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Goethe's Works illustrated by the best German artists, Volume 2, Part 2

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Title:
Goethe's Works illustrated by the best German artists, Volume 2, Part 2
Creator:
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Place of Publication:
Philadelphia, Penn.
Publisher:
G. Barrie
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
5 v. in 10 : ill. ; 30 cm.

Notes

General Note:
v. 1. The life of Goethe / by Hjalmar H. Boyesen ; Poems (Songs ; Familiar songs ; From Wilhelm Meister ; Ballads ; Antiques ; Elegies ; Epigrams ; The four seasons ; Sonnets ; Miscellaneous poems ; Art ; Parables ; Epigrams ; God und world ; West-Eastern Divan ; Hermann und Dorothea) -- v. 2. Faust ; Egmont ; The natural daughter ; The sorrows of young Werther -- v. 3. Goetz von Berlichingen ; Iphigenia in Tauris ; Torquato Tasso ; Clavigo ; Stella; The brother and sister ; A tale ; The good women ; Reynard the Fox -- v. 4. The recreations of the German emigrants ; Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship -- v. 5. , pt. 1. Wilhelm Meister's travels --Elective affinities.

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DRAMATIS PERSONS.
Margaret of Parma, daughter of Charles V.,
and Regent of the Netherlands.
Count Egmont, Prince of Gaure.
William of Orange.
The Duke of Alva.
Ferdinand, his natural Son.
Machiavel, in the service of the Regent.
Richard, Egmont's Private Secretary.
Silva, I
Gomez | in the serv*ce f Alva.
Clara, the Beloved of Egmont.
Her Mother.
Rrackenburg, a Citizen's Son.
Soest, a Shopkeeper, ^
Jetter, a Tailor, I
A Carpenter. ^ a%ens £rmsets-
A Soapboiler,
Puyck, a Hollander, a Soldier under Egmont.
Ruysum, a Fries lander, an invalid Soldier,
and deaf.
Vansen, a Clerk.
People, Attendants, Guards, etc.
190




ACT I.
SCENE I.Soldiers and Citizens, with cross-
bows.
Jktter (steps forward, and bends his cross-
bow). Soest, Buyck, Ruysum.
Soest. Come, shoot away, and have done
with it! You wont beat me! Three black
rings, you never made such a shot in all your
life. And so Im master for this year.
Jetter. Master and king to boot; who
envies you? Youll have to pay double
reckoning; tis only fair you should pay for
your dexterity.
Buyck. Jetter, Ill buy your shot, share
the prize, and treat the company. I have al-
ready been here so long, and am a debtor
for so many civilities. If I miss, then it shall
be as if you had shot.
Soest. I ought to have a voice, for in fact
I am the loser. No matter! Come, Buyck,
shoot away.
Buyck. (Shoots.) Now, corporal, look
out!One two three four !
Soest. Four rings! So be it!
All. Hurrah! Long live the king!
Hurrah hurrah !
Buyck. Thanks, sirs, master, even were
too much Thanks for the honor.
Jetter. You have no one to thank but
yourself.
Ruysum. Let me tell you !
Soest. How now, graybeard ?
Ruysum. Let me tell you !He shoots
like his master, he shoots like Egmont.
Buyck. Compared with him I am only a
bungler. He aims with the rifle as no one
else does. Not only when hes lucky or in
the vein; no! he levels, and the bulls-ey^e is
pierced. I have learned from him. He were
indeed a blockhead who could serve under
him and learn nothing !But, sirs, let us not
forget A king maintains his followers; and
so, wine here, at the kings charge !
Jetter. We have agreed among ourselves
that each
Buyck. I am a foreigner and a king, and
care not a jot for your laws and customs.
Jetter. Why, you are worse than the Span-
iard, who has not yet ventured to meddle with
them.
Ruysum. What does he say?
Soest. (Loud to Ruysum.) He wants to
treat us; he will not hear of our clubbing to-
gether, the king paying only a double share.
Ruysum. Let him under protest, how-
ever Tis his masters fashion, too, to be
I9I


munificent, and to let the money flow in a
good cause. [ Wine is brought.
All. Heres to his Majesty Hurrah !
Jetter. (To Buyck.) That means your
Majesty, of course.
Buyck. My hearty thanks, if it be so.
Soest. Assuredly! A Netherlander does
not find it easy to drink the health of his
Spanish majesty from his heart.
Ruysum. Who?
Soest. (Aloud.) Philip the Second, King
of Spain.
Ruysum. Our most gracious king and
master! Long life to him.
Soest. Did you not like his father, Charles
the Fifth, better?
Ruysum. God bless him He was a king
indeed His hand reached over the whole
earth, and he was all in all. Yet, when he
met you, hed greet you just as one neighbor
greets another,and if you were frightened,
he knew so well how to put you at your ease
ay, you understand mehe walked out, rode
out, just as it came into his head, with very
few followers. We all wept when he resigned
the government here to his son. You under-
stand mehe is another sort of man, hes
more majestic.
Jetter. When he was here, he never ap-
peared in public, except in pomp and royal
state. He speaks little, they say.
Soest. He is no king for us Netherlanders.
Our princes must be joyous and free like our-
selves, must live and let live. We will neither
be despised nor oppressed, good-natured fools
though we be.
Jetter. The king, methinks, were a gra-
cious sovereign enough, if he had only better
counsellors.
Soest. No, no! He has no affedtion for
us Netherlanders; he has no heart for the
people ; he loves us not; how then can we
love him? Why is everybody so fond of
Count Egmont ? Why are we all so devoted
to him? Why, because one can read in his
face that he loves us; because joyousness,
open-heartedness and good-nature speak in
his eyes; because he possesses nothing that he
does not share with him who needs it, ay, and
with him who needs it not. Long live Count
Egmont! Buyck, it is for you to give the
first toast; give us your masters health.
Buyck. With all my heart; heres to Count
Egmont! Hurrah !
Ruysum. Conqueror of St. Quintin.
Buyck. The hero of Gravelines.
All. Hurrah!
Ruysum. St. Quintin was my last battle.
I was hardly able to crawl along, and could
with difficulty carry my heavy rifle. I man-
aged, notwithstanding, to singe the skin of
the French once more, and, as a parting gift,
received a grazing shot in my right leg.
Buyck. Gravelines! Ha, my friends, we
had sharp work of it there The victory was
all our own. Did not those French dogs carry
fire and desolation into the very heart of Flan-
ders? We gave it them, however! The old
hard-fisted veterans held out bravely for a
while, but we pushed on, fired away, and laid
about us, till they made wry faces, and their
lines gave way. Then Egmonts horse was
shot under him; and for a long time we
fought pell-mell, man to man, horse to horse,
troop to troop, on the broad, flat, sea-sand.
Suddenly, as if from heaven, down came the
cannon-shot from the mouth of the river,
bang, bang, right into the midst of the French.
These were English, who, under Admiral Ma-
lin, happened to be sailing past from Dunkirk.
They did not help us much, tis true; they
could only approach with their smallest vessels,
and that not near enough;besides, their shot
fell sometimes among our troops. It did some
good, however! It broke the French lines,
and raised our courage. Away it went.
Helter-skelter! topsy-turvy! all struck dead,
or forced into the water; the fellows were
drowned the moment they tasted the water,
while we Hollanders dashed in after them.
Being amphibious, we were as much in our
element as frogs, and hacked away at the
enemy, and shot them down as if they had
been ducks. The few who struggled through
were struck dead in their flight by the peasant
women, armed with hoes and pitchforks. His
Gallic majesty was compelled at once to hold
out his paw and make peace. And that peace
you owe to us, to the great Egmont.
All. Hurrah for the great Egmont!
Hurrah hurrah !
Jetter. Had they but appointed him Re-
gent, instead of Margaret of Parma!
Soest. Not so Truth is truth Ill not
hear Margaret abused. Now it is my turn.
Long live our gracious lady !
All. Long life to her !
Soest. Truly, there are excellent women
in that family. Long live the Regent!
Jetter. Prudent is she, and moderate in
I all she does; if she would only not hold so
| fast and stiffly with the priests. It is partly
192


her fault, too, that we have the fourteen new
mitres in the land. Of what use are they, I
should like to know? Why, that foreigners
may be shoved into the good benefices, where
formerly abbots were chosen out of the chap-
ters And were to believe its for the sake
of religion. We know better. Three bishops
were enough for us; things went on decently
and reputably. Now each must busy himself
as if he were needed; and this gives rise every
moment to dissensions and ill-will. And the
more you agitate the matter, so much the
worse it grows. [ They drink.
Soest. But it was the will of the king;
she cannot alter it, one way or another.
Jetter. Then we may not even sing the
new psalms; but ribald songs, as many as we
please. And why? There is heresy in them,
they say, and Heaven knows what. I have
sung some of them, however; they are new,
to be sure, but I see no harm in them.
Buyck. Ask their leave, forsooth In our
province we sing just what we please. Thats
because Count Egmont is our stadtholder, who
does not trouble himself about such matters.
In Ghent, Ypres, and throughout the whole
of Flanders, anybody sings them that chooses.
(Aloud to Ruysum.J There is nothing more
harmless than a spiritual song is there,
father ?
Ruysum. What, indeed! It is a godly
work, and truly edifying.
Jetter. They say, however, that they are
not of the right sort, not of their sort, and,
since it is dangerous, we had better leave
them alone. The officers of the Inquisition
are always lurking and spying about; many
an honest fellow has already fallen into their
clutches. They had not gone so far as to
meddle with conscience If they will not
allow me to do what I like, they might at
least let me think and sing as I please.
Soest. The Inquisition wont do here.
We are not made like the Spaniards, to let
our consciences be tyrannized over. The
. nobles must look to it, and clip its wings be-
times.
| Jetter. It is a great bore. Whenever it
comes into their worships heads to break into
my house, and I am sitting there at my work,
humming a French psalm, thinking nothing
about it, neither good nor badsinging it just
: because it is in my throat;forthwith Im a
heretic, and am clapped into prison. Or if I
193


am passing through the country, and stand
near a crowd listening to a new preacher, one
of those who have come from Germany, in-
stantly Im called a rebel, and am in danger
of losing my head Have you ever heard
one of these preachers?
Soest. Brave fellows! Not long ago I
heard one of them preach in a field before
thousands and thousands of people. A dif-
ferent sort of dish he gave us from that of our
humdrum preachers, who, from the pulpit,
choke their hearers with scraps of Latin. He
spoke from his heart; told us how we had till
now been led by the nose, how we had been
kept in darkness, and how we might procure
more light;ay, and he proved it all out of
the Bible.
Jetter. There may be something in it.
I always said as much, and have often pon-
dered over the matter. It has long been run-
ning in my head.
Buyck. All the people run after them.
Soest. No wonder, since they hear both
what is good and what is new.
Jetter. And what is it all about ? Surely
they might let every one preach after his own
fashion.
Buyck. Come, sirs! While you are talk- '
ing, you forget the wine and the Prince of
Orange.
Jetter. We must not forget him. Hes a
very wall of defence. In thinking of him,
one fancies that if one could only hide behind
him, the devil himself could not get at one.
Heres to William of Orange Hurrah !
All. Hurrah hurrah !
Soest. Now, graybeard, lets have your
toast.
Ruysum. Heres to old soldiers To all
soldiers War forever !
Buyck. Bravo, old fellow. Heres to all
soldiers. War forever!
Jetter. War war Do ye know what
ye are shouting about? That it should slip
glibly from your tongue is natural enough ;
but what wretched work it is for us, I have
not words to tell you. To be stunned the
whole year round by the beating of the
drum; to hear of nothing except how one
troop marched here, and another there; how
they came over this height, and halted near
that mill; how many were left dead on this
field, and how many on that; how they press
forward, and how one wins, and another loses,
without being able to comprehend what they
are fighting about; how a town is taken, how
! the citizens are put to the sword, and how it
fares with the poor women and innocent chil-
dren. This is a grief and a trouble, and then
one thinks every moment, Here they come !
It will be our turn next.
Soest. Therefore every citizen must be
practised in the use of arms.
Jetter. Fine talking, indeed, for him who
has a wife and children. And yet I would
rather hear of soldiers than see them.
Buyck. I might take offence at that.
Jetter. It was not intended for you,
countryman. When we got rid of the Span-
ish garrison, we breathed freely again.
Soest. Faith They pressed on you heav-
ily enough.
Jetter. Mind your own business.
Soest. They came to sharp quarters with
you.
Jetter. Hold your tongue.
Soest. They drove him out of kitchen,
cellar, chamberand bed. [They laugh.
Jetter. You are a blockhead.
Buyck. Peace, sirs Must the soldier cry-
peace? Since you will not hear anything
about us, let us have a toast of your owna
citizens toast.
Jetter. Were all ready for that! Safetv
and peace!
Soest. Order and freedom !
Buyck. Bravo That will content us all.
[ They ring their glasses together, and joy-
ously repeat the words, hut in such a man-
ner that each utters a different sound, and
it becomes a kind of chant. The old man
listens, and at length joins in.
All. Safety and peace Order and free-
dom !
SCENE II.Palace of the Regent.
Margaret of Parma (in a hunting dress).
Courtiers, Pages, Servants.
Regent. Put off the hunt, I shall not ride
to-day. Bid Machiavel attend me.
[.Exeunt all but the Regent.
The thought of these terrible events leaves
me no repose! Nothing can amuse, nothing
divert my mind. These images, these cares
are always before me. The king will now say
that these are the natural fruits of my kind-
ness, of my clemency; yet my conscience as-
sures me that I have adopted the wisest, the
194


ARTIST : C. HABERLIN.
EGMONT. ACT I, SCENE II.
MARGARET OF PAKMA AND MACHIAVEL


Consider well what you are doing. The prin-
cipal merchants are infedtednobles, citizens,
soldiers. What avails persisting in our opin-
ion, when everything is changing around us?
Oh, that some good genius would suggest to
Philip that it better becomes a monarch to
govern burghers of two different creeds, than
to excite them to mutual destruction !
Regent. Never let me hear such words
again. Full well I know that the policy of
statesmen rarely maintains truth and fidelity;
that it excludes from the heart candor, charity,
toleration. In secular affairs, this is, alas!
only too true; but shall we trifle with God as
we do with each other? Shall we be indif-
ferent to our established faith, for the sake of
which so many have sacrificed their lives?
Shall we abandon it to these far-fetched, un-
certain, and self-contradidting heresies?
Machiavel. Think not the worse of me
for what I have uttered.
Regent. I know you and your fidelity.
I know too that a man may be both honest
and sagacious, and yet miss the best and near-
est way to the salvation of his soul. There
are others, Machiavel, men whom I esteem,
yet whom I needs must blame.
Machiavel. To whom do you refer?
Regent. I must confess that Egmont
caused me to-day deep and heartfelt annoy-
ance.
Machiavel. How so ?
Regent. By his accustomed demeanor,
his usual indifference and levity. I received
the fatal tidings as I was leaving church, at-
tended by him and several others. I did not
restrain my anguish, I broke forth into lamen-
tations, loud and deep, and turning to him,
exclaimed, See what is going on in your
province Do you suffer it, Count, you, in
whom the king confided so implicitly?
Machiavel. And what was his reply?
Regent. As if it were a mere trifle, an
affair of no moment, he answered: Were
the Netherlanders but satisfied as to their
constitution The rest would soon follow.
Machiavel. There was, perhaps, more
truth than discretion or piety in his words.
How can we hope to acquire and to maintain
the confidence of the Netherlander, when he
sees that we are more interested in appro-
priating his possessions than in promoting
his welfare, temporal or spiritual? Does the
number of souls saved by the new bishops
exceed that of the fat benefices they have
swallowed ? And are they not for the most
196
; part foreigners? As yet, the office of stadt-
holder has been held by Netherlanders; but
do not the Spaniards betray their great and
irresistible desire to possess themselves of
these places? Will not people prefer being
governed by their own countrymen, and ac-
cording to their ancient customs, rather than
j by foreigners, who, from their first entrance
; into the land, endeavor to enrich themselves
at the general expense, who measure everv-
; thing by a foreign standard, and who exercise
; their authority without cordiality or sym-
! pathy ?
I Regent. You take part with our oppo-
nents ?
Machiavel. Assuredly not in my heart.
Would that with my understanding I could be
wholly on our side !
Regent. If such your disposition, it were
better I should resign the regency to them ;
; for both Egmont and Orange entertained great
hopes of occupying this position. Then they
: were adversaries, now they are leagued against
j me, and have become friendsinseparable
friends.
Machiavel. A dangerous pair.
Regent. To speak candidly, I fear Orange.
I fear for Egmont.Orange meditates some
dangerous scheme, his thoughts are far-reach-
ing, he is reserved, appears to accede to every-
thing, never contradidts, and while maintain-
j ing the show of reverence, with clear foresight
accomplishes his own designs!
Machiavel. Egmont, on the contrary,
advances with a bold step, as if the world
: were all his own.
Regent. He bears his head as proudly as
if the hand of majesty were not suspended
over him.
Machiavel. The eyes of all the people are
| fixed upon him, and he is the idol of their
hearts.
; Regent. He has never assumed the least
disguise, and carries himself as if no one had
a right to call him to account. He still bears
! the name of Egmont. Count Egmont is the
title by which he loves to hear himself ad-
dressed, as though he would fain be reminded
that his ancestors were masters of Guelder-
land. Why does he not assume his proper
title,Prince of Gaure? What objedt has he
in view? Would he again revive extinguished
claims?
Machiavel. I hold him for a faithful ser-
vant of the king.
Regent. Were he so inclined, what im-


most prudent course. Ought I sooner to have
kindled, and spread abroad these flames with
the breath of wrath ? My hope was to keep
them in, to let them smoulder in their own
ashes. Yes, my inward conviction, and my
knowledge of the circumstances, justify my
conduCt in my own eyes; but in what light
will it appear to my brother For, can it be
denied that the insolence of these foreign
teachers waxes daily more audacious ? They
have desecrated our sandtuaries, unsettled the
dull minds of the people, and conjured up
amongst them a spirit of delusion. Impure
spirits have mingled among the insurgents,
horrible deeds have been perpetrated, which
to think of makes one shudder, and of these
a circumstantial account must be transmitted
instantly to court. Prompt and minute must
be my communication, lest rumor outrun my
messenger, and the king suspeCt that some
particulars have been purposely withheld. I
can see no means, severe or mild, by which
to stem the evil. Oh, what are we great ones
on the waves of humanity? We think to
control them, and are ourselves driven to and
fro, hither and thither.
Enter Machiavel.
Regent. Are the despatches to the king
prepared ?
Machiavel. In an hour they will be ready
for your signature.
Regent. Have you made the report suf-
ficiently circumstantial.
Machiavel. Full and circumstantial, as
the king loves to have it. I relate how the
rage of the iconoclasts first broke out at St.
Omer; how a furious multitude, with staves,
hatchets, hammers, ladders and cords, accom-
panied by a few armed men, first assailed the
chapels, churches and convents, drove out the
worshippers, forced the barred gates, threw
everything into confusion, tore down the
altars, destroyed the statues of the saints,
defaced the pidlures, and dashed to atoms,
and trampled under foot, whatever came in
their way that was consecrated and holy.
How the crowd increased as it advanced, and
how the inhabitants of Ypres opened their
gates at its approach. How, with incredible
rapidity, they demolished the cathedral, and
burned the library of the bishop. How a
vast multitude, possessed by the like frenzy,
dispersed themselves through Menin, Comines,
Verviers, Lille, and nowhere encountered op- :
position ; and how, through almost the whole j
of Flanders, in a single moment, the mon-
strous conspiracy declared itself, and was ac-
complished.
Regent. Alas! Your recital rends my
heart anew; and the fear that the evil will
wax greater and greater, adds to my grief.
Tell me your thoughts, Machiavel!
Machiavel. Pardon me, your Highness,
my thoughts will appear to you but as idle
fancies; and though you always seem well
satisfied with my services, you have seldom
felt inclined to follow my advice. How often
have you said in jest: You see too far,
Machiavel! You should be an historian ; he
who acts must provide for the exigence of
the hour. And yet, have I not predicted
this terrible history ? Have I not foreseen it
all?
Regent. I too foresee many things, with-
out being able to avert them.
Machiavel. In one word, then :you will
not be able to suppress the new faith. Let it
be recognized, separate its votaries from the
true believers, give them churches of their
own, include them within the pale of social
order, subjedt them to the restraints of law,
do this, and you will at once tranquillize the
insurgents. All other measures will prove
abortive, and you will depopulate the coun-
try.
Regent. Have you forgotten with what
aversion the mere suggestion of toleration was
rejected by my brother? Know you not, how
in every letter he urgently recommends to me
the maintenance of the true faith? That he
will not hear of tranquillity and order being
restored at the expense of religion ? Even in
the provinces, does he not maintain spies, un-
known to us, in order to ascertain who inclines
to the new doctrines? Has he not, to our
astonishment, named to us this or that indi-
vidual residing in our very neighborhood,
who, without its being known, was obnoxious
to the charge of heresy ? Does he not enjoin
harshness and severity? and am I to be le-
nient? Am I to recommend for his adop-
tion measures of indulgence and toleration ?
Should I not thus lose all credit with him, and
at once forfeit his confidence?
Machiavel. I know it. The king com-
mands and puts you in full possession of his
intentions. You are to restore tranquillity
and peace by measures which cannot fail still
more to embitter mens minds, and which
must inevitably kindle the flames of war from
one extremity of the country to the other.
x95


Fi% Pecht del
PUSMSHE 3Y GEORGE BARRIE.
sculp.


portant service could he not render to the
government? Whereas now, without benefit-
ing himself, he has caused us unspeakable
vexation. His banquets and entertainments
have done more to unite the nobles and to
knit them together than the most dangerous
secret associations. With his toasts, his guests
have drunk in a permanent intoxication, a
giddy frenzy, that never subsides. How often
have his facetious jests stirred up the minds
of the populace? and what an excitement
was produced among the mob by the new
liveries, and the extravagant devices of his
followers !
Machiavel. I am convinced he had no de-
sign.
Regent. Be that as it may, it is bad
enough. As I said before, he injures us with-
out benefiting himself. He treats as a jest
matters of serious import; and, not to appear
negligent and remiss, we are forced to treat
seriously what he intended as a jest. Thus
one urges on the other; and what we are
endeavoring to avert is actually brought to
pass. He is more dangerous than the acknow-
ledged head of a conspiracy; and I am much
mistaken if it is not all remembered against
him at court. I cannot deny that scarcely a
day passes in which he does not wound me
deeply wound me.
Machiavel. He appears to me to a<5t on
all occasions according to the dictates of his
conscience.
Regent. His conscience has a convenient
mirror. His demeanor is often offensive. He
carries himself as if he felt he were the master
here, and were withheld by courtesy alone
from making us feel his supremacy; as if he
would not exactly drive us out of the country;
therell be no need for that.
Machiavel. I entreat you, put not too
harsh a construction upon his frank and joyous
temper, which treats lightly matters of serious
moment. You but injure yourself and him.
Regent. I interpret nothing. I speak
only of inevitable consequences, and I know
him. His patent of nobility and the Golden
Fleece upon his breast strengthen his confi-
dence, his audacity. Both can protect him
against any sudden outbreak of royal dis-
pleasure. Consider the matter closely, and
he is alone responsible for the whole mischief
that has broken out in Flanders. From the
first, he connived at the proceedings of the
foreign teachers, avoided stringent measures,
and perhaps rejoiced in secret that they gave
us so much to do. Let me alone; on this
occasion I will give utterance to that which
weighs upon my heart; I will not shoot my
arrow in vain. I know where he is vulnerable.
For he is vulnerable.
Machiavel. Have you summoned the
council? Will Orange attend?
Regent. I have sent for him to Antwerp.
I will lay upon their shoulders the burden of
responsibility; they shall either strenuously
co-operate with me in quelling the evil, or at
once declare themselves rebels. Let the letters
be completed without delay, and bring them
for my signature. Then hasten to despatch
the trusty Vasca to Madrid; he is faithful and
indefatigable; let him use all diligence, that
he may not be anticipated by common report,
that my brother may receive the intelligence
first through him. I will myself speak with
him ere he departs.
Machiavel. Your orders shall be promptly
and punctually obeyed.
SCENE III.Citizen's House.
Clara, her Mother, Brackenburg.
Clara. Will you not hold the yarn for
me, Brackenburg?
Brackenburg. I entreat you, excuse me,
Clara.
Clara. What ails you? Why refuse me
this trifling service ?
Brackenburg. When I hold the yarn, I
stand as it were spell-bound before you, and
cannot escape your eyes.
Clara. Nonsense Come and hold !
Mother. (Knitting in her arm-chair.) Give
us a song! Brackenburg sings so good a
second. You used to be merry once, and I
had always something to laugh at.
Brackenburg. Once!
Clara. Well, let us sing.
Brackenburg. As you please.
Clara. Merrily, then, and sing away!
Tis a soldiers song, my favorite.
(She winds yarn, and sings with Bracken-
burg.
The drum is resounding,
And shrill the fife plays;
My love, for the battle,
His brave troop arrays;
He lifts his lance high,
And the people he sways.
197


My blood it is boiling !
My heart throbs pit-pat !
Oh, had I a jacket,
With hose and with hat!
How boldly Id follow,
And march through the gate;
Through all the wide province
Id follow him straight.
The foe yield, we capture
Or shoot them Ah, me !
What heart-thrilling rapture
A soldier to be !
[During the song, Brackenburg has fre-
quently looked at Clara ; at length his voice
falters, his eyes fill with tears, he lets the skein
fall and goes to the window. Clara finishes
the song alone, her mother motions to her, half
displeased, she rises, advances a few steps to-
wards him, turns hack, as if irresolute, and
again sits down.
Mother. What is going on in the street,
Bracken burg? I hear soldiers marching.
Brackenburg. It is the Regents body-
guard.
Clara. At this hour? What can it mean?
(She rises and Joins Brackenburg at the
window.) That is not the daily guard; it is
more numerous! almost ail the troops! Oh,
Brackenburg, go Learn what it means. It
must be something unusual. Go, good Brack-
enburg, do me this favor.
Brackenburg. I am going I will return
immediately.
(lie offers his hand to Clara, and she gives
him hers. Exit Brackenburg.
Mother. Thou sendest him away so soon !
Clara. I am curious; and, besidesdo
not be angry, motherhis presence pains me.
I never know how I ought to behave towards
him. I have done him a wrong, and it goes
to my very heart to see how deeply he feels it.
Well, it cant be helped now !
Mother. He is such a true-hearted fellow!
Clara. I cannot help it, I must treat him
kindly. Often, without a thought, I return
the gentle, loving pressure of his hand. I re-
proach myself that I am deceiving him, that I
am nourishing in his heart a vain "hope. I am
in a sad plight! God knows, I do not will-
ingly deceive him. I do not wish him to hope,
yet I cannot let him despair !
Mother. That is not as it should be.
Clara. I liked him once, and in my soul I
like him still. I could have married him; yet
I believe I was never really in love with him.
198
Mother. Thou wouldst always have been
happy with him.
Clara. I should have been provided for,
and have led a quiet life.
Mother. And through thy fault it has all
been trifled away.
Clara. I am in a strange position. When
I think how it has come to pass, I know it,
indeed, and I know it not. But I have only
to look upon Egmont, and I understand it all;
ay, and stranger things would seem natural
then. Oh, what a man he is All the prov-
inces worship him. And in his arms, should
I not be the happiest creature in the world ?
Mother. And how will it be in the future?
Clara. I only ask, does he love me?
does he love me ?as if there were any doubt
about it.
Mother. One has nothing but anxiety of
heart with ones children. Always care and
sorrow, whatever may be the end of it! It
cannot come to good Thou hast made thy-
self wretched Thou hast made thy mother
wretched too.
Clara. (Quietly.) Yet thou didst allow
it in the beginning.
Mo ther. Alas! I was too indulgent; I
am always too indulgent.
Clara. When Egmont rode by, and I ran
to the window, did you chide me then? Did
you not come to the window yourself? When
he looked up, smiled, nodded and greeted me,
was it displeasing to you? Did you not feel
yourself honored in your daughter?
Mother. Go on with your reproaches.
Clara. ( With emotion.) Then, when he
passed more frequently, and we felt sure that
it was on my account that he came this way,
did you not remark it yourself with secret joy?
Did you call me away when I stood behind
the window-pane and awaited him ?
Mother. Could I imagine that it would
go so far ?
Clara. ( With faltering voice and repressed
tears.) And then, one evening, when, envel-
oped in his mantle, he surprised 11s as we sat
at our lamp, who busied herself in receiving
him, while I remained lost in astonishment,
as if fastened to my chair?
Mother. Could I imagine that the pru-
dent Clara would so soon be carried away by
this unhappy love? I must now endure that
my daughter
Clara. (Bursting info tears.) Mother!
How can you? You take pleasure in torment-
ing me !


