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ried on between the spouses after their separation; and then he adduces the letter itself as proof of that correspondence. There is no evidence that that letter was written by the accused. The real evidence it affords is the other
"But the scrap found in the musicbook at Blumenrode. That I admit to be in the handwriting of the accused; but it would be difficult to discover any resemblance between that fragment and the handwriting of the French letter. The one is written in German characters, the other in French. There can be no argument from one to another. They do not appear in fact to resemble each other. "But the meaning put upon this scrap by the public prosecutor is a forced
He says the words A. knows me,' refer to Hermann. He arrives at this conclusion by translating the name Hermann into French, Armand. But why a French name in the midst of a German letter? Then, to whom is the letter addressed? To some third party who had given a warning to the writer. Who was this? On the theory of the public prosecutor, he should have explained who was thus the confidant of the secret correspondfor might not that third party, thus cognizant of the secret relations that existed between the husband and wife, be, on his own theory, the real author of the crime, if crime were committed?
"For his own part, he did not think the fragment was a real letter at all. He believed it to be part of an imaginary epistle, probably a portion of a novel which she might have copied.
"But then there was a chain of circumstances relied on to connect the Baroness von Preussach with the com. mission of the crime. A woman had been seen, on the 24th August, on the path to the Raubstein; in Schlingin, on the after part of the same day, wounded in the hand, agitated, trembling, accompanied by a woodman : her dress, it was said, corresponded with Madame von Preussach's, who had been mysteriously absent from her party in Hilgenberg during the whole day; had had an interview in the forenoon with a gentleman at the house of Madame Veitel, and had afterwards been seen accompanying him in the direction of the Raubstein. This person then, it was assumed,
was the baroness; and the baroness had been present at the scene of the murder.
"That a woman might have been seen on the mountain-path that day, and that the scene described by the bath-keeper's wife as to the binding of the wound might have taken place, he did not question. But though the woman had at first pretended to identify the lady with Madame von Preussach, she had plainly owned, in her evidence on the trial, that she could not. Her house was dark; the scene, according to her own account, was over in a few minutes; scarce a word was spoken; how then, at the distance of a twelvemonth, could she pretend to recognise the person whose wound had been bound up? ? Her husband, who had bound up the wound, was dead; from him her testimony could receive no corroboration.
"Was the dress of the Baroness von Preussach proved to correspond with that of the person who had been wounded? Assuredly not. The bathkeeper's wife was the only witness who had any distinct recollection as to the one, and she thought the gown was of green silk. The Countess von Koss and her daughters, who spoke to the dress worn by the baroness in Hilgenberg, were clear that it was not of green silk; though the private complainer had done all in his power to assist their memory. Both, to be sure, seemed to have worn a bonnet and parasol-of a light colour; the wonder would have been if in summer it had been otherwise.
"But a stripe of silk is found wrapped round the body, and another fragment is found sticking upon a bush. It is assumed that these belonged to, and had been worn by, the female who was wounded. I am willing to take it so; it is a proof that that person was not the baroness. One of the leading witnesses for the prosecution (the rector's wife) states, that these formed part of a shawl so coarse and vulgar, both in colour and texture, that no cook would have worn it. Does that suit with the idea of the Baroness von Preussach, who lavishes fortunes on dress, patronises Madame Tieffe, and never sleeps but with gloves on?
"And this brings me to the glove. A right hand glove is found near the Raubstein; it bears the stamp of Madame Tieffe. A left hand glove, bear
ing the same stamp, is found in the possession of the clergyman's daughter, which she appears to have received from the waiting-woman of the baroness. These must be a pair; there fore the baroness was upon the mountain: the baroness dropped the right hand glove which bears the spots of blood.
"But why must the gloves be a pair? Because they resemble each other in size, in material, in workmanship? Why, how many thousand pairs, exactly of the same kind, must be annually put into circulation from such an establishment as Madame Tieffe's; the same pattern, the same materials, according to the reigning fashion? Who can pretend, out of a hundred pairs, to say this right hand glove belongs to that left hand one? What, then, is the result? Simply this at the utmost: That some customer of Madame Tieffe dropped one of her gloves in the Raubstein, and that the accused is a customer of Madame Tieffe.
