The Fire Of The Forge by Georg Ebers
Day followed day, a week elapsed, and no message had reached Schweinau from Heinz Schorlin or Katterle.
The magistrate had learned that the Siebenburg brothers, with the robber knights who had joined them, were obstinately defending their castles and making it difficult for Heinz Schorlin to perform his task. The day before news had come that the Absbach's strong mountain fortress had fallen; that the allied knights, in a sortie which merged into a miniature battle, had been defeated, and the Siebenburgs could not hold out much longer; but in the stress of his duties the knight seemed to have forgotten to make the slightest effort in behalf of his faithful servant. At least the protonotary Gottlieb, a friend of Herr Berthold, through whose hands passed all letters addressed to the Emperor, positively assured them that, though plenty of military reports had arrived, in not a single one had the young commander mentioned his servant even by a word. He, the protonotary, had taken advantage of a favourable hour to urge his royal master, as a reward for Biberli's rare fidelity, to protect him from further persecution by the citizens of Nuremberg; but the Emperor Rudolph did not even allow him to finish, because, as a matter of principle, he refrained from interference in matters whose settlement rightfully pertained to the Honourable Council.
When soon after Herr Pfinzing availed himself of a report which he had to deliver to the Emperor to intercede himself for the valiant fellow, the Hapsburg, with the ruler's strong memory, recalled the protonotary's plea and referred Herr Berthold to the answer the former had received, remarking, less graciously than usual, that the imperial magistrate ought to know that he would be the last to assail the privileges which he had himself bestowed upon the city.
Finally even Burgrave Frederick, whose sympathy had been enlisted in Biberli's behalf by Herr Berthold, fared no better.
His interests were often opposed to those of the Council and, kindly as was his disposition, disputes concerning many questions of law were constantly occurring between him and the Honourables. When he began to persuade the Emperor to prevent by a pardon the cruelty which the Council intended to practise upon a servant of Sir Heinz Schorlin, who was doing such good service in the field, the sovereign told even him, his friend and brother-in-law, who had toiled so energetically to secure him the crown, that he would not interfere, though it were in behalf of a beloved brother, with the decrees of the Council, and the noble petitioner was silenced by the reasons which he gave. The Burgrave deemed the Emperor's desire to maintain the Honourables' willingness to grant the large loan he intended to ask to fill his empty treasury still more weighty than those with which he had repulsed Herr Pfinzing.
On the other hand, the pardon granted to Ernst Ortlieb and Wolff Eysvogel could only tend to increase the good will of the Council. The former was given at once, the latter only conditionally after the First Losunger of the city, with several other Honourables, had recommended it. The Emperor thought it advisable to defer this act of clemency. A violation of the peace of the country committed under his own eyes ought not to be pardoned during his stay in the place where the bloody deed was committed. It would have cast a doubt upon the serious intent of the important measure which threatened with the severest punishment any attempt upon the lives and property of others.
So long as the Emperor held his court at Nuremberg, Wolff, against whom no accuser had yet appeared, must remain concealed. When the sovereign had left the city he might again mingle with his fellow-citizens. An imperial letter alluding to the gratitude which Rudolph owed to the soldiers of Marchfield, to whose band the evildoer belonged, and the whole good city of Nuremberg for the hospitable reception tendered to him and his household, should shield from punishment the young patrician who had only drawn his sword in self-defence, and fulfil the petition of the Council for Wolff Eysvogel's restoration to the rights which he had forfeited.
The news of this promise gave Els the first happy hour after long days of discomfort and the most arduous mental conflict. True, the measures adopted by her friends seemed to have guarded her from the attacks of the old Countess Rotterbach; but Fran Rosalinde, since she had been allowed more freedom to move about than her mother, who had been confined to the upper story, felt like a boat drifting rudderless down the stream. She needed guidance and, as Els now ruled the house, asked direction from her for even the most simple matters. Clinging to her like a child deserted by its nurse, she told her the most hostile and spiteful remarks which the countess never failed to make whenever it suited her daughter to bear her company. During the last few days the old lady had again won Rosalinde over to her side, and in consequence an enmity towards Els had sprung up, which was often very spiteful in its manifestations, and was the more difficult to bear, the more rigidly her position as daughter of the house forbade energetic resistance.
But most painful of all to the volunteer nurse was the sick man's manner; for though Herr Casper rarely regained perfect consciousness, he showed his unfriendly disposition often enough by glances, gestures, and words stammered with painful effort.
