Adventures of A
From "Tales by Heinrich Zschokke." Translated by Parke Godwin.
Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.
Mother Kate, the watchman's wife, at nine o'clock on New Year's
Eve, opened her little window, and put out her head into the night
air. The snow was reddened by the light from the window as it fell in
silent, heavy flakes upon the street. She observed the crowds of
happy people, hurrying to and fro from the brilliantly lighted shops
with presents, or pouring out of the various inns and coffee-houses,
and going to the dances and other entertainments with which the New
Year is married to the Old in joy and pleasure. But when a few cold
flakes had lighted on her nose, she drew back her head, closed the
window, and said to her husband: "Gottlieb, stay at home, and let
Philip watch for thee to-night; for the snow comes as fast as it can
from Heaven, and thou knowest the cold does thy old bones no good.
The streets will be gay to-night. There seems dancing and feasting in
every house, masqueraders are going about, and Philip will enjoy the
Old Gottlieb nodded his assent. "I am willing, Kate," he said. "My
barometer, the old wound above my knee, has given me warning the last
two days of a change of weather. It is only right that my son should
aid me in a service to which he will be my successor."
We must give the reader to understand that old Gottlieb had been a
sergeant of cavalry in one of the king's regiments, until he was made
a cripple for life by a musket-ball, as he was the first mounting the
walls of a hostile fort in a battle for his fatherland. The officer
who commanded the attack received the cross of honor on the
battlefield for his heroism, and was advanced in the service; while
Gottlieb was fain to creep homewards on a pair of crutches. From pity
they made him a schoolmaster, for he was intelligent, liked to read,
and wrote a good hand. But when the school increased they took it away
from him to provide for a young man who could do none of these as well
as he, merely because he was a godson of one of the trustees. However,
they promoted Gottlieb to the post of watchman, with the reversion of
it to his son Philip, who had in the meantime bound himself to a
gardener. It was only the good housewifery of Mistress Katharine, and
the extreme moderation of old Gottlieb, that enabled them to live
happily on the little they possessed. Philip gave his services to the
gardener for his board and lodging, but he occasionally received very
fine presents when he carried home flowers to the rich people of the
town. He was a fresh, handsome young fellow, of six-and-twenty. Noble
ladies often gave him sundry extra dollars for his fine looks, a thing
they would never have thought of doing for an ugly face. Mrs. Kate had
already put on her cloak to go to the gardener's house to fetch her
son, when he entered the apartment.
"Father," said Philip, giving a hand to both father and mother,
"it's snowing, and the snow won't do you much good. I'll take the
watch to-night, and you can get to bed."
"You're a good boy," said old Gottlieb.
"And then I've been thinking," continued Philip, "that as to-morrow
is New Year's Day, I may come and dine with you and make myself
happy. Mother perhaps has no joint in the kitchen, and—"
"No," interrupted the mother, "we've no joint, but then we have a
pound and a and a half of venison; with potatoes for a relish, and a
little rice with laurel leaves for a soup, and two flasks of beer to
drink. Only come, Philip, for we shall live finely to-morrow! Next
week we may do better, for the New Year's gifts will be coming in,
and Gottlieb's share will be something! Oh! we shall live grandly."
"Well, so much the better, dear mother," said Philip; "but have you
paid the rent of the cottage yet?"
Old Gottlieb shrugged his shoulders.
Philip laid a purse upon the table.
"There are two-and-twenty dollars that I have saved. I can do very
well without them; take them for a New Year's gift, and then we can
all three enter on the new year without a debt or a care. God grant
that we may end it in health and happiness! Heaven in its goodness
will provide for both you and me!"
Tears came into Mother Katharine's eyes as she kissed her son; old
Gottlieb said: "Philip, you are the prop and stay of our old age.
Continue to be honest and good, and to love your parents, so will a
blessing rest on you. I can give you nothing for a New Year's gift,
but a prayer that you may keep your heart pure and true—this is in
your power—you will be rich enough—for a clear conscience is a
Heaven in itself."
So said old Gottlieb, and then he wrote down in an account-book the
sum of two-and-twenty dollars that his son had given him.
"All that you have cost me in childhood is now nearly paid up. Your
savings amount to three hundred and seventeen dollars, which I have
"Three hundred and seventeen dollars!" cried Mistress Katharine, in
the greatest amazement; and then turning to Philip with a voice full
of tenderness, "Ah, Philip," she said, "thou grievest me. Child of my
heart! Yes, indeed thou dost. Hadst thou saved that money for thyself
thou might have bought some land with it, and started as gardener on
thy own account, and married Rose. NOW that is impossible. But take
comfort, Philip. We are old, and thou wilt not have to support us
"Mother!" exclaimed Philip, and he frowned a little; "what are you
thinking of? Rose is dear to me as my life, but I would give up a
hundred Roses rather than desert you and my father. I should never
find any other parents in this world but you, but there are plenty of
Roses, although I would have none but Mrs. Bittner's Rose, were there
even ten thousand others."
"You are right, Philip," said Gottlieb; "loving and marrying are
not in the commandments—but to honor your father and mother is a duty
and commandment. To give up strong passions and inclinations for the
happiness of your parents is the truest gratitude of a son. It will
gain you the blessing from above:—it will make you rich in your own
"If it were only not too long for Rose to wait," said Mrs.
Katharine, "or if you could give up the engagement altogether! For
Rose is a pretty girl, that can't be denied; and though she is poor,
there will be no want of wooers. She is virtuous and understands
"Never fear, mother," replied Philip; "Rose has solemnly sworn to
marry no man but me; and that is sufficient. Her mother has nothing
to object to me. And if I was in business and had money enough to
keep a wife with, Rose would be my wife to-morrow. The only annoyance
we have is, that her mother will not let us meet so often as we wish.
She says frequent meetings do no good; but I differ from her, and so
does Rose—for we think meeting often does us both a great deal of
good. And we have agreed to meet to-night, at twelve o'clock, at the
great door of St. Gregory's Church, for Rose is bringing in the year
at a friend's house, and I am to take her home."
In the midst of such conversation the clock of the neighboring
tower struck three-quarters, and Philip took his father's great-coat
from the warm stove where Katharine had carefully laid it, wrapped
himself in it, and taking the lantern and staff, and wishing his
parents good-night, proceeded to his post.
Philip stalked majestically through the snow-covered streets of the
capital, where as many people were still visible as in the middle of
the day. Carriages were rattling in all directions, the houses were
all brilliantly lighted. Our watchman enjoyed the scene, he sang his
verses at ten o'clock, and blew his horn lustily in the neighborhood
of St. Gregory's Church, with many a thought on Rose, who was then
with her friend. "Now she hears me," he said to himself; "now she
thinks on me, and forgets the scene around her. I hope she won't fail
me at twelve o'clock at the church door." And when he had gone his
round, he always returned to the dear house and looked up at the
lighted windows. Sometimes he saw female figures, and his heart beat
quick at the sight; sometimes he fancied he saw Rose herself; and
sometimes he studied the long shadows thrown on the wall or the
ceiling to discover which of them was Rose's, and to fancy what she
was doing. It was certainly not a very pleasant employment to stand
in frost and snow and look up at a window; but what care lovers for
frost and snow? And watchmen are as fiery and romantic lovers as ever
were the knights of ancient ballads.
He only felt the effects of the frost when, at eleven o'clock, he
had to set out upon his round. His teeth chattered with cold; he
could scarcely call the hour or sound his horn. He would willingly
have gone into a beer-house to warm himself at the fire. As he was
pacing through a lonely by-street, he met a man with a black half-
mask on his face, enveloped in a fire-colored silken mantle, and
wearing on his head a magnificent hat turned up at one side, and
fantastically ornamented with a number of high and waving plumes.
Philip endeavored to escape the mask, but in vain. The stranger
blocked up his path and said: "Ha! thou art a fine fellow; I like thy
phiz amazingly. Where are you going, eh? I say, where are you going?"
"To Mary Street," replied Philip. "I am going to call the hour
"Enchanting!" answered the mask. "I'll hear thee: I'll go with
thee. Come along, thou foolish fellow, and let me hear thee, and mind
thou singest well, for I am a good judge. Canst thou sing me a jovial
Philip saw that his companion was of high rank and a little tipsy,
and answered: "I sing better over a glass of wine in a warm room,
than when up to my waist in snow."
They had now reached Mary Street, and Philip sang and blew the
"Ha! that's but a poor performance," exclaimed the mask, who had
accompanied him thither. "Give me the horn! I shall blow so well that
you'll half die with delight."
Philip yielded to the mask's wishes, and let him sing the verses
and blow. For four or five times all was done as if the stranger had
been a watchman all his life. He dilated most eloquently on the joys
of such an occupation, and was so inexhaustible in his own praises
that he made Philip laugh at his extravagance. His spirits evidently
owed no small share of their elevation to an extra glass of wine.
"I'll tell you what, my treasure, I've a great fancy to be a
watchman myself for an hour or two. If I don't do it now, I shall
never arrive at that honor in the course of my life. Give me your
great-coat and wide-brimmed hat, and take my domino. Go into a beer-
house and take a bottle at my expense; and when you have finished it,
come again and give me back my masking-gear. You shall have a couple
of dollars for your trouble. What do you think, my treasure?"
