« AnteriorContinua »
Unheard, unseen, they 'll undermine that love
WALLENSTEIN. On which thou now dost feel so firm a footing,
I will hear, however, With wily theft will draw away from thee
What the Swede has to say to me.
ILLO (eagerly to TERTSKY).
Go, call him!
Stay yet a little. It hath taken me The Swedish General
| All by surprise, -it came too quick upon me;
"Tis wholly novel, that an accident,
With its dark lordship, and blind agency,
First hear him only,
And after weigh it. [Exeunt TERTSKY and ILLO Will he intrust the purpose of his coming.
WALLENSTEIN (in soliloquy).
Is it possible ?
Is't so? I can no longer what I would ? At thy cost, think you he will scruple it?
No longer draw back at my liking? I And if they put him to the torture, will he,
Must do the deed, because I thought of it, Will he, that dastardling, have strength enough
And fed this heart here with a dream? Because
I did not scowl temptation from my presence,
Dallied with thoughts of possible fulfilment,
Commenced no movement, left all time uncertain, And I may act what way I will, I shall
And only kept the road, the access open ?
By the great God of Heaven! It was not
My serious meaning, it was ne'er resolve.
I but amused myself with thinking of it.
Or not to do it.-Was it criminal
To make the fancy minister to hope,
To fill the air with pretty toys of air, Thy weakness will be deem'd the sole occasion- And clutch fantastic sceptres moving t'ward me! WALLENSTEIN ( pacing up and down in extreme Was not the world kept free? Beheld I not agilation).
The road of duty close beside membut What! I must realize it now in earnest,
One little step, and once more I was in it! Because I toy'd too freely with the thought?
Where am I? Whither have I been transported ? Accurred he who dallies with a devil!
No road, no track behind me, but a wall, And must I-I must realize it now
Rises obedient to the spells I mutter'd
[Pauses and remains in deep thought. Now-now-ere they can ward and parry it!
A punishable man I seem; the guilt, WALLENSTEIN (looking at the paper of signalures). Try what I will, I cannot roll off from me; I have the General's word—a written promise! The equivocal demeanor of
life Mar. Piccolomini stands not here-how's that? Bears witness on my prosecutor's party.
And even my purest acts from purest motives It was- -he fancied
Suspicion poisons with malicious gloss.
Were I that thing for which I pass, that traitor,
A goodly outside I had sure reserved,
Had drawn the coverings thick and double round me,
But being conscious of the innocence
Of my intent, my uncorrupted will, The regiments, 100, deny to march for Flanders
I gave way to my humors, to my passion : Hare sent me in a paper of remonstrance,
Bold were my words, because my deeds were nol. And openly resist the Imperial orders.
Now every planless measure, chance event, The first step to revolt's already taken.
The threat of rage, the vaunt of joy and triumph, ILLO.
And all the May-games of a heart o'erflowing, Believe me, thou wilt find it far more easy Will they connect, and weave them all together To lead them over to the enemy
Into one web of treason; all will be plan, Than to the Spaniard.
My eye ne'er absent from the far-off mark,
Step tracing step, each step a politic progress;
WRANGEL And out of all they 'll fabricate a charge
Gustave Wrangel, General So specious, that I must myself stand dumb. Of the Sudermanian Blues. I am caught in my own net, and only force,
WALLENSTEIN. Naught but a sudden rent can liberate me.
It was a Wrangel [Pauses again. Who injured me materially at Stralsund, How else! since that the heart's unbiass'd instinct
And by his brave resistance was the cause
Of the opposition which that sea-port made.
It was the doing of the element
With which you fought, my Lord! and not my merit My deed was mine, remaining in my bosom : The Baltic Neptune did assert his freedom: Once suffer'd to escape from its safe corner The sea and land, it seem'd, were not to serve Within the heart, its nursery and birth-place, One and the same. Sent forth into the Foreign, it belongs
WALLENSTEIN (makes the motion for him to take a seat, For ever to those sly malicious powers
and seats himself). Whom never art of man conciliated. [Paces in agitation through the chamber, then pauses. Come you provided with full powers, Sir General !
And where are your credentials!
WALLENSTEIN (having read the credentials).
Intelligent master, whom you serve, Sir General !
In helping me to the Bohemian crown.
He says the truth. Our great King, now in heaven, Who, full himself of courage, kindles courage
Did ever deem most highly of your Grace's In me too. 'Tis a foe invisible.
