The Project Gutenberg EBook of Two Royal Foes, by Eva Madden

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Title: Two Royal Foes

Author: Eva Madden

Illustrator: The Kinneys

Release Date: November 6, 2010 [EBook #34220]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Darleen Dove, D Alexander, Mary Meehan and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at





Copyright, 1907, by The McClure Company

Published, October, 1907



CHAPTER I. The Mighty Foe
CHAPTER II. The Angel of Prussia
CHAPTER IV. At the Forest House
CHAPTER V. The Journey
CHAPTER VI. The Downfall
CHAPTER VII. On the Road To Memel
CHAPTER VIII. Among Friends
CHAPTER IX. The Stork's Nest
CHAPTER X. Fresh Troubles
CHAPTER XI. The Mother of Her People
CHAPTER XIV. Princess Louisa
CHAPTER XV. The Marriage
CHAPTER XVI. What Happened To Hans
CHAPTER XIX. The Foes Meet
CHAPTER XX. The Answer
CHAPTER XXI. The Herr Lieutenant
CHAPTER XXII. Days of Darkness
CHAPTER XXIII. The Entrance into Berlin
CHAPTER XXIV. "my Queen, My Poor Queen!"
CHAPTER XXV. Afterwards
CHAPTER XXVII. The People's War
CHAPTER XXVIII. The Foe Conquered
CHAPTER XXX. The Foes at Rest



"My Dollie is Named Anna"

"Sire, with Magdeburg?"

"I Have Some News to Tell You"




One afternoon, a hundred and one years ago, old Hans took little Bettina to visit her godmother, Frau Schmidt, who lived in a red-roofed house not far from the old church of St. Michael's in Jena.

Bettina loved to go to Frau Schmidt's. First, there was Wilhelm, her godmother's son, who was so good to her, and cut her toys out of wood, and told her all kinds of fine stories. And then there were the soldiers. They were everywhere, standing in groups about the Market, marching in companies, or clattering on horses through the never quiet streets.

The way from Bettina's home to Jena led through a deep, still, green forest, and as she and her grandfather strolled along that October afternoon the little girl begged him for a story.

"Ja, ja, my Bettina," and the old man gave her a smile, "there is old Frederick Barbarossa."

Then, with a "Once upon a time," he told her how, in a cave in their own Thuringian Wood in the Kyffhäuser Mountain, an old emperor of Germany had slept for hundreds and hundreds of years, his head on his elbows, which rested on a great stone table in the middle of the cavern.

"And his beard, child, has grown down to the floor, and it is red as a flame, and his hair—it is red, too, quite blazing, child, they say—wraps about him like a veil. And before the cave and around it—you can see them yourself, little one, if you go there—are ravens, cawing and cawing and flying ever in circles."

"And when will the old Emperor wake up, dear grandfather?" Bettina had a sweet, high little voice which quivered with eagerness. The old man shook his head.

"No man knows, child," he answered, "but I have heard always that one day the ravens will flap their wings, caw aloud, and fly forever away from the mountain. And then," his blue eyes flashed, "the old Kaiser shall awake; he shall grasp his great sword in his hand and holding it fast shall come forth from his gloomy old cave to the sunlight."

"And then, dear grandfather, what then?"

"There shall great things be done, dear child." Again his eyes flashed. "Germany shall stretch herself like the old Redbeard. She, too, is asleep, and she shall take her sword in her hand and come forth, and we shall be one people, one great, great Fatherland." The old face grew dreamy, the voice, very slow.

"And will there always be fighting, dear grandfather?"

Hans shook his head.

"Nein, nein, the old Redbeard is to bring war which shall make peace."

Hans was silent for a moment and then, with a laugh, he lifted a very full, deep voice and sang an old German song of the same Kaiser Barbarossa, and when Bettina caught the tune, she sang, too, and the old forest rang with the music all the way to Jena.

When they entered the town the old man took Bettina almost to the church.

"Now, little one," he said, "run away to Tante Gretchen and tell her to keep you until I come after supper."

"Auf wiedersehen, dear grandfather," and off trotted the little girl and into her godmother's house with a "Good-day, dear Tante Gretchen!"

Wilhelm was at home, and he carved Bettina a little doll, and she enjoyed herself very much indeed, hearing all about the soldiers and all that they were doing in Jena, but she was only nine years old and tired with her walk, and so, when long after supper her grandfather opened the door, she was fast asleep in her chair, her tired little feet dangling.

Frau Schmidt greeted him crossly.

"Don't excuse yourself, Hans," she said. "You forgot the child, I know it. Perhaps you have been home and had to come back for her? Nein? Well, what was it then that kept you? You know, Hans, how anxious her mother will be, with the child out in the night time."

The old man hung his head. Certainly he had forgotten the child. He was always forgetting everything and everybody, and some day, as the women of his family were always telling him, he was certain to have a good lesson, a lesson, perhaps, which might teach him to remember.

"You are right, Gretchen," he said, "but, you see, my dear woman, when an old soldier of Frederick the Great meets again the Prussians, there is much news to hear, isn't there?" And he looked with smiling blue eyes into Frau Schmidt's kind, plump countenance.

"Well, well," she said, her frown vanishing, "but come now, it's a dreadful night and you must have a glass of beer before you start out into the darkness. Willy, uncork the bottle there."

Then she went to Bettina.

"Wake up, Liebchen," and she gave her a tiny shake.

"Is it Frederick Barbarossa?" And Bettina came forth from dreamland.

"Nein, nein, child, it's grandfather," and she wrapped the little girl in her shawl. "But wake up now. It is late, and time to go home to mother."

Then she turned to Hans, Bettina's little hand held fast in hers.

"Quick, friend, hurry," she said, "and be off now. The night is terrible and Annchen will be anxious, will she not?" And she nodded to Wilhelm to hold the light.

Draining his glass, Hans set it down on the table with a sigh of pleasure.

"Ja, ja," he said, as he drew closer his cloak.

"A moment," and Frau Schmidt stepped to the tall, green porcelain stove which served, before firetime, as her storehouse.

"Here," she said, and from one of its little recesses she brought forth a bundle done up with paper and string.

"Some sausages, please, for Anna," and she gave Hans the package, "and best greetings."

Then, in her quick, kind way, she hurried them to the door, bundling Bettina more closely as they went.

"Auf wiedersehen, good-night, good-night," and she held open the door. "The weather truly is dreadful. Here, Willy, here, my son, hold the candle higher. Ja, ja, that is better. Can you see, Hans? Good-night, Bettina. Best greetings to your dear mother, and good-night, good-night."

"Good-night, dear Tante, good-night, Willy," and Bettina stumbled sleepily off with her grandfather, Willy calling after her not to let the Erl King get her.

It was, indeed, a dreadful night. The candle which Wilhelm held high, standing long in the doorway, made but little impression on a fog which, wrapping the world in mystery, stung Bettina in the face, choked up her throat and gave her a queer feeling of having lost even the world itself.

She drew close to her grandfather and nestled against his side, her hand seeking his in the darkness.

"Ja, ja, little one," he said, "do not fear, child, grandfather knows every step of the way."

He might know the way, but he certainly did not know the puddles.


Bettina's little wooden shoe went deep into the water.


One foot was in a hole, a bush held fast her shawl.

It would be all right when they reached the forest and the path went straight between the fir trees, but here it was awful.

"Ach Himmel," groaned Hans, splashing and stumbling, "but your mother will scold, little one! But what could your poor grandfather do? I find it good that a man hear the war news and, talking with the soldiers, I forgot the hour."

"Never mind, dear grandfather," came the little voice out of the fog. "Mother will be in bed and we will slip in, oh, so lightly, just like a kitty, and she won't hear a sound."

Bettina took care of her grandfather like an old woman, her father always said, and so she tried to speak very bravely.

She might talk bravely; talking is easy enough even for little Bettinas; but to feel bravely is quite a different thing and, deep down in her heart, Bettina was frightened to coldness.

Willy had told her the story of the Erl King who gets children who are out on wild nights. He promises them toys and all sorts of playthings, and then when they listen he clasps them in his arms until they are frozen and dead. And this King has two daughters and they call out through the storm.

Would he get her, this Erl King?

Little Bettina shivered all over.

From over towards Jena she surely heard a tramp, and sometimes she seemed to see the waving of the Erl King's mantle in the fog.

But her grandfather kept on with his talking.

"Ja, ja," he said, "we'll beat them, we'll beat them. We'll give the French a lesson this time, our soldiers all promise it. And that Corsican—we'll teach him, too. Why not? We Prussians are three to the French one, and soldiers of Frederick the Great to boot. Ja wohl, little one, we'll have a famous victory!"

But Bettina was not listening.

While her grandfather had gone on with his talk, her little hand had grown cold in his clasp, her tongue had become dry, and her back felt as if water were running down it.

It was the Erl King that was coming, Ach Himmel! she knew it.

There were his two eyes, blazing like great stars through the fog.

Nearer they came, and nearer, and she heard the tramp of his steed, and, oh, if he called her, not even her grandfather could hold her, Willy had said so.

Brighter grew the eyes, and brighter.

"Grandfather," she tried to call, but her throat would not move. Nearer the Erl King came, and between the eyes she saw something great, and tall, and white, and dreadful. Nearer it came. Nearer! Nearer!

"Ach Himmel!" Her grandfather's voice broke the spell. "But who are coming?"

Then the two great eyes suddenly turned into torches, and one was held by the Postmaster of Jena, and the other by a French officer, and between them the lights showed a white horse, and on its back sat a man whose eyes seemed to pierce right through the fog and the darkness.

Bettina shrank against her grandfather. The one on the horse frightened her even as much as if he were the Erl King. Never had she seen such piercing eyes nor felt so terrified. He was small and stout, and he wore an overcoat of green with white facings. His hat was folded up front and back, and his mouth was as beautiful as the rest of his face was hard and terrifying. But even his beautiful lips seemed to say, "Keep out of my way, or I shall ride over you."

One firm, strong hand held the bridle of his horse, with the other he pointed, his whip held fast, through the fog towards the dim outline of the great old mountain of Dornburg.

When he spoke it was in French. Bettina could not understand him, but Hans, who, like most Germans of that day, spoke both languages, heard him say:

"Those Prussians have left the heights. They were afraid," then, with a laugh of scorn, he interrupted himself, "afraid of the night," he continued, "and have descended to sleep in the valley. They believe that we shall not take advantage of their slumber." Again he laughed, and so disagreeably that Bettina shivered; "but they are dreadfully mistaken, those old wigs!"

Laughter joined with his, and two horses appeared in his rear and the torches revealed their riders to be French Marshals in uniform.

But the Postmaster was silent, his face darkening.

As for Hans, he muttered under his breath to Bettina:

"Ach Himmel, but hear him. He calls the generals of Frederick the Great, 'old wigs.'"

"Grandfather," Bettina pulled at him to bend down and listen, "is it the Erl King? Will he get me?"

"The Erl King?" The old man was completely puzzled. "The one on the white horse, child, you mean? That, my Bettina, is the Emperor!"

The Emperor! Oh, Heavens! Then, indeed, did Bettina wish that she was home with her mother. Better the Erl King, better the old witch who got Hans and Gretel, better any number of cruel step-mothers: better all the witches, giants and ogres than the dreadful monster everyone called "The Emperor!"

Only that afternoon had her godmother told Willy that he lived but for blood, and that Death followed every step of that white horse.

"It would be well for the world if God took him," she had added, and now this dreadful monster was pointing his whip at her, little Bettina Weyland, and asking the Postmaster who were these people in his path.

When he had an answer he motioned them to pass quickly. Then, dismounting, he and his generals proceeded up the hill of Jena.

As Hans and Bettina went on their way his voice followed after, and it was not pleasant things it said, for it stormed at Marshal Lannes because his artillery had stuck fast in a gorge. And then Hans heard something about the Prussians and good-morning.

As for Hans he was hot with fury.

"'Old wigs,'" he kept muttering, "'Old wigs,' indeed! Did you hear him, the villain, Bettina, call our generals 'old wigs'?"

But Bettina had herself, and not the generals of Prussia, to think of.

"Grandfather," she cried, "grandfather, will the Emperor get us?"

Her grandfather laughed almost merrily,

"Nein, nein, little one," he said. "In a day or two the soldiers of Frederick the Great will set that white horse scampering back to Paris. Nein, nein, my little Bettina, there is nothing to fear. But come, here is our path in the forest. We are safe now, and out of the puddles."

Their home lay on the edge of the deep, green wood, a little red-roofed forest house with a paved courtyard, with a barn for the cows, and a garden in front. It was a lovely spot, but a very lonely one, but they must live there because Bettina's father, Kaspar Weyland, was an under forester. But just then he was in the army and Frau Weyland was alone with the children.

Her voice reached them almost as soon as they came out of the deep forest.

"Father, is that you?" she called. "Father!"

"Ja, ja, dear daughter. Open the door and hear the news."

"God be thanked you have come." And she appeared in the doorway, holding in one hand a light, and drawing a shawl about her bed-gown with the other.

"Oh, father, father, how could you?"

She was young and looked like a grown-up Bettina with golden hair showing under the edges of her nightcap. She shut the door hastily as they entered.

"Annchen, Annchen," the old man made no excuses, "we have just seen the Emperor in the fields near Jena."

"The Emperor!" Frau Weyland set down her light. Her father nodding, she cried out, wringing her hands:

"Ach Gott! Ach Gott! Then, father, we shall have a battle."

The old man shrugged his broad shoulders.

"It may be, daughter," he bent down and kissed her, "but who can tell? The Prussians, to-day, said not."

Then, sitting in a wooden chair by the table, she, standing and listening, Bettina's hand in hers, he told all he had heard at Jena and described their adventures, weary little Bettina sleepily listening. And he told how the Prussian soldiers had gone early to bed because of the damp and the fog, and of how they had no cloaks, and how, the bread giving out, they had been on half rations for some days.

"But their spirits are brave, daughter," he added, "and you never heard such boasting. They are certain of victory; certain, Anna. Prince Hohenlohe was with them this afternoon, and he laughed like a boy when a soldier declared that he would catch one Frenchman, another two, a third, four, and so on. You never heard such boasting."

Frau Weyland shook her head, her nightcap bobbing.

"Boasting, father, never won a prize yet. It is doing that counts, and the Emperor was out in such weather, studying the field, and the Prussians sleeping. Ach, I do not find that promising."

Then suddenly she ran to her father, she clung to him like a child, her blue eyes gazing up into his like Bettina's.

"Ah, father," her lips quivered, "if there should be a battle and my Kaspar——"

The old man wrapped her in his strong arms. She was his only child and the best of daughters.

"There will be a battle, dear Anna," he said quite solemnly; "it is war, now, and there must be. But why should harm come to Kaspar? Look at me——"

His eyes began to kindle, and his daughter, who knew what was coming, loosened his arms and rose.

"Why, in the battle of——"

"Ja, ja, father," Frau Weyland interrupted with a half smile. When her father began on his battles time might go its way unheeded. "I know, you have told me. But come now, we have forgotten our little Bettina. She must at once go to bed. It is late enough, goodness knows."

Then she unpinned Bettina's shawl and shook out the damp.

"Good-night, dear father," she kissed the old man tenderly, "sleep well, and I'll call you in time in the morning. Oh, the sausage is from Gretchen? Many thanks and good-night. Come, come, Bettina," and she started towards her own room.

Her father proceeded in the opposite direction. On the threshold of a second door he paused.

"Annchen," he called, for his daughter had departed.

"Ja, father," she came back to her door holding Bettina by the hand.

"He called our generals 'old wigs,' 'old wigs,' did you understand, daughter? The generals of the Great Frederick's army, and he, an upstart villain of a Corsican. Old wigs, indeed! Let him wait, the monster, we'll show him, we'll show him."

With a last good-night the old soldier of Frederick the Great departed to snore away under his feather bed quite the same as if nothing had happened.



Next morning Frau Weyland called Bettina early.

"Good-morning, dear child," she said, kissing her round little cheek. "Grandfather must go far into the forest. Would you like to go with him? You may have a little basket like a wood gatherer and bring mother back some faggots."

Bettina was glad, indeed, to get up. She had had a dreadful time. All night long it had seemed to her that the awful Emperor was always trying to catch her, and then she would wake with a start. Sometimes he had a long, red beard, sometimes he was draped in grey mist and wore a golden crown; and always he was riding the white horse.

Her mother looked at her kindly.

"If you are tired, dear," she began, but Bettina was eager to go.

"Nein, nein, dear mother," she cried, "I love to go with grandfather."

So she hurried on her clothes and drank her milk and ate her bread and said "Auf wiedersehen" to her mother. Then she started off with her grandfather. Frau Weyland stood in the door and watched them, waving her hand and smiling.

She was very pretty. When she was sixteen, and only just betrothed to Kaspar Weyland, people said she was like the "Lorelei," the maiden who sits on a rock in the Rhine and sings songs to enchant the boatmen, all the time combing her golden hair and gazing in a jewelled mirror.

And she was so good to old Hans, and never cross with Bettina, and always the meals were hot and ready, and the house clean and quiet. About the doorway grew a vine and October had brought the frost and turned it crimson. It fell all about her like a frame as she stood there, so gentle and smiling. It was foggy still, but there was a light in the sky before which the mist must soon vanish. When they reached the gate Hans turned for a last "Auf wiedersehen" to his Annchen.

"Till we meet again" it means, and little did old

Hans think as he waved his hand to his daughter that never in all the world was he ever to hear his golden-haired Anna again. How could he? What could happen? She was never so well in all her life, and he and Bettina would return to dinner. So gaily he and the little girl entered the forest and presently, through the fog, they saw a great red ball of a sun which grew brighter and brighter.

As for Frau Weyland, she returned to her work. There was much to do with two children to wash and dress, a house to clean, chickens to feed, cream cheese to make, and dinner to prepare for the family.

The daylight showed Hans to be tall and strong with broad shoulders and the walk of a soldier. His grey hair was drawn back and tied in a queue, and on one ruddy cheek was a scar from a sabre cut. Hans was very proud of this, because he had won it in one of the battles of the Great Frederick. His eyes were like his daughter's and like Bettina's, very blue, and very big, and gleaming with gentleness. But in Hans' eyes there was something different. At once were they merry and full of dreams as if he could joke and yet be, also, very melancholy.

As for Bettina, she was a little fairy of a girl who tripped along and seemed barely to touch the ground. Her hair was golden and hung in two tight little braids to her waist. Her dress was of red and made very high under her arms and clinging about her little ankles. Her head was quite bare, and a deep little wicker basket was strapped on her back in which to bring home some pine cones or scrub oak leaves for the goat.

"I'm a wood gatherer, grandfather," she pretended, and tripped along behind him.

She loved her grandfather. He told such nice stories and never was cross like her grandfather Weyland, who always said children should be seen, not heard, and in an entirely different tone from the pleasant one he used with grown people.

"I love the forest, grandfather." Bettina's eyes sparkled.

"Ja, ja, little one," said Hans, "it is German to love all Nature, and, truly, our forest is beautiful."

Bettina nodded and gazed about at the tall giant-like pines and her little nose drew in the deep fragrance of the firs. She was glad that she did not live in Jena, but deep in this lovely Thuringian wood, where the trunks of the trees looked like armies of soldiers. There were lovely things in the forest.

In its thick, pine-needle carpet grew lovely toadstools, red and yellow and brown, and sometimes all queerly shaped and striped and just like umbrellas and parasols. And the moss was thick and grew like a velvet carpet and raised up the dearest little red cups, and the ferns waved like feathers, and, in spring, there were the lilies of the valley which rang tiny white bells for the fairies to come and dance round the gay little toadstools. And, later, there were the Canterbury bells, so lovely and purple. And, in and out the trees, ran great, bushy-tailed red squirrels who peeped at her with eyes bright and sparkling, and sometimes she saw little companies of deer and tiny fawns with their mothers, and their eyes were like "Little Brother" in the fairy tale, for it was in these very forests that some of the witches once lived, and the fairies in "Grimm," and many of the people of the German stories.

Bettina knew that the fairies slept on the moss and danced under the toadstools, only it was strange that she never had seen them, nor had her mother, nor her father, nor her grandfather, nor Willy.

But they were there. All the stories said so.

"Do you think, grandfather," she asked, "that 'Little Brother' really was turned into a fawn?"

"Who can tell, Kindlein?" answered old Hans, but his mind was on other things than Bettina and her fairy tales.

"Hard times! hard times!" he muttered. "Always war somewhere, and what then for poor people? Work! Work! Work!"

Bettina was too small to understand, but, certainly, affairs were gloomy.

The King of Prussia had declared war upon the Emperor of the French; the Duke of Weimar, ruler of the forest they were walking through and friend of the great poet, Goethe, had joined the king as his ally. And now soldiers were round about and everywhere.

Soldiers were nothing new to Bettina. She had seen them all her life. But the Emperor of the French! That was another thing, and an awful one. She shuddered as her grandfather muttered his name.

He was a dreadful man. Her mother always said so. At the mention of his name every child in Germany behaved itself. And to think that she, Bettina Weyland, had seen this monster on the white horse everybody talked so about.

Remembering the night before, Bettina trembled. Then, too, it seemed to her that she kept hearing a queer sound of roaring—not loud, but far away towards Jena, a rumble which frightened her.

But old Hans seemed to hear nothing. His mind, as old minds will, had travelled into the past and he had forgotten the Thuringian Wood, the bright-eyed red squirrels, the deer, and even little Bettina chatting so innocently as she trotted along behind him.

In his day the world had changed greatly, old things were passing away and no one knew what was coming.

In America, the Colonies under Washington had won their independence and founded a Republic. In France, there had been a dreadful Revolution, and Louis the Sixteenth and Marie Antoinette had been guillotined. A Corsican soldier first had become France's first consul, and now he was the Emperor Bettina so dreaded. The Holy Roman Empire, whose Emperor had lived in Vienna and ruled Germany, was no more, and France's Emperor, Napoleon, had brought war all over the world. Europe had been fighting during Hans' whole lifetime, and all the small countries had belonged so to first one big one and then another, that it was hard sometimes to exactly know who was one's ruler.

"And now," said Hans aloud, "the French have come into Thuringia, and our troubles begin."

How dreadful these troubles were to be the old man had not even an idea. Little did he think as he walked along with Bettina that before twenty-four hours should have passed, a nation should fall, his own home be no more, and Thuringia blood-stained and overrun with soldiers.

What he did know was that the King of Prussia and the Duke of Brunswick were at Auerstädt, Prince Hohenlohe at Jena, and Napoleon, with the French, in the same neighbourhood.

"But there will be no battle; nonsense," the Prussians had all told him in Jena. "And if there should be, who, tell us, would be victors but the soldiers of Frederick the Great? Was not his army invincible?"

"What matter?" they had answered when someone had ventured to refer to Napoleon and his victories. "He must yield to us Prussians. Why not? The moment that he heard that we were at Jena did he not leave Weimar in haste and retreat to Gera?"

In security they had gone to rest, and while they slept, Napoleon had been planning a surprise for them.

While old Hans was thinking, he suddenly found out what the Emperor had meant by his good-morning.

"Grandfather, oh, grandfather!" in sudden fright called out little Bettina, "Oh, grandfather, what is it?"

Hans' neck had stretched itself forward, his ears were listening, his whole body on a strain, for a roar, deep and full and awful, seemed suddenly to roll through the quiet of the silent, green forest.


The old man turned his face as excited as a boy's.

"Himmel, child, Himmel!" he cried. "The Emperor is saying good-morning. It is cannon you hear. The battle has begun at Jena!"

"Come, come," he continued, "I will not go any farther. Let the trees take care of themselves for this morning. Come, come! What has an old soldier of Frederick the Great to do with fir trees when the cannon are sounding for battle?" And he started quickly in an opposite direction. Bettina had to run so to keep up with him that her breath came in little pants and her heart beat violently. But the roar was so awful she was glad to be running to get away from it.

If that was the voice of Napoleon saying good-morning, no wonder people were afraid of him.

"Grandfather," she panted, "dear grandfather, will the Emperor get my father?"

Hans' glowing face became suddenly sober. He had forgotten his son-in-law, as he forgot everything. He paused in the narrow forest path and raised his old blue eyes to Heaven.

"Let us pray to the good God, my Bettina. He alone can save him in the battle."

For a moment he stood silent, his face gazing upward to the sky which showed now between the fir trees. When he had ended his prayer he went on more slowly and as they walked he told Bettina why the French and the Prussians were fighting. For eight years, he said, the King of Prussia had kept out of all the fighting in Europe, although both Russia and Austria had entreated him to help them. But he declared that his country was too poor, he loved peace, and his people needed quiet.

"And wasn't that right, grandfather?" asked Bettina, who had been told that fighting was wicked.

"Perhaps, dear child, perhaps," the old soldier answered, "but it's a good thing to help our neighbours when they need us. But the King of Prussia is good and saving, too, not at all like the old King who spent so much, and whose ministers brought Prussia to all this trouble."

Then he explained how Napoleon would not let the King of Prussia alone, how he had irritated him with taunts, how he had provoked him with outrages, breaking a solemn promise about the Kingdom of Hanover, quartering ten thousand soldiers on German soil, forming all the South German States into a Confederation of the Rhine to depend upon him, and not upon the Emperor of Austria, or the King of Prussia, and last, and worst of all, defying the laws of nations, he had marched French soldiers across neutral Prussia.

"The King of Prussia is a good man, my Bettina, a very good man," old Hans nodded. "He has saved much money for Prussia, but no man can stand everything, and so now we have war."

Bettina tried to listen, but all she could think of was the dreadful Emperor on his white horse. She could see him again in his green overcoat with its white facings, and feel the gleam of his eyes from beneath his queer hat, and now he was firing cannon on her father. She could not keep back her tears at the thought, and they rolled down her cheeks and splashed to her red dress.

"Will he get us, grandfather, will he get us?" she cried.

"Nein, nein, little one," Hans answered. "That white horse will kick up its heels and start back to Paris, perhaps this evening."

"God be praised!" said little Bettina in the way all the Germans say it. Then, suddenly, she pointed before her.

In an opening in the forest where grew beeches, not evergreens, stood a group of wood gatherers by a rippling stream which babbled through the rocks, ferns dipping down their fronds from its banks to its water. They were all women in short coloured skirts and loose jackets, deep wicker baskets full of faggots strapped on their shoulders, their heads bare and bowed a little because of the sticks, and their faces all frightened and wild looking.

"Herr Lange! Herr Lange!" they called when they saw Hans and little Bettina, "what is it? What is all that roaring?"

"Cannon," said Hans shortly. "The battle, women, has begun at Jena."

Then came a noise of talk and tears and outcrying such as never is heard out of Germany. Louisa had a husband with the Duke; Emma, a son; Grete, a lover; Magdalena, a father.

"Ach Gott! Ach Gott! Ach Gott!" sobbed a woman with sad dark eyes and great shaggy white eyebrows. "The Poles killed my man," she wailed, "the French, my sons; and now——"

"Her grandsons are with the Duke," explained a pink-cheeked woman the rest called Minna.

"Come, come, women," Hans glanced kindly from one weeping face to the other, "who says that your husbands and sons will be killed? They may come home victorious; why not? The Prussians are three to the French one. They are the soldiers of Frederick the Great, and is not your own brave Duke helping them? Come, come, dry your tears. The thing, now, is to get out of this forest. Who knows when the French will begin running and the roads be full of soldiers?"

He started forward with Bettina, and the wood-gatherers in single file left the golden beechwood and, a line of bright colour, moved after him through the deep, green forest, swallowing their tears and struggling against their sobbing. On they went, the cannon roaring and thundering, and, presently, they came out on a highway winding like a white ribbon through the forest's greenness.

They were but out of the path when a quick, noisy sound of hoofs on the road made them start and stop suddenly.

"Soldiers!" cried Hans, and the whole party scattered to the edge of the forest.

They were Prussians, and cavalry, and they acted as escort to a light, closed travelling carriage.

A dash, a rise of wet dust,—it had rained the day before,—hitting them in their faces, and the cavalcade passed, the roar of the cannon following like a pursuer.

"We'll keep to the woods," and Hans changed their direction.

Plunging again into the greenwood, they walked with the firs and pines for company until the path brought them out on the highway opposite an inn before which were the same Prussian soldiers, standing about dismounted from their horses.

The carriage was empty.

Plainly some accident had happened, for a smith was busy at work on its wheel. Herr Leo, the Head Forester, was asking questions, and Hans, leading Bettina, pressed forward for the news, the wood gatherers listening timidly on the edge of the crowd.

The battle had begun before daybreak. The French guns had said an early good-morning to the Prussians. The King was at Auerstädt.

"And where is the Emperor?" The forester leaned on his gun, one hand on his hip.

"At Jena, naturally," said a great, red-faced Prussian, who was standing with his arm round the neck of his horse.

"The devil take him!" Herr Leo's nostrils swelled with anger.

"Ja wohl," cried the whole party, which is the German way of agreeing.

"I saw the Emperor last night, Herr Forester."

Every eye turned on Hans.

Then he told his story, and the brows of the soldiers grew gloomy.

"He, the Devil, was awake," said one who leaned idly against the doorpost, "and we were all sleeping." He shrugged his shoulders and began biting his nails as if in irritation.

"The Prussian generals are old," said the forester. He was a pompous-looking man, and announced everything with an air of being a herald.

"He called them 'old wigs.'" Hans' face flushed. "The generals of Frederick the Great's army 'old wigs'!"

At that the soldiers uttered words which made the women shudder.

The forester asked news of the fight at Saalfield. He had heard that there had been a skirmish, he said.

"Ach Gott," cried the soldiers, "have you not heard?"

Then the listening ears were shocked with the news of the defeat and death of Prince Louis Ferdinand, he who was the darling of the army, the Alcibiades of Prussia, one of the bravest princes who ever took up arms against an enemy.

One thousand Saxons under this Prince had been surrounded in a narrow valley by thirty thousand of the enemy. The Saxons had fought bravely, but in vain. The horse of Prince Louis Ferdinand, leaping a ditch, became entangled in a high hedge and was spied by a French hussar.

"Surrender, or you are a dead man!" he cried, and, for answer, Prince Louis Ferdinand cut at him with a sabre.

The Frenchman retorted with a sword thrust and made an end of the most gallant Prince in Germany.

Bettina, listening, and not always entirely understanding, grew cold with horror. She could see the flashing of the swords, and, oh, her father, her dear father was at Jena, and while the talk went on the cannon roared louder and louder.

"The enemy captured thirty guns," said a red-faced soldier gloomily.

"There were bad omens before the war," announced the forester pompously. His wife, he told them, had been in Berlin and had seen the statue of Bellona, goddess of war, fall from the roof of the Arsenal on the very day when the King reviewed his army.

"And when they had picked her up," continued the forester, "her right arm was entirely shattered!"

He had another thing to tell.

Old Field Marshal von Müllendorf, being lifted on the left side of his charger, had straightway fallen down on the right.

At this the red-faced soldier looked impatient.

It was certainly stupid in that big-nosed forester to be telling such things to the soldiers.

"The Queen has been in camp with us," he announced to change the subject.

Then Bettina pricked up her ears.

Oh, if only they would tell more of the Queen of Prussia! Who in Europe did not know of her beauty, her goodness, her love for her people? To Bettina she was like a fairy princess, for her grandfather had told her, over and over again, of how he had seen her ride into Berlin in a splendid gold coach to marry the Crown Prince.

But the soldiers had their thoughts just then on war and they were soon talking again of the Emperor.

"The Devil," announced the forester, "is the only being who can conquer the Emperor."

"Or the English," said Hans quietly; "remember Nelson and his victory of Trafalgar."

At this there was an outcry, the whole group protesting and talking.

"Hold your tongue, old fool!" cried a fat, rude Prussian.

"Ja, ja!" all the others approved him.

"Are not the soldiers of Frederick the Great as brave as the sailors of Nelson? Did not the Great Frederick himself say that the world was not so well poised on the shoulders of Atlas as the Prussian monarchy on the bayonets of the Prussian army?"

"Ja wohl," cried the company.

Then, suddenly, little Bettina's childish voice made the whole party pause and listen. She spoke as fearlessly as if alone with Hans.

"Grandfather," she said, "grandfather, do the soldiers know of Frederick Barbarossa? Tell them, dear grandfather," her little face glowed with excitement, "tell them the ravens will wake him and he will come with the sword and kill the wicked Emperor," and she gazed from one face to the other, her eyes bright and eager.

A great laugh answered her, but one soldier, a kind-looking young man with blue eyes, patted her head and said:

"Brava, little one, brava! If the ravens won't caw enough, we'll wake the old Redbeard with our cannon. Never fear, we'll wake him."

He smiled at Bettina as if he knew how little girls feel, for perhaps he had a little sister at home who also loved stories.

Then, before the talk could begin again, out came an officer, and the soldiers at his command mounted their horses. While the talk had gone on, the smith had mended the wheel and now stood in his leather apron as if waiting for something to happen.

The Herr Ober-Forester stepped to one side and, with a wave of his important hand, motioned the wood gatherers to move farther from the carriage.

The door of the inn was then thrown open by the Herr Landlord, bowing almost to the ground as he did it. Four grand ladies and a gentleman then approached the carriage. Nobody troubled much to look at two of the ladies, though they were young and very noble in appearance.

The third was so dignified that everybody stood up a little straighter. Yet her face was as kind-looking as it was handsome. She was not young. Years had turned her hair quite snow-white, and yet her eyes were as bright and sparkling as a girl's, and she greeted them pleasantly.

But it was at the fourth lady everyone gazed and gazed almost as if enchanted. Never in all her life was little Bettina to see anyone half so lovely. She was exactly like the Princesses in the Fairy Tales, tall and slender, and the most graceful person in the whole world. Her hair was quite golden and waved in the loveliest way from a parting in the middle. Her complexion was pink and white and made you think of snowdrops. Her features were quite perfect and her smile altogether enchanting.

And her eyes!

"Never," the people of Berlin had said years before, "never have we seen such eyes, never."

They were blue, and deep in colour, and they seemed to speak right to the heart and say things no one can write of. They were wonderful eyes, the most wonderful then in Europe, and that is all there is about it.

Though she looked worried and anxious, the moment she saw other faces than those of the soldiers, she smiled first at one, then at the other.

About her lovely throat was a light tissue scarf, and a breeze, seizing it, blew its end sharply into the very face of the dignified, bright-eyed old lady.

"Pardon me, oh, pardon me, dear Voss," called out a voice so sweet that Bettina and the wood gatherers thought they had never heard anything like it. It thrilled them like gentle music. Then she swept away the scarf and patted the old lady's shoulder.

Her foot was on the carriage step, when, for the first time, she saw little Bettina. Her lovely face suddenly lighted with a smile like a mother's.

"Voss, Voss," she said, "see that dear child. Do look at her."

Then she stepped from the carriage and turned to Bettina.

"God bless you, little one," she began, but a roar of cannon, loud and thundering, came like a voice warning her to hasten. With a wave of her hand she entered the carriage. From its window, when all were ready, she thrust forth her lovely head.

"God bless you all, good people!" called her voice of sweetness. Her face now looked sad and very anxious. "Pray for me, dear people, pray for my King and your good Duke who is helping him, pray the dear God that He will give us the victory."

Then she drew in her head; bang went the door; the officer gave an order; the postilions sounded; and away dashed the carriage, the splashing mud and the roar of cannon behind it.

The women crowded around Hans.

His face was radiant.

"Who was it?" he cried. Then he spoke with great triumph. "Who better than Hans Lange can tell you? I saw her ride into Berlin in a golden coach to marry her husband. Women," his voice quivered, "the lady with the golden hair and the blue eyes is the 'Angel of Prussia.' Yesterday, in Jena, I heard how the Emperor of the French hates her and has vowed, if he can, to capture her. It is from him, doubtless, that she is flying."

The old lady, he told the excited wood gatherers, was the Countess Marie Sophie von Voss, Mistress of Ceremonies in the Prussian Court, and like a mother to Her Majesty.

"Oh, grandfather, oh, grandfather!" Bettina, in spite of the Emperor, in spite of her father and the cannon, for the moment was again quite happy. She had seen the Queen of Prussia, the most beautiful lady in all Europe, and she had said, "God bless you."

But her grandfather, listening to the cannon, turned to the wood gatherers who were standing and discussing the Queen.

"Go home, women," he said in a tone of command, "go home at once and see that your children are in safety. We may win." He threw out his hands. "We may not." He shrugged his shoulders. "Either way, you are better off the highroad."

Then he turned to the pink-cheeked young woman.

"Minna," he said, "take Bettina, here, home to Frau Weyland. Ja, ja, go, child; mother will be anxious. Go, now, and you can tell her how the Queen spoke to you. And, Minna, tell Frau Weyland to go at once to her father-in-law's with the children. She can lock the house, tell her, and leave the dogs unchained. Herr Weyland can go up, or send Fritz, for the night. I am going, myself, now, to Jena. Tell her, Bettina, to go at once. No one knows when the soldiers will be everywhere."

"Ja wohl," and Minna took the hand of Bettina.

Her grandfather turned towards the roar of the cannon.

"Auf wiedersehen," he said, and off he marched like a soldier.

As for Bettina, she trotted along with the wood gatherers, her fright all gone.

Now that she had seen the lovely Queen and knew that the Emperor had vowed to capture her, she could almost see the old Kaiser Barbarossa rising from his sleep. His sword was flashing, his eyes were like fire, and she knew that he would kill the monster, Napoleon, and save the lovely Louisa.

"Do you think," asked Minna, suddenly, "that the Queen will escape?"

The women looked gloomy and shrugged their shoulders.

"The Emperor does what he wills," said black-eyed Emma.

"Ja wohl," agreed Magdalena. Then she shook her head wisely. "I say this, women, poor as we are to-day, it is better to be wood gatherers of Thuringia than the Queen of Prussia."

"Ja wohl," they all said, "much better."



When old Hans left Bettina and the women he followed the highway until he came to a path leading to a red-roofed farm house belonging to his cousin.

Seeing Herr Schmelze standing in the doorway, the old man went in.

"Good-day," called the cousin. "Himmel, Hans, but the firing is awful!"

Certainly the roar, always steady and loud, seemed to increase to a noise like thunder. Towards Jena they saw a cloud of blue smoke rising always thicker and higher. The air, usually so fresh with the breath of the pines, choked their throats with its taste of powder. The din was awful, shrieks, shots, and the cannon roar uniting. Before Hans could even answer, the flying feet of the first fugitives were heard on the road, men and frightened women, furniture on their backs, children in their arms, hands holding what they could; on they came as if fiends were at their heels, a great horror pursuing them.

The cousin's wife, seeing Hans, came out to greet him. Her fingers were held fast to her ears and she kept crying on God to help them.

"Be quiet, Lotte," commanded her husband, "and bring Hans some breakfast."

She ran back into the house, and Herr Schmelze led the way to a rustic table beneath an elm.

"It is cold," said he, shivering at the dampness, "but out here it is better, is it not? We can see all that is happening."

Frau Schmelze returned with black bread, sausage, hard-boiled eggs, and beer.

Arranging them on the table, she bowed her head most piously.

"Bless the mealtime," she said, jumping an "Amen" as the cannon thundered a sudden volley.

"Mealtime," answered the men, German fashion, and fell to eating.

"Eat while you can, friends," and Frau Schmelze smoothed her clean black apron over her short skirt of blue. "The soldiers will soon get everything."

Germans seem always able to eat, so, though the cannon roared and the fugitives passed by dozens in the road, Hans and the cousin partook of the meal in large mouthfuls, exchanging news as they drank their beer.

"I came from Weimar to-day," said Herr Schmelze, in his slow, deliberate way. "The Queen of Prussia has been with our Duchess, but this morning she left."

"I saw her on the road," said Hans, and told of the adventure at the inn. "And I saw Napoleon," he added, and while he related again the story, the roaring grew fiercer and fiercer. Suddenly Frau Schmelze ran from the house.

"Ach Gott! Ach Gott! Ach Gott!" she screamed. "Conrad, Hans, look! look!"