But Philip did not like this arrangement. At last, however, at the
solicitations of the mask, he capitulated as they entered a dark
lane. Philip was half frozen; a warm drink would do him good, and so
would a warm fire. He agreed for one half-hour to give up his
watchmanship, which would be till twelve o'clock. Exactly at that
time the stranger was to come to the great door of St. Gregory's and
give back the great-coat, horn, and staff, taking back his own silk
mantle, hat, and domino. Philip also told him the four streets in
which he was to call the hour. The mask was in raptures: "Treasure of
my heart, I could kiss thee if thou wert not a dirty, miserable
fellow! But thou shalt have naught to regret, if thou art at the
church at twelve, for I will give thee money for a supper then. Joy!
I am a watchman!" The mask looked a watchman to the life, while
Philip was completely disguised with the half-mask tied over his
face, the bonnet ornamented with a buckle of brilliants on his head,
and the red silk mantle thrown around him. When he saw his companion
commence his walk he began to fear that the young gentleman might
compromise the dignity of the watchman. He therefore addressed him
once more, and said:
"I hope you will not abuse my good nature and do any mischief or
misbehave in any way, as it may cost me the situation."
"Hallo!" answered the stranger. "What are you talking about? Do you
think I don't know my duty? Off with you this moment, or I'll let you
feel the weight of my staff. But come to St. Gregory's Church and give
me back my clothes at twelve o'clock. Good-bye. This is glorious fun!"
The new guardian of the streets walked onward with all the dignity
becoming his office, while Philip hurried to a neighboring tavern.
As he was passing the door of the royal palace, he was laid hold of
by a person in a mask who had alighted from a carriage. Philip turned
round, and in a low whispering voice asked what the stranger wanted.
"My gracious lord," answered the mask, "in your reverie you have
passed the door. Will your Royal Highness—"
"What? Royal Highness?" said laughing. "I am no highness. What put
that in your head?"
The mask bowed respectfully, and pointed to the brilliant buckle in
Philip's hat. "I ask your pardon if I have betrayed your disguise.
But, in whatever character you asume, your noble bearing will betray
you. Will you condescend to lead the way? Does your Highness intend
"I? To dance?" replied Philip. "No—you see I have boots on."
"To play, then?" inquired the mask.
"Still less. I have brought no money with me," said the assistant
"Good heaven!" exclaimed the mask. "Command my purse—all that I
possess is at your service!" Saying this, he forced a full purse into
"But do you know who I am?" inquired Philip, and rejected the
The mask whispered with a bow of profound obeisance: "His Royal
Highness, Prince Julian."
At this moment Philip heard his deputy in an adjoining street
calling the hour very distinctly, and he now became aware of his
metamorphosis. Prince Julian, who was well known in the capital as an
amiable, wild, and good-hearted young man, had been the person with
whom he had changed his clothes. "Now, then," thought Philip, "as he
enacts the watchman so well, I will not shame his rank; I'll see if,
for one half-hour, I can't be the Prince. If I make any mistake, he
has himself to blame for it." He wrapped the red silken mantle closer
round him, took the offered purse, put it in his pocket, and said:
"Who are you, mask? I will return your gold to- morrow."
"I am the Chamberlain Pilzou."
"Good—lead the way—I'll follow." The Chamberlain obeyed, and
tripped up the marble stairs, Philip coming close behind him. They
entered an immense hall lighted by a thousand tapers and dazzling
chandeliers, which were reflected by brilliant mirrors. A confused
crowd of maskers jostled each other, sultans, Tyrolese, harlequins,
knights in armor, nuns, goddesses, satyrs, monks, Jews, Medes, and
Persians. Philip for a while was abashed and blinded. Such splendor
he had never dreamt of. In the middle of the hall the dance was
carried on with hundreds of people to the music of a full band.
Philip, whom the heat of the apartment recovered from his frozen
state, was so bewildered with the scene that he could scarcely nod
his head as different masks addressed him, some confidentially,
"Will you go to the hazard table?" whispered the Chamberlain, who
stood beside him, and who Philip now saw was dressed as a Brahmin.
"Let me get thawed first," answered Philip; "I am an icicle at
"A glass of warm punch?" inquired the Brahmin, and led him into the
refreshment-room. The pseudo-prince did not wait for a second
invitation, but emptied one glass after the other in short time. The
punch was good, and it spread its genial warmth through Philip's
"How is it you don't dance tonight, Brahmin?" he asked of his
companion, when they returned into the hall. The Brahmin sighed, and
shrugged his shoulders.
"I have no pleasure now in the dance. Gayety is distasteful to me.
The only person I care to dance with—the Countess Bonau—I thought
she loved me; our families offered no objection—but all at once she
broke with me." His voice trembled as he spoke.
"How?" said Philip, "I never heard of such a thing."
"You never heard of it?" repeated the other; "the whole city rings
with it. The quarrel happened a fortnight ago, and she will not allow
me to justify myself, but has sent back three letters I wrote to her,
unopened. She is a declared enemy of the Baroness Reizenthal, and had
made me promise to drop her acquaintance. But, think how unfortunate I
was! When the Queen-mother made the hunting party to Freudenwald, she
appointed me cavalier to the Baroness. What could I do? It was
impossible to refuse. On the very birthday of the adorable Bonau I was
obliged to set out.....She heard of it.....She put no trust in my
"Well, then, Brahmin, take advantage of the present moment. The New
Year makes up all quarrels. Is the Countess here?"
"Do you not see her over there—the Carmelite on the left of the
third pillar beside the two black dominos. She has laid aside her
mask. Ah, Prince! your intercession would—"
Philip thought: "Now I can do a good work!" and, as the punch had
inspired him, he walked directly to the Carmelite. The Countess Bonau
looked at him for some time seriously, and with flushed cheeks, as he
sat down beside her. She was a beautiful girl; yet Philip remained
persuaded that Rose was a thousand times more beautiful.
"Countess," he said,—and became embarrassed when he met her clear
bright eye fixed upon him.
"Prince," said the Countess, "an hour ago you were somewhat too
"Fair Countess, I am therefore at this present moment the more
"So much the better. I shall not, then, be obliged to keep out of
"Fair lady, allow me to ask one question. Have you put on a nun's
gown to do penance for your sins?"
"I have nothing to do penance for."
"But you have, Countess!—your cruelties—your injustice to the
poor Brahmin yonder, who seems neglected by his God and all the
The beautiful Carmelite cast down her eyes, and appeared uneasy.
"And do you know, fair Countess, that in the Freudenwald affair the
Chamberlain is as innocent as I am?"
"As you, Prince?" said the Countess, frowning, "what did you tell
me an hour ago?"
"You are right, dear Countess, I was too bold. You said so
yourself. But now I declare to you the Chamberlain was obliged to go
to Freudenwald by command of the Queen-mother—against his will was
obliged to be cavalier to the hated Reizenthal—"
"Hated—by him?"—interrupted the Countess with a bitter and
"Yes—he hates,—he despises the Baroness. Believe me, he scarcely
treated her with civility, and incurred the Royal displeasure by so
doing. I know it; and it was for your sake. You are the only person
he loves—to you he offers his hand, his heart—and you!—you reject
"How comes it, Prince, that you intercede so warmly for Pilzou? You
did not do so formerly."
"That was because I did not know him, and still less the sad state
into which you have thrown him by your behavior. I swear to you he is
innocent—you have nothing to forgive in him—he has much to forgive
"Hush!" whispered the Carmelite, "we are watched here; away from
this." She replaced her mask, stood up, and placing her arm within
that of the supposed Prince, they crossed the hall and entered a
side-room. The Countess uttered many bitter complaints against the
Chamberlain, but they were the complaints of jealous love. The
Countess was in tears, when the tender Brahmin soon after came
timidly into the apartment. There was a deep silence among the three.
Philip, not knowing how to conclude his intercession better, led the
Brahmin to the Carmelite, and joined their hands together, without
saying a word, and left them to fate. He himself returned into the
Here he was hastily addressed by a Mameluke: "I'm glad I have met
you, Domino. Is the Rose-girl in the side-room?" The Mameluke rushed
into it, but returned in a moment evidently disappointed. "One word
alone with you, Domino," he said, and led Philip into a window recess
in a retired part of the hall.
"What do you want?" asked Philip.
"I beseech you," replied the Mameluke, in a subdued yet terrible
voice, "where is the Rose-girl?"
"What is the Rose-girl to me?"
"But to me she is everything!" answered the Mameluke, whose
suppressed voice and agitated demeanor showed that a fearful struggle
was going on within. "To me she is everything. She is my wife. You
make me wretched, Prince! I conjure you drive me not to madness. Think
of my wife no more!"
"With all my heart," answered Philip, dryly; "what have I to do
with your wife?"
"O Prince, Prince!" exclaimed the Mameluke, "I have made a resolve
which I shall execute if it cost me my life. Do not seek to deceive
me a moment longer. I have discovered everything. Here! look at this!
'tis a note my false wife slipped into your hand, and which you
dropped in the crowd, without having read."
Philip took the note. 'T was written in pencil, and in a fine
delicate hand: "Change your mask. Everybody knows you. My husband
watches you. He does not know me. If you obey me, I will reward you."
"Hem!" muttered Philip. "As I live, this was not written to me. I
don't trouble my head about your wife."
