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Three Dramas by Bjornstjerne M. Bjornson

Part 7 out of 7

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Falbe. His Excellency the Minister of the Interior--

The King. Well, what of him?

Falbe. --has been assassinated!

The King. The Minister of the Interior?--Gran?

Falbe. Yes.

The King. Gran?--What did you say?

Falbe. He has been assassinated!

The King. Gran? Impossible!--Where? Why? I heard his voice only
just now, here!

Falbe. That fellow shot him--the grey-haired fellow--the republican

The King. Flink? Yes, I heard his voice here too!

Falbe. It was in the park! I saw it myself!

The King. Saw it yourself? Wretch! (Rushes out.)

Falbe. How could I prevent a madman--? (Follows the KING. The door
stands open, and through it a man is seen running past, calling
out: "Where?" Others follow him, and amidst the sound of hurrying.
feet, cries are heard of "Good God!"--"In the park, did you say?"--
"A doctor! Fetch a doctor!"--"Who did it?"--"That fellow running
towards the river!"--"After him! After him!"--"Fetch a barrow from
the works!"--After a while the KING returns alone, looking
distracted. He stands motionless and silent for some time.)

The King. What a happy smile there was on his face! Just as she
smiled!--Yes, it must be happiness! (Hides his face in his hands.)
And he died for me too! My two only--. (Breaks down.) So that is
the price they have to pay for loving me!--And at once! At once!--
Of course! Of course! (The sound of the crowd returning is heard,
and cries of: "This way!"--"Into the blue room!" Women and children
come streaming in, all in tears, surrounding ANNA and the men that
are carrying GRAN'S body, and follow them into the room on the
left. Cries are heard of: "Why should he die?"--"He was so good!"--
"What had he done to deserve it!"--"He was the best man in the

The King. "He was the best man in the world!" Yes. And he died for
my sake! That means something good of me!--the best possible! Are
they two together now, I wonder? Oh, let me have a sign!--or is
that too much to ask? (The crowd come out again, sobbing and
weeping, and cries are heard of: "He looks so beautiful and
peaceful!"--"I can't bring myself to believe it!" When they see the
KING, they hush their voices, and all go out as quietly as they
can. When they have gone out, the MAYOR's voice is heard asking:
"Is he in here?" and an answer: "No, in the blue room, over there."
Then the GENERAL'S voice: "And the murderer escaped?"--An answer:
"They are looking for him in the river!"--The GENERAL'S voice: "In
the river? Did he jump into the river?"--The PRIEST's voice:
"Shocking!" A few moments later the GENERAL with BANG, the MAYOR,
and the PRIEST come in from the other room. They stop on seeing the
KING, who is standing at the desk with his back to them, and

The General. Isn't that the King?

The Others. The King?

The Mayor. Is the King back? He must have come in the night!

Bang. Let me see!--I know him personally.

The General (holding him back). Of course it is the King.

The Mayor. Really?

Bang. I recognise him by his agitation! It is he.

The General. Hush! Let us go quietly out again! (They begin to move

The Mayor. He is grieved. Naturally.

Bang. First of all her death; and then this--!

The Priest. It is the judgment of heaven!

The King (turning round). Who is that? What? (Comes forward.) Who
said that? (They all stop, take off their hats and bow.) Come back!
(They come back hastily.) Who said: "It is the judgment of heaven"?

The General. Your Majesty must forgive us--we were just taking a
little stroll; I am here to spend Christmas with my friend Mr.
Bang, who has a factory here--a branch of his works--and we
happened to meet the Mayor and the Priest, and we joined company--
and were strolling along when we heard a shot. A shot. We did not
think anything more about it till we came nearer here and saw
people running, and heard a great outcry and disturbance. Great
disturbance--yes. We stopped, of course, and came to see what it
was. Came to see what it was, of course. And they told us that the
Minister of the Interior--

The King. What is all that to me! (The GENERAL bows.) Who said: "It
is the judgment of heaven"? (No one speaks.) Come, answer me!

The Mayor. It was the Priest--I fancy.

The King (to the PRIEST). Haven't you the courage to tell me so

The General. Probably our reverend friend is unaccustomed to find
himself in the presence of royalty.

The Priest. It is the first time that--that I have had the honour
of speaking to your Majesty--I did not feel self-possessed enough,
for the moment, to--

The King. But you were self-possessed enough when you said it! What
did you mean by saying it was "the judgment of heaven"?--I am
asking you what you meant by it.

