock-drinker!
Goddess, [The Shadow of Socrates disappears: The unshorn boy of Peleus, with his locks another rises.
As beautiful and clear as the amber-waves Arnold. What's here? whose broad brow of rich Pactolus rolled o'er sands of gold, and whose curly beard
Softened by intervening crystal, and And manly aspect look like Hercules, Rippled like flowing waters by the wind, Save that his jocund eye hath more of All vowed to Sperchius as they were-beBacchus
hold ihem! Than the sad Purger of the infernal world, And him—as he stood by Polixena, Leaning dejected on his club of conqnest, With sanctioned and with softened love, As if he knew the worthlessness of those
before For whom he had fought.
The altar, gazing on his Trojan bride, Stranger. It was the man who lost With some remorse within for Hector slain The ancient world for love.
And Priam weeping, mingled with deep Arnold. I cannot blame him,
passion Since I have risked my soul because I For the sweet downcast virgin, whose find not
young hand That which he exchanged the earth for. Trembled in his who slew her brother. So Stranger. Since so far
He stood i' the temple! Luok upon hiin as You seem congenial, will you wear his Greece look'd her last upon her best, the features ?
instant Arnold. No. As you leave me choice, I Ere Paris' arrow flew. am difficult,
Arnold. I gaze upon him If but to see the heroes I should ne'er As if I were his soul, whose form shall soon Have seen else on this side of the dim Envelop mine. shore
Stranger. You have done well. The Whence they float back before us.
greatest Stranger. Hence, Triumvir!
Deformity should only barter with Thy Cleopatra 's waiting.
The extremnest beauty, if the proverb's true (The Shade of Anthony disappears Of mortals, that extremes meet. another rises.
Arnold. Come! Be quick ! Arnold. Who is this?
I am impatient. Who truly looketh like a demigod, Stranger. As a youthful beauty Blooming and bright, with golden hair, Before her glass. You both see what is not, and stature,
But dream it is what must be. If not more high than mortal, yet immortal Arnold. Must I wait? In all that nameless bearing of his limbs, Stranger. No; that were pity. But a Which he wears as the Sun his rays-&
word or two: something
His stature is twelve cubits: would you so far Which shines from him, and yet is but the Outstep these times, and be a Titan? Or flashing
(To talk canonically) wax a Son Entanation of a thing more glorious still. Of Anak? Was he e'er human only ?
Arnold. Why not? Stranger. Let the earth speak,
Stranger. Glorious ambition!
I love thee most in dwarfa. A mortal of Had she exposed me, like the Spartan, ere Philistine stature would have gladly pared I knew the passionate part of life, I had His own Goliath down to a slight David; Been a clod of the valley,-happier nothing But thou, my manikin, wouldst soar a show Than what I am. But even thus, the lowest, Rather than hero. Thou shalt be indulged, Ugliest, and meanest of mankind, what If such be thy desire; and yet by being
courage A little less removed from present men And perseverance could have done, perchance In figure, thou canst sway them more; for all Had made me something--as it has made Wonld rise against thee now, as if to hunt
heroes A new found mammoth; and their cursed of the same mould as mine. You lately
Whatever dreads to die.
Arnold. I have done so.
And sweter to my heart. As I am now, And strong as what it was, and
I might be feared, admired, respected, loved Arnold. I ask not
Of all save those next to me, of whom I For valour, since deformity is daring. Would be beloved. As thou showest me It is its essence to o'ertake mankind A choice of forms, I take the one I view. By heart and soul,and make itself the eqnal. Haste! haste! Aye, the superior of the rest. There is Stranger. And what shall I wear ? A spur in its halt movements, to become Arnold. Surely he All that the others cannot, in such things Who can command all forms, will choose As still are free to both, to compensate
the highest, For stepdame Nature's avarice at first. Something superior even to that which was They woo with fearless deeds the smiles of Pelides now before us. Perhaps his Fortune,
Who slew him, that of Paris: or
or-still And oft, like Timour the lame Tartar, win higher them.
The poet's God, clothed in such limbs as are
Stranger. Less will content me;
Dusky, but not uncomely.
I might be whiter; but I have a penchant
with fear: Its way, with all deformity's duli, deadly, But I have worn it long enough of late, Discouraging weight upon me, like a moun- And now I'll take your figure. tain,
Arnold. Mine! In feeling,on my heart as on my shoulders- Stranger. Yes. You A hateful and unsightly molehill to Shall change with Thetis' son, and I with The eyes of happier man. I would have
Your mother's offspring. People have their
(The Stranger takes some earth and not love me
moulds it along the turf. And In turn, because of this vile crooked clog
then addresses the Phantom of Which makes me lonely. Nay, I could
Achilles. have borne
Beautiful Shadow It all, had not my mother spurned me from Of Thetis's boy! her,
Who sleeps in the ineadow The she-bear licks her cubs into a sort
Whose grass grows o'er Troy, Of shape;—my dam beheld my shape was From the red carth, like Adam, hopeless.
Thy likeness I shape,