SCENE in PART FIRST
Ay, far within the eight days I have named— Be operating to untie this knot, If we hold on,
Conjectures these—no more ; I stomach not such waiting. Neither hope Has kernel in it. I and my cavalry With caution, when the shadows fall to-night, Can bore some hole in this engirdlement ; Outpass the gate north-east; join General Werneck, And somehow cut our way Bohemia-wards : Well worth the hazard, in our straitened case!
The body of our force stays here with me. And I am much surprised, your Highness, much, You mark not how destructive 'tis to part! If we wait on, for certain we should wait In our full strength, compacted, undispersed By such partition as your Highness plans.
There's truth in urging we should not divide,
But weld more closely.—Yet why stay at all ?
Methinks there's but one sure salvation left,
To wit, that we conjunctly march herefrom,
And with much circumspection, towards the Tyrol.
The subtle often rack their wits in vain—
Assay whole magazines of strategy—
To shun ill loomings deemed insuperable,
When simple souls by stumbling up to them
Find the grim shapes but air. But let us grant
That the investing French so ring us in
As to leave not a span for such exploit;
Then go we—throw ourselves upon their steel,
And batter through, or die!—
What say you, Generals ? Speak your minds, I pray.