The Project Gutenberg EBook The Camp of Wallenstein, by Schiller Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers***** Title: The Camp of Wallenstein Author: Frederich Schiller Release Date: October, 2004 [EBook #6785] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on January 21, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WALLENSTEIN'S CAMP, BY SCHILLER *** This eBook was produced by Tapio Riikonen and David Widger, [firstname.lastname@example.org]
The Camp of Wallenstein is an introduction to the celebrated tragedy of that name; and, by its vivid portraiture of the state of the general's army, gives the best clue to the spell of his gigantic power. The blind belief entertained in the unfailing success of his arms, and in the supernatural agencies by which that success is secured to him; the unrestrained indulgence of every passion, and utter disregard of all law, save that of the camp; a hard oppression of the peasantry and plunder of the country, have all swollen the soldiery with an idea of interminable sway. But as we have translated the whole, we shall leave these reckless marauders to speak for themselves.
Of Schiller's opinion concerning the Camp, as a necessary introduction to the tragedy, the following passage taken from the prologue to the first representation, will give a just idea, and may also serve as a motto to the work:--
"Not he it is, who on the tragic scene Will now appear--but in the fearless bands Whom his command alone could sway, and whom His spirit fired, you may his shadow see, Until the bashful Muse shall dare to bring Himself before you in a living form; For power it was that bore his heart astray His Camp, alone, elucidates his crime."
Sergeant-Major of Terzky's carabineers.
Trumpeter of Terzky's carabineers.
Sharpshooters. Mounted Yagers, of Holk's corps.
Dragoons, of Butler's regiment.
Arquebusiers, of Tiefenbach's regiment.
Cuirassier, of a Walloon regiment.
Cuirassier, of a Lombard regiment.
(SCENE.--The Camp before Pilsen, in Bohemia.)
Sutlers' tents--in front, a Slop-shop. Soldiers of all colors and
uniforms thronging about. Tables all filled. Croats and Hulans
cooking at a fire. Sutler-woman serving out wine. Soldier-boys
throwing dice on a drum-head. Singing heard from the tent.
Enter a Peasant and his Son.
Father, I fear it will come to harm,
So let us be off from this soldier swarm;
But boist'rous mates will ye find in the shoal--
'Twere better to bolt while our skins are whole.
How now, boy! the fellows wont eat us, though
They may be a little unruly, or so.
See, yonder, arriving a stranger train,
Fresh comers are they from the Saal and Mayne;
Much booty they bring of the rarest sort--
'Tis ours, if we cleverly drive our sport.
A captain, who fell by his comrade's sword,
This pair of sure dice to me transferred;
To-day I'll just give them a trial to see
If their knack's as good as it used to be.
You must play the part of a pitiful devil,
For these roaring rogues, who so loosely revel,
Are easily smoothed, and tricked, and flattered,
And, free as it came, their gold is scattered.
But we--since by bushels our all is taken,
By spoonfuls must ladle it back again;
And, if with their swords they slash so highly,
We must look sharp, boy, and do them slyly.
[Singing and shouting in the tent.
Hark, how they shout! God help the day!
'Tis the peasant's hide for their sport must pay.
Eight months in our beds and stalls have they
Been swarming here, until far around
Not a bird or a beast is longer found,
And the peasant, to quiet his craving maw,
Has nothing now left but his bones to gnaw.
Ne'er were we crushed with a heavier hand,
When the Saxon was lording it o'er the land:
And these are the Emperor's troops, they say!
From the kitchen a couple are coming this way,
Not much shall we make by such blades as they.
They're born Bohemian knaves--the two--
Belonging to Terzky's carabineers,
Who've lain in these quarters now for years;
The worst are they of the worthless crew.
Strutting, swaggering, proud and vain,
They seem to think they may well disdain
With the peasant a glass of his wine to drain
But, soft--to the left o' the fire I see
Three riflemen, who from the Tyrol should be
Emmerick, come, boy, to them will we.
Birds of this feather 'tis luck to find,
Whose trim's so spruce, and their purse well lined.
[They move towards the tent.
The above--Sergeant-Major, Trumpeter, Hulan.
What would the boor? Out, rascal, away!
Some victuals and drink, worthy masters, I pray,
For not a warm morsel we've tasted to day.
Ay, guzzle and guttle--'tis always the way.
HULAN (with a glass).
Not broken your fast! there--drink, ye hound!
He leads the peasant to the tent--the others come forward.
SERGEANT (to the Trumpeter).
Think ye they've done it without good ground?
Is it likely they double our pay to-day,
Merely that we may be jolly and gay?
Why, the duchess arrives to-day, we know,
And her daughter too--
Tush! that's mere show--
'Tis the troops collected from other lands
Who here at Pilsen have joined our bands--
We must do the best we can t' allure 'em,
With plentiful rations, and thus secure 'em.
Where such abundant fare they find,
A closer league with us to bind.
Yes!--there's something in the wind.
The generals and commanders too--
A rather ominous sight, 'tis true.
Who're met together so thickly here--
Have plenty of work on their hands, that's clear.
The whispering and sending to and fro--
The big-wig from Vienna, I trow,
Who since yesterday's seen to prowl about
In his golden chain of office there--
Something's at the bottom of this, I'll swear.
A bloodhound is he beyond a doubt,
By whom the duke's to be hunted out.
Mark ye well, man!--they doubt us now,
And they fear the duke's mysterious brow;
He hath clomb too high for them, and fain
Would they beat him down from his perch again.
But we will hold him still on high--
That all would think as you and I!
Our regiment, and the other four
Which Terzky leads--the bravest corps
Throughout the camp, are the General's own,
And have been trained to the trade by himself alone
The officers hold their command of him,
And are all his own, or for life or limb.
Enter Croat with a necklace. Sharpshooter following him.
Croat, where stole you that necklace, say?
Get rid of it man--for thee 'tis unmeet:
Come, take these pistols in change, I pray.
Nay, nay, Master Shooter, you're trying to cheat.
Then I'll give you this fine blue cap as well,
A lottery prize which just I've won:
Look at the cut of it--quite the swell!
