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On me thou'rt planted, I am thy Emperor;
To obey me, to belong to me, this is

But we are innocent: how have we fallen
Into this circle of mishap and guilt?

To whom have we been faithless? Wherefore must Thy honor, this a law of nature to thee!

The evil deeds and guilt reciprocal

Of our two fathers twine like serpents round us?

Why must our fathers'

Unconquerable hate rend us asunder

Who love each other?


Max., remain with me.

And if the planet, on the which thou livest
And hast thy dwelling, from its orbit starts,

It is not in thy choice, whether or no

Thou 'lt follow it, Unfelt it whirls thee onward
Together with his ring and all his moons.

With little guilt stepp'st thou into this contest,
Thee will the world not censure, it will praise thee,

Go you not from me, Max.! Hark! I will tell thee-For that thou held'st thy friend more worth to thee

How when at Prague, our winter-quarters, thou

Wert brought into my tent a tender boy,
Not yet accustom'd to the German winters;

Thy hand was frozen to the heavy colors;
Thou wouldst not let them go.-

At that time did I take thee in my arms,
And with my mantle did I cover thee;
I was thy nurse, no woman could have been
A kinder to thee; I was not ashamed
To do for thee all little offices,
However strange to me; I tended thee
Till life return'd; and when thine eyes first open'd,
I had thee in my arms. Since then, when have I
Alter'd my feelings towards thee? Many thousands
Have I made rich, presented them with lands;
Rewarded them with dignities and honors;
Thee have I loved: my heart, myself, I gave
To thee! They all were aliens: THOU wert

Our child and inmate.* Max.!, Thou canst not leave

It can not be; I may not, will not think
That Max. can leave me.

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Than names and influences more removed.
For justice is the virtue of the ruler,
Affection and fidelity the subject's.
Not every one doth it beseem to question
The far-off high Arcturus. Most securely
Wilt thou pursue the nearest duty-let
The pilot fix his eye upon the pole-star.

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Of gold; with his ram's fleece will he reward thee; They scale the council-house, the roof's uncover'd: For that the friend, the father of thy youth,

For that the holiest feeling of humanity,

Was nothing worth to thee.

They level at this house the cannon—



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his is a poor and inadequate translation of the affectionate sip city of the original

Sie alle waren Fremdlinge, Du warst

Das Kind des Hauses.


Merciful Heaven!


Not a step!


Let me go to them!

MAX. (pointing to THEKLA and the DUCHESS).

What tidings bring'st thou, Tertsky

But their life! Thine!



To these TERTSKY (returning).


Indeed the whole speech is in the best style of Massinger. O Message and greeting from our faithful regiments

si ac omnia!

Their ardor may no longer be curb'd in.


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Leave me-


Do it not;

Nor yet! This rash and bloody deed has thrown them
Into a frenzy-fit-allow them time-


Away! too long already have I loiter'd.

What? shall this town become a field of slaughter, They are embolden'd to these outrages,

And brother-killing Discord, fire-eyed,

Be let loose through its streets to roam and rage?
Shall the decision be deliver'd over

To deaf remorseless Rage, that hears no leader?
Here is not room for battle, only for butchery.
Well, let it be! I have long thought of it,
So let it burst then!

[Turns to MAX.

Well, how is it with thee?

Wilt thou attempt a heat with me. Away!
Thou art free to go. Oppose thyself to me,
Front against front, and lead them to the battle;
Thou'rt skilled in war, thou hast learn'd somewhat
under me,

I need not be ashamed of my opponent,

And never hadst thou fairer opportunity
To pay me for thy schooling.


Is it then,

Can it have come to this?What! Cousin, cousin!
Have you the heart?


The regiments that are trusted to my care

I have pledged my troth to bring away from Pilsen
True to the Emperor, and this promise will I
Make good, or perish. More than this no duty
Requires of me. I will not fight against thee,
Unless compell'd; for though an enemy,
Thy head is holy to me still.

Beholding not my face. They shall behold
My countenance, shall hear my voice

Are they not my troops? Am I not their General,
And their long-fear'd commander! Let me see,
Whether indeed they do no longer know
That countenance, which was their sun in battle!
From the balcony (mark!) I show myself
To these rebellious forces, and at once
Revolt is mounded, and the high-swoln current
Shrinks back into the old bed of obedience.



Let them but see him-there is hope still, sister.


Hope! I have none!
MAX. (who during the last scene has been standing at
distance in a visible struggle of feelings, advances).
This can I not endure.
With most determined soul did I come hither.
My purposed action seem'd unblamable
To my own conscience-and I must stand here
Like one abhorr'd, a hard inhuman being;
Yea, loaded with the curse of all I love!

