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Full text of "Prince Otto : a romance"

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By 

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.|t" Gjiatto ^ ..ywindtts, Pic cadiUPi^ 



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Heart's Delight. 



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a] London: CHATTO & WINDUS, Piccadilly, W. 



PRINCE OTTO 



31 "glomancc 



BY 



ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON 




A NEW EDITION 



CHATTO & WINDUS, PICCADILLY 

1888 



PRINTED BY 

SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE 

LONDOM 









^)'.^ 



TO 

NELLY VAN BE GRIFT 

(Mrs. Adulfo Sanchez, of Monterey.") 

At last, after so many years, I have the pleasure of 
re-introducing you to Prince Otto, whom you will 
remember a very little fellow, no bigger in fact than 
a few sheets of memoranda written for me by your kind 
hand. The sight of his name will carry you back to an 
old wooden house embowered in creepers ; a house that 
was far gone in the respectable stages of antiquity and 
seemed indissoluble from the green garden in which it 
stood, and that yet was a sea-traveller in its younger 
days, and had come round the Horn piecemeal in the 
belly of a ship, and might have heard the seamen 
stamping and shouting and the note of the boatswain's 
whistle. It will recal to you the nondescript inhabi- 
tants now so widely scattered: — the two horses, the 
dog, and the four cats, some of them still looking in 
your face as you read these lines ; — the poor lady, so 
unfortunately married to an author ; — the China boy, by 
this time, perhaps, baiting his line by the banks of a 
river in the Flowery Land ; — and in particular the Scot 
who was then sick apparently unto death, and whom 
you did so much to cheer and keep in good behaviour. 
You may remember that he was full of ambitions 
and designs : so soon as he had his health again 



vi DEDICATION 

completely, you may remember the fortune he was to 
earn, the journeys he was to go upon, the delights he 
was to enjoy and confer, and (among other matters) the 
masterpiece he was to make of Prince Otto ! 

Well, we will not give in that we are finally beaten. 
We read together in those days the story of Braddock, 
and how, as he was carried dying from the scene of his 
defeat, he promised himself to do better another time : 
a story that will always touch a brave heart, and a 
dying speech worthy of a more fortunate commander. 
I try to be of Braddock's mind. I still mean to get 
my health again ; I still purpose, by hook or crook, 
this book or the next, to launch a masterpiece ; and I 
still intend — some how, some time or other — to see 
vour face and to hold your hand. 

Meanwhile, this little paper traveller goes forth 
instead, crosses the great seas and the long plains and 
the dark mountains, and comes at last to your door in 
Monterey, charged with tender greetings. Pray you, 
take him in. He comes from a house where (even as 
in your own) there are gathered together some of the 
waifs of our company at Oakland ; a house — for all its 
outlandish Gaelic name and distant station — where 
you are well-beloved. 

E. L. S. 

Skereyvore, 

Bournemouth, 



CONTENTS 



BOOK I. 
PRINCE ERRANT, 

CHAPTEll PAGB 

I. In which the Peince departs on an Adventtjee , 3 
II. In which the Peince plats Haeoun-al-Raschid . 10 

III. In which the Peince comfoets Age and Beauty 

AND DELIVEES A LeCTUEE ON DiSCEETION IN LoVE 25 

IV. In WHICH THE Peince collects Opinions by the 

Way 41 



BOOK 11. 
OF LOVE AND POLITICS. 
I. What happened in the Libeaey , 



II. * On the Couet of Geunewald,' being a Poetion 
op the Teayellee's Manusceipt 

III. The Prince and the English Teayeller « , 

IV. While the Peince is in the Ante-room 

V. GONDREMARK IS IN MY LaDY's CHAMBER . 

VI. The Prince deliyers a Lecture on Marriage 
WITH Practical Illustrations op Divorce 

VII. The Prince dissolves the Council , . 

VIII The Party op War takes Action . • • 



63 

79 

89 

100 

108 

119 
132 
146 



viii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VJlGS 

IX. The Price op the River Farm ; in which Vain- 
glory GOES before a Fall .... 157 

X. Gotthold's Revised Opinion ; and the Fall com- 
pleted 174 

XI. Providence Von Rosei^t: Act the First: She be- 

GTTILES TKB LaRON 187 

XII. Providence Von Rosen: Act the Second: She 

INFORMS THE PrINCE 197 

XIII. Providence Von Rosen: Act the Third: She 

ENLIGHTENS SeRAPHINA 212 

XIV. Relates the Cause and Outbreak of the Revo- 

lution 2J2 



BOOK III. 
FORTUNATE MISFORTUNE, 

I. Princess Cinderella 239 

II. Treats op a Christian Virtue . ... 2G4 
III. Providence Von Rosen: Act the Last: in whtch 

SHE GALLOPS OFF 273 

IV. Babes in the Wood L'86 

Bibliographical Postscript, to complete the Story . 297 



BOOK I. 
PRINCE ERRANT 



CHAPTEE I. 

IN WHICH THE PEINCE DEPARTS ON AN 
ADVENTURE. 

You shall seek in vain upon the map of Europe 
for the bygone state of Grlinewald. An inde- 
pendent principality, an infinitesimal member 
of the German Empire, she played, for several 
centuries, her part in the discord of Europe ; 
and, at last, in the ripeness of time and at the 
spiriting of several bald diplomatists, vanished 
like a morning ghost. Less fortunate than 
Poland, she left not a regret behind her ; and 
the very memory of her boundaries has faded. 

It was a patch of hilly country covered with 
thick wood. Many streams took their beginning 
in the glens of Grlinewald, turning mills for the 
inhabitants. There was one town, Mittwalden, 
and many brown, wooden hamlets, climbing 
roof above roof, along the steep bottom of dells, 
and communicating by covered bridges over the 

b2 



PRINCE OTTO 



larger of the torrents. The hum of watermills, 
the splash of running water, the clean odour 
of pine sawdust, the sound and smell of the 
pleasant wind among the innumerable army of 
the mountain pines, the dropping fire of hunts- 
men, the dull stroke of the wood-axe, intoler- 
able roads, fresh trout for supper in the clean 
bare chamber of an inn, and the song of birds 
and the music of the village-bells — these were 
the recollections of the Grunewald tourist. 

North and east the foothills of Grunewald 
sank with varying profile into a vast plain. On 
these sides many small states bordered with the 
principahty, Gerolstein, an extinct grand duchy, 
among the number. On the south it marched 
with the comparatively powerful kingdom of 
Seaboard Bohemia, celebrated for its flowers and 
mountain bears, and inhabited by a people of 
singular simphcity and, tenderness of heart. 
Several intermarriages had, in the course of 
centuries, united the crowned famihes of Grtine- 
wald and maritime Bohemia; and the last Prince 
of Grunewald, whose history I purpose to relate, 
drew his descent through Perdita, the only 
daughter of King Florizel the First of Bohemia. 
That these intermarriages had in some degree 
mitigated the rough, manly stock of the first 
Grtinewalds, was an opinion widely held within 
the borders of the principahty. The charcoal 



A ROMANCE 5 

burner, the mountain sawyer, the wielder of the 
broad axe among the congregated pines of 
Grtinewald, proud of their hard hands, proud 
of their shrewd ignorance and ahnost savage 
lore, looked with an unfeigned contempt on the 
soft character and manners of the sovereign 
race. 

The precise year of grace in which this tale 
begins shall be left to the conjecture of the 
reader. But for the season of the year (which, 
in such a story, is the more important of the 
two) it was already so far forward in the spring, 
that when mountain people heard horns echoing 
all day about the north-west corner of the 
principality, they told themselves that Prince 
Otto and his hunt were up and out for the last 
time till the return of autumn. 

At this point the borders of Grtinewald 
descend somewhat steeply, here and there 
breaking into crags ; and this shaggy and track- 
less country stands in a bold contrast to the 
cultivated plain below. It was traversed at 
that period by two roads alone ; one, the im- 
perial highway, bound to Brandenau in Gerol- 
stein, descended the slope obliquely and by the 
easiest gradients. The other ran like a fillet 
across the very forehead of the hills, dipping 
into savage gorges, and wetted by the spray of 
tiny waterfalls. Once it passed beside a certain 



6 PRINCE OTTO 

tower or castle, built sheer upon tlie margin of 
a formidable cliff, and commanding a vast pro- 
spect of the skirts of Griinewald and the busy- 
plains of Gerolstein. The Felsenburg (so this 
tower was called) served now as a prison, now 
as a hunting-seat ; and for all it stood so lone- 
some to the naked eye, with the aid of a good 
glass the burghers of Brandenau could count 
its windows from the lime-tree terrace where 
they walked at night. 

In the wedge of forest hillside enclosed 
between the roads, the horns continued all day- 
long to scatter tumult ; and at length, as the 
sun began to draw near to the horizon of 
the plain, a rousing triumph announced the 
slaughter of the quarry. The first and second 
huntsman had drawn somewhat aside, and from 
the summit of a knoll gazed down before them 
on the drooping shoulders of the hill and across 
the expanse of plain. They covered their eyes, 
for the sun was in their faces. The glory of its 
going down was somewhat pale. Through the 
confused tracery of many thousands of naked 
poplars, the smoke of so many houses, and the 
evening steam ascending from the fields, the 
sails of a windmill on a gentle eminence moved 
very conspicuously, like a donkey's ears. And 
hard by, like an open gash, the imperial high- 
road ran straight sunward, an artery of travel. 



A ROMANCE 7 

Th^re is one of nature's spiritual ditties, that 
has not yet been set to words or human music : 
' The Invitation to the Eoad ; ' an air continually 
sounding in the ears of gipsies, and to whose in- 
spiration our nomadic fathers journeyed all their 
days. The hour, the season, and the scene, all 
were in delicate accordance. The air was full 
of birds of passage, steering westward and 
northward over Grtinewald, an army of specks 
to the up-looking eye. And below, the great 
practicable road was bound for the same 
Quarter. 

a. 

But to the two horsemen on the knoll this 
spiritual ditty was unheard. They were, indeed, 
in some concern of mind, scanning every fold 
of the subjacent forest, and betraying both 
anger and dismay in their impatient gestures ; 

' I do not see him, Kuno,' said the first 
huntsman, 'nowhere — not a trace, not a hair 
of the mare's tail! No, sir, he's off; broke 
cover and got away. Why, for twopence I 
would hunt him with the dogs ! ' 

' Mayhap, he's gone home,' said Kuno, but 
without conviction. 

' Home ! ' sneered the other. ' I give him 
twelve days to get home. No, it's begun again ; 
it's as it was three years ago, before he married ; 
a disgrace I Hereditary prince, hereditary fool ! 
There goes the government over the borders on 



» . PRINCE OTTO 

a grey mare. What's that ? No, nothing — no, 
I tell you, on my word, I set more store by a 
good gelding or an English dog. That for your 
Otto!' 

' He's not my Otto,' growled Kuno. 

' Then I don't know whose he is,' was the 
retort. 

' You would put your hand in the fire for 
him to-morrow,' said Kuno, facing round. 

' Me ! ' cried the huntsman. ' I would see 
him hanged ! I'm a Grtinewald patriot — en- 
rolled, and have my medal, too ; and I would 
help a prince ! I'm for liberty and Gondre- 
mark.' 

' Well, it's all one,' said Kuno. ' If anybody 
said what you said, you would have his blood, 
and you know it.' 

' You have him on the brain,' retorted his 
companion. ' There he goes ! ' he cried, the 
next moment. 

And sure enough, about a mile down the 
mountain, a rider on a white horse was seen to 
flit rapidly across a heathy open and vanish 
among the trees on the farther side. 

' In ten minutes he'll be over the border into 
Gerolstein,' said Kuno. ' It's past cure.' 

' Well, if he founders that mare, I'll never 
forgive him,' added the other, gathering his 
reins. 



A ROMANCE 



And as they turned down from the knoll to 
rejoin their comrades, the sun dipped and dis- 
appeared, and the woods fell instantly into the 
gravity and greyness of the early night. 



ro PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTER II. 

IN WHICH THE PRINCE PLAYS HAROUN-AL-RASCHID. 

The night fell upon the Prince while he was 
threading green tracks in the lower valleys of 
the wood ; and though the stars came out over- 
head and displayed the interminable order of 
the pine-tree pyramids, regular and dark like 
cypresses, their light was of small service to a 
traveller in such lonely paths, and from thence- 
forth he rode at random. The austere face of 
nature, the uncertain issue of his course, the 
open sky and the free air, delighted him like 
wine ; and the hoarse chafing of a river on his 
left sounded in his ears agreeably. 

It was past eight at night before his toil was 
rewarded and he issued at last out of the forest 
on the firm white highroad. It lay down- 
hill before him, with a sweeping eastward trend, 
faintly bright between the thickets ; and Otto 
paused and gazed upon it. So it ran, league 
after league, still joining others, to the farthest 



A ROMANCE ii 

ends of , Europe, there skirting the sea-surge, 
here gleaming in the lights of cities ; and the 
innumerable army of tramps and travellers 
moved upon it in all lands as by a common 
impulse, and were now in all places drawing 
near to the inn door and the night's rest. The 
pictures swarmed and vanished in his brain ; 
a surge of temptation, a beat of all his blood, 
went over him, to set spur to the mare and to 
go on into the unknown for ever. And then 
it passed away ; hunger and fatigue, and that 
habit of middling actions which we call common 
sense, resumed their empire ; and in that changed 
mood, his eye hghted upon two bright windows 
on his left hand, between the road and river. 

He turned off by a by-road, and in a few 
minutes he was knocking with his whip on the 
door of a large farmhouse, and a chorus of dogs 
from the farmyard were making angry answer. 
Avery tall, old, white-headed man came, shading 
a candle, at the summons. He had been of great 
strength in his time, and of a handsome counten- 
ance ; but now he was fallen away, his teeth 
were quite gone, and his voice when he spoke 
was broken and falsetto. 

' You will pardon me,' said Otto. ' I am a 
traveller and have entirely lost my way.' 

' Sir,' said the old man, in a very stately, 
shaky manner, ' you are at the Eiver Farm, 



12 PRINCE OTTO 

and I am Killian Gottesheim, at your disposal. 
We are here, sir, at about an equal distance 
from Mittwalden in Griinewald and Brandenau 
in Gerolstein : six leagues to either, and the 
road excellent ; but there is not a wine bush, 
not a carter's alehouse, anywhere between. You 
will have to accept my hospitality for the night ; 
rough hospitality, to which I make you freely 
welcome ; for, sir,' he added with a bow, ' it is 
God who sends the guest.' 

' Amen. And I most heartily thank you,' 
replied Otto, bowing in his turn. 

'Fritz,' said the old man, turning towards 
the interior, ' lead round this gentleman's horse ; 
and you, sir, condescend to enter.' 

Otto entered a chamber occupying the greater 
part of the ground-floor of the building. It had 
probably once been divided ; for the farther 
end was raised by a long step above the nearer, 
and the blazing fire and the white supper-table 
seemed to stand upon a dais. All around were 
dark, brass-mounted cabinets and cupboards ; 
dark shelves carrying ancient country crockery ; 
guns and antlers and broadside ballads on the 
wall ; a tall old clock with roses on the dial ; 
and down in one corner the comfortable promise 
of a wine barrel. It was homely, elegant, and 
quaint. 

A powerful youth hurried out to attend on 



A ROMANCE 13 

the grey mare ; and when Mr. KiUian Gotte- 
sheim had presented him to his daughter Ottilia, 
Otto followed to the stable as became, not 
perhaps the Prince, but the good horseman. 
When he returned, a smoking omelette and some 
slices of home-cured ham were waiting him ; 
these were followed by a ragout and a cheese ; 
and it was not until his guest had entirely 
satisfied his hunger, and the whole party drew 
about the fire over the wine jug, that Killian 
Gottesheim's elaborate courtesy permitted him 
to address a question to the Prince. 

' You have perhaps ridden far, sir ? ' he 
inquired. 

' I have, as you say, ridden far,' replied Otto ; 
' and, as you have seen, I was prepared to do 
justice to your daughter's cookery.' 

'Possibly, sir, from the direction of Bran- 
denau ? ' continued Killian. 

' Precisely : and I should have slept to-night, 
had I not wandered, in Mittwalden,' answered 
the Prince, weaving in a patch of truth, accord- 
ing to the habit of all liars. 

' Business leads you to Mittwalden ? ' was the 
next question. 

' Mere curiosity,' said Otto. ' I have never 
yet visited the principality of Griinewald.' 

' A pleasant state, sir,' piped the old man, 
nodding, * a very pleasant state, and a fine race, 



14 PRINCE OTTO 

both pines and people. We reckon ourselves 
part Griinewalders here, lying so near the 
borders ; and the river there is all good Grline- 
wald water, every drop of it. Yes, sir, a fine 
state. A man of Griinewald now will swing me 
an axe over his head that many a man of Gerol- 
stein could hardly lift ; and the pines, why, 
deary me, there must be more pines in that little 
state, sir, than people in this whole big world. 
'Tis twenty years now since I crossed the 
marshes, for we grow home-keepers in old age ; 
but I mind it as if it was yesterday. Up and 
down, the road keeps right on from here to Mitt- 
walden ; and nothing all the way but the good 
green pine-trees, big and little, and water power ! 
water power at every step, sir. We once sold a 
bit of forest, up there beside the highroad ; and 
the sight of minted money that we got for it, 
has set me ciphering ever since what all the 
pines in Griinewald would amount to.' 

' I suppose you see nothing of the Prince? ' 
inquired Otto. 

' ISTo,' said the young man, speaking for the 
first time, ' nor want to.' 

' Why so ? is he so much disliked .^ ' asked 
Otto. 

' ]^ot what you might call disliked,' replied 
the old gentleman, ' but despised, sir.' 

' Indeed,' said the Piince, somewhat faintly. 



A ROMANCE 15 

* Yes, sir, despised,' nodded Killian, filling a 
long pipe, 'and, to my way of thinking, justly 
despised. Here is a man with great oppor- 
tunities, and what does he do with them? He 
hunts, and he dresses very prettily — which is a 
thinof to be ashamed of in a man — and he acts 
plays ; and if he does aught else, the news of it 
has not come here.' 

' Yet these are all innocent,' said Otto. 
' What would you have him do — make war ? ' 

' No, sir,' replied the old man. ' But here it 
is ; I have been fifty years upon this Eiver 
Parm, and wrought in it, day in, day out ; I 
have ploughed and sowed and reaped, and risen 
early, and waked late ; and this is the upshot : 
that all these years it has supported me and my 
family ; and been the best friend that ever I 
had, set aside my wife ; and now, when my time 
comes, I leave it a better farm than when I 
found it. So it is, if a man works hearty in the 
order of nature, he gets bread and he receive^ 
comfort, and whatever he touches breeds. And 
it humbly appears to me, if that Prince was to 
labour on his throne, as I have laboured and 
wrought in my farm, he would find both an 
increase and a blessing.' 

' I believe with you, sir,' Otto said ; ' and yet 
the parallel is inexact. For the farmer's life is 
natural and simple ; but the prince's is both 



l6 . PRINCE OTTO 

artificial and complicated. It is easy to do right 
in the one, and exceedingly difficult not to do 
wrong in the other. If your crop is blighted, 
you can take off your bonnet and say, " God's 
will be done " ; but if the prince meets with a 
reverse, he may have to blame himself for the 
attempt. And perhaps, if all the kings in 
Europe were to confine themselves to innocent 
amusement, the subjects would be the better 
off' 

' Ay,' said the young man Fritz, ' you are in 
the right of it there. That was a true word 
spoken. And I see you are like me, a good 
patriot and an enemy to princes.' 

Otto was somewhat abashed at this deduc 
tion, and he made haste to change his ground. 
' But,' said he, ' you surprise me by what you say 
of this Prince Otto. I have heard him, I must 
own, more favourably painted. I was told he 
was, in his heart, a good fellow, and the enemy 
of no one but himself.' 

' And so he is, sir,' said the girl, "a very 
handsome, pleasant prince ; and we know some 
who would shed their blood for him.' 

'0! Kuno!' said Fritz. 'An ignoramus!' 

'Ay, Kuno, to be sure,' quavered the old 
farmer. ' Well, since this gentleman is a stranger 
to these parts, and curious about the Prince, I 
do believe that story might divert him. This 



A ROMANCE if 

Kuno, yoii must know, sir, is one of the hunt 
servants, and a most ignorant, intemperate man : 
a right Grlinewalder, as we say in Gerolstein. 
We know him well, in this house ; for he has 
come as far as here after his stray dogs ; and I 
make all welcome, sir, without account of state 
or nation. And, indeed, between Gerolstein and 
Grlinewald the peace has held so long that the 
roads stand open like my door ; and a man will 
make no more of the frontier than the very 
birds themselves.' 

' Ay,' said Otto, 'it has been a long peace — a 
peace of centuries.' 

'Centuries, as you say,' returned Killian: 
'the more the pity that it should not be for 
ever. Well, sir, this Kuno was one day in fault, 
and Otto, who has a quick temper, up with his 
whip and thrashed him, they do say, soundly. 
Kuno took it as best he could, but at last he 
broke out, and dared the Prince to throw his 
whip away and wrestle like a man ; for we are 
all great at wrestling in these parts, and it's so 
that we generally settle our disputes. Well, sir, 
the Prince did so ; and being a weakly creature, 
found the tables turned ; for the man whom he 
had just been thrashing like a negro slave, lifted 
him with a back grip ai^d threw him heels over- 
head.' 

' He broke his bridle-arm,' cried Fritz — ' and 

c 



1 8 PRINCE OTTO 

some say his nose. Serve him right, say I ! 
Man to man, which is the better at that ? ' 

' And then ? ' asked Otto. 

' 0, then, Kuno carried him home ; and they 
were the best of friends from that day forth. I 
don't say it's a discreditable story, you observe,' 
continued Mr. Gottesheim ; ' but it's droll, and 
that's the fact. A man should think before he 
strikes ; for, as my nephew says, man to man 
was the old valuation.' 

' Now, if you were to ask me,' said Otto, ' I 
should perhaps surprise you. I think it was the 
Prince that conquered.' 

' And, sir, you would be right,' replied 
Ivillian, seriously. ' In the eyes of God, I do not 
question but you would be right ; but men, sir, 
look at these things differently, and they laugh.' 

' They made a song of it,' observed Fritz. 
' How does it go ? Ta-tum-ta-ra . . . .' 

' Well,' interrupted Otto, who had no great 
anxiety to hear the song, ' the Prince is young ; 
he may yet mend.' 

' Not so young, by your leave,' cried Fritz. 
' A man of forty.' 

' Thirty- six,' corrected Mr. Gottesheim. 

' 0,' cried Ottilia, in obvious disillusion, ' a 
man of middle age ! And they said he was so 
handsome when he was young ! ' 

'And bald, too,' added Fritz. 



A ROMANCE 19 

Otto passed his hand among his locks. At 
that moment he was far from happy, and even 
the tedious evenings at Mittwalden Palace began 
to smile upon him by comparison. 

' 0, six-and-thjrty ! ' he protested. ' A man 
is not yet old at six-and-thirty. I am that age 
myself.' 

'I should have taken you for more, sir,' 
piped the old farmer. ' But if that be so, you 
are of an age with Master Ottekin, as people 
call him ; and, I would wager a crown, have 
done more service in your time. Though it 
seems young by comparison with men of a great 
age like me, yet it's some way through life for 
all that ; and the mere fools and fiddlers are 
beginning to grow weary and to look old. Yes, 
sir, by six-and-thirty, if a man be a follower of 
God's laws, he should have made himself a home 
and a good name to live by ; he should have 
got a wife and a blessing on his marriage ; and 
his works, as the Word says, should begin to 
follow him.' 

' Ah, well, the Prince is married,* cried 
Fritz, with a coarse burst of laughter. 

' That seems to entertain you, sir,' said Otto. 

' Ay,' said the young boor. ' Did you not 
know that ? I thought all Europe knew it ! ' 
And he added a pantomime of a nature to 
explain his accusation to the dullest. 

c2 



20 PRINCE OTTO 

' All, sir,' said Mr. Gottesheim, ' it is very 
plain that you are not from hereabouts ! But 
the truth is, that the whole princely family and 
Court are rips and rascals, not one to mend 
another. They live, sir, in idleness and — what 
most commonly follows it — corruption. The 
Princess has a lover ; a Baron, as he calls him- 
self, from East Prussia ; and the Prince is so 
little of a man, sir, that he holds the candle. 
Nor is that the worst of it, for this foreigner and 
his paramour are suffered to transact the State 
affairs, while the Prince takes the salary and 
leaves all things to go to wrack. There will 
follow upon this some manifest judgment which, 
though I am old, I may survive to see.* 

' Good man, you are in the wrong about 
Gondremark,' said Pritz, showing a greatly 
increased animation ; ' but for all the rest, you 
speak the God's truth like a good patriot. As 
for the Prince, if he would take and strangle his 
wife, I would forgive him yet.' 

' ISFay, Fritz,' said the old man, ' that would 
be to add iniquity to evil. For you perceive, 
sir,' he continued, once more addressing himself 
to the unfortunate Prince, ' this Otto has himself 
to thank for these disorders. He has his young 
wife and his principality, and he has sworn to 
cherish both.' 

' Sworn at the altar ! ' echoed Fritz. ' But 
put your faith in princes ! ' 



A ROMANCE 21 

'Well, sir, he leaves them both to an ad- 
venturer from East Prussia,' pursued the farmer ; 
' leaves the girl to be seduced and to go on from 
bad to worse, till her name's become a taproom 
by- word, and she not yet twenty ; leaves the 
country to be overtaxed, and bullied with arma- 
ments, and jockied into war ' 

' War ! ' cried Otto. 

' So they say, sir ; those that watch their 
ongoings, say to war,' asseverated Killian. ' Well, 
sir, that is very sad ; it is a sad thing for this 
poor, wicked girl to go down to hell with 
people's curses ; it's a sad thing for a tight little 
happy country to be misconducted ; but who- 
ever may complain, I humbly conceive, sir, that 
this Otto cannot. What he has worked for, 
that he has got ; and may God have pity on his 
soul, for a great and a silly sinner's ! ' 

' He has broke his oath ; then he is a per- 
jurer. He takes the money and leaves the 
work; why, then plainly he's a thief. A 
cuckold he was before, and a fool by birth. 
Better me that ! ' cried Fritz, and snapped his 
fino^ers. 

' And now, sir, you will see a little,' con- 
tinued the farmer, ' why we think so poorly of 
this Prince Otto. There's such a thing as a 
man being pious and honest in the private way ; 
and there is such a thing, sir, as a public 



22 PRINCE OTTO 

virtue ; but when a man has neither, the Lord 
Hghten him! Even this Gondremark, that 
Fritz here thinks so much of ' 

' Ay,' interrupted Fritz, ' Gondremark's the 
man for me. I woukl we had his hke in 
Gerolstein.' 

' He is a bad man,' said the old farmer, 
shaking his head ; ' and there was never good 
begun by the breach of God's commandments. 
But so far I will go with you : he is a man that 
works for what he has.' 

' I tell you he's the hope of Grtinewald,' 
cried Fritz. ' He doesn't suit some of your 
high-and-dry, old, ancient ideas ; but he's a 
downright modern man — a man of the new 
lights and the progress of the age. He does 
some things wrong ; so they all do ; but he has 
the people's interests next his heart ; and you 
mark me — you, sir, who are a Liberal, and the 
enemy of all their governments, you please to 
mark my words — the day will come in Grtine- 
wald, when they take out that yellow-headed 
skulk of a Prince and that dough-faced Messalina 
of a Princess, march 'em back foremost over the 
borders, and proclaim the Baron Gondremark 
first President. I've heard them say it in a 
speech. I was at a meeting once at Brandenau, 
and the Mittwalden delegates spoke up for 
fifteen thousand. Fifteen thousand, all brigaded, 



A ROMANCE 23 

and each man with a medal round his neck to 
rally by. That's all Gondremark.' 

' Ay, sir, you see what it leads to : wild talk 
to-day, and wilder doings to-morrow,' said the 
old man. ' For there is one thing certain : that 
this Gondremark has one foot in the Court 
backstairs, and the other in the Masons' lodges. 
He gives himself out, sir, for what nowadays 
they call a patriot : a man from East Prussia ! ' 

' Give himself out ! ' cried Fritz. ' He is ! 
He is to lay by his title as soon as the Eepublic 
is declared ; I heard it in a speech.' 

' Lay by Baron to take up President ? ' re- 
turned Kilhan. ' King Log, King Stork. But 
you'll live longer than I, and you will see the 
fruits of it.' 

' Father,' whispered Ottiha, pulhng at the 
speaker's coat, ' surely the gentleman is ill.' 

' I beg your pardon,' cried the farmer, re- 
waking to hospitable thoughts ; ' can I offer you 
anything ? ' 

' I thank you. I am very weary,' answered 
Otto. ' I have presumed upon my strength. If 
you would show me to a bed, I should be 
grateful.' 

' Ottiha, a candle ! ' said the old man. ' In- 
deed, sir, you look paley. A httle cordial water ? 
No? Then follow me, I beseech you, and I 
will bring you to the stranger's bed. You are 



24 PRINCE OTTO 

not the first by many who has slept well below 
my roof,' continued the old gentleman, mount- 
ing the stairs before his guest ; ' for good food, 
honest wine, a grateful conscience, and a little 
pleasant chat before a man retires, are worth all 
the possets and apothecary's drugs. See, sir,' 
and here he opened a door and ushered Otto 
into a httle whitewashed sleeping-room, ' here 
you are in port. It is small, but it is airy, and 
the sheets are clean and kept in lavender. The 
window, too, looks out above the river, and 
there's no music like a little river's. It plays 
the same tune (and that's the favourite) over 
and over again, and yet does not weary of it 
like men fiddlers. It takes the mind out of 
doors ; and though we should be grateful for 
good houses, there is, after all, no house like 
God's out-of-doors. And lastly, sir, it quiets a 
man down like saying his prayers. So here, 
sir, I take my kind leave of you until to-morrow ; 
and it is my prayerful wish that you may 
slumber like a prince.' 

And the old man, with the twentieth courte- 
ous inclination, left his guest alone. 



A ROMANCE 25 



CHAPTEE in. 

LN" WHICH THE PRINCE COMFORTS AGE AND BEAUTY 
AND DELIVERS A LECTURE ON DISCRETION IN LOVE. 

The Prince was early abroad : in the time of 
the first chorus of birds, of the pure and quiet 
air, of the slanting sunlight and the mile-long 
shadows. To one who had passed a miserable 
night, the freshness of that hour was tonic and 
reviving ; to steal a march upon his slumbering 
fellows, to be the Adam of the coming day, 
composed and fortified his spirits ; and the 
Prince, breathing deep and pausing as he went, 
walked in the wet fields beside his shadow, and 
was glad. 

A trellised path led down into the valley 
of the brook, and he turned to follow it. The 
stream was a break-neck, boiling Highland 
river. Hard by the farm, it leaped a little pre- 
cipice in a thick grey-mare's tail of twisted 
filaments, and then lay and worked and bubbled 
in a lynn. Into the middle of this quaking pool 



26 PRINCE OTTO 

a rock protruded, shelving to a cape ; and thither 
Otto scrambled and sat down to ponder. 

Soon the sun struck through the screen of 
branches and thin early leaves that made a 
hanging bower above the fall ; and the golden 
lights and flitting shadows fell upon and marbled 
the surface of that seething pot; and rays 
plunged deep among the turning waters ; and a 
spark, as bright as a diamond, lit upon the 
swaying eddy. It began to grow warm where 
Otto lingered, warm and heady; the lights 
swam, weaving their maze across the shaken 
pool ; on the impending rock, reflections danced 
like butterflies ; and the air was fanned by the 
waterfall as by a swinging curtain. 

Otto, who was weary with tossing and beset 
with horrid phantoms of remorse and jealousy, 
instantly fell dead in love with that sun- 
chequered, echoing corner. Holding his feet, 
he stared out of a drowsy trance, wondering, 
admiring, musing, losing his way among uncer- 
tain thoughts. There is nothing that so apes 
the external bearing of free will, as that uncon- 
scious bustle, obscurely following liquid laws, 
with which a rivor contends among obstructions. 
It seems the very play of man and destiny, and 
as Otto pored on these recurrent changes, he 
grew, by equal steps, the sleepier and the more 
profound. Eddy and Prince were alike jostled 



A ROMANCE 27 

in their purpose, alike anchored by intangible 
influences in one corner of the world. Eddy 
and Prince were alike useless, starkly useless, in 
the cosmology of men. Eddy and Prince — 
Prince and Eddy. 

It is probable he had been some while asleep 
when a voice recalled him from oblivion. ' Sir,' 
it was saying ; and looking round, he saw Mr. 
Killian's daughter, terrified by her boldness and 
making bashful signals from the shore. She was 
a plain, honest lass, healthy and happy and good, 
and with that sort of beauty that comes of happi- 
ness and health. But her confusion lent her 
for the moment an additional charm. 

' Good morning,' said Otto, rising and moving 
towards her. 'I arose early and was in a 
dream.' 

' 0, sir ! ' she cried, ' I wish to beg of you to 
spare my father ; for I assure your Highness, if 
he had known who you was, he would have 
bitten his tongue out sooner. And Fritz, too — 
how he went on ! But I had a notion ; and this 
morning I went straight down into the stable, 
and there was your Highness's crown upon the 
stirrup-irons ! But, oh, sir, I made certain you 
would spare them ; for they were as innocent as 
lambs.' 

' My dear,' said Otto, both amused and grati- 
fied, ' you do not understand. It is I who am 



28 PRINCE OTTO 

in the wrong ; for I liad no business to conceal 
my name and lead on these gentlemen to speak 
of me. And it is I who have to beg of you, that 
you will keep my secret and not betray the dis- 
courtesy of which I was guilty. As for any fear 
of me, your friends are safe in Gerolstein ; and 
even in my own territory, you must be well 
aware I have no power.' 

' 0, sir,' she said, curtsying, ' I would not say 
that : the huntsmen would all die for you.' 

' Happy Prince ! ' said Otto. ' But although 
you are too courteous to avow the knowledge, 
you have had many opportunities of learning that 
I am a vain show. Only last night we heard it 
very clearly stated. You see the shadow flitting 
on this hard rock. Prince Otto, I am afraid, is 
but the moving shadow, and the name of the rock 
is Gondremark. Ah ! if your friends had fallen 
foul of Gondremark ! But happily the younger 
of the two admires him. And as for the old 
gentleman your father, he is a wise man and an 
excellent talker, and I would take a long wager 
he is honest.' 

' 0, for honest, your Highness, that he is ! ' 
exclaimed the girl. ' And Fritz is as honest as 
he. And as for all they said, it was just talk 
and nonsense. When countryfolk get gossiping, 
they go on, I do assure you, for the fun ; they 
don't as much as think of what they say. If you 



A ROMANCE 29 

went to the next farm, it's my belief you would 
hear as much against my father.' 

'Nay, nay,' said Otto, 'there you go too 
fast. For all that was said against Prince 
Otto ' 

' 0, it was shameful ! ' cried the girl. 

'Not shameful — true,' returned Otto. 'Oh, 
yes — true. I am all they said of me — all that 
and worse.' 

« I never ! ' cried Ottiha. ' Is that how you 
do ? Well, you would never be a soldier. Now 
if any one accuses me, I get up and give it them. 
0, 1 defend myself. I wouldn't take a fault at 
another person's hands, no, not if I had it on my 
forehead. And that's what you must do, if you 
mean to live it out. But, indeed, I never heard 
such nonsense. I should think you was ashamed 
of yourself ! You're bald then, I suppose ? ' 

' no,' said Otto, fairly laughing. ' There I 
acquit myself : not bald ! ' 

' Well, and good ? ' pursued the girl. ' Come 
now, you know you are good, and I'll make you 
say so. . . . Your Highness, I beg your humble 
pardon. But there's no disrespect intended. And 
anyhow, you know you are.* 

' Why, now, what am I to say ? ' replied Otto. 
' You are a cook, and excellently v/ell you do it ; 
I embrace the chance of thanking you for the 
ragout. Well now, have you not seen good 



30 PRINCE OTTO 

food SO bedevilled by unskilful cookery that no 
one could be brought to eat the pudding ? That 
is me, my dear. I am full of good ingredients, 
but the dish is worthless. I am — I give it you 
in one word — sugar in the salad.' 

' Well, I don't care, you're good,' reiterated 
Ottilia, a little flushed by having failed to under- 
stand. 

' I will tell you one thing,' replied Otto : ' You 
are ! ' 

' Ah, well, that's what they all said of you,' 
moralised the girl ; ' such a tongue to come 
round — such a flattering tonsfue ! ' 

' 0, you forget, I am a man of middle age,' 
the Prince chuckled. 

' Well, to speak to you, I should think you 
was a boy ; and Prince or no Prince, if you came 
worrying where I was cooking, I would pin a 
napkin to your tails. . . . And, Lord, I de- 
3lare I hope your Highness will forgive me,' 
the girl added. ' I can't keep it in my mind.' 

'No more can I,' cried Otto. ' That is just 
what they complain of ! ' 

They made a loverly-looking couple ; only 
the heavy pouring of that horse-tail, of water 
made them raise their voices above lovers' pitch. 
But to a jealous onlooker from above, their 
mirth and close proximity might easily give 
umbrage ; and a rough voice out of a tuft of 



A ROMANCE 31 

brambles began calling on Ottilia by name. She 
changed colour at that. 'It is Fritz,' she said. 
* I must go,' 

' Go, my dear, and I need not bid you go in 
peace, for I think you have discovered that I am 
not formidable at close quarters,' said the Prince, 
and made her a fine gesture of dismissal. 

So Ottiha skipped up the bank, and dis- 
appeared into the thicket, stopping once for a 
single blushing bob — blushing, because she had 
in the interval once more forgotten and remem- 
bered the stranger's quaUty. 

Otto returned to his rock promontory ; but 
his humour had in the meantime changed. The 
sun now shone more fairly on the pool ; and over 
its brown, welling surface, the blue of heaven 
and the golden green of the spring foliage danced 
in fleeting arabesque. The eddies laughed and 
brightened with essential colour. And the beauty 
of the dell began to rankle in the Prince's mind ; 
it was so near to his own borders, yet without. 
He had never had much of the joy of possessor- 
ship in any of the thousand and one beautiful 
and curious things that were his ; and now he 
was conscious of envy for what was another's. 
It was, indeed, a smiling, dilettante sort of envy ; 
but yet there it was : the passion of Ahab for the 
vineyard, done in little ; and he was relieved 
when Mr. Killian appeared upon the scene. 



32 PRINCE OTTO 

' 1 hope, sir, that you have slept well under 
my plam roof,' said the old farmer. 

' I am admiring this sweet spot that you are 
privileged to dwell in,' replied Otto, evading the 
inquiry. 

' It is rustic,' returned Mr. Gottesheim, look- 
ing around him with complacency, ' a very 
rustic corner ; and some of the land to the west 
is most excellent fat land, excellent deep soil. 
You should see my wheat in the ten- acre field. 
There is not a farm in Grlinewald, no, nor many 
in Gerolstein, to match the Eiver Farm. Some 
sixty — I keep thinking when I sow — some sixty, 
and some seventy, and some an hundredfold ; and 
my own place, six score ! But that, sir, is partly 
the farming.' 

' And the stream has fish ? ' asked Otto. 

' A fish-pond,' said the farmer. ' Ay, it is a 
pleasant bit. It is pleasant even here, if one had 
time, with the brook drumming in that black 
pool, and the green things hanging all about the 
rocks, and, dear heart, to see the very pebbles ! 
all turned to gold and precious stones ! But you 
have come to that time of life, sir, when, if you 
will excuse me, you must look to have the rheu- 
matism set in. Thirty to forty is, as one may say, 
their seedtim^e. And this is a damp cold corner 
for the early morning aad an empty stomach. 
If I might humbly advise you, sir, I would be 
moving.' 



A ROMANCE 33 

' With all my heart/ said Otto, gravely. ' And 
so you have lived your life here ? ' he added, as 
they turned to go. 

' Here I was born,' replied the farmer, ' and 
here I wish I could say I was to die. But for- 
tune, sir, fortune turns the wheel. They say 
she is blind, but we will hope she only sees a 
little farther on. My grandfather and my father 
and I, we have all tilled these acres, my furrow 
following theirs. All the three names are on the 
garden bench, two Kilhans and one Johann. 
Yes, sir, good men have prepared themselves for 
the great change in my old garden. Well do I 
mind my father, in a woollen night-cap, the good 
soul, going round and round to see the last of it. 
" Killian," said he, " do you see the smoke of my 
tobacco ? Why," said he, " that is man's life." It 
was his last pipe, and I believe he knew it ; and 
it was a strange thing, without doubt, to leave 
the trees that he had planted, and the son that 
he had begotten, ay, sir, and even the old pipe 
with the Turk's head that he had smoked since 
he was a lad and went a-courting. But here we 
have no continuing city ; and as for the eternal, 
it's a comfortable thought that we have other 
merits than our own. And yet you would hardly 
think how sore it goes against the grain with me, 
to die in a strange bed.' 



34 ■ PRINCE OTTO 

* And must you do so ? For what reason ? ' 
Otto asked. 

' The reason ? The place is to be sold ; three 
thousand crowns,' replied Mr. Gottesheim. ' Had 
it been a third of that, I may say without boast- 
ing that, what with my credit and my savings, I 
could have met the sum. But at three thousand, 
unless I have singular good fortune and the new 
proprietor continues me in office, there is nothing 
left me but to budge.' 

Otto's fancy for the place redoubled at the 
news, and became joined with other feelings. II 
all he heard were true, Grtinewald was growing 
very hot for a sovereign Prince ; it might be well 
to have a refuge ; and if so, what more delight- 
ful hermitage could man imasjine ? Mr. Gottes- 
heim, besides, had touched his sympathies. Every 
man loves in his soul to play the part of the stage 
deity. And to step down to the aid of the old 
farmer, who had so roughly handled him in talk, 
was the ideal of a Fair Eevens^e. Otto's thoughts 
brightened at the prospect, and he began to re- 
gard himself with a renewed respect. 

' I can find you, I believe, a purchaser,' he 
said, ' and one who would continue to avail him- 
self of your skill.' 

' Can you, sir, indeed ? ' said the old man 
' Well, I shall be heartily obliged ; for I begin 
to find a man may practise resignation all hii: 



A ROMANCE 35 

days, as he takes physic, and not come to hke it 
in the end.' 

' If you will have the papers drawn, you may 
even burthen tlie purchase with your interest, 
said Otto. ' Let it be assured to you through 
life.' 

' Your friend, sir,' insinuated Killian, ' would 
not, perhaps, care to make the interest reversible ? 
Fritz is a good lad.' 

' Fritz is young,' said the Prince, drily ; ' he 
must earn consideration, not inherit.' 

'He has long worked upon the place, sir,' 
insisted Mr. Gottesheim ; ' and at my great age, 
for I am seventy-eight come harvest, it would 
be a troublesome thought to the proprietor how 
to fill my shoes. It would be a care spared to 
assure yourself of Fritz. And I believe he might 
be tempted by a permanency.' 

' The young man has unsettled views,' re- 
turned Otto. 
_ ' Possibly the purchaser ' began Killian. 

A little spot of anger burned in Otto's cheek. 
' I am the purchaser,' he said. 

' It was what I might have guessed,' replied 
the farmer, bowing with an aged, obsequious 
dignity. ' You have made an old man very 
happy; and I may say, indeed, that^ I have 
entertained an angel unawares. Sir, the great 
people of this world — and by that I mean those 



36 PRINCE OTTO 

who are great in station — if tliey had only hearts 
hke yours, how they would make the fires burn 
and the poor sing ! ' 

'I would not judge them hardly, sir,' said 
Otto. 'We all have our frailties.' 

* Truly, sir,' said Mr. Gottesheim, with unction. 
'And by what name, sir, am I to address my 
generous landlord ? ' 

The double recollection of an Enghsh traveller, 
whom he had received the week before at court, 
and of an old English rogue called Transome, 
whom he had known in youth, came pertinently 
to the Prince's help. ' Transome,' he answered, 
' is my name. I am an English traveller. It is, 
to-day, Tuesday. On Thursday, before noon, 
the money shall be ready. Let us meet, if you 
please, in Mittwalden, at the " Morning Star." ' 

'I am, in all things lawful, your servant to 
command,' repHed the farmer. 'An English- 
man ! You are a great race of travellers. And 
has your lordship some experience of land ? ' 

' I have had some interest of the kind before,' 
returned the Prince ; ' not in Gerolstein, indeed. 
But fortune, as you say, turns the wheel, and I 
desire to be beforehand with her revolutions.' 

' Very right, sir, I am sure,' said Mr. Killian. 

They had been strolling with deliberation; 
but they were now drawing near to the farm- 
house, mounting by the trellised pathway to the 



A ROMANCE 37 

level of the meadow. A little before them, the 
sound of voices had been some while audible, 
and now grew louder and more distinct with 
every step of their advance. Presently, when 
they emerged upon the top of the bank, they 
beheld Fritz and Ottilia some way off; he, very 
black and bloodshot, emphasising his hoarse 
speech with the smacking of his fist against his 
palm ; she, standing a little way off in blowsy, 
voluble distress. 

' Dear me ! ' said Mr. Gottesheim, and made 
as if he would turn aside. 

But Otto went straight towards the lovers, in 
whose dissension he believed himself to have a 
share. And, indeed, as soon as he had seen the 
Prince, Fritz had stood tragic, as if awaiting and 
defying his approach. 

' 0, here you are ! ' he cried, as soon as they 
were near enough for easy speech. ' You are a 
man at least, and must reply. What were you 
after ? Why were you two skulking in the bush ? 
God ! ' he broke out, turning again upon Ottilia, 
* to think that I should waste my heart on you ! ' 

'I beg your pardon,' Otto cut in. 'You 
were addressing me. In virtue of what circum- 
stance am I to render you an account of this 
young lady's conduct? Are you her father? 
her brother ? her husband ? ' 

' 0, sir, you know as well as I,' returned 



38 .FRINGE OTTO 

the peasant. ' We keep company, she and I. 
I love her, and she is by way of loving me ; but 
all shall be above-board, I would have her to 
know. I have a good pride of my own.' 

' Why, I perceive I must explain to yon 
what love is,' said Otto. ' Its measure is kind- 
ness. It is very possible that you are proud ; 
but she, too, may have some self-esteem ; I 
do not speak for myself. And perhaps, if your 
own doings were so curiously examined, you 
might find it inconvenient to reply.' 

' These are all set-offs,' said the young man. 
* You know very well that a man is a man, and 
a woman only a woman. That holds good all 
over, up and down. I ask you a question, I 
ask it again, and here I stand.' He drew a 
mark and toed it. 

'When you have studied liberal doctrines 
somewhat deeper,' said the Prince, 'you will 
perhaps change your note. You are a man ol 
false weights and measures, my young friend. 
You have one scale for women, another for 
men ; one for princes, and one for farmer-folk. 
On the prince who neglects his wife you can be 
most severe. But what of the lover who insults 
his mistress? You use the name of love. I 
should think this lady might very fairly ask to 
be delivered from love of such a nature. For il 
I, a stranger, had been one-tentli part so gross 



A ROMANCE 39 

and so discourteous, you would most rigliteonsly 
have broke my head. It would have been in 
your part, as lover, to protect her from such in- 
solence. Protect her first, then, from yourself.' 

' Ay,' quoth Mr. Gottesheim, who had been 
looking on with his hands behind his tall old 
back, ' ay, that's scripture truth.' 

Fritz was staggered, not only by the Prince's 
imperturbable superiority of manner, but by a 
pflimmerincj consciousness that he himself was in 
the wrong. The appeal to liberal doctrines had, 
besides, unmanned him. 

' Well,' said he, ' if I was rude, I'll own to it. 
I meant no ill, and did nothing out of my just 
rights; but I am above all these old vulgar 
notions too; and if I spoke sharp, I'll ask her 
pardon.' 