CROAT (twirling the Necklace in the Sun).
But this is of pearls and of garnets bright,
See, how it plays in the sunny light!
SHARPSHOOTER (taking the Necklace).
Well, I'll give you to boot, my own canteen--
I'm in love with this bauble's beautiful sheen.
[Looks at it.
See, now!--how cleanly the Croat is done
Snacks! Master Shooter, and mum's the word.
CROAT (having put on the cap).
I think your cap is a smartish one.
SHARPSHOOTER (winking to the Trumpeter).
'Tis a regular swop, as these gents have heard.
The above. An Artilleryman.
ARTILLERYMAN (to the Sergeant).
How is this I pray, brother carabineer?
Shall we longer stay here, our fingers warming,
While the foe in the field around is swarming?
Art thou, indeed, in such hasty fret?
Why the roads, as I think, are scarce passable yet.
For me they are not--I'm snug enough here--
But a courier's come, our wits to waken
With the precious news that Ratisbon's taken.
Ha! then we soon shall have work in hand.
Indeed! to protect the Bavarian's land,
Who hates the duke, as we understand,
We won't put ourselves in a violent sweat.
Heyday!--you'll find you're a wiseacre yet.
The above--Two Yagers. Afterwards Sutler-woman,
Soldier-boy, Schoolmaster, Servant-girl.
Here meet we a jovial company!
Who can these greencoats be, I wonder,
That strut so gay and sprucely yonder!
They're the Yagers of Holk--and the lace they wear,
I'll be sworn, was ne'er purchased at Leipzig fair.
SUTLER-WOMAN (bringing wine).
Welcome, good sirs!
Zounds, how now?
Gustel of Blasewitz here, I vow!
The same in sooth--and you I know,
Are the lanky Peter of Itzeho:
Who at Glueckstadt once, in revelling night,
With the wags of our regiment, put to flight
All his father's shiners--then crowned the fun--
By changing his pen for a rifle-gun.
We're old acquaintance, then, 'tis clear.
And to think we should meet in Bohemia here!
Oh, here to-day--to-morrow yonder--
As the rude war-broom, in restless trace,
Scatters and sweeps us from place to place.
Meanwhile I've been doomed far round to wander.
So one would think, by the look of your face.
Up the country I've rambled to Temsewar,
Whither I went with the baggage-car,
When Mansfeld before us we chased away;
With the duke near Stralsund next we lay,
Where trade went all to pot, I may say.
I jogged with the succors to Mantua;
And back again came, under Feria:
Then, joining a Spanish regiment,
I took a short cut across to Ghent;
And now to Bohemia I'm come to get
Old scores paid off, that are standing yet,
If a helping hand by the duke be lent--
And yonder you see my sutler's tent.
Well, all things seem in a flourishing way,
But what have you done with the Scotchman, say,
Who once in the camp was your constant flame?
A villain, who tricked me clean, that same
He bolted, and took to himself whate'er
I'd managed to scrape together, or spare,
Leaving me naught but the urchin there.
SOLDIER-BOY (springing forward).
Mother, is it my papa you name?
Well, the emperor now must father this elf,
For the army must ever recruit itself.
Forth to the school, ye rogue--d'ye hear?
He, too, of a narrow room has fear.
SERVANT GIRL (entering).
Aunt, they'll be off.
I come apace.
What gypsy is that with the roguish face?
My sister's child from the south, is she.
Ay, ay, a sweet little niece--I see.
SECOND YAGER (holding the girl).
Softly, my pretty one! stay with me.
The customers wait, sir, and I must go.
[Disengages herself, and exit.
That maiden's a dainty morsel, I trow!
And her aunt--by heaven! I mind me well,--
When the best of the regiment loved her so,
To blows for her beautiful face they fell.
What different folks one's doomed to know!
How time glows off with a ceaseless flow!
And what sights as yet we may live to see!
(To the Sergeant and Trumpeter.)
Your health, good sirs, may we be free,
A seat beside you here to take?
The Yagers, Sergeant, and Trumpeter.
We thank ye--and room will gladly make.
To Bohemia welcome.
Snug enough here!
In the land of the foe our quarters were queer.
You haven't the look on't--you're spruce to view.
Ay, faith, on the Saal, and in Meissen, too,
Your praises are heard from the lips of few.
Tush, man! why, what the plague d'ye mean?
The Croat had swept the fields so clean,
There was little or nothing for us to glean.
Yet your pointed collar is clean and sightly,
And, then, your hose that sit so tightly!
Your linen so fine, with the hat and feather,
Make a show of smartness altogether!
That fortune should upon younkers shine--
While nothing in your way comes, or mine.
But then we're the Friedlander's regiment
And, thus, may honor and homage claim.
For us, now, that's no great compliment,
We, also, bear the Friedlander's name.
True--you form part of the general mass.
And you, I suppose, are a separate class!
The difference lies in the coats we wear,
And I have no wish to change with you there.
Sir Yager, I can't but with pity melt,
When I think how much among boors you've dwelt.
The clever knack and the proper tone,
Are caught by the general's side alone.
Then the lesson is wofully thrown away,--
How he hawks and spits, indeed, I may say
You've copied and caught in the cleverest way;
But his spirit, his genius--oh, these I ween,
On your guard parade are but seldom seen.
Why, zounds! ask for us wherever you will,
Friedland's wild hunt is our title still!
Never shaming the name, all undaunted we go
Alike through the field of a friend, or a foe;
Through the rising stalk, or the yellow corn,
Well know they the blast of Holk's Yager horn.
In the flash of an eye, we are far or near,
Swift as the deluge, or there or here--
As at midnight dark, when the flames outbreak
In the silent dwelling where none awake;
Vain is the hope in weapons or flight,
Nor order nor discipline thwart its might.
Then struggles the maid in our sinewy arms,
But war hath no pity, and scorns alarms.
Go, ask--I speak not with boastful tongue--
In Bareuth, Westphalia, Voigtland, where'er
Our troops have traversed--go, ask them there--
Children and children's children long,
When hundreds and hundreds of years are o'er,
Of Holk will tell and his Yager corps.
