PRES. (shaking his head and smiling). Artful villain! I confess myself outdone--No devil could spin a finer snare! The scholar excels his master.--The next question is, to whom must the letter be addressed?--With whom to accuse her of having an intrigue.
WORM. It must necessarily be some one, who has all to gain or all to lose by your son's decision in this affair.
PRES. (after a moment's reflection). I can think of no one but the marshal?
WORM (shrugs his shoulders). The marshal! He would certainly not be my choice, were I Louisa Miller.
PRES. And why not? What a strange notion!--A man who dresses in the height of fashion--who carries with him an atmosphere of eau de mille fleurs and musk--who can garnish every silly speech with a handful of ducats--Could all this possibly fail to overcome the delicacy of a tradesman's daughter?--No, no, my good friend, jealousy is not quite so hard of belief. I shall send for the marshal immediately. (Rings.)
WORM. While your excellency takes care of him, and of the fiddler's arrest, I will go and indite the aforesaid letter.
PRES. (seats himself at his writing table). Do so; and, as soon as it is ready, bring it hither for my perusal. [Exit WORM.
[The PRESIDENT, having written, rises and hands the paper to a servant who enters.
See this arrest executed without a moment's delay, and let Marshal von Kalb be informed that I wish to see him immediately.
SERV. The Marshal's carriage has just stopped at your lordship's door.
PRES. So much the better--As for the arrest, let it be managed with such precaution that no disturbance arise.
SERV. I will take care, my lord.
PRES. You understand me? The business must be kept quite secret.
SERV. Your excellency shall be obeyed. [Exit SERVANT
The PRESIDENT--MARSHAL KALB.
MARSHAL (hastily). I have just looked in, en passant, my dear