« AnteriorContinuar »
With most implicit unconditional faith,
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
In their eternal realm no property
From the deceiving Powers, depraved in nature,
Max. hcar me.
Whate'er is human, to the human being
(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!
gaming. Thou art rich,
It is too late. Thou knowest not what has happen'd.
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,
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.
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!
Must it be he-he only? Send another.
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.
Because he's an Italian-
Therefore is he well fitted for the business! Give me his luck, that other thing I 'll bear.
and over powered, continues looking after him, Because that I esteem them, love them-visibly
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;
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.
It happen'd with my knowledge and permission.
I know that secret messengers came to 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!
Thou wilt not shake
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;
For know, I have a pledge from Fate itself,
That he is the most faithful of my friends.
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 such a moment't was, when in the night
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.
Then said I also to myself, . So many
Dost thou command. They follow all thy stars,
And as on some great number set their All
The vessel of thy fortune.
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.
God knows it is so; and I owe bim all--
He may rely on my fidelity.
That will be seen hereafter.
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. Drove horse and rider-and thus trod to pieces
OCTAVIO. I lay, and panted like a dying man;
I am rejoiced to bear it.
That the Emperor has yet such gallant servants,
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
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
Of the Emperor.
ISOLANI (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.
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.
As from ourourselves. ----Hem!— Yes! so !-Yes! yes ! -
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-
Here am I-Well! who comes yet of the others?
OCTAVIO (with an air of mystery).
ISOLANI (assuming the same air of mystery).
Plain and simple.
Treason !- My God!—But who talks then of treason ?
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
If he's planning
-All scores are rubb'd off.
'll remember me With the Emperor-how well-disposed you found me.
(Exit ISOLANI. A SERVANT enters. What, Colonel Butler!-Show him up.
You have not
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,
share with us an honest cause? Or with the evil share an evil lot.
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.
Any other Commands for me, Lieutenant-general ?
OCTAVIO. See your
white hairs ! Recal that word !
OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI, BUTLER.
At your command, Lieutena:1t-general.
Welcome, as honour'd friend and visitor.
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?
I fear me, Colonel Butler,
An infamous game have they been playing with you.
Now, in this letter talks he in contempt
Concerning you, counsels the minister
To give sound chastisement to your conceit,
[BUTLER reads through the letter, his knees tremble, Hell and damnation!
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.
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
On which you had been journeying forty years!
BUTLER (his voice trembling).
Can e'er the Emperor's Majesty forgive me?
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
What wish you? Recollect yourself, friend.
But to what purpose ? Calm yourself.
O take it!
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.
--Perjure myself to such a gracious Sovereign !
my behalf with all the warmth of friendship. You 'll make amends. Quick! break off from the Duke!