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MAX. PICCOLOMINI, OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI,
Ha! there he is himself. Welcome, my father! [He embraces his father. As he turns round, he observes QUESTENBERG, and draws back with a cold and reserved air.
You are engaged, I see. I'll not disturb you.
How, Max.? Look closer at this visitor.
Attention, Max., an old friend merits-Reverence
Belongs of right to the envoy of your sovereign.
Von Questenberg!-Welcome-if you bring with you
Aught good to our head-quarters.
QUESTENBERG (seizing his hand).
Nay, draw not
Your hand away, Count Piccolomini !
Not on mine own account alone I seized it,
And nothing common will I say therewith.
OCTAVIO (to QUESTENBERG).
Hush! Suppress it, friend! Unless some end were answer'd by the utterance.Of him there you'll make nothing.
In their distress
They call a spirit up, and when he comes,
Straight their flesh creeps and quivers, and they
More than the ills for which they call'd him up.
The uncommon, the sublime, must seem and be
Like things of every day.-But in the field,
Ay, there the Present Being makes itself felt
The personal must command, the actual eye
Examine. If to be the chieftain asks
All that is great in nature, let it be
Likewise his privilege to move and act
In all the correspondencies of greatness.
The oracle within him, that which lives,
He must invoke and question-not dead books,
Not ordinances, not mould-rotted papers.
My son of those old narrow ordinances
Let us not hold too lightly. They are weights
Of priceless value, which oppress'd mankind
Tied to the volatile will of their oppressors.
For always formidable was the league
[Taking the hands of both. And partnership of free power with free will.
O savior names, and full of happy omen!
Ne'er will her prosperous genius turn from Austria,
While two such stars, with blessed influences
Beaming protection, shine above her hosts.
Heh!-Noble minister! You miss your part.
You came not here to act a panegyric.
You're sent, I know, to find fault and to scold
I must not be beforehand with my comrades.
OCTAVIO (to MAX.).
The way of ancient ordinance, though it winds,
The lightning's path, and straight the fearful path
Is yet no devious way. Straight forward goes
Of the cannon-ball. Direct it flies and rapid,
Shattering that it may reach, and shattering what it
My son the road, the human being travels,
That, on which BLESSING comes and goes, doth follow
us-The river's course, the valley's playful windings,
Curves round the corn-field and the hill of vines,
Honoring the holy bounds of property!
And thus secure, though late, leads to its end.
He comes from court, where people are not quite So well contented with the Duke, as here.
What now have they contrived to find out in him?
That he alone determines for himself
What he himself alone doth understand!
Well, therein he does right, and will persist in 't.
Heaven never meant him for that passive thing
That can be struck and hammer'd out to suit
Another's taste and fancy. He'll not dance
To every tune of every minister:
It goes against his nature-he can't do it.
He is possess'd by a commanding spirit,
And his too is the station of command.
And well for us it is so! There exist
Few fit to rule themselves, but few that use
Their intellects intelligently.-Then
Well for the whole, if there be found a man,
Who makes himself what nature destined him,
O hear your father, noble youth! hear him, Who is at once the hero and the man.
My son, the nursling of the camp spoke in thee!
A war of fifteen years
Hath been thy education and thy school.
Peace hast thou never witness'd! There exists
A higher than the warrior's excellence.
In war itself war is no ultimate purpose.
The vast and sudden deeds of violence,
Adventures wild, and wonders of the moment,
These are not they, my son, that generate
The Calm, the Blissful, and the enduring Mighty!
Lo there! the soldier, rapid architect!
Builds his light town of canvas, and at once
The whole scene moves and bustles momently,
The pause, the central point to thousand thousands-With arms, and neighing steeds, and mirth and quarre
Stands fix'd and stately, like a firm-built column,
Where all may press with joy and confidence.
Now such a man is Wallenstein; and if
Another better suits the court-no other
But such a one as he can serve the army
The motley market fills; the roads, the streams
Are crowded with new freights, trade stirs and hurries
But on some morrow morn, all suddenly,
The tents drop down, the horde renews its march
Dreary, and solitary as a church-yard
The meadow and down-trodden seed-plot lie
And the year's harvest is gone utterly
O let the Emperor make peace, my father!
