Imágenes de páginas
PDF

And where it is thy will that thou shouldst be
Interr'd.
wallewstein.
Thy soul is busy with these thoughts.
Cou'NTESs,
What! dost thou not believe that oft in dreams
A voice of warning speaks prophetic to us?
wALLENSTEIN.

There is no doubt that there exist such voices.
Yet I would not call them
Voices of warning that announce to us
Only the inevitable. As the sun,
Ere it is risen, sometimes paints its image
In the atmosphere, so often do the spirits
Of great events stride on before the events,
And in to-day already walks to-morrow.
That which we read of the fourth Henry's death
Did ever vex and haunt me like a tale
Of my own future destiny. The king
Felt in his breast the phantom of the knife,
Long ere Ravaillac arm'd himself therewith.
His quiet mind forsook him: the phantasma
Started him in his Louvre, chased him forth
Into the open air : like funeral knells
Sounded that coronation festival;
And still with boding sense he heard the tread
Of those feet that even then were seeking him
Throughout the streets of Paris.

count Ess. And to thee The voice within thy soul bodes nothing? walle. NSTEIN. Nothing. Be wholly tranquil. countriss.

And another time I hasten’d after thee, and thou ran'st from me Through a long suite, through many a spacious hall, There seem'd no end of it: doors creak'd and clapp'd; I follow'd panting, but could not o'ertake thee; when on a sudden did I feel myself Grasp'd from behind—the band was cold, that grasp'd

ine—

"Twas thou, and thou didst kiss me, and there seem'd A crimson covering to envelop us.

wallow stri N. That is the crimson tapestry of my chamber.

countess (gazing on him).

If it should come to that—if I should see thee,
Who standest now before me in the fulness
Of life— [she falls on his breast and weeps.

walleNSTEIN.
The Emperor's proclamation weighs upon thee—
Alphabets wound not—and he finds no hands.

cots N tess. If he should find them, my resolve is taken– I bear about me my support and refuge. [Exit Countess.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

w Allenstein. I hear a boisterous music' and the Castle Is lighted up. Who are the revellers? Gotano N. There is a banquet given at the Castle To the Count Tertsky, and Field Marshal Illo. wall. Exist El N. in honour of the victory—This trihe Can show their joy in nothing else but feasting. [Rings. The Groom of the Cuamaen enters. Unrobe me. I will lay me down to sleep. [wallesstris takes the keys from Gondon. So we are guarded from all enemies, And shut in with sure friends. For all must cheat me, or a face like this [Fixing his eye on Gonoox. Was ne'er a hypocrite's mask. [The Groom of the Chamber takes off his mantle, collar, and scarf. wall exSto.1 N. Take care—what is that? G Room or Tú F. Ch.A.M BER. The golden chain is snapped in two. wa LLENSTEIN. Well, it has lasted long enough. Here—give it. [Ile takes and looks at the chain. 'Twas the first present of the Emperor. He hung it round me in the war of Friule, He being then Archduke; and I have worn it Till now from habit—— From superstition, if you will. Belike, It was to be a Talisman to me; And while I wore it on my neck in faith, It was to chain to me all my life long The volatile fortune, whose first pledge it was. Well, be it so | Henceforward a new fortune Must spring up for me; for the potency Of this charm is dissolved. [Gnoom of the CuAMBER retires with the vestments. WAllens.Trix rises, takes a stride across the room, and stands at last before Goadox in a posture of meditation. slow the old time returns upon me! I Behold myself once more at Burgau, where We two were Pages of the Court together. we oftentimes disputed: thy intention Was ever good; but thou wert wont to play The Moralist and Preacher, and wouldst rail at me– That I strove after things too ligh for me, Giving my faith to bold unlawful dreams, And still extol to me the golden mean. —Thy wisdom hath been proved a thriftless friend To thy own self. See, it has made thee early A superannuated man, and (but That my munificent stars will intervene) Would let thee in some miserable corner Go out like an untended lamp. go to do N. My Prince' With light heart the poor fisher moors his boat, And watches from the shore the lofty ship

Stranded amid the storm.

wall ENSTrix. Art thou already

In harbour then, old man? Well! I am not.
The unconquer'd spirit drives me o'er life's billows;
My planks still firm, my canvas swelling proudly.
Hope is my goddess still, and Youth my inmate;
And while we stand thus front to front alinost,
I might presume to say, that the swift wears
Have passed by powerless o'er my unblanched hair.

