then of Frederick Adolphus, whose table-manners had for some time disgusted him; he would then, having rid himself of these encumbrances, be free to pursue his own life, with Lina Varsovina as his legal consort. And she should be crowned in greater state even than the Grand Duchess, she who had so often pined for the softer air of Parma . . . thus arguing, Eitel Gustav advanced upon the Bishop with the carving knife (which he had apparently for some months secreted in his private desk) grasped most menacingly in his hand.
The Bishop, who was, as he never afterward ceased repeating, a man of peace, immediately fled from the royal presence. Outside, in an anteroom, he collided with Count Landsfeld, the Grand Duke's equerry, to whom he confided, panting heavily, an account of his peculiar interview with his ruler. Count Landsfeld hastened in search of the royal doctor.
Meanwhile, the Grand Duke, left alone in his study, put away his carving knife and, sending for Lina, summoned an emergency meeting of the Brandenstein Cabinet. When Lina arrived at the castle she was greeted by her lover, who was alone in his apartment. She thought him pale and tired, but detected no evidence of unusual eccentricity. Folding her in his arms, he asked her tenderly if she loved him. When she had replied in the affirmative, he continued, caressing her hair:
"Then will you trust me, my beloved?"
"Of course I trust you."
"And you don't think I am mad?"
"No! Why do you always ask me that? I think you are as sane as, if not saner than, other men that I have known."
And she looked at him boldly, as was her custom when she was lying.
"Then come with me."