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tion. During the repast many subjects were discussed, and among others the comparative degree of war-like courage among the various European nations. The Poles claimed the palm of bravery for their own nation: the Spaniards they unanimously acknowledged as inferior to none but themselves; but their opinions were not so united respecting the merits of the French and Hungarians. Enrique listened in silent attention to this dispute. The King did not fail to notice it, supposing his silence proceeded from a modest disinclination to praise his own country. “What is the reason,” said His Majesty, “ that our friend Enrique is the only person silent on a subject on which he is so well qualified to decide?” The prudent nobleman respectfully replied, that, if His Majesty would allow him to express his thoughts, he would say that such disputes never did good, as the opinion of each party would, after all, remain the same. Besides, as a stranger, it would be presumption in him to differ in sentiment from so many abler judges. The King was not, however, satisfied with this excuse. At length, compelled, as it were, to speak, Enrique pronounced for the superior bravery of his own countrymen; alleging, in proof, the numerous and sigmal victories obtained by them in all ages. “Your Majesty,” said he, “would be convinced of their superiority, if an experiment which I could suggest were to be made.”—“What is that?” inquired the King ; “for howsoever difficult it may be, it shall be attempted.”—“Let an infant of Spanish extraction,” replied Enrique, “be procured, and confined until he shall arive at manhood. When released from his confinement, let different objects that may charm the senses be placed before him, and I will venture to predict that a suit of armour will fix his choice.” The King rose up, and signified his approval of the proposed experiment. He observed, however, that Enrique would repent the expression of an opinion so unfavourable to Sarmatian prowess. His Majesty's words, to the great concern of Enrique, were soon fulfilled. Knowing the latter had a son but two years old, he commanded him to be taken from its parents and enclosed in a solitary
fort which had long served as a military out-post of the city. The loss of a beloved child proved fatal to the lady of Enrique; and this double calamity so afflicted him, that, in three years, he followed her to the grave. To make all the atonement he could, for the wrongs he had inflicted, the King rendered great honours to the memory of the deceased. He also directed, that when the time for the freedom of the youth should arrive, he should be well compensated for the privation he had endured, and elevated to the dignities of his father. The child was entrusted during six years to the care of two nurses. He was then placed under an able tutor, by whom he was instructed in philosophy, the languages, and every other branch of learning. His talents were of the first order, and his mind gradually exhibited a strength far above his years. He continued in his prison until his twentieth year, daily longing with increased ardour for liberty, that greatest of all earthly blessings. The imprisonment of Carlos—so the youth was called—was known only to few ; for the King had commanded his heart-broken parents, under pain of death, to keep the fatal secret. The King had a beautiful and accomplished daughter, named Sol. Her portrait having been accidentally seen by Rosardo, Prince of Denmark, he became enamoured. Unfortunately, his father was preparing, in conjunction with the King of Sweden, to make war on the Polish monarch, and he could not therefore satisfy his desire of visiting her without delay. He had a friend, the son of his father's ally, with whom he frequently spent months in hunting on the confines of the two kingdoms. During one of these excursions, he shewed that Prince (Oscar) the very portrait which had produced so new a sensation within him, and the latter became, in consequence, as much engrossed with the lovely original as himself. The Swedish Prince determined to travel incognito to Cracow for the purpose of beholding her. The anxiety of Casimir, lest his prisoner should escape, induced him to become gaoler himself, and he never parted with the keys of the fort excepting to the tutor,
Dorestea. One day the young Princess happened to enter the chamber, as her father was giving them into Dorestea's hands. She had frequently noticed the private conferences that were held in the royal closet with this person, and felt that some mystery must be connected with so much secresy. She now secretly overheard Dorestea entreat the King to set some one at liberty, whom she had no difficulty in recognizing as a prisoner of importance. Dorestea expressed his fear that the youth's health would suffer from his intense desire of freedom, and begged of His Majesty not to waste a season so precious as the morning of life in useless confinement. The King then assured Dorestea that the prisoner's release was not far distant. A long conversation followed, which, as it was but partially understood by the attentive Princess, wrapped the subject in tenfold mystery, and increased her curiosity to discover the secret. Fortune so far favoured her, that, on that very night, she contrived to take, in wax, the impressions of the keys in her father's possession; and, with the assistance of a confidant, she