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An historical Novel






I. Frederick William and Hardenberg
II. The White Lady
III. Napoleon and the White Lady
IV. Napoleon at Dresden
V. Napoleon's High-born Ancestors
VI. Napoleon's Departure from Dresden


VII. The Conspirators of Helgoland
VIII. The European Conspiracy
IX. Gebhard Leberecht Blucher
X. Recollections of Mecklenburg
XI. Glad Tidings
XII. The Oath


XIII. The Interrupted Supper
XIV. The Defection of General York
XV. The Warning
XVI. The Diplomatist
XVII. The Clairvoyante
XVIII. An Adventuress
XIX. The Two Diplomatists
XX. The Attack
XXI. The Courier's Return


XXII. The Manifesto
XXIII. Leonora Prohaska
XXIV. Joan of Orleans
XXV. The National Representatives


XXVI. Theodore Korner
XXVII. The Heroic Tailor
XXVIII. The General-in-Chief of the Silesian Army
XXIX. The Ball at the City Hall of Breslau
XXX. The Appointment
XXXI. After the Battle of Bautzen
XXXII. Bad News
XXXIII. The Traitors
XXXIV. Napoleon and Metternich


XXXV. On the Katzbach
XXXVI. Blucher as a Writer
XXXVII. The Revolt of the Generals
XXXVIII. The Battle of Leipsic
XXXIX. The Nineteenth of October


XL. Blucher's Birthday
XLI. Passage of the Rhine
XLII. Napoleon's New-Year's-Day
XLIII. The King of Rome
XLIV. Josephine
XLV. Talleyrand
XLVI. Madame Letitia


XLVII. The Battle of La Rothiere
XLVIII. The Diseased Eyes
XLIX. On to Paris!
L. Departure of Maria Louisa
LI. The Capitulation of Paris
LII. Night and Morning near Paris
LIII. Napoleon at Fontainebleau
LIV. A Soul in Purgatory





It was a fine, warm day in May, 1812. The world was groaning under
the yoke of Napoleon's tyranny. As a consolation for the hopeless
year, came the laughing spring. Fields, forests, and meadows, were
clad in beautiful verdure; flowers were blooming, and birds were
singing everywhere - even at Charlottenburg, which King Frederick
William formerly delighted to call his "pleasure palace," but which
now was his house of mourning. At Charlottenburg, Frederick William
had spent many and happy spring days with Queen Louisa; and when she
was with him at this country-seat, it was indeed a pleasure palace.

The noble and beautiful queen was also now at Charlottenburg, but
the king only felt her presence - he beheld her no more. Her merry
remarks and charming laughter had ceased, as also her sighs and
suffering; her radiant eyes had closed forever, and her sweet lips
spoke no more. She was still at Charlottenburg, but only as a
corpse. The king had her mausoleum erected in the middle of the
garden. Here lay her coffin, and room had been left for another, as
Frederick William intended to repose one day at the side of his

From the time that the queen's remains had been deposited there -
from that day of anguish and tears - the king called Charlottenburg
no longer his "pleasure palace." It was henceforth a tomb, where his
happiness and love were buried. Still, he liked to remain there, for
it seemed to him as though he felt the presence of the spirit of his
blessed queen, and understood better what she whispered to his soul
in the silent nights when she consoled him, and spoke of heaven and
a renewed love. The bereaved husband, however, did not prefer to
dwell in the magnificent abode of his ancestors, where he had
formerly passed in spring so many happy days with his beloved
Louisa. He had, therefore, a small house near the palace; it was
into this plain and humble structure that he had retired with his
grief-stricken heart. Here, in his solitude, he had already passed
two springs.