Mother. (Weeping.) Ay, weep away!
Make me yet more wretched by thy grief. Is
it not misery enough that my only daughter is
a castaway ?
Clara. (Rising, and speaking coldly.) A
castawav The beloved of Egmont a castawav!
What princess would not envy the poor
Clara a place in his heart? Oh, mother,
my own mother, you were not wont to speak
thus! Dear mother, be kind !Let the people
think, let the neighbors whisper what they
likethis chamber, this lowly house is a para-
dise, since Egmonts love dwelt here.
Mother. One cannot help liking him,
that is true. He is always so kind, frank and
open-hearted.
Clara. There is not a drop of false blood
in his veins. And then, mother, he is indeed
the great Egmont; yet, when he comes to me,
how tender he is, how kind How he tries
to conceal from me his rank, his bravery!
How anxious he is about me so entirely the
man, the friend, the lover.
Mother. Do you expedt him to-day?
Clara. Have you not seen how often I go
to the window? Have you not noticed how
I listen to every noise at the door?Though
I know that he will not come before night,
yet, from the time when I rise in the morning,
I keep expecting him every moment. Were
I but a boy, to follow him always, to the court
and everywhere Could I but carry his colors
in the field !
Mother. You were always such a lively,
199


restless creatureeven as a little child, now
wild, now thoughtful. Will you not dress
yourself a little better?
Clara. Perhaps, mother, if I want some-
thing to do.Yesterday, some of his people
went by, singing songs in his honor. At least ;
his name was in the songs! The rest I could J
not understand. Mv heart leaped up into my
throat,I would fain have called them back
if I had not felt ashamed.
Moth hr. Take care Thy impetuous na-
ture will ruin all. Thou wilt betray thyself j
before the people; as, not long ago, at thy :
cousins, when thou foundest out the woodcut
with the description, and didst exclaim, with
a cry: Count Egmont?I grew as red as I
fire.
Clara. Could I help crying out? It was
the battle of Gravelines, and I found in the
picture the letter C, and then looked for it in
the description below. There it stood, Count
Egmont, with his horse shot under him. I
shuddered, and afterwards I could not help
laughing at the woodcut figure of Egmont, as
tall as the neighboring tower of Gravelines,
and the English ships at the side.When I
remember how I used to conceive of a battle,
and what an idea I had, as a girl, of Count
Egmont; when I listened to descriptions of
him, and of all the other earls and princes ;
and think how it is with me now !
Enter Brackenburg.
Clara. Well, what is going on ?
Brackenburg. Nothing certain is known.
It is rumored that an insurre&ion has lately-
broken out in Flanders; the Regent is afraid
of its spreading here. The castle is strongly
garrisoned, the burghers are crowding to the
gates, and the streets are thronged with people.
I will hasten at once to my old father. (As
if about to go.)
Clara. Shall we see you to-morrow? I
must change my dress a little. I am expect-
ing my cousin, and I look too untidy. Come,
mother, help me a moment. Take the book,
Brackenburg, and bring me such another
story.
Mother. Farewell!
Brackenburg. (Extending his hand.)
Your hand !
Clara. (Refusing hers.) When you come
next. \_Exeunt Mother and Daughter.
Brackenburg. (Alone.) I had resolved
to go away again at once ; and yet, when she
takes me at my word, and lets me leave her,
I feel as if I could go mad.Wretched man !
Does the fate of thy fatherland, does the grow-
ing disturbance fail to move thee?Are coun-
tryman and Spaniard the same to thee ? and
carest thou not who rules, and who is in the
right ?I was a different sort of fellow as a
200


school-boy! Then, when an exercise in ora- '
tory was givenBrutus Speech for Liberty,
for instance,Fritz was ever the first, and the ;
rector would say: If it were only spoken i
more deliberately, the words not all huddled
together.Then my blood boiled, and
longed for action.Now I drag along, bound
by the eyes of a maiden. I cannot leave her!
yet she, alas, cannot love me !ahnoshe
she cannot have entirely rejected menot
entirelyyet half love is no love !I will
endure it no longer !Can it be true what a
friend lately whispered in my ear, that she
secretly admits a man into the house by night,
when she always sends me away modestly be-
fore evening? No, it cannot be true! It is
a lie! A base, slanderous lie! Clara is as
innocent as I am wretched.She has reje<5led
me, has thrust me from her heartand shall I
live on thus? I cannot, I will not endure it.
Already my native land is convulsed by inter-
nal strife, and do I perish abjectly amid the
tumult? I will not endure it When the
trumpet sounds, when a shot falls, it thrills
through my bone and marrow But, alas, it
does not rouse me It does not summon me
to join the onslaught, to rescue, to dare.
Wretched, degrading position Better end
it at once! Not long ago, I threw myself into
the water; I sankbut 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 hap-
piness 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,andand 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 brothers medicine chest!
From this anxious fear, this dizziness, this
death-agony, thou shalt deliver me at once.
201


ACT
SCENIC I.Square in Brussels.
Jutter and a Master Carpenter (meeting).
Carpenter. Did I not tell you before-
hand? Eight days ago, at the guild, I said
there would be serious disturbances?
Ietter. 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 dam-
ages our good cause. We ought rather to
have laid our claims before the Regent, for-
mally 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 insur-
gents.
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 mobamong 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 dire&ion ?
Carpenter. Here they shall touch nothing,
at any rate.
II.
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 ru-
mored that she means to fly from the town.
Carpenter. Forth she shall not go !' Her
presence protedls us, and we will insure 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
theyll take you also for rioters.
Soest. Here come the seven wise men of
Greece.
Soapboiler. I know there are many who
in secret hold with the Calvinists, abuse the
bishops, and care not for the king. But a
loyal subject, a sincere Catholic !
[By degrees others join the speakers, and
listen.
Enter Vansen.
Vansen. God save you, sirs! What
news ?
Carpenter. Have nothing to do with him,
hes a dangerous fellow.
202


Jetter. Is he not secretary to Dr. Wiets?
Carpenter. He has already had several
masters. First he was a clerk, and as one
patron after another turned him off, on ac-
count of his roguish tricks, he now dabbles in
the business of notary and advocate, and is a
brandy-drinker to boot.
[More people gather round and stand in
groups.
Vansen. So here you are, putting your
heads together. Well, it is worth talking
about.
Soest. I think so too.
Vansen. Now if only one of you had
heart and another head enough for the work,
we might break the Spanish fetters at once.
Soest. Sirs you must not talk thus. We
have taken our oath to the king.
Vansen. And the king to us. Mark that 1
Jetter. Theres sense in that! Tell us
your opinion.
Others. Hearken to him; hes a clever
fellow. Hes sharp enough.
Vansen. I had an old master once, who
possessed a collection of parchments, among
which were charters of ancient constitutions,
contracts and privileges. He set great store,
too, by the rarest books. One of these con-
tained our whole constitution; how, at first,
we Netherlander had princes of our own, who
governed according to hereditary laws, rights
and usages ; how our ancestors paid due honor
to their sovereign so long as he governed them
equitably ; and how they were immediately on
their guard the moment he was for over-
stepping his bounds. The states were down
upon him at once; for every province, how-
ever small, had its own chamber and repre-
sentatives.
Carpenter. Hold your tongue! We
knew that long ago Every honest citizen
learns as much about the constitution as he
needs.
Jetter. Let him speak; one may always
learn something.
Soest. He is quite right.
Several Citizens. Go on go on One
does not hear this every day.
Vansen. You citizens, forsooth! You
live only in the present; and as you tamely
follow the trade inherited from your fathers,
so you let the government do with you just as
it pleases. You make no inquiry into the
origin, the history, or the rights of a Regent;
and in consequence of this negligence, the
Spaniard has drawn the net over your ears.
Soest. Who cares for that, if one has only
daily bread ?
Jetter. The devil! Why did not some
one come forward and tell us this in time ?
Vansen. I tell it you now. The King of
Spain, whose good fortune it is to bear sway
over these provinces, has no right to govern
them otherwise than the petty princes, who
formerly possessed them separately.. Do you
understand that ?
Jetter. Explain it to us.
Vansen. Why, it is as clear as the sun.
Must you not be governed according to your
provincial laws? How comes that?
A Citizen. Certainly!
Vansen. Has not the burgher of Brussels
a different law from the burgher of Antwerp?
The burgher of Antwerp from the burgher of
Ghent? How comes that ?
Another Citizen. By heaven !
Vansen. But if you let matters run on
thus, they will soon tell you a different story.
Fie on you Philip, through a woman, now
ventures to do what neither Charles the Bold,
Frederick the Warrior, nor Charles the Fifth
could accomplish.
Soest. Yes, yes The old princes tried it
also.
Vansen. Ay But our ancestors kept a
sharp lookout. If they thought themselves
aggrieved by their sovereign, they would per-
haps get his son and heir into their hands,
detain him as a hostage, and surrender him
only on the most favorable conditions. Our
fathers were men They knew their own in-
terests They knew how to lay hold on what
they wanted, and to get it established They
were men of the right sort; and hence it is
that our privileges are so clearly defined, our
liberties so well secured.
Soest. What are you saying about our
liberties ?
All. Our liberties our privileges Tell
us about our privileges.
Vansen. All the provinces have their pe-
culiar advantages, but we of Brabant are the
most splendidly provided for. I have read it
all.
Soest. Say on.
Jetter. Let us hear.
A Citizen. Pray do.
Vansen. First, it stands written : The
Duke of Brabant shall be to us
faithful sovereign.
a good and
Soest. Good Stands it so ?
Jetter. Faithful? Is that true?
203


Vansen. As I tell you. He is bound to us
as we are to him. Secondly: In the exercise
of his authority he shall neither exert arbitrary
power, nor exhibit caprice himself, nor shall
he, either directly or indiredlly, sanction them
in others.
Jetter. Bravo bravo Not exert arbi-
trary power.
Soest. Nor exhibit caprice.
Another. And not sanction them in
others! That is the main point. Not sanc-
tion them, either direclly or indiredtly.
Vansen. In express words.
1 etter. Get us the book.
A Citizen. Yes, we must see it.
Others. The book the book !
Another. We will to the Regent with the
book.
Another. Sir dodtor, you shall be spokes-
man.
Soapboiler. Oh, the dolts !
Others. Something more out of the book !
Soapboiler. Ill knock his teeth down his
throat if he says another word.
204


People. Well see who dares to lay hands
upon him. Tell us about our privileges!
Have we any more privileges?
Vansen. Many, very good and very whole-
some ones too. Thus it stands : The sovereign
shall neither benefit the clergy, nor increase
their number, without the consent of the
nobles and of the states. Mark that Nor
shall he alter the constitution of the country.
Soest. Stands it so ?
Vansen. Ill show it you, as it was written
down two or three centuries ago.
A Citizen. And we tolerate the new
bishops? The nobles must protedt us, we will
make a row else !
Others. And we suffer ourselves to be in-
timidated by the Inquisition ?
Vansen. It is your own fault.
People. We have Egmont We have
Orange They will protect our interests.
Vansen. Your brothers in Flanders are
beginning the good work.
Soapboiler. Dog! [Strikes him.
Others oppose the Soapboiler, and exclaim,
Are you also a Spaniard?
Another. What! This honorable man !
Another. This learned man ?
[ They attack the Soapboiler.
Carpenter. For Heavens sake, peace !
[ Others mingle in the fray.
Carpenter. Citizens, what means this?
[Boys whistle, throw stones, set on dogs;
citizens stand and gape, people come run-
ning up, others walk quietly to and fro,
others play all sorts of pranks, shout and
huzza.
Others. Freedom and privilege! Privi-
lege and freedom !
Enter Egmont, with followers.
Egmont. Peace! peace! good people.
What is the matter? Peace, I say Separate
them.
Carpenter. My good lord, you come like
an angel from heaven. Hush See you
nothing? Count Egmont! Honor to Count
Egmont!
Egmont. Here, too What are you about ?
Burgher against burgher Does not even the
neighborhood of our royal mistress oppose a
barrier to this frenzy? Disperse yourselves,
and go about your business. Tis a bad sign
when you thus keep holiday on working days.
How did the disturbance begin ?
[ The tumult gradually subsides, and the
people gather around Egmont.
Carpenter. They are fighting about their
privileges.
Egmont. Which they will forfeit through
their own follyand who are you? You seem
honest people.
Carpenter. Tis our wish to be so.
Egmont. Your calling?
Carpenter. A carpenter, and master of
the guild.
Egmont. And you?
Soest. A shopkeeper.
Egmont. And you?
Jetter. A tailor.
Egmont. I remember, you were employed
upon the liveries of my people. Your name
is Jetter.
Jetter. To think of your grace remember-
ing it!
Egmont. I do not easily forget any one
whom I have seen or conversed with. Do
what you can, good people, to keep the peace ;
you stand in bad repute enough already.
Provoke not the king still farther. The
power, after all, is in his hands. An honest
burgher, who maintains himself industriously,
has everywhere as much freedom as he
wants.
Carpenter. That now is just our mis-
fortune With all due deference, your grace,
tis the idle portion of the community, your
drunkards and vagabonds, who quarrel for
want of something to do, and clamor about
privilege because they are hungry; they im-
pose upon the curious and the credulous, and,
in order to obtain a pot of beer, excite dis-
turbances that will bring misery upon thou-
sands. That is just what they want. We
keep our houses and chests too well guarded ;
they would fain drive us away from them with
firebrands.
Egmont. You shall have all needful assist-
ance ; measures have been taken to stem the
evil by force. Make a firm stand against the
new dodlrines, and do not imagine that privi-
leges are secured by sedition. Remain at
, home; suffer no crowds to assemble in the
streets. Sensible people can accomplish
much.
[In the meantime the crowd has for the most
part dispersed.
Carpenter. Thanks, your excellency
: thanks for your good opinion We will do
i what in us lies. (Exit Egmont.) A gra-
: cious lord A true Netherlander Nothing
i of the Spaniard about him.
205


Jetter. If we had only him for a regent? '
Tis a pleasure to follow him.
Soest. The King wont hear of that. He
takes eare to appoint his own people to the
plaee.
Jettek. Did you notice his dress? It was
of the newest fashionafter the Spanish cut.
Carpenter. A handsome gentleman.
Jetter. His head now were a dainty
morsel for a headsman.
Soest. Are you mad ? What are you
thinking about?
SCENE II.Egmonts residence.
His Secretary (at a desk with papers. He
rises impatiently).
Secretary. Still he comes not! And I
have been waiting already full two hours, pen
in hand, the paper before me; and just to-day
I was anxious to be out so early. The floor
burns under my feet. I can with difficulty
restrain my impatience. Be punctual to the
hour. Such was his parting injunction;
now he comes not. There is so much busi-
Jetter. It is stupid enough that such an
idea should come into ones head But so it
is. Whenever I see a fine long neck, I can-
not help thinking how well it would suit the
block. These cursed executions One can-
not get them out of ones head. When the
lads are swimming, and I chance to see a
naked back, I think forthwith of the dozens I
have seen beaten with rods. If I meet a portly
gentleman, I fancy I already see him roasting
at the stake. At night, in my dreams, I am
tortured in everv limb ; one cannot have a
single hours enjoyment; all merriment and
fun have long been forgotten. These terrible
images seem burnt in upon my brain.
j ness to get through, I shall not have finished
j before midnight. He overlooks ones faults,
it is true; methinks it would be better though,
were he more strict, so he dismissed one at the
i appointed time. One could then arrange ones
plans. It is now full two hours since he left
; the Regent; who knows whom he may have
chanced to meet by the way?
Enter Egmont.
Egmont. Well, how do matters look?
Secretary. I am ready, and three couriers
are waiting.
Egmont. I have detained you too long;
j you look somewhat out of humor.
206


Secretary. In obedience to your com-
mand I have already been in attendance for
some time. Here are the papers !
Egmont. Donna Elvira will be angry with
me, when she learns that I have detained you.
Secretary. You are pleased to jest.
Egmont. No, no. Be not ashamed. I
admire your taste. She is pretty, and I have
no objection that you should have a friend at
the castle. What say the letters ?
Secretary. Much, my lord, but withal
little that is satisfactory.
Egmont. Tis well that we have pleasures
at home, we have the less occasion to seek
them from abroad. Is there much that re- .
quires attention ?
Secretary. Enough, my lord; three i
couriers are in attendance.
Egmont. Proceed The most important. ;
Secretary. All is important.
Egmont. One after the other; only be
prompt.
Secretary. Captain Breda sends an ac- I
count of the occurrences that have further |
taken place in Ghent and the surrounding j
districts. The Tumult is for the most part i
allayed. j
Egmont. He doubtless reports individual
aCts of folly and temerity ?
Secretary. He does, my lord.
Egmont. Spare me the recital.
Secretary. Six of the mob who tore :
down the image of the Virgin at Venders
have been arrested. He inquires whether
they are to be hanged like the others. 1
Egmont. I am weary of hanging; let j
them be flogged and discharged. :
Secretary. There are two women among .
them ; are they to be flogged also ? j
Egmont. He may admonish them and let
them go.
Secretary. Brink, of Bredas company,
wants to marry; the captain hopes you will
not allow it. There are so many women
among the troops, he writes, that when on
the march, they resemble a gang of gypsies
rather than regular soldiers.
Egmont. We must overlook it in his case.
He is a fine young fellow, and moreover en-
treated me so earnestly before I came away.
This must be the last time, however; though
it grieves me to refuse the poor fellows their
best pastime; they have enough without that
to torment them.
Secretary. Two of your people, Seter
and Hart, have ill-treated a damsel, the ,
daughter of an innkeeper. They got her
alone and she could not escape from them.
Egmont. If she be an honest maiden and
they used violence, let them be flogged three
days in succession; and if they have any
property, let him retain as much of it as will
portion the girl.
Secretary. One of the foreign preachers
has been discovered passing secretly through
Comines. He swore that he was on the point
of leaving for France. According to orders,
he ought to be beheaded.
Egmont. Let him be conducted quietly
to the frontier, and there admonished that the
next time he will not escape so easily.
Secretary. A letter from your steward.
He writes that money comes in slowly, he can
with difficulty send you the required sum
within the week; the late disturbances have
thrown everything into the greatest confusion.
Egmont. Money must be had It is for
him to look to the means.
Secretary. He says he will do his utmost,
and at length proposes to sue and imprison
Raymond, who has been so long in your debt.
Egmont. But he has promised to pay !
Secretary. The last time he fixed a fort-
night himself.
Egmont. Well, grant him another fort-
night ; after that he may proceed against him.
Secretary. You do well. His non-pay-
ment of the money proceeds not from inability,
but from want of inclination. He will trifle
no longer when he sees that you are in earnest.
The steward further proposes to withhold, for
half a month, the pensions which you allow to
the old soldiers, widows and others. In the
meantime some expedient may be devised;
they must make their arrangements accord-
ingly.
Egmont. But what arrangements can be
made here? These poor people want the
money more than I do. He must not think
of it.
Secretary. How then, my lord, is he to
raise the required sum ?
Egmont. It is his business to think of that.
He was told so in a former letter.
Secretary. And therefore he makes these
proposals.
Egmont. They will never do ;he must
think of something else. Let him suggest
expedients that are admissible, and, before all,
let him procure the money.
Secretary. I have again before me the
letter from Count Oliva. Pardon my recalling
207


it to your remembrance. Before all others, !
the aged Count deserves a detailed reply.
You proposed writing to him with your own
hand. Doubtless, he loves you as a father.
Egmont. I cannot command the time ;
and of all detestable things, writing is to me
the most detestable. You imitate my hand so j
admirably, do you write in my name. I am
expecting Orange. I cannot do it;I wish,
however, that something soothing should be
written, to allay his fears.
Secretary. Just give me a notion of what
you wish to communicate; I will at once draw
up the answer, and lay it before you. It shall
be so written that it might pass for your hand
in a court of justice.
Egmont. Give me the letter. (After glan-
cing over it.) Dear, excellent, old man !
Wert thou then so cautious in thy youth?
Didst thou never mount a breach? Didst
thou remain in the rear of battle at the sug-
gestion of prudence?What affedlionate so-
licitude He has indeed my safety and hap-
piness at heart, but considers not that he
who lives but to save his life is already dead.
Charge him not to be anxious on my ac-
count ; I a<5t as circumstances require, and
shall be upon my guard. Let him use his
influence at court in my favor, and be assured
of my warmest thanks.
Secretary. Is that all ? He expects still
more.
Egmont. What can I say? If you choose
to write more fully, do so. The matter turns
upon a single point; he would have me live
as I cannot live. That I am joyous, live fast,
take matters easily, is my good fortune; nor
would I exchange it for the safety of a sep-
ulchre. My blood rebels against the Spanish
mode of life, nor have I the least inclination
to regulate my movements by the new and
cautious measures of the court. Do I live
only to think of life? Am I to forego the
enjoyment of the present moment in order to
secure the next? And must that in its turn
be consumed in anxieties and idle fears?
Secretary. I entreat you, my lord, be
not so harsh towards the venerable man. You
are wont to be friendly towards every one.
Say a kindly word to allay the anxiety of your
noble friend. See how considerate he is, with
what delicacy he warns you.
Egmont. Yet he harps continually on the
same string. He knows of old how I detest
these admonitions. They serve only to per-
plex and are of no avail. What if I were a
somnambulist, and trod the giddy summit of
a lofty house,were it the part of friendship
to call me by my name, to warn me of my
danger, to waken, to kill me? Let each
208


choose his own path, and provide for his own
safety.
Secretary. It may become you to be
without a fear, but those who know and love
you
Egmont. (Looking over the letter.) Then he
recalls the old story of our sayings and doings,
one evening, in the wantonness of conviviality
and wine; and what conclusions and inferences
were thence drawn and circulated throughout
the whole kingdom Well, we had a cap and
bells embroidered on the sleeves of our ser-
vants liveries, and afterwards exchanged this
senseless device for a bundle of arrowsa
still more dangerous symbol for those who are
bent upon discovering a meaning where noth-
ing is meant. These and similar follies were
conceived and brought forth in a moment of
merriment. It was at our suggestion that a
noble troop, with beggars wallets, and a self-
chosen nickname, with mock humility recalled
the Kings duty to his remembrance. It was
at our suggestion too well, what does it
signify? Is a carnival jest to be construed
into high treason? Are we to be grudged
the scanty,' variegated rags, wherewith a
youthful spirit and heated imagination would
adorn the poor nakedness of life? Take life
too seriously, and what is it worth? If the
morning wake us to no new joys, if in the even-
ing we have no pleasures to hope for, is it
worth the trouble of dressing and undressing?
Does the sun shine on me to-day, that I may
reflect on what happened yesterday? That I
may endeavor to foresee and control, what
can neither be foreseen nor controlled,the
destiny of the morrow? Spare me these re-
flections ; we will leave them to scholars and
courtiers. Let them ponder and contrive,
creep hither and thither, and surreptitiously
achieve their ends. If you can make use of
these suggestions without swelling your letter
into a volume, it is well. Everything appears
of exaggerated importance to the good old
man. Tis thus the friend, who has long held
our hand, grasps it more warmly ere he quits
his hold.
Secretary. Pardon me, the pedestrian
grows dizzy when he beholds the charioteer
drive past with whirling speed.
Egmont. Child child Forbear As if
goaded by invisible spirits, the sun-steeds of
time bear onward the light car of our destiny;
and nothing remains for us but, with calm
self-possession, firmly to grasp the reins, and
now right, now left, to steer the wheels, here
from the precipice and there from the rock.
Whither he is hasting, who knows ? Does any
one consider whence he came?
Secretary. My lord my lord !
Egmont. I stand high, but I can and must
rise yet higher. Courage, strength, and hope
possess my soul. Not yet have I attained the
height of my ambition ; that once achieved,
I will stand firmly and without fear. Should
I fall, should a thunder-clap, a storm-blast,
ay, a false step of my own, precipitate me
into the abyss, so be it! I shall lie there
with thousands of others. I have never dis-
dained, even for a trifling stake, to throw the
bloody die with my gallant comrades; and
shall I hesitate now, when all that is most pre-
cious in life is set upon the cast?
Secretary. Oh, my lord! you know not
what you say May Heaven protect you !
Egmont. Collect your papers. Orange is
coming. Despatch what is most urgent, that
the couriers may set forth before the gates are
closed. The rest may wait. Leave the Counts
letter till to-morrow. Fail not to visit Elvira,
and greet her from me. Inform yourself con-
cerning the Regents health. She cannot be
well, though she would fain conceal it.
[Exit Secretary.
Enter Orange.
Egmont. Welcome, Orange; you appear
somewhat disturbed.
Orange. What say you to our conference
with the Regent?
Egmont. I found nothing extraordinary
in her manner of receiving us. I have often
seen her thus before. She appeared to me to
be somewhat indisposed.
Orange. Marked you not that she was
more reserved than usual? She began by
cautiously approving our conduct during the
late insurrection ; glanced at the false light in
which, nevertheless, it might be viewed : and
finally turned the discourse to her favorite
topicthat her gracious demeanor, her friend-
ship for us Netherlanders, had never been suf-
ficiently recognized, never appreciated as it
deserved; that nothing came to a prosperous
issue; that for her part she was beginning to
grow weary of it; that the King must at last
resolve upon other measures. Did you hear
that ?
Egmont. Not all; I was thinking at the
time of something else. She is a woman,
good Orange, and all women expect that
every one shall submit passively to their gentle
209


yoke; that every Hercules shall lay aside his
lions skin, assume the distaff, and swell their
train ; and, because they are themselves peace-
ably inclined, imagine forsooth, that the fer-
ment which seizes a nation, the storm which
powerful rivals excite against one another,
may be allayed by one soothing word, and
the most discordant elements be brought to
unite in tranquil harmony at their feet. Tis
thus with her; and since she cannot accom-
plish her object, why she has no resource left
but to lose her temper, to menace us with
direful prospects for the future, and to threaten
to take her departure.
Orange. Think you not that this time she
will fulfil her threat ?
Egmont. Never How often have I seen
her actually prepared for the journey ? Whither
should she go? Being here a stadtholder, a
queen, think you that she could endure to
spend her days in insignificance at her broth-
ers court, or to repair to Italy, and there drag
on her existence among her old family con-
nections?
Orange. She is held incapable of this de-
termination, because you have already seen
her hesitate and draw back ; nevertheless, it
lies in her to take this step; new circumstances
may impel her to the long-delayed resolve.
What if she were to depart, and the King to
send another ?
Egmont. Why, he would come, and he
also would have business enough upon his
hands. He would arrive with vast projedts
and schemes, to reduce all things to order, to
subjugate and combine; and to-day he would
be occupied with this trifle, to-morrow with
that, and the day following have to deal with
some unexpected hindrance. He would spend
one month in forming plans, another in mor-
tification at their failure, and half a year would
be consumed in cares for a single province.
With him also time would pass, his head grow
dizzy, and things hold on their ordinary
course, till instead of sailing into the open
sea, according to the plan which he had pre-
viously marked out, he might thank God if,
amid the tempest, he were able to keep his
vessel off the rocks.
Orange. What if the King were advised
to try an experiment?
Egmont. Which should be?
Orange. To try how the body would get
on without the head.
Egmont. How ?
Orange. Egmont, our interests have for
years weighed upon my heart; I ever stand as
over a chess-board, and regard no move of my
adversary as insignificant; and as men of
science carefully investigate the secrets of
nature, so I hold it to be the duty, ay, the
very vocation of a prince, to acquaint him-
self with the dispositions and intentions of
all parties. I have reason to fear an outbreak.
The King has long acted according to certain
principles; he finds that they do not lead to
a prosperous issue; what more probable than
that he should seek it some other way ?
Egmont. I do not believe it. When a
man grows old, has attempted much, and
finds that the world cannot be made to move
according to his will, he must needs grow
weary of it at last.
Orange. One thing he has not yet at-
tempted.
Egmont. What?
Orange. To spare the people, and to put
an end to the princes.
Egmont. How many have long been
haunted by this dread? There is no cause
for such anxiety.
Orange. Once I felt anxious; gradually
I became suspicious; suspicion has at length
grown into certainty.
Egmont. Has the King more faithful ser-
vants than ourselves?
Orange. We serve him after our own
fashion ; and, between ourselves, it must be
confessed that we understand pretty well how
to make the interests of the King square with
our own.
Egmont. And who does not? He has
our duty and submission, in so far as they are
his due.
Orange. But what if he should arrogate
still more, and regard as disloyalty what we
esteem the maintenance of our just rights?
Egmont. We shall know in that case how
to defend ourselves. Let him assemble the
Knights of the Golden Fleece; we will sub-
mit ourselves to their decision.
Orange. What if the sentence were to
precede the trial? punishment, the sentence?
Egmont. It were an injustice of which
Philip is incapable; a folly which I cannot
impute either to him or to his counsellors.
Orange. And how if they were both un-
just and foolish ?
Egmont. No, Orange, it is impossible.
Who would venture to lay hands on us ? The
attempt to capture us were a vain and fruitless
enterprise. No, they dare not raise the stand-
210




