THE PRINCE (writing).
NATALIE. What? No matter?
THE PRINCE. Let him do
What his soul bids. I must do what I must.
NATALIE (approaching him frightened).
Oh, terrible! You are not writing there?
THE PRINCE (concluding).
“Homburg!” And dated, “Fehrbellin, the twelfth.”
So, it’s all ready. Frank!
[He closes and seals the letter.]
NATALIE. Dear God in heaven!
THE PRINCE (rising).
Here, take this to the Castle to my liege!
[The lackey goes out.]
I will not face man who faces me
So nobly, with a knave’s ignoble front!
Guilt, heavy guilt, upon my conscience weighs,
I fully do confess. Can he but grant
Forgiveness, when I contest for it,
I do not care a straw for any pardon.
NATALIE (kissing him).
This kiss, for me! And though twelve bullets made
You dust this instant, I could not resist
Caroling, sobbing, crying: Thus you please me!
However, since you follow your heart’s lead,
I may be pardoned if I follow mine.
[The footman opens the door. The COUNT enters.]
NATALIE. Go, and bear the note I gave
Post-haste to Arnstein and to Colonel Kottwitz!
The regiment shall march, our liege directs.
Ere midnight I shall look to see it here!
Scene: a hall in the Castle.
The ELECTOR, scantily clad, enters from the adjoining chamber, followed by COUNT TRUCHSZ, COUNT HOHENZOLLERN, and CAPTAIN VON DER GOLZ. Pages with lights.
ELECTOR. Kottwitz? And with the Princess’s
Here in the town?
TRUCHSZ (opening the window). Indeed,
Drawn up before the Castle, here he is!
ELECTOR. Well? Will you read the riddle,
Who called him hither?
HOHENZOLLERN. I know not, my liege.
ELECTOR. The place I set him at is known as Arnstein!
Make haste, some one, and go and bring him in.
GOLZ. He will appear forthwith, my sovereign.
ELECTOR. Where is he?
GOLZ. At the City Hall, I hear,
Where the entire generality,
That bears obedience to your house, is met.
ELECTOR. But why? What is the object?
HOHENZOLLERN. I know not.
TRUCHSZ. My prince and lord, will you vouchsafe
Likewise betake ourselves a moment thither?
ELECTOR. Whither? The City Hall?