Imatges de pÓgina
PDF

I know a spell that will soon dispossess The evil spirit in him.

outstanning (walking up and down in evident disquiet).

Friend, friend O' this is worse, far worse, than we had suffer'd Ourselves to dream of at Vienna. There We saw it only with a courtier's eyes, Eves dazzled by the splendour of the throne. We had not seen the War-chief, the Commander, The man all-powerful in his camp. Here, here, 'T is quite another thing. Here is no Emperor more—the Duke is Emperor. Alas, my friend! alas, my noble friend This walk which you have ta'en me through the camp Strikes my hopes prostrate. octavio. Now you see yourself Of what a perilous kind the office is, Which you deliver to me from the Court. The least suspicion of the General Costs me my freedom and my life, and would But hasten his most desperate enterprise. QUEstENDERG. Where was our reason sleeping when we trusted This madman with the sword, and placed such power In such a hand? I tell vou, he'll refuse, Flatly refuse, to obey the Imperial orders. Friend, he can do 't, and what he can, he will. . And then the impunity of his defiance— Oh! what a proclamation of our weakness! octavio. D' ye think too, he has brought his wife and daughter Without a purpose hither? Here in camp! And at the very point of time, in which we're arming for the war? That he has taken These, the last pledges of his loyalty, Away from out the Emperor's domains— This is no doubtful token of the nearness of some eruption! Quest experg. How shall we hold footing Beneath this tempest, which collects itself And threats us from all quarters? The enemy of the empire on our borders, now already The master of the Danube, and still farther, And farther still, extending every hour! In our interior the alarum-bells Of insurrection—peasantry in arms— All orders discontented—and the army, Just in the moment of our expectation of aidance from it—lo! this very army Seduced, run wild, lost to all discipline, Loosen'd, and rent asunder from the state And from their overeign, the blind instrument of the most daring of mankind, a weapon of fearful power, which at his will he wields! octavio. Nav, nay, friend! let us not despair too soon. Men's words are ever bolder than their deeds: And many a resolute, who now appears Made up to all extremes, will, on a sudden Find in his breast a heart he wot not of, Let but a single honest man speak out The true name of his crime ! Remember too, We stand not yet so wholly unprotected. Counts Altringer and Galas have maintain'd

Their little army faithful to its duty, And daily it becomes more numerous. Nor can he take us by surprise: you know I hold him all encompass'd by my listeners. Whate'er he does, is mine, even while "t is doing— No step so small, but instantly I hear it; Yea, his own mouth discloses it. QUEST ENBERG. 'T is quite Incomprehensible, that he detects not The foe so near! octavio. Beware, you do not think, That I by lying arts, and complaisant 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 we all owe our country, and our sovereign, To hide my genuine feelings from him, yet Ne'er have I duped him with base counterfeits! Quest ENBERG. It is the visible ordinance of Heaven. octavio. I know not what it is that so attracts And links him both to me and to my son. Comrades and friends we always were—long liabit, Adventurous deeds performed in company. And all those many and various incidents Which store a soldier's memory with affections, Had bound us long and early to each other— Yet I can name the day, when all at once His heart rose on me, and his confidence Shot out in sudden growth. It was the morning Before the memorable fight at Lutzner. Urged by an ugly dream. I sought him out, To press him to accept another charger. At distance from the tents, beneath a tree, I found him in a sleep. When I had waked him, And had related all my bodings to him, Long time he stared upon me, like a man Astounded; thereon fell upon my neck, And manifested to me an emotion That far outstripp'd the worth of that small service. Since then his confidence has follow'd me With the same pace that mine has fled from him. Queste N being. You lead your son into the secret? octavio. No! Questenberg. What! and not warn him either what bad hands His lot has placed him in octaw Io. I must perforce Leave him in wardship to his innocence. His young and open soul—dissimulation Is foreign to its habits! ignorance Alone can keep alive the cheerful air, The unembarrass'd sense and light free spirit, That make the Duke secure. Questenberg (anxiously). My honour'd friend! most highly do I deem Of Colonel Piccolomini-yet-if-Reflect a little——

