XXV. The National Representatives

Leonora Prohaska reached Berlin at four o'clock in the afternoon. On the way, closing her eyes, she leaned back on the cushions, so that her companions paid little attention to her, whom they believed to be asleep. But Leonora heard every word, and every conversation of her fellow-travellers strengthened her soul and restored her former courage. They spoke of the enthusiasm in every city, village, and house--an enthusiasm spreading far beyond the frontiers of Prussia, and carrying all away as an irresistible torrent, drawing with it even the most cautious and timid, and filling the most desponding and disheartened with joyous hopes. One of the travellers was just returning from Breslau, and dwelt with impassioned eloquence on the bustle prevailing there; on the volunteers who were flocking in vast numbers to that city and parading every day under the king's windows; and on brave Major von Lutzow, who, with his beautiful young wife, had come to Breslau, and was endeavoring to live at a miserable tavern, because no other accommodations were to be had.

"And in the bar-room," he said, "beautiful Madame von Lutzow receives the names of the volunteers who wish to enlist in the Legion of Vengeance. Her husband is busily engaged, from dawn till late at night, in organizing his corps; in trying to procure arms, horses, and equipments for his men, and his handsome wife is his recruiting officer. She is as charming as an angel, the daughter of a wealthy count, and has, by her marriage with Major von Lutzow, contrary to her parents' wishes, so much exasperated her proud father that he gave her no dower, but imposed it as a condition of his consent that Major von Lutzow should marry without any. But the count's daughter joyously descended from the proud castle to the humble dwelling of the Prussian major, whom she loved on account of his bravery, and the scars which he bore on his forehead, and which he had received in 1806, in the war against the French."

"I know the lady," said the second traveller; "she is a daughter of the Danish Count von Ahlefeldt, a wonder of loveliness, grace, and refined manners. She hates the French as intensely as her husband, and it was precisely this common hatred of the French that brought them together."

"How so?" asked the other. "Pray tell us all about it."

"Several years ago, the young countess, attended by her governess, made a journey to a fashionable German watering-place. Both took dinner at the table d'hote of the 'Kurhaus,' where a crowd of persons from all countries were assembled. The neighbor of the young countess at the table happened to be a French officer, who managed to involve the young lady in a highly animated and interesting conversation. He told her in a very attractive manner of his campaigns and travels, and the young countess listened to him with pleasure and manifested her sympathy for him. The Frenchman dared to seize her hand and kiss it. The young countess started; a deep blush suffused her fair face, and, without reflecting, obeying only her first impulse, she took a glass of water which stood before her, and poured it over the hand which the Frenchman had dared to kiss. Several Prussian officers, seated near her had witnessed the occurrence, and, on noticing how she removed the stain of the French kiss from her hand, could not refrain from bursting into a loud cheer. One of them was Major von Lutzow. After dinner he approached the countess, was introduced to her by a mutual acquaintance, and expressed his ardent thanks, in the name of all Germans, for the bold rebuke she had administered to the Frenchman. That was the beginning of her acquaintance with Major von Lutzow, and the end of it was her marriage with him. [Footnote: I am indebted for an account of this occurrence to the Countess Ahlefeldt (formerly Madame Major von Lutzow) herself, who related it to me with charming naivete and grace.--L.] She is now at Breslau, and you have seen her."

"Yes, for I went to the major's headquarters with a friend who wished to enlist in his corps. We met there, however, only herself. She received my friend's request to enlist under her husband with so much grace, with such a look of joy--she dwelt in such soul-stirring words on the great and holy national war about to break out, and in which every one ought to participate, that I was quite fascinated by her eloquence, and would have enlisted at once if I had not already entered a landwehr regiment."

Not a word of this conversation escaped Leonora, and she said to herself: "I must make the acquaintance of this lady. I will go to her, mid she will enlist me for the German fatherland!"