And she pointed to the highroad.

Flying, galloping, running as if demons were at their heels, they saw soldiers on foot, soldiers on horseback, hussars, dragoons, heard pistols exploding, saw swords flashing, heard voices screaming madly. It was horrible.

A quick shot sounded. A soldier fell like a stone at the gate.

Hans and Conrad reached him as if by magic.

"Dead," said the cousin, as they drew the body to the grass. "And a Prussian."

There was a stream of blood in the road, men were falling, riding over each other, dropping to death everywhere. On they came, faster and more furious.

"Save us! Save us from Napoleon!"

Hans flung open the gate, and in rushed two wild-eyed women caught in their flight by the hussars, who seeing them out of their way, rushed on after higher game.

"Vive l'Empereur! Vive l'Empereur!" The cry rose even above the cannon roar. Hans and Conrad looked each other in the eyes.

"The Prussians, cousin," began Hans.

"Were first," said Herr Schmelze.

The shoulders of the brave old soldier of Frederick the Great drooped with shame, the fat old farmer coloured.

It was the first time Hans had seen a Prussian soldier turn his back on an enemy, and a tear stole down his cheek.

"Come," said Herr Schmelze, "let us go to the height and look down on the battle. Ulrich," he called to his son, as he passed the house, "stay here and take care of your mother."

Then he led the way to a spot from where they could see the battle. The sight was one never to be forgotten, and as the hours passed the hearts of the two Germans grew sick within them. They saw the Duke of Brunswick borne from the field of dead and wounded, and then began a panic worse than all else we can read of in history. Over the field flew the Prussians, whole companies taking flight as if children. Horses, freed from their riders, dashed where they would, galloping over the dead, crushing with their hoofs the dying; swords flashed against sabres; men fled as if mad; gunners deserted cannon; and still, through all the havoc and confusion, steadily, unswervingly, the cannon of Napoleon roared on. Towards late afternoon the Prussians were turning their backs in all directions, crossing each other's paths, blockading, hampering, as they struggled to escape to Erfurt, to Kolleda, to Sommerda.

The sun dropped in the west, and, as the afterglow rose like a mist of gold, the light fell on a field of such horror as blood-stained old Europe rarely has seen. The cries of the wounded, the dying, the pursued, and the victorious rent the air, and the Prussians who remained were in a confusion most awful. Only the soldiers of the Duke of Weimar fought with steadiness, and, presently, they began to retreat in order towards Erfurt.

The glorious army of Frederick the Great had disappeared like a bubble. Napoleon had but touched it with his finger of might and its many-coloured glory had vanished into nothing.

For hours, old Hans and his cousin watched the fight, and lower and lower sank the head of the old man. That he, a soldier of Frederick the Great, should see the downfall of the army!

"Ach Gott! Ach Gott! Ach Gott!" he said to the cousin.

But Herr Schmelze caught his arm, his face suddenly glowing with excitement.

"Look, cousin, look!" he cried and with a fat hand he pointed towards the field. "Look, I say, look, Hans! What courage! That Prussian is only a boy, and there are four, no, five, six, seven Frenchmen in pursuit. See him run! Bravo! Ach Himmel! Hans, at last, some courage!"

What Hans saw was a Prussian, slender, alert, quite boy-like in figure, fly before pursuing Frenchmen. To save himself he darted sideways, then rushed between two wagons close together and deserted by the Prussians.

Sheltered, he fired.

A Frenchman dropped.

He dodged the answer and fired again.

"Vive l'Empereur!" called the hussars, responding, but the boy, turning suddenly, leaped the wagon to the left; then, as the Frenchmen started to follow, he turned on his heel, dived behind the rear of his barricade and, turning, fled, gaining time as he ran.

"Bravo! Bravo!" called the cousin, and Hans brightened at even this slight show of Prussian courage. With shots pursuing, unharmed, the boy fled on, the French behind, until dusk wrapped in its dimness both pursued and pursuers.

Hans and Herr Schmelze strained their eyes to see the end of the unequal combat, but the battlefield and flying soldiers faded alike in the gloom.

"I must go home," said Herr Schmelze, suddenly remembering his Lotte, "and you, Hans?"

"I'm off to Jena."

The cousin eyed him curiously.

"Hans," he said, "is it wise to leave Annchen alone with the children? The house is lonely and will be in the path of the soldiers, if they should break through the forest."

The old man's mind was full only of the battle.

"Nein, nein, Conrad," he said. "I sent Anna a message by Minna Schneiderwint. She was to take the children and go at once to her husband's father. She is there now, that is certain."

The cousin looked less anxious. He was easy going and usually minded his own affairs.

"So, so," he said, "then she will certainly be safe. You are sure she obeyed? Otherwise——"

Hans nodded with conviction.

"Of course she obeyed; why not? I told Minna to command her."

"Very well, then," and Herr Schmelze started home. "Auf wiedersehen, Hans, and you might bring us the news as you come back from Jena."

"Ja wohl," and the old soldier of Frederick the Great strode away in the gloaming.

Jena was a scene of horror. Its streets were noisy with the yells of drunken soldiers; screaming women were rushing in or out of houses; in the streets lay the dead and dying, and, above the noise, steady, never stopping, roared on the cannon of Napoleon.

About ten at night a sound of drums silenced the screams. With triumphant flags and victorious music, in rode Napoleon, erect on his white horse as ever.

"The scoundrel, the upstart!" said a voice near Hans.

The speaker wore the dress of a professor of the University of Jena, and he stiffened his head as the conqueror approached. "I will not bow to him," he muttered, "I will not."

But Napoleon suddenly gazing at him, the professor hesitated, then, a strange look on his face, bowed as if in spite of himself.

"It is Professor Hegel, the philosopher," said a man near Hans. "He has been writing here in Jena and did not even hear the cannon. A moment ago the postmaster told him the news and he is like one broken-hearted."

But Hans had not time for gossip. Jena men whom he knew were on the road to the field to bring in the wounded and they hailed him.

"Well met, Hans," they cried. "Come! We need men. Come, and help us."

"Ja wohl," and Hans turned and joined them. "I am too old to fight, alas, comrades," he grieved, "but God be thanked, I can do this for the army." And he marched off with the group.

Why not?

Annchen and the children were quite safe with Kasper's father. Anna knew his ways and would not worry. It had been different when he had had Bettina. Her concern had been for the child and not for an old soldier such as he was. Why not, then?

And so he followed to the field where the horses still were racing, the Prussian soldiers fleeing, the thieves prowling to rob the dead and the dying, and where, above the havoc, still roared without ceasing the cannon of Napoleon.

Towards Weimar the sky was crimson, tongues of flame darting up and suddenly lighting the heavens.

There was but one cry: "Vive l'Empereur! Vive Napoleon!" and, as Hans, with the gentleness of a woman, lifted man after man from the ground, he knew that the soldiers of Frederick had had their good-morning, and the country of that famous old soldier lay conquered in the dust.



Hans worked hard all night and into the next morning, and then, feeling the need of food and finding none in overcrowded Jena, with an "Auf wiedersehen" to his comrades, he departed for the farmhouse.

Frau Schmelze stood in the doorway.

"Morning, Hans!" she called. "Come in, come in, here is coffee!"

Bustling about, she prepared him a meal in the living room.

On the sofa lay a man in Prussian uniform.

"He staggered in last night," she explained. "His hand was cut and bleeding. I bound it up for him and he fell asleep there, though, goodness knows, it was dangerous enough with the French tearing by every moment!" She poured out coffee. "Ach Himmel, Hans!" she cried, "but war is dreadful! All night the cannon and the screaming."

Then suddenly she turned on him, glancing at his tumbled hair and face stained and dirty.

"Hans," she said, "have you been all night in Jena?"

The old man nodded.

Frau Schmelze frowned in disapproval.

"Cousin," she said, "are you sure about Annchen? All night there were soldiers that way. It would be dreadful if she were alone with the little ones, nicht wahr? We thought you were there."

"Alone?" Hans put down his coffee cup in surprise. "I sent her word to go to her father-in-law's."

The truth was, he had forgotten everything but the battle.

"Why should she, cousin, have stayed on in the Forest House?"

Frau Schmelze was silent; it was not her business to remind Hans Lange that he had a daughter exactly like him.

"So," she answered after a moment, "so. Perhaps you know best, but——"

Then she went to the soldier whom the talking had awakened. In her hand was a cup of the good, steaming hot coffee.

"Ah," said the man, "a thousand thanks!" and he drained the cup, smacking his thin lips as he finished.

"It makes a man over." And rising stiffly he tottered to the table and sank in a chair beside Hans. "You have news of the battle, my friend?"

Hans nodded.

"Napoleon is in Jena," he answered shortly.

"And the army?"

Hans snapped his fingers.

"Gone like a bubble," he said. Then he told of the night and the flying of the soldiers, of the crossing and recrossing of lines, of the racing of the riderless horses, and the entrance of Napoleon into Jena.

The soldier's head sank low; he left his second cup of coffee untasted.

"No one can stand against the French Emperor," he said.

"Ach, nein," agreed Frau Schmelze.

"Perhaps the English," volunteered Hans, cutting huge mouthfuls of bread and grey sausage.

The Prussian flushed and his lip curled.

"The good God helping me," he said, "here is one Prussian who will never give up his fighting until they sign peace, or death steps in."

"Bravo!" cried Herr Schmelze, coming in at the door. "If there were more who felt that way, Jena this morning would not be Napoleon's. The Fatherland is full of indifference, nicht wahr?"

"The Germans are asleep," said the soldier, "the whole nation is dreaming."

Herr Schmelze smiled drily.

"There was something loud enough to wake them, yesterday, nicht wahr?" And he looked at the other two and laughed sarcastically.

As for Hans, he moved uneasily.

"That a man must grow too old to fight," he said. Then he offered to show the soldier the way towards Erfurt, where the remainder of the army was gathering.

Frau Schmelze put down her work and whispered in the ear of her husband. He nodded.

"Hans," he said, "you had better go to the Forest House. Annchen——"

"Ja wohl, Otto." The old man rose resolutely. "We go that way, you know, and when I show our friend here the way, I'll go down and take the news to old Weyland."

Then off he started with the soldier, plunging into talk of the King of Prussia and Napoleon.

Frau Schmelze shook her head.

"I hope, Otto," she said, "that nothing has happened."

The farmer looked serious.

"I thought, of course, Hans had gone home, or I should have sent Ulrich."

"Hans?" A look expressed Frau Schmelze's opinion of Frederick the Great's old soldier, and she returned to her labours.

"A good man is our King, there is no better," the soldier meanwhile was saying. "He and our good Angel, the Queen, have the love of all their people. He is upright, and saving, and truly religious, but, ach Himmel, if he were only not so uncertain! Nobody, not even Stein, steady himself as a rock, can make him know what he wants to do and at once to do it. 'To-morrow,' he says, 'let us wait.' It is always so, nicht? Now, take this war. He delayed and delayed, letting Napoleon insult him over and over. The army grew feeble from want of exercise, and our generals too old for service. Blücher is the only one worth counting. Then, too," he continued, "Frederick William the Second is unlucky. Look at his wretched boyhood. He was born unlucky. And now he has made a mistake about this war, nicht wahr? For eight years when our neighbours needed us he wouldn't fight, and now when we are at it ourselves there is no one to help us."

"The Russians," put in Hans, "the Czar Alexander is our ally. Did you not hear how he and our King—I am a Prussian, you know—swore an oath of friendship at midnight at the tomb of Frederick the Great, the Queen being witness?"

The soldier nodded.

"Ja, ja," he said, "if Russia will help," he spread out his hand, "that will be entirely another affair. But who knows? That little Emperor of the French may twist any number of Czars round his finger, but hark!" He listened eagerly. "What was that? A child?"

There was a sound as of a baby wailing wretchedly. Hans looked uneasy. Could it be that his Anna—but, no—he had sent her word, and certainly she had obeyed him. It was only some peasant with her baby. Presently they left the wood and before them stood the little grey Forest House with its red roof and garden.

Hans started and called out an exclamation. Pine needles were scattered everywhere as if feet, running, had disturbed the forest carpet. The garden gate stood open. A rosebush, broken, had fallen across the path. On the path, too, were dark drops which made both men shudder. The chickens, not yet freed from their night quarters, clucked impatiently, unmilked cows bellowed in pain, and Schneider and Schnip, the dogs, howled long and mournfully. And yet, in spite of the noise, the place seemed wrapped in a quiet most horrible.

"Mein Gott!" The soldier looked at Hans, who, gazing steadily before him, pushed open the unlatched door of the hall.

A cold little nose touched his hand as he entered. It was "Little Brother," Bettina's pet fawn, whose eyes seemed to speak most mournfully.

The hall was that of a Forest House, its walls ornamented with antlers of deer, guns and sticks on the racks, and, in the corner against one wall, a highly carved oak press, and, opposite, Frau Weyland's spinning wheel. But Hans and the soldier took no note of furniture, for a stream, a dark stream, was flowing from one door to the other, its source being the living room.

"Gott im Himmel!" cried the soldier. "It is blood!" Then he pushed open the door, Hans and the little fawn following.

There was the room as Hans knew it, with its sofa, its square table, its geraniums in the windows, its tall white porcelain stove, and its one picture of the Herr Jesus blessing the children.

A candle, smoking dismally about the socket, filled the room with a horrid odour. On the table stood the remains of supper, half eaten. But the two men looked at none of these things, nor took note of the little quivering fawn, whose eyes seemed to long to explain the whole story.

It was at the floor both gazed in horror.

"May the good God have pity," said the soldier softly.

Before them lay three bodies, the first in the uniform of a French soldier, the second, the young Prussian officer Hans had seen flying, and the third——

Hans fell on his knees and took his daughter's golden head in his arms.

"Annchen!" he cried, "Annchen! Speak to me, my Annchen!"

But Frau Weyland was never again to laugh at his forgetfulness, never again to smile her "Ja, ja, dear father!" never to tease him about his battles.

The story was easy to read; the position of the bodies told it. The Prussian had fled to the Forest House for refuge, the Frenchman had fired from the doorway, Frau Weyland, hastily rising, had received one bullet.

As for the Frenchman, a sword thrust had finished him. Doubtless he had received it in the battle and he had bled while running. At all events, it was a loss of blood which had killed him.

Old Hans was almost crazy. With his daughter's head on his knees, he kept begging God to forgive him.

"She was all I had," he told the soldier, "and I thought she was with her husband's father. Herr Jesus, forgive me, forgive me."

Then, presently, as is the habit of certain people, he found comfort in blaming someone else. He flew into a wild fury against Napoleon; he cursed him; he cried out vengeance against him, and he swore that as long as he had a drop of blood in his veins he would struggle to overthrow him. The soldier paid no heed. With his unhurt hand he had been feeling the heart of the young Prussian.

"Get water, old man," he interrupted. "Quick! Quick! The Herr Lieutenant still lives!"

Hans, laying down the head of his daughter, drew from his pocket a flask.

"It is brandy," he said. "They gave it to me for the wounded in Jena."

The soldier poured some drops down the officer's throat. He ordered Hans to fling open doors and windows and they made the poor fellow more comfortable.

Then they covered the dead with sheets from the sleeping room beds.

"Ach Himmel!" cried Hans suddenly. "The children!"

He ran into the garden. Above the noise of the animals sounded the distant wail of a babe. Following the sound, Hans came upon Bettina, little Hans, and baby August.

They had hidden in the forest, Bettina holding the baby wrapped in her mother's shawl.

"Grandfather, oh, grandfather," and she burst into sobs, "he cries so, I can't stop him."

"Mother, I want mother!" screamed little Hans, while the baby's wails were incessant.

Bearing August in his arms, Hans and Bettina at his side, the old man appeared again in the kitchen of the farmhouse.

"Gott im Himmel!" cried Frau Schmelze, wringing her hands and weeping. "I knew it! I knew it! You need not tell me. Conrad, husband! Ulrich! Come! Quick! It is Anna! Our dear, dear Anna!"

As for Hans, he went on like a madman, railing at Napoleon and blaming the French. Only Bettina could quiet him.

No, he would not stay there with the children. He would return to the Forest House where he had left the soldier.

So the farmer went with him, and Ulrich fetched Kaspar's father.

Hans insisted that he would nurse the wounded Prussian.

"Let him alone," said the soldier, who announced that he must march on towards Erfurt. "It will take his mind off his trouble."

"The children will stay here for the present," insisted Frau Schmelze when Hans reappeared that evening.

He nodded.

"Ja wohl, Lotte," he said, and then he railed so at Napoleon that she was sure his grief had crazed him.

She kept her thoughts to herself until that night, when she and her husband lay under their featherbeds. Then she expressed the opinion she had been suppressing all day.

"It's all very well laying everything on Napoleon," she said. "He is a monster, an upstart, a villain, but Hans should have gone home to poor Anna. She should have obeyed and gone to Weyland's, you say? That is just like you, Otto, taking up for Hans Lange because he is a man, but Anna, poor woman, was not much given to obeying her father; you know that, husband, as well as I do, nicht? She was Hans, all over, doing what she pleased and obeying no one." Then the good woman, who truly had loved her cousin, wet her pillow with tears.

The farmer grieved, also. Why not? He, too, had liked Anna, and there were those little children, but he was a man and his thoughts were on the battle. He had learned at Jena that Napoleon was that evening to enter Weimar. Who knew what would happen?

The Duke was the ally of the King of Prussia, and Napoleon was not likely to forget it.

"Our poor country," and he sighed, remembering his meadows and how the soldiers had tramped over them.

He was sinking to sleep when Ulrich returned from Jena, where he had gone after supper.

"Father! Mother!" he called. "Wake up! Wake up! There is news of a battle at Auerstädt!"

The farmer pulled back the bed curtains and sprang from his bed.

"A battle at Auerstädt! Impossible!"

But Ulrich nodded, having hurried until he was quite breathless.

"Ja, ja, father," he panted, "the whole Prussian army is annihilated! They fought at Auerstädt at exactly the same time the battle took place at Jena."

"Ach Himmel, Ulrich, I cannot believe it!" cried the farmer, his face red with excitement.

"Ja wohl, father," Ulrich insisted. "Davoust led the French, the King of Prussia the Germans. They fought all day and neither the King nor the Emperor heard the cannons of the other."

"There has never been such a thing in the history of the world, Ulrich. Two battles at once, here in Thuringia. Impossible!"

But Ulrich knew what he was talking about.

"Ja wohl, father," he said, "I heard it in Jena. All the generals are dead or wounded. The King is no one knows where. Horses were twice shot from under him, and they say he fought like a hero. Napoleon's soldiers are ordered to capture the Queen, and Davoust is pursuing towards Erfurt. Down in Jena they say Napoleon will march at once on Berlin."

Frau Schmelze's voice came from between the bed curtains.

"War is terrible," she said. "Ach Gott, but it is awful!"

"Ja wohl, mother," agreed Ulrich. "All is lost, everything, and Napoleon is our master!" Then he told how the sky was red toward Weimar and how he had heard the Duchess had refused to fly and had taken scores of people into the castle.

Then he lowered his voice, which trembled.

"Mother," he said, "I have bad news for Hans Lange. Kaspar was among those who died, to-day, in the hospital in Jena. They brought him in after Hans had left them."

And so, behind the white horse of the Emperor, Death marched into Thuringia.

Poor Bettina!

Napoleon had robbed her of her father and mother, and the old Barbarossa still slept on in his cave, the ravens cawing and circling.



The wounded soldier lay unconscious for many days in the Forest House. Hans nursed him carefully. He took care of Bettina, too, whom he refused to leave with Frau Schmelze, and Minna Schneiderwint came to milk the cows and do the cooking. Later they must find a new home, but the Herr Forester Leo had been glad, for the present, for Hans to keep on with Kaspar's duties.

Bettina spent much time by the sick officer. At first, she had been afraid of him lying there in a stupor, but presently she grew used to the quiet and liked to sit near his bed while her grandfather was in the forest, singing away to her doll and never minding the sick man. One day she was putting her dolly to sleep with a pretty song her godmother had taught her:

"Joseph, lieber Joseph mein,
Hilf mir weig'n mein Kindlein.
"Joseph, dear Joseph mine,
Help me rock my little child,

she sang. The Germans say that it is the song the Virgin Mary sang when she rocked the little Jesus in Bethlehem, and so Bettina loved it.

"My sister sings that," said a voice from the bed, a weak voice like a child's.

Bettina gave a great start and then smiled when she saw it was the soldier.

"My dolly is named Anna," she said, and she ran to the bed to show him.

"My dolly is named Anna"

"God be praised," said Hans, when he came in and found them talking.

The soldier would hear the news. Hans told him everything, but not all at once, for it was not wise for him to have too much excitement.

Jena was lost. So was Auerstädt. Both great battles had been fought in one day, neither party hearing the cannon of the other. Retreating, the armies had crossed each other, and never had Europe seen such turmoil and confusion. As for the Prussian army, it had vanished. The young soldier could not believe it. A few weeks before he had marched with that brilliant army, singing songs, and certain of victory.

"And the Emperor?" his face flushed with hatred.

Then Hans told him how, on the day after Jena, Napoleon had marched into Weimar.

"Our good Duchess had remained," he said, "all the day of Jena, and the next morning she opened her doors to Weimar families and any English strangers. There was nothing to eat, and all Her Highness had was a cake of chocolate she found hid beneath a cushion. Towards evening of the day of the battles—I have been told, sir, it was awful!—the French rushed in, pursuing the Prussians. It was terrible. The soldiers slew each other in the streets, the pavements ran blood, the French fell on the wine and beer, and, not knowing what they did, they set fire to the houses near the castle, and the French officers quartered themselves on the Duchess. She alone, sir, remained calm. We have heard how she waited that second evening at the head of the stairs for Napoleon. When he arrived she advanced to meet him, greeting him with politeness. 'Who are you?' he cried, like a peasant."

"The upstart!" muttered the young lieutenant.

"'I am the Duchess of Weimar,' our lady told him," continued Hans, his voice thrilling with pride at Her Highness's bravery. "'I pity you,' said Napoleon, 'for I must crush your husband. Where is he?' 'At his post of duty,' our Duchess, sir, told him. She is a brave lady, sir, and it's a pity, a dreadful pity, that many of our soldiers are not like her. Pardon me, sir, but the doings of our army have been dreadful."

Then he told all the rest he had been told: how Count Philip de Segur had come in the dawn to report to Napoleon all the events of the night, and when he had told him that they had failed in their attempt to capture the Queen of Prussia, Napoleon had said: "Ah, that would have been well done, for she has caused the war."

"That is false," cried the lieutenant, his face flushing. "Our Queen was in Pyrmont for her illness caused by the death of little Prince Ferdinand, and it was decided upon before her return. How dare Napoleon——"

"The Emperor of the French dares anything," and Hans shrugged his old shoulders. He had heard, too, but he had no idea how true it was, that Napoleon had written the Empress Josephine, who was then in Paris, that it would have pleased him much had he captured Queen Louisa.

"And why?" asked the soldier, "why should the Emperor hate so gentle a lady?"

Hans shook his head.

"One is good, the other is bad. From the beginning of things, sir, the pastors tell us in church, there's been war between good and evil, nicht wahr?"

The soldier nodded.

"I suppose so," he said.

Then he heard the rest about the Duchess of Weimar.

The Emperor of the French could not praise her enough.

Next morning he had breakfasted with her. "Madame," he asked, "how could your husband be so mad as to make war upon me?" "My husband," said the Duchess, "has been in the service of the King of Prussia for more than thirty years, and, certainly, it was not at the moment when the King had so formidable an enemy as your Majesty that the Duke could abandon him."

The Emperor was so pleased with her brave answer that his manner changed at once. His tone became respectful and he made her a bow. "Madame," he said, "you are the most sensible woman whom I ever have known. You have saved your husband. I pardon him, but entirely on your account. As for him, he is a good-for-nothing."

Then he talked much more with the Duchess, and at her request ordered all the disorder to be stopped in the town, and everywhere that he went he praised her conduct.

"And we have one comfort," Hans told the soldier. "The Duke, our Duke, Herr Lieutenant, alone remained firm, the Prince of Orange standing with him. They, sir, made an orderly retreat to Erfurt, but," he shrugged his broad shoulders, "their bravery counted as nothing."

Hans was a different man since the death of his daughter. He had but one thought, and that was hatred of the French and of Napoleon. When he walked now, his head hung low. He had no longer cheery words for the people he met with, but a gruff good-day and then no more speaking.

Only to the soldier was he talkative. There was something about the pleasant-faced lieutenant which brought back the old Hans; each day the young fellow grew dearer. Still, even he felt that Hans had his secrets. He came and went in strange ways, and often after nightfall.

One morning, when the frost was white on the grass and the leaves of the low shrubs were touched with silver, the old man started out as usual. There were still French at Jena, though Napoleon with the army had marched away towards Berlin. Bettina was with the soldier, who was up now, and hoped soon to try and join the army.

He and the little girl were great friends. He had told her how that he had three sisters, the oldest, very pretty and named Marianne, and the other two, Ilse and Elsa, were twins, round, jolly and so alike there was no telling them apart unless they spoke, when you knew Ilse because of the shape of one tooth. He had three brothers, Wolfgang, Otto, and little Carl.

"And our home, dear little Bettina, is called the Stork's Nest," he told her, "because my father is Professor von Stork, and the real stork has brought my mother so many babies."

Bettina was delighted at this and asked many questions about Marianne, who was so pretty, and read so many books, and Ilse and Elsa, who were always in mischief, fooling everybody about which was which and trying to do everything that their brothers did.

But the one of this family in whom Bettina took the most interest was little Carl, who had such red cheeks, almost white hair, and blue eyes like saucers.

The reason of this was a story the soldier told her.

One day, he said, his mother was taking her nap after dinner. Before she shut her door she told little Carl, who then was six, to go and stay with his big sister, Marianne. But Marianne was reading a famous book by the great poet, Goethe, called "The Sorrows of Werther," and she told Carl to run away and let her alone.

He did run away, and so far that not a soul could find him.

All the home was in the wildest confusion, Madame von Stork wringing her hands, scolding Marianne, and telling her that it was all her fault, because she would read books, write letters and poems; Mademoiselle Pauline, a young French girl who lived with them, searching everywhere and assuring his mother that Marianne was perfectly useless since she had been to Frankfort-on-Main, formed a friendship with Bettina Brentano and taken to adoring Goethe; the boys racing everywhere; and the good, calm father trying to quiet everybody.

At last Ilse and Elsa had screamed that Carl was coming, and in he walked with the prettiest story you can think of.

He had run away to the Thiergarten, a great, fine park in Berlin, and there had found some boys who had asked him to play horse.

One had reins and quickly harnessed Carl for his steed.

Then off he had pranced, up and down the avenues, until, with a snap, pop had gone the reins.

"A run-away! A run-away!" called the boys, as off had run Carl.

Faster came the drivers and faster ran the horse until, bump, he landed with his head right into a lady.

"You naughty child—you——" began one voice, an old one, when a second—it belonged to the lady who had been bumped—interrupted:

"Please, dear friend, be quiet. Let him alone. Boys will be wild," and she smiled at her companion, a bright-eyed old lady with white hair.

Then she asked Carl his name, told him she had heard of his father, and then she patted one round cheek, kissed him on the other, and said, "Run away, little son, and carry a beautiful greeting to your parents."

"And who was she?" cried Bettina, when the lieutenant first told her.

"Guess," said the soldier, smiling mischievously.

Bettina shook her little head.

"The Queen," said the Herr Lieutenant, and then roared when he saw how surprised Bettina was.

She and her friend, the Countess von Voss, had been walking in the park like any other ladies, and Carl had run into her.

Bettina wanted to know everything.

Was Carl scolded for running off? Was he proud? And how had his mother liked it?

His mother certainly had been much pleased at such an honour to Carl, and, as for the little rascal, he could talk of nothing else, but most certainly he was scolded.

"But nothing did him the least good until his sister Marianne had told him that Pauline would write a little letter in French to Bonaparte, and if he ran away again the Emperor would come and get him."

Bettina shuddered. She could quite believe that Carl never had run away again.

"He is a great boy now," said the Herr Lieutenant. "This happened two years ago."

"I have seen the Queen, too," confided Bettina, and she told him all about the day at the inn, and about Napoleon, and her mother, whom she missed so. Night after night she wept herself to sleep under her feather bed, poor little Bettina.

"Oh, dear Herr Lieutenant," she said, "why did not the ravens wake the Kaiser Barbarossa?"

"Perhaps they will some day," he answered, smiling.

"Do you think, gracious Herr Lieutenant," she asked on the day when Hans had departed so secretly, "that the wicked Emperor will get the dear, lovely Queen?"

The soldier shook his head.

"No, no, little Bettina, the good God must save her, for she is so good and kind to everybody."

Then Bettina came quite close to him, her doll in her arms. Her little dress was no longer bright red. Frau Schmelze and her grandmother had made her one of black.

"Herr Lieutenant," she began.

"Ja, little Bettina."

"I saw a raven to-day."

The young officer laughed.

"So," he said, "so?"

"I think, gracious Herr Lieutenant," and Bettina smiled, "I will run out to the garden, and if I see a raven now, I will give him a message to Barbarossa. He did not wake for my mother," her lips quivered, "but then, Herr Lieutenant, there was no time to send him a message. If I see a raven now, I will call out loud and off he will fly to the cave of Barbarossa."

"Put some salt on his tail, Bettina," said the Herr Lieutenant, "then he will sit quite still and listen until he knows the message."

Bettina trotted off and begged salt of Minna Schneiderwint. Then she ran into the frosty garden to watch for the raven.

At the gate she saw French soldiers. Without a word in they marched and came forth again with the Herr Lieutenant in the midst of them.

"Adieu, dear Bettina, adieu," he cried. "I am a prisoner. Tell your grandfather and thank him for his goodness."

"Auf wiedersehen," Bettina flew to him, her face all alarm.

But the soldier shook his head.

"Adieu, dear Bettina, adieu, I am not likely again to see you or your grandfather." Then he put his well arm about her and kissed her.

"Come, come," cried the soldiers, and off they marched into the forest along the path away from Jena.

Bettina ran into the house, her little body shaken with sobs.

Everybody she loved the wicked Emperor took away, her mother, her father, and now the Herr Lieutenant. Oh, if she only had a wand as in the fairy tales, she would change him into a great black stone, or some cruel animal.

In came Minna Schneiderwint, wringing her hands and sobbing, "The dear, gracious Herr Lieutenant! What will Herr Lange say when he hears of it? Ach Gott! Ach Gott! What a monster is Napoleon!"

Hans, returning, found Bettina still weeping.

"Liebchen," he said, after he had heard the story, "we, too, are going on a journey." Then he told her to say nothing to Minna Schneiderwint, but to help make up a bundle to travel with.

Not a soul, he said, must know a word of their going.

Bettina did as he told her, though the tears came to her eyes when she heard that she was not to say good-bye to Hans, or the baby, or her godmother, Frau Schmelze, or Wilhelm.

Her grandfather Weyland she did not mind not seeing, but she would like to kiss her grandmother.

"Nein, nein," said old Hans, "it is all a great secret."

"And when shall we come back, dear grandfather?" Bettina felt, indeed, as if Napoleon was her enemy, for now she was to lose everybody but her grandfather.

"When the Emperor is conquered," said old Hans, and his brow darkened, "we shall come back to Thuringia."

Then he took off Bettina's dress, and between the lining and the material of the waist he placed a letter.

"Tell no one," he said, "or I shall punish you."

Then, when Minna Schneiderwint had gone home in the afternoon, he fed all the animals, locked the door, and wrapped the key in paper.

"Come, Bettina," he said, and off they started, the old man with his gloomy face, the bundle on his back, a stick in his hand, Bettina in her black clothes and carrying some sausage and bread for supper.

On the road they came upon four boys at play.

"Walter!" Hans called, "come here."

One left the game and listened.

"Take this package for me to Herr Leo," said Hans, "and can you remember a message?" he looked at the boy sharply.

"Ja, Herr Lange, naturally," and Walter looked indignant. He was twelve or thirteen.

"Tell him, and all who ask you, that I have gone on a journey. Bettina, here, goes with me. We will come back when the Emperor is conquered. And, see here, Walter——"

"Ja, ja, Herr Lange."

The old man gave him some money.

"Here is your pay. See that you earn it."

The boy nodded.

"And, Walter——"

"Ja wohl, Herr Lange."

"I shall not mind if you finish your game before you go to the Herr Forester."

The boy laughed.

"Do you mean it?"

Hans nodded.

"Thank you, Herr Lange," and Walter, pocketing the coin, went back to his game.

"Auf wiedersehen, Herr Lange, auf wiedersehen, Bettina, and pleasant travel."

"Auf wiedersehen," said Hans.

"Auf wiedersehen," said Bettina.

Then, breaking away, the little girl ran back, her eyes full of tears.

"Walter, dear Walter," she cried, "please, will you not take my love to my little brothers? And, Walter, please, will you not ask my dear godmother Schmelze in Jena to take a wreath to my dear mother's grave at Christmas? Please, Walter, please?"

"Ja wohl, dear Bettina, ja wohl," and the young boy patted her on the shoulder.

"And greet Willy Schmidt, and Tante Lottchen Schmelze, and, auf wiedersehen, dear Walter, and thank you."

Then she ran after old Hans, waiting impatiently. They started towards Erfurt, but, as soon as they could, Hans changed their direction.

"Where are we going, dear grandfather?" asked Bettina, surprised.

The old man hesitated.

"Would you like, Liebchen, to see the Queen again?"

Bettina's eyes glowed.

"Then say nothing to anybody, and try and keep from being tired, and perhaps we may help save the Queen from Napoleon."

"And the Herr Lieutenant, dear grandfather?"

But Hans shook his head, his face saddening.

"Nein, nein, dear child," he said, "we will not see our soldier," and he muttered something against Napoleon.

Poor little Bettina!

It would be nice to see the lovely Queen, but she knew the Herr Lieutenant, and he told her stories. Her lips began to quiver.

The old man, noticing it, held her hand closer in his.

"Nein, nein, do not cry, Liebchen," he said, "we may see the Herr Lieutenant. Who can tell? Soldiers are everywhere."

Then he taught her a story to tell if any questioned them. She had lost her parents and her grandfather was taking her to an aunt in Prussia. Their home had been burned after Jena and they had nothing to live upon. Of her little brothers, or her grandparents Weyland, she was to say nothing.

It was well the old man had been in haste to tell her these things, for even that evening they were stopped by French soldiers, who searched Hans's pockets and even his clothes, and questioned both him and Bettina.

"Nonsense," said one man when they discovered nothing, "this is not the man we want. This one speaks true. Look at his eyes. And who burdens himself with a child when out on such business?"

The others looked uncertain, one with keen black eyes and firm mouth biting his nails while he considered.

"The man answers the description." The first man looked dubious.

"Use your sense," said a third man. "The child——"

All eyes turned on Bettina.

"You have lost your father and mother?" She felt the keen black eyes reading her through and through.

At the sound of these names and at the thought that she would never again see them, her lips quivered and her eyes filled.

The man stopped quickly.

"Let them pass," he said with a shrug. "Only a fool would choose such a messenger," and he glanced with contempt at Hans, who certainly had answered stupidly, quite like a peasant, saying he knew no French, and begging them to speak in German.

"God be praised, child," he cried, when they were safe through the lines, "you have saved me. The first danger is passed." And he bent down and kissed her.

"Shall we save the Queen, grandfather?"

"Who knows?" answered Hans. Then he charged her that she must never mention that it was to her they were going. He did not tell Bettina that had the letter in her dress been found they would have shot him without discussion, and so she gazed at him in wonder when, "God be praised! God be praised!" he said over and over.

A wagon was waiting at an inn where presently they stopped. It was all very queer and puzzled Bettina, for the driver said, "The Angel," and her grandfather said, "God bless her," and without more words he lifted her in and told her to lie down on the straw and go to sleep.

They drove the whole night and it was morning when her grandfather waked her and gave her some black bread and sausage. Then they alighted and trudged all day through the forest paths, keeping off the main roads, and as they walked Bettina saw the deer in great herds coming to the open places to feed on the hay which the foresters had tied about the pine trees for their dinners, and once she saw great, gleaming, yellow eyes in some bushes.

It was only a huge black cat, but Bettina was sure that it was Waterlinde, the mother of all the witches in Germany, and who, on Walpurgis night, leads the dance on the Brocken Mountain.

"Wait, grandfather, wait!" she cried. Then she ran back to the cat.

"Waterlinde! Waterlinde!" she called, "please ride on your broomstick and get Napoleon!"

The cat raised its tail, which grew monstrous from its anger.

"Hiss!" it said, "Hiss!" Then fled into the bushes.

But Bettina was joyful.

"It will get the Emperor," she said. "It promised. Oh, grandfather, how happy I am! Waterlinde will get Napoleon!"



Bettina was tired, indeed, when one day before noon they drew near a great city on the banks of the Elbe, its splendid cathedral rising against the sky, the snow falling and melting on its strong walls and fortifications.

When Hans saw the colour of the flags flying over this city, he cried out in horror.

"Gott im Himmel!" he exclaimed, "but the French have taken Magdeburg!"

In all Prussia there was no stronger fortress. On it had rested the whole hope of the country.

For a few moments Hans felt quite stunned. Then, taking Bettina's hand, he turned into a path leading to a red-roofed farmhouse standing in the fields some distance from the walls of Magdeburg.

All along the way they had heard of defeats and misfortunes. Like the houses of cards children build, all the strongholds and forts of Prussia had fallen at the mere breath of Napoleon.

But Magdeburg!

"Ach Gott," Hans cried, "but I cannot, nien, I cannot believe it."

As for Bettina, she was so tired that her feet moved without her any longer feeling them.

"Poor child!" cried the farmer's wife, when Hans begged for admission. "Come in! come in!" And she refused to answer a question of Hans until she had fed Bettina on warm milk and tucked her to rest under a huge feather bed. Then, giving Hans a chair, she went for her husband.

He was busy in his barn, hiding all the corn from the French in a hole he had dug beneath its floor, and covered with fire wood. His wife's steps startled him, and his keen, money-loving face appeared at the door.

"It is I, Herman; Magda," she called, and then told him of Hans and Bettina.

"He seems half crazy to me, Herman, the old man. I've put the child to bed. She's half dead from walking. He says they've come from Jena, where the mother and father were killed after the battle. It's an awful story. He's taking the child to an aunt in East Prussia."

The farmer made no movement to go into the kitchen.

"He can pay for everything, Herman."

His face brightened.

"Ach ja," he said, "but that is different. A moment, dear Magda, and I shall be with you."

Following her to the kitchen, he seated himself opposite Hans, pulling a table between them.

"Beer, Magda!" he commanded, and she set bottle and glasses on the table.

"Ja wohl, friend," he said, "Magdeburg is Napoleon's."

Then he filled the glasses, and, clinking with Hans, proposed the downfall of the Emperor.

"Three times, a thousand times over," said Hans, and he begged for the news.

"The King's hope was in Magdeburg. Ja wohl," said the farmer. His voice was loud and he roared instead of talking. "And why not? What fortress in Europe is stronger? There were twenty-four thousand soldiers here; Kleist was in command, and both the King and Queen stopped here in their flight to implore the garrison to be true to Prussia. And then," his face darkened, and he paused for a sip of his beer, "the French Marshal Ney appeared and shot a few projectiles and the Magdeburgers took to tears and appeared before Kleist, begging him to surrender and spare them the horrors of a siege."

"The cowards!" Hans struck the table with his fist.

The farmer sipped his beer, quite unexcited.

"Why fight when one must, in the end, be conquered?" He set down his glass. "They gave up the keys without a breach in the wall, or a single cannon being taken; twelve thousand troops under arms, six hundred pieces of cannon, a pontoon complete, immense magazines of all sorts, and only an equal force without the walls," roared on the farmer.

"Cowards!" And Hans thumped again.

"We are conquered, man," said the farmer, "and the good God knows this war is expensive."

