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when the trampling of feet and the flare of several
To look for the coffin which had been violated was our first object; but the search proved unsuccessful— no fractured shell was to be discovered; and eventually the general attention was directed to gathering up the bones of the unknown. In doing this, a shout of wonder escaped the whole party, when it was discovered that the tattered habiliments of a man half enveloped them; and this was repeated with many exclamations of amazement, when the sexton held up to view a gold watch he had found in the fob of the pantaloons, 'which though gnawed in every direction, still clung round the skeleton limbs. How did my every nerve quiver, and the sickness of death fasten on my heart, when I recognized it to be the identical watch worn by Walsingham on the day of our separation! It was a family piece, not to be mistaken, from having the arms of his house raised on the external case; and, shrieking like a madman, I proceeded to search for other proofs, till I gradually identified the remains of his pocket-book, the buttons of his coat, and, in short, almost every shred that yet adhered to the fleshless bones. What preternatural power supported me throughout this soul harrowing scrutiny, I cannot take upon
me to say, but when it concluded-when all the relics were raked together, and fully displayed to my starting eyeballs, the icy fingers of death seemed to crush my heart I uttered a loud long cry of despair, and sunk down into happy forgetfulness.
How or where the bones of my friend were consigned to the earth, I never dared trust myself to ask, for during the first month that succeeded their discovery, reason might be said to totter on her throne. The Irish gentleman who had been so attentive in the commencement of my afflictions, superintended their inhumation; and, farther than ascertaining that the thing was done, I sought to know no more. It was years before I could, with any degree of composure, speculate on the circumstances attendant on his death; and it need scarcely be said, that any additional light thrown upon an event so mysterious, was merely the offspring of conjecture. The most rational supposition was, that, while in one of the obscure recesses into which his curiosity would likely allure him, he had inhaled the pestilent atmosphere that reigned within them, suffered partial suffocation, and so been unable to make his escape with the crowd, when the panic became general. From this trance he had been roused either by the efforts of nature, or by the gnawing of the vermin that were on the watch to devour him, and so dragged himself to that door, which was closed
between him and the world for ever. There he had died-in what manner the human mind revolts from ever supposing; and there did I, a miserable wretch, find his bones, stript by the teeth of disgusting vermin, and with the green mildew of the grave already beginning to corrode them.
THE WHITE ROSES.
As soon as our regiment-thus wrote Captain R-▬▬▬▬ to his mother had entered the grand duchy of Posen, I hastened, according to your desire, to Kalisch, in quest of your unfortunate friend: but all my inquiries after the widow of the Prussian captain, Tannenberg, and her daughter, proved in vain. Though I knew that this officer had fallen at Auerstädt; that he had left his wife, a native of Silesia, but who had no longer any opulent relations there, together with a grown-up daughter of extraordinary beauty, totally unprovided for; that both of them, zealous professors of the Catholic religion, and acquainted with the Polish language, had resolved to remain in Poland, and to remove from the little town where the captain's squadron had formerly been quar
tered, to Kalisch; though, I say, I was acquainted with all these circumstances, they did not furnish me with the least-clue. Partly, however, from a wish to survey the environs of Kalisch, which are not wholly destitute of interest in a military point of view, and partly because it had been suggested to me, that your friend might pos
sibly be living in some Polish family of distinction as companion or governess, I determined to stay here a few days, and to endeavour to make some acquaintance in the neighbourhood.
In a ride which I took with this design, I met with a man on horseback, who seemed to have the same object with myself. He was a Prussian, who, at the time this country belonged to the Prussian monarchy, had settled here with his father. He told me that his name was Müller, and that he had business with Salinski, the chamberlain, whose elegant mansion he pointed out to me in the distance, which would not detain him above half an hour. As I was pleased with the young man, and he seemed to be not displeased with me, it was soon agreed that I should accompany him, and wait for him at the inn, and that we should return together.
On our way thither he was as talkative and cheerful, as on our return he was pensive and reserved. I would not be obtrusive, and thus for some time we rode silently along. My companion at length addressed me. "I trust," said he," that you will pardon my neglect. I have been to see a most unfortunate man, whose son I esteemed and loved. The young man had received an excellent education; he had studied at a Prussian university; and from the excellence of his character and his superior talents, he might have calculated upon one of the highest appointments under government, had we continued to belong to Prussia, to which state he was warmly