[Ile moves with long strides across the Saloon, and

remains on the opposite side over-against
Goa do N.
| Who now persists in calling Fortune false?
To me she has proved faithful, with fond love
Took me from out the common ranks of men,
And like a mother goddess, with strong arm
Carried me swiftly up the steps of life.
Nothing is common in my destiny,
Nor in the furrows of my hand. Who dares
Interpret then my life for me as 't were
One of the undistinguishable many
True in this present moment I appear
Fallen low indeed; but I shall rise again.
The high flood will soon follow on this ebb;
The fountain of my fortune, which now stops
Repress'd and bound by some malicious star,
Will soon in joy play forth from all its pipes.
Go is don.
And yet remember I the good old proverb,
• Let the night come before we praise the day. .
I would be slow from long continued fortune
To gather hope: for Hope is the companion
Given to the unfortunate by pitying Ileaven,
Fear hovers round the head of prosperous men:
For still unsteady are the scales of fate.
wall ENSTEIN (smiling).

I hear the very Gordon that of old
Was wont to preach to me, now once more preaching;
I know well, that all sublunary things
Are still the vassals of vicissitude.
The unpropitious gods demand their tribute.
This long ago the ancient Pagans knew:
And therefore of their own accord they offer'd
To themselves injuries, so to atone
The jealousy of their divinities:
And human sacritices bled to Typhon.

[After a pause, serious, and in a more subdued

nunner".

I too have sacrificed to him—For me
There fell the dearest friend, and through my fault
He fell! No joy from favourable fortune
Can overweigh the anguish of this stroke.
The envy of my destiny is glutted :
Life pays for life. On his pure head the lightning
Was drawn off which would else have shatter'd me.

SCEN e iii. To these enter Sex 1.

wall exstein. Is not that Seni? and beside himself, If one may trust his looks? What brings thee hither At this late hour, Baptista? 5Exi. Terror, Duke' On thy account. wall exstein. What now?

199 seni. Flee ere the day-break! Trust not thy person to the Swedes! WALLENSTEIN. What now Is in thy thoughts? sexi (with louder voice). Trust not thy person to these Swedes. wallensteix." What is it then? seni (still more urgently). Owait not the arrival of these Swedes: An evil near at hand is threatening thee From false friends. All the signs stand full of horror! Near, near at hand the net-work of perdition— Yea, even now "t is being cast around thee! w ALLENSTEIN. Baptista, thou art dreaming!—Fear befools thee. SEN i. Believe not that an empty fear deludes me. Come, read it in the planetary aspects; Read it thyself, that ruin threatens thee From false friends! wallenstein. From the falseness of my friends Has risen the whole of my unprosperous fortunes. The warning should have come before! At present I need no revelation from the stars To know that. sr. Nr. Come and see! trust thine own eyes! A fearful sign stands in the house of life— An enemy; a fiend lurks close behind The radiance of thy planet.—O be warn'd : Deliver not thyself up to these heathens, To wage a war against our holy church. wallowsreis (laughing gently). The oracle rails that way! Yes, yes! Now I recollect. This junction with the Swedes Did never please thee—lay thyself to sleep, Baptista! Signs like these I do not fear. Gordon (who during the whole of this dialogue has shown marks of extreme agitation, and jou, turns to WAllensteix). My Duke and General! May 1 dare presume, wall exsteix. Speak freely. Gondon. What if 't were no mere creation Of fear, if God's high providence vouchsafed To interpose its aid for your deliverance, And made that mouth its organ : WALLENsteix. Ye're both feverish : How can mishap come to me from the Swedes? They sought this junction with me—t is their interest. Gordon (with difficulty suppressing his emotion). But what if the arrival of these Swedes— What if this were the very thing that wing'd The ruin that is flying to your temples? [Flings himself at his foot. There is yet time, my Prince. sext. O hear him! hear him!

- GoadoN (rises).
The Rhine-Grave's still far off. Give but the orders,
This citadel shall close its gates upon him.
If then he will besiege us, let him try it.
But this I say; he'll find his own destruction
With his whole force before these ramparts, sooner
Than weary down the valour of our spirit.
He shall experience what a band of heroes,
Inspirited by an heroic leader,
Is able to perform. And if indeed
It be thy serious wish to make amend
For that which thou hast done amiss, this, this
Will touch and reconcile the Emperor
who gladly turns his heart to thoughts of mercy,
And Friedland, who returns repentant to him,
Will stand yet higher in his Emperor's favour,
Than e'er he stood when he had never fallen.
wallensteix (contemplates him with surprise, remains
silent awhile, betraying strong emotion).
Gordon—your zeal and fervour lead you far.
Well, well—an old friend has a privilege.
Blood, Gordon, has been flowing. Never, never
Can the Emperor pardon me: and if he could,
Yet 1–I ne'er could let myself be pardon'd.
Had I foreknown what now has taken place,
That he, my dearest friend, would fall for me,
My first death-offering : and had the heart
Spoken to me, as now it has done—Gordon,
It may be, I might have bethought myself.
It may be too, I might not. Might or might not,
Is now an idle question. All too seriously
Has it begun to end in nothing, Gordon
Let it then have its course.
[stepping to the window.
All dark and silent—at the castle too
All is now hush'd—Light me, Chamberlain :
[The Groom of the Ch AMBER, who had entered
during the last dialogue, and had been stand-
ing at a distance and listening to it with wi-
sible expressions of the deepest interest, ad-
vances in extreme agitation, and throws
himself at the Duke's feet.
And thou too! But I know why thou dost wish
My reconcilement with the Emperor.
Poor man! he hath a small estate in Caernthen,
And fears it will be forfeited because -
He's in my service. Am I then so poor,
That I no longer can indemnify
My servants? Well! to no one I employ
Means of compulsion. If t is thy belief
That fortune has fled from me, go! forsake me.
This night for the last time mayst thou unrobe me,
And then go over to thy Emperor.
Gordon, good night! I think to make a long
Sleep of it: for the struggle and the turmoil
Of this last day or two was great. May't please you!
Take care that they awake me not too early.
[Exit Wallenstein, the Groom of the Chamber
lighting him. SEN1 follows, Gordon remains
on the darkened stage, following the Duke
with his eye, till he disappears at the farther
end of the gallery : then by his gestures the
old man expresses the depth of his anguish,
and stands leaning against a pillar.

