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things did not escape Noah's penetration ; namely, these fine things are done ?” said a mistrustful old that, despite the traveller's foreign airs and graces, peasant. he knew the country too well to ask for anything “ France !” said, triumphantly, Loeb Herz, for in the way of refreshment which he was not likely such was the worthy's name, “ far from here, and to meet with at that sort of place; and he never yet friendly to the Poles." alluded to the illusory notion of a bed, but merely Once their interest and their curiosity roused on spoke of a bench and his cloak, by way of accom- a subject so personal to themselves, the boors were modation for the night. His inquisitiveness, too, like children. They drank in every word that about the boors, struck Noah as not perfectly nat- dropped from the stranger as if it had been the ural in a man of his appearance.
balm of life ; and the Jews were in raptures as The stranger took his seat at one of the tables he recounted the revolution of the 27th, 28th, and where the better sort of peasants were regaling 29th of July, in a manner to electrify his auditors ; themselves with beer and honey, and said, in tones the few latitudes that he permitted himself, so far loud enough to command general attention : as the real facts were concerned, being of a nature “ You ’ve heard the grand—the glorious to render the account more palatable. Instead of
the armed mobs of fauxbourgs, it was the peas“No,” said Noah ; " is the world enriched by antry from distant villages that had boldly marched some new prince?"
to the capital, and forced it with their arms, “ On the contrary, it has a king the less. scythes, and fails. Instead of granting the Have you not yet heard of the revolution of July ?'charte, Louis Philippe had abolished the robot
The boors seemed to take little or no interest in France. His brave peasants were no longer in this important intelligence, but the Jews flocked bound to their own villages, but might roam at round the speaker in a trice, and their rapid, pleasure all over the country.
Schools were to guttural exclamations filled the room with clamor. be established in each village, and the villagers
“ Yes,” continued the speaker, “it cost the were, henceforth, to be judged and punished no noble Parisians but three days—three days of longer by petty masters and their bailiffs, but by a fighting, and they were free!”
general law—that of the land. Quite free ?” said Noah, his eyes glistening. Surely,” said the old peasant, shaking his
'Why, yes—quite free. They have, indeed, head, “ you are laughing at us; you have come chosen a 'king for themselves ; but he is their from afar to have your joke at our expense.” king, they are not his people, and that makes a “No, no; what I tell you is true ; you might vast difference, you know."
read it all in the newspapers, if you had any, and Surely,” said Noah.
had been taught to read and write ; and that 's “When I left Paris a few days back, all was why these, your rights, have been withheld from acclamation and delight at the triumph of the peo- you.” ple. Yes, my friend"—this was addressed to Loeb Herz's master, an ardent Polish patriot, Noah—" it is sublime to behold the joy of a whole had contributed by his own personal bravery nation!"
towards the great event that had not only changed “ What do they rejoice about ?" said a stal- the face of France, but was destined to shake Euwart Gallician peasant.
rope to its centre.
He had instantly dispatched “ What? Why, liberty, to be sure.
Loeb Herz, whose talents for intrigue were well The peasant stared at him with vague, indefinite known to him, on a secret mission to Poland, to curiosity. “One king or another," continued he, pave the way in villages, and out of the way “ what does it signify ?"
places, for the rising which the sanguine Poles “Ay, my friend ; but liberty, no robot! no were determined should at last liberate and restore tithes, no blood tax, malt tax, butter, and butcher their unhappy country. He could not have entax, and tenths, and firstlings, and what not! trusted the mission to more able or more faithful Freedom is to pay one general tax and no more ; hands. Son of an oppressed race, from childhood to owe duty to one single master, and he so far upwards the tool of others, Loeb Herz's secret. off that it never inconveniences one ; to have sympathies were bound up in that yet pendant rights of one's own. The king cannot till his cause, pendant since the beginning of time, betwixt land with the cattle of the poor, and make them the high and the low, betwixt the few that comwork the better part of the week for himself, and mand, and the many that obey—that cause ever leave them only the fag-end of it.”
