Part 7 out of 8
heaven of justice as to the rich and noble. This new code of laws
will beam above the crown of gold and of laurels, with the splendor
of the civil crown, whose brilliants are the tears of gratitude of
"May it be so," said Frederick, with earnestness. "Now tell me, do
you know what day of the month it is?"
"Sire, it is the 30th of May.'"
"Yes, you will remember it is the anniversary of Voltaire's death,
and after I have quarrelled for two years with the priests and so-
called holy fathers at Rome, I have gained my point, and the honor
shall be shown him here in Berlin which the priests and friars have
refused to the immortal poet in his own country. To-day, exactly at
the hour which Voltaire died, the mass for the dead will be read in
the Catholic church, to free his immortal soul from purgatory. I
have, indeed, no idea of an immortal soul. If there are any, and if
it has to endure the threefold heat of which Father Tobias, of
Silesia, related to me, I do not believe that the priests, for a few
thalers, can loose the unhappy spirit from the bake-oven. But as
they refuse burial to the spirit of Voltaire, in order to insult him
after death, so must I avail myself of this occasion to offer a last
homage to the great poet, which will take place at four o'clock. Go
to the mass, Herzberg, and tell me to-morrow how it went off--
whether the priests make right pious faces and burn much incense.
Adieu. Au revoir, demain."
As the king dismissed, with a friendly wave of the hand, his
confidential minister, he passed into his cabinet, remaining an hour
with his counsellors. At dinner appeared some of the generals,
weather-worn and bent, with wrinkled faces and dull eyes. Souvenirs
of the glorious years of fame and victory. The king nodded kindly to
them, but during the entire meal, he only let some indifferent
questions fall from his lips, which were devotedly and tediously
answered by some one of the old generals. As their dry, peevish
voices resounded through the high, vaulted room, it seemed to
reawaken in Frederick's heart the souvenirs of memory and become the
echo of vanished days. He gazed up at the little Cupids, in the
varied play of bright colors, looking down from the clouds, and the
goddesses trumpeting through their long tubes the fame of the
immortal, the same as formerly, when they smiled from the clouds
upon the beaming face of the young king, dining in the distinguished
circle of his friends Voltaire, D'Argens, Algarotti, La Melbrie, and
The Cupids were fresh as ever, and the goddesses had not removed the
trumpets from their lips. But where were the of the merry round-
table? Returned to dust. The jests and poesy have died away--all
have sunken to decay and darkness. The king silently raised his
glass of Tokay, gazing up to the clouds and Cupids, draining it
slowly in sacrifice for the dead. Then with a vehement, contemptuous
movement, he threw the glass over his shoulder, shivering it into a
thousand pieces. The old generals, after dessert, had gently sunk
into their afternoon nap, and now started, frightened, looking
wildly around, as if they expected the enemy were approaching.
Alkmene crept from under the king's chair muffing with her long,
delicate nose, the glistening pieces of glass, and the footman bent
himself to carefully pick them up.
The king rose silently, saluting the old generals, pointing with his
staff to the large folding-doors which led to the garden.
The footmen hastened forward to open them, and stand in stiff,
military order upon each side. Frederick walked slowly out, mounting
the two steps which led to the upper terrace, signing to the
attendants to close the doors.
He was alone. Only Windspiel was there to spring about joyfully,
barking, and turning to meet him, who wandered on the border of the
terrace, where he had formerly walked with his friends. Now he
stopped to gaze up the broad, deserted steps which led from terrace
to terrace, as if he could re-people them with the well-known forms,
and could see them approach and greet him with the look of endless
love and constancy. Then he raised his eyes to heaven, as if to seek
there those he in vain sought upon earth.
"Do you not see me, my friends?" he asked, in a gentle but sad
voice. "Do you not look down wonderingly where you saw a cheerful,
smiling king, upon the now bent, shrunken old man, cold and
phlegmatic, who seldom speaks, and then causes every one to yawn?
Oh, where have you fled, beautiful spring-time of life--wherein once
we used to enliven our conversations with the wit of the Athenians,
and the jest fluttered upon our lips as we glided through life in
the bold enjoyment of youth? Banished is the dance, and I creep
about, leaning upon my staff, enfeebled in body, and with saddened
heart! Oh, awful change, unhappy old age! What does it aid me that I
am a king? I have won many a battle, but now I am vanquished by age
and death and am alone!" [Footnote: The king's words.--See
"Posthumous Works," vol. x., p. 100.]
A slight breeze rustled through the trees, fanning, caressingly, the
cheeks of the king. The perfume of sweet flowers rose from the
terrace, and below rushed the cascade. The marble groups around the
fountain glistened in the golden rays of the sun, and in the dark
foliage fluttered and sang the merry birds of summer.
Suddenly the wind wafted from the church at Potsdam the clear tones
of a bell, announcing to the king the hour of four, the death of
The king walked along to the rose-arbor, to the temple of
friendship, where the bust of his sister Frederika was placed. He
seated himself near the entrance, listening to the ringing voice of
the bell, and recalling that the death-mass had now commenced in
The service sacred to memory! The prayer for the immortal soul! As
the lonely king sat there, calm and bowed down, a solemn prayer and
holy mass rose from his own soul. He bowed lower his head, and,
without realizing it himself, traced letters in the sand at his
feet, with no witness but the blue heavens above him, and Windspiel
who curiously eyed the lines. Thinking of the prayer for Voltaire's
undying soul, the king had written the word of profoundest mystery
and revelation, of hope and prophecy--" Immortality."
The wind gently rustled in the trees, wafting the perfume of
flowers. Sweet stillness reigned around, and lowly sang the birds as
if not to waken the king, who slept by the marble form of his
beloved sister--Windspiel upon his knees, and in the sand at his
feet the word traced by his own hand, "Immortality."
Wilhelmine Enke was still living at her villa at Charlottenburg. She
was, as formerly, the "unmarried" daughter of the hautboy-player,
the favorite and friend of the crown prince; the same as two years
previous, when he presented her before the Bavarian campaign, with
this house and There was no change in her outward circumstances; her
life passed regularly and calmly. The once fresh and beautiful cheek
had lost somewhat of its youthful, roseate hue, and the smile of the
ruby lips was less haughty, and the warmth of those brilliant eyes
was subdued. This was the only perceptible difference wrought by the
little vexations and troubles incident to her position. She had
found some bitter drops in the golden goblet which the prince in his
love pressed to her lips--drops which were uncongenial to lips
accustomed to the sweets of life.
To-day she had awaited him at dinner, and had just received a very
friendly but laconic letter, excusing himself until the following
morning. This was an unpalatable drop. Wilhlemine paced back and
forth the solitary, gloomy path, at the foot of the garden, re-
reading this letter, and examining every word to search out its
"They have brought this about," she murmured, tearing the letter
into little pieces, which lighted upon the shrubbery like
butterflies. "Yes, it is their work. They have sought by all
possible means to draw him into their power, and away from me. And
they will succeed, as there are two of them, and the princess
sustains them; and I am alone, unsupported. I am entirely alone--
"If you are alone, then, it is surely your own fault," said an
earnest, solemn voice, and at the same instant a tall form
approached from the shrubbery which bordered the side of the garden.
"Cagliostro!" shrieked Wilhelmine, shrinking terrified away. "Oh,
mercy upon me, it is Cagliostro!"
"Why are you so frightened, my daughter?" he asked, gently. "Why do
you withdraw from me, and cast down your eyes?"
"I thought you were in Courland," she stammered, confused.
"And whilst you thought me afar, you forgot your sacred oath and
holy duty," he replied, in a harsh, severe tone. "Oh my daughter,
the Invisibles weep and lament bitterly over you."
"I am curious to see these tears," said Wilhelmine, who had now
recovered her self-composure. "Do you think, Herr Magus, any of them
could be found in the eyes of Colonel Bischofswerder and his
intimate friend Woellner? Do you pretend that they also weep over
"They do not belong to the Invisibles, but the Visibles. But their
souls are true and faithful, and would have to mourn over the
unhappy one who could forget her vows."
"Then allow me to say that I abjure these tears, and laugh at the
idea that these hypocrites and necromancers weep over me."
"My daughter, what words are these, and how strangely altered you
are! I have come from the far north, and but just alighted from the
travelling-carriage. I came at once to see you, and hoped to be
greeted joyfully with a kiss of love, and what do I hear instead?
Harsh words filled with scorn and mockery, and disobedience against
the Invisible Fathers, to whom you have sworn fidelity and
"You have forced me to it!" she cried, impetuously. "In my own house
you came upon me and compelled me to take part in your mystic
"If one loves humanity, he must insist upon its accepting
happiness," said Cagliostro, solemnly. "We recognized in you one of
the elect, one of the great souls which are worthy to see the light,
and sun themselves in the rays of knowledge. Therefore we accepted
you among the spirits of the alliance, and--"
"And made great promises, of which not one has been fulfilled. Where
is the title of countess, the influence, position, honor, and
dignity, which you prophesied to me?"
"Where are the deeds you promised to perform, the witnesses of your
fidelity and devotion?" he thunderingly demanded. "You have dared to
rebel against the holy alliance! Your short-sighted spirit presumes
to mock those eyes which perceive that you are straying away!
Beware--Wilhemine, beware! I came to-day to warn you, when I return
it will be to punish you. Turn, oh turn while there is yet time!
Submit your will to the Fathers, as you have sworn to do! The
promised reward will not fail, and Wilhelmine Enke will become a
countess, a princess, and the most distinguished and powerful will
bow before her. The Fathers demand of you repentance, and
renunciation of the worst enemies of the Rosicrucians. Members, and
even chiefs and pioneers of the Illuminati and Freemasons are
welcomed at your house."
"Why should they not be?" asked she, smiling. "They are happy,
cheerful spirits, void of mysteries, and do not torture people with
mysticisms. They have but one aim, a great and glorious one, to free
the mind from superstition and hypocrisy. They encounter with open
countenance the false devotees who would force men into spiritual
servitude, that they may become the slaves of their will. You call
them 'Illuminati,' while they have undertaken to illuminate the
minds with the beams of knowledge which the Rosicrucians obscure in
a mystical fog."
