Part 4 out of 13
The Prince Duke's horses wait for you below.
"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!
OCTAVIO and MAX PICCOLOWINI
[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. He paces with long strides through the chamber,
then stands still again, and at last throws himself into a
chair, staring 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?
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 come 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 demon, it is thou
That sink'st us in perdition. Simple truth,
Sustainer of the world, have saved us all!
Father, I will not, I cannot excuse thee!
Wallenstein has deceived me--O, most foully!
But thou hast acted not much better.
My son, ah! I forgive thy agony!
MAX. (_rises and contemplates his father with looks of
Was't possible? hadst thou the heart, my father,
Hadst 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, 'twill not please me.
God in heaven!
O, woe is me! sure I have changed my nature.
How comes suspicion here--in the free soul?
Hope, confidence, belief, are gone; for all
Lied to me, all that I e'er loved or honored.
No, no! not all! She--she yet lives for me,
And she is true, and open as the heavens!
Deceit is everywhere, hypocrisy,
Murder, and poisoning, treason, perjury:
The single holy spot is our love,
The only unprofaned in human nature.
Max!--we will go together. 'Twill be better.
What? ere I've taken a last parting leave,
The very last--no, never!
The pang of necessary separation.
Come with me! Come, my son!
[_Attempts to take him with him._]
No! as sure as God lives, no!
OCTAVIO (_more urgently_).
Come with me, I command thee! I, thy father.
Command me what is human. I stay here.
Max! in the Emperor's name I bid thee come.
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,
Her sympathy? Must then a cruel deed
Be done with cruelty? The unalterable
Shall I perform ignobly--steal away,
With stealthy coward flight forsake her? No!
She shall behold my suffering, my sore anguish,
Hear the complaints of the disparted soul,
And weep tears o'er me. Oh! the human race
Have steely souls--but she is as an angel.
From the black deadly madness of despair
Will she redeem my soul, and in soft words
Of comfort, plaining, loose this pang of death!
Thou wilt not tear thyself away; thou canst not.
O, come, my son! I bid thee save thy virtue.
Squander not thou thy words in vain.
The heart I follow, for I dare trust to it.
OCTAVIO (_trembling, and losing all self command_).
Max! Max! if that most damned thing could be,
If thou--my son--my own blood--dare I _think_ it?
Do sell thyself to him, the infamous,
Do stamp this brand upon our noble house,
Then shall the world behold the horrible deed
And in unnatural combat shall the steel
Of the son trickle with the father's blood.
O hadst thou always better thought of men
Thou hadst then acted better. Curst suspicion,
Unholy, miserable doubt! To him
Nothing on earth remains unwrench'd and firm,
Who has no faith.
And if I trust thy heart,
Will it be always in thy power to follow it?
The heart's voice _thou_ hast not o'erpowered--as little
Will Wallenstein be able to o'erpower it.
O, Max! I see thee never more again!
Unworthy of thee wilt thou never see me.
I go to Frauenburg--the Pappenheimers
I leave thee here, the Lothrings too; Tsokans
And Tiefenbach remain here to protect thee.
They love thee, and are faithful to their oath,
And will far rather fall in gallant contest
Than leave their rightful leader, and their honor.
Rely on this, I either leave my life
In the struggle, or conduct them out of Pilsen.
Farewell, my son!
How! not one look
Of filial love? No grasp of the hand at parting?
It is a bloody war to which we are going,
And the event uncertain and in darkness.
So used we not to part--it was not so!
Is it then true? I have a son no longer?
[MAX _falls into his arms, they hold each other for a long
time in a speechless embrace, then go away at different
[_The Curtain drops_.]
* * * * *
_A Chamber in the House of the Duchess of Friedland_
COUNTESS TERZKY, THEKLA, LADY NEUBRUNN (_the two latter sit
at the same table at work_)
COUNTESS (_watching them from the opposite side_).
So you have nothing to ask me--nothing?
I have been waiting for a word from you.
And could you then endure in all this time
Not once to speak his name?
[THEKLA _remaining silent, the_ COUNTESS _rises and advances
Why, how comes this!
Perhaps I am already grown superfluous,
And other ways exist, besides through me?
Confess it to me, Thekla: have you seen him?
Today and yesterday I have not seen him.
And not heard from him, either? Come, be open.
And still you are so calm?
