« AnteriorContinuar »
Shall I perform ignobly—steal away,
octavio (trembling, and losing all self-command). Max." Max.: if that most damned thing could be, If thou—my son—my own blood—(dare I think it?) Do sell thyself to him, the infamous, Do stamp this brand upon our noble house, Then shall the world behold the horrible deed, And in unnatural combat shall the steel Of the son trickle with the father's blood.
Max. O hadst thou always better thought of men, Thou hadst then acted better. Curst suspicion! Unholy, miserable doubt! To him Nothing on earth remains unwrench'd and firm, Who has no faith. octavio. And if I trust thy heart,
Will it be always in thy power to follow it !
I go to Frauenberg—the Pappenheimers
THE two Dramas, PiccoloniiNI, or the first part of WALLENstEIN, and WALLENstEIN, are introduced in the original manuscript by a Prelude in one Act, entitled WALLENstEIN's CAMP. This is written in rhyme, and in nine-syllable verse, in the same lilting metre (if that expression may be permitted) with the second Eclogue of Spencer's Shepherd's Calendar. This Prelude possesses a sort of broad humor, and is not deficient in character; but to have translated it into prose, or into any other metre than that of the original, would have given a false idea both of its style and purport; to have translated it into the same metre would been incompatible with a faithful adherence to the sense of the German, from the comparative poverty of our language in rhymes; and it would have been unadvisable, from the incongruity of those lax verses with the present taste of the English Public. Schiller's intention seems to have been merely to have prepared his reader for the Tragedies by a lively picture of the laxity of discipline, and the mutinous dispositions of Wallenstein's soldiery. It is not necessary as a preliminary
explanation. For these reasons it has been thought expedient not to translate it. The admirers of Schiller, who have abstracted their idea of that author from the Robbers, and the Cabal and Love, plays in which the main interest is produced by the excitement of curiosity, and in which the curiosity is excited by terrible and extraordinary incident, will not have perused without some portion of disappointment the Dramas, which it has been my employment to translate. They should, however, reflect that these are Historical Dramas, taken from a popular German History; that we must therefore judge of them in some measure with the feelings of Germans; or by analogy, with the interest excited in us by similar Dramas in our own language. Few, I trust, would be rash or ignorant enough to compare Schiller with Shakspeare; yet, merely as illustration, I would say that we should proceed to the perusal of Wallenstein, not from Lear or Othello, but from Richard the Second, or the three parts of Henry the Sixth. We scarcely expect rapidity in an Historical Drama; and many prolix speeches are pardoned from characters, whose names and actions have formed the most amusing tales of our early life. On the other hand, there exist in these plays more individual beauties, more passages whose excellence will bear reflection, than in the former productions of Schiller. The description of the Astrological Tower, and the reflections of the Young Lover, which follow it, form in the original a fine poem; and my translation must have been wretched indeed, if it can have wholly overclouded the beauties of the Scene in the first Act of the first Play between Questenberg, Max., and Octavio Piccolomini. If we except the Scene of the setting sun in the Robbers, I know of no part in Schiller's Plays which equals the whole of the first Scene of the fifth Act of the concluding Play. It would be unbecoming in me to be more diffuse on this subject. A translator stands connected with the original Author by a certain law of subordination, which makes it more decorous to point out excellencies than defects: indeed he is not likely to be a fair judge of either. The pleasure or disgust from his own labor will mingle with the feelings that arise from an after-view of the original, Even in the first perusal of a work in any foreign language which we understand, we are apt to attribute to it more excellence than it really possesses, from our own pleasurable sense of difficulty overcome without effort. Translation of poetry into poetry is difficult, because the translator must give a brilliancy to his language without that warmth of original conception, from which such brilliancy would follow of its own accord. But the Translator of a living Author is encumbered with additional inconveniences. If he render his original faithfully, as to the sense of each passage, he must necessarily destroy a considerable portion of the spirit; if he endeavor to give a work executed according to laws of compensation, he subjects himself to imputations of vanity, or misrepresentation. I have thought it my duty to remain bound by the sense of my original, with as few exceptions as the nature of the languages rendered possible.
WALLENstein, Duke of Friedland, Generalissimo of the Imperial forces in the Thirty-years' War.
Drchess of Friedland, Wife of Wallenstein.
Thekla, her Daughter, Princess of Friedland.
The Countess TERtsky, Sister of the Duchess.
Octavio Piccolomix1, Lieutenant-General.