Why, hark! Must a soldier then be made
By driving this riotous, roaring trade!
'Tis drilling that makes him, skill and sense--
'Tis liberty makes him! Here's a fuss!
That I should such twaddle as this discuss.
Was it for this that I left the school?
That the scribbling desk, and the slavish rule,
And the narrow walls, that our spirits cramp,
Should be met with again in the midst of the camp?
No! Idle and heedless, I'll take my way,
Hunting for novelty every day;
Trust to the moment with dauntless mind,
And give not a glance or before or behind.
For this to the emperor I sold my hide,
That no other care I might have to bide.
Through the foe's fierce firing bid me ride,
Through fathomless Rhine, in his roaring flow,
Where ev'ry third man to the devil may go,
At no bar will you find me boggling there;
But, farther than this, 'tis my special prayer,
That I may not be bothered with aught like care.
If this be your wish, you needn't lack it,
'Tis granted to all with the soldier's jacket.
What a fuss and a bother, forsooth, was made
By that man-tormentor, Gustavus, the Swede,
Whose camp was a church, where prayers were said
At morning reveille and evening tattoo;
And, whenever it chanced that we frisky grew,
A sermon himself from the saddle he'd read.
Ay, that was a man with the fear of God.
Girls he detested; and what's rather odd,
If caught with a wench you in wedlock were tacked,--
I could stand it no longer, so off I packed.
Their discipline now has a trifle slacked.
Well, next to the League I rode over; their men
Were mustering in haste against Magdeburg then.
Ha! that was another guess sort of a thing!
In frolic and fun we'd a glorious swing;
With gaming, and drinking, and girls at call,
I'faith, sirs, our sport was by no means small.
For Tilly knew how to command, that's plain;
He held himself in but gave us the rein;
And, long as he hadn't the bother of paying,
"Live and let live!" was the general's saying.
But fortune soon gave him the slip; and ne'er
Since the day of that villanous Leipzig affair
Would aught go aright. 'Twas of little avail
That we tried, for our plans were sure to fail.
If now we drew nigh and rapped at the door,
No greeting awaited, 'twas opened no more;
From place to place we went sneaking about,
And found that their stock of respect was out;
Then touched I the Saxon bounty, and thought
Their service with fortune must needs be fraught.
You joined them then just in the nick to share
I'd small luck there.
Strict discipline sternly ruled the day,
Nor dared we a foeman's force display;
They set us to guard the imperial forts,
And plagued us all with the farce of the courts.
War they waged as a jest 'twere thought--
And but half a heart to the business brought,
They would break with none; and thus 'twas plain
Small honor among them could a soldier gain.
So heartily sick in the end grew I
That my mind was the desk again to try;
When suddenly, rattling near and far,
The Friedlander's drum was heard to war.
And how long here may you mean to stay?
You jest, man. So long as he bears the sway,
By my soul! not a thought of change have I;
Where better than here could the soldier lie?
Here the true fashion of war is found,
And the cut of power's on all things round;
While the spirit whereby the movement's given
Mightily stirs, like the winds of heaven,
The meanest trooper in all the throng.
With a hearty step shall I tramp along
On a burgher's neck as undaunted tread
As our general does on the prince's head.
As 'twas in the times of old 'tis now,
The sword is the sceptre, and all must bow.
One crime alone can I understand,
And that's to oppose the word of command.
What's not forbidden to do make bold,
And none will ask you what creed you hold.
Of just two things in this world I wot,
What belongs to the army and what does not,
To the banner alone is my service brought.
Thus, Yager, I like thee--thou speakest, I vow,
With the tone of a Friedland trooper now.
'Tis not as an office he holds command,
Or a power received from the emperor's hand;
For the emperor's service what should he care,
What better for him does the emperor fare?
With the mighty power he wields at will,
Has ever he sheltered the land from ill?
No; a soldier-kingdom he seeks to raise,
And for this would set the world in a blaze,
Daring to risk and to compass all--
Hush--who shall such words as these let fall?
Whatever I think may be said by me,
For the general tells us the word is free.
True--that he said so I fully agree,
I was standing by. "The word is free--
The deed is dumb--obedience blind!"
His very words I can call to mind.
I know not if these were his words or no,
But he said the thing, and 'tis even so.
Victory ne'er will his flag forsake,
Though she's apt from others a turn to take:
Old Tilly outlived his fame's decline,
But under the banner of Wallenstein,
There am I certain that victory's mine!
Fortune is spell-bound to him, and must yield;
Whoe'er under Friedland shall take the field
Is sure of a supernatural shield:
For, as all the world is aware full well,
The duke has a devil in hire from hell.
In truth that he's charmed is past a doubt,
For we know how, at Luetzen's bloody affair,
Where firing was thickest he still was there,
As coolly as might be, sirs, riding about.
The hat on his head was shot thro' and thro',
In coat and boots the bullets that flew
Left traces full clear to all men's view;
But none got so far as to scratch off his skin,
For the ointment of hell was too well rubbed in.
What wonders so strange can you all see there?
An elk-skin jacket he happens to wear,
And through it the bullets can make no way.
'Tis an ointment of witches' herbs, I say,
Kneaded and cooked by unholy spell.
No doubt 'tis the work of the powers of hell.
That he reads in the stars we also hear,
Where the future he sees--distant or near--
But I know better the truth of the case
A little gray man, at the dead of night,
Through bolted doors to him will pace--
The sentinels oft have hailed the sight,
And something great was sure to be nigh,
When this little gray-coat had glided by.
Ay, ay, he's sold himself to the devil,
Wherefore, my lads, let's feast and revel.
The above--Recruit, Citizen, Dragoon.
(The Recruit advances from the tent, wearing a tin cap
on his head, and carrying a wine-flask.)
To father and uncle pray make my bow,
And bid 'em good-by--I'm a soldier now.
See, yonder they're bringing us something new,
Oh, Franz, remember, this day you'll rue.
The drum and the fife,
War's rattling throng,
And a wandering life
The world along!
