* See Richard III., Act I, Sc. 1, line 17.
**Heavy is used in a double meaning; the German word is plump, which Means lumpish clumsy awkward.
***So Falstaff, Hen. IV., Pt. I., Act V., Sc. 1, "Honor is a mere scutcheon."
Well! these are all most admirable institutions for keeping fools in awe, and holding the mob underfoot, that the cunning may live the more at their ease. Rare institutions, doubtless. They are something like the fences my boors plant so closely to keep out the hares – yes I' faith, not a hare can trespass on the enclosure, but my lord claps spurs to his hunter, and away he gallops over the teeming harvest!
Poor hare! thou playest but a sorry part in this world's drama, but your worshipful lords must needs have hares!
*[This may help to illustrate a passage in Shakespeare which puzzles the commentators – "Cupid is a good hare-finder." – Much ADO, Act I., Sc. 1.
The hare, in Germany, is considered an emblem of abject submission and cowardice. The word may also be rendered "Simpleton," "Sawney," or any other of the numerous epithets which imply a soft condition.]
Then courage, and onward, Francis. The man who fears nothing is as powerful as he who is feared by everybody. It is now the mode to wear buckles on your smallclothes, that you may loosen or tighten them at pleasure. I will be measured for a conscience after the newest fashion, one that will stretch handsomely as occasion may require. Am I to blame? It is the tailor's affair? I have heard a great deal of twaddle about the so-called ties of blood – enough to make a sober man beside himself. He is your brother, they say; which interpreted, means that he was manufactured in the same mould, and for that reason he must needs be sacred in your eyes! To what absurd conclusions must this notion of a sympathy of souls, derived from the propinquity of bodies, inevitably tend? A common source of being is to produce community of sentiment; identity of matter, identity of impulse! Then again, – he is thy father! He gave thee life, thou art his flesh and blood – and therefore he must be sacred to thee! Again a most inconsequential deduction! I should like to know why he begot me;** certainly not out of love for me – for I must first have existed!
**[The reader of Sterne will remember a very similar passage in the first chapter of Tristram Shandy.]
Could he know me before I had being, or did he think of me during my begetting? or did he wish for me at the moment? Did he know what I should be? If so I would not advise him to acknowledge it or I should pay him off for his feat. Am I to be thankful to him that I am a man? As little as I should have had a right to blame him if he had made me a woman. Can I acknowledge an affection which is not based on any personal regard? Could personal regard be present before the existence of its object? In what, then, consists the sacredness of paternity? Is it in the act itself out of which existence arose? as though this were aught else than an animal process to appease animal desires. Or does it lie, perhaps, in the result of this act, which is nothing more after all than one of iron necessity, and which men would gladly dispense with, were it not at the cost of flesh and blood? Do I then owe him thanks for his affection? Why, what is it but a piece of vanity, the besetting sin of the artist who admires his own works, however hideous they may be? Look you, this is the whole juggle, wrapped up in a mystic veil to work on our fears. And shall I, too, be fooled like an infant? Up then! and to thy work manfully. I will root up from my path whatever obstructs my progress towards becoming the master. Master I must be, that I may extort by force what I cannot win by affection.*
*[This soliloquy in some parts resembles that of Richard, Duke of Gloster, in Shakespeare's Henry VI., Act V. Sc. 6.]
CHARLES VON MOOR intent on a book; SPIEGELBERG drinking at the table.
CHARLES VON M. (lays the book aside). I am disgusted with this age of puny scribblers when I read of great men in my Plutarch.
SPIEGEL. (places a glass before him, and drinks). Josephus is the book you should read.
CHARLES VON M. The glowing spark of Prometheus is burnt out, and now they substitute for it the flash of lycopodium,* a stage-fire which will not so much as light a pipe. The present generation may be compared to rats crawling about the club of Hercules.**
*[Lycopodium (in German Barlappen-mehl), vulgarly known as the Devil's Puff-ball or Witchmeal, is used on the stage, as well in England as on the continent, to produce flashes of fire. It is made of the pollen of common club moss, or wolf's claw (Lycopodium clavatum), the capsules of which contain a highly inflammable powder. Translators have uniformly failed in rendering this passage.]
**[This simile brings to mind Shakespeare's: "We petty men Walk under his huge legs, and peep about." JULIUS CAESAR, Act I., Sc. 2.]
A French abbe lays it down that Alexander was a poltroon; a phthisicky professor, holding at every word a bottle of sal volatile to his nose, lectures on strength. Fellows who faint at the veriest trifle criticise the tactics of Hannibal; whimpering boys store themselves with phrases out of the slaughter at Canna; and blubber over the victories of Scipio, because they are obliged to construe them.