The Priest. I really don't quite know--it slipped out--

The King. That is a lie! Some one said: "First of all her death,
and then this." And you said: "It is the judgment of heaven."

The Mayor. That is quite right, your Majesty.

The King. First of all _her_ death? That meant the death of my
betrothed, didn't it?

Bang and The Priest. Yes, your Majesty.

The King. "And then _this_" meant my friend--my dear friend! (With
emotion.) Why did heaven condemn these two to death? (A pause.)

The General. It is most regrettable that we should, quite
involuntarily, have disturbed your Majesty at a moment when your
Majesty's feelings are, naturally, so overcome--

The King (interrupting him). I asked you why heaven condemned these
two to death. (To the VICAR.) You are a clergyman; cudgel your

The Priest. Well, your Majesty, I was thinking that--I meant that--
that heaven had in a miraculous way checked your Majesty--

The General. "Ventured to check" would be more suitable, I think.

The Priest. --from continuing in a course which many people thought
so unfortunate--I mean, so fatal to the nation, and the church; had
checked your Majesty--

The General (in an undertone). Ventured to check.

The Priest. --by taking away from your Majesty the two persons
who--the two persons who--in the first place the one who--

The King. The one who--?

The Priest. Who was--

The King. Who was--? A harlot that wanted to sit on the throne?

The Priest. Those are your Majesty's word, not mine. (Wipes his

The King. Confess that they express what you meant!

The Priest. I confess that I have heard--that people say--that--

The King. Pray to heaven that for a single day your thoughts may
be as pure as hers were every day. (Bursts into tears. Then says
impetuously.) How long have you been a clergyman?

The Priest. Fifteen years, your Majesty.

The King. Then you were already ordained at the time when I was
leading a dissolute life. Why did you never say anything to me

The Priest. My most gracious King--

The King. God is the only "most gracious King"! Do not speak

The Priest. It was not my duty to--

The General. Our friend is not a court chaplain. He has merely a
parish in the town here--

The Mayor. And his work lies chiefly among the factory hands.

The King. And so it is not your duty to speak the truth to me--but
to attack my dear dead friends by prating about heaven's judgment
and repeating vile lies? Is that your duty?

The Mayor. I only had the honour to know one of the--the deceased.
Your Majesty honoured him with your friendship; the greatest honour
a subject can enjoy. I should like to say that one would rarely
find a nobler heart, a loftier mind, or more modest fidelity, than

The General. I should like, if I may make so bold, to make use of
the opportunity chance has afforded me of associating myself with
my sovereign's sorrow, a sorrow for which his whole people must
feel the deepest respect, but especially those who, in consequence
of their high position, are more particularly called upon to be the
pillars of the monarchy; to use this opportunity, I say--and to do
so, I know, as the representative of many thousands of your
Majesty's subjects--to voice the sympathy, the unfeigned grief,
that will be poured forth at the news of this new loss which has
wrung your Majesty's heart--a loss which will reawaken consternation
in the country and make it more than ever necessary to take the
severest possible measures against a party to which nothing is
sacred, neither the King's person nor the highest dignities of
office nor the inviolability of the home--a party whose very
existence depends on sedition and ought no longer to be tolerated,
but ought, as the enemy of the throne and of society, to be visited
with all the terrors of the law, until--

The King. What about compassion, my friend?

The General. Compassion?

The King. Not for the republicans--but for me!

The General. It is just the compassion which the whole nation will
feel for your Majesty that compels me, in spite of everything, to
invoke the intervention of justice at this particular crisis!

The King. --must be our weapon?

The General. Yes! Can any one imagine a more priceless proof of the
care that a people have for their King, than for the gravely
anxious tones of their voice to be heard, at this solemn moment,
crying: Down with the enemies of the throne!

The King (turning away). No, _I_ haven't thews and sinews for that

The Mayor. I must say I altogether agree with the General. The
feeling of affection, gratitude, esteem--

The General. --the legacy of devotion that your Majesty's ancestors
of blessed memory--

The King (to the Priest). You, sir--what does my ancestors being
"of blessed memory" mean?

The Priest (after a moment's thought). It is a respectful manner of
alluding to them, your Majesty.

