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Title: Klytia - A Story of Heidelberg Castle
Author: Hausrath, Adolf, 1837-1909
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's Note:
  Page scan source:
    http://www.archive.org/details/klytiastoryofhei00hausuoft



                               COLLECTION

                                   OF

                             GERMAN AUTHORS.

                                VOL. 44.



                        KLYTIA BY GEORGE TAYLOR.

                        IN TWO VOLUMES.--VOL. I.



                                KLYTIA.

                     A STORY OF HEIDELBERG CASTLE.

                                   BY

                             GEORGE TAYLOR.

                           FROM THE GERMAN BY

                         SUTTON FRASER CORKRAN.

                          _Copyright Edition._

                        IN TWO VOLUMES.--VOL. I.



                              LEIPZIG 1883
                          BERNHARD TAUCHNITZ.

           LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE & RIVINGTON.
                  CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET.
             PARIS: C. REINWALD, 15, RUE DES SAINTS PÈRES.



                              K L Y T I A.



                               CHAPTER I.


At a time when in our fatherland a cold raw wind made its presence
felt, and the sharp frost at night checked the growth of the early bud,
the Rhine valley between the Bergstrasse and Hardtgebirge had revelled
for many weeks in the timely spring, the especial privilege of this
garden of Germany. Even three hundred years ago at the time of our
narrative the Neckar valley shimmered with the white and red blossoms
of the various fruit-trees and yellow fields of rape, as if spring had
wished to see how an illumination looked by day. The Jettenbühl above
Heidelberg which to-day resembles a green velvet pillow, on which the
ruins of the castle stand out like an offering to some Deity, was at
that date but a bare glacis, surmounted by massive turrets and angular
fortresses, the palace of the Kurfürsts of the Palatinate looming out
severe and threatening over the smiling valley of Heidelberg, as does
at the present time the gloomy residence of the Popes over Avignon, or
the menacing Ehrenbreitstein over the green Rhine. Between the
octagonal belfry and the "thick Tower" of which at the present time
only the inner walls are visible, the gorgeous palaces of Frederic IV.
and Frederic V. did not exist, but on the right the peaky gables of the
Chapel and of the roof of the old castle reared above the scarped
fortress wall; "the new court," erected by Frederic II., was built
against the octagonal tower.

In the low but spacious halls of the building which by its mixture of
the Gothic and Renaissance schools recalls to the memory the Flemish
architecture of the period, a numerous throng crowded together seeking
an audience of the Kurfürst, in the latter part of a spring afternoon
of the year 1570. Before the door of the Prince stood the portly
court-servant Bachmann, attired in the resplendent livery of a Heiduck
of the Pfalz, his jovial expression forming a pleasing contrast to the
grim heraldic lions ornamenting his breast. Solemnly did he call out
the names of those to whom an audience was granted. Huguenots from
France begging for aid. Theologians warmly recommended to the notice of
the Kurfürst, wandering Scots eager for service, Italian artists who
had obtained commissions were received in order, and dismissed.
Finally, there remained but two couples, widely differing in
appearance, representatives of the two classes which everywhere throng
the ante-chambers of sovereigns, resembling in their demeanour Grief
and Hope.

The two "Hopefuls" paced up and down the now empty hall in lively
discussion, whilst the two sorrowful guests sat sullenly in a corner.
One of these, addressed as Your Reverence, was an undersized well fed
man with fresh ruddy complexion and coarse features. His companion, on
the other hand, was a small dwarf-like being, whose dark costume stood
out in marked contrast to his fiery-red-face, one of those figures only
to be met with at the interment of a circus-rider. With a deep sigh the
dwarf addressed his reverend companion: "Yes, yes. Your Reverence. How
often have I, as counsellor of our beloved ruler, shortened with my
timely jokes the dreary hours of many awaiting an audience, who, even
if not favourably received, nevertheless laughed at my excellent
quibbles. At that time I little thought, that I myself should have to
sit here and beg for a small pension."

"We both owe our misfortunes to that vagabond Olevianus," said the
Parson. "Because I defeated him in a public argument--he knows as much
about theology as your cow does of a bag-pipe--and because he cannot
bear to see how I filled my church, therefore has he deprived me of my
position in the Church of St. Peter, leaving me only matins in the Holy
Ghost, which no one ever attends. But that will help him little, let
but the Heidelbergers have to choose between me and Olevianus and we
shall see who gets the most votes. That he well knows, and on that
account am I stuck in the background. But I seek an audience and intend
to speak out my mind to the Kurfürst, although he does not like to hear
the truth."

"Our day is over, Herr Neuser," said the discharged Court-fool; "these
are the people who now have full swing," and he grimly pointed to the
other couple, a well dressed old Italian with a head like a fox,
listening covertly to anything said in his neighbourhood, whilst at the
same time he earnestly addressed a young man, who appeared from his
long locks and Raphael-cap to be an artist. "There is another of those
starvelings, which the Italian Doctor trots up and down. At the 'Stag'
where he has stopped a whole week, he has not as yet drunk a whole
bottle of wine. That cock-sparrow has most surely got in his pocket a
letter from Herr Beza recommending him for a post as Privy, or Church
Counsellor."

"Then ought he to have risen earlier," said the Parson, "the martyrs
from Treves, Paris and Prague have long since snapped up those dainty
morsels."

"Then in that case he will be paid, so that wolves may not gobble the
moon, nor the people of Heilbronn set fire to the Neckar; bread and
places are always to be found by the Italians."

"This way, gentlemen, this way most honoured scum!" said the Priest in
the tone of a showman. "Here may you see Boquin, Ramus, Du Jon,
Tremelli and Sanchi, Ursinus and the Bohemian Zuleger, Olevianus from
the lower Rhine, van Keulen, Pithopöus, Dathan, Marnix, and others
whatever may be their names. For an honest Swabian there is no place,
we may as well quit."

The expressions of the worthy couple would have in no wise lighted up,
had they understood the advice which Professor Pigavetta, the hospital
surgeon, strove to impress upon the young Felice Laurenzano, cautiously
making use, however, of the Italian language. "Remember what you owe to
the Society," said he earnestly, "it paid for your education, it sent
you to Flanders, in order that you might acquire another style than
that of Rome and Florence, it referred you to Master Colins, whose
letter of recommendation brings you here under such creditable
circumstances."

"Excellency," replied the young architect, "even without this reminder,
I can never forget what the reverend Fathers have done for me and my
brother. Show me how I can prove my gratitude to the College for its
kindness? I am unfortunately so distracted, so accustomed to dream
along as I go, that I fear to let a timely opportunity escape unseen,
although ingratitude was never a sin of mine."

"That is very simple, my son," answered the older man. "You should look
out for an occasion to introduce one of our party into this Court. You
should inform us, should you think that anyone has the interest of the
Holy Church at heart, and if affairs of any importance come under your
hand, let me know at once, so that I can advise you how they are to be
carried out. The Church does not consider her cause here as lost.
Prince Ludwig is in no wise satisfied with his father's innovations. So
soon as the old gentleman is dead, Calvinism will be as carefully
rooted out, as it is now implanted, and then much depends on our having
here a party, on which we can reckon. I have fought the cause of the
Church on much more dangerous ground. If we succeed not in the
immediate restoration of her rights, nevertheless we are contented if
the excrescence of the adversary does not increase in growth. 'Trim the
sails according to the wind,' said the holy father Ignatius. The
Kurfürst intends introducing here the Calvinistic dogma, but he will
find it difficult to accustom the population of this great vineyard as
the Pfalz is called, to drink water and sing Calvin's psalms. To be
inside the house an hour after sun-down, not to tipple, play, or swear,
to sit on Sundays teaching children, instead of bowling and dancing,
will not be easily forced into the crania of these bullet-headed
Pfalzers. The dyspeptic Olevianus and our honest Ursinus will live to
learn that it is easier to write a catechism, than to accustom the
Heidelbergers to drink water. So soon as the Church Council obtains the
signature of the Kurfürst, our time begins. I must myself be off to the
Reichstag at Speyer, in the meantime do you reconnoitre the field of
battle, support the opponents of church-discipline in their opposition,
and throw as many difficulties in its way as you possibly can. For the
moment to impede definite situations it is sufficient to back up the
weak against the strong. When the heretics find that the heads of their
party can never remain at peace, they will seize the first opportunity
to re-enter the flock of the Holy Father, where only they can find
rest."

The young Italian had been carefully scanning the face of his patron
thus addressing him. But his eyes only had followed the play of the
characteristic features, had observed the remarkable head of the eager
man, noted his every twist and turn, his own fingers meanwhile moving
as if he were kneading a lump of clay, endeavouring to retain the
expression in this plastic material. "What a model," thought he, "for
my picture of Cassius winning Brutus over to the idea of murdering
Cæsar. This eloquence, this fanatical look, the cunning insinuating
actor!" The latter looked up inquiringly at him, as if expecting an
assentient answer. "Certainly, certainly," quickly replied the young
artist, a deep blush rising to his face. He endeavoured to collect
himself, but became the more absentminded as the wily politician
continued to disclose to him the praiseworthy intentions of the Society
of Jesus in regard to the Palatinate. An event of his early childhood
came back to him, how when once his grandmother in Naples praised him
for listening with profound attention to a long scolding, he very
inopportunely pointed with his little finger to her meagre throat, and
said: "Granny, when thou speakest such a funny little ball goes up and
down;" for saying which his enraged grandmother gave him his first box
on the ear. He could not help smiling as he thought how little he had
improved since then. His illustrious patron ceased and the young man
replied: "I am but an artist, seeing nought but colour, form and line,
I do not behold with the eyes of a politician."

"Good," replied Pigavetta quite satisfied, "but your brother Paolo,
Signor Felice, for that very reason is better informed in political
matters. Tell him all that your falcon eye discovers, he will soon draw
his conclusions and let me know. My address in Speyer is known to him."

The Prince's usher now stepped up to them, saying: "His Gracious
Highness has ordered me to admit you two gentlemen, the audience will
then be at an end."

"Come," said the physician to the young man, "answer boldly. The Prince
likes straightforward people." They entered the audience chamber,
leaving the Parson and his companion to retire grumbling.



                              CHAPTER II.


In a room of moderate height, panelled in oak, but with broad
round-paned windows, stood the Kurfürst Frederic III. near an open
writing-table ornamented with inlaid work and richly adorned with
appropriate mottoes and allegorical figures. A Dutch stove of coarse
German manufacture, representing the world's history from the time of
Adam and Eve to that of the Emperor Charles V. and Francis I., offered
a solid support to that stout gentleman. Pigavetta bowed deeply and
said to the Prince: "I introduce to Your Highness the young artist,
whom Your Highness empowered me to invite."

A short, thick-set asthmatic figure stept forward towards the young
man. A plate-like ruffle surrounded that part of the body known in
other men as the neck, but out of this arose a firm, honest face with a
fair beard. The smallish features were enlivened by a pair of clear
blue eyes, whose gaze a man willingly met. Honesty, truth, and a clear
conscience were all more plainly expressed on the features of this
short sturdy man than mental aptitude or quickness of thought.

Near the window stood, attired in a dark Spanish costume, the court
physician Thomas Liebler, surnamed Erastus, at that time the most
influential man in the Palatinate, whose intervention in church matters
was not welcomed by the theologians of the town.

"You are well recommended to me, Master Laurenzano," said the Count
Palatine in a kindly tone to the young man, pointing at the same time
to plans, accounts, and statements piled up before him. "Master Colins
considers you in the light of a second Michel Angelo. You are an
artist, sculptor and architect, and your black eyes tell me that you
are also a poet."

"He who will build, most gracious Lord," answered the young man in
broken German, to the evident amusement of the Prince, "must also be
able to draw and chisel. In my own country I should not consider myself
an architect, did I not understand both."

"Well spoken, young man, and you shall have an opportunity here of
doing both. When I succeeded to the throne, I found empty coffers, and
instead of money the newly begun gorgeous structure outside there,
which robbed me of my rest by night and day, as I knew not how I could
manage to finish it without neglecting something more important. That
building was a misfortune for the country. Look out into this open
court. The homes of my ancestors resemble old barns, in comparison with
this glittering Italian mansion, erected by Count Palatine Otto
Heinrich, to whose soul may God grant eternal rest. Who for the future
will be contented to live in the Ruprecht castle, or in that of Ludwig
V., or here in the new court, when at every turn this magic castle
meets his eye?"

Without much respect for the growlings of the old Prince, the young man
gazed with unconcealed delight through the open window at the beautiful
picture which lay spread before him. The sun-shine streamed into the
open court, which resembled an enclosed Piazzetta. Gloomy and low
castellated buildings stood in irregular confusion on the South and
West sides, but as the fairy castle of some fair dream, rose on the
Eastern side, bathed in the rays of the setting sun, the building of
Count Otto Heinrich, and the dark blue sky caused the red sand-stone to
glow, as if all these pillars, pilasters, consoles, shafts and statues
had been carved out of some wondrous precious stone, half ruby, half
jasper.

"What a material!" said the young artist in an entranced tone.

"It is the same with this confounded castle," continued the Prince, "as
with every unsuitable gift. Once my wife sent a Turkish carpet and
embroidered curtains, presented to her by the Woywode, to the chamber
where sit the Ladies of the Court. Very soon the old furniture no
longer contented these Dames, they wanted Flemish hangings, then new
chairs and tables, and finally the new carpet kicked out of the door
all the old household goods. So will it soon be with this new castle.
My wife already finds the old chapel too gloomy and heavy as compared
with the new building. Perhaps you will live to see, that my son
instead of worshipping in the House of God used by my ancestors, will
build here one of those new heathen temples with gable-ends and
cupolas; then the palace of the Emperor Ruprecht will find no grace in
the eyes of the grandson and will have to give place to some new
edifice, in short this building of my predecessor will suck the marrow
out of the country; in regal palaces the Counts Palatine and their
wives will dream of kings' crowns, and thus bring misfortune to our
Pfalz. For the happiness of this country consisted in that the Princes
knew their limits. That is the cause of my hating the building, and
were I a conscientious man I would myself quietly set fire to it some
night, and let the chiselled casket burn to the very ground."

Pigavetta listened to the outspoken statements made by the German
Prince with a sarcastic smile, and then asked with a tinge of irony:
"Then the business of this young man will be to pull down the new
building?"

"No," replied the Kurfürst, with a severe glance from under his bushy
eyebrows at the impudent Italian. "As we have kept our thumbs on our
purse-strings, we have come to such a pass as enables us to finish the
building, for _connoisseurs_ tell me that something must be done, or
the beauteous work will suffer. For this reason has Master Alexander
Colins recommended you to me; for he himself has promised our most
gracious Sovereign the Emperor, not to undertake any work till he has
erected the monument to the Emperor Max at Innsbruck. You have worked
under his orders, and will therefore best carry out his designs."

"It will be a high honour for me," modestly answered the young man, "to
work at a building, whose façade the immortal Michel Angelo helped to
trace, as I am told, and whose sculptures were chiselled by my master,
Colins."

"Yes, yes! these sculptures," puffed out the Prince, throwing himself
back in an arm-chair. "Yesterday I had a discussion about them with my
Council. A beginning must be made with them. The gentlemen tell me
plainly that I am placing heathen Deities on my roof, and that the
planetary Gods watch me through my windows, and as the severe Olevianus
has heard through you, Herr Pigavetta, that the work is to be begun
again, they insist on these idols being removed."

"An impudent set," murmured Pigavetta.

"Not so," answered the Kurfürst, "we will have in the Palatinate no
watch-dogs around God's house who cannot bark. Even our predecessor
caused his monument to be removed from the Holy Ghost, because Deacon
Klebitz told him, he could not permit naked figures, together with the
wise Virgins of the Gospels cut in marble, in his church. I will not be
more obstinate than my noble cousin. The affair was thus," continued he
turning towards the architect: "The Theologians in Jena are now very
eagerly exposing the errors of Master Philip Melanchthon, and justly
complain, that this pious man laid too much importance on Astrology, a
heathen and Jewish science as well as a blasphemous inquisitiveness.
Both Luther and Master Calvin reproached him for this very reason. Our
great Genevese teacher does not hold images in any esteem, and thus the
statues of the planets which you see there, are doubly objectionable to
my Church Council."

Felice impatiently shrugged his shoulders, and for a moment it seemed
as if the wrath of the hot-blooded Neapolitan must explode.

"I do not mean," said the Kurfürst kindly, "that we must remove all the
statues. The male deities and ancient heroes below there can possibly
disturb no one, and even if the heathen Hercules looks rather
remarkable standing between Samson and King David, he has such a kind
genial expression that I cannot help every morning being amused at him.
He is also a fitting companion to Samson, who holds the jaw-bone of the
ass in his right hand, and has the dead lion at his left side, and was
himself the Hercules of the people of Israel. Above them you see the
five virtues: strength breaking pillars, justice with sword and
balance, faith, hope and charity; charity is the best of them,
therefore is she placed over the portal. Against these even Olevianus
can say nothing. In the third row higher up are the planetary deities:
Saturn, wishing to eat up the child. Mars, Venus, Mercury and Diana,
the goddess of the moon, but above them all, there where dwells my
physician Erastus and his daughter, who has just withdrawn her pretty
fair head from the window, is Jupiter and the Sun-God Serapis with his
radiant crown. Against these the spiritual gentlemen are especially
spiteful."

"I also," said Erastus for the first time joining in the conversation,
"am no friend of astrology, and have, as Your Highness knows, written a
book against it. That which makes me however especially take offence at
the opinion of my colleagues, is the way in which the gentlemen
composing the Church Council, go about Your Highness' Land, spying
about with a telescope seeking for some ground of complaint. The
figures are so high, that they can scarce be plainly seen with the
naked eye, and no straightforward Christian knows that they represent
sun, moon and planets, from which constellations the deceased Count
Palatine traced all the good or evil fortunes of man, and therefore
placed his home under their protection. Were it not known, that Master
Philip advised the deceased Count in his choice of the figures, it
would never have occurred to the theologians to trouble their heads
about the matter. Thus they wish to offer a sacrifice to their hatred
of images, and render themselves of importance to their brethren in
Geneva and Scotland, as they rule over their princely sovereign and
introduce their church regimen even in his household."

Master Felix had not only listened to the speaker with sympathy, but
had also taken the opportunity to examine more closely the statesman so
well known in the Palatinate. He saw a tall stately man of an energetic
commanding appearance. Even outwardly the scholar formed a wonderful
contrast to the true-hearted, undersized, strong-built Kurfürst, and
this contrast would have been entirely in Erastus' favour, had not
nature herself spoilt this her masterpiece of mankind. Erastus' right
arm hung dead and stiff at his side. He had been thus crippled from
birth, and still more remarkable and singular was the fact that the
physician's hair was lighter than the swarthy face which it surrounded,
so that he resembled a black man turned gray. His friends called him
the Moor, his opponents, of whom he had many, the black devil. "The
Almighty writes a plain hand," said his enemy Olevianus, if he even saw
him from afar. "Yes, yes," replied the more gentle Ursinus, "he has
been marked by God."

The Prince heard smilingly his friend's speech, then said
good-naturedly: "You are angry with the Church Council, Erastus,
because you lay under the ban. I have however always heard Otto
Heinrich praised for altering his tomb-stone, when it became a rock of
offence, as he did not wish these theological gentlemen to fight over
his grave. I will not be behind him in forbearance for weaknesses. Let
us take away the figures, Master Felix," turning towards Laurenzano.
"Methought we could insert in the empty niches our heraldic quartering,
the Lion of the Palatinate." The young Italian crossed himself and
murmured something between his teeth which sounded like "Gesummaria."
The stout gentleman however continued quite unconcerned. "I meant
something in this style, you stick in the first niche the Lion of the
Palatinate holding a sword, as protector of the land, in the second the
same animal as if reading an open book, as it is very necessary that
the inhabitants of the Pfalz should study their Catechism more, which
is so richly supplied with arguments taken from Holy Scripture that no
sophistry of the papists has been able to prove any error in its
contents." Again the catholic artist crossed himself. "In the third
niche he might be holding a tumbler as a remembrance of the most noble
production of this land." "Dio mio!" shrieked the Italian in dire
indignation. "It is all the same to me should Your Highness wish to set
fire to the Otto Heinrich Castle, but I will rather hack off my own
hand than thus disgrace the creations of Michel Angelo and Colins."

"Respect, young man," said the Kurfürst knitting his brows, "you speak
to a Prince."

"Oh! most gracious Prince," said the Italian, "respect for a Prince,
when speaking of the realm of the Beautiful. Do you know why I left
Rome? The Pope had been told that the naked figures carved on the great
Altar in his private chapel shocked all pious women, and the Pope
believing this caused all the beautiful bodies in Michel Angelo's great
picture to be fitted out with aprons and breeches. The man who gave
himself up to this is known to the present day in Italy as _il
bracatore_, the breeches painter. I turned my back at the time in a
rage with the Holy city, therefore all the less do I thirst for the
fame to be known as the cat-painter of the Palatinate."

"The young man is right," said Erastus. "I warn Your Highness most
earnestly not to give way to these theological gentlemen. They begin
with the outside wall of the house, as they cannot permit what they
term 'a public scandal,' then come the private scandals within the
house, and finally they will stick their noses in every pot or kettle
as did the gentlemen of the Consistorium at Geneva, so as to prescribe
what people should eat or drink. This pretended scandal has no other
object. These images are no idols, no one worships them, no one has
ever taken offence at them. They stand within the enclosed court of my
most gracious Lord, and only Olevianus' parson's love of meddling
dictated the unseemly representation on the part of the Church Council,
so that he might essay the Church regimen on the sovereign's own
household."

"So you will chisel no lions?" asked the Kurfürst turning towards the
young man.

"_No_! _mai_," was the reply, and the artist seized his hat as if to
depart, but a sign from his companion reminded him before whom he
stood. With a courtly bow he added: "Master Colins was my teacher, my
Lord, were I not a scoundrel to destroy the work of part of his
life-time, when even a man like Raphael suffered the pictures by Sodoma
to remain in the rooms of the Popes, when he himself could have done so
much better, only because he had a regard for the work of a man, from
whom he had learnt something?"

Frederic III. shook his head in great displeasure and stepping to the
window gazed up at the pediment above bathed in the golden splendor of
a setting sun. Now that the upper row of images shone out in the clear
golden light, whilst the lower portion of the building lay in a bluish
shadow, the planetary Deities looked across so pleasantly at the old
gentleman, that a feeling came over him, that his Palatinate Lions
would besport themselves in a manner less genial. "This building,"
sighed he, "will always be a beauteous stranger in my Pfalz, what can I
do with a castle that is too beautiful even to bear my coat-of-arms."

Laurenzano had also stept up to the window and once more looked over
the rows of images. "The home of this artistic workmanship is not
unknown to me," said he. "Master Gherardo Doceno has painted almost the
same series, as the frieze of a patrician's house at Florence. The
façade is not without serious faults, but it is impossible, even to do
away with one of the figures, without sinning against the idea in its
entirety. The glory of a princely house is built upon Strength and
Heroism. That is shown by the giants and heroes which support the
whole. Virtues adorn a princely house, they stand there the chief
ornaments in the middle. Above the house rules a higher Power, to whom
the members must all look up, this is represented by the Planets and
Lights, through whom the Godhead rules the Day and the Night. Does Your
Grace think, it would be less of an idolatry should the descendants of
this noble House see in the highest place nothing but their own
heraldic Lion?"

This last argument which appealed to the religious mind of the Count
Palatine, made its impression. The old Prince looked with his big
astonished eyes straight at the bold Youth, and it was evident, he had
been touched.

"Do it not," now prayed the young artist with the touching fervor of a
southerner. "How many works of art have been destroyed in Germany
within the last fifty years. You have broken some to pieces because
they were popish, others because they were heathen or immoral--what
remains besides? In Augsburg I wished to see the pictures of Albrecht
Dürer, and was told that they have been dispersed since the
Reformation. In Basel I asked about Holbein's pictures of the Saints:
they have been whitewashed, was the answer given, so none can worship
the idols. Shall this continue, noble Sir? The Churches look sad since
robbed of their images, shall the castles of the Great also look as
bare? Wherefore have you brought me from Innsbruck, where I was the
right hand of the Master, if I am to do him here a deadly injury? Of
what use is your sculptor, when you desire no image or allegory?"

"Of what is in Heaven, young Man," said the Prince.

"By the blood of the Saviour," cried the Italian, "shall we paint
all our lives long, like Master Lucas Cranach of Weimar, instead of
Angels and Saints only the square cut faces of Theologians, or the
pumpkin-shaped heads of the Dukes of Saxony?"

"Stop, stop, young Fanatic," laughed the old Prince, "let not my
daughter hear what you say about Johann Frederic's beauty. Nevertheless
I see by your rudeness, that you are an honest fellow, as it is always
said in Germany, that the Italians are all smooth-tongued scoundrels.
You have convinced me. We shall leave the Planets where they are, and
you, Erastus, shall write to the Church Council, that their Prince also
knows what causes offence, and prefers reforming his own house himself;
let the gentlemen do the same at home."

At this order the physician smiled in such a contented manner that his
white teeth gleamed in contrast to his dark complexion. "Master Felix,"
added the Prince, "shall have from to-day a front apartment in the
Ruprechtsbau, where he can have the new building ever before his eyes,
and be able to satisfy himself as to the necessary repairs, for
whatever we have inherited from our ancestors be it of much or little
value shall remain. You shall however paint in the University building
the Palatinate Lion reading the Catechism. Receive our thanks for your
intervention," said the Kurfürst turning to Pigavetta, "I am contented
with your choice."

As the doors of the audience-chamber closed on the two, Pigavetta clapt
his companion on the shoulder, and the foxy smile came once more to his
lips. "You did that well, my young friend," said he.

"Did I?" answered Felix, "I little thought about that."

"That is the very blessing attending a good disposition, it anticipates
of itself, what the advantage of the Holy Church demands. Observe
closely the rule of crossing everywhere the path of the heretics. I
have already told you, that nothing must be allowed to take root here.
Who wins, who loses, is in itself a matter of indifference to us, so
long as none remain fast in the saddle. To-morrow," added he, "there
will be long drawn faces in the Church Council, when they receive
Erastus' answer, for the learned pedant is not sparing of his pepper
and salt. I knew at once that my worthy Olevianus would swallow the
bait, when I spoke to him of the splendid opportunity of putting a stop
to those abominations. The Court-preacher Boquin will pitch into him
finely, and Zuleger the President will say: 'Now we have it.'"

The triumphant Jesuit was about to leave the ante-chamber, when he
heard Erastus' voice behind him: "Dr. Pigavetta, His Highness wishes to
give you other commands for Speyer." Pigavetta hastened back to the
room, whilst Erastus descended the staircase towards the court together
with Felix.

"You have rendered to-day an important service to all friends of divine
art, to the memory of my gracious master; as well as to myself, young
Master, and as thanks I will give you a piece of advice."

"And that is?"

"You are in bad company. How came you to know this so-called surgeon?"

The Artist hesitated for a moment, but double-dealing was not his
forte. "I made the acquaintance of the doctor in the College at Venice.
He procured an entry into the College of the Sapientia for my brother,
and the invitation to Colins, which has brought me here, was also owing
to his intervention. I owe him thanks, as you see."

"We have experienced in the University but few proofs of his honesty,
and he likes to stick his finger in every pie. That this gentleman is
connected with the Society of Jesus, is something new to me. The
brothers of Ignatius do not usually indulge in such grandiloquence, as
does this remarkable statesman. Were you also brought up in the
Collegium?"

"The Laurenzanos are of noble race, but poor. So after the death of our
parents the family were talked over into trusting my brother to the
care of the Society. I followed him to Venice, where I worked in the
_atelier_ of Master Jacopo Sansovino, and the Rector gave me the
permission to attend certain lectures which were useful to me. I shall
never forget with what care the College instructed me in mathematics,
languages, and philosophy, requiring no other return but that I should
paint pictures for the Chapel. Nowhere have I seen greater sacrifice,
greater diligence in getting out of the pupils, anything that might be
in them."

"For the use and benefit of the Pope," said Erastus coldly.

"All our gifts are given to us to honor the Holy Church," rejoined
Felix. "Besides you knew me to be a Catholic when you called me here."

"Certainly, Master Felix. We cannot permit Otto Heinrich's statues to
be repaired by Ursinus' Bachelors, or the Doctors of the Sapientia, and
the Heidelberg artists are so busy with politics and church questions,
that soon none will understand his handicraft. Therefore must we turn
to the Papists. You will be allowed to carry on the exercises of your
faith in your chamber, as you please. How comes it however that your
brother Paul fills a protestant pulpit, when inwardly he appears to me
as Roman as yourself?"

Felix looked up in surprise at his quick-witted interlocutor. Then
composing himself, said: "I have not seen my brother for two years."

Erastus shook his head: "In such a time great changes certainly often
take place. I am interested in the young man, yea more, as often as I
see him I have compassion on him. He is as handsome as you are, perhaps
handsomer, but his expression does not exhibit happiness and
contentment of mind. Can I help you, we are now neighbours. I dwell in
the 'new building' as the Kurfürst often requires my medical advice.
For a lame man my quarters are rather high up between Jupiter and
Serapis, and I look down on the heads of all the planets and christian
virtues. You have a claim upon me, in that you spared me a daily sight
of seven lions' tails. I am also indebted to all Italians. I spent nine
years in Bologna and Padua, and experienced much kindness at the hands
of your countrymen. Visit me soon; Erastus' advice will be of use to
you in this Heidelberg where everything is war and partizanship, since
in twenty years the religion has been four times changed."

"Bachmann," he now called out to the old servant, who was leaning
against a well-house supported by high pillars, "this gentleman is to
have the two rooms near the pages' apartment. Look to it that his
property is brought up from the Hirsch." With a friendly shake of the
hand he left the young artist who looked after his new patron in
wonderment. "Model for a Regulus," he murmured, and then followed the
broad-shouldered Bachmann who preceded him jingling his bunch of keys.



                              CHAPTER III.


The full moon shone brightly over the Königsstuhl and shed its gentle
light o'er the gables and crooked streets of the old town, as the
Italian doctor left the Castle, and descended through the Bergstadt to
his home in the so-called Klingenthor. A clear spring pattered cheerily
to the right of the dark gate-way, and the water reflected back the
silver rays of the moon. At an open bay-window of a room in a
neighbouring house stood the tall figure of a young priest, who gazed
sadly at the quivering play of the light and at the Church of St.
Peter, whose vast nave appeared doubly massive in the moonlight, and
his ear was turned towards the bustling town, from which arose a
confused wild noise of drunken voices, the screaming of shrieking
girls, and the ear-rending din of the various bands of music in the
taverns, "What has come over thee, thou noisy raging town? Thy slain
men are not slain with the sword," murmured the young Priest in the
words of Isaiah. Sounds from the Neckar were mingled with those of the
streets. These were caused by fifers and cornet-players on board a
brilliantly lighted up ship bearing the guests of the Kurfürst to the
landing-place near the bridge, and salutes fired from the "Trutzbaier"
lighted up the darkness for seconds and re-echoed through the valley.
"Oh! that thou wouldest come down that the mountains might flow at thy
presence," sighed the pale young man. Then he heard a quick step coming
from the Castle way and soon Pigavetta's voice said from beneath: "You
have been obliged to wait for a long time, my dear Master, but His
Lordship could to-day hardly make any end to his scruples. I am coming
at once." A key was turned in the heavy lock and after a time our
excellent physician entered the lofty room in the mansarde holding a
brilliant lamp, and offered with all the grace of an Italian his hand
to his countryman who reluctantly placed therein his long slender
fingers. "I bring you good news. Master Paul," continued Pigavetta,
"your brother is here and was received by the Kurfürst in the most
friendly manner." The young Laurenzano quickly raised his head for a
moment and the name "Felice" came like a note of joy from his thin pale
lips. Then he was silent and passing his hand over his high forehead,
the old expression of melancholy resignation returned to his face. "You
mean," said Pigavetta in the tone of a man of the world, "that it does
not become a monk to make a relation in the flesh an object of
rejoicing, and the Holy Ignatius forbids them to be considered in any
other light than that of the Church and her Holy Cause; but my dear
Friend, a man is often a better Jesuit by not being so according to
rule. It is not necessary to hide your feelings before me."

"My brother will be useful to me," answered the young Priest shortly.
Then he drew from his pocket and handed to Pigavetta a number of
papers. "Here are the reports as to the state of the Church in the
Stift; here, what I could learn without exciting comment concerning the
religious relations of the families of my pupils. Here are the
astronomical calculations, so far as I, owing to the scanty means at my
disposal, could add them together from the tables."

"Let us sit down, my dear Master," said Pigavetta, throwing himself
back in a chair, and drawing the Priest towards him with offensive
familiarity. "You are not satisfied with your position?" asked he
confidentially.

"All delays and evasions have availed nothing," replied the other in a
low tone. "Yesterday I was again bound and have moreover to subscribe
by oath that I would render my teaching more in accordance with the
fundamental doctrines of the Augsburg Confession and the Catechism of
the Kurfürst. You know that I cannot do this, therefore help me to quit
this position."

"You are not bound to fulfil this promise, since you never intended
carrying it out when you gave it."

"But the black gown of the heretics chokes me."

"Now, my dear young friend, I am for my part ready to rid you at once
of this Nessus robe if you prove yourself disposed for other duties."
The pale young man raised his large black eyes and fixed them
attentively on his superior. "They are looking out for a tutor for the
young Counts Palatine," continued the older man, "and as you are an
excellent teacher I shall recommend you for the post, but the young
Princes could help us but little if you do not obtain influence over
the new Kurfürstin and even over the old Count. I am told that she
affects the Kabbalah and astrological studies. This may be the reason
why the thick-headed Count growls and opposes so violently the noble
science of astrology, by means of which many a court chaplain has made
a fool of his Sovereign during his lifetime. Do you know anything of
this science?"

"I can decipher the _rota vitae et mortis_" said Paul Laurenzano sadly,
"draw a horoscope, calculate the appearances, and the rest I can easily
learn, if you only provide me with the necessary books and
instruments."

"These will be forthcoming, still you must not enter into the study of
this foolery too earnestly. I have seen, how at times even the most
steady heads went mad on the Kabbalah and astrology, for once the mind
has got accustomed to wander about the starry fields, it returns
unwillingly to earth. The young Princess has eyes like stars, and to
gaze into them will reward you better than looking at Sirius or
Jupiter, and your own are not bad," added he with a gallant smile.
"Once win over the young Princess, and then can we do with the Kurfürst
what we wish, that is," correcting himself sanctimoniously, "what is
required for the benefit of the Church. When a Prince at the age of
sixty marries a young widow he is a lost man. The widow Brederode
brings with her all the charms of youth, but not its inexperience; so
the good old animal is doubly lost. You are young and handsome, and it
must come to pass, that she will prefer you to her fat German husband.
Thus we shall soon compel the old man to do what you read in the stars,
and what you have to read there, that we shall arrange together in
yonder observatory," and he pointed through the window to the tower of
the Klingenthor. Paul made an impatient gesture of dissension, but
Pigavetta continued quietly. "Other secret sciences would be of use.
The Kurfürst is heavily in debt. Otto Heinrich lived fast, and Simmern
was ever a land of need. How would it answer, should we fit up a
laboratorium. You must study the fixing of metals, making gold, must
gather falling-stars so as to extract the _materia prima_, collect the
night-dews in buckets, with which the Princess may wash her alabaster
neck ... You will find me no bad preceptor, I think I have proved to
you that I can do more than eat bread. I will instruct you, especially
in white magic," said he emphatically, with a sharp look at Paul, "not
in the black art."

"Excuse me from studying either. It might suit certain people later on
to turn white into black, and I have not vowed to spread the devil's
arts and idol worship over Germany."

"Idol worship!" screamed the Physician. "You speak like a Calvinist. In
matters of religion the question is not what is true, but what is
efficacious. Properly handled, belief in the Philosophers' stone or in
the _Elixir vitae_ of Bombastus Paracelsus can bear fruit just as
profitable to the Holy Church, as belief in the scapulary of the Holy
Franciscus or the bones of the Apostles."

The young Priest remained silent, but a hard sarcastic smile played
over his pale thin lips.

Pigavetta's brow wrinkled. "Brother Paul," said he then, "it appears to
me, that the air of this heretic town is dangerous to your vows. Did
you not promise to obey your superior, silently, unconditionally,
submissively as the stick in his hand? It seems to me that you are
falling back into the spirit of opposition for which the Principal once
reproved you so severely. It grieves me, but I shall not be able to
praise your obedience, when I send my report concerning you." The young
man bowed his head and looked down in silence without returning any
answer.

"Well," continued the old man more kindly, "if alchemy is obnoxious to
you, let us see what we can do through the stars. Our principal
adversary at this court is Erastus. Why am I not yet private physician
to this fat gentleman? Because the Kurfürst has a blind confidence in
this Moor. Why is it that the Church Council has not been able to
introduce its regimen, which would certainly have driven the population
into our net? Because the Count was warned by this Erastus! He has also
written a book against astrology, and is full of ridiculous zeal
against the Chaldæans as he calls us. If we succeed in winning the
Princess over to the stars, and a pretty woman likes standing, on a
warm summer's night, near a telescope close to a young man of your
appearance, then is the war against the presumptuous court-physician
waged in the bed-chamber, and it is your business to get rid of Erastus
in this or that manner."

A burning blush had risen to Paul's cheeks whilst listening to the
wanton speech of his superior and his breath became audible. Was there
any temptation in the proposition for the pale young man, that he
answered so eagerly, and his words issued from his throat cutting and
sharp as the stiletto of his countrymen. "Your Theology, most worthy
father, becomes every day more wonderful. I thought that it was
written: 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife.'"

The old Physician looked at him sarcastically. "San Giuseppe, what have
I now said? On the whole you would commit no mortal sin, in as much as
your intention would not be to destroy the sacrament of marriage but
simply to amuse yourself and in this particular case for the advantage
of the Church. Here can I refer you also to the moral guides of the
Holy Ignatius: 'Discrimination with less sanctity is better than
greater sanctity with less discrimination.' You may also shut your eyes
to certain advances made to you by the beauteous woman, for as the
General of our Society says: 'An experienced proselyter may overlook
much which he need not understand.' _Prudens tempore illo tacebit._
Moreover if you do not wish for the post, I know a dozen of the
affiliated who would only be too happy."

"I will accept any position," replied the young man quickly, "which
will free me from the obligation of wearing the robes of a heretic
priest, and of submitting to their laws. My own convictions are no
longer a secret to any here. Help me therefore out of this ambiguous
situation and I will render myself as useful as possible."

"Wait a moment," rejoined Pigavetta. "In the Rector's reports is not
your wondrous skill in imitating handwriting mentioned?"

"I know not," hesitatingly answered the young man, "why the Rector had
the whim to teach an art to the best draughtsmen of the class, which
according to the code of the laws of the Emperor Charles is punished
with the loss of the right hand. I will not practice it."

"You will obey the commands of your superiors." The young man sighed.
"I will give you nothing to do which could make you or me responsible
before God or to man. Shall our messengers be prevented from entering
the territory of the heretics, because the authorities will grant them
no safe-conduct, and is it a sin to render the presumptuous request of
these tyrants of no avail through your innocent art, when the eternal
salvation of millions is in question? Are not your bands as a clergyman
of the reformed church, and your now hidden tonsure, forgeries? What
mean these caprices?"

"I do not refuse to write a pass," answered the Priest in a smothered
tone.

"Let us see what you can do," said Pigavetta, handing a sheet of paper
and a pen to the young man. Then carelessly sorting a bundle of
papers he took out a legal document. "Can you imitate this official
hand-writing?"

The Priest looked carefully at the strokes. Then said: "What shall I
write?"

"Well, as an attempt, anything you like, for instance: 'Dear Herr Adam!
I have received your letter and quite agree with you. Matters are going
on well; to-morrow you will receive the required pass, and then follow
my directions exactly in all things, greet the Inspector. Your
Friend.'"

The young Priest wrote, the Physician looking over his shoulder.
"_Optime_, _optime_!" he then cried. "You are a finished artist.
I will shortly bring you some forms, you will write out letters of
safe-conduct for all our agents." He then with apparent indifference
folded up the note and put it with his other papers. But the other said
mistrustfully: "Give me back that sheet, I do not know what you may
want to do with it."

"I think you are becoming childish," cried Pigavetta impatiently,
"since when has it become the custom of the society for the novices to
watch over the initiated." And he took the folded paper from his pocket
and threw it out of the open window. "What sort of French scholar are
you?" added he quickly. "The Countess Brederode, or Her Highness the
Princess Amelia as she likes to be called, is very particular on that
point."

"She will be contented with me," said Paul, "but now dismiss me, it is
late. As you ordered me to conceal our interviews, I told the ladies of
the Stift, that I was about to attend a meeting of the clergy, in the
Hirsch, where I nearly die of ennui, therefore all the less do I dare
stay out till midnight, lest my reputation should suffer in the eyes of
these pious women."

Pigavetta gave him his hand. "I hope you will soon dwell in yonder
castle, and the pretty Princess will have no objection to your then
stopping somewhat later." The Priest blushed anew and hastily left.
Through the open window could be heard the hurried footsteps of the
young man for whom the fresh evening breeze was not sufficient to cool
his fevered brow. Pigavetta's long foxy head was thrust out to watch
him. "'One cannot angle without bait,' said the Holy Ignatius, and he
was the only man who ever impressed me. Of what use hearing the
confessions of this good youth, if I could not work upon his weak
point. He seems however as if he would shortly break away, so it will
be right to lay a new chain on him." After a while he added: "Leaving
all higher considerations aside, it would be no bad spectacle, if I
were to let this black panther loose on the white kitten in yonder
castle. This would bring about some excitement in this tedious home of
heretics, where we have five months of winter and seven months of
rain." Carefully taking from his pocket a creased piece of paper, he
laid another sheet over it, and began cautiously to smooth it out. When
he had finished this piece of work, he added: "Exposed a few times to
the night-air and this masterpiece of our good Magister will be quite
smooth, and then, friend Erastus, thou wilt thyself swear, that thou at
some time must have written this letter." After weighting down the
paper near the window with a stone he took his lamp and sought his bed,
saying: "The instruction in writing as given in Venice is worthy of all
commendation. Now we have in black upon white, that Erastus is an Arian
and therefore do not first require to turn white into black, as piped
this fledgeling."



                              CHAPTER IV.


The following morning the sun shone brightly on the small bow-window of
the room in the castle, in which Felice Laurenzano now dwelt. The Otto
Heinrich building stood before him in the bluish mist of the early
morning, and behind in vague outlines the Königsstuhl. The balmy air of
the park surrounding the castle poured in through the open window, and
the full notes of numerous birds sent forth an invitation to come out
and enjoy the freshness of the morning. In a cheery mood the young man
dressed himself, keeping ever before him the façade which was about to
become the future work of his life. But to-day his first duty must be
to seek out his brother whom he had not seen for so long, and who now
occupied an official dwelling in the Convent (Stift) at Neuburg.

The appointment of the young Jesuit to the Convent Neuburg, at that
time protestant, had a history. The Convent situated within half an
hour of Heidelberg was so rich and lay so immediately under the eyes of
the Kurfürst, that it was impossible for it to escape "reform." Even
Frederic II. had stretched out his hand in that direction, whilst Otto
Heinrich had insisted on processions and clausure being done away with,
and granted the nuns permission to secede from their vows. Over those
that remained a counsellor of the Palatinate had been appointed as
Inspector, who confiscated the church property for the benefit of the
Palatinate treasury leaving to the ladies a meagre annuity. Thus far
the "reforms" had not been very serious. When however the Inspector
endeavored to alter the mode of life of these old ladies, he learnt to
know a power of resistance in these obstinate and headstrong females
against which he could not cope. As everywhere else, the nuns here
clung with greater tenacity to the old ways than did the monks or
priests. The female mind took no pleasure in the dogmatic discussions
of the reformers, and the reformation deprived these pious ladies of
everything for the which their hearts yearned, their particular dress,
the regular life, to which they were so accustomed, their beloved
pictures, and moreover the great consolation of their solitary
lives--their songs. To sing and attend mass, had been up to that time
their sole occupation, and thus in peaceful retirement had they been
happy. Evenly proportioned between _Ave Maria_ and _Salve Regina_,
their days had peacefully succeeded one another. But now a turbulent
throng raged around their gates, and the haughty spiritual advisers of
the Kurfürst forced themselves contrary to all regulations within their
walls, to explain to them, that this existence was opposed to the
Gospel and to destroy their peace by forcing them to hear theological
arguments. Terrified out of their quiet life, the helpless dames burst
into the bitterest complaints against the tyranny which forbade them
the use of consecrated salt, wax-candles, and all things pertaining to
the glorification of God, and also refused to suffer them to sing
"_Regina c[oe]li_," or "_Maria mater gratiæ_." Moreover these proud new
fangled Theologians with their wide white neck-bands permitted the
youngest novice to confute their Domina out of the Scriptures, the
servants were urged to break the commands of the church, and when the
child of the convent miller, whom the old ladies had loved and petted,
died, no one dared to administer the last unction to him, he was
allowed to die "like a beast" and was buried without incense or holy
water. That Satan himself had incited the wicked Luther and the hellish
Calvin to such misdeeds was a moral certainty to the good nuns, who
never wearied praying for help from any native or foreign protectors.
Should then another Church Counsellor appear from Heidelberg and order
the Domina and her flock to set forth their complaints, the new
negotiations produced about as much result as had the old. Either the
gentleman was received in solemn unbroken silence or the old ladies all
shrieked at him at one and the same time, so that he could only report
in Heidelberg that they wished for a renewal of the former status and
met with truly diabolical opposition the word of God. Otto Heinrich now
appointed a special Preacher to convert them, but they protested
against this breach of conventual propriety. The Preacher occupied the
pulpit during the principal church service, but only preached to empty
benches, and scarcely had he left the church than the nuns trooped in
with holy water and incense, and consecrating the church anew, they
held a service of their own. The Preacher closed the church, but they
sang all the more lustily in the refectory. The Inspector confiscated
their song-books, they looked in all the corners for old ones and
shrieked to Heaven till their wearied old throats gave out. These books
were likewise taken away, but they sang from memory. Sometimes they
read the _Horæ_ in one room, sometimes in another by closed doors, and
their "_Salve Regina_" never sounded louder or shriller than when the
Inspector and Preacher raged outside and demanded admission in the name
of the Count Palatine. When the two gentlemen had thus been beaten off,
then the Domina and her ladies sent a complaint to the Kurfürst, that
the men, whom he had introduced into their nunnery, had attempted to
force their way into the nuns' cells to spite their virginal chastity,
honor and other laudable qualifications. Out of revenge the Inspector
took the clapper from the bell and cut the ropes so that they could no
longer toll the "_tempora_." Then arose a loud wailing and sobbing all
through the convent, and the Inspector grinned as contentedly as if he
heard the most delectable music, but in the evening when he climbed
into his bed, he found it as wet as if the rain had poured through the
roof, and when he strode down the steps the next morning in a rage, to
insist upon an inquiry in the matter of this outrage, he trod on some
peas which caused him to fall so heavily as to produce a painful lump.
This mode of life seemed to him so miserable and unprofitable that he
resigned the place and returned to Heidelberg. As the Preacher was now
left alone he comforted himself in his solitary chamber at the
furthermost end of the convent, with a beaker of wine; but the Domina
took note of every little dissipation which he thus enjoyed, and
drawing up an affidavit which was signed by many unimpeachable
witnesses of both sexes, sent it off to the Chancellory at Heidelberg,
who reproved the poor man so severely, that his life likewise became a
burden to him. Otto Heinrich had considered the struggle carried on
under his eyes in the light of an excellent joke, and whenever he was
informed of any new tribulation undergone by his Inspector, the stout
lord, who measured three feet and a half across the back from shoulder
to shoulder, laughed so loud, that the large dining room of the new
Court shook again. But he was succeeded by Frederic III., who looked
more seriously at the "damnable bigotry of the Mass." He caused certain
of the most obstinate among these female insurgents to be seized and
sent to the hospital at Dilsberg in order to nurse the sick soldiers of
the fortress. Old Domina Brigitta was also deprived of her pastoral
staff, and the prioress Sabina of Pfalz-Zweibrücken was only permitted
to retain her position on promising to keep the peace, and because she
happened to be a favorite cousin of the Kurfürst. The reform of the
Church and Convent was however now carried on in the most ruthless
manner. The ladies had to give way to violence as they could not do
otherwise. Outwardly the Stift preserved an evangelical appearance,
mass was no longer celebrated, the songs in honor of the Mother of God
and of the Saints were heard no more, the preaching was protestant,
and the elements were distributed in both forms. The number of
schoolchildren was increased, and the nuns were compelled to teach them
reading, writing, and the female accomplishments. This the new Abbess
had to permit, but at heart the older generation of nuns remained
Romanists and privately hoped for better days.

The new Domina herself was a kind-hearted, rather old-fashioned lady.
She was in reality as catholic as the others, but she loved peace and
wisely avoided a conflict with those in power. When the Pfalz inclined
from Lutheranism to Calvinism, public attention became less and less
directed to the Stift. The ladies now hoped to be able to return to
their former practices if they could only get rid of the Preacher.
Domina Sabina managed at last, owing to her influence with the Church
Council of the Kurfürst, to have the old drunkard as she called him
dismissed from his office. To avoid fresh conflicts, the Kurfürst
ordered that the ladies should choose from among the clergy of the town
the preacher most acceptable to them. Long had they consulted and
hesitated, at length they elected Master Laurenzano of the College of
the Sapientia, who was capable of imparting instruction in the foreign
languages to the young ladies committed to their charge. "My pious
cousin has chosen the youngest and handsomest of the lot," sneered the
Kurfürst, as he nevertheless granted their wish. "They will however
thus become quicker reconciled to the new doctrines," he thought. This
time he had not seen the matter in the right light, and however sharp
the old gentleman appeared, in this case he had been taken in. In the
meanwhile he gave orders that Master Laurenzano should at times preach
in the castle, "so that one might taste the food on which the Dames
were fed, for this was not the affair of a cap full of flesh, but of
the eternal welfare of the soul."

Paul's conversion to Calvinism was something new to Master Felix, and
the _rôle_ of preacher appeared to him all the more grievous, as he had
gathered from Pigavettas' remarks, that the new faith had only been
assumed, to spy on the heretics. The education in the Jesuits' college
had ever been in Felix's eyes a fate attended with all good to himself,
but with much tribulation to Paul. Thus together with his love for his
younger brother, there existed a feeling of pity and commiseration,
which rendered him kind and yielding towards the excitable young
Priest, who often aroused his mental indignation, but also called for
much sympathy. Whether Paul had taken oaths binding to the order, Felix
knew as little, as what to make out of his part of calvinistic
preacher. "Poveretto," he sighed, "I have never understood this
reserved brother of mine, nevertheless Erastus' way of speaking, showed
me plainly, that something still exists to be comforted, perhaps cured.
Poor Paolo, yonder planetary Deities must have formed a complex
conjunction at thy birth."

Thus saying Felix threw his cloak over his shoulders and pulled the
brim of his Raphael cap well down so as to protect his eyes from the
sun. He moreover began to hum his favorite song, but the Nina, Ninetta,
Nina, involuntarily stuck in his throat as he entered the gloomy
gateway of the watch-tower. "One goes in and out of here like the
prophet Jonas," muttered he with a feeling of discomfort. "Do not the
pointed spikes of the drawn up portcullis project over the round, dark
moat as do the teeth of an open-mouthed shark? Sincerely do I hope that
these jaws will never snap behind me." Only after leaving the fortress
behind him did his heart feel lighter. The towers of the town arose out
of the morning-mist, as Felix gazed over at the beauteous plain beyond.
In the marketplace, opposite the chief church, he exchanged a few
friendly words with the host of the Hirsch, paid his bill, and after
finishing his breakfast, walked down the street towards the Neckar to
the covered wooden bridge which led to the other side of the river. At
the other end Felix had to give his name and the object of his stay in
Heidelberg to the watchman of the guard tower, before being allowed to
issue through the gateway. The mountains of the Neckar valley tinged
with a deep blue lay before the youthful wanderer and with charmed gaze
did his eye roam from the nut-trees which lined the road to the green
fore-land of the river, whose emerald waters glistened in thousand
circles, or dashed white crested against the large granite blocks,
which according to the legend a young giant had pitched down from the
Heiligenberg for a wager with his father, who himself had however
hurled them straight across to the so-called Felsenmeer. To the left of
the road beauteous lilacs hung over the garden-wall, or, sweet-smelling
elders in which the finches built their nests were to be seen.

"Since I turned my back on the snows of the Alps," thought the young
artist, "I have never seen any landscape which reminds me more of Italy
than does this valley with its chestnuts and vines. Who would have
expected so much beauty, that gorgeous building opposite, this Neckar
valley at my feet. I am a child of Fortune, therefore am I named
Felice." And he drank in deep draughts of the air laden with the
perfume of the newly-broken up sod and the fragrant rape-fields, borne
to him on the wind. Whilst thus dreaming of the delightful sensation of
being one of the lucky mortals, a division of the road caused him to
remember that he hardly knew whether he would reach his destination by
following this path, and he therefore stopt to await a peasant, who had
stood by his side whilst he gave his name at the Bridge.

"You cannot have heard much about Heidelberg," said the old man, "if
you do not know where the Neuburg lies? Come along with me, you wish to
visit your brother, the Italian parson?"

"How do you know that Magister Laurenzano is my brother?"

"Why he is as like you as two peas, only he is thinner and pale, but a
fine speaker, you must hear him in the pulpit, he is like a dancer on a
tight-rope."

"You have heard him?" asked Felix rather shocked at the comparison.

"That I have," rejoined the old man. "As I went for the first time to
the Court chapel, I saw in the pulpit a tall young man of about six
feet, who raged, wept, wrung his hands, and threw himself from one side
of the pulpit to the other, in a way that quite frightened me. What can
have taken place, I thought to myself 'Oh! what a total depravity of
the human heart!' I heard him call out as I sat down. Have they whacked
him, thought I, or broken his windows, or stolen his cabbages? For it
did not seem like preaching, but quite natural. Then he said again:
'Dearly beloved, such was the hardness of heart of the people of Israel
against Moses.' Ah, thought I, if that is all the matter, that happened
a long time ago. I had thought from the way the mannikin carried on
that the parsonage was on fire."

Felix looked attentively at the old man. "You are no peasant?"

"I am a miller."

"Is yonder house the convent?"

"No, that is where the novices had their hair cut before entering into
the cloister. Now kindling material (Lohkäse) is made there. It has
been turned into a tan-yard."

"You do not appear to be a friend to the Catholics?"

"I was a Catholic at the time when everybody else was catholic."

"And then you became a Lutheran?"

"And am now a Calvinist, as we are not allowed to remain Zwingliites."

"Did you change willingly?"

"One was obliged to do it."

"And when the Pfalzgraf Ludwig becomes Kurfürst, what will you be
then?"

"One must take things as they come," said the old man with a sly smile.
"After Ludwig comes another Frederic. You know what our Sovereign said,
'If Jack does not do it, Freddy will.' One must know how to wait."

Felix did not quite believe in the passive resignation of the weather
beaten old man, for there was a cunning look in his eyes, and his whole
appearance was not one of stupid dependence.

"In my country," said the young man carrying on the conversation, "we
say that at the present time in Germany a cock-chafer can fly over
three different national churches, but it appears to me that if he only
lives long enough, he need not even fly. Religions here seem to change
like the weather."

"That is good as producing change and movement," said the old man
laughing. "When I lived in the town, every Parson had his special idea
concerning the holy sacrament, and each of my eight children had his
separate Parson. Harry learnt that the Body of the Lord was in the
bread; that is not enough, argued little Christina, he is with, in, and
under the bread. Parson Neuser told Christopher that it was there in
the Presence and that we received it through eating. Parson Greiner
however taught Jack: circa circum, round and about, not in the bread
but close at hand. Do you understand?"

"Were the customs then," answered Felix evasively, "as varied as the
opinions."

"Oh yes," said the old man, "the year in the which we had at one and
the same time both the Church Counsellors of the old Count, and those
of the new, was an amusing year; then had every church its own ritual.
Hesshusen enclosed the host in the tabernacle, consecrated it, turning
his back to the congregation, ordered them to worship the wafers and
handed these to the communicants over a communion cloth, so that not a
single crumb should be lost, and what remained was buried as in the
good old time. In the Convent, mass was once more celebrated. In the
Church of St. Peter they wished to become Zwingliites as is Erastus the
Physician to the Kurfürst. Then they kept their seats on the benches
and the bread and wine was handed round as in a tavern. In the sacristy
the Deacon reclined with twelve others to celebrate the Lords' supper,
so that everything should take place as at Jerusalem, and once the
assistant-clergyman brought a soup-tureen filled with wine and crumbled
the bread in it, and said they must dip the hand with Christ in the
dish, that alone was a veritable communion."

The Italian crossed himself.

"That must have been a beautifully peaceful church, when every Preacher
did as he chose," said he.

"Well, not exactly peaceful. Hesshusen wished once to snatch the cup
out of Klebitz's hands on the altar steps of the Holy Ghost, and these
two right reverend gentlemen blackguarded each other before the church
doors in such a manner that the market-women of Ziegelhausen and
Bergheim learnt quite a collection of expressions. The following Sunday
however the Superintendent-General got into the pulpit, excommunicated
the Deacon, and forbade the congregation to have any intercourse with
him. No one should eat or drink with the excommunicated man, and the
authorities were compelled to deprive him of his office. Then you
should have seen how the Heidelbergers went for each other."

"Now you see, man," said Felix angrily, "what comes from doing away
with customs thousands of years old, when every man insists on doing
what passes through his head."

"The Turkish religion is also a thousand years old and yet comes from
the devil."

"But what is your creed, as you are neither catholic, lutheran,
zwinglian, or calvinist?" asked Felix. The old man looked at him
cautiously and then said in a low voice: "The spirit must act, not the
sacrament. Water availeth not, neither do bread and wine. The Spirit
must come from inwardly. They have many Bibles in Heidelberg, but they
only look at things from the outside, not inwardly in the spirit.
Therefore the confusion."

"You do not then belong to any Heidelberg communion?"

"You do not possess the truth," replied the old man. "You baptize
children who do not know the difference between good and evil, or what
yes or no is, and then you say, they have renounced the Devil. Thus you
begin with a lie."

"Well but for this reason children are confirmed at a riper age."

"A pretty ripeness. Go to the Sunday-school, when the boys sing out in
lusty tones, as if welcoming summer, 'For whether we live, we live unto
the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the Lord,' or cheerily shriek
out, 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of
this death?' You should be ashamed to teach children to babble the
Holiest name like heathens, and to turn the whole affair to ridicule.
Language used by children without thought is the beginning of lies.
Dogs learn to chew leather when fastened to smeared thongs. You confirm
them, when they are twelve or thirteen years old, not because the
spirit moves them, but because it is time and customary. That is not an
introduction to the church, but to the dancing saloon. The Parson
preaches, not because he is urged on by the Spirit, but because he is
paid for doing so. Like a quack he says on Sunday, what he has just
learnt the day before. As I go home Sunday nights and see the lights in
the study of the rectory when the two parsons and the two deacons are
preparing their sermons, I cannot help thinking: they are not ashamed
of lying. Verily they no longer know it to be a lie, when they stretch
out their arms and call upon the Lord in heaven in a state of ecstasy,
and repeat all the time what they prepared the day before, and lower
down sits the Parson's wife, who has heard him reading it aloud, and
she does not feel ashamed either. And others there are who preach in
the Chapel of the Stift, and call so earnestly on the Lord, that the
hearts of the poor nuns sink quite low under their tight bodices, and
then they go over to Heidelberg to the Holy Ghost, and call on Him
again in exactly the same words, so that he may the better remember
them, because the Almighty is rather forgetful. Is it not so?"

"Well, but man," replied Felix indignantly, "how would you have a
church without a priest, or how could you have service on Sundays, if
the preacher did not prepare his sermon?"

"Come to us, and I will show you."

"Who are you," said Felix.

"When you come to Ziegelhausen, ask for Werner the miller of the
Kreuzgrund, and you will be shown the way. You are a Romanist?"

"I am."

"And your brother is still one at heart?"

"Who says so?"

"When you see him greet him from Werner the Baptist, and if he only
knew what a treacherous thing speech is, would he not let the mouth
overflow with things, of which the heart is not full. He will however
not do so much longer, says the Baptist, because no man can deny the
truth without danger to his own soul. If he only wishes to eat well as
he has done up to the present, let him remain where he is, but if he
wants to sleep as he formerly used to, then let him come to Werner the
Baptist, who will procure for him that stone on which the Lord has
written his name, which no one knoweth but he who giveth it, and he who
receiveth it." The old man had drawn himself up, and his eyes flashed.
The strange mocking peasant was no longer there, a prophet in the
coarse dress of the country stood before the young Italian. "Fare you
well," he added drily.

"Thank you, Father."

"No cause for thanks. Here is your path. Do not however pass through
the big gate, but along the wall, the door leading to the chaplain's
apartment, is in the corner tower. He is not allowed to live near the
ladies, and it would be better if he did not live here at all. Fire and
brimstone should not be brought so close together. Everything in your
communion is wrong, as if the Devil himself was your Superintendent."
Saying so the old man hastened on his way.

Felix looked after him for some time. "Things are much worse here than
I thought. I left Venice willingly, because the severity of the holy
Inquisition cut me to the quick. I cannot drive from me this scene:
poor men torn at the rack, led down to the Lido and forced unto a board
spread between two gondolas. Then thus carried out to the Laguna, when
one boatman rowed to the right, the other to the left, the board
falling and the two poor fellows sinking in the troubled waters. It was
a horrible sight. But come what may, my beautiful Italy must never be
allowed to attain to such a condition as exists here. What have I not
lived to see! The holiest chapels profaned, irrecoverable treasures of
art destroyed by coarse hands, the churches as bare as stalls, altars
and fonts shattered, organs broken to pieces. No mass of Palestrina's,
no Miserere addresses itself to those poor men, no picture by some
pious master speaks to those blunted hearts! Therefore do their
Theologians rage and argue as to how the Incomprehensible in the
inconceivable mystery is to be comprehended as if the mystery did not
consist in our not being able to grasp it. I can endure all: bad music,
inartistic pictures, statues by Bandinelli, but when I hear this
heretical twaddle, then do I think, that a lunatic asylum as high as
the tower of Babel should be built in which all heretics should be
locked up, till they recovered out of disgust with one another." Thus
thinking the young man proceeded on the way which had been pointed out
to him, and already saw before him the gate in the corner tower of the
convent wall, when the merry, teazing sound of girls' voices roused him
from his dream.



                               CHAPTER V.


