Fiction > Harvard Classics > Gotthold Ephraim Lessing > Minna von Barnhelm
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781).  Minna von Barnhelm.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act II
Scene VII
MINNA, and afterwards FRANZISKA

  Min.  I have found him again!—Am I alone?—I will not be alone to no purpose.—(Clasping her hands.) Yet I am not alone! (Looking upwards.) One single grateful thought towards heaven, is the most perfect prayer! I have found him! I have found him! (With outstretched arms.) I am joyful and happy! What can please the Creator more than a joyful creature! (FRANZISKA returns.) Have you returned, Franziska? You pity him! I do not pity him. Misfortune too is useful. Perhaps heaven deprived him of everything—to give him all again, through me!
  Fran.  He may be here at any moment.—You are still in your morning dress, my lady. Ought you not to dress yourself quickly?  2
  Min.  Not at all. He will now see me more frequently so, than dressed out.  3
  Fran.  Oh! you know, my lady, how you look best.  4
  Min.  (after a pause). Truly, girl, you have hit it again.  5
  Fran.  I think women who are beautiful, are most so when unadorned.  6
  Min.  Must we then be beautiful? Perhaps it was necessary that we should think ourselves so. Enough for me, if only I am beautiful in his eyes. Franziska, if all women feel as I now feel, we are—strange things. Tender-hearted, yet proud; virtuous, yet vain; passionate, yet innocent. I dare say you do not understand me. I do not rightly understand myself. Joy turns my head.  7
  Fran.  Compose yourself, my lady, I hear footsteps.  8
  Min.  Compose myself! What! receive him composedly?  9


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