Egmont eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 108 pages of information about Egmont.
to dare.—­Wretched, degrading position!  Better end it at once!  Not long ago, I threw myself into the water; I sank —­ but nature in her agony was too strong for me; I felt that I could swim, and saved myself against my will.  Could I but forget the time when she loved me, seemed to love me!—­Why has this happiness penetrated my very bone and marrow?  Why have these hopes, while disclosing to me a distant paradise, consumed all the enjoyment of life?—­And that first, that only kiss!—­Here (laying his hand upon the table), here we were alone,—­she had always been kind and friendly towards me,—­then she seemed to soften,—­ she looked at me,—­my brain reeled,—­I felt her lips on mine,—­and —­and now?—­Die, wretch!  Why dost thou hesitate? (He draws a phial from his pocket.) Thou healing poison, it shall not have been in vain that I stole thee from my brother’s medicine chest!  From this anxious fear, this dizziness, this death-agony, thou shalt deliver me at once.


Scene I.—­Square in Brussels

Jetter and a Master Carpenter (meeting)

Carpenter.  Did I not tell you beforehand?  Eight days ago, at the guild, I said there would be serious disturbances?

Jetter.  Is it, then, true that they have plundered the churches in Flanders?

Carpenter.  They have utterly destroyed both churches and chapels.  They have left nothing standing but the four bare walls.  The lowest rabble!  And this it is that damages our good cause.  We ought rather to have laid our claims before the Regent, formally and decidedly, and then have stood by them.  If we speak now, if we assemble now, it will be said that we are joining the insurgents.

Jetter.  Ay, so every one thinks at first.  Why should you thrust your nose into the mess?  The neck is closely connected with it.

Carpenter.  I am always uneasy when tumults arise among the mob—­among people who have nothing to lose.  They use as a pretext that to which we also must appeal, and plunge the country in misery.

[Enter Soest.

Soest.  Good day, sirs!  What news?  Is it true that the image-breakers are coming straight in this direction?

Carpenter.  Here they shall touch nothing, at any rate.

Soest.  A soldier came into my shop just now to buy tobacco; I questioned him about the matter.  The Regent, though so brave and prudent a lady, has for once lost her presence of mind.  Things must be bad indeed when she thus takes refuge behind her guards.  The castle is strongly garrisoned.  It is even rumoured that she means to fly from the town.

Carpenter.  Forth she shall not go!  Her presence protects us, and we will ensure her safety better than her mustachioed gentry.  If she only maintains our rights and privileges, we will stand faithfully by her.

[Enter a Soapboiler.

Soapboiler.  An ugly business this! a bad business!  Troubles are beginning; all things are going wrong!  Mind you keep quiet, or they’ll take you also for rioters.

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Egmont from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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