Fiction > Harvard Classics > Gotthold Ephraim Lessing > Minna von Barnhelm
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781).  Minna von Barnhelm.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act IV
Scene IV
PAUL WERNER (comes in, carrying himself very erect as if on duty),  MINNA,  FRANZISKA

  Fran.  No, it is only his dear Sergeant.
  Min.  Dear Sergeant! Whom does the “dear” refer to?  2
  Fran.  Pray, my lady, do not make the man embarrassed. Your servant, Mr. Sergeant; what news do you bring us?  3
  Wer.  (goes up to MINNA, without noticing FRANZISKA). Major von Tellheim begs to present, through me, Sergeant Werner, his most respectful compliments to Fräulein von Barnhelm, and to inform her that he will be here directly.  4
  Min.  Where is he then?  5
  Wer.  Your ladyship will pardon him; we left our quarters before it began to strike three; but the paymaster met us on the way; and because conversation with those gentlemen has no end, the Major made me a sign to report the case to your ladyship.  6
  Min.  Very well, Mr. Sergeant. I only hope the paymaster may have good news for him.  7
  Wer.  Such gentlemen seldom have good news for officers.—Has your ladyship any orders?  (Going.)  8
  Fran.  Why, where are you going again, Mr. Sergeant? Had not we something to say to each other?  9
  Wer.  (In a whisper to FRANZISKA, and seriously). Not here, little woman; it is against respect, against discipline…. Your ladyship—  10
  Min.  Thank you for your trouble. I am glad to have made your acquaintance. Franziska has spoken in high praise of you to me. (WERNER makes a stiff bow, and goes.)  11


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