"Unhappy one, do you dare to say that to me?" cried Cagliostro,
"Yes," she responded, keeping her large, brown eyes firmly fixed
upon Cagliostro's angry face. "That I dare to repeat to you, and I
would also remark that we are not in the mystical assembly of the
Rosicrucians, and your familiar 'Du' is out of place. I belong to
the Illuminati, and mingle with the freethinkers. They have not,
indeed, promised me titles, honors, or dignities, but they have
amused me, have driven ennui from the house, and instead of
mysticisms, brought me poesy, and instead of the invisible holy
church, the Greek temple. It is possible my life may not be a godly
one, but it is as happy as the gods, and that is something in this
"I regard you with astonishment," said Cagliostro, "for I recognize
in your countenance that the devil has won you over to his power,
and in you he speaks with the bold insolence of the sinful. Subdue,
unhappy child, your rash speech, that the Fathers may not hear of
it, and crush you in their wrath."
"I do not fear their thunderbolts, permit me to tell you. We are in
Prussia; the great king watches over all his subjects; neither the
Romish Church nor the Rosicrucians can obscure the light of
knowledge. He will not suffer a ghost, sneaking in the dark, to
exercise power here, and he will not refuse the protection to me
which is accorded to the least of his subjects. I do not fear you,
and I will tell you the truth entire, I believe you to be a
hypocrite and a charlatan, who--"
"Miserable one!" interrupted Cagliostro, as he furiously rushed to
her, seizing her by the arm--"cease, unhappy one, or your life is
forfeited to the invisible avengers!"
Wilhelmine shook her head, and encountered his flaming eyes with a
proud glance. "I repeat your own words--cease, or your life will be
forfeited! Perhaps you think I do not know what happened to you in
Mittau, where you were recognized as a charlatan, who fooled the
poor creatures into the belief of his miraculous acts, which
consisted in lightening their purses to the benefit of his own. You
were obliged to flee from MitLau in the night, to save yourself,
your treasures, and wonderful man-traps, and the beautiful Lorenza
Feliciana. Beware! The Empress of Russia had a certain Joseph
Balsamo pursued, who had practised great deception, and people
pretend that he resembles Count Cagliostro. The Empress Catherine is
a good friend and ally of the King of Prussia, and if the happy idea
should occur to me to propose seeking the necromancer here, the
Great Kophta might come a miserable end."
"On the contrary, it would only be a welcome occasion for the Great
Kophta to reveal himself, and hurl his despicable, malicious enemy
into the dust at his feet," replied Cagliostro, calmly. "Try it, you
faithless, fallen daughter of the Invisibles--try to unloose the
pack of my enemies, to recognize that all their yelling and barking
does not trouble the noble stag to whom God has given the whole
world for His forestward that He should rule therein. I have
listened to you unto the end, and I regard your invectives and
accusations as not worthy of a reply or justification, and I laugh
at your menaces. But I warn you, Wilhelmine Enke, defy not the
Invisibles, and offend not the Holy Fathers, by your continued
resistance. Turn, misguided child of sin--turn while there is yet
time! In their name I offer you a last chance, their forbearance is
without bounds, and their mercy long enduring."
"I neither desire your forbearance nor mercy," cried she, proudly.
"I will have no companionship with my enemies, and the Rosicrucians
are such, for Bischofswerder and Woellner both hate me, and would
put me aside. There is no reconciliation where only hostility is
"The heavenly listen not to the voices of the earthly, and prove
themselves, the most noble when the least deserved. They will
protect and watch over you, even against your will, and never will
they be deaf to your cry for aid in the hour of Here is a token of
their grace toward you. Take this ring--do you recognize it?"
Wilhelmine regarded it attentively. "This is the ring which I gave
at the tribute-altar instead of gold, which you desired."
"The Invisibles sent it to you to-day as the precious pledge of
their favor. You shall keep it, and wear it as a token of their
heavenly forbearance, and when you turn back from the erroneous ways
into which the Illuminati have led you, send it to the circle of
Berlin directors, either Bischofswerder or Wollner, and they will
come to your rescue. Farewell! I forgive you all your wicked words,
which fall like spent arrows from the helmet of my righteousness."
Cagliostro turned proudly away, and disappeared in the bushes.
Wilhelmine placed the ring upon her finger, turning it to watch the
play of colors. "I do not know why," said she, "but it has not the
same brilliancy as formerly. I will take it to the jeweller Wagner,
and ask him if it is the same stone. Perhaps the Great Kophta has
tried some of his miracles upon it. I will at once send the servant
to Minister von Herzberg, and inform him that Cagliostro is here. He
has promised me protection in the name of the king, and I feel that
I shall now have need of it."
She hurried to the house, and devoted herself to the writing of the
said letter--a task she was but little accustomed to. She had
learned to speak French very prettily, and to express herself
skilfully and wittily in German, and under her royal master, the
crown prince Frederick William, gained much valuable scientific
knowledge. But to write fluently was quite another thing, and it was
a long time before the epistle was finished. However, happily
accomplished, she commanded the servant to take it to Berlin.
He bowed with silent submission; but once having quitted the house,
a cunning smile was visible upon his face, and he availed himself of
a stage-coach which was going in the same direction. "I can afford
this expense," said he, arranging himself comfortably. "When I have
money in my pocket why should I walk the long distance? I was very
clever to tell Bischofswerder that the Minister von Herzberg had
secretly visited my mistress, and it was equally clever of him to
give me a louis d'or, and promise me the same every time that I
should bring him important news. Indeed, I think to-day he may well
thank me, and I believe, if I often inform him, he will advance me a
degree, and at last I shall be admitted to the circle of the elect,
while I now belong to the outside circle, who know nothing and hope
While Wilhelmine's servant gave himself up to his hopes, slowly down
the broad avenue, an elegant four-in-hand carriage rolled past him,
and stopped at the house where lived Colonel Bischofswerder, long
before he had reached the Brandenburg Gate. A gentleman sprang out,
hastening past the footman into the house, where a servant evidently
awaited his arrival, and preceded him with devout mien, throwing
open the wide folding-doors and announcing, in a solemn voice--" His
excellency, Count Cagliostro." He then respectfully withdrew, bowing
profoundly as the count passed, and closed quickly and noiselessly
the doors behind him.
The two gentlemen within hastened to meet the count, who nodded
smilingly, and extended to them with a gracious condescension his
white hand sparkling with diamonds. "My dear brothers," said he,
"you have unfortunately announced me the truth--Wilhelmine Enke is
faithless--is an apostate."
"A courtesan, ensnared by the devil of unchastity," murmured the
elder of the two--a man of long, lank figure, pale, pock-marked
face, the broad high forehead shaded with but little hair, the
watery blue eyes turned upward, as if in pious ecstasy, and the
large, bony hands either folded as if in prayer, or as if in quiet
contemplation, twirling his thumbs around each other. "I have always
said so," said he, with a long-drawn sigh; "she is a temptress, whom
Satan, in bodily repetition of himself, has placed by the prince's
side, and his salvation cannot be counted upon until this person is
"And you, my beloved brother, think otherwise--do you not?" asked
"Yes," answered Bischofswerder, "you know well, sublime master and
ruler, how much I esteem and love the worthy and honorable Wollner,
and how much weight his opinion has with me. In all my reports to
the Invisible Fathers I have always particularly mentioned him, and
it was upon my wish and proposal that they appointed him director of
one of the three Berlin circles. He is occupied near me in the
confederacy, and is also in the service of the crown prince, for it
was by my especial, earnest recommendation that his highness called
him to Berlin from the exchequer of Prince Henry at Rheinsberg, that
he might give him lectures in politics and other branches of
administration, I do not say it to boast, although I have always
regarded it as an honor to have opened the way to a distinguished
man, to have his great talents properly valued. I only say it to
prove my high appreciation of dear brother Wollner, and to defend
myself, master, in your eyes, that I differ in opinion from him, and
do not advise a violent removal of this person, to whom the prince
is more attached than he himself knows of."
"It is not necessary to excuse yourself to me, my son," said
Cagliostro, pompously. "The eyes which the Invisibles have lighted
up with a beam of revelation, see into the depths of things, and
reveal the most hidden. I have glanced into your hearts, and I will
tell you that which I have therein read. You, Hans Rudolph von
Bischofswerder, belong to the world; its joys and sorrows agitate
you. You have a longing for science and the knowledge of the
Invisibles, and you would also enjoy the Visibles, and take part in
the pleasures of life. What you would allow yourself, that you would
also grant to your royal master, whose friend and leader you are,
and who, one day, will be the future king and ruler of the visible
world, and a faithful son and servant of the Invisibles. Is it not
"It is so," answered Bischofswerder, who, with wondering
astonishment, drank in every word that fell from Cagliostro's lips
as a revelation. "You have read the inmost thoughts of my heart, and
what I scarcely suspected myself, you are knowing of, lord and
"Toil and strive, my son, and you shall rise to the highest grade,
in which presentiment and recognition, thinking and knowing, are
He extended to Bischofswerder his hand, who fervently pressed it to
his lips; then turned to Wollner, who, with upturned gaze and folded
hands, might have been praying, for his thumbs were not turning
around, but rested, quietly crossed.
"You, my son and brother," continued Cagliostro, with his lofty,
haughty reserve, "your thoughts are diverted from earth, and the
joys of this world have no charm for you!" "I have laid the oath of
virtue and chastity upon the altar of the Invisibles," replied
Wollner, with a severe tone of voice. "I have given myself to a
pious life of abstinence, and sworn to employ every means to lead
those that I can attain to upon the narrow path which leads to the
paradise of science, of knowledge, and heavenly joys. How could I
forget my oath, which is to win the prince, who is to become a light
and shield in the holy order, from tbe broad course of vice, to the
pathway of the blest? How can I bear to see him lost in sin who is
elected to virtue, and who longs for the light of knowledge?"
"But, in order to bear the light in its brightness, he must have
passed through the darkness and gloom of sin," said Cagliostro.
