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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 'twas 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 90
Remote descendants, who have lived in peace,
The peace of Heaven, and in her sunshine of

Cæs. And what had they done, whom the old
Romans o'erswept ?-Hark!

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 learned, I see, too?

Cæs. 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.

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, 110
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

Arn. (interrupting him). Oh, thou everlasting sneerer !
Be silent! How the soldier's rough strain seems
Softened by distance to a hymn-like cadence !

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

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 passed the broad Po.
We have beaten all foemen,

We have captured a King,"
We have turned back on no men,
And so let us sing !

130 Here's the Bourbon for ever!

Though penniless all,
We'll have one more endeavour

At yonder old wall.
With the Bourbon we'll gather

At day-dawn before
The gates, and together

Or break or climb o'er
The wall: on the ladder,
As mounts each firm foot,i.

140 Our shout shall grow gladder,

And Death only be mute.?
With the Bourbon we'll mount o'er

The walls of old Rome,
And who then shall count o'er ti.

The spoils of each dome?
i. With a soldier's firm foot.—[MS.]

ii. With the Bourbon will count o'er.-{MS.] 1. (Francis the First was taken prisoner at the Battle of Pavia, February 24, 1525.]

2. Compare The Siege of Corinth, line 752, Poetical Works, 1900, iii. 483. There is a note of tragic irony in the soldiers' vain-glorious prophecy.]

Up! up with the Lily!

And down with the Keys !
In old Rome, the seven-hilly,
We'll revel at ease.

150 Her streets shall be gory,

Her Tiber all red,
And her temples so hoary

Shall clang with our tread.
Oh, the Bourbon ! the Bourbon !!

The Bourbon for aye !
Of our song bear the burden !

And fire, fire away!
With Spain for the vanguard,
Our varied host comes;

160 And next to the Spaniard

Beat Germany's drums;
And Italy's lances

Are couched at their mother;
But our leader from France is,

Who warred with his brother.
Oh, the Bourbon ! the Bourbon !

Sans country or home,
We'll follow the Bourbon,
To plunder old Rome.

170 Cæs.

An indifferent song
For those within the walls, methinks, to hear.

Arn. Yes, if they keep to their chorus. But here comes
The general with his chiefs and men of trust.”.
A goodly rebel.

Enter the Constable BOURBON “cum suis," etc., etc.

How now, noble Prince,
You are not cheerful?

Why should I be so?
Phil. Upon the eve of conquest, such as ours,
Most men would be so.

i. The General with his men of confidence.-[MS.] 1. (Brantôme (Memoires, etc., 1722, i. 215) quotes a "chanson" of " Les soldats Espagnols" as they marched Romewards. "Calla calla Julio Cesar, Hannibal, y Scipion! Viva la fama de Bourbon.")



If I were secure ! Phil. Doubt not our soldiers. Were the walls of

adamant, They'd crack them. Hunger is a sharp artillery. 180

Bourb. That they will falter is my least of fears.
That they will be repulsed, with Bourbon for
Their chief, and all their kindled appetites
To marshal them on—were those hoary walls
Mountains, and those who guard them like the gods
Of the old fables, I would trust my Titans ;
But now

Phil. They are but men who war with mortals.
Bourb. True: but those walls have girded in great

ages, And sent forth mighty spirits. The past earth And present phantom of imperious Rome

190 Is peopled with those warriors; and methinks They Ait along the eternal City's rampart, And stretch their glorious, gory, shadowy hands, And beckon me away! Phil.

So let them! Wilt thou Turn back from shadowy menaces of shadows ? Bourb. They do not menace me.

I could have
Methinks, a Sylla's menace; but they clasp,
And raise, and wring their dim and deathlike hands,
And with their thin aspen faces and fixed eyes
Fascinate mine. Look there !

I look upon
A lofty battlement.

And there!

Not even
A guard in sight; they wisely keep below,
Sheltered by the grey parapet from some
Stray bullet of our lansquenets, who might
Practise in the cool twilight.

You are blind.
Phil. If seeing nothing more than may be seen


Be so.

Bourb. A thousand years have manned the walls

i. And present phantom of that deathless world.--[MS]



With all their heroes,-the last Cato 1 stands
And tears his bowels, rather than survive
The liberty of that I would enslave.
And the first Cæsar with his triumphs flits
From battlement to battlement.

Then conquer
The walls for which he conquered and be greater !

Bourb. True: so I will, or perish.

You can not.
In such an enterprise to die is rather
The dawn of an eternal day, than death.

[Count ARNOLD and CÆSAR advance,
Cæs. And the mere men-do they, too, sweat beneath
The noon of this same ever-scorching glory?

Welcome the bitter Hunchback ! and his master,
The beauty of our host, and brave as beauteous,
And generous as lovely. We shall find
Work for you both ere morning.

You will find,
So please your Highness, no less for yourself.

Bourb. And if I do, there will not be a labourer
More forward, Hunchback !

You may well say so,
For have seen that back-as general,
Placed in the rear in action—but your foes
Have never seen it.

That 's a fair retort,
For I provoked it :-but the Bourbon's breast
Has been, and ever shall be, far advanced

230 In danger's face as yours, were you the devil.

Cæs. And if I were, I might have saved myself
The toil of coming here.

Why so ?

One half


1. (When the Uticans decided not to stand a siege, but to send deputies to Cæsar, Cato determined to put an end to his life rather than fall into the hands of the conqueror. Accordingly, after he had retired to rest he stabbed himself under the breast, and when the physician sewed up the wound, he thrust him away, and plucked out his own bowels. - Plutarch's Lives, Langhorne's Translation, 1838, p. 553.]

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