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Of birds on yon oak!
And drank the best dew!
Which clay can compound,
Be mingled and stirr'd,
And leap to my word!
This earth's animation!
[ARNOLD falls senseless; his soul passes into the shape of Achilles, which rises from the ground; while the phantom has disappeared, part by part, as the figure was formed from the earth.
Arn. (in his new form). I love, and I shall be beloved! Oh life!
At last I feel thee! Glorious spirit!
What shall become of your abandon'd garment,
Arn. Who cares? Let wolves And vultures take it, if they will. Stran. They do, and are not scared by it, you'll say It must be peace-time, and no better fare Abroad i' the fields.
Let us but leave it there; No matter what becomes on 't.
Stran. That's ungracious, If not ungrateful. Whatsoe'er it be, It hath sustain'd your soul full many a day.
Arn. Ay, as the dunghill may conceal a gem
Stran. But if I give another form, it must be
Adam means "red earth," from which the first man was formed.
Clay thou art; and unto spirit
Fire without which nought can live ;
Or immortal souls, which wander,
Burning in a quenchless lot: Fire the only element Where nor fish, beast, bird, nor worm, Save the worm which dieth not, Can preserve a moment's form, But must with thyself be blent: Fire man's safeguard and his slaughter: Fire! Creation's first-born daughter,
And Destruction's threaten'd son,
When heaven with the world hath done. Fire! assist me to renew
Life in what lies in my view
Stiff and cold!
His resurrection rests with me and you!
But I his spirit's place shall hold !
Arn. (in his new form). Oh! horrible! [thou?
I merely shudder. Where is fled the shape
Your betters keep worse company.
I'm glad of that. Ungrateful too! That's well;
Where the world Is thickest, that I may behold it in Its workings.
That's to say, where there is war And woman in activity. Let's see! Spain-Italy-the new Atlantic worldAfric, with all its Moors. In very truth, There is small choice: the whole race are just now Tugging as usual at each other's hearts.
Arn. I have heard great things of Rome. Stran. A goodly choice And scarce a better to be found on earth, Since Sodom was put out. The field is wide too; For now the Frank, and Hun, and Spanish scion Of the old Vandal are at play along The sunny shores of the world's garden.
Shall we proceed?
Enter two Pages, with four coal-black horses.
Arn. The mighty steam, which volumes high From their proud nostrils, burns the very air; And sparks of flame, like dancing fire-flies, wheel Around their manes, as common insects swarm Round common steeds towards sunset.
Mount, my lord:
They and I are your servitors.
Arn. And these Our dark-eyed pages-what may be their nanies? Stran. You shall baptize them. Arn. What! in holy water? Stran. Why not? The deeper sinner, better saint.
Arn. They are beautiful, and cannot, sure, be demons. [beauty Stran. True; the devil's always ugly; and your Is never diabolical.
I'll call him
And never found till now. And for the other
Stran. I have ten thousand names, and twice As many attributes; but as I wear
A human shape, will take a human name.
Arn. More human than the shape (though it was mine once)
Then call me Cæsar.
Arn. Or in an order for a battle-field.
Cas. (sings). To horse! to horse! my coal-black
Paws the ground and snuffs the air! There's not a foal of Arab's breed
Of life. The planet wheels till it becomes
A comet, and destroying as it sweeps
The stars, goes out. The poor worm winds its way,
And when it prospers
Will it prosper now?
Alas! And shall the city yield? I see the giant Abode of the true God, and his true saint, Saint Peter, rear its dome and cross into That sky whence Christ ascended from the cross, Which his blood made a badge of glory and Of joy (as once of torture unto him, God and God's Son, man's sole and only refuge). Cæs. 'Tis there, and shall be.
Above, and many altar shrines below.
Arn. With the first cock-crow.
Cas. The city, or the amphitheatre ?
To-morrow sounds the assault
Which, if it end with The evening's first nightingale, will be Something new in the annals of great sieges; For men must have their prey after long toil.
Arn. The sun goes down as calmly, and perhaps More beautifully, than he did on Rome On the day Remus leapt her wall.
