In the Fire of the Forge — Volume 06
89 Pages
English
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In the Fire of the Forge — Volume 06

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89 Pages
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The Project Gutenberg EBook In The Fire Of The Forge, by Georg Ebers, v6 #109 in our series by Georg EbersCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: In The Fire Of The Forge, Volume 6.Author: Georg EbersRelease Date: April, 2004 [EBook #5548] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first postedon July 26, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FIRE OF THE FORGE, BY EBERS, V6 ***This eBook was produced by David Widger [NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the file for those who may wish to sample the author'sideas before making ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook In The Fire Of TheForge, by Georg Ebers, v6 #109 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: In The Fire Of The Forge, Volume 6.
Author: Georg EbersRelease Date: April, 2004 [EBook #5548] [Yes, weare more than one year ahead of schedule] [Thisfile was first posted on July 26, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK FIRE OF THE FORGE, BY EBERS, V6*** 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.]
IN THE FIRE OF THEFORGEA ROMANCE OF OLD NUREMBERGBy Georg EbersVolume 6.CHAPTER V.The Minorite had gone. Biberli had noticed withdelight that his master had not sought as usual todetain him. The iron now seemed to him hot, andhe thought it would be worth while to swing thehammer.The danger in which Heinz stood of being drawninto the monastery made him deeply anxious, andhe had already ventured several times to opposehis design. Life was teaching him to welcome asmall evil when it barred the way to a greater one,and his master's marriage, even with a girl of farlower station than Eva Ortlieb, would have beensure of his favour, if only it would have deterredhim from the purpose of leaving the world to whichhe belonged."True," the servitor began, "in such heat it is easier
to walk in the thin cowl than in armour. The holyFather is right there. But when it is necessary to benimble, the knight has his dancing dress also. Oh,my lord, what a sight it was when you werewaltzing with the lovely Jungfrau Eva! Look atHeinz Schorlin, the brave hero of Marchfield, andthe girl with the angel face who is with him!' saidthose around me, as I was gazing down from thebalcony. And just think—I can't help speaking of itagain—that now respectable people dare to pointtheir fingers at the sisters and join in the basecalumny uttered by a scoundrel!"Then Heinz fulfilled Biberli's secret longing to bequestioned about theEs and the charges against them, and he forgedthe iron.Not from thirst, he said, but to ascertain what fruithad grown from the hellish seeds sown bySiebenburg, and probably the still worse ones ofthe Eysvogel women, he went from tavern totavern, and there he heard things which made himclench his fists, and, at the Red Ox, roused him tosuch violent protest that he went out of the tap-room faster than he entered it.Thereupon, without departing far from the truth, herelated what was said about the beautiful Es inNuremberg.It was everywhere positively asserted that a knightbelonging to the Emperor's train had been caughtat the Ortlieb mansion, either in a nocturnal
interview or while climbing into the window. Bothsisters were said to be guilty. But the sharpestarrows were aimed at Els, the betrothed bride ofthe son of a patrician family, whom many a girlwould have been glad to wed. That she preferredthe foreigner, whether a Bohemian, a Swabian, oreven a Swiss, made her error doubly shameful inthe eyes of most persons.Whenever Biberli had investigated the source ofthese evil tales, he had invariably found it to beSeitz Siebenburg, his retainers, the Eysvogelbutler, or some man or maidservant in theiremploy.The Vorchtels, who, as he knew from Katterle,would have had the most reason to cherishresentment against the Ortliebs, had no share inthese slanders.The shrewd fellow had discovered the truth, forafter Seitz Siebenburg had wandered about in theopen air during the storm, he again tried to see hiswife. But the effort was vain. Neither entreaties northreats would induce her to open the door.Meanwhile it had grown late and, half frantic withrage, he went to the Duke of Pomerania's quartersin the Green Shield to try his luck in gaming. Thedice were again moving rapidly, but no onegrasped the box when he offered a stake. No moreinsulting rebuff could be imagined, and the repulsewhich he received from his peers, and especiallythe duke, showed him that he was to be excludedfrom this circle.
He was taught at the same time that if heanswered the challenge of the Swiss he would notbe permitted to enter the lists. Thus he confrontedthe impossibility of satisfying a demand of honour,and this terrible thought induced him to declare waragainst everything which honour had hithertoenjoined, and with it upon its guardians.If they treated him as a robber and a dishonouredman, he would behave like one; but those who haddriven him so far should suffer for it.During the rest of the night and on the followingday, until the gate was closed, he wandered, gobletin hand, only half conscious of what he was doing,from tavern to tavern, to tell the guests what heknew about the beautiful Es; and at everyrepetition of the accusations, of whose justice hewas again fully convinced, his hatred against thesisters, and those who were their natural defendersand therefore his foes, increased. Every time herepeated the old charges an addition increasing theslander was made and, as if aided by somemysterious ally, it soon happened that in variousplaces his own inventions were repeated to him bythe lips of others who had heard them fromstrangers. True, he was often contradicted,sometimes violently but, on the whole, peoplebelieved him more readily than would havehappened in the case of any other person; forevery one admitted that, as the brother-in-law ofthe older E, he had a right to express hisindignation in words.
