Part 3 out of 8
"Not to me," said the prince, smiling; "I only gave to you what was
given to me! To the king belong your thanks. Harsh in words, but
gentle in deeds, he has given you this refuge, freeing you from the
slavery of poverty, from the sorrow of being homeless. But tell it
not, Wilhelmine. The king would be angry if it were known that he
not only tolerated but showed great generosity to you. It is a
secret that I ought not even to disclose to you. I could not receive
your thanks, for I have not deserved them. From the king comes your
good fortune, not from me. The day will come when I can requite you,
when the poor crown prince becomes the rich king. On that day the
golden rain shall again shower upon you, never to cease, and, vying
with the shower of gold, the brightest sunbeams play continually
around you. As king, I will reward your fidelity and love, which you
have proved to the poor crown prince, with splendor, power, and
riches. Until then rejoice with the little that his grace has
accorded you, and await the much that love will one day bring you.
Farewell, Wilhelmine, the evening sets in, and I must forth to
Potsdam. The king would never pardon me if I did not pass the last
evening with my wife in the circle of my family. Farewell!"
He embraced her tenderly, and Wilhelmine accompanied the prince to
the carriage, and returned to survey anew the beautiful rooms which
were now her own possession. An unspeakable, unknown feeling was
roused in her, and voices, which she had never heard, spoke to her
from the depths of her heart. "You are no longer a despised,
homeless creature," they whispered. "You have a home, a foot of
earth to call your own. Make yourself a name, that you may be of
consequence in the world. You are clever and beautiful, and with
your prudence and beauty you can win a glorious future! Remember the
Marquise de Pompadour, neglected and scorned as you, until a king
loved her, and she became the wife of a king, and all France bowed
down to her. Even the Empress Maria Theresa honored her with her
notice, and called her cousin. I am also the favorite of a future
king, and I will also become the queen of my king!"
Wilhelmine had remained standing in the midst of the great drawing-
room, which she was passing through, listening to these seductive
voices, to these strange pictures of the future. In her imagination
she saw herself in this room surrounded with splendor and
magnificence, and sparkling with gems. She saw around her elegantly-
attired ladies and gentlemen, in brilliant uniforms, glittering with
orders; saw every-where smiling faces, and respectful manners. She
saw all eyes turned to her, and heard only flattering words, which
resounded for her from every lip--for her, once so despised and
scorned! "It shall be, yes, it shall be," cried she aloud. "I will
be the queen of my king! I will become the Prussian Marquise de
Pompadour; that I swear by the heads of my children, by--"
"Rather swear by thy own beautiful head, Wilhelmine," said a voice
behind her. Startled, she turned, and beheld the tall figure of a
man, wrapped in a long cloak, who stood in the open door.
"Who are you?" she cried, amazed. "How dare you enter here?"
The figure closed the door, without answering, and, slowly
approaching Wilhelmine, fixed his black eyes upon her with a
searching gaze. She tried to summon help, but the words died on her
lips; her cheeks blanched with terror, and, as if rooted to the
floor, she stood with outstretched arms imploring the approaching
form. The figure smiled, but there was something commanding in its
manner, and in the fiery eyes, which rested upon her. When quite
near her, it raised its right hand with an impatient movement.
Immediately her arms fell at her side, her cheeks glowed, and a
bright smile lighted up her face. Then it lifted the three-cornered,
gold-bordered hat which shaded its face, nodding to her.
"Do you recognize me, Wilhelmine?" he asked, in a sweet, melodious
"Yes," she answered, her eyes still fixed upon him. "You are
Cagliostro, the great ruler and magician."
"Where did we meet?"
"I remember; it was in Paris, at the house of the governor of the
Bastile, M. Delaunay. You caused me to read in a glass the future--a
bright, glorious future. I was surrounded with splendor and
magnificence. I saw myself glittering with gems; a king knelt at my
feet. I was encircled by richly-attired courtiers, who bowed before
me, and honored me, whispering: 'We salute you, O beautiful
countess; be gracious to us, exalted princess!' It sounded like
heavenly music, and I shouted with delight."
"Was that all?" said Cagliostro, solemnly, "that the crystal showed
Shuddering, she murmured: "The splendor, glory, and power vanished,
and all was changed to a fearful picture. I saw myself in a plain,
dark dress, in a deserted, lonely room, with iron-barred windows,
and a small iron door closed in the dreary white walls--it was a
prison! And I heard whispered around me: 'Woe to you, fallen and
dethroned one! You have wasted away the days of your splendor,
submit in patience to the days of your shame and humiliation.' I
could not endure to behold it, and screamed with terror, fainting."
"You demanded to see the future, and I showed it to you," said
Cagliostro, earnestly. "Though I let the light shine into your soul,
still it was dark within; you pursued the way of unbelief, and
desired not to walk in the way of knowledge. I sent messengers twice
to you to lead you in the right path, and you sent them laughing
away. Recall what I told you in Paris. I will it!"
"I remember, master; you said that in the most important days of my
life you would come to me, and extend to me a helping hand: if I
seized it, the first picture would be fulfilled; if I refused it,
the prison awaited me!"
"I have kept my word: to-day is an eventful day in your life; you
have risen from want and degradation--you have mounted the first
rounds of the ladder of your greatness and power. You are the
mistress of this house." "How did you know it?" asked Wilhelmine,
astonished. With a pitying smile he answered: "I know every thing
that I will, and I see many things that I would willingly close my
eyes upon. I see your future, and my soul pities you, unhappy one;
you are lost if you do not seize the hand extended to you. You see
not the abyss which opens before you, and you will fall bleeding and
with broken limbs."
"Mercy, mercy!" she groaned--"stretch out your hand and protect me."
Wilhelmine sank as if crushed to the earth. Cagliostro bent over
her, and stroked her cold, pale face, breathing upon her the hot
breath of his lips. "I will pity you--I will protect you. Rise, my
daughter!" He assisted her to rise, and imprinted a passionate kiss
upon her hand. "From this hour I count you as one of mine," he said;
"you shall be received into the holy band of spirits! You shall be
consecrated, and enter the Inner Temple. Are you prepared?" "I am,
master," she humbly replied.
"To-morrow the Temple brothers will open the temple of bliss to you.
You shall hear, see, and be silent." "I will see, hear, and be
silent," she murmured.
"When evening sets in, send away your servants," commanded
Cagliostro. "Let the doors stand open; they shall be guarded, that
no one may enter but the summoned. Art thou prepared?"
"I am, master!"
"Withdraw now to your room, Wilhelmine, and elevate your thoughts in
devotion and contrition, and await the future. Kneel, my daughter,
kneel!" She sank upon her knees. "Bless me, master, bless me!" "I
She felt a hot, burning sensation upon her forehead, and suddenly a
bright light shone in the obscure room. Wilhelmine screamed, and
covered her eyes. When she ventured to look up, only soft moonlight
penetrated from the high window into the apartment, and she was
alone. "To-morrow--to-morrow, at midnight!" she murmured,
shuddering, and casting a timid look around.
ROSICRUCIANS AND POWERFUL GENIUSES
GOETHE IN BERLIN.
"I wish I only knew whether it were a man, or whether the god Apollo
has really appeared to me in human form," sighed Conrector Moritz,
as he paced his room--a strange, gloomy apartment, quite in keeping
with the singular occupant--gray walls, with Greek apothegms
inscribed upon them in large letters--dirty windows, pasted over
with strips of paper; high, open book-shelves, containing several
hundred books, some neatly arranged, others thrown together in
confusion. In the midst of a chaos of books and papers stood a
colossal bust of the Apollo-Belvedere upon a table near the window,
the whiteness and beauty of which were in singular contrast, to the
dust and disorder which surrounded it.
At the back of the room was an open wardrobe, filled with gay-
colored garments. A beautiful carpet of brilliant colors covered the
middle of the dirty floor, and upon this paced to and fro the
strange occupant of this strange room, Philip Charles Moritz,
conrector of the college attached to the Gray Monastery. There was
no trace of the bearing and demeanor which distinguished him at the
parade at Potsdam yesterday--no trace of the young elegant, dressed
in the latest fashion. To-day he wore a white garment, of no
particular style, tied at the neck with a red ribbon (full sleeves,
buttoned at the wrist with lace-cuffs); and, falling from the
shoulders in scanty folds to just below the knees, it displayed his
bare legs, and his feet shod with red sandals.
His hair was unpowdered, and not tied in a cue, according to the
fashion, but hung in its natural brown color, flowing quite loosely,
merely confined by a red ribbon wound in among his curls, and
hanging down in short bows at each temple like the frontlet of the
old Romans. Thus, in this singular costume, belonging half to old
Adam, and half to the old Romans, Philip Moritz walked back and
forth upon the carpet, ruminating upon the beaming beauty of the
stranger whose acquaintance he had so recently made, and whom he
could not banish from his thoughts. "What wicked demon induced me to
go to Potsdam yesterday?" said he to himself. "I who hate mankind,
and believe that they are all of vulgar, ordinary material, yield to
the longing for society, and am driven again into the world."
A loud knocking at the door interrupted this soliloquy, and the door
opened at the commanding "Come in!"
"It is he, it is Apollo," cried Moritz, joyfully. "Come in, sir,
come in--I have awaited you with the most ardent desire."
Moritz rushed to the young gentleman, who had just closed the door,
and whose beautiful, proud face lighted up with a smile at the
singular apparition before him. "Pardon me, I disturb you, sir; you
were about to make your toilet. Permit me to return after you have
"You are mistaken," cried Moritz, eagerly. "You find me in my usual
home-dress--I like my ease and freedom, and I am of opinion that
mankind will never be happy and contented until they return to their
natural state, wearing no more clothing, but glorying in the beauty
which bountiful Nature has bestowed upon her most loved and chosen
"Sir," cried the other, laughing, "then benevolent Nature should
adapt her climate accordingly, and relieve her dear creatures from
the inclination to take cold."
"You may be right," said Moritz, earnestly, "but we will not quarrel
about it. Will you not keep your promise to reveal to me your name?"
"Tell me your own once more. Tell me if this youth, whom I see
before me in this ideal dress, is the same modest young man whom I
met at the parade yesterday, and who presented himself as Philip
Moritz? Then please to inform me whether you are the Philip Moritz
who wrote a spirited and cordial letter to Johann Wolfgang Goethe
some years since about the tragedy of 'Stella,' the representation
of which had been forbidden at that time?"
"Yes, I am the same Philip Moritz, who wrote to the poet Goethe to
prove to him, with the most heart-felt sympathy, that we are not all
such stupid fellows in Berlin as Nicolai, who pronounced the tragedy
'Stella' immoral; that it is only, as Goethe himself called it, 'a
play for lovers.'"
"And will you not be kind enough to tell me what response the poet
made to your amiable letter?"
"Proud and amiable at the same time, most gracefully he answered me,
but not with words. He sent me his tragedy 'Stella' bound in rose-
colored satin. [Footnote: "Goethe in Berlin,"--Sketches from his
life at the anniversary of his one hundredth birthday.] See there!
it is before the bust of Apollo on my writing-table, where it has
lain for three years!"