May 't please you, leave us, Lady Neubrunn.
[_Exit_ LADY NEUBRUNN.]
_The_ COUNTESS, THEKLA
It does not please me, Princess, that he holds
Himself so _still_, exactly at _this_ time.
Exactly at _this_ time?
He now knows all:
'Twere now the moment to declare himself.
If I'm to understand you, speak less darkly.
'Twas for that purpose that I bade her leave us.
Thekla, you are no more a child. Your heart
Is now no more in nonage: for you love,
And boldness dwells with love--that _you_ have proved
Your nature molds itself upon your father's
More than your mother's spirit. Therefore may you
Hear, what were too much for her fortitude.
Enough: no further preface, I entreat you.
At once, out with it! Be it what it may,
It is not possible that it should torture me
More than this introduction. What have you
To say to me? Tell me the whole, and briefly!
You'll not be frighten'd--
Name it, I entreat you.
It lies within your power to do your father
A weighty service--
Lies within _my_ power?
Max Piccolomini loves you. You can link him
Indissolubly to your father.
What need of me for that? And is he not
Already link'd to him?
Should he not be so now--not be so always?
He cleaves to the Emperor too.
Not more than duty
And honor may demand of him.
Proofs of his love, and not proofs of his honor.
Duty and honor!
Those are ambiguous words with many meanings.
_You_ should interpret them for him: his love
Should be the sole definer of his honor.
The Emperor or you must he renounce.
He will accompany my father gladly
In his retirement. From himself you heard,
How much he wish'd to lay aside the sword.
He must _not_ lay the sword aside, we mean;
He must unsheath it in your father's cause.
He'll spend with gladness and alacrity
His life, his heart's blood in my father's cause,
If shame or injury be intended him.
You will not understand me. Well, hear then:--
Your father has fallen off from the Emperor,
And is about to join the enemy
With the whole soldiery--
Alas, my mother!
There needs a great example to draw on
The army after him. The Piccolomini
Possess the love and reverence of the troops;
They govern all opinions, and wherever
They lead the way none hesitate to follow.
The son secures the father to our interests--
You've much in your hands at this moment.
My miserable mother! what a death-stroke
Awaits thee!--No! she never will survive it.
She will accommodate her soul to that
Which is and must be. I do know your mother;
The far-off future weighs upon her heart
With torture of anxiety; but is it
Unalterably, actually present,
She soon resigns herself, and bears it calmly.
O my foreboding bosom! Even now,
E'en now 'tis here, that icy hand of horror!
And my young hope lies shuddering in its grasp;
I knew it well--no sooner had I enter'd,
An heavy ominous presentiment
Reveal'd to me that spirits of death were hovering
Over my happy fortune. But why think I
First of myself? My mother! O my mother!
Calm yourself! Break not out in vain lamenting!
Preserve you for your father the firm friend,
And for yourself the lover, all will yet
Prove good and fortunate.
Prove good! What good?
Must we not part?--part ne'er to meet again?
He parts not from you! He cannot part from you.
Alas for his sore anguish! It will rend
His heart asunder.
If indeed he loves you,
His resolution will be speedily taken.
His resolution will be speedily taken--
O do not doubt of that! A resolution!
Does there remain one to be taken?
Collect yourself! I hear your mother coming.
How shall I bear to see her?
_To them enter the DUCHESS_
DUCHESS (_to the COUNTESS_).
Who was here, sister? I heard someone talking,
And passionately too.
Nay! there was no one.
I am grown so timorous, every trifling noise
Scatters my spirits, and announces to me
The footstep of some messenger of evil.
And you can tell me, sister, what the event is?
Will he agree to do the Emperor's pleasure,
And send the horse-regiments to the Cardinal?
Tell me, has he dismiss'd Von Questenberg
With a favorable answer?
No, he has not.
Alas! then all is lost! I see it coming,
The worst that can come! Yes, they will depose him;
The accursed business of the Regensburg diet
Will all be acted o'er again!
Make your heart easy, sister, as to that.
[THEKLA, _in extreme agitation, throws herself upon her
mother, and enfolds her in her arms, weeping_.]
Yes, my poor child!
Thou too hast lost a most affectionate godmother
In the Empress. O that stern unbending man!
