"Speak, Carlo, speak! How can I aid you? What can I do to obtain your liberty?"
Ranuzi threw a quick and searching glance around the room, as if to convince himself that they were alone, then bowed down close to her ear and whispered:
"I can never be free till the King of Prussia is completely conquered and subjected, and only if I bring all my strength and capabilities to this object, may I hope to be free, and rich, and honored. The King of Prussia is my enemy, he is the enemy of the Church, the enemy of my gracious sovereign of Austria, to whom I have sworn fealty. A man may strive to conquer his enemies with every weapon, even with craft. Will you stand by me in this?"
"Then observe and listen, and search all around you. Repeat to me all that you hear and see--seem to be an enthusiastic adherent of the King of Prussia; you will then be confided in and know all that is taking place. Be kind and sympathetic to your husband; he is a sincere follower of the king, and has free intercourse with many distinguished persons; he is also well received at court. Give yourself the appearance of sympathizing in all his sentiments. When you attend the concerts at the castle, observe all that passes-- every laugh, every glance, every indistinct word, and inform me of all. Do you understand, Marietta?--will you do this?"
"I understand, Carlo, and I will do this. Is this all? Can I do nothing more to help you?"
"Yes, there are other things, but they are more difficult, more dangerous."
"So much the better; the more dangerous the stronger the proof of my love. Speak, dear Carlo!"
"It is forbidden for the captive officers to send sealed letters to their friends or relatives. All our letters must be read, and if a word of politics is found in them, they are condemned. All other persons have the right to send sealed letters in every direction. Have you not friends to whom you write, Marietta?"