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presented to the



Mrs. Marcela Cornish























PRESIDENT VON WALTER, Prime MILLER, the Town Musician, and

Minister in the Court of a German Teacher of Music.

Prince. MRS. MILLER, his wife.

FERDINAND, his son; a Major in the LOUISA, the. daughter of Miller, in

Army ; in love with Louisa Miller. love with Ferdinand.

BARON VON KALB, Court Marshal LADYMiLFORD,</e Prince's Mistress.

(or Chamberlain). SOPHV, attendant on Lady Milford.

WORM, Private Secretary tothePres- An old Valet in the service of the

ident. Prince.

Officers, Attendants, etc.




MILLER (walking quickly up and down the room).
Once for all ! The affair is becoming serious. My
daughter and the baron will soon be the town-talk my
house lose its character the president will get wind of
it, and the short and long of the matter is, I'll show
the younker the door.

MRS. MILL. You did not entice him to your house
did not thrust your daughter upon him !

MILL. Didn't entice him to my house didn't thrust
the girl upon him! Who'll believe me? I was master
of my own house. I ought to have taken more care of
my daughter. I should have bundled the major out at
once, or have gone straight to his excellency, his papa,
and disclosed all. The young baron will get off merely



with a snubbing, I know that well enough, and all the
blame will fall upon the fiddler.

MRS. MILL, (sipping her coffee). Pooh! nonsense!
How can it fall upon you? What have people to do
with you? You follow your profession, and pick up
pupils wherever you can find them.

MILL. All very fine, but please to tell me what will be
the upshot of the whole affair ? He can't marry the girl
marriage is out of the question, and to make her his
God help us ! " Good-by t'ye ! " No, no when such a
sprig of nobility has been nibbling here and there and
everywhere, and has glutted himself with the devil
knows what all, of course it will be a relish to my young
gentleman to get a mouthful of sweet Avater. Take heed !
Take heed ! If you were dotted with eyes, and could
place a sentinel for every hair of your head, he'll bam-
boozle her under your very nose ; add one to her reck-
oning, take himself off, and the girl's ruined for life, left
in the lurch, or, having once tasted the trade, will carry
it on. (Striking his forehead.) Oh, horrible thought!

MRS. MILL. God in his mercy protect us!

MILL. We shall Avant his protection. You may Avell
say that. What other object can such a scapegrace
have ? The girl is handsome well made can show a
pretty foot. How the upper story is furnished matters
little. That's blinked in you Avomen if nature has not
played the niggard in other respects. Let this harum-
scarum but turn over this chapter ho! ho! his eyes
will glisten like Rodney's Avhen he got scent of a French
frigate; then up Avith all sail and at her, and I don't
blame him for it flesh is flesh. I know that very

Mus. MILL. You should only read the beautiful billy-
doux Avhicli the baron, writes to your daughter. Gracious
me ! Why it's as clear as the sun at noonday that he
loves her purely for her virtuous soul.

MILL. That's the right strain ! We beat the sack,
but mean the ass's back. He Avho wishes to pay his
respects to the flesh needs only a kind heart for a go-
between. What did I myself? When we've once so far
cleared the ground that the affections cry ready ! slap !


the bodies follow their example, the appetites are obe-
dient, and the silver moon kindly plays the pimp.

MRS. MILL. And then only think of the beautiful
books that the major has sent us. Your daughter always
prays out of them.

MILL, (ichistles). Prays ! You've hit the mark. The
plain, simple food of nature is much too raw and indi-
gestible for this maccaroni gentleman's stomach. It must
be cooked for him artificially in the infernal pestilential
pitcher of your novel-writers. Into the fire with the
rubbish ! I shall have the girt taking up with God
knows what all about heavenly fooleries that will get
into her blood, like Spanish flies, and scatter to the winds
the handful of Christianity that cost her father so much
trouble to keep together. Into the fire with them I say !
The girl will take the devil's own nonsense into her head ;
amidst the dreams of her fool's paradise she'll not know
her own home, but forget and feel ashamed of her father,
the music-master; and, lastly, I shall lose a worthy,
honest son-in-law who might have nestled himself so
snugly into my connections. No ! damn it ! (Jicmps vp
in a passion.) I'll break the neck of it at once, and the
major yes, yes, the major! shall be shown where the
carpenter made the door. (Going.)

