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Oct. Come after me to Frauenberg, where now All, who are loyal, are assembling under Counts Altringer and Galas. Many others I've brought to a remembrance of their duty. This night be sure, that you escape from Pilsen. But. (strides up and down in excessive agitation, then
steps up to Octavio with resolved countenance.)
Count Piccolomini! Dare that man speak
Oct. He, who repents so deeply of it, dares.
Leave me and my regiment.
That the deed will tell you.
[Exit Butler. Ser. (enters with a billet)
A stranger left it, and is gone. The Prince-Duke's horses wait for you below. .
[Exit Servant. Oct. (reads) “ Be sure, make haste! Your faithful
Octavio and Max. Piccolomini.
(Max. enters almost in a state of derangement from ex
treme agitation, his eyes roll wildly, his walk is unsteady, and he appears not to observe his father, who stands at a distance, and gazes at him with a countenance expressive of compassion. He paces with long strides through the chamber, then stands still again, and at last throws himself into a chair, staring vacantly at the object directly before him.)
Oct. (advances to him) I am going off, my son.
(Receiving no answer, he takes his hand.)
My son, farewell.
Thou wilt soon follow me ?
I follow thee? Thy way is crooked—it is not my way.
(Octavio drops his hand, and starts back.) 0, hadst thou been but simple and sincere, Ne'er had it come to this-all had stood otherwise. He had not done that foul and horrible deed, The virtuous had retained their influence o'er him : He had not fallen into the snares of villains. Wherefore so like a thief, and thief's accomplice Did'st creep hehind him—lurking for thy prey ? O, unblest falsehood! Mother of all evil! Thou misery-making demon, it is thou That sink'st us in perdition. Simple truth,
Sustainer of the world, had sav'd us all !
suspicion) Was't possible ? had'st thou the heart,
God in Heaven!
Oct. Max !-we will go together. 'Twill be better.
Max. What? ere I've taken a last parting leave,
(Attempts to take him with him.) Max. No! as sure as God lives, no!
Oct. (more urgently) Come with me, I command thee!
I, thy father. Max. Command me what is human. I stay here. Oct. Max! in the Emperor's name I bid thee come. Max. No Emperor hath power to prescribe Laws to the heart; and would'st thou wish to rob me Of the sole blessing which my fate has left me, Her sympathy. Must then a cruel deed Be done with cruelty? Thé unalterable Shall I perform ignobly-steal away, With stealthy coward flight forsake her? No! She shall behold my suffering, my sore anguish, Hear the complaints of the disparted soul, And weep tears o'er me. O! the human race Have steely souls—but she is as an angel. From the black deadly madness of despair Will she redeem my soul, and in soft words Of comfort, plaining, loose this pang of death!
Oct. Thou wilt not tear thyself away, thou canst not. O, come, my son ! I bid thee save thy virtue.
Max. Squander not thou thy words in vain ;
Max ! if that most damned thing could be,
Max. O hadst thou always better thought of men,
Nothing on earth remains unwrench'd and firm,
And if I trust thy heart,
Oct. O Max! I see thee never more again!
Oct. I go to Frauenberg—the Pappenheimers
Max. Rely on this, I either leave my life
Oct. Farewell, my son!
How? not one look
(Max. falls into his arms, they hold each other for a
long time in a speechless embrace, then go away at different sides. The curtain drops.)