the clammy mist that they might have proceeded from some
"I am still indisposed," said Gellert, with a sad smile, "but my indisposition is of a kind that leaves me neither to day, to-morrow nor any day; it is therefore better for me to gratify the king's commands at once. I am ready to accompany you, sir; let us depart."
He took his three-cornered hat, which Conrad handed him with a delightful smirk, and followed the major to the splendid house where the king had taken his quarters for the winter.
"Allow me a favor, sir," said Quintus, as they mounted the steps; "the king is prejudiced against German poets and philosophers, and it would be of the greatest advantage to the literary and political world of Germany for these prejudices to disappear, and for the great Frederick to give to Germany the sympathy and encouragement which until now he has lavished upon the French and Italians. Think of this, sir, and endeavor to win the king by your obliging and pleasing manner."
"Oh, major!" sighed Gellert, "I do not understand the art of pleasing the great ones of this world. I cannot utter words of praise and flattery; my heart and manners are simple and not showy."
"Exactly, this is beautiful and attractive," said the major, smiling:" the king cannot endure pretension or conceited wisdom. Be simply yourself; imagine that you are in your own study, conversing frankly and freely with a highly-honored friend, to whom politeness and attention are due."
The king, with his flute in hand, was walking up and down the room, when the door opened, and Major Quintus entered with Gellert.
Frederick immediately laid his flute aside, and advanced to meet the poet with a gracious smile. Gellert's gentle and intellectual countenance was composed, and his eyes were not cast down or confused by the piercing glance of the king.
"Is this Professor Gellert?" said the king, with a slight salutation.