The Blue Room—where—for the last few nights the White Lady has been seen?
She will meet you there—
She will speak to you—
SONNSFELD (pulling him to the door at the right).
Yes, me—I mean you—and you will lead her from the Blue Room—you will take her hand and bring her safely hither by the surest and quickest route.
My lady—whom—whom? The Princess Wilhelmine?
SONNSFELD (going out).
No, no, Kamke, the White Lady—but come quickly now, quickly.
[They both go out.]
FRAU VON VIERECK, FRAU VON HOLZENDORF, and about six more ladies enter cautiously, one by one, through the centre door.
Hush! Step cautiously!
It’s all quiet here—if only these wretched shoes of mine didn’t creak so.
What can Her Majesty the Queen be planning for tonight?
Has His Majesty the King gone from home?
I heard it said, at the French Embassy, that His Highness,
Prince, had come from Rheinsberg—
Doubtless at the same time with His Highness, the Prince of Wales
At the moment both are at the King’s Smoker.—They say the Crown Prince has again disagreed with his father on questions concerning the future administration of the state.
Is it possible?
And they say that the Prince of Baireuth tried to bring about a reconciliation, but that the Prince of Wales took the part of the Crown Prince.
The Prince of Wales? Then he has been received?
And the King, so they say, in the heat of the argument, commanded that Princess Wilhelmine, the cause of the quarrel, be sent to Kuestrin at once.
Good Heavens, ladies! There are cards on the table. Hush! I hear a noise.
It is the Queen.
[The QUEEN comes in in full toilet. She is excited and yet timorous. The ladies bow.]
Welcome, ladies. I am happy to have about me once again the circle of those who, I know, are devoted to me. Pray sit down. I have decided to be more sociable in future and to have you with me oftener than I have done of late. Will you have a game of cards, Frau von Viereck?
Cards, Your Majesty? For eighteen years now I cannot recall having seen a card in the palace.