procured others exactly similar. The next morning the Princess cautiously followed the steps of the tutor until she saw him enter the fort in which the prisoner resided. The persevering Sol did not long wait for an opportunity of visiting it without fear of detection. She saw Dorestea and the King leave the city on a hunting excursion. Scarcely had the last notes of the bugle died on her ear, when, with a palpitating heart, and a courage which unconquerable curiosity could alone have inspired, she took the keys, and, wrapping a large cloak around her, accompanied by her confidant, she bent her way to the fort. On their arrival they successfully applied the keys to the gates and doors that led to the interior of the building. Sol then stationed her companion as centinel, and softly advancing, with a courage hitherto unknown to her, she entered a narrow passage which terminated in a square chamber. Within she perceived a handsome youth, poring over a book. By his side were two globes, and a table near him was covered with maps and writing materials. The astonishment of Carlos was un
bounded at perceiving an object of such ravishing beauty. Conscious of her indiscretion, and confused at the intensity of his gaze, the trembling Princess leaned against the wall without power to retreat or advance. Carlos was the first to break silence. He ventured to inquire of the stranger, in a tone in which natural politeness and surprise were equally conspicuous, whom she was, and what had brought her to the fort. When sufficiently recovered to speak, she acquainted him with her name, but not with the occasion of her visit. “Sol,” rejoined he, “is indeed a name that becomes you; for as the sun confers life and heat, so does your presence bestow animation and joy on me. Heaven has certainly designed you the instrument of my deliverance. Are you come to set the captive free?”—Saying this, he suddenly arose. The Princess, in great agitation lest the prisoner should, through her imprudence, effect his freedom—a circumstance she had not for a moment anticipated—informed him of the motive of her visit, and assured him that his life, if not her own, would be the consequence of his escape. But her expostulations, her entreaties, her tears, were equally ineffectual. Though her beauty had already made a deep impression on his heart, the longing desire of liberty, which had for years preyed on his soul, was paramount to every consideration. He hastened through the passages, followed by the distressed Sol, and, turning down a narrow fortified path, he soon found himself in the street contiguous to the fort. Whilst gazing with rapture, not unmixed with wonder, on the novel scene around him, entirely forgetful that his safety depended on immediate flight, the sound of a drum fell on the ear of our recluse. He hastened towards it, anxious to learn what it meant. When he reached the spot whence the sound proceeded, he found a party of soldiers recruiting for the service, and offering unusual bounties to all who would engage in the war which had been declared against Denmark. Another noise soon attracted his attention, proceeding from a combat of three cavaliers against one who was successfully defending himself. Snatching a sword from one of the by-standers, Carlos desperately wounded two of them. The three antagonists retired with threatening looks, which, from his inexperience, he knew not how to interpret. On inquiring from the valiant cavalier the cause of the quarrel, he was informed that it had been solely occasioned by a dispute at play. While conversing with the unknown gentleman, a party of police appeared, and arrested our hero for assaulting the two cavaliers: they ordered him to follow them to prison. Unwilling to subject himself a second time to the horrors of confinement, he attempted to force his way through his guards; but he was soon disarmed, bound, and, after a short examination before the civil authorities, condemned to a long and solitary imprisonment. So rigorous a sentence was owing, in no small degree, to the fury with which he had attacked the ministers of justice in the public execution of their duty. Doubting the reality of his senses, the youth attempted to move the pity of the judge; and several of the persons present joined in recommending him as a fit ob.ject of mercy. They grounded their application on the manifest aberration of mind exhibited by the prisoner, who, they suspected, both from his dress and manner, was a lunatic broken loose from his keepers. The judge, in attempting to ascertain the truth by a series of questions, the purport of which was unintelligible to the inexperienced Carlos, felt satisfied, from his answers, that the alleged insanity was at least specious. Yet as the case was doubtful, and as the prisoner had evinced unquestionable proofs of courage, he contented himself with sentencing him to serve as a soldier in the approaching war. Our hero was accordingly placed as a private in one of the companies which were on the point of departing for the frontiers. It happened that the Prince Royal of Sweden arrived in Cracow, the very day Carlos escaped from prison. He attended a masked ball, that night given at court, for the purpose of beholding a Princess whose charms had caused him to undertake so hazardous a journey. His disguise, however, was insufficient to conceal him from the recognition of a Polish
nobleman, to whom he was well known.
