Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

OF FICTION, POETRY, HISTORY, AND GENERAL LITERATURE,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

THE BETRAYED AND HIS sioned by the agricultural labourers, as, AVENGER.

they sought out or arranged their various A STORY OF THE POLISH REVOLUTION. implements of husbandry, and prepared

to follow the toils of the day. (For the Parterre.) ;

The farm itself was situated on one of

those delightful spots where nature apIn the summer of 1833, there were pears to have done her best to make man many conspiracies formed for the pur- happy. The building, or rather series pose of overturning the Continental of buildings, formed four sides of a governments; and the Polish emigrants square ;—the one towards the south was did not lose the opportunity it afforded the dwelling place of the family, that them, of making another desperate effort towards the north was occupied by the under hopes of gaining the independence cows and lower animals, the eastern side of their country. About three hundred, was reserved for stables, while the wesof the Polish emigrants were sent under tern served the purposes of a barn, and different disguises to the various pro- sheltered the grain, carts, carriages, and vinces in Poland, for the purpose of the other farm stock and furniture. stirring up a revolutionary spirit amongst From the front of the house was seen the enslaved population—but, in all the a most beautiful view of the Prosna, as instances, were unsuccessful. Many of it winded below in many narrow curves, the emigrants fell into the hands of the occasionally breaking out where the land Cossacks, and were hung or shot, with-' was low and sandy. Few boats ruffled out even the mockery of a Russian trial. the quiet face of its smooth course; nor,

It was towards the latter end of July were the inhabitants on its banks often of that year, that, one beautiful morn. disturbed by the sound of the bugle, or. ing shortly after sunrise, we were gazing the shriller blast of the huntsman's horn. on the tranquil farm-yard that was seen Far as the eye could reach, lay extended below; its only noise being that occa- those long and beautiful meadows that so

adorn unfortunate Poland ; while be. “ My father is the traitor !” shrieked hind, rose an abrupt gathering of hills, the terrified girl, as she rose and muttered which protected the cottage from the hastily between her set teeth, and, wiping northern blast; all around was foliage, the cold perspiration from her brow, trees, stately, grand, and beautiful, invited Waclaw to enter. towering forth in their innocent pride, “ No, Niela!” replied Waclaw, “the and shaming the more studied works of daughter of a traitor' never can be my art that in the curiously-fashioned old wife!” pile vainly attempted to disturb the at- Waclaw mounted his steed, and purtention of the gazer.

sued his route to the rendezvous of his A horseman was seen rapidly galloping companions in arms, and before it was towards the house by the road which ap. noon passed over the spot of the mornproached it from the south, and in a few ing's murder. The scene was in the minutes more the hoofs of his steed centre of one of the most verdant meagrated harshly as he reined him up be- dows on the banks of the Prosna ; it had fore the door, which was opened by already yielded its golden crop, which, Niela, the only daughter of the old gathered up into sheaves, dotted the landfarmer.

scape as far as the eye could reach, Near “Oh! Waclaw, has he escaped ?" she the spot on which Waclaw stood were the exclaimed.

marks of the hoofs of the Cossack-horse, “ I arrived too late-his doom was and all around were apparent the ravages already fixed.”

of an insolent barbarian and invading “ Oh heaven that I had informed you force : these were the only visible marks sooner-his blood is on my head !-poor of the morning's butchery, still the blood youth! some sister may yet mourn thy of the slain cried to Heaven for vengeunknown fate--but how came it is he ance, and Waclaw swore that it should be really dead ? "

avenged. “ He fought long and bravely, but The grief of Niela was extreme; she had to contend with a superior force; had not only suffered an innocent patriot and before I came to his assistance, all to be butchered for her want of decision; bope was over-he was wounded, and a —she knew, too, that her father was prisoner! I watched every opportunity a traitor to his country-she knew that to effect his escape—but it was a hope. Waclaw also knew this—that he had less task-last night he was condemned; vowed vengeance against her father, and and this morning, at sun-rise, I saw his that he despised herself,—her best feel. body bleaching in the air !

