Then all was still but the song of the birds and the sighing winds.
Laura knelt and prayed. When she turned her glance from the cloudless heavens upon her beloved, his countenance was changed. There was a glory about it, and his great, wide-opened eyes flashed with inspiration; he raised his dying head and greeted the trees and flowers with his last glance.
"How beautiful is the world when one is about to die," said he, with a sweet smile. "Farewell, world! Farewell, Laura! Come, take me in your arms--let me die in the arms of love! Hate has its reign in this world, but love goes down with us into the cold grave. Farewell!--farewell!--farewell!"
His head fell upon Laura's shoulder; one last gasp, one last shudder, and the heir of a throne, the future ruler of millions, was nothing but a corpse.
The trees whispered gayly--no cloud shadowed the blue heavens; the birds sang, the flowers bloomed, and yet in that eventful moment a prince was born, a pardoned soul was wafted to the skies.
Love pressed the last kiss upon the poor, wan lips; love closed the weary eyes; love wept over him; love prayed for his soul.
"Hate has her reign in this poor world, love goes down with us into the dark tomb."
THE KING AND HIS OLD AND NEW ENEMIES.