Frigyes Trenk himself honestly admits in his left-behind documents that he was the highest goal of the ladies’ grace’s conquests and always chose the most charming, noblest, most beautiful figures among them.
“First-class ladies were shaped like young men, their love held back from outbursts. Women taught her men morals in refined taste. Women helped my misfortune. I owe the few happy days of my life to women all. And even now, I lived at dusk, the beautiful and cheerful ladies are able to revive my soul, waning from old age, world hatred, gloom ».
At a bright lunch given by Lord Hyndtforth in honor of the diplomatic faculty, Frederick Trenk was also official.
Everyone already knows everyone: the ambassadors and their wives, the Russian ministers, the court dignitaries, with their young and old couples. (Pardon! The women-253-never elders: only long-lived young people.) There was only one garçon among the ministers: the chief of the navy, Prince P … ff. “Well, it was better to stay unmarried.” He was so obese that a separate iron chair had to be pushed under him at the table: everything else would have been broken under him. His peculiarity was well known that from the age of a ship captain he was so accustomed to the vomiting of the ship that he could not fall asleep other than by sitting in a sledge, which was kept in a continuous rocking motion by a machine. “Then he was over sixty, no matter how black he painted his mustache and eyebrows.”
His colleagues kept joking with him, “when are you getting married?” “I’m still very weak with it!”
Another pleasant feature of the Minister was that he heard extremely much. However, he made up for this eclipse with the talent of an observer. He could hear with his eyes. He looked at the man’s mouth and guessed from his movements what he was talking about, often listening to the conversation of those sitting in the lodge opposite him – with his eyes. This science, of course, was wasted if they spoke an unknown language, such as English.
The ambassador’s guests were greeted in the assembly hall by the janitor, who handed over a cute ticket to the male guests with one’s name written on each side and the name of the lady assigned to the table next to the other, who was previously required to lead her to the table. .
The name was written on the letter of Frederick Trenk: “Asturovna Jelvira”.
You haven’t heard that name yet.
Asturov: doesn’t sound Russian. Elvira is not found in the Greek calendar either. The Russians like to add names starting with a soft vowel with a Jotta: Elizabeth, Jeugen. That’s how Jelvira became.
– Whose wife is this lady? he asked the steward.-254-
– I do not know. Princess.
So he found out soon enough.
In the lounge with oriental light and English comfort, Frederick greeted Lady Hyndtforth with a hand kiss and handed her the bouquet she had brought with her. Milady immediately took her by the arm and led her to the chancellor sitting on the couch. That was an old acquaintance.
However, a lady «stood» on the side of the princess’ frame. What? Lady? A phenomenon! How she stood and did not take a seat could be known from the fact that she was still a girl.
But how does a single get to a diplomatic lunch? all among the wives of ministers and ambassadors?
She was a slender girl of beautiful stature, in a bright, South Russian national costume: her shoulder strap was embroidered with precious stones, the diamond rose of her shirt-shoulder, the wedding pearl of her wedding tree embracing her neck. Her face is pale, with hidden blush, her rounded lips open to eloquent silence, a charm radiating in her big black eyes, her carbon black hair like a crown, wrapped around her head, intertwined with pearl garlands, from which the carbuncle of ferronière dangles to the convex forehead.
Lady Hyndtforth also introduced Frederick Trenk to the girl.
– Your cavalièr servant at the table.
So this is Jelvira? Is this a fairy?
Trenk noticed that the faint face blushed, his lips opened to some whispering word, and that word was spoken in English.
But he could no longer guess that mystery, for at once his day was obscured by an intrusive dark crowd: a plethora of Minister P … ff.
All he could see was that the great colossus handed over a bouquet of roses to the beautiful fairy, which he accepted with his left hand, and raised his right hand as he would provoke a hand kiss. And the minister is actually kissing the girl’s hand.
Frederick became so stupid at once when he saw this.-255-
He couldn’t hide his start.
“Is the princess the minister’s bride?” to the Chancellor.
The tall mistress showed a cold, unchanging face.
– Yes. The Empress desires this marriage.
Frederick saw that the high gentlemen were in a hurry to shake hands and congratulate the happy groom while he received the wishes of salvation with a triumphant face.
