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Where is the apple?- Ere all's ready, 't will
GESSLER. Hadst thou not lingered 130 Tell. It were done—I know.
It shall be done to-morrow, wilt thou grant
GESSLER. Well — to-morrow! Take them to separate dungeons! 135 Tell. To the same!
He's but a child !-- He has his part to play!
GESSLER. To the same dungeon! 140 Tell. Now, my child, thy hand! [They go out severally.
GLOSSARY. Exquisite; instinctively; wist; gust; prodigy; essayed.
had he heard about Tell? “I'll take exquisite vengeance”: vengeance
III. THE TYRANT's Doom
[The Swiss patriots, upon hearing that Tell and his son are in the hands of Gessler, gather in force and proceed from various directions toward the governor's castle. Tell secures a postponement of the test of his marksmanship, thus giving the Swiss opportunity to carry out their plans, with the final results indicated in the scene that follows.]
Enter, slowly, Burghers and Women, GESSLER, TELL, ALBERT, and Soldiersone bearing TELL's bow and quiver —another with a basket of apples. • Gessler. That is your ground. Now shall they measure
thence A hundred paces. Take the distance.
GESSLER. True or not, what is't
Tell. What is't to me? A little thing,
GESSLER. Be thankful, slave,
Tell. I will be thankful, Gessler!— Villain, stop!
GESSLER. And what of that?
Tell. I'd have it at my back!—The sun should shine
Tell. I shall remember it. I'd like to see The apple I'm to shoot at.
SOLDIER (with the basket of apples). Here!
GESSLER. Show me
Tell. You've picked the smallest one.
Tell. Oh! do you?— But you see
GESSLER. Take it as it is:
Tell. True!— True!—I didn't think of that — I wonder
35 To save my boy! I will not murder him
If I can help it-for the honor of
(Hands a basket of apples. Tell takes one. 40 TELL. Have I a friend among The lookers on?
VERNER (a patriot in league with TELL). Here, Tell!
Tell. I thank thee, Verner!
The boy!—the boy!—Think'st thou he has the courage
VERNER. Clear and smilingly. 60 If you doubt it-look yourself.
Tell. No-no-my friend, To hear it is enough.
VERNER. He bears himself So much above his years— 65 TELL. I know!—I know.
VERNER. With constancy so modest
TELL. I was sure He would
VERNER. And looks with such relying love 70 And reverence upon you
TELL. Man! Man! Man!
VERNER. Come, Albert!
ALBERT. His will, is it?
[Holding out his arms to him. ALBERT. My father!
[Running into Tell's arms. TELL. If thou can'st bear it, should not I?—Go now, My son — and keep in mind that I can shoot. Go, boy-Be thou but steady, I shall hit The apple. (Kisses him.) Go!—God bless thee!—Go!—My bow!
[One hands him the bow.
GESSLER. Give him a single arrow.
105 GESSLER. I do.
Tell. Is't so you pick an arrow, friend? The point, you see, is blunt; the feather jagged; That's all the use 't is fit for.
[Breaks it. GESSLER. Let him have 110 Another.
Tell. Why, 'tis better than the first, But yet not good enough for such an aim As I'm to take. 'Tis heavy in the shaft;
I'll not shoot with it! (Throws it away.) Let me see my quiver. 115 Bring it! 'tis not one arrow in a dozen .
I'd take to shoot with at a dove, much less
Your helpless thrall, alone in the midst of you, 120 With every one of you a weapon in
His hand. What can I do in such a strait
GESSLER. It matters not.
[TELL kneels and picks out an arrow, which he hides under
his vest, and then selects another. Tell. Am I so?—That's strange, That's very strange!- Is the boy ready?
VERNER. Yes. 130 TELL. I'm ready too!- Keep silence, every one!
And stir not for my child's sake!— And let me have Your prayers — your prayers—and be my witnesses, That if his life's in peril from my hand, 'Tis only for the chance of saving it! 135 Now, friends, for mercy's sake keep motionless And silent.
[TELL shoots, and a shout of wonder and exultation bursts from the crowd. TELL falls on his knees and with difficulty supports himself.