[To the PAGE who here enters.]
The Swedish officer?—Well, let him enter.
[The PAGE exit, WALLENSTEIN fixes his eye in deep thought on the door.]
Yet is it pure—as yet!—the crime
Not o’er this threshold yet—so slender is
The boundary that divideth life’s two paths.
WALLENSTEIN and WRANGEL
WALLENSTEIN (after having fixed a searching look on him).
Your name is Wrangel?
Gustave Wrangel, General
Of the Sudermanian Blues.
It was a Wrangel
Who injured me materially at Stralsund,
And by his brave resistance was the cause
Of the opposition which that sea-port made.
It was the doing of the element
With which you fought, my Lord! and not my merit.
The Baltic Neptune did assert his freedom:
The sea and land, it seem’d, were not to serve
One and the same.
You pluck’d the Admiral’s hat from off my head.
I come to place a diadem thereon.]
WALLENSTEIN (makes the motion for him to take a seat, and seats himself).
And where are your credentials?
Come you provided with full powers, Sir General?
There are so many scruples yet to solve—
WALLENSTEIN (having read the credentials).
An able letter!—Ay—he is a prudent
Intelligent master whom you serve, Sir General!
The Chancellor writes me, that he but fulfils
His late departed Sovereign’s own idea
In helping me to the Bohemian crown.
He says the truth. Our great King, now in heaven,
Did ever deem most highly of your Grace’s
Preeminent sense and military genius;
And always the commanding Intellect,
He said, should have command, and be the King.
Yes, he might say it safely.—General Wrangel,
[Taking his hand affectionately.]
Come, fair and open. Trust me, I was always
A Swede at heart. Eh! that did you experience
Both in Silesia and at Nuremberg;
I had you often in my power, and let you
Always slip out by some back door or other.
’Tis this for which the Court can ne’er forgive me,
Which drives me to this present step: and since
Our interests so run in one direction,
E’en let us have a thorough confidence
Each in the other.
Confidence will come
Has each but only first security.
The Chancellor still, I see, does not quite trust
And, I confess—the game does not lie wholly
To my advantage. Without doubt he thinks,
If I can play false with the Emperor,
Who is my sovereign, I can do the like
With the enemy, and that the one too were
Sooner to be forgiven me than the other.
Is not this your opinion, too, Sir General?