Friedrich Schiller.

The works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) online

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KING

Nay, if you know so well how future times
Will judge me, let them leani at least from you,
That when I found a man, I could respect him.

MAEQUIS.

let not the most just of kings, at once

Be the most unjust ! In your realm of Flanders,

There are a thousand better men than I.

But you — Sire ! may I dare to say so much —

For the first time, perhaps, see liberty

In milder form portrayed.

KING [with gentle severity).

No more of this.
Young man ! You would, I know, think otherwise
Had you but leani'd to understand mankind
As 1. — But truly — I would not this meeting
Should prove our last. — How can I hope to win you?

I «■



116 DOM OABLOS. | ACT III.

MARQUIS.

Pray leave me as I am. What value, Sire,
Should I be to you, were you to corrupt me ?

EI>G.

This pride I will not bear. From this day forth

I hold you in my semce. — No remonstrance —

For I will have it so. [After a piuM

But how is this ?
What would I now? Was it not truth I wish'd?
But here is something more. Marquis, so far
You've leam'd to know me as a King ; but yet
You know me not as man —

\^The Marquis seems to meditate,
I understand you —
Were I the most unfortunate of fathers.
Yet as a husband may I not be blest ?

MAEQUIS

If the possession of a hopeful son,

And a most lovely spouse, confer a claim

On mortal, to assume that title, Sire,

In both respects, you are supremely blest.

KING (with a serious look).
That am I not — and never, till this hour.
Have I so deeply felt that I am not so.

[Contemplating the Marquis with a look of melancholy

MARQUIS.

The Prince possesses a right noble mind.
I ne'er have known him otherwise.

KING.

I have !
The treasui'e he has robb'd me of, no crown
Can e'er requite. — So virtuous a Queen !

MARQUIS,

Who dare assert it, Sire ?

KING.

The world ! and scandal !
And I myself! Here lie the damning proofs
Of doubtless guilt — and others, too, exist,
From which I fear the worst. But still 'tis hard
To trust one proof alone. — Who brings the chai'go?



sex.] DON CARLOS. 117

And ' if this were possible — that she,

The Queen, so foully could pollute her houour.

Then how much easier were it to believe

An Eboli may be a slanderer !

Does not that Priest detest my son and her ?

And can I doubt that Alva broods revenge ?

My wife has higher worth than all together.

MARQUIS.

And there exists besides in woman's soul,
A treasure, Sire, beyond all outward show.
Above the reach of slander — female virtue !

KING.

Marquis ! those thoughts are mine. It costs too much

To sink so low as they accuse the Queen.

The sacred ties of honour are not broken

With so much ease, as some would fain persuade me

Marquis, you know mankind. Just such a man

As you I long have wish'd for — you are kind —

Cheerful — and deeply versed in human nature —

Therefore I've chosen you

MARQUIS (surprised and alarmed).
Me, Sire '

KINO

You slaud
Before your King and ask no special favour —
For yourself nothing ! — that is new to me —
You will be just — ne'er weakly swayed by passion.
Watch my son close — search the Queen's inmost heart,
You shall have power to speak with her in private.
Retire [He rings a hell.

MARQUIS.

And if with but one hope fulfill'd
I now depart, then is this day indeed
The happiest of my life.

KING (holds out his hand to him to Jciss).
1 hold it not
Amongst my days a lost one.
[The Marquis rises and goes. Count Lerma enters.

Count, in future,
Tlio Marquis is to enter, unannounced.



118 DON rARi;OS. [act IV.

ACT IV.

SCEXE I

The Queens Apartment.
Queen, Duchess Olivarez, Princess Eboli, Codntess

FUENTES.

QUEEN {to the first Lady. as she rises).
And so the key has not been found ! My casket
Must be forced open then — and that at once.

[She observes Princess Eboli, who approaches aiid
kisses her hand.
Welcome, dear Princess ! I rejoice to see you
So near recover'd. But you still look pale.

FUENTES {with malice).

The fault of that vile fever -which affects
The nerves so painfully. Is't not, Princess^

QUEEN.

I wish'd to Adsit you, dear Eboli,
But dared not.

OLIVAREZ.

0! the Princess Eboli
Was not in want of company.

QUEEN.

Why that
I readily believe, but what's the matter ?
You ti'emble

PRINCESS.

