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With most implicit unconditional faith, And glorious; with an unpolluted heart -
Who bear the order on to Prague and Egra. [Max. stands as convulsed, with a gesture and countenance expressing the most intense anquish. Yield thyself to it. We act as we are forced. I cannot give assent to my own shame And ruin. Thou—no—thou canst not forsake me! So let us do, what must be done, with dignity, With a firm step. What am I doing worse Than did famed Caesar at the Rubicon, When he the legions led against his country, The which his country had deliver'd to him * Had he thrown down the sword, he had been lost, As I were, if I but disarm'd myself. 1 trace out something in me of his spirit; Give me his luck, that other thing I'll bear. [Max. Quits him abrupty. Wallenstein, startled and overpowered, continues looking after him, and is still in this posture when TERTsky enters.
terrorsky. Max. Piccolomini just left you? wall existern. Where is Wrangel? trarsky. He is already gone. walt.rnster N. In such a hurry? trarsky. It is as if the earth had swallow'd him. He had scarce left thee, when I went to seek him. I wish'd some words with him—but he was gone. How, when, and where, could no one tell me. Nay, I half believe it was the devil himself; A human creature could not so at once Have vanish'd. illo (enters). Is it true that thou wilt send Octavior Tentsky. How, Octavio ! Whither send him! wat. Le Nistrix. He goes to Frauenberg, and will lead hither The Spanish and Italian regiments. 1 Llo. No 1 Nay, Heaven forbid? watt.rwister n. And why should leaven forbid? it to. Him"—that deceiver! Wouldst thou trust to him The soldiery? Him wilt thou let slip from thee, Now, in the very instant that decides us——
Who have always trusted him? What, then, has happen'd,
The vessel of thy fortune. Yet a day
That was a chance.
There's no such thing as chance.
In brief, 'tis sign'd and seal'd that this Octavio
[He is retiring.
Trarsky. This is my comfort–Max. remains our hostage. 1 *-Lo. And he shall never stir from here alive. wallenstein (stops and turns himself round). Are ye not like the women, who for ever Only recur to their first word, although One had been talking reason by the hour: Know, that the human being's thoughts and deeds Are not, like ocean billows, blindly moved. The inner world, his microcosmus, is The deep shaft, out of which they spring eternally. They grow by certain laws, like the tree's fruit— Nojuggling chance can metamorphose them. Have I the human kernel first examined? Then I know, too, the future will and action.
SCENE IV. Scene-A Chamber in Piccolomixi's Duelling-house. Octavio Piccolomixi, Isolani, entering.
isol Axi. Here am I—Well! who comes yet of the others' octavio (with an air of mystery). But, first, a word with you, Count Isolani. isolani (assuming the same air of mystery). Will it explode, ha!—Is the Duke about To make the attempt? In me, friend, you may place Full confidence.—Nay, put me to the proof. octavio. That may happen.
Not one of those men who in words are valiant,
That will be seen hereafter.
isol. Axt. Be on your guard, All think not as I think; and there are many Who still hold with the Court—yes, and they say That those stolen signatures bind them to nothing. octavio. I am rejoiced to hear it. Isol. Axi. You rejoice! octavio. That the Emperor has yet such gallant servants, And loving friends. isola Ni. Nay, jeer not, I entreat you. They are no such worthless fellows, I assure you. octavio. I am assured already. God forbid That I should jest'—In very serious earnest, I am rejoiced to see an honest cause So strong. isot. Axi. The Devil!—what!—why, what means this? Are you not, then——For what, then, am I here? octavio. | That you may make full declaration, whether You will be call'd the friend or enemy Of the Emperor. isolant (with an air of defiance). That declaration. friend, I'll make to him in whom a right is placed To put that question to me. octavio. Whether Count, That right is mine, this paper may instruct you. isol.ANI (stammering). Why, -why—what! this is the Emperor's hand and seal! [Reads. • Whereas, the officers collectively Throughout our army will obey the orders Of the Lieutenant-general Piccolomini. As from our ourselves.”——Hem!—Yes! so!—Yes!yes!— I—l give you joy, Lieutenant-general
octavio. And you submit you to the order? isol AN i.
I—— But you have taken me so by surprise— Time for reflection one must have—— - octavio. Two minutes. isol. A Ni. My God! But then the case is—— octavio. Plain and simple. You must declare you, whether you determine To act a treason gainst your Lord and Sovereign, Or whether you will serve him faithfully.
isol. Axi. Treason!—My God!—But who talks then of treason?
isol ANI. Aye! that delights me now, that you yourself Bear witness for me that I never said so.
octavio. And you renounce the Duke then
If he's planning
Treason—why, treason breaks all bonds asunder.
octavio. And are determined, too, to fight against him?
isol, Ani. It shall be done. But you'll remember me With the Emperor—how well-disposed you found me.
octavio. I will not fail to mention it honourably.
[Exit Isolani. What, Colonel Butler!—Show him up. isolani (returning).
Forgive me too my bearish ways, old father
octavro. You need not be uneasy on that score. That has succeeded. Fortune favour us With all the others only but as much!
SC E N E W. Ocravio Piccolontini, Burlen.
but Len. At your command, Lieutenant-general.
octavio. Welcome, as honour'd friend and visitor.
A Sehwant enters.