The King. A respectful lie, you mean. (A pause. ANNA comes out of
the room on the left and throws herself at the KING'S feet,
embracing his knees in despairing sorrow.) Ah, here comes a breath
of truth!--And you come to me, my child, because you know that we
two can mourn together. But I do not weep, as you do; because I
know that for a long time he had been secretly praying for death.
He has got his wish now. So you must not weep so bitterly. You must
wish what he wished, you know. Ah, what grief there is in her eyes!

(The GENERAL signs to the others that they should all withdraw
quietly, without turning round. They gradually do so; but the KING
looks up and perceives what they are doing.)

The General. Out of respect for your Majesty's grief, we were going

The King. Silence! With my hand on the head of this poor creature,
who used to trust so unassumingly and devotedly to his goodness of
heart, I wish to say something in memory of my friend. (ANNA clings
to him, weeping. The others come respectfully nearer, and wait.)
Gran was the richest man in the country. Why was it that he had no
fear of the people? Why was it that he believed that its salvation
lay in the overthrow of the present state of affairs?

Bang. Mr. Gran, with all his great qualities, was a visionary.

The King. He had not inherited all of his vast fortune; he had
amassed a great part of it himself.

Bang. As a man of business, Mr. Gran was beyond all praise.

The King. And yet a visionary? The two things are absolutely
contradictory.--You once called me "the padlock on your cash-box."

Bang. I allowed myself, with all respect, to make that jest--which,
nevertheless, was nothing but the serious truth!

The King. Why did he, who has met his death, consider that the
security for _his_ cash-box came from those _below_ him, as long as
he did what was right, and not from those above him? Because he
understood the times. No question of selfishness stood in the way
of his doing that.--That is my funeral oration over him!--(To
ANNA.) Get up, my dear! Did you understand what I was saying? Do
not weep so! (She clings to him, sobbing.)

The Priest. He was a very great man! When your Majesty speaks so, I
fully recognise it. But your Majesty may be certain that, though we
may not have been so fortunate as to see so far ahead and so
clearly--though our mental horizon may be narrow--we are none the
less loyal to your Majesty for that, nor less devoted! It is our
duty as subjects to say so, although your Majesty in your heaviness
of heart seems to forget it-seems to forget that we, too, look for
everything from your Majesty's favour, wisdom and justice.
(Perspires freely.)

The King. It is very strange! My dear friend never said anything
like that to me. (A pause.) He had the most prosperous business in
the country. When I came to him and asked him to abandon it, he did
so at once. And in the end he died for me. That is the sort of man
he was. (To ANNA.) Go in to him, my dear! You are the very picture
of dumb loyalty. Although I do not deserve to have such as you to
watch by my side, still, for the sake of him who is dead, I shall
have you to do so when I too--. (Breaks off.) Yes, yes, go in there
now! I shall come. Do you understand? I shall come. (ANNA moves
towards the other room.) There, that's it! (He repeats his words to
her every time she looks back as she goes.) Yes, directly!--That's
it!--In a very little while! Go now!

Bang. Excuse me, your Majesty, but it is terribly hot in here, and
the affection of my heart which troubles me is attacking me
painfully. Will your Majesty be pleased to allow me to withdraw?

The Mayor. With all respect, I should like to be allowed to make
the same request. Your Majesty is obviously very much upset, and I
am sure we are all unwilling that our presence--which, indeed, was
unintentional and unsought by us--should augment a distress of mind
which is so natural in one of your Majesty's noble disposition, and
so inevitable considering the deep sense of gratitude your Majesty
must feel towards a friend who--

The King (interrupting him). Hush, hush! Let us have a little
respect for the truth in the presence of the dead! Do not
misunderstand me--I do not mean to say that any of you would lie
wilfully; but the atmosphere that surrounds a king is infected.
And, as regards that--just a word or two. I have only a short time.
But as a farewell message from me--

The Priest. A farewell message?

The King. --give my greeting to what is called Christianity in this
country. Greet it from me! I have been thinking a great deal about
Christian folk lately.

The Priest. I am glad to hear it!

The King. Your tone jars on me! Greet those who call themselves
Christians--. Oh! come, come--don't crane your necks and bend your
backs like that, as if the most precious words of wisdom were about
to drop from my lips! (To himself.) Is it any use my saying
anything serious to them? (Aloud.) I suppose you are Christians?

The General. Why, of course! Faith is invaluable--

The King. --in preserving discipline? (To the Mayor.) How about

The Mayor. I was taught by my parents, of blessed memory--

The King. Oh, so they are "of blessed memory" too, are they? Well,
what did they teach you?

