Well, then, by God of heaven and of earth!
Take courage, then, my girl, for he is free!
NATALIE. What, my liege lord?
ELECTOR. I pardon him, I
I’ll send the necessary word at once.
NATALIE. Oh, dearest, is it really true?
ELECTOR. You heard.
NATALIE. You will forgive him? And he need not die?
ELECTOR. Upon my word! I swear it!
How shall I
Oppose myself to such a warrior’s judgment?
Within my heart of hearts, as you know well,
I deeply do esteem his inner sense;
If he can say the verdict is unjust,
I cancel the indictment; he is free!
[He brings her a chair.]
Will you sit here and wait a little while?
[He goes to the table, seats himself and writes. Pause.]
Why dost thou knock so at thy house, my heart?
The Prince is over in the Castle?
He has returned to his captivity.
ELECTOR (finishes his letter and seals it; thereupon
with the letter to the PRINCESS).
Well, well, my little niece, my daughter, wept!
And I, whose place it is to make her glad
Was forced to cloud the heaven of her fair eyes!
[He puts his arm about her.]
Will you go bring the note to him yourself?
NATALIE. How? To the City Hall?
ELECTOR (presses the letter into her hand).
Why not? Ho, lackeys!
Go, have the carriage up! Her
Has urgent business with Colonel Homburg.
[The lackeys go out.]
Now he can thank you for his life forthwith.
[He embraces her.]
Dear child, and do you like me now once more?
NATALIE (after a pause).
I do not know and do not seek to know
What woke your favor, liege, so suddenly.
But truly this, I feel this in my heart,
You would not make ignoble sport of me.
The letter hold whate’er it may—I trust
That it hold pardon—and I thank you for it.
[She kisses his hand.]
ELECTOR. Indeed, my little girl, indeed.
As pardon lies in Cousin Homburg’s wish.
Room of the PRINCESS. Enter PRINCESS NATALIE, followed by two ladies-in-waiting and Captain of Cavalry, COUNT REUSS.
What is it, Count? About my regiment?
Is it of moment? Can it wait a day?
REUSS (handing her a letter).
Madam, a note for you from Colonel Kottwitz.