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self up, and looked, though one might have deemed the inherit something handsome. She is of a very great thing impossible, stiffer than before.
"It is very immoral, and all that sort of thing," said the Duke; "but then you must make allowances in our station."
"Yes," sighed the Duchess; "but how many a noble house has failed through these same follies which men may, but princes should not, think lightly of, on account of this very peril."
house, so far as illustration goes, but which is too far off, and not in a position to protect her in a way ever to trouble our son; so that he, at any rate, would have every chance of happiness in this alliance. What say you, my dear Lord? for your opinion can alone guide us all to a happy issue."
"Well, my dear, I was just thinking she'd do very well in every respect. She has never seen me, you
Surely you do not fancy we are about to lose our know, so my wit will come quite fresh and pungent Prince," said the Duke, sharply.
"Heaven forbid but such dispensations have come upon the highest families quite unawares; and our young prince should secure the continuation of your line, since it has pleased heaven to bestow but one son on us."
"True; most true," said the Duke, assuming an air of deep thought as he gazed on the Duchess; "you are right; but where to find the bride, and on so short a notice for the case is imminent; there's no time to lose; the Prince is past twenty."
"The house must of course be unexceptionable," said the Duchess; "unluckily I have no niece."
“Very unlucky," said the Duke; "but the Prince has expensive tastes. I do not think money should be lost sight of altogether in this affair.”
"There's the reigning Duke of L-; he has several princesses, and would not, I am sure, refuse."
"Refuse!" said the Duke; "refuse! No one of my house has ever been refused; but," he added, in his usual urbane tone for he was at bottom a goodnatured man" but there are too many fair daughters."
"And," said the Duchess, musingly, "they are cousins to the Emperor. Should, perchance, the young people disagree, this circumstance might be awkward." "Very true," assented the Duke. "There's the only daughter of our neighbour the Count of B; she is beautiful and accomplished, and rich besides."
"Yes," said the Duchess; "but I think there is a flaw somewhere about the middle of their genealogical tree," and she shook her head thoughtfully.
About the middle!" said the Duke, coaxingly; "that's rather distant; for my part, I wouldn't mind it. By the way, my dear, the young Baron Silberbach is just returned from the university, you know. He was presented to me the other day as a first-rate scholar in all sorts of abstruse things; so I said, 'I'll put you a scientific question, young man, that may chance to pass your wisdom. What's that thing on earth and in heaven that's always equidistant?' He was silent; he looked confused. Why, the middle,' said I; the middle, to be sure.' He did laugh, my dear, and so heartily too, it would have done your heart good to see him. I have taken a great fancy to him; a nice youth he is, and shall have advancement here, as I have promised him."
"It is not worth mentioning the matter to Prince Henry," said the mother, "because he can have no possible objection."
"And if he had," said the Duke, "don't we know best what's for his good and pleasure? We'll take him by surprise, and call it un marriage en surprise.' Eh eh eh! Very good; but I think it is time to reconduct you to your apartments. Pray, remember, however, this is a state secret; so be silent. I'll send for the minister no later than to-day about it.”
Thus lightly, and without granting them any part or parcel in the affair, was the whole life of two beings decided upon, and that, too, in its very dawn. True, men often determine on measures as grave, without more, or, perhaps, even so much ground for election; but every man is more prepared to abide by his own folly than even by the wisdom of others. The German proverb, " Man's will is his paradise," fully bears out this view of the case, more especially in that country where the saying originated.
Before all the necessary preliminaries were settled, the dower fixed, and the rights of the future Princess clearly defined, there were as many journeys to and fro, as many envoys to scour the country, as many diplomatic ruses and finesses on either part, to grant as little, and obtain as much as could be extorted from the other, as though the weal of nations depended on an event of so strictly a domestic nature. It was, however, brought at last to a happy issue, after having nearly split on a rock or two, which were luckily and adroitly removed by the deep sagacity and profound policy of the court of Imminghausen-abetted, perhaps, by the desire fathers generally experience, whether Princes or not, to get rid, as soon as possible, of their marriageable daughters.
