Page images
PDF
EPUB

If there be atoms of him left, or even

His stature is twelve cubits; would you so far of the more solid gold that form d his urn. Outstep these times, and be a Titan? Or Arn. Who was this glory of mankind ?

(To talk canonically) was a son Stran.

The shame Of Anak ? Of Greece in peace, her thunderbolt in war

Arn.

Why not? Demetrius the Macedonian, and

Stran.

Glorious ambition!
Taker of cities.

I love thee most in dwarfs! A mortal of
Arn.
Yet one shadow more.

Philistine stature would have gladly pared
Stran. (addressing the shadow.) Get thee to His own Goliath down to a slight David:
Lamia's lap!

But thou, my manikin, wouldsı soar a show (The shade of Demetrius Poliorcetes vanishes: Rather than hero. Thou shalt be indulged, another rises.

If such be thy desire; and yet, by being

I'll fit you still, A little less removed from present inen
Fear pot, my hunchback: if the shadows of

In figure, thou canst sway them more; for all
That which existed please not your nice taste, Would rise against thee now, as if to hunt
I'll animate the ideal marble, till

A new-found mammoth ; and their cursed engines,
Your soul be reconciled to her new garment. Their culverins, and so forth, would find way
Arn. Content! I will fix here.

Through our friend's armour there, with greater ease Str n.

I must commend Than the adulterer's arrow though his heel,
Your choice. The godlike son of the sea-goddess, Which Thetis had forgotten to baptize
The unshorn boy of Peleus, with his locks

In Styx.
As beautiful and clear as the amber waves

Arn. Then let it be as thou deem'st best. Of rich Pactolus, rolld o’er sands of gold,

Stran. Thou shalt be beauteous as the thing thou Soften'd by intervening crystal, and

seest, Rippled like flowing waters by the wind,

And strong as what it was, andAll vow'd to Sperchius as they were-behold them! Arn.

I ask not
And him-as he stood by Polyxena,

For valour, since deformity is daring.(1)
With sanction’d and with soften'd love, before It is its essence to o’ertake mankind
The altar, gazing on his Trojan bride,

By heart and soul, and make itself the equalWith some remorse wilhin for Hector slain

Ay, the superior of the rest. There is
And Priam weeping, mingled with deep passion A spur in its halt movements, to become
For the sweet downcast virgin, whose young hand All that the others cannot, in such things
Trembled in his who slew her brother. So As still are free to both, to compensale
He stood i' the temple! Look upon

For stepdame Nature's avarice at first.
Greece look'd her last upon her best, the instant They woo with fearless deeds the smiles of fortune,
Ere Paris' arrow flew.

And oft, like Timour the lame Tartar, win them. Arn.

I
gaze upon him

Stran. Well spoken! And thou doubtless wilt As if I were his soul, whose forin shall soon

remain Envelop mine.

Form'd as thou art. I may dismiss the mould Stran. You have done well. The greatest of shadow, which must turn to flesh, to incase Deformity should only barter with

This daring soul, which could achieve no less The extremest beauty, if the proverb's true

Without it. Of mortals, that extremes meet.

Arn. Had no power presented me Arn.

Come! Be quick! The possibility of change, I would
Tam impatient.

Have done the best which spirit may to make
Stran.
As a youthful beauty

lis way with all deformity's dull, deadly, Before her glass. You both see what is not, Discouraging weight upon me, like a mountain, But dream it is what must be.

In feeling, on my heart as on my shouldersArn.

Must I wait?

A hateful and unsightly molehill 10 Stran. No; that were pity. But a word or lwo: The eyes of happier man. I would have look'd

him as

(1) “Whosoever," says Lord Bacon," hath any thing fixed in they may al pleasure despise: and it layeth their competitors bis person that doth induce contempt, hath also a perpetual spur and emulators a sleep, as never believing they should be in posin bimself to rescue and deliver himself from scorn; therefore, sibility of advancement till they see them in possession: so that all desormed persons are extreme bold; first, as in their own de- upon the malter, in a great wil, deformity is an advantage lo sence, as being exposed to scorn, but in process of lime by a rising." Essay 1v.- E.

general habit: also it stirreth in them industry, and specially of "lis chief incentive, wlien a boy, to distinction was that ibis kind, to watch and observe the weakness of others, that mark of deformity on his person, by an acute sense of which he they may have somewhat lo repay. Again, in their superiors, was first stung into the ambition of being great.” Moors. it quencheth jealousy lowards them, as persons that they think

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 10 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 spurn’d me from her.
The shc-bear licks her cubs into a sort
Of shape;- my dam beheld my shape was hopeless.
Had she exposed mc, 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 courage
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 lie who is so is the master of
Whatever dreads to die.
SIran.

Decide between
What you have been, or will be.
Arn.