' Freely granted, Fritz,' said Ottilia. 

' But all this doesn't answer me,' cried Fritz. 
'I ask what you two spoke about. She says 
she promised not to tell ; well, then, I mean to 
know. Civility is civility ; but I'll be no man's 
gull. I have a right to common justice, if I do 
keep company ! ' 

'If you will ask Mr. Gottesheim,' rephed 
Otto, ' you will find I have not spent my hours 
in idleness. I have, since I arose this morning, 
agreed to buy the farm. So far I will go to 
satisfy a curiosity which I condemn.' 



40 PRINCE OTTO 

' 0, well, if there was business, that's another 
matter,' returned Fritz. 'Though it beats me 
why you could not tell. But, of course, if the 
gentleman is to buy the farm, I suppose there 
would naturally be an end.' 

'To be sure,' said Mr. Gottesheim, with a 
strong accent of conviction. 

But Otfciha was much braver. ' There now ! ' 
she cried in triumph. ' What did I tell you ? 
I told you I was fighting your battles. Now 
you see! Think shame of your suspicious 
temper ! You should go down upon your 
bended knees both to that gentleman and me.' 



A ROMANCE 41 



CHAPTEE IV. 

IN WHICH THE PRINCE COLLECTS OPINIONS 
BY THE WAY. 

A LITTLE before noon Otto, by a triumpli of 
manoeuvring, effected his escape. He was quit 
in this way of the ponderous gratitude of Mr. 
KilHan, and of the confidential gratitude of 
poor Ottiha ; but of Fritz he was not quit so 
readily. That young politician, brimming with 
mysterious glances, offered to lend his convoy as 
far as to the highroad ; and Otto, in fear of some 
residuary jealousy and for the girl's sake, had 
not the courage to gainsay him ; but he regarded 
his companion with uneasy glances, and devoutly 
wished the business at an end. For some time 
Fritz walked by the mare in silence ; and they 
had already traversed more than half the pro- 
posed distance when, with something of a blush, 
he looked up and opened fire. 

' Are you not,' he asked, ' what they call a 
socialist ? ' 



42 PRINCE OTTO 

' Why, no,' returned Otto, ' not precisely 
what they call so. Why do you ask ? ' 

' I will tell you why,' said the young man. 
' I saw from the first that you were a red 
progressional, and nothing but the fear of old 
Killian kept you back. And there, sir, you 
were right : old men are always cowards. But 
nowadays, you see, there are so many groups : 
you can never tell how far the likeliest kind of 
man may be prepared to go ; and I was never 
sure you were one of the strong thinkers, till 
you hinted about women and free love.' 

' Indeed,' cried Otto, ' I never said a word of 
such a thing.' 

' Not you ! * cried Fritz. ' Kever a word to 
compromise ! You was sowing seed : ground- 
bait, our president calls it. But it's hard to 
deceive me, for I know all the agitators and 
their ways, and all the doctrines ; and between 
you and me,' lowering his voice, ' I am myself 
affihated. 0, yes, I am a secret society man, 
and here is my medal.' And drawing out a 
green ribbon that he wore about his neck, he 
held up, for Otto's inspection, a pewter medal 
bearing the imprint of a Phoenix and the legend, 
Libertas. ' And so now you see you may trust 
me,' added Fritz. ' I am none of your ale-house 
talkers ; I am a convinced revolutionary.' And 
he looked meltingly upon Otto. 



A ROMANCE 43 

' I see/ replied the Prince ; ' that is very- 
gratifying. Well, sir, the great thing for the 
good of one's country is, first of all, to be a 
good man. All springs from there. For my 
part, although you are right in thinking that I 
liave to do with politics, I am unfit by intellect 
and temper for a leading role. I was intended, 
I fear, for a subaltern. Yet we have all some- 
thing to command, Mr. Fritz, if it be only our 
own temper ; and a man about to marry must 
look closely to himself. The husband's, like the 
prince's, is a very artificial standing ; and it is 
hard to be kind in either. Do you follow 
that ? ' 

' 0, yes, I follow that,' replied the young 
man, sadly chop-fallen over the nature of the 
information he had elicited ; and then brighten- 
ing up : ' Is it,' he ventured, ' is it for an arsenal 
that you have bought the farm ? ' 

' We'll see about that,' the Prince answered, 
laughing. ' You must not be too zealous. And 
in the meantime, if I were you, I would say no- 
thing on the subject.' 

' 0, trust me, sir, for that,' cried Fritz, as he 
pocketed a crown. ' And you've let nothing 
out ; for I suspected — I might say I knew it — 
from the first. And mind you, when a guide is 
required,' he added, ' I know all the forest 
paths.' 



^44 * PRINCE OTTO 

Otto rode away, chuckling. This talk with 
Fritz had vastly entertained him; nor was he 
altogether discontented with his bearing at the 
farm; men, he was able to tell himself, had 
behaved worse under smaller provocation. And, 
to harmonise all, the road and the April air 
were both delightful to his soul. 

Up and down, and to and fro, ever mount- 
ing through the wooded foothills, the broad, 
white highroad wound onward into Grlinewald. 
On either hand the pines stood coolly rooted — 
green moss prospering, springs welling forth 
between their knuckled spurs ; and though some 
were broad and stalwart, and others spiry and 
slender, yet all stood firm in the same attitude 
and with the same expression, like a silent army 
presenting arms. 

The road lay all the way apart from towns 
and villages, which it left on either hand. Here 
and there, indeed, in the bottom of green glens, 
the Prince could spy a few congregated roofs, or 
perhaps above him, on a shoulder, the sohtary 
cabin of a woodman. But the highway was 
an international undertaking, and with its face 
set for distant cities, scorned the httle hfe of 
Grlinewald. Hence it was exceeding solitary. 
Near the frontier Otto met a detachment of his 
own troops marching in the hot dust ; and he 
was recognised and somewhat feebly cheered as 



A ROMANCE 45 

he rode by. But from that time forth and for a 
long while he was alone with the great woods. 

Gradually the spell of pleasure relaxed ; his 
own thoughts returned, like stinging insects, in 
a cloud ; and the talk of the night before, like 
a shower of buffets, fell upon his memory. He 
looked east and west for any comforter ; and 
presently he was aware of a cross-road coming 
steeply down hill, and a horseman cautiously 
descending. A human voice or presence, like a 
spring in the desert, was now welcome in itself, 
and Otto drew bridle to await the coming of 
this stranger. He proved to be a very red-faced, 
thick-lipped countryman, with a pair of fat 
saddle-bags and a stone bottle at his waist ; 
who, as soon as the Prince hailed him, jovially, 
if somewhat thickly, answered. At the same 
time he gave a beery yaw in the saddle. It was 
clear his bottle was no longer full. 

'Do you ride towards Mittwalden?' asked 
the Prince. 

'As far as the cross-road to Tannenbrunn,' 
the man rephed. ' Will you bear company ? ' 

' With pleasure. I have even waited for 
you on the chance,' answered Otto. 

By this time they were close alongside ; and 
the man, with the countryfolk instinct, turned 
his cloudy vision first of all on his companion's 
mount. ' The devil ! ' he cried. ' You ride a 



46 ■ PRINCE OTTO 

bonny mare, friend ! ' And then, his curiosity 
being satisfied about the essential, he turned his 
attention to that merely secondary matter, his 
companion's face. He started. ' The Prince ! ' 
he cried, saluting, with another yaw that came 
near dismounting him. ' 1 beg your pardon, 
your Highness, not to have reco'nised you at 
once.' 

The Prince was vexed out of his self-posses- 
sion. ' Since you know, me,' he said, ' it is 
unnecessary we should ride together. I will 
precede you, if you please.' And he was about 
to set spur to the grey mare, when the half- 
drunken fellow, reaching over, laid his hand 
upon the rein. 

' Hark you,' he said, ' prince or no prince, 
that is not how one man should conduct himself 
with another. What ! You'll ride with me 
incog, and set me talking ! But if I know you, 
you'll preshede me, if you please ! Spy ! ' And 
the fellow, crimson with drink and injured vanity, 
almost spat the word into the Prince's face. 

A horrid confusion came over Otto. He 
perceived that he had acted rudely, grossly 
presuming on his station. And perhaps a little 
shiver of physical alarm mingled with his re- 
morse, for the fellow was very powerful and 
not more than half in the possession of his 
senses. 'Take your hand from my rein,' he 



A ROMANCE 47 

said, with a sufficient assumption of command ; 
and when the man, rather to his wonder, had 
obeyed : 'You should understand, sir,' he added, 
' that while I might be glad to ride with you as 
one person of sagacity with another, and so 
receive your true opinions, it would amuse me 
very little to hear the empty compliments you 
would address to me as Prince.' 

' You think I would lie, do you ? ' cried the 
man with the bottle, purpling deeper. 

' I know you would,' returned Otto, entering 
entirely into his self-possession. ' You would 
not even show me the medal you wear about 
your neck.' For he had caught a glimpse of a 
green ribbon at the fellow's throat. 

The change was instantaneous : the red face 
became mottled with yellow ; a thick-fingered, 
tottering hand made a clutch at the tell-tale 
ribbon. ' Medal ! ' the man cried, wonderfully 
sobered. ' I have no medal.' 

' Pardon me,' said the Prince. ' I will even 
tell you what that medal bears : a Phcenix 
burning, with the word Lihertas.' The medalhst 
remaining speechless, ' You are a pretty fellow,' 
continued Otto, smiling, ' to complain of incivility 
from the man whom you conspire to murder.' 

' Murder ! ' protested the man. ' Nay, never 
that ; nothing criminal for me ! ' 

' You are strangely misinformed,' said Otto. 



48 PRINCE OTTO 

'Conspiracy itself is criminal, and insures the 
pain of death. Nay, sir, death it is ; I will 
guarantee my accuracy. Not that you need be 
so deplorably affected, for I am no officer. But 
those who mingle with politics should look at 
both sides of the medal.' 

' Your Highness . . .' began the knight of 
the bottle. 

' Nonsense ! you are a Eepublican,' cried 
Otto ; 'what have you to do with highnesses ? 
But let us continue to ride forward. Since you 
so much desire it, I cannot find it in my heart 
to deprive you of my company. And for that 
matter, I have a question to address to you. 
Why, being so great a body of men — for you 
are a great body — fifteen thousand, I have 
heard, but that will be understated ; am I 
right ? ' 

The man gurgled in his throat. 

' Why, then, being so considerable a party,' 
resumed Otto, ' do you not come before me 
boldly with your wants? — what do I say? with 
your commands ? Have I the name of being 
passionately devoted to my throne? I can 
scarce suppose it. Come, then ; show me your 
majority, and I will instantly resign. Tell this 
to your friends ; assure them from me of my 
docility; assure them that, however they con- 
ceive of mv deficiencies, they cannot suppose 



A ROMANCE 49 

me more unfit to be a ruler than I do myself. 
I am one of the worst princes in Europe ; will 
they improve on that ? ' 

' Far be it from me . . .' the man began. 

' See, now, if you will not defend my govern- 
ment ! ' cried Otto. ' If I were you, I would 
leave conspiracies. You are as little fit to be 
a conspirator as I to be a king.' 

'One thing I will say out,' said the man. 
' It is not so much you that we complain of, it's 
your lady.' 

' Not a word, sir,' said the Prince ; and then 
after a moment's pause, and in tones of some 
anger and contempt : ' I, once more advise you 
to have done with politics,' he added ; ' and 
when next I see you, let me see you sober. A 
morning drunkard is the last man to sit in 
judgment even upon the worst of princes.' 

'I have had a drop, but I had not been 
drinking,' the man replied, triumphing in a 
sound distinction. ' And if I had, what then ? 
Nobody hangs by me. But my mill is standing 
idle, and I blame it on your wife. Am I alone in 
that ? Go round and ask. Where are the mills ? 
Where are the young men that should be work- 
ing? Where is the currency ? All paralysed. No, 
sir, it is not equal ; for I suffer for your faults — I 
pay for them, by George, out of a poor man's 
pocket. And what have you to do with miiae ? 

E 



50 PRINCE OTTO 

Drunk or sober, I can see my country going to 
hell, and I can see whose fault it is. And so 
now, I've said my say, and you may drag me to 
a stinking dungeon ; what care I ? I've spoke 
the truth, and so I'll hold hard, and not intrude 
upon your Highness's society.' 

And the miller reined up and, clumsily 
enough, saluted. 

^ 'You will observe, I have not asked your 
name,' said Otto. ' I wish you a good ride,' and 
he rode on hard. But let him ride as he 
pleased, this interview with the miller was a 
chokepear, which he could not swallow. He 
had begun by receiving a reproof in manners, 
and ended by sustaining a defeat in logic, both 
from a man whom he despised. All his old 
thoughts returned with fresher venom. And by 
three in the afternoon, coming to the cross-roads 
for Beckstein, Otto decided to turn aside and 
dine there leisurely. Nothing at least could be 
worse than to go on as he was going. 

In the inn at Beckstein he remarked, imme- 
diately upon his entrance, an intelligent young 
gentleman dining, with a book in front of him. 
He had his own place laid close to the reader, 
and with a proper apology, broke ground by 
asking what he read 

' I am perusing,' answered the young gentle- 
man, ' the last work of the Herr Doctor Hohen- 



A ROMANCE 51 

stockwitz, cousin and librarian of your Prince 
here in Grtinewald — a man of great erudition 
and some lambencies of wit.' 

' I am acquainted,' said Otto, ' with the Herr 
Doctor, though not yet with his work.' 

' Two privileges that I must envy you,' re- 
plied the young man, politely : ' an honour in 
hand, a pleasure in the bush.' 

' The Herr Doctor is a man much respected, 
I believe, for his attainments ? ' asked the Prince. 

' He is, sir, a remarkable instance of the force 
of intellect,' replied the reader. ' Who of our 
young men know anything of his cousin, all 
reigning Prince although he be ? Who but has 
heard of Doctor Gotthold? But intellectual 
merit, alone of all distinctions, has its base in 
nature.' 

' I have the gratification of addressing a 
student — perhaps an author ? ' Otto suggested. 

The young man somewhat flushed. ' I have 
some claim to both distinctions, sir, as you sup- 
pose,' said he ; ' there is my card. I am the 
licentiate Eoederer, author of several works on 
the theory and practice of politics.' 

' You immensely interest me,' said the Prince ; 
' the more so as I gather that here in Grtinewald 
we are on the brink of revolution. Pray, since 
these have been your special studies, would you 
augur hopefully of such a movement ? ' 

E 2 



52 PRINCE OTTO 

' I perceive/ said tlie young autlior, with a 
certain vinegary twitch, ' that you are unac- 
quainted with my opuscula. I am a convinced 
authoritarian. I share none of those illusory, 
Utopian fancies with which empirics blind them- 
selves and exasperate the ignorant. The day of 
these ideas is, believe me, past, or at least passing. 

' When I look about me ' began Otto. 

' When you look about you,' interrupted the 
licentiate, ' you behold the ignorant. But in the 
laboratory of opinion, beside the studious lamp, 
we begin already to discard these figments. We 
begin to return to nature's order, to what I 
might call, if I were to borrow from the lan- 
guage of therapeutics, the expectant treatment 
of abuses. You will not misunderstand me,' he 
continued : ' a country in the condition in which 
we find Grtinewald, a prince such as your Prince 
Otto, we must explicitly condemn ; they are 
behind the age. But I would look for a remedy 
not to brute convulsions, but to the natural 
supervenience of a more able sovereign. I should 
amuse you, perhaps,' added the licentiate, with 
a smile, ' I think I should amuse you if I were 
to explain my notion of a prince. We who have 
studied in the closet, no longer, in this age, pro- 
pose ourselves for active service. The paths, we 
have perceived, are incompatible. I would not 
have a student on the throne, though I would 



A ROMANCE $3 

have one near by for an adviser. I would set 
forward as prince a man of a good, medium 
understanding, lively rather than deep ; a man 
of courtly manner, possessed of the double art 
to ingratiate and to command ; receptive, ac- 
commodating, seductive. I have been observing 
you since your first entrance. Well, sir, were I 
a subject of Grlinewald I should pray heaven to 
set upon the seat of government just such 
another as yourself.' 

' The devil, you would ! ' exclaimed the 
Prince. 

The licentiate, Eoederer, laughed most 
heartily. ' I thought I should astonish you,' he 
said. ' These are not the ideas of the masses.' 

' They are not, I can assure you,' Otto said. 

' Or rather,' distinguished the licentiate, ' not 
to-day. The time will come, however, when 
these ideas shall prevail.' 

' You will permit me, sir, to doubt it,' said 
Otto. 

' Modesty is always admirable,' chuckled the 
theorist. ' But yet I assure you, a man like you, 
with such a man as, say. Doctor Gotthold at your 
elbow, would be, for all practical issues, my 
ideal ruler.' 

At this rate the hours sped pleasantly for 
Otto. But the hcentiate unfortunately slept that 
night at Beckstein, where he was, being dainty 



54 PRINCE OTTO 

in the saddle and given to half stages. And to 
find a convoy to Mittwalden, and thus mitigate 
the company of his own thoughts, the Prince had 
to make favour with a certain party of wood 
merchants from various states of the empire, who 
had been drinking together somewhat noisily at 
the far end of the apartment. 

The night had already fallen when they took 
the saddle. The merchants were very loud and 
mirthful ; each had a face like a nor'west moon ; 
and they played pranks with each others' horses, 
and mingled songs and choruses, and alternately 
remembered and forgot the companion of their 
ride. Otto thus combined society and solitude, 
hearkening now to their chattering and empty 
talk, now to the voices of the encircling forest. 
The starlit dark, the faint wood airs, the clank 
of the horseshoes making broken music, accorded 
together and attuned his mind. And he was still 
in a most equal temper when the party reached 
the top of that long hill that overlooks Mitt- 
walden. 

Down in the bottom of a bowl of forest, the 
lights of the little formal town glittered in a 
pattern, street crossing street ; away by itself 
on the right, the palace was glowing like a 
factory. 

Although he knew not Otto, one of the wood 
merchants was a native of the state. ' There, 



A ROMANCE 55 

said he, pointing to the palace with his whip, 
* there is Jezebel's inn.' 

' What, do you call it that? ' cried another 
laughing. 

' Ay, that's what they call it,' returned the 
Griinewalder ; and he broke into a song, which 
the rest, as people well acquainted with the 
words and air, instantly took up in chorus. Her 
Serene Highness Amalia Seraphina, Princess of 
Grlinewald, was the heroine, Gondremark the 
hero of this ballad. Shame hissed in Otto's ears. 
He reined up short and sat stunned in the saddle ; 
and the singers continued to descend the hill 
without him. 

The song went to a rough, swashing, popular 
air ; and long after the words became inaudible 
the swing of the music, rising and falling, echoed 
insult in the Prince's brain. He iled the sounds. 
Hard by him on his right a road struck towards 
the palace, and he followed it through the thick 
shadows and branching alleys of the park. It 
was a busy place on a fine summer's afternoon, 
when the court and burghers met and saluted ; 
but at that hour of the night in the early spring 
it was deserted to the roosting birds. Hares 
rustled among the covert ; here and there a 
statue stood glimmering, with its eternal gesture ; 
here and there the echo of an imitation temple 
clattered ghostly to the trampling of the mare. 



$6 PRINCE OTTO 

Ten minutes brought him to the upper end of 
his own home garden, where the small stables 
opened, over a bridge, upon the park. The 
yard clock was striking the hour of ten ; so was 
the big bell in the palace bell-tower ; and, 
farther off, the belfries of the town. About the 
stable all else was silent but the stamping of 
stalled horses and the rattle of halters. Otto dis- 
mounted ; and as he did so a memory came back 
to him : a whisper of dishonest grooms and stolen 
corn, once heard, long forgotten, and now re- 
curring in the nick of opportunity. He crossed 
the bridge, and, going up to a window, knocked 
six or seven heavy blows in a particular cadence, 
and, as he did so, smiled. Presently a wicket 
was opened in the gate, and a man's head aj)- 
peared in the dim starlight. 

' Nothing to-night,' said a voice. 

* Bring a lantern,' said the Prince. 

' Dear heart a' mercy ! ' cried the groom. 
'Who's that?' 

' It is I, the Prince,' rephed Otto. ' Bring a 
lantern, take in the mare, and let me through 
into the garden.' 

The man remained silent for a while, his 
head still projecting through the wicket. 

* His Highness ! ' he said at last. ' And why 
did your Highness knock so strange ? ' 



A ROMANCE 57 

' It is a superstition in Mittwalden,' answered 
Otto, ' that it cheapens corn.' 

With a sound Hke a sob the groom fled. He 
was very white when he returned, even by the 
hght of the lantern ; and his hand trembled as 
he undid the fastenings and took the mare. 

' Your Highness,' he began at last, ' for God's 
sake . . . .' And there he paused, oppressed 
with guilt. 

' For God's sake, what ? ' asked Otto, cheer- 
fully. ' For God's sake, let us have cheaper 
corn, say I. Good-night ! ' And he strode off 
into the garden, leaving the groom petrified once 
more. 

The garden descended by a succession of 
stone terraces to the level of the fish pond. On 
the far side the ground rose again, and was 
crowned by the confused roofs and gables of the 
palace. The modern pillared front, the ball- 
room, the great library, the princely apartments, 
the busy and illuminated quarters of that great 
house, all faced the town. The garden side was 
much older ; and here it was almost dark ; only 
a few windows quietly lighted at various eleva- 
tions. The great square tower rose, thinning by 
stages like a telescope ; and on the top of all the 
flag hung motionless. 

The garden, as it now lay in the dusk and 



58 PRINCE OTTO 

glimmer of the starsliine, breathed of April 
violets. Under night's cavern arch the shrubs 
obscurely bustled. Through the plotted ter- 
races and down the marble stairs the Prince 
rapidly descended, fleeing before uncomfortable 
thoughts. But, alas ! from these there is no 
city of refuge. And now, when he was about 
midway of the descent, distant strains of music 
began to fall upon his ear from the ball-room, 
where the court was dancing. They reached 
him faint and broken, but they touched the keys 
of memory ; and through and above them. Otto 
heard the ranting melody of the wood mer- 
chants' song. Mere blackness seized upon his 
mind. Here he was, coming home ; the wife 
was dancing, the husband had been playing a 
trick upon a lackey ; and meanwhile, all about 
them, they were a by-word to their subjects. 
Such a prince, such a husband, such a man, as 
this Otto had become ! And he sped the faster 
onward. 

Some way below he came unexpectedly upon 
a sentry ; yet a little further, and he was chal- 
lenged by a second ; and as he crossed the 
bridge over the fish pond, an officer making the 
rounds stopped him once more. The parade of 
watch was more than usual ; but curiosity was 
dead in Otto's mind, and he only chafed at the 
interruption. The porter of the back postern 



A ROMANCE 59 

admitted him, and started to behold him so 
disordered. Thence, hasting by private stairs 
and passages, he came at length unseen to his 
own chamber, tore off his clothes, and threw 
himself upon his bed in the dark. The music 
of the ball-room still continued to a very lively 
measure; and still, behind that, he heard in 
spirit the chorus of the merchants clanking down 
tlie hill. 



BOOK 11. 

OF LOVE AND POLITICS 



A ROMANCE 63 



CHAPTER I. 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LTBRAEY. 

At a quarter before six on the following morning 
Doctor Gotthold was already at his desk in the 
Ubrary ; and with a small cup of black coffee at 
his elbow, and an eye occasionally wandering to 
the busts and the long array of many- coloured 
books, was quietly reviewing the labours of the 
day before. He was a man of about forty, 
flaxen-haired, with refined features a little worn, 
and bright eyes somewhat faded. Early to bed 
and early to rise, his life was devoted to two 
things : erudition and Ehine wine. An ancient 
friendship existed latent between him and Otto ; 
they rarely met, but when they did it was to 
take up at once the thread of their suspended 
intimacy. Gotthold, the virgin priest of know- 
ledge, had envied his cousin, for half a day, 
when he was married ; he had never envied him 
his throne. 

Beading was not a popular diversion at the 



64 PRINCE OTTO 

court of Grlinewald ; and that great, pleasant, 
sunshiny gallery of books and statues was, in 
practice, Gotthold's private cabinet. On this 
particular Wednesday morning, however, he had 
not been long about his manuscript when a 
door opened and the Prince stepped into the 
apartment. The doctor watched him as he 
drew near, receiving, from each of the embayed 
windows in succession, a flush of morning sun ; 
and Otto looked so gay, and walked so airily, he 
was so well dressed and brushed and frizzled, so 
point-de-vice, and of such a sovereign elegance, 
that the heart of his cousin the recluse was 
rather moved against him. 

' Good morning, Gotthold,' said Otto, drop- 
ping in a chair. 

' Good morning. Otto,' returned the librarian. 
' You are an early bird. Is this an accident, or 
do you begin reforming ? ' 

'It is about time, I fancy,' answered the 
Prince. 

' I cannot imagine,' said the Doctor. * I am 
too sceptical to be an ethical adviser ; and as for 
good resolutions, I believed in them when I 
was young. They are the colours of hope's 
rainbow.' 

' If you come to think of it,' said Otto, ' I am 
not a popular sovereign.' And with a look he 
changed his statement to a question. 



A ROMANCE 65 

* Popular ? Weil, there I would distinguisli/ 
answered Gottliold, leaning back and joining tlie 
tips of his fingers. ' There are various kinds 
of popularity ; the bookish, which is perfectly 
impersonal, as unreal as the nightmare ; the 
politician's, a mixed variety ; and yours, which 
is the most personal of all. Women take to 
you ; footmen adore you ; it is as natural to 
like you as to pat a dog ; and were you a saw- 
miller you would be the most popular citizen in 
Grlinewald. As a prince — well, you are in the 
wrong trade. It is perhaps philosophical to 
recognise it as you do.' 

' Perhaps philosophical ? ' repeated Otto. 

'Yes, perhaps. I would not be dogmatic,' 
answered Gotthold. 

'Perhaps philosophical, and certainly not 
virtuous,' Otto resumed. 

'Kot of a Eoman virtue,' chuckled the 
recluse. 

Otto drew his chair nearer to the table, 
leaned upon it with his elbow, and looked his 
cousin squarely in the face. ' In short,' he asked, 
' not manly ? ' 

' Well,' Gotthold hesitated, 'not manly, if you 
will.' And then with a laugh, ' I did not know 
that you gave yourself out to be manly,' he 
added. ' It was one of the points that I inclined 
to like about you ; inclined, I believe, to admire. 



66 PRINCE OTTO 

Tlie names of virtues exercise a cliarm on most 
of us ; we must lay claim to all of them, however 
incompatible ; we must all be both daring and 
prudent ; we must all vaunt our pride and go to 
the stake for our humility. Not so you. With- 
out compromise you were yourself: a pretty 
sight. I have always said it : none so void of 
all pretence as Otto.' 

' Pretence and effort both ! ' cried Otto. * A 
dead dos^ in a canal is more alive. And the 
question, Gotthold, the question that I have to 
face is this : Can I not, with effort and self-denial, 
can I not become a tolerable sovereign ? ' 

' Never,' replied Gotthold. ' Dismiss the 
notion. And besides, dear child, you would not 
try.' 

' Kay, Gotthold, I am not to be put by,' said 
Otto. 'If I am constitutionally unfit to be a 
sovereign, what am I doing with this money, 
with this palace, with these guards ? And I — a 
thief — am to execute the law on others ? ' 

' I admit the difficulty,' said Gotthold. 

'Well, can I not try?' continued Otto. 
' Am I not bound to try ? And with the advice 
and help of such a man as you ' 

' Me ! ' cried the librarian. ' Now, God 
forbid ! ' 

Otto, though he was in no very smiling 
humour, could not forbear to smile. ' Yet I 



^^>^ 



A ROMANCE 67 

was told last night,' he laughed, ' that with a 
man like me to impersonate, and a man like you 
to touch the springs, a very possible government 
could be composed.' 

'Kow I wonder in what diseased imagina- 
tion,' Gotthold said, ' that preposterous monster 
saw the light of day ? ' 

It was one of your own trade — a writer • 
one Eoederer,' said Otto. 

' Eoederer ! an ignorant puppy ! ' cried the 
librarian. 

' You are ungrateful,' said Otto. ' He is one 
of your professed admirers.' 

' Is he ?' cried Gotthold, obviously impressed. 
'Come, that is a good account of the young 
man. I must read his stuff as^ain. It is the 
rather to his credit, as our views are opposite. 
The east and west are not more opposite. Can 
I have converted him ? But no ; the incident 
belongs to Fairyland.' 

' You are not then,' asked the Prince, ' an 
authoritarian ? ' 

' I ? God bless me, no ! ' said Gotthold. ' I 
am a red, dear child.' 

' That brings me then to my next point, and 
by a natural transition. If I am so clearly 
unfitted for my post,' the Prince asked ; ' if my 
friends admit it, if my subjects clamour for my 
downfall, if revolution is preparing at this hour, 

f2 



68 PRINCE OTTO " 

must I not go forth to meet the inevitable? 
should I not save these horrors and be done 
with these absurdities ? in a word, should I not 
abdicate ? 0, believe me, I feel the ridicule, the 
vast abuse of language,' he added, wincing, ' but 
even a principulus like me cannot resign ; he 
must make a great gesture, and come buskined 
forth, and abdicate.' 

' Ay,' said Gotthold, ' or else stay where he 
is. What gnat has bitten you to-day ? Do you 
not know that you are touching, with lay hands, 
the very holiest inwards of philosophy, where 
madness dwells ? Ay, Otto, madness ; for in the 
serene temples of the wise, the inmost shrine, 
which we carefully keep locked, is full of spiders' 
webs. All men, all, are fundamentally useless ; 
nature tolerates, she does not need, she does not 
use them : sterile flowers ! All — down to the 
fellow swinking in a byre, whom fools point 
out for the exception — all are useless ; all 
weave ropes of sand ; or like a child that has 
breathed on a window, write and obliterate, 
write and obliterate, idle words ! Talk of it no 
more. That way, I tell you, madness lies.' Tlie 
speaker rose from his chair and then sat down 
again. He laughed a little laugh, and then, 
changing his tone, resumed : ' Yes, dear child, 
we are not here to do battle with giants ; we are 
here to be happy like the flowers, if we can be. 



A ROMANCE 69 

It is because you could, that I have always 
secretly admired you. Cling to that trade ; 
believe me, it is the right one. Be happy, be 
idle, be airy. To the devil with all casuistry ! 
and leave the state to Gondremark, as heretofore. 
He does it well enough, they say ; and his 
vanity enjoys the situation.' 

' Gotthold,' cried Otto, ' what is this to me ? 
Useless is not the question ; I cannot rest ait use- 
lessness ; I must be useful or I must be noxious 
— one or other. I grant you the whole thing, 
prince and principality alike, is pure absurdity, 
a stroke of satire ; and that a banker or the man 
who keeps an inn has graver duties. But now, 
when I have washed my hands of it three years, 
and left all — labour, responsibility, and honour 
and enjoyment too, if there be any — to Gondre- 
mark and to — Seraphina ' He hesitated at 

the name, and Gotthold glanced aside. ' Well,' 
the Prince continued, ' what has come of it ? 
Taxes, army, cannon — why, it's like a box of lead 
soldiers ! And the people sick at the folly of it, 
and fired with the injustice ! And war, too 
— I hear of war — war in this teapot ! What a 
complication of absurdity and disgrace! And 
when the inevitable end arrives — the revolution 
— who will be to blame in the sight of God, who 
will be gibbeted in public opinion ? I ! Prince 
Puppet ! ' 



70 PRINCE OTTO 

' I thought you had despised public opinion,' 
said Gotthold. 

' I did,' said Otto, sombrely, ' but now I do 
not. I am growing old. And then, Gotthold, 
there is Seraphina. She is loathed in this country 
that I brought her to and suffered^ her to spoil. 
Yes, I gave it her as a plaything, and she has 
broken it : a fine Prince, an admirable Princess ! 
Even her life — I ask you, Gotthold, is her life 
safe?' 

' It is safe enough to-day,' replied the librarian • 
' but since you ask me seriously, I would not 
answer for to-morrow. She is ill-advised.' 

'And by whom? By this Gondremark, to 
whom you counsel me to leave my country,' 
cried the Prince. ' Eare advice ! The course 
that I have been following all these years, to 
come at last to this. 0, ill-advised ! if that 
were all ! See now, there is no sense in beating 
about the bush between two men : you know 
what scandal says of her ? ' 

Gotthold, with pursed lips, silently nodded. 

' Well, come, you are not very cheering as to 
my conduct as the Prince ; have I even done my 
duty as a husband ? ' Otto asked. 

' Nay, nay,' said Gotthold, earnestly and 
eagerly, ' this is another chapter. I am an old 
celibate, an old monk. I cannot advise you in 
your marriage.' 



A ROMANCE 71 

* Nor do I require advice,' said Otto, rising. 
' All of this must cease.' And he began to walk 
to and fro with his hands behind his back. 

' Well, Otto, may God guide you ! ' said Gott- 
hold, after a considerable silence. ' I cannot.' 

' From what does all this spring ? ' said the 
Prince, stopping in his walk. • What am I to 
call it? Diffidence? The fear of ridicule? 
Inverted vanity? What matter names, if it 
has brought me to this? I could never bear 
to be bustling about nothing ; I was ashamed 
of this toy kingdom from the first; I could 
not tolerate that people should fancy I believed 
in a thing so patently absurd! I would do 
nothing that cannot be done smiling. I have 
a sense of humour forsooth ! I must know 
better than my maker. And it was the same 
thing in my marriage,' he added more hoarsely. 
' I did not beheve this girl could care for me ; I 
must not intrude ; I must preserve the foppery 
of my indifference. What an impotent picture ! ' 

'Ay, we have the same blood,' moralised 
Gotthold. ' You are drawing, with fine strokes, 
the character of the born sceptic' 

'Sceptic? — coward!' cried Otto. 'Coward 
is the word. A springless, putty-hearted, cower- 
ing coward ! ' 

And as the Prince rapped out the words 
in tones of unusual vigour, a little, stout, old 



72 PRINCE OTTO 

gentleman, opening a door behind Gottliold, 
received them fairly in the face. With his 
parrot's beak for a nose, his pursed mouth, his 
little goggling eyes, he was the picture of for- 
mality ; and in ordinary circumstances, strutting 
behind the drum of his corporation, he im- 
pressed the beholder with a certain air of frozen 
dignity and wisdom. But at the smallest con- 
trariety, his trembling hands and disconnected 
gestures betrayed the weakness at the root. 
And now, when he was thus surprisingly re- 
ceived in that library of Mittwalden Palace, 
which was the customary haunt of silence, his 
hands went up into the air as if he had been 
shot, and he cried aloud with the scream of an 
old woman. 

' ! ' he gasped, recovering, ' Your High- 
ness ! I beg ten thousand pardons. But your 
Highness at such an hour in the library! — a 
circumstance so unusual as your Highness's 
presence was a thing I could not be expected to 
foresee.' 

' There is no harm done, Herr Cancellarius,' 
said Otto. 

' I came upon the errand of a moment : 
some papers I left over night with the Herr 
Doctor,' said the Chancellor of Grlinewald. 
' Herr Doctor, if you will kindly give me them, 
I will intrude no longer.' 



A ROMANCE 73 

Gotthold unlocked a drawer and handed a 
bundle of manuscript to the old gentleman, who 
prepared, with fitting salutations, to take his 
departure. 

'Herr Greisengesang, since we have met,' 
said Otto, ' let us talk.' 

'I am honoured by his Highness's com- 
mands,' replied the Chancellor. 

' All has been quiet since I left ? ' asked the 
Prince, resuming his seat. 

' The usual business, your Highness,' an- 
swered Greisengesang ; ' punctual trifles : huge, 
indeed, if neglected, but trifles when discharged. 
Your Highness is most zealously obeyed.' 

' Obeyed, Herr Cancellarius ? ' returned the 
Prince. ' And when have I obliged you with an 
order? Eeplaced, let us rather say. But to 
touch upon these trifles ; instance me a few.' 

' The routine of government, from which 
your Highness has so wisely dissociated his 
leisure . . .' began Greisengesang. 

'We will leave my leisure, sir,' said Otto. 
' Approach the facts.' 

' The routine of business was proceeded 
with,' replied the official, now visibly twittering. 

'It is very strange, Herr Cancellarius, that 
you should so persistently avoid my questions,' 
said the Prince. ' You tempt me to suppose a 
purpose in your dulness. I have asked you 



74 PRINCE OTTO 

whetlier all was quiet ; do me tlie pleasure to 
reply.' 

' Perfectly — 0, perfectly quiet,' jerked the 
ancient puppet, with every signal of untruth. 

'I make a note of these words,' said the 
Prince, gravely. ' You assure me, your sovereign, 
that since the date of my departure nothing has 
occurred of which you owe me an account.' 

''•I take your Highness, I take the Herr 
Doctor to witness,' cried Greisengesang, ' that I 
have had no such expression.' 

' Halt ! ' said the Prince ; and then, after a 
pause : ' Herr Greisengesang, you are an old 
man, and you served my father before you 
served me,' he added. ' It consists neither with 
your dignity nor mine, that you should babble 
excuses and stumble possibly upon untruths. 
Collect your thoughts ; and then categorically 
inform me of all you have been charged to hide.* 

Gotthold, stooping very low over his desk, 
appeared to have resumed his labours ; but his 
shoulders heaved with subterranean merriment. 
The Prince waited, drawing his handkerchief 
quietly through his fingers. 

' Your Highness, in this informal manner,* 
said the old gentleman at last, ' and being un- 
avoidably deprived of documents, it would be 
difficult, it would be impossible, to do justice to 
the somewhat grave occurrences which have 
transpired.* 



A ROMANCE 75 

'I will not criticise your attitude,' replied 
the Prince. ' I desire that, between you and 
me, all should be done gently ; for I have not 
forgotten, my old friend, that you were kind to 
me from the first, and for a period of years a 
faithful servant. I will thus dismiss the matters 
on which you waive immediate inquiry. But 
you have certain papers actually in your hand. 
Come, Herr Greisengesang, there is at least one 
point for which you have authority. Enlighten 
me on that.' 

' On that ? ' cried the old gentleman. ' 0, 
that is a trifle ; a matter, your Highness, of 
police ; a detail of a purely administrative order. 
These are simply a selection of the papers seized 
upon the English traveller.' 

'Seized?' echoed Otto. 'In what sense? 
Explain yourself 

' Sir John Crabtree,' interposed Gotthold, 
looking up, ' was arrested yesterday evening.' 

'Is this so, Herr Cancellarius ? ' demanded 
Otto, sternly. 

' It was judged right, your Highness,' pro- 
tested Greisengesang. ' The decree was in due 
form, invested with your Highness's authority 
by procuration. I am but an agent ; I had no 
status to prevent the measure.' 

' This man, my guest, has been arrested,' 
said the Prince. ' On what grounds, sir ? With 
what colour of pretence ? ' 



76 PRINCE OTTO 

The Chancellor stammered. 

' Your Highness will perhaps find the reason 
m these documents,' said Gotthold, pointing 
with the tail of his pen. 

Otto thanked his cousin with a look. ' Give 
them to me,' he said, addressing the Chancellor. 

But that gentleman visibly hesitated to obey. 
* Baron von Gondremark,' he said, 'has made 
the affair his own. I am in this case a mere 
messenger ; and as such, I am not clothed with 
any capacity to communicate the documents I 
carry. Herr Doctor, I am convinced you will 
not fail to bear me out.' 

' I have heard a great deal of nonsense, 
said Gotthold, ' and most of it from you ; but 
this beats all.' 

' Come, sir,' said Otto, rising, ' the papers. 
I command.' 

Herr Greisengesang instantly gave way. 

' With your Highness's permission,' he said, 
' and laying at his feet my most submiss apolo- 
gies, I will now hasten to attend his further 
orders in the Chancery.' 

' Herr Cancellarius, do you see this chair ? ' 
said Otto. ' There is where you shall attend 
my further orders. 0, now, no more ! ' he cried, 
with a gesture, as the old man opened his lips. 
' You have sufficiently marked your zeal to your 
employer ; and I begin to weary of a modera- 
tion you abuse.' 



A ROMANCE 77 

The Chancellor moved to the appointed 
chair and took his seat in silence. 

'And now,' said Otto, opening the roll, 
' what is all this ? it looks like the manuscript 
of a book.' 

' It is,' said Gotthold, ' the manuscript of a 
book of travels.' 

' You have read it, Doctor Hohenstockwitz ? ' 
asked the Prince. 

' Nay, I but saw the title page,' replied Gott- 
hold. ' But the roll was given to me open, and . 
I heard no word of any secrecy.' 

Otto dealt the Chancellor an angry glance. 

' I see,' he went on. ' The papers of an 
author seized at this date of the world's history, 
in a state so petty and so ignorant as Grtinewald, 
here is indeed an ignominious folly. Sir,' to the 
Chancellor, ' I marvel to find you in so scurvy 
an employment. On your conduct to your 
Prince I will not dwell ; but to descend to be a 
spy ! For what else can it be called ? To seize 
the papers of this gentleman, the private papers 
of a stranger, the toil of a life, perhaps — to open, 
and to read them. And what have we to do 
with books ? The Herr Doctor might perhaps 
be asked for his advice ; but we have no index 
expurgatorius in Grtinewald. Had we but that, 
we should be the most absolute parody and farce 
upon this tawdry earth.' 

Yet, even while Otto spoke, he had con- 



7B PRINCE OTTO 

tinned to unfold the roll ; and now, when it lay 
fully open, liis eye rested on the title page 
elaborately written in red ink. It ran thus ; 

' Memoirs 

of a Visit to the Various 

Courts of Europe, 

by 

Sir John Crab tree. Baronet.' 

Below was a list of chapters, each bearing 
the name of one of the European Courts ; and 
among these the nineteenth and the la^Jt upon 
the list was dedicated to Grtinewald. 

' Ah ! The Court of Grunewald ! ' said Otto, 
'that should be droll reading.' And his curiosity 
itched for it. 

'A methodical dog, this English Baronet,' 
said Gotthold. 'Each chapter written and 
finished on the spot. I shall look for his work 
when it appears.' 

' It would be odd, now, just to glance at it,' 
said Otto, wavering. 

Gotthold's brow darkened, and he looked 
out of window. 

But though the Prince understood the re- 
proof, his weakness prevailed. ' I will,' he said, 
with an uneasy laugh, ' I will, I think, just 
glance at it.' 

So saying, he resumed his seat and spread 
the traveller's manuscript upon the table. 



A ROMANCE 79 



CHAPTEE II. 

* ON THE COURT OF GRUNEWALD,' BEING A PORTION 
OF THE traveller's MANUSCRIPT. 

It may well be asked {it was thus the English 
traveller began his nineteenth chapter) why I 
should have chosen Grlinewald out of so many 
other states equally petty, formal, dull, and 
corrupt. Accident, indeed, decided, and not I ; 
but I have seen no reason to regret my visit. 
The spectacle of this small society macerating 
in its own abuses was not perhaps instructive, 
but I have found it exceedingly diverting. 

The reigning Prince, Otto Johann Friedrich, 
a young man of imperfect education, question- 
able valour, and no scintilla of capacity, has 
fallen into entire pubhc contempt. It was with 
difficulty that I obtained an interview, for he is 
frequently absent from a court where his pre- 
sence is unheeded, and where his only role is to 
be a cloak for the amours of his wife. At last, 
however, on the third occasion when I visited 



8o PRINCE OTTO 

the palace, I found this sovereign in the exercise 
of his inglorious function, with the wife on one 
hand and the lover on the other. He is not 
ill-looking ; he has hair of a ruddy gold, which 
naturally curls, and his eyes are dark, a com- 
bination which I always regard as. the mark of 
some congenital deficiency, physical or moral; 
his features are irregular but pleasing ; the nose 
perhaps a little short, and the mouth a little 
womanish ; his address is excellent, and he can 
express himself with point. But to pierce below 
these externals is to come on a vacuity of any 
sterling quality, a deliquescence of the moral 
nature, a frivolity and inconsequence of purpose 
that mark the nearly perfect fruit of a decadent 
age. He has a worthless smattering of many 
subjects, but a grasp of none. 'I soon weary 
of a pursuit,' he said to me, laughing ; it would 
almost appear as if he took a pride in his 
incapacity and lack of moral courage. The 
results of his dilettantism are to be seen in 
every field ; he is a bad fencer, a second-rate 
horseman, dancer, shot ; he sings — I have heard 
him — and he sings like a child ; he writes in- 
tolerable verses in more than doubtful French ; 
he acts like the common amateur ; and in short 
there is no end to the number of the things that 
he does, and does badly. His one manly taste is 
for the chase. In sum, he is but a plexus of weak- 



A ROMANCE 8l 

nesses; the singing chambermaid of the stage, 
tricked out in man's apparel and mounted on a 
circus horse. I have seen this poor phantom of 
a prince riding out alone or with a few huntsmen, 
disregarded by all, and I have been even grieved 
for the bearer of so futile and melancholy an 
existence. The last Merovingians may have 
looked not otherwise. 

The Princess Amalia Seraphina, a daughter 
of the Grand Ducal house of Toggenburg-Tann- 
haiiser, would be equally inconsiderable if she 
were not a cutting instrument in the hands of 
an ambitious man. She is much younger than 
the Prince, a girl of two-and-twenty, sick with 
vanity, superficially clever, and fundamentally 
a fool. She has a red-brown rolling eye, too 
large for her face, and with sparks of both levity 
and ferocity ; her forehead is high and narrow, 
her figure thin and a little stooping. Her man- 
ners, her conversation, which she interlards with 
French, her very tastes and ambitions, are alike 
assumed ; and the assumption is ungracefully 
apparent : Hoyden playing Cleopatra. I should 
judge her to be incapable of truth. In private 
life a girl of this description embroils the peace 
of families, walks attended by a troop of scowl- 
ing swains, and passes, once at least, through 
the divorce court ; it is a common and, except 
to the cynic, an uninteresting type. On the 

G 



82 PRINCE OTTO 

throne, however, and in the hands of a man hke 
Gondremark, she may become the authoress of 
serious pubhc evils. 

Gondremark, the true ruler of this unfor- 
tunate country, is a more complex study. His 
position in Grltnewald, to which he is a foreigner, 
is eminently false ; and that he should maintain 
it as he does, a very miracle of impudence and 
dexterity. His speech, his face, his policy, are 
all double : heads and tails. Which of the two 
extremes may be his actual design he were a 
bold man who should offer to decide. Yet I 
will hazard the guess that he follows both ex- 
perimentally, and awaits, at the hand of destiny, 
one of those directing hints of which she is so 
lavish to the wise. 

On the one hand, as Maire de Palais to 
the incompetent Otto, and using the love-sick 
Princess for a tool and mouthpiece, he pur- 
sues a policy of arbitrary power and territorial 
aggrandisement. He has called out the whole 
capable male population of the state to military 
service ; he has bought cannon ; he has tempted 
away promising officers from foreign armies ; 
and he now begins, in his international relations, 
to assume the swaggering port and the vague 
threatful language of a bully. The idea of 
extending Grtinewald may appear absurd, but 
the little state is advantageously placed, its 



A ROMANCE 83 

neighbours are all defenceless ; and if at any 
moment the jealousies of the greater courts 
should neutralise each other, an active policy 
1 might double the principality both in population 
and extent. Certainly at least the scheme is 
entertained in the court of Mittwalden ; nor do 
I myself regard it as entirely desperate. The 
margravate of Brandenburgh has grown from 
as small beginnings to a formidable power ; and 
though it is late in the day to try adventurous 
policies, and the age of war seems ended, Eor- 
tune, we must not forget, still blindly turns her 
wheel for men and nations. Concurrently with, 
and tributary to, these warlike preparations, 
crushing taxes have been levied, journals have 
been suppressed, and the country, which three 
years ago was prosperous and happy, now stag- 
nates in a forced inaction, gold has become a 
curiosity, and the mills stand idle on the moun- 
tain streams. 