Max. Piccolomixi, his Son, Colonel of a Regiment of Cuirassiers.
Count TERTsky, the Commander of several Regiments, and Brother-in-law of Wallenstein.
Illo, Field Marshal. Wallenstein's Confidant.
BUTLER, an Irishman, Commander of a Regiment of Dragoons.
Gordox, Governor of Egra.
NeuwaxN, Captain of Cavalry, Aid-de-camp to Tertsky.
BergomastER of Egra.
Axspessape of the Cuirassiers.
A ;..." THE CHAMBER ! Belonging to the Duke.
Coin assiers, DRAGooxs, SERVANTs.
You'll not be frighten’d
Therla. Name it, I entreat you. count ESS. It lies within your power to do your father A weighty service— Thekl, A. Lies within my power? countess. Max. Piccolomini loves you. You can link him Indissolubly to your father. THEKLAI? What need of me for that? And is he not Already link'd to him? countess He was. THEKL.A. And wherefore Should he not be so now—not be so always?
count"ESS. He cleaves to the Emperor too. Thekla. Not more than duty And honor may demand of him. countess. We ask Proofs of his love, and not proofs of his honor. Duty and honor! Those are ambiguous words with many meanings. You should interpret them for him: his love Should be the sole definer of his honor. THERLA. How 7 Countess. The Emperor or you must he renounce.
Thekla. He will accompany my father gladly In his retirement. From himself you heard, How much he wish'd to lay aside the swórd.
He must not lay the sword aside, we mean; He must unsheathe it in your father's cause.
Thek L.A. He'll spend with gladness and alacrity His life, his heart's-blood in my father's cause, If shame or injury be intended him.
My miserable mother! what a death-stroke
Awaits thee!—No! she never will survive it.
countess. She will accommodate her soul to that Which is and must be. I do know your mother. The far-off future weighs upon her heart With torture of anxiety; but is it Unalterably, actually present, She soon resigns herself, and bears it calmly.
THEKL.A. O my foreboding bosom! Even now, E'en now 'tis here, that icy hand of horror! And my young hope lies shuddering in its grasp; I knew it well—no sooner had I enter'd, A heavy ominous presentiment Reveal'd to me, that spirits of death were hovering Over my happy fortune. But why think I First of myself? My mother! O my mother! countess. Calm yourself! Break not out in vain lamenting! Preserve you for your father the firm friend, And for yourself the lover, all will yet Prove good and fortunate. THERLA. Prove good! What good Must we not part?—part ne'er to meet again? countess. He parts not from you! He can not part from you Thekla. Alas for his sore anguish! It will rend His heart asunder. count ESS. If indeed he loves you His resolution will be speedily taken. Theri, A. His resolution will be speedily taken— O do not doubt of that! A resolution! Does there remain one to be taken?
countess. Hush : Collect yourself! I hear your mother coming. THEKL.A. How shall I bear to see her? Countess. Collect yourself SCENE III.
To them enter the DUCHESs.
DUCHEss (to the CountEss).
Who was here, sister? I heard some one talking, And passionately too.
Nay! There was no one.
No, he has not.
Duchess. Alas! then all is lost! I see it coming, The worst that can come! Yes, they will depose him
The accursed business of the Regensburg diet Will all be acted o'er again!
countess. No! never! Make your heart easy, sister, as to that. [THERLA, in ertreme agitation, throws herself upon her mother, and enfolds her in her arms, weeping. duchess. Yes, my poor child! Thou too hast lost a most affectionate godmother In the Empress. O that stern unbending man! In this unhappy marriage what have I Not suffer'd, not endured 7 For even as if I had been link'd on to some wheel of fire That restless, ceaseless, whirls impetuous onward, I have pass'd a life of frights and horrors with him, And ever to the brink of some abyss With dizzy headlong violence he whirls me. Nay, do not weep, my child! Let not my sufferings Presignify unhappiness to thee, Nor blacken with their shade the fate that waits thee. There lives no second Friedland: thou, my child, Hast not to fear thy mother's destiny.
Therl.A. 0 let us supplicate him, dearest mother! Quick! quick! here's no abiding-place for us. Here every coming hour broods into life Some new affrightful monster.
An easier, calmer lot, my child! We too,
Countess. You see it, sister! as your eyes permit you. But surely this is not the conversation To pass the time in which we are waiting for him. You know he will be soon here. Would you have
Find her in this condition?