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

MAX. Ha! there he is himself. Welcome, my father: [Ile embraces his father. As he turns round, he observes Quest ENB End, and draws back with a cold and reserved air. You are engaged, I see. I'll not disturb you. octavio. How, Max. 2 Look closer at this visitor. Attention, Max, an old friend merits—Reverence Belongs of right to the envoy of your sovereign. Max. (drily). Von Questenberg'—Welcome—if you bring with you Aught good to our head-quarters. Questenberg (seizing his hand). Nay, draw not Your hand away, Count Piccolomini: Not on mine own account alone I seized it, And nothing common will I saw therewith. [Taking the hands of both. Octavio-Max. Piccolomini! 0 saviour names, and full of happy omen! Ne'er will her prosperous genius turn from Austria, While two such stars, with blessed influences Beaming protection, shine above her hosts. M.A.Y. Heh'—Noble minister! You miss your part. You came not here to act a panegyric. You're sent, I know, to find fault and to scold us— I must not be beforehand with my comrades. octavio (to Max.). He comes from court, where people are not quite So well contented with the Duke, as here. MAx. What now have they contrived to find out in him? That he alone determines for himself What he himself alone doth understand . Well, therein he does right, and will persist in 't. Ileaven never meant him for that passive thing That can be struck and laminer'd out to suit Another's taste and fancy. He'll not dance To every tune of every minister: It goes against his nature—he can't do it. He is possess'd by a commanding spirit, And his too is the station of command. And well for us it is so! There exist Few fit to rule themselves, but few that use Their intellects intelligently.—Then Well for the whole, if there be found a mau, Who makes himself what nature destined him, The pause, the central point to thousand thousands— Stands fixed and stately, like a firm-built column, Where all may press with joy and confidence. Now such a man is Wallenstein; and if

Another better suits the court—no other But such a one as he can serve the army. QUESTENBERG.

The army? Doubtless!

octavio (to Questenberg). Hush! Suppress it friend! . Unless some end were answer'd by the utterance.— Of him there you'll make nothing. MAx. (continuing). In their distress They call a spirit up, and when he comes, Straight their flesh creeps and quivers, and they dread him. More than the ills for which they call'd him up. The uncommon, the sublime, must seen and be Like things of every day.—But in the field, Aye, there the Present Being makes itself felt. The personal must command, the actual eye Examine. If to be the chieftain asks All that is great in nature, let it be Likewise his privilege to move and act In all the correspondencies of treatness. The oracle within him, that which lives, He must invoke and question—not dead books, Not ordinances, not mould-rotted papers. octavio. . My son! of those old narrow ordinances Let us not hold too lightly. They are weights Of priceless value, which oppress'd mankind Tied to the volatile will of their oppressors. For always formidable was the league And partnership of free power with free will. The way of ancient ordinance, though it winds, is yet no devious way. Straight forward goes The lightning's path, and straight the fearful path Of the cannon-ball. Direct it flies and rapid, Shattering that it may reach, and shattering what it reaches. My son! the road, the human being travels, That, on which blessing comes and goes, doth follow The river's course, the valley's playful windings, Curves round the corn-field and the hill of vines, Honouring the holy bounds of property! And thus secure, though late, leads to its end. Quest ENBERG. o hear your father, noble youth! hear him, Who is at once the hero and the man. oct.A.W. 10. My son, the nursling of the camp spoke in thee! A war of fifteen years Hath been thy education and thy school. Peace hast thou never witness'd There exists An higher than the warrior's excellence. In war itself war is no ultimate purpose. The vast and sudden deeds of violence, Adventures wild, and wonders of the moment, These are not they, my son, that generate The Calm, the Blissful, and the enduring Mighty! Lo there! the soldier, rapid architect! Builds his light town of canvas, and at once The whole scene moves and bustles momently, With arms, and neighing steeds, and mirth and quarrel The motley market fills; the roads, the streams Are crowded with new freights, trade stirs and hurries' But on some morrow morn, all suddenly, The tents drop down, the horde renews its march.