[Two reports of cannon. ILLO and TERTSKY hurry Must see all whom I love in this sore anguish, to the window.

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Whom I with one word can make happy-O!
My heart revolts within me, and two voices
Make themselves audible within my bosom.
My soul's benighted; I no longer can
Distinguish the right track O, well and truly
Didst thou say, father, I relied too much

On my own heart. My mind moves to and fro-
I know not what to do.


What! you know not?
Does not your own heart tell you? O! then I
Will tell it you. Your father is a traitor,
A frightful traitor to us-he has plotted
Against our General's life, has plunged us all
In misery-and you're his son! "Tis your's
To make the amends-Make you the son's fidelity
Outweigh the father's treason, that the name
Of Piccolomini be not a proverb

Of infamy, a common form of cursing
To the posterity of Wallenstein.


Where is that voice of truth which I dare follow!

It speaks no longer in my heart. We all
But utter what our passionate wishes dictate:

O that an angel would descend from Heaven,
And scoop for me the right, the uncorrupted,
With a pure hand from the pure Fount of Light,
[His eyes glance on THEKLA.
What other angel seek I? To this heart,
To this unerring heart, will I submit it;
Will ask thy love, which has the power to bless
The happy man alone, averted ever
From the disquieted and guilty-canst thou
Still love me, if I stay? Say that thou canst,
And I am the Duke's-


Speak what thou feelest.

Think, niece


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To thine own self, thou art faithful too to me:
If our fates part, our hearts remain united.
A bloody hatred will divide for ever

The houses Piccolomini and Friedland;

But we belong not to our houses-Go!

Quick! quick! and separate thy righteous cause
From our unholy and unblessed one!

Think nothing, Thekla! The curse of Heaven lies upon our head:
"Tis dedicate to ruin. Even me


Think upon your father.


I did not question thee, as Friedland's daughter.
Thee, the beloved and the unerring god
Within thy heart, I question. What's at stake?
Not whether diadem of royalty

Be to be won or not-that might'st thou think on.
Thy friend, and his soul's quiet, are at stake;
The fortune of a thousand gallant men,

Who will all follow me; shall I forswear
My oath and duty to the Emperor?
Say, shall I send into Octavio's camp
The parricidal ball? For when the ball

Has left its cannon, and is on its flight,
It is no longer a dead instrument!

It lives, a spirit passes into it,

The avenging furies seize possession of it,
And with sure malice guide it the worst way.


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0! Max.


MAX. (interrupting her).
Nay, not precipitately either, Thekla.
I understand thee. To thy noble heart
The hardest duty might appear the highest.
The human, not the great part, would I act.
Even from my childhood to this present hour,

"Twas all in vain.


They shouted Vivat!


To the Emperor

Think what the Duke has done for me, how loved me,
And think too, how my father has repaid him.

O likewise the free lovely impulses

Of hospitality, the pious friend's

Faithful attachment, these too are a holy
Religion to the heart; and heavily

The shudderings of nature do avenge

Themselves on the barbarian that insults them.
Lay all upon the balance, all-then speak,
And let thy heart decide it.


O, thy own Hath long ago decided. Follow thou Thy heart's first feeling



The traitors!



Nay! he was not once permitted Even to address them. Soon as he began, With deafening noise of warlike instruments They drown'd his words. But here he comes.


To these enter WALLENSTEIN, accompanied by ILLO and BUTLER.

WALLENSTEIN (as he enters).

Oh! ill-fated woman! My General?

Is it possible, that that can be the right,
The which thy tender heart did not at first
Detect and seize with instant impulse? Go,
Fulfil thy duty! I should ever love thee.
Whate'er thou hadst chosen, thou wouldst still have





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You give me hope; you would not Suffer me wholly to despair. No! no! Mine is a certain misery-Thanks to Heaven That offers me a means of ending it.

[The military music begins again. The stage fills
more and more with armed men. MAX. sees
BUTLER, and addresses him.

And you here, Colonel Butler-and will you
Not follow me? Well, then! remain more faithful
To your new lord, than you have proved yourself
To the Emperor. Come, Butler! promise me,
Give me your hand upon it, that you'll be

The guardian of his life, its shield, its watchman.

He is attainted, and his princely head
Fair booty for each slave that trades in murder.
Now he doth need the faithful eye of friendship,
And hose whom here I see-

irresolute, and in apparent anguish. In the mean time the stage fills more and more; and the horns sound from below louder and louder, and each time after a shorter interval.


Blow, blow! O were it but the Swedish trumpets,
And all the naked swords, which I see here,
Were plunged into my breast! What purpose you?
You come to tear me from this place! Beware,
Ye drive me not to desperation.-Do it not!
Ye may repent it!