ings were lacerated-she wished for death Why did I not inform thee sooner ! - life had become a burden to her ;-her -but the duty of a daughter forbade it ! father's sight had become hateful, and No! avaunt with such a feeling!—I am

his endeavours to console her, only aug. no longer a daughter; I am a Polish mented her grief, and when she was woman. O that I had forgot my father, forced to tell him the cause, the old man and saved Winnicki! O that I had re- covered his face with his hands and wept membered alone the cause of my country! like a child. This called a new feeling He came from afar to regenerate it-my into her heart, and the woman again father betrayed him, and I forbore until became a daughter; she wept upon his too late to inform him of the deceit neck, as he detailed to her how he had Wretch that I am !-the Polish mothers been forced to betray the poor emigrant; will raise their finger in scorn at me how he himself had been in the hands as I pass, and shout, • There goes the of the Cossacks, and only saved his life daughter of a traitor Pole !'-hateful and that of his daughter, by giving such name; would that I had betrayed the information as had, unwittingly on his traitor, even although it would have been part, been successfully used for the my grey-headed father !"

purpose of entrapping Winnicki. “ Niela ! my dear Niela! who be- The heart of the old man was its own trayed him ?-speak, tell me--you rave avenger ; he bethought himself that he --my blood runs strangely in my veins !" had a son also, an exile, who might be

Niela answered only by a deep-drawn betrayed, and that he might yet live to sigh, and sunk back upon the threshold. know that the death of Winnicki had

“ God be my witness, my betrothed ! been avenged in that of his own blood, -speak, tell me, who is the traitor ? These thoughts had hardly once and I swear that no tie, no endearment through his fevered brain ere his daughof relationship to either thyself or to me, ter was summoned to the door; she shall screen him from the vengeance he returned with a letter- he knew the merits."

ran

hand-writing, and opening it with “A sick person do you say? is she breathless anxiety, found that Winnicki pretty, is she a nice little maid, sick with was no other but his exiled son-the letter love, or an old hag, ill with hate?" said the writer had but a few minutes demanded a wine merchant, taking the to live that he had been betrayed by half smoked cigar from his mouth. some unknown handthat ere the sun was “ No, sir; it is a Pole, wounded in high in the heavens, he would have ceased body and mind, on the point of death." to exist-he craved pardon for living It was with feelings of the deepest with him under a false name, but pain that I heard this announcement, and assured him that the cause in which he pain the deeper felt-because I observed was engaged, imperatively demanded with what levity the statement was that he should so disguise himself. received by my travelling companions,

The sun had already sunk beyond the and I requested that I might be conhorizon of the Prosna—the heart-broken ducted to the sick man's apartment. daughter and frantic father were silently To this request, the mistress at first sitting at the cottage table — a slight objected; but when I told her that I was knock was heard at the window; Niela a countryman, and could possibly alleopened it--some one desired to speak viate his sufferings, she conducted me with her father. The old man rose at to where he lay. the summons, but had not reached the The room was little, dimly lighted, window when a shot was fired, and he and without the smallest article of furni. fell prostrate on the floor.

ture excepting the pallet upon which the A tall slender figure bent himself over man lay stretched, dressed in a Polish the window, and exclaimed, “thus may lieutenant's uniform. At the side of the every traitor perish!" mounted his horse bed stood a small candle, by the light of and rode off from the farm.

which he was gazing upon a packet of Niela, poor Niela! she it was who letters which he held in his hand-he least deserved it, and who suffered the did not appear to be above twenty years most: in one day deprived of her brother, of age; his countenance, although marked her father, her betrothed; she felt the with the hand of disease and death, was iron of disappointed hope deep in her yet expressive and interesting ; his eyes breast, but she gave way to no impas- were full of fire, but there was a wild-, sioned madness-her resolve was soon ness about them that made the blood to taken, and she devoted herself, like more curdle-seeing that he was not asleep I of her countrywomen, to wander among addressed him in Polish, and asked how the tombs of her country's patriots, im. he felt himself; he turned his eyes towards precating vengeance on the head of the me with a sort of demoniac joy, leaped ruthless invader, who has converted suddenly from his bed, stopped short, Poland into a wide and long churchyard, looked at me hard, and then fell down and keeping alive the spirit which will upon his wretched pallet, and began to yet burst the bonds that despotism has weep. succeeded for a time in fixing on the begged the exile's pardon, for inface of a marked nation.