Nothing — nothing gracious Queen.
Permit me to retire.

QUEEN.

You hide it from us —
And are far worse than you would have us think
Standing must weary you. Assist her, Countess,
And let her rest awhile upon that seat

PRINCESS {(joing)
r shall be better in the open air.



(=0.111.] DON CAKLOS 119

QUEEN.

Attend her, Countess. What a sudden illness .

[A Pale enters and speaks to the DocHBSS, who then ad-
dresses the Queen.

OLIVAEEZ.

The Marquis Posa waits, your Majesty,
\Tith orders from the Iving.

QUEEN.

Admit him then.
[Page admits the Mabquis and exit.

Scene II.

Marquis Posa. The former.

The Marquis falls on one knee before the Queen, who signs to

him to rise.

queen.
What are my Lord's commands ? And may I dare
Thus publicly to hear

marquis.

My business is
In private with your royal Majesty.

[The Ladies retire on a signal from the QuEEN.

Scene III.

The Queen, Marquis Posa

queen {full of astonishment).
How ! Marquis, dare I trust my eyes ? Are you
Oommission'd to me from the King ?

MARQUIS

Does this
Seem such a wonder to your Majesty ?
To me 'tis otherwise.

queen
The world must sure
Have wandered from its course ! That you and he—
I must confess



120 DON CARLOS. [aCT IV.

MAKQUIS.

It does sound some\vhfit strange —
Bai oe it so. Tlie present times abound
In prodigies.

QUEEN.

But none can equal this.

MARQUIS.

Suppose I had at last allow'd myself

To be converted, and had weary grown

Of playing the eccentric at the court

Of Ph'ilip. The eccentric ! What is that?

He who would be of service to mankind,

Must first endeavour to resemble them.

What end is gain'd by the vain-glorious garb

Of the sectarian ? Then suppose — for who

From vanity is so completely' free

As for liis creed to seek no proselytes ? —

Suppose, I say, I had it in my mind

To place my own opinions on the throne !

QUEEN.

No marquis ! no ! Not even in jest could I
Suspect you of so wild a scheme as this —
No visionary you ! — to undertake
What you can ne'er accomplish.

MARQUIS.

But that seems
To be the veiy point at issue

QUEEN

What
I chiefly blame you. Marquis, for, and what
Gould well estrange me from you — is —

MARQUIS

Perhaps
Duplicity !

QUEEN

At least — a want of candour.
Perhaps the King himself has no desire
You sho'ild impart, what now you mean to tell me.

MABQUIS.

No



SC. III. DON CARLOS. 121

QUEKN.

And can evil means be jiLstiflcd
By honest ends ? And — pardon me tlie doubt —
Can your high bearing stoop to such an office ?
I scarce can think it

MARQUIS,

Nor, indeed, could 1,
Were my sole purpose to deceive the King.
Tis not my wish — I mean to serve him now
More honestly than he himself commands.

QUEEN.

'Tis sj)oken like yourself. Enough of this —
What would the King ?

MARQUIS.

The King ? I can, it seems,
Retaliate quickly on my rigid judge :
And what I have deferr'd so long to tell,
i^our Majesty, perhaps, would willingly
Longer defer to hear. But still it must
Be heard. The King requests your Majesty
Will grant no audience to the ambassador
Of France to-day. Such were my high commands — •
They're executed.

QUEEN.

Marquis, is that all
You have to tell me from him ?

MARQUIS.

Nearly au
That justifies m,e thus to seek your presence.

QUEEN.

Well, Marquis, I'm contented not to hear
What should, perhaps, remain a secret from me.

MARQUIS.

True, Queen ! though were you other than yourself,
I should inform you sti'aight of certain things —
Warn you of certain men — but this to you
Were a vain office. Danger may arise
And disappear around you, uuperceived.
You will not know it — of too little weight
To chase the slumber firm your angel brow.



122



DON CARLOS.



[act it



I bring few words —



But 'twas not this, in sooth, that brought me liither,
Prince Carlos

QUEEN.

What of him ? How have you left him ?

MARQUIS.

E'en as the only wise man of his time,
Tn whom it is a crime to worship truth —
And ready, for his love to risk his life,
As the wse sage for his.
But here he is himself

[Giving the Qoeen a letter,

QUEEN {after she had read it).