Then he told Hans that he had heard that the King of Prussia had written a letter to Napoleon from Sondershausen, where he had fled after the defeat at Auerstädt.

"And the answer?" Hans' hand, holding his beer glass, trembled with eagerness.

The farmer, shrugging his shoulders, thrust out his under lip in a queer way he had.

"There has been none that I know of," he roared. Then he refilled their glasses, his eyes gleaming as the beer foamed.

Hans thought that he cared much more for this same beer than for his country's troubles, since he drank it with such pleasure while roaring how Napoleon, with a splendid procession, had entered Berlin. He had heard that the Berliners sat at their windows weeping. Napoleon had ransacked all the palaces and was stealing and sending to Paris all the art treasures of the Berliners. Only at Potsdam had he shown reverence. The Prussians had fled so hastily that they had left the cordon of the Black Eagle, the scarf and sword of Frederick the Great on the tomb in the garrison church.

When Napoleon saw them his eyes fired.

"Gentlemen," and he turned to the officers who accompanied him, "this is one of the greatest commanders of whom history has made mention." Then he traced an "N" on the tomb in the dust.

"If he were alive now I would not stand here," he said.

And because of his respect for the great Frederick he saved Potsdam from all annoyance from the war.

What else had happened the farmer did not know, only that the brave Blücher, with tears streaming down his cheeks, had been forced to surrender Lübeck.

As for the King, the farmer had heard that he had gone to Custrin; but he also had heard that Custrin was among the forts which had surrendered. At all events, the beer being now at an end, he had no more time to talk, but arose to return to his barn.

Hans asked him to let Bettina remain until in the afternoon, when he would return for her. Then off he departed also.

The farmer's wife touched her head.

"Grief has crazed him," she said to herself. "It is cruel to drag that child about this country."

Bettina ate a nice warm dinner with the farmer and his wife, and then was put back to bed again.

"A queer little thing," said the wife to her husband. "Poor little lamb!" The tears filled her eyes. "She thinks old Frederick Barbarossa will come from his cave to save us!"

The farmer laughed and told his wife what to charge Hans, for he might not see him again.

It was in the late afternoon when the old man returned.

"We must be off at once," he announced.

The farmer's wife protested.

"The little one," and she set her lips hard, "is too tired."

But Hans was positive.

"We must go, my good woman, and at once," he announced again, and most positively.

Poor little Bettina did not want to go. The farmer's wife had been as kind to her as her mother; but her grandfather took no notice.

"Come, Liebling," he said, "say good-bye and thank the good Frau, and quickly, for we must be starting."

"Auf wiedersehen," said Bettina shyly. She hoped that some time she might see this good Frau Magda again.

Then Hans paid the bill, and off they went and trudged on their way until, late that evening, they came to an inn, where Hans announced they would remain until morning.

Bettina went to bed, but Hans returned to the big room where the men sat, and presently, just as Bettina was dreaming a fine dream about Willy Schmidt and her brothers in Thuringia, he returned with great news and awoke her.

The Emperor, he announced, had offered terms of peace to Prussia. All the troops, not wounded or prisoners, must be drawn up in northeast Prussia; the great cities of the kingdom, including Dantzic and Breslau, must be surrendered; all the Russians marching to the aid of Prussia must be sent back, and the King of Prussia must join with Napoleon in war on his friend, Alexander of Russia, should Napoleon command it.

"I am beaten," answered the poor, good King; "my kingdom is taken from me, but never will I save myself by fighting against a friend. Let the war go on."

Hans' face glowed as he told Bettina this answer.

The little girl was happy to see her grandfather smiling again, but she was too sleepy to understand what he was talking about, and so, when his voice ceased, she went back to her dreams and the old man poured over maps until midnight.

Next day they marched on, keeping out of the way of the army, eating at the farmhouses and hiding often in the forests. Soldiers sometimes stopped them. More than once they searched Hans, but when they questioned Bettina and saw the tears which always came when she heard of Jena they let them pass on.

Once Hans persuaded the driver of a carriage to take them a part of their journey. The carriage belonged to a great person and the man had a passport, and Hans and Bettina could pass as servants.

"For the sake of the child, ja," said the driver. But it may have been for the sake of Hans' gold, which he readily gave him. It was queer that a wild-looking old man, wandering about the country, had gold, but in war times people do not ask too many questions.

It was when in this carriage that Bettina was sure she saw again the Herr Lieutenant.

It was at a place where the driver showed his papers.

At the window of a house surrounded by soldiers a man was gazing gloomily from the window.

Behind him were other faces, and one, Bettina declared, was that of her dear Herr Lieutenant.

"And he knew me, dear grandfather; I know that he did, only he could not dream that his Bettina was here in Prussia, could he?"

"Indeed, no," said her grandfather, and then went to sleep. It was not often that he had such a soft bed as the carriage cushions, and he meant to make the most of it. And so they came to Custrin.

"Now," said Hans, his face full of joy, "we shall see the King!"

But, alas!

Certainly, the King had been there; the Queen, also.

An old peasant woman outside the walls, whom Hans questioned, knew all about it.

The King had come first and gone straight to a house in the Market.

"It is a sad event that brings me here," he had said. And then, later, had come the Queen. "They were here some time," said the old woman. "Her Majesty, wrapped in a travelling cloak, used to walk on the walls and try to put some courage into the soldiers. Foolish work," she added; "you might as well try to fill broken bottles; all she put in their hearts went out at their heels, and Custrin surrendered without fighting."

The King and Queen, she said, were at Graudenz, on the Vistula.

"We will follow," announced Hans.

Poor little Bettina! Would the journey never end?

Her grandfather set out at once. Travel now had become very dangerous. The French were everywhere, and often they must answer questions. They heard how Napoleon had stolen and sent to Paris the splendid statue of "Victory," the pride of Berlin; how he had read all the Queen's letters to the King, which he had found in the palace, and of awful things he had written of Her Majesty.

"He seems to hate her, poor lady," said Hans; "but why, no one can say."

At Graudenz there were the French also. The King and the Queen and the court had been there, certainly, but one day in had rushed citizens, crying "The French! the French!" And pell-mell over the bridge had come Prussians, pursued by French cavalry.

Bang! Up went the bridge, blown to atoms by the citizens. But the French were not to be stopped; and on had fled the King, Queen, and the Court of Prussia.

So Bettina and her grandfather trudged on to Marienwerder.

Never had they seen a place so muddy and dirty. The King and Queen had stayed there ten days. The landlord showed them the room they had lived in, and Bettina, listening, heard how they had eaten, dressed, and slept in one room, and that not a fine one.

"And our poor King," a woman told Hans, "had to take long walks if the Queen wished to dress, or the servants lay the table."

The Maids of Honour had been forced to sleep in a tiny, dirty closet, and the five gentlemen of the flying court in one room, with beds for two and straw on the floor for the others.

"And they changed about," said the landlady. "There was an Englishman, Mr. Jackson, with them, who was pleasant about everything. But our Queen! She is an angel!"

"On every hand someone had good to tell of her; how sweet she was, how patient, how she cheered the whole party and only laughed when she went up to her knees in mud, and declared that she was not thirsty when they could get no wine and the water was not fit to be drunk by anybody."

On one of the windows of the inn the landlady showed Hans some words the Queen had cut there with a diamond.

The old man repeated them to Bettina. The great poet, Goethe, had composed them:

"Who never ate his bread in sorrow,
Who never spent the darksome hours
Weeping and watching for the morrow,—
He knows ye not, ye heavenly powers."[1]

Bettina looked puzzled.

"And what does it mean, dear grandfather?"

The old man took her on his knee.

He held one little hand in his, and with his other he smoothed her soft hair.

"It means, dear child," said he very solemnly, "that we never can know the dear God well until, when all the world is fast asleep, we weep because of our own troubles. Then it is that it seems that we know best the dear God who, in the night, seems to comfort us. Do you understand, my Bettina?"

The little girl nodded.

"I prayed to the good God, dear grandfather, when mother was there," she shuddered, "and I was with Hans and Baby in the forest. Do you think, dear grandfather," her lips quivered, "that the poor Queen has such a trouble? Did that wicked Napoleon kill her dear mother, too?"

Hans' face twitched, and he drew his arm closer about little Bettina.

"The Queen's mother, my child, died when her little girl was six, and she lived all her child life with her grandmother."

He smoothed Bettina's hair with his hand, but his thoughts were with his Annchen.

"Grandfather," Bettina patted his cheek with her hand, "grandfather, tell me, please, what is the trouble of the Queen? Why is she so unhappy?"

Then the old man explained how a Queen is the mother of all the people in her country, and of how, when a foe comes and with sword and war slays these people, it is her trouble and she must weep for her children.

"Then Queen Louisa, my Bettina, weeps for her poor husband, the King, who has lost his kingdom, and for her poor children, who are driven from their home and the palace. And now," he added, "in cold and ice and snow she has had to fly, as the landlady told you, with not enough to eat and no fit place to rest in."

Bettina sighed.

"Ach ja, dear grandfather."

Her own feet were very tired and she was certain that she understood that part of the Queen's trouble.

"Grandfather," she asked, "please, what is a foe?"

"Napoleon, child, Napoleon. He comes to do us harm, to work evil. He is the foe of the good King and Queen, but especially does he hate our Queen and seek to do her harm."

Bettina opened her blue eyes.

"Grandfather," she said, "how can he?"

The old man shrugged his shoulders and sat absently stroking her hair.

As for the little girl herself, she was thinking. How anyone could be a foe of that lovely Queen it was hard to understand. But then, it was so with all the fairy princesses. There was always an ogre, Bettina remembered, but it was true, too, that the foes were always conquered by a knight, or a prince, a dragon, or something.

She remembered the cave of Kyffhäuser.

"Grandfather," she said, pulling at one of the buttons of his coat, "why don't the ravens wake Barbarossa? I told one at our Forest House. I think, dear grandfather, it is time for him to wake up, don't you?" and she gazed quite anxiously into his face. As for Hans, he laughed for the first time in days.

"It would surprise the Emperor a little, my Bettina," he said, and then told her that their journey was ended. "The King, dear child, is at Königsberg, and there we will rest for a long time."

"God be praised," said little Bettina, in the way the Germans do. "I shall truly be glad, dear grandfather, to sit down and do a little quiet knitting."



On a certain day in the January following Jena the snow was falling fast.

It clung to the tree limbs and turned the feathery firs to fairy trees. On the low bushes and oaks the ice glittered and gleamed, and a piercing blast, sweeping through the branches, crackled the crusted limbs and filled the air with a mysterious sound of coldness. Now and then a high-runnered sleigh dashed along the highway, its driver muffled to the eyes in fur, the breath frozen on his beard or moustaches. From the Baltic Sea the breath of the frozen North swept over the East Prussian land and, obedient to its command, life seemed to still its slightest sound and the whole world freeze into silence.

Suddenly the voice of a child broke the quiet.

"Grandfather,"—oh, how tired it sounded,—"truly, dear grandfather, I can go no farther."

It was little Bettina, wrapped in a woollen shawl and trudging by the side of old Hans, whose face was almost hidden in a huge cape of fur.

They were still on their journey, though Königsberg had been passed two days before.

"Ja, ja, Liebchen," the old man paused in the road; "it is cold, indeed. But have courage, little one; we shall soon reach a village, and then sausages and bread."

"God be thanked," said little Bettina, and on she trudged, her poor feet so cold she could not feel them moving.

On they went for a time in silence. Then the old man, with a short laugh, said:

"God be praised we have left the French behind us."

Before Bettina could answer, or Hans himself say more, the Baltic sent a breath sharp with icy edge. It cut the falling snow, it dashed the flakes in their faces, it beat against their bodies; and, gathering strength, it drove them apart, tossing and twisting Bettina.

There was no speaking.

The wind howled in icy salutation; the snow struck their eyes, drove itself into their mouths, lodged in the necks of their garments, whitened their hair and froze on their gloves and chilled them to almost fainting.

Then suddenly the wind gave a shriek like a terrified spirit. The snow began to whirl, and upward went leaves, sticks, and even lumps of the earth itself.

Hans caught Bettina in his arms. He drew her to the edge of the road.

"Down! down!" he cried, and pulled her into a gully. Harmless, the whirlwind passed above their heads, the ridge of earth protecting their bodies.

"Lie close, lie close, my Bettina," cried Hans, and he drew her within the folds of his great cape with fur lining.

Winds from the north, east, west, and south fought for mastery, the four beating and screaming and whirling the innocent snow in their fury, until, rising, the white confusion became like a veil concealing everything.

But wheels were approaching. They reached the road above the travellers, and then, their horses losing power any longer to struggle, suddenly stopped short in the road. Even their stamping sounded faint and exhausted, so great was the fury of the awful war of winds which nature had excited on that narrow neck of land in East Prussia.

Then suddenly came a lull. The winds retreated from their battle ground.

Both Hans and Bettina raised their heads in wonder. In the sudden quiet they heard a voice, a voice whose sweetness sounded a note quite familiar and a voice whose owner seemed ill and suffering.

"I am in a great strait," it said; "let us fall now into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man."

Even while the voice was speaking the whirling snow fell like a curtain of white wool to the ground, and Hans and Bettina, rising, saw in the snow of the road a travelling carriage, on whose cushions, covered with a feather bed, lay a lady, white and pale, whose golden head, for want of a pillow, rested on the arm of an attendant. With her were ladies and a physician.

Hans' face flushed.

"Curtsey," he whispered to Bettina. "Curtsey, child, it is the Queen!"

Bettina forgot her own cold. She was no longer tired, no longer hungry, in her pity for the poor, ill lady, who, when she saw a child, smiled her a greeting, quite feebly, but as sweet as the one at Jena.

It was Queen Louisa of Prussia, flying still before her foe, Napoleon.

He had entered her palace; he had ransacked her private desks; he had read all her letters to her husband; he had published dreadful things against her in the French paper in Berlin; he had proclaimed her the cause of the war; declared her to be vain, foolish, and unworthy of the love of her people; and loudly had he declared that never would he rest until he had brought the King and Queen of Prussia so low that they must beg for their bread.

He had driven them from place to place, and now was advancing on Königsberg.

When Hans and Bettina had arrived in that old city the King had gone, the court was flying, and so, never heeding the snow, on they had gone, too, fleeing like the rest, before that dreadful Emperor.

And here was the poor Queen, who had been ill to death in Königsberg, journeying in the cold and snow to Memel, with not even a pillow to rest her head upon!

When the carriage started again Hans and Bettina walked behind it.

"It will shelter us," said the old man, for the wind blew little Bettina almost off her feet.

Ach, as the Germans say, but it was cold!

The blasts, sweeping from the Baltic to the Kurischehaff and from the Kurischehaff to the Baltic, still fought for mastery, and the curtain of the northern night began to fall about them early in the afternoon, and on they struggled in the gathering darkness.

At last, through the snowy gloom, they saw the lights of a village, and, nearly frozen, they sought lodgings.

Hans asked a woman whom he saw at a door to shelter them.

She stoutly refused him.

She was tall, dark, with sallow complexion and gleaming dark eyes, whose lids she had a trick of narrowing. Hans pointed to Bettina shivering and wet to her skin.

"You cannot refuse us a room," he said.

The woman shrugged her shoulders and hesitated.

Truly, Bettina would have moved any heart.

"Because of the child, poor darling," at last said the woman, "though my man, if he comes, may not like it." She shrugged expressively.

She rubbed Bettina's hands and feet with snow and made her dip them in water, and, undressing her, she wrapped her in a warm bed-gown of her own and covered her with a feather bed.

"Drink this," and she held warm milk to her blue little lips, and when the child was sinking into a doze, she started towards her kitchen. At the door she paused.

"I must dry the child's clothes," she said, and coming back gathered up the damp, draggled garments, Bettina never noticing.

As she was cleaning them in her kitchen she started violently. Bearing the dress on her arm she went to her room.

"I thought so!" she said, and her eyelids narrowed.

As for Hans, when he had dried himself somewhat and partaken of bread, cheese, and beer, he was off to the shoemaker's house, where they had taken the Queen. In its kitchen, with its great stove and its pots of blooming geraniums, he found some court servants, who, now they were resting, were glad enough of a gossip.

Especially was the driver of the carriage fond of talk.

"Ja," he said, "our good Queen has been ill to death of a nervous fever."

Then he told of how she had been with the King; her children, with the Countess Voss; and first little Princess Alexandrina, and then Prince Carl had been ill, and the Queen could not reach them.

At Königsberg little Carl had been near to death, and the Queen from nursing him took the fever.

"Ach Himmel," said the driver, gazing from face to face in the hot, steaming kitchen, "it was terrible, for we thought we should lose her! Herr Doctor Hufeland arrived from Dantzic. His Excellency found her near death. Ach, friends, but it was a dreadful night, and all hearts were anxious, for at sea was a ship, and on board Baron Stein, bearing to Königsberg the state treasure. He had saved the gold and jewels in Berlin from that thief Napoleon."

Then he told how in the night, while the wind howled and blew, there had come a crash which had startled old Königsberg.

It was a wing of the old castle which had fallen in the storm.

"And it brought bad luck," continued the driver, "for a courier arrived soon after with despatches. 'Fly!' they said, 'fly! the French approach Königsberg!'"

And then had come the flight, and he told how, the night before, the Queen had slept in a room whose windows were so broken the snow had drifted in all night over her bed and nearly frozen her.

There was much to talk about, and all were eager to listen. The warmth from the stove was comfortable, and the shoemaker brought out some beer. The driver, who certainly was fond of talking, told of the sufferings of the Royal children; how the old Countess had not been able always to get them bread, nor find clothes to keep them clean and in order.

"And they have grown most noisy," he said. "The Queen is an angel. Never does she complain, but is always sweet and amiable, and the old Countess is very noble. But our King is gloomy and wrapped in thought and no one reproves the children."

The shoemaker asked questions about them.

"Prince William is the best," said the man; "he looks like his father, but in disposition he is like our Queen. The old Countess calls him 'A dear good child,' and that he is always."

Before he could continue a messenger arrived from Memel with bouillon from the King for the Queen.

This arrival brought much excitement, and when again they were quiet they all fell to talking of the French and how the Emperor coveted the great fine city of Dantzic and of how its people vowed that he never should enter its gates while they could prevent him.

"Where is he now?" asked Hans, hatred burning in his eyes and his cheeks flushing.

"They say in Königsberg that he is at Helbsberg. Our army is in that neighbourhood, also. They report that both are approaching Eylau. Perhaps they may fight there."

The shoemaker's wife came into the roomful of men, interrupting a second time.

At first she coughed loudly, for they were puffing smoke everywhere. Then, with a beaming face, she told them how the Queen had just said she was more comfortable than she had been anywhere on her flight.

"Our Queen is an angel!" Hans raised high his glass. "Hoch!" he cried, as the Germans say when they drink to anything or anybody.

"Hoch!" answered the others, but low, that they might not disturb the Queen.

"Long may she live," said the voices.

Then "Three times hoch!" and they clinked their glasses softly and drained them.

Then, it being late, Hans returned to Bettina.

She was fast asleep, one little hand, thin and pale, lying outside the feather bed. On a chair by the bedside were her clothes, clean and dry, and everything quite in order.

Hans, in terror, felt for the letter.

It was safe between the lining and the waist material, and, tired himself, he was soon fast asleep.

Next day they all started forth, Hans and Bettina walking behind the carriage, and presently they came to the ferry at Memel.

In those days Memel was a flourishing little city of about six thousand people, noted for its cleanliness and its English ways of living. It lies on water, and into its harbour came Dutch ships and English ones, giving it a look of activity.

As the Queen entered Memel a strange thing happened.

As if Nature, whom she loved with all her heart, wished to welcome her, the clouds suddenly parted like a curtain and there was the sun, which no one had seen for days, smiling forth gloriously.

"God be praised!" cried Hans. "It is a good omen."

As he and Bettina started into the city they came upon a lady and some children. She was stout and comfortable looking and wrapped in fine furs. The oldest of her children was a girl about fifteen, and the prettiest girl Bettina had ever seen.

When this lady saw Hans she gave a shriek.

"My goodness!" she cried. "Why, Hans, how came you here?"

As for Hans, he was all excitement.

"Mademoiselle Clara!" he cried. "Ach Gott! that I see you again!"

When the lady, with many exclamations, heard of Hans' journey, she raised her hands in horror.

"Heavens!" she cried, "but you must come home at once with me. I am married now, Hans, and these are my children."

Then she turned to the pretty girl.

"Daughter," she said, "this is Hans, Johannes Lange. He was with your grandfather when he was Colonel. Come, Hans; come, child," she smiled kindly at Bettina. "My husband is home and will welcome you kindly. Come, come!"

And off she led them into Memel.



The stout lady, asking Hans question after question, led the way to a large, roomy house surrounded by a garden, now bare and wintry, the limbs of fruit trees, birches, and shrubs crackling with ice.

"This is, naturally, not our own house, Johannes," explained the lady, who had just finished telling him how she and her family had fled from Berlin upon the approach of Napoleon. "This is my husband's brother's home," she continued, leading the way to the door. "In the spring we shall move to Königsberg, where my husband will become professor in the University. Come in, Hans, come in. Ja, ja, you are right. It is a comfortable house, but the cold here in Memel is awful. Carl," she turned quickly to the small boy who was teasing his sister, "behave yourself, or I'll send you to Napoleon!"

It was funny to see him straighten up and become quickly as good as his sisters.

"Come in, come in," she closed the door quickly. "Husband! Richard!" she called very loudly.

A door at the end of the hall opened in response, and out came a grave, learned-looking man, who smiled kindly from face to face.

"Richard! Richard!" the lady's voice screamed with excitement, "who do you think is here?"

She drew forward Hans and Bettina.

"An old soldier of my dear father's regiment," her voice vibrated with pride, "and one, dear Richard, who was with the great Frederick, and, oh, such a favourite with father, was it not so, Hans?"

The old soldier shrugged his shoulders as much as to say, "It is not for me to agree."

"Ja, ja, Richard, he was, and a favourite of our dear lost little Erna. It was such a surprise to see him," and she motioned the group to the warmth of the sitting room. Then, all crowding around the tall, green stove, Hans told his story.

"Heavens, dear Richard!" the stout lady pulled out an embroidered pocket handkerchief, "but seeing him brings back the past."

Then she turned to the pretty young girl.

"Mariechen, take the twins upstairs and see that they are quite dry as to stockings; go, also, dear child," she smiled at Bettina, who, feeling shy and strange, followed across the hall and upstairs to the room into which the young lady entered.

"The child is tired," she heard the lady saying, "and Hans must see our King. He has brought messages. They must stay here. Ja, ja, Hans. The house is big, and our brother Joachim gives me my will."

Then the door closed and Bettina heard no more.

In the great room where she found herself sat a dark-haired young lady embroidering.

"Pauline, Pauline!" called the children, "Hans has come, and here is Bettina."

Then, before the pretty young girl could explain, in came the stout lady and told the one called Pauline how once this Hans had saved her little sister's life, and how the family never could forget it, and that Bettina must be dressed drily in one of the children's bed-gowns and given warm milk and at once sent to bed and left there.

"I'll tell you the story presently. The child must not hear it again. It is dreadful."

When Bettina was safely in bed, up came Hans and the gentleman.

"My oldest son, Franz, was at Jena," she heard the latter saying—and then to her surprise her grandfather called him "Herr Professor."

Bettina, her eyes sparkling, sat up in bed.

"Grandfather, dear grandfather!" she called, and when he came close, she drew down his head and whispered most eagerly.

"Nein, nein, child," they all heard him reply, and then Bettina insist:

"But, yes, dear grandfather. Please, please ask him, I know it, dear grandfather, I know it."

"What is it, Hans?" and the Herr Professor came close to Bettina, smiling in his kind, fatherly way.

"She will have it, sir," answered the old soldier, "that your name must be 'Von Stork,' and that you are the father of the young Prussian soldier whom we nursed in the Forest House!"

"I know it, dear grandfather, I know it," burst out Bettina in high excitement. "The Herr Lieutenant told me of Carl and Ilse and Elsa and Mademoiselle Pauline and his big sister, Marianne, and of how our Queen kissed Carl—and——"

Bettina could say no more.

Screaming and crying out, they all crowded round exclaiming that it was their Franz, their own dear Franz and no other.

And then they would know everything and all he did and said and just where he was wounded and how they took him prisoner, and Madame von Stork fell to weeping, and all the others cried, "Ja, ja," and "Nein, nein," so loud and so much that poor, tired little Bettina was almost deafened.

And then Hans must go all over the whole story for them again, and it set Bettina to weeping, and the old man to vowing vengeance against Napoleon.

Madame von Stork first rejoiced because her boy was alive, and then wept because he was a prisoner, and she thanked Hans over and over, and told him that she would care for Bettina so long as they remained in Memel.

And then they all went from the room and Bettina fell sound asleep, and did not move until the next morning.

But, no, she moved once, for her grandfather, coming into the room, waked her and asked her if she had taken the letter from her dress lining.

"Nein, grandfather," she had answered and then had gone off to sleep.

When next morning she opened her blue eyes, her grandfather was packing his bundle.

Her little heart sank and her eyes filled. Was she to go forth in the ice and the wet and the snow and that awful wind again?

"Nein, nein, little one," said the old man, patting her cheek very kindly. "You shall stay here with my good Mademoiselle Clara," for so he called Madame von Stork, as he had known her when she was as small as Bettina, and he explained that he was going alone, but would return in a day or two to Memel.

Then, sitting on her bed, he asked her question after question.

Had she told anyone of the letter, had a person touched her dress?

"Nein, grandfather, nein," she said.

At first she was quite certain.

But, presently, she remembered the woman they had lodged with, and how she must have cleaned her dress and dried it.

The old man clapped his knee with his hand.

"Ach Himmel, child!" he cried. "It is she who has stolen it."

Then he shouldered his bundle, declaring he must fetch it.

"Auf wiedersehen, my Bettina," he said, and departed from Memel.

It was only a day's journey to the village, but a week passed and no Hans. Then another.

Madame von Stork shook her head.

"His trouble has crazed him," she said. "We will keep the child, yes?" and she looked at her husband.

The Professor nodded.

"Our Franz loved her," he answered. "She is not noble, it is true, but she is sweet and good, and our children love her. The Stork's nest, dear wife," and he smiled at her lovingly, "is always big enough for one more, it is not, my dear Clara?"

Madame von Stork nodded.

Pauline was not their child, but a French refugee whose parents were nobles who had perished in the Revolution. The Stork's nest had received her; so why not another?

"Let her remain," concluded the Professor, "until the old man returns, or we can make some provision for her."

So Bettina became one of the "Nest", as the von Storks always called their home, and with so much love and kindness about her, the little girl soon forgot much that she had suffered.

"But I should like to see Willy Schmidt and my little brothers," once she said to Marianne, who was her favourite.

The little round-faced, tow-headed twins flew to her sides, each taking a hand and pressing it against her chubby cheek.

"When Barbarossa, that you told us of, Bettina, comes out of the cave, our father will take us all to Thuringia," promised Ilse.

"What nonsense, you geese," and Carl laughed scornfully. "There isn't a Barbarossa. Otto says so, and he's fifteen and knows everything. Anyway," he looked very proud of his knowledge, "nobody can conqueror the Emperor!"

But when he heard that Bettina had really seen the awful Napoleon, he listened with wideopen blue eyes and was not so important.

Perhaps, after all, Bettina did know something.

"And you saw him," he asked, "saw Napoleon?"

"Ja wohl," answered Bettina, glad to have the young hero listen respectfully.

"And he didn't run away with you?" Carl looked eager.

Bettina shook her golden head.

"Nein, nein, or I should not be here." The twins roared. As for Carl, he laughed very rudely and snapped his fingers at Marianne.

"You just hear, Mariechen," he said, "Bettina's seen Napoleon and he didn't do a thing to her."

At that was the whole Stork's Nest most sorrowful, for now they knew that Carl would never behave, since Napoleon was the only thing he was afraid of.

While they were talking, Elsa and Ilse cried out to come quickly and see who was passing, and they all crowded to the windows, breathing on the frost that they might see out more clearly.

What they saw was a tall, handsome gentleman with a kind, but very sad face, a lovely lady leaning on his arm, and two little boys, one tall and handsome, the other, delicate-faced with soft curly hair, clinging to the hand of the lady.

It was the King and Queen of Prussia, with the Crown Prince and little Prince William.

"God be praised," said Madame von Stork. "Our dear, dear Queen has recovered." She stood behind the group and watched, having entered the room while they were talking.

As for little Bettina, a great happiness filled her.

Her lovely Queen lived here in Memel and she walked out like other people.

"Perhaps," she said to Ilse, "one day we shall meet her."

But Ilse did not answer.

"Look, Bettina," she cried, "our King is talking to father."

Sure enough there was the Professor standing with their Majesties, first looking cheerful, then becoming grave and attentive.

As soon as he entered the house he called to his wife. They talked for a long time in private, and after that day everybody in the house was very, very kind to Bettina. Sometimes Madame von Stork's eyes would fill when they gazed at her, and once, when the little girl told her that she was making a nice pair of stockings for her grandfather, the lady began to weep.

Bettina thought her tears were for the Herr Lieutenant, and sat very quiet. Only she could not help wondering why no one ever said a word about her grandfather.



As Madame von Stork had told Hans, her family had taken refuge in Memel when the news came that Napoleon, having conquered the King at Jena, would advance upon Berlin.

Old Major Joachim von Stork had welcomed his brother's family into his great empty house in Memel, and in the safety of a new nest the Mother Stork had gathered beneath her wings all her startled, frightened brood, but two sons who had gone against Napoleon.

Bettina nearly laughed aloud when she saw the old Major. He was stout, and red-faced, and wore a stock as high as three inches. On each side of his head were four curls, frizzled and powdered, as they once wore hair in the army, and his pig-tail boasted a huge cockade.

Bettina heard him talking one day with his housekeeper about his stocks:

"They must be exactly three inches high," he ordered, "exactly, my dear Frau, and as to my cockade, are you quite certain that it is large enough?"

And he looked very anxiously at his housekeeper, who held up her hands.

"Gracious, Herr Major," she said, "it is immense."

But the Major, puffing a little, looked offended.

"Immense, my dear woman, what on earth are you talking of? Why Captain von Schallenfels of my regiment had always seventy or eighty ells of ribbons on his queue. Fact, I assure you," added the indignant old gentleman. "It trailed so on the ground that he was forced to tuck it into his coat pocket when on parade. True, my dear woman, true, I assure you."

The old Major, however, was kindness itself, though he went his way just the same as if his house was still empty. And this way was to have his meals to himself and, at four o'clock each day, to depart to the house of one Monsieur von Schrotter, and, with six other Memel gentlemen, drink beer, smoke, and discuss the army, Prussia, or Napoleon, until bedtime.

His wife, Bettina learned, had died many years before and he had but one son.

"Our cousin, Rudolph," Carl told her. "He is with my brother Wolf in the army."

In the evening all the family gathered in the sitting-room and there Bettina saw everybody.

First, there was the Professor, tall, kind-looking and very fond of his wife and children. He still wore his hair in a pig-tail and not brushed forward like the King, and he liked silver buckles on his shoes, and a stock, but not high like that of his brother.

"And our father knows, oh, everything," the twins told Bettina, "so much that our Queen used to send for him in Berlin to talk to her. He has read, oh, all the books in the world."

Madame von Stork was as kind-looking as her husband, but she was stout, and her skin was pink and white like a girl's, and she wore her hair very high, and on top of its rolls one of the huge turbans then the fashion. Sometimes she seemed quite like a large hen, clucking about her children, her feathers ruffling if a thing went wrong with any one of them.

Especially was she troubled about her pretty daughter Marianne.

"And no wonder," Bettina heard her telling the Major's housekeeper, Frau Winkel. "She is a girl, and yet is the one most like her dear father. She must always be at her books, and I cannot make her care for her embroidery, her tent stitch, nor the cooking. And what good is a German girl who cares for none of these things? Who will marry her, my dear Frau Winkel? She is fourteen, and most girls are married at fifteen or sixteen. Pauline, now, is entirely different. When there are clothes to be mended, her fingers assist me. When the children are noisy, she can quiet even Carl. It is she who makes the puddings, and if she has a spare moment she is busy over her embroidery; a true house-wife by nature, and French, too," added Madame von Stork, as if the two things were impossible. Perhaps it was Pauline's troubles which had subdued her. Before the flight from Berlin, Marianne had known nothing but joy and petting, but Pauline had a history as sad as Bettina.

One day, many years before the days of Memel, an old Frenchman had appeared at the "Stork's Nest" in Berlin.

Though his hair was white, his shoulders bowed with trouble, and his clothes worn and poor, the Professor recognised him as a once very elegant-looking servant of a French nobleman whom he had known well in Paris. He led by the hand a little girl of eight or nine.

"My master and mistress lost their heads in the Revolution," the man explained, "but I escaped to Berlin with Mademoiselle Pauline."

Then he told of his dangers and all they had endured.

"Monsieur," he said, "I am old, poor, and alone. What shall I do with a fine young lady?"

Madame von Stork's quick eye had been studying the child. The sadness of the pale little face, the neatness of the black dress, the daintiness of the Marie Antoinette kerchief warmed her heart to the homeless little girl.

She looked at her husband, a question in her kind grey eyes.

He nodded, and so Pauline came to the shelter of the "Nest," which so kindly welcomed Bettina also.

And now Pauline was like Madame von Stork's own child, and, since she was noble and hated the French Republic, and loved her poor King, she, too, had no good for Napoleon and, like the Prussians, hoped to see him conquered.

"And what I should do without Pauline, Heaven only knows," Madame von Stork was often saying, "my own Marianne being so useless."

Marianne might be useless, but Bettina thought her almost as pretty as the Queen, in her short-waisted dress, her puffed sleeves, her long mitts and her lovely curling hair tied in place with a snood of blue ribbon.

When they all came to the sitting-room in the evening Bettina would arrange her stool quite near the "gracious Fräulein Mariechen," and, while she knitted away, she used to gaze up shyly at her pretty neighbour and make up stories about the Prince who would one day come and marry her.

"Pauline's worth ten of her," Otto was always saying. He was nearly sixteen and was always wanting someone to do things for him, and, "Marianne," he said, "is so stupid. Pauline can mend a fellow's things in a minute."

But Elsa and Ilse, the twins, who were so alike only their mother seemed always to know which was which, and Carl preferred Marianne.

"She can tell you stories," they told Bettina.

As for Marianne herself, sometimes she was quite unhappy. She wanted to be useful, but she did so love to read, and then she forgot. And house work and cooking were not amusing.

Madame von Stork had little good for idleness.

"It is German," she always said, "to work. Even our good Queen is never idle. I have seen a handkerchief she herself embroidered, Marianne, with beautiful flower designs and a crown in gold placed in one corner."

Settling herself with a huge bundle of mending, she with her keen eyes would inspect the family group each evening.

"Come, now, Marianne, no reading," she would say. "You do not know what to do? Nonsense. There is your tent stitch. Pauline? Yes, yes, you of course are busy. Ilse, Elsa? Bettina? Knitting, that's good. Carl? You are a boy? What foolishness. Get your pencils and drawing book. You don't like that? Very well then. Let Otto bring you the silhouettes that Mademoiselle von Appen began in Berlin, and you can cut others. But, Otto, first fix the lamp. There, where the light can fall on your father's book. There, that is good."

Her eyes travelled from needle to scissors, from pencil to work.

"There, there," she said, her face beaming, "we are a busy German family. Begin now, dear husband, we are all quite ready to hear your book."

The father of the family often read aloud to them in the evenings. But the books he read were not such as children would even look at to-day.

Bettina and Marianne, the twins, Carl and the others all listened, on those long, cold Memel evenings, to grown-up histories, to romances, or sometimes to plays or poems, very long and very serious.

Now and then the Professor would talk, not read, and then Bettina loved it. He told of the new Republic across the sea, America, which had fought a great war and was now free and independent, and there were stories of the great men called Washington and Franklin, and of all the excitement when they had signed a treaty of peace in Paris.

"I was young then," said the Professor, "and in Helsingör, and there was much talk of a new life beginning for the world with the Declaration of Independence,—you must read it, Otto,—and the ships and the harbour were gaily decorated and cannon were fired and we all drank to the health of this new Republic at a fine party given to celebrate the birth of Liberty. And they raised the American flag and lit bonfires, and heavens, children, but there was hurrahing!"

And he told of a great Englishman, named Nelson, who had conquered Napoleon at Trafalgar, and of the Revolution in France, and all that in his day had happened. But often he read, and sometimes Bettina's little head fell to nodding. One night she was almost asleep when the Professor's voice stopped suddenly.

"Richard," interrupted his wife, and her tone was furious, "see our Marianne."

Bettina dropped her knitting and stared. So did the twins, and Carl stopped cutting. What had Marianne done? Her cheeks were quite crimson and one hand held something under the table cover.

"My Heavens, Richard, think of it! Let me see it, Marianne. Obey me."

Never had Madame von Stork spoken so severely. The twins nearly fell from their chairs. Carl opened his mouth, and his eyes stared at Marianne. Pauline never looked up once from her embroidery. Bettina's knitting needles shook in her hands.

"She's been reading under the table cover," announced Otto with the superior air boys wore in those days with their sisters. "It's the 'Sorrow of Werther.' I see the cover."

Such a thing had never happened in the "Stork's Nest."

The father's face grew stern, and anger made even his neck red to the roots of his queue.

"Marianne," he began, when the maid opening the door announced:

"His Excellency, Herr Doctor Hufeland, and the gracious Herr Brandt."

A great cry of "Ludwig!" "Cousin Ludwig!" welcomed the entrance of a tall, handsome man of perhaps thirty-five, with a serious face and English features. He was dressed in one of the long-tailed coats then the fashion, coming down to the top of his high, spurred boots. His hair was brushed forward, and within the high collars of his coat appeared a soft lawn stock. The other gentleman Bettina at once recognised as the physician who had been with the Queen on the road from Memel.

"We call him 'Cousin Ludwig,'" whispered Elsa. "He was betrothed to our Aunt Erna who died."

"He won't speak French," whispered Isle; "he says Germans should not imitate the French people as upper-class people do, but should speak their own language."

Bettina was glad of this, for often she had to sit for hours without understanding a word, unless the twins explained things.

There was much to talk about.

Madame von Stork bustled from the room to give orders for refreshments, and while she was gone, Herr Brandt, who had settled himself near Pauline, explained that he had come over from Königsberg.

"I was with Baron von Stein," he added. "We escaped from Berlin with the royal treasure and arrived in Königsberg at Christmas time. Since then I have been at Dantzic."

Bettina opened her little ears. Dantzic was a great, free city of Germany, around which was the army of Napoleon. Its people were holding out bravely and it was hoped that Napoleon would withdraw.

"But the city is bound to fall," said Ludwig. "All who can are escaping."

That dreadful Emperor! Bettina seemed to see him on his white horse before the gate of the brave old city.

When Madame von Stork returned, the maid followed her with cake and wine.

"God be thanked, gentlemen," she said, "our brother Joachim has a full cellar and as yet we have something to offer our visitors."

Pauline and Marianne served the guests, one, dark and handsome in a red dress trimmed with bands of fur, her arms and neck like ivory, her dark hair arranged in curls tied back with ribbon, the other, golden-haired and pink-cheeked, in a gown of blue, her curls tied back also with ribbon, the ends of her narrow sash floating about as she moved in her quick, merry way. As they ate and drank, Dr. Hufeland told his old friends all the sad things which had happened to the Queen because of Napoleon. He described her flight from Jena, relating how she rode through the lovely Harz Mountains to Brunswick and from there went to Magdeberg.

"And all the time, dear Madame," the doctor turned to Madame von Stork, "our poor lady had no idea of how the battle had gone, nor did she hear a word of the fate of the King. The Countess von Voss tells me that for courage she has never seen her equal. The Queen held fast her hand and all through that dreadful flight, with the fear of Napoleon behind her, she repeated over and over texts which had words to sustain her."

