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him with a Paper, Isolani comes up to meet him with a Beaker or Service-Cup. TERtsky, Isolani, MAx. Piccolomini.
ISOLAN.I. Here brother, what we love! Why, where hast been Off to thy place—quick! Tertsky here has given The mother's holiday wine up to free booty. Here it goes on as at the Heidelberg castle. Already hast thou lost the best. They're giving At yonder table ducal crowns in shares; There Sternberg's lands and chattels are put up, With Eggenberg's, Stawata's, Lichtenstein's, And all the great Bohemian feodalities. Be nimble, lad! and something may turn up For thee—who knows? off—to thy place' quick! march' riEFENEAch and Goetz (call out from the second and third tables). Count Piccolomini ! TErtsky. Stop, ye shall have him in an instant—Read This oath here, whether as 'tis here set forth, The wording satisfies you. They've all read it, Each in his turn, and each one will subscribe His individual signature.
“Inasmuch as our supreme Commander, the illustrious Duke of Friedland, in consequence of the manifold affronts and grievances which he has received, had expressed his determination to quit the Emperor, but on our unanimous entreaty has graciously consented to remain still with the army, and not to part from us without our approbation thereof, so we, col. lectively and each in particular, in the stead of an oath personally taken, do hereby oblige ourselves—likewise by him honorably and faithfully to hold, and in nowise whatsoever from him to part, and to be ready to shed for his interests the last drop of our blood, so far, namely, as our oath to the Emperor will permit. (These last words are repeated by Isolani.) In testimony of which we subscribe our names.”
TERTsky. Now!—are you willing to subscribe this papert ISOLani. Why should he not? All officers of honor Can *o it, ay, must do it—Pen and ink here!
TERTsky. Nay, let it rest till after meal.
isolani (drawing Max, along). Come, Max. (Both seat themselves at their table.
TERTsky, NEUMANN. TERTsky (beckons to NEUMANN who is waiting at the side-table, and steps forward with him to the edge of the stage). Have you the copy with you, Neumann? Give it. It may be changed for the other! NEumann. I have copied it Letter by letter, line by line; no eye Would e'er discover other difference, Save only the omission of that clause, According to your Excellency's order. Tertsky. Right! lay it yonder, and away with this— It has perform'd its business—to the fire with it— [NEUMANN lays the copy on the table, and steps back again to the side-table.
Illo (comes out from the second chamber), TERtsky
All right, I think. He has started no objection.
How looks it at your table you forget not
O, quite cordial,
They are quite cordial in the scheme. We have them.
And Butler? How goes it there Hush: SCENE Xi. To them enter ButleR from the second table. Butler.
Don't disturb yourselves.
Field Marshal, I have understood you perfectly.
[With an air of mystery. You may depend upon me.
Illo (with vivacity).
As long as 'tis his pleasure to remain
TERTsky. You would make a good exchange. No stern economist, no Ferdinand, Is he to whom you plight your services.
Butler (with a haughty look).
I do not put up my fidelity
Who is ignorant, That the whole army look to Colonel Butler, As to a light that moves before them?
Then I repent me not of that fidelity
ill.0. Say, And speak roundly, what are we to deem you?
Butler. A friend! I give you here my hand! I'm your's With all I have. Not only men, but money Will the Duke want.—Go, tell him, sirs’ I've earn'd and laid up somewhat in his service. I lend it him; and is he my survivor, It has been already long ago bequeath'd him. He is my heir. For me, I stand alone Here in the world; naught know I of the feeling That binds the husband to a wife and children. My name dies with me, my existence ends.
