Page:Marquis de Sade - Adelaide of Brunswick.djvu/171

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


made Bathilda a handsome gift of properties which would make it possible for her to marry well, and she also settled some property on the Baron Dour lach to whom she owed so much. She then wrote to Thuringia to ask him to write letters of gratitude to the many people who had helped her in her moments of distress and also to any of those who had helped her at any time. Thuringia accomplished the last desires of a woman he had never ceased to adore and whom he held in his heart until the last sigh of his life.

The certainty that Thuringia would carry out the wishes of Adelaide was transmitted to this princess by a letter which he signed with his blood. Adelaide kissed it and put it next to her heart, then she left on the journey which would take her into the holy retreat which she had visited just before her arrival in Fredericksburg. She arrived there alone and on foot.

"I have returned to you, holy man," she said to Urbain, "you see that I have kept the word I gave you."

After having passed several days in this house, she announced her desire of taking the veil. She asked the abbess for her permission to decorate the chapel herself for that great ceremony and it was granted.

At her orders, all was draped in black. The tomb of the former princess of Saxony was opened and twenty lamps burned around it. An ebony seat was placed in front of the tomb.

Two lines of nuns appeared in the church with Urbain on one side and the abbess on the other. It was midnight. The doleful and plaintive sound of the bells warned Heaven of the sacrifice which was being prepared. Soon the nuns were bowed low and chanting de profundis in a low voice. One would say that these somber and shadowy voices were coming from the grave and were addressing to Heaven these sacred words of the prophet:

"It is from the depths that we raise our voices toward the Lord. God, listen to us, listen to us and see our tears."

After this verse, the nuns arose and their hands crossed on their chests, they listened attentively to what Adelaide was going to say.

"You who are listening to me, saintly young women," she said, "you whose place is already set aside in Heaven, do not

165