"Death and fury, Prince! do not drive me mad! Do you know who it is
that speaks to you? I am the Marshal Blankenswerd. Your advances to
my wife are not unknown to me, ever since the last rout at the
"My Lord Marshal," answered Philip, "excuse me for saying that
jealousy has blinded you. If you knew me well, you would not think of
accusing me of such folly. I give you my word of honor I will never
trouble your wife."
"Are you in earnest, Prince?"
"Give me a proof of this?"
"Whatever you require."
"I know you have hindered her until now from going with me to visit
her relations in Poland. Will you persuade her to do so now?"
"With all my heart, if you desire it."
"Yes, yes! and your Royal Highness will prevent inconceivable and
The Mameluke continued for some time, sometimes begging and
praying, and sometimes threatening so furiously, that Philip feared he
might make a scene before the whole assembly that would not have
suited him precisely. He therefore quitted him as soon as possible.
Scarcely had he lost himself in the crowd, when a female, closely
wrapped in deep mourning, tapped him familiarly on the arm, and
"Butterfly, whither away? Have you no pity for the disconsolate
Philip answered very politely: "Beautiful widows find no lack of
comforters. May I venture to include myself amongst them?"
"Why are you so disobedient? and why have you not changed your
mask?" said the Widow, while she led him aside that they might speak
more freely. "Do you really fancy, Prince, that every one here does
not know who you are?"
"They are very much mistaken in me, I assure you," replied Philip.
"No, indeed," answered the Widow, "they know you very well, and if
you do not immediately change your apparel, I shall not speak to you
again the whole evening. I have no desire to give my husband an
opportunity of making a scene."
By this Philip discovered whom he was talking with. "You were the
beautiful Rose-girl; are your roses withered so soon?"
"What is there that does not wither? not the constancy of man? I
saw you when you slipped off with the Carmelite. Acknowledge your
inconstancy—you can deny it no longer."
"Hem," answered Philip, dryly, "accuse me if you will, I can return
"Why, for instance, there is not a more constant man alive than the
"There is not indeed!—and I am wrong, very wrong to have listened
to you so long. I reproached myself enough, but he has unfortunately
discovered our flirtation."
"Since the last rout at Court, fair Widow—-"
"Were you so unguarded and particular—pretty butterfly!"
"Let us repair the mischief. Let us part. I honor the Marshal, and,
for my part, do not like to give him pain."
The Widow looked at him for some time in speechless amazement.
"If you have indeed any regard for me," continued Philip, "you will
go with the Marshal to Poland, to visit your relations. 'Tis better
that we should not meet so often. A beautiful woman is beautiful—
but a pure and virtuous woman is more beautiful still."
"Prince!" cried the astonished Widow, "are you really in earnest?
Have you ever loved me, or have you all along deceived?"
"Look you," answered Philip, "I am a tempter of a peculiar kind. I
search constantly among women to find truth and virtue, and 'tis but
seldom that I encounter them. Only the true and virtuous can keep me
constant—therefore I am true to none; but no!—I will not lie—
there is one that keeps me in her chains—I am sorry, fair Widow,
that that one—is not you!"
"You are in a strange mood to-night, Prince," answered the Widow,
and the trembling of her voice and heaving of her bosom showed the
working of her mind.
"No," answered Philip, "I am in as rational a mood to-night as I
ever was in my life. I wish only to repair an injury; I have promised
to your husband to do so."
"How!" exclaimed the Widow, in a voice of terror, "you have
discovered all to the Marshal?"
"Not everything," answered Philip, "only what I knew."
The Widow wrung her hands in the extremity of agitation, and at
last said, "Where is my husband?"
Philip pointed to the Mameluke, who at this moment approached them
with slow steps.
"Prince," said the Widow, in a tone of inexpressible
rage,—"Prince, you may be forgiven this, but not from me! I never
dreamt that the heart of man could be so deceitful,—but you are
unworthy of a thought. You are an impostor! My husband in the dress of
a barbarian is a prince; you in the dress of a prince are a barbarian.
In this world you see me no more!"
With these words she turned proudly away from him, and going up to
the Mameluke, they left the hall in deep and earnest conversation.
Philip laughed quietly, and said to himself: "My substitute, the
watchman, must look to it, for I do not play my part badly; I only
hope when he returns he will proceed as I have begun."
He went up to the dancers, and was delighted to see the beautiful
Carmelite standing up in a set with the overjoyed Brahmin. No sooner
did the latter perceive him, than he kissed his hand to him, and in
dumb-show gave him to understand in what a blessed state he was.
Philip thought: 'T is a pity I am not to be prince all my life-time.
The people would be satisfied then; to be a prince is the easiest
thing in the world. He can do more with a single word than a lawyer
with a four-hours' speech. Yes! if I were a prince, my beautiful Rose
would be—lost to me for ever. No! I would not be a prince." He now
looked at the clock, and saw 't was half-past eleven. The Mameluke
hurried up to him and gave him a paper. "Prince," he exclaimed, "I
could fall at your feet and thank you in the very dust. I am
reconciled to my wife. You have broken her heart; but it is better
that it should be so. We leave for Poland this very night, and there
we shall fix our home. Farewell! I shall be ready whenever your Royal
Highness requires me, to pour out my last drop of blood in your
service. My gratitude is eternal. Farewell!"
"Stay!" said Philip to the Marshal, who was hurrying away, "what am
I to do with this paper?"
"Oh, that,-'tis the amount of my loss to your Highness last week at
hazard. I had nearly forgotten it; but before my departure, I must
clear my debts. I have indorsed it on the back." With these words the
Philip opened the paper, and read in it an order for five thousand
dollars. He put it in his pocket, and thought: "Well, it's a pity
that I'm not a prince." Some one whispered in his ear:
"Your Royal Highness, we are both discovered; I shall blow my
Philip turned round in amazement, and saw a negro at his side.
"What do you want, mask?" he asked, in an unconcerned tone.
"I am Colonel Kalt," whispered the negro. "The Marshal's wife has
been chattering to Duke Herman, and he has been breathing fire and
fury against us both."
"He is quite welcome," answered Philip.
"But the King will hear it all," sighed the negro. "This very night
I may be arrested and carried to a dungeon; I'll sooner hang myself."
"No need of that," said Philip.
"What! am I to be made infamous for my whole life? I am lost, I
tell you. The Duke will demand entire satisfaction. His back is black
and blue yet with the marks of the cudgelling I gave him. I am lost,
and the baker's daughter too! I'll jump from the bridge and drown
myself at once!"
"God forbid!" answered Philip; "what have you and the baker's
daughter to do with it?"
"Your Royal Highness banters me, and I am in despair!—I humbly
beseech you to give me two minutes' private conversation."
Philip followed the negro into a small boudoir dimly lighted up
with a few candles. The negro threw himself on a sofa, quite overcome,
and groaned aloud. Philip found some sandwiches and wine on the
table, and helped himself with great relish.
"I wonder your Royal Highness can be so cool on hearing this cursed
story. If that rascally Salmoni was here who acted the conjurer, he
might save us by some contrivance, for the fellow was a bunch of
tricks. As it is, he has slipped out of the scrape."
"So much the better," interrupted Philip, replenishing his glass;
"since he has got out of the way, we can throw all the blame on his
"How can we do that? The Duke, I tell you, knows that you, and I,
and the Marshal's wife, and the baker's daughter, were all in the
plot together, to take advantage of his superstition. He knows that
it was you that engaged Salmoni to play the conjurer; that it was I
that instructed the baker's daughter (with whom he is in love) how to
inveigle him into the snare; that it was I that enacted the ghost,
that knocked him down, and cudgelled him till he roared again. If I
had only not carried the joke too far, but I wished to cool his love a
little for my sweetheart. 'T was a devilish business. I'll take
"Rather swallow a glass of wine—'t is delicious," said Philip,
taking another tart at the same time. "For to tell you the truth, my
friend, I think you are rather a white-livered sort of rogue for a
colonel, to think of hanging, drowning, shooting, and poisoning
yourself about such a ridiculous story as that. One of these modes
would be too much, but as to all the four—nonsense. I tell you that
at this moment I don't know what to make out of your tale."
"Your Royal Highness, have pity on me, my brain is turned. The
Duke's page, an old friend of mine, has told me this very moment,
that the Marshal's wife, inspired by the devil, went up to the Duke,
and told him that the trick played on him at the baker's house was
planned by Prince Julian, who opposed his marriage with his sister;
that the spirit he saw was myself, sent by the Princess to be a
witness of his superstition; that your Highness was a witness of his
descent into the pit after hidden gold, and of his promise to make
the baker's daughter his mistress, and also to make her one of the
nobility immediately after his marriage with the Princess. 'Do not
hope to gain the Princess. It is useless for you to try,' were the
last words of the Marshal's wife to the Duke."
"And a pretty story it is," muttered Philip; "why, behavior like
that would be a disgrace to the meanest of the people. I declare
there is no end to these deviltries."
"Yes, indeed. 'T is impossible to behave more meanly than the
Marshal's lady. The woman must be a fury. My gracious Lord, save me
"Where is the Duke?" asked Philip.
"The page told me he started up on hearing the story, and said, 'I
will go to the King.' And if he tells the story to the King in his
"Is the King here, then?"
"Oh, yes, he is at play in the next room, with the Archbishop and
the Minister of Police."
