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- Mysteries of Paris, V3 - 89/89 -


"I believe not, my good father."

"Think carefully: among those who love you, is there not some one very unhappy--as unhappy as your mother and myself; some one finally who regrets as deeply as we do your entrance into the convent?"

The poor child understood me she pressed my hand; a slight blush colored for a moment her pale face.

Anticipating a question which she feared, undoubtedly, to ask me, I said to her, "He is better; they no longer fear for his life."

"And his father?"

"He feels the improvement in the health of his son--he, too, is better. And to Henry, what will you give? A remembrance from you will be such a dear, such a precious consolation to him."

"My father, offer him my praying-desk. Alas! I have often watered it with my tears, in begging of Heaven strength to forget Henry, since I was not worthy of his love."

"How happy he will be to see that you had a thought for him!"

"The Asylum for Orphans and young women abandoned by their relations, I should desire, my good father--"

Here Rudolph's letter was interrupted by the following words which were almost illegible: "Clémence, Murphy will finish this letter: I have no longer any mind--I am distracted. Oh, the thirteenth of January!!!"

The conclusion of this letter is the handwriting of Murphy, was thus conceived:

YOUR HIGHNESS,--In obedience to the orders of his royal highness, I complete this sad recital. The two letters of my lord must have prepared your royal highness for the overwhelming news which it remains to me to acquaint you with. It was three o'clock; my lord was employed in writing to your royal highness; I was waiting in a neighboring apartment until he should give me the letter, to forward it immediately by a courier. Suddenly I saw the Princess Juliana enter with an air of consternation. "Where is his royal highness?" said she to me, with a voice filled with emotion. "Princess, my lord is writing to the grand duchess the news of the day."

"Sir Walter, you must inform my lord--a terrible event. You are his friend, be so kind as to inform him; from you the blow will be less terrible."

I understood everything; I thought it more prudent to take this sad revelation upon myself, the superior having added that the Princess Amelia was slowly sinking away, and that my lord must hasten to receive the last sighs of his daughter. I unfortunately had not time to take any precautions. I entered the saloon; his royal highness perceived my paleness. "You have come to acquaint me of some misfortune."

"An irreparable misfortune, my lord--courage."

"Ah, my presentiments!" cried he, and, without adding a word, he ran to the cloister. I followed him.

From the apartment of the superior, the Princess Amelia had been transported into her cell after her last interview with my lord. One of the sisters was watching by her; at the end of an hour she perceived that the voice of the Princess Amelia, who spoke to her at intervals, was becoming weaker, and that she was more distressed. The sister hastened to inform the superior; Dr. David was called; he hoped to remedy this new loss of strength by a cordial, but it was in vain; the pulse was scarcely perceptible; he saw, with despair, that reiterated emotions had probably exhausted the strength of the Princess Amelia; there remained no hope of saving her. It was then that my lord arrived. Princess Amelia had just received the last sacrament; a ray of intelligence still lingered about her; in one of her hands, crossed on her bosom, was the _remains of her little rose-bush._

My lord fell on his knees by her pillow: he sobbed. "My daughter, my beloved child," cried he in a heart-rending tone.

The Princess Amelia heard him, turned her head gently toward him, opened her eyes, endeavored to smile, and said, with a feeble voice:

"My good father, pardon--Henry also--my good mother--forgive."

Such were her last words! After an hour of silent agony, she gave up her spirit to God.

When his daughter had yielded up her last sigh, my lord did not say a word; his calmness was frightful; he closed the eyes of the princess, kissed her forehead again and again, took piously the remains of the little rose-bush, and left the cell.

"I followed him; he returned to the house without the cloister, and showing me the letter that he had begun to write to your royal highness, and to which he in vain attempted to add some words, for his hand trembled convulsively, he said to me:

"It is impossible for me to write. I am distraught, my mind is gone. Write to the grand duchess that I no longer have a daughter!"

I have executed the orders of my lord. Permit me, as his oldest servant, to beseech your royal highness to hasten your return as soon as the health of the Count d'Orbigny will permit it. The presence of your royal highness alone can calm the despair of the prince. He wishes to watch every night by his daughter till the day when she shall be buried in the grand ducal chapel. I have accomplished my sad task, madame; be so kind as to excuse the incoherence of this letter, and accept the expression of respectful devotion with which I have the honor to be your loyal highness's very obedient servant,

WALTER MURPHY.

The night before the funeral service of the Princess Amelia, Clémence arrived at Gerolstein with her father. Rudolph was not alone the day of the funeral of Fleur-de-Marie.

THE END.

[Transcriber's Note: The following appeared in our print copy. Some are rare words or variant spellings; others are typographical errors. We have left these as in the print copy.

"Countes" in chapter 1 (elsewhere "Countess"); "Ruldoph" and "Ruldolph" ("Rudolph") in chapter 5; "amoment's" ("a moment's") in chapter 7; "ell" (probably for "cell") in chapter 8; "th" ("the") in chapter 8; "trangress" ("transgress") in chapter 8; "blackhole" ("black hole"; i.e., "prison cell") in chapter 9; "magsman" (Slang for "swindler") in chapter 9; "bootlining" ("boot lining") in chapter 10; "surprise" in "more and more surprise" ("surprised") in chapter 11; "burk" in the poetic quotation in chapter 12; "intead" ("instead") in chapter 12; "kindnss" ("kindness") in chapter 21; "corypheus" in chapter 22; "Rohefort" ("Rochefort") in chapter 25; "charcter" ("character") in chapter 29; "KAMINETN" and "KAMINETZ" both appear in the Epilogue; "timidily" in chapter 4 of the Epilogue; "Fräulien" (for "Fräulein") in chapter 4 of the Epilogue; "conndence" in chapter 7 of the Epilogue.]


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