I came a simple soldier's boy from Ireland
This is an awful moment! to the brave,
[Ereunt, each to his table
The MASTER of the CELLAR advancing with NEUMANN Servants passing backwards and forwards. Master OF THE CELLAR. The best wine! O: if my old mistress, his lady mother, could but see these wild goings on, she would turn herself round in her grave. Yes, yes, sir officer. 'tis all down the hill with this noble house ! no end. no moderation' And this marriage with the Duke's sister, a splendid connexion, a very splendid connexion! but I will tell you, sir officer, it looks no good. NEuxi ANN. Heaven forbid! Why, at this very moment the whole prospect is in bud and blossom' Master of the cellar. You think so —Well, well! much may be said on that head. FIRST servaNT (comes). Burgundy for the fourth table. MASTER of the CELLAR. Now, sir lieutenant, if this an’t the seventieth flask— first servant. Why, the reason is, that German lord, Tiefenbach, sits at that table. MASTER of the CELLAR (continuing his discourse to NEUMANN). They are soaring too high. They would rival kings and electors in their pomp and splendor; and wherever the Duke leaps, not a minute does my gracious master, the count, loiter on the brink—(to the Servants.)—What do you stand there listening for I will let you know you have legs presently. Off! see to the tables, see to the flasks! Look there! Count Palfi has an empty glass before him : RUNNER (comes). The great service-cup is wanted, sir; that rich gold cup with the Bohemian arms on it. The Count says you know which it is. MASTER OF THE CELLAR. Ay! that was made for Frederick's coronation by
the artist William—there was not such another prize in the whole booty at Prague. RUNNER. The same!—a health is to go round in him.
MasTER of the CELLAR (shaking his head while he fetches and rinses the cups).
This will be something for the tale-bearers—this
goes to Vienna. neumann.
Permit me to look at it.—Well, this is a cup indeed! How heavy! as well as it may be, being all gold—And what neat things are embossed on it! how natural and elegant they look!—There, on that first quarter, let me see. That proud Amazon there on horseback, she that is taking a leap over the crosier and mitres, and carries on a wand a hat together with a banner, on which there's a goblet represented. Can you tell me what all this signifies 7
MASTER OF The Cell. Ar. The woman whom you see here on horseback, is the Free Election of the Bohemian Crown. That is signified by the round hat, and by that fiery steed on which she is riding. The hat is the pride of man; for he who cannot keep his hat on before kings and emperors is no free man.
NEWMAN.N. But what is the cup there on the banner?
Master of the cel, Lar. The cup signifies the freedom of the Bohemian Church, as it was in our forefathers' times. Our forefathers in the wars of the Hussites forced from the Pope this noble privilege: for the Pope, you know, will not grant the cup to any layman. Your true Moravian values nothing beyond the cup; it is his costly jewel, and has cost the Bohemians their precious blood in many and many a battle.
New MANN. And what says that chart that hangs in the air there, over it all? Master or the cell Art. That signifies the Bohemian letter-royal, which we forced from the Emperor Rudolph—a precious, never to be enough valued parchment, that secures to the new church the old privileges of free ringing and open psalmody. But since he of Steirmark has ruled over us, that is at an end ; and after the battle at Prague, in which Count Palatine Frederick lost crown and empire, our faith hangs upon the pulpit and the altar—and our brethren look at their homes over their shoulders; but the letter-royal the Emperor himself cut to pieces with his scissars.
NEUMANN. "Why, my good master of the cellar! you are deep read in the chronicles of your country! MASTER of The cellar. So were my forefathers, and for that reason were the minstrels, and served under Procopius and Ziska. Peace be with their ashes! Well, well! they fought for a good cause though—There ! carry it up! NEWMANN. Stay! let me but look at this second quarter. Look there! That is, when at Prague Castle the Imperial Counsellors, Martinitz and Stawata, were hurled down head over heels. "Tis even so! there stands Count Thur, who commands it. [Runner takes the service-cup and goes off with it.
