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Arn.

Cas.

Your obedient humble servant. Arr. Say master rather. Thou hast lured me on, Through scenes of blood and lust, till I am here.

Cæs. And where wouldst thou be?
Arn.

Oh, at peace — in peace.
Cæs. And where is that which is so ? From the star
To the winding worm, all life is motion; and
In life commotion is the extremest point
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,
Living upon the death of other things,
But still, like them, must live and die, the subject
Of something which has made it live and die.
You must obey what all obey, the rule
Of fix'd necessity : against her edict
Rebellion prospers not.

And when it prospers.
Cas. 'Tis no rebellion.
Arn.

Will it prosper now?
Ces. The Bourbon hath given orders for the assault,
And by the dawn there will be work.
Arn.

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).

Ces. Tis there, and shall be.
Arn.

What ?
Cæs.

The crucifix
Above, and many altar shrines below.
Also some culverins upon the walls,
And harquebusses, and what not; besides
The men who are to kindle them to death
Of other men.
Arn.

And those scarce mortal arches,
Pile above pile of everlasting wall,
The theatre where emperors and their subjects
(Those subjects Romans) stood at gaze upon
The battles of the monarchs of the wild
And wood, the lion and his tusky rebels
Of the then untamed desert, brought to joust
In the arena (as right well they might,
When they had left no human foe unconquer'd);
Made even the forest pay its tribute of
Life to their amphitheatre, as well
As Dacia men to die the eternal death
For a sole instant's pastime, and “ Pass on
To a new gladiator !"- Must it fall ?

Cæs. The city, or the amphitheatre ?
The church, or one, or all ? for you confound
Both them and me.
Arr.

To-morrow sounds the assault
With the first cock-crow.
Cæs.

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.

Cæs.

I saw him.
Arn. You!
Cæs.

Yes, sir.

You forget I am or was
Spirit, till I took up with your cast shape
And a worse name. I'm Cæsar and a hunchback
Now. Well! the first of Cæsars was a bald-head,
And loved his laurels better as a wig
(So history says) than as a glory, 1 Thus
The world runs on, but we'll be merry still.
I saw your Romulus (simple as I am)
Slay his own twin, quickborn of the same womb,
Because he leapt a ditch ('t was then no wall,
Whate'er it now be); and Rome's earliest cement
Was brother's blood; and if its native blood
Be spilt till the choked Tiber be as red
As e'er 't was yellow, it will never wear
The deep hue of the ocean and the earth,
Which the great robber sons of fratricide
Have made their never-ceasing scene of slaughter
For ages.

Arn. But what have these done, their far
Remote descendants, who have lived in peace,
The peace of heaven, and in her sunshine of
Piety?

Cæs. 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.
Cæs. And why should they not sing as well as

swans ? They are black ones, to be sure. Arn.

So, you are learn'd, I see, too?

Cas. In my grammar, certes. I
Was educated for a monk of all times,
And once I was well versed in the forgotten
Etruscan letters, and — were I so minded
Could make their hieroglyphics plainer than
Your alphabet.
Arn.

And wherefore do you not?
Cæs. 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

sneerer!
Be silent! How the soldiers' rough strain seems
Soften'd by distance to a hymn-like cadence !
Listen!

Cæs. Yes. I have heard the angels sing.
Arn. And demons howl.
Cæs.

And man too. Let us listen : I love all music.

(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

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 Song of the Soldiers within.

adamant, The black bands came over

They'd crack them. Hunger is a sharp artillery. The Alps and their snow;

Bourb. That they will falter is my least of fears.
With Bourbon, the rover,

That they will be repulsed, with Bourbon for
They pass'd the broad Po.

Their chief, and all their kindled appetites
We have beaten all foemen,

To marshal them on - were those hoary walls
We have captured a king,

Mountains, and those who guard them like the gods
We have turn'd back on no men,

of the old fables, I would trust my Titans; —
And so let us sing !

But now
Here's the Bourbon for ever!

Phil. They are but men who war with mortals.
Though pennyless all,

Bourb. True: but those walls have girded in great We'll have one more endeavour

ages, At yonder old wall.

And sent forth mighty spirits. The past earth
With the Bourbon we'll gather

And present phantom of imperious Rome
At day-dawn before

Is peopled with those warriors; and methinks
The gates, and together

They fit along the eternal city's rampart,
Or break or climb o'er

And stretch their glorious, gory, shadowy hands,
The wall: on the ladder

And beckon me away!
As mounts each firm foot,

Phil.