agitated under various forms, never settled, which At these words the indifference of the boors has steeped the earth in blood and the human heart gave way. They started up and pressed round in unutterable, unquenchable hatred. Where fate the stranger.
had cast him, there Loeb's heart had taken root. “And what do the lords do ?" asked one of Born of the people, he cared but for the people. the elders among the peasants—" who tills their It was a glorious triumph to have his travelling land ?”
and other expenses richly remunerated, his trouble “The peasants, to be sure; and pretty well overpaid, and to be thus enabled to preach his paid they are too."
own doctrine, to work a channel for his own hid“ And how is that country called where all den but most cherished aspirations. He was paid
to rouse the sluggish peasantry against the foreign the long winter evenings, discoursing upon matyoke ; but he taught them to hate all yokes, ters of this nature, and treating them after Loeb domestic as well as foreign. On the other hand, Herz's own fashion. The seed, too, flung among it would have been useless to touch more exalted the boors, ripened ; and they drank many an addichords with the peasantry than were likely to tional glass of brandy, though that might have vibrate in their hearts. However cloudy the been deemed an impossible feat, in trying to digest understanding, or uncultivated the mind, there is the mental food he had left for their discussion. none so dull or so barren but the seed of self-inter- Spring came and went; but the interim had est will spring up gladly within it, and none are so been one of unwonted excitement, even to the insublimated by refinement as to exclude its growth. habitants of the lonely road-side ale-house. The This the adroit agitator well knew; and he sent struggle between the Poles and Russians had taken the peasants home to dream of freedom, such as place; and Pavel had been so completely absorbed they understood it, a word till that day but little by his interest in the contest, that, in the wrongs known to them. The Jews, who had at first of his country, he had somewhat forgotten his own. listened with a livelier interest than the boors, had, He had helped the wounded and the flying, exthe moment they perceived the dangerous ground ecuted dangerous missions, and of late, despite his the conversation was shifting to, skulked away one youth, become somewhat initiated in the mysteries after another, terrified lest at any future period of the frontier. He had been present at a night their names might be mixed up with the passages attack, when his active limbs and bold heart saved of that evening. Noah was half-inclined to Noah from much difficulty. All this was fast remain ; but the pleading eyes of Salome at last making a man of him, when a fortuitous circumwithdrew him from the fascinating Loeb, who was stance again threw his thoughts into disarray. thus left alone with Pavel.
One summer evening, as Noah and his family, In the course of their conversation, Loeb Herz including Pavel and Peter, were lazily watching implanted in his companion's young breast those from the gate the lengthening shadows over the principles which he intended should one day bear that and sandy prospect, their attention became fruit. So engrossed were they with this subject, roused by the approach of a travelling carriage. that daylight still found them face to face; and and-four. As it drew nearer it proved to be the after their frugal breakfast, Pavel accompanied his commodious britzska of the country-not the new friend to the nearest village, whose male pop- vehicle known by that name in England, but one ulation so frequently visited Noah's ale-house that singularly elongated, padded throughout to the he was enabled to give a tolerably correct account softness of a bed, and frequently serving that purof them.
pose, with plenty of accommodation before and be“ Well, my young friend," said the agent, hind for servants. There was nothing unusual in when about to take leave of Pavel, “ I hope to the circumstance, families of distinction being consee you in time a man, such as every Pole should tinually on the wing during summer; and as no such be, hating all oppression, native as well as foreign. equipage ever stopped at Noah's humble tenement, If ever you should wish to hear of me,” added beyond the first moment of vague curiosity, his Loeb, thoughtfully, “here is the address of a eye took in the object with the rest of the landfriend of mine in Posen, who will always know scape without any peculiar train of ideas being where to send me a letter.” So saying, he tore a connected with it, when suddenly his interest was slip of paper containing the address from his excited, and the whole family sprang to their feet pocket-book. “ But,” he added, “should you with a cry of consternation. leave this place, where shall I find you ?"
