The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 07 eBook

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.

QUEEN.

We will change all that.  Ladies, you have not yet heard my plans, you do not yet know what surprises this evening has in store for you—­

HOLZENDORF.

Surprises, Your Majesty?

QUEEN (indicating a card-table near the window).

Sit down there, my dear Holzendorf.  Try your luck with Frau von Viereck.

VIERECK (aside).

Heavens—­play cards there?  When every outline of my shadow can plainly be seen through that curtain?

QUEEN (sitting).

Why do you hesitate?

VIERECK.

Have we Your Majesty’s permission to draw the tables nearer together? 
There—­there is so much air at this window.

[The lackeys place the table farther from the window.]

QUEEN.

Yes, ladies, this evening a new era begins for our monarchy.  I will break at last with the established etiquette. [Lackeys come in with trays.] Order what pleases you.  The beverages of China and the Levant shall from now on no longer be strangers to our court.

HOLZENDORF.

What is this?  Tea?

VIERECK.

And coffee?  These forbidden beverages?

HOLZENDORF.

If His Majesty the King—­

QUEEN.

Have no fear.  Give your feelings full sway—­express yourself without fear, in assurance of perfect safety—­[There is a knock at the door, right.] Was not that a knock?

VIERECK (aside, trembling).

What does this mean?

[The knock is repeated.  The ladies all rise as if frightened.]

QUEEN.

Be calm, ladies.  There is no danger.  The evening will offer one surprise after another.  Who, do you imagine, is at that door now?

[The knock is repeated.  The ladies all rise as if frightened.]

HOLZENDORF.

The hand seems none of the most delicate.

QUEEN.

And yet it is.  That knock expresses the impetuous longing of a being whom my courage has freed from a humiliating situation.  You may resume your seats, ladies.  Do not allow yourselves to be disturbed by anything that may occur, not even by any surprise.  This is but the beginning of many things that will come to pass this evening.  And so I cry—­in overflowing emotion—­[There is another knock.] “Moderate your impatience, beloved being; you shall find here what you seek—­your mother!” [She opens the door.]

SCENE III

The KING steps in.  He is wrapped in a white cloak, his hat pulled down over his face.

KING.

Yes, your mother.

[The ladies all rise with exclamations of horror.  The KING removes his hat.]

QUEEN (aside, crushed).

The King!

KING (angry, but forcing himself to be affable).

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook