Imágenes de páginas


WALLENstEIN, TERtsky, Illo.—To them enter QUEsTENBERG, Octavio and MAx. Piccolomini, ButLER, Isolaxi, MARADAs, and three other Generals. WALLENstEIN motions QUESTENBERG, who in consequence takes the chair directly opposite to him; the others follow, arranging themselves according to their rank. There reigns a momentary silence.


I have understood, 'tis true, the sum and import
Of your instructions, Questenberg; have weigh'd

And form'd my final, absolute resolve:
Yet it seems fitting, that the Generals
Should hear the will of the Emperor from your mouth.
May't please you then to open your commission
Before these noble Chieftains !

I am ready

To obey you; but will first entreat your Highness,
And all these noble Chieftains, to consider,
The Imperial dignity and sovereign right
Speaks from my mouth, and not my own presumption.

We excuse all preface.

When his Majesty

The Emperor to his courageous armies
Presented in the person of Duke Friedland
A most experienced and renown'd commander,
He did it in glad hope and confidence
To give thereby to the fortune of the war
A rapid and auspicious change. The onset
Was favorable to his royal wishes.
Bohemia was deliver'd from the Saxons,
The Swede's career of conquest check'd''. These lands
Began to draw breath freely, as Duke Friedland
From all the streams of Germany forced hither
The scatter'd armies of the enemy;
Hither invoked as round one magic circle
The Rhinegrave, Bernhard, Banner, Oxenstein,
Yea, and that never-conquer'd King himself;
Here finally, before the eye of Nürnberg,
The fearful game of battle to decide.

wall ENstein. May't please you, to the point.

QUESTENBERG. In Nürnberg's camp the Swedish monarch left His fame—in Lützen's plains his life. But who Stood not astounded, when victorious Friedland After this day of triumph, this proud day, March'd toward Bohemia with the speed of flight, And vanish'd from the theatre of war; While the young Weimar hero forced his way Into Franconia, to the Danube, like Some delving winter-stream, which, where it rushes, Makes its own channel; with such sudden speed He march'd, and now at once 'fore Regenspurg Stood to the affright of all good Catholic Christians. Then did Bavaria's well-deserving Prince Entreat swift aidance in his extreme need ; The Emperor sends seven horsemen to Duke Fried


Seven horsemen couriers sends he with the entreaty: He superadds his own, and supplicates

Where as the sovereign lord he can command.

In vain his supplication! At this moment
The Duke hears only his old hate and grudge,
Barters the general good to gratify
Private revenge—and so falls Regenspurg.

WALLENSTein Max., to what period of the war alludes he? My recollection fails me here!

MAX. He means When we were in Silesia.

wall, Enstein. Ay! is it so? But what had we to do theref

MAX. To beat out The Swedes and Saxons from the province.

wallenstein. True, In that description which the Minister gave I seem'd to have forgotten the whole war. [To QUESTENBERG. Well, but proceed a little.

- Yes; at length

Beside the river Oder did the Duke
Assert his ancient fame. Upon the fields
Of Steinau did the Swedes lay down their arms,
Subdued without a blow. And here, with others
The righteousness of Heaven to his avenger
Deliver'd that long-practised stirrer-up
Of insurrection, that curse-laden torch
And kindler of this war, Matthias Thur.
But he had fallen into magnanimous hands;
Instead of punishment he sound reward,
And with rich presents did the Duke dismiss
The arch-foe of his Emperor.

walleNstEIN (laughs).
I know,

I know you had already in Vienna
Your windows and balconies all forestall'd
To see him on the executioner's cart.
I might have lost the battle, lost it too
With infamy, and still retain'd your graces-
But, to have cheated them of n spectacle,
Oh! that the good folks of Vienna never,
No, never can forgive me!


So Silesia Was freed, and all things loudly call'd the Duke Into Bavaria, now press'd hard on all sides. And he did put his troops in motion: slowly, Quite at his ease, and by the longest road He traverses Bohemia; but ere ever He hath once seen the enemy, faces round, Breaks up the march, and takes to winter-quarters

walleNstein. The troops were pitiably destitute Of every necessary, every comfort. The winter came. What thinks his Majesty His troops are made of An't we men? subjected Like other men to wet, and cold, and all The circumstances of necessity O miserable lot of the poor soldier! Wherever he comes in, all flee before him, And when he goes away, the general curse Follows him on his route. All must be seized,

Nothing is given him. And compell'd to seize
From every man, he's every man's abhorrence.
Behold, here stand my Generals. Karafsa!
Count Deodate ' Butler! Tell this man
How long the soldiers' pay is in arrears.

BUTLER. Already a full year.