One awkward accident marred somewhat the majesty of the discussion. The bearer of important dispatches from the Minister to the Duke's agent at the court of the bride elect's father, a tall sturdy soldier in the Duke's own uniform, was stopped whilst crossing a wood, and cleaned out of his documents, twenty-four kreutzers, and some bread and cheese, the only things besides that his pockets contained. To fly thus in the face of the Duke's own regimentals was too much audacity for the court to believe in; and it was there confidently asserted that a neighbouring court, anxious to discover the secrets of the Duke, had been the hidden instigators of this outrage. But some there were among the unprivileged to appear at court, who were sceptical enough on this head to affirm the missing dispatches were one day discovered in the basket of a female vagrant, enwrapping some pounds of butter which she had brought to market; a fact, however, studiously kept from the knowledge of the Sovereign by the prime minister, who was quite enough of a courtier to know how disagreeably such a triviality
would jar with the self-exaltation to which the reigning family was addicted. So he wisely confiscated the butter to his own use, and committed the tell-tale papers to the flames.
The difficulties that, at one time, nearly broke off the whole affair were these:-The Duke, once struck with the notion that his house might, by any untoward accident, come to an end, becoming ardently desirous of possessing grand-children as speedily as might be, was very averse from any delay in the execution of the marriage scheme; but the female relations of the bride were equally anxious to gain time for the making up of a handsome trousseau, and the eagerness of both parties well nigh defeated their purpose altogether.
the smiling plains, yellow with the ripening corn, perchance she indulged in some bright, warm vision of happiness, such as it is youth's sweetest privilege to entertain; and whilst gazing on the happy laughing faces of the young virgins and children who greeted her with flowers, and songs, and smiles, as she proceeded along the high street and across the square before the palace, she, perchance, dreamed of childish glee like their's; but at sight of the huge, dull palace in which her days were henceforth to be spent, and of the group assembled on the majestic flight of steps of this provincial Ver. sailles, well might her heart sink within her. There stood the Duke, with his face set on the half grin, in anticipation of his intended witticisms, and their effect on a new, and, he had reason to hope, perfectly complacent listener. There, also, stood the Duchess in prodigious hoops, just got up for the occasion, and with heart cer
ing as prim and rigid as one of the monumental effigies in her family vault. Near her was the Prince, in a very stiff uniform, than which it would be difficult to imagine a more unfavourable disguise to a tall, well-formed person; keeping his head artificially erect, as if some disagreeable perfume threatened his high and mighty olfactory organs, powder masking the rich brown of his luxu, riant locks, and a cold formality checking all the grace and warmth of youth.
Now this was a graver point than may at first be supposed. It was not a mere matter of months, but years, which this question implied. In Germany, slow and methodic par excellence, they are far from proceed-tainly overflowing with maternal benevolence, yet looking at the galloping rate of our own more practical country in this or any other matters. Throughout all classes of society, two or three years are generally allowed on such occasions for necessary preparation-such as getting up the linen, and securing and furnishing the lodging. And many a union has been delayed, to the writer's knowledge, beyond that period, by trifling difficulties occuring in these seemingly trivial circumstances. But if, on the one hand, this does not argue much in favour of German passion, on the other it speaks volumes for their truth and stedfastness. Another moral, too, clearly points out, namely, the scantiness of suitable lodgings in the provincial towns, and the impossibilty, under whatever pressure of circumstances, of procuring any thing impromptu in that country; and in this, as in many other respects, nothing can be more chastening to an impatient spirit than a prolonged sojourn in Germany.
Immediately behind the Duke stood the prime minis. itter; a short, fat, and very important personage, possessed of a mysterious look, a diplomatic smile, and a nod of such promise, that, although endowed with nothing else in the wide world beyond these gifts of Nature or of Art, they sufficed to elevate him to his present high post at the court; and, indeed, would have been sufficient to make his fortune in a larger sphere, had heaven willed to place him in such a one. Next came the master of the ceremonies, a tall, thin, sour-looking specimen of bustle and arrogance, always in a hurry himself, and scaring others by his nervous excitement about nothing. He was an immense favourite at the palace: without him nothing could proceed-he was the very corner-stone of its semblance of life.
The Duke, however, triumphed in this instance, and the ceremony was to take place within the twelvemonth. The last persons made acquainted with the important event projected, at either court, were those destined to figure as principal characters in the pageant. Neither remonstrated; for they knew too well the fruitlessness of such a measure: but the announcement acted very differently on each. The Princess, trained to passive obedience from earliest infancy, dreamed not of opposition; and utterly inexperienced in general in the world's ways, she felt no misgiving of any kind. But the Prince, who, as we have elsewhere said, was wilful and headstrong, hated, from the very hour her name was first mentioned to him, one whose only and most involuntary fault was being, as it were, forced upon him.
