Page:Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field.djvu/70

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THINK OF HER SORROWS

He read to several friends in Vienna what he had written about the murdered Empress Elizabeth. "I know it is full of exaggeration," he admitted. "I did gown her with virtues she never thought of possessing and I have denied all her frailties. As I learn now, she was just an ordinary woman, and her surpassing vanity was the only extraordinary thing about her. But think how much she suffered and think of the man she was married to. Re-read, too, that story about the murdered Rudolph. When Count Something approached her to break the news, she ran to him wringing her hands and cried: 'My Rudy is dead. Oh, my Rudy!' What told this Niobe among royal women that her son had been destroyed—killed in a low debauch? When I reflect how she maintained her self-respect in a life of constant disappointment and tragedy, I think I did well making her out a noble soul."

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