WALLENstrin. And 'tis the hire That constitutes the hireling's name and duties, The soldier's pay is the soldier's covenant.”

QUESTENBERG. Ah! this is a far other tone from that, In which the Duke spoke eight, nine years ago.

wa LLENSTEIN. Yes! 'tis my fault, I know it: I myself Have spoilt the Emperor by indulging him. Nine years ago, during the Danish war, I raised him up a force, a mighty force, Forty or fifty thousand men, that cost him Of his own purse no doit. Through Saxony The fury goddess of the war march'd on, F'en to the surf-rocks of the Baltic, bearing The terrors of his name. That was a time! In the whole Imperial realm no name like mine Honor'd with festival and celebration— And Albrecht Wallenstein, it was the title Of the third jewel in his crown! But at the Diet, when the Princes met At Regensburg, there, there the whole broke out, There 't was laid open, there it was made known, Out of what money-bag I had paid the host. And what was now my thank, what had I now, That I, a faithful servant of the Sovereign, Had loaded on myself the people's curses, And let the Princes of the empire pay The expenses of this war, that aggrandizes The Emperor alone—What thanks had I? What? I was offer'd up to their complaints, Dismiss'd, degraded !

QUESTENBERG. But your Highness knows What little freedom he possess'd of action In that disastrous Diet.

Death and hell!

I had that which could have procured him freedom.
No! since 't was proved so inauspicious to me
To serve the Emperor at the empire's cost,
I have been taught far other trains of thinking
Of the empire, and the diet of the empire.
From the Emperor, doubtless, I received this staff,
But now I hold it as the empire's general—
For the common weal, the universal interest,
And no more for that one man's aggrandizement!
But to the point. What is it that's desired of me?

QUESTENBERG. First, his Imperial Majesty hath will'd

* The original is not translatable into English; Und sein Sold Muss dem Soldaten werden, darnach heisster.

It might perhaps have been thus rendered:
And that for which he sold his services,
The soldier must receive.
But a false or doubtsul etymolory is no more than a dull pun.

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

Placing my honor and my head in pledge,
Needs must I have full mastery in all
The means thereto. What render'd this Gustavus
Resistless, and unconquer'd upon earth?
This—that he was the monarch in his army!
A monarch, one who is indeed a monarch,
Was never yet subdued but by his equal.
But to the point! The best is yet to come.
Attend now, generals!


The Prince Cardinal Begins his route at the approach of spring From the Milanese; and leads a Spanish army Through Germany into the Netherlands. That he may march secure and unimpeded, Tis the Emperor's will you grant him a detachment Of eight horse regiments from the army here.

wal, Leinstein. Yes, yes! I understand!—Eight regiments! Well, Right well concerted, father Lamormain! Eight thousand horse! Yes, yes!"Tis as it should be! I see it coming.

QUEStenberg. There is nothing coming. All stands in front: the counsel of state-prudence, The dictate of necessity'—

WALLENstein. What then? What, my Lord Envoy May I not be suffer'd To understand, that folks are tired of seeing The sword's hilt in my grasp: and that your court Snatch eagerly at this pretence, and use The Spanish title, to drain off my forces, To lead into the empire a new army Unsubjected to my control? To throw me Plumply aside—I am still too powerful for you To venture that. My stipulation runs, That all the Imperial forces shall obey me Where'er the German is the native language. Of Spanish troops and of Prince Cardinals That take their route, as visitors, through the empire, There stands no syllable in my stipulation. No syllable ! And so the politic court Steals in a tiptoe, and creeps round behind it; First makes me weaker, then to be dispensed with, Till it dares strike at length a bolder blow And make short work with me. What need of all these crooked ways, Lord Envoy Straight forward, man! His compact with me pinches The Emperor. He would that I moved off!— Well!—I will gratify him! [Here there commences an agitation among the Generals, which increases continually. It grieves me for my noble officers' sakes! I see not yet, by what means they will come at The moneys they have advanced, or how obtain The recompense their services demand. Still a new leader brings new claimants forward, And prior merit superannuates quickly. There serve here many foreigners in the army, And were the man in all else brave and gallant, I was not went to make nice scrutiny After his pedigree or catechism. This will be otherwise, i' the time to come. Well—me no longer it concerns. [He seats himself.