On the other hand, in his second capacity of 
popular tribune, Gondremark is the incarnation 
of the free lodges, and sits at the centre of an 
organised conspiracy against the state. To any 
such movement my sympathies were early ac- 
quired, and I would not wilhngly let fall a word 
that might embarrass or retard the revolution. 
But to show that I speak of knowledge, and not 
as the reporter of mere gossip, I may mention 

g2 



84 PRINCE OTTO 

that I have myself been present at a meeting 
where the details of a repubhcan Constitution 
were minutely debated and arranged ; and I may 
add that Gondremark was throughout referred 
to by the speakers as their captain in action and 
the arbiter of their disputes. He has taught his 
dupes (for so I must regard them) that his 
power of resistance to the Princess is limited, 
and at each fresh stretch of authority persuades 
them, with specious reasons, to postpone the 
hour of insurrection. Thus (to give some in- 
stances of his astute diplomacy) he salved over 
the decree enforcing mihtary service, under the 
plea that to be well drilled and exercised in arms 
was even a necessary preparation for revolt. And 
the other day, when it began to be rumoured 
abroad that a war was being forced on a re- 
luctant neighbour, the Grand Duke of Gerolstein, 
and I made sure it would be the signal for an 
instant rising, I was struck dumb with wonder 
to find that even this had been prepared and 
was to be accepted. I went from one to another 
in the Liberal camp, and all were in the same 
story, all had been drilled and schooled and fitted 
out with vacuous argument. 'The lads had 
better see some real fighting,' they said ; ' and 
besides, it will be as well to capture Gerolstein : 
we can th^n extend to our neighbours the bless- 
ing of hberty on the same day that we snatch 



A ROMANCE 85 

it for ourselves ; and the republic will be all the 
stronger to resist, if the kings of Europe should 
band themselves together to reduce it.' I know 
not which of the two I should admire the more : 
the simplicity of the multitude or the audacity 
of the adventurer. But such are the subtleties, 
such the quibbling reasons, with which he bhnds 
and leads this people. How long a course so 
tortuous can be pursued with safety I am in- 
capable of guessing ; not long, one would sup- 
pose ; and yet this singular man has been tread- 
ing the mazes for five years, and his favour at 
court and his popularity among the lodges still 
endure unbroken. 

I have the privilege of slightly knowing him. 
Heavily and somewhat clumsily built, of a vast, 
disjointed, rambling frame, he can still pull him- 
self together, and figure, not without admiration, 
in the saloon or the ball-room. His hue and 
temperament are plentifully bilious ; he has a 
saturnine eye ; his cheek is of a dark blue where 
he has been shaven. Essentially he is to be 
numbered among the man-haters, a convinced 
contemner of his fellows. Yet he is himself of a 
commonplace ambition and greedy of applause. 
In talk, he is remarkable for a thirst of informa- 
tion, loving rather to hear than to communicate ; 
for sound and studious views ; and, judging by 
the extreme short-sightedness of common poli- 



86 PRINCE OTTO 

ticians, for a remarkable prevision of events. 
All this, however, without grace, pleasantry, or 
charm, heavily set forth, with a dull countenance. 
In our numerous conversations, although he has 
always heard me with deference, I have been 
conscious throughout of a sort of ponderous 
finessing hard to tolerate. He prodiices none of 
the effect of a gentleman ; devoid not merely of 
pleasantry, but of all attention or communicative 
warmth of bearing. No gentleman, besides, 
would so parade his amours with the Princess ; 
still less repay the Prince for his long-suffering 
with a studied insolence of demeanour and the 
fabrication of insulting nicknames, such as Prince 
Featherhead, which run from ear to ear and 
create a laugh throughout the country. Gon- 
dremark has thus some of the clumsier characters 
of the self-made man, combined with an inordi- 
nate, almost a besotted, pride of intellect and 
birth. Heavy, bilious, selfish, inornate, he sits 
upon this court and. country hke an incubus. 

But it is probable that he preserves softer 
gifts for necessary purposes. Indeed, it is cer- 
tain, although he vouchsafed none of it to me, 
that this cold and stolid pohtician possesses to a 
great degree the art of ingratiation, and can be 
all things to all men. Hence there has probably 
sprung up the idle legend that in private life 
he is a gross romping voluptuary. Nothing, at 



A ROMANCE 87 

least, can well be more surprising tlian the terms 
of his connection with the Princess. Older than 
her husband, certainly uglier, and, according to 
the feeble ideas common among women, in every 
particular less pleasing, he has not only seized 
the complete command of all her thought and 
action, but has imposed on her in public a humi- 
liating part. I do not here refer to the complete 
sacrifice of every rag of her reputation ; for to 
many women these extremities are in themselves 
attractive. But there is about the court a cer- 
tain lady of a dishevelled reputation, a Countess 
von Eosen, wife or widow of a cloudy count, no 
longer in her second youth and already bereft of 
some of her attractions, who unequivocally occu- 
pies the station of the Baron's mistress. I had 
thought, at first, that she was but a hired accom- 
plice, a mere blind or buffer for the more im- 
portant sinner. A few hours' acquaintance with 
Madame von Eosen for ever dispelled the illusion. 
She is one rather to make than to prevent a 
scandal, and she values none of those bribes — 
money, honours, or employment — with which 
the situation might be gilded. Indeed, as a 
person frankly bad, she pleased me, in the court 
of Grlinewald, like a piece of nature. 

The power of this man over the Princess is, 
therefore, without bounds. She has sacrificed 
to the adoration with which he has inspired her 



88 PRINCE OTTO 

not only her marriage vow and every slired of 
public decency, but that vice of jealousy which 
is so much dearer to the female sex than either 
intrinsic honour or outward consideration. Nay, 
more : a young, although not a very attractive 
woman, and a Princess both by birth and fact, 
she submits to the triumphant rivalry of one 
who might be her mother as to years, and who 
is so manifestly her inferior in station. This is 
one of the mysteries of the human heart. But 
the rage of illicit love, when it is once indulged, 
appears to grow by feeding ; and to a person of 
the character and temperament of this unfortu- 
nate young lady, almost any depth of degradation 
is within the reach of possibilitj. 



A ROMANCE 89 



CHAPTEE III. 

THE TRIXCE AXD THE ENGLISH TRAVELLER. 

So far Otto read, with waxing indignation ; and 
here his fury overflowed. He tossed the roll 
upon the table and stood up. ' This man,' he 
said, ' is a devil. A filthy imagination, an ear 
greedy of evil, a ponderous malignity of thought 
and language : I grow like him by the reading ! 
Chancellor, where is this fellow lodged ? ' 

' He was committed to the Flag Tower,' 
replied Greisengesang, 'in the Gamiani apart- 
ment.' 

' Lead me to him,' said the Prince ; and 
then a thought striking him, ' Was it for that,' 
he asked, ' that I found so many sentries in the 
garden ? ' 

'Your Highness, I am unaware,' answered 
Greisengesang, true to his policy. ' The dis- 
position of the guards is a matter distinct from 
my functions.' 

Otto turned upon the old man fiercely, but 



90 PRINCE OTTO 

ere he had time to speak, Gotthold touched him 
on the arm. He swallowed his wrath with a 
great effort. 'It is well,' he said, taking the 
roll. ' Follow me to the Flag Tower.' 

The Chancellor gathered hin\self together, 
and the two set forward. It was a long and 
complicated voyage ; for the library was in the 
wing of the new buildings, and the tower which 
carried the flag was in the old schloss upon the 
garden. By a great variety of stairs and corri- 
dors, they came out at last upon a patch of 
gravelled court ; the garden peeped through 
a high grating with a flash of green ; tall , 
old, gabled buildings mounted on every side ; 
the Flag Tower climbed, stage after stage, into 
the blue ; and high over all, among the building 
daws, the yellow flag wavered in the wind. A 
sentinel at the foot of the tower stairs presented 
arms ; another paced the first landing ; and a 
third was stationed before the door of the ex- 
temporised prison. 

' We guard this mud-bag like a jewel,' Otto 
sneered. 

The Gamiani apartment was so called from 
an Italian doctor who had imposed on the 
credulity of a former prince. The rooms were 
large, airy, pleasant, and looked upon the 
garden ; but the walls were of great thickness 
(for the tower was old), and the windows were 



A ROMANCE 9il 

heavily barred. The Prince, followed by the 
Chancellor, still trotting to keep up with him, 
brushed swiftly through the little library and 
the long saloon, and burst like a thunderbolt 
into the bedroom at the further end. Sir John 
was finishing his toilet ; a man of fifty, hard, 
uncompromising, able, with the eye and teeth of 
physical courage. He was unmoved by the 
irruption, and bowed with a sort of sneering 
ease. 

'To what am I to attribute the honour of 
this visit?' he asked. 

' You have eaten my bread,' replied Otto, 
' you have taken my hand, you have been re- 
ceived under my roof. When did I fail you in 
courtesy ? What have you asked that was not 
granted as to an honoured guest? And here, 
sir,' tapping fiercely on the manuscript, ' here 
is your return.' 

' Your Highness has read my papers ? ' said 
the Baronet. ' I am honoured indeed. But 
the sketch is most imperfect. I shall now have 
much to add. I can say that the Prince, whom 
I had accused of idleness, is zealous in the de- 
partment of police, taking upon himself those 
duties that are most distasteful. I shall be able 
to relate the burlesque incident of my arrest, 
and the singular interview with which you 
honour me at present. For the rest, I have 



92 PRINCE OTTO 

already communicated with my Ambassador 
at Vienna ; and unless you propose to murder 
me, I shall be at liberty, whether you please or 
not, within the week. For I hardly fancy the 
future empire of Grlinewald is yet ripe to go to 
war with England. I conceive I am a little 
more than quits. I owe you no explanation ; 
yours has been the wrong. You, if you have 
studied my writing with intelligence, owe me a 
large debt of gratitude. And to conclude, as I 
have not yet finished my toilet, I imagine the 
courtesy of a turnkey to a prisoner would 
induce you to withdraw.' 

There was some paper on the table, and 
Otto, sitting down, wrote a passport in the 
name of Sir John Crabtree. 

' Affix the seal, Herr Cancellarius,' he said, 
in his most princely manner, as he rose. 

Greisengesang produced a red portfolio, and 
affixed the seal in the unpoetic guise of an 
adhesive stamp ; nor did his perturbed and 
clumsy movements at all lessen the comedy of 
the performance. Sir John looked on with a 
malign enjoyment ; and Otto chafed, regretting, 
when too late, the unnecessary royalty of his 
command and gesture. But at length the 
Chancellor had finished his piece of prestidigita- 
tion, and, without waiting for an order, had 



A ROMANCE 93 

countersigned the passport. Thus regularised, 
he returned it to Otto with a bow. 

' You will now,' said the Prince, ' order one 
of my own carriages to be prepared ; see it, with 
your own eyes, charged with Sir John's effects, 
and have it waiting within the hour behind the 
Pheasant House. Sir John departs this morning 
for Vienna.' 

The Chancellor took his elaborate departure. 

'Here, sir, is your passport,' said Otto, 
turning to the Baronet. ' I regret it from my 
heart that you have met inhospitable usage.* 

'Well, there will be no English war,* 
returned Sir John. 

' Nay, sir,' said Otto, ' you surely owe me 
your civihty. Matters are now changed, and 
we stand again upon the footing of two gentle- 
men. It was not I who ordered your arrest ; I 
returned late last night from hunting ; and as 
you cannot blame me for your imprisonment, 
you may even thank me for your freedom.' 

'And yet you read my papers,' said the 
traveller, shrewdly. 

'There, sir, I was wrong,' returned Otto; 
' and for that I ask your pardon. You can scarce 
refuse it, for your own dignity, to one who is a 
plexus of weaknesses. Nor was the fault en- 
tirely mine. Had the papers been innocent, it 



94 PRINCE OTTO 

would have been at most an indiscretion. Your 
own guilt is the sting of my offence.' 

Sir John regarded Otto with an approving 
twinkle ; then he bowed, but still in silence. 

' Well, sir, as you are now at your entire 
disposal, I have a favour to beg of your 
indulgence,' continued the Prince. ' I have 
to request that you will walk with me alone 
into the garden so soon as your convenience 
permits.' 

' From the moment that I am a free man.* 
Sir John replied, this time with perfect courtesy, 
' I am wholly at your Highness's command ; and 
if you will excuse a rather summary toilet, I will 
even follow you as I am.' 

' I thank you, sir,' said Otto. 

So without more delay, the Prince leading, 
the pair proceeded down through the echoing 
stairway of the tower, and out through the 
grating, into the ample air and sunshine of the 
morning, and among the terraces and flower- 
beds of the garden. They crossed the fish-pond, 
where the carp were leaping as thick as bees ; 
they mounted, one after another, the various 
flights of stairs, snowed upon, as they went, with 
April blossoms, and marching in time to the 
great orchestra of birds. Nor did Otto pause till 
they had reached the highest terrace of the 
garden. Here was a gate into the park, and 



A ROMANCE 95' 

hard by, under a tuft of laurel, a marble garden 
seat. Hence tliey looked down on the green 
tops of many elm-trees, where the rooks were 
busy ; and, beyond that, upon the palace roof, 
and the yellow banner flying m the blue. 'I 
pray you to be seated, sir,' said Otto. 

Sir John complied without a word ; and for 
some seconds Otto walked to and fro before him, 
plunged in angry thought. The birds were a.ll 
singing for a wager. 

'Sir,' said the Prince at length, turning 
towards the Englishman, ' you are to me, except 
by the conventions of society, a perfect stranger. 
Of your character and wishes I am ignorant. I 
have never wittingly disobliged you. There is a 
difference in station, which I desire to waive. I 
would, if you still think me entitled to so much 
consideration — I would be regarded simply as a 
gentleman. Now, sir, I did wrong to glance at 
these papers, which I here return to you ; but if 
curiosity be undignified, as I am free to own, 
falsehood is both cowardly and cruel. I opened 
your roll ; and what did I find — what did I find 
about my wife ? Lies ! ' he broke out. ' They 
are lies ! There are not, so help me God ! four 
words of truth in your intolerable libel ! You 
are a man ; you are old, and might be the girl's 
father ; you are a gentleman ; you are a scholar, 
and have learned refinement ; and you rake 



gb PRINCE OTTO 

together all this vulgar scandal, and propose to 
print it in a public book ! Such is your chivalry ! 
But, thank God, sir, she has still a husband. You 
say, sir, in that paper in your hand, that I am a 
bad fencer ; I have to request from you a lesson 
in the art. The park is close beliind ; yonder is 
the Pheasant House, where you will find your 
carriage ; should I fall, you know, sir — you have 
written it in your paper — how little my move- 
ments are regarded ; I am in the custom of 
disappearing ; it will be one more disappear- 
ance ; and long before it has awakened a remark, 
you may be safe across the border.' 

' You will observe,' said Sir John, ' that what 
you ask is impossible.' 

' And if I struck you ? ' cried the Prince, with 
a sudden menacing flash. 

' It would be a cowardly blow,' returned the 
Baronet, unmoved, ' for it would make no change. 
I cannot draw upon a reigning sovereign.' 

' And it is this man, to whom you dare not 
offer satisfaction, that you choose to insult ! ' 
cried Otto. 

' Pardon me,' said the traveller, ' you are un- 
just. It is because you are a reigning sovereign 
that I cannot fight with you ; and it is for the 
same reason that I have a right to criticise your 
action and your wife. You are in everything a 
public creature ; you belong to the public, body 



A ROMANCE 97 

and bone. You have with you the law, the 
muskets of the army, and the eyes of spies. 
We, on our side, have but one weapon — truth.' 

' Truth ! ' echoed the Prince, with a gesture. 

There was another silence. 

' Your Highness,' said Sir John at last, ' you 
must not expect grapes from a thistle. I am 
old and a cynic. Kobody cares a rush for 
me ; and on the whole, after the present inter- 
view, I scarce know anybody that I like better 
than yourself. You see, I have changed my 
mind, and have the uncommon virtue to avow 
the change. I tear up this stuff before you, 
here in your own garden ; I ask your pardon, 
I ask the pardon of the Princess ; and I give 
you my word of honour as a gentleman and an 
old man, that when my book of travels shall 
appear it shall not contain so much as the 
name of Grunewald. And yet it was a racy 
chapter ! But had your Highness only read 
about the other courts ! I am a carrion crow ; 
but it is not my fault, after all, that the world is 
such a nauseous kennel.' 

' Sir,' said Otto, ' is the eye not jaundiced? ' 

* Nay,' cried the traveller, ' very likely. I 
am one who goes sniffing ; I am no poet. I 
believe in a better future for the world ; or, at 
all accounts, I do most potently disbelieve in 
the present. Eotten eggs is the burthen of my 

H 



98 ■ PRINCE OTTO 

song. But indeed, your Highness, when I meet 
with any merit, I do not think that I am slow 
to recognise it. This is a day that I shall still 
recall with gratitude, for I have found a sovereign 
with some manly virtues ; and for once — old 
courtier and old radical as I am — it is from the 
heart and quite sincerely that I can request the 
honour of kissing your Highness's hand ? ' 

' Nay, sir,' said Otto, ' to my heart 1 ' 

And the Enghshman, taken at unawares, was 
clasped for a moment in the Prince's arms. 

'And now, sir,' added Otto, 'there is the 
Pheasant House ; close behind it you will find 
my carriage, which I pray you to accept. God 
speed you to Vienna ! ' 

' In the impetuosity of youth,' replied Sir 
John, 'your Highness has overlooked one cir- 
cumstance. I am still fasting.' 

' Well, sir,' said Otto, smiling, ' you are 
your own master ; you may go or stay. But I 
warn you, your friend may prove less powerful 
than your enemies. The Prince, indeed, is 
thoroughly on your side ; he has all the will to 
help ; but to whom do I speak ? — you know 
better than I do, he is not alone in Grlinewald.' 

' There is a deal in position,' returned the 
traveller, gravely nodding. ' Gondremark loves 
to temporise ; his policy is below ground, and 
he fears all open courses ; and now that I have 



A ROMANCE c^g 

seen you act with so much spirit, I will cheer- 
fully risk myself on your protection. Who 
knows ? You may be yet the better man.' 

'Do you indeed believe so.^' cried the 
Prince. ' You put hfe into my heart ! ' 

' I will give up sketching portraits,' said the 
Baronet. 'I am a blind owl ; I had misread 
you strangely. And yet remember this ; a 
sprint is one thing, and to run all day another 
For I still mistrust your constitution ; the short 
nose, the hair and eyes of several complexions ; 
no, they are diagnostic ; and I must end, I see, 
as I began.' 

' I am still a singing chambermaid ? ' said 
Otto. 

' Nay, your Highness, I pray you to forget 
what I had written,' said Sir John ; ' I am not 
like Pilate ; and the chapter is no more. Bury 
it, if you love me.' 



PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTEE IV. 

WHILE THE PRINCE IS IN THE ANTE-HOOM. 



Greatly comforted by the exploits of the morn- 
ing, the Prince turned towards the Princess's 
ante-room, bent on a more difficult enterprise. 
The curtains rose before him, tlie usher called 
his name, and lie entered the room with an 
exaggeration of his usual mincing and airy 
dignity. There were about a score of persons 
waiting, principally ladies ; it was one of the 
few societies in Griinewald where Otto knew him- 
self to be popular ; and while a maid of honour 
made her exit by a side door to announce his 
arrival to the Princess, he moved round the 
apartment, collecting homage and bestowing 
compliments, with friendly grace. Had this 
been tlie sum of his duties, he had been an ad- 
mirable monarch. Lady after lady was im- 
partially honoured by his attention. 

'Madam,' he said to one, 'how does this 
happen? I find you daily more adorable.' 

' And your Highness daily browner,' replied 



A /ROMANCE loi 

the lady. ' We began equal ; 0, there I will be 
bold : we have both beautiful complexions. 
But while I study mine, your Highness tans 
himself.' 

' A perfect negro, madam ; and what so fitly 
— being beauty's slave ? ' said Otto. ' Madame 
Grafinski, when is our next play ? I have just 
heard that I am a bad actor.' 

'0 ciell' cried Madame Grafinski. 'Who 
could venture ? What a bear ! ' 

* An excellent man, I can assure you,' re- 
turned Otto. 

' 0, never ! 0, is it possible ! ' fluted the 
lady. ' Your Highness plays like an angel.' 

' You must be right, madam ; who could 
speak falsely and yet look so charming ? ' said 
the Prince. ' But this gentleman, it seems, 
would have preferred me playing like an actor.' 

A sort of hum, a falsetto, feminine cooing, 
greeted the tiny sally ; and Otto expanded like 
a peacock. This warm atmosphere of women 
and flattery and idle chatter pleased him to the 
marrow. 

'Madame von Eisenthal, your coifiure is 
delicious,' he remarked. 

' Every one was saying so,' said one. 

' If I have pleased Prince Charming ? ' And 
Madame von Eisenthal swept him a deep curtsey 
with a kiUing glance of adoration. 



.102 PRINCE OTTO 

' It is new ? ' he asked. ' Vienna fashion.' 

' Mint new,' rephed the lady, ' for your 
Highness's return. I felt young this morning ; 
it was a premonition. But why, Prince, do you 
ever leave us ? ' 

' For the pleasure of the return,' said Otto. 
' I am like a dog ; I must bury my bone, and then 
come back to gloat upon it.' 

' 0, a bone ! Fie, what a comparison ! You 
have brought back the manners of the wood,' 
returned the lady. 

'Madam, it is what the dog has dearest,' said 
the Prince. ' But I observe Madame von Eosen.' 

And Otto, leaving the group to which he 
had been piping, stepped towards the embrasure 
of a window where a lady stood. 

The Countess von Eosen had hitherto been 
silent, and a thought depressed, but on the 
approach of Otto she began to brighten. She 
was tall, shm as a nymph, and of a very airy 
carriage ; and her face, which was already 
beautiful in repose, lightened and changed, 
flashed into smiles, and glowed with lovely 
colour at the touch of animation. She was a 
good vocalist; and, even in speech, her voice 
commanded a great range of changes, the low 
notes rich with tenor quality, the upper ringing, 
on the brink of laughter, into music. A gem of 
many facets and variable hues of fire ; a woman 



A ROMANCE 103 

who withheld the better portion of her beauty, 
and then, in a caressing second, flashed it like 
a weapon full on the beholder ; now merely a 
tall figure and a sallow handsome face, with the 
evidences of a reckless temper ; anon opening 
like a flower to life and colour, mirth and tender- 
ness : — Madame von Eosen had always a dagger 
in reserve for the despatch of ill- assured admirers. 
She met Otto with the dart of tender gaiety. 

' You have come to me at last, Prince Cruel,' 
she said. 'Butterfly ! Well, and am I not to 
kiss your hand ? ' she added. 

' Madam, it is I who must kiss yours.' And 
Otto bowed and kissed it. 

' You deny me every indulgence,' she said, 
smiling. 

' And now what news in Court ? ' inquired 
the Prince. ' I come to you for my gazette.' 

' Ditch-water ! ' she replied. ' The world is 
all asleep, grown grey in slumber ; I do not 
remember any waking movement since quite an 
eternity ; and the last thing in the nature of a 
sensation was the last time my governess was 
allowed to box my ears. But yet I do myself 
and your unfortunate enchanted palace some in- 
justice. Here is the last — positively ! ' And 
she told him the story from behind her fan, with 
many glances, many cunning strokes of the 
narrator's art. The others had drawn away, 



104 PRINCE OTTO 

for it was understood that Madame von Eosen 
was in favour with the Prince. None the less, 
however, did the Countess lower her voice at 
times to within a semitone of whispering ; and 
the pair leaned together over the narrative. 

' Do you know,' said Otto, laughing, ' you 
are the only entertaining woman on this earth ! ' 

' 0, you have found out so much,' she cried.' 

' Yes, madam, I grow wiser with advancing 
years,' he returned. 

' Years ! ' she repeated. ' Do you name the 
traitors ? I do not believe in years ; the calendar 
is a delusion.' 

' You must be right, madam,' replied the 
Prince. 'For six years that we have been good 
friends, I have observed you to grow younger.' 

' Flatterer ! ' cried she, and then with a 
change, ' But why should I say so,' she added, 
'when I protest I think the same ? A week 
ago I had a council with my Father Director, 
the glass ; and the glass replied, " Not yet ! " I 
confess my face in this way once a month. ! 
a very solemn moment. Do you know what I 
shall do when the mirror answers, " Now " ? ' 

' I cannot guess,' said he. 

' No more can I,' returned the Countess. 
' There is such a choice ! Suicide, gambhng, a 
nunnery, a volume of memoirs, or politics — the 
last, I am afraid.' 



A ROMANCE 105 

* It is a dull trade,' said Otto. 

'Nay,' she replied, 'it is a trade I rather 
like. It is, after all, first cousin to gossip, which 
no one can deny to be amusing. For instance, 
if I were to tell you that the Princess and the 
Baron rode out together daily to inspect the 
cannon, it is either a piece of politics or scandal, 
as I turn my phrase. I am the alchemist that 
makes the transmutation. They have been 
everywhere together since you left,' she con- 
tinued, brightening as she saw Otto darken ; 
' that is a poor snippet of malicious gossip — and 
they were everywhere cheered — and with that 
• addition all becomes political intelligence.' 

' Let us change the subject,' said Otto. 

' I was about to propose it,' she replied, ' or 
rather to pursue the pohtics. Do you know? 
this war is popular — popular to the length of 
cheering Princess Seraphina.' 

'All things, madam, are possible,' said the 
Prince ; ' and this among others, that we may be 
going into war, but I give you my word of 
honour I do not know with whom.' 

' And you put up with it ? ' she cried. ' I 
have no pretensions to morality ; and I confess I 
have always abominated the lamb, and nourished 
a romantic feeling for the wolf. 0, be done 
with lambiness ! Let us see there is a prince, 
for I am weary of the distaff.' 



io6 PRINCE OTTO 

' Madam,' said Otto, ' I thought you were of 
that faction.' 

'I should be of yours, mon Prince^ if you 
had one,' she retorted. ' Is it true that you 
have no ambition ? There was a man once in 
England whom they call the kingmaker. Do 
you know,' she added, ' I fancy I could make a 
prince ? ' 

' Some day, madam,' said Otto, ' I may ask 
you to help make a farmer.' 

' Is that a riddle ? ' asked the Countess. 

' It is,' replied the Prince, ' and a very good 
one too.' 

'Tit for tat. I will ask you another,' she 
returned. ' Where is Gondremark ? ' 

'The Prime Minister.^ In the prime-ministry, 
no doubt,' said Otto. 

' Precisely,' said the Countess ; and she 
pointed with her fan to the door of the Princess's 
apartments. ' You and I, mon Prince^ are in 
the ante-room. You think me unkind,' she added. 
' Try me and you will see. Set me a task, put 
me a question ; there is no enormity I am not 
capable of doing to oblige you, and no secret 
that I am not ready to betray.' 

' Nay, madam, but I respect my friend too 
much,' he answered, kissing her hand. 'I would 
rather remain ignorant of all. We fraternise 



A ROMANCE i&f 

like foemen soldiers at the outposts, but let each 
be true to liis own army.' 

' Ah,' she cried, ' if all men were generous like 
you, it would be worth while to be a woman ! ' 
Yet, judging by her looks, his generosity, if any- 
thing, had disappointed her ; she seemed to seek 
a remedy, and, having found it, brightened once 
more. ' And noAV,' she said, ' may I dismiss my 
sovereign? This is rebellion and a cas pen- 
dahle ; but what am I to do ? My bear is 
jealous ! ' 

' Madam, enough ! ' cried Otto. ' Ahasuerus 
reaches you the sceptre ; more, he will obey you 
in all points. I should have been a dog to come 
to whistling.' 

And so the Prince departed, and fluttered 
round Grafinski and von Eisenthal. But the 
Countess knew the use of her offensive weapons, 
and had left a pleasant arrow in the Prince's 
heart. That Gond remark was jealous — here was 
an agreeable revenge ! And Madame von Eosen, 
as the occasion of the jealousy, appeared to him 
in a new light. 



zo8 PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTER Y. 

. . . GONDREMAEK IS IN MY LADY's CHAMBER. 

The Countess von Eosen spoke the truth. The 
great Prime Minister of Griinewald was already 
closeted with Seraphina. The toilet was over ; 
and the Princess, tastefully arrayed, sat face to 
face with a tall mirror. Sir John's description 
was unkindly true, true in terms and yet a libel, 
a misogynistic masterpiece. Her forehead was 
perhaps too high, but it became her ; her figure 
somewhat stooped, but every detail was formed 
and finished like a gem ; her hand, her foot, her 
ear, the set of her comely head, were all dainty 
and accordant ; if she was not beautiful, she was 
vivid, changeful, coloured, and pretty with a 
thousand various prettinesses ; and her eyes, if 
they indeed rolled too consciously, yet rolled to 
purpose. They were her most attractive feature, 
yet they continually bore eloquent false witness 
to her thoughts ; for while she herself, in the 
depths of her immature, unsoftened heart, was 



A ROMANCE X09 

given altogether to manlike ambition and the 
desire of power, the eyes were by turns bold, 
inviting, fiery, melting, and artful, like the eyes 
of a rapacious syren. And artful, in a sense, 
she was. Chafing that she was not a man and 
could not shine by action, she had conceived a 
woman's part, of answerable domination ; she 
sought to subjugate for by-ends, to rain influence 
and be fancy free ; and while she loved not 
man, loved to see man obey her. It is a common 
girl's ambition. Such was perhaps that lady of 
the glove, who sent her lover to the lions. But 
the snare is laid alike for male and female, and 
the world most artfully contrived. 

Near her, in a low chair, Gondremark had 
arranged his limbs into a cat-like attitude, 
high-shouldered, stooping, and submiss. The 
formidable blue jowl of the man, and the dull 
bilious eye, set perhaps a higher value on his 
evident desire to please. His face was marked 
by capacity, temper, and a kind of bold, pira- 
tical dishonesty which it would be calumnious 
to call deceit. His manners, as he smiled 
upon the Princess, were over fine, yet hardly 
elegant. 

' Possibly,' said the Baron, ' I should now 
proceed to take my leave. I must not keep my 
sovereign in the ante-room. Let us come at 
once to a decision.' 



no PRINCE OTTO 

' It cannot, cannot be put off? ' she asked. 

' It is impossible,' answered Gondremark. 
' Your Higkness sees it for herself. In the 
earlier stages, we might imitate the serpent ; but 
for the ultimatum, there is no choice but to be 
bold like lions. Had the Prince chosen to 
remain away, it had been better ; but we have 
gone too far forward to delay.' 

'What can have brought him?' she cried. 
' To-day of all days ? ' 

'The marplot, madam, has the instinct of 
his nature,' returned Gondremark. 'But you 
exaggerate the peril. Think, madam, how far 
we have prospered, and against what odds ! 
Shall a Featherhead ? — but no I ' And he blew 
upon his fingers lightly with a laugh. 

' Featherhead,' she replied, ' is still the Prince 
of Grtinewald.' 

' On your sufferance only, and so long as you 
shall please to be indulgent,' said the Baron. 
' There are rights of nature ; power to the power- 
ful is the law. If he shall think to cross your 
destiny — well, you have heard of the brazen and 
the earthen pot.' 

' Do you call me pot ? You are ungallant. 
Baron,' laughed the Princess. 

' Before we are done with your glory, I shall 
have called you by many different titles,' he 
replied. 



A ROMANCE in 

The girl fluslied with pleasure. ' But Frede- 
ric is still the Prince, Monsieur le Flatteur^ she 
said. ' You do not propose a revolution ? — ^you 
of all men ? ' 

' Dear madam, when it is already made ! ' he 
cried. ' The Prince reigns indeed in the 
almanack ; but my Princess reigns and rules.' 
And he looked at her with a fond admiration 
that made the heart of Seraphina swell. Look- 
ing on her huge slave, she drank the intoxi- 
cating joys of power. Meanwhile he continued, 
with that sort of massive archness that so 
ill became him, ' She has but one fault ; there 
is but one danger in the great career that 
I foresee for her. May I name it ? may I be 
so irreverent ? It is in herself — her heart is 
soft; 

'Her courage is faint. Baron,' said the 
Princess. ' Suppose we have judged ill, sup- 
pose we were defeated ? ' 

'Defeated, madam ? ' returned the Baron, with 
a touch of ill humour. ' Is the dog defeated by 
the hare? Our troops are all cantoned along 
the frontier ; in five hours the vanguard of 
live thousand bayonets shall be hammering on 
the gates of Brandenau ; and in all Gerolstein 
there are not fifteen hundred men who can 
manoeuvre. It is as simple as a sum. Theie 
can be no resistance.' 



112 PRINCE OTTO 

' It is no great exploit,' she said. ' Is that 
what you call glory ? It is like beating a child.' 

'The courage, madam, is diplomatic,' he 
replied. ' We take a grave step ; we fix the 
eyes of Europe, for the first time, on Grllne- 
wald ; and in the negotiations of the next three 
months, mark me, we stand or fall. It is there, 
madam, that I shall have to depend upon your 
counsels,' he added, almost gloomily. 'If 1 
had not seen you at work, if I did not know 
the fertility of your mind, I own I should 
tremble for the consequence. But it is in 
this field that men must recognise their in- 
ability. All the great negotiators, when tliey 
have not been women, have had women at 
their elbows. Madame de Pompadour was ill 
served ; she had not found her Gondremark ; 
but what a mighty politician ! Catherine de 
Medici, too, what justice of sight, what readi- 
ness of means, what elasticity against defeat! 
But alas ! madam, her Featherheads were her 
own children ; and she had that one touch of 
vulgarity, that one trait of the good-wife, that 
she suffered family ties and affections to confine 
her liberty.' 

These singular views of history, strictly ad 
usum Seraphince, did not weave their usual 
soothing spell over the Princess. It was plain 
that she had taken a momentary distaste to her 



A ROMANCE 113 

own resolutions ; for she continued to oppose 
her counsellor, looking upon him out of half- 
closed eyes and with the shadow of a sneer upon 
her lips. 'What boys men are!' she said; 
' what lovers of big words ! Courage, indeed ! 
If you had to scour pans, Herr von Gondre- 
mark, you would call it, I suppose, Domestic 
Courage P ' 

'I would, madam,' said the Baron, stoutly, 
' if I scoured them well. I would put a good 
name upon a virtue ; you will not overdo it ; 
they are not so enchanting in themselves.' 

' Well, but let me see,' she said. ' I wish to 
understand your courage. Why we asked leave, 
like children ! Our grannie in Berlin, our uncle 
in Vienna, the whole family, have patted us on 
the head and sent us forward. Courage ? I 
wonder when I hear you ! ' 

' My Princess is unlike herself,' returned the 
Baron. ' She has forgotten where the peril lies. 
True, we have received encouragement on every 
hand ; but my Princess knows too well on what 
untenable conditions ; and she knows besides 
how, in the pubhcity of the diet, these whispered 
conferences are forgotten and disowned. The 
danger is very real ' — he raged inwardly at 
having to blow the very coal he had been 
quenching—' none the less real in that it is not 

I 



114 PRINCE OTTO 

precisely military, but for that reason the easier 
to be faced. Had we to count upon your 
troops, although I share your Highness's expec- 
tations of the conduct of Alvenau, we cannot 
forget that he has not been proved in chief 
command. But where negotiation is concerned, 
the conduct hes with us ; and with your help, I 
laugh at danger.' 

' It may be so,' said Seraphina, sighing. ' It 
is elsewhere that I see danger. The people, 
these abominable people — suppose they should 
instantly rebel ? What a figure we should make 
in the eyes of Europe to have undertaken an 
invasion while my own throne was tottering to 
its fall!' 

' Nay, madam,' said Gondremark, smiling, 
'here you are beneath yourself. What is it 
that feeds their discontent? What but the 
taxes? Once we have seized Gerolstein, the 
taxes are remitted, the sons return covered with 
renown, the houses are adorned with pillage, 
each tastes his little share of mihtary glory, and 
behold us once again a happy family ! " Ay," 
they will say, in each other's long ears, " the 
Princess knew what she was about ; she was in 
the right of it ; she has a head upon her 
shoulders ; and here we are, you see, better off 
than before." But why should I say all this ? 



A ROMANCE 115 

It is what my Princess pointed out to me her- 
self ; it was by these reasons that she converted 
me to this adventure.' 

' I think, Herr von Gondremark,' said 
Seraphina, somewhat tartly, ' you often attribute 
your own sagacity to your Princess.' 

For a second Gondremark staggered under 
the shrewdness of the attack ; the next, he had 
perfectly recovered. 'Do I ? ' he said. ' It is 
very possible. I have observed a similar ten- 
dency in your Highness.' 

It was so openly spoken, and appeared so 
just, that Seraphina breathed again. Her vanity 
had been alarmed, and the greatness of the 
relief improved her spirits. 'Well,' she said, 
' all this is little to the purpose. We are keeping 
Frederic without, and I am still ignorant of 
our line of battle. Come, co-admiral, let us 
consult. . . . How am I to receive him now? 
And what are we to do if he should appear at 
the council ? ' 

' Now,' he answered. ' I shall leave him to 
my Princess for just now ! I have seen her at 
work. Send him off to his theatricals ! But in 
all gentleness,' he added. ' Would it, for instance, 
would it displease my sovereign to affect a head- 
ache ? ' 

' Never I ' said she. ' The woman who can 

i2 



ii6 PRINCE OTTO 

manage, like the man who can fight, must never 
shrink from an encounter. The knight must 
not disgrace his weapons.' 

'Then let me pray my helie dame sans 
merely he returned, ' to affect the only virtue 
that she lacks. Be pitiful to the poor young 
man ; affect an interest in his hunting ; be 
weary of politics ; find in his society, as it 
were, a grateful repose from dry considera- 
tions. Does my Princess authorise the line of 
battle?' 

' Well, that is a trifle,' answered Seraphina. 
' The council — there is the point.' 

' The council ? ' cried Gondremark. ' Permit 
me, madam.' And he rose and proceeded to 
flutter about the room, counterfeiting Otto both 
in voice and gesture not unhappily. ' What is 
there to-day, Herr von Gondremark? Ah, 
Herr Cancellarius, a new wig ! You cannot 
deceive me ; I know every wig in Grtinewald ; 
I have the sovereign's eye. What are these 
papers about ? 0,1 see. 0, certainly. Surely, 
surely. I wager none of you remarked that wig. 
By all means. I know nothing about that. 
Dear me, are there as many as all that ? Well, 
you can sign them ; you have the procuration. 
You see, Herr Cancellarius, I knew your wig.' 
And so,' concluded Gondremark, resuming his 
own voice, ^ our sovereign, by the particular 



A ROMANCE 117 

grace of God, enlightens and supports his privy 
councillors.' 

But when the Baron turned to Seraphina for 
approval, he found her frozen. * You are pleased 
to be witt}^, Herr von Gondremark,' she said, 
' and have perhaps forgotten where you are. 
But these rehearsals are apt to be misleading. 
Your master, the Prince of Grilnewald, is some- 
times more exacting.' 

Gondremark cursed her in his soul. Of all 
injured vanities, that of the reproved buffoon is 
the most savage ; and when grave issues are 
involved, these petty stabs become unbearable. 
But Gondremark was a man of iron ; he showed 
nothing ; he did not even, like the common 
trickster, retreat because he had presumed, but 
held to his point bravely. ' Madam,' he said, 
* if, as you say, he prove exacting, we must take 
the bull by the horns.' 

'We shall see,' she said, and she arranged 
her skirt like one about to rise. Temper, scorn, 
disgust, all the more acrid feelings, became her 
like jewels ; and she now looked her best. 

'Pray God they quarrel,' thought Gondre- 
mark. 'The damned minx may fail me yet, 
unless they quarrel. It is time to let him in. 
Zz — fight, dogs ! ' Consequent on these reflec- 
tions, he bent a stiff knee and chivalrously kissed 
the Princess's hand. ' My Princess,' he said, 



il8 PRINCE OTTO 

' must now dismiss her servant. I have much 
to arrange against the hour of council.' 

' Go,' she said, and rose. 

And as Gondremark tripped out of a private 
door, she touched a bell, and gave the order to 
admit the Prince. 



A ROMANCE iig 



CHAPTER YI. 

THE PEINCE DELIVERS A LECTURE ON MARRIAGE, 
WITH PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF DIVORCE. 

With what a world of excellent intentions Otto 
entered his wife's cabinet ! how fatherly, how 
tender ! how morally affecting were the words 
he had prepared! Nor was Seraphina un- 
amiably inclined. Her usual fear of Otto as a 
marplot in her great designs was now swallowed 
up in a passing distrust of the designs them- 
selves, For Gondremark, besides, she had con- 
ceived an angry horror. In her heart she did 
not like the Baron. Behind his impudent ser- 
vihty, behind the devotion which, with indelicate 
delicacy, he still forced on her attention, she 
divined the grossness of his nature. So a man 
may be proud of having tamed a bear, and yet 
sicken at his captive's odour. And above all, 
she had certain jealous intimations that the man 
was false, and the deception double. True, she 
falsely trifled with his love ; but he, perhaps, 



I20 PRINCE OTTO 

was only trifling with her vanity. The insolence 
of his late mimicry, and the odium of her own 
position as she sat and watched it, lay besides 
hke a load upon her conscience. She met Otto 
almost with a sense of guilt, and yet she wel- 
comed him as a deliverer from ugly things. 

But the wheels of an interview are at the 
mercy of a thousand ruts ; and even at Otto's 
entrance, the first jolt occurred. Gondremark, 
he saw, was gone ; but there was the chair 
drawn close for consultation ; and it pained him 
not only that this man had been received, but 
that he should depart with such an air of secrecy. 
Struggling with this twinge, it was somewhat 
sharply that he dismissed the attendant who had 
brought him in. 

' You make yourself at home, cliez moi^ she 
said, a little ruffled both by his tone of command 
and by the glance he had thrown upon the 
chair. 

' Madam,' replied Otto, ' I am here so seldom 
that I have almost the rights of a stranger.' 

' You choose your own associates, Frederic,' 
she said. 

' I am here to speak of it,' he returned. ' It 
is now four years since we were married ; and 
these four years, Seraphina, have not perhaps 
been happy either for you or for me. I am 
well aware I was unsuitable to be your husband. 



A ROMANCE 121 

I was not young, I had no ambition, I was a 
trifler ; and you despised me, I dare not say 
unjustly. But to do justice on both sides, you 
must bear in mind how I have acted. When 
I found it amused you to play the part of Prin- 
cess on this httle stage, did I not immediately 
resign to you my box of toys, this Grlinewald ? 
And when I found I was distasteful as a hus- 
band, could any husband have been less in- 
trusive ? You will tell me that I have no feel- 
ings, no preference, and thus no credit ; that 
I go before the wind ; that all this was in my 
character. And indeed, one thing is true, that it 
is easy, too easy, to leave things undone. But 
Seraphina, I begin to learn it is not always wise. 
If I were too old and too uncongenial for your 
husband, I should still have remembered that I 
was the Prince of that country to which you 
came, a visitor and a child. In that relation 
also there were duties, and these duties I have 
not performed.' 

To claim the advantage of superior age is to 
give sure offence. ' Duty ! ' laughed Seraphina, 
' and on your lips, Frederic ! You make me 
laugh. What fancy is this ? Go, flirt with the 
maids and be a prince in Dresden China, as you 
look. Enjoy yourself, mon enfant^ and leave 
duty and the state to us.' 

The plural grated on the Prince. ' I have 



122 PRINCE OTTO 

enjoyed myself too much,' lie said, ' since enjoy- 
ment is the word. And yet there were much to 
say upon the other side. You must suppose me 
desperately fond of hunting. But indeed there 
were days when I found a great deal of interest 
in what it was courtesy to call my govern- 
ment. And I have always had some claim 
to taste ; I could tell live happiness from dull 
routine ; and between hunting, and the throne 
of Austria, and your society, my choice had 
never wavered, had the choice been mine. 
You were a girl, a bud, when you were given 
me ' 

' Heavens ! ' she cried, ' is this to be a love 
scene ? ' 

' I am never ridiculous,' he said ; ' it is my 
only merit ; and you may be certain this shall 
be a scene of marriage a la mode. But when I 
remember the beginning, it is bare courtesy to 
speak in sorrow. Be just, madam : you would 
think me strangely uncivil to recall these days 
without the decency of a regret. Be yet a little 
juster, and own, if only in complaisance, that 
you yourself regret that past.' 

' I have nothing to regret,' said the Princess. 
' You surprise me. I thought you were so 
happy.' 

'Happy and happy, there are so many 
hundred ways,' said Otto. 'A man may be 



A ROMANCE 123 

happy in revolt ; lie may be happy in sleep ; 
wine, change, and travel make him happy ; 
virtue, they say, will do the like — I have not 
tried ; and they say also that in old, quiet, and 
habitual marriages there is yet another happi- 
ness. Happy, yes ; I am happy if you like ; 
but I will tell you frankly, I was happier when 
I brought you home.' 

'Well,' said the Princess, not without con- 
straint, ' it seems you changed your mind.' 

' Kot I,' returned Otto, ' I never changed. 
Do you remember, Seraphina, on our way home, 
when you saw the roses in the lane, and I got 
out and plucked them ? It was a narrow lane 
between great trees ; the sunset at the end 
was all gold, and the rooks were flying over- 
head. There were nine, nine red roses ; you 
gave me a kiss for each, and I told myself that 
every rose and every kiss should stand for a 
year of love. Well, in eighteen months there 
was an end. But do you fancy, Seraphina, that 
my heart has altered ? ' 

' I am sure I cannot tell,' she said, like an 
automaton. 

' It has not,' the Prince continued. ' There 
is nothing ridiculous, even from a husband, in a 
love that owns itself unhappy and that asks no 
more. I built on sand ; pardon me, I do not 
breathe a reproach — I built, I suppose, upon 



124 PRINCE OTTO 

my own infirmities ; but I put my heart in the 
building, and it still lies among the ruins.' 

' How very poetical ! ' she said with a little 
choking laugh, unknown relentings, unfamiliar 
softnesses, moving within her. ' What would 
you be at ? ' she added, hardening her voice. 

' I would be at this,' he answered ; ' and 
hard it is to say. I would be at this : — Seraphina, 
I am your husband after all, and a poor fool 
that loves you. Understand,' he cried almost 
fiercely, ' I am no suppliant husband ; what 
your love refuses I would scorn to receive from 
your pity. I do not ask, I would not take it. 
And for jealousy, what ground have I ? A dog- 
in-the-manger jealousy is a thing the dogs may 
laugh at. But at least, in the world's eye, I am 
still your husband ; and I ask you if you treat 
me fairly? I keep to myself, I leave you free, 
I have given you in everything your will. 
What do you in return ? I find, Seraphina, 
that you have been too thoughtless. But be- 
tween persons such as we, in our conspicuous 
station, particular care and a particular courtesy 
are owing. Scandal is perhaps not easy to 
avoid ; but it is hard to bear.' 

' Scandal ! ' she cried, with a deep breath. 
'Scandal! It is for this you have been driving!' 

' I have tried to tell you how I feel,' he 
replied. 'I have told you that I love you — love 



A ROMANCE 125 

you in vain — a bitter thing for a husband ; I 
have laid myself open that I might speak with- 
out offence. And nov/ that, I have begun, I will 
go on and finish.' 

' I demand it,' she said. ' What is this 
about ? ' 

Otto flushed crimson. ' I have to say what 
I would fain not,' he answered. ' I counsel you 
to see less of Gondremark.' 

' Of Gondremark ? And why ? ' she asked. 

'Your intimacy is the ground of scandal, 
madam,' said Otto, firmly enough — ^ of a scandal 
that is agony to me, and would be crushing to 
your parents if they knew it.' 