The second year had nearly elapsed since the queen's death, and
Frederick William's heart was still overburdened with sorrow, but
yet he had learned what time teaches all mortals - he had learned to
be resigned. Yes, resignation in these melancholy days was the only
thing that remained to the unfortunate King of Prussia. It was a sad
and difficult duty, for he had lost happiness, love, greatness, and
even his royal independence. It is true, he was still called King of
Prussia, but he was powerless. He had to bow to the despotic will of
Napoleon, and scarcely a shadow of his former greatness had been
left him. The days of Tilsit had not yet brought disgrace and
humiliation enough upon him. The Emperor of the French had added
fresh exactions, and his arrogance became daily more reckless and
intolerable. In the face of such demands it only remained for
Frederick William to submit or resist. He looked mournfully at his
unhappy country, at those whom the last war had deprived of their
husbands and fathers; at his small army; at the scanty means at his
disposal, compared with the resources of Napoleon, and - the king

He had indeed hesitated long, and struggled strongly with his own
feelings. For, by submitting to Napoleon's behests, he was to become
the open enemy of the Emperor Alexander, and the King of Prussia
was, jointly with the Emperor of the French, to arm against the
Emperor of Russia. It was a terrible necessity for Frederick William
to sacrifice his friend to his enemy, and at the very moment when
Alexander had offered his hand for a new league, and proposed to
conclude an offensive and defensive alliance with Prussia and

But such an alliance with distant Russia could not strengthen
Prussia against neighboring France, whose armies were encamped near
her frontiers. The danger of being crushed by Napoleon was much more
probable than the hope of being supported by Russia. Russia had
enough to do to take care of herself. She was unable to prevent
France from destroying Prussia, if Napoleon desired, and the crown
might fall from the head of Frederick William long before a Russian
army of succor could cross the Prussian frontier. He submitted
therefore, and accepted with one hand the alliance of France, while
threatening her with the other.

On the 24th of February, 1812, the Prussian king signed this new
treaty. As was stipulated by the first article, he entered into a
defensive alliance with France against any European power with which
either France or Prussia should hereafter be at war. Napoleon, the
man who had broken Queen Louisa's heart, was now the friend and ally
of King Frederick William, and the enemies of France were henceforth
to be the enemies of Prussia!

It was this that the king thought of to-day, when, in the early part
of May, he was alone, and absorbed in his reflections, at his small
house in Charlottenburg. It was yet early, for he had risen before
sunrise, and had been at work a long time, when he ceased for a
moment and yielded to his meditations. Leaning back in his easy
chair, he gazed musingly through the open glass-doors, now on serene
sky, and again on the fragrant verdure of his garden.

But this quiet relaxation was not to last long; the door of the
small anteroom opened, and the footman announced that his excellency
Minister and Chancellor von Hardenberg requested to see his majesty.

"Let him come in," said the king, as he rose, turning his grave
eyes, which had become even gloomier than before, toward the door,
on the threshold of which the elegant and somewhat corpulent form of
the chancellor of state appeared. He bowed respectfully. His noble
and prepossessing countenance was smiling and genial as usual; the
king's, grave, thoughtful, and sad.

"Bad news, I suppose?" asked the king, briefly. "You come at so
early an hour, something extraordinary must have happened. What is

"Nothing of that kind, your majesty," said Hardenberg, with his
imperturbable smile. "Yet, it is true, we are constantly in an
extraordinary situation, so that what otherwise might appear unusual
is now nothing but a very ordinary occurrence."

"A preamble!" said Frederick William, thoughtfully. "You have, then,
to tell me something important. What is it? Take a seat and speak!"
The king pointed to a chair, and resumed his own. Hardenberg seated
himself, and looked down for a moment with an air of embarrassment.

"Any thing the matter in Berlin?" asked the king. "Perhaps, a
quarrel between the citizens and the French?"

"No, your majesty," said Hardenberg, to whose thin lips came his
wonted smile. "The people of Berlin keep very quiet, and bear the
arrogance of the French with admirable patience. I have to report no
quarrels, and, on the whole, nothing of importance; I wished only to
inform your majesty that I received a courier from Dresden late last

The king started, and looked gloomy. "From whom?" he asked, in a
hollow voice.

"From our ambassador," replied Hardenberg, carelessly. "Surprising
intelligence has reached Dresden. They are expecting the Emperor
Napoleon. He left Saint Cloud with the Empress Maria Louisa on the
9th of May, and no one knew any thing about the object or
destination of the journey. It was generally believed that the
emperor, with his consort, intended to take a pleasure-trip to
Mentz, but immediately after his arrival there he informed his suite
that he was on his way to a new war, and would accompany his wife
only as far as Dresden, where they would meet their Austrian
majesties. Couriers were sent from Mentz to Vienna, to Dresden, to
King Jerome, and to all the marshals and generals. The columns of
the army have commenced moving everywhere, and are now marching from
all sides upon Dresden. As usual, Napoleon has again succeeded in
keeping his plans secret to the very last moment, and informing the
world of his intentions only when they are about to be realized."

