Part 1 out of 7
Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Leah Moser and PG Distributed Proofreaders
THE MERCHANT OF BERLIN
An Historical Novel
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY AMORY COFFIN, M.D.
CHAP. I.--The Festival
II.--The Workman's Holiday
III.--Brother and Sister
IV.--Feodor von Brenda
V.--Mr. Kretschmer, of the "Vossian Gazette"
VI.--The Cowards' Race
VII.--The Interrupted Festival
VIII.--The Leader of the People
IX.--The Russian is at the Gates
XI.--The Night of Horrors
XII.--Russians and Austrians
XIII.--A Maiden's Heart
XIV.--A Faithful Friend
XV.--An Unexpected Meeting
XVIII.--The Two Cannoneers
* * * * *
CHAP. I.--The Two Editors
II.--The Chief Magistrate of Berlin
III.--The Russian, the Saxon, and the Austrian, in Berlin
VII.--The Horrors of War
IX.--Mistress or Maid?
X.--An Unexpected Ally
XI.--The Jew Ephraim
XII.--The Russian General and the German Man
XIV.--Bride and Daughter
XVII.--The Banquet of Gratitude
XVIII.--A Royal Letter
* * * * *
CHAP. I.--Frederick the Great at Meissen
II.--The Winter-quarters in Leipsic
III.--The Friend in Need
IV.--Gratitude and Recompense
V.--Four Years' Labor
VI.--Days of Misfortune
VIII.--The Russian Prince
IX.--Old Love--New Sorrow
X.--The Magistracy of Berlin
XI.--The Jews of the Mint
XII.--The Leipsic Merchant
XIII.--Ephraim the Tempter
Feodor's Visit to the Garden
The Merchant draws Feodor from his Hiding-place
The Rich Jews appeal to Gotzkowsky
The Great Frederick examining the Porcelain Cup
The sufferings of the long war still continued; still stood Frederick
the Great with his army in the field; the tremendous struggle between
Prussia and Austria was yet undecided, and Silesia was still the apple
of discord for which Maria Theresa and Frederick II. had been striving
for years, and for which, in so many battles, the blood of German
brothers had been spilt.
Everywhere joy seemed extinguished; the light jest was hushed; each
one looked silently into the future, and none could tell in whose
favor this great contest would finally be decided, whether Austria or
Prussia would be victorious.
The year 1760, the fifth of the war, was particularly sad for Prussia;
it was marked in the history of Germany with tears and blood. Even
Berlin which, up to that time, had suffered but little from the
unhappy calamities of war, assumed now an earnest, mournful aspect,
and it seemed as if the bright humor and sarcastic wit which had
always characterized the inhabitants of this good city had now
entirely deserted them. Going through the wide and almost empty
streets there were to be met only sad countenances, women clothed in
black who mourned their husbands or sons fallen in one of the many
battles of this war, or mothers who were looking with anxiety into the
future and thinking of their distant sons who had gone to the army.
Here and there was seen some wounded soldier wearily dragging himself
along the street, but hearty, healthy men were seldom to be met, and
still more seldom was seen the fresh countenance of youth.
Berlin had been obliged to send not only her men and youths, but
also her boys of fourteen years to the army, which, according to the
confession of Frederick the Great, consisted, in the campaign of the
year 1760, only of renegades, marauders, and beardless boys.
For these reasons it seemed the more strange to hear at this time
issuing from one of the largest and handsomest houses on the Leipsic
Street the unwonted sounds of merry dance-music, cheerful singing and
shouting, which reached the street.
The passers-by stopped and looked with curiosity up to the windows, at
which could be seen occasionally a flushed joyous man's face or pretty
woman's head. But the men who were visible through the panes evidently
did not belong to the genteeler classes of society; their faces were
sunburnt, their hair hung down carelessly and unpowdered upon the
coarse and unfashionable cloth coat, and the attire of the maidens had
little in common with the elegance and fashion of the day.
"The rich Gotzkowsky gives a great feast to his workmen to-day,"
remarked the people in the street to one another; and as they passed
on they envied with a sigh those who were able at the same time
to enjoy a merry day in the rich and brilliant halls of the great
manufacturer, and admire the splendor of the rich man's house.
The mansion of Gotzkowsky was indeed one of the handsomest and most
magnificent in all Berlin, and its owner was one of the richest men of
this city, then, despite the war, so wealthy and thriving. But it was
not the splendor of the furniture, of the costly silver ware, of the
Gobelin tapestry and Turkish carpets which distinguished this house
from all others. In these respects others could equal the rich
merchant, or even surpass him.
But Gotzkowsky possessed noble treasures of art, costly paintings,
which princes and even kings might have envied. Several times had he
travelled to Italy by commission from the king to purchase paintings,
and the handsomest pieces in the Royal Gallery had been brought from
the land of art by Gotzkowsky. But the last time he returned from
Italy the war of 1756 had broken out, and the king could then spare
no money for the purchase of paintings: he needed it all for his army.
Therefore Gotzkowsky was obliged to keep for himself the splendid
originals of Raphael, Rubens, and other great masters which he had
purchased at enormous prices, and the wealthy manufacturer was just
the one able to afford himself the luxury of a picture gallery.
The homely artisans and workmen who this day had dined in Gotzkowsky's
halls felt somewhat constrained and uncomfortable, and their
countenances did not wear a free, joyous expression until they had
risen from table, and the announcement was made that the festival
would continue in the large garden immediately adjacent to the house,
to which they at once repaired to enjoy cheerful games and steaming
Bertram, Gotzkowsky's head book-keeper, had been commissioned by him
to lead the company, consisting of more than two hundred persons, into
the garden, where Gotzkowsky would follow them, having first gone in
search of his daughter.
With lively conversation and hearty laugh the people retired, the
halls were emptied, and now the deep silence of these state-apartments
was only interrupted by the gentle ticking of the large clock which
stood over the sofa on its handsomely ornamented stand.
When Gotzkowsky found himself at last alone, he breathed as if
relieved. The quiet seemed to do him good. He sank down into one
of the large chairs covered with gold-embroidered velvet, and
gazed earnestly and thoughtfully before him. The expression of his
countenance was anxious, and his large dark eyes were not as clear and
brilliant as usual.
John Gotzkowsky was still a handsome man, despite his fifty years; his
noble intellectual countenance, his tall proud figure, his full
black hair, which, contrary to the custom of that period, he wore
unpowdered, made an imposing and at the same time pleasing impression.
And certainly it was not because of his personal appearance that
Gotzkowsky, notwithstanding the early death of his wife, had never
contracted a second marriage, but had preferred to remain a solitary
widower. Nor did this occur from indifference or coldness of heart,
but solely from the love for that little, helpless, love-needing
being, whose birth had cost his young wife her life, to whom he had
vowed at the bedside of her dead mother to stand in stead of
that mother, and never to make her bend under the harsh rule of a
step-mother. Gotzkowsky had faithfully fulfilled his vow; he had
concentrated all his love on his daughter, who under his careful
supervision had increased in strength and beauty, so that with the
pride and joy of a father he now styled her the handsomest jewel of
Where then was this daughter whom he loved so dearly? Why was she not
near him to smile away the wrinkles from his brow, to drive with light
chat serious and gloomy thoughts from his mind? She it was, doubtless,
whom his wandering glance sought in these vast, silent rooms; and
finding her not, and yearning in vain for her sweet smiles, her rosy
cheeks, he sighed.
Where was she then?
Like her father, Gotzkowsky's daughter sat alone in her room--her
gaze, as his, fixed upon empty space. The sad, melancholy expression
of her face, scarcely tinged with a delicate blush, contrasted
strangely with her splendid dress, her mournful look with the full
wreath of roses which adorned her hair.
Elise was the daughter of the wealthiest man in Berlin, the world
proclaimed her the handsomest maiden, and yet there she sat solitary
in her beautiful chamber, her eyes clouded with tears. Of a sudden she
drew a golden case from her bosom and pressed it with deep feeling to
her lips. Looking timidly at the door she seemed to listen; convinced
that no one approached, she pressed a hidden spring of the medallion;
the golden cover flew open and disclosed the portrait of a handsome
man in Russian uniform.
The young girl contemplated this portrait with a strange mixture
of delight and melancholy, and then, completely overpowered by its
aspect, she approached it to her lips. "Feodor!" murmured she, so
softly that it sounded almost like a sigh, and stretching out the hand
which held the medallion, in order to be able better to contemplate
the picture, she continued--
"Feodor, why did we meet, to be separated forever again? Why did
not Fate allow me to be born as a poor serf upon one of thy estates,
giving to thee the right to possess me, to me the sweet duty of loving
thee? O Heaven, why art thou an enemy of my country, or why am I a
German? Men call me happy; they envy me my father's wealth; they know
not how wretched and forsaken I am."
She bowed her head upon her breast and wept bitterly. Suddenly steps
were heard quite close to her door. She started, and concealed the
medallion quickly in her breast. "My father," murmured she, and
drying her tears she arose to open the door. She was right, it was her
father. He held out his hand to her. She took it and pressed it to her
lips respectfully, but she did not see the look of almost passionate
tenderness with which he regarded her, for she had cast down her eyes
and did not dare to look at him.
"I have come, Elise, to lead you to our garden festival. You will go
with me, my child?"
"I am ready," said she, taking her hat and shawl.
"But why in such a hurry, my child?" asked her father. "Let us leave
these good people yet a little while to themselves. We will still be
in time to witness their games. I would like to stay a quarter of an
hour with you, Elise."
Without answering, she rolled an arm-chair to the window, and laid
aside her hat and shawl.
"It is very seldom, father, that you make me such a present," said
"What present, my child?"
"A quarter of an hour of your life, father."
"You are right," said he, thoughtfully. "I have little time for
pleasure, but I think so much the more of you."
