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And where it is thy will that thou shouldst be
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.
And to thee The voice within thy soul bodes nothing?
walleNstein. Nothing. Be wholly tranquil. countess. And another time I hasten’d after thee, and thou rann'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 hand was cold, that grasp'd me— "Twas thou, and thou didst kiss me, and there seem'd A crimson covering to envelop us. WALLENstein. 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 fullness Of life— [She falls on his breast and weeps. wal. LENstel N. The Emperor's proclamation weighs upon thee— Alphabets wound not—and he finds no hands. countess. If he should find them, my resolve is taken— I bear about me my support and refuge. [Erit Countess.
SCENE II. WALLENstEIN, Gordon.
WALLENSTEIN. All quiet in the town Gordon. The town is quiet.
wallenstein. I hear a boisterous music! and the Castle Is lighted up. Who are the revellers?
Gordon. There is a banquet given at the Castle To the Count Tertsky, and Field Marshal Illo.
WALLENSTEIN. In honor of the victory—This tribe Can show their joy in nothing else but feasting. [Rings. The GRoom of the Chamber enters Unrobe me. I will lay me down to sleep. [WALLENstriN takes the keys from Goapon So we are guarded from all enemies, And shut in with sure friends. For all must cheat me, or a face like this [Firing his eye on GoRD0x. Was ne'er a hypocrite's mask. [The Groovi of the CHAMBER takes off his man. tle, collar, and scarf.
GROOM OF The Chamber. The golden chain is snapped in two.
walleNstein. Well, it has lasted long enough. Here—give it. [He 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.
GRoom of the CHAMBER retires with the testments. WALLENstEIN rises, takes a stride across the room, and stands at last before GoRDoN in a posture of meditation. How the old time returns upon me! I Behold myself once more at Burgau, where We two were Pages of the Court together. We ostentimes disputed: thy intention Was ever good; but thou wert wont to play The Moralist and Preacher, and wouldst rail atmeThat I strove after things too high 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.
Gordon. My Prince! With light heart the poor fisher moors his boat, And watches from the shore the lofty ship Stranded amid the storm.
walleNSTEIN. Art thou already
In harbor then, old man? Well! I am not.
Gordon. 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 Heaven; Fear hovers round the head of prosperous men: For still unsteady are the scales of sate.
wall ENSTEIN (smiling).
I hear the very Gordon that of old
[After a pause, serious, and in a more subdued
I too have sacrificed to him—For me
SCENE III. To these enter SEN1.
walleNSTEIN. Is not that Senio and beside himself, If one may trust his looks? What brings thee hither At this late hour, Baptista? seni. Terror, Duke' On thy account. wallenstein. What now
seni. o Flee ere the day-break: Trust not thy person to the Swedes'
WALLENSTEIN. What now Is in thy thoughts? sENI (with louder voice), Trust not thy person to these Swedes. wal, Lenstein. What is it then
sENI (still more urgently). O wait 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 'tis being cast around thee!
WALLENSTEIN. Baptista, thou art dreaming —Fear befools then
SENI. 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. SEN1. 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.
walleNstriN (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
walleNSTEIN (contemplates him with surprise, remains
silent awhile, betraying strong emotion).
[Stepping to the window.
All dark and silent—at the Castle too
[The GRoom of the CRAMBER, who had entered during the last dialogue, and had been standing at a distance and listening to it with visible erpressions of the deepest interest, advances in extreme agitation, and throws him. self 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 Cernuben, 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 'tis 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. [Erit WALLENstEIN, the Groom of THE CHAMBER lighting him. SENI 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.
GoRDoN, BUTLER (at first behind the Scenes).
BUTLER (not yet come into view of the stage). Here stand in silence till I give the signal.
GoRDoN (starts up).
No! he shall die awake. (Is going.
GoRDOn. His heart still cleaves To earthly things: he's not prepared to step Into the presence of his God! BUTLER (going). God's merciful! Gordon (holds him). Grant him but this night's respite. BUTLER (hurrying off). The next moment May ruin all GoRDoN (holds him still). One hour! But LER. Unhold me! What Can that short respite profit him? Gordon.
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 LER. You but remind me, How precious every minute is! [He stamps on the floor.