SPIEGEL. Spouted in true Alexandrian style.
CHARLES VON M. A brilliant reward for your sweat in the battle-field truly to have your existence perpetuated in gymnasiums, and your immortality laboriously dragged about in a schoolboy's satchel. A precious recompense for your lavished blood to be wrapped round gingerbread by some Nuremberg chandler, or, if you have great luck, to be screwed upon stilts by a French playwright, and be made to move on wires! Ha, ha, ha!
SPIEGEL. (drinks). Read Josephus, I tell you.
CHARLES VON M. Fie! fie upon this weak, effeminate age, fit for nothing but to ponder over the deeds of former times, and torture the heroes of antiquity with commentaries, or mangle them in tragedies. The vigor of its loins is dried up, and the propagation of the human species has become dependent on potations of malt liquor.
SPIEGEL. Tea, brother! tea!
CHARLES VON M. They curb honest nature with absurd conventionalities; have scarcely the heart to charge a glass, because they are tasked to drink a health in it; fawn upon the lackey that he may put in a word for them with His Grace, and bully the unfortunate wight from whom they have nothing to fear. They worship any one for a dinner, and are just as ready to poison him should he chance to outbid them for a feather-bed at an auction. They damn the Sadducee who fails to come regularly to church, although their own devotion consists in reckoning up their usurious gains at the very altar. They cast themselves on their knees that they may have an opportunity of displaying their mantles, and hardly take their eyes off the parson from their anxiety to see how his wig is frizzled. They swoon at the sight of a bleeding goose, yet clap their hands with joy when they see their rival driven bankrupt from the Exchange. Warmly as I pressed their hands, – "Only one more day." In vain! To prison with the dog! Entreaties! Vows! Tears! (stamping the ground). Hell and the devil!
SPIEGEL. And all for a few thousand paltry ducats!
CHARLES VON M. No, I hate to think of it. Am I to squeeze my body into stays, and straight-lace my will in the trammels of law. What might have risen to an eagle's flight has been reduced to a snail's pace by law. Never yet has law formed a great man; 'tis liberty that breeds giants and heroes. Oh! that the spirit of Herman* still glowed in his ashes!
*[Herman is the German for Armin or Arminius, the celebrated deliverer of Germany from the Roman yoke. See Menzel's History, vol. i., p. 85, etc.]
Set me at the head of an army of fellows like myself, and out of Germany shall spring a republic compared to which Rome and Sparta will be but as nunneries. (Rises and flings his sword upon the table.)
SPIEGEL. (jumping up). Bravo! Bravissimo! you are coming to the right key now. I have something for your ear, Moor, which has long been on my mind, and you are the very man for it – drink, brother, drink! What if we turned Jews and brought the kingdom of Jerusalem again on the tapis? But tell me is it not a clever scheme? We send forth a manifesto to the four quarters of the world, and summon to Palestine all that do not eat Swineflesh. Then I prove by incontestable documents that Herod the Tetrarch was my direct ancestor, and so forth. There will be a victory, my fine fellow, when they return and are restored to their lands, and are able to rebuild Jerusalem. Then make a clean sweep of the Turks out of Asia while the iron is hot, hew cedars in Lebanon, build ships, and then the whole nation shall chaffer with old clothes and old lace throughout the world. Meanwhile —
CHARLES VON M. (smiles and takes him by the hand). Comrade! There must be an end now of our fooleries.
SPIEGEL. (with surprise). Fie! you are not going to play the prodigal son! – a fellow like you who with his sword has scratched more hieroglyhics on other men's faces than three quill-drivers could inscribe in their daybooks in a leap-year! Shall I tell you the story of the great dog funeral? Ha! I must just bring back your own picture to your mind; that will kindle fire in your veins, if nothing else has power to inspire you. Do you remember how the heads of the college caused your dog's leg to be shot off, and you, by way of revenge, proclaimed a fast through the whole town? They fumed and fretted at your edict. But you, without losing time, ordered all the meat to be bought up in Leipsic, so that in the course of eight hours there was not a bone left to pick all over the place, and even fish began to rise in price. The magistrates and the town council vowed vengeance. But we students turned out lustily, seventeen hundred of us, with you at our head, and butchers and tailors and haberdashers at our backs, besides publicans, barbers, and rabble of all sorts, swearing that the town should be sacked if a single hair of a student's head was injured. And so the affair went off like the shooting at Hornberg,* and they were obliged to be off with their tails between their legs.
