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What man, whate'er the season,
Could reasonably doubt
Must also be let out;
Or bivouac about?
I ask, could e'er suppose,
Walkers at evening's close, And passengers, like rabbits,
Within its toils enclose ?
Believe me if I say
At the same hour each day ;
Let people get away.
The night is dark and dreary,
The grass extremely damp;
Of yon policeman's stamp;
Would seize me for a tramp.
And it groweth late and lone;
The porters must have gone ;
For I am sixteen stone.
's ten or arter-
Beneath the cope of 'eaven.
At Dobbs' pleasant board,
Would be the swampy sward,
My wretched `ead to guard !
Cuss on the pleasant talk,
And good intents did baulk;
And resolved to take a walk.
An 'abit I abhor,
From knocking at my door,
That I'd do so no more.
To go across the park ;
And not provoke remark,
Which I didn't, 'cause 't was dark.
The dew's fall chill and steady,
And damp me to the skin; I was cold without already,
And now I'm wet within : If the porter is in bed, he
Is where I should have been !
Beside her flaring dip :
And pulls an injured lip,
In a dreary state of drip.
About these vile park-keepers,
That men ain't railway-sleepers, To camp out thus or borrow
Trees to stick on like creepers. High is the fence and frowning,
Ånd there are spikes a-lop, With a ditch outside for drowning
Poor creatures when they drop. No! here damp and done brown, in
The Regent's Park I 'll stop!-Punch
| into the apartment. But there was one low stool, CHAPTER VI.
embroidered by Vanda's own hand, of which few The following morning, as Casimir was driving of the household knew the origin; but he rememhis mother and his betrothed along the bank of bered how those flowers had grown under the the river, where several peasants were at work fingers of that hand now cold in death. As he breaking up the bridge for the winter, descrying gazed on these familiar objects, remembrances Pavel among them, he drew up, and beckoned him crowded thick upon him ; nor did he seem even to approach.
aware of the presence of the countess—so deep “What do you want of that dangerous-looking was his absorption. man?'' said the young lady, in some surprise. She sat, quite alone, embedded in a chauffeuse
“ You will see,” said Casimir, his eyes flashing near the window. This was the day generally with a peculiar delight.
consecrated by her to the remembrance of her “Remember, Casimir, your father's commands,” brother; she was, accordingly, dressed in a black said the countess. “Do not, I beg, quarrel with robe, and had a solemn air about her, which subthat peasant.'
dued, if it did not altogether destroy, that inso“Never fear,” replied Casimir. “I must lence of expression which made her a universal teach the dog proper respect. Come here, Pavel object of dislike to those who were not so fortunate Jakubska. Yesterday I was about to give you a as to be her equals. Had the countess at that lesson ; you escaped it then. To-day you shall hour been inspired by the genius of mildness, not not.” So saying, he raised his whip; the lash only would she have obtained at once the intellicut right across Pavel's glowing countenance, im- gence she wished to extract from Pavel, but she mediately raising a weal from which the blood might have turned away many a dark thought freely spouted; and, before Pavel could recover from his stubborn breast. But that good angel from the shock, the sledge had borne his enemy had never visited her. Many an influential mem
ber whom her husband had sought to gain over to It must not be supposed that Casimir's heart the Polish cause, the countess, in spite of herself, was thoroughly bad, though certainly hardened by had cooled ; incapable as she was of conquering the consciousness of much power, and by his edu- her pride to the degree of yielding herself up to cation having been neglected. He considered Pa- the tide of conversation with that forgetfulness of vel as an obstinate, ill-natured fellow, whose spirit her own claims to social distinction, with that sinwanted the curb, and whose temper deserved chas- cere acknowledgment of the mental or moral qualtisement; but he left him in a state bordering on ifications of others, which wins golden opinions frenzy.
