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With most implicit unconditional faith,
Sure of the right path if I follow'd thee.
To-day, for the first time, dost thou refer
Me to myself, and forcest me to make
Election between thee and my own heart.

Soft cradled thee thy Fortune till to day;
Thy duties thou couldst exercise in sport,
Indulge all lovely instincts, act for ever
With undivided heart. li can remain
No longer thus. Like enemies, the roads
Start from each other. Duties strive with duties.
Thou must needs chuse thy party in the war
Which is now kindling 'twixt thy friend and him
Who is thy Emperor.


War! is that the name? War is as frightful as heaven's pestilence. Yet it is good, is it heaven's will as that is. Is that a good war, which against the Emperor Thou wagest with the Emperor's own army? O God of heaven! what a change is this. Beseems it me to offer such persuasion To thee, who like the fix'd star of the pole Wert all I gazed at on life's trackless ocean? 0! what a rent thou makest in my heart! The ingrain d instinct of old reverence, The holy habit of obediency, Must I pluck live asunder from thy name? Nay, do not turn thy countenance upon me Jt always was as a god looking at me! Duke Wallenstein, its power is not departed: The senses still are in thy bonds, although, Bleeding, the soul hath freed itself.

And glorious; with an unpolluted heart
Thou canst make conquest of whate'er seems highest !
But he, who once hath acted infamy,
Does nothing more in this world.
WALLENSTEIN (grasps his hand).

Calmly, Max.!
Much that is great and excellent will we
Perform together yet. And if we only
Stand on the heigbt with dignity, 't is soon
Forgotten, Max., by whal road we ascended.
Believe me, many a crown shines spotless now,
That yet was deeply sullied in the winning.
To the evil spirit doth the earth belong,
Not to the good. All, that the powers divine
Send from above, are universal blessings :
Their light rejoices us, their air refreshes,
| But never yet was man enrich'd by them:

In their eternal realm no property
Is to be stru "gled for-all there is general.
The jewel, the all-valued gold we win

From the deceiving Powers, depraved in nature,
That dwell beneath the day and blessed sun-light.
Not without sacrifices are they render'd
J'ropitious, and there lives no soul on earth
That c'er retired unsullied from their service.



Max. hcar me.


Whate'er is human, to the human being
Do I allow--and to the vehement
And striving spirit readily 1 pardon
The excess of action; but to thee, my General!
Above all others make 1 large concession.
For thou must move a world, and be the master-
He kills thee, who condemos thee to inaction.
So be it then! maintain thee in thy post
By violence. Resist the Emperor,
And if it must be, force with force repel :
I will not praise it, yet I can forgive it.
But not--not to the traitor-yes !-the word
Is spoken out--
Not to the trailor can I yield a pardon.
That is no mere excess! that is no error
Of human nature - That is wholly different,
O that is black, black as the pit of hell!

(WALLENSTEIN betrays a sudden agitation. Thou canst not hear it named, and wilt thou do it? O turn back to thy duty. That thou canst, I hold it certain. Send me to Vienna: l'll make thy peace for thee with the Emperor. lle knows thee not. But I do know thee. lle Shall see thee, Duke! with my unclouded

eye, And I bring back his confidence to thee.

0! do it not, I pray thee, do it not!
There is a pure and noble soul within thec,
Knows not of this unblest, unlucky doing.
Thy will is chaste, it is thy fancy only
Which hath polluted thee-and innocence,
It will not let itself be driven

From that world-awing aspect. Thou wilt not,
Thou canst not, end in this. It would reduce
All human creatures to disloyalty
Against the nobleness of their own nature.
'T will justify the vulgar misbelief,
Which holdeth nothing noble in free will,
And trusts itself to impotence alone,
Made powerful only in an unknown power.

The world will judge me sternly, I expect it.
Already have I said to my own self
All thou canst say to me. Who but avoids
The extreme, can he by going round avoid it?
But liere there is no choice. Yes -I must use
Or suffer violence-so stands the case,
There remains nothing possible but that.

O that is never possible for thee!
'T is the last desperate resource of those
Cheap 'souls, to whom their honour, their good name
Is their poor saving, their last worthless heep..
Which having staked and lost, they stake themselves
In the mad



gaming. Thou art rich,


It is too late. Thou knowest not what has happen'd.

MAX. ,

Were it too late, and were things gone so far, That a crime only could prevent thy fall, | Then-fall! fall honourably, even as thou stood'st. Lose the command. Go from the stage of war. Thou canst with splendour do it-do it too With innocence. Thou hast lived much for others, At length live thou for thy own self. I follow thee. My destiny I never part from thine.


