“He turned away as he spoke, mounted with the aid of one of his knights, waved his hand graciously to Quijada and, while his horse was already moving, called to him, ’My brother, Don Juan, will be addressed as your Excellency.’
“He took no notice of Dona Magdalena, probably because she had appeared here either without or against his orders, and thus offended one of the forms of etiquette on which he placed so much value. So his Majesty neither saw nor heard how the son of an Emperor and the brother of a King rushed up to his foster-mother, threw himself into her outstretched arms, and exclaimed with warm affection, ‘Mother! my dear, dear mother!’”
Barbara had listened weeping to this description, but the last sentence dried her tears and, like Frau Traut a short time ago, her friend regretted that he had not exercised greater caution as he heard her, still sobbing, but with an angry shrug of the shoulders, repeat the exclamation which her son—ay, her son only—had poured forth from his overflowing heart to another woman.
So Wolf did not tell her what he had witnessed in Villagarcia, when Don Juan and Dona Magdalena had fallen into each other’s arms, and that when he asked about his real mother the lady answered that she was an unfortunate woman who must remain away from him, but for whom it would be his duty to provide generously.
Directly after, on the second day of October, Wolf added, the King had presented her son to the court as his Excellency, his brother Don John of Austria!
He, Wolf, had set off for Brussels with the grand prior that very day, and, as his ship sailed from Spain before any other, he had succeeded in being the first to bring this joyful news to the Netherlands and to her.
When Wolf left Barbara, it seemed as though what had hitherto appeared a bewildering, happy dream had now for the first time been confirmed. The lofty goal she had striven to reach, and of which she had never lost sight, was now gained; but a bitter drop of wormwood mingled with the happiness that filled her grateful heart to overflowing. Another woman had forced herself into her place and robbed her of the boy’s love, which belonged to her and, after his father’s death, to her alone.
Every thought of the much-praised Dona Magdalena stirred her blood. How cruel had been the anguish and fears which she had endured for this child she alone could know; but the other enjoyed every pleasure that the possession of so highly gifted a young creature could afford. She could say to herself that, of all sins, the one farthest from her nature was envy; but what she felt toward this stealer of love fatally resembled sharp, gnawing ill will.
Yet the bright sense of happiness which pervaded her whole being rendered it easy for her to thrust the image of the unloved woman far into the shade, and the next morning became a glorious festival for her; she used it to pay a visit to the Dubois couple, and when she told them what she had heard from Wolf, and saw Frau Traut sob aloud in her joy and Adrian wipe tears of grateful emotion from his aged eyes, her own happiness was doubled by the others’ sympathy.