main street toward the Cathedral, while right and left of him bishops and electors were dropping incapable. The Kaiser advanced till by his side the youth rode sole. ‘Thy name?’ said the Kaiser. He answered: ‘A poor youth, unconquerable Kaiser! Farina I am called.’ ‘Thy recompense?’ said the Kaiser. He answered: ‘The hand of a maiden of Cologne, most gracious Kaiser and master!’ ‘She is thine!’ said the Kaiser. Kaiser Heinrich looked behind him, and among a host grasping the pommels of their saddles, and reeling vanquished, were but two erect, a maiden and an old man. ‘That is she, unconquerable Kaiser!’ Farina continued, bowing low. ‘It shall be arranged on the spot,’ said the Kaiser. A word from Kaiser Heinrich sealed Gottlieb’s compliance. Said he: ‘Gracious Kaiser and master! though such a youth could of himself never have aspired to the possession of a Groschen, yet when the Kaiser pleads for him, objection is as the rock of Moses, and streams consent. Truly he has done Farina 94 Cologne good service, and if Margarita, my daughter, can be persuaded—’ The Kaiser addressed her with his blazing brows. Margarita blushed a ready autumn of rosy-ripe acquiescence. ‘A marriage registered yonder!’ said the Kaiser, pointing upward. ‘I am thine, murmured Margarita, as Farina drew near her. ‘Seal it! seal it!’ quoth the Kaiser, in hearty good humour; ‘take no consent from man or maid without a seal.’ Farina tossed the contents of a flask in air, and saluted his beloved on the lips. This scene took place near the charred round of earth where the Foulest descended to his kingdom below. Men now pervaded Cologne with flasks, purifying the atmosphere. It became possible to breathe freely. ‘We Germans,’ said Kaiser Heinrich, when he was again surrounded by his courtiers, ‘may go wrong if we always follow Pfalzgraf Nase; but this time we have been well led.’ Whereat there was obsequious laughter. The Pfalzgraf pleaded a susceptible nostril.
‘Thou art, I fear, but a timid mortal,’ said the Kaiser. ‘Never have I been found so on the German Field, Imperial Majesty!’ returned the Pfalzgraf. ‘I take glory to myself that this Nether reek overcomes me.’ ‘Even that we must combat, you see!’ exclaimed Kaiser Heinrich; ‘but come all to a marriage this night, and take brides as soon as you will, all of you. Increase, and give us loyal subjects in plenty. I count prosperity by the number of marriages in my empire!’ The White Rose Club were invited by Gottlieb to the wedding, and took it in vast wrath until they saw the, Kaiser, and such excellent stout German fare present, when immediately a battle raged as to who should do the event most honour, and was in dispute till dawn: Dietrich Schill being the man, he having consumed wurst the length of his arm, and wine sufficient to have floated a St. Goar salmon; which was long proudly chronicled in his family, and is now unearthed from among the ancient honourable records of Cologne. The Goshawk was Farina’s bridesman, and a very spiriting bridesman was he! Aunt Lisbeth sat in a corner, faintly smiling. George Meredith 95 ‘Child!’ said the little lady to Margarita when they kissed at parting, ‘your courage amazes me. Do you think? Do you know? Poor, sweet bird, delivered over hand and foot!’ ‘I love him! I love him, aunty! that’s all I know,’ said Margarita: ‘love, love, love him!’ ‘Heaven help you!’ ejaculated Aunt Lisbeth. ‘Pray with me,’ said Margarita. The two knelt at the foot of the bride-bed, and prayed very different prayers, but to the same end. That done, Aunt Lisbeth helped undress the White Rose, and trembled, and told a sad nuptial anecdote of the Castle, and put her little shrivelled hand on Margarita’s heart, and shrieked. ‘Child! it gallops!’ she cried. ‘’Tis happiness,’ said Margarita, standing in her hair. ‘May it last only!’ exclaimed Aunt Lisbeth. ‘It will, aunty! I am humble: I am true’; and the fair girl gathered the frill of her nightgown. ‘Look not in the glass,’ said Lisbeth; ‘not to-night! Look, if you can, to-morrow.’ She smoothed the White Rose in her bed, tucked her up, and kissed her, leaving her as a bud that waits for sunshine.