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BUTLER.

GORDON

ACT IV.
You know not. Ask not! Wherefore should it happen,

SCENE I.
That the Swedes gain'd the victory, and hasten
With such forced marches hitherward ? Fain would I

SCENE-Butler's Chamber.
Have given him to the Emperor's mercy.—Gordon!
I do not wish his blood-But I must ransom

BUTLER, Major, and GERALDIN.
The honor of my word,-it lies in pledge-

BUTLER. And he must die, or

Find me twelve strong Dragoons, arm them with [Passionately grasping Gordon's hand.

pikes, Listen then, and know!

For there must be no firingI am dishonor'd if the Duke escape us.

Conceal them somewhere near the banquet-roorn,

And soon as the dessert is served up, rush all in GORDON. O! to save such a man

And cry-Who is loyal to the Emperor ?

I will overturn the table—while you attack
BUTLER.

Illo and Tertsky, and dispatch them both.
What!

The castle-palace is well barr'd and guarded,
That no intelligence of this proceeding

May make its way to the Duke.—Go instantly;
It is worth

Have you yet sent for Captain Devereux A sacrifice.-Come, friend! Be noble-minded !

And the Macdonald ?Our own heart, and not other men's opinions,

GERALDIN. Forms our true honor.

They'll be here anon. BUTLER (with a cold and haughty air).

[Exit GERALDIN He is a great Lord,

BUTLER
This Duke-and I am but of mean importance.
This is what you would say? Wherein concerns it Declare for him, a dizzy drunken spirit

Here's no room for delay. The citizens
The world at large, you mean to hint to me,

Possesses the whole town. They see in the Duke Whether the man of low extraction keeps

A Prince of peace, a founder of new ages Or blemishes his honor

And golden times. Arms too have been given cat So that the man of princely rank be saved ?

By the town-council, and a hundred citizens We all do stamp our value on ourselves.

Have volunteerd themselves to stand on guard. The price we challenge for ourselves is given us.

Dispatch then be the word. For enemies
There does not live on earth the man so station'd,

Threaten us from without and from within.
That I despise myself compared with him.
Man is made great or little by his own will;
Because I am true to mine, therefore he dies.

SCENE II.
GORDON.

BUTLER, CAPTAIN DEVEREUX, and MACDONALD
I am endeavoring to move a rock.
Thou hadst a mother, yet no human feelings.

MACDONALD. I cannot hinder you, but may some God

Here we are, General.
Rescue him from you!
[Exit GORDON.

DEVEREUX
What's to be the watch-word!

BUTLER

DEVEREUX

Long live the Emperor!
SCENE IX.

BOTII (recoiling).

How?
BUTLER (alone).

BUTLER
I treasured my good name all my life long;

Live the House of Austra' The Duke has cheated me of life's best jewel, So that I blush before this poor weak Gordon'

Have we not sworn fidelity to Friedland? lle prizes above all his fealiy; Ilis conscious soul accuses him of nothing;

MACDONALD. In opposition to his own soft heart

Have we not march'd 10 this place to protect him? lle subjugates himself to an iron duty.

BUTLER
Me in a weaker moment passion warp'd ;

Protect a trailor, and his country's enemy!
I stand beside him, and must feel myself
The worse man of the two. What, though the world Why, yes! in his name you administer'd
Is ignorant of my purposed treason, yet

Our oath.
One man does know it, and can prove it too-

MACDONALD. Iligh-minded Piccolomini!

And followed him yourself to Egri
There lives the man who can dishonor me!
This ignominy blood alone can cleanse !

I did it the more surely to destroy him.
Duke Friedland, thou or I-Into my own hands
Fortuno delivers me—The dearest thing a man has

DEVEREUX.
is himself.

So then!

MACDONALD. (The curtain drops.)

An alter'd case!

DEVEREUX.

BUTLER

MACDONALD.

BUTLER

MACDONALD.

BUTLER (10 DEVEREUX).

MACDONALD
Thou wretched man!