This attendant directed his notice to the suspicious looks of the observer, and prevailed on him to leave the assembly. He accordingly retreated from the dangerous precincts, and on his return to his hotel, perceiving that he was followed by some officers of justice, he turned up an alley that led to the very fort which had been so long the prison of Carlos. The gates were open; and, thankful for refuge, he rushed forward and locked himself within. Advancing to the interior, he was not a little surprised to find it elegantly furnished, and in a state which convinced him it had been but recently inhabited. He remained, buried in reflection, more than twelve hours, when, to his consternation, he heard the sound of distant footsteps. His alarm, however, was not equal to that of Dorestea, when the latter, on entering the apartment, perceived that Carlos was not there, and that a stranger occupied the prison. Oscar instantly informed him how he had gained admittance; but in vain the anxious Dorestea sought to unravel the mystery connected with his pupil's disappearance. Each party was aware of the danger of his situation, and mutual fear induced them to adopt the only expedient that presented itself—viz. that the Prince should continue in prison, under the name of Carlos. He thus secured himself against the risk of discovery, and at the same time arrested the impending punishment of Dorestea for the escape of the fugitive. Dorestea soon after took his departure to renew his entreaties with the King, to liberate their young prisoner; an event which he now desired with increased anxiety. His Majesty at length consented to see him. Oscar was, in consequence, ushered into the royal presence. His appearance pleased the unsuspecting King, who enjoined him to obey Dorestea as a father, until he should be required to join the army about to proceed against the enemies of Poland. The agitation of the Swedish Prince, on hearing this unexpected destination, was immediately perceived by the watchful monarch, who, somewhat sternly, demanded the cause. Oscar could have assigned two reasons for it—his horror of fighting against his father and country,
and his natural cowardice; but he sum
moned composure to reply, that the little he knew of war sufficiently convinced him of its injustice and cruelty. The King, not a little disappointed at hearing this language from one who, he had hoped, would prove the chief defender of the country, dismissed the youth. Oscar was admitted to another interview, but could not regain the royal favour. He was, to his great mortification, despatched to join the military force on the frontiers. In the mean time, Carlos was hastening with his comrades towards the headquarters. After a week's march, the company to which he belonged arrived in sight of the enemy. Carlos had already distinguished himself by the rapidity with which he learned the necessary duties of a soldier, and by the uniform discretion of his conduct. The Captain, with whom he was decidedly a favourite, sent him with a few trusty comrades to reconnoitre the enemy's position. As he cautiously advanced towards the opposite lines, he encountered and mortally wounded a soldier who had just left them for a purpose similar to his own. Another succeeded, whom he took prisoner, and brought back to his leader's tent. Important information was thus gained. For his courage and prudence, Carlos was promoted to the rank of Cornet of horse. Soon afterwards, he was employed in a service of equal danger and importance; and so well did he acquit himself that he was made Captain. In a general engagement which immediately succeeded, he performed prodigies of valour. He courted danger, and infused a portion of his own brave spirit into all who witnessed his prowess. While closely pressing the enemy, in the hottest of the fight, he perceived that the person of his sovereign was exposed to imminent hazard from the number and fury of his assailants. Like lightning he flew, at the head of his gallant troop, to the succour of the King, just as the latter was dismounted. He dispersed those who were already exulting in their possession of so distinguished a prisoner; assisted His
Majesty to remount, and then returned to his post. Success still attended him. He penetrated to the standard of the Swedish King, and took that monarch prisoner. This important capture, and the death of the King of Denmark, put an end to the battle, and left a glorious victory to the Poles.
Immediately after the action, Carlos received the royal commands to repair to the tent of his sovereign. With an overjoyed and palpitating heart he obeyed. For his exploits that day the gracious monarch, in the presence of his nobles, expressed the highest approbation, created him a Field-Marshal, and assigned him four thousand crowns per annum to support the dignity of his station.