The Mayor. To fear God, honour the King--

The King. --and love the brotherhood! You are a public official,
Mr. Mayor. That is what a Christian is, nowadays. (To BANG.) And

Bang. Of late I have been able to go so little to church, because
of my cough. And in that unwholesome atmosphere--

The King. --you go to sleep. But you are a Christian?

Bang. Undoubtedly!

The King (to the Priest). And you are one, of course?

The Priest. By the grace of God I hope so!

The King (snapping his fingers). Yes, that is the regulation
formula, my good fellow! You all answer by the card! Very well,
then--you are a community of Christians; and it is not my fault if
such a community refuses to take any serious interest in what
really affects Christianity. Tell it from me that it ought to keep
an eye on the monarchy.

The Priest. Christianity has nothing to do with such things. It
concerns only the souls of men!

The King (aside). That voice. (Aloud.) I know--it does not concern
itself with the air a patient breathes, but only with his lungs!
Excellent!--All the same, Christianity ought to keep an eye on the
monarchy. Ought to tear the falsehood away from it! Ought not to go
in crowds to stare at a coronation in a church, like apes grinning
at a peacock! I know what I felt at that moment. I had rehearsed it
all once that morning already--ha, ha! Ask your Christianity if it
may not be about time for it to interest itself a little in the
monarchy? It seems to me that it scarcely ought any longer to allow
monarchy, like a seductive harlot, to keep militarism before the
people's eyes as an ideal--seeing that that is exactly contrary to
the teachings of Christianity, or to encourage class divisions,
luxury, hypocrisy and vanity. Monarchy has become so all-pervading
a lie that it infects even the most upright of men.

The Mayor. But I don't understand, your Majesty!

The King. Don't you? You are an upright man yourself, Mr. Mayor--a
most worthy man.

The Mayor. I do not know whether your Majesty is pleased to jest

The King. In sober earnest, I say you are one of the most upright
of men.

The Mayor. I cannot tell your Majesty how flattered I am to hear
your Majesty say so!

The King. Have you any decorations?

The Mayor. Your Majesty's government has not, so far, deigned to
cast their eyes on me.

The King. That fault will be repaired. Be sure of that!

The General (to the Mayor). To have that from his Majesty's own
mouth is equivalent to seeing it gazetted. I am fortunate to be
able to be the first to congratulate you!

Bang. Allow me to congratulate you also!

The Priest. And me too! I have had the honour of working hand in
hand with you, Mr. Mayor, for many years; I know how well deserved
such a distinction is.

The Mayor. I feel quite overcome; but I must beg to be allowed to
lay my thanks at your Majesty's feet. I trust I shall not prove
unworthy of the distinction. One hesitates to make such
confessions--but I am a candid man, and I admit that one of the
chief aims of my ambition has been to be allowed some day to
participate in--

The King (interrupting him). --in this falsehood. That just points
my moral. As long as even upright men's thoughts run in that mould,
Christianity cannot pretend to have any real hold on the nation. As
for your decoration, you are quite sure to get one from my
successor.--In a word, Christianity must tackle monarchy! And if it
cannot tear the falsehood from it without destroying it, then let
it destroy it!

The General. Your Majesty!

The King (turning to him). The same thing applies to a standing
army, which is a creation of monarchy's. I do not believe that
such an institution--with all its temptations to power, all its
inevitable vices and habits--could be tolerated if Christianity
were a living thing. Away with it!

The Priest. Really, your Majesty--!

The King (turning to him). The same applies to an established
church--another of monarchy's creations! If we had in our country a
Christianity worth the name, that salvation trade would stink in
men's nostrils. Away with it!

The Mayor (reproachfully). Oh, your Majesty!

The King (turning on him). The same applies to the artificial
disparity of circumstances that you prate about with tears in
your eyes! I heard you once. Class distinctions are fostered by

Bang. But equality is an impossibility!

The King. If _you_ would only make it possible--which it can be
made--even the socialists would cease to clamour for anything
else. I tell you this: Christianity has destroyed ideals.
Christianity lives on dogmas and formulas, instead of on ideals.

The Priest. Its ideals lead us away from earth to heaven--

The King. Not in a balloon, even if it were stuffed full of all the
pages of the Bible! Christianity's ideals will lead to heaven only
when they are realised on earth--never before.

The Priest. May I venture to say that Christianity's ideal is a
pious life.

The King. Yes. But does not Christianity aim at more than that,
or is it going to be content with making some few believers?