He says he must
Speak with me —

MARQUIS.

So do I.

QUEEN.

And 'vill he thus
Bo happ}' — when he sees with his ovm. eyes.
That I am wretched?



More active



How?



To Flanders.



MARQUIS.

No ; but more resolved,

QUEEN.
MARQUIS.

Duke Alva is appointed



QUEEN.

Yes, appointed — so I hear.

MARQUIS.

The King cannot retract : — we know the King.
This much is clear, the Prince must not remaiii
Here in Madnd, nor Flanders be abandon 'd.

QUKEX.

And can you hinder it ?

MARQUIS.

Perhaps T can.
But then the means are dangerous as the evil — -
Rash as despair — and yet I know no other.



BO. III.] DON C/RL08 123

QT3EEN.

Nam J them.

MARQl]IS.

To you, and you alone, my Queen,
Will 1 reveal them : for from you alone,
Carlos will hear them named, without a shudder
The name they bear is somewhat harsh.

QDKEN.

Rebellion 1

MABQUI8.

He must prove faithless to the King, and fly
With secrecy to Brussels, where the Flemings
Wait him with open arms. The Netherlands
Will rise at his command. Our glorious cause
From the King's son will gather matchless strength
The Spanish throne shall tremble at his arms,
And what his sire denied him in Madrid,
That will he willingly concede in Brussels

QUEEN.

You've spoken \rith the King to-day — and yet
Maintain all this.

MARQDIS.

Yes, I maintain it all,
Because I spoke with him.

QUEEN [after a pause).

The daring plan
Alarms and pleases me. You may he right —
The thought is bold, and that perhaps enchants me.
Let it but ripen. Does Prince Carlos know it "''

MARQUIS.

It was my wish that he should hear it first
From your own lips.

QUEEN.

The plan is doubtless good,
But then the Prince's vouth



124 " DON CARLOS. 'act IV.

MAEQUIS.

No disadvanJ-age!
He there ynW find the bravest generals
Of th' Emperor Charles — an Egmont and an Orange—
In battle daiing, and in council wise

QUEEN [tcith vivacity).
True — the design is grand and beautiful !
The Prince must act : I feel it sensibly.
The part he's doom'd to play here in Madrid
Has bow'd me to the dust, on his account.
I promise him the aid of France and Savoy ;
I think with you, Lord Marquis — he must act —
But this design needs money —

MARQUIS

It is ready

QUEEN



I, too, know means.
Of seeing you ?



MARQUIS.

IMay I then give him hopes



QUEEN.

I will consider it.

MARQUIS.

The Prince, my Queen, is urgent for an answer.
I promised to procure it.

[Presenting his writing tablet to the QuEEN.
Two short lines
Will be enough.

QUEEN (after she has written).
When do we meet again ?

MARQUIS.

Whene'er you wish.

QUEEN.

Whene'er I wish it, Marqnis!
How can I mulerstand this privilege ?

MARQUIS.

As innocently, Queen, as e'er you may.
But we enjoy it — that is sure enough



so. I\'.] DUN CAKLOS 125

QUEEN {interruiitlng).
How will my heart I'ejoice, should this become
A refuge for the liberties of Europe,
And this through him ! Count on my silent aid !

MAKQUis (with animaticn).
Right well I knew your heart would understand me

[The Duchess Olivarez enters
QUEEN {coldly to the marquis).
M\ Lord ! the King's commands I shall respect
As law Assure him of the Queen s submission.

[She makes a sign to him. Exit Maequis.

Scene IV

A Gallery.

Don CAiiLOs, Count Lerma.

CAELOS.

Here we are undisturb'd. What would you now
Impart to me ?

LERMA.

Your Highness had a friend
Here at the Court.

CARLOS {starting).
A friend ! I knew it not !
But what's your meaning ?

LERMA.

I must sue for pardoi'
That I am leam'd in more than I should know.
But for your Highness' comfort, I've received it
From one I may depend upon, — in short,
I have it from myself,

CARLOS.

Whom speak you of ?

LERMA.

The Marquis Posa.

CARLOS.

What !

LERMA.

And if your HighuesB
Has trusted to him, more of what concerns you,
Than every one should know, as I am led
To fear—



126 DON CAELCS. I ACT IV.

CAKLOS



"iou fear



I.KRMA

He has been with the King

CARLOS.



