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"We retired, and I went with the physician downstairs to a room where I found my good Scotti asleep. We three dined together, and Scotti told me that the Kaiser had ordered a chamber to be prepared for me in the palace, and that he was to keep me company, whereby, in respect of my position, I felt reassured. At table we spoke of what had occurred on my journey. The physician, who in all he said and did exhibited the signs of an honest man, remarked as follows: 'I regret your fate the more, as I hail in you the saviour of my sovereign. Only be steadfast, and in spite of your many powerful enemies we will compass your escape. For the very saving the Emperor will swell the number of your foes. Whoever is the object of the clergy's hate must be counted as lost. It seems as if the power of hell were working with them, for no good spirit pushes revenge to a man's destruction.'

"Thanking him for his sentiments, I merely said that no sort of persecution could break my courage, that I comforted myself with the sufferings of my Lord, to whom I would joyfully sacrifice my life as an atonement.

"After the lapse of a good hour, we heard that the Kaiser had already gone to bed, and the physician went up to observe the symptoms. After another hour had passed, I also went to the Kaiser. It was about one in the night when the heat began to decrease. Soon the Kaiser got up, put on a clean shirt, and betook himself to the second bed. The shirt which he put off was thrown into a vessel of clean water, and taken to my room, that I might next day study the operation of the medicine by examining the water. The Kaiser slept, and we retired, ordering that we should be called when he woke. Coming to the room where the dog was, we found him rolled up like a ball and quite dead. We had him taken away, with strict injunctions that nothing should be said of the matter. The Kaiser made no allusion to the dog either to us or to any of his people. At six A.M. of the 29th we went into his room.

"K. Thank God I am still alive.

"B. We have never doubted of that.

"K. Feel my pulse, doctor! I find my chest relieved in comparison with other days.

"B. The sweating has done that.

"K. After my former troubled night I was much weaker than I am to-day, and I had unpleasant dreams. Last night I do not think that I dreamed at all. May I get up to-day?

"B. About noon. But your Majesty must now rest, and keep a

strict diet.

"K. How?

"B. Take no meat or wine.

"K. Will that last long?

"B. Until we give the word.

"K. May I have breakfast?

"B. Whatever your Majesty fancies.

"K. Bring me some chocolate; I suppose I may have milk?

"B. Certainly, and as much milk as possible, so as to thin the blood.

"K. Do you think it is so thick?

"B. Your dreams show that.

"K. Must I take my exercise to-day?

"B. As much as ever you can; but not in the open air.

"K. You will see me at intervals during the day?

"B. After your Majesty should lie down, so as to gather strength for the evening.

"K. Do you mean to work me sharper to-night?

"B. No, but earlier; so that your Majesty may have plenty of sleep. To-day the medicine is to be taken at six, so that by eight the whole thing will be over. Your sleep will be much easier to-night.


"K. You two seem to have conspired against me.

"B. In order to cure you as quickly as possible. By chemistry you have been injured, and by chemistry, with God's help, you must be cured.

"K, God's help is the best physic; but chemists are wonderful hands for doing things through God, so as to win people's confidence for their art. "B. Both have their useful end.

"K. I am glad you find me better.

"B. Much better than yesterday evening. Your Majesty's voice is rather more equal to-day.

"K. I think so too. Yesterday, you see, I was full of anxiety for my fate.

"B. Man must trust God with his fate. We are often suddenly cured by Him.

"When the Kaiser had taken his breakfast we withdrew. About six in the evening we went again to his Majesty, who, on our entry, said,— "K. I find my respiration much easier in this room.

"B. It would be a bad business if your Majesty did not make that observation.

"K. What is this which I hear you have been doing with my bedroom? Have you been giving it medicine too?

"B. We have taken the precaution of removing the deposit from the ceiling, which the candles had thrown there. Your Majesty can occupy the room again in a few days.

