Barbara Blomberg — Volume 09
127 Pages
English
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Barbara Blomberg — Volume 09

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127 Pages
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The Project Gutenberg EBook Barbara Blomberg, by Georg Ebers, Vol. 9. #130 in our series by Georg Ebers
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Title: Barbara Blomberg, Volume 9.
Author: Georg Ebers
Release Date: April, 2004 [EBook #5569] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted
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The Project Gutenberg EBook Barbara Blomberg,by Georg Ebers, Vol. 9. #130 in our series byGeorg EbersCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****Title: Barbara Blomberg, Volume 9.
Author: Georg EbersRelease Date: April, 2004 [EBook #5569] [Yes, weare more than one year ahead of schedule] [Thisfile was first posted on August 6, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK BARBARA BLOMBERG, BY EBERS, V9***This eBook was produced by David Widger<widger@cecomet.net>[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, orpointers, at the end of the file for those who maywish to sample the author's ideas before makingan entire meal of them. D.W.]
BARBARA BLOMBERGBy Georg EbersVolume 9.CHAPTER X.Three years passed.Barbara occupied with her husband and the twosons she had given him a pretty little house in themodest quarter of Saint-Gery in Brussels.Here the capital of wealthy, flourishing Brabantcertainly looked very unlike what she had expectedfrom Gombert's stories; and how little share shehad had hitherto in the splendour which on thedrive to Landshut she had expected to find inBrussels!Since the musician had described the city, she hadseen it distinctly before her in her vivid imagination.The lower portion, intersected by the river Senneand numerous canals, belonged to the rich,industrious citizens, the skilful artisans, and thecommon people; the upper, which occupied a hill,contained the great Brabant palace, the residenceof the Emperor Charles. This edifice, which, thoughits exterior was almost wholly devoid of ornament,nevertheless presented a majestic aspect onaccount of its vast size, adjoined a splendid park,
whose leafy groups of ancient trees merged intothe forest of Soignies. Here also stood the palacesof the great nobles and, on the side of the hillwhich sloped to the lower city, the Cathedral of St.Gudule towered proudly aloft.Much as Barbara had heard in praise of themagnificent market-place in the lower city, with itsmarvellous Town Hall, it was always the upperportion of Brussels she beheld when she thought ofthe capital. She had felt that she belonged to thisquarter, where all who had any claim to aristocracylived; here, near the palace and the beautiful leafytrees, her future home had been in herimagination.The result was different, and now the longing forthe brilliant Brussels on the hill was doubly strong.True, there dwelt also those who had the greatestpower of attraction for her.She was just returning home from the palace park,where stood a pleasant summer house in whichAdrian Dubois lived with his wife and one child. Itwas this child especially that drew Barbara to theupper city as often as possible, and constantlyforced her thoughts to linger there and still to followthe "higher" of the imperial motto, whicheverywhere else she was compelled to renounce.True, a limit was fixed to these visits to the Duboiscouple. For one whole year Frau Traut hadsuccessfully concealed the child from the mother;then Barbara had once met the boy outside the
house, and the way in which he was hurried out ofher sight led to the conviction that this was herchild, and Frau Dubois had imprudently betrayedthe secret.From this time Barbara knew that her John hadbeen confided to the care of the valet and his wife.At last Frau Traut had been unable to resist herentreaties, and allowed her to see her son and holdhim a short time in her arms.He was a strong, splendid child, with his mother'sthick, curling locks and large blue eyes. Barbarathought that she had never seen a handsomer boy;and not only the Dubois, who had yielded theirwhole hearts to their nursling, but strangers alsoadmired the magnificent development of this rarechild. The young mother saw in him somethinggrander, more perfect than the children of otherhuman beings, even than the two boys whom shehad given her husband, although little John usuallyrepulsed her caresses.In granting Barbara permission to see her childoften, Frau Traut transgressed an explicitcommand of the Emperor and, to prevent the evilconsequences which her sympathy might entail,she allowed the mother to rejoice in the sight of herlittle son only once a month, and then always for ashort time.During these interviews she was strictly forbiddento bestow even the smallest gift upon the boy.To-day John had voluntarily approached the
To-day John had voluntarily approached thestranger to whom he owed his life, but whosepassionate caresses at their first meeting hadfrightened him, to show her the little wooden horsethat Adrian had just given him. This had made herhappy, and on the way home the memory of herhidden treasure more than once brought a joyoussmile to her lips.At home she first sought her children. Herhusband, who had now been appointed musteringofficer, was on one of the journeys required by theservice, which rarely permitted him to remain longin his own house.Barbara did not miss him; nay, she was happiestduring his absence.After glancing into the nursery, she retired to herquiet chamber, where her harp stood and the luteshung which often for hours supplied the place ofher lost voice, and sat down at her spinning wheel.She turned it thoughtfully, but the thread broke,and her hands fell into her lap. Her mind had againfound the way to the house in the park and to herJohn, her own, wonderful, imperial child, andlingered there until from the next room the cry ofan infant was heard and a woman's voice singing itto sleep. Frau Lamperi, who had made herself apart of the little household, and beheld in its masterthe incarnation of every manly virtue, was lullingthe baby to rest. Beside it slept another child, aboy two years old. Both were hers, yet, though theinfant raised its voice still louder, she remained at
