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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.

SCENE V

A plain low-ceilinged room in the palace.  The walls are gray.  The main entrance is in the centre.  One door at the left, a small window at the right.

Lackeys carry in an oaken table and place a number of wooden stools around it.  Then they bring tankards on wooden platters and set them in a circle on the table.  A brazier with live coals is also brought in.  The lackeys go out.

The_ KING comes from the door on the left in easy, undress house uniform.  He has a short Dutch pipe in his mouth, he shuts the door carefully behind him.

KING.

Are they gathering already

EVERSMANN.

There’s noise enough outside there.

KING.

My only recreation!  While I may keep this little diversion, I am willing to bear the burdens and cares of government.  Are the clay cannons loaded?

EVERSMANN.

Aye—­and some are fuming already outside there.

KING.

Is the beer right fresh?  And a little bitter, eh?

EVERSMANN.

It might be better.

KING.

Those Bernau brewers had best have a care—­I may pay an unexpected visit to their brewery.  How about the white smock I ordered?

EVERSMANN.

Ready, at hand.

KING.

When the meeting is over—­you know what I have planned

EVERSMANN.

Everything is ready for Your Majesty.

KING.

You may go now.  The door is to be opened at the stroke of ten.

EVERSMANN.

Yes, Your Majesty. [He goes out.]

[The KING walks to the window, remaining there for a few moments.  There is a pause.]

KING.

Light in my wife’s apartments again!  Three rooms illuminated where one would have been enough—­and tallow so expensive now.  A dozen women have been invited there tonight, and a great conspiracy is going forward, with the Prince of Wales received incognito—­all to defy me.  But wait a bit—­I’ll be with you.  This day has begun weightily and shall end weightily.

SCENE VI

A small clock strikes ten.  The door to the right is thrown open and the members of the Tobacco-Conference come in, led by GRUMBKOW and SECKENDORF. There are about ten of them besides the principal actors.  They come in solemnly, wearing their hats, carrying pipes in their mouths.  Passing the KING they touch their hats and remove their pipes for a moment. HOTHAM and the PRINCE of BAIREUTH come last of all.  The KING stands to the left and lets the procession move past him toward the right of the room.

GRUMBKOW (with the prescribed greeting).

Good evening, Your Majesty.

KING.

Good evening, Grumbkow.

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