While looking into the phrase, sich bitten lassen
(related discussion: die Sonne lässt sich bitten
), I also encountered many examples of bitten lassen
without the sich
. The pattern seems to be X lässt bitten
, where X is often some form of royalty: der König/die Königin, der Graf/die Gräfin, der Fürst/die Fürstin
, etc. But other entities also appeared in the X-slot, perhaps being figuratively endowed with some royal characteristics: der Maestro, der Kommissar, der Chef/die Chefin, der Frühling/Sommer/Herbst/Winter, die Stadt, die Europäische Union, das Weindorf
These don't seem to have anything to do with X waiting to be asked, or begged, to do something, but rather with X himself, herself, or itself actually doing something that ranges from issuing a cordial invitation, to granting an audience, to demanding someone's presence. Or have I misunderstood the phrase entirely?
BTW, the German translation of one of Agatha Christie's books has the title: Der Täter lässt bitten
. The original was A Murder is Announced
. Not sure what to make of the phrase in this context.