The young artist was about turning to the gate pointed out to him by
the miller, when he suddenly found himself surrounded by a crowd of
young girls, who ran out laughing and screaming from behind the convent
wall. So full of fun were these maidens that they never saw the young
man coming towards them. Several had joined hands and surrounded a
beautiful fair-haired girl who vainly attempted to free herself from
her persecutors. Her companions however danced only the more calling
out: caught, kept.

"Let me out, or I shall tell the lady Abbess," called out the prisoner,
who looked more like crying than laughing. Her obstinate jailors
answered her by singing: "Wegewarte,[1] Wegewarte, Sonnenwende,
Sonnenwirbel," and danced around her till their hair waved in the wind
around their young necks. The pretty maiden began to cry.

"Leave the Lieblerin," said Countess Erbach, "she cannot help it, she
is bewitched."

"The bewitched maiden," called out the Baroness von Venningen.

"Wait till we make her a wreath of chicory flowers," called out
Baroness von Eppingen, "with which to crown her. That will suit her
well, the blue flowers and the fair hair."

"Bewitched Maiden, lend me thy locks, I should much wish to be gazed at
so tenderly by those well-known black eyes during lesson-hours," called
out Bertha von Steinach.

And again they surrounded the weeping girl, and their cheeks glowed
with life and supercilious arrogance, and they danced around her
singing: "Wegewarte, Sonnenwirbel." Others in the meantime had plucked
certain blue flowers which grew by the wayside, and stuck them in the
clothes of their victim, as well as in her fair hair. The rich curls of
the prisoner fell down at which she shrieked out with rage.

"Now, Clara, don't be so rude," cried one of the maidens. Then suddenly
they became aware of the presence of the young man, who looked on at
the spectacle with mingled feelings of curiosity and displeasure. The
handsome stranger hastened towards them with quick steps as if he would
release the prisoner. Immediately the impudent jades scattered and
raced back towards the court of the convent. The prisoner followed also
slowly and bashfully, whilst rolling up her golden hair with her
delicate white hands. Thereupon one of her wild companions banged the
door in her face and called out: "Much pleasure, wayside-loiterer, go
round to the tower-entrance, no bewitched maiden is allowed through
here." And loudly laughing the maidens were heard racing off. The
angered girl stamped her small foot and turning round, beheld the tall
handsome stranger, standing so close to her, that she drew back
affrighted.

"Now are you my prisoner, beauteous maiden," said the stranger
laughing.

The pretty young creature cast a look out of her large blue eyes still
wet with tears at the handsome man, then raised her head a trifle
higher and said: "My companions can make me a prisoner, but not you. Go
your way and give me place."

"Certainly, beauteous maiden, if you will however point my way out to
me. You are certain to know where Master Laurenzano lives." An angry
blush crept at these words into the cheeks of the young maiden, as with
a haughty movement of her shoulders she answered:

"You misapply what you overheard. You are no true knight. Make way
there."

Horrified at the effect of his remarks Felix hastened to answer. "Do
you feel insulted at my asking about that gentleman?" The young girl
rudely turned her back on him and knocked at the door. Then it suddenly
occurred to him, whose black eyes had been meant, and he felt a lively
sympathy for the pretty child. "They do not hear you," he said, "and
nothing was further my intention than to laugh at you. I am the
architect Laurenzano, and only came to visit my brother who is your
convent-preacher. As your companions have shut me out with you, I only
beg of you to show me the gate, through which I can come to him,
without breaking the rules of the Nunnery."

These words sounded so politely cold, that the poor young thing now
felt, that she only had betrayed herself, as her wounded conscience
alone had marked a rudeness in the stranger's remarks. Hereupon a new
horror overcame her. What if the wretched stranger should relate to his
brother what he had heard, and in what a silly manner she had behaved
towards him. Again she stamped her foot, but this time through rage
with herself. Her first impulse was to run away and hide. But the young
lady in her overcame the school-girl. She quickly composed herself and
determined on the contrary to set the young stranger right with
becoming dignity, so that the bad impression might be eradicated.

"That will not be possible at once," answered she with freshly gained
composure. "The Magister is just now attending the Catechism class of
the younger pupils. If you will however wait here till it is over, I
will take care that this gate be opened and you can enter here." With a
gracious wave of the hand she intended to dismiss the young man, but as
he nevertheless remained at her side, she continued with polite
coolness: "If you prefer going through the main entrance, the sister
portress must first announce you and ask the Lady Superior if she be
permitted to allow a man within the precincts. It is all nonsense, but
they go on here as if it were still a cloister, although they do not
behave at all like nuns, as you saw for yourself. But wait, it is still
better, if I run round through the main entrance, unlock this gate and
thus save you the trouble of going round."

"I thank you, noble Damsel," said Felix. "Allow me to accompany you as
far as the gate." She hesitated. She felt unwilling to be seen in the
convent-yard together with this stranger, as this would only furnish a
fresh subject of amusement for the aristocratic maidens: "No, no," she
answered, "I prefer pointing out a shady seat by the pond, then keep
your eye on the gate." But the thought entered her pretty little head,
that she was bound to cause the scene, which this unwelcome listener
had come upon, to appear in a thoroughly unprejudicial light, so that
she might not in the end be questioned about it either by her beloved
teacher or the Lady Superior. Gracefully she preceded the young man
along the convent-wall, and his artistic eye watched this delicate
pliant figure, her steady gait, her every movement full of natural
ease. As she saw one of the flowers which had been plucked lying before
her she angrily trod upon it with her little foot. "What has the poor
Klytia done to you, that you thus treat it?" asked Felix with apparent
innocence. "You witnessed all," answered she, "how those aristocratic
young ladies abused me! I am here badly off, for I am the only one who
is not of noble birth, my father is Counsellor Erastus, or Liebler as
the petty nobility love to call him."

"Ah, my beloved patron," said Felix.

"You know my father? Oh, how glad I am. Is he not a splendid man?"
rejoined the lovely child with a happy light in her blue eyes, whilst a
flush of joy crimsoned her cheek.

"A noble man," affirmed Felix.

"Well, the Kurfürst sent me with the Countess Erbach, and the Ladies
von Hemmingen, von Venningen and a few others here, in order that we
might learn languages, history, and the Catechism, and get accustomed
to strict discipline, and I know not what else, that high gentleman
imagined was to be had here. As I am the only commoner, they treat me
as an intruder and Fräulein von Lützelstein is by far the worst. She
has alleged that when we take our Italian lessons from Master
Laurenzano, I always turn my head this way and that way after him like
a sun-flower, and then they make fun of me 'heliotrope, girasole,' you
heard it yourself. But it is all nothing but silliness."

"Wegewarte, I heard them also call," said Felix slily. The girl blushed
involuntarily. "That is the same flower," she answered gazing with an
embarrassed look at the tops of the trees. "It is better for me to tell
you everything, in order that you may not finish by relating a lot of
nonsense to Magister Laurenzano. I had gone out to the meadow of the
Convent, to pluck flowers, but only because I will have nothing more to
do with the noble young ladies. Out of spite they followed after me and
Baroness von Eppingen asserted, that I had gone to the meadow, so that
the Magister might meet me on his way home, and then they called me
'Wayside loiterer' and made me prisoner. But," added she with an
imploring look out of her childish eyes, now suffused with tears, "you
promise not to say anything of this to the Magister, otherwise I must
throw myself in the water. Rather than be thus disgraced I will jump
into the Neckar. Promise me, will you not?"

The young man smilingly held out his hand. "I give you my word."
Apparently greatly relieved she placed her right hand in his, which he
did not hurry to let go, till she slightly blushing drew it back. As in
some beauteous sylvan fairy-tale stood the fair innocent child before
him. The peaceful pond, the dark trees, caused this bright light figure
to stand out with double grace. Intoxicated with beauty Felix quite
forgot the object of his visit, and only sought for some cause which
might retain this lovely Being near him. Seeing one of the hateful
flowers, which her companions had stuck in her hair, girdle, and the
folds of her dress, still hanging to her skirts, he picked it up,
saying: "Why have you given this beautiful blue flower, which we know
as Klytia, the ugly names of Wegewarte and bewitched maiden."

"Well," she answered with childish astonishment, "you know that this
blue thing opens its calix at the first ray of the Sun, and that its
little head ever follows the course of the Sun, till evening comes when
it folds itself up again within its leaves. On that account the story
says that the blue flower is an enchanted Princess, which would gladly
be noticed by the one she loves, the Sun-God, and therefore ever looks
after him yearning for his love. Do you not know what Hans Vintler
says:

     'According to many the Wegewart was once a woman tender and fair,
      Awaiting her lover with grief and despair.'"

The child saying this blushed again and continued with downcast eyes:
"It is also said, that the flower brings luck, if found before
sun-rise, but it must be immediately fastened to a twig, otherwise it
runs away."

"That is indeed a naughty young woman," laughed Felix. "Can I now
relate to you, what we know in Italy about the enchanted Klytia?"

"Willingly, but you must not tell anyone that you call the flower
Klytia, for as my name is Lydia, they would at once give me that other
name so as to teaze me."

"But I may call you Klytia." She shook her pretty head.

"Begin your story otherwise I must be off." Without sitting down she
leant against the nearest tree and gazed thoughtfully at the peaceful
pond. He began his tale: "The heathen poet Ovid says: In old, old times
when all men were still as happy and beautiful as are now only a few
fair Sunday born children, lived two maidens Leucothoë and Klytia. Both
loved Apollo, the beautiful Sun-God. He however loved Leucothoë and his
heart burnt so desperately for the beauteous maiden, that it was hotter
than the rays of the sun-chariot, so that he singed the earth, stars
and planets. The handsome God became more and more dreamy and the whole
course of nature fell into disorder. He got up as early in the morning,
as do children, after a visit from Santa Klaus, because he could not
wait any longer so desirous was he to see his pretty doll. He went
under too late of an evening because he could not tear himself away
from her presence. No one knew anything more about the seasons, as the
Sun-God remained in the heavens as long in Winter as in the Summer, for
Leucothoë appeared charming to him at all times. In time he became
melancholy mad, merely out of love. In mid-day he ceased to appear,
other days he was pale and worn out and hid himself behind clouds. Now
one time that in one of his love fits he had set before mid-day, the
Father of the Gods remarked, that this could not be allowed to go on
any longer. He would give him leave of absence every evening and a
latch-key to the Olympian gate, in case he came home late, but during
the day he must fulfil his duty punctually, otherwise he would make the
brave and reliable Hercules, the Sun-God. The handsome Apollo knew very
well, that Hercules at the best was only fit to be house-boots, but in
his heart he was very glad that the good Father of the Gods had
arranged the matter in that way. So of an evening, when he had reached
the furthest western point, where the world comes to an end, he
unharnessed his horses, and turned them out to grass on a splendid
large meadow, telling Hesperus, the evening Star, which remains out in
the heaven all night, to keep his eye on them. He himself then took a
dip in the Ocean and then with a god-like celerity swung himself round
to the Cape of Circe, where dwelt Leucothoë, assuming at once the
appearance of her mother. 'Get out,' he said to the maidens attending
her, 'I have something to say to my daughter.' As soon however as he
found himself alone with the young lady, he threw off his disguise and
fell at her feet in all the majesty of his glorious beauty. Leucothoë
was frightened, but she could not withstand him, for he was a God and
she only a poor mortal maiden. Thus he often visited her and heaven
regained its usual orderly appearance, and everybody was contented,
except the poor languishing Klytia. As the lucky God had no longer any
glance for her, and her sighs were all wasted in the air, Klytia became
sad and ill, and there was no longer any peace in her heart. In the
daytime she would not come out. For she did not wish to see the God any
more, who so shamefully snubbed her, only at night did she wander
through wood or vale, telling her love to the chaste Luna who however
looked cold and prudish, and would not hear of such complaints. It came
to pass that once she passed by the house of Leucothoë and noticed how
a brilliant light came through all the slits. Out of curiosity she
crept up and placed her eye to a crack. Oh, how her heart sank within
her, and how she cried in bitter dismay, for she saw the Sun-God
sitting within near Leucothoë, holding her hands und telling her the
most beautiful stories, whilst Leucothoë in an entrancement of
happiness gazed into his glorious godlike face and beauteous shining
eyes. Then Klytia fell into a rage, for she imagined that her playmate
alone was the cause of the Sun-God's never looking at her or noticing
her love. 'Look at what your daughter is doing,' she called out in the
ear of Leucothoë's father, 'she is sitting in her room alone with a
strange young man.' Just as the God was hurrying out, called by
Hesperus, the strict parent entered Leucothoë's room; in vain she
prayed for mercy. When Apollo returned, he saw before the house of his
beloved a freshly made grave, which the servants were just levelling
down. In this lay the poor maiden, whom they had buried alive. The hard
father thought that by doing this his honor was avenged, and the
despised Klytia imagined that now the Sun-God would turn to her. But
men only run after maidens who flee from them, and despise those who
are too froward. So Klytia became now totally unbearable in the eyes of
the Sun-God. His looks were always fixed on the home of his former
love, and as he gazed in hotter and hotter grief on the grave of the
poor Leucothoë, a rare plant sprouted out of the heart of the dead
maiden and broke through the earth. This was the Juniper, which filled
the air with its fragrance in the sun-light, and breathed its soul out
in the beams of the God. Thus the maiden by her death refreshed all the
senses and renewed the health of all who drew in her breath. Klytia
however, punished by the God with a look of fiery contempt, shrivelled
up, her beauty died, and she turned into a wayside plant, trodden by
every passer-by under foot. That which was best and strongest in her
however, her love for the Sun-God brought forth a blue flower
resembling the Sun in shape and when the God arises, it turns its
flower-face yearningly towards him, following his course by day, and at
night sinking down its wearied head. That is the story of the poor
Klytia."

When Felix began his story he had not considered, what an injurious
morality for the poor child lay therein; he had only wished to retain
the pretty maiden by his talk. After he had once begun, he let the
affair have its own way. He must get out of it and preferred to make a
virtue of necessity; he assumed a more fatherly tone, and only when he
saw how the poor child, herself like Klytia bent her fair young head
and shivered as some delicate plant when roughly handled, did he hasten
to bring his story to its close. But suddenly Lydia drew herself up,
her small ear heard an approaching step behind the trees, she turned
towards a lofty figure, which drew near in a dignified manner, and a
betraying blush colored her cheeks. Felix recognized his brother.
"Paolo," he called out. The young Magister heartily stretched out his
hand to his long awaited brother, but Felix remarked how the burning
eyes fixed themselves over his own shoulder on the face of the fair
maiden. The young girl had in the meanwhile composed herself and
saluting the brothers with a modest bow she passed on towards the
convent. As Felix turned round to take one more look at the pretty
fugitive, he perceived that she had done the same thing, and being
caught in the act rapidly disappeared behind the bushes. Her fright had
not escaped the practised eye of the artist, and with a slight shake of
the head he entered into conversation with his brother.

Paolo who hated the high road, chose a path leading through the
vineyards, from whence a view of the plain of the blue Rhine was
obtained, and which finally led back to the Haarlass. Slowly did the
brothers proceed on their way, both tall fine-looking men. The artist
in the tight fitting costume of an Italian of that day, with the
becoming Raphael cap, the Magister in a shovel hat with drawn up brim
wearing the long robe of his profession, his fine sharp cut face
surrounded by a platelike white ruffle. "The head of John the Baptist
on a charger" involuntary thought the young artist, who nevertheless
found that Paul's clear intellectual features appeared to great
advantage out of this white Nimbus. "You carry your Nimbus round your
neck," said Felix. But Paolo did not smile. Monosyllabic and hesitating
was the information he gave. Whether he had made Profession in Venice
was not to be ascertained, whether he had bound himself over to the
Calvinists by some outward act, remained equally dark. To the question,
whether he still held to the old belief, came the answer "as one wishes
to think." Only one thing was clear, he was not happy. The bloom of
health had disappeared from his face, which had become sharp and
haggard, the eyes either looked covertly to one side, or were fixed
with a piercing mistrusting expression full on the face of his brother.
Out of humour the two brothers who after so long a separation had so
little to say, finally followed each other in silence. Wherever the
blue Klytia raised its head above the grass, the Magister plucked it.
Felix thus knew, that the nickname given to Erast's daughter, was
already known to her protector, but he found out also how it stood with
his heart.

"You have a liking for the blue Klytia," said he kindly.

"The learned call it Chicory, it is used as an antidote to fever."

"Even against the fever of love?"

"What mean you?"

"Well, I heard, it hung on the sight of the Sun, as certain pupils hang
on the lips of their teacher."

The clerical gentleman angrily threw the flowers among the vines
beneath, as if they had turned into nettles. "Do not make such jokes,
thou knowest I do not like to be turned into ridicule."

An unpleasant pause succeeded this excited speech, and to give the
conversation another turn, Felix asked whether what Werner the Baptist
had told him concerning the former use of the Haarlass had any
foundation. "Foolery," replied Paolo. "Every child knows that the hair
of the novices is cut off at the altar of the convent-church, and not
at the boundaries of the convent property. Haarlass means 'hari lot'
that is 'the property of the Lord of the Manor;' anything else is a
poor joke."

Not to be put down Felix related what else the Baptist had told him. "A
way will be found to get at this bold heretic," was the only answer of
the Magister.

"When shall we meet again?" he then asked coldly as they reached the
road.

"Must you go back already?"

"I have still much to do; if you find time, go of an evening to the
Hirsch Inn. At the round table in the back room one meets the clergy of
the neighbourhood. I am accustomed to go there also, so as to make the
acquaintance of the worthy clerics of this land. We can there talk
further over matters." Saying this he stretched out his small thin
hand. His brother looked him earnestly in the face. But the Magister
avoided the loving glance and directed his steps back towards Neuburg.
"Can his heart really be dried up," thought Felix, "or is he only
inwardly miserable?"



                              CHAPTER VI.


The artist whose feelings of brotherly affection were deeply hurt, and
who felt the happy expectations which he had formed of this meeting
bitterly disappointed, hurried away at a rapid pace. The Priest looked
after his brother with a sad dark expression, then sat down on a stone
near the roadside and contemplated thoughtfully the deep waters of the
river in which the dark firs of the Königstuhl were now reflected. The
flow of the water recalled to him the troubled waves of that Canal, in
the which for so many years of his college life at Venice, he had
gazed, and he thought of the sad morning when he found himself
transposed from the small palace in the ever verdant garden in the
Chiaia and the blooming orange groves of Naples, to the moist damp
walks of the Jesuit college at Venice. Instead of the view over the
gulf which sparkled with the coloring of the opal or emerald, he saw
with horror the brown slime of the Laguna, His eye accustomed to range
from the ridgy peaks of Capri to the noble lines of Vesuvius, now saw
on the other side of the dirty ditch, a bare wall without windows from
which water dropped down. Accustomed during his hours of recreation to
play in the garden with his sister, watched over by the loving eye of a
mother, he now found himself surrounded by about fifty boys, who looked
as pale and strange as himself, who "for recreation" turned out in a
long gloomy corridor, or were taken for an evening walk to the Lido, he
at the tail of a long string of companions under the care of a teacher,
not allowed to look to the right or left to see the beauty of the proud
Venice. At first he thought that he should die in this world without
light or mother's love. He had wept during the night time and spent the
day in fruitless home sickness. His only occupation was, to pray in
silence, as he had been told that it was in his power, to free the
souls of his mother and sister from purgatory, and when he felt a
melancholy resignation in his captivity, this was caused by the fact
that every day which he spent in a convent, gave him ten days
remission, which he could pass on to them. Then he became quick of
perception in the hours of study, so as to understand the teacher more
rapidly than the others and to render more surely and more clearly the
subject learnt. The teachers themselves had repeatedly reasserted that
Paolo Laurenzano was their best pupil. For the first time he became
more reconciled with his new life. As the grain of mustard seed in the
Gospel the small triumph of ambition had fallen into the heart of the
child, and this little seed grew into a mighty tree and all the
passions built their nests therein. Torn apart from all that had been
dear to his child's heart, he now knew no joy exceeding that of study
or the praise of his preceptor. His every endeavour, his only thought
was the task of the following day. Whilst the others played _Boccia_ in
the court of the College, or billiards in the dining-rooms, the
favorite game of the Holy Ignatius, for Paternosters, or dominoes for
Ave Marias, which the loser had to repeat for the winner, he pored over
his books and writings. Only one passion governed him, to excel the
others, to be the best among good scholars. Whoever opposed him in
this, became his foe, and he stole hours from sleep, from play, even
from the supervision of the teacher to attain this end. A son of Naples
he was a born rhetorician; especially adapted for the cultivation of
oratory, and argument was the course of study followed in the school of
the Jesuits. Here everything brilliant was cherished, everything which
caught public attention: Latin declamation and disputation, poetry, the
comedy of the schools, sophistical philosophy and bombastical oratory,
in short all empty show which impressed the ignorant. It was in this
very rhetorical display that lay Paolo's special gift, and when he, at
some of the exhibitions, which were frequently performed in the
interest of the College, hailed down his Latin with all the rattling
velocity of a Neapolitan tongue on some weaker opponent, or
pathetically declaimed in his sonorous soft voice long extracts from
Vergil or Lucian, when he hurled down from the lofty rostra pompous
speeches in sounding periods at the well-dressed audience, which
applauded with the quickness of an Italian assembly every pointed
antithesis, cheered every epigrammatic proposition, noisily acclaimed
every school boyish twaddle, Paolo felt himself then to be not as other
men are, and the proud tread with which he left the platform after the
end of his speech might have served as model to the Triumvirate of
Rome. Thus the education given by the Fathers had envenomed with the
poison of self-love the blood of this gifted boy, it raged within him
as a burning fire, and never left him a moment's peace. Something had
ever to be learnt, something ever to be done, which none other could
do, and he only felt happy in the task of increasing the difference
between that which he could do, and that which the others could, so
that none could be even distantly compared to him.

The education of ambitious minds, determined to render subject to
themselves the sleepy mediocrity found in other schools, was ever a
principal object of the Order, and this result of education had been
brilliantly attained in Paul. He could be named a pattern scholar of
the Institution.

If on the one side the self-consciousness of the young man had been
excited to a degree verging on presumption, so on the other side had
the moral nature been rendered slavishly subservient. The Fathers
of the Society had based the education of their pupils on the
psychologically thoroughly correct idea that nothing brings man down to
such unconditional dependence as consciousness: the superiors know thy
whole past, they know all thy errors, thy secret inclinations and sins,
thou art absolutely transparent to them. The first thing therefore that
had been required of Paul as indeed of every other pupil on his entry
into College, was a general confession, in which he had to mention not
only his faults but his preferences. With a child's hand and with his
hot southern phantasy had he noted down all his vices, and owing to the
mental excitement caused by the death of his sister and his beloved
mother, the despairing boy had portrayed himself as a young miscreant.
The Rector praised his candor and the severity with which he judged
himself and recommended him one of the teachers of the establishment as
confessor and spiritual guide. He then learnt from his school-mates,
that the secret of the confessional usually observed so strictly did
not avail in the College, but that according to the revelations made
the confessor drew up his report to the Rector. He was henceforth
called upon for a daily record of his actions, thoughts, and feelings,
and a strict watch was observed as to whether a pupil kept back or
omitted anything. At the same time an especial monitor was appointed
over each individually, whose duty it was to watch, reprove, or
denounce. This system was all the more pernicious as regarded the
relation of the boys one towards another, as the accused was allowed to
escape unpunished, if he could manage to prove the accuser guilty of
the same misdemeanor, whilst if he could not the punishment was meted
out by a powerful boy known as the "Brother Corrector." Under such
perpetual supervision was Paul brought up, and at the same time
educated in spying others. He was never allowed to enter into
conversation, without also listening to what his neighbour was saying,
and under no circumstance could he keep to himself anything that had
come to his knowledge. In this manner the superiors obtained an
information concerning their pupils which left nothing to be desired.
With one ear the confessions and self-made acknowledgments of the
pupil, with the other the reports and tale-bearings against his
school-mates being considered, each character lay exposed before them
to its very roots. The pupils however learnt, to use Ignatius' own
expression, as they grew older "the difficult art of watching over the
portals of the senses" and in this way only did they preserve a scrap
of freedom, of self-dependent reflection, of private conscience, a
little of the individuality which the inner man always demands,
whenever they succeeded in rendering themselves as impenetrable as
possible both to teachers and companions. Paul was naturally of a frank
chivalrous disposition, but these good qualities shrivelled up in the
glow of ambition, fanned by his teachers. In perpetual contest to
preserve the first place against his fellow-pupils, he had opponents
who were dangerous to him, and it was natural that this ambitious child
judged them more harshly and represented them in darker colors than
those who acknowledged his superiority without jealousy, and whose
mediocrity was to him a foil to be wished for. If he unsparingly, in
his sinister ascetic humor, denounced his crimes, should therefore his
rivals make themselves out to be better than they were? Eagerly did he
watch, listen, spy, denounce, and if one of the rivals was once again
through a lucky tale-bearing brought to the "bench of misfortune" or
the "corner of disgrace" he felt a detestable contentment. He was
therefore anything but loved by his colleagues, and the nickname "the
Censor" which they had bestowed on him, expressed the mixture of
respect and distrust they felt for him. It was only with time that the
young zealot perceived how that he, by every romantic confession he
made concerning the devilish abysses in his inner self, had fashioned
so many chains which fettered him to the Society of Jesus; for based on
these confessions the Rector drew up his reports to the Provincial of
the Order and these communications ever increasing accompanied the
pupil on his way through life. Wherever an Affiliated might go, he
could not escape his past life, whether he settled in the new or old
world. Everywhere the eye of the Order was fixed upon him, everywhere
was he accompanied by his former confessions, in which were marked out
the dark points of his life, everywhere was a fresh book opened for his
every deed. Did any one of those entangled in these toils feel a desire
to break away, he knew but too well, that the Order had it in its power
to destroy him morally. But these paroxysms had not yet been felt at
that time by Paolo. He had been filled with a consciousness of the
importance of the Order, and he knew, that he had been called to a most
brilliant career in connection with a Society spread over the new and
old world. The training which he had received rendered him thoroughly
aware of his superiority over the rest of the world and over those
children of man addicted to the ways of simplicity. Accustomed for
years to spy and be spyed, he had assumed a self-command which
protected him like an impenetrable iron mask against any attack. It had
long become a second nature to him, to utter no word that might be used
against him, and even as little to let any escape which he might use
against another. Kindly feelings and interests he knew nothing of All
that he had brought with him from his father's house, love of family,
home, and brother, had been consumed by the blast of ambition. God made
the heart of man straight, but it learns many arts in the school of
ambition. As a fresh, fantastic, good and beauteous child had Paolo
entered College, he left it a pale, ambitious overwrought champion of
the Church. He was in his twentieth year, when the Rector of the
College declared his education completed, and the school awarded him
all the prizes which it had to bestow. It is true that he knew nothing
of that inward satisfaction, which usually accompanies the attainment
of such an object. The vocation of his life had been up to that time to
be _primus omnium_, and he would have preferred remaining thus for the
rest of his life. He had no family who desired to render his gifts of
use for this or that interest. The exhortations of the Holy Ignatius to
speak of relations only as relations which one formerly had, and the
doctrines of the order that the dependence on flesh and blood was one
of the strongest chains with which Satan bound us to earth, met no
opposition from him as orphan. Homeless as he was, he agreed to become
a novice, and was placed among the "Indifferents" who still had the
choice open of returning to the world or remaining in the church. The
study of philosophy and theology was continued, broken into by services
in the hospitals of Venice, by pilgrimages to neighbouring spots famed
for miraculous appearances, and by begging in the town, all which
duties Paul went through with the same self-negation, which his
ambition and contempt of men and life infused in him. At one moment in
the sick room holding the crucifix before the closing eyes of some
dying man, at another patiently in school repeating texts and prayers
suitable to the lisping lips of children, teaching in the churches the
catechism and imparting religious instruction, going from house to
house begging for alms, or alone in his cell, fasting, praying, and
scourging himself. His exemplary zeal brought it to pass, that at the
termination of his first probationary year, the Rector declared, that
he should be allowed to undertake a sphere of work outside the college,
which the General who had arrived that very day from Rome would point
out to those about to quit. Immediately, after that this communication
had been made to him, Paul was conducted to the Oratorium of the
College, where he found the whole institution assembled. The scholars
sat in close rows before the very rostra from whence Paolo had uttered
with his young lips so much venerable wisdom. The women and maidens of
Venice crowded the seats assigned to the public, and near the walls
thronged citizens and nobles and even many members of the highest
offices of the state. Under the platform numerous wealthy and noble
patrons of the College paid homage to the General present from Rome,
who clothed in his cardinal's robes, acknowledged with austere
condescension the salutations of the Signoria. On this day also, did a
scholar ascend the rostra to greet in a well turned latin Ode the
General as the honored guest of the house and to praise his virtues.
According to the programme another address should have followed, but
these _curialia_ did not seem tasteful to the severe old man. He made
an imperious sign of the hand and himself ascended the tribune. The
stately prince of the Church, a tall ascetic man with harsh features
and fiery eyes began in a hard loud voice a powerful sermon on the text
"the harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few." He drew a picture
of the duties of the Church in the lands of the faithful and of the
heathen, in the new and old worlds, by Turks and by Idol-worshippers,
and described the wants of the copper-colored heathens, who to-day like
the Macedonian of the time who appeared to the apostle at Troas, called
to the scholars of the Institution "come help us." Going into details
he stated that the mission in Malabar had lost through a rising of the
population half of the messengers of the Faith lately send out. For
those who might be called upon to fill up these vacancies, the same
martyrs' crown and the same eternal life, awaited. Then he called out
ten of the pupils by name and asked them: "Are you willing to go to
those heathen coasts, to teach Christ, to preach and to die?" The ten
young men stood up and answered with one voice: "Yes, General." A
shudder ran through the assembly, and in the benches occupied by the
ladies no eye was dry. The old man continued: "In Vera Cruz the yellow
fever has carried off two thirds of our Convent. The College is empty.
The pestilence has ceased, but will return next summer with double
severity. The Rector proposes the following Novices to fill the
vacancies," and again the hard old man read certain names, in a harsh
voice. "Are you willing to sail thither, to preach the Word, and to
die, if such be the will of God?" The young men had risen from their
seats and they also answered: "Yes, General."

"Worse than heathens or pestilence," continued the aged Cardinal, "is
the heresy which rages among the savage nations of Germany on the other
side of the Alps. Those whom we send thither, must be armed with all
the weapons of the mind, they must perhaps for a time even lay aside
the garb of the holy Ignatius and each await his especial danger." A
number of names were then called for this service, among them that of
Paolo Laurenzano. These young men likewise answered the question as to
their readiness, with one voice: "Yes, General."

"You have sworn, my dearly beloved Sons," proceeded the Cardinal, "to
die for the sacred cause of the Church. That is not however the most
difficult, it is on the contrary the easiest part of your task. Much
more difficult is, that which from this hour is incumbent upon you, to
live for the Church. To live as if you lived not. You know the vows, in
which you have already been approved through the noviciate. In place of
poverty many of you will enter into palaces and rich abbeys, and
perhaps you will be commanded to share this luxury for a season. In
this apparent wealth you will observe your vow of poverty, if you, as
the Apostle says, enjoy as if you enjoyed it not; if you are, to use a
comparison made by our Father Ignatius, as a column, which suffers
itself to be clothed or unclothed, decked in rags or precious stones,
without remarking or knowing anything about it, without requiring, or
desiring anything. Then indeed in spite of overflowing tables, purple
and fine linen you will be observing your vow of poverty. Others on the
other hand will have in the woven huts of the Indians, or in the basket
houses of the Mongolians scarcely enough to cover their nakedness or
appease their hunger. There will be times when a stone will be their
pillow and a handful of moss their food. If however at those moments,
they direct their attention to trying to render their lot easier, or if
they, instead of being devoted by day and by night to their mission,
rather let their hearts yearn for the few things which they still have,
so will they break their vow of poverty, although they are poor. That
they should inwardly free themselves from any joy at possession, is
that, which their vow requires of them."

"Secondly our Founder wished his disciples to shine through the vow of
obedience. Therewith the outer is not alone meant, that you should
unconditionally perform that which is commanded you. In this manner the
dog obeys his master, there would be nothing excellent in that. But
that obedience should rank as a virtue, the inferior must make the will
of his superior his own, he must sacrifice his own insight, so that he
should not only will, but also think as does his superior, and he must
hold as right and true all that the latter orders and thinks. All your
courage depends on the simplicity of blind obedience. 'Incomplete
subjection,' says the holy Ignatius, 'has two eyes, but for its own
destruction; complete subjection is blind, but in that consists its
wisdom and completeness.' You should be filled with a blind impulse of
obedience, as Abraham was, when willing to slay his only son, because
to obey he considered as a delight. The obedience which made him
righteous was that he did what appeared wicked to him, because
commanded by God, for goodness is not in itself good, but only because
God has commanded it in his law. Abraham moreover knew that this law
did not bind God, and he wished for no personal comprehension, no will,
no love, no conscience, when God had spoken, only obedience, and
therein consisted his righteousness. Whosoever therefore will oppose
his own inward light to the Light of the Order is a fool, who wishes to
look at the sun by lamplight, and he who suffers from qualms of
conscience at the orders of his Superior, should remember, that it is
one of the great privileges of our Society, that the members, who are
scrupulous by nature, may according to papal assertion calm themselves
on all points by the decision of their superiors. That is however the
highest step of obedience, which we all have to endeavor to reach, that
such scruples may never arise within us, but that a complete uniformity
of understanding between our Superior and ourselves may take place, so
that we are of one mind, of one and the same will with him, that we
hold all that he orders to be reasonable, and take his judgement only
as the rule for our own. If in obeying thou dost not subject thy reason
as well as thy will, so is thy obedience then no complete burnt
offering, in that thou hast not offered thy noblest part to God, thy
reason, and a sacrifice, in the which thou keepest back the best for
thyself is not acceptable to God."

That was the blessing with which within the same hour Paul left the
College, without taking any long farewell, to begin his journey in
company with a stately and older member of the order, who called
himself Doctor Antonio, over the Alps to the seat of the Bishops of
Speyer. All this appeared to him as a dream, and the suddenness of his
freedom came over him almost as a terror. With closed eyes the young
man passed through the fairest cities of Italy and the smiling plains
of Verona. In vain did the peach-trees stretch out to him their ruddy
blossoms, and the citrons on the trellis-work were past by unnoticed.
His eye was entirely turned within himself and on the duties which
awaited him. A feeling of incapacity and fear of the future entered for
the first time the breast of the learned youth. To cheer him up, his
older companion a lively man with sharp, mobile features enumerated all
the privileges to which Paul had a right even as a young novice, member
of the Society of Jesus. He could absolve in all cases, even in those
where the Bishop had refused to grant absolution, he could declare
shore-robbers, convict-slaves, and heretics free from excommunication,
he could dispense from vows in case a pilgrimage to Rome could not be
undertaken. Even engagements entered into on oath he could declare null
and void, in case they militated against the welfare of the Church.
Should he finally attain to the higher ranks, he could then grant
dispensation from all church punishments even for those given as
penalties for schism and heresy, yea even for the falsification of
apostolic letters, he was then in a position to invest with the effect
of deep penitence an insufficient repentance and to turn mortal sins
into venial, not to make any mention of the profound mysteries of the
Sacraments. All this he might and could do, or should soon have the
power to do, and instead of being proud thereat and raising his head
several inches higher, he dragged along weary and heavy-hearted by the
side of his talkative companion, who inwardly thought that he did not
see why in Venice they had set so much importance on this melancholy
dreamer. Reading their prayers, or exchanging monosyllables the two
sons of Loyola had ascended the steep rocks at whose base foam the
green waters of Lake Garda. Then it came out during the evening at the
inn at Arco, that Brother Paul had not even noticed that during the day
they had passed through water, and over rocks and snow. His companion
shook his head and thought: he will indeed become a Doctor Ecstaticus.
The following day he therefore altered his tone and whilst wandering
through the dreary Sarcathal to Trent, Father Antonius began to praise
the especial protection, which the gracious Mother had ever extended
over the Society of Jesus. The Madonna had herself watched over the
blessed Ignatius during his last illness, as she now shielded his Sons
under her mantle. She appeared lately in a vision to a brother in
Catalonia, who was so entranced at her unspeakable beauty that he was
seen floating in the air stretching his arms out towards her. In the
Collegio at Rome lived a holy penitent in his cell without any food
whatever, for the holy Virgin appeared to him night after night and
suckled him at her breast as if he were an infant. Countless miracles
could the loquacious Father relate, worked by pieces of her veil, or
the fair hair which St. Mark had brought with him to Venice. Maria
should therefore ever be an object of especial veneration for the
order, for like the Pope she wore a threefold diadem. She was the
daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son, the bride of the Holy
Ghost. Without her God had not been able to create the world, for had
she rejected the angel Gabriel, the Son could never have become man,
mankind could never have been redeemed, and God could not have created
the world without everlasting torment, which his love would have
forbidden Him. Therefore did the whole world worship Mary, and the
stars were only the large rose-wreath, which the Angels completed, and
the milky way the tassels thereof In the rocky districts natural
temples to Mary were to be found which even the wild beasts reverenced,
and lately a young shepherd discovered one of these Madonna images in a
stalactite cavern in Rhaetia, by following one of his sheep, who daily
at Vesper-time disappeared into this cavern, and the youth was
astonished to see how the lamb bowed its knee and bleated at the altar
of Mary as if to greet her. The water which was gathered from this
cavern was efficacious against fever and gout, against fires, and it
healed demoniacs. Yea it even worked on the soul, for a violent sinner
who for years had neglected his easter duties, drank of this water
without knowing it, and immediately the blessed potion took effect and
he hastened to the confessional.

Father Antonio had almost talked himself out of breath in his praise of
Maria, for the way up hill was steep. As he now stood still and
inquired of the silent novice what he had to say in reference to all
these miracles of the kingdom of Grace, the latter quoted as answer a
verse out of Tibullus to Isis the Mother of the Gods. "That thou canst,
testify all the tablets, which hang painted to thy honour around the
Temple." By this Father Antonio knew that this silent youth was no mere
visionary, and from Trent through the bare valley of the Adda to
Bolseno, whence Father Antonio diverged towards the snow-covered Pass
of the Brenner, the conversation became monosyllabic. Only on the other
side of the Alps, behind Innsbruck, did the companions break into a
lively quarrel. They had remained in the town quietly, as Brother
Antonio had business to attend to. His purse was as he said, quite
empty, and to his astonishment Paul found himself woke up at early dawn
and bidden to hurry away, as the innkeeper must be robbed of the amount
of his bill. The Novice raised no opposition, but when his Superior
left the door, he laid on the table one of the two gold pieces, which
had been given him in Venice to defray immediate necessities, so that
the innkeeper might find his expenses paid. Father Antonius must have
suspected something of the kind. He returned to the room, to fetch
something that he had forgotten, and when they reached the mainroad he
quietly opened his cloth, and added Paul's gold piece to the few
farthings left therein. Paul in a rage insisted on returning to give to
the hotel-keeper what belonged to him, Antonio asked on the other hand:
"Is it better that our holy missions should suffer delay, and perhaps
hundreds of souls more be sent to hell, or that this tavern-keeper
should lose a few shillings? Let us choose the lesser evil, and by
cheating a scoundrel, it is very probable that we become more pleasing
in God's sight."

"But if he follows after us, and accuses us before the magistrate of
the next village," replied Paul angrily.

"Then we can swear that you laid a gold piece on the table to satisfy
his demands."

"But how can you deny having taken it up again."

"When I deny it, I think within my own mind to 'taken up' to add the
words 'and not put in my purse,' for as you see I wrap it up in this
piece of cloth."

"These Dominican tricks are known, and you will be required to swear
without any mental reservation."

"Even in such cases one can swear 'without unjust reservation,' for
mine would be especially just, as I am acting in God's cause."

"And do you imagine to be able to bring the heretics back to the cause
of God with such miserable casuistry?" asked the enraged Paul.

"No, my son, I am not such a fool, we shall convert the Germans, by
lighting such a fire in Germany, as will cause the angels to draw in
their toes, and melt the stars in Heaven."

"You have your own peculiar way, of caring for Germany's happiness."

The old man laughed. "Do you think I have climbed these rocks to make
Cimbrians and Teutons happy. I will once more bring back the Roman
dominion which the Emperor Constantine bequeathed to the Pope, so that
we do not, when Christ returns as Cæsar, as depicted by Michael Angelo
in his Last Judgment, or as Emperor on a white horse, as the revelation
of St. John describes him, have to appear before Him and say: '_Salve
semper Auguste_, but we have lost the two Germanies.' If however you
hold to rendering people happy, go over to the Waldenses."

Paul was silent. It was impossible to take this man seriously, but it
cut him to the quick to see such a fantastic Being wearing the dress of
his order. As however they sat down to breakfast in the next village,
sounds of loud voices were heard at the door. The two pilgrims
recognized the voice of the tavern-keeper of Innsbruck, who was
inquiring about them. "Give me your purse," said Brother Antonio
coolly, "that I may satisfy him." Unwillingly Paul handed it over to
him and Antonio disappeared. A short time afterwards the magistrate of
the village appeared with the inn-keeper and began cross-questioning
Paul. Paul knew from this that his companion had run away and cheated
him out of his money; calmly he ripped from out of the lining of his
cloak one of his last pieces of money which he had secreted there, and
paid the reckoning. He was thus luckily able to say that through this
means he had escaped without imprisonment or bodily chastisement. His
desire to overtake his escaped companion, was naturally not very great.
Instead of travelling north towards Munich, as his companion had
proposed, he took a western course through the Vorarlberg towards the
Rhine valley, and arrived at the College at Speyer even before the
allotted time. The Rector heard his report coldly, and said:

"Thou hast come out of thy probation badly, brother Paul, and broken
through the rules in two instances. Thou knowest that the members of
our order must ever travel in couples, as the Saviour sent out his
disciples two by two. Thou hast also sinned against thy vow of
obedience. Thou still thinkest to oppose thy conscience, thy reason,
thy will to those of thy superior. The Holy Ignatius did not say
however without cause: 'When God has placed over thee even an
unreasoning animal, do not refuse to obey it in all things as thy guide
and teacher, God has so ordered it,' and again he writes: 'If the
Church of Rome declares as white, what appears to thee black, thou
shalt not believe thy own eyes, but those of the Church of Rome.'
Instead of this thou hast set thy own inward light above the revealed
command, as do the heretics. We know now, how we stand with thee."

Thus Paul had to begin his stay in Speyer with severe exercises, which
were to punish him for something, which still appeared to him as the
usual and plain mode of dealing of every honest man. The Rector
perceived however that here he must not draw the bow string too tight,
and therefore the universally beloved Father Aloysius was appointed as
Paul's confessor and spiritual guide, his mild and calm nature soon
winning the latter's confidence. Paul did not make any further mention
of the annoying event which happened on his journey. He had now learnt
that a monk must submit to an injury, without complaint. Other sorrows
however tortured him much more than the question whether he or this
Brother Antonio had been in the right. As he finally concluded to
frankly confess to this worthy Father Aloysius how it stood with him,
to lament to him the feeling of emptiness and solitude which weighed
him down, to acknowledge the utter absence of joy and hope which had
come over him, his confessor made him no reproachful reprimand, but
said gently and kindly to him: "Be of good cheer, my son. Many, many a
young man has been tormented by the grievous thoughts, whether
unendless sorrow and heaviness awaited him, who however stood on the
brink of a richly endowed life; thou knowest however, that the morning
star rises above all these dismal fogs and lowering clouds." These
kindly words distilled themselves like balm over the mind of Paul, and
he had never before experienced so vividly the advantage of auricular
confession. Father Aloysius became a shining model of one fulfilling
the most severe duties. He would become like to this aged delicate man,
who devoted every moment of his life to others, in the care of his
penitents, his poor, his sick. Unreservedly did he describe in his next
report these inward sensations concerning his mode of life. The effect
of this confession was a removal to Heidelberg. The Superior found that
the young Brother Paul was wasting his life in fruitless inward
contemplation; the young wine must fill some new bottle, lest it be
spoiled, moreover the peace-loving method of which Father Aloysius was
the model, was not to be recommended to the young man in these moments
of warfare. So Paul was commanded to accept a call to Heidelberg, which
had just been offered to him. "You will have there a worldly-wise
superior," said Father Aloysius when wishing him farewell, "the Doctor
Pigavetta as he is known in the world, and I fear muchly he has made
the world a part of his individual self, still he is more active than I
am, and perhaps his unrest will be of more use to thee, than the
monotonous intercourse with an old man like myself, who has perchance
already wearied thee. Shouldst thou however be in need of inward peace,
thou wilt ever be welcomed by Brother Aloysius."

A straight level road brought Paul from Speyer to Heidelberg, and this
time he was determined to blindly obey his new Superior, as prescribed
by his vow. Modestly did he knock at the door of the house near the
Klingenthor. His tranquillity was sorely tried, when on the door
opening he found standing before him his travelling companion Doctor
Antonio. He had on the same velvet cap and dark cloak, which he had
worn on the journey, and noticed with visible complacency the horror of
the novice. Paul composed himself and asked in a dry tone to see Doctor
Pigavetta. "Go up stairs and you will find him," answered Brother
Antonio coolly. A number of spiral staircases led Paul to the upper
part of a tower, where he found Dr. Pigavetta's name inscribed on a
door. At his knock a well known voice bade him enter, and as he opened
the door he saw before him the same man whom he had met below in
travelling costume, seated near a table in a long dressing gown, and
apparently deeply studying some books and papers. This appearance
completely confused him. Which was the veritable Antonio? He bowed his
head and waited patiently till this mysterious stranger chose to
address him. "Your credentials," said the Superior in a cold tone of
command. Paul handed his cypher-letter with trembling hands. After that
the former had read it through, he said with an expression of quiet
contempt: "I think, young Brother, that our first acquaintance will
render obedience to your new Superior easier for all times. You may
depend upon it that whenever I give astonishing commands I have my
reason for doing so, and you will henceforth be more sparing of your
little bit of worldly wisdom. That in Innsbruck it was not for the sake
of a few pennies, you might have discovered from a man of my
appearance, had you not been a short-sighted bookworm. Now that you
have acquired this knowledge through your own wisdom, you will perhaps
kindly remember your vow of obedience. In any case we know each other
well enough, to accommodate ourselves to each other." Pigavetta was
silent and a sarcastic smile curled his upper lip. So this was the same
Dr. Antonio with whom he had travelled, into whose care he was again
committed. Inwardly Paul boiled over with wild rage, but he would give
his superior no cause, to report him again for disobedience. He
remained standing in the same humble position adopted by novices before
the initiated. The joker in the former soon came again to the surface.
Laughing he clapt the young man on the shoulder and said: "Be merry, be
merry, little brother. 'Jovial people are worth twice as much as sad
ones,' said the Holy Ignatius, and our vows do not require us to hang
down our heads. Thus I welcome you to Heidelberg, and first of all you
must pledge me." Then the old Jesuit took a bottle of water, poured out
its contents into a vessel in the wall, turned on a little tap and
immediately red wine flowed out. "Drink to our welfare," he said, as if
there was nothing remarkable in all this. Paul sipped, but as the wine
was strong and with a bouquet, he put down his half emptied glass on
the table and said: "Pardon me, Reverend Father, I am not accustomed to
wine."

"As you will," replied the Doctor. He then took the glass, poured the
wine back into the vessel in the which was the water, opened the same
tap out of which wine had previously flowed, filled the glass with pure
water, with which he rinced it and placed it on one side. Paul felt
that his head was turning with all this excitement, and as he leant
against a chair which stood before him, it began to play and sing. "You
feel unwell," said Pigavetta, "go out into the air, and come to the
Collegium at the hour of Vespers. I will then introduce you to the
teachers." He was thus dismissed. As he however reached the house-door
as in a dream. Dr. Antonio stood suddenly before him in his travelling
clothes. He appeared to have returned from a walk and said calmly: "It
is well that we meet again, here is the gold piece which I borrowed of
you at Innsbruck," he then coolly turned his back on him.

Paul stood before this uncanny house with a dull feeling of
stupefaction. The wine had gone to his head. He hastened therefore to a
clear little brook on his right to bathe his temples and wash this
dream away from his eyes. On thinking calmly over the matter he felt
very certain that Dr. Antonio had been making a fool of him. The trick
of turning water into wine together with the musical chair was too
childish to impress him, but that which rendered him most sceptical was
the returned purse. As Antonio had not paid the innkeeper at Innsbruck,
he therefore owed him two gold pieces and a lot of small change, it
might be also, that the money returned to him was a lucky-penny, but
previous proofs did not seem to confirm this. The Professor's magic
arts appeared to the novice as being of a dubious character. The double
appearance in the study and at the door Paul finally explained as being
one of those contrivances which he had often seen as a part of his
brother's scaffolding works. There was evidently a lift in the Tower,
by which Pigavetta could get up and down much quicker than his visitors
who had to use the winding staircase. The more however that his
superstitious fears were allayed, the more did the feeling of
discomfort increase, at being placed in a strange country under a man
who bore two names, calculated very inexactly, and either possessed or
pretended to possess the gift of a double identity.

Nevertheless the new calling which he had accepted did away for a short
time with his melancholy. For a few months all went on well, when
however the first winter came to an end, and the mild blasts came over
from Italy, the old feeling of despondency once more seized the lonely
Youth. The dark thoughts, which had been dispelled by his intercourse
with the excellent Father Aloysius returned with twofold power. He
wandered about with an inward wretchedness, which crippled his every
action. Such was the condition in the which Felix found him, as they
met once again after so long a separation.

The malady which had befallen Paul, is better described as an
opposition to his brother's health, who had already spent a winter with
him in Venice.

Felice had followed Paul to Venice, and the young artist had been full
of ardor to make use of a better instruction in that mechanical part of
his profession, now offered to him at the Collegio. Soon Felix became
almost more thankfully submissive to the order than was his brother
Paul. The Architect learnt here the theory of his art, mathematics,
geometry, mechanics, without a knowledge of which he had ever remained
a mere dabbler. His mind found nourishment in the rhetorical and
poetical exercises, and after he had laid aside his chisel and apron,
it was his delight and highest joy to hear in the College lectures on
philosophy, literature and poetry. He knew little of the inward
hierarchic motive-power, and when he by means of the Society's
influence received a brilliant offer in the Netherlands, he left the
College with a feeling of gratitude, which inwardly was boundless,
although he seldom found opportunity of proving it. The exact contrary
was the case with his brother. The last moments of his stay in College
had been a mere tribulation, for the long years of ambitious excitement
began now to tell. Accustomed to applause, even the highest measure
which could be bestowed on a novice no longer satisfied him. The
clearness in the exposition of science, which delighted his more
ignorant brother, appeared to him already superficial; the bands, which
his brother did not even perceive, began already to oppress him, and
inwardly less subservient to the Order than Felice, so much the more
did he wish outwardly to serve it, thinking thus to subdue his inward
uneasiness by a galling outward activity, to deaden the feeling of
dissatisfaction, to appease the hunger after happiness which had
awakened in him. Therefore now in Heidelberg did he passionately buckle
to the work assigned to him, without troubling himself much about
Pigavetta. After all the time of preparation he found himself opposed
to a task, which was important if rendered so by him. For the outside
world an inferior member of a theological seminary, he felt himself an
historical lever, which was designed to throw an entire people into
other religious grooves. The idea was sufficiently phantastic, that a
tutor of philology should from this subordinate position demolish the
Church of the Kurfürst, but Paolo clung to the maxim of the founder of
his order, "should God bid you cross the sea, go you in a ship, but if
there be no ship, then cross on a board." In Speyer he had received the
order to enter for the degree of Master of Arts at the University of
the Kurfürst, which to him was mere child's play. Pigavetta had imposed
on him the part of a good Calvinist, for which violent abuse of the
Lutherans was all that was necessary. But now his Superior laid before
him an order in cypher from the Provincial which commanded him to pass
an examination before the Council of the reformed Church _pro
ministerio_, and to take the position of clergyman in Heidelberg. For
the first time he hesitated. The better man in him reacted against the
hierarchical. He was willing to play the comedy of Calvinism for a
time, but he was too proud to make it the purport of his life. Being
told that he must become a reformed clergyman so as to better spread
the Catholic dogma, awoke in him a feeling of discomfort, even though
he shared the opinion of his teachers, that every means was good which
proved of service to the highest good, the Church. But the proposition
found a powerful ally in the oratory lying fallow within him, and which
longed for an auditorium, a pulpit and the applause so thirsted after.
He was already weary of explaining the Latin authors to the sleepy
scholars of the Sapientia College. With what an enthusiasm did he daily
introduce descriptions of the splendor of Italy in his lectures, so as
to call forth a home-sickness for Rome in the hearts of the young
Germans,--they however yawned in his face. With what ingenuity had he
found pieces out of Seneca and Plato, to which he could append
quotations from the Church Fathers in support of the Catholic
dogma,--the worthy scholars cut large holes in the oaken benches and
thought about, not his conclusions extracted from Festino and Barbara,
but of a barmaid of the same name in the adjacent pot-house. In lofty
sounding words did he glorify the great men of the Church's past, the
scholars threw paper balls, or mutually smeared each others' seats with
cobbler's wax. Whether Rome, or Wittenberg, that was for him the
momentous question of the day, to them it was of much more importance,
whether the beer at the Schiltzenhof or at the Hirsch was better.
Evidently the heretics were not to be gotten at through the male sex of
their hopeful progenies. He was soon very tired of "nipping the horn of
the bull," as says the Italian proverb. Then came the unexpected
command of his Superior to turn the full force of his activity to the
pulpit. Disgusted at a want of success among the sleepy youths, and
famishing for praise, the order given him to undertake the ambiguous
_rôle_ rendered his decision easier. His inward scruples were soon
silenced, as his eloquence received the highest meed of praise. Hearts
were moved by the melodious voice of the Italian, by the grace of his
appearance, by the charm of his foreign accent, and Paolo's bold dreams
of a counter-reformation appeared about to be consummated when he saw,
how Sunday after Sunday the ranks of his hearers filled more and more.
The intoxication of success deafened the voice of conscience, which
warned him, that he was in reality carrying on a very critical line of
action, and he was therefore little pleased when the Countess Palatine
singled him out for the Stift at Neuburg, and took him away from a
career so full of promise. To win back a lost convent already seemed to
him as too contemptible a matter for a man of his gifts, and it went
almost against his grain to be compelled to learn once more the almost
forgotten services of the Mass, and to hold a surreptitious service,
which owing to the Kurfürst's hatred of the "damnable bigotry" might
cost him dear. Even the confessions of the old ladies, their thoughts,
the monotonous relations of their troubled dispositions, their inward
sorrows and sore temptations were not quickening to him. Young himself
he felt an attraction towards young people. Owing to this very human
cause the instruction which he had to impart to the young maidens of
the cloister-school, was not so burdensome as that bestowed on the
classes of the Sapientia. Fresh and blooming as beauteous buds just
bursting from their shells sat the girls and children before him, and
listened eagerly to every word he spoke. They understood intuitively
what he wished, and in that breath of love and admiration, which met
him on all sides, it seemed to him as if his parched soul lived again,
and as if feelings awoke once more, which had slumbered since he saw
the pale thin woman, who had watched over him during his youth, borne
away in her coffin. If when in the College he had rejoiced that his
lessons were over, now did he willingly place himself at the head of
his young ones, and accompany them in their walks around the convent
meadows. Above at the spring house, lower down sitting under the
spreading beeches he taught the children to build altars, and wind
wreaths. He showed them how the beloved angels vanished through bushes,
or looked down as clouds from heaven and bore away a greeting from each
child to the Mother of God. At other times he drilled the young ones
into forming processions and pilgrimages, teaching them to sing
guileless texts adapted from catholic books. Thus could the children
play at being catholics without the parents becoming aware of it. It is
true that once the miller's wife complained that her little daughter
had burnt the name of the Holy Mary in her arm, and that Reinhard had
cut the same in an apple-tree. The Domina however calmed her by saying
that through that the little maiden would not get a fever, and that the
apple-tree would bear a double crop.

The Magister had also quiet talks concerning the welfare of the soul
with the older girls, and the maidens acknowledged, that they had never
before conceived how bad, how in reality wicked they were, but their
heavenly good Magister knew how to console them so lovingly, that they
had never been so happy as at the present moment. But how came it to
pass that about this time Lydia Erast took to complaining that recently
in their games the less agreeable positions were always given to her,
and that when playing: "Do not look round, the Fox is about," Clara and
Bertha, who used to be her best friends, now struck out at her more
spitefully even than did the others? How came it also that the usually
so grave Magister came at times out of the class rooms with a happy
smile such as had never been seen on his lips when leaving the
Sapientia, and instead of reciting his breviary warbled the Odes to
Lalage to the astonished beeches? How all this came about, he himself
knew not. At first his eye had rested unwittingly on this fair head, as
a young teacher when giving the first lesson, out of embarrassment
fixes his look on some bright face, a particular pillar, or the corner
of one of the benches. Next the bright blue eye fixed on him with
touching devotion had attracted him, and soon he had to acknowledge to
himself, that he especially directed his teaching to that sweet child,
that only for her did he prepare the substance of his discourse, that
he only saw her, only thought of her, only heard her answers, though
she in no wise surpassed the others in mental acquirements. An
indefinite yearning seized him, to see her always before him in all the
classes. Thus the misery, which rendered his days peaceless and his
nights sleepless began, and cast him into that inwardly at variance,
gloomy state of mind, in the which his brother found him.



                              CHAPTER VII.


To be questioned about a secret, which one conceals from one's self
often resembles the fatal word of the fairy tale, which wakes the
Sleeping Beauty from her trance, or dispels the dreams of the Seven
Sleepers. This horrible word, which had aroused him from his dangerous
dawning life, and cast him out into the sharp morning air and glaring
light of day, had on this eventful day twice fallen on the ear of the
young Priest, and he would not hear it, as he desired not to awake.
This was indeed rather the cause why Paolo Laurenzano had received his
brother, whom he was in reality delighted to see once again, so coldly
and distantly, than the coolness befitting a monk as regards the ties
of the flesh. It had not been necessary for him to be informed of the
raillery to which Lydia was exposed on his account. As scholar of the
Collegio, he had been accustomed to have ears and eyes about him, and
had also heard the name "Wegewarte" as he directed his steps that
morning towards his apartment, and as he had often met on his way the
fair child, and had exchanged a few kindly words with her, he
understood the state of the case at once, and turned back through the
wood towards the public road without entering his own room. In vain had
he endeavored to banish the hideous word "Wegewarte" from his memory.
It was clear that every child in the convent knew how matters which he
dreaded admitting to himself stood between him and Lydia. Then his
brother had bluntly at once hinted at his well kept secret, and he had
angrily repelled the hand, because perhaps it alone had any right to
lift the veil. With a feeling of unspeakable misery and bitterness he
now stood alone on the road gazing at the river. Had he wished to
represent clearly to himself the feeling which oppressed him, he would
perhaps have thus addressed himself: "Beloved Magister Laurenzano, the
pious Fathers in the College taught thee, that deception is a weapon
with which a wise man can overthrow a hundred fools. But this weapon is
sharp and double-edged, and often wounds him, who carries it concealed
about him, even before he can turn it against others. Hadst thou boldly
appeared in thy veritable character of Roman priest, this fair German
maiden had never gazed on thee with such eyes, and had never stolen thy
heart from thee; or if thou wert, what thou appearest to be, a
Calvinistic clergyman, thou wouldst go tomorrow to her father and
frankly ask for the hand of his daughter, and I know he would not say
thee, nay. Whom hast thou therefore most grievously injured by thy
deception? Thyself, thyself alone. But why not put an end to these
deceits and frauds?" Had the dejected man wished to render himself a
plain answer, thus would he have spoken: "I, Paolo Laurenzano, primus
omnium of the College at Venice, am too good for the people here. I
have not worked day and night and denied myself all the joys of youth,
to now throw up my career on account of a fair child. Every Priest
wears his nimbus under his tonsure, so was I taught and so I learnt. Of
the generalship, of the scarlet hat, of the Tiara was the song ever
dinned into my ears, and now shall I end in this excommunicated land,
in this dull German town my days as tutor of these unlicked whelps?
Why, even the feeling of homesickness for the sunny skies of Italy
prevents me from accepting a belief, which would ever prevent my return
thither."

Something of this unconscious wish roused him to-day from his
inertness, and as a keen east wind blew towards him from the mountains,
a more powerful energy obtained the mastery within him. "As a mighty
conqueror will I return some day to Italy, and not remain sequestered
in the fogs of this Odenwald. How would it be if I brought about a
great revival? If I, as did the Archbishop Borromeo in Veltlin, could
only effect a great conversion among heretics, of women especially?"
The thought excited him. "Thou must act, not dream. Thou must press
forward to the attack, not be ever putting it off. If they drive thee
away, if they slay thee, so much the better. What is this life worth,
that we should not lay it down in the breach for our flag?" And he
depicted to himself, the rage of the fat German Kurfürst at hearing
that the daughters of his court aristocracy had returned in a body to
the Catholic Faith. He at once recognised the means which he must
employ. He would introduce the exercises of Loyola into the Stift,
through prayers, contemplations and an education in visions he would
attain to a much more rapid result than through his everlasting
preaching and catechising. "The Catholic Faith must be introduced in a
catholic manner, not by the long-drawn-out means of heresy. Things must
take a more rapid course; the fortress is either to be taken by storm
or not at all." But with whom should he begin? With the old dames? They
were already won over or impregnable. The young ones, whose phantasy
was still paramount, whose minds were excitable and ductible, they must
be filled with enthusiasm for the sweet Madonna and child, and then
carry on others through their example. It quite escaped the good
Magister that here once again the child Jesus with the banner of his
Church in hand appeared under the guise of the rogue Cupid. With the
steps of an Elisha he strode up the hill to the Stift; reaching his
room he put a book hastily into his pocket, and requested the
sister-porter to beg an audience in his name of the Lady Superior. The
Countess, an elderly lady with mild finely cut features, received him
with that calm composed kindness, which in a life full of good
intentions and shattered hopes had become her second nature, and asked
him what he wished. With all her gentleness the immobility of
expression caused by years of conventual discipline was still
perceptible about her, and though she had been compelled to lay aside
the great white cap worn by the Sisters, she held her head as straight
as if its huge white pinions still flapped around her head. But her
cool repelling manner only stimulated the excited young man to a
higher pitch of enthusiasm. The fiery Italian described with much
gesticulation the torture of an inactive life. "No storm is worse than
a placid sea," says the holy Ignatius, "and no enemy is more dangerous
than having none." Either he must return to Italy, or dare and succeed
in something. He had not been sent merely to celebrate a clandestine
service in a half empty Convent, or to teach Greek particles to
overgrown boys; he must have some success or quit the place. "For
weeks," said he at the end of a passionate harangue, "I have been
explaining the Catholic dogma, exalting monachism, and celibacy, and
extolling virginity above marriage. I praise, as prescribed by my
directions, at every opportunity the blessing of relics, the worship
and invocation of saints, the stations of the cross, pilgrimages,
abstinences, fastings, indulgences, jubilees, holy days, the custom of
lighting candles, pictures, and all the other aids to piety and the
worship of God, but what has it availed? Everything is as before. If
you cannot determine on a more decided line of action I give up the
struggle. In this way we shall never attain our end."

