HOHENZOLL. Upon my word—and, you assume,
Must be her glove?
THE PRINCE. Whose?
HOHENZOLLERN. Well, the Platen girl’s.
THE PRINCE. Platen! Of course. Or could it be Ramin’s
HOHENZOLLERN (with a laugh).
Rogue that you are with your mad fantasies!
Who knows from what exploit delectable
Here in a waking hour with flesh and blood
The glove sticks to your hand, now?
THE PRINCE. Eh? What? I?
With all my love—
HOHENZOLLERN. Oh, well then, what’s the
Call it the Platen lady, or Ramin.
There is a Prussian post on Sunday next,
So you can find out by the shortest way
Whether your lady fair has lost a glove.
Off! Twelve o’clock! And we stand here and jaw!
THE PRINCE (dreamily into space).
Yes, you are right. Come, let us go to bed.
But as I had it on my mind to say—
Is the Electress who arrived in camp
Not long since with her niece, the exquisite
Princess of Orange, is she still about?
HOHENZOLL. Why?—I declare the idiot thinks—
I’ve orders to have thirty mounted men
Escort them safely from the battle-lines.
Ramin has been detailed to lead them.
They’re gone long since, or just about to go.
The whole night long, Ramin, all rigged for flight,
Has hugged the door. But come. It’s stroke o’ twelve.
And I, for one, before the fight begins,
I want to get some sleep.
The same. Hall in the palace. In the distance, the sound of cannon. The ELECTRESS and PRINCESS NATALIE, dressed for travel, enter, escorted by a gentleman-in-waiting, and sit down at the side. Ladies-in-waiting. A little later the ELECTOR enters with FIELD-MARSHAL. DOeRFLING, the PRINCE OF HOMBURG with the glove in his collar, COUNT HOHENZOLLERN, COUNT TRUCHSZ, COLONEL HENNINGS, TROOP-CAPTAIN VON DER GOLZ and several other generals, colonels and minor officers.
ELECTOR. What is that cannonading?—Is it Goetz?
DOeRFLING. It’s Colonel Goetz, my liege,
Pushed forward with the van. An officer
Has come from him already to allay
Your apprehensions ere they come to birth.
A Swedish outpost of a thousand men
Has pressed ahead into the Hackel Hills,
But for those hills Goetz stands security
And sends me word that you should lay your plans
As though his van already held them safe.
ELECTOR (to the officers).
The Marshal knows the plan. Now, gentlemen,
I beg you take your pens and write it down.
[The officers assemble on the other side about the FIELD-MARSHAL, and take out their tablets. The ELECTOR turns to a gentleman-in-waiting.]