"After the days of error follow those of knowledge. This is what
causes the mildness of our brother Theophilus, whom the earthly
world calls Bischofswerder, whilst you, brother Chrysophorus, demand
from the prince the severest virtue, which is the first great vow of
the brothers advancing in the holy order of the Rosicrucians. You
are both wrong and both right. It is well to be lenient as brother
Theophilus, but that must have its limit, and the night wanderer who
stands upon the brink of a precipice must be awakened, but not with
violent words, or calling loudly his name, because a sudden
awakening would only hasten his fall. Slowly and carefully must he
be roused; as one would by degrees accustom the invalid eyes to the
mid-day, so must the light of virtue and knowledge dawn upon the
eyes, ill from vice, with prudent foresight. Hear my proposal.
Summon the three circles of the brothers of the highest degree to a
sitting to-night. You have told me that the prince desires to belong
to the seeing ones, and be in communion with the spiritual world.
This night his wish shall be fulfilled, to see the spirits, and a
new future shall rise before him. My time is limited; let us arrange
every thing, for the voices of the Invisibles already call me home."
At this instant a modest knocking was heard at the door, which was
repeated at different intervals.
"It is my servant," said Bischofswerder, "and he has undoubtedly an
important communication for me."
He opened the door, speaking with the person outside in a low tone,
and returned with a sealed note.
Cagliostro, apparently, was lest in deep thought and indifferent to
the conversation without, directing quietly and calmly, in the mean
time, a few questions to Wollner, and, as it seemed, listening only
to his answers. Yet as Bischofswerder approached him, saying, "it
is, indeed, important news; I have proof in hand that--" he
interrupted him with a commanding motion, and finished the broken
sentence: "--that Wilhelmine Enke is a powerful adversary, having
connection with the court, as this letter from her is directed to
Minister Herzberg. Is it not this that you would say, Theophilus?"
Astonished, he replied in the affirmative, begging his master to
"It is unnecessary," replied Cagliostro, waving back the letter; "to
the seeing eyes every thing is revealed. This person announces to
Minister von Herzberg that the deceiver and necromancer, Cagliostro,
in his flight from Mittau, has visited her to menace her. She begs
protection for herself and an arrest for me; that I am known as
Count Julien, at the hotel King of Portugal, at Berlin, and that
haste is necessary."
Both gentlemen glanced astonished and enraptured, first at the
sealed epistle and then at the great Magus.
"Open the letter and convince yourselves of the contents!" commanded
"It is unnecessary," cried Bischofswerder, with enthusiasm. "We
recognize in you truth and knowledge; you have revealed to us the
"Nay, there is a lingering doubt in the mind of brother
Chrysophorus!" said Cagliostro, regarding Woellner fixedly, who
stood with downcast eyes before him.
"My ruler and master," stammered Woellner, in confusion, "I dare not
"You would only be convinced, open then the letter," interrupted
With a sharp knife, Bischofswerder cut the end of the envelope, and
handed the letter to him.
"Give it to Chrysophorus," commanded the count. "He shall read it,
and may the incredulous become a believer!"
Woellner perused the epistle with a slightly tremulous voice,
stopping now and then, at an illegible word, which his master
quickly supplied to him, finishing the sentence as correctly as if
he held the writing in his hand.
The contents were exactly as Cagliostro had given them, and the
farther Wollner read, the more his voice quivered and
Bischofswerder's enthusiasm increased.
As the reading was finished, the former sank, with uplifted hands,
before his master, as if imploring mercy from a mighty, crushing
"I have been unbelieving as Tobias, doubting as Paul; have mercy on
me, O master! for in this hour the divine light of belief and
knowledge banishes doubt from my sinful heart. I acknowledge thy
supernatural power and heavenly wisdom! My whole being bows in
humility before you and your sublimity, and henceforth I will only
be your humble scholar and servant, the tool of your will. Forgive
me, all-knowing one, if my heart doubted. Breathe upon me the breath
of knowledge, and lay thy august right hand upon my head, and
penetrate me with thy heavenly power."
"Have mercy upon me also," cried Bischofswerder, as he kneeled
beside Woellner, and, like him, raised his hands imploringly to
Cagliostro. "Breathe upon me the breath of thy grace, and regard me,
the repentant and unworthy, with thy heavenly glance!"
Cagliostro looked to heaven, and from his lips there fell
disconnected words of exhortation; suddenly he drew forth his hands,
which he had pushed into his gown and crossed upon his breast,
stretching them out with wide-spread fingers.
"Come to me, ye spirits!" he cried, in a loud, thundering voice. "Ye
spirits of fire and air, come to me! Ye shall flame and burn upon
the heads of these two persons and announce to them that the
Invisibles are with us. Come to me, ye spirits of fire!"
He clinched his fingers, extending them again, and upon the points
there danced and flickered a blue light. A heavenly smile shone upon
the beautiful face of the Magus, his hands slowly sank upon the
heads of the kneeling ones, the flames gliding upon their heads,
resting there a moment, and then dying away.
"The Invisibles have proclaimed themselves to you through the sign
of fire," cried Cagliostro. "The sacred flame has glowed upon your
heads, and I now press upon your brow the solemn kiss of
consecration and knowledge!"
He bowed down to the kneeling ones. It seemed as if a cloud of
perfume had passed over their glowing faces, or as if an odorous
lily had been pressed upon their foreheads, and their hearts
quivered with delight. He passed his hand lightly over their faces,
and a feeling of rapture spread through their whole being. Then as
he commanded them to rise, they obeyed, without realizing that they
had limbs or body, but regarded the miracle-worker, entranced with
Cagliostro, with hasty decision and earnest, commanding air, made a
few opposite strokes in the air, and immediately the faces of the
magnetized looked as if they had awakened from a dream of splendor
and delight to insipid, flat reality.
"I have permitted you to behold, for an instant, the mysteries and
miracles which are serviceable to the knowing ones," said
Cagliostro, with calm earnestness. "Your souls were in communion
with the Invisibles, and from the source of knowledge a spark of
illumination fell upon your heads. Guard it as a heavenly secret
that no one should know of, and now let us continue our
"Permit me once more to lay my head at your feet, and receive power
from the touch thereof," implored Bischofswerder.
"Let me embrace your knees, and entreat pardon and grace," begged
Woellner, as he sank down to clasp them, and the former threw
himself at the feet of his master, passionately kissing them.
Smilingly he received their homage, and assisted them to rise.
"Now let us speak in a human, reasonable manner, my friends. Brother
Theophilus, you, first of all, return the letter to the envelope and
Bischofswerder obeyed; taking from the table a little bottle and a
small brush, he carefully applied an adhesive substance to the
edges, pressing them firmly together.
"Master, no one could discover that it had been opened. Command what
shall be done with it."
"Give it to your servant, that he may return it to him who brought
it, and the latter can now deliver it at its address."
"To the Minister Herzberg!" they both cried, amazed. "It is
impossible; he is a sworn enemy of the holy order and your own
heavenly person. He could take the most violent measures, and cause
your excellency to be arrested."
"I believe it," smiled Cagliostro. "The great Frederick would
announce triumphantly that he had had the great Semiramis of the
North taken, which the Russian police had failed to accomplish. It
would be a welcome triumph for unbelievers and fools, and they would
trumpet it joyfully through the world! It must not be; although my
spirit in its power and might would soon release my body, yet I will
not grant this momentary triumph to my enemies. My time is limited;
I must forth to Egypt, where the Brothers of the Millennium will
assemble in the course of a week in the pyramids, to announce to me
their will for the coming century. I am the Spirit of God, which the
Invisibles have willed to enter a human form, therefore it must be
regarded as sacred and protected."
"Allow me to guard, with my life, your sublime person!" cried
"And I also implore you to grant me the happiness to watch over the
security of your heavenly self, and defend it to the last drop of my
blood!" cried Woellner; "only tell us what we have to do."
"Above all things obey my command concerning the letter," replied
the count, smiling.
Bischofswerder submissively went out with the epistle, returning in
a few moments. "It is as you have ordered: in a quarter of an hour
it will be in the hands of Minister Herzberg."
"No," replied the count, fixing his eyes upon empty space, "it will
not be there, for Herzberg is not at home. I now see him driving in
a carriage with four black steeds to the country. At this instant he
is crossing a bridge, now he enters a town, turning down one of the
streets, where the noise of the wheels is lost. Again I hear him,
leaving by the gate, ascending a broad avenue."
It is the route to Sans-Souci," murmured Bischofswerder, in a low
voice, but the count must have understood him, as he repeated aloud:
"Yes, that is the route to Sans-Souci, and the lonely, fretful old
king will keep his minister the entire day, and will not receive the
missive from his secret female accomplice until his return in the
evening, and then he will dispatch his bailiffs in all haste to the
hotel to arrest Count St. Julien, and forward an order to every gate
to forbid his departure. It will be too late, however--he will have
"Departed1" cried the two gentlemen, frightened. "Will you, then,
"Hush, my brothers, be quiet!" answered Cagliostro. "I shall have
departed for the profane, but I will remain here for the consecrated
until to-morrow morning. It oft happens that the lofty even must
come down, and the brilliant obscure themselves. To-day I must
descend from my spiritual height, and humble myself in the dust of
lowliness. When the unholy and unconsecrated essay to behold that
which they should not with their earthly eyes; they must be blinded
with earthly dust, and for those which are not worthy of miracles,
we must sometimes condescend to jugglers' tricks. By the latter I
will mislead my enemies to-day. How many gates are there to the city
"There are nine, master."
"Send immediately messengers around in your circles to order eight
travelling-carriages and sixteen large black trunks. Further, send
me eight confidential discreet men of my height and size, with eight
perukes, exactly the cut of mine. Command four post-horses, with two
postilions for eight different addresses. This is all that is
necessary for the moment."
"All shall be faithfully and quickly accomplished," said
Bischofswerder, humbly. "We will divide the execution of your
orders, and there only remains to appoint the time and place when
and where to direct the postilions."
"All this will follow; forget not, in trifling, earthly things, the
great heavenly circumstances. Summon the consecrated of the highest
degree of your circle to go to-night to the palace of Prince
Frederick William at Potsdam, and under the very eyes of the old
freethinking king we will open to the crown prince the doors of the
spiritual world, and consecrate him to the highest degree. But first
the Invisibles shall speak with him, and announce the heavenly
region of the unapproachable. Finish the preparations, my brothers--
fulfil exactly and punctually my orders, and then come to the hotel
to receive my last commands."
