« AnteriorContinuar »
THE PICCOLOMINI, ETC. Both wife and daughter does the Duke call hither!
He crowds in visitants from all sides.
To hear of pought but warlike circumstance,
Of gentler sort, and lovely, should be present
ILLO (who has been standing in the attitude of Ye have come late—but ye are come! The distance,
meditation, to BUTLER, whom he leads a little Count Isolan, excuses your delay.
on one side).
And how came you to know
Because Transporting a rich cargo of provision,
Ile importuned me to remain bebind.
ILLO (with warmth).
(Grasping his hand with affection.
After the obligation which the Duke
ILLO. 'T is all alive! a stirring scene here!
I had forgotten
A pleasant duty-Major General,
I wish you joy! The very churches are all full of soldiers.
round. And in the Council-house too, I observe,
What, you mean, of his regiment?
I hear, too, that to make the gift still sweeter, You 're sealed, quite at home! Well, well! we soldiers
The Duke has given him the
very same Must shift and suit us in what way we can.
In which he first saw service, and since then, illo.
Work'd bimself, step by step, through each preferment, We have the colonels here of thirty regiments. From the ranks upwards. And verily, it gives You 'll find Count Terisky bere, and Tiefenbach, A precedent of hope, a spur of action Kolatto, Goetz, Maradas, Hinnersam,
To the whole corps, if once in their remembrance The Piccolomini, both son and father-
An old deserving soldier makes his way.
I am perplex'd and doubtful, whether or no
I dare accept this your congratulation.
The Emperor has not yet confirm'd the appointment. Expect not Galas. ILLO (hesitating).
Seize it, friend! Seize it! The hand which in that post How so? Do you know-
strong enough to keep you there,
Spite of the Emperor and his Ministers ?
Ay, if we would but so consider it!
If we would all of us consider it so! 'I see the youth, in my mind's eye I see him,
The Emperor gives us nothing; from the Duke Leap his black war-horse from the bridge adown,
Comes all-whate'er we bope, whale'er we have. And t'ward his father, then in extreme peril,
ISOLANI (to Illo). Beat up against the strong tide of the Elbe.
My noble brother! did I tell you how The down was scarce upon his chin! I hear
The Duke will satisfy my creditors ? He has made good the promise of his youth,
Will be bimself my banker for the future,
Make me once more a creditable man!
This kingly-minded man has rescued me
From absolute ruin, and restored my honour.
O that his power but kept pace with his wishes!
Wly, friend! he'd give the whole world to his soldiers. I A town about 12 German miles N. E, of Ulm.
* The Dukes in Germany being always reigning powers, their But at Vienna, brother!- here's the grievance!-sons and daughters are entitled Princes and Princesses.
What politic schemes do they not lay to shorten
arm, and where they can, to clip his pinions. You did present yourself upon the part Then these new dainty requisitions! these,
Of the Emperor, lo supplicate our Duke Which this same Questepberg brings hither!
That he would straight assume the chief command.
To supplicate? Nay, noble General! These requisitions of the Emperor,
So far extended neither
commission I too have heard about them; but I hope
(At least to my own knowledge) nor my zeal. The Duke will not draw back a single inch!
Well, well, then-to compel him, if you chuse. Not from his right most surely, unless first
I can remember me right well, Count Tilly
Had suffer'd total rout upon the Lech.
Bavaria lay all open to the enemy,
Whom there was nothing to delay from pressing ISOLANI (at the same time with Butler, and in a hurrying Onwards into the very heart of Austria. voice).
At that time you and Werdenberg appear'd We should be ruin'd, every one of us!
Before our General, storming him with prayers,
And menacing the Emperor's displeasure,
No more! Unless he took compassion on this wretchedness. Yonder I see our worthy friend ' approaching
ISOLANI (steps up to them). With the Lieutenant-General, Piccolomini.
Yes, yes, 't is comprehensible enough,
You were not all 100 willing to remember
Why not, Count Isolan?
It was the urgent business of that time
To snatch Bavaria from her enemy's hand; Ay, ay! more still! Still more new visitors!
And my commission of lo-day instructs mc Acknowledge, friend! that never was a camp,
To free her from her good friends and protectors. Which held at once so many heads of heroes.
