Supplementary Appendix 236c.1

Schiller’s Wallensteins Tod, act 4, scene 10
Thekla, the Swedish Captain, Lady Neubrunn. [*]

Captain (respectfully approaching her). Princess
— I must entreat your gentle pardon —
My inconsiderate rash speech. How could I —

Thekla (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.

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

Thekla. 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.

Captain. Princess, ’twill
Renew your anguish.

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

Captain. We lay, expecting no attack, at Neustadt,
Entrench’d but insecurely in our camp,
When 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 through 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 follow’d daringly
Their daring leader —

[Thekla betrays agitation in her gestures. The officer pauses till she makes a sign to him to proceed.]


Captain. Both in van and flanks
With our whole cavalry we now received 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;
And as they stood on every side wedged in,
The Rhinegrave to their leader call’d aloud,
Inviting a surrender; but their leader,
Young Piccolomini —

[Thekla, as giddy, grasps a chair.]

Known by his plume,
And his long hair, gave signal for the trenches;
Himself leapt first: the regiment all plunged after.
His charger, by a halbert gored, rear’d up,
Flung him with violence off, and over him
The horses, now no longer to be curbed, —

[Thekla, who has accompanied the last speech with all the marks of increasing agony, trembles through her whole frame, and is falling. The Lady Neubrunn runs to her, and receives her in her arms.]


Neubrunn. My dearest lady —

Captain. I retire.

Thekla. ‘Tis over.
Proceed to the conclusion.

Captain. Wild despair
Inspired the troops with frenzy when they saw
Their leader perish; every thought of rescue
Was spurn’d; they fought like wounded tigers; their
Frantic resistance roused our soldiery;
A murderous fight took place, nor was the contest
Finish’d before their last man fell.


Thekla (faltering). And where —
Where is — You have not told me all.

Captain (after a pause). This morning
We buried him. Twelve youths of noblest birth
Did bear him to interment; the whole army
Follow’d the bier. A laurel deck’d his coffin;
The sword of the deceased was placed upon it,
In mark of honor, by the Rhinegrave’s self.
Nor tears were wanting; for there are among us
Many, who had themselves experienced
The greatness of his mind, and gentle manners,
All were affected at his fate. The Rhinegrave
Would willingly have saved him; but himself
Made vain the attempt — ’tis said he wished to die.

Neumann (to Thekla, who has hidden her countenance). Look up, my dearest lady — —

Thekla. Where is his grave?

Captain. At Neustadt, lady; in a cloister church
Are his remains deposited, until
We can receive directions from his father.

Thekla. What is the cloister’s name?

Captain. Saint Catherine’s.

Thekla. And how far is it thither?

Captain. Near twelve leagues.

Thekla. And which the way?

Captain. You go by Tirschenreut
And Falkenberg, through our advanced posts.

Thekla. Who Is their commander?

Captain. Colonel Seckendorf.

[Thekla steps to the table, and takes a ring from a casket.]

Thekla. You have beheld me in my agony,
And shown a feeling heart. Please you, accept [giving him the ring]
A small memorial of this hour. Now go!

Captain (confusedly). Princess

[Thekla silently makes signs to him to go, and turns from him. The captain lingers, and is about to speak. Lady Neubrunn repeats the signal, and he retires.]

In her memoirs (Caroline Jagemann, Erinnerungen der Karoline Jagemann, ed. Eduard von Bamberg, 2 vols. [Dresden 1926], 1:139), Caroline Jagemann speaks about having accepted the role of Thekla

with fear and trembling, as if the determination of my own fate were at stake. Although at first I was unable to discern anything from the cues, I was all the more shaken by what I could glean from the discussion with the Swedish captain without knowing the exact context, and I wept long and bitterly over Max’s death. On stage, however, I wept only reserved tears over the grave of the fallen hero, otherwise allowing Wallenstein’s strong daughter to surrender to pain in moderation but a single time.


[*] Translation from The Death of Wallenstein, in Schiller’s Works, vol. 2, trans. J. G. Fischer (Philadelphia 1883). Illustrations: (1) The Death of Wallenstein, trans. S. T. Coleridge; (2 and 3) The Death of Wallenstein (1883), 240, 249. Back.

Translation © 2013 Doug Stott