– Come on, congratulate the groom too. Lord Hyndtforth told the swaying young man.
“I want to congratulate him,” Frederick growled from his teeth with his sword in his stomach.
– Be smart! After all, it’s not you who’s in trouble, it’s him. How long have wolves been running for a hunting license?
Major domus meant lunch began. Each gentleman hurried to visit his lady and lead her to the dining room according to the order of court etiquette.
At the table, however, this ranking order has been boldly changed. Frederick Trenk, the captain, would have had a place somewhere at the end of the table. He had no title to sit in fourth place from the double presidency formed by Lady Hyndtforth and Mrs. Bestuseff. He did not appear to be considered a real Russian officer; for in this way he could not sit opposite an admiral; but to the maid of honor. In this right, he could have gotten to the side of the beautiful bride, as opposed to her fiancé.
The fat wonder, while eating and drinking (though very much) ceaselessly, stared at the lips of the two sitting opposite, the eyes of a sitting shark flowing – they listened to them.
But they could still play.
This little young fairy, the sixteen-year-old princess, knowing full well that her fiancé did not understand English, continued to speak to Frederick in that language. The minister’s eyes knew nothing of the mouth movements. And lest something be conceived of him from the facial expressions, a-256-he showed a completely opposite facial expression with the words he said. When he lifted a Tokaj wine glass filled by his neighbor to his lips, he said to Frederick:
“Though I had poison in this glass to get rid of this monster at once.”
But below the words, he turned to his fiancé with a mesmerizing smile, handing over the half-sifted glass to squeeze out the remaining wine. And with it his bride’s love.
“I’m in doubt,” Jelvira told Frigyes. The mistress is forcing. My father is exiled to Siberia. Your pardon depends on me being the wife of this awful man. I am the owner of princely property; but I will only receive it when I return from the altar with this hippopotamus.
And meanwhile, devaj flirted with bread flakes towards the copper-faced muzzle of his dear future.
A leaf fell from the groom’s bouquet of roses. Frederick picked it up. Jelvira reclaimed it. Frederick took the rose leaf in his mouth. Jelvira made a dignified face, frowned, and said to Frederick in a harsh, commanding voice:
“You return that rose leaf immediately.” Come to my summer castle in Poklonnaya-Sóra tomorrow afternoon: you will get the whole bouquet there.
After this strict order, Frederick presented the rose leaf, apologized, and then they didn’t say a word to each other. Everyone could see that the young princess could strictly maintain her authority.
The happy groom, being fully reassured by what he had seen about the strict principles of his bride, was able to see with all his might after his gastronomic studies. For other ordinary people, eating is a pleasure; but for him it was a real study. He has domesticated the favorite dishes of all the nations of the world in Russian chef studios.-257-
Spiritist charades completing Russian feasts also boast the authorship of the Admiral Prince. Being a spirit, one must distinguish between the spirits which are caused by the soul-evokes and those which the corkscrews bring out of their hiding places. The latter was filled with spirits of charade, in such a form that a long-necked, opaque glass was filled with several kinds of liqueurs with careful slowness so as not to mix. They had to be invented by the spout, after what their taste and flavor were, which one? and finally it came together from the prefixes of the fictional names to utter a word ready to spin.
In it was P … ff prince virtuoso.
When he squeezed the long glass to the nail test, he immediately unfolded the fictional letter puzzle.
“Bravo, bravissimo!” the applause of the table company sounded. – The solution is correct.
Ch artreuse ⎫
R hum ⎪
THE bsinth ⎪
G tendon ⎪
THE nisette ⎬ together
M arasquino ⎪ «Chragamabar»
THE rac ⎪
B orovicska ⎪
THE llasch ⎪
R ostopschin ⎭
When that was the case, the ladies left the table and walked out into the housekeeper’s room. And there, according to Russian etiquette, men were not allowed to enter. This custom was not yet known to Frederick, and he thought that he had led his neighbor into the dining room on his arm, as it was necessary to get out of here; but the minister shouted:-258-
– Stay seated! Who’s the bachelor, his place next to the table – or under the table!
Frigyes Trenk accepted this challenge and opposed all the heroic deeds of the Russian feasts.