Cagliostro quitted the two confidants, entered his carriage awaiting
him before the door, and drove to the hotel. The host and chief
waiter received him with extreme deference, both accompanying him up
the stairs--the latter throwing wide open the large doors of his
room. The count turned, and, in addressing some indifferent question
to the host, opened his gold-embroidered blue satin vest.
The host turned pale, and shrank back, as if seized with a sudden
fright. Cagliostro passed on, motioning him to follow, which he
humbly obeyed, sinking upon his knees as the door closed.
"Have you recognized the sign which I wear upon my breast?"
"Yes, master," he stammered, bowing down with the greatest
"Then you belong to the elect of the Inner Temple, for the sign of
knowledge is only made known to them."
"I do, indeed, understand its mysteries, master, and I know that one
of the Invisibles, in infinite condescension, appears in a visible
form before me. Immeasurable as the happiness, is my obedience!
Command me, master; my life and riches belong to the holy alliance!"
"Rise and receive my orders," replied Cagliostro, with great
dignity. In a brief, dictatorial manner he communicated the
necessary arrangements; then dismissed him with a haughty nod, and
entered the adjoining room of his wife, Lorenza Feliciana.
She had thrown herself upon the divan, in charming neglige. Her head
was encircled with black ringlets, which she wore unpowdered,
despite the fashion. Her eyes were closed, and her beautiful
shoulders were but half concealed by a black lace veil.
She slept so quietly and soundly that the count did not awaken her
upon entering. He approached her lightly upon the soft carpet, and
stood regarding her attentively. A pleasant smile spread over his
face, softening its expression, and his eyes beamed with passionate
"She is indeed beautiful," he murmured, softly. "No one could
withstand the charm of this wonderful woman. Ah, would that I could
crush these wicked spirits within me, silence all these seductive,
sinful voices, and fly to some secluded valley of our dear
fatherland, and there, reposing on her love, let life glide calmly
on and smile at the past without regret, as a fading dream! Would
that I could forget, and become again pure and innocent, blest in my
affection, simple in my tastes, and without wants! But no, it is too
late! I cannot retreat, the demons will not be driven out; to them
my soul belongs, and I must fulfil my destiny!--Awake, Lorenza,
awake!" Her beautiful form shook with fright; she started, opened
her eyes, demanding, "What is the matter? Who is here?"
"It is I, Lorenza," he said, sadly; "I was obliged to awaken you, to
tell you something important."
"Are the pursuers here? Have they discovered us? Are they coming to
take us to prison?"
"No, no; be quiet, Lorenza, no one has discovered us!"
"Quiet!" she repeated, with a scornful laugh. "We have travelled day
and night the last ten days, hiding ourselves in miserable holes and
dens, under assumed names, believing our pursuers were at our hacks;
and now that we are showing ourselves publicly, you ask me to be
quiet! I have slept for the first time since that fearful night in
Mittau, and it is very cruel and thoughtless of you to wake me, if
the bailiffs are not here, and danger does not menace us."
"For the moment we are safe, but I have something important to tell
"Important?" she cried, shrugging her shoulders. "What is of
consequence to me, since that night? Oh, when I think of it, I could
shriek with rage, I could annihilate myself in despair!"
"It was indeed a dreadful experience, and my heart quakes when I
think of it," said Cagliostro, gloomily. "The secret assembly
consisted of the highest and most influential of the Courland
nobility. Suspecting no wrong, not even that there could be traitors
among the believers who would falsify my spirit apparatus, I gave
myself up to conjuring the departed."
"And I upon my fairy throne," added Lorenza, "couched in the
innocent costume of the celestial, only veiled with a silvery cloud,
heard a sudden shriek. The room was quite dark; I saw, upon opening
my eyes, that no spirits enlivened it."
"Every thing failed--that is to say, my assistants let it fail,"
said the count, "and the assembly began to murmur. Suddenly, instead
of the departed princes and heroes, what fearful forms arose!"
"Apes, cats, and other animals," cried Lorenza, with a loud laugh.
"Oh, what an irresistible sight! In spite of my anger I had to
laugh, and laugh I did upon the fairy throne, like--"
"Like a foolish child who neither knows nor understands danger,"
interrupted the count. "Your laughing soon ceased in the fearful
tumult and uproar. They shrieked for light, the ladies fled, and the
men menaced me with loud curses, calling me a charlatan, and
threatening my life!"
"Mine also," cried Lorenza; "oh, what insults and ill-treatment I
was forced to listen to! They rushed upon me, shrieking for the
brilliants and money which they had brought me as an offering. How
they scolded and called me a deceiver! I was only very beautiful and
coquettish, and that was no deception! I charmed them with my
coyness, and they brought me the most costly presents, because I was
a virtuous woman. Now they reproached me, demanding a return of them
all, which they had forced upon me of their own free will. I was
obliged to bear it silently in my costume of innocence, and as
goddess I could not defend myself and speak with human beings--who
pushed up to the throne. It was a very ridiculous position; happily
I did not quite lose my senses, but let the apparatus play, and
disappeared into my dressing-room below, which fortunately closed
above me. I dressed, and rushed to your room to rescue my
"Even in this extreme danger you only thought of your riches, not of
me," said Cagliostro, with a bitter smile.
"Have you not taught me yourself that money was the only thing worth
striving to possess? Have you not revealed to in wisdom that riches
alone make us happy, and procure for us honor, power, love, and
constancy? Ah! Joseph, have you not made me the miserable, heartless
creature that I am? Can you reproach me that your teaching has borne
such good fruit? I am happy to be the priestess of wealth, and
grateful for what you have made known to me."
"It is true," sighed Cagliostro, "I have taught you the truth of
things; I have disclosed to you the world's motive power. Riches are
indeed the god upon earth, toward whom all are pressing, rushing on.
We must all follow and serve him as slaves, or be crushed under the
wheels of his triumphal car. Men talk and reason about the storm and
pressure which is spreading through the world, and finally will
reduce every thing to storm the eternal and undying bliss of wealth,
and press on for gold."
"To think that we have lost every thing!" cried Lorenza, springing
up and stamping with her silken-shod foot; "every thing is lost that
I have been years gaining, by hypocrisy, deception, and coquetry.
They have robbed me! The shameful barbarians have seized all our
effects. The police surrounded the house, guarding every entrance,
and we were obliged to escape by the roof into the house of one of
the brothers, leaving all our treasures behind."
"You exaggerate, Lorenza, and represent it worse than it is. Look
around; you are surrounded with luxury and comfort. Our great
undertakings in Courland and St. Petersburg have failed, it is true,
and the Russian empress has ordered me to be driven away and
pursued. But the Invisible Fathers have not forsaken me, as they
know that I am a useful tool in their hands. They have carefully
provided me with money, passports, and instructions. We have lost
thousands, but we will regain them, for the future is ours. I am
protected by the order, and called to a new and important mission in
Paris, to strive for the sacred aim of the Church."
"And have they no mission for me?" asked Lorenza. "Is there nothing
further for me to do in that city than to be a beautiful woman, and
play tricks for my dear husband?"
"Great events await you in Paris, which we will aid you to prepare.
The Invisible Fathers send you before me to the Cardinal de Rohan.
You are going to Paris in the service of the revolution of minds.
The carriage is ordered, and you are to set off this very hour."
"And when are you going, Joseph?" Lorenza asked, with a touch of
"I shall officially depart in an hour, but in reality at the same
time that the Baroness von Balmore leaves the hotel in her
travelling-carriage. Near the waiting-maid will a servant sit upon
the box. I shall be he."
"Officially you depart in an hour; what does that mean?" Cagliostro
smiled. "It is a long story and a comical one. Come, seat yourself
by me upon the sofa; repose your head upon me, and listen to what I
will relate to you."
MIRACLES AND SPIRITS.
Late in the afternoon of the same day a travelling-carriage drove up
before the hotel "King of Portugal," in the Burgstrasse, with two
large black trunks strapped upon it behind the footman's box, and
the postilion, sitting by the coachman, playing the beautiful and
popular air, "Es ritten drei Reuter cum Thore hinaus!"
Count St. Julien descended the stairs, followed by the host, and
nodded in a lofty manner to the two waiters and hostler awaiting him
at the entrance, who returned it by a profound bow, at the same time
not failing to see the white hand extended with the trinkgeld.
The host himself closed the carriage door, and the count departed
amid the merry peals of the postilion, the former gazing after him
with the satisfaction of one who has made a good bargain. The
servants watched it, too, until it had disappeared around the corner
of the next street.
At this instant the quivering tones of a post-horn were heard, and
an open caleche appeared and stopped before the hotel with two large
black travelling-trunks upon it, and the postilion upon the box
blowing the popular air, "Es ritten drei Reuter zum Thore hinaus!"
The host observed the empty carriage with a smile, but the servants
asked themselves astonished what it meant, and as they turned and
saw Count St. Julien descending the stairs, they were startled. He
offered them the usual trinkgeld, entered the carriage, and rolled
away with a commanding nod.
The host seemed speechless with astonishment, and stood as if rooted
to the spot. The servants stared after the carriage until it turned
the corner; when just then a post-horn was heard playing the
agreeable melody of "Drei Reuter," and a travelling-carriage with
two large black trunks drove up to the door.
The servants turned pale, looking shyly toward the stairs. Slowly
and with great dignity Count St. Julien descended, greeting them
with a gentlemanly nod as he passed, and, extending his white hand
with a trinkgeld, mounted his carriage, and drove away.
The host stood as if stunned, outside the door, looking right and
left with unspeakable terror. The servants tremblingly fixed their
eyes upon the stairs, no longer possessing the power to move, but
heard the post-horn, and the carriage which drove up to the door the
third time. Slowly and proudly Count St. Julien advanced. It was the
same cold, grave face, with the thick black beard, and the powdered
peruke, the curls of which overshadowed the brow and cheeks. He wore
exactly the same dark-brown cloak over the black velvet dress. The
white hand, with broad lace wrist-ruffles, reached them also a
This time the fellows had scarcely self-possession sufficient to
take the present, for every thing swam before their eyes, and their
hearts one moment almost ceased to beat, and then palpitated with
the feverish rapidity of terror.
