“And I beg you to consider yourself one of them,” replied Peter. “We have two pleasant rooms looking out upon the court-yard; they shall be put in order for you, if you would like to occupy them.”
“With pleasure,” replied the Junker, and Peter, offering him his hand, said:
“The duties of my office call me away, but you can tell the ladies what you need, and when you mean to move in. The sooner, the better we shall be pleased. Shall we not, Maria?”
“You will be welcome, Junker Georg. Now I must look after the invalid we are nursing here. Barbara will ascertain your wishes.”
The young wife took her husband’s hand and left the room with him.
The widow was left alone with the young nobleman and tried to learn everything he desired. Then she followed her sister-in-law, and finding her in Henrica’s room, clapped her hands, exclaiming:
“That is a man! Fraulein, I assure you that, though I’m an old woman, I never met so fine a young fellow in all my life. So much heart, and so handsome too! ’To whom fortune gives once, it gives by bushels, and unto him that hath, shall be given!’ Those are precious words!”
Peter had promised Henrica, to request the council to give her permission to leave the city.
It was hard for her to part from the burgomaster’s household. Maria’s frank nature exerted a beneficial influence; it seemed as if her respect for her own sex increased in her society. The day before she had heard her sing. The young wife’s voice was like her character. Every note flawless and clear as a bell, and Henrica grieved that she should be forbidden to mingle her own voice with her hostess’s. She was very sorry to leave the children too. Yet she was obliged to go, on Anna’s account, for her father could not be persuaded by letters to do anything. Had she appealed to him in writing to forgive his rejected child, he would hardly have read the epistle to the end. Something might more easily be won from him through words, by taking advantage of a favorable moment. She must have speech with him, yet she dreaded the life in his castle, especially as she was forced to acknowledge, that she too was by no means necessary to her father. To secure the inheritance, he had sent her to a terrible existence with her aunt; while she lay dangerously ill, he had gone to a tournament, and the letter received from him the day before, contained nothing but the information that he was refused admittance to the city, and a summons for her to go to Junker de Heuter’s house at the Hague. Enclosed was a pass from Valdez, enjoining all King Philip’s soldiers to provide for her safety.
The burgomaster had intended to have her conveyed in a litter, accompanied by a flag of truce, as far as the Spanish lines, and the doctor no longer opposed her wish to travel. She hoped to leave that day.