Not far from Noah's home, a small stream, be“I can give no direction," replied Pavel ; “Itween steep and sloping banks, divided the road. do not know yet what I shall do with myself.” It was innocent enough, being partially dry in
“Tell me at least the village to which, or the summer, though in autumn and winter it swelled lord to whom, you belong.” Pavel shouk his to a torrent, and was dangerous to the wayfarer. head.
A few try of trees loosely tied together, stretch“ You are then free? or do you belong to crown ing from bank to bank, and covered with a few lands?"
boards, served as a bridge—a contrivance which Pavel remained silent.
did very well so long as it was kept in repair, but “ Chance must direct me, then,” said Loeb; which required continual attention. On came the “indeed, you have told me nothing about your carriage at that furious rate which the people of circumstances—when we next meet, you must be the north delight in, and was half-way over the more explicit. I may give you some good advice, bridge, when, with a loud crash, it broke in the and perhaps a good shove, forward; but as yet middle, precipitating carriage, horses, and servants, you are too young-another time, I hope we shall pell-mell into the brook. Some peasants, workhave leisure to improve our acquaintance.” ing in a neighboring field, flew to the rescue.
The imagination of Noah and Pavel fed for Pavel was not slow in joining them; and, by their months on the events of the Parisian three days, joint efforts, they got the carriage on its wheels, and the similarity of their sentiments made them and raised the fallen. The horses, having been more intimate than they had hitherto been. When harnessed in the slovenly Polish fashion, with the tap-room was empty, they spent hours, during ropes—which, however, easily give way in a case
of emergency like the present-stood trembling in this way presently, when I shall take possession the stream, and alone showed symptoms of terror. of it, and some of my people will wait here till Habit, indeed, inures one to everything ; the ladies this is mended. On the whole,” she added, with inside had not given vent to one scream. True, a merry laugh, that was echoed by the rest, the carriage was, as we have said, so padded and have been fortunate this journey, having upset but shaped as to ensure them from personal harm; and three times. The roads are really getting better. the servants Aung from the rurnble et with a | I remember, when travelling with my her, we soft reception in the sandy bed of the stream. The broke down so often that at last she said, like poor peasants having hauled the britzska with difficulty Count Cobentzel, when travelling through Russia,
- for the ladies refused to alight-up the opposite. It 's of no use in the world setting up my carbank, were about to harness the horses, when they riage; since it will not stand, even let it lie!'" perceived that one of them had broken his knee, As Pavel, from his accustomed corner, into the shoulder of another was chafed, and the two which he had slunk, gazed on the speaker, and remaining ones appeared much shaken. Pavel, listened to her words, a dream of the past again whose only weakness was in favor of horses, has- stole over his senses. Those silk dresses, gauze tened to inform the ladies of the incident, declar- bonnets, fleecy, floating draperies—that vague pering it to be impossible that they should proceed fume exhaled from broidered handkerchiefs-all immediately, and that there was a stable hard by, these things had been strangers to him since his where every care and attention would be bestowed eyes had last rested on the countess; and simple on them.
Whilst he was speaking, two scornful as was the attire of these ladies, to him, now acblack eyes were fixed upon him.
customed to filth and rags, it seemed as if sun“ The inn-boy-I understand—no, no; the beams, spirits of light and life, were playing in horses will do very well.”
the darkness around him. “But won't they be in pain if they drag us on “ We shall do very well here," resumed the in that state, mamma?” said the soft voice of a lady ; “it is rather close ; come here, Constance ;" child.
the little girl immediately ran up to her ; " let me “I don't know," was the careless reply. “What take off your bonnet,” and the maternal hand soon I do know is, that I must be over the frontier be- relieved the child of all that might cumber her ; fore nightfall.”