The travellers continued their conversation, relating that Frederick William had not believed in the success of the first manifesto, in which he called for volunteers; and, for this reason, had not signed the manifesto which Chancellor von Hardenberg had drawn up; that four days afterward the king, who had just explained with unusual vehemence to General Scharnhorst the utter uselessness of this call, was interrupted by a strange noise in the street; and that, anxious to discover what was the cause, he stepped to the window, and General Scharnhorst followed him; that a line of at least eighty wagons had come in sight, and in them none but armed men were seated, who halted in front of the palace, and an aide-de-camp, who entered the room at that moment, informed the king that they were volunteers just arrived from Berlin; that Scharnhorst turned to him, and exclaimed triumphantly: "Will your majesty be convinced now that your people are ready to fight for you and the fatherland?" and that the king made no reply, but a flood of tears rushed from his eyes, and he smiled amidst his emotion.

At length Leonora arrived at Berlin. She stood alone beside her trunk in the court-yard of the royal post-office building. No notice was taken of her; no one manifested any sympathy for her; but she did not flinch, and her heart was free from doubt or anxiety. She sent for a hackney-coach by one of the boys playing in the court- yard, and then drove away. But she did not order the coachman to convey her to her godfather, Werkmeister, the merchant on Jager Street. Driving first to Tauben Street, the carriage stopped in front of a large, gloomy house. She alighted, and, begging the coachman to wait for her, slipped into the house. Quickly ascending three narrow flights of stairs, she reached a silent corridor, on both sides of which were small doors, and on each a number had been painted. Knocking at the door of number three, a female voice inquired, "Who is there?"

"It is I, Leonora Prohaska!"

A loud cry of joy resounded; the door was hastily opened, and a young soldier in full uniform appeared on the threshold. It was now Leonora who uttered a cry, and blushing drew back. "Pardon me," she said, timidly; "there must be a mistake. I am looking for my friend, a young milliner, named Caroline Peters."

The young soldier laughed, but it was the fresh, ringing laughter of a girl. "Then you really do not recognize me, Leonora?" he exclaimed. "You really take me for what I like to be and am not--a man?"

"Great Heaven! is it you?" exclaimed Leonora. "You--"

"Hush!" whispered the other, hastily drawing her into the room, and carefully locking the door. "For mercy's sake, let no one hear us! What a scandal it would be, if it should be discovered that Volunteer Charles Petersen receives the visits of pretty girls at his room! This hotel is entirely occupied by volunteers, and none of them suspect that I am a woman, nor shall they ever find it out. But now welcome, my dear Leonora, and tell me what has brought you to Berlin. Did you receive my letter?"

"Yes, Caroline, I did," said Leonora, gravely, "and it gave me pain, for you called me cowardly and destitute of honor, because I intended to stay at home when my country was in need of the arms of all its children, and when every one of any courage was participating in this holy struggle."

"And that is the truth, Leonora," exclaimed Caroline; "the fatherland has called us all, and those who do not listen to this call are cowards!"

"But who told you that I did not listen to it?" asked Leonora.

"What!" ejaculated Caroline, joyously. "Leonora, you, too--"

"Hush!" interrupted Leonora, "we must talk about all this afterward. I am in haste now, for there is a hackney-coach waiting for me at the door, and my trunk is on it. Tell me now quickly, Caroline, can I stay with you over night?"

"In female dress, Leonora? That would be hardly prudent."

"No, in male attire, Caroline."

"Oh, then you are a thousand times welcome here," exclaimed Caroline, encircling her with her arms, and drawing her to her heart.

"But I have not yet my male attire," said Leonora, smiling, "nor have I money to buy it. Give me, therefore, quickly, the name of some one who buys dresses, for I will drive to him immediately with my trunk, and sell all I have brought with me."

"Come, Leonora, I will accompany you," said Caroline. "I know at the Hospital Bridge a very patriotic and kind-hearted old Jew, to whom I have also sold my wearing apparel, and who paid me a very liberal price for it, when I told him that I wanted to buy a uniform for my brother. Let us drive there, but I will remain in the carriage while you go into the store, for he might recognize me. You will also find men's clothing, which you may purchase for your brother--that is to say, for yourself."

