our marriage was a business settlement, arranged for us by two governments. But the Grand Duchess was such a pretty woman, and although I could never see what she found to admire in the tutor—a very tedious man—I can quite understand that she disliked living here in Brandenstein. You see, she came from Parma, the country of violets, and she was always shivering here, always complaining of the drafts. But, really, I loved her.
"And you love me, now?" she asked, locking her arms
about his neck.
"I worship you. You are my divinity, and at night I say my prayers to you. And I want to shut you up here, so that you shall never escape from me. What's the matter? Are you cold, too?"
"I don't know. I think perhaps that I am sorry for both of us."
And this might have been true had it not been for the fact that her heart, her warm and beating vital heart, seemed to be locked away in a prison of ice, so that none might touch or thaw it, and even Eitel Gustav was like a figure in a play, to be pitied at a distance, and then at once forgotten, since every nerve in her body continued to cry out for Guy, who was all her world, and without him, living in the shadow, however remote, of his hostility, there was nothing left for her but darkness and cold, and by this time she was sorely afraid of both.
"To-morrow night," she said, kissing the mouth of Eitel Gustav, 'Til dance for you, in the little theater at the castle."
"What will you dance, my beloved?"
She answered, hurting herself wilfully: "The shadow dance from The Ondine. The dance that I can never learn to play at the piano. And I'll dance divinely."
Had she wished, she could have ruled, not only this gentle madman, but his whole country, his whole army,