"But when was this glove dropped? Why on the 24th August? Why not long before? Why not after? Before the glove was found, a crowd had collected about the Raubstein, including many females: they were busily exploring in all directions; how easily might any one of them have dropped the glove in question?
"What importance can be attached to the story told by the countess and her daughters, that the baroness went out with Danish gloves in the morning, and returned in the evening with white. If, as she says, she paid a visit to a friend, and her feelings were agitated-particularly as she only left her towards dusk was it very unlikely that she might make an involuntary ex. change of gloves, and then only discover her mistake when she was too far off to return and correct the error? "But, according to the hypothesis of the public prosecutor, she returned wounded. Those white gloves concealed a wound in the hand. Who ever saw this wound-which, if as described by the bath-keeper's wife, must have been of some size? I doubt
whether by any process a hand so bandaged could be forced into a glove, even of large size. But the family of Langsitz saw nothing of the kind. They laugh at the supposition. The family of Baron Kettler, to whose house she returned the next day, never
heard of it. The house-surgeon never was applied to to dress it. He speaks, indeed, of an attack of nervousness and low spirits, but of no wound in the hand. If she wore her glove when he felt her pulse, he states also that this was her constant practice.
"Such a wound as is described must have left a trace. But on this point the evidence is in favour of the accused. One surgeon, indeed, speaks doubtfully of some invisible, and, as he admits, almost impalpable line running across the hand-which, with all de ference, appears simply to have been a natural one. The other two candidly admit that they see no traces of any wound whatever.
"So far every thing is against the supposition on which the whole case of the prosecutor rests that the wounded person and the Baroness von Preus sach are the same.
"But, farther, the charge against the baroness involves the supposition that the murder took place during the forenoon of the 24th August. On that day only she was in Hilgenberg. On the 25th she returned to Blumen. rode.
"But, after all, what is the proof that the murder, if such it was, was committed on the 24th? Why not on the 25th ? The whole proof on the subject consists of the conjec tures of the medical man, derived from the appearances of incipient corrup tion. The body was found early on the 26th August; 6 a considerable time,' he thinks, must have elapsed before such an effect would have been produced by the influence of the sun and air: the deceased had been seen alive in the morning of the 24th; therefore he thinks the assassination must have taken place early in the course of that day.
"A considerable time!' How in. definite! how unsatisfactory! as if the symptoms of putrefaction might not depend upon a thousand circumstances which baffle all conjecture as to time: a shower of rain, an hour or two of hotter sunshine, the dampness or dryness of the atmosphere, the previous habit of body of the deceased, might either accelerate or retard the approaches of decay. How can any one, who never once saw the deceased before, pretend to say that, if the death took place on the 25th, all these symp toms which were actually found would
not equally have developed them
"Nay, the probability is, that it was at least in the course of the night following the 24th that the murder was committed. Had the body, according to the notion of the public prosecutor, been placed in the chapel in the forenoon of the 24th, it is next to impossible that it should not in the course of that day have been observed. That Saturday was the birthday of the Princess-a day when the road to the chapel must have been frequented by the villagers in the neigh bourhood. The probability is that the deed had not then been committed ; for the public prosecutor himself assumes, that the murder and the conveyance of the body to the chapel took place at the same time. But if the deed only took place on the night of the 24th, the whole fabric of presumptions, so ingeniously built on the mysterious absence of the baroness from Hilgenberg on that day, falls to the ground.
"And, after all, what was there in her conduct during that day to lead to the presumption of guilt! The view of the prosecutor, it must be recollected, is, that she came to Hilgenberg on that day, in consequence of previous concert, to keep the ap-. pointment alluded to in the letter of the 21st July, and the fragment found in the music-book.
"But do the circumstances suit with that supposition? It was mere accident that the family of Baron Kettler did not accompany her to Hilgenberg on that day; in which case, how was she to have extricated herself from their company? By a pretended invitation from a friend who never existed? They who were her intimate friends, who knew with whom she had associated, could not have been deceived by such a fable. The idea of a concerted scheme of this kind is farther contradicted by her conduct. She receives a letter from Madame Seehausen-reads it puts it into the hands of the countess-is prevailed on by her to accept the invitation. Is there any evidence that she did
not visit Madame Seehausen? It is said no such person was ever known to reside in Hilgenberg. That may be it is not said that she resided in Hilgenberg. She was a foreigner: she may have been passing through the watering-place where her friend
was; she may have stopped but for a single day at Madame Veitel's.
