Rupert of Hentzau: Anthony Hope
Rudolf, Fritz and Sapt must prevent this at all costs Summary by Andy For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats if available , please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording. M4B audio book mb. Reviewer: TwinkieToes - favorite favorite favorite favorite favorite - December 7, Subject: Not as much "fun" but more "exciting" This sequel might not be as "fun" as the first story, but I found it more suspenseful and exciting.
The second coming of Rassendyll is fraught with more danger and daring than the first. Reviewer: ListeninginChicago - favorite favorite favorite favorite favorite - July 24, Subject: Another Gem by Andy Minter I had never heard of this author, or book, and listened simply because I'm a fan of Andy Minter. What a fun story!
Love, intrigue, duels and treachery. Yes, thank you Mr. The chief agent through whom he had the effrontery to approach the King was his relative, the Count of Luzau-Rischenheim, a young man of high rank and great wealth who was devoted to Rupert. As may be supposed, however, the King and those who advised him in the matter, knowing too well the manner of man the Count of Hentzau was, were not inclined to give ear to his ambassador's prayer.
We kept firm hold on Master Rupert's revenues, and as good a watch as we could on his movements; for we were most firmly determined that he should never return to Ruritania. Perhaps we might have obtained his extradition and hanged him on the score of his crimes; but in these days every rogue who deserves no better than to be strung up to the nearest tree must have what they call a fair trial, and we feared that, if Rupert were handed over to our police and arraigned before the courts att Strelsau, the secret which we guarded so sedulously would become the gossip of all the city, aye, and of all Europe.
So Rupert went unpunished except by banishment and the impounding of his rents. Yet Sapt was in the right about him. Helpless as he seemed, he did not for an instant abandon the contest. He lived in the faith that his chance would come, and from day to day was ready for its coming. He schemed against us as we schemed to protect ourselves from him; if we watched him, he kept his eye on us. His ascendancy over Luzau-Rischenheim grew markedly greater after a visit which his cousin paid to him in Paris. From this time the young Count began to supply him with resources. Thus armed, he gathered instruments round him, and organised a system of espionage that carried to his ears all our actions and the whole position of affairs at Court.
He knew, far more accurately than any one else outside the royal circle, the measures taken for the government of the kingdom and the considerations that dictated the royal policy. More than this, he possessed himself of every detail concerning the King's health, although the utmost reticence was observed on this subject.
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Had his discoveries stopped here, they would have been vexatious and disquieting, but perhaps of little serious harm. They went further. Set on the track by his acquaintance with what had passed during Mr. Rassendyll's tenure of the throne, he penetrated the secret which had been kept successfully from the King himself.
I cannot say whether he was influenced more strongly by his desire to re-establish his position in the kingdom, or by the grudge he bore against Mr. He loved power and money; dearly he loved revenge also. No doubt the motives worked together, and he was rejoiced to find that the weapon put into his hand had a double edge; with one he hoped to cut his own path clear, with the other to wound the man he hated through the woman whom that man loved.
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In fine, the Count of Hentzau, shrewdly discerning the feeling that existed between the Queen and Rudolf Rassendyll, set his spies to work, and was rewarded by discovering the object of my yearly meetings with Mr. At least he conjectured the nature of my errand: this was enough for him. Head and hand were soon busy in turning the knowledge to account; scruples of the heart never stood in Rupert's way.
The marriage, which had set all Ruritania on fire with joy and formed in the people's eyes the visible triumph over Black Michael and his fellow-conspirators, was now three years old. For three years the Princess Flavia had been Queen. I am come by now to the age when a man should look out on life with an eye undimmed by the mists of passion. In storm it has been my anchor, and in clear skies my star. But we common folk are free to follow our hearts; am I an old fool for saying that he is a fool who follows anything else?
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Our liberty is not for princes. We need wait for no future world to balance the luck of men; even here there is an equipoise. From the highly placed a price is exacted for their state, their wealth, and their honours, as heavy as these are great; to the poor what is to us mean and of no sweetness may appear decked in the robes of pleasure and delight. Well, if it were not so, who could sleep at nights? The burden laid on Queen Flavia I knew and know, so well as a man can know it.
Rupert of Hentzau: From The Memoirs of Fritz Von Tarlenheim
I think it needs a woman to know it fully; for even now my wife's eyes fill with tears when we speak of it. Yet she bore it, and if she failed in anything, I wonder that it was in so little. For it was not only that she had never loved the King and had loved another with all her heart. The King's health, shattered by the horror and rigours of his imprisonment in the Castle of Zenda, soon broke utterly. He lived indeed; nay, he shot and hunted, and kept in his hand some measure, at least, of government. There was worse than this. As time went on, the first impulse of gratitude and admiration that he had felt towards Mr.
Rassendyll died away. He came to brood more and more on what had passed while he was a prisoner; he was possessed not only by a haunting dread of Rupert of Hentzau, at whose hands he had suffered so greatly, but also by a morbid half-mad jealousy of Mr. Rudolf had played the hero while he lay helpless. Rudolfs were the exploits for which his own people cheered him in his own capital. Rudolf's were the laurels that crowned his impatient brow. He had enough nobility to resent his borrowed credit, without the fortitude to endure it manfully. And the hateful comparison struck him nearer home.
Sapt would tell him bluntly that Rudolf did this or that, set this precedent or that, laid down this or the other policy, and that the King could do no better than follow in Rudolfs steps. Rassendyll's name seldom left his wife's lips, but when she spoke of him it was as one speaks of a great man who is dead, belittling all the living by the shadow of his name. I have seen him fall into fits of passion on the mere sound of it; for he lost control of himself on what seemed slight provocation.
Moved by this disquieting jealousy, he sought continually to exact from the Queen proofs of love and care beyond what most husbands can boast of, or in my humble judgment make good their right to, always asking of her what in his heart he feared was not hers to give. Much she did in pity and in duty; but in some moments, being but human and herself a woman of high temper, she failed; then the slight rebuff or involuntary coldness was magnified by a sick man's fancy into great offence or studied insult, and nothing that she could do would atone for it.
Thus they, who had never in truth come together, drifted yet further apart; he was alone in his sickness and suspicion, she in her sorrows and her memories. There was no child to bridge the gulf between them, and although she was his queen and his wife, she grew almost a stranger to him. So he seemed to will that it should be. Thus, worse than widowed, she lived for three years; and once only in each year she sent three words to the man she loved, and received from him three words in answer. Then her strength failed her. I was there, and Sapt; the Colonel's small eyes had gleamed in anger.
The thing, of which I will say no more, happened a day or two before I was to set out to meet Mr. It is a moment of weakness which will have huge repercussions for all of them.
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But when he attacks Fritz on a quiet country road, Rupert ends up with a prize far more dangerous than he had dared to dream. The rose is damning in itself, but the discovery of the letter offers Rupert the potential for mischief beyond his wildest imaginings. As Rupert and his minions spur back to Ruritania, Rudolf Rassendyll finds himself once more drawn into high affairs. Determined to prevent the queen being compromised, by any means necessary, Rassendyll and his friends must once again enter into a desperate and secret war with Rupert of Hentzau, in which wits will be as important as pistols or swords.
Thus Rudolf Rassendyll set out again for the walls of Streslau, through the forest of Zenda. The game was afoot now; who could tell the issue of it? And that duel, when it finally comes, is with swords rather than pistols, of course: at this date even villains were gentlemen. And is it too much of a spoiler to say that the ending packs an unexpectedly powerful emotional punch? I was left quite shocked. My only regret was that there was no chandelier-swinging scene.
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