She shook her head gently.
"No," said she, "you have no time to think of me. You are too busy.
Hundreds of men claim your attention. How could you have time, father,
to think of your daughter?"
Gotzkowsky drew a dark-red case from his breast pocket and handed it
"Look, Elise! see if I have not thought of you. To-day is your
birthday, and I have celebrated it as I have done every year by giving
my workmen a festival, and endowing a poor bridal pair who on this
day become betrothed. Their prayers and tears constitute the most
beautiful thank-offering to you, and being happy they bless you, the
authoress of their happiness. But how is this? You have not yet opened
the case. Are you so little like other girls that diamonds cause you
She opened the case, and contemplated the jewels with weary looks and
scarcely concealed indifference.
"How wonderfully they shine and sparkle, and what tempting promises
their brilliant colors hold forth! But this is a princely present,
father; your poor Elise it not worthy to wear this diadem and collar."
"Oh, you are worthy to wear a crown!" cried her father with tender
pride. "And let me tell you, my child, you have only to choose whether
you will place on this beautiful hair an earl's coronet or a prince's
diadem. And this, my child, is the reason of my visit to-day."
"On business," murmured she, almost inaudibly, with a bitter smile.
"Young Count Saldem applied to me yesterday for your hand."
"Count Saldem?" asked Elise. "I hardly know him. I have only spoken to
him twice in the saloon of Countess Herzberg."
"That does not prevent him from loving you ardently," said Gotzkowsky,
with scarcely perceptible irony. "Yes, Elise, he loves you so ardently
that he would overcome all obstacles of rank and make you a genuine
countess, if I will only promise to endow you with half a million."
The habitually pale countenance of Elise suddenly assumed life and
color. She drew herself up and threw her head proudly back.
"Do you wish to sell me, father? Do you wish to give some value to
this noble nonentity by the present of half a million, and will his
lordship be kind enough in return to take the trifling burden of my
person into the bargain?"
Her father gazed at her glowing countenance with eyes beaming with
joy; but he quickly suppressed this emotion, and reassumed a serious
"Yes," he said, "the good count, in consideration of half a million,
will consent to raise the manufacturer's daughter to the rank of a
countess. But for a whole million we can obtain still more; we can
rise yet higher in the scale. If I will advance his uncle, Prince
Saldem, half a million to redeem his mortgaged estates, the prince
promises to adopt the nephew, your suitor, as his son. You would
then be a princess, Elise, and I would have the proud satisfaction of
calling a prince my son."
"As if the king would consent to a nobleman thus demeaning himself!"
cried Elise; "as if he would graciously allow the count so far to
"Oh, the king will consent," continued her father in a light tone.
"You know that he is fond of me. Only say whether you consent to
become Countess Saldem."
"Never!" cried she proudly. "I am no chattel to be bartered, and this
miserable title of princess has no charms for me. You can command me,
father, to renounce the man I love, but you can never compel me to
give my hand to a man I do not love, were he even a king!"
Her father clasped her vehemently in his arms.
"That is blood of my blood, and spirit of my spirit," cried he. "You
are right, my child, to despise honors and titles; they are empty
tinsel, and no one believes in them any longer. We stand at the portal
of a new era, and this era will erect new palaces and create new
princes; but you, my child, will be one of the first princesses of
this new era. Manufactories will be the new palaces, and manufacturers
the new princes. Instead of the sword, money will rule the world, and
men will bow down before manufacturers and merchants as they are
wont to do before generals. Therefore I say you are right in refusing
Prince Saldem's offer, for I promise you, you shall be a princess,
even without the title, and the great and noble shall bow as low
before your riches as if they were a ducal diadem."
Elise shook her head with a melancholy smile: "I have no desire for
such homage, and I despise the base metal with which you can buy
"Despise it not!" cried her father, "prize it rather! Gold is a holy
power; it is the magic wand of Moses which caused springs to gush
forth from the sterile rock. See, my child--I, who despise all the
rank and honors which the world can offer me, I tell you gold is the
only thing for which I have any respect. But a man must perceive and
understand the secret of this magic power. He who strives for wealth
only to _possess_ it is a heartless fool, and his fate will be that
of Midas--he will starve in the midst of his treasures. But he who
strives for wealth for the purpose of _giving_, he will discover that
money is the fountain of happiness; and in his hands the dead metal is
transformed into a living blessing. You may believe your father, who
knows the world, and who has drunk the bitter cup of poverty."
"You were once poor?" asked Elise, looking at her father with
Gotzkowsky smiled, and sank back in his chair, musing and silent.
After a pause he resumed: "Yes, I was poor. I have endured all the
horrors of poverty. I have hungered and thirsted, suffered misery
and privation, even as a little boy. Thus lay I once, wretched and
forsaken, in a ditch by the highway, and raised my hands to God on
high, praying but for a drop of water, but for a morsel of bread. Ah!
so strong was the belief of the goodness of God in my heart, that I
was convinced He would open the heavens, and reach to me with His own
hand the food for which I prayed. I waited and waited, in despairing
anxiety, but the heavens were not opened, and not even a drop of rain
came to cool my parched lips. But the cloud, which I had looked for in
vain in the sky, was seen at last on the highway, and, as I saw this
whirling cloud of dust, in the midst of which a splendid equipage
came rolling on, I said to myself: 'Here comes God!' and then I found
strength enough to raise myself from my knees, to hurry toward the
rapidly passing vehicle, and to cry with a voice which was almost
overpowered by the noise of the wheels, 'Pity! pity! give me a morsel
of bread, a drop of water! Have pity on me!' A hand was stretched
toward me out of the cloud of dust, and I saw a small, brightly
shining object drop. The carriage rolled on, and disappeared in its
cloud. But I sank on my knees and searched the dust for the piece of
money, for in this coin lay for me life, health, and strength. I was
obliged to hunt in the dust for a long time with hands tremulous with
anxiety, and finally, when I found it, I rejoiced aloud and thanked
God. Then I hurried with fleet steps toward the neighboring town, to
the same baker's shop near the gate, where, shortly before, they
had refused to my entreaties a bit of bread. Now, willingly and with
smiles, they handed me a loaf, for I had money to pay for it. In that
hour I said to myself: 'I must seek money, even if I have to grovel
in the dust for it; for money is life, and poverty is death!' The hand
which, from the cloud of dust threw me that piece of money, decided my
whole future, for it taught me that even dust was not to be despised,
as therein money might be found; but it taught me something more--it
taught me compassion and charity. Then, as I crouched down with
bleeding feet at the street-corner and devoured my loaf, I vowed to
myself that I would become rich, and when I had grown rich, to be to
each poor and needy one the helping hand stretched forth out of the
cloud of dust."
Elise had listened to her father with deep emotion, and in the depth
of her heart she at this moment absolved him from many a silent
reproach, and many a suspicion, which her soul had harbored against
"You have kept your word, my father!" cried she. "How did you contrive
to become a rich man from a beggar?"
Gotzkowsky laughed. "How did I contrive that?" said he. "I worked,
that is the whole secret--worked from sunrise until late in the night,
and by work alone have I become what I am. But no, I had one friend
who often helped me with his sympathy and valuable counsel. This
friend was the king. He protected me against my malicious enemies, who
envied me every little piece of fortune. He cheered me on. Frederick's
eye rested on me with pleasure, and he was delighted to see my
manufactories thrive and increase. The king's satisfaction was for
many years the only spur to my exertions, and when he looked on me
with smiling benevolence, it seemed to me as if a sunbeam of fortune
shone from his large blue eyes into my heart. I have learned to love
the king as a man, and because I love mankind I love the king. It
is said that he likes the French better than he does us, and prefers
every thing that comes from them; but, indeed, he was the first to
supply his wants from my manufactories, and in that way to encourage
me to new undertakings. Mankind, in general, do not like to see
others favored by fortune in their enterprises and they hate him
who succeeds where they have failed. I have experienced that often in
life. I knew that men hated me because I was more fortunate than they
were, and yet I saw how they cringed before me, and flattered me. Oh,
my child, how many bitter and painful experiences do I not owe to my
wealth! In wealth lies Wisdom, if one would only listen to her. It has
humbled and subdued me, for I said to myself, 'How quickly would all
these men who now surround me with attention and flattery, disappear
if I became suddenly poor!' These princes and counts, who now invite
me as a guest to their tables, would no longer know me if I appeared
before them as a poor man. Wealth is rank and worth; and no prince's
title, no star of honor, shines so brightly as golden coin. But we
must learn how to use it, and not convert the means of fortune into
the end. We must also learn to despise men, and yet to love mankind.
My philosophy may be condensed into a few sentences. Strive for
gold; not to take, but to give. Be kind and faithful to all men; most
faithful, however, to thyself, thy honor, and thy country."
Elise looked at him with a strange expression: "You love all mankind!
Do you then include our country's enemies?"
"The enemies of our country are the only men whom I hate," cried
"Even were they noble and good?" asked Elise with reproachful tone.
Gotzkowsky looked at her with astonishment and curiosity, and a cloud
flitted across his brow. Then, as if shocked at his own thoughts,
he shook his head, and murmured in a low tone, "No, that were too
terrible!" He rose and paced the room in thoughtful mood. Suddenly a
burst of lively music and gleeful shouts were heard from the garden.
Gotzkowsky's brow brightened immediately, and he extended his hand
with a tender look.
"Come, my child," exclaimed he, "come, and see how happy you have made
men! Come, and see the power of wealth!"
[Footnote 1: "Gotzkowsky founded the first large velvet and silk
manufactories in Berlin. He was also the first to attend the Leipsic
fair with domestic goods, and thus open the commerce with Poland and
Russia."--_History of a Patriotic Merchant of Berlin_, 1768, pages
* * * * *
THE WORKMAN'S HOLIDAY.
