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a certain day she should not appear at supper, but retire early to her room, on the pretext of a violent headache. Her waiting-maid was in the secret, and they were both to slip out through a back-door, near which they would find sledges waiting to convey them to the chapel of Jadrino, about five versts' distance, where Vladimir and the priest would await them.
geometrician Schmidt, with his mustaches nik, a lad of seventeen, who had just enand spurs; and the son of Captain Ispravtered the Uhlan corps. Vladimir to stand by him to the last; Both promised and the happy lover, having cordially embraced his three friends, returned to his dwelling, in order to complete his preparations. Having dispatched a servant on Mari, he himself got into a one-horse whom he could rely with the sledge for sledge, and started for Jadrino. Scarcely had he set out, when the storm commenced the road disappeared. The entire horizon with violence; and soon every trace of was covered with a thick yellow cloud, whence fell masses rather than flakes of snow; and soon all distinction between land and sky was lost. In vain did Vladimir try to find his way. His horse went heaps of snow, sometimes falling into on at random, sometimes climbing over ravines. Every moment the sledge was in imminent danger of being upset; and, in addition, the pleasant conviction forced itself on Vladimir that he had lost his way. The wood of Jadrino was nowhere to be seen; and after two hours of this sort of work, the poor horse was ready to drop from fatigue.
At length a sort of dark line became ward, and found himself on the borders visible in front; he urged his horse onof a forest. "O," he exclaimed, "I am all right now; I shall easily find my way to Jadrino." which the branches were so thickly interHe entered the forest, of through them, and the road was easy to laced that the snow had not penetrated follow. The horse pricked up his ears, and went on readily, while Vladimir felt his spirits revive.
However, as they say in the fairy tales, All that day he had been actively emhe went on, and on, and on, and yet could ployed. In the morning he had visited with the utmost difficulty dragged him to not find Jedrino. His poor tired steed the priest of Jadrina, in order to arrange with him about performing the ceremony; time he arrived there, the storm had the other side of the forest; and by the and then he set off to procure the necessary witnesses. ceased, and the moon shone out. No The first acquaintance appearance, however, of Jadrino: before to whom he addressed himself was a half-him lay extended a large plain, toward the pay officer, who willingly consented to center of which the poor traveler descried what he wished. "Such an adventure," a cluster of four or five houses. He he said, "reminded him pleasantly of the hastened toward the nearest, and, descenddays of his youth." He prevailed oning from the sledge, knocked at the winVladimir to remain with him, promising to procure for him the other two witnesses. Accordingly, there appeared at dinner the
dow. A small door in the shutter opened,
Having made her preparations, and written a long letter of excuse to her parents, Mari retired at an early hour to her room. During the day she had complained of a headache, which was certainly more than a pretext, for nervous excitement had made her really ill. Her father and mother watched her tenderly, and constantly asked her, "How do you feel now, Mari? are you still suffering?" Their fond solicitude went to the young girl's heart, and with the approach of evening her agitation increased. At dinner she ate nothing, and soon afterward rose to take leave of her parents. They embraced her, and, according to their usual custom, gave her their blessing. Mari could scarcely refrain from sobbing. When she reached her chamber, she threw herself into an arm-chair, and wept aloud. Her waiting-maid tried to console and cheer her, and at length succeeded.
There was a snow-storm that night: the wind howled outside the house, and shook the windows. The young girl, | however, as soon as the household had retired to rest, wrapped herself up in thick muffings, and, followed by her maid, carrying a valise, gained the outer door. They found a sledge, drawn by three horses, awaiting them; and having got into it, they started off at a rapid pace. We will leave them to pursue their journey, while we return to Vladimir.
"What do you want?"
"Is it far to Jadrino ?"
At this reply, Vladimir felt like a crim- tinued on the brink of the grave. inal condemned to execution.
"Can you," said he, " furnish me with flight, as the waiting-maid, for her own horses to go there?" sake, was prudently silent on the subject; nor did any of the other accomplices, even
"We have no horses."
“Well, then, a guide: I will give him after having drunk wine, breathe a word whatever he asks." on the subject, so much did all parties "Wait, then," said the old man; "I'll dread the wrath of Gabriel. Mari, howsend you my son.
The window was carefully closed, and a considerable time elapsed. Vladimir, whose impatience became quite uncontrollable, knocked again loudly at the shutter.
ever, during her delirium, raved so incessantly about Vladimir, that her mother could not doubt that her illness was caused by love. She and her husband consulted some of their friends on the subject; and, as the result of the conference, it was unanimously decided that Mari was destined to marry the ensign; that one cannot avoid one's fate; that riches do not insure happiness; and other fine maxims of the same kind.