ard of tyranny so high. The breeze that
should waft these tidings over the land would
kindle a mighty conflagration. And what
obje<5t would they have in view? The King
alone has no power either to judge or to con-
demn us; and would they attempt our lives
by assassination ? They cannot intend it. A
terrible league would unite the entire people.
Direful hate and eternal separation from the
crown of Spain would, on the instant, be
forcibly declared.
Orange. The flames would then rage over
our grave, and the blood of our enemies flow,
a vain oblation. Let us consider, Egmont.
Egmont. But how could they effect this
purpose ?
Orange. Alva is on the way.
Egmont. I do not believe it:
Orange. I know it.
Egmont. The Regent appeared to know
nothing of it.
Orange. And, therefore, the stronger is
my conviction. The Regent will give place
to him. I know his bloodthirsty disposition,
and he brings an army with him.
Egmont. To harass the provinces anew?
The people will be exasperated to the last de-
gree.
Orange. Their leaders will be secured.
Egmont. No no !
Orange. Let us retire, each to his prov-
ince. There we can strengthen ourselves;
the Duke will not begin with open violence.
Egmont. Must we not greet him when he
comes ?
Orange. We will delay.
Egmont. What if, on his arrival, he should
summon us in the Kings name?
Orange. We will answer evasively.
Egmont. And if he is urgent?
Orange. We will excuse ourselves.
Egmont. And if he insist?
Orange. We shall be the less disposed to
come.
Egmont. Then war is declared ; and we
are rebels. Do not suffer prudence to mislead
you, Orange. I know it is not fear that makes
you yield. Consider this step.
Orange. I have considered it.
Egmont. Consider for what you are an-
swerable if you are wrong. For the most
fatal war that ever yet desolated a country.
Your refusal is the signal that at once summons
the provinces to arms, that justifies every
cruelty for which Spain has hitherto so anx-
iously sought a pretext. With a single nod
you will excite to the direst confusion what,
with patient effort, we have so long kept in
abeyance. Think of the towns, the nobles,
the people; think of commerce, agriculture,
trade Realize the murder, the desolation !
Calmly the soldier beholds his comrade fall
beside him in the battlefield. But towards
you, carried downwards by the stream, shall
float the corpses of citizens, of children, of
maidens, till, aghast with horror, you shall no
longer know whose cause you are defending,
since you shall see those for whose liberty
you drew the sword perishing around you.
And what will be your emotions when con-
science whispers, It was for my own safety
that I drew it?
Orange. We are not ordinary men, Eg-
mont. If it becomes us to sacrifice ourselves
for thousands, it becomes us no less to spare
ourselves for thousands.
Egmont. He who spares himself becomes
an object of suspicion ever to himself.
Orange. He who is sure of his own mo-
tives can, with confidence, advance or retreat.
Egmont. Your own acl will render certain
the evil that you dread.
Orange. Wisdom and courage alike prompt
us to meet an inevitable evil.
Egmont. When the danger is imminent the
faintest hope should be taken into account.
Orange. We have not the smallest footing
left; we are on the very brink of the precipice.
Egmont. Is the Kings favor on ground so
narrow ?
Orange. Not narrow, perhaps, but slippery.
Egmont. By heavens! he is belied. I
cannot endure that he should be so meanly
thought of! He is Charless son, and in-
capable of meanness.
Orange. Kings of course do nothing
mean.
Egmont. He should be better known.
Orange. Our knowledge counsels us not
to await the result of a dangerous experiment.
Egmont. No experiment is dangerous, the
result of which we have the courage to meet.
Orange. You are irritated, Egmont.
Egmont. I must see with my own eyes.
Orange. Oh, that for once you saw with
mine! My friend, because your eyes are
open, you imagine that you see. I go!
Await Alvas arrival, and God be with you !
My refusal to do so may perhaps save you.
The. dragon may deem the prey not worth
seizing, if he cannot swallow us both. Per-
! haps he may delay, in order more surely to
21 i


execute his purpose; in the meantime you [
may see matters in their true light. But then,
be prompt! Lose not a moment! Save,
oh, save yourself! Farewell!Let nothing
escape your vigilance:how many troops he
brings with him ; how he garrisons the town ;
what force the Regent retains; how your
friends are prepared. Send me tidings
Egmont
Egmont. What would you?
Orange (grasping his hand). Be persuaded !
Go with me!
Egmont. How Tears, Orange !
Orange. To weep for a lost friend is not
unmanly.
Egmont. You deem me lost?
Orange. You are lost! Consider! Only
a brief respite is left you. Farewell. {Exit.
Egmont. (Alone.) Strange that the thoughts
of other men should exert such an influence
over us. These fears would never have entered
my mind; and this man infedts me with his
solicitude. Away Tis a foreign drop in
j my blood Kind nature, cast it forth And
to erase the furrowed lines from my brow
: there yet remains indeed a friendly means.
212


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PUBLISHED BY GEORGE BARRIE.
sl. Sc/lUr/S/MSS sculp.
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*


ACT III.
SCENE I.Palace of the Regent.
Margaret of Parma.
Regent. I might have expected it. Ha !
when we live immersed in anxiety and toil,
we imagine that we achieve the utmost that is
possible; while he who from a distance
looks on and commands believes that he re-
quires only the possible. O ye kings I had
not thought it could have galled me thus. It
is so sweet to reign!and to abdicate? I
know not how my father could do so; but I
will also.
Machiavel appears in the background.
Regent. Approach, Machiavel. I am
thinking over this letter from my brother.
Machiavel. May I know what it con-
tains?
Regent. As much tender consideration
for me as anxiety for his states. He extols
the firmness, the industry, the fidelity, with
which I have hitherto watched over the in-
terests of his Majesty in these provinces. He
condoles with me that the unbridled people
occasion me so much trouble. He is so
thoroughly convinced of the depth of my
views, so extraordinarily satisfied with the
prudence of my conduct, that I must almost
say the letter is too politely written for a king
certainly for a brother.
Machiavel. It is not the first time that he
has testified to you his just satisfa6lion.
Regent. But the first time that it is a mere
rhetorical figure.
Machiavel. I do not understand you.
Regent. You soon will. For after this
preamble he is of opinion that without sol-
diers, without a small army indeed, I shall
always cut a sorry figure here! We did
wrong, he says, to withdraw our troops from
the provinces at the remonstrance of the
inhabitants; a garrison, he thinks, which shall
press upon the neck of the burgher, will prevent
him, by its weight, from making any lofty
spring.
Machiavel. It would irritate the public
mind to the last degree.
Regent. The King thinks, however, do
you hear?he thinks that a clever general,
one who never listens to reason, will be able
to deal promptly with all partiespeople
and nobles, citizens and peasants; he there-
fore sends, with a powerful army, the Duke
of Alva.
Machiavel. Alva ?
Regent. You are surprised.
Machiavel. You say he sends; he asks
doubtless whether he should send.
Regent. The King asks nothe sends.
Machiavel. You will then have an expe-
rienced warrior in your service.
213


Regent. In my service ? Speak out, Ma-
ch iavel.
Maci-iiavel. I would not anticipate you.
Regent. And I would I could dissimulate.
It wounds mewounds me to the quick. I
had rather my brother would speak his mind
than attach his signature to formal epistles ,
drawn up by a secretary of state.
Mach iavel. Can they not comprehend?
Regent. I know them both within and
without. They would fain make a clean
sweep; and since they cannot set about it
themselves, they give their confidence to any-
one who comes with a besom in his hand.
Oh, it seems to me as if I saw the king and
his council worked upon this tapestry !
Machiavel. So distinctly !
Regent. No feature is wanting. There are
good men among them. The honest Rode-
rigo, so experienced and so moderate, who
does not aim too high, yet lets nothing sink
too low; the upright Alonzo, the diligent
Freneda, the steadfast Las Vargas, and others
who join them when the good party are in
power. But there sits the hollow-eyed Tole-
dan, with brazen front and deep fire-glance,
muttering between his teeth about womanish
softness, ill-timed concession, and that women
can ride trained steeds well enough, but are
themselves bad masters of the horse, and the
like pleasantries, which in former times I have
been compelled to hear from political gentlemen.
Machiavel. You have chosen good colors
for your picture.
Regent. Confess, Machiavel, among the
tints from which I might seleCt, there is no
hue so livid, so jaundice-like, as Alvas com-
plexion, and the color he is wont to paint
with. He regards every one as a blasphemer
or traitor; for under this head they can all be
racked, impaled, quartered and burned at pleas-
ure. The good I have accomplished here
appears as nothing seen from a distance, just
because it is good. Then he dwells on every
outbreak that is past, recalls every disturbance
that is quieted, and brings before the king
such a pi<51 ure of mutiny, sedition and auda-
city, that we appear to him to be actually
devouring one another, when with us the tran-
sient explosion of a rude people has long been
forgotten. Thus he conceives a cordial hatred
for the poor people; he views them with
horror, as beasts and monsters; looks around
for fire and sword, and imagines that by such
means human beings are subdued.
Machiavel. You appear to me too vehe-
ment ; you take the matter too seriously. Do
you not remain Regent?
Regent. I am aware of that. He will
bring his instructions. I am old enough in
state affairs to understand how people can be
supplanted, without being actually deprived
of office. First, he will produce a commis-
sion, couched in terms somewhat obscure and
equivocal; he will stretch his authority, for
the power is in his hands; if I complain, he
will hint at secret instructions; if I desire to
see them, he will answer evasively; if I insist,
he will produce a paper of totally different
import; and if this fail to satisfy me, he will
go on precisely as if I had never interfered.
Meanwhile he will have accomplished what I
dread, and have frustrated my most cherished
schemes.
Machiavel. I wish I could contradict you.
Regent. His harshness and cruelty will
again arouse the turbulent spirit which, with
unspeakable patience, I have succeeded in
quelling; I shall see my work destroyed be-
fore my eyes, and have besides to bear the
blame of his wrong-doing.
Machiavel. Await it, your Highness.
Regent. I have sufficient self-command
to remain quiet. Let him come; I will make
way for him with the best grace ere he pushes
me aside.
Machiavel. So important a step thus sud-
denly ?
Regent. Tis harder than you imagine.
He who is accustomed to rule, to hold daily
in his hand the destiny of thousands, descends
from the throne as into the grave. Better
thus, however, than linger a speCtre among
the living, and with hollow aspeCl endeavor
to maintain a place which another has in-
herited, and already possesses and enjoys.
SCENE IIClaras dwelling.
Clara and her Mother.
Mother. Such a love as Brackenburgs I
have never seen; I thought it was to be found
only in romance books.
Clara. ( Walking up and down the room,
humming a song,)
With loves thrilling rapture
What joy can compare !
Mother. He suspeCts thy attachment to
Egmont; and yet, if thou wouldst but treat
214


artist; c. haberun.
EGMONT. ACT III, SCENE II.
EGMONT AND CLARA


him a little kindly, I do believe he would
marry thee still, if thou wouldst have him.
Clara ( sings).
Blissful
And tearful,
With thought-teeming brain;
Hoping
And fearing
In passionate pain ;
Now shouting in triumph,
Now sunk in despair;
With loves thrilling rapture
What joy can compare !
Mother. Have done with such baby-non-
sense !
Clara. Nay, do not abuse it; tis a song
of marvellous virtue. Many a time have I
lulled a grown child to sleep with it.
Mother. Ay Thou canst think of noth-
ing but thy love. If it only did not put every-
thing else out of thy head. Thou shouldst
have more regard for Brackenburg, I tell
thee. He may make thee happy yet some day.
Clara. He ?
Mother. Oh, yes! A time will come!
You children live only in the present, and
give no ear to our experience. Youth and
happy love, all has an end; and there comes
a time when one thanks God if one has any
corner to creep into.
Clara. (Shudders, and after a pause stands
up.) Mother, let that time comelike death.
To think of it beforehand is horrible And
if it come If we mustthenwe will bear
ourselves as we may. Live without thee,
Egmont! ( Weeping.) No It is impossible.
Enter Egmont (enveloped in a horseman's
cloak, his hat drawn over his face).
Egmont. Clara!
Clara. (Utters a cry and starts back.)
Egmont! (She hastens towards him.) Eg-
mont (She embraces and leans upon him.) O
thou good, kind, sweet Egmont! Art thou
come? Art thou here indeed !
Egmont. Good-evening, mother!
Mother. God save you, noble sir! My
daughter has well-nigh pined to death be-
cause you have stayed away so long; she
talks and sings about you the livelong day.
Egmont. You will give me some supper?
Mother. You do us too much honor. If
we only had anything
Clara. Certainly Be quiet, mother ; I
have provided everything; there is something
prepared. Do not betray me, mother.
Mo ther. Theres little enough.
Clara. Never mind And then I think
when he is with me I am never hungry; so
he cannot, I should think, have any great
appetite when I am with him.
Egmont. Do you think so? (Clara
stamps with her foot and turns pettishly away.)
What ails you ?
Clara. How cold you are to-day You
have not yet offered me a kiss. Why do you
keep your arms enveloped in your mantle,
like a new-born babe? It becomes neither
a soldier nor a lover to keep his arms muffled up.
Egmont. Sometimes, dearest, sometimes.
When the soldier stands in ambush and would
delude the foe, he collects his thoughts, gath-
ers his mantle around him, and matures his
plan ; and a lover
Mother. Will you not take a seat, and
make yourself comfortable? I must to the
kitchen. Clara thinks of nothing when you
are here. You must put up with what we have.
Egmont. Your good-will is the best season-
ing. [Exit Mother.
Clara. And what then is my love?
Egmont. Just what thou wilt.
Clara. Liken it to anything, if you have
the heart.
Egmont. But first. (He flings aside his
mantle, and appeal's arrayed in a magnificent
dress.)
Clara. Oh, heavens!
Egmont. Now my arms are free !
[.Embraces her.
Clara. Dont! You will spoil your dress.
(She steps back.) How magnificent! I dare
not touch you.
Egmont. Art thou satisfied ? I promised
to come once arrayed in Spanish fashion.
Clara. I had ceased to remind you of it;
I thought you did not like itah, and the
Golden Fleece !
Egmont. Thou seest it now.
Clara. And did the Emperor really hang
it round thy neck !
Egmont. He did, my child And this
chain and Order invest the wearer with the
noblest privileges. On earth I acknowledge
no judge over my adtions, except the grand
master of the Order, with the assembled chap-
ter of knights.
Clara. Oh, thou mightest let the whole
world sit in judgment over thee. The velvet
is too splendid and the braiding! and the
embroidery One knows not where to begin.
Egmont. There, look thy fill.
215


Clara. And the Golden Fleece! You
told me its history, and said it is the symbol
of everything great and precious, of every-
thing that can be merited and won by dili-
gence and toil. It is very preciousI may
liken it to thy love ;even so I wear it next
my heart;and then
Egmont. What wilt thou say?
Clara. And then again it is not like.
Egmont. How so ?
Clara. I have not won it by diligence and
toil; I have not deserved it.
Egmont. It is otherwise in love. Thou
dost deserve it because thou hast not sought
itand, for the most part, those only obtain
love who seek it not.
Clara. Is it from thine own experience
that thou hast learned this? Didst thou make
that proud remark in reference to thyself?
Thou, whom all the people love?
Egmont. Would that I had done some-
thing for them That I could do anything
for them It is their own good pleasure to
love me.
Clara. Thou hast doubtless been with the
Regent to-day?
Egmont. I have.
Clara. Art thou upon good terms with her ?
Egmont. So it would appear. We are
kind and serviceable to each other.
Clara. And in thy heart ?
Egmont. I like her. True, we have each
our own views; but that is nothing to the
purpose. She is an excellent woman, knows
with whom she has to deal, and would be
penetrating enough were she not quite so
suspicious. I give her plenty of employment,
because she is always suspedting some secret
motive in my condudl when, in fact, I have
none.
Clara. Really none ?
Egmont. Well, with one little exception,
perhaps. All wine deposits lees in the cask
in the course of time. Orange furnishes her
still better entertainment, and is a perpetual
riddle. He has got the credit of harboring
some secret design ; and she studies his brow
to discover his thoughts, and his steps, to
learn in what diredlion they are bent.
Clara. Does she dissemble?
Egmont. She is Regentand do you ask?
Clara. Pardon me; I meant to say, is she
false ?
Egmont. Neither more nor less than every-
one who has his own objedts to attain. !
Clara. I should never feel at home in the .
world. But she has a masculine spirit, and is
another sort of woman from us housewives
and sempstresses. She is great, steadfast,
resolute.
Egmont. Yes, when matters are not too
much involved. For once, however, she is a
little disconcerted.
Clara. Flow so ?
Egmont. She has a moustache, too, on
her upper lip, and occasionally an attack of
the gouta regular Amazon.
Clara. A majestic woman! I should
dread to appear before her.
Egmont. Yet thou art not wont to be
timid It would not be fear, only maidenly
bashfulness.
[Clara casts down her eyes, takes his hand
and leans upon him.
Egmont. I understand thee, dearest! Thou
mayst raise thine eyes. [He kisses her eyes.
Clara. Let me be silent! Let me embrace
thee Let me look into thine eyes, and find
there everythinghope and comfort, joy and
sorrow! (She embraces and gazes on him.)
Teil me Oh, tell me It seems so strange
art thou indeed Egmont! Count Egmont!
The great Egmont, who makes so much noise
in the world, who figures in the newspapers,
who is the support and stay of the provinces ?
Egmont. No, Clara, I am not he.
Clara. How?
Egmont. Seest thou, Clara? Let me sit
down ! (He seats himself, she kneels on a
footstool before him, rests her arms on his
knees and looks tip in his face.) That Egmont
is a morose, cold, unbending Egmont, obliged
to be upon his guard, to assume now this ap-
pearance and now that; harassed, misappre-
hended and perplexed, when the crowd esteem
him light-hearted and gay; beloved by a
people who do not know their own minds;
honored and extolled by the intradlable mul-
titude ; surrounded by friends in whom he
dares not confide; observed by men who are
on the watch to supplant him; toiling and
striving, often without an objedt, generally
without a reward. Oh, let me conceal how it
fares with him, let me not speak of his feel-
ings But this Egmont, Clara, is calm, un-
reserved, happy, beloved and known by the
best of hearts, which is also thoroughly known
to him, and which he presses to his own with
unbounded confidence and love. (He em-
braces her.) This is thy Egmont.
Clara. So let me die! The world has
no joy after this !
216


ACT IV.
SCENE I A Street.
Jetter, Carpenter.
Jetter. Hist! neighbor.a word !
Carpenter. Go your wav and be quiet.
Jetter. Only one word. Is there nothing
new ?
Carpenter. Nothing, except that we are
anew forbidden to speak.
Jetter. How?
Carpenter. Step here, close to this house.
Take heed Immediately on his arrival, the
Duke of Alva published a decree, by which
two or three found conversing together in the
streets are, without trial, declared guilty of
high treason.
Jetter. Alas!
Carpenter. To speak of state affairs is
prohibited on pain of perpetual imprisonment.
Jetter. Alas for our liberty !
Carpenter. And no one, on pain of death,
shall censure the measures of government.
Jetter. Alas for our heads !
Carpenter. And fathers, mothers, chil-
dren, kindred, friends and servants are in-
vited, by the promise of large rewards, to
disclose what passes in the privacy of our
homes, before an expressly appointed tribunal.
Jetter. Let us go home.
Carpenter. And the obedient are prom-
ised that they shall suffer no injury, either in
person or estate.
Jetter. How gracious !I felt ill at ease
the moment the Duke entered the town.
Since then it has seemed to me as though
the heavens were covered with black crape,
which hangs so low that one must stoop down
to avoid knocking ones head against it.
Carpenter. And how do you like his
soldiers! They are a different sort of crabs
from those we have been used to.
Jetter. Faugh! It gives one the cramp
at ones heart to see such a troop march down
the street. AS straight as tapers, with fixed
look, only one step, however many there may
be; and when they stand sentinel, and you
pass one of them, it seems as though he would
look you through and through; and he looks
so stiff and morose that you fancy you see a
taskmaster at every corner. They offend my
sight. Our militia were merry fellows; they
took liberties, stood their legs astride, their
hats over their ears, they lived and let live;
these fellows are like machines with a devil
inside them.
Carpenter. Were such an one to cry
217


Halt! and to level his musket, think you
one would stand ?
Jetter. I should kill dead upon the spot.
Carpenter. Let us go home !
Ietter. No good can come of it. Fare-
well.
Enter Soest.
Soest. Friends! Neighbors!
Carpenter. Hush Let us go.
Soest. Have you heard ?
Jetter. Only too much !
Soest. The Regent is gone.
Jetter. Then Heaven help us.
Carpenter. She was some stay to us.
Soest. Her departure was sudden and
secret. She could not agree with the Duke;
she has sent word to the nobles that she in-
tends to return. No one believes it, however.
Carpenter. God pardon the nobles for
letting this new yoke be laid upon our necks.
They might have prevented it. Our privileges
are gone.
Jetter. For Heavens sake not a word
about privileges. I already scent an execu-
tion ; the sun will not come forth; the fogs
are rank.
Soest. Orange, too, is gone.
Carpenter. Then are we quite deserted !
Soest. Count Egmont is still here.
Jetter. God be thanked Strengthen
him, all ye-saints, to do his utmost; he is the
only one who can help us.
Enter Vansen.
Vansen. Have I at length found a few
brave citizens who have not crept out of sight?
Jetter. Do us the favor to pass on.
Vansen. You are not civil.
Jetter. This is no time for compliments. \
Does your back itch again ? are your wounds :
already healed ?
Vansen. Ask a soldier about his wounds !
Had I cared for blows, nothing good would
have come of me.
Jetter. Matters may grow more serious.
Vansen. You feel from the gathering storm
a pitiful weakness in your limbs, it seems.
Carpenter. Your limbs will soon be in
motion elsewhere, if you do not keep quiet.
Vansen. Poor mice The master of the
house procures a new cat, and ye are straight
in despair The difference is very trifling;
we shall get on as we did before, only be quiet.
Carpenter. You are an insolent knave.
Vansen. Gossip! Let the Duke alone. ,
The old cat looks as though he had swallowed
devils, instead of mice, and could not now
digest them. Let him alone, I say; he must
eat, drink and sleep, like other men. I am
not afraid if we only watch our opportunity.
At first he makes quick work of it; by-and-by,
however, he too will find that it is pleasanter
to live in the larder, among flitches of bacon,
and to rest by night, than to entrap a few
solitary mice in the granary. Go to! I know
the stadtholders.
Carpenter. What such a fellow can say
j with impunity Had I said such a thing, I
: should not hold myself safe a moment.
Vansen. Do not make yourselves uneasy !
God in heaven does not trouble himself about
you, poor worms, much less the Regent.
Jetter. Slanderer!
Vansen. I know some for whom it would
be better if, instead of their own high spirits,
they had a little tailors blood in their veins.
Carpenter. What mean you by that ?
Vansen. Hum I mean the Count.
Jetter. Egmont! What has he to fear?
Vansen. Im a poor devil, and could live
a whole year round on what he loses in a single
night; yet he would do well to give me his
revenue for a twelvemonth, to have my head
upon his shoulders for one quarter of an hour.
Jetter. You think yourself very clever;
yet there is more sense in the hairs of Egmonts
head, than in your brains.
Vansen. Perhaps so Not more shrewd-
ness, however. These gentry are the most apt
to deceive themselves. He should be more
chary of his confidence.
Jetter. How his tongue wags! Such a
gentleman !
Vansen. Just because he is not a tailor.
Jetter. You audacious scoundrel!
Vansen. I only wish he had your courage
in his limbs for an hour to make him uneasy,
and plague and torment him, till he were com-
pelled to leave the town.
Jetter. What nonsense you talk! why,
hes as safe as a star in heaven.
Vansen. Have you ever seen one snuff
itself out? Off it went!
Carpenter. Who would dare to meddle
with him ?
Vansen. Will you interfere to prevent it?
Will you stir up an insurrection if he is ar-
rested ?
Jetter. Ah !
Vansen. Will you risk your ribs for his
sake ?
218


Soest. Eh !
Vansen. (Mimickingthem.) Eli! Oh Ah !
Run through the alphabet in your wonder-
ment. So it is, and so it will remain. Heaven
help him!
Jetter. Confound your impudence Can
such a noble, upright man have anything to
fear?
Vansen. In this world the rogue has every-
where the advantage. At the bar, he makes
a fool of the judge; on the bench, he takes
pleasure in convicting the accused. I have
had to copy out a protocol, where the com-
missary was handsomely rewarded by the
court, both with praise and money, because
through his cross-examination, an honest devil,
against whom they had a grudge, was made
out to be a rogue.
Carpenter. Why, that again is a down-
right lie. What can they want to get out of
a man if he is innocent?
Vansen. Oh, you blockhead! When
nothing can be worked out of a man by cross-
examination, they work it into him. Honesty
is rash and withal somewhat presumptuous. At
first they question quietly enough, and the
prisoner, proud of his innocence, as they call
it, comes out with much that a sensible man
would keep back; then, from these answers
the inquisitor proceeds to put new questions,
and is on the watch for the slightest contra-
diction ; there he fastens his line; and let the
poor devil lose his self-possession, say too much
here, or too little there, or, Heaven knows
from what whim or other, let him withhold
some trifling circumstance, or at any moment
give way to fearthen were on the right
track, and, I assure you, no beggar-woman
seeks for rags among the rubbish with more
! care than such a fabricator of rogues, from
| trifling, crooked, disjointed, misplaced, mis-
L printed and concealed facts and information,
acknowledged or denied; endeavors at length
to patch up a scarecrow, by means of which
he may at least hang his victim in effigy; and
the poor devil may thank Heaven if he is in a
condition to see himself hanged.
Jetter. He has a ready tongue of his
own.
Carpenter. This may serve well enough
with flies. Wasps laugh at your cunning
web.
Vansen. According to the kind of spider.
The tall Duke, now, has just the look of your
garden-spider; not the large-bellied kind
they are less dangerousbut your long-footed,
meagre-bodied gentleman, that does not fatten
on his diet, and whose threads are slender in-
deed, but not the less tenacious.
Jetter. Egmont is knight of the Golden
Fleecewho dare lay hands on him ? He can
be tried only by his peers, by the assembled
knights of his order. Your own foul tongue
and evil conscience betray you into this non-
sense.
Vansen. Think you that I wish him ill ?
I would you were in the right. He is an ex-
cellent gentleman. He once let off, with a
sound drubbing, some good friends of mine,
who would else have been hanged. Now take
yourselves off! begone, I advise you! yonder
I see the patrol again commencing their round.
They do not look as if they would be willing
to fraternize with us over a glass. We must
wait, and bide our time. I have a couple of
nieces and a gossip of a tapster; if after
enjoying themselves in their company, they
are not tamed, they are regular wolves.
219


SCENE IE The Palace of Eulenberg, Res-
idence of the Duke oe Alva.
Silva and Gomez (meeting).
Silva. Have you executed the Dukes
commands ?
Gomez. Punctually. All the day-patrols
have received orders to assemble at the ap-
pointed time, at the various points that I have
indicated. Meanwhile, they march as usual
through the town to maintain order. Each is
ignorant respedting the movements of the
rest, and imagines the command to have ref- :
erence to himself alone : thus in a moment ,
the cordon can be formed, and all the avenues
to the palace occupied. Know you the reason
of this command ?
Silva. I am accustomed blindly to obey; j
and to whom can one more easily render obe- '
dience than to the Duke, since the event
always proves the wisdom of his commands ?
Gomez. Well well! I am not surprised !
that you are become as reserved and monosyl- :
labic as the Duke, since you are obliged to be
always about his person ; to me, however, who
am accustomed to the lighter service of Italy, I
it seems strange enough. In loyalty and obe- I
dience I am the same old soldier as ever;
but I am wont to indulge in gossip and discus- j
sion; here, you are all silent, and seem as !
though you knew not how to enjoy yourselves, j
The Duke, methinks, is like a brazen tower j
without gates, the garrison of which must be
furnished with wings. Not long ago I heard
him say at the table of a gay, jovial fellow,
that he was like a bad spirit-shop, with a
brandy sign displayed, to allure idlers, vaga-
bonds and thieves.
Silva. And has he not brought us hither
in silence?
Gomez. Nothing can be said against that.
Of a truth, we, who witnessed the address
with which he led the troops hither out of
Italy, have seen something. How he ad-
vanced warily through friends and foes;
through the French, both royalists and her-
etics; through the Swiss and their confed-
erates; maintained the stridlest discipline, and
accomplished with ease, and without the slight-
est hindrance, a march that was esteemed so
perilous. We have seen and learned some-
thing.
Silva. Here too Is not everything as
still and quiet as though there had been no
disturbance ?
Gomez. Why, as for that, it was tolerably
quiet when we arrived.
Silva. The provinces have become much
more tranquil; if there is any movement now,
it is only among those who wish to escape;
and to them, methinks, the Duke will speedily
close every outlet.
Gomez. This service cannot fail to win for
him the favor of the King.
Silva. And nothing is more expedient for
us than to retain his. Should the King come
hither, the Duke doubtless and all whom he
recommends will not go without their reward.
Gomez. Do you really believe then that
the King will come?
Silva. So many preparations are being
made, that the report appears highly probable.
Gomez. I am not convinced,.however.
Silva. Keep your thoughts to yourself
then. For if it should not be the Kings in-
tention to come, it is at least certain that he
wishes the rumor to be believed. '
Enter Ferdinand.
Ferdinand. Is my father not yet abroad ?
Silva. We are waiting to receive his com-
mands.
Ferdinand. The princes will soon be here.
Gomez. Are they expedted to-day ?
Ferdinand. Orange and Egmont.
Gomez. (Aside to Silva. J A light breaks
in upon me.
Silva. Well, then, say nothing about it.
220


