Page images
PDF
EPUB

a

tion. During the repast many subjects fort which had long served as a military were discussed, and among others the out-post of the city. comparative degree of war-like courage The loss of a beloved child proved fatal among the various European nations. to the lady of Enrique ; and this double The Poles claimed the palm of bravery calamity so afflicted him, that, in three for their own nation : the Spaniards they years, he followed her to the grave. To unanimously acknowledged as inferior to make all the atonement he could, for the none but themselves ; but their opinions | wrongs he had inflicted, the King renderwere not so united respecting the merits | ed great honours to the memory of the of the French and Hungarians. Enrique deceased. He also directed, that when listened in silent attention to this dispute. the time for the freedom of the youth The King did not fail to notice it, sup should arrive, he should be well compenposing his silence proceeded from a modest sated for the privation he had endured, disinclination to praise his own country. and elevated to the dignities of his father. “ What is the reason," said His Majesty, The child was entrusted during six “ that our friend Enrique is the only per years to the care of two nurses.

He was son silent on a subject on which he is so then placed under an able tutor, by whom well qualified to decide ?" The prudent he was instructed in philosophy, the lannobleman respectfully replied, that, if His guages, and every other branch of learnMajesty would allow him to express his ing. His talents were of the first order, thoughts, he would say that such disputes || and his mind gradually exhibited never did good, as the opinion of each strength far above his years. He conparty would, after all, remain the same. tinued in his prison until his twentieth Besides, as a stranger, it would be pre year, daily longing with increased ardour sumption in him to differ in sentiment for liberty, that greatest of all earthly from so many abler judges. The King blessings. was not, however, satisfied with this ex The imprisonment of Carlos--so the cuse. At length, compelled, as it were, youth was called—was known only to to speak, Enrique pronounced for the few; for the King had commanded his superior bravery of his own countrymen ; || heart-broker parents, under pain of death, alleging, in proof, the numerous and sig to keep the fatal secret. nal victories obtained by them in all ages.

The King had a beautiful and accom“ Your Majesty,” said he, “would be plished daughter, named Sol. Her porconvinced of their superiority, if an ex trait having been accidentally seen by periment which I could suggest were to Rosardo, Prince of Denmark, he became be made.”-“ What is that?" inquired enamoured. Unfortunately, his father was the King ; " for howsoever difficult it may | preparing, in conjunction with the King of be, it shall be attempted."-" Let an Sweden, to make war on the Polish moinfant of Spanish extraction,” replied | narch, and he could not therefore satisfy Enrique, “ be procured, and confined un his desire of visiting her without delay. til he shall arive at manhood. When re He had a friend; the son of his father's leased from his confinement, let different ally, with whom he frequently spent objects that may charm the senses be months in hunting on the confines of the placed before him, and I will venture to two kingdoms. During one of these expredict that a suit of armour will fix his cursions, he shewed that Prince (Oscar) choice."

the very portrait which had produced so The King rose up, and signified his ap new a sensation within him, and the latter proval of the proposed experiment. He became, in consequence, as much engrossobserved, however, that Enrique woulded with the lovely original as himself. repent the expression of an opinion so un The Swedish Prince determined to travel favourable to Sarmatian prowess.

incognito to Cracow for the purpose of His Majesty's words, to the great con- | beholding her. cern of Enrique, were

soon fulfilled.

The anxiety of Casimir, lest his prisoner Knowing the latter had a son but two | should escape, induced him to become years old, he commanded him to be taken | gaoler himself, and he never parted with from its parents and enclosed in a solitary | the keys of the fort excepting to the tutor,

Dorestea. One day the young Princess | bounded at perceiving an object of such happened to enter the chamber, as her | ravishing beauty. Conscious of her infather was giving them into Dorestea’s | discretion, and confused at the intensity hands. She had frequently noticed the of his gaze, the trembling Princess leaned private conferences that were held in the against the wall without power to retreat

royal closet with this person, and felt that or advance. Carlos was the first to break • some mystery must be connected with so silence. He ventured to inquire of the