' You are the first to bring me word of it,' 
said she. ' I thank you.' 

' You have perhaps cause,' he replied. ' Per- 
haps I am the only one among your friends ' 

' 0, leave my friends alone,' she interrupted. 
* My friends are of a different stamp. You have 
come to me here and made a parade of sentiment. 
When have I last seen you ? I have governed 
your kingdom for you in the meanwhile, and 
there I got no help. At last, when I am weary 
with a man's work, and you aie weary of your 
playthings, you return to make me a scene of 
conjugal reproaches — the grocer and his wife ! 
The positions are too much reversed ; and you 
should understand, at least, that I cannot at the 



126 PRINCE OTTO 

same time do your work of government and 
behave myself like a little girl. Scandal is the 
atmosphere in which we live, we princes ; it is 
what a prince should know. You play an odious 
part. Do you believe this rumour ? ' 

' Madam, should I be here ? ' said Otto. 

' It is what I want to know ! ' she cried, the 
tempest of her scorn increasing. ' Suppose you 
did — I say, suppose you did believe it ? ' 

' I should make it my business to suppose the 
contrary,' he answered. 

' I thought so. 0, you are made of baseness!' 
said she. 

' Madam,' he cried, roused at last, ' enough 
of this. You Avilfully misunderstand my atti- 
tude ; you outwear my patience. In the name 
of your parents, in my own name, I summon 
you to be more circumspect.' 

' Is this a request, Monsieur mon mari ? ' she 
demanded. 

' Madam, if I chose, I might command,' said 
Otto. 

' You might, sir, as the law stands, make me 
prisoner,' returned Seraphina. 'Short of that 
you will gain nothing.' 

' You will continue as before ? ' he asked. 

' Precisely as before,' said she. ' As soon as 
this comedy is over, I shall request the Freiherr 
von Gondremark to visit me. Do you under- 



A ROMANCE r27 

stand ? ' slie added, rising. ' For my part, I have 
done.' 

' I will then ask the favour of your hand, 
madam,' said Otto, palpitating in every pulse 
with anger. ' I have to request that you will 
visit in my society another part of my poor 
house. And reassure yourself — it will not take 
long — and it is the last obligation that you shall 
have the chance to lay me under.' 

' The last ? ' she cried. ' Most joyfully ! ' 

She offered her hand, and he took it; on 
each side with an elaborate affectation, each 
inwardly incandescent. He led her out by the 
private door, following where Gondremark had 
passed ; they threaded a corridor or two, little 
frequented, looking on a court, until they came 
at last into the Prince's suite. The first room 
was an armoury, hung all about with the weapons 
of various countries, and looking forth on the 
front terrace. 

' Have you brought me here to slay me ? ' 
she inquired. 

' I have brought you, madam, only to pass 
on,' replied Otto. 

Next they came to a library, where an old 
chamberlain sat half asleep. He rose and bowed 
before the princely couple, asking for orders. 

' You will attend us here,' said Otto. 

Thv*^ next stage was a gallery of pictures, 



128 PRINCE OTTO 

where Seraphina's portrait liung conspicuous, 
dressed for the chase, red roses in her hair, as 
Otto, in the first months of marriage, had 
directed. He pointed to it without a word ; 
she raised her eyebrows in silence ; and they 
passed still forward into a matted corridor where 
four doors opened. One led to Otto's bedroom ; 
one was the private door to Seraphina's. And 
here, for the first time, Otto left her hand, and 
stepping forward, shot the bolt. 

' It is long, madam,' said he, ' since it was 
bolted on the other side.' 

' One was effectual,' returned the Princess. 
' Is this all ? ' 

' Shall I reconduct you ? ' he asked, bowing. 

' I should prefer,' she asked, in ringing tonesj 
* the conduct of the Ereiherr von Gondremark.' 

Otto summoned the chamberlain. 'If the 
Freiherr von Gondremark is in the palace,' he 
said, ' bid him attend the Princess here.' And 
when the official had departed, ' Can I do more 
to serve you, madam ? ' the Prince asked. 

'Thank you, no. I have been much amused,' 
she answered. 

'I have now,' continued Otto, 'given you 
your liberty complete. This has been for you a 
miserable marriage.' 

' Miserable ! ' said she. 

' It has been made light to you ; it shall be 



A ROMANCE 129 

lighter still,' continued the Prince. *But one 
thing, madam, you must still continue to bear 
— my father's name , which is now yours. I 
leave it in your hands. Let me see you, since 
you will have no advice of mine, apply the more 
attention of your own to bear it worthily.' 

' Herr von Grondremark is long in coming,' 
she remarked. 

' Seraphina, Seraphina ! ' he cried. And 
that was the end of their interview. 

She tripped to a window and looked out ; 
and a little after, the chamberlain announced 
the Freiherr von Gondremark, who entered with 
something of a wild eye and changed complexion, 
confounded, as he was, at this unusual summons. 
The Princess faced round from the window with 
a pearly smile ; nothing but her heightened 
colour spoke of discomposure. Otto was pale, 
but he was otherwise master of himself. 

' Herr von Gondremark,' said he, ' oblige 
me so far : reconduct the Princess to her own 
apartment.' 

The Baron, still all at sea, offered his hand, 
which was smilingly accepted, and the pair 
sailed forth through the picture-gallery. 

As soon as they were gone, and Otto knew 
the length and breadth of his miscarriage, and 
how he had done the contrary of all that he 
intended, he stood stupefied. A fiasco so com- 



130 PRINCE OTTO 

plete and sweeping was laughable, even to him- 
self; and lie laughed aloud in his wrath. Upon 
this mood there followed the sharpest violence 
of remorse ; and to that again, as he recalled 
his provocation, anger succeeded afresh. So he 
was tossed in spirit ; now bewailing his incon- 
sequence and lack of temper, now flaming up 
in white hot indignation and a noble pity for 
himself: 

He paced his apartment hke a leopard. 
There was danger in Otto, for a flash. Like a 
pistol, he could kill at one moment, and the next 
he might be kicked aside. But just then, as he 
walked the long floors in his alternate humours, 
tearing his handkerchief between his hands, he 
was strung to his top note, every nerve attent. 
The pistol, you might say, was charged. And 
when jealousy from time to time fetched him a 
lash across the tenderest of his feeling, and sent 
a string of her fire-pictures glancing before his 
mind's eye, the contraction of his face was even 
dangerous. He disregarded jealousy's inventions, 
yet they stung. In this height of his anger, he 
still preserved his faith in Seraphina's innocence ; 
but the thought of her possible misconduct was 
the bitterest ingredient in his pot of sorrow. 

There came a knock at the door, and the 
chamberlain brought him a note. He took it and 
ground it in his hand, continuing his march, 



A ROMANCE 131 

continuing his bewildered thoughts ; and some 
minutes had gone by before the circumstance 
came clearly to his mind. Then he paused and 
opened it. It was a pencil scratch from Gott- 
hold, thus conceived : 

' The council is privately summoned at once. 

' G. V. H.' 

If the council was thus called before the 
hour, and that privately, it was plain they 
feared his interference. Feared : here was a 
sweet thought. Gotthold, too — Gotthold, who 
had always used and regarded him as a mere 
pleasant lad, had now been at the pains to 
warn him ; Gotthold looked for something at 
his hands. Well, none should be disappointed ; 
the Prince, too long beshadowed by the uxo- 
rious lover, should now return and shine. He 
summoned his valet, repaired the disorder of his 
appearance with elaborate care ; and then, curled 
and scented and adorned. Prince Charming in 
every line, but with a twitching nostril, he set 
forth unattended for the council. 



k2 



132 PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTEE Vn. 

THE PEINCE DISSOLVES THE COUJS'CIL. 

It was as Gottliold wrote. The liberation of Sir 
John, Greisengesang's uneasy narrative, last of 
all, the scene between Seraphina and the Prince, 
had decided the conspirators to take a step of 
bold timidity. There had been a period of 
bustle, liveried messengers speeding here and 
there with notes ; and at half-past ten in the 
morning, about an hour before its usual hour, 
the council of Griinewald sat around the board. 
It was not a large body. At the instance of 
Gondremark, it had undergone a strict purga- 
tion, and was now composed exclusively of 
tools. Three secretaries sat at a side table. Se- 
raphina took the head ; on her right was the 
Baron, on her left Greisengesang ; below these 
Grafinski the treasurer, Count Eisenthal, a 
couple of non-combatants, and, to the surprise 
of all, Gotthold. He had been named a privy 
councillor by Otto, merely that he might profit 



A ROMANCE 



133 



by tlie salary ; and as he was never known to 
attend a meeting, it had occurred to nobody to 
cancel his appointment. His present appearance 
was the more ominous, coming when it did. 
Gondremark scowled upon him ; and the non- 
combatant on his right, intercepting this black 
look, edged away from one who was so clearly 
out of favour. 

' The hour presses, your Highness,' said the 
Baron ; ' may we proceed to business ? ' 

' At once,' replied Seraphina. 

' Your Highness will pardon me,' said Gott- 
hold ; ' but you are still, perhaps, unacquainted 
with the fact that Prince Otto has returned.' 

' The Prince will not attend the council,' 
replied Seraphina, with a momentary blush. 
' The despatches, Herr Cancellarius ? There is 
one for Gerolstein ? ' 

A secretary brought a paper. 

' Here, madam,' said Greisengesang. ' Shall 
I read it?' 

' We are all famihar with its terms,' replied 
Gondremark. ' Your Highness approves .^ ' 

' Unhesitatingly,' said Seraphina. 

' It may then be held as read,' concluded the 
Baron. ' Will your Highness sign ? ' 

The Princess did so ; Gondremark, Eisenthal, 
and one of the non-combatants followed suit ; 
and the paper was then passed across the table 



134 PRINCE OTTO 

to the librarian. He proceeded leisurely to 
read. 

'We liave no time to spare, Herr Doctor,* 
cried the Baron, brutally. ' If you do not choose 
to sign on the authority of your sovereign, pass 
it on. Or you may leave the table,' he added, 
his temper ripping out. 

' I decline your invitation, Herr von Gondre- 
mark ; and my sovereign, as I continue to observe 
with regret, is still absent from the board,' re- 
plied the Doctor, calmly ; and he resumed the 
perusal of the paper, the rest chafing and ex- 
changing glances. ' Madam and gentlemen,' he 
said, at last, ' what I hold in my hand is simply 
a declaration of war.' 

' Simply,' said Seraphina, flashing defiance. 

' The sovereign of this country is under the 
same roof with us,' continued Gotthold, ' and I 
insist he shall be summoned. It is needless to 
adduce my reasons ; you are all ashamed at 
heart of this projected treachery.' 

The council waved like a sea. There were 
various outcries. 

' You insult the Princess,' thundered Gondre- 
mark. 

' I maintain my protest,* rephed Gotthold. 

At the height of this confusion the door was 
thrown open ; an usher announced, ' Gentlemen, 
the Prince ! ' and Otto, with his most excellent 



A ROMANCE 135 

bearing, entered the apartment. It was like oil 
upon the troubled waters ; every one settled in- 
stantly into his place, and Greisengesang, to give 
himself a countenance, became absorbed in the 
arrangement of his papers ; but in their eager- 
ness to dissemble, one and all neglected to rise. 

' Gentlemen,' said the Prince, pausing. 

They all got to their feet in a moment ; and 
this reproof still further demoralised the weaker 
brethren. 

The Prince moved slowly towards the lower 
end of the table ; then he paused again, and, 
fixing his eye on Greisengesang, ' How comes it, 
Herr Cancellarius,' he asked, ' that I have 
received no notice of the change of hour ? ' 

' Your Highness,' replied the Chancellor, ' her 
Highness the Princess . . . ' and there paused. 

'I understood,' said Seraphina, taking him 
up, ' that you did not purpose to be present.' 

Their eyes met for a second, and Seraphina's 
fell ; but her anger only burned the brighter for 
that private shame. 

' And now, gentlemen,' said Otto, taking his 
chair, ' I pray you to be seated. I have been 
absent : there are doubtless some arrears ; but 
ere we proceed to business, Herr Grafinski, you 
will direct four thousand crowns to be sent to 
me at once. Make a note, if you please,' he 
added, as the treasurer still stared in wonder. 



136 PRINCE OTTO 

' Four thousand crowns ? ' asked Seraphina. 
'Pray, for what?' 

' Madam,' returned Otto, smiling, ' for my 
own purposes.' 

Gondremark spurred up Grafinski under- 
neath the table. 

' If your Highness will indicate the destina- 
tion . . . ' began the puppet. 

'You are not here, sir, to interrogate your 
Prince,' said Otto. 

Grafinski looked for help to his commander ; 
and Gondremark came to his aid, in suave and 
measured tones. 

'Your Highness may reasonably be sur- 
prised,' he said ; ' and Herr Grafinski, although 
I am convinced he is clear of the intention of 
offending, would have perhaps done better to 
begin with an explanation. The resources of 
the State are at the present moment entirely 
swallowed up, or, as we hope to prove, wisely 
invested. In a month from now, I do not ques- 
tion we shall be able to meet any command 
your Highness may lay upon us ; but at this 
hour I fear that, even in so small a matter, he 
must prepare himself for disappointment. Our 
zeal is no less, although our power may be 
inadequate.' : 

' How much, Herr Grafinski, have we in the 
treasury ? ' asked Otto. 



A ROMANCE 137 

'Your Highness,' protested the treasurer, 
* we have immediate need of every crown.' 

'I think, sir, you evade me,' flashed the 
Prince ; and then turning to the side table, ' Mr. 
Secretary,' he added, ' bring me, if you please, 
the treasury docket.' 

Herr Grafinski became deadly pale ; the 
chancellor, expecting his own turn, was pro- 
bably engaged in prayer ; Gondremark was 
watching like a ponderous cat. Gotthold, on 
his part, looked on with wonder at his cousin ; 
he was certainly showing spirit, but what, in 
such a time of gravity, was all this talk of 
money ? and why should he waste his strength 
upon a personal issue ? 

'I find,' said Otto, with his finger on the 
docket, ' that we have 20,000 crowns in case.' 

'That is exact, your Highness,' replied the 
Baron. 'But our liabilities, all of which are 
happily not liquid, amount to a far larger sum ; 
and at the present point of time, it would be 
morally impossible to divert a single florin. 
Essentially, the case is empty. We have, already 
presented, a large note for material of war.' 

' Material of war ? ' exclaimed Otto, with an 
excellent assumption of surprise. ' But if my 
memory serves me right, • we settled these 
accounts in January.' 

' There have been further orders,' the Baron 



138 PRINCE OTTO 

explained. ' A new park of artillery has been 
completed ; ^nq hundred stand of arms, seven 
hundred baggage mules — the details are in a 
special memorandum. Mr. Secretary Holtz, the 
memorandum, if you please.' 

' One would think, gentlemen, that we were 
going to war,' said Otto. 

' We are,' said Seraphina. 

'War! cried the Prince, 'And, gentlemen, 
with whom ? The peace of Grlinewald has 
endured for centuries. What aggression, what 
insult, have we suffered ? ' 

' Here, your Highness,' said Gotthold, ' is 
the ultimatum. It was in the very article of 
signature, when your Highness so opportunely 
entered.' 

Otto laid the paper before him ; as he read, 
his fingers played tattoo upon the table. ' Was 
it proposed,' he inquired, ' to send this paper 
forth without a knowledge of my pleasure ? ' 

One of the non-combatants, eager to trim, 
volunteered an answer. ' The Herr Doctor von 
Hohenstockwitz had just entered his dissent,' he 
added. 

'Give me the rest of this correspondence,' 
said the Prince. It was handed to him, and he 
read it patiently from end to end, while the 
councillors sat foolishly enough looking before 
them on the table. The secretaries, in the back- 



A ROMANCE 139 

ground, were exchanging glances of delight ; a 
row at the council was for them a rare and 
welcome feature. 

' Gentlemen,' said Otto, when he had finished, 
' I have read with pain. This claim upon Ober- 
miinsterol is palpably unjust ; it has not a 
tincture, not a show, of justice. There is not in 
all this ground enough for after-dinner talk, and 
you propose to force it as a casus belli.' 

' Certainly, your Highness,' returned Gondre- 
mark, too wise to defend the indefensible, ' the 
claim on Obermtinsterol is simply a pretext.' 

' It is well,' said the Prince. ' Herr Cancel- 
larius, take your pen. " The council," ' he 
began to dictate — ' I withhold all notice of my 
intervention,' he said, in parenthesis and address- 
ing himself more directly to his wife ; ' and I 
say nothing of the strange suppression by which 
this business has been smuggled past my know- 
ledge. I am content to be in time — " The 
council," ' he resumed, ' " on a further examina- 
tion of the facts, and enlightened by the note 
in the last despatch from Gerolstein, have the 
pleasure to announce that they are entirely at 
one, both as to fact and sentiment, with the 
Grand Ducal Court of Gerolstein." You have 
it? Upon these lines, sir, you will draw up the 
despatch.' 

'If your Highness will allow me,' said the 



I40 PRINCE OTTO 

Baron, ' your Highness is so imperfectly ac- 
quainted with the internal history of this corre- 
spondence, that any interference will be merely 
hurtful. Such a paper as your Highness pro- 
poses, would be to stultify the whole previous 
policy of Griinewald.' 

' The policy of Griinewald ! ' cried the Prince. 
' One would suppose you had no sense of 
humour ! Would you fish in a coffee cup ? ' 

' With deference, your Highness,' returned 
the Baron, ' even in a coffee cup there may be 
poison. The purpose of this war is not simply 
territorial enlargement ; still less is it a war of 
glory ; for, as your Highness indicates, the state 
of Griinewald is too small to be ambitious. But 
the body politic is seriously diseased ; republi- 
canism, socialism, many disintegrating ideas are 
abroad ; circle within circle, a really formidable 
organisation has grown up about your Highness's 
throne.' 

' I have heard of it, Herr von Gondremark,' 
put in the Prince ; ' but I have reason to be 
aware that yours is the more authoritative 
information.' 

'I am honoured by this expression of my 
Prince's confidence,' returned Gondremark, un- 
abashed. ' It is, therefore, with a single eye to 
these disorders, that our present external policy 
has been shaped. Something was required to 



A ROMANCE 141 

divert public attention, to employ tlie idle, to 
popularise your Highness's rule, and, if it were 
possible, to enable him to reduce the taxes at a 
blow and to a notable amount. The proposed 
expedition — for it cannot without hyperbole be 
called a war — seemed to the council to combine 
the various characters required ; a marked 
improvement in the public sentiment has fol- 
lowed even upon our preparations ; and I cannot 
doubt that when success shall follow, the effect 
will surpass even our boldest hopes.' 

' You are very adroit, Herr von Gondremark,' 
said Otto. ' You fill me with admiration. I had 
not heretofore done justice to your qualities.' 

Seraphina looked up with joy, supposing 
Otto conquered ; but Gondremark still waited, 
armed at every point ; he knew how very stub- 
born is the revolt of a weak character. 

' And the territorial army scheme, to which 
I was persuaded to consent — was it secretly 
directed to the same end ? ' the Prince asked. 

' I still believe the effect to have been good,' 
replied the Baron ; ' discipline and mounting 
guard are excellent sedatives. But I will avow 
to your Highness, I was unaware, at the date 
of that decree, of the magnitude of the revolu- 
tionary movement ; nor did any of us, I think, 
imagine that such a territorial army was a part 
of the republican proposals.' 



142 PRINCE OTTO 

' It was ? ' asked Otto. * Strange ! Upon 
what fancied grounds ? ' 

' The grounds were indeed fanciful,' returned 
the Baron. 'It was conceived among the 
leaders that a territorial army, drawn from and 
returning to the people, would, in the event of 
any popular uprising, prove lukewarm or un- 
faithful to the throne.' 

' I see,' said the Prince. * I begin to under- 
stand.' 

' His Highness begins to understand ? ' re- 
peated Gondremark, with the sweetest politeness. 
' May I beg of him to complete the phrase ? ' 

' The history of the revolution,' replied Otto, 
drily. ' And now,' he added, ' what do you 
conclude ? ' 

' I conclude, your Highness, with a simple 
reflection,' said the Baron, accepting the stab 
without a quiver, ' the war is popular ; were 
the rumour contradicted to-morrow, a consider- 
able disappointment would be felt in many 
classes ; and in the present tension of spirits, the 
most lukewarm sentiment may be enough to 
precipitate events. There lies the danger. The 
revolution hangs imminent ; we sit, at this 
council board, below the sword of Damocles.' 

' We must then lay our heads together,' said 
the Prince, ' and devise some honourable means 
of safety.' 



A ROMANCE 143 

Up to this moment, since the first note of 
opposition fell from the librarian, Seraphina had 
uttered about twenty words. With a somewhat 
heightened colour, her eyes generally lowered, 
her foot sometimes nervously tapping on the 
floor, she had kept her own counsel and com- 
manded her anger like a hero. But at this 
stage of the engagement she lost control of her 
nnpatience. 

' Means ! ' she cried. ' They have been found 
and prepared before you knew the need for 
them. Sign the despatch, and let us be done 
with this delay.' 

'Madam, I said "honourable,"' returned 
Otto, bowing. ' This war is, in my eyes, and by 
Herr von Gondremark's account, an inadmissible 
expedient. If we have misgoverned here in 
Griinewald, are the people of Gerolstein to bleed 
and pay for our misdoings ? Never, madam ; 
not while I live. But I attach so much import- 
ance to all that I have heard to-day for the first 
time — and why only to-day, I do not even stop 
to ask — that I am eager to find some plan that 
I can follow with credit to myself 

' And should you fail ? ' she asked. 

' Should I fail, I will then meet the blow half 
way,' replied the Prince. ' On the first open 
discontent, I shall convoke the States, and, when 
it pleases them to bid me, abdicate.' 



144 PRINCE OTTO 

Seraphina laughed angrily. * This is the 
man for whom we have been labouring ! ' she 
cried. ' We tell him of change ; he will devise 
the means, he says ; and his device is abdica- 
tion ? Sir, have you no shame to come here at 
the eleventh hour among those who have borne 
the heat and burthen of the day ? Do you not 
wonder at yourself? I, sir, was here in my 
place, striving to uphold your dignity alone. 
I took counsel with the wisest I could find, 
while you were eating and hunting. I have 
laid my plans with foresight ; they were ripe 
for action ; and then — ' she choked — ' then you 
return — for a forenoon — to ruia all! To- 
morrow, you will be once more about your 
pleasures ; you will give us leave once more to 
think and work for you ; and again you will 
come back, and again you will thwart what you 
had not the industry or knowledge to conceive. 
Oh ! it is intolerable. Be modest, sir. Do not 
presume upon the rank you cannot worthily 
uphold. I would not issue my commands with 
so much gusto — it is from no merit in yourself 
they are obeyed. What are you ? What have 
you to do in this grave council ? Go,' she cried, 
' go among your equals ! The very people in 
the streets mock at you for a prince.' 

At this surprising outburst the whole council 
sat aghast. 



A ROMANCE 



145 



* Madam,' said the Baron, alarmed out of his 
caution, ' command yourself.' 

' Address yourself to me, sir ! ' cried the 
Prince. ' I will not bear these whisperings ! ' 

Seraphina burst into tears. 

' Sir,' cried the Baron, rising, ' this lady ' 

*Herr von Gondremark,' said the Prince, 
* one more observation, and I place you under 
arrest.' 

' Your Highness is the master,' replied Gon- 
dremark, bowing. 

' Bear it in mind more constantly,' said Otto. 
'Herr Cancellarius, bring all the papers to my 
cabinet. Gentlemen, the council is dissolved.' 

And he bowed and left the apartment, fol- 
lowed by Greisengesang and the secretaries, just 
at the moment when the Princess's ladies, sum- 
moned in all haste, entered by another door to 
help her forth. 



J46 PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

THE PARTY OF WAR TAKES ACTIOI^. 

Half an hour after, Gondremark was once more 
closeted with Seraphina. 

' Where is he now ? ' she asked, on his 
arrivaL 

' Madam, he is with the Chancellor,' replied 
the Baron. 'Wonder of wonders, he is at 
work ! ' 

' Ah,' she said, ' he was born to torture me ! 
Oh, what a fall, what a humiliation ! Such a 
scheme to wreck upon so small a trifle ! But 
now all is lost.' 

' Madam,' said Gondremark, ' nothing is lost. 
Something, on the other hand, is found. You 
have found your senses ; you see him as he is — . 
see him as you see everything where your too- 
good heart is not in question — with the judicial, 
with the statesman's eye. So long as he had 
a right to interfere, the empire that may be was 
still distant. I have not entered on this course 



A ROMANCE I47 

without the plain foresight of its dangers ; and 
even for this I was prepared. But, madam, I 
knew two things : I knew that you were born 
to command, that I was born to serve ; I knew 
that by a rare conjuncture, the hand had found 
the tool ; and from the first I was confident, as 
I am confident to-day, that no hereditary trifler 
has the power to shatter that aUiance.' 

« I, born to command ! ' she said. ' Do you 
forget my tears ? ' 

' Madam, they were the tears of Alexander,' 
cried the Baron. ' They touched, they thrilled 
me ; I forgot myself a moment — even I ! But 
do you suppose that I had not remarked, that 
I had not admired, your previous bearing P your 
great self-command ? Ay, that was princely ! ' 
He paused. 'It was a thing to see. I 
drank confidence ! I tried to imitate your calm. 
And I was well inspired ; in my heart, I think 
that I was well inspired ; that any man, within 
the reach of argument, had been convinced ! 
But it was not to be ; nor, madam, do I regret 
the failure. Let us be open; let me disclose 
my heart. I have loved two things, not un- 
worthily : Grtinewald and my sovereign ! ' Here 
he kissed her hand. ' Either I must resign my 
ministry, leave the land of my adoption and the 

queen whom I had chosen to obey — or ' 

He paused again. 

L 2 



148 PRINCE OTTO 

'Alas, Herr von Gondremark, there is no 
" or," ' said Seraphina. 

'Kay, madam, give me time,' he replied. 
' When first I saw you, you were still young ; 
not every man would have remarked your 
powers ; but I had not been twice honoured by 
your conversation ere I had found my mistress. 
I have, madam, I believe, some genius ; and I 
have much ambition. But the genius is of the 
serving kind ; and to offer a career to my 
ambition, I had to find one born to rule. This 
is the base and essence of our union ; each had 
need of the other ; each recognised, master and 
servant, lever and fulcrum, the complement of 
his endowment. Marriages, they say, are made 
in heaven : how much more these pure, labo- 
rious, intellectual fellowships, born to found 
empires ! Kor is this all. We found each other 
ripe, filled with great ideas that took shape and 
clarified with every word. We grew together- 
ay, madam, in mind we grew together like twin 
children. All of my life until we met was petty 
and groping ; was it not — I will flatter myself 
openly — it was the same with you ! Not till 
then had you those eagle surveys, that wide 
and hopeful sweep of intuition ! Thus we had 
formed ourselves, and we were ready.' 

' It is true,' she cried. ' I feel it. Yours 
is the genius ; your generosity confounds your 



A ROMANCE 149 

insiglit ; all I could offer you was the position, 
was this throne, to be a fulcrum. But I offered 
it without reserve ; I entered at least warmly 
into all your thoughts ; you were sure of me — 
sure of my support — certain of justice. Tell 
me, tell me again, that I have helped you.' 

' Nay, madam,' he said, ' you made me. In 
everything you were my inspiration. And as 
we prepared our policy, weighing every step, 
how often have I had to admire your per- 
spicacity, your man-like diligence and forti- 
tude ! You know that these are not the words 
of flattery ; your conscience echoes them ; have 
you spared a day ? have you indulged yourself 
in any pleasure? Young and beautiful, you 
have lived a life of high intellectual effort, 
of irksome intellectual patience with details. 
Well, you have your reward : with the fall of 
Brandenau, the throne of your Empire is 
founded.' 

'What thought have you in your mind?' 
she asked. ' Is not all ruined ? ' 

' Nay, my Princess, the same thought is in 
both our minds,' he said. 

' Herr von Gondremark,' she replied, ' by 
all tlmt I hold sacred, I have none ; I do not 
think at all ; I am crushed.' 

'You are looking at the passionate side of 
a rich nature, misunderstood and recently in- 



I50 PRINCE OTTO 

suited,' said the Baron. 'Look into your 
intellect, and tell me.' 

' I find nothing, nothing but tumult,' she 
replied. 

' You find one word branded, madam,' re- 
turned the Baron : ' " Abdication ! " ' 

'01' she cried. ' The coward ! He leaves me 
to bear all, and in the hour of trial he stabs me 
from behind. There is nothing in him, not respect, 
not love, not courage — his wife, his dignity, his 
throne, the honour of his father, he forgets them 
all ! ' 

' Yes,' pursued the Baron, ' the word Abdi- 
cation. I perceive a glimmering there.' 

'I read your fancy,' she returned. 'It is 
mere madness, midsummer madness. Baron, I 
am more unpopular than he. You know it. 
They can excuse, they can love, his weakness ; 
but me, they hate.' 

' Such is the gratitude of peoples,' said the 
Baron. ' But we trifle. Here, madam, are my 
plain thoughts. The man who in the hour of 
danger speaks of abdication is, for me, a veno- 
mous animal. I speak with the bluntness of gra- 
vity, madam ; this is no hour for mincing. The 
coward, in a station of authority, is more danger- 
ous than fire. We dwell on a volcano ; if this 
man can have his way, Griinewald before a week 
will have been deluged with innocent blood. 



A ROMANCE 151 

You know the truth of what I say ; we have 
looked unblenching into this ever-possible cata- 
strophe. To him it is nothing : he will abdicate ! 
Abdicate, just God ! and this unhappy country 
committed to his charge, and the lives of men 
and the honour of women . . .' His voice ap- 
peared to fail him ; in an instant he had con- 
quered his emotion and resumed : ' But you, 
madam, conceive more worthily of your respon- 
sibilities. I am with you in the thought ; and 
in the face of the horrors that I see imjoending, 
I say, and your heart repeats it — we have gone 
too far to pause. Honour, duty, ay, and the 
care of our own lives, demand we should pro- 
ceed.' 

She was looking at him, her brow thought- 
fully knitted. ' I feel it,' she said. ' But how ? 
He has the power.' 

' The power, madam ? The power is in the 
army,' he replied ; and then hastily, ere she 
could intervene, ' we have to save ourselves,' he 
went on ; ' I have to save my Princess, she has to 
save her minister ; we have both of us to save 
this infatuated youth from his own madness. He 
in the outbreak would be the earliest victim ; I 
see him,' he cried, ' torn in pieces ; and Grtine- 
wald, unhappy Grlinewald ! Nay, madam, you 
who have the power must use it ; it lies hard 
upon your conscience.' 



IS2 PRINCE OTTO 

' Show me how ! ' she cried. ' Suppose I 
were to place him under some constraint, the 
revolution would break upon us instantly.' 

The Baron feigned defeat. ' It is true,' he 
said. ' You see more clearly than I do. Yet 
there should, there must be, some way.' And he 
waited for his chance. 

' No,' she said ; ' I told you from the first 
there is no remedy. Our hopes are lost : lost 
by one miserable trifler, ignorant, fretful, fitful 
— who will have disappeared to-morrow, who 
knows .P to his boorish pleasures ! ' 

Any peg would do for Gondremark. ' The 
thing ! ' he cried, striking his brow. ' Fool, not 
to have thought of it ! Madam, without per- 
haps knowing it, you have solved our problem.' 

' What do you mean .? Speak ! ' she said. 

He appeared to collect himself; and then, 
with a smile, ' The Prince,' he said, ' must go 
once more a-hunting.' 

' Ay, if he would ! ' cried she, ' and stay 
there ! ' 

' And stay there,' echoed the Baron. It was 
so significantly said, that her face changed ; 
and the schemer, fearful of the sinister ambiguity 
of his expressions, hastened to explain. ' This 
time he shall go hunting in a carriage, with a 
good escort of our foreign lancers. His destina- 



A ROMANCE 153 

tion shall be the Felsenburg ; it is healthy, the 
rock is high, the windows are small and barred ; 
it might have been built on purpose. We shall 
entrust the captaincy to the Scotchman Gordon ; 
he at least will have no scruple. Who will miss 
the sovereign ? He is gone hunting ; he came 
home on Tuesday, on Thursday he returned ; all 
is usual in that. Meamvhile the w^ar proceeds ; 
our Prince will soon weary of his solitude ; and 
about the time of our triumph, or, if he prove 
very obstinate, a little later, he shall be released 
upon a proper understanding, and I see him 
once more directing his theatricals.' 

Seraphina sat gloomy, plunged in thought. 
' YeSj' she said suddenly, ' and the despatch ? 
He is now writing it.' 

' It cannot pass the council before Friday,' 
replied Gondremark ; ' and as for any private 
note, the messengers are all at my disposal. 
They are picked men, madam. I am a person 
of precaution.' 

' It would appear so,' she said, with a flash 
of her occasional repugnance to the man ; and 
then after a pause, ' Herr von Gondremark,' she 
added, ' I recoil from this extremity.' 

' I share your Highness's repugnance,' an- 
swered he. ' But what would you have ? We 
are defenceless, else.' 



1 54 PRINCE OTTO 

' I see it, but this is sudden. It is a public 
crime,' slie said, nodding at him with a sort of 
horror. 

' Look but a httle deeper,' he returned, ' and 
whose is the crime ? ' 

' His ! ' she cried. ' His, before God ! And I 
hold him liable. But still ' 

' It is not as if he would be harmed,' sub- 
mitted Gondremark. 

' I know it,' she replied, but it was still un- 
heartily. 

And then, as brave men are entitled, by pre- 
scriptive right as old as the world's history, to 
the alliance and the active help of Fortune, the 
punctual goddess stepped down from the machine. 
One of the Princess's ladies begged to enter ; a 
man, it appeared, had brought a line for the 
Freiherr von Gondremark. It proved to be a 
pencil billet, which the crafty Greisengesang had 
found the means to scribble and despatch under 
the very guns of Otto ; and the daring of the act 
bore testimony to the terror of the actor. For 
Greisengesang had but one influential motive : 
fear. The note ran thus : ' At the first council, 
procuration to be withdrawn. — Corn. Greis.' 

So, after three years of exercise, the right 
of signature was to be stript from Seraphina. It 
was more than an insult ; it Avas a public dis- 
grace ; and she did not pause to consider how 



A ROMANCE 155 

she had earned it, but morally bounded under 
the attack as bounds the wounded tiger. 

' Enough,' she said ; ' I will sign the order. 
When shall he leave ? ' 

' It will take me twelve hours to collect my 
men, and it had best be done at night. To-morrow 
midnight, if you please ? ' answered the Baron. 

' Excellent,' she said. ' My door is always 
open to you, Baron. As soon as the order is 
prepared, bring it me to sign.' 

' Madam,' he said, ' alone of all of us you do 
not risk your head in this adventure. Eor that 
reason, and to prevent all hesitation, I venture 
to propose the order should be in your hand 
throughout.' 

' You are right,' she replied. 

He laid a form before her, and she wrote the 
order in a clear hand, and re-read it. Suddenly 
a cruel smile came on her face. ' I had for- 
gotten his puppet,' said she. ' They will keep 
each other company.' And she interlined and 
initialed the condemnation of Doctor Gotthold. 

' Your Highness has more memory than your 
servant,' said the Baron ; and then he, in his turn, 
carefully perused the fateful paper. ' Good ! ' 
said he. 

' You will appear in the drawing-room, 
Baron ? ' she asked. 

' I thought it better,' said he, ' to avoid the 



156 PRINCE OTTO 

possibility of a public affront. Anything that 
shook my credit might hamper us in the imme- 
diate future.' 

' You are right,' she said ; and she held out 
her hand as to an old friend and equal. 



A ROMANCE i57 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE PRICE OF THE RIVER FARM; IN WHICH VAIN- 
GLORY GOES BEFORE A FALL. 

The pistol had been practically fired. Under 
ordinary circumstances the scene at the council 
table would have entirely exhausted Otto's store 
both of energy and anger ; he would have begun 
to examine and condemn his conduct, have re- 
membered all that was true, forgotten all that 
was unjust in Seraphina's onslaught; and by 
half an hour after, would have fallen into that 
state of mind in which a Catholic flees to the 
confessional and a sot takes refuge with the bottle. 
Two matters of detail preserved his spirits. 
For, first, he had still an infinity of business to 
transact ; and to transact business, for a man of 
Otto's neglectful and procrastinating habits, is 
the best anodyne for conscience. All after- 
noon he was hard at it with the Chancellor, 
reading, dictating, signing, and despatching 
papers ; and this kept him in a glow of self- 



158 PRINCE OTTO 

approval. But, secondly, his vanity was still 
alarmed ; lie had failed to get the money ; to- 
morrow before noon he would have to dis- 
appoint old Killian ; and in the eyes of that 
family which counted him so little, and to which 
he had sought to play the part of the heroic 
comforter, he must sink lower than at first. 
To a man of Otto's temper, this was death. He 
could not accept the situation. And even as he 
worked, and worked wisely and well, over the 
hated details of his principality, he was secretly 
maturing a plan by which to turn the situation. 
It was a scheme as pleasing to the man as it 
was dishonourable in the prince ; in which his 
frivolous nature found and took vengeance for 
the gravity and burthen of the afternoon. He 
chuckled as he thought of it : and Greisengesang 
heard him with wonder, and attributed his 
lively spirits to the skirmish of the morning. 

Led by this idea, the antique courtier ven- 
tured to compliment his sovereign on his bear- 
ing. It reminded him, he said, of Otto's father. 

' What ? ' asked the Prince, whose thoughts 
were miles away. 

' Your Highness's authority at the board,* 
explained the flatterer. 

' 0, that ! yes,' returned Otto ; but for 
all his carelessness, his vanity was delicately 
tickled, and his mind returned and dwelt 



A ROMANCE IS9 

approvingly over the details of his victory. 
'I quelled them all,' he thought. 

When the more pressing matters had been 
dismissed, it was already late, and Otto kept the 
Chancellor to dinner, and was entertained with 
a leash of ancient histories and modern comph- 
ments The Chancellor's career had been based, 
from the first off-put, on entire subserviency; 
he had crawled into honours and employments ; 
and his mind was prostitute. The instinct of 
the creature served him well with Otto. First, 
he let fall a sneering word or two upon the 
female intellect ; thence he proceeded to a closer 
engagement ; and before the third course he 
was artfully dissecting Seraphina's character to 
her approving husband. Of course no names 
were used ; and of course the identity of that 
abstract or ideal man, with whom she was 
/Currently contrasted, remained an open secret. 
'But this stiff old gentleman had a wonderful 
instinct for evil, thus to wind his way into man's 
citadel ; thus to harp by the hour on the virtues 
of his hearer and not once alarm his self-respect. 
Otto was all roseate, in and out, with flattery 
and Tokay and an approving conscience. He 
saw himself in the most attractive colours. If 
even Greisengesang, he thought, could thus 
espy the loose stitches in Seraphina's character, 
and thus disloyally impart them to the opposite 



i6o PRINCE OTTO 

camp, he, the discarded husband — the dispos-, 
sessed Prince — could scarce have erred on the 
side of severity. 

In this excellent frame he bade adieu to the 
old gentleman, whose voice had proved so 
musical, and set forth for the drawing-room. 
Already on the stair, he was seized with some 
compunction ; but when he entered the great 
gallery and beheld his wife, the Chancellor's 
abstract flatteries fell from him like rain, and 
he re-awoke to the poetic facts of life. She 
stood a good way off below a shining lustre, 
her back turned. The bend of her waist over- 
came him with a physical weakness. This was 
the girl- wife who had lain in his arms and 
whom he had sworn to cherish ; there was she, 
who was better than success. 

It was Seraphina who restored him from the 
blow. She swam forward and smiled upon her 
husband with a sweetness that was insultingly 
artificial. ' Frederic,' she lisped, ' you are late.' 
It was a scene of high comedy, such as is proper 
to unhappy marriages ; and her aplomb dis- 
gusted him. 

There was no etiquette at these small draw- 
mg-rooms. People came and went at pleasure. 
The window embrasures became the roost of 
happy couples ; at the great chimney, the 
talkers mostly congregated, each full-charged 



A ROMANCE i6i 

with scandal ; and down at the farther end 
the gamblers gambled. It was towards this 
point that Otto moved, not ostentatiously, but 
with a gentle insistance, and scattering atten- 
tions as he went. Once abreast of the card- 
table, he placed himself opposite to Madame von 
Eosen, and, as soon as he had caught her eye, 
withdrew to the embrasure of a window. There 
she had speedily joined him. 

' You did well to call me,' she said, a little 
wildly. ' These cards will be my ruin.' 

' Leave them,' said Otto. 

' I ! ' she cried, and laughed ; ' they are my 
destiny. My only chance was to die of a con- 
sumption ; now I must die in a garret.' 

' You are bitter to-night,' said Otto. 

' I have been losing,' she replied. ' You do 
not know what greed is.' 

' I have come, then, in an evil hour,' said he. 

' Ah, you wish a favour I ' she cried, brighten- 
ing beautifully. 

' Madam,' said he. ' I am abowt to found my 
party, and I come to you for a recruit.' 

' Done,' said the Countess. * I am a man 
again.' 

' I may be wrong,' continued Otto, ' but I 
believe upon my heart you wish me no ill.' 

' I wish you so well,' she said, ' that I dare 
nqt tell it you,' 

M 



i62 PRINCE OTTO 

' Then if I ask my favour ? ' quoth the Prince. 

' Ask it, mon Prince,' she answered. ' What- 
ever it is, it is granted.' 

' I wish you,' he returned, ' this very night 
to make the farmer of our talk.' 

' Heaven knows your meaning ! ' she ex- 
claimed. ' I know not, neither care ; there are 
no bounds to my desire to please you. Call him 
made.' 

' I will put it in another way,' returned Otto. 
' Did you ever steal ? ' 

' Often ! ' cried the Countess. ' I have 
broken all the ten commandments ; and if 
there were more to-morrow I should not sleep 
till I had broken these.' 

' This is a case of burglary : to say truth, I 
thought it would amuse you,' said the Prince. 

' I have no practical experience,' she replied, 
' but ! the good-will ! I have broken a work- 
box in my time, and several hearts, my own 
included. Never a house ! But it cannot be 
difficult ; sins are so unromantically easy ! What 
are we to break ? ' 

' Madam, we are to break the treasury,' said 
Otto ; and he sketched to her briefly, wittily, 
with here and there a touch of pathos, the story 
of his visit to the farm, of his promise to buy it, 
and of the refusal with which his demand for 
money had been met that morning at tlie 



A ROMANCE 163 

council ; concluding with a few practical words 
as to the treasury windows, and the helps and 
hindrances of the proposed exploit. 

' They refused you the money,' she said, 
when he had done. 'And you accepted the 
refusal? Well!' 

' They gave their reasons,' rephed Otto, 
colouring. 'They were not such as I could 
combat; and I am driven to dilapidate the 
funds of my own country by a theft. It is not 
dignified ; but it is fun.' 

' Pun,' she said ; ' yes.' And then she re- 
mained silently plunged in thought for an ap- 
preciable time. ' How much do you require ? ' 
she asked at length. 

^" Three thousand crowns will do,' he an- 
swered, ' for I have still some money of my own.' 

'Excellent,' she said, regaining her levity. 
' I am your true accomplice. And where are 
we to meet ? ' 

' You know the Flying Mercury,' he an- 
swered, ' in the Park ? Three pathways intersect ; 
there they have made a seat and raised the statue. 
The spot is handy, and the deity congenial.' 

' Child,' she said, and tapped him with her 
fan. 'But do you know, my Prince, you are 
an egoist — your handy trysting-place is miles 
from me. You must give me ample time ; I 
cannot, I think, possibly be there before two. 

M % 



i64 PRINCE OTTO 

But as the bell beats two, your helper shall 
arrive : welcome, I trust. Stay — do you bring 
any one ? ' she added. ' 0, it is not for a chape- 
rone — I am not a prude ! ' 

'I shall bring a groom of mine,' said Otto. 
' I caught him stealing corn.' 

' His name ? ' she asked. 

' I profess I know not. I am not yet intimate 
with my corn-stealer,' returned the Prince. ' It 
was in a professional capacity ' 

' Like me ! Flatterer ! ' she cried. ' But 
oblige me in one thing. Let me find you wait- 
ing at the seat — yes, you shall await me ; for on 
this expedition it shall be no longer Prince and 
Countess, it shall be the lady and the squire — 
and your friend the thief shall be no nearer than 
the fountain. Do you promise .^ ' 

' Madam, in everything you are to command ; 
you shall be captain, I am but supercargo,' 
answered Otto. 

' Well, Heaven bring all safe to port ! ' she 
said. ' It is not Friday ! ' 

Something in her manner had puzzled Otto, 
had possibly touched him with suspicion. 

' Is it not strange,' he remarked, ' that I 
should choose my accomplice from the other 
camp ? ' 

' Fool ! ' she said. ' But it is your only wisdom 
that you know your friends.' And suddenly, in 



A ROMANCE 165 

the vantage of the deep window, she caught up 
his hand and kissed it with a sort of passion. 
' Now, go,' she added, ' go at once.' 

He went, somewhat staggered, doubting in 
his heart that he was overbold. For in that 
moment she had flashed upon him like a jewel ; 
and even through the strong panoply of a pre- 
vious love he had been conscious of a shock.. 
Next moment he had dismissed the fear. \ 

Both Otto and the Countess retired early 
from the drawing-room; and the Prince, after 
an elaborate feint, dismissed his valet and went 
forth by the private passage and the back 
postern in quest of the groom. 

Once more the stable was in darkness, once 
more Otto employed the talismanic knock, and 
once more the groom appeared and sickened 
with terror. 

' Good evening, friend,' said Otto, pleasantly. 
' I want you to bring a corn sack — empty this 
time — and to accompany me. We shall be gone 
all night.' 

' Your Highness,' groaned the man, ' I have 
the charge of the small stables. I am here alone.' 

' Come,' said the Prince, ' you are no such 
martinet in duty.' And then seeing that the 
man was shaking from head to foot. Otto laid a 
hand upon his shoulder. ' If I meant you harm,' 
he said, ' should I be here ? ' 



i66 PRINCE OTTO 

The fellow became instantly reassured. He 
got the sack ; and Otto led him round by several 
paths and avenues, conversing pleasantly by the 
way, and left him at last planted by a certain 
fountain where a goggle-eyed Triton spouted 
intermittently into a ripphng laver. Thence he 
proceeded alone to where, in a round clearing, a 
copy of Gian Bologna's Mercury stood tiptoe in 
the twilight of the stars. The night was warm 
and windless. A shaving of new moon had 
lately arisen ; but it was still too small and too 
low down in heaven to contend with the immense 
host of lesser luminaries ; and the rough face of 
the earth was drenched with starlight. Down 
one of the alleys, which widened as it receded, 
he could see a part of the lamplit terrace where 
a sentry silently paced, and beyond that a corner 
of the town with interlacing street-lights. But 
all around him the young trees stood mystically 
blurred in the dim shine ; and in the stock-still 
quietness the upleaping god appeared ahve. 

In this dimness and silence of the nisht. 
Otto's conscience became suddenly and staringly 
luminous like the dial of a city clock. He 
averted the eyes of his mind, but the finger, 
rapidly travelling, pointed to a series of misdeeds 
that took his breath away. What was he doing 
in that place? The money had been wrongly 
squandered, but that was largely by his own 



A ROMANCE 167 

neglect. And he now proposed to embarrass 
the finances of this country which he had been 
too idle to govern. And he now proposed to 
squander the money once again, and this time 
for a private, if a generous end. And the man 
whom he had reproved for stealing corn, he was 
now to set stealing treasure. And then there 
was Madame von Kosen, upon whom he looked 
down with some of that ill-favoured contempt 
of the chaste male for the imperfect woman. 
Because he thought of her as one degraded 
below scruples, he had picked her out to be still 
more degraded, and to risk her whole irregular 
estabhshment in life by comphcity in this dis- 
honourable act. It was uglier than a seduction. 

