Page:Marquis de Sade - Adelaide of Brunswick.djvu/157

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over the events of her life point by point, she proved her innocence in all the situations through which she passed.

"What a crime I have been guilty of in sacrificing Kaunitz," cried Frederick.

"That error was frightful, no doubt," said Adelaide, "but it was only due to an excess of jealousy and because of that it is impossible for me to blame it."

The prince then took Adelaide in his arms.

"Oh, dear half of my life," cried Frederick overcome by emotion, "then you have never ceased loving me?"

But Adelaide could not be false. She did not know how to receive this sudden forgiveness, and since she did not really feel any love for her husband, she could not pretend that she did. This situation soon became apparent to Frederick who was burning to see some real evidence of love and especially to see her tears. When he saw that she was quite cool all of his former suspicions returned. Instead of opening his heart to her, he kissed her coldly on the forehead and took her hand in his.

"Come," he said, "all of Saxony awaits you. Your presence will silence the slandering tongues."

Adelaide followed her husband, and the next day great festivities announced to all the states of Frederick the return of Adelaide and the reconciliation with her husband. Ambassadors of the Duke of Brunswick arrived laden with presents and felicitations, and everybody had a very pleasant time.

"Oh, Bathilda," said Adelaide one day to the admirable companion of her travels, now her lady of honor, "oh, my dear Bathilda, I fear that I have not been able to persuade my husband of my fidelity to him. What can you do when the heart is not in it? I don't have enough falseness in me to play the part in a convincing manner."

"In the meantime, have you noticed how the Marquis of Thuringia adores you?"

"Does he speak to you of me sometimes?"

"During the festivities, he was busy all the time serving you. If he left you for an instant, it was to speak of the happiness he had at being near all that he loved."

"And Frederick never speaks to you?"