Barbara Blombergh was then over fifty, and she preserved traces of her great beauty, which she tried to enhance with cosmetics and fine clothes, unsuited to her age or situation. She, however, lacked that inborn distinction and dignity which then, even more than now, characterised ladies of noble lineage; because education, which to-day refines, polishes and levels manners to a certain extent, belonged then exclusively to dames of high degree. Barbara Blombergh certainly did not belong to this privileged class, although several historians have asserted it, in order to exalt D. Johns maternal descent. She was simply a girl of the middle class, daughter of a citizen of Ratisbon of moderate fortune. Three years after the birth of D. John she married Jerome Kegel, who was not a noble gentleman either, but a poor "hére," as Gachard calls him, who for a humble position at the Court of Queen Mary, the Regent of Flanders, compromised himself by giving her his name and sheltering her dishonour.
"Why, you see plainly enough we are going to the bastion.""But what are we going to do there?"
“What will you do?” said her aunt.