Pre-eminent sense and military genius; The which I fear—a fearsul enemy,
And always the commanding Intellect, Which in the human heart opposes me,
He said, should have command, and be the King. By its coward sear alone made fearful to me. Not that, which full of life, instinct with power,
Yes, he might say it safely.--General Wrangel, Makes known its present being; that is not
[Taking his hand affectionatdy The true, the perilously formidable.
Come, fair and open.— Trust me, I was always O no! it is the common, the quite common,
A Swede at heart. Ey! that did you experience The thing of an eternal yesterday,
Both in Silesia and at Nuremburg ; What ever was, and evermore returns,
I had you often in my power, and let you Sterling to-morrow, for to-day 't was sterling!
Always slip out by some back-door or other. For of the wholly common is man made,
"Tis this for which the Court can ne'er forgive me. And custom is his nurse! Woe then to them,
Which drives me to this present step: and since Who lay irreverent hands upon his old
Our interests so run in one direction, House furniture, the dear inheritance
E'en let us have a thorough confidence
Each in the other.
Confidence will come
Has each but only first security. [7'd the Page, who here enters. The Swedish officer ?- Well, let him enter. [The Page exit, WALLENSTEIN fixes his eye in deep The Chancellor still, I see, does not quite trust me; thought on the door.
And, I confess—the game does not lie wholly Yet is it pure-as yet! the crime has come To my advantage-Without doubt he thinks, Not o'er this threshold yet—so slender is
If I can play false with the Emperor,
Who is my Sov'reign, I can do the like
I have here an office merely, no opinion.
The Emperor hath urged me to the uttermost. WALLENSTEIN (after having fixed a searching look on I can no longer honorably serve him. him).
For my security, in self-defence, Your name is Wrangel?
I take this hard step, which my conscience blames
Not me, your own eyes you must trust. That I believe. So far would no one go
[He gives him the paper containing the written Who was not forced to it.
(After a pause.
oath. WRANGEL reads it through, and, having What may have impellid
read it, lays it on the table, remaining silent. Your princely Highness in this wise to act
So then ?
Comprehend who can! With his good sword and conscience. This concur. My Lord Duke; I will let the mask drop-yes ! rence,
I've full powers for a final settlement. This opportunity, is in our favor,
The Rhinegrave stands but four days' march from And all advantages in war are lawful.
here We take what offers without questioning ;
With fifteen thousand men, and only waits
For orders to proceed and join your army.
Those orders I give out, immediately
We're compromised. Or of my power? I pledged me to the Chancellor,
WALLENSTEIN. Would he trust me with sixteen thousand men,
What asks the Chancellor ?
The warranty—and all might prove at last
WALLENSTEIN (starting). 'Tis talk'd of still with fresh astonishment,
Sir Swede! How some years past, beyond all human faith,
WRANGEL (calmly proceeding).
Am therefore forced
Irrevocably break with the Emperor,
Else not a Swede is trusted to Duke Friedland.
That he forth with disarm the Spanish regiments
And to the Swedes give up that city, with
The strong pass Egra.
Prague !- Egra's granted - Butbut Prague!
"T won't do. And like a Protestant. You Lutherans
I give you every security Fight for your Bible. You are interested
Which you may ask of me in common reasonAbout the cause ; and with your hearts you follow
But Prague-Bohemia—these, Sir General, Your banners.-Among you, whoe'er deserts
I can myself protect. To the enemy, hath broken covenant
WRANGEL With two Lords at one time.- We've no such fan
We doubt it not.
But 't is not the protection that is now
Our sole concern. We want security,
"Tis but reasonable.
Stays Prague in pledge.
Then trust you us so little ?
The Swede, if he would treat well with the German, WRANGEL But then the Nobles and the Officers ?
Must keep a sharp look-out. We have been callid
Over the Baltic, we have saved the empire
From ruin-with our best blood have we seald
The liberty of faith, and gospel truth.
But now already is the benefaction
No longer felt, the load alone is felt,-
And would fain send us, with some paltry sum
Ye press me hard. A measure, such as this,
Ay! but think of this too, No, not for gold and silver have there bled That sudden action only can procure it So many of our Swedish Nobles--neither Success—think first of this, your Highness. Will we, with empty laurels for our payment,
WALLENSTEIN, TERTSKY, and ILLO (re-enter). And the fair border-land must needs be yours.
Is't all right?
TERTSKY. Who knits together our new friendship then?