MASTER OF THE CELLAR. O let me never more hear of that day. It was the three-and-twentieth of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand, six hundred, and eighteen. It seems to me as it were but yesterday—from that unlucky day it all began, all the heart-aches of the country. Since that day it is now sixteen years, and there has never once been peace on the earth. [Health drunk aloud at the second table The Prince of Weimar! Hurra! [At the third and fourth table Long live Prince William! Long live Duke Bernard! Hurra! [Music strikes up First SERVANT. Hear'em! Hear 'em! What an uproar! second servant (comes in running). Did you hear? They have drunk the prince of Weimar's health. Third servant. The Swedish Chief Commander! FIRST servaNT (speaking at the same time). The Lutheran' SECOND SERVANT. Just before, when Count Deodate gave out the Emperor's health, they were all as mum as a nibbling illouse. MASTER or the cel, Lart. Po, po! When the wine goes in, strange things come out. A good servant hears, and hears not!— You should be nothing but eyes and feet, except when you are called to.
SECOND SERVANT. [To the Runner, to whom he gives secretly a flask of wine, keeping his eye on the Master of the Cellar, standing between him and the Runner. Quick, Thomas! before the Master of the Cellar runs this way—’t is a flask of Frontignac'—Snapped it up at the third table—Canst go off with it RUNNER (hides it in his pocket). All right! [Erit the Second Servant. Third servaNT (aside to the First). Be on the hark, Jack' that we may have right plenty to tell to father Quivoga—He will give us right plenty of absolution in return for it.
newmann. Fy, fy! you should not say so, friend. There are among them our very best generals, and those on whom the Duke at this moment relies the most. Master of the ceili,Art. [Taking the flask out of the Runner's pocket. My son, it will be broken to pieces in your pocket. [TERtsky hurries in, fetches away the paper, and calls to a Servant for Pen and Ink, and goes to the back of the Stage. MAster of the cellAR (to the Servants). The Lieutenant-General stands up—Be on the watch—Now! They break up.–Off, and move back the forms. [They rise at all the tables, the Servants hurry off the front of the Stage to the tables; part of the guests come forward.
Octavio PiccoloniiN1 enters into conversation with MARADAs, and both place themselves quite on the edge of the Stage on one side of the Proscenium. On the side directly opposite, Max. Piccolomixi, by himself, lost in thought, and taking no part in any thing that is going forward. The middle space be. tween both, but rather more distant from the edge of the Stage, is filled up by BUtLER, Isola Ni, Goetz, TIEFENBAch, and Kolatto.
Isolani (while the Company is coming forward). Good night, good night, Kolatto! Good night, Lieutenant-General'—I should rather say, good morning.
goEtz (to TiEFENBAch). Noble brother! (making the usual compliment after meals). Tiefenbach. Ay! 'twas a royal feast indeed. Gortz.
Yes, my Lady Countess understands these matters. Her mother-in-law, Heaven rest her soul, taught her! —Ah! that was a housewife for you!
There was not her like in all Bohemia for setting
out a table.
Do me the favor to talk to me—talk of what you will—or of nothing. Only preserve the appearance at least of talking. I would not wish to stand by myself, and yet I conjecture that there will be goings on here worthy of our attentive observation. (He continues to fir his eye on the whole following scene).
isolani (on the point qf going).
TERtsky (advancing with the Paper to Isolani).
Noble brother; two minutes longer!—Here is something to subscribe.
Subscribe as much as you like—but you must ex
cuse me from reading it. TERTsky.
There is no need. It is the oath, which you have
already read—Only a few marks of your pen! [Isolani hands over the Paper to Octavio respect.
octavio (advancing to Butler). You are not over-fond of the orgies of Bacchus, Colonel ! I have observed it. You would, I think, find yourself more to your liking in the uproar of a battle, than of a feast. Butler. I must confess, 'tis not in my way. octavio (stepping nearer to him friendlily). Nor in mine either, I can assure you; and I am not a little glad, my much-honored Colonel Butler, that we agree so well in our opinions. A half-dozen good friends at most, at a small round table, a glass of genuine Tokay, open hearts, and a rational conversation—that's my taste! * Butler. And mine too, when it can be had. [The paper comes to TiEFENBAch, who glances over it at the same time with Goetz and Kolatto. MARADAs in the mean time returns to Octavio. All this takes place, the conversation with Butler proceeding uninterrupted.