and she now stood, with her snowy shoulders Pavel withdrew from the carriage door with a covered with a profusion of fair, silken ringlets, feeling of loathing for the lovely specimen of in- her large blue eyes smiling as the summer heaven, humanity who thus expressed herself; nor would her cherub-like countenance full of ethereal life, he trouble himself to explain that high-bred horses, she seemed to Pavel a being of another and a like hers, might easily, under the circumstances, brighter sphere. With the Oriental eyes and endanger her own life. “Let her,” thought he-olive complexion of Salome and her children, he “ let her have her brains dashed out against the involuntarily associated penury, want, privation, next tree; it will be one bad heart the less; and, and suffering-a humble station, and an unhappy as Noah says, there 'll always remain plenty of fate. With these rosy cheeks and cerulean eyes,
visions of lighted halls, fiery steeds, gay trappings, Pavel was mistaken. The lady was not at the pomps and splendors of the world seemed natbottom worse-hearted than most people ; but the urally connected, and surrounded the little head habitual indulgence of an uncurbed will rendered with a glory that dazzled his imagination. her unmindful of sufferings that never could ap
“How well she looks thus !" said the mother, proach her. Perhaps, had she thought twice about tossing about with her slender fingers the golden the matter, she would have controlled her impa- curls; then turning to her companion, she added tience to proceed, which now manifested itself in in French—“How my poor friend, Vanda Stoperemptory orders to the postilions. Fate, how-noika, would have been delighted with Constance ! ever, interposed an unforeseen obstacle. Scarcely Poor Vanda! I could not refuse the pressing inhad the britzska moved a few paces when it was vitation of the count-he is so proud of his beaufound to be in no condition for the road; and its tiful young wife, and I understand has every reaoccupants were at length obliged to descend and son to be so; but for me the charm of the house enter the inn, the carriage being dragged after is gone. I was at school with Vanda ; we agreed them, and the horses safely stabled. Pavel's first even then, if we ever had children, to marry them care was, assisted by Peter, to examine their hurts ; together; and it so turned out that Constance and having washed them and applied what he was to become her Leon's bride. And now, where thought necessary, he entered the common room, are they, poor Vanda and her child ? You can't where the party was assembled.
think what a beautiful boy that Leon was. He It consisted of a lady, no longer in her prime, used to sit on my knee, listening to stories by the but still beautiful; a young female, who seemed hour; he was a mere baby then. I do wonder to be a humble companion ; a couple of maid-ser- the count got so quickly over both his losses.” vants; and a lovely little girl, about ten years Though for years the French language, once old.
more familiar to him than his native tongue, had Well, I suppose,” said the elder lady, "our not met his ear, and though many a word was forbritzska, which broke down yesterday, will pass gotten, still Pavel fully understood the substance
of what had been just uttered. That jewelled | road, even sometimes to the extent of beds and hand had been passed in tenderness over his black culinary utensils. Thus the traveller in those Jocks; that haughty, cold eye, whose contemptuous parts, provided with a proper equipage, is perfectstare he had but so lately encountered, had once ly independent of chance; and the inexperienced rested on him with sympathy. And that child, foreigner finds public accommodation more indifthat lovely child, was once destined to be the spirit ferent than he would be led to imagine, from his of his home, as the gentle countess had been that knowledge of the ways and means of other lands, of the general. All the bitterness of the past was a circumstance which may, perhaps, be traced to revived by those few words; and the cruelty of the utter want of enterprise natural to the bonds his fate came back upon him with more severity man, who has no capital and no credit, to spur than ever.
That angel of light standing there him on to industry. The carriage of the countess before him would never now help to soften the having been disburthened of its resources, the evenasperities of his life ; but neither should any dark- ing found her and her family sitting round a cheerbrowed peasant girl sit in his hut! No humble ful tea-table, with every convenience for passing Salome should obtrude her solicitude between his the night around them, wax-lights, books, cards, lonely fate and the remembrance of what it should and bedding, having been produced in turn. have been ; and that vision of a day-that glimpse Noah, not presiiming to offer his own or his famof the past—the fugitive reminiscence of a mere ily's services, which on an occasion like this would shadow flung across his path-exerted a serious probably have been repulsed with a reprimand, did influence over the boy's future life. It closed his not approach the common room, and Pavel, who heart against the softening influence of love. For- was at last perceived in his corner being uncerevermore between him and her who might have emoniously thrust out by the countess' servants, inspired it, rose up the indistinct, dreamy form of the new-comers were left in undisturbed possession an elegant, beautiful, young creature, glittering of the place. with jewels, nestling in swan's-down ; and to that Daybreak found Pavel the most eager in repairimage alone would his perverse imagination cling ing the bridge. The work was scarcely completed —an image which, perhaps, had he remained the when the expected carriage was seen slowly adheir of Stanoiki, would not have tarried one hour vancing along the road, and soon after it rolled on his memory.