the spinning wheel, dreaming on.In this way, and while playing on the harp and thelutes, her solitude was best endured. Herhusband's journeys often led him through thewhole Netherlands and the valley of the Rhine asfar as Strasbourg and Basle, and her father hadreturned to Ratisbon.She had found no new friends in Brussels, and hadnot endeavoured to gain any.Loneliness, which she had dreaded in the heydayof her early youth, no longer alarmed her, for quietreveries and dreams led her back to the time whenlife had been beautiful, when she had enjoyed thelove of the greatest of mortals, and art had givenher existence an exquisite consecration.With the loss of her voice—she was now aware ofit—many of the best things in her life had alsoceased to exist. Her singing might perhaps havelured back her inconstant lover, and had she cometo Brussels possessing the mastery of her voicewhich was hers during that happy time in May, herlife would have assumed a totally different form.Gombert, who had induced her to move hither, hadurged her with the best intentions during their driveto Landshut to change her residence. When he didso, however, Barbara was still connected with theEmperor, and he was animated by the hope thatthe trouble in her throat would be temporary.It would have been easy to throw wide to a singer
of her ability the doors of the aristocratic houseswhich were open to him; for, except hisprofessional comrades, he associated only with thewealthy nobles in the upper part of the city, whoneeded him for the brilliant entertainments whichthey understood how to arrange so superbly. TheOranges, Egmont, Aremberg, Brederode,Aerschot, and other heads of the highest nobility inBrabant would have vied with one another topresent her to their guests, receive her at theircountry seats, and invite her to join their ridingparties. Where, on the contrary, could he expect tofind a friendly reception for the wife of a poorofficer belonging to the lower nobility, who was saidto have forfeited the Emperor's favour, who couldoffer nothing to the ear, and to the eye only apeculiar style of beauty, which she could enhanceneither by magnificent attire nor by any other arts?Had she been still the Emperor Charles's favourite,or had he bestowed titles and wealth upon her,more might have been done for her; but as it was,nothing was left of the favour bestowed by themonarch save the stain upon her fair name. Deeplyas Gombert regretted it, he could therefore donothing to make her residence in Brussels moreagreeable. He was not even permitted to open hisown house to her, since his wife, who was neithermore jealous nor more scrupulous than most otherwives of artists, positively refused to receive thevoiceless singer with the tarnished reputation.Worthy Appenzelder associated exclusively withmen, and thus of her
Ratisbon friends not one remained except Massi,the violinist, and theMaltese choir boy, Hannibal Melas.The little fellow had lost his voice, but hadremained in Brussels and, in fact, throughBarbara's intercession; for she had ventured torecommend the clever, industrious lad to theBishop of Arras in a letter which reminded him ofhis kindness in former days, and the latter hadbeen gracious, and in a cordial reply thanked herfor her friendly remembrance. Hannibal hadremained in the minister's service and, as heunderstood several languages and provedtrustworthy, was received among his privatesecretaries.The violinist Massi remained faithful and, as hebecame her husband's friend also, he was alwaysa welcome guest in her house.Her father had returned to Ratisbon. After he hadacted as godfather to the oldest boy, Conrad, hecould be detained no longer. Homesickness hadobtained too powerful a hold upon him.True, Barbara and her husband did everything intheir power to make life in their home pleasant; buthe needed the tavern, and there either thecarousing was so noisy that it became too muchfor him, or people often had very violent politicaldiscussions about liberty and faith, which he onlyhalf understood, though they used the Flemishtongue. And the Danube, the native air, the familiar
faces! In short, he could not stay with his children,though he dearly loved his little godson Conrad;and it pleased him to see his daughter moreyielding and ready to render service than everbefore, and to watch her husband, who, as thesaying went at home, "was ready to let her walkover him."The husband's intention of making the unbendingiron pliant was wholly changed; the recruitingofficer whom his companions and subordinatesknew and feared as one of the sternest of theirnumber, showed himself to Barbara the mostyielding of men. The passionate tenderness withwhich he loved her had only increased with time,and the stern soldier's subjection to her will went sofar that, even when he would gladly haveexpressed disapproval, he usually omitted to do so,because he dreaded to lessen the favour whichshe showed him in place of genuine love, andwhich he needed. Besides, she gave him littlecause for displeasure; she did her duty, and stroveto render his outward life a pleasant one.Even after her father had left her she remained awife who satisfied his heart. He had learned thecoolness of her nature in his first attempts to wooher in Ratisbon and, as at that time, he whom theservice frequently detained from her for longperiods regarded it as a merit.So he wrote her father letters expressing hisgratification, and the replies which the captain sentto Brussels were in a similar tone.