So let them! Wilt thou
Our shout shall grow gladder,

Turn back from shadowy menaces of shadows ?
And death only be mute.

Bourb. They do not menace me. I could have
With the Bourbon we'll mount o'er

Methinks, a Sylla's menace; but they clasp, (faced, The walls of old Rome,

And raise, and wring their dim and deathlike hands
And who then shall count o'er

And with their thin aspen faces and fix'd eyes
The spoils of each dome ?

Fascinate mine. Look there!
Up! up with the lily!

Phil.

I look upon
And down with the keys !

A lofty battlement.
In old Rome, the seven-hilly,

Bourb.

And there!
We'll revel at ease.

Phil.

Not even
Her streets shall be gory,

A guard in sight; they wisely keep below,
Her Tiber all red,

Shelter'd by the gray parapet from some
And her temples so noary

Stray bullet of our lansquenets, who might
Shall clang with our tread.

Practise in the cool twilight.
Oh, the Bourbon ! the Bourbon !

Bourb.

You are blind.
The Bourbon for aye!

Phil. If seeing nothing more than may be seen
Of our song bear the burden !

Be so.
And fire, fire away!

Bourb. A thousand years have mann'd the walls
With Spain for the vanguard,

With all their heroes, the last Cato stands
Our varied host comes;

And tears his bowels, rather than survive
And next to the Spaniard

The liberty of that I would enslave.
Beat Germany's drums;

And the first Cæsar with his triumphs flits
And Italy's lances

From battlement to battlement.
Are couch'd at their mother;

Phil.

Then conquer But our leader from France is,

The walls for which he conquerd, and be greater !
Who warr'd with his brother.

Bourb. True : so I will, or perish.
Oh, the Bourbon ! the Bourbon !

Phil.

You can not.
Sans country or home,

In such an enterprise to die is rather
We'll follow the Bourbon,

The dawn of an eternal day, than death.
To plunder old Rome.

(Count Arnold and Cesar advance. Cas. An indifferent song

Cæs. And the mere men-do they too sweat For those within the walls, methinks, to hear.

beneath Arn. Yes, if they keep to their chorus. But here The noon of this same ever-scorching glory?

Bourb.

Ah! The general with his chiefs and men of trust. Welcome the bitter hunchback ! and his master, A goodly rebel !

The beauty of our host, and brave as beauteous,

And generous as lovely. We shall find
Enter the Constable BOURBON 1 “ cum suis," &c. &c. Work for you both ere morning.
Phil.
How now, noble prince,

Cæs.

You will find, You are not cheerful ?

So please your highness, no less for yourself.
Bourb.
Why should I be so ?

Bourb. And if I do, there will not be a labourer
Phil. Upon the eve of conquest, such as ours, More forward, hunchback!
Most men would be so.

Cæs.

You may well say so, Bourb. If I were secure !

For you have seen that back — as general,

comes

1 [Charles of Bourbon was consin to Francis I., and Coastahle of France. Being bitterly persecuted by the queenmother for having declined the honour of her hand, and

also by the king, he transferred his services to the Emperor Charles V.)

Placed in the rear in action — but your foes

Retain'd her sway o'er nations, and the Cæsars, Have never seen it.

But yielded to the Alarics, the Alarics
Bourb.
That's a fair retort,

Unto the pontiffs. Roman, Goth, or priest,
For I provoked it :- but the Bourbon's breast Still the world's masters! Civilised, barbarian,
Has been, and ever shall be, far advanced

Or saintly, still the walls of Romulus In danger's face as yours, were you the devil.

Have been the circus of an empire. Well ! Cas. And if I were, I might have saved myself 'Twas their turn-now 't is ours; and let us hope The toil of coming here.

That we will fight as well, and rule much better. Phil. Why so ?

Cæs. No doubt, the camp's the school of civic Cæs.

One half

rights. of your brave bands of their own bold accord What would you make of Rome ? Will go to him, the other half be sent,

Bourb.

That which it was. More swiftly, not less surely.

Cæs. In Alaric's time?
Bourb.
Arnold, your

Bourb.

No, slave! in the first Cæsar's, Slight crooked friend's as snake-like in his words Whose name you bear like other curs As his deeds.

Ces.