"I would run away," murmured the chief waiter, as Count St. Julien
for the fourth time drove away, "if my feet were not riveted to the
"If I could move mine I would have gone long ago," groaned the
second waiter, the clear drops standing upon his forehead. "It is
witchcraft! Oh, Heaven! they are coming again, playing the 'Drei
The count descended the stairs for the fifth time, whispered to the
hostler, who was quite engrossed counting his money, handed the
trinkgeld to the pale fellows by the door, and mounted his carriage,
driving away amid the merry peals of the post-horn.
"Julius," murmured the steward, softly, "give my hair a good
pulling, that I may awake from this horrible dream."
"I cannot," he whimpered, "my hands and feet are lame. I cannot
"I will," said the hostler, courageously stretching forth his hand,
and pulling it so vigorously that the steward was fully convinced of
the reality of things.
Again the post-horn sounded the "Drei Reuter;" again the carriage
stopped before the door, and the count descended, giving to every
one a gift like the "Maedchen aus der Fremde," and for the sixth
time rolled away.
"We are bewitched; it is a ghost from the infernal regions!" groaned
"I cannot abide it any longer--I shall die!" said the second waiter.
"I do not mind it," said the hostler, as he jingled the money; "if
they are ghosts from hell, the eight groschen do not come from
there, for they are quite cool. See how--Ah, there comes the count
For the seventh time he passed down the stairway, by the servants,
who wore no longer standing but kneeling, which the count received
as a proof of their profound respect, and slipped the money into
"Praise God, all good spirits!" murmured the head waiter; but
neither the count nor the money seemed to be moved by the pious
exhortation, for he quietly entered his carriage, and the eight
groschen lay in the servant's hand, at which the hostler remarked
that he would stand there all night if the count would only
continually pass by with groschen. It pleased the count to descend
the stairs yet twice more, divide the trinkgeld, and mount his
carriage. As he drove away the ninth time, it appeared as if the
Drei Reuter were determined to drive out of the gate and forsake the
hotel "King of Portugal." The host waited awhile, and talked with
the neighbors, who, roused by the continual blast of the post-horn,
were curious to know how it happened that so many guests were
departing by extra posts. Whereupon the host, in a hollow,
sepulchral voice, his eyes glaring, and shrugging his shoulders,
declared that there had been but one gentleman at the hotel, but
nine times he had seen him drive away, and the devil must have a
hand in the matter!
Shaking his head, he returned to the hotel, and found the servants
busily counting their money, occasionally casting covetous looks
toward the stairs, as if they hoped the count would again descend.
Exactly as Cagliostro had foretold, Minister Herzberg did not return
from Sans-Souci until late in the evening, and then found
Wilhelmine's letter in his cabinet.
Immediately the police were instructed to arrest Count St. Julien at
the hotel "King of Portugal."
An hour later the chief of the police came to say that the count had
already been gone two hours. He repeated the account of the host,
corroborated by the servants, of nine different counts having driven
away from the hotel.
Herzberg smiled. "We have to deal with a very clever scoundrel,"
said he, "and it is no other than the so-called Count Cagliostro,
who was lately exposed as a bold trickster in Mittau and St.
Petersburg, and about whose arrest the Empress Catharine is very
much exercised. It would be very agreeable to the king to show this
little attention to her imperial highness, and trap the adroit
"We might succeed in catching him in his flight," remarked the
chief. "For the last six months the king has given orders that every
passport should be examined at the gates, and the route of the
travellers noted down, which is all registered and sent to the king.
It would be very easy to discover by which gate he departed, and his
route, and then have him pursued."
"That is well thought of, director; hasten to put it into execution,
and inform us of the result." He returned in an hour to the
minister's cabinet, shaking his head gravely. "Your excellency, it
is very strange, but he is a wizard. This man has driven out of the
nine gates at the same hour and minute."
Herzberg laughed. "This is one of his tricks, and by it I recognize
the great necromancer."
"Your excellency, this is no trickery, but witchery. It is
impossible for any one man to drive out of the nine gates at the
same hour, in the same carriage, with two large black trunks and a
postilion blowing the same melody, and provided with a correct
passport, which he shows and is recognized as Count St. Julien, who
is going to Paris by Hamburg. Here are the nine registers from the
different gates, all the same, if I am not bewitched and do not read
"This trick does honor to the count," said Herzberg, smiling. "To-
morrow you shall accompany me to Sans-Souci and read aloud the
registers to the king. Do you think it will be impossible to pursue
the count now?"
"I should be very happy to follow your excellency's judgment in this
matter, and arrest the rascal in any way that you could point out,"
said the director.
"I am convinced that he is in the city; and driving put of the nine
gates at the same time was the best manner to escape being
discovered," said Herzberg. "He is concealed in some one of the
houses of the brothers, and we shall be obliged to let him escape
In order the more securely to carry out the initiation of Prince
Frederick William, in company with Bischofswerder and Woellner,
Cagliostro had arranged his pretended departure. For a long time the
prince had expressed an extreme desire to be received into the
mysteries of the miraculous and holy order, of which he had heard
his friends speak with so much reverence. But he had been put off
from time to time with regrets and shrugs of the shoulders, and
expressions of the impossibility of granting the request.
"The spirits do not always appear even to the consecrated," said
Bischofswerder. "They make themselves known after many fervent
prayers and implorings, and when we have withdrawn from every one
who could entice us to doubt or disbelief. I fear that it would be
impossible to conjure the spirits of the departed, so long as your
highness honors a certain lady with your particular favor, who
ridicules the sublime order and mingles with its enemies. How can
they appear to those who have just been in the company of a friend
of the Illuminati and unbelievers?"
"The spirit-world only reveals itself to the virtuous and pure,"
said Woellner, in a harsh, dry voice. "Its inhabitants cannot
approach those who are not chaste and innocent, for sin and vice
surround them with a thick fog, which keeps them at a distance from
the clear atmosphere of the sublime. If you would call up the
spirits, you must remove this woman who entices you from the path of
virtue, and renders the sphere impure around you."
Despite the warnings and the great wish the prince had to be
received into the spirit-world, and become a member of the highest
grade of the Rosicrucians, he could not resolve to forsake her who
had been his friend for ten years, and who had borne shame and
degradation on his account, refusing eligible and rich men rather
than leave him and become a legitimate wife. Wilhelmine was the
beloved of his youth, the mother of his two dear children, and she
alone knew how to drive away the ennui which pursued the prince,
with her amiable, subtle wit. Nay, he could not be so ungrateful, so
heartless, as to reject her who had so tenderly loved him when young
and beautiful, now that the first bloom of youth and beauty had
Bischofswerder and Woellner recognized this difficulty, and applied
themselves the more energetically for its removal. They supposed
that the unexpected arrival of Cagliostro would very naturally
appear to the prince as a special messenger, sent, without doubt,
from the fathers, to accomplish his conversion. They announced to
the prince that the Invisibles had taken pity upon his desire for
knowledge, and had consented to permit him to gaze into the regions
of the blest, although he wandered in the path of vice, and that he
must hold himself in readiness to accompany the messenger whenever
he should be sent to call him.
For this reason the crown prince had written to Wilhelmine that she
should not expect him until the following morning, and he did not
quit his room the entire day, with excited expectation awaiting the
summons. As evening set in the prince was cast down, and quite of
the opinion that the Invisibles did not deem him worthy to enter
their pure presence, and thought that Wilhelmine must be the
hinderance. Whilst he was reflecting whether to sacrifice his
beloved to the salvation of his soul, the secret door gently opened,
and two men, masked and wrapped in black cloaks, entered and placed
themselves near the door. The prince did not remark their entrance,
and was quite frightened as he chanced to turn, and saw these two
With quivering voice he demanded their mission.
In the same tone, as if one were an echo of the other, they
answered, "We desire nothing, but you demand knowledge of the
spirit-world, and would have its mysteries revealed to you, which
the Invisibles will now grant you. Follow us, therefore!" They
reopened the secret door; one of the masked preceded the prince, and
the other followed him.
The prince shuddered at the thought that he might be rushing into
some unknown danger, and intrusting himself to those who would
misuse his confidence. He demanded to see their faces, declaring
himself prepared to follow, when acquainted with his guides.
"It would then be better to remain," replied one of the masked. "He
who lacks confidence is not worthy of it, and he who trusts only the
Visibles, the Invisibles flee."
The prince recognized the voice of Bischofswerder, and smiled, but
he knew not that it was permitted him to hear it to inspire him with
"Well, so let it be; the fathers shall see that I am a believer,"
cried the prince.
Immediately one of the brothers put his own cloak, three-cornered
hat, and mask upon his highness, still remaining cloaked and masked
himself, much to the astonishment of the passive prince. "Come, now,
the Invisibles await you," said one of the masked. The prince
stepped courageously into the little corridor which led to the
secret stairway, one brother preceding him, causing a soft light to
illumine their path, the other following him.
In silence they reached the side-door of the palace, where a close
carriage awaited them.
"Where are you taking me?" asked Frederick William, as he entered,
followed by the two brothers.
"To the Invisibles," answered a strange voice.
Again the prince essayed to begin a conversation, his only response
being, "Purify your heart and pray." Silently they galloped over
paved and unpaved streets, the prince heartily repenting having been
drawn into this adventure. He thought of his charming and beloved
Wilhelmine, and half determined to give the command to drive to
Charlottenburg. The fact of Bischofswerder being with him, and
fearful of appearing weak and wanting in courage in the eyes of his
friend and favorite, prevented him.
After several hours' drive, they stopped at the marble palace of
Potsdam, near the one which the prince was accustomed to occupy. His
highness looked cautiously around, and breathed more freely, as he
felt that he was now surely among friends.
The white palace stood silent and deserted in the darkness, this
palace at Potsdam being only used for the guests of the king. The
carriage stopped at the side-door, where there was no sentinel, and
they alighted, entering the palace, winding along the corridors in
the same order as before, guided by the glimmering light of the one
preceding. Solemn music, strange ringing sounds, fell upon the ear
as they advanced. Sometimes they were sharp and cutting as glass,
then threatening and penetrating as the wind, shrieking and moaning,
causing one to be very nervous if not terrified.
The farther they proceeded the louder grew the sounds, and at
intervals groans, moans and wailings were heard, as of those waiting
and imploring for mercy.