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"K. It is quite unnecessary. I shall be quite comfortable here till I go into my summer lodgment. What are you doing with that deposit? B. The same thing which we do with your Majesty's shirt. We want to see about how much better the next night will be than the last. "K. Give me the medicine.

"The physician gave it to the Kaiser, who remarked,

"K. The physic has a horrid taste; there must be some oueer stuff in it.

"B. But nothing so horrid as what it expels from your person in the sweat.

"K. Are your expectations in that respect realized ?

realized. The first delivery of The wax has been removed from

"B. Yes, thank God; more than poison permits us to hope for the best. the wicks of all the candles except two, which we have reserved in order to have the corpus delicti; the whole weight of the candles is 28 lbs., the saturated wicks 34 lbs., and the quantity of poison held in them about 23 lbs.

"K. That might have despatched me ad patres within a few months.

"B. Perhaps sooner. As the poison had already begun to fix itself with more potency, it would have soon become more active and attacked the blood. The recovery would then have been difficult, just as now the symptoms show that its progress will be easy.

"K. How is it that during my illness I have had a greater wish for wine than I ever had before in my life?

"B. The deposit of poison attacks the wine acid, and so becomes more irritating and more deadly. Your Majesty will lose the desire for wine in proportion as the poisoning matter is expelled.

"K. I must then merely do to-day what I did yesterday?

"B. Precisely the same. Our presence will be necessary until the sweat is over, so that we may observe the alteration that occurs.

"K. And perhaps to repeat the operation with my shirt?

"B. That, too, must by no means be forgotten.

"When the sweat was over the Kaiser fell asleep in a quarter of an hour, woke again at three, and afterwards enjoyed unbroken sleep up to seven in the morning.

"From the 30th April to the 12th May this process was repeated with like results. From the 13th to the 27th May the sweats diminished day by day, and the expelled poison became almost too small to be observed. I agreed, therefore, with the physician to change the medicine, and to order the Kaiser tonic remedies, besides six or eight baths. On the 19th May he began to go out daily. His appetite increased, the wish for wine diminished, and his convalescence seemed to be complete. He did not see me so often as before because my presence was already known amongst the people and the nobility, and my position required that I should keep myself somewhat concealed.

"On the 14th June, in the evening, I was summoned to the Kaiser to take leave, and was ushered alone into his presence.

"K. My good Borri, I recognize in you, after God, the preserver of my life. It grieves me exceedingly that I cannot follow the impulses of my heart so as to discharge my debt to you. But your position is so complicated that if I meddle in the matter I shall only make things worse. You have involved yourself so deeply in spiritual questions that the Pope will appoint a commission to examine you as to your errors of religion, and I cannot restrain the Church's authority in this province. I see that your

situation is very critical, but you yourself can mitigate it. Your conscience must be your judge. Does conscience tell you that you are in fault, you will have no difficulty in making suitable acknowledgment and retractation. What I, as sovereign, can effect for you, is already done. The Pope's Nuncio has given me a written warranty that should you be found guilty, not the slightest injury shall be done to your person. My Minister at Rome will declare this to you in presence of the Papal commission. My envoys will take care for your maintenance, and you will receive for your life a yearly pension of 200 ducats from me and my heirs. Be all this a proof that I acknowledge what you have done for me. Hereafter, you will always find in the King of Spain, as well as myself, a true father. I pray that God may have you in his special keeping. That is my wish. Fare you well!

But he gave me his

"I wished to kiss the hem of the Kaiser's coat. hand, and, with tears in his eyes, said, 'I hope you will soon be worthy of this favour.' The agitation was so great on both sides that I left the room without being able to say a word more. Next evening I was carried from Vienna, on my way to Italy, with the same escort as before."

