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But. No! he shall die awake.

Gor.

[Is going.

His heart still cleaves

To earthly things: he's not prepared to step

Into the presence of his God!

But. (going)

God's merciful!

Gor. (holds him.) Grant him but this night's respite.

But. (hurrying off.)

May ruin all.

Gor. (holds him still.) One hour!.
But.

Can that short respite profit him!

Gor.

The next moment

Unhold me! What

O-Time

Works miracles. In one hour many thousands
Of grains of sand run out; and quick as they
Thought follows thought within the human soul.
Only one hour! Your heart may change its purpose,
His heart may change its purpose-some new tidings
May come; some fortunate event, decisive,

May fall from Heaven and rescue him. O what
May not one hour achieve!

But.

You but remind me,

How precious every minute is!

[He stamps on the floor.

SCENE V. To these enter MACDONALD, and DEVEREUX, with the

Halberdiers.

Gor. (throwing himself between him and them.) No, monster! First over my dead body thou shalt tread.

I will not live to see the accursed deed!

But. (forcing him out of the way.) Weak-hearted dotard!

Dev. and Mac.

[Trumpets are heard in the distance. Hark! The Swedish trumpets! Let us hasten!

The Swedes before the ramparts!
Gor. (rushes out.) O God of Mercy!
But. (calling after him.)

Governor, to your post!

Groom of the Chamber (hurries in.) Who dares make larum here?

Hush! The Duke sleeps.

Dev. (with loud harsh voice.) Friend, it is time now to make larum. Groom of the Chamber.

Murder!

But.

Down with him!

Help!

Groom of the Chamber (run through the body by DEVEREUX, falls at the entrance of the gallery.) Jesus Maria!

But. Burst the doors open!

[They rush over the body into the gallery-two doors are heard to crash one after the other-Voices deadened by the distance-Clash of arms-then all at once a profound silence.

SCENE VI.

Countess Tertsky (with a light.) Her bed-chamber is empty; she
herself

Is nowhere to be found! The Neubrunn too,

Who watched by her, is missing. If she should
Be flown-But whither flown? We must call up
Every soul in the house. How will the Duke
Bear up against these worst bad tidings? O
If that my husband now were but returned
Home from the banquet: Hark! I wonder whether
The Duke is still awake! I thought I heard
Voices and tread of feet here! I will go

And listen at the door. Hark! What is that?
'Tis hastening up the steps!

SCENE VII.-Countess, GORDON.

Gor. (rushes in out of breath.) 'Tis a mistake,
'Tis not the Swedes—Ye must proceed no further—

Butler!

O God! Where is he? [Then observing the COUNTESS.
Countess! Say-

Coun. You are come then from the castle?

husband!

Where's my

Gor. (in an agony of affright.) Your husband!—Ask not!—To

Coun.

the Duke-

You have discovered to me-

Gor.

Not till

On this moment

Does the world hang. For God's sake! to the Duke.
While we are speaking—

[Calling loudly.

Butler! Butler! God!

Coun. Why, he is at the castle with my husband.

[BUTLER comes from the gallery.

Gor. 'Twas a mistake-'Tis not the Swedes-it is
The Imperialist's Lieutenant-General
Has sent me hither, will be here himself
Instantly. You must not proceed.

He comes

[GORDON dashes himself against the wall.

But.
Too late.
Gor.
Coun.
What too late?
Who will be here himself? Octavio

O God of mercy!

In Egra? Treason! Treason! Where's the Duke?

[She rushes to the gallery.

SCENE VIII.-(Servants run across the stage full of terror.
whole Scene must be spoken entirely without pauses.)
Seni. (from the gallery.) O bloody frightful deed!

Coun.

Page. (from the gallery.) O piteous sight!

The

What is it, Seni?

[Other Servants hasten in with torches.

And do you ask?

Coun. What is it? For God's sake!
Seni.
Within the Duke lies murder'd-and your husband
Assassinated at the Castle.

[The COUNTESS stands motionless.

Female Servant. (rushing across the stage.) Help! Help! the

Duchess!

Burgomaster. (enters.) What mean these confused

Loud cries, that wake the sleepers of this house?
Gor. Your house is cursed to all eternity.

In your house doth the Duke lie murdered!
Bur. (rushing out.)

1st. Ser. Fly! fly! they murder us all!
2nd. Ser. (carrying silver plate.)
Passages are blocked up.

Heaven forbid !

That way! The lower

Voice. (from behind the Scene.) Make room for the Lieutenant

General !

[At these words the COUNTESS starts from her stupor, collects
herself, and retires suddenly.

Voice. (from behind the Scene.) Keep back the people! Guard
the door!

SCENE IX.-To these enters OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI with all his
train. At the same time DEVEREUX and MACDONALD enter
from out the Corridor with the Halberdiers. WALLENSTEIN'S
dead body is carried over the back part of the stage, wrapped in a
piece of crimson tapestry.

Oct. (entering abruptly.) It must not be! It is not possible!
Butler! Gordon !

I'll not believe it. Say no!

[GORDON, without answering, points with his hand to the
body of WALLENSTEIN as it is carried over the back of
the stage. OCTAVIO looks that way, and stands over-
powered with horror.

Dev. (to BUTLER.) Here is the golden fleece-the Duke's sword-
Mac. Is it your order-

But. (pointing to OCTAVIO.) Here stands he who now
Hath the sole power to issue orders.

[DEVEREUX and MACDONALD retire with marks of obei
sance. One drops away after the other, till only
BUTLER, OCTAVIO, and GORDON remain on the
stage.

E E

Oct. (turning to BUTLER.) Was that my purpose, Butler, when we parted?

O God of Justice!

To thee I lift my hand! I am not guilty

[blocks in formation]

Thus to abuse the orders of thy Lord

And stain thy Emperor's holy name with murder,

With bloody, most accursed assassination?

But. (calmly.) I've but fulfilled the Emperor's own sentence.
Oct. O curse of Kings,

Infusing a dread life into their words,

And linking to the sudden transient thought

The unchangeable irrevocable deed.

Was there necessity for such an eager

Despatch? Could'st thou not grant the merciful

A time for mercy? Time is man's good Angel.
To leave no interval between the sentence,

And the fulfilment of it, doth beseem

God only, the immutable!

But.

For what

Rail you against me? What is my offence?
The Empire from a fearful enemy
Have I delivered, and expect reward.
The single difference betwixt you and me
Is this you placed the arrow in the bow;

I pulled the string. You sow'd blood, and yet stand
Astonished that blood is come up. I always
Knew what I did, and therefore no result
Hath power to frighten or surprise my spirit.
Have you aught else to order; for this instant

I make my best speed to Vienna; place

My bleeding sword before my Emperor's Throne,
And hope to gain the applause which undelaying
And punctual obedience may demand

From a just judge.

[Exit BUTLER.

SCENE X.-To these enter the COUNTESS TERTSKY, pale and disordered. Her utterance is slow and feeble, and unimpassioned.

Oct. (meeting her.) O Countess Tertsky! These are the results Of luckless unblest deeds.

Coun.
They are the fruits
Of your contrivances. The Duke is dead,
My husband too is dead, the Duchess struggles
In the pangs of death, my niece has disappeared.
This house of splendour, and of princely glory,
Doth now stand desolated: the affrighted servants
Rush forth through all its doors. I am the last

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