And to the destiny of the next morning
The spirit, fill’d with anxious presentiment,
Did knit the most removed futurity.
Then said I also to myself: “So many
Dost thou command. They follow all thy stars
And as on some great number set their All
Upon thy single head, and only man
The vessel of thy fortune. Yet a day
Will come when Destiny shall once more scatter
All these in many a several direction:
Few be they who will stand out faithful to thee.”
I yearn’d to know which one was faithfullest
Of all, this camp included. Great Destiny,
Give me a sign! And he shall be the man,
Who, on the approaching morning, comes the first
To meet me with a token of his love.
And thinking this, I fell into a slumber.
Then midmost in the battle was I led
In spirit. Great the pressure and the tumult!
Then was my horse kil’d under me; I sank;
And over me away, all unconcernedly,
Drove horse and rider—and thus trod to pieces
I lay, and panted like a dying man;
Then seized me suddenly a savior arm;
It was Octavio’s—I awoke at once;
’Twas broad day, and Octavio stood before me.
“My brother,” said he, “do not ride today
The dapple, as you’re wont; but mount the horse
Which I have chosen for thee. Do it, brother!
In love to me. A strong dream warn’d me so.”
It was the swiftness of his horse that snatch’d me
From the hot pursuit of Bannier’s dragoons.
My cousin rode the dapple on that day,
And never more saw I of horse or rider.
That was a chance.
There’s no such thing as chance.
[And what to us seems merest accident
Springs from the deepest source of destiny.]
In brief, ’tis sign’d and seal’d that this Octavio
Is my good angel—and now no word more.
[He is retiring.]
This is my comfort—Max remains our hostage.
And he shall never stir from here alive.
WALLENSTEIN (stops and turns himself round).
Are ye not like the women who forever
Only recur to their first word, although
One had been talking reason by the hour!
Know that the human being’s thoughts and needs
Are not like ocean billows, blindly moved.
The inner world, his microcosmus, is
The deep shaft out of which they spring eternally.
They grow by certain laws, like the tree’s fruit—
No juggling chance can metamorphose them.
Have I the human kernel first examined?
Then I know, too, the future will and action.
Chamber in the residence of Piccolomini
OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI (attired for traveling), AN ADJUTANT