I have done so.
You have open'd brighter prospects to my eyes,
Anıl sweeter to my heart. As I am now,
I miglit be fear'd, 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.
Histe! haste!
Stran.

And what shall I wcar ?
Arn.

Surely he
ilho can command all forms will choose the highest,
Sorelling superior even to that which was
Polides now before us. Perhaps his
Who slew him, that of Paris; or-still higher-
The poet's god, clotheil in such limbs as are
Theinsclves a poetry.
Stran.

Less will content me;
For I, too, love a change.
499.

Your aspect is
Dusky, but not uncomely.
Stran.

If I chose,
I might be whiter; but I have a penchant
For black-il is so honest, and besides
Can neither blush with shaine nor pale with fear;
But I have worn it long enough of lale,
And now I'll take your ligure.
Arn.

Mine!
Stran.

Yes. You
Shall change with Thetis' son, and I with Bertha,
Your 1:0!her's offspring. People have their tastes;
You have yours--I mine.
Arn.

Despatch! despatch!
Stran.

Even so. [The Stranger takes some earth and moulds

it along the turf, and 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, (1)

Thy likeness I stiape,
As the being who made him,

Whose actions I ape,
Thou clay, be all glowing,

Till the rose in his chcek
Be as fair as, when blowing,

It wears its first streak!
Ye violets, I scatter,

Now turn into eyes!
And thou, sunshiny water,

Of blood take the guise !
Let these hyacinth boughs

Be his long flowing hair,
And wave o'er his brows,

As thou wavest in air!
Let his heart be this marble

I tear from the rock!
But his voice as the warble

Of birds on yon oak!
Let his flesh be the purest

Of mould, in which grew
The lily-root surest,

And drank the best dew!
Let his limbs be the lightest

Which clay can compound,
And his aspect the brightest

On earth lo be found!
Elements! near me,

Be mingled and stirr'd,
Know me, and hear me,

And leap to my word!
Sunbeams, awaken

This earth's animation !
'Tis done! He hath taken

His stand in creation !
[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

furined from the earth.
Arn. (in his neio form.) I love and I shall be

beloved! Oh life!
At last I feel thee! Glorious spirit!
Stran.

Stop!
What shall become of your abandon'd garment,
Yon hump, and lump, and clod of ugliness,
Which late you wore, or were ?
Ain.

Who cares? Let wolves
And vultures take it, if they will.
Stran.

And if

[ocr errors]

(1) Adam means "red earth," from which the first inan was formed

Not su

They do, and are not scared by it, you 'll say

When Heaven with the world hath done: It must be peace-time, and no better fare

Fire! assist me to renew
Abroad i' the fields.

Life in what lies in my view
Arn.
Let us but leave it there;

Stiff and cold!
No matter what becomes on 't.

His resurrection rests with me and you! Stran. That's ungracious,

One little marshy spark of flameIf not ungrateful. Whatsoe'er it be,

And he again shall seem the same; It hath sustain'd your soul full many a day.

But I his spirit's place shall bold ! Arn. Ay, as the dunghill may conceal a gem (An ignis-fatuus flits through the wood and Which is now set in gold, as jewels should he.

rests on the brow of the body. The Stranger Stran. But if I give another form, it must be

disappears: the body rises. By fair exchange, pot robbery. For they

Arn. (in his new form.) Oh! horrible! Who make men without women's aid have long Stran. (in ARNOLD's late shape.) What! IremHad patents for the same, and do not love

blest thou? Your interlopers. The devil may take men,

Arn.
Not make them,-though he reap the benefit I merely shudder. Where is fled the shape
of the original workmanship :--and therefore Thou lately worest ?
Some one must be found to assume the shape

Stran.

To the world of shadows. You have quitled.

But let us thread the present. Whither wilt thou? Arn. Who would do so ?

Arn. Must thou be my companion ?
Stran.

That I know not,
Stran.

Wherefore not? And therefore I must.

Your betters keep worse company.
Arn.
You!
Arn.

My belters! Stran.

I said it ere

Stran. Oh! you wax proud, I see, of your new You inhabited your present dome of beauty.

form: Arn. True. I forget all things in the new joy I'm glad of that. Ungrateful too! That's well. Of this immortal change.

You improve apace; two changes in an instant, Stran.

In a few moments And you are old in the world's ways already. I will be as you were, and you shall see

But bear with me: indeed you 'll find me useful Yourself for ever by you, as your shadow. Upon your pilgrimage. But conie, pronounce Arn. I would be spared this.

Where shall we now be errant?
Stran.
But it cannot be. Arn.

Where the world
What! shrink already, being what you are, Is thickest, that I may behold it in
From seeing what you were ?

Its workings. Arn.

Do as thou wilt.

Stran. That's to say, where there is war Stran. (to the late form of ARNOLD, extended and woman in activity. Let's see! on the earth.)

