Imatges de pÓgina
PDF

With most implicit unconditional faith, And glorious; with an unpolluted heart -
Sure of the right path if I follow d thee. Thou canst make conquest of whateer seems highest
To-dav, for the first time, dost thou refer But he, who once hath acted infamy,
\le to mvself, and forcest me to make Does nothing more in this world.
Election between thee and my own heart. . wallenstein (grasps his hand).
wall Exsret N. Calmly, Max."
Soft cradled thee thy Fortune till to day; Much that is great and excellent will we
Thy duties thou couldst exercise in sport, Perform together yet. And if we only
Indulge all lovely instincts, act for ever Stand on the height with dignity, "t is soon
With undivided heart. It can remain Forgotten, Max., by what road we ascended.
No longer thus. Like enemies, the roads Believe me, many a crown shines spotless now,
Start from each other. Duties strive with duties. That yet was deeply sullied in the winning.
Thou must needs clouse thy party in the war To the evil spirit doth the earth belong,
Which is now kindling 'twixt thy friend and him Not to the good. All, that the powers divine
Who is thy Emperor. Send from above, are universal blessings :
Max. Their light rejoices us, their air refreshes,
War! is that the name? But never yet was man enrich'd by them:
War is as frightful as heaven's pestilence. In their eternal realm no property
Yet it is good, is it heaven's will as that is. ls to be stru gled for—all there is general.
Is that a good war, which against the Emperor The jewel, the all-valued gold we win
Thou wagest with the Emperor's own army? From the deceiving Powers, depravel in nature,
O God of heaven! what a change is this. That dwell beneath the day and blessed sun-light.
Beseems it me to offer such persuasion Not without sacrifices are they render'd
To thee, who like the fix d star of the pole Propitious, and there lives no soul on earth
Wert all I gazed at on life's trackless ocean? - That e'er retired unsuliied from their service.
O! what a rent thou makest in my heart! Mu A v.
The ingrain d instinct of old reverence, Whate'er is human, to the human being
The holy habit of obediency, Do I allow—and to the vehement
Must 1 pluck live asunder from thy name? And striving spirit readily I pardon
Nay, do not turn thy countenance upon me— The excess of action; but to thee, my General!
It always was as a god looking at me! Above all others make I large concession.
Duke wallenstein, its power is not departed: For thou must move a world, and be the master—
The senses still are in thy bonds, although, He kills thee, who condemns thee to inaction.
Bleeding, the soul hath freed itself. So be it then! maintain thee in thy post
wALLENs I Elix. By violence. Resist the Emperor,
Max. hear me. And if it must be, force with force repel:
MAX. I will not praise it, yet I can forgive it.
O! do it not, I pray thee, do it not : But not—not to the traitor—yes!—the word
There is a pure and noble soul within thee, Is spoken out—— .
Knows not of this unblest, unlucky doing. Not to the traitor can I yield a pardon.
Thy will is chaste, it is thy fancy only That is no mere excess! that is no error
Which hath polluted thee—and innocence, of human nature—that is wholly different,
It will not let itself be driven away O that is black, black as the pit of hell!
From that world-awing aspect. Thou wilt not, [W Allexsters betrays a sudden agitation.
Thou canst not, end in t It would reduce Thou canst not hear it named, and will thou do it?
All human creatures to disloyalty O turn back to thy duty. That thou cans,
Against the nobleness of their own nature. I hold it certain. Send me to Vienna :
'T will justify the vulgar misbelief, I'll make thy peace for thee with the Emperor.
Which holdeth nothing noble in free will, He knows thee not. But I do know thee. He
And trusts itself to impotence alone, Shall see thee, Duke with my unclouded eye,
Made powerful only in an unknown power. And I bring back his confidence to thee.
w Attle Ns rein. wall. Exsteix.
The world will judge me sternly, I expect it. It is too late. Thou knowest not what has happen'd.
Already have I said to my own self at Ax.
All thou cans say to me. Who but avoids Were it too late, and were things gone so far,
The extreme, can he by going round avoid it? That a crime only could prevent thy fall,
But here there is no choice. Yes—I must use Then-fall fail honourably, even as thou stood'st.
Or suffer violence—so stands the case, - Lose the command. Go from the stage of war.
There remains nothing possible but that. Thou canst with splendour do it—do it too
*t ax. - With innocence. Thou hast lived much for others,
0 that is never possible for thee: At length live thou for thy own self. I follow thee.
'T is the last desperate resource of those \ly destiny I never part from thine.
Cheap souls, to whom their honour, their good name w a LLENst know.
Is their poor saving, their last worthless keep, It is too late! Even now, while thou art losing
Which having staked and lost, they stake themselves Thy words, one after the other are the mile-stones
!n the mad rage of gaming. Thou art rich, Left fast behind by my post couriers,
o -

