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The accursed business of the Regensburg diet Will all be acted o'er again!
Make your heart easy, sister, as to that.
But whither? See, your father comes.
[THEKLA, in extreme agitation, throws herself upon I cannot see him now.
her mother and enfolds her in her arms, weeping.
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 whirls 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.
Believe me, I cannot sustain his presence.
But he will miss you, will ask after you.
What now? Why is she going?
What ails then my beloved child?
[Both follow the PRINCESS, and endeavor to detain her. During this WALLENSTEIN appears, engaged in conversation with ILLO.
WALLENSTEIN, ILLO, COUNTESS, DUCHESS, THEKLA.
All quiet in the camp?
Thou wilt share
An easier, calmer lot, my child! We too,
I and thy father, witness'd 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,
Insteady 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.
It is all quiet.
In a few hours may couriers come from Pragun
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.
To lift her into greatness
Yea, in this moment, in the which we are speaking
[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 likingAnd 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.
Twere better you yourself disclosed it to her,
How? Do we not return to Karn then?
DUCHESS (casting a look of terror on the DUKE and the Go, hear his business.
Let him not leave thee, sister! go, detain him!
There's some misfortune.
DUCHESS (clinging to him).
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
Gracious Heaven! what is it? From abject wretchedness. Let that go by;
Be tranquil' leave me, sister! dearest wife!
We are in camp, and this is naught 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 scenes where men must act.
[He is going: TERTSKY returns.
Remain here. From this window must we see it.
WALLENSTEIN (to the COUNTESS).
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 worshipp'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,
TERTSKY (leads the COUNTESS aside, and drawing her Naught sinks into the bosom's silent depth :
Tiefenbach's corps make threat'ning movements; only Tiefenbach's soldiers, when I gave the orders
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?
The Generals made that stealthy flight
Caraffa too, and Montecuculi,
WALLENSTEIN (leaning on BUTLER's shoulders).
Know'st thou already?
That old man has betray'd me to the Emperor.
Duke! hear'st thou? 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,
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
O hadst thou but believed me!
To them enter the COUNTESS.
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
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,
[Rushes out of the room. I expect him every moment: and whatever
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:
"T was 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.