Yet the brave girl's patience seemed inexhaustible, and she resolutely performed even the most arduous tasks imposed by nursing the sufferer. Nay, the thought that Wolff owed his life to him aided her always to be kind to her father-in-law, no matter how much he wounded her, and to tend him no less carefully than she had formerly cared for her invalid mother.
So she had held out valiantly until, at the end of a long, torturing week, something occurred which destroyed her courage. On returning from an errand in the city, she was received at the door of the sick-room by her future mother-in-law with the statement that she would take charge of her husband herself, and no longer allow the intruder to keep her from the place which belonged to her alone. The old countess's power of persuasion had strengthened her courage, and the unwonted energy of the weak, more than yielding woman, exerted so startling and at the same time disheartening an effect upon the wearied, tortured young creature that she attempted no resistance. The entreaties of the leech and kind Herr Teufel, however, induced her to persist a short time longer.
But when, soon after, the same incident occurred a second time, it seemed impossible to remain in their house even another day.
Without opposing her lover's mother, she retired to her chamber and, weeping silently, spite of the earnest entreaties of the Sister of Charity, packed the few articles she had brought with her and prepared to leave the post maintained with so much difficulty. To be again with Eva under the protection of her uncle and aunt now seemed the highest goal of her longing. She did not wish to go home; for after his liberation from the tower her father had had a long conversation with Wolff and old Berthold Vorchtel, and then, at the desire of the Council, had ridden to Augsburg and Ulm to arrange the affairs of the Eysvogel firm. He had felt that he could be spared by his family, knowing that his younger daughter was safe at Schweinau, and having heard that Wolff's pardon would not be long delayed.
Eva, too, had experienced toilsome days and many an anxious night. True, Biberli and the carrier's widow, with her children, had been moved to the Beguines' house, where she could pursue her charitable work safe from the rude attacks of the criminal inmates of the hospital; but what heavy cares had burdened her concerning the two patients for whom she was battling with death! how eagerly she watched for tidings from the neighbourhood of the Siebenburgs! what hours of trouble were caused by the prior of the Dominicans and his envoys, who strove to convince her that her intention of renouncing her conventual life was treason to God, and that the boldness with which she had released herself from the former guides of her spiritual life and sought her own way would lead her to heresy and perdition! How painful, too, was the feeling that she was being examined to discover whether the Abbess Kunigunde had any share in her change of purpose!
The torture to which stronger men rarely succumbed seemed to threaten the life of the more delicate ex-schoolmaster. At first the leech Otto, who, to please Els and Fran Christine, and touched by the brave spirit of this humble man, had daily visited Biberli, believed that he could not save him. On the straw pallet, and with the incompetent nursing at the hospital, he would have died very speedily, and what would have befallen his poor mangled toes and fingers in the hands of the barbers who managed affairs there?
At the Beguines the kindly, skilful old physician had bandaged his hands and feet as carefully as if he had been the most aristocratic gentleman, and no prince could have been more tenderly and patiently watched by trained nurses; for, wonderful to relate, Eva, who had so willingly left her sick mother to her sister's care, and had often been vexed with herself because she could not even remotely equal Els beside the couch of the beloved invalid, rendered the mangled squire every service with a touch so light and firm that the old physician often watched her with glad astonishment.
Caution, the quality she most lacked, seemed to have suddenly waked from a long slumber with doubly clear, far-seeing eyes. If it was necessary to turn the sick man, she paid special heed to every aching spot in his tortured body, and invented contrivances which she arranged with patient care to save him pain.
Her own bed had been placed in the widow's chamber next to Biberli's, and from the night that her Aunt Christine had permitted her to remain in the Beguine house, she, who formerly had loved sleep and slumbered soundly, had been beside the sick woman at the least sign. On the third day she rendered her, with her own hands, every service for which she had formerly needed a Beguine's aid. She had possessed the gift of uttering words of cheer and comfort even to her invalid mother better than any one else, and often gave new courage to the suffering man when almost driven to despair by the anguish of pain assailing him in ten places at once. How kindly she taught him what comfort the sufferer finds who not only moves his lips and turns his rosary in prayer, as he had hitherto done, but commends himself and his pain to Him who endured still worse agonies on the cross! What a smile of content rested on the lips of the man who, in the ravings of fever, had so often repeated the words "steadfast and true," when she told him that he had done honour most marvellously to his favourite virtue, represented by the T and St, and might expect his master's praise and gratitude!
