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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 474 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 07.

PRINCE.

Austria?

EVERSMANN.

Arch-Duke Leopold is willing, they say—­that is if [with a sly gesture toward the PRINCESS’ room] if Princess Wilhelmine—­

PRINCE (excited).

The Princess?

EVERSMANN.

Sh!  You will probably be chosen to conduct the negotiations between
Prussia and—­

PRINCE (beside himself).

The Princess is—­destined—­

EVERSMANN.

To be the future Empress of Austria.

[He goes out into the QUEEN’S room.]

PRINCE (alone).

Empress!  Queen!  And I—­I who love her to desperation, I am to help bring about either of these alliances?  That will mean a tragedy or [after a pause he continues more cheerfully]—­Courage—­courage—­it may turn out a comedy after all, as merry a comedy as ever was played at any Royal Court. [He goes out.]

ACT II

GRUMBKOW and SECKENDORF come in with EVERSMANN. The latter carries a wide orange-colored ribbon with many stars and Orders on it, and a gleaming sword.

SCENE I

The KING’S room.  A side door on the left; a centre door.  A writing table and chairs.

GRUMBKOW.

It was a dispatch, you say, Eversmann?

SECKENDORF.

A dispatch from Hanover.

GRUMBKOW.

And all this elegance?  The ribbon?  The sword of state?  What does it mean?

EVERSMANN.

His Majesty ordered these immediately after the arrival of the dispatch.

SECKENDORF.

A dispatch from Hanover—­arrived about an hour ago—­grand cordon commanded—­sword of state—­we must put these facts together, Grumbkow—­find their meaning.

EVERSMANN.

There are to be twelve plates more at table today. [Meaningfully.] Thirty-six thalers are set aside for the dinner—­everybody to appear in full court dress.

SECKENDORF.

A dispatch from Hanover-grand cordon—­sword of state—­twelve plates extra—­thirty-six thalers—­the combination, Grumbkow—­we must find the combination!

EVERSMANN.

When he had torn the seal from the dispatch, he wept two big tears and said:  “I’ll make them all happy if I have to beat them to a jelly to do it.”  And now he’s all eagerness and would like to invite the whole city to dinner.

GRUMBKOW.

On thirty-six thalers?

EVERSMANN.

The orphans in the asylum are to have new clothes.

GRUMBKOW (startled).

The orphans?  That looks like a wedding.

SECKENDORF.

Dispatch—­Hanover—­thirty-six thalers—­two tears—­beat them all—­the meaning of that, Grumbkow?—­we must put two and two together and find it.

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