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I saw your Romulus (simple as I am) Slay his own twin, quick-born of the same womb,
Because he leapt a ditch ('twas then no wall, Whate'er it now be); and Rome's earliest cement
Was brother's blood; and if its native blood
Arnold. But what have these done, their far Remote descendants, who have lived in peace,
The peace of heaven, and in her sunshine of Piety?
Cæsar. And what had they done, whom the old
Arnold. They are soldiers singing
They are black ones, to be sure.
Cæsar. In my grammar, certes. I
Arnold. And wherefore do you not?
Cæsar. It answers better to resolve the alphabet
Back into hieroglyphics. Like your states
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 failed 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— Arnold (interrupting him). Oh, thou everlasting sneerer!
Be silent! How the soldiers' rough strain
Softened by distance to a hymn-like cadence! Listen!
Cæsar. Yes. I have heard the Angels sing. Arnold. And Demons howl.
Cæsar. And Man too. Let us listen: I love all music.
Song of the Soldiers within.
The Black Bands came over
The Alps and their snow, With Bourbon, the rover,
They past the broad Po.
Here's the Bourbon for ever!
We'll have one more endeavour
Or break or climb o'er
As mounts each firm foot,
And who then shall count o'er
And down with the keys!
Shall clang with our tread.
Of our song bear the burthen!
Beat Germany's drums;
Are couched at their mother;
To plunder old Rome.
For those within the walls,methinks, to hear.
The General with his chiefs and men of trust. A goodly rebel!
Enter the Constable BOURBON, cum suis. Philibert. How now, noble Prince, You are not cheerful?
Bourbon. Why should I be so?
Bourbon. If I were secure!
girded in great ages, And sent forth mighty spirits. The past earth And present Phantom of imperious Rome Is peopled with those warriors; and methinks They flit along the eternal city's rampart, And stretch their glorious, gory, shadowy hands,
Bourbon. True: but those walls have Have never seen it.
Bourbon. A thousand years have manned
With all their heroes,—the last Cato stands
The beauty of our host, and brave as beau-
And generous as lovely. We shall find
Phil. Then conquer
The walls for which he conquered, and be greater!
So please your Highness, no less for yourself. Bourbon. And if I do, there will not be a labourer
Bourbon. True: so I will, or perish.
In such an enterprise to die is rather
More forward, Hunchback!
For you have seen that back-as general,
And beckon me away!
Phil. So let them! Wilt thou
Of your brave bands of their own bold accord
Bourbon. They do not menace me. could have faced,
Methinks, a Sylla's menace; but they clasp
Slight crooked friend's as snake-like in his
And with their thin aspen faces and fixed eyes
A guard in sight; they wisely keep below,
Bourbon. You are blind.
Phil. If seeing nothing more than may be seen
Bourbon. That's a fair retort,
For I provoked it:-but the Bourbon's breast
The toil of coming here.
Phil. Why so?
Cæsar. One half
Casar. Your Highness much mistake me.
In speech as sharp in action – and that's more.
Casar. They are but bad company,
And worse even for their friends than foes, as being
More permanent acquaintance.
Thou waxest insolent, beyond the privilege
Cæsar. 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 Been first with that swart face and mountain-shoulder
In field or storm, and patient in starvation; And for his tongue, the camp is full of licence,
And the sharp stinging of a lively rogue
Cæsar. It would be well
If the Earth's princes asked no more,
Cæsar. Aye, but not idle. Work your-
You have few to speak.
Phil. What means the audacious prater? Cæsar. To prate, like other prophets. Bourbon. Philibert!
Why will you vex him? Have we not enough To think on? Arnold! I will lead the attack To-morrow.
Arnold. I have heard as much, my Lord. Bourbon. And you will follow? Arnold. Since I must not lead.
Bourbon. Tis necessary for the further
Of our too needy army, that their chief Plant the first foot upon the foremost ladder's First step.
Cæsar. Upon its topmost, let us hope: So shall he have his full deserts.
Bourbon. The world's
Great capital perchance is ours to-morrow. Through every change the seven-hilled city hath
Retained her sway o'er nations, and the Cæsars
But yielded to the Alarics, the Alarics Unto the Pontiffs. Roman, Goth, or Priest, Still the world's masters! Civilized, Barbarian,
Or Saintly, still the walls of Romulus Have been the Circus of an Empire. Well! 'Twas their turn—now 'tis ours; and let us hope
That we will fight as well, and rule much better.
Cæsar. No doubt, the camp's the school
What would you make of Rome?
Bourbon. No, slave! In the first Cæsar's, Whose name yon bear like other curs. Cæsar. And kings.
Tis a great name for bloodhounds.
In that fierce rattle-snake, thy tongue.
To be more pensive: we adventurers Must be more cheerful. Wherefore should we think?
Our tutelar deity, in a leader's shape, Takes care of us. Keep thought aloof from
If the knaves take to thinking, you will have To crack those walls alone.
Bourbon. You may sneer, since
Arnold (to Cæsar). Prepare our armour for the assault,
And wait within my tent.
[Exeunt Bourbon, Arnold, Philibert, etc. Cæsar (solus). Within thy tent! Thinkst thou that I pass from thee with my presence?
Or that this crooked coffer, which contained Thy principle of life, is aught to me Except a mask? And these are Men, forsooth! Heroes and chiefs, the flower of Adam's bastards!
This is the consequence of giving Matter The power of Thought. It is a stubborn substance,
And thinks chaotically, as it acts,
The Spirit's pastime in his idler hours.
Were made for them to look at. Twere
a jest now
To bring one down amongst them,and set fire Unto their ant-hill: how the pismires then Would scamper o'er the scalding soil, and,
From tearing down each others' nests, pipo forth One universal orison! Ha! ha!
SCENE I.-Before the Walls of Rome. The
Chorus of Spirits in the air.
'Tis lucky for you that you fight no worse Is the day indeed begun?
Nature's eye is melancholy
O'er the city high and holy:
Hearken to the steady stamp!
Look upon the bristling wall,
Near-and near-nearer still,
Onward sweep the varied nations!
Now they reach thee in their anger:
Yet once more, ye old Penates!
Fling my cloak o'er what will be dust anon; Is on it, and-What have we here, a Roman? Let not the soldiers see it.
Bourbon. Arnold, shouldst thou see France-But hark! hark! the assault grows warmer-Oh!
For but an hour, a minute more of life To die within the wall! Hence, Arnold! hence!
You lose time—they will conquer Rome without thee.
Arnold. And without thee!
Bourbon. Not so; I'll lead them still
Arnold. But I must not leave thee thus.
the world is winning. [Bourbon dies. Casar (to Arnold). Come, Count, to business.
[A man falls. The first bird of the covey! he has fall'n On the outside of the nest. Why, how now, fellow?
The wounded Man. A drop of water! Cæsar. Blood's the only liquid
Nearer than Tiber..
Wounded Man. I have died for Rome.
[Dies. Cæsar. And so did Bourbon, in another