remain sitting down. She looked at the presentation clock

 people involved | time:2023-12-04 20:45:19

Trenck laughed aloud. "You promise not to punish me. How could you accomplish it? Has not your cruelty bound me in irons, in chains, whose invention can only be attributed to the devil? Do I not live in the deepest, most forlorn cell in the fortress? Is not my nourishment bread and water? Do you not condemn me to pass my days in idleness, my nights in fearful darkness? What more could you do to me?--how could you punish any new attempt to escape? No, no, sir commandant; as soon as that door has closed on you, the mole will commence to burrow, and some day, in spite of all your care, he will escape."

remain sitting down. She looked at the presentation clock

"That is your last word!" cried Von Bruckhausen, infuriated. "You will not promise to abandon these idle attempts at escape? You will not name your accomplices?"

remain sitting down. She looked at the presentation clock

"Well, then, farewell. You shall remember this hour, and I promise you, you shall regret it."

remain sitting down. She looked at the presentation clock

Throwing a fearful look of malignant wrath at Trenck, who was leaning against his pallet, laughing at his rage, the commandant left the prison. The iron door closed slowly; the firm, even tread of the disappearing soldiers was audible, then all was quiet.

A death-like stillness reigned in the prisoner's cell; no sound of life disturbed the fearful quiet. Trenck shuddered; a feeling of inexpressible woe, of inconsolable despair came over him. He could now yield to it, no one was present to hear his misery and wretchedness. He need not now suppress the sighs and groans that had almost choked him; he could give the tears, welling to his eyes like burning fire, full vent; he could cool his feverish brow upon the stone floor, in the agony of his soul. As a man trembles at the thought of death, Trenck trembled at the thought of life. He knew not how long he had sighed, and wept, and groaned. For him there was no time, no hour, no night--it was all merged into one fearful day. But still he experienced some hours of pleasure and joy. These were the hours of sleep, the hours of dreams. Happier than many a king, than many powerful rulers and rich nobles upon their silken couches, was this prisoner upon his hard pallet. He could sleep--his spirit, busy during the day in forming plans for his escape, needed and found the rest of sleep; his body needed the refreshment and received it.

Yes, he could sleep. Men were hard and cruel to him, but God had not deserted him, for at night He sent an angel to his cell who consoled and refreshed him. It was the angel of slumber--when night came, after all his sorrow, his agony, his despair endured during the day, the consoling angel came and took his seat by the wretched prisoner. This night he kissed his eyes, he laid his soft wings on the prisoner's wounded heart, he whispered glorious dreams of the future into his ear. A beautiful smile, seldom seen when he was awake, now rested upon his lips.

Keep quiet, ye guards, without there--keep quiet, the prisoner sleeps; the sleep of man is sacred, and more sacred than all else is the sleep of the unfortunate. Do not disturb him--pass the door stealthily. Be still, be still! the prisoner sleeps--reverence his rest.

This stillness was now broken by a loud cry.

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