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Three Dramas
written by "Sharp, R. Farquharson (Robert Farquharson), 1864-1945"
...o remember that a king has no control over the law and its judgments. I feel the sincerest respect for your father. Clara. Thank you. The King. And it is just part of the falsehood I was speaking of, that he should be condemned for saying of me what I have said a thousand times of myself! Clara (softly). Dare I believe that? The King. Ah, if only you had read one of my letters! Or even the little book of poems I sent you last! I thought that, if you would not receive my letters, perhaps a book— Clara. I do not accept anonymous gifts. The King. I see you are on your guard—although I don't admit that the poems were mine! May I read it to you? Clara. I don't understand—. The King. One that I marked—for you. It will prove to you what you refuse to believe. Clara. But if the poem is not yours? The King. The fact that I have marked it shows that its sentiments apply to me. Will you let me read it to you? (CLARA looks up.) Do not be too much surprised, Miss Ernst! (Takes a slim volume from his pocket.) I found this somewhere. (Turns over the leaves.) It won't take long to read. May I? Clara. If only I understood— The King.—why I want to read it? Simply for the reason that you have forbidden me to speak to you—or to write to you; but not, as yet, to read to you! (CLARA smiles. A pause.) Do you know—a little event has just happened in my life?—and yet not such a little one, after all! Clara. What is that? The King. I have seen you smile for the first time. Clara. Your Majesty! The King. But, Miss Ernst, is it an insult, too, to see you smile? Clara (smiling). If I consent to hear the poem, shall not the Baroness— The King.—hear it also? With pleasure; but not at the same time! Please! Because I am a very bad reader. You can show it to the Baroness afterwards, if you like. (CLARA smiles.) May I? Clara....

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