ELECTOR. Now then, if I make out your reasoning,
You pile your climax on my shoulders thus:
Had I not dangerously made a jest
Of this young dreamer’s state, he had remained
Guiltless, in council had not roamed the clouds,
Nor disobedient proved upon the field.
Eh? Eh? Is that the logic?
HOHENZOLLERN. My liege lord,
I trust the filling of the gaps to you.
ELECTOR. Fool that you are, you addlepate!
Not called me to the garden, I had not,
Following a whim of curiosity,
Made harmless fun of this somnambulist.
Wherefore, and quite with equal right, I hold
The cause of his delinquency were you!—
The delphic wisdom of my officers!
HOHENZOLL. Enough, my sovereign! I am assured,
My words fell weightily upon your heart.
An officer enters. The others as before.
OFFICER. My lord, the Prince will instantly appear.
ELECTOR. Good, then! Let him come in.
OFFICER. Two minutes,
He but delayed a moment on the way
To beg a porter ope the graveyard gate.
ELECTOR. The graveyard?
OFFICER. Ay, my sovereign.
ELECTOR. But why?
OFFICER. To tell the truth, my lord, I do not
It seemed he wished to see the burial-vault
That your behest uncovered for him there.
[The commanders group themselves and talk together.]
ELECTOR. No matter! When he comes, let him come in!
[He steps to the table again and glances at the papers.]
TRUCHSZ. The watch is bringing in Prince Homburg now.
Enter the PRINCE OF HOMBURG. An officer
and the watch. The others
ELECTOR. Young Prince of mine, I call you to
Here’s Colonel Kottwitz brings this document
In your behalf, look, in long column signed
By hundred honorable gentlemen.
The army asks your liberty, it runs,
And will not tolerate the court’s decree.
Come, read it and inform yourself, I beg.
[He hands him the paper.]
THE PRINCE (casts a glance at the document, turns
looks about the circle of officers).
Kottwitz, old friend, come, let me clasp your hand!
You give me more than on the day of battle
I merited of you. But now, post-haste,
Go, back again to Arnstein whence you came,
Nor budge at all. I have considered it;
The death decreed to me I will accept!
[He hands over the paper to him.]
No, nevermore, my Prince! What are you saying?