The garden, which stretched from behind Gotzkowsky's house to the
limits of the city, was really of artistic beauty, and he had spent
thousands in creating a park out of this dead level of sand. Now, his
work was completed, and all Berlin spoke with praise and admiration
of this garden, which ranked among the lions to be visited by every
traveller. The most splendid groups of trees were seen here and there,
interspersed among green plats of grass, ornamented by marble statues
or graceful fountains; in other places, trimmed hedges stretched
along, and from the conservatories exotic plants filled the air with
On this day, however, the garden presented a peculiarly lively
spectacle. On the lawn, the young girls and lads were dancing to the
music of a fiddle and bass-viol, while the older workmen and their
wives had seated themselves around tables, on which all kinds of
refreshments were spread.
At the largest of these tables, ornamented with flowers, was seated
the betrothed couple, the workman Balthazar and Gretchen his young
bride, who bashfully and affectionately clung to his side. They had
loved each other long and faithfully in silence, but without hope, for
they were both poor, and had to support themselves and their parents
by the work of their hands. But Gotzkowsky had come to them as a
helping benefactor; he had given Balthazar a considerable sum of
money, and his daughter Elise had bestowed a dower upon the bride.
On this day, Elise's eighteenth birthday, was to be celebrated the
marriage of the happy couple. No wonder, then, that they regarded
Gotzkowsky with feelings almost of adoration, and that this young girl
appeared to them as a benevolent angel.
Elise had just come into the garden with her father, and had taken
her seat at the table of the bridal pair. Next to her sat a young
man, whose mild and noble countenance seemed to be lighted up with
happiness and adoration whenever he looked upon her. He followed every
one of her motions with watchful eyes, and the most trifling shade,
the slightest change in the expression of her countenance, did not
escape him. At times he sighed, reading perhaps in her features the
secret thoughts of her soul, and these thoughts saddened him, and
clouded his bright clear eye.
This young man, who sat at Elise's side, was Bertram, Gotzkowsky's
head book-keeper. From his earliest youth he had been in the house of
the rich manufacturer, who had adopted the poor orphan, and treated
him as a tender father would have done, and Bertram loved him with all
the affection of a son. And never by the lips of a true son was the
name of father pronounced with more warmth and tenderness than by this
son, adopted and won by deeds of generosity.
But Bertram, who called Gotzkowsky father, had never ventured to call
Gotzkowsky's daughter sister. Brought up together, they had in their
childhood shared their games, their childish joys and sorrows with one
another; he had been a protecting brother to her, she an affectionate
sister to him. But ever since Bertram had returned from a journey of
three years, which Gotzkowsky had caused him to make, all this had
changed. Elise, whom he had left almost a child, he found on his
return a blooming young woman, and a feeling of joyous emotion flashed
through him as he stood blushing before her; while she, perfectly
collected, with a quiet look bade him welcome.
Under the charm of this look he had lived several weeks of rapture
and yet of anxiety. He soon felt that he loved this young girl
passionately, but he also felt that she returned his passion with
the lukewarm affection of a friend or a sister, and that she had no
suspicion of the tumult and pain, the joy and ecstasy which filled his
breast. And yet he had a right to strive for the prize of her love;
and if he raised his eyes to the daughter of his benefactor, it was
not presumption, it was Gotzkowsky himself who emboldened him to do
so. He had said to him, "Seek to win the love of my daughter, and I
will cheerfully bid you welcome as my son, for I know that in your
hands Elise's happiness is safe."
Thus he had the consent of her father, but Elise's love was wanting,
and how could he ever deserve this love, how win this heart which
shone as bright and clear, as hard and cold as rock crystal? Of
what avail was it that he worked indefatigably in the service of his
benefactor? how did it help him that the money, which Gotzkowsky had
given to him as a boy, had borne rich interest and made him a man of
means, and even, if he chose, of independence? What did it profit
him that all men loved him, if this one being, by whom he so ardently
longed to be loved, always remained the same, unchanged toward him,
always affectionate and friendly, always open and candid, never
abashed, never blushing, never casting her eyes down before him?
"It must at last be decided," thought Bertram, as he sat next Elise;
"I must at last know whether she returns my love, or whether that be
true which I have heard whispered since my return. I must at least
have certainty, even if it annihilates all my wishes."
At this moment there sounded near him merry shouts and laughter.
Gotzkowsky had accosted the bridal pair with a jest, and the grateful
audience had taken up this jest with delight.
"Long life to the bridal pair!" cried he, raising his glass on high.
"Health, wealth, and happiness to them!" A perfect uproar followed
this appeal, and brought tears of delight into the eyes of the
blushing little bride, who stood up with the bridegroom and bowed her
Balthazar laughed, and, as soon as every thing had become quiet,
replied: "There, that will do! you have hurrahed enough. I don't wish
for wealth; health, happiness, and content are enough for me with my
little Gretchen; but for these blessings I have to thank, we have all
to thank, our lord and master, our father Gotzkowsky. Therefore, you
boys up there, stop your clatter and dancing, and listen to what I
have to say to you."
Balthazar's loud clear voice overpowered the music which now ceased,
and the lads and maidens crowded around him.
"Balthazar is going to make a speech!" cried one with hearty laughter,
in which the others joined lustily. "Silence, silence! Balthazar is
going to make a speech. Come, Balthazar, out with it! It's a failing
"Well, why shouldn't I?" said Balthazar, laughing; "many a great lord
does nothing else all his life but make pretty speeches. Why shouldn't
I play the great lord on this my wedding-day?" He drew himself up,
cleared his throat, and continued: "I want to talk to you about our
master, who turned us from good-for-nothing drones into industrious
workmen, who gave us bread when nobody else had bread for us. Nobody,
I say, not even our mayor, who is a very good mayor, but who cannot
help the poor, feed the hungry, and give bread and work to hands
willing to work. Who is able to do that, and who does it? Who in
Berlin is the rich, the good man, who gives work to all, and in his
large and celebrated mills procures us food and wages? Who is it?"
"Gotzkowsky, our father Gotzkowsky!" cried the crowd unanimously.
Balthazar waved his hat joyfully in the air. "Therefore, say I, long
live Gotzkowsky our father!" cried he with stentorian voice. And
loud shouts and cheers followed this appeal. Men and women surrounded
Gotzkowsky and offered him their hand, and thanked him with those
simple and plain words which never fail to reach the heart, because
they come from the heart. All hailed him as friend and father,
benefactor and master. Gotzkowsky stood in their midst, proud and
erect. A deep emotion was evident in his noble features, and he raised
his beaming, radiant face to heaven, thanking God in the humbleness of
his heart for the proud joy of this hour.
"Long live Gotzkowsky, our father!" reiterated the happy multitude.
He lowered his eyes, and glanced with friendly looks at the cheerful
"Thank you, my children," said he, "but I beg you not to overrate my
merits. You are of as much service to me as I am to you. He who gives
work is nothing without the worker; the one has need of the other, to
increase and thrive. Of what avail would my looms and my money be if
I had not your industrious hands and your good will to serve me? Money
alone will not do it, but the good will and love of the workmen carry
the day. I thank you all for your good will and your love; but above
all," continued he, turning to Bertram, "above all things I must thank
you, my friend. You have stood by me and helped me bravely, and it is
full time that I should try to reward you. Children, one more surprise
have I in reserve for you to-day. I appoint Mr. Bertram my partner
and sole director of the silk factory." "That's right, that's noble!"
cried the workmen.
Bertram said nothing. He only turned his eyes, clouded with tears,
toward Gotzkowsky, and the latter read in his looks his deep emotion
and affectionate gratitude.
"My son," said he, opening his arms.
"My father, oh my dear, noble father," cried the young man, throwing
himself, with streaming eyes, on Gotzkowsky's breast. The workmen
stood round, deeply moved, and in silence; and in their hearts they
sent up quiet prayers to God on high for their employer. At last
Gotzkowsky raised himself from Bertram's arms and sought his daughter
with his eyes. She was still sitting, silent and pensive, at the
table, and did not appear to have observed what was going on around
her. A light cloud crossed his brow as he took Bertram's hand and
"Well, Elise, have you no word of congratulation for him?"
She shuddered, as if awaking from a dream. "Oh," said she, "my good
brother Bertram knows that I rejoice in his fortune."
"Brother! still brother?" murmured Gotzkowsky impatiently.
"And why should she not give me that sweet name?" asked Bertram,
quickly. "Have you not often called me son, and allowed me to call you
"Oh, I would like indeed to be your father, my son, without Elise's
having to call you brother. But we will speak of this another time,"
said he, interrupting himself; and turning to his workmen, continued:
"Come, let us be merry, and of good cheer. Who knows how long Heaven
will grant us sunshine? Come, you young folks, I have caused a target
to be set up in the court. Let us go there. He who makes the best shot
shall get a new coat. Come, bride Greta, take my arm; I will be your
groomsman to-day. Bertram, you and Elise follow us. Now, music, strike
up a song for the bride."
Gotzkowsky offered his arm to the bride and led her out. Cheerfully
the motley crowd followed him, and soon there was heard in the
distance their happy laughter and the merry sound of the music.
* * * * *
BROTHER AND SISTER.
Elise did not follow the joyous multitude. She still sat musing,
unaware that Bertram was standing opposite to her, considering her
attentively. At last he ventured to pronounce her name softly. She
looked up at him with perfect composure.
"You do not go with them, Elise?" asked he. "Do you not take any part
in the general rejoicing?"
She tried to smile. "Oh yes," said she, "I am glad to see how much
these good people love my father. And he deserves it too. The welfare
of his workmen is his only thought, and the only fame for which he
"You are too modest in your estimate of your father, Elise," cried
Bertram. "Gotzkowsky's fame extends far beyond the walls of this town.
