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96. William Tell.

Tell. YE crags and peaks, I'm with you once again.
I hold to you the hands you first beheld,
To show they still are free. Methinks I hear
A spirit in your echoes answer me,

And bid your tenant welcome to his home
Again. O sacred forms, how proud you look!
How high you lift your heads into the sky!
How huge you are! how mighty, and how free!
Ye are the things that tower, that shine; whose smile
Makes glad; whose frown is terrible; whose forms,
Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear
Of awe divine. Ye guards of liberty,

I'm with you once again. I call to you
With all my voice. I hold my hands to you,
To show they still are free. I rush to you
As though I could embrace you.

ERNI enters.

Erni. You're sure to keep the time That comes before the hour.

Tell. The hour
Will soon be here. O, when will Liberty
Be here, my Erni? That's my thought, which still
I find beside. Scaling yonder peak,
I saw an eagle wheeling near its brow
O'er the abyss: his broad-expanded wings
Lay calm and motionless upon the air,
As if he floated there without their aid,
By the sole act of his unlorded will,
That buoyed him proudly up. Instinctively
I bent my bow; yet kept he rounding still
His airy circle, as in the delight
Of measuring the ample range beneath,
And round about: absorbed, he heeded not

The death that threatened him. I could not shoot!
'Twas liberty! I turned my bow aside,
And let him soar away.

Enter EMMA.

Emma. O, the fresh morning! Heaven's kind messenger, That never empty-handed comes to those

Praise be to Him
it constant run

Who know to use its gifts.
Who loads it still, and bids
The errand of his bounty! Praise be to Him!
We need His care, that on the mountain's cliff
Lodge by the storm, and cannot lift our eyes,
But piles on piles of everlasting snows,
O'erhanging us, remind us of His mercy.

Tell. Why should I, Emma, make thy heart acquainted
With ills I could shut out from it? - rude guests
For such a home! Here, only, we have had
Two hearts; in all things else in love, in faith,
In hope, in joy, that never had but one!

But, henceforth, we must have but one here also.

Emma. O William, you have wronged me- kindly wronged me.

Whenever yet was happiness the test

Of love in man or woman? Who'd not hold
To that which must advantage him? Who'd not
Keep promise to a feast, or mind his pledge.

To share a rich man's purse? There's not a churl,
However base, but might be thus approved
Of most unswerving constancy. But that
Which loosens churls, ties friends, or changes them,
Only to stick the faster. William! William!
That man knew never yet the love of woman,
Who never had an ill to share with her.

Tell. Not even to know that, would I in so
Ungentle partnership engage thee, Emma,
So will could help it; but necessity,
The master yet of will, how strong soe'er,

When I wedded thee,

Commands me.
The land was free! With what pride I used
To walk these hills, and look up to my God,
And bless him that it was so! It was free
From end to end, from cliff to lake, 'twas free!
Free as our torrents are that leap our rocks,
And plough our valleys, without asking leave;
Or as our peaks, that wear their caps of snow
In very presence of the regal sun.

How happy was it then! I loved

Its very storms. Yes, Emma, I have sat

In my boat at night, when, midway o'er the lake,
The stars went out, and down the mountain gorge
The wind came roaring. I have sat and eyed
The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled
To see him shake his lightnings o'er my head,
And think I had no master save his own.
You know the jutting cliff round which a track
Up hither winds, whose base is but the brow
To such another one, with scanty room
For two abreast to pass? O'ertaken there
By the mountain blast, I've laid me flat along,
And, while gust followed gust more furiously,
As if to sweep me o'er the horrid brink,

I have thought of other lands, whose storms
Are summer flaws to those of mine, and just
Have wished me there, the thought that mine was free
Has checked that wish, and I have raised my head,
And cried in thraldom to that furious wind,
"Blow on! This is the land of liberty!"

Emma. I almost see thee on that fearful pass,
And yet, so seeing thee, I have a feeling
Forbids me wonder that thou didst so.

Tell. 'Tis

A feeling must not breathe where Gesler breathes
But may within these arms. List, Emma, list!
A league is made to pull the tyrant down

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E'en from his seat upon the rock of Altorf.
Four hearts have staked their blood upon the cast,
And mine is one of them.

SHERIDAN KNOWLES

97. Gil Blas'* Adventures at Pennaflor.

I ARRIVED in safety at Pennaflor; and, halting at the gate of an inn that made a tolerable appearance, I had no sooner alighted, than the landlord came out, and received me with great civility; he untied my portmanteau with his own hands, and, throwing it on his shoulders, conducted me into a room, while one of his servants led my mule into the stable. This innkeeper, the greatest talker of the Asturias, and as ready to relate his own affairs, without being asked, as to pry into those of another, told me that his name was Andrew Corcuelo; that he had served many years in the army in quality of a sergeant, and had quitted the service fifteen months ago, to marry a damsel of Castropol, who, though she was a little swarthy, knew very well how to turn the penny.

He said a thousand other things, which I could have dispensed with the hearing of; but, after having made me his confidant, he thought he had a right to exact the same condescension from me; and, accordingly, he asked me from whence I came, whither I was going, and what I was. I was obliged to answer article by article, because he accompanied every question with a profound bow, and begged me to excuse his curiosity with such a respectful air, that I could not refuse to satisfy him in every particular. This engaged me in a long conversation with him, and gave me occasion to mention my design, and the reason I had for disposing of my mule, that I might take the opportunity of a carrier.

Gil Blåg like zh; a as in father.

He approved of my intention, though not in a very succinct manner; for he represented all the troublesome accidents that might befall me on the road, recounted many dismal stories of travellers, and, I was afraid, would never have done; he concluded, at length, however, telling me that, if I had a mind to sell my mule, he was acquainted with a very honest jockey, who would buy her. I assured him he would oblige me in sending for him; upon which he went in quest of him with great eagerness.

It was not long before he returned with his man, whom he introduced to me as a person of exceeding honesty; and we went into the yard all together. There my mule was produced, and passed and repassed before the jockey, who examined her from head to foot, and did not fail to speak very disadvantageously of her. I own there was not much to be said in her praise; but, however, had it been the pope's mule, he would have found some defects in her. He assured me she had all the faults a mule could have, and, to convince me of his veracity, appealed to the landlord, who, doubtless, had his reasons for supporting his friend's assertions. "Well," said this dealer, with an air of indifference, "how much money do you expect for this wretched animal?”

After the eulogium he had bestowed on her, and the attestation of Signor Corcuelo, whom I believed to be a man of honesty and understanding, I would have given my mule for nothing, and therefore told him I would rely on his integrity, bidding him appraise the beast in his own conscience, and I would stand to the valuation. Upon this, he assumed the man of honor, and replied, that, in engaging his conscience, I took him on the weak side. In good sooth, that did not seem to be his strong side; for, instead of valuing her at ten or twelve pistoles, as my uncle had done, he fixed the price at three ducats, which I accepted with as much joy as if I had made an excellent bargain.

After having so advantageously disposed of my mule, the landlord conducted me to a carrier, who was to set out next day for Astorga. When every thing was settled between us,

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