Come, my child!
Come wipe away thy tears, and show thy father A cheerful countenance. See, the tie-knot here ls off—this hair must not hang so dishevell'd. Come, dearest! dry thy tears up. They deform Thy gentle eye—Well now—what was I saying? Yes, in good truth, this Piccolomini is a most noble and deserving gentleman.
count-88. That is he, sister!
THEKLA (to the Countess, with marks of great oppres.
countrss. Nay, but bethink you. THERLA. Believe me, I cannot sustain his presence.
counteSS. But he will miss you, will ask after you. Duchess. What now? Why is she going? COUNTESS. She's not well. DUCHEss (anriously). What ails then my beloved child? [Both follow the PRINCEss, and endeavor to detain her. During this WALLENstEIN appears, engaged in conversation with ILLo.
WALLENstEIN, Illo, CountEss, Duchess, THERLA.
WALLENstein. All quiet in the camp? ILL0. It is all quiet. WALLENstein. In a few hours may couriers come from Prague With tidings, that this capital is ours. Then we may drop the mask, and to the troops Assembled in this town make known the measure And its result together. In such cases Example does the whole. Whoever is foremost Still leads the herd. An imitative creature Is man. The troops at Prague conceive no other, Than that the Pilsen army has gone through The forms of homage to us; and in Pilsen They shall swear sealty to us, because The example has been given them by Prague. Butler, you tell me, has declared himself? ILL0. At his own bidding, unsolicited, He came to offer you himself and regiment. WALLENSTEIN. I find we must not give implicit credence To every warning voice that makes itself Be listen'd to in the heart. To hold us back, Oft does the lying Spirit counterfeit The voice of Truth and inward Revelation, Scattering false oracles. And thus have I To entreat forgiveness, for that secretly I've wrong'd this honorable gallant man, This Butler: for a feeling, of the which I am not master (fear I would not call it), Creeps o'er me instantly, with sense of shuddering, At his approach, and stops love's joyous motion. And this same man, against whom I am warn'd, This honest man is he, who reaches to me The first pledge of my fortune. ILL0. And doubt not
That his example will win over to you The best men in the army.
WALLENSTrein. Go and send Isolani hither. Send him immediately. He is under recent obligations to me: With him will I commence the trial. Go. [Erit Illo.
walleNstEIN (turns himself round to the females). Lo, there the mother with the darling daughter: For once we'll have an interval of rest— Come! my heart yearns to live a cloudless hour In the beloved circle of my family. Countess. "Tis long since we've been thus together, brother.
walleNstEIN (to the Countess aside). Can she sustain the news 7 Is she prepared Countess. Not yet. WALLenstein. Come here, my sweet girl! Seat thee by me, For there is a good spirit on thy lips. Thy mother praised to me thy ready skill: She says a voice of melody dwells in thee, Which doth enchant the soul. Now such a voice Will drive away from me the evil demon That beats his black wings close above my head. Duchess. Where is thy lute, my daughter? Let thy father Hear some small trial of thy skill.
Trembling come, collect thyself Go, cheer
O my mother! I—I cannot.
O spare me—sing—now—in this sore anxiety
How, Thekla : Humorsome 7
The RLA. My God! how can I– [The orchestra plays. During theritornelloTHERLA expresses in her gestures and countenance the struggle of her feelings; and at the moment that she should begin to sing, contracts herself together, as one shuddering, throws the instrument down, and retires abruptly. Duchess. My child! O she is ill— WALLENstein. What ails the maiden Say, is she often so? countESS. Since then herself
Has now betray'd it, I too must no longer
WALLENstein. He chooses finally to be my heir. And true it is, I love the youth; yea, honor him. But must he therefore be my daughter's husband? Is it daughters only Is it only children That we must show our favor by ? DU Chess. His noble disposition and his manners— WALLENSTEIN. Win him my heart, but not my daughter. DUCHESS. Then His rank, his ancestors— WALLENstein. Ancestors! What? He is a subject, and my son-in-law I will seek out upon the thrones of Europe. Duchess. O dearest Albrecht! Climb we not too high, Lest we should fall too low. wal, Lenstein. What? have I paid A price so heavy to ascend this eminence, And jut out high above the common herd, Only to close the mighty part I play In Life's great drama, with a common kinsman? Have I for this— [Stops suddenly, repressing himself She is the only thing That will remain behind of me on earth; And I will see a crown around her head,