much secresy. She now secretly over stranger, in a tone in which natural poheard Dorestea entreat the King to set liteness and surprise were equally consome one at liberty, whom she had no spicuous, whom she was, and what had difficulty in recognizing as a prisoner of brought her to the fort. When sufficiently importance. Dorestea expressed his fear | recovered to speak, she acquainted him that the youth's health would suffer from || with her name, but not with the occasion his intense desire of freedom, and begged of her visit. “ Sol," rejoined he, “is inof His Majesty not to waste a season so deed a name that becomes you; for as precious as the morning of life in useless the sun confers life and heat, so does your confinement. The King then assured Do- presence bestow animation and joy on me. restea that the prisoner's release was not Heaven has certainly designed you the far distant. A long conversation follow- | instrument of my deliverance. Are you ed, which, as it was but partially under come to set the captive free?"_Saying stood by the attentive Princess, wrapped this, he suddenly arose. The Princess, in the subject in tenfold mystery, and in great agitation lest the prisoner should, creased her curiosity to discover the through her imprudence, effect his freesecret. Fortune so far favoured her, that, || dom-a circumstance she had not for a on that very night, she contrived to take, || moment anticipated—informed him of the in wax, the impressions of the keys in her | motive of her visit, and assured him that father's possession ; and, with the assist- | his life, if not her own, would be the conance of a confidant, she procured others | sequence of his escape. But her expostuexactly similar. The next morning the || lations, her entreaties, her tears, were Princess cautiously followed the steps of equally ineffectual. Though her beauty the tutor until she saw him enter the fort | had already made a deep impression on in which the prisoner resided. The per- || his heart, the longing desire of liberty, severing Sol did not long wait for an op- || which had for years preyed on his soul, portunity of visiting it without fear of de was paramount to every consideration. tection. She saw Dorestea and the King || He hastened through the passages, followleave the city on a hunting excursioned by the distressed Sol, and, turning Scarcely had the last notes of the bugle || down a narrow fortified path, he soon died on her ear, when, with a palpitating found himself in the street contiguous to heart, and a courage which unconquerable | the fort. curiosity could alone have inspired, she Whilst gazing with rapture, not untook the keys, and, wrapping a large mixed with wonder, on the novel scene cloak around her, accompanied by her around him, entirely forgetful that his confidant, she bent her way to the fort. | safety depended on immediate flight, the 'On their arrival they successfully applied | sound of a drum fell on the ear of our the keys to the gates and doors that led | recluse. He hastened towards it, anxious to the interior of the building. Sol then

to learn what it meant. stationed her companion as centinel, and When he reached the spot whence the softly advancing, with a courage hitherto | sound proceeded, he found a party of solunknown to her, she entered a narrow diers recruiting for the service, and offerpassage which terminated in a square | ing unusual bounties to all who would chamber. Within she perceived a hand- engage in the war which had been desome youth, poring over a book. By his clared against Denmark. side were two globes, and a table near Another noise soon attracted his attenhim was covered with maps and writing || tion, proceeding from a combat of three materials.

cavaliers against one who was successfully The astonishment of Carlos was un defending himself. Snatching a sword

from one of the by-standers, Carlos des- || This attendant directed his notice to the perately wounded two of them. The suspicious looks of the observer, and prethree antagonists retired with threatening | vailed on him to leave the assembly. He looks, which, from his inexperience, he || accordingly retreated from the dangerous knew not how to interpret. On inquiring | precincts, and on his return to his hotel, from the valiant cavalier the cause of the || perceiving that he was followed by some quarrel, he was informed that it had been officers of justice, he turned up an alley : solely occasioned by a dispute at play. that led to the very fort which had been

While conversing with the unknown so long the prison of Carlos. The gates gentleman, a party of police appeared, were open ; and, thankful for refuge, he and arrested our hero for assaulting the rushed forward and locked himself within. two cavaliers: they ordered him to follow | Advancing to the interior, he was not a them to prison. Unwilling to subject | little surprised to find it elegantly furnishhimself a second time to the horrors of ed, and in a state which convinced him it confinement, he attempted to force his had been but recently inhabited. He reway through his guards; but he was soon mained, buried in reflection, more than disarmed, bound, and, after a short ex twelve hours, when, to his consternation, amination before the civil authorities, || he heard the sound of distant footsteps. condemned to a long and solitary imprison- | His alarm, however, was not equal to ment. So rigorous a sentence was owing, that of Dorestea, when the latter, on enterin no small degree, to the fury with which || ing the apartment, perceived that Carlos he had attacked the ministers of justice in was not there, and that a stranger occuthe public execution of their duty. pied the prison. Oscar instantly informed