Swift steed--and a hand
To curb and command--
With a blade by the side,
We're off far and wide.
As jolly and free,
As the finch in its glee,
On thicket or tree,
Under heaven's wide hollow--
Hurrah! for the Friedlander's banner I'll follow!
Foregad! a jolly companion, though.
[They salute him.
He comes of good kin; now pray let him go.
And we wern't found in the streets you must know.
I tell you his wealth is a plentiful stock;
Just feel the fine stuff that he wears for a frock.
The emperor's coat is the best he can wear.
To a cap manufactory he is the heir.
The will of a man is his fortune alone.
His grandmother's shop will soon be his own.
Pish! traffic in matches! who would do't?
A wine-shop his grandfather leaves, to boot,
A cellar with twenty casks of wine.
These with his comrades he'll surely share.
Hark ye, lad--be a camp-brother of mine.
A bride he leaves sitting, in tears, apart.
Good--that now's a proof of an iron heart.
His grandmother's sure to die with sorrow.
The better--for then he'll inherit to-morrow.
SERGEANT (advances gravely, and lays his hand on the
Recruit's tin cap).
The matter no doubt you have duly weighed,
And here a new man of yourself have made;
With hanger and helm, sir, you now belong
To a nobler and more distinguished throng.
Thus, a loftier spirit 'twere well to uphold--
And, specially, never be sparing of gold.
In Fortune's ship, with an onward gale,
My, friend, you have made up your mind to sail.
The earth-ball is open before you--yet there
Naught's to be gained, but by those who dare.
Stupid and sluggish your citizen's found,
Like a dyer's dull jade, in his ceaseless round,
While the soldier can be whatever he will,
For war o'er the earth is the watchword still.
Just look now at me, and the coat I wear,
You see that the emperor's baton I bear--
And all good government, over the earth,
You must know from the baton alone has birth;
For the sceptre that's swayed by the kingly hand
Is naught but a baton, we understand.
And he who has corporal's rank obtained,
Stands on the ladder where all's to be gained,
And you, like another, may mount to that height--
Provided you can but read and write.
Now, hark to an instance of this from me,
And one, which I've lived myself to see
There's Butler, the chief of dragoons, why he,
Whose rank was not higher a whit than mine,
Some thirty years since, at Cologne on Rhine,
Is a major-general now--because
He put himself forward and gained applause;
Filling the world with his martial fame,
While slept my merits without a name.
And even the Friedlander's self--I've heard--
Our general and all-commanding lord,
Who now can do what he will at a word,
Had at first but a private squire's degree;
In the goddess of war yet trusting free,
He reared the greatness which now you see,
And, after the emperor, next is he.
Who knows what more he may mean or get?
For all-day's evening isn't come yet.
He was little at first, though now so great--
For at Altorf, in student's gown he played
By your leave, the part of a roaring blade,
And rattled away at a queerish rate.
His fag he had well nigh killed by a blow,
And their Nur'mburg worships swore he should go
To jail for his pains--if he liked it or no.
'Twas a new-built nest to be christened by him
Who first should be lodged. Well, what was his whim?
Why, he sent his dog forward to lead the way,
And they call the jail from the dog to this day.
That was the game a brave fellow should play,
And of all the great deeds of the general, none
E'er tickled my fancy, like this one.
[During this speech, the second Yager has begun toying
with the girl who has been in waiting.]
DRAGOON (stepping between them).
Comrade--give over this sport, I pray.
Why, who the devil shall say me nay!
I've only to tell you the girl's my own.
Such a morsel as this, for himself alone!--
Dragoon, why say, art thou crazy grown?
In the camp to be keeping a wench for one!
No! the light of a pretty girl's face must fall,
Like the beams of the sun, to gladden us all.
DRAGOON (tears her away).
I tell you again, that it shan't be done.
The pipers are coming, lads! now for fun!
SECOND YAGER (to Dragoon).
I shan't be far off, should you look for me.
Peace, my good fellows!--a kiss goes free.
Enter Miners, and play a waltz--at first slowly, and
afterwards quicker. The first Yager dances with the girl,
the Sutler-woman with the recruit. The girl springs away,
and the Yager, pursuing her, seizes hold of a Capuchin
Friar just entering.
Hurrah! halloo! tol, lol, de rol, le!
The fun's at its height! I'll not be away!
Is't an army of Christians that join in such works?
Or are we all turned Anabaptists and Turks?
Is the Sabbath a day for this sport in the land,
As though the great God had the gout in his hand,
And thus couldn't smite in the midst of your band?
Say, is this a time for your revelling shouts,
For your banquetings, feasts, and holiday bouts?
Quid hic statis otiosi? declare
Why, folding your arms, stand ye lazily there?
While the furies of war on the Danube now fare
And Bavaria's bulwark is lying full low,
And Ratisbon's fast in the clutch of the foe.
Yet, the army lies here in Bohemia still,
And caring for naught, so their paunches they fill!
Bottles far rather than battles you'll get,
And your bills than your broad-swords more readily wet;
With the wenches, I ween, is your dearest concern,
And you'd rather roast oxen than Oxenstiern.
In sackcloth and ashes while Christendom's grieving,
No thought has the soldier his guzzle of leaving.
'Tis a time of misery, groans, and tears!
Portentous the face of the heavens appears!
And forth from the clouds behold blood-red,
The Lord's war-mantle is downward spread--
While the comet is thrust as a threatening rod,
From the window of heaven by the hand of God.
The world is but one vast house of woe,
The ark of the church stems a bloody flow,
The Holy Empire--God help the same!
Has wretchedly sunk to a hollow name.
The Rhine's gay stream has a gory gleam,
The cloister's nests are robbed by roysters;
The church-lands now are changed to lurch-lands;
Abbacies, and all other holy foundations
Now are but robber-sees--rogues' habitations.
And thus is each once-blest German state,
Deep sunk in the gloom of the desolate!
Whence comes all this? Oh, that will I tell--
It comes of your doings, of sin, and of hell;
Of the horrible, heathenish lives ye lead,
Soldiers and officers, all of a breed.