Otto had to walk very briskly and whistle 
very busily ; and when at last he heard steps 
in the narrowest and darkest of the alleys, it 
was with a gush of relief that he sprang to meet 
the Countess. To wrestle alone with one's good 
angel is so hard ! and so precious, at the proper 
time, is a companion certain to be less virtuous 
than oneself! 

It was a young man who came towards him 

a young man of small stature and a pecuhar 

gait, wearing a wide flapping hat, and carrying, 
with great weariness, a heavy bag. Otto re- 
coiled ; but the young man held up his hand by 
way of signal, and coming up with a panting 



i68 PRINCE OTTO 

run, as if with the last of his endurance, laid 
the bag upon the ground, threw himself upon 
the bench, and disclosed the features of Madame 
von Eosen. 

' You, Countess ! ' cried the Prince. 

' No, no,' she panted, ' the Count von Eosen 
• — my young brother. A capital fellow. Let 
him get his breath.' 

' Ah, madam . . . .' said he. 

' Call me Count,' she returned, ' respect my 
incognito.' 

' Count be it, then,' he replied. ' And let 
me implore that gallant gentleman to set forth 
at once on our enterprise.' 

' Sit down beside me here,' she returned, pat- 
ting the further corner of the bench. ' I will 
follow you in a moment. 0, I am so tired- 
feel how my heart leaps ! Where is your thief ? ' 

' At his post,' rephed Otto. ' Shall I in- 
troduce him.^ He seems an excellent com- 
panion.' 

' No,' she said, ' do not hurry me yet. I 
must speak to you. Not but I adore your 
thief; I adore any one who has the spirit to do 
wrong. I never cared for virtue till I fell in 
love with my Prince.' She laughed musically. 
' And even so, it is not for your virtues,' she added. 

Otto was embarrassed. 'And now,' he asked, 
* if you are anyway rested ? ' 



A ROMANCE 169 

' Presently, presently. Let me breathe,' she 
said, panting a little harder than before. 

' And what has so wearied you ? ' he asked. 
' This bag ? And why, in the name of eccen- 
tricity, a bag ? For an empty one, you might 
have relied on my own foresight ; and this one 
is very far from being empty. My dear Count, 
with what trash have you come laden.? But 
the shortest method is to see for myself.* And 
he put down his hand. 

She stopped him at once. ' Otto,' she said, 
' no — not that way. I will tell, I will make a 
clean breast. It is done already. I have robbed 
the treasury single-handed. There are three 
thousand two hundred crowns. 0, 1 trust it is 
enough ! ' 

Her embarrassment was so obvious that the 
Prince was struck into a muse, gazing in her 
face, with his hand still outstretched, and she 
still holding him by the wrist. ' You ! ' he said, 
at last. 'How?' And then drawing himself 
up, ' madam,' ho cried, ' I understand. You 
must indeed think meanly of the Prince.' 

' Well then, it was a he ! ' she cried. ' The 
money is mine, honestly my own — now yours. 
This was an unworthy act that you proposed. 
But I love your honour, and I swore to myself 
that I should save it in your teeth. I beg of 
you to let me save it ' — with a sudden lovely 



i7tJ PRINCE OTTO 

change of tone. 'Otto, I beseech you let me 
save it. Take this dross from your poor friend 
who loves you ! ' 

'Madam, madam,' babbled Otto, in the 
extreme of misery, ' I cannot — I must go.' 

And he half rose ; but she was on the 
ground before him in an instant, clasping his 
knees. ' No,' she gasped, ' you shall not go. 
Do you despise me so entirely ? It is dross ; I 
hate it ; I should squander it at play and be no 
richer ; it is an investment ; it is to save me 
from ruin. Otto,' she cried, as he again feebly 
tried to put her from him, ' if you leave me 
alone in this disgrace, I will die here ! ' He 
groaned aloud. ' 0,' she . said, ' think what I 
suffer ! If you suffer from a piece of delicacy, 
think what I suffer in my shame ! To have my 
trash refused ! You would rather steal, you 
think of me so basely ! You would rather tread 
my heart in pieces ! 0, unkind ! my Prince ! 
Otto ! pity me ! ' She was still clasping 
him ; then she found his hand and covered it 
with kisses, and at this his head began to turn. 
' 0,' she cried again, ' I see it ! what a 
horror ! It is because I am old, because I am 
no longer beautiful.' And she burst into a 
storm of sobs. 

This was the coup de grdce. Otto had now 
to comfort and compose her as he could, and 



A ROMANCE 171 

l)efore many words, the money was accepted. 
Between the woman and the weak man such 
was the inevitable end. Madame von Eos en 
instantly composed her sobs. She thanked him 
with a fluttering voice, and resumed her place 
upon the bench at the far end from Otto. ' Now 
you see,' she said, ' why I bade you keep the 
thief at distance, and why I came alone. How 
I trembled for my treasure ! ' 

'Madam,' said Otto, with a tearful whimper 
in his voice, ' spare me ! You are too good, too 
noble ! ' 

' I wonder to hear you,' she returned. ' You 
have avoided a great folly. You will be able to 
meet your good old peasant. You have found 
an excellent investment for a friend's money. 
You have preferred essential kindness to an 
empty scruple ; and now you are ashamed of it ! 
You have made your friend happy ; and now 
you mourn as the dove ! Come, cheer up. I 
know it is depressing to have done exactly 
right ; but you need not make a practice of it. 
Forgive yourself this virtue ; come now, look 
me in the face and smile ! ' 

He did look at her. When a man has 
been embraced by a woman, he sees her in a 
glamour ; and at such a time, in the baffling 
glimmer of the stars, she will look wildly well. 
The hair is touched with light ; the eyes are 



172 PRINCE OTTO 

constellations ; the face sketched in shadows — a 
sketch, you might say, by passion. Otto be- 
came consoled for his defeat ; he began to take 
an interest. ' No,' he said, ' I am no ingrate.' 

' You promised me fun,' she returned, with 
a laugh. ' I have given you as good. We have 
had a stormy seen a.' 

He laughed in his turn, and the sound of the 
laughter, in either case, was hardly reassuring. 

' Come, what are you going to give me in 
exchange,' she continued, 'for my excellent 
declamation .^ ' 

' What you will,' he said. 

'Whatever I will.? Upon your honour? 
Suppose I asked the crown .? ' She was flashing 
upon him, beautiful in triumph. 

' Upon my honour,' he replied. 

'Shall I ask the crown.?' she continued. 
' Nay ; what should I do with it .? Grunewald 
is but a petty state ; my ambition swells above 
it. I shall ask— I find I want nothing,' she 
concluded. ' I will give you something instead. 
I will give you leave to kiss me — once.' 

Otto drew near, and she put up her face; 
they were both smiling, both on the brink of 
laughter, all was so innocent and playful ; and 
the Prince, when their hps encountered, was 
dumbfounded by the sudden convulsion of his 
being. Both drew instantly apart, and for an 



A ROMANCh 173 

appreciable time sat tongue-tied. Otto was in- 
distinctly conscious of a peril in the silence, but 
could find no words to utter. Suddenly the 
Countess seemed to awake. ' As for your wife 
' she began in a clear and steady voice. 

The word recalled Otto, with a shudder, 
from his trance. 'I will hear nothing against 
ray wife,' he cried wildly ; and then, recovering 
himself and in a kindlier tone, ' I will tell you 
my one secret,' he added. ' I love my wife.' 

'You should have let me finish,' she re- 
turned, smiling. 'Do you suppose I did not 
mention her on purpose ? You know you had 
lost your head. Well, so had I. Come now, 
do not be abashed by words,' she added, some- 
what sharply. ' It is the one thing I despise. 
If you are not a fool, you will see that I am 
building fortresses about your virtue. And at 
any rate, I choose that you shall understand 
that I am not dying of love for you. It is a very 
smiling business ; no tragedy for me \ A.nd now 
here is what I have to say about your wife: 
She is not and she never has been Gondremark's 
mistress. Be sure he would have boasted if she 
had. Good-night ! ' 

And in a moment she was gone down the 
alley, and Otto was alone with the bag of money 
and the flying god. 



174 PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTER X. 

GOTTHOLD's KEVISED OPINION; AND THE FALL 
COMPLETED. 

The Countess left poor Otto with a caress and 
bujBfet simultaneously administered. The wel- 
come word about his wife and the virtuous 
ending of his interview should doubtless have 
delighted him. But for all that, as he shouldered 
the bag of money and set forward to rejoin his 
groom, he was conscious of many aching sensi- 
bihties. To have gone wrong and to have been 
set right, makes but a double trial for man's 
vanity. The discovery of his own weakness and 
possible unfaith had staggered him to the heart ; 
and to hear, in the same hour, of his wife's 
fidelity from one who loved her not, increased 
the bitterness of the surprise. 

He was about halfway between the fountain 
and the Mying Mercury before his thoughts 
began to be clear ; and he was surprised to find 
them resentful. He paused in a kind of temper, 



A ROMANCE r;S 

and struck with his hand a httle shrub. Thence 
there arose instantly a cloud of awakened 
sparrows, which as instantly dispersed and dis- 
appeared into the thicket. He looked at them 
stupidly, and when they were gone continued 
staring at the stars. ' I am angry. By what 
right ? By none ! ' he thought ; but he was 
still angry. He cursed Madame von Eosen and 
instantly repented. Heavy was the money on 
his shoulders. 

When he reached the fountain, he did, out 
of ill-humour and parade, an unpardonable act. 
He gave the money bodily to the dishonest 
groom. ' Keep this for me,' he said, ' until I 
call for it to-morrow. It is a great sum, and by 
that you will judge that I have not condemned 
you.' !^nd he strode away ruffling, as if he had 
done something generous. It was a desperate 
stroke to re-enter at the point of the bayonet 
into his self-esteem ; and, like all such, it was 
fruitless in the end. He got to bed with the 
devil, it appeared : kicked and tumbled till the 
gray of the morning ; and then fell inopportunely 
into a leaden slumber, and awoke to find it ten. 
To miss the appointment with old Kilhan after 
all, had been too tragic a miscarriage : and he 
hurried with all his might, found the groom (for 
a wonder) faithful to his trust, and arrived only a 
few minutes before noon in the guest-chamber 



176 PRINCE OTTO 

of the Morning Star. Killian was there in his 
Sunday's best and looking very gaunt and 
rigid ; a lawyer from Brandenau stood sentinel 
over his outspread papers ; and the groom and 
the landlord of the inn were called to serve as 
witnesses. The obvious deference of that great 
man, the innkeeper, plainly affected the old 
farmer with surprise ; but it was not until Otto 
had taken the pen and signed that the truth 
flashed upon him fully. Then, indeed, he was 
beside himself. 

' His Highness ! ' he cried, ' His Highness ! * 
and repeated the exclamation till his mind had 
grappled fairly with the facts. Then he turned 
to the witnesses. ' Gentlemen,' he said, ' you 
dwell in a country highly favoured by God ; for 
of all generous gentlemen, I will say it on my 
conscience, this one is the king. I am an old 
man, and I have seen good and bad, and the 
year of the great famine ; but a more excellent 
gentleman, no, never.' 

'We know that,' cried the landlord, 'we 
know that well in Grlinewald. If we saw more 
of his Highness we should be the better pleased.' 

' It is the kindest Prince,' began the groom, 
and suddenly closed his mouth upon a sob, so 
that every one turned to gaze upon his emotion. 
Otto not last ; Otto struck with remorse, to see 
the man so grateful. 



A ROMANCE 177 

Then it was the lawyer's turn to pay a com- 
phment. ' I do not know what Providence may 
hold in store,' he said, ' but this day should be a 
bright one in the annals of your reign. The 
shouts of armies could not be more eloquent 
than the emotion on these honest faces.' And 
the Brandenau lawyer bowed, skipped, stepped 
back and took snuff, with the air of a man who 
has found and seized an opportunity. 

' Well, young gentleman,' said Killian, ' if you 
will pardon me the plainness of calling you a 
gentleman, many a good day's work you have 
done, I doubt not, but never a better, or one 
that will be better blessed ; and whatever, sir, 
may be your happiness and triumph in that high 
sphere to which you have been called, it will be 
none the worse, sir, for an old man's blessing ! ' 

The scene had almost assumed the propor- 
tions of an ovation ; and when the Prince escaped 
he had but one thought : to go wherever he was 
most sure of praise. His conduct at the board 
of council occurred to him as a fair chapter ; 
and this evoked the memory of Gotthold. To 
Gotthold he would go. 

Gotthold was in the hbrary as usual, and laid 
down his pen, a little angrily, on Otto's entrance. 
' Well,' he said, ' here you are.' 

' Well,' returned Otto, ' we made a revolu- 
tion, I believe/ 

N 



178 PRINCE OTTO 

• It is what I fear,' returned the Doctor. 

* How ? ' said Otto. ' Fear ? Eear is the 
burnt child. I have learned my strength and 
the weakness of the others ; and I now mean 
to govern.' 

Gotthold said nothing, but he looked down 
and smoothed his chin. 

' You disapprove ? ' cried Otto. ' You are a 
weathercock.' 

' On the contrary,' replied the Doctor. * My 
observation has confirmed my fears. It will not 
do. Otto, not do.' 

' What will not do ? ' demanded the Prince, 
with a sickening stab of pain. 

' l!^one of it,' answered Gotthold. ' You are 
unfitted for a life of action ; you lack the stamina, 
the habit, the restraint, the patience. Your wife 
is greatly better, vastly better ; and though she 
is in bad hands, displays a very different apti- 
tude. She is a woman of affairs ; you are — dear 
boy, you are yourself I bid you back to your 
amusements ; like a smiling dominie, I give you 
holidays for life. Yes,' he continued, ' there is 
a day appointed for all when they shall turn 
again upon their OAvn philosophy. I had grown 
to disbelieve impartially in all ; and if in the 
atlas of the sciences there were two charts I dis- 
believed in more than all the rest, they were 
pohtics and morals. I had a sneaking kindness 



A ROMANCE 179 

for your vices ; as they were negative, they 
flattered my philosophy ; and I called them 
almost virtues. Well. Otto, I was wrong ; I 
have forsworn my sceptical philosophy; and I 
perceive your faults to be unpardonable. You 
are unfit to be a Prince, unfit to be a husband. 
And I give you my word, I would rather see a 
man capably doing evil, than blundering about 
good.' 

Otto was still silent, in extreme dudgeon. 

Presently the Doctor resumed : ' I will take 
the smaller matter first : your conduct to your 
wife. You went, I hear, and had an explana- 
tion. That may have been right or wrong ; I 
know not ; at least, you had stirred her temper. 
At the council she insults you ; well, you insult 
her back — a man to a woman, a husband to his 
wife, in public! Next upon the back of this, 
you propose — the story runs like wildfire — to 
recall the power of signature. Can she ever for- 
give that ? a woman — a young woman — ambi- 
tious, conscious of talents beyond yours ? Never, 
Otto. And to sum all, at such a crisis in your 
married life, you get into a window corner with 
that ogling dame von Eosen. I do not dream 
that there was any harm ; but I do say it was 
an idle disrespect to your wife. Why, man, the 
woman is not decent.' 



i8o PRINCE OTTO 

' Gotthold,' said Otto, ' I will hear no evil of 
the Countess.' 

' You will certainly hear no good of her,* 
returned Gotthold ; ' and if you wish your wife 
to be the pink of nicety, you should clear your 
court of demi-reputations.' 

' The commonplace injustice of a by-word,' 
Otto cried. 'The partiality of sex. She is a 
demi-rep ; what then is Gondremark ? Were 
she a man ' 

'It would be all one,' retorted Gotthold, 
roughly. ' When I see a man, come to years of 
wisdom, who speaks in double-meanings and is 
the braggart of his vices, I spit on the other side. 
" You, my friend," say I, " are not even a gentle- 
man." Well, she's not even a lady.' 

' She is the best friend I have, and I choose 
that she shall be respected,' Otto said. 

' If she is your friend, so much the worse,' 
replied the Doctor. ' It will not stop there.' 

' Ah ! ' cried Otto, ' there is the charity of 
virtue ! All evil in the spotted fruit. But I can 
tell you, sir, that you do Madame von Eosen 
prodigal injustice.' 

' You can tell me ! ' said the Doctor, shrewdly. 
' Have you tried ? have you been riding the 
marches ? ' 

The blood came into Otto's face. 

'Ahr cried Gotthold, 'look at your wife 



A ROMANCE i8i 

and blusli ! There's a wife for a man to marry 
and then lose ! She's a carnation, Otto. The 
soul is in her eyes.' 

' You have changed your note for Seraphina, 
I perceive,' said Otto. 

' Changed it ! ' cried the Doctor, with a flush. 
'Why, when was it different? But I own I 
admired her at the council. When she sat there 
silent, tapping with her foot, I admired her as 
I might a hurricane. Were I one of those who 
venture upon matrimony, there had been the 
prize to tempt me! She invites, as Mexico 
invited Cortez ; the enterprise is hard, the na- 
tives are unfriendly — I believe them cruel too 
— but the metropolis is paved with gold and the 
breeze ^'blows out of paradise. Yes, I could 
desire to be that conqueror. But to philander 
with von Eosen ; never ! Senses ? I discard 
them ; what are they ? — pruritus ! Curiosity ? 
Reach me my Anatomy ! ' 

' To whom do you address yourself? ' cried 
Otto. ' Surely, you, of all men, know that I 
love my wife ! ' 

' 0, love ! ' cried Gotthold ; ' love is a great 
word ; it is in all the dictionaries. If you had 
loved, she would have paid you back. What 
does she ask ? A little ardour ! ' 

'It is hard to love for two,' replied the 
Prince. 



1 82 PRINCE OTTO 

' Hard ? Why, there's the touchstone ! 0, 
I know my poets ! ' cried the Doctor. ' We are 
but dust and fire, too arid to endure hfe's scorch- 
ing ; and love, hke the shadow of a great rock, 
should lend shelter and refreshment, not to the 
lover only, but to his mistress and to the chil- 
dren that reward them ; and their very friends 
should seek repose in the fringes of that peace. 
Love is not love that cannot build a home. And 
you call it love to grudge and quarrel and pick 
faults ? You call it love to thwart her to her 
face, and bandy insults ? Love ! ' 

' Gotthold, you are unjust. I was then 
fighting for my country,' said the Prince. 

' Ay, and there's the worst of all,' returned 
the Doctor. ' You could not even see that you 
were wrong ; that being where they were, re- 
treat was ruin.' 

' Why, you supported me ! ' cried Otto. 

' I did. I was a fool like you,' replied Gott- 
hold. ' But now my eyes are open. If you go 
on as you have started, disgrace this fellow 
Gondremark, and publish the scandal of your 
divided house, there will befall a most abomin- 
able thing in Griinewald. A revolution, friend 
— a revolution.' 

' You speak strangely for a red,' said Otto. 

' A red republican, but not a revolutionary,' 
returned the Doctor. 'An ugly thing is a 



A ROMANCE 183 

Griinewalder drunk ! One man alone can save 
the country from this pass, and that is the 
double-dealer Gondremark, with whom I con- 
jure you to make peace. It will not be you ; it 
never can be you : — you, who can do nothing, 
as your wife said, but trade upon your station — 
you, who spent the hours in begging money ! 
And in God's name, what for ? Why money ? 
What mystery of idiocy was this ? ' 

' It was to no ill end. It was to buy a farm,' 
quoth Otto, sulkily. 

' To buy a farm ! ' cried Gotthold. ' Buy a 
farm!' 

' Well, what then ? ' returned Otto. ' I have 
bought it, if you come to that.' 

Gotthold fairly bounded on his seat. ' And 
how that .^ ' he cried. 

' How ? ' repeated Otto, startled. 

' Ay, verily, how ! ' returned the Doctor. 
' How came you by the money ? ' 

The Prince's countenance darkened. ' That 
is my affair,' said he. 

' You see you are ashamed,' retorted Gott- 
hold. ' And so you bought a farm in the hour 
of your country's need — doubtless to be ready 
for the abdication ; and I put it that you stole 
the funds. There are not three ways of getting 
money : there are but two : to earn and steal. 
And now, when you have combined Charles the 



i84 PRINCE OTTO 

Fifth and Long-fingered Tom, you come to me 
to fortify your vanity! But I will clear my 
mind upon this matter : until I know the right 
and wrong of the transaction, I put my hand 
behind my back. A man may be the pitifullest 
prince, he must be a spotless gentleman.' 

The Prince had gotten to his feet, as pale as 
paper. ' Gotthold,' he said, ' you drive me 
beyond bounds. Beware, sir, beware ! ' 

' Do you threaten me, friend Otto ? ' asked 
the Doctor, grimly. ' That would be a strange 
conclusion.' 

' When have you ever known me use my 
power in any private animosity ? ' cried Otto. 
' To any private man, your words were an un- 
pardonable insult, but at me you shoot in full 
security, and I must turn aside to comphment 
you on your plainness. I must do more than 
pardon, I must admire, because you have faced 
this — this formidable monarch, like a JSTathan 
before David. You have uprooted an old kind- 
ness, sir, with an unsparing hand. You leave 
me very bare. My last bond is broken ; and 
though I take Heaven to witness that I sought 
to do the right, I have this reward : to find 
myself alone. You say I am no gentleman; 
yet the sneers have been upon your side ; and 
though I can very well perceive where you have 
lodged your sympathies, I will forbear the taunt/ 



A /ROMANCE 185 

*Otto, are you insane?' cried Gotthold, 
leaping up. ' Because I ask you how you came 
by certain moneys, and because you refuse ' 

' Herr von Hohenstockwitz, I have ceased to 
invite your aid in my affairs,' said Otto. ' I have 
heard all that I desire, and you have sufficiently 
trampled on my vanity. It may be that I cannot 
govern, it may be that I cannot love — you tell 
me so with every mark of honesty ; but God has 
granted me one virtue, and I can still forgive. I 
forgive you ; even in this hour of passion, I can 
perceive my faults and your excuses ; and if I 
desire that in future I may be spared your con- 
versation, it is not, sir, from resentment — not 
resentment — but, by Heaven, because no man on 
earth could endure to be so rated. You have 
the satisfaction to see your sovereign weep ; and 
that person whom you have so often taunted 
with his happiness reduced to the last pitch of 
solitude and misery. No, — I will hear nothing ; 
I claim the last word, sir, as your Prince ; and 
that last word shall be — forgiveness.' 

And with that Otto was gone from the apart- 
ment, and Doctor Gotthold was left alone with 
the most conflicting sentiments of sorrow, re- 
morse, and merriment ; walking to and fro before 
his table, and asking himself, with hands uplifted, 
which of the pair of them was most to blame for 
this unhappy rupture. Presently, he took from 



l86 PRINCE OTTO 

a cupboard a bottle of Ehine wine and a goblet 
of tlie deep Bohemian ruby. The first glass a 
little warmed and comforted his bosom ; with 
the second he began to look down upon these 
troubles from a sunny mountain ; yet a while, and 
filled with this false comfort and contemplating 
life throughout a golden medium, he owned to 
himself, with a flush, a smile, and a half-pleasur- 
able sigh, that he had been somewhat over plain 
in dealing with his cousin. ' He said the truth, 
too,' added the penitent librarian, ' for in my 
monkish fashion I adore the Princess.' And 
then, with a still deepening flush and a certain 
stealth, although he sat all alone in that great 
gallery, he toasted Seraphina to the dregs. 



A ROMANCE 187 



CHAPTER XI. 

PEOVIBENCE VON EOSEN" : ACT THE FIRST : SHE 
BEGUILES THE BAEOIS". 

At a sufficiently late hour, or to be more exact, 
at three in the afternoon, Madame von Eosen 
issued on the world. She swept downstairs and 
out across the garden, a black mantilla thrown 
over hei" head, and the long train of her black 
velvet dress ruthlessly sweeping in the dirt. 

At the other end of that long garden, and 
back to back with the villa of the Countess, 
stood the large mansion where the Prime Minister 
transacted his affairs and pleasures. This dis- 
tance, which was enough for decency by the 
easy canons of Mittwalden, the Countess swiftly 
traversed, opened a little door with a key, 
mounted a flight of stairs, and entered uncere- 
moniously into Gondremark's study. It was a 
large and very high apartment ; books all 
about the walls, papers on the table, papers 
on the floor ; here and there a picture, some- 



i88 PRINCE OTTO 

what scant of drapery ; a great fire glowing 
and flaming in the blue tiled hearth ; and the 
daylight streaming through a cupola above. In 
the midst of this sat the great Baron Gondre- 
mark in his shirt-sleeves, his business for that 
day fairly at an end, and the hour arrived 
for relaxation. His expression, his very nature, 
seemed to have undergone a fundamental change. 
Gondremark at home appeared the very anti- 
pode of Gondremark on duty. He had an air 
of massive jollity that well became liim ; gross- 
ness and geniahty sat upon his features ; and 
along with his manners, he had laid aside his sly 
and sinister expression. He lolled there, sunning 
his bulk before the fire, a noble animal. 

' Hey ! ' he cried. ' At last ! ' 

The Countess stepped into the room in 
silence, threw herself on a chair, and crossed 
her legs. In her lace and velvet, with a good 
display of smooth black stocking and of snowy 
petticoat, and with the refined profile of her 
face and slender plumpness of her body, she 
showed in sins^ular contrast to the bi^?, black 
intellectual satyr by the fire. 

' How often do you send for me ? ' she cried 
* It is compromising.' 

Gondremark laughed. ' Speaking of that, 
said he, 'what in the devil's name were you 
about? You were not home till morning/ 



A ROMANCE 189 

' I was giving alms,' she said. 

The Baron again laughed loud and long, for 
in his shirt-sleeves he was a very mirthful crea- 
ture. ' It is fortunate I am not jealous,' here- 
marked. ' But you know my way : pleasure and 
liberty go hand in hand. I believe what I be- 
lieve ; it is not much, but I believe it. But 
now, to business. Have you not read my 
letter.?'' 

' No,' she said ; ' my head ached.' 

' Ah well ! then I have news indeed ! ' cried 
Gondremark. ' I was mad to see you all last 
night and all this morning : for yesterday after- 
noon I brought my long business to a head ; the 
ship has come home ; one more dead lift, and I 
shall cease to fetch and carry for the Princess 
Eatafia. Yes, 'tis done. I have the order all in 
Eataiia's hand ; I carry it on my heart. At the 
hour of twelve to-night, Prince Featherhead is 
to be taken in his bed and, like the bambino, 
whipped into a chariot ; and by next morning 
he will command a most romantic prospect from 
the donjon of the Felsenburg. Farewell, Feather- 
head ! The war goes on, the girl is in my hand ; 
I have long been indispensable, but now I shall 
be sole. I have long,' he added exultingly, 
' long carried this intrigue upon my shoulders, 
like Samson with the gates of Gaza ; now I dis- 
charge that burthen.' 



I90 PRINCE OTTO 

She had sprung to her feet a Httle paler. ' Is 
this true ? ' she cried. 

' I tell you a fact,' he asseverated. ' The 
trick is played.' 

'I will never believe it,' she said. 'An 
order ? In her own hand ? I will never believe 
it, Heinrich.' 

' I swear to you,' said he. 

' 0, what do you care for oaths — or I either ? 
What would you swear by ? Wine, women, and 
song? It is not binding,' she said. She had 
come quite close up to him and laid her hand 
upon his arm. ' As for the order — no, Heinrich, 
never ! I will never believe it. I will die ere I 
beneve it. You have some secret purpose — what, 
I cannot guess — but not one word of it is true.' 

' Shall I show it you? ' he asked. 

' You cannot,' she answered. ' There is no 
such thing.' 

' Incorrigible Sadducee ! ' he cried. ' Well, 
I will convert you ; you shall see the order.' He 
moved to a chair where he had thrown his coat, 
and then drawing forth and holding out a paper, 
' Eead,' said he. 

She took it greedily, and her eye flashed as 
she perused it. 

' Hey ! ' cried the Baron, ' there falls a 
dynasty, and it was I that felled it ; and I and 
you inherit ! ' He seemed to swell in stature ; 



A ROMANCE 191 

and next moment, with a laugh, he put his hand 
forward. ' Give me the dagger,' said he. 

But she whisked the paper suddenly behind 
her back and faced him, lowering. ' No, no,' 
she said. 'You and I have first a point to 
settle. Do you suppose me blind ? She could 
never have given that paper but to one man, and 
that man her lover. Here you stand — her lover, 
her accomplice, her master — 0, 1 well believe it, 
for I know your power. But what am I ? ' she 
cried ; ' I, whom you deceive ! ' 

' Jealousy ! ' cried Gondremark. ' Anna, 1 
would never have believed it ! But I declare to 
you by all that's credible, that I am not her 
lover. I might be, I suppose ; but I never yet 
durst risk the declaration. The chit is so un* 
real ; a mincing doll ; she will and she will not ; 
there is no counting on her, by God ! And 
hitherto I have had my own way without, and 
keep the lover in reserve. And I say, Anna,' he 
added with severity, ' you must break yourself 
of this new fit, my girl ; there must be no com- 
bustion. I keep the creature under the belief 
that I adore her ; and if she caught a breath of 
you and me, she is such a fool, prude, and dog 
in the manger, that she is capable of spoihng all.' 

' All very fine,' returned the lady. ' With 
whom do you pass your days ? and which am I 
to beheve, your words or your actions ? 



192 PRINCE OTTO 

' Anna, the devil take you, are you blind ? ' 
cried Gondremark. 'You know me. Am I 
likely to care for such a preciosa ? 'Tis hard 
that we should have been together for so long, 
and you should still take me for a troubadour. 
But if there is one thing that I despise and de- 
precate, it is all such hgures in Berhn wooh 
Give me a human woman — like myself. You 
are my mate ; you were made for me ; you 
amuse me like the play. And what have I to 
gain that I should pretend to you ? If I do not 
love you, what use are you to me ? Why, none. 
It is as clear as noonday.' 

' Do you love me, Heinrich ? ' she asked, 
languishing. ' Do you truly ? ' 

' I tell you,' he cried, ' I love you next after 
myself. I should be all abroad if I had lost you.' 

' Well, then,' said she, folding up the paper 
and putting it calmly in her pocket, ' I will be- 
lieve you, and I join the plot. Count upon me. 
At midnight, did you say.^ It is Gordon, I see, 
that you have charged with it. Excellent ; he 
will stick at nothing.' 

Gondremark watched her suspiciously. 
' Why do you take the paper ? ' he demanded. 
' Give it here.' 

' 1^0,' she returned ; ' I mean to keep it. It 
is I who must prepare the stroke ; you cannot 
manage it without me ; and to do my best I 



A ROMANCE 193 

must possess tlie paper. Where shall I find 
Gordon? In his rooms?' She spoke with a 
rather feverish self-possession. 

^Anna,' he said sternly, the black, bihous 
countenance of his palace role taking the place 
of the more open favour of his hours at home, 
' I ask you for that paper. Once, twice, and 
thrice.' 

' Heinrich,' she returned, looking him in the 
face, ' take care. I will put up with no dicta- 
tion.' 

Both looked dangerous ; and the silence 
lasted for a measurable interval of time. Then 
she made haste to have the first word ; and with 
a laugh that rang clear and honest, ' Do not be 
a child,' she said. ' I wonder at you. If your 
assurances are true, you can have no reason 
to mistrust me, nor I to play you false. The 
difiiculty is to get the Prince out of the palace 
without scandal. His valets are devoted ; his 
chamberlain a slave ; and yet one cry might 
ruin all.' 

'They must be overpowered,' he said, fol- 
lowing her to the new ground, 'and disappear 
along with him.' 

' And your whole scheme along with them ! ' 
she cried. ' He does not take his servants when 
he goes a-hunting : a child could read the truth 
No, no ; the plan is idiotic ; it must be Eatafia*s. 

o 



194 PRINCE OTTO 

But hear me. You know the Prince worships 
me ?' 

' I know,' he said. ' Poor Featherhead, I 
3ross his destiny ! ' 

' Well now,' she continued, ' what if I bring 
him alone out of the palace, to some quiet corner 
of the Park — the Flying Mercury, for instance ? 
Gordon can be posted in the thicket ; the carriage 
wait behind the temple ; not a cry, not a scuffle, 
not a footfall ; simply, the Prince vanishes ! — 
What do you say ? Am I an able ally ? Are 
my heauoc yeux of service? Ah, Heinrich, do 
not lose your Anna !-— she has poA^er ! ' 

He struck with his open hand upon the 
chimney. ' Witch ! ' he said, ' there is not your 
match for devilry in Europe. Service ! the 
thing runs on wheels.' 

' Kiss me, then, and let me go. I must not 
miss my Featherhead,' she said. 

' Stay, stay,' said the Baron ; ' not so fast. I 
wish, upon my soul, that I could trust you ; 
but you are, out and in, so whimsical a devil 
that I dare not. Hang it, Anna, no ; it's not 
possible ! ' 

' You doubt me, Heinrich ? ' she cried. 

' Doubt is not the word,' said he. ' I know 
you. Once you were clear of me with that 
paper in your pocket, who knows what you 
would do with it.^ — not you, at least — nor I. 



A ROMANCE 195 

You see,' he added, shaking his head paternally 
upon the Countess, ' you are as vicious as a 
monkey.' 

'I swear to you,' she cried, 'by my salva- 
tion . . . .' 

' I have no curiosity to hear you swearing,' 
said the Baron. 

' You think that I have no religion ? You 
suppose me destitute of honour. Well,' she 
said, ' see here : I will not argue, but I tell you 
once for all : leave me this order, and the Prince 
shall be arrested — take it from, me, and, as cer- 
tain as I speak, I will upset the coach. Trust 
me, or fear me : take your choice.' And she 
offered him the paper. 

The Baron, in a great contention of mind, 
stood irresolute, weighing the two dangers. 
Once his hand advanced, then dropped. ' Well,' 
he said, ' since trust is what you call it . . . .' 

' No more,' she interrupted. ' Do not spoil 
your attitude. And now since you have be- 
haved like a good sort of fellow in the dark, I 
will condescend to tell you why. I go to the 
palace to arrange with Gordon ; but how is 
Gordon to obey me ? And how can I foresee 
the hours ? It may be midnight ; ay, and it 
may be night-fall ; all's a chance ; and to act, I 
must be free and hold the strings of the ad- 
venture. And now,' she cried, 'your Vivien 

2 



196 PRINCE OTTO 

goes. Dub me your knight ! ' And slie held 
out her arms and smiled upon him radiant. 

'Well,' he said, when he had kissed her, 
' every man must have his folly ; I thank God 
mine is no worse. Off with you ! I have given 
a child a squib.' 



A ROMANCE 197 



CHAPTER XII. 

PEOVIDENCE VON EOSEN : ACT THE SECOND : SHE 
INFORMS THE PRINCE. 

It was the first impulse of Madame von Eosen to 
return to her own villa and revise her toilette. 
Whatever else should come of this adventure, 
it was her firm design to pay a visit to the 
Princess. And before that woman, so little be- 
loved, the Countess would appear at no dis- 
advantage. It was the work of minutes. Yon 
Eosen had the captain's eye in matters of the 
toilette ; she was none of those who hang 
in Fabian helplessness among their finery and, 
after hours, come forth upon the world as 
dowdies. A glance, a loosened curl, a studied 
and admired disorder in the hair, a bit of lace, 
a touch of colour, a yellow rose in the bosom ; 
and the instant picture was complete. 

' That will do,' she said. ' Bid my carriage 
follow me to the palace. In half an hour it 
should be there in waiting.' 

The night was beginning to fall and the 



198 PRINCE OTTO 

shops to sliine with lamps along the tree-be- | 

shadowed thoroughfares of Otto's capital, when 
the Countess started on her high emprise. She 
was jocund at heart ; pleasure and interest had 
winged her beauty, and she knew it. She 
paused before the glowing jeweller's ; she re- 
marked and praised a costume in the milliner's 
window ; and when she reached the lime-tree 
walk, with its high, umbrageous arches and stir 
of passers-by in the dim alleys, she took her 
place upon a bench and began to dally with the 
pleasures of the hour. It was cold, but she did 
not feel it, being warm within ; her thoughts, in 
that dark corner, shone like the gold and rubies 
at the jeweller's ; her ears, which heard the brush- 
ing of so many footfalls, transposed it into music. 

What was she to do !^ She held the paper 
by which all depended. Otto and Gondremark 
and Eat aha, and the state itself, hung hght in 
her balances, as light as dust ; her little finger 
laid in either scale would set all flying : and she 
hugged herself upon her huge preponderance, 
and then laughed aloud to think how giddily it 
might be used. The vertigo of omnipotence, 
the disease of Ccesars, shook her reason. ' the 
mad world ! ' she thought, and laughed aloud in 
exultation. 

A child, finger in mouth, had paused a little 
way from where she sat, and stared with cloudy 



A ROMANCE 199 

interest upon this laughing lady. She called it 
nearer ; but the child hung back. Instantly, 
with that curious passion which you may see any 
woman in the world display, on the most odd 
occasions, for a similar end, the Countess bent 
herself with sing^leness of mind to overcome this 
diffidence ; and presently, sure enough, the child 
was seated on her knee, thumbing and glowering 
at her watch. 

' If you had a clay bear and a china monkey, 
asked von Eosen, ' which would you prefer to 
break?' 

' But I have neither,' said the child. 

' Well,' siie said, ' here is a bright florin, with 
which you may purchase both the one and the 
other ; and I shall give it you at once, if you 
will answer my question. The clay bear or the 
china monkey — come ? ' 

But the unbreeched soothsayer only stared 
upon the florin with big eyes ; the oracle could 
not be persuaded to reply ; and the Countess 
kissed him lightly, gave him the florin, set him 
down upon the path, and resumed her way with 
swinging and elastic gait. 

' Which shall I break ? ' she wondered ; and 
she passed her hand with dehght among the 
careful disarrangement of her locks. ' Which ?' 
and she consulted heaven with her bright eyes. 
' Do I love both or neither ? A little — passion- 



20O PRINCE OTTO 

ately — not at all? Both or neither — ^both, I 
beheve ; but at least I will make hay of Eatafia.' 

By the time she had passed the iron gates, 
mounted the drive, and set her foot upon the 
broad flagged terrace, the night had come com- 
pletely ; the palace front was thick with lighted 
windows ; and along the balustrade, the lamp on 
every twentieth baluster shone clear. A few 
withered tracks of sunset, amber and glow-worm 
green, still lingered in the western sky ; and she 
paused once again to watch them fading. 

' And to think,' she said, ' that here am I — 
destiny embodied, a norn, a fate, a providence — 
and have no guess upon which side I shall declare 
myself ! What other woman in my place would 
not be prejudiced, and think herself committed ? 
But, thank Heaven ! I was born just ! ' Otto's win- 
dows were bright among the rest, and she looked 
on them with rising tenderness. ' How does it 
feel to be deserted ? ' she thought. ' Poor dear fool ! 
The girl deserves that he should see this order.' 

Without more delay, she passed into the 
palace and asked for an audience of Prince Otto. 
The Prince, she was told, was in his own apart- 
ment, and desired to be private. She sent her 
name. A man presently returned with word 
that the Prince tendered his apologies, but could 
see no one. ' Then I will write,' she said, and 
scribbled a few lines alleging urgency of life and 



A ROMANCE 201 

death. ' Help me, my Prince,' she added ; ' none 
but you can help me.' This time the messenger 
returned more speedily and begged the Countess 
to follow him : the Prince was graciously pleased 
to receive the Fran Grafin von Eosen. 

Otto sat by the fire in his large armoury, 
weapons faintly glittering all about him in the 
changeful light. His face was disfigured by the 
marks of weeping ; he looked sour and sad ; 
nor did he rise to greet his visitor, but bowed, 
and bade the man begone. That kind of general 
tenderness which served the Countess for both 
heart and conscience, sharply smote her at this 
spectacle of grief and weakness ; she began im- 
mediately to enter into the spirit of her part ; 
and as soon as they were alone, taking one step 
forward and with a magnificent gesture — ' Up ! ' 
she cried. 

' Madame von Eosen,' replied Otto, dully, 
'you have used strong words. You speak of life 
and death. Pray, madam, who is threatened ? 
Who is there,' he added bitterly, ' so destitute 
that even Otto of Grtinewald can assist him ? ' 

' First learn,' said she, ' the names of the con- 
spirators : the Princess and the Baron Gondre- 
mark. Can you not guess the rest ? ' And then 
as he maintained his silence — ' You ! ' she cried, 
pointing at him with her finger. ' 'Tis you they 
threaten I Your rascal and mine have laid their 



.202 PRINCE OTTO 

heads together and condemned you. But they 
Kickoned without you and me. We make a 
partie carre, Prince, in love and pohtics. They 
lead an ace, but we shall trump it. Come, 
partner, shall I draw my card ? ' 

' Madam,' he said, ' explain yourself. Indeed 
I fail to comprehend.' 

' See, then,' said she ; and handed him the 
order. 

He took it, looked upon it with a start ; and 
then, still without speech, he put his hand before 
his face. She waited for a word in vain. 

' What ! ' she cried, ' do you take the thing 
downheartedly ? As well seek wine in a milk- 
pail as love in that girl's heart ! Be done with 
this, and be a man. After the league of the 
lions, let us have a conspiracy of mice, and pull 
this piece of machinery to ground. You were 
brisk enough last night when nothing was at 
stake and all was frohc. Well, here is better 
sport ; here is hfe indeed.' 

He got to his feet with some alacrity, and 
his face, which was a little flushed, bore the 
marks of resolution. 

' Madame von Eosen,' said he, ' I am neither 
unconscious nor ungrateful ; this is the true con- 
tinuation of your friendship ; but I see that I 
must disappoint your expectations. You seem 
to expect from me some effort of resistance ; but 



A ROMANCE 203 

why should I resist ? I have not much to gain ; 
and now that I have read this paper, and the 
last of a fool's paradise is shattered, it would be 
hyperbolical to speak of loss in the same breath 
with Otto of Griinewald. I have no party ; no 
policy ; no pride, nor anything to be proud of. 
For what benefit or principle under Heaven do 
you expect me to contend ? Or would you have 
me bite and scratch like a trapped weasel ? No, 
madam ; signify to those who sent you my readi- 
ness to go. I would at least avoid a scandal.' 

' You go ? — of your own will, you go ? ' she 
cried. 

' I cannot say so much, perhaps,' he answered ; 
' but I go with good alacrity. I have desired a 
change some time ; behold one offered me ! Shall 
I refuse ? Thank God, I am not so destitute of 
humour as to make a tragedy of such a farce.' 
He flicked the order on the table. ' You may 
signify my readiness,' he added, grandly. 

'Ah,' she said, 'you are more angry than 
you own.' 

' I, madam ? angry ? ' he cried. ' You rave. 
I have no cause for anger. In every way I have 
been taught my weakness, my instability, and my 
unfitness for the world. I am a plexus of weak- 
nesses, an impotent Prince, a doubtful gentle- 
man; and you yourself, indulgent as you are, 
have twice reproved my levity. And shall I be 



204. PRINCE OTTO 

angry ? I may feel the unkindness, but I have 
sufficient honesty of mmd to see the reasons of 
this cowp d'etat! 

' From whom have you got this ? ' she cried 
in wonder. ' You think you have not behaved 
well? My Prince, were you not young and 
handsome, I should detest you for your virtues. 
You push them to the verge of commonplace. 
And this ingratitude ' 

' Understand me, Madame von Eosen,' returned 
the Prince, flushing a little darker, ' there can be 
here no talk of gratitude, none of pride. You 
are here, by what circumstance I know not, but 
doubtless led by your kindness, mixed up in what 
regards my family alone. You have no know- 
ledge what my wife, your sovereign, may have 
suffered ; it is not for you — no, nor for me — 
to judge. I own myself in fault ; and were it 
otherwise, a man were a very empty boaster 
who should talk of love and start before a small 
humiliation. It is in all the copybooks that 
one should die to please his lady-love ; and shall 
a man not go to prison ? ' 

' Love ? And what has love to do with being 
sent to gaol ? ' exclaimed the Countess, appealing 
to the walls and roof. ' Heaven knows I think 
as much of love as any one ; my life would prove 
it ; but I admit no love, at least for a man, that 
is not equally returned. The rest is moonshine.' 



A ROMANCE 205 

'I think of love more absolutely, madam, 
though I am certain no more tenderly, than a 
lady to whom I am indebted for such kindnesses,' 
returned the Prince. 'But this is unavailing. 
We are not here to hold a court of troubadours.' 

' Still,' she rephed, ' there is one thing you 
forget. If she conspires with Gondremark 
against your liberty, she may conspire with him 
against your honour also.' 

' My honour ? ' he repeated. ' For a woman, 
you surprise me. If I have failed to gain her 
love or play myvpart of husband, what right is 
left me ? or what honour can remain in such a 
scene of defeat ? No honour that I recognise. 
I am become a stranger. If my wife no longer 
loves me, I will go to prison, since she wills it ; 
if she love another, where should I be more in 
place? or whose fault is it but mine? You 
speak, Madame von Eosen, like too many women, 
with a man's tongue. Had I myself fallen into 
temptation (as. Heaven knows, I might) I should 
have trembled, but still hoped and asked for her 
forgiveness ; and yet mine had been a treason in 
the teeth of love. But let me tell you, madam,' 
he pursued, with rising irritation, ' where a hus- 
band by futihty, facility, and ill-timed humours 
has outwearied his wife's patience, I will suffer 
neither man nor woman to misjudge her. She 
is free ; the man has been found wanting.' 



2o6 PRINCE OTTO 

'Because she loves you notP' the Countess 
cried. 'You know she is incapable of such a 
feeling.' 

' Eather, it was I who was born incapable of 
inspiring it,' said Otto. 

Madame von Eosen broke into sudden laugh- 
ter. ' Fool,' she cried, ' I am in love with you 
myself.' 

'Ah, madam, you are most compassionate,' 
the Prince retorted, smiling. ' But this is waste 
debate. I know my purpose. Perhaps, to equal 
you in frankness, I know and embrace my ad- 
vantage. I am not without the spirit of adven- 
ture. I am in a false position — so recognised 
by public acclamation : do you grudge me, then, 
my issue ? ' 

' If your mind is made up, why should I dis- 
suade you ? ' said the Countess. ' I own, with a 
bare face, I am the gainer. Go, you take my 
heart with you, or more of it than I desire ; I 
shall not sleep at night for thinking of your 
misery. But do not be afraid ; I would not 
spoil you, you are such a fool and hero.' 

' Alas ! madam,' cried the Prince, ' and your 
unlucky money ! I did amiss to take it, but you 
are a wonderful persuader. And I thank God, 
I can still offer you the fair equivalent.' He 
took some papers from the chimney. ' Hefef 
madam, are the title-deeds,' he said ; ' where I 



A ROMANCE 207 

am going, they can certainly be of no use to me, 
and I have now no other hope of making up to 
you your kindness. You made the loan without 
formality, obeying your kind heart. The parts 
are somewhat changed ; the sun of this Prince 
of Griinewald is upon the point of setting ; and 
I know you better than to doubt you will once 
more waive ceremony, and accept the best that 
he can give you. If I may look for any pleasure 
in the coming time, it will be to remember that 
the peasant is secure, and my most generous 
friend no loser.' \ 

' Do you not understand my odious position ? * 
cried the Countess. 'Dear Prince, it is upon 
your fall that I begin my fortune.' 

' It was the more like you to tempt me to 
resistance,' returned Otto. 'But this cannot 
alter our relations ; and I must, for the last 
time, lay my commands upon you in the cha- 
racter of Prince.' And with his loftiest dignity, 
he forced the deeds on her acceptance. 

' I hate the very touch of them,' she cried. 