MAX. PiCCOLOMini. Forbid it Heaven, that it should come to this! Our troops will swell in dreadful fermentation— The Emperor is abused—it cannot be. I80LANI. It cannot be; all goes to instant wreck. WALLENstein. Thou hast said truly, faithful Isolani! What we with toil and foresight have built up Will go to wreck—all go to instant wreck. What then? another chieftain is soon found, Another army likewise (who dares doubt it?) Will flock from all sides to the Emperor, At the first beat of his recruiting drum, [During this speech, Isolani, TEAtsky, Illo, and MARADAs talk confusedly with great agitation. Max. Piccolomini (busily and passionately going from one to another, and soothing them. Hear, my commander! Hear me, generals! Let me conjure you, Duke' Determine nothing, Till we have met and represented to you Our joint remonstrances—Nay, calmer! Friends! I hope all may be yet set right again. TERTSKY. Away! let us away! in the antechamber Find we the others. Butler (to QUESTENBERG). If good counsel gain Due audience from your wisdom, my Lord Envoy! You will be cautious how you show yourself In public for some hours to come—or hardly Will that gold key protect you from maltreatment. [Commotions heard from without. WALLENSTEin. A salutary counsel Thou, Octavio ! Wilt answer for the safety of our guest. Farewell, Von Questenberg: [QUESTENBERG is about to speak. Nay, not a word. Not one word more of that detested subject! You have perform'd your duty—We know how To separate the office from the man. [As QUESTENBERG is going off with Octavio; Goetz, TIEFENbach, Kolatto, press in ; several other Generals following them. Goetz. Where's he who means to robus of our general 1 TiEFENBACH (at the same time). What are we forced to hear? That thou wilt leave us? Kolatto (at the same time). We will live with thee, we will die with thee.

[They go.

walleNstEIN (with stateliness, and pointing to Illo).

There! the Feld-Marshal knows our will. [Exit.
[While all are going off the Stage, the curtain

Scene—A small Chamber. ILLo and TERTsky.

TeRTsky. Now for this evening's business! How intend you

To manage with the generals at the banquet!

ILL0. It is to be a night of weight and crisis; Attend ' We frame a formal declaration, And something great, and of long expectation, Wherein we to the Duke consign ourselves Is to make its procession in the heaven. Collectively, to be and to remain ILLO. His both with life and limb, and not to spare !Come! be we bold and make dispatch. The work The last drop of our blood for him, provided In this next day or two must thrive and grow So doing we infringe no oath or duty, More than it has for years. And let but only We may be under to the Emperor—Mark! Things first turn up auspicious here below This reservation we expressly make Mark what I say—the right stars too will show themIn a particular clause, and save the conscience. | selves. Now hear! This formula so framed and worded Come, to the Generals. All is in the glow, Will be presented to them for perusal And must be beaten while 'tis malleable. Before the banquet. No one will find in it tertsky. Cause of offence or scruple. Hear now further: Do you go thither, Illo. I must stay, After the feast, when now the vap'ring wine And wait here for the countess Terisky. Know. Opens the heart, and shuts the eyes, we let That we too are not idle. Break one string, A counterfeited paper, in the which A second is in readiness. This one particular clause has been left out, ILL0. Go round for signatures. Yes! Yes! TERtsky. I saw your lady smile with such sly meaning. How! think you then What's in the wind That they'll believe themselves bound by an oath, Tentsky. Which we had trick'd them into by a juggle A secret. Hush ' she comes. [Erit ILlo. ILLO. We shall havé caught and caged them! Let them then Beat their wings bare against the wires, and rave SCENE II. Loud as they may against our treachery; At court their signatures will be believed (The Countess steps out from a Closet). Far more than their most holy affirmations. Count and CountEss TERTsky. Traitors they are, and must be ; therefore wisely TERTsKY Will make a virtue of necessity. Well—is she coming?—I can keep him back Thertsky. No longer. Well, well, it shall content me; let but something countess. Be done, let only some decisive blow She will be there instantly, Set us in motion. You only send him. ILL0. ter'Tsky. Besides, 'tis of subordinate importance . ... I am not quite certain, How, or how far, we may thereby propel I must confess it, Countess, whether or not The Generals. "Tis enough that we persuade We are earning the Duke's thanks hereby. You know The Duke that they are his—Let him but act No ray has broke out from him on this point. In his determined mood, as if he had them, You have o'erruled me, and yourself know best And he will have them. Where he plunges in, How far you dare proceed. He makes a whirlpool, and all stream down to it. COUNTESS.

