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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Last Interview of Orange with Egmont
By Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805)
 
From the ‘History of the Revolt of the United Netherlands’: date 1567: Translation of Edward Payson Evans

THE WARNING of Orange came from a sad and dispirited heart; and for Egmont the world still smiled. To quit the lap of abundance, of affluence and splendor, in which he had grown up to youth and manhood, to part from all the thousand comforts of life which alone made it of value to him, and all this in order to escape an evil which his buoyant courage regarded as still far off,—no, that was not a sacrifice which could be asked from Egmont. But even had he been less self-indulgent than he was, with what heart could he have made a princess pampered by long prosperity—a loving wife and children, on whom his soul hung—acquainted with privations at which his own courage sank, which a sublime philosophy alone can exact from sensuality? “Thou wilt never persuade me, Orange,” said Egmont, “to see things in this gloomy light in which they appear to thy mournful prudence. When I have succeeded in abolishing the public preachings, in chastising the iconoclasts, in crushing the rebels and restoring their former quiet to the provinces, what can the King have against me? The King is kind and just, and I have earned claims upon his gratitude; and I must not forget what I owe to myself.” “Well then,” exclaimed Orange with indignation and inner anguish, “risk the trust in this royal gratitude! But a mournful presentiment tells me—and may Heaven grant that I may be deceived!—thou wilt be the bridge, Egmont, over which the Spaniards will pass into the country, and which they will destroy when they have passed over it.” He drew him, after he had said this, with ardor to himself, and clasped him fervently and firmly in his arms. Long, as though for the rest of his life, he kept his eyes fixed upon him and shed tears…. They never saw each other again.  1
 
 
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