Thus concludes the Cavaliere Borri's narrative, of which the above is a freely translated, sometimes condensed, version. The arch-spagyric was evidently not without a spice of descriptive and dramatic power. The circumstances of his arrest, the intervention of the Pope's Nuncio, the Kaiser's partial interference on the prisoner's behalf, the final journey to Italy-these facts are described in a fashion which agrees well enough with what is known of Borri's history from other sources. Then the Borri of the dialogue is completely the Borri of Milan and of Amsterdam, the mixture of mystic, medical, and courtly skill, the cross breed between Tartuffe and Diaforius, who gulled burgomasters, sovereigns, and diplomatists. The necromancer himself fills the front of the picture with his sleek and stately proceedings, his sainted and scientific palaver, his sarcasms against chamberlains, his gall against priests. But the background is likewise sketched with suggestive if not accurate hand. The dingy Burg, its long passages, the mysterious and musty old Kaiser-half bigotry and half toleration-the minor personages of the drama-then the final outburst of Hapsburg generosity-all this is painted with a certain tone of truth, and not without attention to the probabilities of local colour and keeping. Hence many Austrian authors have accepted the Cavaliere's narrative without suspicion, and have indulged in speculation as to the probable authors of the intended crime. The Jesuits were the guilty parties; or perhaps the Hungarian malcontents; or Louis XIV. may have instigated the attempt. These and other opinions variously prevailed until the Hungarian historian of Austria (the only one who deserves the name), Count John Mailath, ventured about twenty years ago to call the whole affair in question. Doubts arose in his mind as to Borri's veracity, and he succeeded in raising scientific presumptions against the medical and chemical elements of the whole story.

In regard to the first point, it appears that sweating is a symptom of poisoning by arsenic, but by no means a condition of cure. Recovery would imply a crisis, although nothing of the sort is described by Borri, who seems to have been ignorant of the real process which ensues in cases of poisoning by arsenic. In regard to the second point, Count Mailath consulted an eminent chemist, Professor Sangaletti of the University of Pesth, who, in order to satisfy the historian and himself, specially constructed waxcandles of the sort described by Borri. The Hungarian professor reported what follows. Candles with wicks dipped in a concentrated aqueous solution of arsenic burn with a flame which can hardly be distinguished, by its colour, from that of ordinary candles; their smoke is scarcely visible, and when burning they emit no particular smell; but when first lighted, and still more, when blown out, they give forth the well-known garlic-like odour characteristic of cacodyl. If the wick be covered with the powdered metal, the candles will burn with a bluish white flame, but Borri's red tinge cannot be obtained. When such candles are lighted, they send up a white vapour, but the metallic powder clogs the wicks and hinders the capillary circulation, so that, as the liquid wax cannot mount in the cotton, the candles are quickly extinguished. According to Borri's statement, each wax-light held fifty-eight grains of arsenic, and under such circumstances the poisoned candles could not burn. In view of these facts, the Hungarian professor declared that grave suspicions must attach to the whole case, although he did not go the length of saying that the chemical evidence obtained furnished a positive and scientific refutation of Borri's narrative.

But Count Mailath was not satisfied. Determined to be Borri's Ithuriel, he proceeded to seek in the Imperial archives for evidence as to Kaiser Leopold's health and movements during the period to which Borri's narrative ascribes his Majesty's malady and cure. He discovered that at the period in question the Kaiser was in constant and intimate correspondence by letter with his envoy to the Court of Spain, Count Pötting. The Kaiser used to write to that official with his own hand every fortnight, communicating to him the minutest domestic particulars, especially such as concerned the health of the Imperial family. Of the letters (all autograph) to Count Pötting one of the official archivists made a series of copies, from which a few extracts belonging to the year 1670 will show the chronological impossibility attached to Borri's story. The Kaiser writes as follows:-

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Vienna, March 26.-We are all well."

"Vienna, April 9.-De reliquo omnes bene valemus."

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'Laxenburg, April 23.-All well, including our daughter."

"Laxenburg, May 8.-This moment has arrived news from Rome that Altieri was made Pope on the 29th April, cum nomine Clem. X. He is a good subjectum, although octogenarius and so little to be relied on. Tandem a Pope is better than no Pope. All well. More details next time, as I am starting for Maria Zell, where I stop twelve days."

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