The old Countess had kept her eyes fixed calmly on the youthful speaker
and her hands moved as if she were telling her beads, a habit into
which she naturally fell, whenever an event occurred in the which she
was deeply interested. If his youthful enthusiasm and the high colour
which covered his usually pale face had not suited him so well, the old
Princess would have calmly called him to order, for she was opposed to
any violent excitement. But she felt in this case a motherly interest
in the handsome young man and her own life had taught her that by
waiting over long, one could wait through a whole life time. In answer
to her question, as to what he meant by a more decided action, the
young Magister handed her a small book, bearing the title "_Exercitia
spiritualia_." "We cannot produce a belief in catholicism through
protestantism," added Paul, "only through catholicism, and here is the
approved _disciplina_, by which our famed General, the holy Ignatius,
knew how to win souls over to the Catholic Church better than by
teaching or preaching."

The Lady Superior turned over the leaves of the book, and asked
somewhat doubtfully: "In what do these _exercitia_ differ from other
christian books?"

"The prayer-books of the heretics," answered Paul, "would teach a
cognition of God, for the Protestants desire to comprehend God, to
think and understand Him. The holy Ignatius has on the other hand shown
in the book, how man can feel and experience God, taste his entire
sweetness. Not through knowledge, says he in the introduction, is the
desire of the soul after God satisfied, but only through inward
experience, and the idea of these _exercitia spiritualia_ is to guide
this perception. These _exercitia_ are practical prayers, by which we,
through the exertion of our senses, through the extending of our hands
and whole body, through wrestling and prayer struggle to feel him near
to us, and thus ourselves come nearer to God. The holy man traces out
here in outline the objects on which man should direct his attention
with his entire energy. They are identical with those accepted by the
heretics, the fall of the angels, the mystery of the redemption, the
incorporation of the _logos_, eternal damnation and the everlasting
pains of hell. Yet understand, noble Lady! The Lutheran believes this,
he ponders over these things, he endeavours to conceive them. But only
to hear or read concerning these things does not bring us nearer to the
Supreme Being. The soul must see all these things, it must become aware
of their truth through the consciousness of the senses, it must raise
itself even to vision. This little book only contains the directions by
which we succeed, in seeing, tasting and feeling with all our senses
the eternal splendor. Opposed to calvinistic vapidness this book wishes
to bestow on the poor frozen soul the sweet fire of the old faith. He
only who has seen the Mother of God and the saints, as Saint Franciscus
and St. Katherina saw them, is one of us. That is the godly doctrine of
the 'Application of the senses' as imagined by the holy Ignatius.
Permit me therefore, most gracious Countess, to exercise this the only
effectual method on the pupils."

The Abbess remained silent, and distrustfully turned the leaves over
and over. "Is that really the whole of the discipline?" she then asked
the Magister, remembering many scandals which had come to her knowledge
with reference to such _exercitia_.

"Flagellation, expiation through blood, even fasting, we cannot
introduce again," replied Laurenzano, "at least not yet, but the pious
maidens can by prayers at the foot of the cross, by kissing the
implements of torture applied on the martyrs, by tears and weeping,
atone in a measure for the outrage committed at Golgatha on the tree of
life, at a time when the King of Kings was spat upon and buffetted.
There is a blessing in the tears of women, and the maiden who has wept
over the sorrows of the Mother of God is thereby freed from the curse
of heresy. What I usually add, are innocuous things, pictures, relics,
flowers, a few mementoes of death and the grave. You remember how in
the Eleusinian mysteries the initiated were led up to the truth through
serious or pleasing symbols. Permit me to use a few aids of this kind.
The symbol is the language of our church, only the heretic is satisfied
with the mere word."

"On which of the young ladies have you thought to essay these
exercises?" inquired the Domina.

"We could proceed according to age."

"The pupils von Eppingen, von Steinach, and Lieblerin are the first in
the order."

Paul nodded indifferently.

"I only fear," said the Abbess, and her hand sought the Rosary which
was no longer there, "that you will drive these young souls into a
fanaticism, which can do injury to the _sanitudo corporis_. These young
ladies have not been entrusted to me, to be turned into visionaries."

"When the Domina of this Convent notices evil consequences," replied
Paul submissively, "she is always at liberty to order these _exercitia_
to be broken off. I am quite certain, noble lady, that so soon as you
experience the blessing, which is to be found in this little book, you
will yourself as well as all the other ladies attend these
_exercitia_."

"Well then, in God's name. How do you wish to manage the affair?"

"According to the prescription of the holy Ignatius, the person shall
thoroughly study in his private closet at a quiet hour of the morning
or evening one of the passages marked here. Doors and windows must be
closed, the light of day must be shut out. Kneeling on his knees must
the penitent give his whole soul up to the narrative of the stories,
which are here marked out with short strokes. I will read out these
extracts to the young ladies, and beg them to remain in a position of
worship, till the object of the exercise has been obtained."

"These exercises cannot take place in the rooms, you must use the
Church."

"In that case," replied Paolo, "the Church must remain closed, and the
light must be subdued. All impressions likely to distract are to be
avoided, otherwise the real compilation is impossible."

"I will close the outer doors," said the Abbess, "those leading to my
passage must remain open, so that I can go in and out. I shall not
disturb you."

Paolo bowed. "When do you wish to begin?"

"At sunset."

It now struck the good Domina, that the dark Neapolitan had declared as
the fittest implements of the church the three fairest children of the
Odenwald, but she suppressed her suspicions, went to the young girls,
and informed them that the Magister intended holding special evening
prayer services for the promotion of their souls' welfare. Did they
acquiesce, they must remain behind in the church after Vespers. The
three maidens blushed, but none refused.

The Magister at noon visited the church several times and brought in
secretly a few objects, some of them from his own room, others were
taken from the town into the chapel of the Convent. In the evening
vespers were conducted as usual. When the organ had ceased playing the
loud sounding recessional and the exulting Hallelujah, Paul appeared
before the altar, where he found the three girls kneeling in a reverent
position on the three first benches. A mystical semi-darkness filled a
chapel never too bright. The young Priest uttered a prayer, and then
made his three young friends a small discourse containing much of the
same substance which we have already read in his remarks to the
Countess Sabina. Man must not only think about a higher world, but must
feel and experience it, so as to be certain of its existence. For this
cause a holy man had thought of the exercises which he was about to go
through with them. Their soul should in this very hour confer with
Jesus about its belief as a friend with a friend, as a servant with its
Lord. He himself would aid them. He then ordered the first of the
maidens to kneel down in the gloom behind the altar, where on this day
hung a picture representing in vivid and glaring colours the Holy
family in the carpenter's shop. Next he took Bertha von Steinach
already trembling with excitement by the hand and led her to a gloomy
chapel at the side. Before the altar at which he bade her kneel was a
large basket of roses. "Pray here, my dear child," he said, "and when
thou hast reverently repeated a Pater noster, Ave Maria, Salve regina,
Gloria and Magnificat, cast aside these flowers of the Spring and
consider what is hidden behind the roses of this life." Then he led
Lydia, gently supporting her by the arm to the steps of the organ,
where in a semi-dark corner a strange casket covered over by a curtain,
and having a round glass attached was visible. On it was written in
Latin: "Memento mirror for Brother Paul, which will bring back his
veritable calling to his recollection." "When you have prayed," said
the Magister, inviting her to kneel by a gentle pressure on her young
shoulders, "look through this glass, and it will show you what awaits
you." He then ascended the pulpit and read slowly and with many
interruptions a meditation out of his book, which described in coarse
fanciful outlines, in stammering visionary language, the course, which
the phantasy of the worshipper should follow. "I see," he began in a
low suppressed tone, "the three Persons of the Godhead, looking down on
the entire globe, filled with men who must go down into hell." "I see,"
continued he after a pause, "how the Holy Trinity concludes, that the
second Person must take on himself human nature for the redemption of
lost sinners."

"I now survey," he then read out after another pause, "the whole
circumference of this earth and behold in a corner the hut of Mary. The
Holy Personages stand around the crib at Bethlehem. A beam of light
pours down on the divine child and I hear the song of praise of the
heavenly host: 'Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace,
goodwill towards men.'"

Then all was still in the church; the setting sun threw its last golden
beams over the entablature. Stupefying clouds of incense arose in the
close chapel, and low, moaning, sighing tones proceeded from the organ;
they were motives from the Miserere, and Tenebrae played with
variations by the Italian. Then again the reading was continued in a
tone which fell like lead on the young souls of his audience, and
deadened every free action of the mind. The chords increased in power,
and filled the darkened space. The voices separated and joined again;
some notes expressed the deep subjection of the sinner, his contrite
humility, others spoke out in trumpet-like tones of the glorious
Majesty. Then all became a chaotic struggling and wrestling. It was as
if the earth itself opened its mouth to utter its sorrowful wail, and
heaven returned an answer. So must it thus sound, when the mountains of
the Alps join in converse, or the sea answers back the stormwind raging
over it. The entire sorrow of finality wailed in those tones to the
throne of the Highest, and the Grace from above came down, as hovers
the Invisible over his worlds.

Clara von Eppingen, a plump fair Swabian kneeling at the altar, had in
the meanwhile thoroughly imbued herself with the appearances of the
Holy Family. How lovingly did the Madonna bend over the fair headed
Christ child, which pulled at her neckband with its little hands; how
paternally proud stood St. Joseph close at hand, whilst St. Anna in
attendance on the child and mother surveyed the group. The Holy Family
seemed to look back at the plump Clara with a kindly gaze, and the
coarse strokes and vivid colors of the picture impressed themselves
more and more on the mind of the almost entranced maiden. Had she been
a woman, she would have loved to be the mother of such a brown-eyed
Madonna, or fair Christ child; the Magister had treated her like Jacob
did Laban's flocks, in causing her to remain kneeling for hours before
this colored imagery. The thoroughly hearty maiden would have felt
quite at her ease during these _exercitia_, had it not been for the
rolling and sighing of the Organ which at times startled her, and had
not a shriek of terror from the chapel, and a cry for help from the
organ steps reached her ear.

The nervous and delicate Bertha von Steinach had in the meanwhile bent
her curly head in prayer in the chapel over the sweet-smelling roses.
As she then, as directed by the Magister, plunged her hand in among the
flowers, a cold, flat surface met her fevered touch. In terror she
seized it and drew out a skull, which gazed at her with hollowed eyes,
and mocking drooping jaw. Tremblingly she wished to replace it, when a
living object rustled past her. It was a ring adder which the Magister
had concealed in the basket, and which now gliding over the floor
disappeared behind the altar. At this the excited young maiden uttered
the cry of terror, heard by her friend Clara, and on regaining her
composure, she saw at the bottom of the basket, bloody nails, thorns on
which hung pieces of wool, scourges with small knots at the end or
leaden shot, sharp prongs, little wheels, and other instruments of
mortification. Such things as these according to the words of the
Magister lay concealed under the roses of life. In horrified anguish
she knelt before the basket out of which the skull grinned back at her,
and unresistingly did she give herself up to the tones which poured
forth from the organ.

Matters had not been better for Lydia. She knelt before the "Mirror of
remembrance" and could only bring her mind with difficulty to prayer.
The dark round glass before her seemed to haunt her, and she felt as if
she were about to see all the dead wives of Bluebeard the moment she
looked into it. The tones of the organ however reassured her and she
summoned up courage to follow the directions. A screech for help
escaped her lips, the moment she looked into the glass. Immediately
before her she saw a monk in his cowl, who seemed to move, but from
under the hood she had recognised her own features, gazing pale,
spiritualized, with awe-struck eyes. A chill seized her, and now the
tones of the organ shook her to her very marrow. Long did she remain
kneeling before summoning sufficient courage to look at the horrid
image once again. Once more the same image; calm and pale sat the monk,
but from under the cowl her own features met her gaze. Again she
uttered a shriek of terror, and immediately her second-self opened its
lips. Then the glass became dim and she was obliged to wipe it with her
handkerchief. Doing this she became aware how the hand holding the
cloth appeared from under the hood. Everything was now evident, she saw
her own reflection. Indignant at the frightful spectre she drew the
linen to one side, so as to examine with a girl's curiosity the matter
thoroughly. Behind the curtain was painted a monk, whose wide cowl was
filled up by a looking-glass, so that whosoever should happen to look
in, must see his own face from under the hood. In her disgust she let
the curtain drop. The impression produced on her had not been that
intended by Paul. She did not complain at seeing her own countenance
thus ghostly disfigured, looking out in the costume of one cut off from
the world, but the Latin inscription, which contrary to Paul's
expectation, she understood, rendered her uneasy, as marking through
this monk's dress the veritable position of the Brother Paulus. The
most strange and wondrous thoughts rushed through this bewildered
child's head, and she was aroused from her darksome half terrifying,
half sensuous dreams by the sudden and abrupt ceasing of the organ, as
if death with its hard grip had straightway borne off the player. The
two other worshippers aroused themselves with a start from out of the
world of crowding thoughts, but immediately the melodious voice of the
Italian sounded through the darkened church: "I survey the entire
circumference of the earth and behold in a corner the home of Mary."
When he had finished reading this meditation, he strode slowly up to
the first of the penitents kneeling at the altar, and after turning the
picture with its face to the wall, he laid his small hand gently over
the maiden's eyes and asked: "Dost thou still see with thy spiritual
eyes the Holy Family." "I think so," lisped the plump maiden.
"Represent to thyself the hut, the saintly personages, their looks,
their dress. Thou must see which persons stand in the shade, which in
the light, what colors are used for their clothing. Thou must touch
their foot prints, hear the rustle of their garments, feel their breath
on thy cheek, before that thou mayest rise. Is it thus with thee, then
answer 'Amen' and go with the sign of the Cross over thee, before that
thy soul is again deadened." And bowing over her he imprinted a
fatherly kiss on the head of the blooming child. He next crossed over
to the excitable passionate Bertha von Steinach, who lay shaking with
fever out-stretched on the cold stone floor before the death's head and
the instruments of martyrdom. He saw with a feeling of contentment, the
effect of the means he had employed and when he looked at this bruised
reed now like pliable wax in his hand, he determined to knead her very
soul. "Knowest thou," he asked, "where tarries the soul that used to
gaze from these empty sockets?" The young maiden shook her head,
without rising up. "It is in the place of torment, and thou shalt see
it, writhing in the dread flames of Hell. Shut thine eyes and look
within the space through which the glowing flames break. Dost thou not
hear the wail of the damned, their meanings, their screams, their
shrieks, their blasphemies against Christ? Dost thou smell the
sulphurous vapor, the breath of corruption, the stink of the slimy
pool, reeking upwards? Dost thou taste on thy tongue the salty
bitterness of the tears wept by those below? Feelest thou on thy
fingers the flames, by whose glow the souls of the damned are now
burning?"

"Oh no, no," sighed the terrified child. Then the dark figure knelt at
her side. She felt his breath on her cheek, how he was shaken with
convulsive tremors as he wrestled in prayers, she heard him whispering
in her ear in fanatical excitement. "I see millions and millions of
beings writhing and shrivelling in the everlasting fire. I see how the
pupil of their eyes roll with indescribable fever, how their hacked and
mangled limbs quiver with unendurable pain. Ah, how bodies wind
themselves round one another, how yells for mercy sound, but the heaven
above them is brazen. Only the echo of their shouts return to them.
There however and yonder again in the dark corners grin the masks of
devils with birdlike faces, froglike bodies, and eagle claws. They
hover like bats around the damned and mock their torments. Now they
seize the heaps of the tortured, they shoulder them, and away with them
to the chaldron of burning brimstone. Dost thou see how the blue flames
flare upwards? If one attempts to creep out, the devils flog him in
again with snake scourges; dost thou see that one winding himself as a
serpent round the body of yonder woman, and the toad on her body and
the devil kissing her with his bat-like snout? Now the devils lay their
heads together; how they gnash with their teeth, how their mocking
laugh resounds! They are considering new torments, sharper tortures.
Dost thou see them shaking in fresh pitch, and the red column of flame
now rising upwards? Now the smoke hides the light; a vapour conceals
the ruddy glow, but the shrieks of terror increase. See how they look
at us, how they stretch out their hands to us, they beg for our help,
our prayers...."

"Oh, I can endure no more," sighed the poor child--"every thing smells
of sulphur, I faint--I must leave."

"Go, my daughter, but preserve in a true heart, that which thou has
seen."

Clara and Lydia Erast still lay with bowed heads in their dark corners.
The young Priest took his seat at the organ and played in gentle,
soothing strains, calculated to loose the souls of the penitents from
their excitement. A light step through the Church told him that the
second maiden was now leaving. Only Lydia remained in her dark corner.
The tall figure now approached her. Did he more resemble the archangel
of God, or the angel which had fallen away through lofty pride from the
Eternal, as he thus approached in the gloom the silent worshipper?
Never had Paolo looked handsomer. His black eyes gleamed with the fire
of that ecstasy into which he had worked himself, and a changing colour
glowed over his pale cheek. "Dost thou feel the sweetness of heavenly
love," he whispered. "Lydia, dost thou see the sweet smiling lips of
the Saviour?" The kneeling Lydia felt, how he bowed his face over her
head, her bosom worked tempestuously up and down, her cheeks assumed a
deeper colour. As if in the fervor of prayer he seized her hand, and
the maiden felt his own tremble. "Canst thou see nothing?" he
stammered. "Ah, wherever I look, I see dark brown eyes fixed on me."
And carried out of herself, filled with a deep passion, she arose. His
self-command now entirely forsook him. He pressed her to him with wild
desire, his burning feverish lips sought her own. Powerless she lay in
his arms. The minutes flew as if but seconds. Suddenly a cold severe
voice was heard. "Are these your exercises, Magister Laurenzano?"
called out the Abbess appearing from behind the organ. "Go to thy room,
Lydia," she said to the trembling maiden, and on finding herself alone
with the Magister, she drew back the window curtain, so that the last
rays of the sun fell on the hidden corner. The young Priest lay as if
overwhelmed on the nearest bench, his head buried in the cushion. He
answered not a word, as the infuriated Matron continued her harangue.
"For this cause would you impress these mystic sensuous images on the
souls of confiding children, and fan in them an impure passion, so as
to bring about their ruin? Shame on you, a thousand times shame. Better
would it be, to attain your evil design by force, than to destroy in
this manner the innocency of their hearts."

A sob as that of an hart struck by an arrow reached the ear of the
enraged Abbess. She noticed how the young Priest writhed in agony. Pity
for the poor young man stirred her to the quick.

"I am willing to believe, Magister Paul," said she in a kinder tone,
"that you had not the intention to act in the way I saw, and I thank
the Saints that they left me no rest in my room but led me hither,
before any greater mischief happened. But you see now what comes of all
this juggling, which the Wicked one himself invented, to give the
heretics a hold against us. The gardener shall immediately bring these
pictures and other objects to your apartment. Should such _Exercitia_
be necessary, I shall preside over them in person, as is required by
the rules of all properly conducted convents. You will however return
to your home in Heidelberg, so soon as you can do so without injury to
our or your reputation. I hold much to a good _conscientia_ in all
things, and the _fama publica_ must not slander us."

Thereupon the kindly Dame wished him farewell and left him alone in the
Chapel, which however he only quitted an hour afterwards quietly, and
as one sick of a fever, supporting himself against the wall.

Dame Sabina went at once to see Lydia, whom she to her great
astonishment found in no wise so downcast as she expected. Rather did a
bright gleam of joy seem to beam from her eyes. "What am I to say about
your proceeding, young woman," began the Abbess sternly, "how is it
that you suffer yourself to be kissed in Church by the Priest?"

"Ah!" sighed the maiden blushing, "forgive me most gracious Lady
Abbess. It was in truth the first time. The Magister means to act an
honest part towards me, and my father will have no objection to our
marriage."

The old Lady smiled in a hard manner. "Silly Fool, dost thou not know
that Laurenzano is a catholic Priest and neither can nor will marry?"
But the hard words had scarcely escaped her, then she regretted them,
for Lydia gazed at her as if she were going mad. The blood had left the
maiden's cheek, her eyes had grown unnaturally wide, the large black
pupils were fixed on the Abbess. Then she burst into a convulsion of
tears. "It is not true. Tell me. Mother, it is not true?" The old Lady
caught the child to her heart. Opposed to the heartbreaking grief of
this young creature her motherly feelings came uppermost. "Be quiet,
child, be quiet. Thy sorrow is not so great as thou thinkest. Thou
knowest scarcely this disloyal Priest. Thou lovest the black man in the
pulpit, thou hast never seen the real Laurenzano. That which thou
lovest is an image of thy phantasy, which thou thyself hast created.
Now thou must efface this foolish idol from thy heart, that is all.
Nothing can come out of it. Laurenzano came to convert us. He would be
scoffed at, if he let himself be converted by thy blue eyes."

"I will go back to my father," sobbed the poor child. "I will not
remain here."

"Thou must first become more quiet, my child. I cannot bring thee back
in this condition to thy father. He must not even hear of what took
place here. The Kurfürst would order Laurenzano to be flogged out of
the country." The maiden gazed at the Countess in horror. The Abbess
kissed her on the forehead, undressed her and helped her to her bed.
Then the old lady sat for some time at the side of the sick child and
told her about her own youth, her plans for marriage, and the rich
stream of kindness, which poured from the lips of the usually cold Nun,
had a beneficial influence upon poor Lydia. When the Domina opened the
door, to go, she saw with displeasure two Nuns, who had certainly been
listening, hurrying off. Even in the neighbouring cells light steps
were heard creeping away. Dame Sabina immediately called a _conventus_,
so as to close the mouth of those ladies, whose chattering, as she
knew, did not fall far short of their curiosity. When her motherly
friend had left her, Lydia thought to herself: "This therefore is the
use of the Mirror of remembrance, given to him by his spiritual
tyrants, that he may not forget, that he is still a monk." She fancied
to herself, how he would look in the cowl, under which she had seen
to-day her own affrighted face. But the excitement had been too much
for her. Her eyes closed and soon she lay in a deep sound sleep. In the
next room Bertha von Steinach had on the contrary much more horrible
dreams of the pains of hell and the tortures of the damned, and more
than once started from her dream calling, "it is burning" and that she
plainly smelt the brimstone. "Take away the skull," cried she another
time, "see how the worms creep out of the empty sockets." Master
Laurenzano moreover, who had caused all this mischief with his
_exercitia_, sat in his room, his head leant out of the open window.
That night he sought not his couch. At sundawn he took the little work
by St. Ignatius which lay before him, and read out of the last page:
"Take, O Lord, my entire freedom, take my memory, my understanding and
very will." It was in vain. He could not pray. Troubled and in misery
he hastened to the mountains.



                             CHAPTER VIII.


"In truth I shall have to end up by going to the Hirsch if I wish to
see that brother of mine," thought Master Felix, after he had waited
the whole of another day expecting that his brother would come up to
the Castle. So he set his chisel and apron aside and went down to the
Market-place, and from thence entered through the well-known door of
the hotel into the back-room, in which the clergy of Heidelberg were
wont to meet round a large oaken table. He found the room still empty;
the low, arched parlor was only lighted by a single lamp, and at the
table sat a stout gray-headed man dressed in black, with a vinous
countenance and a bottle nose. "God's word from the country," thought
Felix, taking his seat after a profound bow near to the Parson, whom he
thought he had already seen somewhere.

"Have you managed to finish this measure by yourself, reverend Sir?" he
asked of the complacent toper.

"Man is a weak and timorous creature," answered the Blackgown
sanctimoniously, "at first I thought not to be able to master it by
myself, but now through God's help I am about to order a second."

"Without his divine aid you will be scarcely able to recognize your
front door," said the artist laughing.

"What do you know about that?" rejoined the Parson with a severe look.
"He whom a merciful Deity has blest with the capacity of carrying his
four measures of Bergstrasser, is ungrateful to his Maker when he only
drinks three." Saying this he clapped the tin cover of his stone
measure in an audible manner and a hoarse voice answered from a
neighbouring room: "Coming, Your Reverence, coming." And forthwith a
jolly looking little figure with a big red head appeared and took away
the Parson's jug.

"And to you, Sir Italiano, shall I bring once more a bucket of water
and a thimbleful of wine?" asked the small man, who knew Felix from his
former sojourn at the Hirsch.

"As usual, Klaus," answered Felix laughing, whereupon a small glass of
wine and a bottle of water were set before him.

When Felix had looked more attentively at his neighbor, and then cast a
glance at the quaint looking waiter, he felt positive, that he had seen
the two together somewhere within a few days. "Was it not Klaus, that I
saw in your company lately in the ante-chamber of the new hall?" asked
he of the Parson. Mr. Adam Neuser, for he was the quiet soaker, pulled
down his mouth, as if his red wine tasted of the cork. "Formerly he was
court-fool," he said. "But the new-fangled pietists have abolished the
office. The foreign court parsons prefer making a fool of our gracious
sovereign. They would not even grant him a pension; at that he wished
to complain to the Kurfürst in person. All of no avail. Who knows,
perhaps, I shall come down to being waiter at the Hirsch, if I do not
wish to starve." And he grimly poured a beaker of red wine down his
throat.

"Hallo, Neuser, how does the early rising agree with you?" said a deep
voice belonging to a portly looking cleric who now entered the room.
"It was a first-rate idea of our mutual friend Olevianus, to punish you
by appointing you to conduct morning prayer, ha, ha, ha."

"I have scored him down for that, Inspector," rejoined the ruddy faced
Neuser, "and I think the time is coming when we shall drive the
Trevians, Silesians and French out of South Germany, where they have no
business."

"You forget the Italians," inserted Felix laughing.

"No one has up to the present had to complain of your brother," here
put in Parson Willing, who had entered the room together with Inspector
Sylvan, a slight fair man with interesting but unclerical features, who
looked as if he willingly played chess, but unwillingly preached the
Gospel. "Magister Laurenzano acts in a modest manner, as befits a
foreigner, he is a pleasant companion, and he does not love Calvinists
any better than we do, therefore may he play secretly at popery. Ten
Bishops would never have plagued us as does this one Olevianus."

"Yea verily," continued here Neuser, "I speak of him and of all the
starvelings who have tumbled down on our fair Palatinate like a sow on
a bag of oats, and are now so full of grub that nothing is good enough
for them. Do you know, what that Silesian Ursinus lately wrote in a
report to the Kurfürst, when His Grace stopped at Amberg? 'To answer in
a few words,' he wrote, 'it is my belief as a Christian that there are
not six competent clergymen in the whole of the Palatinate.' Those were
his own words. May the Königstuhl and Heiligenberg fall on his proud,
Silesian pate, if we are not christian enough for him."

"Then must cursing be a part of Christianity," murmured the waiter,
angry with the Parson, who in order to lay more emphasis on his
concluding words, came down so heavily with his fist on the table that
the glasses jumped and part of the contents of his beaker ran over.

"Ho, ho, do not be so peppery, beloved Colleague," here piped in a
squeaky voice a fat little man, who funnily resembled a dressed out
porpoise, and who was introduced to Felix as Parson Suter of
Feudenheim. He added politely taking his seat next to Inspector Sylvan:

"Under the protection of my Inspector the Lützelsachsener tastes like
Ingelheimer. But is not the way in which our Adam is treated,
shameful," he continued clapping Neuser on the back, "a man, without
whom the Hirsch could not exist."

"And who has the largest congregation in Heidelberg," snarled out
Klaus.

"How the largest congregation?" asked the Inspector.

"Yes, of all who do not go to Church." The others laughed, Neuser
however cast an angry look at the Fool. "Go to thy barrel, thou
wine-spigot."

"He who fiddles the truth, catches it over the head with the bow,"
rejoined Klaus in leaving, while the room re-echoed with the laughter
of the clerics at the anger of their already somewhat intoxicated
colleague. By this time the pale face of Master Laurenzano appeared
from out of the background, who held out to his brother with much grace
his small white hand whilst he with a polite bow asked Neuser, the
martyr of the hour, as to the state of his health. "I am well," said
the fat gentleman spitefully, "and hope the reverend Father is the
same." Paul paid no attention to the allusion but took his seat between
the Inspector and his brother. He must however have overheard part of
the discussion, for he said to Sylvan with a friendly smile: "Your
Colleagues let me know pretty well every evening, that they do not like
the presence of foreigners, and that they will not have in their
country either Calvinists, Lutherans, or Papists. But whom do they then
wish? A man must, so it seems to me, be a Heidelberger and drink a
quantity of beer and wine, otherwise he will never be a good cleric in
their eyes."

The stately Inspector shook his head. "I am myself not a native of the
Palatinate, and yet no one has ever told me, that I was in his way."

The Jesuit looked over his man. "You are a Bavarian, Sir?"

"No, I am from Tyrol, and was a Papist and moreover a zealous one."

"May one ask what damped that zeal?" said Paul with curiosity.

"Why not?" said Sylvan. "The story is not pretty, but it is interesting
for people like you, and cannot hurt me to relate, for it took place a
long time ago. I come from Trieste, and was educated by Abbot Altherr
in Innsbruck, and after being consecrated was sent as Chaplain in the
neigbourhood of Salzburg, to aid an aged Priest who found his duties
too much for him. Thus I came out of the Seminary into the world, with
my head full of plans for the improvement and reformation of men. I got
on very well with my fat old Colleague. He lived with his housekeeper,
and every afternoon went to Salzburg to drink the good Strohwein at St.
Peter's. That just suited me, as I then had the management of the
parish to myself. I carried my wisdom up and down the mountains,
preached the Gospel to the peasants till I perceived that they made fun
of me, and that their favorite Priest was he who kept most out of their
way. Feeling sore I concluded that if the peasants would not hear me I
would sit down in the library of the parsonage and set the world on
fire through some learned work. Whether I should write on the
archangels or the church-tithes would entirely depend on the books I
might find there to hand. But heaven only knows what the patristic
writings were that I found there. Amadis of Gaul, Erasmus and Hutten,
the works of Boccaccio and Sannazar, the Epigrams of Poggio, and the
novels of Rabelais. It became suddenly clear to me why this good Priest
required so much Strohwein to stupefy him. The love stories which I
read, did me much mischief, but I soon cast them away from me; my zeal
was awakened and I determined to do away with the scandal. One
afternoon that the Priest had gone out, and that the housekeeper was
visiting her nephews and nieces, I packed up the entire library of the
Antichrist and carried them into the court. I had soon piled up the
filthy works and rejoiced to see how well they burnt up. But in my
ardour I had not remembered that at this very season the Föhn blew
strongly. How could a young Saint only twenty years of age think of
such a trifle, when the cause of God was in question. The burning paper
went flying about the court and before I knew the shingles of the
pig-sty were on fire. I run for water, pile dung on the burning sty,
and whilst I am sweating and puffing, I suddenly notice that the flying
bits of paper have set the shingle-roof of the parsonage on fire. I at
once run to the Church and toll the alarm bell. People hasten from all
sides. I would answer no question, see nothing, hear nothing. But
whilst tolling I see how the Church itself is filling with smoke; it is
evident that the roof is on fire, I toll all the more till at last the
bell itself lies at my feet. It was time for me to step outside. Holy
Florianus, when I look around me I see the whole place in flames! The
wind carried the burning straw from roof to roof. I did not wait to
receive from the peasants the reward of my pious efforts, but cut a
stick and left the place as hard as my legs could carry me. Of an
evening, I curled myself up in a cornfield and went fast asleep. Thus I
at last reached Innsbruck where lived my Abbot. I confessed all to him.
'Thou wert zealous but foolishly,' said he, 'thy stay in Tyrol is no
longer possible.' Thus I was obliged to come down from my mountains
towards the empire, and could choose any of the sixteen corners from
which the wind blows over the plain of Munich. It now became necessary
to repress myself and to cringe, and I soon entirely lost the art of
rooting the sins of others out by fire. When finally I reached France,
my zeal had vanished. Bishop Zobel of Würzburg thought however that I
was a thorough Tyrolean and knew how to behave myself, he therefore
appointed me Canon and Court Preacher. If there was no Strohwein there
was at least Steinwein. I found my Theresa and right or wrong as it
might please God we lived together. But finally I thought the whole
thing bad and asked in the Palatinate whether I could find employment,
as Theresa was always dinning in my ears that I should marry her, and I
felt I should like to have my children about me. Thus it was I came to
Ladenburg. Instead of heavy Steinwein I now drink Lützelsachsener. The
wine is not tasty, but only a small disrelish has to be overcome, and
it is healthier. In short Inspector Sylvan is a happier man than the
Canon of Würzburg ever was. That is my story, young man, and I think
you will find something to copy therein."

"I thank you, Sir," said Paul smiling, "you may be certain that I shall
not set your Heidelberg on fire. It catches fire without my aid once in
every four weeks."

"Room for Chancellor Probus and the Church Counsellor," cried out
Neuser eagerly, as Erast came in accompanied by a stoutly built portly
man, who leaning on his sword sat down at the clerical table. The rows
became closer and closer, and the young daughter of the court fool, a
fresh country lass from the Palatinate, gayly attended to their wants.
She appeared however not to notice Master Laurenzano. He sat there
without being waited on till the host himself brought him a measure of
wine.

"Who is the rough looking man with the huge forehead?" asked the
artist. "I mean the individual who so quickly swallows down one beaker
after another, and whose every remark calls out a shout of applause
from those in his immediate neighbourhood."

"That is Xylander, our celebrated philologist."

"Hem," murmured Felix, "our great humanists look a little different.
And the haggard looking man, who behaves in so condescending a manner,
as if he feared to tread unawares upon us poor worms with his leonine
paws?"

"Be quiet," whispered Paul, "that is the renowned Pithopöus, the great
Aristotelean of Deventer."

"He may be stolen from me for aught I care," calmly replied Felix.

"The gentlemen may prepare themselves for severe trials," now began
Chancellor Probus raising his voice to call attention. "The
introduction of the Genevese Church discipline is almost a foregone
conclusion. Presbyteries are to be formed which together with the
ministry will carry out the Church excommunication. To sweep before
strange doors will now be a profitable occupation. 'The office of the
elders,' say Calvin's ordinances, 'consists in watching the life of
others.' The quarters of the town will be divided among the elders, who
will have to inspect the different houses and verify whether the
fathers and the mothers have thoroughly studied the new Catechism,
whether the family lives in peace, whether the husband gets drunk, or
the wife rails at her neighbors, whether every one goes to Church and
Communion, whether dice or cards are in the house, and whether the
daughters dance round dances. The Parsons themselves will see to the
reform of those denounced. In a word the observance of public order
passes from the hands of the officials to those of the clerics."

"That will cause some trouble, as the sparrow said, when called upon to
lay a goose's egg," called out a shrill but somewhat husky voice.

The Chancellor wrinkled his brow. "Aha, our Klaus falls again into his
_rôle_ of fool," said the Inspector apologetically.

"He is not so wrong. Children and fools speak the truth," now spake out
Erast, rubbing with his yellow wash-leather glove the lame arm which
was paining him. "The clergy will not be strong enough to keep public
order. The authorities will be there, but still under the orders of the
Theologians. If the Magistrate Hartmann Hartmanni can preserve order by
Olevianus' directions, I cannot see why he should not have been able to
do so before. For one thing is certain, that the riotous living now
carried on in Heidelberg can no longer be tolerated, the noise in the
streets till late at night, that everlasting firing, music, and
rioting. This the Magistrate could put a stop to without the clergy,
were he not himself a gallivanter, and in every respect a boon
companion, not to mention also, that he considers himself to be quite a
humanist, and makes verses instead of sitting in the Court house."

"Verily a little discipline is necessary in Heidelberg," said Probus
confirmingly, "and now punishment follows after its neglect."

The clerical gentlemen returned no answer but looked rather confused.
An angel, or even two angels had time to pass through the room, before
that the Philosopher Pithopöus helped these gentlemen to give
expression to their thoughts, by jokingly remarking. "Then shall we not
see our spiritual friends any more in the Hirsch, for if the
Theologians must break the members of their flocks of the habit of
sitting in taverns, they themselves must set the example."

"Thus, Herr Neuser, the whole advantage of an early morning service is
lost to you, and all these nice free hours from eight o'clock on,"
added Xylander with an amused glance from under his eyebrows.

"If Olevianus' propositions take effect," said the Chancellor Probus,
"you yourself will also be spared that trouble, Professor. The taverns
will be closed, and in their place we shall have monasteries in which
the unmarried citizens will be allowed to meet together of an evening
under the supervision of Olevianus, Ursinus, or Zanchi. None will
receive anything to eat or drink, till he has said 'Grace,' or as the
Gospel has it, prayed in the corners, A resolution of the Presbyterium
fixes the number of glasses."

A general groan of disapproval followed this incredible statement.

"You are joking, Sir Chancellor," said Parson Suter with a puzzled
look.

"How," rejoined Probus, "have you not read the Geneva ordinances, which
prescribe what the Genevese are allowed to eat and drink? Did not
Calvin forbid them to eat the dried fruits of the South, did he not
also refuse to allow the poorer classes to feast on baked meats,
venison, or game? Did he not make it a law, that no Genevese should
invite more than ten persons to dinner? Did he not order that none dare
wear velvet, silk, or garments of a red color, although Geneva
possesses the largest dye-works and velvet manufactures? If the
Presbyterium can determine that Hans cannot tie the nosegay for
Gretchen with costly ribbons or gold threads, as decreed by the Geneva
ordinances, why shall it not cast a fatherly eye on the number of
glasses, swallowed down every evening by Parson Neuser? Should that
thirsty gentleman exceed the number limited, he must beg pardon of the
congregation in the Church on bended knee."

"Then is it well to drink another beaker today," squeaked out Parson
Suter in his thin voice, "here Klaus!"

"I was in Geneva," now began Parson Willing, with a diplomatic smile,
while his cunning eyes winked slyly at the Chancellor. "I know from
experience how things are managed. If a man lives too well, he is
punished by flagellation and pillory. In my time a baker was
imprisoned, for not eating meat on Fridays, as Master Calvin smelt
Kryptopapism therein. A bereaved widow was even brought up before the
Consistorium for having used the words over the grave of her husband
'_requiescat in pace_.' That young women should be flogged because
their way of dressing the hair and the cut of their clothes was not
pleasing to Calvin, is easily understood, but he also imprisoned the
dressmaker, who made the clothes, and the friends who helped to dress
them. It will be a nice time for Heidelberg, when the consumptive
butter-colored faces, which Ursinus and Zanchi have called together,
stick their noses in every pot. I remember right well, how in Geneva
they ordered me to repeat the Catechism like a school-boy, looked over
my books, sent elderly gentlemen and worthy women to the head of the
hospital to learn to pray, and made us attend for a whole year the
Sunday-school, so that we might obtain proper notions on the matter of
praedestination."

A pause testified to the impression produced by the remarks of the
experienced Parson. "Even Sunday-walks," continued he, "picnics,
bowling, singing and dancing must the inhabitants of the Palatinate
banish from their minds, for those lead to Church excommunication, and
excommunication means imprisonment and banishment."

"The foreign gentlemen need not banish me," said Neuser angrily, "for I
am about to leave of my own accord."

"Where will you go then?" rejoined Xylander. "To the Hugenots, there
will you have to rise even earlier, as they have early service before
sun-rise. To the Saxons? Think of their wretched beer, and the doctrine
of Ubiquity. To the Hanseatic towns? With Hesshufen and Westphal you
jump from the frying pan into the fire. Easier is it to throw thirteen
spots with a pair of dice than find a Church, which respects your
freedom. It is of no avail, brother, you must submit."

"I know of a place, and the Inspector and my friend Suter know it also.
We shall soon have followers, if the foreigners have it here their own
way. We quit."

"Klaus will also be of your company?" laughed Xylander.

"Klaus will become a Turk," put in the waiter, "there a man has but one
God and three wives. That is better than the reverse way."

"Peace, blasphemer," said Probus.

"It is only a matter of essay, which is better, to be a Turk or a
Palatine under Olevianus and Frederic the Pious," murmured Neuser.

"Our stout Neuser is a man capable of bartering three Heavenly Fathers
and twelve Apostles for a cask of Deidesheimer," said Xylander
mockingly, "but only remember that in Turkey wine is not allowed, the
Prophet had a weak stomach."

The Chancellor arose, the conversation was becoming too frivolous, and
he had attained his end in arousing a feeling against the Church
Council. Erast and the Professors also withdrew after a short time,
followed at last by Parson Willing.

The two brothers still kept their seats at the table with the clergy,
who openly showed that they wished for their departure. Sylvan went
even so far at to ask the artist if he did not feel like accompanying
his brother to the Stift by such a beauteous moonlight, but in vain, it
seemed as if Paul was bent on sitting out the others. He ordered a
fresh supply from Klaus, and Felix delighted at finding himself once
more with his brother, willingly joined him.

The Inspector at last got up and took another seat at the further end
of the table away from Paul and Felix, where he was eagerly surrounded
by Suter, Neuser, and a third Parson, whom they called Vehe, deacon of
Lauter. The stately Sylvan seated between the wine-soaked Neuser, the
porpoiselike Suter, and the coarse Vehe whose face seemed to consist
entirely of underjaw, resembled Orpheus among the beasts. Whilst Paul
was entertaining his brother with an account of his position, the
Inspector brought out certain letters, and said to the other in a
suppressed tone: "I went over to Speyer. Herr Kaspar Beckhess, the
Chancellor of the Woywode received me in the most friendly manner. It
would be very pleasing to him, if ripe and experienced Theologians
entered into the service of the Transylvanian Church. But he thinks,
that his Unitarians would be rather distrustful, lest the incoming
Germans should introduce as many troubles as have the Italians,
Belgians, and French in the Palatinate. Therefore we must clearly and
distinctly abjure the doctrine of the Trinity, before that
Superintendent Davidis sanctions our reception."

"To abjure the doctrine of the Trinity is rather a strong measure,"
said Vehe.

"That depends on the custom of the country," rejoined Sylvanus in
measured tones. "What is in fact really known concerning this matter?
The relation of the three persons of the Godhead is very like the
declension of the three persons in the Grammar, here we decline: sum,
es, est, there they decline: sum, sus, sut, which may also be correct."

"But if the affair gets known, before we have taken leave of the
Kurfürst," piped Suter out in his squeaky tones, "then is the round
tower our certain abode."

"I thought you would be afraid," said Sylvan laughing, "and therefore I
will snatch the chestnuts out of the fire for you. I have already
written a protest against the doctrine of the Trinity. I will send this
to the body-surgeon of the Woywode, Blandrata. I will add that you
think as I do, and I hope Davidis will be satisfied with this. Here is
the protest."

Vehe took the papers and read out the title: "Against the idolatry of
the Trinity and the worship of the two-fold Nature." "That title is
rather strong," said he, casting his wolfish eyes distrustfully in the
direction of the Italian.

"The stronger the better," rejoined Sylvan. "The Ambassador of the
Woywode, and our friends in Transylvania must be convinced, that we
seriously mean going over, otherwise we shall never receive any
suitable livings. I am leaving here, because I have been thrust to one
side, and these Northgerman and French starvelings have been stuck
under my nose. A beggarly parish in Transylvania will therefore not
suit me. I am better off in Ladenburg; are you not also of my opinion,
Neuser?"

The latter raised his wine-sodden head. "What, another Superintendent,"
said he, "who requires a covenant? Is the whole world filled with this
breed that one cannot live even in Klausenburg as one likes. Klaus is
right, rather under the Turks than under the Superintendents; I will
to-day write a memorial to the Sultan Selim. I will be freed from these
bloodsuckers. Shall I leave the Palatinate to let myself be knocked
about in Klausenburg."

"Don't shout so loud," said Sylvan, yon Jesuit pretends to be busily
conversing with his brother, but I see how he pricks up his ears. I
know these gentry from my experience at Würzburg.

"Klaus," cried Parson Vehe in his coarse voice to the waiter, "why have
asses such long ears?"

"Because their mothers did not put caps on their heads when they were
young."

"A bad guess."

"So that they may better hear the sermons from the streets, since the
Clergy forbid their entrance into the Church."

"That is better," said Vehe with a spiteful glance towards the Italian:
"that they may overhear."

"Let us away from such a crowd," roared Neuser. "Nowhere now is a man at
peace. Everywhere is listening, spying, ferreting out, denouncing,
counting the drops in one's glass, I will be a free man."

"We are in the way here," said Felix to his brother, who apparently
undisturbed by the conversation at the other side of the table, fixed
his eyes on his brother's face, but none the less had kept his ears
open to what had been said by the Parsons.

"Let them leave first," replied Paul in the Italian language, "it looks
less remarkable." In fact the four parsons rose at the same moment and
left the room in a noisy manner, without honoring the brothers with a
bow.

"German politeness," laughed Paul.

"They are beasts," said the artist, "Could I but saw away the façade of
the new building and send it off to Florence, I should consider it a
good action;" washing down by a last swallow of water the bad
impression made on him, he took his brother's arm and went out on the
Market place, where the dark massive Church opposite stood out boldly
in the quiet square now resplendent with the light of a clear moon.
Felix made his way towards the Schloss, Paul towards the bridge. The
young Priest saw naught of the metallic gleam of the moonlit river,
naught of the mist, which rolled in fairylike play around the valley,
he was full of the blasphemies, which he had heard, of the plans of the
wicked Priests, who wished to swell the army of those who deny the holy
Trinity. It seemed to him not improbable, that all the influential and
important men, who that day had gathered round the table, were secret
allies of the Arians, But with one blow would he destroy this nest of
Satan, this was his inward vow, and if he had known but one sentiment
of mercy, when the cause of God was in question, it would not have
availed in this case, opposed to the thirst for revenge of the
Neapolitan, who had apparently treated the vulgar insults of these
coarse men with contempt, whilst in reality his heart was fired with
the desire, to pay them back in his own peculiar coin. Sylvan
especially, that handsome man vain as a peacock, was the principal
object of his wrath, a man who had been granted the highest honors of
the Catholic Church, and who to-day openly admitted the fundamental
principle of all gregarious animals, ever to hasten thither where the
best pasturage was to be found. As soon as Paul had reached his room,
he drew up in a secret cypher a full report of what he had heard on
this memorable evening. "Up to the present," thought Paul dipping his
pen, "I have only slain small foxes and wild boars, who were desolating
the vineyard of the Lord, to-day has a spotted royal stag, who breaks
through the forest with spreading antlers, received an arrow in his
heart." With a feeling of triumph did he lie down, to be in readiness
to forward his letters the first thing in the morning from the town to
Speyer.



                              CHAPTER IX.


The sun was setting and still Felix remained on the topmost boards of
his scaffolding, to examine the cornice and the cracks in the walls
which appeared to require filling up. At the midday meal he had heard
that Erast's daughter had returned home, and who knows whether this
news had not brought back to his memory the most perilous portion of
his undertaking. At all events, whilst he was examining the pilasters,
consoles and figures, the remembrance of the fair maiden at the Stift
came back to his recollection more than once. Two hundred feet above
ground, standing on a narrow plank, he looked straight in the face of
the grave Serapis, then he passed his hand over his eyes, and bethought
him that this was not a good place for a reverie, and shaking his head,
said: "If I make a false step to-day, and come to the same end as did
Phaëton, no one but the fair Klytia is to blame, for whosoever has once
seen this maiden's sweet smile, will be haunted by the remembrance of
the dimple in her cheeks, even if he ascends as high up as to the
planetary Deities. Those old gentlemen have some knowledge of these
matters." As he was preparing to come down, he recognised the fair
maiden of whom he was thinking, standing in person before him close to
the window.

Klytia had in reality returned from the convent to the home of her
father, and had curled up her little nose in no small degree when she
perceived the scaffolding before her window and the dust in her room.
In spite of the sad recollections of that day in the Stift she felt
lonely at home. Even the farewell she took of the good Abbess was more
painful than she had thought it could be, and her anger against her
companions quite disappeared when they wished her good-bye amidst
kisses and good-humored jokes. She sat at her high window and gazed
through the scaffolding in a dreamy manner at the distant Rhine valley.
The Neckar flowed like a silver thread through the plain, whose fields
were white for the harvest; in the distance the blue Haardt mountains
were to be seen, the blossoming acacias on the slopes of the Jettenbühl
filled the air with perfume, and to the right and left the flowering
chestnuts dotted as if with a white powder the dark-green woods. Around
the Heiligengeist the closely built houses seemed like sheep
surrounding their shepherd, and the two towers on the bridge standing
on either side of the river seemed hospitably to invite the inhabitants
to cross over. It was the same lovely picture which had formerly so
delighted her, but now it possessed no longer this charm; her joyous
heart had remained behind in the convent, and her entranced glance
lingered on the tower of the bridge as if through this gate all her
happiness--passed in or out she knew not which. As she now sat at her
window over her work, she felt what was lost to her: "If my mother
were but still alive," she thought, and a tear dropped from under her
eye-lashes. However much she loved her grave father she could not
confide her feelings to him. She had been shamefully deceived. The man,
whom she had deified as the best on earth, had proved himself to be a
wicked angel in the garb of a good shepherd, and the insult which he
had offered her, had sorely stricken her maiden heart. What did it
avail, that she had _bonam conscientiam_, as the good Abbess was wont
to say, it seemed nevertheless to her as if she had done some wrong in
suffering a hypocrite to have so much influence over her, and as she
thought of the terrible moment after the evening _exercitia_ in the
Chapel, the blood flew to her cheeks, and she bent over her work while
indignation and shame struggled within her. Whilst thus deeply wrapped
up in thought and painful reminiscences she was startled from her work
by seeing the shadow of a man passing close to the window on the
scaffolding. She was so accustomed to live here in profound solitude,
that she rose up terrified, as at the most did a sparrow fly against
the window or a pigeon settle on the coping. The head of the man was
above the window so that she could only see up to his shoulders. A man
at such a moment would have thought how shall I rouse the house; a
woman would have feared lest the poor young man should fall from his
narrow plank into the depths beneath. Lydia was still too much of a
child for either, and as the first fright passed away, she was filled
with curiosity to see the head appertaining to those young feet. A
sudden presentiment shot through her mind. It seemed to her as if she
saw them wandering over the meadows of the convent and treading upon
certain blue flowers. Quickly did she spring up to shut the window; but
Master Felice had already recognised her: "Ah! so you are back, noble
maiden?" said he cheerily. "I greet you from my airy height."

"You will fall," said Klytia anxiously, "please finish your work, it
makes me giddy."

"Oh, here I feel as comfortable as does the ant when swinging on a
pine-cone. How fresh the air is! Allow me to sit down." And he leant
his back against a beam, nursing one of his knees between his hands,
while the other leg swung backward and forward over the scaffold.

"Have you much to do in this dangerous situation?" asked Klytia, who in
her terror had almost begged him to get down through her window.

"A pretty good deal," replied the architect laughing, "I must cobble
Serapis' boots, Jupiter's eagle will be _minus_ a tail if I do not
treat him to a little mortar, Cupid is in danger of losing his head,
for which you are perhaps responsible, Faith and Hope are in pretty
good condition, but Charity has lost her nose, and Samson must have a
new jawbone of an ass. You see, that you could hardly remain in this
Schloss without me."

"Do go, how can you joke in such danger."

"By the eyes of the Madonna, I do not joke. Do you wish for a Cupid
without a head, and a Charity without a nose?"

"I do not wish to have anything to do with either, but so that I may
not keep you any longer in your break-neck position, permit me to shut
the window."

"No, as you have asked for permission, that I cannot suffer. Rather
give me a more gracious farewell, by telling me at what hour evening
service begins in the Castle-Chapel? I should much like to hear my
brother preach, as he has become so sparing of his words since he has
come over to you."

"Magister Laurenzano preaches?" asked Klytia terrified, her heart
seeming to stop.

"Yes," replied Felix smiling, "and do you know when?"

"Evening service begins at six," said Klytia shortly, "and I hope you
may get down in safety," and with hasty trembling hands she closed her
window. Felix looked after her in astonishment, and then shaking his
head he began his journey downwards lost in thought. Klytia had
hastened to a back room, as if she felt there better protected from her
own thoughts. She arranged the room, but soon forgot where she had
placed the different articles, so that she had to look for them again.
Sad and discontented she sat down once more to her work. The little
room felt close, for the rays of the setting sun poured into it. She
re-opened the window. Outside all was still and Felix had taken away
the ladders, so she felt secure from intrusion. With beating heart she
took up her work. Never again would she see the man, who though bound
down by dark vows had nevertheless sought her love. Soon the first
among the worshippers came out of the doors of the Castle which led
across to the Chapel. Her female friends looked up at her to see
whether she would not join them. She drew back into the room. The bells
began to chime. It was the only church music, which the Kurfürst
permitted "for the nonce" as he said, even the organ had to give way to
the general reformation. Klytia heard the booming tones with heavy
heart, it seemed as if they tolled for a funeral, whether her own, or
his, she knew not. When the bells ceased, and all around was silent in
the large court, a sudden shiver passed over her, it took away her
breath, she felt she must hasten into the air. Outside she heard the
singing, and as in a dream she took her hood and cloak, and prayerbook
in hand, she as if drawn in against her will, entered into the house of
God in which preached this terrible man, and crept into the last row
near the door where she hoped to remain concealed from his diabolical
gaze. Was it the magic of the bells, that had drawn her thither, had
the Psalms possessed that power, or had she gone to seek him, from
whose eyes she sought to shield herself by hiding behind the pillar?
The clergyman ascended the pulpit and read out the prayers. As Felix
after a while looked in the direction where sat Klytia he noticed that
she had moved more forward in her seat, and now endeavoured to catch
Master Paul's eye.

Felix looked around the lofty Chapel in an absent and disgusted manner.
Was this the celebrated Church of the Heidelberg castle, the wealthiest
at that time of all the Rhenish provinces? The high gothic arches had
been whitewashed, the paintings ruthlessly daubed over disclosed
themselves, however, here and there to the practised eye of the artist.
A large spot at the entrance marked the place, where the font had once
stood, another in the chancel the broken down altar. Without any regard
to the architecture of the building the benches had been grouped in a
square, in the middle of which stood, a most ludicrous object to Felix,
"the honorable table." A part of the congregation turned their backs to
the chancel which remained unused without Altar or Crucifix. The
colored windows had been replaced by plain glass, and angrily did Felix
gaze through those at the blue sky, as he asked himself what could have
become of the famed glass paintings, to restore which known Masters had
spent great portions of their lives? Even the old Heidelberg school of
singing, which had once possessed a building of its own at the foot of
the Schlossberg had disappeared. The people shouted in chorus, as
appeared best to each individually. When the singing was over, the
Preacher read out his text in a soft, melodious voice and laid the book
aside with a graceful motion. Then he passed his white hand over his
pale lips and began his sermon. His silvery melodious tones rang
through the Church, at times like the monotonous melancholy murmur of a
fountain, at other times rising to the majestic roll of thunder, but in
the midst of the loudest blast of this rhetorical hurricane, the voice
suddenly once more assumed a low loving tone which doubly touched the
heart. These homiletic sounds moved Felix in no sense. He looked at the
disposition of the benches, he thought to himself, how otherwise they
would have looked if dimly lighted by the colored windows of the
chancel filled with the smoke of incense, buried in the shadows of dark
side chapels and the semi-light of deep niches. Gradually he mastered
his indignation sufficiently to turn his attention to the words of the
Preacher, who moved about the pulpit with the confidence of a trained
orator and the innate grace of an Italian. He had bent over the edge of
the pulpit, the white ruff stood up, and he resembled with his
outstretched arms a bird about to take its flight. In speaking colors
he described the dangers of life, the dependency of the defenceless
heart. A world of despondency lay in his mournful tones. "Nowhere a
consolation or support, not in ourselves for the heart is a hardened,
deceitful, unreliable thing; not in others, for they are like unto
ourselves; not in the world in general, for it belongs not to the good,
but to the wicked. Where then is a refuge, salvation, a sure foundation
on which we may depend?" A pause aroused the expectations and gave the
oppressed hearts time to become conscious of their own anguish. Then
the Preacher continued with a movement of the hand, which showed how
near the blessing was at hand. "Behold the Church, thy mother, thy
guide, thy protector and consoler under all difficulties."

Felix out of humor looked about him. "We all know how that is done,"
thought he. He again watched the congregation. The few men were
heedless, the children restless, but the women hung with all the more
attention on the lips of the young orator. When Felix again listened
his brother was depicting the punishment of the other world. "They will
be tortured through all eternity, says the Scriptures. How long is an
eternity?" he then asked with as steady a look at his congregation as
if he required of them a positive answer. "Let us suppose that this
high lofty mountain lying towards the east, be made of polished steel
and that every thousand years a bird came and pecked with its little
beak this steel mountain and then flew away. How many thousands of
years would it require ere the mountain was pecked to pieces? Or let us
suppose that a large lake stretches from these hills here to yonder
Haardt mountains, and that every thousand years a gnat came and sucked
up through its little trunk as much water as it required to still its
thirst, how many thousands of years would this little insect require to
suck up the whole lake? When the bird has picked away the mountain, and
the gnat drunk up the lake, that will not even be a millioneth part of
an eternity, the Scripture however says: they will be tortured
throughout all eternity."

"Humbug," murmured Felix to himself and for the first time in his life
he felt a sort of repugnance towards his brother, for whom he usually
had had only the tender feelings of a friend and father; he looked up
with a sort of displeasure at the tall young figure which with bowed
knee almost disappeared within the pulpit, then again rose up quickly
with outstretched arms, and sank backwards as if he had been stricken
to the heart with a deadly blow, only to repeat once again with
uplifted hand "Only the Church, preaching, and the word."

"That comes from having done away with organ, colored windows, and male
choirs, they must crack up with immoderate praise the excellency of
wares for which no mouth now waters, whilst in the Church, as we adorn
it, the heart draws up men with it." As finally the speaker with a
thorough knowledge of his subject produced a final homiletic storm, and
the entire fullness of his voice reached its highest developement,
Felix awaited his Amen with impatience and when the congregation after
a song of praise left the Church without the usual organ accompaniment,
but amidst the hasty trot and shuffling of the school-children and the
loud remarks of the men, the Italian felt himself colder and less
satisfied than at any time when leaving after Vespers.

As he came out of the door of the Church into the court filled with the
rays of an evening sun, his look fell at once upon the tall figure of
the Counsellor Erast who was waiting for his daughter. He wished to
pass on with a polite bow, but Erast stopped him with the friendly
inquiry as to how the reformed service had pleased the Papist.
"Monotonous melodies badly sung," said the Italian evasively. He felt
he was not called upon to preach the gospel to the heathen. But the
Counsellor was in his own waters. "Ah so," said he, "you do not know
our musical canon. We observe Calvin's Institutio in this matter.
'Attention is to be paid', says the Genevese teacher, 'that the ear
does not strive more after the melody than the spirit after the meaning
of the words. Songs, which are calculated only to produce a pleasing
impression and to delight the ear are not suitable to the Majesty of
the Church and must be displeasing to God.'"

"Quite the contrary," answered the Italian dryly, "if the Almighty only
possesses the slightest ear for music, he will exclude these people
from the celestial choirs if only on account of their inharmonious
shrieks. The singing is only fit for Hell."

Erast laughed. "And the Magister's sermon, did that find grace in your
sensitive ears?"

"Had the House of God been left as our forefathers built it," said
Felix, "no excessive oratory would be needed to lead souls to God."

"We are accustomed to be edified by the word, not by pictures, symbols,
and all kinds of singsong," rejoined Erast smiling.

"By the word," cried Felix angrily. "Do you then believe that the
chanted word is not the word of God? And the question remains still the
same whether the Maestro of Palestrina does not rather disclose to me
the meaning of the word and imprints it deeper in my heart, or whether
Parson Neuser, Suter, or whatever these gentlemen are called whom I
lately met sitting round the table at the Hirsch do so. Perhaps you
also have seen at St. Mark's in Florence the picture by Fra Angelico of
the two disciples inviting the Saviour disguised as a pilgrim to tarry
with them, for the day is far spent and night is at hand. You could
hear many sermons on the disciples at Emmaus from your celebrated
Church divines before obtaining a conception of the text, which Fiesole
places before you in so impressive a manner. He who has seen the look
of the Saviour in that picture, will be accompanied through life by
this look, as by the best text out of the Bible."

"I also have spent many a profitable hour in your churches," said
Erast, "but I have remarked how the best pictures as well as the worst
are reverenced by the people as idols, and the worship of the only true
God is lessened thereby. I know the picture in San Marco well, and as
you state, no one who has seen the gentle features of the Master and
his disciples can forget them. I have seen however other pictures,
which I can just as little forget. As for instance the horrible
Sebastian, Roche and Mark in the hospital at Venice. When the Lazareth
fever broke out in consequence of the filthy management, it was not
combated by fresh air, pure water and lime, as we do it, but new lights
were lit to the three Patron Saints. If nevertheless people died, then
the Saints were insulted, spat upon, beaten, then everything was held
to be done. No one thought of practical earthly measures. That is a
consequence of mixing religion and art together. For this cause did I
move no hand, when all the pictures here were done away with, although
I felt grieved for many a work of art." The Italian perceived well the
seed of truth which lay in these words, but he was as horrified at the
heretical sentiment as if the claw of Satan had laid hold of him. He
made the sign of the cross, and remarking, that Erast smiled
contemptuously took up the discussion excitedly.

"The people ever remains the people," said he sharply. "Since they no
longer seek help from images, they do believe the more in witches and
magic in the which God's worship acquires nothing. You cannot be
ignorant of the fact that in the small Geneva, Calvin has burnt more
magicians and witches than have been burnt during our life time in the
whole of Italy. It is therefore better for the people to turn for aid
to the images of the Madonna than to Satan. In the matter of lights and
choirs you have not even the excuse of misuse, or has the organ also
tended towards idolatry?"

"We do not go to Church to see lights and hear music, but to ponder
over the sufferings of the Lord."

