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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.

Is it then,
Can it have come to this?—­What!  Cousin, cousin! 
Have you the heart?

MAX.

The regiments that are trusted to my care
I have pledged my troth to bring away from Pilsen
True to the Emperor; and this promise will I
Make good, or perish.  More than this no duty
Requires of me.  I will not fight against thee,
Unless compell’d; for though an enemy,
Thy head is holy to me still.

[Two reports of cannon.  ILLO and TERZKY hurry to the window.]

WALLENST.

What’s that?

TERZKY.

He falls.

WALLENSTEIN.

Falls!  Who?

ILLO.

Tiefenbach’s corps
Discharged the ordnance.

WALLENSTEIN.

Upon whom?

ILLO.

On Neumann,
Your messenger.

WALLENSTEIN (starting up).

Ha!  Death and hell!  I will—­

TERZKY.

Expose thyself to their blind frenzy?

DUCHESS and COUNTESS.

No! 
For God’s sake, no!

ILLO.

Not yet, my General
O hold him! hold him!

WALLENSTEIN.

Leave me.

MAX.

Do it not;
Not yet!  This rash and bloody deed has thrown them
Into a frenzy-fit—­allow them time—­

WALLENST.

Away! too long already have I loiter’d. 
They are emboldened to these outrages,
Beholding not my face.  They shall behold
My countenance, shall hear my voice—­
Are they not my troops?  Am I not their General,
And their long-fear’d commander?  Let me see
Whether indeed they do no longer know
That countenance, which was their sun in battle! 
From the balcony (mark!) I show myself
To these rebellious forces, and at once
Revolt is mounded, and the high-swoln current
Shrinks back into the old bed of obedience.

[Exit WALLENSTEIN; ILLO, TERZKY, and BUTLER follow.]

SCENE XXI

COUNTESS, DUCHESS, MAX and THEKLA

COUNTESS (to the DUCHESS).

Let them but see him—­there is hope still, sister.

DUCHESS.

Hope!  I have none!

MAX (who during the last scene has been standing at a distance, in a visible struggle of feelings, advances).

This can I not endure. 
With most determined soul did I come hither;
My purposed action seem’d unblamable
To my own conscience—­and I must stand here
Like one abhorr’d, a hard inhuman being: 
Yea, loaded with the curse of all I love! 
Must see all whom I love in this sore anguish,
Whom I with one word can make happy—­O! 
My heart revolts within me, and two voices
Make themselves audible within my bosom. 
My soul’s benighted; I no longer can
Distinguish the right track.  O, well and truly
Didst thou say, father, I relied too much
On my own heart.  My mind moves to and fro—­
know not what to do.

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