"What were they, dear Doctor?"

"From the eighth chapter of Romans, dear Madame," said the Doctor, consulting a little note book.

"Marianne," commanded her father, "fetch the Bible. Let us hear what words gave comfort to our Queen."

Marianne tripped across the room and returned in a moment with a Bible which she laid before her father.

All listening, he found the place and read aloud:

"The Spirit helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for.

"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or peril, or sword?

"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord."

"Our good Angel," murmured Madame von Stork, wiping her eyes.

"Ach, ja," said the Doctor, "she had much to endure, poor lady."

Then he related how, tired to death herself, she had tried to encourage the soldiers at Magdeburg, and of how in dread and trembling she had driven across the flat country towards Berlin, and at last had entered the old city of Brandenburg.

"It was by the old stone, Roland," continued the Doctor, "that a courier stopped her with the news. 'Majesty,' he said, 'all is lost! Everything!' Then the Queen, seizing the papers from his hands, read the awful news, her figure trembling like a leaf! 'The battle was lost at Jena. The King has been defeated at Auerstädt. Napoleon is making on Berlin. Your Majesty must fly with the Royal children.'"

Bettina's tears fell as the Doctor's voice faltered. The Mother of the Nest wiped her eyes on her embroidered handkerchief and the gentlemen and Otto blew their noses. Marianne sobbed.

"And our Queen," went on the Doctor, "turned like a child to the old Countess. She has been to her like a mother, you know. 'Voss, dear Voss,' she said, 'my poor, poor husband.' Then she forced back her tears. 'Dear Voss,' and she clung to her hand. 'I must go at once to my children.'"

Then the Doctor told of how her carriage had dashed into Berlin to find the city a scene of wild confusion. The people, deceived by early news of a victory, were now driven into panic by the disaster at Jena. When the Queen entered they were pouring through the city gates in flight.

"Napoleon is coming! Napoleon! Napoleon!" was the cry which everywhere met her ear.

"It was terrible," put in the Professor. "I had to pay a fortune for the travelling carriages which brought us to Memel."

"But the Queen," the Doctor continued, "found only disappointment at the palace. Springing to the ground, she cried: 'My children!' to the attendant."

"But they were gone," interrupted Otto, "they left before we did. Their tutor took them to Swert-on-Oder."

The Doctor nodded, while the Professor frowned at Otto for his rudeness.

"Her Majesty," resumed the Doctor, "sent at once for me. When I saw her I started in amazement. Her dress was travel-stained and crumpled, her hair in wild disorder, her face wet with tears. Never had I before seen her any way than very neat and smiling. She held out her hands. Oh, dear Madame, it brought tears to my eyes. 'I must fly to my children,' she cried, 'and you must go with me.' Then, just as fast as we could, we proceeded to Swert, leaving things just as they were in the palace."

"A great pity, too," put in Herr Brandt, whose ways were most orderly. "For Napoleon, as we all know, found the Queen's letters to her husband, read what he pleased, and published all that might injure her."

"The monster!" cried Madame von Stork, motioning Marianne to fill the Doctor's glass and pass the cake to Herr Brandt.

"Thank you, many thanks," and the visitor smiled at Marianne and went on with his talk.

"The meeting, dear friends, between our dear Queen and her children was most heartrending. The poor little things had been torn from their play in the palace, hurried into the travelling carriage and borne away with very little idea of what had happened. When they heard that their mother, whom they adore, had arrived, they rushed with cries of joy to meet her. Even the baby Alexandrina, holding the hand of little Prince William. But when they saw their mother, her face all wet with tears, her dress so tumbled and with such a wild look in her eyes, the poor little things started back in fright. The baby set up a wail, and even the Crown Prince looked frightened."

"Poor things," murmured Madame von Stork, her handkerchief again to her eyes.

"'My poor children! my poor children!' cried the Queen. Truly," and the Doctor gazed from the faces of Elsa, Ilse, and Bettina to the grown ones, "it was a pitiful thing to see the frightened little faces. Our Queen, ashamed that she had frightened them, put her own feelings entirely aside and thought only of them! 'Come with me, my darlings,' she said, and taking the baby she led the way to her room. When she had removed her wraps, she gathered them all around her. 'Fritz, Willy,' she said to the two older boys, 'stand before me. Charlotte, Carl, sit one on each side. I will hold the baby. Listen now, and I will tell you why your mother comes to you thus in tears. My dear, dear children,' I have written down every one of her words in my diary," explained the Doctor, reading from his little book, "'We have suffered a great and terrible defeat. Your poor, unhappy father and all the soldiers of Frederick the Great, your famous uncle, have been defeated in two terrible battles, one fought at Jena, the other at the same moment at Auerstädt.'"

Then the Doctor told how she related the news of that dreadful October, and told of her journey and the flight to Berlin. And she spoke so simply that even little Carl had an idea of all the trouble.

"My darlings," and she gathered Carl and Charlotte in her arms, "you see me in tears. I weep for the destruction of our army, for the death of relatives and of many faithful friends."

The older boys wiped their eyes, and Carl began to sob, for his lively Cousin Louis Ferdinand, who always brought him toys and had a joke ready, was dead, too, his mother had told him.

"Fritz, Willy," the Queen turned to them, speaking only to them, "my dear, dear sons, you see an edifice which two great men built up in a century, destroyed in a day; there is now no Prussian army, no Prussian empire, no national pride: all has vanished like the smoke which hid our misery on the fields of Jena and Auerstädt. Oh, my sons, my dear little children, you are already of an age when you can understand these unhappy things. In a future age when your mother is no more, recall this unhappy hour. Weep again in your memories my tears, remember how I in this dreadful moment wept for the downfall of my Fatherland."

Then she described to them the glorious death of their cousin, Prince Louis Ferdinand, and again addressed the little princes especially.

"But do not be content, little sons, with tears. Bring out, develop your own powers, grow great in them, Fritz, Willy. Perhaps the guardian angel of Prussia gazes on you now. Free, then, your people from this humiliation which overpowers it. Seek to shake off France as your grandfather, the Great Elector, did Sweden. Do not forget, my sons, these times. Be men and heroes worthy of the names of Princes and grandsons of Frederick the Great, and for Prussia's sake be willing to confront death as Louis Ferdinand encountered it."

The fire which thrilled her voice caught the souls of the two boys and their eyes glowed with excitement.

"We promise, dear mother," said the Crown Prince, and both boys kissed her. "We promise," said little William.

Then the Queen being so tired sent the children from her, and attendants appeared from Berlin, couriers arrived with despatches, and Count Hardenburg, the Prime Minister, waited on Queen Louise with news of the King.

His Majesty, he assured her, was safe and sent word that the Queen and the children must go at once to Stettin.

On the twentieth they arrived in that strong town, and the Queen said good-bye to her children.

"Go, darlings," she told them, "with our Voss to Dantzic. Mother will join father at Custrin."

Then she held them a moment one by one in her arms and begged them to be good and to pray always for their country.

"Auf wiedersehen, darlings, as soon as possible you will see both your dear father and your mother."

Then they had separated, the Countess Voss and the children going towards the Baltic, the Queen joining her husband in the strong old fortified town where he was then in hiding.

But something very annoying happened to the Queen at Stettin.

There she had been promised fresh horses. She waited and waited and none were brought forth. At last it was discovered that all the horses had been turned into the field after her arrival, and that she must go on to the King with her tired one.

"It was the work of that villain, Napoleon. All believe that everywhere," put in Ludwig.

When Dr. Hufeland had finished his story, Ludwig Brandt told of the entrance of Napoleon into Berlin; how he came in a splendid procession with flags flying and trumpets sounding.

"But the Berliners, watching him from the windows, wept," he added, his face glowing.

Then he related how Napoleon had said all manner of things against the Queen, and of how surprised he was when he first beheld her portrait at Potsdam. "I had no idea that she looked like that," he said, and began to ask questions about her and listened attentively to all the praise which on every side was given her.

But, however much he was interested, it did not prevent his accusing her of having caused the war, before an assembly of Berliners he called to discuss matters. Only one of these Prussians had courage to defend the Queen. He was an old clergyman named Erman.

Up he stood and looked Napoleon straight in the eye.

"Sire," he said, "that is not true."

Not a soul believed that he would escape with his life, but he did.

"Perhaps," said the Professor, "Napoleon respected one brave man among such a group of cowards."

Before the Doctor could reply, a thundering knock at the door made all stop and look at each other in consternation.



It was the Major, who never could wait a minute.

His face was red and the powder from his curls had been shaken off in his hurry. He greeted no one.

"Richard, Richard," he cried, "there is news of a battle at Eylau!"

The gentlemen sprang from their chairs, Madame von Stork turned pale. Her Wolfgang was with the army.

"Yes, yes," cried the Major, speaking French very rapidly, "there has been a battle, a dreadful one, something terrible. There is no news yet that is certain. Some say, victory, others, defeat, but the whole town is in wild excitement. I have heard that the suffering of the soldiers was awful."

"Naturally," said Herr Brandt in German—not a word of French would he speak, "with all this ice, snow, and freezing."

"I have but one boy," said the Major, "and he is with the army. Here, Clarchen, some wine. Ah, many thanks, Mademoiselle Pauline." In spite of his worry he made a gallant bow, the cockade on his queue bobbing.

"My Rudolph," he said, "is a soldier, and perhaps at Eylau. But he can be nothing better than his father was, now can he?" He settled his double chin over his high stock and gazed from his blue eyes at the gentlemen.

The Professor motioned them all to seats.

"Clarchen," he said to his wife, "it is bedtime for the children." His voice was trembling.

The children all bowed and curtsied, and, kissing their mother's hand and wishing pleasant dreams for everybody, departed; Marianne, Pauline, and Otto, also.

The gentlemen, for Madame von Stork in a moment followed to give orders to her servant, sat with filled glasses and discussed Napoleon and their country.

Presently the Professor left the room to order another bottle of wine and some sandwiches.

"That older girl, Mademoiselle Pauline, is an excellent maiden," remarked Dr. Hufeland, in tones of admiration. Herr Brandt nodded, his face growing serious.

"Did you notice how calm she kept amid all the excitement?"

"Yes, yes," said the Major, "she is excellent, always ready to arrange my stock or tie the ribbon on my queue. Very different from my niece, Marianne," he added, "very different, I assure you."

Herr Brandt raised his eyebrows.

"Richard has spoiled that girl," he remarked; "see here." He picked up "The Sorrows of Werther," which lay under Marianne's chair.

Then he read aloud high-flown passages marked by Marianne's pencil.

"How her parents expect any sensible German man to marry her I cannot form an idea. A German man desires a wife who can cook, sew, and keep his house in order."

The Doctor raised his hand, for the Professor was entering with the bottle.

Almost immediately his wife followed.

Her eyes at once fell on "The Sorrows of Werther," and her face darkened.

"See, Richard, see," she cried, "we quite forgot to scold Marianne."

"Come, come, Clarchen," the Professor's voice was kind and soothing, "let the girl be. We have far more serious things now to worry over."

Then he lifted the book from the table.

"Ah, Goethe," he cried, and, in a moment, the battle of Eylau and all else was forgotten, while his eager eye conned the familiar pages. Madame von Stork turned to the others, who burst into laughter as they watched her husband.

"Just see him!" cried the poor lady, her turban bobbing as she shook her head with violence.

Startled, the Professor looked up from his book, his mild, learned face full of wonder.

"What is it?" he asked, "is it supper time?"

"Nein, nein, Richard," and Herr Brandt slapped his shoulder with sarcastic affection. "It is nothing, you know, only the cannon of Napoleon."

He, himself, had not the least good for Goethe, who had remained quietly at his dinner in his garden in Weimar when the cannon were thundering at Jena, and who sang no songs of patriotism, had nothing to cry out against Napoleon.

"But, Richard," his wife laid her hands on his arm, "you must pay heed to Marianne." The gentlemen nodded. "She is more trouble to me than all my other children. Even the twins and Carl are more useful. Reading, talking, dreaming, that is Marianne. She is good for nothing else. It is Bettina Brentano who has ruined her. I have never approved of that friendship. But, O Heavens, why worry over anything when my Franz is a prisoner, and my Wolfgang, I know not where!" and she burst into tearful sobbing. Herr Brandt and Dr. Hufeland arose in haste, and, kissing her hand and saying good-night to the Professor and Major, they fled.

There was little sleep for anyone that night, for dreadful pictures of Wolfgang, or Rudolph, frozen, or dead in the snow, arose before every eye, and drove away all slumbers.

On the morning, when the courier brought the truth to Memel, Marianne was writing a letter to her friend Brentano.

She had met this famous friend of Goethe when she was a year younger, and on a visit to her aunt in Frankfort-on-Main.

Never had Marianne seen anyone who had seemed to her so clever.

Both of them adored the poet Goethe, it being the fashion in those days for young girls to worship some poet.

Bettina Brentano knew Goethe's mother, a fine old lady whom everyone called "Frau Rat," and often she and Marianne went to see her.

When Marianne returned to Berlin she was changed entirely.

From a merry, jolly, little girl she had become a mournful maiden who convulsed her family with the most melancholy speeches. She spoke of the gloom of living, of the joy of dying while one was still beautiful, and if anyone talked of Goethe, or even so much as mentioned his name, Marianne clasped her hands and rolled her eyes and behaved, her brother said, "like an idiot."

The Professor only laughed.

"She has the Goethe fever, Clarchen," he told his wife. "It has spread at times all over Germany."

But on the day when Carl had been lost and the Queen had kissed him, the fault of the whole affair was to be laid on the shoulders of Marianne.

Then the Professor had at last listened to his wife and heard how Marianne would do nothing but read books, keep a foolish, sentimental journal, and write letters to Bettina Brentano.

"And, dear husband," his wife had added, "our Marianne talks of love and hopeless sorrow, our Marianne, who used to be so merry. Her thoughts are never with the coffee-cake, never with her sewing. And tell me, please, how is a girl to get a husband with this nonsense? Her wedding chest, which every German girl, as you know, must have ready, has not a thing to boast of, and Pauline's is entirely ready. She will not stitch, knit, or embroider, only read, read, read."

"It is the Goethe fever, I tell you, dear wife," said the Professor. "It will vanish."

"But, Richard," pleaded the Mother Stork, "consider the candles."


Ah, that was a different matter.

"Yes, yes, dear husband, the candles. Do not think for an instant that I permit all this nonsense to go on in the daytime. If I see Marianne with a book, I take it away and provide needlework. And what does she do but burn candles!"

"Ah," said the Professor, "that will never do. I will see to the matter."

Now, at that moment Marianne was safe, she thought, in her room, her pretty hair floating over her blue dressing jacket, her paper on her desk, her pen in her hand.

"Ah, my chosen friend, my Bettina," she wrote in the high-flown style of that day, "who but thou understands thy Marianne? On every side I meet with derisive laughter when I would speak of him whose name I am not worthy to mention, our Master, thine and mine, our Goethe! Oh, to be again with thee, to sit with thee beneath the free, open Heaven, gazing upward at the celestial orbs whose silver beams thrill into thought, mysterious wonder of that law-ruled world of Nature which none but poets truly know. Oh, Bettina, how worthless is life when spent amid the trivialities of nothingness. Oh, to wander with thee, my heart's true friend, chosen of my spirit, to wander on the wings of thy imagination into the realms of infinite calm, and there to prepare our souls to be a sacrifice to him who——"

A knock at the door had interrupted this flight of sentimental fancy.

In had come her father.

With a laugh he had shut the writing-desk.

"Liebchen," he said, "it is time for bed. Do your writing by daylight."

Then he kissed her cheeks and patted her hair, and told her he could have no such wasting of candles.

"To bed in five minutes," he had commanded, and that ended the burning of candles. But nothing yet had cured her of her thoughtlessness, and it was still Pauline who did everything to assist the mother.

On the day that the news came of Eylau, Madame von Stork and Pauline were busy making coffee-cake, Bettina, Ilse, and Elsa helping stem currants and stone raisins.

In her room Marianne was telling Bettina Brentano all about their life in Memel. She was not sure that she could send a letter, but it was amusing at all events to write it. It was stupid to make coffee-cake.

"It is pleasant, dear Bettina," she wrote, "that our dear Queen and King are in Memel. Often, now, father is sent for to talk with the Queen, and one day mother took me to pay our respects to the Countess von Voss, who is a friend of my dear grandmother. She is a very lively and beautiful old lady, Mistress of the Court, and like a mother to our Queen. She is very clever, and the gentlemen greatly admire her. She is so stately, and will not forgive a lack of ceremony. I was in the greatest terror, as you may imagine. We were shown into her room where she was engaged at her toilette, some gentlemen, among them a Mr. Jackson, an Englishman, laughing and talking as her maid did her hair.

"I made my curtsey and saluted her hand.

"'And this is your daughter,' she said very kindly to mother. 'Dear Clara, the child has a look of poor Erna.'

"That was my aunt, my Bettina, who died when she was a girl, and who was engaged to Ludwig Brandt.

"Then the Countess asked us to be seated, and when at last her hair received its crown of a turban, she gave us some fine tea from England, which Mr. Jackson had given here.

"It was most kind in her, but I prefer our coffee.

"She told us story after story about our Queen, for it is of her that she best likes to talk; and, also, she spoke of dear little Prince William, and of how he had entered the army.

"It happened on New Year's Day, because the coming of the French made the King fear that he could not present him with the honour on his birthday.

"When the Royal children appeared before our King, he greeted them for the New Year, and then turned to little Prince William, and, oh, he is the dearest little fellow, my Bettina! so sensible-looking and so, in face, like our King. 'To-day,' said our King, 'something very important is to happen. William,' and he turned directly to him, 'I have nominated you to a commission in the army. We can no longer stay here in Königsberg, because of the approach of the enemy, and we must go to Memel at once. I might not be able to give you the appointment on your birthday, as I had intended to do, so I give it to you now.' Then, indeed, as you may imagine, little William was happy.

"The Countess told us how they arrayed him in a blue coat, with a red collar and narrow, dark trowsers and high boots to his knees. Exactly like the Guard, you remember.

"Then, suddenly, everybody began to cry 'Ah Heaven!' and lift up hands in horror. It is a rule that the Guard must wear queues, and Prince William's hair was too short for a pig-tail. 'And there they were,' said the Countess, 'acting as foolishly as they are doing about this war, when I simply sent out for a false queue and tied it on the child's hair, and ended the trouble.' Then they gave him a little cane, and behold, a fine soldier!

"He is my favourite, and sometimes I think that the Countess likes him better than the Crown Prince, who certainly knows that he is clever, but he is very handsome. Then the Countess told us of how dreadful it was at Königsberg, where our dear Queen was so ill, and how, when they told her that the French were at hand, she begged to be allowed to travel. She had a great horror of that monster, Napoleon, who has vowed to capture her, and so she told them it was better to fall into the hands of the good God, than into the hands of man.

"Mother asked the Countess why Napoleon so hated the Queen. Before she could answer her parrot suddenly called out in the funniest way: 'Napoleon is a monster! Our Queen is an angel! Down with the French!' You can guess how startled we were, but...."

Before Marianne could end her sentence she heard Otto calling: "Marianne! Marianne!"

She flew downstairs and into the great kitchen.

There were Pauline, her mother, the children, and her father all listening to her uncle.

"The courier has come!" cried Otto. "Uncle will tell us the news!"

Both Russians and French claimed the victory, but such sufferings had never been known in the world's history.

Amid the ice and snow, all had waited for days, the Russians occupying a church and graveyard, the camp fires lighting snowy fields and trees and bushes which crackled.

"The courier, dear Richard," the old major addressed his brother, "says thousands are sleeping a sleep from which even the love of their families never can wake them."

He blew his nose with great violence.

"The snow is red with the blood of thousands," he continued, "the Russians, God be thanked, kept their ground. They are not conquerors, it is true, but they have checked Napoleon!"

The Major's face flushed crimson.

"God be praised!" cried all the company, and the kitchen rang with rejoicings.

But they had not heard all the good news.

"It is said," concluded the Major, "that the Emperor of the French will now propose peace."

"And Wolfgang? Rudolph?"

The Major shook his head, his cockade bobbing.

"No news yet, dear sister, we can trust only in God, but I have no reason to believe they were at Eylau."

Bettina had listened eagerly.

She was very much afraid of the Major. He was so red-faced and important looking, and had not much good for people below him, and so she waited until at last he left the room. Then she crept quietly to Marianne.

"Please, dear gracious Fräulein," she whispered, "was my grandfather in the battle?"

Marianne was opening her lips to speak, when Otto interrupted:

"Nein, Bettina, nein. Your grandfather...."


Pauline quickly stopped him, her hand across his mouth.

"No, little Bettina," she said very kindly, "your grandfather was not with the army."

"Will he come, gracious Fräulein, come soon?" Bettina's eyes looked up eagerly.

"Perhaps, child, perhaps." Pauline turned away and picked up some cups from a table.

"Run away, children," she said, "and play until dinner."

Bettina went slowly. It was very strange that her grandfather never came back to fetch her. They were kind to her and she loved them, but she wanted her grandfather. Would she never see Thuringia again, nor Willy, nor her godmother, nor her brothers? The tears filled her eyes and the sobs came.

Poor little Bettina!

She lived in sad, cruel times, and she was to be a woman before she ever again met even one of them, or walked in the forest paths of Thuringia, or saw the spire of St. Michael's rising high above the red roofs of Jena.



One morning, soon after the news of Eylau, the Major told the children that an English ship had arrived in the harbour.

"Mother, mother," they cried, "may we go and see it?"

Poor Madame von Stork, who was almost ill from worry over Franz and Wolfgang, rejoiced at the thought of a morning free from noise and questions.

"Yes, yes," she agreed very quickly. "Put on your wraps and furs, and Pauline and Marianne shall take you."

In a few moments the whole party set forth, Pauline and Marianne in dark red dresses, fur hoods, and great baggy white muffs, the children wrapped to the tips of their noses, Otto and Carl in huge cloaks and fur caps.

Reaching the bridge, whom should they come upon but the Queen and her party, who, also, were there to see the great ship. The Crown Prince was there, handsome, clever-looking, clinging to the arm of his mother, to whom he seemed entirely devoted, little William with such a clear good look in his face that it was impossible not to love him, and beautiful little Princess Charlotte keeping shyly at the side of the Countess Voss, who was guarding with watchful eyes the merry Maids of Honour.

When the Princes saw Otto and Carl, their faces lighted, and they whispered to their mother, who at once begged the Countess to have them sent for.

"My little boys, the Crown Prince and Prince William, would like to know you," she said, and then she sent the four to the side of the bridge that they might talk without grown people listening.

Princess Charlotte at once flew to her mother's side, the joy in her face proving that she had not the cold nature that seemed to show in her face.

Then the Queen, with one of her bright smiles, asked Pauline and Marianne if they could not come and assist in making lint for the soldiers. The ladies of the court, she said, worked busily in her rooms. Then she turned away, and, with Charlotte, joined the boys, whose laughter soon rang as if they were enjoying themselves. At once the Maids of Honour began to amuse themselves with Marianne, and, some of the gentlemen soon joining them, they turned the talk to Goethe, and then laughed behind their hands when Marianne rolled her eyes and clasped her hands and spoke of Frau Rat, and vowed she would never marry because there was but one man in Germany, and that one, Goethe!

The Countess von Voss did not like this conduct.

"I beseech you, dear ladies," she said with great dignity to the Maids, "let Mademoiselle von Stork alone. Young girls are better unnoticed." But the Maids of Honour tossed their heads and would not stop their nonsense.

"Do you not pity us, Mr. Jackson," they cried to a handsome young Englishman, "that we have but one man in Germany?"

But Mr. Jackson, being very devoted to the old Countess, only remarked:

"Oh, greatly, ladies," and began conversing about the ship with his favourite, and the Maids of Honour were left to Marianne.

Meanwhile Bettina and the twins had been amusing themselves.

Bettina was so happy that her eyes did nothing but gaze at the face of her dear, beautiful Queen.

Never was anyone so lovely, so patient. With a kind word for all she put aside her troubles and showed the boys how the ship was manned, told them what this meant and that, and now and then patted Charlotte's hand, that she might not feel neglected. Never for a moment did she seem to think of herself or her own pleasure. She smiled at the twins, asked their names, and then tried to tell them apart, and laughed quite like a girl when she called "Ilse," "Elsa."

Suddenly she gazed at Bettina as if puzzled.

"Dear Voss," she touched the arm of the Countess, "do we not know this child? Where have we seen her?"

The Countess called Marianne.

"It's a sad story," said the girl, glancing at Bettina, whose eyes were fixed on the Queen.

Then the Countess commanded Bettina to run away with the twins and watch the sailors, and taking Marianne to the Queen, told her to relate the child's history.

More than once, as Marianne told the story, the Queen's eyes filled with tears.

"Poor child," she said, "poor little Bettina!"

When she had heard it all, she had Marianne bring Bettina back again.

"Dear child," she said, "surely I have seen you before. Is it not true?"

And she smiled at the little girl most enchantingly.

Now, nobody had ever told Bettina that a little girl must be afraid of a Queen, so she smiled back at her with the eager, bright look which made her so pretty.

"Ja, ja, dear Queen," she said, for no one had told her to say "Majesty," and then she told of the inn on the road from Jena.

A look of pain banished the brightness from Queen Louisa's face. Very gravely she asked Bettina question after question, and she heard of the cruel journey, and of how Bettina's grandfather had left her.

"Yes, yes," she nodded to the Countess, "I remember the old man. It was of him that we spoke to the Professor, your father," and she glanced at Marianne with a look of warning.

"But, dear Queen," said little Bettina, nodding her head in her bright, fairy way, "my dear grandfather will come back soon, and we will go to Thuringia when the Kaiser Barbarossa comes from the cave and with his great sword kills the Emperor!"

The Queen did not laugh.

"God grant it, dear child. God grant it," she said. "Let us pray that the ravens will wake him, the old Red-Beard."

When Bettina had danced away to the twins, she turned with a saddened face to the old Countess.

"Dear Voss," she said, and her voice was low and troubled, "these poor, poor children whom this cruel war has orphaned! Each day I hear a fresh story of their suffering. Alas, that I, the Queen, can do nothing for want of money. But something must be done, and I, the Queen, must do it. Such a lovely child, so trusting and, alas, so desolate."

Then, her whole mood changed, she walked back to her house in Memel, her heart heavy with the troubles of the Fatherland.

That very day Ludwig Brandt appeared. Why he travelled to and fro over the country no one knew, unless it was the Professor. It was something to do with the war, of that all were certain.

He reported that fifty thousand French and Russians lay dead in the snow of Eylau, and that Napoleon was to send General Bertrand to Memel to propose peace to King Frederick William.

In a day or two this general came—"A most disagreeable-faced Frenchman," the old Countess called him, "and with dreadful manners,"—and the story of his visit was soon known about Memel.

He had submitted an offer of peace from Napoleon, who agreed to restore his kingdom to the King of Prussia if he would break off his friendship with the Czar of Russia.

To the Queen he brought most agreeable and flattering messages from Napoleon. He sent her word that he had been deceived in her character. He wished now to be friends.

The Queen was polite, but that was all. She had no belief in the promises of the French Emperor. Napoleon had made a cruel war on a poor, helpless woman, driving her across the country, reading her letters, publishing wicked things against her, having horrid pictures drawn of her for his newspapers, and declaring her to have caused the war and all the misery to Prussia.

It was impossible to believe that he had truly repented because he had halfway lost a battle.

As for the good King, he refused to break his word to his friend to save his kingdom, merely because Napoleon commanded him.

"Let the war go on," he said, and suffering Prussia, its houses burned to the ground, without food, with the cruel French everywhere, cried:

"Hoch to our King! He is a good man, and true, and we will shed our last drop of blood in his service!"

And so General Bertrand left Memel, and the war went on.

But everywhere there was much suffering. Even the King and the Queen had little to eat and no money to buy anything, for the French had burned the farmhouses, the farmers were in the army, and this poor land must feed not only its own people, but all the enemy. Sometimes seven villages could be seen burning at once, and behind Napoleon's white horse stalked two dreadful figures. One, called Death, commanded executions in every town and slew thousands on the battlefield, and refused to spare hungry little children. Gaze where the poor Prussians would, the shadow of his great scythe was over them. The other, Famine, breathed on the poor down-trodden fields, and nothing flourished; with her fierce hands she gathered up all the wine in the cellars, the potatoes saved for winter, the meat, the fruit, all there was to eat everywhere.

The poor Prussians between them were desolate.

In those cruel days there came to the King's house in Memel two simple people of a sect of which there are some now in America, the Mennonites. Their name was Nicholls, and they asked to see the King and the Queen.

When they came before their Majesties, Abraham, the husband, holding in his hand a bag, addressed the unhappy, worried-looked King:

"Majesty," he said, "I bring you from my people, who send me as their deputy, two thousand gold Fredericks. We have collected them among ourselves, and offer them as a token of love and respect to our sovereign."

Then he laid the heavy bag in the hand of the King.

"We, thy faithful subjects," he continued, "of the sect of the Mennonites, having heard of the great misfortunes which it has pleased God to permit, have gladly contributed this little sum which we beg our beloved King and ruler to accept, and we desire to assure him that the prayers of his faithful Mennonites shall not fail for him and his."

The wife then placed a basket in the hands of Queen Louisa.

"I have heard," said this kind woman, "that our good Queen likes good fresh butter very much, and that the little Princes and Princesses eat bread and butter very heartily, so I have made some myself, which is very fresh and good, and that is very rare just now, so I thought it might be acceptable. My gracious Queen will not despise this humble gift. This I see already in thy true and friendly features. Oh, how glad I am to have seen thee once so near and, face to face, have spoken with thee!"

Queen Louisa took the basket, with tears in her lovely eyes.

"Dear Frau Nicholls," she cried, her face all warm with gratitude, "I thank you many, many times, and over and over."

Then she took off the handsome shawl she wore and threw it about the shoulders of the Mennonite woman.

"Dear Frau Nicholls," she said, "keep this in remembrance of me."

For answer the good woman burst out into speeches of pity for the misfortunes of the poor King.

But his Majesty, interrupting her with a kind smile, lifted his hand to check her.

"No, no, Frau Nicholls," he said, "I am not a poor King. I am a rich King, blessed with such subjects."

Then he and the Queen sent many messages to the poor Mennonites, and, when the two had gone, promised each other that when good times again would come they would not fail to reward them, and the King did not forget it.

To Memel, too, came Prince William, the King's brother, and his wife the Princess Marianne. They had fled from Dantzic, and their only little daughter, the tiny Princess Amelia, had died of cold on the way.

Sometimes the children of the "Stork's Nest" saw this poor lady walking with the Queen, and they all gazed at her with great interest because her name was the same as Marianne's.

Ludwig Brandt remained, too, in Memel, and was much with the Englishmen and went almost every day to the reception room of the old Countess von Voss, where the talk was the hottest against Napoleon.

"The Prussians," he told the Professor, "may be conquered, but never will they forgive Napoleon's treatment of the Queen. There he went too far."

He further told the Professor, but this was a secret, that the students of Königsberg were forming plans by which they hoped to defeat Napoleon. He was concerned in this affair and hoped to do more that way than by joining the army.

And so the days passed at Memel. Often the children saw the Queen walking, or taking the air in one of the high-runner sleighs. Carl and Otto and the Princes were often together, and Marianne and Pauline assisted with the lint. There was no stiffness as about a court. They all had become friends in the time of trouble.

Then, presently, the Professor went to Königsberg to fulfil his duties as Professor.

"But remain here with Joachim, dear wife," he said. "Who knows that the French will not advance upon Königsberg? You know now that Wolf and Rudolph are safe, so you can rest here and not worry."

The Queen also went to Königsberg to visit her sister, Frederika, who had married the Prince of Solms and lived in that city.

But the Professor was right.

After a brave siege the fine city of Dantzic fell. Again Napoleon was conqueror, and back in haste came the Professor and back came the poor Queen, flying again to Memel, whose cold winds so disagreed with her. With them came news so dreadful that Marianne felt that never in her life could she be happy again. Napoleon had won the bloody victory of Friedland. Not a French cannon had missed its aim. Like ninepins, the enemy had fallen. Fleeing, the Russians, weighed down by their arms and heavy uniforms, had rushed into the nearby river and the waves had been as cruel to them as Napoleon's guns.

With the dead was Wolfgang, curly-haired, merry Wolf, the one ever ready with a laugh, ever making jokes, playing tunes on his fiddle, waiting on his mother, teasing the twins, laughing at Marianne, Wolf who had been the favourite of all the family.

"Ach Gott, ach Gott, ach Gott!" wept poor Madame von Stork, and she beat the wings of her love and refused to be comforted.

When the Queen heard that the Professor had lost a fine young son and that his wife was so overcome with her sorrow, she went like a friend to see her and to comfort her.

Madame von Stork felt the honour of the visit, but not even a visit from a Queen could make her cease weeping.

With gentle words her Majesty tried to comfort her. She told her of the bravery of Countess Dohna von Finkenstein, whom she had seen in Königsberg. Four sons had she sent to battle, and when they returned wounded, she had sent them forth again.

"We must trust in God, dear Madame von Stork," the Queen's eyes glowed. "I know that He will not desert us, no, not even after this dreadful battle of Friedland. Dear Madame, think what it means to me. Napoleon is in Königsberg now, and I can return no more, and we must perhaps quit our kingdom and fly for safety to Riga in Russia. But in spite of this, as I have written my dear father, I beg you in the name of God, to believe that we are in the hands of God. It is my firm belief that He will send us nothing beyond what we are able to bear. All power, dear Madame, comes from on high. My faith shall not waver, though after this dreadful misfortune I can no longer hope. To live or die in the path of duty—to live on bread and salt if it must be so—would never bring supreme unhappiness to me. Let us trust then, dear Madame, in the God who sends us good and permits the evil that in all things we may be drawn nearer to Him and His love."

Though the Queen's sweet voice trembled, though her eyes said, "I sorrow with you," Madame von Stork would not be comforted.

"Majesty," she said, thinking only of her own grief, "have you lost a son?"

The Queen's eyes filled, her lips trembled like a child's.

"I have lost one son," she said, "and a dear little daughter."

Then Madame von Stork remembered, and forgot her grief for the first time.

The Queen's face changed. She looked as if the whole sorrow of Prussia had crushed her.

"But, dear Madame," she said, her figure drooping, "I am the Queen, and I have lost your son and every Prussian woman's son, also. Am I not the Mother of my People? You have lost one son. I, the Queen, have lost thousands. Each mother's grief is mine and, oh, my God, how am I to bear it? Was not your Wolfgang mine, also?"

She touched her heart beating quickly beneath her dress.

"Dear Madame, pity your Queen and believe her. Here is a wound which nothing can heal. It has ached day and night since the battle of Jena. I am Rachel, indeed, weeping for my children."

When the Professor met his wife an hour later, a new look shone in her eyes.

"I was forgetting you, dear Richard," she said, "Wolfgang is gone, Franz is gone, but I have you and the children."

Then she laid her hand on his arm.

"Our Queen has been here, dear husband, and she is an angel."



In the winter Marianne had gone often to court. There was much need of lint and the ladies were always occupying themselves with making it.

The old Countess, who had known Marianne's grandmother well in her youth, made a pet of the pretty girl, and the ladies and gentlemen found her bright talk very amusing as they worked away in the rooms of the Mistress of Court Ceremonies, or in those of the Queen.

But Wolfgang's death changed everything.

"I shall never be gay again," wept poor Marianne.

At first she was for staying in her room and writing out her sorrow, but one day the Queen, whom she adored, had a talk with her.

What she said no one knew, but from that day Marianne began to think of others. And certainly there was need of patience in the "Stork's Nest." So much trouble made them all nervous, and the children, not having Madame von Stork's eye upon them, grew cross and very restless.

And the affairs of Prussia were in as bad a way as possible. After the disaster at Friedland on the 14th of June, Marshal Soult entered Königsberg, the King and the Czar fled to Tilsit, and the country waited to see now what would happen. Talk of peace began to be heard in all quarters.

"But let us not despair," said Ludwig Brandt to the Professor. "Prussia is conquered, but all through our land a spirit is rising against Napoleon. Stein and our best generals, our orators, our poets declare that the tyrant must be overcome and their burning words are stirring the people. Blücher, for instance, Richard, has declared that when a whole people are resolved to emancipate themselves from foreign domination they will never fail to succeed. I foresee that fortune will not always favour the Emperor," he said, "the time may come when Europe in a body, humiliated by his exactions, exhausted by his depredations, will rise up in arms against him. Then," Ludwig's face changed, "there is the enthusiasm in our Universities."

The Professor nodded.

Before, however, he could answer, in came poor Madame von Stork, her face full of fresh trouble.

"Richard," she said, "Ludwig, have either of you seen Otto?"

Both shook their heads and went on with their talk.

"Bettina!" called the lady.

In tripped the little girl, her face eager and interested.

"Dear child," asked Madame von Stork, "have you seen Otto?"

Bettina thought that he had gone to Frau Argelander's to see the Crown Prince, who had a room there.

"No, no," said Pauline, who came in at the moment, "Carl went alone. The Royal children wished to roast potatoes and Otto said that was too childish."

Dusk came, and no Otto.

"Carl, Carl," his mother cried when at last he returned with the servant, "where is your brother Otto?"

Carl's face flushed.

"He told me not to tell until bedtime."

"You must," cried his mother.

Carl brought a dirty little note from his pocket and handed it to his father.

When the Professor read it he grew white to the lips.

"The foolish, foolish boy," he said, "why could he not have asked me?"

The frightened family cried out for news of what had happened.

When Madame von Stork heard it she was distracted.

Otto had run away. He was sixteen now, and he had gone to fight against Napoleon. So he wrote his father.

"I did not tell you or mother," he said, "because you would have prevented me. But my country needs me. Ask Cousin Ludwig."

The Professor tried to comfort his wife. He told her that peace must be made in a month, that Otto could do nothing, but still she wept on.

By morning she was so ill that the Professor brought a doctor.

"Nervous fever," he said, "brought on by this climate and worry."

"I will nurse mother," cried Marianne, her heart all full of a new desire to be helpful.

"Nonsense," said her father. "Pauline is much more reliable. No, no, Mariechen, I couldn't trust you," and he left the room.

"It is my mother. I love her. It is my right!" burst our Marianne, her cheeks crimson.

But Madame von Stork decided it.

"I should go crazy with you, Marianne," she said. "You would be reading when I needed my medicine. I am sorry, dear child," she smiled to soften the lesson, "but I am nervous, very nervous, and I must have a thoughtful person. Pauline, you know, remembers."

Marianne rushed to her room. In a flood of bitter tears she flung herself on her couch. There in rows on their shelves stood her books. How she hated them!

Seizing one, she flew to the kitchen, her cheeks blazing. In a rage she opened the door of the stove. She thrust in "The Sorrows of Werther." With a blaze it ascended on the air of Memel in smoke, the maid staring in wonder. Marianne tore back to her room. She flung herself face downward on her couch.

"It is my mother, not Pauline's," she sobbed, and she wept for an hour.

Worn out at last, she rose to bathe her face in cold water.

On her chest of drawers stood a little picture that a lady of the court had given to her.

Marianne started. A flush dyed her face as she gazed into the blue eyes of the Queen. She who loved books above all things, put them aside without a word if the King, if the Royal children, if the ladies wanted her. She was never well, but was always helping others, always forgetting what she wanted, what pleased her, that she might do her duty.

"Dear Marianne," again the girl heard her voice as it had soothed her after the death of her brother Wolfgang, "there is no trouble in which the dear God will not help us."

All the demons of self and anger and dislike of Pauline ceased to struggle in Marianne, as she remembered. She would be good, she had promised Queen Louisa. She hesitated a moment, then she bowed her head and whispered a little prayer that the dear God would help her and make her good like the Queen who so loved Him.

Then she went below, all worn out with her battle, but quiet and humble and wishing to help her mother.

And certainly there was need of her.