Philip walked with long steps through the boudoir. The case
"Your Royal Highness," said the negro, "protect me. Your own honor
is at stake. You can easily make all straight; otherwise, I am ready
at the first intimation of danger to fly across the border. I will
pack up, and to-morrow I shall expect your last commands as to my
With these words the negro took his leave.
"It is high time I were a watchman again," thought Philip. "I am
getting both myself and my substitute into scrapes he will find it
hard to get out of—and this makes the difference between a peasant
and a prince. One is no better off than the other. Good heavens! what
stupid things these court lords are doing which we do not dream of
with our lanterns and staff in hand, or when at the spade. We think
they lead the lives of angels, without sin or care. Pretty piece of
business! Within a quarter of an hour I have heard of more rascally
tricks than I ever played in my whole life. And—" but his reverie was
interrupted by a whisper.
"So lonely, Prince! I consider myself happy in having a minute's
conversation with your Royal Highness."
Philip looked at the speaker; and he was a miner, covered over with
gold and jewels.
"But one instant," said the mask. "The business is pressing, and
deeply concerns you."
"Who are you?" inquired Philip.
"Count Bodenlos, the Minister of Finance, at your Highness's
service," answered the miner, and showed his face, which looked as if
it were a second mask, with its little eyes and copper-colored nose.
"Well, then, my lord, what are your commands?"
"May I speak openly? I waited on your Royal Highness thrice, and
was never admitted to the honor of an audience; and yet—Heaven is my
witness—no man in all this court has a deeper interest in your Royal
Highness than I have."
"I am greatly obliged to you," replied Philip; "what is your
business just now? But be quick."
"May I venture to speak of the house of Abraham Levi?"
"As much as you like."
"They have applied to me about the fifty thousand dollars which you
owe them, and threaten to apply to the King. And you remember your
promise to his Majesty, when last he paid your debts."
"Can't the people wait?" asked Philip.
"No more than the Brothers, goldsmiths, who demand their seventy-
five thousand dollars."
"It is all one to me. If the people won't wait for their money, I
"No hasty resolution, my gracious Lord! I have it in my power to
make everything comfortable, if—"
"Well, if what?"
"If you will honor me by listening to me one moment. I hope to have
no difficulty in redeeming all your debts. The house of Abraham Levi
has bought up immense quantities of corn, so that the price is very
much raised. A decree against importation will raise it three or four
percent. higher. By giving Abraham Levi the monopoly, the business
will be arranged. The house erases your debt, and pays off your
seventy-five thousand dollars to the goldsmiths, and I give you over
the receipts. But everything depends on my continuing for another year
at the head of the Finance. If Baron Griefensack succeeds in ejecting
me from the Ministry, I shall be unable to serve your Royal Highness
as I could wish. If your Highness will leave the party of Griefensack,
our point is gained. For me, it is a matter of perfect indifference
whether I remain in office or not. I sigh for repose. But for your
Royal Highness, it is a matter of great moment. If I have not the
mixing of the pack, I lose the game."
Philip for some time did not know what answer to make. At last,
while the Finance Minister, in expectation of his reply, took a pinch
out of his snuff-box set with jewels, Philip said:
"If I rightly understand you, Sir Count, you would starve the
country a little, in order to pay my debts. Consider, sir, what
misery you will cause. And will the King consent to it?"
"If I remain in office I will answer for that, my gracious Lord!
When the price of corn rises, the King will, of course, think of
permitting importation, and prevent exportation by levying heavy
imposts. The permission to do so is given to the house of Abraham
Levi, and they export as much as they choose. But, as I said before,
if Griefensack gets the helm, nothing can be done. For the first year
he would be obliged to attend strictly to his duty, in order to be
able afterwards to feather his nest at the expense of the country. He
must first make sure of his ground. He is dreadfully grasping!"
"A pretty project," answered Philip; "and how long do you think a
finance minister must be in office before he can lay his shears on
the flock to get wool enough for himself and me?"
"Oh, if he has his wits about him, he may manage it in a year."
"Then the King ought to be counselled to change his finance
minister every twelve months, if he wishes to be faithfully and
"I hope, your Royal Highness, that since I have had the Exchequer,
the King and Court have been faithfully served?"
"I believe you, Count, and the poor people believe you still more.
Already they scarcely know how to pay their rates and taxes. You
should treat us with a little more consideration, Count."
"Us!—don't I do everything for the Court?"
"No! I mean the people. You should have a little more consideration
"I appreciate what your Royal Highness says; but I serve the King
and the Court, and the people are not to be considered. The country
is his private property, and the people are only useful to him as
increasing the value of the land. But this is no time to discuss the
old story about the interests of the people. I beg your Royal
Highness' answer to my propositions. Shall I have the honor to
discharge your debts on the above specified conditions?"
"Answer,—no—never, never! at the expense of hundreds and
thousands of starving families."
"But, your Royal Highness, if, in addition to the clearance of your
debts, I make the house of Abraham Levi present you with fifty
thousand dollars in hard cash? I think it may afford you that sum.
The house will gain so much by the operation, that—"
"Perhaps it may be able to give YOU also a mark of its regard."
"Your Highness is pleased to jest with me. I gain nothing by the
affair. My whole object is to obtain the protection of your Royal
"You are very polite!"
"I may hope, then, Prince? My duty is to be of service to you. To-
morrow I shall send for Abraham, and conclude the arrangement with
him. I shall have the honor to present your Royal Highness with the
receipt for all your debts, besides the gift of fifty thousand
"Go, I want to hear no more of it."
"And your Royal Highness will honor me with your favor? For unless
I am in the Ministry, it is impossible for me to deal with Abraham
Levi so as—"
"I wish to Heaven you and your Ministry and Abraham Levi were all
three on the Blocksberg! I tell you what, unless you lower the price
of corn, and take away the monopoly from that infernal Jew, I'll go
this moment and reveal your villainy to the King, and get you and
Abraham Levi banished from the country. See to it—I'll keep my
word." Philip turned away in a rage, and proceeded into the dancing-
room, leaving the Minister of Finance petrified with amazement.
"When does your Royal Highness require the carriage?" whispered a
stout little Dutch merchant in a bob-wig.
"Not at all," answered Philip.
"'Tis after half-past eleven, and the beautiful singer expects you.
She will tire of waiting."
"Let her sing something to cheer her."
"How, Prince? Have you changed your mind? Would you leave the
captivating Rollina in the lurch, and throw away the golden
opportunity you have been sighing for for two months? The letter you
sent to-day, inclosing the diamond watch, did wonders. The proud but
fragile beauty surrenders. This morning you were in raptures, and now
you are as cold as ice! What is the cause of the change?"
"That is my business, not yours," said Philip.
"I had your orders to join you at half-past eleven. Perhaps you
have other engagements?"
"A petit souper with the Countess Born? She is not present here; at
least among all the masks I can't trace her out. I should know her
among a thousand by that graceful walk and her peculiar way of
carrying her little head—eh, Prince?"
"Well, but if it were so, there would be no necessity for making
you my confidant, would there?"
"I will take the hint, and be silent. But won't you at any rate
send to the Signora Rollina to let her know you are not coming?"
"If I have sighed for her for two months, she had better sigh a
month or two for me. I sha'n't go near her."
"So that beautiful necklace which you sent her for a New Year's
present was all for nothing?"
"As far as I am concerned."
"Will you break with her entirely?"
"There is nothing between us to break, that I know of."
"Well, then, since you speak so plainly, I may tell you something
which you perhaps know already. Your love for the Signora has
hitherto kept me silent; but now that you have altered your mind
about her, I can no longer keep the secret from you. You are
"By the artful singer. She would divide her favors between your
Royal Highness and a Jew."
"Yes! with the son of Abraham Levi."
"Is that rascal everywhere?"
"So your Highness did not know it? but I am telling you the exact
truth; if it were not for your Royal Highness, she would be his
mistress. I am only sorry you gave her that watch."
"I don't regret it at all."
"The jade deserves to be whipped."
"Few people meet their deserts," answered Philip.
"Too true, too true, your Royal Highness. For instance, I have
discovered a girl—O Prince, there is not such another in this city
or in the whole world! Few have seen this angel.—Pooh! Rollina is
nothing to her. Listen—a girl tall and slender as a palm tree—with
a complexion like the red glow of evening upon snow—eyes like
sunbeams—rich golden tresses,—in short, the most beautiful creature
I ever beheld—a Venus—a goddess in rustic attire. Your Highness, we
must give her chase."
"A peasant girl?"
"A mere rustic; but then you must see her yourself, and you will
love her. But my descriptions are nothing. Imagine the embodiment of
all that you can conceive most charming—add to that, artlessness,
grace, and innocence. But the difficulty is to catch sight of her.
She seldom leaves her mother. I know her seat in church, and have
watched her for many Sundays past, as she walked with her mother to
the Elm-Gate. I have ascertained that a handsome young fellow, a
gardener, is making court to her. He can't marry her, for he is a
poor devil, and she has nothing. The mother is the widow of a poor
"And the mother's name is?"
"Widow Bittner, in Milk Street; and the daughter, fairest of
flowers, is in fact called Rose."
Philip's blood boiled at the sound of the beloved name. His first
inclination was to knock the communicative Dutchman down. He
restrained himself, however, and only asked:
"Are you the devil himself?"