Doubting the reality of his senses, the him how he had gained admittance; but youth attempted to move the pity of the in vain the anxious Dorestea sought to unjudge ; and several of the persons presentravel the mystery connected with his joined in recommending him as a fit ob- || pupil's disappearance. Each party was ject of mercy. They grounded their ap aware of the danger of his situation, and plication on the manifest aberration of mutual fear induced them to adopt the mind exhibited by the prisoner, who, they || only expedient that presented itself-viz. suspected, both from his dress and man that the Prince should continue in prison, ner, was a lunatic broken loose from his | under the name of Carlos. He thus sekeepers. The judge, in attempting to cured himself against the risk of disascertain the truth by a series of ques- || covery, and at the same time arrested tions, the purport of which was unintel- | the impending punishment of Dorestea for ligible to the inexperienced Carlos, felt the escape of the fugitive. Dorestea soon satisfied, from his answers, that the al- | after took his departure to renew his enleged insanity was at least specious. Yet treaties with the King, to liberate their as the case was doubtful, and as the pri- || young prisoner; an event which he now soner had evinced unquestionable proofs | desired with increased anxiety. His of courage, he contented himself with sen- || Majesty at length consented to see him. tencing him to serve as a soldier in the Oscar was, in consequence, ushered into approaching war. Our hero was accord- | the royal presence. His appearance ingly placed as a private in one of the pleased the unsuspecting King, who encompanies which were on the point of joined him to obey Dorestea as a father, departing for the frontiers.

until he should be required to join the It happened that the Prince Royal of army about to proceed against the enemies Sweden arrived in Cracow, the very day of Poland. Carlos escaped from prison. He attended The agitation of the Swedish Prince, on a masked ball, that night given at court, hearing this unexpected destination, was for the purpose of beholding a Princess | immediately perceived by the watchful whose charms had caused him to under- | monarch, who, somewhat sternly, detake so hazardous a journey. His dis-. manded the cause. Oscar could have guise, however, was insufficient to con- assigned two reasons for it-his horror of ceal him from the recognition of a Polish | fighting against his father and country, nobleman, to whom he was well known and his natural cowardice ; but he sum

his post.

moned composure to reply, that the little Majesty to remount, and then returned to he knew of war sufficiently convinced him

Success still attended him. of its injustice and cruelty. The King, | He penetrated to the standard of the not a little disappointed at hearing this Swedish King, and took that monarch language from one who, he had hoped, || prisoner. This important capture, and would prove the chief defender of the the death of the King of Denmark, put an country, dismissed the youth. Oscar was end to the battle, and left a glorious vicadmitted to another interview, but could | tory to the Poles. not regain the royal favour. He was, to Immediately after the action, Carlos his great mortification, despatched to join | received the royal commands to repair to the military force on the frontiers.

the tent of his sovereign. With an overIn the mean time, Carlos was hastening joyed and palpitating heart he obeyed. with his comrades towards the head For his exploits that day the gracious quarters. After a week's march, the monarch, in the presence of his nobles, company to which he belonged arrived in expressed the highest approbation, created sight of the enemy. Carlos had already him a Field-Marshal, and assigned him distinguished himself by the rapidity with four thousand crowns per annum to supwhich he learned the necessary duties of port the dignity of his station. a soldier, and by the uniform discretion of He had scarcely left the tent, when his conduct. The Captain, with whom he || Oscar entered it to see and embrace his was decidedly a favourite, sent him with captive father, who was seated with the a few trusty comrades to reconnoitre the King. The astonishment of Cassimir may enemy's position. As he cautiously ad be more easily conceived than expressed, vanced towards the opposite lines, he en when apprized of the close relationship countered and mortally wounded a soldier which subsisted between them. The who had just left them for a purpose

mystery was beyond his power to comsimilar to his own. Another succeeded, || prehend. He instantly sent for Dorestea, whom he took prisoner, and brought back who was compelled to make a disclosure to his leader's tent. Important informa- of the escape of Carlos, and the substitution was thus gained. For his courage

tion of Oscar. He begged for mercy, on and prudence, Carlos was promoted to the the ground of the consequences which rank of Cornet of horse. Soon afterwards, I would have ensued both to himself and to he was employed in a service of equal the Prince, by revealing the fact at the danger and importance; and so well did time; and he also expressed his suspicion he acquit himself that he was made Cap that the unknown young warrior, who had tain.

that day won unfading laurels, was the In a general engagement which imme identical Carlos. The King instantly diately succeeded, he performed prodigies sent for the hero. His appearance, to of valour. He courted danger, and in the great joy of all present, turned susfused a portion of his own brave spirit | picion into certainty. The King embraced into all who witnessed his prowess. While him with rapture, restored him to the digclosely pressing the enemy, in the hottest | nities and emoluments enjoyed by his deof the fight, he perceived that the person ceased father; and, what gave him the of his sovereign was exposed to imminent most satisfaction of all, promised him the hazard from the number and fury of his hand of the Princess Sol.

