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Wal. (stepping to the window) What now, then ?
Wal. Does Piccolomini appear among them?
Ter. My regiments had despatched him; yet once more
Wal. But whence arose this larum in the camp?
Ter. O that thou hadst believ'd me! Yester evening
Wal. The old tune still ! Now, once for all, no more. Of this suspicion-it is doting folly.
Ter. Thou did'st confide in Isolani too; And lo! he was the first that did desert thee.
Wal. It was but yesterday I rescued him From abject wretchedness. Let that go by. I never reckon'd yet on gratitude. And wherein doth he wrong in going from me? He follows still the god whom all his life He has worshipp'd at the gaming table. With My fortune, and my seeming destiny, He made the bond, and broke it not with me. I am but the ship in which his hopes were stow'd, And with the which well-pleas'd and confident He travers’d the open sea; now he beholds it In imminent jeopardy among the coast-rocks, And hurries to preserve his wares.
As light As the free bird from the hospitable twig Where it had nested, he flies off from me: No human tie is snapp'd betwixt us two. Yea, he deserves to find himself deceiv'd, Who seeks a heart in the unthinking man. Like shadows on a stream, the forms of life Impress their characters on the smooth forehead, Nought sinks into the bosom's silent depth : Quick sensibility of pain and pleasure Moves the light fluids lightly; but no soul Warmeth the inner frame. Ter.
Yet, would I rather Trust the smooth brow than that deep furrow'd one.
Wallenstein, Tertsky, Illo, (who enters agitated with
Illo. Treason and mutiny!
And what further now?
Wal. (in a convulsion of agony) What? How is that?
Illo. He takes that office on him by commission,
Ter. From th’Emp'ror-hear'st thou, Duke ?
At his incitement
Duke! hear'st thou ?
Ter. O hadst thou but believed me !
To them enters the Countess.
Illo. The regiments are all falling off from us.
Hadst thou but believ'd me!
Wal. The stars lie not; but we have here a work Wrought counter to the stars and destiny. The science is still honest: this false heart Forces a lie on the truth-telling heaven. On a divine law divination rests ; Where Nature deviates from that law, and stumbles Out of her limits, there all science errs. True, I did not suspect! Were it superstition Never by such suspicion t' have affronted The human form, O may that time ne'er come In which I shame me of th’ infirmity. The wildest savage drinks not with the victim, In whose breast he means to plunge the sword. This, this, Octavio, was no hero's deed: 'Twas not thy prudence that did conquer mine ; A bad heart triumph'd o'er an honest one. No shield receiv'd the assassin stroke; thou plungest Thy weapon on an unprotected breastAgainst such weapons I am but a child.
To these enter Butler.
Ter. (meeting him) O look there! Butler! Here we've
still a friend ! Wal. (meets him with outspread arms, and embraces
him with warmth) Come to my heart, old comrade!
Not the sun
But. My General ! I come-
(he hides his face in Butler's breast.) But.
Forget the false one.