"What did he write to you at the same time?"
"Nothing--why should he? Was not the book sufficient answer?"
"Did he write nothing? Permit me to say to you that Goethe behaved
like a brute and an ass to you!"
"Sir," cried Moritz, angrily, "I forbid you to speak of my favorite
in so unbecoming a manner in my room!"
"Sir," cried the other, "you dare not forbid me. I insist upon it
that that man is sometimes a brute and an ass! I can penitently
acknowledge it to you, dear Moritz, for I am Johann Wolfgang Goethe
"You, you are Goethe!" shouted Moritz, as he seized him with both
hands, drawing him toward the window, and gazing at him with the
greatest enthusiasm and delight. "Yes, yes," he shouted, "you are
either Apollo or Goethe! The gods are not so stupid as to return to
this miserable world, so you must be Goethe. No other man would dare
to sport such a godlike face as you do, you favorite of the gods!"
He then loosed his hold upon the smiling poet, and sprang to the
writing-table. "Listen, Apollo," he cried, with wild joy. "Goethe is
here, thy dear son is here! Hurrah! long live Goethe!"
He took the rose-colored little book, and shouting tossed it to the
ceiling, and sprang about like a mad bacchant, and finally threw
himself upon the carpet, rolling over and over like a frolicksome,
good-natured child upon its nurse's lap.
Goethe laughed aloud. "What are you doing, dear Moritz? What does
this mean?" he asked.
Moritz stopped a moment, looking up to Goethe with a face beaming
with joy. "I cannot better express my happiness. Language is too
"If that is the case, then I will join you," said Goethe, throwing
himself upon the carpet, rolling and tumbling about. [Footnote: This
scene which I relate, and which Teichman also mentions in his
"Leaves of Memory of Goethe in Berlin," has been often related to me
by Ludwig Tieck exactly in this manner. Teichman believes it was the
poet Burman. But I remember distinctly that Ludwig Tieck told me
that it was the eccentric savant, Philip Moritz, with whom Goethe
made the acquaintance in this original manner.--The Authoress.]
All at once Moritz jumped up without saying a word, rushed to the
wardrobe, dressed himself in modest attire in a few moments, and
presented himself to Goethe, who rose from the carpet quite
astounded at the sudden metamorphosis. Then he seized his three-
cornered hat to go out, when Goethe held him fast.
"You are not going into the street, sir! You forget that your hair
is flying about as if unloosed by a divine madness."
"Sir, people are quite accustomed to see me in a strange costume,
and the most of them think me crazy."
"You are aware that insane people believe that they only are sane,
and that reasonable people are insane. You will grant me that it is
much more like a crazy person to strew his hair with flour, and tie
it up in that ridiculous cue, than to wear it as God made it,
uncombed and unparted, as I do my beautiful hair, and for which they
call me crazy! But, for Heaven's sake, where are you going?" asked
Goethe, struggling to retain him.
"I am going to trumpet through every street in Berlin that the
author of 'Werther,' of 'Clavigo,' of 'Gotz von Berlichingen,' of
'Stella,' of the most beautiful poems, is in my humble apartment. I
will call in all the little poets and savants of Berlin; I will drag
Mammler, Nicolai, Engel, Spaulding, Gedicke, Plumicke, Karschin, and
Burman here. They shall all come to see Wolfgang Goethe, and adore
him. The insignificant poets shall pay homage to thee, the true
poet, the favorite of Apollo."
"My dear Moritz, if you leave me for that, I will run away, and you
will trouble yourself in vain."
"Impossible; you will be my prisoner until I return. I shall lock
you in, and you cannot escape by the window, as I fortunately live
on the third story."
"But I shall not wait to be looked in," answered Goethe, slightly
annoyed. "I came to see you, and if you run away I shall go also,
and I advise you not to try to prevent me." His voice resounded
through the apartment, growing louder as he spoke, his cheeks
flushed, and his high, commanding brow contracted.
"Jupiter Tonans!" cried Moritz, regarding him, "you are truly
Jupiter Tonans in person, and I bow before you and obey your
command. I shall remain to worship you, and gaze at you."
"And it may be possible to speak in a reasonable manner to me," said
Goethe, coaxingly. "Away with sentimentality and odors of incense!
We are no sybarites, to feed on sweet-meats and cakes; but we are
men who have a noble aim in view, attained only by a thorny path.
Our eyes must remain fixed upon the goal, and nothing must divert
them from it."
"What is the aim that we should strive for?" asked Moritz, his whole
being suddenly changing, and his manner expressing the greatest
depression and sadness.
Goethe smiled. "How can you ask, as if you did not know it yourself.
Self-knowledge should be our first aim! The ancient philosophers
were wise to have inscribed over the entrances to their temples,
'Know thyself,' in order to remind all approaching, to examine
themselves before they entered the halls of the gods. Is not the
human heart equally a temple? only the demons and the gods strive
together therein, unfortunately. To drive the former out, and give
place to the latter, should be our aim; and when once purified, and
room is given for good deeds and great achievements, we shall not
rest satisfied simply to conquer, but rise with gladness to build
altars upon those places which we have freed from the demons; for
that, we must steadily keep in view truth and reality, and not hide
them with a black veil, or array them in party-colored rags. Our
ideas must be clear about the consequences of things, that we may
not be like those foolish men who drink wine every evening and
complain of headache every morning, resorting to preventives."
Did Goethe know the struggles and dissensions which rent the heart
of the young man to whom he spoke? Had his searching eyes read the
secrets which were hidden in that darkened soul? He regarded him as
he spoke with so much commiseration that Moritz's heart softened
under the genial influence of sympathy and kindness. A convulsive
trembling seized him, his cheeks were burning red, and his features
expressed the struggle within. Suddenly he burst into tears. "I am
very, very wretched," he sighed, with a voice suffocated by weeping,
and sank upon a chair, sobbing aloud, and covering his face with his
Goethe approached him, and laid his hand gently upon his shoulder.
"Why are you so miserable? Is there any human being who can help
you?" he kindly inquired.
"Yes," sobbed Moritz; "there are those who could, but they will not,
and I am lost. I stand upon the brink of a precipice, with Insanity
staring at me, grinning and showing her teeth. I know it, but cannot
retreat. I wear the mask of madness to conceal my careworn face.
Your divine eyes could not be deceived. You have not mistaken the
caricature for the true face. You have penetrated beneath the gay
tatters, and have seen the misery which sought to hide itself
"I saw it, and I bewailed it, as a friend pities a friend whom he
would willingly aid if he only knew how to do it."
"No one can help me," sighed Moritz, shaking his head mournfully. "I
am lost, irremediably lost!"
"No one is lost who will save himself. He who is wrecked by a storm
and tossed upon the raging sea, ought to be upon the watch for a
plank by which he can save himself. He must keep his eyes open, and
not let his arms hang idly; for if he allows himself to be swallowed
up he becomes a self-murderer, who, like Erostratus, destroyed the
holy temple, and gained eternal fame through eternal shame."
"What are you saying?" cried Moritz, "you, the author of 'Werther,'
of that immortal work which has drunk the tears of the whole world,
and has become the Holy Testament for unhappy souls!"
"Rather say for lovers," replied Goethe, "and add also those
troubled spirits who think themselves poetical when they whine and
howl; who cry over misfortune if Fate denies them the toy which
their vanity, their ambition, or their amorousness, had chosen. Do
not burden me with what I am not guilty of; do not say that wine is
a poison, because it is not good for the sick. It is intended for
well people; it animates and inspires them to fresh vigor. Now
please to consider yourself well, and not ill."
"I am ill, indeed I am ill," sighed Moritz. "Oh! continue to regard
me with those eyes, which shine like stars into my benighted soul. I
feel like one who has long wandered through the desert, his feet
burnt with the sand, his hair scorched with the sun, and, exhausted
with hunger and thirst, feels death approaching. Suddenly he
discovers a green oasis, and a being with outstretched arms calling
to him with a soft, angel-like voice: 'Come, save thyself in my
arms; feel that thou art not alone in the desert, for I am with
thee, and will sustain thee!'"
"And I say it to you from the bottom of my heart," said Goethe,
affectionately. "Yes, here is one, who is only too happy to aid you,
who can sympathize with every sorrow, because he has himself felt it
in his own breast, who may even say of himself, like Ovid: 'Nothing
human is strange to me.' If I can aid you, say so, and I will
willingly do it."
"No, you cannot," murmured Moritz.
"At least confide your grief to me; that is an alleviation."
"Oh, how kind and generous you are!" Moritz said, pressing the hand
of his new-made friend to his bosom. "How much good it does me to
listen to you, and look at your beautiful face! I believed myself
steeled against every thing that could happen to mortals; that the
fool which I would be had killed within me the higher man. I was
almost proud to have succeeded in deceiving men; that they mistook
my grotesque mask for my real face; that they point the finger at
me, and laugh, saying to each other: 'That is a fool, an original,
whom Nature herself has chosen as a kind of court fool to society.'
No one has understood the cry of distress of my soul. Those who
laughed at the comical fellow by day, little dreamed of the anguish
and misery in which he sighed away the night."
"You not only wrong yourself, but you wrong mankind," said Goethe,
kindly. "In the world, and in literature, you bear an honored name;
every one of education is familiar with your excellent work on
'Prosody of the German Language'--has read also your spirited
Journey to England. You have no right to ask that one should
separate the kernel from the shell in hastily passing by. If you
surround yourself with a wall bedaubed with caricatures, you cannot
expect that people will look behind what seems an entrance to a
puppet-show, to find holy temples, blooming gardens, or a church-
yard filled with graves."
"That is just what I resemble," said Moritz, with a melancholy air.
"From the depths of my soul it seems so. Nothing but buried hopes,
murdered ideals, and wishes trodden under foot. From childhood I
have exerted myself against circumstances; I have striven my whole
life--a pledge of my being against unpropitious Fate. Although the
son of a poor tradesman, Nature had given me a thirst for knowledge,
a love for science and art. On account of it I passed for a stupid
idler in the family, who would not contribute to his own support.
Occupation with books was accounted idleness and laziness by my
father. I was driven to work with blows and ill-treatment; and, that
I might the sooner equal my father as a good shoemaker, I was bound
to the stool near his own. During the long, fearful days I was
forced to sit and draw the pitched, offensive thread through the
leather, and when my arms were lame, and sank weary at my side, then
I was invigorated to renewed exertion with blows. Finally, with the
courage of despair, I fled from this life of torture. Unacquainted
with the world, and inexperienced, I hoped for the sympathy of men,
but in vain. No one would relieve or assist me! Days and weeks long
I have wandered around in the forest adjoining our little village,
and lived like the animals, upon roots and herbs. Yet I was happy! I
had taken with me in my flight two books which I had received as
prizes, in the happy days that my father permitted me to go to the
Latin school. The decision of the teacher that I was created for a
scholar, so terrified my father, that he took me from the school, to
turn the embryo savant, who would be good for nothing, into a
shoemaker, who might earn his bread. My two darling books remained
to me. In the forest solitude I read Ovid and Virgil until I had
memorized them, and recited them aloud, in pathetic tones, for my
own amusement. To-day I recall those weeks in the forest stillness
as the happiest, purest, and most beautiful of my life."