octavio (introducing MARADAs to BUTLER. Don Balthasar Maradas' likewise a man of our stamp, and long ago your admirer. [Butler bows. octavio (continuing). You are a stranger here-—'t was but yesterday you arrived—you are ignorant of the ways and means here. "T is a wretched place—I know, at our age, one loves to be snug and quiet—What if you moved your lodgings?—Come, be my visitor. (BUTLER makes a low bow). Nay, without compliment!—For a friend like you, I have still a corner remaining. BUTLER (coldly). Your obliged humble servant, my Lord Lieulenant-General [The paper comes to BUTLER, who goes to the table to subscribe it. The front of the stage is vacant, so that both the Piccolominis, each on the side where he had been from the commencement of the scene, remain alone. octavio (after having some time watched his son in silence, advances somewhat nearer to him). You were long absent from us, friend!
MAX. I urgent business detained me. OCTAvio. And, I observe, you are still absent: MAX.
You know this crowd and bustle always makes me silent. octavio (advancing still nearer). May I be permitted to ask what the business was that detained you ? Tertsky knows it without
asking ! MAX. What does Tertsky know? octavio.
He was the only one who did not miss you.
Isolani (who has been attending to them from some distance, steps up). Well done, father! Rout out his baggage: Beat up his quarters! there is something there that should not be. TeRTsky (with the paper). Is there none wanting Have the whole subscribed f octavio. All. TERtsky (calling aloud). Ho! Who subscribes 7 BUTLER (to TERtsky). Count the names. There ought to be just thirty.
TeRTsky. Here is a cross. Tiefenbach. That's my mark. isolani.
He cannot write ; but his cross is a good cross,
and is honored by Jews as well as Christians.
Look! that is your man, that statue there, who has had neither eye, ear, nor tongue for us the whole evening. (MAx. receives the paper from TERTsky, which he looks upon vacantly).
To these enter ILLO from the inner room. He has in his hand the golden service-cup, and is extremely distempered with drinking : Goetz and BUTLER follow him, endeavoring to keep him back. ILL0. What do you want? Let me go. Gortz and BUTLER. Drink no more, Illo! For heaven's sake, drink no more. illo (goes up to Octavio, and shakes him cordially by the hand, and then drinks). Octavio! I bring this to you! Let all grudge be drowned in this friendly bowl I know well enough, ye never loved me—Devil take me!—and I never loved you!—I am always even with people in that way –Let what's past be past—that is, you understand—forgotten I esteem you infinitely. (Embracing him repeatedly). You have not a dearer friend on earth than I—but that you know. The fellow that cries rogue to you calls me villain—and I'll strangle him —my dear friend! tertsky (whispering to him). Art in thy senses For heaven's sake, Illo, think where you are! ILLo (aloud). What do you mean —There are none but friends here, are there ! (Looks round the whole circle with a jolly and triumphant air.) Not a sneaker among us, thank Heaven! tertsky (to BUTLER, eagerly). Take him off with you, force him off, I entreat you, Butler! BUTLER (to ILLo). Field Marshal! a word with you. (Leads him to the sideboard.) ILLo (cordially). A thousand for one : Fill—Fill it once more up to the brim.—To this gallant man's health ! isolani (to Max., who all the while has been staring on the paper with fired but vacant eyes). Slow and sure, my noble brother?—Hast parsed it all yet?—Some words yet to go through —Ha! Max. (waking as from a dream). What am I to do? TERtsky, and at the same time isolani. Sign your name. (Octavio directs his eyes on him with intense anriety). MAX. (returns the paper). Let it stay till to-morrow. It is business—to-day I am not sufficiently collected. Send it to me tomorrow. TeRTsky. Nay, collect yourself a little. ISOLAN.I. Awake, man! awake!—Come, thy signature, and have done with it! What? Thou art the youngest in the whole company, and wouldst be wiser than all of us together ? Look there ! thy father has signed—we have all signed. TERtsky (to Octavio). Use your influence. Instruct him. octavio. My son is at the age of discretion. ILLo (leaves the service-cup on the sideboard). What's the dispute?