There followed upon this a little silence. 'At 
what time,' resumed Otto, ' (if indeed you know) 
am I to be arrested ? ' 

' Your Highness, when you please ! ' exclaimed 
the Countess. ' Or if you choose to tear that 
paper, never ! ' 

' I would rather it were done quickly,' said 



2o8 PRINCE OTTO 

the Prince. ' I shall take but time to leave a 
letter for the Princess.' 

'Well,' said the Countess, 'I have advised 
you to resist ; at the same time, if you intend to 
be dumb before your shearers, I must say that 
I ought to set about arranging your arrest. I 
offered '—she hesitated—' I offered to manage it, 
intending, my dear friend — intending, upon my 
soul, to be of use to you. Well, if you will not 
profit by my good will, then be of use to me ; 
and as soon as ever you feel ready, go to the 
Flying Mercury where we met last night. It 
will be none the worse for you ; and to make it 
quite plain, it will be better for the rest of us.' 

'Dear madam,, certainly,' said Otto. 'If I 
am prepared for the chief evil, I shall not quarrel 
with details. Go, then, with my best gratitude ; 
and when I have written a few lines of leave- 
taking, I shall immediately hasten to keep tryst. 
To-night, I shall not meet so dangerous a cavaher,' 
he added, with a smihng gallantry. 

As soon as Madame von Eosen was gone, he 
made a great call upon his self-command. He 
was face to face with a miserable passage where, 
if it were possible, he desired to carry himself 
with dignity. As to the main fact^e never 
swerved or faltered ; he had come so heart-sick 
and so cruelly humiliated from his talk with 
Gotthold, that he embraced the notion of im- 



A ROMANCE 209 

prisonment with something bordering on relief. 
Here was, at least, a step which he thought 
blameless ; here was a way out of his troubles. 
He sat down to write to Seraphina ; and his anger 
blazed. The tale of his forbearances mounted, 
in his eyes, to something monstrous ; still more 
monstrous, the coldness, egoism, and cruelty that 
had required and thus requited them. The pen 
which he had taken shook in his hand. He was 
amazed to find his resignation fled, but it was gone 
beyond his recall. In a few white-hot words, he 
bade adieu, dubbing desperation by the name of 
love, and calling his wrath forgiveness ; then he 
cast but one look of leave-taking on the place 
that had been his for so long and was now to be 
his no longer ; and hurried forth — love's prisoner 
— or pride's. 

He took that private passage which he had 
trodden so often in less momentous hours. The 
porter let him out ; and the bountiful, cold air 
of the night and the pure glory of the stars 
received him on the threshold. He looked round 
him, breathing deep of earth's plain fragrance ; 
he looked up into the great array of heaven, 
and was quieted. His Httle turgid life dwindled 
to its true proportions ; and he saw himself 
(that great flame-hearted martyr !) stand like a 
speck, under the cool cupola of the night. Thus 
he felt his careless injuries already soothed ; the 

p 



2IO PRINCE OTTO 

live air of out-of-doors, the quiet of the world, 
as if by their silent music, sobering and dwarfing 
his emotions. 

' Well, I forgive her,' he said. ' If it be of 
any use to her, I forgive.' 

And with brisk steps, he crossed the garden, 
issued upon the Park and came to the Flying 
Mercury. A dark figure moved forward from 
the shadow of the pedestal. 

'I have to ask your pardon, sir,' a voice 
observed, ' but if I am right in taking you for 
the Prince, I was given to understand that you 
would be prepared to meet me.' 

' Herr Gordon, I believe ? ' said Otto. 

' Herr Oberst Gordon,' replied that officer. 
' This is rather a ticklish business for a man to 
be embarked in ; and to find that all is to go 
pleasantly, is a great relief to me. The carriage 
is at hand ; shall I have the honour of following 
your Highness ? ' 

' Colonel,' said the Prince, ' I have now come 
to that happy moment of my life, when I have 
orders to receive but none to give.' 

' A most philosophical remark ! '^^returned' 
the Colonel. ' Begad, a very pertinent remark ! 
it might be Plutarch. I am not a drop's blood 
to your Highness, or indeed to any one in this 
principahty ; or else I should dislike my orders. 
But as it is, and since there is nothing unnatural 



A ROMANCE 211 

or unbecoming on my side, and your Highness 
takes it in good part, I begin to believe we may 
have a capital time together, sir — a capital time. 
For a gaoler is only a fellow captive.' 

'May I inquire, Herr Gordon,' asked Otto, 
'what led you to accept this dangerous and I 
would fain hope thankless office ? ' 

' Very natural, I am sure,' replied the officer 
of fortune. ' My pay is, in the meanwhile, 
doubled.' 

'Well, sir, I will not presume to criticise,* 
returned the Prince. 'And I perceive the 
carriage.' 

Sure enough, at the intersection of two alleys 
of the Park, a coach and four, conspicuous by 
its lanterns, stood in waiting. And a little way 
off about a score of lancers were drawn up 
under the shadow of the trees. 



p2 



212 PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTEE Xm. 

PKOVIDENCE VOIf EOSEN : ACT THE THIED : SHE 
EJS^LIGHTENS SEEAPHINA. 

When Madame von Eosen left the Prince, she 
hurried straight to Colonel Gordon; and not 
content with directing the arrangements, she 
had herself accompanied the soldier of fortune 
to the Plying Mercury. The Colonel gave her 
his arm, and the talk between this pair of con- 
spirators ran high and lively. The Countess, 
indeed, was in a whirl of pleasure and excite- 
ment ; her tongue stumbled upon laughter, her 
eyes shone, the colour that was usually wanting 
now perfected her face. It would have taken 
little more to bring Gordon to her feet — or so, 
at least, she believed, disdaining the idea^.^^ 

Hidden among some hlac bushes, she enjoyed- 
the great decorum of the arrest, and heard the 
dialogue of the two men die away along the path. 
Soon after, the rolling of a carriage and the beat of 
hoofs arose in the still air of the night, and passed 



A ROMANCE 213 

speedily farther and fainter into silence. The 
Prince was gone. 

Madame von Eosen consulted her watch. She 
had still, she thought, time enough for the tit- 
bit of her evening ; and hurrying to the palace, 
winged by the fear of Gondremark's arrival, she 
sent her name and a pressing request for a 
reception to the Princess Seraphina. As the 
Countess von Eosen unqualified, she was sure 
to be refused ; but as an emissary of the Baron's, 
for so she chose to style herself, she gained 
immediate entry. "^ 

The Princess sat alone at table, making a 
feint of dining. Her cheeks were mottled, her 
eyes heavy; she had neither slept nor eaten; 
even her dress had been neglected. In short, 
she was out of health, out of looks, out of heart, 
and hag-ridden by her conscience. The Countess 
drew a swift comparison, and shone brighter in 
beauty. 

' You come, madam, de la part de Monsieur 
h Baron^ drawled the Princess. ' Be seated ! 
What have you to say ? ' 

' To say ? ' repeated Madame von Eosen. ' 0, 
much to say ! Much to say, that I would rather 
not, and much to leave unsaid that I would 
rather say. For I am like St. Paul, your High- 
ness, and always wish to do the things I should 
not. Well ! to be catej^orical — that is the 



214 PRINCE OTTO 

word? — I took the Prince your order. He 
could not credit his senses. "Ah," he cried, 
" dear Madame von Eosen, it is not possible — it 
cannot be — I must hear it from your lips. My 
wife is a poor girl misled, she is only silly, she is 
not cruel." " Mon Prince,'' said I, " a girl — 
and therefore cruel ; youth kills flies." — He had 
such pain to understand it ! ' 

' Madame von Eosen,' said the Princess, in 
most steadfast tones, but with a rose of anger in 
her face, 'who sent you here, and for what 
purpose ? Tell your errand.' 

' 0, madam, I believe you understand me very 
well,' returned von Eosen. 'I have not your 
philosophy. I wear my heart upon my sleeve, 
excuse the indecency ! It is a very httle one,' 
she laughed, ' and I so often change the sleeve ! ' 

'Am I to understand the Prince has been 
arrested ? ' asked the Princess, risino-. 

' While you sat there dining ! ' cried the 
Countess, still nonchalantly seated^ 

' You have discharged your errand,' was the 
reply ; ' I will not detain you.' 

' no, madam,' said the Countess, 'with your 
permission, I have not yet done. I have borne 
much this evening in your service. I have 
suffered. I was made to suffer in your service.' 
She unfolded her fan as she spoke. Quick as 
her pulses beat, the fan waved languidly. She 



A ROMANCE 215 

betrayed her emotion only by the brightness of 
her eyes and face, and by the almost insolent 
triumph with which she looked down upon the 
Princess. There were old scores of rivalry be- 
tween them in more than one field ; so at least 
von Eosen felt ; and now she was to have her 
hour of victory in them all. 

' You are no servant, Madame von Eosen, of 
mine,' said Seraphina. 

' No, madam, indeed,' returned the Countess ; 
'but we both serve the same person, as you 
know — or if you'^do not, then I have the pleasure 
of informing you. Your conduct is so light — so 
light,' she repeated, the fan wavering higher 
like a butterfly, ' that perhaps you do not truly 
understand.' The Countess rolled her fan to- 
gether, laid it in her lap, and rose to a less 
languorous position. ' Indeed,' she continued, 
' I should be sorry to see any young woman in 
your situation. You began with every advan- 
tage — birth, a suitable marriage — quite pretty 
too — and see what you have come to ! My poor 
girl, to think of it ! But there is nothing that 
does so much harm,' observed the Countess finely, 
' as giddiness of mind.' And she once more un- 
furled the fan, and approvingly fanned herself. 

' I will no longer permit you to forget your- 
self,' cried Seraphina. ' I think you are mad.' 

' Not mad,' returned von Eosen. ' Sane 



2i6 PRINCE OTTO 

enough to know you dare not break with me 
to-night, and to profit by the knowledge. I left 
my poor, pretty Prince Charming crying his eyes 
out for a wooden doll. My heart is soft ; I love 
my pretty Prince ; you will never understand 
it, but I long to give my Prince his doll, dry 
his poor eyes, and send him off happy. 0, 
you immature fool ! ' the Countess cried, rising 
to her feet, and pointing at the Princess the 
closed fan that now began to tremble in her 
hand. ' wooden doll ! ' she cried, ' have you 
a heart, or blood, or any nature ? This is a 
man, child — a man who loves you. 0, it will 
not happen twice ! it is not common ; beautiful 
and clever women look in vain for it. And you, 
you pitiful schoolgirl, tread this jewel underfoot! 
you, stupid with your vanity ! Before you try 
to govern kingdoms, you should first be able 
to behave yourself at home; home is the 
woman's kingdom.' She paused and laughed 
a little, strangely to hear and look upon. ' I 
will tell you one of the things,' she said, ' that 
were to stay unspoken. Von Eosen is a better 
woman than you, my Princess, though you will 
never have the pain of understanding it ; and 
when I took the Prince your order, and looked 
upon his face, my soul was melted — 0, I am 
frank — here, within my arms, I offered him 
repose 1 ' She advanced a step superbly as she 



A ROMANCE 217 

spoke, with outstretched arms ; and Seraphma 
shrank. ' Do not be alarmed ! * the Countess 
cried ; ' I am not offering that hermitage to 
you ; in all the world there is but one who 
wants to, and him you have dismissed ! "If 
it will give her pleasure I should wear the 
martyr's crown," he' cried, " I will embrace the 
thorns." I tell you — I am quite frank — I put 
the order in his power and begged him to resist. ^ 
You, who have betrayed your husband, may 
betray me to Gondremark ; my Prince would 
betray no one.*. Understand it plainly,' she 
cried, ' 'tis of his pure forbearance you sit there ; 
he had the power — I gave it him^to change 
the parts ; and he refused, and went to prison 
in your place.' 

The Princess spoke with some distress. 
'Your violence shocks me and pains me,' she 
began, ' but I cannot be angry with what at 
least does honour to the mistaken kindness of 
your heart : it was right for me to know this. 
I will condescend to tell you. It was with deep 
regret that I was driven to this step. I admit 
in many ways the Prince — I admit his amiability. 
It was our great misfortune, it was perhaps 
somewhat of my fault, that we were so un suited 
to each other ; but I have a regard, a sincere 
regard, for all his qualities. As a private person 
I should think as you do. It is difficult, I know, 



2i8 PRINCE OTTO 

to make allowances for state considerations. I 
have only with deep reluctance obeyed the call 
of a superior duty ; and so soon as I dare 
do it for the safety of the state, I promise you 
the Prince shall be released. Many in my situa- 
tion would have resented your freedoms. I 
am not — ' and she looked for a moment rather 
piteously upon the Countess — ' I am not alto- 
gether so inhuman as you think.' 

'And you can put these troubles of the 
state,' the Countess cried, ' to weigh with a 
man's love ? ' 

' Madame von Eosen, these troubles are affairs 
of life and death to many ; to the Prince, and 
perhaps even to yourself, among the number,' 
replied the Princess, with dignity. 'I have 
learned, madam, although still so young, in a 
hard school, that my own feelings must every- 
where come last.' 1 

' callow innocence ! ' exclaimed the other. 
'Is it possible you do not know, or do not suspect, 
the intrigue in which you move ? I find it in 
my heart to pity you ! We are both women 
after all — poor girl, poor girl ! — and who is 
born a woman is born a fool. And though I 
hate all women — come, for the common folly, 
I forgive you. Your Highness ' — she dropped 
a deep stage courtesy and resumed her fan — 
'I am going to insult you, to betray one who 
is called my lover, and if it pleases you to use 



A ROMANCE 2ig 

the power I now put unreservedly into your 
hands, to ruin my dear self. 0, what a French 
comedy ! You betray, I betray, they betray. 
It is now my cue. The letter, yes. Behold 
the letter, madam, its seal unbroken as I found 
it by my bed this morning ; for I was out of 
humour, and I get many, too many, of these 
favours. For your own sake, for the sake of 
my Prince Charming, for the sake of this great 
principality that sits so heavy on your con- 
science, open it and read ! ' 

' Am I to understand,' inquired the Princess, 
' that this letter in any way regards me ? ' 

' You see I have not opened it,' replied von 
Eosen ; ' but 'tis mine, and I beg you to experi- 
ment.' 

' I cannot look at it till you have,' returned 
Seraphina, very seriously. ' There may be matter 
there not meant for me to see ; it is a private letter.' 

The Countess tore it open, glanced it through, 
and tossed it back ; and the Princess, taking up 
the sheet, recognised the hand of Gondremark, 
and read with a sickening shock the following 
lines : — - 

' Dearest Anna, come at once. Eatafia has 
done the deed, her husband to be packed to 
prison. This puts the minx entirely in my 
power ; le tour est joue ; she will now go steady 
in harness, or I will know the reason why. 
Come. ' Heineich.' 



220 PRINCE OTTO 

' Command yourself, madam,' said the 
Countess, watching with some alarm the white 
face of Seraphina. ' It is in vain for you to 
fight with Gondremark : he has more strings 
than mere court favour, and could bring you 
down to-morrow with a word. I would not 
have betrayed him otherwise ; but Heinrich is 
a man, and plays with all of you like marion- 
ettes. And now at least you see for what you 
sacrificed my Prince. Madam, will you take 
some wine ? I have been cruel.' 

'Not cruel, madam — salutary,' said Sera- 
phina, with a phantom smile. 'No, I thank 
you, I require no attentions. The first surprise 
affected me : will you give me time a httle .^ 
I must think.' / 

She took her head between her hands, and 
contemplated for a while the hurricane con- 
fusion of her thoughts. 

'This information reaches me,' she said, 
' when I have need of it. I would not do as 
you have done, but yet I thank you. I have 
been much deceived in Baron Gondremark.' 

'0, madam, leave Gondremark, and think 
upon the Prince ! ' cried von Eosen. 

' You speak once more as a private person,' 
said the princess ; ' nor do I blame you. But 
my own thoughts are more distracted. How- 
ever, as I believe you are truly a friend to my 



A ROMANCE 221 

— to the as I believe,' she said, ' you are a 

friend to Otto, I shall put the order for his 
release into your hands this moment. Give me 
the ink-dish. There ! ' And she wrote hastily, 
steadying her arm upon the table, for she 
trembled like a reed. ' Eemember, madam,' she 
resumed, handing her the order, ' this must not 
be used nor spoken of at present ; till I have 
seen the Baron, any hurried step — ^I lose myself 
in thinking. The suddenness has shaken me.' 

'I promise you I will not use it,' said the 
Countess, ' till you give me leave, although I 
wish the Prince could be informed of it, to 
comfort his poor heart. And oh, I had for- 
gotten, he has left a letter. Suffer me, madam ; 
I will bring it you. This is the door, I think? ' 
And she sought to open it. 

' The bolt is pushed,' said Seraphina, flushing 

' ! ! ' cried the Countess. 

A silence fell between them. 

' I will get it for myself,' said Seraphina ; 
' and in the meanwhile I beg you to leave me. 
I thank you, I am sure, but I shall be obHged 
if you will leave me. 

The Countess deeply courtesied, and with- 
drew. 



222 PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTEE XIY. 

RELATES THE CAUSE AOT) OUTBREAK OF THE 
REVOLUTION. 

Brave as she was, and brave by intellect, tlie 
Princess, when first she was alone, clung to the 
table for support. The four corners of her 
universe had fallen. She had never liked nor 
trusted Gondremark completely ; she had still 
held it possible to find him false to friendship ; 
but from that to finding him devoid of all those 
public virtues for which she had honoured him, 
a mere commonplace intriguer, using her for his 
own ends, the step was wide and the descent 
giddy. Light and darkness succeeded each 
other in her brain ; now she believed, and now 
she could not. She turned, bhndly groping for 
the note. But von Eosen, who had not forgotten 
to take the warrant from the Prince, had remem- 
bered to recover her note from the Princess : 
von Eosen was an old campaigner, whose most 
violent emotion aroused rather than clouded the 
vis^our of her reason 



A ROMANCE 223 

The thought recalled to Seraphina the re- 
membrance of the other letter — Otto's. She 
rose and went speedily, her brain still wheeling, 
and burst into the Prince's armoury. The old 
chamberlain was there in waiting ; and the sight 
of another face, prying (or so she felt) on her 
distress, struck Seraphina into childish anger. 

* Go ! ' she cried ; and then, when the old 
man was already half way to the door, ' Stay ! ' 
she added. 'As soon as Baron Gondremark 
arrives, let him attend me here.' 

' It shall be so directed,' said the chamberlain. 

' There was a letter . . . .' she began, and 
paused. 

' Her Highness,' said the chamberlain, ' will 
find a letter on the table. I had received no 
orders, or her Highness had been spared this 
trouble.' 

' No, no, no,' she cried. ' I thank you. I 
desire to be alone.' 

And then, when he was gone, she leaped 
upon the letter. Her mind was still obscured ; 
like the moon upon a night of clouds and wind, 
her reason shone and was darkened ; and she 
read the words by flashes. 

' Seraphina,' the Prince wrote, ' I will write 
no syllable of reproach. I have seen your order, 
and I go. What else is left me ? I have wasted 
my love, and have no more. To say that 1 



224 PRINCE OTTO 

forgive you is not needful : at least, we are now 
separate for ever ; by your own act, you free me 
from my willing bondage: I go free to prison. 
This is the last that you will hear of me in love or 
anger. I have gone out of your life ; you m.ay 
breathe easy ; you have now rid yourself of 
the husband who allowed you to desert him, oj 
the Prince who gave you his rights, and of the 
married lover who made it his pride to defend 
you in your absence. How you have requited 
him, your own heart more loudly tells you than 
my words. There is a day coming when your 
vain dreams will roll away like clouds, and you 
will find yourself alone. Then you will remem- 
ber ' Otto.' 

She read with a great horror on her mind ; 
that day, of which he wrote, was come. She 
was alone ; she had been false, she had been 
cruel ; remorse rolled in upon her ; and then 
with a more piercing note, vanity bounded on 
the stage of consciousness. She a dupe ! she 
helpless ! she to have betrayed herself in seeking 
to betray her husband ! she to have lived these 
years upon flattery, grossly swallowing the bolus, 
like a clown with sharpers ! she — Seraphina ! 
Her swift mind drank the consequences ; she 
foresaw the coming fall, her public shame ; she 
saw the odium, disgrace, and folly of her story 



A ROMANCE 225 

flaunt through Europe. She recalled the scandal 
she had so royally braved; and alas! she had 
now no courage to confront it with. To be 
thought the mistress of that man : perhaps for 
that .... She closed her eyes on agonising vistas. 
Swift as thought she had snatched a bright dagger 
from the weapons that shone along the wall. 
Ay, she would escape. From that world-wide 
theatre of nodding heads and buzzing whisperers, 
in which she now beheld herself unpitiably 
martyred, one door stood open. At any cost, 
through any stress of suffering, that greasy 
laughter should be stifled. She closed her eyes, 
breathed a wordless prayer, and pressed the 
weapon to her bosom. 

At the astonishing sharpness of the prick, she 
gave a cry and awoke to a sense of undeserved 
escape. A httle ruby spot of blood was the 
reward of that great act of desperation ; but the 
pain had braced her like a tonic, and her whole 
design of suicide had passed away. 

At the same instant regular feet drew near 
along the gallery, and she knew the tread of the 
big Baron, so often gladly welcome, and even 
nov/ rallying her spirits like a call to battle. 
She concealed the dagger in the folds of her 
skirt ; and drawing her stature up, she stood 
firm-footed, radiant with anger, waiting for the 
foe. 



226 PRINCE OTTO 

The Baron was announced, and entered. To 
him, Seraphina was a hated task : hke the 
schoolboy with his Virgil, he had neither will 
nor leisure to remark her beauties ; but when 
he now beheld her standing illuminated by her 
passion, new feelings flashed upon him, a frank 
admiration, a brief sparkle of desire. He noted 
both with joy ; they were means. ' If I have 
to play the lover,' thought he, for that was his 
constant preoccupation, 'I believe I can put 
soul into it.' Meanwhile, with his usual pon- 
derous grace, he bent before the lady. 

' I propose,' she said in a strange voice, not 
known to her till then, ' that we release the 
Prince and do not prosecute the war.' 

' Ah, madam,' he replied, ' 'tis as I knew it 
would be ! Your heart, I knew, would wound 
you when we came to this distasteful but most 
necessary step. Ah, madam, beheve me, I am 
not unworthy to be your ally ; I know you have 
quahties to which I am a stranger, and count 
them the best weapons in the armoury of our 
alhance:— the girl in the queen— pity, love, 
tenderness, laughter ; the smile that can reward. 
I can only command ; I am the frowner. But 
you ! And you have the fortitude to command 
these comely weaknesses, to tread them down 
at the call of reason. How often have I not 
admired it even to yourself I Ay, even to your- 



A ROMANCE 227 

self,' he added tenderly, dwelling, it seemed, in 
memory on hours of more private admiration. 
' But now, madam ' 

' But now, Herr von Gondremark, the time for 
these declarations has gone by,' she cried. ' Are 
you true to me ? are you false ? Look in your 
heart and answer : it is your heart I want to 
know.' 

' It has come,' thought Gondremark. ' You, 
madam ! ' he cried, starting back — with fear, you 
would have said, and yet a timid joy. ' You ! 
yourself, you bid me look into my heart ? ' 

' Do you suppose I fear ? ' she cried, and 
looked at him with such a heightened colour, 
such bright eyes, and a smile of so abstruse 
a meaning, that the Baron discarded his last 
doubt. 

' Ah, madam ! ' he cried, plumping on his 
knees. ' Seraphina ! Do you permit me ? have 
you divined my secret ? It is true — I put my 
life with joy into your power — I love you, love 
with ardour, as an equal, as a mistress, as a 
brother-in-arms, as an adored, desired, sweet- 
hearted woman. Bride ! ' he cried, waxing 
dithyrambic, 'bride of my reason and my senses, 
have pity, have pity on my love ! ' 

She heard him with wonder, rage, and then 
contempt. His words offended her. to sick- 
ness ; his appearance, as he grovelled bulkily 

Q ^ 



228 PRINCE OTTO 

upon the floor, moved her to such laughter as 
we laugh in nightmares. 

' shame ! ' she cried. ' Absurd and odious ! 
What would the Countess say ? ' 

That great Baron Gondremark, the excellent 
politician, remained for some little time upon 
his knees in a frame of mind which perhaps 
we are allowed to pity. His vanity, within his 
iron bosom, bled and raved. If he could have 
blotted all, if he could have withdrawn part, if 
he had not called her bride — with a roaring in 
his ears, he thus regretfully reviewed his de- 
claration. He got to his feet tottering; and 
then, in that first moment when a dumb agony 
finds a vent in words, and the tongue betrays 
the inmost and worst of a man, he permitted 
himself a retort which, for six weeks to follow, 
he was to repent at leisure. 

' Ah,' said he, ' the Countess ? Now I per- 
ceive the reason of your Highness's disorder.' 

The lackey-like insolence of the words was 
driven home by a more insolent manner. There 
fell upon Seraphina one of those storm-clouds 
which had already blackened upon her reason ; 
she heard herself cry out ; and when the cloud 
dispersed, flung the blood-stained dagger on the 
floor, and saw Gondremark reeling back with 
open mouth and clapping his hand upon the 
wound. The next moment, with oaths that she 



A ROMANCE 229 

had never lieard, he leaped at her in savage 
passion ; ckitched her as she recoiled ; and in 
the very act, stumbled and drooped. She had 
scarce time to fear his murderous onslaught ere 
he fell before her feet. 

He rose upon one elbow; she still staring 
upon him, white with horror. 

' Anna ! ' he cried, ' Anna ! Help ! ' 

And then his utterance failed him, and he 
fell back, to all appearance dead. 

Seraphina ran to and fro in the room ; she 
wrung her hands and cried aloud ; within she 
was all one uproar of terror, and conscious of 
no articulate wish but to awake. 

There came a knocking at the door ; and she 
sprang to it and held it, panting like a beast, and 
with the strength of madness in her arms, till she 
had pushed the bolt. At this success a certain 
calm fell upon her reason. She went back and 
looked upon her victim, the knocking growing 
louder. yes, he was dead. She had killed 
him. He had called upon von Eosen with his 
latest breath ; ah ! who would call on Seraphina ? 
She had killed him. She, whose irresolute hand 
could scarce prick blood from her own bosom, 
had found strength to cast down that great 
colossus at a blow. 

All this while the knocking was growing 
more uproarious and more unlike the staid 



230 i'RlNCE OTTO 

career of life in such a palace. Scandal was at 
the door, with what a fatal following she dreaded 
to conceive ; and at the same time among the 
voices that now began to summon her by name, 
she recognised the Chancellor's. He or another, 
somebody must be the first. 

'Is Herr von Greisengesang without?' she 
called. 

' Your Highness — yes I ' the old gentleman 
answered. ' We have heard cries, a fall. Is 
anything amiss ? ' 

'Nothing,' replied Seraphina. 'I desire to 
speak with you. Send off the rest.' She panted 
between each phrase ; but her mind was clear. 
She let the looped curtain down upon both sides 
before she drew the bolt ; and, thus secure from 
any sudden eyeshot from without, admitted the 
obsequious Chancellor and again made fast the 
door. 

Greisengesang clumsily revolved among the 
wings of the curtain ; so that she was clear of 
it as soon as he. 

' My God ! ' he cried. ' The Baron ! ' 

' I have killed him,' she said. ' 0, killed 
him!' 

' Dear me,' said the old gentleman, ' this is 
most unprecedented. Lovers' quarrels,' he added 

ruefully, ' redintegratio ' and then paused. 

' But, my dear madam,' he broke out again, ' in 



A ROMANCE 231 

the name of all that is practical, what are we to 
do? This is exceedingly grave; morally, madam, 
it is appalling. I take the liberty, your High- 
ness, for one moment, of addressing you as a 
daughter, a loved although respected daughter ; 
and I must say that I cannot conceal from you 
that this is morally most questionable. And, 
dear me, we have a dead body ! ' 

She had watched him closely; hope fell to 
contempt ; she drew away her skirts from his 
weakness, and, in the act, her own strength 
returned to her. 

' See if he be dead,' she said ; not one word 
of explanation or defence ; she had scorned to 
justify herself before so poor a creature; 'See 
if he be dead ' was all. 

With the greatest compunction, the Chan- 
cellor drew near ; and as he did so the wounded 
Baron rolled his eyes. 

' He lives,' cried the old courtier, turning 
effusively to Seraphina. ' Madam, he still lives.' 

'Help him, then,' returned the Princess, 
standing fixed. ' Bind up his wound.' 

'Madam, I have no means,' protested the 
Chancellor. 

' Can you not take your handkerchief, your 
neckcloth, anything ? ' she cried ; and at the 
same moment, from her light muslin gown she 
rent off a flounce and tossed it on the floor. 



232 PRINCE OTTO 

*Take that,' she said, and for the first time 
directly faced Greisengesang. 

But the Chancellor held up his hands and 
turned away his head in agony. The grasp of 
the falling Baron had torn down the dainty 
fabric of the bodice ; and — ' Highness ! ' cried 
Greisengesang, appalled, ' the terrible disorder 
of your toilette ! ' 

' Take up that flounce,' she said ; ' the man 
may die.' 

Greisengesang turned in a flutter to the Baron, 
and attempted some innocent and bungling 
measures. ' He still breathes,' he kept saying. 
' All is not yet over ; he is not yet gone.' 

' And now,' said she, ' if that is all you can 
do, begone and get some porters ; he must in- 
stantly go home.' 

' Madam,' cried the Chancellor, ' if this most 
melancholy sight were seen in town — dear, 
the State would fall ! ' he piped. 

' There is a litter in the Palace,' she replied. 
'It is your part to see him safe. I lay com- 
mands upon you. On your life it stands.' 

' I see it, dear Highness,' he jerked. ' Clearly 
I see it. But how? what men? The Prince's 
servants — yes. They had a personal affection. 
They will be true, if any.' 

' 0, not them 1 ' she cried. ' Take Sabra, my 
own man.' 



A ROMANCE 233 

' Sabra ! The grand-mason ? ' returned the 
Chancellor, aghast. 'If he but saw this, he 
would sound the tocsin — we should all be but- 
chered.' 

She measured the depth of her abasement 
steadily. ' Take whom you must,' she said, ' and 
bring the litter here.' 

Once she was alone she ran to the Baron, 
and with a sickening heart sought to allay the 
flux of blood. The touch of the skin of that 
great charlatan revolted her to the toes ; the 
wound, in her ignorant eyes, looked deathly ; 
yet she contended with her shuddering, and, 
with more skill at least than the Chancellor's, 
staunched the welling injury. An eye unpre- 
judiced with hate would have admired the Baron 
in his swoon ; he looked so great and shapely ; 
it was so powerful a machine that lay arrested ; 
and his features, cleared for the moment both 
of temper and dissimulation, were seen to be 
so purely modelled. But it was not thus with 
Seraphina. Her victim, as he lay outspread, 
twitching a little, his big chest unbared, fixed 
her with his ugliness ; and her mind flitted for a 
glimpse to Otto. 

Eumours began to sound about the Palace 
of feet running and of voices raised ; the echoes 
of the great arched staircase were voluble of 
some confusion ; and then the gallery jarred 



234 PRINCE OTTO 

with a quick and heavy tramp. It was the 
Chancellor, followed by four of Otto's valets 
and a litter. The servants, when they were 
admitted, stared at the dishevelled Princess and 
the wounded man ; speech was denied them, 
but their thoughts were riddled with profanity. 
Gondremark was bundled in; the curtains of 
the htter were lowered ; the bearers carried 
it forth, and the Chancellor followed behind 
with a white face. 

Seraphina ran to the window. Pressing her 
face upon the pane, she could see the terrace, 
where the lights contended ; thence, the avenue 
of lamps that joined the Palace and town ; and 
overhead the hollow night and the larger stars. 
Presently the small procession issued from the 
Palace, crossed the parade, and began to thread 
the glittering alley : the swinging couch with its 
four porters, the much-pondering Chancellor 
behind. She watched them dwindle with 
strange thoughts ; her eyes fixed upon the 
scene, her mind still glancing right and left on 
the overthrow of her life and hopes. There 
was no one left in whom she might confide ; 
none whose hand was friendly, or on whom she 
dared to reckon for the barest loyalty. With 
the fall of Gondremark her party, her brief 
popularity, had fallen. So she sat crouched 
upon the window seat, her broAv to the cool 



A ROMANCE 235' 

pane ; her dress in tatters, barely shielding her ; 
her mind revolving bitter thoughts. 

Meanwhile, consequences were fast mount- 
ing ; and in the deceptive quiet of the night, 
downfall and red revolt were brewing. The 
litter had passed forth between the iron gates 
and entered on the streets of the town. By 
what flying panic, by what thrill of air commu- 
nicated, who shall say? but the passing bustle 
in the Palace had already reached and re-echoed 
in the region of the burghers. Eumour, with 
her loud whisper, hissed about the town ; men 
left their homes without knowing why ; knots 
formed along the boulevard ; under the rare 
lamps and the great limes the crowd grew 
blacker. 

And now through the midst of that ex- 
pectant company, the unusual sight of a closed 
litter was observed approaching, and trotting 
hard behind it that great dignitary Cancellarius 
Greisengesang. Silence looked on as it went by ; 
and as soon as it was passed, the whispering 
seethed over like a boiling pot. The knots were 
sundered ; and gradually, one following another, 
the whole mob began to form into a procession 
and escort the curtained litter. Soon spokes- 
men, a little bolder than their mates, began to 
ply the Chancellor with questions. Never had 
he more need of that great art of falsehood, by 



236 PRINCE OTTO 

whose exercise he had so richly hved. And yet 
now he stumbled, the master passion, fear, be- 
traying him. He was pressed ; he became in- 
coherent ; and then from the jolting litter came 
a groan. In the instant hubbub and the gather- 
ing of the crowd as to a natural signal, the 
clear-eyed quavering Chancellor heard the catch 
of the clock before it strikes the hour of doom ; 
and for ten seconds he forgot himself. This 
shall atone for many sins. He plucked a bearer 
by the sleeve. ' Bid the Princess flee. All is 
lost,' he whispered. And the next moment he 
was babbling for his Hfe among the multitude. 

Five minutes later the wild-eyed servant 
burst into the armoury. ' All is lost ! ' he cried. 
'The Chancellor bids you flee.' And at the 
same time, looking through the window, Sera- 
phina saw the black rush of the populace begin 
to invade the lamplit avenue. 

'Thank you, Georg,' she said. 'I thank 
you. Go.' And as the man still lingered, ' I 
bid you go,' she added. ' Save yourself.' 

Down by the private passage, and just some 
two hours later, AmaHa Seraphina, the last 
Princess, followed Otto Johann Priedrich, the 
last Prince of Grlinewald. 



BOOK III. 
FORTUNATE MISFORTUNE 



A /ROMANCE 239 



CHAPTER I. 

PKINCESS CINDERELLA. 

The porter, drawn by tlie growing turmoil, had 
vanished from the postern, and the door stood 
open on the darkness of the night. As Sera- 
phina fled up the terraces, the cries and loud 
footing of the mob drew nearer the doomed 
palace ; the rush was like the rush of cavalry ; 
the sound of shattering lamps tingled above the 
rest ; and overtowering all, she heard her own 
name bandied among the shouters. A bugle 
sounded at the door of the guard-room ; one 
gun was fired ; and then with the yell of hun- 
dreds, Mittwalden Palace was carried at a rush. 
Sped by these dire sounds and voices, the 
Princess scaled the long garden, skimming like a 
bird the starlit stairways ; crossed the Park, 
which was in that place narrow ; and plunged 
upon the farther side into the rude shelter of 
the forest. So, at a bound, she left the discre- 
tion and the cheerful lamps of Palace evenings ; 



240 PRINCE OTTO 

ceased utterly to be a sovereign lady ; and, fall- 
ing from the whole height of civilisation, ran 
forth into the woods, a ragged Cinderella. 

She went direct before her through an open 
tract of the forest, full of brush and birches, 
and where the starlight guided her ; and beyond 
that again, must thread the columned blackness 
of a pine grove joining overhead the thatch of 
its long branches. At that hour, the place was 
breathless ; a horror of night like a presence 
occupied that dungeon of the wood ; and she 
went groping, knocking against the boles — her 
ear, betweenwhiles, strained to aching and yet 
unrewarded. 

But the slope of the ground was upward, 
and encouraged her ; and presently she issued 
on a rocky hill that stood forth above the sea of 
forest. All around were other hilltops, big and 
little; sable vales of forest between; overhead 
the open heaven and the brilliancy of count- 
less stars ; and along the western sky the dim 
forms of mountains. The glory of the great 
night laid hold upon her ; her eyes shone with 
stars ; she dipped her sight into the coolness 
and brightness of the sky, as she might have 
dipped her wrist into a spring ; and her heart, 
at that ethereal shock, began to move more 
soberly. The sun that sails overhead, ploughing 
into gold the fields of daylight azure and utter- 



A ROMANCE 241 

ing tlie signal to man's myriads, has no word 
apart for man the individual ; and the moon, 
like a violin, only praises and laments our 
private destiny. The stars alone, cheerful whis- 
perers, confer quietly with each of us like 
friends ; they give ear to our sorrows smilingly, 
like wise old men, rich in tolerance ; and by 
their double scale, so small to the eye, so vast 
to the imagination, they keep before the mind 
the double character of man's nature and fate. 

There sate the Princess, beautifully looking 
upon beauty, in council with these glad ad- 
visers. Bright like pictures, clear like a voice 
in the porches of her ear, memory re-enacted 
the tumult of the evening : The Countess and 
the dancing fan, the big Baron on his knees, the 
blood on the polished floor, the knocking, the 
swing of the litter down the avenue of lamps, 
the messenger, the cries of the charging mob ; 
and yet all were far away and phantasmal, 
and she was still healingly conscious of the 
peace and glory of the night. She looked to- 
wards Mittwalden ; and above the hilltop, which 
already hid it from her view, a throbbing red- 
ness hinted of fire. Better so : better so, that 
she should fall with tragic greatness, lit by a 
blazing palace ! She felt not a trace of pity 
for Gondremark or of concern for Grtinewald : 
that period of her life was closed for ever, 

R 



242 PRINCE OTTO 

a wreDch of wounded vanity alone surviving. 
She had but one clear idea : to flee ; — and 
another, obscure and half-rejected, although 
still obeyed: to flee in the direction of the 
Felsenburg. She had a duty to perform, she 
must free Otto — so her mind said, very coldly ; 
but her heart embraced the notion of that duty 
even with ardour, and her hands began to yearn 
for the grasp of kindness. 

She rose, with a start of recollection, and 
plunged down the slope into the covert. The 
woods received and closed upon her. Once more, 
she wandered and hasted in a blot, uncheered, 
unpiloted. Here and there, indeed, through rents 
in the wood-roof, a glimmer attracted her ; here 
and there, a tree stood out among its neighbours 
by some force of outline ; here and there, a 
brushing among the leaves, a notable blackness, 
a dim shine, relieved, only to exaggerate, the 
sohd oppression of the night and silence. And 
betweenwhiles, the unfeatured darkness would 
redouble and the whole ear of night appear to 
be gloating on her steps. Now she would stand 
still, and the silence would grow and grow, till 
it weighed upon her breathing ; and then she 
would address herself again to run, stumbling, 
falling, and still hurrying the more. And pre- 
sently the whole wood rocked and began to run 
along with her. The noise of her own mad 



A ROMAlSiCE 243 

passage through the silence spread and echoed, 
and filled the night with terror. Panic hunted 
her : Panic from the trees reached forth with 
clutching branches ; the darkness was lit up and 
peopled with strange forms and faces. She 
strangled and fled before her fears. And yet in 
the last fortress, reason, blown upon by these gusts 
of terror, still shone with a troubled light. She 
knew, yet could not act upon her knowledge ; 
she knew that she must stop, and yet she still ran. 

She was already near madness, when she 
broke suddenly into a narrow clearing. At the 
same time the din grew louder, and she became 
conscious of vague forms and fields of whiteness. 
And with that the earth gave way ; she fell and 
found her feet again with an incredible shock to 
her senses, and her mind was swallowed up. 

When she came again to herself, she was 
standing to the mid-leg in an icy eddy of a brook, 
and leaning with one hand on the rock from 
which it poured. The spray had wet her hair. 
She saw the white cascade, the stars wavering in 
the shaken pool, foam flitting, and high over- 
head the tall pines on either hand serenely 
drinking starshine ; and in the sudden quiet of 
her spirit, she heard with joy the firm plunge of 
the cataract in the pool. She scrambled forth 
dripping. In the face of her proved weakness, 
to adventure again upon the horror of blackness 

Tl2 



244 PRINCE OTTO 

in the groves were a suicide of life or reason. 
But here, in the alley of the brook, with the kind 
stars above her, and the moon presently swim- 
ming into sight, she could await the coming of 
day without alarm. 

This lane of pine trees ran very rapidly down 
hill and wound among the woods ; but it was a 
wider thoroughfare than the brook needed, and 
here and there were little dimpling lawns and 
coves of the forest, where the starshine slum- 
bered. Such a lawn she paced, taking patience 
bravely ; and now she looked up the hill and 
saw the brook coming down to her in a series 
of cascades ; and now approached the margin, 
where it welled among the rushes silently ; and 
now gazed at the great company of heaven with 
an enduring wonder. The early evening had 
fallen chill, but the night was now temperate ; 
out of the recesses of the wood there came mild 
airs as from a deep and peaceful breathing ; 
and the dew was heavy on the grass and the 
tight-shut daisies. This was the girl's first night 
under the naked heaven ; and now that her fears 
were overpast, she was touched to the soul by 
its serene amenity and peace. Kindly the host 
of heaven blinked down upon that wandering 
Princess ; and the honest brook had no words but 
to encourage her. 

At last she began to be aware of a wonderful 



A ROMANCE 245 

revolution, compared to which the fire of Mitt- 
walden Palace was but the crack and flash of a 
percussion cap. The countenance with which 
the pines regarded her began insensibly to 
change ; the grass too, short as it was, and the 
whole winding staircase of the brook's course, 
began to wear a solemn freshness of appearance. 
And this slow transfiguration reached her heart, 
and played upon it, and transpierced it with a 
serious thrill. She looked all about ; the whole 
face of nature looked back, brimful of meaning, 
finger on lip, leaking its glad secret. She looked 
up. Heaven was almost emptied of stars. Such 
as still lingered shone with a changed and 
waning brightness, and began to faint in their 
stations. And the colour of the sky itself was 
the most wonderful ; for the rich blue of the 
nic^ht had now melted and softened and bright- 
ened ; and there had succeeded in its place a 
hue that has no name, and that is never seen 
but as the herald of morning. ' ! ' she cried, 
joy catching at her voice, ' ! it is the dawn ! ' 

In a breath she passed over the brook, and 
looped up her skirts and fairly ran in the dim 
alleys. As she ran, her ears were aware of many 
pipings, more beautiful than music ; in the small 
dish-shaped houses in the fork of giant arms, 
where they had lain all night, lover by lover, 
warmly pressed, the bright-eyed, big-hearted 



246 PRINCE OTTO 

singers began to awaken for the day. Her heart 
melted and flowed forth to them m kindness. 
And they, from their small and high perches in the 
clerestories of the wood cathedral, peered down 
sidelong at the ragged Princess as she flitted be- 
low them on the carpet of the moss and tassel. 

Soon she had struggled to a certain hilltop, and 
saw far before her the silent inflooding of the day. 
Out of the East it welled and whitened ; the 
darkness trembled into light ; and the stars were 
extinguished like the street-lamps of a human 
city. The whiteness brightened into silver, the 
silver warmed into gold, the gold kindled into 
pure and living fire ; and the face of the East 
was barred with elemental scarlet. The day 
drew its first long breath, steady and chill ; and 
for leagues around the woods sighed and shivered. 
And then, at one bound, the sun had floated up ; 
and her startled eyes received day's first arrow, 
and quailed under the buffet. On every side, the 
shadows leaped from their ambush and fell prone. 
The day was come, plain and garish ; and up 
the steep and sohtary eastern heaven, the sun, 
victorious over his competitors, continued slowly 
and royally to mount. 

Seraphina drooped for a little, leaning on a 
pine, the shrill joy of the woodlands mocking her. 
The shelter of the night, the thrilling and joyous 
changes of the dawn, were over ; and now, in 



A ROMANCE 247 

the hot eye of the clay, she turned uneasily 
and looked sighingly about her. Some way of! 
among the lower woods, a pillar of smoke Avas 
mounting and melting in the gold and blue. 
There, surely enough, were human folk, the 
hearth-surrounders. Man's fingers had laid the 
twigs ; it was man's breath that had quickened and 
encouraged the baby flames ; and now, as the fire 
caught, it would be playing ruddily on the face of 
its creator. At the thought, she felt a- cold and 
little and lost in that great out-of-doors. The 
electric shock of the young sunbeams and the 
unhuman beauty of the woods began to irk and 
daunt her. The covert of the house, the decent 
privacy of rooms, the swept and regulated fire, 
all that denotes or beautifies the home life of 
man, began to draw her as with cords. The 
pillar of smoke was now risen into some stream 
of moving air ; it began to lean out sideways in 
a pennon ; and thereupon, as though the change 
had been a summons, Seraphina plunged once 
more into the labyrinth of the wood. 

She left day upon the high ground. In the 
lower groves there still lingered the blue early 
twilight and the seizing freshness of the dew. 
But here and there, above this field of shadow, 
the head of a great outspread pine was already 
glorious with day ; and here and there, through 
the breaches of the hills, the sunbeams made a 



248 PRINCE OTTO 

great and luminous entry. Here SerapMna 
hastened along forest paths. She had lost sight 
of the pilot smoke, which blew another way, 
and conducted herself in that great wilderness 
by the direction of the sun. But presently fresh 
signs bespoke the neighbourhood of man ; felled 
trunks, white slivers from the axe, bundles of 
green boughs, and stacks of firewood. These 
guided her forward ; until she came forth at last 
upon the clearing whence the smoke arose. A 
hut stood in the clear shadow, hard by a brook 
which made a series of inconsiderable falls ; and 
on the threshold, the Princess saw a sun-burnt 
and hard-featured woodman, standing with his 
hands behind his back and gazing skyward. 

She went to him directly : a beautiful, 
bright-eyed, and haggard vision ; splendidly 
arrayed and pitifully tattered ; the diamond 
ear-drops still glittering in her ears ; and with 
the movement of her coming, one small breast 
showing and hiding among the ragged covert of 
the laces. At that ambiguous hour, and coming 
as she did from the great silence of the forest, 
the man drew back from the Princess as from 
something elfin. 

' I am cold,' she said, ' and weary. Let me 
rest beside your fire.' 

The woodman was visibly commoved, but 
answered nothing. 



I 



A ROMANCE 249 

* I will pay,' she said, and then repented of 
the words, catching perhaps a spark of terror 
from his frightened eyes. But, as usual, her 
courage rekindled brighter for the check. She 
put him from the door and entered ; and he 
followed her in superstitious wonder. 

Within, the hut was rough and dark ; but 
on the stone that served as hearth, twigs and 
a few dry branches burned with the brisk sounds 
and all the variable beauty of fire. The very 
sight of it composed her ; she crouched hard 
by on the earth floor and shivered in the glow, 
and looked upon the eating blaze with admira- 
tion. The woodman was still staring at his 
guest : at the wreck of the rich dress, the bare 
arms, the bedraggled laces and the gems. He 
found no word to utter. 

' Give me food,' said she, — ' here, by the 
fire.' 

He set down a pitcher of coarse wine, bread, 
a piece of cheese, and a handful of raw onions. 
The bread was hard and sour, the cheese like 
leather ; even the onion, which ranks with the 
truffle and the nectarine in the chief place of 
honour of earth's fruits, is not perhaps a dish for 
princesses when raw. But she ate, if not with 
appetite, with courage; and when she had eaten, 
did not disdain the pitcher. In all her life 
before, she had not tasted of gross food nor 



2SC PRINCE OTTO 

drunk after another ; but a brave woman far 
more readily accepts a change of circumstances 
than the bravest man. All that while, the 
woodman continued to observe her furtively, 
many low thoughts of fear and greed contending 
in his eyes. She read them clearly, and she ^ 
knew she 'must begone. 