from all sorts of men. She never remembered, Not many hours after this infliction, whilst yet or, perhaps, scorned to believe—what is, neversmarting, both physically and mentally, under the theless, true—that the great, when they seek to sting of the insult, he received a summons from attach those whom they deem their inferiors, the Countess Stanoiki to repair to her presence. should be lenient and forgiving, having also some Enraged as he was, even against the innocent wit- thing for which they need forgiveness—namely, nesses of his disgrace, he dared not disobey ; ac- those very advantages they are so proud of, and cordingly, with busom full of vengeful thoughts, he which excite enough of malignant feeling in the took his way to the chateau. He now crossed that less-favored of mankind, without any gratuitous threshold for the first time since he had bounded effort of their own to augment it. But the countover it with joy to leap into the general's car- ess had a sort of feverish consciousness of superiage, on that memorable occasion in his life riority, which made her infinitely exaggerate to which was never absent from his mind. He herself the value, in the eyes of others, of those paused there for a moment, overcome with the advantages she really possessed. She fancied she notion of profaning that dwelling with such feel- had yielded much, where people perceived no conings as now agitated him. His knees trembled ; cession ; that people were flattered by advances he could with difficulty support himself as he en- which they, on their side, took as a matter of tered that saloon where he had so often played in course. With those completely beneath her, the the unconscious glee of childhood. He stared distance seemed so great that they never troubled around in bewilderment. On yon couch once sat her thoughts, nor occupied her attention in any she whose memory had never faded from his way; they were as if they existed not. Like the thoughts; whom he venerated more than any trecs and rocks in the landscape, they were part saint that his religion acknowledged ; who was of the creation, and that was all. She had, inenshrined in his innermost heart. That gentle deed, a vague consciousness of its being a wise being, whom prosperity could not spoil, had in dispensation that they should exist-of its being this very apartment fondled him as her son! quite in the order of things that there should be Through that door used to slip noiselessly in, the laborers in the hive to feed and tend the queen-bee meek Seraphinka ; through the other, the knight
--beyond that, her philosophy of life went not.. ly figure of the count-whose countenance, now Such a woinan as Vanda would, with one look, averted, was then turned to him full of benevolent one word, nave melted the ice at Pavel's heart. tenderness—would present itself. Some few ad- Such a woman as the Countess Sophie was likely ditional things, not many, had found their way to turn it to stone. In this room, so fraught with
the past, there seemed to enter a breath of that you have never extended to me. You have made past into the young man's soul; to touch there me wretched ; and, because I looked my wretchedthe easily-vibrating chord of emotion which lies ness, I have been made a butt to persecution. That hidden in every breast. One kind word would
was not enough; your son struck me !--and I unhave sufficed; but of kind words or soft looks the This I cannot, and will not, forgive! For your own
derstand the countess means to have me fustigated ! Countess Sophie had not the gift. Her sterile sake, as well as mine, I entreat you to let me go. nature was reflected from her eyes, as, from her But I cannot go unassisted, to be everywhere beaten reclining position, looking carelessly on the oppo- and imprisoned as a vagabond! This much, under site wall, she said, in her habitual hauteur, our peculiar circumstances, I have a right to de“I understand, young man, you have spread mand; and this I do now demand for the last time.
I await your answer. about the village a report that you have a clue to the fate of the count, my brother. Is this true?”! Had the unfortunate young man sincerely wished
“It is not,” said Pavel, firmly. “I never for the boon he asked, it is probable that he would spread such a report.”
have couched his demand in another tone-in a tone But
you do know something," said the count- more calculated, according to the manners of his ess ; “you have a clue.”
country, to make a favorable impression ; but crime, Pavel remained silent.
which had been hovering for years around his heart, “Come, young man,” resumed the countess, her had now a firm gripe of him. He felt Satan busy eyes wandering from the wall to the window, no within his breast, and made one last desperate trifling. If you have any knowledge of the count's effort to save the count and himself; but without fate, tell quickly what you do know, for your own any hope, and, certainly, at that moment, without sake."
any sincere desire of success. Still Pavel spoke not; nor did the countess Wretched boy !” exclaimed the general, pacing turn her eyes towards him.
up and down the apartment, in great agitation ; “I will force her to look at me,” thought Pavel ; " wretched boy !” The count saw nought in this “her eyes shall be contaminated by the conscious- letter beyond the insolence of a boor who knows ness of my individual existence.”