Most gladly would I give the blood-stain'd laurel
For the first violet* of the leafless spring,
Pluck'd in those quiet fields where I have journey'd !
What ails thee? What so moves thee all at once?
Peace have I ne'er beheld? I have beheld it.
From thence am I come hither: O! that sight,
It glimmers still before me, like some landscape
Left in the distance,-some delicious landscape!
My road conducted me through countries where
The war has not yet reach'd. Life, life, my
My venerable father, Life has charms
Which we have ne'er experienced. We have been
But voyaging along its barren coasts,
Of such a distant, distant time, and not
Of the to-morrow, not of this to-day.
MAX (turning round to him, quick and vehement).
Where lies the fault but on you in Vienna!
I will deal openly with you, Questenberg.
Just now, as first I saw you standing here,
(I'll own it to you freely) indignation
father-Crowded and press'd my inmost soul together.
"Tis ye that hinder peace, ye!—and the warrior,
It is the warrior that must force it from you.
Ye fret the General's life out, blacken him,
Hold him up as a rebel, and Heaven knows
What else still worse, because he spares the Saxons,
And tries to awaken confidence in the enemy;
Which yet's the only way to peace: for if
War intermit not during war, how then
Like some poor ever-roaming horde of pirates,
That, crowded in the rank and narrow ship,
House on the wild sea with wild usages,
Nor know aught of the main land, but the bays
Where safeliest they may venture a thieves' landing.
Whate'er in the inland dales the land conceals
Of fair and exquisite, O! nothing, nothing,
Do we behold of that in our rude voyage.
OCTAVIO (attentive, with an appearance of
And so your journey has reveal'd this to you?
Twas the first leisure of my life. O tell me,
What is the meed and purpose of the toil,
The painful toil, which robb'd me of my youth,
Left me a heart unsoul'd and solitary,
A spirit uninform'd, unornamented,
For the camp's stir and crowd and ceaseless larum,
The neighing war-horse, the air-shattering trumpet,
The unvaried, still returning hour of duty,
Word of command, and exercise of arms-
There's nothing here, there's nothing in all this
To satisfy the heart, the gasping heart!
Mere bustling nothingness, where the soul is not-
This cannot be the sole felicity,
These cannot be man's best and only pleasures!
Much hast thou learnt, my son, in this short journey.
O! day thrice lovely! when at length the soldier
Returns home into life; when he becomes
A fellow-man among his fellow-men.
The colors are unfurl'd, the cavalcade
Marshals, and now the buzz is hush'd, and hark!
Now the soft peace-march beats, home, brothers, home!
The caps and helmets are all garlanded
With green boughs, the last plundering of the fields.
The city gates fly open of themselves,
They need no longer the petard to tear them.
The ramparts are all fill'd with men and women,
With peaceful men and women, that send onwards
Kisses and welcomings upon the air,
Which they make breezy with affectionate gestures.
From all the towers rings out the merry peal,
Den blut'gen Lorbeer geb ich hin mit Freuden
Fürs erste Veilchen, das der Mærz uns bringt,
Das dürftige Pfand der neuverjüngten Erde.
And whence can peace come?-Your own plagues
fall on you!
Even as I love what's virtuous, hate I you.
And here make I this vow, here pledge myself;
My blood shall spurt out for this Wallenstein,
And my heart drain off, drop by drop, ere ye
Shall revel and dance jubilee o'er his ruin.
QUESTENBERG, OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI
Alas, alas! and stands it so?
[Then in pressing and impatient tones
What, friend! and do we let him go away
In this delusion-let him go away?
Not call him back immediately, not open
His eyes upon the spot?
OCTAVIO (recovering himself out of a deep study)
He has now open'd mine,
And I see more than pleases me.
But why so? What is it?
Come, come along, friend! I must follow up
The ominous track immediately. Mine eyes
Are open'd now, and I must use them. Come!
[Draws QUESTENBERG on with him.
What now? Where go you then?
OCTAVIO (interrupting him, and correcting himself).
To the Duke. Come, let us go-"T is done, '.is done.
I see the net that is thrown over him.
Oh! he returns not to me as he went.
| Nay. but explain yourself.
And that I should not
Foresee it, not prevent this journey! Wherefore
Did I keep from him?-You were in the right.