"Sir," said the artist in a voice trembling with excitement, "I
happened to be in Rome last Easter in the Chapel of the Pope, as on the
day previous to the death of the Saviour they recalled to our minds,
according to our form of worship, the sufferings of the Lord. The choir
gave expression to the feeling which fills the soul at the thought of
the terrible crime committed by mankind on Christ. That was no
singsong, it seemed as if a deep wail passed over the whole earth and
heaven on account of the blasphemy and evil of the world, and we wept
likewise. And the lights which had been lit had no charm for us. One
after another were they extinguished by an invisible hand. The last was
borne away behind the altar. The Church was dark and only Michel
Angelo's colossal figures of the last judgement loomed forth in the
background. But this gradual extinction of the lights affected us more
deeply than the best sermon could have done. I trembled, in my
excitement I raised my hand to save the last flickering life-flame of
the Saviour, and as the last light disappeared, then did we understand
what the Scripture saith: 'The light shone in the darkness, but the
darkness apprehended it not.' The pure and beautiful life of the
Saviour was extinguished before our eyes. Believe me, I felt at that
time the sufferings of the Lord more deeply, than if I had been in your
Reformed church, and a red-faced man had stood up in the pulpit and had
spoken in the coarse voice of a drunkard of a suffering which he
comprehended not."

"If the preacher does not believe, the case is bad everywhere."

"If, if," cried Felix passionately, "real belief has ever been rare on
earth. And does not even your Church Counsellor Ursinus himself state,
that he scarcely knows six Christian clergymen in the Palatinate?"

"What does Ursinus know, who seated behind his study table continually
finds objections, and who for years has seen nothing of the world but
the road from the Sapientia college to the clerical Library in the
tower?"

"Well, what I have seen myself does not convince me that these
gentlemen can ever replace Michel Angelo, Raphael and Palestrina."

"In spite of these Masters we are far ahead of you in true culture,"
said Erast calmly.

"In true culture!" cried Felix angrily. "Look on this building. The
culture of your people in these matters was incited by our Masters,
then came the great heretic of Wittenberg, the horrible demon sent by
the Wicked one to destroy you, and since then what have you done?
Catechisms, confessions, pamphlets, books on subjects which none can
know, and all your lives passed in wrangling, strife, and discussing
unprofitable subjects. Only keep on in this way, and you will never
again behold such edifices as that of the departed Otto Heinrich, but
only continual bloodshed, hate and never-ending strife."

"Young man," replied Erast, "you have been only a few weeks in Germany,
and do you therefore think yourself competent to speak a lasting
judgement on our land? Look only at our schools, how the young people
grow up Catechism in hand, know the words of Scripture, learn reading,
writing, and the ten commandments. Look into the homes of our citizens.
If we can once succeed in introducing in every house the Holy
Scriptures, the German translation by Martin Luther, so that every man
at any hour can take up the word of God, then are your sensuous means
not necessary. Perhaps you find this proceeding coarse and plain, but
that our people light no candles to the Virgin so that their children
may regain their health, but rather seek a physician, that they do not
go halves in matters of stealing and robbery with images of the Saints,
arises from the fact, that they are edified by the word of God, which
tells them what God wills, not by images, lights and music, when every
man thinks of the desire of his heart, the one of the good and
beautiful, the other of murder and thieving."

The calm man was beginning to work himself into a state of excitement
when luckily Lydia came up. She appeared disturbed and her eyes shone
feverishly bright. She listened to the conversation in silence, but
heard the Artist rather with her eyes than with her ears.

"How like him, he is," she thought.

"And what do you say?" now asked Felix politely.

"That the one does not exclude the other. God's word remains throughout
eternity, and when men are thoroughly imbued with it, then perhaps can
they return again to images, lights, and organs."

"Thoroughly a woman's decision," said Felix laughing, "or shall I
rather say: a judgement of Solomon?"

"No, Sir painter. The wise Solomon was a man, and therefore said,
_either_, _or_, and ordered the child to be cut in two parts, the Queen
of Sheba would have said: you shall both have the child and in this way
does the world go on best."

"See how wise the maidens in the Palatinate are," rejoined Erast
smiling, stretching out his hand to wish Felix farewell. Klytia felt
very pleased at having given so good an answer and singing gleefully
sprang up the steps to the portal of the Castle.



                               CHAPTER X.


Master Paolo had indeed noticed his beloved pupil attending the evening
service, and though the experienced orator had in no way broken down
but let his pulpit eloquence roll on in the usual track, nevertheless
his thoughts from the moment he became aware of her presence, did not
remain earnestly fixed on the eternal pains of hell of which he was
speaking. This was certainly improper, but whilst causing the bird to
pick away the iron mountain, he thought: "she has forgiven thee;" and
whilst his congregation was adding up the thousands of years, he said
to himself: "she cannot tear herself away from thee." As he stood after
the sermon in the lofty Chapter hall, adjoining the Chapel, and beheld
through the high windows the sweet maiden standing in the court yard in
eager converse with his brother and her father, he felt much inclined
to join them, but the days of deep mortification through which he had
passed were still present before him and he escaped through the hall of
the Castle to the Burgweg.

The _primus omnium_ of the College at Venice had felt himself
thoroughly humbled under the cold look of the Countess at Neuburg, and
the same sensation crept over him which he had formerly experienced
when convicted of a gross grammatical error by the Jesuit fathers
during his school days. Whilst teaching in the children's classes he
often made a hasty motion, stamped with his feet, or bit his lips till
they bled. The passionate excitable Neapolitan nature now rose
uppermost. He was to be seen talking rapidly to himself in the woods,
angrily striking the bushes with his stick, and the children were once
much amused at seeing Magister Laurenzano seated on a bench near the
convent pond, violently boxing his own ears and crying out repeatedly
_pazzo_, _pazzo_! But only because he had acted as a fool, he said
within himself, not because he was a sinner, and when he made in the
Hirsch the great discovery of the damnable heresy of the parsons, his
dogmatic indignation at these blasphemers against God helped to banish
from his memory his own moral discomfiture. For a few days he was
filled with the remembrance of the disgraceful Arian conspiracy. He had
done with Lydia as he imagined. The heedless child now crossed his path
once more of her own accord. Buried in thought he made his way down the
Schlossberg, often pausing as if wishing to be overtaken, often
standing still, as if wishing to climb up once again and seek Lydia in
her own home. As he finally composed himself and was hastening in a
resolute manner to his apartment, he met at the gate of the bridge the
very person whom he now desired to escape. Erast had patients in the
next village and his daughter willingly accompanied him. The physician
addressed Paul in a kindly manner, whilst Lydia walked before them with
bowed head listening attentively to what was said. On the father being
stopped by one of his patients, the two young people were compelled to
join one another, but to-day words seemed to fail the ready-witted
Italian. He changed color and kept catching his breath. To break the
painful silence Lydia praised the clear hue of the river flowing past
them.

"The Neckar has become a friend to me," replied Paolo, "since I lived
at the Stift; a friend about whose humor I inquire daily. If when awake
I hear its restless moan prolonged during the whole night, and behold
it the next morning gloomy and troubled, and the mountain above casting
over it a deep shadow I feel as if I ought to console it. But another
day its rippling sounds joyfully, it looks at me with thousand clear
eyes and changing wanton lights, like the laugh of a child. In winter
often does it seethe in its hasty passion and smoke like boiling water,
being warmer than the chilled world around. To-day it is transparent
and pure, like a young man with an easy conscience, but I have seen it
looking quite differently," added the Preacher with a slight tremor in
his voice, "troubled by evil storms and tempests and red with shame at
what it had done." Saying this Paul attempted to look into the maiden's
face, but immediately cast down his eyes. His first words had struck a
sympathetic cord in Lydia's breast, but the direct acknowledgement of
his sins embarrassed her. "How unhappy must he be when he confesses to
me," thought she, and the pity of her heart shone out of the innocent
eyes which gazed earnestly at him. The approach of her father put an
end to all further explanations. They separated, as Erast wished to go
to Neuenheim, Paul to the Stift. The good child felt now lighter at
heart since the first dreaded interview with her former teacher was
over, and the terrible remembrance buried. Mechanically, as if it must
be so, did she reach out her hand to the man whose mental confusion she
increased. Paul now knew, that he would daily find at this same hour
the punctual physician on his visit to his sick patient, and thus
accident often brought it about that their ways met. Erast liked to
speak about Italy; Paolo knew how to relate; one always saw everything
clearly represented when he depicted his home, the shimmering red over
Vesuvius, as well as the ripples of the canal which splashed up against
the marble steps in Venice. He understood moreover the gracious art of
listening respectfully to the old man, and when Lydia perceived, what a
high opinion her father had of Paul, she soon came under the spell of
his appearance more helplessly than ever. Her hopes returned. Even
should the good Abbess be in the right and he had been a zealous
papist, why should he not shake off the secret bonds and as a free man
ask her hand of her father, who would never refuse it! Was she less
worthy than others, that a man should perpetrate this sacrifice for
her. As day after day Paul sought her company in the presence of her
father, and paid his silent homage, she began once more to believe in
the sincerity of his wooing. That Love which believes all, and hopes
all, told her, that he had cast away the old Faith for her sake, and
with a ready confidence did she give herself up to this new belief. One
evening he had again joined them, and whilst her father entered into
his patient's house, Lydia found herself once more alone with the
Magister, He immediately took her hand and said: "Lydia, have you
forgiven me?" And the same sensation came over her that she ever had
when near him, a tightening of the heart, a numbness of the will, and
an undefined fear of being forced to do what he wished, against her own
will, a blissful torture. He wound his arm around her waist, and kissed
and kissed her over and over again. No explanation, no requests, no
words, only kisses, burning kisses. And she stood there tremblingly
resistless. But her heart did not feel the same happiness, that it had
felt the first time she leant on his breast. Then like an angel of God
had he gently drawn her to him, today he seized her as if committing a
sin, his eyes rolled about restlessly to see whether they were alone,
and hearing Erastus approaching, quickly did he hasten towards a field,
where he pulled up a few plants and placing their blossoms within the
lining of his hat, cleverly engaged the physician even from afar in a
conversation about his patient, before that he could come up to where
the excited child stood. Lydia soon came back to her senses. Her maiden
pride revolted against such a treatment. His kisses burnt like spots
upon her glowing cheeks, and as they passed a farm, where a clear cold
water poured from two pipes, she felt as if she wished to enter, and
wash away the impure taint. Ashamed and sad she walked on before them,
thinking to herself how she could best make him declare his veritable
intentions. But now an event occurred which plainly showed her the
abyss round which she trod. A cloud of dust arose on the road leading
to Ladenburg. On approaching, the three discerned a cart surrounded by
mounted men accompanying two prisoners. Erastus pained at such a sight
looked away. On this one of the prisoners, a long tall figure arose and
cried out to the physician: "Friend, appeal on our behalf to the
Kurfürst. We were not in earnest, and did not intend to emigrate."
Struck by the well known sound of this voice Erastus stared at the
afflicted dust-covered man and recognized with horror Inspector Sylvan
whose guest he had frequently been in Ladenburg.

"There stands the traitor," now cried with furious gestures the other
prisoner. Deacon Vehe, "he overheard us in the Hirsch," A cold smile
passed over Paul's pale face.

"Take heed of him," now cried Sylvan, "and warn Neuser." With that the
sad cavalcade passed on, as the riders whipped up the horses, so as to
prevent any further remarks being exchanged. Horrified Erastus gazed at
Laurenzano's cold stony face, whilst Lydia burst into tears. It
suddenly became clear to her that the Magister was still treading the
same dark paths, and as he had hurried to their destruction these men,
friends of her father, so had she almost become his victim. She
immediately depicted him to herself as wearing the cowl, from under
which his demoniacal eyes gleamed at her, as her own had terrified her
at that time from under the "Mirror of remembrance."

"Why have you accused those two men?" asked Erastus hoarsely of the
Italian.

Laurenzano contemptuously shrugged his shoulders. "I know not what the
good people mean. They took out in the Hirsch all kinds of papers and
whispered together, whilst my brother Felix was relating his adventures
to me, then they suddenly arose, cast an angry look at us and left
without greeting. Had they forbidden secrets, it was not necessary for
them to mention them in a tavern."

Erastus looked in silence at the Italian, but Paul continued calmly in
a tone of slight reproof: "Moreover I only went to these evening
gatherings because you advised me not to hold myself aloof from the
country clergy. After my experience of to-day I shall deny myself that
pleasure."

"Pardon me," answered Erastus with a feeling of shame, holding out his
hand to Paul, "in that case the matter will be cleared up. And you have
no idea of the contents of these papers?"

"I heard the names Transylvania, and that of the Woywode mentioned
several times, but the secrets of these vulgar men did not seem to me
worth listening to."

Erastus shook his head thoughtfully. "They wished to emigrate, so said
Sylvan.... To Transylvania, therefore to the Unitarians, Sylvan's old
idea. That may turn out badly," and he became buried in deep thought.

Lydia was not so easily appeased as her father. Her woman's instinct
told her that Paul was guilty. That said by the prisoners agreed but
too well with what she knew of the cowled monk, of his efforts for
papistry, of his secret masses and _exercitia_, and with what the good
Abbess had said to her. It was clear he was the same man to-day that he
had ever been, and the heartless monk had wished to carry on a bold
game with her. Angrily rejecting any attempted approach made by Paul
she walked on hastily before them. Thus even the Magister was pleased
when they separated at the head of the Bridge.

When father and daughter entered the town they found it in a state of
great excitement. "They wanted to make Turks of us," called out an old
woman as she descended the steps of the Heiligengeist. "They would
betray the empire to the Sultan! The Church Counsellor has just told us
so from the pulpit!"

"Speak no nonsense, Quadin," called out a lusty citizen. "Parson
Neuser was an honorable man, and I preferred his red nose to all the
pale-faced men, who gave themselves no rest, till they have wrought his
destruction."

"What has happened to Parson Neuser," asked Erastus of the speaker.

"Do you not know, Sir Counsellor?" rejoined Neuser's advocate.
"Magistrate Hartmann Hartmanni received the order of the Kurfürst to
arrest him, but the Magistrate tarried too long at the gaming-table,
and by the time he had said something pretty to all the waitresses the
black bird was over the hills. His wife lied in saying he was only gone
out, but in searching the house they found burnt papers and a packed up
knapsack; his money he must have taken with him, for not a single penny
was to be found. He is away leaving wife and child, and mounted men are
searching for him along the roads."

"The Church Counsellor says he wanted to hand the empire over to the
Turks," cried out the old woman once more.

"Parson Neuser?" said Erastus laughing, "on that score you can sleep in
peace, my good woman. If the Turk wants to make war, he requires no
Heidelberg Parson to help him." Shaking his head he went on. But at the
next corner met with another group.

"They have also arrested Parsons Suter and Vehe," cried a hoarse voice,
which Erastus immediately recognized to be Klaus' of the golden Stag.
"All natives of the Palatinate must give way to the Belgian dogs."

"Sylvan and Neuser are no Palatines," said another voice.

"But they love our Palatinate, and have made front for us against the
French, the Italians, and Dutch, who would be our masters."

"Let us burn down Olevianus' house," cried out a voice.

"And Zanchi's also," echoed another.

"And that of Dathen the court preacher," added Klaus.

"Be quiet good folks," now said Erastus. "Do not say anything that you
might regret should you be ever heard by the Magistrate." The speakers
already began to look about them in terror. "Get thee to thy tavern,
Klaus, and attend to thy guests. No one has heard thee, but do not help
to make matters worse."

The crowd in the market became visibly greater. Men poured forth from
every house, and the voices sounded like the humming of a swarm of
bees. Here Erastus remarked two of the bitterest of the nuns of the
Stift at Neuburg, who were exciting the people by telling them, that
the calvinistic church council was responsible for all this oppression.
"Only come out to us on St. John's day," he heard Sister Anastasia, a
withered up yellow old maid say, "then can you dance in the mill, and
we shall soon see if the Calvinists dare prevent our good people from
enjoying a proper amusement." The host of the Hirsch was relating in a
side street to an astonished crowd of young villagers, that Olevianus
intended closing all public houses; Parson Willing was making his way
through the crowd with a ready smile, letting a word here and there be
heard against the Professors. At the corner of the gable-house opposite
the church, Erastus saw the baptist Werner standing, looking down from
some raised steps, with socratic irony on the mob. He also met Xylander
in the crowd, whose jolly brown eyes gleamed with pleasure at the
turmoil going on around him.

"What are the people crying about?" he asked Erastus.

"If they only knew themselves. Crying seems to be to them the great
object of life." Even the haggard philosopher Pithopöus, who overtopped
by a head all his neighbours, was threading his way through the throng
to his usual Tusculum. The cause of the concourse did not appear to him
worthy of inquiring. What did it matter to him, that those ants
swarmed. He only thought to himself: "Mankind would have been more
supportable, had the Deity set a limit to the quantum." As the great
man reached the Hirsch, Parson Willing whispered to him: "Philosopher!
the movement is taking place, let us endow it with thought." Horrified
at such familiarity, the Aristotelian knit his brows, but had not quite
come to an end with this awe-inspiring performance ere the nimble
Parson had ascended the front steps leading to the Hirsch and requested
silence by signs and gestures. "The town preacher wishes to speak," was
now heard on all sides. "Silence, silence for Parson Willing."

"Beloved Countrymen! Palatines! Citizens of Heidelberg!" began the
Parson in a stentorian tone, his wrinkled face beaming with humor,
whilst at the same time he rubbed his hands together with that soaping
movement peculiar to him in the pulpit.

"He washes his hands in innocence," said the Baptist Werner to his
neighbours.

"I have only asked for a hearing, my dear friends," cried the Parson,
"to beg you to return quietly to your homes." A mocking laugh followed
those words evidently spoken ironically. "Remember," continued the
Parson, "that it is Saturday, and that Olevianus wishes to study his
sermon of to-morrow, and if you make such a noise it is impossible for
him to prepare himself and you know that a Professor must learn
everything by heart before that he can speak in public." A fresh burst
of laughter followed. "Thus you can plainly see, my dear children that
you must be quiet. You also know well that Herr Olevianus is a pompous
man, and that in the whole land none, but those he will, dare snort." A
hail-storm of abusive words was now heard on all sides. "Then remember
likewise that another clerical gentleman dwells in the neighbourhood.
Parson Zankus ..."[2] "Zanchius," corrected the tall Aristotelian in
his magisterial voice.

"Well, I mean the little mannikin, who always begins a row, and then
weeps in the pulpit; I cannot keep all their foreign names in my head,
but he is just now taking his midday nap, so as to be better able to
spy out at night, who may be tippling over much, therefore be still,
else he will wake up and begin to cry. You know very well what is
prescribed by the new discipline of the Church."

"No, we know nothing about it, we want no Church discipline," was
shouted on all sides.

"Well," cried the Parson, taking a small book out of his pocket, "it is
written in the thirteenth section: 'We decree also, that the parading
of the streets at night, which up to the present time has led in a
great measure to disorder, breaking of the peace, and immorality, be
from this time forth done away with.' So that if you do not want to be
fined thirty kreutzers per man, you must go to bed at sunset, so soon
as the fowls of Herr Garnix[3] go to roost." "Marnix!" shouted the
Professor. "Marnix, quite right, but who can remember all the foreign
names? But on the other hand Herr Olevianus grants you a concession,"
cried the Parson holding up his paper. "He whose health permits must go
twice to Church on Sundays, and he who on Sundays or holidays is seen
standing outside his door, or in a tavern or on the public places will
be flogged. Thus, none must dare go to the Wolfsbrunnen on a Sunday or
to the Mill at Bergheim, otherwise Miller Ulrich will trounce him with
his broom." Mad shouts were heard on all sides. "Silence, my beloved
brethren, lest you disturb Herrn Datterich." "Dathen," corrected the
irrepressible Professor. "No, I meant in reality Herr Tremellius, but I
keep confounding the numerous foreign names, and what is worse we must
give our children outlandish names, as decreed by Herr Olevianus."

"How is that, what mean you?"

"Yes, citizens, you must re-christen your children. None shall be
called Alexander nor Julius, those names are heathenish, nor Barbara
nor Ursula, because they sound catholic, not even Franciscus nor
Catherine;--Katie and Bab are not allowed, only such names as Sarah,
Rebecca, Mardochaeus, Abraham, Gideon, Melchisedec, Zerubbabel,
Zacharias. Biblical names alone are permitted, and the dragoon must
call his sweetheart Abigail, and Bab her dragoon Habakuk. Thus is it
decreed by the Church counsellors Olesinus and--now what is the name of
the other."

"Olevianus and Ursinus," called out the Professor.

"Right, Olevianus and Urschelinus decree."

"It appears to me that this common fellow wishes to make fools of us,"
said the huge Pithopöus, entering the tavern with a look of withering
contempt at Parson Willing. The Parson continued: "Neither can you
marry when you will, Lupinus and Citronianus have ordered that no man
over 60 dare marry a woman under 30."

"If the man however is Kurfürst?" said a voice from the crowd, amidst
shouts of laughter. "Yes, little peasant, that is quite another matter,
for that are we Frederic the Pious. Moreover President Beileger ..."

"Zuleger is he called ..." "Well Zuleger, or Hinleger, or Ableger, as
you will, he sticks his nose even in the Kurfürst's pie. Dinners
must not be in the Castle as they formerly were. Hear only what the
mouse-trap dealer says on page 98: 'We order also, that in our district
the extravagantly big dinners given at the coronation or at other
times, and which have generally led to prodigality, causing drunkenness
and dissipation, be abolished from this time on.' Thus no more money is
to be made out of the castle, and foreign guests will keep away, if
they are to be told by the Council, how many 'costumes' they shall be
permitted to wear. Money, profit, pleasure all must stop, only Sunday
schools and preaching are to be sanctioned in Heidelberg." A shout of
rage arose from all sides. "Shooting for prizes, processions, theatres,
dancing, bowls, dice, cards are all forbidden, only psalms, psalms, and
yet more psalms." The growls became more threatening, more intense.
Here and there was heard the crash of broken windowpanes. "I therefore
exhort you, beloved friends, to go home quietly. The Calvinistic
gentlemen don't joke. Fines, lock and key will punish all church
offences, other crimes mean the rack, burning, or beheading. Above all
send the children home. You well know that Master Calvin ordered girls
of nine, and boys of twelve to be beheaded, so that the town might be
kept in good order and in the fear of God. When I was in Geneva in the
year 45, thirty-four people were beheaded between February and May,
because they would not acknowledge Calvin as their Master, and refused
to profess the dogmas of his Church, among the latter was the
executioner's own mother."

After these words things became more quiet. Certain street boys put
their hands in their pockets and let the stones which they had stored
up, quietly drop on the ground. At the same moment the crowd at the
east-end of the market began to disperse. The sound of trumpets was
heard in the direction of the cornmarket. "I now repeat," cried Willing
in stentorian tones, "he who is an obedient subject of His Highness the
Kurfürst will hasten home at once, and go quietly to bed. The Church
Council will take heed of everything else. And now I call you all to
witness, that I said these words only to exhort you to be quiet and to
summon you to go home peacefully, and have not said a word about
freeing the prisoners." Saying this he got down and disappeared within
the tavern, where Xylander laughingly greeted him. His audience
followed his example and dispersed. At the same time the trotting of
horses was heard, and an officer's guard of infantry moreover appeared
on the Burgway, coming towards the town at the double. Immediately the
crowd in the other squares began to break up, at first hesitatingly,
growling, and slowly, then by degrees quicker, and when the soldiers
appeared they found the market place deserted and empty, and only
laughing faces were seen at the windows above looking down at the
horses' tails, as they disappeared round the corner of the
Heiligengeist towards the Hauptstrasse.

Erastus had taken refuge from the surging crowd in the gable house
opposite the church, and resolved to leave Lydia in the care of the
owner, his French friend Belier, till he had made further inquiries.
Herr Belier was one of those industrious Huguenots, who had founded new
businesses in the places to which they had immigrated and had acquired
a fortune through unwearied toil. The master of the house, a tall
distinguished looking man, whose moustachios reminded one of Henry the
Bearnais (IV.), and his small plump wife, greeted their beloved
physician with evident pleasure. "Can you tell me what all this means?
Three of the Clergy imprisoned, one a fugitive, the people embittered
against strangers, cavalry in all the streets, houses searched
everywhere," asked the energetic Frenchman, whilst his wife
affectionately drew Erastus' daughter with her to the window.

"Look at this crowd, dear child," she said. "Did you ever before see
Heidelberg in such a state of excitement?"

"I wished to hear the news from you, Herr Belier," answered Erastus.
"Let us go over to the Hirsch, there we can certainly ascertain."

"I do not visit taverns," said Belier with a polite but negative motion
of the hand.

"Good, then I will take that sin on myself," laughed Erastus, "take
care of my child, I shall soon be back."

Whilst Herr Belier accompanied Erastus downstairs and then returned to
his study, Lydia remained at the window with the lively Frenchwoman.
She felt very sad, and would have wished to be alone so as to have a
good cry. All this misery had been caused by the horrid man, who had
wished to drag her to destruction, and against whom she nevertheless
felt herself to be defenceless.

"Who has been the cause of all this trouble?" asked the little
Frenchwoman with a sigh.

"Laurenzano," called out a screechy voice, "_filou Laurenzano_."

Lydia turned pale, and looked around her in terror. Frau Belier
laughed. "Be quiet, Papchen," she said to a bird, which Lydia now
noticed for the first time. "You scare people." Lydia clung terrified
to Frau Belier's arm.

"There is witchcraft in this," she said trembling, "The bird is right.
Oh, how frightened I am!"

"Be sensible, child, the name of our architect is Laurenzano, and as
his name is mentioned daily in connection with the new building my
husband is undertaking, the parrot has picked up his name."

"No, no," said Klytia trembling, "he has learnt it from the Evil one."

"But I assure you, that he calls out the name at least twenty times a
day. He is always proud of a new accomplishment. What could the good
architect have to do with this matter? Or are you thinking of his
brother?"

Lydia remained silent with a sad look on her face. This aroused the
curiosity, or as she preferred to term it, them otherly interest of the
Frenchwoman. "Why do you think evil of Master Laurenzano?" asked she,
fixing her kindly brown eyes on the face of the maiden.

"He acted in a wrong manner toward me," sobbed Lydia, and she felt as
if the places kissed by Laurenzano more than hour since, still burnt
her face. The words had escaped the lips of the excited maiden
involuntarily, but concealment was no longer possible. The sharp woman
asked and crossquestioned so long that Klytia had to make a full
confession. When she hesitated, the indiscreet Frenchwoman supplied the
rest in a manner best pleasing to herself. "He made appointments with
thee, followed after thee, etc.," so that the poor child had to
disclose her secret in order that the matter should not appear in a
worse light than it really was.

The fiery little woman stamped her foot angrily. "He is in truth an
abominable wolf in sheep's clothing, a seducer, a secret papist, a spy,
perhaps even a Jesuit."

"_Filou_, _filou_" cried out the bird.

"But you promise not to say a word of this to my father," said Lydia
beseechingly.

"I betray you, _foi de Bayard_! I a Frenchwoman, tell women's secrets
to men? What do you think of me? But you must place yourself under my
_surveillance_, you little rogue," she added kindly. "We shall soon be
quits with that black gentleman. Come and see me to-morrow again, and
we shall take counsel together," and she kissed Lydia with so much
emphasis both on cheeks and forehead, that the child began to smile
once more.

When Erastus returned together with the master of the house, he looked
sad and stern. He told the ladies, that the Kurfürst had suddenly sent
orders from Speyer to have the clergyman at Freudenheim, the Deacon at
Lautern, and the Inspector at Ladenburg arrested, and their papers to
be sequestered. Neuser had been warned against the same fate in a few
Latin words by a student, who had been requested by the prisoners as
they were being hurried off to put him on his guard. They had also from
their car called out to the Parson of Neuenheim "tell this to Neuser."
He could not be far off, as he had hardly left his house, when the
Police-magistrate Hartmann Hartmanni appeared. A horrible pamphlet
against the doctrine of the Trinity had been found among Sylvan's
papers. The Amtmann came in just as Neuser's wife was setting fire to
his papers. The brave woman had however thus become an accomplice in
vain, for hidden among her husbands books a singular and blasphemous
letter was found addressed to the Sultan of Turkey, in which Selim II.
was invited to unite himself with a large party in Germany who wished
to overthrow the antichristian dogma of the Trinity and introduce the
pure doctrine of the Koran of the One God. Neuser must have been either
drunk or mad when he composed such an insane letter; moreover he had
written on the blank side, "_potest omitti_," which means, need not be
sent on. But that it was not being sent on was the worst for him, for
it had been inserted among the other documents, and if read in Court
would bring the heaviest punishments with it. "How intentionally the
opposition party is spreading the scandal," added Erastus sighing, "is
proved by the fact, that the Clergy read out during evening service
Neuser's letter to their congregations, and dozens of copies have
already been spread about the town. Probus has lent me his, here read
the abominable nonsense," and he handed Belier a paper, which he had
stuck in his belt.

The Huguenot stepped to the low round-paned window and read amidst
exclamations of horror the paper lent to him. "That is in truth high
treason," cried he. "Listen, Fanchon, to what the wretch writes to the
sultan: 'On that account if Your Majesty wishes to bring the heretical
Christians to acknowledge the One God, wishes to extend your empire,
and to spread in the world the worship of the only true God, now is the
time, whilst the Priests and Pastors of the Christians are at variance,
and the common people are beginning to doubt the Faith. The Bishops and
Authorities oppress and persecute the poor to such an extent, that Your
Majesty's arrival is openly desired, so that Your Majesty may take
possession of the German empire and thus free the poor.'"

"The wretch," cried Frau Belier, whilst Erastus paced up and down in
concern. "Still worse," continued Belier. "He offers to give the
Grandturk advice by word of mouth. 'What further you may desire to know
concerning the Christians, I shall myself inform Your Majesty in
person.' He deserves the axe and that legally," said the Frenchman as
he folded the letter and returned it to Erastus. "I must not conceal it
from you, my friend," cried he excitedly as Erastus kept silence, "that
I am as strongly opposed to such blasphemies against the name of God as
is Master Calvin. To punish robbery, murder, extortion with death, but
to suffer the name of the Deity to be treated with contumely because
thereby men are not personally injured but only the worship of God,
would be to act in an unreasonable and godless manner. The laws of the
state must place the honor of God on as sure a basis as that of man. A
Pastor, who sets the Alkoran of Satan above the word of God, must be
rooted out of the community." Erastus shrugged his shoulders.
"Nevertheless," he said, "it is sad that the delirium of a drunkard
should be punished with the rack and execution. The man has a good wife
and a crowd of children. Other innocent persons will be punished
together with him. Ursinus' bachelors and licentiates are skipping
about with joy. This scandal suits them as if made to order. Already
they have given out as password that all opponents of the 'Geneva
interdict' and of the Presbyterian police are to be regarded as
accomplices of the Arians." He then added that he himself and Xylander
had been purposely shunned at the Hirsch. His best friends had
anxiously asked him, whether it was true, that they had often held
conferences at Ladenburg with Sylvan. Olevianus and his party evidently
intended to turn to their own benefit, the feeling against himself,
Xylander and Probus. Ursinus had stated to the students, and Olevianus
to the congregations, that the prisoners were only the "sharp-shooters
of Satan," the "generals" would soon be found out. "Scarcely is peace
once more brought into the Church," sighed Erast, "than we are again
dragged into a most dreadful warfare."

"No one who knows you," said Belier heartily, "will believe your
enemies' statement, that you have made common cause with the
blasphemers. I do not approve of your opposition to the Church
discipline. A Church without discipline is in my opinion no Church and
no Body of Christ. But I know, that you combat the thirst for power,
not the intention of purifying and edifying the body politic."

Erastus held out his hand. "I thank you, noble friend," he said
feelingly. "In Geneva and Scotland, where no evangelical ruler existed,
the Theologians deserved thanks when they took on themselves the
maintenance of order. Here such a necessity does not exist. We have no
Maria Stuart, no Guises to struggle against, but are blessed with a
christian, evangelical ruler. Olevianus and Ursinus do not wish to
guide the populace while standing in their midst, as did the Prophets
of France and Scotland, but wish to play at being Calvin and Knox
behind their desks, and that will not answer. They are strangers in our
land, and have not a hundred people to follow after them."

"That may be so," said Belier evasively. "Nevertheless come what may;
the man who by his skill and care saved my wife from death, will ever
find this house open to him, even if we do not agree in matters
relating to the welfare of the community." They parted with a hearty
shake of the hand.



                              CHAPTER XI.


With the arrest of Sylvanus days of trouble began for the good Erastus.
The report of a great unitarian conspiracy was purposely spread about
by the adherents of the Church discipline, who threatened both the life
and honor of their opponents. Sunday after Sunday Olevianus poured down
the vials of his wrath from the pulpit against the blasphemers who trod
the honor of God under foot, and against the Jurists and Officials
whose pride refused to grant to the Church that which was due to Her.
This was especially aimed at Erastus and the philologist Xylander, and
re-acted the more on Lydia's father, who to strengthen his party
against Olevianus had mixed himself up too intimately with the ever
ambiguous Inspector of Ladenburg. It is true that these doubtful
conferences were easy to explain through Xylander's admiration for
Sylvanus' good wine, moreover the latter had always wisely kept back
any writings which might have damaged him in Erastus' opinion; but no
one would believe that explanation. For the time it was true the
Kurfürst stuck faithfully to his Counsellor, but the latter knew well,
how eagerly from all sides he was being maligned to his dull Sovereign.
Oppressed by such cares Erastus had little time to trouble himself
about his child. Lydia sat dreaming and alone at her work, she was
right--she needed a mother's care. At times she went to the house of
the Huguenot and was ever received kindly by Frau Belier, as the good
woman was very glad to listen to something other than the strict
doctrines considered fundamental by her calvinistic husband, but the
chattering which accompanied the good lady's love and care, oppressed
the silent thoughtful child, besides this the pet bird was an object of
horror to her, which shrieked with screeching voice the name which
contained all her joys and all her sorrows, and which the moment it had
got this name well out, shook its feathers with satisfaction and added
_filou_ (rogue). Sometimes she met Felix there, who amused her after a
manner by his jokes, who praised her beauty, and offered himself to her
as _cavaliere servente_. That pleased her, as she sometimes ventured
upon a side look at the shapely figure of the artist. Then she thought
how much more imposing and handsome was the grave Magister. But she
never repeated her confessions to Dame Belier. Speaking of her grief
had only proved to be a poor means of stifling it. Her foolish heart
found therein a basis for examining her connection with the Magister in
all its bearings, and the more sharply the volatile little woman abused
Paolo, so much the more did her own kind heart feel disposed to excuse
the man so violently attacked. She, who believed in the melioration of
wasps and therefore helped them out of her father's wineglass, and in
the thankful disposition of sparrows, with whom she shared her
breakfast, how could she give up the handsome clever teacher as
entirely lost to her? In fact what had the young clergyman done that
was so bad? Kissed her; she herself ought not to have permitted this,
and the accusation of the imprisoned clergymen, that he had betrayed
them, had never been proved. The real truth was that since the fiery
Neapolitan had kissed her she had become sick at heart. She felt
herself as if drawn by strong ties to the Stift. One day that her
father had gone to attend one of those endless Church meetings, from
which he always returned ill at ease, it occurred to Lydia how long she
had put off paying the good Abbess a duteous visit. She well knew what
had prevented her from fulfilling this obligation, and she daily
reminded herself that it was now high time. That day she felt as
oppressed as if she were doing some evil deed when she took up her veil
and hung her gipsire about her. At one time hesitatingly, at another
moment quickly did she walk along the road by the river in constant
fear, of meeting him, who was in the whole world her one terror. Had
she been obliged to wend her way through some thick wood, behind whose
every tree lay a robber in ambush she could not have felt more
terrified. With quickened breath did she mount the last step and when
she reached the convent gate and inquired for the Abbess, her heart
beat so rapidly and her voice sounded so low and broken, that the
sister-porter thought that Lydia had come to deliver some sad news, and
directed her with a shake of the head to the rooms of the Abbess. The
most trying moment now came for Lydia. She was obliged to pass across
the wide court under the very windows of the Magister. The bad man
could do her no evil there, but perhaps he might see her. She
experienced the same feeling as when she passed the butts behind the
Castle, when it could never be known whether or not a bolt from a
cross-bow would hit one full in the face, and she had a feeling of
security when she finally stood in the shade of the narrow passage, and
knocked with trembling hand at the door of the good Abbess. The aged
Countess warmly embraced her, reproving her for having so long delayed
her visit, whilst others, who lived much further away, had all visited
her. Then she wished to know if her Father had really been the friend
and advocate of the detestable prisoners and broke into passionate
comments, as to the misery entailed on the Pfalz by the continual
changes in Church matters. She did not allude in any way to the
Magister, and having refreshed Lydia with a cup of fresh milk dismissed
her with a motherly kiss. Happy and with a light heart did the good
child hurry down through the court to the gate, and having sent her
best greetings through the sister-porter to the inmates of the convent,
rapidly descended the hill.

Where the path joined the country road she met an ugly peasant boy with
fiery red hair and a cunning expression holding something in his hand.
It seemed as if he were waiting for her, but before she could address
him he said: "You have lost this," and throwing a parcel at her feet
made off over the fields towards the vineyards. Surprised she took up
the parcel. It was a silken kerchief unknown to her. As she unfolded it
a note fell out: "Beloved maiden! Be to-morrow on the Holtermann an
hour before sunset. I have much to say to you. Your father's happiness
is concerned in the matter." The note was signed "L." Angrily did
Klytia roll up the note. Was she the sort of girl with whom an
appointment could be made at evening in the loneliest cross road of the
whole neighbourhood? In her vexation she crumpled up the note and
placed it with the handkerchief in her satchel. "An hour before sunset!
Horrible! At the Holtermann--two hours from my father's house.
Dreadful;" and with flushed face she hurried along over the bridge and
through the town, till the steep Burgway caused her to slacken her
pace.

The Magister, on the evening when he quitted Lydia and her father,
found himself in a most painful state of mind. He felt triumphant, that
the beloved creature had suffered herself to be enclosed in his arms
without resistance, and his blood seethed when he thought of those
happy moments, and yet he was ashamed of his own weakness, and
uncomfortable at the expression of disgust, which Lydia had finally
shown. That the prisoners had pointed him out as their betrayer also
oppressed him. The bolt which he had shot from his safe hiding place,
had rejoiced him so long as the quarry did not lie bleeding before him.
Now that he saw heavy punishment facing the poor bound prisoners, the
excited zeal which had caused him to consider it a duty to avenge the
honor of God, suddenly disappeared. As an open accuser he could have
demanded their condemnation at any moment, but his conscience accused
him of having sped his deadly arrow as a hidden hunter concealing
himself and ever to be concealed. This word spoken by him in secret had
not relieved, but rather weighed down his soul. He could but notice
that on all sides he heard disapprobation of the secret denunciation,
nowhere a word of approval. He pictured himself as a criminal, who must
ever lie concealed, for if once but the end of the veil now thrown over
his actions was raised, the unreality of his position would be
inevitably disclosed, and he shuddered to think, how many people were
already possessed of his secret. Everywhere did he hear along the road
of the arrests which had taken place, and it seemed to him as if those
he met greeted him in a less friendly manner than usual, or purposely
looked aside. Half forgotten innuendoes made by the clergy of the
Hirsch and occasional references to his papistry now began to weigh him
down, for the first time his conscience pricked him and was at
variance. Whatever dogmas of his Order he might repeat to himself,
since he saw before him the bleeding victims of his secret report, did
not console his better self with mechanical references to a sworn duty.
"I ought never to have allowed myself to undertake such a _rôle_" he
murmured. "I shall serve the Order, but openly. I am a man, what
necessity have I for concealment?" and carried out of himself by his
rapid walk and by the flood of thought within him, he tore from his
neck the plate-like ruff and hid it away, as if the symbol of a
clergyman of the reformed Church choked him like an iron neck band. He
struggled in his close cell through a restless night, in which the
seven mortal sins contested for the possession of his soul. Distracted
with wild passion he rose with fevered eyelids the next morning from
his couch. The school was closed and no occupation was at hand to free
him from the torture of his thoughts. The Abbess and presumably all the
nuns knew what was going on within him since those profane _exercitia_.
What could he preach to them? Mechanically did he perform his services.
Together with the loss of the respect of his congregation did his own
self-respect seem to abandon him. The work sickened him. Lazily did he
wander about the woods surrounding the Stift, or he climbed up to the
Benedictine Abbey of Schönau, to return after a short rest alone and
sad through the old oaks to his room in the Stift. His sermons in the
Chapel of the castle became more and more gloomy, replete with mournful
lamentations over the human heart and the sins of the world. His images
were mainly derived from the darkest situations of life. Often did the
women and maidens gaze up at the melancholy preacher, who wished to
drive away sunshine from God's beauteous world. He saw Lydia no more
among them. The Ephorus of the Sapientia said contentedly to the Church
Counsellor and Town-preacher sitting near him: "The Magister increases
daily in knowledge." In this however the church elders were at fault.
On the contrary, their _protégé_ had never been so near his moral ruin
as at the moment that he spake so bitterly of the world and of man. He
who has lost his self-respect, possesses only half the power of
resisting Evil. Since the Abbess had seen him giving way to weakness,
since those immediately surrounding him did not hold him in so high
esteem, since the congregation looked on him with suspicion, he neared
the brink of the Abyss closer than ever. All seemed alike to him. Why
should he not become like Sylvan, Neuser and hundreds of others, who in
spite of their sins rejoiced in the approval of their fellow citizens?
He also had hot blood in his veins, and his passions cried out for
satisfaction, lust and love. He had sucked a sweet poison from Lydia's
lips, which boiled in his veins. Day and night did he feel soft full
lips and warm arms encircling him. The heart of the Neapolitan beat
tempestuously under the pedantic garb of a german Magister. Of an
evening he hastened to the town, where at the Hirsch he was received
coldly, and kept at a distance. In his excitement he poured beaker
after beaker of wine down his throat, to do as did the others, and then
left earlier than usual to wander through the streets of the town in a
fevered state of mind. His heated fantasy played him many a trick. He
saw Lydia in every young form. Often did he think, that the women were
luring him with their gaze, that each one who turned aside sought to
entice him down a side street. Then did he clench his teeth, the blood
rushed to his temples, and rapidly did he press forwards till he
arrived breathless and with hurriedly beating heart to his room in the
Stift. As the imprisoned stag in February tears with outspread antlers
the ground, and with wild cry pants for the forest, so did the Man in
Laurenzano bound down with hundred chains call for freedom from the
spiritual yoke; and when gloomy and savage he came out of his room, the
pious women hurried out of his way with affright, he seemed to them so
ill and weird, and even Fran Sabina began to feel doubtful as to
whether all the institutions of the old Church were as salutary as she
had formerly considered them to be.

Such was the state of Paolo's mind, on that day when sitting by the
window of his cell, as he saw Lydia entering the convent yard. He felt
at once certain that she had come to see him again. The trembling doe
which he would spare, came of its own accord within reach of his
weapons. He must see her, speak to her, kiss her ... Quickly he seized
his hat, and hurried forth outside the walls. But how could he address
the maiden in sight of all the inmates of the convent, she, whose name
was already coupled with his by the Nuns. Undetermined he stood there
and the passion of manhood fought an ignoble fight with the cowardice
of the priest. Laborers were tilling the ground around the vineyards;
children carried bundles of faggots down from the wood. It was evident
that no meeting was possible there; did Lydia wish to meet him,--and
she must have come with that intention--it must be in some quiet
sequestered spot. In his haste he could think of none other but the
crossroad avoided by the common people for its evil repute, which lay
above the Stift on the brow of the Heiligenberg and Dachsbau. There
were they safe. That the innocent child would lose her reputation if
seen in this notorious locality, did not trouble the disloyal priest,
if he himself could only get there without being seen. Thus he made the
appointment in a few hurried lines, wrapped the note in a silken cloth,
and beckoned to a red headed boy who was apparently standing
unconcernedly in the road. "Dost thou see the young lady, coming out of
that gate? She has lost this kerchief! I do not wish her to know
however who found it. Give it to her without betraying me and then run
away at once. Come back then here and if thou hast exactly done as I
told thee, I shall give thee a penny (groschen)." The boy scratched his
red head and grinned. Then took the kerchief and ran across the fields,
whilst Paul quickly turned towards the vineyards. When the boy
returned, he handed him his reward. Conscious of having interpreted
Lydia's wishes, Laurenzano returned satisfied with himself to his cell.
Was not Lydia's acceptance of the kerchief an infallible token, that
she assented to the _rendez-vous_? "_Volenti non fit injuria_" he
murmured. It is true that with a priestly prudence he had added the
words about the father. That was not right, it was devilish. But he
comforted himself. "I was obliged to help her to overcome her feelings
of modesty, so that she might have some excuse in her own eyes and in
mine for following the dictates of her heart." Even the choice of the
spot pleased him. He could by taking a lonely woodpath reach it unseen.
No one dared to come near that place after dusk, and his passion
depicted in burning colors how he might use to advantage this solitary
meeting. The risk to Lydia, were she seen, was not considered by his
priestly selfishness; it was a matter of course that his reputation,
the reputation of a priest, of his office, of the church must be
guarded above all, and this place was the easiest for him to get at.
How deeply sunk in degradation was he, when he could call to mind at
that moment without horror, a statement made by Pigavetta on the
probable opinion of a learned teacher, that a monk was justified in
murdering his mistress, if by so doing he could prevent the greater
crime, namely the loss of reputation entailed on the cloister.

"I know she will come," he said to himself, "she cannot help it.
Otherwise she would not be the bewitched maiden," and he smiled
contentedly. Suddenly his eye fell upon the mirror of remembrance,
which the Abbess had ordered to be taken back from the Church to his
room, and the recollection of Father Aloysius came up before him. It
compelled him as if drawn by unseen hands even in this his hour of
temptation to look through the round glass. Feverish, burning with
passion, with dark-rimmed eyes, and open sensuous month, did the face
under the hood appear to him. He recognized the portrait of a broken
down monk, against whom Father Aloysius had once warned him in Speyer,
when giving him this curious memento. "My Son," had the worthy father
said to him, "thou goest out in the world as a laic. Look from time to
time into this glass, see that the expression of thy soul shows itself
in thy features as befitting the garb to which thou art sworn." For a
moment Paul was startled at his own appearance. But passion had
subjugated every better feeling in him; with an oath he rushed at the
casket and felled it to the ground. Glass and mirror lay in pieces
before him. Hastily did he gather up the whole and shoved the shapeless
bundle in a corner. He felt as if freed from some horrible goblin, and
he hummed a popular air which he had lately heard. When our sinful
resolves have reached a certain point, they seem to replace at times
for a moment the quiet of an easy conscience. Feeling certain of
success the Magister slept calmly and soundly for the first time for
many weeks; but when he woke fresh and clear the following morning, his
action of the previous day presented a totally different appearance.
The fragments of the broken casket gazed reproachfully at him. The
mirror of remembrance never answered its purpose better than now when
lying in fragments before him. Sad and down cast Paul began to prepare
himself for the evening service, which unfortunately he had to perform
that very evening. Had he known how to reach Lydia, he would have
cancelled the appointment, and he determined if it did take place, to
remember in time the penitence which always follows every sin, and to
seize this opportunity of separating for ever from Lydia.



                              CHAPTER XII.


When Lydia returned to the Castle wearied and excited from her visit to
the Stift, she found her father sitting sorrowfully by the window
looking fixedly at the Rhine valley now bathed in the glow of a setting
sun. "We shall not enjoy this sight much longer, my child," said he
laying a long emaciated finger on her delicate hand. "My opponents are
increasing in power, and who knows whether I myself shall not some day
be sitting in the round tower together with Vehe and the Inspector."

Klytia grew pale. Had Paolo really sought an interview on her father's
account? It was on the tip of her tongue to relate the whole affair to
her father, to seek his advice and beg him to speak to the Magister.
But then if all being known her father, instead of the terrible
uncertainty, put an end to the whole affair? She felt that she could
bear this less well than all the misery of doubt. Her father noticed
how pale she turned and continued soothingly: "Be not afraid. For the
time I am not in immediate danger, only I cannot go on holding my
present position. The former hatred of many a man often prejudicially
affects the disgraced favorite of a prince." After supper Erastus asked
her to read a sermon of Zwingli's, and then kissing Klytia with a
certain gravity on the brow entered his study chamber which he
restlessly paced up and down till a late hour in the night. Klytia
looked after him in fear. What could all this mean? Oppressed, with a
feeling of the saddest loneliness, she sat near the window and looked
up to heaven, where one star after another appeared, as do the lights
of some big town when lighted, now here, now there. The sparkling
Hesperus shone through the ruddy glow of the still variegated clouds.
"The star of love, gleaming o'er a sea of blood," thought she. The
pointed roof of the round tower, and the dark massive fabrics known as
the Ruprecht building and the Chapel, stood out in prominent outlines.
A light flickered here and there from the tower. Was the once jovial
Sylvanus in whose garden she had spent many a happy hour, and whose
happy children worshipped her as the pretty cousin from Heidelberg,
trying to read by this miserable light, or was he sorrowing for his
family? Whatever wicked the poor man might have written, she felt a
sincere pity for him, and heartily did she mention him in her prayers.
"What a frightful certainty of belief must it be which puts a man to
death on account of his unbelief," thought she. She laid herself down
to rest at a late hour, but could not sleep. Her father's words kept
ringing in her ears, he also would soon be imprisoned in that dreadful
tower. If Paul could really save him, and she had rendered the aid of
no avail by not meeting him at the cross-roads? She began to weep
through very fear and inward grief. The wind howled and shook the
scaffolding outside, and more than once did she start up affrighted,
thinking she heard the boards creak under a creeping step, and a gentle
tap at her window. "If he came up here by the same way as does his
brother," stammered the terrified child hiding herself under the
blankets. Even in her dreams she felt the gnawing fear at heart. In her
nightmare she thought that Paul had attacked her and was sucking up her
young blood, plainly did she see him in the fearful cowl of the "mirror
of remembrance," his eyes glowed from under his hood, then the head
changed into a skull which essayed to kiss her with lipless mouth,
causing her to start up with a shriek from her couch. At last she fell
into a deep sleep and waking up late heard that her father was already
gone out to visit his patients. At table he was silent merely stating
"he would be away for a few days as he thought of holding a meeting
with some friends in another part of the Palatinate. One more effort
must be made to free the Kurfürst from the hands of the fanatics."
Klytia sat once more alone pondering what it might be that the Magister
had to tell her concerning her father's welfare? It became more and
more plain to her, that she would be going against the latter's
interest, by simply refusing to hear Paolo's communications. Perhaps
Paul had something he might wish to say to her? Perhaps did he at last
feel in earnest, anxious to begin a new life, if she would only stretch
forth a hand to help him? She said to herself that it was impossible to
keep an appointment made on the hills, but it was as if the demoniacal
priest had encircled her soul with a rope, she felt drawn towards the
place appointed by him. Finally she could endure this no longer. She
wrapped her veil around her and hurried down the Burgweg to beg Frau
Belier to accompany her. Perhaps she might meet the artist there, who
would request his brother to tell her in the presence of Frau Belier
what he had to say? But on inquiring at the gable-house by the market,
she was told that Frau Belier had crossed the bridge to buy flowers at
a gardener's. She might meet her on the way? She crossed the river now
no longer offering any opposition to her fate. Opposite the bridge
stood a chapel. How willingly would Lydia have knelt in prayer to ask
for inspiration, but the Calvinists had closed it, and whosoever was
found praying here, outside the hours appointed for public worship was
liable to be prosecuted for idolatry. If she could but have prayed, she
would have commended her father to the care of God and then returned
homewards, but the door was closed. She remained in her uncertain fear.
"I must save my father, and him also must I save, yes him, him
especially." She would tell him, how wrong it was to try and appear
what he in reality was not, and how happy he would feel when casting
aside this false mode of life. She imagined to herself, that she had
much to say to him, for his own sake. Behind the chapel lay a seldom
trodden path leading up to the woods through the vineyards, and thus
unnoticed by taking a few side-paths she could reach the spot appointed
by the Magister, The bells of the Heiligengeist tolled for evening
prayer as she reached a secluded meadow in the woods. Peacefully among
high beech trees lay the silent hill, the valley of the Neckar which
wound its silvery way between the blue mountains could be seen to a
great distance. Whilst the tolling of the bell was re-echoing from
afar, a child's prayer came uppermost to her mind. "Dear Christian what
means this evening bell. The purpose of thy life and number of thy
years doth it tell." But she must now hurry, the sun was already
dipping behind the hills. The higher she climbed, the wider was the
view over the range of the hills and mountains of the Odenwald, and of
the plain now gilded by the rays of a setting sun. Partridges disturbed
by the unwonted step flew deep into the thicket. The younger pine trees
surrounded the more aged like loving children. Then came a number of
clearings. Solitude and rest reigned around the lofty oaks, strewn
about the high hill. Here and there a jay hopped across the path, now
and then she heard the rapping of the woodpecker, a lively squirrel
bounded across the path which she had now reached, otherwise all that
was living in the wood had gone to rest. When the shadow of the
Heiligenberg confronted her, she shuddered. She ought to have clothed
herself more warmly, but she had not left the house to come here. She
began to feel afraid. Behind her a great gray bird sprang from out of
the bushes and flew in front of her with a screech. When she had gone
on but a little way, she saw him flying before her with rapid noiseless
flight, only to settle down a few yards ahead of her. She felt uneasy
for she knew, that the night-owl meant evil, but her cries and shooings
did not drive her ghostly companion away. She would willingly have
returned, but was now so close to the spot, and the town to which she
preferred returning escorted by Paul, was so distant. When she reached
the saddle between the Heiligenberg and the so-called Dachsbau and
rested near an old beech tree, she noticed that the sun had set. The
detour she had chosen, had been much longer than she intended. But
therefore the more certainly must Paul be already waiting, and as she
approached the ghostly shade of the oaks, whilst behind her still
gleamed the glow of a set sun, she earnestly wished for his protection.
On the brow of the hill leading to the edge of the forest she met some
wood-cutter, going towards the mills of the neighboring village, whose
sails might still be heard clattering in the distance. The men gazed at
the lonely pilgrim in surprise. She saw how they stopped and looked
after her for a while. Therefore did she hasten the more to escape them
by remaining among the bushes. At the end of a solitary pine forest she
found herself at last near to the haunted Holtermann. The road from the
valley of the Seven mills and Heidelberg intersected the roads leading
to the villages of the Odenwald. Many a traveller had here lost his
way, in troublesome times many a rich miller from below had here been
eased of his purse by footpads lying in wait, and children had seen
hobgoblins, will 'o' the wisps, moaning women, or heard the sounds of
mocking laughter in the dusky woods. Why had the heartless priest
chosen such a spot? In terror she walked along in the twilight. The
distant plain seemed like a blue sea, through which the red waves of
the Rhine glowed as a fiery streak, whilst the Neckar resembled a great
river of blood. Near the cross roads were ghostly shadows. All was
still and lonely. No one greeted her. She could have wept through fear
and disappointment. But whilst looking around for some dry spot on
which she might sit down, partly to rest, partly to wait a little
longer, she suddenly noticed, that she was not alone. A startled cry
escaped her lips. Near the edge of the dark pine forest crouched an old
woman seemingly drawn up in a knot, her face between her arms and
knees, who sat watching her with wicked crooked eyes. Klytia could not
stir for fright. As the bird is magnetised by the green eye of the
snake, so did she meet the gaze of the horrible eyes of the old woman,
whom she supposed at once to be one of the beings haunting the
Holtermann. At last she heard an evil chuckle. "So, the beauteous Lydia
will also gather herbs by the cross roads, and dig out roots at sunset?
I knew not that the physician's daughter dealt in magic. Your father
threatened me so terribly if ever I did it again. Has the Beloved One
proved faithless, he! he!? Shall the old Sibylla help? I have often
succeeded beauteous maiden, in cases where fair hair and blue eyes did
not avail. Do you wish to try Mother Sibylla?"

"You are the woman from the Kreuzgrund who sells herbs, I recognize you
now," said Lydia. "Allow me to come and sit near you, I have lost my
way in the forest and would like to rest." "Lost on this road," said
the old witch mockingly. "Take in some one else with that. Show me your
hand, beauteous Maiden, perhaps I can console you, without your having
to dig up roots;" and she seized Lydia's hand, which the trembling
maiden resistlessly surrendered. The old woman chuckled approvingly
after looking for a while at the hand. "Thou willst live poor, my
dear," said she, "but die rich."

"Ah!" said Lydia impatiently, "is this the place to think about gold
and riches?"

"Gently, gently, my dove," continued the old woman, holding on to her
hand. "In a short time thou willst weep much, but by the time the
berries are ripe, thou willst be laughing again. Two will come, a fair
and a dark man. Beware of the dark one, he will drive thee to thy
destruction." Lydia sighed. "Yes, my angel, he will drive thee to thy
destruction, the brown-haired one is the right one, him must thou take,
although he is older, but banish the dark one out of thy mind. So--now
thou knowest what thou wouldest know, go. I require no company for the
business which I have before me."

"Oh, come with me, good woman. I am so horribly frightened," said
Klytia weeping.

"Little fool who bade thee come. As thou camest alone, thou canst
return alone," and the eyes of the old woman began to flash angrily.

"I will not return alone," said Klytia in a decided tone. "You either
accompany me, or otherwise I wait till some one else comes."

"You wish to bottle the night dew to use against summer freckles, so
that the white face may not become yellow, or break _Liebessamen_ or
gather roots of _Männertreu_?"[4] Then suddenly bursting into a rage
she cast a wicked look at the affrighted maiden and said: "May Satan
bless you," and uncoiling herself she left, murmuring deep curses as
she descended the darkest of the wood paths, where she soon disappeared
among the firs.

Full of melancholy Lydia sat down on a stone. The red glow in the West
had died away. Could Laurenzano have been there already, and been
disturbed by the witch, or should she wait for him? Terrified and
repenting she crept into the corner in the which the old witch had
crouched. She noticed that the grass was marked as if by a knife in
curious streaks, and around in strange order lay some dark stones. The
grass was singed. The old woman must have just extinguished her fire as
Lydia came up. The meaning of the curse last spoken by the old witch
was now plain to her. She had disturbed her during her incantations at
the cross roads. Horrified she looked behind her at the dark fir trees
to see whether the wicked woman would not finally plague her with some
calamity. She would only wait a quarter of an hour longer for the
Magister, then would she bound down the wood-path like a deer to reach
the bridge before the shutting of the gates. But all remained still. No
Paolo. Sitting thus alone and abandoned on the Holtermann, tears came
to her eyes. "I have really come to what the song says:

            Eh' denn ich lass' das Weinen gehn,
            Will ich lieber an der Wegscheid stehn,
            Will eine Feldblum werden."

She was just on the point of starting for home when she heard voices in
the distance. Excitedly did she strain her ears to catch the sound of
Paolo's voice. Instead she heard three or four men talking to one
another loudly and coarsely. A new horror; how was she to pass by these
strange men, who moreover appeared to her to be drunk? It would be best
for her to lurk behind the bushes till the road was free. Hastily she
chose a hiding-place. She heard the voices again but close. "She must
be here, as said the old witch," said a rough fellow. "Yes, but you
shall do her no harm," said a younger man. "I shall do nothing to her,
but what you yourself wish to do. If she is waiting for her sweetheart,
she can take us as well as any other." Lydia's blood turned icy cold.
"I believe," said the third, "that old Sibylla has played us a trick.
There is no one here. Stop, some one sat here, and beyond do I not see
something white?" At that moment the terrified Lydia sprang down the
mountain, wildly bounding down the path by which she had ascended. For
a moment the three ruffians stood still in amazement, then they
followed after like clumsy dogs in pursuit of the light-footed deer.
The descent was only very gradual and the strength of the men exceeded
the speed of the girl. The distance between the hunted maiden and the
three scoundrels behind her was gradually diminishing. When Lydia
reached the old beech tree, which stood on the saddle of the mountain,
it was clear to her, that if she kept down hill, the three would cut
her off from one side or the other. The instinct of fear bade her take
an up hill path. Her pursuers had expected her to do the contrary and
lost sight of her for a moment. "There, there," now cried out one,
pointing upwards to where Lydia was endeavoring to reach the ruins of
the Heiligenberg along the mountain ridge. The chase began anew. But in
climbing the trembling maiden had a great advantage over the heavy
footed drunken men. They were already about to give up the hunt, when
the eldest proposed to cut off the game thus escaping, and evidently
making for Heidelberg, by taking the foot path to the left. Stealthily
did the three ruffians make off in that direction. Lydia looked back
for a moment. She was no longer being pursued; she could draw breath.
Heated and half-dead through fear and fatigue, she leant against a
beech tree. Hundred lights gleamed in the town below. From the castle a
lamp in the window shone in a more friendly manner than did the others.
What would she not have given to have been there. She would rather have
been transported to Sylvan's prison than be here in the dark, in fear,
and hunted down. Quietly did she wend her way through the ruins of the
old monastery, through which wondrous shapes formed by the evening
mists arose, and she thought whether she could not find a shelter among
the tumbled down walls. But she felt afraid of remaining in this
dreadful place, around which crept the ghosts of walled-in monks. The
moon now appeared from behind the Königstuhl; peacefully glinted its
light through the trees, and shed pure rays on the path beneath. Her
long shadow accompanied her, at times reaching far down the descent, at
times reared straight against the steep declivity. As she was about to
come forth from behind a small mound she heard a suppressed chuckle.
She sprang to one side with a bound, and rushed once more upwards
through the bushes. They were at hand those horrible men. One rose up
on one side, another on the other side, whilst a third hidden behind a
tree came straight at her. "Saviour, have mercy on me," cried the
terrified child. The drunken scoundrel tripped over the root of a tree,
and Lydia shot past him swift as an arrow. But the hunt could not last
much longer; the three pressed after her with drunken confidence sure
of their booty, each pushing the other out of his way to be the first
to reach the beauteous prey. Klytia's last hope was to get to the ruins
of the Michael's Church on the foremost brow of the hill, and conceal
herself in one of the niches. She had already cleared the first wall,
but the youngest of her pursuers was close at her heels. She made one
spring forwards, and felt the ground give way under her feet. "The
Heidenloch" the horrid thought flashed across her mind; she fell into
empty space; struck the ground beneath her heavily and lost her senses.
A moment afterwards the foremost of her pursuers came through the
entrance. The ruins lay before him bathed in the pure moonlight, but
all was still. It seemed as if the earth had swallowed up the maiden.
"Holy saints," muttered he. The others now appeared, the eldest
limping. "Where is she," roared the ruffianly scoundrels. "I saw her
here still flying before me and when I came up she was gone." "She is
somewhere crouching behind the walls," said the oldest. Cursing and
with terrible threats they searched the bushes and walls. Nowhere did
they find a trace. The three looked at each other suspiciously. "I
believe one witch sent us in pursuit of another." The older man crossed
himself. "With real beings such things do not occur," added the
youngest. "Perhaps she fell into the Heidenloch, in which case she is
dead," said the third unconcernedly. "Come, I have had enough of the
business, I want a sleep." And calmly, as if they had done no evil, the
three blackguards went down the hill, to seek their beds.