Carl and Ilse and Elsa were quarrelling violently, Bettina with frightened face struggling to quiet them. She had on her little apron and had brought dishes to try and set the table for supper. Marianne's face flushed. Pauline was above, nursing her mother, Bettina below, trying to quiet the children and get supper for the Professor, and she, the daughter of the "Stork's Nest," had been in her room in a temper. She took the dishes from Bettina and she separated Carl and the twins. For an hour she sat with them telling them stories. Then her eye fell on a volume of Goethe lying on a table where her father had left it.

A half hour later the Professor opened the door. His face darkened.

"Marianne," he said, "I expected better things of you."

With a start the girl laid down her book. Carl and Ilse were squabbling over the last piece of cake on the table, Elsa was looking at a valuable book with sticky fingers, the clock had stopped for want of winding, and Bettina had vanished into the garden.

Marianne flushed hotly.

"I am trying, father," she said, "very——"

Without a word he left the room, his face stern with displeasure.

Putting the book aside, Marianne wound the clock, she sent the children to bed, and sought Bettina in the garden.

"I will do better," she promised herself, and next day she remembered much better.

But it was hard to keep the children quiet in the evening. She told all the stories she could think of, and they only clamoured for more.

One evening a bright thought struck her.

She ran to her room and came back with a fat, red book whose brass clasp she unlocked with a tiny key.

"Now, Ilse and Elsa," she said, "get your tent-stitch. Bettina, I would not knit. Work on that strip for a bed-spread. Carlchen, draw some pictures and I will read you a lovely book about our Queen."

Then she told them that their Aunt Erna, who had died when she was sixteen, had written it and it would give them a story of how happy the Queen was before Napoleon came into Prussia.

Then she arranged the candles, and all settled to listen.

The Professor, passing through the room, this time smiled on Marianne.

"Where are the children, Richard? What are they doing?" cried nervous Madame von Stork as he opened the door of her room.

When he told her, the worry faded from her poor ill face.

"God be praised, dear husband," she said, "that our Marianne is improving. It was hard to refuse her the nursing, but I hoped the lesson might rouse her, and I was right."

Then, smiling at her husband, she sank back on her pillow and soon was enjoying her first restful sleep.



Marianne had first heard of her Aunt Erna's journal in Berlin.

It had been on the night when Ludwig Brandt had come in with the news that the French had made the French Consul, Napoleon, Emperor.

When he had told his news the children with glowing faces informed him that their Carl had been kissed that very day by the Queen.

Ludwig, who was always serious, called the little fellow to his knee. Marianne never forgot how solemn it all was.

"Listen, my little Carl," he said, and waited until the laughter had all died from the chubby dimpled face, "a great and noble woman has kissed you. All your life think of it as a kiss of baptism. The call of war will come to you as to all Germans. Let the kiss of the Queen make of you a brave, a true, a patriotic soldier!"

How Ludwig's voice had rung through the room and how Pauline had gazed in admiration! And then Ludwig had taken little Carl on his knee and told him a nice little story of Queen Louisa, of when she had gone with her husband on his Huldigung, the journey German sovereigns take to receive the oaths of allegiance in their provinces and cities.

In the village of Stargard, in Pomerania, Ludwig related, the good people who had arranged the welcome had dressed little girls in white that they might strew flowers before the new young Queen, and the quick eye of the Queen noticed that, as there were nineteen, one must walk alone.

She turned to the grown people.

"Where is the twentieth?" she demanded, and her face grew crimson with anger when she heard their answer.

"Majesty," they said, "the child was so ugly that we sent her home."

"Poor child!" cried the Queen, "poor child! Send for her, and at once!" she commanded.

And when the poor little thing appeared, her plain, pale face all wet with tears, Queen Louisa held out her arms as she would to one of her own Royal children.

"Come, Liebchen," she said, "come at once to me. Tell me your trouble, every bit of it."

And then she petted her and praised her and drove away all the little thing's shame and tearfulness and told her stories of the Crown Prince, and the little girl forgot all about her ugliness and the people's cruelty. But to the grown people Queen Louisa was very stern, as she could be when it was necessary.

"Was my coming," and she looked at them until they blushed, "to be made a cause of sad memories to a dear little girl only because of her ugliness?"

"Our Queen is an angel," said Madame von Stork as Ludwig ended.

Then Marianne told stories, also, of things she had heard of the Queen at Frau Rat Goethe's.

"Bettina Brentano," she began, "is a friend of the mother of our Goethe!"

"My goodness, Marianne!" cried Franz, who was home in those days, "don't pronounce that name as if it were sacred!"

But Marianne paid no heed to him.

"Frau Rat," she continued, with a toss of her head, "loves our Queen with all her heart. She has known her since she was as old as Carl. Once, when she and her sister, the Princess Frederika, were little girls, they came to Frankfort to the coronation of the Emperor Leopold."

Then, while Carl crowded to her knee and even her father stopped his reading to listen, Marianne told how, one day, the two princesses came to visit Frau Rat with their Swiss governess, Fräulein de Gélieu, and of how in Frau Rat's garden was a pump which at once attracted the princesses.

Little Louisa, who loved the old lady, and was not a bit afraid of her in spite of the great turban she wore, whispered in her ear how much she would enjoy pumping like a common child.

The mother of Goethe nodded. She had no taste for prim etiquette and saw no real reason why the little princesses should not enjoy themselves.

"Come, dear Fräulein de Gélieu," said she to the governess. "Come into my saal. I will show you my beautiful snuffbox with the picture of my famous son upon it."

Then, leading the lady, she softly locked the door and Louisa and Frederika, running to the pump, clung to the handle, and pumped and pumped until the water ran in streams and splashed their stockings and elastic strap slippers, and made them for once enjoy themselves quite as if they had not been princesses.

When time for good-byes came the two happy little girls threw loving arms around the neck of this kind Frau Rat and grateful little lips whispered thanks for her kindness, telling her that never, never, never would they forget their joy in being permitted to play like other children. "Never, dear Frau Rat, never!" they cried.

Nor did Louisa, at any rate.

"Frau Rat," concluded Marianne, "showed me one day the most beautiful gold ornaments she had only a few months before received as a present from our Queen, who really loves her."

A second time Louisa visited Frankfort-on-Main. It was two years later when, Leopold being dead, Francis, the last Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, came to receive the crown which, in 1806, just before the battle of Jena, he resigned forever.

At that time the Princess and her brother Carl came to supper with Frau Rat Goethe.

There was omelette, very light and delicious, and famous bacon salad, a dish much loved in that day throughout Germany.

"Oh, how fine!" cried Carl and the princess, and when they stopped eating there was not even so much as a half leaf left on either plate!

All her life Frau Rat loved to tell about this, and Marianne related how she joked when she told the story.

"And, mother," said Marianne, "Frau Rat told me that our Queen, though she was then a princess, made her own satin shoes for the coronation."

Madam von Stork beamed approval.

She opened her lips to impress the importance of sewing upon Marianne, but the young girl was too quick for her.

"Frau Rat, father, says that our Queen reads both Goethe and Schiller always."

Before Madame von Stork could answer, the maid appeared with wine and cake, and, when all were settled, Marianne had told more stories about Goethe's mother and what a fine old lady she was, but so amusing in her great turban, with its red, white and blue feathers, or great decoration of sunflowers, with her hair all arranged and plaited with ribbons, her face rouged, her embroidered kid gloves, her rings, and her famous speech:

"I am the mother of Goethe!"

When Marianne told all this she altered her voice and put on what her brothers called her "Goethe manner," and, turning to Herr Brandt, she exclaimed:

"Oh, Uncle Ludwig, the Frau Rat showed me her son's playthings and the dresses he wore as a child. Oh, think of my touching, my handling what his noble hands have rested upon! Oh, how it thrilled, how it over-powered me!"

The boys burst into a roar, but her father with a glance quieted them.

"And what is Frau Rat like, Marianne?" he asked.

Delighted to talk on her favorite topic, Marianne told how, when the Frau Rat announced, "I am the mother of Goethe," her voice rang out like a trumpet.

Ludwig pushed back his glass.

"The trumpet we should hear," he said, "is the voice of her son singing songs of patriotism. Never mind, Mariechen," for Marianne was beginning to cry out, "your idol is not entirely perfect. Now, when at last we have a literature in Germany, why will not our poets rouse our people? The imitation of France is on us like a curse. All must be French. We must speak French, we must read French, we must despise all things German. I tell you, Richard, it is now the calm before the storm. Over Prussia is gathering a cloud and the day will come when the sun shall shine no more for us."

He arose and paced up and down the floor.

"Oh, Ludwig," cried Madame von Stork, "come, come, sit down and enjoy your doughnuts."

But Ludwig Brandt was not to be soothed with cake.

"Good-night, Clara," he said suddenly, and bending, kissed Madame von Stork's hand.

With an "Auf wiedersehen," he departed.

"My goodness," cried Madame von Stork, "but Ludwig is uncomfortable. Here we were enjoying a quiet, happy evening, and in he comes and upsets everything. See, Marianne, see, there he has spilt wine on the tablecloth. It is the English in him which makes him so solemn. Perhaps if dear Erna had lived she might have made him gayer. And speaking of Erna, Marianne, you are old enough to read your dear aunt's journal. It is really a history of our dear Queen the child kept to please Ludwig. To-morrow, when you visit your grandmother, you must ask her to lend it to you."

It was this same journal which Marianne brought forth in the sitting room.

Before she could begin reading Elsa and Ilse crowded to her side.

"Sister," they said, "tell Bettina what happened when you took us to grandmother's and she gave you the book, won't you?"

Marianne laughed.

"We had cherry compote for supper," she said, "and we all had some, and Otto whispered to Wolf that he could keep more stones in his mouth than Wolf could, and all the others heard and in whispers they all dared each other, and they kept on eating and eating until their cheeks were quite puffy."

Bettina laughed gaily.

"And there was company," put in Elsa.

"And grandmother asked Otto a question," said Ilse.

"And then——" Carl shouted.

"Otto couldn't keep his in——"

"And Wolf laughed——"

"And, oh, Bettina, it was awful! Stones shot everywhere out of everybody's mouth and oh, grandmother!" She held up her hands.

Bettina thought this very funny and they all laughed and would have made a great noise had not Marianne put the tiny key in the brass lock of the red book.

"Come, now, be quiet," she said, "and I will begin the journal of our Aunt Erna."



"First," said Marianne with an air of great importance, "I will tell you about the family of our Queen."

All the children looked up with eagerness.

"Her name," continued Marianne, "is Louisa Augusta Wilhelmina Amelia. Her father is the Duke Carl of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Her mother, who died when she was six years old, was a Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt."

Here Marianne paused.

"It is important, children, that you should know these things of our Queen," she informed them, looking very wise and grown up. "Her name, the mother's, I mean, was Frederika Caroline Louisa. Now our Queen—I learned this to tell you—was born in the old castle of Hanover, March 10, 1776. Her father was the governor there for his brother-in-law, who is king of—where, Ilse?"

Both twins shook their heads.


"Go on, Mariechen," said he, "don't be a teacher."

But Marianne had her plans.


"Oh, England," said the little girl, who had learned this from something she had heard Mr. Jackson say.

"Go on, Mariechen," urged Carl.

Marianne nodded.

"When our Queen was six," she said, "her father married her aunt, but she died, too, and our Queen lived with her grandmother, who took her to Holland, and Strasburg, and everywhere she travelled. One day she took her to the Rhine and she met the Crown Prince, who now is our King. Now, listen to what our dear Aunt Erna has written."

Marianne opened the red book.

On the first page was her aunt's name.

"Erna Hedwig Anna Marie von Bergman, her journal."

On the next was the date, "Dec. 22, 1793."

"To-day," read Marianne, "we went to see the entrance of our Crown Princess into Berlin. While we walked to Unter den Linden, where my Ludwig—I am betrothed now to Ludwig—had obtained for us very fine seats, he entertained us with stories of this lovely princess, who came to-day to our prince. He said everybody loved her, and he told me so much of her beauty that I was all eagerness to see her enter.

"Ludwig said that even when she was a child she gained love everywhere. Once, at Darmstadt, the great poet, Schiller, was reading aloud from his 'Don Carlos,' and he felt a pair of eyes on him. He looked up, and saw the loveliest little girl, who seemed to understand every word of his poetry. It was the little Princess Louisa, and Schiller smiled on her. To be smiled upon by a genius seems to me to be better than to be Crown Princess."

Marianne's face glowed as she read this.

"She would have understood me, my Aunt Erma," she thought.

"Go on, please, go on," said Carl.

"I said this to Ludwig," read Marianne, "but he told me that to be a good house-wife was better than either."

"Exactly like him," she muttered, and then went straight on with the journal.

"Our Princess, who came to-day, met our Prince at Frankfort-on-Main. Our King invited her with her grandmother and sister, Frederika, and the very instant that our Crown Prince saw Princess Louisa he said: 'She or never another.' A great love was at once in his heart.

"Every day they were together. Every evening in the theatre, and now, to-morrow, they marry. Our Prince Louis marries Princess Louisa's sister, Frederika. I find that lovely.

"They were betrothed at Darmstadt. Our King, who is such a jolly, joking man, gave them their rings. 'God bless you, children,' he said, and all the people said: 'Amen.'

"We thought there would be no marriage for a long time, for the King would not have it because of the war with France. But something changed his mind, and so to-day Berlin was decorated for the entry of the Princess.

"It was so fine I can hardly write about it. The whole of Berlin was decorated with flags. There were flags of Prussia, of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and of the Holy Roman Empire. They were everywhere, on the Rathaus, across buildings, in windows. There were evergreens, too, and in all my life I have never seen such a Christmas Markt. The open place was all full of booths with fir trees in the centre. We started early enough for me to buy a few things for our Christmas tree.

"It was hard to choose. I wanted laces and I wanted Swiss carvings, and I wanted French bonbons, but at last at one booth I bought honey cakes, at another, the dearest gingerbread images of the Prince and Princess, at another, a chocolate group of the four royalties, and some lace and toys for the tree.

"The streets were so full we could hardly push our way through the throng of hunters in green, Berliners and peasants all in their Sunday costumes and gold ornaments.

"People were in all the windows, hanging over balconies and pushing and pressing in the streets. We reached our places just as the 'Berliner Citizens' Brigade' formed in lines up Leipzigerstrasse to the corner of Wilhelmstrasse.

"We were quite near the big arch where the Princesses were to be welcomed.

"It was splendid. There were three divisions in the arch, all decorated with flowers and statues and pictures and words of welcome.

"One figure was Hymen, who is the god of marriage, and there were two bridal wreaths, because of the double wedding.

"'Look, Erma,' said mother, and there, among the little French boys in green suits sitting on the arch, was François de Ballore, and among the lovely little German girls in white with pink sashes and wreaths of roses, I saw Hedwig Rückert, Elise Stege, and Annchen Romeike.

"'One of them,' explained Ludwig, 'is to recite a poem of welcome.'

"It was dreadfully tiresome standing in that great crowd, but at last came the procession.

"There was a sound of horns, and six splendid horses walking with the greatest stateliness entered Unter den Linden. On them were the Royal Post Secretaries. Then came postilions in splendid uniforms, and after them the carriers in blue. The postilions, there were forty of them, Ludwig said, were all blowing horns, and I felt sorry, indeed, for the carriers. I liked the next thing very much. It was the Hunters' Guild, and they wore green costumes with peach-blossom facings. But the next after the hunters was splendid. It was dozens of young Berliners dressed as knights of the Middle Ages.

"The people cried out: 'Enchanting!' 'Wonderful!' and I said to Ludwig that I wished men dressed that way now and not in ugly every-day knee breeches and ruffled coats.

"But Ludwig only told me that armour would be inconvenient, and made fun. But I think so, just the same. What is there romantic about a queue, or slipper buckles, and knee breeches? Nothing at all.

"It was fun to see how important the Brewers and Distillers looked in blue. The merchants and their sons wore red, and after them came Frederick the Great's fine Royal Guard, and they all arranged themselves in two lines for the carriages to enter.

"The Berliners refused to have Royal Chamberlains about the carriages.

"'We want to see the Princesses, not Chamberlains,' they said.

"Ludwig named the people to me.

"The handsome, white-haired lady with bright, sparkling eyes, was the Countess von Voss, the Mistress of Court Ceremonies, who had gone to Potsdam to meet the Princess. There was the Duke, and the grandmother, and the brother of the Princesses, and the Maids of Honour, the two Ladies Vieregg, and Master of Court Ceremonies von Schulden.

"We could hardly see them for the crowd, and there was a woman near me who talked so much I could hardly hear Ludwig. She said that her husband was a member of the Guild of Butchers and he had marched to Potsdam, which was splendidly decorated, in a brown suit with gold shoulder-bands and a gold-figured vest and splendid red galoon hat with lace trimming. They gave the first welcome to the Princesses and, goodness knows, the butcher's wife was proud of it.

"But at last she was still, for in a splendid gold coach drawn by eight horses came the two brides.

"They are so beautiful I cannot describe them.

"They are both slender and very graceful, and they both have blue eyes and golden hair, but if you once see Princess Louisa, you can never look again at Princess Frederika.

"The people were enchanted.

"'Never have we seen such eyes, never,' was all we heard, for the Princess turned as she stepped on the platform and smiled right at us.

"They were blue and true, and oh, they are so different from other people's that I do not know how to tell it. They seem to say: 'I love you, I love you.'

"The sweetest thing happened.

"The prettiest little baby girl in white and pink, with a wreath of roses on her curls, came out on the platform to welcome the Princess. She was like a round-cheeked cherub, and she carried a bouquet of roses almost as big as herself. It was a poem she said of great big grown-up words, and her mouth was so tiny that it made everybody smile just to see her.

"'When thou appearest,' she began, and kept ducking her little head and then smiling at the Princess and looking out of the corners of her eyes.

"I have never seen anything half so pretty.

"And when she was through, what did she do but just stand and look at the Princess and smile, as much as to say: 'And how, dear Princess, do you like it?'

"And then what did our new Princess do but spring forward, catch the little round-cheeked thing in her arms and hug and kiss her as if not a soul was looking.

"'You darling!' she said.

"The people were just wild.

"'She will not only be our Queen,' said the woman who talked so much, 'she will be a mother to her people.'

"But the Mistress of Court Ceremonies was shocked.

"We could hear what she said, quite distinctly.

"'My heavens!' she cried, and her voice was so full of horror that even Ludwig laughed, 'what has Your Highness done? That is against all etiquette.'

"Then our Princess turned just like a girl.

"'What!' she cried, and I never heard a voice so sweet and like a silver bell, 'may I not do such things any more?'

"'She is adorable," said Monsieur de Paillot, who was standing quite near mother.

"'She is an angel,' said the woman who talked so much."

"Why, Mariechen," interrupted Elsa, "that's what everybody now calls her."

Marianne nodded.

"Go on," commanded Carl, whose blue eyes were quite eager with listening.

"After that," went on the journal, "the Princesses went to the palace, where the Princes were waiting. We had to wait for the crowd to thin, and Monsieur de Paillot and Ludwig fell to talking. He is a French refugee, I think. Berlin is full of them.

"'Monsieur,' he said to Ludwig, 'this parade to-day recalls another that I saw when a Princess came, also, to my kingdom.'

"We all listened politely.

"'She came, my friends,' he said, 'from Vienna, that Princess. Her bridegroom was the Dauphin of France. She, also, was beautiful.'

"He looked so solemn he took all the pleasure from our procession.

"A queer wrinkle came in his forehead and he looked almost like a revolutionist.

"'Many things have come to pass,' he said, 'since I first saw that Queen of France.'

"It was Marie Antoinette, I knew it, then. Poor lady, the wicked French have beheaded her.

"Monsieur de Paillot looked at me sternly.

"'These are troubled times,' he said. 'Old things are passing, new things are being born. Ours is a day of revolutions, of changes. There has been a struggle for liberty in America. I had the honour, as you know, of fighting with the noble Lafayette in the Colonies. I have seen Washington. I have talked with Thomas Jefferson, with the learned Franklin. You, here in Prussia, still have serfs, no constitution, and no patriotism. In America, the women went in homespun, the men starved at Valley Forge, and all for the rights of man. But here, pardon me, Madame, but is it not true that you borrow your language, your customs, everything from France? I fear that lovely young Princess may suffer.'

"Mother was furious. So was I. But Ludwig nodded.

"'You are right, Monsieur, quite right,' he said, and I think that horrid in him, even if he will be my husband.

"'Monsieur,' I said, 'was the Queen of France as beautiful as our Princess?'

"Then he made me a grand bow that made me think he was not quite so horrid.

"'Mademoiselle,' he said, 'I have never seen so lovely a woman as this Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, never.'"

When Marianne read this the children stopped her.

"Was that our Queen?" asked Carl.

"Of course," said Ilsa, "first she was Crown Princess, then our Queen."

At that moment the maid brought in the supper.

"To-morrow night," said Marianne, "I will read you the next things that happened. Come, now, Bettina, you may pass the bread, and Ilse, you and Elsa sit here one on each side of me, and Carl, you may be father."

"It is nice, Mariechen," said Ilse, "to have you take care of us."

"Yes," said Elsa.

"I love you, Mariechen," and Carl hugged her until she was nearly strangled.

Marianne, her eyes dancing, was glad that she was trying to be better. It made her happier, she found, than even "The Sorrows of Werther."



"Now," said Marianne, next evening, "I will read again in the journal. Are you ready, children?"

And she glanced around the little group.

There were the twins with their tent stitch, Carl with his pencil and drawing book, Bettina with her knitting.

Marianne smiled and settled herself most importantly.

"Carl," she said, "bring another candle. Elsa, will you please draw closer the window curtain, and Bettina, child, sit nearer the light. Now, ready?"

"Our Princess," began the journal, "was married last night, Christmas Eve, in this year of 1793. When mother lit our tree and my sister Clarechen's children, Franz and Wolfgang, were clapping their little hands in joy, Ludwig lifted his hand.

"'Our Crown Prince has a wife now,' he said, and glanced at the clock.

"Baron von Sternberg, an old friend of my father's, came to-day to see mother and told us all that happened last night, for he was at the wedding.

"He said that our new Crown Princess was most beautiful in white with a crown of sparkling diamonds that the Queen herself had placed on her lovely golden head. Before she was married, the widow of the Great Frederick gave her a blessing, the blessing of an old woman, she said. Then came the wedding in the Ritter Saal. The altar was beneath a baldachin of purple velvet embroidered in crowns of gold, and hundreds of candles made a splendid light. Oh, how I should love to have seen all the velvets and jewels and the fine ladies with powdered hair and the men with their clothes of fine velvet!

"I long for the Court, and because of my father's fine position, I could go there, but my mother will not have it.

"No, she says, it is wicked there. Our King is too gay, and she told me a sad story of the Countess von Voss, the lady I saw in the procession, and who, it seems, is mother's old friend from girlhood. This lady went to Court very young and the King's brother fell in love with her, and it was all so unfortunate, for he must marry a Princess, and the Countess, her cousin.

"But the wedding.

"Ober-Consistorial Rath Sack performed the ceremony, for he had both baptised and confirmed our Crown Prince. The Berliners wished a fine illumination, but the Crown Prince would not have it.

"'Nay, nay, good Berliners,' he said, 'give the money to the widows and orphans of the soldiers killed in the war with France.'

"Ludwig says that he is much worried over the debts of his father, the King, who is jolly and beloved of the people, but who spends everything he can lay his hands on.

"After the wedding came the polonaise. It is an old custom and takes place at the marriage of every Prussian Crown Prince.

"The pages first bring in torches and present them to eighteen ministers of state. Then trumpets sound, the royal family rise from the semi-circle in which they sit under a baldachin, the Lord Chamberlain gives a signal, and the dance begins, all in the light of the torches the performers bear with them.

"The Baron said that it was most enchanting. The King danced with our new Crown Princess, the Crown Prince with the Queen and the widow of Frederick the Great. Round they marched to the pretty polonaise step at the corner of the room, dividing and changing partners, the torches blazing, and oh, the lords and ladies so fine and grand!

"To-day is Christmas, and I was in the old Cathedral, and who should come in but the Crown Prince and Princess? They seem so in love with each other that it is beautiful to see. And they are most religious.

"As we were coming home from church we met Monsieur de Paillot. He told us something which filled me with the greatest joy.

"Our King was not quite pleased with the wedding.

"'There were too many embroidered coats,' he said, 'at the second we will have a few commoners.'

"And so the Berliners can go to the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Frederika, and my Ludwig will take me. Oh, what happiness, for I shall see our Crown Princess in her robes and her diamonds.

"The dress I wore to the wedding was most beautiful. A young French girl designed it with the taste and skill of her nation. It was made for a great ball at which I am to be introduced to society, but mother bade me wear it to Court.

"It was of white tissue, and above the hem of my flowing skirt was embroidered a border of fleur-de-lys in purple and gold. My kerchief was fine as a web and edged with rare lace, and for the first time my hair was raised high and powdered. Mother finished my joy by clasping about my throat a necklace of purple stones.

"'Your dear father gave them to me when I was a bride,' she said with a sigh, for it is but two years since we lost him.

"'Lovely!' cried my sister Clarechen when she saw me, but Ludwig frowned.

"'Why French flowers?' he asked, his eyes on the fleur-de-lys. Ludwig sees all things. 'Why not something German and blue?' he asked with great discontent.

"Ludwig is very strange in some ways. For one thing, he will not speak French, like all well-bred people.

"'I am a German,' he will say, 'why not speak my own language?'

"And he calls mother 'Frau,' and not 'Madame,' and me 'Fräulein,' and all my notes to him must be written in German, and German is so hard, not beautiful, like French, and he scolds me when I make more than a dozen mistakes in my articles: die, der, das.

"But my dress, my lovely, lovely dress!

"It might have been blue, or red, or any colour, for all that it mattered. The crowd was so great no one looked at poor little Erna von Bergman, and next day she spent hours darning a great rent in her skirt.

"But I have seen our Crown Princess, and she smiled right at me, so what else matters? No one could behead her as the French did Marie Antoinette; no, not even for liberty.

"She was in white and wore a crown of sparkling diamonds. The Crown Prince looked at her as if he adored her. He is very earnest and grave, she, very bright and gay. There is great love between them, I can see that, because of my own love for my Ludwig.

"I saw our King at the wedding, and he was most amusing. Of late years he has grown very stout, and because of his increased size he found it difficult indeed to pass through the room with his arm laden with the widow of Frederick the Great, our Queen Dowager.

"The crowd could not help punching him with their elbows.

"Think of it! Even Ludwig nudged our King!

"But he was not the least angry.

"He winked, actually winked, and then called out in his merry, jolly way:

"'Don't be shy, my children. The wedding father can have no more room to-day than the guests.'

"The Berliners were delighted.

"Our King is a great favourite because of his jokes and his calling the people 'Children.'

"But Ludwig does not admire him. He says one should weep to think of such a man wearing the crown of the Great Elector, or Frederick the Great, that he is like Charles II of England. He believes much in spirits and has mediums and such people always about him. But he is very benevolent and gives to the poor.

"Oh, it was fine at the wedding! I saw all the great people of the Court, and how I longed to be one of them and live in such splendour! But with torn dress and tired feet I came home to our humble dwelling. At least, it isn't so humble—mother would frown at such a word—but one says that when one goes to Court, where all is the grandest....

"I have decided to always put down what I hear of our Crown Princess, how the King loves her, and how our Crown Prince forgets his sad nature when he is with one so happy and gay, and all that the Berliners talk about."

Here Marianne paused and turned over some pages.

"I will skip," she announced, "because all on these pages is about other things. To-day I have read it all and have marked only that which will interest you."

"There are many things we hear of our Crown Princess," she then read. "She and the Crown Prince play many pranks upon the Countess von Voss, who loves etiquette and ceremony above all things. But that is on the surface; in her heart she adores the Crown Prince and the Princess Louisa, who is now like her daughter. As for them, they are full of mischief.

"All Berlin just now is talking of how our Crown Prince and Princess say 'thou' and not 'you' to each other, according to our sweet German custom of making a difference between friends and strangers.

"The Court, when this report spread, cried out in horror. It was not according to French etiquette.

"The King commanded his son before him.

"'What is this I hear?' he demanded, 'that you call the Crown Princess "thou"?'

"'You hear it upon good grounds,' answered our Crown Prince, with his slow, good-humoured smile, 'when a man says "du" (thou) the person to whom he speaks knows whom is being spoken to, but when I say "sie" (in German written "Sie" for "you,"—"sie" for "they") who can know whether I say it with a capital letter, or not?'

"From the beginning our Crown Prince had objected to the formal etiquette which Frederick the Great imposed upon our Prussian Court. He longs always to have his home life free from formality.

"'I desire with all my heart,' said he, 'to live as a plain person and not as a royal one.'

"One evening the Crown Princess returned from a feast, and ridding herself of her finery, ran like a girl to her husband.

"Clasping her hands, he gazed in her wonderful eyes.

"'Thank God,' he said, 'thou art again my wife.'

"The Crown Princess' silvery laugh rang through the room.

"'What?' she cried, 'am I not that always?'

"The Crown Prince shook his head with an air of sad discontent.

"'No,' he said, 'thou must so often be Crown Princess.'

"The Countess von Voss thought it her duty to bring this lively pair to order.

"'You do not please me,' she said one day to the Crown Prince. 'French etiquette rules all Europe, and I, as Court Mistress of Ceremonies, must lecture your Royal Highness for seeking the Crown Princess without announcement.'

"The Prince made a face and looked as if he were going to be stubborn.—I heard all this from Baron von Sternberg.—Then suddenly inspired by a secret thought, he laughed.

"'Good!' he cried like a penitent boy, 'dear Voss, I will reform. So have the kindness to announce me to my wife and ask if I may have the honour of speaking with her Royal Highness, the Crown Princess, and express my hope that she will graciously grant it.'

"The good Countess beamed her approval.

"Now, indeed, was the wayward young man behaving as he should.

"With dignified steps she sought the apartment of the Princess, and was beginning the announcement when a laugh interrupted her.

"The Crown Prince, laughing as hard as he could, sat on the couch with his arm around his wife.

"Jumping up, he seated the Countess between them. Then he took her hand and spoke quite decidedly.

"'See, dear Voss,' said he, 'I hurried in another way to show you that my wife and I see each other unannounced and quite as often as we will. That, in my opinion, is the only Christian fashion for married people, Royal or commoners. You are our charming Court Mistress,' the Crown Princess gave her one of her enchanting smiles, 'but Louisa and I have made up a name for you. You are now to be Dame Etiquette.' And all Berlin now calls her that.

"Dame Etiquette arranged a drive for the Crown Prince, the Princess, and herself, only last week, the Baron says. She insisted on a grand carriage, with bodyguard in costume. Above all the Royal pair hated this, but Dame Etiquette firmly commanded the equipage and arrayed in state she seats herself, at the Royal command, to await the others.

"The Crown Prince, coming out, gave a low order to the coachman, and off drove Dame Etiquette alone in the splendid state carriage, and behind her the naughty laughing Prince and Princess in a plain two-horse affair like commoners. All eyes were fixed on her, and Louisa and Fritz had as good a time as if they were not Royal.

"It seems strange to me how we long to be grand like princes and all they want is to be like us.

"Yesterday was our Crown Princess' birthday. All Berlin has made much of it, but in the palace it was grandly celebrated with a fine masquerade ball.

"All Berlin talks of what happened in the palace. When Princess Louisa came to the King for her birthday kiss he embraced her like a real father and said: 'You are the Princess of Princesses, my Louisa.'

"Then a company of Court ladies and gentlemen appeared before her, all arrayed as citizens of Oranienburg. One made a fine speech and presented her with a key.

"'Of our castle,' they said. 'You are to be its mistress.'

"Then, amid the excitement, the King explained that he gave her the gift of this castle for a summer residence.

"Ludwig told me that the wife of the Great Elector, another Louisa, lived there, and so it is very fitting that our Crown Princess have it because of her name.

"The King gave our Crown Princess another gift.

"At the ball he said quite suddenly to her:

"'Princess of Princesses, if you had a handful of gold, what wish would you grant yourself?'

"'I should make happy the poor of Berlin,' answered the birthday child.

"'How large, then, must the handful be, Princess of Princesses?' asked the King with a smile.

"'As big as the heart of the best king in the world,' answered our Crown Princess, her eyes dancing.

"And now we hear that because of this clever answer Berlin is to have a fine new charity.

"Ludwig says it would be much better if our King paid his debts, but I like our King, and so do the people."

Marianne skipped a little.

"Our Crown Prince has gone to Poland. We hear much of a brave man called Kosciusko, but Prussia rejoices that at last we have defeated him.

"To-day seventy-two guns sounding from the palace informed us that our dear Crown Princess has a son. We are glad, indeed, for she lost her first little daughter, who never lived a day.

"For godparents our new Prince has the Queen, the widow of Frederick the Great, the Prince and Princess Henry, Prince and Princess Ferdinand, and the Crown Princess' father. His name is Frederick William, for the King, who held him during the ceremony, when the same clergyman who baptised his father gave him his name.

"Our Crown Princess is more beloved than ever and now all Berlin rejoices over her son.

"As for me, Ludwig will have it that we marry in a year. I will then be sixteen and two years older than mother was when she was a bride. There is much to do. I must fill my wedding chest with linen and all things for my house."

"Our Crown Prince has bought a country home at Paretz. He and our Crown Princess long for a simple life. We hear much talk of what happens there, how they ramble in the woods, seek wild flowers, have supper under the trees and spend their days very happily.

"Our Crown Princess calls herself 'Gnädige Frau von Paretz (the Gracious Lady of Paretz), and takes part in all the village festivities. One evening all the villagers came in costume and announced that they would have a dance on the green. Our Crown Princess led the whole Court to take part. The village fiddler played, the peasants danced, and all was as merry as possible.

"But suddenly the Crown Princess had an idea.

"She ordered the castle thrown open, the Court musicians summoned, and all went in to dance on the fine polished floors.

"When Monsieur de Paillot heard this he shook his head.

"'Marie Antoinette played at being dairymaid, n'est-ce-pas?' and he looked as if we intended to turn revolutionists and cut off the head of our dear Crown Princess just for pleasure.

"Old General Röckeritz, the friend of the Crown Prince, is much at Paretz, and Berlin tells a story of him also.

"He had a way of leaving the table the moment the meal was at an end.

"No one could imagine what he did with himself, and it worried the Gnädige Frau von Paretz to have him leave her.

"'Let him alone,' said her husband, 'he is old and wants his comfort.'

"But our Crown Princess was not satisfied.

"Next day at the end of dinner she appeared with a tray on which were cigars and a lighted taper. The whole company gazed at her in surprise, the general, as usual, trying to escape.

"With a smile the Crown Princess detained him, presenting her tray.

"'No, no, dear Röckeritz,' she said, 'do not go away. To-day you must have your dessert with us.'

"The old general was enchanted. Now he need not sit alone to enjoy his cigar."

Marianne, pausing, began to turn over pages.

"There is so much, children, I can't read it all. Besides, it is sad. The Princess Frederika loses her husband, the widow of Frederick the Great dies, and so does the King. Then the Queen has a second little son. His name is Frederick William Louis, but you know who he is, our Prince William. He was the tiniest little babe, it says here. But you must hear how good our Queen is. 'I am Queen,' she wrote to her grandmother, 'and what rejoices me most is that I need no longer economise in my charities.'

"The citizens of Berlin at once, when she became Queen, waited upon her," read Marianne. "The Queen made them welcome and said: 'It gives me great pleasure to know you. The good will of my Prussian subjects and of you will never be forgotten. It shall be my aim to hold that love, for the love of his subjects is the best crown of a King. With joy I embrace this opportunity to know my citizens better.'

"To Röckeritz the King said:

"'My blessed uncle, Frederick the Great, has said that a treasure is the basis and prop of the Prussian states. We have now nothing but debts. I shall be as economical as possible.'

"Then did he propose to continue, as King, to live upon the income he had made suffice as Crown Prince?

"'The debts of my father,' said he very earnestly, 'must be paid by industry, discipline and economy.'

"Ludwig," wrote Erna, "is much pleased with all this, but he hopes the King will not forget that France is not yet at the end of her troubles. There is talk of a young man named Napoleon Bonaparte, who is the hope now of France. They say he will right everything.

"There are many stories told about our new King and his hatred of ceremony. I will write them to amuse myself. My wedding will not be quite so soon. I am not well and it is best for me now not to work. I do not know what is my trouble, but I cough and do not sleep well at nights and all are very, very kind to me.

"Now for the stories of the King.

"Immediately after the death of the late King, the Chamberlain threw open both folding doors for the entrance of Frederick William. One had been enough for him when he was Crown Prince.

"'Am I,' he asked in his whimsical way, 'in a moment grown so much that one door will not do for me?'

"When the chef added two more dishes to the bill of fare, with a smile he remarked to his wife: 'It is easy to see that they believe that since yesterday I have received a larger stomach.'

"According to a custom established by Frederick the Great, two Lieutenant-Generals always stood at the Royal table, and, with the Court Marshal, waited until the King first should drink.

"When Frederick William saw them standing like posts at his board he waved his hand toward chairs, inviting them to be seated.

"'We cannot be seated, your Majesty,' they answered with great dignity.

"'Why not?'

"'Your Majesty must first drink.'

"'And what must I drink?' inquired William, smiling and gazing at the glasses.

"'It is not stated, your Majesty.'

"The King seized a glass of water and drank it standing.

"'Now sit,' cried he in relief, as if he thought it all foolishness.

"Soon after the Crown Princess became Queen she went with her husband on a journey through his realm. It was the first time that a King of Prussia had taken his Queen with him so far from Berlin, and Ludwig says the people were delighted.

"Baron von Sternberg comes in now and then to see mother, and he is always full of court gossip. At Stargard, in Pomerania, he says, the King reviewed the troops and then the Queen started towards Custrin. At one of the villages the people surrounded the royal carriage and begged our Queen to alight and have some refreshment they had prepared.

"At once she left the carriage and went right into their houses, seeing their children and talking with the villagers.

"They were delighted, the Baron said.

"At Dantzic there were great ceremonies, and the amber workers gave the Queen a most lovely necklace. We hear that she wore it all the time she was in that city. As the Queen loves the country, she made many excursions. One was to Karlsberg, and now they will always call the spot where she stood 'Louisa's Grove.'

"It would take too long to tell everything, how the Queen stayed a week in the old palace at Königsberg, and the people, to please her Majesty, who always loves to do good, gave a great dinner to the poor, and everywhere she stepped flowers were strewn before her. So in love with our Queen were the people of Königsberg, that a large body of citizens insisted on going with her to Warsaw. As they were going down a steep hill, because of the carelessness of the coachman, our Queen's carriage was overturned. The Countess von Voss, declaring him to be drunk, reproved him very sharply. But our Queen can never stand seeing people unhappy. She touched the Countess on the arm. 'Thank God, we are not hurt,' she said, 'let it pass over quietly, for the accident has frightened our people much more than it has us; let us not add to their troubles.'

"But how delighted Berlin is over the Queen's reception in Warsaw I cannot write. Ludwig has explained to me that the Poles do not love Prussia, who has conquered them, but they forgot all their hatred and received our King and Queen with cheers, flags, and much waving of handkerchiefs. And fifty Polish girls in white, with wreaths on their heads and baskets in their hands, walked before their Majesties, strewing flowers. And at a village sixteen Polish girls greeted her with a song. Everywhere there were processions. For myself, I should tire of so many, but the Baron says that our dear Queen loves gaiety and she loves her people and smiles are always on her face and kind greetings on her lips.

"As she talks she waves a little fan, fast if she is merry, slow if she is thoughtful or sad. Ludwig brought me one of the fans now the fashion in Berlin. They are small and all young ladies have them. There is a picture of the King and Queen on them, and 'Long live Frederick William and Louisa,' as an inscription.

"Mine is blue and the pictures have gold frames about them."