I do not dispute that, on the day in question, my client did visit the house of Madame Veitel. I say she went there to visit the friend who had requested her presence. The public prosecutor says she went there to meet her husband, with whom she afterwards walked through the garden, and in the direction of the mountains. The servant who carried the message speaks, indeed, of a young man whom she saw in Madame Veitel's; and this, it seems, according to the prosecutor's theory, was Hermann. She does not say she saw the parties meet; for Madame Veitel met and dismissed her at the door.
"But it is plain, from her description of the gentleman she saw, that it was not Hermann. The dead man was found dressed in long loose nankeen pantaloons above his boots; this was the dress also in which he was last seen by the landlord early on the morning of the 24th. The young man in Madame Veitel's house wore tight buckskin pantaloons, with boots drawn over them.' How is this reconcilable? If Hermann was murdered in the course of the forenoon of the 24th, when did he change his dress so as to appear differently attired in Hilgenberg ? When and where did he again change his dress between leaving Madame Veitel's and his murder? The idea that this person was Hermann, a position essential to the theory of the pub lic prosecutor, is totally untenable.
"That any lady and gentleman had been seen leaving Madame Veitel's in the direction of the mountains, rested on no evidence. The maid had not seen them; she spoke only of some report to that effect which she thought came from her mistress. Both the master and mistress were examined, and they stated distinctly they had seen nothing of the kind, and could not have said so.
"The scene at Madame Veitel's had no connexion whatever with the events in the Raubstein.
"But the prosecutor insists that all doubt is removed by the fact, that the watch and the marriage-ring of the deceased are found in the possession of the accused. I admit at once the watch is Hermann's watch; the ring is Hermann's marriage-ring. But I ask what proof is there that these ever
belonged to the deceased; what proof, in particular, that they were in his possession at or near to the time of his. murder? The housekeeper, the servants at K, the innkeeper at the forest, all speak only of a gold watch,'' a gold ring ;' none of them did or could identify this gold watch and this ring.
"Did Baron Ferdinand? He saw his brother in life for the last time when his marriage with my client took place. The separation occurred while he was on his travels; when he returned, Hermann had already gone abroad. What he may have possessed, what trinkets he may have worn after that time, it is impossible that Baron Ferdinand can know.
"But how simple, after all, is the explanation? The watch was a marriage present, the ring was Hermann's wedding-ring. Is it not a well known practice for lovers or spouses who have separated, to return to each other the gifts they have received in their days of affection or of union; gifts which would only serve in future to awaken painful recollections? Was it not natural that, when the separation took place, these tokens of affection should have been returned by the husband to his wife? This was the view that occurred at once to the waiting-maid, as she has explained in her evidence. My client, too, never wore her wedding-ring after the separation. And why? It was returned, as the waiting-maid states, to her husband.
"Thus, then, the circumstance on which the prosecutor insisted so strongly, admits of the simplest explanation. "But were it proved that Albertine von Preussach had really seen and spoken to her husband shortly before his death, is the case of the prosecutor materially advanced, so far as regards a guilty participation on her part in her husband's death? Were we even to concede that the involuntary exclamation of an agitated mother, uttered in a moment of distraction, inferred in her mind a suspicion the prosecutor calls it a convictionthat her daughter was not a stranger to her husband's death, it remains to be shown that that knowledge was of a criminal character. The prosecutor meets the point fairly, for he maintains that she was herself the perpetrator
of the deed.
"But by what proofs does he sup
port this charge? None whatever. By assuming a fine-spun theory of a secret correspondence-a concerted interview-a meal among the ruinsa fit of intoxication on the part of the husband-a quarrel-an attempt at violence the convenient discovery of a knife, and a blow dealt therewith by the wife, which at once reaches the heart of her husband! And this is all-literally all-which is gravely urged as proof against a person of the noble, the stainless character enjoyed by the prisoner at the bar.
"But no! It is said, the evidence may not prove the deed, but it proves that she was capable of committing the deed. What is that evidence?