In this unhappy marriage what have I
Not suffer'd, not endured? For even as if
I had been link'd on to some wheel of fire
That restless, ceaseless, whirls impetuous onward,
I have pass'd a life of frights and horrors with him,
And ever to the brink of some abyss
With dizzy headlong violence he bears me.
Nay, do not weep, my child. Let not my sufferings
Presignify unhappiness to thee,
Nor blacken with their shade the fate that waits thee.
There lives no second Friedland: thou, my child,
Hast not to fear thy mother's destiny.
O let us supplicate him, dearest mother!
Quick! quick! here's no abiding place for us.
Here every coming hour broods into life
Some new affrightful monster.
Thou wilt share
An easier, calmer lot, my child! We too,
I and thy father, witnessed happy days.
Still think I with delight of those first years,
When he was making progress with glad effort,
When his ambition was a genial fire,
Not that consuming flame which now it is.
The Emperor loved him, trusted him: and all
He undertook could not but be successful.
But since that ill-starr'd day at Regensburg,
Which plunged him headlong from his dignity,
A gloomy uncompanionable spirit,
Unsteady and suspicious, has possess'd him.
His quiet mind forsook him, and no longer
Did he yield up himself in joy and faith
To his old luck and individual power;
But thenceforth turn'd his heart and best affections
All to those cloudy sciences, which never
Have yet made happy him who follow'd them.
You see it, sister, as your eyes permit you,
But surely this is not the conversation
To pass the time in which we are waiting for him.
You know he will be soon here. Would you have him
Find _her_ in this condition?
Come, my child!
Come wipe away thy tears, and show thy father
A cheerful countenance. See, the tie-knot here
Is off--this hair must not hang so dishevell'd.
Come, dearest! dry thy tears up. They deform
Thy gentle eye.--Well now--what was I saying?
Yes, in good truth, this Piccolomini
Is a most noble and deserving gentleman.
That is he, sister!
THEKLA (_to the_ COUNTESS, _with marks of great oppression
Aunt, you will excuse me?
But whither? See, your father comes.
I cannot see him now.
Nay, but bethink you.
Believe me, I cannot sustain his presence.
But he will miss you, will ask after you.
What now? Why is she going?
She's not well.
What ails then my beloved child?
[_Both follow the_ PRINCESS, _and endeavor to detain her.
During this_ WALLENSTEIN _appears, engaged in conversation
WALLENSTEIN, ILLO, COUNTESS, DUCHESS, THEKLA
All quiet in the camp?
It is all quiet.
In a few hours may couriers come from Prague
With tidings that this capital is ours.
Then we may drop the mask, and to the troops
Assembled in this town make known the measure
And its result together. In such cases
Example does the whole. Whoever is foremost
Still leads the herd. An imitative creature
Is man. The troops at Prague conceive no other
Than that the Pilsen army has gone through
The forms of homage to us; and in Pilsen
They shall swear fealty to us, because
The example has been given them by Prague.
Butler, you tell me, has declared himself?
At his own bidding, unsolicited,
He came to offer you himself and regiment.
I find we must not give implicit credence
To every warning voice that makes itself
Be listen'd to in the heart. To hold us back,
Oft does the lying Spirit counterfeit
The voice of Truth and inward Revelation,
Scattering false oracles. And thus have I
To entreat forgiveness, for that secretly
I've wrong'd this honorable, gallant man,
This Butler: for a feeling, of the which
I am not master (_fear_ I would not call it),
Creeps o'er me instantly, with sense of shuddering
At his approach, and stops love's joyous motion.
And this same man, against whom I am warn'd,
This honest man is he, who reaches to me
The first pledge of my fortune.
And doubt not
That his example will win over to you
The best men in the army.
Go and send
Isolani hither. Send him immediately;
He is under recent obligations to me:
With him will I commence the trial. Go.
WALLENSTEIN (_turns himself round to the females_).
Lo, there the mother with the darling daughter
For once we'll have an interval of rest--Come!
my heart yearns to live a cloudless hour
In the beloved circle of my family.
'Tis long since we've been thus together, brother.
WALLENSTEIN (_to the_ COUNTESS _aside_).
Can she sustain the news? Is she prepared?
Come here, my sweet girl! Seat thee by me.
For there is a good spirit on thy lips.
Thy mother praised to me thy ready skill;
She says a voice of melody dwells in thee,
Which doth enchant the soul. Now such a voice
Will drive away from me the evil demon
That beats his black wings close above my head.