All these things fell from her lips more warmly the more vividly she conjured up the image of the man for whose sake the gallant fellow had endured this martyrdom, the happier it made her to help Heinz, though without his knowledge, to pay the great debt of gratitude which he owed the faithful servitor. She was not aware of it, but the strongest of all educational powers--sorrow and love--were transforming the unsocial, capricious "little saint" into a noble, self-sacrificing woman. She was training herself to be what she desired to become to her lover, and the secret power whose influence upon her whole being she distinctly felt at each success, she herself called--remembering the last words of her dying mother--"the forge fire of life."
At first it had been extremely painful for Biberli to allow himself to be nursed with such devoted, loving care by the very person from whom he had earnestly endeavoured to estrange his master; but soon the warmest gratitude cast every other feeling into the shade, and when he woke from the light slumber into which he frequently fell and saw Eva beside his bed, his heart swelled and he often felt as if Heaven had sent her to him to restore the best gifts for which he was struggling--life and health. When he began to recover, the faithful fellow clung to her with the utmost devotion; but this by no means lessened his love for his master and his absent sweetheart. On the contrary, the farther his convalescence progressed the more constantly and anxiously he thought of Heinz and Katterle, the more pleasure it afforded him to talk about them and to discuss with Eva what could have befallen both.
It was impossible--Biberli believed this as firmly as his nurse--that Heinz could coldly forget his follower or Katterle neglect what she had undertaken. So both agreed in the conjecture that the messengers sent by the absent ones had been prevented from reaching their destination.
The supposition was correct. Two troopers despatched by Heinz had been captured by the Siebenburgs, and the maid's messenger had cheated her by pocketing the small fee which she paid him and performing another commission instead of going to Schweinau. Of the knight's letters which had fallen into the wrong hands, one had besought the Emperor Rudolph to pardon the loyal servant, the other had thanked Biberli, and informed him that his master remembered and was working for him.
Katterle had reached Heinz, had been required to tell him everything she knew about Eva and Biberli down to the minutest detail and had then been commissioned to repeat to the latter what had been also contained in the letter. On the way home, however, she only reached Schwabach, for the long walk in the most terrible anxiety, drenched by a pouring rain, whilst enquiring her way to Heinz, and especially the terrible excitements of the last few days, had been too much even for her vigorous constitution. Her pulse was throbbing violently and her brow was burning when she knocked at the door of Apel, the carrier, who had taken her into his waggon at Schweinau, and the good old man and his wife received and nursed her. The fever was soon broken, but weakness prevented her journeying to Schweinau on foot, and, as Apel intended to go to Nuremberg the first of the following week, she had been forced to content herself with sending the messenger who had betrayed her confidence.
How hard it was for Katterle to wait! And her impatience reached its height when, before she could leave, some of the imperial troopers stabled their horses at the carrier's and reported that Castle Siebenburg and the robber stronghold of the Absbachs were destroyed. Sir Heinz Schorlin had fought like St. George. Now he was detained only by the fortresses of the knights Hirschhorn and Oberstein, whose situation on inaccessible crags threatened long to defy the imperial power.
The thought that the strong Swiss girl might be ill never entered the mind of Biberli or Eva, but in quiet hours he asked himself which it would probably grieve him most to miss forever--his beautiful young nurse or his countrywoman and sweetheart. His heart belonged solely to Katterle, but towards Eva he obeyed the old trait inherent in his nature, and clung with the same loyalty hitherto evinced for his master to her whom he now regarded as his future mistress.
This she must and should be, because already life seemed to him no longer desirable without her voice. Never had he heard one whose pure tones penetrated the heart more deeply. And had Heinz been permitted to hear her talk with the Dominicans, he would have given up his wish to renounce the world and, instead of entering a monastery, striven with every power of his being to win this wonderful maiden, for whom his heart glowed with such ardent love. When she persisted in her refusal to take the veil because she had learned that it is possible in the world to live at peace with one's self, feel in harmony with God, and follow in love and fidelity the footsteps of the Saviour, she had heard many a kindly word of admonition, many a sharp reproof, and many a fierce threat from the Dominicans, but she did not allow herself to be led astray, and understood how to defend herself so cleverly and forcibly that his heart dilated, and he asked himself how a girl of eighteen could maintain her ground so firmly, so shrewdly, and with such thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, against devout, highly educated men--nay, the most learned and austere.
