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Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

THE DYNASTS                      ACT r
snuff by the ounce and his candles by the pound, lest he should not be there long enough to use more.
The QUEEN goes by, and they gaze at her and at the escort of soldiers.
Haven't we soldiers?    Haven't we the Duke of Brunswick to command 'em ?    Haven't we provisions, hey?    Haven't we fortresses and an Elbe, to bar the bounce of an invader ?
The cavalcade passes out of sight and the crowd draws off.
FIRST CITIZEN
Heaven, I must to beer and 'bacco, to soften my rag*e!                                                       [Exeunt citizens.
SPIRIT OF THE YEARS
So doth the Will objectify Itself
In likeness of a sturdy people s wrath,
Which takes no count of the new trends of time,
Trusting ebbed glory in a present need.
What if their strength should equal not their fire,
And their devotion dull their vigilance ?
Uncertainly, by fits, the Will doth work
In Brunswick s blood, their chief, as in themselves ;
It ramifies in streams that intermit
And make their movement vague, old-fashioned, slow
To foil the modern methods counterposed !
^ Evening descends on the city, and it grows dusk. The soldiers being dismissed from duty, some young officers in a frolic of defiance halt, draw their swords and whet them on the steps of the FRENCH AMBASSADOR'S residence as they pass. The noise of whetting is audible through the street.
CHORUS OF THE PITIES (aerial music)
The soul of a nation distrest
Is aflame* And heaving with eager unrest
In its aim
To assert its old prowess, and stouten its chronicled fame !
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