[The stage is entirely filled with armed men Yet more! weight upon weight to drag me down! Think what ye're doing. It is not well done To choose a man despairing for your leader; You tear me from my happiness. Well, then, dedicate your souls to vengeance. Mark! For your own ruin you have chosen me: Who goes with me, must be prepared to perish. [He turns to the back-ground, there ensues a sud den and violent movement among the Cuiras siers; they surround him, and carry him off in wild tumull. WALLENSTEIN remains immovable. THEKLA sinks into her mother's The curtain falls. The music becomes loud and overpowering, and passes into a complete war-march-the orchestra joins it-and continues during the interval between the second and third Acts.



BUTLER (just arrived).

Here then he is, by his destiny conducted."
Here, Friedland! and no farther! From Bohemia
Thy meteor rose, traversed the sky awhile,
And here upon the borders of Bohemia
Must sink.

Thou hast forsworn the ancient colors,
Blind man! yet trustest to thy ancient fortunes.
Profaner of the altar and the hearth,
Against thy Emperor and fellow-citizens
Thou mean'st to wage the war. Friedland, beware-
The evil spirit of revenge impels thee-
Beware thou, that revenge destroy thee not!

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[Casting suspicious looks on ILLO and BUTLER. You have received the letter which I sent you


Go-seek for traitors

In Galas', in your father's quarters. Here
Is only one. Away! away! and free us
From his detested sight! Away!
[MAX. attempts once more to approach THEKLA.
WALLENSTEIN prevents him. Max. stands

By a post-courier?


Yes: and in obedience to it Open'd the strong-hold to him without scruple, For an imperial letter orders me To follow your commands implicitly. But yet forgive me; when even now I saw

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A traitor to the Emperor-Such a noble!

Of such high talents! What is human greatness?
I often said, this can't end happily.

His might his greatness, and this obscure power
Are but a cover'd pit-fall. The human being
May not be trusted to self-government.

The clear and written law, the deep-trod foot-marks
Of ancient custom, are all necessary

To keep him in the road of faith and duty.
The authority intrusted to this man

Was unexampled and unnatural.

It placed him on a level with his Emperor,

Till the proud soul unlearn'd submission. Woe is me;
I mourn for him! for where he fell, I deem
Might none stand firm. Alas! dear General,
We in our lucky mediocrity

Have ne'er experienced, cannot calculate,
What dangerous wishes such a height may breed
In the heart of such a man.


Spare your laments Till he need sympathy; for at this present He is still mighty, and still formidable. The Swedes advance to Egra by forced marches, And quickly will the junction be accomplish'd. This must not be! The Duke must never leave This strong-hold on free footing; for I have Pledged life and honor here to hold him prisoner, And your assistance 'tis on which I calculate.


O that I had not lived to see this day!
From his hand I received this dignity,
He did himself intrust this strong-hold to me,
Which I am now required to make his dungeon.
We subalterns have no will of our own:
The free. the mighty man alone may listen
To the fair impulse of his human nature.
Ah! we are but the poor tools of the law,
Obedience the sole virtue we dare aim at!


Nay! let it not afflict you, that your power
Is circumscribed. Much liberty, much error!
The narrow path of duty is securest

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Say, then, will you fulfil the attainder on him?
GORDON (pauses reflecting—then as in deep dejection)
If it be so-if all be as you say-

If he 've betray'd the Emperor, his master,
The strong-holds of the country to the enemy-
Have sold the troops, have purposed to deliver
Yea, truly-there is no redemption for him!
Yet it is hard, that me the lot should destine
To be the instrument of his perdition;
For we were pages at the court of Bergau
At the same period; but I was the senior.

I have heard so


"Tis full thirty years since then.
A youth who scarce had seen his twentieth year
Was Wallenstein, when he and I were friends:
Yet even then he had a daring soul:

His frame of mind was serious and severe
Beyond his years: his dreams were of great objects
He walk'd amidst us of a silent spirit,
Communing with himself; yet I have known him
Transported on a sudden into utterance
Of strange conceptions; kindling into splendor
His soul reveal'd itself, and he spake so
That we look'd round perplex'd upon each other,
Not knowing whether it were craziness,
Or whether it were a god that spoke in him.


But was it where he fell two story high

From a window-ledge, on which he had fallen asleep
And rose up free from injury? From this day
(It is reported) he betray'd clear marks
Of a distemper'd fancy.


He became

Doubtless more self-enwrapt and melancholy;
He made himself a Catholic. Marvellously
His marvellous preservation had transform'd him
Thenceforth he held himself for an exempted
And privileged being, and, as if he were
Incapable of dizziness or fall,

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