Sweetly did the elder bush scent the air around the walls of the ruined
church, the wind murmured through the tops of venerable trees, which
had already given shade to the Roman soldiers, guarding the fort, and
to the monks of the cloister; the crickets sang their monotonous song
as they had done for thousands of years previously, brightly beamed the
moon on the scattered stones, beneath however in a dark cellar, which
only received light from the opening above, lay Lydia senseless. The
poor child was only known to exist by Him, who both hears the death
rattle of the stricken deer in the thicket, and the sigh of the
creature hidden from the eye of man.



                             CHAPTER XIII.


On the morning of the day so momentous for Lydia, Miller Werner and his
boy descended from the Kreuzgrund behind Ziegelhausen along the
pattering brook to the village below. The sails of his own mills and
those of his neighbours clappered merrily as if for a wager. The brook
glittered as morning dew and May light. Even the meadows of the fertile
valley were still adorned in the midst of summer with the green of
spring.

"Thou art certain," said the miller to his redheaded offspring, "that
it was Erastus' daughter?"

"Quite certain, father."

"Thou didst read the note thyself?"

"I read, that she was to be on the Holtermann an hour before sundown."

"How didst thou manage that?"

"I am not going to run errands for the Jesuits blindly. I saw that he
wrapped something up in a kerchief, and he wanted me to believe, that
he wished the young lady to receive back her lost property without
knowing who had found it. I don't let myself be made a cat's paw of.
'Be wise as serpents,' says Grandmother."

"I don't blame thee, but only wish I could put a stop to the design of
this Priest of Baal? Erastus saved thy mother's life through his skill;
he however has a low opinion of our Church. I shall be glad to make him
think better of our habits, and prove my gratitude to him. I am also
sorry for the girl. I shall have to inform her father about this
letter."

"Had I not better go up to-day and separate them? Thou knowest I can
imitate all birds and animals, and the devil himself pretty well."

"No," said the miller, "this is no matter for boys." When the miller
had finished all his errands in the tower, he inquired for Erastus at
his house. He was told, that the Counsellor was away. He wished to
speak with the young lady. She was out. The old dissenter went away
shaking his head. "Nothing is left for me to do, but to try and move
the conscience of the Italian Papist, if he has a conscience. Ha,
it is ringing for the evening worship, which the pious man holds
in the Heiligengeist Church. Perhaps I may there meet the infatuated
girl, in any case the good shepherd, who would lead his own sheep to
destruction. These people are a crying sin and disgrace."

When he reached the market, he entered the Church disdaining the
outward visible signs of worship usually observed in God's house by the
members of the congregation. The Preacher had already begun his sermon.
It was his usual theme, the wickedness of the world. "A fitting subject
for thee, thou scoundrel," thought the Baptist. He looked around for
Lydia. In vain. He examined all the faces from the most backward to the
foremost rows; she was not present. "The lost sheep is in any case
better than the shepherd," he said to himself, "she at all events does
not prepare herself in God's house for an assignation." He now turned
his attention to the Preacher, who began to speak more warmly and more
enthusiastically. He spoke of the punishments of sin, but the iron
mountain and the pecking bird played no longer a part in his rhetoric.
From most intimate knowledge did he that day depict the pangs of an
evil conscience. He described the secret sinner, peering timorously
around or continually looking behind him, whether one was not near who
had seen all; no longer able to look at people straight in the face,
but casting his eyes down before their scrutiny, whose evil conscience
attributed everything to his hidden trespass and who thus on earth
carried Hell about him in his own breast.

"Oho does it seem to thee thus," thought the Baptist, "then perhaps is
there a chance of saving thee." After thinking for a time he tore from
a bill which he had about him a piece of blank paper and wrote on it a
few words. Then he took off his woollen neck-cloth, folded it neatly
together, concealing the note within it. "That is the same post-office
as invented by thee," said he to himself with a grim smile. As the last
psalm was being sung, he left the Church quietly. Keenly did his
piercing eye survey the passing crowd. Finally he beheld a young
maiden, a member of his sect, who would be a suitable messenger. He
quietly went up to her and whispered for a while with her. Silent
messages, concerted watchwords, signals, and all sorts of secret
communications were not uncommon among the oppressed and persecuted
Baptists. The young woman accepted the charge given to her by the
Baptist without the slightest hesitation. The bells sounded, the
congregation left the Church, the marketplace was empty. Out of humor
and inwardly ill at rest Laurenzano now came out of the porch. "What
did that Dissenter want here during prayer-time," he asked himself.
"Unabashed he entered in the middle of the sermon, and how insolently
did he stare at me towards the end leaning against a pillar, as if I
were depicting the evil state of my own wicked conscience." He sighed,
and then continued angrily "I will take care that the police-magistrate
pays another visit to the Kreuzgrund." At that moment a neatly dressed
peasant girl came up to him, "Reverend Sir, you lost something
yesterday near the Stift." Scarcely was the cloth in his hand, than the
maiden disappeared round the corner. Laurenzano looked anxiously about
him, to see whether he was observed. Then he undid the cloth. It
contained a piece of paper. It was certainly from Lydia. She was
perhaps appointing a safer place than the Kreuzweg. He quickly turned
up a narrow street opposite, stopped and read the words: "Fly, all is
known." Terrified he looked behind him, and suddenly a loud voice above
him roared out: "The man deserves that a fox's tail be hung from his
collar, and himself be flogged out of the town," It was the landlord of
the Hirsch, talking about the opposition host, of the Ox. Paul knew the
voice well, and thought the words referred to himself, for he
remembered the habitual evening guests of the Hirsch, whom he had
caused to be imprisoned in the great tower. For that reason he had
daily been treated with great coolness in the Hirsch. So now it was
known that he was acting under orders of the Jesuits, it was known that
he had been the cause of the wretched fate of the four parsons, a
stranger warned him. Did he mean the betrayal, did he mean the
appointment with Lydia, or the affair with the daughter of the former
court fool? or perhaps--a shudder passed over him. In any case he was
discovered. Madly did he rush forwards. He only came back to his senses
on reaching the Speyer gate. Pigavetta is at present with the
Reichstag, he thought in his fear. Father Aloysius' name came back to
him as a deliverer from his inward and outward troubles. He alone could
advise him and the Bishop protect him. As if hunted by evil spirits he
hastened onwards. On the way to Schwetzingen was a tavern. A band was
playing a new gavotte composed by the jovial Henry of Navarre, and
introduced by the French into Heidelberg. "Beauteous Gabrielle," began
the words of the text thus set to music. In his indefinite fear it
sounded like mockery. As if pricked by spurs, he hastened his pace,
whilst the merry tune pursued him for some time across the silent
fields. He breathed more freely, when he had left the "beauteous
Gabrielle" entirely behind him. Only when the sun was setting, and a
cool breeze from the Bergstrasse fanned his neck, did he question
within himself whether he had not been rather premature in thus taking
to flight? He pulled the note out of his pocket. It was a coarse piece
of paper, a large bold handwriting, evidently a man's. With a shake of
the head he once more concealed the mysterious words about him. Under
any circumstances he must consult Pigavetta, and more calmly did he
continue his journey along the stubbly road between the waving
cornfields.

The Baptist left the market-place the moment that he perceived from
afar the effect of his message. He saw how the Magister slipped up the
narrow street, how he trembled, and how finally he hastened away, but
not at all in the direction of the _rendez-vous_. "I have the greatest
mind," thought the old man laughing "to send the same message to all
these priests of Baal, I bet, that the following morning all the
pulpits in this sinful town would be empty." Some of his errands were
not quite finished; he was only free as night came on. "The deluded
maiden must be home by this time," he said, as he left the home of
his last customer; "perhaps she is sad and ashamed, I will try and
touch her better feelings, and thus spare the good Physician a great
sorrow--" and although tired and hungry he once more climbed the
Schlossberg. He found there only Erastus' housekeeper in an anxious
state of mind at the young lady's absence. "I have specimens of wheat,"
said the Miller, "and a message besides, she will not stay out much
longer and I have already climbed up here twice to-day." The old
Barbara delighted at having some one to keep her company in her
solitude, set a bowl of millet soup before him chattering away in
praise of her young mistress. He answered shortly, and listened in
great distress of mind to every sound. Midnight was approaching and
still the two sat on waiting near the hearth by the burnt out fire.
Finally the old servant could not contain her anxiety any longer. She
wanted to rouse the people in the castle to search for Lydia, but the
Miller stopped her. "A scandal won't do. A girl's reputation is like
the bloom on the peach, or a frost flower on a pane of glass. Touch
them, they are gone. Therefore keep quiet. I fancy I know where she is,
but you must promise me to be silent. If to-morrow by mid-day I have
not found her, I shall come back here. Till then do not mention a word
of this to any one." Old Barbara gave her promise. She felt relieved at
his taking the responsibility on himself. When the Miller reached the
town once again, he turned down one of the narrow side streets leading
to the Neckar. He knocked three times in a peculiar manner at the
shutters of a house. "Immediately," answered a gentle female voice. The
Baptist entered and asked whether his boy was still there? "He sleeps,"
was the answer. "Wake him and give us both a couple of stout sticks."
After a time the boy appeared looking very drowsy, but determined to
accompany his father without a word of complaint, who grasped in his
strong hand the knotty thorn lent to him. After giving their names they
were allowed by the guard to cross the bridge. "We are going by way of
the Holtermann to the Kreuzgrund."

"That is it," said the boy. "I thought that was the reason why thou
didst remain out so long."

Silently, continuing his sleep as he best might whilst walking, the
weary boy plodded in a mechanical manner behind his father. The
crickets chirped around them, and fire-flies flew among the bushes.
When they reached the brow of the hill near the old beech tree, the
father ordered his son to shout his loudest mountain call. The boy did
this at first with a tired husky voice, then louder and louder, but all
remained mute. A bird rose here and there from its bush, and a cock
crowed an answer from the Siebenmühlenthal. "There is no one here any
longer," said old Werner sadly, "why should she be? Let us go to our
beds."

"It seems to me as if I saw a fire there, Father," said the boy.

"You are right. What means a fire in the middle of the Kreuzweg?"

Quietly did the old man and his son steal up to where the light shone.
"Go thou round that way, I go this way, so she cannot escape us, should
she be there."

By the Kreuzweg sat in the seat from whence she had been disturbed by
Lydia, the old witch of the Kreuzgrund. Before her lay the bleached
skull of a child, around which she had placed three lights. Over a
coal-fire was swung a vessel containing a strangely smelling water.
Near wriggled the bodies of three snakes whose heads had been cut off.
All kinds of magical implements were scattered around. The witch
herself had fallen fast asleep. "Mother Sibylla," shouted the Miller
loudly in her ear, "what has become of the maiden, who was waiting here
this evening?"

The witch started up and stared at Werner. "The fair Ly----," murmured
she half asleep, and then became silent.

"Where is she?" repeated the Miller.

"I know nothing about the matter," murmured the old woman, now
thoroughly aroused.

"You know all, the name was even on your lips. Do you confess
everything or else to-morrow I tell the magistrate that I have already
found you twice at midnight on the Kreuzweg, and the previous week
before sunrise by the Linsenteich."

The witch grinned. "They will burn you as well as me, if I say, what I
know about you."

"I however die for the Lord Jesus Christ and you for Satan." The old
woman would have laughed mockingly but suddenly the forest immediately
behind her seemed alive. A cock crowed, then the grunting of swine was
heard together with an outlandish neighing.

"Be quiet, George," said the Miller angrily. The witch stared at him in
fear, then looked behind her, thinking to see in the thicket a man
breathing out flames. "What do you wish to know," she tremblingly
asked.

"What has become of the maiden?"

"The sons of the host of the Rose, and the red Maier frightened her
away from here. She flew towards the cloister, I heard the three
shouting after her. What they have done to her, I know not."

The old man's heart sank within him, then he said sternly: "When was
that?"

"It may have been four hours ago, the moon had just risen."

"Then are we too late. May God have mercy on your soul, if you have
caused this. And now quit this foolery," and he gave her kettle a kick,
causing it to tip over, so that the coals flamed up with the fat of the
snakes. "Come out, George, and show her, what sort of devil has
frightened her." The boy came out and stood before the fire looking at
the old woman mockingly. "The plague seize thee and thy father."

"Yes the plague, always the plague," quoth the old Miller, "but if ever
it comes you will have wished you had not called upon it. I tell you,
you will yet end badly, although your foolish witchcraft is not worth a
straw." With that he took his boy by the arm and hastened towards the
seven mills.

"We must find out the red-headed Maier and make him confess," said he.
After a sad pause, he began anew in a serious tone: "What thinkest thou
does the old woman yet earn by her nightly arts?"

"The rack or the stake."

"Good, my boy, therefore do not be tempted to play at being the devil,
for he who calls on the devil, is already in the devil's claws."

"But nevertheless we have often frightened with such jokes people who
wished to disturb our meetings."

"I have never sanctioned it, and thou least of all shouldst help in
such iniquity." The boy walked on ahead much mortified, as he felt
certain that the old witch had only been induced to confess through his
magic arts.

"Dost thou think, father, that she can bewitch?" asked he after a
while.

"To wish and to do, are different things," replied the old man.

"But the neighbours assert that she can produce mice, prevent cows from
milking, and cause women's hair to fall out."

"Yes especially when they have taken no precautions against vermin, fed
their cattle poorly, and themselves acted immorally, then it is always
witchery."

"But the peasant woman on the Hang relates, that Sibylla herself told
her 'if you do not take in your hay on Sunday, the devil will carry it
off.' Monday morning the hay was still there but when they came to rake
it together, a storm arose and sent it all to the devil."

"Accident, George, accident. She must have felt that a storm was
brewing. The evil spirit is a spirit, and has only power over spirits,
not over bodies, otherwise he would long since have prevented thee from
mocking him. But take care that he does not come into thee. There is he
powerful."



                             END OF VOL. I.



                           *   *   *   *   *
                   PRINTING OFFICE OF THE PUBLISHER.
                           *   *   *   *   *



                               COLLECTION

                                   OF

                             GERMAN AUTHORS.

                                VOL. 45.



                        KLYTIA BY GEORGE TAYLOR.

                       IN TWO VOLUMES.--VOL. II.



                                KLYTIA.

                     A STORY OF HEIDELBERG CASTLE.

                                   BY

                             GEORGE TAYLOR.

                           FROM THE GERMAN BY

                         SUTTON FRASER CORKRAN.

                          _Copyright Edition._

                       IN TWO VOLUMES.--VOL. II.



                              LEIPZIG 1883
                          BERNHARD TAUCHNITZ.

           LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE & RIVINGTON.
                  CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET.
             PARIS: C. REINWALD, 15, RUE DES SAINTS PÈRES.



                                KLYTIA.



                               CHAPTER I.


Disturbed by the heavy fall of the young maiden the bats flew out of
the dark cellar and whirred wildly around. Toads crept from out of the
swampy rain-sodden ground and crawled up the damp wall towards the
opening. The terrified mice ran hither and thither. The moon had
reached its highest point, and cast its cold rays through the square
aperture on the humid wall. A violent pain in her foot aroused Lydia
from the faint, into which she had fallen, and in the which she knew
not how long she had lain. When she endeavored to stand up, she became
aware that her foot was broken. Only half conscious of her position,
she looked up through the shaft of the cellar, at the starry heaven
above. The Lord on whom she had called for aid had saved her from a
hideous fate. "He will not suffer me to perish here," she said with the
patience of a person afflicted with a serious illness. But the sight
was terrible which the beams of the Moon now falling straight disclosed
to her, as her eyes became more and more accustomed to the darkness.
Dozens of bats flew noiselessly about in the dark. Horrible toads
crawled along the wet walls. A rat ran across her face, so that she had
to start up in spite of her pain to frighten the animal away. Overhead,
all was still. Lydia reflected that her shouts would attract no one to
her, except perhaps her pursuers. She therefore determined to husband
her strength till dawn. She would then certainly succeed in making
herself heard by some of the children picking berries, or by some of
the numerous laborers. Anxiously did she gaze upwards towards the
opening to see whether the cold light of the moon was not giving way to
the warmer beams of the sun. Her back hurt her from having fallen
against stones, the stinging pain in her foot caused her to sob, but
she believed that she would be saved, and considered this as a
punishment for the guilt which she had been induced to commit. How
thankful she felt that her father was absent and therefore not anxious
about her. Thus thinking she fell asleep.

She woke, aroused by a stone which fell from above on her wounded foot.
"Nothing stirs," she heard a boy's voice say. "I am here," cried Lydia
in terror lest her deliverers should depart. "God be praised, young
lady," cried a man's voice, "we heard no sound and feared our search
was vain. Have you strength enough, to let yourself be pulled up by a
rope."

"I doubt it. My foot is broken and my back is wounded."

"Then must we see if the ladder is long enough."

"But you promise to do me no harm?"

"Don't you know me, young Maiden, the Miller Werner from the
Kreuzgrund, behind Ziegelhausen."

"Ah, is it you Father Werner," said she crying for joy. "How did you
find out where I was?"

"The wretches who hunted you down, said, you disappeared from them here
as if the earth had swallowed you up, so we could easily imagine where
you were. The scoundrels would have quietly let you perish."

"Yes, it was terrible," said Lydia, "but God punished me for my sins."

The ladder was now let down through the opening, and carefully did the
brave old man avoid touching Lydia. Then he himself climbed down
holding a burning rosin torch. "A filthy hole, this old cellar," he
murmured. "How the bats fly the light. Yes, light is horrible to you,
you children of darkness." Carefully did he raise Lydia, who like a
child wound her arms round his neck. Cautiously did he climb the ladder
to the world above, where he laid her down on the soft turf. The
question now was how to carry the sick child, who lay pale and faint on
the ground, to the high road beneath. The Miller thought at first of
using the ladder as a stretcher, and carrying her down on that. But the
ladder was small and hard. To fetch a stretcher would have taken too
much time and attracted attention. Lydia also begged urgently that he
would hurry. Nothing remained but for the old man to carry her down in
his arms, for which purpose he bound her to himself with the boy's
girdle. The latter ran down to the village to have a covered cart in
readiness below, whilst the father climbed cautiously down the stony
footpath leading to the road. Lydia lay still, on the back of the
miller, with her arms around his neck, while he sought the most lonely
path through wood and vineyard. "The lost sheep," he thought, "torn
even to bleeding by thorns and its wool remained sticking to the
hedges. But when the shepherd finds it again, he takes it on his back
with joy." And he looked at the pretty white hands clasped so
touchingly under his prickly chin. The sweet burden lay warm on his
back, and the maiden's delicate cheek rested on his shoulder. Then the
old gray-beard began to lose his head. It seemed to him whilst looking
at those white hands, as if an evil voice close to him said: "Thy
Martha never had such hands."

"What does that matter to thee, old sinner," he answered the tempter
bravely. "Hast thou always lived among the purer brethren, thou
would'st not care in thy older days to keep company with the coarser."

"To be waited upon by such hands, would nevertheless be pleasant,"
continued the first voice.

"Nevertheless thou hast still thy old wife," answered he gruffly.

"Have not Hetzer, Rottmann and other prophets taught, that when a
brother felt, he had not found his suitable spiritual bride, he might
loose himself from the older bond and enter into a new marriage."

"Let the disciples of Judas teach. Their end was like his. Old Martha
entered the Baptist Communion with me and has ever been a true wife."

"Then take two wives, as permitted by the prophets of Munster. Had not
the holy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Lamech, Gideon, and David more than
one wife, why not thou also? It is true that the German princes forbade
this to the brethren at Munster, but the Landgraf himself, who
persecuted them with fire and sword, followed their example later on."

"Peace Satan," rejoined the old man. "Scripture is opposed to polygamy
in spite of Abraham and Philip of Hessen. God gave Adam only one Eva.
He created them male and female, not one male and two females. It is
also said, 'and they two shall be one flesh,' and not three or four.
But verily Martha is now nothing but skin and bones," he thought sadly
and sighed.

"You must find me very heavy, good father?" said Lydia in a low tone.

"No," he answered shortly. Then he became conscious that he had better
keep up a conversation with his _protégée_ than with the wicked Satan
who would tempt him from the right path, and he told her how his son
had informed him of the appointment made by Laurenzano, and how the
rest had come to pass. Lydia began to weep. "So you know everything,
and will certainly consider me very wicked."

"We are all but flesh and blood," said the Miller good-naturedly. "Our
souls will stumble so long as they go about on two legs, and each bears
within himself a rock of offence."

"I thank you father, for not punishing me more severely."

"That is not my office," replied the Baptist. "I have enough to punish
in myself."

"Ah, you are good, but I dare not think what others will think of me."

"People must be allowed to talk, as geese cannot," rejoined the Miller.
"Make your peace with God and then be satisfied. Look there is George
with the cart."

Joyfully cracking his whip, stood the little devil of the previous
night close to his horse. "Now we shall lay you down gently in the
waggon and then close the linen curtains." Getting her down was only
managed with much pain and difficulty; then the well known Miller drove
back unquestioned through the town to the portal of the Otto Heinrich
building. The careful Barbara had seen the cart crossing the drawbridge
and was immediately at hand. The Miller gave her no information. The
young lady had hurt her foot falling was all he said, and carefully was
she carried up the steps. Barbara by the Miller's advice wrapped the
leg in wet cloths, till the father at his return at mid-day could apply
a more surgically correct bandage. The brave Baptist had quietly
withdrawn to escape being thanked. The father himself forbade his
feverish child to talk, and appeared to be quite contented with the
short account given by Klytia. It was sufficient for him that the cure
proceeded satisfactorily, and the old Barbara scolded about the open
turnip-pit in which more than one person had twisted his foot. When
Erastus however asked later on for a more detailed account, he was
surprised at his daughter's request to be allowed not to mention the
cause of her accident. He shook his head, without however pressing his
inquiries. "She must have come to grief through the fault of another,"
he thought, and was at last glad that she spared him any fresh
troubles, as his own business began to demand more attention.

Nothing was heard of Magister Laurenzano in Heidelberg, except that he
asked for leave of absence till the re-opening of the College, and
wished especially to be relieved from his office of preacher at the
Stift.

In the bright town of Speyer with its own independent Bishopric, the
throng composing the parliament was so numerous that any individual man
was soon lost to sight. Any person who however might have entered
Speyer cathedral at the hour of Vespers on the day on which Lydia was
rescued, might have seen a young man clothed in black kneeling in the
most abject manner before one of the confessional boxes most concealed
in the gloom. His confession was at an end and the priest was earnestly
addressing him. A woman kneeling close by heard the words: "Only a long
discipline, my Son, can restore the equilibrium and order of thy
disturbed conscience." From that time onwards for several weeks the
same stranger might be noticed entering the cathedral daily at daybreak
and at sundown and going down to the dark crypt under the chancel.
Thence he disappeared in a side chapel set aside for the use of the
clergy of the chapter. "Where can Laurenzano be spending his holiday?"
asked the philosopher Pithopöus at the round table in the Hirsch, who
loved a rational audience.

"His brother says," replied Erastus, "that he is in Speyer, but I have
not been able to hear a word about him from gentlemen who are there in
the Kurfürst's suite, although I made all due inquiries."

"Very probably," answered Pithopöus, who liked Laurenzano for the
interest he felt in scholastic discussions. "In the bustle which now
goes on in that town, an individual is easily lost."



                              CHAPTER II.


When Klytia was sufficiently restored to health to be able to sit up
with outstretched foot on a chair specially constructed by her father,
the visits of her friends who where most anxious to hear all the
details of the accident began, thereby greatly tormenting the poor
child. Frau Belier especially wished to know so exactly how it all came
to pass that finally nothing was left for Lydia but to avail herself of
Barbara's device of the open turnip-pit. Happily private affairs
remained still uppermost in the minds of these busy women and maidens,
and Lydia was endued with sufficient feminine cunning to parry a
disagreeable question by referring to another topic. "I am nothing but
a false serpent," she used to say reproachfully to herself, "and repay
all this love with deceit." She received more visits than she cared
for,--only one remained away, one whom she so much feared, one for whom
she so much longed. What could have prevented Paolo from coming to the
very place chosen by himself? What prevented him even now from at all
events asking her father about the health of his pupil? Had the miller
not confirmed the fact that the note had been sent by Laurenzano, she
would have preferred to think, that her rivals at the Stift had been
making game of her, but after what the old Werner had told her she was
forced to believe in Paolo's guilt. "He has no heart," she murmured,
"otherwise he would have been here long ago." The less the news that
could be obtained of him, the more did his conduct appear inconceivable
to her. Had he quitted the town forever, in which he had caused so much
misery? In that case he would never return! A feeling of horror crept
over her at such a thought. Then she heard in the lofty echoing passage
a well known elastic step and the voice of her father as he quietly
approached. Erastus' head appeared at the door. "My child, Herr
Laurenzano wishes to pay thee a visit. Remain lying down so that thy
foot may not suffer." Lydia turned first pale and then red. At that
moment she saw the figure of the architect, and with the disappointment
her composure returned. Smilingly did she stretch out a small white
hand to the Maestro. After that the handsome dark-eyed Italian had
congratulated her gracefully on her recovery, he told her, that owing
to the state of her health he had not up to the present time occupied
himself with the repairs necessary to be made on the row of windows of
Erastus' apartments. If she permitted it he would now begin the work.
Lydia thanked him for his kind consideration. The work would not
disturb her in any way; she would retire to the back rooms. The
architect looked as childishly sad at her, as would a boy to whom a
long wished for pleasure had been denied.--That she should not deny
herself the bright sunshine so necessary to every sick person, was the
very cause of his visit, he began with hesitating voice and maidenlike
blush. It would be utterly impossible for him to undertake the work
with any comfort and happiness if he had hourly to reproach himself
with having delayed her convalescence. He would in that case prefer
leaving the windows as they were, Erastus smilingly sided with him; in
short Lydia had to capitulate and agreed neither to leave the room, nor
to shut out the health-bringing pure air. Thus it happened that the
merry Maestro appeared daily on the scaffold and seized every
opportunity of coming to Lydia's window. He used then to tell her about
the work, to complain of the laziness of German workmen who wasted half
the day in eating, drinking and sleeping, and to praise the frugality
and diligence of his Italian countrymen. Smilingly did the maiden
bending over her work listen to the complaints of the Neapolitan, whose
great delight seemed to consist in talking. As the neighbours however
took to looking up at them, she reminded him half-seriously that he was
no diligent Italian. "You say that a German eats and drinks as much as
ten Italians, but it seems to me that an Italian chatters as much as
twenty Germans. Now let me see for once how industrious you can be."
Felix retired feeling rather ashamed, whilst she could not help
thinking how much the brothers resembled each other. "I am afraid of
the Magister," she thought smiling, "and yet long to see him. I am
amused at the architect and yet dismiss him from me. Thou foolish heart
to prefer sorrow to joy."

One morning the Maestro mentioned his brother to her. He was staying
with the Bishop at Speyer where he had some friends. It was then as she
feared. He had become Brother Paulus once more and returned to the
Jesuits. Sad, and with beating heart did she stoop over her sewing
whilst two large tears fell on her work. The Maestro pretended not to
perceive this, but whilst angry with Paul on account of these tears, he
himself became suddenly aware of how his own heart yearned towards this
beauteous fair maiden.

Klytia herself could no longer be in doubt, that the worthy Maestro,
whom she preferred to any one after Paul, earnestly sought her love,
but her heart was filled with grief for him whom now she must reckon
among the dead. Had he not abandoned her insultingly to her fate,
disgraced her in her own eyes, was he not continuing on his own crooked
dark paths, and had he not ceased to love her if indeed he had ever
done so? What would she have given, not to have been daily reminded of
him by his brother, and yet she was never so attentive, as when the
latter told her of his youthful days in Naples, how he, Paul, and their
little sister had played at ball with the golden fruit of the orange
groves, sought for colored shells on the shore, hidden themselves in
the hollow trunks of olive trees, looked for antique bits and marble
splinters among the laurels and mountain-shrubs; of their adventures
with huge earthworms, small snakes, scorpions and butterflies; then she
saw standing out so distinctly before her the dark elder and the yet
more swarthy younger brother, that she felt for them as a sister, and
in her dreams she often imagined herself to be that deceased sister of
the Laurenzanos. "Take the brown one, the dark one will render thee
unhappy," had said the old witch, and Lydia had become superstitious
since that terrible evening at the cross-roads on the Holtermann. The
magic words of the old woman seemed to be too true. The maiden's heart
could not free itself from the demoniacal priest, and it remained after
Paul's faithless flight, in the trusty brother's power. Quite
involuntarily, in her dreams, these innermost thoughts, still unknown
to herself assumed expression.

Above the door of the Ruprecht building where dwelt Felix, might be
seen a beauteous piece of artistic work of old German architecture,
before which Lydia had as a child often stood in delighted wonderment.
Two lovely angels' heads mutually o'ershadowed by each other's little
wings; holding in brotherly affection within a wreath of roses, a pair
of compasses, the sign of the masons. The Builder's guild had evidently
thus intended to go down to posterity. The common people however
related, that these two lovely twins had been the delight of the
architect who had built the Schloss. To have them continually at
his side he had taken them up on the scaffold, rejoicing in his two
fresh-looking courageous boys. One day however one of them stumbled and
dragged the other down with him. The architect became almost deranged,
so that the building did not proceed. Instead of looking after the
work, the sorrowful father daily made a wreath which he adorned with
white roses and carried to the cemetery near the Peter's Church where
were buried his darlings. The Emperor Ruprecht however became angry at
the length of time the building continued, and ordered the Priest, who
had buried the children to urge on the architect. He answered that all
was ready, but that in his grief he could not conceive a proper
ornament for the gateway. The Priest exhorted and consoled him to the
best of his ability; the same night the twins appeared as bright angels
to the father bringing back with them the wreath of roses which he had
laid that morning on their grave. When the architect was roused the
next morning by the light of the rising Sun, he thought of his dream,
it seemed to him that the perfume of the roses still filled his room,
and on rising, behold there lay the wreath fresh and fragrant, which he
had the previous morning laid on the grave of his little ones, and
which he had seen withered the evening before, but the white roses had
turned to red. It was immediately plain to the architect how he should
decorate the gate-way. He chiselled his children as angels as they had
appeared to him, bearing a rose-wreath, and in the middle he placed a
pair of compasses, the symbol of an art, to which he now bade a lasting
farewell. On St. John's day 1408, the key-stone of the gate-way was
fixed in, and the Emperor Ruprecht himself spoke the dedicatory
oration. When he wished however to return his imperial thanks to the
workmen, the architect had disappeared. Whilst all the bells were
pealing loudly and filling the Neckar valley with their deep notes, the
Master whom they were honoring, trod along the Michaelspath over the
mountains to the monastery on the Heiligenberg. He became a monk and
gazed from his cell at the tower, reared over the graves of his darling
children, till his two boys once more appeared to him, crowned him with
roses and bore away his soul into Abraham's bosom. This was the story
as told to Lydia by her nurse, and when she thought of angels, the
beauteous bearers of the wreath over the gate-way before which she
daily passed always presented themselves to her memory. None of the
noble statues wrought by Master Colins on the magnificent Otto Heinrich
building had ever come near the impression made by these angels' heads.
One evening after Felix had again been speaking about the games he and
his brother Paul had played in their garden fragrant with roses at
Naples, Lydia dreamt that night, that she was flying in the air above
the Holtermann in the direction of the castle, and just as she was
about to settle down the two angels of the Ruprecht building came
towards her. The one was grave and cold, whilst the other which
resembled Master Felix smiled on her joyously. Presently the one with
the earnest, beauteous expression, which Magister Paul always wore when
teaching opened his mouth and said: "Take Felice." On this she woke up,
hearing also the witch saying distinctly: "the fairer one is the right
one;" frightened she raised her head from the pillow and saw how the
moon shone clearly into her room. Long did she think over this wondrous
dream, in which the dearest impressions of her childhood and the
terrible experiences of the previous weeks were so mixed together, then
she fell asleep once more. The following morning she could not
withstand the temptation of seeing whether the two angels' heads really
resembled the brothers? Everything was quiet and peaceful in the court.
This was the first time she had ventured out since her accident. She
took a glass to draw water from the well-house, supported by the
pillars taken from Charlemagne's palace in the Palatinate near
Ingelheim. Whilst lowering the bucket she gazed at the beloved images
at her ease. No one was there to disturb her at her early task. The
glass filled with the pure water of the well sparkled in her hand.
Clear shone the morning-sun on the Ruprecht building, and to see the
images better the maiden was forced to approach closer. She protected
her eyes against the light with her hand and looked intently at the
well-known figures. Gently and kindly seemed the angels to smile back
on her. The younger one to the left might stand for the grave Paolo,
the older one to the right the joyous artist. Right! "He is the right
one," the words of the witch kept dinning in her ears. And did not the
compasses in the middle refer to Felice's art? Not the breviary, but
the implement of the Maestro is surrounded by the roses of love. "But
they are both clad as choir-boys." The thought distracted her. The
angels' heads seemed to float, to nod to her, to greet her. Dazzled by
the light it seemed to her confused eyes as if the wreath were coming
away. Suddenly a full blown rose fell at her feet. Surprised she looked
around whether she could see anyone. She picked up the flower. It was
the same kind of deep-red rose as was sculptured on the wreath round
the angels. With a feeling akin to superstition she looked up to see
whether the beautiful rose had not fallen out of the wreath encircling
the lovely children? But none was missing. The windows on the whole of
that side were closed, with the exception of a single one, and that
belonged to Felice's room. Smilingly she placed the flower in her
glass, and hurried back as fast as her lame foot would permit, for just
at that moment a servant maid inclined to question her about her early
appearance in the court came out of the house. She did not however feel
attracted towards the "red-haired Frances," who in admiration for the
rose pressed too familiarly at her side.

Lydia felt mentally and morally perplexed and confused. She could not
bring herself to see in her wondrous dream and the extraordinary
morning salutation received on her first appearance abroad a mere
accident. Thus she sat, dreamingly pondering over these events near her
seat at the window, when her father entered and for the first time
alluded to her relations with Felix. He praised the architect's
knowledge of art and lofty sentiments, he reminded her that though he
himself was not so old, yet he was in delicate health and wearied of
work. What would become of her, if it pleased God to call him suddenly
away, he asked. Lydia wiped her eyes and kissed her beloved father.
Erastus did not insist on an answer, but he left her in sweet confusion
once more alone in her room, she looked more kindly at the rose and
said to herself, "God must know why it is better thus. The demoniacal
attraction for the Magister has precipitated me in the fullest sense
into an abyss, the more quiet sympathy of the kindly Maestro has guided
my feet not to serpents, but to roses," and blushingly she bent her
face over the flower and inhaled deep draughts of its perfume.

That very morning Felix had proceeded so far with his work as to have
reached Lydia's window. He noticed his rose on her table in the glass
of water and looked gratefully at the maiden. Then he set to work
repairing the cornices and pilasters over Lydia's window, and it seemed
as if these required the most strict attention, the work took so long
completing. In the meanwhile the Maestro related amusing anecdotes to
the fair patient, who sat sometimes at the window, at other times
supported on a pillow she stretched out her injured foot, and however
timid Lydia had felt in the presence of the Magister, she did not let
herself be overwhelmed in any way by his chatty brother. It was a proud
feeling for her to be thus able to completely subjugate such a man, for
a handsome horse renders even a timid rider bold and blithesome. "I
wish Signorina," he said, "you would advise me about my work; Master
Colin's figures seem to me, if I only look in at your window, to become
daily stiffer and more inanimate. To you who live now so long under
them, have not the aged gentlemen perhaps confided some secrets of
their inner life, to which I could give expression on their empty
faces?"

"O yes," said Lydia seriously. "Quiet nights they have great quarrels."

"They quarrel, _corpo di Venere_, you must tell me about this."

"No, I do not betray the secrets of the companions of my home."

"But you nevertheless say, that they quarrel."

"Are you astonished at that? You must see for yourself that they are
not on a friendly footing."

As Lydia remained firm in refusing to betray the quarrels of the
Statues, Felix rubbed his brows. "As a fact I remember that I myself
fell once asleep up here. If I relate to you what I heard in my dreams,
you must also tell me what you overheard."

"Perhaps," said Klytia, "let me only hear your story."

"I had been thinking of a fair-haired angel, who dwelt higher than many
planets, and soon began to nod." "The angel thanks you," interrupted
Klytia pertly. "After a while I suddenly heard, Faith, Hope, and
Charity saying close to me: 'We alone are related, in this mixed
society, and will have nothing to do with the Heathen world on either
side of us.' Then Justice yawned so loud that it could be heard all
over the Court and sighed saying: 'How lonely I feel here in the
corner near to these dreary virtues. What has Justice in common with
self-righteousness? Now if I were only over there next to Strength, I
could at least carefully watch to see, that it did not break more
columns than were necessary as schoolboy proofs of his juvenile
strength.' Hercules next wanted to enter into conversation with
Sampson. 'Sir Brother,' said he with a rap of his club, 'it was better
fun for us when we were chasing lions, not to mention the honey.' But
wasn't he snubbed, 'I am no brother of yours,' answered the proud
Jewish hero, 'you are one of the Philistines whom I thrashed, and I
will have nothing to do with you.' Next I heard Jupiter sneeze. I
looked upwards to see whether the Greek father of the Gods was about to
enter into conversation with the Egyptian Serapis? But they both looked
different ways and did not deign to exchange a friendly word. Once
indeed Zeus cast a look down at Mars and Venus and then sighed:
'Gracious Heavens, how thin they have become.' Is it not true that you
meant something of this sort when you said that Colins' figures could
not endure one another? You have indeed a quick hearing, bellezza, and
a poetical mind."

"Now," replied Lydia, curling up her nose, "do you suppose that when we
sit at work all day we think of nothing but the cross-stitch. But it
was ever clear to me, even as a child, that a totally different harmony
and unison of mind was expressed in the two angels' heads on the
Ruprechtsbau, than by any of the figures exhibited here by Master
Colins, some of which he took from the cloister-school at Malines, the
others from Italy, where you still remain semi-heathens."

"You are right, Signora, but in my home we are accustomed to this
mixture."

"Your head is perhaps furnished in such a manner, Sir Artist," said she
teasingly, "that the characters of the Bible and the Greek Gods meet
each other therein as they do on Master Colins' façade!" Then she
blushed at her own boldness, but Felice's boundless veneration was too
great a temptation to a little naughtiness on the part of this young
Thing just fresh from school, who missed not a little her daily
scrimmages with the aristocratic young ladies of the Stift.

"When you speak of a want of harmony," said the Artist, a little
excited at Klytia's want of veneration for his learning as a man, "you
allude above all to the insipid German texts in monkish verse, which
the deceased plump Count Palatine stuck under the Gods and Heroes, in
place of which I would willingly read a classic epigram in the latin
language. But you are quite right, the entire façade is an emblem of
the contention which takes place in our mortal life. The beauties of
Greece and the virtues of Christianity strive for mastery in our
hearts. And not only are the figures in contradiction, but the Antique
and Gothic forms are at variance with one another. The harmony of
construction, which composes true classic architecture is wanting. How
discordantly do the Gothic arms and shields contrast with the Antique
lines of the portal. The highest beauty consists in the artistic
blending of the red sandstone and the blue sky, and when the Kurfürst
lately stated that he wished he could burn down the, to him, hated
sculptured casket, I could not help involuntarily thinking, how
beautifully the ruin would stand out, when the blue sky should be seen
through the voided casements."

"Gracious powers," cried Lydia. "As long as we live up so high, do not
try such an experiment; and now go on with your work; I do not want to
hear any lecture which may end by your falling down and breaking your
neck."

Pale and hurt Felix drew back. His hopes nevertheless stood higher than
he thought; but Lydia had remarked, how the neighbours were craning
their necks to look up at the scaffolding, on which Felix was carrying
on his assault, and she heard the "red headed Frenz" say that Lydia's
windows must have needed an extraordinary amount of repairing, as the
Italian gentleman never seemed to leave them. "They will make a
handsome couple," Herr Bachmann now asserted in no low tones, "the tall
dark Italian, and the fair haired maiden. I shall be rejoiced, Frau
Barbara, when they make their first appearance in church together."
This then was the cause of her dismissing Felice in so summary a
manner.

The beauteous morning was succeeded by a close afternoon. Since that
dream the images of the brothers came up before her so continually that
she could hardly tell them apart. But the present moment maintained its
right. The gloomy priest disappeared in the joyous artist, and from the
moment that Lydia had accustomed herself to the thought, that the
Magister could never be hers, and that he had only played a sinful part
towards her, she sadly compelled herself to find once more her idol in
the happy trusty friend. Thus there remained much that was true in her
unfaithfulness. In reality she only cared for Felix for Paul's sake.
The artist in the meanwhile stood outside on his scaffold in a pensive
manner. The oppressive heat, precursor of a storm weighed him down, and
Lydia's dismissal had deeply affected him. He made no effort to resume
his jokes of the morning, and could not even hum an air. "Could I have
offended him?" thought the kind-hearted child within, "he has become so
silent;" as she looked upwards at the streaky sky, a gust of wind blew
the dust in her eyes, and whirled the loose leaves high up into the
air. "May the storm not break forth before that he is safely down from
his scaffold," thought she anxiously as a heavier gust burst forth. The
windows rattled, the shutters blew to, slates fell from the roof,
boards were carried off and crashed into the court beneath; slates,
panes of glass, bricks, came tumbling from above, and noise and
confusion were heard on all sides of the court. Lydia rushed to shut
the window, and then saw Felice clinging convulsively to the shaking
scaffold. "Come in here, in here," she cried in her fright to him. He
shook his head sadly, and made a motion to show that he would slide
down the poles so soon as the wind abated. A more violent gust caused
the bricks to shower down from the roof and shook the whole scaffold.
"Felix, Felix," cried the terrified maiden stretching out her arms
towards him. A happy smile played over his features, and with one bound
the active youth was at her side. As she closed the window, he had
already folded her within his strong arms. "I have won thee by storm,"
he cried rejoicingly, but she was silent and loosed herself from his
embrace. "You called me in, now keep me," he said earnestly, "you
wished to save my life, save it in reality." She gazed on him long and
earnestly. It was, as if the image of some departed friend was before
her, and she was endeavoring to find some similitude. Then blushing she
sank her head. Thoroughly happy he shouted for joy, laid his arms
around her neck, his lips sought hers. The storm outside, which now
burst forth, did not disturb his happiness. The rain streamed down into
the court below. What mattered it to him? At every sheet of lightning
he kissed her quivering eyelids, at every clap of thunder he pressed
his lips to hers. "I have wooed thee by thunder and lightening, may it
strike me if ever I prove unfaithful to thee." Suddenly her father's
voice was heard outside, as he himself had likewise been driven home by
the storm. Lydia drew back terrified, but Felice seized fast hold of
her hand and thus went with her to meet the physician. Astonished
Erastus drew back for a moment, and then said smilingly, "Ah, is this
so," and kissed Lydia's pure forehead. She remained silent and
blushingly laid her innocent head on her beloved father's breast. "You
are welcome to me," said Erastus turning to Felice, "provided only that
you abjure papistry." The Maestro bounded like a shying steed. "It
cannot be your meaning, noble Sir," he said, "that I must confess a
belief, which my heart does not admit."

"Such is not my meaning," answered the physician, "but when you stole
my child's heart, you must have well known, that Erastus would never
choose a papist for son-in-law. What I oppose here in Olevianus' church
discipline, is the power of the priesthood, the subjugation of
conscience, how could you therefore expect, that I should ever permit
my child to confess to one of your priests?"

"That she shall never do, noble Sir. She shall live in her faith, as I
in mine."

"Where could that be possible? Certainly not here in Heidelberg. You
would never be accepted as citizen, and in your country my child would
certainly be imprisoned by the Inquisition."

"In Austria it is however possible," replied Felix. "I shall return to
Master Colins in Innsbruck. The noble minded Kaiser Max admits both
confessions, and marriages between members of the two religions are not
uncommon there." Erastus shook his head thoughtfully. Lydia's resigned
calm also led him to ask himself, whether his child was not in reality
acting in obedience to his wishes, and whether this young heart was
really ripe enough for binding vows? He at last said, "I will seek more
information as to how matters stand in Innsbruck, do you likewise seek
to know more about our faith. Lydia is still young. Let us put off the
final word to a later day." Thus it remained. Master Felice would have
willingly appeared in the character of an accepted lover, but as
Erastus permitted him to visit Lydia as before, he declared himself
satisfied for the time. When his work was over, he hastened to Klytia,
and sat joking and lounging at her side. She was ever gentle and kind
to him, but never cast her thoughtful quiet manner aside. She had
assumed a timid reserve, which forbade any too demonstrative love. The
excitement of decision once over the poor child felt herself to be
inwardly divided against herself. She loved, but whether Paolo, or
Felice she knew not; she was engaged, but the father forbade any public
acknowledgment. Good and gentle of disposition she suffered Felice to
love her, without however granting him the slightest rights. Usually,
when the artist visited her of an evening, her Dante lay ready, and by
compelling him to read aloud, she held his passion in due bounds. But
even the majesty of Dante's poetry became melodious song when read by
the loving artist, and we may well imagine what verses he most looked
forward to, in the hope, that the narrative of Francesca da Rimini
would serve to thaw her icy reserve. But Lydia had wisely looked over
the book beforehand, and was prepared against this would-be adopted
means. The fifth canto containing the story of Rimini's unhappy lovers,
lay open in its usual place, on the evening so much longed for by
Felice, but Lydia received him with maidenlike sedateness. He had
that day carefully curled his locks and held in his hand one of those
dark-red roses which had first told his love, but he had not the
courage to offer it to her, for she had moved her seat further from him
than on any previous evening. It is true he read beautifully that day,
or nearly as beautifully as "he," but as he was just about to begin the
story of the lovers, who also read together, "how Lancelot wrapped in
pure love," to "often did their eyes meet and lovingly rose the color
in their cheeks, and often did he kiss the smile of his beloved," she
closed in maidenly scorn the book and her "we won't read any more
to-night" dispelled in an exasperating manner Felice's hopes. Out of
humor and disappointed he sat near her turning over the leaves of
Lydia's prayer book. He found pressed therein a blue flower. It stabbed
him to the heart, for the maiden had thrown his rose out of the window
the moment it withered. Hastily did he close the book which only hid
Paolo's flowers. The following evening Lydia begged him to read to her
one of the sonnets of his beloved Michel Angelo. He noticed with joy
whilst he read, how tenderly her blue eyes were fixed on him, but when
he left off, to return her gaze, she murmured as if in a dream: "He is
paler." Thus it became clear to him that she only sought Paolo's
features in his own. She grew more and more sad and still. It appeared
to him as if the blooming color on her cheek paled. "She has deceived
herself," he sighed. "When the sunflower is forcibly prevented from
gazing at the sun, it withers away. Paolo will ever be her Apollo. Poor
child!" But a colder feeling entered into his own heart, he could never
rejoice in a love, which he owed to another, and which through him was
bestowed upon his brother. "She wished to marry Paolo _in effigie_," he
murmured angrily to himself, "and she does not even find the image
resembling."



                              CHAPTER III.


After the completion of the mysterious _exercitia_, Paul returned to
Heidelberg from Speyer. His brother found him serious, pale, but calmer
than before. Instead of the lurid passionate glare of the eye which had
so often terrified Felice, he found him at times struggling with his
tears. He did not resume his office in the Stift. The parson of a
neighboring village, who was looked upon as a Lutheran at heart, filled
that post. From the mouth of the Abbess, who had inquired into Paul's
unexpected disappearance and Lydia's sudden illness with more suspicion
than any one else and who thereby had come nearer to the truth, did he
hear of the misfortune which had befallen his beloved pupil. During her
narrative the old lady had fixed a curiously cold and searching look on
him, and her fingers played with the rosary, no longer at her side.
Luckily for him he did not at first connect this event with the
appointment made by him on the Kreuzweg, so that he was enabled to ask
in an unconstrained manner for exact details. "I heard the news on the
same day that I received your letter from Speyer," said the Countess in
a cold tone, and again she looked at him with a piercing gaze. Abashed
he rose up and hastily took his leave. It was evident that this woman
saw through him, and only had to open her mouth to ruin him.

Added to his crime towards the ministers was now another towards
Erastus, whose child perhaps crippled for life, had had her peace of
mind destroyed in any case through him. From that hour he no longer
ventured to visit the Stift. Hastily did he reject his brother's offer
to share his dwelling in the Schloss. He preferred taking an apartment
by himself in the marketplace. There he often worked till late in the
night, as might be seen from the light in his window; by day he would
stand for hours at the window and survey with saddened look the throng
in the market, or follow with his eye the single individuals who might
at a later hour cross the emptied square, as if envying each man his
freedom. After some time had elapsed, when once again a more
sympathetic relation had sprung up between the brothers, Felix made
known to him his engagement to Klytia. Paul turned pale, and for the
first time the tigerish glare in his eyes intimidated his brother; then
silently did he turn to the window. "I know she loves thee," added
Felice, "but thou art not freed from thy oaths. Renounce thy order and
I will at once retire. But Klytia is too good to be toyed with, she
must not be torn up as a flower on the road-side, for a passing
pleasure and then cast away."

"I have raised no objections," said Paul in a husky voice.

"Then dost thou renounce her?" asked Felix earnestly.

"It is well as it is. I wished to free myself when in Speyer but did
not succeed. We are bound by more chains than you imagine. I must have
become Protestant in earnest, so as to shake them off; that I cannot
do. I must have given up all hopes of returning to Italy, and that also
I cannot do. I cannot be free, but I have sworn, never to let myself be
made a tool of again."

Felix pressed his hand. "Thou shouldst quit thy dubious position here
altogether."

"That I will do. But I can only do so by order of my superiors. I am
waiting for them, God only knows with how much sorrow."

Thus the brothers parted. Grief concerning Klytia had disclosed the
true feelings of Paul's heart more than ever before, and Felice now
knew what fierce contentions had taken place, in spite of this cold
pale face.

The Magister had returned to Heidelberg with a feeling of deep shame.
He had been received in a most friendly manner, but if asked how he had
spent his holidays, he turned pale and answered evasively. The
friendliness with which the common people greeted him, oppressed him.
"They have so good an opinion of thee," he said to himself, "which thou
dost not deserve." Since he had admitted his unworthiness to himself by
his foolish flight, and affirmed this acknowledgment in the
confessional and in a written declaration, he knew himself as if
portrayed. His inward impurity if but only of a negative kind had
become external and practical, and it seemed to him as if thereby the
intended sin had been in reality committed. Involuntarily he sought to
discover in the face of each acquaintance whether his flight was known
in Heidelberg, and yet he dared not make the slightest allusion to it,
lest he should himself betray it. His secret ever on his lips, he
feared that he himself might reveal it. Ever listening to hear it,
terrified by any accidental word, guileless did he wish to live among
the guileless, and nevertheless he ever thought of his sin, and the
most insignificant allusion drove the blood to his heart. Thus did he
sojourn among men, humble, fearful, modest, nevertheless full of
suspicion and mistrust, with that shy manner peculiar to nocturnal
animals by day, an image of an evil conscience worthy of all pity.
Besides this an especial punishment caused by an accidental
circumstance, of which no one had the slightest conception, was
reserved for him. There are new melodies which spread like epidemics,
for a while rule the market, till finally they are as totally forgotten
as their predecessors. The newest melody for the time in Heidelberg was
the Gavotte of that jovial Huguenot Henry IV. of France: "Oh! thou
beauteous Gabrielle," heard played by Paul on the day when he took
flight to Speyer. The baker's boy who left the warm bread of a morning
at each house, whistled in shrill notes, "Oh! thou beauteous
Gabrielle." The cobbler's boy who carried the boots and shoes repaired
for his master's customers took good care that it should not be
forgotten. From out of the open windows was heard the "beauteous
Gabrielle" in whose honor the maidens of the Palatinate let their
passionate thoughts pour forth. The "beauteous Gabrielle" was played of
an evening by the bands in the public gardens, and drunken students
sought their beds late after midnight humming the tune of the
"beauteous Gabrielle." If this eternal repetition became wearisome to
nervous people, it connected itself ever in Paul's mind with his
downfall. If his thoughts had once freed themselves from the
comfortless recollection of his imprisonment, of his guilt, of the
overwhelming consciousness of having been a perjured priest,
immediately the hated melody made itself heard, and he saw himself in
the ignoble position of a priest compelled by his evil conscience to
take flight, and the words of his unknown monitor sounded in his ears:
"Fly for all is betrayed." He had once met on the street the red-headed
boy to whom he had confided his message to Lydia. The boy had saluted
him in an evidently derisive manner, and Paolo blushed to the roots of
his hair. He feared to find in every peasant wench the bearer of his
warning and meet a second person who knew of his sin. Every mocking
gesture, made by some uncouth pupil of the college during the hours of
instruction quite decomposed him. He could not free himself from the
feeling that he was being watched, being spoken of. He continually
fancied himself abused and as he looked aside pale and agitated, when
people wished to greet him, he was in reality treated with less
friendly feeling than before, in the which he only saw a confirmation
of his opinion, that a universal contempt was felt for him. By day and
night he thought over whether it could be proved that he had betrayed
the clergymen, whether he in case of an inquiry could deny the
appointment made with Lydia. All his thoughts were concentrated on this
point; he was hurrying towards depression and monomania. A coarser
nature would have easily set aside trespasses which as a fact had never
been committed; his melancholy disposition supplemented the evil. In
his own eyes he was not like other young men who had stumbled, but a
priest who had broken his oaths, and violated his consecration. For God
punishes heavily the sins of men, the more their moral conceptions are
developed. None can enjoy at one and the same time the pure pleasure of
ideality and the debasing joys of sensuality; for the proverb "_quod
licet bovi non licet Jovi_" avails also when inverted. "Thou hast
wished to purchase pleasure outside the limits of the law, and
purchased thereby sorrow," said he to himself. "Thy just punishment has
been meted to thee and only in so far as thou deservest it." And yet it
seemed to him as if in early days much injustice had been done to him.

Accompanying this feeling was his grief for his lost love. Since Klytia
had become another's, he felt for the first time, that his sentiments
towards the sweet fair child had in reality been more than a sensuous
dream of his passions. He might have been so happy, wherefore had he
repelled this happiness? His love became serious, when however it was
too late.

Weighed down by all this mental pressure he soon became quite another
man to the public. The Jesuitical tirades, by which he had formerly
excited the wonderment of the young came no more from his lips. Since a
genuine feeling had found admission into his heart, the pious phrases
fell away from him as withered leaves. The living seed of life, budding
in him, cast out all that was false, fictitious or mendacious. He
prayed much for himself, in the pulpit the words seemed to choke him.
Even when following the coffins of those whom he accompanied to their
last resting place, he felt himself void, inwardly dried up and
wretched. It was no reality to him, that the sorrows of those left
behind and for whom he prayed filled his heart. They might go and beg
for aught he cared. It was no verity to him that the fate of the
deceased in another world troubled him, he might go down to Hell or to
Heaven, as it might please God. Sorrow for sin is egotistical and
destroys all feeling of pity for the grief of others. One single wish
filled his breast as he walked behind the hearse in his black gown, to
be himself within that narrow coffin about to be imbedded in the cold
still earth, above which bloomed the trees and flowers, the birds sang,
and clouds by day passed over so lovingly, on which at night the moon
shone so quietly and peacefully. All the spiritual commonplaces, with
which he had formerly drawn forth the tears of those attending a
christian's funeral, were now wiped away from his memory. Since that a
veritable feeling now ruled him, sorrow for his lost happiness, he
experienced no longer those fictitious emotions, those false
sensations. The veneration of others, for him a sinner, weighed him
down to the ground. Every salutation due to his position, told him that
he was a liar, and he felt ashamed of an office, from which his heart
was so far distant.

As he was once again preparing himself to hold divine service, this
feeling over-mastered him. "And wherefore dost thou not break loose
from these bonds?" he asked himself. "Who has told thee, that this can
be thine only vocation? Why willst thou not prove which is stronger, a
fate, which years ago seized upon a mere boy, or the riper will of a
man?" For the first time he determined to act without consulting
Pigavetta, and to resign his office without reference to his superiors.
Though in so doing he did not free himself, yet it was one lie the
less.

"Magister Laurenzano requests to be relieved from his spiritual
functions," said at a sitting of the Church council held in the
Auditorium of the former monastery of the bare-footed monks, the
President Zuleger, a young Bohemian. "This is to be regretted on
account of his oratorical talent, but as spiritual duties are not
obligatory with his professorial chair at the College, the request must
be granted." The others agreed. "_Conclusum_," said the President to
the Secretary, "the request is granted, with the hope nevertheless,
that Magister Laurenzano will of his own accord from time to time
preach the Gospel to the parishioners. _Fiat decretum_, but let it be
written out in a friendly manner," added the President. The Secretary
also did his best. But we, who know Magister Laurenzano's mental
disposition, can hardly condemn him, for not giving way to the wishes
of the honorable Collegium. Whilst Paolo thus apparently separated
himself from the work of God, divine Grace had begun a work in his
heart, which through repentance and sorrow refined him into a new man.
The Magister did not speak with his spiritual tyrants about his fresh
plans. He waited to see, what orders would be given to him. But
Pigavetta appeared not to notice Paul's disappearance from the pulpit,
in fact he acted as if Paul did not exist.



                              CHAPTER IV.


The sitting of the Imperial Diet being at an end the court of the
Kurfürst returned amidst the thunder of cannon fired from the
Trutzkaiser to the Castle at Heidelberg, which during the meeting had
been only opened for the accommodation of noble guests. The remaining
groups of those returning home passed at the same time through the
town; they were Polish, Transylvanian and Hungarian Magnates, who had
ordered servants and horses to be sent from their homes to meet them in
Heidelberg. A contagious disease broke out in the hostelry where the
servants had slept, laying all the inhabitants of the house on the sick
bed. Erastus was called in, examined the patients, who besides having a
violent fever, had their faces, breasts and arm-pits covered with blue,
violet and evil looking pustules. The swarthy complexion of the
physician turned ashy-pale when he noticed these symptoms, but without
saying a word he ordered a spunge dipped in vinegar to be brought,
which he fastened to his mouth. He caused his assistants to do
likewise, and carry the sick to the Gutleuthaus, a hospital lying
outside Heidelberg, which in former days had been founded for the use
of the returning Crusaders affected with leprosy. The inns, in which
the filthy guests had tarried were closed, the rooms disinfected with
alkalines, the beds were burnt, and the doors nailed up. No one was to
be permitted to enter the infected rooms for six weeks, with the
exception of the medical assistants, who were from time to time to
renew the means employed for purification. The population of the
afflicted district was severely visited. The matter was hushed up so as
not to injure trade, but every one knew that it was the plague, and the
unclean guests who had introduced it were shunned. The eight patients
lay together in the Gutleuthaus at Schlierbach, six died and but two
recovered. These two were inhabitants of the neighbouring villages
Schönau and Petersthal. Thoroughly fumigated and provided with entirely
new clothing they were permitted to return to their homes. They found
it to be to their own advantage not to speak about the malady from
which they had recovered, as otherwise no one would have taken them in.
But one of them had placed his infected worthless clothing in a bundle
which he brought back with him to his home. The other had exchanged the
new boots of one of the dead for the inferior pair given him by the
authorities of the hospital. Eight days after their return the pest
broke out in these two villages with unheard of violence. The mother of
the Schönau patient was the first to take the sickness and die,
followed by the sister who had watched over her, the clergyman who had
administered the sacraments, the women who had dressed out the corpse
and those who had attended the burial. The guilty wretch who had caused
all this evil, naturally kept silent. He quickly packed up his bundle
and left for Schwaben. The same thing occurred in Petersthal.
Inhabitants of these villages went from house to house in Heidelberg,
offering fruit, vegetables, pine wood, cones, and straw-mats for sale.
The physicians reported fresh cases of the plague in all parts of the
town. A general fear seized the population. One morning it became known
that the court had left for Mosbach. Great was the discouragement of
the citizens at this ruthless step, for which the young wife of the
Kurfürst was blamed. Whoever could, followed the example thus set.
Erastus and his medical colleagues urged the magistrate to stricter
measures. All communication with the infested villages was forbidden,
the University and schools were closed. The hospital was set aside
especially for plague stricken patients, and everyone infected with
this terrible sickness was carried thither. A violent thunderstorm
which dispelled the evil vapors, aided by a high tide which cleared out
the sewers enabled them to obtain the mastery. The Court returned to
the Castle and Heidelberg resumed its usual aspect. But even after the
disappearance of the epidemic, a victim died here and there of the
disease from which they had imagined themselves now free. The cause lay
in the continuation of the plague in the neighbouring villages, which
in the anxiety to save the town had been neglected. Heart-rending were
the accounts heard, but the exertions of the officials were limited to
the provision of food, the strictest quarantine being maintained. He
who wished to leave to render assistance, could only do so by promising
not to return. Erastus finally managed to carry an order through, that
the Magistrate and certain physicians should visit the various
localities, bringing with them especially medicines, clean clothing,
and linen. As the Magistrate fell ill on the day appointed Erastus
placed himself at the head of the Commission to see what might be done
to abate the evil. Ten of the hospital laborers accompanied them with
spades and axes in a second cart. A third cart was loaded with wine,
food, lime, and other disinfectants. The physicians found the nearest
village still as if all were dead. All the roads leading from the
mountains were barricaded and the peasantry armed with hallebards and
weapons mounted guard to prevent the entry of the inhabitants of the
valleys. The Commissioners were only permitted to pass their carts
through with the greatest difficulty, and in spite of the mandate given
by the Kurfürst, the peasants declared they would not suffer one of the
gentlemen to return that way, as the plague did not seem to trouble
itself about princely mandates. They continued on their way through
this still valley of death. Here and there a stray beast browsed on the
green pastures. The houses of the peasantry above seemed to be
abandoned. The Commissioners entered one. A hen seeking for grain in
the empty court was the only living being. The doors were broken in,
the shutters burst out. Objects which plunderers had not been able to
carry off lay scattered on the floor in wild confusion. Further on they
found a dead body lying at a little distance from one of the roads to
the fields. Where death had overtaken him, there lay the miserable
being. The physicians gazed in horror at the wild distorted features of
the corpse. "Death caused by the bite of a poisonous viper, or a rabid
blood-hound appears in the form of an angel of peace as compared with
that effected by the plague," said Erastus. In the next farm they saw a
peasant sitting before his door on a bundle of straw. His face was
flaming from the inner heat, the eyes gleamed feverishly, he shaded
them continually with his hands to avoid the light. "Why do you sit
here, instead of being in bed?" asked Erastus.

"I have no one who will bring me water."

"Where are your laborers?"

"Gone."

"Your wife?"

"Dead."

"Have you no one to help you?"

"All are dead."