One of the brothers now opened a door, and then placing themselves
upon each side, the unknown voice announced to the prince that they
had arrived at the long-sought-for goal.
"What have we come here for?" asked the prince.
"To behold that which you have many times petitioned to be permitted
to see," replied Bischofswerder, gently encouraging and inspiring
Frederick William. "The Invisibles have at last yielded to your
wishes, and the spirits which you summon will appear. If your
courage fails you, and you dread the presence of the departed,
command to be reconducted to your palace, and we will obey; but
renounce forever the sublime happiness of beholding the Invisibles
and of holding communion with the spirit-world!"
"I fear not, but wish to be in the company of the spirits," answered
the prince, proudly.
"Kneel," they commanded, permitting him to enter, "and thrice summon
in a loud voice the names of three departed, who will answer your
questions. Beware of approaching them, for their glance is death and
their breath destruction! Therefore remain kneeling, as it becomes a
mortal in the presence of an immortal. Hope and pray, brother!"
As the door closed upon the prince, and he found himself in such
impenetrable darkness, he sank upon his knees, for he dared not
advance, and retreat was impossible, in spite of heart-quakings.
The shrill, penetrating music ceased, and a voice from a distance
called: "Summon thrice those that thou desirest to see."
"Marcus Aurelius, Leibnitz, and the distinguished elector," called
the prince in a loud voice.
"Who summoned me?" was responded in hollow, sepulchral tones, and
directly over the crown prince a blue, vaporous light was visible--
at first only a cloud, then by degrees increasing and condensing
itself into a human shape, until it took the form of a Roman warrior
of the olden time; no other than Marcus Aurelius, in helmet and
coat-of-mail, with a pale, earth-colored face and glaring eyes.
"Who summoned me?" repeated the figure. The prince's lips refused to
respond, and shuddering he gazed upon the corpse-like face, so exact
in feature to the old Roman emperor.
"You answer me not!" thundered the voice, "but I will tell you who
you are--one lost in sin and an apostate!--the crown prince of
Prussia, a future king, who will be called to govern a people, and
knows not self-government! Turn from the path of vice while it is
yet time; rise from the dust, that the ashes of retribution do not
bury you in a living tomb, like the sinful Pompeians. No monument
marks the place of the sinful; he sinks into the night of oblivion,
or he is cursed by succeeding generations. Therefore turn from the
errors of sin. Rise to virtue, that the blessed may approach you. I
shudder in your presence. Woe to you! woe! woe!"
The cloud-portrait vanished, and darkness reigned for a moment. The
prince cried in anguish: "I will hear no more; this air oppresses
me--open the door--I renounce communion with the spirits; I will go
The light reappeared in the dark room and another form hovered over
the prince--of grave, obscure face, with a great peruke, staring at
him. He recognized the distinguished philosopher Leibnitz, whom he
had desired to see, but who now filled him with unspeakable terror.
Like the former spirit, he also, when unanswered, reproached the
erring prince, conjuring him to return to virtue.
As the menacing ghost disappeared, the prince felt for the door, and
shook it with the power which terror lends, crying, "Open, open!" It
opened not, and the third summoned, the great elector, Frederick
William, appeared, with high, up-lifted arm, glittering eyes,
advancing with angry mien, shaking his lion's mane against the
erring son of his house, whom he menaced with curses and revenge, if
he did not renounce the courtesan who had seduced him to vice and
"I will become better," groaned the prince. "I will perform the wish
of the spirits. Only have mercy on me--free me. Help! help! Open the
door, Bischofswerder, I will do better. Open the door!"
This time it really opened, and a long train of dark, masked forms
entered the dusky room surrounding the prince, wringing their hands,
imploring him to turn from sin, and forsake the unholy woman.
They whimpered, they implored, sinking upon their knees, beating
their clinched hands, and weeping: "Turn, beloved elect! Renounce
Wilhelmine Enke; renounce vice! Repulse the seductress, and turn
your countenance to Virtue which you have seen in all her beauty!"
"I will perform that which you demand," wept the prince, as the
deathly terror and nervous excitement made him yielding.
"Swear!" cried the chorus of masks.
"I swear that Wilhelmine Enke shall no longer be my mistress. I
swear by all that is holy that I will renounce her! I--"
Voice failed him; there was a ringing and buzzing in his ears; every
thing swam before his eyes, and he sank fainting. The prince awoke
after long unconsciousness, and found himself upon his bed in the
new palace at Potsdam, Bischofswerder at his side, watching him with
the tenderest sympathy. He bent over him and pressed his hand to his
lips with a cry of delight. "Heaven be praised; my dear prince, you
have awaked to commence a new life! You now belong to the virtuous
and honorable, whom the Invisible Fathers bless!"
"Is it true, Bischofswerder," said the prince, languidly, "that I
have sworn to renounce Wilhelmine Enke, and never to love her more?"
"You have sworn it by all that is holy, and all in heaven and on
earth have heard your oath, and there is joy thereat."
The prince turned his head, that Bischofswerder might not see the
tears streaming down his cheeks.
THE RETURN HOME.
The beautiful house which Herr Ebenstreit von Leuthen possessed upon
the finest street in Berlin, "Unter den Linden," had been newly
arranged and splendidly ornamented since his marriage and elevation
to a title, and now awaited his arrival. For many weeks mechanics
and artists had been busily employed; and the good housekeeper, old
Trude, saw with bewildering astonishment the daily increasing
splendor of gilded furniture, costly mirrors and chandeliers, soft
carpets, tapestries, and gold-embroidered curtains, exquisite
paintings and statuary, which the possessor had forwarded from
Italy, and many other objects of art standing upon gilt and marble
Every thing was completed. The bustle of the busy workmen had
ceased, and Trude slowly wandered through the solitary rooms,
examining every article. Her face bespoke dissatisfaction, and a
smile of contempt was visible there.
"Miserable trash, for which they have sold my poor child!" murmured
the old woman. "For these worthless, glittering toys have they
ruined the happiness of the dear innocent heart, and on them the
guilt will fall if her soul is lost! I remark how she is changed in
her letters since her shameful, mercenary marriage. She writes of
nothing but the arrangement of her house, and speaks as if the
beauty and costliness of things were only to be thought of, and
there is not even a confidential, heart-felt word for her old Trude.
It would seem as if she had forgotten all former objects of
interest. Oh, what trouble and sorrows the rich have! That good-for-
nothing money hardens their hearts and makes them evil and selfish."
The loud ringing of a bell sounded through the solitary drawing-
"That is, undoubtedly, the general's wife," said Trude, shaking her
head. "She rings as if she would announce the king, with her nose
turned up so high, or as if she were the money-sacks of her son-in-
Trude was right; her shrill voice was heard ordering the steward,
who had but just arrived. "It is abominable, it is unheard of!" she
cried, as with a heavy push she burst open the door; "this man
presumes to contradict me, and--ah, there you are, Trude!"
"Here I am," she answered; "were you looking for me?"
"Yes, and I would ask you if my orders are not the same as if given
by Herr Ebenstreit von Leuthen or his wife, or have you instructed
the new steward otherwise, which, it is laughable to say, you have
"No, I have not instructed him thus. Dear Marie has not ordered it
in her letter."
"Dear Marie," repeated Frau von Werrig. "How can you permit yourself
to speak so intimately of the rich Baroness von Ebenstreit?"
"Very true, it is not right," sighed Trude; "I beg pardon."
"I came here to see if every thing was in readiness, and ordered the
steward to ornament the doors and corridors with garlands of
flowers; he has had the boldness to tell me he dares not do it!"
"He is right, Frau von Leuthen. Baroness Ebenstreit von Leuthen
(have I got the title right?) wrote and expressly forbade any
festivity to greet her arrival. Here is the letter--I carry it
around with me; I will read it to you: 'I expressly forbid any
manifestation whatever to be made at our return, whether of garlands
or flowers, as they are only hypocrisy and falsehood. I wish no one
there to receive me--remember, Trude, no one! Inform my family that,
as soon as I have recovered from the fatigue of the journey, I will
make them the visit of duty with the baron.'"
"What cold, heartless words are these! One could hardly believe that
a daughter was writing of her parents."
"On her wedding-day she perhaps forgot that she had any," said
Trude, shrugging her shoulders, "and she should not be at once
reminded of that trying occasion on her return. I expect her every
moment, as the courier has already arrived an hour ago, and it would
"You cannot be so impudent as to tell me to leave? Indeed, I will
not be prevented from waiting to receive my only child that I have
not seen for three years. One can well believe that a mother would
be impatient to embrace her dear daughter! I have no other happiness
but my beloved child, and I long, unspeakably, to press her to my
heart and tell her my sorrow."
"Sorrow! is it possible that Frau von Werrig has any griefs? I
supposed there was nothing in the world troubled her."
"And yet I am very much tormented. I can well tell you, Trude, as
you are familiar with our circumstances," sighed the countess. "You
know the general is tolerably well; the journeys to Wiesbaden and
Teplitz have cured him of the gout unfortunately, so that he can go
"Are you sorry for that, Frau von Werrig?"
"Certainly I am, Trude, as he has returned to his former habits,
frequenting the society of drinking-houses and gamblers. Imagine the
general played yesterday, lost all his ready money, and that was not
enough, but signed away the year's pension from Herr von Ebenstreit,
during which time we have nothing but the miserable army annuity to
"Then your income will be less to live upon than formerly, for dear
Marie earned something with her flowers and lessons which she gave
to you, although she was never thanked for it. She was then my dear
good Marie, so industrious and patient, and worked untiringly for
her parents! Then she forgot them not, and toiled early and late,
and, oh, it breaks my heart to think of it, and I must cry in your
She raised the corner of her dark-blue apron and dried her eyes,
holding it there as she continued to weep.
"What an ugly apron!" cried the countess, "and how meanly you are
dressed altogether! Is that the way you intend to go looking as the
housekeeper of a rich and genteel family? Go, Trude, quickly, and
put something better on, that you may receive your master and
mistress in a suitable dress."
