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Chapter IV
 Talking matters over in the inn of the town, the Glass and , the citizens came to the conclusion that they ought to appoint three spokesmen to go and explain to Tell just what they wanted him to do.  
"I don't wish to seem to boast at all," said Arnold of Sewa, "but I think I had better be one of the three."
"I was thinking," said Werner Stauffacher, "that it would be a pity always to be chopping and changing. Why not choose the same three as were sent to Gessler?"
"I don't desire to be unpleasant at all," replied Arnold of Sewa, "but I must be forgiven for reminding the gentleman who has just spoken that he and his equally honourable friends did not meet with the best of success when they called upon the Governor."
"Well, and you didn't either!" snapped Arnold of Melchthal, whose finger still hurt him, and made him a little .
"That," said Arnold of Sewa, "I put down to the fact that you and your friends, by not exercising , irritated the Governor, and made him to listen to anybody else. Nothing is more important in these affairs than tact. That's what you want--tact. But have it your own way. Don't mind me!"
And the citizens did not. They chose Werner Stauffacher, Arnold of Melchthal, and Walter Fürst, and, having drained their glasses, the three up the steep hill which led to Tell's house.
It had been agreed that everyone should wait at the Glass and Glacier until the three spokesmen returned, in order that they might hear the result of their mission. Everybody was very anxious. A revolution without Tell would be quite impossible, and it was not unlikely that Tell might refuse to be their leader. The worst of a revolution is that, if it fails, the leader is always executed as an example to the rest. And many people object to being executed, however much it may set a good example to their friends. On the other hand, Tell was a brave man and a , and might be only too eager to try to throw off the tyrant's , whatever the risk. They had waited about an hour, when they saw the three spokesmen coming down the hill. Tell was not with them, a fact which made the citizens suspect that he had refused their offer. The first thing a man does when he has accepted the leadership of a revolution is to come and plot with his companions.
"Well?" said everybody eagerly, as the three arrived.
Werner Stauffacher shook his head.
"Ah," said Arnold of Sewa, "I see what it is. He has refused. You didn't exercise tact, and he refused."
"We did exercise tact," said Stauffacher indignantly; "but he would not be persuaded. It was like this: We went to the house and knocked at the door. Tell opened it. 'Good-morning,' I said.
"'Good-morning,' said he. 'Take a seat.'
"I took a seat.
"'My heart is full,' I said, 'and longs to speak with you.' I thought that a neat way of putting it."
The company murmured approval.
"'A heavy heart,' said Tell, 'will not grow light with words.'"
"Not bad that!" murmured Jost Weiler. "Clever way of putting things, Tell has got."
"'Yet words,' I said, 'might lead us on to deeds.'"
"Neat," said Jost Weiler--"very neat. Yes?"
"To which Tell's extraordinary reply was: 'The only thing to do is to sit still.'
"'What!' I said; 'bear in silence things ?'
"'Yes,' said Tell; 'to peaceable men peace is gladly granted. When the Governor finds that his oppression does not make us revolt, he will grow tired of oppressing.'"
"And what did you say to that?" asked Ulric the smith.
"I said he did not know the Governor if he thought he could ever grow tired of oppressing. 'We might do much,' I said, 'if we held fast together. union is strength,' I said.
"'The strong,' said Tell, 'is strongest when he stands alone.'
"'Then our country must not count on thee,' I said, 'when in despair she stands on self-defence?'
"'Oh, well,' he said, 'hardly that, perhaps. I don't want to desert you. What I mean to say is, I'm no use as a plotter or a counsellor and that sort of thing. Where I come out strong is in deeds. So don't invite me to your meetings and make me speak, and that sort of thing; but if you want a man to do anything--why, that's where I shall come in, you see. Just write if you want me--a postcard will do--and you will not find William Tell hanging back. No, sir.' And with those words he showed us out."
"Well," said Jost Weiler, "I call that encouraging. All we have to do now is to plot. Let us plot."
"Yes, let's!" shouted everybody.
Ulric the smith rapped for silence on the table.
"Gentlemen," he said, "our friend Mr. Klaus von der Flue will now read a paper on 'Governors--their drawbacks, and how to get rid of them.' Silence, gentlemen, please. Now, then, Klaus, old fellow, speak up and get it over."
And the citizens settled down without further delay to a little serious plotting.

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