The king played artistically, and with a rare enthusiasm. The marquis was in ecstasy, and Graun uttered a few low bravos. Suddenly, all the musicians shuddered, and Quantz was heard to mutter angrily. The king had committed a great fault in his composition--a fault against the severest rules of art. He played on, however, quietly, and said, when he had completed the page--"Da capo!" and recommenced. Again came the false notes, frightful to the ears of musicians. And now Graun and Fasch could not keep time. The king held his breath.
"Go on, Quantz," said he, zealously, placing the flute again to his lips.
Quantz cast a sullen look at him.
"As your majesty pleases," said he, and he played so fiercely that Graun and Fasch shivered, and Quantz himself whistled to drown the discord. The unlearned marquis looked in blessed ignorance upon his royal friend, and the beautiful music brought tears to his eyes. When the piece was ended, the king said to Quantz:
"Yes, your majesty, it is false!"
"And you two also believe it false?"
"Yes, your majesty, it is false!" said Graun and Fasch.
"But, if the composer will have it so?"