I cannot let you resign. There is no one else I can trust as I trust you three. But not war, not war!
I am a lover of peace, but the time has come when we must have war.
MINISTER OF WAR
It is our sacred duty, your Majesty, to draw our swords for light and justice when God calls!
CHIEF OF STAFF
And God has always been with us. God will be with us now!
[White and tense.
You are three strong men against me. I want peace, but I am helpless without you three. For I am an anachronism. Not nature but human force, fighting against nature, keeps me on my throne. If you must have war, have it. But I tell you this: God has no part in it. Leave God out of the game!
[He sinks into the chair by the desk.
[To MINISTER OF WAR.
Call your Secretary!
[MINISTER OF WAR goes to the door. The SECRETARY enters. The PRIME MINISTER takes a paper out of his pocket.
Here. It is a copy of the message I directed you to send to the news bureaus and embassies. Transmit it at once.
[The SECRETARY bows and goes out. The KING falls forward on the desk, sobbing. At his side, straight and stern, the PRIME MINISTER Stands. To MINISTER OF WAR.
Give orders for immediate mobilization.
[The stage is slowly darkened.
As the lights rise again they reveal a small, comfortably furnished clubroom, with a wide window opening on a balcony in the back, and doors right and left. It is evening and the electric lamps are lit.
GROSVENOR, a man of fifty-odd, large, sleek, unctuous, well-groomed, is discovered in an arm-chair, surrounded by newspapers. He glances with feverish interest at one after the other. A cheer is heard outside, then the sound of fifes and drums. He rises excitedly and throws open the French window. The tramp, tramp of a regiment is heard. TWO OFFICERS in uniform, a GENERAL and a CAPTAIN, enter left.
[A strongly-built man in middle age, with a firm, resolute face.
Evening, Grosvenor. Not poaching on your rights if we come in here a minute? The other windows were crowded.
Not at all, General, not at all. We’re all making way for the khaki today, sir. And proud to have the chance.
[With overdone politeness to the Captain, a handsome man of the romantic type.