The Works of Frederick Schiller, Early Dramas and Romances: The Robbers, Fiesco, Love and Intrigue, Demetrius, the Ghost-Seer, and the Sport of Destiny

By Henry G. Bohn; Friedrich Schiller | Go to book overview

anything about it, gave up his very handsome legacy to the heirs, and kept his secrets to himself. Large offers were made to him by the relations, but all in vain; at length, in order to escape from their importunities and their threats of legally prosecuting him, he entered the service of the Prince. The merchant, who was the chief heir, now applied to the Prince, and made larger offers than before, if Biondello would alter his determination. But even the persuasions of the Prince were fruitless. He admitted that secrets of consequence had really been confided to him; he did not deny that the deceased had perhaps carried his enmity towards his relations too far; but, added he, he was my dear master and benefactor, and died with a firm belief in my integrity. I was the only friend he had left in the world, and will therefore never prove myself unworthy of his confidence. At the same time, he hinted that the avowals they wished him to make would not tend to the honour of the deceased. Was not that acting nobly and delicately? You may easily imagine that the Prince did not renew his endeavours to shake so praiseworthy a determination. The extraordinary fidelity which he has shown towards his deceased master, has procured him the unlimited confidence of his present one!

Farewell, my dear friend. How I sigh for the quiet life we led when first you came amongst us, for the stillness of which your society so agreeably indemnified us. I fear my happy days in Venice are over, and shall be glad if the same remark does not also apply to the Prince. The element in which he now lives is not calculated to render him permanently happy, or my sixteen years' experience has deceived me.


LETTER II.

BARON VON F----- TO COUNT VON O-----.

June 4th.

I should never have thought that our stay at Venice would have been productive of any good consequences. It has been the means of saving a man's life, and I am reconciled to it.

Some few evenings ago the Prince was being carried home, late at night, from the Bucentauro; two domestics, of whom

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