Enter the Duke of Alva (as he advances the
rest draw hack).
Alva. Gomez.
Gomez. (Stepsforward.) My lord.
Alva. You have distributed the guards and
given them their instructions ?
Gomez. Most accurately. The day-pa-
trols
Alva. Enough. Attend in the gallery.
Silva will announce to you the moment when
you are to draw them together, and to occupy
the avenues leading to the palace. The rest
you know.
Gomez. I do, my lord. (Exit.
Ai.va. Silva.
Silva. Here, my lord.
Alva. I shall require you to manifest to-
day all the qualities which I have hitherto
prized in you: courage, resolve, unswerving
execution.
Silva. I thank you for affording me an
opportunity of showing that your old servant
is unchanged.
Alva. The moment the princes enter my
cabinet, hasten to arrest Egmonts private
! secretary. You have made all needful prepa-
rations for securing the others who are speci-
fied ?
Silva. Rely upon us. Their doom, like a
well-calculated eclipse, will overtake them with
terrible certainty.
Alva. Have you had them all narrowly
watched ?
Silva. All. Egmont especially. Pie is
the' only one whose demeanor, since your ar-
rival, remains unchanged. The livelong day
he is now on one horse and now on another;
, he invites guests as usual, is merry and enter-
j taining at table, plays at dice, shoots, and at
i night steals to his mistress. The others, on
; the contrary, have made a manifest pause in
their mode of life ; they remain at home, and,
1 from the outward aspeCl of their houses, you
would imagine that there was a sick man within.
Alva. To work then, ere they recover in
spite of us.
Silva. I shall bring them without fail.
In obedience to your commands we load them
with officious honors ; they are alarmed ; cau-
tiously, yet anxiously, they tender us their
thanks, feel that flight would be the most pru-
221




dent course, yet none venture to adopt it;
they hesitate, are unable to work together,
while the bond which unites them prevents
their adting boldly as individuals. They are
anxious to withdraw themselves from suspi-
cion, and thus only render themselves more
obnoxious to it. I already contemplate with
joy the successful realization of your scheme.
Alva. I rejoice only over what is accom-
plished, and not lightly over that; for there
ever remains ground for serious and anxious
thought. Fortune is capricious; the com-
mon, the worthless, she ofttimes ennobles,
while she dishonors with a contemptible issue
the most maturely-considered schemes. Await
the arrival of the princes, then order Gomez
to occupy the streets, and hasten yourself to
arrest Egmonts secretary, and the others who
are specified. This done, return, and an-
nounce to my son that he may bring me the
tidings in the council.
Silva. I trust this evening I shall dare to
appear in your presence. (Alva approaches
his son, who has hitherto been standing in the
gallery.') I dare not whisper it even to my-
self; but my mind misgives me. The event
will, I fear, be different from what he antici-
pates. I see before me spirits, who, still and
thoughtful, weigh in ebon scales the doom of
princes and of many thousands. Slowly the
beam moves up and down ; deeply the judges
appear to ponder; at length one scale sinks,
the other rises, breathed on by the caprice of
destiny, and all is decided. [Exit.
Alva. (Advancing with his son.) How
did you find the town ?
Ferdinand. All is again quiet. I rode as
for pastime, from street to street. Your well-
distributed patrols hold Fear so tightly yoked,
that she does not venture even to whisper.
The town resembles a plain when the light-
nings glare announces the impending storm:
no bird, no beast is to be seen, that is not
stealing to a place of shelter.
Alva. Has nothing further occurred ?
Ferdinand. Egmont, with a few com-
panions, rode into the market-place; we ex-
changed greetings; he was mounted on an
unbroken charger, which excited my admira-
tion, Let us hasten to break in our steeds,
he exclaimed; we shall need them ere long !
He said that he should see me again to-day;
he is coming here, at your desire, to deliberate
with you.
Alva. He will see you again.
Ferdinand. Among all the knights whom
222
I know here, he pleases me the best. I think
we shall be friends.
Alva. You are always rash and inconsid-
erate. I recognize in you the levity of your
mother, which threw her unconditionally into
my arms. Appearances have already allured
you precipitately into many dangerous connec-
tions.
Ferdinand. You will find me ever sub-
missive.
Alva. I pardon this inconsiderate kind-
ness, this heedless gayety, in consideration of
your youthful blood. Only forget not on what
mission I am sent, and what part in it I would
assign to you.
Ferdinand. Admonish me, and spare me
not, when you deem it needful.
Alva. (After a pause.) My son !
Ferdinand. My father!
Alva. The princes will be here anon
Orange and Egmont. It is not mistrust that
has withheld me till now from disclosing to
you what is about to take place. They will
not depart hence.
Ferdinand. What do you purpose?
Alva. It has been resolved to arrest them.
You are astonished Learn what you have
to do; the reasons you shall know when all
is accomplished. Time fails now to unfold
them. With you alone I wish to deliberate
on the weightiest, the most secret matters; a
powerful bond holds us linked together; you
are dear and precious to me; on you I would
bestow everything. Not the habit of obe-
dience alone would I impress upon you; I de-
sire also to implant within your mind the
power to realize, to command, to execute; to
you I would bequeath a vast inheritance, to
the King a most useful servant; I would
endow you with the noblest of my posses-
sions, that you may not be ashamed to appear
among your brethren.
Ferdinand. How deeply am I indebted
to you for this love, which you manifest for
me alone, while a whole kingdom trembles
before you !
Alva. Now hear what is to be done. As
soon as the princes have entered, every avenue
to the palace will be guarded. This duty is
confided to Gomez. Silva will hasten to ar-
rest Egmonts secretary, together with those
whom we hold most in suspicion. You,
meanwhile, will take the command of the
guards stationed at the gates and in the
courts. Before all, take care to occupy the
adjoining apartment with the trustiest soldiers.
\


Wait in the gallery till Silva returns, then
bring me any unimportant paper, as a signal
that his commission is executed. Remain in
the ante-chamber till Orange retires; follow
him; I will detain Egmont here as though I
had some further communication to make to
him. At the end of the gallery demand
Oranges sword, summon the guards, secure
promptly the most dangerous man ; I mean-
while will seize Egmont here.
Ferdinand. I obey, my fatherfor the
first time with a heavy and an anxious heart.
Alva. I pardon you ; this is the first great
day of your life.
Enter Silva.
Silva. A courier from Antwerp. Here is
Oranges letter. He does not come.
Alva. Says the messenger so ?
Silva. No, my own heart tells me.
Alva. In thee speaks my evil genius. (After
reading the letter, he makes a sign to the two,
and they retire to the gallery. Alva remains
alone in front of the stage.) He comes not!
Till the last moment he delays declaring him-
self. He ventures not to come! So then,
the cautious man, contrary to all expectation,
is for once cautious enough to lay aside his
wonted caution. The hour moves one Let
the finger travel but a short space over the
dial, and a great work is done or lostirrev-
ocably lost; for the opportunity can never be
retrieved, nor can our intention remain con-
cealed. Long had I maturely weighed every-
thing, foreseen even this contingency, and
firmly resolved in my own mind what, in that
case, was to be done; and now, when I am
called upon to a6t, I can with difficulty guard
my mind from being again distracted by con-
flicting doubts. Is it expedient to seize the
others if he escape me? Shall I delay, and
suffer Egmont to elude my grasp, together
with his friends, and so many others who now,
and perhaps for to-day only, are in my hands?
How! Does destiny control even theethe
uncontrollable? How long matured! How
well prepared How great, how admirable
the plan How nearly had hope attained the
goal? And now, at the decisive moment,
thou art placed between two evils; as in a
lottery, thou dost grasp in the dark future;
what thou hast drawn remains still unrolled,
to thee unknown whether it is a prize or a
blank! (He becomes attentive, like one who
hears a noise, and steps to the window.) Tis
he! Egmont! Did thy steed bear thee
hither so lightly, and started not at the scent
of blood, at the spirit with the naked sword
who received thee at the gate ? Dismount!
Lo, now thou hast one foot in the grave !
And now both Ay, caress him, and for the
last time stroke his neck for the gallant ser-
vice he has rendered thee. And for me no
choice is left. The delusion, in which Eg-
mont ventures here to-day, cannot a second
time deliver him into my hands! Hark!
(Ferdinand and Silva enter hastily.) Obey
my orders! I swerve not from my purpose.
I shall detain Egmont here as best I may, till
you bring me tidings from Silva. Then re-
main at hand. Thee, too, fate has robbed
of the proud honor of arresting with thine
own hand the Kings greatest enemy. {To
Silva.) Be prompt {To Ferdinand.) Ad-
vance to meet him.
[Alva remains some moments alone, pacing
the chamber in silence.
Enter Egmont.
Egmont. I come to learn the Kings com-
mands ; to hear what service he demands from
our loyalty, which remains eternally devoted
to him.
Alva. He desires, before all, to hear your
counsel.
Egmont. Upon what subject ? Does
Orange come also? I thought to find him
here.
Alva. I regret that he fails us at this im-
portant crisis. The King desires your counsel,
your opinion as to the best means of tranquil-
lizing these states. He trusts indeed that you
will zealously co-operate with him in quelling
these disturbances, and in securing to these
provinces the benefit of complete and per-
manent order.
Egmont. You, my lord, should know
better than I, that tranquillity is already suf-
ficiently restored, and was still more so, till
the appearance of fresh troops again agitated
the public mind, and filled it anew with anxiety
and alarm.
Alva. You seem to intimate that it would
have been more advisable if the King had not
placed me in a position to interrogate you.
Egmont. Pardon me It is not for me
to determine whether the King adted advisedly
in sending the army hither, whether the might
of his royal presence alone would not have
operated more powerfully. The army is here,
the King is not. But we should be most un-
grateful were we to forget what we owe to the
223


Regent. Let it be acknowledged By her
prudence and valor, by her judicious use of
authority and force, of persuasion and finesse,
she pacified the insurgents, and, to the aston-
ishment of the world, succeeded, in the course
of a few months, in bringing a rebellious
people back to their duty.
Alva. I deny it not. The insurrection is
quelled ; and the people appear to be already
forced back within the bounds of obedience.
But does it not depend upon their caprice
alone to overstep these bounds? Who shall
prevent them from again breaking loose?
Where is the power capable of restraining
them ? Who will be answerable to us for
their future loyalty and submission ? Their
own good-will is the sole pledge we have.
Egmont. And is not the good-will of a '
people the surest, the noblest pledge? By
Heaven when can a monarch hold himself
more secure, ay, both against foreign and do-
mestic foes, than when all can stand for one,
and one for all ?
Alva. You would not have us believe,
however, that such is the case here at present?
Egmont. Let the King proclaim a general
pardon; he will thus tranquillize the public
mind; and it will be seen how speedily loyalty
and affeCtion will return, when confidence is
restored.
Alva. How And suffer those who have
insulted the majesty of the King, who have
violated the sanctuaries of our religion, to go
abroad unchallenged! living witnesses that
enormous crimes may be perpetrated with im-
punity !
Egmont. And ought not a crime of frenzy,
of intoxication, to be excused, rather than
horribly chastised ? Especially when there is
the sure hope, nay, more, where there is pos-
itive certainty that the evil will never again
recur? Would not sovereigns thus be more
secure? Are not those monarchs most ex-
tolled by the world and by posterity who can
pardon, pity, despise an offence against their
dignity? Are they not on that account
likened to God himself, who is far too exalted
to be assailed by every idle blasphemy ?
Alva. And therefore, should the King
contend for the honor of God and of religion,
we for the authority of the King. What the
supreme power disdains to avert, it is our duty
to avenge. Were I to counsel, no guilty
person should live to rejoice in his impunity.
Egmont. Think you that you will be able
to reach them all ? Do we not daily hear that
224
fear is driving them to and fro, and forcing
them out of the land? The more wealthy
will escape to other countries with their prop-
erty, their children and their friends; while
the poor will carry their industrious hands to
our neighbors.
Alva. They will, if they cannot be pre-
vented. It is on this account that the King
desires counsel and aid from every prince,
zealous co-operation from every stadtholder;
not merely a description of the present posture
of affairs, or conjectures as to what might take
place were events suffered to hold on. their
course without interruption. To contemplate
a mighty evil, to flatter ones self with hope, to
trust to time, to strike a blow, like the clown
in a play, so as to make a noise and appear to
do something, when in fadt one would fain do
nothing; is not such coriduCt calculated to
awaken a suspicion that those who act thus con-
template with satisfaction a rebellion, which
they would not indeed excite, but which they
are by no means unwilling to encourage ?
Egmont. (About to break forth, restrains
himself \ and after a brief pause, speaks with
composure.) Not every design is obvious,
and many a mans design is misconstrued.
It is widely rumored, however, that the object
which the King has in view is not so much to
govern the provinces according to uniform
and clearly defined laws, to maintain the
majesty of religion and to give his people
universal peace, as unconditionally to sub-
jugate them, to rob them of their ancient
rights, to appropriate their possessions, to
curtail the fair privileges of the nobles, for
whose sake alone they are ready to serve him
with life and limb. Religion, it is said, is
merely a splendid device, behind which every
dangerous design may be contrived with the
greater ease; the prostrate crowds adore the
sacred symbols pictured there, while behind
lurks the fowler ready to ensnare them.
Alva. This must I hear from you ?
Egmont. I speak not my own sentiments !
I but repeat what is loudly rumored, and
uttered now here and now there by great and
by humble, by wise men and fools. The
Netherlanders fear a double yoke, and who
will be surety to them for their liberty ?
Alva. Liberty! A fair word when rightly
understood. What liberty would they have?
What is the freedom of the most free? To
do right And in that the monarch will not
hinder them. No! no! They imagine them-
selves enslaved, when they have not the power
\


to injure themselves and others. Would it
not be better to abdicate at once, rather than
rule such a people? When the country is
threatened by foreign invaders, the burghers,
occupied only with their immediate interests,
bestow no thought upon the advancing foe,
and when the King requires their aid, they
quarrel among themselves, and thus, as it were,
conspire with the enemy. Far better is it to
circumscribe their power, to control and guide
them for their good, as children are controlled
and guided. Trust me, a people grows neither j
old nor wise; a people remains always in its
infancy.
Egmont. How rarely does a king attain
wisdom! And is it not fit that the many
should confide their interests to the many
rather than to the one ? And not even to the
one, but to the few servants of the one, men
who have grown old under the eyes of their
master. To grow wise, it seems, is the ex-
clusive privilege of these favored individuals.
Alva. Perhaps for the very reason that
they are not left to themselves.
Egmont. And therefore they would fain
leave no one else to his own guidance. Let
them do what they like, however; I have
replied to your questions, and I repeat, the
measures you propose will never succeed !
They cannot succeed I know my country-
men. They are men worthy to tread Gods
earth ; each complete in himself, a little king,
steadfast, active, capable, loyal, attached to
ancient customs. It may be difficult to win
their confidence, but it is easy to retain it.
Firm and unbending They may be crushed,
but not subdued.
Alva. ( Who during this speech has looked
round several times.) Would you venture to
repeat what you have uttered, in the Kings
presence ?
Egmont. It were the worse, if in his pres-
ence I were restrained by fear The better
for him and for his people, if he inspired me
with confidence, if he encouraged me to give
yet freer utterance to my thoughts.
Alva. What is profitable, I can listen to
as well as he.
Egmont. I would say to himTis easy
for the shepherd to drive before him a flock
of sheep; the ox draws the plough without
opposition; but if you would ride the noble
steed, you must study his thoughts, you must
require nothing unreasonable, nor unreason-
ably, from him. The burgher desires to re-
tain his ancient constitution ; to be governed
by his own countrymen ; and why? Because
he knows in that case how he shall be ruled,
because he can rely upon their disinterestedness,
upon their sympathy with his fate.
Alva. And ought not the Regent to be
empowered to alter these ancient usages ?
Should not this constitute his fairest privilege?
What is permanent in this world ? And shall
the constitution of a state alone remain un-
changed? Must not every relation alter in
the course of time, and on that very account,
| an ancient constitution become the source of
a thousand evils, because not adapted to the
present condition of the people? These
ancient rights afford, doubtless, convenient
loopholes, through which the crafty and the
powerful may creep, and wherein they may
lie concealed, to the injury of the people and
of the entire community; and it is on this
account, I fear, that they are held in such
high esteem.
Egmont. And these arbitrary changes,
these unlimited encroachments of the supreme
power, are they not indications that one will
permit himself to do what is forbidden to
thousands? The monarch would alone be
free, that he may have it in his power to grat-
ify his every wish, to realize his every thought.
And though we should confide in him as a
good and virtuous sovereign, will he be an-
swerable to us for his successors? That none
who come after him shall rule without consid-
eration, without forbearance! And who would
deliver us from absolute caprice, should he
send hither his servants, his minions, who,
without knowledge of the country and its re-
quirements, should govern according to their
own good pleasure, meet with no opposition,
and know themselves exempt from all respon-
sibility?
Alva. ( Who has meanwhile again looked
round.) There is nothing more natural than
that a king should choose to retain the power
in his own hands, and that he should select as
the instruments of his authority those who best
understand him, who desire to understand him,
and who will unconditionally execute his will.
Egmont. And just as natural is it that
the burgher should prefer being governed by
one born and reared in the same land, whose
notions of right and wrong are in harmony
with his own, and whom he can regard as his
brother.
Alva. And yet the noble, methinks, has
shared rather unequally with these brethren of
his.
225


Egmoxt. That took place centuries ago,
and is now submitted to without envy. But
should new men, whose presence is not needed
in the country, be sent, to enrich themselves
a second time, at the cost of the nation;
should the people see themselves exposed to
their bold, unscrupulous rapacity, it would
excite a ferment that would not soon be
quelled.
Alva. You utter words to which I ought
not to listen ;I, too, am a foreigner.
Egmoxt. That they are spoken in your
presence is a sufficient proof that they have no
reference to you.
Alva. Be that as it may, I would rather
not hear them from you. The King sent me
here in the hope that I should obtain the
support of the nobles. The King wills, and
will have his will obeyed. After profound |
deliberation, the King at length discerns what
course will best promote the welfare of the
people; matters cannot be permitted to go on
| as heretofore; it is the Kings intention to
, limit their power for their own good; if neces-
sary, to force upon them their salvation ; to
sacrifice the more dangerous burghers in order
that the rest may find repose, and enjoy in
peace the blessing of a wise government. This
is his resolve ; this I am commissioned to an-
nounce to the nobles; and in his name I re-
quire from them advice, not as to the course
to be pursuedon that he is resolvedbut as
to the best means of carrying his purpose into
effedl.
Egmont. Your words, alas, justify the
fears of the people, the universal fear The
King has then resolved as no sovereign ought
to resolve. In order to govern his subjects
more easily, he would crush, subvert, nay,
; ruthlessly destroy, their strength, their spirit
| and their self-respe6t! He would violate the
inmost core of their individuality, doubtless
with the view of promoting their happiness.
He would annihilate them, that they may as-
26


artist: c. haberlin.
EGMONT. ACT IV, SCENE II.
THE ARREST OF COUNT EGMONT


sume a new, a different form. Oh! if his pur- '
pose be good, he is fatally misguided It is
not the King whom we resist;we but place
ourselves in the way of the monarch, who, un-
happily, is about to take the first rash step in
a wrong direction.
Alva. Such being your sentiments, it were
a vain attempt for us to endeavor to agree. You
must indeed think poorly of the King, and
contemptibly of his counsellors, if you imagine
that everything has not already been thought of
and maturely weighed. I have no commission
a second time to balance conflicting arguments.
From the people I demand submission ;and
from you, their leaders and princes, I demand
counsel and support, as pledges of this uncon-
ditional duty.
Egmont. Demand our heads, and your
object is attained; to a noble soul it must be
indifferent whether he stoop his neck to such
a yoke, or lay it upon the block. I have
spoken much to little purpose. I have agitated
the air, but accomplished nothing.
Enter Ferdinand.
Ferdinand. Pardon my intrusion. Here
is a letter, the bearer of which urgently de-
mands an answer.
Alva. Allow me to peruse its contents.
(Steps aside.)
Ferdinand. {To Egmont.) Tis a noble
steed that your people have brought to carry
you away.
Egmont. I have seen worse. I have had
him some time ; I think of parting with him.
If he pleases you we shall probably soon agree
as to the price.
Ferdinand. We will think about it.
[Alva motions to his son, who retires to the
background.
Egmont. Farewell! Allow me to retire;
for, by Heaven, I know not what more I can say.
Alva. Fortunately for you, chance pre-
vents you from making a fuller disclosure of
your sentiments. You incautiously lay bare
the recesses of your heart, and your own lips
furnish evidence against you, more fatal
than could be produced by your bitterest ad-
versary.
Egmont. This reproach disturbs me not.
I know my own heart; I know with what
honest zeal I am devoted to the King; I
know that my allegiance is more true than
that of many who, in his service, seek only to
serve themselves. I regret that our discussion
should terminate so unsatisfactorily, and trust
that in spite of our opposing views, the ser-
vice of the King, our master, and the welfare
of our country, may speedily unite us; another
conference, the presence of the princes who
to-day are absent, may, perchance, in a more
propitious moment, accomplish what at present
appears impossible. In this hope I take my
leave.
Alva. ( Who at the same time makes a sign
to Ferdinand.) Hold, Egmont!Your
sword !( The centre door opens and discloses
the gallery, which is occupied with guards, who
remain motionless.)
Egmont. (After a pause of astonishment.)
This was the intention ? For this thou hast
summoned me ? ( Grasping his sword as if to
defend himself.) Am I then weaponless?
Alva. The King commands thou' art my
prisoner. (At the same time guards enter from
both sides.)
Egmont. (After a pause.) The King?
Orange Orange (After a pause, resigning
his sword.) Take it! It has been employed
far oftener in defending the cause of my King
than in protecting this breast.
\_He retires by the centre door, followed by
the guard and Alvas son. Alva remains
standing while the curtain falls.
227


ACT V.
SCENE I.A Street. Twilight.
Clara, Brackenburg, Burghers.
Brackenburg. Dearest, for Heavens sake,
what wouldst thou do ?
Clara. Come with me, Brackenburg!
Thou canst not know the people; we are ;
certain to rescue him; for what can equal j
their love for him? Each feels, I could |
swear it, the burning desire to deliver him, i
to avert danger from a life so precious, and
to restore freedom to the most free. Come !
A voice only is wanting to call them together.
In their souls the memory is still fresh of all
they owe him, and well they know that his
mighty arm alone shields them from destruc-
tion. For his sake, for their own sake, they
must peril everything. And what do we peril ?
At most, our lives, which, if he perish, are
not worth preserving.
Brackenburg. Unhappy girl! Thou seest
not the power that holds us fettered as with
bands of iron.
Clara. To me it does not appear invin-
cible. Let us not lose time in idle words.
Here come some of our old, honest, valiant
burghers Hark ye, friends Neighbors !
Hark !Say, how fares it with Egmont ?
Carpenter. What does the girl want?
Tell her to hold her peace.
Clara. Step nearer, that we may speak
low, till we are united and more strong.
Not a moment is to be lost! Audacious
tyranny, that dared to fetter him, already lifts
the dagger against his life. Oh, my friends!
With the advancing twilight my anxiety grows
more intense. I dread this night. Come!
Let us disperse; let us hasten from quarter to
quarter, and call out the burghers. Let every
one grasp his ancient weapons. In the market-
228