"Come, then, and let us make haste," said Leonora, drawing her friend with her.

Fifteen minutes afterward the hackney-coach halted in front of one of the second-hand clothing-stores near the Hospital Bridge, and Leonora alighted, holding in her arms a large package of dresses, shawls, skirts, and aprons, which she had taken from her trunk during the drive. Mr. Hirsch, the dealer in second-hand clothing, who was standing in front of his store, received her with a pleasant greeting, and invited her to enter and tell him what she wanted.

Leonora put the wearing apparel on the counter, and, drawing a deep breath, said in a tone of embarrassment, "I should like to sell these things, sir."

The Jew put his spectacles slowly on his nose, and then lifted up the dresses, one after another, contemplating them with scrutinizing glances.

"If he should not give me as much money as I need?" Leonora asked herself, anxiously, "if these things should not amount to so much that I cannot purchase a uniform?"

And old Hirsch, as if he heard the anxious question of her heart, said, shaking his head: "I cannot give very much for these few calico dresses and aprons. They are all very nice and well preserved, but of no value whatever."

"But there is also a silk dress, sir," said Leonora, in a tremulous voice, "an entirely new silk dress."

"New?" asked the Jew, shrugging his shoulders, drawing out the dress, and unfolding it with a sneer. "The dress is not new, for it is made after such an old fashion that it could be worn only at a masked ball; and the stuff is not worth any thing, either, for it is only half silk. It was just made to look at. It appears like heavy silk, but the oblique threads that make it look so heavy are all cotton. How much do you want for the whole, my pretty miss?"

"I do not know," said Leonora, in a low voice, "as much as you can give me for it."

"Yes, yes," grumbled the old man, "I am to give a great deal of money for very poor goods; that is what they all ask me to do. I will tell you, I cannot give you more than twelve dollars for the whole lot."

"Twelve dollars!" ejaculated Leonora, with such an expression of dismay that the Jew started, raising his green spectacles to his forehead, and fixing his small, twinkling eyes on Leonora.

"Twelve dollars!" repeated Leonora, and, no longer able to restrain her tears, she wrung her hands, and muttered: "It is all in vain, then! Twelve dollars arc not sufficient to buy a uniform and arms."

Hirsch heard her words. "What?" he asked, hastily. "You want to sell the dresses in order to buy a uniform and arms?"

"Yes, sir," replied Leonora, "my mother and I wanted to sell our dresses, because we hoped we would get money enough to buy my brother a complete uniform--a rifle, sword, and shako; for my brother intends to enlist in Lutzow's corps of riflemen."

"Your brother intends to enlist in Lutzow's corps of riflemen?" asked Hirsch, quickly. "Is that no pretext, eh? Do you not tell me so merely for the purpose of extorting money from me? Can you swear to me that that is why you wish to sell the dresses?"

"I can swear it by the great God in heaven, in whom we all believe," said Leonora, solemnly. "But I can prove it to you, too--"

"How so? In what way?"

"By buying a uniform for my brother here at your store. He is of the same height as I am, and has precisely the same figure: we are twins."

"And your brother intends to enlist in Lutzow's corps? Why did he not himself come to select a uniform?"

"He is at Potsdam, sir, and does not know that I am here. To-morrow is his birthday, and we want to surprise him by giving him his uniform to-morrow."