For sin is the magnet, on every hand,
That draws your steel throughout the land!
As the onion causes the tear to flow,
So vice must ever be followed by woe--
The W duly succeeds the V,
This is the order of A, B, C.
Ubi erit victoriae spes,
Si offenditur Deus? which says,
How, pray ye, shall victory e'er come to pass,
If thus you play truant from sermon and mass,
And do nothing but lazily loll o'er the glass?
The woman, we're told in the Testament,
Found the penny in search whereof she went.
Saul met with his father's asses again,
And Joseph his precious fraternal train,
But he, who 'mong soldiers shall hope to see
God's fear, or shame, or discipline--he
From his toil, beyond doubt, will baffled return,
Though a hundred lamps in the search he burn.
To the wilderness preacher, th' Evangelist says,
The soldiers, too, thronged to repent of their ways,
And had themselves christened in former days.
Quid faciemus nos? they said:
Toward Abraham's bosom what path must we tread?
Et ait illis, and, said he,
From bother and wrongs leave your neighbors free.
Neque calumniam faciatis;
And deal nor in slander nor lies, d'ye see?
Contenti estote--content ye, pray,
Stipendiis vestris--with your pay--
And curse forever each evil way.
There is a command--thou shalt not utter
The name of the Lord thy God in vain;
But, where is it men most blasphemies mutter?
Why here, in Duke Friedland's headquarters, 'tie plain
If for every thunder, and every blast,
Which blazing ye from your tongue-points cast,
The bells were but rung, in the country round,
Not a bellman, I ween, would there soon be found;
And if for each and every unholy prayer
Which to vent from your jabbering jaws you dare,
From your noddles were plucked but the smallest hair,
Ev'ry crop would be smoothed ere the sun went down,
Though at morn 'twere as bushy as Absalom's crown.
Now, Joshua, methinks, was a soldier as well--
By the arm of King David the Philistine fell;
But where do we find it written, I pray,
That they ever blasphemed in this villanous way?
One would think ye need stretch your jaws no more,
To cry, "God help us!" than "Zounds!" to roar.
But, by the liquor that's poured in the cask, we know
With what it will bubble and overflow.
Again, it is written--thou shalt not steal,
And this you follow, i'faith! to the letter,
For open-faced robbery suits ye better.
The gripe of your vulture claws you fix
On all--and your wiles and rascally tricks
Make the gold unhid in our coffers now,
And the calf unsafe while yet in the cow--
Ye take both the egg and the hen, I vow.
Contenti estote--the preacher said;
Which means--be content with your army bread.
But how should the slaves not from duty swerve?
The mischief begins with the lord they serve,
Just like the members so is the head.
I should like to know who can tell me his creed.
Sir priest, 'gainst ourselves rail on as you will--
Of the general we warn you to breathe no ill.
Ne custodias gregem meam!
An Ahab is he, and a Jerobeam,
Who the people from faith's unerring way,
To the worship of idols would turn astray,
TRUMPETER and RECRUIT.
Let us not hear that again, we pray.
Such a Bramarbas, whose iron tooth
Would seize all the strongholds of earth forsooth!
Did he not boast, with ungodly tongue,
That Stralsund must needs to his grasp be wrung,
Though to heaven itself with a chain 'twere strung?
Will none put a stop to his slanderous bawl?
A wizard he is!--and a sorcerer Saul!--
Holofernes!--a Jehu!--denying, we know,
Like St. Peter, his Master and Lord below;
And hence must he quail when the cock doth crow--
Now, parson, prepare; for thy doom is nigh.
A fox more cunning than Herod, I trow--
TRUMPETER and both YAGERS (pressing against him).
Silence, again,--if thou wouldst not die!
Stick to it, father; we'll shield you, ne'er fear;
The close of your preachment now let's hear.
CAPUCHIN (still louder).
A Nebuchadnezzar in towering pride!
And a vile and heretic sinner beside!
He calls himself rightly the stone of a wall;
For faith! he's a stumbling-stone to us all.
And ne'er can the emperor have peace indeed,
Till of Friedland himself the land is freed.
[During the last passages which he pronounces in an elevated
voice, he has been gradually retreating, the Croats keeping
the other soldiers off.
The above, without the Capuchin.
FIRST YAGER (to the Sergeant).
But, tell us, what meant he about chanticleer;
Whose crowing the general dares to hear?
No doubt it was uttered in spite and scorn.
Listen--'Tis not so untrue as it appears;
For Friedland was rather mysteriously born,
And is 'specially troubled with ticklish ears;
He can never suffer the mew of a cat;
And when the cock crows he starts thereat.
He's one and the same with the lion in that.
Mouse-still must all around him creep,
Strict watch in this the sentinels keep,
For he ponders on matters most grave and deep.
[Voices in the tent. A tumult.
Seize the rascal! Lay on! lay on!
Peace! peace! begone!
Deuce take me, but yonder the swords are out!
Then I must be off, and see what 'tis about.
[Yagers enter the tent.
SUTLER-WOMAN (comes forward).
A scandalous villain!--a scurvy thief!
Good hostess, the cause of this clamorous grief?
A cut-purse! a scoundrel! the-villain I call.
That the like in my tent should ever befall!
I'm disgraced and undone with the officers all.
Well, coz, what is it?
Why, what should it be?
But a peasant they've taken just now with me--
A rogue with false dice, to favor his play.
See I they're bringing the boor and his son this way.
Soldiers dragging in the peasant, bound.
He must hang!
SHARPSHOOTERS and DRAGOONS.
To the provost, come on!
'Tis the latest order that forth has gone.
In an hour I hope to behold him swinging!
Bad work bad wages will needs be bringing.
FIRST ARQUEBUSIER (to the others).
This comes of their desperation. We
First ruin them out and out, d'ye see;
Which tempts them to steal, as it seems to me.
How now! the rascal's cause would you plead?
The cur! the devil is in you indeed!
The boor is a man--as a body may say.
FIRST YAGER (to the Trumpeter).
Let 'em go! they're of Tiefenbach's corps, the railers,
A glorious train of glovers and tailors!
