Friedrich Schiller.

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

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They wait for my decease.


And of your thoughts.
Read in these letters, strongest confirmation.


Tis possible he may miscalculate.

I'm still myself. Thanks, Nature, for thy gifts ;

I feel, within my frame, the strength of youth :

111 turn their schemes to mockery. His virtue

Shall be an empty dream — his death, a fool's.

His fall shall crush his friend and age together.

We'll test it now — how they can do without me?

The world is still, for one short evening, mine.

And this same evening, will I so employ,

That no reformer, yet to come, shall reap

Another harvest, in the waste I'll leave,

For ten long generations after me. —

He would have offer'd me a sacrifice

To his new deity — Humanity !

So on Humanity I'll take revenge. —

And with his puppet I'll at once commence.

[To the Duke Alva
What you have now to tell me of the Prince,
Repeat What tidings do these letters bring ?


These letters, Sire, contain the last bequest
Of Posa to Prince Carlos.
XING [reads the papers, watcJied by all present. He then lays
them aside and walks in silence up and down the room).

Summon straight
The Cardinal Inquisitor ; and beg
He will bestow an hour upon the King.
This very night !


Just on the stroke of two
The horses must be ready and prepared,
At the Carthusian monaster}'.



Despatch'd by me, moreover, liave observed
Equipments at the convent for a journey,
On which the prince's arms were recognised.


And it is iiimour'd that large sums are raised
In the Queen's name, among the Moorish agents.
Destined for Brussels.


Where is Carlos now '^


With Posa's body.


Are there lights as yet
Within the Queen's apartment?


Every thing
Is silent there. She has dismiss'd her maids.
Far earlier than as yet has been her custom.
The Duchess of Arcos, who last was with her,
Left her in soundest sleep.

[An Officer of the Body Guard enters, takes the Duke
OF Feria aside, and -whispers to him. The latter,
struck with surprise, turns to Duke Alva. Thti
others crowd round him, and a murmuring noisi
feria, taxis, and domingo [at the same time]

'Tis wonderful !


What is the matter '?

News scarce credible !


Two soldiers, who have just return'd from duty,
Report — but — the tale 's ridiculous !


What do they say ?


They say, in the left wing



Of the Queen's palace, that the Emperor's ghost
Appear'd before them, and with solemn gait
Pass'd on. This mmour is confirm 'd by all
The sentinels, who througli the whole pavilion
Their watches keep. And they, moreover, add.
The phantom in the Queen's apartment vanish'd


And in what shape appeared it?


In the robes,
The same attire, he in Saint Justi wore
For the last time, appareild as a monk.


A monk ! And did the sentries know his person,
Whilst he was yet alive ? They could not else
Determine that it was the Emperor.


The sceptre which he bore, was evidence
It was the Emperor.


And the story goes,
He often has been seen in this same dress.


Did no one speak to him?


No person dared.
The sentries pray'd, and let him pass in silence.


The phantom vanish'd in the Queen's apartments i


In the Que6n's antechamber. [General silence,

KING [turns quickly round).

What say you ?


Sire ! we are silent.

KING [after some thought, to the officer).
Let my guards be leady.
And under arms, and order all approach
To that wing of the palace, to be stopp'd.
I fain would have a word with this same ghost

\Exit Officer. — Enter a Page.


;5C. X.] DON CARLOS 195


The Cardinal Inquisitor.

KING {to all 2>resent)
Retire !
[The Cardinal Inquisitor, an old man of ninety, and
blind, enters, supported on a staff, and led by tuo
Doninicans. The Grandees fall on their knees a»
he passes, and touch the hem of his (farment. He
gives them his blessing, and they depart.

Scene X.

The King and the Grand Inquisitor.

A long silence.


Say, do I stand befoi'e the King ?


You do


I never thought it would be so again !


I now renew the scenes of early youth,

When Philip sought his sage instructor's counsel


Your glorious sire, my pupil, Charles the Fifth,
Nor sought or needed counsel at my hands.


So much the happier he ! I, Cardinal.
Am guilty of a murder, and no rest —


What was the reason for this murder ?


A fraud unparallel'd


I know it all.


What do you know? Thro' whom, and since what Time?


For years —what you have only leani'd since sunsPi



KIKG {tcith astonishment)
You knew this man then !


All his lile is noted,
From its commencement, to its sudden close,
In Santa Casa's holy registers.


Yet he enjoy 'd his liberty !


The chain
With ■^\hioh he straggled, but -^hich held him bound,
Tho' long, was firm, nor easy to be sever d.