The Abbess Kunigunde had also appeared sometimes at his bedside, and Eva's conversations with her revealed to him that she had obtained her armour against the Dominicans from the Sisters of St. Clare. True, at first the former had laboured with the utmost earnestness to win her back to the convent, but two days before she had met two Dominicans, and the evident efforts of one who seemed to hold a distinguished position among his brother monks to gain Eva for his own order and withdraw her from the Sisters of St. Clare, whom he believed to be walking in paths less pleasing to God, had so angered the abbess that she lost the power, and perhaps also the will, to maintain her usual composure. Therefore, yesterday she had opposed her niece's wish to remain in the world less strongly than before; nay, on parting with her she had clasped her in her arms and, as it were, restored her freedom by admitting that various paths led to the kingdom of heaven.
This was balm to the convalescent's wounds; for he cherished no wish more ardent than to accompany his master to the marriage altar, where Eva would give her hand to Heinz Schorlin as her faithful husband, and the abbess's last visit seemed to favour this desire. Besides, he who had gazed at life with open eyes had never yet beheld a brave young warrior, soon after reaping well-earned renown, yearn for the monk's cowl. Doubt, suffering, and a miraculous escape from terrible peril had inspired the joyous-hearted Heinz with the desire to renounce the world. Now, perhaps, Heaven itself was showing him that he had not received the boon of life to bury himself in a monastery, but to be blessed with the fairest and noblest of gifts, the love of a woman who, in his opinion, had not her equal beneath the wide vault of the azure sky.
Countess Cordula was not suited for his master. During the long hours that he lay quietly on his pallet a hundred reasons strengthened this opinion. The man for whom he had steadfastly endured such severe agony, and was suffering still, was worthy of a more beautiful, devout, and calm companion-nay, the very loveliest and best--and that, in his eyes, was the girl for whom Heinz had felt so overmastering a passion just before his luckless winnings at the gaming table. This potent fire of love might doubtless be smothered with sand and ashes, but never extinguished.
Such were Biberli's thoughts as he recalled the events of the previous day. He had found Eva less equable in her tender management than usual. Some anxiety concerning something apart from her patients seemed to oppress her. True, she had not wished to reveal it, but his eyes were keen.
Soon after sunrise that morning she had carefully rebandaged his crushed thumb, which was not yet healed. Then she had gone away, as she assured him, for only a few hours. Now the sun was already high in the heavens, yet she did not return, though it was long past the time for the bandages to be renewed, and the drops to be given which sustained the life of the dying Minorite in the adjoining room. It made him uneasy, and when anxiety had once taken root in his heart it sent its shoots forward and backward, and he remembered many things in which Eva had been different the day before. Why had she whispered so long with Herr Pfinzing and then looked so sorrowfully at him, Biberli? Why had Frau Christine come not less than three times yesterday afternoon, and again in the evening? She had some secret to discuss with the surgeon Otto. Had any change taken place in his condition? and did the leech intend to amputate his thumb, or even his hand? But, no! only yesterday he had been assured that he could save all five fingers, and his sorely mangled left foot too. The widow was better, and all hope of saving the Minorite's life had been relinquished two days ago. Eva's anxiety must have some other cause, and he asked himself, in alarm, whether she could have received any bad news from his master or Katterle?
A terrible sense of uneasiness overpowered him, and the necessity of confiding it to some one took such possession of the loquacious man that he called little Walpurga from the next room. But instead of running to his bedside, she darted forward with the joyful cry, "She is coming!" towards the door and Eva.
Soon after the latter, leading the child by the hand, entered the room. Biberli felt as if the sun were rising again. How gay her greeting sounded! The expression of her blue eyes seemed to announce something pleasant. Whoever possessed this maiden would be sure to have no lack of light in his home, no matter how dark the night might be.
He must have been mistaken concerning the anxiety which had seemed to oppress her on his account. Instead of bad news, she was surely bringing good tidings. Nay, she had the best of all; for Katterle, Eva told him, would soon arrive. But his future wife had been ill too. Her cheeks had not yet regained their roundness or their bright colour.
Sharp-sighted Biberli noticed this, and exclaimed: "Then she is here already! For, my mistress, how else could you know how her cheeks look?"
Soon afterwards the maid was really standing beside her lover's couch.