The end of the knight’s tournament was that Prince P … ff was oppressed by zeal, it had to be kicked out of the dining room by four butlers; Frederick (among so many dead heroes) remained head to head in the sky and found out without a guide in the vestibule, where he laid down his sword and helmet.
A lot of wine and brandy didn’t go in my head. But the smell of a rose leaf that he took in his mouth made him drunk.
The ladies had all gone home; it could be learned from the murmur of carriages rolling under the gate.
When Frederick wanted to put on his helmet, he was so delighted that he was frightened. That bouquet of roses was placed inside the helmet.
It was a blow of grace to common sense! What the wine spirits could not do, the roses did.
Frederick rushed straight to the barn for his horse. Both Jankó and Brankó lay dead drunk on their litter straw. You had to tool your paripa yourself. He climbed into the saddle, galloping out onto the street.
He still wanted to visit his Hell Gora today.
And Moscow is not a city where it would be easy for a stranger to orient himself without a guide.
However, he had a map of the topography of the big city, which he himself copied from the original of his friend Oettinger. It was through this that he set out to search for the castle after which he was not allowed to question.
Even then, Moscow’s crooked streets, lined with gorgeous palaces and mossy-roofed cottages, lined up in magnificent splendor alongside ancient churches of unusual architecture, with four, five, six towers rising on top of each other, hyacinth bulbs. -259-with shaped domes, one painted red, the other green, sprinkled with blue enameled gold stars, the other piled up of silver shells, the tallest full of gold! The roof of a church is like fifty altars stacked side by side on three floors. In the markets are the monuments of national heroes, glorious tsars. And the glorious Kremlin itself! A city – full of towers, palaces, monuments: a book of the history of a great nation made of stone and gold!
The stranger is dizzy amidst so much primeval pomp interrupted by the solid bastions, the outline of which indicates the development of the city: all the gates are a sign of a heroic poem. The people’s lips themselves tell that the hero Bojávszky fell at this gate, covered in wounds, defending Moscow against the conquerors. But he rose again from his dead and chased the conquerors out of the holy city at that other gate.
While Frederick was listening to folk tales, his brain slowly cleared from intoxication and the magic mist of love began to dissipate. You have to live in Russia in Russia.
Summer is short here; but the hotter. The days are long. Dawn and dusk almost meet. Summer and love need to be used quickly here.
It was still quite clear when his Poklonnaya reached the mound of Gora. Even before the Great Napoleonic Campaign, it was a privileged vacation spot for Russian-Boyar families; there was also the famous Troiczka Garden, in which, in addition to the eternal pine trees, there were also southern trees, which were covered with wooden houses for the winter, heated under them.
At the door of the garden you had to get off the horse: on the main road you were only allowed to take a carriage, walk through the mazes, or in a jelly. Trenk found the castle without questioning.
There he handed the bouquet of roses to the courtier standing in his way with the message that the Minister would send this to his bride.-260-
Frigyes Trenk took care that he wore his equestrian’s uniform over his bright officer’s uniform and wore a pointed hat instead of a helmet. He looked like a maid. The courtier who handed over the bouquet was returned shortly with a paper-covered thaler as a tip.
Frederick, when he left the castle, unfolded the paper and found no words in it, in English:
“Tomorrow, when it gets dark, in the garden.”
However, the castle was surrounded by cruising guards, and at the end of each bench there was a police spy.
How long was the next day.
This time he walked out to the Troiczka Garden, with a large book under his arm: he was wearing the costume of the university students, with the loose robe, the hat hanging backwards. The winding paths of the Troicka Garden were particularly suited for students preparing for the exam, banding through them, to embellish their pens.
The spying police spies say to themselves, “Well, that’s a diligent student! They all eat that dog-skin book! »
While the Greek words fluttered in his tongue, a thousand tempers alternated in his heart. He cursed this long day. That he wants to get dark for so long! Even after ten o’clock daylight, you can still see the letters in the book. Suddenly, a star began to shine in the yellow sky and the letters blurred. The butterflies of the evening also appeared: those who fly in the air, also those who walk in the maze. The student, now putting his book back, tossed the Greek penny. Suddenly he stood in the way of a sphinx, he talked to it, and then they disappeared together in the thickets of the bushes.