"But I must not forget the Queen's journey. At Breslau there was a great procession of market gardeners and butchers, and there came a young girl with a poem in her hand to welcome our Queen. But, alas, she could not speak for bashfulness. And what did our good Queen do but smile on her and hold out her Royal hand to encourage her?"

"And such presents as our Queen received!"

"There is now a new Princess. Her name is Charlotte, and the people of Breslau gave her all her clothes, most beautifully embroidered."

"As the Queen's carriage passed through the country it had to have fresh horses, and the villagers dressed up their manes with ribbons, put red nets over their ears and adorned their heads with flowers and gold and silver paper, this being the custom among the peasants, and it amused the Queen greatly."

"In June our Queen came home, and now we often see her in the Thiergarten, arm in arm with the King, walking quite simply like every-day people."

"Mother went last week to pay a visit to the Countess von Voss, and she told her something I shall write here.

"The first Queen of Prussia lived in the palace at Charlottenburg, and her portrait hangs there with many others. One is that of the wife of our Great Elector. Her name was Louisa, like our Queen, who feels a great love for her.

"'Her face,' she told the Countess, 'seems to greet me with a heavenly smile.' The Countess wrote it in the journal she keeps and writes in each morning. 'I look upon it until I feel that there must be a living bond of sympathy between us.'

"This Louisa, history tells us, had much trouble, and once with her children was forced to flee before an enemy. All that our Queen discussed with the Countess.

"'But oh!' she exclaimed—I can shut my eyes and picture her as she said it—'what must have been her happiness in finding that she could help and comfort her husband in the hours of his heavy trial!'

"But our Queen is not to flee before an enemy, for our King alone in Europe keeps the peace."

"But she did, Mariechen," interrupted Ilse.

"I met her in the snow," said Bettina, her blue eyes filling.

Marianne nodded.

"Our Aunt Erna could not know that," she said, and continued the reading.

"Our Queen has three children now, and all Berlin says what a good mother she is, very often in her nursery. Every morning she and the King go in and kiss each child, and as they grow old enough our King sends a basket of fruit to each one every morning. And now they begin to give parties for the Crown Prince."

"Yes, indeed," interrupted Marianne, "when we lived in Berlin the Royal children had many entertainments. Once the little daughter of the famous Madame de Staël was there. She is a writer, children, and she has written a fine book about us Germans. Her little girl is not so good as her books," laughed Marianne, "but very spoilt and very rude, and what do you think she did at the Royal party?"

The children shook their heads.

"She boxed the Crown Prince's ears."

"Oh!" Carl's eyes grew round in horror.

"Ja," said Marianne, "she did, and the Crown Prince ran to the Queen and buried his face in her dress, but nothing anyone could say would make little Mademoiselle de Staël apologise. But she was never asked again to even one of the masquerades, balls or plays. At Christmas they had always a tree and our dear Queen decorated and dressed it herself, and there were dances and jugglers, and once at Paretz they had a lottery for all the children. I was there with our father and when a child did not draw a prize, our Queen, with one of her lovely smiles, gave a present herself."

Then she returned to the journal.

"At Paretz, our Queen's country home, all ceremony is laid aside. The King will be called 'Schulze' (magistrate) and they join in all the sports and dances of the people who live there.

"But our Queen loves to be grand, also, and there was once in Berlin a fine masquerade in her honour, a play where girls represented cocoons, and at her approach untwisted themselves from their wrappings and danced out butterflies. And once there was a fine play representing the marriage of Queen Mary of England and Philip of Spain. Our Queen was Mary and many people think it a bad omen, for this Queen was so unhappy and lost Calais to the English. The Duke of Sussex was Philip. But there are people who do not love our Queen. Colonel York is one. He came yesterday to pay his respects to mother and he said horrid things, that our Queen's hands are too big and her feet not well made. Ludwig says this is because she has influence over the King and because she will have a well-behaved Court. Colonel York says she does not treat the military with proper respect.

"It is again May, and our Queen has gone on another journey. To-day we visited Peacock Island, where she lives so happily in the château built like a ruined Roman villa. I saw the very rooms of our Queen, and the menagerie, and heard from Ludwig and the Baron, who was with us, how happy our King is when he can throw off affairs of state and come 'home' to Peacock Island."

"Yes," interrupted Marianne, "we used to hear a great deal about Peacock Island when we lived in Berlin before this awful war. Once Bishop Eylert was sitting beneath the trees with our King and Queen and her Majesty inquired of a servant where the children were.

"'Playing in a meadow, Majesty,' said the attendant.

"Our Queen jumped up in the way she does and cried out that she would go to them and surprise them.

"Our King agreed, and they all three got into a boat and the King rowed them up the Havel, which, you know, makes the Island.

"Suddenly the boat appeared before the children. 'Where did you come from, papa?' cried our Crown Prince in surprise.

"'Through the reeds and rushes,' answered our King.

"'Amongst reeds is good whistle cutting,' said our Crown Prince quick as a flash.

"And then our King asked him what that proverb means, and he answered that it means that a wise man knows how to take advantage of circumstances. Then our King wanted to know if he were in the rushes, what whistle he would cut, and the Crown Prince said he wished they could all have tea together there on the meadow."

"And did they?" inquired Carl, who was very fond of picnics.

"Ja," answered Marianne, "and it was lovely, with our Queen helping them and laughing, and their father teasing and telling stories."

"I know a story, too," said Carl. "Mr. Jackson told me."

"Tell it," begged the twins. "Go on, Carlchen."

"Two Englishmen went to Peacock Island," said

Carl, puffing out his words in his eager importance. "They had no right to go and they went. An officer ran them away. But they met a lady and a gentleman. It was our King and Queen. They made them stay and they showed them everything, and the Englishmen did not know that it was our King and Queen. My story is best, ja, Mariechen; isn't it, Bettina?"

Marianne nodded.

"But now, let us read," she said.

"Peacock Island has also a palm house, and there are many peacocks and doves and pigeons, of which our Queen is so fond.

"Our Queen is so good to all children.

"'The children's world is my world,' she says, and she is always being kind to some child, and when she and the King drive out she will salute the people with smiles long after he is tired and stops it.

"Often I think of what our poets have said of her. She is one of four sisters. One is our Princess Louisa; another, Theresa, is the Princess of Thurn and Taxis; and the third, Charlotte, is the Duchess of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Our great poet, Jean Paul Richter, called them 'the four noble and beautiful sisters on the throne.' And famous Wieland said of our Louisa, 'Were I the King of Fate, she should be Queen of Europe.' And Goethe," Marianne rolled her voice and the twins giggled, "who was with the Duke of Weimar in camp and saw our Queen and her sister, Frederika, when, as princesses, they came to visit their betrothed with their grandmother, from his tent, wrote in his journal that they were visions of loveliness which should never fade from his memory. And she has set the Berlin young girls a fine example in dress. Ludwig is delighted. She wears very simple muslins, and, indeed, why should she waste her time over silks and brocades when white so suits her?"

Marianne here stopped in her reading.

"Go on, Mariechen," said Carl, the other three looking up in surprise.

"That is all, children. Our dear Aunt Erna died the month before she was to marry Cousin Ludwig. But there are stories I can tell you, which have happened since our dear Aunt Erna died.

"Once on a journey she arrived at the place where they were to eat, a long time before her husband. They entreated her to eat, as the meal was ready, but, 'No, I will not eat until my husband comes,' she said. 'It is the duty of every wife to wait for her husband.'

"And once, children, our dear Queen, when she was gay and happy, and not sad as now, came to Memel on a visit, and the Czar was here and they had oh! such feasts. Uncle Joachim has told me about it, and when the next baby came she was called Alexandrina, because of her mother and father's great friendship for Alexander. Uncle told me another story. Once the treasurer told our Queen that she gave too much money to the poor, and said that he must speak to the King.

"'Do so,' said our Queen; 'he will not be angry.' And she was right, for when she opened her writing case she found her purse full of gold, and the King laughed and told her that a fairy had placed it there.

"And once, when the Countess von Voss was angry with a poor woman for making a mistake and sitting in the Royal pew, our dear Queen sent for her and told her how sorry she was. Oh, children, I could talk all night of her, she is so good and so kind to everybody. Once she made a grand lord wait until she could talk with a poor shoemaker who had come first, because, she said, the shoemaker's time was valuable and the lord's was not.

"Once our King came to breakfast with our Queen and saw a new cap lying on the table.

"'What does that cost?' he asked the Queen.

"'It is not good for men to ask the cost of ladies' things,' answered the Queen, with a laugh.

"'But I should like to know,' insisted the King.

"'Only four thalers.'

"'Only! For that thing?'

"Then the King ran to the window and called in an old invalid soldier who was taking his air.

"'The lady who sits on that sofa has much gold,' he said, and pointed to our Queen. 'What do you think, old comrade, she gave for that thing on the table?'

"'Perhaps, sire, a groschen.'

"'You hear that?' asked our King. 'She has paid four thalers. Now, go ask her to give you twice as much!'

"With a smile the Queen paid the money, and then said: 'Now, see that gentleman who stands by the window? He has four times as much gold as I have. All that I have he gives me, and it is much. Go to him, then, and ask for double eight thalers.' So, you see, children," laughed Marianne, "our King got the worst of it.

"I could tell you many other stories, but it is bedtime. I have let you sit up late, very late, and I can only tell one more, and then to bed. Franz, Wolfgang, and I were once in the Christmas Markt. We were choosing our gifts, when the crowd moved back for a gentleman with a lady on his arm. It was our King and Queen, and they came straight to one booth where a poor woman was buying her gifts. At once she tried to get out of the way. But our Queen stopped her with a smile. 'Remain, my good woman,' she cried; 'what shall this merchant say if we drive away his customers?' Then she asked the poor woman all about her family, and when she heard that she had a boy just the age of the Crown Prince she bought a lovely toy for her boy to send to the poor one. Now, wasn't that good in her? And is it not fine that she is here in Memel and we can know her? As for Napoleon, he is wicked to cause her such trouble."

"I hate him," said little Carl, his cheeks puffing and his face becoming quite red.

"Yes, yes," cried the twins; "we hate him."

But Bettina looked eagerly at Marianne.

"Gracious, Fräulein," she said, "when will Frederick Barbarossa awake? I am always telling the ravens."

Before Marianne could reply Carl jumped from his seat, the twins started up in fright.

A sharp knock had sounded on the window.

"What is it, sister?" And the twins ran to Marianne.

At that moment the Professor came in at the door.

"Nonsense," he said; "who could be at our window?"

But the children insisted.

"We heard it, father," they said.

The Professor, crossing the room, opened the sash, the children following.

On the window lay a piece of folded paper.

His face full of amazement, the Professor brought it to the candles.

The writing was in German, and the letters like those of a person who wrote very seldom.

"Your son, the Herr Lieutenant, has escaped and is in hiding. Put money and food on the window to-night and it will be fetched to him. It is not safe to say more.

"One You Know."

"One you know," repeated the Professor. Then his eyes scanned the writing and he shook his head.

"Grandfather writes that way," said Bettina, her eyes all afire.

Before anyone could stop her Elsa cried out in surprise:

"Why, Bettina," she said, "your grandfather can't write. A soldier brought news to the King that he is dead."



When Hans left Memel he went at once to the house where he had stayed the night with Bettina. The woman who had cleaned the dress was standing in the doorway.

"It's a cold day," she said in French to a man who had paused with a bundle to ask her a question.

Hans started.

"Ach Himmel," he said, for the look of her face, the way she pronounced her words told the old man that she was no Prussian.

He turned in at the next house and begged a lodging.

The woman took him very willingly.

"Money is scarce," she said, "and my man will be glad to have me help a little."

She was a large, honest-faced woman, not clever looking, but one Hans felt safe to talk with.

Ja, ja, her neighbour was French. She and her husband had come there a month after Jena. He pretended to be a peddler who was prevented from travel by the war.

"We do not believe a word of it," said the woman, lowering her voice. "Too many strangers come there who do not speak honest German. My man," she shrugged her shoulders, "has his own opinion of what they are here for."

Hans looked at her inquiringly and waited.

"It's Napoleon," said the woman, and she brought Hans his black bread and cheese.

The old man reflected as he drank.

He remembered that a little fellow who looked foreign had sent him to the house that day when they had entered the village with the Queen's party. He knew that all along his way the French had been warned against a messenger bearing a secret letter about the Secretary Lombard, who was suspected of treachery and dealings with the French. There were other matters in the letter, matters the King should have knowledge of, but how to get possession of it again the old man had no idea.

"I shall watch here, however," he concluded. "I may find out things just as useful as the letter."

For three days nothing happened.

On the night of the fourth he could not sleep because of the rattling of his window.

Rising to stop it with paper he was astonished to see a long ray of light across the snow in the garden.

"Himmel," said Hans, "it comes from next door. It must be after midnight. She has visitors."

He threw on his clothes and crept to the garden.

Ja, he was right. The light came from the kitchen of the next house.

"I shall wait," said Hans, "and see what happens."

It was bitterly cold. The wind cut like a knife, the trees and bushes cracked their icy dress; but Hans had a fur cap, and he drew it well over his ears.

He had been in the cold for a half hour when a sound made him start.

It was the creaking of the kitchen door of the next house. The light vanished, and with careful steps a dark figure moved across the snow.

Hans nodded.

"You go, I follow," he thought.

He was a spy himself. The man in the snow, he knew, was another.

The man left the garden. Hans left his.

On he went through the snow, Hans always a good pace behind him, stopping if he stopped, running if he ran, and, two men moving as one, they came to the open country.

Pausing, the man gave a low call.

It was answered with cautious care.

Then a sleigh with high runners and a driver in a fur cap glided from the distant darkness. A figure, not the driver, leaned from the fur rugs.

"You have it?" was asked in French.

"Yes," said the man; "the woman told the truth. It is the one we are in search of."

The man in the sleigh uttered a sound as of congratulation.

"Lombard, you mean?"

"Yes, yes. The woman has had it three days. Here."

Something white was held in the air—his letter. Hans recognised it.

The man moved to spring into the sleigh, but a quick hand caught him, a foot tripped him up, and snow flew everywhere as two bodies rolled in the whiteness.

It was all over in a second.

Paper flew on the wind, torn fiercely in pieces, and then Hans found himself bound fast with handkerchiefs and woollen scarfs, flat in the bottom of the sleigh, four feet upon him.

What matter?

He had seized the letter in the scuffle and only the swift wind of the Baltic knew where were the pieces.

The Prussian King would never know if Lombard were guilty, but the French would not possess a drawing of certain frontier fortresses.

The Frenchmen were furious. They vowed Hans should be shot that night like a dog.

The driver brought them a piece or two of the letter, but one was half blank and the other was the address to His Majesty.

"Dantzic!" ordered the man, when the driver declared further search was useless.

Then off they dashed.

After some talk in low tones they changed their direction, but to what place they decided to go Hans could not discover.

One of the men addressed him in French.

"For safety's sake," he muttered to his neighbour.

Hans feigned ignorance.

"I do not understand, monsieur," he said stupidly, in German.

With relief the two raised their voices and talked steadily as they flew over the snow.

Dantzic must fall. It grew daily weaker.

"The Emperor," said one, "will wipe Prussia out of existence."

Then he told how it was believed that Napoleon meant to make a new kingdom.

"His brother, Jerome, has nothing yet," he said, and he laughed at the Prussians and called them pigs and cowards, and made jokes about the generals, and said things that Napoleon had invented about the Queen.

It was hard for Hans to lie still and say nothing, but the first thing in life is to know when to hold one's tongue, and Hans knew it was useful to listen.

Early in the morning they came to a town, through whose gate they entered. The sleigh drew up before a great building. A French soldier came quickly to greet the travellers, one of whom sprang out and entered the house with him.

"Coffee," ordered the other. "We are freezing."

In a few moments several soldiers appeared. They ordered Hans from the sleigh; handcuffs were locked on his wrists, and he was marched away, the second traveller and driver following.

Hans asked the soldier near him in what town he was.

The man laughed mockingly.

"Where you are," said he in bad German, "is none of your business, old man. What you are, you and I know."

He thrust out his under lip and shrugged his shoulders.

"Old man, what you are I can tell you—a spy of the King of Prussia and a prisoner of the Emperor Napoleon!"

Then he held up his hands to imitate a gun, and half closing his eye pretended to take aim at the prisoner.

"To-morrow? Next day? Who knows?" and he led Hans to a cold bare room, when, locking the door, he left him.

"What matter?" muttered Hans. "I am old, and the French will never read the letter."

Very likely he would be shot, and soon. In Magdeburg they had shot down Prussians by dozens. The day he had stopped at the farmhouse he had heard how they had chained a father and son together, marched them through the town and shot them.

"It is war," said Hans; "I took my chances. The good Mademoiselle Clara will take good care of my Bettina."

The next day came, and the next; a week passed and nothing happened.

The truth was, the victory at Eylau was uncertain. Napoleon was checked and all things were waiting. There was hope of peace, and an order came to march all prisoners to another city.

It was the good God, Hans believed, who directed his eye to a field as he was marched to his new prison, a castle the French then were using. The field itself was white and crusted with snow, but Hans' eye noted a large spot where the whiteness had been melted and then had frozen, as if water had flowed upon it. It was near spring now and there were thaws, then more snow, and then fresh melting and freezing.

The spot Hans noticed had nothing to do with this. It was as if a large stream of water had a habit of pouring out there. Yes, he was right, for he saw that the snow was broken and frozen towards a ditch on the boundary of the field.

"It must be a sewer," said Hans, and thought no more about it.

Life in the castle was easy and pleasant. The place was so strong there was no danger of escape, so the commander, being easy-going, permitted the prisoners much liberty, allowing them to walk about for air in the paved courtyard.

Hans enjoyed this, being used to the air and freedom of his Thuringian forest.

His room in the castle had a window, and that also made him happy. One day, gazing out, he discovered that the field he had noticed lay quite near the wall of his prison.

"Ach Himmel!" cried Hans, with a start. "It is the sewer pipe of this castle!"

A thought struck him. He was old, yes, and he had said he did not mind dying; but his heart beat wildly at the thought of escaping from certain death by shooting. Day after day he thought on the sewer. Where was the exit, he wondered, from the castle! He would find it, yes, if it were possible.

To get air he went to the courtyard. New prisoners had arrived in the night. They, too, were walking.

"Ach Himmel! God be praised!" cried Hans, for he came face to face with the Herr Lieutenant.

But what a change!

He was thin, gaunt, and pale, and his face and figure looked wretched and hopeless.

"Hans Lange!" he cried, and then there was much to talk of.

To his ear Hans confided the idea of the sewer, and hope at once began to change the expression of the prisoner.

After the great victory of Friedland there was a truce to discuss peace, so Hans still remained a prisoner; and one day he was ordered to work in the garden of the castle.

"Food is scarce, prisoners are many and idle. We may have some vegetables; why not?" asked the commandant.

"The good God again," thought Hans, for he had his own idea about that sewer. The garden must be drained. The pipe, certainly, must do the labour, and, the good God helping him, he might again see his Bettina.

And one day in the garden he came upon the iron lid of a manhole, overgrown with grass and very rusty.

"The sewer!" thought Hans, with joy. "It is big enough for a man to slip through."

He bent over. He pulled on the bars. Then he glanced up to see if he were observed. The eye of a sentinel seemed on him, so, seizing a weed, he pulled hard, tugged, and then rising with the thing in his hand, flung it aside. Satisfied, the sentinel showed no more curiosity.

Again and again he tried to loosen the lid, but no effort could move it; but though he went about his work, he returned now and then to his prize, and suddenly, while he was in a different part of the garden, an idea struck him. The bar on which the lid was swung was eaten with rust. Could he break it, the lid could be lifted at will.

He returned and examined closely. Yes, he was right; the rust was of ages. Lifting his spade, he pressed with all his might. God be praised! It was easier than he had thought. More pressure and it broke like wood. The other side was more difficult and it occupied days, but at last it was free.

"Now the Herr Lieutenant!" thought Hans in glee.

"The thing for me," cried Franz, his face alight with new hope, "is to feign illness, entreat for some labour and beg to be allowed to help in the garden."

Hans did not believe this would be possible.

"You, an officer!" he said, and shook his old head.

"I can try," said Franz, and presented himself before the proper person.

"Inaction is killing me," he announced. And, indeed, he looked most dreadful, pale, bloodless, and a ghost of the brave young officer of Jena.

The French were always good-natured with the German prisoners until the time came to shoot them, and that, after all, was Napoleon's affair, not theirs, and so the Herr Lieutenant was permitted to dig.

"A strange occupation for an officer," and the commandant shrugged his shoulders. But the Germans, at best, he thought, were only pigs, so if this one wanted to root, let him. The walls of the castle were high. Escape was impossible.

"Now," said Hans, "now, may the good God help us with the rest!"

"Amen," said the Herr Lieutenant.

And it seemed that He did, for on the second day of Franz's digging a quick, pelting June rain hid them entirely from the view of the castle.

The rain came down in sheets; all were safe in the castle, not a soul could see them. The rain changed suddenly into hail. All the better, and the good God be thanked!

"Now," cried Hans; "now or never!"

He jerked the lid off the hole.

Down went the Herr Lieutenant, his feet landing in the sewer, his head still in view.

"Good," he said, "good! There is space enough below."

Then down he went, and Hans saw him no more.

The old man had kept for himself the hard task. He must cover the drain after him with the lid. Down he went, holding the cover in his hand above him, for the drain was too narrow for him to lift his arm once in.

"Ach Himmel," he thought, "the rain is ceasing."

Then he lowered the lid, balanced on his palm, and as he struggled into the sewer proper it fell into its place with a crash.

"Ach Himmel," said the old soldier, for he was sure the noise would tell the story. But he pushed forward eagerly.

Only the thought of liberty could make such an awful journey possible.

The Herr Lieutenant, being ahead, kept out the air from one end, and water came pouring in at the other. But fortunately the way was short, and the Herr Lieutenant was soon in the field, and the water coming suddenly with a rush bore Hans like a straw, landing him almost drowned in the ditch near the Herr Lieutenant.

For a few moments he could not breathe, but the voice of the Herr Lieutenant recalled him.

"Come," said the young man, "come!"

"Ja, ja," and off they started.

For an hour they crawled in the ditch, which seemed to be interminable. Once or twice they heard guns, but who shot them they had no idea, and then presently the ditch ended.

"Come; we are safe now," said the Herr Lieutenant, and he raised himself up from the bushes, Hans following his example.

"Gott im Himmel!" he cried.

On the road before them came soldiers in French uniform.

"Back!" cried the old man, "back; lie flat, or they will see you!"



It was while the children were in charge of Marianne that something very important happened at the town of Tilsit, on the river Niemen.

On that twenty-fifth day of June, in the dreadful year of 1807, all the people of the place were gathered on the river banks in high excitement. Actually their faces looked joyful, a thing which had not happened since Napoleon had entered Prussia.

"Now we shall have peace. Congratulations!" they exclaimed one to the other, gazing at a raft gay with flags, anchored midway between the shores of the river.

"They have bought every bright rag in Tilsit," said a fat, jolly-faced merchant, nodding in congratulation.

"Ach ja," returned a friend, "God be praised! It is many a day since there has been selling in Prussia."

Then, "Look! look! Napoleon! Napoleon!" as a man, heavy now to fatness, stepped into a boat most gorgeously decorated.

"The monster! the upstart!" muttered the people. But that was of no concern to the conqueror, whose eyes wandered restlessly from shore to shore and whose mouth pressed its lips to cruel firmness. Behind him followed marshals and generals, gay in scarlet, gold, and white, and blue.

A boat decorated with the colours of France awaited their coming.

"The Czar!" cried the people, as a second cavalcade approached. "Our ally, Alexander!"

There was no handsomer man in Europe. Tall, majestic in appearance, in every way a contrast to Napoleon, the ruler of Russia approached a second boat, opposite Napoleon's, and brilliant with yellow and black. The monarch was followed by his brother, Grand Duke Constantine, by his generals and many Russian lords.

At a signal and amid the cries of the people, off pushed the boats.

The first to arrive was Napoleon, who sprang to the raft, and with his own hands opened the door of the pavilion and turned to welcome his guest.

Cannon announced the arrival of the Czar, and the two monarchs stood hand in hand in full view of the allied and French armies, lined up on both banks, and of the people of Tilsit, who stared at each other in surprise.

"Where is our King?" they asked. "Is he to have no voice in the making of peace?" And their eyes searched everywhere.

Alone, on his horse, his face troubled and anxious, they saw the one they sought. There was no boat to bear him to the raft. Prussia's colours appeared nowhere. The two emperors were to settle the affairs of Europe. The King of Prussia was conquered and not wanted. Joy faded from the East Prussian faces.

"Our King is a good man," they said. "We do not find it good that he is so neglected."

The King himself looked neither to the left nor the right. He rode forward, his splendid figure outlined now against the sky, now hid by the soldiers. At a certain point he turned. Back he rode, and then turned again.

"Our poor King!" said the people, and while cannon roared and soldiers cheered, their hearts began to beat fiercely against both Alexander and Bonaparte.

For an hour the two emperors conferred, the generals waiting in their boats, Frederick William pacing back and forth on his horse.

Then presently it began to rain, at first lightly, and then suddenly in torrents, as if Heaven itself was weeping over blood-stained Europe.

The King of Prussia rode to and fro, not minding the downfall, but thinking only of the cruelty of the man who had shut him out of the conference.

Everything was against him; he had lost his kingdom, his friend the Czar was deserting him, and yet, as his wife the Queen wrote her father, he was "the best man in the world," a King who lived only to help his subjects; a King who loved right and hated wrong, who believed in good and tried to do it.

But, like the Queen, he trusted in God, and even as he rode up and down, shut out in the rain from the conference, he knew that Napoleon and wrong could not always have their day, that right and justice always conquer. But Frederick William, good as he was, had a foe worse even than Napoleon. At no time in his life could he decide a thing quickly, or at just the right moment. He must think things over, he must look at both sides, and while he wavered in came the enemy and took the prize.

When an hour had passed there came a change. Napoleon summoned all the generals and counsellors, who, drenched and dripping, entered the door of the pavilion.

For two hours more they talked, the King still riding in the rain.

Surely, he thought, the peace which they were making must be favourable to poor Prussia. His friend, the Czar, must see to it. He himself had stood by Alexander; now let Alexander be true to him.

Had they not sworn an eternal friendship; was not his little daughter named Alexandrina, and was not the Czar also the friend of the Queen and the old Countess, to whom he had promised many things?

When Alexander of Russia entered the pavilion in the Niemen he had at heart the welfare of Prussia only. In one hour Napoleon did much. Always he studied citadels, or men, and discovered what we call the weak point. On it he turned his battery.

"We all know," he said to Alexander, "that no monarch in Europe has such thoughts as your Majesty for the welfare of mankind."

Alexander's face softened. He was truly a philanthropist.

After a few moments' talk along this line Napoleon mentioned the word "England."

The Czar's eyes flashed.

Napoleon abused that country with vigour.

Alexander drew nearer.

"I dislike the English as much as you do," he said, "and am ready to second you in all your enterprises against them."

"In that case," said Napoleon, taking note of Alexander's fine head and the weak lines in his handsome face, and remembering how, when he had been First Consul, the Emperor of Russia had been his most ardent admirer, "everything will be easily arranged, and peace already is made. You and I," he added, with an emphasis very flattering, "understand each other. It will be better if we do without our ministers, who often deceive us, or misunderstand us. We shall do more in an hour than our negotiators would in several days."

Then he talked as if the Czar and he were Atlases of the world and that all the earth rested upon their shoulders.

Alexander, listening, began to think that after all his allies had been no good. Prussia had dragged him to defeat; England had done nothing to help either of them. Surely a monarch must consider his own welfare.

When at last the conference ended and the two mighty emperors came forth into the sight of the people of Tilsit and their waiting soldiers, their faces were glowing. Waving their hands again and again, each was rowed to his own bank of the Niemen. They had formed a friendship—Russia and France, Alexander and Napoleon—and the whole world was to profit.

When Napoleon stepped on shore the people of Tilsit were deafened by the cheers of his soldiers.

As for Alexander, he gazed up into the gloomy face of the King of Prussia and a cloud passed over the sun of his joy.

"The Emperor desires to meet your Majesty to-morrow," said he, and his eyes fell. "We can go together," he added, and then hastily deserting the subject, he proposed that they arrange about lodgings, as for the time they must remain in Tilsit.

"Very well," said Frederick William, and his heart sank.

Next day the King of Prussia was admitted to a second and very different conference, and his noble dignity under his misfortune so struck Napoleon that he spoke of it.

"I have nothing to reproach myself with," said the King very simply.

Napoleon's eyes fell, but only for a moment.

He answered with a shrug.

"Nor have I."

The King was silent.

"I warned you," Napoleon looked entirely innocent, "against England. It is she who has caused your troubles. But France," his tones became most grandiloquent, "can afford to be generous. In a few days all will be arranged."

Never was any man treated more cruelly than poor, good, unhappy King Frederick William. Yet there has never been a King who behaved better in time of trouble. In peace he had been irresolute and sluggish. In trouble his figure stands out against a background of woe in outlines of dignity and nobility.

Napoleon made him feel absolutely alone, taking away his friend as he had taken away his kingdom. Though he asked him to dinner, when the last morsel was eaten, the last wine drunk, he bore off the Czar to his private apartment, excusing both to Frederick William. When they were abroad the French soldiers called "Vive Napoleon!" "Vive Alexandre!" but never a cry from the Imperial Guard for the King of Prussia.

"It is better for me to be friendly with Napoleon," said the Czar in excuse. The King was silent.

As for Napoleon, he utterly refused to have the King near him, unless absolutely necessary.

"I can't stand his gloomy face," he told Alexander.

The Czar and Napoleon embraced in public. The French and Russian soldiers became like brothers, leaving the Prussians to humiliation and solitude. The King, who had always suffered from shyness, felt more and more uncomfortable, being made always an unwelcome third. He had no opinion of himself, the Queen was not there to cheer him, and each day he grew more gloomy and sad.

One day the people of Tilsit saw the three monarchs riding together, the Czar and Napoleon entirely ignoring the King, who let his horse drop behind and rode alone.

"Has not our good King been true to the Czar?" they cried, and in their hearts the fire against Napoleon and Alexander burned fiercer. "In January," they said to each other, "we could have made peace if our King had promised to desert Russia. And now the Czar deserts our King."

But in spite of his friendship with Napoleon, the Czar truly loved his friend and wished to help him. His brother Constantine forced him to many things, threatening him with the fate of his father, who had been assassinated, if he did not save Russia at the cost of Prussia.

In the midst of all the great worry an idea entered his head and at once pleased him.

Of all living women he most admired Queen Louisa, not only for her wonderful beauty and lovely ways, but for her goodness and her love for her husband and her people.

"Send to Memel for the Queen," he proposed to Frederick William, for he knew things which were to come to pass that the King did not. "Napoleon now is very anxious to see her. Who can tell what good she may do for Prussia? One so beautiful, so spiritual, so unhappy, may soften his heart and awaken his noblest feelings."

For a moment or two Frederick William did not answer. Above all things on earth he loved Queen Louisa. Napoleon had mistreated her. She was very delicate, like a flower, "the beautiful rose of the King," a poet called her, and was it right that he ask her to beg favours of her foe? Of the man who hated her?

"Do, Majesty, do." General Kalreuth pressed near and gazed pleadingly at the King.

"Perhaps," suggested the Czar, "the Queen may bend the iron will of Napoleon, may she not?" And he looked flatteringly at her husband.

Frederick William sought pen and ink and wrote Queen Louisa a hasty letter.

"I will go to Memel, also," proposed General Kalreuth, as the King delivered the letter to a messenger.

Frederick William nodded.

"Act as escort to the Queen," he commanded, having not a doubt of his wife's answer.



The Herr Lieutenant obeyed Hans quickly.

In breathless silence they lay hid in the bushes.

For some time they could hear the soldiers, and then all was silent.

"God be praised!" whispered Hans, "now let us seek the road." And out they cautiously scrambled.

All night they walked steadily, meeting no one, but now and then catching sight of some village burning against the sky. Where they were they had no idea, but somewhere, they knew, in East Prussia. Everywhere was desolation. Houses had been burned, fences had fallen, and once they came upon the blackened remains of a village. For two days and nights they kept in the fields and woods, Hans going but once to a house to beg for food and some coffee.

On the third evening they came upon a farm at some distance from the road.

"We might venture there," said Hans, "for it is out of the line of soldiers. I am sure that, Herr Lieutenant, all is deserted."

But when he reached the window of the house he returned in a scamper, motioning the Herr Lieutenant away with his hand.

"There are French officers eating there," he announced. "Forward, march," he added, and on they trudged.

The Herr Lieutenant grew whiter and whiter.

"I can go no farther," he gasped, and sank on the grass at the side of the road.

His old wound had broken out afresh, and for a moment or two he looked as if he were dying.

What to do Hans had no idea. While he was perplexing, his brain he heard the sound of a slow, discouraged step, and presently an old peasant, with long, unkempt gray hair and a tired, hopeless face, approached from the wood.

When Hans told him their trouble he hesitated. Kindness and bitterness seemed to struggle hard in his wrinkled face.

"The French have left me almost nothing," he said. Then he hesitated. He looked at Hans, then at the suffering man on the grass.

"My house is near here," he said at last, reluctantly. Then he called, "Heinrich! Heinrich!"

A stupid-looking boy of thirteen or fourteen was quickly at his side.

"Help," he commanded, and the three bore Franz to a small peasant house behind the wood.

Hans promised to find money at once.

"You say we are near Tilsit?" he asked.

The peasant nodded.

"Can your boy carry a letter to Memel?"

The man hesitated.

"There are the French," he said, and went on to explain that if his boy were seen going into Memel houses he would perhaps be shot as a spy, their home burned, and then where were they?

"But at night," urged Hans, "let him lay a note on the window of the house I mean and they will put out money and provisions."

After much talk the old man agreed, and Hans, with great difficulty, for he had little education, wrote the letter that the Professor had found on his window.

For days Franz was unconscious, but when he came to himself again Hans, with a smile, handed him a letter from his father.

"And we have money now," said the old man with a laugh, "and all the good food you'll be wanting."

He did not tell the Herr Lieutenant, however, that since they had found refuge with the peasant the French army had advanced and they were surrounded by the enemy. Instead, he announced that he had heard from the peasant that there was talk of peace.

Now, all might have gone well had Hans been content to be quiet. But he was a restless old fellow and he could not bear sitting still doing nothing.

"I will go out," he announced next day, "and discover the whereabouts of the enemy."

In an hour he returned his face full of excitement, his legs shaking.

"The soldiers saw me," he cried. "They are coming this way. Ach Himmel, if I had been quiet!"

Then he ran for the peasant and told him that they must hide the Herr Lieutenant.

The peasant, whose face grew dark with dread, nodded, shrugging his shoulders.

"There is a loft," he said, "but hurry."

In his small barn was this loft, and opening from it and well concealed by wood, a tiny closet.

There was just room for Franz, who almost fainted from excitement as they hurriedly moved him.

"And you?" he gasped, looking at Hans.

The old man shrugged his shoulders.

"What comes, comes," he said. "Auf wiedersehen, and we will bring you supper, Herr Lieutenant."

For hours Franz lay in the stuffy darkness. He heard the arrival of the soldiers, loud voices, the sound of many feet and then it seemed to him that for an hour he would die of a sudden hotness. There was a smell of burning, too, which lasted long after it was cool again.

What had happened? His heart stood still. Would they burn the barn? The smell of charred wood seemed stronger.

By and by hunger told him that it was supper time, but all continued silent. He fell at last into a sleep which lasted until what he thought must be morning. The closet was quite dark, the only air coming in from the loft, and he felt suffocated. He must have light and air. Where was Hans? What had happened? At last he felt that he could stand the suspense no longer.

Putting out one foot he kicked open the door, which, kept in place by a log, went down with a crash like thunder. Franz was in terror, but, nothing happening, he dragged himself forward to the loft. Then he could rise, and standing erect he waited until the dizziness in his head had settled.

Then seeking the ladder he stepped below. Instead of the neat barn of the day before, he saw disorder everywhere. Hay was tossed here, horses had trampled there, and not a sound of a chicken was heard. The day before he had seen at least a dozen.

He dragged himself to the door.

There was now no peasant's house. Only a scene of blackened ruins met his eye.

The barn, too, was scorched; but perhaps the wind had blown in an opposite direction, for it had not burned.

Franz trembled like a poplar leaf when he thought of what might have been his fate.

"Thank God, thank God!" he murmured, and then, before he could reach out his hand for support, he fell on the floor in a dead faint, and there he lay while they were making peace at Tilsit.



Marianne, a few days later, went one morning to the drawing-room of Countess von Voss.

The room was full of ladies. Dr. Hufeland was there, the Englishman, and the Queen herself, busy with her lint.

The talk was very violent.

News had come to Memel that the Czar had made a separate peace with Napoleon, and that the Emperor of the French, in his hatred of Frederick William, meant to rob him of his kingdom, proposing that he be no longer called King of Prussia, but only Marquis of Brandenburg.

"The monster! The upstart! The villain!" The room was full of abuse of Napoleon.

"I hate him; I would kill him!" cried one lady, her face hot with wrath.

The Queen lifted her blue eyes from her work.

"Dear Mademoiselle," she said, "we cannot lighten our sorrow by hating the Emperor, and malicious thoughts can only make us more unhappy."

The lady bit her lips and coloured, but even she had to laugh with the rest when the parrot of the Countess suddenly called out in French:

"Down with the upstart! Down with Napoleon!"

While the room was yet echoing with the merriment, a servant announced a courier from Memel.

"A letter from the King," cried the Queen, and seized it with eager fingers.

Reading it hastily, all watching, she suddenly burst into tears.

"My Queen, my dear, dear Queen, what is it?" and the Countess flew to her side.

The Queen, recovering herself, clung to her old friend.

The King wished her to come to Memel, to stay with him and plead the cause of her country with Napoleon, to entreat for a better peace.

Her voice quivered as she told of the request, and for a moment her blue eyes gazed pathetically at her friends in the Saal.

The whole room was silent, though indignation flashed across a face or two.

Each knew that Napoleon had treated the Queen most shamefully, and that it was cruel that she must plead before him, must entreat a favour.

"It is the hardest thing I have had to do," at last the Queen's sweet voice broke the silence, her body quivering as a rose on its stem when the blasts blow. "It is the greatest sacrifice I can make for my country." And her lips shook pathetically.

Then she stood in silence, holding the letter in her hand, while the company waited. Marianne felt her heart beat until it was near bursting. They all knew that the Queen could say that she was not well. The winds and cold of Memel had never agreed with her. As an excuse to save herself it would be quite justifiable.

Marianne leaned forward eagerly. It seemed to her at that moment as if all her life was to be settled.

"I will do it," said the Queen; "the King wishes it." And then the whole room relaxed from its tension.

"Perhaps," added the Queen, folding the letter with trembling fingers, her lips quivering, "I can do good, be of some service."

"Most certainly, Majesty," urged General Kalreuth, following the courier, his face eager to have his way.

He had brought her a second letter.

It was from the Czar, entreating her to come, and setting before her all that she with her talents and beauty might accomplish.

"To do my full duty, dear General," said the poor Queen, the tears in her voice, "is my only wish. As the loved wife of the King, as the mother of my children, as the Queen of my people."

She swayed, as if faint. Then sudden strength seemed to come, and a smile, like sunlight after clouds, suddenly illumined her face, which was even lovelier in her sadness.

"And, dear friends," she gazed kindly at the people about her, "I believe firmly in God. And, dear General," again she smiled, "I do not believe Napoleon will be secure on his throne. Truth and righteousness only abide. Napoleon is only politically clever."

So the good Queen, who loved everybody better than her own ease or comfort, kissed the lively, handsome Crown Prince; simple, honourable, sensible little William; shy, beautiful Charlotte, and answered jolly little Carl's many questions as to when she was going, and, loosening baby Alexandrina's arms from her neck, set forth with the old Countess and her Maids of Honour to meet her foe in Tilsit.

