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Lies within my power?
Coun. Max. Piccolomini loves you. You can link him
Indissolubly to your father.
What need of me for that? And is he not
Already link'd to him ?
Sould he not be so now-not be so always ?
Coun. He cleaves to the Emp’ror too.
Not more than duty
And honour may demand of him.
Proofs of his love, and not proofs of his honour.
Duty and honour !
Those are ambiguous words with many meanings.
You should interpret them for him : his love
Should be the sole definer of his honour.
Thek. How ?
Coun. Th’ Emperor or you must he renounce.
Thek. He will accompany my father gladly
In his retirement. From himself you heard,
How much he wish'd to lay aside the sword.
Coun. He must not lay the sword aside, we mean; He must unsheath it in your father's cause.
Thek. 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.
Coun. You will not understand me. Well, hear then ! Your father has fallen off from the Emperor, And is about to join the enemy With the whole soldieryThek.
mother! Coun. There needs a great example to draw on The army after him. The Piccolomini
Possess the love and rev'rence of the troops ;
They govern all opinions, and wherever
They lead the way, none hesitate to follow;
The son secures the father to our interests-
You've much in your hands at this moment.
My miserable mother! what a death-stroke
Awaits thee!-No! She never will survive it.
Coun. 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.
Thek. O my fore-boding 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 hov'ring
Over my happy fortune. But why think I
First of myself? My mother! O my mother!
Coun. Calm yourself! Break not out in vain lament-
Preserve you for your father the firm friend,
And for yourself the lover; all will yet
Prove good and fortunate.
Prove good? What good ?
Must we not part? Part ne'er to meet again?
Coun. He parts not from you! He can not part from
Thek. Alas for his sore anguish! It will rend
His heart asunder.
If indeed he loves you,
His resolution will be speedily taken.
Thek. His resolution will be speedily taken-
O do not doubt of that! A resolution !
Does there remain one to be taken?
Collect yourself! I hear your mother coming.
Thek. How shall I bear to see her ?
To them enter the Duchess.
Duch. (to the Countess) Who was here, sister? I heard
some one talking,
And passionately too.
Nay! There was no one.
Duch. I am grown so timorous, every trilling noise
Scatters my spirits, and announces to me
The footstep of some messenger of evil.
And can you tell me, sister, what the event is ?
Will he agree to do do the Emperor's pleasure,
And send th' horse-regiments to the Cardinal ?
Tell me, has he dismiss'd Von Questenberg
With a favourable answer ?
No, he has not.
Duch. 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!
No! never! Make your heart easy, sister, as to that.
(Thekla, in extreme agitation, throws herself upon
her mother, and enfolds her in her arms, weep
Duch. Yes, my poor child !
Thou too hast lost a most affectionate godmother
In th’empress. O that stern unbending man!
In this unhappy marriage what have I
Not suffer'd, not endur'd. For ev'n as if
I had been link'd on to some wheel of fire,
That restless, ceaseless, whirls impetuous onward,
I have past 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 sufførings
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.
Thek. O 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.
Thou wilt share
An easier, calmer lot, my child! We too,
I and thy father, witness'd happy days.
Still think I with delight of those first years,
When he was making progress with glad effort,
When his abition was a genial fire,
Not that consuming flame which now it is.
The Emperor lov'd him, trusted him; and all
He undertook, could not but be successful.
But since that ill-starr'd day at Rengensburg,
Which plung'd him headlong from his dignity,
A gloomy uncompanionable spirit,
Unsteady and suspicious, has possess'd him.
His quiet mind forsook him, and no longer
Did he yield up himself in joy and faith
To his old luck, and individual power;
But thenceforth turn'd his heart and best affections
All to those cloudy sciences, which never
Have yet made happy him who followed them.
Coun. 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 him
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
Is 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.
Coun. That is he, sister!
Thek. (to the Countess, with marks of great oppression
Aunt, you will excuse me? (is going) Coun. But whither ? See, your
Thek. I cannot see him now.
Nay, but bethink you.
Thek. Believe me, I cannot sustain his presence.
Coun. But he will miss you, will ask after you.
Duch. What now? Why is she going ?
She's not well.
Duch. (anxiously) What ails, then, my beloved child ?
(Both follow the Princess, and endeavour to detain
her. During this, Wallenstein appears, engaged in conversation with Illo.)