Where is thy lute, my daughter? Let thy father
Hear some small trial of thy skill.
Trembling? Come, collect thyself. Go, cheer
O my mother! I--I cannot.
How, what is that, niece?
THEKLA (_to the_ COUNTESS).
O spare me--sing--now--in this sore anxiety,
Of the o'erburthen'd soul--to sing to _him_,
Who is thrusting, even now, my mother headlong
Into her grave.
How, Thekla! Humorsome!
What! shall thy father have express'd a wish
Here is the lute.
My God! how can I--
[_The orchestra plays. During the ritornello_ THEKLA
_expresses in her gestures and countenance the struggle of
her feelings; and at the moment that she should begin to
sing, contracts herself together, as one shuddering, throws
the instrument down, and retires abruptly_.]
DUCHESS. My child! O she is ill--
What ails the maiden?
Say, is she often so?
Since then herself
Has now betray'd it, I too must no longer
She loves him!
Loves him! Whom?
Max does she love! Max Piccolomini.
Hast thou ne'er noticed it? Nor yet my sister?
Was it this that lay so heavy on her heart?
God's blessing on thee, my sweet child! Thou need'st
Never take shame upon thee for thy choice.
This journey, if 'twere not thy aim, ascribe it
To thine own self. Thou shouldst have chosen another
To have attended her.
And does he know it?
Yes, and he hopes to win her!
WALLENSTEIN. Hopes to win her!
Is the boy mad?
Well--hear it from themselves.
He thinks to carry off Duke Friedland's daughter!
Ay?--The thought pleases me.
The young man has no groveling spirit.
Such and such constant favor you have shown him--
He chooses finally to be my heir.
And true it is, I love the youth; yea, honor him.
But must he therefore be my daughter's husband?
Is it daughters only? Is it only children
That we must show our favor by?
His noble disposition and his manners--
Win him my heart, but not my daughter.
His rank, his ancestors--
He is a subject, and my son-in-law
I will seek out upon the thrones of Europe.
O dearest Albrecht! Climb we not too high
Lest we should fall too low.
What! have I paid
A price so heavy to ascend this eminence,
And jut out high above the common herd,
Only to close the mighty part I play
In Life's great drama, with a common kinsman?
Have I for this--
[_Stops suddenly, repressing himself_.]
She is the only thing
That will remain behind of me on earth;
And I will see a crown around her head,
Or die in the attempt to place it there.
I hazard all--all! and for this alone,
To lift her into greatness--Yea,
in this moment, in the which we are
[_He recollects himself_.]
And I must now, like a soft-hearted father,
Couple together in good peasant-fashion
The pair, that chance to suit each other's liking--
And I must do it now, even now, when I
Am stretching out the wreath that is to twine
My full accomplish'd work--no! she is the jewel,
Which I have treasured long, my last, my noblest,
And 'tis my purpose not to let her from me
For less than a king's sceptre.
O my husband!
You're ever building, building to the clouds,
Still building higher, and still higher building,
And ne'er reflect that the poor narrow basis
Cannot sustain the giddy tottering column.
WALLENSTEIN (_to the_ COUNTESS).
Have you announced the place of residence
Which I have destined for her?
No! not yet.
'Twere better you yourself disclosed it to her.
How? Do we not return to Carinthia then?
And to no other of your lands or seats?
You would not be secure there.
In the Emperor's realms, beneath the Emperor's
Friedland's wife may be permitted
No longer to hope _that_.
O God in heaven!
And have you brought it even to this!
You'll find protection.
In a Lutheran country?
What? And you send us into Lutheran countries?
Duke Franz of Lauenburg conducts you thither.
Duke Franz of Lauenburg?
The ally of Sweden, the Emperor's enemy.
The Emperor's enemies are mine no longer.
DUCHESS (_casting a look of terror on the_ DUKE _and the_
Is it then true? It is. You are degraded--
Deposed from the command! O God in heaven!
COUNTESS (_aside to the_ DUKE).
Leave her in this belief. Thou seest she cannot
Support the real truth.
_To them enter_ COUNT TERZKY.
What ails him? What an image of affright!
He looks as he had seen a ghost.
TERZKY (_leading_ WALLENSTEIN _aside_).
Is it thy command that all the Croats--
We are betray'd.
