When Pollnitz left, the king seized his flute hastily aim began to play a soft, melting adagio. He was still playing, when the door opened, and the prince was announced. Henry stood in the doorway, and made the king a ceremonious bow. The king continued to play. The low, pleading notes of the flute floated softly through the room; they touched the heart of the prince, and quieted its wild, stormy beating.
Was that the king's intention, or did he intend to harmonize his own spirit before speaking to his brother? Perhaps both, for Frederick's glance softened, and his face assumed a kind and mild expression.
When the adagio was finished, the king laid his flute aside and approached the prince.
"Forgive me, brother," he said, offering his hand--"forgive me for keeping you waiting, I always like to conclude what I commence. Now, I am entirely at your service, and as I am unfortunately not accustomed to receive such friendly visits from you, I must ask you what brings you to me, and how I can serve you?"
The fierce, violent nature of the prince slumbered but lightly. The king's words aroused it, and made his pulse and heart beat stormily.
"How you can serve me, my brother?" he said, hastily. "I will tell you, and truthfully, sire."
The king raised his head, and glanced angrily at the burning face of the prince.
"I am not accustomed to have my words repeated, and all find that out here to their cost," he said, sternly.