"'T is good news, is it not? I have taken some steps in the matter
already, but you must see her first. But perhaps such a pearl has not
altogether escaped your keen observation? Do you know her?"
"So much the better. Have I been too lavish of my praises? You
confess their truth? She sha'n't escape us. We must go together to
the widow; you must play the philanthropist. You have heard of the
widow's poverty, and must insist on relieving it. You take an
interest in the good woman; enter into her misfortunes; leave a small
present at each visit, and by this means become acquainted with Rose.
The rest follows, of course. The gardener can be easily got out of the
way, or perhaps a dozen or two dollars slipped quietly into his hand
Philip's rage broke forth.
"I'll throttle you—"
"If the gardener makes a fuss?" interposed the Dutchman. "Leave me
to settle this matter. I'll get him kidnapped, and sent to the army
to fight for his country. In the meantime you get possession of the
field; for the girl has a peasant's attachment for the fellow, and it
will not be easy to get the nonsense out of her head, which she has
been taught by the canaille. But I will give her some lessons, and
"I'll break your neck."
"Your Highness is too good. But if your Highness would use your
influence with the King to procure me the Chamberlain's key—"
"I wish I could procure you—"
"Oh, don't flatter me, your Highness. Had I only known you thought
so much of her beauty, she would have been yours long ago."
"Not a word more," cried the enraged Philip, in a smothered voice;
for he dared not speak aloud, he was so surrounded by maskers, who
were listening, dancing, talking, as they passed him, and he might
have betrayed himself; "not a word more!"
"No, there will be more than words. Deeds shall show my sincerity.
You may advance. You are wont to conquer. The outposts will be easily
taken. The gardener I will manage, and the mother will range herself
under your gilded banners. Then the fortress will be won!"
"Sir, if you venture," said Philip, who now could hardly contain
himself. It was with great difficulty he refrained from open
violence, and he clutched the arm of the Dutchman with the force of a
"Your Highness, for Heaven's sake, moderate your joy. I shall
scream—you are mashing my arm!"
"If you venture to go near that innocent girl, I will demolish
every bone in your body."
"Good, good," screamed the Dutchman, in intense pain; "only let go
"If I find you anywhere near Milk Street, I'll dash your miserable
brains out. So look to it."
The Dutchman seemed almost stupefied; trembling, he said:
"May it please your Highness, I could not imagine you really loved
the girl as it seems you do."
"I love her! I will own it before the whole world!"
"And are loved in return?"
"That's none of your business. Never mention her name to me again.
Do not even think of her; it would be a stain upon her purity. Now
you know what I think. Be off!"
Philip twirled the unfortunate Dutchman round as he let go his arm,
and that worthy gentleman slunk out of the hall.
In the meantime Philip's substitute supported his character of
watchman on the snow-covered streets. It is scarcely necessary to say
that this was none other than Prince Julian who had taken a notion to
join the watch—his head being crazed by the fire of the sweet wine.
He attended to the directions left by Philip, and went his rounds, and
called the hour with great decorum, except that, instead of the usual
watchman's verses, he favored the public with rhymes of his own. He
was cogitating a new stanza, when the door of a house beside him
opened, and a well-wrapped-up girl beckoned to him, and ran into the
shadow of the house.
The Prince left his stanza half finished, and followed the
apparition. A soft hand grasped his in the darkness, and a voice
"Good-evening, dear Philip. Speak low, that nobody may hear us. I
have only got away from the company for one moment to speak to you as
you passed. Are you happy to see me?"
"Blest as a god, my angel,—who could be otherwise than happy by
"I've some good news for you, Philip. You must sup at our house to-
morrow evening. My mother has allowed me to ask you. You 'll come?"
"For the whole evening, and as many more as you wish. Would we
might be together till the end of the world! 'T would be a life fit
"Listen, Philip; in half an hour I shall be at St. Gregory's. I
shall expect you there. You won't fail me? Don't keep me waiting
long—we shall have a walk together. Go now—we may be discovered."
She tried to go, but Julian held her back and threw his arms round
"What, wilt thou leave me so coldly?" he said, and tried to press a
kiss upon her lips.
Rose did not know what to think of this boldness, for Philip had
always been modest, and never dared more than kiss her hand, except
once, when her mother had forbidden their meeting again. They had
then exchanged their first kiss in great sorrow and in great love,
but never since then. She struggled to free herself, but Julian held
her firm, till at last she had to buy her liberty by submitting to
the kiss, and begged him to go. But Julian seemed not at all inclined
"What! go? I'm not such a fool as that comes to! You think I love
my horn better than you? No indeed!"
"But then it isn't right, Philip."
"Not right? why not, my beauty? there is nothing against kissing in
the ten commandments."
"Why, if we could marry, perhaps you might—but you know very well
we can't marry, and—"
"Not marry? why not? You can marry me any day you like."
"Philip!—why will you talk such folly? You know we must not think
of such a thing."
"But I think very seriously about it—if you would consent."
"You are unkind to speak thus. Ah, Philip, I had a dream last
"A dream—what was it?"
"You had won a prize in the lottery; we were both so happy! you had
bought a beautiful garden, handsomer than any in the city. It was a
little paradise of flowers—and there were large beds of vegetables,
and the trees were laden with fruit. And when I awoke, Philip, I felt
so wretched—I wished I had not dreamed such a happy dream. You've
nothing in the lottery, Philip, have you? Have you really won
anything? The drawing took place to-day."
"How much must I have gained to win you too?"
"Ah, Philip, if you had only gained a thousand dollars, you might
buy such a pretty garden!"
"A thousand dollars! And what if it were more?"
"Ah, Philip—what? is it true? is it really? Don't deceive me!
'twill be worse than the dream. You had a ticket! and you've won!—
own it! own it!"
"All you can wish for."
Rose flung her arms around his neck in the extremity of her joy,
and kissed him.
"More than the thousand dollars? and will they pay you the whole?"
Her kiss made the Prince forget to answer. It was so strange to
hold a pretty form in his arms, receive its caresses, and to know they
were not meant for him.
"Answer me, answer me!" cried Rose, impatiently. "Will they give
you all that money?"
"They've done it already—and if it will add to your happiness I
will hand it to you this moment."
"What! have you got it with you?"
The Prince took out his purse, which he had filled with money in
expectation of some play.
"Take it and weigh it, my girl," he said, placing it in her hand
and kissing her again. "This, then, makes you mine!"
"Oh, not THIS—nor all the gold in the world, if you were not my
own dear Philip!"
"And how if I had given you twice as much as all this money, and
yet were not your own dear Philip?"
"I would fling the purse at your feet, and make you a very polite
curtsey," said Rose.
A door now opened; the light streamed down the steps, and the
laughing voices of girls were heard. Rose whispered:
"In half an hour, at St. Gregory's," and ran up the steps, leaving
the Prince in the darkness. Disconcerted by the suddenness of the
parting, and his curiosity excited by his ignorance of the name of
his new acquaintance, and not even having had a full view of her
face, he consoled himself with the rendezvous at St. Gregory's Church
door. This he resolved to keep, though it was evident that all the
tenderness which had been bestowed on him was intended for his friend
The interview with Rose, or the coldness of the night, increased
the effect of the wine to such an extent that the mischievous
propensities of the young Prince got the upper hand of him. Standing
amidst a crowd of people, in the middle of the street, he blew so
lustily on his horn that the women screamed, and the men gasped with
fear. He called the hour, and then shouted, at the top of his lungs:
The bus'ness of our lovely state
Is stricken by the hand of fate—
Even our maids, both light and brown,
Can find no sale in all the town;
They deck themselves with all their arts,
But no one buys their worn-out hearts."
"Shame! shame!" cried several female voices from the window at the
end of this complimentary effusion, which, however, was crowned with
a loud laugh from the men. "Bravo, watchman!" cried some; "Encore!
encore!" shouted others. "How dare you, fellow, insult ladies in the
open street?" growled a young lieutenant, who had a very pretty girl
on his arm.
"Mr. Lieutenant," answered a miller, "unfortunately watchmen always
tell the truth, and the lady on your arm is a proof of it. Ha! young
jade, do you know me? do you know who I am? Is it right for a
betrothed bride to be gadding at night about the streets with other
men? To-morrow your mother shall hear of this. I'll have nothing more
to do with you!"
The girl hid her face, and nudged the young officer to lead her
away. But the lieutenant, like a brave soldier, scorned to retreat
from the miller, and determined to keep the field. He therefule made
use of a full round of oaths, which were returned with interest, and
a sabre was finally resorted to, with some flourishes; but two
Spanish cudgels were threateningly held over the head of the
lieutenant by a couple of stout townsmen, while one of them, who was
a broad-shouldered beer-brewer, cried: "Don't make any more fuss
about the piece of goods beside you—she ain't worth it. The miller's
a good fellow, and what he says is true, and the watchman's right too.
A plain tradesman can hardly venture to marry now. All the women wish
to marry above their station. Instead of darning stockings, they read
romances; instead of working in the kitchen, they run after comedies
and concerts. Their houses are dirty, and they are walking out,
dressed like princesses; all they bring a husband as a dowry are
handsome dresses, lace ribbons, intrigues, romances, and idleness!
Sir, I speak from experience; I should have married long since, if
girls were not spoiled."
The spectators laughed heartily, and the lieutenant slowly put back
his sword, saying peevishly: "It's a little too much to be obliged to
hear a sermon from the canaille."