When the young Princess appeared at his father's court, she produced an unfavourable impression on most of her beholders. Timid, bashful, awkward, and unformed, although the delicate contour of her person and face bore, to the connoisseur, a promise of future beauty, that beauty, as well as her merits, whatever they might be, seemed, as yet, but in the bud: nor did the young Prince feel any interest in her possible development, the rather, perhaps, that a riper stage of female loveliness had already taken possession of his fancy.
The Princess, having been wedded by proxy, had arrived at her new home with a seemly train of attendants, for the most part belonging to her future lord's household. As she beheld the belt of mountairs that girded
A few more courtiers were grouped respectfully behind the Duke, whom it is needless to describe. At the Duchess' rear stood a small but formidable knot of dowagers; of whom it might have been suspected that they had been selected by that great lady's domestic prudence, as not likely to turn the male heads at the palace. They were, indeed, strange samples of the female world at Imminghausen; with cheeks rouged to the colour of their carriage wheels, and their heads nodding beneath a weight of flour and starch, sufficient to have maintained a few starving villagers for a week, and fabrics of such fanciful compositions that it might have puzzled a conjurer to guess what they might be meant to represent. But if their head gear were difficult to unravel, their countenances were not difficult to read aright; and their acidity, in all its grades and degrees, might have been well studied by any curious physiognomist.
Without having the slightest pretension to that science, the youthful Princess felt a chill at her heart as her eye fell on those assembled to receive her on the threshold of her new home. She guessed at a glance who the Duchess was, though she had never before beheld her; and her first impulse was to throw herself in
which her ladies took care to prime her. She could scarce be said to desire it; yet, as it was a breach of courtesy in the Prince to omit it, she felt wounded at his non-appearance, and was more frightened than ever by the manifold insinuations, which the good nature of the ladies did not spare her, with regard to his peculiarities of taste and temper, and those of his family. They rendered, indeed, justice to the Duchess' purity of character; but, could virtue ever seem formidable, the description of it in that lady would have succeeded in achieving the feat.
her arms and call her mother. The Duchess perceived her intention in time to avert the proffered embrace, and coldly saluted the paling cheek of the poor young thing whom, at that very moment, her every feeling yearned towards, as to a long-lost, long-missed, and at last restored object of affection; for the Duchess had missed a daughter sadly, and had felt, what sovereigns, great or small, are mostly doomed to feel-that an heir can hardly be a child, But how could the bashful, shrinking girl guess that such kindly thoughts were entertained of her, when she in vain sought a sympathising glance in the Duchess' pale, china-blue eyes. She stole one timid look at the future arbiter of her days; his air of ineffable contempt needed no interpreter, and the poor Princess, half child as she yet was, read it aright. An older, a less pure mind, might have resented the scorn of her charms which his coolness implied. Not so Helena; she merely conceived a vague terror of the future with-cheeks could conceal the fact, and not all the drops of all out being exactly conscious on what basis this terror was founded. The Duke's friendly manner alone gave her sufficient courage and presence of mind to go through the rest of the programme; and thankful she was when led to her chambers at last.
The rooms set apart exclusively for her own use were most elegantly furnished; and there was a certain boudoir, hung with white silk on which stood out roses and rosebuds in embroidered relief, having a deep bay window overlooking the pleasant shady grounds, and far, far beyond, through the vistas, were seen the distant hills and the valleys winding between them. Helena came from the north of Germany, where Nature assumes not such majesty of form, nor such variety of colouring; and with the volatileness of her age, she clapped her hands with joy at being the mistress of such a bower, and forgot, for the moment, all the conditions annexed to its possession. Alas! La Rochefoucault has spoken but too truly, "Fortune gives not her favours, but sells them ;" and could we but keep the fact in mind, or be able to trace its force in every instance, how very seldom should we find it worth our while to envy greatness.