Erastus fastened the spunge dipped in vinegar once more to his mouth,
and entered the dwelling with his colleagues who took the like
precautions. The windows were still fastened up, as there was nothing
the patient hated so much as light. The commissioners hastily threw
them open, so as to dispel by a draught of fresh air the horrible
odors. The sunlight disclosed a neatly ordered clean room. The evening
meal still stood on the table, a proof, of how quickly the horrible
pestilence had seized the various members of the family at the same
moment. A child's catechism and slate lay near the window ready for the
morning school. A wild confusion was however disclosed in the adjoining
rooms. The floors were strewn with rags, bandages, and straw, which
proved how terrible the ravages of the plague had been. Two dead
children lay in the same bed convulsively grasping each other. On
another bed was seen the body of a woman, to which still clung a child,
whose waxy little hand hung stiff outside the bed. Erastus himself set
to work and with the aid of his assistants carried the bodies outside.
The neighboring houses presented the same appearance. The more distant
farmyards had all been plundered. The healthy occupants had taken to
flight, the plague-stricken had gathered together in the villages,
where the houses were nearer at hand, and where they might possibly
render each other a little help. All round were heard sighs, shouts of
delirium, and the death-rattle. Convalescents and those who were not so
heavily afflicted by the infection moved about weakly and stupefied
with fever rendering only the most necessary assistance. They brought
the bread which had been deposited at a certain place outside the
boundary line, into the village, milked the cows, kept up the fires,
and buried the dead when capable of doing so.

"Where is the Mayor?" asked Erastus.

"Dead," answered a miserable looking knot of women, around whose necks
hung some wretched infants.

"The clergyman?"

"His wife fell ill, he therefore hurried away with his family."

"The schoolmaster?"

"He went off with the clergyman."

"Who looks after you then?"

"No one."

Under these circumstances it was arranged that the physicians and
workmen should remain there for a time, dig a grave for the dead,
disinfect the houses, and give out medicines and clothes. Erastus
however and others would go on to Schönau to see what might be done
there. A solitary path in the woods led over the brow of the hill to
the village. The farms lying high above on the slopes of the wood had
mostly escaped the infection, they were however strictly barricaded,
and the inhabitants repelled with hard words any attempt at approach.
The first houses in the village they came to, were tightly fastened up,
though traces of violence were however not to be perceived. Then they
entered the little town, which in course of time had been built around
the old abbey. Everything was quiet, but a better order seemed to
prevail. Windows were open to admit the fresh air, the sick lay in
clean beds, and near them stood a pitcher of water. The rooms were
tidy. Pale children went to and fro to help the sufferers. Erastus
entered one of the houses, to make some inquiries of a woman who seemed
to be on the way towards recovery. He praised the means taken and asked
if they were satisfied with their physician.

"We have no physician, none will come to us."

"Who taught you then to air the houses, and apply wet cloths to the
head?"

"The clergyman from Heidelberg."

"Who is he?"

The woman shrugged her shoulders and turned her face to the wall. He
saw that she did not wish to be disturbed. Outside he met some young
men filling buckets with water.

"For whom is the water?" asked Erastus.

"For the sick in the Church."

"Have you turned the Church into an hospital?"

"Yes."

"Who ordered it?"

"The Heidelberg clergyman."

"Where is the Mayor?"

"Gone."

"And the parson of Schönau?"

"Dead."

"And the schoolmaster?"

"Gone."

"Who is it then keeps order?"

"The Heidelberg clergyman."

Erastus became interested in finding out the man, who by his own
exertions had worked the miracle, of mustering together a strange
parish, and so organizing it that nothing was left for his Commission
to do. He entered the large roman church, whose wide spanned aisles had
been transformed into well aired cool wards. A long row of patients lay
near the walls on beds of straw covered with blankets. The hideous
disease showed even here its true character; there were faces who bore
the stamp of death, and others distorted grimly by their sufferings,
delirious patients who raged, laughed insanely and raved, convalescents
who lay stretched out weak and helpless on their beds, many of them
wishing that the end of their sufferings might overtake them. But they
were all thoroughly cared for, they lay protected from the painful
light; in spite of the number of the sufferers the air was pure and
continually renewed, without the patients suffering from the draughts.
Women moved quietly and lightly hither and thither and provided for all
their necessities. The skilled look of the physician took in with
satisfaction the picture thus presented to him. He saw a priest
kneeling in a dark corner of the Church near a dying man. He heard
prayers spoken in low tones, he saw the Catholic sign of the cross made
by the priest over the dying man, and could not help shaking his head.
"Who can that be?" he thought.

The priest rose, a tall thin figure. "Magister Laurenzano!" cried
Erastus in his astonishment. Paul had also recognized Erastus. He
approached him in a constrained manner. Then he said "Heaven has sent
you to us, Sir Counsellor! It was indeed time that the government
should remember us. Please to come with me to the Cloister. Twice did I
wish to send in letters and messages, for what we needed, but neither
letters nor messengers were allowed in through cowardly fear of
infection. Come, come, at last help has reached us."

The look of this young man, who, utterly regardless of his own safety,
waited on the sick without using any antidotes against infection, so
shamed Erastus, that he secretly placed his vinegared spunge in his
pocket, and accompanied Laurenzano to the abandoned monastery which had
likewise been turned into an hospital. The young Priest set before
Erastus in the high vaulted Refectorium a beaker of wine, and pointing
to long rows of bottles and glasses said, "Here are my head-quarters."
Erastus joined to his expression of admiration for Paolo's self-denying
energy, a few strong remarks on the baseness of the officials who had
run away, on the heartlessness of members of families who had left, and
on the sordidness of the population.

"Do not say that, Sir," answered Paul, and a gentle tone of sympathy
lay in his fine, deep voice. "I have in these days of struggle learnt,
on the contrary, that more love exists among us, than I formerly used
to think. I have seen proofs of self-sacrifice, which made my heart
melt, not only from the mother to her children, or the daughter to her
father. Go over there and see these delicate pale women, still for the
most part suffering from the fever, who nevertheless indefatigably
listen for every impatient groan uttered by the sick."

Erastus interrupted him with an account of how he had found matters in
Petersthal.

"Thus was it here also," replied Paolo, "but who is to blame for this
state of things? The Prince's government, no one else. The people only
needed guiding. Out of shere despair they raged against one another.
But it was sufficient, in order to restore confidence among them,
merely to tell them that they could help each other, and the apparent
coarseness and selfishness gave way to the uttermost self-sacrifice and
generosity. Since everything has been organized, since each one knows
that he will be found a fitting position for his energies and that he
is necessary and indispensable, the people have developed a
conscientiousness and faithfulness, which have quite astonished me. I
have learnt to think better of your people, since I have led them
against this most terrible enemy, than before, when I only saw
occasionally the youth of Schönau lounging on Sundays along the country
roads."

"But how did you manage to bring about this miracle?" asked Erastus.

Paul smiled but did not answer this question. "Unfortunately we are in
want of many necessaries," said he. "Our vinegar is all consumed, all
sweat-exciting herbs have been plucked from the mountains; we want lime
to spread over the corpses and render the exhalations innocuous. We
have now to make large fires, and these are costly and take up time."

"You can have all these things from me," replied the physician. "Here
is a list I have made of all the things which we bring you," and he
pulled a paper out of his pocket. Paul cast a look at it, then stared
fixedly with a look of sudden horror at the handwriting. "Did you write
this yourself?" he asked in a tone, as if life and death were depending
on the answer.

"Certainly, why do you ask." The priest's hand trembled. "Is that your
handwriting?" repeated Paul looking anxiously towards Erastus. The
physician did not understand what the priest meant. Convulsively did
the young man compose himself. "I will mark out what we require,"
murmured he absently and left the room in evident confusion. Erastus
looked after the strange young man with a shake of the head; he had
expected that Paul would have rejoiced at receiving the articles, which
he gave gratuitously to the patients.

Once outside the young priest pulled out the physician's list and
examined it tremblingly. "There is no doubt," he muttered to himself,
"the strokes are the same, as those which Pigavetta caused me to
imitate, and Herr Adam, to whom his dictation was addressed, was none
other than the heretical Parson Adam Neuser. But he threw the paper
before my eyes into the street. Was it the same after all?" and with an
expression of despair Paul sank down near the round window of the
cloister and gazed gloomily out. "How the vipers of repentance, which
for a time had curled up in some dark corner, bite once more? How again
the old chain works its way into the flesh?" Should he warn Erastus. He
sank into a melancholy train of thought, but could arrive at no
determination. At last he shook it away from him. "Let us think of the
misery of to-day. Should to-morrow another misfortune arise, it will be
time enough. God's mercy does not let every seed of wickedness
germinate, which we may have sown unthinkingly, and around me here
there is sufficient misery, to requite by good to many, the evil which
I have caused to many." Then he arose, so as to prepare himself in his
chamber, for the service which he held for the sick every evening in
the Church.

The physician wearied by his exertions of the day, remained for a while
longer in the Refectorium, and thought over his glass of wine about the
young man, for whom he now felt so great an admiration. Shortly an old
peasant woman, with white hair and a calm peaceful countenance appeared
balancing a basket full of herbs on her head. After setting down her
basket, and wiping the perspiration from her brow, she began to pull
out and sort the herbs.

"You must be very glad that the Heidelberg clergyman came among you?"
said Erastus opening a conversation.

"Glad?" replied the old woman, "it was he who saved us."

"Yes indeed, when one compares Petersthal with your village, one must
admire the man."

"If you had only witnessed, how he performed the miracle on the
Kreuzwiese, you would speak in quite another way."

"What sort of miracle, mother?"

"You do not know it," said the old woman quickly. "Then you know
nothing. You ought to have seen how the man addressed the people all
day long but in vain. Those that were healthy packed up, and wanted to
escape by footpaths that were not guarded. Wicked ruffians plundered
the farm-yards and treated the defenceless owners with every cruelty,
the sick lay abandoned in their rooms, in the streets, in the open
fields. Then the strange clergyman threatened those who wished to leave
with all the punishments of heaven, should they abandon their parish to
its fate.--Immediately the first miracle took place. The ring-leader of
those about to depart, attempted to reach a footpath by climbing the
stone-quarry behind the Sperlingshof, by which one can reach the road
to Leiningen, without being stopped. As he reached the top, he
stumbled, fell backwards into the quarry and broke his neck. You should
then have seen the parson, pointing to the place and calling out to the
people with flaming eyes. 'I tell you, that each of you, that attempts
this path, will end in this manner,' and he began to call on God, to
destroy all those, who wished to leave their brethren to destruction,
and to help those who helped their brethren. By the quarry the holy
cross still stands, which the Kurfürst ever wanted to break down as
being an idolatrous image. The parish however opposed this, as it stood
there long before the monastery, and is an old relic. Finally the Holy
Virgin and the Disciple were broken off and taken away, but the blessed
Saviour was allowed to remain on his Cross. The strange clergyman now
turned towards Him, and you should only have heard him, how he
addressed Him, it was enough to soften the heart of a stone. The tears
streamed down our cheeks. Then he called out as if entranced: 'Thou
willest it Lord! Give a sign that thou willest it!' and he stretched
both his hands towards the Saviour, as if he wished to embrace him, and
called out exultingly. 'See, see, He wills it.' Then it seemed to us
that we were dreaming. The stone image raised head and arms and bowed,
thrice, four times. It seemed to us once, as if the whole of the sacred
body inclined towards us. And then the clergyman turned to us and said:
The Lord has said 'yes;' he who now doubts, or refuses, shall be burnt
as an heretic, and I shall be the first to set fire to the pile.' Then
you should have heard the silence that reigned among the people. I
myself did not hear the 'yes' said, because I stood too far off, but
there were many there who heard quite distinctly how the stone image
opened its mouth and said 'yes' as does a bridegroom at the altar. The
clergyman now numbered off the young men: 'Do you get down your spades
and dig a large grave in the cemetery capable of holding at least
thirty bodies. You,' he said to the older people, 'carry out the bodies
and I will bless them so soon as the grave is ready.' Then turning to
the young girls, 'do you draw water' and to the older women 'do you
purify the houses,' Then he singled out some of the men and women and
said, 'you come with me and we shall turn the church into an hospital.'
What could we do, his eyes flamed like two fires, his gestures were
those of a Kurfürst, or Apostle, or something higher yet. I believe he
would have slain with one single word, as St. Paul did Ananias,
whosoever had opposed him. By sun-down the village was purified, the
sick brought into the Church. Whosoever fell ill, was carried there, in
case he could not be properly taken care of at home, and every day the
Parson inspects the houses with the old people, to see that nothing is
neglected."

"He is indeed a wonderful man," remarked Erastus.

"He is a Catholic," said the old woman in a low tone, "he administers
the last unction to the dying."

"Are you sure of that," said Erastus incredulously.

The old woman nodded. "The old faith was however better, it could
perform miracles." Erastus stood up. The admiration he had felt for
Laurenzano was turned by this one word into disgust. "With the old
bogey of the Bare-footed monks and the new Jesuit tricks, he will
endeavour to restore papistry here," said the excited physician. "So
soon as the Magistrate has the courage to come out here, that stone
object of idolatry must be pulled down. We will teach you to perform
miracles and conversions." Enraged he stepped aside. He heard through
the open windows of the Church the words of the evening service held by
Laurenzano for the sick. No healthy person was allowed to enter, but
the people stood in groups outside to catch through the open windows
the words of the prayers offered. Erastus also approached. He heard how
Paul explained the text of the Epistle of St. James to the sick.
"Behold, we called them blessed which endured: ye have heard of the
patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, how that the Lord
is full of pity and merciful." As a gentle soothing song sounded the
melodious tone of the melancholy sermon from the church even to the
place under the old lindens, fanned by the evening breeze: "Behold, we
call them blessed which endured, endured even to the end. Our portion
is grief and suffering but they are at rest in the peace of God; we
rack our brains to find out how to build up once more our fortunes,
they have entered into the rest of the Saints, and are concealed in the
eternal mansions; we must raise once more our arms in hard work, whilst
they lie in a peaceful calm slumber. Thousands of irksome paths await
our weary tread, while their feet are in sweet repose after their long
pilgrimage." It seemed as if the patients in their couches were now
more tranquil. The groans of agony ceased, the cries of impatience were
hushed. "Behold, we call them blessed, which endured," reechoed the
preacher, "all of those who have gone forth through these portals to
the silent chambers of God, have died in the Lord. But we also, who
have been preserved for a fresh struggle, let us call ourselves
blessed, in that we have suffered; for then only can we say with the
Apostle: as we live, we live in the Lord. The destroying angel of God
has come in among us like a prophet and he said: I have a word unto
you, you children of men! He found you with your sorrows, cares,
enmities, idle thoughts, your coarse enjoyments. Then came the dread
angel of the Lord, and he asked you old people, what was the worth of
that for which you fret, grieve, quarrel, strive after, in the presence
of death. He asked you young maidens, what was the value of your
ornaments, finery, and beauty, if the next morning the angel of the
plague touched you with its finger. He knocked the cup out of your
hands, young men, and hushed your lewd songs. He placed the hand of the
brother in that of the sister, he made peace between father and son,
between neighbor and relation. Therefore let us call ourselves blessed,
that we have gone through this time of tribulation. We take our life
from God, as a gift bestowed a second time upon us, now let us make use
of it as ordered by the Giver, as being at all time in His hand, which
He can at all time demand back in case we misuse it. Let us all, who
have endured, suffered, hoped, and feared in common, who have seen in
common our own snatched away from our hearts and carried out to that
place, from which none return, laid in that grave, which will only open
at the sound of the last trump, let us be from henceforth as one
family, and when the old spirit of strife, self-seeking, greed returns,
then do I place you before those graves, and before this altar, which
to-day hears your groans of agony, and ask of you, how much all for
which you may be striving may be worth, if the angel whom you have seen
within the last days in all his dreadful majesty should return? Then
will you live in the Lord, then shall we call you blessed, in that the
appearance of the Holy Angel has made you wiser."

A touching prayer followed this discourse. Erastus was deeply moved.
His wrath was gone. That which he had heard sounded so differently from
the magister's former florid tirades rich in antitheses. Then used he
to ape the preacher, this time had he preached. The listeners
dispersed. As Erastus was slowly descending from the village, Paul
caught him up, in order to accompany him on his way home. "You have
petitioned the Council to free you from your spiritual functions," said
Erastus, "I see however that you have not observed your own proposal."

"I was ill," said Paul, "sick at heart, poor and suffering, I felt that
I had no longer any right to teach others, when I sent in that
request," and a sad smile passed over his delicate, pale face. "When I
however found that I could do some good by preaching, I naturally
overlooked my unworthiness. It would have been very wrong under such
circumstances to think of one's self. I am thankful to-day to God, that
he sent me this tribulation, which returned to my withered-up heart,
the power to think of, and feel for the sorrow of others. These times
have been a great blessing for me." As Erastus kept silent, Paul
continued. "I have also become convinced once more, of the power of the
Church offices as a guide to the ignorant. Only by prayer can these
demoniacal powers be subdued. In spite of all reason I had been
helpless without preaching and praying."

"You are forgetting the miracles," said Erastus sarcastically. Paul
looked at him abashed. "Why do you attain your good intentions by
deception and evident quackery? How about that miracle on the
Kreuzweg?"

The young Priest smiled. "You have been in Bologna," he said, "and have
seen the leaning tower, the Asinella:

            How Carisanda's tower
            Nods towards the traveller, whenever a cloud
            Passes over it contrary to its incline,
            Causing him rather to seek another road.

This same phenomenon happened to me, when addressing the people. The
clouds were being driven by the wind across the blue heaven back of the
cross, which, since the rough spoliation of the other figures stands
much out of the perpendicular, so that it appears in fact the more the
sky is cast over, the more to nod or bend over. No one noticed this.
But when I saw that the crowd was deeply affected by the sudden death
of a wicked youth, who broke his neck at the time I prophesied, it shot
through my brain, to weld the iron whilst it was hot. Thus I made the
second miracle quickly succeed the first. You shake your head, but I
had no other means to bring the people for their own good under my
power. If ever a _pia fraus_ was permissible it was then."

"You are a Romanist," said Erastus coldly.

"I am," answered the young Priest, who seemed to increase in stature.
"I shall however leave the Palatinate, so soon as matters are so far in
order here, that your officials and clergy can carry on the work."
Saying this he stretched out his hand to Erastus as if for a last
farewell. The physician hesitatingly gave him his lame right hand. "May
it be well with you," he said. But he thought to himself: "from to-day
our paths are separate." As Erastus later on reaching a turn in the
road looked back, he saw the young Priest coming out of a house with a
child in his arms, leading another by the hand. The little ones had
apparently lost their parents.



                               CHAPTER V.


Erastus found a more systematic order in Petersthal, on his return in
the evening, but still much was wanting, as the four physicians with
their dozen assistants had only accomplished the half of what the
Priest had done single handed in the much larger district of Schönau.
The laborers themselves had been obliged to undertake the burial of the
dead and the cleaning of the streets, all the healthy men having fled.
It was impossible to think of cleaning the houses, the women asserted
that they were all too weak to help in any way. They could not even be
induced to give up the beds and clothing they had used to be burnt, or
to purify and air their houses. Out of humor, angry, and wearied of
their fruitless toil, the physicians sat together round one of the
carts, which they had fitted up as their night-quarters. The horses
were fastened to the trees, whilst each man made ready with the means
at hand. Erastus still went about the neighboring houses, to at least
aid the sick as far as possible, and only when darkness prevented any
further visitation did the conscientious physician seek his own narrow
cart. Wearied he stretched himself out and gazed upwards at the starry
sky, whose pure beauty formed a singular contrast to the misery going
on around him. Jupiter beamed in calm splendor, and to the South shone
the ruddy Mars. "Can your conjunctions have anything to do with death,
plague and pestilence?" thought the physician, who was generally known
as an opponent of astrology. Then he also slumbered off, but in his
restless sleep he heard the laborers stealing the provision and
guzzling the wine set aside for the sick. Towards morning there was an
alarm. Some scoundrels had furtively approached the provision cart and
attempted to quietly draw it away. But two of the laborers, who
contrary to Erastus' orders had laid down between some sacks, awoke and
roared for help, at which the thieves disappeared in the darkness. At
day-break the expedition arose with stiff limbs, heavy heads, and in a
most dejected condition of mind. The fruitless negotiations with the
people demoralised through sickness began anew. As Erastus perceived
that in this way he would never attain his object, he determined to
copy the example which had been set him the day previous. He turned his
back to the scolding women, and directed his steps towards the church,
whose steeple ranged high above the houses and trees. Surrounded by a
low broken down wall, the small white village church gleamed through
the fruit trees amidst wooden crosses and sunken graves. The physician
thought of turning this into an hospital, but the narrow space would
only hold at the most thirty patients. He had to take hay and straw by
force from the stalls, and with these the laborers prepared a clean
litter along the walls of the church. Erastus and some of his
assistants returned to the carts to fetch blankets and linen. On his
return, he saw a column of smoke arising near the chapel and an alarm
of fire was raised in the quiet village. A peasant enraged at the
forcible abstraction of his hay, had set his whole provision on fire,
and stole unmolested away. It was useless to think of extinguishing
the flames. With a grim laugh the laborers sat on the walls of the
church-yard and looked on at the little church burning down. "If these
people will not help themselves in any way," said the physicians, "let
us leave them. When the pestilence has raged itself out it will cease
of itself." Erastus urged them to make one more house to house
visitation. They shrugged their shoulders and left it to him. The well
intentioned physician met only with senseless objections or coarse
abuse on giving orders in the nearest house, that the infected objects
should be burnt. He at length lost all patience, and declared he would
hand over no provisions to those who refused to obey his directions.
He then together with his laborers began clearing out the empty
farm-yards, so that after this work had been completed, the healthy
could occupy them instead of their infected dens in the village. Here
and there large fires fed by the straw beds of the patients now flamed
up, and the disgusting smell of burnt linen filled the entire valley.
But Erastus' own people had had already enough of the affair. Nothing
was done as quick as he ordered it, or as he had ordered it. The
laborers took advantage of the evacuation of the sick-dens to pilfer,
as predicted by the peasants, and the villagers stood in angry groups
together consulting as to whether they could not resist by force the
attacks of these strangers. Finally Erastus was compelled to make the
humiliating confession to himself, that without priestly intervention
he could never attain his object among this debased population. Paul's
miracle on the Kreuzweg appeared to him now in a much milder light. So
he sat down on a stone and wrote a letter to the Magister. "Jurists and
medical men abdicate, and pray for help from the theologians," he began
his request to Paul, asking him whether he could not leave Schönau to
itself for a short while, so as to place matters here on a better
footing. One of the laborers was despatched to the monastery with this
prayer to the miracle-monger, a request disagreeable enough to Erastus,
who himself returned once more to his thankless duties. The mood of the
peasants had now become belligerent. They stood around the carts in
groups and declared that the Kurfürst had sent these provisions for
their benefit, and that the Counsellor had no right to withhold them.
Some of the men and youths, who had kept out of the way on the previous
day, now mingled among the groups. They were presumably the same who
had made the nightly attack on the cart containing the provisions.
Erastus had to summon his men from their work to guard the wagons. The
physicians themselves began to be weary of their work. "Let us give the
provisions to this rebellious peasantry and leave them to their fate,"
they said. Whilst thus a violent discussion arose among the members of
the Commission, an impudent youth sprang upon the provision cart and
tore down the linen covering. Immediately the women surrounded the cart
and seized casks and sacks with eager hands. Suddenly the trot of
horses was heard at the entrance of the village. "The police magistrate
with four mounted men," cried a laborer, "he knows what is necessary to
do." The women crept off, in an instant the crowd dispersed and the
young men disappeared behind the houses. Herr Hartmann Hartmanni, "the
learned Magistrate," as he was wont to be called by the guests at the
Hirsch, appeared on the spot and sprang from his horse. He was a
handsome man, this magistrate, but his tall figure was broken down
through dissipation. Only a few sparse black hairs covered the head of
this man yet in the prime of life, and all the seven mortal sins had
left their traces on his worn face. His eyes were crooked, and his legs
no longer carried out the wishes of their owner. Although the ends of
his moustache curled up grimly, the corners of the mouth were weak and
flabby. For so severe a man his bearing was rather affected, as he much
liked to show off the learning, which he owed to the old school of
humanity at Heidelberg. Herr Hartmann Hartmanni did not like work.
Instead of fulfilling his office at the town-hall, he preferred making
verses, and the reports of his examinations often read like poems. The
Kurfürst wished to dismiss him, but the Amtmann of Heidelberg had
rendered to Frederic III., at the death of Otto Heinrich, a signal
service. He had enabled the poor Duke of Simmern to enter Heidelberg in
sufficient time to possess himself of his legitimate inheritance, which
the Duke Albert of Bavaria was already preparing to seize. Thus the
Kurfürst felt himself bound down by personal obligations, and many a
Prince has been compelled to adopt new reforms to render an official
whom he does not wish to offend harmless. Herr Hartmann's bad
management had rendered the idea of handing over police management to
the Presbyters more acceptable to Frederic III., as the Church alone
seemed to have an earnest desire to punish sin. Naturally the
Magistrate himself was numbered among the friends of the Geneva Ban who
would thus relieve him of a part of his burdensome duties. Such was the
man who now appeared on Paolo's battle-field of Schönau. Half rake,
half pedant he presented at no time a pleasant appearance, but that day
he was as wonderfully decked out as if he had copied Holbein's picture
of the plague-doctor. In one hand he had a bottle of vinegar which he
clapped to his nose so soon as the smell of burnt bedding reached his
nostrils; in the other he held drawn his longest sword, as if to keep
away every danger from his person. If he had to touch anything, he
dropped the vinegar bottle into his pocket, and brought out a pair of
tweazers, with which he held out the objects, although he appeared well
protected by thick leather gloves. Doublet and hose were stuffed out
with camomile and peppermint, and in case this did not suffice, around
his breast and back hung hollow balls pierced with holes, from which
spunges steeped in medicines, spread a stupefying odor. Deadly fear and
silent rage at the disgusting duty imposed on him were expressed on his
dark countenance. His first magisterial duty was to arrest the peasant
who had caused the fire, and who for the time was bound to a tree. The
soldiers brought about by blows and curses the execution of the
precautionary measures, which the physician had been vainly
endeavouring for the last twenty-four hours to induce the obstinate
peasant-women to adopt. At midday the Magistrate held an inquiry as to
how the plague had crept in. At first the women kept a sullen silence,
till finally a young wench on whose features idiocy was plainly marked
stepped forward and related like some cackling hen her confused tale.
Every evening before the outburst of the pestilence, a dog with fiery
eyes had run across the village snapping at the houses. Wherever he had
stopped, the plague declared itself within seven days. The dog was in
fact no one else but the herb-woman of the Kreuzgrund, in whose hut he
always disappeared. The infection had left off at the Kreuzgrund, not a
single person had died there. "So she is again to the front," said the
Magistrate. "In the office there is already a series of papers about
her misdeeds. Now is she ripe for the stake. Does not her appearance
quite coincide with the story of the mad dog at Ephesus, which
Apollonius of Tyana ordered to be stoned to death?" he said turning to
the Counsellor. Erastus however returned to his cart, he would have
nothing to do with the matter. The Magistrate mounted accompanied by
two men, to arrest Mother Sibylla. Near them ran the girl who had
accused the witch to act as guide. "That she is a witch," she said
panting, "one can know from her always having butter, and yet no one
has ever seen her churning. She has charmed my Peter and he now keeps
company with Sue, and my mother's pains are also owing to her. But
there is her house, I won't go any further, else she will do me some
harm." The old woman's hut lay in the woody green Seitenthal, whose
stream turned the wheels of Werner's mill. It was a small house black
with smoke and age having blind windows. The door was shut, one of the
soldiers looked through the cracks: "All is empty, she escaped up the
chimney the moment she heard us coming."

"Dismount, we must make an inventory," ordered the Magistrate. The men
dismounted and a strong shove soon broke in the door of the empty hut.
On entering the soldiers made the sign of the cross to guard themselves
from the magic arts of the escaped witch. This was a catholic custom
and it was well for them that none of the gentlemen forming the Church
Council saw them otherwise they would have been dismissed from the
service. The room was empty. Only a large black cat sitting by the
hearth, glared with ferocious green eyes at the uninvited guests.
"Could that be the witch in person." The sergeant approached, "Jesus,
Maria, Joseph," he yelled out as the cat made a spring forward and
disappeared through the open door. Herr Hartmann Hartmanni maintained
his composure, but nevertheless let his men precede him, so that they
might fall victims to any magic curse, which the old woman might have
left behind. He also took care not to touch anything. Whatever was to
be confiscated, he let the soldiers take away. There was however not
much. Above the empty hearth, hung a fox's skin, as well as other furs
and hides, placed there by the witch to be dried out. A box with old
iron seemed to Herr Hartmann to resemble the nails of a scaffold, and
the rope hanging near might have been used for hanging. Brooms leaning
against the chimney appeared to him worthy of suspicion. All kinds of
flowers and herbs were laid out on boards or in wicker-baskets to be
dried: elder, dandelions, camomile, lime-blossoms, and others, though
it was not really necessary for the devil to have taught mother Sibylla
their properties. The disappointed police-officers looked at each
other, was that really a witch's kitchen? The sergeant came a sudden
exclamation of joy and pointed to a small trap-door carefully concealed
by old clothes. Herr Hartmann pushed it open with his sword, and as it
gave way ordered the officer to open it. "Here we have her household
ware," said the Amtmann with a furious look. The men entered into the
room. The bleached skull of a horse gazed at them with hollowed eyes
from the opposite wall. On old pots and broken dishes lay dried wolves'
eyes, birds' hearts, owls' feathers and claws. Snakes with black backs
and white bellies were seen in tightly corked glass bottles, as well as
horribly distended toads. Lizards with far cleverer eyes than those of
the men looking at them returned their gaze from the glassy confines in
which they were placed. On the window-sill were little bottles with
salves, fern-seeds, vervain and all kinds of magic powders. That which
however most served to convict the witch, was a basket which the wicked
old woman had evidently placed hurriedly down after her last trip,
before escaping, for in it lay carefully wrapped up in rags and small
boxes, all kinds of snake skeletons, toads' bones, a child's skull,
wolf's hair, a bottle with pigeon's blood, and numerous bits of paper
on which curious symbols were inscribed, together with a skillet with
tinder and flint used to cook the witch's broth in the woods. Herr
Hartmann Hartmanni did not appear quite satisfied. "A miserably low
slut," he said contemptuously, "the whole find is not worth fifty
thalers. Take up the basket, as it is, and the old pots with their
contents. This Satan's bride has concealed her more valuable
implements, otherwise I should have managed to scrape together a pretty
considerable sum out of these confiscated pots and kettles. But Master
Hammerling will soon open her mouth, and make her tell, where she has
hidden her treasure, the moment we have caught her."

"She won't let herself be caught," said the sergeant, "she is now away
with the plague, and God only knows what shape she will assume, and
whether she won't appear to us to-night as a nightmare."

"The plague take it," said the Amtmann tremblingly.

"I think, Sir," continued the soldier, "it would be as well to leave
her property untouched, one never knows how she may revenge herself. It
once came to pass, that the Magistrate at Mosbach, after he had
confiscated the witch's rubbish, went quietly to bed thinking that his
beloved wife was already there; she however turned out to be the witch,
pulled his leg out of the socket and otherwise injured him, then she
vanished up the chimney, and what he had taken from her, had the next
morning disappeared, in spite of having been carefully deposited under
lock and key. I vote that we leave it all, as it is."

The Magistrate turned pale. "We can perhaps affix a seal," he murmured.
At this instant a long dark figure appeared at the doorway. "Good
Heavens," ejaculated the sergeant.

"Holy Martin," stuttered out the Magistrate, utterly regardless of the
protestant doctrines.

"Is not the Counsellor Erastus here?" inquired Magister Laurenzano in
his musical voice.

"Oh, is it you, Magister," said the Magistrate quite relieved. "You
will find the Counsellor in the village, but could you not tell us,
where to find the old witch, who lives in this hole?"

"What is she guilty of now?" asked Paul.

The Amtmann answered pathetically. "Strong evidence is adduced, that it
was she, who caused the pestilence." Seeing the Magister turn pale,
Herr Hartmann raised his arm in a tragic manner. The sight of the
learned and renowned pulpit orator inspired him. "Not without reason,"
began he his declamation, "is this wicked old woman named Sibylla. She
has gathered near the Linsenteich the herbs, whose juices, as Plinius
tells us, infuse corruption through all the channels of the body. By
the white stone, where thorn and thistle thickly growing prevent an
access, by the marshy alder stream, by all solitary moors, among the
reedy thickets of the Kimmelsbach, in short everywhere, where the tread
of man is seldom heard, has she been seen crouching, ensnaring toads
and conversing with will-o-the wisps. Among the ruins of the
Heiligenberg, where vipers wreath, and in yonder silent woods, where
the mountain-cock was her solitary companion, has she been seen, as she
divided the invisible regions of the air with hazel-twigs, brought down
hail, and murmured invocations whilst crouching in the dust. She has
poisoned the source of this brook, so that it brought the plague into
the town, and transformed in the similitude of a dog has dropped the
poisonous foam in the dark evening hour, on the thresholds of those
houses, in which according to evidence the plague first broke out. See
here the implements of Satan," and he rapped upon the confiscated wares
of the witch, "behold the black and white wand of Circe," said he,
taking up a half-pealed hazel-stick from the corner and handing it to
the Magister. A lurid fire gleamed in the widely distended eyes of the
young Priest, excited at the account of these horrors. "Behold,"
continued the Magistrate carried away by his own discourse, "the
hellish distillations, which she obtained drop by drop from the roots
and stalks of plants, see, how she bottled the night-dew and poison of
the fulsome toad, to sprinkle over innocent children, here in this
kettle did she boil the poisonous vapours, which rising upwards to the
clouds came down again as the seeds of pestilence, and behold moreover
how this beauteous green wooded valley is already withered by the
breath of the witch." Paul Laurenzano turned pale with excitement, his
breath came and went quickly and audibly. The old fire of fanaticism
gleamed in his dark eye. "I think I know who has concealed her," he
said with tremulous voice. "Come, I will guide you."

The Amtmann strode reverentially at the side of the young clergyman.
The soldiers followed at a short interval leading the Magistrate's
horse. Having proceeded for a brief space, the Magister left the road,
and followed the course of a stream towards a mill. "Even in Schönau,"
he now said, "the report has spread, that the old witch brought in the
plague, and as she was not safe in her house, you will find her
concealed by the old Dissenter, Miller Werner." Behind the green
orchard, overshadowed by poplars and elders, lay the mill sought for by
the troop of police, an emblem of peace. The front window-shutters were
closed, but the clappering wheels untiringly spoke by day and night the
praise of the man, who even during these terrible times had not ceased
working, but made bread for the starving inhabitants out of the newly
gathered in harvest. The inhabitants of the mill had not heard the
arrival of the soldiers owing to the noise of the wheels, but the
Magistrate rapped loudly with the pommel of his sword on the closed
shutters.

"Don't break in my windows. Peace-breaker," called out the voice of old
Werner, "is that the way you ask for bread?" The shutter flew open and
the weather-beaten face of the gray headed miller appeared. Surprised,
yet without fear, he surveyed the group before his house, whilst the
red head of his boy, sprinkled over with flour, like the stalk of a red
lily, cropped up behind him curious to hear what all this was about?
But before the Baptist could express any astonishment the Magistrate
began: "You are sheltering the old witch. Give her up else you will
find yourself in the square tower, which you well know."

"Of what is she accused?" asked the old Miller calmly.

"Of spreading the plague," answered Herr Hartmann Hartmanni with due
solemnity.

"And you, the Prince's Magistrate believe, that an old woman can have
caused all the misery which the united officials of the Palatinate
could not prevent? In that case, sir, do not lay your hand on her, lest
she injure you through incantations."

"You admit then, that she is here?" asked the Magistrate.

The Baptist made a sign behind his back, and his red-headed boy
disappeared through a door leading from within. Instead of answering
the question, he then said,

"It is curious, for weeks we have been waiting for the officials to aid
in stemming the pestilence. My provisions are devoured, my faithful
Martha is worn to a shadow through running, watching and attending
others, government however let us rot and perish. But now, now that the
plague is almost gone, riders and carts come to take off an old woman
who is accused of being the cause of all the trouble." Herr Hartmann
Hartmanni was rather taken aback at this unexpected onslaught, but a
tremendous noise at the back of the house prevented him from making any
answer. A horrible crowing, squeaking, and grunting was heard to
proceed from a distant hay-rick. The horse of the sergeant leapt wildly
neighing with emptied saddle over the garden hedge, whilst its gigantic
master lay miserably grovelling in the dust. The other police officer
cursed and swore, whilst endeavoring to hold on to the bridle of the
dismounted magistrate's shying steed without letting his own bolt. Paul
sprang forwards to discover the cause of the confusion. An old woman
ran in his way thinking to reach the mountains unobserved. He laid
tight hold of her and immediately the sergeant who had been thrown off
picked himself up and seized the old woman by the arm. "Devils' witch,"
he said, "we will serve thee out for this." At the same moment loud
spanks and mournful wails were heard from behind the house. "He who
does not hear, must feel, foolish boy," roared the angry voice of the
Miller. "How often have I told you not to play the devil. Now thou
alone hast made the matter look bad." The two groups met together at
the door, the angry Miller holding his howling son by the ear, the
Parson and the sergeant hauling along the old woman, who let her feet
drag over the ground, uttering the most bestial cries. "Did I not sell
you the snakes," she said every now and then to the Parson, "let me go.
You also use snakes for your enchantments." At this disgusting sight
the Miller let his boy loose. "Shame on you," he cried, "to thus
ill-use an old woman, you especially, a Priest!"

"Witch and heretic house together, that has ever been an old custom,"
replied the Magister angrily, whilst the sergeant and his officer bound
the old woman and then threw her on the ground.

"You have given shelter to the witch," now said the Magistrate, "we
heard in your yard with our own ears the neighing of the devilish host,
who with horns, tails, and claws galloped close past the sergeant as he
lay on the ground...."

"Dost thou see, George, what thou hast brought about," interposed the
Miller, seizing his boy once more by the arm and shaking him. "He it
was who imitated the hellish voices, to laugh over your fright, other
devils are not to be found in my house. You will make yourselves
ridiculous, if it is known, that you let yourselves be taken in by a
child."

Solemnly Herr Hartmann Hartmanni turned round to the red-headed George,
who stood sheepishly near the fence not understanding the extent of the
danger to his person. "Good, then he goes also with us to Heidelberg,
and if he be not found guilty of more devilish arts, he will
nevertheless get his _quantum satis_ of birching for ridiculing the
district magistrate."

"You will certainly never lock up a mere child in the witch's tower for
a boyish trick for which he has been already punished?" said the
Miller. "What will become of a child in this terrible prison, he will
be frightened to death."

"You will keep him company," now broke in the Magister, "Herr Hermanni,
I accuse this Baptist and heretic of intriguing for his sect contrary
to the prince's mandates. He has lately availed himself of the terror
caused by the plague, and also re-baptised certain families living in
Schönau. Besides this you are witness, that he is in communication with
the witch who is to be found on all cross-roads."

The Miller drew himself to his full height. "And thou priest of Baal,
darest thou speak of cross-roads. Who is it makes appointments with
innocent girls after sun-down on the cross-roads, yes, and the worst in
repute of the whole district, where evil spirits, or rather evil
passions abound." And once more the Miller pushed his boy to the front
and called out: "Look on that boy, he it is to whom thou didst entrust
thy filthy message." Pale as death Paul made a step backwards. Had when
in decent company the whole of his clothes suddenly fallen off his
body, he would have scarcely felt such a shock, as he did at his moral
nakedness being thus exposed. A painful silence now reigned, all the
more annihilating for the young Priest, as the audience had lately been
increased, attracted by the noise the Heidelberg physicians together
with the laborers and numerous peasant women had hastened up. All
watched Paul's lips intently, to hear how he would answer such a
serious charge. But he remained silent. It seemed to him as if he had
become transparent, and every one pried into his filthy secrets with
mocking eyes.

Then the witch on the ground squeaked out. "He it was who enticed Herr
Erastus' fair haired daughter of a dark night to the Holtermann."

"What sayest thou of my daughter?" cried out Erastus, approaching the
old woman in a rage.

"Well, the Counsellor must best know where it was that his daughter
broke her little foot. The Parson wanted to play at marriage with her
on the cross-road, where the Evil One meets his mistress every night.
But others came before the gentleman, and the bride sprang into the
Heidenloch, and that was too humid a bride-chamber for Sir Parson."

"You keep silent, old Dragon," whispered the old Miller, giving her a
kick with his foot, but the bound witch only called out her wondrous
tale doubly loud to the people around. Erastus' features became
distorted, he laughed through very excitement. He resembled at that
moment in his maddening sorrow the Devil himself, as his enemies
averred; his hair bristled up, his face became black, whilst the white
of his eye gleamed horribly from out of his darkened countenance. The
cowardly Magistrate drew back. Among what sort of people had he fallen!
He had long known Erastus to be a heretic; but now his daughter was a
witch; he himself perhaps a sorcerer; did not the terrible man look
exactly like one at that moment. And the foreign Parson moreover, whom
Herr Hartmanni had never trusted, and who, as he the Magistrate of the
district had just been informed, also bought witches' wares, held
converse with the Evil one on the cross-road, and brought young maidens
to his nightly revels. Not to mention the Baptist, his devilish boy,
and the bound witch herself, who fixed him with an evil glare. Everyone
who stood there must be clapped into the witches' tower on the Zwinger,
but to do this he must have a warrant from the Kurfürst. He must also
return with at least half a company of crossbow-men to this valley and
root out all heresy and witchcraft. Without saying a word he mounted
his horse and rode out of shot of his dreadful neighbors. Then he
called out: "The examination can take place in Heidelberg, my business
here is at an end. Sergeant, you deliver the witch and incendiary into
the tower." He then set spurs to his horse, ordered the other officers
in the village to follow him and trotted away as quick as he possibly
could down the valley, still in mortal terror of being pursued by this
conventicle of witches and heretics. The sergeant and the officer
placed the fettered witch between their horses and thus brought her to
the village, when being bound together with the peasant to a cart they
made their way to the Tower. The Miller had in the meanwhile taken his
boy by the arm; they went into the house to the old Martha. Erastus
remained behind; he went up close to the young Priest, who stood
silently leaning against a pear tree. "Magister Laurenzano," said the
wretched father in a husky voice, "is there any truth in the statement
made by the witch?" The young Priest remained silent. He looked down as
if overwhelmed. "Did you entice Lydia by night to the Holtermann?" now
shrieked the Physician in wild despair. The Priest bowed his head. The
tall physician fell prostrate on the ground. His companions sprang
forwards and carried him to one of the carts, whilst the Priest with
his face buried in his hands hastened away.

All was once more still in front of the Miller's house. The frightened
fowls ran hither and thither in the down-trodden grass. The mill-wheels
clappered their monotonous old song, and gaily gleamed the rivulet in
the bright midday sun, while many colored butterflies and dark
dragonflies hovered around it. The passionate sobbing of women arose
from the interior of the mill. After a while, Father Werner and his son
appeared at the edge of the wood, both bearing knapsacks on their
backs. The Miller knew, what to expect at the return of the Magistrate
and made his way to the nearest frontier. Red-headed George on the
other hand seemed not to consider the matter in so serious a light; he
followed after his enraged progenitor quite calmly. "Father do not
hurry so," he said panting, "the Heidelberg police are always late."



                              CHAPTER VI.


Whilst the cart was rolling slowly along the Neckar valley, Erastus
gradually regained his composure. His daughter's image in all its
purity and goodness appeared before his eyes. This harmless child might
have been led astray, but had never been depraved. The humiliated
father called to mind every conversation which she had had in his
presence with the Priest, and felt fully convinced that morally his
child was pure and unspotted, whatever might have been the cause of the
extraordinary nightly adventure. He begged his companions to drive
quicker, as he longed to interrogate Lydia face to face. The cart
rolled rapidly through the streets of the town, though it trailed up
the steep Schlossberg much too slowly for the impatient Erastus. But on
the carter wishing to drive over the draw-bridge he found the entry
blocked up. A vehicle guarded by four riders had just driven into the
court-yard. Near a police-officer of the Palatinate sat with fettered
hands the former Parson, Adam Neuser. Wearied and dejected he gazed
straight before him. His hair had become grayer, his complexion more
sun-burnt. Otherwise the flight with its many privations appeared to
have agreed with him better than the boozing life at the Hirsch. He had
wandered much about the world, but had been unable to make without
recommendations, without testimonials, without a name, any position for
himself. Fortune and his star had abandoned him. Thus utterly
discouraged, degraded as to body and soul, with torn clothing, and but
a few pence in his pockets, he found himself in a tavern near the
Danube where he had put up for the night, next to the children's room.
Whilst the heat from the hot kitchen warmed delightfully his stiffened
limbs, and he listened to the childish prattle of the children, a
longing to see his own family once more overpowered him. It seemed to
him as if his wife brought to him their youngest child, which wrapped
in a woollen cloth felt as warm as the chimney against which he leant,
and the little one placed his cheek against his father's and nibbled at
it, as if to try, whether he tasted as good as did its mother. And next
he saw his second little daughter stumbling about before him, and who
only now beginning to talk called all four-footed animals from the
horse downwards "wau" and all winged creatures from the fly upwards
"bibi" and mankind "man". And his little Jack showed him his slate with
the exercises which he had written, and the butterflies which he had
caught in the garden. A heavy sadness came over the stout Parson, and
he shut his eyes, as do the chickens, by raising the lower eyelid
upwards, whilst the upper remained stationary, as was his wont,
whenever he felt gently moved, and he fell asleep. In his dreams he
fancied himself once more in his comfortable chair near the round table
at the Hirsch in Heidelberg, and Chancellor Probus congratulated him in
a friendly manner on his return. "All is forgiven and forgotten. As a
matter of course," he distinctly heard the Chairman of their meeting
say in his deep tones. At these words of the honored gentleman so
intense was the joy that came over Parson Neuser that he awoke, and
called out as did Doctor Luther at Koburg: "Home, home, home!" He
trusted certainly that his wife had burnt the dangerous papers in good
time. He did not think of the mad address which he had written in a
moment of drunken intoxication to Sultan Selim II., and with his usual
buoyancy he imagined, that if the worst came to the worst he would get
off with a mild punishment. He surrendered himself up to the magistrate
at Amberg, who immediately sent him on to Heidelberg, where the trial
of his companions was still taking place. Erastus was glad, that Neuser
did not notice him. He did not feel inclined to greet this foolish man
who had drawn this calamity on himself and his family. But the gate
still remained closed and Erastus fretted with impatience at the
enforced delay. Finally the trotting of horses and the rattling of a
cart was heard within. Another cart guarded by armed men escorting a
prisoner appeared. This time however it was Sylvanus who sat near the
officer. The once so stately man looked pale and haggard, his eyes were
sunken and an expression of resigned despondency lay on his wan face.
At his feet sat his nine-year old son, who was allowed by order of the
kind-hearted Kurfürst to accompany him to his prison, although the
clergymen of the court had violently opposed this soul-destroying
indulgence on the part of the Kurfürst. The prisoner was being taken to
Mannheim, so as to prevent any communication between himself and
Neuser. On seeing Erastus, Sylvanus stretched out his hands towards him
as if imploring for aid. The physician also raised his hand, but let it
drop wearily down, as if to express how powerless he himself was. He
was thinking of some kindly expression when the driver whipped up the
horses and they rolled under the dark gate-way. Immediately on reaching
his apartment Erastus inquired for Lydia. She had gone to pay a visit
to Frau Belier, as she had only expected her father at a late hour,
still she might be back at any moment. Erastus' eye now caught sight of
a large envelope among his papers, bearing the seal of the Church
Council, but addressed to him in his mere capacity of Doctor of
Medicine. Surprised he broke it open, expecting some fresh misfortune.
The youthful President Zuleger informed him in brief terms that the
Church Council had found it advisable to issue their ban of
excommunication over him. His conscience would sufficiently explain to
him the causes of this step. "No Pope who at any time sent forth the
_fulmen_ of excommunication ever did it with more comfort to himself,"
hissed Erastus. Till he could again be admitted to participate in the
Communion of the Lord's Supper, it added, he was forbidden to attend
the meetings of the Church Council. Trembling with rage and emotion he
held in his lame hand the document, whilst he seized his hat with the
other, saying to the terrified maid-servant: "I must go immediately to
the Prince." The anxious old woman wanted to induce him to take some
refreshment, but he hurried out, merely leaving word that Lydia should
wait for him at home, as he had something important to tell her.

The Kurfürst was sitting in his private room in the new court, which we
have already described, as Erastus requested the page to beg an
audience in his name. Utterly worn out by his exertions the wearied man
heard the Prince within talking loudly and earnestly. After a time the
Magistrate, Hartmann Hartmanni appeared at the door and passed him by
without notice. Now at length was Erastus allowed to enter.

"I was about to send for you this afternoon," said the stout Prince
good-naturedly, "as it is not my habit to condemn any one unheard. Sit
down. What we have to talk about, will not be decided within the hour."
The wearied physician gloomily took his seat on the chair pointed out
to him. "The report of the spiritual members of the Church Council on
the arian clergymen has been sent in," began the Kurfürst. "Before
discussing your matter. I should like to hear what you think about it?"

"The theological gentlemen have not deemed it necessary to send me a
copy," said Erastus coldly.

"Did you not attend the preliminary meetings as to the result of the
inquiry?"

"What advantage would it have been to me?" replied Erastus bitterly.
"In Your Gracious Highness' Church Council there are three kinds of
Counsellors. The Jurists read the documents and report their contents.
The learned Doctors do not read yet nevertheless report on them, the
Theologians read them and report totally differently to what is written
in them. When I saw that I remained away."

"Your old song," growled the Kurfürst fretfully. "But now I must read
you a report instead of your doing so to me. First of all then," he
said turning over the leaves of the report above mentioned, "these
gentlemen enjoin on me, that whosoever acquits those blasphemers, is as
much an abomination in the sight of God, as the blasphemers
themselves." Erastus shrugged his shoulders contemptuously. "The first
part refers to the blasphemies, invectives, and repudiation of the
Christian dogmas by these clergymen, as well as their endeavours to
unite themselves with the Turks. All the points in Sylvanus' libel are
clearly marked out, and it is thus evident, that the Inspector intended
to taint the world with his blasphemies. Do you differ from this
opinion?"

"No," answered Erastus, "Sylvanus' letter deserves punishment. But I
cannot possibly look upon Neuser's ridiculous composition as a serious
production, more especially as it is endorsed: _potest omitti_. I
believe that the foolish man wrote it in a drunken mood, and though he
read it again when more sober, he was too lazy to burn the document and
wrote instead: 'need not be forwarded.' Sylvanus has been however
severely punished by his long imprisonment and regrets his aberration
sincerely. Most certainly those two cannot go unpunished, but the only
question is what punishment those gentlemen consider fitting?"

"That is just the point," said the Kurfürst sorrowfully. "These
theologians continually refer to the divine law as it is written in the
Books of Moses. There it is commanded, to stone such blasphemers, to
pierce them with the sword, to burn them. The words of the Vth Book of
Moses Chapter 13 are clear. 'If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or
thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom or thy friend which is as thine
own soul entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods,
neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither
shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him, thine hand
shall be the first upon him to put him to death and afterwards the hand
of all the people, and thou shalt stone him with stones that he die
because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God.'" The
Kurfürst put down the report and looked earnestly at Erastus.

"Do those gentlemen really wish to introduce stoning into the
Palatinate?" asked Erastus mockingly.

"No," answered the Kurfürst. "Further on it is stated, 'It is certain
that as to this _qualitas, circumstantia_, or fact, namely as regards
stoning, the christian authorities are not bound thereto, but that they
may make use of the sword, or hanging or some other means of destroying
life. If however the sin is not visited upon the head of him who has
sinned, God will pour out his wrath upon the entire people, who have
not rooted out the transgressor. But to increase and call forth God's
wrath which has already been kindled as shown by the plague, would be
the most horrible cruelty towards the entire christian community.'"

"To calmly sit in the lofty rooms of the chancellory, and to offer up
an atoning sacrifice to the angel of the plague on the green-cloth of
the table, is much easier," said Erastus bitterly, "than to oppose him
on the sick-bed and to fumigate his haunts. I think however that Your
Highness can be at rest. Our God is not so revengeful as are those
pious learned men of God."

"True, true," sighed the Kurfürst, "but these gentlemen point out that
further on God has commanded in Moses V. Chapter 13 thus that the
inhabitants of a city fallen from God shall be smitten with the sword
even to the small children, and those that prophesy falsely shall be
rooted out whether they turn from their ways or not."

"Fine, fine," said Erastus angrily. "Then indeed was Pius IV. right
when he slew four thousand Waldensees in Calabria and destroyed their
villages, trees and vineyards. The Duke of Guise was justified at Vassy
in shooting women and children. The Jesuit Possevin was right when he
led two thousand arquebusiers against the Protestants in Piedmont.
Verily it is so written! Fie, upon the fools!"

"Truly," continued the Kurfürst. "What difference would there be
between me and those bloody men at Paris and Madrid, if I were to
follow out such advice? They write to me, that they themselves would be
responsible for the wrath of God, which has already been kindled, if
they prolonged the finite life of the blasphemers, and suffered the
Honor of God which has been trodden under foot by so many varied
damnable blasphemies, to remain thus trampled upon through a godless
leniency. It is all very well for them to talk. They do not know what
it means to dip a pen and wipe out a human life by one's own
signature."

"Your Gracious Highness' christian conscience is more satisfying to me
than the wisdom of the Church Council and all the Faculties. I pray God
may keep both your conscience and heart strong in this matter. But what
has Your Gracious Highness decided upon?"

"The matter is not yet ripe for sentence," said the Prince. "I will ask
my brother in Dresden to look over the report of the trial, as well as
the theologians at Zurich, that thereby Judges may look into the case,
who cannot be suspected of personal enmity against the accused. We
disciples of Calvin dare not in matters of general belief be more
sanguinary, or appear more lax than those of Luther or Zwingli."

Erastus bowed his head assentingly.

"The Theologians also demand that a codicil be added to the inquiry,"
continued the Kurfürst with a troubled look.

"Sylvanus in his letters to the Transylvanians mentions several as
holding the same views as himself who would be willing to migrate
thither, Neuser does the same in his letter to the Sultan. Being asked
during the trial, who these accomplices might be, Sylvanus named
Neuser, Neuser, Sylvanus. In the same way Vehe mentioned Suter, and
Suter Vehe. The Church Council thinks therefore that these matters call
for a strict inquiry, or searching inquisition."

"That means," cried Erastus excitedly, "that the prisoners must be
racked till they name as accomplices any one who may be opposed to
Olevianus. Quotes this ruffianly fox any scriptural authority for such
a proceeding?"

"Certainly," said the Kurfürst taking up the report once more. "The
Lord says Moses V, 13. 14.: _Tunc inquires, investigabis ac
interrogabis diligenter._ That is 'thou shalt inquire, interrogate and
investigate diligently.' The Lord commands such a diligent and accurate
investigation, in order that the authorities may not overlook such
evils, or become careless, inattentive or drowsy. That such sin be not
committed, it is not sufficient that the prisoners acknowledge their
own blasphemies, they must likewise be compelled to name their
accomplices. And for that cause as God does not command this diligence
with one word alone, but insists upon it with three distinct words, and
says: _inquires, investigabis ac interrogabis diligenter_, it is
certain that the authorities who remained satisfied with the wicked
lies of the prisoners, would act with remissness." The Kurfürst laid
down the documents.

"Horrible!" cried out Erastus.

"Calm yourself," said the Prince. "Torture would in this case only
render the matter worse. I shall not permit it."

"God reward you, gracious Prince, for making the council of evil doers
of no avail."

"Justice must be on both sides," said the Prince thoughtfully. "What I
am about to say to you now will perhaps not meet with so much approval
from you." Saying this he took up another bundle of papers, while his
brow became overcast. "The Church Council informs me that it has been
forced to issue the ban of excommunication over you, which as a
spiritual court it has the authority to do, through the power given by
Christ to his Church, without asking the consent of the Sovereign of
the land, nay more even against him in person."

"To his Church," cried Erastus. "Since when however do the few
counsellors mentioned by the Sovereign, constitute the Church."

"Let us drop that matter for the moment," replied the Kurfürst. "For
the present let us inquire into the cause of this step. Here is the
deposition of Dr. Pigavetta, accusing you of being the especial head of
the Arian conspiracy."

"Pigavetta," ejaculated Erastus.

"Calm yourself; if I doubted you, you would not be sitting here but in
the great Tower. The facts adduced by the italian Doctor, do not amount
to much. That you went often to Ladenburg with Xylander and even drove
out with him, that Sylvanus also as he was being brought in here begged
you to warn Neuser, that you in every case have taken under your care
and protection the imprisoned blasphemers does not prove anything to
me. Here however is the sworn assertion that you have concealed
Neuser's papers and hidden them in your apartment, as they would never
be sought for in the Castle itself." The Kurfürst stopped short.

"Will Your Gracious Highness order my apartment to be searched from
cellar to garret; if a line of Neuser's be found, let my head be laid
between my feet," said Erastus coldly.

"For your sake I am sorry, but not to draw down on myself the reproach
of partiality, I could not spare you this." The Prince summoned a page
by knocking on the table, and ordered the Amtmann Hartmann Hartmanni to
be admitted. The Amtmann appeared at the door holding a bundle of
papers under his arm. From his remarks it could be gathered that he had
already fulfilled his commission whilst Erastus was being retained in
audience. The astonished physician fixed his eyes on the Prince. This
proceeding during his absence was new to him. It showed him, how low he
had already fallen.

"You have completed the search of the papers belonging to my
Counsellor?" asked the Kurfürst.

"No great search was necessary," replied Herr Hartmann. "Neuser's
papers laid on the top."

"How!" called out the Kurfürst and Erastus at the same time. The
Magistrate handed some papers over to the Prince.

"The plague take it!" called out Frederic the Pious, looking at Erastus
with flaming eyes.

Erastus pressed forwards and turned the papers over with trembling
hands. "A letter of Neuser's to Blandrata, a document from Beckhess the
Transylvanian ambassador, letters of the Superintendent David in
Klausenburg, letters of Vehe, Suter, and Sylvanus ..." Angrily he threw
the bundle down on the table. "I do not know anything about these
letters. A rascally trick to destroy me! Where did you find these
papers, Amtmann?"

"In your desk."

The Kurfürst looked stedfastly at Erastus, as if he wished to read to
the bottom of his soul. "Remember, most Gracious Lord," said the
physician, "that for months a scaffolding has stood before my windows,
and that anyone who wishes can enter my apartment."

The prince appeared for a while to struggle within himself, and then
asked. "Did you discover anything else?"

The Magistrate smiled mockingly, and handed a note over to Erastus. "Is
that your hand-writing. Counsellor?"

Erastus cast a glance at the writing. "Yes, it is."

"This letter lay also among Neuser's papers, most Gracious Lord," said
the Amtmann. "Hear what the Counsellor writes to this conspirator.
'Dear Herr Adam! I have received your letter and quite agree with you.
Matters are going on well, to-morrow you will receive the required
pass, and then follow my directions exactly in all things, greet the
Inspector. Your friend!' Does Your Highness now believe that a
conspiracy of the Arians exists in Your Highness' lands, to lead the
Palatinate to Talmudism and Mahommedanism?"

"Did you write this, Erastus?" asked the Kurfürst.

The exhausted man's whole body trembled, the words choked in his throat
as he answered: "I have never written to Neuser.... as far as I can
recollect.... He never asked me for credentials, and I never promised
him any."

"Not even last summer, when Neuser used his vacation, in endeavoring to
obtain an office in Transylvania?" asked the Amtmann.

"I know nothing about this. The letter is a forgery."

"Then these letters must also be forgeries," replied the Amtmann
mockingly, handing over another bundle of papers to the physician.
Erastus looked at them and turned pale. "These are letters from
Bullinger to me, that is if you have not mixed some counterfeits with
them."

The Amtmann turned to the Kurfürst. "From this letter of the Zurich
Theologian may be gathered, how inimically and hostilely the accused
was wont to speak to strangers of the Church Council of the Palatinate
of which he was a member."

Erastus replied: "To strangers? I think I daily said to the Prince what
I wrote to Bullinger."

The Kurfürst looked angrily at him: "That does not excuse your
treachery. You are not allowed to calumniate my Counsellors to the
Swiss. What more?" added he turning to the Amtmann.

"I found nothing else among the papers belonging to the Counsellor, but
in a gipsire belonging to his daughter Lydia was this note, in which
some unknown person makes an assignation with her of an evening on the
secluded Holtermann, as he has important communications to make
concerning her father." Violently did Erastus pluck the note from his
hand. His head was dizzy. This then was the secret appointment which
caused Lydia to dislocate her foot. In what terrible hands might his
child find herself?

"How did the Maiden explain the note?" asked the Kurfürst coldly.

"She refused any explanation, till she had spoken with her father."

The Kurfürst laughed derisively. On this Erastus fell fainting to the
ground. Busy the whole day previous, without his night's rest, hunted
down since the early morning, fasting, prey to the most violent
feelings, the sickly physician succumbed rather to anger, weariness,
and exasperation than to fear.

"The best confession," said the Prince gloomily. "Take him to the
Tower, but treat him gently. He has rendered me and the Palatinate good
service; the Lord have mercy on him for wishing to undo them."

"And Your Highness will still not permit the question by rack to be
used on the plainly obdurate prisoners, who are wilfully keeping back
the truth from the authorities?"

"I will not longer stand in the way of the conduct of the trial," said
the Prince sorrowfully. "Do nothing cruel except through strict
necessity. But I will have light in this darkness. If yonder man
betrayed me, whom indeed can I trust?"

The Prince left the room with an expression of the profoundest
melancholy, the Amtmann however called in the pages from the
ante-chamber, who raised up Erastus and sprinkled water over him, till
he came to himself. But the wretched man only opened his eyes, in order
to find himself taken off to the Tower. His look horrified all the
inhabitants of the Castle, who saw him pale as death tottering off
supported by two officers. "None but a convicted criminal could
possibly look so broken down. The consciousness of his treachery is
stamped upon his countenance," remarked the court servant Bachmann, who
had formerly ever numbered among the friends of the Counsellor. "I
never saw such a picture of an evil conscience. Man is a weak
creature," he said consolingly to Barbara who appeared weeping at the
door, "and the Devil always tempts the best most severely."

"Alas, how can I break this to my young mistress," cried the old woman.
"Even the search through the house has nearly killed her."



                              CHAPTER VII.