[ Approaching nearer. Welcome, Count Isolani!
A worthy office! After with our blood
We liave wrested this Bohemia from the Saxon,
To be swept out of it is all our thanks,
The sole reward of all our hard-won victories.
Unless that wretched land be doomed to suffer
Only a change of evils, it must be Whose worth and services I know and honour.
Freed from the scourge alike of friend and foe. See, see, my
friend! There might we place at once before our eyes
What? 'T was a favourable year; the boors The sum of war's whole trade and mystery
Can answer fresh demands already. (TO QUESTENBERG, presenting Butler and Isolani at the
QUESTENBERG. same time to him.
Nay, These two the total sum-Strength and Dispatch.
discourse of herds and meadow-groundsQUESTENBERG (to OCTAVIO). And lo! betwixt them both experienced Prudence! The war maintains the war. Are the boors ruin'd, OCTAVIO (presenting QUESTENBERG Butler and The Emperor gains so many more new soldiers. ISOLANI).
And is the poorer hy even so many subjects.
QUESTENBERG. 'T is not the first time, noble Minister,
Yet with a difference, General! The one fill
With profitable industry the purse,
The others are well skill'd to empty it.
the plough I stood before these colours.
Must reinvigorate his resources.
Perchance too you remember where that was.
1 Spoken with a sneer.
? A town not far from the Mine-mountains, on the high road from Vienna to Prague.
Nor will he offer one up to another.
ISOLANI. There! The Stawata and the Martinitz,
And therefore thrusts he us into the deserts On whom the Emperor heaps his gifts and graces, As beasts of prey, that so he may preserve To the beart-burning of all good Bohemians
His dear sheep fallening in his fields at home. Those minions of court favour, those court harpies,
QUESTENBERG (with a sneer). Who fatten on the wrecks of citizens
Count! this comparison you make, not I. Driven from their house and home-who reap no harvests
Why, were we all the Court supposes us, Save in the general calamity
'T were dangerous, sure, to give us liberty. Who now, with kingly pomp, insult and mock
QUESTENBERG. The desolation of their country—these,
You have taken liberty-it was not given you. Let these, and such as these, support the war,
And therefore it becomes an urgent duty The fatal war, which they alone enkindled !
To rein it in with curbs.
OCTAVIO (interposing and addressing QUESTENBERG). And those state-parasites, who have their feet
My noble friend, So constantly beneath the Emperor's table,
This is no more than a remembrancing Who cannot let a benefice fal, but they
That you are now in camp, and among warriors. Snap at it with dog's liunger-they, forsooth,
The soldier's boldness constitutes bis freedom.
Talk even so ? One runs into the other.
The boldness of this worthy officer,
[Pointing to BUTLER. How wlien I went to court seven years ago,
Which now has but mistaken in its mark, To see about new horses for our regiment,
Preserved, when nought but boldness could preserve it, How from one antechamber to another
To the Emperor his capital city, Prague, They drage'd me on, and left me by the hour
In a most formidable mutiny To kick my heels among a crowd of simpering
Of the whole garrison. [Military music at a distance. Feast-fatten'd slaves, as if I had come thither
Hah! here they come!
The sentries are saluting them: this signal
Announces the arrival of the Duchess. Straight I began to muster up my sins
OCTAVIO (10 QUESTENBERG). For absolution, but no such luck for me!
son Max. too has returned. "T was he This was the man, this capuchin, with whom
Fetch'd and attended them from Carnthen hither. I was to treat concerning the army horses:
ISOLANI (10 ILLO).
Shall we not go in company to greet them?
Well, let us go.--Ho! Colonel Butler, come.
[To Octavio. QUESTENBERG.
You 'll not forget, that yet ere noon we meet
(Exeunt all but QUESTENBERG and OCTAVIO.
QUESTENBERG and OCTAVIO.
War is a violent trade; one cannot always
"T is man's nature
Yes, the Duke
than he speaks. And then
I fear me,
I know a spell that will soon dispossess
Their little army faithful to its duty, The evil spirit in him.
And daily it becomes more numerous. QUESTENBERG (walking up and down in evident disquiet). Nor can he take us by surprise : you know Friend, friend!