he has his master's secret in his own keeping. After a slight pause, the countess said —"I" He dares to threaten me! However, this spirit might resort to severity, but I prefer trying mild might extend among the serfs ; it must be checked means first. Here is money." She threw a few in the bud. Had he been good and resigned, I silver coins on the floor. “If your intelligence might
But it does not matter. These be worth more, you shall have it."
are not times, with the French propaganda in our “I am no beggar,” said Pavel, coldly; "and villages, to overlook such things. This letter is a I know nothing.'
serious grievance.” And the general left the room. The countess now turned full upon him, to see The infliction of corporal chastisement on Pavel the man who could refuse her money. “I per- he did not deem sufficient; the additional punishceive what I have heard of your temper is true,' ment of close confinement seemed to him necessary, said she. Ring that bell."
in order to bring the young man to a sense of his Both parties were silent until the servant en-grave offence; and he gave orders accordingly. tered.
That the matter weighed on his mind, however, “Take this man below,” she said ; "and look was clear, from the earnestness with which he to it that he do not leave the house until you have defended his principles, some hours later, at dinthe count's further orders."
young Frenchman, just arrived from Paris A short time subsequently, Casimir reëntering, with letters from the committee of Polish emithe countess, in a few brief words, informed him grants, dined that day with the family; and, aster of what had passed between herself and Pavel. making assiduous inquiries into the state of Galicia,
“We must have him before the justice,” said passed judgment with the usual French rapidity. the young count, “ and get this obstinacy drubbed “You are far too feudal here,” he said. out of him ; he is the most incorrigible man on “Do
think so ?'' said the countess, with an the whole estate.”
ineffable sneer ; since, as the Frenchman bore no The general, coming in at that moment, over-title, for the Countess Sophie, he was “ not born ;' heard these words, and demanded an explanation. and his opinions had such an utter want of all
“ Again, Jakubska !” he exclaimed. “That value in her eyes, that she was surprised at his unfortunate young man is never out of trouble!” giving himself the trouble to emit them. Not so
A domestic presented a paper to the count, the general. whose cheek flushed, and whose brow became dark, “We and our people," he replied, gravely, as he cast his eyes over the few hasty lines, scrawled " are content with this state of things, to which under the impulse of violent passion. They ran centuries have inured all parties." thus :
“Are you quite certain that they have inured I know my crime is, that I am not humble enough, your peasantry ?". where humility is the only road to favor. Let not
“Our peasantry, sir, like most people, are that weigh against me. "Let mercy inspire you happiest when submitted to wise restrictions. Permit me to leave the estate—nay, furnish me with Come, there has been a great deal said of our bar he means of doing so. You owe me a protection | barities hereabouts by the liberty-mongers of other
lands; they traduce us in a laughable manner. must be born in a country, to enter fully into the One would imagine, when listening to their repre- spirit of its manners and institutions." sentations, that, from the moment we get up to the “And I hold,” said the Frenchman, laughing, time we go to bed, we occupy ourselves in devising that none but foreigners can judge sanely of plans for the annoyance of our serfs, or in ordering what touches too nearly a nation's interests.” and witnessing corporal punishment.”
The general did not let the subject fall, but “ But,” argued the Frenchman, “you cannot attacked it again and again with great persistence. deny that corporal punishment is sometimes in- Perhaps it was expecting too much of human flicted. I have myself seen a gypsy boy cruelly disinterestedness to suppose that the nobles would maltreated, in the presence of one of the lords, have tacitly consented to the abolition of these hereabouts; and, by his orders, the coachman feudal rights, especially of the robot, which diapply his whip to the naked shoulders of a gypsy minishes their fortunes by at least one good half, girl, who came begging on the road."