"Has any single act in the course of her life been pointed out which leads to such a conclusion? Any act of cruelty which would make her careless of the life of a fellow-creature, capable of committing the deepest of crimes against the being who stood towards her in the most endearing of relations-her husband, the father of her dead son, of her surviving daugh ter? No;-trifling miserable gossip as to quarrels with servants, a box on the ear bestowed upon an impertinent waiting-woman, a sharp reply in answer to the imperious speeches of a dictatorial husband. What human being could be safe from the suspicion of being capable of murder, if trifles like these were to be raked up, collected, and seriously brought forward as proofs of such an accusation?
"Let the case be supposed that she had met her husband at the time appointed; that others also had been present, (and every thing seemed to point to more than one having been present on the occasion;) that a quarrel of some kind had ensued, in which the husband fell-the wife having no share in it-on the contrary, standing by a helpless spectator of the dreadful scene; that her own safety could only be purchased by her vowing secrecy in regard to what had passed-would not this account for all which had taken place, at least as plausibly as the hy. pothesis of the public prosecutor ? Even if he insisted on the wound as a proved fact in the case, would it not be as well explained upon the supposition that she had ineffectually interfered to prevent her husband's fate, and been wounded in the attempt? The loss of the glove-the scene in the bath keeper's her agitation on her return to
the family of the countess her confusion on meeting Ferdinand the expressions attributed to hereven her obstinate silence, which he fairly allowed to be the circumstance that seemed to weigh most against her, admitted, upon this view of the case, of a satisfactory ex planation. That silence might be the result of a mistaken notion of religious obligation-it might be the result of gratitude for her preservation ;-the more strongly felt, the more consistently acted on, in proportion to the purity and ingenuousness of her own mind, and to her punctilious sense of duty in regard to the performance of obligations, even when these were in some measure extorted."
Such was the substance (imperfectly
reported) of a two hours' speech on the part of the advocate for the defence.
The president proceeded to sum up. His speech was a masterpiece of clearness and precision-impartial and candid in the highest degree; yet the impression which it left on the mind of the advocate for the defence was, that his inclination was on the whole unfavourable to the prisoner, so far as his moral conviction went, though he pointed out, with the utmost fairness, the points of the case where the proof appeared to be narrow or defective. The jury were furnished with all the documents necessary for their consideration, and were retiring, after the address of the president, to consider their verdict.
SCARCELY had the first of the jury entered the retiring room in which they were to consider their sentence, when a violent confusion arose at one of the entrances to the court. Sounds were heard of some one endeavouring to force his way, whose entrance was resisted either by the officers of court or by the crowds, who, having already thronged the court to excess, were by no means disposed to give admission to any new comer. The determination of the stranger appeared, however, to have prevailed. A well-dressed man was observed making his way along the passage leading towards the bar: he reached it, and, addressing the judge with the utmost energy, exclaimed," In the name of Almighty God, I demand a hearing; the accused is innocent!"
All eyes were directed to the speaker. The jury, who were on the point of entering the jury-room, stood still. The president, doubtful whether he should at once interfere in consequence of this irregular disturbance of the proceedings, looked anxiously and sternly at the intruder. Some old ladies, who had taken a marvellous interest in the proceedings, exclaimed, "It is Hermann! The defender's counsel was prophetic in his anticipation."
The old ladies were mistaken. The stranger was not Hermann. Ferdinand looked at him coldly and strangely; he passed Ferdinand with out noticing him. His glance sought
only the accused; and she-she recognised him. With pale and agitated features she saw him approach. She exerted herself to recover her com posure, and hastily whispered to him a few words in English.
The president, after some reflection, directed the jury to retire to their apartment, and the court to be cleared, and the accused to remain. It was done. He enquired the name of the stranger; and was answered, "Maximilian von Nordech, an officer of the army; of the fourth regiment of hus
"What were the words whispered to you by the accused just now?" said the president.
Nordech replied, "Remember the oath.' She holds herself bound by an oath; but, if I may be permitted a few minutes' conversation with her, I think I can satisfy her that the obligation, if such existed, is at an end. I ask no private audience. The judge may be
a witness to our conference.
"Lady," began Nordech, his voice faltering, "death has loosed the bonds by which you conceived yourself bound. Your father is no more. He now looks down from a higher sphere upon a daughter who was never unworthy of his affection, and who was led to the only rash step of which she was guilty in life by maternal affection. He died without the pain of knowing in what suffering it had been the means of involving you; he died in happy ignorance, in resignation,