All Germany, yes, even Holland and England, are familiar with his
name, and the Prussian merchant is as much a hero on "'Change' as the
Prussian king is on the battle-field."
"Only my father's victories are less bloody," said Elise, smiling.
A pause ensued. Both felt anxious and embarrassed, and neither dared
to break the silence. It was the first time, since Bertram's return
from his grand tour, that she had found herself in his presence
without witnesses, for she had carefully avoided being alone with him.
This had not escaped Bertram's notice, and he had therefore determined
to take advantage of the present opportunity to have his fate decided.
But yet he did not venture to speak, and the words died away on
his lips as he remarked her silent, indifferent composure. As he
contemplated her, memories of former days rose up before him. He
saw her as, half child, half maiden, she clung trustingly and
affectionately to his side, and with charming blushes listened to the
teasing jokes of her father. Then her whole soul lay open and clear
before him; then she disclosed to him the entire treasure of her pure,
full heart, and all the fanciful and dreamy thoughts of her young
virgin soul were perceptible; then he had participated in her joys,
her little sorrows, every feeling which agitated her breast.
And now, why was it all so different?
A deep, painful melancholy took possession of him, and made him
overcome his fear of her decision. He sat down resolutely at her side,
and took her hand.
"Elise," said he, "do you still remember what you said to me three
years ago, as I took leave of you?"
She shook her head and turned her eyes toward him. These eyes were
full of tears, and her countenance was agitated with painful emotion.
Bertram continued: "You then said to me, 'Farewell, and however far
you may travel my heart goes with you, and when you return I will be
to you the same loving, faithful sister that I now am.' These were
your words, Elise; you see that I have preserved them in my memory
more faithfully than you, my sister."
Elise shuddered slightly. Then she said, with a painfully subdued
voice, "You were so long absent, Bertram, and I was only a child when
"The young woman wishes, then, to recall the words spoken by the
"No, Bertram, I will always love you as a sister."
Bertram sighed. "I understand you," said he, sadly; "you wish to erect
this sisterly love into an impassable barrier separating me from you,
and to pour this cool and unsubstantial affection like a soothing balm
upon my sufferings. How little do you know of love, Elise; of that
passion which desires every thing, which is satisfied with nothing
less than extreme happiness, or, failing that, extreme wretchedness,
and will accept no pitiful compromise, no miserable substitute!"
Elise looked at him firmly, with beaming eyes. She too felt that the
decisive hour had come, and that she owed the friend of her youth an
open and unreserved explanation.
"You are mistaken, Bertram," said she. "I know this love of which you
speak, and for that very reason, because I know it, I tell you I will
always love you as a sister. As a true sister I bid you welcome."
She offered him her hand; but as she read in his pale face the agony
which tormented his soul, she turned her eyes away and drew her hand
"You are angry with me, Bertram," said she, sobbing.
He pressed his hand convulsively to his heart, as if he would suppress
a cry of agony, then held it firmly to his eyes, which were scalded by
his hot tears. He wrestled with his sufferings, but he wrestled like
a hero and a man who would not be subjugated, but is determined to
conquer. As his hand glided from his face his eyes were tearless,
and nothing was visible in his countenance but an expression of deep
"Well, then," said he, recovering himself, "I accept this sisterly
love as a sick man accepts the bitter medicine which he will not cast
away lest he commit suicide. I accept you as my sister, but a sister
must at least have confidence in her brother; she must not stand
before him like a sealed book whose contents he is ignorant of. If I
am to be your brother, I demand also the rights of a brother. I demand
truth and trust."
"And who says that I will deny you either?" asked she, quickly.
"You, yourself, Elise; your whole conduct, your shyness and reserve,
the manner in which you avoid me, the intentional coldness with which
you meet me. Oh! even at this moment you would withdraw from me, but I
will not let you, Elise; I will compel your heart to reveal itself to
me. I will move you with my devotion, my tender anxiety, so that the
cruel crust will fall from your gentle and pure heart, and you
will become again my candid and confiding sister. Oh, Elise, have
compassion on me! tell me what secret, mysterious charm has suddenly
seized you; what wicked, hurtful demon has suddenly converted this
bright ingenuous girl into a pale, sad, serious woman. Have courage
and trust me, and let me read as in those happier days."
Elise looked at his noble countenance with a deep and painful emotion,
and met his inquiring look with unabashed eye.
"Well, then," said she, "I will trust you, Bertram. I will tell you
what I have confided to no human ear. Know, then, that my heart also
has felt the pains which affect yours. Know that an ardent, hopeless
love burnt my soul."
"A hopeless love?" asked Bertram.
"Yes, hopeless," said she, firmly; "for never can I hope for my
father's blessing on this love, and never, without it, will I leave my
father's house to follow the man I love."
"The man you love!" cried Bertram, painfully. "Does he also then love
you, and does he know that you love him?"
She looked at him with astonishment. "Can one then love without being
beloved?" asked she, with the unconscious pride of a young girl.
"You are right," said Bertram; "I was a fool to ask this question of
you. But why do you doubt your father's consent? Why do you not go
confidingly to him and confess your love? But how? Is this love such
that it dare not face the light, and must conceal itself from the eyes
of your father?"
"Yes, Bertram, it is such a love; but yet you must not doubt me, you
must not think that this love which conceals itself from the eyes of
my father need therefore fear the light of the world. My father would,
perhaps, if he knew my secret, declare me unworthy of him; but never,
be assured, never would I commit any act unworthy of myself, and for
which I would have to blush. It is possible that not only my father
but the whole world would pronounce me guilty if it knew my love; but,
believe me, that in the consciousness of my rectitude I would have the
courage to brave the verdict of the whole world, provided that my own
heart acquitted me, and that I am guilty of no other crime than this
accidental one, which fate, and not my own will and trespass, imposes
on me. Love allows itself neither to be given nor taken, and when it
cannot command fortune, it can at least lighten misfortune. More I
cannot tell you, my brother, and what is the use of words? Only depend
on what I assure you, I will never be faithless to my honor nor my
love. You may think," continued she, proudly and passionately, "that
my love is a crime, but never that I could love unworthily, or that I
could bow my head under the disgrace of a dishonorable love."
She looked beautiful in her proud, flashing maidenhood; and Bertram
felt, as he looked on her handsome, glowing countenance, that he had
never loved her so sincerely, and at the same time so painfully, as at
"Elise," said he, grasping her hand, "will you not have entire
confidence in your brother? Will you not tell me the name of your
She shook her head earnestly. "Only God and my heart dare know it."
"Elise," continued he more urgently, "shall I tell you what has been
whispered in my ear as I returned from a long absence? Shall I tell
you what your enemies--for your youth and beauty and your father's
wealth have made you enemies--shall I tell you what your enemies
whisper to each other with malicious joy?"
"No, no!" said she anxiously, "how would it help me to know it?"
Bertram continued inexorably, "They say that the captive Russian,
General Sievers, was welcomed by your father into his house as
a friend, and that he overwhelmed the noble prisoner with kind
Elise breathed more freely. "It was with the consent and by the wish
of the king that my father was kind to the captive Russian general."
"And was it also by the wish of the king that Gotzkowsky's daughter
accepted the homage of the Russian general's adjutant?"
A slight shudder ran through Elise's whole frame, and her cheeks
"Ah," cried Bertram sadly, "I see you understand me. You will not tell
me the name of your lover--let me tell it to you. It is Feodor von
"No, no!" cried Elise, looking around in alarm, and fearful lest some
treacherous ear had heard the dangerous secret.
"Yes," said Bertram, "his name is Feodor von Brenda; he serves as a
colonel in the Russian army; he fights against our brothers and our
king; he is the enemy of our country."
"You have no pity on me," cried Elise, wringing her hands, her eyes
streaming with tears. "You wish to kill me with your cruel words."
"I wish to show to the daughter of the noblest and truest patriot, I
wish to point out to the young, inexperienced, credulous maiden, to
my sister, that she stands at the edge of an abyss. I wish to open her
eyes that she may be aware of the danger which threatens her. I wish
to draw her back from this abyss which threatens to engulf her."
"It is too late," said Elise, rising proudly and drying her tears.
"I know it all, Bertram; I stand at the edge of this abyss with open
eyes, conscious of the danger; but I will not, cannot draw back, for
my heart holds me fast."
Elise took leave of him with a sad smile, and hurried rapidly down
the dark walk which led to the retired and unfrequented parts of the
Bertram looked after her until her pink dress disappeared behind the
dark foliage of the hedge.
"She loves him," murmured he, letting his head drop upon his breast,
"it is certain she loves him."
* * * * *
FEODOR VON BRENDA.
Elise directed her hasty steps toward the now retired parts of
the garden. She longed to be alone. Her soul, agitated by painful
emotions, required silence and solitude, in order to settle down again
gently to rest and peace. Slowly, and with bowed head, she traversed
the dark, silent garden-walks. Her thoughts wandered afar off, and
she sought some little comfort, some relief from the privations of the
present, in the sweet and blissful recollections of bygone days.
"What can keep him?" asked she of herself; and as she thought of him,
her countenance assumed a cheerful, almost happy expression. "He swore
to brave every danger, every difficulty, in order to let me hear from
him; and now, alas! ten weeks have passed, and no news, no token, from
him. My God! is it possible that in all this long time he could have
found no opportunity to write to me?--or perhaps his love has not
survived the test of separation and silence."
At this thought she stopped, as if stunned, and pressed her hand to
her breast. A sharp pain shot through her, and her heart seemed to
cease to pulsate. But, in a moment, her countenance brightened up,
and she murmured, with a gentle smile, "Oh, to doubt his love were a
greater treason than to love my country's enemy. Oh, no! Feodor, my
heart does not doubt you; and notwithstanding your silence, I know
that your heart answers mine, and that we are forever and inseparably
With rapid step and cheerful mind she continued her wandering. She
had now arrived at the darkest and most secluded part of the garden.
