- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
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Napoleon had insisted upon his marrying Mme. Grandt, his mistress, who had always received his guests during the loose society lately prevalent: people said that since he had done so, his salon was not nearly so amusing. She was a pretty but extremely stupid person, always making some mistake. On one occasion the celebrated traveller, M. Denon, was going to dine with them, and Talleyrand told her to be sure to talk to him about his travels, adding
"You would easily understand, if you had looked into his face once; it is a clean passport to confidence. Besides, there is the unvarying testimony of his past life, as set forth by everybody that knows him.sober, honest, frank, kind, religious, everything that is desirable. A man does not become a murderer in cold blood, all at once; he has to prepare himself for it by vice, or intemperance, or a course of hard, cold, selfish living. There is always a downward slope, before the final plunge."
So, after Mr. Bergan had politely assented to his observations upon the dulness of Berganton, and somewhat pointedly remarked that perseverance and energy, when conjoined with upright habits, were pretty sure to command a reasonable measure of success anywhere, the conversation turned aside into other channels. The opportunity for a frank explanationwhich could alone have placed him upon his proper footing with his new-found relativeswas lost. It would not return until it was too late to be of any considerable service.
The reader would not be interested in the details of the battle which ensued. It lasted for five hours. It was, as is every battle, an indescribable scene of tumult, uproar, and confusion. The result was long doubtful. Defeat to Frederick would have been utter ruin. It is wonderful how one determined man can infuse his spirit into a whole host. Every Prussian seemed to363 have the same desperate valor, and determination to conquer or to die, which animated his king.
Whatever mistakes Bergan may have made, in his life, or may make hereafter,whatever sins he may commit, through ignorance, or in sudden passion,let it be remembered, to his credit, that he could meet those clear, innocent, child-eyes, without a blush, and answer the question as gravely and simply as it had been asked,The next morning they learned that Lieutenant Katte had been arrested. All the private papers of Fritz were left, under Kattes charge, in a small writing-desk. These letters would implicate both the mother and the daughter. They were terror-stricken. Count Finckenstein, who was in high authority, was their friend. Through him, by the aid of Madam Finckenstein, they obtained the desk. It was locked and sealed. Despair stimulated their ingenuity. They succeeded in getting the letters. To destroy them and leave nothing in their place would only rouse to greater fury the suspicion and rage of the king. The letters were taken out and burned. The queen and Wilhelmina immediately set to work writing new ones, of a very different character, with which to replace them. For three days they thus labored almost incessantly, writing between six and seven hundred letters. They were so careful to avoid any thing97 which might lead to detection that paper was employed for each letter bearing the date of the year in which the letter was supposed to be written. Fancy the mood, writes Carlyle, of these two royal women, and the black whirlwind they were in. Wilhelminas dispatch was incredible. Pen went at the gallop night and day. New letters of old date and of no meaning are got into the desk again, the desk closed without mark of injury, and shoved aside while it is yet time.