Dreary, and solitary as a church-yard | The meadow and down-trodden seed-plot lie, | And the year's harvest is gone utterly.

.

[graphic]

M.A.X. 0 let the Emperor make peace, my father! Most gladly would I give the blood-stained laurel For the first violet' of the leafless spring, Pluck'd in those quiet fields where I have journey'd' OCTAvio. What so moves thee all at once? M.A.X. Peace have I ne'er beheld : I have beheld it. From thence am I come hither: O' that sight, It glimmers still before me, like some landscape Left in the distance,—some delicious landscape! My road couducted me through countries where The war has not yet reach'd. Life, life, my father— My venerable father, Life has charms Which we have ne'er experienced. We have been But voyaging along its barren coasts, Like some poor ever-roaming horde of pirates, That, crowded in the rank and narrow ship, House on the wild sea with wild usages, Nor know aught of the main land, but the bays where safeliest they may venture a thieves' landing. Whate'er in the inland dales the land conceals Offair and exquisite, 0' nothing, nothing, Do we behold of that in our rude voyage. octavio (attentive, with an appearance of uneasiness). And so your journey has reveal'd this to you? MAx. ‘Twas the first leisure of my life. O tell me, What is the meed and purpose of the toil, The painful toil, which robb'd me of my youth, Left me an heart unsoul’d and solitary, A spirit uninform'd, unornamented. For the camp's stir and crowd and ceaseless larum, The neighing war-horse, the air-shattering trumpet, The unvaried, still returning hour of duty, word of command, and exercise of arms— There's nothing here, there's nothing in all this To satisfy the heart, the gasping heart! Mere bustling nothingness, where the soul is not– This cannot be the sole felicity, These cannot be man's best and only pleasures! octavio. Much hast thou learnt, my son, in this short journey. M.A.X. O day thrice lovely! when at length the soldier Returns home into life; when he becomes A fellow-man among his fellow-men. The colours are unfurl’d, the cavalcade Marshals, and now the buzz is hush'd, and hark! Now the soft peace-march beats, home, brothers, home! The caps and helmets are all garlanded with green boughs, the last plundering of the fields. The city (;ates sly open of themselves, They need no longer the petard to tear them. The ramparts are all fill'd with men and women, with peaceful men and women, that send onwards kisses and welcomings upon the air, which they make breezy with affectionate gestures. From all the towers rings out the merry peal,

[ocr errors]

in the original, den blurgen Lorbeer gebich hin mit Freuden far, erste Veilcheu, das der Marz uns bringt. Das darfuge Psand der neuverjong ten Erde.

The joyous vespers of a bloody day.
O happy man, 0 fortunate! for whom
The well-known door, the faithful arms are open,
The faithful tender arms with mute embracing.
Questenberg (apparently much affected).
O! that you should speak
Of such a distant, distant time, and not
Of the to-morrow, not of this to-day.
Max (turning round to him, quick and vehement).
Where lies the fault but on you in Vienna!
I will deal openly with you, Questenberg.
Just now, as first I saw you standing here,
(I'll own it to you freely) indignation
Crowded and press'd my in most soul together.
'T is ye that hinder peace, yes-and the warrior,
It is the warrior that must force it from you.
Ye fret the General's life out, blacken him,
Hold him up as a rebel, and Heaven knows
What else still worse, because he spares the Saxons,
And tries to awaken confidence in the enemy;
which vet's the only way to peace: for if
War interinit not during war, how then
And whence can peace come 1–Your own plagues fall
on you !
Even as I love what's virtuous, hate I you.
And here make I this vow, here pledge myself;
My blood shall spurt out for this Wallenstein, -
And my heart drain off, drop by drop, ere ye

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

- Quest ENBERG. Alas, alas! and stands it so? [Then in pressing and impatient tones. What, friend! and do we let him go away In this delusion—let him go away? Not call him back immediately, not open His eyes upon the spot? octavio (recovering himself out of a deep study). He has now open'd mine, And I see more than pleases me. Quest exberg. What is it 2 octavio. Curse on this journey ! Quest FN ben G. But why so? What is it? octavio. Come, come along, friend! I must follow up The ominous track immediately. Mine eyes Are open'd now, and I must use them. Come! [Draws Questenberg on with him. Questenbeng. What now? Irhere go you then octavio. To her herself.