"And they undoubtedly are," said Goethe, kindly. "The return to
Nature is the return to one's self. Who will be an able, vigorous
man and remain so, must, above all things, live in and with Nature."
"But oh! this happy life did not long continue," sighed Moritz. "My
father discovered my retreat, and came with sheriffs and bailiffs to
seize me like a criminal--like a wild animal. With my hands bound, I
was brought back in broad day, amid the jeers of street boys. Permit
me to pass in silence the degradation, the torture which followed. I
became a burden to myself, and longed for death. The ill-treatment
of my father finally revived my courage to run away the second time.
I went to a large town near by, and decided to earn my living rather
than return to my father. To fulfil the prophecy of my teacher was
my ambition. The privations that I endured, the life I led, I will
not recount to you. I performed the most menial service, and worked
months like a beast of burden. For want of a shelter, I slept in
deserted yards and tumble-down houses. Upon a piece of bread and a
drink of water I lived, saving, with miserly greediness, the money
which I earned as messenger or day-laborer. At the end of a year, I
had earned sufficient to buy an old suit of clothes at a second-hand
clothing-store, and present myself to the director of the Gymnasium,
imploring him to receive me as pupil. Bitterly weeping, I opened my
heart to him, and disclosed the torture of my sad life as a child,
and begged him to give me the opportunity to educate myself. He
repulsed me with scorn, and threatened to give me over to the
police, as a runaway, as a vagabond, and beggar. 'I am no beggar!' I
cried, vehemently, 'I will be under obligation to no one. I have
money to pay for two years in advance, and during this time I shall
be able to earn sufficient to pay for the succeeding two years.'
This softened the anger of the crabbed director; he was friendly and
kind, and promised me his assistance."
"Poor boy!" sighed Goethe. "So young, and yet forced to learn that
there is a power to which not only kings and princes, but mind must
bow; to which science and art have submitted, as to their Maecenas!
This power opened the doors of the Gymnasium to you."
"It was even thus. The director took pity upon me, and permitted me
to enter upon my studies at once; he did more, he assured my future.
Oh, he was a humane and kind man! When he learned that I possessed
nothing but the little sum to which the drops of blood of a year's
toil still clung, then--"
"He returned it to you," interrupted Goethe, kindly.
"No, he offered me board, lodging, and clothing, during my course at
"That was well," cried Goethe. "Tell me the name of this honorable
man, that I may meet him and extend to him my hand."
A troubled smile spread over Philip's face. "Permit me for the time
being to conceal the name," he replied. "I received the generous
proposal gratefully, and asked, deeply moved, if there were no
services which I could return for so much kindness and generosity.
It proved that there were, and the director made them known to me.
He was unmarried, hence the necessity of men's service. I should be
society for him--be a companion, in fact; I should do what every
grateful son would do for his father--help him dress, keep his room
in order, and prepare his breakfast."
"That meant that you should be his servant!" cried Goethe,
"Only in the morning," replied Moritz, smiling. "Evenings and nights
I should have the honor to be his amanuensis; I should look over the
studies of the scholars, and correct their exercises; and when I had
made sufficient progress, it should be my duty to give two hours to
different classes, and I should read aloud or play cards with the
director on leisure evenings. Besides, I was obliged to promise
never to leave the house without his permission; never to speak to,
or hold intercourse with, any one outside the hours of instruction.
All these conditions were written down, and signed by both parties,
as if a business contract."
"A transaction by which a human soul was bargained for!" thundered
Goethe. "Reveal to me, now, the name of this trader of souls, that I
may expose him to public shame!"
"He died a year since," replied Moritz, softened. "God summoned him
to judgment. When the physician announced to him that the cancer was
incurable, when he felt death approaching, he sent for me, and
begged my forgiveness, with tears and deep contrition. I forgave
him, so let me cease to recall the life I passed with him. By the
sweat of my brow I was compelled to serve him; for seven long years
I was his slave. I sold myself for the sake of knowledge, I was
consoled by progress. I was the servant, companion, jester, and
slave of my tyrant, but I was also the disciple, the priest of
learning. In my own room my chains fell off. In the lonely night-
watches I communed with the great, the immortal spirits of Horace,
Virgil, and even the proud Ceasar, and the divine Homer. Those
solitary but happy hours of the night are never to be forgotten,
never to be portrayed; they refreshed me for the trials of the day,
and enabled me to endure them! At the close of seven years I was
prepared to enter the university, and the bargain between my master
and myself was also at an end. Freed from my tyrant, I bent my steps
toward Frankfort University, to feel my liberty enchained anew. For
seven years I had been the slave of the director; now I became the
slave of poverty, forced to labor to live! Oh, I cannot recall those
scenes! Suffice it to say, that during one year I had no fixed
abode, never tasted warm food. But it is passed--I have conquered!
After years of struggle, of exertion, of silent misery, only
relieved by my stolen hours of blissful study, I gained my reward. I
was free! My examination passed, I was honored with the degrees of
Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts. After many intervening
events, I was appointed conrector of the college attached to the
Gray Monastery, which position now supports me."
"God be praised, I breathe freely!" answered Goethe, with one of
those sunny smiles which, in a moment of joyful excitement, lighted
up his face. "I feel like one shipwrecked, who has, at last, reached
a safe harbor. I rejoice in your rescue as if it were my own. Now
you are safe. You have reached the port, and in the quiet happiness
of your own library you will win new laurels. Why, then, still
dispirited and unhappy? The past, with its sorrows and humiliations,
is forgotten, the present is satisfactory, and the future is full of
hope for you."
"Full of misery is the present," cried Philip, angrily, "and filled
with despair I glance at the future. You do not see it with your
divine eyes, you do not perceive it, poet with the sympathetic soul.
You, too, thought that Philip Moritz had only a head for the
sciences, and forgot that he had a heart to love. I tell you that he
has a warm, affectionate heart, torn with grief and all the tortures
of jealousy; that disappointed happiness maddens him. I was not
created to be happy, and my whole being longs for happiness. Oh! I
would willingly give my life for one day by the side of the one I
"Do not trifle," said Goethe, angrily. "He who has striven and
struggled as you have, dare not offer, for any woman, however
beautiful and seductive, to yield his life, which has been destined
to a higher aim than mere success in love. Perhaps you think that
God has infused a ray of His intelligence into the mind of man,
created him immortal, and breathed upon him with His world-creating
breath only, to make him happy, and find that happiness in love! No!
my friend, God has given to man like faculties with Himself, and
inspired him, that he might be a worthy representative of Him upon
the earth ; that he should prove, in his life, that he is not only
the blossom, but the fruit also, of God's creation. Love is to man
the perfume of his existence. She may intoxicate him for a while,
may inspire him to poetical effusions, to great deeds, even; but he
should hesitate to let her become his mistress, to let her be the
tyrant of his existence. If she would enchain him, he must tear
himself away, even if he tear out his own heart. Man possesses that
which is more ennobling than mere feeling; he has intellect--soul."
"Ah!" cried Moritz, "it is easy to see that you have never loved
madly, despairingly. You have never seen the woman whom you adore,
and who perhaps reciprocates your passion, forced to marry another."
A shadow flitted over Goethe's brow, and the flashing brilliancy of
his eyes was changed to gloomy sadness. Gently, but quickly, he laid
his hand upon Moritz's shoulder, saying: "In this hour, when two
souls are revealed to each other, will I acknowledge to you that
which I have never spoken of. I, too, love a woman, who loves me,
and yet can never be mine, for she is married to another. I love
this sweet woman as I have never loved a mortal being. For years my
existence has belonged to her, she has been the centre of all my
thoughts. It would seem to me as if the earth were without a sun,
heaven without a God, if she should vanish from life. I even bless
the torture which her prudery, her alternate coldness and
friendliness cause me, as it comes from her, from the highest bliss
of feeling. This passion has swept through my soul, as if uniting in
itself all my youthful loves, till, like a torrent, ever renewing
itself, ever moving onward, it has become the highway of my future.
Upon this stream floats the bark laden with all my happiness, fame,
and poetry. The palaces which my fancy creates rise upon its shore.
Every zephyr, however slight, makes me tremble. Every cloud which
overshadows the brow of my beloved, sweeps like a tempest over my
own. I live upon her smile. A kind word falling from her lips makes
me happy for days; and when she turns away from me with coldness and
indifference, I feel like one driven about as Orestes by the
"You really are in love!" cried Moritz. "I will take back what I
have said. You, the chosen of the gods, know all the human heart can
suffer, even unhappy love."
Almost angry, and with hesitation, Goethe answered him: "I do not
call this passion of mine an unhappy one, for in the very perception
of it lies happiness. We are only wretched when we lose self-
control. To this point Love shall never lead me. She yields me the
highest delight, but she shall never bring me to self-destruction.
Grief for her may, like a destructive whirlwind, crush every blossom
of my heart; but she shall never destroy me. The man, the poet, must
stand higher than the lover; for where the latter is about to yield
to despair, the former will rise, and, with the defiance of
Prometheus, challenge the gods to recognize the godlike similitude,
that man can rise superior to sorrow, never despairing, never
cursing Fate if all the rosy dreams of youth are not realities, but
with upturned gaze stride over the waste places of life, consoling
himself with the thought that only magnanimous souls can suffer and
conquer magnanimously. Vanquished grief brings us nearer to the
immortal, and gradually bears us from this vale of sorrow up to the
brighter heights, nearer to God--the earth with her petty confusion
lying like a worthless tool at our feet!"
"It is heavenly to be able to say that, and divine to perceive it,"
cried Moritz, bursting into tears. "The miseries of life chain me to
the dust, and do not permit me to mount to the heights which a hero
like Goethe reaches victorious. It is indeed sublime to conquer
one's self, and be willing to resign the happiness which flees us.
But see how weak I am--I cannot do it! I can never give up the one I
love. It seems as if I could move heaven and earth to conquer at
last, and that I must die if I do not succeed--die like Werther."
Goethe's eyes flashed with anger, and with heightened color he
exclaimed: "You all repeat the same litany--do not make me
answerable for all your weaknesses, and blame poor Werther for the
creations of your own imagination. I, who am the author of Werther,
am free from this abominable sentimentality. Why cannot others be,
who only read what I have conceived? But pardon my violence," he
continued, with a milder voice and gentler manner. "Never did an
author create a work which brought him at the same time so great
fame and bitter reproach as this work has brought to me. 'The
Sorrows of Young Werther' have indeed been transformed into the
sorrows of young Goethe, and I even fear that old Goethe will have
to suffer for it. I have spoken to you as a friend to a friend:
cherish my words, take them to heart, and arise from the dust; shake
off the self-strewn ashes from your head. Enter again as a brave
champion the combat of life--summon to your aid cunning, power,
prudence, and audacity, to conquer your love. Whether you succeed or
not, then you aim at the greatest of battles--that of mind over
matter--then remember my farewell words. From the power which binds
all men he frees himself who conquers himself.--Farewell! If ever
you need the encouragement of a friend, if ever a sympathizing soul
is necessary to you, come to Weimar; sympathy and appreciation shall
never fail you there."