And kings! Ces. Your highness much mistakes me. 'Tis a great name for blood-hounds. The first snake was a flatterer-I am none;

Bourb.

There's a demon And for my deeds, I only sting when stung.

In that fierce rattle-snake thy tongue. Wilt never Bourb. You are brave, and that's enough for me; Be serious ? and quick

Cæs. On the eve of battle, no;In speech as sharp in action — and that's more. That were not soldier-like. 'Tis for the general I am not alone a soldier, but the soldiers'

To be more pensive : we adventurers Comrade.

Must be more cheerful. Wherefore should we think ? Cæs. They are but bad company, your highness : Our tutelar deity, in a leader's shape, And worse even for their friends than foes, as being Takes care of us. Keep thought aloof from hosts ! More permanent acquaintance.

If the knaves take to thinking, you will have Phil.

How now, fellow! To crack those walls alone. Thou waxest insolent, beyond the privilege

Bourb.

You may sneer, since Of a buffoon.

'Tis lucky for you that you fight no worse for't. Cæs. You mean I speak the truth.

Cæs. I thank you for the freedom ; 't is the only I'll lie - it is as easy : then you 'll praise me Pay I have taken in your highness' service. For calling you a hero.

Bourb. Well, sir, to-morrow you shall pay yourself. Bourb. Philibert !

Look on those towers ; they hold my treasury : Let him alone ; he's brave, and ever has (der, But, Philibert, we 'll in to council. Arnold, Been first, with that swart face and mountain shoul- We would request your presence. In field or storm, and patient in starvation ;

Arn,

Prince ! my service And for his tongue, the camp is full of licence, Is yours, as in the field. And the sharp stinging of a lively rogue

Bourb.

In both we prize it, Is, to my mind, far preferable to

And yours will be a post of trust at daybreak. The gross, dull, heavy, gloomy execration

Cas. And mine? Of a mere famish'd, sullen, grumbling slave,

Bourb. To follow glory with the Bourbon. Whom nothing can convince save a full meal, Good night! And wine, and sleep, and a few maravedis,

Arn. (to CÆSAR). Prepare our armour for the With which he deems him rich.

assault, Cas.

It would be well And wait within my tent. If the earth's princes ask'd no more.

(Exeunt BOURBON, Arnold, PHILIBERT, &c. Bourb. Be silent ! Cæs. (solus).

Within thy tent ! Cæs. Ay, but not idle. Work yourself with words! Think'st thou that I pass from thee with my presence ? You have few to speak.

Or that this crooked coffer, which contain'd Phil.

What means the audacious prater? | Thy principle of life, is aught to me Cæs. To prate, like other prophets.

Except a mask? And these are men, forsooth! Bourb.

Philibert ! Heroes and chiefs, the flower of Adam's bastards !
Why will you vex him ? Have we not enough This is the consequence of giving matter
To think on ? Arnold! I will lead the attack The power of thought. It is a stubborn substance,
To-morrow.

And thinks chaotically, as it acts,
Arr. I have heard as much, my lord. Ever relapsing into its first elements.
Bourb. And you will follow ?

Well! I must play with these poor puppets : 't is Ar.

Since I must not lead. The spirit's pastime in his idler hours. Bourb. 'Tis necessary for the further daring When I grow weary of it, I have business Of our too needy army, that their chief

Amongst the stars, which these poor creatures deem Plant the first foot upon the foremost ladder's

Were made for them to look at. 'T were a jest now First step.

To bring one down amongst them, and set fire Cæs. Upon its topmost, let us hope :

Unto their anthill : how the pismires then So shall he have his full deserts.

Would scamper o'er the scalding soil, and, ceasing Bourb.

The world's From tearing down each other's nests, pipe forth Great capital perchance is ours to-morrow.

One universal orison! Ha! ha! Through every change the seven-hill'd city hath

[Exit CRSAR

PART II.

Will you sleep when nations quarrels
Plough the root up of your laurels ?
Ye who weep o'er Carthage burning,
Weep not-strike ! for Rome is mourning !!

SCENE I. Before the Walls of Rome.

The assault : the army in motion, with ladders to scale the walls ; BOURBON, with a white scarf over his armour, foremost. Chorus of Spirits in the air.