He had scarcely left the tent, when Oscar entered it to see and embrace his captive father, who was seated with the King. The astonishment of Cassimir may be more easily conceived than expressed, when apprized of the close relationship which subsisted between them. The mystery was beyond his power to comprehend. He instantly sent for Dorestea, who was compelled to make a disclosure of the escape of Carlos, and the substitution of Oscar. He begged for mercy, on the ground of the consequences which would have ensued both to himself and to the Prince, by revealing the fact at the time; and he also expressed his suspicion that the unknown young warrior, who had that day won unfading laurels, was the identical Carlos. The King instantly sent for the hero. His appearance, to the great joy of all present, turned suspicion into certainty. The King embraced him with rapture, restored him to the dignities and emoluments enjoyed by his deceased father; and, what gave him the most satisfaction of all, promised him the hand of the Princess Sol. The parties soon returned to Cracow; an honourable peace was made between the two sovereigns; and the marriage of the brave and happy Carlos with the lovely Princess was solemnized with becoming magnificence.
PRECEPTS AND EXA M P L E S.
I have no taste for manual methods of
correcting mind and manners. I would not beat a horse because he fell down, or whip a child because he was crying; believing that the horse would not fall from choice, and that the child would not cry for its own amusement. I know that a child is capable of feeling very acute distress, and that its way of expressing it is by its tears and cries. Of the painful feelings of a child I can give an instance. When I was two years and nearly five months old, Mrs. Waterhouse called upon my mother. It was on a fine summer morning, and my mother said to her, “I will walk with you to your house:” then, turning to me, she said, “Will you go?” “Yes,” I cried, quite delighted, and I instantly ran to fetch my bonnet, my tippet, and my gloves. Mrs. Waterhouse and my mother took each a hand, and the little girl ran, like a lapwing, between them. The house stood in a garden, in which were a number of currant bushes, laden with red, ripe, fruit. I had never seen such a sight before; and had the bushes borne rubies, like some of the bushes in the Arabian Tales, I should not have been half so enraptured, for currants I could eat, and was allowed to eat. I was even pleased with a number of steps which led up to the house, for these were also new to me, and I ran up and down them with great glee. “You will take tea with me in the afternoon,” said Mrs. Waterhouse to my mother, “ you may as well leave the child.” “What say you?” said my mother to me, “should you like to stay here till I come back?” “Yes,” I answered, with alacrity; for what could I wish for more than ripe red currants, to look at and to eat, and garden steps to run up and down P My mother left me, and the scene changed in a moment. No more could I look, or eat, or run. The idea seized me that I was given to another, and had lost my mother for ever, and I cried long, and loud, and bitterly. The woman asked me what I wanted; and, as soon as I could speak, I said, “I want my mamma.” In vain Mrs. Waterhouse assured me that my mamma would return soon; nothing
could pacify me; nothing could dispel the idea that I should see her no more. Mrs. Waterhouse then had recourse to one of the remedies in such cases usually had and provided: she took a cushion from a chair, laid it on the floor, and giving me a hearty shake, placed me rudely on it, and bade me sit there and cry. How long I sat, or how long I cried, I do not remember; but I know that I could eat no dinner, and I question whether I ever experienced more poignant sorrow than I felt that day. When my mother came, I pinned myself close to her skirt, determined never to be separated from her more. The garden was nothing, the steps were nothing ; the world contained but one object for me, and that object was my mother. Mrs. Waterhouse died not long after, and left her hag's face indelibly imprinted on my mind. A case like the foregoing admitted but of one remedy; the crying child should have been sent home. But in ordinary cases a child will not cry when he knows he cannot be heard. Of this, too, I can give an instance. Soon after my unfortunate visit to Mrs. Waterhouse, I took a fancy to try how I could walk in my mother's clogs; I put my little feet into them, and shuffled about the room much to my own satisfaction. I would then try how I could walk down stairs. Here I failed; for, after having performed successfully down one or two stairs, I rolled, in a horizontal position, down the remainder, nor stopped till I got to the bottom. I distinctly felt, and perfectly remember, the edge of each oaken, uncarpetted stair, as I rolled over it in my passage. Arrived at the end of my expedition, my first care was to look round, to discover who might have witnessed it; my mother I knew was not at home, or I should probably not have ventured on the experiment of the clogs; no other person was near, and, as there was none to see or hear, there was none to pity. I had already, and unavoidably, made the wry face which was the prelude to crying, but to cry would have been useless; so I rose, and bore my pain in