The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 414 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03.

COUNTESS (gazing on him).
If it should come to that—­if I should see thee,
Who standest now before me in the fulness
Of life—­

[She falls on his breast and weeps.]

WALLENST.

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.

[Exit COUNTESS.]

SCENE IV

WALLENSTEIN, GORDON

WALLENST.

All quiet in the town?

GORDON.

The town is quiet.

WALLENST.

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 Terzky and Field Marshal Illo.

WALLENST.

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.

[WALLENSTEIN takes the keys from GORDON.]

So we are guarded from all enemies,
And shut in with sure friends;
For all must cheat me, or a face like this

[Fixing his eye on GORDON.]

Was ne’er a hypocrite’s mask.

[The GROOM OF THE CHAMBER takes off his mantle, collar, and scarf.]

WALLENSTEIN.

Take care—­what is that?

GROOM OF THE CHAMBER.

The golden chain is snapped in two.

WALLENST.

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 vestments. 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 oftentimes disputed:  thy intention
Was ever good; but thou wert wont to play
The Moralist and Preacher, and wouldst rail at me—­
That 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.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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