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A thrilling pleasantness, which send a glow
My throne again. Reign! Reign! I have forgot
Alb. Boy! boy! Cling not about me thus.
Theo. Thou wilt have mercy;
Thy heart is softening.
Alb. "Tis too late. To reign,
And he at liberty! I am a child
Myself, that, won by this child's gentleness,
I seemed to waver.
Boy, thy fate is fixed!
Thyself hast said it. Thou'rt a prisoner,
And for thy whole life long; a caged bird.
For I would root out hope and fear, and plant
Rest thee content. No harm shall happen thee.
(Exit Alberto.) Theo. Content! Oh mockery of grief! content! Was't not enough to take away my crown, To mew me up here in a living tomb, Cut off from human ties; but my jailer Must bid me be content!
Would I were dead!
Forgive me, heaven, for my impatience!
As hermits use through the long silent hours.
Merrily! Happy fool, it had forgot
Blithe liberty! But man, though he should drag
To hear his own sad voice, cannot forget
He wants that blessed gift.
Athelwold. Banish me! No. I'll die. For why should life Remain a lonely lodger in that breast
Which honor leaves deserted?
Thou canst not fill such vacancy. Begone.
Pilgrim. Oh shame to fortitude!
Shame to that manly passion, which inspires
Athel. And but o'er noble breasts;
Pil. Forbear, forbear;
Think what a sea of deep perdition whelms
And let the thought restrain thine impious hand.
Athel. I was once
Yes, I was once, I have his royal word for it,
A man of such tried faith, such steady honor,
Sating the lust of slander; and my wife,
Edwin. Stay, my dearest master;
Athel. I mean it, slave, And wouldst thou hinder me? Ed. Yes, sir, I hold
'Tis duty to my king, and love to you,
Athel. What! thou traitor!-
Upon whose breast I cast this load of misery,
Ye venerable fathers of this wood,
Who oft have cooled beneath your arching shades
Ed. See, thou Pilgrim,
How horror shades his brow; how fixed his eye;
Pil. Edwin, 'tis ever thus
With noble minds, if chance they slide to folly;
Of their severe repentance.
Caswallon. Off.-I have strength in this unwearied arm(Recognizing his son.) Ha! is it thou?
Fitz-Edward. Turn not away.-One word
Upon my knees I beg it.
Cas. Let it be
A brief one, then.-What wouldst thou?
Fitz-Ed. Oh, my
The tempest that my slighted speech foretold,
Cas. And 'tis this
To tell me this, that thou art here-to vaunt
Fitz-Ed. No.-I come
To break thy commerce with the midnight wolf-
That flow from man's communion with his kind:-
If I thought that-thou knowest my temper-hence,
Fitz-Ed. Oh, I must, and thou
Must hear me, too.-Enough of constancy-
-Is not all lost ?-and thou
Cas. Patience-oh, patience, heart!-
The common doom ?—oh, idle all.There now
Is left thee but one way to save thyself :-
Thy bosom-I must speak it-'tis submission.
Cas. Heaven!-are thy thunders idle?—and thou, earth That yet endurest his tread!-thou wilt not part
Beneath him, and deep hide his infamy!
Cas. No-thou blot
On the pure 'scutcheon of thy noble fathers—
Thor shalt not plume thee in my fall, nor show me
With "Lo! my work, and there the untamable !"–
"Tis not within thy hate's extremest bound
Away, weak heart '
In upright conscious honesty, I stand
And shake thy loose aspersions from my soul,
As lightly as the falcon from her wing
The dews of evening.
Cas. I will not hear thee.-Hence.
Fitz-Ed. Obdurate man, bow thy proud spirit down, If ta'en thou diest.-Submit, and thou shalt live ::(Imploringly upon his knees.) Beloved father! By heaven's whole host, I will not see thee lost!
(Starting up resolvedly.) No-if thou scorn to yield, I'll instant hence, And to the troops that now beset thee round, Reveal the secret of thy lurking place.
Cas. Reveal!-betray me to- ?
But no-thou art
Caswallon's son, and thus far he will trust thee.
Fitz-Ed. Oh, agony of heart!
Cas. (Going.) Nay, follow not.
Attempt to stay me, and a father's curse
Cling to thy soul, and hold thee lost for ever! (Exit.)
It fell not-'tis not that that rages here.
That misery still is spared me.
He is gone!
SOLDIERS AND PEOPLE.-Knowles.
(The people have gathered to one side, and look in the opposite direction with apprehension and trouble.)
Verner. Now Tell observe the people.
Tell. Ha! they please me now-I like them now-their looks Are just in season.