Spain-Italy—the new Allantic world-
Clay! not dead, but soul-less!

Afric, with all its Moors. In very truth,
Though no man would choose thee, There is small choice: the whole race are just now
An immortal no less

Tugging as usual at each other's hearts.
Deigns not to refuse thee.

Arn. I have heard great things of Rome.
Clay Thou art; and unto spirit

Stran.

A goodly choice-
All clay is of equal merit.

And scarce a better to be found on earth,
Fire! without which nought can live; Since Sodom was put out. The field is wide too;
Fire! but in which nought can live, For now the Frank, and Hun, and Spanish scion
Save the fabled salamander,

Of the old Vandals, are at play along
Or immortal souls, which wander, The sunny shores of the world's garden.
Praying what doth not forgive,

Arn.

How
Howling for a drop of water,

Shall we proceed ?
Burning in a quenchless lot:

Stran.

Like gallants, on good coursers. Fire! the only element

What ho! my chargers ! Never yet were better,
Where nor fish, beast, bird, nor worm, Since Phaeton was upset into the Po.

Save the worm which dieth not, Our pages too!
Can preserve a moment's form,
But must with thyself be blent:

Enter two Pages, with four coal-black horses.
Fire! man's safeguard and his slaughter:
Fire! Creation's first-born daughter,

Arn.

A noble sight!
And destruction's threaien'd son,

Stran.

And of

A nobler breed. Match me in Barbary,

Nor pause at the brook's side to drink; Or your Kochlini race of Araby,

In the race he will not pant,
With these!

In the combat he 'll not faint;
Arn. The mighty steam, which volumes high On the slones he will not stumble,
From their proud nostrils, burns the very air ; Time nor toil shall make him humble;
And sparks of Hame, like dancing fire-flies, wheel In the stall he will not stiffen,
Around their manes, as common insects swarm But be winged as a griffin,
Round common steeds towards sunset.

Only flying with his feet:
Stran.

Mount, my lord : And will not such a voyage be sweet? They and I are your servitors.

Merrily! merrily! never unsound, seround! Arn.

And these

Shall our bonny black horses skim over the Our dark-eyed pages—what may be their names ? From the Alps to the Caucasus, ride we, or fly! Stran You shall baptize them.

For we'll leave them behind in the glance of an eye. Arn.

What! in holy water? (They mount their horses, and disappear.
Stran. Why not? The deeper sinner, belter saint.
Arn. They are beautiful, and cannot, sure, be

SCENE II.
demons.
Stran. True; the devil 's always ugly; and your A Camp before the Walls of Rome.
Is never diabolical.

[beauty

ARNOLD and CÆSAR.
Arn.

I'll call him
Who bears the golden horn, and wears such bright Cæs. You are well enter'd now.
And blooming aspect, Huon; for he looks

Arn.

Ay; but my path Like to the lovely boy lost in the forest,

Has been o'er carcasses: mine eyes are full And never found till now. And for the other Of blood. And darker, and more thoughtful, who smiles not, Cæs. Then wipe them, and see clearly. Why! Bul looks as serious though serene as night, Thou art a conqueror; the chosen knight He shall be Memnon, from the Ethiop king And free companion of the gallant Bourbon, Whose stalue lurns a harper once a-day.

Late constable of France: and now to be And you ?

Lord of the city which hath been earth's lord Stran. I have ten thousand names, and twice Under its emperors, and-changing sex, As many attributes; but as I wear

Not sceptre, an hermaphrodite of empireA human shape, will take a human name.

Lady of the old world. Arn. More human than the shape (though it was Arn.

How old? What! are there I trust.

[mine once) New worlds ? Stran. Then call me Cæsar.

Cæs. To you. You 'll find there are such shortly, Arn.

Why, that name By its rich harvests, new disease, and gold; Belongs to empires, and has been but borne From one half of the world named a whole new one, By the world's lords.

Because you know no better than the dull Stran.

And therefore fittest for And dubious notice of your eyes and ears. The devil in disguise-since so you deem me,

Arn. I'll trust them. Unless you call me pope instead.

Cves.

Do! they will deceive you sweetly, Arn.

Well, then, And that is belter than the biller truth. Caesar thou shalt be. For myself, my name

Arn. Dog!
Shall be plain Arnold still.

Cæs. Man!
Cres.
We'll add a title-

Arn.

Devil! "Count Arnold:"it hath no ungracious sound, Cæs.

Yoar obedient humble servant. And will look well upon a billet-doux.

Arn. Say master rather. Thou hast lured me on, Arn. Or in an order for a battle-field.

Through scenes of blood and lust, till I am here. Cæs. (sings.)

Cies. And where wouldst thou be? To horse! to horse! my coal-black steed

Arn.

Oh, at peace-in peace! Paws the ground and snuffs the air!