MRS. MILL. Be civil, Miller ! How many a bright
shilling have his presents

MILL, (conies back, and goes up to her). The blood-
money of my daughter ? To Beelzebub with thee, thou
infamous bawd ! Sooner will I vagabondize with my
violin and fiddle for a bit of bread sooner will I break
to pieces my instrument and carry dung on the sounding-
board than taste a mouthful earned by my only child at
the price of her soul and future happiness. Give up your
cursed coffee and snuff-taking, and there will be no need
to carry your daughter's face to market. I have always
had my bellyful and a good shirt to my back before this
confounded scamp put his nose into my crib.

MRS. MILL. Now don't be so ready to pitch the house
out of window. How you flare up all of a sudden. I
only meant to say that we shouldn't offend the major,
because lie is the son of the president.


MILL. There lies the root of the mischief. For that
reason for that very reason the thing must be put
a stop to this very day ! The president, if he is a just
and upright father, will give me his thanks. You must
brush up my red plush, and I will go straight to his
excellency. I shall say to him, " Your excellency's son
has an eye to my daughter ; my daughter is not good
enough to be your excellency's son's wife, but too good
to be your excellency's son's strumpet, and there's an end
of the matter. My name is Miller."


MRS. MILL. Ah! Good morning, Mr. Seckertary !
Have we indeed the pleasure of seeing you again ?

WORM. All on my side on my side, cousin Miller!
Where a high-born cavalier's visits are received mine can
be of no account whatever.

MRS. MILL. How can you think so, Mr. Seckertary?
His lordship the baron, Major Ferdinand, certainly does
us the honor to look in now and then ; but, for all that, we
don't undervalue others.

MILL, (vexed). A chair, wife, for the gentleman ! Be
seated, kinsman.

WORM (lays aside hat and stick, and seats himself).
Well, well and how then is my future or past
bride? I hope she'll not be may I not have the honor
of seeing Miss Louisa?

MRS. MILL. Thanks for inquiries, Mr. Seckertary, but
my daughter is not at all proud.

MILK, (cttigry,jogs her with his elboic). Woman !

Mus. MILL. Sorry she can't have that honor, Mr. Sec-
kertary. My daughter is now al mass.

WORM. I am glad to hear it, glad to hear it. I
shall have in her a pious, Christian wife !

.Mus. MILL, (smiling in a stupidly affected manner).
Yes but, Mr. Seckertary

MILL, (greatly incensed, pulls her ears). Woman !

MRS. MILL. If our family can serve you in any other
way with the greatest pleasure, Mr, Seckertary


WORM (frowning angrily). In any other way ? Much
obliged ! much obliged ! hm ! hm ! hm !

MRS. MILL. But, as you yourself must see, Mr. Sec-

MILL, (in a rage, shaking his fist at her). Woman !

MRS. MILL. Good is good, and better is better, and one
does not like to stand between fortune and one's only
child (with vulgar pride). You understand me, Mr.
Seckertary ?

WORM. Understand. Not exac . Oh, yes. But

what do you really mean ?

MRS. MILL. Why why I only think I mean
(coughs). Since then Providence has determined to make
a great lady of my daughter

WORM (jumping from his chair). What's that you
say? what?

MILL. Keep your seat, keep your seat, Mr. Secretary !
The woman's an out-and-out fool ! Where's the great
lady to come from ? How you show your donkey's ears
by talking such stuff.

MRS. MILL. Scold as long as you will. I know what
I know, and what the major said he said.

MILL, (snatches up his fiddle in anger). Will you
hold your tongue? Shall I throw my fiddle at your
head ? What can you know? What can he have said ?
Take no notice of her clack, kinsman ! Away with you to
your kitchen ! You'll not think me first cousin of a fool,
and that I'm looking out so high for the girl ? You'll
not think that of me, Mr. Secretary?

WORM. Nor have I deserved it of you, Mr. Miller !
You have always shown yourself a man of your word, and
my contract to your daughter was as good as signed. I
hold an office that will maintain a thrifty manager; the
president befriends me ; the door to advancement is open
to me whenever I may choose to take advantage of it.
You see that my intentions towards Miss Louisa are
serious ; if you have been won over by a fop of rank

MRS. MILL. Mr. Seckertary ! more respect, I beg

MILL. Hold your tongue, I say. Never mind her,
kinsman. Things remain as they were. The answer I
gave you last harvest, I repeat to-day. I'll not force my


daughter. If you suit her, well and good ; then it's
for her to see that she can be happy with you. If she
shakes her head still better be it so, I should say
then you must be content to pocket the refusal, and part
in good fellowship over a bottle with her father. 'Tis
the girl who is to live with you not I. Why should I,
out of sheer caprice, fasten a husband upon the girl for
whom she has no inclination ? That the evil one may
haunt me down lik'e a wild beast in my old age that in
every drop I drink in every bit of bread I bite, I might
swallow the bitter reproach : Thou art the villain who
destroyed his child's happiness!