"What! Canaille!" cried a smith, who held the second cudgel. "Do
you call those canaille who feed you noble idlers by duties and taxes?
Your licentiousness is the cause of our domestic discords, and noble
ladies would not have so much cause to mourn if you had learned both
to pray and to work."
Several young officers had gathered together already, and so had
some mechanics; and the boys, in the meantime, threw snowballs among
both parties, that their share in the fun might not be lost. The
first ball hit the noble lieutenant on the nose, and thinking it an
attack from the canaille, he raised his sabre. The fight began.
The Prince, who had laughed amazingly at the first commencement of
the uproar, had betaken himself to another region, and felt quite
unconcerned as to the result. In the course of his wanderings, he
came to the palace of Count Bodenlos, the Minister of Finance, with
whom, as Philip had discovered at the masquerade, the Prince was not
on the best terms. The Countess had a large party. Julian saw the
lighted windows, and still feeling poetically disposed, he planted
himself opposite the balcony, and blew a peal on his horn. Several
ladies and gentlemen opened the shutters, because they had nothing
better to do, and listened to what he should say.
"Watchman," cried one of them, "sing us a New Year's greeting!"
This invitation brought a fresh accession of the Countess' party to
the windows. Julian called the hour in the usual manner, and sang,
loud enough to be distinctly heard inside:
"Ye who groan with heavy debts,
And swift approaching failure frets,
Pray the Lord that He this hour
May raise you to some place of power;
And while the nation wants and suffers,
Fill your own from the people's coffers."
"Outrageous!" screamed the lady of the Minister; "who is the
insolent wretch that dares such an insult?"
"Pleashe your exshellenshy," answered Julian, imitating the Jewish
dialect in voice and manner, "I vash only intendsh to shing you a
pretty shong. I am de Shew Abraham Levi, vell known at dish court.
Your ladyship knowsh me ver' well."
"How dare you tell such a lie, you villain?" exclaimed a voice,
trembling with rage, at one of the windows; "how dare you say you are
Abraham Levi? I am Abraham Levi! You are a cheat!"
"Call the police!" cried the Countess. "Have that man arrested!"
At these words the party confusedly withdrew from the windows. Nor
did the Prince remain where he was, but quickly effected his escape
through a cross-street. A crowd of servants rushed out of the palace,
led by the secretaries of the Finance Minister, and commenced a search
for the offender. "We have him!" cried some, as the rest eagerly
approached. It was in fact the real guardian of the night, who was
carefully perambulating his beat, in innocent unconsciousness of any
offence. In spite of all he could say, he was disarmed and carried off
to the watch-house, and charged with causing a disturbance by singing
libellous songs. The officer of the police shook his head at the
unaccountable event, and said: "We have already one watchman in
custody, whose verses about some girl caused a very serious affray
between the town's people and the garrison."
The prisoner would confess to nothing, but swore prodigiously at
the tipsy young people who had disturbed him in the fulfilment of his
duty. One of the secretaries of the Finance Minister repeated the
whole verse to him. The soldiers standing about laughed aloud, but
the ancient watchman swore with tears in his eyes that he had never
thought of such a thing. While the examination was going on, and one
of the secretaries of the Finance Minister began to be doubtful
whether the poor watchman was really in fault or not, an uproar was
heard outside, and loud cries of "Watch, watch!"
The guard rushed out, and in a few minutes the Field-Marshal
entered the office, accompanied by the captain of the guards on duty.
"Have that scoundrel locked up tight," said the Marshal, pointing
behind him—and two soldiers brought in a watchman, whom they held
close prisoner, and whom they had disarmed of his staff and horn.
"Are the watchmen gone all mad to-night?" exclaimed the chief of
"I'll have the rascal punished for his infamous verses," said the
"Your excellency," exclaimed the trembling watchman, "as true as I
live, I never made a verse in my born days."
"Silence, knave!" roared the Marshal. "I'll have you hanged for
them! And if you contradict me again, I'll cut you in two on the
The police officer respectfully observed to the Field-Marshal that
there must be some poetical epidemic among the watchmen, for three
had been brought before him within the last quarter of an hour,
accused of the same offence.
"Gentlemen," said the Marshal to the officers who had accompanied
him, "since the scoundrel refuses to confess, it will be necessary to
take down from your remembrance the worlds of his atrocious libel. Let
them be written down while you still recollect them. Come, who can say
The officer of police wrote to the dictation of the gentlemen who
remembered the whole verses between them:
"On empty head a flaunting feather,
A long queue tied with tape and leather;
Padded breast and waist so little,
Make the soldier to a tittle;
By cards and dance, and dissipation,
He's sure to win a Marshal's station."
"Do you deny, you rascal," cried the Field-Marshal to the terrified
watchman; "do you deny that you sang these infamous lines as I was
coming out of my house?"
"They may sing it who like, it was not me," said the watchman.
"Why did you run away, then, when you saw me?"
"I did not run away."
"What!" said the two officers who had accompanied the Marshal—"not
run away? Were you not out of breath when at last we laid hold of you
there by the market?"
"Yes, but it was with fright at being so ferociously attacked. I am
trembling yet in every limb."
"Lock the obstinate dog up till the morning," said the Marshal; "he
will come to his senses by that time!" With these words the wrathful
dignitary went away. These incidents had set the whole police force
of the city on the qui vive. In the next ten minutes two more
watchmen were brought to the office on similar charges with the
others. One was accused of singing a libel under the window of the
Minister of Foreign Affairs, in which it was insinuated that there
were no affairs to which he was more foreign than those of his own
department. The other had sung some verses before the door of the
Bishop's palace, informing him that the "lights of the church" were
by no means deficient in tallow, but gave a great deal more smoke
than illumination. The Prince, who had wrought the poor watchmen all
this woe, was always lucky enough to escape, and grew bolder and
bolder with every new attempt. The affair was talked of everywhere.
The Minister of Police, who was at cards with the King, was informed
of the insurrection among the hitherto peaceful watchmen, and, as a
proof of it, some of the verses were given to him in writing. The
King laughed very heartily at the doggerel verse about the miserable
police, who were always putting their noses into other people's
family affairs, but could never smell anything amiss in their own,
and were therefore lawful game, and ordered the next poetical
watchman who should be taken to be brought before him. He broke up
the card-table, for he saw that the Minister of Police had lost his
In the dancing-hall next to the card-room, Philip had looked at his
watch, and discovered that the time of his appointment with Rose at
St. Gregory's had nearly come. He was by no means sorry at the
prospect of giving back his silk mantle and plumed bonnet to his
substitute, for he began to find high life not quite to his taste. As
he was going to the door, the Negro once more came up to him, and
whispered: "Your Highness, Duke Herrman is seeking for you
everywhere." Philip shook his head impatiently and hurried out,
followed by the Negro. When they got to the ante-chamber, the Negro
cried out, "By Heaven, here comes the Duke!"—and slipped back into
A tall black mask walked fiercely up to Philip, and said: "Stay a
moment, sir; I've a word or two to say to you; I've been seeking for
"Quick, then," said Philip, "for I have no time to lose."
"I would not waste a moment, sir; I have sought you long enough;
you owe me satisfaction, you have injured me infamously."
"Not that I am aware of."
"You don't know me, perhaps," said the Duke, lifting up his mask;
"now that you see me, your own conscience will save me any more
words. I demand satisfaction. You and the cursed Salmoni have
"I know nothing about it," said Philip.
"You got up that shameful scene in the cellar of the baker's
daughter. It was at your instigation that Colonel Kalt made an
assault upon me with a cudgel."
"There's not a word of truth in what you say."
"What!—you deny it? The Lady Blankenswerd, the Marshal's lady, was
an eye-witness of it all, and she has told me every circumstance."
"She has told your grace a fancy tale—I have had nothing to do
with it; if you made an ass of yourself in the baker's cellar, that
was your own fault."
"I ask, once more, will you give me satisfaction? If not, I will
expose you. Follow me instantly to the King. You shall either fight
with me, or—go to his Majesty."
Philip was nonplussed. "Your grace," he said, "I have no wish
either to fight with you or to go to the King."
This was indeed the truth, for he was afraid he should be obliged
to unmask, and would be punished, of course, for the part he had
played. He therefore tried to get off by every means, and watched the
door to seize a favorable moment for effecting his escape. The Duke,
on the other hand, observed the uneasiness of the Prince (as he
thought him), and waxed more valorous every minute. At last he seized
poor Philip by the arm, and was dragging him into the hall.
"What do you want with me?" said Philip, sorely frightened, and
shook off the Duke.
"To the King. He shall hear how shamefully you insult a guest at
"Very good," replied Philip, who saw no hope of escape, except by
continuing the character of the Prince. "Very good. Come, then, I am
ready. By good luck I happen to have the agreement with me between
you and the baker's daughter, in which you promise—"
"Nonsense! stuff!" answered the Duke, "that was only a piece of
fun, which may be allowed surely with a baker's daughter. Show it if
you like, I will explain all that."
But it appeared that the Duke was not quite so sure of the
explanation, for he no longer urged Philip to go before the King. He,
however, insisted more earnestly than ever on getting into his
carriage, and going that moment—Heaven knows where—to decide the
matter with sword and pistol, an arrangement which did not suit our
watchman at all. Philip pointed out the danger and consequences of
such a proceeding, but the Duke overruled all objections. He had made
every preparation, and when it was over he would leave the city that
"If you are not the greatest coward in Europe, you will follow me
to the carriage—Prince!"