Cæs. And where is that which is so? From the star There's not a foal of Arab's breed

To the winding worm, all life is motion; and More knows whom he must bear;

In life commotion is the extremest point On the hill he will not tire,

Of life. The planet wheels till it becomes Swifter as it waxes higher;

A comet, and destroying as it sweeps In the marsh he will not slacken,

The stars, goes out. The poor worm winds its way, On the plain be overtaken;

Living upon the death of other things, In the wave he will not sink,

But still, like them, must live and die, the subject

For ages.

Of something which has made il live and die. Spirit, till I took up with your cast shape
You must obey what all ol;ey, the rule

And a worse name. I'm Cæsar and a hunch-back Of fix'd necessily: against her edict

Now. Well! the first of Cæsars was a bald-head, Rebellion prospers noi.

And loved his laurels better as a wig Arni.

And when it prospers- (So history says) than as a glory. (1) Thus Cres. 'T is no rebellion.

The worlds runs on, but we'll be merry still. Arn.

Will it prosper now? I saw your Romulus (simple as I am) Cres. The Bourbon hath given orders for the as- Slay his own lwin, quick-born of the same womb, And b; the dawn there will be work. (sault, Because he leapt a ditch ('l was then no wall, Arn,

Alas! Whate'er it now be); and Rome's earliest cement And shall the city yield ? I see the giant

Was brother's blood; and if its native blood Abode of the true God, and his true saint,

De spilt till the choked Tiber be as red Saint Peter, rear ils dome and cross into

As e'er 't was yellow, it will never wear That sky whence Christ ascended from the cross, The deep huc of the ocean and the earth, Which his blood made a badge of glory and Which the great robber sons of fratricide Of joy (as once of torture unto him,

Have made their never-ceasing scene of slaughter God and God's Son, man's sole and only refuge). Cees. 'T is there, and shall be.

Arn. But what have these done, their far Arn.

What?

Remole descendants, who have lived in peace, Cos.

The crucifix , The peace of heaven, and in her sunshine of Above, and many altar slırines below.

Piely? Also some culverins upon the walls,

Cæs. And what had they done, whom the old And harquebusses, and what not; besides

Romans o'erswept ?-Hark! The men who are to kindle them to dealh

Arn.

They are soldiers, singing Of other men.

A reckless roundelay, upon the eve Arn.

And those scarce mortal arches, Of many deaths, it may be of their own. Pile above pile of everlasting wall,

Cæs. And why should they not sing as well as The theatre where emperors and their subjects They are black ones, to be sure.

(swans ? (Those subjects Romans) stood al gaze upon

Arn.

So, you are learn’d, The battles of the monarchs of the wild

I see, too? And wood, the lion and his lusky rebels

Cres. In my grammar, certes. I Of the then untamed desert, brought to joust Was educated for a monk of all times, In the arena (as right well they might,

And once I was well versed in the forgotten When they had left no human foe unconquer'd); Etruscan lelters, and-were I so mindedMade even the forest pay ils tribute of

Could make their hieroglyphics plainer than Life to their amphitheatre, as well

Your alphabet. As Dacia men to die the eternal death

Arn.

And wherefore do you not ? For a sole instant's pastinie, and “Pass on

Cæs. It answers belter to resolve the alphabet To a new gladiator!"— Must it fall ?

Back into hieroglyphics. Like your stalesman, Cæs. The city, or the amphitheatre ?

And prophet, pontiff, doctor, alchymist, The church, or one, or all ? for you confound Philosopher, and what not, they have built Both thein and me.

Mere Babels, without new dispersion, than Arn.

To-morrow sounds the assault The stammering young ones of the flood's dull ooze, With the first cock-crow.

Who fail'd and fled each other. Why? why, marry, Cies.

Which, if it end with Because no man could understand his neighbour. The evening's first nightingale, will be

They are wiser now, and will not separate
Something new in the annals of great sieges ; For nonsense. Nay, it is their brotherhood,
For men must have their prey after long toil. Their Shibboleth, their Koran, Talmud, their

Arn. The sun goes down as calmly, and perhaps Cabala ; their best brick-work, wherewithal
More beautisully, than he did on Rome

They build more-

(sneerer! On the day Remus leapt her wall.

Arn. (interrupting him.) Oh, thou everlasting Cres.

I saw him.

Be silent! How the soldiers' rough strain seems Arn. You!

Soften'd by distance to a hymn-like cadence! Cres.

Yes, sir. You forget I am or was Listen!

(1) Suetonius relates of Julius Cæsar, that his baldness gave people, there was none which he either accepted or used with so bim much uneasiness, having often found himself, upon that ac- much pleasure as the right of wearing constantly a laurel crown, count, exposed to the ridicule of his enemies; and that, there

--E. fore, of all the honours conferred upon him by the senale aud

« PreviousContinue »