Nothing stirred around her, and there was only heard the rustling of
the dark fir-tree moved by the wind, or the melodious note of some
bird hidden in the foliage.
The garden, elsewhere so carefully and artistically tended, stretching
from the Leipsic Street to the Palisades, which surrounded the town
in lieu of a wall at that time, was here overgrown with underwood,
protecting the more beautiful parts like a quickset hedge. But this
bush was, besides, surrounded by a high wall, running immediately next
to the Palisades, and bounding the whole back part of the garden. It
was seldom that any one wandered in this neighborhood, and Elise
was certain, therefore, that no inquisitive eye could watch her, no
treacherous ear listen to her half-whispered words.
She seated herself on a bench under a tree, not far from the wall,
and looked up dreamingly and thoughtfully at the patches of blue
sky visible through the tree-tops. Her whole soul was sunk in
reminiscence. Ah, how often had she sat here, but not alone--not with
this painful longing in her heart, but in the fullest contentment of
happiness, listening with delighted ear to words spoken by him who
sat next to her, holding her hand in his, and gazing on her with looks
which made her heart tremble with happiness! Here, on this spot, he
had taken leave of her, and since then it had become, as it were, the
temple of her recollections, to which she daily made her pilgrimage to
offer up her devout, sincere, and ardent prayer of love.
She sat and looked up to heaven, and her ear, dwelling on words which
had died away long ago, did not hear sounds which were perceptible on
the other side of the wall. It appeared as if some one were striving
to climb it, and indeed there could be now seen a hand feeling about,
and then a man's figure rising above the wall.
Cautiously spying around, large flashing eyes looked into the garden.
One moment the figure rested upon the wall, as if exhausted by the
exertion, or listening for some sound. It was a young man, in the garb
of a peasant, who sat upon the wall; but the heavy, black mustache
little suited this peaceful dress, and his bold air, verging on
insolence, seemed to challenge the dangers which surrounded him.
He rested for a moment on the wall, and listened attentively. Then
he drew a pistol from his breast, and examined carefully its lock and
barrel. He then cocked it, and holding it in one hand, began carefully
and noiselessly to descend. With one leap he sprang to the ground;
the leaves rustled under his feet, and again he stood motionless in
a listening attitude. His glance was as keen and bright as that of an
eagle, and it seemed to penetrate the dark foliage. Suddenly a light
flashed across his countenance, and a smile of delight played about
his lips. He had seen the young girl, who was seated on the bench lost
in deep thought, and that he had recognized her was betrayed by his
animated expression. Quietly, carefully, he drew nearer, ever and
again standing still and listening. Then he stood close behind her at
the tree. Again he listens, but every thing is silent and hushed. Now
he calls her softly by name, and whispers almost inaudibly, "Elise!"
She started and looked up, but saw no one, and as she recovered
herself, she sighed gently, and said: "I was mistaken, it was only the
But again he whispered: "Start not, Elise; do not utter a word or
"O God!" murmured she in a low tone, trembling in all her limbs. An
ardent embrace, a glowing kiss upon her brow, and a well-beloved voice
whispered her name.
"Feodor!" uttered she faintly. Overcome by the sudden violence of
her feelings, her head dropped languidly on his breast. Then, drawing
herself up, she gazed at him, and her eager, loving look encountered
his flashing eye. She was, as it were, fascinated--happy as in a
dream, and yet conscious of the most delicious waking.
"Do you know me, Elise? Do you recognize your Feodor in spite of his
"Oh, speak again," said she as he ceased. "It is so long since I have
heard your voice!"
"Ten weeks have passed," said he, pressing her still closer to
his heart, "without my being able to see you or convey to you any
information. I could endure it no longer. I said to myself, 'God is
the friend of lovers,' and so I disguised myself as you see me, and
Elise started up and gazed at him anxiously. Awaking from her ecstasy
of delight, she just began to be conscious of the present.
"Good heavens!" she cried, "danger threatens you."
"Death, if I am found here!" said he, solemnly--"death, if it is known
in the Russian camp why I came here!"
She uttered a cry, and clung anxiously to him. "You should not have
come here," said she, trembling. "My God, if my father should find you
here! It was cruel of you to come."
"It would have been more cruel," said he, smiling, "if being so near
you, I had not come at all. I have watched and yearned so long for
this meeting; I have longed so to read in your eyes that you have not
forgotten me! Why do you cast them down, Elise?"
"Because, Feodor, you have already read too much in them, more than my
father would ever forgive."
"Your father was always kind and friendly toward me but at that time I
was his prisoner, now he regards me only as the enemy of his country;
and yet, Elise, my object here is any thing but that of an enemy. It
is not only the desire but also the anxiety of love which brings me
here. Listen to me--my time is limited, and I am lost if I linger
too long; but I had to see you to warn you, to avert the danger which
threatens you, and all of you. Listen, therefore. Your father is the
most powerful and influential man in Berlin. His influence will go far
with the council and the citizens. Entreat him, Elise, to use all his
influence to avert a terrible bloodshed from this city."
Elise shook her head seriously and sadly. Her sweet dream was
dissipated; she was now no longer the dreaming, loving girl, but a
conscious, reasoning, collected woman.
"How can my father do that?" said she, doubtingly.
"He must persuade the citizens to yield without fighting."
"That my father will never do," said she, warmly.
"Yes, he will do it," replied her lover, "when he learns that all
fighting is useless. Let him have compassion on his native town, on
himself. You are all lost if you fight. Already twelve thousand of our
men, under General Tottleben, stand before the gates. At this moment,
while I am speaking, Tschernitscheff, with twenty thousand regulars,
is approaching from the other side. Count Lacy, too, with his
Austrians, is drawing near. All this tell your father. Tell him, also,
that General Tottleben has promised our Empress Elizabeth to
take Berlin, if he has to lay it in ruins and ashes. Use all your
influence, implore him to do all in his power to persuade the citizens
to a peaceful surrender."
"I have no influence over my father," said she, sadly, "and if I had
I would not abuse it. Such a surrender, without a fight, would be
"But a fight, with the assured certainty of defeat, would be madness.
Your father does not know the number of troops massed around Berlin.
Do you tell him."
She looked at him mournfully. "And shall I tell him, too, from whom I
received this information?"
After a little reflection, he replied: "Yes, if it cannot be
otherwise, tell him. Your father will not betray me."
"No, but he will curse his daughter," cried Elise, painfully--"curse
her for having had intercourse with our country's enemy, while the
Russian cannon threaten our town. No, no, Feodor, it were no use to
warn him. My father would not listen to me."
"So Berlin will run toward its ruin, and I cannot prevent it," said
the colonel, sadly. "I have done all in my power. I wish to requite
your father for all the kindness he has shown me, and for that reason
I risked my life in order to warn him."
"Believe me, Feodor, I will never forget you for it," said she,
offering him both her hands. "However angry my father may be, my heart
still remains yours. Love does not recognize any national hatred. It
yields itself without reserve to him who has won it."
She leaned her head upon his breast, and he imprinted a kiss upon her
"Thank you for these words," said he; "wherever I go they shall be my
"Are you going already?" asked she, anxiously.
"I must go, Elise," replied he.
"Oh, Feodor, I dare not bid you stay. I tremble at the thought of my
father seeing you," sighed she; "but when, my beloved, when shall we
see each other again?"
He looked at her a long time with a steady, piercing glance. He then
exclaimed, almost rudely: "You have sworn me love and constancy till
death. Do you remember it?"
"I remember it, and never will I be faithless to my vow," whispered
she, smiling through her tears.
"You swore to me never to belong to any one but me. Have you forgotten
"No, I have not."
"Well, then," said he, rising, "we shall soon see each other again."
"When, Feodor, when?"
"When Berlin is in our hands," said he, smiling proudly; "when we
enter your gates as conquerors."
She shuddered painfully. He saw it, and a hateful, mocking expression
passed across his features; but this lasted only a moment, and his
changeable countenance appeared again bright and loving. He took
Elise's hand and pressed it to his lips.
"Will you, even at such a time, allow me to see you? Will you,
faithful to your vow, remember that my Elise has sworn by God and her
love never to turn a deaf ear to my call? Will you expect me?" asked
"I will," answered she, in a low voice.
"And I will come," cried he, passionately, "if the way to you leads
over mountains of dead bodies!"
She threw herself into his open arms, and nestled like a timid dove on
"Oh!" cried she, "when danger threatens you, then I think I would like
to be a man to share it with you."
He covered her lips and eyes with kisses. "Farewell, farewell, Elise;
and if it is God's will, we will meet again."
One last kiss, one last embrace, and he tore himself from her arms
and hurried toward the wall. Now he climbs it, and throws his last
greetings to her, then descends on the other side.
"He is gone, he is gone!" she shrieked, and, falling on her knees,
raised her hands to heaven. "O God, have mercy on me, have pity on my
It seemed as if God did grant her prayer, for a thick veil sank over
her eyes, and a swoon robbed her of consciousness.
* * * * *
MR. KRETSCHMER, OF THE VOSSIAN GAZETTE.
The editor of the _Vossian Gazette_, Mr. Kretschmer, sat at his desk,
busily writing. That he was a learned man was seen by his earnest,
care-worn forehead, his large, well-powdered wig, and above all by the
disorder and confusion which reigned in the whole room. Besides which,
Mr. Kretschmer wore a dressing-gown, thickly sprinkled with ink-spots,
the official robe of his literary dignity. And whosoever beheld him in
this robe, his long pipe in his mouth, filling the room with a thick
blue smoke, seated on his high tripod before his desk, could not but
believe that Mr. Kretschmer was a learned man.