She knew that she must smile when her heart was weeping for her country; she knew that she must be pleasant and beg favours of the man who had treated her as no woman has ever before been treated in history.

"Truly," she said to the old Countess, "I am like Atlas, and carry the sorrow of the world."

The Countess pressed her hand and listened while the Queen continued, for to her she might say things which might distress her husband.

"I cannot, I may not forget the King in this crisis. He is very unfortunate and possesses a true soul, but how with my broken wing"—she had not been well and was very nervous, always having to stand the noise of the children and the laughter of the Maids of Honour in the tiny house in Memel—"can I do anything? How can I do anything?" she repeated pathetically.

Full of foreboding, she and the Countess and the Maid of Honour, Countess Tauentzein, came to Tilsit, or rather to the village of Piktupöhnen, where her husband was in lodgings because of the truce with Napoleon.

The State Minister Hardenburg, General Kalreuth, and the Czar surrounded her.

"Plead with Napoleon," they urged, "for Silesia, for Westphalia, and for Magdeburg, but especially for Magdeburg."

Napoleon, who, having all he wanted, was more amiable, sent greetings at once to Louisa, explaining that according to the terms of the truce he could not come to Piktupöhnen, and therefore he entreated her to come to Tilsit that he might pay her his respects immediately.

His state carriage, drawn by eight horses and escorted by splendid French dragoons, conveyed them to a plain, two-story house in Tilsit.

An hour later a messenger announced her royal foe, the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

According to etiquette, the Queen awaited him at the head of the stairs, a smile of welcome forced by politeness to her lips.

"What this costs me," she had said to her ladies, "God alone knows, for if I do not positively hate this man, I cannot help looking on him as the man who has made the King and the whole nation miserable. It will be very difficult for me to be courteous, but that is required of me."

The two Countesses were, by accident, in the hall below when the King met the Emperor and conducted him in.

The Countess von Voss, who hated him with all her old heart, shrugged her shoulders at the sight of the small, bloated-looking man who stared at her rudely.

With him came Talleyrand, his famous Minister, his eyes alert, his expression watchful.

The Emperor lifted his eyes; his whole face softened; for, standing with her hand on the rail of the stair, he saw a slight, graceful woman, golden-haired, and arrayed in a white gown of tissue, or gauze, a narrow ribbon sash tied short-waisted fashion, its ends hanging to the embroidered border of her gown; her mantle on her shoulders, a tiny tissue scarf twisted across her throat, like a frame for her face of loveliness.

Never had "The Rose of the King" looked more beautiful, for excitement had brought back colour to pale cheeks, a fire to eyes faded from weeping. And about her whole figure was a girlish pathos.

Napoleon mounted the stairs heavily, for he had grown very stout in Prussia.

"I am sorry," said the Queen, her sweet voice welcoming him, "that you have had to mount so inconvenient a staircase."

Napoleon stared in the bold, rude way he did at everybody.

"One cannot be afraid of difficulties," he said, with a bow, "with such an object in view." And he gazed at her with bold admiration.

"And while reaching up to attain the reward at the end," he added, again bowing.

"For those who are favoured by Heaven," returned the Queen, "there are no difficulties on earth."

Napoleon made no answer, but stared at her as if enchanted.

Approaching, he touched the material of her dress, like a child.

"Is it crêpe," he inquired, "or Indian gauze?"

The Queen's face flushed, but she controlled herself most beautifully.

"Shall we talk of light things at such a moment?" she asked, and led the way into the room prepared for his reception.

Then she inquired concerning his health, adding the hope that the severe climate of North Germany had agreed with him.

"The French soldier," he answered bluntly, "is hardened to bear every kind of climate."

Then he looked at her curiously, as if making a study of the woman of whom he had heard so much and whom he had treated so cruelly, and who, in that poor little house in Tilsit, stood before him as bravely as the Duchess had in Weimar.

He admired her beauty, but her sorrows were absolutely nothing to him. In a short time he was to divorce the wife who had borne with his weaknesses and who loved him through many long years of both joy and trouble. So he was not likely to treat the Queen of Prussia very gently, merely because she was a woman who loved her husband and her country.

"How could you think of making war upon me?" he demanded.

Though his manner and tones were irritating, the Queen took no offence, but answered politely:

"We were mistaken in our calculations on our resources," she said.

"And you trusted in Frederick's fame and deceived yourselves—Prussia, I mean." Napoleon swung his riding whip to and fro as she talked, and stared steadily.

The Queen's blue eyes met his bold ones, though they filled a little as she continued:

"Sire, on the strength of the great Frederick's fame we may be excused for having been mistaken with respect to our own powers, if, indeed, we have entirely deceived ourselves."

Napoleon's face softened quickly. He tried to change the subject, but the Queen, treating him as a kind man and a friend, told him in an almost girlish way of all her sufferings, of all she had endured, and why she had come to Tilsit. He tried again and again to change the subject, but she persisted, beseeching him to be kind and merciful, for the love of man and because of the laws of justice with which God rules all the kingdoms.

Napoleon's answer was all kindness. He had never seen such a woman. She had not a thought for herself, and when she spoke of her husband the tears splashed down her cheeks on the crêpe dress the Emperor had admired so openly.

"Sire," implored the sweetest voice that ever had fallen on his ears, "be kind, be generous, be merciful to your fallen foe. Sire," the Queen gazed like a child in his face, "give us Magdeburg, only Magdeburg."

The conqueror of Europe wavered.

"You ask a great deal," he said dubiously, "but I will think of it."

Why not make this lovely woman happy? he tells us that he thought, and kindness for a moment entirely changed his countenance.

Now, of all men in the world, the King of Prussia was the most unlucky. There was no one who could so irritate Napoleon as he could, and at that moment his entering the room probably changed the history of Prussia; at least Napoleon himself says it did.

But he had begun to be uneasy waiting below. He thought he could help matters, and in his zeal entered, and entered at the wrong moment.

There he stood, handsome, dignified and honest-faced, wanting, as always, to do the right thing, and blundering.

For once the Queen had no smile ready for him, and her face showed her chagrin, for Napoleon, catching himself up hastily, with a relieved face turned to Frederick William.

"Sire," he said, "I admire the magnanimity and tranquillity of your soul amid such numerous and heavy misfortunes."

The King of Prussia hid his feelings. If he was conquered by the man who was complimenting his behaviour, he was a Hohenzollern, but alas, too, he was tactless.

"Greatness and tranquillity of soul," he answered shortly, "can only be acquired by the strength of a good conscience."

Never did a King make a more unfortunate answer.

Napoleon turned away with a glare, and after inviting the King and Queen to dine with him, departed, followed by Talleyrand, his whole mood changed to hardness.

When they were below the Minister looked inquiringly at the Emperor.

"I knew," said Napoleon, his eyes firing, "that I should see a beautiful woman and a Queen with dignified manners, but I found a most admirable Queen and at the same time the most interesting woman I ever met with." Again his face looked soft and almost yielding.

Talleyrand's laughter rang out in sarcastic mockery.

"And so, sire," he said, with a sneer, "you will sacrifice the fruits of victory to a beautiful woman. What will the world say?" His voice was mocking.

Napoleon flushed and bit his lip, the hard look returning.

Talleyrand, seizing the moment, hastened to show what a gain Magdeburg would be to French interests and how its loss would cripple Napoleon.

"You cannot give it up, sire," he pleaded; "you cannot."

Napoleon, his lips curling in amusement, shook his head. He was again the Emperor, the Conqueror.

"No, no," he answered, "Magdeburg is worth a hundred Queens."

Then he laughed, as if he had escaped a great weakness, and his eyes narrowed.

"Happily," he swung his whip, "the husband came in, and trying to put his word into the conversation, spoilt the whole affair and I was delivered."

As for the Queen, she was repeating every word of Napoleon's to Frederick William.

"He promised, Fritz," and she clung to his hand, "that he would think of it. Moreover," she added, "I shall see him at dinner. Something then may be done." And she caressed him tenderly, her whole body quivering from the strain she had been under.

In honour of Napoleon, Queen Louisa arrayed herself for the dinner in her most regal splendour. Her dress was white, most delicately embroidered, a velvet and ermine mantle flowed from her shoulders, a diamond star shone in her golden hair, and the crown of Prussia was arranged to surmount her exquisite tissue, or gauze, turban.

When her maid had given the last touch she stood before her mirror in the small Tilsit house. Near by stood her dearest friend, Frau von Berg, gazing at her in loving admiration.

But the Queen's thoughts were bitter. With a shrug she turned from the mirror to her companion.

"Do you remember, dear friend," she asked, with a sad smile, "how the old Germans of the pagan times used to dress the maidens they would sacrifice to their gods in gorgeous raiment and jewels?"

Frau von Berg nodded.

"Yes, dear Queen," she said, the tears starting.

"I am such a victim," said the Queen. "But the question is, will the angry god whom the world now adores be, through me, appeased and reconciled?"

Frau von Berg had no answer.

Then in came the two Countesses in splendid raiment, and off went the Prussian Court to dine with Napoleon.



Certainly Napoleon was most courteous.

He was at the carriage door to open it for Queen Louisa. He led her to the table and placed her by his side, the King of Prussia sitting on his left, and the Czar by Queen Louisa.

The table was long, it was well set, and there were many guests arrayed in court splendour, but one person did the talking, and that person was Napoleon.

The Queen, alone, was expected to answer.

Why, he began, had she been so foolish as to go to the seat of war? Did she know that Napoleon's hussars had almost captured her?

The Queen with a smile shook her head.

"No, no, sire," she said with forced gaiety, "that I cannot believe. I never saw a Frenchman while I was on that journey."

"But why did you expose yourself to danger?" persisted the Emperor, though he knew quite well that it was an old Prussian custom for Queens to accompany their husbands to the battle.

"Why did you not await my arrival at Weimar?" he asked.

"Really, sire," said the poor Queen, trying to be merry, "I felt no inclination to do so."

At that Napoleon laughed and changed the subject, without a thought for all the Queen had endured on her journey.

"How is it that the Queen of Prussia wears a turban? That," he added, "is not complimentary to the Emperor of Russia, who is at war with the Turk."

Now, the Queen of Prussia knew how to make a pretty answer. It was one of her charms.

"I think," and she smiled, "it is rather to compliment Rustan," and she glanced at Napoleon's favourite Eastern servant, who, wearing a superb turban, stood behind the chair of his imperial master.

Napoleon was delighted, and the two began to discuss the province of Silesia and the old ones of Prussia, which now were perhaps to be ceded to France.

Frederick William, who had been silent, at once expressed his opinion, and, as usual, got into trouble with Napoleon.

"Your Majesty," he said, and his brow darkened, while he twisted his handkerchief and knotted it in a way he had, "does not know how grievous it is to lose territories which have descended through a long line of ancestors, territories which are, in fact, the cradle of one's race," he added gloomily.

Now, Napoleon was a man who had made his own fortunes, his name had not been royal, and his race had no such cradle.

A sarcastic smile played on his lips and a laugh of derision rang through the room.

"Cradle!" he said, and his lips curled in amusement. "When the child has grown to be a man he has not much time to think about his cradle!"

The guests gazed down at their plates.

Why on earth had the King spoken?

But the Queen saved the day.

"The mother's heart," she said, "is the most lasting cradle."

Then she enquired about Madame Bonaparte, whom above all living people Napoleon honoured, and the Empress Josephine, and Napoleon's good humour came back and he talked steadily through the whole dinner, everybody being forced to listen and eat in silence.

"That odious man," whispered the Countess Tauentzein, when at last they arose from dinner; "he has the manners of a peasant."

"And how ugly," answered Countess von Voss. "Did you notice how fat he is, and how bloated his face, and how brown his complexion?"

"He is altogether without figure, the wretch!" answered the other. "See how he rolls his great eyes, and how severe is his expression!"

"But his mouth is beautiful," admitted the old Countess, "and his teeth perfect. But see how he looks the very picture of success!" She lowered her voice cautiously. "But what a happy day it will be for the world when God takes him!"

As for Napoleon, his eyes never left the Queen. He followed her everywhere.

For a moment she stood alone in the room, in whose window-seat stood a pot in which grew a rosebush with one lovely flower.

Napoleon broke off its stem, and bearing it in his hand he approached the Queen and offered it to her, smiling.

"Sire," she said, her blue eyes pleading, "with Magdeburg?"

"Sire, with Magdeburg?"

Napoleon still offered the rose, his face flushing.

"I must point out to your Majesty," he said, "that it is for me to beg, for you to accept, or decline."

It was the Queen's turn to flush.

"There is no rose without a thorn," she said, "but these thorns," she gazed at the rose, "are too sharp for me."

And turning, she left Napoleon with a rose in his hand, his lips pressing themselves together.

He had given the Queen her answer. Prussia was to lose Magdeburg. The Queen had appealed in vain.

The banquet ended in a dance, and at a late hour the King and Queen returned to their lodgings in Piktupöhnen.

The next day the King and Napoleon had a talk, and those listening heard hot words and angry voices.

Frederick William was entreating for Magdeburg. Napoleon answering with scowling insolence.

"You forget," said the Emperor, his eyes narrowing, "that you are not in a position to negotiate. Understand that I wish to keep Prussia down and to hold Magdeburg that I may enter Berlin when I wish to. I believe in the stability of but two sentiments—vengeance and hatred. For the future, the Prussians must hate the French; but I will put it out of their power to injure them."

Again, that day, the Queen was forced to dine with Napoleon. She prayed to be excused, but all begged her to go. It would appear better, for the treaty now was signed.

"I have given Prussia a few concessions because of its Queen," announced Napoleon, but what they were it was hard to guess.

The King of Prussia must give up half of his dominions; he must reduce his army to 42,000 men; he must pay 140,000,000 francs as the cost of the war, and he must acknowledge the Confederation of the Rhine and all the kingdoms Napoleon might set up anywhere. Jerome Bonaparte, as King of Westphalia, was to receive half of the Kingdom of Prussia.

Knowing this, the Queen sat in her ermine and jewels; she talked with Napoleon, she smiled, she thanked him for his hospitality.

When she left he led her to the carriage.

"I regret, your Majesty," he said, "that I must not do what you asked me."

"And I regret," said the Queen, "that, having had the honour of knowing the hero of the age, whom I can never forget, the impression left on my mind must always be painful. Had you been generous, sire, I would be bound to you by an everlasting gratitude."

"Indeed, your Majesty," returned Napoleon, "I lament that so it must be; it is my evil destiny."

"And I have been cruelly deceived," were the Queen's last words, and off drove her carriage.

The two Royal Foes parted, never again to meet.

That day Louisa thought herself the vanquished, and before the world Napoleon wore the laurels of victory. Seventy years later the President of France wrote that it was his belief that, at Tilsit, Napoleon was conquered; that had he then been generous and bound the King and Queen of Prussia to him by a tie of gratitude his last days need not, perhaps, have been spent on the island of St. Helena, for in his troubles they would have been his ally.

When the Queen reached her room she turned to her ladies in tears.

"When I am dead," she said, "it will be as with Queen Mary of England; not Calais, but Magdeburg will be graven on my poor heart in letters of blood."

Peace was signed on the seventh, and on June 24 Napoleon, in triumph, entered Frankfort-on-Main, and three days later he arrived at his palace at Saint Cloud and immediately was off again, marching armies into Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Austria.

"Peace is made," wrote Queen Louisa to her father, "but at a dreadful price. Our boundary will only go as far as the Elbe. Yet is the King greater than his adversary. After Eylau he could have made a more advantageous peace, but then he must have followed wicked principles, and now he has acted through necessity and not forsworn himself. That must bring a blessing on Prussia. After Eylau he would not desert a faithful ally. Once more, I repeat, it is my firm belief that this conduct of the King will bring good fortune to Prussia."

Napoleon had insisted upon the dismissal of Hardenburg as Prime Minister, and in September the King called Stein to his assistance. From the Queen this great man received a letter.

"I conjure you," she wrote, for he had made some objections to remaining in office with a certain fellow minister, "have but patience in the first few months. For Heaven's sake, do not let the good cause be lost for want of three months' patience. I conjure, for the sake of the King, of the country, of my children, for my own sake, patience!


As for Baron von Stein, he had at heart only the good of Prussia, and waited.

The war was ended. Prussia was in the dust; its King and Queen exiled from the capital. Crops were ruined, villages were burned, and this poor, unhappy country must pay its war debt.

"Now, God be everlastingly praised," wrote the poor Queen, "that my daughter, who would now be almost fifteen years old, came dead into the world."

"I must play my life days in this unlucky time," she said. "Perhaps God gave me my living children that one of them might bring good to mankind."

And there was one who did the great things the Queen dreamed of.

It was not the handsome Crown Prince, though he was a clever monarch; it was not Princess Charlotte, though she became Empress of Russia; it was not Alexandrina, who, a lovely old lady, died only a year or two ago as Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg; nor jolly Carl, nor Louisa, nor Albert, who came later.

It was simple, honourable, sensible little William. Every pain his mother felt sank deeply into his heart, and at last the day came when he led the Prussian army to the great battle of Sedan, where he conquered the nephew of Napoleon and created the German Empire.

But no one dreamed of this that dreary summer in Memel, and though the Queen did her best to be cheerful, all who loved her saw that the canker-worm of sorrow was drawing nearer and nearer the heart of the beautiful "Rose of the King," the flower whose stem had been so roughly handled by its enemy.



When Franz again opened his eyes it was to see a little figure sitting near by with her knitting.

"Am I crazy?" He gazed about the room in which he found himself lying.

He saw a huge porcelain stove of green and white and blue and yellow, with a pelican on top for an ornament. A chest of drawers boasted a vase of roses, and there were pretty white curtains to the window.

"Bettina," he said, "Bettina!"

She ran to him, her blue eyes eager.

"Ach ja," said Franz, "but it is the same Bettina."

Yes, it was the old Bettina with the bright, eager eyes, the golden hair, but it was Bettina grown older.

"God be praised," she said, her eyes dancing; "I will call your Frau Mother."

He was home, but how had he come there?

There was Madame von Stork, the tears flowing; there was his father; Pauline, too; how handsome she was! And Marianne; but how serious she had grown! And the twins.

"Come here, Ilse. The other hand, Elchen! And Carlchen, how big you are!"

The children, hanging their heads, were pushed to the bed by Marianne.

Franz's eyes sought other figures.

"Wolfgang?" he said. "And Otto; where is Otto?"

It was days before he heard all the news, and it was days before he learned all that had happened.

Wolfgang was dead.

The Herr Lieutenant turned his face away.

Otto had run off, and no one knew where he was.

The rascal! That was exactly like Otto.

As for the Herr Lieutenant himself, the peasant boy had come for the Professor. The French soldiers had fired the house and the peasants had fled at once to Memel.

It was all very simple. Peace was made now, and his father had brought him in a carriage. He for days had remained unconscious. They were all soon to move to Königsberg, and Franz was to go also, and Otto must come home now, for the war was over.

Then Marianne, who came in often and sat with her tent stitch, told him how the poor Queen had been deceived by Napoleon, how she had believed in his promise and had not been well from the shock of disappointment since she had returned from Tilsit.

And when Marianne was gone, in came his mother and she wept over Wolfgang and Otto and told him how Ludwig Brandt, who was soon to be betrothed to Pauline, was always at Königsberg, for there were great plans among the students in which Ludwig was helping, plans for rousing the nation against Napoleon.

Then she told of Marianne, and of how she was now a great comfort.

"And it is all because of our good Queen," she assured him, and related how Marianne now adored her instead of Goethe, and of how she had gone all winter to make lint and to read aloud to her Majesty.

"And she has now a longing to be useful," said Madame von Stork, her face brightening. "At first it was to be useful in some high-flown way," she added.

At that Franz laughed merrily.

"That is like Marianne," he said, "exactly, dear mother."

"She wanted to nurse the soldiers," continued Madame von Stork, "but our good Queen assured her that she was far too young and that home is the true place for a German maiden. She told her how she herself had never interfered in politics, but had been content to be a good wife and mother.

"And so," concluded Madame von Stork, "each day she becomes more of a comfort. God be praised," she added, "that we came to Memel. Our Queen is an example to all German women."

"She is an angel," said Franz, who like all the soldiers adored Queen Louisa.

The very first day Franz asked about Hans.

"We had thought him dead," explained his father. "The King had news of his disappearance and believed him to have been shot as a spy. But when you were brought home the peasant told me the soldiers had marched him away with them and I could do nothing."

"He will probably soon arrive in Memel," said Franz, "now peace is made."

"The soldiers about Tilsit knew nothing of him. Why they took him prisoner I have no idea, but can only wonder," added his father.

But the days passed, and no Hans came, and the weeks went by and turned into months.

Bettina, though, was sure that he would come to her.

"He promised," she said, "that when peace was made we should go back to our dear Thuringia."

She had wept bitterly when Elsa had come out with the news of his death, but only for a moment.

"That is my grandfather's writing," she had said, "and so he must be living."

And now she still believed in his coming.

Nothing, however, could make Marianne happy, for the Queen's health seemed to fail entirely.

As the summer advanced to autumn, and autumn marched into winter the winds of Memel grew fiercer and fiercer. With their coming the Queen lost her colour, her cheerfulness was forced, and she drooped like a flower.

One thing alone comforted both her and the King, a letter from the people of Westphalia, who must now belong to Napoleon.

Frederick William had bade them farewell, telling them that he felt like a father separating from his children, that it was only necessity which made him yield them to their new ruler.

The Westphalians answered him like children.

"When we read thy farewell," they wrote, "our hearts were breaking; we could not believe that we should cease to be thy faithful subjects, we who have always loved thee so much. As true as we live, it is not thy fault that after the battle of Jena thy scattered armies were not led to our country to join with our militia in a fresh combat. We would have staked our lives and have saved the country, for our warriors have marrow in their bones and their souls are not yet infested with the canker.

"Our wives nourish their children with their own milk, our daughters are no puppets of fashion, we desire to keep free from the pestilential spirit of the age. Yet we cannot change the decrees of Providence. Farewell, then, thou good old King. God grant that the remainder of thy country may furnish thee with wise ministers and truer generals than those which have brought affliction on thee. It is not for us to struggle against our fate, we must with manly fortitude submit to what we cannot alter. May God be with us and give us a new ruler who will likewise be the father of the country, may he respect our language, our manners, our religion, and our municipalities as thou hast done, our dear, good King. God grant thee peace, health, and happiness."

Such a letter was a great comfort to the Queen, and though her heart was very heavy, she occupied herself first in the sale of her jewels, then she and the King sent all their golden dishes to the mint to be turned into money. She bought only simple dresses and tried to set all the people of the Court an example of patience and cheerfulness. She talked much with good Bishop Eylert and Bishop Borowsky.

One Sunday the Bishop found her alone in her sitting-room reading her Bible.

When he entered she greeted him with a smile and they sat and talked over the 120th Psalm.

In a firm, clear voice the Queen repeated aloud all its verses.

"In thy light," she said, "shall we see light." And then she told the Bishop how, though her foe had conquered her and taken away her kingdom, she firmly believed that God would send His light and show to all the reasons of the wars of Napoleon.

"I think," she said, "it is wise to study a portion of Scripture each day, really study it." The King, coming in, agreed.

Then the Bishop suggested that each should choose a book.

"I," said the Queen, "choose Psalms."

"And I," said the King, "select the book of Daniel, because it teaches that kingdoms do not rise and fall by chance. God's ways may often seem to us dark and mysterious, but we may feel assured that they are always holy, wise, and salutary. By His wisdom and mercy this world is so ordered that evil works out its own destruction, and good,—that is, all that agrees with the will of God,—must avail at last."

When Marianne heard of this study of the Queen, she, too, selected a book, and decided upon Psalms because the Queen had selected it for her study.

Now and then, however, pleasant things happened.

The house where the King and Queen lived was so small that there was no room for the children. Therefore Prince Frederick and Prince William lived in the house of a wealthy merchant named Argelander.

"To-day," said the Queen one morning, "is Frau Argelander's birthday. We hear that for fear of disturbing the Princes she has gone to the country to have her feast with her friends. Come, then, let us decorate her house and send a message for her to come and enjoy it."

Everyone was delighted to see the Queen again lively. Marianne ran to the Stork's Nest and sent all the children for evergreens, the ladies hurried to the shops and purchased little gifts, and the great work began.

A servant flew about Memel with invitations, and by late afternoon all was ready and a messenger departed to fetch Frau Argelander.

"My goodness, oh, Heaven!" cried the ladies when he returned with the message that Frau Argelander begged to be excused, as she was enjoying her feast with her friends, and did not need in the least her house, which the Princes were free to use as they would.

Nobody knew what to do, but the Queen arranged a plan.

"You go, Fritz," she said to the Crown Prince, "take the carriage and fetch Frau Argelander."

And this time the lady appeared with many apologies to find lights streaming from her windows, decorations everywhere, garlands wreathing the doors, and presents spread on a table. Beneath the chandelier in the Saal stood the Queen, lovely in white, a Prince on each side, Charlotte and Carl and Alexandrina grouped about all holding bouquets in their hands to present to the lady who had been so kind to them in their trouble.

"Dear Frau Argelander, dear Birthday Child!" cried the Queen, and slipped on the lady's plump arm a bracelet containing the hair of the two Princes.

Then did the Queen begin the festivities, part of the fun being the reading of a poem on each present, written at the command of the Queen by a Memel poet.

Marianne was standing near the table on which were the presents when Franz, who was well, now turned towards her smiling.

"Mariechen," he said in German, for after a talk or two with Ludwig Brandt he no longer spoke the fashionable French, but always his own language, "do you remember what Schlegel wrote about our Queen?"

Marianne shook her head.

"I have never heard it."

Franz, in low tones, repeated the words:

"She would be a Queen if she lived in a cottage,
The Queen of every heart."

Marianne's eyes danced.

"Oh, Franz," she cried, "oh, brother, how, how lovely!"

"And it is true," said Franz, gazing about the room, his eye resting on the handsome old Countess, looking bored because of her love of her own Saal in the evening, yet brightening if the Queen so much as looked at her, at the Princes and Princesses hanging on their mother's words, at the young poet, happy ever in the honour done his verses, at Frau Argelander, at the people of Memel.

"Ja, ja," he said, "the Angel of Prussia, the Queen of Every Heart!"

But there was one person who was determined not to let the Queen of Prussia be happy.

"Pay your war debt. Pay me what you owe," Napoleon kept crying.

The King of Prussia, who had no money, begged for time, and he would pay everything.

"Pay me, and at once," insisted Napoleon.

What was the King to do? He had no money.

Then his brother, Prince William, had an idea.

"There is no gold," he said, "how can we pay? I will go to Paris and entreat Napoleon to have mercy."

He said this in public, but his real plan, told only to his wife, was to offer himself as a hostage until Prussia could pay her debt.

"I will join you," said the Princess Marianne. "Our little Amelia died in our flight from Dantzic and I can be as happy with you in a prison as in a palace."

So the Prince departed, and the King and Queen waited.

The great scientist, Alexander von Humboldt, prepared Napoleon for his coming and he was received with both politeness and kindness.

At once, with glowing face, he offered himself as a hostage for his country.

Napoleon embraced him.

"That is very noble," he said, "but impossible." For he wanted money, not Princes.

When the news of this act spread through Germany it fired the people like a draught of strong wine.

"We will rise!" they cried. "Our Prince has set us an example! We will throw off the yoke of the oppressor!"

And so, in the darkest hour of the Fatherland, patriotism began to blaze brightly.

The French having evacuated Königsberg, the Queen longed to leave Memel, whose winds had never agreed with her.

"Do, Majesty," urged Baron Stein, advising the King, "it is more dignified that you hold Court in a large city like Königsberg."

While all this was being discussed, to the surprise of the von Storks, the Queen sent one day for Bettina.

"What can she want?" and Madame von Stork made Bettina ready, brushing her hair, putting on a blue dress Pauline had made her, and seeing that the elastics of her slippers were in exact order.

Bettina went alone, the Queen requiring it, and with eyes eager, her bright smile on her lips, the little girl appeared before her.

"Dear child," said the Queen, "I have sent for you because I have some news to tell you."

"I have some news to tell you"

Then she explained that she feared Bettina's grandfather might not return to Memel, that Professor von Stork had many to care for, and that she, the Queen, meant in the future to provide for Bettina.

"My dear people of Berlin," she told her, "have founded a home for orphans in my honour. The Luisenstift, they will call it. Now, dear Bettina, I am to name and support four of these children and I have selected you as one of them."

Poor Bettina! Her little heart sank. Must she leave the Stork's Nest, must she go among strangers?

The Queen understood.

"You cannot, dear child," she said like a mother, "always live with the good Professor. Go happily, dear child, to this Home. It will help the good Professor to have you cared for. You may visit them in your holidays, and, if you are a good girl and study well, one day you may come and live at Court and be a maid to Princess Charlotte, or my little Alexandrina. Would you not like that?" And the Queen smiled enchantingly.

Bettina's eyes glowed.

To be always near her Majesty! What happiness!

"But go now," said the Queen, "and tell the Herr Professor that I will talk this over with him before he moves his family to Königsberg, and after Christmas I shall send you to Berlin, to the Luisenstift. Until then, be happy!"

"My grandfather will come," thought Bettina; "the Queen is good, but we will go to Thuringia and I shall see Hans and the baby, my godmother and Willy."

And she believed this so firmly that she hardly worried over the Orphan Asylum.

But the Professor was relieved. Money was scarce. He had many children, and he thanked the Queen over and over for her goodness.



All the Storks, grown and children, liked their new Nest in Königsberg.

It was a city, and there was more to amuse one than in Memel. But life still had its troubles both for them, for the Queen, and for Prussia.

One day Marianne was standing with the children on the bridge of Kantstrasse. They were looking down at the Fish Market and laughing at the fish women from the Baltic as they sold their fish. There were Dutch vessels in the Pregel, and queer sailors, and Marianne told the twins to look at the queer signs hanging on the houses on the bank. "When the Poles were here," she explained, "each man painted the sign of his trade and swung it from his house. See, that was a shoemaker, there was a tailor."

While they talked, people were passing along Kantstrasse by the dozens, professors going to and fro, town people, soldiers, sailors or fishers from the Baltic.

Presently along came Franz.

When he saw the little group he smiled and joined them.

While they watched the scene he told them a dreadful story of Napoleon, of something which had helped bring on the war.

"It roused all Prussia," he said.

It was the story of the bookseller, Palm of Nuremberg.

In that quaint old town where they make the toys of the world, where the famous Albrecht Dürer once lived and drew and painted, had lived a certain honest young man named Palm, and his young wife, Anna. He was a bookseller, and respected by everybody.

One day he received a package of books by mail which he was to sell in his shop. The name of the book was "Germany in Her Deepest Degradation," but it was anonymous.

Herr Bookseller Palm placed the books in his shop as requested.

A little later he was arrested by order of Napoleon and threatened with death unless he revealed the name of the author.

Palm had one answer. The books had been sent him without a name, and that was all he knew.

There was much more, but Franz first told how Palm, who had hidden, was arrested by a trick. A man pretended to be in great trouble from which only Palm could save him. The kind bookseller came forward to see the messenger, was seized, dragged off, and shot without proper trial, though the women of the town appeared before the judges clamouring for mercy, and his poor young wife implored his life from Napoleon's officers. Only a good Roman Catholic priest supported him to the end, although Palm was a Lutheran. "Shot down like a dog!" cried Franz hotly.

Marianne's tears fell when she heard of the suffering of the wife, of Palm's goodness, his belief in God, and his bravery in refusing to give the name of the author.

"How I hate Napoleon!" cried Marianne. "Oh, if I were a man and able to fight him!"

Those were stormy days in Königsberg.

The Stork's Nest was thronged with students and professors, all full of talk and bitter against Napoleon.

Ludwig stayed there always now, and he was prime mover in a great plan among the students, and so when Pauline was betrothed to him many professors and students came with congratulations.

"I shall never marry," said Marianne, quite positively.

Everybody laughed, but she was herself very serious.

"My heart is with my country," she said.

In the evenings all the family gathered again about the big table, but instead of reading they listened now to talking.

"Stein will save our land," said Ludwig one evening. "God be praised! The King no longer opposes him, but is guided by his counsel."

"But will Napoleon permit him to remain?" The Professor looked anxious.

Ludwig shrugged his shoulders.

"At all events," he said, "our King's conduct is noble. He had given up everything, plate, wealth, all he has, to help with this debt to Napoleon. The future is God's, not ours."

As for the Queen, all Prussia sang praise of her nobility in going to Tilsit.

Marianne had been once to Memel on a visit to her uncle Joachim, who was happy now with Rudolph at home again, and had been to Court and had seen Queen Louisa before she herself moved to Königsberg.

She had been reading a wonderful book called "Leonard and Gertrude."

"I wish," she told Marianne, "that I could get into a carriage and start off to Switzerland and find the author."

His name was Pestalozzi, and he was full of new ideas of how to educate children.

But what pleased Marianne was the news that the Queen was soon to come to Königsberg.

"But our dear Queen is not well," said the old Countess to Marianne. "Since her visit to that monster she lies awake at night and weeps and often suffers a pain in her heart, though in public she smiles and is always an angel."

"Down with Napoleon!" called out the parrot. "Upstart! Villain! Monster! Down with the Emperor!"

The old Countess gave him a cracker.

"Pretty Polly," she said. "But now be quiet."

"Upstart! Villain!" repeated Polly.

Then the Countess complained to Marianne of all the noise of the Royal children and of the conduct of the Maids of Honour.

"One night when our dear Queen was ill the noise was dreadful. It woke her from a doze and I went out to see who was making it. And what did I find?"

The old lady shook with offended dignity.

"Why, the Maids of Honour, my child, flirting and laughing with the generals! I spoke to the King, but, my dear Marianne, what good can it do? Etiquette has gone entirely out of fashion! The Maids of Honour will have their ways, will laugh, talk, and behave in a way most unseemly. But never mind, we shall soon come to Königsberg."

It was deep winter when the royal family arrived. The people of Memel were sad, indeed, to see them depart, and the King wrote them a letter.

"I thank my brave citizens of Memel for their true and steadfast attachment to my person, my wife, and my whole house. Memel is the only town in my dominions which has escaped the worse calamities of the war, but it has proved itself capable of enduring them and ready, if called on, to resist the enemy. I shall never forget that Divine Providence preserved to us an asylum in this town and that its people evinced the warmest and most constant attachment to us."

The people of Königsberg on their part were delighted. Immediately they elected the Crown Prince rector of their famous University.

"On the sixth of March," they said, "we will confer this honour on him, give a grand fête, and have a torch-light procession."

The Crown Prince, who was thirteen now, thought this very fine, and for a few days walked about with dignity, but then he grew tired of such stiffness and joined Prince William and his friend Rudolph von Auerswald, Carl von Stork, and little Prince Carl, in their battles against the mice and rats in the old castle.

On February the first all the bells of this old city of the King rang out most joyfully.

"We have a new little sister," the Royal children told Rudolph and Carl.

"Her name," said the King, "shall be Louisa, for her mother."

"It is because I love thee so dearly," he said to the Queen, "that I have named our youngest little daughter, Louisa."

Tears started to the Queen's eyes.

"May she, dear Fritz, indeed grow up to be thy Louisa."

"I am weary," the King said, "of lords and ladies. It is the people of Prussia who have been my friends and helped me. Therefore, it is they who shall be sponsors at the baptism of my daughter."

So there came men to represent every class of the Prussian people, and they sat down to as fine a feast as the King's pocketbook would permit him to give them.

The Queen, who was not well, lay on a sofa and received all the godfathers of the tiny Louisa, and the baptism took place there, and not in the church, because of the cold weather.

The Countess von Voss brought the baby to the Princess William and gave it its name of Louisa Augusta Wilhelmina Amelia for its mother.

The court ladies all wore round skirts and tunics, and the Queen gave the old Countess a handsome set of ornaments, but they all wept bitterly for the little girl whose blue eyes had opened on so cold and cruel a world as Napoleon and winter had made East Prussia.

When all sat at the banquet one of the godfathers arose and addressed the tiny Louisa, whose blue eyes stared at him in wonder.

"Louisa Wilhelmina," he said, "god-child of the people, thou art a gentle mediator between the King and us. Mayst thou live to stand a full-grown blooming virgin amongst thy brothers and sisters; may then thy royal house be flourishing in renewed glory. Meanwhile, dark hours will pass like storm-birds over thy head—thou wilt hear the rushing of their wings, but it will not frighten thee. Thou, sweet one, wilt smile, feeling nothing but thy childish happiness and the charm of life. Loving arms will hold thee safely, high above the precipice on the edge of which we stand. May the future smile on us through thee. In thee we see thy father's love to us, and by thy bright eyes may the people speak comfort to the King, saying, 'We are thine, thou art our lord and master: be strong and true to thyself. Trust not in thy councillors and thy servants, for they are not all full of courage, nor all of one mind. What they have done and what they have left undone has brought us near to ruin. Trust thine own judgment, thine own heart, and we will trust in thee. We are all thine, master, be strong and true to thyself.'"

But the people of Königsberg had other things to think of than tiny Louisa.

All the patriots of Germany came to and fro, among them Schleiermacher, who had refused to remain in Halle when Napoleon took the city from Frederick William. He believed that Austria and England would join in throwing off Napoleon.

"Now," he said, "while Napoleon is in Spain, let us do what we can."

For, all over Germany, the French army were still masters, driving people from their homes, burning villages, doing all that Napoleon permitted.

"Now," cried Schleiermacher.

"Now," cried Ludwig Brandt.

"Now," cried all the students of the University.

So in that summer in Königsberg was founded a secret society called the "Tugendbund," or "League of Virtue," whose purpose was to spread patriotism throughout Germany. Members sprang up everywhere, agents went to and fro, and the watchword was "Secresy."

Nevertheless, Napoleon heard of it.

"Dismiss Stein," he ordered the King, "he is the founder. He shall not remain as Prussian Minister."

Then he put a price on this great man's head, and he was forced to flee for his life to Prague in Bohemia. He had done his best for his country and, therefore, Napoleon wished to be rid of him. But it was untrue that he founded the "Tugendbund."

"I am heartily tired of life," he wrote, "and wish it would soon come to an end. To enjoy rest and independence it would be best to settle in America, in Kentucky, or Tennessee; there one would find a splendid climate and soil, glorious views, and rest and security for a century—not to mention a multitude of Germans—the capital of Kentucky is called Frankfort."

But the Prussians refused to be conquered.

"We will outwit Napoleon, who has declared that the Prussian army can consist only of forty-two thousand soldiers," they cried, and they drilled soldiers, sending set after set home, always keeping the army at forty-two thousand, but training every man and boy of Prussia.

Otto von Stork refused to return home, but while he drilled away with the rest he sent letters telling of the dreadful times of the Berliners, how they had no food, how even the once rich lived like beggars, how there was no wax for candles, and how Napoleon had robbed the city of all he could lay his hands upon.

So another unhappy year for Prussia passed away and brought in 1809.

The Queen's pink cheeks had faded to white, her eyes showed that their blue had been washed with tears, and about her mouth were lines of sorrow.

"If posterity," she wrote, "will not place my name amongst those of illustrious women, yet those who are acquainted with the troubles of these times will know what I have gone through and will say, 'She suffered much and endured with patience,' and I only wish they may be able to add: 'She gave being to children worthy of better times and who by their continual struggles have succeeded in attaining them.'"

Sometimes she talked this way to the Crown Prince and little William, and their eyes would glow and they would promise that they would do great things for Prussia.

When she went through Königsberg streets, in the warm days when the flowers were in bloom, it was the joy of all the little children to offer her nosegays. Never did she decline one, and she always had a smile for everybody.

One day came news of Otto which startled his father and sent his mother weeping to bed. Major Shill, a brave Prussian soldier, refused to stop fighting against Napoleon, and became a great hero of Prussia, though on the 30th of December, 1808, while the King and Queen were in St. Petersburg on a visit to the Czar Alexander, the Emperor had withdrawn his soldiers from Prussia, and the Brandenburg Hussars and a cavalry regiment under this Major Shill entered Berlin.