“Well, you’ve already found the student whose lesson you’re resigning,” the eye-catching cops muttered to each other.
And that moth was the maid of Princess Jelvira. Delifa, Georgian man. At the meeting, he called Frederick by name.-261-
The night descended, the murmur of the city subsided; the door of paradise opened: through a back door of the castle, on a hidden staircase, the slave led the young man in love to the room of the beautiful Jelvira, who then received the whole rose bouquet.
In the heart of the young lady, Russian blood related to Armenia was on fire, with the devastating digestion of first love; and this flame found even more food in his hatred for his fiancé. Hate increased desire, disgust increased bile. And the surrender pleasure was exalted to ecstasy by the lust of revenge.
They were together for three hours: until three dark hours. During this, a lifelong plan was fabricated with each other. To escape from this hated marriage: not caring about the wrath of the Empress, the stepfather of life, the persecution; not with the exiled father, and with the lost treasures.
After two o’clock at midnight, the sky is clear again.
The hated dawn is coming! There are those who curse the morning star.
When their crows began to roar again, leaving their nests, even then the student was there again in the green labyrinth, chanting his lesson.
And that’s how it went every night. And summer nights are so short.
The lovers planned that as the empress moved with her court to St. Petersburg, they would board an English ship and sail to Britain together. It was impossible to escape from Moscow. At that time, telegraphs were already set up from Moscow all the way to the port. The first rudimentary optical telegraphs with turrets and movable slat machines. With these, news could be given sooner than the fugitives could board a ship.
However, to their great despair, the Empress changed her mind and postponed the trip to St. Petersburg until late autumn, what is called winter in Russia.-262-
And the day set for the wedding was approaching: the first of August. The Empress did not allow it to be postponed any longer.
The beautiful Jelvira had to wipe away her tears and put on her wedding dress. The mistress, the groom, the dignitaries piled the charming ara with esteemed gifts: the mooring in this year’s minted gold, locked in a jasper chest, was placed on his treasure table; the mistress’s gift was placed in a masterpiece relic. But the beautiful bride’s eyes saw nothing but a talisman ring that her lover had slipped into the treasure set.
The marriage ceremony began early in the morning to end at noon. The Empress practiced the cruel grace of appointing Frederick the best man to lead the bride to the altar.
The magnificent ceremonies were completed by a lavish feast that lasted until the arrival of the star in the groom’s palace.
As it was time to light the pipe, the bride retreated to her own suite; the ladies went home. However, the gentlemen stayed there, good luck drinking to the happy groom. This is already a habit.
The end became, as usual, that Prince P … ff fell asleep at the table; then he was taken to his room: there was the machine-operated rocking chair where he used to sleep, he was placed in it, and then he was allowed to snore.
However, along with the groom, Frigyes Trenk was also soaked. He surrendered and allowed the ducklings to take him out into the garden. He could no longer stand on his feet: he swore, chasing the ducklings to bring him an opoponnade. They laid it down on a lawn and then either went or did not go to look for opopods; either they found Frederick returning on the lawn, or they did not find him; surely no one recorded it.
However, a window opening onto the garden opened pretty quietly and a rope doorway descended on it: the mischievous face of the Georgian woman peeked out from behind the window curtain. The drunken knight recovered from his intoxication at once, in a matter of minutes-263-was up in the window; the boards closed: moths, bats flew on.
The happy groom then dreamed of paradise, swaying from the sway of the vending machine chair; the bride also dreamed of paradise, who knows what dreams? Who knows what kind of miracle rocking you?
With this love adventure, Frigyes Trenk took on a great office.
It was not a passing pleasure for him that love, but a destructive passion that conquered his whole soul. He was crazy! He saw neither danger nor life in front of him: he risked everything dear to a young man.
He wanted to see the object of his love every day. And she was already a married woman. And the husband is one of the ministers of the country, in front of whose palace there was a long-awaited sailor straddling, surrounded by police officers. A separate staircase led to the suites, each guarded by a doorman who did not admit anyone without a certificate. If Jelvira wanted to ride out, two cavalry policemen were escorting her swing, who had notified the minister where her wife was?
Even Frederick could meet him every day. The dark hours were theirs. And during the fall months, there is an inverted astronomy in the world of lovers. The «days» are getting longer.