"No, no; send out your son. At length a young lad, with a stout stick in his hand, made his appearance, and led the way across the snow-covered plain. "What o'clock is it?" asked Vladimir. What was the astonishment of the proud "Day will soon break."
The invalid recovered. Vladimir, during her illness, had never appeared at the house; and it was determined that his unexpected good fortune should be announced to him; that he should be told he was now free to marry his beloved.
The sun's rays, indeed, had begun to gild the east, and the village cocks were crowing when they arrived at Jadrino. The church door was closed. Vladimir, having paid and dismissed his guide, hastened toward the priest's dwelling. What was he about to hear?
owners of Nenaradof, when they received in reply a letter from the young ensign, in which he declared that he would never enter their dwelling again, and prayed them to forget an unhappy being, for whom death was the only refuge!
A few days afterward, they learned that Vladimir had rejoined the army. It was in 1812. No one ever mentioned his name to Mari, nor did she herself allude to him in any way. Two or three months elapsed, and one day she saw his name mentioned among the officers who had distinguished themselves at the battle of Borodino, and who were mortally wounded. She fainted, and had a relapse of fever, from which she slowly recovered.
Not long afterward her father died, leaving her the reversion of his whole property. Wealth, however, brought her no consolation; she wept with her mother, and vowed never to leave her. They left their residence at Nenaradof, and took up their abode on another estate. Numerous suitors thronged around the rich and lovely heiress, but to none of them did she vouchsafe the smallest encouragement. Her mother often implored her to choose a husband; but she silently
About ten versts."
The old man re-appeared.
"He's coming: he is dressing himself. Are you cold? Come in and warm your-❘ self."
Let us first inquire what was going on in the mansion of the master of Nenaradof. Just nothing at all. In the morning, the husband and wife got up as usual and went into the eating-room, Gabriel Gabrilovitch in his woollen vest and his night-cap, and Petrowna in her dressinggown.
Tea was served, and Gabriel sent a maid to inquire for Mari. The girl returned with a message that her young mistress had passed a restless night, but that she now felt better, and was coming down. In a few minutes Mari entered and embraced her parents.
"How do you feel, my poor little one?" asked her father.
"Better," was the answer.
The day passed on as usual; but toward evening Mari became very ill and feverish. The family physician was sum
moned from the nearest town, and when he arrived he found his patient in a high fever. During fourteen days she con
Nothing was known of her nocturnal
shook her head.
Vladimir was no more: he expired at Moscow on the eve of the day the French entered that city. To Mari his memory seemed sacred: she treasured up the books they had read together, his drawings, and the notes he had written to her everything that could perpetuate her remembrance of the unhappy young man.
About that time a war, glorious for our country, ended. The triumphant regiments returned from the frontiers, and the people rushed in crowds to greet them. The officers who had set out as mere striplings, came back with stern martial countenance, their brave breasts covered with orders. Time of ineffaceable glory! How the heart of the Russian then bounded at the name of his country.
A colonel of hussars, named Vourmin, wearing in his button-hole the Cross of St. George, and on his face an interesting paleness, came to spend a few months' leave of absence on his estate, which joined that where Mari was residing. The young girl received him with far more show of favor than she had hitherto bestowed on any of her visitors. They resembled each other in many particulars: both were handsome, pleasing, intellectual, silent, and reserved. There was a species of mystery in the demeanor of Vourmin, which piqued the curiosity and excited the interest of the heiress. He evidently admired her, paid her every possible attention; why did he never speak of love? He had acquired a habit of fixing his bright dark eyes on hers, half in reverie, and half with an expression that seemed to declare the approach of a decisive explanation. Already the neighbors spoke of the marriage as a decided business; and Petrowna rejoiced at the thought that her daughter would at length have a husband worthy of her.
One morning, when the good lady was seated in her drawing-room, Vourmin entered and inquired for Mari.
"She is in the garden,” replied Petrow"You will find her there, if you wish to see her."
heroine of romance. After the interchange of a few commonplace sentences, Vourmin, with considerable agitation, told her that for a long time he had been desirous of opening his mind to her, and now prayed her to listen to him for a few moments. She closed her book, and cast down her eyes in token of assent.
"I love you!" exclaimed Vourmin"I love you ardently!"
Mari bent down her head a little more. "I have committed the imprudence of seeing you, of listening to you, every day.” (Mari recollected the first letter of St. Preux.) "Now it is too late to resist my destiny. The memory of your sweet face and gentle voice will form henceforward the joy and the torture of my existence; but I have a duty to fulfill toward you. I must reveal to you a strange secret, which places between us an insurmountable barrier."