Butler. You do me too much honour. octavio (after both have seated themselves). - You have not Return'd the advances which I made you yesterday— Misunderstood them, as mere empty forms. That wish proceeded from my heart—I was In earnest with you—for 'tis now a time In which the honest should unite most closely. BUTLen. 'T is only the like-minded can unite. octavio. True! and I name all honest men like-minded. I never charge a man but with those acts To which his character deliberately Impels him; for alas! the violence Of blind misunderstandings often thrusts The very best of us from the right track. You came through Frauenberg. Did the Count Galas Say nothing to you? Tell me. He's my friend. Butler. His words were lost on me. octavio. It grieves me sorely, To hear it: for his counsel was most wise. I had myself the like to offer. Butler. Spare Yourself the trouble—me th' embarrassment, To have deserved so ill your good opinion. octavio. The time is precious—let us talk openly. You know how matters stand here. Wallenstein Meditates treason—I can tell you furtherHe has committed treason; but few hours Have past, since he a covenant concluded With the enemy. The messengers are now Full on their way to Egra and to Prague. To-morrow he intends to lead us over To the enemy. But he deceives himself; For Prudence wakes—the Emperor has still Many and faithful friends here, and they stand In closest union, mighty though unseen. This manifesto sentences the Duke— Recals the obedience of the army from him, And summons all the loyal, all the honest, To join and recognize in me their leader. Chuse—will you share with us an honest cause? Or with the evil share an evil lot. - burlea (rises). His lot is mine. octavio. Is that your last resolve? - but LeR. It is octavio. Nay, but bethink you, Colonel Butler! As yet you have time. Within my faithful breast That rashly utter'd word remains interr'd. Recal it, Butler! chuse a better party: You have not chosen the right one. Butler (going). Any other Commands for me, Lieutenant-general? octavio. See your white hairs! Recal that word
But Lea. Farewell octavio. What! Would you draw this good and gallant sword In such a cause: Into a curse would you Transform the gratitude which you have earn'd By forty years' fidelity from Austria? Butler (laughing with bitterness). Gratitude from the House of Austria. [He is going. octavio (permits him to go as far as the door, then calls after him). Butler! ettlert. What wish you? octavio. How was "t with the Count? routi, Era. Count? what? octavio (coldly). The title that you wish'd, I mean. butler (starts in sudden passion). Hell and damnation! ocravio (coldly). You petition'd for it— And your petition was repell’d—Was it so? butlers. Your insolent scoff shall not go by unpunish'd. Draw: octavio. Nay! your sword to'ts sheath and tell me calmly, How all that happen'd. I will not refuse you Your satisfaction afterwards.-Calmly, Butler' but lett. Be the whole world acquainted with the weakness For which I never can forgive myself. Lieutenant-general ' Yes—I have ambition. Ne'er was 1 able to endure contempt. It stung me to the quick, that birth and title Should have more weight than merit has in the army. I would fain not be meaner than my equal, So in an evil hour I let myself Be tempted to that measure—it was folly! But yet so hard a penance it deserved not. It might have been refuse i ; but wherefore barb And venom the refusal with contempt? Why dash to earth and crush with heaviest scorn The grey-hair'd man, the faithful veterant Why to the baseness of his parentage Refer him with such cruel roughness, only Because he had a weak hour and forgot himself? But nature gives a sting een to the worm Which wanton Power treads on in sport and insult. octaw to. You must have been calumniated. Guess you The enemy, who did you this ill service? burier. Be 't who it will—a most low-hearted scoundrel, Some vile court-minion must it be, some Spaniard, Some young squire of some ancient family, In whose light I may stand, some envious knave, Stung to his soul by my fair self-earn'd honours! octavio. But tell me! Did the Duke approve that measure? Butler. Himself impell'd me to it, used his interest In my behalf with all the warmth of friendship.
octavio. Ay? are you sure of that? Butlett. I read the letter. octavio. And so did I–but the contents were different. (soutler is suddenly struck. By chance I'm in possession of that letter— Can leave it to your own eyes to convince you. [He gives him the letter. buri. Ea. Ha! what is this? octavio. I fear me, Colonel Butler, An infamous game have they been playing with you. The Duke, you say, impell'd you to this measure? Now, in this letter talks he in contempt Concerning you, counsels the minister To give sound chastisement to your conceit, For so he calls it. [Burlem reads through the letter, his knees tremble, he seizes a chair, and sinks down in it. You have no enemy, no persecutor; There's no one wishes ill to you. Ascribe The insult you received to the Duke only. His aim is clear and palpable. He wish'd To tear you from your Emperor—he hoped To gain from your revenge what he well knew (What your long-tried fidelity convinced him) He ne'er could dare expect from your calm reason. A blind tool would he make you, in contempt Use you, as means of most abandon'd ends. He has gain'd his point. Too well has he succeeded In luring you away from that good path On which you had been journeying forty years! but Lea (his voice trembling). Can e'er the Emperor's Majesty forgive ine? octavio. He would fain compensate For that affront, and most unmerited grievance Sustain’d by a deserving, gallant veteran. From his free impulse he confirms the present, Which the Duke made you for a wicked purpose. The regiment, which you now command, is yours. [Burles attempts to rise, sinks down again. He labours inwardly with violent emotions; tries to speak, and cannot. At length he takes his sword from the belt, and offers it to Pic
More than forgive you.
colo Mix 1. octavio. What wish you? Recollect yourself, friend. but left. Take it. ocravio. But to what purpose? Calm yourself. Butt. Ea. O take it!
I am no longer worthy of this sword. octaw Io.
Receive it then anew from my hands—and
Wear it with honour for the right cause ever.
- atri. E. R. ––Perjure myself to such a gracious Sovereign : - octavio.
You'll make amends. Quick! break off from the Duke!