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THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN.

A TRAGEDY. IN FIVE ACTS.

PREFACE OF THE TRANSLATOR.

THE two Dramas, PICCOLOMINI, or the first part of WALLENSTEIN, and WALLENSTEIN, are introduced in the original manuscript by a Prelude in one Act, entitled WALLENSTEIN'S CAMP. This is written in rhyme, and in ninesyllable verse, in the same lilting metre (if that expression may be permitted) with the second Eclogue of Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar.

This Prelude possesses a sort of broad humour, and is not deficient in character; but to have translated it into prose, or into any other metre than that of the original, would have given a false idea both of its style and purport; to have translated it into the same metre would have been incompatible with a faithful adherence to the sense of the German, from the comparative poverty of our language in rhymes; and it would have been unadvisable from the incongruity of those lax verses with the present taste of the English Public. Schiller's intention seems to have been merely to have prepared his reader for the Tragedies by a lively picture of the laxity of discipline, and the mutinous dispositions of Wallenstein's soidiery. It is not necessary as a preliminary explanation. For these reasons it has been thought expedient not to translate it.

The admirers of Schiller, who have abstracted their idea of that author from the Robbers, and the Cabal and Love, plays in which the main interest is produced by the excitement of curiosity, and in which the curiosity is excited by terrible and extraordinary incident, will not have perused without some portion of disappointment the Dramas, which it has been my employment to translate. They should, however, reflect that these are Historical Dramas, taken from a popular German History; that we must therefore judge of them in some measure with the feelings of Germans; or by analogy, with the interest excited in us by similar Dramas in our own language. Few, I trust, would be rash or ignorant enough to compare Schiller with Shakspeare; yet, merely as illustration, I would say that we should proceed to the perusal of Wallenstein, not from Lear or Othello, but from Richard the Second, or the three parts of Henry the Sixth. We scarcely expect rapidity in an Historical Drama; and many prolix speeches are pardoned from characters, whose names and actions have formed the most amusing tales of our early life. On the other hand, there exist in these plays more individual beauties, more passages, whose excellence will bear reflection, than in the former productions of Schiller. The description of the Astrological Tower, and the reflections of the Young Lover, which follow it, form in the original a fine poem ; and my translation must have been wretched indeed, if it can have wholly overclouded the beauties of the Scene in the first Act of the first Play between Questenberg, Max. and Octavio Piccolomini. If we except the Scene of the setting sun in the Robbers, I know of no part in Schiller's Plays which equals the whole of the first Scene of the fifth Act of the concluding Play. It would be unbecoming in me to be more diffuse on this subject. A Translator stands connected with the original Author by a certain law of subordination, which makes it more decorous to point out excellencies than defects: indeed he is not likely to be a fair judge of either. The pleasure or disgust from his own labour will mingle with the feelings that arise from an afterview of the original. Even in the first perusal of a work in any foreign language which we understand, we are apt to attribute to it more excellence than it really possesses from our own pleasurable sense of difficulty overcome without effort. Translation of poetry into poetry is difficult, because the Translator must give a brilliancy to his language without that warmth of original conception, from which such brilliancy would follow of its

own accord. But t' e Translator of a living Author is encumbered with additional inconveniencies. If he render his original faithfully, as to the sense of each passage, he must necessarily destroy a considerable portion of the spirit; if he endeavour to give a work executed according to laws of compensation, he subjects himself to imputations of vanity, or misrepresentation. I have thought it my duty to remain bound by the sense of my original, with as few exceptions as the nature of the languages rendered possible. S. T. COLERIDGE.

DRAMATIS PERSONEÆ.

WALLENSTEIN, Duke of Friedland, Generalissimo of the Imperial Forces in the Thirty-years' War.

DUCHESS OF FRIEDLAND, Wife of WALLENStein.
THEKLA, her Daughter, Princess of Friedland.
THE COUNTESS TERTSKY, Sister of the Duchess.

LADY NEUBRUNN.

OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI, Lieutenant General.

MAX. PICCOLOMINI, his Son, Colonel of a Regiment of Cuirassiers.

COUNT TERTSKY, the Commander of several Regiments, and Brother-in-law of WALLENSTEIN.

ILLO, Field Marshal, WALLENSTEIN'S Confidant.

BUTLER, an Irishman, Commander of a Regiment of Dragoons.

GORDON, Governor of Egra.

MAJOR GERALDIN.

CAPTAIN DEVEREUX.

CAPTAIN MACDONALD.

NEUMANN, Captain of Cavalry, Aide-de-Camp to TERTSKY.
SWEDISH CAPTAIN.

SENI.

BURGOMASTER of Egra.

ANSPESSADE of the Cuirassiers.

GROOM OF THE CHAMBER,Belonging to the Duke.

A PAGE,

CUIRASSIERS, DRAGOONS, SERVANTS.

ACT I.

SCENE I.-A Chamber in the house of the DUCHESS of FRIEDLAND. COUNTESS TERTSKY, THEKLA, LADY NEUBRUNN. (The two latter sit at the same table at work.)

Coun. (watching them from the opposite side.) So you have nothing, niece, to ask me? Nothing?

I have been waiting for a word from you,

And could you then endure in all this time
Not once to speak his name?

[THEKLA remaining silent, the Countess rises and advances
to her.

Why, how comes this?

Perhaps I am already grown superfluous,

And other ways exist, besides through me?

Confess it to me, Thekla! have you seen him?

Thek. To-day and yesterday I have not seen him.

Coun. And not heard from him either? Come, be open!
Thek. No syllable.

Coun.

Thek. I am.

Coun.