"Oh! I will surely go," answered Moritz, deeply moved, and pressing
heartily Goethe's offered hand.
"One thing more I have to say to you: Live much with Nature;
accustom yourself to regard the sparrow, the flower, or the stone,
as worthy of your attention as the wonderful phoenix or the
monuments of the ancients with their illegible inscriptions. To walk
with Nature is balsam for a weary soul; gently touched by her soft
hands, the recovery is most rapid. I have experienced it, and do
experience it daily. Now, once more, farewell; in the true sense of
the word fare-thee-well! I wish that I could help you in other ways
than by mere kind words. It pains me indeed that I can render you no
other aid or hope. You alone can do what none other can do for you.-
He turned, and motioning to Moritz not to follow him, almost flew
down the stairs into the street. Drawing a long breath, he stood
leaning against the door, gazing at the crowd--at the busy passers-
by--some merrily chatting with their companions, others with earnest
mien and in busy haste. No one seemed to care for him, no one looked
at him. If by chance they glanced at him, Johann Wolfgang Goethe was
of no more consequence to them than any other honest citizen in a
Without perhaps acknowledging it to himself, Goethe was a little
vexed that no one observed him; that the weather-maker from Weimar,
who was accustomed to be greeted there, and everywhere, indeed, with
smiles and bows, should here in Berlin be only an ordinary mortal--a
stranger among strangers. "I would not live here," said he, as he
walked slowly down the street. "What are men in great cities but
grains of sand, now blown together and then asunder? There is no
individuality, one is only a unit in the mass! But it is well
occasionally to look into such a kaleidoscope, and admire the play
of colors, which I have done, and with a glad heart I will now fly
home to all my friends--to you, beloved one--to you, Charlotte!"
THE INNER AND THE MIDDLE TEMPLE.
Wilhelmine Enke had passed the day in great anxiety and excitement,
and not even the distraction of her new possession had been able to
calm the beating of her heart or allay her fears. Prince Frederick
William had arrived early in the morning, to bid her farewell, as he
was to march in the course of the day with his regiments from
Potsdam. With the tenderest assurances of love he took leave of
Wilhelmine, and with tears kissed his two children, pressing them to
his heart. As he was about to enter his carriage he returned to the
house to embrace his weeping mistress, and reassure her of his
fidelity, and make her promise him again and again that she would
remain true to him, and never love another.
It was not alone the farewell to her beloved prince which caused
Wilhelmine such anxiety and made her so restless. Like a dark cloud
the remembrance of Cagliostro's mysterious appearance arose in her
mind, overshadowing her every hour more and more, filling her soul
with terror. In vain did she seek refuge near her children, trying
to cheer and forget herself in their innocent amusement--one moment
running about the garden with them, then returning to the house to
reexamine it. Her thoughts would revert to Cagliostro, and the
solemnities which were to take place at her house that night. The
thought terrified her that at nightfall she was obliged to send away
all her servants, and not even be permitted to lock herself in the
lonely, deserted house. For the great magician had commanded her to
let the doors of her house stand open; he would place sentinels at
every entrance, and none but the elect would be allowed to enter.
Wilhelmine had not the courage to resist this command. As evening
approached, she sent the cook, with other servants, to her apartment
at Berlin, ordering them to pack her furniture and other effects,
and send them by a hired wagon to Charlottenburg the following
morning. An hour previous to this she had sent the nurse and two
children to Potsdam with a similar commission, ordering them to
return early the next day. Alone she now awaited with feverish
anxiety Cagliostro's appearance. Again and again she wandered
through the silent, deserted rooms frightened at the sound of her
own footsteps, and peering into each room as if an assassin or
robber were lurking there. She had many enemies--many there were who
cursed her, and, alas! none loved her--she was friendless, save the
prince, who was far away. The tears which the princess had shed on
her account weighed like a heavy burden upon her heart, burning into
her very soul in this hour of lonely, sad retrospection. She tried
in vain to excuse herself, in the fact that she had loved the prince
before his marriage; that she had sacrificed herself to him through
affection, and that she was not entitled to become his wife, as she
was not born under the canopy of a throne.
From the depths of her conscience there again rose the tearful, sad
face of the princess, accusing her as an adulteress--as a sinner
before God and man! Terrified, she cried: "I have truly loved him,
and I do still love him; this is my excuse and my justification. She
is not to be pitied who can walk openly by the side of her husband,
enjoying the respect and sympathy of all to whom homage is paid, and
who, one day, will be queen! I am the only one, I alone! I stand in
the shade, despised and scorned, avoided and shunned by every one.
Those who recognize me, do so with a mocking smile, and when I pass
by they contemptuously shrug their shoulders and say to one another,
'That was Enke, the mistress of the Prince of Prussia!' All this
shall be changed," she cried aloud; "I will not always be despised
and degraded! I will be revenged on my crushed and scorned youth! I
will have rank and name, honor and position, that I will--yes, that
I will, indeed!"
Wilhelmine wandered on through the silent rooms, all brilliantly
illuminated, a precaution she had taken before dismissing her
servants. The bright light was a consolation to her, and, at least,
she could not be attacked by surprise, but see her enemy, and
escape. "I was a fool," she murmured, "to grant Cagliostro this
reception to-night. I know that he is a charlatan! There are no
prophets or wizards! Yet, well I remember, though a stranger to me,
in Paris, how truthfully he brought before me my past life; with
what marvellous exactness he revealed to me secrets known only to my
Maker and myself. Cagliostro must be a wizard, then, or a prophet;
he has wonderful power over me also, and reads my most secret
thoughts. He will assist me to rise from my shame and degradation to
an honored position. I shall become a rich and influential woman! I
will confide in him, never doubting him--for he is my master and
savior! Away with fear! He has said that the house should be
guarded, and it will be! Onward then, Wilhelmine, without fear!"
She hastened to the large drawing-room, in order to see the effect
of the numerous wax-lights in the superb chandeliers of rock
crystal. The great folding-doors resisted all her efforts to open
them. "Who is there?" cried a loud, threatening voice. Trembling and
with beating heart Wilhelmine leaned against the door, giddy with
fear, when a second demand, "Who is there? The watchword! No one can
pass without the countersign!" roused her, and she stole back on
tiptoe to her room. "He has kept his word, the doors are guarded!"
she whispered. "I will go and await him in my sitting-room." She
stepped quickly forward, when suddenly she thought she heard
footsteps stealing behind her; turning, she beheld two men wrapped
in black cloaks, with black masks, stealthily creeping after her.
Wilhelmine shrieked with terror, tore open the door, rushed across
the next room into her own boudoir. As she entered a glance revealed
to her that the two masks approached nearer and nearer. She bolted
the door quickly, sinking to the floor with fright and exhaustion.
"What are they going to do? Will they force open the door and murder
me? How foolish, how fearfully foolish to have sent away all my
servants. Now I understand it: Cagliostro is not only an impostor--a
charlatan, but he is a thief and an assassin. I have been caught in
the trap set for me, like a credulous fool! He and his associates
will rob me and plunder my beautiful villa, but just given to me,
and, when they have secured all, murder me to escape betrayal." With
deep contrition, weeping and trembling, Wilhelmine accused herself
of her credulity and folly. For the first time in her life she was
dismayed and cowardly, for it was the first time that she had had to
tremble for her possessions. It was something so new, so
unaccustomed to her to possess any thing, that it made her anxious,
and she feared, as in the fairy tale, that it would dissolve into
nothing. By degrees her presence of mind and equanimity were
restored. The stillness was unbroken--and no one forced the door, to
murder the mistress of this costly possession. Gathering courage,
she rose softly and stole to the window. The moon shone brightly and
clearly. The house stood sideways to the street, and separated from
it, first by thick shrubbery, and then a trellised lawn. Whoever
would enter, directly turned into a path leading from the street
into the shrubbery. Just upon this walk, Wilhelmine perceived masked
men approaching, one by one, as in a procession--slowly, silently
moving on, until they neared the gate of the trellised square, where
two tall, dark forms were stationed to demand the countersign, which
being given, they passed over the lawn into the house.
"I will take courage; he has told me the truth, the house is well
guarded," murmured Wilhelmine. "None but the summoned can enter; I
belong to the number, and when it is time Cagliostro will come and
fetch me. Until then, let me await quietly the result," said she, as
she stretched herself comfortably upon the sofa, laughing at her
former cowardice and terror. "No one can enter this room unless I
open the door, and fortunately there is but one exit. The wizard
himself could not gain admittance unless the walls should open or
the bolt drive hack for him. Hark! it strikes eleven, one tedious
hour longer to wait. I must try to rest a little." She laid her head
upon the cushion, closing her eyes. The calm and the quiet were
refreshing after the excitement of the day. Gradually her thoughts
became confused--dim pictures floated past her mental vision, her
breathing became shorter, and she slept. The stillness was unbroken,
save the clock striking the quarters of every hour. Scarcely had the
last quarter to midnight sounded, when the window was softly opened,
and a dark form descended into the room. He listened a moment,
looking at the sleeping one, who moved not; then extinguished the
light, creeping toward the door. Wilhelmine slept on. Suddenly it
seemed to her as if sunbeams blinded her, and she started up from a
profound sleep. It was indeed no dream. A white form stood before
her of dazzling brilliancy, as if formed of sun-rays.
"Rise and follow me!" cried a commanding voice. "The Great Kophta
commands you. Mask yourself, and, as your life is dear to you, do
not raise it for one instant!" Wilhelmine took the mask, upon which
flickered a little blue flame, and held it close to her face. "Pray
in spirit, then follow me." Wilhelmine followed without opposition
the bright form which moved before her through the dark rooms. She
felt as if under the influence of a charm; her heart beat violently,
her feet trembled, but still she felt no more wavering or fear; a
joyous confidence filled her whole being. With her eyes bent upon
the moving form of light, she went onward in the obscurity, and
entered the great drawing-room, where profound darkness and silence
reigned. A slight murmur, as of those in prayer, fell on her car,
and it seemed as if numberless black shadows were moving about.
"Kneel and pray," whispered a voice near her. Her conductor had
disappeared, and the gloom of night surrounded her. Wilhelmine knelt
as she was bidden, but she could not pray; breathless expectation
and eager curiosity banished all devotion and composure.