"I shall remain as I am, for I am very properly dressed. It may not
be suitable for a housekeeper, but it becomes old Trude, and it is
my Sunday frock, which I always wore when I was maid-of-all-work to
you. You may not remember it, but dear Marie (I should say Baroness
von Ebenstreit) will, perhaps, and it may recall her little room in
the garret, and then--"
"And then she will at last think, Trude, how we took care of her,
and how thankful she ought to be to her parents that they married
her to a rich man. If Marie sees it at last--"
"You forget with whom you speak, Frau von Werrig," Trude interrupted
her, scornfully, "and that it does not become you to speak of Marie
to old Trude, but you should remember her title."
"Well, then, when Baroness von Ebenstreit enters this costly house,
she must understand that her mother was mindful of her best
interests, and that she owes all this to her; and you, Trude, must
remind her of it, and tell her about my dreadful trial with her
father, and that it is my daughter's duty to release me from it, and
beg her husband not to deduct the gambling-debt from the pension,
but pay it this once. For it would be a dreadful injustice to make
me suffer for the general's rage for play, and show but little
gratitude for the riches which I brought her. You will tell my
daughter all this, Trude, and--"
"I will not tell her any thing at all, Frau von Werrig,"
interrupted. Trude, warmly. "May my good genius keep me from that,
and burdening my conscience with such falsehoods.--Hark! A carriage
is coming, and a post-horn sounded. They have arrived!"
Old Trude hurried out just as they drove up to the door. The steward
and two servants in livery rushed down the steps to assist them to
alight, and Trude also to greet her favorite, who was now so pale,
grave, and chilling in her appearance.
The large eyes of the lady rested with cold indifference upon the
old woman, whose eyes were turned to her with the tenderest
expression. "I thank you," she said, coldly. "Husband! I beg you to
give me your arm." Proudly she passed the statuary, and over the
soft carpets without comment, or even a word for old Trude.
The steward and housekeeper followed the silent couple.
"Shall I take you to your room first?" asked Ebenstreit, "or will
you do me the pleasure to look at the newly-arranged drawing-rooms?"
"Certainly," she replied, with indifference. "We will first look at
the drawing-rooms, as we shall probably receive much company this
winter, and they are of the first importance. You know that I
"Indeed, I recall that we are very seldom alone!" sighed her
"It would be fearful if we were," replied his wife, with marked
The steward just now opened the little door of the ante-room,
sparkling with chandeliers and mirrors. "Ah! this is really
beautiful, and well chosen," cried Ebenstreit, looking about with an
air of great pride and satisfaction. "Tell me, Marie, is it not
worthy of you?"
Glancing coldly around, she replied: "It does not please at all. The
furniture is very costly, and reminds one of the parvenu. Every
thing recalls the riches of the newly-titled banker."
Her husband's brow contracted, but he did not trust himself to
contest his dissatisfaction with his cold, proud wife, but sought
another vent for it.
"You are very unkind, Marie. Have the goodness to tell me how you,
with these severe ideas, can suffer that Trude for a moment should
appear before us in this poor-looking dress which, indeed, does not
recall any wealth!"
Frau von Ebenstreit's eyes glanced quickly over the old who, she
said, was the only object which did not bespeak the gaudiness of
newly-acquired wealth, but she appeared as the respectable servant
of an old and noble family in fitting dress. "Remain as you are,
Trude, and do not let yourself be misled by our follies! I--but what
is that I see?" she cried as the steward opened the next door at the
silent nod of her husband.
"Oh, my beloved children, there you are at last; after three years'
absence I have the happiness to embrace you, my only daughter,"
cried Frau von Werrig, as she approached them with outstretched arms
and an affectionate smile, essaying to throw her arms around Marie's
neck, who waved her back.
"My child, my child," whimpered the mother, "is it possible that my
daughter can receive me thus after so long a separation?"
Turning to Trude, Marie asked her, with a reproving look and tone,
if she had received her letter, or if she had forgotten her express
commands that no one but the servants should be in the house to
"I did not forget it, my lady, and I have read the orders to Frau
von Werrig, but she--"
"Knew that this wish had no reference to her, as she is her mother--
Tell me, my beloved son, is it not very natural and fitting that I
should be here to receive you?'
"I find it a matter of course," answered Von Ebenstreit, to whom it
appeared a relief to find an ally in the mother against his proud
and beautiful wife. "I rejoice to see our dear mother here, and I
beg Marie will join me."
Marie cast an angry glance toward her husband, which so confused and
perplexed him, that he looked down. Then advancing toward the
drawing-room, with her usual cold demeanor, without further comment
upon the ostentatious furniture, she commanded her husband to
follow, who obeyed, giving his arm to his mother-in-law.
"Oh, this is glorious!" he cried, smiling. "What splendor, what
luxury! Tell me, my dear mother, is not this beautiful reception-
room very aristocratically and appropriately fitted up?"
"I should think a princess or a queen might be satisfied with it,"
she cried, with enthusiasm. "Even in royal palaces there is nothing
of the kind to compare to this gold-embroidered tapestry."
"Baron," said Marie, commandingly, "have the kindness to dismiss the
steward. I wish to speak with you and Frau von Werrig."
The steward slipped out without waiting to be sent, and Trude stood
near the door, turning to the young baroness, as if to ask if she
"Did you not hear, Trude?" cried the mother, impatiently. "Tell her
"Remain, Trude," said Marie, quietly. "You are familiar with the
past. I have nothing to deny to you; shut the door and stay here.--
And now," she continued, as her voice lost its gentleness, when she
addressed her mother, "if it is agreeable to you, I should like to
have an understanding with you!"
"But, my child," sighed the mother, "how strangely altered you are!
You address me, your mother, as Frau von Werrig, and you speak to
Ebenstreit in a very formal manner, who has been your dear, faithful
husband for three years. Oh, my darling son, what does this
ceremonious manner mean?"
"The very first hour, after our marriage, that we were alone my dear
Marie severely reproved me for having addressed her in an intimate,
affectionate manner, like the common class, as she called it, and I
have never done so since."
"You must be convinced that I am right," said Marie, calmly, "and
that it does not become two beings, who neither love nor esteem each
other, and who live in the most ceremonious manner, to address one
another with endearing epithets. At any rate we are not accountable
to any one, and Frau von Leuthen must know the relations we bear to
each other in the so-called marriage, as it is her arrangement for
the most part."
"And I pride myself upon it," she cried, with animation. "I have
brought about this marriage, which is good fortune to us, and I hope
my daughter will prove her gratitude, and my son will show me the
affection he has so often sworn to me."
"I do not know what my husband may have sworn to you, but permit me
to say, I do not understand whom you, Frau von Werrig, address as
daughter here; if you accidentally refer to me, you are in error; I
have never possessed a mother to love me, although formerly, during
long years I endeavored with tender assiduity to win a parent's
heart. That is long past, however. The very day that I married Herr
von Ebenstreit I renounced all family ties, and resolved to be self-
reliant. My husband will witness that he has never known me to
yield, and that I have always been firm and resolute in my
"No one would doubt it," replied Ebenstreit, timidly. "We had a very
strange marriage, which scarce deserves the name. We resemble more
two companions who have joined in business, the one side
reluctantly, and the other joyfully. I long for a happy married
life, which has been quite impossible thus far."
"And will be to the end, which you will yet learn; and Fran von
Werrig should understand it, as she brought about the union, and
should not be in doubt as to the conclusion."
"I acknowledge that I am almost speechless and quite paralyzed with
that which I see and hear. I should doubt that this cold, proud
woman before me were my daughter, if it were not for the name she
bears, and her features."
"That which you and my husband have caused me to become. He knew
that I neither loved nor esteemed him, and that a union with him
seemed so unendurable that I would have sought refuge in death, if I
had not vowed to support life to attain the aim which I imposed upon
myself. That is all past; it is the future which we must arrange. I
am glad that you are here, Frau von Werrig, that we may understand
each other once for all; but you came against my wishes."
"You must excuse it, dear Marie. It was the longing of mother's
heart which led me hither; the love--"
A cold, contemptuous glance of the large eyes caused the mother to
cease, and quail before her daughter.
After a short pause Marie continued: "I wish to exercise alone and
unhindered the executive rights of a lady in her own house. Do you
acknowledge the justice of this, my husband?"
"Perfectly and unconditionally, dear Marie. You know that I have no
other will but yours, which is my highest happiness to submit myself
to in all things, always hoping to gain your love and win your
"That this woman has changed to stone," said Marie, coldly, pointing
to her mother. "As you then recognize me as the mistress of this
house, I shall avail myself of my just right, and no one can prevent
me, for I stand alone, absolved from all family ties. By my birth
and your riches, I shall occupy the position of a woman of the
world, and as such I shall live."
"I am delighted to hear it, Marie," cried her husband. "For this
reason I have had the drawing-rooms furnished in the most costly
manner, and I shall be proud to receive the aristocratic society who
will come to render homage to my wife, as they have done everywhere
in Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, and St. Petersburg. We have
frequented the highest circle in all these cities, and they have
crowded our drawing-rooms, charmed with the beauty, distinguished
manners, tone of the world, of your daughter."
"I beg of you to make but one subject the sole object of
conversation," said Marie, harshly. "I have said that I will avail
myself of the privilege, as mistress of this house, of receiving no
one whom I do not wish to see, and no one can enter without consent.
Is it clearly understood, husband?"
"Yes," he answered, somewhat agitated; "it is the right of every
housekeeper--I understand you."
"It is also clear to me," cried Frau von Werrig, with difficulty
suppressing her wrath. "But I will await the decisive word, and see
whether it is possible for a daughter to have the insolent
presumption to drive he mother from her house!"
"I have already informed you that I have no mother, and that no one
has the right to call me daughter. If you await my decision, you
shall now hear it; you are not included among those that I wish to
receive in my house!"
"Ah, dear Marie, you are cruel!" cried her husband, quite
"She is a degenerate, good-for-nothing creature!" cried the mother.
"If I am so, who has caused it but you, both of you? Who broke my
heart, and crushed it under foot until it ceased to feel, and turned
to stone? Bear the consequences of your cruelty and heartlessness! I
cannot change it, and I repeat, Frau von Werrig has not the right to
enter this house, or to remain here any longer!"
Scalding tears fell from the mother's eyes as she shrieked, "She
drives me from her house!"
