Friedrich Schiller.

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

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A finger — I will answer -nith a look.

The very air, the light, are Philip's creatures.

And the deaf walls around are in his pay.

Home one approaches ; fly, we'll meet again.

[Ths Queens Chamber opens, and Duke Alva comes out


Be careful. Prince, to find the right apartment. [Exit


It is the Duke ! Fear not, 111 find the way.

48 ' JDON OAKias [act II.

Scene V.
Don Caelos. Duke of Alva
ALVA {meeting him).
Two words, most gracious Prince.


Some other time. [Going


The place is not the fittest, I confess ;
Perhaps your royal highness may be pleased
To grant me audience in your private chamber.


For what ? And -^hy not here ? Only be brief,


The special object which has brought me hither
Is to return your Highness lowly thanlvs
For your good services


Thanks ! thanks to me — ■
For what? Duke Alva's thanks !


You scarce had left
His Majesty, ere I received in form
Instructions to depart for Biiissels.


For Brussels !


And to what, most gracious Prince
Must T ascribe this favour but to you —
Your intercession with the King ?


0, nol
Not in the least to me : — but, Duke, you travel.
So Heavn be with your Grace !


And is this all r
It seems, indeed, most strange ! And has your Highness
No further orders, then, to send to Flanders ?


What should I have ?

BC. v.] DON CAKLOR "49


Not Icng ago, it seeui'J,
That country's fate required your presence.


But yes, you're right, — it was so formerly ;
But now this change is better as it is


I am amazed


You are an able General,
No one doubts that — enxj herself must own it.
For me, I'm but a youth — so thought the King
The King was right, quite right. I see it now
Myself, and am content — and so no more.
God speed your journey, as you see, just now
My hands are full, and weighty business presses.
The rest to-morrow, or whene'er you wiU,
Or when you come from Brussels.


What is this ?


The season favours, and your route \d\\ lie
Through Milan, Lorraine, Burgundy, and on
To Germany ! ^Yhat, Gennany ? Ay, true,
In Germany it was — they know you there.
'Tis April now. May, June, — in July, then.
Just so ! or at the latest, soon in August, —
You v"ill arrive in Bi-ussels, and no doubt
We soon shall hear of your victorious deeds.
You know the way to win om' high esteem.
And earn the crown of fame

ALVA (significantly).

Indeed ! condemn'd
By my own conscious insignificance !


You're sensitive, my Lord, and with some cause,

I own it was not fair to use a weapon

Against your Grace you were unskill'd to wield.




Uiiskill'd !


Tis pity I've no leisure now
To fight this worthy battle fairly out :
But at some other time, we


Prince, we both
Miscalculate — but still in opposite ways.
You, for example, overrate your age
By twenty years, whilst on the other hand,
1, by as many, underrate it —


Well !


And this suggests the thought, how many nights

Beside his lovely Lusitanian bride —

You)' mother — would the Iving right gladly give

To buy an arm like this, to aid Ms crown.

Full well he knows, far easier is the task

To make a monarch than a monarchy ;

Far easier too. to stock the world with kings

Than frame an empire for a king to rule.


Most true, Duke Alva, yet


And how much bloody
Your subjects' dearest blood, must flow in streams
Before two drops could make a Iving of you.


Most true, by Heaven ! and in two words comprised,
All that the pride of merit has to urge
Against the pride of fortune. But the moral —
Now, D'jiie Alva !


Wo to the nm-sling babe
Of royalty, that mocks the careful hand
Which fosters it ! How calmly it may sleep
On the soft .rashion of our vicrories !
The monarch's crown is bright with sparkling gems,
But no eve sees the wounds that purciiased them

8C- '^•J DO?: c^r.Los. 51

rhis sword has given our laws to distant realms.
Has blazed before the banner of the cross.
And in these quarters of the globe, has traced
Ensanguin'd furrows for the seed of faith.
God was the judge in heaven, and I on earth.


God, or the Devil — it little matters which ;

Yours was his chosen arm — that stands confess 'd.

And now no more of this. Some thoughts there are

Whereof the memory pains me. I respect

My fathers choice, — my father needs an Alva !

But that he needs him is not just the point

I envy in him : a great man you are,

This may be true, and I well nigh believe it,

Only I fear your mission is begun

Some thousand years too soon. Alva, methinks, •

Were just the man to suit the end of time.

Then when the giant insolence of vice

Shall have exhausted Heaven's enduring patience,

And the rich wa%4ng harvest of misdeeds

Stands in full ear, and asks a matchless reaper,

Then should you fill the post. God I my Paradise !