I bold bim all encompass'd by my listeners. 0! this is worse, far worse, than we had suffer'd Whate'er he does, is mine, even while 't is doingOurselves to dream of at Vienna. There
No step so small, but instantly I hear it; We saw it only with a courtier's eyes,
Yea, his own mouth discloses it. Eyes dazzled by the splendour of ihe throne.
QUESTENBERG. We had not seen the War-chief, the Commander,
'T is quite
The foe so near!
Reware, you do not think,
Hypocrisy, have skulked into his graces :
Or with the substance of smooth professions
Nourish his all-confiding friendship! No-
Compell'd alike by prudence, and that duty Which you deliver to me from the Court.
Which we all owè our country, and our sovereign, The least suspicion of the General
To hide my genuine feelings from him, yet Costs me my freedom and my life, and would
Ne'er have I duped him with base counterfeits ! But hasten his most desperate enterprise.
It is the visible ordinance of Heaven.
OCTAVIO. This madman with the sword, and placed such power
I know not what it is that so attracts In such a hand ? I tell you, he 'll refuse,
And links him both to me and to my son. Flatly refuse, to obey the Imperial orders.
Comrades and friends we always were-long habit, Friend, he can do 't, and what he can, he will.
Adventurous deeds performed in company. And then the impunity of liis defiance
And all those many and various incidents Oh! what a proclamation of our weakness !
Which store a soldier's memory with affections,
Had bound us long and early to each otherD'ye think too, he has brought his wife and daughter Yet I can name the day, when all at once Without a purpose hither? Here in cainp!
Ilis heart rose on me, and his confidence And at the very point of time, in which
Shot out in sudden growth. It was the morning We're arming for the war? That he has taken
Before the meinorable fight at Litzner. These, the last pledges of his loyalty,
Urged by an ugly dream. I sought him out, Away from out the Emperor's domains
To press him to accept another charger. This is no doubtful token of the nearness
At distance from the tents, heneath a tree, Of some eruption!
I found bim in a sleep. When I had waked him, QUESTENBERG.
And had related all my bodings to him, How shall we hold footing Long time he stared upon me, like a man Beneath this tempest, which collects itself
Astounded; thereon fell upon my neck, And threats us from all quarters? The enemy
And manifested to me an emotion Of the empire on our borders, now already
That far outstripp'd the worth of that small service. The master of the Danube, and still farther,
Since then his confidence has follow'd me And farther still, extending every hour!
With the same pace that mine has fled from him. In our interior the alarum-bells
QUESTENBERG. Of insurrection-peasantry in arms
You lead your son into the secret? All orders discontented—and the army,
OCTAVIO. Just in the moment of our expectation
No! Of aidance from it-lo! this very army
QUESTENBERG. Seduced, run wild, lost to all discipline,
What! and not warn bim either what bad hands Loosen'd, and rent asuvder from the state
His lot has placed him in?
I must perforce
Leave him in wardship to his innocence. Nay, nay, friend ! let us not despair too soon.
His young and open soul--dissimulation Men's words are ever bolder than their deeds:
Is foreign to its habits ! ignorance And many a resolute, who now appears
Alone can keep alive the cheerful air, Made up to all extremes, will, on a sudden
The unembarrassid sense and light free spirit, Find in his breast a heart he wot not of,
That make the Duke secure. Let but a single honest man speak out
QUESTENBERG (anxiously). The true name of his crime! Remember too,
My honour'd friend! most highly do I deem We stand not yet so wholly unprotected.
Of Colonel Piccolomini-yet-if-Counts Altringer and Galas have maintain'd
Reflect a little
I must venture it. Hush !-There he comes !
Max. PICCOLOMINI, OctaviO PICCOLOMINI,
Ha! there he is himself. Welcome, my father! (He embraces his father. As he turns round,
he observes QUESTENBERG, and draws back
with a cold and reserved air.
Nay, draw not
(Taking the hands of both.
OCTAVIO (t0 Max.).
OCTAVIO (to QUESTENBERG).
Hush! Suppress it friend!
In their distress
of ancient ordinance, though it winds,
What now have they contrived to find out in him?