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S. T. Coleridge - The d**h of Wallenstein (Act 3 Scene 4) lyrics

WALLENSTEIN, ILLO, COUNTESS, DUCHESS, THEKLA.

WALLENSTEIN.
All quiet in the camp?

ILLO.
It is all quiet.

WALLENSTEIN.
In a few hours may couriers come from Prague
With tidings that this capital is ours.
Then we may drop the mask, and to the troops
Assembled in this town make known the measure
And its result together. In such cases
Example does the whole. Whoever is foremost
Still leads the herd. An imitative creature
Is man. The troops at Prague conceive no other,
Than that the Pilsen army has gone through
The forms of homage to us; and in Pilsen
They shall swear fealty to us, because
The example has been given them by Prague.
Butler, you tell me, has declared himself?

ILLO.
At his own bidding, unsolicited,
He came to offer you himself and regiment.

WALLENSTEIN,
I find we must not give implicit credence
To every warning voice that makes itself
Be listened to in the heart. To hold us back,
Oft does the lying spirit counterfeit
The voice of truth and inward revelation,
Scattering false oracles. And thus have I
To entreat forgiveness for that secretly.
I've wronged this honorable gallant man,
This Butler: for a feeling of the which
I am not master (fear I would not call it),
Creeps o'er me instantly, with sense of shuddering,
At his approach, and stops love's joyous motion.
And this same man, against whom I am warned,
This honest man is he who reaches to me
The first pledge of my fortune.

ILLO.
And doubt not
That his example will win over to you
The best men in the army.

WALLENSTEIN.
Go and send
Isolani hither. Send him immediately.
He is under recent obligations to me:
With him will I commence the trial. Go.

  [Exit ILLO.

WALLENSTEIN (turns himself round to the females).
Lo, there's the mother with the darling daughter.
For once we'll have an interval of rest—
Come! my heart yearns to live a cloudless hour
In the beloved circle of my family.

COUNTESS.
'Tis long since we've been thus together, brother.

WALLENSTEIN
(to the COUNTESS, aside).
Can she sustain the news? Is she prepared?

COUNTESS.
Not yet.

WALLENSTEIN.
Come here, my sweet girl! Seat thee by me,
For there is a good spirit on thy lips.
Thy mother praised to me thy ready sk**;
She says a voice of melody dwells in thee,
Which doth enchant the soul. Now such a voice
Will drive away from me the evil demon
That beats his black wings close above my head.

DUCHESS.
Where is thy lute, my daughter? Let thy father
Hear some small trial of thy sk**.

THEKLA.
My mother
I——

DUCHESS.
Trembling? Come, collect thyself. Go, cheer
Thy father.

THEKLA.
O my mother! I—I cannot.

COUNTESS.
How, what is that, niece?

THEKLA
(to the COUNTESS).
O spare me—sing—now—in this sore anxiety,
Of the overburdened soul—to sing to him
Who is thrusting, even now, my mother headlong
Into her grave.

DUCHESS.
How, Thekla! Humorsome!
What! shall thy father have expressed a wish
In vain?

COUNTESS.
Here is the lute.

THEKLA.
My God! how can I——

  [The orchestra plays. During the ritornello THEKLA expresses in her
   gestures and countenance the struggle of her feelings; and at the
   moment that she should begin to sing, contracts herself together, as
   one shuddering, throws the instrument down, and retires abruptly.

DUCHESS.
My child! Oh, she is ill——

WALLENSTEIN.
What ails the maiden?
Say, is she often so?

COUNTESS.
Since then herself
Has now betrayed it, I too must no longer
Conceal it.

WALLENSTEIN.
What?

COUNTESS.
She loves him!

WALLENSTEIN.
Loves him? Whom?

COUNTESS.
Max. does she love! Max. Piccolomini!
Hast thou never noticed it? Nor yet my sister?

DUCHESS.
Was it this that lay so heavy on her heart?
[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/s-t-coleridge/-/the-d**h-of-wallenstein-act-3-scene-4.html]
God's blessing on thee,—my sweet child! Thou needest
Never take shame upon thee for thy choice.

COUNTESS.
This journey, if 'twere not thy aim, ascribe it
To thine own self. Thou shouldst have chosen another
To have attended her.

WALLENSTEIN.
And does he know it?

COUNTESS.
Yes, and he hopes to win her.

WALLENSTEIN.
Hopes to win her!
Is the boy mad?

COUNTESS.
Well—hear it from themselves.

WALLENSTEIN.
He thinks to carry off Duke Friedland's daughter!
Ay? The thought pleases me.
The young man has no groveling spirit.

COUNTESS.
Since
Such and such constant favor you have shown him——

WALLENSTEIN.
He chooses finally to be my heir.
And true it is, I love the youth; yea, honor him.
But must he therefore be my daughter's husband?
Is it daughters only? Is it only children
That we must show our favor by?

DUCHESS.
His noble disposition and his manners——

WALLENSTEIN.
Win him my heart, but not my daughter.

DUCHESS.
Then
His rank, his ancestors——

WALLENSTEIN.
Ancestors! What?
He is a subject, and my son-in-law
I will seek out upon the thrones of Europe.

DUCHESS
O dearest Albrecht! Climb we not too high
Lest we should fall too low.

WALLENSTEIN.
What! have I paid
A price so heavy to ascend this eminence,
And jut out high above the common herd,
Only to close the mighty part I play
In life's great drama with a common kinsman?
Have I for this——
  [Stops suddenly, repressing himself.
   She is the only thing
That will remain behind of me on earth;
And I will see a crown around her head,
Or die in the attempt to place it there.
I hazard all—all! and for this alone,
To lift her into greatness.
Yea, in this moment, in the which we are speaking
  [He recollects himself.
And I must now, like a soft-hearted father,
Couple together in good peasant fashion
The pair that chance to suit each other's liking—
And I must do it now, even now, when I
Am stretching out the wreath that is to twine
My full accomplished work—no! she is the j**el,
Which I have treasured long, my last, my noblest,
And 'tis my purpose not to let her from me
For less than a king's sceptre.

DUCHESS.
O my husband!
You're ever building, building to the clouds,
Still building higher, and still higher building,
And ne'er reflect, that the poor narrow basis
Cannot sustain the giddy tottering column.

WALLENSTEIN
(to the COUNTESS).
Have you announced the place of residence
Which I have destined for her?

COUNTESS.
No! not yet,
'Twere better you yourself disclosed it to her.

DUCHESS.
How? Do we not return to Carinthia then?

WALLENSTEIN.
No.

DUCHESS.
And to no other of your lands or seats?

WALLENSTEIN.
You would not be secure there.

DUCHESS.
Not secure.
In the emperor's realms, beneath the emperor's
Protection?

WALLENSTEIN.
Friedland's wife may be permitted
No longer to hope that.

DUCHESS.
O God in heaven!
And have you brought it even to this!

WALLENSTEIN.
In Holland
You'll find protection.

DUCHESS
In a Lutheran country?
What? And you send us into Lutheran countries?

WALLENSTEIN.
Duke Franz of Lauenburg conducts you thither.

DUCHESS.
Duke Franz of Lauenburg?
The ally of Sweden, the emperor's enemy.

WALLENSTEIN.
The emperor's enemies are mine no longer.

DUCHESS
(casting a look of terror on the DUKE and the COUNTESS).
Is it then true? It is. You are degraded
Deposed from the command? O God in heaven!

COUNTESS
(aside to the DUKE).
Leave her in this belief. Thou seest she cannot
Support the real truth.

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