You will have horses and carriages, and footmen, as
becomes a future
You will see that I do in very truth deserve the name you gave me, the name of the best of fathers. But still—I hear your mother.
What—what is going to happen—
Prepare yourself for a weighty moment—the moment of your betrothal.
The QUEEN comes in, leaning on the arm of the PRINCE OF BAIREUTH. HOTHAM and several lackeys follow.
WILHELMINE (aside, surprised).
[The QUEEN bows coldly to the KING.]
KING (equally coldly).
QUEEN (to the PRINCESS).
My dear child, I here present to you the Envoy of
the King of England,
WILHELMINE (bows, speaks aside).
The Prince’s friend? How am I to understand all this?
Pardon me, wife, the Prince of Baireuth should take precedence. My dear child, I present to you here the Prince Hereditary of Baireuth.
PRINCE (bows, speaks aside to WILHELMINE).
Do not lose courage. It will all work out for the best.
Have you good news from Ansbach, dear Prince?
This eternal mistake of hers. [Aloud.] Your Majesty, I hear there is a plan on foot to transplant Ansbach to Baireuth.
KING. (has been only half listening).
Hush! Let us cast aside all these earthly thoughts and plans and prepare ourselves for a work of sacred import. Sit down by your mother, Wilhelmine.
What is going to happen?
You, Prince, as my natural aide—here! Baronet Hotham, you are in the centre.
[The lackeys place the table in the centre of the room and then go off.]
Hotham—the commercial treaties—
[HOTHAM sits down at the centre of the table, opens the portfolio which he has brought with him, lays out sheets of paper, and examines his pen.]
KING (folding his hands).
In God’s name—[After a pause] If I should ask you, my faithful spouse, companion of my life, what a happy marriage is—
Has that anything to do with our daughter’s wedding-contract?
Do not interrupt me. You may not be conscious of it—but I am fully aware of how much this solemn moment imports.
Please Your Majesty—I have already written “In God’s name.”
KING (looks surprised and pleased).