"Well, well!" said the king, good-humoredly; "don't be quite so angry! it is, after all, not a lost battle! [Footnote: The king's own words.] If this passage is impossible, we will strike it out."
"If your majesty does that, it will be a beautiful composition, and I would be proud myself to have composed it."
The king smiled, well pleased. It was evident that this praise of his proud and stern master was most acceptable to the hero of Leuthen and Rossbach.
A carriage stopped before the pleasure palace of Oranienburg. The lady who sat in it, cast anxious, questioning glances at the windows, and breathed a heavy sigh when she saw the closed shutters, and observed the absence of life and movement in the palace. At this moment an officer stepped hastily from the great portal to greet the lady, and assist her to descend.
"Does he still live?" said she, breathlessly.
"He lives, countess, and awaits you eagerly!" said the officer.
She did not reply, but raised her large, melancholy eyes thankfully to heaven, and her lips moved as if in prayer.
They stepped silently and rapidly through the dazzling saloons, now drear and deserted. Their pomp and splendor was painful; it harmonized but little with their sad presentiments.