But more than this, he was a great politician. Thereto testified the
numerous journals which lay scattered about on the floor, but more
especially the nineteen quarto volumes, which stood above on the
book-shelf, lettered in gold on the back, "VOSSIAN GAZETTE," and under
that the number of the year, from 1740 to 1759. The _Vossian Gazette_
was then a young, blooming rose, of scarcely nineteen summers. It
could still pass for a vigorous, handsome, and perhaps even innocent
young maiden; and Mr. Kretschmer was the editor of the _Vossian
Gazette_. Had he not, then, a right to be regarded as a great
Mr. Kretschmer was at this moment occupied in writing an article for
the next morning's paper, and as he had just received news "by special
courier" of another battle, subsequent to that of Liegnitz, which
had resulted favorably for the Prussians, he was composing, with the
courage of a lion, an extra, which fairly glowed with ardent hatred
against the oppressors and cannibals, namely, the Russians and the
Austrians; and declared that the salvation of all Germany depended on
the supreme dominion of Prussia.
The bold editor of the _Vossian Gazette_ in this article called
upon the people to fly to arms against the "incendiary oppressors
of Freedom and the people's rights," as he called the Russians; he
exhorted even the women and girls to fight, and called upon them to
grasp the sword in their tender hands instead of the needle. Finally,
he entreated all Berlin, if ever the _incendiary enemy_ should
approach the gates, rather to let the whole city be destroyed by fire,
and bury themselves in the ruins before they submitted to the foe.
Mr. Kretschmer then laid his pen down, and revised with a satisfied
look what he had written.
"That will have an effect," said he, rubbing his hands together,
delighted. "When his majesty, our heroic king, returns victorious to
Berlin, I will send him this sheet of the _Vossian Gazette_, and I
know that he will be satisfied with my heroism."
He looked again at the paper. "Beautiful, beautiful!" exclaimed
he, with a self-satisfied smile. "My pen has shot nothing less than
bomb-shells and grape, and my ink has turned into whole streams of the
enemy's blood. And why should I not be bold, it being perfectly safe,
since the king must certainly be victorious, and the enemy has no idea
of visiting Berlin? Tschernitscheff and Tottleben are quietly encamped
on the other side of the Oder; Soltikoff with his army is near
Frankfort; and Count Lacy with his Austrians is waiting an opportunity
to give battle to our king. Thus, as I said, I can safely exhort the
good citizens of Berlin to defend themselves heroically against the
infamous spoiler. How beautifully this peroration sounds: 'People
of Berlin! rather let yourselves be buried under the ruins of your
burning city than submit to an incendiary enemy!'--_Incendiary_,"
repeated he thoughtfully, "that is rather a strong expression, and if
the Russians do come, they will revenge themselves for it; but, pshaw!
the Russians are not coming, and I can safely send this article to
the press. And, furthermore, did not the king himself stigmatize the
Russians as such? Yes, I remember last year, after the unfortunate
invasion of the Russians, he looked down from the steeple in Frankfort
upon the devastation of the country, and cried out with angry
indignation, 'Incendiaries! incendiaries!' The expression is at least
official, and can therefore remain."
Mr. Kretschmer seized the bell-rope, and began to ring violently.
Immediately the door opened, and a small boy entered with a portfolio
under his arm.
"Devil," said Mr. Kretschmer, majestically, "here is my article; run
as fast as you can to the printing-office with it, and impress upon
the compositor the necessity of haste, and, above all things, not
to make such mistakes as he did lately, when, in speaking of
the Russians, he put 'friends' instead of 'fiends,' which was an
unpardonable and most treasonable error of expression."
The little boy took the paper and laid it in his portfolio.
"The printer told me to ask you," said he, "if you had written nothing
yet for the 'Miscellaneous.' _Spener's Journal_ had yesterday such
a beautiful 'Miscellaneous,' and told about a woman who had four
children at a birth, and a stork which had arrived and built its nest,
although it was the month of October."
Mr. Kretschmer frowned. "_Spener's Journal_ always has some wonderful
news, and amuses the Berlin people with all kinds of stupid gossip,"
grumbled he. "The rivalry of such a paper is unbearable."
"Well, how about the miscellaneous intelligence?" asked the printer's
Mr. Kretschmer stamped his foot angrily. "Go to the devil!" said he.
At this moment there was heard a loud crying and shouting; and while
the printer's boy pitched out of the door, Mr. Kretschmer hurried to
the window to find out the cause of the uproar.
A heaving, noisy crowd filled the street below, and had halted right
under the editor's window. In the midst thereof was seen the tall,
lank figure of a man, whose extraordinary appearance enchained the
attention of the multitude, and excited afresh their shouts and
derisive laughter. And, in fact, nothing could be more striking or
fantastic than this man. Notwithstanding the cool October weather,
his gigantic figure was clothed from head to foot in gray linen,
harmonizing strangely with the gray color of his skin and hair,
which latter fell in long locks from his uncovered head down on his
shoulders, and gave to the apparition the semblance of a pyramidical
ash-heap, out of which his eyes shone like two burning coals. Around
his shoulders hung a long cloak of gray linen, which, in addressing
the multitude, he sometimes threw around him in picturesque folds,
sometimes spread out wide, enveloping his long arms in it, so that he
looked like an expanded bat.
"Ah! it is Pfannenstiel, our prophetic linen-weaver," said Mr.
Kretschmer, smiling, as he opened his window, and exchanged a look of
recognition with the man who was gazing up at him.
The linen-weaver and prophet had rapidly acquired some renown in
Berlin by his prophecies and predictions. The people believed in his
mystic words and soothsayings and mistaken fanaticism. He related to
them his visions and apparitions; he told about the angels and the
Lord Jesus, who often visited him; about the Virgin Mary, who appeared
in his room every night, and inspired him with what he was to say to
the people, and gave him pictures whose mystic signification he was to
interpret to them. The prophet possessed more than a hundred of these
pictures, given him by celestial apparitions. He had them carefully
pasted together, and rolled up always with him. These pictorial
sheets, roughly painted on coarse paper, served the linen-weaver in
lieu of cards or coffee-grounds, for the purpose of prophesying to the
people and announcing the future to them; and the good folks of Berlin
believed in these prophecies with firm faith, and listened with devout
confidence to the words of their prophet.
Pfannenstiel was in the act of unrolling his pictures, and the
multitude, which, just before, had been shouting and screaming, became
suddenly silent, and gazed up at the weaver with intense expectation.
A breathless silence ensued, and, far down the street, sounded the
prophet's loud and sonorous voice. He pointed to the last of his
pictures, which, in coarse, clumsy drawing, represented a town, from
the houses of which flames arose in the most variegated colors.
"Behold! behold!" cried the prophet, "and fall on your knees and pray!
Yes, pray! for I tell you the Holy Ghost appeared to me, His wings
dripping with blood, and in His burning and flaming beak He held this
picture which I now show you."
"Well, then, how is it that the picture is not burnt too, if the Holy
Ghost held it in His burning beak?" asked an impudent shoemaker's boy.
A low laugh ran through the crowd, but this was soon suppressed by
angry, threatening voices, commanding silence and quiet.
The prophet turned with an air of majestic composure toward the
questioner: "Why was not this picture burnt? Because God wished to
perform a miracle, to manifest Himself to me in His glory, and to
prove to me that this vision was from Him, and not from the devil.
Yes, indeed, God gave me this picture that we might be warned--not
to terrify us. Listen, therefore, to my voice, and learn what God
announces to you from my mouth."
"I would like indeed to hear what the stupid rascal is going to
announce to these poor foolish devils," muttered Mr. Kretschmer,
leaning out of the window and listening attentively.
Pfannenstiel continued: "Behold these columns of fire rising from the
houses of this town. This town is Berlin, and the fire will burst out
of the roofs of your houses. Woe! woe! will sound in your streets, and
weeping and lamentation will fill the air. I say unto you, watch and
pray! Strew ashes on your heads, and fall down on your knees and pray
to God for mercy, for the enemy is before your gates, and ere the sun
sets the Russians will enter your town! I say unto you, verily I
say unto you, God spoke to me in a voice of thunder, and said,
'The Russians are coming!' Fall down and pray, for the Russians are
"The Russians are coming!" cried the terrified multitude and some
among them turned pale. The weeping women folded their hands in
prayer; the men looked around timidly, and the frightened children
clung to their mothers in dread of the Russians, whose name was
synonymous with that of savages and cannibals. Even Kretschmer could
not help feeling somewhat terrified. He drew back thoughtfully from
the window, muttering with a shudder, "The Russians are coming!"
The people crowded around the prophet in still narrower circles, and
in more piercing tones wept and cried out: "What shall we do? What
shall we do to be saved? Have mercy, O God! Have mercy on Berlin, for
the Russians are coming!"
"Yes, they are coming!" cried Pfannenstiel. "God told me so in the
roll of His thunder and the lightning of His eyes; and he said to me:
'Go and say to the people of Berlin, "The Russians are coming!" and
thou shalt see in the same hour how their hearts will shrink, and how
cast down they will be; how their eyes will run tears, and their
lips utter prayers, for the Russian is the sworn enemy of the Berlin
people; and as often as the cry, "The Russians are coming," sounds
through the streets of Berlin, there will be wailing and lamentation
in every house and every heart; and they will bow down in timid
contrition and abject obedience. Speak, therefore, to them, and say,
"The Russians are coming!" that they may become humble and quiet; that
the proud word may be silenced on their lips, and that they may submit
"What shall we do?" asked the people. "Help us, advise us, for thou
art our prophet."
