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the opening bars before a slight could not possibly have been cogchange in the attitude of the Princess nisant. attracted my eyes, and suddenly, as if Two or three days after the rehearsal by inspiration, I conceived the fancy in the palace-garden the Princess was that I was playing to a creature of seated in her own room in the palace, the forest and of the wind. She was accompanied only by her reader. The sitting slightly forward, her eyes fixed relationship between the two was eviupon the woodland slope before her, dently, in private, of the most intimate her slight, lithe figure and prominent character. speaking features like no offspring of The room was high in the palace common clay, but innate in that and a surpassing view lay before primeval god-sprung race of the the windows. Immediately in front, golden hours, before the iron horny

a terrace or glacis planted handed sons of men had filled the with sycamore trees, the roofs and earth with toil and sorrow and grime: gables and chimneys of the old city the race from which had sprung the lay like a great snake, or rather creatures that had filled romance with like several great snakes, climbing elf-legends and stories of elf-kings and the ridges of its steep streets, and ladies, and beings of gentle and fairy crowned with the spires and towers birth; for, as the untrammelled wood of its cathedral and churches and notes that stole across the strings now rathhaus and university halls. Over sunk into a whisper, now swelled into and beyond this stretched a vast extent full, rich chords and harmonies, I of wooded valleys and hills, of forest could almost fancy that I saw this and mountain and glancing river, of glorious creature, while the mystic distant blue stretches of country innotes lasted, grow into a more serene distinguishable and unknown, and in and genial life, as though she breathed the remote distance along the sky-line an air to which she was native, a faint range of snow-clad peaks. A and heard once again the wild notes vast expanse of cloudland, strange and of the hills and of the winds in varied as the earth itself, and almost the sere antique forest-country that as tangible and real, filled the upper was hers by right of royal ancient regions of this landscape with motion birth.

and life and varied form. It was evenAs I played the concluding notes the ing, and the night-clouds had piled Princess rose and stood before us once themselves in threatening and lurid again, as I had seen her stand in the forms above the dark wind-tossed forest-meadow when she had pleaded forest-land. The white smoke-wreaths unavailingly, in those marvellous tones from the city curled up before the which would never pass

from

my cathedral towers, and the storks and memory, for the beautiful stag. Then kites in long trailing flocks wended she bowed very courteously to the their way home from the distant others and, taking no notice whatever fields. The Princess sat, still and of me, moved away, attended by her silent, looking out over the wide companion.

prospect, with searching-questioning eyes, that seemed to penetrate beyond its furthest bouud.

“I am still listening,” she said at last, "to that violin lesson that the

young man,—Otto von Saale did you THERE is a gap in Otto von Saale's call him played the other day. Is autobiography, which it may be well he considered to be a great performer? to fill up from other sources, as we In its echoing repeats I seemed to shall by this means obtain a know hear voices that I had never heard ledge of some incidents of which he before, and yet which seemed

II.

NARRATIVE.

as

a

so well.

though they were the voices of my shone in the mellow light. The distant kin, that told me whence I came, stretch of country flushed with this and who I was, and what I might mystic light, which certainly was not become.”

of earth, seemed instinct with “He plays with surpassing feeling," quivering life—the life of forest and replied Adelheid, “and with delicacy farm-people—the life of hidden townof shading and of touch, most sur ships too distant to be discerned-of prising as he is only a novice at rivers bordered with wharves and the violin. You may judge of this shipping-the life of a kingdom of wben you remember how simple the earth-and, in her mountain eyrie, piece was that he played-a few chords with set, wistful eyes, over the regions constantly repeated — yet he made of her father's rule, the Princess sat them, as you say, speak to the heart, a at gaze, a creature slight, shy, delicate, different utterance for every chord. yet born of eagle-race. His forte is expression."

Her companion waited for some “Is he in love with you ?” said the words, but they did not come : then Princess, with the calmest, most un she spoke herself. moved manner and tone.

“He was born among the forests of "No."

the Fichtelgeberge and has listened to “ You are in love with him?"

the spirits of the wood and mountain “Yes, I love him, for he is in every from a child ; that is why he plays way worthy to be loved. But it is of little importance what I think of him. Yes," said the Princess, “that is He is hopelessly, desperately, passion why, in his playing, I heard a talk ately in love with you."

that I had long wished to hear-a " In love with me?The Princess speech which seemed familiar and yet did not move, and not the faintest which I had never heard here—the shade of deeper colour flushed her speech of a people from which my race cheek ; but the faint, shy, kindly smile is sprung. And you say that he is in deepened, and the questioning eyes love with me?softened to an expression which was Yes,” said Adelheid, somewhat certainly that of supreme, amused, sadly : “at this moment he would give beneficence — possibly of something worlds to see you again.” else. " In love with me ! When did “Oh, he shall see me again ! ” said he ever see me before ?"

the Princess, with her quaint, shy “ He saw you some days ago in the smile : " he shall see me again : he shall forest : the day that the Prince von play before the King. More than that, Schongau shot the stag."

