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      The excitement of the shot and flight had brought a faint color into her usually ivory-pale complexion. Her eyes shone like stars, the red-gold hair ran in little waves under her hat; the hat with the hole in it, made by the bullet which had been intended for him.

      Fritz had now attained eighteen years of age, and Wilhelmina twenty-one. Fritz was very fond of music, particularly of his flute, upon which he played exquisitely, being, however, careful never to sound its notes within hearing of his father. A celebrated music-master from Dresden, by the name of Quantz, was his teacher. He came occasionally from Dresden and spent a week or two at Potsdam, secretly teaching the young prince.67 The mother of Fritz was in warm sympathy with her son, and aided him in all ways in her power in this gratification. Still it was a very hazardous measure. The fierce old king was quite uncertain in his movements. He might at any hour appear at Potsdam, and no one could tell to what lengths, in case of a discovery, he might go in the intensity of his rage. Fritz had an intimate friend in the army, a young man of about his own age, one Lieutenant Katte, who, when Fritz was with his music-teacher, was stationed on the look-out, that he might give instant warning in case there were any indications of the kings approach. His mother also was prepared, when Quantz was at Potsdam, promptly to dispatch a messenger to her son in case she suspected his father of being about to turn his steps in that direction.

      "I promise. Yes, it is a sweet spot, is it not? It was down yonder in the old burial-ground that Shelley looked upon the grave of Keats, and said it was a spot to make one in love with death. But I would not have you think yourself doomed to an early death, Mrs. Disney. Have you never read in the 'Lives of the Saints' how some who were on the point of death have revived at the touch of the holy oil, and have lived and have renewed their strength, and re-entered the world to lead a holier and nobler life than they had led before? Who knows if you were to confess your sin, and patiently suffer whatever penance you were called upon to bear, new vistas might not open for you? There is more than one way of being happy in this world. If you could never again know the sweetness of a domestic lifeas trusted wife and happy motherthere are other and wider lives in[Pg 266] which you would count your children and your sisters by hundreds. There are sisterhoods in which your future might be full of usefulness and full of peace. Or if you had no vocation for that wider life, it might be that touched by your helplessness in the past, and your remorse in the present, your husband might find it in his heart to forgive that bygone sin, and still to cherish, and still to hold you dear."

      "She must have gone mad! A lodging-house must be harder work than anything she had to do here."

      Yet, in spite of his seven and forty years, in spite of his deficiencies, his homeliness, that young heart had gone out to him. She loved him, and his lot was full. There was nothing more upon God's earth that he could desire, were it not a miracle, and that the mother he had so fondly loved might be given back to him, to share his happiness, to make the third in a trinity of trusting love. Since that could not be, there was nothing left for him to yearn for.

      Mme. de Genlis declares that at this time the Duchess was still free, and insinuates that she displayed indifference to her daughter in not replying to her letters.


      "My dear, there's no use talking, you looked very bad. Had one of my girls looked as ill, I should have taken her off to Buxton to drink the waters, without an hour's delay."


      "I mean Lostwithiel. With such a nice place as he has here, it seems a pity to be broiling himself in Peru. I never could understand the taste for orchids; and in his casewell, I hardly believe in it. He is the last man to emulate a Hooker or a Lawrence. Orchid-hunting must be an excuse for keeping away from England, I take it. Don't you think so, now, Mrs. Disney?"Launching into angry threats against the valet de pied and his sister, and indignant reproaches to his pupil, M. de Montbel conducted him back to the palace and went straight to the King. But Louis XV., with a fellow-feeling for the grandson whom he considered the most like himself, could not restrain his laughter, ordered fifty louis to be given to the young girl, and dismissed the affair.


      "UNDER THE PINE-WOOD, BLIND WITH BOUGHS."They turned the bend of the valley and came in sight of the camp. The men were hard at work in their claims or washing for gold in the river; the sound of the pick and the shovel, the hum of the mens voices and an occasional shout or burst of song broke the silence. At sight of Esmeralda and her companion some of the men sent up a wild Coo-ee, which she answered in a clear ringing cry which pierced the thin air and seemed to float to the mountain-tops. As the two rode into the camp, the men stopped working and lounged up to her, staring at the stranger who accompanied her.