It is too late! Even now, while thou art losing Thy words, one after the other are the mile-stones Left fast behind by my post couriers,

firm step



you ?




Who bear the order on to Prague and Egra.

Who have always trusted him? What, then, hias happeu'd, [MAX, stands as convulsed, with a gesture and that I should lose my good opinion of him?

countenance expressing the most intense an In complaisance to your whims, vot my own,

I must, forsooth, give up a rooted judgment.
Yield thyself to it. We act as we are forced.

Think not I am a woman. Having trusted him I cannot give assent to my own shame

E'en till to-day, to-day too will I trust him. And ruin. Thoi-no-thou canst not forsake me!

So let us do, what must be done, with dignity,

Must it be he-he only? Send another.
What am I doing worse

Than did famed Cæsar at the Rubicon,

It must be he, whom I myself have chosen ; When he the legions led against his country,

lle is well fitted for the business. Therefore The which his country had deliver'd to him?

I gave it him.
Had lie thrown down the sword, he had been lost,
As I were, if I but disarm'd myself.

Because he's an Italian-
I trace out something in me of his spirit;

Therefore is he well fitted for the business! Give me his luck, that other thing I 'll bear.

[Max. quits him abrupty. WallENSTEIN, startled I know you love them not-nor sire nor son-

and over powered, continues looking after him, Because that I esteem them, love them-visibly
and is still in this posture when TertsKY Esteem them, love them more than you and others,

E’en as they merit. Therefore are they eye-blights,

Thorns in your fool-path. But your jealousies,

In what affect they me or my concerns?

Are they the worse to me because you hate them?

Love or hate one another as you will,

I leave to each man his own moods and likings;
Max. Piccolomini just left

Yet know the worth of cach of you to me.

Where is Wrangel? Von Questenberg, while he was here, was always

Lurking about with this Octavio.
Ile is already gone.


It happen'd with my knowledge and permission.
In such a hurry?

I know that secret messengers came to him
It is as if the carth had swallow'd him.

From Galas-He had scarce left thee, when I went to seek him.

WALLENSTEIN. I wish'd some words with him, but he was gonc.

That's not true. How, when, and where, could no one tell me. Nay,

ILLO. I half believe it was the devil himself;

O thou art blind, A human creature could not so at once

With thy deep-seeing eyes!
Ilave vanish'd.

ILLO (enters).

Thou wilt not shake
Is it true that thou wilt send

My faith for me-my faith, which founds itself

On the profoundest science. If it is false,

Then the whole science of the stars is false;
How, Octavio! Whither send him!

For know, I have a pledge from Fate itself,

That he is the most faithful of my friends.
He goes to Frauenberg, and will lead hither
The Spanish and Italian regiments.

Hast thou a pledge, that this pledge is not false?



There exist moments in the life of man, Nay, Heaven forbid ?

When he is nearer the great Soul of the world

Than is man's custom, and possesses freely
And why should Heaven forbid? The power of questioning his destiny:

And such a moment't was, when in the night
Him!-that deceiver! Wouldst thou trust to him

Before the action in the plains of Lützen, The soldiery? Ilim wilt thou let slip from thee, Leaving against a tree, thoughts crowding thouglits, Now, in the very instant that decides us-

I look'd out far upon the ominous plain.

My whole life, past and future, in this moment Thou wilt not do this!-No! I pray thee, no!



mind's eye glided in procession,

And to the destiny of the next morning Ye are whimsical.

The spirit, fill'd with anxious presentiment,

Did knit the most removed futurity.
O but for this time, Duke,

Then said I also to myself, . So many
Yield to our warning! Let him not depart.

Dost thou command. They follow all thy stars,

And as on some great number set their All
And why should I not trust him only this time, Upon thy single head, and only man








The vessel of thy fortune.
Yet a day

Will come, when Destiny shall once more scatter

Noble brother, I am All these in many a several direction :

Not one of those men who in words are valiant, Few be they who will stand out faithful to thee.. And when it comes to action skulk


The Duke bas acted towards me as a friend.
I yearn'd to know which one was faithfullest
Of all, this camp included. Great Destiny,

God knows it is so; and I owe bim all--
Give me a sign! And he shall be the man,

He may rely on my fidelity.

Who, on the approaching morning, comes the first
To meet me with a token of his love:

That will be seen hereafter.