And still you are so calm?

May't please you, leave us, Lady Neubrunn !

[Exit LADY NEUBRUNN.

SCENE II.-The COUNTESS, THEKLA.

Coun. It does not please me, Princess! that he holds Himself so still, exactly at this time.

Thek. Exactly at this time?
Coun.

He now knows all.

"Twere now the moment to declare himself.

Thek. If I'm to understand you, speak less darkly. Coun. 'Twas for that purpose that I bade her leave us. Thekla, you are no more a child. Your heart

Is now no more in nonage: for you love,

And boldness dwells with love-that you have proved.
Your nature moulds itself upon your father's

More than your mother's spirit. Therefore may you
Hear, what were too much for her fortitude.

Thek. Enough! no further preface, I entreat you.
At once, out with it! Be it what it may,

It is not possible that it should torture me
More than this introduction.

What have you

To say to me? Tell me the whole, and briefly!
Coun. You'll not be frightened—

Thek.

Name it, I entreat you.

Coun. It lies within your power to do your father A weighty service

Thek.

Lies within my power?

Coun. Max. Piccolomini loves you. You can link him Indissolubly to your father.

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Not more than duty

We ask

Should he not be so now-not be so always?

Coun. He cleaves to the Emperor too.
Thek.

And honour may demand of him.

Coun.

Proofs of his love, and not proofs of his honour.
Duty and honour!

Those are ambiguous words with many meanings.
You should interpret them for him : his love
Should be the sole definer of his honour.

Thek. How?

Coun.
The Emperor or you must he renounce,
Thek. He will accompany my father gladly
In his retirement. From himself you heard,
How much he wished to lay aside the sword.

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Coun. He must not lay the sword aside, we mean; He must unsheath it in your father's cause.

Thek. He'll spend with gladness and alacrity His life, his heart's blood in my father's cause. If shame or injury be intended him.

Coun. You will not understand me. Well, hear then! Your father has fallen off from the Emperor, And is about to join the enemy

With the whole soldiery—

Thek.

Alas, my mother!

Coun. There needs a great example to draw on
The army after him. The Piccolomini
Possess the love and reverence of the troops;
They govern all opinions, and wherever
They lead the way, none hesitate to follow.
The son secures the father to our interests-
You've much in your hands at this moment.
Thek.

Ah,

My miserable mother! what a death-stroke
Awaits thee !-No! She never will survive it.
Coun. She will accommodate her soul to that
Which is and must be. I do know your mother.
The far-off future weighs upon her heart
With torture of anxiety; but is it
Unalterably, actually present,

She soon resigns herself, and bears it calmly.
Thek. O my foreboding bosom ! Even now,
E'en now, 'tis here, that icy hand of horror!
And my young hope lies shuddering in its grasp.
I knew it well-no sooner had I entered,

An heavy ominous presentiment

Revealed to me, that spirits of death were hovering

Over my happy fortune. But why think I

First of myself? My mother! O my mother!

Coun. Calm yourself! Break not out in vain lamenting!

Preserve you for your father the firm friend,

And for yourself the lover, all will yet

Prove good and fortunate.

Thek. Prove good? What good?

Must we not part? Part ne'er to meet again?

Coun. He parts not from you! He cannot part from you. Thek. Alas for his sore anguish! It will rend

His heart asunder.

Coun.

If indeed he loves you,

His resolution will be speedily taken.

Thek. His resolution will be speedily takenO do not doubt of that! A resolution!

Does there remain one to be taken?

Hush!

Coun.
Collect yourself! I hear your mother coming.
Thek. How shall I bear to see her?
Coun.

Collect yourself.

SCENE III.-To them enter the DUCHESS.

Duch. (to the COUNTESS.) Who was here, sister? I heard some one talking,

And passionately too.

Coun.

Nay! There was no one.

Duch. I am grown so timorous, every trifling noise

Scatters my spirits, and announces to me

The footstep of some messenger of evil.

And can you tell me, sister, what the event is?
Will he agree to do the Emperor's pleasure,
And send the horse-regiments to the Cardinal?
Tell me, has he dismissed Von Questenberg
With a favourable answer?

Coun.

No, he has not.

Duch. Alas! then all is lost! I see it coming,
The worst that can come! Yes, they will depose him ;
The accursed business of the Regenspurg diet

Will all be acted o'er again!

Coun.

No! never!

Make your heart easy, sister, as to that.

[THEKLA, in extreme agitation, throws herself upon her mother, and enfolds her in her arms, weeping.

Duch. Yes, my poor child!

Thou too hast lost a most affectionate godmother

In the Empress. O that stern unbending man!
In this unhappy marriage what have I

Not suffered, not endured. For ev'n as if

I had been linked on to some wheel of fire

That restless, ceaseless, whirls impetuous onward,

I have passed a life of frights and horrors with him,
And ever to the brink of some abyss

With dizzy headlong violence he whirls me.

Nay, do not weep, my child! Let not my sufferings
Presignify unhappiness to thee,

Nor blacken with their shade the fate that waits thee.
There lives no second Friedland: thou, my child,

Hast not to fear thy mother's destiny.

Thek. O let us supplicate him, dearest mother!

Quick! quick! here's no abiding-place for us.
Here every coming hour broods into life

Some new affrightful monster.

Duch.

Thou wilt share

An easier, calmer lot, my child! We too,

I and thy father, witnessed happy days.

Still think I with delight of those first years,
When he was making progress with glad effort,
When his ambition was a genial fire,

Not that consuming flame which now it is.
The Emperor loved him, trusted him: and all
He undertook could not but be successful.

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