*[The "shooting at Hornberg" is a proverbial expression in Germany for any expedition from which, through lack of courage, the parties retire without firing a shot.]
You sent for doctors – a whole posse of them – and offered three ducats to any one who would write a prescription for your dog. We were afraid the gentlemen would stand too much upon honor and refuse, and had already made up our minds to use force. But this was quite unnecessary; the doctors got to fisticuffs for the three ducats, and their competition brought down the price to three groats; in the course of an hour a dozen prescriptions were written, of which, of course, the poor beast very soon died.
CHARLES VON M. The vile rascals.
SPIEGEL. The funeral procession was arranged with all due pomp; odes for the dog were indited by the gross; and at night we all turned out, near a thousand of us, a lantern in one hand and our rapier in the other, and so proceeded through the town, the bells chiming and ringing, till the dog was entombed. Then came a feed which lasted till broad daylight, when you sent your acknowledgments to the college dons for their kind sympathy, and ordered the meat to be sold at half-price. Mort de ma vie, if we had not as great a respect for you as a garrison for the conqueror of a fortress.
CHARLES VON M. And are you not ashamed to boast of these things? Have you not shame enough in you to blush even at the recollection of such pranks?
SPIEGEL. Come, come! You are no longer the same Moor. Do you remember how, a thousand times, bottle in hand, you made game of the miserly old governor, bidding him by all means rake and scrape together as much as he could, for that you would swill it all down your throat? Don't you remember, eh? – don't you remember?' O you good-for-nothing, miserable braggart! that was speaking like a man, and a gentleman, but —
CHARLES VON M. A curse on you for reminding me of it! A curse on myself for what I said! But it was done in the fumes of wine, and my heart knew not what my tongue uttered.
SPIEGEL. (shakes his head). No, no! that cannot be! Impossible, brother! You are not in earnest! Tell me! most sweet brother, is it not poverty which has brought you to this mood? Come! let me tell you a little story of my youthful days. There was a ditch close to my house, eight feet wide at the least, which we boys were trying to leap over for a wager. But it was no go. Splash! there you lay sprawling, amidst hisses and roars of laughter, and a relentless shower of snowballs. By the side of my house a hunter's dog was lying chained, a savage beast, which would catch the girls by their petticoats with the quickness of lightning if they incautiously passed too near him. Now it was my greatest delight to tease this brute in every possible way; and it was enough to make one burst with laughing to see the beast fix his eyes on me with such fierceness that he seemed ready to tear me to pieces if he could but get at me. Well, what happened? Once, when I was amusing myself in this manner, I hit him such a bang in the ribs with a stone that in his fury he broke loose and ran right upon me. I tore away like lightning, but – devil take it! – that confounded ditch lay right in my way. What was to be done? The dog was close at my heels and quite furious; there was no time to deliberate. I took a spring and cleared the ditch. To that leap I was indebted for life and limb; the beast would have torn me to atoms.
CHARLES VON M. And to what does all this tend?
SPIEGEL. To this – that you may be taught that strength grows with the occasion. For which reason I never despair even when things are the worst. Courage grows with danger. Powers of resistance increase by pressure. It is evident by the obstacles she strews in my path that fate must have designed me for a great man.
CHARLES VON M. (angrily). I am not aware of anything for which we still require courage, and have not already shown it.
SPIEGEL. Indeed! And so you mean to let your gifts go to waste? To bury your talent? Do you think your paltry achievements at Leipsic amount to the ne plus ultra of genius? Let us but once get to the great world – Paris and London! where you get your ears boxed if you salute a man as honest. It is a real jubilee to practise one's handicraft there on a grand scale. How you will stare! How you will open your eyes! to see signatures forged; dice loaded; locks picked, and strong boxes gutted; all that you shall learn of Spiegelberg! The rascal deserves to be hanged on the first gallows that would rather starve than manipulate with his fingers.
CHARLES VON M. (in a fit of absence). How now? I should not wonder if your proficiency went further still.
SPIEGEL. I begin to think you mistrust me. Only wait till I have grown warm at it; you shall see wonders; your little brain shall whirl clean round in your pericranium when my teeming wit is delivered. (He rises excited.) How it clears up within me! Great thoughts are dawning in on my soul! Gigantic plans are fermenting in my creative brain. Cursed lethargy (striking his forehead), which has hitherto enchained my faculties, cramped and fettered my prospects! I awake; I feel what I am – and what I am to be!
