the interests of all, they have taken away everything! Is that not a pitiful and ludicrous
falsehood? And, to make it credible, they endow me into the bargain with a halo of
sanctity! "The King is sacred;" "Our Most Gracious Sovereign," "Your Majesty!" It
becomes almost blasphemous!
Gran. Quite true.
The King. No, if that cannot be done away with, I can do away with myself. But it must
be possible to do away with it! It cannot be necessary for a people, who are marching on
the eternal path towards truth, to have a lie marching at the head of them!
Koll. No, it is not necessary.
The King (eagerly). And that is what you will help me to show them.
Koll. I have no objection! There is life in the country yet!
The King (to Gran). And you, my friend? Are you afraid of being shot by a mad
republican if you help me?
Gran. I am not particularly afraid of death, any way. But the maid is telling us that
supper is served.
The King. Yes, let us have supper!
Koll. And then, to our task!
(SCENE.--A park with old lofty trees. In the foreground, to the right, an arbour with a
seat. The KING is sitting, talking to BANG, who is a man of gross corpulence.)
Bang. And I felt so well in every way that, I assure your Majesty, I used to feel it a
pleasure to be alive.
The King (drawing patterns in the dust with his walking stick). I can quite believe it.
Bang. And then I was attacked by this pain in my heart and this difficulty in breathing. I
run round and round this park, on an empty stomach, till I am absolutely exhausted.
The King (absently). Couldn't you drive round, then?
Bang. Drive?--But it is the exercise, your Majesty, that--