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SCENE III.

Scene-a Gothic and gloomy apartment at the Duchess

Friedland's. Thekla on a seat, pale, her eyes closed. The Duchess and Lady Neubrunn busied about her. Wallenstein and the Countess in conversation.

Wal. How knew she it so soon?
Coun.

She seems to have
Foreboded some misfortune. The report
Of an engagement, in the which had fallen
A colonel of the Imperial army, frighten'd her.
I saw it instantly. She flew to meet
The Swedish courier, and with sudden questioning,
Soon wrested from him the disastrous secret.
Too late we miss'd her, hastened after her,
We found her lying in his arms, all pale
And in a swoon.
Wal.

A heavy, heavy blow!
And she so unprepar'd! Poor child! How is it ?

(turning to the Duchess)
Is she coming to herself?
Duch.

Her eyes are opening.
Coun. She lives.
Thek. (looking round her)

Where am I?
Wal. (steps to her, raising her up in his arms) Come

cheerly, Thekla ! be my own brave girl ! See, there's thy loving mother. Thou art in Thy father's arms.

Thek. (standing up) Where is he? Is he gone?
Duch. Who gone, my daughter ?
Thek.

He-the man who utter'd
That word of misery.

Duch.

O! think not of it,
My Thekla !
Wal.

Give her sorrow leave to talk !
Let her complain-mingle your tears with her's,
For she hath suffer'd a deep anguish ; but
She'll rise superior to it, for my Thekla
Hath all her father's unsubdued heart.

Thek. I am not ill. See, I have power to stand.
Why does my mother weep? Have I alarm’d her?
It is gone by-I recollect myself.

(She casts her eyes round the room, as seeking some

one.) Where is he? Please you, do not hide him from me. You see, I have strength enough: now. I will hear him.

Duch. No, never shall this messenger of evil
Enter again into thy presence, Thekla.

Thek. My father-
Wal.

Dearest daughter!
Thek.

I'm not weak
Shortly I shall be quite myself again.
You'll grant me one request ?
Wal.

Name it, my daughter.
Thek. Permit the stranger to be call'd to me,
And grant me leave, that by myself I may
Hear his report and question him.
Duch.

No, never !
Coun. 'Tis not advisable-assent not to it.
Wal. Hush! Wherefore would'st thou speak with

him, my daughter? Thek. Knowing the whole, I shall be more collected; I will not be deceiv'd. My mother wishes Only to spare me. I will not be spar'd. The worst is said already: I can hear Nothing of deeper anguish!

Coun. and Duch.

Do it not.
Thek. The horror overpower'd me by surprise.
My heart betray'd me in the stranger's presence ;
He was a witness of my weakness, yea,
I sank into his arms; and that has sham'd me.
I must replace myself in his esteem,
And I must speak with him, perforce, that he,
The stranger, may not think ungently of me.

Wal. I see she is in the right, and am inclin'd
To grant her this request of hers. Go, call him.

(Lady Neubrunn goes to call him.)
Duch. But I, thy mother, will be present-
Thek.

'Twere
More pleasing to me, if alone I saw him :
Trust me, I shall behave myself the more
Collectedly.
Wal.

Permit her her own will.
Leave her alone with him ; for there are sorrows,
Where, of necessity, the soul must be
Its own support. A strong heart will rely
On its own strength alone. In her own bosom,
Not in her mother's arms, must she collect
The strength to rise superior to this blow.
It is mine own brave girl. I'll have her treated
Not as a woman,

but the heroine. (Going.)
Coun. (detaining him) Where art thou going? I heard

Tertsky say
That 'tis thy purpose to depart from hence
To-morrow early, but to leave us here.

Wal. Yes, ye stay here, plac'd under the protection
Of gallant men.
Coun.

O take us with you, brother. Leave us not in this gloomy solitude

To brood o'er anxious thoughts. The mists of doubt
Magnify evils to a shape of horror.

Wal. Who speaks of evil? I entreat you, sister,
Use words of better omen.
Coun.

Then take us with you.
O leave us not behind you in a place
That forces us to such sad omens. Heavy
And sick within me is my heart
These walls breathe on me, like a church-yard vault.
I cannot tell you, brother, how this place
Doth go against my nature. Take us with you.
Come, sister, join you your entreaty!-Niece,
Your's too. We all entreat you, take us with you !

Wal. The place's evil omens will I change,
Making it that which shields and shelters for me
My best-belov'd.
Neub. (returning)

The Swedish officer.
Wal. Leave her alone with him.

[Exit. Duch. (to Thekla, who starts and shivers) There-pale

as death !-Child, 'tis impossible That thou should'st speak with him. Follow thy mother. Thek. The Lady Neubrunn then may stay with me.

[Exeunt Duchess and Countess.

Scene IV.

Thekla, the Swedish Captain, Lady Neubrunn.

Capt. (respectfully approaching her) Princess-1 must

entreat your gentle pardonMy inconsiderate rash speech-How could I

Thek. (with dignity) You have beheld me in my agony. A most distressful accident occasion'd You, from a stranger to become at once My confidant.

Capt. I fear you hate my presence, For my tongue spake a melancholy word.

Thek. The fault is mine. Myself did wrest it from you.
The horror which came o'er me interrupted
Your tale at its commencement. May it please you,
Continue it to the end.
Capt.

Princess, 'twill
Renew your anguish.
Thek.

I am firm.-
I will be firm. Well-how began the engagement ?

Capt. We lay, expecting no attack, at Neustadt,
Intrench'd but insecurely in our camp,
Whe towards evening rose a cloud of dust
From the wood thitherward; our vanguard fled
Into the camp, and sounded the alarm.
Scarce had we mounted, ere the Pappenheimers,
Their horses at full speed, broke thro' the lines,
And leapt the trenches ; but their heedless courage
Had borne them onward far before the others-
The infantry were still at distance, only
The Pappenheimers followed daringly
Their daring leader-

(Thekla betrays agitation in her gestures. The

officer pauses till she makes a sign to him to
proceed.)

Both in van and flanks
With our whole cavalry we now receiv'd them,
Back to the trenches drove them, where the foot
Stretch'd out a solid ridge of pikes to meet them.
They neither could advance, nor yet retreat ;

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