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SCENE I-A Forest.

Enter ARNOLD and his mother BERTHA.

Bertha. Our, hunchback!

Arnold. I was born so, mother!
Bertha. Out!

Thou Incubus! Thou Nightmare! Of seven


The sole abortion!

Arnold. Would that I had been so, And never seen the light!

Bertha. I would so too!

But as thou hast -hence, hence and do thy best.

That back of thine may bear its burthen; 'tis More high, if not so broad as that of others. Arnold. It bears its burthen;-but, my heart! Will it

Sustain that which you lay upon it, mother? I love, or at the least, I loved you: nothing, Save you, in nature, can love aught like me. You nursed me-do not kill me.

Bertha. Yes-I nursed thee, Because thou wert my first-born, and knew not

If there would be another unlike thee, That monstrous sport of nature. But get hence,

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As foolish hens at times hatch vipers, by Sitting upon strange eggs. Out, urchin, out! [Exit Bertha. Arnold (solus). Oh mother! - She is gone, and I must do

Her bidding;- wearily but willingly I would fulfil it, could I only hope A kind word in return. What shall I do? [Arnold begins to cut wood: in doing this he wounds one of his hands. My labour for the day is over now. Accursed be this blood that flows so fast; For double curses will be my meed now At home. What home? I have no home, no kin,

No kind-not made like other creatures, or To share their sports or pleasures. Must I bleed too

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Would rise a snake to sting them, as they have stung me!

Or that the devil, to whom they liken me,
Would aid his likeness! If I must partake
His form, why not his power? Is it becauso
II have not his will too? For one kind word
From her who bore me, would still recon-
cile me

Even to this hateful aspect. Let me wash
The wound.

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Unto what brought me into life? Thou blood, | You deem, a single moment would have Which flowest so freely from a scratch,

let me

Try if thou wilt not in a fuller stream
Pour forth my woes for ever with thyself
On earth, to which I will restore at once
This hateful compound of her atoms, and
Resolve back to her elements, and take
The shape of any reptile save myself,
And make a world for myriads of new


made you

Mine, and for ever, by your suicide ;
And yet my coming saves you.
Arnold. I said not

You were the demon, but that your approach
Was like one.

Stranger. Unless you keep company With him (and you seem scarce used to such high

Society) you can't tell how he approaches; 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


Vile form-from the creation, as it hath The green bough from the forest. [Arnold places the knife in the ground, with the point upwards.

Now 'tis set, And I can fall upon it. Yet one glance On the fair day, which sees no foul thing like Myself, and the sweet sun, which warmed me, but

In vain. The birds-how joyously they sing! So let them, for I would not be lamented: But let their merriest notes be Arnold's knell ;

The falling leaves my monument; the

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The fountain moves without a wind: but shall

The ripple of a spring change my resolve? No. Yet it moves again! The waters stir, Not as with air, but by some subterrane And rocking power of the internal world. What's here? A mist! No more?

[A cloud comes from the fountain. He stands gazing upon it: it is dispelled, and a tall black man comes towards him.

Arnold. What would you? Speak! Spirit or man?

Stranger. As man is both, why not Say both in one?

Arnold. Your form is man's, and yet You may be devil.

Stranger. So many men are that Which is so called or thought, that you may add me

To which you please, without much wrong

to either.

twain Looks likest what the boors believe to be Their cloven-footed terror.

Arnold. Do you- dare you To taunt me with my born deformity? Stranger. Were I to taunt a buffalo with this

Cloven foot of thine, or the swift dromedary
With thy sublime of humps, the animals
Would revel in the compliment. And yet
Both beings are more swift, more strong,
more mighty

In action and endurance than thyself,
And all the fierce and fair of the same kind
With thee. Thy form is natural: 'twas only
Nature's mistaken largess to bestow
The gifts which are of others upon man.
Arnold. Give me the strength then of
the buffalo's foot,

When he spurns high the dust, beholding his
Near enemy; or let me have the long
And patient swiftness of the desert-ship,
The helm-less dromedary ;—and I'll bear
Thy fiendish sarcasm with a saintly patience.
Stranger. I will.

Arnold (with surprise). Thou canst?
Stranger. Perhaps. Would you aught else?
Arnold. Thout mockest me.

Stranger. Not I. Why should I mock What all are mocking? That's poor sport methinks.

To talk to thee in human language (for
Thou canst not yet speak mine), the forester
Hunts not the wretched coney, but the boar,
Or wolf, or lion, leaving paltry game
To petty burghers, who leave once a year
Their walls, to fill their household-cal-
drons with

Such scullion-prey. The meanest gibe at thee,

Now I can mock the mightiest.
Arnold. Then waste not

Thy time on me: I seek thee not.
Stranger. Your thoughts

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Are not far from me. Do not send me back:
am not so easily recalled to do
Good service.

Arnold. What wilt thou do for me?
Stranger. Change

Shapes with you, if you will, since yours so irks you;

Or form you to your wish in any shape.

Arnold. Oh! then you are indeed the demon, for

Nought else would wittingly wear mine. Stranger. I'll show thee

The brightest which the world e'er bore, and give thee

Thy choice.

Arnold. On what condition ?

Stranger. There's a question!

An hour ago you would have given your soul To look like other men, and now you pause To wear the form of heroes.

Arnold. No; I will not.

I must not compromise my soul.
Stranger. What soul,

Worth naming so, would dwell in such a carcass?

Arnold. 'Tis an aspiring one, whate'er the tenement

In which it is mislodged. But name your compact:

Must it be signed in blood?

Stranger. Not in your own.
Arnold. Whose blood then?

Stranger. We will talk of that hereafter. But I'll be moderate with you, for I see Great things within you. You shall have no bond

But your own will, no contract save your deeds.

Are you content?

Arnold. I take thee at thy word.
Stranger. Now then!-

[The Stranger approaches the fountain,
and turns to Arnold.

A little of your blood, Arnold. For what? Stranger. To mingle with the magic of the waters,

And make the charm effective.

Arnold (holding out his wounded arm). Take it all.

Stranger. Not now. A few drops will suffice for this.

[The Stranger takes some of Arnold's
blood in his hand, and casts it into
the fountain.
Shadows of Beauty!

Shadows of Power!

Rise to your duty

This is the hour!

Walk lovely and pliant

From the depth of this fountain,
As the cloud-shapen giant

Bestrides the Hartz-mountain.
Come as ye were,

That our eyes may behold'

The model in air

Of the form I will mould,

Bright as the Iris

When ether is spann'd ;—

Such his desire is, [Pointing to Arnold.

Such my command!

Demons heroic

Demons who wore

The form of the Stofc
Or Sophist of yore
Or the shape of each Victor,
From Macedon's boy
To each high Roman's picture,
Who breathed to destroy-
Shadows of Beauty!

Shadows of Power!
Up to your duty-
This is the hour!

[Various Phantoms arise from the waters and pass in succession before the Stranger and Arnold.

Arnold. What do I see?

Stranger. The black-eyed Roman, with The eagle's beak between those eyes which


Beheld a conqueror, or look'd along The land he made not Rome's, while Rome became

His, and all theirs who heir'd his very name. Arnold. The Phantom's bald; my quest is beauty. Could I

Inherit but his fame with his defects! Stranger. His brow was girt with laurels more than hairs.

You see his aspect-choose it or reject.
I can but promise you his form; his fame
Must be long sought and fought for.
Arnold. I will fight too,

But not as a mock-Cæsar. Let him pass;
His aspect may be fair, but suits me not.
Stranger. Then you are far more diffi-
cult to please

Than Cato's sister, or than Brutus' mother,
Or Cleopatra at sixteen-an age
When love is not less in the eye than heart.
But be it so! Shadow, pass on!