Occasionally was heard, amid the silence and darkness, a deep sigh,
a suppressed groan, or a shriek, which died away in the murmuring of
prayer. Suddenly a strange music broke the stillness--sharp,
piercing tones, resonant as bells, and increasing in power,
sometimes as rich and full as the peals of an organ, then gentle and
soft as the murmuring wind, or a sorrow-laden sigh. Then, human
voices joined the music, swelling it to a wonderful and harmonious
choir--to an inspired song of aspiration, Of fervent expectation,
and imploring the coming of him who would bring glory and peace,
filling the hearts of believers with godliness. The chorus of the
Invisibles had not ceased, when a strange blue light began to
glimmer at the farther end of the room; then it shot like a flash
through the dark space. As their dazzled eyes were again raised,
they saw in a kind of halo, in the midst of golden clouds, a tall,
dazzling figure, in a long, flowing robe, sparkling with silver. The
lovely bust, the beautiful arms and shoulders, were covered with a
transparent golden tissue, over which fell the long, curly hair to
the waist. A glittering band, sparkling like stars, was wound
through the hair, which surrounded a feminine face of surpassing
beauty. Perpetual youth glowed upon her full, rosy cheeks; bright
intelligence beamed from the clear, lofty brow; peace, joy, and
happiness, were revealed in the smile of the red lips; love and
passion flashed from the large, brilliant eyes. The choir of the
Invisibles now sang in jubilant tones: "The eternal Virgin, the
everlasting, holy, and pure being, greets the erring, blesses those
that seek, causing them to find, and partake with joy."
The heavenly woman raised her lovely arms, extending them as if for
a tender embrace. A captivating smile lighted up her features; a
fiery glance from her beautiful eyes seemed to greet every one,
separately, to announce to them joy and hope. While they regarded
her entranced with delight, the golden cloud grew denser, and
covered the virgin with her luminous veil. It then gradually
disappeared, with the golden splendor. The chorus of the Invisibles
ceased, and the music died away in gentle murmurs. Upon the spot
where the beaming apparition was visible, there now stood a tall
priest, in a long, flowing black robe; a pale-blue light surrounded
him, and rendered the dark outline distinctly visible by the clear
background. Snow-white hair and a black mask made him unrecognizable
to every one.
Extending his arms, as if blessing them, the masked one cried: "My
beloved, the unknown fathers of our Holy Order of Rosicrucians send
me to you, and command me to salute you with the greeting of life. I
am to announce to you that the time of revelation approaches, and
that the sublime mysteries of earth and Nature will soon be revealed
to you. As the rose is unfolded in her glowing red, which has so
long slept in her lap of green leaves, you represent the green
leaves, and Nature is the rose. She will disclose herself to you
with all her secrets. In her calyx you will find the elixir of life
and the secret of gold, if you walk in the path of duty; if you
exercise unconditional obedience to the Invisible Fathers; if you
submit yourselves in blind confidence to their wisdom; if you swear
to abstain from every self-inquiry, and to distrust your own
understanding." [Footnote: So run the very words in the laws of the
Rosicrucians.--See "New General German Library," vol. lvi., p. 10.]
"We swear it!" cried solemn voices on all sides.
"Swear, blindly, silent obedience to all that the Invisible Fathers
shall announce to you through their directors, or shall order you
under the holy sign of the Rosicrucians by word or writing."
"We swear it!" again resounded in solemn chorus.
"Shame, disgrace, perdition, and destruction, be your curse,"
thundered the priest, "if you deviate in thought even from your
oath; if you seek to ponder and reflect; if you measure by your own
limited reason the dispositions and operations of the sublime
fathers, to whom Nature has revealed herself, and to whom all the
secrets of heaven and earth are disclosed. Eternal destruction, and
all the tortures of hell and purgatory, be the portion of the
doubting! Damned and proscribed be the traitor to the holy order!
Listen, ye spirits of the deep, and ye spirits of darkness, withdraw
from here in terror, ere the anger of the Invisible Fathers fall
upon you like destroying lightning! Open, ye doors, that the wicked
may flee, and only the good remain!"
With a wave of the hand the great folding-doors now opened, and a
flood of light from the adjoining apartment revealed the drawingroom
to be filled with the dark forms of men enveloped in black cloaks,
hoods drawn over the heads, and black masks covering the faces--all
kneeling close together and exactly resembling one another. No one
moved, the doors closed again, darkness reigning. The priest was no
longer visible, though continuing to speak: "Only the good and
obedient are now assembled here, and to them I announce that life is
to us, and death awaits beyond the door to seize the traitor who
would disclose the holy secrets of the order. Be faithful, my
brothers, and never forget that there is no place on the earth where
the traitor is secure from the avenging sword of the Invisible
Fathers. None but the good and obedient being here assembled, I now
announce to you that the time of revelation approaches, and that it
will come when you are all zealously endeavoring to extend the holy
order, and augment the number of brothers. For the extension of the
order is nothing less than universal happiness. It emanates alone
from the Invisible Fathers, who link heaven to earth and who will
open again the lost way to Paradise. The supreme chiefs of our holy
order are the rulers of all Nature, reposing in God the Father.
[Footnote: The wording of the laws of the Order of the
Rosicrucians.--See "New General German Library," vol. M., p. 10. ]
They are the favorites of God, whom the Trinity thinks worthy of his
highest confidence and revelation. If you will take part in the
revelations of God, and witness the disclosing of the hidden
treasures of Nature, swear that you will be obedient to the holy
order, and that you will strive to gain new members.
"We swear it," resounded in an inspired chorus through the room. "We
swear unconditional obedience to the Invisible Fathers. We swear to
strive with all our means for the extension of the holy order.
"Unbelief, free-thinking, and self-knowledge are of the devil, who
steals abroad, to turn men from God. The pride of reason seeks to
misguide men, and lead them away from God and the secrets of Nature.
The devil has chosen his disciples, who teach sinful knowledge and
arrogant free-thinking, and who are united in Berlin in the Order of
the Illuminati. The Invisible Fathers command you to fight this
shameful order in word, deed, and writing. If any of you are
acquainted with one of the members, you shall regard him as your
most deadly enemy, and shall hate and pursue him as you hate sin and
as you pursue crime. You shall flee his intercourse as you would
that of the devil, otherwise you will be damned, and the Invisible
Fathers never will forgive you, and the secrets of Nature will be
withheld from you. Swear therefore hate, persecution, and eternal
enmity, to the Order of the Illuminati. This I command you in the
name of the Invisible Fathers."
"We swear it! We swear hate, persecution, and eternal enmity, to the
Order of the Illuminati!"
"Every one who belongs to the order is damned and cursed; and if it
were your brother or your father, so shall you curse and damn him!"
"We swear it!"
"Then I bring you the blessing of the Invisible rulers and fathers,
who announce to you, through me, that every lost one which you gain
for the Order of the Rosicrucians, and consequently lead back to God
and Nature, is a step toward entering the holy sanctuary of
revelation, where the elixir of life and the tincture of gold awaits
you. Every cursed member of the Illuminati becomes one of the
blessed when you lead him from the path of vice in penitence and
contrition, and gain him to the Order of the Rosicrucians; and he
who can prove that he has gained twelve new members for our holy
order mounts a round higher in the ladder of knowledge, and rises to
a new degree. At the sixth grade he passes from the Inner to the
Middle Temple, where all the secrets of the universe and of Nature
are disclosed. Be mindful of this, and recruit. Until we meet again,
let the watchword be, 'Curses and persecution for the devil's
offspring, the Illuminati!'"
"Curses and persecution for the devil's offspring, the Illuminati,
"Now depart! Pay your tribute at the door, which you owe, and
receive in return the new sign of the order, which will serve to
make the brothers known to each other. Only the directors and the
members of the sixth grade shall knock again at this door after
paying tribute, and, receiving the new word of life, the guard will
let them enter. Depart! I dismiss you in the name of the Holy Father
and the Trinity!"
"Take this cloak, and cover yourself, that no one can recognize
you," whispered a person near Wilhelmine, and threw a soft covering
over her. "Will you now depart, or seek further in the way of
"I will seek further," answered Wilhelmine, firmly.
"You wish to enter the sixth grade, and learn the secrets of
"Then I will give you the watchword of the order. But woe unto you
if you reveal it! Swear that you will never betray it!"
"I swear it!"
Wilhelmine felt a hot breath upon her cheek, and a voice whispered
in her ear the significant words: "Now depart; pay your tribute, you
cannot tarry here. Go, and return with the chosen!"
A hand seized her arm and conducted her to the door. Almost blinded
by the bright light, she entered the adjoining apartment, where it
seemed as if she saw through a veil muffled figures go forward to
the centre, and deposit money in a marble basin which stood upon a
kind of altar; naphtha burned in silver basins upon each end of it,
and a muffled figure stood near.
Wilhelmine advanced to the altar, and with quick decision drew a
diamond ring from her finger, and begged permission to deposit it
instead of money.
The muffled figure bowed, and handed to her the new watchword--a
picture of a Madonna, with the sign of the Rosicrucians underneath.
Then she returned, and awaited at the door, with a little gathering,
which must consequently belong to the sixth grade. Gradually the
others had withdrawn; the naphtha-flames upon the altar were
extinguished, and the wax-lights of the centre lustres had grown
dim, and gradually extinguished themselves. Soon the doors were
opened, and a bright light, as of the sun's rays, filled the hall.
Three blasts of trumpets sounded, and a choir of immortal voices
sang, "Enter, ye blessed ones! Enter, ye elect!"
They entered, whispering the sign to the guards, who stood with
drawn swords, and passed on to the throne upon which stood a couch,
surrounded with blooming flowers and covered with a cloud of silvery
gauze. They soon discovered a secret something was hidden under the
cloud, though they knew not whether it were child, woman, or man.
They knelt upon the lower step of the throne, with folded hands and
bowed heads, praying in a low voice. A solemn stillness reigned, the
prayers died away on the lips, and the hearts scarcely beat for
anxiety and expectation. Suddenly a voice, which seemed to come from
the silver cloud, so distant and lofty, and rolling like majestic
thunder, cried, "He comes, the chosen one! The Great Kophta comes!"
The folding-doors flew open, and the Great Kophta entered.
Wilhelmine recognized in the majestic figure, enveloped in a
flowing, silver-embroidered satin robe, with a band of brilliants
around his brow, the handsome face of Cagliostro, beaming as if in
an ecstasy. He saluted the brothers with a gentle voice, and bade
them approach and touch his hand. As Wilhelmine did so, a thrill ran
through her whole being, and she sank overpowered at his feet. He
bowed and breathed upon her. "You are chosen, ye heavenly brothers,"
he said, in a sweet, melodious voice; "the secrets of heaven and
earth are disclosed to you. I receive you in the Holy Order of the
Favorites of God, which I founded with Enoch and Elias when we dwelt
in the promised land. From them I received the Word of Life, and
they sent me to the ancient sages of Egypt, who revealed to me in
the pyramids the secret sciences which subject the earth and all her
treasures to our command. He who devotes himself to me with fidelity
will receive eternal life and the secret of immortality."
"We believe in thee, blessed one of God," murmured the kneeling
ones; "we know that we receive life and salvation from thee. Bend to
us, and give us of the breath of immortality!"
He bowed and breathed upon them, and they broke forth in words of
thankfulness and delight.
Only Wilhelmine kept silent; she only failed to feel the magical
influence, and he bowed again to her, fixing his great fiery eyes
upon her. "Thou art called, thou art chosen," he said. "Mount to the
tabernacle, and lift the veil."