With the consent of two captured servants: the goalkeeper and the inner fray, Frederick penetrated through the well-guarded doors every day under the guise of another. He was dressed once as a sailor, other times as an Armenian goldsmith, then as a tailor, a tailor; then, when the heating season began, he could come every other day like a smoke carver with a sooty image. The goalkeeper let him into the garden, there he hid in the garden house and then the window opening to the garden was opened in front of him in the dark.
Once caught, they tell no one, they take two hundred jugs, throw them on a sled and take them to Siberia.
Every day he had to break his head that the next day -264-what a trick to get into the sanctuary of the P … ff palace.
This love occupied his soul so much that he forgot all his things. He did not perform military service at all. All of his occupations consisted of helping Oettinger’s friend draw engineering plans in his office. He created a work worth mentioning: the architectural drawing of Chancellor Bestuseff from a cross-sectional perspective of his palace, with which he showed his great talent and received an obligatory praise for it from the – Chancellor. Even the ladies of the court were neglected, our already old mistake!
This crazy adventure had been going on for three months. To invent a new assassination every day, to crawl through the vortex every day and then to steal paradise.
Both lovers have already lost their minds. They decided that this embarrassing situation would end: they would flee Moscow together. They don’t wait to see when the Empress likes to move to St. Petersburg.
Their plan was based on the fact that the Empress had pardoned Jelvira’s father: that was the price of a wedding to the Minister. The old boyar is already on his way. It will take a long time to get from Irkucz to Moscow. Then, by the grace of the Empress, they visit their reclaimed estates, which lie in the Kiew province. Jelvira, her father and her husband travel together. The maritime minister can travel in the winter, Russian ports are frozen. Fresh teeth are pre-ordered for upscale passengers along the way. Before the set day, the lover then escapes through the garden at night and, using the same pre-ordered teeth, gallops in his horse’s death and does not rest until the Polish border. The rona is covered in fog, the telegraphs cannot work.
With this plan nicely worked out, even the travel costs had to be taken care of.
Jelvira handed Frederick all his jewels and precious things, -265-he received his gold in mooring. But he didn’t think that was enough. He even provided financial compensation to his sweetheart for his spoiled career.
He invented the weird thing that first surrounded the Empress with a worshiping pretense. He fell at his feet to thank him for his grace to his father. A pre-run Tatar rider brought him the letter, in which the Kazan governor reports that his mountain father had already arrived there and, resting for a few days, would be in Moscow in a week.
Jelvira wants to capture this good news with a charity act.
The mistress set up a smallpox hospital this year. Jelvira intends to make a ten-bed foundation for this hospital, up to seven thousand gold, which will be used to debit his father’s donated estates. He asks the empress for permission.
The Empress graciously accepted the noble offer and issued the relevant permission to Jelvira with the Chancellor.
Jelvira then went to the hospital director for the first time and handed her a letter of foundation up to the value of seven thousand gold, which was edited according to all legal formalities.
But in the same way, he visited one of the Moscow bankers and presented the power of attorney received by the Empress, from which he again borrowed seven thousand gold in cash on a legally signed, sealed bond signed by his witnesses.
He also gave this amount to Frederick Trenk.
His treasures were worth fifty thousand rubles, which he entrusted to him.
It was now possible to escape.
And Frederick did not remember that this was theft, fraud, low sin, which he was about to commit.
He didn’t whisper in his ears that his punishment was the lead mine near Lake Kolivan or the «dead house»!-266-
What a dense fog of love!
Even in his autobiography written decades later, Frigyes Trenk calls this love quite joyful happiness with youthful naivety: he laments for the failure of the escape plan; complains about the cruelty of the fat.
Yet, if we look for a testimony to the miraculous measures of providence, it is in this turn of fate for Frederick Trenk that we can clearly see it.
Before the day set to escape, the beautiful Jelvira fell ill. He got the smallpox.
The same mysterious horror that walks invisibly, loosely among men, counting the thirteenth on their heads, and which the handsome sinner believed to be a joking comrade to his intrigue: he took it at his word. That hospital comedy.
For the seventh day, the beautiful Jelvira lay at the funeral home.