1.
'Tis the morn, but dim and dark.
Whither flies the silent lark?
Whither shrinks the clouded sun ?
Is the day indeed begun ?
Nature's eye is melancholy
O'er the city high and holy:
But without there is a din
Should arouse the saints within,
And revive the heroic ashes
Round which yellow Tiber dashes.
Oh ye seven hills ! awaken,
Ere your very base be shaken!

5. Onward sweep the varied nations ! Famine long hath dealt their rations. To the wall, with hate and hunger, Numerous as wolves, and stronger, On they sweep. Oh! glorious city, Must thou be a theme for pity? Fight, like your first sire, each Roman! Alaric was a gentle foeman, Match'd with Bourbon's black banditti! Rouse thee, thou eternal city; Rouse thee! Rather give the torch With thy own hand to thy porch, Than behold such hosts pollute Your worst dwelling with their foot.

2. Hearken to the steady stamp! Mars is in their every tramp! Not a step is out of tune, As the tides obey the moon ! On they march, though to self-slaughter, Regular as rolling water, Whose high waves o'ersweep the border Of huge moles, but keep their order, Breaking only rank by rank. Hearken to the armour's clank ! Look down o'er each frowning warrior, How he glares upon the barrier : Look on each step of each ladder, As the stripes that streak an adder.

6. Ah ! behold yon bleeding spectre ! Ilion's children find no Hector; Priam's offspring loved their brother ; Rome's great sire forgot his mother, When he slew his gallant twin, With inexpiable sin. See the giant shadow stride O'er the ramparts high and wide ! When the first o'erleapt thy wall, Its foundation mourn'd thy fall. Now, though towering like a Babel, Who to stop his steps are able ? Stalking o'er thy highest dome, Remus claims his vengeance, Rome !

3. Look upon the bristling wall, Mann'd without an interval ! Round and round, and tier on tier, Cannon's black mouth, shining spear, Lit match, bell-mouth'd musquetoon, Gaping to be murderous soon ; All the warlike gear of old, Mix'd with what we now behold, In this strife 'twixt old and new, Gather like a locusts' crew, Shade of Remus ! 't is a time Awful as thy brother's crime ! Christians war against Christ's shrine :Must its lot be like to thine ?

7. Now they reach thee in their anger : Fire and smoke and hellish clangour Are around thee, thou world's wonder ! Death is in thy walls and under. Now the meeting steel first clashes, Downward then the ladder crashes, With its iron load all gleaming, Lying at its foot blaspheming! Up again ! for every warrior Slain, another climbs the barrier. Thicker grows the strife: thy ditches Europe's mingling gore enriches. Rome ! although thy wall may perish, Such manure thy fields will cherish, Making gay the harvest-home; But thy hearths, alas! oh, Rome!Yet be Rome amidst thine anguish, Fight as thou wast wont to vanquish!

Near- and near- and nearer still,
As the earthquake saps the hill,
First with trembling, hollow motion,
Like a scarce-awaken'd ocean,
Then with stronger shock and louder,
Till the rocks are crush'd to powder, —
Onward sweeps the rolling host !
Heroes of the immortal boast !
Mighty chiefs ! eternal shadows !
First flowers of the bloody meadows
Which encompass Rome, the mother
Of a people without brother !

8. Yet once more, ye old Penates ! Let not your quench'd hearths be Até's! Yet again, ye shadowy heroes, Yield not to these stranger Neros ! Though the son who slew his mother Shed Rome's blood, he was your brother :

| Scipio, the second Africanus, is said to have repeated a verse of Homer, and wept over the burning of Cartbayt. He had better have granted it a capitulation.

'T was the Roman curb'd the Roman;

For but an hour, a minute more of life Brennus was a baffled foeman.

To die within the wall! Hence, Arnold, hence ! Yet again, ye saints and martyrs,

You lose time— they will conquer Rome without Rise! for yours are holier charters!

thee. Mighty gods of temples falling,

Arn. And without thee ! Yet in ruin still appalling!

Bourb.

Not so; I 'll lead them still Mightier founders of those altars,

In spirit. Cover up my dust, and breathe not True and Christian, --strike the assaulters! That I have ceased to breathe. Away! and be Tiber! Tiber! let thy torrent

Victorious ! Show even nature's self abhorrent.

Arn. But I must not leave thee thus. Let each breathing heart dilated

Bourb. You must - farewell — Up! up! the world Turn, as doth the lion baited !

is winning.

(BOURBON dies. 2 Rome be crush'd to one wide tomb,

Cæs. (to ARNOLD). Come, count, to business. But be still the Roman's Rome!