The parties assailants. Like lightning he flew, at the soon returned to Cracow; an honourable head of his gallant troop, to the succour peace was made between the two soveof the King, just as the latter was dis- | reigns; and the marriage of the brave mounted. He dispersed those who were and happy Carlos with the lovely Princess already exulting in their possession of so was solemnized with becoming magnifidistinguished a prisoner; assisted His

cence.

[blocks in formation]

PRECEPTS AND EXAMPLES.

I have no taste for manual methods of could pacify me; nothing could dispel correcting mind and manners. I would the idea that I should see her no more. not beat a horse because he fell down, or Mrs. Waterhouse then had recourse to whip a child because he was crying ; be one of the remedies in such cases usually lieving that the horse would not fall from had and provided: she took a cushion choice, and that the child would not cry from a chair, laid it on the floor, and for its own amusement. I know that a giving me a hearty shake, placed me child is capable of feeling very acute dis-rudely on it, and bade me sit there and tress, and that its way of expressing it is cry. How long I sat, or how long I cried, by its tears and cries. Of the painful || I do not remember; but I know that I feelings of a child I can give an instance. could eat no dinner, and I question

When I was two years and nearly five whether I ever experienced more poignant months old, Mrs. Waterhouse called upon

sorrow than I felt that day. my mother. It was on a fine summer

When my mother came, I pinned mymorning, and my mother said to her, “ I

self close to her skirt, determined never will walk with you to your house :" then,

to be separated from her more. The turning to me, she said, “Will you go?" garden was nothing, the steps were no“Yes," I cried, quite delighted, and I in- | thing ; the world contained but one obstantly ran to fetch my bonnet, my tippet, ject for me, and that object was my and my gloves. Mrs. Waterhouse and my

mother. Mrs. Waterhouse died not long mother took each a hand, and the little after, and left her hag's face indelibly imgirl ran, like a lapwing, between them.

printed on my mind. The house stood in a garden, in which

A case like the foregoing admitted but were a number of currant bushes, laden

of one remedy; the crying child should with red, ripe, fruit. I had never seen

have been sent home. But in ordinary such a sight before ; and had the bushes

cases a child will not cry when he knows borne rubies, like some of the bushes in

he cannot be heard. Of this, too, I can the Arabian Tales, I should not have been give an instance. half so enraptured, for currants I could

Soon after my unfortunate visit to Mrs. eat, and was allowed to eat. I was even

Waterhouse, I took a fancy to try how I pleased with a number of steps which

could walk in my mother's clogs; I put led up to the house, for these were also

my little feet into them, and shuffled new to me, and I ran up and down them

about the room much to my own satiswith great glee. “You will take tea

faction. I would then try how I could with me in the afternoon,” said Mrs. Wa

walk down stairs. Here I failed; for, terhouse to my mother, “ you may as

after having performed successfully down well leave the child.” “What say you?"

one or two stairs, I rolled, in a horizontal said my mother to me, “should you like position, down the remainder, nor stopped to stay here till I come back ?” Yes," till I got to the bottom. I distinctly felt, I answered, with alacrity; for what could and perfectly remember, the edge of each I wish for more than ripe red currants, to

oaken, uncarpetted stair, as I rolled over look at and to eat, and garden steps to it in my passage. Arrived at the end of run up and down?

my expedition, my first care was to look My mother left me, and the scene

round, to discover who might have witchanged in a moment. No more could I nessed it; my mother I knew was not at look, or eat, or run. The idea seized me home, or I should probably not have venthat I was given to another, and had lost tured on the experiment of the clogs; no my mother for ever, and I cried long, and other person was near, and, as there was loud, and bitterly. The woman asked none to see or hear, there was none to me what I wanted ; and, as soon as I pity. I had already, and unavoidably, could speak, I said, “I want my mamma." made the wry face which was the prelude In vain Mrs. Waterhouse assured me that to crying, but to cry would have been my mamma would return soon; nothing I useless ; so I rose, and bore my pain in

« PreviousContinue »