“Well, then we will not gratify the shouting mob by punishing them with imprisonment, but cause the jailer to administer a sound cudgeling to each one of them, and then let the fellows go again. Make good speed now, Brandt, for I expect the Electoral Prince here in a few hours, and if the people are not properly notified, he will make his entry before they have taken off their rags and donned their holiday attire. Make haste, and let us have this evening a right brilliant illumination. Farewell, Master Brandt!”
The chief of police departed, and by a loud whistle Schwarzenberg called the lackey to him.
“One of the grooms must take horse,” was his command.
“He must ride out on the road to Spandow about a quarter of a mile. There he is to halt, and wait until the Electoral Prince arrives with his attendants. As soon as he has seen him, he is to come back at full speed and make the announcement to me.”
“All necessary preliminaries are arranged,” said Schwarzenberg, when he found himself again alone. “Now let the Electoral Prince come on, we are ready to receive him. There will be a hard struggle, but I have been victorious over all my enemies for twenty years, and shall probably conquer the little Electoral Prince too! Now a hurried toilet, and then to the Elector, to open the skirmish in his neighborhood! Ah, we shall see, my young Prince! For you shouts the rabble of Berlin, for me speaks the Elector! We shall see which of us two has built upon the sand!”
“May I be so bold as to come in, most noble sir?” asked Count Schwarzenberg, as he opened the door leading into the Electoral cabinet and thrust in his head, encircled by a hundred beautifully arranged curls.
“Behold, there is Adam Schwarzenberg!” cried Elector George William, wheeling his chair from the writing table. “Why do you ask, count, since you know that you are always privileged to enter unannounced? Come closer, and be heartily welcome!”
And the Elector leaned both his arms upon the wooden aims of his chair, making an effort to rise. But the count was at his side in a moment, gently forcing him back into his seat, while at the same time he half bent one knee and imprinted a kiss upon the Elector’s right hand.
“If your grace treats me with such formality, and rises on my account, then I must believe that you love me no longer,” he said, with soft, insinuating voice. “But you well know, beloved master, that I could not live without your love, and that existence itself would seem gloomy and dark to me if the star of your favor and love should cease to shine upon it.”