[Suetonius relates of Julius Cæsar, that his baldness gave him much uneasiness, having often found himself, upon that account, exposed to the ridicule of his enemies; and that, therefore, of all the honours conferred upon him by the
I saw him.
Slay his own twin, quickborn of the same womb,
Cas. And what had they done, whom the old Romans o'erswept ? - Hark!
Arn. They are soldiers singing A reckless roundelay, upon the eve Of many deaths, it may be of their own.
Cas. And why should they not sing as well as
They are black ones, to be sure.
I see, too?
So, you are learn'd,
And wherefore do you not? Cas. It answers better to resolve the alphabet Back into hieroglyphics. Like your statesman, And prophet, pontiff, doctor, alchymist, Philosopher, and what not, they have built More Babels, without new dispersion, than The stammering young ones of the flood's dull ooze, Who fail'd and fled each other. Why? why, marry, Because no man could understand his neighbour. They are wiser now, and will not separate For nonsense. Nay, it is their brotherhood, Their Shibboleth, their Koran, Talmud, their Cabala; their best brick-work, wherewithal They build more
Arn. (interrupting him). Oh, thou everlasting
Be silent! How the soldiers' rough strain seems
Cæs. Yes. I have heard the angels sing.
Arn. And demons howl.
I love all music.
And man too. Let us listen:
senate and people, there was none which he either accepted or used with so much pleasure as the right of wearing constantly a laurel crown.]
Phil. Doubt not our soldiers. Were the walls of adamant,
They'd crack them. Hunger is a sharp artillery.
Phil. They are but men who war with mortals. Bourb. True: but those walls have girded in great ages,
And sent forth mighty spirits. The past earth
Phil. So let them! Wilt thou Turn back from shadowy menaces of shadows? Bourb. They do not menace me. J could have Methinks, a Sylla's menace; but they clasp, [faced, And raise, and wring their dim and deathlike hands, And with their thin aspen faces and fix'd eyes Fascinate mine.
I look upon
A guard in sight; they wisely keep below,
Placed in the rear in action-but your foes Have never seen it.
That's a fair retort, For I provoked it: -but the Bourbon's breast Has been, and ever shall be, far advanced In danger's face as yours, were you the devil. Caes. And if I were, I might have saved myself The toil of coming here.
Arnold, your Slight crooked friend's as snake-like in his words As his deeds.
In speech as sharp in action-and that's more.
Cas. They are but bad company, your highness: And worse even for their friends than foes, as being More permanent acquaintance.
Phi. How now, fellow! Thou waxest insolent, beyond the privilege Of a buffoon.
You mean I speak the truth. I'll lie it is as easy: then you'll praise me For calling you a hero.
Let him alone; he's brave, and ever has
In field or storm, and patient in starvation;
And for his tongue, the camp is full of licence,
Retain'd her sway o'er nations, and the Cæsars,
Cæs. No doubt, the camp's the school of civic
What would you make of Rome ?
Cæs. In Alaric's time?
No, slave in the first Cæsar's,
'Tis a great name for blood-hounds. Bourb.
There's a demon In that fierce rattle-snake thy tongue. Wilt never
On the eve of battle, no;
That were not soldier-like. "Tis for the general
Must be more cheerful. Wherefore should we think?
Bourb. You may sneer, since 'Tis lucky for you that you fight no worse for 't.
Cæs. thank you for the freedom; 'tis the only Pay I have taken in your highness' service.
Bourb. Well, sir, to-morrow you shall pay yourself. Look on those towers; they hold my treasury: But, Philibert, we'll in to council. Arnold, We would request your presence.
Is yours, as in the field. Bourb.
That which it was.
In both we prize it, And yours will be a post of trust at daybreak. Cæs. And mine?
Prince my service
To follow glory with the Bourbon.
Arn. (to CESAR). Prepare our armour for the assault,
And wait within my tent.
[Exeunt BOURBON, ARNOLD, PHILIBERT, C.
Except a mask? And these are men, forsooth!
The power of thought. It is a stubborn substance,
And thinks chaotically, as it acts.
Ever relapsing into its first elements.
Well! I must play with these poor puppets: 'tis
When I grow weary of it, I have business