Presently she arose and offered him a florin. 

' Will that repay you ? ' she asked. 

But here the man found his tongue. ' I 
must have more than that,' said he. 

' It is all I have to give you,' she returned^ 
and passed him by serenely. 

Yet her heart trembled, for she saw his hand 
stretched forth as if to arrest her, and his un- 
steady eyes wandering to his axe. A beaten path 
led westward from the clearing, and she swiftly 
followed it. She did not glance behind her. But 
as soon as the least turning of the path had con- 
cealed her from the woodman's eyes, she slipped 
among the trees and ran till she deemed herself 
in safety. 

By this time the strong sunshine pierced in 
a thousand places the pine- thatch of the forest, 
fired the red boles, irradiated the cool aisles of 
shadow, and burned in jewels on the grass. 
The gum of these trees was dearer to the senses 
than the gums of Araby ; each pine, in the 
lusty morning sunlight, burned its own wood- 



A ROMANCE 251 

incense ; and now and then a breeze would rise 
and toss these rooted censers, and send shade 
and sun-gem flitting, swift as swallows, thick as 
bees ; and wake a brushing bustle of sounds 
that murmured and went by. 

On she passed, and up and down, in sun and 
shadow ; now aloft on the bare ridge among 
the rocks and birches, with the lizards and the 
snakes ; and anon in the deep grove among 
sunless pillars. Now she followed wandering 
wood-paths, in the maze of valleys ; and again, 
from a hilltop, beheld the distant mountains and 
the great birds circling under the sky. She 
would see afar off a nestling hamlet, and go 
round to avoid it. Below, she traced the course 
of the foam of mountain torrents. Nearer hand, 
she saw where the tender springs welled up in 
silence, or oozed in green moss ; or in the more 
favoured hollows a whole family of infant rivers 
would combine, and tinkle in the stones, and lie 
in pools to be a bathing-place for sparrows, or 
fall from the sheer rock in rods of crystal. 
Upon all these things, as she still sped along in 
the bright air, she looked with a rapture of 
surprise and a joyful fainting of the heart ; 
they seemed so novel, they touched so strangely 
home, they were so hued and scented, they 
were so beset and canopied by the dome of the 
blue air of heaven. 



252 PRINCE OTTO 

At length, when she was well weary, she 
came upon a wide and shallow pool. Stones 
stood in it, like islands ; buUrushes fringed the 
coast ; the floor was paved with the pine needles , 
and the pines themselves, whose roots made pro- 
montories, looked down silently on their green 
images. She crept to the margin and beheld 
herself with wonder, a hollow and bright-eyed 
phantom, in the ruins of her palace robe. The 
breeze now shook her image ; now it would be 
marred with flies ; and at that she smiled ; and 
from the fading circles, her counterpart smiled 
back to her and looked kind. She sat long in 
the warm sun, and pitied her bare arms that 
were all bruised and marred with falling, and 
marvelled to see that she was dirty, and could 
not grow to believe that she had gone so long 
in such a strange disorder. 

Then, with a sigh, she addressed herself to 
make a toilet by that forest mirror, washed 
herself pure from all the stains of her adventure, 
took off her jewels and wrapped them in her 
handkerchief, re-arranged the tatters of her 
dress, and took down the folds of her hair. 
She shook it round her face, and the pool re- 
peated her thus veiled. Her hair had smelt 
like violets, she remembered Otto saying ; and 
so now she tried to smell it, and then shook her 
heai, and laughed a little, sadly, to herself. 



A ROMANCE 253 

The laiigli was returned upon lier in a 
childisli echo. She looked up ; and lo ! two 
children looking on, — a small girl and a yet 
smaller boy, standing, like playthings, by the 
pool, below a spreading pine. Seraphina was 
not fond of children, and now she was startled 
to the heart. 

' Who are you ? ' she cried, hoarsely. 

The mites huddled together and drew back ; 
and Seraphina's heart reproached her that she 
should have frightened things so quaint and 
little, and yet alive with senses. She thought 
upon the birds and looked again at her two 
visitors ; so little larger and so far more innocent. 
On their clear faces, as in a pool, she saw the 
reflection of their fears. With gracious purpose 
she arose. 

' Come,' she said, ' do not be afraid of me,' 
and took a step towards them. 

But alas ! at the first moment, the two poor 
babes in the wood turned and ran helter-skelter 
from the Princess. 

The most desolate pang was struck into the 
girl's heart. Here she was, twenty-two — soon 
twenty-three — and not a creature loved her ; 
none but Otto ; and would even he forgive ? If 
she began weeping in these woods alone, it 
would mean death or madness. Hastily she 
trod the thoughts out like a burning paper; 



254 PRINCE OTTO 

hastily rolled up her locks, and with terror 
dogging her, and her whole bosom sick with 
grief, resinned her journey. 

Past ten in the forenoon, she struck a high- 
road, marching in that place uphill between two 
stately groves, a river of sunlight ; and here, 
dead weary, careless of consequences, and taking 
some courage from the human and civilised 
neighbourhood of the road, she stretched herself 
on the green margin in the shadow of a tree. 
Sleep closed on her, at first with a horror of 
fainting, but when she ceased to struggle, kindly 
embracing her. So she was taken home for a 
little, from all her toils and sorrows, to her 
Father's arms. And there in the meanwhile her 
body lay exposed by the highwayside, in tattered 
finery ; and on either hand from the woods the 
birds came flying by and calling upon others, 
and debated in their own tongue this strange 
appearance. 

The sun pursued his journey ; the shadow 
flitted from her feet, shrank higher and higher, 
and was upon the point of leaving her altogether, 
when the rumble of a coach was signalled to and 
fro by the birds. The road in that part was 
very steep ; the rumble drew near with great 
deliberation ; and ten minutes passed before a 
gentleman appeared, walking with a sober 
elderly gait upon the grassy margin of the 



A ROMANCE 255 

highway, and looking pleasantly around him as 
he walked. From time to time he paused, took 
out his note-book and made an entry with a 
pencil ; and any spy who had been near enough 
would have heard him mumbling words as 
though he were a poet testing verses. The voice 
of the wheels was still faint, and it was plain 
the traveller had far outstripped his carriage. 

He had drawn very near to where the 
Princess lay asleep, before his eye alighted on 
her ; but when it did he started, pocketed his 
note-book, and approached. There was a mile- 
stone close to where she lay ; and he sat down 
on that and coolly studied her. She lay upon 
one side, all curled and sunken, her brow on 
'One bare arm, the other stretched out, limp and 
dimpled. Her young body, like a thing thrown 
clown, had scarce a mark of life. Her breathing 
stirred her not. The deadliest fatigue was thus 
confessed in every language of the sleeping 
flesh. The traveller smiled grimly. As though he 
had looked upon a statue, he made a grudging 
inventory of her charms : the figure in that 
touching freedom of forgetfulness surprised him ; 
the flush of slumber became her like a flower. 

' Upon my word,' he thought, ' I did not 
think the girl could be so pretty. And to 
think,' he added, ' that I am under obligation 
^ot to use one word of this ! ' 



2S6 PRINCE OTTO 

He put forth his stick and touched her ; and 
at that she awoke, sat up with a cry, and looked 
upon him wildly. 

' I trust your Highness has slept well,' he 
said, nodding. 

But she only uttered sounds. 

' Compose yourself,' said he, giving her cer- 
tainly a brave example in his own demeanour. 
' My chaise is close at hand ; and I shall have, I 
trust, the singular entertainment of abducting a 
sovereign Princess.' 

' Sir John ! ' she said, at last. 

' At your Highness's disposal,' he replied. 

She sprang to her feet. ' 0,' she cried, ' have 
you come from Mittwalden .^ ' 

' This morning,' he returned, ' I left it ; and 
if there is any one less likely to return to it than 
yourself, behold him ! ' 

'The Baron ' she began, and paused. 

' Madam,' he answered, ' it was well meant, 
and you are quite a Judith ; but after the hours 
that have elapsed, you will probably be relieved 
to hear that he is fairly well. I took his news 
this morning ere I left. Doing fairly well, they 
said, but suffering acutely. Hey ? — acutely. 
They could hear his groans in the next room.' 

' And the Prince,' she asked, * is anything 
known of him ? ' 

' It is reported,' replied Sir John, with the 



A ROMANCE ^57 

same pleasurable deliberation, ' that upon that 
point your Highness is the best authority/ 

* Sir John,' she said eagerly, ' you were 
generous enough to speak about your carriage. 
Will you, I beseech you, will you take me to 
the Felsenburg? I have business there of an 
extreme importance/ 

' I can refuse you nothing,' rephed the 
old gentleman, gravely and seriously enough. 
' Whatever, madam, it is in my power to do for 
you, that shall be done with pleasure. As soon 
as my chaise shall overtake us, it is yours to 
carry you where you will. But,' added he, 
reverting to his former manner, ' I observe you 
ask me nothing of the Palace.' 

' I do not care,' she said. ' I thought I saw 
it burning.' 

' Prodigious ! ' said the Baronet. ' You 
thought ? And can the loss of forty toilettes 
leave you cold ? Well, madam, I admire your 
fortitude. And the state, too ? As I left, the 
government was sitting, — the new government, 
of which at least two members must be known 
to you by name : Sabra, who had, I believe, the 
benefit of being formed in your employment — a 
footman,— am I right ? — and our old friend the 
Chancellor, in something of a subaltern position. 
But in these convulsions, the last shall be first 
and the first last.* 



258 PRINCE OTTO 

« Sir John,' she said, with an air of perfect 
honesty, ' I am sure you mean most kindly, but 
these matters have no interest for me.' 

The Baronet was so utterly discountenanced, 
that he hailed the appearance of his chaise with 
welcome, and, by way of saying something, pro- 
posed that they should walk back to meet it. 
So it was done ; and he helped her in with 
courtesy, mounted to her side, and from various 
receptacles (for the chaise was most completely 
fitted out) produced fruits and truffled liver, 
beautiful white bread, and a bottle of dehcate 
wine. With these he served her like a father, 
coaxing and praising her to fresh exertions ; and 
during all that time, as though silenced by the 
laws of hospitality, he was not guilty of the 
shadow of a sneer. Indeed his kindness seemed 
so genuine that Seraphina was moved to grati- 
tude. 

' Sir John,' she said, ' you hate me in your 
heart ; why are you so kind to me ? ' 

'Ah, my good lady,' said he, with no dis- 
claimer of the accusation, 'I have the honour to 
be much your husband's friend, and somewhat 
his admirer.' 

' You ! ' she cried. ' They told me you wrote 
cruelly of both of us.' 

' Such was the strange path by which we 
grew acquainted,' said Sir John. ' I had written, 



A /ROMANCE 259 

madam, witli particular cruelty (since that shall 
be the phrase) of your fair self. Your hus- 
band set me at liberty, gave me a passport, 
ordered a carriage, and then, with the most 
boyish spirit, challenged me to fight. Knowing 
the nature of his married life, I thought the 
dash and loyalty he showed dehghtful. " Do 
not be afraid," says he ; " if I am killed, there 
is nobody to miss me." It appears you subse- 
quently thought of that yourself. But I digress. 
I explained to him it was impossible that I 
could fight ! " Not if I strike you ? " says he. 
Very droll; I wish I could have put it in my 
book. However, I was conquered, took the 
young gentleman to my high favour, and tore 
up my bits of scandal on the spot. That is one 
of the little favours, madam, that you owe your 
husband.' 

Seraphina sat for some while in silence. She 
could bear to be misjudged without a pang by 
those whom she contemned ; she had none of 
Otto's eagerness to be approved, but went her 
own way straight and head in air. To Sir John, 
however, after what he had said, and as her 
husband's friend, she was prepared to stoop. 

'What do you think of me?' she asked 
abruptly. 

' I have told you already,' said Sir John : ' I 
think you want another glass of my good wine/ 

s2 



26q PRINCE OTTO 

* Come/ she said, ' this is unlike you. You 
are not wont to be afraid. You say that you 
admire my husband : in his name, be honest.' 

'I admire your courage,' said the Baronet. 
' Beyond that, as you have guessed, and indeed 
said, our natures are not sympathetic* 

' You spoke of scandal,' pursued Seraphina. 
' Was the scandal great ? ' 

' It was considerable,' said Sir John. 

* And you believed it ? ' she demanded. 

' 0, madam,' said Sir John, ' the question ! * 

' Thank you for that answer ! * cried Sera- 
phina. ' And now here, I will tell you, upon my 
honour, upon my soul, in spite of all the scandal 
in this world, I am as true a wife as ever stood.* 

' We should probably not agree upon a de- 
finition,' observed Sir John. 

' ! ' she cried, ' I have abominably used him 
— I know that ; it is not that I mean. But if 
you admire my husband, I insist that you shall 
understand me : I can look him in the face with- 
out a blush.' 

' It may be, madam,' said Sir John ; ' nor have 
I presumed to think the contrary.' 

' You will not believe me ? ' she cried. ' You 
think I am a guilty wife ? You think he was 
my lover ? ' 

' Madam,' returned the Baronet, * when I tore 
up my papers, I promised your good husband to 



A ROMANCE 261 

concern myself no more with your affairs ; and I 
assure you for the last time that I have no desire 
to judge you.' 

' But you will not acquit me ! Ah ! ' she cried, 

* he will — he knows me better ! ' 

Sir John smiled. 

' You smile at my distress ? ' asked Seraphina. 

'At your woman's coolness,' said Sir John. 

* A man would scarce have had the courage of 
that cry, which was, for all that, very natural^ 
and I make no doubt quite true. But remark, 
madam — since you do me the honour to consult 
me gravely — I have no pity for what you call 
your distresses. You have been completely 
selfish, and now reap the consequence. Had you 
once thought of your husband, instead of singly 
thinking of yourself, you would not now have 
been alone, a fugitive, with blood upon your 
hands, and hearing from a morose old EngHsh- 
man truth more bitter than scandal.' 

' I thank you,' she said, quivering. ' This is 
very true. Will you stop the carriage ? ' 

'No, child,' said Sir John, 'not until I see 
you mistress of yourself.' 

There was a long pause, during which the 
carriage rolled by rock and woodland. 

' And now,' she resumed, with perfect steadi- 
ness, ' will you consider me composed ? I re- 
quest you, as a gentleman, to let me out,' 



z62 PRINCE OTTO 

' I tliink you do unwisely,' he replied. ' Con- 
tinue, if you please, to use my carriage.' 

' Sir Jolm,' she said, ' if death were sitting on 
that pile of stones, I would alight ! I do not 
blame, I thank you ; I now know how I appear 
to others ; but sooner than draw breath beside 

a man who can so think of me, I would ! ' 

she cried, and was silent. 

Sir John pulled the string, alighted, and 
offered her his hand ; but she refused the help. 

The road had now issued from the valleys in 
which it had been winding, and come to that 
part of its course where it runs, like a cornice, 
along the brow of the steep northward face of 
Griinewald. • The place where they had alighted 
was at a salient angle ; a bold rock and some 
wind-tortured pine-trees overhung it from above ; 
far below the blue plains lay forth and melted 
into heaven; and before them the road, by a 
succession of bold zigzags, was seen mounting to 
where a tower upon a tall cliff closed the view. 

'There,' said the Baronet, pointing to the 
tower, ' you see the Felsenburg, your goal. I 
wish you a good journey, and regret I cannot be 
of inore assistance.' 

He mounted to his place and gave a signal, 
and the carriage rolled away. 

Seraphina stood by the wayside, gazing before 
her with bhnd eyes. Sir John she had dismissed 



A ROMANCE 263 

already from her mind: she hated him, that 
was enough; for whatever Seraphina hated or 
contemned fell instantly to Lilliputian small- 
ness, and was thenceforward steadily ignored in 
thought. And now she had matter for concern 
indeed. Her interview with Otto, which she 
had never yet forgiven him, began to appear 
before her in a very different light. He had 
come to her, still thrilhng under recent insult, 
and not yet breathed from fighting her own 
cause ; and how that knowledge changed the 
value of his words ! Yes, he must have loved 
her ; this was a brave feeling— it was no mere 
weakness of the will. And she, was she incap- 
able of love? It would appear -so; and she 
swallowed her tears, and yearned to see Otto, to 
explain all, to ask pity upon her knees for her 
transgressions, and, if all else were now beyond 
the reach of reparation, to restore at least the 
liberty of which she had deprived him. 

Swiftly she sped along the highway, and, as 
the road wound out and in about the bluffs and 
gullies of the mountain, saw and lost by glimpses 
the tall tower that stood before and above her, 
purpled by the mountain air. 



364 PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTEE II. 

TEEATS OF A CHEISTIAN VIRTUE. 

When Otto mounted to his rolling prison, he 
found another occupant in a corner of the front 
seat ; but as this person hung his head and the 
brightness of the carriage lamps shone outward, 
the Prince could only see it was a man. The 
Colonel followed his prisoner and clapped to the 
door ; and at that the four horses broke imme- 
diately into a swinging trot. 

'Gentlemen,' said the Colonel, after some 
little while had passed, ' if we are to travel in 
silence, we might as well be at home. I appear, 
of course, in an invidious character ; but I am a 
man of taste, fond of books and solidly informing 
talk, and unfortunately condemned for hfe to the 
guardroom. Gentlemen, this is my chance : don't 
spoil it for me. I have here the pick of the whole 
court, barring lovely woman; I have a great 
author in the person of the Doctor ' 

' Gotthold ! ' cried Otto. 

* It appears,' said the Doctor, bitterly, ' that 



A ROMANCE 265 

we must go together. Your Highness had not 
calculated upon that/ 

' What do you mfer ? ' cried Otto ; ' that I had 
you arrested ? ' 

' The inference is simple/ said the Doctor. 

' Colonel Gordon/ said the Prince, ' obhge me 
so far, and set me right with Herr von Hohen- 
stockwitz.' 

' Gentlemen,* said the Colonel, ' you are both 
arrested on the same warrant in the name of the 
Princess Seraphina, acting regent, countersigned 
by Prime Minister Freiherr von Gondremark, 
and dated the day before yesterday, the twelfth. 
I reveal to you the secrets of the prison house,' 
he added. 

' Otto,' said Gotthold, ' I ask you to pardon 
my suspicions.' 

' Gotthold,' said the Prince, ' I am not certain 
I can grant you that.' 

' Your Highness is, I am sure, far too mag- 
nanimous to hesitate,' said the Colonel. 'But 
allow me : we speak at home in my religion of 
the means of grace : and I now propose to offer 
them.' So saying, the Colonel lighted a bright 
lamp which he attached to one side of the car- 
riage, and from below the front seat produced a 
goodly basket adorned with the long necks of 
bottles. ' Tu spem reducis — how does it go, 
Doctor?' he asked gaily. 'I am, in a sense, 



266 PRINCE OTTO 

your host ; and I am sure you are both far tod 
considerate of my embarrassing position to re- 
fuse to do me honour. Gentlemen, I drink to 
the Prince ! ' ', 

' Colonel,' said Otto, ' we have a jovial enter- 
tainer. I drink to Colonel Gordon.' 

Thereupon all three took their wine very 
pleasantly; and even as they did so, the car- 
riage with a lurch turned into the high road and 
began to make better speed. 

All was bright within ; the wine had coloured 
Gotthold's cheek; dim forms of forest trees, 
dwindling and spiring, scarves of the starry 
sky, now wide and now narrow, raced past the 
windows; through one that was left open the 
air of the woods came in with a nocturnal 
raciness ; and the roll of wheels and the tune 
of the trotting horses sounded merrily on the 
ear. Toast followed toast ; glass after glass was 
bowed across and emptied by the trio ; and pre- 
sently there began to fall upon them a luxurious 
spell, under the influence of which httle but 
the sound of quiet and confidential laughter 
interrupted the long intervals of meditative 
silence. 

' Otto,' said Gotthold, after one of these 
seasons of quiet, ' I do not ask you to forgive 
me. Were the parts reversed, I could not for- 
give you.' 



A ROMANCE 267 

' Well,' said Otto, ' it is a phrase we use. I 
do forgive you, but your words and your sus- 
picions rankle ; and not yours alone. It is idle, 
Colonel Gordon, in view of the order you ar^ 
carrying out, to conceal from you the dissen- 
sions of my family ; they have gone so far that 
they are now public property. Well, gentle- 
men, can I forgive my wife ? I can, of course, 
and do ; but in what sense ? I would certainly 
not stoop to any revenge ; as certainly I could 
not think of her but as one changed beyond my 
recognition.' 

' Allow me,' returned the Colonel. ' You will 
permit me to hope that I am addressing Chris- 
tians? We are all conscious, I trust, that we 
are miserable sinners.' 

' I disown the consciousness,' said Gotthold. 
'Warmed with this good fluid, I deny your 
thesis.' 

' How, sir ? You never did anything wrong ? 
and I heard you asking pardon but this moment, 
not of your God, sir, but of a common fellow- 
worm ! ' the Colonel cried. 

'I own you have me; you are expert in 
argument, Herr Oberst,' said the Doctor. 

' Begad, sir, I am proud to hear you say so,' 
said the Colonel. ' I was well grounded indeed 
at Aberdeen. And as for this matter of for- 
giveness, it comes, sir, of loose views and (what 



«68 PRINCE OTTO 

is if anything more dangerous) a regular life. 
A sound creed and a bad morality, that's the 
root of wisdom. You two gentlemen are too 
good to be forgiving.' 

'The paradox is somewhat forced,' said 
Gotthold. 

' Pardon me. Colonel,' said the Prince ; ' I 
readily acquit you of any design of offence, but 
your words bite like satire. Is this a time, do 
you think, when I can wish to hear myself called 
good, now that I am paying the penalty (and 
am willing like yourself to think it just) of my 
prolonged misconduct ? ' 

' 0, pardon me ! ' cried the Colonel. ' You 
have never been expelled from the divinity hall ; 
you have never been broke. I was : broke 
for a neglect of military duty. To tell you the 
open truth, your Highness, I was the worse of 
drink ; it's a thing I never do now,' he added, 
taking out his glass. ' But a man, you see, who 
has really tasted the defects of his own character, 
as I have, and has come to regard himself as 
a kind of blind teetotum knocking about life, 
begins to learn a very different view about for- 
giveness. I will talk of not forgiving others, 
sir, when I have made out to forgive myself, 
and not before ; and the date is like to be a 
long one. My father, the Eeverend Alexander 
Gordon, was a good man, and damned hard 



A ROMANCE 269 

upon others. I am what they call a bad one, 
and that is just the difference. The man who 
cannot forgive any mortal thing is a green hand 
in life.' 

' And yet I have heard of you, Colonel, as a 
duellist,' said Gotthold. 

' A different thing, sir,' replied the soldier. 
'Professional etiquette. And I trust without 
unchristian feeling.' 

Presently after the Colonel fell into a deep 
sleep ; and his companions looked upon each 
other, smiling. 

' An odd fish,' said Gotthold. 

' And a strange guardian,' said the Prince. 
' Yet what he said was true.' 

' Eightly looked upon,' mused Gotthold, ' it 
is ourselves that we cannot forgive, when we 
refuse forgiveness to our friend. Some strand of 
our own misdoing is involved in every quarrel.' 

' Are there not ofiences that disgrace the 
pardoner ? ' asked Otto. ' Are there not bounds 
of self-respect ? ' 

' Otto,' said Gotthold, ' does any man re- 
spect himself? To this poor waif of a soldier 
of fortune we may seem respectable gentlemen ; 
but to ourselves, what are we unless a paste- 
board portico and a deliquium of deadly weak- 
nesses within ? ' 

* I ? yes,' said Otto ; * but you, Gotthold— 



270 PRINCE OTTO 

you, with your interminable industry, your keen 
mind, your books — serving mankind, scorning 
pleasures and temptations! You do not know 
how I envy you.' 

' Otto,' said the Doctor, ' in one word, and 
a bitter one to say : I am a secret tippler. Yes, 
I drink too much. The habit has robbed these 
very books, to which you praise my devotion, 
of the merits that they should have had. It has 
spoiled my temper. When I spoke to you the 
other day, how much of my warmth was in the 
cause of virtue ? how much was the fever of last 
night's wine ? Ay, as my poor fellow-sot there 
said, and as I vaingloriously denied, we are all 
miserable sinners, put here for a moment, know- 
ing the good, choosing the evil, standing naked 
and ashamed in the eye of God.' 

'Is it so?' said Otto. 'Why, then, what 
are we ? Are the very best ' 

' There is no best in man,' said Gotthold. 
' I am not better, it is likely I am not worse, 
than you or that poor sleeper. I was a sham, 
and now you know me : that is all.' 

'And yet it has not changed my love,' 
returned Otto, softly. ' Our misdeeds do not 
change us. Gotthold, fill your glass. Let us 
drink to what is good in this bad business ; let 
us drink to our old affection ; and, when we 
have done so, forgive your too just grounds of 



A ROAfANCE ' 271 

offence, and drink with me to my wife, whom I 
have so misused, who has so misused me, and 
whom I have left, I fear, I greatly fear, in 
danger. What matters it how bad we are, if 
others can still love us, and we can still love 
others ? ' 

' Ay ! ' replied the Doctor. ' It is very well 
said. It is the true answer to the pessimist, and 
the standing miracle of mankind. So you still 
love me? and so you can forgive your wife? 
Why, then, we may bid conscience " Down, 
dog," like an ill-trained puppy yapping at 
shadows.' 

The pair fell into silence, the Doctor tapping 
on his empty glass. 

The carriage swung forth out of the valleys 
on that open balcony of high road that runs 
along the front of Grtinewald, looking down on 
Gerolstein. Far below, a white waterfall was 
shinin(x to the stars from the fallins^ skirts of 
forest, and beyond that, the night stood naked 
above the plain. On the other hand, the lamp- 
light skimmed the face of the precipices, and the 
dwarf pine-trees twinkled with all their needles, 
and were gone again into the wake. The granite 
roadway thundered under wheels and hoofs ; 
and at times, by reason of its continual winding, 
Otto could see the escort on the other side 
of a ravine, riding well together in the night. 



272 PRINCE OTTO 

Presently the Felsenburg came plainly in view, 
some way above them, on a bold projection of 
the mountain, and planting its bulk against the 
starry sky. 

' See, Gotthold,' said the Prince, ' our des- 
tination.' 

Gotthold awoke as from a trance. 

' I was thinking,' said he, ' if there is danger, 
why did you not resist ? I was told you came of 
your free will ; but should you not be there to 
help her ? ' 

The colour faded from the Prince's cheeks. 



A ROMANCE 273 



CHAPTER III. 

PROVIDENCE VON ROSEN : ACT THE LAST : IN WHICH 
SHE GALLOPS OFF. 

When the busy Countess came forth from her 
interview with Seraphina, it is not too much to 
say that she was beginning to be terribly afraid. 
She paused in the corridor and reckoned up her 
doings with an eye to Gondremark. The fan 
was in requisition in an instant ; but her disquiet 
was beyond the reach of fanning. ' The girl has 
lost her head,' she thought ; and then dismally, 
' I have gone too far.' She instantly decided on 
secession. Now the Mons Sacer of the Frau von 
Eosen was a certain rustic villa in the forest, 
called by herself, in a smart attack of poesy, 
Tannen-Zauber, and by everybody else plain 
Kleinbrunn. 

Thither, upon the thought, she furiously 
drove, passing Gondremark at the entrance to 
the Palace avenue, but feigning not to observe 
him ; and as Kleinbrunn was seven good miles 

T 



274 PRINCE OTTO 

away and in the bottom of a narrow dell, she 
passed the night without any rumour of the out- 
break reaching her ; and the glow of the con- 
flagration was concealed by intervening hills. 
Frau von Eosen did not sleep well ; she was 
seriously uneasy as to the results of her delight- 
ful evening, and saw herself condemned to quite 
a lengthy sojourn in her deserts and a long de- 
fensive correspondence, ere she could venture to 
return to Gondremark. On the other hand, she 
examined, by way of pastime, the deeds she had 
received from Otto ; and even here saw cause for 
disappointment. In these troublous days she 
had no taste for landed property, and she was 
convinced, besides, that Otto had paid dearer 
than the farm was worth. Lastly, the order for 
the Prince's release fairly burned her meddling 
fingers. 

All things considered, the next day beheld 
an elegant and beautiful lady, in a riding-habit 
and a flapping hat, draw bridle at the gate of 
the Felsenburg, not perhaps with any clear idea 
of her purpose, but with her usual experimental 
views on life. Governor Gordon, summoned to 
the gate, welcomed the omnipotent Countess 
with his most gallant bearing, though it was 
wonderful how old he looked in the morning. 

'Ah, Governor,' she said, 'we have surprises 
for you, sir,' and nodded at him meaningly. 



A ROMANCE 275 

' Eh, madam, leave me my prisoners,' he said ; 
' and if you will but join the band, begad, I'll be 
happy for life.' 

' You would spoil me, would you not ? ' she 
asked. 

*I would try, I would try,' returned the 
Governor, and he offered her his arm. 

She took it, picked up her skirt, and drew 
him close to her. ' I have come to see the 
Prince,' she said. *Now, infidel! on business. 
A message from that stupid Gondremark, who 
keeps me running hke a courier. Do I look 
like one, Herr Gordon ? ' And she planted her 
eyes in him. 

' You look like an angel, ma'am,' returned 
the Governor, with a great air of finished gal- 
lantry. 

The Countess laughed. ' An angel on horse- 
back ! ' she said. ' Quick work ' 

' You came, you saw, yc.i conquered,' flou- 
rished Gordon, in high good humour with his 
own wit and grace. ' We toasted you, madam, 
in the carriage, in an excellent good glass of wine ; 
toasted you fathom deep ; the finest woman, with, 
begad, the finest eyes in Grilnewald. I never 
saw the like of them but once, in my own country, 
when I was a young fool at College : Thomasina 
Haig, her name was. I give you my word of 
honour, she was as like you as two peas.' 

T 2 



276 PRINCE OTTO 

* And so you were merry in the carriage ? * 
asked the Countess, gracefully dissembling a 
yawn. 

' We were ; we had a very pleasant conversa- 
tion ; but we took perhaps a glass more than that 
fine fellow of a Prince has been accustomed to/ 
said the Governor ; ' and I observe this morning 
that he seems a little off his mettle. We'll get 
him mellow again ere bedtime. This is his 
door.' 

' Well,' she whispered, ' let me get my breath. 
JSTo, no ; wait. Have the door ready to open.' 
And the Countess, standing hke one inspired, 
shook out her fine voice in ' Lascia ch' io 
pianga ; ' and when she had reached the proper 
point, and lyrically uttered forth her sighings 
after liberty, the door, at a sign, was flung wide 
open, and she swam into the Prince's sight, 
bright-eyed, and with her colour somewhat 
freshened by the exercise of singing. It was a 
great dramatic entrance, and to the somewhat 
doleful prisoner within the sight was sunshine. 

'Ah, madam,' he cried, running to her — 
* you here ! ' 

She looked meaningly at Gordon ; and as 
soon as the door was closed she fell on Otto's 
neck. ' To see you here I ' she moaned and 
clung to him. 

But the Prince stood somewhat stiffly in that 



A ROMANCE 277 

enviable situation, and the Countess instantly 
recovered from her outburst. 

' Poor child,' she said, ' poor child ! Sit down 
beside me here, and tell me all about it. My 
heart really bleeds to see you. How does time 
go?' 

'Madam,' replied the Prince, sitting down 
beside her, his gallantry recovered, ' the time 
will now go all too quickly till you leave. But 
I must ask you for the news. I have most 
bitterly condemned myself for my inertia of last 
night. You wisely counselled me ; it was my 
duty to resist. You wisely and nobly counselled 
me; I have since thought of it with wonder. 
You have a noble heart.' 

' Otto,' she said, ' soare me. Was it even 
right, I wonder ? I have duties, too, you poor 
child; and when I see you they all melt — all 
my good resolutions fly away.' 

' And mine still come too late,' he rephed, 
sighing. ' Oh, what would I not give to have 
resisted ? What would I not give for freedom ? ' 

' Well, what would you give ? ' she asked ; 
and the red fan was spread ; only her eyes, as if 
from over battlements, brightly surveyed him. 

*I? What do you mean? Madam, you 
have some news for me,' he cried. 

' 0, ! ' said madam, dubiously. 

He was at her feet. ' Do not trifle with my 



278 PRINCE OTTO 

hopes,' he pleaded. ' Tell me, dearest Madame 
von Eosen, tell me ! You cannot be cruel : it is 
not in your nature. Give ? I can give nothing ; 
I have nothing ; I can only plead in mercy.' 

' Do not,' she said ; ' it is not fair. Otto, you 
know my weakness. Spare me. Be generous.' 

' 0, madam,' he said, ' it is for you to be 
generous, to have pity.' He took her hand and 
pressed it ; he plied her with caresses and ap- 
peals. The Countess had a most enjoyable sham 
siege, and then relented. She sprang to her 
feet, she tore her dress open, and, all warm from 
her bosom, threw the order on the floor. 

' There ! ' she cried. ' I forced it from her. 
Use it, and I am ruined ! ' And she turned 
away as if to veil the force of her emotions. 

Otto sprang upon the paper, read it, and 
cried out aloud. ' 0, God bless her ! ' he said, 
' God bless her.' And he kissed the writing. 

Yon Eosen was a singularly good-natured 
woman, but her part was now beyond her. 
' Ingrate ! ' she cried ; ' I wrung it from her, I 
betrayed my trust to get it, and 'tis she you 
thank ! ' 

' Can you blame me ? ' said the Prince. ' I 
love her.' 

' I see that,' she said. ' And I ? ' 

' You, Madam von Eosen ? You are my 
dearest, my kindest, and most generous of 



A ROMANCE 279 

friends,' he said, approaching her. ' You would 
be a perfect friend, if you were not so lovely. 
You have a great sense of humour, you cannot 
be unconscious of your charm, and you amuse 
yourself at times by playing on my weakness ; 
and at times I can take pleasure in the comedy. 
But not to-day : to-day you will be the true, the 
serious, the manly friend, and you will suffer me 
to forget that you are lovely and that I am 
weak. Come, dear Countess, let me to-day 
repose in you entirely.' 

He held out his hand, smiling, and she took 
it frankly. ' I vow you have bewitched me,' 
she said ; and then with a laugh, ' I break my 
staff!' she added; 'and I must pay you my 
best compliment. You made a difficult speech. 
You are as adroit, dear Prince, as I am — charm- 
ing.' And as she said the word with a great 
courtesy, she justified it. 

' You hardly keep the bargain, madam, when 
you make yourself so beautiful,' said the Prince, 
bowing. 

* It was my last arrow,' she returned. ' I 
am disarmed. Blank cartridge, mon Prince ! 
And now I tell you, if you choose to leave this 
prison, you can, and I am ruined. Choose ! ' 

' Madam, von Eosen,' replied Otto, ' I choose, 
and I will go. My duty points me, duty still 
neglected by this Featherhead. But do not fear 



28o PRINCE OTTO 

to be a loser. I propose instead that you should 
take me with you, a bear in chains, to Baron 
Gondremark. I am become perfectly unscru- 
pulous : to save my wife I will do all, all he can 
ask or fancy. He shall be filled ; were he huge 
as leviathan and greedy as the grave, I will con- 
tent him. And you, the fairy of our pantomime, 
shall have the credit.' 

'Done!' she cried. 'Admirable! Prince 
Charming no longer — Prince Sorcerer, Prince 
Solon! Let us go this moment. Stay,' she 
cried, pausing. « I beg, dear Prince, to give you 
back these deeds. 'Twas you who liked the farm 
— I have not seen it ; and it was you who wished 
to benefit the peasants. And, besides,' she added, 
with a comical change of tone, « I should prefer 
the ready money.' 

Both laughed. 'Here I am, once more a 
farmer,' said Otto, accepting the papers, 'but 
overwhelmed in debt.' 

The Countess touched a bell, and the Gover- 
nor appeared. 

' Governor,' she said, ' I am going to elope 
with his Highness. The result of our talk has 
been a thorough understanding, and the cou^ 
d'etat is over. Here is the order.' 

Colonel Gordon adjusted silver spectacles 
upon his nose. 'Yes,' he said, 'the Princess: 



A /ROMANCE 281 

very right. But the warrant, madam, was 
countersigned.' 

' By Heinrich ! ' said von Eosen. * Well, and 
here am I to represent him.' 

'Well, your Highness,' resumed the soldier 
of fortune, ' I must congratulate you upon my 
loss. You have been cut out by beauty, and I 
am left lamenting. The Doctor still remains to 
me : prohiis, doctus, lepidus, jucundus : a man of 
books.' 

' Ay, there is nothing about poor Gotthold,' 
said the Prince. 

'The Governor's consolation? Would you 
leave him bare ? ' asked von Eosen. 

' And, your Highness,' resumed Gordon, 'may 
I trust that in the course of this temporary 
obscuration, you have found me discharge my 
part with suitable respect and, I may add, tact ? 
I adopted purposely a cheerfulness of manner ; 
mirth, it appeared to me, and a good glass of 
wine, were the fit alleviations.' 

' Colonel,' said Otto, holding out his hand, 
' your society was of itself enough. I do not 
merely thank you for your pleasant spirits; I 
have to thank you, besides, for some philosophy, 
of which I stood in need. I trust I do not see 
you for the last time ; and in the meanwhile, as 
a memento of our strange acquaintance, let me 



282 PRINCE OTTO 

offer you these verses on which I was but now 
engaged. I am so little of a poet, and was so 
ill inspired by prison bars, that they have some 
claim to be at least a curiosity.' 

The Colonel's countenance lighted as he took 
the paper ; the silver spectacles were hurriedly 
replaced. 'Ha!' he said, * Alexandrines, the 
tragic metre. I shall cherish this, your High- 
ness, like a relic; no more suitable offering, 
although I say it, could be made. *' Dieux de 
I'immense plaine et des vastes forets." Very 
good,' he said, ' very good indeed ! " Et du 
geolier lui-meme apprendre des lemons." Most 
handsome, begad ! ' 

' Come, Governor,' cried the Countess, ' you 
can read his poetry when we are gone. Open 
your grudging portals.' 

' I ask your pardon,' said the Colonel. ' To 
a man of my character and tastes, these verses, 
this handsome reference — most moving, I assure 
you. Can I offer you an escort ? ' 

' No, no,' replied the Countess. ' We go in- 
cogniti, as we arrived. We ride together ; the 
Prince will take my servant's horse. Hurry and 
privacy, Herr Oberst, that is all we seek.' And 
she began impatiently to lead the way. 

But Otto had still to bid farewell to Dr. 
Gotthold ; and the Governor following, with 
his spectacles in one hand and the paper in the 



A ROMANCE 283 

Other, had still to communicate his treasured 
verses, piece by piece, as he succeeded in de- 
ciphering the manuscript, to all he came across ; 
and still his enthusiasm mounted. ' I declare,' 
he cried at last, with the air of one who has at 
length divined a mystery, ' they remind me of 
Eobbie Burns ! * 

But there is an end to all things ; and at 
length Otto was walking by the side of Madame 
von Eosen, along that mountain wall, her servant 
following with both the horses, and all about 
them sunhght, and breeze, and flying bird, and 
the vast regions of the air, and the capacious 
prospect : wildwood and chmbing pinnacle, and 
the sound and voice of mountain torrents, at 
their hand : and far below them, green melting 
into sapphire on the plains. 

They walked at first in silence ; for Otto's 
mind was full of the delight of liberty and 
nature, and still, betweenwhiles, he was pre- 
paring his interview with Gondremark. But 
when the first rough promontory of the rock was 
turned, and the Felsenburg concealed behind its 
bulk, the lady paused. 

' Here,' she said, ' I will dismount poor 
Karl, and you and I must ply our spurs. I 
love a wild ride with a good companion.' 

As she spoke, a carriage came into sight 
round the corner next below them in the order 



284 PRINCE OTTO 

of the road. It came heavily creaking, and a 
little ahead of it a traveller was soberly walk- 
ing, note-book in hand. 

* It is Sir John,' cried Otto, and he hailed 
him. 

The Baronet pocketed his note-book, stared 
through an eye-glass, and then waved his stick ; 
and he on his side, and the Countess and the 
Prince on theirs, advanced with somewhat 
quicker steps. They met at the reentrant 
angle, where a thin stream sprayed across a 
boulder and was scattered in rain among the 
brush ; and the Baronet saluted the Prince with 
much punctilio. To the Countess, on the other 
hand, he bowed with a kind of sneering wonder. 

' Is it possible, madam, that you have not 
heard the news ? ' he asked. 

' What news ? ' she cried. 

' News of the first order,' returned Sir John : 
' a revolution in the State, a EepubHc declared, 
the palace burned to the ground, the Princess in 
flight, Gondremark wounded ' 

* Heinrich wounded ? ' she screamed. 
'Wounded and suffering acutely,' said Sir 

John. ' His groans ' 

There fell from the lady's lips an oath so 
potent that, in smoother hours, it would have 
made her hearers jump. She ran to her horse, 
scrambled to the saddle, and, yet half seated, 



A ROMANCE 285 

dashed down the road at full gallop. The 
groom, after a pause of wonder, followed her. 
The rush of her impetuous passage almost 
scared the carriage horses over the verge of the 
steep hill ; and still she clattered further, and 
the crags echoed to her flight, and still the 
groom flogged vainly in pursuit of her. At 
the fourth corner, a woman trailing slowly up 
leaped back with a cry and escaped death by 
a hand's-breadth. But the Countess wasted 
neither glance nor thought upon the incident. 
Out and in, about the bluffs of the mountain 
wall, she fled, loose-reined, and still the groom 
toiled in her pursuit. 

' A most impulsive lady ! * said Sir John. 
' Who would have thought she cared for him ? ' 
And before the words were uttered, he was 
struggling in the Prince's grasp. 

' My wife ! the Princess ? What of her ? ' 

' She is down the road,' he gasped. * I left 
her twenty minutes back.' 

And next moment, the choked author stood 
alone, and the Prince on foot was racing down 
the hill behind the Countess. 



286 PRINCE OTTO 



CHAPTER lY. 

BABES IN THE WOOD. 

While the feet of the Prince continued to run 
swiftly, his heart, which had at first by far out- 
stripped his running, soon began to Hnger and 
hang back. Not that he ceased to pity the mis- 
fortune or to yearn for the sight of Seraphina ; 
but the memory of her obdurate coldness awoke 
within him, and woke in turn his own habitual 
diffidence of self. Had Sir John been given 
time to tell him all, had he even known that 
she was speeding to the Felsenburg, he would 
have gone to her with ardour. As it was, he 
began to see himself once more intruding, pro- 
fiting, perhaps, by her misfortune, and now that 
she was fallen, proffering unloved caresses to the 
wife who had spurned him in prosperity. The 
sore spots upon his vanity began to burn ; once 
more, his anger assumed the carriage of a hostile 
generosity ; he would utterly forgive indeed ; 
he would help, save, and comfort his unloving 



A ROMANCE 287 

wife ; but all with distant self-denial, imposing 
silence on his heart, respecting Seraphina's dis- 
affection as he would the innocence of a child. 
So, when at length he turned a corner and be- 
held the Princess, it was his first thought to 
reassure her of the purity of his respect, and 
he at once ceased running and stood still. She, 
upon her part, began to run to him with a little 
cry; then, seeing him pause, she paused also, 
smitten with remorse ; and at length, with the 
most guilty timidity, walked nearly up to- where 
he stood. 

' Otto,' she said, ' I have ruined all ! * 
' Seraphina ! ' he cried with a sob, but did 
not move, partly withheld by his resolutions, 
partly struck stupid at the sight of her weari- 
ness and disorder. Had she stood silent, they 
had soon been locked in an embrace. But she too 
had prepared herself against the interview, and 
must spoil the golden hour with protestations. 

' All ! ' she went on, ' I have ruined all ! But, 
Otto, in kindness you must hear me — not justify, 
but own, my faults. I have been taught so 
cruelly ; I have had such time for thought, and 
see the world so changed. I have been blind, 
stone-bhnd ; I have let all true good go by me, 
and hved on shadows. But when this dream 
fell, and I had betrayed you, and thought I 
had killed ' She paused. 'I thought I 



288 PRINCE OTTO 

had killed Gondremark,' she said with a deep 
flush, ' and I found myself alone as you said.' 

The mention of the name of Gondremark 
pricked the Prince's generosity like a spur. 
' Well,' he cried, ' and whose fault was it but 
mine ? It was my duty to be beside you, loved 
or not. But I was a skulker in the grain, and 
found it easier to desert than to oppose you. 
I could never learn that better part of love, 
to fight love's battles. But yet the love was 
there. And now when this toy kingdom of ours 
has fallen, first of all by my demerits, and next 
by your inexperience, and we are here alone 
together, as poor as Job and merely a man 
and a woman — let me conjure you to forgive 
the weakness and to repose in the love. Do 
not mistake me!' he cried, seeing her about 
to speak, and imposing silence with uplifted 
hand. ' My love is changed ; it is purged of any 
conjugal pretension ; it does not ask, does not 
hope, does not wish, for a return in kind. You 
may forget for ever that part in which you 
found me so distasteful, and accept without em- 
barrassment the affection of a brother.' 

' You are too generous, Otto,' she said. * I 
know that I have forfeited your love. I cannot 
take this sacrifice. You had far better leave 
me. go away, and leave me to my fate ! ' 

'0 no ! ' said Otto ; ' we must first of all 



A ROMANCE 289 

escape out of this hornet's nest, to which I led 
you. My honour is engaged. I said but now 
we were as poor as Job ; and behold ! not many 
miles from here I have a house of my own to 
which I will conduct you. Otto the Prince 
being down, we must try what luck remains to 
Otto the Hunter. Come, Seraphina ; show that 
you forgive me, and let us set about this busi- 
ness of escape in the best spirits possible. You 
used to say, my dear, that, except as a husband 
and a prince, I was a pleasant fellow. I am 
neither now, and you may like my company 
without remorse. Come, then ; it were idle to 
be captured. Can you still walk ? Forth, 
then,' said he, and he began to lead the way. 

A httle below where they stood, a good-sized 
brook passed below the road, which overleapt it 
in a single arch. On one bank of thafc loqua- 
cious water a footpath descended a green dell. 
Here it was rocky and stony, and lay on the 
steep scarps of the ravine ; here it was choked 
with brambles ; and there, in fairy haughs, it lay 
for a few paces evenly on the green turf. Like 
a sponge, the hillside oozed with well-water. 
The burn kept growing both in force and 
volume ; at every leap it fell with heavier 
plunges and span more widely in the pool. 
Great had been the labours of that stream, and 
great and agreeable the changes it had wrought. 

U 



290 PRINCE OTTO . 

It had cut through dykes of stubborn rock, and 
now, hke a blowing dolphin, spouted through 
the orifice ; along all its humble coasts, it had 
undermined and rafted-down the goodlier tim- 
ber of the forest ; and on these rough clearings 
it now set and tended primrose gardens, and 
planted woods of willow, and made a favourite 
of the silver birch. Through all these friendly 
features the path, its human acolyte, conducted 
our two wanderers downward, — Otto before, still 
pausing at the more difficult passages to lend 
assistance ; the Princess following. From time to 
time, when he turned to help her, her face would 
lighten upon his — her eyes, half desperately, 
woo him. He saw, but dared not understand. 
' She does not love me,' he told himself, with 
magnanimity. ' This is remorse or gratitude ; I 
were no gentleman, no, nor yet a man, if I pre- 
sumed upon these pitiful concessions.' 