MRS. MILL. The short and the long of it is I refuse
my consent downright ; my daughter's intended for a
lofty station, and I'l! go to law if my husband is going to
be talked over.

MILL. Shall I break every bone in your body, you
millclack ?

WORM (to MILLER). Paternal advice goes a great way
with the daughter, and I hope you know me, Mr. Miller?

MILL. Plague take you ! 'Tis the girl must know
you. What an old crabs tick like me can see in you is
just the very last thing that a dainty young girl wants.
I'll tell you to a hair if you're the man for an orchestra
but a woman's heart is far too deep for a music-master.
And then, to be frank with you you know that I'm a
blunt, straightforward fellow you'll not give thank'ye
for my advice. I'll persuade my daughter to no one -
but from you Mr. Sec I would dissuade her ! A lover
who calls upon the father for help with permission
is not worth a pinch of snuff. If he has anything in
him, he'll be ashamed to take that old-fashioned way of
making his deserts known to his sweetheart. If lie hasn't
the courage, why he's a milksop, and no Louisas were born
for the like of him. No ! he must carry on his commerce
with the daughter behind the father's back. He must
manage so to win her heart, that she would rather wish
both father and mother at Old Harry than give him up
or that she come herself, fall at her father's feet, and im-
plore either for death on the rack, or the only one of her
heart. That's the fellow for me! that I call love! and


he who can't bring matters to that pitch with a petticoat
may stick the goose "feather in his cap.

WORM (seizes hat and stick and hurries out of the
room). Much obliged, Mr. Miller!

MILL, (going after him, slowly). For what? for what?
You haven't taken anything, Mr. Secretary! (Comes
back.) He won't hear, ami off he's gone. The very sight
of that quill-driver is like poison and brimstone to me.
An ugly, contraband knave, smuggled into the world by
some lewd prank of the devil with his malicious little
pig's eyes, foxy hair, and nut-cracker chin, just as if Nature,
enraged at such a bungled piece of goods, had seized the
ugly monster by it, and flung him aside. No ! rather
than throw away my daughter on a vagabond like him,
she may - God forgive me !

Mus. MILL. The wretch ! but you'll be made to keep
a clean tongue in your head !

MILL. Ay, and you too, with your pestilential baron
you, too, must put my bristles up. You're never more
stupid than when you have the most occasion to show a
little sense. What's the meaning of all that trash about
your daughter being a great lady ? If it's to be cried
out about the town to-morrow, you need only let that
fellow get scent of it. He is one of your worthies who
go sniffing about into people's houses, dispute upon every-
thing, and, if a slip of the tongue happen to you, skurry
with it straight to the prince, mistress, and minister, and
then there's the devil to pay.

Enter LOUISA with a book in her hand.

LOUISA. Good morning, dear father !

MILL, (affectionately). Bless thee, my Louisa ! I re-
joice to see thy thoughts are turned so diligently to thy
Creator. Continue so, and his arm will support thee.

LOUISA. Oh ! I am a great sinner, father ! Was he
not here, mother?

MRS. MILL. Who, my child ?

LOUISA. Ah ! I forgot that there are others in the


world besides him my head wanders so. Was he not
here? Ferdinand?

MILL, (with melancholy, serious voice). I thought my
Louisa had forgotton that name in her devotions ?

LOUISA (after looking at him steadfastly for some time).
I understand you, father. I feel the knife which stabs
my conscience ; but it comes too late. I can no longer
pray, father. Heaven and Ferdinand divide my bleeding
soul, and I fear I fear (after a pause). Yet no, no,
good father. The painter is best praised when we forget
him in the contemplation of his picture. When in the
contemplation of his masterpiece, my delight makes me
forget the Creator, is not that, father, the true praise
of God ?

MILL, (throws himself in displeasure on a chair).
There we have it ! Those are the fruits of your ungodly

LOUISA (uneasy, c/oes to the window}. Where can he
be now ? Ah ! the high-born ladies who see him listen
to him I am a poor forgotten maiden. (Startles at
that word, and rushes to her father} Bat no, no ! forgive
me. I do not repine at my lot. I ask but little to
think on him that cnn harm no one. All ! that I might
breathe out this little spark of life in one soft fondling
zephyr to cool his cheek ! That this fragile floweret,
youth, were a violet, on which he might tread, and I die
modestly beneath his feet ! I ask no more, father! Can
the proud, majestic day-star punish the gnat for basking
in its rays ?