into Noah's yard. Pavel, with arms folded across Pavel could not tear himself from the spot, yet his breast, watched the process of unpacking and he knew not under what pretext to linger. He packing the carriages, originally consorts on the followed with his eyes little Constance, who played road, but already twice parted by an adventure and capered around the room in apparent uncon- similar to that which had now separated them, sciousness of her miserable condition, until, at last, viz., the mending of the one whilst the other profatigued with her gambols, she sat down quietly ceeded on its route. Chancing to raise his eyes, by her mother, teasing her and the companion to Pavel encountered those of the countess, who, in tell her stories. Tired of immobility, she threw fault of better occupation, was inspecting from the her handkerchief on the floor, and looked into the window what was passing in the yard. Perceivcompanion's face in a way to intimate that she ex- ing him standing idly by, she called out, in a tone pected it to be handed to her. The meek girl to of one accustomed to be obeyedwhom this mute appeal was made either failed to “ What are you about there, you lad ?—why observe, or would not notice it; but the mother don't you bestir yourself?” soon roused her to a sense of this neglect of duty. Pavel feigned not to hear, but the command be
“Don't you see, my dear,” she said, " that ing repeated by her servants in a manner which Constance's handkerchief has fallen?" A bitter roused his natural spirit of contention, he turned smile stole over Pavel's lips. He remembered and left the yard, feeling the danger of any disthe time when his mother used to remind his cussion. French tutor that Count Leon's handkerchief had “ That boy wants a good flogging," observed fallen, and when he compared his utter helpless- the lady, looking after him. Pavel's ear caught ness in those days with his present self-reliance- the words, and they cut deep into his heart. He when he remembered how he then used to shrink went to shut himself up in his loft, and ponder from the dark passage, and now did not mind facing over them in bitterness; but when he heard bethe wolf at dusk in the lone wood—when he re- neath the preparations for departure, and the glad membered how he froze beneath his silken cover- young voice of Constance, he could not resist the lids in his heated chamber, and could now brave impulse that again hurried him below. He dethe Siberian hardships of his loft in winter-he scended in time to see the family settle themselves smiled triumphantly at the thought of what he had in the carriage, to get one last glimpse of the pink gained in manhood in compensation for what he gauze veil and azure eyes of the liule Constance, had lost in luxury; and a determination rose in and observe, with paintul emotion, Noah's inclined his mind to cultivate that solitary advantage to figure bending to the proud lady, like an Eastern the utmost limit which his powerful nature would slave, from whose condition the unfortunate Jew admit of.
was not many degrees removed. His cringing The Polish travelling britzska contains all man- bows and fawning humility appeared to Pavel for ner of provisions and luxuries necessary for the the first time, because for the first time exhibited
in his presence in so marked a manner, as the seal | row to take Pavel along with him, the term of his of baseness and degradation stamped upon a re- licensed absence from the estate of his owner havproved race. Innocent of the desire to contrasting expired. “I began to hope that they had forwith this self-abasement, and obeying but a mere gotten you, my poor boy,” continued Noah, “but impulse as if in vindication of the honor of the trust a master or his steward for that—they may pot-house and its inhabitants, young Pavel drew forget to pay an honest man his due, but rememhimself up and cast a look of scorn and defiance ber, to a man, the number of their vassals! No, at the tenants of the britzska as it rolled from the no, there is no hope of their forgetting that. So it yard.
can't be helped ; you must even go, Pavel. I'll “What a sulky boy they have at that inn!" not say but I am sorry to part with you. You've said the lady, returning his look with a broad been a good boy to me, and a useful; and I would stare. It is strange how often the darker passions fain have kept you with me, though for the last clothe themselves, to the unobservant eye, in the two years I have not received a penny from your garb of sulkiness.