CHARLES VON M. You are a fool! The wine is swaggering in your brain.
SPIEGEL. (more excited). Spiegelberg, they will say, art thou a magician, Spiegelberg? 'Tis a pity, the king will say, that thou wert not made a general, Spiegelberg, thou wouldst have thrust the Austrians through a buttonhole. Yes, I hear the doctors lamenting, 'tis a crying shame that he was not bred to medicine, he would have discovered the elixir vitae. Ay, and that he did not take to financiering, the Sullys will deplore in their cabinets, – he would have turned flints into louis-d'ors by his magic. And Spiegelberg will be the word from east to west; then down into the dirt with you, ye cowards, ye reptiles, while Spiegelberg soars with outspread wings to the temple of everlasting fame.
CHARLES VON M. A pleasant journey to you! I leave you to climb to the summit of glory on the pillars of infamy. In the shade of my ancestral groves, in the arms of my Amelia, a nobler joy awaits me. I have already, last week, written to my father to implore his forgiveness, and have not concealed the least circumstance from him; and where there is sincerity there is compassion and help. Let us take leave of each other, Moritz. After this day we shall meet no more. The post has arrived. My father's forgiveness must already be within the walls of this town.
Enter SCHWEITZER, GRIMM, ROLLER, SCHUFTERLE, and RAZMAN.
ROLLER. Are you aware that they are on our track!
GRIMM. That we are not for a moment safe from being taken?
CHARLES VON M. I don't wonder at it. It must be as it will! Have none of you seen Schwarz? Did he say anything about having a letter for me?
ROLLER. He has been long in search of you on some such errand, I suspect.
CHARLES VON M. Where is he? where, where? (is about to rush off in haste).
ROLLER. Stay! we have appointed him to come here. You tremble?
CHARLES VON M. I do not tremble. Why should I tremble? Comrades, this letter – rejoice with me! I am the happiest man under the sun; why should I tremble?
CHARLES VON M. (rushes towards him). Brother, brother! the letter, the letter!
SCHW. (gives him a letter, which he opens hastily). What's the matter? You have grown as pale as a whitewashed wall!
CHARLES VON M. My brother's hand!
SCHW. What the deuce is Spiegelberg about there?
GRIMM. The fellow's mad. He jumps about as if he had St. Vitus' dance.
SCHUF. His wits are gone a wool gathering! He's making verses, I'll be sworn!
RAZ. Spiegelberg! Ho! Spiegelberg! The brute does not hear.
GRIMM. (shakes him). Hallo! fellow! are you dreaming? or —
SPIEGEL. (who has all this time been making gestures in a corner of the room, as if working out some great project, jumps up wildly). Your money or your life! (He catches SCHWEITZER by the throat, who very coolly flings him against the wall; Moor drops the letter and rushes out. A general sensation.)
ROLLER. (calling after him). Moor! where are you going? What's the matter?
GRIMM. What ails him? What has he been doing? He is as pale as death.
SCHW. He must have got strange news. Just let us see!
ROLLER. (picks up the letter from the ground, and reads). "Unfortunate brother!" – a pleasant beginning – "I have only briefly to inform you that you have nothing more to hope for. You may go, your father directs me to tell you, wherever your own vicious propensities lead. Nor are you to entertain, he says, any hope of ever gaining pardon by weeping at his feet, unless you are prepared to fare upon bread and water in the lowest dungeon of his castle until your hair shall outgrow eagles' feathers, and your nails the talons of a vulture. These are his very words. He commands me to close the letter. Farewell forever! I pity you.
"FRANCIS VON MOOR"
SCHW. A most amiable and loving brother, in good truth! And the scoundrel's name is Francis.
SPIEGEL. (slinking forward). Bread and water! Is that it? A temperate diet! But I have made a better provision for you. Did I not say that I should have to think for you all at last?
SCHWEIT. What does the blockhead say! The jackass is going to think for us all!
SPIEGEL. Cowards, cripples, lame dogs are ye all if you have not courage enough to venture upon something great.
ROLLER. Well, of course, so we should be, you are right; but will your proposed scheme get us out of this devil of a scrape? eh?
SPIEGEL. (with a proud laugh). Poor thing! Get us out of this scrape? Ha, ha, ha! Get us out of the scrape! – and is that all your thimbleful of brain can reach? And with that you trot your mare back to the stable? Spiegelberg would have been a miserable bungler indeed if that were the extent of his aim. Heroes, I tell you, barons, princes, gods, it will make of you.