He has already been beyond the kingdom.


Where'er he travell'd I was at his side.

KING (icalls hackicards and foniards in displeasure).
You laiew the hands, then, I had fallen into ;
And yet delay 'd to warn me I


This rebuke
I pay you back. "V^Tiy did you not consult us.
Before you sought the arms of such a man ?
Y"ou knew him : one sole glance unmask'd him to 7012.
Why did you rob the Office of its victim ?
Are we thus trifled with ! When Majesty
Can stoop to such concealment, and in secret.
Behind our backs, league with oui" enemies.
What must our fate be then ? If one be spareo,
What plea can justify the fate of thousands ?


But he, no less, has fallen a sacrifice.


Xo : he is murder'd — basely, foully murder'd.
The blood that should so gloriously have flow'd
To honour us, has stjiin'd the assassin's hand.
What claim had you to touch ^'ur sacred rights?
He but existed, by our hands to perish.
God gave him to this age's exigence,
To perish, as a terrible example,
And tiuTi high vaimting reason into sliame.

tr. X.l DON CARLOS. 197

Such was my long-laid plan — behold, destroy'd
In one brief hour — the toil of many years.
We are defrauded, and your only gain
Is bloody hands


Passion impell'd me to it
Forgive me !


Passion ! And does royal Philip
Thus answer me? Have I alone grown old ?

[Shaking his Jiead angrily.
Passion ! Make conscience free within your realms.
If you 're a slave yourself.


In things like this
I 'm but a novice. Bear in patience with me


No, I 'm ill pleased with you — to see you thus

Tarnish the bygone glories of your reign.

Where is that Philip, whose unchanging soul,

Fix'd as the polar star, in Heaven above,

Round its own axis, still pursued its course.

Is all the memory of preceding years

For ever gone ? And did the world become

New moulded, when you stretch 'd your hand to him ?

Was poison no more poison ? Did distinction

'Twixt good and evil — truth and falsehood — vanish ?

What then is resolution, what is firmness,

"^^Tiat is the faith of man, if in one weak.

Unguarded hour, the rules of three-score years

Dissolve in air, like woman's fickle favour?


I look'd into his eyes. pardon me

This weak relapse into mortality I

The world has one less access to your heart —

Your eyes are sunk in night.


What did this man
Want with you? What new thing could he adduce,
You did not iiiow before ? V\nd are you versed


So ilj , with fanatics and innovators ?

Does the Reformer's vaunting language sound

So novel to your ears ? If the firm edifice

Of your conviction totters to mere words.

Should you not shudder to subscribe the fate

Of many thousand poor deluded souls,

Who mount the flaming pile, for nothing worse ?


I sought a human being. These Domingos


How ! human beings ! What are they to you ?
Cyphers to coimt withal — no more ! Alas !
And must I now repeat the elements
Of kingly knowledge, to my gray-hair 'd pupil ?
An earthly god must learn to bear the want
Of what may be denied him. When you whine
For sympathy, is not the world your equal ?
What rights should you possess above your equals ?

KING {throwing himself into a- chair).
I 'm a mere sufF'ring mortal — that I feel —
And you demand from me, a wretched creature,
What the Creator only can perform.


No, Sire ! I am not thus to be deceived.
I see you through. You would escape from us
The Church's heavy chains press'd hard upon you —
You would be free, and claim your independence.

[He pauses. The King ia silent.
We are avenged. Be thankful to the Church,
That checks you, with the kindness of a mother.
The erring choice, you were allow'd to make.
Has proved your punishment. You stand reproved !
Now, you may turn to us again. And know,
[f I, this day, had not been summon'd here,
By Heaven above ! before to-morrow's sun,
Yon would, yourself, have stood at my tribunal !


Forbear this language. Priest ! Restrain thyself.
I'\l not endure it from thee ! In such tones,
No tongue shall speak to me.



Then why, King !
Call up the ghost of Samuel ? — I 've anointed
Two monarchs to the throne of Spain. I hoped
To leave behind, a firm-establish'd work.
T see the fruit of all my life is lost.
Don Philip's hands have shatter'd what I built.
But tell me. Sire, wherefore have I been summon 'd ?
What do I here ? — I am not minded, King,
To seek such interviews again.


But one —
One service more — the last — and then in peace
Depart. Let all the past be now forgotten —
Let peace be made between us. We are friends.


When Philip bends with due humility.
KING {after a pause)
My son is meditating treason.


And what do you resolve?


