The Works of Frederick Schiller: Early Dramas and Romances

By Friedrich Schiller; Henry G. Bohn | Go to book overview

he was, therefore, eternally giving feasts, entertainments, and expensive concerts, making costly presents, and playing high. As this strange madness, moreover, had also infected the Prince's retinue, who are generally much more punctilious in respect to what they deem "the honour of the family" than their masters, the Prince was obliged to assist the zeal of his followers by his liberality. Here, then, is a whole catalogue of ills, all irremediable consequences of a sufficiently excusable weakness, to which the Prince, in an unguarded moment, gave way!

We have, it is true, got rid of our rival, but the harm he has done will not so soon be remedied. The finances of the Prince are exhausted; all that he had saved by the wise economy of years is spent; and he must hasten from Venice, if he would escape plunging into debt, which till now he has most scrupulously avoided. It is decisively settled that we leave as soon as fresh remittances arrive.

I should not have minded all this splendour if the Prince had but reaped the least real satisfaction from it. But he was never less happy than at present! He feels that he is not what he formerly was--he seeks to regain his self-respect-- he is dissatisfied with himself, and launches into fresh dissipation, in order to drown the recollection of the last. One new acquaintance follows another, and each involves him more deeply. I know not where this will end. We must away-- there is no other chance of safety--we must away from Venice.

But, my dear friend, I have not yet received a single line from you! How am I to interpret this long and obstinate silence?


LETTER IV. .
BARON VON F----- TO COUNT VON O-----

June 12th.

I thank you, my dear friend, for the token of your remembrance which young B * * hl brought me. But what is it you say about letters I ought to have received? I have received no letter from you; not a single line. What a circuitous route must they have taken! In future, dear O-----, when

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