As poor as we?
So easily leavest thou thy oath and colors ?

DEVEREUX.
DEVEREUX

Macdonald, we'll desert him.
The devil!—I but follow'd your example.

BUTLER. If you could prove a villain, why not we?

We'll desert him?

Full twenty thousand have done that already; We've nought to do with thinking—that's you

We must do more, my countrymen! In shortbusiness.

We-we must kill him. You are our General, and give out the orders;

BOTH (starting back).
We follow you, though the track lead to hell.

Kill him!
BUTLER (appeased).
Good then! we know each other.

Yes! must kill him;
And for that purpose have I chosen you.
I should hope so.

BOTH.
DEVEREUX.

Us!
Soldiers of fortune are we-who bids most,

BUTLER
He has us.

You, Captain Devereux, and thee, Macdonald.
MACDONALD.
Tis e'en so!

DEVEREUX (after a pause).
Choose you some

er.
BUTLER.

BUTLER.
Well, for the present

What? art dastardly?
Ye must remain honest and faithful soldiers.

Thou, with full thirty lives to answer for-
DEVEREUX.

Thou conscientious of a sudden?
We wish no other.

DEVEREUX.
BUTLER

Nay,
Ay, and make your

fortunes.

To assassinate our Lord and General-
MACDONALD.

MACDONALD.
That is still better

To whom we've sworn a soldier's oath-
BUTLER.
Listen!

BUTLER.

The oath
BOTII.
We attend.

Is null, for Friedland is a traitor.

DEVEREUX.
BUTLER
It is the Emperor's will and ordinance

No, no! it is too bad !

MACDONALD.
To seize the person of the Prince-duke Friedland,
Alive or dead.

Yes, by my soul !

It is too bad. One has a conscience too
DEVEREUX

DEVEREUX.
It runs so in the letter.

If it were not our Chiesain, who so long
MACDONALD.

Has issued the commands, and claim'd our duty. Alive or dead—these were the very words.

BUTLER.
BUTLER

Is that the objection?
And he shall be rewarded from the State

DEVEREUX In land and gold, who proffers aid thereto.

Were it my own father, DEVEREUX.

And the Emperor's service should demand it of me, Ay! that sounds well. The words sound always well It might be done, perhaps-But we are soldiers, That travel hither from the Court. Yes! yes ! And to assassinate our Chief Commander, We know already what Court-words import. That is a sin, a foul abomination, A golden chain perhaps in sign of favor,

From which no Monk or Confessor absolves us. Or an old charger, or a parchment patent,

BUTLER. And such like.--The Prince-duke pays better.

I am your Pope, and give you absolution.

Determine quickly!

Yes,
The Duke's a splendid paymaster.

'Twill not do.
BUTLER
All over

"Twont do! With that, my friends! His lucky stars are set. MACDONALD.

Well, off then! and—send Pestalutz to me.
And is that certain?

DEVEREUX (hesilates).
BUTLER.

The Pestalutz-
You have my word for it.

MACDONALD.
DEVEREUX.

What may you want with him? Flis lucky fortunes all past by ?

BUTLER
BUTLER.

If you reject it, we can find enough-
For ever.

Nay, if he must fall, we may carn the bounty

MACDONALD.

DEVEREUX.

MACDONALD.

BUTLER.

DEVEREUX

He is as poor as we.

DEVEREUX.

BUTLER.

MACDONALD.

As well as any other. What think you,

To run him through the body in return.
Brother Macdonald ?

A coat that is far better and far warmer
MACDONALD.

Did the Emperor give to him, the Prince's mantle.
Why, if he must fall,

How doth he thank the Emperor? With revolt, And will fall, and it can't be otherwise,

And treason.
One would not give place to this Pestalutz.

DEVEREUX.
DEVEREUX (after some reflection).

That is true. The devil take
When do you purpose he should fall ?

Such thankers! I'll dispatch him.

BUTLER
BUTLER.
This night.

And wouldst quiet To-morrow will the Swedes be at our gates.

