Imágenes de páginas

Tell. They thank kind Providence it is not thou.
Thou hast perverted nature in them. The earth
Presents her fruits to them, and is not thanked.
The harvest sun is constant, and they scarce
Return his smile. Their flocks and herds increase,
50 And they look on as men who count a loss.

There's not a blessing Heaven vouchsafes them, but
The thought of thee doth wither to a curse,
As something they must lose, and had far better







Gen. 'Tis well. I'd have them as their hills
That never smile, though wanton summer tempt
Them e'er so much.

To die along with thee.

Tell. To die! for what? he's but a child.
Ges. He's thine, however.

Tell. He is an only child.

Ges. So much the easier to crush the race.
Tell. He may have a mother.
Ges. So the viper hath-

75 And yet who spares it for the mother's sake?
Tell. I talk to stone. I'll talk to it no more.
Come, my boy, I taught thee how to live,--
I'll teach thee--how to die.

Tell. But they do sometimes smile.

Ges. Ah!-when is that?

Tell. When they do pray for vengeance.
Ces. Dare they pray for that?

Tell. They dare, and they expect it, too.

Ges. From whence?

Tell. From Heaven, and their true hearts.

Ges. [To Sarnem,] Lead in his son. Now will I take Exquisite vengeance. [To Tell, as the boy enters.] I have

destined him

[ocr errors]

Ges. But first, I'd see thee make

A trial of thy skill with that same bow.
Thy arrows never miss, 'tis said.

Tell. What is the trial?

Ges. Thou look'st upon thy boy as though thou gues

sest it.

Tell. Look upon my boy! What mean you?

Look upon my boy as though I guessed it !—
Guessed the trial thou'dst have me make!-
Guessed it instinctively! Thou dost not mean—
No, no-Thou wouldst not have me make
90 A trial of my skill upon my child!

Impossible! I do not guess thy meaning.

Ges. I'd see thee hit an apple on his head,
Three hundred paces off.

Tell. Great heaven!


Ges. On this condition only will I spare
His life and thine.

Tell. Ferocious monster! make a father
Murder his own child!

Ges. Dost thou consent?


Tell. With his own hand!.

The hand I've led him when an infant by!
My hands are free from blood, and have no gust
For it, that they should drink my child's.
I'll not murder my boy for Gesler.
not hit me, father.

105 Boy. You will
You'll be sure
To hit the apple. Will you not save me, father?
Tell. Lead me forth-I'll make the trial.
Boy. Father-

Tell. Speak not to me ;

110 Let me not hear thy voice-Thou must be dumb, And so should all things be-Earth should be dumb, And Heaven, unless its thunder muttered at

The deed, and sent a bolt to stop it.


Give me my bow and quiver.

Ges. When all is ready. Sarnem, measure hence The distance three hundred


Tell. Will he do it fairly?

Ges. What is't to thee, fairly or not?

Tell. [sarcastically.] O, nothing, a little thing, 120 A very little thing, I only shoot

At my child!

[Sarnem prepares to measure.]

Tell. Villain, stop! You measure against the sun.
Ges. And what of that?

125 What matter whether to or from the sun?




Tell. I'd have it at my back. The sun should shine
Upon the mark, and not on him that shoots-
I will not shoot against the sun.

Ges. Give him his way. [Sarnem paces and goes out.]
Tell. I should like to see the apple I must hit.
Ges. [Picks out the smallest one.] There, take that.
Tell. You've picked the smallest one.

Ges. I know I have. Thy skill will be

The greater if thou hittest it.

Tell. [sarcastically.] True-true! I did not think
of that.

I wonder I did not think of that. A larger one
Had given me a chance to save my boy.-
Give me my bow. Let me see my quiver.
Ges. Give him a single arrow. [to an attendant.]
[Tell looks at it and breaks it.]
Tell. Let me see my quiver. It is not
One arrow in a dozen I would use

To shoot with at a dove, much less a dove 145 Like that.


Ges. Show him the quiver.

[Sarnem returns and takes the apple and the boy to
place them. While this is doing, Tell conceals an ar-
row under his garment. He then selects another ar-
row and says]

Tell. Is the boy ready? Keep silence now
For Heaven's sake, and be my witnesses,
That if his life's in peril from my hand,
'Tis only for the chance of saving it.

155 For mercy's sake keep motionless and silent.

[He aims and shoots in the direction of the boy. In a moment Sarnem enters with the apple on the arrow's point.]

Sarnem. The boy is safe.

160 Tell. [Raising his arms.] Thank Heaven!

[As he raises his arms the concealed arrow falls.] Ges. [Picking it up.] Unequalled archer! why was this concealed.

Tell. To kill thee, tyrant, had I slain my boy.


Nathan's parable.

And the Lord sent Nathan unto David; and he went unto him, and said unto him,

"There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many 5 flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought, and nourished up; and it grew up together with him, and, with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daugh10 ter.

(6 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the way-faring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the 15 man that was come unto him."

And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan,

"As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb 20 fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had

no pity."

And Nathan said unto David, "Thou art the man."


Harmony among brethren.

Two brothers, named Timon and Demetrius, having quarrelled with each other, Socrates, their common friend, was solicitious to restore amity between them. Meeting, therefore, with Demetrius, he thus accosted 5 him: "Is not friendship the sweetest solace in adversity, and the greatest enhancement of the blessings of prosperity ?" "Certainly it is," replied Demetrius ; "because our sorrows are diminished, and our joys increased, by sympathetic participation." Amongst 10 whom, then, must we look for a friend?" said Socrates: "Would you search among strangers? They cannot be interested about you. Amongst your rivals? They have an interest in opposition to yours. Amongst those who are much older, or younger than yourself? Their



20 feelings and pursuits will be widely different from yours. Are there not, then, some circumstances favourable, and others essential, to the formation of friendship?" “Undoubtedly there are," answered Demetrius. May we not enumerate," continued Socrates, “amongst the 25 circumstances favourable to friendship, long acquaintance, common connexions, similitude of age, and union of interest?" "I acknowledge,” said Demetrius, “the powerful influence of these circumstances: but they may subsist, and yet others be wanting, that are essen30 tial to mutual amity." “And what,” said Socrates, "are those essentials which are wanting in Timon ?” "He has forfeited my esteem and attachment," answered Demetrius. "And has he also forfeited the esteem and attachment of the rest of mankind?" continued Socra35 tes. "Is he devoid of benevolence, generosity, gratitude, and other social affections ?" "Far be it from me," cried Demetrius, "to lay so heavy a charge upon him. His conduct to others, is, I believe, irreproachable; and it wounds me the more, that he should single 40 me out as the object of his unkindness." "Suppose you have a very valuable horse," resumed Socrates, "gentle under the treatment of others, but ungovernable, when you attempt to use him; would you not endeavour, by all means, to conciliate his affection, and 45 to treat him in the way most likely to render him tractable?--Or, if you have a dog, highly prized for his fidelity, watchfulness, and care of your flocks, who is fond of your shepherds, and playful with them, and yet snarles whenever you come in his way; would you at50 tempt to cure him of his fault, by angry looks or words,

or by any other marks of resentment? You would surely pursue an opposite course with him. And is not the friendship of a brother of far more worth, than the services of a horse, or the attachment of a dog? Why, 55 then, do you delay to put in practice those means, which may reconcile you to Timon ?" "Acquaint me with those means," answered Demetrius, "for I am a stranger to them." "Answer me a few questions," said Socrates. "If you desire, that one of your neighbours

« AnteriorContinuar »