"Yes," exclaimed the king, in a tone of intense hatred and anger -
"yes, he wears a kind, hypocritical mask, and feigns friendship and
pacific intentions until he has drawn into his nets those whom he
intends to ruin; then he drops his mask and shows his true arrogant
and ambitious face. He caressed us, and protested his friendship,
until we signed the treaty of alliance, but now he will insist on
the fulfilment of the engagements we have entered into. He commences
a new war, and, by virtue of the first article of our treaty, I have
to furnish him an auxiliary corps of twenty thousand men and sixty

"Yes, your majesty, it is so," said Hardenberg, composedly. "The new
French governor of Berlin, General Durutte, came to see me this
morning, and demanded in the name of his emperor that the Prussian
auxiliary troops should immediately take the field."

"Auxiliary troops!" exclaimed the king, angrily. "The Prussian
victims, he ought to have said, for what else will my poor,
unfortunate soldiers be but the doomed victims of his ambition and
insatiable thirst for conquest? He will drive them into the jaws of
death, that they may gain a piece of blood-stained land, or a new
title from the ruin of the world's happiness; he does not care
whether brave soldiers die or not, so long as his own ambition is

"Yes," said Hardenberg, solemnly, "his path leads across corpses and
through rivers of blood, but the vengeance of God and man will
finally overtake him, and who knows whether it may not do so during
this wild Russian campaign?"

"My evil forebodings, then, are proving true," said the king,
sighing; "the expedition is directed against Russia?"

"Yes, against Russia," said Hardenberg, sneeringly; "the master of
the world intends to crush Russia also, because she ventured to
remain an independent power, and the Emperor Alexander was so bold
as to demand the fulfilment of the promises of Tilsit and Erfurt.
Providence is always just in the final result, your majesty. It
punishes the Emperor Alexander for suffering himself to be beguiled
by the flatteries and promises of Napoleon, and the territories
which he allowed Napoleon to give him at Tilsit, at the expense of
Prussia, will be no precious stones in his crown."

"Not a word against Alexander!" exclaimed the king, imperiously.
"However appearances may be against him, he has always proved a true
friend of mine, and perhaps especially at a time when we suspected
it the least. His keen eyes penetrated the future, and behind the
clouds darkening our horizon he believed he could descry light and
safety. He yielded, in order to lull Napoleon to sleep; he pretended
to be fascinated, in order to convince him of his attachment and
devotedness. He wished to be regarded as Napoleon's friend until ho
had armed himself, and felt strong enough to turn against the
usurper. Hush! do not contradict me. I have heard all this from
Alexander's own lips. On his return from Erfurt he confided the
plans of his future to me and the queen, under the seal of secrecy.
Louisa carried the secret into her grave, and I have preserved it in
my breast. Now I may communicate it to you, for the hour of decision
has come; it finds me on the side of France, and God has decreed
that I should turn my arms against my friend, against Alexander! Ah,
happy the queen, because she did not live to see this day and
witness my new humiliation and disgrace! And was it, then,
unavoidable? Was it, then, really necessary for me to enter into
this hateful alliance? Was there no way of avoiding it?"

And as the king put this question to himself rather than to
Hardenberg, he laid his head against the back of his easy-chair, and
looked gloomy and thoughtful.

"There was no way, unfortunately, of avoiding it," said Hardenberg,
after a short pause. "Your majesty knows full well that we submitted
to stern necessity only; to act otherwise would have been too
dangerous, for the crown on the head of your majesty would have been

"It is better to lose the crown and die a freeman than live a
crowned slave!" exclaimed the king, impetuously.