"And he shall have it!" exclaimed the Jew; "yes, he shall have it! I read in your eyes that you have told me the truth, my child, and that you do not want the money for frivolous purposes, but for the great cause of the German fatherland. I have also a heart for my country, and no one shall say that we Israelites do not feel and act like true Germans--that our hearts did not suffer under the disgrace which, for long years, has weighed down all Germany, and that we will not joyfully sacrifice our blood and our life; and, what is still more, our property, for the sake of the fatherland. Who was the first man at Berlin to make a voluntary contribution to this object? It was a Jew! The president of the Jewish congregation, M. Gumpert, made the first patriotic contribution. He sent three hundred dollars to the military commission, with the request that this amount might be spent for buying equipments for poor volunteers. [Footnote: Historical.] Our Gumpert was the first man who made a sacrifice for the benefit of the fatherland, and I do not wish to be the last. I made a mistake in appraising your things; I will do it over again, and what I can give I will give." He glanced again at the dresses; then shaking his head, and stroking the silk dress with his long, lean hand, he said, "How could I make such a mistake, and believe this stuff to be only half silk? It is all silk, heavy silk--and two dresses of the now fashionable tight cut can easily be made out of this splendid one. For this alone I will give you twenty dollars, and as for the other things, well, I will give you twenty dollars more."

"Oh," exclaimed Leonora, radiant with joy, and giving both her hands to the old Jew--"oh, you are a noble, generous man, a true patriot! I thank you, and may the delivered land some day reward you!"

"Ah, poor Hirsch cannot deserve great rewards at the hands of the fatherland," said the old man, sighing. "I am poor, I have not even a son whom I might give to the country, and intrust with the task of avenging me. I had a son, a good, dear boy; but, in 1807, when the French arrived here, he wished to defend our property against the soldiers who broke into our house; he grew very angry with the infamous ruffians, and called them and their emperor murderers and robbers. Thereupon they mortally stabbed him--they killed him before my own eyes! He was my only child, my only joy on earth! But, hush! this is no time for lamentations. I will rejoice--yes, rejoice, for the hour of vengeance has come, and we will pay the French for what wrongs they have inflicted on us. If I were not so old and feeble, I should myself willingly fight, but now I am only able to assist in equipping soldiers. Your brother shall become a soldier, my child; we will equip him for the Legion of Vengeance. He shall avenge my son, my innocent, beloved son, upon Napoleon the tyrant, and the French rabble, who have trampled us under foot so long and so disgracefully. Yes, yes, I will give you forty dollars for your things, but I will not give you the whole amount in cash. Look at this black uniform; it is quite new, the tailor delivered it only yesterday. Did not you tell me that your brother is of the same stature as you are?"

"Of the same stature and figure, for he is my twin-brother."

"Well, let us see if this uniform fits you."

Mr. Hirsch took out his tape-line, and measured Leonora's figure with the skill of au experienced tailor. He then applied the tape- line to the trousers and the coat of black cloth. "It fits splendidly," he exclaimed. "And here is also a nice silk vest that belongs to it. Now, listen to me! I charge you twelve dollars for the whole suit; you will, therefore, receive twenty-eight dollars in money. Now you will, in the first place, buy your brother a fine rifle, such as Lutzow's riflemen need. You will pay ten dollars for it; besides a sword and a shako, which will cost together five dollars. You will have thirteen dollars left. For this amount you will put a pair of good shirts and a new pair of boots into your brother's knapsack, and the remainder you will give him for pocket- money. Is it to be so? Is the bargain struck?" "Yes, the bargain is struck."

"Very well. Here is your uniform, and here are the twenty-eight dollars." He counted the shining dollars on the counter, and then pushed the money and the clothing toward Leonora. "Here is our Luztow's rifleman's uniform," he exclaimed.

"And here are the dresses, sir," said Leonora, handing the wearing apparel to the old man, but, while doing so, she quickly bent over it, and pressed a kiss on the silk dress.

Old Hirsch looked at her with amazement.

"It is my mother's bridal dress, sir," said Leonora, as if apologetically. "It was our greatest treasure, and I gave it only a farewell kiss."

The Jew looked down musingly. "Listen, my child," he said; "I must not sell this dress. I shall keep it until the war is over. If your brother gets safely back, you may bring him here, and, as a greeting of welcome, I will present your mother's bridal dress to him. But in return, he must do me a favor."