"I am only treating you as you behaved to one of the noblest and
best of men," replied Marie, voice and look betraying her deep
feeling. "You thrust from your door, with scorn and contempt, a man
worthy of your esteem and recognition, although you knew that my
heart was breaking. I am only following your example and exercising
my just rights, and am less guilty than you are, as neither of us
has need of the respect or esteem of the other."
"Can you suffer this, my son? Do you allow any one in your presence
to treat me so shamefully? After all, it is your house; do speak and
exercise your right as master here: tell your wife that I am her
mother, and you, my adopted son, who bears my name, and that I have
the just right to come here as often as it pleases me."
"Speak your mind to Frau von Werrig," said Marie, as Ebenstreit
remained silent. "Decide which shall remain, as one or the other of
us must leave; you are perfectly free to choose."
"Then, naturally, there is no choice left me," replied Ebenstreit,
despondingly. "I declare myself for my wife, of course, who is the
noblest and proudest beauty in Berlin, and will make my house the
centre of attraction to the aristocracy, nobility, and wealth. This
is my greatest pride, and to secure this I wooed my beautiful bride,
and have submitted to all the sorrow and humiliation which have been
my portion. If I must choose between the mother and daughter, I
naturally prefer the latter."
"He abandons me also!" cried the mother. "You are an ungrateful,
wretched man! You forget that you owe every thing to me, and that
without me you were a miserable mercenary, whose stupidity and
tediousness were the ridicule of every one, and you had never gained
the entrance to a genteel house. What have you now become? A high-
born man, whose house every one will crowd, and who could even
appear at court, as he bears our noble and distinguished name. To
whom do you owe all this, but to me alone?"
"God in heaven, Thou hearest it!" cried Marie, solemnly, with
uplifted arms. "She acknowledges that she alone has brought this
misfortune upon me, and in this hour I stand justified."
"Pardon, Frau von Werrig," said Ebenstreit, haughtily; "you are
going too far. After my fortune, I thank you for my position. I am
certainly of insignificant birth, but I am ambitious and rich. I
said to myself, 'Money can bring about all that I wish,' and you see
it has accomplished it. My wealth procured me a title, a splendid
house, a beautiful wife, and a position in society. I acknowledge
that you aided me in the carrying out of my plans, but you would not
have done it, if I had not been in a position to pay you. You
receive a very considerable annuity from me, therefore you cannot
accuse me of ingratitude, but must confess that you have driven a
very good bargain. You must forgive me if I beg of you to end this
"That means that I must leave," said Frau von Werrig, mildly,
remembering the gambling debt and the annuity. "Very well, I will
go, and promise you never to return, upon two conditions."
"Have the goodness to communicate them," said Ebenstreit.
"The first is, pay the gambling-debt of my husband, who has played
away the entire sum you allow us yearly, and do not deduct it from
our income. The second is, increase your allowance five hundred
thalers, without letting the general know it, and pay it to me."
"It is impossible," cried Ebenstreit, terrified. "You mistake me for
a Croesus, whose wealth is inexhaustible. If this expenditure and
demand increase, my colossal fortune will be entirely wasted, and--"
"You exaggerate," interrupted Marie, with a peculiar brilliancy in
her eyes. "Such wealth as yours is never-ending, and the banking
business, which you are still engaged in under another name, is an
inexhaustible source of wealth. I beg you to accept these
conditions, that we may at last be at peace."
"Very well," said Ebenstreit, to whom the words of Marie sounded as
the sweetest music. "I will then accord your wishes, and you shall
have the five hundred thalers for yourself."
"For me alone?"
"Yes, for yourself alone, Frau von Werrig."
"Who vouches for the fulfilment of your promise?"
"My word, Frau von Werrig."
"I have no confidence but in a written promise."
"Then I will have it made out, and bring you the document to-morrow
"Then our business is finished, and I can go.--Farewell, baroness;
this is my last word to you. I cursed you from the moment you came
into being. If you had been a son, the rich estate in trust of my
family would have passed to you, of which I was the natural heir. As
it was, it went to a distant relative, and we received nothing.
Therefore your parents could not rejoice at your birth, and we only
pardoned you when you married a rich man, who could free us from
want, and now the separation is no grief to us. You have always been
a disagreeable burden, and I am only quit of a discomfort, and
renounce forever the sight of you.--Give me your arm, my son, and
accompany me at least to the threshold of your house, that you may
be able to say to this cold-hearted viper, that she is forever rid
of the sight of her mother, who will never think of her but with
chilling contempt." She seized Ebenstreit by the arm, who had not
the courage to resist her, and drew him along with her, casting a
look of supreme disgust at old Trude, who stood pale and sad near
BEHIND THE MASK.
As the door closed, and Marie found herself alone with her old
friend and nurse, a peculiar change was visible in her sad face;
something of its former sunny radiance brightened its usually
sorrowful expression, and she turned to greet Trude with the smile
of earlier, happier days, though it was tinged with sadness and
grief. Impulsively she threw her arms around her faithful nurse,
kissing her, and, with quivering lip, whispering: "A greeting and a
blessing for you, dear mother! Take me to your kind, disinterested
heart, and let me there find repose from all this torture and love
the poor lost one, who--"
She drew suddenly back, her face assuming its usually cold, look as
she heard her husband enter.
"She is gone, dear Marie. I hope that you are gratified with my
decision, and perceive therein a proof of my excessive love and
esteem for you," said Ebenstreit, drawing a long breath.
"I did not desire this polite evidence of it," she coldly responded.
"We have solemnized our entrance into this house in a fitting
manner, and the important matter remaining for us is to make known
our arrival to the society of Berlin. The horses purchased in
Alexandria, and the new carriage from London, have already arrived--
have they not?"
"My book-keeper so informed me a fortnight since, when we were in
Paris, and complained of the enormous sum which he had to disburse."
"You must forbid him such a liberty once for all," said she, and the
strange blending of joy and scorn was visible in her face. "It is
inadmissible for a subordinate to presume to complain to his master,
or advise him. He has only to listen and obey. This all your
inferiors must understand, and know that they will be dismissed who
murmur or advise!"
"I will instruct them accordingly," he sighed, "though I must
confess my head-man well understands financial operations, and
during the many years that he has been with me has won the right to
be consulted and advised with."
"Then prove your gratitude as it becomes a true cavalier and a
nobleman," dictated Marie. "Settle his salary as an annuity upon
him, and replace him."
"But he receives very great wages, and is still very active, though
"The more the reason to pension him, that he may repose his
remaining years and enjoy the fruit of his labors. But do as you
like. I have only told you how a noble cavalier would act; if you
choose to bargain and haggle, it is your own affair."
"Heaven keep me from acting otherwise than as a nobleman!" cried
Marie nodded assent, desiring that the carriage might be ordered,
with the Arab horses. "We will make our visits at once, as I will,
for the first time, open our large house for a soiree to-morrow
evening," she added.
"Ah, that is charming!" said Ebenstreit, delighted. "I shall at last
have the opportunity of seeing the aristocratic Berlin society, and
enter upon the rank of my new title."
"Yes," she replied, with an expression of irrepressible scorn, "you
will have this enjoyment. Send me the steward, I wish to give him a
list of the invited guests. You can add to it at your pleasure."
"I have no one to invite," cried her husband.
"No matter! Make the necessary preparations. I will go to my room to
make my toilet."
"Will you not allow me to accompany you? You are not yet familiar
with the house."
"Trude will show it to me, and you can at the same time give the
Nodding proudly to Ebenstreit, she told Trude to precede her,
following the old woman through the suite of brilliant rooms.
"Here is my lady's dressing-room," said Trude, entering one
ornamented with mirrors, laces, and gauzes.
The French waiting-maid was busy within, unpacking the large trunks
filled with silk and satin dresses which had been purchased by the
dozens in Paris.
"Lay out an elegant visiting toilet; I will return directly, after
Trude has shown me the house," They entered the adjoining chamber,
Marie's sleeping-room and found the German maid arranging the lace
and silk coverings for her mistress to repose herself after the long
journey. Marie betrayed no inclination for repose, but questioned
Trude as to whither the other door led to.
"Into the little corridor, baroness."
"Did I not order that there should be but one entrance to my
sleeping-room, and that from the dressing-room?"
"Your commands have been strictly obeyed," replied Trude. "The only
door from the corridor leads to my two rooms, and there is but one
entrance to them upon the other side, which can be securely
Into the simple, quiet room, at the baroness's request, Trude opened
the door, saying, "Here we can be alone."
Marie pointed silently to the second door, and the old woman nodded:
"That is it," said she. "I have done every thing as you directed.
After you left, they sent me the furniture of your little garret-
room, which I have arranged exactly as it stood there."
As Marie opened the door and found herself in the small room, so
like the one where she had made flowers, given lessons, consoled by
her only friend, Trude, her pride and reserve vanished. Sinking upon
her knees, as if crushed, she gave way to her long-pent-up grief in
one cry of anguish, clinging to Trude, and weeping bitterly.
"Here I am, my faithful nurse, returned to you more wretched and
miserable than when I left: then, I felt that I could scorn the
world, and now I despise myself. Oh, Trude, they have caused my
wretchedness, they have made me selfish and unkind. I was contented
until now, and rejoiced in my misery, and triumphantly thought of
the time when I was wont to bewail my broken heart and lost soul.
Once more with you, and surrounded with the souvenirs of my
girlhood, I feel a horror of myself, and could sink in shame and
contrition. I have become as bad as they are. Can you forgive the
hard-hearted daughter who banished her own mother from her house? I
felt that I could not endure her presence, and feared that an
inveterate rancor and hate would overpower me, and that I should
"She deserves it, my poor child," whispered Trude, the tears
streaming down her cheeks. "She has just told you that she never
loved you, and in this painful scene she thought only of bargaining
and making money. God has heard her and forgiven you as I do, and I
beg and implore Him to punish those who have made you so wretched,
and that He will have no mercy upon them, as they have shown none to
you. It breaks my heart to see you so changed, and I can hardly
believe this cold, haughty lady is my Marie. In your tears I
recognize you, and I bless God that you can weep; your grief proves
to me that you are yet the child of my heart."
"Oh Trude, you know not how I have longed to see you ; it was my
only consolation in these painful years. When I doubted every human
being, then I thought of you, and was comforted and sustained."