My Flanders ! But of this I must not think

'Tis said you carry with you a full store

Of sentences of death already signed.

This shows a prudent foresight ! No more need

To fear your foes' designs, or secret plots :

0, father ! ill indeed I've understood thee,

Calling thee harsh, to save me from a post,

Where Alva's self alone can fitly shine !~

"Twas an unerring token of your love.


These words deserve-




But jour birth protects you.
CARLOS (seizivff his sivord).
That calls for blood ! Duke, draw your sword.

£ 2

52 DON 0ARL03. L"*-^^ ^'

ALVA I slightingly).

On whom?
CARLOS {pressing upon him).
Draw, or I run you through.


Then he it so. [They fight.


The Queen, Don Carlos, Dcee Alva.
QUEEN {coming from her room alarmed).
How I naked s^Yords ?■

[To the Prince in an indignant and commanding tone.
Prince Carlos !
CARLOS {agitated at the queen's look, drops his arm, stands
motionless, then runs to the duke, and embraces him.

Pardon Duke !
Your pardon, Sir ! —Forget, forgive it all !

[Throws himself in silence at the Queen's /e«t, then
rising suddenly, departs in confusion.


By Heaven, 'tis strange !

queen {remains a few moments as if in doubt, then
retiring to her Apartjnent).
A word with you, Duke Alva. [Exit followed by the Duke.

Scene VIL

The Princess Eboli's Apartment.

The Princess in a simple but elegant dress, playing on the
L/ute. The Queen's Page enters.

princess {starting up suddenly).
He comes !

PAGE (abruptly).

Are you alone ? I wonder much
He is not here already ; hut he must
Be here upon the instant.


Do you say must ?
Thou ho will come, this much is certain then.



He's close apon my steps. You are beloved,
Adored, and ^^ith more passionate regard
Than mortal ever was, or can be loved.
! what a scene I witnessed 1

PRINCESS {impatiently draus him to her).

Quick, you spoke
With him ! What said he ? Tell me straight —
How did he look ? what were his words ? And say —
Did he appear embarrass 'd, or confused?
And did he guess who sent the key to him?
Be quick! — or did he not? He did not guess
At all, perhaps ! or guess'd amiss ! Come, speak.
How ! not a word to answer me ? Oh fie !
You never were so dull — so slow before,
'Tis past all patience.


Dearest Lady, hear me I
Both key and note I placed ^-ithin his hands.
In the Queen's antechamber, and he started
And gazed with wonder when I told him that
A lady sent me .'


Did he start ? go on !
That's excellent. — Proceed, what next ensued ?


I would have told him more, but he grew pale.
And snatch 'd the letter from my hand, and said,
With look of deadly menace, he knew all.
He read the letter with confusion thro'.
And straight began to tremble.


He knew all !
He knew it all ? Were those his veiy words ?


He ask'd me, and again he ask'd, if you
With your own hands had given me the letter ?


If I ? Then did he mention me by name ?



By name ! no name lie mention'd : there might be
I listeners, he said about the palace, who
Might to the King disclose it.

PRINCESS (surprised').

Said he that ?


He further said, it much concern'd the King ;
Deeply concern'd — to know of that same letter.


The King ! Nay, are you sure you heard him right ?
The King ! Was that the very word he used ?


It was. He call'd it a most perilous secret,
And warn'd me to be strictly on my guard,
Never with word or look to give the King
Occasion for suspicion.

PRINCESS (after a pause with astonishment).
All agrees !
It can be nothing else — he must have heard
The tale — 'tis very strange ! Who could have told him ?
I wonder who ? The eagle eye of Love
Alone could pierce so far. But tell me further —
He read the letter, —


Which, he said, convey'd
Such bliss as made him tremble, and till then
He had not dared to dream of. As he spoke,
The Duke, by evil chance, approach'd the room,

And this compell'd us

PRINCESS (angrihj).

What in all the world
Could bring the Duke to him at such a time ?
What can detain him ? Why appears he not ?
See how you've been deceived ; how truly blest
Might he have been already — in the time
You've taken to describe his wishes to me !


The Duke, I fear

so. Vril.T DOK CARros. 65


Again, the Duke ! \Yh3Lt can
The Duke want here ? What should a warrior want
With my soft dreams of happiness ? He should
Have left him there, or sent him from his presence
Where is the man may not he treated thus ?
But Carlos seems as little versed in love
As in a woman's heart — he little knows
What minutes are. But hark ! I hear a step ;
Away, away. [Page hastens out.

Where have I laid my lute,
I must not seem to wait for him. My song
Shall be a signal to him.

Scene VIII.

