He stared at her in a dazed manner during supper, returned to Brandenstein the next day, and there immediately took to his bed. When pressed by his court physician for details of his symptoms he replied that he was in love with the dancer Varsovina, and would assuredly die unless she came to him on the wings of the wind. But the dancer Varsovina was fulfilling engagements in Budapest and Vienna, and Eitel Gustav, refusing all nourishment, lay with his face to the wall for a fortnight. Shortly afterward he rallied enough to send for his son, the twelve-year-old Frederick Adolphus, to whom he confided, in a weak and quavering voice, his plans for the enlargement of his army, his plans for the modernization of the royal palace, and his own eccentric desire to be buried in a Greek temple on the middle of a swampy island near his shooting-lodge. He was, he concluded, failing rapidly. Whereupon the young Archduke, blubbering, ran for the doctors, and when the doctors came running in their turn to the royal bedside, Eitel Gustav, in a voice even weaker than before, declared once again the impossibility of continuing life without the support by his side of the dancer Varsovina.
He had, incidentally, no Grand Duchess, this lady having eloped, six years earlier, with her son's tutor. The doctors, in view of this unfortunate mishap, possibly decided that feminine influence, even of an illegal nature, could only have a stimulating effect upon their royal master; in any case an equerry was forthwith dispatched to Varsovina in Budapest bearing with him a note from the Grand Duke and a yellow diamond as big as a walnut.
Most singular of all, considering her independent character, Lina, her Viennese engagements terminated, came at once to Brandenstein. Perhaps, like most women of her time and profession, she was by no means averse to the notoriety inseparable from a royal love-affair. Per-