He’s coming! The King!
The KING looks in from the side door.
Good morning! Good morning! Hope you slept well, gentlemen. Well, you rascal, where’s that frippery? What’s this—the English orders are missing? Fasten it on well. I don’t want the fol-dols knocking about my knees.
EVERSMANN (as if joking).
Is there something so important on hand? Doesn’t Your Majesty want the crown also?
The crown! Idiot! [He comes out.] You can be glad that you don’t have to wear it, sirrah! Off with you now. Eversmann, and see that everything is in order. [EVERSMANN goes out.] Good morning, Grumbkow and Seckendorf. No time for you now—my compliments to the State of Prussia and I beg to be left to myself today. Good morning—good morning.
[The two ministers prepare reluctantly to depart.]
GRUMBKOW (in the door).
Your Majesty is in such a merry mood—
Could it be the arrival of the courier—? KING (indifferently). Oh, yes. A courier came—
With news of importance, Your Majesty?
News of importance!
Concerning English affairs, doubtless?
Doubtless the East Indian commercial treaties.
The Dutch shipping agreement?
KING (enjoying their curiosity).
Something of that nature. Good morning, gentlemen.
He is in a desperate mood again.
SECKENDORF (aside, going out).
Thirty-six thalers—twelve places—the orphans—we must find the combination! [They go out.]
They’ve gone. At last I have a moment to
myself. [EVERSMANN comes in.]
I am supremely happy.
My respectful congratulations.
Thankee-now just imagine—oh, yes—no. [Aside.] No one must know of it.
Did Your Majesty intend to—
Change my clothes? Yes—take this coat off; we’ll spare no expense. They shall see that I possess wealth; they shall see that though I may be parsimonious ordinarily, still I can spend as well as any of them when an occasion offers. An occasion like this—[with an out-burst.] Eversmann, just imagine! [Remembering.] Oh, yes.
EVERSMANN (takes off the KING’S coat).