RAZ. That's pretty well for one bout, truly! But no doubt it is some neck-breaking piece of business; it will cost a head or so at the least.
SPIEGEL. It wants nothing but courage; as to the headwork, I take that entirely upon myself. Courage, I say, Schweitzer! Courage, Roller! Grimm! Razman! Schufterle! Courage!
SCHW. Courage! If that is all, I have courage enough to walk through hell barefoot.
SCHUFT. And I courage enough to fight the very devil himself under the open gallows for the rescue of any poor sinner.
SPIEGEL. That's just what it should be! If ye have courage, let any one of you step forward and say he has still something to lose, and not everything to gain?
SCHW. Verily, I should have a good deal to lose, if I were to lose all that I have yet to win!
PAZ. Yes, by Jove! and I much to win, if I could win all that I have not got to lose.
SCHUFT. Were I to lose what I carry on my back on trust I should at any rate have nothing to lose on the morrow.
SPIEGEL. Very well then! (He takes his place in the middle of them, and says in solemn adjuration) – if but a drop of the heroic blood of the ancient Germans still flow in your veins – come! We will fix our abode in the Bohemian forests, draw together a band of robbers, and – What are you gaping at? Has your slender stock of courage oozed out already?
ROLLER. You are not the first rogue by many that has defied the gallows; – and yet what other choice have we?
SPIEGEL. Choice? You have no choice. Do you want to lie rotting in the debtor's jail and beat hemp till you are bailed by the last trumpet? Would you toil with pick-axe and spade for a morsel of dry bread? or earn a pitiful alms by singing doleful ditties under people's windows? Or will you be sworn at the drumhead – and then comes the question, whether anybody would trust your hang-dog visages – and so under the splenetic humor of some despotic sergeant serve your time of purgatory in advance? Would you like to run the gauntlet to the beat of the drum? or be doomed to drag after you, like a galley-slave, the whole iron store of Vulcan? Behold your choice. You have before you the complete catalogue of all that you may choose from!
ROLLER. Spiegelberg is not altogether wrong! I, too, have been concocting plans, but they come much to the same thing. How would it be, thought I, were we to club our wits together, and dish up a pocketbook, or an almanac, or something of that sort, and write reviews at a penny a line, as is now the fashion?
SCHUFT. The devil's in you! you are pretty nearly hitting on my own schemes. I have been thinking to myself how would it answer were I to turn Methodist, and hold weekly prayer-meetings?
GRIMM. Capital! and, if that fails, turn atheist! We might fall foul of the four Gospels, get our book burned by the hangman, and then it would sell at a prodigious rate.
RAZ. Or we might take the field to cure a fashionable ailment. I know a quack doctor who has built himself a house with nothing but mercury, as the motto over his door implies.
SCHWEIT. (rises and holds out his hand to Spiegelberg). Spiegelberg, thou art a great man! or else a blind hog has by chance found an acorn.
SCHW. Excellent schemes! Honorable professions! How great minds sympathize! All that seems wanting to complete the list is that we should turn pimps and bawds.
SPIEGEL. Pooh! Pooh! Nonsense. And what is to prevent our combining most of these occupations in one person? My plan will exalt you the most, and it holds out glory and immortality into the bargain. Remember, too, ye sorry varlets, and it is a matter worthy of consideration: one's fame hereafter – the sweet thought of immortality —
ROLLER. And that at the very head of the muster-roll of honorable names! You are a master of eloquence, Spiegelberg, when the question is how to convert an honest man into a scoundrel. But does any one know what has become of Moor?
SPIEGEL. Honest, say you? Do you think you'll be less honest then than you are now? What do you call honest? To relieve rich misers of half of those cares which only scare golden sleep from their eyelids; to force hoarded coin into circulation; to restore the equalization of property; in one word, to bring back the golden age; to relieve Providence of many a burdensome pensioner, and so save it the trouble of sending war, pestilence, famine, and above all, doctors – that is what I call honesty, d'ye see; that's what I call being a worthy instrument in the hand of Providence, – and then, at every meal you eat, to have the sweet reflection: this is what thy own ingenuity, thy lion boldness, thy night watchings, have procured for thee – to command the respect both of great and small!
ROLLER. And at last to mount towards heaven in the living body, and in spite of wind and storm, in spite of the greedy maw of old father Time, to be hovering beneath the sun and moon and all the stars of the firmament, where even the unreasoning birds of heaven, attracted by noble instinct, chant their seraphic music, and angels with tails hold their most holy councils? Don't you see? And, while monarchs and potentates become a prey to moths and worms, to have the honor of receiving visits from the royal bird of Jove. Moritz, Moritz, Moritz! beware of the three-legged beast.*
*[The gallows, which in Germany is formed of three posts.]