[blocks in formation]

octavio. And that I should not Foresee it, not prevent this journey! Wherefore Did I keep it from him?—You were in the right. I should have warn'd him Now it is too late. Quest ENBERG. But what's loo late? Bethink yourself, my friend, That you are talking absolute riddles to me. octavio (more collected). Come! to the Duke's. 'T is close upon the hour. Which he appointed you for audience. Come! A curse, a threefold curse, upon this journey! [He leads Questenbeag off.

SCENE WI.

Changes to a spacious Chamber in the House of the Duke of Friedland. servants employed in putting the tables and chairs in order. During this enters SEN1, like an old Italian doctor, in black, and clothed somewhat fantastically. He carries a white staff, with which he marks out the quarters of the heaven.

Finst Senv ANt. Come—to it, lads, to it! Make an end of it. I hear the sentry call out, - Stand to your arms!» They will be there in a minute. second seawant. why were we not told before that the audience would be held here? Nothing prepared—no orders—no instructions— third sraw Ant. Ay, and why was the balcony-chamber counterinanded, that with the great worked carpet?—there one can look about one. Firust serva N.T. Nay, that you must ask the mathematician there. He says it is an unlucky chamber. second Seavant. Pohl stuff and nonsense! That's what I call a hum. A chamber is a chamber; what much can the place signify in the affair? sent (with gravity). My son, there's nothing insignificant, Nothing! But yet in every earthly thing First and most principal is place and time. first servant (to the second). Say nothing to him, Nat. The Duke himself must let him have his own will. seni (counts the chairs, half in a loud, half in a low voice, till he comes to eleven, which he repeats). Eleven an evil number! Set twelve chairs. Twelve! twelve signs hath the zodiac: five and seven, The holy numbers, include themselves in twelve. second serva Nr. And what may you have to object against eleven? I should like to know that now. sex i. Eleven is transgression; eleven oversteps The ten commandments. second seawant. That's good! and why do you call five an holy number 2 seni. Five is the soul of man : for even as man Is mingled up of tood and evil, so

The five is the first number that's made up Of even and odd. second settvant. The foolish old coxcomb' Fiftst servant. Ey! let him alone though. I like to hear him; there is more in his words than can be seen at first sight. thi Rix sett W. Ant. Off, they come. second seawant. There! Out at the side-door. [They hurry off. Seni follows slowly. A Page brings the staff of command on a red cushion, and places it on the table near the Duke's chair. They are announced from without, and the wings of the door fly open.

SC E N E VII. WALLENs rein, Duchess.

wall ENst Ein. You went then through Vienna, were presented To the Queen of Hungary: duch Ess. Yes; and to the Empress too, And by both Majesties were we admitted To kiss the hand. wal. Lenstein. And how was it received, That I had sent for wife and daughter hither To the camp, in winter-time? d'Uch ess. I did even that Which you commission'd me to do. I told them, You had determined on our daughter's marriage, And wish'd, ere yet you went into the field, To show the elected husband his betrothed. wa LLENSrei N. And did they guess the choice which I had made? du CH ess. They only hoped and wish'd it may have fallen Upon no foreign nor yet Lutheran noble. wal. Lenstei N. And you—what do you wish, Elizabeth? duch ess. Your will, you know, was always mine. wallenstein (after a pause). Well then : And in all else, of what kind and complexion Was your reception at the court 2 [The Duchess casts her eyes on the ground, and remains silent. slide nothing from me. How were you received : Ducti Ess. O' my dear lord, all is not what it was A canker-worm, my lord, a canker-worm Ilas stolen into the bud. WALLENSTEIN. Ay' is it so : What, they were lax1 they fail'd of the old respect? du cu Ess. Not of respect. No honours were omitted, No outward courtesy; but in the place Of condescending, confidential kindness, Familiar and endearing, there were given me