friends. Nay, never be cast down—it is not with Before Noah's back had resumed its ordinary you I am angry, but with them. I repeat, I would position, or Pavel had dismissed the frown from gladly have kept you in spite of their neglect. I his brow, the carriage was out of sight.
feel much concern on your account, Pavel. Your “When," said Noah, with a deep breath, as vacant place will be long felt among us; but rehe drew up his figure to more than its natural member, should you ever need a friend, old Noah's erectness, “ when shall the happy day dawn on pot-house is not far from the Galician frontier." which that curse will be removed from the land ! Pavel made no reply. Not that, after his own when there shall be no more countesses to rattle fashion, he did not feel regret at parting with those in britzskas, and no more britzskas to be laden who had shown him such unvaried good-will as with that heap of insolence, folly, frippery, and Noah and Salome, but it was not in his nature to heartlessness, called a fine lady? Ah! blessed show it. Then, although he was, at first, startled world where there were no such high hill and by the announcement of so sudden a departure from deep chasm as a proud countess and a poor Jew— a home where he had been so long domesticated, I hate them !” he added, shaking both his fists in and a renunciation of habits which had become his the empty air—" would that a hurricane swept second nature, it was only through the man who them all from the face of the earth.”
called himself his cousin, and that dreaded woman Pavel hated, too, but he could not bend to the who had haunted his childhood, that he could gain object of his hatred ; and there was regret, love, any clue to his past history; and if he suffered too and despair mixed up with hate, and a feeling much with them, why, he was no longer a child; that in the class among whose members he was he would be able to right himself, or again cross destined to live he could find no friend. He could the frontier as best suited his convenience. feel what they felt, but not as they felt it. That That evening Noah and Salome invited the boy day and the next he wholly devoted to the woods, to a last meal beneath their roof. “When friends nor even returned to sleep beneath Noah's roof. part,” said Noah, “one never knows if they shall This storm of emotion passed away, but left a re- meet again, so a little solemnity is not inapproprifrigerating and a darkening influence over the boy's ate to the occasion.” mind.
This repast of love was to take place much later During the ensuing winter, Pavel often lest the than the usual supper hour, in order that no chance Jew's roof on smuggling and other excursions in visitor might break in upon the festivity. Accordthe neighboring villages, ever foremost in any en- ingly, when the children and menials had sought terprise of pleasure or necessity which was likely their beds, Noah carefully closed the shutters, fastto draw forth and exercise the presence of mind ened and secured the outer gates, unchained the and strength of limb, steadiness of nerves and in- savage yard-dogs, and, all these precautions being sensibility to pain and fatigue which it was his taken, trimmed and lighted the Sabbath lamp, laid chief ambition to acquire. Noah did not seek to the cloth, and, rare luxury, a clean one, whilst check his tendencies in any one respect, but left Salome brought in the dishes, whose contents, simhim to enjoy a sufficient quantity of that inestima- ple enough in reality, seemed sumptuous to those ble blessing, liberty, which he was ever declaring who were about to partake of them. Noah, in his to be priceless, but which, unlike most who pro- but once worn silk gown, so far restored as Salome's fess to value it, he was not the first to crush. skill could devise, sat at the head of his table, on Summer came and glided by without any change which he had spread his most secret treasures, in Pavel's condition, and he had well nigh forgot- namely, a silver sugar-basin, with tongs to match, ten his so-called cousin and the vagrant who had several tea-spoons of the same metal, but by no presumed to style herself his mother, when he was means of one make or date, and, above all, prized reminded of the existence of both in an unexpected beyond the rest by a Jew, two small baskets of
silver, very curiously chased, evidently of Eastern One autumnal afternoon, on his return from a manufacture, containing one of the few Oriental hunting expedition in the neighborhood, Noah in- luxuries to which the Jews of Poland and Germany formed him that his cousin had been there during i have remained faithful, comfitures and comfits. Sathe day, and spoken of coming again on the mor-, lome had discarded her common dress for one of a