They are off! This night
The Jaegers likewise--all the villages
In the whole round are empty.
Him thou hast sent away. Yes, surely.
No! Hast thou not sent him off? Nor Deodati?
They are vanish'd both of them.
_To them enter_ ILLO.
Has Terzky told thee?
He knows all.
That Esterhatzy, Goetz, Maradas, Kaunitz,
Kolalto, Palfi, have forsaken thee.
WALLENSTEIN (_winks at them_).
COUNTESS (_who has been watching them anxiously from the
distance and now advances to them_).
Terzky! Heaven! What is it? What has happen'd?
WALLENSTEIN (_scarcely suppressing his emotions_).
Nothing! let us be gone!
TERZKY (_following him_).
Theresa, it is nothing.
COUNTESS (_holding him back_).
Nothing? Do I not see that all the life-blood
Has left your cheeks--look you not like a ghost?
That even my brother but affects a calmness?
An Aide-de-camp inquires for the Count Terzky.
[TERZKY _follows the_ PAGE.]
WALLENST. Go, hear his business.
This could not have happen'd
So unsuspected without mutiny.
Who was on guard at the gates?
Let Tiefenbach leave guard without delay,
And Terzky's grenadiers relieve him.
[ILLO _is going_.]
Hast thou heard aught of Butler?
Him I met;
He will be here himself immediately.
Butler remains unshaken.
[ILLO _exit_. WALLENSTEIN _is following him_.]
Let him not leave thee, sister! go, detain him!
There's some misfortune.
DUCHESS (_clinging to him_).
Gracious Heaven! What is it?
Be tranquil! leave me, sister! dearest wife!
We are in camp, and this is nought unusual;
Here storm and sunshine follow one another
With rapid interchanges. These fierce spirits
Champ the curb angrily, and never yet
Did quiet bless the temples of the leader.
If I am to stay, go you. The plaints of women
Ill suit the scene where men must act.
[_He is going_. TERZHY _returns_.]
Remain here. From this window must we see it.
WALLENSTEIN (_to the_ COUNTESS).
'Tis my will.
TERZKY (_leads the_ COUNTESS _aside, and drawing her
attention to the_ DUCHESS).
Sister, come! since he commands it.
WALLENSTEIN (_stepping to the window_).
What now, then?
There are strange movements among all the troops,
And no one knows the cause. Mysteriously,
With gloomy silentness, the several corps
Marshal themselves, each under its own banners.
Tiefenbach's corps make threat'ning movements; only
The Pappenheimers still remain aloof
In their own quarters, and let no one enter.
Does Piccolomini appear among them?
We are seeking him: he is nowhere to be met with.
What did the Aide-de-camp deliver to you?
My regiments had dispatch'd him; yet once more
They swear fidelity to thee, and wait
The shout for onset, all prepared, and eager.
But whence arose this larum in the camp?
It should have been kept secret from the army,
Till fortune had decided for us at Prague.
O that thou hadst believed me! Yester evening
Did we conjure thee not to let that skulker,
That fox, Octavio, pass the gates of Pilsen.
Thou gavest him thy own horses to flee from thee.
The old tune still! Now, once for all, no more
Of this suspicion--it is doting folly.
Thou didst confide in Isolani too;
And lo! he was the first that did desert thee.
It was but yesterday I rescued him
From abject wretchedness. Let that go by;
I never reckon'd yet on gratitude.
And wherein doth he wrong in going from me?
He follows still the god whom all his life
He has worship'd at the gaming-table. With
My fortune, and my seeming destiny,
He made the bond, and broke it not with me.
I am but the ship in which his hopes were stow'd
And with the which, well-pleased and confident,
He traversed the open sea; now he beholds it
In eminent jeopardy among the coast-rocks,
And hurries to preserve his wares. As light
As the free bird from the hospitable twig
Where it had nested, he flies off from me:
No human tie is snapp'd betwixt us two.
Yea, he deserves to find himself deceived
Who seeks a heart in the unthinking man.
Like shadows on a stream, the forms of life
Impress their characters on the smooth forehead,
Nought sinks into the bosom's silent depth;
Quick sensibility of pain and pleasure
Moves the light fluids lightly; but no soul
Warmeth the inner frame.
Yet, would I rather
Trust the smooth brow than that deep furrow'd one.