She did as commanded, and beheld the figure of a wonderful woman
stretched upon the couch as in deep sleep, clothed in transparent
robes. "Lay your hand upon her brow, and direct in your thoughts a
question to the prophetess of the order, and she will answer you!"
Upon the lofty, white brow of the sleeping one, she laid her hand;
immediately a smile flitted over her beautiful face, and she nodded.
"Yes," said she, "you must believe. You dare not doubt. He is the
elect, the holy Magus!" Wilhelmine trembled, for the answer was
suited to the question. "Demand a second question of the
prophetess," commanded Cagliostro. Again she laid her hand upon the
brow of the sleeping one, and again she smiled and nodded with her
beautiful head. "Fear not," she replied; "he will always love you,
and will never reject you, only you must not lead him astray from
the right course--but guide him to the temple of faith and
knowledge. When you cease to do it, you are lost. Shame upon earth
and damnation will be your portion." The answer was exact--for
Wilhelmine had prayed to know if the prince would always love and
never reject her. "Still a third question," cried Cagliostro. In
silence Wilhelmine asked, and the prophetess answered aloud: "You
will be countess, you will become a princess, you will possess
millions, you will have the whole world at your feet, if you call to
your aid the Invisible Fathers, and implore the power and miraculous
blessing of the Great Kophta." Wilhelmine, deeply moved, sank
overpowered upon her knees, and cried aloud: "I call upon the
Invisible Fathers for aid and assistance; I implore the power and
miraculous blessing of the Great Kophta." Suddenly, amid the rolling
of thunder and intense darkness, Wilhelmine felt herself lifted up--
borne away, as loud prayers were uttered around her. Then she felt
herself lowered again and with the freedom of motion. "Fly! fly from
the revenge of the immortals, if you still doubt, still mistrust!"
cried a fearful voice above her. "Behold how the immortals revenge
themselves." Immediately a light began to dawn before her, a form
rose from the darkness like her own. She beheld herself kneeling,
imploring, her face deluged with tears, and before her a tall,
erect, muffled figure, with a glittering sword in his uplifted arm,
which sank gradually lower and lower until it pierced her bosom and
the blood gushed forth. Wilhelmine shrieked and fainted. She
witnessed no more miracles, beard no more prophecies and revelations
which the magi made to the elect. She beheld not the appearance of
the blessed spirits, which at the importunity of the brothers
flitted through the apartment. She heard not Cagliostro take leave
of Baron von Bischofswerder, when all had withdrawn, saying, "I have
now exalted you to be chief director of the holy order. You will at
once receive orders from the Invisible Fathers, announced to you in
writing, and you will follow them faithfully."
"I will follow them faithfully," humbly answered Bischofswerder.
"You will be rewarded by the knowledge of life and of money; you
shall discover the philosopher's stone, and the secret of gold shall
be revealed to you, when you perform what the Invisible Fathers
"I will do every thing," cried Bischofswerder, fervently; "only make
known to me their commands."
"They desire, at the present, that you seek to be the confidant of
the Prince of Prussia. Gain his affection, then govern him, making
yourself indispensable to him. Surround him with servants and
confidants that you can rely upon. Inspire him with devotion to the
holy order. Become, now, the friend of the prince, that you may, one
day, rule the king. You are the chief of the order in Prussia; the
more members you gain the more secrets will be revealed to you. The
holy fathers send me afar, but I shall return: if you have been
active and faithful, I will make known to you a great secret and
bring you the elixir of life."
"When will you return, master?" asked Bisehofswerder,
Cagliostro smiled. "Before the crown prince of Prussia becomes king.
Ask no further. Be faithful!"
THE JESUIT GENERAL
No one remained in the drawing-room but Cagliostro and the beautiful
woman who still lay quietly on the couch, upon the throne.
Cagliostro approached her, and, raising the veil, regarded her a
moment, with an expression of the most passionate tenderness: "We
are alone, Lorenza," said he. She opened her great eyes, and looked
around the dimly-lighted room; then, fixing them upon Cagliostro,
who stood before her in his brilliant costume of magician, she burst
into a merry laugh, so loud and so irresistible, that Cagliostro was
seized involuntarily, and joined her.
"Oh! was it not heavenly, was it not a glorious comedy, and did I
not play divinely, Joseph? Was I not bewitching as the goddess of
"You looked truly like a goddess, Lorenza, and there is nothing more
beautiful than you, in heaven or upon earth. But come, my
enchantress, it is time to break up, as we are to set off early to-
"Have we now much money? Was the tribute richly paid?"
"Yes, we have a hundred louis d'ors and a diamond ring from the
mistress of this house."
"Give it to me," cried Lorenza.
"Not the ring, Lorenza, but the diamond, so soon as I have a false
stone set in the ring--which I must keep as a ring in the chain
which will bind this woman to our cause."
"Was I not astonishingly like her? Was it not almost unmistakable?"
"Yes, wonderfully deceptive. I shuddered myself as I saw the dagger
pointed at your bosom."
"And the blood, how it gushed forth, Joseph!" Lorenza burst into a
merry laugh again, and Cagliostro joined her, but suddenly stopped,
and, listening, turned toward the door, which he had closed after
Bischofswerder departed. It seemed as if he heard a noise--a
peculiar knocking. Four times it was repeated, and Cagliostro waved
his hand to Lorenza not to speak. Again were heard the four peculiar
rhythmical sounds. "Be quiet, for Heaven's sake be quiet, Lorenza!
Let me cover you with the veil; it is a messenger from the
Invisibles." Cagliostro flew to the door, unbolted it, and stood
humbly near the entrance. A masked figure, enveloped in a cloak,
opened it, and entered, rebolting it.
Slowly turning toward Cagliostro, he harshly demanded, "Whose
servant are you?"
"The servant of the Invisible Rulers and Fathers," he humbly
"Who are the Invisible Fathers?"
"The four ambassadors of the great general of the exiles."
"Call him by that name which he bore before a heretic pope in Rome,
a weak empress, a free-thinking emperor in Germany, a lost-in-sin
French emperor, and a heretic Spanish minister, condemned him to
banishment and destruction."
"General of the Jesuits," he answered respectfully, bowing lower.
"Do you know the sign by which he may be recognized?"
"Yes, by a ring with the likeness of the founder of the order, the
holy Ignatius Loyola."
"Then look, and recognize me," cried the mask, extending his hand to
"The General," he murmured, frightened, gazing at the ring upon the
small, white hand of the other. "The holy founder of the order
himself!" He seized his hand and pressed it to his lips, sinking
upon his knees. The mask remained standing before the magician, as
lowly as he might bow himself, who was still arrayed in his
brilliant costume with the band upon his brow sparkling like
With a cold, reserved manner he answered, "I am he, and am come here
to give you my commands by word of mouth."
"Command me; I am thy humble servant, and but a weak tool in thy
"It is my will that you should become a powerful tool in my hands.
Rise, for I will speak to the man who must stand erect in the storm.
Rise!" The proud commander was now an humble, obedient servant. He
rose slowly, standing with bowed head.
"When and where did we last meet?" demanded the mask.
"In 1773, at Rome."
"In the year of curse and blasphemy," said the mask, in a harsh
voice. "The year in which the infamous Pope Clement XVI. condemned
the holy order, and hurled his famous bull, Dominus redemptor
noster. The holy order, condemned and disbanded by his infamous
mouth, were changed into holy martyrs, without country, without
possessions or rights, as persecuted fugitives, wandering around the
world, to the wicked a scorn, to the pious a lamentable example of
virtue and constancy. Exiled and persecuted, you fled to a house of
one of our order, and there we for the first time met. The daughter
of this man was your beloved. Tell me why did you conceal yourself
after flying from Palermo? I will see if the elevated one
ungratefully forgets the days of his degradation."
"They accused me in Palermo of falsifying documents by which
rightful owners were deprived of their lawful possessions. They
threw me into subterranean dungeons, and I was near dying, when the
Invisible Protectors rescued me."
"Was the accusation well founded? Had you committed the crime you
were accused of?"
"Yes," answered Cagliostro, in a low voice, "I was guilty."
"For whom, by whose authority?"
"For the pious fathers, who commanded me, and whose pretensions to
the possessions of the Duc Costa Rica were clearly proved by those
"You then learned the power and the gratitude of our order. From
underground prisons they freed you, and procured a way of escape to
Rome, to find a safe asylum in the house of a believer. But just at
that time condemnation burst upon us, and from a powerful order we
were changed into a persecuted one. The forger Joseph Balsamo sought
the brazier Feliciano, who gave him money, letters of
recommendation, and instructed him how to serve the order, and
procure an agreeable life for himself. Is it not so?"
"It is so," answered Cagliostro, softly. "It was the order of the
General which united you in marriage to your beloved Lorenza
Feliciana, who initiated you in the secret sciences and the secrets
of Nature, that you might employ them for the well-being of
"It is so, master."
"You implored also, as you were about to separate, to see the face
of your benefactor, to engrave it upon your heart. Would you now be
able to recognize it?"
"I could in an instant, among thousands."
The General slowly raised the mask; a pale, emaciated face was
visible, with great black eyes in sunken sockets, thin bloodless
lips, and a high, bony brow. "Do you recognize me?"
"No!" sadly answered Cagliostro, "it is not the same face."
"You see, my son, man changes, but knowledge not. I am another, and
yet the same, for the outward human form is only the vessel of the
eternal band into which everlasting truth and the holy doctrines are
poured. If the vessel breaks, it is replaced by another, and an
inexhaustible spring. Thought and holy knowledge flow into the
renewed vessel. I am a new vessel, but the same spirit which
formerly spoke to you. I know your past life, and for what purpose
you are in the world. As the General then spoke to you, so speak I
now. The unholy have put the holy under a ban--they have persecuted
and condemned us. The Holy Order of the Fathers of Jesus is lifeless
before the world, but not before God. Jesuits do not die, for they
bear eternal life in them, and there will a day come when they will
burst forth from darkness into light. Go, my son, and help prepare
the day, help smooth the way, that we may walk therein. Have you
"I have consecrated my whole life to it, your eminence. I have
wandered around the world, and everywhere striven to disseminate the
doctrine of the Invisible Fathers, and win disciples and adherents
to the order. The Brothers of the Egyptian Masons, the Brothers of
the Rosicrucians, are the disciples which I have won, and you know
well there are many mighty and illustrious men among them."
"I know it, and I am satisfied you are an active and useful tool.
This I came to tell you, that I might stimulate and advise you.
Great deeds you shall perform, great achievements the holy Ignatius
Loyola announces by my mouth. The world lies in sin, and the devil
strides victorious over it, since the holy order has been proscribed
and persecuted by the wicked. The devil is arrogant progress and
boasting reason. They who listen to him think themselves wise when
they are fools, and speak of their enlightenment while they still
wander in the dark. To combat this reason, to oppose this
intelligence, is the task of our order, which will never die. For
God Sent it forth to the world to fight the devil of progress, who
is the ruler of darkness. I have observed you, I have followed you,
and I am satisfied. But I await still greater things from you."