MILL, (deeply affected, leans on the arm of his chair,
and covers his face). My child, my child, with joy would
I sacrifice the remnant of my days hadst thou never seen
the major.

LOUISA (terrified.) How; how? What did you say?
No, no! that could not be your meaning, good father.
You know not that Ferdinand is mine! You know not
that God created him for me, and for my delight alone!
(After a pause of recollection.} The first moment that I
beheld him and the blood rushed into my glowing
cheeks every pulse beat with joy ; every throb told me,
every breath whispered, " 'Tis he ! " And my heart,


recognizing the long-desired one, repeated " "Pis he ! "
And the whole world was as one melodious echo of my
delight ! Then oh ! then was the first dawning of my
soul! A thousand new sentiments arose in my bosom,
as flowers arise from the earth when spring approaches.
I forgot there was a world, yet never had I felt that
world so dear to me ! I forgot there was a God, yet
never had I so loved him !

MILL, (runs to her and clasps her to his bosom). Louisa!
my beloved, my admirable child ! Do what thou wilt.
Take all all my life the baron God is my wit-
ess him I can never give thee ! [Exit.

LOUISA. Nor would I have him now, father ! Time
on earth is but a stinted dewdrop in the ocean of eter-
nity. 'Twill swiftly glide in one delicious dream of Fer-
dinand. I renounce him for this life ! But then, mother
then when the bounds of separation are removed
when the hated distinctions of rank no longer part us
when men will be only men I shall bring nothing with
me save my innocence ! Yet often has my father told
me that at the Almighty's coming riches and titles will
be worthless ; and that hearts alone will be beyond all
price. Oh! then shall I be rich! There, tears will be
reckoned for triumphs, and purity of soul be preferred to
an illustrious ancestry. Then, then, mother, shall I be
noble ! In what will he then be superior to the girl of
his heart ?

MRS. MILL (starts from her seat). Louisa! the baron !
Pie is jumping over the fence ! Where shall I hide
myself ?

LOUISA (begins to tremble). Oh ! do not leave me,
mother !

MRS. MILL. Mercy ! What a figure I am. I am
quite ashamed ! I cannot let his lordship see me in this
state ! [Exit.



LOUISA FERDINAND. (He flies toicards her she falls
back into her chair, pale and trembling. He remains
standing before her they look at each other for some
moments in silence. A. pause.)

FERDINAND. So pale, Louisa?

LOUISA (rising ) and embracing him). It is nothing
nothing now that you are here it is over.

FERD. (takes her h<unf n ml raises it to his lips). And
does my Louisa still love me ? My heart is yesterday's ;
is thine the same? I flew hither to see if thou wert
happy, that I might return and be so too. But I find
thee whelmed in sorrow !

LOUISA. Not so, my beloved, not so !

FERD. Confess, Louisa ! you are not happy. I see
through your soul as clearly as through the transparent
lustre of this brilliant. No spot can harbor here unmarked
by me no thought can cloud your brow that does not
reach your lover's heart. Whence comes this grief?
Tell me, I beseech you ! Ah ! could I feel assured this
mirror still remained unsullied, there' d seem to me no
cloud in all the universe ! Tell me, dear Louisa, what
afflicts you ?

LOUISE (looking at him with anxiety for a few mo-
ments). Ferdinand ! couldst thou but know how such
discourse exalts the tradesman's daughter

FERD. (surprised). What say'st thou? Tell me,
girl ! how earnest thou by that thought ? Thou art my
Louisa ! who told thee thou couldst be aught else ? See,
false one, see, for what coldness I must chide thee ! Were
indeed thy whole soul absorbed by love for me, never
hadst thou found time to draw comparisons ! When I
am with thee, my prudence is lost in one look from thine
eyes : when I am absent in a dream of thee ! But thou
thou canst harbor prudence in the same breast with
love ! Fie on thee ! Every moment bestowed on this
sorrow was a robbery from affection and from me !

LOUISA (pressing his hand and shaking her head with
a melancholy air). Ferdinand, you would lull my appre-
hensions to sleep ; you would divert my eyes from the


precipice into which I am falling. I can see the future !
The voice of honor your prospects, your father's anger

my nothingness. (Shuddering and suddenly drops his
hands.) Ferdinand! a sword hangs over us! They
would separate us !

