Friedrich Schiller.

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

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Within my arms, and in these hands I'll bear thee
E'en through a hell replete w^ith mocking fiends.
Let me thy guardian angel prove.

PBINCESS {with a countenance full of love).

0, Carlos !
How httle have I knoAvn thee ! and how richly
With measureless reward thy heart repaye


The weighty task of — comprehending thee !

[She takes his hand and is about to ki$s it.

CARLOS {drawing it back).
Princess ! What mean you ?

PRINCESS [with tenderness and grace, looking at his hand


0, this beauteous hand !
How lovely 'tis, and rich I This hand has yet
Two costly presents to bestow ! — a crown —
And Carlos' heart: — and both these gifts perchance
Upon one mortal ! — both on one — great
And godlike gift — almost too much for one !
How if you share the treasure, Prince ! A queen
Knows nought of love — and she who tinily loves
Cares little for a crown ! 'Twere better. Prince,
Then to divide the treasure — and at once —
What says my Prince ? Have you done so already ?
Have you in truth ? And do I know the blest one ?


Thou shalt. I will unfold myself to thee,

To thy unspotted innocence, dear maid,

Thy pure unblemish'd natui-^. In this court

Thou art the worthiest — first — the only one

To whom this soul has stood reveal'd. Then, yes !

I will not now conceal it — Yes, I love ! —


cruel heart I Does this avowal prove
So painful to thee ? Must I first deserve
Thy pity — ere I hope to win thy love ?

CARLOS (starting).
What say'st thou ?


So to trifle with me, Prince !
Indeed it was not well — and to deny
The key !


The key 1 the key ! Oh yes, 'tis so !

[After a dead silence.



I see it all too plainly ! Gracious Heav'n I

[His knees totter, he leans against a chair, and v.wers
his face with his hands. A long silence on both
sides. The Princess screams and falls.


Oh iiorrible ! What have I done ?


Hurl'd down
So far from all mj heavenly joys ! 'Tis dreadful !

PRFNCESS [hiding her face in the cushion).
God ! What have I said ?

CARLOS (kneeling before her).

I am not guilty.
My passion — an unfortunate mistake —
By heaven, I am not guilty

PRINCESS [pushing him from her).

Out of my sight,
For Heav'n 's sake !


No, I vNTill not leave thee thus.
In this dread anguish leave thee

PRINCESS (joushing him forcibly away).

in pity —
For mercy s sake, away — out of my sight !
Wouldst thou destroy me ? How I hate thy presence '

[Carlos going.
Give, give me back the letter and the key. —
Where is the other letter ?


The other letter ?
What other?


. That from the King, to me

CARLOS [terrified)

From vphom ?


The one 1 just now gave you.

90. DC. ] DOH CARLOS. 6?


From the King !
To you !


hftivens, how dreadfully have f
Involved myself! The letter, Sir! I must
Have it again.


The letter from the King !
To you !


The letter ! give it, I implore you
By all that's sacred — give it —


What, the letter
That will unmask the saint ! — Is this the letter ?


Now I'm undone ! Quick, give it me


The letter

PRINCESS [xvrinijing her hands in despair).
What have I done? — O dreadful, dire imprudence !


This letter comes then from the King ! Princess,
That changes all indeed, and quickly too.
This letter is hej^ond all value — priceless !
All Philip's crowns are worthless and too poor
To win it from my hands. Ill keep this letter.

PRINCESS {throwing herself prostrate before him as he is goinj)
Almighty Heaven ! then I am lost for ever ! \Exit CARL»5h

Scene IX.

Tlie Princess alone.

She seems overcome with surprise and is confounded. After
Carlos' departure she liastens to call him hack.)


Prince, but one w^rd ! Prince, hear me. He is gone
And this, toe, 1 aui tloom'd to bear — his scorn !


And I am left in lonely wretchedness,
Kejected and despised !

[Sinks down upon a chair. — After a pause
And yet not so —
I'm but displaced — supplanted by some wanton.
He loves ! of that, no longer doubt is left :
He has himself confess'd it — but my rival —
Who can she be ? Happy, thrice happy one !
This much stands clear — he loves, where he should not !
He dreads discovery — and from the King
He hides his guilty passion ! Why from him
Who would so gladly hail it ? Or, is it not
The father that he dreads so in the parent ? —
When the Iving's wanton purpose was disclosed
His features glow'd with triumph — boundless joy
Flash'd in his eyes — his rigid virtue fled —
Why was it mute in such a cause as this ?