Thy conscience, thou hast naught to do but simply
Pull off the coat; so canst thou do the deed

With light heart and good spirits.
You take upon you all the consequences !

DEVEREUX.
BUTLER.

You are right I take the whole upon me.

That did not strike me. I'll pull off the coat-
DEVEREUX.

So there's an end of it.
And it is

MACDONALD.
The Emperor's will, his express absolute will?

Yes, but there's another For we have instances, that folks may like

Point to be thought of. The murder, and yet hang the murderer.

BUTLER. The manifesto says—alive or dead.

And what's that, Macdonald ! Alive—'t is not possible—you see it is not.

MACDONALD.
DEVEREUX.

What avails sword or dagger against him?
Well, dead then! dead! But how can we come at him? He is not to be wounded—he is
The town is fill'd with Tertsky's soldiery.

BUTLER (slarting up).

What? Ay! and then Tertsky still remains, and Illo—

MACDONALD.

Safe against shot, and stab and flash! Hard frozen, BUTLER. With these you shall begin-you understand me?

Secured, and warranted by the black art!

His body is impenetrable, I tell you.
DEVEREUX.
How? And must they too perish ?

DEVEREUX.
In Inglestadt there was just such another:

His whole skin was the same as steel; at last
They the first

We were obliged to beat him down with gunstocks. Hear, Devereux! A bloody evening this.

MACDONALD.

Hear what I'll do.
DEVEREUX.

DEVEREUX.
Have you a man for that? Commission me,

Well ?
BUTLER

MACDONALD 'Tis given in trust to Major Geraldin;

In the cloister here
This is a carnival night, and there's a feast There's a Dominican, my countryman.
Given at the castle—there we shall surprise them, I'll make him dip my sword and pike for me
And hew them down. The Pestalutz, and Lesley In holy water, and say over them
Have that commission—soon as that is finish'd One of his strongest blessings. That's probatum !
DEVEREUX

Nothing can stand 'gainst that.
Hear, General! It will be all one to you—
Harkye, let me exchange with Geraldin.

So do, Macdonald!

But now go and select from out the regiment "T will be the lesser danger with the Duke.

Twenty or thirty able-bodied fellows,

And let them take the oaths to the Emperor. Danger! the devil! What do you think me, General ? Then when it strikes eleven, when the first rounds "Tis the Duke's eye, and not his sword, I fear. Are pass'd, conduct them silently as may be BUTLER.

To the house-I will myself be not far off.
What can his eye do to thee?

DEVEREUX.
DEVEREUX.
Death and hell!

But how do we get through Hartschier and Gordon, Thou know'st that I'm no milk-sop, General !

That stand on guard there in the inner chamber? But 't is not eight days since the Duke did send me

BUTLER. Twenty gold pieces for this good warm coat

I have made myself acquainted with the place. Which I have on! and then for him to see me

I lead you through a back-door that's defended Standing before him with the pike, his murderer, By one man only. Me my rank and office That eye of his looking upon this coat

Give access to the Duke at every hour, Why—why—the devil fetch me! I’m no milk-sop! I'll go before you-with one poniard-stroke

Cut Hartschier's windpipe, and make way for you. The Duke presented thee this good warm coat,

DEVEREUX. And thou, a needy wight, hast pangs of conscience And when we are there, by what means shall we gain

BUTLER.

MACDONALD.

BUTLER.

BUTLER.

DEVEREUX.

BUTLER.

THEKLA.

BUTLER.

DUCHESS

The Duke's bed-chamber, without his alarming

THEKLA (looking around her). The servants of the Court; for he has here

Where am I? A numerous company of followers ?

WALLENSTEIN (steps to her, raising her up in his arms). BUTLER.

Come, cheerly, Thekla! be my own brave girl! The attendants fill the right wing; he hates bustle, See, there's thy loving mother. Thou art in And lodges in the left wing quite alone.

Thy father's arms.
DEVEREUX.