[graphic]
[graphic]

Who bear the order on to Prague and Egra. [Max. stands as convulsed, with a gesture and countenance expressing the most intense anquish. Yield thyself to it. We act as we are forced. I cannot give assent to my own shame And ruin. Thou—no—thou canst not forsake me! So let us do, what must be done, with dignity, With a firm step. What am I doing worse Than did famed Caesar at the Rubicon, When he the legions led against his country, The which his country had deliver'd to him * Had he thrown down the sword, he had been lost, As I were, if I but disarm'd myself. 1 trace out something in me of his spirit; Give me his luck, that other thing I'll bear. [Max. Quits him abrupty. Wallenstein, startled and overpowered, continues looking after him, and is still in this posture when TERTsky enters.

[ocr errors]

terrorsky. Max. Piccolomini just left you? wall existern. Where is Wrangel? trarsky. He is already gone. walt.rnster N. In such a hurry? trarsky. It is as if the earth had swallow'd him. He had scarce left thee, when I went to seek him. I wish'd some words with him—but he was gone. How, when, and where, could no one tell me. Nay, I half believe it was the devil himself; A human creature could not so at once Have vanish'd. illo (enters). Is it true that thou wilt send Octavior Tentsky. How, Octavio ! Whither send him! wat. Le Nistrix. He goes to Frauenberg, and will lead hither The Spanish and Italian regiments. 1 Llo. No 1 Nay, Heaven forbid? watt.rwister n. And why should leaven forbid? it to. Him"—that deceiver! Wouldst thou trust to him The soldiery? Him wilt thou let slip from thee, Now, in the very instant that decides us——

[ocr errors][merged small]

Who have always trusted him? What, then, has happen'd,
That I should lose my good opinion of him?
In complaisance to your whims, not my own,
I must, forsooth, tive up a rooted judgment.
Think not I am a woman. Having trusted him
E’en till to-day, to-day too will I trust him.
Tentsky.
Must it be he—he only Send another.
war. Lexistern.
It must be he, whom I myself have chosen;
He is well fitted for the business. Therefore
I gave it him. -
ilt.o.
Because he's an Italian–
Therefore is he well sitted for the business!
wat, i.e.nst in N.
I know you love them not—nor sire nor son—
Because that I esteem them, love them—visibly
Esteem them, love them more than you and others,
E'en as they merit. Therefore are they eve-blights,
Thorns in your foot-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 each of you to me.
it.Lo.
Von Questenberg, while he was here, was always
Lurking about with this Octavio.
wall exstrin.
It happen'd with my knowledge and permission.
it i.e.
I know that secret messengers came to him
From Galas——
wAt-levstrix.
That's not true.
1.Lo.
O thou art blind,
With thy deep-seeing eyes!
wal. Lexist fix.
Thou wilt not shake
My faith for me—my faith, which founds itself
on the profoundest science. If t 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.
it. i.o.
Hast thou a pledge, that this pledge is not false?
wallowstrix.
There exist moments in the life of man,
when he is nearer the great Soul of the world
Than is man's custom, and possesses freely
The power of questioning his destiny:
And such a moment 'twas, when in the night
Before the action in the plains of Lutzen, |
Leaning against a tree, thoughts crowding thoughts,
I look'd out far upon the ominous plain.
My whole life, past and future, in this moment
Before my mind's eye glided in procession, -
And to the destiny of the next morning
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 -
Upon thy single head, and only man

The vessel of thy fortune. Yet a day
Will come, when Destiny shall once more scatter
All these in many a several direction:
Few be they who will stand out faithful to thee."
I yearn'd to know which one was faithfullest
Of all, this camp included. Great Destiny,
Give me a sign! And he shall be the man,
Who, on the approaching morning, comes the first
To meet me with a token of his love:
And thinking this, I fell into a slumber.
Then midmost in the battle was I led
In spirit. Great the pressure and the tumult!
Then was my horse kill'd under me: I sank;
And over me away all unconcernedly,
Drove horse and rider—and thus trod to pieces
I lay, and panted like a dying man;
Then seized me suddenly a saviour arm :
It was Octavio's—I awoke at once,
T was broad day, and Octavio stood before me.
• My brother," said he, do not ride to-day
The dapple, as you're wont; but mount the horse
Which I have chosen for thee. Do it, brother:
In love to me. A strong dream warn'd me so..
It was the swiftness of this horse that snatch'd me
From the hot pursuit of Bannier's dragoons.
My cousin rode the dapple on that day,
And never more saw I or horse or rider.
IL.Lo.

