"Does he still live?" said she, breathlessly.
"He lives, countess, and awaits you eagerly!" said the officer.
She did not reply, but raised her large, melancholy eyes thankfully to heaven, and her lips moved as if in prayer.
They stepped silently and rapidly through the dazzling saloons, now drear and deserted. Their pomp and splendor was painful; it harmonized but little with their sad presentiments.
"We have arrived, countess," said the officer, as they stood before a closed and thickly-curtained door. "The prince is in this garden- saloon."
The lady's heart beat loudly, and her lips were pale as death. She leaned for a moment against the door, and tried to gather strength.
"I am ready I announce me to the prince!"
"That is unnecessary, countess. The prince's nerves are so sensitive, that the slightest noise does not escape him. He heard the rolling of your carriage-wheels, and knows that you are here. He is expecting you, and has commanded that you come unannounced. Have the goodness to enter; you will be alone with the prince." He raised the curtain, and the countess looked back once more.