Eva allowed them to enjoy the happiness of meeting undisturbed, and went to her other two patients. When she returned to the couple, Katterle had already related what she had experienced in Schwabach. It was little more than Eva had already heard from her uncle and others.
That Seitz Siebenburg, whom he bitterly hated, had fallen in a sword combat by his master's own hand, afforded Biberli the keenest delight. No portion of the narrative vexed him except the nonarrival of the messengers, and the probability that some time must yet elapse ere Heinz could sheathe his sword.
Eva's cheeks flushed with joy and pride as she heard how nobly her lover had justified the confidence of his imperial patron. But it seemed to be impossible to follow Biberli's flood of eloquence to the end. She was in haste, and he had been right concerning the cares which oppressed her.
She had stood beside his couch the day before with a heavy heart, and it required the exercise of all her strength to conceal the anxiety with which her mind was filled, for if she did not intercede for him that very day; if his pardon could not be announced early the following morning during the session of the court in the Town Hall, then the half-recovered man must be surrendered to the judges again, and Otto believed that the torture would be fatal to his enfeebled frame.
The tailor and his adherents, as Eva knew from Herr Pfinzing, were making every effort to obtain his condemnation and prove to the city that they had not censured the proceedings of the Ortlieb household as mere reckless slanderers. Eva and her sister would be again mentioned in the investigation, and were even threatened with an examination.
At first this had startled her, but she believed her uncle's assurance that this examination would fully prove her innocence before the eyes of the whole world. For her own sake Eva surely would not have suffered herself to be so tortured by anxiety night and day, or undertaken and resolved to dare so much. The thought that the faithful follower whom her patient nursing had saved from death and to whom she had become warmly attached must now lose his life, and Heinz Schorlin be robbed of the possibility of doing anything for him, had cast every other fear in the shade, and had kept her constantly in motion the evening before and this morning.
But all that she and her Aunt Christine had attempted in behalf of the imperilled man had been futile. To apply to the Emperor again every one, including the magistrate, had declared useless, since even the Burgrave had been refused.
The members of the Council and the judges in the court had already, at Aunt Christine's solicitation, deferred the proceedings four days, but the law now forbade longer delay. Though individuals would gladly have spared the accused the torture, its application could scarcely be avoided, for how many accusers and witnesses appeared against him, and if there were weighty depositions and by no means truthful replies on the part of the prisoner, the torture could not be escaped. It legally belonged to the progress of the investigation, and how many who had by no means recovered from the last exposure to the rack were constantly obliged to enter the torture chamber? Besides, the judges would be charged with partiality by the tailor and his followers, and to show such visible tokens of favour threatened to prejudice the dignity of the court.
She had found good will everywhere, but all had withheld any positive promise. It was so easy to retreat behind the high-sounding words "justice and law," and then: who for the sake of a squire--who, moreover, was in the service of a foreign knight--would awaken the righteous indignation of the artisans, who made the tailor's cause their own.
Whatever the aunt and niece tried had failed either wholly or partially. Besides, Eva had been obliged to keep in the background in order not to expose herself to the suspicion of pleading her own cause. Many probably thought that Frau Christine herself was talking ostensibly in behalf of the servant and really for her brother's slandered daughter.
When Eva met Katterle in front of the hospital, she had passed without noticing her, so completely had sorrow, anxiety, and the effort to think of some expedient engrossed her attention.
It had been very difficult to meet Biberli with an untroubled manner, yet she had even succeeded in showing a bright face to the carrier's widow, as well as to Father Benedictus, whose hours seemed to be numbered, and who only yesterday had wounded her deeply.
When she returned from the Minorite's room to Biberli's the lovers were no longer alone. The fresh, pleasant face of a vigorous woman, who had already visited the sufferer several times, greeted her beside his couch.
When, in the exchange of salutations, her eyes met Eva's the latter suddenly found the plan of action she had vainly sought. Gertrude of Berne could help her take the chance which, in the last extremity, she meant to risk, for she was the wife of the Swiss warder in the Burgrave's castle. It certainly would not be difficult for her to procure her an interview with the Burgravine Elizabeth. If the noble lady could not aid herself, she could--her cheeks paled at the thought, yet she resolutely clung to it--present her to her brother, the Emperor.
When Eva, in a low tone, told Frau Gertrude what she hoped to accomplish at the castle, she learned that the Emperor had ridden with the Archduchess Agnes and a numerous train to the imperial forest, to show his Bohemian daughter-in-law the beekeeper's hives, and would scarcely return before sunset; but the Burgravine had remained at home on account of a slight illness.