Jigmont. 1 a- 1 9 A3 "a 0
.
place we meet again, and every one will be
carried onward by our gathering stream. The
enemy will see themselves surrounded, over-
whelmed, and be compelled to yield. How
can a handful of slaves resist us? And he
will return among us, he will see himself
rescued, and can for once thank usus, who
are already so deeply in his debt. He will
behold, perchance, ay doubtless, he will again
behold the morns red dawn in the free
heavens.
Carpenter. What ails thee, maiden ?
Clara. Can ye misunderstand me? I
speak of the Count! I speak of Egmont.
Jetter. Speak not the name tis deadly.
Clara. Not speak his name? How? Not
Egmonts name? Is it not on every tongue?
Where stands it not inscribed? Often have I
read it emblazoned with all its letters among
these stars. Not utter it? What mean ye?
Friends! good, kind neighbors, ye are dream-
ing ; collect yourselves. Gaze not upon me
with those fixed and anxious looks! Cast
not such timid glances on every side I but
give utterance to the wish of all. Is not my
voice the voice of your own hearts? Who,
in this fearful night, ere he seeks his restless
couch, but on bended knee will, in earnest
prayer, seek to wrest his life as a cherished
boon from heaven ? Ask each other Let
each ask his own heart! And who but
exclaims with me, Egmonts liberty, or
death !
Jetter. God help us! This is a sad
business.
Clara. Stay stay Shrink not away at
the sound of his name, to meet whom ye were
wont to press forward so joyously !When
rumor announced his approach, when the cry
arose, Egmont comes! He comes from
Ghent!then happy indeed were those
citizens who dwelt in the streets through
which he was to pass. And when the neigh- !
ing of his steed was heard, did not every one
throw aside his work, while a ray of hope and
joy, like a sunbeam from his countenance,
stole over the toil-worn faces that peered from
every window. Then, as ye stood in the
doorways, ye would lift up your children in
your arms, and pointing to him, exclaim:
See, that is Egmont, he who towers above
the rest! Tis from him that ye must look
for better times than those your poor fathers
have known. Let not your children inquire
at some future day, Where is he? Where ;
are the better times ye promised us?Thus j
we waste the time in idle words! do nothing,
betray him.
Soest. Shame on thee, Brackenburg! Let
her not run on thus! Prevent the mischief!
Brackenburg. Dear Clara Let us go !
What will your mother say ? Perchance
Clara. Thinkest thou I am a child, or
frantic? What avails perchance?With no
vain hope canst thou hide from me this dread-
ful certainty .... Ye shall hear me and
ye will: for I see it, ye are overwhelmed, ye
cannot hearken to the voice of your own
hearts. Through the present peril cast but
one glance into the past,the recent past.
Send your thoughts forward into the future.
Could ye live, would ye live, were he to
perish ? With him expires the last breath of
freedom. What was he not to you? For
whose sake did he expose himself to the direst
perils? His blood flowed, his wounds were
healed for you alone. The mighty spirit,
that upheld you all, a dungeon now confines,
while the horrors of secret murder are hover-
ing around. Perhaps he thinks of youper-
haps he hopes in you,he who has been ac-
customed only to grant favors to others and
to fulfil their prayers.
Carpenter. Come, gossip.
Clara. I have neither the arms, nor the
vigor of a man ; but I have that which ye all
lackcourage and contempt of danger. Oh
that my breath could kindle your souls!
That, pressing you to this bosom, I could
arouse and animate you! Come! I will
march in your midst !As a waving banner,
though weaponless, leads on a gallant army of
warriors, so shall my spirit hover, like a flame,
over your ranks, while love and courage shall
unite the dispersed and wavering multitude
into a terrible host.
Jetter. Take her away; I pitv her, poor
thing ! [Exeunt Burghers.
Brackenburg. Clara! Seest thou not
where we are?
Clara. Where? Under the dome of
heaven, which has so often seemed to arch
itself more gloriously as the noble Egmont
passed beneath it. From these windows I
have seen them look forth, four or five heads
one above the other; at these doors the cow-
ards have stood, bowing and scraping, if he
but chanced to look down upon them Oh,
how dear they were to me, when they honored
him. Had he been a tyrant they might have
turned with indifference from his fall! But
they loved him O ye hands, so prompt to
229


wave caps in his honor, can ye not grasp a
sword? Bracken burg, and we?do we chide
them ? These arms that have so often em-
braced him, what do they for him now?
Stratagem has accomplished so much in the
world. Thou knowest the ancient castle,
every passage, every secret way.Nothing is
impossible,suggest some plan
Brackenburg. That we might go home !
Clara. Well.
Brackenburg. There at the corner I see
Alvas guard; let the voice of reason penetrate
to thy heart! Dost thou deem me a coward?
Dost thou doubt that for thy sake I would
peril my life? Here we are both mad, I as
well as thou. Dost thou not perceive that thy
scheme is impradlicable? Oh, becalm! Thou
art beside thyself.
Clara. Beside myself! Horrible. You,
Brackenburg, are beside yourself. When you
hailed the hero with loud acclaim, called him
your friend your hope, your refuge, shouted
vivats as he passedthen I stood in my cor-
ner, half opened the window, concealed my-
self while I listened, and my heart beat higher
than yours who greeted him so loudly. Now
it again beats higher In the hour of peril
you conceal yourselves, deny him, and feel
not, that if he perish, you are lost.
Brackenburg. Come home.
Clara. Home ?
Brackenburg. Recollect thyself! Look
around thee These are the streets in which
thou wert wont to appear only on the Sabbath-
day, when thou didst walk modestly to church;
where, over-decorous perhaps, thou wert dis-
pleased if I but joined thee with a kindly
greeting. And now thou dost stand, speak
and a<5t before the eyes of the whole world.
Recoiled! thyself, love How can this avail
us?
Clara. Home! Yes, I remember. Come,
Brackenburg, let us go home! Knowest thou
where my home lies? \Exeunt.
SCENE II. A Prison.
Lighted by a lamp, a couch in the background.
Egmont. (Alone.) Old friend Ever
faithful sleep, dost thou too forsake me, like
my other friends ? How wert thou wont of
yore to descend unsought upon my free brow,
230
cooling my temples as with a myrtle wreath
of love! Amidst the din of battle, on the
waves of life, I rested in thine arms, breathing
lightly as a growing boy. When tempests
whistled through the leaves and boughs, when
the summits of the lofty trees swung creaking
in the blast, the inmost core of my heart re-
mained unmoved. What agitates thee now?
What shakes thy firm and steadfast mind ? I
feel it, tis the sound of the murderous axe,
gnawing at thy root. Yet I stand eredl, but
an inward shudder runs through my frame.
Yes, it prevails, this treacherous power; it
undermines the firm, the lofty stem, and ere
the bark withers, thy verdant crown falls crash-
ing to the earth.
Yet wherefore now, thou who hast so often
chased the weightiest cares like bubbles from
thy brow, wherefore canst thou not dissipate
this dire foreboding which incessantly haunts
thee in a thousand different shapes? Since
when hast thou trembled at the approach of
death, amid whose varying forms thou wert
wont calmly to dwell, as with the other shapes
of this familiar earth. But tis not he, the
sudden foe, to encounter whom the sound
bosom emulously pants;tis the dungeon,
emblem of the grave, revolting alike to the
hero and the coward. How intolerable I
used to feel it, in the stately hall, girt round
by gloomy walls, when, seated on my cushioned
chair, in the solemn assembly of the princes,
questions, which scarcely required delibera-
tion, were overlaid with endless discussions,
while the rafters of the ceiling seemed to stifle
and oppress me. Then I would hurry forth
as soon as possible, fling myself upon my
horse with deep-drawn breath, and away to
the wide champaign, mans natural element,
where, exhaling from the earth, natures rich-
est treasures are poured forth around us, while,
from the wide heavens, the stars shed down
their blessings through the still air; where,
like earth-born giants, we spring aloft, invig-
orated by our mothers touch; where our
entire humanity and our human desires throb
in every vein; where the desire to press for-
ward, to vanquish, to snatch, to use his
clenched fist, to possess, to conquer, glows
through the soul of the young hunter; where
the warrior, with rapid stride, assumes his in-
born right to dominion over the world ; and,
with terrible liberty, sweeps like a desolating
hailstorm over field and grove, knowing no
boundaries traced by the hand of man.
Thou art but a shadow, a dream of the hap-


piness I so long possessed. Where has treach-
erous fate conducted thee? Did she deny
thee to meet the rapid stroke of never-shunned
death, in the open face of day, only to pre-
pare for thee a foretaste of the grave, in the
midst of this loathsome corruption ? How
revoltingly its rank odor exhales from these
damp stones Life stagnates, and my foot
shrinks from the couch as from the grave.
Oh, care, care! Thou who dost begin
prematurely the work of murder,forbear.
Since when has Egmont been alone, so utterly
alone in the world? Tis doubt renders thee
insensible, not happiness. The justice of the
King, in which, through life thou hast con-
fided, the friendship of the Regent, which,
thou mayst confess it, was akin to love,
have these suddenly vanished, like a meteor
231


of the night, and left thee alone upon thy
gloomy path ? Will not Orange, at the head
of thy friends, contrive some daring scheme?
Will not the people assemble, and with gather-
ing might, attempt the rescue of their faith-
ful friend ?
Ye walls, which thus gird me round, sepa-
rate me not from the well-intentioned zeal
of so many kindly souls. And may the cour-
age with which my glance was wont to inspire
them, now return again from their hearts to
mine. Yes! they assemble in thousands!
they come they stand beside me their pious
wish rises urgently to heaven, and implores a
miracle; and if no angel stoops for my de-
liverance, I see them grasp eagerly their lance
and sword. The gates are forced, the bolts
are riven, the walls fall beneath their conquer-
ing hands, and Egmont advances joyously,
to hail the freedom of the rising morn. How
many well-known faces receive me with loud
acclaim Oh, Clara! wert thou a man, I
should see thee here the very first, and thank
thee for that which it is galling to owe even
to a kingliberty.
SCENE III.Claras house.
Clara. (Enters from her chamber with a
lamp and a glass of water; she places the glass
upon the table and steps to the window.)
Brackenburg, is it you? What noise was
that ? No one yet ? No one I will set the
lamp in the window, that he may see that I
am still awake, that I still watch for him. He
promised me tidings. Tidings? horrible cer-
tainty!Egmont condemned !what tribunal
has the right to summon him ?And they dare
to condemn him !Does the King condemn
him, or the Duke? And the Regent with-
draws herself! Orange hesitates, and all his
friends !Is this the world of whose fickle-
ness and treachery I have heard so much, and
as yet experienced nothing? Is this the
world?Who could be so base as to bear
malice against one so dear? Could villainy
itself be audacious enough to overwhelm with
sudden destruction the objedt of a nations
homage? Yet so it isit is. O Egmont, I
held thee safe before God and man, safe as
in my arms! What was I to thee ? Thou
hast called me thine, my whole being was
devoted to thee? What am I now? In vain
I stretch out my hand to the toils that environ
thee. Thou helpless and 1 free !Here is
the key that unlocks my chamber door. My
going out and my coming in depend upon
my own caprice; yet, alas, to aid thee I am
powerless !Oh, bind me that I may not de-
spair; hurl me into the deepest dungeon, that
I may dash my head against the damp walls,
groan for freedom, and dream how I would
rescue him if fetters did not hold me bound.
Now I am free, and in freedom lies the anguish
of impotence. Conscious of my own exist-
ence, yet unable to stir a limb in his behalf,
alas! even this insignificant portion of thy
being, thy Clara, is, like thee, a captive, and,
separated from thee, consumes her expiring
energies in the agonies of death. I hear a
stealthy step,a coughBrackenburg,tis
he!Kind, unhappy man, thy destiny re-
mains ever the same; thy love opens to thee
the door at night, alas to what a doleful
meeting. (Enter Brackenburg.) Thou
comst so pale, so terrified Brackenburg !
What is it ?
Brackenburg. I have sought thee through
perils and circuitous paths. The principal
streets are occupied with troops;through
lanes and by-ways have I stolen to thee !
Clara. Tell me, how is it ?
Brackenburg. (Seatinghimself.) O Clara,
let me weep. I loved him not. He was the
rich man who lured to better pasture the poor
mans solitary lamb. I have never cursed
him. God has created me with a true and
tender heart. My life was consumed in an-
guish, and each day I hoped would end my
misery.
Clara. Let that be forgotten, Bracken-
burg Forget thyself. Speak to me of him !
Is it true? Is he condemned?
Brackenburg. He is! I know it.
Clara. And still lives?
Brackenburg. Yes, he still lives.
Clara. How canst thou be sure of that ?
Tyranny murders the hero in the night! His
blood flows concealed from every eye. The
people stunned and bewildered, lie buried in
sleep, dream of deliverance, dream of the
fulfilment of their impotent wishes, while,
indignant at our supineness, his spirit aban-
dons the world. He is no more! Deceive
me not; deceive not thyself!
Brackenburg. No,he lives and the
Spaniards, alas, are preparing for the people,
on whom they are about to trample, a terrible
spectacle, in order to crush forever, by a
232


artist: c. haberun.
EGMONT. ACT V, SCENE III.
CLARA AN1> URACKENBURG


violent blow, each heart that yet pants for
freedom.
Clara. Proceed Calmly pronounce my
death-warrant also Near and more near I
approach that blessed land, and already from
those realms of peace I feel the breath of con-
solation. Say on!
Brackenburg. From casual words, dropped
here and there by the guards, I learned that
secretly in the market-place they were pre-
paring some terrible spedlacle. Through by-
ways and familiar lanes I stole to my cousins
house, and from a back window looked out
upon the market-place. Torches waved to
and fro, in the hands of a wide circle of Span-
ish soldiers. I sharpened my unaccustomed
sight, and out of the darkness there arose be-
fore me a scaffold, black, spacious and lofty !
The sight filled me with horror. Several per-
sons were employed in covering with black
cloth such portions of the woodwork as yet
remained white and visible. The steps were
covered last, also with black;I saw it all.
They seemed preparing for the celebration of
some horrible sacrifice. A white crucifix, that
shone like silver through the night, was raised
on one side. As I gazed, the terrible convic-
tion strengthened in my mind. Scattered
torches still gleamed here and there; grad-
ually they flickered and went out. Suddenly
the hideous birth of night returned into its
mothers womb.
Clara. Hush, Brackenburg! Be still!
Let this veil rest upon my soul. The spec-
tres are vanished; and thou, gentle night,
lend thy mantle to the inwardly fermenting
earth; she will no longer endure the loathsome
burden; shuddering, she rends open her yawn-
ing chasms, and with a crash swallows the
murderous scaffold. And that God, whom
in their rage they have insulted, sends down
His angel from on high; at the hallowed
touch of the messenger bolts and bars fly
back; he pours around our friend a mild
radiance, and leads him gently through the
night to liberty. My path leads also through
the darkness to meet him.
Brackenburg. (Detainingher.) My child,
whither wouldst thou go ? What wouldst thou
do?
Clara. Softly, my friend, lest some one
should awake! Lest we should awake our-
selves Knowst thou this phial, Brackenburg?
I took it from thee once in jest, when thou, as
was thy wont, didst threaten, in thy impa-
tience, to end thy days.And now, my friend
: Brackenburg. In the name of all the
saints!
Clara. Thou canst not hinder me. Death
is my portion Grudge me not the quiet and
easy death which thou hadst prepared for thy-
self. Give me thine hand !At the moment
j when I unclose that dismal portal through
which there is no return, I may tell thee, with
this pressure of the hand, how sincerely I have
loved, how deeply I have pitied thee. My
brother died young; I chose thee to fill his
| place; thy heart rebelled, thou didst torment
: thyself and me, demanding with ever increas-
| ing fervor that which fate had not destined
for thee. Forgive me and farewell! Let me
call thee brother Tis a name that embraces
many names. Receive, with a true heart, the
last fair token of the departing spirittake
this kiss. Death unites all, Brackenburgus
too it will unite !
Brackenburg. Let me then die with thee!
Share it! oh, share it! There is enough to
extinguish two lives.
Clara. Hold! Thou must live, thou
canst live.Support my mother, who, with-
out thee, would be a prey to want. Be to
her what I can no longer be, live together,
and weep for me. Weep for our fatherland,
and for him who could alone have upheld it.
The present generation must still endure this
bitter woe; vengeance itself could not oblit-
erate it. Poor souls, live on, through this gap
in time, which is time no longer. To-day
the world suddenly stands still, its course is
arrested, and my pulse will beat but for a few
minutes longer. Farewell.
Brackenburg. Oh, live with us, as we live
only for thy sake In taking thine own life,
thou wilt take ours also; still live and suffer.
We will stand by thee, nothing shall sever us
from thy side, and love, with ever-watchful
solicitude, shall prepare for thee the sweetest
consolation in its loving arms. Be ours! Ours !
I dare not say, mine.
Clara. Hush, Brackenburg Thou feelest
not what chord thou touchest. Where hope
appears to thee, I see only despair.
Brackenburg. Share hope with the living!
Pause on the brink of the precipice, cast one
glance into the gulf below, and then look
back on us.
Clara. I have conquered; call me not
back to the struggle.
Brackenburg. Thou art stunned ; envel-
oped in night, thou seekest the abyss. Every
light is not yet extinguished, yet many days!
233


Clara. Alas! alas! Cruelly thou dost !
rend the veil from before mine eyes. Yes,
the day will dawn Despite its misty shroud
it needs must dawn. Timidly the burgher
gazes from his window, night leaves behind
an ebon speck; he looks, and the scaffold
looms fearfully in the morning light. With
re-awakened anguish the desecrated image of
the Saviour lifts to the Father its imploring
eyes. The sun veils his beams, he will not
mark the heros death-hour. Slowly the fingers
go their roundone hour strikes after an-
otherhold Now is the time. The thought
of the morning scares me into the grave.
goes to the window as if to look out, and
drinks secretly.
Brackenburg. Clara! Clara! !
Clara. (Goes to the table, and drinks
water.) Here is the remainder. I invite thee
not to follow me. Do as thou wilt; farewell.
Extinguish this lamp silently and without de-
lay ; I am going to rest. Steal quietly away,
close the door after thee. Be still! Wake
not my mother Go, save thyself, if thou
wouldst not be taken for my murderer.
[Exit.
Brackenburg. She leaves me for the last
time as she has ever done. What human soul
could conceive how cruelly she lacerates the
heart that loves her. She leaves me to myself,
leaves me to choose between life and death,
and both are alike hateful to me. To die
alone Weep, ye tender souls Fate has no
sadder doom than mine. She shares with me
the death-potion, yet sends me from her side !
She draws me after her, yet thrusts me back
into life! Oh, Egmont, how enviable a lot
falls to thee She goes before thee! The
crown of victory from her hand is thine; she
brings all heaven to meet thee !And shall I
follow? Again to stand aloof? To carry
this inextinguishable jealousy even to yon
distant realms? Earth is no longer a tarry-
ing place for me, and hell and heaven offer
equal torture. Now welcome to the wretched
the dread hand of annihilation ! [Exit.
[ The scene remains some time unchanged.
Music sounds, indicating Claras death;
the lamp, which Brackenburg had for-
gotten to extinguish, flares up once or
twice, and then suddenly expires. The
scene changes.


SCENE IV.A Prison.
[Egmont is discovered sleeping on a couch.
A rustling of keys is heard; the door
opens; servants enter with torches; Fer-
dinand and Silva follow, accompanied by
soldiers. Egmont starts from his sleep.
Egmont. Who are ye that thus rudely ban-
ish slumber from my eyes ? What mean these
vague and insolent glances? Why this fearful
procession ? With what dream of horror
come ye to delude my half-awakened soul ?
Silva. The Duke sends us to announce
your sentence.
Egmont. Do ye also bring the headsman
who is to execute it ?
Silva. Listen, and you will know the doom
that awaits you.
Egmont. It is in keeping with the rest of
your infamous proceedings. Hatched in night
and in night achieved, so would this audacious
adt of injustice shroud itself from observation !
Step boldly forth, thou who dost bear the
sword concealed beneath thy mantle; here is
my head, the freest ever severed by tyranny
from the trunk.
Silva. You err! The righteous judges
who have condemned you will not conceal
their sentence from the light of day.
Egmont. Then does their audacity exceed
all imagination and belief.
Silva. ( Takes the sentence from an attendant,
unfolds it, and reads:) In the Kings name,
invested by his Majesty with authority to judge
all his subjedts of whatever rank, not excepting
knights of the Golden Fleece, we declare
Egmont. Can the King transfer that author-
ity?
Silva. We declare, after a stridt and
legal investigation, thee, Henry, Count Eg-
mont, Prince of Gaure, guilty of high treason,
and pronounce thy sentence: That at early
dawn thou be led from this prison to the
market-place, and that there, in sight of the
people, and as a warning to all traitors, thou
with the sword be brought from life to death.
Given at Brussels. (Date and year so indis-
tinctly read as to be imperfectly heard by the
audience.) Ferdinand, Duke of Alva, Pres-
ident of the Tribunal of Twelve. Thou know-
est now thy doom. Brief time remains for
thee to prepare for the impending stroke, to ar-
range thy affairs and take leave of thy friends.
\_Exit Silva with followers. Ferdinand re-
mains with two torch-bearers. The stage
is dimly lighted.
Egmont. (Stands for a time as if buried in
thought, and allows Silva to retire without
looking round. He imagines himself alone,
and, on raising his eyes, beholds Alvas son.)
Thou tarriest here? Wouldst thou by thy
presence augment my amazement, my horror ?
Wouldst thou carry to thy father the welcome
tidings that in unmanly fashion I despair ? Go !
tell him that he deceives neither the world
nor me. At first it will be whispered cautiously
behind his back, then spoken more and more
loudly, and when at some future day the am-
bitious man descends from his proud eminence,
a thousand voices will proclaimthat twas
not the welfare of the state, not the honor of
the King, not the tranquillity of the provinces,
that brought him hither. For his own selfish
ends he, the warrior, has counselled war, that
in war the value of his services might be
enhanced. He has excited this monstrous
insurredtion that his presence might be deemed
necessary in order to quell it. And I fall a
vidtim to his mean hatred, his contemptible
envy. Yes, I know it, dying and mortally
wounded I may utter it; long has the proud
man envied me, long has he meditated and
planned my ruin.
Even then, when still young, we played at
dice together, and the heaps of gold, one after
the other, passed rapidly from his side to
mine; he would look on with affected com-
posure, while inwardly consumed with rage,
more at my success than at his own loss. Well
do I remember the fiery glance, the treach-
erous pallor that overspread his features when,
at a public festival, we shot for a wager before
assembled thousands. He challenged me, and
both nations stood by; Spaniards and Nether-
landers wagered on either side; I was the
vidtor; his ball missed, mine hit the mark,
and the air was rent by acclamations from
my friends. His shot now hits me. Tell him
that I know this, that I know him, that the
world despises every trophy that a paltry spirit
eredls for itself by base and surreptitious arts.
| And thou If it be possible for a son to
! swerve from the manners of his father, practise
; shame betimes, while thou art compelled to
| feel shame for him whom thou wouldst fain
! revere with thy whole heart.
: Ferdinand. I listen without interrupting
; thee Thy reproaches fall like blows upon a
| helmet. I feel the shock, but I am armed.
They strike, they wound me not; I am sen-
I sible only to the anguish that lacerates my
| heart. Alas! alas Have I lived to witness
235


such a scene? Am I sent hither to behold a
spectacle like this?
Egmont. Dost thou break out into lamen-
tations? What moves, what agitates thee
thus? Is it a late remorse at having lent thy-
self to this infamous conspiracy? Thou art
so young, thy exterior is so prepossessing. Thy
demeanor towards me was so friendly, so un-
reserved So long as I beheld thee, I was
reconciled with thy father; and crafty, ay,
more crafty than he, thou hast lured me into
the toils. Thou art the wretch! The mon-
ster Whoso confides in him, does so at his
own peril; but who could apprehend danger
in trusting thee ? Go! go! rob me not of
the few moments that are left to me Go,
that I may colledl my thoughts, the world
forget, and first of all thyself!
236


Ferdinand. What can I say? I stand
and gaze on thee, yet see thee not; I am
scarcely conscious of my own existence.
Shall I seek to excuse myself? Shall I assure
thee that it was not till the last moment that
I was made aware of my fathers intentions?
that I adled as a constrained, a passive in-
strument of his will? What signifies now the
opinion thou mayst entertain of me? Thou
art lost; and I, miserable wretch, stand here
only to assure thee of it, only to lament thy
doom.
Egmont. What strange voice, what unex-
pected consolation comes thus to cheer my
passage to the grave? Thou, the son of my
first, of almost my only enemy, thou dost pity
me, thou art not associated with my murder-
ers ? Speak! In what light must I regard
thee?
Ferdinand. Cruel father Yes, I recog-
nize thy nature in this command. Thou didst
know my heart, my disposition, which thou
hast so often censured as the inheritance of a
tender-hearted mother. To mould me into
thine own likeness thou hast sent me hither.
Thou dost compel me to behold this man on
the verge of the yawning grave, in the grasp
of an arbitrary doom, that I may experience
the profoundest anguish; that thus, rendered
callous to every fate, I may henceforth meet
every event with a heart unmoved.
Egmont. I am amazed Be calm Act,
speak like a man.
Ferdinand. Oh, that I were a woman !
That they might say: What moves, what
agitates thee ? Tell me of a greater, a more
monstrous crime, make me the spectator of a
more direful deed; I will thank thee, I will
say, This was nothing.
Egmont. Thou dost forget thyself. Con-
sider where thou art!
Ferdinand. Let this passion rage, let me
give vent to my anguish I will not seem
composed when my whole inner being is con-
vulsed. Thee must I behold here? Thee?
It is horrible Thou understandest me not!
How shouldst thou understand me? Eg-
mont Egmont! [Falling on his neck.
Egmont. Explain this mystery.
Ferdinand. It is no mystery.
Egmont. How can the fate of a mere
stranger thus deeply move thee ?
Ferdinand. Not a stranger Thou art no
stranger to me. Thy name it was that, even
from my boyhood, shone before me like a
star in heaven 1 How often have I made in-
quiries concerning thee, and listened to the
story of thy deeds! The youth is the hope
of the boy, the man of the youth. Thus
didst thou walk before me, ever before me;
I saw thee without envy, and followed after,
step by step ; at length I hoped to see thee
I saw thee, and my heart flew to thy embrace.
I had destined thee for myself, and when I
beheld thee, I made choice of thee anew. I
hoped now to know thee, to live with thee, to
be thy friend,thytis over now and I see
thee here !
Egmont. My friend, if it can be any com-
fort to thee, be assured that the very moment
we met my heart was drawn towards thee.
Now listen! Let us exchange a few quiet
words. Tell me: is it the stern, the settled
purpose of thy father to take my life?
Ferdinand. It is.
Egmont. This sentence is not a mere empty
scarecrow, designed to terrify me, to punish
me through fear and intimidation, to humiliate
me, that he. may then raise me again by the
royal favor ?
Ferdinand. Alas, no! At first I flattered
myself with this delusive hope; and even then
my heart was filled with grief and anguish to
behold thee thus. Thy doom is real!is cer-
tain No, I cannot command myself. Who
will counsel, who will aid me, to meet the
inevitable ?
Egmont. Hearken then to me! If thy
heart is impelled so powerfully in my favor,
if thou dost abhor the tyranny that holds me
fettered, then deliver me The moments are
precious. Thou art the son of the all-power-
ful, and thou hast power thyself. Let us flv !
I know the roads; the means of effecting our
escape cannot be unknown to thee. These
walls, a few short miles, alone separate me
from my friends. Loosen these fetters, con-
du6t me to them; be ours. The King, on
some future day, will doubtless thank my de-
liverer. Now he is taken by surprise, or per-
chance he is ignorant of the whole proceeding.
Thy father ventures on this daring step, and
majesty, though horror-struck at the deed,
must needs san<5tion the irrevocable. Thou
dost deliberate? Oh, contrive for me the
way to freedom Speak: nourish hope in a
living soul.
Ferdinand. Cease! Oh, cease! Every
word deepens my despair. There is here no
outlet, no counsel, no escape.Tis this
thought that tortures me, that seizes my heart,
and rends it as with talons. I have myself
237


spread the net; I know its firm, inextricable
knots; I know that every avenue is barred
alike to courage and to stratagem. I feel that
I too, like thyself, like all the rest, am fet-
tered. Thinkst thou that I should give way
to lamentation if any means of safety remained
untried ? I have thrown myself at his feet,
remonstrated, implored. He has sent me
hither in order to blast, in this fatal moment,
every remnant of joy and happiness that yet
survived within my heart.
Egmont. And is there no deliverance?
Ferdinand. None!
Egmont. (Stamping his foot.) No deliver-
ance !Sweet life Sweet, pleasant habitude
of existence and of activity from thee must
I part! So calmly part! Not in the tumult
of battle, amid the din of arms, the excite-
ment of the fray, dost thou send me a hasty
farewell; thine is no hurried leave ; thou dost
not abridge the moment of separation. Once
more let me clasp thy hand, gaze once more
into thine eyes, feel with keen emotion thy
beauty and thy worth, then resolutely tear
myself away, and saydepart!
Ferdinand. Must I stand by, and look
passively on, unable to save thee, or to give
thee aid What voice avails for lamentation !
What heart but must break under the pressure
of such anguish ?
Egmont. Be calm !
Ferdinand. Thou canst be calm, thou
canst renounce, led on by necessity, thou
canst advance to the direful struggle, with the
courage of a hero. What can I do? What
ought I to do ? Thou dost conquer thyself
and us; thou art the vidtor; I survive both
myself and thee. I have lost my light at the
banquet, my banner on the field. The future
lies before me, dark, desolate, perplexed.
Egmont. Young friend, whom by a strange
fatality, at the same moment, I both win and
lose, who dost feel for me, who dost suffer for
me the agonies of death,look on me;thou
wilt not lose me. If my life was a mirror in
which thou didst love to contemplate thyself,
so be also my death. Men are not together
only when in each others presence ;the dis-
tant, the departed, also live for us. I shall
live for thee, and for myself I have lived long
enough. I have enjoyed each day; each day,
I have performed, with prompt adlivity, the
duties enjoined by my conscience. Now my
life ends, as it might have ended, long, long,
ago, on the sands of Gravelines. I shall cease
to live.; but I have lived. My friend, follow
in my steps, lead a cheerful and a joyous life,
and dread not the approach of death.
Ferdinand. Thou shouldst have saved
thyself for us, thou couldst have saved thy-
self. Thou art the cause of thine own de-
struction. Often have I listened when able
men discoursed concerning thee; foes and
friends, they would dispute long as to thy
worth; but on one point they were agreed,
none ventured to deny, every one confessed,
that thou wert treading a dangerous path.
How often have I longed to warn thee!
Hadst thou then no friends?
Egmont. I was warned.
Ferdinand. And when I found all these
allegations, point for point, in the indictment,
together with thy answers, containing much
that might serve to palliate thy conduct, but
no evidence weighty enough fully to excul-
pate thee
Egmont. No more of this. Man imagines
that he directs his life, that he governs his
actions, when in fa6t his existence is irresist-
ibly controlled by his destiny. Let us not
dwell upon this subjeCt; these reflections I
can dismiss with easenot so my apprehen-
sions for these provinces; yet they too will be
cared for. Could my blood flow for many,
bring peace to my people, how freely should
it flow! Alas! This may not be. Yet it ill
becomes a man idly to speculate, when the
power to act is no longer his. If thou canst
restrain or guide the fatal power of thy father;
do so. Alas, who can ?Farewell!
Ferdinand. I cannot leave thee.
Egmont. Let me urgently recommend my
followers to thy care I have worthy men in
my service; let them not be dispersed, let
them not become destitute! How fares it
with Richard, my secretary?
Ferdinand. He is gone before thee. They
have beheaded him, as thy accomplice in high
treason.
Egmont. Poor soul!Yet one word, and
then farewell, I can no more. However
powerfully the spirit may be stirred, nature at
length irresistibly asserts her rights; and like
a child, who, enveloped in a serpents folds,
enjoys refreshing slumber, so the weary one
lays himself down to rest before the gates of
death, and sleeps soundly, as though a toil-
some journey yet lay before him.One word
more,I know a maiden; thou wilt not de-
spise her because she was mine. Since I can
recommend her to thy care, I shall die in
peace. Thy soul is noble; in such a man, a
238


?'r Pst'Ji/ dr/
PUBLISHED 3Y GEL'ROE BAKKI

/
//////< .


