The Adventures Harry Richmond — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 809 pages of information about The Adventures Harry Richmond — Complete.
he besought me to coincide in his excuses of a widely charming young archduchess, for whom no estimable husband of a fitting rank could anywhere be discovered, so she had to be bestowed upon an archducal imbecile; and hence—­and hence—­Oh, certainly!  Generous youth and benevolent age joined hands of exoneration over her.  The princess of Satteberg actually married, under covert, a colonel of Uhlans at the age of seventeen; the marriage was quashed, the colonel vanished, the princess became the scandalous Duchess of Ilm-Ilm, and was surprised one infamous night in the outer court of the castle by a soldier on guard, who dragged her into the guard-room and unveiled her there, and would have been summarily shot for his pains but for the locket on his breast, which proved him to be his sovereign’s son.—­A perfect romance, Mr. Chancellor.  We will say the soldier son loved a delicate young countess in attendance on the duchess.  The countess spies the locket, takes it to the duchess, is reprimanded, when behold! the locket opens, and Colonel von Bein appears as in his blooming youth, in Lancer uniform.—­Young sir, your piece of romance has exaggerated history to caricature.  Romances are the destruction of human interest.  The moment you begin to move the individuals, they are puppets.  ’Nothing but poetry, and I say it who do not read it’—­(Chancellor von Redwitz is the speaker)’nothing but poetry makes romances passable:  for poetry is the everlastingly and embracingly human.  Without it your fictions are flat foolishness, non-nourishing substance—­a species of brandy and gruel!—­diet for craving stomachs that can support nothing solider, and must have the weak stuff stiffened.  Talking of poetry, there was an independent hereditary princess of Leiterstein in love with a poet!—­a Leonora d’Este!—­This was no Tasso.  Nevertheless, she proposed to come to nuptials.  Good, you observe?  I confine myself to the relation of historical circumstances; in other words, facts; and of good or bad I know not.’

Chancellor von Redwitz smoothed the black silk stocking of his crossed leg, and set his bunch of seals and watch-key swinging.  He resumed, entirely to amuse me,

’The Princess Elizabeth of Leiterstein promised all the qualities which the most solicitous of paternal princes could desire as a guarantee for the judicious government of the territory to be bequeathed to her at his demise.  But, as there is no romance to be extracted from her story, I may as well tell you at once that she did not espouse the poet.’

’On the contrary, dear Mr. Chancellor, I am interested in the princess.  Proceed, and be as minute as you please.’

’It is but a commonplace excerpt of secret historical narrative buried among the archives of the Family, my good Mr. Richmond.  The Princess Elizabeth thoughtlessly pledged her hand to the young sonneteer.  Of course, she could not fulfil her engagement.’

‘Why not?’

‘You see, you are impatient for romance, young gentleman.’

Project Gutenberg
The Adventures Harry Richmond — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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