[The Phantom of Julius Cæsar disappears.
Arnold. And can it

| Be, that the man who shook the earth is gone And left no footstep?

Stranger. There you err. His substance Left graves enough, and woes enough, and fame

More than enough to track his memory;
But for his shadow, 'tis no more than yours,
Except a little longer and less crooked
I' the sun. Behold another!

[A second Phantom passes.

Arnold. Who is he?

Stranger. He was the fairest and the bravest of

Athenians. Look upon him well.
Arnold. He is

More lovely than the last. How beautiful!
Stranger. Such was the curled son of
Clinias ;-wouldst thou

Invest thee with his form?

Arnold. Would that I had

Been born with it! But since I may choose further,

I will look further.

[The Shade of Alcibiades disappears.

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Let him fleet on

Stranger. Be air, thou hemlock-drinker! [The Shadow of Socrates disappears: another rises.

Arnold. What's here? whose broad brow
and whose curly beard

And manly aspect look like Hercules,
Save that his jocund eye hath more of

Than the sad Purger of the infernal world,
Leaning dejected on his club of conquest,
As if he knew the worthlessness of those
For whom he had fought.

Stranger. It was the man who lost
The ancient world for love.

Arnold. I cannot blame him,
Since I have risked my soul because I
find not

That which he exchanged the earth for.
Stranger. Since so far

You seem congenial, will you wear his

Arnold. No. As you leave me choice, I am difficult,

If but to see the heroes I should ne'er
Have seen else on this side of the dim

Whence they float back before us.
Stranger. Hence, Triumvir!
Thy Cleopatra 's waiting.

[The Shade of Anthony disappears
another rises.

Arnold. Who is this?
Who truly looketh like a demigod,
Blooming and bright, with golden hair,
and stature,

If not more high than mortal, yet immortal
In all that nameless bearing of his limbs,
Which he wears as the Sun his rays-a

Which shines from him, and yet is but the
Enfanation of a thing more glorious still.
Was he e'er human only?

Stranger. Let the earth speak,

If there be atoms of him left, or even
Of the more solid gold that formed his urn.
Arnold. Who was this Glory of mankind?
Stranger. The shame

Of Greece in peace, her thunderbolt in war—
Demetrins the Macedonian and
Taker of cities.

Arnold. Yet one shadow more.
Stranger (addressing the Shadow). Get
thee to Lamia's lap!

[The Shade of Demetrius Poliorcetes
vanishes: another rises.

Stranger. I'll fit you still,

Fear not, my Hunchback. If the shadows of
That which existed please not your nice


I'll animate the ideal marble, till
Your soul be reconciled to her new garment.
Arnold. Content! I will fix here.
Stranger. I must commend
Your choice. The god-like son of the Sea-

The unshorn boy of Peleus, with his locks
As beautiful and clear as the amber-waves
Of rich Pactolus rolled o'er sands of gold,
Softened by intervening crystal, and
Rippled like flowing waters by the wind,
All vowed to Sperchius as they were-be-
hold them!

And him—as he stood by Polixena,
With sanctioned and with softened love,

The altar, gazing on his Trojan bride,
With some remorse within for Hector slain
And Priam weeping, mingled with deep

For the sweet downcast virgin, whose
young hand

Trembled in his who slew her brother. So
He stood i' the temple! Look upon him as
Greece look'd her last upon her best, the

Ere Paris' arrow flew.

Arnold. I gaze upon him

As if I were his soul, whose form shall soon
Envelop mine.

Stranger. You have done well. The

Deformity should only barter with
The extremest beauty, if the proverb's true
| Of mortals, that extremes meet.
Arnold. Come! Be quick!

I am impatient.

Stranger. As a youthful beauty
Before her glass. You both see what is not,
But dream it is what must be.

Arnold. Must I wait?

Stranger. No; that were pity. But a
word or two:

His stature is twelve cubits: would you so far
Outstep these times, and be a Titan? Or
(To talk canonically) wax a Son
Of Anak?