WALLENSTEIN, TERZKY, ILLO
ILLO (_who enters agitated with rage_).
Treason and mutiny!
And what further now?
Tiefenbach's soldiers, when I gave the orders,
To go off guard--Mutinous villains!
They refused obedience to them.
Fire on them instantly! Give out the order.
Gently! what cause did they assign?
They said, had right to issue orders but
WALLENSTEIN (_in a convulsion of agony_).
What? How is that?
He takes that office on him by commission,
Under sign-manual of the Emperor.
From the Emperor--hear'st thou, Duke?
At his incitement
The Generals made that stealthy flight--
Duke! hear'st thou?
Caraffa too, and Montecuculi,
Are missing, with six other generals,
All whom he had induced to follow him.
This plot he has long had in writing by him
From the Emperor; but 'twas finally concluded,
With all the detail of the operation,
Some days ago with the Envoy Questenberg.
[WALLENSTEIN _sinks down into a chair and covers his face_.]
O hadst thou but believed me!
_To them enter the_ COUNTESS
This horrid fear--I can no longer bear it.
For heaven's sake tell me what has taken place?
The regiments are all falling off from us.
Octavio Piccolomini is a traitor.
O my foreboding! [_Rushes out of the room_.]
Hadst thou but believed me!
Now seest thou how the stars have lied to thee.
[Illustration: WALLENSTEIN HEARS OF OCTAVIO'S TREASON As
performed at the Municipal Theatre, Hamburg, 1906.]
The stars lie not; but we have here a work
Wrought counter to the stars and destiny.
The science is still honest: this false heart
Forces a lie on the truth-telling heaven.
On a divine law divination rests;
Where nature deviates from that law, and stumbles
Out of her limits, there all science errs.
True I did not suspect! Were it superstition
Never by such suspicion t' have affronted
The human form, O may that time ne'er come
In which I shame me of the infirmity.
The wildest savage drinks not with the victim,
Into whose breast he means to plunge the sword.
This, this, Octavio, was no hero's deed:
'Twas not thy prudence that did conquer mine;
A bad heart triumph'd o'er an honest one.
No shield received the assassin stroke; thou plungest
Thy weapon on an unprotected breast--
Against such weapons I am but a child.
_To these enter_ BUTLER
TERZKY (_meeting him_).
O look there! Butler! Here we've still a friend!
WALLENSTEIN (_meets him with outspread arms, and embraces
him with warmth_).
Come to my heart, old comrade! Not the sun
Looks out upon us more revivingly
In the earliest month of spring,
Than a friend's countenance in such an hour.
My General: I come--
WALLENSTEIN (_leaning on_ BUTLER's _shoulder_).
Know'st thou already?
That old man has betray'd me to the Emperor.
What say'st thou? Thirty years have we together
Lived out, and held out, sharing joy and hardship.
We have slept in one camp-bed, drunk from one glass,
One morsel shared! I lean'd myself on _him_,
As now I lean me on _thy_ faithful shoulder.
And now in the very moment, when, all love,
All confidence, my bosom beat to his,
He sees and takes the advantage, stabs the knife
Slowly into my heart.
[_He hides his face on_ BUTLER'S _breast_.]
Forget the false one.
What is your present purpose?
Courage, my soul! I am still rich in friends,
Still loved by Destiny; for in the moment
That it unmasks the plotting hypocrite,
It sends and proves to me one faithful heart.
Of the hypocrite no more! Think not his loss
Was that which struck the pang: O no! his treason
Is that which strikes this pang! No more of him!
Dear to my heart and honor'd were they both,
And the young man--yes--he did truly love me,
He--he--has not deceived me. But enough,
Enough of this--swift counsel now beseems us.
The Courier, whom Count Kinsky sent from Prague,
I expect him every moment: and whatever
He may bring with him, we must take good care
To keep it from the mutineers. Quick then!
Dispatch some messenger you can rely on
To meet him and conduct him to me.
[ILLO _is going_.]
BUTLER (_detaining him_).
My General, whom expect you then?
Who brings me word of the event at Prague.
And what now?
You do not know it?
From what that larum in the camp arose?
WALLENSTEIN (_with eager expectation_).
Is already here.
TERZKY and ILLO (_at the same time_).
For some hours.
And I not know it?
The sentinels detained him
ILLO (_stamping with his foot_).