The Princess, Don Carlos.

llie Princess has thrown herself upon an ottoman, and plays.

CARLOS (rushes in, he recognises the princess, and stands

Gracious Heav'n !
Where am 1 ?

princess (lets her lute fall, and meeting him).
What ! Prince Carlos ! yes, in truth.


Where am I? Senseless error, T have miss'd
The right apartment.

With what dexterous skill
Carlos contrives to hit the very room
Where ladies sit alone !


Your pardon, Princess !
I found — I found the antechamber open.


Can it be possible? I fastened it
Myself; at least I thought so


Ay ! you thought,
You only thought so — rest assured you did not.
You meant to lock it. that I v,-8ll believa :

56 t>oN CARros [a^cf n.

But most assuredly it was not locked.

A lute's sweet sounds attracted me, some hand

Touch'd it with skill; say, was it not a lute?

'\ Looking round inquiringly.
Yes, there it lies, and Heaven can bear me witness
I love the lute to madness. I became
All ear, forgot myself in the sweet strain,
And rush'd into the chamber to behold
The lovely eyes of the divine musician.
Who charm'd me witli the magic of her tones


Innocent curiosity, no doubt !

But it was soon appeased — as I can prove —

[After a short silence, oignificaTvLly.
I must respect the modesty, that has,
To spare a woman's blushes, thus involved
Itself in so much fiction.

CARLOS (ivitli sincerity).
Nay, I feel
I but augment my deep embarrassment,
In vain attempt to extricate myself.
Excuse me from a part I cannot play
In this remote apartment, you perhaps
Have sought a refuge from the world — to pour
The inmost wishes of your secret heart
Remote from man's distracting eye. By me.
Unhappy that I am, your heavenly dreams
Are all disturbed — and the atonement now
Must be my speedy absence. [Going,

PRINCESS (surprised and confused, but immediately recover-
ing herself)

6 ! that step
Were cruel, Prince, indeed !


Princess, I feel
What such a look in such a place imports :
This virtuous embarrassment has claims
To which my manhood never can be deaf.
Wo to the wretch whose boldness takes new fire
From the pure blush of maiden modesty!
I am a coward when a woman trembles.

SC. VIII.] Of*^ OAHLOS. 57

Is't possible? — Such noble self-control
In one so young, and he a monarch's son!
Now, Prince, indeed you shall remain with me.
It is my own request, and you must stay.
Near such high virtue, every maiden fear
Takes wing at once ; but your appearance here
Disturb "d me in a favourite air, and now
Your penalty shall be to hear me sing it.

CARLOS [sits down near the princess, 7iot without reluctance).
A penalty delightful as the sin !
And sooth to say, the subject of the song
Was so divine, again and yet again
I'd gladly hear it.


What ! you heard it all ?
Nay that was too bad, Prince. It was, I think,
A song of love.


And of successful love.
If I mistake not — dear delicious theme
From tliose most beauteous lips — but scarce so true,
Methinks, as beautiful.


What ! not so true ?
Then do you doubt the tale ?


I almost doubt
That Carlos and the Princess Eboli,
When they discourse on such a theme as love,
May not quite understand each other's hearts.

[The Princess starts ; he observes it, and ccntinues with
playful gallantry.
Who would believe those rosy-tinted cheeKS
Conceal'd a heart torn by the pangs of love.
Is it within the range of wayward chance
That the fair Princess Eboli should sigh
Uiiheard — imanswer'd ? Love is only knowii
By him wh : hopelessly persists in love.

58 DO-:* CARLOS. [act II.

PRINCESS {icith all her former rivacity).
Hush ! what a dreadful thought ! this fate indeed
Appears to follow you of all mankind.
Especially to day.

[Taking his hand with insinuating interest.
You are not happy,
Dear Prince — you're sad ! 1 know too well you suffer,
And wherefore, Prince ? Wlien with such loud appeal
The world invites you to enjoy its bliss —
And nature on you pours her bounteous gifts.
And spreads around you. all life's sweetest joys.
You, a great monarch's son, and more — far more—
E'en in your cradle with such gifts endow'd
As far eclipsed the splendour of your rank.
You, who in those strict courts where women rule,
And pass, without appeal, unerring sentence
On manly worth and honour, even there
Find partial judges. — You, who with a look
Can prove victorioiis, and whose very coldness
Kindles a flame ; and who, when warm'd with passion.
Can make a Paradise, and scatter round
The bliss of heaven, the rapture of the gods.
The man whom nature has adorned with gifts
To render thousands happy, gifts which she

Bestows on few that such a man as this

Should know what mis'ry is ! Thou, gracious Heaven,

That gav'st him all those blessings, why deny
Him eyes to see the conquests he has made ?
CARLOS [who has been lost in absence of mind, suddenly recovers
himself by the silence of the princess, and starts up).
Clmrming ! inimitable ! Princess, sing
That passage pray again .