Meanwhile his twins often returned to his memory.The thought ought to have restrained him fromsuch base conduct; but the idea that he wasavenging the wrong inflicted upon their father'shonour, and thus upon theirs, urged him furtherand further.Not until a long ride through the forest had soberedhim did he see his conduct in the proper light.Insult and disgrace would certainly await him in thecity. His brothers would receive him kindly. Theywere of his own blood and could not helpwelcoming his sharp sword. Side by side with themhe would fight and, if it must be, die. A voice withinwarned him against making common cause withthose who had robbed the family of which he hadbecome a member, yet he again used theremembrance of his innocent darlings to palliate hispurpose. For their sakes only he desired to go tohis death, sword in hand, like a valiant knight inleague with those who were risking their lives indefence of the ancient privilege of their class. Theymust not even suspect that their father had beenshut out from the tournament, but grow up in theconviction that he had fallen as a heroic championof the cause of the lesser knights to whom hebelonged, and on whose neck the Emperor had sethis foot.The assurance which Biberli brought Heinz Schorlinthat Seitz Siebenburg had joined those whom hewas ordered to punish, placed the task assignedhim by the Emperor in a new and attractive light;
but the servant's report, so far as it concerned theOrtlieb sisters, pierced the inmost depths of hissoul. He alone was to blame for the disgrace whichhad fallen upon innocent maidens. By thedestruction of the calumny he would at least atonefor a portion of his sin. But this did not suffice. Itwas his duty to repair the wrong he had done thesisters. How? That he could not yet determine; forwhilst wielding the executioner's sword in hismaster's service all these thoughts must besilenced; he could consider nothing save to fulfilthe task confided to him by his imperial benefactorand commander in chief, according to his wishes,and show him that he had chosen wisely in trustinghim to "crack the nut" which he himself hadpronounced a hard one. The yearning andrenunciation, the reproaches and doubts whichdisturbed his life, until recently so easy, haddisgusted him with it. He would not spare it. Yet ifhe fell he would be deprived of the possibility ofdoing anything whatever for those who through hisimprudence had lost their dearest possession—their good name. Whenever this picture rosebefore him it sometimes seemed as if Eva wasgazing at him with her large, bright eyes astrustingly as during the pause in the dancing, andanon he fancied he saw her as she looked at hermother's consecration in her deep mourning beforethe altar. At that time her grief and pain hadprevented her from noticing how his gaze restedon her; yet never had she appeared moredesirable, never had he longed more ardently toclasp her in his arms, console her, and assure herthat his love should teach her to forget her grief,
that she was destined to find new happiness in aunion with him.This had happened to him just as he commencedthe struggle for a new life. Startled, he confessed itto his grey-haired guide, and used the meanswhich the Minorite advised him to employ to attainforgetfulness and renunciation, but always in vain.Had he, like St. Francis, rushed among briers, hisblood would not have turned into roses, butdoubtless fresh memories of her whose happinesshis guilt had so suddenly and cruelly destroyed.For her sake he had already begun to doubt hisvocation on the very threshold of his new career,and did not recover courage until FatherBenedictus, who had communicated with theAbbess Kunigunde, informed him that Eva was waxin her hands, and within the next few days shewould induce her niece to take the veil.This news had exerted a deep influence upon theyoung knight's soul. If Eva entered the cloisterbefore him, the only strong tie which united him tothe world would be severed, and nothing save thethought of his mother would prevent his followinghis vocation. Yet vehement indignation seized himwhen he heard from Biberli that the slanderer'smalice would force Eva to seek refuge with theSisters.No, a thousand times no! The woman whom heloved should need to seek refuge from nothing forwhich Heinz Schorlin's desire and resolve alike
commanded him to make amends.He must succeed in proving to the whole world thatshe and her sister were as pure as they lived in hisimagination, either by offering in the lists theboldest defiance to every one who refused toacknowledge that both were the most chaste anddecorous ladies in the whole world, and Eva, at thesame time, the loveliest and fairest, or by the openinterference of the Emperor or the Burggravine inbehalf of the persecuted sisters, after he hadconfessed the whole truth to his exalted patrons.But when Biberli pointed out the surest way ofrestoring the endangered reputation of the womanhe loved, and begged him to imagine how muchmore beautiful she would look in the white bridalveil than in her mourning Riese—[Kerchief of finelinen, arranged like a veil]—he ordered him to keepsilence.The miracle wrought in his behalf forbade him toyearn for happiness and joy here below. It wasintended rather to open his eyes and urge him toleave the path which led to eternal damnation. Itpointed him to the kingdom of heaven and its bliss,which could be purchased only by severe sacrificeand the endurance of every grief which the Saviourhad taken upon Himself. But he could at least payone honour to the maiden to whom he was sostrongly attracted, and whose happiness for lifewas menaced by his guilt. When he had assembledhis whole force at Schwabach, he would go intobattle with her colour on his helmet and shield. The