That was a chance.

walllenstriN (significantly).

There's no such thing as chance.

In brief, 'tis sign'd and seal'd that this Octavio
Is my good angel—and now no word more.

[He is retiring.

Trarsky. This is my comfort–Max. remains our hostage. 1 *-Lo. And he shall never stir from here alive. wallenstein (stops and turns himself round). Are ye not like the women, who for ever Only recur to their first word, although One had been talking reason by the hour: Know, that the human being's thoughts and deeds Are not, like ocean billows, blindly moved. The inner world, his microcosmus, is The deep shaft, out of which they spring eternally. They grow by certain laws, like the tree's fruit— Nojuggling chance can metamorphose them. Have I the human kernel first examined? Then I know, too, the future will and action.

SCENE IV. Scene-A Chamber in Piccolomixi's Duelling-house. Octavio Piccolomixi, Isolani, entering.

isol Axi. 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. octavio. That may happen.

isola No.
Noble brother, I am

Not one of those men who in words are valiant,
And when it comes to action skulk away.
The Duke has acted towards me as a friend.
God knows it is so; and I owe him all——
He may rely on my fidelity.

octavio.

That will be seen hereafter.

isol. Axt. 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. octavio. I am rejoiced to hear it. Isol. Axi. You rejoice! octavio. That the Emperor has yet such gallant servants, And loving friends. isola Ni. Nay, jeer not, I entreat you. They are no such worthless fellows, I assure you. octavio. I am assured already. God forbid That I should jest'—In very serious earnest, I am rejoiced to see an honest cause So strong. isot. Axi. The Devil!—what!—why, what means this? Are you not, then——For what, then, am I here? octavio. | That you may make full declaration, whether You will be call'd the friend or enemy Of the Emperor. isolant (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. octavio. Whether Count, That right is mine, this paper may instruct you. isol.ANI (stammering). Why, -why—what! this is the Emperor's hand and seal! [Reads. • Whereas, the officers collectively Throughout our army will obey the orders Of the Lieutenant-general Piccolomini. As from our ourselves.”——Hem!—Yes! so!—Yes!yes!— I—l give you joy, Lieutenant-general

octavio. And you submit you to the order? isol AN i.

I—— But you have taken me so by surprise— Time for reflection one must have—— - octavio. Two minutes. isol. A Ni. My God! But then the case is—— octavio. Plain and simple. You must declare you, whether you determine To act a treason gainst your Lord and Sovereign, Or whether you will serve him faithfully.

isol. Axi. Treason!—My God!—But who talks then of treason?

octavio.
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?

isola N-I.
What mean you? I—I break my oath, d'ye say,
To his Imperial Majesty?
Did I say so —When, when have I said that?

octavio.
You have not said it yet—not yet. This instant
I wait to hear, Count, whether you will say it.

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

octavio. And you renounce the Duke then

isolani.

If he's planning

Treason—why, treason breaks all bonds asunder.

octavio. And are determined, too, to fight against him?

1so LAni.
He has done me service—but if he's a villain,
Perdition seize him!—All scores are rubb'd off.

octavio.
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.

isol, Ani. It shall be done. But you'll remember me With the Emperor—how well-disposed you found me.

octavio. I will not fail to mention it honourably.

[Exit Isolani. What, Colonel Butler!—Show him up. isolani (returning).

Forgive me too my bearish ways, old father
Lord God! how should I know, then, what a great
Person I had before me.

octavio.

No excuses!

1so LANI.
I am a merry lad, and if at time,
A rash word might escape me 'gainst the court
Amidst my wine—You know no harm was meant.

[ocr errors]

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

SC E N E W. Ocravio Piccolontini, Burlen.

but Len. At your command, Lieutenant-general.

octavio. Welcome, as honour'd friend and visitor.

A Sehwant enters.