Why should he triumph ? What hath he to gain

If Philip to his queen

[She stops suddenly, as if struck by a thought, then
drawing the ribbon hastily from her bosom which
she had taken from Caelos, she seems to recognise

Fool that I am ! —

At length 'tis plain. Where have my senses been?

j\Iy eyes are opened now. They loved each other

Long before Philip wooed her, and the Prince

Ne'er saw me but with her ! She, she alone

Was in his thoughts when I believed myself

The object of his true and boimdless love.

O matchless error ! — and have I betray 'd

My weakness to her ? [Pauses.

Should his love prove hopeless ?

Who can believe it ? Would a hopeless love

Persist in such a struggle ? Call'd to revel

In joys for which a monarch sighs in A'ain !

A, hopeless love makes no such sacrifice.

What fire was in his kiss ! How tenderly

He press 'd my bosom to his beatuig heart !

Well nigh the trial had proved dangerous

To Ins romantiC; unrequited passion .'


Willi joy he seized the key lie fondly thought
The Queen had sent: — in this gigantic stride
Of love he puts full credence — and he comes —
In very truth comes here — and so imputes
To Philip "s wife, a deed so madly rash.
And would he so, had love not made him bold?
'Tis clear as day — his suit is heard — she loves !
By Heaven, this saintly creature bums with passion-
How subtle too she is ! With fear I trembled
Before this lofty paragon of virtue !
She tower'd beside me, an exalted being,
And in her beams I felt myself eclipsed ;
I envied her the lovely, cloudless calm,
That kept her soul from earthly tumults free.
And was this soft serenity but show ?
Would she at both feasts revel, holding up
Her virtue's godlike splendour to our gaze,
And riot in the secret joys of vice ?
And shall the false dissembler cozen thus,

And win a safe immunity from this

That no avenger comes ? By heaven she shall not !
I once adored her, — that demands revenge :—
The King shall know her treachery — the King !

[After a pause.
Tis the sure way to win the Monarch's ear ! [Exit

Scene X.

A Chamber in the Royal Palace.

Duke of Alva, Father Domingo


Something to tell me ?


Ay ! a thing of moment.
Of which I've made discovery to-day,
And I would have your judgment on it.


Discover)' ! To what do you allude ?


Prince Carlos and myself this morning met
In the Queen's antechamber I received


An msult frcm liim — we were both in heat —
The strife grew loud — and we had drawn our swords
Alarm'd, from her apartment rush'd the Queen.
She stepped between us, — with commanding eje
Of conscious power, she looked upon the Prince.
'Twas but a single glance, — but his arm dropp'd
He fell upon my bosom — gave me then
A warm embrace, and vanish'd.

DOMINGO {after a pause).

This seems strange !
It brings a something to my mind, my Lord I
And thoughts like these I own have often sprung
Within my breast ; but I avoid such fancies —
To no one have I e'er confided them.
There are such things as double-edged swords
And untrue friends : — I fear them both. 'Tis hard
To judge among mankind, but still more hard
To know them thoroughly. Words slipt at random
Are confidants offended — therefore I
Buried my secret in my breast, till time
Should drag it forth to light. 'Tis dangerous
To render certain sei-vices to kings.
They are the bolts, which, if they miss the mark.
Recoil upon the archer ! I could swear
Upon the Sacrament to what I saw.
Yet one eye-witness — one word overheard —
A scrap of paper — would weigh heavier far
Than my most strong conviction ! Cursed fate
That we are here in Spain !


And why in Spain?


There is a chance in every Court but this,

For passion to forget itself, and fall.

Here it is wam'd by ever-wakeful laws.

Our Spanish Queens would find it hard to siu —

And onhj there do they meet obstacles,

Where best 'twould serve our purpose to surprise tiieiii


But listen farther ■ Carlos had to-day


An audience of the King ; the interview

Lasted an hour, and earnestly he sought

The Government of Flanders for himself.

Loudly he begg'd, and fervently. I heard him

In the adjoining cabinet. His eyes

Were red Avith tears when I encountered him

At noon he wore a look of lofty triumph,

And vow'd his joy at the King's choice of me.

He thank'd the King. "Matters are changed," he $aid.

" And things go better now." He's no dissembler :

How shall I reconcile such contradictions ?

The Prince exults to see himself rejected,

And I I'eceive a favour from the Iving

With marks of anger !— What must I believe ?

In tnith, this new-born dignity doth sound

Much more like banishment, than royal favour !


