"I will tell you, marquis," said Frederick, with a loving glance, and laying his hand upon D'Argens' shoulder; "you did this, because you knew my poor heart had received a deep wound, and you wished to heal it. You wished to surround me with many friends, and make me forget the one who fails, and who betrayed me. I thank you, marquis! Yours is a great heart, and I believe your balsam has magic in it. I thank you for this hour, it has done me good; and though the world may succeed in poisoning my heart, I will never--never distrust you; I will never forget this hour!"
"And now, messieurs," said Frederick, as he returned to the musicians, "we will take our parts, and you, Quantz, take your place at the piano."
The concert began. Frederick stood behind the piano, at which Quantz sat; Graun and Fasch had withdrawn to the window, in order to enjoy the music, as Frederick was first to play a solo on his flute, with a simple piano accompaniment.
The king played artistically, and with a rare enthusiasm. The marquis was in ecstasy, and Graun uttered a few low bravos. Suddenly, all the musicians shuddered, and Quantz was heard to mutter angrily. The king had committed a great fault in his composition--a fault against the severest rules of art. He played on, however, quietly, and said, when he had completed the page--"Da capo!" and recommenced. Again came the false notes, frightful to the ears of musicians. And now Graun and Fasch could not keep time. The king held his breath.
"Go on, Quantz," said he, zealously, placing the flute again to his lips.
Quantz cast a sullen look at him.
"As your majesty pleases," said he, and he played so fiercely that Graun and Fasch shivered, and Quantz himself whistled to drown the discord. The unlearned marquis looked in blessed ignorance upon his royal friend, and the beautiful music brought tears to his eyes. When the piece was ended, the king said to Quantz:
"Yes, your majesty, it is false!"