I should have warn'd him! Now it is too late.
But what's too late? Bethink yourself, my friend,
That you are talking absolute riddles to me.
OCTAVIO (more collected).
Come! to the Duke's. "Tis close upon the hour,
Which he appointed you for audience. Come!
A curse, a threefold curse, upon this journey!
[He leads QUESTEN BERG off.
Changes to a spacious Chamber in the House of the Duke of Friedland.-Servants employed in putting the tables and chairs in order. During this enters SENI, like an old Italian doctor, in black and clothed somewhat fantastically. He carries a white staff, with which he marks out the quarters of the heaven.
Come to it, lads, to it! Make an end of it. I hear the sentry call out, "Stand to your arms!" They will be there in a minute.
Why were we not told before that the audience would be held here? Nothing prepared-no orders -no instructions
Ay, and why was the balcony-chamber countermanded, that with the great worked carpet?—there one can look about one.
I did even that
Which you commission'd me to do. I told them,
You had determined on our daughter's marriage,
Nay, that you must ask the mathematician there. And wish'd, ere yet you went into the field,
He says it is an unlucky chamber.
To show the elected husband his betrothed.
Poh! stuff and nonsense! That's what I call a hum. And did they guess the choice which I had made? A chamber is a chamber; what much can the place signify in the affair?
SENI (with gravity).
My son, there's nothing insignificant,
Nothing! But yet in every earthly thing
First and most principal is place and time.
FIRST SERVANT (to the second).
Say nothing to him, Nat. The Duke himself must let him have his own will.
SENI (counts the chairs, half in a loud, half in a low
voice, till he comes to eleven, which he repeats).
Eleven! an evil number! Set twelve chairs.
Twelve! twelve signs hath the zodiac: five and seven,
J'he holy numbers, include themselves in twelve.
And what may you have to object against eleven? O! my dear Lord, all is. not what it was. I should like to know that now.
Eleven is transgression; eleven oversteps
The ten commandments.
That's good! and why do you call five a holy number?
Five is the soul of man: for even as man
Is mingled up of good and evil, so
A canker-worm, my Lord, a canker-worm
Has stolen into the bud.
What, they were lax? they fail'd of the old respect
Not of respect. No honors were omitted,
No outward courtesy? but in the place
Of condescending, confidential kindness,
Familiar and endearing, there were given me
I have been long accustom'd to defend you,
To heal and pacify distemper'd spirits.
No; no one rail'd at you. They wrapp'd them up,
O Heaven! in such oppressive, solemn silence!-
Here is no every-day misunderstanding,
No transient pique, no cloud that passes over:
Something most luckless, most unhealable,
Has taken place. The Queen of Hungary
Used formerly to call me her dear aunt,
And ever at departure to embrace me→→
DUCHESS (wiping away her tears, after a pause).
She did embrace me,
But then first when I had already taken
My formal leave, and when the door already
Had closed upon me, then did she come out
In haste, as she had suddenly bethought herself,
And press'd me to her bosom, more with anguish
WALLENSTEIN (seizes her hand soothingly).
Nay, now collect yourself.
And what of Eggenberg and Lichtenstein,
And of our other friends there?
DUCHESS (shaking her head).
The ambassador from Spain, who once was wont To plead so warmly for me?—
catches her voice and hesitates).
[Strides across the Chamber in vchement agitatu. O! they force, they thrust me
With violence against my own will, onward!
DUCHESS (presses near to him, in entreaty).
O! if there yet be time, my husband! if
By giving way and by submission, this
Can be averted-my dear Lord, give way!
Win down your proud heart to it! Tell that heart,
It is your sovereign Lord, your Emperor,
Before whom you retreat. O let no longer
Low tricking malice blacken your good meaning
With venomous glosses. Stand you up
Shielded and helm'd and weapon'd with the truth.
And drive before you into uttermost shame
These slanderous liars! Few firm friends have we-
You know it! The swift growth of our good fortune
It hath but set us up a mark for hatred.
What are we, if the sovereign's grace and favor
Stand not before us?
Enter the Countess TERTSKY, leading in her hand the Princess THEKLA, richly adorned with Brilliants. COUNTESS, THekla, WallenSTEIN, DUCHESS.