Indeed !



Indeed !



LEEMA.

Two hours in secret converse too

CARLOS.



LERiLA.

The subject was no trifling matter.

CARLOS.

That I can well believe.

LERIIA

And several times
I heard your name.

CARLOS.

That's no bad sign. T hope.

• LERMA

And then, this morning, in the Kitig's apartment.
The Queen was spoken of mysteriously.

CARLOS (starts back astonished).
Count Lerma !

LEEMA.

T\Tien the iMarquis had retired,
I was commanded to admit his lordship,
In future, imannoimced.

CARLOS.

Astonishing !

LEEMA.

And without precedent, do I believe,
Long as I've sensed the King —

CARLOS.

'Tis Strange, indeed J
How did you say the Queen was spoken of ?

LEEMA (steps back).
No, no, my Prince ! — that were against my duty.

CARLOS.

Tis somewhat strange ! One secret you impart,
The other you withhold.



so. v.] DON CARLOS. 127

LERMA.

The first was due
To you, the other to the King.

CARLOS

You're right

LERMA.

And still I've thought you, Prince, a man of honour

CARLOS.

Then you have judged me truly.

LERMA.

But all virtue
Is spotless till it's tried

CARLOS.

Some stand the trial.

LERilA.

A powerful Monarch's favour is a prize
Worth seeking for;, and this alluring bait
Has ruin'd many a viitue.

CABL08.

Truly said !

LERILA.

And oftentimes 'tis prudent to discover
What scarce can longer be conceal'd.

CARLOS.

Yes, prudent
It may be, but you say you've ever known
The Marquis prove himself a man of honour

LERMA.

And if he be so still, my fears are harmless.

And you become a double gainer, Prince. [Going.

CARLOS { follows him with emotion, and presses his hand).
Trebly I giiin, upright and worthy man,
I gain another friend, nor lose the one
Whom I before possess'd. [Exit Lerma.

Scene V.
Marqihs Posa comes through the Galley. Carlos

MARQUIS.

Carlos ! My Carlos '



128 I>ON CARLOS. [act IV.

CARLOS.

Who calls me ? Ah ! 'tis thou — I was in haste

To gain the convent'! You ■will not delay. [Ooing

MARQUIS.

Hold ! for a moment.

CARLOS.

We may he observed

MARQUIS.

No chance of that. 'Tis over now. The Quecu

CARLOS.

You've seen my father

MARQUIS.

Yes ! — he sent for me
CARLOS {full of expectation).
Well!

MARQUIS.

'Tis all settled — You may see the Queen.

CARLOS.

Yes ! but the King ! What said the King to you V

MARQUIS.

!Not much. Mere curiosity to learn

My histor}'. The zeal of unknown friends —

[ know not what. He offered me employment.

CARLOS.

Which you, of course, rejected ?

MARQUIS.

Yes, of course !

CARLOS.

How did you separate ?

MARQUIS.

well enough !

CARLOS.

A.nd was I mentioned ?

MARQUIS.

Yes ; in general terms
[Taking out a pocket-book and gii'inr/ it to the Prince.
See here are two lines written by the Queen,
To-morrow I vnW settle where and how.

CARLOS [reads it carelessly, imts the tablet in his
pocket, and is going).
You'll meet me at the Prior's?



SC. v.] DON CARLOS. 129

MARQUIS.

Yes! But stay —
Why in such haste ? No one is cominfr hither.

CARLOS {with a forced smile).
Have we in truth changed characters ? To-day
You seem so hold £ind confident.

MARQUIS.

To-day,—



Wherefore to-day ?



CARLOS.

What writes the Queen to me ?

MARQUIS.



Have you not read this instant?

CARLOS.



I ? Oh yes.



MARQUIS.

What is't disturbs you now ?

CARLOS (reads the tablet again, delighted and fervently).

Angel of Heaven !
I will be so, — I will be worthy of thee.
Love elevates great minds. So come what may,
Whatever thou commandest, I'll perform.
She writes that I must hold myself prepared
For a great enterprise ! "V^Tiat can she mean ?
Dost thou not know ?

MARQUIS.

And, Carlos, if T knew.
Say, art thou now prepai-ed to hear it from me ?