Only these honours and that solemn courtesy.
Ah! and the tenderness which was put on,
It was the guise of pity, not of favour.
No! Albrecht's wife, Duke Albrecht's princely wife,
Count Harrach's noble daughter, should not so—
Not wholly so should she have been received.
wallenstein.
Yes, yes; they have ta'en offence.
They rail'd at it, no doubt.
du ciness.
O that they had :
I have been long accustom'd to defend you,
To heal and pacify distemper'd spirits.
No; no one rail'd at you. They wrapp'd them up,
O Heaven! in such oppressive, solemn silence –
Here is no every-day misunderstanding,
No transient pique, no cloud that passes over;
Something most luckless, most unhealable,
Has taken place. The Queen of Hungary
Used formerly to call me her dear aunt,
And ever at departure to embrace me–
wal. Lenstein.
Nou, she omitted it?
Duchess (wiping away her tears, after a pause).
She did embrace me,
But then first when I had already taken
My formal leave, and when the door already
Had closed upon me, then did she come out
In haste, as she had suddenly bethought herself,
And press'd me to her bosom, more with anguish
Than tenderness.
wallenstein (seizes her hand soothingly).
Nay, now collect yourself.
And what of Egéenberg and Lichtenstein,
And of our other friends there?
Duchess (shaking her head).
I saw none.
wallenstein.
The Ambassador from Spain, who once was wont
To plead so warmly for me?—
ducti Ess.
Silent, silent!
wAllenstein.
These suns then are eclipsed for us. Henceforward
Must we roll on, our own fire, our own light.
Duchess.
And were it—were it, my dear lord, in that
Which moved about the court in buzz and whisper,
But in the country let itself he beard
Aloud—in that which Father Lamormain
In sundry hints and—-
wallenstein (eagerly).
Lamormain! what said he
duch ess.
That you're accused of having daringly
O'erstepp'd the powers entrusted to you, charged
With traitorous contempt of the Emperor
And his supreme behests. The proud Bavarian,
He and the Spaniards stand up your accusers—
That there's a storm collecting over you
Of far more fearful menace than that former one
which whirl'd you headlong down at Regensburg.
And people talk, said he, of——Ah!–

My latest conduct,

wallenstein. Proceed :

[Stifting extreme emotion.

Duchess, I cannot utter it! wALLENSTEIN. Procecd duchess. They talk—— wallenstein. Well! Duchess. Of a second––(catches her voice and hesitates). wa LLENstein. Second—— Duchess. More disgraceful ——Dismission. wallenstein. Talk they? Strides across the Chamber in vehement agitation. O! they force, they thrust me With violence against my own will, onward! duchess (presses near to him, in entreaty). O! if there yet be time, my husband if By giving way and by submission, this Can be averted—my dear lord, give way! Win down your proud heart to it! Tell that heart, It is your sovereign lord, your Emperor Before whom you retreat. O let no longer Low tricking malice blacken your good meaning With abhorr'd venomous glosses. Stand you up Shielded and helm'd and weapon'd with the truth, And drive before you into uttermost shame These slanderous liars! Few firm friends have we— You know it!—The swift growth of our good fortune, It hath but set us up a mark for hatred. What are we, if the sovereign's grace and favour Stand not before us!

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

countriss. How, sister! What, already upon business; [Observing the countenance of the Duchess. And business of no pleasing kind I see, Ere he has gladden'd at his child. The first Moment belongs to joy. Here, Friedland! father! This is thy daughter. [Thekla approaches with a shy and timid air, and bends herself as about to kiss his hand. He receives her in his arms, and remains standing for some time lost in the feeling of her presence. wal, Lenstein. Yes! pure and lovely hath hope risen on me: I take her as the pledge of greater fortune. Duchess. "T was but a little child when you departed To raise up that great army for the Fmperor: And after, at the close of the campaign, When you return'd home out of Pomerania, Your daughter was already in the convent, Wherein she has remain'd till now. wAllenstein. The while

« AnteriorContinua »