I take it on me. [Talking to herself, while she is advancing Here's no need of full powers and commissions— My cloudy Duke' we understand each other— And without words. What, could I not unriddle, Wherefore the daughter should be sent for hither, To write to them, to Arnheim; to Sesina Why first he, and no other, should be chosen

Himself comes forward blank and undisguised; To fetch her hither? This sham of betrothing her
Talks with us by the hour about his plans, To a bridegroom, when no one knows—No! no!
And when I think I have him—off at once This may blind others' I see through thee, Brother:
He has slipp'd from me, and appears as if But it beseems thee not, to draw a card

[ocr errors]

Trn Tsky.
His policy is such a labyrinth,
That many a time when I have thought myself
Close at his side, he's gone at once, and left me
Ignorant of the ground where I was standing.
He lends the enemy his ear, permits me

ILL0. - Well—thou shalt not have been deceived, Duke He give up his old plans ! I'll tell you, friend! Friedland His soul is occupied with nothing else, - In her who is thy sister. Even in his sleep—They are his thoughts, his dreams, sERVANT (enters). That day by day he questions for this purpose The commanders' The motions of the planets terrorsky (to the Count Ess). to RTsKY. Take care you heat his fancy and affections— Ay! you know This might, that is now coming, he with SENI * In Germany, after honorable addresses have been paid and

- - - formally accepted, the lovers are called Bride and Bridegroom, Shuts himself up in the astrological tower even though the marriage should not take place till years after

To make joint observations—for I hear, wards.

Possess him with a reverie, and send him,
Absent and dreaming, to the banquet; that
He may not boggle at the signature.
Take you care of your guests!—Go, send him hither.
All rests upon his undersigning.
countess (interrupting him).
Go to your guests! Go-
illo (comes back).
Where art staying, Tertsky
The house is full, and all expecting you.
Instantly! Instantly!
[To the CountEss.
And let him not
Stay here too long. It might awake suspicion
In the old man—
A truce with your precautions!
[Ereunt TERtsky and ILLo.

SCENE III. Count Ess, MAx. PiccoloxiiN1.

Max. (peeping in on the stage shyly). Aunt Tertsky! may I venture ? [Advances to the middle of the stage, and looks around him with uneasiness. She's not here ! Where s she 2 CountESS. Look but somewhat narrowly In yonder corner, lest perhaps she lie Conceal’d behind that screen. MAX. There lie her gloves' (Snatches at them, but the CountEss takes them herself. Yon unkind Lady! You refuse me this— You make it an amusement to torment me. count Ess. And this the thank you give me for my trouble 1 MAX. 0, if you felt the oppression at my heart! Since we’ve been here, so to constrain myself— With such poor stealth to hazard words and glances— These, these are not my habits' countess. You have still Many new habits to acquire, young friend' But on this proof of your obedient temper I must continue to insist; and only On this condition can I play the agent For your concerns. MAX. , But wherefore comes she not ? Where is she 1 COUNTESS. Into my hands you must place it Whole and entire. Whom could you find, indeed, More zealously affected to your interest ? No soul on earth must know it—not your father. He must not, above all. M.A.X. Alas! what danger?

[blocks in formation]

Or is it only I ?
I find myself,
As among strangers! Not a trace is left
Of all my former wishes, former joys.
Where has it vanish'd to 1 There was a time
When even, methought, with such a world as this
I was not discontented. Now, how flat:
How stale ! No life, no bloom, no flavor in it!
My comrades are intolerable to me.
My father—Even to him I can say nothing.
My arms, my military duties—O!
They are such wearying toys!
But, gentle friend!
I must entreat it of your condescension.
You would be pleased to sink your eye, and favor
With one short glance or two this poor stale world
Where even now much, and of much moment,
Is on the eve of its completion.


Something, I can't but know, is going forward round me. I see it gathering, crowding, driving on, In wild uncustomary movements. Well, In due time, doubtless, it will reach even me. Where think you I have been, dear lady? Nay, No raillery. The turmoil of the camp, The spring-tide of acquaintance rolling in, The pointless jest, the empty conversation, Oppress'd and stiffen'd me. I gasp'd for air– I could not breathe-I was constrain'd to fly, To seek a silence out for my full heart; And a pure spot wherein to feel my happiness. No smiling, Countess' In the church was I. There is a cloister here to the heaven's gate,” Thither I went, there found myself alone. Over the altar hung a holy mother; A wretched painting 'twas, yet 't was the friend That I was seeking in this moment. Ah, How of have I beheld that glorious form In splendor, 'mid ecstatic worshippers; Yet, still it moved me not! and now at once Was my devotion cloudless as my love.

Count Ess. Enjoy your fortune and felicity! Forget the world around you. Meantime, friendship Shall keep strict vigils for you, anxious, active. Only be manageable when that friendship Points you the road to full accomplishment. How long may it be since you declared your passion?


This morning did I hazard the first word.

countress. This morning the first time in twenty days?

Max. "Twas at that hunting-castle, betwixt here And Nepomuck, where you had join'd us, and— That was the last relay of the whole journey!

* I am doubtful whether this be the dedication of the cloister, or the name of one of the city gates, near which it stood. I have translated it in the former sense; but fearful of having made some blunder, I add the original.—Es ist ein Kloster hier zur Himmelspforte.

« AnteriorContinuar »