"What shall it be? Speak, O master; command, and I obey!"
"You shall strive throughout Europe for the restitution of the holy
order. You shall subject to it all minds; make the rich, the
powerful, the eminent and great, serviceable to it. Into the Orders
of the Rosicrucians and Egyptian Masons you shall gather all the
stray and isolated sheep into a flock, to await with longing the
coming of the shepherd, and prepare a place for him. To the holy
Church you shall consecrate the band of brothers, the only blessed
Church, which is the lofty abode of the father of our order. To us
belongs the world; you shall assist to reconquer it. Unbelievers
shall be fought with every weapon. Every deception, slander,
persecution, and murder, are holy if used for the benefit of the
holy order. You shall shrink from nothing which is useful and
beneficial for the sublime goal. The murder of a prince is no sin,
but a just punishment, when it is necessary to remove a mighty
enemy. If you create revolutions, cause nations to tear each other
to pieces in grim civil war, these revolutions will be sanctified,
the civil wars blessed, if they serve to strengthen the power of our
order, and gain victory at last against the opponents. Only through
our order can happiness reenter the world, and mankind be rescued.
If the Holy Fathers do not sit in the council of princes, if they
are not the conscience of the powerful, and steer the machine of
state, the world goes to destruction, and mankind is lost. You shall
help, my son, to turn aside the evil, and prepare happiness for
earth. You have already done much, but much more is required. Go and
work miracles; belief in them sanctifies the mind. Our fathers will
sustain you everywhere, for you well know they are always present,
though it is imagined they are not. The infamous Ganganelli has
stripped them of their uniform, but not annihilated them, as we are,
and ever shall be. I have sent out nine thousand brothers in Europe
for the benefit of the order, and you will recognize them by the
watchword. They will serve you as you will serve them. If danger
menaces you, our brothers will know it, and rescue you. You will be
unassailable, so long as you work for the order, and win disciples
for it. Prussia is our important station as you rightly judged, and
I extol you for your foresight. You prepare the future, for here it
will be! When the royal mocker of religion dies, then comes a new
kingdom, and the Rosicrucians will rise to power. Vices as well as
virtues must serve us; therefore Dischofswerder and Wilhelmine Enke
are useful means for holy purposes. That you have recognized it I
praise you. Continue, my son, as you have begun, and you shall
become powerful upon the earth. Not a hair of your head shall be
touched so long as you are faithful to the Invisible Fathers. But so
soon as you turn traitor to the holy cause you are lost, and our
anger will crush you!"
"Never will I turn traitor," cried Cagliostro, holding up his hands
as if taking an oath.
"I hope not. Our enemies shall be your enemies, and our friends your
friends. If one of the brothers orders you in my name, 'Kill this
man or that woman,' so kill them! Swear it!"
Shuddering, Cagliostro repeated, "I swear it!"
"As soon as one of the brothers orders you, in my name, 'Rescue this
man or that woman,' so do every thing; even risk and sacrifice your
life to rescue him."
"I swear it."
"You stand in the holy temple of the order, but also under its
avenging sword. Be mindful of it in all your acts. The world is open
to you, and our influence will be with you everywhere. You shall win
the hearts of the great and the mighty to us, and place the Order of
the Rosicrucians on the steps of the throne. The Great Kophta shall
lead believers to us."
"The Great Kophta will perform all that you command, as he is only
the humble servant of his general," said Cagliostro, kissing the
hand extended to him.
"Do not kiss the hand, it is only that of an inferior mortal: kiss
the ring, for it is the imperishable sign of our immortal saint."
"I kiss the ring of the immortal Ignatius Loyola, and swear eternal
fidelity, constant obedience, and firm love, until death."
"Rise! for the time has come for us to separate. I have provided for
the journeys the necessary means. Here are letters of recommendation
to Warsaw and Mittau, others to Paris and London; but, the most
important of all, letters of credit upon well-known bankers to the
value of five hundred thousand dollars--all valid, though delivered
"A half million!" cried Cagliostro, almost terrified.
"Does a half million astonish you?" repeated the General, and his
gray, fleshless face was distorted into a smile. "The Great Kophta
must travel and live like a prince, that he may dazzle the eyes of
the brothers, and subjugate the minds of the powerful. We give you
the money, but remember you are always under the watchful eye of the
order, and there is no spot on earth where you can hide yourself
from our vengeance with the trust confided in you. You shall spend
it to buy souls and win thrones, for hearts and consciences are
sold; money will buy every thing. Take your letters of credit; you
shall live as a great lord, and the Great Kophta shall be equal with
He handed Cagliostro five sealed letters, saying: "They are made out
for five years; only one for each year, as the number indicates.
Number one is for this year, and number five is only valid at the
expiration of five years. The order is mindful of your security, and
thus five years of your life are freed from earthly care. You shall
work in spirit, and you shall enchant the world, that it may be
saved through the only saving Church, and the Holy Order."
He bowed a farewell, making the sign of the cross upon Cagliostro,
and bent his steps to the throne, raising the veil which enveloped
Lorenza. She looked up to him with glowing cheeks and sparkling
eyes, smiling. By this she would express her thanks for the princely
gift to her husband, and swear to the General her delight, her
fidelity, and love. He regarded her as coldly and calmly as a
physician a patient.
"Yes, holy father, I have heard all," she said, with a sweet, flute-
like voice. "My heart is filled with gratitude and emotion."
"Prove it by assisting your husband to attain the goal for which we
send him forth. I have already said that vice must serve virtue,
Lorenza. Beauty is a power, and if it serves holy purposes, so is it
sanctified. Employ your beauty to win adherents to the order, and
extend the power of the Rosicrucians in every land, and among all
"I swear that this shall be my holiest endeavor," cried Lorenza,
The General pressed her back upon the pillow, saying: "Remain, for
there is no one here for you to enchant. I bring you pardon for your
sins, and an indulgence for every sin which you will commit, if you
swear to serve faithfully the holy Church and the pious fathers of
"I swear," solemnly cried Lorenza.
"Here is the letter of indulgence from Pius VI. himself, made out in
your name for you. Take it, and perform your duty." He laid down the
parchment provided with the papal seal upon her shoulder, and
drawing the veil over her made the sign of the cross, saying, "I
bless you, and give you absolution for your sins."
"Bless me also, lord and master," cried Cagliostro, kneeling upon
the lowest step to the throne.
"I bless you in the name of Loyola. Remain upon your knees, and
follow me not." He extended his hands over him, and blessed him,
then slowly withdrew.
The first beams of the morning sun shone through the great window-
panes, lighting up with its golden rays Cagliostro's kneeling form.
He remained with his head bowed until the General had passed out.
"He is gone; Heaven be praised, he is gone!"
"Yes, he is gone," repeated Lorenza, springing from the couch. "Is
it true, has he given you half a million?"
Cagliostro held up with triumphant air the letters. "See, these
addresses are upon the first banking-houses in Rome, Paris, London,
"Do you believe that they are genuine?"
"I am convinced of it."
"Then we have attained our aim; we are rich and powerful."
"No," answered Cagliostro, mournfully, "we are poorer than ever.
This money makes us slaves, makes us dependent tools. Did you not
hear him say, 'You are admitted into the Temple, but the avenging
sword of the order everywhere hangs over you.'"
A PENSIONED GENERAL.
"Wife," cried the General von Werrig, limping around the room,
leaning upon his crutch, "here is the answer from our most gracious
lord and king. The courier arrived to-day from the war department,
and sent it to me by an express."
"What is the king's answer?" asked the general's wife, a pale, gaunt
woman, with a pock-marked face, harsh, severe features, dull gray
eyes, which never beamed with emotion, and thin, bloodless lips,
upon which a smile never played. "What is the king's answer?" she
repeated, in a rough voice, as her husband, puffing and blowing from
the effort of walking, sank down upon a chair, and dried his fat,
ruby face with a red cotton pocket-handkerchief.
"I have not read it," panted the old man. "I thought I would leave
the honor to you, as you, my very learned wife, wrote the letter to
His wife was not in the least astonished at this thoughtful conduct
of her husband. She impetuously seized the sealed document, and,
retiring to the window-niche, slowly unfolded it, whilst the old
general fixed his little gray eyes upon her emotionless face. His
own was bloated and red, expressing the greatest anxiety and
expectation. Perfect stillness reigned for some minutes, only the
regular strokes of the pendulum were heard from the clock on the
wall; and, as the hands pointed to the expiration of the hour, a
cuckoo sprang out of the tree painted over the dial, and eleven
times her hoarse, croaking voice was heard.
"It gets every day more out of tune," growled the general, as he
looked up to the old, yellow dial, and ran his eye over the cords
which supported the weights. Then glancing around the room, he saw
everywhere age, decay, and indigence. There was an old divan, with a
patched, faded covering of silk, and a grandfather's arm-chair near
it, the cushion of which the general knew, by the long years of
experience, to be hard as a stone. A round table stood near the
divan, covered with a shabby woollen cover, to hide the much-
thumbed, dull polish. A few cane-chairs against the wall, an old
black-oak wardrobe near the door, and the sewing-table of Madame von
Werrig in the window-niche, completed the furniture of the room. At
the window hung faded woollen curtains, and on the green painted
walls some pictures and portraits, conspicuous among them a
beautiful portrait of the king, painted on copper, which represented
Frederick in his youthful beauty. It was a morose, sullen-looking
room, arranged most certainly by its feminine occupant, and
harmonized exactly with her fretful face and angular figure, void of
charms. At last the general broke the silence with submissive voice:
"I pray you, Clotilda, tell me what the king wrote."
She folded the paper, joy beaming in her eyes. "Granted! every thing
The general jumped up to embrace his wife with youthful activity, in
spite of the gout. "You are a capital wife," he cried, at the same
time giving her a loud, smacking kiss upon her cold, gray cheek. "It
was the brightest, cleverest act of my life marrying you, Clotilda."
"I might well say the reverse, Emerentius," she replied,
complainingly. "It surely was not sensible for me, a young lady from
such a genteel family, and so spoiled, to marry an officer whom the
king ennobled upon the battle-field, and who possessed nothing but
his captain's pay--a fickle man, and a gambler, too."
"Yes, Clotilda, love usurped reason," soothingly replied the
general; "love is your excuse."
"Nonsense!" cried Madame von Werrig. "Love is never an excuse; it is
"Well, let us suppose, then, that you did not marry for love, only
from pure reason, because you found that it was quite time to
espouse some one; and that, in spite of your many ancestors and
genteel family, no other chance was offered you, unfortunately no
one but this captain, whom the king ennobled upon the battle-field
of Leuthen on account of his bravery, and who was a very handsome,
agreeable officer, expecting still further promotion. And you were
not deceived. I was major, when the Hubertsburger treaty put an end
to a gay war-life. You will remember I was advanced during peace;
his majesty did not forget that I cut a way for him through the
enemy, and he made me lieutenant-colonel and colonel, when I was
obliged to resign on account of this infamous gout, and then I
received the title of general."