When Napoleon began again to fight the Austrians Major Shill departed from Berlin against the French without a declaration of war, angering the King, but attracting a thousand to his banner.

Among them was Otto von Stork.

"Do not grieve, my dear parents," he wrote; "never shall I lay down my arms until Napoleon is defeated."

But what were a thousand men?

The end came quickly.

Ludwig brought the news to the Professor.

"Shill is killed," he said; "shot while fighting in the streets of Stralsund. Twelve of his officers have been taken and shot by the French, the others sent to the galleys."

"Otto! Otto!" cried poor Madame von Stork; "Richard, Ludwig, where is my Otto?"



The years marched on to another Christmas.

Much had happened.

Napoleon was still triumphant, for, conquering the Austrians, he had entered Vienna as victor.

"All is lost," Queen Louisa wrote, "if not forever, at least for the present."

As for Otto von Stork, he was not killed, but continued fighting where he could find soldiers.

"All Europe must rise," he wrote his father; "the brave Andreas Hofer is rousing the Tyrolese, and, oh, dear father, have you heard of the brave deed of Haydn in Vienna?"

"Haydn?" interrupted Marianne, and then with a smile she began singing "With Verdure Clad," from the musician's "Creation." Of course they all had heard of Haydn. Certainly the old man was a hero.

When he heard the cannon and knew that Napoleon was entering his Vienna, he went to a window and opened the sash.

"Sing!" he cried to the people in the streets, "sing, good people."

And then the old white-haired musician lifted his voice and sang his own hymn.

"God save our Emperor Franz!" rang through the streets, all the people joining. And when Napoleon entered they were singing at the tops of their voices. But the excitement was too much for Haydn. He died two days later.

Then Otto was off to fight in the Tyrol.

"He will break my heart," wept his mother, but the Herr Lieutenant's eyes flashed.

"If my arm——" he began, but his mother cried out so that he never finished his sentence.

Napoleon, in these days of gloom, divorced his wife, married the Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, and a son was born to them, the little King of Rome, they called him.

The Czar had been again with Napoleon and there had been a famous meeting at Erfurt, and they had divided the world between them, and then Alexander had paid his friends a visit at Memel and had been shocked at the appearance of the Queen.

"Come," he said, "to St. Petersburg and see the wonders of my capital. It will do the Queen good."

And so they went on a splendid journey and met all the Royal family of Russia and received honour and rich presents.

But Queen Louisa cared no more for such things as fine clothes, crowns, banquets and jewels.

To her friend, Frau von Berg, she wrote:

"I am come back from St. Petersburg as I went. Nothing dazzles me now. Yes, I feel it more and more, my kingdom is not of this world. I have danced, dear friend," she said, "I have been agreeable to the whole world, but God Almighty have mercy upon me." So much did she feel the sorrows of her poor kingdom.

But now the French had left Berlin entirely, and, at Christmas time, the year 1809, three years after Jena, the King and Queen were returning to their capital.

Marianne and her grandmother were standing on Unter den Linden, Ludwig and Pauline, who was now his wife, not far off. Again there were flags and garlands, and again the people everywhere.

"The Berliners have sent our Queen a new carriage lined with her favourite violet," and Marianne smiled in gladness.

"Ach, ja," said her grandmother, who now spoke German. "We can do such things now, but formerly that monster Napoleon would not even permit us to celebrate her birthday."

And she told Marianne of the actor, Iffland, who had had courage on March tenth, her Majesty's birthday, to wear a bouquet of flowers in his theatre.

Marianne listened with great interest. She was altogether a changed girl, and tried always to think of other people.

"Thanks to our good Queen," her mother always was saying, "God be praised that Marianne tries now to imitate her, for she is the model for all German maidens."

At exactly the same hour that, fifteen years before, as a bride, Louisa of Mecklenburg had entered Berlin, the Queen appeared in her violet-lined carriage.

The Berliners cheered, but at the same moment their eyes filled.

It was their Queen and as beautiful as ever, some declared even lovelier, but she seemed like a rose whose stem is no longer erect. Her cheeks were pale, her eyes were washed with weeping, and about her mouth, trying so hard to smile as of old, they saw lines of sorrow.

"How we hate him! How we hate Napoleon!" and the people clenched their fists when they saw her.

With her were her niece, Frederika, the Princess Charlotte, now tall and beautiful, the old Countess, and jolly Carl.

The young princes were on horseback, the King was with his generals.

"Long life to our good King! Long live Frederick William!" shouted the Berliners, but when they saw the Queen and remembered how she had gone for their sake to Napoleon, her name rang from one side of Berlin to the other.

At the palace an old man lifted her from her carriage, folded her in his arms and led her away from the people.

"Her father, the old Duke!" cried the Berliners, and they were not ashamed to weep openly.

In a few moments Queen Louisa appeared on a balcony.

The people went frantic with joy, and her cheeks grew pink, and she tried to smile, and then, the tears flowing from her eyes, prevented her.

"It is heartrending," said a stranger to Madame von Bergman, who, herself, was making use of an embroidered handkerchief. "When, Madame, I see that poor lady, our Queen, and think of all that she has suffered, and of our kingdom divided in two, and still ruled by Napoleon, I cannot restrain my speech."

"Never mind, Herr Arndt," said Madame von Bergman, "we all feel as you do."

The stranger started in alarm.

"You recognise me? I thought," he said, "that sorrow had so changed me that no one could know my features."

"You are safe with me," said the good lady, who knew there was a price on the head of this patriotic poet. "I am the mother-in-law of Herr Professor Richard von Stork of the Tugendbund." She lowered her voice as she said this last word.

Arndt grasped her hand and then, walking away with her, told how he had been driven from land to land and torn from his son for the sake of the little one's safety.

"When I thrust the child from me," he said, "I could almost have cursed the French and the Corsican who rules them."

For a moment he was silent.

Then he gazed about gay Unter den Linden.

"But, Madame," his face looked like that of a prophet, "I see to-day in this splendour, in these loud and continued cheers for the King, a hope that all hearts may be united in one common German spirit. I see more eyes wet with sorrow than bright with joy, and who knows what will come of it for our dear Fatherland?"

Marianne's eyes sparkled.

Her one longing was to serve her country. But what could a girl do?

Her face fell.

At the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden she came face to face with Bettina marching homeward with the girls of the "Luisenstift."

"Come home with us, pray, my child," said old Madame von Bergman very kindly.

Permission was given and Bettina joined them. She was now a big girl, and thirteen.

"Gracious Fräulein," she said to Marianne, "how happy I am." Then she laughed her gay little gurgle. "I think, Gracious Fräulein, Frederick Barbarossa is waking. He is stretching himself, I think. He will rise soon and drive away Napoleon." Arndt looked at her in surprise and then nodded.

In the evening there was a grand illumination.

The Berliners had pressed the King to appear in the theatre.

"Yes, yes," he said, "but first we will go to church and thank Almighty God for his mercy."

To celebrate his return he freed many prisoners, gave money to the poor, and remembered to thank all who had been loyal.

On their part, the Berliners had the sculptor, Schadow, make a statue of the Queen and place it on an island in the Tiergarten.

The King also founded an Order of Merit, and with grand ceremony bestowed it upon many, among them the actor, Iffland, and the old clergyman who had answered Napoleon.

But, in spite of all this, Prussia had no money.

"But our King does all he can," said Ludwig to Madame von Bergman one evening when he and Pauline came to supper.

"Yes," put in Franz, who was then in Berlin, "he has ordered the Royal table to be laid with four dishes only at dinner, and at supper with two."

"And I heard," said Pauline, looking up from her embroidery, "that when a servant asked how much champagne to order, the King said none should be purchased until all his subjects could drink beer again."

Madame von Bergman shook her head sadly.

"No hope of that. Look at this coffee," and she poured out a cupful from the pot on the tray the maid had brought in for the visitors.

"Oak bark, carrots, and beans burned together, that is our coffee, thanks to Napoleon."

While they were talking, in came a visitor.

"Napoleon has shot Andreas Hofer," he announced, "at Mantua!"

The two men started from their seats.

"Impossible!" they cried out, but alas, next day they learned the truth of it. This brave innkeeper of Innsbruck, who had fought so bravely to free his people, had been betrayed by a friend to Napoleon and shot in Mantua, over the mountains.

The Queen wept tears of sorrow when she heard of this sad tragedy.

"What a man," she had written, "is this Andreas Hofer, the leader of the Tyrolese. A peasant has become a captain, and what a captain! His weapon, prayer, and his ally, God. Oh, that the time of the Maid of Orleans might return that the enemy might be driven from the land!"

It was about this time that Napoleon permitted Minister Hardenburg to return to his duties. At once affairs began to prosper.

"And the Queen," Marianne wrote to her mother, "is to take a journey. She is to go with the King and her children to all the places where she had lived as Crown Princess, to Paretz, to Oranienburg, and Peacock Island."

At Paretz the Queen walked up and down the avenues with her husband. Suddenly she turned to him very solemnly and said:

"Fritz, you have made me very happy, you and our children."

But Napoleon had no mind to add to her happiness.

"Pay your war debt!" he kept crying.

"We have no money," said the poor Prussians.

"Then I rule you until you do," was Napoleon's unchanging answer.

"And the wretch," said Madame von Stork, "has ordered our King to assist a huge Russian force through Prussia."

"And I heard," said Pauline, "that when the King heard the news he bowed his head and said that of all men he was most unlucky."

"But our Queen," put in Marianne, who was working at tent stitch, "is to have a great pleasure."

The two ladies gazed at her in curiosity.

"She is going to visit her father," answered Marianne. "The Countess told me. She has not been home for many years, and when she told the King of her great longing, he consented. She is to leave to-morrow."

Bettina, who was on her way to the "Stork's Nest," saw her depart. Catching sight of the girl, the Queen smiled a farewell. For some reason it made Bettina solemn.

"It was as if she were saying good-bye forever," she told Marianne later. Marianne laughed merrily.

"She will be back in a few days. What nonsense!"



On the night of July 18 a travelling carriage dashed towards Fürstenburg, the first town within the Duke of Mecklenburg's dominions, the driver urging its horses to their utmost.

Within sat the King, pale and thin from a severe attack of malaria. With him were the Crown Prince and Prince William, the faces of the boys wet with tears, their eyes struggling with weariness.

On dashed the horses.

"Faster! Faster!" now and then ordered the King, clenching his hands.

Presently a rosy light heralded the day, the clarion of the cocks announced the morning, the stars faded from the brightening sky, and the carriage dashed through Fürstenburg.

Two hours more. The King looked at his watch and cried:

"Faster! Faster!"

The people of the town, startled by the wheels, wondered who was passing in such haste. Later came a second carriage, a girl's white, tearful face gazing from one window, a round, rosy-cheeked boy against her shoulder.

It was the King, the Crown Prince and Prince William, and Princess Charlotte and Prince Carl hastening to Queen Louisa.

After she had reached Mecklenburg the King had joined her.

Never had he seen her look happier.

Like a girl, she told him of how she had been met at Fürstenburg by her sister, Frederika, her father and her brothers. Her grandmother, being old, welcomed her at the door of the Duke's palace, and for the first time in many years she found herself alone with her own people.

When the King came they were given a public reception.

"But only one, let it be, dear father," begged Queen Louisa. "I feel that this happiness cannot last. Something oppresses me, so please let us make the most of seeing each other in quiet."

When she dressed herself for this one reception, her ladies noticed that she had only pearls for jewels.

"I have sold the rest," she said with a smile, "but, never mind, pearls are suitable for me, for they signify tears, and I have shed many. Moreover," and she took out a miniature worn about her neck, "I have my best treasure."

It was a picture of the King, and the Queen gazed at it lovingly.

"After all these years, my good Fritz loves me quite the same," she said, and looked as happy as a girl.

"Come, Fritz," she cried to her husband, and led him about, showing him this and that and telling stories of her childhood. Never had she seemed so happy.

One morning they were to go to see a chapel the King had expressed an interest in.

"I will stay with George," said the Queen, who complained of not feeling well, and so they left her with her brother.

When her father returned he found on his writing desk a note written in French, by his daughter, the Queen.

"My dear father," he read, "I am very happy to-day as your daughter and as the wife of the best of husbands.


"New Strelitz, July 28, 1810."

At once he showed it, to the King, and the two men were silent with happiness. But little did they think that never again was the woman who so loved them to touch paper or pen.

She had not been well, but nothing had been thought of it. And now, in the early summer morning, the King was hastening to her.

"Faster!" he called. "Faster!"

She had told him good-bye with a smile and the hope of soon seeing him, and he had returned to Berlin.

There had come despatch after despatch.

"The Queen is ill. She grows worse. Come! Come!"

But this poor, always unfortunate King was himself severely ill with a sudden attack of malaria. For days he could not leave his bed, and it was not until the twenty-eighth that he set off for New Strelitz. And then the Queen was so ill there was no delaying.

It was between four and five in the morning when the carriage reached the castle.

The Queen, who lay awake in her room, heard them come. At midnight she had grown worse, at two she had called out to her sister, who at once went to her bed.

"Dear Frederika," she asked in a voice like a whisper, "what will my husband and children do if I die?"

But now the King had come.

In the hall he met the physicians. They explained that an abscess had formed and burst in one lung. The heart was involved and the Queen was sinking.

"Majesty," they said, "there is no hope."

The Queen's old grandmother, her withered cheeks wet with tears, took the King's hand in both of hers.

"While there is life there is hope," she said, her old voice struggling to comfort him.

Unlucky Frederick William shook his head.

"If she were not mine," he said, "she might recover."

The old Duke joined him. In the night they had called him from his sleep.

The Princess Frederika was at the door.

"Is my daughter in danger?" he asked.

She pressed his hand.

"Lord," said the poor old father, "Thy ways are not our ways."

With trembling hands he now led the King to the room.

Propped up on pillows, the bed curtains looped back to give her air, lay poor Queen Louisa.

On one side was the old Countess von Voss, Frau von Berg held one hand, and Princess Frederika the other.

The poor "Rose of the King," whose stem had been so roughly handled, had drooped forever.

When the physicians had entreated her to move that she might be more comfortable, it was impossible for her strength to accomplish it.

"I am a Queen," she said sadly, "and I have no power to move my arm."

But when she saw the King, joy made her like the old Louisa.

The King embraced her as if he would never again see her.

"Am I then so ill?" she asked.

The King went from the room.

The poor Queen gazed from one face to the other, and the strength again left her.

"The King seems as if he wished to take leave of me," she gasped. "Tell him not to do so, or I shall die directly."

At once he returned and sat on her bed and the minutes wore away, the arms of the old Countess supporting her dear Queen Louisa.

"Where are my children, Fritz?"

The Crown Prince and William came, hand in hand, to her bed.

"My Fritz! My William!" she said, and gave them each a smile. Then she struggled to ask about Charlotte, who had sent her a letter about her birthday full of tears that her mother was absent.

The effort brought on such pain that they sent the boys away.

They went from the castle and out into the garden where the air was fresh and cool and the dew lay on the roses.

In the room the doctors were begging the Queen to stretch her arms that she might lie higher.

"I cannot," said the poor Queen. "Only death will help me."

Holding her hand, the King sat on the bed, the old Countess knelt, and Frau von Berg supported her head.

All through her illness she had repeated over and over the texts which she loved and found comfort in, but now her lips could only flutter as the breath came slower and slower.

The poor King, with bowed head, was thinking of Jena and all his Queen had suffered.

Suddenly the Queen drew her head against the breast of Frau von Berg. Her blue eyes opened and gazed towards heaven.

"I am dying," she said quite distinctly, "Lord Jesus, make it short."

In a few minutes the Queen of Prussia had passed beyond the power of Napoleon to harm.

"The ways of the Lord," wrote the old Countess, "are implacable and holy, but they are dreadful to travel. The King, the children, the city have lost all in the world. I speak not for myself, but my sorrow is great. My Queen! Oh, my poor Queen!"



When his first grief was stilled, the King went to Fritz and Willy in the garden. Plucking a branch on which grew three roses, he returned with the little princes to the Queen. The three kissed her, and the King laid the roses in her hand as the second carriage dashed up to the palace.

Charlotte and Carl had come too late. Their mother had been dead a half hour. The old Countess was all they had now, and she hushed her sobs to comfort the King and her Queen's poor children, but, poor old lady, her heart was broken at eighty and she lived only a few years more.

The doctors who examined the body of Queen Louisa after death declared that a polypus, formed by grief and worry, had grown on her heart and killed her, but the people of Prussia would have none of this.

"A polypus, nein," they said. "It is Napoleon who has done this. We will rise. We will drive the tyrant from our land, for he has killed the best friend of Prussia."

"The ravens, Bettina," said the Herr Lieutenant, "will fly now from Kyffhäuser. Wait, old Barbarossa will wake now and save us."

But the peasants had another hero.

"Shill is not dead!" they cried. "The brave Shill is not dead. He, too, loved our Queen. He is in hiding and will lead us against Napoleon."

"It is as if we had lost a member of our own family," wept Madame von Stork, as she tried to comfort poor Marianne.

When they brought the Queen's body to Berlin and it lay in state, Bettina went, with the girls of the "Luisenstift" to look for the last time on the face of the Queen who had cared for her. The Berliners who gazed also, thought their own thoughts, made up their minds, and went home to await the funeral, which took place on the thirtieth, the Royal children with their father following the coffin, a nurse bearing in her arms the new baby, little Albrecht.

"After Jena," said the Berliners, "we thought we had lost all, but then we had our Queen."

Not even the Queen's death, however, moved Napoleon, who, having Prussia under his thumb, meant to keep her there. Realising this, many patriotic Germans, refusing to accept French rule, departed to St. Petersburg. Among them was Baron von Stein, for the Czar, who was beginning to tire of his friend Napoleon, invited him to be his counsellor. After his departure Professor von Stork received a letter from Otto.

"Napoleon rules Prussia," he wrote. "If I return home I must fight as he orders, for we fear a war with Russia. In St. Petersburg Baron von Stein is forming a German legion of deserters from Prussia. I shall join it. Never will I fight under the banners of France. Arndt is in St. Petersburg, also, and will be Stein's secretary. Between them and with Hardenburg as Minister, Prussia may yet be saved. Until then, Auf wiedersehen."

On the very day that this letter arrived, Berlin was startled by the news that Napoleon with his soldiers was to march against Alexander.



East Prussia again was frozen. The snow lay deep on the ground and the ice rattled on the tree limbs as it had done in that year when Bettina and Hans met the Queen on her flight to Memel. Never, the East Prussians declared, had they known a winter so terrible. In the towns the women, in their wadded cloaks, went still and sad, and the men, in the high-runner sleighs with the breath frozen on their beards, talked in mournful sentences, for they knew that the frozen Vistula held fast beneath its icy crust a secret which, when spring should reveal it, would turn them sick with horror and make fiercer than ever their hatred of Napoleon.

Not that they did not hate him enough already. The Tugendbund had carried the news of the poor Queen's suffering into every hamlet of Prussia. Napoleon had killed her, the people cried out, and in secret they were making ready to fight him. Never, they believed, had a country been more cruelly treated. Villages had been destroyed, towns burned, innocent men shot or mistreated. In the free city of Hamburg hundreds of sick had been driven by Davoust from the hospitals, orphans expelled from their asylums. Twenty thousand Hamburgers, ordered from the city, shivering in the icy coldness, watched the French burn their country houses, the flames blazing up against a winter sky and lighting a blackened and desolate country. Near Dresden women were ordered out from their homes and children, and with wheelbarrows, were compelled to bring in the dead and the dying, while Napoleon enjoyed himself in the theatre.

The check, however, had come in that icy winter of 1812-13.

Along the road from Russia, limping on frozen feet bound with straw, or marking with blood the snow, came French and Prussian soldiers, dropping here, dying there, sinking on land or into the Vistula. Five hundred thousand French and the Germans forced to assist Napoleon in this war against Russia, had marched with flying banners against Moscow. Instead of Russians, flames met them, and now twenty thousand, for the others had perished in the snow, or were frozen in the Vistula, were limping back to Prussia. The horses had fallen like leaves before the icy blasts of the Baltic, and their bodies marked the line of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. On they struggled, swords gone, their feet like clods, their glory vanished. Half starved, there was nothing for them to eat, for in Napoleon's own war against Prussia they had burned her farmhouses, destroyed her crops and killed her farmers. They had sown destruction and now were reaping famine.

"But God be praised," cried Otto von Stork, sitting at the campfire of the German legion, "Napoleon is beaten."

"Ja wohl," cried his companions, flushed with their pursuit of the flying. Then Otto lifted his voice and started a hymn Arndt had written for German soldiers:

"What is the German's Fatherland?
Oh name at length this mighty land,
As wide as sounds the German tongue,
And German hymns to God are sung,
That is the land;
That, German, name thy Fatherland!
To us this glorious land is given;
Oh Lord of Hosts look down from Heaven,
And grant us Germans loyalty
To love our country faithfully;
To love our land,
Our undivided Fatherland!"

And, as they sang, Otto remembered Friedland and his brother, Wolfgang. He remembered Queen Louisa and how she had often smiled at him in Memel, he remembered his beloved hero, Shill, and brave Andreas Hofer. Suddenly he interrupted his song with a laugh.

"Bettina was right," he thought. "Poor little maiden! Old Barbarossa has waked up and his sword is the spirit of the German people."

And when war was over, one day he appeared in Königsberg, a great, handsome soldier.

"Ach Himmel!" said his mother, "but I am glad to see my boy again." But Otto had talk only for the future of Germany.

His father nodded when he declared that good fortune would come again to Prussia. And then he told how, all over Prussia, and in the smaller states, the people were refusing to speak French, wear French clothes, or be anything but good Germans.

"God be praised!" he ended piously.

"Where is Bettina, mother?" asked Otto quite suddenly.

When he heard of the "Luisenstift" his face fell, for he had intended teasing her about Frederick Barbarossa.

"And Hans?"

"Not a word has ever been heard of him," answered his father sadly.

"Shot, perhaps," said Otto. "Poor old man!" and he offered his arm to his mother. Nothing pleased her more than to walk out with her fine soldier boy. She forgot all the trouble he had caused her and remembered only that he had returned a hero.

Carl followed him everywhere, and informed the family that he, too, would be a soldier.

"No, no!" cried his mother, shrinking.

But the professor reproved her.

"All my sons," he said most solemnly, "I give freely to the Fatherland."

But Madame von Stork, remembering her Wolfgang, set hard her lips.

"If there comes a war against Napoleon, I shall go as a nurse. I am old enough now, am I not, dear father?" and Marianne slipped her arm around his neck.

The professor nodded.

"I agree willingly, dear daughter," and he pressed her hand.

Goethe was no longer Marianne's hero.

"He sat in his garden in quiet," she said, "when the cannon roared at Jena, and never in all our trouble has he raised his voice for Germany. He is the greatest poet, yes, but not a hero. He saw Napoleon, he admired him, and says he has sympathy with him because of his great dream of uniting Europe. I cannot forgive it."



Bettina's head was shaven like a boy's, and she held out to Marianne her golden hair, long, heavy and in thick waves.

As for Marianne, herself, she was laying on a table in the room in which the two stood, all her books, her beloved Goethe, Schiller, all of them, her laces and the jewels which had been given her since her childhood.

"How nice it is, dear Bettina," she said, "to have you again with us, now that after all these dreadful years, we are again in Berlin."

Bettina's face glowed.

"Yes, dear Mademoiselle——"

Marianne lifted her hand.

"No French, Bettina, German."

"Ja, ja, dear Fräulein Marianne, please excuse me. I was so happy when I heard that the Herr Professor was to come to the new University here in Berlin and that the Gracious Frau Mother would need me again."

Marianne smiled, and then, lifting her hand to stop conversation, for she heard someone, she called out:

"Ilse, Elsa, here, come, bring your offerings here!"

In came the twins, tall like Bettina, and quite young ladies, but as much alike as ever.

In their hands were trinkets, books, needlework and laces.

"Here," they said, and placed them on the table. Then catching sight of Bettina, they cried: "Your hair, oh, Bettina! Your lovely, lovely hair!"

"It was all I had," said Bettina blushing. "They tell me it will sell and for much money."

Carl came out next, a tall young fellow now with a faint moustache to foretell his manhood.

"This is all I have, dear sister," and he added to the pile a little purse, some books, and a pair of pistols, once his grandfather's.

Madame von Stork followed, her hair gray now, her face lined with sorrow. In her arms was a pile of fine embroideries, linen and lace-trimmed table covers. In one hand was a box of jewels, in the other the amethyst necklace her sister Erna had worn to the marriage of Princess Frederika.

Behind her came the Herr Professor, Franz and Otto, bearing books, old weapons and each a purse of gold.

"Now, the maids," cried Marianne. "Here, Gretchen, oh, that is fine!" for the rosy-cheeked girl laid on the pile her peasant necklace of old coins.

Elise, the other, gave the gold pins with which she fastened her headdress.

"And the Gracious Frau," they said, glancing at Madame von Stork, "can give half our wages."

While they talked, in came Ludwig and Pauline. With them was a tiny child, bearing in her dimpled, chubby hands an earthen pot or bank in which people save money. Ludwig led her to the table.

"For the dear Fatherland," she lisped, and she laid her little offering with the rest.

Ludwig and Pauline added theirs, the one, gold, the other, linen, silver and ornaments.

For a moment there was silence, then the Herr Professor stepped to the table. His eye glanced from Bettina's shaven head to the bank of the tiny Ernchen. Then he held his hands above the gifts.

"Dear Father in Heaven," he said, "bless the offerings of great and small, rich and poor, to the use of the dear Fatherland, and let truth and rightousness prosper."

"Amen," said all the "Stork's Nest."

Then he drew forward Carl, Otto and Franz.

"Our sons, also," he said, and looked at his wife.

"Ja, ja, Richard," she said, the tears falling. "I, too, am willing now."

Marianne held out her hand to Bettina and drew her to the table.

"We go as nurses, father. You have promised."

It was the "People's War," the great German rising against Napoleon. All over the land, men, women, and children were giving their all. Russia and Austria joined with them and the great battle was fought at Leipsic in Saxony. The Crown Prince fought with his father, and when the victors marched into the city Carl, Franz and Otto were with them.

The battle itself lasted three days. On the last of these the Emperor Francis, the Czar, and Frederick William were standing on a hill watching the battle.

Up dashed an officer. Springing from his horse, he approached the three rulers.

"We have conquered!" he cried. "The enemy flies!"

The three monarchs alighted with solemn joy from their horses, knelt on the field and thanked God for the victory.

The entrance into Leipsic was magnificent. The allied armies formed in a great square about the market place, their sovereigns in the centre. The Prussians in their blue coats, red and white striped waistcoats, white trousers, high boots and bearskin caps, held their eagle aloft before the old Rathaus. The Russians, in blue coats and red collars, their trousers strapped over their boots, bore their flags of white and yellow, while the Austrians, in white and red, completed the huge square of soldiers.

Bells were rung, flags were waved, and, when the war was declared ended, Napoleon was banished to the Island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea.

"Now we are rid of the monster," said Madame von Stork. "We can all be happy. Thank the good God, I again have my children."

But the world was not yet through with the foe of Queen Louisa.

"Napoleon has escaped! Marshall Ney has joined him! Our foe is loose again!" was the cry which, not many months later, rang through Europe.

It was all to be done over again. But this time England joined Prussia. Off marched Franz, Otto and Carl, and Marianne and Bettina again became nurses.

"Ach Himmel!" wept Madame von Stork, "will the world never be rid of this monster?"

Ludwig nodded.

"This is the last," he said. "We now have England to help us."



On the eleventh day of June, in the year 1815, Prince William received his first communion, all the Royal family being present. The next day, he and his father, the King, departed to join the army.

At Merseburg they were stopped by a courier. A great battle had been fought near Brussels, the English under the Duke of Wellington, the Prussians under General Blücher, the brave commander who had wept when he had given up the keys of Lübeck.

"Napoleon is conquered!" announced the courier as he handed the despatches to the King.

The English call the battle "Waterloo," the Prussians, "La Belle Alliance."

Old Blücher had proved his words by fighting. The English had fought steadily, Blücher having promised to come if he heard the firing. The French, who had defeated him a few days before, were in a position to render this well-nigh impossible. But when the cannon sounded, the brave old Prussian thought only of his promise.

"Forward, children, forward!" he cried to his soldiers.

"We cannot, Father Blücher," they answered. "It is impossible."

"Forward, children, forward!" the old man repeated. "We must. I have promised my brother, Wellington. I have promised, do you hear? It shall not be said that I broke my word. Forward, children, forward!"

And so they came to Waterloo and the Allies conquered Napoleon.

"The most splendid battle has been fought. The most glorious victory won," wrote old Blücher. "I think the Napoleon story is ended."

In triumph, the Allies entered Paris, and Napoleon, throwing himself on the protection of the English, was banished to the Island of St. Helena.

"Alas," wrote a great Frenchman, "had Napoleon made a friend of Queen Louisa at Tilsit this might never have happened, for then would Frederick William have refused to join the Allies."

Napoleon had valued Magdeburg above a hundred Queens, but one Queen had conquered him, and Europe was free from the man who had warred with it for twenty years.

"But," the Queen of Prussia once wrote, "we may learn much from Napoleon; what he has done will not be lost upon us. It would be blasphemous to say that God has been with him, but he seems to be an instrument in the hands of the Almighty to do away with old things that have lost their vitality, to cut off, as it were, the dead wood which is still externally one with the tree to which it owes its existence. That which is dead is utterly useless—that which is dying does but draw the sap from the trunk and give nothing in return."

"I did, indeed, enjoy the sight of Napoleon," the mother of Goethe told Marianne's Bettina Brentano. "He it is who has enwrapped the whole world in an enchanted dream, and for this mankind should be grateful, for if they did not dream they would have got nothing by it, and have slept like clods as they hitherto have done."

After Napoleon had stirred up Europe with his wars, things changed, and the ways of the world became what we call "Modern Times," and for this even the poor Prussians thanked him, for many things improved and liberty came more and more to the people. They spoke their own language, they drew closer together, and, in their war against a foe, they learned to love their Fatherland.



While Franz, Otto and Carl were fighting, Marianne and Bettina were nursing the wounded soldiers.

One day Bettina was called to assist with a wounded Thuringian.

When she saw his face she cried out:

"Willy! Willy Schmidt from Jena!"

The soldier's face lit up with welcome.

"Ach Himmel!" he cried, "if it isn't Bettina Weyland!"

But the doctor ordered no talking, and so the two could only smile at each other. But when Waterloo was many days old, and the soldier almost well again, there was much to talk about.

Certainly Willy had a strange tale to tell. It was about Bettina's grandfather.

"Ach Himmel, child!" he said to Bettina, "he is alive and with mother and father." And he told how, after the "Peace of Tilsit," the old man had wandered back to Thuringia.

"But don't think he forgot you, Bettina," said Willy very hastily. Then he touched his head. "Poor old man," he added, "he has forgotten everything," and he told poor, wild-eyed Bettina that old Hans was like a child, always talking about Frederick the Great and his battles, and remembering not a word about Jena.

"But the queer thing," said Willy, "is that he starts at any very loud noise and he had the mark of a wound on the back of his head. What it means we have no idea, as he remembers nothing."

Bettina's tears fell fast.

"Grandfather," she said over and over, "my poor, dear, old grandfather!

"I will go home to Jena and see him," she cried. "I will tell Fräulein Marianne."

"And I will take you," announced Willy, "just as soon as I am well enough to travel." And he gazed at Bettina as if he thought her very pretty.

"And little Hans and the baby?" asked Bettina. Willy laughed as loud as his weakness would permit him.

"Hans, ach Himmel! That's a joke, little Hans! There's no telling how many Frenchmen he finished in one battle. The baby is eight now," he added.

"Hans a soldier, the baby, a big boy!" How the years had flown! Jena, yesterday; Waterloo, to-day.

"Yes," said the girl, "I will go back to Thuringia."

Then a smile lit her pretty face.

"Do you remember, Willy, how grandfather left word we would come back when Napoleon was conquered?"

"It is nine years," said Willy, "but you can come now, for Napoleon is conquered."

Bettina nodded, her face still wet with tears, while her mouth was smiling.

"They will all be glad to see you," continued Willy. "Mother and father, and the Schmelzes, and your grandfather Weyland. He is just the same, quite as if nothing had happened."

And so Bettina went back, and old Hans called her "Annchen," thinking her always his daughter, and when she married Willy and had children of her own, he used to sing for them the old song of Frederick Barbarossa, and tell them how he had seen the beautiful Princess Louisa come into Berlin in a gold coach to be married.

Marianne went back to the "Stork's Nest," and presently home came her brothers. Madame von Stork's face lost its troubled look, and only the memory of Wolfgang came to make their happy home troubled.

"Marianne is the best daughter a mother ever had," she often told her husband, "and I owe it to our good Queen, for books and Goethe nearly ruined her."

"Not Goethe," the professor always said, but his wife insisted.

Certainly a great honour was to come to Marianne.

On March 10, 1816, on the anniversary of the birthday of the Queen, Marianne was summoned to Court, and conducted to a great room where were gathered all the Royal family and many grand people, but the old Countess, however, was there no more. She had been a mother to her dear Queen's children until she, too, had gone her way to a less troubled country than Prussia. After a long list of names, "Marianne Hedwig Erna Wilhelmina Ernestine von Stork" was called.

In her trembling hand the King placed a golden cross with the letter "L" in black enamel on a ground of blue encircled with stars. On the back were the dates, 1813-14. A white ribbon held it, and there was a pin to fasten it above her heart. It was the medal of the "Order of Louisa," instituted by the King in memory of the Queen, and given to those women of Prussia who had so nobly soothed the wounded and the sick in the war against Napoleon. Marianne was the happiest person in Germany.

As for her mother, she was never weary of showing the medal and telling her friends, "My Marianne received it."

Marianne's friend, Bettina Brentano, wrote a book called "Correspondence of a Child," into which she put all her wild fancies about Goethe, and to-day German girls are fond of reading it. She married a German author, and her granddaughter is a living writer.

But the story is not quite ended.

In the year 1872 crowds were again gathered on the streets of Berlin.

Standing on Unter den Linden was an old man with his grandchildren. His hair was snow white and his face wrinkled.

"Ja, Gretchen," he said to a little girl, whose hand was in his, "in a little time we shall see our new Emperor. This is a great day, Liebchen, for Germany at last is free and united."

"I know, dear grandfather," said one of the others, a clever looking boy they called Richard, "I have learned all about it in the Gymnasium, of Napoleon and Jena, and Queen Louisa and Napoleon, and of the Crown Prince who was Frederick William IV, and all Bismarck's and von Moltke's dreams of uniting our Germany."

The old man smiled.

"The Queen kissed me once," he said, "Queen Louisa, I mean, the mother of our new Emperor." Then he laughed.

"It's a great day for your old grandfather, children," he said. "Why, the Emperor and I, he was little Prince William then, used to fight battles against rats and mice in the old castle at Königsburg. It's a great day. God be praised that I live to see it," said Carl von Stork to his grandchildren. "Alas," he added, "that none of the 'Stork's Nest' are left to rejoice with me!"

"Simple, honourable, sensible" little William had accomplished the great things his mother had hoped one of her children would do for mankind. Before he had gone to fight the French Emperor, Napoleon III, at the battle of Sedan, he had prayed at his mother's tomb that he might do great things for Prussia. After the Germans entered Paris all the states had elected him Emperor and Germany at last was one Fatherland.

And now he was returning to Berlin with Bismarck and von Moltke, his councillor and general.

Suddenly Carl smiled.

"Ah," he said as the Royal guests passed in their carriages, "there is the Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. See, Richard, the pretty old lady with the white hair. She was the Royal baby when we were at Memel. She was named Alexandrina for the Czar, and how the old Countess loved her! They called her 'The Little Autocrat.' I remember Princess Louisa, who was named for the Queen and who was the baby at Königsburg, died during the war. There is 'The Red Hussar,' grandson of Queen Louisa. Ach Himmel! What a hero!"

When the people of Berlin saw the kind, good face of "little William," their new Kaiser, cries rent the air. "Long live the Emperor! Hoch der Kaiser! Hoch!" There were cheers for his wife, also, the granddaughter of the Duchess of Weimar, who so bravely answered Napoleon.

As for old Frederick Barbarossa, there is a poet who tells us that, when he heard all the noise the Germans were making, he sent a sleepy little page from Kryffhäuser to see what the ravens were up to.

"They have flown away, Kaiser," announced the frightened little page as he ran back to the table.

With a great yawn the old Kaiser rose from his chair and stretched himself. His sword in one hand, his sceptre in the other, a glittering crown on his flaming hair, he came blinking into the sunlight.

"Ach Himmel!" he cried, for before him were all the lords of Germany, no longer fighting and quarrelling with each other, but smiling and singing the lively tunes of "Germany over all," "United Germany shall it be," and "The Watch on the Rhine."

The old Redbeard beamed with delight.

"One Germany!" he cried, "then God be thanked and praised! One Germany!"

He turned to little William, standing between Bismarck and von Moltke, the statesman and general who had made him "Kaiser."

In his hand he laid the scepter, on his head he placed the crown.

"These," he said, "I lay in thy hand."

Then he breathed a long sigh of happiness.

"God be praised," he said again. "I can now go to sleep and be happy," and he went back into his cave to his ivory chair and his head sank to his hands as he settled his elbows on the marble table and the old Redbeard went again to his dreams.

They say he still sleeps in Thuringia, but calmly and happily, because there is one Germany, one Kaiser, and the ravens no longer trouble him.



To-day, the two Royal Foes sleep in the two famous mausoleums of the Continent, Queen Louisa at Charlottenburg, Napoleon in Paris. Beneath the dome of "Les Invalides" is the sarcophagus of Bonaparte. On the mosaic pavement the names of his battles are inscribed within a wreath of laurel. Sixty flags that he captured adorn the tomb decorated with reliefs and lighted by a glow which falls, most golden, about the coffin of the conqueror.

With him sleep his faithful Duroc and the Bertrand who brought his message to Queen Louisa and so offended the old Countess with his bad manners.

The words above the entrance are Napoleon's own:

"I desire that my ashes repose on the banks of the Seine in the midst of the French people I loved so well."

On each side is a figure of Atlas, one bearing a globe, the other, a sceptre and crown.

All is of earthly glory and victory.

Queen Louisa sleeps in a spot where she once loved to walk with her husband and children. A quiet avenue of pine trees leads to a grove of black firs, cypresses and Babylonian willows, bordered with white roses, lilies, Hortensia, the favourite flowers of the Queen, and at the end stands the mausoleum which Frederick William erected to her memory.

A flight of steps leads through the iron door to the interior, where, in a violet light, sleeps the Queen, the King, and the Emperor William and the granddaughter of the Duchess of Weimar.

The sculptor, Rauch, to whom the Queen once was very kind, carved a statue of her so beautiful that it is almost impossible to gaze on its loveliness without weeping.

At her feet is buried the heart of the Crown Prince, King Frederick William IV of Prussia, in a case of silver.

As long as her husband lived he brought wreaths to the tomb. Before Charlotte went to be Empress of Russia, she wept there. The first Kaiser, to the end of his long life, prayed there, and little Alexandrina, who died only a year or two ago, and saw her parent's prayer answered, never forgot the wreath for her mother's birthday.

Above the entrance appear two Greek letters.

"I am Alpha and Omega," they say, "the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

The golden light which falls on Napoleon tells of the glory of the world and things of victory.

Queen Louisa's kingdom was not, as she said, of this world; but still she lives, the "Queen of Every Heart" in the German Empire, "Her name," writes a German author, "a watchword with the patriot."

Napoleon was the Emperor of the French, the conqueror of Europe; Queen Louisa, the heroine of the German Struggle for Liberty.


[1] By many authorities said to have been only written in the Queen's Journal.

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