And is it come to this at last ? to this ?
And has one moment crumbled into dust
What cost us years to build ? And you so calm,

So perfectly at ease ! Know you this youth ?

Do you foresee the fate we may expect

Should he attain to power? The Prince 1 No foe

Am I of his. Far other cares than these

Gnaw at my rest — cares for the throne — for God,

And for His holy Church ! — The royal Prince —

(I know him, I can penetrate his soul,)

Has formed a horrible design, Toledo !

The wild design — to make himself the Regent,

And set aside our pure and sacred faith.

His bosom glows with some new-fangled virtue.

Which, proud and self-sufficient, scorns to rest

For strength on any creed. He dares to think!

His brain is all on fire, with wild chimeras —

He reverences the people ! And is this

A man to he our King ?


Fantastic dreams !
No more. A boy's ambition, too, perchance
To play some lofty part ! "\Miat can he less ^
These thoughts will vanish when he's calld to rule.

73 DON CARLOS. [act !I.


I doubt it ! Of liis freedom lie is proud,

And scorns those strict restraints, all men must baar

Who hope to govern others. Would he suit

Our throne? His bold gigantic mind

Would burst the barriers of our policy

In vain I sought to enervate his soul

In the loose joys of this voluptuous age,

He stood the trial. Fearful is the spirit

That rules this youth ; and Philip soon will seo

His sixtieth year.


Your vision stretches far '


He and the Queen are both alike in this.

Already works, conceal'd in either breast,

The poisonous wish for change and innovation.

Give it but way, 'twill quickly reach the throne

I know this Valois ! We may tremble for

The secret vengeance of this quiet foe,

If Philip's weakness hearken to her voice !

Fortune so far hath smiled upon us. Now

We must anticipate the foe — and both

Shall fall together in one fatal snare.

Let but a hint of such a thing be dropp'd

Before the King, proved or unproved, it recks not ;

Our point is gain'd if he but waver. We

Ourselves have not a doubt ; and once convinced,

'Tis easy to convince another's mind.

Be sure we shall discover more, if we

Start with the faith that more remains conceal'd.


But soft ! A vital question ! Who is he
Will undertake the task to tell the King ?


Nor you, nor I ! Now shall you learn, what long
My busy spirit, full of its design.
Has been at work with, to achieve its ends.
Still is there wanting to complete our league,
A third important personage. The King

SC. XI.] DOK CABL08. 73

Loves the young Princess Ebcli— and I
Foster this passion, for my own designs.
I am his go-between. She shall be school'd
Into our plot. If my plan fail me not,
In thi« young lady, shall a close ally —
A. veiy Queen, bloom for us. She herself
Asked me, but now, to meet her in this chamber.
I'm full of hope. And in one little night
A Spanish maid may blast this Valois' lily


What do you say ! Can I have heard aright ?
By Heaven ! I'm all amazement. Compass this.
And I'll bow down to thee, Dominican !
The day's our own.


Soft ! Some one comes : 'tis she- -
Tis she herself!


I'm in the adjoining room
If you should


Be it so : I'll call you m [Eont Alva,

Scene XI.
Princess, Domingo


At your command, Princess.


We are perhaps
Not quite alone? [Looking inquisitively after the DrrFVi

You have, as I observe,
A witness still by you.




Who was he
That left your side but now ?


It was Duke Alva,
Idlest gracious Princess, he requests you will
Admit him to an audience after me.

74 I>ON CAKL03 [act 1 1


Duke Alva ! H'-w ! What can he want with me ?
You can, perhaps, irJorm me ?


I ?— and that
Before I learn to what important chance
1 owe the favour, long denied, to stand
Before the Princess Eboli once more ?

[Pauses awaiting her answer
Has any circumstance occurred at last
To favour the King's wishes? Have my hopes
Been not in vain, that more deliberate thought
Would reconcile you to an offer, which
Caprice alone and waywardness could spurn ?
I seek your presence full of expectation


Was my last answer to the King convey 'd ?


I have delay'd to inflict this mortal wound.
There still is time, it rests with you, Princess,
To mitigate its rigour.


Tell the Iving
That I expect him.


May I, lovely Princess,
Indeed accept this as your true reply ?


I do not jest. — By Heaven, you make me tremble !
What have I done to make e'en you grow pale ?


Nay, Lady, this surprise — so sudden — I
Can scarcely comprehend it.