Arn.

True. I'll weep hereafter.

[ARNOLD covers BOURBON’s body with a mantle, BOURBON, ARNOLD, CÆSAR, and others, arrive at the

and mounts the ladder, crying foot of the wall. Arnold is about to plant his The Bourbon ! Bourbon ! On, boys ! Rome is ours ! ladder.

Cæs. Good night, lord constable ! thou wert a man. Bourb. Hold, Arnold! I am first.

[Cæsar follows ARNOLD; they reach the batArn.

Not so, my lord.

tlement; ARNOLD and CÆSAR are struck Bourb. Hold, sir, I charge you ! Follow ! I am

down. proud

Cæs. A precious somerset ! Is your countship Of such a follower, but will brook no leader.

injured ? (BOURBON plants his ladder, and begins to mount.

Arn. No.

[Remounts the ladder. Now, boys! On! on!

Cæs. A rare blood-hound, when his own is heated ! [A shot strikes him, and BOURBON falls. And 't is no boy's play. Now he strikes them down ! Cæs. And off! His hand is on the battlement

:- he grasps it Arr.

Eternal powers !

As though it were an altar ; now his foot The host will be appallid, - but vengeance ! ven

Is on it, and What have we here ? — a Roman? geance !

[A man falls. Bourb. 'T is nothing - lend me your hand.

The first bird of the covey! he has fallen (BOURBON takes ARNOLD by the hand, and rises ; on the outside of the nest. Why, how now, fellow ? but as he puts his foot on the step, falls again.

Wounded Man. A drop of water !
Arnold: I am sped.
Cæs.

Blood 's the only liquid
Conceal my fall – all will go well — conceal it ! Nearer than Tiber.
Fling my cloak o'er what will be dust anon;

Wounded Man, I have died for Rome. [Dies. Let not the soldiers see it.

Cæs. And so did Bourbon, in another sense.
Ara,
You must be

Oh these immortal men ! and their great motives ! Removed; the aid of

But I must after my young charge. He is
Bourb.
No, my gallant boy;

By this time i' the forum. Charge ! charge !
Death is upon me.
But what is one life?

(CÆSAR mounts the ladder; the scene closes. The Bourbon's spirit shall command them still. Keep them yet ignorant that I am but clay,

SCENE II.
Till they are conquerors - then do as you may.
Ces. Would not your highness choose to kiss the

The City. - Combats between the Besiegers and cross ?

Besieged in the streets. Inhabitants flying in con. We have no priest here, but the hilt of sword

fusion. May serve instead :- it did the same for Bayard. I

Enter CÆSAR.
Bourb. Thou bitter slave! to name him at this
But I deserve it.

(time! Cæs. I cannot find my hero; he is mix'd Arn. (to Cæsar). Villain, hold your peace !

With the heroic crowd that now pursue Cæs. What, when a Christian dies ? Shall I not | The fugitives, or battle with the desperate. offer

What have we here ? A cardinal or two A Christian “ Vade in pace ?"

That do not seem in love with martyrdom. Arn.

Silence ! Oh!

How the old red-shanks scamper! Could they doff Those eyes are glazing wbich o'erlook'd the world, Their hose as they have doff'd their hats, 't would be And saw no equal.

A blessing, as a inark the less for plunder. Bourb.

Arnold, should'st thou see But let them fly; the crimson kennels now France - But hark! hark! the assault grows will not much stain their stockings, since the mire warmer - Oh!

Is of the self-same purple hue.

(* Finding himself mortally wounded, Bayard ordered one of his attendants to place him under a tree with his face towards the enemy: then, fixing his eyes on the guard of his word, which he held up instead of a cross, he addressed his prayers to God, and in this posture he calmly waited the approach of death." ROBERTSON, Charles V.)

(* On the 1st of May, 1527, the Constable and his army came in sight of Rome, and the next morning commenced

the attack. Bourbon wore a white vest over his armour, in order, he said, to be more conspicuous both to his friends and foes. He led on to the walls, and commenced a furious assault, which was repelled with equal violence. Seeing that his army began to waver, he seized a scaling ladder from a soldier standing, and was in the act of ascending, when he was pierced by a musket-ball, and fell. Feeling that his wound was mortal, he desired that his body might be concealed from his soldiers, and instantly expired." ROBERTSON.]

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