Butler. 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—I was In earnest with you—for 'tis now a time In which the honest should unite most closely. BUTLen. '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. octavio. It grieves me sorely, To hear it: for his counsel was most wise. I had myself the like to offer. Butler. Spare Yourself the trouble—me th' embarrassment, To have deserved so ill your good opinion. octavio. The time is precious—let us talk openly. You know how matters stand here. Wallenstein Meditates treason—I can tell you furtherHe 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. Chuse—will you share with us an honest cause? Or with the evil share an evil lot. - burlea (rises). His lot is mine. octavio. Is that your last resolve? - but LeR. 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

But Lea. Farewell octavio. What! Would you draw this good and gallant sword In such a cause: Into a curse would you Transform the gratitude which you have earn'd By forty years' fidelity from Austria? Butler (laughing with bitterness). Gratitude from the House of Austria. [He is going. octavio (permits him to go as far as the door, then calls after him). Butler! ettlert. What wish you? octavio. How was "t with the Count? routi, Era. Count? what? octavio (coldly). The title that you wish'd, I mean. butler (starts in sudden passion). Hell and damnation! ocravio (coldly). You petition'd for it— And your petition was repell’d—Was it so? butlers. Your insolent scoff shall not go by unpunish'd. Draw: octavio. Nay! your sword to'ts sheath and tell me calmly, How all that happen'd. I will not refuse you Your satisfaction afterwards.-Calmly, Butler' but lett. Be the whole world acquainted with the weakness For which I never can forgive myself. Lieutenant-general ' Yes—I have ambition. Ne'er was 1 able to endure contempt. It stung me to the quick, that birth and title Should have more weight than merit has in the army. I would fain not be meaner than my equal, So in an evil hour I let myself Be tempted to that measure—it was folly! But yet so hard a penance it deserved not. It might have been refuse i ; but wherefore barb And venom the refusal with contempt? Why dash to earth and crush with heaviest scorn The grey-hair'd man, the faithful veterant Why to the baseness of his parentage Refer him with such cruel roughness, only Because he had a weak hour and forgot himself? But nature gives a sting een to the worm Which wanton Power treads on in sport and insult. octaw to. You must have been calumniated. Guess you The enemy, who did you this ill service? burier. Be 't who it will—a most low-hearted scoundrel, Some vile court-minion must it be, some Spaniard, Some young squire of some ancient family, In whose light I may stand, some envious knave, Stung to his soul by my fair self-earn'd honours! octavio. But tell me! Did the Duke approve that measure? Butler. Himself impell'd me to it, used his interest In my behalf with all the warmth of friendship.

[ocr errors]

octavio. Ay? are you sure of that? Butlett. I read the letter. octavio. And so did I–but the contents were different. (soutler is suddenly struck. By chance I'm in possession of that letter— Can leave it to your own eyes to convince you. [He gives him the letter. buri. Ea. Ha! what is this? octavio. I fear me, Colonel Butler, An infamous game have they been playing with you. The Duke, you say, impell'd you to this measure? Now, in this letter talks he in contempt Concerning you, counsels the minister To give sound chastisement to your conceit, For so he calls it. [Burlem reads through the letter, his knees tremble, 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. His aim is clear and palpable. He wish'd To tear you from your Emperor—he hoped To gain from your revenge what he well knew (What your long-tried fidelity convinced him) He ne'er could dare expect from your calm reason. A blind tool would he make you, in contempt Use you, as means of most abandon'd ends. He has gain'd his point. Too well has he succeeded In luring you away from that good path On which you had been journeying forty years! but Lea (his voice trembling). Can e'er the Emperor's Majesty forgive ine? octavio. He would fain compensate For that affront, and most unmerited grievance Sustain’d by a deserving, gallant veteran. From his free impulse he confirms the present, Which the Duke made you for a wicked purpose. The regiment, which you now command, is yours. [Burles attempts to rise, sinks down again. He labours inwardly with violent emotions; tries to speak, and cannot. At length he takes his sword from the belt, and offers it to Pic

More than forgive you.

colo Mix 1. octavio. What wish you? Recollect yourself, friend. but left. Take it. ocravio. But to what purpose? Calm yourself. Butt. Ea. O take it!

I am no longer worthy of this sword. octaw Io.

Receive it then anew from my hands—and

Wear it with honour for the right cause ever.

- atri. E. R. ––Perjure myself to such a gracious Sovereign : - octavio.

You'll make amends. Quick! break off from the Duke!

« AnteriorContinua »