The Priest. It is written: "Few are chosen."

The King. Then it has given up the job in advance?

The Mayor. I think our friend is right, that Christianity has never
occupied itself with such things as your Majesty demands of it.

The King. But what I mean is, could it not bring itself to do so?

The Priest. If it did, it would lose sight of its _inner_ aim. The
earliest communities are the model for a Christian people!

The King (turning away from him). Oh, have any model you like, so
long as it leads to something!

The General. I must say I am astonished at the penetration your
Majesty slows even into the deepest subjects.

Bang. Yes, I have never heard anything like it! I have not had the
advantage of a university education, so I don't really understand

The King. And to think that I imagined that I should find my
allies, my followers, in Christian people! One is so reluctant to
give up _all_ hope! I thought that a Christian nation would storm
the strongholds of lies in our modern, so-called Christian
communities--storm them, capture them!--and begin with monarchy,
because that would need most courage, and because its falsehood
lies deepest and goes farthest. I thought that Christianity would
one day prove to be the salt of the earth. No, do _not_ greet
Christianity from me. I have said nothing, and do not mean it. I am
what men call a betrayed man--betrayed by all the most ideal powers
of life. There! Now I have done!

The General. But what does your Majesty mean? Betrayed? By whom?
Who are the traitors? Really--!

The King. Pooh! Think it over!--As a matter of fact I am the only
one that has been foolish.

Bang. Your Majesty, just now you were so full of vigour--!

The King. Don't let that astonish you, my friend! I am a mixture of
enthusiasm and world-weariness; the scion of a decrepit race is not
likely to be any better than that, you know! And as for being a
reformer--! Ha, ha! Well, I thank you all for having listened to me
so patiently. Whatever I said had no significance--except perhaps
that, like the oysters, I had to open my shell before I died.--

The General. I really cannot find it in my heart to leave your
Majesty when your Majesty is in so despondent a humour.

The King. I am afraid you will have to try, my gallant friend!--
Don't look so dejected, Mr. Mayor!--Suppose some day serious-minded
men should feel just as humiliated at such falsehoods existing as
you do now because you have not been allowed to participate in
them. I might perhaps be able to endure being king then! But as
things are now, I am not strong enough for the job. I feel as if I
had been shouldered out of actual life on to this strip of carpet
that I am standing on! That is what my attempts at reform have
ended in!

The Mayor. May I be allowed to say that the impression made on my
mind by the somewhat painful scene we have just gone through is
that your Majesty is overwrought.

The King. Mad, you mean?

The Mayor. God forbid I should use such a word of my King!

The King. Always punctilious!--Well, judging by the fact that every
one else considers themselves sane, I must undoubtedly be the mad
one. It is as simple as a sum in arithmetic.--And, in all
conscience, isn't it madness, when all is said and done, to take
such trifles so much to heart?--to bother about a few miserable
superannuated forms that are not of the slightest importance?--a
few venerable, harmless prejudices?--a few foolish social customs
and other trumpery affairs of that sort?

The General. Quite so!

The Mayor. Your Majesty is absolutely right!

Bang. I quite agree!

The Priest. It is exactly what I have been thinking all the time.

The King. And probably we had better add to the list certain
extravagant ideas--perhaps even certain dangerous ideas, like mine
about Christianity?

The Priest (hastily and impressively). Your Majesty is mistaken
on the subject of Christianity.

The Mayor. Christianity is entirely a personal matter, your

The General. Your Majesty expects too much of it. Now, as a comfort
for the dying--!

The King. And a powerful instrument of discipline.

The General (smiling). Ah, your Majesty!

Bang (confidentially). Christianity is no longer such a serious
matter nowadays, except for certain persons--. (Glances at the

The King. All I have to say on the head of such unanimous approval
is this: that in such a shallow society, where there is no
particular distinction between lies and truth, because most things
are mere forms without any deeper meaning--where ideals are
considered to be extravagant, dangerous things--it is not so _very_
amusing to be alive.

The General. Oh, your Majesty! Really, you--! Ha, ha, ha!

The King. Don't you agree with me?--Ah, if only one could grapple
with it!--but we should need to be many to do that, and better
equipped than I am.

The General. Better equipped than your Majesty? Your Majesty is the
most gifted man in the whole country!

All. Yes!