On all, or nothing.


What mean you by this all ?


He must escape,
Or die.


Well, Sire ! decide.


And can you not
Establish some new creed to justify
The bloody murder of one's only son ?


To appease eternal justice, God's own Son
Erpired upon the cross.


And can you spread
This creed throughout all Europe ?



Ay, as far
As the true cross is worshipp'd.


But I sin —
Sin against nature. Canst thou, by thy power,
Silence her mighty voice.


The voice of nature
Avails not over faith.


My rigl t to judge
I place within your hands. Can I retrace
The step once taken ?


Give him up to me !


My only son ! — For whom then have I labour'd ?


For the grave rather than for liberty !

KING [rising up).
We are agreed. Come with me.


jMonarch ! Whither ?


From his own father's hands, to take the victim.

[Leads him away

Scene XI.
Queens Apartment.
Carlos. The Queen. Afterwards the King and Attendants.
Carlos in Monk's attire, a mask over his face, which he is
just taking off: under his arm a naked sword. It is quite
dark. He approaches a door, which is in the act of opening.
The Queen comes out in her night-dress tvith a lighted
candle. Carlos falls on one knee before her


Elizabeth !

QUEEN [regarding him with silent sorrow).
Do we thus meet again ?

SC. XI.] DON CAKL08. 201


Tis thus we meet again ! [A st.V/tos.

QUEEN {endeavouring to collect herself).
Carlos, ai'ise !
We must not now unnerve each other thus.
The mighty dead will not be honour'd now
By fruitless tears. Tears are for petty sorrows !
He gave himself for thee ! With his dear life,
He purchased thine. And shall this precious blood
Flow for a mere delusion of the brain ?
O, Carlos, I have pledged myself for thee.
On that assurance, did he flee from hence
More satisfied. do not falsify
My word.

CARLOS {with animation).
To him 111 raise a monument
Nobler than ever honour'd proudest Monarch,
And o'er his dust a paradise shall bloom !


Thus did I hope to find thee ! This was still
The mighty purpose of his death. On me
Devolves the last fulfilment of his plans,
And I will now fulfil my solemn oath.
Yet one more legacy, your dying friend
Bequeath 'd to me. I pledged my word to him,
And wherefore should I now conceal it from you ?
To me did he resign his Carlos — I
Defy suspicion, and no longer tremble
Before mankind, but will for once assume
The courage of a friend. My heart shall speals
He called our passion — virtue ! I believe him.
And will my heart no longer


Hold, Queen !
Long was I sunk in a delusive dream.
I loved, but now I am at last awake :
Forgotten be the past. Here are your letters, —
Destroy my own. Fear nothing from my passioii.
It is extinct. A brighter flame now burns.
And purifies my being. All my love



Lies buried in the grave. — No mortal wish
Fiuds place within this bosom.

[After a pause, taking her hand.
I have come
To bid farewell to you, and I have leam'd,
There is a higher, greater good, my mother,
Than to call thee mine own. One rapid night
Has wing'd the tardy progress of my years,
And prematurely ripen'd me to manhood.
I have no farther business in the world,
But to remember him. My harvest now
Is ended.

[He approaches the Queen, who conceals her face
Mother ! will you not reply ?


Carlos ! regard not these my tears. I cannot
Restrain them. But believe me I admire you. —


Thou wert the only partner of our league :
And by this name, thou shalt remain to me
The most beloved object in this world.
No other woman can my friendship share.
More than she yesterday could win my love.
But sacred shall the royal widow be,
Should Providence conduct me to the throne.

[The King, accompanied by the Grand Inquisitor
appears in the hack-ground without being observed.
I hasten to leave Spain, and never more
Shall I behold my father, in this world.
No more I love him. — Nature is extinct
Within this breast. Be you again his wife —
His son's for ever lost to him ! Return
Back to your course of duty — I must speed
To liberate a people long oppress'd,
From a fell tyrant's hand. Madrid shall hail
Carlos as King, or ne'er behold him more.
And now a long and last farewell [He kisses hf^r.


Carlos !
How you exalt me ! but I dare not soar

8C. XI.] DON CARLOS. 203

To such a height of greatness : — ^yet I may
Contemplate now your noble mind, with wonder.


Am I not firm, Elizabeth ? I hold thee

Thus in my anns and tremble not. The fear

Of instant death had, yesterday, not torn me

From this dear spot. [He leaves her

All that is over now,
And I defy my mortal destinies.
I've held thee in these arms and waver 'd not.
Hark ! Heard you nothing ? [A clock strikes


Nothing but the bell
That tolls the moment of our separation.