To these enter MacDonald, and DEVEREUx, with the HALBERDIERs. GoRDoN (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! BUTLER (forcing him out of the way). Weak-hearted dotard! [Trumpets are heard in the distance. DEVEREUx and MACDONALD. Hark! The Swedish trumpets! The Swedes before the ramparts! Let us hasten! GoRDoN (rushes out). 0, God of Mercy! BUTLER (calling after him). Governor, to your post! GRoom of THE CHAMBER (hurries in). Who dares make larum here? Hush! The Duke sleeps. DEveREUx (with a loud harsh voice). Friend, it is time now to make larum. GROOM of the Chamber. Help! Murder . Butler. Down with him ' GRoom of the chambea (run through the body by DEveREUx, falls at the entrance of the gallery). Jesus Maria! But LER. Burst the doors open. [They rush over the body into the gallery—two doors are heard to crash one after the other— Voices deadened by the distance—Clash of
Countess TERTsky (with a light). Her bed-chamber is empty; she herself Is nowhere to be sound ! 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 bad 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? "Tis hastening up the steps!
GoRDON (observing the CountEss). Countess! Say— COUNTESS. You are come then from the castle? Where's my husband? GoRDoN (in an agony of affright). Your husband!—Ask not!—To the Duke— COUNTESS. Not till You have discover'd to me— GORDon. On this moment Does the world hang. For God's sake! to the Duke. While we are speaking— [Calling loudly. Butler! Butler! God: Countess. Why, he is at the castle with my husband. [ButLER comes from the Gallery. GORDon. "Twas a mistake—"Tis not the Swedes—it is . The Imperialist's Lieutenant-General Has sent me hither—will be here himself Instantly—You must not proceed.
BUTLER, He comes Too late. [Gordon dashes himself against the wall. Gordon. O God of mercy! Countess.
What too late? Who will be here himself? Octavio In Egraf Treason! Treason!—Where's the Duket [She rushes to the Gallery.
(Servants run across the Stage full of terror. The whole Scene must be spoken entirely without pauses).
sENI (from the Gallery).
arms—then all at once a profound silence.
O bloody frightful deed!
Countess. What is it, Senio PAGE (from the Gallery). Opiteous sight! [Other Servants hasten in with torches. countESS. What is it 7 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 servant (rushing across the stage). Help! Help! the Duchess! BURGoMASTER (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 BURGoMAstER (rushing out). Heaven forbid! First servant. Fly! fly! they murder us all! second servant (carrying silver plate). That way! the lower Passages are block'd up. voice (from behind the Scene). Make room for the Lieutenant-General' [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!
To these enters Octavio PiccoloxiiN1 with all his Train. At the same time DEVEREux and MACDoNAld enter from 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! [Gordon, 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.
DEveREux (to Butler). Here is the golden sleece—the Duke's sword— Macdonal, D. Is it your order— BUTLER (pointing to Octavio). Here stands he who now Hath the sole power to issue orders. [DEveREux and MacDonald retire with marks of obeisance. One drops away after the other, till only Butler, Octavio, and Gordon remain on the Stage. octavio (turning to BUTLER). Was that my purpose, Butler, when we parted 1 O God of Justice To thee I list my hand! I am not guilty Of this foul deed.
butler. Your hand is pure. You have Avail'd yourself of mine.
OCTAvio. Merciless man! Thus to abuse the orders of thy Lord— And stain thy Emperor's holy name with murder, With bloody, most accursed assassination! Butler (calmly). I've but fulfill'd the Emperor's own sentence.
octavio. 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 Dispatch 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!
For what Rail you against me? What is my offence? The Empire from a fearful enemy Have I deliver'd, 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 Hath 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, [Erit BUTLER
To these enter the Countess TERtsky, pale and dis ordered. Her utterance is slow and feeble, and unimpassioned.
octavio (meeting her). O Countess Tertsky! These are the results Of luckless unblest deeds.
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 splendor, and of princely glory, Doth now stand desolated : the affrighted servant 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. Who next is to be murder'd 7 Who is next To be maltreated 7 Lo! the Duke is dead. The Emperor's vengeance may be pacified! Spare the old servants; let not their fidelity Be imputed to the faithful as a crime—