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One beautiful autumn day, towards sunset, the last flourishes of a trumpet calling the huntsmen together, resounded through a forest of beech trees. The group of court huntsmen passed along the wide highway that divided this ancient wilderness, accompanied by men armed with boar-spears and carrying nets; the horsemen wore green dresses with gold braid, and hats ornamented with black feathers: in the centre of the party were waggons laden with venison and adorned with green boughs. The hunt must have been successful, for the huntsmen were in high spirits, and from the waggons protruded the horns of deer, and the heads of boars with bloody tusks.
The retinue of the lord came first; there were beautiful horses, and several lady riders with lovely faces. All were dressed as for a festival, for hunting was a favourite amusement with Augustus II, who at that time ruled more or less happily over Saxony and Poland.
The King himself led the hunt, and at his side rode his eldest son, the prince then dearest to Saxony, and the one towards whom the eyes of the nation were directed with expectation. The King looked well, despite his advanced age, and rode his horse like a knight; whilst his son, who also looked well but whose face wore a sweeter expression, looked rather like his younger brother. A numerous and brilliant court surrounded the two lords. They were to pass the night at Hubertsburg, where the Prince would offer hospitality to his father, for the hunting castle belonged to him. The Princess Josepha, daughter-in-law to the King, and daughter of the Imperial house of Hapsburg, recently married to Frederick, awaited them at Hubertsburg. The King's court was so numerous that it was impossible to lodge it in the castle, and for this reason tents had been pitched in the grove for the greater part of the retinue. The tables were already laid for supper, and the moment the King entered the castle, the huntsmen dispersed to find the lodgings assigned to them.