Good night, then, mother ! "And you shall, from Ghent,
Receive a letter, which will first proclaim
Our secret enterprise aloud. I go
To dare liing Philip to an open contest.
Henceforth there shall be nought conceal'd between us !
You need not shun the aspect of the world.
Be this my last deceit.
About to take up the mask — the King stands between them.


It is thy last !

[The Queen /aZ/s senseless.
CAilLos [hastens to her and supports her in his arms),
le the Queen dead ? Great Heavens !

KINO [coolly and quietly to the grand inquisitor).

Lord Cardinal !
I've done my part. Go now, and do your own. [Exit,





- Elizabeth, Queen of England.

Mary Stuart, Qveen of Scots, a
Pnsoner in England.

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury.

WiLLLAM Cecil, Lord Burleigh, Lord
High Treasurer.

Earl of Kent.

Sir William Davison, SecreUry of

Sir Amias Paulet, Keeper of Mart.

Sir Edward Mortimer, Ms Nephew.

Count L'Aubespine, the French Avi-

Count Bellievre, Envoy Extraor-
dinary from France.

O'Kelly, Mortimer' t Fi-iend.

Sir Drub Drcry, another Ket^ tr Oj

Sir Andrew Melvil, her Hous&

BuRGOYKK, her Physician.
Hannah Kennedy, her Xurse.
Margaret Curl, her Attendant.
Sherijf of the County.
Officer of the Guard.
French and English Lords.
Servants of Stan, belonging to Eliza-

SereaKi^ and Female A ttendants of

the Qioscn of Scots.



Scene I.
A common Apartment in the Castle of Fotheringay

Haksah Kennedy contending violently with Paulet, who it
about to break open a closet ; Druky with an iron crow.

Ken. . How now, Sir? What fresh outrage have we here?
Back fron: that cabinet !

Paulet. Whence came the jewel ?

1 know 'twas from an upper chamber thi'owu ;
And you would bribe the gard'ner with your trinkets.
A cui*se on woman's wiles ! In spite of all
My strict precaution and my active search,
Still treasures here, still costly gems concealed I
And doubtless there are more where this lay hid.

[Advancing towards the cabinet.

Ken. . Intruder, back ! here lie my lady's secrets.

Paul. . Exactly what I seek. [Drawing forth papers.

Kennedy. Mere trifling papers ;

The amusements only of an idle pen,
To cheat the dreaiy tedium of a dungeon.

Paul. . In idle hours the evil mind is busy.

Ken. . Those writings are in French.

Paulet. So much the worse :

That tongue betokens England's enemy.

Kf.n. Sketches of letters to the Queen of Entjland.

Paul. . I'll be their bearer. Ha! what glitters here ?

[He touches a secret spring, and drans out jewels
from a private drawer.
A royal diadem enriched with stones,
And studded with the fleur-de-lis of France !

[He hands it to his Assistant,


Here, take it, Drury, lay it with the rest.

[Exit Drury

[^ And ye have found the means to hide from us

Such costly things, and screen them, until now,

From our inquiring eyes '? ]
Kennedy. insolent

And tyrant power, to which we must submit!
Paul. . She can work i]l as long as she hath treasures ;

For all things turn to weapons in her hands.
Kennedy {suppllcatbig).

Sir ! be merciful ; deprive us not

Of the last jewel that adorns our life !

'Tis my poor Lady's only joy to view

This symbol of her former majesty

Your hands long since have robbed us of the rest
Paul . 'Tis in safe custody ; in proper time

'Twill be restored to you wdth scrupulous care.
Ken. . Who that beholds these naked walls could say

That Majesty dwelt here ? Where is the throne ?

Where the imperial canopy of state ?

Must she not set her tender foot, still used

To softest treading, on the rugged ground ?

With common pewter, which the lowliest dame

Would scorn, they furnish forth her homely table.
Paul. Thus did she treat her spouse at Stirling once ;

And pledged, the while, her paramour in gold.
Ken. . Even the mirror's trifling aid withheld.
Paul. . The contemplation of her own vain image

Incites to hope, and prompts to daring deeds.
Ken. Books are denied her to divert her mind.
Paul. . The Bible still is left, to mend her heart.
Ken. . Even of her very lute she is deprived !
Paul . Because she tuned it to her wanton airs.
Ken . Is this a fate for her, the gentle born,

Who in her very cradle was a Queen ;

Who, rear'd in Catherine's luxurious court,

Enjoyed the fulness of each earthly pleasuref

Was't not enough to rob her of her power,

Must ye then envy her its paltry tinsel ?