woman is sure to find a protestor. Lives my
old Adolphus? Is he free?
Ferdinand. The active old man, who '
always attended thee on horseback ? j
Egmont. The same.
Ferdinand. He lives, he is free.
Egmont. He knows her dwelling; let him
guide thy steps thither, and reward him to his
dying day, for having shown thee the way to
this jewel.Farewell!
Ferdinand. I cannot leave thee. :
Egmont. (Urging him towards the door.)
Farewell!
Ferdinand. Oh, let me linger yet a
moment!
Egmont. No leave-taking, my friend.
[/A? accompanies Ferdinand to the door,
and then tears himself away ; Ferdinand, 1
overwhelmed with grief \ hastily retires.
Egmont (alone).
Egmont. Cruel man! Thou didst not i
think to render me this service through thy
son. He has been the means of relieving my
mind from the pressure of care and sorrow,
from fear and every anxious feeling. Gently, :
yet urgently, nature claims her final tribute.
Tis past !Tis resolved And the reflec-
tions which, in the suspense of last night, :
kept me wakeful on my couch, now with
resistless certainty lull my senses to repose.
[He seats himself upon the couch ; music.
Sweet sleep! Like the purest happiness,
thou comest most willingly, uninvited, un-
sought. Thou dost loosen the knots of earn-
est thoughts, dost mingle all images of jov
and of sorrow, unimpeded the circle of inner
harmony flows on, and wrapped in fond de- |
lusion, we sink into oblivion, and cease !
to be. |
[He sleeps; music accompanies his slumber. \
Behind his couch the wall appears to open \
and discovers a brilliant apparition. Free- i
dom, in a celestial garb, surrounded by a \
glory, reposes on a cloud. IPer features '
are those of Clara and she inclines to-
wards the sleeping hero. Her countenance
betokens compassion, she seems to lament
his fate. Quickly she recovers herself and
with an encouraging gesture exhibits the
symbols of freedom the bundle of arrozvs,
zvith the staff and cap. She encourages
him to be of good cheer, and zvhile she
signifies to him that his death zaill secure
the freedom of the provinces, she hails him
as a conqueror, and extends to him a
laurel crown. As the wreath approaches
his head Egmont moves like one asleep,
and reclines zvith his face towards her.
She holds the wreath suspended over his
head;martial music is heard in the dis-
tance, at the first sound the vision disap-
pears. The music grows louder and
louder. Egmont awakes. The prison
is dimly illuminated by the dawn.His
first impulse is to lift his hand to his head;
he stands up, and gazes round, his hand
still upraised.
The crown is vanished Beautiful vision,
the light of day has frighted thee! Yes,
they revealed themselves to my sight uniting
in one radiant form the two sweetest joys of
my heart. Divine Liberty borrowed the mien
of my beloved one; the lovely maiden ar-
rayed herself in the celestial garb of my friend.
In a solemn moment they appeared united,
with aspect more earnest than tender. With
blood-stained feet the vision approached, the
waving folds of her robe also were tinged
with blood. It was my blood, and the blood
of many brave hearts. No It shall not be
shed in vain Forward Brave people !
The goddess of liberty leads you on And
as the sea breaks through and destroys the
barriers that would oppose its fury, so do ye
overwhelm the bulwark of tyranny, and with
your impetuous flood sweep it away from the
land which it usurps. [Drums.
Hark hark How often has this sound
summoned my joyous steps to the field of
battle and of victory! How bravely did I
tread, with my gallant comrades, the danger-
ous path of fame And now, from this dun-
geon I shall go forth, to meet a glorious
death ; I die for freedom, for whose cause I
have lived and fought, and for whom I now
offer myself up a sorrowing sacrifice.
[ The background is occupied by Spanish sol-
diers zvith halberds.
Yes, lead them on Close your ranks; ye
terrify me not. I am accustomed to stand
amid the serried ranks of war, and environed
by the threatening forms of death, to feel,
with double zest, the energy of life.
[Drums.
The foe closes round on every side Swords
are flashing Courage, friends Behind are
your parents, your wives, your children !
[Pointing to the guard.
239


And these are impelled by the word of then-
leader, not by their own free will. Protedl
your homes And to save those who are most
dear to you, be ready to follow my example,
and to fall with joy.
\Drums. As he advances through the guards
towards the door in- the background, the
curtain falls. 71 ie music joins in, and
the scene closes with a symphony of vic-
tory.
240




DRAMATIS PERSONS.
King. Secular Priest.
Duke. Counsellor.
Count. Governor.
Eugenie. Abbess.
Governess. Secretary. Monk.
242


Fv.JWht dd
PUBLISHED BY GEORGE BARRIE
.A.S,'tuthhc


ACT I.
SCENE I .Thick Wood.
King. Duke.
King. Our fleeting goal attracting dogs
and man
To follow swift along the winding course
The noble stag has led us far astray
Oer vales and mountains, till I needs must own
That I myself, although so country-wise,
Am quite at loss. Where are we, uncle? Duke,
Pray tell me what these hills are that we crossd!
Duke. The brook that babbles past us, Sire,
arises
Upon thy servants near domain, for which
He has to thank the generous grace bestowd
By thee and by thy royal ancestors
Upon him, as first vassal of the realm.
Beyond the rocks of yonder eminence
A pleasant house stands hid by veils of green,
Not built at all for housing royalty,
But ready to receive thee, if thou wilt.
King. Nay! let the lofty arches of these
trees
Give shelter for the moment that we rest,
And let the gentle stirring of the breeze
Weave round us, while the joy of peaceful
scenes
Succeeds the joy of dashing oer the course.
Duke. The pleasure that thou feelest here,
O King,
Behind this lovely screen of Natures work,
In absolute seclusion, I also feel.
Here comes not nigh the voice of discontent,
Nor yet the hand of shameless violence.
Here in the freedom born of loneliness
Thou seest not the ungrateful slink away.
The restless world, which ever makes demand
And never lends its aid, is vanishd now.
King. If I shall eer forget what once op-
pressd me
Then let no word recall me to its trials.
Ye echoes of the distant worlds commotion,
Little by little vanish from my ears!
Yea, prithee, uncle, suit thy fair discourse
To circumstances fitter for this spot.
Here wife and husband, hand-in-hand, should
roam,
Rejoicing in the sight of comely children.
The highest reach of joy; here friend with friend
Draw nigh, disclosing every secret pleasure.
And didst not thou erewhile drop gentle hints
That when a quiet moment could be ours
Thou hadst some weighty secret to confess,
Some contemplated favor to demand,
Which, granted, would rejoice your faithful
heart ?
243


Duke. O Sire, no greater kindness
couldst thou show me
Than setting free the fountain of my. speech. ;
And what I fain would tell who else could hear .
More fitly than my King, among whose treasures 1
None shine with such a lustre as his children,
Who, I am sure, will give his sympathy
In all the fathers joy his servant feels?
King. Of fathers joy thou speakest!
Knowst thou then
Its heavenly rapture? Has thy only son
Not torn thy loving heart by lawless actions, ,
By disobedience, by unfilial scorn, ;
Until thy saddend life reachd bitter age? j
Has he then lately changd his evil ways?
Duke. From him I have no hope of hap- !
pier days,
His idle mind gives birth to clouds alone
Which ever gloom the horizon of my life.
A different star it is that sheds its light
Upon me. As in cheerless caverns shine,
Mysterious with their wonder-working rays,
Bright precious stones (so fairy legends say), |
And gleam across the murky night which reigns, ;
So in my gloomy life a magic gift j
Was granted, blessing me beyond all words j
A gift I cherish more than lands and gold '
Inherited or won by deeds of war,
Yea, more than sight, more than the light of ;
life,
And guard with joy and fear, with pain and j
pleasure.
King. Speak not so darkly of the mystery
dark.
Duke. Twould not be easy to confess our j
faults j
In ears of royalty, were royalty
Alone not able to convert their harm
To fair results of right and good report.
King. The treasure guarded with such
watchful love?
Duke. That treasure is a daughter.
King. What! a daughter ?
And like the gods in fable, uncle, stole
In secret hither to earths lower circles
To take delight in earthly love and bliss?
Duke. Small things as well as great com-
pelld us, Sire,
To hide our actions from the worlds dispraise.
The lady, bound to me by wondrous Fate
In secret union, stood so high in rank:
And even now thy court wears mourning garb
And secret sorrow gnaws my heart for her.
King. The Princess? She who lately died
So honord and so mournd?
Duke. She was the mother.
But let me speak of her alonemy child,
Who, living better than her parents livd,
Rejoices in the noble joys of life
And all the rest leave buried in the grave
Of her the gifted, lofty-minded woman.
Her death at last unseals my lips. I dare
Before my King to name my daughter now
I dare demand of him to lift her up
Upon a level with me and her peers,
To recognize her right to princely birth
Before his court, his kingdom and the world,
So sure am I of favor in his heart!
King. If all the virtues of her noble parents
Are found united in this niece whom thou
Preparest to present me ready grown,
Then must the court, then must our royal house,
From which a brilliant star set all too soon,
Give welcome to the new star rising fair.
Duke. Oh, learn to know her ere thou
judgest her
With prejudice. .Let not a fathers pride
Pervert thee. Much has Nature done for her
Which I with rarest pleasure contemplate.
And all the culture which our rank demands
Has, since her babyhood, been warmly fosterd.
Her steps were guided from her earliest days
By a skilful governess, a wise professor.
With what light-heartedness and pleasant wit
She makes the present serve her ready mind,
While poet Fancy paints with flattering hues
The fortune which she waits with eager joy!
Her gentle heart clings to her loving father,
Although her spirit willingly gives heed
To wise discourse of noble-thinking men,
Leading her slowly up the hill of learning.
And all the exercise of princely virtues
Is manifest in her fair graceful form.
Sire thou thyself hast seen her unbeknown,
While round thee whirld the tumult of the
chase.
To-day a daughter of the Amazons
She first upon the traces of the stag
Dashd gallantly across the swelling stream.
King. We trembled when we saw the noble
maid.
I am rejoicd to know she is my kin.
Duke. And not to-day alone I learnd to
know
How pride and apprehension, joy and trouble
Commingle in a fathers yearning breast.
King. With mighty force and panting
strove the steed
To land his rider on the farther shore,
Where thick-grown bushes hide the dusky hill,
And thus she vanishd from my sight.
Duke. Once more
244


My eyes beheld her ere the labyrinth
Of bosky forest led us thus astray.
Who knows what distant field she now explores
With heart on fire because she missd the goal,
Where now alone it is permitted her
To approach the presence of her King revered,
And humbly wait until with royal favor
She is acknowledgd as his kith and kin
The latest blossom of his ancient line.
King. But what is yonder tumult that I
see ?
What means the running towards the precipice?
SCENE II.The Same.
Count.
King. Why are the people gathering with
such haste?
Count. The eager huntress whom we all
admird
Has fallen headlong from yon rocky height.
Duke. My God !
King. And are her wounds severe?
Count. In haste
They sent away to call thy surgeon, Sire.
Duke. Why do I linger? If shes dead,
then naught
Remains for me to live for in the world.
SCENE III.
King. Count.
King. What was it causd the accident,
Sir Count ?
Count. It happend right before my very
eyes:
A band of many riders found themselves
By fortune separated from the hunt,
And, led by that fair lady, prickd their way
Upon the wood-crownd summit of yon height.
They hear, they see below them in the valley
That all is over, see the noble stag
Succumb before the pack of yelping hounds,
And quickly then the company disbands,
Each seeking by the path where each may
best,
One here, one there,a prosperous exit down.
But she alone no instant hesitates,
But spurs her steed from crag to crag sheer
down;
We marvel at the luck of recklessness.
Bravely it goes with her awhile; at last
When she has reachd the ultimate descent,
A steep bold cliff, the horse mistakes his steps
So insecure, and down he goes with her.
Thus much I saw and then the hurrying throng
Hid her from sight. I heard them call the
surgeon;
And so I now am here to tell thee, Sire.
King. Oh, that she may be spard him !
Dangerous
Is that man who has nothing more to lose.
Count. Has then this sudden fright com-
pelld the secret,
Which, until now, he strove so hard to hide?
King. His confidence was freely given ere
now.
| Count. The Princesss death removd the
; seal of silence
; From lips which tell a history long disclosd
| An open secret unto court and city.
It is a curious and absurd conceit
That we through silence can annihilate
For others or ourselves the deeds we do.
King. Oh, leave to man this noble touch
of pride!
He can, he must do many, many things
Which are not suitable to put in words.
Count. They bring her hither, lifeless Im
afraid.
King. Oh, what an unexpected, sad event!
SCENE IV.The Same.
Eugenie laid apparently dead on woven
boughs of pine.
Duke. Surgeon. Attendants.
Duke. ( To the Surgeon. ) Oh, if thy art
and skill have any power,
j Experiencd sir, to whom our monarchs life,
A priceless treasure, is entrusted, let
| Her bright eyes once more open to the day,
! That hope may shine upon me in her glance,
That from the depths of grief I may be savd,
If only for a fleeting moment now.
i And then if nothing more, if thou canst keep
j her
' Only a fleeting moment for me, then,
Oh, let me haste and pass away before her,
245


That in the very article of death
I still may say, consold, My daughter lives.
King. Pray, leave us, uncle Let me un-
dertake
The faithful service of a fathers love.
This worthy man will nothing leave undone;
As though myself lay wounded sore, he will
Doubt notexert his skill upon thy daughter.
Duke. She moves!
King. Art thou assurd of it?
Duke. She moves!
Her eyes are open wide; she glances round !
She lives! She lives!
King. (Stepping back a little.) Redouble
your exertions !
Duke. She lives She lives Again the
light of day
Her eyes behold. Yes! soon shell recognize
Her loving father and her friends once more!
My darling child, gaze not so wild around
As though uncertain : towards me turn thy face,
Oh, turn thy face upon thy father first.
Dost thou not know me? Let thy fathers voice
Be first to reach thy ear, as thou returnest
From gloomy shades of everlasting night!
Eugenie. ( Who little by little has returned
to consciousness and sits up.) Where am
I? What has happend to me?
Duke. First,
Oh, speak to me Dost thou not know me?
Eugenie. Father!
Duke. Yes, tis thy father whom with these
sweet tones
Thou savest from the arms of grim despair!
Eugenie. Who brought me here among
these trees?
Duke. ( To whom the surgeon has handed a
white handkerchief.) Be calm,
My daughter! Take this strengthening draught,
Take it with confidence, with quiet soul.
Eugenie. ( Takes the handkerchief from her
father as he holds it in his hands, and buries
her face in it; then suddenly gets to her
feet, taking the handkerchief from her face.)
There Im myself again Now I remember!
On yonder height I reind my horse and dard
Ride down, sheer down the rocky side. For-
give me
I stumbled, did I not? Canst thou forgive
me?
They took me up for dead? My darling
father!
And canst thou ever love thy child again,
Who causd such bitter anguish to thy heart?
Duke. I thought I knew how precious was
the treasure
God granted when he gave me thee, my
daughter !
But now the loss I feard has caused my gain
To rise to estimation infinite.
King. ( Who till now has remained in the
background conversing with the Surgeon
and the Countto the others.)
Let all withdraw I wish to speak with them.
SCENE V.
King. Duke. Eugenie.
King. (Approaching.) And is the gallant
huntress quite recoverd?
Has she escapd unharmd ?
Duke. Yes quite, my King !
And all the sad remains of fright and woe,
Thou, Sire, dispellest by thy gentle glance,
And bv the magic of thy tender tones.
King. Pray tell me who the lovely
maiden is.
Duke. (After a pause.) Since thou art
pleasd to ask, I will confess
Since thou demandest, I will solve my pledge,
And introduce my daughter.
King. What! thy daughter?
Then, uncle, Fortune has been kinder to thee,
Yea, infinitely kinder than the law.
Eugenie. Am I indeed brought back to
life again?
Has that strange deathlike faintness passd
away ?
And is this scene no fi6lion of a dream?
My father in the presence of his King
Declares his daughter! Nay! I do not dream.
The uncle of a monarch recognizes
That Im his child. So then am I the niece
The niece of the great King! Oh, pardon
me,
Your Majesty, if brought so suddenly
From out the mystery of my dark retreat,
Exposd to all the blinding light of day,
I totter, and cannot control myself.
[N//t throws herself at the feet of the King.
King. May reverence mark thy life from
youth to age.
The reverence symbolizd before me now!
And sweet humility whose narrow duties
Thou, fully conscious of thy lofty birth,
Hast practisd many a year far from the world.
\He raises her and presses her gently to his
246


ARTIST : OTTO SEITZ
THE NATURAL DAUGHTER. ACT I, SCENE IV.
EUGENIA RECOGNIZES HER FATHER,


And now if from before my feet I lift thee
And take thee to my heart, if on thy brow
I print the fond kiss of paternal love,
Let this be also as a seal, a symbol:
Thee my relation do I recognize;
And soon what I have done in secret here,
Before my courtiers eyes will I repeat.
Duke. Such splendid grace demands a
life of thanks,
Of undivided boundless loyalty.
Eugenie. From noble teachers many things
Ive learnd,
And much instruction from my heart have
gaind,
Yet when it comes to speaking to my King
I find the preparation sadly lacking.
Yet if I cannot speak as I would wish,
Expressing all my duty, still thy presence
Forbids me awkwardly to stand in silence.
What could I give thee? What return devise?
The abundance ever flowing to thy hands,
For good of others streams away again.
Here thousands stand to give their lives for
thine,
Here thousands work obedient to thy orders,
And if a single subject freely offers
His heart and soul, his arm and life for thee,
Among such numbers he is lost from sight,
Forgot by thee and by himself forgot.
King. If unto thee the masses seem oer-
whelming,
Thou lovely child, it is not strange indeed.
They are oerwhelming, yet the noble few,
By Nature made to stand above the masses
Through skill and culture and the power to rule,
Are more imposing. If the King thereto
Was calld by birth, then are his next of kin
Born counsellors, who, closely knit to him,
Are bound to guard the realm and foster it.
Oh, never let dissension maskd come in,
With dark insidious working, to these regions
Where stand this band of patriotic watchmen.
To thee, my noble cousin, I give a father
By virtue of our royal power supreme.
Preserve him to me, use thy winsome ways
To keep my kinsmans heart and voice in faith,
For many enemies oppose a prince;
Oh, let him stand aloof from treacherous paths.
Duke. Why dost thou pain my heart with
such reproaches?
Eugenie. Incomprehensible are these thy
words !
King. May fortune keep thee long from
comprehending !
The portals of our royal house I open,
Inviting thee to enter. By the hand
I lead thee in oer slippery marble pavements.
Thou art amazd ; thyself and all thou seest
Are strange to thee. Thou thinkest here within
To find sure worth and perfect peace united
Thou art deceivd Thou comest at a time
Not markd by joyous bright festivities,
Een though the King invite thee to partake
In welcoming the day that gave him birth.
Yet shall the day for thy sake have its joy;
There shall I see thee in the merry throng,
The cynosure of every wondering eye.
Right royally has Nature fashiond thee;
And that thy jewels meet thy princely rank
Thy father and thy monarch will provide.
Eugenie. How could the sudden cry of
pleasd surprise,
The eager gestures quick significance,
Express the language of the beating heart,
Rejoicd by such high generosity?
Sire, let me kneel in silence at thy feet!
[She offers to kneel.
King. Thou must not kneel!
Eugenie. Oh, let me here enjoy
The pleasant fortune of complete submission !
If we in tense and sudden moments stand
Ere<5t upon our feet and boldly wage
To bear the earnest of our own support,
We seem the owners of the earth and heaven.
Yet what in moments of keen ravishment
Causes the knee to bend is also joy.
And all of sweet thanksgiving, love unmeasurd,
Which we might bring as purest offering
To father, monarch, God, is best expressd
In such an humble attitude as this.
[Again kneeling before the King.
Duke. Renewd allegiance would I offer
thee !
Eugenie. As ever-faithful vassals look
upon us!
King. Up! then! arise and take thy place
beside me,
Within the circle of those trusty few
Sworn to defend the right and reasonable!
Oh, fearful are the portents of these days.
The dregs boil up, the high-born sink below
As though each in the others place might find
Fulfilment of his unrestraind desires,
As though enjoyment only were in store
When class distinctions were all washd away,
And when we all commingld in one stream
Were hurld unnoticd to the boundless ocean..
Oh, let us fight against it, let us boldly
With new-united double might hold fast
To what may hold us and the people fast.
And lastly let us heal the ancient strife
That stirs the great against the great, within
247


The ship of State makes weak the walls pro-
tecting
The battling crew against the angry waves
without.
Eugenie. What clear beneficent rays en-
lighten me
And stir to deeds instead of blinding me !
What! does our King so highly honor us
That he confesses that he needs our aid ?
Duke. The childs assurance, Highness,
thou wilt honor,
And thou wilt pardon for its kind intent.
And if her father, taught by many years,
Appreciates and treasures the full worth
Of this days gift and of the future promise,
Then art thou sure of his recognizance.
King. Twill not be long before we meet
again.
We are not only kinsfolk to him, we
Are raisd to loftiest station by his trust.
And if the nobles of his kingdom press
Around him to protect his royal breast,
Of us he asks a nobler service yet.
The highest duty of the well disposd
Is ever to uphold the monarchs heart.
For if he flinch, then flinches all the State,
And if he fall, then all things fall with him.
Youth, people say, has too much confidence
In its own strength, and in its will to do,
Yet all this will, this strength, and their en-
deavor
Is dedicate to thee, O King, forever.
248
Upon my birthday when my faithful friends
Unite to celebrate the festal season,
That day, O noble maid, I will present thee
Before the wondering world, the court, thy
father,
Myself. The glory of the throne will shield
thee.
But till that hour let both of you keep
counsel,
Let no one know the history of this day.
Distrustful jealousy is lurking round.
Wave follows wave; storm treads the heel of
storm.
Our journey trends along the jagged shore


Where een the helmsman scarcely knows the
course.
Close secrecy alone secures our a<5ts.
A plan disclosd has passd beyond thy power.
This very moment chance makes sport of will.
Een he who can command must work in
secret.
Yea! with the best will in the world we fail
Accomplishment, a thousand crossing ours.
Oh, if my honest wishes had the aid
Of perfedt power for but a little time.
The meanest hearthstone in my kingdoms
bounds
Should feel a fathers warm solicitude,
Content should dwell beneath the humblest
roof,
Content should dwell in evry stately palace,
And when I once had tasted this delight,
Id gladly yield my crown, renounce the world.
SCENE VI.
Duke. Eugenie.
Eugenie. Oh, what a day of jubilant sur-
prises !
Duke. Oh, might I live from day to day
like this!
Eugenie. What wealth of fortune has the
King bestowd !
Duke. Take pure delight in his unlookd-
for favor.
Eugenie. He seems unhappy, and he is so
good.
Duke. Goodness itself oft rouses oppo-
sition.
Eugenie. Who is so hateful as to set against
him?
Duke. The advantage of the whole needs
strenuous vigor.
Eugenie. The mildness of the King should
breed like mildness.
Duke. The mildness of the King breeds
insolence.
Eugenie. With what nobility has Nature
formd him !
Duke. Yet far too high in station has she
placd him.
Eugenie. With what consummate virtues
rich endowd!
Duke. Domestic virtues not the gift of
ruling.
Eugenie. The blossom of an ancient stock
of heroes!
Duke. Perchance the vigor fails in later
scions.
Eugenie. It is our duty to defend all
weakness.
Duke. Unless our greater strength he should
suspedt.
Eugenie. (Aside.) His subtile reasoning
fills me with suspicion.
Duke. What are thy thoughts? Hide not
thy heart from me !
Eugenie. (After a pause.) Thou art then
one of those whom he distrusts.
Duke. Let him distrust those worthy of
distrust.
Eugenie. Shall we see secret foes invest his
throne ?
Duke. He who conceals a danger is a foe.
But whither do our counsels lead us, daughter?
How has the most extraordinary fortune
Brought us, short cut, upon the goal desird.
I build without foundation, filling thy mind
With wild confusion when I should enlighten,
i Yet must thy rapturous joy of childhood van-
ish
When once thou steppest foot within the
world.
Not long the intoxicating sweets of peace
Couldst thou delight in mid its blinding
scenes.
The goal is thine, but its false crown has torn
Thy tender hand with cruel hidden spines.
Beloved child, I would it were not so !
Far better were it, as I fondly hopd,
To wont thee by degrees to all its trials,
To teach thee by degrees the bitter lesson
That dearest hopes must fade, fond wishes
fail.
But now a sudden change has come upon
thee!
As though thy fall from yonder crag were sym-
bol,
Down thou hast plungd where cares and
danger dwell.
The very air is poisond with suspicion,
And Envy keeps the feverish blood astir,
And gives its vidtims to Anxiety.
Alas for aye the wall of Paradise,
Which safely held thee, has been torn away.
The holy lesson of thy innocence
No longer shields me from the worlds tempta-
tions.
Forth must thou with me till the net surround
us
Perplexd, sore wounded, needing pity, both !
249


Eugenie. Not so, my father If until to-
day
Inactive, kept aloof, immurd alone,
A childish cypher, yet by very force
Of lacking individuality
I causd thee consolation, comfort, pleasure,
How vastly more then should thy daughter be
Now that her fate is woven into thine,
And all its threads in varied glory shine!
Part will I take in evry noble deed,
In evry great transaction which will bring
My father dearer to the State and King.
My eager mind, the force of youth and health
Inspiring me, will give thee freshend zeal,
Will drive away those visions of despair
Which rise when on the laboring breast of
man
The monstrous burden of the world is laid.
If once, a child, in moments of depression
I offerd thee good-will however helpless,
Love poor in deeds, and idle fond caresses,
So now I hope to win a daughters birthright
By faithful service, having learnd thy wishes,
Initiated in the secrets of thy plans.
250


Duke. What thou through this important
step wilt lose
Seems worthless to thee and without reward.
What thou expedlest thou dost prize too high.
Eugenie. To share with highly-gifted, for-
tunate men
The use of power, the wealth of influence !
For generous souls what more attractive prize !
Duke. Tis true! Forgive me if thou find-
est me
At this hour weaker than becomes a man.
Most wonderful is this exchange of duties,
I ought to lead thee and thou art my leader.
Eugenie. Well, then, my father, let us
boldly climb
Up to those regions where before my ken
A new sun rises with enkindling rays.
And at this happy moment only smile,
If I disclose to thee in turn the cares
That burden me.
Duke. Yea, tell me what they are.
Eugenie. A host of weighty moments fill
mens lives,
Besieging now with joy and now with sorrow
Their hearts. The man may in such circum-
stances
Forget his outward show before the world ;
Not so the woman; she desires to shine
By fair appropriate habit and adornment,
An envied objedt in the eyes of others.
This have I often heard and often noticd.
And now the crowning moment of my life
Has come, and I am willing to confess
That I am guilty of this womans weakness.
Duke. What canst thou wish for that will
not be thine?
Eugenie. Thou art inclind, I know, to
grant me all.
And yet the all-important day is nigh
Too nigh to make the fitting preparation.
And all the silks, embroideries and laces,
And all the jewelry needful for adornment,
How can they be provided, how completed ?
Duke. A long-desird good fortune has
surprisd us,
Yet not quite unprepard may we receive it;
All that thou now desirest is at hand.
This very day gifts that thou didst not dream of
Lie waiting for thee in a worthy coffer.
But one slight trial must I put upon thee
The foretaste of severer ones to come !
Here is the key; take watchful care of it,
And curb thy longing. Open not the box
Which holds this treasure till I give thee leave.
Share trust with no one, be it who it may.
Wisdom advises and the King demands it.
Eugenie. Thou layest a heavy burden on
a maiden,
Yet I will bear it, father, take my oath.
Duke. My wild unworthy son is on the
watch
To spy the quiet paths where thou art led.
The little portion of my substance treasurd
For thy protection he already covets.
And if he knew that thou by royal favor
Wert lifted to a higher station where
Thy right and his were on an equal level,
How he would rage! And would he not
exert
All spiteful wiles to block our pleasant plan?
Eugenie. Then let us quietly await that
day!
And when the deed is done that justifies me
In calling him my brother, be it mine,
By gentle words, by courteous behavior,
To win him back to reverence and affection.
He is thy son, and should he not, like thee,
Be fashiond in the mould of love and reason?
Duke. No miracle would be too great for
thee.
But work them for the advantage of my house.
And now farewell! Yet nowalas! in part-
ing
I feel once more the pangs of cruel fear.
Here in my arms I held thee lying dead !
And here Despair with tiger clutches tore me.
Who will dispel the vision from my eyes?
I saw thee dead Thus wilt thou oft appear
Before me in the watches of the night,
In visions of the day. Away from thee
Have I not ever been distraught by fear ?
No longer will it be the minds distemper;
It is a real irradicable vision :
My child, Eugenie, of my life the life,
Wan, prostrate, breathless, lifeless there.
Eugenie. Oh, call not back what thou
shouldst now forget.
My fall and my escape should rather seem
The earnest of my wonderful good fortune.
Living, thou seest me before thy eyes.
\_Enibracing him.
And living, on thy heart thou feelest me.
So let me ever, ever thus return !
And with the touch of glowing, loving life
Blot out the loathsome sight of hated Death.
Duke. How can a child appreciate the
pangs
A father feels at thought of threatend loss?
I will confess that oftentimes thy courage,
Almost oenveening, when, upon the steed
Seeming a part of thee, and full of fire,
More like a Centaur with its doubled vigor,