Nevertheless Eva wished to go to the castle, and, whatever reception the noble lady bestowed upon her, she would return to Schweinau as soon as possible. Father Benedictus was so ill that she could not remain away from him long.
If the Burgravine could do nothing for Biberli, she would undertake the risk which made her tremble, because it compelled her, the young girl, to appear alone at the court with all its watchful eyes and sharp tongues. She would go to the fortress to beseech the Emperor herself for pardon.
She could act with entire freedom to-day, for her uncle had ridden to the city and, Frau Gertrude said, was one of the party who accompanied the Emperor to the beekeeper's, whilst her aunt had just gone to Nuremberg to see Els, who had besought her, in a despairing letter, to let her come to Schweinau, for her power of endurance was exhausted.
How gladly Eva would have accompanied her aunt to her sister to exhort her to take courage! What a strange transformation of affairs! Ever since she could think Els had sustained her by her superior strength and perseverance. Now she was to be the stronger, and teach her to exercise patience.
She thought she had gained the right to do so. Whilst Eva was still explaining her plan to Frau Gertrude, she herself perceived that she had taken no account of time.
It was nearly noon, and if she ordered a sedan-chair to convey her to the city and back again to Schweinau, it would be too late to approach the Emperor as a petitioner. She could fulfil her design only by riding; but the warder's wife reminded her that it would be contrary to custom--nay, scarcely possible--to appear before the Emperor, or even his sister, in a riding habit.
But the young girl speedily found a way to fulfil her ardent wish to aid. On her swift palfrey, which her uncle had sent to Schweinau long before that she might refresh herself, after her arduous duties, by a ride, she would go to the city, stop at her own home, and have her new expensive mourning clothes taken to the castle. The only doubt was whether she could change her garments in the quarters of the Swiss, and whether Frau Gertrude would help her do so.
The latter gladly assented. There was no lack of room in her apartments, nor did Frau Gertrude, who had served the Burgravine as waiting maid many years before her marriage, lack either skill or good will.
So she went directly home on her mule; but Eva, after promising her patients to return soon, hastened to her uncle's residence.
There she mounted the palfrey and reached the city gate a long time before the Swiss. The clothes she needed were soon found in the Ortlieb mansion, and she was then carried in a sedan-chair to the castle with her wardrobe, whilst the groom led her palfrey after her. Countess Cordula was not at home; she, too, had ridden to the forest with the Emperor.
The Burgravine Elizabeth willingly consented to receive the charming child whose fate had awakened her warm interest. She had just been hearing the best and most beautiful things about Eva, for the leech Otto had been called to visit her in her attack of illness, and the old man was overflowing with praises of both sisters. He indignantly mentioned the vile calumnies with which Heinz Schorlin's name was associated, and which base slander had fixed upon the innocent girls whose pure morality he would guarantee.
The great lady, who probably remembered having directed Heinz's attention to Eva at the dance, understood very clearly that they could not fail to attract each other. Of all the knights in her imperial brother's train, none seemed to the Burgravine more worthy of her favour than her gay young countryman, whose mother had been one of the friends of her youth. She would gladly have rendered him a service and, in this case, not only for his own sake but still more on account of the rare fidelity of his servant, who was also a native of her beloved Swiss mountains. Yet, notwithstanding all this, it seemed impossible to bring this matter again before the Emperor. She knew her husband, and after the rebuff he had received on account of the tortured man he would be angry if she should plead his cause with her royal brother.
But her kind heart, and the regard which both Eva and Heinz Schorlin had inspired, strengthened her desire to aid, as far as lay in her power, the brave maiden who urged her suit with such honest warmth, and the petitioner's avowal of her intention, as a last resort, of appealing to the Emperor in person showed her how to convert her kind wishes into deeds.
Let Eva's youth and beauty try to persuade the Emperor to an act of clemency which he had refused to wisdom and power.
After supper her brother received various guests, and she could present the daughter of a Nuremberg patrician whom he already knew, and whose rare charms had attracted his notice.
Though she had been compelled to forego the ride to the forest, she was well enough to appear at supper in the Emperor's residence, which was close to her own castle. When the meal was over she would take Eva herself to her royal brother.
She told her this, and the gratitude which she received was so warm and earnest that it touched her heart, and as she bade the beautiful, brave child farewell she clasped her in her arms and kissed her.