And thinking this, I fell into a slumber.
Then midmost in the battle was I led

Be on your guard,

All think not as I think ; and there are many
In spirit. Great the pressure and the tumult!
Then was my horse kill'd under me: I sank;

Who still hold with the Court-yes, and they say
And over me away all unconcernedly,

That those stolen signatures bind them to nothing. Drove horse and rider-and thus trod to pieces

OCTAVIO. I lay, and panted like a dying man;

I am rejoiced to bear it.

Then seized me suddenly a saviour arm :
It was Octavio's-I awoke at once,

You rejoice!

'T was broad day, and Octavio stood before me.
My brother," said he, « do not ride to-day

That the Emperor has yet such gallant servants,
The dapple, as you 're wont; but mount the horse And loving friends.
Which I have chosen for thee. Do it, brother!

In love to me. A strong dream warn'd me so..

Nay, jeer not,

I entreat you. It was the swiftness of this horse that snatch'd me

They are no such worthless fellows, I assure you. From the hot pursuit of Banpier's dragoons.

OCTAVIO. My cousin rode the dapple on that day,

I am assured already. God forbid And never more saw I or horse or rider.

That I should jest !- In very serious earnest,

I am rejoiced to see an honest cause
That was a chance.
WALLLENSTEIN (significantly).

There's no such thing as chance..

The Devil!-what!—why, what means this? In brief, 't is sign'd and seal'd that this Octavio

Are you not, then--For what, then, am I here? Is my good angel-and now no word more.

[He is retiring. That you may make full declaration, whether

You will be call'd the friend or enemy
This is my comfort-Max, remains our hostage.

Of the Emperor.

ISOLANI (with an air of defiance).
And he shall never stir from here alive.

That declaration, friend,
WALLENSTEIN (stops and turns himself round).

I'll make to him in whom a right is placed
Are ye not like the women, who for ever

To put that question to me.
Only recur to their first word, although
One had been talking reason by the hour!

Whether Count,
Know, that the human being's thoughts and deeds

That right is mine, this paper may instruct you. Are not, like ocean billows, blindly moved.

ISOLANI (stammering). The inner world, his microcosmus, is

Why,—why-what! this is the Emperor's hand and seal ! The deep shaft, out of which they spring eternally.

(Reads. They grow by certain laws, like the tree's fruit

· Whereas, the officers collectively No juggling chance can metamorphose them.

Throughout our army will obey the orders Have I the human kernel first examined?

Of the Licutenant-general Piccolomini.
Then I know, too, the future will and action.

As from ourourselves. ----Hem!— Yes! so !-Yes! yes ! -
I-I give you joy, Lieutenant-general !


So strong





And you submit you to the order ?


Sceng-A Chamber in PiccoLOMINI's Dwelling-House.

Octavio PICCOLOMINI, ISOLANI, entering.

But you have taken me so by surprise-
Time for reflection one must have-



Two minutes.

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.

My God! But then the case is--


Plain and simple.
You must declare



To act a treason 'gainst your Lord and Sovereign,
Or whether you will serve him faithfully.

[blocks in formation]


Treason !- My God!—But who talks then of treason ?

That is the case. The Prince-duke is a traitor-
Means to lead over to the enemy
The Emperor's army. Now, Count!-brief and full-
Say, will you break your oath to the Emperor?
Sell yourself to the enemy?--Say, will you?

What mean you ? 1–1 break my oath,


ye say, To his Imperial Majesty ? Did I say so !--When, when have I said that?


You have not said it yet-not yet. This instant
I wait to hear, Count, whether you



Aye! that delights me now, that you yourself
Bear witness for me that I never said so.

you renounce the Duke then ?


If he's planning
Treason-why, treason breaks all bonds asunder.

And are determined, too, to fight against him?

He has done me service-but if he's a villain,
Perdition seize him!

-All scores are rubb'd off.

I am rejoiced that you 're so well disposed.
This night break off in the utmost secresy
With all the light-arm'd troops – it must appear
As came the order from the Duke himself.
At Frauenberg's the place of rendezvous;
There will Count Galas give you further orders.

It shall be done.

'll remember me With the Emperor-how well-disposed you found me.

I will not fail to mention it honourably.

(Exit ISOLANI. A SERVANT enters. What, Colonel Butler!-Show him up.

ISOLANI (returning).
Forgive me too my hearish ways, old father!
Lord God! how should I know, then, what a great
Person I had before me.

No excuses!

I am a merry lad, and if at time
A rash word might escape me 'gainst the court

wine-You know no harm was meant.

You need not be uneasy on that score.
That has succeeded. Fortune favour us
With all the others only but as much!