as any one will see who takes the trouble to com"Granted,” said the count. “ But you do not pute the value of an estate having no outlay for find yourself here in the midst of the civilization labor, teams, &c.— whose profits are equal to the and refinement of your western capital. We are highest state of cultivation, and whose tillage, if surrounded by semi-barbarians, and must treat them paid for, would absorb a large yearly revenue as such. These very gypsies you speak of, despite and compare it with the value of one of equal size, all the efforts made to redeem them, and though a entailing the necessary outlay for cattle and huslarge number have consented to settle in villages, bandry; and in so doing he will easily understand and even profess the forms of Christianity, have, why the nobles of the Austrian states clung so for the most part, remained as unreclaimed as steadfastly to this feudal prerogative.* ever. They know no law, human or divine. They The right of private justice, which, until very are the Parias of our provinces, who, like vultures, recently, existed in the greater part of Germany, feed on carrion. You fancy I speak figuratively, and those countries subject to its sway, and which but it is literally true ; they are not less disgust- was certainly very hard upon the peasantry—for ing in their habits than abandoned in their charac- the lord thus became accuser and judge at the ters. Our only check upon their lawlessness is same time—they were not unwilling to resign; by inspiring them with a wholesome terror.” for it was a right as onerous to the noble as to the
“But your own people--you allow them to serf. A man purchasing an estate of feudal tenure remain in brutalizing ignorance.”
could not dispense with it. He was obliged, at “Has education," said the count, “ improved his own cost, to provide subaltern officers of the people in other lands—I mean, made them hap- law, rural police, and so forth ; governments, pier? It has only rendered abortive the control heretofore, having been but too glad to get rid of of governments, which is necessary and whole- the enormous outlay which the maintenance of
I have been in German villages that are these servants of the state throughout so vast a relieved, in part, from feudal tenure, where the country would have imposed. The right, too, of people are what you call educated, and belong to naming authorities in the villages and townlets, the state. I cannot say I found them so mild, being a inere matter of pomp and circumstance, or their morals and conduct looked after as they they would probably have given up without much would have been under the eye of a residing no- opposition ; but their rights of fishing and hunting bleman. In one village, a man beat his wife under were part and parcel of the German nobility, the circumstances of aggravated cruelty. Had this fairest fruit of their parchments, and, if not the occurred in one of my villages, I would have had the most profitable, certainly the highest-prized of their fellow severely punished. I witnessed, at other privileges. And these were precisely what weighed times, acts of cruelty to animals that pass belief; most on the lower class; for they were the only and yet the authorities took no notice whatever. relics of more barbarous times that placed the life I should have had the perpetrators taught humanity of the boor at the mercy of the lord. Any poacher, in a lesson they would not easily have forgotten. or man supposed to be poaching, found in the forBelieve me, a certain degree of restraint is to the est, might be shot by the noble or his gamekeeper. advantage of the people themselves.”
Until the memorable year 1848, perhaps not one " True," said the Frenchman, “ if you spent season passed without many lives being lost in your time improving the morality of your people, this manner; certainly there is scarcely an estate, your feudal system would be a useful institution ; from north to south, in which an event of this but when this power devolves, as it does in many
* The several constituent assemblies of Germany, es. cases, for years upon stewards, the masters being pecially that of Frankfort, have abolished all these feudal far away, it becomes pernicious. All these rights rights and privileges ; and it does not seem very likely, were given at a time when people lived wholly on it will ever be possible to reëstablish them. But to ena
disputed as their authority may be in other respects, that their estates. I doubt not that in some instances ble the reader to form some notion of the difference the this unrestrained power is wielded with lenity; cancelling of these rights makes in the worth of landed
property, it may suffice to instance the case of a lady but the system, as a system, is bad.”
known to the writer, who, on an estate of moderate size The count's color rose as the stranger thus un- and value, had, immediately after the change effected in consciously touched upon his own long absence March, 1848, to disburse no less than £500, merely to
procure the necessary cattle to continue the labor that bad from his estate. He answered, evasively—“One yet to be done.
nature has not taken place within the last ten | advanced boldly to the work. The blow did not years.
This law of summary justice, joined with fall unexpectedly upon Austria. Still, it was not that which compels the peasant to assist in the to be parried easily; and one decided advantage battues, has caused more bitter blood between the on the side of the Poles, and the partial ignition lord and the serf, than, perhaps, any other. It is would spread rapidly into a general and unquenchsingular, that not even the rents in kind—nor the able conflagration. But to obtain that advantage, right of grazing for the lord's cattle, to whatever the peasantry must be brought to join heart and amount, upon their vassals' meadows-nor that of hand with the nobles ; a climax that seemed not laying these same meadows under water at all easy of attainment. The clergy and Polish emistimes and seasons, for the purpose of damming the saries had moved heaven and earth to rouse the brooks and rivulets for fishing—not all these villagers ; whose obstinacy or indifference pregrievances, small and great, which the revolution sented inert, though, in most instances, immovable of 1793 put an end to in France, and which sub- obstacles. But nowhere was this felt more than sisted more or less throughout Germany and its on the estate of Stanoiki. Insensibly, indeed, an dependencies until 1848, weighed so heavily upon uncomfortable feeling had crept between the inthe peasantry as these compulsory laws of the habitants of the castle and those of the villages. chase.