And his letter
Was broken open, and is circulated
Through the whole camp.
You know what it contains?
Question me not!
Illo, alas for us!
Hide nothing from me--I can hear the worst.
Prague then is lost? It is! Confess it freely.
Yes! Prague is lost. And all the several regiments
At Budweiss, Tabor, Braunau, Koenigingratz,
At Brunn and Zanaym, have forsaken you,
And ta'en oaths of fealty anew
To the Emperor. Yourself, with Kinsky, Terzky,
And Illo have been sentenced.
[TERZKY _and_ ILLO _express alarm and fury_. WALLENSTEIN
_remains firm and collected_.]
'Tis well! I have received a sudden cure
From all the pangs of doubt: with steady stream
Once more my life-blood flows! My soul's secure!
In the night only Friedland's stars can beam.
Lingering irresolute, with fitful fears
I drew the sword--'twas with an inward strife,
While yet the choice was mine. The murderous knife
Is lifted for my heart! Doubt disappears!
I fight now for my head and for my life.
[_Exit_ WALLENSTEIN; _the others follow him_.]
COUNTESS TERZKY (_enters from a side room_).
I can endure no longer. No!
[_Looks around her_.]
Where are they!
No one is here. They leave me all alone,
Alone in this sore anguish of suspense.
And I must wear the outward show of calmness
Before my sister, and shut in within me
The pangs and agonies of my crowded bosom.
It is not to be borne. If all should fail;
If--if he must go over to the Swedes,
An empty-handed fugitive, and not
As an ally, a covenanted equal,
A proud commander with his army following,
If we must wander on from land to land,
Like the Count Palatine, of fallen greatness
An ignominious monument! But no!
That day I will not see! And could himself
Endure to sink so low, I would not bear
To see him so low sunken.
COUNTESS, DUCHESS, THEKLA
THEKLA (_endeavoring to hold back the_ DUCHESS).
Dear mother, do stay here!
No! Here is yet
Some frightful mystery that is hidden from me.
Why does my sister shun me? Don't I see her
Full of suspense and anguish roam about
From room to room? Art thou not full of terror?
And what import these silent nods and gestures
Which stealthwise thou exchangest with her?
Nothing, dear mother!
DUCHESS (_to the_ COUNTESS).
Sister, I will know.
What boots it now to hide it from her? Sooner
Or later she _must_ learn to hear and bear it.
'Tis not the time now to indulge infirmity;
Courage beseems us now, a heart collect,
And exercise and previous discipline
Of fortitude. One word, and over with it!
Sister, you are deluded. You believe
The Duke has been deposed--the Duke is not
THEKLA (_going to the_ COUNTESS).
What? do you wish to kill her?
The Duke is--
THEKLA (_throwing her arms round her mother_).
O stand firm; stand firm, my mother!
Revolted is the Duke; he is preparing
To join the enemy; the army leave him,
And all has fail'd.
A spacious Room in the Duke of Friedland's Palace.
WALLENSTEIN (_in armor_).
Thou hast gain'd thy point, Octavio! Once more am I
Almost as friendless as at Regensburg.
There I had nothing left me, but myself;
But what one man can do, you have now experience.
The twigs have you hew'd off, and here I stand
A leafless trunk. But in the sap within
Lives the creating power, and a new world
May sprout forth from it. Once already have I
Proved myself worth an army to you--I alone!
Before the Swedish strength your troops had melted;
Beside the Lech sank Tilly your last hope;
Into Bavaria like a winter torrent,
Did that Gustavus pour, and at Vienna
In his own palace did the Emperor tremble.
Soldiers were scarce, for still the multitude
Follow the luck: all eyes were turn'd on me,
Their helper in distress: the Emperor's pride
Bow'd itself down before the man he had injured.
'Twas I must rise, and with creative word
Assemble forces in the desolate camps.
I did it. Like a god of war, my name
Went through the world. The drum was beat; and, lo,
The plough, the workshop is forsaken, all
Swarm to the old familiar long-loved banners;
And as the wood-choir rich in melody
Assemble quick around the bird of wonder,
When first his throat swells with his magic song,
So did the warlike youth of Germany
Crowd in around the image of my eagle.
I feel myself the being that I was.
It is the soul that builds itself a body,
And Friedland's camp will not remain unfill'd.
Lead then your thousands out to meet me--true!