These suns then are eclipsed for us. Henceforward How, sister! What, already upon business! Must we roll on, our own fire, our own light.
We in the field here gave our cares and toils
To make her great, and fight her a free way
To the loftiest earthly good; lo! mother Nature
Within the peaceful silent convent walls
Has done her part, and out of her free grace
Hath she bestow'd on the beloved child
The godlike; and now leads her thus adorn'd
To meet her splendid fortune, and my hope.
Thou wouldst not have recognized thy father, Wouldst thou, my child? She counted scarce eight! years,
When last she saw your face.
O yes, yes, mother!
At the first glance !—My father is not alter'd.
The form that stands before me falsifies
No feature of the image that hath lived
So long within me!
The voice of my child!
[Then after a pause.
I was indignant at my destiny,
That it denied me a man-child to be
Heir of my name and of my prosperous fortune,
And re-illume my soon extinguish'd being
In a proud line of princes.
I wrong'd my destiny. Here upon this head,
So lovely in its maiden bloom, will I
Let fall the garland of a life of war,
Nor deem it lost, if only I can wreath it,
Transmitted to a regal ornament,
Around these beauteous brows.
No! 'twas not so intended, that my business
Should be my highest best good-fortune!
[TERTSKY enters, and delivers letters to the DUKE
which he breaks open hurryingly.
COUNTESS (to MAX.).
Remunerate your trouble! For his joy
He makes you recompense. "Tis not unfitting
For you, Count Piccolomini, to feel
So tenderly-my brother it beseems
To show himself for ever great and princely.
Then I too must have scruples of his love;
For his munificent hands did ornament me
Ere yet the father's heart had spoken to me.
Yes; 'tis his nature ever to be giving
And making happy.
[He grasps the hand of the DUCHESS with still in
How my heart pours out
Its all of thanks to him! O! how I seem
To utter all things in the dear name Friedland.
While I shall live, so long will I remain
The captive of this name: in it shall bloom
My every fortune, every lovely hope.
Inextricably as in some magic ring
In this name hath my destiny charm-bound me!
COUNTESS (who during this time has been anxiously
watching the DUKE, and remarks that he is lost in
thought over the letters).
My brother wishes us to leave him. Come. WALLENSTEIN (lurns himself round quick, collects himself, and speaks with cheerfulness to the DUCHESS).
[He clasps her in his arms as PICCOLOMINI enters. Once more I bid thee welcome to the camp.
Enter MAX. PICCOLOMINI, and some time after Count
TERTSKY, the others remaining as before.
There comes the Paladin who protected us.
Max.! Welcome, ever welcome! Always wert thou
The morning-star of my best joys!
Till now it was the Emperor who rewarded thee,
I but the instrument. This day thou hast bound
The father to thee, Max. the fortunate father,
And this debt Friedland's self must pay.
You made no common hurry to transfer it.
I come with shame: yea, not without a pang!
For scarce have I arrived here, scarce deliver'd
The mother and the daughter to your arms,
But there is brought to me from your equerry
A splendid richly-plated hunting-dress
So to remunerate me for my troubles--
Yes, yes, remunerate me! Since a trouble
It must be, a mere office, not a favor
Which I leapt forward to receive, and which
I came already with full heart to thank you for.
Thou art the hostess of this court. You, Max.,
Will now again administer your old office,
While we perform the sovereign's business here.
[MAX. PICCOLOMINI offers the DUCHESS his arm; the
COUNTESS accompanies the PRINCESS.
TERTSKY (calling after him).
Max., we depend on seeing you at the meeting.
WALLENSTEIN, COUNT TERTSKY.
WALLENSTEIN (in deep thought to himself).
She hath seen all things as they are-It is so,
And squares completely with my other notices.
They have determined finally in Vienna,
Have given me my successor already;
It is the king of Hungary, Ferdinand,
The Emperor's delicate son! he's now their savior
He's the new star that's rising now! Of us
They think themselves already fairly rid,
And as we were deceased, the heir already
Is entering on possession-Therefore-dispatch!
[As he turns round he observes TERTSKY, and gives
him a letter.
Count Altringer will have himself excused.
And Galas too-I like not this!
Thou loiterest longer, all will fall away,
One following the other.