As Lydia on that eventful day returned from her visit to Frau Belier,
who had detained her rather longer than usual with her chattering, she
found the old servant weeping in the ante-chamber. The Amtmann and a
police officer were in her master's rooms, sobbed Barbara, opening all
the drawers searching for papers in the writing desk and taking away
whatever seemed good to them. Surprised and indignant Lydia entered the
room and asked the Amtmann, what all this meant. Herr Hartmann
comforted her with delicate compliments, which he later accompanied
with vulgar familiarities. The angry girl pushed the blackguard from
her as he attempted to stroke her cheeks, lisping something about the
golden locks of Berenice. He however laughed mockingly: "We shall get
to know each other better later on, my little dove will think better of
all this. He, he, he. Be not so bashful, he, he, he." Lydia turned her
back on him and went into the neighboring room to look for her father.
But the Magistrate followed her even there, regretting that he was
compelled to examine her personal property. "Look wheresoever it
pleases you," said the indignant girl. But he had already felt the
pouch, hanging at her side. Angrily she jumped back but the gipsire
remained in his hands. At that moment she remembered that Laurenzano's
letter of assignation was still in it. Alas! why had she not destroyed
it sooner? With the courage of despair the frightened maiden threw
herself on the impudent man endeavoring to regain her property, he
however held the note high above his head and read it with malicious
eagerness. "Ha! it is thus, on the Holtermann! The demure maiden will
soon have to sing another tune," he said laughing mockingly, and whilst
Lydia burst into tears, the scoundrel packed up the papers together and
left the house. Lydia remained there thoroughly overwhelmed. In
breathless anxiety, with beating heart she waited at her window to see
her father on his return from his audience with the Prince. Only he
could advise her in her distress, and compel the impudent official to
return the letter. Every minute seemed an eternity. Finally after long
hours of misery her father appeared at the gate of the new court. But
how! Supported by two jailors, with a wild look and ruffled hair,
almost a corpse. The terrified girl felt like throwing herself out of
the window to reach her beloved father. She flew down the steps, to see
him once again, before that he was torn away. Alas, even at the second
landing she felt that she could never reach him. When she stood
breathless in the court he had already disappeared. Loudly did she call
her lost father's name, like a child astray in the woods. The neighbors
looked out of their windows sympathizing with the weeping girl who had
ever been a favorite in the castle. The stone figures above almost
seemed to look down on her with pity. In her distress Felix appeared.
The artist at that moment seemed to her like some messenger from God.
In his arms was she able to shed her first soothing tears. "I will
bring thy father back to thee," said Felix, "even if I must dig him out
of the Tower with this dagger." Comforted she looked up at the strong
bold man. But a hard hand was laid on her shoulder; Herr Hartmann
ordered her to follow him to the Witches' Tower. "Whoever lays his hand
on my affianced bride is a dead man," cried Felix, placing himself
before Lydia in a determined manner; he had scarcely however made an
attempt to draw his dagger, when he was knocked down on the stone
pavement at the foot of the staircase. The cowardly Magistrate had
wisely given the order, to watch the artist closely. A cunning blow
from one of the officers felled Felix backwards down the steps, and
when he again recovered his senses, he found himself near the well,
with Bachmann and Barbara bathing a severe wound at the back of his
head. "Where is Lydia?" asked the artist in a weak voice. Barbara wept
and Bachmann answered for her: "Do not ask, no one ever returns from
the place where she now is." Scarcely had Felix comprehended these
words, than his entire consciousness and full strength returned. He
ordered a damp cloth to be bound around his head, and went at once
across the new court to lay his complaint before the Kurfürst. But the
Page came back with the answer, he should apply to the Amtmann. He
again prayed for admittance, not to complain of the injury done to
himself, but to demand the restoration of his affianced bride; the
officials refused however to announce him a second time, and on his
endeavoring to force his way in, the sentries levelled their halberds
at his breast. Dazed he returned back to the Burghof. He could do
nothing however but storm ragingly in the ante-chamber in the presence
of the Courtiers and the servants. He only met with disturbed faces,
and heard half-uttered warnings, to be careful not to sympathize over
much in a charge of witchcraft. In those moments, in which he found
himself opposed to much cowardice and contemptible selfishness, he
discovered in Frau Belier a faithful, brave, and prudent friend, who
felt more than a lukewarm sympathy for Klytia. Having met with but deaf
ears in the court, the young man hastened to the gable-house on the
market-place. The Frenchwoman had ejaculated a series of "_mon Dieu_,
_mon Dieu_," on hearing Felix's account of what had taken place. When
however in his rage the Italian declared that nothing was left for him
to do but to stab the villainous Amtmann in the open street, she
plucked the dagger out of his belt and locked it up in her cup-board,
assuring him that such a deed would be the most certain means of
destroying Klytia. He listened unwillingly to the advice of the
Chatterbox, who thus opposed all his plans. The screaming of the
insupportable parrot, which the louder the talking became swung all the
more contentedly on his ring, shrieking in shriller tones, put the
young Maestro in such a rage, that he would willingly have killed it.
Frau Belier warned him most decidedly against making any attack; the
only person who could aid in this matter was the Countess at the Stift
Neuburg, and the brave little lady hastened thither. Felix however
rushed out again with a dim impulse of rendering himself useful to his
friends. Restlessly he walked around the Witches' Tower, near which he
found excited groups, looking up at the windows, but none could tell
him on which side Lydia had been imprisoned. The heartless remarks made
by the people cut him to the quick. "Dost thou really take the pretty
fair-haired creature to be a witch?" he heard a young man ask in a
commiserating tone. "The Devil likes pretty girls and is not content
with old hags like the herb-picker," was the coarse answer. It was
well, that Frau Belier had locked up his dagger, as otherwise he would
have stabbed the man for this callous brutality. He asked an old man
standing at his side, whether he believed that the young girl would be
set at liberty.

"Ah! Sir," answered the old man. "I have now lived forty years opposite
this Tower, and have never yet seen a prisoner come out of these doors
except with racked limbs, and the most of them only on their way to the
stake." When he saw how pale Felix grew and how his eyes rolled, he
added, "My dear Sir, if you had been obliged, as I have been, to hear
at night time the harrowing shrieks and dreadful moans of those being
tortured, you would wish as I do, that those suspected should at once
be burnt, for the idea, that perhaps an innocent person is being thus
racked, is enough to drive one mad."

"And is there no help, none?" stammered Felix.

"If Lucifer himself, or the All-merciful God does not carry off the
prisoners with the aid of His hosts through the air, none," said the
old man, who with a "God bless you," returned to his house no longer
able to continue a conversation on this dreadful subject.

"Through the air," stammered Felice looking up at the tower, he walked
round it, he counted the windows. He believed it would be possible to
climb into the Tower from the Garden of the Augustine convent without
being noticed. He would thus from the upper rooms search cell after
cell and run anyone through who prevented him from seeing Lydia. If he
could not succeed in carrying her off, he would kill her first and then
himself, or set the Tower on fire and perish in the flames in case they
could not manage to escape in the confusion caused by the flames. After
carefully considering the subject, he determined on a plan. An old
chestnut tree at the back part of the Tower rendered it possible for an
active and daring climber to reach a window, which he certainly could
open. The way out must be down a rope ladder or with the help of a
dagger. The young man was so lost in thought, that he did not notice
that he was being watched. His plans for rescue could almost have been
read on his face. Once it seemed to him, as if a man on the other side
of the road stopped as if to address him. But looking across the
individual turned his back. It was Pigavetta, Felix took no further
notice. He hastily returned to his workshop in the Schloss, and after
carefully examining his borers, chisels and saws, he set aside those
which seemed to him to be the fittest, and then began to work at
knotting together with trembling hand a rope ladder long enough to
reach from the roof of the Witches' Tower to the ground.

In the meantime Frau Belier had hastened to the Stift Neuburg, and the
news she brought caused not a little consternation to the Abbess as she
sat in her dreary little room. "I shall immediately see the Kurfürst,"
said the old lady. "His grace will believe, that I know as well as this
lewd Magistrate, whether a maiden who till lately was under the
protection of these holy walls, is a child of light or espoused to the
Devil. Oh! these _exercitia_, these _exercitia_," she added sighing,
"they were the cause of all this misery."

A carriage was quickly harnessed and the good lady hurried together
with the exiled Huguenot to the Castle as fast as the horses could
gallop. "A rare visit, my Lady Cousin," greeted the Prince looking in
astonishment at the two ladies. Quickly and earnestly did the Abbess
explain the motives of her visit, and related what she herself had
heard as the cause of Lydia's arrest. With a correct instinct she
ascribed Lydia's adventure by night to the assignation made by
Laurenzano, for the country people had immediately reported to the
eagerly listening nuns the event which had taken place on the
Kreuzgrund. The Kurfürst listened attentively. "That is a nice sort of
fellow, that Pigavetta has brought into my dominions; but how did you
come to know that he had a love affair with Erastus' daughter."

The Countess hesitated. But remembering that nothing less than the life
of her darling pupil was at stake, she proceeded tremblingly and
repentingly with her account of the dreadful _exercitia_ which had led
her to find out Paul's sentiments towards Klytia, and she exposed the
false Priest all the more as she suspected that he himself had forged
this accusation against Lydia, to revenge his unrequited love. "I never
gazed into a blacker soul," she said shudderingly.

"In other words, my Lady Cousin," replied the Kurfürst angrily, "a
punishment is once more being inflicted on you and others for having
turned your Institution into a refuge for Papists. What has been
reported to me is then true; you permitted this black traitor to
perform secret masses."

The Countess remained silent and looked down confused. The Kurfürst
Frederic, enraged at this discovery was about to dismiss the two
petitioners without another word, had not Frau Belier, whose husband he
knew to be a stern Huguenot, beseeched him most affectingly, not to
permit the poor imprisoned Lydia to suffer for the sins of the wolf in
sheep's clothing, he therefore added he that he would order the Amtmann
to report to him.

"Oh, most Gracious Lord," prayed the lively Frenchwoman throwing
herself on her knees before him, "you do not know the horrible
treatment in the Witches' Tower. They will drive the poor child mad,
they will frighten her to death, if she must pass the night there."

"Order must exist," said the Kurfürst. "Master Ulrich will be told that
he will answer with his head for the safety of the maiden. No person
must be allowed to enter her cell till the Magistrate comes in person
to fetch her out. I myself will vouch, that no hair of her head shall
be injured, if her innocence can be proved. She who however runs about
the woods at night, and kisses parsons on the cross roads, cannot
complain if the police lay hold of her. I am myself sorry for the
pretty child, but for the moment I only know your side of the story,
and not what the Magistrate may have to say. Till her trial is at an
end, she may keep company with her father in the great Tower, and that
is all I can do in the matter."

The ladies perceived that nothing more was to be obtained from the
Kurfürst, and so as not to enrage the Prince against their _protégée_,
they returned sadly homewards.

Towards evening Laurenzano called on Frau Belier, to demand back his
dagger. "Your extravagant ideas would now answer no purpose," said the
little woman, "for to-morrow Lydia will be moved to the Tower to be
with her father, which is a kindness for her and him." She hastily
related to the Neapolitan how she had managed to obtain this from the
Kurfürst. But the passionate young artist swore by the eyes of the
Madonna, that he would not suffer his affianced bride to be terrified
for another hour in the dreadful tower, if he could prevent it, and he
explained to her, the plans which he had formed for her rescue. "You
are a fool with your plans," said the spirited little woman. "To set
fire to the Tower, kill her, kill yourself, what is the use of such
help for the poor child? And allowing that you could carry her off,
where will you bring her to, and how thankful will she feel if through
your foolery here her father's fate is rendered worse?"

The artist gazed at her in an inane manner and declared he must do
something, if it were only to kill himself, but he could not endure the
thought that Lydia was suffering and that he lived unable to help her.
As Frau Belier saw that she could not move him from his plans she took
to temporizing. "Wait then," she said, "till Lydia and her father are
together and then save both at one and the same time."

"I cannot wait."

"Not wait till morning? Are you mad when it is a question of Lydia's
life and happiness?" Felix bit his lips furiously.

"_Filou Laurenzano_," shrieked out the bird in a shrill voice.
"_Maladetto_!" cursed the artist aiming in his blind rage a blow of the
dagger which had been returned to him at the parrot, with unfortunately
so good an effect that the head of the bird flew against the opposite
wall, whilst the body with a fluttering of the wings fell to the
ground. Loudly shrieked the Frenchwoman. "Detestable murderer, what has
this poor creature then done to you, that you should slay it?" The
artist looked about him with so much frenzy in his eyes, that the
frightened woman forgot the bird and sprang away from the raving
madman. "Oh well now," she called out, "murder me also, that will do
much towards helping Lydia," and she burst into convulsions of tears.

Felix stared vacantly at the quivering body of the bird, and saw a red
pool of blood tinging the floor. Finally he slowly passed both his
hands over his eyes and forehead: "Pardon me, gracious lady, sorrow has
turned my brain. You are right, I can undertake nothing now, till I am
calmer myself. What you say is likewise true, Lydia will not fly with
me without her father, and as all the plans of the Castle are in my
hands, it will be easier for me to rescue father and daughter from the
great Tower, than Lydia alone from the Witches' Tower." The little
woman seemed apparently to agree eagerly with these views, in order to
calm the maddened man. Her hope was, that the Kurfürst would set Lydia
free the following day, and the conviction that the prudent Erastus
would never undertake an attempt at flight calmed her as to that
matter. So she dismissed Felix with the best wishes and rejoiced when
she finally succeeded in getting rid of the lunatic. She then with
bitter tears raised up the body of her many colored pet and kissed it.
"How much I must love Lydia," she said, "that I did not scratch out the
eyes of this wicked man. But he won't get off so easily." And she
carefully dried up the blood of the bird with a fine cloth, and weeping
laid the relic in an artistically carved box.



                             CHAPTER VIII.


The following morning a stormy scene took place in the private study of
the Kurfürst in the new court. The Magistrate Hartmann Hartmanni was
seeking refuge behind a leather backed arm chair to protect himself
from the wrath of the Count of the Palatinate who pressed forward
towards him, upbraiding him with flaming countenance.

"You shall set them all free," cried the thick set Kurfürst, "all. Do
you understand?"

"If Your Gracious Highness would only remember," replied the obdurate
Magistrate, "how great a calamity has come over the Palatinate through
this pestilence. And now should those who have been proved in a certain
measure to have introduced this pestilence through their devilish arts
be set free, among their fellow creatures, the first who would fall
victims to their wrath would be Your Highness' faithful servants who
considered it necessary to oppose these sorceresses."

"Who has told you that this pestilence is the work of witchcraft?"
replied the Kurfürst. "Only yesterday the Church Council reported to me
in a long document--there it lies--that it was plain to all the world,
that as a punishment for the blasphemies of the Arians in Ladenburg and
Heidelberg the plague had broken out in Petersthal and Schönau, to-day
witches and magicians are accused of being responsible for all this
misery. Whom shall I believe, you or Olevianus?"

Herr Hartmann Hartmanni assumed a wise and deliberative expression.
"Will Your Highness only consider that the one does not exclude the
other. Through the veritable belief in God and the grace of God which
accompanied this, the art of the witches was restricted and their hand
enfeebled, scarcely however had Sylvanus, Neuser and Erastus tainted
the land with their secret blasphemies, than the Almighty withdrew his
countenance, and then the allies of Satan had free play. Or is it not
then a fact, that immediately after the disclosure of the heresy, the
magic arts came to the fore?" The Kurfürst shrugged his shoulders
contemptuously. "If Your Grace does not believe me or the Church
Council, the Juristical Faculties of Heidelberg or Tübingen might be
called upon for a legal opinion."

"Go to the Devil with your Faculties," roared out the old gentleman,
"who every year send hundreds to the stake for the Judas reward of
twelve golden gulden. Where do you think the bones of Luther and Calvin
would be to-day, if the Kurfürst of Saxony and the Honorable Council of
the town of Geneva had requested the legal opinion of the University
Jurists? Under heaven I know of no more venal people than those who
live by their legal opinions."

"Then I can only think of the witch's test."

"What sort of test is that?"

"Let the young woman be thrown into the Neckar, should she rise to the
top she is clearly a witch. Should she sink, then is she innocent and
escapes prosecution."

"And if she drowns or dies of fright, do you bring her back to life
again," asked the Kurfürst with an angry look.

"Then is nothing to be done," said the Magistrate surlily.

"If the herb picking woman was found with devilish vermin," said the
Kurfürst, "sitting near the Holtermann or by the Linsenteich at a time
of night when people are usually asleep, you can try her and execute
her, but Erastus' daughter is to be set free to-day I tell you."

"Would Your Grace only condescend to take into His high consideration,
what an evil impression would be produced, if the old witch were tried
for being at night on the Kreuzweg, and the young woman known to be
guilty of the same crime were set at liberty?"

The Kurfürst once more approached so close to the Amtmann that that
worthy again withdrew behind his arm-chair. "I know you, Herr Amtmann,"
he said peremptorily. "I know of your amours in Ladenburg and Mosbach.
You are lusting to proceed against a well made woman, to cut the hair
from her body and do anything else which may come into your head,
because you say, that otherwise the Devil has the power to strengthen
her against the rack. You shall not touch with one of your fingers the
pious child, whom I have seen praying every Sunday in my church, and I
have often felt edified by her hearty worship, even when the discursive
sermons of your spiritual friends were sickening to me. Is this
harmless sweet young creature to be considered a devils' harlot? Who
can be safe, if such a child is tried by torture?"

"But it has been proved," replied the Amtmann with unheard of
obstinacy, "that this very maiden with her hypocritical appearance of
virtue, used to walk about at night on the cross-road which of the
whole neighbourhood has the worst repute. Three young men from
Neuenheim, named by the old woman have confirmed all her statements.
They have sworn upon oath to having met on a fine June night of this
year Erastus' daughter on the Holtermann and to have wished to lay hold
of her, the Maiden however floated on before them like a will-o'-the
wisp, and when they thought to have seized her near the haunted ruins
of the fallen Chapel she melted into thin air and disappeared."

The Kurfürst looked at the Magistrate with astonished eyes.

"I greatly fear," continued the latter, "that we have to do with one of
those sorceresses known to the ancients as Empusæ. A gentle exterior
attracts all the men to her; wherever she has been she has bewitched
all hearts by her supernatural beauty. She resembles the witch of
Bacharach with her golden hair, and perhaps she received like the
latter this beauteous adornment as a reward for the _homagium_ she paid
to Satan." The Kurfürst made a displeased gesture, but the Amtmann
continued: "Very suspicious things are said about her. Her maid has
been heard to say among other things: that her young Mistress had a
green dress which the longer she wore, the better it looked."

"Rubbish."

"In the Stift where I, privately of course, made some inquiries, she
bore the name 'the bewitched maiden.' My instructions point out to me,
to take particular notice of any who may be considered by public
opinion to be concerned with magic. She has also often rocked herself
backwards and forwards on the pump-handle, as does the witches' fiddler
whenever he plays by the Saubrunnen for the witches' sabbath."

"Twaddle," grunted the old Prince.

"Indicium follows indicium. I have conducted the inquiry with the
greatest care. Will Your Grace try and remember what a terrible
whirlwind we had on the 4th _hujus_, which tore slates off roofs, blew
down chimneys, and tore up the oldest trees in the park. The Morning of
that very day, the young maiden drew water at sunrise out of the well,
though she had previously passed the spring, where she could have
provided herself more easily. This drawing was nothing but a pretext,
to throw three sage-leaves into the well, which together with the
repetition of a terrible incantation always calls forth a storm. On her
return from this criminal walk she had a blood-red rose in a glass; the
Castellan's maid, 'carotty Frances' she is called in the Schloss, asked
her where she had picked the flower as no roses grew in the Court-yard,
and what answer did the young damsel return? 'From the stone-wreath
over your door'!"

"Servants' tales," said the Kurfürst disdainfully. "Of what use would a
storm have been to her which broke in her fathers' windows as well as
mine."

"She sought an opportunity of alluring the architect Laurenzano. When
the storm burst she enticed him from the rocking scaffolding into her
room, and got engaged to him at the very hour, when other Christian
maidens were kneeling in terror at the sulphurous lightning and hellish
stormwind."

The Kurfürst became pensive. "That was told me by Erastus himself," he
thought. "The two circumstances look badly. Who are the three
witnesses, before whom she rendered herself invisible?" he then asked
of the Magistrate.

"The sons of the landlord of the Rose and Maier the Miller's apprentice
from the valley of the Siebenmühlen."

"Bad characters, are they not?"

"Well that is as one thinks. The miller's apprentice is a hard-headed
and daring fellow who fears neither witch nor devil. He has even
overheard the black mass, performed near the white stone."

"What, do witches' conventicles take place in my dominions?" asked the
Kurfürst horrified.

"Not two hours from Your Grace's own town." The eyes of the stout Count
became larger and larger. "Your Highness knows the desolate table land
above the spring of the valley of the Siebenmühlen; a barren mountain
ridge, covered with thistles, blackberry bushes and strewn over with
rocks. 'The white stone' is the name of this desolate spot. Near to
this begins the wood which intersects the higher road. It was on
Midsummer's day, the miller's man was tracking a stag, when his eye
caught sight of a small fire. At first he thought it was a fire lit by
the laborers, but on approaching he beheld two huge flames as high as
towers, which illuminated the whole mountain with a red and yellow
glow, and higher up on the lofty Nistler he beheld a similar yellow
light. Around the fire he saw men and women dancing whose black
figures, whenever they approached the red fire, stood plainly out so
that their shadows reached right up to the crouching man. A curious
sound of bells, which tingled to a great distance, whistles and viols
sounded horribly exciting in the still night air. He had to restrain
his legs forcibly, so that they should not dance likewise, said the
man. Through the bushes he perceived masses of people crawling about in
the dark. Suddenly the bush before which he stood was brilliantly
illumined and he perceived a devil carrying a child's arm as torch,
whose fat fed the flame. Behind this monster, who luckily for him had
his back turned, came masked and veiled persons. He recognized no one.
He felt so frightened that he threw himself full length on the ground
and crawled slowly back to the wood. For the remainder of his life,
added the young man, who has not been pampered by the Landsknechte and
poachers, he will never forget the fright which he felt when creeping
back. The moon shone pale, as if horrified at the atrocities which it
saw. On the beech near a crossing, which had stood empty as he came,
now sat a devil beating a drum with a fox's tail, so that it sounded
afar off: tup, tup, tup. Behind him in the branches sat the fiddler,
and played a dance as if to allure the crowd to this place. As the boy
crawled past muttering a prayer, without suffering himself to be
enticed, a devilish peal of laughter burst behind him and re-echoed
through the entire valley. On the Holtermann were likewise four young
witches, riding on brooms, and having lights stuck in their backs as
signals for the others. He also heard the row of whistles, drums,
galloping riders, and ungreased axles. On stoves, pitch-forks, brooms
and sticks, in carts drawn by cats, or riding on hares, an army of
witches swept close past him. Yelping dogs ran between his feet, and
the wings of owls touched his cheeks, so that he lay there as dead
through fright. On creeping further he saw in a ditch a well dressed
company of ladies and gentlemen sitting round a table, on which smoked
a splendid roast joint and game. The Devil himself sat at the head of
the table and amused the company by playing the bagpipe on a black cat.
He wore blue and red striped stockings, had a red beard, and a pointed
hat adorned with colored ribbons and cock's feathers. As he looked with
his fiery eye on the interloper, the latter called out in his fright:
'Oh thou holy and blessed Trinity.' The earth immediately gave a shock,
so that the man fell down stunned and then only became aware that he
was sitting close to a dead white horse and the bones of the hanged.
The field-fare now crept about the ditch in the shape of toads, and the
company disappeared in the bushes weeping and sobbing. From that place
to the valley of the Seven Mills nothing more occurred, except that he
met three hares, one of which had a body like that of a goat. Rendered
more courageous the man called out to them: 'Stop thou sorceress in the
name of the triune God.' On that they turned into three black ravens
and flew away towards the Heiligenberg. Since then the Devil gets out
of Maier's path like a whipped cur as he himself told me."

The Magistrate learned in humanity stopped talking and wiped the
perspiration from his brow after this poetic harangue. At first the
Kurfürst had looked astonished, then doubtful, and finally listened
with scarcely concealed disgust. He now said deliberately: "If anything
takes place in the least resembling what you have described, it is,
because you permit so many lewd fellows to gather here, who are a
torment to all honest people, jugglers, magicians, peddlars with
pictures, quacks, spirit-conjurors, exorcists, and other vagrants who
travel backwards and forwards between the Bishoprics on the Main and
Rhine, a loose lot, who if they are not in league with the devil, are
not very far from it."

"Vagrants would not mask or veil themselves. Most Gracious Sir,"
answered the Magistrate with a wise look.

"Well and why should Erastus' daughter have been one of those masks?"

"Your Highness knows of the note, by which, as her father maintains,
Master Laurenzano makes an appointment with her on the Holtermann."

"Ah yes; and how does that scoundrelly Priest explain his invitation?"

The confused Magistrate cleared his throat: "I own that I have not as
yet questioned him on the matter."

"How," roared the Prince. "You have not examined the chief witness? And
in the meantime you destroy the character of an innocent maiden simply
on the testimony of an old quean and of rascally scoundrels? You are
indeed a model magistrate! Did you know that I have been told, that
this Laurenzano caused the child all this misery by pretending he
wished to speak with her of some important discoveries relating to her
father, and yet you do not examine this man?"

"I wanted to do so," said the Amtmann hesitatingly, "but Pigavetta
warranted his innocence. Besides this he alone maintains order in
Schönau, so that he cannot yet be spared from there."

"Pretty justice," thundered out the enraged Prince. "You let the most
guilty person escape scot free, and in the meantime wish to put the
innocent body of a poor girl to torture; that is urgent, that cannot be
put off! but the examination of witnesses is not of such importance.
Beware, Herr Hartmann Hartmanni that I do not ever catch you again
treading these slippery paths."

The Magistrate bowed his bald head with a terrified look. "Before all
arrest this Italian Priest," repeated the Kurfürst.

"Herr Pigavetta says...." stammered the Magistrate.

"And I tell you," interrupted the infuriated Prince, "that I am
beginning to feel suspicious of this Pigavetta. He smuggled in this
disguised Jesuit. He wanted to recommend him to me as a tutor for my
children. He informed my wife how thoroughly proficient this young man
was in astronomy and astrology, and wanted to talk her over into
looking into the future, which does not concern us mortal men, and
certainly not young wives with old husbands. If this Herr Pigavetta
thinks that he can insinuate himself everywhere in my house, he is much
mistaken. And now that's enough. You lead the young girl to-day to her
father in the Great Tower. There under the care of her father she will
be safe from witches and from you. You have to cross-examine the Priest
in Schönau as to his reason for enticing the maiden to the Kreuzweg,
and how the matter stands as regards the miracles he is said to have
performed in Schönau? If anyone of the whole lot appears to me worthy
of being suspected of magic, it is that pale Parson, who occupies
himself with astrology," and in concluding this speech the excited
Count cast a look at the planetary Deities on the new building, under
whose protection dwelt his young wife. "The whole day I have on the new
building opposite Justice in stone ever before my eyes. I shall break
its image to pieces, if I suffer even but once, Right to be trampled
upon in my dominions."

The Magistrate bowed low and left the room with a crushed look. When
out of the room he was about to open his mouth to ejaculate an oath,
but his eye catching sight of a page, he made a grimace intended to
represent a smile, as he descended the staircase.



                              CHAPTER IX.


An hour after the attack in the court-yard Lydia found herself in a
small room with barred windows lying on a bundle of straw alive with
vermin. She felt a hard bony hand applying a wet cloth to her forehead.
She wished in her gratitude to see who her nurse might be, but the face
which met her look was so repulsive, that terrified she once more
closed her wearied eyelids. "How did I get here?" she asked herself.
Indistinctly she seemed to remember having been jolted in a cart. Once
as she opened her eyes, she had seen groups of horrified citizens
staring up from the street at her. It still appeared to her as in some
dreadful dream that before her stood the terrible tower within the
walls of the Zwinger and that she had been dragged along a dark
passage.

"You seem to think I have nothing else to do than to wait on you," she
heard a coarse gruff voice saying. "You may go at once to the Devil as
far as I am concerned, that would be best for us and you." Therewith
the poor fainting creature was shaken so roughly, that Lydia came back
to her senses and started up terrified. The dirty woman before her
resembled a wicked old dog, having a still more wicked master. One of
her eyes had been knocked out, and the red face bore traces of
continued ill-treatment. "What must I do, what must I do?" sobbed Lydia
vainly endeavoring to break away from the iron gripe of the old woman.
"You must acknowledge, at once acknowledge that you are a witch, for if
once persons of your kind are allowed time to think over things, the
affair drags on twice as long."

"But I am no witch," sighed the wearied child.

"That is what they all say, but did you not go to the Holtermann at
night?"

"Yes," sobbed Lydia.

"You see, you see."

"I wished only ..."

"Only what. We know well what people do who go at night to the
Holtermann. Did you not on the day that the storm which uncovered the
roof, broke loose, draw water from the well at sunrise?"

"Draw water, yes, I did that."

"You see, you see."

"I only wished ..."

"We already know what you wished," croaked the old woman. "Did you not
tell carroty Frances that you practised magic?"

"Never, never," assured Lydia weeping.

"What never, and she says, that you showed her a real rose, which you
plucked from the stone wreath over the gate."

"Ah, that was only a joke."

"A joke ... we will teach you to make such jokes. How often have you
ridden out to the White Stone on a broom?"

"Never, certainly never."

"And to the Auerkopf?"

"Never."

"And never to the hollow Chestnut-tree, Dachsbau, or the Nistler?"

"I swear to you I know nothing about all this."

"I am sorry for you little one," said the old woman, and at that moment
she resembled a snake, taking pity on the terrified rabbit. "You are
such a nice-looking girl. Confess before it is too late. Think only, of
being hung up by a rope and heavy and heavier weights being fastened to
your small feet. Oh! dear, oh! dear, how that hurts. None as yet have
been able to hold out. Think of the suffering and disgrace inflicted
upon you!"

Lydia raised her apron which she bit in mute despair. Her eyes turned
pale with horror. She sat there an image of grief, of madness. She
heard no longer what the old woman kept repeating. A cold shiver shook
her body backwards and forwards. The executioner now himself stepped up
and made indecent remarks to her, which however she did not understand.
At last the old woman got angry and seizing hold of her by the hair,
hauled her up and down: "Confess, you obstinate creature! When did you
attend the black mass?" But Lydia felt it not. "Don't make such a
to-do," said the executioner. "When she is hanging from the rope, it
will all come back to her." Lydia gazed vacantly at him. "Were you not
already known as the bewitched maiden at the Stift?" cried he
furiously.

"Yes I was, I was!" sobbed the poor child overpowered by grief and
fright. "See, she has confessed," said the executioner. "Get out, I
have enough of this whimpering." And he aimed a blow with his keys at
his wife, who obediently quitted the room. Lydia was once more alone,
faintness and weakness deadened her pain, and as the intense heat in
the small cell diminished owing to the torrents of rain which poured
down outside, she fell asleep. When she awoke with a start out of her
lethargy, she heard the bells of the Holy Ghost chime the midnight
hour. Her head felt dazed. The examination made by those two horrible
creatures entirely confused her mind. The confidence with which she had
been told that she was guilty, had bewildered her. She could herself
scarcely think, but that through her own guilt she had fallen into such
profound wretchedness. Her going to the Holtermann now appeared to her
in the light of a terrible crime. Had she not in fact sat near the
witch, and perhaps the Wicked One had obtained power over her. Had she
not once dreamt, that she was travelling through the air from the
Holtermann to the Castle, and had plainly seen the illuminated windows
of the town before her? What, if she in her sleep without being aware
of it had through the power of the Evil One, been in reality obliged to
ride to the witches' meeting, as many walk about in their sleep during
the full moon and on the following morning know nothing about it? Had
she been the means of producing the storm, through the Devil putting it
into her head to draw water out of the brook at a momentous hour of the
morning? Who could know what the relation of this deep well was to the
clouds? And had she not in reality spoken in a very heedless manner,
when she told red-headed Frances that she had plucked Felix's rose out
of the stone wreath? And what a terrible crime it was that amidst the
thunder and lightening, as God's wrath was plainly addressed to her,
she lay in the arms of the artist and allowed his embraces! A terrible
fear came over her. Dreadful thoughts confused her more and more. As
the clock struck one Lydia was convinced, that she was a witch and
determined to confess everything, in that way she might escape the
rack. She knew that she was lost, but she would not suffer herself to
be tortured. "If they will only not ask me who taught me magic, and
commanded me to go to the Holtermann," sighed the poor child. And she
depicted to herself, how finally they would get out of her that it was
Paul. Her terror became boundless. And now it struck two. Then she
felt, that these dreadful thoughts would kill her, if they lasted much
longer. In her distress she began to repeat all the prayers, hymns and
texts, that she knew, and although convulsive fear weighed down her
heart, she nevertheless became more tranquil by this means. At last day
broke, but no one came to her. She heard how life began in the town.
She could explain every sound. The streets re-sounded as ever with
merriment. She heard the boys calling, whistling, singing; she heard
the barking of dogs, the rattling of carriages, the creaking of wheels,
the sound of horses' hoofs, everything went on as usual and no one
thought of her grief. A feeling of great bitterness took possession of
her young heart. Thus little was the friendship of men worth, in the
which her childish mind had so happily believed. How many poor had her
father helped! "What would we do, without the Counsellor?" how often
had she heard these words from Counsellors, beggars, the healthy, the
sick--and now their deliverer sat in the Great Tower, and the people,
could laugh and chat, and the boys whistle that insupportable song
about the all beauteous Gabrielle. About her also they seemed not to
care, and yet they had ever smiled kindly on her as they called her the
pretty Lydia. Felix, he indeed would think of her, but then she had
seen him lying pale with a bleeding head on the stairs, as they tore
her away. Perhaps was he dead, perhaps he also lay in some prison. And
the Kurfürst and his Princess, who always used to address her so
graciously, when she stood on one side to curtsey to them, could they
give her up under their very eyes to these men! She gazed sadly up
through her barred windows at the deep blue September sky, in which the
long silver summer threads waved about finally to be caught in the
bars. Till yet she had childishly imagined her father and herself to be
important items in the minds of their fellow citizens. Now it dawned
upon her, that not only she herself with her youthful beauty and her
cheerful smile, but that even her serious father with all his ability
and wisdom could be taken away from this bustle, and the people would
live on just the same as ever. With one blow were all the lights
extinguished, in which the world had to her unexperienced youth
formerly shone. The childish expression was gone from her face, one
single hour had stamped in its place the earnest look of experienced
womanhood. But there was nothing dark in this seriousness. Her gentle,
modest feelings had now obtained the victory over the bitterness of her
heart. "Hast thou not also," said she to herself, "made fun and noise,
sung and laughed in the Castle gardens without giving one single
thought to the poor prisoners languishing behind their iron bars? Could
any man rejoice in life for a single instant, if he were always
thinking of those to whom at that instant some wrong were happening
...? But for the future I will think about it. I will strive daily,
that as much happiness may be around me, as I can obtain by opposing
sorrow, I will take the part of all who may be innocent and defend
them, even if appearances be against them, and will tell them what
happened to me. But art thou indeed innocent?" Again she returned to
the question of the previous night, as to whether she were really
guilty? But the dark thoughts of night time disappeared before the
clear light of the September sun, which poured like gold within the
prison window. She had acted foolishly, carried away by passion, but
had done nothing which deserved such a punishment. And then the hope
returned to her, that God who had freed her from the dark vault of the
Michael's church, when no one knew about her, would not surrender her
up now to the Wicked One, in whose power she had fallen through that
wicked nightly expedition. Perhaps old Father Werner would find the
right way to her again, he, or Frau Belier, or the Lady Abbess, or the
Kurfürst himself. With a fixed determination to strengthen herself for
the struggle she was about to undergo, she ate some of the bread which
lay near the window, and drank some water out of the pitcher near by.
Then with full confidence in God she looked out through the bars, and
felt convinced that the Miller from the Kreuzweg would come again
this time with his redheaded boy, or some other faithful friend.
Nevertheless a shudder crept over her when she at last heard at
mid-day a heavy tread, and the key turned creaking in the door. The
dirtily dressed one-eyed old woman entered. This time however she asked
cringingly and submissively how it fared with the poor young lady.
However little inclined Lydia might feel to heed the ugly creature, she
was certain that something must have come to pass which the old woman
kept back. Finally it came out, the Kurfürst had ordered Lydia to be
taken to the Great Tower and therefore she must bid farewell to the
poor prisoner, for whom she felt so hearty a sympathy. The young lady
would, she hoped, mention how kind and gentle she and Master Ulrich had
been towards her. Her trial was not yet at an end, and if she blackened
Master Ulrich's character, he would repay her for it should she ever be
brought to the rack. Lydia let the horrible woman talk on without
herself answering. But when however her faithful Barbara appeared, she
sank into the arms of her old nurse and comforting tears dispelled half
her sorrows. The old nurse was herself half dead through fear, for
Master Ulrich had likewise explained and impressed on her, that she
also might likewise be accused of being a witch, for not preventing her
young mistress from practising witchcraft. Still trembling with fright
the faithful soul had great trouble in arranging her young mistress'
dress and hair. Finally Lydia was ready and after that Barbara had
thrown a scarf around her, she prepared to follow the police-officer to
the Castle. At the door stood Master Ulrich with his bundle of keys:
"In three days, young lady," he said with a wicked look, "we shall meet
again. The commission on witchcraft always holds its sessions here, for
the gentlemen can never do long without me, so beware of your tongue.
And even if you escape this time, remember, that the next person that I
string up to force out the names of her accomplices, may name you;
sooner or later will you be here again. I say nothing more, you will
yourself know what is best for you."

Klytia passed on in silence. Outside the officer looked at her in a
kindly manner. "Be of good cheer, young lady," he said. "His Gracious
Highness has ordered that you should be taken to your father in the
tower, and I think the good Counsellor will himself not remain long
there. Our Lord God can permit the ravings of the Italians for a while,
but in the end he will not abandon his own." Lydia sobbed. "Only to be
with my father, that is all that I wished yesterday." If no other way
of coming to him existed than through the Witches' Tower, then her
terrible night was none too high a price. She dried her eyes with the
determination to be truly grateful and content, and not to mention her
terrible experiences, in order not to add to the sorrows of the already
overwhelmed man.

At the same moment that Lydia wearied and ill, tottered up the
Schlossberg, mostly leaning on the arm of her still weeping servant,
Erastus sat in a well-secured room in the Great Tower and gazed out
through his barred window at the ruins of the old Castle, now gleaming
in the golden rays of the evening sun. There the Count Palatines had
been wont to hurl down the eastern or western slopes of the Jettenbühl
their spiritual or mundane enemies. They had ever boasted that they
feared neither the curses of the Bishops nor the excommunications of
the Popes. Now they lived in the proud Castle lower down, but the enemy
had crept within the fort itself, secret Jesuits and calvinistic
notables sowed the seed of Church dissension and formed the strange
combinations which finally must ruin the country. "One side has never
recognized religious peace, the other does its best to hinder its
blessings within the Palatinate, the end can only be blood and misery?
Thou beauteous Palatinate! what Guises and Albas await thee. It seems
to me as if I heard the roarings of the cataract which hurries our
little bark to its destruction, whilst the crew quarrel among
themselves." Such were the thoughts thronging through the imprisoned
statesman's head, as he looked out over the tops of the chestnut trees
at the old Waldburg, the former cradle of the Counts Palatine.
His hand played in the meantime with a bundle of papers, whose
official character was marked out by the blue and white tape of the
Chancellory of the Palatinate. Eventually he opened and read them. An
ironical smile played over his lips. "General of the Arians and
Commander-in-chief of the Devil's hosts, I am advancing in my career of
Antichrist;" and he seized a pen as if to write an answer to this bill
of indictment; but rage suddenly overmastered him, he flung pen and
papers aside. What was the use of answering people who were determined
to destroy him, and made use of forged letters to that end? The former
friendship of the Kurfürst would protect him from the rack and
ill-treatment, of that he might be certain. His enemies would be well
satisfied by getting rid of him. Banishment would be his fate, he
thought. To create attention by heavy punishments and severe laws was
against the interests of the Church council owing to the weak condition
of Calvinism in Germany, and the physician to whom the whole world was
open felt reconciled at beginning his travels anew. With a feeling of
mingled contempt and disgust he threw down the papers after throwing a
cursory glance over them. He, the faithful Zwingliite, to be accused of
having founded a conspiracy to make the Pfalz unitarian, or as the
Gentlemen of the Church Council chose to express it, mahommedan.
"Because all the heads of the Unitarians, Servetus, Blandrata, Socinus,
were physicians, naturally the physician Erastus must be one also," he
laughed mockingly to himself. "Parsons' logic of the Hogstraten School!
Be contented with my head, but the satisfaction of praying for mercy,
will I never grant to either Olevianus or Ursinus.... They wished to
extract on the rack from the weakminded fugitives, an account of my
opinions," he added shaking his head, "thus are they all these lowly
men of God."

As far as he himself was concerned the matter was at an end, but
anxiety for Lydia weighed heavily upon him. How could his child, the
darling of his heart, have been drawn into all these horrors? Through
what devilish arts could the Jesuit have succeeded in enticing the
modest child to the cross-roads at a late hour of the evening? This
childishly heedless action might have the most severe consequences for
his child should the witches name her as one of their number, and what
a satisfaction it would be for the members of the Church Council to
apply Church discipline on Erastus' daughter and place her before the
entire congregation on the penitent sinner's stool. Perhaps that might
not be enough. What if the old Sibylla, whom he had often harshly
rebuked for dabbling in medicine, revenged herself on him, by likewise
accusing Lydia of sorcery. He did not dare carry on such a train of
thought. Such an accusation was a double danger to such a beauteous
girl as Lydia. This was the cause why sleep fled from the prisoner, why
he restlessly paced up and down his room from morning till evening, why
he had petitioned the Kurfürst through the jailer of the prison to
suffer him to have an interview with his daughter. As sadly watching
the sun setting behind the empurpled mountains near Worms, he was
aroused out of his sad reveries by a noise in the corridor. A key
turned, the door was opened, and the jailer appeared with his servant,
to make ready another bed in the room. "What means this," said Erastus
astonished.

"Another prisoner is to be brought here," replied the attendant
surlily.

"I am to be spied upon by night and by day," thought Erastus. "Herr
Hartmann may remain tranquil on that score, I am not in the habit of
talking in my sleep. But Heaven only knows what witnesses they may be
instructing in this wise against me. Forged letters do not seem
satisfactory. It would be more comfortable for these gentlemen, if I
confessed mahommedanism by word of mouth. Let it be--even in the
account of the Passion it is said 'and they brought false witnesses
against Him, but not even so did their witness agree together.'"

Again steps approached. His fellow prisoner was being brought in.
Erastus turned to the window. His intention was not to exchange a word
with the man who was placed as a spy upon him; thereby it would be all
the harder for the members of the Council to twist his opinions, if he
had not wasted a single word on their spy.

"Here," said the jailer to the new-comer, and the door was shut to
heavily. Immediately Erastus felt himself embraced by delicate female
arms. "Father, dear father," he heard as if an angel's voice murmured
in his ear. He turned around and Lydia nestled to his heart. In his joy
he raised his arms as if to enfold her to himself; but stepped
backwards.

"What took thee to the Holtermann?" he asked in a stern voice. She
looked up into his face with an honest gaze.

"Father I did not wish any evil, or do any evil. I let myself be
enticed thither by the message of the Italian clergyman, which thou
hast already heard about, but found nobody there but the herb picking
woman, and because I disturbed her in her witch's work, she turned
three wretches loose on me, who hunted me down, so that I fell into the
Heidenloch. Father Werner found me there, he brought me in spite of a
broken foot home again, the good true man!"

Never before in his whole lifetime had the pure clear eyes of his
daughter been such a comfort to him as at that present moment. Words
were not necessary, it was plainly legible in this childish look that
Lydia had no conception of the wickedness which she was otherwise said
to have committed. Consoled he drew her to his heart.

"The Kurfürst has then permitted thee to keep me company, my poor
scared bird," said Erastus tenderly stroking the maiden's fair hair.
"How pale and ill thou dost look after all thy fright."

Lydia did not contradict her father. If he only would believe that she
was there to keep him company. But Erastus was horrified, as he noticed
after a closer look at his only treasure, the feverishly red cheeks of
his child and counted her rapidly beating and tremulous pulse. "Lie
down Lydia, thou requirest rest," he said gravely, "an illness seems to
be coming on." The poor child obeyed. But however carefully the
physician avoided disturbing her, sleep would not come to her. Finally
she determined, as her father must in course of time learn what took
place, to relieve her heart. Mute and cold did the bowed down father
listen to the account given by his weeping maiden.

"They are learned in the old dispensation," he said to himself, "they
root out their enemies with their entire seed." Then he stooped over
Lydia and kissed her pure forehead. "That thou art here my child," he
said gently to her, "proves the Kurfürst's favour. Should wickedness
however obtain the mastery, we shall die united."

Lydia tenderly wound her arms round his neck and after having heartily
kissed her father she fell into a deep sound sleep, whilst the
physician moved to his heart's core lay still on his couch, thinking to
whom he might apply, to remove his child out of the reach of that
dreadful man. "If however there is no escape, she must from the outset
at the first examination declare herself guilty," Erastus concluded in
silence, "thus she will escape at least the disgrace and torture of the
rack. God of Justice, forgive us this negation of the truth. We are too
weak, to withstand this temptation ... I acknowledge thy handiwork," he
added in deep grief "Thou wouldest free me from my error by bitter
means." Thus spake the prisoner full of repentance, for he had himself
in a firm belief in allegiance to the devil, and witchcraft, written a
book on the Influences of Demons, and sanctioned the violence of the
authorities, alas that he could not recall it. "Let it be to thee, as
thou hast said." And the strong man pressed his face to his pillow and
wept bitterly.

After a while he fancied he heard hammering and the sound of a chisel
on the outside wall. For a time all was still and then it began anew.
He rose quietly so as not to wake Lydia and stepped up to the window.
He was right, it was no deception, the knocking began again and this
time seemed much closer. But the wall was too thick, he could only have
looked out by creeping over to the ledge of the window. His heart beat
with expectation. He had friends after all who worked to set him free.
After a time it seemed to him as if he heard whispering near his
window. But the whispering ceased on his opening the casement. Still he
heard the breaking away of small stones from the wall, and could
plainly distinguish two voices below; then all was again quiet and his
attentive ear only heard the nightwind howling round the thick Tower,
and the knotty branches of the old chestnuts as they creaked and
groaned. Shivering the disappointed prisoner returned to his bed,
utterly uncertain whether he would dare venture on an attempt at
flight, if on the morrow an occasion presented itself. On his own
account he would never have done so, but on account of the danger to
which his child was exposed, he would have willingly exposed himself to
the calumny of his enemies, in case Lydia could only escape the widely
extended jaws of the horrible monster who had already seized her with
his claws. He listened for a long time on his couch, as sleep had
forsaken him, to hear whether the knocking were renewed, but he heard
nothing but the sighing of the wind as it died away. At every blast the
valley re-echoed the deep and melancholy moan, with which the old trees
answered the wind, and then the howling of the storm sank into a low
wail, as the human heart consorts its own grief with outer nature, so
did these sounds resemble to the prisoner in the Tower the agonized
screams of some poor wretch undergoing the torture, from whom the first
torments call forth wild shrieks, but who in the end is only able to
moan in a low tone. The night had already given way to the pale light
of the approaching day, as finally a heavy sleep took pity on the
sorely tried father.



                               CHAPTER X.


Erastus had heard right. The knocking, boring and hammering betokened
an attempt at a rescue. In spite of all Frau Belier's remonstrances
Felix had insisted that he must at least provide Erastus with the
chance of escaping. Even if the Counsellor declined his proposition, he
would have shown Klytia that he was a true friend even in the hour of
need, and the consolation which the poor girl might derive from that
was worthy of any danger or exertion on his part. This last argument
had forced from the brave little Frenchwoman a certain amount of
approval, though she refused to aid in any undertaking which might as
easily damage as advantage Erastus. But in order to get rid of him, she
declared to Felix that if he should bring the fugitives to their house,
her chivalrous husband would never refuse to shelter them. The father
and daughter could then avail themselves of the transport of
merchandise forwarded by the rich merchant and easily reach the Rhine,
and from thence proceed to either Bâle or Holland as might seem fit to
Erastus. The next thing for Felix to do was to find out in which of the
dungeons of the Tower Erastus was imprisoned. With an air of simulated
indifference although this was not his usual custom at that time of the
evening he ascended the scaffolding, which already reached half the
height, and leaning against one of the windows of the young Countess'
apartments, he examined closely the Tower opposite. The windows with
curtains might be those of Erastus, in case the physician had been
treated according to his deserts. But above those he saw a man's figure
leaning close to the cross-bars; could that be the Counsellor? Besides
who could vouch for the fact of his having been placed on that side?
Moreover it was too dark to distinguish any one plainly. Nothing was
left for him but to boldly ask which was Erastus' cell, though he could
not do so, without exciting suspicion against himself. As Felix was
preparing to descend, a gentleman stepped forward from the back part of
the room to the window, and said as if he had been watching him for
some time: "Yes, my dear friend, I also mourn the fate of the man, who
has ever been so faithful a friend to the Italians, and quite conceive
your anxiety about the innocent Lydia."

"Oh! in that case the Madonna sends you to my aid," answered the
artist, "Pray, noble Sir, which is Erastus' room?"

Pigavetta's pale face appeared at the window and as his sharp teeth
approached the artist's ear, he resembled more than ever a beast of
prey. "You wish to rescue her?" he whispered.

"I only wish to know in which room the father of my affianced bride is
confined?"

"Quite right, I forgot that Lydia was yours, the poor child." He
naturally wishes to free them both, he thought, which accounts for his
stealing round the Witches' Tower the whole afternoon. The artist
passionately assured him of his utter conviction of Lydia's innocence.
"Who indeed could believe her to be guilty?" said Pigavetta in an
absent manner. "It would be well for me to make use of this favorable
opportunity," thought the old Jesuit to himself. "No particular
importance is set on the punishment of the old scoundrel, and he must
always be an unpleasant witness. Should the old sinner escape then
everything is just as it should be. Listen to me, my young friend," he
said in a cordial tone, "we are countrymen, let us not beat about the
bush. Erastus' life is for me a matter in which I am at heart
interested, for I owe him much, and I have wept this very day bitter
tears over his child's fate. Confide in me, I will save them, do you
also wish this?"

"_Sanguinaccio di Dio_, whether I wish it?" answered Felix excitedly.

"Good, my friend. Erastus' cell is yonder where you see a light. It is
the same in which Sylvanus sat before being transported to Mannheim,
where the intermittent fever is killing the poor man. How you are to
reach that window is your own affair. It will be my business to see
that the sentries sleep well to-morrow night. You must hurry about it,
as sentence will be pronounced on Erastus in a few days."

Felix wished to thank Pigavetta, but he had already hurried off to an
adjoining room, and the sound of loud voices approaching likewise
caused Felix to retire. Now that he knew whereabouts Erastus was
confined, the rest did not trouble him much. All the plans of the
castle were in his hands, and he had but to fashion for himself an easy
path through garret and loft to the high gables which immediately
adjoined the window pointed out by Pigavetta. Since his wild excitement
had been allayed, the Italian was again the cool determined architect
who calculated every impediment. It was of immediate importance to
obtain possession of the keys to the secret passage, which led from the
western wall down into the town. Well acquainted with the porter's
habits, he took the keys away, whilst the good man was devouring his
supper, from the board on which they hung, and placed the man's heavy
cloth cap on the vacant space. Part of that night and of the following
morning he employed in rendering his rope ladder more manageable, and
stronger, so that Lydia should not in the end become the victim of his
attempted rescue. When the midday hour had summoned the inhabitants of
the castle from their work, he furnished himself with a strong wire and
a few instruments. Then he quietly ascended the steps of the
Ruprechtsbau, till he came to a garret-door. He shaped the wire into a
hook, and thus opened the door. Nobody was to be found up here under
the garret roof which glowed through the heat of the noon sun. A dim
bluish light prevailed in the spacious room and the atoms danced in the
beams, which forced their way straight through the cracks, like a host
of stars. The artist crossed the dark garret till he came to a
staircase, which led through an opening in the roof to a larger loft.
He knew that he was now above that part of the Burg whose gable
adjoined the Tower, and led through the narrow staircase to the secret
passage. A plain door showed where this staircase began. It was tightly
shut, but the architect took a chisel out of his pocket and quietly
loosened all the screws. In the course of half an hour the work was
completed, and after taking the door off its hinges, he ascended a
small wooden staircase which led him to a room with thick walls and
small barred windows. The iron rings in the walls showed him that he
was now in one of the secret prisons. A niche with an iron chain which
passed over a wheel told him of private executions in this still room,
from whence no sound could penetrate into the Courtyard beneath. "Thou
mightest also be placed on this bench," thought Felix, "and the chain
adjusted to thy neck, and then the wheel twirled and the iron noose
tightened and the victim strangled." He shuddered. How many state
prisoners like Erastus may have perhaps breathed in the dread silence
their last sigh? Another staircase led him past similar cells. The
artist only cast a hurried look into them, and saw to his comfort how
none but large rats tumbled about to their satisfaction in the
uninhabited rooms. He next came to a heavy iron door whose lock he was
unable to pick. Even the rusty screws resisted his attempts. Nothing
was left for him to do but to retrace the whole way to his room and
provide himself with oil and stronger instruments. Then only was he
able to unhinge the door. It led to a strong stone winding staircase,
at the head of which was a lantern with a tallow candle. The artist
lighted this and descended about three hundred steps. He had with him
the key of the heavy lock of the lowest door. He opened it and found
himself in a long dark passage, which finally led to a small court near
to the wall of the Zwinger. He gently opened this small secret door
which separated the court from the street, and then remeasured his
steps, leaving the whole of the doors behind him almost closed. Once
arrived in the upper gable rooms, he considered, how he could make an
easy passage from Erastus' window to the opposite gable end? The safest
means to preserve Lydia from any danger appeared to the artist to be,
to make a ladder, and then to break a sufficiently large hole in the
gable of the roof. His rope ladder must aid in getting from the window
of the tower to this opening. After concealing his instruments among
the rafters, he turned back to the various garrets thinking to himself
how it might be possible to bring thither a tall ladder in the day
time? He had now reached the upper floor of the Ruprechtsbau, assigned
as rooms to the servants, when he was startled by a voice. An old
housekeeper stood before him, on whose angry features he could plainly
read the question, what did the Italian gentleman require up here.
Felix smiled on her as pleasantly as he could, made her a sign to keep
silent and then quietly descended the stairs. The woman looked
viciously after him: "He also has learnt that red-headed Frances
receives visits. But this very week shall this too amorous wench quit
my service," and she went into her room, banging the door after her.
After this adventure Felix thought it advisable not to let himself be
seen again before the night time. Only when all slept did he repair to
the gable rooms, and after having scientifically removed four rows of
tiles and smoothed the rafters with his planes, he placed with great
trouble but in a thoroughly secure position a ladder, by means of which
the poor child could ascend and descend through the opened windows.
After he had made for himself a safe position on the roof by removing
more tiles, he noiselessly bored holes in the round wall of the tower
and inserted hooks to enable him to reach the window which lay some
twelve feet above his head. The insertion of the upper iron, which he
was obliged to accomplish standing on his rope ladder was not without
danger. The wind came howling and whistling round the tower and
hindered his work though at the same time it drowned the noise of the
hammering. He managed to insert the last hook and the rest was easy
work, for he could now fasten the end of his rope to the bars of the
window and did not require to entrust Lydia's precious life to the
insecure iron, up which he himself had climbed. After he had knotted
the rope, he passed his arms around the bars and trembling with
excitement tapped at Erastus' window with his wearied hand. He was
about to tap a second time when the window was opened from within. "Is
it you, Erastus?" asked Felix in a low tone. "Yes," was the answer
spoken equally low. "Is Lydia with you?"

"She sleeps."

"Take these steel saws and this bottle of corrosive acid, and cut
through the bars on this side. But not here, as here hangs my ladder.
The opening thus made will be large enough to let you and Lydia pass
through."

Saws and bottle quickly disappeared within the room. "In the mean time
I shall go down, in order to loosen the end of the ladder, so that you
can draw it up higher and fasten it tighter. But by the eyes of the
Madonna be careful, one false step precipitates you into the yard
below. Only awake Lydia when you are ready, it is not necessary to
protract the exciting moments for her."

Even whilst descending Felix heard a strong hand beginning to cut
through the iron. He therefore hurried back to the garret, measured
carefully the whole of the way over which he must lead father and
daughter; and moreover lit some lights which he had brought with him to
show the path more distinctly. Then he returned to the gable from
whence he could hear Erastus working away untiringly, whilst the iron
splinters rattled around his own head. The work was now at an end, the
bar sawn through wrenched up with a powerful effort and placed within
the room. The ladder was now drawn up. Felix saw two strong hands
fastening it tightly. "He is surely certain to send Lydia down first,"
thought the excited artist, "so as to be able to help her from above."
A dark figure appeared on the ladder. "Lydia first," called out the
excited artist, but the heavy man came down the wall without stopping
for a moment, he now stood on the gable and hurried over the steps to
the window, Felix helped him in. The lucky fugitive now turned and
Felix saw before him the Reverend Neuser's fat, red face. His first
inclination was to seize the hated Parson and with one blow to hurl him
into the depths beneath.

"_Corpo di Baccho_!" he called out in a rage, "why did you lie to me
and tell me you were Erastus?"

"Ah! Signer Italiano," said Neuser puffing, "it is to you I am indebted
for my delivery!" and without losing a minute he sprang on to the floor
of the garret.

"_Birbante_!" hissed Felix, "_coglione_!"

"My dear Sir," said the Parson calmly, wiping away the perspiration
from his brow, "did not your brother at the Hirsch teach me that
deception was a virtue, as is everything, which gives man power over
his fellow-men? Tell this pious man, that Parson Neuser thanks him much
for this useful truism."

Felix gnashed his teeth with rage, but Neuser continued good-naturedly:
"How could you suppose, my dear Sir, that I would let myself be
beheaded, whilst a little imprisonment does not mean the life of the
worthy Counsellor."

"You have acted like a German," said Felix in his rage. "You surrender
an innocent maiden to be tried for witchcraft so long as you can save
your greasy hide."

"Gently, Signer Italiano," said Neuser calmly, "this small plot would
be much too round for my square schwabian skull. Your countryman
Pigavetta taught me that."

"Pigavetta!" cried the astonished Felix, "he pointed out your window to
me."

"You see, my dear Sir. I had returned at an inconvenient moment for
your countryman, as he had found a quantity of letters among the papers
of the fugitive clergyman, which the latter knew nothing of. He
therefore offered to pay my expenses and a free pass, if I only would
disappear." The Parson jingled a few loose thalers in his pockets. "The
cunning man wanted a quantity of documentary evidence from me which
would fit in with his indictment, but I did not trust him and told him
I should send it to him when free. Can you now tell me, I ought to have
acted otherwise? But do not look so dejected. Climb through my window.
If you can undo the bolt you will find Erastus in the third room to the
left. I saw him yesterday through the key-hole. Then you can bring him
out by the same way that I came. Now how must I go?"

"To yonder light, then to the right, where you see other lights," said
Felix thoroughly discouraged.

"My best thanks," replied Neuser heartily. "Greet that beloved man of
God Olevianus and tell him, that if he lusts after my head, he must
write to Constantinople for it. I have had almost too much of Church
Councillors and Magistrates, I shall go in for Muphtis and Kadis."
Felix next heard him groping along the rafters, and after a time
stealing through the secret passage beneath.

"I must follow the Parson's advice," said Felix in a wearied tone. He
had to restrain himself otherwise he would have wept through
disappointment and grief. "I will endeavor to reach Erastus through
Neuser's cell, and break the bolt if necessary." Undaunted the wearied
man climbed the walls once again, and pushed himself through the
opening made by the sawn bars. "If the prison fare had not made the
reverend gentleman much thinner, he never could have come through this
way," he involuntarily thought. He felt about in the dark for the door.
Finally he found it and examined the locks. But he soon saw that none
of his tools were suitable for breaking these strong bolts asunder. A
streak of light behind the Königstuhl announced the approach of day. He
rolled up his ladder and descended the wall by means of the hooks he
had inserted. Wearied to death, he had nevertheless to retrace his
steps through the entire secret passage. He stuck the key on the
outside of the lock of the door giving on to the street, so as to make
it appear as if aid had been given from outside, the lights he took
away, he replaced the doors on their hinges, and after having effaced
any suspicious traces he returned to his room utterly wearied. He first
carefully concealed the objects he had made use of, in a secret place,
and then already more than half asleep hastened to his bed. When he
awoke, Bachmann the court servant stood over him anxious to inquire
about his wound. Felix willingly let him apply a fresh bandage and
remained in bed to enjoy another sleep. Whilst occupied the old man
related with ill-concealed joy, that Parson Neuser had in the most
wonderful manner escaped from prison. The small door of the secret
passage had been found open, and the Keeper had been arrested for
having lost the key. Neuser had many friends in the town and it was not
astonishing that aid had been given him. But the Kurfürst saw in this a
proof, that the Arian conspiracy still existed, and it was reported
that in his anger he had ordered the Amtmann for this cause to execute
the sentence of death on Sylvanus and his colleagues Vehe and Suter.
"May their bones bleach on the gallows," said Felix coldly, as he
turned his face to the wall, and calmly continued his slumbers.



                              CHAPTER XI.

The day following the adventure which took place in front of the
Baptist's house in the Kreuzgrund, Magister Paul strode through the
woods as if in a dream, and lost himself among the trees. It was no
longer a gloomy conception but the pure naked truth; a just but coarse
hand had torn aside the veil from the well guarded secret of his inmost
self, and before the very people who looked on him as a saint, he had
stood a convicted criminal, a perverter of the young, a juggler who
mis-used the Holiest of Holies to indulge his passions. The fettered
witch, for whom the stake now waited, appeared to him worthy of envy in
comparison to the _rôle_  which he had played, and the outcast woman
had herself felt this, so joyously did her eyes sparkle, as she
shrieked out his secret to the world at large. The heretical Baptist
had treated him as a miserable sinner and he could give him no reply.
Moreover Erastus his benefactor had sunk down before him as if pierced
to the heart by the treacherous bullet which he had fired in ambush at
the man, who had ever done him kindness. "O my God!" stammered Paul as
he stumbled among the bushes and underwood, "that did I not will. Thou
art my witness; I wished to injure no one, it was some baneful spell,
which hurried her and me to destruction." As if to escape his own
thoughts he rushed breathless up the mountain. "A spell," whispered the
spirit of self extenuation to him. "Was it a spell?" Might not the
witch have kindled in his breast this sinful flame, in which all his
good resolutions were ever consumed. As if he had eaten mad-wort had he
hastened in blind rage to his own downfall. Or perhaps indeed this
beautiful child was herself a creation of Satan, who had staked his
honor, to seduce the _primus omnium_ of the college at Venice from the
right path? Who but Satan had prompted him to make an appointment with
Lydia on the most disreputable of the cross-roads, when hundreds of
less suspicious places might have been chosen.