The count had held up golden promises, and had It is in vain for the nobles to contend, as they recourse to persuasion, to induce the latter to emused to do, that this and other feudal exactions brace the cause ; but in vain. They alleged their were the custom of the land. It is a custom to duty to the emperor-he was a kind master, they which the boors never patiently submitted, which said ; they could not think of turning against him. caused the peasants' war in 1500, and certainly if the enterprise failed, they did not know what will not leave Germany quiet until the last trace punishment might come upon them. Threats of feudality has ceased to exist.
were as vain as promises and persuasions. Against Events were now drawing to a head. The the former they pleaded the protection afforded Count Soboski having fled to Lemberg, in order them by the law of the empire ; and as to the to place himself beyond the reach of suspicion or promises, they shook their heads, with looks that intrigue, from thence penned a last admonitory said, as plainly as looks could say, “We know letter to the general.
their worth." Had this passive resistance been “ Withdraw before it is too late,” so ran the confined to the general's estate, it would have been epistle, “I entreat-I conjure you, my noble an omen of less significance ; but the same thing friend. I see you surrounded with dangers, some occurred on all the neighboring domains, and on of which you do not even suspect. Not but I those of other provinces ; nay, even the nobility know that fear has no power over you ; but to of the different circles of Gallicia were not all fired throw away life uselessly, is unpardonable in a with equal zeal—all were, indeed, secretly attached man like you, whose existence is, in so many to the cause, but many had not the courage openly ways, useful to his country. Even should your to avow it. party succeed in restoring Poland to itself, it Such was the state of things when Pavel, boilwould be only to establish, in spite of yourselves, ing with indignation at the treatment he had a Polish republic; not an anarchy of nobles, such received, was set at liberty. He had suffered as you dream of—the Poland of 1700, with its per- more during his confinement than the general petual feuds, desolating elections, and unbounded would have permitted, had he been consulted ; but aristocratic power. But, no; I do you wrong, he was far too much preoccupied to attend to such generous Stanoiki; your noble mind contemplates matters. February had set in cold and foggy. but one thing—the liberation of your country. Duski had been repeatedly urged by some of the You see nothing beyond that bare fact, and therein villagers to put Jakubska's cottage in a state to do you err
face the severity of the season ; but, secure now The general scarce gave himself the trouble to of the disgrace the young man had fallen into at peruse this friendly scroll, but threw it by disdain the castle, although the demand was in rule, he fully; the salutary advice was forgotten, and the obstinately refused. Accordingly, when Pavel remonitor despised. Stanoiki was allogether en- entered his house, it was to find it in a far worse grossed with one idea, and he would see it in but condition than that in which he had left it. Old one light. He was about to stake his all-honor Jakubska, too, profiting by his absence to sell -freedom-fortune-life-upon a die. All mi- every vendible article she possessed, and all the nor considerations, every other care, faded away provisions her son had laid by for the winter, and before that one thought—to restore Poland, or having spent every farthing she could lay her perish in the attempt. This was the heroic re- hands upon in drink, now lay on a bed of sickness, solve that filled his breast, which he was proud from which it did not seem likely that she would to inculcate in his son : and never was patriotism rise again, the baneful habit having told at last on mixed with less alloy. Alas, the blindness that her enfeebled constitution. The count, since the will not permit us to see things through any me- receipt of Pavel's last letter, had withdrawn the dium but our own narrow views!
pension, leaving her in a state of utter destitution ; The rebellion now began to assume a formi- but Pavel hailed the struggles of want with a feeldable character; it flung away the mask, and I ing approximating to pleasure, for it permitted