But Helena was not long allowed to remain thus oblivious of her fetters. Her ladies presented themselves to her notice they might more properly have been termed duennas, for formality was written legibly in every wrinkle of their faded countenances. The Princess, at sight of them, felt her innocent joy vanish away; and they noting her change of aspect, not untruly laid it to the account of a personal dislike to themselves, which they were quite ready to return in kind. Helena turned from her boudoir, which she meant to reserve for her own privacy, and entering her dressing room, patiently endured a very long lecture, couched in the way of advice, on the duties of her future life in general, and of that evening in particular, when there was grand reception at the palace in honour of her arrival. Yet, even whilst seeming to listen with gravest attention, the Princess' imagination was revelling in the distant hills whose undulations her eye could follow from where she sat, and her heart bounded at the mere thought of climbing to their summits, or rowing on the clear, small lake she could just get a tempting glimpse of through the dense trees of the park.
She pleaded fatigue to be permitted to dine in her own apartment. Her nerves, rather than her heart, fluttered at the idea of the Prince's probable visit, for
When Helena prepared for the reception, she felt as though the pearls that encircled her slender throat were stones of ponderous weight, and her long, thin hands and arms looked as if they shrunk from the golden bands that clasped them. She was so pale with suppressed emotion, not all the rouge expended on her
the flacons in the palace could still the throbbing of her pulses, or give assurance to her steps, as, leaning on the Duke's arm, she entered the grand saloon, which, as she was informed, had been newly arranged for her marriage, never having been altered before from the period of the Duke's accession down to that very day. It was fitted up in a cold, formal style, with hangings of purple damask, and furniture to match.
Helena was not, indeed, of a royal house; but still her father's court was on a more enlarged scale than that over which she had the prospect of one day presiding; and she was so struck with the difference, that her looks betrayed her surprise.
"You find the rooms crowded ?" the Duke kindly inquired.
Oh, no!" she frankly exclaimed, “I expected to see many more people."
The Duke was not so obtuse but he understood her feeling of disappointment, and not a little mortified; he answered somewhat huffily, "Do you know what makes the difference between a market place and a reception hall ?"
The Princess innocently pleaded ignorance.
"Then mark-it is this-the one is for the many the other for the few, to bring their wares to, and get the best price they can for them-that's why you find this room not quite so full as, perhaps, you were led to expect by the people that thronged your passage this morning."
The Princess perceived she had offended, and her shyness pointed out to her the wisest method on such occasions; she remained silent.
But the generally placable Duke soon turned again to her, and said, keeping her the whilst in the embrasure of a door, the conscious object of universal scrutiny, "What would you do if you were a dentist ?"
The Princess, blushing up to her eyes, confessed she had no notion.
a little often; but hush, my friend, these are perilous matters to talk of within these walls. Serenissimo is, indeed, indulgence itself, still. By the way, the Princess, now I see her better than I could this morning in her travelling attire, will be pretty a year hence or so."
must be firm, were it only out of respect to my Countess, who is born D. You see my position. I cannot permit L
and C- to pass before me; and, Wolfstein, if you manage this for me as I desire, I shall be grateful, very grateful," pressing, significantly, the hand he had seized, despite the great man's endeavours
"It will be too late, I greatly fear," said the other; to keep it out of reach. "look how sternly the Prince eyes her."
"Now," pleaded a third, “remember, Wolfstein, you
A little farther two other gentlemen were conversing are very partial to my house since the arrival there of a in low tones. certain fair niece of mine; now, should I not pass first, her pride will be hurt, and see what sort of reception you will get at your next call."
"Do you know the Prince's latest order respecting court dress," the elder was saying; "surely not, or you would have conformed."
"No-tell me, I entreat-I feel an age behind hand in court news, in the very few days I have spent on my estate; one cannot leave town for a single day without growing rustic; but pray tell me where lies my sin."
"Well, my friend, this is it-the ailes de pigeon are to be worn considerably more to the right and left than heretofore, and the queues are henceforward to have two large bows to the bag instead of one; look at me behind,"
"Oh! charming-delightful-so becoming-looks like the extended arms of a wind-mill-whenever you turn your head, it seems as though the wind set them in motion. How foolish that no one told me of this before. I feel on thorns now, lest Serenissimo or Serenissima turn their eyes on me, and yet dare not withdraw, lest I should be missed on such an occasion as this-it is impossible! What a painful position! Don't you feel for me? Say, my dear friend, can't you comprehend my sufferings?"
"Can I, my dear Baron-to be sure I can; I am sincerely sorry for you, but there's no help for it; you must even brave it out, and by keeping the back of your head very near the wall, the fact may escape detection."
