“Recently I looked through the open door which leads from his Majesty’s work-room into the garden, and what did the Virgin permit me to behold?—Geronimo, who was alone with the Emperor, picked up a sheet of paper that had fluttered to the ground and handed it to him. Then the Emperor Charles suddenly raised his poor hands oh, how they are disfigured by the gout!—laid them on the boy’s temples, drew his head nearer, and kissed his brow and eyes! Charles V, the fugitive from the world, the man crushed by sorrow and disappointment, did that! This kiss—Don Luis believes it also—sealed the son’s acceptance into his father’s heart.”
Here Frau Traut let the sheet fall. Her voice had failed during the last sentences; now she exclaimed amid her tears, “The Emperor’s kiss!” and her husband, no less deeply stirred by emotion, cried, “The Emperor Charles—no one knows as well as I what that means—the Emperor Charles, whose heart compels him to kiss some one.”
Here Barbara rose with flushed cheeks, panting for breath.
She felt as if she must cry aloud to these good people: “What do you know about my lover’s kiss? I, I alone, not you, you poor, good man, could tell you. Insignificant and wretched as I may be, no woman on earth can boast of prouder memories, and now that he has also kissed his child and mine, everything is forgiven him.”
Silently, with hurrying breath, she stood before the agitated couple, who were waiting for some remark, some outburst of gratitude and delight; but there was only a quivering of the lips, and her blue eyes flashed with a fiery light.
What was the matter with her?
Frau Train turned anxiously to her husband to ask, in a whisper, whether joy had turned the poor young mother’s brain; but Barbara had already recovered her composure, and, passing her hand quickly across her brow, murmured softly, “It came over me too strongly.”
Then she thanked them with earnest warmth; yet when Frau Traut praised Dona Magdalena’s heavenly goodness, she nodded assent, it is true; but she soon took her leave—she felt paralyzed and dazzled.
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Before learning to obey,
he was permitted to command
Grief is grief, and this new sorrow does not change the old one
To the child death is only slumber
By Georg Ebers
On the way home Barbara often pressed her left hand with her right to assure herself that she was not dreaming.
This time she found her husband in the house. At the first glance Pyramus saw that something unusual had happened; but she gave him no time to question her, only glanced around to see if they were alone, and then cried, as if frantic: “I will bear it no longer. You must know it too. But it is a great secret.” Then she made him swear that he, too, would keep it strictly, and in great anxiety he obeyed.