"What favor?"

"Whenever he cuts down a Frenchman, he is to shout, 'Moses Hirsch is avenged!' Moses was the name of my dear, unfortunate son, and I think he will sleep more calmly in his grave when he hears that his father has sent out an avenger of his death. Will you promise me, in your brother's name, that he will not forget to shout what I tell you?"

"I promise it! Whenever my brother cuts down a Frenchman, he will shout, 'Moses Hirsch is avenged!'"

"Thank you!" said Hirsch, greatly moved. "My son will hear it, and he will smile down from heaven on his old, lonely father. And now, my dear, beautiful child, good-by! Give me the package; I will take it for you to the carriage!"

"No, no, give it back to me," exclaimed Leonora, anxiously. But the old man did not listen to her. He took the package, and hastened with it out of his store to the hackney-coach.

Charles Petersen, at this moment, looked impatiently out of the window, and shouted to her friend to make haste.

Old Hirsch uttered a cry and stared at Caroline. "Great Heaven!" he exclaimed, "you in uniform--you a volunteer?"

"Ah," said Caroline, concealing her confusion by loud laughter, "I see what astonishes you. You confound me with my sister. I know she sold her dresses to you to buy a uniform and arms for me. Yes, it is difficult to distinguish us, for we greatly resemble each other. The reason is, we are twins."

"He has a twin-sister as you have a twin-brother," said Hirsch, turning to Leonora with a strange smile. "Hush! I understand all now. God protect the courageous twins! Coachman, start!"

"Whither?" asked the coachman.

"To M. Werkmeister's house, 23 Jager Street," replied Leonora, nodding a last greeting to the old Jew. The carriage wheeled away.

"What do you want at M. Werkmeister's?" asked Caroline.

"To pay him my last visit as a girl," said Leonora.

"Returning from his house, I shall divest myself of my female costume and become your comrade. Let us then go out together and buy my arms."

"But would it not be better for me to drive back to our hotel while you are Werkmeister's?" asked Caroline. "You have had the hackney- coach already above an hour, and we volunteers must be as economical as possible, in order to support ourselves as long as we can, and not become a burden to the state."

"That is true," said Leonora. "I will alight here, and you will be so kind as to take my trunk and the package to your quarters." The hackney-coach halted, and Leonora, wrapping herself in her shawl, leaped out of the carriage. "Drive back to Tauben Street, now," she said, "and assist the gentleman in carrying this trunk up to his room. But previously I will pay you the whole fare. How much do I owe you?"

"From the post-office to Tauben Street, four groschen," said the coachman, composedly.

"And besides?"

"Nothing else."

"How so--nothing else? You waited a good while in Tauben Street; we then drove hither, where you waited a long while again, and now you are about to return to Tauben Street."

"Yes; but in Tauben Street we took in a volunteer," said the coachman, whipping his horses in a gentle, caressing manner. "We hackmen never take any money for driving a volunteer. Every one must do as much for the fatherland as he can. You owe me, therefore, only four groschen."

"Here they are," said Leonora, handing the money to the hackman, "and we are much obliged to you."

"Oh, you are not obliged to me at all," said the hackman, "for you see I do not drive girls for nothing--only volunteers."

"To-morrow he will drive me, too, for nothing," said Leonora, gazing after the hackney-coach. "To-morrow I will no longer be a girl! For I am going now to bid a last adieu to my outward maidenhood and my past!" And she walked with resolute steps across the Gendarmes Market toward Jager Street.

"I must tell my dear godfather that I cannot accept his offer," she said to herself; "for, if I should not, he might perhaps write another letter to me to Potsdam, and mother: would then learn prematurely that I told her a falsehood, and am not now at my godfather's house; but when he knows that I cannot come, he will not write again, and no one will discover my plans."