SCEN e IV. Goadon, Butlefi (at first behind the scenes).

butler (not yet come into view of the stage). Here stand in silence till I give the signal. connon (starts up). 'T is he, he has already brought the murderers. But LEB. The lights are out. All lies in profound sleep. Go to dox. What shall I do, shall I attempt to save him? Shall I call up the house? Alarm the guards? butler (appears, but scarcely on the stage). A light gleams hither from the corridor. It leads directly to the Duke's bed-chamber. Gof. Don. But then I break my oath to the Emperor; If he escape and strengthen the enemy, Do I not hereby call down on my head All the dread consequences? Butler (stepping forward). Hark! Who speaks there! go R dox. 'T is better, I resign it to the hands Of providence. For what am I, that I Should take upon myself so great a deed? I have not murder'd him, if he be murder'd; But all his rescue were my act and deed; Mine—and whatever be the consequences, I must sustain them. butleh (advances). I should know that voice. Gondon. Butler hurler. T is Gordon. What do you want here? Was it so late then, when the Duke dismiss'd you ? Gor pox. Your hand bound up and in a scarf? But LErt. 'T is wounded. That Illo fought as he was frantic, till At last we threw him on the ground. * Gordon (shuddering).

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

GoRoon.

His heart still cleaves To earthly things: he's not prepared to step Into the presence of his God!

Burlem (going). God 's merciful! gondon (holds him). Grant him but this night's respite. burlen (hurrying off). The next moment

May ruin all.

gondon (holds him still).
One hour!——
Burlea.
Unhold me! What
Can that short respite profit him?
Gondon.
O—Time
Works miracles. In one hour many thousands
Of grains of sand run out; and quick as they,
Thought follows thought within the human soul.
Only one hour! Your heart may change its purpose,
His heart may change its purpose—some new tidings
May come; some fortunate event, decisive,
May fall from Heaven and rescue him. O what
May not one hour achieve!
but left.
You but remind me,
How precious every minute is!
[Ile stamps on the floor.

SCENE W.

To these enter Macnon Alo, and Deveaeux, with the HALBERDIERs. compon (throwing himself between him and them). No, monster! First over my dead body thou shalt tread. I will not live to see the accursed deed! burles (forcing him out of the way). Weak-hearted dotard! [Trumpets are heard in the distance. devkazux and Macdonald. Hark! The Swedish trumpets! The Swedes before the ramparts! Let us hasten! gondon (rushes out). 0, God of Mercy! burlea (calling after him). Governor, to your post! groom of the chambea (hurries in). Who dares make larum here? Hush . The Duke sleeps. deveazux (with loud harsh voice). Friend, it is time now to make larum. Gnoom of the cuAMBER. Help! Murder! Butlert. Down with him onoom or the chambea (run through the body by Deveneux, falls at the entrance of the gallery.) Jesus Maria! But LE.R. Burst the doors open. [They rush over the body into the gallery-two doors are heard to crash one after the otherPoices deadened by the distance-Clash of arms—then all at once a profound silence.

[ocr errors]

countess tearsky (with a light).
Her bed-chamber is empty; she herself
Is no where to be found! The Neubrunn too,
Who watch'd by her, is missing. If she should
Be flown——But whither flown We must call up
Every soul in the house. How will the Duke
Bear up against these worst had tidings? O
If that my husband now were but return'd
Home from the banquet!—Hark! I wonder whether
The Duke is still awake! I thought I heard
Voices and tread of feet here! I will go
And listen at the door. Hark! what is that?
'T is hastening up the steps!