At Brieg, in garrison, long they lay;
What should they know about camps, I pray?
Peace! what's amiss with the boor, may I crave?
He has cheated at play, the cozening knave!
But say, has he cheated you, man, of aught?
Just cleaned me out--and not left me a groat.
And can you, who've the rank of a Friedland man,
So shamefully cast yourself away,
As to try your luck with the boor at play?
Let him run off, so that run he can.
[The peasant escapes, the others throng together.
He makes short work--is of resolute mood--
And that with such fellows as these is good.
Who is he? not of Bohemia, that's clear.
He's a Walloon--and respect, I trow,
Is due to the Pappenheim cuirassier!
FIRST DRAGOON (joining).
Young Piccolomini leads them now,
Whom they chose as colonel, of their own free might,
When Pappenheim fell in Luetzen's fight.
Durst they, indeed, presume so far?
This regiment is something above the rest.
It has ever been foremost through the war,
And may manage its laws, as it pleases best;
Besides, 'tis by Friedland himself caressed.
FIRST CUIRASSIER (to the Second.)
Is't so in truth, man? Who averred it?
From the lips of the colonel himself I heard it.
The devil! we're not their dogs, I weep!
How now, what's wrong? You're swollen with spleen!
Is it anything, comrades, may us concern?
'Tis what none need be wondrous glad to learn.
The Soldiers press round him.
To the Netherlands they would lend us now--
Cuirassiers, Yagers, and Shooters away,
Eight thousand in all must march, they say.
What! What! again the old wandering way--
I got back from Flanders but yesterday!
SECOND CUIRASSIER (to the Dragoons).
You of Butler's corps must tramp with the rest.
And we, the Walloons, must doubtless be gone.
Why, of all our squadrons these are the best.
To march where that Milanese fellow leads on.
The infant? that's queer enough in its way.
The priest--then, egad! there's the devil to pay.
Shall we then leave the Friedlander's train,
Who so nobly his soldiers doth entertain--
And drag to the field with this fellow from Spain!
A niggard whom we in our souls disdain!
That'll never go down--I'm off, I swear.
Why, what the devil should we do there?
We sold our blood to the emperor--ne'er
For this Spanish red hat a drop we'll spare!
On the Friedlander's word and credit alone
We ranged ourselves in the trooper line,
And, but for our love to Wallenstein,
Ferdinand ne'er had our service known.
Was it not Friedland that formed our force?
His fortune shall still be the star of our course.
Silence, good comrades, to me give ear--
Talking does little to help us here.
Much farther in this I can see than you all,
And a trap has been laid in which we're to fall;
List to the order-book! hush--be still!
But first, Cousin Gustel, I pray thee fill
A glass of Melneck, as my stomach's but weak
When I've tossed it off, my mind I'll speak.
Take it, good sergeant. I quake for fear--
Think you that mischief is hidden here?
Look ye, my friends, 'tis fit and clear
That each should consider what's most near.
But as the general says, say I,
One should always the whole of a case descry.
We call ourselves all the Friedlander's troops;
The burgher, on whom we're billeted, stoops
Our wants to supply, and cooks our soups.
His ox, or his horse, the peasant must chain
To our baggage-car, and may grumble in vain.
Just let a lance-corp'ral, with seven good men,
Tow'rd a village from far but come within ken,
You're sure he'll be prince of the place, and may
Cut what capers he will, with unquestioned sway.
Why, zounds! lads, they heartily hate us all--
And would rather the devil should give them a call,
Than our yellow collars. And why don't they fall
On us fairly at once and get rid of our lumber?
They're more than our match in point of number,
And carry the cudgel as we do the sword.
Why can we laugh them to scorn? By my word
Because we make up here a terrible horde.
Ay, ay, in the mass lies the spell of our might,
And the Friedlander judged the matter aright,
When, some eight or nine years ago, he brought
The emperor's army together. They thought
Twelve thousand enough for the general. In vain,
Said he, such a force I can never maintain.
Sixty thousand I'll bring ye into the plain,
And they, I'll be sworn, won't of hunger die,
And thus were we Wallenstein's men, say I.
For example, cut one of my fingers off,
This little one here from my right hand doff.
Is the taking my finger then all you've done?
No, no, to the devil my hand is gone!
'Tis a stump--no more--and use has none.
The eight thousand horse they wish to disband
May be but a finger of our army's hand.
But when they're once gone may we understand
We are but one-fifth the less? Oh, no--
By the Lord, the whole to the devil will go!
All terror, respect, and awe will be over,
And the peasant will swell his crest once more;
And the Board of Vienna will order us where
Our troops must be quartered and how we must fare,
As of old in the days of their beggarly care.
Yes, and how long it will be who can say
Ere the general himself they may take away?
For they don't much like him at court I learn?
And then it's all up with the whole concern!
For who, to our pay, will be left to aid us?
And see that they keep the promise they made us?
Who has the energy--who the mind--
The flashing thought--and the fearless hand--
Together to bring, and thus fastly bind
The fragments that form our close-knit band.
For example, dragoon--just answer us now,
From which of the countries of earth art thou?
From distant Erin came I here.
SERGEANT (to the two Cuirassiers).
You're a Walloon, my friend, that's clear,
And you, an Italian, as all may hear.
Who I may be, faith! I never could say;
In my infant years they stole me away.
And you, from what far land may you be?
I come from Buchau--on the Feder Sea.
Neighbor, and you?
I am a Swiss.
SERGEANT (to the second Yager).
And Yager, let's hear where your country is?
Up above Wismar my fathers dwell.
SERGEANT (pointing to the Trumpeter).
And he's from Eger--and I as well:
And now, my comrades, I ask you whether,
Would any one think, when looking at us,
That we, from the North and South, had thus
Been hitherward drifted and blown together?
Do we not seem as hewn from one mass?
Stand we not close against the foe
As though we were glued or moulded so?
Like mill-work don't we move, d'ye think!
'Mong ourselves in the nick, at a word or wink.
Who has thus cast us here all as one,
Now to be severed again by none?
