slightly uptilted nose, she had no more than a glimpse.

 people involved | time:2023-12-04 21:45:18

Suddenly he again pressed his brow fearfully, and cried; "I shall go mad! A thousand dancing pictures and happy faces are swarming around me; I shall go mad! But no, I will control myself; I will be calm." He raised his head with his accustomed bold defiance. "I will look freedom in the face; my eyelids shall not quiver and my heart shall beat calmly. I will be quiet and thoughtful. I will think it all over once more. Listen to me, oh friend! you, who have heard all my sighs and my despair; you, who know my misery; listen to me, oh gloomy cell. You have always been faithful; you have never wished to forsake or leave me; and when I struggled to escape, you called me always back. But this is our last day together; you shall hear my confession, I will tell you all my plans, by what means I shall escape from you, my true friend, my dark, dreary cell. Know first that this garrison is composed of nine hundred men, who are much dissatisfied. It will not be difficult to win them, particularly if they are well bribed. Besides this, there are two majors and two lieutenants conspiring with me; they will tell their soldiers what to do. The guard at the star-port, is composed of but fifteen men, and if they do not obey me willingly, we will know how to compel obedience. At the end of the star-port lies the city gate. At this only twelve men and one officer are stationed; these we shall easily overpower. On the other side, close to the gate, the Austrian Captain von Kimsky is awaiting me with the remainder of the prisoners of war. All the officers, who have pledged themselves to assist my undertaking, are concealed in a safe house rented for this purpose. At my first call they will rush forward and fall upon the guard; we will overpower them and enter the city. There other friends await us; one of them, under some pretext, holds in his quarters arms for his company, and at my call he will join me with his armed band. Oh my God! my God! I see every thing so plainly and clearly before me. I see myself rushing joyfully through the streets, dashing into the casemates, which contain nine thousand prisoners. I call to them: 'Up, comrades, up; I am Frederick von Trenck, your captain and your leader; arm yourselves and follow me.' I hear them greet me joyfully and cry, 'Long live Trenck!' They take their arms and we rush to the other casemates, where seven thousand Austrian and Russian prisoners are confined. We free them, and I head a little army of sixteen thousand men. Magdeburg is mine; the fortress, the magazine of the army, the treasury, the arsenal, all is in our power. I shall conquer all for Maria Theresa. Oh, King Frederick! King Frederick! I shall avenge myself on you for these long years of misery, for the martyrdom of this fearful imprisonment. Trenck will not be obliged to leave Magdeburg; he will drive away the Prussians, and make himself master."

slightly uptilted nose, she had no more than a glimpse.

He laughed so loudly that the old walls echoed the sound, and a wailing sigh seemed to glide along the building. Trenck started and looked timidly around him.

slightly uptilted nose, she had no more than a glimpse.

"I am still alone," he murmured, "no one has heard my words; no, no one but you," he continued cheerfully, "my old silent friend, my faithful prison. To-morrow morning the officer on guard will enter and order the sentinels to remove the bed; as soon as they enter I shall rush out and lock the door. The sentinels being locked up, I put on the clothes which are lying in readiness for me in the passage, and then forward to my soldiers. I shall distribute gold freely among them--a friend will meet me with the money at the house of Captain von Kleist, and if he has not sufficient, Amelia has richly supplied me. Arise, arise from your grave, my secret treasures."

slightly uptilted nose, she had no more than a glimpse.

He crouched close to the wall and removed the mortar and chalk carefully; he then drew out a stone and took from under it a purse full of gold.

His eye, accustomed to the darkness, saw the gold through the silk net; he nodded to it and laughed with delight as he poured it out and played madly with it. His countenance suddenly assumed an earnest expression.

"Poor Amelia," he murmured softly, "you have sacrificed your life, your beauty, and your youth for me. With never-failing zeal you have moved around me like my guardian angel, and how am I repaying you? By taking from your brother, King Frederick, his finest fortress, his money, his provisions; by compelling you and yours to fly from a city which no longer belongs to you, but to the Empress of Austria, your enemy. With your money I have taken this city; Amelia, you are ignorant of this now, and when you learn it, perhaps you will curse me and execrate the love which has poisoned your whole life. Oh, Amelia! Amelia, forgive me for betraying you also. My unfortunate duty is forcing me onward, and I must obey. Yes," he said, springing from his seat, "I must yield to my fate, I must be free again--I must be a man once more; I can sit no longer like a wild animal in his cage, and tell my grief and my despair to the cold walls. I must reconquer life--I must again see the sun, the world, and mankind--I must live, suffer, and act."

He walked violently to and fro, his whole being was in feverish expectation and excitement, and he felt alarmed. Suddenly he remained standing; pressing his two hands against his beating temples, he murmured:

"I shall indeed go mad. Joy at my approaching deliverance confuses my poor head; I will try to sleep, to be calm--collect my strength for to-morrow."

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