There was an unusual throng to-day in front of the house No. 23 on Jager Street, where Werkmeister the merchant lived. It was not without difficulty that Leonora penetrated through the crowd to the door, where was to be seen a large placard, containing the following words: "Gold wedding-rings exchanged for iron ones here." Somewhat astonished at this strange inscription, Leonora entered the house, and stepped across the hall to the open door of her godfather's litting-room.

M. Rudolph Werkmeister, without looking attentively at her, presented her a small box containing a large number of glittering rings. "Please select one of these, and drop the gold ring into the aperture of the locked box," he said.

Leonora looked at him smilingly. "It is I, godfather," she said, offering him her hand.

"Ah, it is you, Leonora Prohaska," exclaimed M. Werkmeister, putting down the box. "You have received my letter, then, my child? You have at length made up your mind to comply with my wishes--to come to my house, and to assist my wife at the store and in the household? Well, you could not have come at a better hour, and I thank you for your kindness."

Leonora fixed her large dark eyes with an affectionate expression on the good-natured, pleasant face of the merchant, and stepping up to him laid both her hands on his shoulders. "Godfather, dear godfather," she said, greatly moved, "do not be angry with me, and forgive me for coming only to tell you I cannot accept your offer. Do not ask me why I cannot. I am not allowed to tell you the reason, but I know that, when you learn it some day, you will certainly approve what I have done. I really am no ungrateful girl, but I cannot come to you, dear M. Werkmeister. I have greater and holier duties to fulfil--duties to which God Himself has called me!"

"That is to say, my child, you do not wish to leave your poor old parents?" asked Mr. Werkmeister, in great emotion. "You will stay with them at their small house and eat the invalid's brown bread rather than live luxuriously at the beautiful capital of Prussia? You are right, perhaps, my child. You are the only joy of your parents, and I was selfish, perhaps, in trying to rob them of you. But, in doing so, I thought more of yourself, and desired to give a better and brighter sphere to your youth. But we must all pursue the paths which God and our conscience have marked out for us."

"Yes," exclaimed Leonora, enthusiastically, "you are right. Let me, therefore, pursue my own path, and may Heaven accompany me! You are not angry with me, then, godfather? You really are not? No? Now give me your hand, godfather, and let me take leave of you with an affectionate kiss!" She threw her arms round the old man's neck, and kissed him tenderly.

"But you do not intend to leave immediately?" asked M. Werkmeister, surprised. "You have not even seen my sick wife, and talk already of taking leave?"

"Ah, I must go. I have still much to attend to, and must leave Berlin to-night. But, tell me one thing! What is the meaning of the inscription at your door, and why is there such a crowd in front of your house?"

"They are reading the placard which I have hung out," said M. Werkmeister--"the request which I addressed to all patriots."

"And what do you request of them to do, godfather?"

"I request all families, and especially all wives and affianced brides, to bring their gold wedding-rings to me and receive iron ones in return; and in commemoration of these times, I have had ten thousand iron rings made, and the royal authorities approved my scheme and intrusted me with the collection of the gold ones. My request was published in the papers of this morning, and already more than thirty gold rings have been exchanged. Look, here are the iron ones. They are very neat, are they not?--the exact shape of genuine wedding-rings; only in place of the names, the inside contains the words, 'I gave gold for iron, 1813.' Read!"

"Oh, that is a very beautiful idea," exclaimed Leonora, contemplating the ring which he had handed her. "Such a memento will henceforth be the most precious ornament of all wives, and no gold will shine so brilliantly and be so valuable as these iron rings with which our women pledge their love to their native land. Ah, dear godfather, I would like to ask a favor of you. I am no wife, nor am I an affianced bride, and I have, therefore, no wedding-ring to give you. I have nothing but my heart, and in this heart there is no other love than that of country. Let me, therefore, offer it to the fatherland instead of gold, and give me for it an iron ring with the beautiful inscription: 'I gave gold for iron, 1813.'"

"There is a ring, my child; your heart is pure gold; let it remain so; then you will well deserve your ring!" He placed it on her finger, and she thanked him with a blissful smile.

