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Coun._ My accounts are now settled, and my mind is at ease. I can
now call a furnished house and four thousand dollars my own honest
property. I have thrown off the burden, I have got rid of a connection
that imposed upon me.

_Gern._ Dear brother! how is it possible that any connection should
warp your generous principles.

_P. Coun._ Man does not warp all at once, but by degrees. Providence
lent me a hand. (Lays Sophia's hand on his breast.) You even look
kinder than you used to do.

_Fred._ I should never have forgiven you, if you had compelled me to
give my hand to Selling.

_P. Coun._ Dear Frederica!

_Clar._ Well, well! that was done while he was intoxicated with foreign
wine. The cup of pride produces that,--a good and useful beverage for
those that quaff it in moderation. Whoever cannot do that, had better
drink home-made wine.

_Soph._ But what do you intend to do with regard to your office, and
the charge brought against you concerning the monopoly?

_P. Coun._ I mean to set off for the capital, and candidly lay the
whole before the Minister; he is a good man; I will tell him I assumed
a burthen too heavy for my shoulders, and entreat him to lay it on some
person better suited to bear it.

_Clar._ That is right, Jack! When I was desired to sketch a design for
the Prince's palace in our neighbourhood, I also said, "Please your
Highness, I am a carpenter; the undertaking is beyond my sphere; send
for an architect, and what he plans I will endeavour to execute. My
head may conceive the plan for a common dwelling-house well enough, but
not for a palace; and so I do not wish to step out of my line." The old
Prince has since repeatedly thanked me for it, and said, with a
significant nod, "You were right, master, Clarenbach! I wish some of my
counsellors would do the same, and, when called on, say, I am not fit
to fill that office. But they take the hatchet in hand, and slash away
without any art or judgment."--My dear son, throw it down, and let some
good political carpenter take it up. God be with you!


SCENE IX.

Enter Lawyer WELLENBERG.

_Well._ Are you all here?--thank God!

_Clar._ You are welcome, Mr. Wellenberg.

_Well._ A chair, a chair. (P. Counsellor reaches a chair.)

_Clar._ What is the matter with you, pray?

_Well._ O Heaven! oh!

_Fred._ What ails you, Sir?

_Gern._ You make me uneasy.

_Soph._ Have you spoken with my father?

_Well._ Yes, yes, yes.

_P. Coun._ Dear Wellenberg, pray speak plain.

_Well._ _Est necesse, ut remotis testibus loquar._

_P. Coun._ _Dicam ergo aliis ut abeant._

_Well._ _Imo, jubeas, quæso! sunt enim res summi momenti._

_P. Coun._ _Nunquid sane de sponsæ meæ parente?_

_Well._ _Quin ita! agitur enim vitæ et animæ salus._

_P. Coun._ Good folks, leave me a minute alone with this good
gentleman.

_Clar._ Good God!

_Soph._ It concerns my father.--O Clarenbach!

_P. Coun._ We will manage all for the best.

_Soph._ To your compassion, to your filial compassion,--to your duty as
a son, to your heart, to every thing I appeal, Clarenbach! You must
bring him back to the path of virtue, even against his will. You must,
and my gratitude shall be eternal.


SCENE X.

Enter Aulic Counsellor REISSMAN.

_Reiss._ Mr. Wellenberg!--

_Well._ Oh, that God--(Rises.)

_Reiss._ I want to speak with you.

_Well._ No, no! I will not.--Keep off, keep at six yards distance from
me at least.

_Reiss._ I must have a private conversation with you.

_Well._ God forbid!

_Soph._ Dear Mr. Wellenberg grant it; I entreat you.

_Well._ Can I?--ask him.

_P. Coun._ I beg, I entreat you.

_Well._ (after a pause?) Well, yes. Yes then, I will run the risk.

_Soph._ I thank you.

_Well._ But--(beckons the Privy Counsellor to come near him, and
whispers to him.)

_P. Coun._ Yes, I will. Come along.

_Reiss._ (alarmed.) What,--what, will you?

_P. Coun._ Nothing that can give you any uneasiness.

_Reiss._ Where do you intend to go?

_P. Coun._ To win this hand and your esteem. Come along. (All exeunt,
except Reissman and Wellenberg.)


SCENE XI.

Aulic Counsellor REISSMAN, Lawyer WELLENBERG.

_Reiss._ Ay, dear Mr. Wallenberg, you are--it is--why are you--I cannot
conceive for what reason you left my house in that abrupt manner.

_Well._ The warning came from above to the unworthy. (Takes the bottle
out of his pocket.) What is this? (putting it on the chair.) Answer me
that!

_Reiss._ How!--(snatching at it.)

_Well._ Keep off!--It is poison!

_Reiss._ Ay, good God!

_Well._ There is poison in the wine you pressed me to drink.

_Reiss._ Should you by some unfortunate mistake--

_Well._ It is poison! it was intended to close my lips for ever! Lulled
to sleep by your artful proposals, I might have passed into the other
world according to the old proverb, "Dead men tell no tales;" but you
forgot that I should rise against you at the last day.