Thou hast oer vale and mountain boldly
dashd,
Through stream and gully flashing like a bird,
Has filld my heart with greater fear than joy.
Henceforth I pray thy gallant course conform
More moderately to knighthoods joyous prac-
tice.
Eugenie. Before the careless, Danger yields
the palm;
She often takes the careful by surprise.
Oh, feel once more that limitless keen joy
Which thou didst feel when, as a little child,
I boldly waged to do the deeds of prowess
Taught by thy knightly pride of fatherhood.
Duke. My fault has found me out, and
now a life
Of ceaseless worriment must punish me.
Does not the courting of the dangerous
Invite the danger that it holds in store?
Eugenie. Tis Luck not Carefulness that
conquers danger.
Farewell, my father; follow now thy King,
And be, if only for thy daughters sake,
His blameless vassal and his faithful friend.
Farewell!
Duke. Oh, do not go Remain with me,
Yet standing in this place alive, ere<51,
As when thou camst to life again, rejoicing
With healing balm my sadly riven heart.
Let not this hour of bliss remain unfruitful.
This spot I dedicate to be a lasting
Memorial. Here shall rise a splendid temple
To keep the record of thy fortunate healing.
Thy hand shall here create a fairy kingdom.
A labyrinth of gentle ways shall join
The savage forest and the bristling jungle;
The steep crag shall become accessible;
This brook shall fall in musical cascades,
And loiter with its sparkling waters pure.
The stranger wandering through this novel
scene
Shall deem that he has found a Paradise.
Here, while I live, no gun shall loudly echo,
No bird shall miss her mate, no antlerd stag
Fly frightend, wounded, shatterd, from his
haunt.
And hither, when my eyes have lost their sight,
My limbs their strength, with thee, my child,
for guide,
My steps will gladly turn in pilgrimage.
Ever shall gratitude my bosom fill.
And now farewell! But stay. Why dost thou
weep ?
Eugenie. Oh, if my father tremblingly fore-
bodes
The losing of his daughter, how shall I
Not likewise feel (how can I say it, think it ?)
The pain of separation which must come ?
Fathers bereavd might draw an angels pity;
But sadder is the lot of children orphand.
And I, most miserable, should stand alone
Within the desert of this wild, fierce world !
j How could I bear to lose my sole protestor?
Duke. As thou hast given me strength, I
now return it.
Take comfort! let us boldly onward press.
Life is the pledge of life Upon itself
It builds and for itself alone must answer.
So let us quickly make our last adieu,
And may a joyous meeting recompense
The sorrow and the weakness of this parting!
[ They hastily embrace and separate : from a
distance they turn and wave a last greeting
with outstretched hand and exit.
252


ACT II.
SCENE I.Eugenies apartment in Gothic
style.
Governess. Secretary.
Secretary. Do I deserve that thou shouldst
flee me thus
The moment that I bring thee wishd-for ti-
dings?
Pray listen first to what I have to say.
Governess. The burden of thy importunity
Too well I ween. Oh, let my eyes from seeing
The well-known glances, let my ears from
hearing
The well-known accents ever turn away.
Let me escape the devastating power
Which through the influence of love and ;
friendship j
Beside me like a gloomy spedlre stands. I
Secretary. When I before thee suddenly |
would pour,
After long hope deferrd, the golden horn J
Of fortune, when the morning-glow begins j
That marks the dawning of the blissful day
That shall unite our lives forevermore, j
Then seemest thou embarrassd and reludtant i
To meet thy bridegrooms tenderest advances. I
Governess. Therein thou showest me one
side alone:
It glows and glistens like the world in sunshine.
But black nights horror threatens nigh: I
feel it.
Secretary. Then let us first see but the
lovely side.
Desirest thou a dwelling in the city,
Spacious and handsome, furnishd splendidly,
Such as one wishes for himself, for guests ?
Tis waiting for thee: when next winter comes
Twill find thee settld nobly, if thou wilt.
In Springtime dost thou yearn to see the
country,
There too a house is ours, a lovely garden,
A fertile field. And all the keen enjoyment
In forest, moors, in meadows, brooks and ponds
That fancy een in visions might imagine
Shall we possess, in part our own estate,
In part as common property. And thus,
Since nothing goes for rent, by careful saving
We shall be able to secure our future.
Governess. The pidlure that thou paintest
with such hues
Before my eyes is wrappd in gloomy clouds.
For not desirable but hideous seems
The abundance offerd by the worldly gods.
What is the sacrifice they ask? To ruin
My gentle pupils happiness and fortune !
And whatsoeer a crime like that might bring
me,
Could I enjoy it with a quiet mind ?
Eugenie thou whose pure and gentle nature
From earliest youth entrusted to my guidance
With rich fruition has developd nobly.
How can I now distinguish in thee what


Is thine and what thou hast to thank me for?
Thee whom I love as my own handiwork
Must I then pluck out from my heart and ruin?
Of what base stuff are ye composd, ye mon-
sters,
To dare demand a deed like this for lucre !
Secretary. A good and honest heart pre-
serves from youth
A store of precious treasures which in time
More costly grow and worthier of our love
To serve withal the Godhead of the temple.
Yet, when the mighty power that governs us
Demands a costly sacrifice, we yield it
At last although our hearts bleed at the duty.
Two worlds there be, my darling, which, con-
flicting
With awful violence, crush us between them.
Governess. Thy steps appear to wander
in a world
To me entirely foreign, since thou schemest
A treacherous stroke against thy noble patron,
The Duke, preparing days of sorrow for him
By holding to his son. If the Almighty
Appears at times to give assent to crime
We call it accident. But man who chooses
With due reflection such unlawful paths,
He is a puzzle. Butand am not I
A puzzle to myself that I should cling
With such affection to thee when thou strivest
To drag me with thee oer the precipice?
Oh, why did Nature cast thee in her mould,
So pleasing, lovely, irresistible,
And plant within thy bosom a cold heart,
A heart destructive of the peace of others?
Secretary. Dost thou distrust the warmth
of my affection ?
Governess. This hand should slay me if I
only dard.
Oh, why, alas with this detested plot
Again assault my heart ? Didst thou not swear
To hide the horror in everlasting night ?
Secretary. Alas! it rose with more im-
pellent might!
This step is forcd upon the Princes son.
An insignificant, inoffensive child
Eugenie was, for many peaceful years.
Commencing with her very earliest days,
Shrind in this ancient hall thou wert her
guardian,
Few came to see her, and those secretly.
Yet how a fathers love deceivd itself.
The Duke, proud of his daughters excellence,
Relaxd his care and by degrees allowd her
To show herself in public openly:
On horseback, driving, she is seen. All ask,
And all at last know, who the maiden is.
Her mother now is dead. The haughty dame,
To whom the child was an abomination,
A keen reminder of her fatal passion,
Had never recognizd her, scarcely seen her.
By her decease the Duke at last feels freed,
Devises secret plans, once more attends
At court, forgets the ancient grudge he owed
And seeks the King in reconciliation,
Demanding only that he grant this child
Her birthright as a princess of his race.
Governess. And do you then begrudge
this lovely creature
The joy of feeling that the right was hers ?
Secretary. Belovd dearest! ah, thou
speakest lightly,
Thus walld and separated from the world,
In cloister-wise, of riches of the earth!
Turn hence thine eyes! A treasure such as this
Is valud there more truly at its worth.
The father grudges it his son, the son
Reckons his fathers years, and deadly discord
Parts brothers, through this right intangible.
And een the priest forgets his sacred goal
And strives for riches. Is it then surprising
That, when the Prince has always calld him-
self
The only child, he should decline to welcome
This sister who with insolent intrusion
Diminishes his fair inheritance?
What, if in his place, wouldst thou do thyself?
Governess. Already is he not a wealthy
Prince ?
And at his fathers death will he not be
Superfluously rich ? If he should spend
A part of his possessions would he waste them
In winning by them such a lovely sister ?
Secretary. To a<5t with arbitrary will de-
lights
The man of fortune. Natures claims he
scorns;
He scorns the authority of law and reason,
And spends his substance on the throw of
chance.
Merely to have sufficient is to starve.
Give all or nothing. Measureless possessions
For endless squandering are what he wishes.
Advice is not desird; think not to turn us.
If thou wilt not work with us, give us up.
Governess. What is the deed ye plan?
Long ye have threatend,
Holding aloof, to blast the lovely child.
What have ye now in monstrous crime devisd
To spoil her chance of fortune. Do ye ask
That I should blindly cling to what ye plan ?
Secretary. By no means. Thou shalt be
initiated.
254


The first step lies with thee. Our scheme de-
mands
That thou abdudt Eugenie. She must vanish
So utterly from knowledge of the world
That we can confidently mourn her death.
The secret of her fate must be conceald
Forever, like the secret of the dead.
Governess. Ye doom her to a living grave,
O villains,
And think to send me with her as companion.
Me too ye doom. I am with her to share
I the betrayer chaind to the betrayd
The awful "fate of death, a living death! '
Secretary. Thou shalt return when thou
hast done the deed.
Governess. Is it a cloister where her days
will end ?
Secretary. Not in a cloister! Such a
costly pledge
We could not give the clergy, who might use it
Against us as a most convenient tool.
Governess. Then is it to the Islands?
Tell me plainly!
Secretary. Thy destination shall be known.
Be patient!
Governess. How can I be before the fear
and danger
That threat my lovd ones happiness and
mine?
Secretary. Thy lovd one in her new life
joy will find.
And joy and rapture will await thee here.
Governess. Oh, flatter not yourselves with
such a hope!
What good is there in holding such tempta- !
tions j
Before meforcing me, enticing me ?
The noble child herself will block your
scheme.
Think not to drag her off a willing vidtim
And helpless. Nay, the spirit that fills her
heart
With courage, and the power inherited,
Will go with her whereer she goes, and break
The evil net which you have cast around her.
Secretary. Thy part will be to make the
meshes strong.
Wilt thou persuade me that a simple child,
Till now protected by the arm of Fortune,
Will show, when unexpected chance arises,
Forethought and power, sagacity and wis-
dom ?
Her mind is culturd but to think, not a6t.
And if her thoughts are right, her speech de-
lightful,
Yet much is lacking in her will to do. |
The lofty boundless courage of ignorance
Sinks easily to cowardice and despair
When stern Necessity presents itself.
What we have plannd see that thou carry out.
Small will the harm be, splendid the reward.
Governess. Then give me time to ponder
and decide.
Secretary. The moment for the aCtion is
at hand.
The Duke knows well that the next holiday
The King will grant the favor long desired,
And recognize his daughters princely birth.
For clothes and costly jewels are provided
Already, laid in splendid cabinets,
The keys of which he guards with jealous
care,
And thinks he keeps a perfect mystery.
But we are in his secret and prepard.
What we have schemd must quickly now be
done.
This evening thouIt hear more. Till then
farewell.
Governess. On dubious paths ye work, on
mischief bent,
And think ye see a profit in your plans.
Has no suspicion ever crossd your mind
That over guilt and innocence there hovers
A Being from whose essence streams avenging
A light divine that rescues the oppressd?
Secretary. Who dares gainsay the ruling
Providence
That shapes conformably to his own will
The outcome of our deeds whateer they be ?
Yet who presumes to make himself an arbiter
In Gods high councils? Who can know
The rule and law by which his fiat works ?
We have our reason, and in stature grown
We walk eredt upon the face of earth,
And our advantage is our highest right.
Governess. Thus are ye traitors to the
godlike
If ye despise the dictates of the heart!
It calls me boldly to ward off the danger
That hangs with horrid threatning oer my
darling;
It bids me arm myself against my lover,
Against the base designs that strong men
harbor!
No glittering promise and no threats shall
force me
To leave my rightful place beside my pupil:
Thus do I stand devoted to protect her.
Secretary. Ah sweetest, thou alone canst
give her safety,
And thou alone the danger canst avert
And at the selfsame time assist our plan.
255


Lay hold upon her swiftly; take the maiden
As far as possible away, conceal her
That no one know her habitation Else
(Thou tremblestfor thou knowest well
The words upon my lips 1) Since thou hast
forcd me
Let the alternative at last be said:
Removal with her is the mildest measure
If thou refusest to co-operate,
If thou art minded secretly to check us,
And if thou darest, out of friendly purpose,
To drop the slightest hint of what I tell
thee,
Then dead she lies upon thy bosom What
Would fill my heart with sorrow must be
done!
SCENE II.
Governess. His angry threat brings no
surprise for me!
Tis long that I have seen this smouldering fire,
And now it bursts in flames of fury out.
If I would save thee, must I, darling child,
Dispel the lovely dream that beckons thee?
One hope alone diminishes my sorrow
It vanishes before I fairly hold it.
Eugenie if thou only couldst renounce
The splendid fortune, which appears so bound-
less,
Before thy footsteps cross the fatal threshold
Where danger, death, or banishment awaits
thee 1
256


The Natural Daughter.
Oh, if I only dared enlighten thee,
Dared point the secret hiding-place where lurk
The evil conclave of thy persecutors!
Ah, I must keep dark counsel! Only hints
Can shrive my soul before thee! In the tumult
Of eager pleasure wilt thou understand ?
SCENE III.
Eugenie. Governess.
Eugenie. Welcome a thousand times, friend
of my heart,
Who showest a mothers fondness for me, wel-
come !
Governess. With joy, dear child, I press
thee to my bosom,
And share the rapture which thy buoyant life
So richly yields thee. How thy dear eyes
sparkle !
Oer cheek and brow what lovely color mantles.
What joyous fortune swells thy youthful breast?
Eugenie. A great misfortune has befallen
me:
The horse fell headlong from the crag with me.
Governess. My God!
Eugenie. Be calm thou seest me again
Unharmd and fortunate, though great the fall!
Governess. How was it ? Tell me!
Eugenie. Thou shalt hear how fortune
Resulted splendidly from my disaster.
Governess. Alas! from fortune often pain
develops.
Eugenie. Let words of evil import not be
spoken,
And fright me not with evil thoughts of sor-
row !
Governess. Ah, would that thou couldst
trust me absolutely!
Eugenie. Above all others thee! Yet
leave me now,
Beloved, to myself! I wish, alone,
To wont myself to feelings new and strange.
Thou knowest what delight my father takes
Wheneer a little poem comes to greet him
Not lookd for, as the favor of the Muses
Grants power to give expression to my thoughts.
So leave me Even now the inspiration
Is on me; I must seize it ere it fail me.
Governess. When shall we hold again the
precious hours
Of sweet discourse and gentle confidences?
When shall we once again like happy maidens,
Who tireless show each other their adornments,
Unlock the secret chambers of our hearts,
Comparing all our changeable possessions?
Eugenie. Those pleasant moments will re-
turn again
Whose peaceful joys one gladly recolledts,
Sharing with confidence our confidences.
Yet leave me in full loneliness to-day
To find the need of trustful days like those.
SCENE IV.
Eugenie. Later Governess without.
Eugenie. ( Getting out a portfolio.)
Now quick to work with parchment and with
pen !
Tis wholly mine and soon it shall be written :
The tribute flowing from my thankful heart,
Which to the King, upon that festal day
When, new-born by his all-compelling word,
I enter life, shall now be dedicated.
[She copies out what she slowly recites.
With what a wondrous prospect am I greeted!
Canst thou, O master of the realm elysian,
Forgive the novice for her indecision ?
Blinded by Majesty I sink defeated !
Yet soon encouragd by the judgment meted,
I lift to thee my eyes in rapturd vision,
Confessd thy kin, receivd without derision,
And all my young hopes are at last completed!
Thus let the boundless spring of grace flow
ever!
Here will my faithful heart, ecstatic, tarry,
Swayd by the majesty of loves emotion.
My all hangs by a thread a touch might sever!
Methinks the life thou gavest I should carry
And lay before thy throne in sweet devo-
tion.
[ Contemplating her writing with satisfaPlion.
Long has it been, O agitated heart,
Since thou hast spoken in the words of verse.
How happy are we when our inmost feelings
Can take the impress of infinity!
Yet is it quite enough ? Here streams it forth,
Here streams it up! Great day, thou drawest
nigh,
Which gives the King to us and which shall give
For measureless delight me to the King,
Me to my father, me unto myself.
May this high festival exalt my song !
The wings of Fancy are already spread.
257


It bears me up before the throne, presents me,
And gives me to the circle rare
Governess. Eugenie!
Eugenie. Hark! What is that?
Governess. Tis I! Open the door !
Eugenie. Vexatious interruption I am
busy.
Governess. Word from thy father !
Eugenie. What! my father? Hold!
Yes, thy father sends
Then I will open !
Governess.
Great gifts to thee
Eugenie. One moment
Governess. Dost thou hear?
Eugenie. One moment! Where shall I
conceal this paper ?
Too clearly it betrays the hopes I feel.
No nook affords concealment! and with me
There is no safety even in my desk.
For treacherous and faithless are my servants.
When I have slept my papers have been rum-
magd,
And many of my treasures have been stolen.
This mystery, the greatest of my life,
Where, where shall I bestow it ?
[She approaches the wall.
Ah, yes! here,
Where thou, in days past, wainscot cabinet,
Didst hide the innocent secrets of my child-
hood !
Discoverd by my restless energy,
Investigating, born of idleness
And childish natural curiosity,
Thou, known to no one save myself, springest
open !
[A//,? presses on an invisible spring and a
little door plies open.
Thus as I once conceald forbidden sweets
For sly enjoyment in thy secret chamber,
So now, transported, timid, I entrust thee
A little space with my lifes happiness.
[She lays the parchment in the cupboard and
closes it.
The days press on and full of expectation
Bring joy and sadness with them in their train.
[She opens the door.
SCENE V. I
Eugenie. Governess. Servants bringing
a magnificent dressing-case. j
Governess. If I disturb thee, still I bring
with me j
What in thy eyes should give me absolution. |
258
Eugenie. This from my father This re-
splendent gift!
What content does a shrine like that por-
tend ?
( To the Servants.)
Flo tarry yet a moment!
[A// Take this trifle
As foretaste of reward for service richer fol-
lows ! [Exit Servants.
No letter and no key Tis passing strange !
Must such a treasure wait me unexplord?
O curiosity O eager longing !
SuspeClest thou what mean these gifts to me?
Governess. I doubt not thou thyself hast
solvd the riddle.
It signifies a coming elevation.
The finery of a princess is allowd thee
Because the King will soon declare thy rank.
Eugenie. What makes thee think so?
Governess. Oh, I know it well !
The secrets of the great are never kept.
Eugenie. Well, if thou knowest, why should
I dissemble?
Shall I restrain before thee without reason
My curiosity to see this gift ? The key
Is here I know my father did forbid it.
Yet what did he forbid ? To tell the secret
Before the time. Yet thou already knowest
The weighty news: what more is there to tell
Than thou hast heard, and through thy love for
me
Hast kept in guard beneath the seal of silence?
Why then delay? Come, let us open come !
So that the glory of the gifts may charm us !
Governess. Nay touch it not! Remem-
ber his forbiddance.
Who knows the reason of the Dukes com-
mand ?
Eugenie. He had a purpose for his prohi-
bition,
That purpose now is renderd nugatory ;
Thou knowest all. Thou lovest me, thou art
A faithful friend that can preserve a secret.
So let us push the bolt and close the cham-
ber,
And let us quick together solve the mystery.
[She shuts the chamber door and rims to the
casket.
Governess. (Restraining her.) The gold,
the colors of the splendid fabrics,
The soft light of the pearls, the gleam of
jewels,
Ah let them all remain unseen They tempt
thee
Beyond control to seek the fatal goal!


artist: otto seitz.
THE NATURAL DAUGHTER. ACT II, SCENE IV
EUGENIA PLACING THE PARCHMENT IN THE PRESS


Eugenie. Not they, but what they signify,
attraCt me.
[She opens the box; mirrors adorn.the cover.
What costly raiment, lying folded there
Een as I touch it, shows before my eyes!
And do these mirrors not make swift demand
To image forth the maiden in her jewels ?
Governess. Medeas fiery garment seems
to me
To lie unfolded in my nerveless hand !
Eugenie. What Melancholy weaves its
mist around thee?
Think rather of delightful bridal feasts!
Come reach the treasures to me one by one !
That underdress how richly, sweetly gleam
The silver gauze, the sparkle of its hues.
Governess. (Throiving the garment over
Eugenies shoulders.) If eer the rays
of Favors sun should darken,
The cause would be such glory-s bright reflec-
tion.
Eugenie. A faithful heart deserves the
rays of favor,
And if they fail it draws them back again.
Now bring the gold-embroiderd overskirt,
And spread the train with all its wealth of lace.
The brilliancy of flowers has tingd the gold
Spread in metallic hues with tasteful choice.
Am I not beautiful in this array?
Governess. Yet beauty unadornd is
honord more
For its own splendor by the truly wise.
Eugenie. The truly wise may treasure
simple beauty,
But most prefer the beauty thats adornd.
Now bring the tender twilight of the pearls,
The flashing glory of the splendid jewels.
Governess. Yet not the appearance but
the genuine worth
Can satisfy the cravings of thy heart!
Eugenie. What is appearance having
naught of substance,
And what would substance be without ap-
pearance ?
Governess. And hast thou not enjoyd
within these walls
The long untroubled days of sunny youth,
Nor felt the secret bliss of holy rapture
When cradled with the hearts of those that
love thee ?
Eugenie. The tender bud rejoices in its
calyx
So long as Winters frost besieges it;
But now the breath of Spring inspires its life,
It bursts in blossoms, full of light and fra-
grance !
Governess. But moderation gives a joy
serene !
Eugenie. Provided that a moderate aim
is set.
Governess. He who enjoys submits to
limitations.
Eugenie. Thy arguments persuade me
not, thus robd.
Oh, would that this apartment might expand
Until it reachd the glory of the Kings.
That splendid carpets deckd the polishd
floors,
That golden groins might overarch the vault!
And thus before the throne of royalty
With humble pride, among the haughty nobles
Reflecting back the smiling beams of grace,
I mid the circle of distinguishd ones
Should stand the most distinguishd at the
pageant.
Oh, let me have the foretaste of this joy
When all the world shall wonder at my for-
tune.
Governess. ThouIt be an objeCt not of
wonder only:
Envy will mark thee, hate will seek thy ruin.
Eugenie. Success must ever raise the coils
of envy.
We learn to keep our guard when haters prowl.
Governess. Humiliation oft surprises pride.
Eugenie. Presence of mind will guard
against surprise !
[ Turning to the dressing-case.
Not yet have we examind everything.
For self alone I do not ask this fortune;
With others would I all my treasures share.
Governess. ( Taking out a jewel box.)
Here written on this box the words: For
Gifts.
Eugenie. Then pray seleCt the things that
please thee most.
Among these watches, boxes, take thy choice.
Yet hold Be wary Who can tell? Perchance
Yet costlier things lie hid within the case !
Governess. Would that a powerful talis-
man were here
To win thy cruel brothers love to thee !
Eugenie. The pure affections of the in-
genuous heart
May gradually soften his ill will.
Governess. Yet those who strive to make
more black his grudge
Are pledgd forever to oppose thy wishes.
Eugenie. If they till now have sought to
block my fortune,
Yet since the grand decision has been made
They will each one conform without a murmur.
25?


The Natural Daughter.
Governess. That which thou hopest is not
yet accomplishd.
Eugenie. Yet 'tis so safe that I can call
it done. \jRc turning to the case again.
See what is lying in that long flat box!
Governess. (Uncovering it.) The love-
liest ribbons, fresh and newly chosen !
Ah, let not curious contemplation ruin
With dissipating tendency thy mind.
Oh, would it might be, that my earnest warn-
ing
Should make a moments impress on thy mind.
From the still circle thou wilt soon emerge
On wider fields where anxious cares will harass,
Where dangerous snares, where Death itself,
perchance,
From murderous hands of enemies await thee.
Eugenie. Thou art unwell! How can
my sure success
Appear to thee as frightful as a sped!re ?
[ Gazing into the box.
What do I see? This roll! tis verily
The ribbon of the noblest princely order!
This also I must wear then Come make
haste !
I wish to see its whole effedl! Tis part
Of this superb array. It must be tried !
[ The order is attached.
Now prate to me of death! now prate of
danger!
What nobler grace than when a man can stand
In all the bravery of heroic garb
Amid his peers in presence of his King ?
What gives more satisfadlion to the eye
Than robes that tell of splendid lines of
knights?
This raiment and its colors are they not
A symbol of the danger ever near?
The sash, significant of war, wherewith
A man with dauntless courage girds himself?
My friend, my love Whatever ornament
Is emblematical of peril, that
Must, of necessity, be dangerous !
So give me then the sentiment of courage
To meet the dangers menacing my path,
Arrayd, as now, in splendid princely garb.
Henceforth, irrevocable is my fortune.
Governess. (Aside.) The fate that calls
thee is irrevocable.
260


ACT III.
SCENE I.The Antechamber of the
Duke, furnished in magnificent modern
style.
Secretary. Secular Priest.
Secretary. Tread silently into this deathly
silence!
The palace is as quiet as the tomb.
The Duke is sleeping, and the servants all,
Touchd by his grief, are bent in sympathy.
He sleeps I blessd him as I saw him lie
Wrappd in unconsciousness upon his pillow
Peacefully breathing. The excess of woe
Has yielded to the healing balm of Nature.
The moment that shall wake him, that I fear
A man of grief before you will appear !
Secular Priest. I am prepard to see him,
doubt it not.
Secretary. An hour or two ago the tidings
came
That fair Eugenie had been thrown and killd.
You must confirm it: say that she was brought
Unto your chapel as the nearest place
That they could take her from the treacherous
ground,
Where, boldly courting death, she forcd her
steed.
Secular Priest. And in the meantime she
is far away?
Secretary. With breathless haste the speed-
ing coursers fly.
Secular Priest. To whom entrust you
such a weighty task ?
Secretary. The prudent goodwife who is
wholly ours.
Secular Priest. To What far region have
you sent the maid ?
Secretary. The port that lies most distant
in this realm.
Secular Priest. And will a foreign shore
receive her next ?
Secretary. The favoring wind will bear
her quickly hence.
Secular Priest. And will they here for-
ever think her dead ?
Secretary. The purport of thy fidtion shall
decide.
Secular Priest. And so this error from
the very first
Will sway the fortune of all coming time.
261


Her very grave is feignd, and for her body
A mask shall cheat the eye. Her lovely image
Shall shatter in a thousand pieces. Horror
Shall sear my wretched hearers loving heart,
As though with fire, because of this misfor-
tune.
All think her dead, she disappears forever
Within the ashes, gray, of nothingness.
Then each of us will quickly turn to life,
And in the tumult of the busy world
Forget that she too, though so far away,
Still breathes the air of life among the living.
Secretary. Dost thou with utter boldnessi
face the deed ?
Will not remorse remain with bitter sting?
Secular Priest. Thou askest such a ques-
tion ? We are firm.
Secretary. An inward dissatisfaction often-
times
Against our will accompanies an action.
Secular Priest. What do I hear? art thou
become repentant,
Or wilt thou only test me if I be
A worthy pupil in the arts thou teachest ?
Secretary. Never sufficiently do men re-
flect !
Secular Priest. They should reflect before
the deeds begun.
Secretary. Tis not too late before the
deed is done.
Secular Priest. For me the door of fore-
thought is shut fast.
The time for that was when I still delayd
Within the Paradise of simple joys:
When, bounded by the gardens cosy hedge,
I grafted trees that I myself had planted,
And fed my table from the narrow beds,
When still contentment in the little house
Supplied a sense of having wealth unbounded,
And when, according to my light, I spoke
Unto the congregation from my heart,
A friend with friends, a father with his chil-
dren,
And gave my hand to aid the worthy man,
And stoppd the bad man and the sin he did.
Oh, would that some beneficent spirit had
then
Turnd from my door thy hesitating steps,
Whereto thou, weary, thirsty from the chase,
Didst come to knock and with thy flattering
ways,
Thy wily words, didst lay a spell upon me !
That beauteous day on which our friendship
hung
Peace spread her wings and fled forever from
me!
Secretary. We brought thee many pleas-
ures, did we not ?
' Secular Priest. And many anxious wants
which weight me down.
I felt my poverty to see the rich.
Anxiety oppressd me, for I lackd;
And in my need I askd for help from others.
You brought me aid: dearly I pay for it.
You took me as the comrade of your fortune,
You took me as the complice of your deeds
Nay, rather should I say the slave, for such
You made the once free now abandond man.
You gave him pay forsooth, but yet denied
The sole reward which he had dared to ask.
Secretary. Have faith that we shall load
thee down ere long
With honors, benefices and estates.
Secular Priest. But those are not the
things that I expedt.
Secretary. And now what new demand
hast thou conceivd?
Secular Priest. You use me as a tool de-
void of feelings
Thus once again. This noble child ye thrust
Forth from the living circle of her friends.
Tis I must palliate, must hide the deed,
Yet you determine and I have no voice.
Henceforth I ask to join your secret conclave
Where frightful deeds are plannd, where every
man
Proud of his strength and genius bends the
course
Of monstrous aftions unavoidable.
Secretary. That thou so closely art with
us allied
Gives thee a new and potent claim upon us.
With weighty secrets shalt thou soon be trusted.
And so be patient and control thyself.
Secular Priest. I am, and far more patient
than you think.
! Long since I saw the purport of your plans.
He only merits secret consecration
Who through presentiment anticipates.
Secretary. What dost thou guess? What
dost thou know?
Secular Priest. Let that
Be spared until we meet at midnights hour.
Alas! this maidens melancholy fate
Has vanishd like a brook in oceans tide,
When I consider how ye lift yourselves
In secret in a mighty party schism,
And hope, by treacherous wiles, to oust the
King,
And foist yourselves as rulers on the land.
Not you alone, for others also strive
In rivalry with you to reach your goal.
262