Who? why, no other than Wallenstein!
In my life it ne'er was a thought of mine
Whether we suited each other or not,
I let myself go with the rest of the lot.
I quite agree in the sergeant's opinion--
They'd fain have an end of our camp dominion,
And trample the soldier down, that they
May govern alone in their own good way.
'Tis a conspiration--a plot, I say!
A conspiration--God help the day!
Then my customers won't have cash to pay.
Why, faith, we shall all be bankrupts made;
The captains and generals, most of them, paid
The costs of the regiments with private cash,
And, wishing, 'bove all, to cut a dash,
Went a little beyond their means--but thought,
No doubt, that they thus had a bargain bought.
Now they'll be cheated, sirs, one and all,
Should our chief, our head, the general fall.
Oh, Heaven! this curse I never can brook
Why, half of the army stand in my book.
Two hundred dollars I've trusted madly
That Count Isolani who pays so badly.
Well, comrades, let's fix on what's to be done--
Of the ways to save us, I see but one;
If we hold together we need not fear;
So let us stand out as one man here;
And then they may order and send as they will,
Fast planted we'll stick in Bohemia still.
We'll never give in--no, nor march an inch,
We stand on our honor, and must not flinch.
We're not to be driven the country about,
Let 'em come here, and they'll find it out.
Good sirs, 'twere well to bethink ye still,
That such is the emperor's sovereign will.
Oh, as to the emperor, we needn't be nice.
Let me not hear you say so twice.
Why, 'tis even so--as I just have said.
True, man--I've always heard 'em say,
'Tis Friedland, alone, you've here to obey.
By our bargain with him it should be so,
Absolute power is his, you must know,
We've war, or peace, but as he may please,
Or gold or goods he has power to seize,
And hanging or pardon his will decrees.
Captains and colonels he makes--and he,
In short, by the imperial seal is free,
To hold all the marks of sovereignty.
The duke is high and of mighty will,
But yet must remain, for good or for ill,
Like us all, but the emperor's servant still.
Not like us all--I there disagree--
Friedland is quite independent and free,
The Bavarian is no more a prince than he
For, was I not by myself to see,
When on duty at Brandeis, how the emperor said,
He wished him to cover his princely head.
That was because of the Mecklenburgh land,
Which he held in pawn from the emperor's hand.
FIRST YAGER (to the Sergeant).
In the emperor's presence, man! say you so?
That, beyond doubt, was a wonderful go!
SERGEANT (feels in his pocket).
If you question my word in what I have told,
I can give you something to grasp and hold.
[Showing a coin.
Whose image and stamp d'ye here behold?
Oh! that is a Wallenstein's, sure!
Well, there, you have it--what doubt can rest
Is he not prince, just as good as the best?
Coins he not money like Ferdinand?
Hath he not his own subjects and land?
Is he not called your highness, I pray?
And why should he not have his soldiers in?
That no one has ever meant to gainsay;
But we're still at the emperor's beck and call,
For his majesty 'tis who pays us all.
In your teeth I deny it--and will again--
His majesty 'tis who pays us not,
For this forty weeks, say, what have we got
But a promise to pay, believed in vain?
What then! 'tis kept in safe hands, I suppose.
Peace, good sirs, will you come to blows?
Have you a quarrel and squabble to know
If the emperor be our master or no?
'Tis because of our rank, as his soldiers brave,
That we scorn the lot of the herded slave;
And will not be driven from place to place,
As priest or puppies our path may trace.
And, tell me, is't not the sovereign's gain,
If the soldiers their dignity will maintain?
Who but his soldiers give him the state
Of a mighty, wide-ruling potentate?
Make and preserve for him, far and near,
The voice which Christendom quakes to hear?
Well enough they may his yoke-chain bear,
Who feast on his favors, and daily share,
In golden chambers, his sumptuous fare.
We--we of his splendors have no part,
Naught but hard wearying toil and care,
And the pride that lives in a soldier's heart.
All great tyrants and kings have shown
Their wit, as I take it, in what they've done;
They've trampled all others with stern command,
But the soldier they've led with a gentle hand.
The soldier his worth must understand;
Whoe'er doesn't nobly drive the trade,
'Twere best from the business far he'd stayed.
If I cheerily set my life on a throw,
Something still better than life I'll know;
Or I'll stand to be slain for the paltry pelf,
As the Croat still does--and scorn myself.
Yes--honor is dearer than life itself.
The sword is no plough, nor delving tool,
He, who would till with it, is but a fool.
For us, neither grass nor grain doth grow,
Houseless the soldier is doomed to go,
A changeful wanderer over the earth,
Ne'er knowing the warmth of a home-lit hearth.
The city glances--he halts--not there--
Nor in village meadows, so green and fair;
The vintage and harvest wreath are twined
He sees, but must leave them far behind.
Then, tell me, what hath the soldier left,
If he's once of his self-esteem bereft?
Something he must have his own to call,
Or on slaughter and burnings at once he'll fall.
God knows, 'tis a wretched life to live!
Yet one, which I, for no other would give,
Look ye--far round in the world I've been,
And all of its different service seen.
The Venetian Republic--the Kings of Spain
And Naples I've served, and served in vain.
Fortune still frowned--and merchant and knight,
Craftsmen and Jesuit, have met my sight;
Yet, of all their jackets, not one have I known
To please me like this steel coat of my own.
Well--that now is what I can scarcely say.
In the world, a man who would make his way,
Must plague and bestir himself night and day.
To honor and place if he choose the road,
He must bend his back to the golden load.
And if home-delights should his fancy please,
With children and grandchildren round his knees,
Let him follow an honest trade in peace.
I've no taste for this kind of life--not I!
Free will I live, and as freely die.
No man's spoiler nor heir will I be--
But, throned on my nag, I will smile to see
The coil of the crowd that is under me.
Bravo!--that's as I've always done.
In truth, sirs, it may be far better fun
To trample thus over your neighbor's crown.
Comrade, the times are bad of late--
The sword and the scales live separate.
But do not then blame that I've preferred,
Of the two, to lean, as I have, to the sword.
