Bestow'd the brightest gem that graces life,
Embraced for virtue's sake - he shed a tear!
Now, were he by, I'd talk to him, and his cheek
Should never blanch, nor moisture dim his eye, -
I'd talk to him

Sar. He falters.

Tell 'Tis too much !
And yet it must be done! I'd talk to him

Ges. Of what?

Tell. The mother, tyrant, thou dost make
A widow of! I'd talk to him of her.'
I'd bid him tell her, next to liberty,
Her name was the last words my lips pronounced :
And I would charge him never to forget
To love and cherish her, as he would have
His father's dying blessing rest upon him!

Sar. You see, as he doth prompt, the other acts.

Tell. So well he bears it, he doth vanquish me.
My boy! my boy! — 0, for the hills

- the hills,
To see him bound-along their tops again,
With liberty, so light upon his heel,
That, like the chamois, he flings behind him

Sar. Was there not all the father in that look ?
Ges. Yet ’tis against nature.

Sar. Not if he believes
To own the son would be to make him share
The father's death.

Ges. I did not think of that.
I thank thee, Sarnem, for the thought. 'Tis well
The boy is not thy son; I've destin'd him
To die along with thee.

Tell. To die! For what?

Ges. For having brav'd my power, as thou hast. Lead Them forth.

Tell. He's but a child.
Ges. Away with them !

Tell. Perhaps an only child.
Ges. No matter.

Tell. He
May have a mother.

Ges. So the viper hath ;
And yet who spares it for the mother's sake ?

Tell. I talk to stone! I talk to it as though
'Twere flesh, and know ’tis none. No wonder : I've
An argument might turn as hard a thing
To flesh — to softest, kindliest flesh, as e'er
Sweet Pity chose to lodge her fountains in.-
But I do talk to stone. I'll talk to it
No more. Come, my boy
I taught thee how to live — I'll show thee how
To die
Ges. He is thy child ? .
Tell. He is my child !
Ges. I've wrung a tear from him! Thy name ?

Tell. My name ? —
It matters not to keep it from thee, now;
My name is Tell.
Ges. Tell !--- William Tell ?
Tell. The same.
Ges. What! he so fam'd 'bove all his countrymen
For guiding o'er the stormy lake the boat ?
And such a master of his bow, 'tis said
His arrows never miss ! — Indeed - I'll take
Exquisite vengeance ! — Mark ! I'll spare thy life,
Thy boy's too.— Both of you are free - on one

Tell. Name it.
Ges. I would see you make
A trial of your skill with that same bow
You shoot so well with.

Tell. Name the trial you
Would have me make.

Ges. You look upon your boy
As though instinctively you guess'd it.

Tell. Look
Upon my boy! - What mean you ? Look upon
My boy as though I guess'd it! Guess’d the trial
You'd have me make! Guess'd it
Instinctively! You do not mean -No- No
You would not have me make a trial of
My skill upon my child! Impossible !
I do not guess your meaning.

Ges. I would see
Thee hit an apple at the distance of

A hundred paces.

Tell. Is my boy to hold it ?
Ges. No.
Tell. No!.- I'll send the arrow through the core !
Ges. It is to rest upon his head.

Tell. Great heaven
Thou hear'st him !

Ges. Thou dost hear the choice I give –
Such trial of the skill thou’rt master of,
Or death to both of you, not otherwise
To be escaped.

Tell. Oh, monster!
Ges. Wilt thou do it?
Alb. He will ! he will !

Tell. Ferocious monster! Make
A father murder his own child !

Ges. Take off
His chains, if he consents.

Tell. With his own hand !
Ges. Does he consent ?
Alb. He does.

Tell. With his own hand !-
Murder his child with his own hand!
The hand I've led him, when an infant, by!

'Tis beyond horror — 'tis most horrible !
Amazement!- 'Tis too much for flesh and blood
To bear - men should be made of steel to stand it:
And I believe I am myself about
To turn to some such thing; for feeling grows
Benumb’d within me, that I seem to lose
Almost the power of hating him, and keep
A calm, when heaven and earth give warrant for
A tempest. What's that you've done to me?
Villains ! put on my chains again. My hands
Are free from blood; and have no gust for it
That they should drink my child's! - Here ! - Here ! - I'll not
Murder my boy for Gesler.

Alb. Father — father!
You will not hit me, father!

Tell. Hit thee ! - Send
The arrow through thy brain — or, missing that,
Shoot out an eye — or, if thine eye escapes,
Mangle the cheek I've seen thy mother's lips
Cover with kisses !-- Hit thee ! - Hit a hair
Of thee, and cleave thy mother's heart. Who's he
Asks me to do it? — Show him me, the monster;
Make him perceptible unto my reason
And heart! In vain my senses vouch for him ;
I hear he lives — I see it - but it is
A prodigy that nature can't believe !
Ges. Dost thou consent ?
Tell. Give me my bow and quiver.
Ges. For what?
Tell. To shoot my boy!

Alb. No, father! no,
To save me!- You'll be sure to hit the apple.
Will you not save me, father ?

Tell. Lead me forth —
I'll make the trial !

Alb. Thank you !

Tell. Thank me! - Do
You know for what? - I will not make the trial,
To take him to his mother in my arms,
And lay him down a corpse before her !

Ges. Then
He dies this moment;


you certainly Do murder him, whose life you have a chance To save, and will not use it.

Tell. Well — I'll do it : I'll make the trial.

Alb. Father!

Tell. Speak not to me:
Let me not hear thy voice - thou must be dumb;
And so should all things be — earth should be dumb!
And heaven - unless its thunders mutter'd at
The deed, and sent a bolt to stop it! Give me
My bow and quiver !

Ges. When all's ready..

Tell. Well ! Lead on!



Vanoc. Now tribune :
Valens. Health to Vanoc.
Van. Speak your business.

Val. I come not as a herald, but a friend :
And I rejoice that Didius chose out me
To greet a prince in my esteem the foremost.

Van. So much for words. — Now to your purpose, tribune.

Val. Sent by our new lieutenant, who in Rome
And since from me has heard of your renown,
I come to offer peace; to reconcile

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