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-1 was In earnest with you—for 't is now a time In which the honest should unite most closely.

BUTLER. '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.


It grieves me sorely,
To hear it: for his counsel was most wise.
I had myself the like to offer.


Yourself the trouble--me th' embarrassment,
To have deserved so ill your good opinion.

The time is precious—let us talk openly.
You know how matters stand here. Wallenstein
Meditates treason I can tell you

He 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.


share with us an honest cause? Or with the evil share an evil lot.

BUTLER (rises).
His lot is mine.

Is that your last resolve?

But you



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 !



At your command, Lieutena:1t-general.


Welcome, as honour'd friend and visitor.

[blocks in formation]










Farewell! Ay? are you sure of that?

BUTLER. What! Would you draw this good and gallant sword

I read the letter. In such a cause? Into a curse would you

OCTAVIO. Transform the gratitude which you liave earn'd

And so did I-but the contents were different. By forty years' tidelity from Austria ?

[RUTLER is suddenly struck. BUTLER (laughing with bitterness).

By chance I'm in possession of that letterGratitude from the House of Austria. (fle is going. Can leave it to your own eyes to convince you. Octavio (permits him to go as far as the door, then

[He gives him the letter, calls after him). Butler!

Ha! what is this?

What wish you?

I fear me, Colonel Butler,

An infamous game have they been playing with you.
How was 't with the Count? The Duke, you say, impellid you to this measure?

Now, in this letter talks he in contempt
Count? what?

Concerning you, counsels the minister
OCTAVIO (coldly).

To give sound chastisement to your conceit,
The title that you wish’d, I mean. For so he calls it.
BUTLER (starts in sudden passion).

[BUTLER reads through the letter, his knees tremble, Hell and damnation!

he seizes a chair, and sinks down in it.
Ocravio (coldly).

You have no enemy, no persecutor;
You petition'd for it

There's no one wishes ill to you. Ascribe
And your petition was repell’d—Was it so ?

The insult you received to the Duke only.

Ilis aim is clear and palpable. He wislı'd Your insolent scoff shall not go by unpunish’d. To tear you from your Emperor-he hoped Draw!

To gain from your revenge what he well knew

(What your long-tried fidelity convinced him) Nay! your sword to'ts sheath! and tell me calmly, He ne'er could dare expect from your calm reason. Ilow all that happen'd. I will not refuse you

A blind tool would he make you, in

contempt Your satisfaction afterwards.-Calmly, Butler!

Use you, as means of most abandon'd ends.

He has gain’d his point. Too well has he succeeded
Be the whole world acquainted with the weakness In luring you away from that good path
For which I never can forgive myself.

On which you had been journeying forty years!
Lieutenant-general! Yes I have ambition.

BUTLER (his voice trembling).
Ne'er was I able to endure contempl.

Can e'er the Emperor's Majesty forgive me?
It stung me to the quick, that birth and title
Should have more weight than merit has in the army.

More than forgive you.

He would fain compensate I would fain not be meaner than my equal,

For that affront, and most unmerited grievance So in an evil hour I let myself

Sustain'd by a deserving, gallant veteran. Be tempted to that measure-It was folly!

From his free impulse he confirms the present, But yet so hard a penance it deserved not.

Which the Duke made


for a wicked purpose. It might liave been refused; but wherefore barb The regiment, which you now command, is your's. And venom the refusal with contempt?

[BUTLER attempts to rise, sinks down again. He Why dash to earth and crush with heaviest scorn

labours inwardly with violent emotions; tries The grey-hair'd man, the faithful veteran?

to speak, and cannot. At length he takes his Whiy to the baseness of his parentage

sword from the belt, and offers it to PicRefer him with such cruel roughness, only

Because he had a weak hour and forgot himself?
But nature gives a sting e'en to the worm

What wish you? Recollect yourself, friend.
Which wanton Power treads on in sport and insult.

Take it.
You must have been calumniated. Guess you
The enemy, who did you this ill service?

But to what purpose ? Calm yourself.
Be't who it will--a most low-hearted scoundrel,

O take it!
Some vile court-minion must it he, some Spaniard, I am no longer worthy of this sword.
Some young squire of some ancient family,
In whose light I may stand, some envious knave,

Receive it then anew from


hands-and Stung to his soul by my fair self-earn'd honours !

Wear it with honour for the right cause ever.

But tell me! Did the Duke approve that measure?

--Perjure myself to such a gracious Sovereign !
Himself impelld me to it, used his interest

my behalf with all the warmth of friendship. You 'll make amends. Quick! break off from the Duke!










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