Reverend Sir!
You shall not comprehend it. — Not for all
The world would I you comprehended it.
Enough for you it is so — spare yourself
The trouble to investigate in thought.
Whose eloquence hath wrought this wondrous change.
But for your comfort let me add, you have


No hand in this misdeed, — nor has the Church.
Although you've proved, that cases might arise
Wherein the Church, to gain some noble end.
Might use the persons of her youthful daughters !
Such reasonings move not me : such motives, pur».«.
Right reverend Sir, are far too high for me.


When they become superfluous, your Grace,
I willingly retract ihem.


Seek the King,
And ask him as from me, that he will not
Mistake me in this business. What I have been.
That am I still. 'Tis but the course of things
Has changed. 'V\Tien I in anger spurn'd his suit,
I deem'd him truly happy in possessing
Earth's fairest Queen. — I thought his faithful wife
Deserved my sacrifice. — I thought so then,
But now I'm undeceived.


Princess, go on !
I hear it all — we understand each other.


Enough. She is found out. I -sN-ill not spare her.
The hypocrite's unmask'd ! She has deceived
The King, all Spain, and me. She loves, I know
She loves ! I can bring proofs, will make you tremble.
The King has been deceived — but he shall not,
By Heaven, go uurevenged 1 The sanuly mask
Of pure and superhuman self-denial
I'll tear from her deceitful brow, that all
May see the forehead of the shameless sinner.
'Twill cost nie dear, but here my triumph lies.
That it will cost her infinitely more.


Now all is ripe, let me call in the Duke [Goes out.

PRINCESS {astoiuslied)
VNTiat means all this ?

76 DON CARLO* r^(.^ j[j_


The Peikcess, Duke Alva, Di^mikoo

DOMINGO (leading the dcke iti).

Our tidings, good my Lord,
Come somewhat late. The Princess Eholi
Reveals to us a secret, we had meant
Ourselves to impart to her.


My visit, then,
"Will not so much surprise her, hut I never
Trust my own eyes in these discoveries.
They need a woman's more discerning glance


Discoveries ! How mean you ?


Would we knew
What place and fitter season you


Just so !
To-morrow noon, I will expect you both.
Picasons I have, why this clandestine guilt
Should from the King no longer be conceal'd.


Tis this that brings us here. The King roust know it.
And he should hear the news from you, Princess,
from you alone : — for to what tongue would be
Afford such ready credence, as to yours,
Friend and companion ever of his spouse ?


As yours, who more than any one, at will
Can o'er him e.vercise supreme command


I am the Prince's open enemy


And that is what the world believes of me.

The Princess Eboli 's above suspicion

We ai'e compell'd to silence, but your duty,

The duty of your office, calls on you

To speak. The King shall not escape our hands

Let your hints rouse him, we'll complete the work

6C. Xn.l DON CARLOS 77


It must be done at once, -without delay ;
E^ch moment now is precious. In an hour
The order may arrive for my departure.

DOMINGO {after a short pause, turns to the princess)
Cannot some letters be discover'd? Truly,
An intercepted letter from the Piince
Would -work vnth rare effect. Ay ! let me see-
ls it not so? You sleep, Princess, I think,
In the same chamber with her Majesty?


The next to hers. But of what use is that ?


Oh for some skUl in locks ! Have you observed
Where she is wont to keep her casket key ?

PRINCESS {in thought).
Yes ! that might lead to something — yes, I think
The key is to be found.


Letters, you know.
Need messengers. Her retinue is large- •
TMio do you think could put us on the scent?
Gold can do much.


Can no one tell us whether
The Prince has any trusty confidant ?


Not one ; in all Madrid not one.


That's strange \


Eely on me in this. He holds in scorn
The universal court, I have my proofs.


Stay ! It occurs to me — as I was leaving
The Queen's apartment, I beheld the Prince
lu private conference with a page of hers.

PRINCESS {suddenly interrur)t'm(j ).
Oh 20 : that must have been of something olso.




Could we ijot ascertain tlie fact? It seems
Suspicious. [I'o the Dcke

Did you know the page, my Lord ?


Some trifle — what else could it be ? Enough —
I'm sure of that. So we shall meet again
Before I see the King ; and by that time
We may discover much.

DOMINGO (leading her aside).

^ATiatof the King?
Saj may he hope ? May I assure him so ?
And the entrancins; hour which shall fulfil
His fond desires, what shall I say of that ?


In a few days I will feign sickness, and
Shall be excused from waiting on the Queen
Such is, you know, the custom of the Court,
And I may then remain in my apartment.


Tis well de-vised ! Now the great game is won,
And we may bid defiance to all Queens !


