Min. You draw but one dagger from my breast; for if I have lost your heart, what matters whether indifference or more powerful charms than mine have robbed me of it? You love me no longer; neither do you love another? Wretched man indeed, if you love nothing!
Maj. T. Right; the wretched must love nothing. He merits his misfortunes, if he cannot achieve this victory over himselfif he can allow the woman he loves to take part in his misfortune Oh! how difficult is this victory! Since reason and necessity have commanded me to forget Minna von Barnhelm, what pains have I taken! I was just beginning to hope that my trouble would not for ever be in vainand you appear.
Min. Patience! You love me still; that is enough for me. Into what a mood have we fallen! an unpleasant, melancholy, infectious mood! I assume my own again. Now, my dear unfortunate, you love me still, and have your Minna still, and are unhappy? Hear what a conceited, foolish thing your Minna wasis. She allowedallows herself, to imagine that she makes your whole happiness. Declare all your misery at once. She would like to try how far she can outweigh it.Well?
Min. You disputant! You should not have called yourself unhappy at all then. You should have told the whole, or kept quiet. Reason and necessity commanded you to forget me? I am a great stickler for reason; I have a great respect for necessity. But let me hear how reasonable this reason, and how necessary this necessity may be.
Maj. T. Listen then, Madam. You call me Tellheim; the name is correct. But suppose I am not that Tellheim whom you knew at home; the prosperous man, full of just pretensions, with a thirst for glory; the master of all his faculties, both of body and mind; before whom the lists of honour and prosperity stood open; who, if he was not then worthy of your heart and your hand, dared to hope that he might daily become more nearly so. This Tellheim I am now, as little as I am my own father. They both have been. Now I am Tellheim the discharged, the suspected, the cripple, the beggar. To the former, Madam, you promised your hand; do you wish to keep your word?
Min. That sounds very tragic Yet, Major Tellheim, until I find the former one againI am quite foolish about the Tellheimsthe latter will have to help me in my dilemma. Your hand, dear beggar! (taking his hand).
Maj. T. From you. Never, never to see you again. Or at least determined, fully determined, never to be guilty of a mean action; never to cause you to commit an imprudent one. Let me go, Minna! (Tears himself away, and Exit.)