The General. Yes--your Majesty must excuse me--I spoke

The Mayor. There was a tone running through all your Majesty said
that seemed to suggest that your Majesty was contemplating--.
(Breaks off.)

The King. --going away? Yes.

All. Going away?

The General. And abdicating? For heaven's sake, your Majesty--!

Bang. That would mean handing us over to the crown prince--the

The Priest (betraying his pleasure in spite of himself). And his

The King. You are pleased at the idea, parson! It will be a sight
to see her and her son prancing along, with all of you in your best
clothes following them! Hurrah!

The General. Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho!

Bang. Ha-ha-ha! (Coughs.) I get such a cough when I laugh.

The King (seriously). I had no intention of provoking laughter in
the presence of death. I can hear the sounds of mourning through
the open door.

The Mayor. With all due respect to the church--the vast majority of
the nation have no desire for things to come to _that_--to the
accession of a pietist to the throne. If your Majesty threatens to
abdicate you will have us all at your feet.

The General (with decision). The accession of a new king just now
would be universally considered a national calamity. I will wager
my life on that!

Bang. And I too!

The King. My excellent friends--you must take the consequences of
your actions!

The Mayor (despairingly). But _this_! Who ever imagined such a

The General and Bang. No one--no one!

The King. So much the worse. What is it you are asking me to do? To
stay where I am, so as to keep another man down? Is that work for a
man? Shame!

The Mayor (in distress). We ask more than that! Your Majesty is
making a fatal mistake! The whole of your Majesty's dissatisfaction
springs from the fact that you believe yourself to be deserted by
your people because the elections are going contrary to what your
Majesty had hoped. Nothing is further from the truth! The people
fight shy of revolutionary ideas; but they love their King!

Bang. They love their King!

The King. And that white dove, who came confidently to my hand--she
had some experience of what their love was!

The Mayor. The King's associates may displease the people; ideas
may alter; but love for their King endures!

The Others. Endures!

The King. Cease! Cease!

The General (warmly). Your Majesty may command us to do anything
except refrain from giving utterance to a free people's freely
offered homage of devotion, loyalty, and love for its royal house!

The Mayor (emotionally). There is no one who would not give his
life for his King!

Bang, The General, and The Priest. No one!

The General. Try us! (They all press forward.)

The King. Done with you! (Takes a revolver from his pocket.) Since
yesterday I have carried this little thing in my pocket. (They all
look alarmed.)

The Priest. Merciful heavens!

The King (holding out the revolver to him). Will you die for me? If
so, I will continue to be King.

The Priest. I? What does your Majesty mean? It would be a great

The King. You love me, I suppose?

All (desperately). Yes, your Majesty!

The King. Those who love, believe. Therefore, believe me when I say
this: If there is a single one of you who, without thinking twice
about it, will die for his King now--here--at once--then I shall
consider that as a command laid upon me to go on living and

The Mayor (in a terrified whisper). He is insane!

The General (whispers). Yes!

The King. I can hear you!--But I suppose you love your King, even
if he is insane?

All (in agitated tones). Yes, your Majesty!

The King. Majesty, majesty! There is only One who has any majesty
about Him--certainly not a madman! But if I have been driven mad by
the lies that surround me, it would be a holy deed to make me sound
again. You said you would die for me. Redeem your words! That will
make me well again!--You, General?

The General. My beloved King, it would be--as our reverend friend
so aptly put it--a most dreadful sin.

The King. You have let slip a splendid opportunity for showing your
heroism.--You ought to have seen that I was only putting you to the
test!--Good-bye! (Goes into the room on the left.)

The General. Absolutely insane!

The Others. Absolutely.

The Mayor. Such great abilities, too! What might not have been made
of him!

Bang. The pity of it!

The Priest. I got so alarmed.

Bang. So did I! (A loud pistol-shot is heard.)

The Priest. Another shot? (A pitiful woman's cry is heard from the
other room.)

The Mayor. What on earth was that?

Bang. I daren't think!

The Priest. Nor I! (An old woman rushes out of the room on the
left, calling out: "Help!--Help!--The King!" and hurries out at the
back, calling: "The King! Help, help!" The GENERAL and the MAYOR
rush into the other room. Voices are heard outside asking: "The
King?--Was it the King?" The confusion and uproar grows. In the
midst of it ANNA comes stumbling out of the other room, her hands
stretched out before her, as if she did not know where she was
going. The noise and confusion grows louder every minute, and
crowds of people come rushing into the room from outside as the
Curtain falls.)

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