PRINCESS [looking at him with astonishment).
Where, Carlos, were
Your thoughts the while ?

CARLOS {jumps zip).

By Heaven, you do remind me
In proper time — I must away — and quickly.

PRINCESS (holding him bade).
Whither away ?



Into the open air.
Nay, do not hold me, Princess, for I feel
As tho' the world behnid me were in flames.

PRINCESS {holding him forcibly back).
What troubles you? — Whence come these strange, these wild
Unnatural looks? — Nay, answer me —

[Carlos stops to reflect, she draws him to the sofa to her.

Dear Carlos,
Ycu need repose, your blood is feverish.
Come sit by me : dispel these gloomy fancies.
Ask yourself frankly, can your head explain
The tumult of your heart— and ifit can —
Say, can no knight be found in all the court,
No lady, generous as fair, to cure you —
Eather, I should have said, to understand you? —
What, no one ?

CARLOS [liastibj, without thinking).
If the Princess Eboli —

PRINCESS {delighted, quickly)
Indeed !


Would write a letter for me, a few words
Of kindly intercession, to my father —
Tb.ey say your influence is great.


Who says so ?
Ha! was it jealousy that held thee mute; [Aside.


Perchance my story is already public.
I had a sudden wish to visit Brabant,
Merely to win my spurs— no more. The King,
Kind soul, is fearful the fatigues of war
Might spoil my singing !


Prince, you play me false.
Confess that, by this serpent subterfuge,
You would mislead me. Look me in the face.
Deceitful one ! and say, would he whose thoughts
Were only bent on warlike deeds — would he


E'er stoop so low as, with deceitful hand,
To steal fair ladies' ribbons, when they drop,
And then — your pardon ! hoard them — with such care ?
[With light action she ojiens his shirt frill, and seizes a
rihhon which is there concealed.
CARLOS {drawing hack with amazement).
Nay, Princess — that's too much — I am betray 'd. —
You're not to be deceived. — You are in league
With spirits and with demons !


Are you then ;

Surprised at this ? What will you wager, Carlos, ^

But I recall some stories to your heart?
Nay, try it with me ; ask whate'er you please.
And if the triflings of thy sportive fancy —
The sound half-uttered, by the air absorb'd —

The smile of joy check'd by returning gloom •

If motions — looks from your own soul conceal'd,

Have not escaped my notice — judge if I

Can err, when thou wouldst have me understand thee ?


Why this is boldly ventured : I accept
The wager, Princess. Then you undertake
To make discoveries in my secret heart,
Unknown e'en to myself. '^

PRINCESS [displeased, hit earnestly).
Unknown to thee!
Picflect a moment, Prince ! Nay, look around ;
This boudoir's not the chamber of the Queen,
Where small deceits are practised with full licence
You start, a sudden blush o'erspreads your face.
Who is so bold, so idle, you would ask.
As to watch Carlos, when he deems himself
From scrutiny secure? Who was it, then.
At the last palace ball, observed you leave
The Queen, your partner, standing in the dance.
And join, with eager haste, the neighb'ring couple,
To offer to the Princess Eboli
The hand, your royal partner should have claim'd?
An error, Priioce, his Majesty himself.
Who just then entered the apartment, noticed.

SC. Vtn.] DON CARLOS. 61

CARLOS (with ironical smile).
His Majesty ? And did he. really so ?
Of all men he should not laave seen it !



Nor yet that other scene, within the chapel,

Which douhtless Carlos hath long since forgotterL

Prostrate before the holy Virgin's image.

You lay in prayer, when suddenly you heard —

'Twas not your fault — a rustling from behind

Of ladies' dresses. Then did Philip's son,

A youth of hero courage, tremble like

A heretic before the Holy Office.

On his pale lips died the half-utter'd prayer.

In extacy of passion, Prince — the scene

Was truly touching — for you seized the hand.

The blessed Virgin's cold and holy hand,

And shower'd your burning Idsses on the marble.


Princess, you wrong me : that was pure devotion !


Indeed ! that's quite another thing. Perhaps
It was the fear of losing, then, at cards,
When you were seated with the Queen and me.
And you with dexterous skill purloined my glove,

[Carlos starts surprised
That prompted you to play it for a card ?


What words are these ? Heav'n, what have I done ?