SPIEGEL. And does that fright thee, craven-heart? Has not many a universal genius, who might have reformed the world, rotted upon the gallows? And does not the renown of such a man live for hundreds and thousands of years, whereas many a king and elector would be passed over in history, were not historians obliged to give him a niche to complete the line of succession, or that the mention of him did not swell the volume a few octavo pages, for which he counts upon hard cash from the publisher. And when the wayfarer sees you swinging to and fro in the breeze he will mutter to himself, "That fellow's brains had no water in them, I'll warrant me," and then groan over the hardship of the times.
SCHWEIT. (slaps him on the shoulder). Well said, Spiegelberg! Well said! Why the devil do we stand here hesitating?
SCHW. And suppose it is called disgrace – what then? Cannot one, in case of need, always carry a small powder about one, which quietly smooths the weary traveller's passage across the Styx, where no cock-crowing will disturb his rest? No, brother Moritz! Your scheme is good; so at least says my creed.
SCHUFT. Zounds! and mine too! Spiegelberg, I am your recruit.
RAZ. Like a second Orpheus, Spiegelberg, you have charmed to sleep that howling beast, conscience! Take me as I stand, I am yours entirely!
GRIMMM. Si omnes consentiunt ego non dissentio;* mind, without a comma. There is an auction going on in my head – methodists – quack doctors – reviewers – rogues; – the highest bidder has me. Here is my hand, Moritz!
*[The joke is explained by placing a comma after non.]
ROLLER. And you too, Schweitzer? (he gives his right hand to SPIEGELBERG). Thus I consign my soul to the devil.
SPIEGEL. And your name to the stars! What does it signify where the soul goes to? If crowds of avantcouriers give notice of our descent that the devils may put on their holiday gear, wipe the accumulated soot of a thousand years from their eyelashes, and myriads of horned heads pop up from the smoking mouth of their sulphurous chimneys to welcome our arrival! 'Up, comrades! (leaping up). Up! What in the world is equal to this ecstacy of delight? Come along, comrades!
ROLLER. Gently, gently! Where are you going? Every beast must have a head, boys!
SPIEGEL. (With bitterness). What is that incubus preaching about? Was not the head already there before a single limb began to move? Follow me, comrades!
ROLLER. Gently, I say! even liberty must have its master. Rome and Sparta perished for want of a chief.
SPIEGEL. (in a wheedling manner). Yes, – stay – Roller is right. And he must have an enlightened head. Do you understand? A keen, politic head. Yes! when I think what you were only an hour ago, and what you are now, and that it is all owing to one happy thought. Yes, of course, you must have a chief, and you'll own that he who struck out this idea may claim to have an enlightened and politic head?
ROLLER. If one could hope, if one could dream, but I fear he will not consent.
SPIEGEL. Why not? Speak out boldly, friend! Difficult as it may be to steer a laboring vessel against wind and tide, oppressive as may be the weight of a crown, speak your thought without hesitation, Roller! Perhaps he may be prevailed upon after all!
ROLLER. And if he does not the whole vessel will be crazy enough. Without Moor we are a "body without a soul."
SPIEGEL. (turning angrily from him). Dolt! blockhead!
(Enter CHARLES VON MOOR in violent agitation, stalking backwards
and forwards, and speaking to himself.)
CHARLES VON M. Man – man! false, perfidious crocodile-brood! Your eyes are all tears, but your hearts steel! Kisses on your lips, but daggers couched in your bosoms! Even lions and tigers nourish their young. Ravens feast their brood on carrion, and he – he Malice I have learned to bear; and I can smile when my fellest enemy drinks to me in my own heart's blood; but when kindred turn traitors, when a father's love becomes a fury's hate; oh, then, let manly resignation give place to raging fire! the gentle lamb become a tiger! and every nerve strain itself to vengeance and destruction!
ROLLER. Hark ye, Moor! What think ye of it? A robber's life is pleasanter, after all, than to lie rotting on bread and water in the lowest dungeon of the castle?
CHARLES VON M. Why was not this spirit implanted in a tiger which gluts its raging jaws with human flesh? Is this a father's tenderness? Is this love for love? Would I were a bear to rouse all the bears of the north against this murderous race! Repentance, and no pardon! Oh, that I could poison the ocean that men might drink death from every spring! Contrition, implicit reliance, and no pardon!