"Without 'excellency,'" replied his wife, dryly. "I have not even
this pleasure to be called 'excellency.' It would have been a slight
compensation for my sad, miserable existence, and vexed many of the
female friends of my youth if they had been obliged to call me
'excellency.' But my marriage brought me only cares, not even a
"Do not forget a lovely daughter, Clotilda. Our Marie is beautiful,
wise, and good, and through her you will yet have tranquil
happiness. For you say the king has granted all we wish."
"Every thing!" repeated the wife, with emphasis. "We have at last
finished with want and care, and can count upon an independent,
quiet old age, for God has been gracious, and forced you, from the
gout, to give up gambling, and we are freed from the misery which
has so often threatened us from your unhappy passion."
"At the beginning, I played from passion; afterward, I only played
to win back what I had lost."
"And in that manner played away all we possessed, and played upon
your word of honor, so that for years the half of our pension went
to pay your gambling-debts. Heaven be thanked, the king did not know
it, or we would have experienced still worse!"
"I pray you, beloved Clotilda, do not fret yourself needlessly about
the past; it is all over, and, as you say, I am unfortunately a
prisoner in the house from the gout, which shields me from the
"I did not say unfortunately; I said 'Heaven be praised, the gout
had put an end to your fickle life.'"
"Then, thank Heaven, my dear; we will not quarrel about it. It is
past, and, as the king has granted all, we shall have a pleasant
"We will soon receive from our son-in-law a yearly pension, which
will be paid to me, and I shall spend it."
The general sighed. "In that case I fear that I shall not get much
"At any rate, more than I have ever received from your pension."
"There is but one thing wanting," replied the general, evasively,
Madame von Werrig gave a short, gruff laugh, which did not in the
least brighten her sullen face. "We will not ask her consent, but
The general remarked, timidly, shrugging his shoulders, "Marie had a
very decided character, and--"
"What do you hesitate to speak out for? What--and--"
"I think she still loves the Conrector Moritz."
A second laugh, somewhat menacing, sounded like a challenge. "The
schoolmaster!" she cried, contemptuously.
"Let her dare to tell me again she loves the schoolmaster; she the
daughter of a general, and a native-born countess of the empire!"
"My dear, it was your fault--the only fault you ever committed,
perhaps. How could you let such a young, handsome, and agreeable man
come to the house as teacher to our daughter?"
"How could I suppose my daughter was so degenerated as to love a
common schoolmaster, and wish to marry him?"
"It is truly unheard of, and it would make any one angry, my dear
wife, for she insists upon loving him."
"She will not insist, she will do what she is commanded to do--my
word for it! But why talk about it? It is better to decide the
matter at once."
So Frau von Werrig rose with a determined manner, and rang the small
brass bell which was upon the sofa-table. But a few seconds elapsed
before a little, crooked servant appeared at the side-door, with her
dirty apron put aside by tucking the corner in her belt. "Go to my
daughter, and tell her to come down immediately!"
The servant, instead of hastening to obey the order, remained
standing upon the threshold. "I dare not go," said she, in a hoarse,
croaking voice. "Fraulein told me not to disturb her to-day, for she
has still two bouquets of flowers to arrange, and two lessons to
give, and she is so busy that she is not at home to visitors. She
torments herself from morning till night."
"I order you to tell Fraulein to come down at once; we have
something important to tell her. No contradiction! go, Trude!"
The servant understood the cold, commanding tone of the mother, and
dared not disobey.
"It is nothing good that they have to tell her," grumbled Trude, as
she hurried up the stairs which led from the first story into the
little, low room in the attic, under the sloping roof. Here and
there a few tiles could be lifted, which lighted the garret
sufficiently to show the door at the end. "May I come in, my dear
Fraulein? it is Trude."
"The door is open," cried a sweet voice, and Trude entered. It is a
most charming little room, just that of a young girl. The bed has a
snow-white covering, and white curtains, suspended from a hook in
the wall around it. The same curtains at the low gable-windows,
whose depth, so to speak, made a light anteroom to the real gloomy
one in the background. In this little anteroom the young girl had
placed all that was necessary for her pleasure and use. There were
the most beautiful, sweet-scented flowers upon the window-stool; in
a pretty metal cage was a light-colored canary. There were also
pretty engravings, and upon the table stood a vase filled with
superb artificial flowers, and before it sat the possessor of this
room, the daughter of General and Frau von Werrig, surrounded with
her work-tools, paper, and colored materials--a young girl, scarcely
twenty, of a proud, dignified appearance, but simply and gracefully
dressed. According to the fashion of the day, her hair was slightly
powdered, and raised high above her broad, clear brow with a blue
rosette, and ends at the side. The nobly-formed and beautiful face
was slightly flushed, and around the month was an expression of
courageous energy. As old Trude entered, the young girl raised her
eyes from the rose-bud which she was just finishing, and looked at
her. What beautiful black eyes they were as they sparkled underneath
the delicately-arched, black eyebrows!
"Now, old one," said she, kindly, "what do you wish? Did you forget
that I wanted to work undisturbed to-day?"
"Didn't forget it, my Fraulein, but--"
"But you have forgotten that up here, in my attic-room, I am not
your Fraulein, but your Marie, whom you have taken care of and
watched over when a child, and whose best and truest friend you have
been. Come, give me your hand, and tell me what you have to say."
Old Trude shuffled hurriedly along in her leather slippers. Her old,
homely face looked almost attractive, with its expression of glowing
tenderness, as she regarded the beautiful, smiling face before her,
and laid her hard brown hand in the little white one extended to
her. "Marie," she said, softly and anxiously, "you must go down at
once to your mother and father. They have something very important
to tell you."
"Something very important!" repeated Marie, laying aside her work.
"Do you know what it is?"
"Nothing good, I fear," sighed the old woman. "A soldier has been
here from the war department and brought a letter for the general,
and he told me that it was sent from the king's cabinet at Breslau."
"Oh, Heaven! what does it mean?" cried Marie, frightened, and
springing up. "Something is going to happen, I know. I have noticed
certain expressions which escaped my father; the proud, threatening
manner of my mother; but above all the bold importunity of that man,
whom I despise as one detests vice, stupidity, and ennui. They will
not believe that I hate him, that I rather--"
"Marie, are you not coming?" called the mother, with a commanding
"I must obey," she said, drawing a long breath, and hastening to the
door, followed by Trude, who pulled her back and held her fast upon
the very first step. "You have forbidden me to speak of him, but I
Marie stood as if rooted to the spot, her face flushed, and in
breathless expectation looking back to old Trude.
"Speak, Trude," she softly murmured.
"Marie, I saw him to-day, an hour ago!"
"Where, Trude, where did you see him?"
"Over on the corner of Frederick Street, by the baker's. He stood
waiting for me, as he knows I always go there. He had been there two
hours, and feared that I was not coming."
"What did he say? Quick! what did he say?"
"He said that he was coming to see you to-day at twelve o'clock;
that he would rather die than live in this way."
"To-day? and you have just told me of it!"
"I did not mean to say any thing at all about it; I thought it would
be better, and then you would not have to dissemble. But now, if any
harm comes to you, you know he is coming, and will stand by you!"
"He will stand by me--yes, he will--"
"Marie!" cried her mother, and her dry, gaunt figure appeared at the
foot of the stairs. Marie flew down to the sitting-room of her
parents, following her mother, who took her place in the niche at
the open window without speaking to her.
THE KING'S LETTER.
"Marie," said the general's wife, after seating herself upon the
hard cushion of the divan, near which sat the general in his arm-
chair, busily stroking his painful right leg--"Marie, take a chair,
and sit near us."
Marie noiselessly brought a cane-chair, and seated herself by the
table, opposite her parents.
"We have just received a communication from the king's cabinet,"
said the mother, solemnly. "It is necessary that you should know the
contents, and I will read it aloud to you. I expressly forbid you,
however, to interrupt me while I am reading, in your impetuous
manner, with your remarks, which are always of the most obstinate
and disagreeable kind. You understand, do you, Marie?"
"Perfectly, mother; I will listen without interrupting you,
according to your command."
"This communication is naturally addressed to your father, as I
wrote to the king in his name."
"I did not know that you had written to his majesty at all, dear
The mother cast a furious glance at the gentle, decided face of her
daughter. "You already forget my command and your promise to listen
without interrupting me. I did, indeed, write to his majesty, but it
is not necessary to tell you what I, or rather your father,
solicited, as you will hear it in the answer from our most gracious
king. It runs thus: 'My faithful subject: I have received your
petition, and I was glad to learn by this occasion that you are
well, and that you now lead a steady, reasonable life. Formerly you
gave good cause of complaint; for it is well known to me that you
led a dissolute life, and your family suffered want and misfortune
from your abominable chance-games. You know that I have twice paid
your debts; that at the second time I gave you my royal word of
assurance that I would never pay a groschen for you again. If you
gave yourself up to the vice, and made gambling-debts, I would send
you to the fortress at Spandau, and deprive you of your pension.
Nevertheless you played again, and commenced your vicious life anew.
Notwithstanding which, I did not send you to prison as I threatened,
and as you deserved, because I remembered that you had been a brave
soldier, and did me a good service at the battle of Leuthen. For
this reason I now also grant your request, that, as you have no son,
your name and coat-of-arms may descend to your son-in-law. The name
of Werrig-Leuthen is well worthy to be preserved, and be an example
to succeeding generations. I give my permission for Ludwig
Ebenstreit, banker, to marry your daughter and only child, and--'"
Marie uttered a cry of horror, and sprang from her seat. "Mother!--"
"Be still! I commanded you not to interrupt me, but listen, with
becoming respect, to the end, to the words' of his majesty." And,
with a louder voice, occasionally casting a severe, commanding
glance at her daughter, she read on: "'And call himself in future
Ludwig Werrig yon Leuthen. I wish that he should honor the new name,
and prove himself a true nobleman. Ludwig Ebenstreit must give up,
or sell, without delay, his banking business, as I cannot permit a
nobleman to continue the business of citizen, and remain a merchant.
A nobleman must either be a soldier or a landed proprietor; and if
your future son-in-law will not be either, he can live upon his
income, which must indeed be ample. But I command him to spend it in
the country, not go to foreign countries to spend what he has gained
in the country. If he should do it, it will not be well with him,
and he shall be brought back by force. You may communicate this to
him, and he can judge for himself. I will have the letters of
nobility made out for him, for which he shall pay the sum of one
hundred louis d'ors to the 'Invalids' at Berlin. It depends upon him
whether as a true nobleman he will not give my poor 'Invalids' a
greater sum. The marriage shall not take place until the letters of
nobility have been published in the Berlin journals, for I do not
wish the daughter of a general, and a countess, to marry beneath
her. You can prepare every thing for the wedding, and let them be
married as soon as publication has been made. I will give the bride
a thousand thalers for a dowry, that she may not go to her rich
husband penniless; the money will be paid to your daughter from the
government treasury at her receipt. As ever I remain your well-
disposed king, FREDERICK.'