ELECTOR. A man must tell me that ere I’ll
I’ll set this boot of mine before his house
To keep him safe from these young heroes’
MARSHAL. My lord, I beg you, if it be your will,
To grant the Prince his pardon after all:
Fulfil it ere an odious deed be done.
You know that every army loves its hero.
Let not this spark which kindles in it now
Spread out and wax a wild consuming fire.
Nor Kottwitz nor the crowd he has convened
Are yet aware my faithful word has warned you.
Ere he appears, send back the Prince’s sword,
Send it, as, after all, he has deserved.
One piece of chivalry the more you give
To history, and one misdeed the less.
ELECTOR. Concerning that I’d have to ask
Who was not idly made a prisoner,
As you may know, nor idly may be freed.—
I’ll see the gentlemen when they arrive.
MARSHAL (to himself).
Curse it! His armor’s proof to every dart.
Two lackeys enter, one with a letter in his hand. The others as before.
1st LACKEY. Sir, Colonels Kottwitz, Hennings,
Truchsz and others
ELECTOR (to the second lackey, as he takes the
This from the Prince of Homburg?
2D LACKEY. Indeed, your Highness.
ELECTOR. Who delivered it?
2D LACKEY. The Swiss on guard before the castle
Who had it from the Prince’s bodyguard.
[The ELECTOR stands by the table, and reads; whereupon he turns and calls to a page.]
Prittwitz! Bring me the warrant,
bring it here.
And let me have the passport for the Swede’s
Ambassador, Gustaf, the Count of Horn.
[Exit the page.]
the first lackey.]
Now Kottwitz and his retinue may come.
COLONEL KOTTWITZ and COLONEL HENNINGS, COUNT TRUCHSZ, COUNTS HOHENZOLLERN and SPARREN, COUNT REUSS, CAPTAIN VON DER GOLZ, STRANZ and other officers enter. The others as before.
KOTTWITZ (bearing the petition).
Permit me, my exalted sovereign,
Here in the name of all your soldiery
Most humbly to submit this document.
ELECTOR. Kottwitz, before I take it, tell me
Who was it called you to this city here?
KOTTWITZ (regarding him).
With the dragoons?
ELECTOR. Ay, with your regiment!
I nominated Arnstein as your station.
KOTTWITZ. Sir! It was your behest that brought
ELECTOR. Eh? Let me see the order!
KOTTWITZ. Here, my liege.
Signed: “Natalie.” And dated: “Fehrbellin,
By order of my liege, my uncle Frederick.”