Pfannenstiel drew himself up to his utmost height, and an expression
of triumphant cunning sparkled in his eyes. "Do you not understand
the voice of God? God commands you to withdraw in silence and peace to
your own dwellings, to weep and pray. Go, then! Let the word of your
mouth and the rebelliousness of your hearts be silent. Go home to your
huts, shut the doors and windows, and do not venture out, for without,
death and the Russians await you!"
Obedient to the voice of their prophet, the crowd separated in
different directions, and dispersed quietly.
Pfannenstiel looked after them with a smile of scorn; then silently
rolled up his pictures, threw his gray cloak over his shoulders, and,
casting a serious and significant look up at Mr. Kretschmer's window,
strode down the street slowly and with an air of majestic dignity.
* * * * *
THE COWARDS' RACE.
The warning sounded loud and threatening in Mr. Kretschmer's
ears--"The Russians are coming!" A cold chill ran through him, and
he could not prevent an involuntary shudder. But he tried to rouse
himself from this despondency, and laughed at himself for this
"This Pfannenstiel is a fool, and I would he a greater one if I
believed his nonsense," said he. "No, no, my information is warranted
and authentic. The king has had a sharp skirmish with the Russians
near Reitwan, and driven them back, and then proceeded quietly to
Meissen. Thus there is no ground for anxiety, and I can safely let off
my bomb-shells against the Russians."
Mr. Kretschmer felt his courage return and his heart grow warm.
"Now I see the whole game," cried he, laughing. "Pfannenstiel wishes
the _Vossian Gazette_ to take notice of him. He wants to be talked
about, and wishes the newspapers to spread his reputation. For that
reason he stationed himself right under my window, for that reason he
cast such significant looks at me, for that reason he addressed the
crowd and poured forth his nonsense right here. Yes, that's it! He
wishes to prove to me how great his power is over this people
which believes in him, even when he utters the most incredible and
unheard-of things. Well, we can help the man," continued he,
laughing, as he stepped to his desk. "The desired article for the
'Miscellaneous' is found, and I think that the prophetic linen-weaver,
Pfannenstiel, is well worth more than the four children at a birth and
the miserable stork's nest of yesterday's _Spener's Journal_. Let's
write it off quickly."
Kretschmer began to write most industriously, when he was suddenly
interrupted by a violent knocking at the door. It opened, and a
stately old gentleman entered, with well-powdered wig and long queue.
"Mr. Krause, my worthy colleague!" exclaimed Kretschmer, jumping
up and hastening toward the old man. But Mr. Krause had no word of
greeting. He sank sighing into a chair.
"Do you know the news?" asked he, in a whining tone, folding his
trembling hands, and looking at Kretschmer timidly, as he stood before
"Know what?" demanded the latter in reply, feeling his heart sink.
"The Russians are coming!" sighed Mr. Krause.
"That is a silly tale," cried Kretschmer peevishly, with an impatient
"Would to God it were!" groaned Krause; "but the news is, alas, but
too true, and it can no longer be doubted!"
"Man of misfortune," cried Mr. Kretschmer, "who told you so?"
"Pfannenstiel?" repeated Kretschmer, laughing heartily; "oh, yes!
Pfannenstiel prophesied it just now in the streets, under my window.
Now don't distress yourself, dearest friend and colleague. That was
only a clumsy trick of the scoundrel to get me to write an article
about him in the _Vossian Gazette_. I have already gratified his
"You are mistaken," said Krause, mournfully. "I sent Pfannenstiel
into the streets, to quiet the people, and to admonish them to behave
peaceably and soberly, even if the Russians should come."
"Oh! you believe in all these dreams of Pfannenstiel?"
"I believe in the truth, and in what I know!" exclaimed Krause
emphatically. "Pfannenstiel has for a long time been my agent, and
for a considerable stipend, paid every month, informs me of all that
happens, is talked and thought of in the town. He is a very useful
man, peculiarly suited to this service."
"The approach of the Russians is then town-talk, and nothing more?"
asked Kretschmer, who was still anxious to throw doubt on the bad
"No, it is a fact," said Krause seriously. "Pfannenstiel is, as you
know, not only a prophet, but also a quack doctor, and his herbs and
decoctions are certainly often of astonishing efficacy. He always
gathers the plants for his mixtures himself, and roams about in search
of them in the neighborhood of Berlin for days together. Last evening
he was outside the town, on one of these tramps, intending to pass
the night sleeping under a tree. He was awoke by the sound of
troops marching, and as he looked carefully around, he could plainly
distinguish in the bright moonlight the uniforms of the Russian army.
It was a long column of many thousand men. They halted not far from
the place where Pfannenstiel lay, and he crept carefully nearer. He
then ascertained from their conversation that this was only a small
division of the army, which had advanced by forced marches from
Frankfort, and was commanded by General Tottleben."
"By Tottleben!" cried Kretschmer in dismay.
"Yes, by Tottleben," whimpered Krause, and they both looked in silence
on the ground. "Yes, his vengeance will be terrible," said Krause,
after a long and anxious pause. "Have you not heard," continued he in
whisper--"have you not heard the sad story of what occurred last year
in Erlangen? The editor of the _Erlangen Gazette_ admitted into his
columns an article abusive of our great king. A Prussian officer came
in person to Erlangen to call the editor to account. And what do you
think he did? He caused the unfortunate and pitiable journalist to be
beaten with cudgels, and then gave him a receipt for the bastinado he
"Horrible!" cried Mr. Kretschmer, wringing his hands.
Mr. Krause continued: "When a refined Prussian, officer can behave
in this way, what have we to expect from these rough, uncivilized
enemies, the Russians? Oh! they will murder us, for we, too, have
ventured to write boldly and energetically against them."
"Yes, you particularly," said Mr. Kretschmer quickly. "Do you
recollect the famous article in your paper, in which you called
General Tottleben a notorious adventurer, who had deserted to the
enemy after having enjoyed the unmerited favor of our king? This was,
certainly, rather strong; it might even be called indiscreet."
"Not as indiscreet as your 'Earnest and Confidential Country Talk,'"
cried Krause sharply.
"I never avowed myself the author of that pamphlet," said Kretschmer
"But every one knows that you are, and you never denied it," replied
Krause maliciously. "This 'Country Talk' is more than indiscreet,
it is foolhardy. In it you nicknamed Maria Theresa, Aunt Tilla; the
Elector of Saxony, Brother Osten; the Empress of Russia, Cousin Lizzy;
and our king, Neighbor Flink. And don't you remember what words
you put into Cousin Lizzie's mouth, and how you made neighbor Flink
ridicule her? Ah, I am afraid you will pay dearly for this" piece of
"It is not quite so bad as your calling Tottleben a notorious
adventurer; for the princes are not here, but Tottleben is before the
gates of Berlin, and will revenge himself."
"I am afraid our prospects are equally bad, and for that reason I have
come to you, that we might consult together as to what we had best do,
to avert this threatening blow from our heads."
"You are right," said Kretschmer, drawing nearer to his brother
editor. "Let us consider. Above all things, no exciting calls, no
appeals to the people to perform deeds of heroic valor. Berlin is too
weak for defence; why, then, should we irritate the enemy by useless
"You, too, are right," said Krause thoughtfully; "let us rather advise
the citizens of Berlin to be quiet; let us wheel boldly round, and
speak in our journals with respect and deference of our worthy enemy."
"Besides which, it would be well to consult with some of the principal
men who have an influence on the people. For example, let us go to
Gotzkowsky," said Kretschmer.
"Gotzkowsky gives a great holiday to his workmen to-day."
"So much the better, for then he can immediately use his influence on
his workmen. Come, let us go at once to Gotzkowsky, this Croesus of
Berlin, who bought for our king three hundred thousand dollars' worth
of pictures in Italy, without having been paid for them up to this
day, and yet is able to take a contract for commissary stores to the
amount of eight millions. Let us go to him; and, hark ye! it would be
as well to take Pfannenstiel with us to back us."
"Yes," said Krause, raising himself quickly by the arm of his younger
friend, "let us go to Gotzkowsky with Pfannenstiel, and preach
mildness and submission to him and his workmen."
They both prepared to go. Suddenly Kretschmer stopped as if struck by
lightning, and sank down on a chair stunned. "My article, my article!"
moaned he. "I am a lost man!"
"What article do you mean, my dearest friend?"
"The leading article in tomorrow's paper," whimpered Kretschmer.
"Oh, it was a beautiful article, full of inspiration, but it is not
suitable to the times or the circumstances. I wrote it under the
erroneous impression that our armies had gained a victory, and in it I
spoke with great contempt of the incendiary enemy."
"My God, what rashness!" exclaimed Krause, clasping his hands in
Kretschmer flew from his stool, and grasped his hat. "My article! I
must have my article back. The printer must give it up to me. Wait for
me in the street. I come either with my article or not at all."
Bidding Krause a hasty farewell, he hurried out.
* * * * *
THE INTERRUPTED FESTIVAL.
Gotzkowsky had as yet received no intelligence of the danger which
threatened the town, and was enjoying the festival in his garden in
the midst of his people.
They were all collected on a grass-plat for target-shooting. In the
midst of the plat rose a pole with a target. The women and girls were
standing around, attentively and curiously watching the men, who,
collected under a tent, were shooting with crossbows at the target.
Every lucky shot was greeted with a cheer, every unlucky one with
derisive laughter; and the prizes which were assigned to the fortunate
marksmen only served to increase the joy and merriment of the happy
Suddenly loud cries of weeping and lamentation were heard from a
distance. The people looked at each other with anxiety and alarm. The
dismal noise came nearer and still nearer, and then appeared at the
entrance gate near by the strange and wild figure of the linen-weaver,
accompanied by the two editors, Krause and Kretschmer.
"Pfannenstiel! it is Pfannenstiel, our prophet!" shouted the crowd,
while they hastened with joyous laughter and words of greeting toward
their beloved seer.