A noble heart in time resigns itself

To great calamities with fortitude ;

6C. r.]


But jet it cuts one to the soul, to part

At once <vitli all life's little outward trappings!

Paul. These are the things that turn the human heart
To vanity, which should collect itself
In penitence ; — for a lewd, vicious life,
Want and abasement are the only penance.

IvEN. . If youthful blood has led her into error,

With her own heart and God she must account : —
There is no judge in England over her.

Paul. She shall have judgment where she hath transgress'd.

Ken Her narrow bonds restrain her from transgression.

Paul. And yet she found the means to stretch her arm
Into the world, from out these narrow bonds,
And, with the torch of civil war, inflame
This realm against our (^ueen, (w^hom God preserve,]
And arm assassin bands. Did she not rouse
From out these walls the malefactor Parry,
And Babington, to the detested crime
Of regicide ? And did this iron grate
Prevent her from, decoying to her toils
The virtuous heart of Norfolk ? Saw we not
The first, best head, in all this island fall
A sacrifice for her upon the block ?
[ The noble house of Howard fell with him.^
And did tliis sad example terrify
These mad adventurers, whose rival zeal
Plunges for her into this deep abyss?
The bloody scaffold bends beneath the weight
Of her new daily \'ictims ; and we ne'er
Shall see an end till she herself, of all
The guiltiest, be offer'd up upon it.
! curses on the day when England took
This Helen to its hospitable arms.

Ken Did England then receive her hospitably ?
hapless Queen ! who, since that fatal day
When first she set her foot within this realm.
And, as a suppliant — a fugitive —
Came to implore protection from her sister.
Has been condemned, despite the law of natiroua.,
And royal privilege, to weep away
The faii'eat years of youth in prison walls


And now, when she hath suffer'd every thing
Which in imj risonment is hard and bitter,
Is like a felon summoned to the bar,
Foully accused, and though herself a queen
Constrained to plead for honour and for life.

Paul. She came amongst us as a murderess,

Chased by her very subjects from a throne

Which she had oft by vilest deeds disgrac'd.

Sworn against England's welfare came she hithei;

To call the times of bloody Mary back,

Betray our Church to Romish tyranny,

And sell our dear-bought liberties to France.

Say, why disdain'd she to subscribe the treaty

Of Edinborough — to resign her claim

To England's crown — and with one single word,

Trac'd by her pen, throw wide her prison gates ?

No : — she had rather live in vile confinement.

And see herself ill-treated, than renounce

The empty honours of her barren title.

Why acts she thus ? Because she trusts to wiles,

And treacherous arts of base conspiracy;

And, hourly plotting schemes of mischief, hopes

To conquer, from her prison, all this isle.

Ken. You mock us. Sir, and edge your cruelty

With words of bitter scorn : — that she should form
Such projects ; she, who 's here immured alive,
To whom no sound of comfort, not a voice
Of friendship comes from her beloved home ;
Who hath so long no human face beheld.
Save her stern gaoler's unrelenting brows ;
Till now, of late, in your uncourteous cousin
She sees a second keeper, and beholds
Fresh bolts and bars around her multiplied.

Paul No iron-grate is proof against her wiles.

How do I know these bars are not fil'd through ?

How that this floor, these walls, that seem so strong

Without, may not be hollow from within.

And let in felon treach'ry when I sleep ?

Accursed office, that's iutnisted to me.

To guard this cunning mother of all ill !

Fear scares me from my sleep ; and in the uight


I, like a troubled spirit, roam and try

The strength of every bolt, and put to proof

Each guard's fidelity : — I see. with fear.

The dawning of each morn, which may confirn:

My apprehensions : — yet, thank God, there's hopo

That all my fears will soon be at an end ;

For rather would I at the gates of hell

Stand sentinel, and guard the dev'lish host

Of damned souls, than this deceitful Queen.

Ken. . Here comes the Queen.

Paulet. Christ's image in her hand,

Pride, and all worldly lusts within her heart.

Scene II.
The same. Enter Mary veiled, a crucifix in her hand.
Kennedy {liastening toivards her).

gracious Queen! they tread us under foot;
No end of tyranny and base oppression ;
Each coming day heaps fresh indignities,
New sufferings on thy royal head.

Mary. Be calm —

Say, what has happened ?

Kennedy. See ! thy cabinet

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 12 of 37)