For mercy in war I will yield to none,
Though I never will stoop to be drummed upon.
Who but the soldier the blame should bear
That the laboring poor so hardly fare?
The war with its plagues, which all have blasted
Now sixteen years in the land hath lasted.
Why, brother, the blessed God above
Can't have from us all an equal love.
One prays for the sun, at which t'other will fret
One is for dry weather-t'other for wet.
What you, now, regard as with misery rife,
Is to me the unclouded sun of life.
If 'tis at the cost of the burgher and boor,
I really am sorry that they must endure;
But how can I help it? Here, you must know,
'Tis just like a cavalry charge 'gainst the foe:
The steeds loud snorting, and on they go!
Whoever may lie in the mid-career--
Be it my brother or son so dear,
Should his dying groan my heart divide,
Yet over his body I needs must ride,
Nor pitying stop to drag him aside.
True--who ever asks how another may bide?
Thus, my lads, 'tis my counsel, while
On the soldier Dame Fortune deigns to smile,
That we with both hands her bounty clasp,
For it may not be much longer left to our grasp.
Peace will be coming some over-night,
And then there's an end of our martial might.
The soldier unhorsed, and fresh mounted to boor,
Ere you can think it 'twill be as before.
As yet we're together firm bound in the land,
The hilt is yet fast in the soldier's hand.
But let 'em divide us, and soon we shall find,
Short commons is all that remains behind.
No, no, by the Lord! That won't do for me.
Come, come, lads, let's all now, as one, agree.
Yes, let us resolve on what 'tis to be.
FIRST ARQUEBUSIER (To the Sutler-woman, drawing out his leather purse).
Hostess, tell us how high you've scored.
Oh, 'tis unworthy a single word.
You do well, sirs, to take a further walk,
Your company only disturbs our talk.
Plague take the fellows--they're brave, I know.
They haven't a soul 'bove a soapboiler's, though.
We're now alone, so teach us who can
How best we may meet and mar their plan.
How? Why, let's tell them we will not go!
Despising all discipline! No, my lads, no,
Rather his corps let each of us seek,
And quietly then with his comrades speak,
That every soldier may clearly know,
It were not for his good so far to go;
For my Walloons to answer I'm free,
Every man of 'em thinks and acts with me.
The Terzky regiments, both horse and foot,
Will thus resolve, and will keep them to't.
SECOND CUIRASSIER (joining the first).
The Walloons and the Lombards one intent.
Freedom is Yagers' own element.
Freedom must ever with might entwine--
I live and will die by Wallenstein.
The Lorrainers go on with the strongest tide,
Where spirits are light and courage tried.
An Irishman follows his fortune's star.
The Tyrolese for their sovereign war.
Then, comrades, let each of our corps agree
A pro memoria to sign--that we,
In spite of all force or fraud, will be
To the fortunes of Friedland firmly bound,
For in him is the soldier's father found.
This we will humbly present, when done,
To Piccolomini--I mean the son--
Who understands these kind of affairs,
And the Friedlander's highest favor shares;
Besides, with the emperor's self, they say
He holds a capital card to play.
Well, then, in this, let us all agree,
That the colonel shall our spokesman be!
Good! the colonel shall our spokesman be.
Hold, sirs--just toss off a glass with me
To the health of Piccolomini.
SUTLER-WOMAN (brings a flask).
This shall not go to the list of scores,
I gladly give it--success be yours!
The soldier shall sway!
The peasant shall pay
DRAGOONS and SHARPSHOOTERS.
The army shall flourishing stand!
TRUMPETER and SERGEANT.
And the Friedlander keep the command!
SECOND CUIRASSIER (sings).
Arouse ye, my comrades, to horse! to horse!
To the field and to freedom we guide!
For there a man feels the pride of his force
And there is the heart of him tried.
No help to him there by another is shown,
He stands for himself and himself alone.
[The soldiers from the background have come forward during the singing
of this verse and form the chorus.
No help to him by another is shown,
He stands for himself and himself alone.
Now freedom hath fled from the world, we find
But lords and their bondsmen vile
And nothing holds sway in the breast of mankind
Save falsehood and cowardly guile.
Who looks in death's face with a fearless brow,
The soldier, alone, is the freeman now.
Who looks in death's face with a fearless brow,
The soldier, alone, is the freeman now.
With the troubles of life he ne'er bothers his pate,
And feels neither fear nor sorrow;
But boldly rides onward to meet with his fate--
He may meet it to-day, or to-morrow!
And, if to-morrow 'twill come, then, I say,
Drain we the cup of life's joy to-day!
And, if to-morrow 'twill come, then, I say,
Drain we the cup of life's joy to-day!
[The glasses are here refilled, and all drink.
'Tis from heaven his jovial lot has birth;
Nor needs he to strive or toil.
The peasant may grope in the bowels of earth,
And for treasure may greedily moil
He digs and he delves through life for the pelf,
And digs till he grubs out a grave for himself.
He digs and he delves through life for the pelf,
And digs till he grubs out a grave for himself.
The rider and lightning steed--a pair
Of terrible guests, I ween!
From the bridal-hall, as the torches glare,
Unbidden they join the scene;
Nor gold, nor wooing, his passion prove;
By storm he carries the prize of love!
Nor gold, nor wooing, his passion prove;
By storm he carries the prize of love!
Why mourns the wench with so sorrowful face?
Away, girl, the soldier must go!
No spot on the earth is his resting-place;
And your true love he never can know.
Still onward driven by fate's rude wind,
He nowhere may leave his peace behind.
Still onward driven by fate's rude wind,
He nowhere may leave his peace behind.
He takes the two next to him by the hand--the others do the same--and
form a large semi-circle.
Then rouse ye, my comrades--to horse! to horse!
In battle the breast doth swell!
Youth boils--the life-cup foams in its force--
Up! ere time can dew dispel!
And deep be the stake, as the prize is high--
Who life would win, he must dare to die!
And deep be the stake, as the prize is high--
Who life would win, he must dare to die!
[The curtain falls before the chorus has finished.
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