Page:Marquis de Sade - Adelaide of Brunswick.djvu/169

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Adelaide had gone into retirement. He formed a conspiracy and Thuringia was almost killed, but escaped without being hurt.

Mersburg was identified as the leader of the plot and brought before his peers to be tried. He admitted all his crimes in the following confession:

"If the most violent love could serve as an excuse for the blackest crimes, then perhaps I would merit a little of your pity. But I expea only death and I deserve it. Listen to my story. Another passion than the one which holds me today motivated the disastrous end of Frau von Kaunitz. She refused to have me as her lover, and her refusal so irritated me that I had her poisoned. My anger went even as far as her son and wishing to compromise the princess who had already captivated my heart and to make both her husband and her lover jealous of her, I had fall on the breast of young Kaunitz the dagger which Frederick wished to use on the lover of Adelaide. I excited more and more the jealousy of the Prince of Saxony, thinking that this means would bring about the catastrophe which I wanted.

"My main plan was to pit the husband and the lover against each other, and in that way be sure that one would perish, and then I could get rid of the other.

"The imprisonment of Adelaide at Torgau did not fulfill well enough the plans I had to make her seem guilty in the eyes of her husband. I therefore had her escape Torgau by setting the building on fire. I then took her to various places and finally had her arrested by Schinders where I was going to have her condemned for immorality. But as luck would have it, the father of Bathilda was there and helped her to escape.

"In the meantime, I was able to control the policies of Saxony to some extent by using influence with the Emperor Henry and by my friendship with Thuringia who was ruling in Saxony while I was away with Frederick. Since Frederick was about to return too soon to Saxony I turned him away by giving him new hope that he would find Adelaide. In the meantime, I was making all the arrangements to have her become mixed up in more adventures, which were always planned in such a way that my love for Adelaide and my ambition would

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