CARLOS.

Have I offended thee ? I was distracted —
Roderigo, pardon me.

MARQUIS.

Distracted ! How ?

CARLOS.

I scarcely know ! But may I keep this tablet ?

MARQUIS.

Not so ! I came to ask thee for thine own.

CARLOS.

My tablpt ! Why ?

E



130 DON CARLOS. [aCT IV.

MAEQTJIS.

And whatsoever writings
You liave, unfit to meet a stranger's eye-
Letters or memoraiKlums, and in short,
Your whole portfolio.

CA.BL08

Why?

MAEQUIS.

That we may oe
Prepared for accidents. Who can prevent
Surprise ? They'll never seek them in my keeping.
Here give them to me —

CARLOS (xmeasy).

Strange ! What can it mean \

MARQUIS.

Be not alarmed ! 'Tis nothing of importance !
A mere precaution to prevent surprise.
You need not be alarmed !

CARLOS [gives him the portfolio).
Be careful of it.

MARQUIS.

Be sure I will.

CARLOS {looks at him significantly).

I give thee much, Roderigo I —

MARQUIS

Not more than I have often had from thee.
The rest well talk of yonder. Now farewell. [Going.
CARLOS [struggling with himself, then calls him hack).
Give me my letters back — there's one amongst them
The Queen addressed to me at Alcala,
When I was sick to death. Still next my heart
[ cany it — to take this letter from me.
Goes to my very soul. But leave me that,
And take the rest.

[He takes it out, and returns ths portfolio.

MARQUIS.

I yield unwillingly —
For 'twas that letter which I most requir'd



so. ni.] DON CARLOS. 131

CARLOS

Farewell !

[He goes away slowly, stops a moment at the door, turns
hack again, and brings him the letter
You have it there.
[His hand trembles, tears start from his eyes, he falls on
the neck of the Marquis, and presses his face to hi»
bosom

not my father
Could do so much, Roderigo ! Not my father !

[Exit hastily.
Scene VI.

MARQUIS {looks after him with astonishment).
And is this possible ! And to this hour
Have I not known him fully '? In his heart
This blemish has escaped my eye. Distrust
Of me — his friend ! But no, 'tis calumny !
What hath he done, that I accuse him thus
Of weakest weakness. I myself commit
The fault I charge on him. What I have done
Might well surprise him ! When hath he displayed
To his best friend such absolute reserve ?
Carlos, 1 must afflict thee— there's no help —
And longer still distress thy noble soul.
In me the King hath placed his confidence,
His holiest trust reposed — as in a casket.
And this reliance calls for gratitude.
How can disclosure serve thee, when my silence
Brings thee no harm — serves thee, perhaps ? Ah ! Why
Point to the traveller the impending storm ?
Enough, if I direct it's anger past thee ! —
And when thou wak'st, the sky's again serene. [Exit

Scene YII.

The King's Cabinet.

The King seated, near him the Infanta Clara Er3EN:A.

king {after a deep silence).
No — she is sure my daughter — or can natui-e
Thus lie like truth ! Yes, that blue eye is mine !
And I am pictured in thy ev'ry feature —



132 DON CARLOS. [aCT IV.

Cliild of my love ! for sucli thou art — I fold thee

Thus to my heait — thou art my blood — [Starts and pauses.

My blood —

What's worse to fear ? Are not my features his ?

[Takes the miniature in his hand and looks first at the por-
trait, then at the mirror opposite, at last he throws it on the
ground, rises hastily, and pushes the Infanta from him.

A. way, away ! I'm lost in tliis abyss.

Scene VIII
Count Leema and the Krao

LERMA.

Her Majesty is in the antechamber

KING

What! Now?

LERMA.

And begs the favour of an audience.

KING.

Now! At this unaccustomed hour ! Not now —
I cannot see her yet.

LEEilA.

Here comes the Queen.

[Exit I.ERMA

Scene IX.
The King, the Queen enters, and the Infanta.
[The Infanta runs to meet the Queen and clings to her;
the Queen falls at the King's feet, who is silent, and
appears confused and embarrassed.

QUEEN.

My Lord ! My husband ! I'm constrained to seek
Justice before the throne !

KING.

What! Justice!

QUEEN.

Yes!
I'tn treated with dishonour at the Court !
My casket has be-en rifled.

