BUTLER. Unhold me! What
Can that short respite profit him?
[Illustration: DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN Karl von Piloty]
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!
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).
First over my dead body thou shalt tread.
I will not live to see the accursed deed!
BUTLER (forcing him out of the way).
[Trumpets are heard in the distance.]
DEVEREUX and MACDONALD.
Hark! the Swedish trumpets!
The Swedes before the ramparts! Let us hasten!
GORDON (rushes out).
O, 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
DEVEREUX (with loud harsh voice).
Friend, it is time now to make larum.
GROOM OF THE CHAMBER.
Down with him!
GROOM OF THE CHAMBER (run through the body by DEVEREUX, falls at the entrance of the Gallery).
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 arms—then all at once a profound silence.]
COUNTESS TERZKY (with a light).
Her bed-chamber is empty; she herself
Is nowhere to be found! 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!