Some way down the glen, the stream, 
already grown to a good bulk of water, was 
rudely dammed across, and about a third of it 
abducted in a wooden trough. Gaily the pure 
water, air's first cousin, fleeted along the rude 
aqueduct, . whose sides and floor it had made 
green with grasses. The path, bearing it close 
company, threaded a wilderness of briar and 
wild rose. And presently, a little in front, the 
brown top of a mill and the tall mill-wheel, 



A ROMANCE 291 

spraying diamonds, arose in the narrows of the 
glen ; at the same time the snoring music of the 
saws broke the silence. 

The miller, hearing steps, came forth to his 
door, and both he and Otto started. 

' Good-morning, miller,' said the Prince. 
' You were right, it seems, and I was wrong. I 
give you the news, and bid you to Mittwalden. 
My throne has fallen — great was the fall of it ! 
- — and your good friends of the Phoenix bear 
the rule.' 

The red-faced miller looked supreme aston- 
ishment. ' And your Highness ? ' he gasped. 

' My Highness is running away,' replied Otto, 
' straight for the frontier.' 

' Leaving Grllnewald ? ' cried the man. ' Your 
father's son? It's not to be permitted ! ' 

' Do you arrest us, friend ? ' asked Otto, 
smiling. 

' Arrest you ? I ? ' exclaimed the man. ' For 
what does your Highness take me ? Why, sir, 
I make sure there is not a man in Grtinewald 
would lay hands upon you.' 

' 0, many, many,' said the Prince ; ' but from 
you, who were bold with me in my greatness, I 
should even look for aid in my distress.' 

The miller became the colour of beetroot. 
' You may say so indeed,' said he. ' And mean- 
while, will you and your lady step into my house.' 

u 2 



292 PRINCE OTTO 

' We have not time for that,' rephed the 
Prince ; ' but if you would obhge us with a cup 
of wine without here, you will give a pleasure 
and a service, both in one.' 

The miller once more coloured to the nape. 
He hastened to bring forth wine^in a pitcher 
and three bright crystal tumblers. ' Your 
Highness must not suppose,' he said, as he filled 
them, ' that I am an habitual drinker. The 
time when I had the misfortune to encounter 
you, I was a trifle overtaken, I allow ; but a 
more sober man than I am in my ordinary, I do 
not know where you are to look for ; and even 
this glass that I drink to you (and to the lady) 
is quite an unusual recreation.' 

The wine was drunk with due rustic cour- 
tesies ; and then, refusing further hospitality, 
Otto and Seraphina once more proceeded to 
descend the glen, which now began to open and 
to be invaded by the taller trees. 

' I owed that man a reparation,' said tlie 
Prince ; ' for when we met I was in the wrong 
and put a sore affront upon him. I judge by 
myself, perhaps ; but I begin to think that no 
one is the better for a humihation.' 

' But some have to be taught so,' she rephed. 

'Well, well,' he said, with a painful em- 
barrassment. ' Well, well. But let us think of 
safety. My miller is all very good, but I do 



A ROMANCE 293 

not pin my faith to him. To follow down this 
stream will bring us, but after innumerable 
windings, to my house. Here, up this glade, 
there lies a cross-cut — the world's end for soli- 
tude — the very deer scarce visit it. Are you 
too tired, or could you pass that way ? 

' Choose the path. Otto. I will follow you,' 
she said. 

' No,' he rephed, with a singular imbecihty 
of manner and appearance, ' but I meant the 
path was rough. It Hes, all the way, by glade 
and dingle, and the dingles are both deep and 
thorny.' 

' Lead on,' she said. ' Are you not Otto the 
Hunter ? ' 

They had now burst across a veil of under- 
wood, and were come into a lawn among the 
forest, very green and innocent, and solemnly 
surrounded by trees. Otto paused on the margin, 
looking about him with delight ; then his glance 
returned to Seraphina, as she stood framed in 
that sylvan pleasantness and looking at her 
husband with undecipherable eyes. A weakness 
both of the body and mind fell on him like the 
beginnings of sleep ; the cords of his activity 
were relaxed, his eyes clung to her. ' Let us 
rest,' he said ; and he made her sit down, and 
himself sat down beside her on the slope of an 
inconsiderable mound. 



294 PRINCE OTTO 

She sat with her eyes downcast, her shm 
hand dabbhng in grass, hke a maid waiting for 
love's summons. The sound of the wind in the 
forest swelled and sank, and drew near them 
with a running rush, and died away and away 
in the distance into fainting whispers. Nearer 
hand, a bird out of the deep covert uttered 
broken and anxious notes. All this seemed but 
a halting prelude to speech. To Otto it seemed 
as if the whole frame of nature were waitins^ 
for his words; and yet his pride kept him 
silent. The longer he watched that slender 
and pale hand plucking at the grasses, the 
harder and rougher grew the fight between 
pride and its kindly adversary. 

' Seraphina,' he said at last, ' it is right you 
should know one thing : I never . . . . ' He 
was about to say ' doubted you,' but was that 
true ? And, if true, was it generous to speak 
of it ? Silence succeeded. 

' I pray you, tell it me,' she said ; ' tell it 
me, in pity.' 

' I mean only this,' he resumed, ' that I 
understand all, and do not blame you. I un- 
derstand how the brave woman must look down 
on the weak man. I think you were wrong in 
some things ; but I have tried to understand it, 
and I do. I do not need to forget or to forgive, 
Seraphina, for I have understood.' 



A ROMANCE 295 

' I know what I have done,' she said. ' I 
am not so weak that I can be deceived with 
kind speeches. I know what I have been — I 
see myself. I am not worth your anger, how 
much less to be forgiven ! In all this downfall 
and misery, I see only me and you : you, as you 
have been always; me, as I was — me, above 
all! yes, I see myself: and what can I 
think ? ' 

' Ah, then, let us reverse the parts ! ' said 
Otto. ' It is ourselves we cannot forgive, when 
we deny forgiveness to another — so a friend told 
me last night. On these terms, Seraphina, you 
see how generously I have forgiven myself. But 
am not / to be forgiven ? Come, then, forgive 
yourself — and me.' 

She did not answer in words, but reached 
out her hand to him quickly. He took it ; and 
as the smooth fingers settled and nestled in his, 
love ran to and fro between them in tender and 
transforming currents. 

' Seraphina,' he cried, ' 0, forget the past ! 
Let me serve and help you ; let me be your 
servant ; it is enough for me to serve you and 
to be near you ; let me be near you, dear — do 
not send me away.' He hurried his pleading 
like the speech of a frightened child. ' It is not 
love,' he went on ; 'I do not ask for love ; my 
love is enough . . . ' 



296 PRINCE OTTO 

' Otto ! ' she said, as if in pain. 

He looked up into her face. It was wrung 
with the very ecstasy of tenderness and anguish ; 
on her features, and most of all in her changed 
eyes, there shone the very light of love. 

' Seraphina ? ' he cried aloud, and with a 
sudden, tuneless voice, ' Seraphina ? ' 

'Look round you at this glade,' she cried, 
' and where the leaves are coming on young 
trees, and the flowers begin to blossom. This is 
where we meet, meet for the first time ; it is so 
much better to forget and to be born again. 
0, what a pit there is for sins — God's mercy, 
man's oblivion ! ' 

' Seraphina,' he said, ' let it be so, indeed ; 
let all that was be merely the abuse of dreaming ; 
let me begin again, a stranger. I have dreamed, 
in a long dream, that I adored a girl unkind 
and beautiful ; in all things my superior, but 
still cold like ice. And again I dreamed, and 
thought she changed and melted, glowed and 
turned to me. And I — who had no merit but a 
love, slavish and unerect — lay close, and durst 
not move for fear of waking.' 

'Lie close,' she said, with a deep thrill of 
speech. 

So they spake in the spring woods ; and 
meanwhile, in Mittwalden Eath-haus, the Ke- 
public was declared. 



A ROMANCE 297 



BIBLIOGEAPHICAL POSTSCRIPT, 

TO COMPLETE THE STORY. 

The reader well informed in modern history 
will not require details as to the fate of the Re- 
pubhc. The best account is to be found in the 
memoirs of Herr Greisengesang (7 Bande : Leip- 
zig), by our passing acquaintance the licentiate 
Eoederer. Herr Eoederer, with too much of an 
author's licence, makes a great figure of his hero 
— poses him, indeed, to be the centre-piece and 
cloud-compeller of the whole. But, with due 
allowance for this bias, the book is able and 
complete. 

The reader is of course acquainted with the 
vigorous and bracing pages of Sir John (2 
volumes : London : Longman, Hurst, Eees, 
Orme & Brown). Sir John, who plays but a 
toothcomb in the orchestra of this historical 
romance, blows in his own book the big bassoon. 
His character is there drawn at large ; and the 
sympathy of Landor has countersigned the ad- 



298 PRINCE OTTO 

miration of the public. One point, however, 
calls for explanation ; the chapter on Griinewald 
was torn by the hand of the author in the palace 
gardens; how comes it, then, to figure at full 
length among my more modest pages, the Lion 
of the caravan ? That eminent literatus was a 
man of method ; ' Juvenal by double entry,' he 
was once profanely called ; and when he tore 
the sheets in question, it was rather, as he has 
since explained, in the search for some dramatic 
evidence of his sincerity, than with the thought 
of practical deletion. At that time, indeed, he 
was possessed of two blotted scrolls and a fair 
copy in double. But the chapter, as the reader 
knows, was honestly omitted from the famous 
' Memoirs on the various Courts of Europe.' It 
has been mine to give it to the public. 

Bibhography still helps us with a farther 
glimpse of our characters. I have here before 
me a small volume (printed for private circula- 
tion : no printer's name ; n.d.) ' Poesies par 
Frederic et Amelie.' Mine is a presentation 
copy, obtained for me by Mr. Bain in the Hay- 
market ; and the name of the first owner is 
written on the fly-leaf in the hand of Prince 
Otto himself The modest epigraph — ' Le rime 
n'est pas riche ' — may be attributed, with a good 
show of likelihood, to the same collaborator. It 
is strikingly appropriate, and I have found the 



A ROMANCE 299 

volume very dreary. Those pieces in wMcli I 
seem to trace the hand of the Princess are par- 
ticularly dull and conscientious. But the book- 
let had a fair success with that pubhc for which 
it was designed ; and I have come across some 
evidences of a second venture of the same sort, 
now unprocurable. Here, at least, we may take 
leave of Otto and Seraphina — what do I say ? of 
Frederic and Amelie — ageing together peaceably 
at the court of the wife's father, jingling French 
rhymes and correcting joint proofs. 

Still following the book-hsts, I perceive that 
Mr. Swinburne has dedicated a rousing lyric and 
some vigorous sonnets to the memory of Gondre- 
mark ; that name appears twice at least in Victor 
Hugo's trumpet-blasts of patriot enumeration ; 
and I came latterly, when I supposed my task 
already ended, on a trace of the fallen politician 
and his Countess, It is in the ' Diary of J. Hogg 
Cotterill, Esq.' (that very interesting work). Mr. 
Cotterill, being at Naples, is introduced (May 
27th) to ' a Baron and Baroness Gondremark — 
he a man who once made a noise — she still 
beautiful — both witty. She complimented me 
much upon my French — should never have known 
me to be English — had known my uncle. Sir 
John, in Germany — recognised in me, as a family 
trait, some of his grand air and studious courtesy 
— asked me to call.' And again (May 30th) 



300 PRINCE OTTO 

* visited the Baronne de Gondremark — much 
gratified — a most refined, intelligent woman, quite 
of the old school, now Mlas ! extinct — had read 
my Remarks on Sicily — it reminds her of my 
uncle, but with more of grace — I feared she 
thought there was less energy — assured no — a 
softer style of presentation, more of the literary 
grace, but the same firm grasp of circumstance 
and force of thought — in short, just Buttonhole's 
opinion. Much encouraged. I have a real es- 
teem for this patrician lady.' The acquaintance 
lasted some time ; and when Mr. Cotterill left in 
the suite of Lord Protocol, and, as he is careful 
to inform us, in Admiral Yardarm's flag-ship, 
one of his chief causes of regret is to leave 

* that most spirituelle and sympathetic lady, who 
already regards me as a younger brother.* 



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26 



BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 



LISTS OF BOO KS CLASSIFIE D IN SERIES. 

*yj* For full cataloguing, see alphabetical arrangement, pp. 1-23. 



THE MAYFAIR LIBRARY. 

R Journey Round My Room. By Xavier 

DE MaISTRE. 

Ouips and Quiddities. By W. D. Adams. 
The Agony Column of "The Times." 
Melancholy Anatomised: Abridgment of 

" Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy." 
The Speeches of Charles Dickens. 
Literary FriYolities, Fancies, Follies, 

and Frolics. By W. T. Dobson. 
Poetical Ingenuities. By W. T. Dobson. 
The Cupboard Papers. By Fin-Bec, 
W. S. Gilbert's Plays. First Series. 
W. S. Gilbert's Plays. Second Series. 
Songs of Irish Wit and Humour. 
Animals and Masters. By Sir A. Helps. 
Social Pressure. By Sir A. Helps. 
Curiosities of Criticism. H. J. jEmjiNcs. 
Holmes's Autocrat of Breakfast-Table. 
Pencil and Palette. By R. Kempt. 



Post 8vo, cloth limp, 3s. 6d. per Volume. 
Little Essays: irom Lamb's Letters. 
Forensic Anecdotes. By Jacob Larwood 
Theatrical Anecdotes. Jacob Larwood. 
Jeuxd'Esprit. Edited by Henry S. Leigh. 
Witch Stories. By E. Lynn Linton. 
Ourselves. By E. Lynn Linton. 
Pastimes & Players. By R. Macgregor. 
New Paul and Virginia. W.H.Mallock. 
New Republic. By W. H, Mallock. 
Puck on Pegasup. By H. C. Pennell. 
Pegasus Re-Sadtiled. By H. C. Pennell. 
Muses of Mayfair. Ed. H. C. Pennell. 
Thoreau : His Life & Aims. By H. A. Page. 
Puniana. By Hon. Hugh Rowley. 
More Puniana. By Hon. Hugh Rowley. 
The Philosophy of Handwriting. 
By Stream and Sea. By Wm. Senior. 
Leaves from a Naturalist's Note-Book, 
By Dr. Andrew Wilson. 



THE GOLDEN LIBRARY. 
Bayard Taylor's Diversions of the Echo 

Bennett's Ballad History of England. 
Bennett's Songs for Sailors. 
Godwin's Lives of the Necromancers. 
Pope's Poetical Works. , „ , , 

Holmes's Autocrat of Breakfast Table. 



Post 8vo, cloth limp, 3s. per Volume. 
Holmes's Professor at Breakfast Table. 
Jesse's Scenes of Country Life. 
Leigh Hunt's Tale for a Chimney 

Corner. 
Mallory's Mort d'Arthur : Selections. 
Pascal's Provincial Letters. 
Rochefoucauld's Maxims & Reflections. 



THE WANDERER'S LIBRARY, 

Wanderings in Patagonia. By Julius 

Bekrbohm. Illustrated. 
Camp Notes. By Frederick Boyle. 
Savage Life. By Frederick Boyle. 
Merrie England in the Olden Time. By 

G. Daniel. Illustrated by Cruikshank. 
'Circus Life. By Thomas Frost. 
Lives of the Conjurers. Thomas Frost. 
The Old Showmen and the Old London 

Fairs. By Thomas Frost. 
Low-Life Deeps. By James Greenwood. 



Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6€l. each. 
Wilds of London. James Greenwood. 
Tunis. Chev. Hesse- Wartegg. 22 Illusts. 
Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack. 
World Behind the Scenes. P.Fitzgerald. 
Tavern Anecdotes and Sayings. 
The Genial Showman. ByE.P.HiNGSTON, 
Story of London Parks. Jacob Larwood. 
London Characters. By Henry Mayhew. 
Seven Generations of Executioners. 
Summer Cruising in the South Seas. 

Bv C. Warren Stoddard, Illustrated. 



Harry Fludyer at Cambridge. 
Jeff Briggs's Love Story. Bret Harte. 
Twins of Table Mountain. Bret Harte. 
A Day's Tour. By Percy Fitzgerald. 
Esther's Glove. By R. E. Francillon, 
Sentenced! By Somerville Gibney. 
The Professor's Wife. By L.Graham. 
Mrs. Gainsborough's Diamonds. By 

Iulian Hawthorne. 
Niagara Spray. By J. Hollingshead 
A Romance of the Queen's Hounds. By 

Charles James. 
The Garden that Paid the Rent. By 

TomJerrold. 
Cut by ihe Mess. By Authur Keyser. 
Our Sensation NoveL !. H. McCarthy. 
Doom! By Justin H. McCarthy, M.P. 
Dolly. By Justin H. McCarthy, M.P. 
Lily Lass. Justin H. McCarthy, M.P. 



POPULAR SHILLING BOOKS. 

Yi^as SheGood orBad? By W, Minto. 
That Girl in Black. Mrs. Molesworth. 
Notes from the "News." ByjAs. Payn. 
Beyond the Gates. By E. S, Phelps. 
Old Maid's Paradise. By E. S. Phelps. 
Burglars in Paradise. By E. S. Phelps. 
Jack the Fisherman. By E. S. Phelps. 
Trooping with Crows. By C. L. Pirkis. 
Bible Characters. By Charles Reade. 
Rogues. By R. H. Sherard. 
The Dagonet Reciter. By G. R. Sims. 
How the Poor Live. By G. R. Sims. 
Case of George Candlemas. G. R. Sims 
Sandycroft Mystery. T. W. Speight. 
Hoodwinked. By T. W. Speight. 
Father Damien. By R. L. Stevenson. 
A Double Bond. By Linda Villari. 
My Life with Stanley's Rear Guard, By 
Herbert Ward, 



GHATTO 8c WINDUS, 214, PICCADILLY. 



27 



MY LIBRARY. 

Choice Works, printed on laid paper, bound half-Roxburghe, 3s. ttcL each, 
FfiUr Frenchwomen. By Austin Dobson, I Christie Johnstone. By Charles Reade, 
Citation and Examination of William With a Photogravure Frontispiece. 

Shakspeare. By W. S. Landor. | Peg Woffington. By Charles Reade. 



THE POCKET LIBRARY. Postsvo, 

The Essays of Elia. By Charles Lamb. 
Robinson Crusoe. Edited by John Major. 

With 37 Illusts. by George Cruikshank, 
Whims and Oddities, By Thomas Hood. 

With 8.S Illustrations, 
The Barber's Chair, and The Hedgeliog 

Letters. By Douglas Jerrold, 
Gastronomy as a Fine Art. By Brillat- 

Savarin. Trans. R. E. Anderson, M.A. 



printed on laid paper and hf,-bd., 2s. each. 
The Epicurean, &c. By Thomas Moore. 
Leigh Hunt's Essays. Ed. E. Ollier. 
The Natural History of Selborne. By 

Gilbert White. 
Gulliver's Travels, and The Tale of a 

Tub. By Dean Swift. 
The Rivals, School for Scandal, and other 

Plays by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 
Anecdotes of the Clergy. J. Larwood. 



THE PICCADILLY NOVELS. 

Library Editions of Novels by the Best Authors, many Illustratsd, 
crowrn 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. Gd. each. 



By GRANT AlilLEIV. 

Philistia. 1 For Maimie's Sake. 

Babylon I The Devil's Die. 

In all Shades. This Mortal Coil. 

The Tents of Shem. | The Great Taboo. 

By AliAN ST. AUBYN. 
A Fellow of Trinity. 

By Bcv. S. BAKINCJ <^OtJJLj». 
Red Spider. | Eve. 

By W. BESANT & J. BICE. 



By Celia's Arbour. 
Monks of Thelema. 
The Seamy Side. 
Ten Years' Tenant. 



My Little Girl. 
Case of Mr.Lucraft. 
This Son of Yulcan. 
Golden Butterfly. 
Ready-Money Mortiboy. 
With Harp and Crown. 
'Twas in Trafalgar's Bay. 
The Chaplain of the Fleet. 

By ^VAIiTlEB BE S ANT. 
All Sorts and Conditions of Men. 
The Captains' Room. 
All in a Garden Fair 
The World Went Yery Well Then. 
For Faith and Freedom. 



To Call Her Mine. 
The Holy Rose. 
Armorel of Lyon- 

esse. 



Dorothy Forster. 
Uncle Jack. 
Children of Gibeon. 
Herr Paulus. 
Bell of St. Paul's. 

By KOBEBT BUCHANAN 
The Shadow of the Sword. 
A Child of Nature. 
The Martyrdom of Madeline. 



The New Abelard. 
Foxglove Manor. 
Master of the Mine. 
Heir of Linne. 



God and the Man. 
Love Me for Ever. 
Annan Water. 
Matt. 

By MAlit, CASNE. 
The Shadow of a Crime. 
A Son of Hagar. i The Deemster. 
MOBT. & FBANCES COI^I^INJ^. 
Sweet Anne Page. | Transmigration. 
From Midnight to Midnight. 
Blacksmith and Scholar. 
Village Come-^y. [ You Play Me False 



By Mr.s.Iff. JLOVETT CAME BtON. 
Juliet's Guardian. 1 Deceivers Ever. 
By IVlJiltSE COliIilNS. 

The Frozen Deep. 

The Two Destinies. 

Law and the Lady. 

Haunted Hotel. 

The Fallen Leaves. 

Jezebel's Daughter. 

The Black Robe. 

Heart and Science, 

" I Say No." 

Little Novels. 

The Evil Genius. 

The Legacy of Cain 

A Rogue's Life. 

Blind Love. 



Armadale. 
After Dark. 
No Name. 
Antonina. | Basil. 
Hide and Seek. 
The Dead Secret. 
Queen of Hearts. 
My Miscellanies. 
Woman in White. 
The Moonstone. 
Man and Wife. 
Poor Miss Finch. 
Miss or Mrs? 
New Magdalen. 

By UCTTTON COOK. 
Paul Foster's Daughter. 

By WSI^IilAIfl CYPI/ES, 
Hearts of Gold. 

By A5j1»H[©NSE I>A5JI>ET. 
The Evangelist; or, Port Salvation. 

By J"AME@ 5JE MSlLIiE. 
A Castle in Spain. 

By .F. ttEITM ©EK^FENT. 
Our Lady of Tears. | Circe's Lovers, 

By Mrs. ANNIE EU^VABIKE S, 
Archie Lovell. 

By PEISC^ FITZGEBAIiI>. 
Fatal Zero. 

By K. E. FBANClJLIiON. 
Queen Cophetua. I A Real Queen. 
One by One. 1 King or Knave ? 

Fref.bySirBAKTtiE FBEKE. 
Pandurang Hari. 

By EBJ^yAKB CJAKISETT. 
The Capel Girls. 



28 



BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 



The Piccadilly (3/6) Hovuls— continued. 

By CIIAKIiES OIBBON. 
Robin Gray. I The Golden Shaft. 

In Honour Bound. 1 Of High Degree. 
Loving a Dream. 
The Flower of the Forest. 

By JUI^IAN HAWTMOKNE. 
Garth. I Dust. 

Ellice Quentin. Fortune's Fool. 

Sebastian Strome. | Beatrix Randolp.i. 
David Poindexter's Disappearance. 
The Spectre of the Camera. 

By Sir A. IIEI.PS. 
Ivan de Biron, 

By 1SAA<J MENREBSOIV, 
Rgatha Page. 

By ITIrs. AliFKEB HUNT. 
The Leaden Casket. 1 Self-Condemned. 
That other Person. 

By JEAN INGEI^O W. 
Fated to be Free. 

By B. ASHE KING. 
A Drawn Game. 
"The Wearing of the Green." 

By HENBIl' MlNGSIiSi^. 
Number Seventeen. 

By E. IL^TNN l.INTON. 
Patricia Kemball. I lone. 
UnderwhichLord? Paston Carew. 
"My Love!" 1 Sowing the Wmd. 

The Atonement of Leam Dundas. 
The World Well Lost. 

By HENB^^ ^V. I.UCY. 
Gideon Fleyce. 

By JUSTIN McCABTIttY^ 
A Fair Saxon. I Donna Quixote. 
Linley Rochford. Maid of Athens. 
Miss Misanthrope. I Camiola, 
The Waterdale Neighbours. ^ 
My Enemy's Daughter. 
Dear Lady Disdain. 
The Comet of a Season. 

By A«NES MACBONEIil-i. 
Quaker Cousins. 

By FEOBENCE MABBYAT. 
Open! Sesame I 

By I>. CHBISTIE MUBKAY. 
Life's Atonement. I Coals of Fire. 
Joseph's Coat. Val Strange. 

A Model Father. | Hearts. 
A Bit of Human Nature. 
Fii'st Person Singular. 
Cvnic Fortune. 
The Way of the World. 

By MUBBAY & HEBMAN. 
The Bishops' Bible. 

By GEOBGES OHNET. 
A Weird Gift, 



The Piccadilly (3/6) NovK-LS—coniinUid, 

By Mrs. OEIPHANT. 
Whiteladies. 

By OUIBA. 



Held in Bondage. 

Strathmore. 

Chandos. 

Under Two Flags. 

Idalia. 

CecilCastlemaine's 

Gage. 
Tricotrin. | Puck. 
Folle Farine. 
A Dog of Flanders. 
Pascarel. | Signa. 
N; 



laprax' 



Two Little Wooden 
Shoes. 

In a Winter City. 

Ariadne. 

Friendship. 

Moths. I Ruffino. 

Pipistrello. 
> AYillage Commune 
I Bimbi. | Wanda. 

Frescoes. 

In Maremma. 

Othmar. 1 Syrlih. 

Guilderoy. 

PAUE. 



Talk of the Town. 
Holiday Tasks. 
The Burnt Million. 
The Word and the 

Will. 
Sunny Stories. 



Princess 
ine 
By M ABO ABET A 

Gentle and Simple. 

By JAMES PAYN. 
Lost Sir Massingberd. 
Less Black than We're Painted. 
A Confidential Agent. 
A Grape from a Thorn. 
Some Private Views. 
In Peril and Privation. 
The Mystery of Mirbridge. 
The Canon's Ward. 
Walter's Word. 
By Proxy. 
High Spirits. 
Under One Roof. 
From Exile. 
Glow-worm Tales. 

By E. V. PBICE. 
Yalentina. I The Foreigners. 

Mrs. Lancaster's Rival. 

By CHABIiES BEABE. 
It is Never Too Late to Mend. 
The Double Marriage. 
Love Me Little, Love Me Long. 
The Cloister and the Hearth. 
The Course of True Love. 
The Autobiography of a Thief. 
Put Yourself in his Place. 
A Terrible Temptation. 
Singleheart and Doubleface. 
Good Stories of Men and other Anim*tls. 
Hard Cash. I Wandering Heir. 

Peg Wofflngton. 1 A Woman-Hater. 
ChristieJohnstone. A Simpleton. 
Griffith Gaunt. Readiana. 

Foul Play. I The Jilt. 

By Mrs. J. H. BIBBEEIL. 
Her Mother's Darling. 
Prince of Wales's Garden Party. 
Weird Stories. 

By F. W, BOBINSON. 
Women are Strange. 
The Hands of Justice. 

By W. CEABK BUSSEEIi. 
An Ocean Tragedy. 
My Shipmate Louise. 

By JOHN SAUNBEBS. 
Guy Waterman. 1 Two Dreamers. 
Bound to the Wheel. 
The Lion in the Path. 



CHATTO Sc WINDUS, 214, PICCADILLY. 



__20 

The Piccadilly (3/6) Hove-ls— continued. 

Uy ANTIIONST TKOIilLOl'E. 
Frau Frohmann. I Kept in the Dark. 
Marion Fay. | Land-Leaguers. 

The Way We Live Now. 
Mr. Scarborough's Family. 

By IVAIV TUaGEIVlEFF, &c. 
Stories from Foreign Novelists. 

B5y C. C FE2.A.S.lER-TYTliEK. 
Mistress Judith. 

By SAHAII T3fTl.ER. 
The Bride's Pass. I Lady Bell. 
Noblesse Oblige. | Buried Diamonds. 
The Blackball Ghosts. 



The Piccadilly (3/6) Novels — continued. 
By KATllAIllNE SAtJN»EKS. 
Margaret and Elizabeth. 
Gideon's Rock. I Heart Salvage. 
The High Mills. | Sebastian. 

By MA^yi^EY SMART. 
Without Love or Licence. 

By R. A. STERNWAl^E. 
The Afghan Knife. 

By BERTMA THOMAS. 
Proud Maisie. | Cressida. 

The Yiolin-player. 

By FRANCES E. TROBL.IiOB'E. 
Like Ships upon the Sea. 
Anne Furness. | Mabel's Progress. 



CHEAP EDITIONS OF POPULAR NOVELS. 

Post 8vo, illustrated boards, 3s. each. 



Ky ARTEMUS 1VARI>. 
Artemus Ward Complete. 

By EBMONJft ABOUT, 

The Fellah. 

By IIAMIETON AIB>E. 
Carr of Carrlyon. | Confidences. 
By MARY AI>BERT. 
Brooke Finchiey's Daughter. 

By Mrs. AIiEXANl>EK. 
Maid, Wife, or Widow? [ Yalerie's Fate. 

By CJRANT ASilLEIV. 
Strange Stories. I The Devil's Die. 
Philistia. This Mortal CoJI. 

Babylon. I In all Shades. 

The Beckoning Hand. 
For Maimie's Sake. | Tents of Shorn. 

By AEAN ST. AUB¥N. 
A Fellow of Trinity. 

By Rev. S. BARINCJ GOUI.5>. 
Red Spider. | Eve. 

By FRANIi BARRETT. 
Fettered for Life. 
Between Life and Death. 
By SMEIiSl-E IT BEAUCMAMS*. 
Grantley Grange. 
By W. BESANT & J". RICE. 



By Gelia's Arbour. 
Monks of Thelema. 
The Seamy Side. 
Ten Years' Tenant. 



This Son of Yulcan. 
My Little Girl. 
Case of Mr.Lucraft. 
Golden Butterfly. 
Ready-Money Mortiboy. 
With Harp and Grown. 
'Twas in Trafalgar's Bay. 
The Chaplain ot the Fleet. 

By WAETER BESAIVT. 
Dorothy Forster. I Uncle Jack. 
Children of Gibeon. | Herr Paulus. 
All Sorts and Conditions of Men. 
The Captains' Room. 
All in a Garden Fair. 
The World Went Yery Well Then. 
For Faith and Freedom. 

By FREUERBCIi BOYffiE. 
Camp Notes. | Savage Life. 

Chronicles of No-man's Land. 



By BRET HARTE, 
Flip. I Californian Stories 

Maruja. | Gabriel Conroy. 

An Heiress of Red Dog. 
The Luck of Roaring Gamp. 
A Phyllis of the Sierras. 

By MAROEBJ BRITBGES. 
Uncle Sara at Home. 

By ROBERT BUCISAIVAN. 
The Shadow of the ! The Martyrdom o 

Sword. j Madeline. 

A Child of Nature. Annan Water. 
God and the Man. ! The New Abelard. 
Love Me for Ever-. I Matt. 
Foxglove Manor. | The Heir of Li 
The Master of the Mine. 

By IIAILIj CAI]VE. 
The Shadow of a Crime. 
A Son of Hagar. | The Deemster. 

By CoiniMaudcs" CAMEROIV. 
The Cruise of the " Black Prince." 

By Mrs. EOV'ETT CAMEROI^ 
Deceivers Ever. | Juliet's Guardian 

By AUSTI]\ CJLARE. 
For the Love of a Lass. 

By Mrs. ARCMER CEIVE. 
Paul Ferroll. 
Why Paul Ferroll Killed his Wif3. 

By MACILAREN COBBAN, 
The Cure of Souls. 

^j C. A]Li:iSTON COIililNS. 
The Bar Sinister. 

MORT. & FRANCES COI^l^INS 
Sweet Anne Page. | Transmigration. 
From Midnight to Midnight. 
A Fight with Fortune. 
Sweet and Twenty. | Yillage Comedy. 
Frances. | You Play me False. 

Blacksmith and Scholar. 



30 



BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 



Two-Shilling Novels — continued. 



My Miscellanies. . 
Woman in White. 
The Moonstone. 
Man and Wife. 
Poor Miss Finch. 
The Fallen Leaves. 
Jezebel's Daughter 
The Black Robe. 
Heart and Science. 
"I Say No." 
The Evil Genius. 
Little Novels. 
Legacy of Cain. 
Blind Love. 



Armadale. 
After Dark. 
No Name. 
Antonina. | Basil. 
tlide and Seek. 
The Dead Secret. 
Queen of Hearts. 
Miss or Mrs ? 
New Magdalen. 
The Frozen Deep. 
Law and the Lady. 
The Two Destinies. 
Haunted Hote'. 
A Rogue's Life. 

My mi. J. €®.IiQUMOUN. 
Every Inch a Soldier. 

By BUTTON C©01€. 
Leo. I Paul Foster's Daughter. 

"By C. EGBEBT CBABBOI)!^. 
Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

By "WIIiEIAM CYPEES. 
Hearts of Gold. 

By AliPMONSE BAUBET. 
The Evangelist; or, Port Salvation. 

By JAMES BE BIHLSjE. 
A Castle in Spain. 

By J. EEITBl BEB^VENT. 
Our Lady of Tears. ] Circe's Lovers. 

Bv CHABEES BSCKENS. 
Sketches by Boz. I Oliver TwisL 
Pickwick Papers. | Nicholas Nickleby. 

By BlCIt BONOVAN. 
The Man-Hunter. | Caught at Last ! 
Tracked and Taken. 
Who Poisoned Hetty Duncan? 
The Man from Manchester. 
A Detective's Triumphs. 

By CONAN BOYEE, &c. 
Strange Secrets. 

By ITBrs. ANNIE EB^VABBES. 
A Point of Honour. | Archie Lovell. 

By III. BETHAM-EBWABBS. 
Felicia. | Kitty. 

By EB^VABB E«GEEST®N. 
Roxy. 

By ff»EBCY FITZ«-EBAEB. 
Bella Donna. I Polly. 

Never Forgotten. I Fatal Zero. 
The Second Mrs. Tillotson. 
Seventy-five Brooke Street. 
The Lady of Brantome. 
AEBANY BE EONBEANQUE. 
Filthy Lucre. 

By K. E. FBANCIEEON. 
Olympia. I Queen Cophetua. 

One by One. King or Knave? 

A Real Queen. | Romances of Law. 

By IIABOEB FKKBEBICIt. 
Seth's Brother's Wife. 
The Lawton Girl. 

Pn-ef. by Sir BARTEE FBERE. 
Pandurang Harl, 



Two-Shilling Novels — continued. 

By MAIN FKISWEEE. 
One of Two. 

By EBWAKB CJAKRETT. 
The Capel Girls. 

By CMABEES CJIBBON.' 
Robin Gtay. In Honour Bound. 

Fancy Free. Flower of Forest. 

For Lack of Gold. Braes of Yarrow, 
What will the The Golden Shaft. 

World Say? Of High Degree. 

In Love and War. Mead and Stream. 
For the King. Loving a Dream. 

In Pastures Green. A Hard Knot. 
Queen of Meadow. Heart's Delight. 
A Heart's Problem. Blood-Money. 
The Dead Heart. 

By IVIEEIAM €;HEBERT. 
Dh Austin's Guests. I James Duke. 
The Wizard of the Mountain. 

By HENRY «a«EVIEEE. 
A Noble Woman. 

By jrOaiN MABBERTON, 
Brueton's Bayou. | Country Luck. 

By ANBRE^V HAEEIBAY. 
Every-Day Papers. 

By Easly BUFFES IIARBY. 
Paul Wynter's Sacrifice. 

By THOMAS IIARBY. 
Under the Greenwood Tree. 
By .E BERliVICK. MAR\¥«»®B. 
The Tenth Earl. 

By JEEIAN IIA-^¥TBI©RNE. 
Garth. 

EUice Quentin. 
Fortune's Fool 
Miss Cadogna. 
David Poindexter's Disappearance. 
The Spectre of the Camera. 

By Sin- ARTHUR IIEEE»S. 
Ivan de Biron. 

By Mrs. CASISEE IIOEY. 
The Lover's Creed. 
By Mrs. OEORCiE HOOPER, 
The House of Raby. 

By TICJME MOPlilNS. 
'Twixt Love and Duty. 

By Mrs. AEFREB HUNT. 
Thornicroft's Model. I SelfCondemnetl» 
That Other Person. | Leaden Casket, 

By JEAN INCJEEO^V. 

Fated to be Free. 

By HARRIETT JAY, 

The Dark Colleen. 

The Queen of Connaught. 

By MARK liERSHAW. 
Colonial Facts and Fictions. 

By R. ASHE MING. 
A Drawn Game. | Passion's Slave.- 
" The V/earing of the Green." 



Sebastian Stromc. 

Dust. 

Beatrix Randolph. 

Love— or a Name. 



CHATTO & WINDUS, 214, PICCADILLY. 



3X 



Two-Shilling Novels — continued. 

By IIENKY ItlNfGSiL'JEY. 
Oakshott Castle. 

By JTOMN liEYS. . 
The Lindsays. 

By MABIT XilNSItllili. 
In Exchange for a Soul. 

By .E. li VNN IjINTON. 
Patricia Kemball. I Paston Carew. 
World Well Lost. " My Love ! " 
Under which Lord? I lone. 
The Atonement of Learn Dundas. 
With a Silken Thread. 
The Rebel of the Family. 
Sowing the Wind. 

By HENRY W. lifJCY. 
Gideon Fleyce. 

By JUSTIN McCABTHY. 
A Fair Saxon. I Donna Quixote. 
Linley Rochford. Maid of Athens. 
Miss Misanthrope. I Camiola. 
Dear Lady Disdain. 
The Waterdale Neighbours. 
My Enemy's Daughter. 
The Comet of a Season. 

By ACTIVES MACBONEIil.. 
Quaker Cousins. 

KATHARINE S. MACQUOIU. 
The Evil Eye. | Lost Rose. 

By W. W. MAIiliOCIt. 
The New Republic. 

By FI.ORENCE MABRYAT. 
Open ! Sesame ! | Fighting the Air. 
A Harvest of Wild Oats. 
Written in Fire. 

By jr. MASTERMAN. 
Half-a-dozen Daughters. j 

By BRANWER MATTHE^^S. / 
A Secret of the Sea. 

By JEAN Mia>»IiEMASS. 
Touch and Go. | Mr. Dorillion. 

By Mrs. MOI.ES WORTH. 
Hathercourt Rectory. 

By jr. E. MUOUOCSt. 
Stories Weird and Wonderful. 
The Dead Man's Secret. 

By J9, CHRISTIE MURRAY. 



Old Blazer's Hero. 

Hearts. 

Way of the World. 

Cynic Fortune. 



A Model Father 
Joseph's Coat 
Coals of Fire. 
Yal Strange. 
A Life's Atonement, 
By the Gate of the Sea. 
A Bit of Human Nature. 
First Person Singular. 

By MURRAY awd HERMAN. 
One Traveller Returns. 
Paul Jones's Alias. 

By HENRY MURRAY. 
A Game of Bluff. 

By AI.ICE ©'HANJjON. 
The Unforeseen. | Chance? or Fate? 



Two-Shilling Novels — continued. 

By C^EORGES OHNET. 
Doctor Rameau. | A Last Love. 
By Mrs. OI^IFHANT. 
Whiteladies. | The Primrose Path, 

The Greatest Heiress in England. 

By Mrs. ROBERT 0'REIU,IiY. 
Phoebe's Fortunes. 

By OUI»A. 



Held in Bondage, 

Strathmore. 

Chandos. 

Under Two Flags. 

Idalia. 

CecilCastlemaine's 

Gage. 
Tricotrin. 
Puck. 

Folle Farine, 
A Dog of Flanders. 
Pascarel. 
Signa. 
Princess Naprax- 

ine. 
In a Winter City. 



Two Little Wooden 
Shoes. 

Ariadne. 

Friendship. 

Moths. 

Pipistrello. 

A Village Com- 
mune. 

Bimbi. 

Wanda. 

Frescoes. 

In Maremma. 

Otlunar. 

Guilderoy. 

Ouida's Wisdom, 
Wit, and Pathos. 



MARGARET AGNES PAUI.. 
Gentle and Simple. 

By JAMES PAYN. 



£200 Reward. 
Marine Residence. 
Mirk Abbey. 
By Proxy. 
Under One Roof. 
High Spirits. 
Carlyon's Year. 
From Exile. 
For Cash Only. 
Kit. 

The Canon's Ward 
Talk of the Towji, 
Holiday Tasks. 



Bentinck's Tutor. 

Murphy's Master. 

A County Family. 

At Her Mercy. 

Cecil's Tryst. 

ClyffardsofClyffe. 

Foster Brothers. 

Found Dead. 

Best of Husbands. 

Walter's Word. 

Halves. 

Fallen Fortunes. 

Humorous Stories. 

Lost Sir Massingberd 

A Perfect Tl'easure. 

A Woman's Vengeance. 

The Family Scapegrace. 

What He Cost Her. 

Gwendoline's Harvest. 

Like Father, Like Son. 

Married Beneath Him. 

Not Wooed, but Won. 

Less Black than We're Painted, 

A Confidential Agent. 

Some Private Views. 

A Grape from a Thorn. 

Glow-worm Tales. 

The Mystery of Mirbridge. 

By C. li. l»IRIiIS. 
Lady Lovelace. 

By ElttGAR A. POE, 
The Mystery of Marie Roget. 

By E. C. 1»RICE. 
Valentina. I The Foreigners. 

Mrs. Lancaster's Rival. 
fieraJd. 



32 



CHATTO & WINDUS, 214, PICCADILLY. 



Two-Shilling I^ovels— continued. 

By CHAIR.LES ISEAUin. 
It is Never Too Late to Mend. 
Christie Jolinstone. 
Put Yourself in His Place. 
The Double Marriage. 
Love Me Little, Love Me Long. 
1 The Cloister and the Hearth. 
The Course of True Love. 
Autobiography of a Thief. 
A Terrible Temptation. 
The Wandering Heir. 
Singlsheart and Doubleface. _ 
Good Stories of Men and other Animals. 



Hard Cash. 
Peg WofRngton. 
Griffith Gaunt. 
Foul Play. 



A Simpleton. 

Readiana. 

A Woman-Hater. 

The Jilt. 



By Mrs. J. M. Kai>B>E]Llj. 
Weird Stories. | Fairy Water. 
Her Mother's Darling. 
Prince of Wales's Garden Party. 
The Uninhabited House. 
The Mystery in Palace Gardens. 

By F. ^V. BOBINS®N. 
Women are Strange. 
The Hands of Justice. 

By JAMES BUNCIlTlASr. 
Skippers and Shellbacks. 
Grace Balmaign's Sweetheart. 
Schools and Scholars. 

By W. CEAMM: JSUSSEEUi. 
Round the Galley Fire. 
On the Fo'k'sle Head. 
In the Middle Watch. 
A Voyage to the Cape. 
A Book for the Hammock. 
The Mystery of the " Ocean Star. 
The Romance of Jenny Harlowc. 
An Ocean Tragedy. 
«E©BCJE AUGUSTUS SSAl.A. 
Gaslight and Daylight. 

By J02IN SAUNI>EBS. 
Guy Waterman. | Two Drearacrc, 
Th3 Lion in the Path. 
iSy ULATIIABUNE SAUNBJEB^. 
Joan Merryv/eather. I Heart Salvage. 
The High Mills. I Sebastian. 
Margaret and Elizabeth. 

By C;-E©SJ<;}E SS. SIMS. 
Rogues and Vagabonds. 
The Ring o' Bells. 
Mary Jane's Memoirs. 
Mary Jane Married. 
Tales of To-day. | Dramas of Lifa. 
'iinkletop'3 Crime. 

ISy AMTiaUia SKETCEEI-iEY. 
A Match in the Dark. 

I2y &\ W. SiPEEGMT. 
The Mysteries of Heron Dyke. 
The Golden Hoop. 1 By Devious Ways. 
Hoodwinked, &c. 



Two-Shilling Hovei^s— continued. 

- By IS. A. STEKNUAEE. 
The Afghan Knife. 

My K. EOUIS STEVENSON. 
New Arabian Nights. 1 Prince Otto. 
B5r BERSTIIA THOMAS. 
Crassida. 1 Proud Maisie. 

The Violin-player. 

B3y ^VAETEK TMOBI^BUIS V. 
Tales for the Marines. 
Old Stories Retold. 

T. AI>©EIP>MUS TKOEEOPSi:. 
Diamond Cut Diamond. 
By E. EEEAN©B TBOEEOFE. 
Like Ships upon the Sea. 
Anne Furness. 1 Mabel's Progress. 

By ANTHONY TiiOEEOiPE. 
Frau Frohmann. | Kept in the Dark, 
Marion Fay. I John Caldigatc. 

The Way We Live Now. 
The American Senator. 
Mr. Scarborougii's Family. 
The Land-Leaguers. 
The Golden Lion of Granpere. 

By J". T. TBO^VBMIBGE. 
Farneli's Folly. 

By IVAN TUBG-ENSEFF, &c. 
Stories from Foreign Novelists. 
By MAKli TWAIN. 
Tom Sawyer. I A Tramp Abroad. 

The Stolen White Elephant. 
A Pleasure Trip on the Continent. 
Huckleberry Finn. 
Life on the Mississippi. 
The Prince and the Pauper. 

By €. C. FBASEB-TVTEEK. 
Mistress Judith. 

By SABAM TYTEEB. 



Noblesse Oblige. 
Disappeared. 
Huguenot Family. 
Blackhall Ghc^U. 



The Bride's Pass. 

Duried Diamonds. 

EaintMungo'sCity. 

Lady Bell. 

What She Came Through. 

Beauty and the Beast. 

Citoyenne Jaqueline. 

By S. S. ^YINTEK. 
Cavalry Life. | Regimental Lcgo-dJ. 

By M. F. ^VOO®. 
The Passenger from Scotland Yavd. 
The Englishman of the Rue Cain. 

By Ea»ly WOOID. 
Sabina. 

CEEIA E»ABI£E,K -WOCei.ELEIT. 
Rachel Armstrong ; or, Love & Theology 

By EUMUN® YATES*. 
The Forlorn Hope. | Land at Last. 
Castaway. 



t#. 



OGDFN. SVALE AKU CO. LUUTED, PKINTEKS, GRFAT SAFrF.ON HILL, 5jC. c^f^ 






.)^ 



Sold by the Principal Druggists at Home and Abroad. 



JACKSON'S BENZINE RECT. 

For taking out GREASE, OIL, PAINT, and dirt in common, from 
CARPETS, CURTAINS, CLOTHES, DRAPERY, DRESSES, be the 
material Cotton, Linen, Silk, or Wool, or the Texture Fine or Coarse. 

It cleans admirably Kid Gloves and Slippers, Fans and Feathers, 
Thumb Marks from Books, Cards, Manuscripts. 

In Bottles at 6d., Is., & 2s. 6d. ; b7 Pircel Post, 3d. more. 



H.R.H. PRINCE ALBERTS CACHOUX. 




JACKSON'S RUSMA. At is.; by Post for Is. 2d. 

For the Removal of Hair without a Razor, from the Arms 
Neck, or Face, as well as Sunburn or Tan. 

The activity of this depilatory is notable. It is easy and safe. It leaves 
a Whole Skin and a Clean Complexion. 



WANSBROUGH'S METALLIC NIPPLE SHIELDS. 

Retailed at Is. per pair in a Box ; by Post, Is. 2d. 

FOR LADIES NURSING. A Proiection and Cure of Sore Nipples. 



JACKSON'S CHINESE DIAMOND CEMENT. 

In Bottles, Retailed at 6d. and Is. 

For mending every Article of ORNAMENT or FURNITURE, GLASS, 
CHINA, EARTHENWARE, &c. It has stood the test of time, and in all 
quarters of the Globe. 



1891. 



From the laboratory of 

THOMAS JACKSON, 

strange ways, MANCHESTER. 



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