The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 573 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04.

HOHENZOLLERN.  The lords’ assemblage. 
  We gave our word of honor to appear.

ELECTOR (after a short pause). 
  You are dismissed!

GOLZ.  Come, follow, gentlemen!

[The officers go out.]


The ELECTOR. Later, two footmen.

ELECTOR.  Most curious!  Were I the Dey of Tunis
  I’d sound alarm at such a dubious move,
  Lay on my desk despair’s thin silken cord,
  And at my palisaded castle-gate
  Set up my heavy guns and howitzers. 
  But since it’s just Hans Kottwitz from the Priegnitz
  Who marches on me of his own sweet will
  I’ll treat the matter in the Mark’s own way;
  Of the three curls that gleam so silvery
  On his old skull, I’ll take firm hold of one
  And lead him calmly with his squadrons twelve
  To Arnstein, his headquarters, back again. 
  Why wake the city from its slumber thus?

[He goes to the window a moment, then returns to the table and rings a bell.  Two lackeys enter.]

Do run below and ask, as for yourself,
What’s doing in the City Hall.

1st LACKEY.  At once!

[He goes out.]

ELECTOR (to the other). 
  But you go now and fetch me my apparel.

[The lackey goes and brings it.  The ELECTOR attires himself and dons his princely insignia.]


FIELD-MARSHAL DOeRFLING enters.  The others as before.

DOeRFLING.  Rebellion, my Elector!

ELECTOR (still occupied with his clothes).  Calm yourself! 
  You know that I detest to have my room
  Without a warning word, invaded thus. 
  What do you want?

MARSHAL.  Forgive me!  An affair
  Of special consequence has brought me hither. 
  Unordered, Colonel Kottwitz moved his force
  Into the city; hundred officers
  Are gathered round him in the armor-hall. 
  From hand to hand a paper passes round
  That purposes encroachment on your rights.

ELECTOR.  I am informed of it.  What can it be
  Except a ferment friendly to the Prince
  On whom the law has laid the sentence, death?

MARSHAL.  ’Tis so, by God on high!  You struck it right!

ELECTOR.  Well, then, and good.  My heart is in their midst.

MARSHAL.  The rumor goes the maniacs intend
  This very night to hand you their petition
  Here in the Castle; and should you persist
  In carrying out, irreconcilably,
  The sentence—­scarce I dare to bring you this!—­
  To liberate him from his bonds by force!

ELECTOR (sombrely). 
  Come now, who told you that?

MARSHAL.  Who told me that? 
  The lady Retzow, cousin of my wife,
  Whom you may trust.  She spent this evening
  In Bailiff Retzow’s, in her uncle’s house,
  And heard some officers who came from camp
  Brazenly utter this audacious plan.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 04 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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