They are accustom'd under me to conquer,
But not against me. If the head and limbs
Separate from each other, 'twill be soon
Made manifest in which the soul abode.
(ILLO _and_ TERZKY _enter_)
Courage, friends! courage! we are still unvanquish'd!
I feel my footing firm; five regiments, Terzky,
Are still our own, and Butler's gallant troops;
And an host of sixteen thousand Swedes to-morrow.
I was not stronger when, nine years ago,
I marched forth, with glad heart and high of hope,
To conquer Germany for the Emperor.
WALLENSTEIN, ILLO, TERZKY
(_To them enter_ NEUMANN, _who leads_ TERZKY _aside and
talks with him_.)
What do they want?
From Pappenheim request leave to address you
In the name of the regiment.
WALLENSTEIN (_hastily to_ NEUMANN).
Let them enter.
May end in something. Mark you. They are still
Doubtful, and may be won.
WALLENSTEIN, TERZBY, ILLO, _ten_ Cuirassiers (_led by an_
ANSPESSADE, _march up and arrange themselves, after the
word of command, in one front before the Duke, and make
their obeisance. He takes his hat off and immediately covers
Halt! Front! Present!
WALLENSTEIN (_after he has run through them with his eye,
to the_ ANSPESSADE).
I know thee well. Thou art out of Brueggen in Flanders.
Thy name is Mercy.
Thou wert cut off on the march, surrounded by
the Hessians, and didst fight thy way with
an hundred and eighty men through their
'Twas even so, General!
What reward hadst thou for this gallant exploit?
That which I asked for: the honor to serve in
WALLENSTEIN (_turning to a second_).
Thou wert among the volunteers that seized and
made booty of the Swedish battery at Altenburg.
I forget no one with whom I have exchanged
Who sends you?
Your noble regiment, the Cuirassiers of Piccolomini.
Why does not your colonel deliver in your request,
according to the custom of service?
Because we would first know _whom_ we serve.
Begin your address.
ANSPESSADE (_giving the word of command_).
Shoulder your arms!
WALLENSTEIN (_turning to a third_).
Thy name is Risbeck; Cologne is thy birth-place.
Risbeck of Cologne.
It was thou that broughtest in the Swedish colonel,
Duebald, prisoner, in the camp at Nuremberg.
It was not I, General.
Perfectly right! It was thy elder brother: thou
hadst a younger brother too: Where did he
He is stationed at Olmuetz, with the Imperial
WALLENSTEIN (_to the_ ANSPESSADE).
There came to hand a letter from the Emperor
WALLENSTEIN (_interrupting him_).
Who chose you?
Drew its own man by lot.
Now to the business.
There came to hand a letter from the Emperor
Commanding us collectively, from thee
All duties of obedience to withdraw,
Because thou wert an enemy and traitor.
And what did you determine?
All our comrades
At Braunau, Budweiss, Prague and Olmuetz, have
Obey'd already; and the regiments here,
Tiefenbach and Toscano, instantly
Did follow their example. But--but we
Do not believe that thou art an enemy
And traitor to thy country, hold it merely
For lie and trick and a trumped-up Spanish story!
Thyself shalt tell us what thy purpose is,
For we have found thee still sincere and true:
No mouth shall interpose itself betwixt
The gallant General and the gallant troops.
Therein I recognize my Pappenheimers.
And this proposal makes thy regiment to thee.
Is it thy purpose merely to preserve
In thine own hands this military sceptre,
Which so becomes thee, which the Emperor
Made over to thee by a covenant?
Is it thy purpose merely to remain
Supreme commander of the Austrian armies?--
We will stand by thee, General! and guarantee
Thy honest rights against all opposition.
And should it chance that all the other regiments
Turn from thee, by ourselves will we stand forth
Thy faithful soldiers, and, as is our duty,
Far rather let ourselves be cut to pieces
Than suffer thee to fall. But if it be
As the Emperor's letter says, if it be true,
That thou in traitorous wise wilt lead us over
To the enemy, which God in heaven forbid!
Then we too will forsake thee, and obey
Hear me, children!
Yes, or no!
There needs no other answer.
You're men of sense, examine for yourselves;
Ye think, and do not follow with the herd
And therefore have I always shown you honor
Above all others, suffer'd you to reason;
Have treated you as free men, and my orders