_Reiss._ (assuming courage.) Mr. Lawyer, dare you--

_Well._ I dare call you an assassin,

_Reiss._ Who knows what you have been doing with this bottle in the
mean while?

_Well._ So you think to escape by your cunning? This moment I see, and
you feel, the mark which the Almighty has impressed on your brow. Your
mind is callous, and yet you are so struck with terror, that your
tongue cleaves to the roof of your mouth, and cannot perform its
office.

_Reiss._ But, you, you--

_Well._ Silence! Is your soul insensible to the trepidation of your
body, or what I have not in my power to do? Here stands the evidence of
the crime, there the delinquent, and here I stand, either as judge or a
merciful man, if you deliver yourself up vanquished into my hands; and,
if not, as your accuser before the tribunal of the public. Kneel down
this moment, the sword of justice hangs over your head!

_Reiss._ (shaking.) My God!

_Well._ You are at the end of your career! The judgment of heaven is
committed to my hands, but mercy reigns in my heart: act in such a
manner, that my heart may preponderate; for I am a man whom you have
driven to extremes.

_Reiss._ (with terror.) What, what must I?--

_Well._ To the extreme, I say. I can hardly refrain from demanding
justice.

_Reiss._ What is your demand then?

_Well._ For myself I demand nothing. But what does your conscience
demand, wicked man? Is it silent? (With warmth;) Then, then I must do
what I ought to do.

_Reiss._ Well, then, I will give up the legacy at once.

_Well._ Further--

_Reiss._ What can I do more?

_Well._ Resign your office, that the corroding canker may be removed
from the breast of my country.

_Reiss._ But--

_Well._ God and man demand that I should utter this language.

_Reiss._ I will, I will.

_Well._ Consent to the Privy Counsellor's marriage, and do not
disinherit your virtuous daughter. All these points must be reduced to
writing, and signed by you this very day; then I will remain silent,
and spare you, that mercy in turn may be shewn to me.

_Reiss._ I will. Let the seal of silence be placed for ever on your
lips.

_Well._ Forever!

_Reiss._ Give me your word and hand.

_Well._ My word is sufficient. (Puts the bottle in his pocket.) If you
accomplish the conditions, this affair shall be buried in eternal
oblivion.

_Reiss._ All shall be done this very day.

_Well._ Now go, and inform the people of all the blessings you intend
to shower on them.

_Reiss._ I will grant them every thing, but I cannot tell them the
happy effects of our conversation.

_Well._ It must be so to save appearances.

_Reiss._ You are right! (Takes a ring from his finger.) Accept this, it
is of the first water, worth two hundred Louis d'ors.

_Well._ The tears of joy that your virtuous daughter will shed are the
purest christian water, and sparkle better. Those I will accept, and
thank God for the tribulations, for by this he has enabled me to
purchase what is good. Now go. I wish you to die well and soon. Thus I
discharge the sinner from his terrors and my hands, and recommend him
to the hand of the Father of all.--(Reissman slaps his forehead, and
exit.)--I think I have done well; at least, I do not know how I could
have done better. He has stood before the executioner; if that do not
shake and convert him, his good angel will veil his face and fly from
him, and then he will soon be hurled whither I would not wish.


SCENE XII.

Enter Master CLARENBACH.

_Clar._ Old friend, you have performed wonders!

_Well._ Not I, not I, (looking up to heaven,) but another.

_Clar._ He restores the legacy to the poor orphans; he consents to my
son's marriage.

_Well._ Even so, he has done no more than the duty of a Christian.

_Clar._ He does not disinherit his daughter; he gives the children
their inheritance.


SCENE XIII.

Enter Privy Counsellor CLARENBACH,
SOPHIA, FREDERICA, and GERNAU.

_P. Coun._ Matchless man!

_Soph._ Eternal, eternal gratitude!

_Well._ (Puts his hands in his pockets.) Spare my weak hands; my heart
is sound!--

_P. Coun._ How was it possible, how did it happen?

_Gern._ Tell us.

_Fred._ I cannot conceive it.

_Well._ That--

_P. Coun._ He uttered all these benefactions in such a hurry--

_Fred._ And at the same time looked nobody in the face--

_Gern._ And then he ran away.

_Clar._ I never saw a man do so much good in so ungracious a manner.

_Soph._ Good God! but he has done it after all, and--

_Clar._ Well, well; but how did it come about?

_Well._ Never ask that question again!--never! Do you understand me?

_Clar._ We thank God it is so; why should we enquire how it came to be
so?

_Well._ That is right, friend Clarenbach! (To the Privy Counsellor.)
And you resign the Privy Counsellorship?

_P. Coun._ My abilities are not adequate to it.

_Well._ Have I not told you a hundred times, when he was what they call
a Lawyer, and when he wrote with such humane feelings, with such fire,
with such indefatigability, in the cause of justice,--Master
Clarenbach, said I, Jack stands very high on level ground; do not
suffer him to rise higher, for he will tumble down.

_Clar._ It is true upon my word.

_Well._ So you came down of your accord?



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