The linen-weaver strode forward with a serious and majestic air,
answering the greetings of the workmen with patronizing nods, and
from time to time stretching out his hand as if to bless them. The
multitude crowded around him, and seemed to look upon the advent
of the prophet as part of the programme of the entertainment. But
Gotzkowsky hastened toward the two editors with a cheerful smile,
bidding them a courteous welcome. They responded to his friendly
greeting with a solemn earnestness, and requested a conference with
a mysterious and important air. Gotzkowsky looked at them with
astonishment; but as he read in their countenances an expression of
deep and anxious concern, he motioned to them and preceded them to a
summer-house on the other side of the lawn.
"Here we can talk without being observed," said he, casting a look
across at his workmen. "You see my guests are still busy with the
scarecrow which you brought here; and what business has this man,
indeed, among merry people?"
"He maintains that God ordered him to come to you, to warn you in His
name, and call upon you to protect Berlin," said Krause.
"Yes," continued Kretschmer, "and he entreated us to accompany him,
trusting to our influence with our dear friend."
Gotzkowsky looked at both of the men with astonishment. "Tell me, my
worthy friends, which of us is crazy?" asked he, smiling, partly in
derision, partly in pity. "I am called on to protect Berlin, and from
"Because the Russians are coming," said Mr. Krause, solemnly.
Gotzkowsky shrugged his shoulders. "That is an idle rumor," said he;
"two days ago they were still in Frankfort. You see, therefore, that
some wag has amused himself by teasing you and frightening you a
little for the thunderbolts which you two, and particularly the
_Vossian Gazette_, have launched against the Russians."
Mr. Kretschmer shuddered and turned pale. "I beg you," cried he, "do
not speak of it! Good Heavens! the _Vossian Gazette_ is the organ of
the popular mind, and it is its duty to take each day the exact tone
of public opinion. I abused the Russians, therefore, because--"
"Because they were still a hundred miles from Berlin. Oh, yes! we know
you, gentlemen of the press. You are full of courage as long as no
enemy is in the field, but as soon as you scent him and see the points
of his lances, you become quite humble and mild; and when he comes
threateningly down upon you, assure him of your respect and swear to
him that you love him," interrupted Gotzkowsky.
"You are pleased to jest," said Mr. Krause, casting a rapid glance of
hatred at Gotzkowsky; "it is well, indeed, that the rich and powerful
Gotzkowsky is so cheerful. I will notice it in my journal. It is news
for 'Change, and the funds will rise when people hear that Gotzkowsky
Gotzkowsky's countenance became sad and serious. "You may tell the
world," said he, "that my lips laugh; but how my heart feels, that you
gossips and newspapers know nothing about."
"God be praised," said Kretschmer, ironically, "you are now
talking earnestly, and I can request you to listen to our serious
representations. It is no idle rumor that I have told you. The
Russians are already at the gates of Berlin. They have hurried thither
by forced marches. This news is no longer a secret. All Berlin knows
it, and it is only accidentally that you have not learned it earlier."
"Oh, Heavens!" sobbed Krause, wringing his hands, "what a terrible
fate awaits our unfortunate town!"
Gotzkowsky looked at him with a gloomy frown. "You are, it is true, an
old man," said he, "but even old men should, at such a time, possess
some manhood. But you, Mr. Kretschmer, are young and hearty; what do
you say to this approach of the Russians?"
"I say," replied Kretschmer, sharply, "I say that it would be madness
to excite the wrath of the enemy by resistance. I say, that those
citizens who call on the people to fight are rash fools."
"Oh!" cried Gotzkowsky, joyfully, "if there be any such _rash fools_,
then all is not lost!"
"Can you comprehend such madness?" whispered Krause, "to wish to
oppose an overwhelming force while all our capable men and youths
are with the army in Silesia, and we have no troops but the sick and
maimed; no artillery save two old rusty cannon?"
"A people willing to fight for liberty," cried Gotzkowsky, "such a
people have the strength of a giant even without cannon and bayonets.
God has given them hands and paving-stones. If we cannot shoot down
the enemy who threatens our liberty, we can beat him down."
"What do you say?" stammered Krause, looking with amazement at
Gotzkowsky's glowing countenance.
"I say," said Gotzkowsky, "that you have mistaken your man. I will not
advise the brave Berlin people to yield without having at least fought
for their freedom."
"But only reflect!" exclaimed Kretschmer, while Krause paced up
and down, wringing his hands and moaning in a low tone; "have you
forgotten that the Russian generals have proclaimed that the
empress has commanded them to leave nothing but air and earth to the
inhabitants of every conquered town and province of Prussia?"
"Oh, pshaw!" cried Gotzkowsky, laughing, "they will have to conclude
to leave us something more."
"And did you hear London's terrible threat? He has said his soldiers
should massacre every one, and not spare even the child in its
"And did you not hear the brave Schwerin's answer to this Austrian
bravado?" asked Gotzkowsky. "He said, 'My soldiers are not with
child, neither am I.' Well, our men of Berlin are not with child, and
therefore they need not be afraid."
"But you must be afraid!" whined Krause. "It is disgraceful madness
not to be afraid. How! You can be so unreasonable as to advise war?
But war is the most bitter enemy of prosperity, and threatens property
above all things."
"Then shame on the proprietors," cried Gotzkowsky, "if their property
is to make cowardly poltroons of them! Liberty is our greatest
possession, and all else must yield to it."
At this moment loud cries and sounds of wailing were heard in the
garden from the collected workmen, who surrounded the prophet in a
dense group, and listened to his prophecies with anxious wonder as he
uttered them from a high bench.
Gotzkowsky frowned. "Ah, I understand!" said he, "this good
linen-weaver is your accomplice, my brave gentlemen, and as you wish
to convert me, so does he wish to convert my honest workmen into old
women. Let us see first in what sort of gibberish he preaches his
wisdom to these good people."
Without taking any further notice of the two editors, Gotzkowsky left
the summer-house rapidly and approached the listening multitude.
* * * * *
THE LEADER OF THE PEOPLE.
The inspired prophet stood on a bench, and, as he unrolled his
pictures, he endeavored to explain these mystical paintings to his
devout gazers and listeners in equally mystical language. Gotzkowsky
hastened toward this group, and pressed in silent observation close up
to Pfannenstiel's side.
The linen-weaver, wholly possessed by his prophetic god, had in the
mean while unrolled another picture, and holding it up high with
solemn countenance, exclaimed with a screaming voice: "The day of
judgment is at hand, and destiny is at your door! In my dream I saw a
face like unto no other face, and I heard a voice, and the voice was
like unto no other voice!"
"And yet you heard it! What ears you must have!" said Gotzkowsky,
The prophet answered calmly, "Yes! for then were seen invisible
things, and then were heard inaudible sounds!" And showing a fresh
picture to the crowd, he continued: "Look at this picture, which
I found this morning on my sheet. It contains the history of your
future, and God announced it to me as I sat at my loom weaving. I
heard a voice crying, 'Pfannenstiel, my beloved son, dost thou hear
me?' And I fell on my knees and answered, 'Yes, I hear.' 'Dost thou
know what thou art weaving?' asked the voice. 'Yes,' said I, 'it is
linen shirting for the almshouse.' 'No,' said the voice, 'it is a
cloth of weeping for the town of Berlin, for the daughters of your
fathers will shed tears, and there will be moaning and weeping.'"
These last words he accompanied with a sobbing and plaintive howl,
in which his trembling hearers joined. They assured each other in
uncomfortable whispers that Pfannenstiel's prophecies usually came
true, and that, even before the war, he had predicted the coming of
this day of terror.
But soon Pfannenstiel raised his voice, and its hoarse croaking
sounded above the loud conversation and anxious cries of the
multitude. "Woe unto Berlin!" cried he, with shrieking pathos. "Blood
will flow within her walls! The voice said unto me, 'I will look upon
red, but it will not be a scarlet cloak, and when the red banner waves
thrones will tremble, and there will be no end to the lamentation.
And the cock will crow, and the heavens will shine blood-red, and
everywhere and in all places men will cry, "Blood! blood is the drink
of new life; blood makes young what is old; blood wipes out sworn
debts; blood makes the proud humble. Let us drink blood!"'"
Here the prophet was interrupted by the loud cries and wailing of
the multitude. The women broke out in tears, sank on their knees
and prayed, or clung trembling and weeping to their moody-looking
Pfannenstiel looked with an air of proud triumph on this evident
effect of his speech, and then continued in a more subdued tone: "But
the voice said to me, 'Hope, and every thing will turn out well, and
the blood which flows will transform itself into a purple robe, and
men will call it freedom. Out of death will arise life.' Therefore
fall down on your knees, for the hour of judgment has come, and prayer
alone, but not the sword, can save you."
The multitude, carried away by the deception, were in the act of
obeying this order, when Gotzkowsky, who could no longer restrain
himself, stepped rapidly forward, his countenance radiant, and his
eyes sparkling with anger.
"Listen not to this hypocritical set, this lying prophet, my people!"
cried he, with a voice of thunder. "He will make cowards of you all,
cowards who will submit to the yoke, howling and whining. You would
not have this ignominy put upon you. You will be men, who will defend
their liberty with noble courage to the last drop of their blood,
against the invading hordes of barbarians. For the barbarians are
coming, and their fierce wrath threatens your wives and children. Will
you submit to the Russians with a humble whine?"
"No, no!" cried the men, and many a clinched fist was raised, and many
a wild but muttered oath was heard.
At this moment there arose in the street a confused sound of screams
and yells, then the hollow roll of the drum, and the deep clang of the
alarm-bell, which summoned the citizens to the town-hall.
The garden gates were now violently thrown open, and a band of stout
workmen was seen hastening in wild disorder toward Gotzkowsky.
These were the workmen from Gotzkowsky's factories, industrious men,