"I—am—no—prince," at last stuttered Philip, now driven to
"You are! Everybody recognized you at the ball. I know you by your
hat. You sha'n't escape me."
Philip lifted up his mask, and showed the Duke his face.
"Now, then, am I a prince?"
Duke Herrman, when he saw the countenance of a man he had never
seen before, started back, and stood gazing as if he had been
petrified. To have revealed his secrets to a perfect stranger! 'T was
horrible beyond conception! But before he had recovered from his
surprise, Philip had opened the door and effected his escape.
The moment he found himself at liberty he took off his hat and
feathers, and wrapping them in his silk mantle, rushed through the
streets towards St. Gregory's, carrying them under his arm. There
stood Rose already, in a corner of the high church door, expecting
"Ah, Philip, dear Philip," she said, pressing his hand, "how happy
you have made me! how lucky we are! I was very uneasy to get away
from my friend's house, and I have been waiting here this quarter of
an hour, but never cared for the frost and snow—my happiness was so
great: I am so glad you're come back."
"And I too, dear Rose, thank God that I have got back to you. May
the eagles fly away with these trinkum-trankums of great people. But
I'll tell you some other time of the scenes I've had. Tell me now, my
darling, how you are, and whether you love me still!"
"Ah! Philip, you've become a great man now, and it would be better
to ask if you still care anything for me."
"Thunder! How came you to know so soon that I've been a great man?"
"Why, you told me yourself. Ah! Philip, Philip, I only hope you
won't be proud, now that you've grown so rich. I am but a poor girl,
and not good enough for you now—and I have been thinking, Philip, if
you forsake me, I would rather have had you continue a poor gardener.
I should fret myself to death if you forsook me."
"What are you talking about, Rose? 'T is true that for one
half-hour I have been a prince; 't was but a joke, and I want no more
of such jokes in my life. Now I am a watchman again, and as poor as
ever. To be sure, I have five thousand dollars in my pocket, that I
got from a Mameluke; that would make us rich, but unfortunately they
don't belong to me!"
"You're speaking nonsense, Philip," said Rose, giving him the purse
of gold that the Prince had given her. "Here, take back your money,
't is too heavy for my bag."
"What should I do with all this gold? Where did you get it, Rose?"
"You won it in the lottery, Philip."
"What! have I won? and they told me at the office my number was not
yet out. I had hoped and wished that it might come to give us a
setting up in the world; but gardener Redman said to me as I went a
second time towards the office: 'Poor Philip—a blank.' Huzzah! I
have won! Now I will buy a large garden and marry you. How much is
"Are you crazy, Philip, or have you drunk too much? You must know
better than I can tell you how much it is. I only looked at it
quietly under the table at my friend's, and was frightened to see so
many glittering coins, all of gold, Philip. Ah! then I thought, no
wonder Philip was so impertinent—for, you know, you were very
impertinent, Philip,—but I can't blame you for it. Oh, I could throw
my own arms round your neck and cry for joy."
"Rose, if you will do it I shall make no objections. But there's
some misunderstanding here. Who was it that gave you this money, and
told you it was my prize in the lottery? I have my ticket safe in my
drawer at home, and nobody has asked me for it."
"Ah! Philip, don't play your jokes on me! you yourself told me it
half an hour ago, and gave me the purse with your own hand."
"Rose—try to recollect yourself. This morning I saw you at mass,
and we agreed to meet here to-night, but since that time I have not
seen you for an instant."
"No, except half an hour ago, when I saw you at Steinman's door.
But what is that bundle under your arm? why are you without a hat this
cold night? Philip! Philip! be careful. All that gold may turn your
brain. You've been in some tavern, Philip, and have drunk more than
you should. But tell me, what is in the bundle? Why—here's a woman's
silk gown.—Philip, Philip, where have you been?"
"Certainly not with you half an hour ago; you want to play tricks
on me, I fancy; where have you got that money, I should like to know?"
"Answer me first, Philip, where you got that woman's gown. Where
have you been, sir?"
They were both impatient for explanations, both a little jealous—
and finally began to quarrel.
But as this was a lovers' quarrel, it ended as lovers' quarrels
invariably do. When Rose took out her white pocket-handkerchief, put
it to her beautiful eyes, and turned away her head as the sighs burst
forth from her breast, this sole argument proved instantly that she
was in the right, and Philip decidedly in the wrong. He confessed he
was to blame for everything, and told her that he had been at a masked
ball, and that his bundle was not a silk gown, but a man's mantle and
a hat and feathers. And now he had to undergo a rigid examination.
Every maiden knows that a masked ball is a dangerous maze for
unprotected hearts. It is like plunging into a whelming sea of
dangers, and you will be drowned if you are not a good swimmer. Rose
did not consider Philip the best swimmer in the world—it is difficult
to say why. He denied having danced, but when she asked him, he could
not deny having talked with some feminine masks. He related the whole
story to her, yet would constantly add: "The ladies were of high rank,
and they took me for another." Rose doubted him a little, but she
suppressed her resentment until he said they took him for Prince
Julian. Then she shook her little head, and still more when she heard
that Prince Julian was transformed into a watchman while Philip was at
the ball. But he smothered her doubts by saying that in a few minutes
the Prince would appear at St. Gregory's Church and exchange his
watch-coat for the mask.
Rose, in return, related all her adventure; but when she came to
the incident of the kiss—
"Hold there!" cried Philip; "I didn't kiss you, nor, I am sure, did
you kiss me in return."
"I am sure 'twas INTENDED for you, then," replied Rose, whilst her
lover rubbed his hair down, for fear it should stand on end.
"If 'twas not you," continued Rose, anxiously, "I will believe all
that you have been telling me."
But as she went on in her story a light seemed to break in on her,
and she exclaimed: "And, after all, I do not believe it was Prince
Julian in your coat!"
Philip was certain it was, and cried: "The rascal! He stole my
kisses—now I understand! That's the reason why he wanted to take my
place and gave me his mask!" And now the stories he had heard at the
masquerade came into Philip's head. He asked if anybody had called at
her mother's to offer her money; if any gentleman was much about Milk
Street; if she saw any one watching her at church; but to all his
questions her answers were so satisfactory, that it was impossible to
doubt her total ignorance of all the machinations of the rascally
courtiers. He warned her against all the advances of philanthropical
and compassionate princes—and Rose warned him against the dangers of
a masked ball and adventures with ladies of rank, by which many young
men have been made unhappy—and as everything was now forgiven, in
consideration of the kiss not been wilfully bestowed, he was on the
point of claiming for himself the one of which be had been cheated,
when his designs were interrupted by an unexpected incident. A man out
of breath with his rapid flight rushed against them. By the
great-coat, staff, and horn, Philip recognized his deputy. He, on the
other hand, snatched at the silk cloak and hat. "Ah! sir," said
Philip, "here are your things. I would not change places with you
again in this world! I should be no gainer by the operation."
"Quick! quick!" cried the Prince, and threw the watchman's apparel
on the snow and fastened on his mask, hat, and cloak. Philip returned
to his old beaver and coat, and took up the lantern and staff. Rose
had shrunk back into the door.
"I promised thee a dole, comrade—but it's a positive fact—I have
not got my purse."
"I've got it here," said Philip, and held it out to him. "You gave
it to my intended there; but, please your Highness, I must forbid all
presents in that quarter."
"Comrade, keep what you've got, and be off as quick as you can. You
are not safe here."
The Prince was flying off as he spoke, but Philip held him by the
"One thing, my Lord, we have to settle—"
"Run! watchman! I tell you. They're in search of you."
"I have nothing to run for. But your purse, here—"
"Keep it, I tell you. Fly! if you can run."
"And a billet of Marshal Blankenswerd's for five thousand
"Ha! what the plague do you know about Marshal Blankenswerd?"
"He said it was a gambling debt he owed you. He and his lady start
to-night for their estates in Poland."
"Are you mad? how do you know that? Who gave you the message for
"And, your Highness, the Minister of Finance will pay all your
debts to Abraham Levi and others if you will use your influence with
the King to keep him in office."
"Watchman! you've been tampering with Old Nick."
"But I rejected the offer."
"YOU rejected the offer of the Minister?"
"Yes, your Highness. And, moreover, I have entirely reconciled the
Baroness Bonau with the Chamberlain Pilzou."
"Which of us two is a fool?"
"Another thing, your Highness. Signora Rollina is a bad woman. I
have heard of some love affairs of hers. You are deceived—I
therefore thought her not worthy of your attentions, and put off the
meeting to-night at her house."
"Signora Rollina! How did you come to hear of her?"
"Another thing. Duke Herrman is terribly enraged about that
business in the cellar. He is going to complain of you to the King."
"The Duke! Who told you about that?"
"Himself. You are not secure yet—but I don't think he'll go to the
King, for I threatened him with his agreement with the baker's
daughter. But he wants to fight you; be on yoor guard."
"Once for all—do you know how the Duke was informed of all this?"
"Through the Marshal's wife. She told all, and confessed she had
acted the witch in the ghost-raising."