truding upon him; but said that being Ten months after these tragical events, a Pole, and hearing of his illness, I I was forced to travel quietly through thought myself bound to visit him, and France on my way to England, as see if I could in any way assist him. I found that the part I had taken in the “ A Pole!” he cried, “ O yes! I was expedition to Savoy, prevented my find. once a Pole too,—'t was but only yestering_an asylum in any other quarter day I was a Pole, but now alas-—" he of Europe. During the journey, the was much agitated and turned his face diligence arrived at midnight, in the towards the wall, but had not so remainmonth of July, at a village in the departo ed many moments, when he again turned ment of Vesoul upon the Saône ; we suddenly round, held out his hand, and were crowded with passengers, all of begged to be forgiven. them belonging to France, and when He lay quiet for a few minutes, and they entered the inn, every one made seemed to be endeavouring to recollect as much poise as possible, in order the something, as he frequently passed his more quickly to attract the attention of hand over his high white forehead, and the bustling waiters. In about a quarter of put back the fair hair which, although an hour after our arrival, the mistress of uncombed, clustered about his brow and the house entered and begged that we over his shoulders, in curls that would would make less noise, as there was a have made glad the heart of many a sick person in the house.

lank haired damsel; at last he said,

LEGENDS OF THE CONQUEST OF SPAIN,

water.

" Will you convey these to Niela, to arrived at Langrez. I again endeavoured Manda, to Bronislau, to my father ? to be permitted to return to bury my Speak, speak !” he added in a plaintive dead countryman ; but the orders from and beseeching tone.

the interior would brook of no indulI instantly recognised in the wasted gence to one in my situation, and I was form of the dying maniac-my old com- forced to leave France without hearing rade Waclaw; but he knew me not. I anything more of poor Waclaw. replied that his friends were all well, and Glasgow.

J. R. I would carry whatever he wished. “Will they come and see me ? ha !

NOTES OF A READER. ha! will they come and see me. No! no! yes ! yes !--they will come-more, they will avenge my wrongs.'

After these exclamations, he instantly The subjoined picture of Florinda, sunk down exhausted, and remained whose fatal beauty, like that of another silent for some minutes, at last he said, Helen, was the cause of so much mis.

“Read them - read them-oh yes! chief and ruin to her country and kinI pray you read them," and he placed in dred, is not surpassed by anything that my hands a bundle of letters. I began has proceeded from the pen of the author to read one of them, when he tore the of the “ Sketch Book.' The delicacy whole from my grasp, and calmly fold- and perfection of the style, the sweetness ing them up in a handkerchief, said, of the language, the inimitable freshness

“ Not now — not now!” and again and enchanting luxury of the whole offered them to me; but I was so struck description, render it a chef-d'ouvre of with his manner, that I involuntarily the author, and a gem of the purest shrunk from accepting them.

“ Are you afraid to take them ?" he “The beautiful daughter of Count exclaimed, “ take them, they wont hurt Julian was received with great favour you.”

by the Queen Exilona, and admitted Wishing to quiet him as much as pos- among the noble damsels that attended sible, I took the bundle, and placed it upon her person.

Here she lived in under my arm; this pleased him, and honour and apparent security, and surhe continued, in a much calmer tone, rounded by innocent delights. To

“ And thou hast seen my Niela, my gratify his queen, Don Roderick had Manda, my father, and my brother ? built for her rural recreation a palace hast thou ever been in Poland, in without the walls of Toledo, on the banks Kamschatka ? Oh! it is terrible to be of the Tagus. It stood in the inidst of condemned to pass a life-time in one of a garden, alorned after the luxurious those awful mines.”

style of the east. The air was perfumed His countenance now changed fast- by fragrant shrubs and Aowers; the his colour became more pale, and his groves resounded with the song of the features assumed a livid blue aspect. nightingale; while the gush of fountains

“ The gallows !- the gallows !-you and waterfalls, and the distant murmur would have hung me, but I escaped of the Tagus, made it a delightful refrom your lances, I have avoided it- treat during the sultry days of summer. but all now avoid me—all have forsaken The charm of perfect privacy also reigned me-my very dog—but it left me last, throughou the place: for the garden poor Carlo-come with me to Poland !” walls were high, and numerous guards

These were his last words, the clock kept watch without, to protect it from of the neighbouring church struek one, all intrusion. he pressed my hand and ceased to exist. “ One sultry day, the king, instead of

“My God, who will pay for his room," taking his siesta or mid-day slumber, exclaimed the landlady, who had un- repaired to this apartment to seek the perceived entered the room, and witness. society of the queen. In passing through ed the last act of the tragedy; this comes a small oratory, he was drawn by the of keeping a sick man when he has no sound of female voices to a casement money-he owes me three days' rent." overhung with myrtles and jasmines.