-- he shall marry you !” The Princess sat quite still, looking out upon the southern sky, which was The King was a strikingly handall aglow with a red reflected light. some, tall, distinguished man, of beLong dark lines of cloud, like bars of tween fifty and sixty years of

age.

His some Titanic prison-house, drew them father had died when he was a boy, selves out across the sky; and the and he had been brought up by his masses of cloud, tinged with a sudden mother as regent of the kingdom. She glow of crimson, formed a wild con a very clever woman and surtrast with the faint blue of the dying rounded her with the most sky, and the green of the waving superior men she could attract to her woodlands below. The deepening glow court. She trained him in the most spread higher over the whole heaven, exalted ideas of his position and retill the world below became suffused sponsibility, and when she died, after with its sober brilliance, and tower and having with much difficulty found a gable and the climbing ridges of the wife whom she considered to be suitstreet and the white smoke-wreaths able for him, she left him, at the

No. 337.- VOL. LVII.

was

son

с

age of five and twenty, profoundly with serene candour, after a slight
impressed with the conviction that pause, “I wish him to marry the
something wonderful was expected of Fraülein."
him in every action and word. As be “ Yes?said the King, “you wish
was a man of very moderate capacities, him to marry the Fraulein? I have
though perfectly good-natured and observed, on more than one occasion,
conscientious, this impression might that efforts of this character may be
possibly have placed him in very pain- abortive."
ful predicaments; but the King very The King paused, as though on the
wisely fell back early in life on the point of saying more, but apparently
obvious alternative of doing absolutely doubting whether he could safely
nothing and saying very little. It venture upon

further assertion, he may surprise some persons to be told remained silent. After a pause he how wonderfully the country prospered went on :

“ You consider this young under this imposing, but silent and man to be a promising performer?” inactive monarch. He had been as a “His forte," replied the Princess, boy impressed with the misery of some “as the Fraulein says, is expression. classes of his people, and he had been His playing has a strange fascination known as a young man to absent him for me.” self from court for days together and “Ah!" replied the King, “his forte to wander, attended only by one is expression. Good! When do you companion, among the poor and wish me to hear this young man ?” struggling classes; and the only he continued after a pause. occasions on which he spoke at the “I thought we might have a privy-council were when he advocated chamber-concert of music after supper, the passing of some measure which his on one of the evenings that the Prince plain common sense told him would be

von Schongau is here. Herr Veitch beneficial to his people. He and the Fraulein will play." therefore immensely popular and was Except on occasions of great state the thought, even by many of his familiar King and his family supped in private, courtiers, to be a man of remarkable a second table being provided for the ability. He had a habit of repeating courtiers. A strict etiquette was obthe last words of any one who spoke to served in the palace, similar to, and him with an air by which he seemed founded

upon, that of Versailles. to appropriate all the wisdom which On the evening upon which the might be contained in them to him Princess had finally decided, a someself. I have been attending the

what larger company

than usual privy-council, sire.” “Ah! you have assembled in the great salle. The doors been attending the privy-council, yes." were thrown open shortly after supper, And it really was difficult not to and the chamberlain with his white fancy that you had been listening to a wand announced, after the manner of long and exhaustive treatise upon the French Court: “ Gentlemen! The privy-councils generally and their in

King!” fluence on the government of states ; so The great salle was foored with perfect was the manner of the King. marble, and surrounded with marble

pillars on every side. A thousand “Sire,” said the Princess to her lights flickered on the countless jewels father, the same evening on which she that decked the assembly. Great vases had had the talk with Adelheid, “I of flowers filled the corners, and wish you to hear a young performer graced the tables of the room. on the violin, Otto von Saale, who is The King came forward with long a pupil of Herr Veitch. I heard him accustomed composure to the seat once by accident in Das Vergnügen. provided for him, near to a harpsiI wish him," continued the Princess, chord in the centre of the salle : a

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step behind him followed the Princess. before her, which, doubtless, she did She was en pleine toilette, sparkling

not see.

It seemed to speak of an with jewels, and if Otto von Saale had alluring lawlessness, of that life of had any worlds to give, he might unconventional freedom, of that lofty almost have been pardoned had he rule and dominion over their own fate given them for such a sight; for a and circumstance, of that free gratificreature more delicately beautiful-s0 cation of every instinct and faculty, absolutely set apart and pure from which has such an attraction to the aught that is frivolous and vain, and highly-born. It seemed to call her yet so winning in the unconscious with a resistless power back into a piquancy of her loveliness—he would pristine life of freedom which was hers scarcely find elsewhere.

