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Mast. of the Cel. Ay! that was made for Frederick's coronation by the artist William—there was not such another prize in the whole booty at Prague.
Run. The same!-a health is to go round in him.
Mast. of the Cel. (shaking his head while he fetches and rinses the cup.) This will be something for the talebearers—this goes to Vienna.
Neu. Permit me to look at it.-Well, this is a cup indeed! How heavy! as well it may be, being all gold.And what neat things are emboss'd on it! how natural and elegant they look!—There, on that first quarter, let me see. That proud Amazon there on horseback, she that is taking a leap over the crosier and mitres, and carries on a wand, a hat, together with a banner, on which there's a goblet represented. Can you tell me what all this signifies ?
Mast. of the Cel. The woman whom you see there on horseback, is the free election of the Bohemian crown. That is signified by the round hat, and by that fiery steed on which she is riding. The hat is the pride of man; for he who cannot keep his hat on before kings and emperors is no free man.
Neu. But what is the cup there on the banner?
Mast. of the Cel. The cup signifies the freedom of the Bohemian Church, as it was in our forefathers' times. Our forefathers, in the wars of the Hussites, forced from the pope this noble privilege ; for the pope, you know, will not grant the cup to any layman. Your true Moravian values nothing beyond the cup; it is his costly jewel, and has cost the Bohemians their precious blood in many and many a battle.
Neu. And what says that chart that hangs in the air there, over it all ?
Mast. of the Cel. That signifies the Bohemian letter
royal, which we forced from the Emperor Rodolph-a precious, never to be enough valued parchment, that secures, to the new church the old privileges of free ringing and open psalmody. But since he of Steiermärk has ruled over us, that is at an end; and after the battle at Prague, in which Count Palatine Frederic lost crown and empire, our faith hangs upon the pulpit and the altar -and our brethren look at their homes over their shoulders ; but the letter royal the emperor himself cut to pieces with his scissars.
Neu. Why, my good Master of the Cellar! you are deep read in the chronicles of your country!
Mast. of the Cel. So were my forefathers, and for that reason were they minstrels, and served under Procopius and Ziska. Peace be with their ashes! Well, well! they fought for a good cause tho'-There, carry it up!
Neu. Stay! let me but look at this second quarter, Look there! That is, when at Prague Castle the Imperial Counsellors, Martinitz and Stawata were hurl'd down head over heels. 'Tis even so ! there stands Count Thur who commands it.
(Runner takes the service-cup and goes off with it.) Mast. of the Cel. O let me never more hear of that day. It was the three and twentieth of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand, six hundred, and eighteen. It seems to me as it were but yesterday-from that unlucky day it all began, all the heart-aches of the country. Since that day it is now sixteen years, and there has never once been peace on the earth.
(Health drank alound at the second table.) The Prince of Weimar! Hurra!
(At the third and fourth table.) Long live Prince William ! Long live Duke Bernard ! Hurra!
(Music strikes up.) 1st. Ser. Hear'em! Hear'em! What an uproar !
2nd. Ser. (comes in running.) Did you hear ? They have drunk the Prince of Weimar's health.
3rd. Ser. The Swedish Chief Commander ! Ist. Ser. (speaking at the same time,) The Lutheran !
2nd. Ser. Just before, when Count Deodate gave out the Emperor's health, they were all as mum as a nibbling mouse.
Mast. of the Cel. Po, po! When the wine goes in strange things come out. A good servant hears, and hears not !_You should be nothing but eyes and feet, except when you're called to. 2nd. Ser. (To the Runner, to whom he gives secretly a
flask of wine, keeping his eye upon the Master of the Cellar, standing between him and the
Runner.) Quick, Thomas, before the Master of the Cellar looks this way—'tis a flask of Frontignac !-Snapp'd it up at the third table-Canst go off with it? Run. (hides it in his pocket,) All right!
[Exit the 2nd. Servant. 3rd. Ser. (aside, to the first,) Be on the hark, Jack ! that we may have right plenty to tell to father Quivoga -He will give us right plenty of absolution in return for it.
1st. Ser. For that very purpose I am always having something to do behind Illo's chair. He is the man for speeches to make you stare with.
Mast. of the Cel. (to Neumann,) Who, pray, may that swarthy man be, he with the cross, that is chatting so confidentially with Esterhats ?
Neu. Ay, he too is one of those to whom they confide too much. He calls himself Maradas, a Spaniard is he.
Mast. of the Cel. (impatiently.) Spaniard ! Spaniard ! I tell you, friend, nothing good comes of those Spaniards. All these outlandish fellows* are little better than rogues.
Neu. Fie, fie, you should not say so, friend. There are among them our very best generals, and those on whom the Duke at this moment relies the most.
Mast. of the Cel. (Taking the flask out of the Runner's pocket,) My son, it will be broken to pieces in your pocket.
(Tertsky hurries in, fetches away the paper, and
calls to a servant for pen and ink, and goes to
the back of the stage,) Mast. of the Cel. (to the servants,) The LieutenantGeneral stands up.-Be on the watch.-Now! They break up.-Off, and move back the forms !
(They rise at all the tables, the servants hurry off
the front of the stage to the tables ; part of the guests come forward.)
* There is a humour in the original which cannot be given in the translation. “Die welschen alle," &c. which word in classical German means the Italians alone; but in its first sense, and at present in the vulgar use of the word, signifies foreigners in general. Our word wall-nuts, I suppose, means outlandish nuts-Wallæ nuces, in German “Welsch-nüsse."-.-T.
(Octavio Piccolomini enters in conversation with Maradas,
and both place themselves quite on the edge of the stage on one side of the proscenium. On the side directly opposite, Max. Piccolomini, by himself, lost in thought, and taking no part in any thing that is going forward. The middle space between both, but rather more distant from the edge of the stage, is filled up by Butler, Isolani, Goetz, Tiefenbach, and Kolatto.)
Iso. (while the company is coming forward,) Good night, good night, Kolatto! Good night, LieutenantGeneral!-I should rather say, good morning.
Goetz. (to Tiefenbach,) Noble brother! (making the usual compliment after meals.)
Tief. Ay! 'twas a royal feast indeed.
Goetz. Yes, my Lady Countess understands these matters. Her mother-in-law, heaven rest her soul, taught her!-Ah! that was a housewife for you.
Tief. There was not her like in all Bohemia for setting out a table.
Oct. (aside to Maradas,) Do me the favour to talk to me-talk of what you will—or of nothing. Only preserve the appearance at least of talking. I would not wish to stand by myself, and yet I conjecture that there will be goings on here worthy of our attentive observation. (He continues to fix his eye on the whole following scene.)
Iso. (on the point of going,) Lights, lights !
Ter. (advances with the paper to Isolani,) Noble brother ! two minutes longer; here is something to subscribe.