were ever on the alert, he traveled far without being rewarded
John Heywood ventured to offer no further opposition. There was at this moment something peculiarly lofty, proud, and truly royal in her air, which impressed him with awe, and before which he bowed.
"I have granted him an interview because he wished it," said Elizabeth; "and, John, I will confess it to you, my own heart longed for it. Seek not, then, to shake my resolution; it is as firm as a rock. But if you are not willing to stand by me, say so, and I will then look about me for another friend, who loves me enough to impose silence on his thoughts."
"But who, perhaps, will go and betray you. No, no, it has been once resolved upon, and unalterably; so no one but I must be your confidant. Tell me, then, what I am to do, and I will obey you."
"You know, John, that my apartments are situated in yonder wing, overlooking the garden. Well, in my dressing-room, behind one of the large wall pictures, I have discovered a door leading into a lonely, dark corridor. From this corridor there is a passage up into yonder tower. It is unoccupied and deserted. Nobody ever thinks of entering that part of the castle, and the quiet of the grave reigns throughout those apartments, which nevertheless are furnished with a magnificence truly regal. There will I receive him."
"But how shall he make his way thither?"
"Oh, do not be concerned; I have thought over that many days since; and while I was refusing my lover the interview for which he again and again implored me, I was quietly preparing everything so as to be able one day to grant it to him. Today this object is attained, and today have I fulfilled his wish, voluntarily and unasked; for I saw he had no more courage to ask again. Listen, then. From the tower, a spiral staircase leads down to a small door, through which you gain entrance into the garden. I have a key to this door. Here it is. Once in possession of this key, he has nothing further to do but remain behind in the park this evening, instead of leaving the castle; and by means of this he will come to me, for I will wait for him in the tower, in the large room directly opposite the staircase landing. Here, take the key; give it to him, and repeat to him all that I have said."
"Well, princess, there remains for you now only to appoint the hour at which you will receive him there."
"The hour," said she, as she turned away her blushing face. "You understand, John, that it is not feasible to receive him there by day, because there is by day not a single moment in which I am not watched."
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