Don Carlos, the Works of Frederick Schiller, Vol. 3

Contents:
Author: Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

Scene X.

The KING and the GRAND INQUISITOR. A long silence.

GRAND INQUISITOR. Say, do I stand before the king?

KING.
You do.

GRAND INQUISITOR. I never thought it would be so again!

KING. I now renew the scenes of early youth, When Philip sought his sage instructor’s counsel.

GRAND INQUISITOR. Your glorious sire, my pupil, Charles the Fifth, Nor sought or needed counsel at my hands.

KING. So much happier he! I, cardinal, Am guilty of a murder, and no rest----

GRAND INQUISITOR.

What was the reason for this murder?

KING.
’Twas A fraud unparalleled----

GRAND INQUISITOR.
I know it all.

KING. What do you know? Through whom, and since what time?

GRAND INQUISITOR.

For years—what you have only learned since sunset.

KING (with astonishment). You know this man then!

GRAND INQUISITOR.
All his life is noted From its commencement to its sudden close, In Santa Casa’s holy registers.

KING. Yet he enjoyed his liberty!

GRAND INQUISITOR.
The chain With which he struggled, but which held him bound, Though long, was firm, nor easy to be severed.

KING. He has already been beyond the kingdom.

GRAND INQUISITOR. Where’er he travelled I was at his side.

KING (walks backwards and forwards in displeasure). You knew the hands, then, I had fallen into; And yet delayed to warn me!

GRAND INQUISITOR.
This rebuke I pay you back. Why did you not consult us Before you sought the arms of such a man? You knew him: one sole glance unmasked him to you. Why did you rob the office of its victim? Are we thus trifled with! When majesty Can stoop to such concealment, and in secret, Behind our backs, league with our enemies, What must our fate be then? If one be spared What plea can justify the fate of thousands?

KING. But he, no less, has fallen a sacrifice.

GRAND INQUISITOR. No; he is murdered—basely, foully murdered. The blood that should so gloriously have flowed To honor us has stained the assassin’s hand. What claim had you to touch our sacred rights? He but existed, by our hands to perish. God gave him to this age’s exigence, To perish, as a terrible example, And turn high-vaunting reason into shame. Such was my long-laid plan—behold, destroyed In one brief hour, the toil of many years. We are defrauded, and your only gain Is bloody hands.

KING.
Passion impelled me to it. Forgive me.

GRAND INQUISITOR.
Passion! And does royal Philip Thus answer me? Have I alone grown old?
[Shaking his head angrily. Passion! Make conscience free within your realms, If you’re a slave yourself.

KING.
In things like this I’m but a novice. Bear in patience with me.

GRAND INQUISITOR. No, I’m ill pleased with you—to see you thus Tarnish the bygone glories of your reign. Where is that Philip, whose unchanging soul, Fixed as the polar star in heaven above, Round its own axis still pursued its course? Is all the memory of preceding years Forever gone? And did the world become New moulded when you stretched your hand to him? Was poison no more poison? Did distinction ’Twixt good and evil, truth and falsehood, vanish? What then is resolution? What is firmness? What is the faith of man, if in one weak, Unguarded hour, the rules of threescore years Dissolve in air, like woman’s fickle favor?

KING. I looked into his eyes. Oh, pardon me This weak relapse into mortality. The world has one less access to your heart; Your eyes are sunk in night.

GRAND INQUISITOR.
What did this man Want with you? What new thing could he adduce, You did not know before? And are you versed So ill with fanatics and innovators? Does the reformer’s vaunting language sound So novel to your ears? If the firm edifice Of your conviction totters to mere words, Should you not shudder to subscribe the fate Of many thousand poor, deluded souls Who mount the flaming pile for nothing worse?

KING. I sought a human being. These Domingos----

GRAND INQUISITOR. How! human beings! What are they to you? Cyphers to count withal—no more! Alas! And must I now repeat the elements Of kingly knowledge to my gray-haired pupil? An earthly god must learn to bear the want Of what may be denied him. When you whine For sympathy is not the world your equal? What rights should you possess above your equals?

KING (throwing himself into a chair). I’m a mere suffering mortal, that I feel; And you demand from me, a wretched creature, What the Creator only can perform.

GRAND INQUISITOR. No, sire; I am not thus to be deceived. I see you through. You would escape from us. The church’s heavy chains pressed hard upon you; You would be free, and claim your independence.
[He pauses. The KING is silent. We are avenged. Be thankful to the church, That checks you with the kindness of a mother. The erring choice you were allowed to make Has proved your punishment. You stand reproved! Now you may turn to us again. And know If I, this day, had not been summoned here, By Heaven above! before to-morrow’s sun, You would yourself have stood at my tribunal!

KING. Forbear this language, priest. Restrain thyself. I’ll not endure it from thee. In such tones No tongue shall speak to me.

GRAND INQUISITOR.
Then why, O king Call up the ghost of Samuel? I’ve anointed Two monarchs to the throne of Spain. I hoped To leave behind a firm-established work. I see the fruit of all my life is lost. Don Philip’s hands have shattered what I built. But tell me, sire, wherefore have I been summoned? What do I hear? I am not minded, king, To seek such interviews again.

KING.
But one One service more—the last—and then in peace Depart. Let all the past be now forgotten— Let peace be made between us. We are friends.

GRAND INQUISITOR. When Philip bends with due humility.

KING (after a pause). My son is meditating treason.

GRAND INQUISITOR,
Well! And what do you resolve?

KING.
On all, or nothing.

GRAND INQUISITOR. What mean you by this all?

KING.
He must escape, Or die.

GRAND INQUISITOR.
Well, sire! decide.

KING.
And can you not Establish some new creed to justify The bloody murder of one’s only son?

GRAND INQUISITOR. To appease eternal justice God’s own Son Expired upon the cross.

KING.
And can you spread This creed throughout all Europe?

GRAND INQUISITOR.
Ay, as far As the true cross is worshipped.

KING.
But I sin— Sin against nature. Canst thou, by thy power, Silence her mighty voice.

GRAND INQUISITOR.
The voice of nature Avails not over faith.

KING.
My right to judge I place within your hands. Can I retrace The step once taken?

GRAND INQUISITOR.
Give him to me!

KING. My only son! For whom then have I labored?

GRAND INQUISITOR. For the grave rather than for liberty!

KING (rising up). We are agreed. Come with me.

GRAND INQUISITOR.
Monarch! Whither

KING. From his own father’s hands to take the victim.

[Leads him away.

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Chicago: Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, "Scene X.," Don Carlos, the Works of Frederick Schiller, Vol. 3, trans. R. D. Boylan in Don Carlos, the Works of Frederick Schiller, Vol. 3 (London: George Bell & Sons, 1881), Original Sources, accessed April 21, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CPFAPBL3JED2GSG.

MLA: von Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich. "Scene X." Don Carlos, the Works of Frederick Schiller, Vol. 3, translted by R. D. Boylan, in Don Carlos, the Works of Frederick Schiller, Vol. 3, London, George Bell & Sons, 1881, Original Sources. 21 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CPFAPBL3JED2GSG.

Harvard: von Schiller, JC, 'Scene X.' in Don Carlos, the Works of Frederick Schiller, Vol. 3, trans. . cited in 1881, Don Carlos, the Works of Frederick Schiller, Vol. 3, George Bell & Sons, London. Original Sources, retrieved 21 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CPFAPBL3JED2GSG.