THEKLA (standing up).
Were it well over-hey, Macdonald ? I

Where is he? Is he gone?
Feel queerly on the occasion, devil knows !

DUCHESS.
MACDONALD.

Who gone, my daughter?
And I too. 'Tis too great a personage.
People will hold us for a brace of villains.

He—the man who utter'd

That word of misery.
In plenty, honor, splendor You may safely
Laugh at the people's babble.

0! think not of it,
DEVEREUX.

My Thekla!
If the business

WALLENSTEIN.
Squares with one's honor-if that be quite certain-

Give her sorrow leave to talk!

Let her complain-mingle your tears with hers, Set your hearts quite at ease. Ye save for Ferdinand For she hath suffer'd a deep anguish ; but His Crown and Empire. The reward can be

She'll rise superior to it, for my Thekla
No small one.

Hath all her father's unsubdued heart.
DEVEREUX

THEKLA.
And 'tis his purpose to dethrone the Emperor? I am not ill. See, I have power to stand.
BUTLER.

Why does my mother weep? Have I alarmn'd her?
Yes !-Yes! - 10 rob him of his Crown and Life. It is gone by—I recollect myself,
DEVEREUX.

[She casts her eyes round the room, as seeking some And he must fall by the executioner's hands, Should we deliver him up to the Emperor Where is he? Please you, do not hide him from me.

You see I have strength enough: now I will hear him.
BUTLER.
It were his certain destiny.

No, never shall this messenger of evil
DEVEREUX.
Enter again into thy presence,

a!
Well! Well! Come then, Macdonald, he shall not
Lie long in pain.

My father(Exeunt BUTLER through one door, MACDONALD and

WALLENSTEIN. DEVEREUX through the other.

Dearest daughter!

BUTLER

one.

Alive?

DUCHESS.

THEKLA.

THEKLA.

WALLENSTEIN.

DUCHESS.

COUNTESS.

I'm not weakSCENE III.

Shortly I shall be quite myself again. SCENE-A Gahic and gloomy Apartment at the DUCHESS You'll grant me one request ?

FRIEDLAND'S. THEKLA on a seat, pale, her eyes closed. The Duchess and LADY NEUBRUNN

Name it, my daughter. busied about her. WALLENSTEIN and the COUNTESS

THEKLA. in conversation.

Permit the stranger to be call’d to me,
WALLENSTEIN.

And grant me leave, that by myself I may
How knew she it so soon!

Hear his report and question him.
COUN TESS.
She seems to have

No, never!
Foreboded some misfortune. The report
Of an engagement, in the which had fallen "Tis not advisable—assent not to it.
A colonel of the Imperial army, frighten'd her.

WALLENSTEIN. I saw it instantly. She flew to meet The Swedish courier, and with sudden questioning, Hush! Wherefore wouldst thou speak with him, my Soon wrested from him the disastrous secret.

daughter? Too late we miss'd her, hasten'd after her,

THEKLA, We found her lying in his arms, all pale

Knowing the whole, I shall be more collected : And in a swoon.

I will not be deceived. My mother wishes
WALLENSTEIN.

Only to spare me. I will not be spared,
A heavy, heavy blow!

The worst is said already: I can hear
And she so unprepared! Poor child! How is it? Nothing of deeper anguish!
[Turning to the DUCHESS.

DUCHESS and COUNTESS.
Is she coming to herself ?

Do it not.
DUCHESS.

THEKLA.
Her eyes are opening. The horror overpower'd me by surprise.

My heart betray'd me in the stranger's presence ; She lives.

He was a witness of my weakness, yea,

COUNTESS.

DUCHESS.

CAPTAIN.

WALLENSTEIN.

I sank into his arms; and that has shamed me.

SCENE IV.
I must replace myself in his esteem,
And I must speak with him, perforce, that he,

THEKLA, THE SWEDISH CAPTAIN, LADY NEUBRUNN. The stranger, may not think ungently of me.

CAPTAIN (respectfully approaching her). WALLENSTEIN.

