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Ter. (in extreme embarrassment, to the commanders, who at Illo's words gave a sudden start, as preparing to resent them.) It is the wine that speaks, and not his reason. Attend not to him, I entreat you.

Iso. (with a bitter laugh) Wine invents nothing: it only tattles.

Illo. He who is not with me is against me. Your tender consciences ! Unless they can slip out hy a backdoor, by a puny proviso!

Ter. (interrupting him) He is stark mad-don't listen to him.

Illo. (raising his voice to the highest pitch) Unless they can slip out by a proviso.—What of the proviso? The devil take this proviso!

Max. (has his attention roused, and looks again into the paper) What is there here then of such perilous import? You make me curious-I must look closer at it.

Ter. (in a low voice to Illo) What are you doing, Illo? You are ruining us.

Tief. (to Kolatto) Ay, ay! I observed, that before we sat down to supper, it was read differently.

Goetz. Why, I seemed to think so too.

Iso. What do I care for that? Where there stand other names, mine can stand too.

Tief. Before supper there was a certain proviso therein, or short clause concerning our duties to the Emperor.

But. (to one of the commanders) For shame, for shame! Bethink you. What is the main business here? The question now is, whether we shall keep our General, or let him retire. One must not take these things too nicely and over-scrupulously.

Iso. (to one of the generals) Did the Duke make any of these provisoes when he gave you your regiment ?

Ter..(to Goetz) Or when he gave you the office of

army-purveyancer, which brings you in yearly a thousand pistoles.

Illo. He is a rascal who makes us out to be rogues. If there be any one that wants satisfaction, let him say so. I am his man.

Tief. Softly, softly! 'Twas but a word or two.

Max. (having read the paper gives it back) Till tomorrow therefore !

Illo. (stammering with rage and fury, loses all command over himself, and presents the paper to Max. with one hand, and his sword in the other) Subscribe-Judas !

Iso. Out upon you, Illo!
Oct., Ter., But. (all together) Down with the sword.

Max. (rushes on him suddenly and disarms him, then to Count Tertsky) Take him off to bed.

[Max. leaves the stage. Illo cursing and raving

is held back by some of the officers, and amidst a universal confusion the curtain drops.

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Scene, a chamber in Piccolomini's Mansion.-It is Night.


Octavio Piccolomini. A Valet de Chamber, with Lights.

Oct. And when my son comes in, conduct him

hither. What is the hour ? Val.

'Tis on the point of morning. Oct. Set down the light. We mean not to undress. You may retire to sleep.

[Exit Valet. Octavio paces, musing, across the

chamber. Max. Piccolomini enters unobserved, and looks at his father for some moments in

silence.] Max. Art thou offended with me? Heav'n knows That odious business was no fault of mine. 'Tis true, indeed, I saw thy signature. What thou hadst sanction'd, should not, it might seem, Have come amiss to me. But-'tis my natureThou know'st, that in such matters I must follow My own light, not another's.

Oct. (goes up to him, and embraces him,) Follow it,
O follow it still further, my best son !
To night, dear boy! it hath more faithfully
Guided thee than th' example of thy father.

Max. Declare thyself less darkly.

I will do so.
For after what has taken place this night,

There must remain no secrets 'twixt us two,

(Both seat themselves.) Max. Piccolomini ! what think'st thou of The oath that was sent round for signatures ?

Max. I hold it for a thing of harmless import, Altho' I love not these set declarations.

Oct. And on no other ground hadst thou refus'd The signature they fain had wrested from thee ?

Max. It was a serious business - - I was absent The affair itself seem'd not so urgent to me.

Oct. Be open, Max, Thou hadst then no suspicion ?
Max. Suspicion! what suspicion ? Not the least.

Oct. Thank thy good angel, Piccolomini ;
He drew thee back unconscious from the abyss,

Max. I know not what thou meanest.

I will tell thee.
Fain would they have extorted from thee, son,
The sanction of thy name to villany ;
Yea, with a single flourish of thy pen,
Made thee renounce thy duty and thy honour !

Max. (rises,) Octavio !

Patience ! Seat yourself. Much yet
Hast thou to hear from me, friend !-hast for years
Liv'd in incomprehensible illusion.
Before thine eyes is treason drawing out
As black a web as e'er was spun from venom:
A power of hell o'erclouds thy understanding.
I dare no longer stand in silence-dare
No longer see thee wandering on in darkness
Nor pluck the bandage from thine eyes.

My father!
Yet, ere thou speak’st, a moment's pause of thought.
If your disclosures should appear to be
Conjectures only--and almost I fear.

They will be nothing further-spare them! I
Am not in that collected mood at present,
That I could listen to them quietly.

Oct. The deeper cause thou hast to hate this light,
The more impatient cause have I, my son,
To force it on thee. To the innocence
And wisdom of thy heart I could have trusted thee
With calm assurance-but I see the net
Preparing—and it is thy heart itself
Alarms me for thine innocence—that secret,

(fising his eyes steadfastly on his son's face,) • Which thou concealest, forces mine from me.

(Max. attempts to answer, but hesitates, and casts

his eyes to the ground embarrassed.)
Oct. (after a pause,) Know, then, they are duping

thee ;-a most foul game
With thee and with us all-nay, hear me calmly-
The Duke even now is playing. He assumes
The mask, as if he would forsake the army ;
And in this moment makes he preparations
That army from the Emperor-to steal,
And carry it over to the enemy!

Max. That low priest's legend I know well, but did


Expect to hear it from thy mouth.

That mouth,
From which thou hear'st it at this present moment
Doth warrant thee that it is no priest's legend.

Max. How mere a maniac they suppose the Duke.
What, he can meditate ?—the Duke ?-can dream
That he can lure away full thirty thousand
Tried troops and true, all honourable soldiers,
More than a thousand noblemen among them,
From oaths, from duty, from their honour lure them,

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