I wished to remain at the village and It looked into an interior garden or pay my last attentions to my unfortunate court, set out with orange-trees, in the comrade; but the gensd'armes would midst of which was a marble fountain, not permit it - I was forced into the surrounded by a grassy bank enamelled diligence, and when I awoke to reason, with flowers. It was the high noontide found that it was morning, and we had of a summer day, when, in sultry Spain, the landscape trembles to the eye, and bosom; but the eye of the damsel ever all nature seeks repose, except the gras- sunk beneath his gaze, and remained hopper, that pipes his hulling note to the bent on the earth in virgin modesty. It herdsman as he sleeps beneath the shade. was in vain he called to mind the sacred Around the fountain were several of the trust reposed in him by Count Julian, damsels of the queen, who, confident of and the promise he had given to watch the sacred privacy of the place, were over his daughter with paternal care ; yielding in that cool retreat to the in. his heart was vitiated by sensual indul. dulgence prompted by the season and gence, and the consciousness of power had the hour. Some lay asleep on the rendered him selfish in his gratifications. flowery bank; others sat on the margin Being one evening in the garden where of the fountain, talking and laughing, the queen was diverting herself with her as they bathed their feet in its limpid damsels, and coming to the fountain waters, and King Roderick beheld their where he beheld the innocent maidens at delicate limbs shining through the wave, their sport, he could no longer restrain that might rival the marble in whiteness. the passion that raged within his breast. Among the damsels was one who had Seating himself beside the fountain, he come from the Barbary coast with the called Florinda to him to draw forth a queen. Her complexion had the dark thorn which had pierced his hand. The tinge of Mauritania, but it was clear maiden knelt at his feet, to examine his and transparent, and the deep, rich rose hand, and the touch of her slender blushed through the lovely brown. Her fingers thrilled through his veins. As eyes were black and full of fire, and she knelt, too, her amber locks fell in rich flashed from under long silken eyelashes. ringlets about her beautiful head, her A sportive contest arose among the innocent bosom palpitated beneath the maidens, as to the comparative beauty crimson bodice, and her timid blushes of the Spanish and Moorish forms; but increased the effulgence of her charms." the Mauritanian damsel revealed limbs of voluptuous symmetry, that seemed to

SINGULARITIES OF MEMORY. defy all rivalry. The Spanish beauties It is remarkable, that the incidents of were on the point of giving up the con- childhood and youth are seldom rememtest, when they bethought themselves of bered, or called forth in all their vividthe young Florinda, the daughter of ness, until old age. I have sometimes Count Julian, who lay on the grassy been led, from this and other circumbank, abandoned to a summer slumber. stances, to suspect that nothing is ever The soft glow of youth and health lost that is lodged in the memory, how. mantled on her cheek; her fringed eye- ever it may be busied for a time by a lashes scarcely covered their sleeping variety of causes. How often do we orbs; her moist and ruby lips were find the transactions of early life, which lightly parted, just revealing a gleam of we had reason to suppose were lost from her ivory teeth while her innocent the mind for ever, revived in our memobosom rose and fell beneath her bodice, ries by certain accidental sights or sounds, like the gentle swelling and sinking of a particularly by certain notes or airs in tranquil sea. There was a breathing music! I have known a young man tenderness and beauty in the sleeping speak French fluently when drunk, that virgin, that seemed to send forth sweet- could not put two sentences of that lanness like the flowers around her.

guage together when sober, He had “Behold, cried her companions, been taught perfectly, when a boy, but exultingly, the champion of Spanish bad forgotten it from disuse, The beauty!'

Countess of L-V-1 was nursed by “ In their playful eagerness they half a Welshwoman, from whom she learned disrobed the innocent Florinda before to speak her language, which she soon she was aware. She awoke in time, forgot after she had acquired the French, however, to escape from their busy hands; which was her mother-tongue. In the but enough of her charms had been delirium of a fever, many years after, revealed to convince the monarch that wards, she was heard to mutter words they were not to be rivalled by the rarest which none of her family or attendants beauties of Mauritania. From this day understood. An old Welshwoman came the heart of Roderick was inflamed with to see her, who soon perceived that the a fatal passion. He gazed on the beau- sounds which were so unintelligible to tiful Florinda with fervid desire, and the family were the Welsh language. sought to read in her looks whether When she recovered she could not rethere was levity or wantonness in her collect a single word of the language she

« AnteriorContinuar »