The Burgomaster's Wife — Volume 02 eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 79 pages of information about The Burgomaster's Wife — Volume 02.
to the right and left.  Yet he always returned to his liege-lady, and when the sixth year came, the Chevreaux’s urged the marquis to put an end to his trifling and think of marriage.  My mistress began to make her preparations, and Susanna was a witness of her consultation with the marquis about whether she would keep or sell the Holland estates and castles.  But the wedding did not take place, for the marquis was obliged to go to Italy with the army and her excellenza lived in perpetual anxiety about him; at that time the French fared ill in my country, and he often left her whole months without news.  At last he returned and found in the Chevreaux’s house his betrothed wife’s little cousin, who had grown up into a charming young lady.

“You can imagine the rest.  The rose-bud Hortense now pleased the marquis far better than the Holland flower of five and twenty.  The Chevreaux’s were aristocratic but deeply in debt, and the suitor, while fighting in Italy, had inherited the whole of his uncle’s great estate, so they did not suffer him to sue in vain.  My mistress returned to Holland.  Her father challenged the marquis, but no blood was spilled in the duel, and Monsieur d’Avennes led a happy wedded life with Hortense de Chevreaux.  Her son was the signorina’s hapless lover.  Do you understand, Herr Wilhelm?  She had nursed and fostered the old grudge for half a life time; for its sake she had sacrificed her own kinswoman to Don Luis, but in return she repaid by the death of the only son of a hated mother, the sorrow she had suffered for years on her account.”

The musician had clenched the handkerchief, with which he had wiped the perspiration from his brow, closely in his hand, and asked: 

“What more have you heard of Anna?”

“Very little,” replied Belotti.  “Her father has torn her from his heart, and calls Henrica his only daughter.  Happiness abandons those who are burdened by a father’s curse, and she certainly did not find it.  Don Luis is said to have been degraded to the rank of ensign on account of some wild escapades, and who knows what has become of the poor, beautiful signorina.  The padrona sometimes sent money to her in Italy, by way of Florence, through Signor Lamperi—­but I have heard nothing of her during the last few months.”

“One more question, Belotti,” said Wilhelm, “how could Henrica’s father trust her to your mistress, after what had befallen his older daughter in her house?”

“Money—­miserable money!  To keep his castle and not lose his inheritance, he resigned his child.  Yes, sir, the signorina was bargained for, like a horse, and her father didn’t sell her cheap.  Drink some wine, sir, you look ill.”

“It is nothing serious,” said Wilhelm, “but the fresh air will probably do me good.  Thanks for your story, Belotti.”


Art ceases when ugliness begins
Debts, but all anxiety concerning them is left to the creditors
Despair and extravagant gayety ruled her nature by turns
Repos ailleurs
The best enjoyment in creating is had in anticipation
To whom the emotion of sorrow affords a mournful pleasure

Project Gutenberg
The Burgomaster's Wife — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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