"No, pardon me, your majesty, for daring to contradict you," said
Hardenberg, smiling; "it is better to keep the crown, and submit to
necessity as long as possible, in order to be able to take future
revenge on the oppressor. At times I am likewise tortured by the
doubts and fears now disquieting the noble soul of your majesty. But
at such hours I always repeat to myself, in order to justify our
course, a few words from the letter which the Duke de Bassano
addressed to our ambassador, Baron von Krusemark, as the ultimatum
of the Tuileries. I have learned this letter by heart, and, if you
will graciously permit me, I will repeat a few words." The king
nodded assent, and Hardenberg added: "This letter read: 'My dear
baron, the moment has come when we must give you our views about the
fate of Prussia. I cannot conceal from you that this is a matter of
life and death for your country. You know that the emperor
entertained already at Tilsit very unfriendy intentions against
Prussia. These intentions still remain the same, but will not be
carried out at this time, on the condition that Prussia become our
ally, and a faithful one. The moments are precious, and the
circumstances very grave.'" [Footnote: "Memoires d'un Homme d'Etat,"
vol. xi., p. 324]

"An outrageous letter!" muttered Frederick William to himself.

"Yes, an outrageous letter," repeated Hardenberg, bowing, "for it
contained a serious threat, and yet, on the other hand, it offered
us a sort of guaranty. Prussia was lost, in case she refused to join
the alliance, for Austria had likewise acceded to it, and, by
holding out against the wishes of France, Prussia would have run the
risk of being crushed by two armed enemies in the north, as well as
in the south, and blotted out from the list of nations. We,
therefore, were obliged to submit; we had no other choice."

"But what did we gain by submitting?" asked the king, angrily. "In
order to preserve my people from the horrors of war, I bowed to
Napoleon's will, and accepted the disgraceful alliance. I thereby
wished to secure peace to my unfortunate country, which stands so
greatly in need of it. Instead of attaining this object, the
alliance plunges us into the very abyss which I intended to avoid,
and I am compelled to send my soldiers into the field for an unjust
cause against a monarch who is my friend, and under the orders of a
commander-in-chief who is my enemy, and has always shown his bitter
hostility to me."

"But your majesty has at least prevented your own country from being
devastated by war. It is true, you send out your army, but the war
will not lay waste the fields of Prussia; it will not trample in the
dust the crops of the Prussian farmer, interrupt the labors of the
mechanic, or carry its terror into our cities and villages, our
houses and families. The enemy is at least far from our own

"You only wish to palliate the calamity," exclaimed the king. "The
enemy is here, and you know it. He is dogging every step of ours; he
is listening to every word of mine, and watching every movement. An
inconsiderate word, an imprudent step, and the French gendarmes will
rush upon me and conduct the King of Prussia as a prisoner to
France, while no one can raise his hand to prevent them. We have the
enemy in Berlin, in Spandau, and in all our fortresses. Our own
soldiers we have to send into the field, and our cities and
fortresses are occupied by French garrisons. An army of four hundred
and eighty thousand infantry and seventy thousand cavalry cover
Prussia like a cloud of locusts; Berlin, Spandau, Konigsberg, and
Pillau, have received French garrisons; only Upper Silesia, Colberg,
and Graudenz, have remained exempt from them. The whole country, as
though we were at war, is exposed to the robberies, extortions, and
cruelties in which an enemy indulges: this time, however, he comes
in the garb of a friend, and, as our ally, he is irritating and
impoverishing the farmers, and plundering the mechanics and
manufacturers. And I am not only obliged to suffer all this in
silence, but I must send my own soldiers, the natural defenders of
our states, into a foreign country, and command them to obey the man
who has heaped the vilest insults not only on myself, but on the
whole of Prussia, and has broken the heart of my beloved wife!" And
the king, quite exhausted, breathless with his unusually long
speech, and almost ashamed of his own tremulous excitement, buried
his face in his hands and groaned aloud.

Hardenberg gazed upon him for a moment with an expression of
profound sympathy; he then looked around the room with searching
glances, which seemed to pierce every niche, every fold of the
curtains, and every piece of furniture and sculpture. "Is your
majesty sure that no one can hear and watch us here?" he asked in a
low voice.

The king dropped his hands from his face, and looked at him in

"Your majesty, you yourself say that you are surrounded by spies,
and eavesdroppers," added Hardenberg. "Does your majesty suspect any
such to be here?"

"No," said the king, with a mournful smile, "it is the last blessing
of my Louisa that she has secured me this quiet asylum. The spies do
not venture to penetrate here - this retreat is not desecrated by
their inquisitive and lurking glances."