She was

by right of ancient ancestral birth, a followed by several ladies, and three world of freedom and love and unor four gentlemen, preceded by a questioned prerogative which belonged prince of a royal house, who had to the nobles of the golden age. Almost formed part of the King's supper she was persuaded by the searching party, brought up the rear of the power of its magic note to believe that procession.

all things belonged to the elite of The King sat in his chair a little earth's children the favourites of life, in advance of the rest : on either side those delicately nurtured and born to of him were seated the Princess and the purple of the world's prismatic the Crown Prince, and the ladies and rays. Should she listen to this siren gentlemen who had had the honour of chord it might even happen to her to supping with the royal party were lose that stainless insight which its seated behind them. Herr Veitch wild tone had itself evoked; but, in the played the violoncello, and the Pro perfection of a concerted piece, its wild fessor was prepared to accompany on uniqueness was kept by grace of the harpsichord, so far as that instru finished art in pitch and vibration true ment was capable of accompanying the to the dominant concord of pure harviolins.

mony, an existence and creation as it The attitude and expression of the were in harmonious sound, of which King were delightful to watch. He it formed a part. To the Princess sat back in his chair, his fingers meet as she listened to the vibrating strings ing before his chest, a faint smile of it seemed that, with a vision beyond serene beneficence on his beautifully her years, so potent in suggestion is cut features—a gracious, presiding music, she looked into another world, power of another and a loftier sphere. as one looks down from a lofty precipi

One or two pieces were played first, tous height into the teeming streets of then came a trio of Corelli's, in which a great city, and the pigmy crowds are the harpsichord took no part.

instinct with a strange interest-a Did it sound in the Princess's ear world of human suffering and doubt alone, or did there run through all the and terror, of love unrequited, of wealth of pure harmonies a strange righteousness unrecognised, of toil new quality of tone! Wild, glancing, and sorrow and despair unrelieved, in tune yet untuned and untunable, until, in the thronged theatres and like the silver thread of the brooklet market-places, where life stands waitthrough the grass, or the single change- ing its abiding doom-the times and less woodnote of the breeze wailing seasons of the world's harvest being through the organ-harmonies of the fully ripe—the riddle of righteousness midnight mass in a mountain-chapel. and of wrong is answered, and in the It spoke to the Princess's heart, as sad

grey dawn of the eternal day ihe she sat some little space

backward dividing sickle is put in, from her father's chair, her delicate

There was

a pause in the wave steadfast face fixed upon the scene of sound, and the Princess was dimly

manner.

conscious that Otto von Saale was was tragic and disastrous.

I was playing alone. So magnetic was the appalled even at the splendour of my searching tone that there seemed no dream. thing in the wide universe save herself But when I did muster courage to and his strange impalpable person go to the master, I was astonished to ality that approached her in mystic find that nothing seemed to have sound; but happily beyond and happened at all. Herr Veitch did above its sorcery was once more felt not even appear to have noticed my the sense of restraining, abiding, cul absence. He was in a very propitious tured harmony-the full, true, settled humour, and complimented me very chords, and the according regular law much on my playing at the palace. and sequence of time and pitch. “I never knew you," he said, “play

Then she knew that all were stand with so much certainty and correcting up, and she rose in her seat by the ness. There is always in your playing side of the King. A peculiar lustre a certain originality which might beof gracious courtesy shone in the come, as I have often told you, a great Monarch's attitude and

snare, indeed fatal in its results. So “ Herr Veitch," he was saying, “we long, however, as you play as conthank you : the Princess thanks you. scientiously as you did the other night, I perceive—” here his Majesty paused though there will always be a singufor a moment to give importance to larity in your style to which some what was to come, “I perceive, sir, might object, yet you will stand, to that your forte is expression.” The my mind, among the great performers most wearied cynic must have felt a on the violin." I had never heard glow of genuine pleasure as the King the old man utter such praise before. said these words, so contagious was Nor did I at first notice anything in the regal, benevolent satisfaction that the manner of the Fraülein towards the exigencies of the occasion had been me, which would show that she was fitly met.

conscious of the necessity for any Otto bowed low before the King, change. But there soon came a change, then he turned to salute the Princess; which was entirely of my own bring. but, as he looked up, his eyes met her ing about. I neglected the master and marvellous eyes and were fixed by a the violin. I hardened my heart against magic spell, so intense, searching, per the Fraulein, and especially avoided sonal and yet abstracted was the look the hours when I thought she would they met. His entire being was caught be with Herr Veitch. Her wistful up and rapt into hers in an ecstasy of eyes had no effect upon me, so foolish ravishment. Had the

gaze lasted and delirious had I become. another second he must have fainted One day Herr Veitch said to me, away.

“Yesterday the Fraulein brought

us great news. The Princess is beIII.

trothed to the Prince von Schongau,

who has been staying so long at the AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL.

palace. He was present, you rememI did not go to Herr Veitch until ber, on the evening of the concert.” some days after the concert at the I was conscious that my face wore a palace : indeed, I did not care to go. contemptuous unbelieving sneer. In I felt as though I had broken with all my madness I thought to myself that continent and decorous life, and was I knew much better than to believe entering upon a delirious course of such foolish gossip. adventure such as I had read of in At last Herr Veitch took me some fatal romance of ill-repute, whose seriously to task. “Something has

was unnatural and ghastly happened to you,” he said : "you even in its delights, and whose end are bewitched,

some evil

eye has

course

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