S. T. Coleridge - The d**h of Wallenstein (Act 2 Scene 5) lyrics
A chamber in PICCOLOMINI's dwelling-house: OCTAVIO,
PICCOLOMINI, ISOLANI, entering.
Here am I—well! who comes yet of the others?
(with an air of mystery).
But, first, a word with you, Count Isolani.
(a**uming the same air of mystery).
Will it explode, ha? Is the duke about
To make the attempt? In me, friend, you may place
Full confidence—nay, put me to the proof.
That may happen.
Noble brother, I am
Not one of those men who in words are valiant,
And when it comes to action skulk away.
The duke has acted towards me as a friend:
God knows it is so; and I owe him all;
He may rely on my fidelity.
That will be seen hereafter.
Be on your guard,
All think not as I think; and there are many
Who still hold with the court—yes, and they say
That these stolen signatures bind them to nothing.
Indeed! Pray name to me the chiefs that think so;
Plague upon them! all the Germans think so
Esterhazy, Kaunitz, Deodati, too,
Insist upon obedience to the court.
I am rejoiced to hear it.
That the emperor has yet such gallant servants,
And loving friends.
Nay, jeer not, I entreat you.
They are no such worthless fellows, I a**ure you.
I am a**ured already. God forbid
That I should jest! In very serious earnest,
I am rejoiced to see an honest cause
The devil!—what!—why, what means this?
Are you not, then——For what, then, am I here?
That you may make full declaration, whether
You will be called the friend or enemy
Of the emperor.
(with an air of defiance).
That declaration, friend,
I'll make to him in whom a right is placed
To put that question to me.
That right is mine, this paper may instruct you.
Why,—why—what! this is the emperor's hand and seal
"Whereas the officers collectively
Throughout our army will obey the orders
Of the Lieutenant-General Piccolomini,
As from ourselves."—Hem!—Yes! so!—Yes! yes!
I—I give you joy, lieutenant-general!
And you submit to the order?
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But you have taken me so by surprise
Time for reflection one must have——
My God! But then the case is——
Plain and simple.
You must declare you, whether you determine
To act a treason 'gainst your lord and sovereign,
Or whether you will serve him faithfully.
Treason! My God! But who talks then of treason?
That is the case. The prince-duke is a traitor—
Means to lead over to the enemy
The emperor's army. Now, count! brief and full—
Say, will you break your oath to the emperor?
Sell yourself to the enemy? Say, will you?
What mean you? I—I break my oath, d'ye say,
To his imperial majesty?
Did I say so! When, when have I said that?
You have not said it yet—not yet. This instant
I wait to hear, count, whether you will say it.
Ay! that delights me now, that you yourself
Bear witness for me that I never said so.
And you renounce the duke then?
If he's planning
Treason—why, treason breaks all bonds asunder.
And are determined, too, to fight against him?
He has done me service—but if he's a villain,
Perdition seize him! All scores are rubbed off.
I am rejoiced that you are so well disposed.
This night break off in the utmost secrecy
With all the light-armed troops—it must appear
As came the order from the duke himself.
At Frauenberg's the place of rendezvous;
There will Count Gallas give you further orders.
It shall be done. But you'll remember me
With the emperor—how well disposed you found me.
I will not fail to mention it honorably.
[Exit ISOLANI. A SERVANT enters.
What, Colonel Butler! Show him up.
Forgive me too my bearish ways, old father!
Lord God! how should I know, then, what a great
Person I had before me.
I am a merry lad, and if at time
A rash word might escape me 'gainst the court
Amidst my wine,—you know no harm was meant.
You need not be uneasy on that score.
That has succeeded. Fortune favor us
With all the others only but as much.