"Well," said Hardenberg, almost joyously, "if we need not be afraid
of the eyes and ears of spies, your majesty will permit me to speak
freely to you. My king, great events are maturing; while
impenetrable darkness still seems to surround us, morning is
gradually dawning, and the day of retribution is not distant. Europe
is utterly tired of war, and this incessant bloodshed; she has
practised forbearance until it is exhausted and converted into an
intense indignation. Thanks to his unscrupulous machinations,
Napoleon has hitherto succeeded in bringing about wars between the
different nations of Europe in order to derive benefits for France
alone from these fratricidal struggles. It was he who drove the
Poles and Turks into a war against the Russians, the Italians
against the Austrians, the Danes against the Swedes and English, and
armed the princes of the Rhenish Confederation against their German
countrymen and brethren. He instigated all against each other; he
made them continue the struggle until they sank from loss of blood,
for he knew that he would then be able to take the property of those
whom he had made murder each other. And who could prevent him? The
warriors, exhausted by their long and bloody work - the starving
people, to whom, in their hunger and anguish, only he who brought
them peace and a little bread seemed a true friend! Italy wished to
deliver herself from the Austrian yoke, and after long struggles the
liberty that Napoleon had promised her consisted but in entire
submission to his own behests. To Poland, too, he promised
deliverance, and, after the unfortunate country had risen, and spent
her last strength and her best blood in the war against Russia, she
became exhausted, and offered no resistance when he claimed her as
his spoil, and declared the Poles, who had dreamed that they were
free, to be subjects of France. The princes of the Rhenish
Confederation were compelled to send their German troops to Spain,
to wage war against a nation that was struggling for independence;
and Napoleon in the meantime placed a French adventurer upon a
throne in the middle of Germany, and erected a kingdom for him from
the spoils he had taken from German princes. Holland, which had
endeavored to preserve some vestiges of liberty, was suddenly
deprived of her sovereign, and converted into a French province; and
when Napoleon had succeeded in bringing about a war between Sweden
and Russia, and instigating unfortunate Finland to resist the latter
power, he profited by the favorable moment, and took Stralsund and
the Island of Rugen, both of which belonged to the King of Sweden,
who had been his ally up to that time. In Italy only the Pontifical
states and the holy father at Rome still resisted him, after the
remainder of the peninsula had awakened from its dreams of liberty
under the rule of French marshals and Napoleonic princes. He
instigated Naples and Sardinia against Rome, and when the struggle
had commenced, he magnanimously hastened to the assistance of his
brother-in-law Murat, arrested the pope, conveyed him as a prisoner
to France, and declared Rome to be the property of that country
until the pope should submit to his will. No country, no nation,
escaped his intrigues - conflagrations, devastation, and death
accompanied him everywhere! But the nations, as I have stated
already, are at length impatient; they are wearied of fighting; or,
rather, if they still fight, they intend to do so only in order to
conquer peace for themselves, and bring retribution on him who was
the sole cause of all this bloodshed."

"And they commenced by rushing, at his command, into the field - by
entering upon another war!" exclaimed Frederick William, shrugging
his shoulders with a sneer.

"Your majesty," said Hardenberg, solemnly, "they will do so now for
the last time. Napoleon is digging his own grave, and, by
consolidating the forces of all countries into one vast army, he
makes friends of those whom he hitherto successfully tried to make
enemies and adversaries of each other. But when the nations have
once found out that they are really brethren, it only needs a voice
calling upon them to unite for one grand object - that is to say, for
the deliverance of Europe from the tyrant's yoke!"

"Those are Utopian dreams," said the king. "Whence should this voice
come? Who would be so audacious as to utter it?"

"Whence should this voice come?" asked Hardenberg. "Your majesty, it
will come from heaven, and find an echo on the whole earth. It will
resound from the hundred thousand graves of the soldiers killed in
battle; from the breasts of sorrowing widows and orphans, and, like
the noise of the tempest, it will come from the lips of thousands of
humiliated and disgraced men. This voice will not be that of a
single man; but God, Nature, and all nations, will unite, and
millions will utter that one shout of 'Liberty! Let us rise and
expel the tyrant!'"

"But, then, the story of the tower of Babel will be reenacted," said
Frederick William, sighing; "the nations will not understand each

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