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* The vessel of thy fortune. Yet a day
1st-i-Axi. will come, when Destiny shall once more scatter 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 away.
1 vearn'd to know which one was faithfullest The Duke has acted towards me as a friend.
of all, this camp included. Great Destiny. God knows it is so; and I owe him all—— Give me a sign' And he shall be the man. He may rely on my fidelity. who, on the approaching morning, comes the fret oct. ATI d. To meet me with a token of his love: That will be seen hereafter. And thinking this. I fell into a slumber. isot --- i. Then midmost in the battle was 1 led '** - Be on your guard, In spirit. Great the pressure and the tumulio A. think not as think; and there are many Then was my horse kill d under me: I sank; who still held with the Court—yes, and they say And over me away all uncesserov. , That those stolen signatures bind them to nothing. prove horse and rider—and thus tred to Pueres - - octavio. 1 law, and Panted like a dying man: I am rejoiced to hear it.
ISO LAN i. 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? iso LAN 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. lso LAN i. Aye! that delights me now, that you yourself Bear witness for me that l never said so. octavio. And you renounce the Duke then 180 LAN i. If he's planning Treason—why, treason breaks all bonds asunder. octavio. And are determined, too, to fight against him : lso LAN i. 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, A Ni. 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! Isola Ni. 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.
A SeavaNT 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. but LER. His words were lost on me. octaw to. It grieves me sorely, To hear it : for his counsel was most wise. I had myself the like to offer. but Lea. 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. - butler (rises). IIis 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 putlert. What wish you? octavio. How was "t with the Count 1 eutlett. 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? Butler. Your insolent scoff shall not go by unpunish'd. Draw! octaw to. 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 left. 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 refused; 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 veteran 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. OCTAvio. You must have been calumniated. Guess you The enemy, who did you this ill service? But Len. Be 't who it will—a most low-hearted scoundrel, Some vile court-minion must it he, 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? BUT lea. Himself impell'd me to it, used his interest In my behalf with all the warmth of friendship.
octavio. Ay? are you sure of that? Butlett. I read the letter. octavio. And so did I–but the contents were different. [Rutler 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. BUT left. 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. [Butten 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. lie 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! Butlen (his voice trembling). Can e'er the Emperor's Majesty forgive me? octavro. More than forgive you. He would fain compensate For that affront, and most unmerited grievance Sustain'd by a deserving, gallant veteran. From his free impulse he confirins the present, Which the Duke made you for a wicked purpose. The regiment, which you now command, is your's. [Butler attempts to rise, sinks down again. Ile - labours inwardly with violent emotions; tries to speak, and cannot. At length he takes his suord from the belt, and offers it to Pic
colonii NI. octavlo. What wish you? Recollect yourself, friend. but left. Take it. ocTAvio. But to what purpose? Calm yourself. But Left. O take it! I am no longer worthy of this sword. octaw to. Receive it then ancw from my lands—and Wear it with honour for the right cause ever, - but le R. ––Perjure myself to such a gracious Sovereign 1 octavio.
You'll make amends. Quick! break off from the Duke' But Left. Break off from him octavio. What now? Bethink thyself. butler (no longer governing his emotion). Only break off from him? Ile dies! he dies! octavio. Come after me to Frauenberg, where now All who are loyal, are assembling under Counts Altringer and Galas. Many others I've brought to a remembrance of their duty, This night be sure that you escape from Pilsen. burler (strides up and down in excessive agitation, then steps up to Octavio with resolved countenance). Count Piccolomini" Dare that man speak Of honour to you, who once broke his troth. octawi o. He, who repents so deeply of it, dares. but LE ft. Then leave me here, upon my word of honour! octavio. What's your design? Butlett. Leave me and my regiment. Oct Avi O. I have full confidence in you. But tell me What are you brooding: but L. f. ft. That the deed will tell you. Ask me no more at present. Trust to me. Ye may trust safely. By the living God Ye give him over, not to his good angel! Farewell.
[Exit Burler. servant (enters with a billet). A stranger left it, and is gone. The Prince-Duke's horses wait for you below. [Exit Seav ANT. octavio (reads). a Be sure make haste! Your faithful Isolan.” —O that I had but left this town behind me. To split upon a rock so near the haven!Away! This is no longer a safe place for me! Where can my son be tarrying? — S C E N E VI.
Octavio and Max. Piccolom IN 1.
Max. enters almost in a state of derangement from extreme agitation, his eyes roll wildly, his walk is unsteady, and he appears not to observe his father, who stands at a distance, and gazes at him with a countenance expressive of compassion. Ile paces with long strides through the chamber, then stands still again, and at last throws himself into a chair, stariny vacantly at the object directly before him.
octavio (advances to him). I am going off, my son. [Receiving no answer, he takes his hand. My son, farewell. |
Thou wilt soon follow me !
, tier sympathy Must then a cruel deed
MAX. - I follow thee? Thy way is crooked—it is not my way. - [Octavio drops his hand, and starts back. O, hadst thou been but simple and sincere, Ne'er had it coine to this—all had stood otherwise. He had not done that foul and horrible deed, The virtuous had retain'd their influence o'er him: He had not fallen into the snares of villains. Wherefore so like a thief, and thief's accomplice Didst creep behind him—lurking for thy prey ! O, unblest falsehood Mother of all evil! Thou misery-making daemon, it is thou That sink'st us in perdition. Simple truth, Sustainer of the world, had saved us all! Father, I will not, I cannot excuse thee! Wallenstein has deceived me–0, most foully! But thou hast acted not much better. octaw Io. Son | My son, ah! I forgive thy agony! Max. (rises, and contemplates his father with looks of suspicion). Was't possible? hadst thou the heart, my father, Iladst thou the heart to drive it to such lengths, With cold premeditated purpose? Thou– Hadst thou the heart, to wish to see him guilty, Rather than saved? Thou risest by his fall. Octavio, 't will not please me. octavio. God in Heaven! MAX. 0, woe is me! sure I have changed my nature. How comes suspicion here—in the free soul? Ilope, confidence, belief, are gone; for all Lied to me, all that I e'er loved or honour'd. No no! not all! She-she yet lives for me, And she is true, and open as the Heavens! Deceit is every where, hypocrisy, Murder, and poisoning, treason, perjury: The single holy spot is our love, The only unprofaned in human nature. octavio. Max. —we will go together. ‘T will be better. M.A.X. What? ere I've taken a last parting leave, The very last—no never! octavio. Spare thyself The pang of necessary separation. Come with me! Come, my son [Attempts to take him with him. M.A.X. No! as sure as God lives, no! octavio (more urgently). Come with me, 1 command thee! I, thy father. MAx. Command me what is human. octaw to. Max. in the Emperor's name I bid thee come. M.A.X. No Emperor has power to prescribe Laws to the heart; and wouldst thou wish to rob me Of the sole blessing which my fate has left me, o
1 stay here.
be done with cruelty? The unalterable