After the last hot handshake, only Frigyes Trenk saw him again in the coffin. What became that beautiful fairy face!
At the head of the coffin was an old man crying: it was Jelvira’s father.
The husband was just standing in the doorway, covering his mouth with a shawl.
Frigyes Trenk hurried from Jelvira’s funeral to his old friend, Lord Hyndtforth. He alone knew all the secrets of his dangerous love adventure.
“If fate has torn us apart, I will defy fate,” Frederick said. If we couldn’t go to the big world together, we would go to the afterlife together.
“You just don’t want to bury yourself in your sweetheart’s grave!” he was alarmed by his calm good friend. By that, you would despise his name forever. Be strong! Control your feelings! You owe it to your dead loved one.
This reminded the young man.-267-
The serenity that Frederick raped on himself kept his fond memory from slander.
She herself commanded a military escort sent by the Empress at the magnificent funeral ceremony, she took the key to the crypt door from the sacristy and took it to the mourning husband herself after the funeral. The minister received an exemption from the Empress for health reasons, for escorting the mourning procession. According to Russian custom, the mourners owe their heads to the coffin of their dead uncovered, and the minister, with his bald head, would have received a deadly flu in the twenty-five-degree December cold. He allowed him to stay in his room during the great bell ringing in front of his fireplace.
This ringing of bells was still buzzing in Frederick’s mind as he ascended the steps of the P … ff palace, holding his helmet off with the long-hanging veil.
Here, too, he was able to keep his composure.
Standing in front of the widow in a military position, she told the report in dry words about the details of the funeral. The word never stuck in his throat, not once did his voice trail off until the crypt key was handed over.
The minister himself stood up and listened to the coverage of his wife’s funeral, putting a hearing aid in his ear, his eyes watching the speaker’s lips.
When he received that key, he said to Frederick:
“Thank you, my sweet son, for replacing me on this sad occasion.”
Frederick stared hard. Although his mouth did not say, but his eyes talked that the word «also» was very shocking.
“I know everything, sweet boy,” the minister said. The glorified angel called him to the hospital the night before he died. Until then, he fantasized about the flow, speaking in delirium: by this time he had regained consciousness. I didn’t hear what he said. I don’t know what his voice was like. It must have been as beautiful a bell as that of those cherubim saints-268-In the Book of John Visions. The speech of his eyes could no longer be understood. But he was able to tell me to take a small steel key from the cord on his neck and open with it the box of jasper that you had once seen between his wedding cloaks. It had a booklet bound in a morocco. He showed me how to open it and read its contents. Here is the book. This is my legacy. It records everything from day to day, from the hour you sat next to you at Lord Hyndtforth’s feast, to the minute you last squeezed your hand. Everything is written with an honest, true spirit. What he suffered because of his monster (I am), and what pleasures he enjoyed in the arms of his delivering angel (it is you).
Frigyes Trenk felt the whole room revolve around him, with his ancient furniture and fireplace, and the floor rising.
The minister continued quietly, holding his wife’s diary in his hands.
“It is also written on the last pages what plans you have set out to escape together.” By the way, I note that it was a very dazed plan, because whether you fled to Poland or to the countries of Maria Theresa, from there you will be extradited by the governments; for as ye were careless enough to touch even strangers, it would be our common wickedness. Everything is recorded in this log.
Frigyes Trenk saw that he was lost. The closed sledge that takes him to Siberia is ready.
The minister continued to speak.
“As I read and closed this diary, our dying angel clasped his hands in prayer and looked at me with a pleading look that a desperate martyr might be looking at the redeeming messiah. I reached for the silent speech. I placed one hand on his clasped hands, with the other I raised this diary to the sky, and then-269-I pointed to the fireplace. He smiled at that. “If you had seen that smiling face, boy!” You should go crazy and smash your head through the grid door of your crypt.
Frigyes Trenk’s breasts panted like the pressure of a dream ghost.
“What I promised the dying person, I have redeemed,” the minister said, throwing Jelvira’s diary into the glowing fireplace.
With that, he walked over to Frederick and took his hand.
“And now, thank you for making my angel happy during her short worldly life!” And as he hath pleased all the treasures which he hath given thee, I will give thee. – Leave the news of God.