SCENE v PART SECOND
THIRD LADY (reading again through her glass)
" The Duke of Brunswick, leading on a charge, Has met his death-doom. Schmettau, too, is slain ; Prince William wounded. But we stand as yet, Engaging with the last of our reserves."
The agitation in the street communicates itself to the room. Some of the ladies weep silently as they wait, much longer this time. Another horseman is at length heard clattering into the Platz, and they lean out again with painful eagerness.
An adjutant of Marshal Moellendorf s, If I define him rightly. Read—O read !— Though reading draw them from their socket-holes Use your eyes now!
THIRD LADY (glass up)
As soon as 'tis affixed. . . .
Ah—this means much ! The people's air and gait Too well betray disaster. (Reading.) " Berliners, The King has lost the battle ! Bear it well. The foremost duty of a citizen Is to maintain a brave tranquillity. This is what I, the Governor, demand Of men and women now. . . . The King lives still."
They turn from the window and sit in a silence broken only by monosyllabic words, hearing abstractedly the dismay without that has«foUowed the previous excitement and hope.
The stagnation is ended by a cheering outside, of subdued emotional quality, mixed with sounds of grief. They again look forth. QUEEN LOUISA is leaving the city with a very small escort, and the populace seem overcome. They strain their eyes after her as she disappears.
Enter fourth lady.
How does she bear it ? Whither does she go ?