Princess—I must entreat your gentle pardonI see she is in the right, and am inclined

My inconsiderate rash speech—How could ITo grant her this request of hers. Go, call him.

THEK LA (with dignity). (LADY NEUBRUNN goes to call him). You have beheld me in my agony.

A most distressful accident occasion'd
But I, thy mother, will be present-

You from a stranger to become at once
THEKLA.

My confidant.
"Twere

CAPTAIN More pleasing to me, if alone I saw him:

I fear you hate my presence,
Trust me, I shall behave myself the more For my tongue spake a melancholy word.
Collectedly.

TIEKLA.
WALLENSTEIN.

The fault is mine. Myself did wrest it from you.
Permit her her own will.

The horror which came o'er me interrupted Leave her alone with him: for there are sorrows,

Your tale at its commencement. May it please you, Where of necessity the soul must be

Continue it to the end.
Its own support. A strong heart will rely
On its own strength alone. In her own bosom,

CAPTAIN.
Not in her mother's arms, must she collect

Princess, 't will The strength to rise superior to this blow.

Renew your anguish. It is mine own brave girl. I'll have her treated

THEKLA.
Not as the woman, but the heroine. (Going

I am firm,
COUNTESS (detaining him).

I will be firm. Well-how began the engagement ?
Where art thou going? I heard Tertsky say
That 't is thy purpose to depart from hence

We, lay, expecting no attack, at Neustadt, To-morrow early, but to leave us here.

Intrench'd but insecurely in our camp,

When towards evening rose a cloud of dust Yes, ye stay here, placed under the protection From the wood thitherward; our vanguard fled of gallant men.

Into the camp, and sounded the alarm.

Scarce had we mounted, ere the Pappenheimers, O take us with you, brother! Their horses at full speed, broke through the lines, Leave us not in this gloomy solitude

And leapt the trenches ; but their heedless courage To brood o'er anxious thoughts. The mists of doubt Had borne them onward far before the others Magnify evils to a shape of horror.

The infantry were still at distance only.
The Pappenheimers follow'd daringly

Their daring leader-
Who speaks of evil ? I entreat you, sister,
Use words of better omen.

[THEKLA belrays agitation in her gestures. The

Officer pauses till she makes a sign to him to
COUNTESS.
Then take us with you.

proceed. O leave us not behind you in a place

CAPTAIN That forces us to such sad omens. Heavy

Both in van and flanks And sick within me is my heart

With our whole cavalry we now received them; These walls breathe on me, like a church-yard vault. Back to the trenches drove them, where the foot I cannot tell you, brother, how this place

Stretch'd out a solid ridge of pikes to meet them. Doth go against my nature. Take us with you. They neither could advance, nor yet retreat; Come, sister, join you your entreaty !--Niece, And as they stood on every side wedged in, Yours too. We all entreat you, take us with you! The Rhinegrave to their leader call'd aloud,

Inviting a surrender; but their leader, The place's evil omens will I change,

Young PiccolominiMaking it that which shields and shelters for me

[THEKLA, as giddy, grasps a chair.

Known by his plume, My best beloved.

And his long hair, gave signal for the trenches ; LADY NEUBRUNN (returning).

Himself leapt first, the regiment all plunged after. The Swedish officer.

Ilis charger, by a halbert gored, rear'd up,

Flung him with violence off, and over him
WALLENSTEIN.
Leave her alone with me.

[Erit.

The horses, now no longer to be curbid,

[THEKLA who has accompanied the last speech with DUCHESS (to THEKLA, who starts and shivers). There-pale as death!--Child, 't is impossible

all the marks of increasing agony, trembles That thou shouldst speak with him. Follow thy mother.

through her whole frame, and is falling. The LADY NEUBRUNN runs to her, and receives het

in her arms. The Lady Neubrunn then may stay with me.

NEUBRUNN [Exeunl Duchess and Countess. My dearest lady

COUNTESS.

WALLENSTEIN.

WALLENSTEIN.

THEKLA

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