Berlin and Sans-Souci; or, Frederick the Great and his friends. Book I.

An Historical Romance
Autor: Mühlbach, Luise 1814-1873, Erscheinungsjahr: 1853
Chapter I.

It was a lovely May morning! The early rays of the sun had not withered the blossoms, or paled the fresh green of the garden of Charlottenburg, but quickened them into new life and beauty. The birds sang merrily in the groves. The wind, with light whispers, swept through the long avenues of laurel and orange trees, which surrounded the superb greenhouses and conservatories, and scattered far and wide throughout the garden clouds of intoxicating perfume.

The garden was quiet and solitary, and the closed shutters of the castle proved that not only the king, but the entire household, from the dignified and important chamberlain to the frisky garden-boy, still slept. Suddenly the silence was broken by the sound of hasty steps. A young man, in simple citizen costume, ran up the great avenue which led from the garden gate to the conservatory; then cautiously looking about him, he drew near to a window of the lower story in a wing of the castle. The window was closed and secured with inside shutters; a small piece of white paper was seen between the glass and the shutter. A passer-by might have supposed this was accidental, but the young burgher knew that this little piece of paper was a signal. His light stroke upon the window disturbed for a moment the deathlike silence around, but produced no other effect; he struck again, more loudly, and listened breathlessly. The shutters were slowly and cautiously opened from within, and behind the glass was seen the wan, sick face of Fredersdorf, the private secretary and favorite of the king. When he saw the young man, his features assumed a more animated expression, and a hopeful smile played upon his lip; hastily opening the window, he gave the youth his hand. „Good-morning, Joseph,“ said he; „I have not slept during the whole night, I was so impatient to receive news from you. Has he shown himself?“

... more Chapter I.