KING.

What! Your casket?



8C. Viri.l DOS CARLOS. 133

QUEEn.

And things I highly value have beeu pluiider'A

KING.

Things that you highly value ?

QUEEN.

From the mooning
Wliich ignorant men's oflBciousness, perhaps
Might give to them — —

KING.

What's this ? Officiousness,
And meaning ! How ? But rise.

QUEEN.

Oh no, my hiisbaLd i
Not till you bind yourself, by sacred promise,
By virtue of your own authority.
To find th' offender out, and grant redress.
Or else dismiss my suite, which hides a thief.

KING.

But rise I — In such a posture ! — Pray you rise.

QUEEN (rises).
Tis some one of distinction — I know well ;
My casket held both diamonds and pearls
Of matchless value, but he only took
My letters.

KING.

May I ask

QUEEN.

Undoubtedly,
My husband. They were letters from the Priuce :
His miniature as well.

KING.

From whom ?

QUEEN.

The Prince,



Your son

To you ?



KING.



QUEEN.

Sent by the Prince to me.

KING.

What! From Prince Carlos ! Do you tell me that?



134 DOS CARLOS [act IV.

QCEEX.

Why not tell you, my husliand'!*

KING.

And not blush ?

QUEEN

What mean you? You must surely recollect

The letters, Carlos sent me to St. Germains,

With both Courts' full consent. Whether that leave

Extended to the portrait, or alone

His hasty hope dictated such a step,

I cannot now pretend to answer ; but

If even rash, it may at least be pardon'd

For thus much I may be his pledge — that then

He never thought the gift was for his mother.

[Observes the agitation of the KiNd
What moves you ? What's the matter ?
INFANTA [icho has found the miniature on the ground, and
has been playing with it, brings it to the queen).

Look, dear mother !
See what a pretty picttire !

QUEEX.

VfTiat then my

[SJie recognises the miniature, and remains in speechless
astonishment. They both gaze at each other. — After a
long pause :
In truth, this mode of tiying a wife's heart
Is great and royal, Ske ! But I shoidd wish
To ask one question?

KING.

'Tis for me to question

QUEEN.

Let my suspicions spare the innocent,

And if by your command, this theft was done—

>- KING.

It was so done !

QUEEN.

Then I have none to blame,
And none to pity — other than yourself —
Since you possess a wife, on whom such schemes
Are thrown away.



SC VIII.] DON CART.OS 135

Kisa.

This language is not new —
Nor shall jou, Madam, now again deceive me
As in the gardens of Aranjuez —
My Queen of angel-purity, who then
So haughtily my accusation spuni'd —
I know her better now.

QUEEN.

"U'hat mean you, Sire'

KING

Madam ! thus briefly and without reserve —
Say is it true ? — still trae, that you conversed
With no one there ? Is really that the truth ?

QUEEN.

I spoke there with the Prince.

KING.

Then is it clear
As day ! So daring! — heedless of mine honour I

QUEEN.

Your honour, Sire ! If that be now the question,
A greater honour is, methinks, at stake
Than Castillo ever brought me as a dowry.

KING.

Why did you then deny the Piince's presence ?

QUEEN.

Because I'm not accustomed to be question'd
Like a delinquent, before all your courtiers ;
I never shall deny the truth, when ask'd
With kindness and respect. Was that the tone
Your Majesty used towards me in Aranjuez ?
Are your assembled grandees the tribunal
Queens must account to, for their private conduct ?
1 gave the Prince the interview he sought
With earnest prayer, because, my liege and lord.
J — the Queen — wish'd and wilVd it, and because
I never can admit, that formal custom
Should sit as judge, on actions that are guiltle>is .
And I conceal'd it from your IMajesty,
Because I chose not to contend with you.
About this right, in presence of your couruors.



136 DON CARLOS. [aCT IV

KINO.

You speak with boldness, ]\[adam I

QUEEN.

I may add,
Because the Prince, in his own father's heart.
Scarce finds that kindness, he so well deserves.

KING.

So well deserves !

QUEEN.

"VMiy, Sire ! should I conceal it ?
Highly do I esteem Mm — yes ! and love him
As a most dear relation, who was once
Deem'd worthy of a dearer — tenderer — title.
I've yet to learn, that he, on this account,



Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 37)