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Terzky, who from political motives was enabled to discover the most fosters a love which she well knows stirring subjects which the history will never be crowned by a happy of modern Europe offers to the traunion. It seems that Schiller after- gedian. It will be found that in wards added the two last verses to every one of his historical plays he complete the poem, and thus placed just hits upon the turning point in it with his other ballads in the edition the destiny of some great people, of lyric poems, under the title of and each of the leading nations in
Europe has thus furnished him with The Maiden's Lament. a plot. From the history of Ger
many no better subject for a drama[The first two stanzas of this poem are tic work could be selected than the sung by Thekla, in the Third Act of the
life and death of Wallenstein. This Piccolomini.]
great commander of the imperial The oak-wood is waving,
troops, during the Thirty Years' The clouds gather o'er;
War, constitutes quite an epoch in There sitteth a maiden
the destinies of the people of GerBeside the green sbore; The breakers are dashing with might-with
many. Through that war the bond might:
was broken, which during the middle And she sighs out aloud in the gloomy night, ages, and even through the Reforma
And weeping, thus waileth she- tion, had kept the limbs of the
mighty empire together;
Wallenstein, partly through his own Nothing more can it give me,
guilt, failed in restoring the central For hope is destroyed.
power of the emperor over the many All the bliss that the earth can bestow I have
principalities, it was from his time proved; Heavenly Father--Oh! take-I have lived --I
that Germany went to pieces, and, have loved_*
instead of a compact nation, became Oh! take back thy child to thee. a weak aggregate of petty states.
The character of Wallenstein is in • The tears that thou weepest. Must vainly be shed;
itself essentially dramatic.
He was For no borrow awakens
still alive the memory of Schiller's The sleep of the Dead !
coevals, as many a destroyed village Yet say, what can solace and comfort the
in Germany, even now, bears frightbreast,
ful testimony to the ravages caused When it mourns for the love by which once it
by that suicidal civil war. At the was blest, And the balm shall descend from above.
same time the crime of treason, of
which Wallenstein was accused by • Let the tears I am weeping
his imperial antagonists, and for Still vainly be shed,
which he was doomed to an inThough my sorrow can wake not The sleep of the Dead;
glorious death from the hands of Yet all that can solace and comfort the breast, assassins, lies still shrouded in mysWhen It mourns for the love by which once it tery; and there is even now a difwas blest,
ference of opinion as to the question Are the tears and the sorrow of love.'
whether he really intended betrayTranslated by Sir E. Buluer Lytton, Bart. ing his master, and through a se
cret alliance with Sweden and the Of all the great historical dramas
Protestants in Germany, hoped to of Schiller,' Wallenstein' is the most
obtain for himself the crown of Boadmired. Being well versed in the
hemia, and, at the same time, peace history of modern Europe, and living at a time when the French Revolu
for his country; or whether the tion and the subsequent events re
court of Vienna, fearing his immense vealed the heart of man, and taught
power at the head of an irresistible politics on a grand scale, Schiller
army, burdened him with the crime
of treason in order to justify the This line is misunderstood by the trans
most atrocious treachery on their lator. It ought to be :
own part. Thus the dramatist was Oh! mother in heaven-I have lived, I have
not too closely fettered by evidence, loved,
and might deal with the facts more Ob, take back thy child to thee !
freely than a more modern subject
would have allowed him to do. Al- to Max Piccolomini, the son of Walthough Wallenstein may hardly be lenstein's most cunning, most treacalled a poetical character, yet his cherous, and most destructive enemy. immense influence on his age, and Neither of these two characters the sudden turn in his fortunes, will exist in history, for Octavio Piccoloever lend to him a deep dramatic mini, who in the play is the preinterest. The poet has taken great sumed father of Max, was at the time care to show us this character, and still a young man, being but thirtylay bare all the roots from which his five years old when Wallenstein overwhelming authority rose. Cast- died; and although Wallenstein had ing the whole subject in a trilogy, a daughter of his second marriage it is in the first short play, under the (whose name, by the way, was not title of Wallenstein's Camp,' that Thekla, but Mary Elizabeth), she he shows us the strong hold of the was only about fourteen years old at great commander on the souls of the her father's death. The introducprivate soldiers and non-commis- tion of such fictitious characters in sioned officers whom he had called a play which otherwise closely clings from the plough, the counting-house, to history, may not stand before the or the schoolroom; and by wield- verdict of the critic; but Schiller ing them into an irresistible armed obtained his aim fully-for it is to body, had made them the arbiters these two parts that his work owes of the nation's fate. In the second its great popular success. Max is play, entitled, The Piccolomini,' placed in a conflict between Love we are made to feel his influence on and Duty, which drags his noble the officers, whom he had chosen soul into unavoidable destruction, from all countries of Europe, to be and Thekla, renouncing him, that the servants of his will and the com- his honour may not be sullied, rises panions of his martial glory. In the to a height of character which shows third play, which bears the title of us the noblest aim of tragedy, the • The Death of Wallenstein,' he him- glorification of personal liberty of self comes before us in all the for- decision in the midst of the most midable array of his mental powers, heart-rending conflicts, to which we and armed with all that faith in may be doomed by merciless Fate. himself and confidence in his star The engraving in our present which is even strengthened by his number, referring to Thekla's song, firm belief in astrology. And yet, is taken from the beautiful photohaving to deal with all these ener- graphs after drawings designed by getic agencies, Schiller must have some of the best German artists of felt that the subject of his great the day, which accompany the new work was prominently political, and edition of Schiller's poems. The that something was wanting in it plan of this edition was formed by without which the greatest theatri- the celebrated firm of Cotta, on occacal effect can never be secured. To sion of the centenary celebration of say it in one word, much as this
the poet's birthday, in 1859, and it struggle for power may occupy our has just been finished in a superior inind, our heart feels but little inte- style, being one of the finest specirest in it. Hence the poet thought mens of continental typography and it necessary to lend an additional ornamentation. The artist has not charm to his plot by drawing upon adhered to the costume of the time the storehouse of his abundant in- of Wallenstein, but dressed his weepvention. He made the edge of sepa- ing maiden in rather a modern and ration, which divided the political elegant attire; a liberty with which parties, to cut also through two we are not inclined to find fault, young and noble hearts. To Wal- seeing that the poem is of a univerlenstein he gave a daughter, the sal character, and does not attach heiress of his fortune and his expect- itself to any limited period in his ations, and bound her in fatal love tory.