Arnold. Why not?
Stranger. Glorious ambition!

I love thee most in dwarfs. A mortal of
Philistine stature would have gladly pared
His own Goliath down to a slight David;
But thou, my manikin, wouldst soar a show
Rather than hero. Thou shalt be indulged,
If such be thy desire; and yet by being
A little less removed from present men
In figure, thou canst sway them more; for all
Would rise against thee now, as if to hunt
A new found mammoth; and their cursed

Their culverins and so forth, would find way Through our friend's armour there, with greater ease

Than the adulterer's arrow through his heel
Which Thetis had forgotten to baptise
In Styx.

Arnold. Then let it be as thou deem'st best. Stranger. Thou shalt be beauteous as the thing thou seest,

And strong as what it was, and—

Arnold. I ask not

For valour, since deformity is daring. It is its essence to o'ertake mankind

Had she exposed me, like the Spartan, ere I knew the passionate part of life, I had Been a clod of the valley,-happier nothing Than what I am. But even thus, the lowest, Ugliest, and meanest of mankind, what


And perseverance could have done,perchance Had made me something-as it has made heroes

Of the same mould as mine. You lately

saw me

Master of my own life, and quick to quit it; And he who is so, is the master of Whatever dreads to die.

Stranger. Decide between What you have been, or will be. Arnold. I have done so.

You have open'd brighter prospects to my eyes,

And sweeter to my heart. As I am now,
I might be feared, admired, respected, loved
Of all save those next to me, of whom I
Would be beloved. As thou showest me
A choice of forms, I take the one I view.

Stranger. And what shall I wear? Arnold. Surely he

By heart and soul,and make itself the equal-Haste! haste!
Aye, the superior of the rest. There is
A spur in its halt movements, to become
All that the others cannot, in such things
As still are free to both, to compensate
For stepdame Nature's avarice at first.
They woo with fearless deeds the smiles of

And oft, like Timour the lame Tartar, win

Stranger. Well spoken! And thou doubt-
less wilt remain

Formed as thou art? I may dismiss the mould
Of shadow, which must turn to flesh, to


This daring soul,which could achieve no less Without it?

Arnold. Had no Power presented me
The possibility of change, I would
Have done the best which Spirit may,to make
Its way, with all deformity's dull, deadly,
Discouraging weight upon me, like a moun-

In feeling, on my heart as on my shoulders-
A hateful and unsightly molehill to
The eyes of happier man. I would have

On beauty in that sex which is the type
Of all we know or dream of beautiful
Beyond the world they brighten with a sigh
Not of love but despair; nor sought to win,
Though to a heart all love, what could

not love me

In turn, because of this vile crooked clog Which makes me lonely. Nay, I could have borne

It all, had not my mother spurned me from


The she-bear licks her cubs into a sort Of shape;—my dam beheld my shape was hopeless.

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Who can command all forms, will choose the highest,

Something superior even to that which was
Pelides now before us. Perhaps his
Who slew him, that of Paris: or-still

The poet's God, clothed in such limbs as are
Themselves a Poetry.

Stranger. Less will content me; For I too love a change.

Arnold. Your aspect is Dusky, but not uncomely. Stranger. If I chose,

I might be whiter; but I have a penchant
For black-it is so honest, and besides
Can neither blush with shame nor pale
with fear:

But I have worn it long enough of late,
And now I'll take your figure.
Arnold. Mine!

Stranger. Yes. You

Shall change with Thetis' son, and I with Bertha

Your mother's offspring. People have their tastes;

You have yours-I mine.

Arnold. Despatch! despatch!
Stranger. Even so.

[The Stranger takes some earth and
moulds it along the turf.


then addresses the Phantom of Achilles.

Beautiful Shadow

Of Thetis's boy!

Who sleeps in the meadow
Whose grass grows o'er Troy.
From the red earth, like Adam,
Thy likeness I thape,

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