SCENE Wii.
Countess, Gondon.

gondon (rushes in out of breath). "T is a mistake! 'T is not the Swedes—Ye must proceed no further— Butler!–0 God ' where is he? gondon (observing the Countess). Countess! Say—— countess. You are come then from the castle? Where's my husband 7 gondon (in an agony of affright). Your husband 1–Ask not!—To the Duke—countess. Not till You have discover'd to me—— Goaldon. On this moment Does the world hang. For God's sake! to the Duke. While we are speaking—— [Calling loudly. Butler! Butler! God! countriss. why, he is at the castle with my husband. [Butler comes from the Gallery. Gondon. "T was a mistake—"T is not the Swedes—it is The Imperialist's Lieutenant-General Has sent me hither—will be here himself Instantly.—You must not proceed.

b UT LeR. He comes Too late. [Gordon dashes himself against the wall. Gorado N. O God of mercy! countess.

What too late? Who will be here himself? Octavio in Egram treason! Treason —where's the Duke [she rushes to the Gallery.

SCENE Wii.I.

(servants run across the Stage full of terror. The whole

scene must be spoken entirely without pauses.) seni (from the Gallery). O bloody frightful deed!

countess. What is it, Senio pAge (from the Gallery). O pitcous sight! [Other Servants hasten in with torches. countess. What is it? For God's sake! seni. And do you ask? Within the Duke lies murder'd—and your husband Assassinated at the Castle. [The Countess stands motionless. female seavant (rushing across the stage). Help! help! the Duchess! buagom Aster (enters). What mean these confused Loud cries, that wake the sleepers of this house? Gordon. Your house is cursed to all eternity. In your house doth the Duke lie murder'd : nungomasrea (rushing out). Heaven forbid! First senwant. Fly! fly! they murder us all ! second senvant (carrying silver plate). That way ! The lower Passages are block'd up. voice (from behind the Scene). Make room for the Lieutenant-Generall [At these words the Countess starts from her stupor, collects herself, and retires suddenly. voice (from behind the scene). Keep back the people Guard the door!

SCENE iv.

To these enters Octavio Piccolomini with all his Train. At the same time Devereux and Macdonald enter from out the Corridor with the Halberdiers.—walLENstein's dead Body is carried over the back part of the stage, wrapped in a piece of crimson tapestry. octavio (entering abruptly). It must not be! It is not possible! Butler Gordon I'll not believe it. Say no! [Gondon, without answering, points with his hand to the Body of Wallenstein as it is carried over the back of the stage. Octavio looks that way, and stands overpowered with horror. deveaeux (to Burlen). Here is the golden fleece—the Duke's sword— MACDONALD. Is it your order— hurlon (pointing to Octavio). Here stands he who now Hath the sole power to issue orders. [Drvenkux and Macdonald retire with marks of obeisance. One drops away after the other, till only Burlen, Octavio, and Gondon remain on the stage.

[blocks in formation]

O curse of Kings,
Infusing a dread life into their words,
And linking to the sudden transient thought
The unchangeable irrevocable deed.
Was there necessity for such an eager
Despatch? Couldst thou not grant the merciful
A time for mercy? Time is man's good Angel.
To leave no interval between the sentence,
And the fulfilment of it, doth beseem
God only, the immutable!
nuti.en.

For what
Rail you against me? What is my offence?
The Empire from a fearful enemy
Have I deliverd, and expect reward.
The single difference betwixt you and me
Is this: you placed the arrow in the bow;
I pull'd the string. You sow'd blood, and yet stand
Astonish'd that blood is come up. I always
Knew what I did, and therefore no result
liath power to frighten or surprise my spirit.
Have you aught else to order; for this instant
I make my best speed to Vienna; place
My bleeding sword before my Emperor's Throne,
And hope to gain the applause which undelaying
And punctual obedience may demand

From a just judge. [Exit Burlin.

SCENE X.

To these enter the Countess Tearsky, pale and disordered. Her utterance is slow and feeble, and uninpassioned. octavio (meeting her). O Countess Tertsky! These are the results Of luckless unblest deeds. countess. They are the fruits Of your contrivances. The Duke is dead, My husband too is dead, the Duchess struggles In the pangs of death, my niece has disappeard. This house of splendour, and of princely glory, Doth now stand desolated: the affrighted servants Rush forth through all its doors. I am the last Therein; I shut it up, and here deliver The keys. octavio (with a deep anguish). O Countess! my house too is desolate. countess.

octavio (turning to Burler). Was that my purpose, Butler, when we parted? O God of Justice! To thee I lift my hand! I am not guilty Of this foul deed.

Who next is to be murder'd : Who is next To be maltreated Lo! the Duke is dead.

The Emperor's vengeance inay be pacified

Spare the old servants; let not their fidelity

| Be imputed to the faithful as a crime—

« AnteriorContinuar »