And so ye undermine the throne and State.
Who shall be rescued from the impending
fate ?
Secretary. Hush Some one comes!
Hide in this secret closet.
When it is time Ill summon thee to enter.
SCENE II.
Duke. Secretary.
Duke. O baleful light! thou callst me
back to life,
Thou bringest me to knowledge of the world
And of myself again. How barren, bare and
hollow
Lies all before me now, and burnd to ashes!
A heap of ruins is my happiness !
Secretary. If each and every of thy faith-
ful friends
Who suffer with thee at this hour could bear
A portion of thy sorrows, how wouldst thou
Not feel thyself renewd in strength and
courage!
Duke. The wound to love like love itself
remains
Incurable, unending Now I know
The terrible disaster which befalls
The man who misses his accustomd weal.
Oh, why did you allow these well-known walls
To shine upon me with their bravery
Of gold and color, calling back the days
The yesterdaysof my complete delight
With chilling sense of loss ? Why did you not
Envelop halls and chambers with black crape,
So that the everlasting shades of night,
Without me as within, might cast their gloom?
Secretary. Oh, would that still thy many
blessings might
In spite of loss seem something in thy sight!
Duke. A dream embodied, free from spirit
bonds!
She was the living soul that filld this house.
Wheneer I wakd how sweet before mine eyes
Hoverd the image of the lovely maiden !
Here oft I found a leaflet from her hand,
A soulful, heartfelt word for morning greet-
ing!
Secretary. How oft the wish to give her
father joy
Expressd itself in fresh melodious verse !
Duke. The hope of seeing her alone re-
lievd
The weary hours of slow laborious days !
Secretary. And when delay and hindrance
cloggd the wheels,
With what impatience hast thou yearnd for
her,
As the rash lover yearns to see his mistress.
Duke. Make no compare between the fire
of youth
Devouring selfishly the thing it clutches
And that ecstatic glow a father feels
Who, filld with contemplation rapt, rejoices
At all development of wondrous powers,
At all the giant strides in cultures path.
The present is the pledge that love demands.
The future is the parents treasurd boon.
There lie the spreading acres of his hopes,
And there the ripening harvest of his joys !
! Secretary. Alas! these boundless pleas-
ures thou hast lost;
j This ever blossoming hope is now destroyd.
263


Duke. And have I lost it ? But a moment
since
Its perfect glory filld my joyful soul.
Alas tis gone Let your laments arise.
Let grief destroy this solid edifice
Which age too generous has preservd till now !
Accursd be all thats left to me accursd !
And all that shakes and totters now be wel-
come !
Boil up, ye floods, break oer the dykes and
change
The land to sea Ye raging gulfs, oerwhelm
In dire destruction ship and crew and treas-
ure !
Spread out, ye war-compelling ranks, and drown
The fields with gore and every form of death !
Flash forth, ye lightning bolts, across the
waste
And blast the haughty heads of solid towers,
Cast stone from stone, let flames arise and
scourge
With horrid fury all the haunts of men,
That I, ringd round by universal sorrow,
May bend before the Fate that hounds me!
Secretary. This unexpected tragedy so
monstrous
Weighs fearfully upon thee, noble Duke!
Duke. Most suddenly it came, not unfore-
warnd !
A happy Fate brought her from realms of death,
And in my arms she came to life again.
I saw with hasty passing glance the horror
Which now confronts me with its frozen stare.
I should have punishd then her recklessness,
Have set my face with sternest opposition
Against her daring, and have checkd the mad-
ness
Which blindly deemd itself invulnerable,
Immortal, and which sent her from the cliff,
Through wood and stream and thicket like a
bird.
Secretary. How should such deeds made
certain by success
Have given presentiment of coming woe ?
Duke. The presage of these woes full well
I felt
When I the lastwhen I the last time saw
Yea speak it outthe devastating word
That builds a hedge of darkness round thy
way !
Oh, would that I had seen her once again !
Perchance, I might have warded off this blow !
I would have knelt before her, would have
prayd,
Have warnd her, with a fathers faithful warn-
ing,
1 To spare herself and me, and for the sake
Of future fortune to attempt no risk,
Though tempted by the madness of the chase.
Alas this hour was not vouchsafd to me !
And now Ive lost my precious child forever.
She is no more Her boldness only grew
From having easily escapd that fall.
And no one there to warn her, none to guide!
The discipline of childhood was forgotten !
Whose hands did I entrust with such a treas-
ure ?
The hands compliant, pampering, of a woman !
No stringent word to bend my daughters will
In ways of temperate reasonableness !
With freedom uncontrolld she let her roam
Oer every field that offerd reckless daring.
I felt it oft and often half confessd
That she was ill watchd by her governess.
Secretary. Oh, cast not blame upon that
hapless creature!
In company with deathless grief she wanders,
God knows in what far land, now, unconsold !
She fled for who could look thee in the face
If conscious that the least reproach were due?
Duke. Oh, let me wreak my wrath on
blameless others
Lest in despair I tear myself in pieces !
For I myself must bear the blame, though
heavy.
Did I not with my foolish fond beginnings
Tempt death and danger on my darlings
head ?
It was my pride to see the maiden win
The mastery of every undertaking.
And now I pay the fearful price in full.
; In carriage, in the saddle should she shine,
: A heroine for guiding foaming steeds !
Or diving through the water did she seem
A goddess to command the elements.
And so she thought to conquer every danger.
Ah me! instead of giving preservation
The wont of danger now has brought her
death !
Secretary. The wont of dutys grand be-
hests has brought
Death to the neer-to-be-forgotten maiden !
Duke. Explain thyself!
Secretary. And shall I wake thy pain
By telling of the childlike noble adlion ?
Her aged, first and highly-honored friend
And teacher, from this city dwells remote,
In melancholy, pain, misanthropy.
Twas she alone was able to console him.
Compassion put this on her as a duty ;
But often when she wishd to visit him
i Her governess denied her. But she plannd
264


To compass it. She boldly used the hours
Devoted to her morning ride to dash
With splendid wild impetuosity
And visit the aged, well-beloved man.
A single groom alone was in the secret.
This time he must have put the saddle on
As we suspedt; for he cannot be found.
The wretched man and that unhappy woman
Both vanishd from the world from fear of thee.
Duke. Fortunate both who nothing have
to fear,
Whose sorrow for their masters vanishd joy
Has lightly changd to mere anxiety.
I too have naught to fear, have naught to hope,
So let me hear the whole and spare me not
The least detail! My soul is iron wrought.
SCENE III.
Duke. Secretary. Secular Priest.
Secretary. Until this very moment,
honord Prince,
Have I refraind from calling in a man
Who, also sad, appears before thee now.
He is the priest who from the hand of death
Receivd thy daughter, and when hope was none
Of saving her, with all a fathers care
Provided everything that love could do.
SCENE IV.
Duke. Secular Priest.
Secular Priest. How earnestly, exalted
Prince, have I
Cherishd the wish to come before thy presence!
Now it is gratified, but at a moment
When thou and I with thee art bent with grief!
Duke. Unwelcome messenger, een so, be
welcome!
Thou hast beheld her last, thy heart has felt
The pathos of her last long yearning look,
Her last word hast thou reverently heard.
Her last sigh hast thou met with kind response.
Oh, tell me, did she speak ? What were her
words ?
Rememberd she her father? Dost thou bring
me
A heartfelt farewell from her dying lips?
Secular Priest. We bid the unwelcome
messenger be welcome
So long as he is silent and our hearts
Hold room for hope, for doubting still hold
room.
Bad tidings spoken are detestable.
Duke. Why dost thou hesitate? What
deeper grief
Can I experience ? She is no more.
And peace and silence at this moment hover
Above her tomb. Whateer she may have
sufferd
Is past for her : for me begins. But speak.
Secular Priest. A universal calamity is
death.
Consider thus the evil which has come,
And let the path by which she passd away
Be hid in darkness like the shades of night.
Not every one can tread the flowery path
That leads unto the silent realm of shadows.
With forceful pain destruction often comes
And brings through pangs of hell eternal
peace.
Duke. She sufferd much?
Secular Priest. She sufferd much, not
long.
Duke. There was a moment while my
darling sufferd,
A moment that she cried in vain for aid !
And I, where was I then ? What enterprise,
What scene of pleasure chaind me at the
time ?
Did nothing presage what a woful thing
Was come to rend in fragments all my life?
Her cry I heard not, and I felt no sign
Of that misfortune struck so surely home.
Far-working holy sympathys foreboding
Is but a fable. Sensitive and firm,
Shut in by his environment, man feels
The present good or else the present evil;
And love itself is deaf to distant sounds.
Secular Priest. The very utmost com-
fort speech can give
I feel how little can avail thee now.
Duke. A word can wound more readily
than heal ;
And grief, renewd, forever strives in vain
To bring again the days of vanishd joy.
And was there then no skill, no art availing
To call the fleeting spirit back to life?
What was thy first expedient? Oh, tell me,
What didst thou do to save her? Thou didst
not
Leave any means untried !
Secular Priest. Alas! Too late
When I had found her was it to devise.
265



The Natural Daughter.
Duke. Then if forever I must mourn the
loss
Of her young lifes delightful power
Let me deceive my grief with deeper grief,
Let me immortalize her dear remains!
Come, let us visit her Where does she lie?
Secular Priest. A worthy chapel holds
the maidens tomb,
Kept consecrate and silent! From the altar
Across the iron bars I see the spot;
And while I live my prayers for her shall rise.
Duke. Oh, come and lead me thither!
With us twain
Shall go the wisest of all wise physicians.
Her beauteous body we will snatch perforce
Before corruption work. With choicest drugs
We will preserve the treasure of her body;
And of the atoms which erewhile were joind
In that incomparable, priceless form,
None shall return unto the dust again.
Secular Priest. What can I say? Must I
confess the whole ?
Thou canst not go Alas the form distorted,
No stranger could behold it without horror!
And in a fathers eyesit could not be !
No, God forbid! thou must not look upon her.
Duke. What new device of torment threat-
ens me?
Secular Priest. Oh, let me hold my
peace, that words of mine
May not abuse remembrance of the lost!
Let me conceal the appalling sight of her
Draggd through the thicket, through the
mangling rocks,
Disabled and disfigurd and distorted,
Bleeding and crushd, unrecognizable,
And lifeless, hanging from my arm. And I
With flooding tearsI blessd the solemn hour
When I renouncd a fathers holy hope.
Duke. Thou hast not been a father. Thou
art one
Of those self-seeking, hard, self-centred men
Who let their narrow lives unfruitful run,
To end in gloom. So get thee gone I hate
The very sight of thee !
Secular Priest. I knew twas so.
Who could forgive the bringer of such tidings?
[ Turns to go.
Duke. Forgive me and remain! Hast
ever seen
A pidlure limnd by arts consummate skill
That once and once again thy recolledlion
Has striven to catch in all its wondrous beauty?
Oh, if thou hadst, then hadst thou surely never
So ruthlessly destroyd the image which, for me,
Built with its thousand lines of loveliness,
Was all the world of fortune and of joy,
And pleasure in remembrance so dispelld !
Secular Priest. What should I do?
Condudl thee to the tomb
Bedewd with countless tears from strangers
eyes
Before I laid the rotting corpse away
To fall in mouldering peaceful dissolution !
Duke. Silence! unfeeling man thou only
addst
New torments to the pain thou thinkst to
soothe.
Ah, woe the elements, no longer ruld
By that fair spirit of order, now destroy
In noiseless conflict what was godlike once.
If oer her growth and swift development
Paternal fancy hoverd, full of care,
So now before the insistence of despair
The joy of life is turnd to dust and ashes.
Secular Priest. What light and air have
made in fleeting form
Is kept for long within the sealed tomb.
Duke. The custom of the ancients was a
wise one:
That when the adtive spirit passd away
The agency of purifying fire
Should solve the long and earnest work of
nature,
Completed in the noble human form.
And when the flames their ruddy billows tossd
Rolling to heaven and mid the clouds was seen
The eagles mighty wing significant,
Then tears were dried and friends forsaken
gazd
With vision clarified up to the realms
Where sat the new-crownd god upon Olympos.
Oh, gather for me in a costly urn
The sad remains of flesh consumd to ashes,
So that the yearning arms outstretchd in vain
May clasp reality, that I may press
Against my breast so full of emptiness
The painfulest possession of my life !
Secular Priest. Ever more bitter grief
becomes by grieving.
Duke. By grieving grief at last becomes
enjoyment.
Oh, would that wandering ever on and on
I, laden with my melancholy burden
Of shrunken ashes, might with feeble footsteps
In expiation come where last I saw her.
There lay she dead within my arms, and there
Deceivd I saw her come to life again.
I thought I claspd her, thought I held her fast,
But now she is forever torn from me.
But there will I immortalize my sorrow.
A tribute to her rescue did I vow,
266


Enrapturd by the marvel of my dream.
Een now the gardeners skilful hand is making
Through wood and fell a labyrinth of paths,
Enclosing round about the sacred spot
Where to his heart my royal master pressd
My daughter, and her princely birth confessd.
Where henceforth symmetry and just proportion
Would grace the spot which brought me hap-
piness.
There not a hand shall labor! Half completed
This plan shall be an emblem of my fate.
But the memorialthat I still shall found.
Heapd up of unhewn bowlders, orderless,
There will I wander, there in silence dwell
Till Death at last shall bring desird relief.
Oh, let me there, like stone, dream life away,
Until the slender trace of former care
Shall vanish from this melancholy desert.
In freedom shall the meadow green with grass
And bough with bough in wildness inter-
twine,
The bending birchs head shall sweep the
ground,
The tender saplings wax to mighty trees.
And moss shall clothe around the slippery
stems.
Time passes without note: for she is gone
By whose development I markd the years.
Secular Priest. And will that man whose
pleasure oft has been
To mingle in the beneficent whirl of life
Allow himself to shun the busy world
And choose the monotony of loneliness,
Because a burden unendurable
Has rolld upon him with its threatening doom?
Go forth! with eagle swiftness through the
land,
Through foreign kingdoms, that before thy
mind
The world and all its glories may arise.
Duke. What have I in the world to look
for now,
When she no longer meets my eye who was
The only objedl that I cared to see ?
Shall stream and mountain, vale and wood and
fell,
In varied panorama pass before me,
And only wake the bitter need I feel
To hold once more the form so dearly lovd?
From mountain-top down to the ocean wide
What would the wealth of nature be to me
Recalling me to poverty and loss ?
Secular Priest. But novel wealth lies
close before thy hand !
Duke. Tis through the eye undimmd of
youth alone
! That things familiar vivified can stir us;
When the enthusiasm long despisd
Comes to us pleasantly from childish lips.
And so I plannd to show her all the realm,
The peopled plains, the forest depths, the
rivers,
And all the boundless majesty of ocean,
So that the intoxication of her gaze
When turnd upon the infinite of space
Should fill my soul with infinite of love !
Secular Priest. If thou, exalted Prince,
didst not aspire
To spend the glorious days of fullest life
In contemplation, if activity
In doing for unnumberd multitudes
Gave thee the precedent unto the throne
For noble service in the common good,
Instead of accident of kingly birth,
Thus in the name of all I summon thee:
'Fake courage Let the melancholy hours
Which darken thy horizon be, for others,
Through consolation, counsel, aid, no less
Than for thyself, bright hours of happiness.
Duke. How shallow and disgusting such a
iife,
Where every motion, every impulse brings
Ever new need of motion, need of impulse,
And no desird result at last rewards.
That did I see in her alone: for her
I strove and won with pleasure keen
That I might build a realm of pleasing for-
tune.
So I was genial, was a friend to all,
Obliging, quick, in deed and counsel lavish.
It is the father in me that they love,
I said; they thank the father, and, in time,
i The daughter will they welcome as their
j friend.
| Secular Priest. No time is left for senti-
i mental musings!
j Exalted Prince, quite different thoughts de-
! mand thee.
Shall I the secret hazard ? I the humblest
Among thy servitors ? The eager glances
Of all are turnd to thee, these dubious days,
Thy solid worth, thy strength undeviating.
Duke. The happy man alone feels worth
and strength !
Secular Priest. The pain intense of woes
; intolerable
Are bail unto the moment for vast meaning.
Let me have pardon if I boldly wage
To speak the confidential tidings out!
How from below fermenting passions seethe !
i How ineffectual the force above !
| Not every one has sight to see but thou
267


More than the multitude in which I move.
Oh, do not falter now the storm draws nigh,
But seize the helm and guide the weltering
ship
For the advantage of thy fatherland.
Forget thy grief: else will a thousand fathers
Like thee their children mourn, a thousand
children
Call vainly for their fathers, and the cries
Of mourning mothers echo horribly
Against the pitiless hollow prison walls.
Oh, bring an offering of thy grief and pain
Unto the altar of the common weal.
And all whom thou wilt rescue from this
doom
Thou shalt in compensation win as children.
Duke. From gloomy corners do not raise
again
The swarm opaque of spedlres to oppress me,
Which through my daughters wonder-working
power
Were often bannd and readily put to flight.
That all-compelling might of love is vanishd
Which sang unto my soul in pleasant dreams.
Now heavy on me weighs with solid pressure
The adtual present, threatening to crush me.
Away away Take me from out the world !
And if the robe in which thou movest lie not,
Then lead me to the place where patience
dwells,
Unto the monastery, and leave me there
In universal silence, silent, bowed,
To sink, a weary mortal, to the vault.
Secular Priest. Me scarcely it becomes
to recommend
The world to thee: yet boldly will I speak !
Not in the grave nor yet upon the grave
The noble man will waste his wealth of long-
ing.
He turns unto himself, and full of wonder
He finds the lost again within his heart.
Duke. The fa<5t that such a treasure still
remains
When far and farther flies the treasure lost,
That is the torment which the parted member
Forever torn away must still renew
Upon the pang-wrenchd, palpitating body.
Dismemberd life who can unite again ?
Annihilated who rebuild ?
Secular Priest. The spirit!
The spirit of man for whom is nothing lost
Which once was prizd and held in firm pos-
session.
So lives Eugenie still, within thy mind,
268


Which she erewhile sustaind, in which she
stirrd
Perception of the wondrous works of Nature.
Still as a lofty pattern doth she work,
Protecting thee from common things and bad
Which, every hour, may meet thee. And the
glory
Reflected from her noble truth will banish
The empty falsehood that would sting thee.
So through her power feel that thy strength is
doubled,
And give her back a life invulnerable
Which can be shatterd by no earthly force.
Duke. Nay, let some intricate net of death
encoil me
With gloomy glowering web of woven dreams.
And, O thou image, perfeCt in thy beauty,
Remain for me forever young and change-
less !
Around me let the pure light of thine eyes
Forever shine! Whereer my steps may
wander
Do thou go with me, pointing out the way
Amid the thorny labyrinth of earth!
Thou art no figment of a dream I see thee!
Just as thou wast, art thou. Almighty God
Conceivd thee perfeCt, perfeCt wast thou
made.
I Thou art a portion of the Infinite,
j The Endless, and thou art forever mine.
269


ACT
SCENE I.Pci7-k at the port. On one side
a palace, on the other a church; in the
background a row of trees through which
the port is seen below. Eugenie, enveloped
in a veil, seated on a bench in the back-
ground, with face turned to the sea.
Governess. Counsellor. In the foreground.
Governess. A wretched business unavoid-
ably
Compels me from the Kingdoms central heart,
The distri6t of the capital, to seek
The limits of the solid land, this haven,
With strenuous care forever at my heels
And dubious distance ever beckoning on.
How would the counsel and the sympathy
Of some strong man reliable and noble
Shine on me as a blessed guiding star!
Forgive me, therefore, if I come to thee
And bring this charter which shall justify
270
IV.
'Fhe formidable purpose that I own !
For I have heard thy name in hearty praise
Once in the halls where righteous judgment sways
As worthy aid, but now as perfe<5t judge.
Counsellor. ( Who meantime thoughtfully
contemplates the paper.) Not my desert
but my endeavor won
Perchance my meed of praise. But strange it
seems
That him whom thou hast righteous calld and
noble,
Thou shouldst demand in aid, and mock his eyes
With such a paper which can only fill
His bosom with disgust and sheer abhorrence.
Of right, of judgment, let no word be spoken.
This deed is violence, is tyranny!
Een if the treatment wise and skilful be !
A child of noble birth is given over
For death or lifeI-speak not too severely?
Is given over to thy will alone.


The Natural Daughter.
All, be they officers, civilians, soldiers, I
Are bidden to protedt thee, and to do ^
To her whate er thy word as law may say. !
\_Givcs back the paper. j
Governess. Here show thy wisdom as a
righteous umpire.
Let not this paper bring complaint alone ! !
To me, the deeply blamed, oh, lend an ear!
Consider favorably my proposition !
Of noble blood the peerless maiden spfang.
With every gift, with every virtue gracd
By Nature as inalienable right,
Een though the law denies her other
And now has banishd her. Tis I must lead
her
Forth from the circle of her friends and hence i
Go with her as her guardian to the islands. |
Counsellor. To certain death she goes:
where heated vapors
With slow insinuating poison work.
There must this flower of heaven quickly
wither,
The color mantling on her cheek must fade !
The form must disappear which yearning eyes
Would ever wish to keep preservd from ill.
Governess. Before thou judgest, listen to
the end.
The girl is innocent (what need of proof?)
Yet is the cause of evils numberless.
An angry God between two parties placd her
Like Discords apple, and they now contend,
Forever separated on the question.
The one would see her raisd to highest sta- j
tion,
The other strives to push her from the ground.
Both were of stout resolve. A labyrinth
Of cunning, weird devices hedgd her fate,
Plot crossd with counterplot and end was none
Until impatient passion brought a crisis,
Precipitating moments big with doom.
Dissimulation then forgot its bounds,
And violence fraught with peril to the State
Broke forth in all its threatening fury.
And now to keep the guilty from their guilt,
And check them, a decree divine is made
That strikes my charge, the innocent occasion
Of all the coil, and crushes me with her.
Counsellor. The instrument I blame not,
scarce can judge
Those powers that work with such high hand.
Alas!
They also are the slaves of tyrant fate
And rarely adt from free deliberation.
Solicitude and fear of greater evils
Ofttimes compel the monarch into deeds
Which are unjust and yet must needs be done.
Complete thy necessary task Begone
Out of the narrow boundaries of my Eden.
Governess. Tis that I seek, and thither
turn my steps,
In hope to find relief. ThouIt not repulse
me !
I long have tried to draw entrancing pidtures
Before the worthy maiden of the pure de-
lights
Which might await her in the calm content-
ment
Within the circles of the burgher classes.
If she would but renounce her high ambition
And claim the safeguard of an honest hus-
band.
Would turn her eyes from sweet forbidden re-
gions
Where danger, banishment and death surround
her
To look with favor on a simple home,
Then all were solvd, my bitter task fulfilld,
And I, rejoicing in my fatherland,
Releasd from care could still see peaceful
hours.
Counsellor. A web of wondrous circum-
stance thou showest.
Governess. I show it to a wise and resolute
man.
Counsellor. A suitor to thy mind could
win the maid ?
Governess. She should be his and richly-
dowerd withal.
Counsellor. Who could so rashly make a
grave decision ?
Governess. With sudden purpose inclina-
tion adts.
Counsellor. To link ones life with fate
unknown were madness.
Governess. One glance at her is warrant
of her worth.
Counsellor. The wifes foes are the foes
of husband also.
Governess. When she is wed comes recon-
ciliation.
Counsellor. And will her husband know
the maidens secret ?
Governess. If he is trusty, trust will be
bestowd.
Counsellor. And will she freely sandtion
such alliance ?
Governess. A dread alternative will weight
her choice.
Counsellor. Is it fair to woo in such ex-
tremity ?
Governess. He who would rescue must
not reason fine.
271


3WWW=
The Natural Daughter.
Counsellor. Pray, what before all else
dost thou demand?
Governess. That thy resolve shall be con-
firmd at once.
Counsellor. And is the peril of thy fate
so pressing ?
Governess. The busy sailors yonder spur
the voyage.
Counsellor. Hast thou advised her yet
of such a step ?
Governess. I hinted thus with quick, sig-
nificance.
Counsellor. And did she not, indignant,
spurn the thought?
Governess. Her former fortune then was
all too nigh.
Counsellor. The glorious fancies, will they
ever fade?
Governess. The awful ocean puts them all
to flight.
Counsellor. She hates to leave her father-
land forever?
Governess. She hates to leave it, and to
me tis death.
Thou, noble sir, by happy fortune found,
Oh, let us not exchange uncertain words.
Thy heart is young and in it dwells that virtue
That needs bright faith and unconditiond love
For the accomplishment of treasurd deeds.
In sooth a splendid circle hems thee round
Of men like theeI would not say of equals.
Oh, look around thee! Look into thy heart
And look into the hearts of all thy friends !
And if thou findst an overflowing measure j
Of love, and charity and strength and courage, !
Then let the most deserving take this jewel
And find the blessing that shall be his portion.
Counsellor. I know, I feel thy dubious
situation.
I cannot with myself discreetly balance,
As wisdom would demand, before I choose.
Let me converse with her.
[ The Governess retires towards Eugenie.
What must be done
Tis fated will be done. In commonest things
Volition, choice determine much. The highest
That comes to us of good, who knows its
source?
SCENE II.
Eugenie. Counsellor.
Counsellor. Een as thou comest to me,
honord lady,
I almost doubt if they have told me truly.
Thou art unhappy, say they, yet thou bringest
Whereer thou art prosperity and fortune.
Eugenie. If I oerwhelmd in tribulation
find
The first to whom I turn my face and voice,
So kind and noble, as thou seemst to me,
Then will my sorrow disappear, I hope.
Counsellor. If on a man of wide ex-
perience
A lot like thine should fall, twere pitiful.
But grief of youth when first oppressd how
sorely
It calls for sympathy and loves protection.
Eugenie. Thus but a little time ago I
came
Up from the night of death to light of day.
I knew not what befell, what accident
Had hurld me headlong from the dizzy cliff.
Then suddenly I rose, I recognizd
The lovely world again. I saw the leech
Struggling to stir the dying flames again;
Found in my fathers loving glance, his voice,
My life again. And now a second time
I waken from a more disastrous fall.
Unknown and shadowy is the scene around
me;
Strange to me are the faces of the men ;
Thy gentleness itself is like a dream.
Counsellor. If strangers feel for our ad-
versity
Then are they nearer to us than our nearest,
Who often look upon our grief with coldness,
From very carelessness of wonted sight.
Thy case is perilous, but who can say
If yet there be not chance of safety for thee?
Eugenie. No answer can I make. Un-
known to me
The powers are which have brought about my
exile.
The woman whom thou spokest with knows
well
I suffer from the maddend deeds of others.
Counsellor. Although superior power with
strenuous blow
Has stricken hard thy fault so innocent,
Thy error made so by an accident,
No less respedl remainsand dawning love.
Eugenie. The knowledge that my heart is
pure within
Makes strange the consequence of little errors.
Counsellor. Tis sport to stumble on the
level ground;
A single slip hurls from the precipice.
Eugenie. Upon those heights I wanderd
full of joy;
Excess of rapture causd my foot to fail.
272