"What a lucky thought; you are my friend; indeed, I feel grateful, very, very grateful. When many a man would have pointed me out as a mark for high displeasure, you tell me how best to screen myself-this is generous.'
Whilst the grateful Baron was thus exhausting his vocabulary of court phrases to paint the flitting feeling of the moment, Princess Helena was released from her tedious thraldom, and was preparing to receive, at the Duchess' side, the congratulations of the assembly; whilst the master of the ceremonies, perspiring with the exertion he fancied incumbent upon him on this occasion, the first of the kind, as he very justly observed, that had taken place within his remembrance, marshalled the company with more than his usual air of bustling importance. Indeed it was no light matter to decide on the right of precedence of the noble guests, as each eagerly pressed forward to be presented to the new Princess.
"My dear Baron Wolfstein, I, in my quality of master of the horse, as an officer of the household, should be one of the very first to show my respect."
"1," argued another, "am of a family whose dignity it behoves me to support; otherwise, rest assured, I should never trouble you on this head, my dear Wolfstein; but remember my family is as ancient, to the full, as that even of Serenissimo himself. On all other points you'll find me amenable, my dear Baron; but on this I
But, my good friend," remonstrated the embarrassed chamberlain, "what can I do-you must be fair-you cannot pass before the gentlemen of the household."
Tatarara, I'll pass, pour les beaux yeux de ma niece-if you disoblige me in this trifle, how can you expect me to favour your views."
"Do as you please," the chamberlain replied, "but don't require me to perform impossibilities. Serenissimo never would notice the oversight, but the Duchess has a lynx's eye in such matters. I dare not."
As he is about to turn to that part of the room where Serenissimo is standing, and seems expecting the cere mony to begin, a fourth comes up whispering,
"Baron, Baron, I must be presented too, and not the last."
My dear fellow, what do you speak of? If at all, you come last-among the secretaries, of course." "Ay, among the secretaries, if you will, but the first of them; and I say, Baron, the money I lent you the other day." But the Baron is far off, shaking his powdered head, as with a quick step, yet stately mien, he nears the high and mighty personages, who guess pretty well why he looks so flurried, and feel in their secret hearts no small satisfaction thereat.
They had all now to defile before the Princess, and to kiss her hand, whilst the Baron named them as they came up, though without making those comments which might, if admissible, have enlivened the tedium of the ceremony.
First came those whose claims to precedence were clearly established by their unstained genealogy. They were for the most part Freiherrs, who had, however, but scanty portions left of the immense territories their ancestors once possessed-nobles, once as powerful as princes, who ruled with tyrant sway during the middle ages, and formed the powerful chivalry of Germany. Their names grace the ancient books of tournaments, and are inscribed on history's page. But this ancient body has suffered in the world's esteem, and a new race has sprung up in their stead, created by successive monarchs, under the more sounding titles of Count and Prince, but whose origin is often foreign, or, if native, can seldom be traced so far back. But though fallen into comparative insignificance, whilst their more fortunate successors flock around the greater Sovereigns, these lesser constellations revolve round lesser suns, content to grace a second, or even third rate sphere, rather than sink into total oblivion; for, in a land where the independent position of a gentleman living on his own estate, for his own pleasure, without place or title, is not yet understood, he would risk to be soon confounded with the surrounding boors, were he not to hang upon the skirt of some court or other.
After the half-dozen Freiherrs had been presented to the Princess, who knew enough of history not to be unfamiliar with their names, came those whose station in or about the palace made them inmates under the same roof with herself, and whom probably she would daily meet. They might make a round dozen more. Then came a score of officers, pigeon-breasted, frizzled, filling the air around with a pungent smell of musk; these were presented by the Prince himself, and were termed the guard of honour. They not only represented, but chiefly composed the army; and only obtained their commissions after their genealogical tree had been duly examined, and the cut of their coats, and the twist of their queues approved of in high quarters; a good leg, a thin waist, and a correct profile, went a good way towards advancement, especially with the Prince, who had, as was generally observed at court, a great military turn.