Nothing, I hope, of which you need I'epent !
How pleasantly was I surprised to find
Conceal 'd within the glove a little note,
Full of the warmest, tenderest romance.

CARLOS [inter riiptincf her suddenly y
Mere poetry !^no more. My fancy teems
With idle bubbles oft, which break as soon
A 6 they arise — and this was one of them;
So prithee let us talk of it no more



PSIKCESS {leaving him with astonishment, and regarding him
for some time at a distance).
I am exhausted — all attempts are vain
To hold this youth. He still eludes my grasp.

[Remains silent afeiv momenta
But stay ! Perchance 'tis man's unbounded pride,
That thus to add a zest to my delight
Assumes a mask of timid diffidence.
Tis so.

[She approaches the Peince again, and looks at him

Explain yourself, Prince, I entreat you.
For here I stand before a magic casket.
Which all my keys ai'e powerless to unlock.


As I before you stand.
PRINCESS [leaves him suddenly, uaJks a feic steps up and down
in silence, arqmrenthj lost in deep thought. — After a pause,
gravely and solemnly)

Then thus at last —
I must resolve to speak, and Carlos, you
Shall be my judge. Yours is a noble nature.
You ai*e a Prince — a Knight — a man of honour
I throw myself upon your heart — protect me :
Or if I'm lost beyond redemption's power,
Give me yom* tears in pity for my fate.

[The Prikce draws nearer
A daring favourite of the King demands
My hand — his name Piuy Gomez, Count of Silva.
The King consents — the bargain has been struck,
And I am sold already to his creature.

CARLOS {with evident emotion).
Sold ! you sold ! Another bargain, then,
Concluded by this royal southern trader !


No : but hear all — 'tis not enough that 1
Am sacrificed to cold state policy,
A snare is laid to entrap my innocence.
Here is a letter will unmask the Saint !

[Carlos takes the paper, and without reading it Itstem
with impatienee to her recital.


Where shall 1 find protection. Prince? Till now
My virtue was defended by my pride.

At leugth-


At length you yielded. — Yielded ? No,
For God's sake say not so !


Yielded! — to whom?
Poor piteous reasoning — Weak beyond contempt
Your haughty minds, who hold a woman's favour,
And love's pure joys, as wares to traffic for I
Love is the only treasure on the face
Of this wide earth, that knows no purchaser
Besides itself — love has no price but love.
It is the costly gem, beyond all price.
Which I must freely give away, or — bary
For ever unenjoyed — like that proud merchant
\Miom not the wealth of all the rich Pdalto
Could tempt — a great rebuke to kings I — to save
From the deep ocean waves his matchless pearl,
Too proud to barter it beneath its worth I

CARLOS [aside).
Now, by great Heaven, this woman's beautiful.


Call it caprice or pride, I ne'er will make

Division of my joys. To him, alone,

I choose as mine, I give up all for ever.

One only saciifice I make ; but that

Shall be eternal. One true heart alone

My love shall render happy ; but that one

111 elevate to God. The keen delight

Of mingling souls — the kiss — the s\rimming joys

Of that delicious hour when lovers meet.

The magic power of heavenly beauty — all

Are sister colours of a siugfle rav —

Leaves of one single blossom. Shall I tear

One petal from this sweet, this lovely flower.

With reckless hand, and mar its beauteous chalice?

Shall I degrade the dignity of woman.

The masterpiece of the Almighty's hand,

To charm the evening of a reveller?



Incredible ! that in Madrid shou.d dwell
This matchless creature I and unknown to me
Until this day.


; Long since had I forsaken.

t This court — the world — and in some blest retreat

Immured myself; but one tie binds me still
' Too firmly to existence. Perhaps — alas !

'Tis but a phantom — but 'tis dear to me.

I love — but am not loved in turn —

CARLOS {full of ardour, going tou-ards her).

You are 1
As true as God is throned in heaven ! I swear
You are — you are unspeakably beloved —


You swear it, you ! — sure 'twas an angel's voice.
0, if you swear it, Carlos, I'll believe it —
Then I am truly loved !

CARLOS (embracing her with tenderness',.
Bewitching maid,
Thou creature worthy of idolatry !
I stand before thee now all eye, all ear,
All rapture and delight. What eye hath seen thee —
Under yon heaven what eye could e'er have seen thee.
And boast he never loved ? What dost thou here
In Philip's royal court ! Thou beauteous angel !
Here amid monks and all their priestly train.
This is no clime for such a lovely flower —
They fain would rifle all thy sweets — full well
I know their hearts. But it shall never be —
Not whilst I draw life's breath — I fold thee thus

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 4 of 37)