"And now I go, dear godfather," said Leonora. "Farewell, and do not forget me! And--"

At this moment a lady entered the room. Her dress indicated poverty, and her face was pale and sunken, but her eyes were lit up with a noble enthusiasm. "The wedding-rings are exchanged here?" she asked.

"Yes, here."

She quickly drew two from her finger, and handed them to M. Werkmeister. "Take them," she cried. "One of these rings belongs to me, the other I drew from the finger of my dear husband. Ten years have elapsed since then; I have always worn them, and, although I have often suffered great privations, I could never part with my only treasure. But to-day I do so joyously. Give me my iron rings!" She took those handed her, and placed them on her finger. "Farewell, sir," she said. "These will be my daughter's heirloom, and I know she will rejoice over them." She had not yet crossed the threshold when another lady appeared, and another, and more followed in rapid succession. The newspapers, containing the request, had been read in the whole city; all the married women hastened to comply with it, and to lay down their wedding-rings on the altar of the fatherland. Leonora stood as if fascinated by the beautiful and soul-stirring scene. With radiant eyes she gazed at the ladies who came and received with joyous pride iron rings in exchange for gold ones--at the young women, who, blushing and with tearful eyes, gave up their first love-pledge--at the old matrons who came totteringly to exchange the golden reminiscences of the days of their youth for iron ornaments. [Footnote: On the first day about two hundred wedding-rings were exchanged.--Vide Beitzke, vol. i.] Tears of profound emotion fell from Leonora's eyes. She wished to embrace these women and thank them for their patriotism.

"I will also prove to the country how ardently I love it," she said to herself. "I will also make my sacrifices. I must go, Caroline is waiting for me. I must buy arms for the soldiers whom I intend to furnish." She shook hands with her godfather in silence. The crowd in front of the door receded before her, and allowed her to pass, filled with reverence for the women who returned from the solemn sacrifice they had made. She passed on, absorbed in her reflections. Once she raised her hand, and contemplated the iron ring on her finger. "I gave gold for iron!" she said, raising her dark eyes toward heaven. "I am now a bride, too, the bride of my country! Will it give me only iron for the gold of my love? Only a bullet or a sword-cut? No matter! I am the bride of the fatherland! I will live and die for it!" She was aroused from her musings by cheers suddenly resounding from the side of the Gendarmes Market. An immense crowd had assembled there, and shouted frantically, their faces beaming with joy.

"What is it?"

And a hundred jubilant voices replied: "General York is coming with the Prussians! The king has reinstated York! The court-martial has acquitted him!" [Footnote: York made his entry into Berlin at the head of the Prussian troops on the 17th of March, 1813, and was received with boundless enthusiasm.]

"Long live noble General York!" shouted the crowd. "York was the first man to take heart, and brave the French!"

"York is coming to Berlin!" shouted others, hurrying from the adjoining streets to the market-place. "York, with his Prussians, is outside the King's Gate, and to-morrow he will make his entry into Berlin!"

"Long live the brave general! All Berlin will meet him to-morrow, and cheer him who first drew his sword against the French! The new era is dawning on Prussia!"

"Yes, the new era is dawning on Prussia!" exclaimed Leonora. "We have long walked in sadness. But morning is breaking--the morning of freedom. Now we shall boldly raise our heads. The country has called us, and we all have heard the call, and are ready to conquer or die. Hail, brave York! The time of thraldom is past! We shall rise from the dust, and the Germans will now reconquer the sacred right of being Germans. Oh, my heart, rejoice! I am no longer a girl, I am one of Lutzow's riflemen, and to-morrow I shall go to Breslau, and add another soldier to the Legion of Vengeance. Farewell, Leonora Prohaska, farewell! Now you are a man, and your soul must be manly, strong, and hopeful. Long live Prussia!"

Dieses Kapitel ist Teil des Buches Napoleon and Blücher