FERD. (Jumps up). Separate us ! Whence these ap-
prehensions, Louisa? Who can rend the bonds that
bind two heai'ts, or separate the tones of one accord?
True, I am a nobleman but show me that my patent
of nobility is older than the eternal laws of the universe

or my escutcheon more valid than the handwriting of
heaven in my Louisa's eyes? " This woman is for this
man?" I am son of the prime minister. For that very
reason, what but love can soften the curses which my
father's extortions from the country will entail upon me?

LOUISA. Oh ! how I fear that father !

FERD. I fear nothing nothing but that your affec-
tion should know bounds. Let obstacles rise between us,
huge as mountains, I will look upon them as a ladder by
which to fly into the arms of my Louisa! The tempest
of opposing fate shall but fan the flame of my affection :
dangers will only serve to make Louisa yet more charm-
ing. Then speak no more of terrors, my love ! I myself

I will watch over thee carefully as the enchanter's
dragon watches over buried gold. Trust thyself to me !
thou shalt need no other angel. I will throw myself
between thee and fate for thee receive each wound.
For thee will I catch each drop distilled from the cup of
joy, and bring thee in the bowl of love. (Embracing
her affectionately.) This arm shall support my Louisa
through life. Fairer than it dismissed thee, shall heaven
receive thee back, and confess with delight that love
alone can give perfection to the soul.

LOUISA (disengaging herself from him. greatly agitated).
No more ! I beseech thee, Ferdinand ! no more ! Couldst
thou know. Oh ! leave me, leave me ! Little dost thou
feel how these hopes rend my heart in pieces like fiends !
( Going.)

FERD (detaining her). Stay, Louisa! stay! Why this
agitation ? Why those anxious looks?

LOUISA. I had forgotten these dreams, and was happy.


Now now from this day is the tranquillity of my
heart no more. Wild impetuous wishes will torment my
bosom ! Go ! God forgive thee ! Thou hast hurled a
firebrand into my young peaceful heart which nothing
can extinguish ! (/She breaks from htm, and rushes from
the apartment, followed by FERDINAND.)

SCENE V. A Chamber in the PRESIDENT'S House.

The PRESIDENT, with the grand order of the cross about
his neck, and a star at his breast SECRETARY WORM.

PRESIDENT. A serious attachment, say you ? No, no,
Worm ; that I never can believe.

WORM. If your excellency pleases, I will bring proofs
of my assertions.

PRES. That he has a fancy for the wench flatters
her and, if you will, pretends to love her all this is
very possible nay excusable but and the daughter
of a musician, you say?

WORM. Of Miller, the music-master.

PRES. Handsome? But that, of course.

WORM (with warmth). A most captivating and lovely
blondine, who, without saying too much, might figure
advantageously beside the greatest beauties of the court.

PRES. (laughs). It's very plain, Worm, that you have
an eye upon the jade yourself I see that. But listen,
Worm. That my son has a passion for the fair sex gives
me hope that he will find favor with the ladies. He may
make his way at court. The girl is handsome, you say ;
I am glad to think my son has taste. Can lie deceive the
silly wench by holding out honorable intentions still
better ; it will show that he is shrewd enough to play the
hypocrite when it serves his purpose. He may become
prime minister if he accomplishes his purpose! Ad-
mirable ! that will prove to me that fortune favors him.
Should the farce end with a chubby grandchild incom-
parable ! I will drink an extra bottle of Malaga to the
prospects of my pedigree, and cheerfully pay the wench's
lying-in expenses.

WORM. All I wish is that your excellency may not
have to drink that bottle to drown your sorrow.


PRES. (sternly). Worm ! remember that what I once
believe, I believe obstinately that I am furious when
angered. I am willing to pass over as a joke this attempt
to stir my blood. That you are desirous of getting rid
of your rival, I can very well comprehend, and that,
because you might have some difficulty in supplanting the
son, you endeavor to make a cat's-paw of the father, I
can also understand I am even delighted to find that
you are master of such excellent qualifications in the way
of roguery. Only, friend Worm, pray don't make me,
too, the butt of your knavery. Understand me, have a
care that your cunning trench not upon my plans !

WORM. Pardon me, your excellency ! If even as
you suspect jealousy is concerned, it is only with the
eye, and not with the tongue.

PRES. It would be better to dispense with it alto-
gether. What can it matter to you, simpleton, whether

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 27)