Outside the house Wolf returned to her memory a moment.
How faithfully he loved her!
Yet was it not difficult to understand how she could even think of the poor fellow at all while hastening to the illustrious sovereign whose heart was hers, and who had taught her with what impetuous power true love seizes upon the soul. Barbara threw her head back proudly, and, drawing a long breath, opened the door of the house. Outside she was received by Quijada with a silent bend of the head; but she remembered the far more profound bows with which he greeted the monarch, and, to show him of how lofty a nature was also the woman whom the Emperor Charles deemed worthy of his love, she walked with queenly dignity through the darkness at her aristocratic companion’s side without vouchsafing him a single glance.
Two hours later old Ursula was sitting sleepless in her bed in the second story of the cantor house. A slight noise was heard on the stairs, and the one-eyed maid-servant who was watching beside her exclaimed: “There it is again! just as it was striking two I said that the rats were coming up from the cellar into the house.”
“The rats,” repeated the old woman incredulously; and then, without moving her lips, thought: “Rats that shut the door behind them? My poor Wolf!”
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The blessing of those who are more than they seem
By Georg Ebers
“Poor Wolf!” old Ursel had exclaimed. But whoever had met the young knight the following morning, as he went up the stairs to the Blombergs’ rooms, would have deemed him, like Baron Malfalconnet, the happiest of mortals.
He had obeyed Dr. Hiltner’s summons, and remained a long time with him. Then he went home at a rapid pace, for he longed to tell Barbara how fair a prospect for their future was opening before him.
She had showed her liking for him plainly enough yesterday when they parted. What should prevent her from becoming his now that he could promise an ample income?
There was some one stirring in the private chapel as he passed, but he paid no heed; in former days many people from the neighbourhood prayed here frequently.
He found no one in the Blombergs’ home except the father.
Barbara would certainly return immediately, the old man said. She had gone down to the chapel a short time before. She was not in the habit of doing so at this hour, but the great favour shown her by the Emperor had probably gone to her head, and who could wonder?
Wolf also thought it natural that so great a success should excite her powerfully: but he, too, had a similar one to relate, and, with joyful emotion, he now told the old gentleman what the syndic had offered.