Were at the enemy's next attack to catch
One of their officers and him to hold
As hostage subject to exchange.
The force and justice of thy counseling words.
All we can do is to abide in patience,
And hopefully await the nearing crisis.
[Enters Captain Kimble.]
But see, who comes. What tidings, Captain Kimble?
An officer, dispatched by Santa Anna
And shielded by a flag of truce, stands waiting
Before the gate. He bears from his commander
A peaceful message which he will deliver
To thee in private, witnesses excluded.
I wish no secret dealings with the enemy;
My subalterns are equally my friends.
Though yearns my heart to know my brother's fate,
I will not list to private negotiations.
He says, unless he speak to thee in secret.
He must return with object unaccomplished.