Peasants! Confederates! Into your league
Receive me, who was happily the first
That found deliverance in the land of freedom.
To your brave hands I now intrust my rights.
Will you protect me as your citizen?
Ay, that we will, with life and goods!
BERTHA. ’Tis well!
And now to him (turning to RUDENZ) I frankly
give my hand.
A free Swiss maiden to a free Swiss man!
And from this moment all my serfs are free!
[Music, and the curtain falls.]
* * * * *
[Footnote 36: Permission The Macmillan Co., New York, and G. Bell & Sons, Ltd., London.]
[Footnote 37: The German is, Thalvogt, Ruler of the Valley—the name given figuratively to a dense gray mist which the south wind sweeps into the valleys from the mountain tops. It is well known as the precursor of stormy weather.]
[Footnote 38: A steep rock, standing on the north of Ruetli, and nearly opposite to Brumen.]
[Footnote 39: In German, Wolfenschiessen—a young man of noble family, and a native of Unterwalden, who attached himself to the House of Austria, and was appointed Burvogt, or Seneschal, of the Castle of Rossberg. He was killed by Baumgarten in the manner, and for the cause, mentioned in the text.]
[Footnote 40: Literally, The Foehn is loose! “When,” says Mueller, in his History of Switzerland, “the wind called the Foehn is high, the navigation of the lake becomes extremely dangerous. Such is its vehemence that the laws of the country require that the fires shall be extinguished in the houses while it lasts, and the night watches are doubled. The inhabitants lay heavy stones upon the roofs of their houses, to prevent their being blown away.”]
[Footnote 41: Buerglen, the birthplace and residence of Tell. A chapel, erected in 1522, remains on the spot formerly occupied by his house.]
[Footnote 42: Berenger von Landenberg, a man of noble family in Thurgau, and Governor of Unterwald, infamous for his cruelties to the Swiss, and particularly to the venerable Henry of the Halden. He was slain at the battle of Morgarten, in 1315.]
[Footnote 43: A cell built in the 9th century, by Meinrad, Count of Hohenzollern, the founder of the Convent of Einsiedeln, subsequently alluded to in the text.]
[Footnote 44: The League, or Bond, of the Three Cantons was of very ancient origin. They met and renewed it from time to time, especially when their liberties were threatened with danger. A remarkable instance of this occurred in the end of the 13th century, when Albert, of Austria, became Emperor, and when, possibly, for the first time, the Bond was reduced to writing. As it is important to the understanding of many passages of the play, a translation is subjoined of the oldest known document relating to it. The original, which is in Latin and German, is dated in August, 1291, and is under the seals of the whole of the men of Schwytz, the commonalty of the vale of Uri and the whole of the men of the upper and lower vales of Stanz.