Are you compromised ? We know, Duke Friedland! though perhaps the Swede
ILLO, Ought not t' have known it, that you carry on
This Swede Secret negotiations with the Saxons.
Went smiling from you. Yes! you're compromised. Who is our warranty, that we are not
WALLENSTEIN. The sacrifices in those articles
As yet is nothing settled: and (well weighd)
How? What was that?
WALLENSTEIN. Of Prague no more.
Come on me what may come,
The doing evil to avoid an evil
Can not be good!
Nay, but bethink you, Duke. Far liever would I face about, and step
To live upon the mercy of these Swedes!
Of these proud-hearted Swedes !-I could not bear it.
Goest thou as fugitive, as mendicant?
Bringest thou not more to them than thou receivest? That lies with me, even now, at any hour.
To these enter the COUNTESS TERTSKY.
Who sent for you? There is no business here
I am come to bid you joy.
WALLENSTEIN. He gives up Ratschin and the narrow side.
Use thy authority, Tertsky; bid her go. But Egra above all must open to us,
Come I perhaps too early? I hope not.
Set not this tongue upon me, I entreat you :
You know it is the weapon that destroys me. I will consider of your proposition.
I am routed, if a woman but attack me:
I cannot traffic in the trade of words
With that, unreasoning sex.
I had already
Given the Bohemians a king. Is settled this time, will the Chancellor
They have one,
Ila! what new scruple! * A great stone near Lützen, since called the Swede's Stone. the body of their great king having been found at the foot of it,
TERTSKY after the battle in which he lost his life.
The Duke will not.
To the old position. On some morrow morning He will not what he must! The Duke departs; and now 't is stir and bustle
Within his castles. He will hunt, and build; It lies with you now. Try. For I am silenced,
Superintend his horses' pedigrees, When folks begin to talk to me of conscience,
Creates himself a court, gives golden keys,
And introduceth strictest ceremony
In fine proportions, and nice etiquette ;
keeps open table with high cheer; in brief,
Commenceth mighty King—in miniature.
And while he prudently demeans himself,
And gives himself no actual importance, Now that the dream is being realized,
He will be let appear whate'er he likes :
And who dares doubt, that Friedland will appear The purpose ripe, the issue ascertain'd, Dost thou begin to play the dastard now?
A mighty Prince to his last dying hour? Plann'd merely, 'tis a common felony;
Well now, what then? Duke Friedland is as others,
A fire-new Noble, whom the war hath raised
To price and currency, a Jonah's gourd,
An over-night creation of couri-favor,
Which with an undistinguishable ease
Makes Baron or makes Prince.
WALLENSTEIN (in extreme agitation).
Take her away.
Let in the young Count Piccolomini.
Art thou in earnest ? I entreat thee! Canst thou
Consent to bear thyself to thy own grave
So ignominiously to be dried up?
Thy life, that arrogated such a height,
To end in such a nothing! To be nothing,
When one was always nothing, is an evil
But to become a nothing, having been—
Show me a way out of this stilling crowd, What is it?
Ye Powers of Aidance! Show me such a way
As I am capable of going.–1
I cannot warm by thinking; cannot say
Magnanimously : “Go; I need thee not.”
Dangers nor sacrifices will I shun,
But ere I sink down into nothingness,
Leave off so little, who began so great,
Ere that the world confuses me with those
Poor wretches, whom a day creates and crumbles,
This age and afier ages* speak my name All the past life; determine to commence
With hate and dread ; and Friedland be redemption
For each accursed deed!
What is there here, then, 'Thou didst but wish to prove thy fealty ;
So against nature? Help me to perceive it!
Subdue thy clear bright spirit! Art thou bid
To murder ?--with abhorr'd accursed poniard, He would but bear his own head to the block.
To violate the breasts that nourish'd thee?
Make thy flesh shudder, and thy whole heart sicken.
* Could I have hazarded such a Germanism, as the use of They'll let the Duke resign without disturbance. the word after-world, for posterity.-" Es spreche Welt und I see how all will end. The King of Hungary
Nachrelt meinen Namen"--might have been rendered with Makes his appearance, and 't will of itself
more literal fidelity :-Let world and after-world speak out my Be understood, that then the Duke retires,
† I have not ventured to affront the fastidious delicacy of our There will not want a formal declaration :
age with the literal translation of this line, young king will administer the oath
werth To the whole army; and so all returns
Die Eingeweide schaudernd aufzuregen.