The Prince took Philip by the arm. "My good fellow," he said, "you
are no watchman." He turned his face towards a lamp, and started when
he saw the face of this strange man.
"Are you possessed by Satan, or...Who are you?" said Julian, who
had now become quite sober.
"I am Philip Stark, the gardener, son of old Gottlieb Stark, the
watchman," said Philip, quietly.
"Lay hold on him! That's the man!" cried many voices, and Philip,
Rose, and Julian saw themselves surrounded by six lusty servants of
the police. Rose screamed, Philip took her hand, and told her not to
be alarmed. The Prince clapped his hand on Philip's shoulder.
"'Tis a stupid business," he said, "and you should have escaped
when I told you. But don't be frightened; there shall no harm befall
"That's to be seen," said one of the captors. "In the meantime he
must come along with us."
"Where to?" inquired Philip; "I am doing my duty. I am watchman of
"That's the reason we take you. Come."
The Prince stepped forward. "Let the man go, good people," he said,
and searched in all his pockets for his purse. As he found it
nowhere, he was going to whisper to Philip to give it him, but the
police tore them apart, and one of them shouted: "On! We can't stop
to talk here."
"The masked fellow must go with us too; he is suspicious-looking."
"Not so," exclaimed Philip; "you are in search of the watchman.
Here I am, if you choose to answer for taking me from my duty. But let
this gentleman go."
"We don't want any lessons from you in our duty," replied the
sergeant; "march! all of them!"
"The damsel too?" asked Philip; "you don't want her surely!"
"No, she may go; but we must see her face, and take down her name
and residence; it may be of use."
"She is the daughter of Widow Bittner," said Philip; and was not a
little enraged when the whole party took Rose to a lamp and gazed on
her tearful face.
"Go home, Rose, and don't be alarmed on my account," said Philip,
trying to comfort her; "my conscience is clear."
But Rose sobbed so as to move even the policemen to pity her. The
Prince, availing himself of the opportunity, attempted to spring out
of his captors' hands, but one of the men was a better jumper than
he, and put an obstacle in his way.
"Hallo!" cried the sergeant, "this conscience is not quite so
clear; hold him firm; march!"
"Whither?" said the Prince.
"Directly to the Minister of Police."
"Listen," said the Prince, seriously but affably, for he did not
like the turn affairs were taking, as he was anxious to keep his
watchman frolic concealed. "I have nothing to do with this business.
I belong to the court. If you venture to force me to go with you, you
will be sorry for it when you are feasting on bread and water tomorrow
"For Heaven's sake, let the gentleman go," cried Philip; "I give
you my word he is a great lord, and will make you repent your conduct.
"Hush; be silent," interrupted Julian; "tell no human being who I
am. Whatever happens keep my name a secret. Do you hear? an entire
secret from every one!"
"We do our duty," said the sergeant, "and nobody can punish us for
that; you may go to a prison yourself; we have often had fellows
speak as high, and threaten as fiercely; forward!"
"Men! take advice; he is a distinguished man at court."
"If it were a king himself he should go with us. He is a suspicious
character, and we must do our duty."
While the contest about the Prince went on, a carriage, with eight
horses and outriders, bearing flambeaux, drove past the church.
"Stop!" said a voice from the carriage, as it was passing the crowd
of policemen who had the Prince in custody.
The carriage stopped. The door flew open, and a gentleman, with a
brilliant star on the breast of his surtout, leaped out. He pushed
through the party, and examined the Prince from head to foot.
"I thought," he said, "I knew the bird by his feathers. Mask, who
Julian was taken by surprise, for in the inquirer he recognized
"Answer me," roared Herrman in a voice of thunder.
Julian shook his head, and made signs to the Duke to desist, but he
pressed the question he upon him, being determined to know who it he
had accosted at the masquerade. He asked the policemen. They stood
with heads uncovered, and told him they had orders to bring the
watchman instantly before the Minister of Police, for he had been
singing wicked verses, they had heard some of them; that the mask had
given himself out as some great lord of the court, but that they
believed that to be a false pretence, and therefore considered it
their duty to take him into custody.
"The man is not of the court," answered the Duke; "take my word for
that. He himself clandestinely into the ball, and himself off for
Prince Julian. I forced him to unmask, and detected the impostor, but
he escaped me. I have informed the Lord Chamberlain; off with him to
the palace! You have made a fine prize!"
With these words the Duke strode back to his carriage, and once
more urging them not to let the villains escape, gave orders to drive
The Prince saw no chance left. To reveal himself now would be to
make his night's adventures the talk of the whole city. He thought it
better to disclose his incognito to the Chamberlain or the Minister of
Police. "Since it must be so, come on then," he said; and the party
marched forward, keeping a firm hand on the two prisoners.
Phipip was not sure whether he was bewitched, or whether the whole
business was not a dream, for it was a night such as he had never
passed before in his life. He had nothing to blame himself for except
that he had changed clothes with the Prince, and then, whether he
would or no, been forced to support his character. He felt pretty
safe, for it was the princely watchman who had been at fault, and he
saw no occasion for his being committed. His heart beat, however, when
they came to the palace. His coat, horn, and staff were taken from
him. Julian spoke a few words to a young nobleman, and immediately the
policemen were sent away. The Prince ascended the stairs, and Philip
had to follow.
"Fear nothing," said Julian, and left him. Philip was taken to a
little ante-room, where he had to wait a good while. At last one of
the royal grooms came to him, and said: "Come this way; the King will
Philip was distracted with fear. His knees shook so that he could
hardly walk. He was led into a splendid chamber. The old King was
sitting at a table, and laughing long and load; near him stood Prince
Julian without a mask. Besides these, there was nobody in the room.
The King looked at Philip with a good-humored expression. "Tell me
all—without missing a syllable—that you have done to-night."
Philip took courage from the condescension of the old King, and
told the whole story from beginning to end. He had the good sense,
however, to conceal all he had heard among the courtiers that could
turn to the prejudice of the Prince. The King laughed again and
again, and at last took two gold-pieces from his pocket and gave them
to Philip. "Here, my son, take these, but say not a word of your
night's adventures. Await your trial; no harm shall cone of it to you.
Now go, my friend, and remember what I have told you."
Philip knelt down at the King's feet and kissed his hand as he
stammered some words of thanks. When he arose, and was leaving the
room, Prince Julian said: "I beseech your Majesty to allow the young
man to wait a few minutes outside. I have some compensation to make
to him for the inconvenience he has suffered."
The King, smiling, nodded his assent, and Philip left the
"Prince!" said the King, holding up his forefinger in a threatening
manner to his son, "'tis well for you that you told me nothing but
the truth. For this time I must pardon your wild scrape, but if such
a thing happens again you will offend me. There will be no excuse for
you! I must take Duke Herrman in hand myself. I shall not be sorry if
we can get quit of him. As to the Ministers of Finance and Police. I
must have further proofs of what you say. Go now, and give some
present to the gardener. He has shown more discretion in your
character than you have in his."
The Prince took leave of the King, and having changed his dress in
an ante-room, sent for Philip to go to his palace with him; there he
made him go over—word for word—everything that had occurred. When
Philip had finished his narrative, the Prince clapped him on the
shoulder and said: "Philip, listen! You're a sensible fellow. I can
confide in you, and I am satisfied with you. What you have done in my
name with the Chamberlain Pilzou, the Countess Bonau, the Marshal and
his wife, Colonel Kalt, and the Minister of Finance—I will
maintain—as if I had done it myself. But, on the other hand, YOU
must take all the blame of my doings with the horn and staff. As a
penalty for verses, you shall lose your office of watchman. You shall
be my head-gardener from this date, and have charge of my two gardens
at Heimleben and Quellenthal. The money I gave your bride she shall
keep as her marriage portion,—and I give you the order of Marshal
Blankenswerd for five thousand dollars, as a mark of my regard. Go,
now; be faithful and true!"
Who could be happier than Philip! He almost flew to Rose's house.
She had not yet gone to bed, but sat with her mother beside a table,
and was weeping. He threw the purse on the table and said: "Rose,
there is thy dowry! and here are five thousand dollars, which are
mine! As a watchman I have transgressed, and shall therefore lose my
father's situation; but the day after to-morrow I shall go, as head-
gardener of Prince Julian, to Heimleben. And you, mother and Rose,
must go with me. My father and mother also. I can support you all.
Huzza! Gods send all good people such a happy New Year!"
Mother Bittner hardly knew whether to believe Philip or not,
notwithstanding she saw the gold. But when he told her how it had all
happened—though with some reservations—she wept with joy, embraced
him, laid her her daughter on his breast, and then danced about the
room in a perfect ecstasy, "Do thy father and mother know this,
Philip?" she said. And when he answered no, she cried: "Rose, kindle
the fire, put over the water, and make some coffee for all of us." She
then wrapped herself in her little woollen shawl and left the house.
But Rose lay on Philip's breast, and forgot all about the wood and
water. And there she yet lay when Mother Bittner returned with old
Gottlieb and Mother Katharine. They surrounded their children and
blessed them. Mother Bittner saw if she wanted coffee, she would be
obliged to cook it herself.
Philip lost his situation as watchman. Rose became his wife in two
weeks; their parents went with them to—; but this does not belong to
the adventures of a New Year's Eve, a night more ruinous to the
Minister of Finance than any one else; neither have we heard of any
more pranks by the wild Prince Julian.