Is it then,
Can it have come to this?—What! Cousin, cousin!
Have you the heart?
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.]
Discharged the ordnance.
WALLENSTEIN (starting up).
Ha! Death and hell! I will—
Expose thyself to their blind frenzy?
DUCHESS and COUNTESS.
For God’s sake, no!
Not yet, my General
O hold him! hold him!
Do it not;
Not yet! This rash and bloody deed has thrown them
Into a frenzy-fit—allow them time—
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.]
COUNTESS, DUCHESS, MAX and THEKLA
COUNTESS (to the DUCHESS).
Let them but see him—there is hope still, sister.
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.