“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.
Lost in thought, she stationed herself in the baywindow and gazed out into the court-yard. Several windows in the building on the eastern side stood open. Trautchen must have risen early, for she came out of the rooms arranged for Georg’s occupation, followed by a young assistant carrying various scrubbing utensils. Next Jan appeared with a large arm-chair on his head. Bessie ran after the Frieselander, calling:
“Aunt Barbel’s grandfather’s chair; where will she take her afternoon nap?”
Henrica had heard the words, and thought first of good old “Babetta,” who could also feel tenderly, then of Maria and the man who was to lodge in the rooms opposite. Were there not some loose threads still remaining of the old tie, that had united the burgomaster’s wife to the handsome nobleman? A feeling of dread overpowered her. Poor Meister Peter, poor Maria!