Hark, I am called. I must attend the Queen,

So fare you well. [Exii

Scene XIII.

Alva and Domingo.

DOMINGO (after a pause, during ichich he has watched

the princess).

My Lord ! these roses, and-

Your battles —


And your God — why even so !

e ue


Thus well await the lightning that shall scathe us!

Scene XIV

A Carthusian Convent

Don Carlos and the Priob.

CARLOS {to the prior, as he comes in).

Been here already ? — I am sony for it.




Yes, thrice since moniing. 'Tis about au hour
Since he went hence.


But he will sure return
Has he not left some message ?


Yes ; he promised
To come again at noon.
CARLes {going to a vciadow, and looking round the country).

Your convent lies
Far from the public road. Yonder are seen
The tuiTets of Madrid — just so — and there
The Mansanares flows. The sceneiy is
Exactly to my wish, and all around
Is calm "and still as secrecy itself


Or as the entrance to another world '


Most worthy Sir, to your fidelity
And honour, have I now entrusted all
1 hold most dear and sacred in the world.
No mortal man must know, or e'en suspect.
With whom I here hold secret assignation.
Most weighty reasons prompt me to deny.
To all the world, the friend whom I expect,
Therefore I choose this convent. — Are we safe
From traitors and surprise ? You recollect
What you have sworn.


Good Sir, rely on us.
A King's suspicion cannot pierce the grave,
And curious ears haunt only those resorts
Where wealth and passions dwell — but from these walls
The world's for ever banish'd.


You may think.
Perhaps, beneath this seeming fear and caution
There lies a guilty conscience ?


i think nothing.

80 D0» CAKLOS. [act IL


If you imagine this, most holy father.

You err — indeed you err. My secret shuns

The sight of man — but not the eye of God.


Such things concern us little. This retreat
To guilt, and innocence alUi^e, is open.
And whether thy designs be good or ill,
Thy purpose criminal or virtuous, — that
We leave to thee to settle with thy heart

CARLOS (tvith ivarmth).
Our purpose never can disgrace your God.
'Tis his own noblest work. To you, indeed,
I may reveal it,


To what end, I pray ?
Forego, dear Prince, this needless explanation.
The world and all its troubles have been long
Shut from my thoughts — in preparation for
My last long journey. Why recall them to me.
For the brief space that must precede my death ?
'Tis little for salvation that we need —
But the bell rings, and summons me to prayer.

[Exit r Rici

Scene XV.

Don Carlos ; the Marquis Posa enters.


At length once more, — at length


O, what a trial
For the impatience of a friend ! The sun
Has risen twice — twice set — since Carlos's fate
Has been resolved, and am I only now
To learn it : speak, — ^you're reconciled !


With whom f


The liing ! And Flanders, too, — its fate is settled !

SC. XV.j DON CAiaos.


The Duke sets out to morrow. That is fixed — —


That cannot bs — it is not surely so.
Can all Madrid be so deceived ? 'Tis said
You had a private audience, and the King


Remaind inflexible, and we are now
Dinded more than ever.


Do you go


To Flanders !




Alas ! my blighted hopes !


Of this hereafter. Oh, Roderigo ! since
We parted last, what have I not endured ?
But first thy counsel ! I must speak with her !


Your mother ? No ! But wherefore ?


I have hopei

But y-ou turn pale ! Be calm — I should be happy.
And I shall be so : but of this anon —
Advise me now, how I may speak with her


What mean you ? What new feverish dream is this '?


By the great God of wonders 'tis no dream !

'Tis truth, reality

[Taking out the king's letter to the Princess Edolt.
Contain'd in this
Important paper — Yes, the Queen is free, —
Free before men and in the eyes of Heaven ;
There read, and cease to wonder at my words.

(MARQUIS iopeninci the letter).
What do I here behold ? The King's own hand !

lAfter he has read it
To whom address'd ?




To Princess Eboli.
Two days ago, a page -who serves the Queen,
Brought me, from unkno-wn hands, a key and letter.
Which said that in the left wing of the palace,
Where the Queen lodges, lay a cabinet, —
That there a lady whom I long had loved
Awaited me. I straight obey'd the summons


Fool ! madman ! you obey'd it


Not that 1
The writing knew ; but there was only one
Such woman, who could think herself adored
By Carlos. With delight intoxicate
I hasteu'd to the spot. A heavenly song,
Re-echoing from the innermost apartment,
Served me for guide. I reached the cabinet —
I entered and beheld — conceive my wonder ! —


1 guess it all

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 5 of 37)