Is the detachment here?
It awaits below.
And are the soldiers trusty, Adjutant?
Say, from what regiment hast thou chosen them?
ADJUT. From Tiefenbach’s.
That regiment is loyal;
Keep them in silence in the inner court,
Unseen by all, and when the signal peals
Then close the doors; keep watch upon the house,
And all ye meet be instantly arrested.
I hope indeed I shall not need their service,
So certain feel I of my well laid plans;
But when an empire’s safety is at stake
’Twere better too much caution than too little.
A Chamber in PICCOLOMINI’s Dwelling-House.
OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI, ISOLANI, entering
Here am I—Well! who comes yet of the others?
OCTAVIO (with an air of mystery).
But, first, a word with you, Count Isolani.
ISOLANI (assuming the same air of mystery).
Will it explode, ha?—Is the Duke about
To make the attempt? In me, friend, you may place
Full confidence—Nay, put me to the proof.
That may happen.
Noble brother, I am
Not one of those men who in words are valiant,
And when it comes to action skulk away.
The Duke has acted toward me as a friend.
God knows it is so; and I owe him all—
He may rely on my fidelity.
That will be seen hereafter.
Be on your guard,
All think not as I think; and there are many
Who still hold with the Court—yes, and they say
That those stolen signatures bind them to nothing.
Indeed! Pray name to me the chiefs that think so.
Plague upon them! all the Germans think so;
Esterhazy, Kaunitz, Deodati, too,
Insist upon obedience to the Court.]
I am rejoiced to hear it.
That the Emperor has yet such gallant servants,
And loving friends!
Nay, jeer not, I entreat you.
They are no such worthless fellows, I assure you.
I am assured already. God forbid
That I should jest!—In very serious earnest,
I am rejoiced to see an honest cause
The Devil!—what!—Why, what
Are you not, then—For what, then, am I here?
That you may make full declaration, whether
You will be call’d the friend or enemy
Of the Emperor.
ISOLANI (with an air of defiance).
That declaration, friend,
I’ll make to him in whom a right is placed
To put that question to me.