Then came the dependants of the household, who might have been omitted but for the sake of numbers, which on similar occasions is an object. There was the court chaplain, a timid man, who reproved the sins of his powerful patrons, with due caution, from the pulpit of the Duke's private chapel once a week; and who, with all his care, had once chosen a text so injudiciously as to spend ten days in the neighbouring fortress; where, however, he was not forgotten, as sometimes occurred in such cases, because, as we have before stated, the Duke was at bottom a good-natured man, whose heart often made amends for the weakness of his head, which not being, unfortunately, a common occurrence among his like, caused him to be generally well loved by his people, and called "the good Duke." There was, too, the private secretary, the maestro di capella, an Italian, and many more, who literally lived on the Duke, had little to complain of, much to be thankful for, but who, with the waywardness peculiar to man's nature, and his inborn dislike of all control, laughed unmercifully at Serenissimo's foibles, and thought little of the obligations they were under.
the young people she sought to draw them out: but Helena was dispirited, and the Prince obstinately bent on disappointing her efforts. Little accustomed to resistance of any kind, the Duchess' hand actually trembled as she took up the cards; but she had far too much self-command to betray her sentiments by any graver token of displeasure. The Duke, intuitively, felt that something was wrong, but trusting a word in private from him to his son would set all right again, thought the opportunity good for display, so, turning to the master of the ceremonies, he said :
"We have not had rain for a long while, Wolfstein." "We may, however, soon look for some, your highness," the well-trained Baron replied, "for the moon's change is at hand."
"And a full moon too, Wolfstein."
"Yes, your highness." The courtier knew it to be in its last quarter, but he had too often been promoter to the good Duke's jokes to miss the clue now.
"Ay," said the Duke; then turning to Helena, he asked, "Do you know why the moon is called full at times?"
The Princess could not guess.
"It is because she is about to overflow."
The Princess burst into a hearty fit of laughter, which rose not, indeed, so much from the words she listened to, as from the suggestions of her own mind at the scene before her at thoughts of the inordinate gaities to which she was doomed, and of which this evening was the prelude. She laughed at the gravity of so many human beings gathered together, and yet scarcely exchanging a word above their breath—at her joyless bridegroom—at the formal old Duchess—at herself and her position. She declared in after years that the thought of a deaf and dumb assembly had involuntarily risen to her mind. The clear ringing tones of youthful merriment, soft and silvery as they in reality were, sounded quite awful in the midst of the stillness. The officers started as though a trumpet blast rang in their ears-the dowagers suffered their cards to drop from their hands-and all eyes were turned towards the Princess in wonder and amazement. The Duke alone was charmed; it was long since his hit at the moon had met with such success; he loved the Princess for that hearty laugh, and turning to the master of the ceremonies he whispered—
"The Princess is truly charming."
We perceive, with surprise and regret, we have dwelt on the lords more than on the ladies, nor granted these their due precedence; but as they mostly were the wives and daughters of the gentlemen we have described, the reader may thank us for passing them under silence. When the baise-main was over, the society passed into an inner saloon, where the card tables were laid out; for the Duchess was very fond of a game or two, or at The loud whisper was heard by one or two, and soon least professed to be so; but so methodical were all penetrated to the remotest corners of the room. her movements, it would have been puzzling in the ex- "Serenissimo likes the new Princess"-" she'll be a treme to distinguish between her real and her assumed prodigious favourite”- that laugh was a lucky hit"tastes. The Princess, professing ignorance of all games," if I had dared, I had ventured as much before now." to escape the nuisance of playing, sat behind the Such were the sotto voce exclamations resulting from Duchess, flanked on either hand by Serenissimo and this remark. The Duchess turned her pale blue pierchis son. The latter seemed turned to stone, so silent ing eyes on Helena, and soon detected more of supand moody did he sit next to his bride elect. Those of pressed mirth in her downcast lids and compressed lips, the household formed into several knots fronting the than she thought her lord's somewhat stale jokes likely table; whilst the officers, stiff and starch as on parade, to call forth; but this was neither time nor place to huddled together at the further end of the room, as it chide, so the play went on. After a little while, the would have seemed from their silence, for countenance Duke addressed his son so directly, the latter could not sake rather than conversation. Some old ladies played evade an answer" Anything new in the papers toat the various tables, but their grande misère mon cœur day?" sounded low and cautious in those sacred precincts. Now and then, indeed, the somewhat sharp tones of the Duchess were heard, as by a direct question to either of
"Nothing that I know of, your highness."
"No, I see there's no war to be feared now; I am glad of it. Apropos," addressing the Princess, “dọ