But how, by all the Saints, did Lydia manage to comply with his
bidding? Was she in reality as well acquainted with the Holtermann, as
the witch asserted? "Whence moreover does she get this supernatural
beauty?" Oh, now was it clear to him why his heart burnt with those
flames. But suddenly he laughed ironically to himself: "And the fool's
daughter at the Hirsch was she also a witch? and how about the young
girls in the Chapel?" Buried in such thoughts he reached a solitary
footpath, and sank down wearily on the stump of a tree. With his head
in his hands in a profound melancholy he gazed about him. "I was
bewitched," he sighed aloud.

"Every man is tempted, when excited and allured by his own wicked
passions," said a grave voice near him. The timid fugitive jumped up
terrified; he feared for his own safety. But near him stood the
Baptist. The Priest thoroughly cowed gazed at the weather-beaten face
of the dread heretic. The latter continued calmly: "Nevertheless when
passion has conceived, it begets sin, and the wages of sin, is death."

The young man covered his pale face with his hands and sank down again
on his seat, bowing his head before the strange old man.

"I grieve for you, Magister Laurenzano," continued the Baptist. "I have
always looked on you as a brave man, who might do much good in the
service of our Lord God with the talents bestowed on him, if he would
only throw aside the cowl, which has encircled him, and if he only had
the courage to abjure the vows in which he has been ensnared. Bid
_valet_ to the papists, take a wife, as you have not the strength to
live as monk, and live well or ill from the labor of your hands, or the
productions of your brain."

Laurenzano shook his head sorrowfully, and a choked sob was his only
answer.

"I cannot tarry here longer," said the old man, "and wisdom does not
proceed from weeping men. The officers of justice, whom you have
brought on me, are now already perhaps at my heels, and my son is
waiting for me. But this I will say to you: In case that danger should
arise for Erastus' daughter, owing to the charge made by Sibylla, you
must surrender yourself and tell the judges, that the poor child was
not then seeking Satan, but you, her teacher, her priest, her pastor.
If you have not the courage to do this, the Lord will require this soul
of you on the day of Judgement. And secondly, we are all flesh and
blood and should therefore not judge one another, but if you remain in
that dress, recollect your duties better than you did in the Stift, and
when you again appear before the little ones, remember the words:
'Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me,
it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and
that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.' And now farewell."

When Paul raised his head he found himself sitting alone in the woods.
Had his guardian angel appeared to him in the garb of the heretic, or
had power been given to this child of the devil to read his heart and
to decipher his innermost thoughts? The evasions in which he had
concealed himself, the veil, with which he had wished to cover his
shame, the pretexts, with which he would clothe the abomination, had
all fallen before the heavy blow of this coarse peasant, he stood there
disclosed to himself the miserable sinner, that he was. Nothing more
remained to be said or to be excused. He was convicted. He rose up with
a sigh, wiped his eyes, so that none should see that he had wept, and
hastened in silent sorrow by the side of the lofty oaks and beeches of
the high-road which he now reached. What should he do? Should he again
appear among the people who now all knew his shame and would point
their fingers at him? Should he escape once more to Speyer and continue
in the crypt of the cathedral the _exercitia_ which had restored to him
his peace of mind for a couple of weeks? Then he found himself near the
deep pond at the entry of the place, out of which more than one young
creature had been drawn out, who preferred this humid death to sitting
on the stool of penitent sinners or to church discipline. "It were
better for him that he were drowned," the man had told him in the wood.
With fixed look he gazed at the deep dark surface. "It were better for
him," he murmured, "better, very much better." He would first let the
small girl approaching that way pass by, then he would follow the
advice of the Baptist, "New scandals must succeed this one, therefore
better is better."

The child whom he had noticed sprang joyfully towards him. "Ah!
Reverend Sir," it cried, "how well it is that I find you, mother has a
worse attack of fever and has wept and again begged that we should send
for the clergyman to pray with her." And the small child seized his
hand and dragged him towards the village. He followed her unwillingly
till she led him to a small low house. "Oh Herr Pfarrer," a voice said
from a narrow room, "things will now be better." And the tall pale man
knelt by the side of the sick woman and began a prayer. "The Lord wills
not the death of a sinner but rather that he should turn from his
wickedness and live." His own sorrow did he lay before the Lord. He
whispered into the ear of the sick woman as if telling himself, that
God's Grace was boundless like the waters of the sea, and that he
sustaineth our feet even in the day of trouble when we think we are
sinking. When he had finished he felt more inwardly calm and he
remained for a while sitting in silence near the afflicted woman. Then
he shook himself together in order to fetch the necessary medicine from
the monastery, and to visit the other sick, and after that he had spent
many hours in heavy self sacrificing labor, the beauteous message of
peace was borne to him in the cool breezes of the evening wind whilst
the moon rose calm and tranquil above the pine forests, that we do not
atone for our sins by a few hours of repentance full of anguish and
sleepless nights, but in the real practice of works of charity and care
for the well-being of others, so that the wounds we have healed, are
greater in number than those we have caused.

Paul had spent several days in this earnest restless fulfilment of
duty, joyless but still more peaceful, when a message from the town
awoke once more all the terrors of his conscience. He received a
summons through the bailiffs of the place marked down for the first day
of the following week, in the which he was requested to testify before
the Amtmann in the Chancellory of the Palatinate, as a former friend of
Erastus' family, all he knew as regarded the relations of the former
Counsellor with Parson Neuser and the other Arians, moreover that he
should testify as to the belief and general habits of Lydia daughter of
Erastus, who was about to be placed on her trial _in crimine
malefacii_. The peace so laboriously acquired left him at once. The
brand of Cain burnt once more on his forehead, but he cared little for
any insult or disgrace which might accrue to him during these public
trials, in comparison with the horrible fear, that he might have been
the means of bringing to the most fearful of ends the pure young
creature, towards whom he had raised his sinful glance. He knew but too
exactly the procedure of the trial with which Lydia was threatened, it
haunted his mind at every instant. No sacrifice and self-negation, no
earnest prayer in the house of God, nor even in his own closet was able
to allay this spectre, and the altered appearance of the parson
attracted even the remarks of the plain country people, who up till
then had believed stedfastly in him. The report of the affair on the
Kreuzgrund spread, and when on the last Sunday of the time allotted for
his duties, he addressed as warm a farewell to his congregation as he
could in his frame of mind, the feeling of mistrust among his audience
was stronger than the recollection of the good which he had done them,
and on visiting at mid-day for the last time one or the other, he
reaped in many a house chilly thanks and a cold farewell, for the women
whispered among themselves, that he had performed his miracles in pact
with the Evil One, and that he was going about looking so miserable,
because the Devil had appeared to him on the previous night, to demand
his soul as the reward stipulated. A feeling of unspeakable bitterness
seized him. Had he not watched over these people as their guardian
angel, his wisdom had saved them when raging against one another, his
love had kept guard whilst they slept, his self-sacrifice had raised
them up when they wearied. And their gratitude consisted in whispering:
he is in league with the Evil One. But who indeed had bidden him
perform miracles? The means had been efficacious, but with the
effectiveness of the first impression he had had his reward. Such were
the thoughts that passed through his restless and aching heart, as he
tossed that last night sleepless on his bed, and even before break of
day he arose, and without any companion began his wearied way towards
Heidelberg. He found himself deceived in thinking that he would be able
to get over the distance in silent solitude. Groups of country people
passed him in the wood; they were all pressing towards the town. Some
sight was evidently to be seen there, for the peasants were hurrying as
if to pass one another, and from their conversation Laurenzano made out
that they were disputing among themselves, from what place one could
best look on at the proceedings so well worth seeing. An uncertain fear
overwhelmed him, they might be alluding to Lydia's execution. Tortured
by evil presentiments he likewise hastened his pace, and yet he dared
not ask any of the numerous excursionists, what was taking place in
Heidelberg, for he feared that they would laugh in his face and answer:
"Who should know that better than thou, devilish Priest?" Then he
became aware that a tall figure dressed in black was dogging his
footsteps and remained close to him. Did he walk fast so did the
stranger likewise, did he slow his pace his pursuer broke into a slower
step. Paul looked back several times at the stranger who followed him
and beheld a man of military bearing dressed in black velvet, wearing a
black biretta and a full black beard. Was this an emissary of
Pigavetta, or had the magistrate sent this soldier after him to watch
that he did not escape? The thought aroused his pride, he raised his
head on high and proceeded with measured tread towards Heidelberg whose
towers already loomed before him from the bend of the road. On arriving
at the road by the river, Laurenzano noticed that the crowd of country
people increased, and as his pursuer did not let him out of his sight,
his annoyance over-mastered him, and stopping he asked the stranger in
as indifferent a voice as he could assume: "Is the witch to be burnt in
the town to-day, that the people thus flock thither?" A look from under
the bushy black brows of the soldier, familiar and yet not recognized
by him, met his own, as the latter answered with scorn: "You must have
a good conscience, young man, that you carry your head higher than most
people dare do. I am glad of it. As regards the witch, she is to-day to
be racked and to-morrow burnt; to-day only a heretic is to be executed,
the Inspector Sylvanus, who has blasphemed against God and Christ....
but you turn pale, young man, is anything the matter?"

"Nothing, nothing," stammered Paul, "it will pass over."

"Well, there are some sorrows which do not pass over, a worm which
dieth not, and a fire which is not quenched. The clergyman at Ladenburg
was a bold sinner and a weak man, but nevertheless I would rather
exchange with him than with the man who delivered him up to the
scaffold and forestalled the Judge, before giving the man an
opportunity for repentance or conversion. What think you?"

Paul walked as in a dream; the ground seemed to roll and undulate under
his feet, as if he were treading on clouds, he saw the Stift on the
left and the Schloss on his right dancing before him, there was a
murmuring, buzzing and singing in his ears, as if he were in the depths
of the sea. "I know not," he whispered, as an eagle glance from his
companion imperiously seemed to demand an answer.

"You know not, in that case I can aid you," replied the stranger. "The
man who is to be executed to-day, laid bare his thoughts to some boon
companions in a tavern and in their intoxication they said things which
they did not mean. Near them however sat a disguised Jesuit, who had
listened to them, and reported to the Kurfürst, so as to find favor in
the eyes of the Sovereign. The Counsellor Erastus, who had had nothing
to do with these offences, they managed to involve by means of a forged
letter introduced among Neuser's papers, which he had never written.
Thus half a dozen men with their wives and children have been hurried
to destruction. What think you of the spy?"

"He will repent," stammered Paul.

"Repent," answered the other. "To make amends is the only repentance.
But the traitor seems far from doing this for he carries his head high,
and yet has another burden to bear, compared to which his betrayal of
the clergy is but child's play. Did anything of this sort ever happen
to your knowledge, young man?" and again a withering glance was cast at
the young Priest who tottered at his side as if in a dream. "The Jesuit
whom you know not, played the part of a protestant clergyman; he stole
away the heart of a young inexperienced child, and enticed her to meet
him at night on a cross-road. She was seized in this disreputable
place, set down for a witch, and now awaits torture and death. He, the
wretch, however instead of obtaining an audience from the Prince and
saying, 'the child is innocent, I am the traitor, I enticed her
thither, not the devil, I only am Satan, torture me, burn me'--instead
of doing what conscience and honor required, goes about with uplifted
head, and merely asks the first-comer, with an indifferent look: is the
witch to be burnt to-day?"

Paul reeled like one drunk. "I will indeed, I was on my way" ... he
stuttered.

"You will, you are on your way," rejoined the other, "then is the case
altered. No one would think so who heard your inquiry; but I forgot,
that from your earliest youth you have been taught, how one should go
about dissembling. I thought you might be on the road to Speyer as
formerly." Paul looked up terrified at the stranger.

"Who are you, who know everything?" he asked as a shudder of
superstition passed over him.

"I will prove to you, that I believe in your resolutions to lead a
better life. Perhaps your determination will be steeled by the
confidence I repose in you." The biretta was removed, the black beard
was held in the hand, the Baptist Werner stood before Laurenzano, in
whose eyes stood tears.

"Do not weep, young friend," said the old man in a milder tone. "To do
what is demanded of you, requires you to become hard as iron. And to
prove to you that I only encourage you to do what I am ready myself to
perform, call on me, should my testimony be of any use to the poor
girl. You have only to send the watch word to old Else on the
haymarket: 'He who testifies in water requires him,' she will send for
me and I will come, even should my head be endangered." Paul reached
out his hand to this singular man. "Pardon me that I attacked you so
harshly. Sir, but your question cut me to the quick. Now I know, that
you will not sacrifice Lydia."

"You also have I driven from house and home," stammered Laurenzano.

"Do not let that distress you. Whosoever is homeless finds a home
everywhere, and the harder it rains the sooner it leaves off. For the
present I am going to the brethren across the Rhine, but think that by
the time the grapes are ripe, I shall be once more within my own
walls." Paul warmly pressed the horny hand of the old man, who pointed
to the bridge, whilst he himself continued the road along the side of
the river.

Paul had scarcely crossed the bridge-gate, when a bell began to toll
from the tower of the Heiligengeist. It had a curious dull sound as if
cracked, and yet could be heard at a great distance; it did not
announce God's greeting of peace in mild accents, but rather cut
through to the heart like a knife, and the young Priest covered his
ears with his hands, so as not to hear it, for he recognized the knell
of criminals, announcing Sylvanus' last pilgrimage on this earth. Then
he composed himself and deadly pale strode on towards the marketplace,
which he had to pass to reach the Castle, before the proceedings
against Lydia began. But once at the marketplace it was no use thinking
of further progress. Endeavouring to force his way Paul found himself
in the midst of the throng, and was pushed on forward nearer and nearer
to the block between the Church and the town-hall; there the peasantry
of the surrounding villages had been massed under the guidance of their
clergymen, and a company of infantry kept the ground; he could no
longer retrace his steps, there was no escape. He must look on at the
horrible spectacle, of which he himself was the prime mover. The
deafening noise of drums and the shrill notes of the fife, announced
the arrival of the criminal. "Is that long haggard figure in penitent's
dress who stands next to the stout Parson, the handsome man, the jovial
inspector of Ladenburg, and by all the saints, why is that child, that
nine-year old boy there?" The persons between whom Paul stood wedged
looked in astonishment at the rapidly speaking Priest who raised his
arms in despair towards the scaffold, as if he would render aid.

"Well Sir," answered one of the townspeople. "Nothing will be done to
the boy, but as he was permitted to keep company with his heretic
father to the last, the members of the Council have ordered, that he
shall attend the execution so as to see, to where false doctrine leads,
in case he should be secretly inoculated with it." Paul would have
returned an answer, but the band played a sacred tune and the
congregations led by their clergy began the hymn: "Now pray we to the
Holy Ghost to grant us true belief." Then the loud tones of the
clergyman were heard, beseeching God, to maintain his congregations in
the veritable doctrine. "Your veritable doctrine," hissed the Italian.
Moreover the spiritual gentleman testified to the fact that Sylvanus
repented his blasphemies and died as a good Christian, to avenge with
his blood the honor of God, which he, tempted by Satan, had trodden
under foot. It was to be hoped that God would forgive him his sins, and
as he had already here below atoned in the flesh, that his soul would
be saved on the Day of Judgement.

"Judge not, judge not," murmured Laurenzano talking to himself like one
possessed.

He next saw Sylvanus led forward to acknowledge before all the people
his repentance, but the once so powerful speaker spoke to-day in a weak
intelligible voice; then he kissed his boy who clung despairingly to
him. The clergyman now pulled the child towards him, the executioner
forced Sylvanus down on the block--Paul shut his eyes. He could no
longer witness the horrible spectacle. "I have robbed this child of its
father," he cried aloud, "I have slain this child." A cry from the
crowd, a murmur among the thousands announced that the blow had fallen.
When Laurenzano looked up, he saw only the fainting child being carried
from the scaffold. At the same moment the band burst out anew. "Thou
blessed light shine down," sang the peasants lustily. Laurenzano
remained in sheer despair. "Thou, thou alone art guilty of this,"
resounded in his ears. "Cain, Cain," reechoed the tiles on the roofs.
He scarcely noticed, how the ranks around him broke up. Without
knowing it, he stood alone before the block which was being cleansed
of the blood, in the midst of a group of the most villainous, and
blood-thirsty ruffians. A feeling of dumb despondency deprived his
limbs of their use. Crime had heaped itself mountain high over his
head, whilst he had only thought to serve God. Who had spilt this
blood, which the executioner was washing away? Who had driven Erastus
to jail? Who had hurried Klytia to the witches' tower? He and he alone.
Wherever he might turn, this Medusa grinned at him. To whatever he
listened, he heard only of the misery which he had caused. The whole
town spake of nothing but of himself and of his dues. Alas, why had he
not had the courage that day to drown himself at Schönau.--He again
heard the knell of the bell of the penitent sinners tolling in his ear,
the words of the Baptist came thronging uppermost to his mind ... now,
in the Hirsch yonder they are playing the beauteous Gabrielle. "Down,
down to the Neckar, there is peace," he cried to himself But the shout
of a drunken lout that reached his ear roused him like a clap of
thunder out of his gloomy brooding.

"Come, Maier, let us go and hear the witch sing out."

"What next," replied the other, a red-haired repulsive looking ruffian,
"that's not worth the trouble."

"Yes indeed it's fine when they laugh and squeal through agony."

The young Priest shook himself together, he cast a wild despairing look
towards heaven, then he followed the hard-hearted youth, who quickly
chose the shortest path leading to the witches' tower. A small alley
led up to the old town wall, the so-called Zwinger, in which behind the
Augustine monastery rose high the Witches' Tower. In front of this Paul
saw various groups of people assembled who were gazing up at a window
in the Tower. A shriek like that of some wild beast was heard followed
by a piteous whimpering. "O, can the angelic child have come to this,
to this," Paul's conscience spake in despairing tones.

"Hear how she sings," Maier said coarsely joking, and his companions
laughed; the rough blackguards felt themselves suddenly pushed and
jostled aside by a furious thrust, a tall man dressed in black rushes
up the steps of the Tower, and shoves past the guards placed at the
door with the strength of a madman. He presses forwards guided by the
dolorous cry which pealed down from above. He has reached the door. All
is now deadly still. He knocks--no answer,--he shakes the lock with
violence. "Immediately, immediately," says a coarse voice from within.
Finally the door is opened. Paul made out in the semi-dark room the
half-naked figure of the executioner and his assistants. "She is
innocent, I will testify in her favor, where are the judges?" stammered
the breathless young man.

"Then you come too late, the Devil has just taken the witch to
himself," answered Master Ulrich with a coarse laugh, and pushing the
shutters open Paul was enabled to see stretched on the bench of torture
a shrivelled brown corpse. The executioner roughly seized the head and
turned the face towards him, Paul recognized the pale contracted
features of the herb picker on the crossroads.

"Where is Lydia?" he stammered.

"She sits in the Castle near her father," said the executioner
grinning. "She was too fine a tit-bit for us. The members of the
commission on witchcraft are now at lunch. It is paid for out of the
witches' money. If you think of testifying in favor of that bread and
butter miss, wait an hour or two and then lay your deposition before
them."

At that moment the door opened and Pigavetta walked in. He looked in
astonishment at Laurenzano. "You here, Magister," he said with quick
composure. "I waited for you in the Castle. So much the better," and
then he whispered approaching close to him: "I will tell you in a few
words what you have to say, and if necessary swear to."

"Get thee behind me, Satan," cried Paul aiming a violent blow at the
traitor's breast. But the active Italian moved to one side, and Paul
himself tumbled up against the wall.

"Are matters thus!" muttered Pigavetta. "Master Ulrich, place this man
at once in the press and take care, that no one gains admittance to
him."

"What, traitor!" cried out Paul, madly rushing at Pigavetta. But at
that instant he felt himself seized from behind, Pigavetta himself
closing his mouth with his hand. He was pulled across a beam, his feet
thrust into two slits and imprisoned by another beam, which fell
across. Then his arms were pressed down in a similar beam, which
likewise closed of itself. "Good, now gaze at the witch there," said
Pigavetta with a cold intonation, "and the various agreeable
instruments round about here and consider what the consequences of your
witchcraft and jugglery at Schönau will be, if you do not become more
reasonable." Then he coldly turned his back on him. The executioner
closed the blinds of the witches' prison and left Paul alone with the
body of the old woman.



                              CHAPTER XII.


Paul lay in the still dark torture-chamber in a senseless stupor. In
spite of his uncomfortable position his wearied head sank on the beam
blackened with age and stained with blood, and he remained in an almost
half sleeping half fainting state. His ear however heard the song of
the heavenly hosts, and his soul was filled with joy at suffering and
atoning for the many wrongs which he had caused. By degrees his
fantastic thoughts assumed a more distinctive connection and he
determined to avail himself of any examination, either before the
judges or on the rack, to aid in the liberation of Erastus and of his
daughter. It was good for him to be here. He must now be heard. To
cause him to disappear without leaving traces, was even beyond
Pigavetta's power. The most terrible tortures would be the most
welcome, if he could but say to himself afterwards: "Thou hast atoned,
thou art forgiven." His fantastic stupor was about to change into a
veritable slumber, when he was startled by a long drawn sigh proceeding
from the rack. He looked up and saw the wearied eyes of old Sibylla
fixed on him.

"You are not dead yet, Mother," he said gently and kindly to the witch.

"So in reality it is you," replied the old woman in a husky tone. "They
have tortured me so severely that I thought I was out of my senses, and
saw only what I wished. For I wished to see you, wished cursingly to
see you, and now I am too weary, too weak to rejoice thereat. Ah!" and
again a deep sigh re-echoed through the gloomy silent chamber.

"Why did you so desire to see me?" asked Paul.

Again the witch fixed him with her glassy dead eyes. Then choked the
words out. "Did you not lead them; who bade you cut off an old woman's
escape?"

"Why did you sell yourself to the Devil?"

"There is no Devil," said the old woman indifferently.

"No Devil?" cried out the priest. "You ought best to know that one
exists, you who have so often attended the fearful revels on the
Kreuzweg."

"For thirty years have I sat on the Holtermann and by the Linsenteich,
and crept at midnight into the Jettenhöhle, and have muttered all the
incantations taught me by my parents, but all remained still. Lately I
thought to see him, but it was only the miller's boy at his tricks."

"And you never went out there, to drink and to dance with the fiends,
and to whore with the Devil?"

"If I could do that would I be lying here?" said the old witch in a
tone of contempt. "I spake all the curses that are known. 'Here I stand
on the dung and deny Jesus Christ.' I sang his own song: 'Come, Come,
Satan, jump here, jump there, hop here, hop there, play here, play
there,' or 'Come out, come on, touch nowhere on, Hie up and out.' But
none availed. I have prayed to the Devil, and enticed the elves, but
nothing moved; it is all nonsense."

"Why did you not rather pray to God?"

"There is no God," said the old woman in the same apathetic tone.

"You blaspheme," said Paul angrily. "You will soon see, when they
stretch the fair Lydia out here, and scourge her with ropes, and burn
her with sulphur, whether He helps. And Erastus, and Xylander, and the
daughter of Pithopöus, and Probus' wife, and Probus himself."

"What! have you named them all?"

"They are as guilty as I am. At first I remained silent and would not
answer, but they held my nose closed, so that I had to open my mouth to
breathe. Then they shoved an iron pear with a spring into my mouth,
which distended my jaws. I thought I should choke to death. One learns
to speak then."

"But what made you mention those names?"

"Well the gentlemen kept asking me questions one after the other, and I
thought they would torture me less if I said yes. I heard the Italian
with the yellow face say: 'notorious heretics may always be presumed to
be magicians,' and then they said 'Probus' yes, no, 'Xylander,'
'Pithopöus,' no, not he, 'Erastus' and thus I snapped up the names. It
hurts to hang thus, and they kept putting on heavier weights to my
legs. You will find out how it hurts when they wrench the joints out of
their sockets. At length I noticed that they kept on as long as I gave
any answer, so at last I was silent and kept my eyes fixed on the
parson with the greenish hue. That was too much for him, so he left.
But the Italian was the worst, he ordered me to be stretched out here
and sulphur threads to be placed under my arms and round my fingers and
then to be lit, till I confessed that Erastus had also danced on the
Holtermann and sprung over the he-goat Devil. Then they went on with
the torture of blows till I pretended to die. Old women are tough. We
have little blood and require little, therefore it lasted longer. My
grandmother was tortured for thirteen days." The old woman's speech
became more and more indistinct. It seemed as if she were talking to
herself, her narration became so jerky, at one time unintelligible, at
another scarcely audible. She kept murmuring about her experiences, how
often she had sought after the Devil and never found him, sometimes
chuckling and grinning to herself. Then she said as if in excuse, that
people only required the magic wares, which were prepared at the right
time and at the right place. She would not cheat her customers. If they
paid a good price it was her duty to give them the veritable article,
otherwise anybody would be selling their trash. Her talk became more
and more confused and jumbled. Paul could not tell whether she had
become insane, or was in possession of her senses. He shuddered. Then
her murmurs changed into a rattle, her broken body was shaken with
severe quiverings, one more shiver and then it was over. The herb
picker of the Kreuzgrund was this time in reality a corpse.

For many hours Paul sat on the block alone, his limbs began to swell
up. A violent pain in his head and an unendurable thirst tortured him,
but he laid his head on the beam sticky with the sweat and blood of his
numerous predecessors of both sexes, and repined not. Towards evening
he was startled from his fainting condition by the creaking of the
door. As he looked up, Pigavetta stood before him.

"Magister," said the Italian, "I hope you have thought over the foolish
way you acted this morning. Let this disagreeable day replace the
_exercitia_ which I should have had to impose on you for a few weeks,
and let us calmly discuss how to get you out of this dangerous
situation."

Paul remained silent, and did not raise his head from the block.

"You are to be tried to-morrow before the Commission," continued
Pigavetta. "I will spare you the necessity of appearing as Erastus'
prosecutor, as you seem to be in a secretive mood. You must however
testify, with as far as I am concerned the necessary mental
reservation, if that quiets your conscience, that Erastus has often
spoken to you in private as if he were tainted with Unitarianism, has
denied the Holy Trinity, and praised the works of Servetus and
Blandrata. You know as well as I do that he is in reality a heretic,
deserving therefore of any punishment. As to your silly assignation
with his daughter you have only to say, that you wished to prove to
your satisfaction, whether she in reality did go at suspicious hours to
the Kreuzweg, as had been reported to you. It is lucky that your
presence at Speyer on that very evening can be proved. The Rector will
testify that you were with him at ten o'clock. Do you consent? Answer!"

"Erastus has never stated to me that he was an Arian," answered the
prisoner shortly.

"That is a matter of indifference," said Pigavetta impatiently. "You
know how many Doctors of our order permit the probable to be sworn to
as the veritable, if by so doing the greater evil can be avoided, of
permitting a culprit to escape unpunished, and to continue raging
against the Church."

"I know that it is written: 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against
thy neighbour,'" replied Paul in a quiet voice.

"Childishness," cried Pigavetta angrily. "I charge you _in obedientia
majoris_, to testify to this statement. You have nothing to do with the
responsibility, I take that on myself."

"The pangs of conscience which I have suffered, have not been borne for
me by any superior;" said Paul in a tone of mild reproof. "I have felt,
that if a man carries hell in his own heart, all the blessings of the
Church cannot bring back his peace of mind. I cannot live with a
threefold or tenfold murder on my conscience. No Priest's absolution
would drive away the shades of Erastus or Lydia from my couch."

"You are in love," rejoined Pigavetta mockingly.

Paul kept silence.

"In that case I can help you," continued Pigavetta in an easy tone. "I
shall cause Lydia to be brought here, then you can have it all your own
way. Witches' trials often last for years, and here you have plenty of
elbow room. She will not be the first who was tamed in the witches'
chamber."

"Satan," answered Paul shuddering.

"Hear me, young fop," hissed Pigavetta, "my patience is now at an end.
You know what the consequences of your disobedience will be. What the
judges will do with your bones I will not speak of, that is your affair
and theirs. But what we shall do, that I can tell you. The order expels
you, and do not believe that you will ever again find peace on earth.
The sort of man you are, lies depicted in the archives of the Society,
depicted by your own hand. Wherever you may seek shelter, service,
position, fortune, your own confessions will testify against you."

Paul raised his head smiling: "That is all over, my good Sir, trouble
yourself no longer, those bands are cut asunder. Since I no longer wish
to pass off for a saint you can relate my sins to everyone. What was it
that used formerly to terrify me? My childish confessions! Tell the
gentlemen in Venice that since through you I have blood on my
conscience, the ink in which my weekly confessions were written has
paled, they can cause them to be printed if it so pleases them, and I
will relate in addition the services which under your guidance I have
rendered to the Church."

"The Church expels you, accursed one."

"I have been expelled ever since I followed you," sighed Paul. "Since
then I carry hell within me, and I now know that no priestly absolution
inscribes me in the book of life, should I not be there, and no Priest
blots out my name, once entered therein by the Grace of God."

"Thus is it with you!" said Pigavetta. "Have you also turned heretic?
If the Holy Church is no longer anything to you, look at this corpse.
Do you wish to end your days thus tortured?"

"My inward agonies," continued Paul inclining his head towards his
heart, "will become less if you add to them the external sufferings of
fire and steel. Spare your words, I have surrendered myself entirely to
God's mercy."

"Heretic," hissed Pigavetta. Paolo remained silent. The old Jesuit
sought some other argument by which he could convince the young fool,
but at that moment steps resounded outside. The length of the
conference appeared suspicious to Master Ulrich and he stuck his head
in at the door. Pigavetta turned to leave. "If the grounds do not
appear obvious to you, this worthy gentleman will set you on the right
track by means of thumbscrews and Spanish boots."

"We'll twist him about so that the sun will shine through him," said
the executioner grinning. The door closed and Paul remained alone in
his agonizing posture.



                             CHAPTER XIII.


A religious discussion was being held in the new court of the Castle.
The Rector of the University, two Professors of theology and two
Jurists had entered into the Kurfürst's study to consult as to the
advisability of receiving Erastus again as Church Counsellor and of
repealing the sentence of excommunication. After some time Erastus
himself was led out of his prison across the court. A deep-blue
September sky looked down on the beauteous square surrounded by
palaces. The lindens on the Bastion were already turning yellow, the
asters bloomed in the beds surrounding the spring, the sparrows were
besporting themselves in the trellis-work, and were fighting over the
ripening grapes. Erastus gazed long and joyously about him and drew in
long thirsty draughts the first delicious breath of freedom. Then he
cast an astonished look at the "new building," which owing to Felix's
art had attained a beauty which it had never possessed before. "A
worthy man," he said commendingly, "in spite of his brother." He then
calmly ascended the well-known staircase leading to the chambers of his
sovereign, where the discussion was to take place. Herr Bachmann
stepped up respectfully to the liberated court physician, Erastus
however held out his hand to the porter in his usual friendly manner.

Within the discussion was carried on long and eagerly, and Herr
Bachmann tired of standing sat down with a sigh on a bench, saying: "It
will be well when the old Counsellors once more meet together. The new
always remain three times as long," and he dozed off. The good fellow
was able to enjoy his nap thoroughly and then return to his waking
condition with a feeling of comfort, which is ever the best part of an
afternoon snooze. That day he had plenty of time to render his limbs
supple by pacing up and down, for the members did not seem to be able
to come to any decision. At last chairs and tables were pushed aside.
"God be praised," said Bachmann, "this time they set hard to work." At
the same moment the five professors appeared at the door; the Rector
Magnificus first with an air of importance suitable to his office, the
Jurists with a somewhat mocking look of malicious joy, the Theologians
with long faces and unusually green complexions. "The theological
faculty always precedes," said the Rector with sarcastic politeness.
The two men of God passed down the stairs before him without any
acknowledgement. "Is the discussion at an end?" asked Bachmann modestly
of the Rector. "At an end like my departed cousin," replied the jovial
gentleman.

"And Herr Erastus," inquired the servant.

"Is once more, privy Counsellor, court physician, Church Counsellor."

"The great God in Heaven be praised," cried Bachmann. "These Italians
were becoming unbearable. And the church discipline?" he added
inquisitively.

"Aha, you are thinking of your cards and beer at the Hirsch. Well, the
best of that bad joke is, that Herr Olevianus was obliged to mix much
water with his wine. But still I would not advise you to rattle the
dice in the Prince's antechamber."

Whilst the gentlemen were thus joking with the servant, the Prince
stood within with both his hands laid on Erastus' shoulders, saying to
him in a kindly voice: "Can you forgive me, Erastus, for having treated
you so badly?"

"Your Gracious Highness only fulfilled his duties as father of his
dominions," replied Erastus modestly. "I have nothing to forgive."

"Be assured that only within the last few days have I thoroughly
learned what a treasure I possessed in you. These religious men are all
false. However cast down they might seem to appear at your disgrace,
nevertheless a silent triumph shone through their ill-painted mask of
sorrow. It is not to them, but only to the poor Italian crippled by the
rack that we owe the solution of the game."

"To him," said Erastus astonished, "I always considered him to be the
traitor."

"He may have been so at first; but immediately on his first trial, he
told Pigavetta to his face, that he had compelled him as his Jesuit
superior to write that letter to Neuser which was laid among your
papers, and offered to immediately write such another which would
resemble your handwriting just as well. The proof was not thoroughly
convincing because the poor man's arm was swollen through his
sufferings and his hand trembled. Then it came to pass that they
tortured him to the fourth degree, to extract a confession from him,
that you had tried to talk him over to Arianism. He was also called
upon to acknowledge that he attended with your daughter the witches'
sabbath on the Holtermann, and executed his miracles and cures at
Schönau by means of the black art. God knows, who instructed the old
witch, but she said exactly what your enemies desired. She had seen at
the last witches' sabbath on the Staffelstein near Bamberg a large
black he-goat with fiery eyes, which came flying through the air from
Heidelberg. A long broom stuck out of the animal's body behind, on
which all the opponents of the Church discipline were seated, Probus
and his wife, you and your fair child, Xylander and his maid and
Pithopöus with his five lean daughters. Moreover she pretended to have
seen you on the Holtermann, near the Three Oaks, the hollow Chestnut,
the Linsenteich, and wherever the fiends besport themselves, where you
drank in the sensuous love of the Devil, and where you last Saint
John's day were baptized with blood, sulphur and salt, and after the
baptism the devil assumed the shape of a goat, on whom you all had to
jump in turn with out-stretched legs."

"And those gentlemen could believe all that nonsense!" replied Erastus
with a sad bend of his head.

"They believed it so firmly that nothing but the martyr-courage of the
young Jesuit could save you. A veritable hero! The protocol of which I
will however spare you the perusal seems to be describing the
sufferings of some martyr. I am an old man, but I wept like a child,
when I read here, what the poor man endured. Though they poured
aquavitae on his back, which they then lit, and wrenched his limbs out
of their sockets, he maintained his account that the old witch had
recanted to him all that she had stated before her death. She had only
accused you all to please the members of the Commission. He moreover
stated that the executioner entered the room in the middle of the night
and twisted the head of the old woman quite round, so as to be able to
say that the Devil killed her. He however had recognized Master Ulrich
and distinctly heard the wrenching of the bones. The Theologians were
so check-mated that they wished to torture him still more, but finally
the order of trial occurred to the Jurists and they declared that he
should not be tortured any further till new evidence should be brought
against him, I then heard for the first time how the matter stood. I
naturally at once deprived Hartmann of his office and ordered
Pigavetta's arrest. The officers caught the Italian in his room as he
was packing up. He must have remarked that there was an end to his
latin. But they foolishly permitted him to change his clothes in a
neighboring room. He very naturally did not return, and in his room
they discovered a shaft with a pulley, which let him down in a moment
to the lowest flight nearest to the front door. He is said to have
played all sorts of pranks by means of this pulley, moreover the
officers found other secret apparatus and magic books. If he be caught
let him look out for the stake. He will not have tortured Laurenzano to
pieces in vain if I can only lay my hand on him."

"The poor young man," sighed Erastus.

"There is something I wished to beg of you. The young Lazarus still
lies in the Tower, as the physician of the hospital whom I sent to him,
declared, that he must not be moved. You are master of your art. My
conscience would be much relieved if you could only manage to cobble
him up again. I will look after his future welfare."

Erastus consented. He then begged that his daughter might be allowed to
return to her home.

"That is a matter of course," answered the Kurfürst. "She is acquitted
and need fear no further prosecution. The Theologians said something
indeed about doing penance for going to the Holtermann at night, but
the others maintained that if Lydia had thrown herself into the breach
to save her father, she deserved praise from the pulpit, if however the
young Parson had turned her head for one day, she had been more than
sufficiently punished by the fright she had experienced."

"I should feel however much better satisfied," replied Erastus, "if
Your Highness would distinctly tell the judges, that Lydia was no
longer to be watched as a suspect, which generally happens after such
an unfortunate charge."

"That I will," said the Kurfürst. "Your child shall be as free as the
roe in the wood."

"I thank Your Grace. Now I may thoroughly rejoice in my freedom."

Soon after this father and daughter came out hand in hand from under
the darksome portal of the Great Tower, and crossed the sunny court of
the new building. Klytia saw with pride what Felix had done here, and
when she found that her room had been aired and adorned with fresh
flowers, she asked herself, why her thoughts remained so fixed on the
prison of the priest, who after all had brought his fate upon himself,
while tokens of Felix's love accompanied her wherever she went, even
through the walls of the Great Tower. Had he not even risked his life
in an attempt to set her free, as Frau Belier had once whispered to
her? Nevertheless the look she gave the flowers was cold and inanimate,
whilst she asked: "Where will you take him to?"

"Ah, the Magister meanest thou? I think Belier will not refuse to play
the Samaritan's part. The patient can easily endure the short journey,
and he will find no better care than there anywhere."

"Well, then I will run round to Frau Belier and prepare everything."

She was already down the stairs, and with a shake of his head the
physician made ready to visit the sick man, who according to the
Prince's account had been both his traitor and saviour. The poor man
had been terribly punished, but Erastus could not yet pardon him for
the danger into which he had brought Lydia.



                              CHAPTER XIV.


Paul Laurenzano was brought to the house on the marketplace in order to
recover under the tender care of Erastus and Frau Belier from his
severe wounds. "The burns," said the physician to Herr Belier, after
that the patient had been put to bed in a room high above all noise
from the street, "are bad but not mortal. When two thirds of the skin
as in this case are uninjured the patient usually recovers. The joints
are wrenched but not torn. He is young and will survive, still he must
be a burden on you for some time, if he is not to suffer from the
consequences for the rest of his life."

"No Huguenot ever considers one unjustly persecuted as a burden," said
the Frenchman. "We know from experience what our duty requires."

Frau Belier cast the first kindly look at Felix since the melancholy
death of her parrot and said: "We shall soon have the poor young man up
on his legs again."

"I shall have time to aid you, noble lady," replied the young Maestro,
"I have been turned away from my work in the Castle."

"What! How ungrateful," cried Frau Belier and the others in one breath.

"The Kurfürst must have been told to whom the reverend Parson Neuser
owed through a lucky _qui pro quo_ his escape. He paid me off and
ordered me at the same time to give up the plans of the Castle, I also
received a hint that in consequence of suspicious proceedings in
connection with Neuser's flight all foreigners had to leave the
castle."

"I cannot blame the noble gentleman," said Erastus. "He is naturally of
a mild disposition; spring cannot be milder. He would only have
punished Vehe and Suter by banishment, and he would have even forgiven
Neuser; it is quite proper that he should not permit any interference
in his affairs. It may be presumed that our friend would have had to
pay dearer for his gymnastics, were it not that the kind-hearted man is
weary of punishing, so that the daring brother escapes through Paul's
sufferings."

"It is the same with him as with me," replied Felix with a smiling side
glance at the plump hostess. "Had I not slaked my Neapolitan thirst for
blood on the parrot, neither this Hartmanni, nor Master Ulrich, nor
Pigavetta would have lived longer."

"Private justice is not necessary in this country, my dear friend,"
said Erastus. "Pigavetta will be prosecuted by law. The Magistrate is
_ab officio_ suspended, and punishment will be meted out to the other
wretches for their misdeeds."

"Would that Paul could only get the use of his limbs again by this
means," said Felix sighing.

"Remain with us, Master Laurenzano," said Belier, "and watch over your
brother. You can have a room near the beloved patient, and there work
at the plans of my new house. That is a quiet, serious occupation which
cannot disturb the sick man, and on the other hand the stillness of the
sick-room will be agreeable to your Muse. Design there the façade, and
therein strive to emulate that of the building of the deceased Count
Palatine, that is naturally, in so far as the house of a private
citizen can vie with that of a prince."

"Take now the hand of reconciliation," said Frau Belier. "There shall
no longer be any blood between us, I forgive you the death of the poor
parrot."

The architect seized the hand with a look of comical contrition. "I
cannot order masses to be read for the rest of the soul of one nipped
in the flower of his youth," he said, "but I will immortalise him on
the façade, and erect a monument to him in spite of many Counts."

While they were all thus joking together and forming plans for the
future, Klytia slipped quietly away. This merriment after the dreadful
visitations of the previous days grieved the kind-hearted child, and
she went upstairs to sit with the nurse, so as to be able to listen to
Paul's heavy breathing and feverish fantasies, in the room next to his.
His eyes gleamed like those of a prophet, his cheeks were tinged with a
feverish glow and an unearthly beauty had come over his idealised
features. His lips moved unceasingly, and it seemed as if the fever had
caused the long suppressed desire for companionship of this reserved
man to burst all sluices. Earliest impressions of youth were by this
revolution of his mental and physical life once more called to life. He
spoke oftenest with his mother calling her by pet names. "I shall
certainly never lie again," he said in the convinced tone of a small
child, calling tears to Lydia's eyes. Klytia herself was ever prominent
in his fantasies as a sister. "I really did not intend to do Lydia any
harm, Mother," he said. "I only wished to kiss her. Is that wrong?" and
so saying he tossed about. "If I were only not obliged to return to
that horrid school. But I will pretend to be as stupid as Bernardo the
hunch-back, then they will certainly expel me and say they do not
require me any longer." After a while he would cry out: "But mother
says I ought never to pretend." The terrors of the last days curiously
enough seemed to have made hardly any impression on his mind. He only
once said: "It is very well, that they beat me in this manner, now it
is all over and no one can again reproach me for anything." In general
all his worst impressions were connected with the school at Venice.
Pigavetta was a wicked teacher, Ulrich the executioner was the "brother
corrector," the Church counsellors represented the collegium of
professors, the remembrance of the present seemed on the other hand to
be entirely wiped away from his memory. But once only, as Felix sat at
his bed-side, did it seem to recur to him. With an expression of the
most intense moral fear he called out: "Save the parsons." Felix then
stooped over him and whispered in his ear: "I have freed Neuser, and
the others have been pardoned." "Oh!" sighed the sick man as if
relieved of a heavy burden and casting a piteously grateful look at his
brother. From that time his restlessness seemed to lessen gradually.
His strained expression disappeared. It was replaced by excessive
weakness. So soon as he awoke his nurse brought him some nourishment,
his wounds were dressed afresh, after which he immediately sank into
his somnolent state.

Felix had arranged his atelier near to Paul's bedroom and worked
quietly and diligently at his plans for Belier's new house. Klytia took
her place as nurse in the room between them so often as her duties
towards her father allowed her, and Frau Belier repeatedly put the
searching question to her towards which of the two rooms did her heart
most incline. Paul's presence had in fact the same influence on
Klytia's tender heart as formerly, without however detracting from her
feelings of gratitude and tender friendship towards Felix. In nursing
Paul she often met Felix and they neither seemed ever to consider the
question as to what should take place after Paul's recovery. Felix
however felt more and more distinctly that he loved the maiden in
reality only from an artistic point of view. His fiery nature required
a counterfoil, which would oppose a greater vivacity and capacity of
contradiction than was to be met with in Erastus' tender hearted
daughter. The daily scrimmages which he had with Frau Belier, in which
like two children with locked hands they endeavored each to bring the
other to its knees, developed his own inward strength rather than any
quiet thoughtful conversation with the German maiden. He was wont to
watch with artistic delight Lydia as sitting at her work she pondered
over her past or her future. It was impossible to have gazed on a more
lovely picture of a maiden mind buried in the sweet dream of the love
of a young life. The brow wrapt in thought, the mouth puckered up as if
seeking a kiss, the blooming cheeks, the full development of bust, on
which nature had lavished its riches with a bounteous hand, formed a
finished picture of beauty irresistible to the artist nature in Felix.
He quietly brought out one day a lump of modelling clay, and whilst
Lydia was sitting without any misgivings at her work near the window,
and dreamily listening to the breathing of the patient, the young
artist kneaded the plastic material and soon completed an exact
portrait of the thoughtful maiden. He formed the base as the calix of a
flower as he had seen in the antique busts in Rome and Florence. The
scented calix out of which Klytia arose was intended as a symbol of the
dreamy flower-life of young love, of the tender perfume full of
misgivings of a pure woman's mind, whose life is in part the existence
of a plant. Lydia became aware at last of what he was doing, as the
young Maestro looked intently at her, and then stepping to one side
appeared to be busy on some unusual piece of work. She arose and a look
of maidenlike severity came over her face on beholding a too faithful
representation of her charms. "Fie, how wrong," she blushingly
exclaimed. But the artist begged her so touchingly to resume her seat
and let him continue that she finally resigned herself. "What can I
otherwise grant him," she thought sadly, "when the heart belongs to the
other." The artist carefully examined each particular feature. "God
never created anything more beautiful than thou art," he said. When he
had finished he clapped his hands together, and repeated "splendid,
splendid" half aloud. She now stepped up quietly to him. "What mean
those leaves?"

"I have moulded thee as Goddess of flowers," he answered.

"As _Wegewarte_?" She looked up towards him with a sad smile. He
however lightly kissed her pure forehead: "As Klytia turning towards
her Sun-God." She held out her hand to him, and looked up gratefully
into his eyes. He pressed it as if bidding her farewell. Without that a
single word passed between them, they understood one another. Klytia
was free, he himself had released her from her promise.

She now went oftener than ever to the couch of the sick brother, cooled
his brow with damp cloths and bound up his wounds with the delicate,
apt hands of a woman.

Thus passed away peacefully the last sunny days of autumn, leaving to
all the inhabitants of the gable-house the precious impression, that
there was even something beautiful in the stillness of a sick-room, in
which no sounds were heard but the regular breathings of the patient,
the ticking of the large Nuremberg clock in the ante-chamber, and the
buzzing of the gnats on the diamond panes reflecting the sun. However
little the relations of the various persons seemed to have changed
outwardly, Erastus nevertheless felt the magnetic deviation which had
taken place in Lydia. Wearied from many visits, he sat down one
afternoon with his daughter near the chapel on the other side of the
bridge to enjoy the last sunny hours of the fleeting year. The
Heidelberg woods lay before them tinged with yellow, and their serrated
lines blue and indistinct melted away as some old poetic saw in the
autumn mist causing the mountains to appear higher than usual. Near to
the bench on which they sat, the blue flower bloomed by the wayside and
ever turned its calix to the sun. Lydia plucked one and pondered over
the world of experiences she had lived through in the short time since
Felix had related to her the fable out of Ovid. Her father looked
steadily at her and said: "Hast thou broken thy bonds towards Felix?"

"Felix remains a Papist," she answered evasively. "He cannot fulfil the
conditions which thou hast laid upon him."

"I release him from them," said Erastus. "Are we not all Papists since
we have Olevianus as our Pope, execute heretics, and that Theologians
assume to themselves not only the authority of Princes, but also that
of heads of houses, and fathers of families? Hardly any trace is left
of the freedom which Luther and Zwingli sought to introduce."

"Dost thou permit me then to marry a Catholic?"

"What right would I have to forbid? So often as I pass the square on
which was spilt the blood of my friend, the very stones cry out to me,
'thou hypocrite, in what art thou better than the Caraffas?' The
officium of the Calvinists has rendered me lenient towards index and
inquisition."

"And wilt thou be equally lenient," asked Lydia timidly, "if I marry
Paul?"

Erastus looked at her in amazement: "How? After that he plunged us all
in this misery, can'st thou not sever thy heart from him?"

"Ask this flower why it follows the course of the sun," said Lydia, "it
cannot do otherwise."

"But how can'st thou prefer the horrible Priest, this pale man broken
down in health to the straightforward, happy young Maestro?"

"I know not," said the maiden thoughtfully. "This love has deeper roots
than those of reason. In what does it consist? Merely in my love for
him, in that I cannot tear myself away from him. Not because he is
handsomer or wiser than others am I his, but only because I cannot live
away from him, because he is my Sun, without whom I should wither away
as does this flower in winter;" and she silently dried the tears which
rose to her eyes.

"He has suffered too severely for our sakes," answered Erastus after a
few moments of thought, "for me to say nay. It is God's decree, His
will be done."



                              CHAPTER XV.


Slowly was the patient of the gable-house moving towards convalescence.
His wounds still smarted, and any motion caused him pain, but he bore
all his sufferings with the greatest composure, and to his brother's
inquiry he answered with a grateful look: "_Sta bene._" Klytia also who
continued to nurse him with a certain diffidence, he ever greeted with
a look of deep gratitude. In the weak condition in which he now found
himself all natural passion, force of character, and love of the
artificial seemed to have left him; he was kinder and more simple than
he had ever been before; fictitiousness, nonsense and bombast had
fallen away from him. The brilliant personality of the Italian savant,
which spreads a shimmer of eloquence over the most unimportant theme,
and loves to express epigrammatically the most common place subject,
had been replaced by a poor suffering man. He was no longer the _primus
omnium_ of the college at Venice whose mouth overflowed with wisdom.
Rather was there something childlike in his helplessness. He modestly
held back, although all interest was centred on him. His gratitude for
any attention, his respect for Belier's and Erastus' learning, his
unassuming attention caused him to resemble a mere boy. Now only could
one perceive how young he really was. When Frau Belier passionately
exclaimed at the sight of his wounds he meekly answered: "I wished to
do the same to others, who were better than I, noble Lady, and whose
sins were less clear of proof than mine." He took part in conversation
only when directly questioned, but listened eagerly when Erastus or
Belier discussed Church matters, or when Felix and the mistress of the
house violently argued about nothing, whilst Lydia quietly glided
through the room like a sunbeam and by her noiseless activity gave to
the whole a tone of beauty and individual coloring. When Paul at last
supported by Erastus and his brother was led to an armchair and thus
enabled to join for hours the family circle, they all expected that his
former originality and mental superiority would show itself once again.
But he remained silent, gentle and as if apparently inwardly crushed.
This resignation on the part of his brother finally appeared serious to
Felix. It was something so utterly opposed to the fiery disposition of
the young artist that he said to himself: "His limbs will be cured, of
that Erastus is certain, but his nature is broken, like those of the
few victims of the inquisition I saw in Rome, who were suffered to
return to public life."

"I do not like to see thee so wise and genuine," he said one day to
Paul, as the family were expending their wrath on the subject of some
fresh molestation on the part of the Theologians, whilst Paul
endeavored kindly and quietly to place their intentions in a better
light. "It seems as if thou couldest no longer punish evil."

"That may be the case," answered the sick man. "I see no crime
committed that I myself might not have committed. What should our
failings teach us, but charity towards others?"

Klytia herself had become another person, since Paul had so retired
within himself. Quiet and reserved she went her way. She seemed to be
satisfied with being able to serve him, to provide for all things, but
the joyous childish smile had left her face. Felix who was working at
her marble bust, found, when she sat for him, a melancholy trait in her
reverie, which had formerly not existed. "She looks like some young
widow, who mournfully ponders over her departed joy. But I will
soon rouse the foolish children out of their unbearable reserve and
self-sacrifice." One day that he found his brother sitting alone near
the window of his oaken-panelled room, gazing with longing look out of
the diamond panes over the gables of the houses towards the
Heiligenberg, as if counting each individual pine, which seemed to
detach itself from the white clouds behind, the opportunity appeared
favorable to the artist.

"Thou must be digging out a new philosophy, Paolo," he said laughing,
"that thou gazest up for hours at the blue October sky."

"I see no necessity for one," replied Paul wearily. "Resignation is
true philosophy and life itself teaches us that."

"Why must thou be resigned? Thou seemest to have made a pact with Lydia
of mutual self-sacrifice."

A flaming color spread suddenly over the patient's pale face. "Why dost
thou hide thyself behind the clouds, thou love-sick Apollo, and
sufferest thy flower to mourn? Must I take her by the hand and lead her
to thee?"

Paul made a motion of grief. "Thou would'st sacrifice thyself, my good
Felix," he cried, "but how could I accept such a sacrifice?"

"Sacrifice," said the Maestro, merrily cocking his Raphael cap to one
side. "We artists are terrible sinners. Since I have modelled the pure
face, since I have caught the determined look on her lips and have
spitted it in marble, like a butterfly stuck through with a pin, my
heart has as much abandoned her as any other model with which I have
succeeded, and it seems to me as if I had almost too much of the dear
child. I dream of a less gentle, less pliant being, allotted to me by
heaven, a Neapolitan woman with hooked nose, black eyes, and sharp
claws at the end of her forepaws. In a word I will paint Lydia on a
church banner for the Scalzi, but will as soon marry her as the
Madonna. I want a wife with whom I can quarrel."

Paul shook his head sadly: "Even if that were the case, how can one
tainted by suspicion, a racked cripple, a walking corpse stretch out
his arms towards this young sweet life? It would indeed be a crime."

At that minute a young pale head bowed down over him, fresh warm lips
were fastened on his pale mouth. "I will never nurse any but this
patient," she said in a low trembling voice.

"Lydia," cried Paolo in his delight. "Thou art willing to bind thy
happy destiny to that of a cripple?"

"I shall make him once more as healthy and frolicsome as the squirrel
on the tops of the trees," joyously laughed Klytia. A sunbeam of joy
passed over the face of the pale man. The artist retired however to his
studio, turned the marble bust with its face to the wall, and began
assiduously to work at the façade of Herr Belier's future house.

"Hast thou in truth chosen the Papist, the stranger as the companion of
thy life-time?" asked Erastus with a grave shake of the head, as Klytia
with her arm wound round Paul announced her determination to her
father.

"His land shall be my land and his God shall be my God," replied Klytia
with an inward joy, which Erastus knew he could not oppose.

"I did not wish to mix the things of this world with those of another,"
now said Paul modestly, "otherwise I should have told you that I cannot
return to the old Communion. Before this I used to rage against your
church, which broke down the altars, and laid waste the sacred places;
but you have one great advantage over us, you have no slaves. Moreover
dogma has no longer for me the same importance that it used to have.
Each of us strove after the right doctrine, but who can tell in this
day of shattering of opinions and ideas what the right doctrine may be?
You persecuted the Baptists and Arians owing to true principles. The
Calvinists persecuted you, the Palatines hate both Zwingliites and
Lutherans. I however hated all Baptists, Zwingliites, Lutherans and
Calvinists. We have all steeped our hands in blood in honor of that God
who said to us: 'thou shalt not kill.' If we continue in this way, soon
in this beauteous land the groans of the tortured and the blood of the
slain will cry to heaven as in the Netherlands and in France, and what
that may mean, is only known to one who may have experienced it on his
own body. One must have looked the most terrible death in the face, to
be convinced, how small in reality is the belief for the which we are
ready to die. As lately I was pondering over in my prison: Who can
indeed possess a certain and sure promise of the Spirit, that his
doctrine is of God, where then in the ocean of deceit is the safe rock
on which we may take a firm foothold? The words of a heretic whom I
formerly deeply despised came uppermost to me. That Baptist whom you
yourself know. 'The Spirit,' he cried once to me, 'exists not outwardly
in dogma and in _cultus_, but only in the life. Then only does it
appear in that one sees, feels and hears it. We know more certainly the
right that should be done, than the right that should be taught.
Therefore true belief is this, that you do the will of God, not that
you revolve principles of dogma concerning things invisible which are
not of man but of God.' At that time I covered my ears with my hands,
so as not to hear such blasphemous arguments, but they came back to me
in the stillness of the prison. When the witch acknowledged that she
had never seen the devil, for the which we burnt her, the idea stirred
me to the roots of my heart, for what uncertainties we often commit a
certain wrong. All our errors arise from our thinking too much of God's
honor, too little of his law, speak too much of the invisible world,
too little of the visible. We were pious because we murdered for the
sake of another world; we were pleasing in God's sight because for the
other world we lied, deceived and led men astray, and because we made
our love of power and right the affair of the Deity, all our other sins
should therefore be pardoned. Our care for that unknown world has led
us to despise this visible one. To become angels in heaven, we were
ravening wolves on earth. Only when I thought over the word which the
heretic had called out to me: 'The spirit is nowhere visible but in the
life,' then only did the scales fall from my eyes, and I determined to
commit the doctrines of God into God's own hands, and to do in this
life, what he had plainly revealed to me in heart and by word."

Erastus returned no answer, as Herr Belier came in with Xylander who
wished to greet Erastus. After a time they were joined by Felix, who
within the last few days had looked less cheerful than usual. "Our
friend would leave us," said the Huguenot. "He goes first to Innsbruck
to visit Master Colins and then returns to Naples. In vain I have
begged him to renounce papistry; he declares that he will not cut
himself off from his people, and that art-loving Italy will never raise
itself to our worship of God in Spirit and in Truth."

"You are right," said Erastus kindly. "We cannot make use of the Papal
Church as it now is and the Italians cannot use our churches as they
now are. It is sufficient for us to think out our thoughts and to act
accordingly, the Italians wish them represented before them sensuously.
Perhaps the time may come when this dissonance solves itself into a
higher harmony, as Lydia once said, in which the white surplices and
black gowns will be as much things of the past as are to-day Garizim
und Moriah, or the disputes of the Levites and Samaritans, nevertheless
I fear that the day is much further off than Lydia thinks. But we have
indeed the promises of a time, when there will be no temple and no
priest and I believe that the world will give a sigh of relief when the
last Theologian has been buried." "I should myself like to be standing
by that grave," said Xylander vivaciously. "I would place with this
humanitarian all the implements with which he worked, his symbolical
books, bishops' mitres, pitch torches, the pears of torture, and a bit
of Sylvan's bloody shirt which was wickedly sent to me on the day after
the poor man's death. They would trumpet in the next world that Kalchas
and Teiresias, Augurs and Haruspices were soft-hearted fellows in
comparison with those who came after them. When I consider the amount
of blood that has been shed since the days of Constantine to the
present time, I wish that a Church had never existed!" "No," replied
Erastus, "it was not my meaning that we should overthrow the Church
because the priests do not satisfy us. That would be like tearing down
a house, because the owner was not popular. We must only place it in
other hands, rule it in a different manner, and for this reform, which
is so necessary, I know of no better fundamental doctrine than that,
which Magister Paul intends to preach for the future, that the Spirit
exists only outwardly in one way, and that is in the Life."

"I hope sincerely," said Felix turning to his brother, "that thou are
not serious in wishing to spend thy days in misery in this land of
fogs, and in cold churches without music, to waste thy life full of
hope in fruitless preachings unaided by art? No, come with me. Thou art
an Italian and can'st not live without the aesthetic, and if thou
remainest, wilt soon enough have to sing out the _super flumina
Babylonis_."

"No Felix," said Paul in a determined tone. "As the choice lies open to
me: rather no music, no pictures, not even laurel hedges and gardens of
the Hesperides, than any return to the old pool of sulphur."

"And dost thou really wish to die a Calvinistic preacher?"

Paul was silent for a while, then modestly answered: "The moment I
regained my consciousness I said daily to myself: Away with the cowl. A
profession which requires us to appear better than other men, easily
renders us much worse. Moreover I felt, that after the miseries which I
have survived, many a temptation is left behind--and finally what
otherwise should I become, dost thou think?"

"Teacher, Magister, Doctor," enumerated the artist quickly.

"I have experienced too much that is serious to be anything else than a
preacher. Shall I mend up the mutilated verses of old poets? or tinker
together the fragments of some forgotten sophist? or pile up some other
learned dung-heap? Whosoever has experienced what I have, can no longer
choose the embellishments of life as the centre of his existence. My
thoughts cleave to the core of life, bitter as it may be; that will I
make the substance of my labours. I will beg the Kurfürst to appoint me
to some quiet parish, hidden away in the furthermost wooded valley of
his dominions. There I will teach children to fold their little hands,
advise parents how to guard their children's hearts, strengthen
husbands and wives in their good intentions, sustain the weak, guide
the erring into the ways of peace. And if I have watched over the
smallest congregation in this land like a good shepherd, so that it
returns after my preaching happier and better qualified to the work and
burden of life, finding itself more reconciled and meek under trials,
comforted in all sorrow, then I will have a fuller certainty that my
life has not been lived in vain, than if boys were reading my edition
of the poets, or doctors naming a dogma after me. I do not wish to be
renowned but forgotten. The children and the neighbours only will know
of me, and I feel certain that my bride longs for such a modest
existence."

Klytia leant tenderly over him and gazed into his eyes, Felix alone did
not seem to approve that the end of such a great beginning should be a
hidden Hyperborean village. The Magister however leant his hand
affectionately on his brother's shoulder and said: "My good Felix, be
assured that the Parson Paul will be a happier man than ever the
Magister Laurenzano was, and the fame of our noble race may be safely
entrusted to thy artistic hands."

"See the creation of our new Michel Angelo," cried Herr Belier,
unfolding a plan of the new house which was to replace the old gable
house on the market. A shout of delight escaped them all.

"How grandly story is piled on story," said Erastus, "up to the proud
gable, which shows the world the armour in the which our valiant friend
fought so stoutly. And here is the shield of the Beliers and the
faithful portrait of our host."

"_Mon Dieu_!" cried the little woman, "there is even my poor parrot on
my wrist. The sacrificial lamb which redeemed the blood from our
house."

"Here, Herr Belier," said the delighted Felix, "have I left an empty
frieze for you to add in your device."

"Be that the artist's part," replied the chivalrous Huguenot. Felix
bent his head thoughtfully and casting a loving look at Klytia, mindful
of his brother's hard won fortune, he gaily seized the pencil and wrote
in large letters: "_Perstat invicta Venus_!"


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: Wegewarte, Chicory (Cichorium Intybus z).]

[Footnote 2:  A play on the name, here meaning quarrelsome.]

[Footnote 3:  Nothing at all.]

[Footnote 4: Eryngo.]

THE END.





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