"That barrier," murmured Mari, "has always existed. I could never have become your wife.”
"I know," replied Vourmin in a low voice," that you have loved; but death, and three years of mourning - dearest Mari, do not take from me my last consolation; do not deprive me of the happiness of thinking that you might have been mine, if not—”
"Hush!" cried Mari. "Cease, I conjure you; you pierce me to the heart." Yes, I have the consoling thought that you would have been mine. But I am the most unfortunate of men-I am married!"
Mari raised her eyes with a look of amazement.
"I am married," resumed the colonel"married these four years, and I neither know who my wife is, nor where she is, nor whether I shall ever meet her."
"What can you mean? What is the mystery? But go on, I beg of you; I will tell you afterward—”
"Here, then," said the colonel," are the facts. In the year 1812, I was going to Wilna, to join my regiment. I arrived late one evening at a station, and had just given orders to have the horses immediately harnessed, when suddenly there aros
The colonel went out hastily; and Petrowna, making the sign of the cross, murmured to herself, God be praised! | a violent snow-storm. The master of the I hope everything will be arranged to-day." Vourmin found his lady-love dressed in white, seated beneath a tree, close by a lake, with a book on her knee, like any
house and the postillion both strongly advised me to defer my journey; but, tempest or no tempest, I was resolved to push The postillion took it into his head
that he could shorten the way by crossing a river whose banks he knew very well. However, he missed the right ford, and brought me to a place which was totally strange to him. The storm continued to rage, but at length we descried a distant light. I hastened toward it, and found myself outside a church, whence the light proceeded. The door was open. Sledges were waiting outside, and several persons were standing in the porch. One of them called to me, 'This way! This way!' I got out of my sledge, and entered the church. One of the people in the porch said:
"And," said Mari, "did you never ascertain what became of that poor woman ?" "Never. I do not know the name of the village where I was married, nor can I recollect that of the station where I last stopped. At that time, so little importance did I attach to my criminal levity, that, when all danger of pursuit was over, I fell asleep in the sledge, and did not awake until I found myself at another station. The servant whom I had with me was killed in battle, so that every clew seems lost by which I might discover the scene of that folly which I now expiate so dearly."
Mari turned her pale face fully toward him, and seized his hands. "What!" cried Vourmin, 66 was it you?
"Don't you recognize me?" A long and close embrace was the reply.
THE LIFE OF A SNAIL.
N THE NATIONAL for May, one of our correspondents discoursed most learnedly of the Bed-bug. Some fastidious reader, perhaps, turned up his nose at the title of the article, and skipped it, let us say in a whisper, to his own loss. And now, "Can there be anything to interest, amuse, or instruct, connected with the history of a snail?" may, not improbably, be the exclamation, mental or expressed, of many whose eye glances at the heading of this paper. Herein the reader must be left to form his own conclusions; yet we cannot help anticipating a favorable verdict.
As it is customary for the writers of the lives of characters rendered famous by their good or ill deeds, to commence with a detail of circumstances attaching to the earliest period of the existence of their heroes to their advance from the cradle to boyhood, and thence onward through the stages of their career-so we shall not, in our narrative, depart from this timehonored rule. At the outset, however, it must be confessed that a snail has, so to speak, less of an individual life than a hero; that is, the routine of one snail's life is that of another, which cannot be said of those who figure on the stage of human strife and turmoil. Hence, we must speak of the snail collectively, since what applies to a single individual, setting accidents aside, applies to the whole race.
Let us, then, premise that it is of the garden snail (Helix aspersa) that we shall chiefly treat, not without allusion to others, however as the common belted snail of the hedgerow bank, and the edible snail, originally introduced from Italy into certain spots of our island.
tudes as these egg-hoards promised, they were not prepared. The impossibility of extirpating these pests in the garden was at once appreciated, and the difficulty of keeping them within numerical bounds acknowledged. No wonder at their increase, when each snail lays hundreds of eggs!
It is in the later months of summer that the garden snail sets about the business of egg-laying, and it displays no trifling measure of instinct in its mode of operation. It searches for a convenient spot, under the edge of a stone, amid the crevices of artificial rock-work, about the roots of bushes, under the shelter of old walls, or in out-of-the-way corners where refuse vegetable matter is cast aside; and then, having fixed upon the exact site, it commences its labors. Spreading out its body, so as to extend the space of its foot, or disc, by means of the vermicular working of the muscles, it throws out the soil, so as to heap it up on each side; it thus forms beneath its body a sort of pit or hollow, into which it sinks, and this more and more deeply as the earth is more and more removed from beneath it, until not only the body, but even a portion of the shell is covered. This earth is moistened by the mucous exudation which is abundantly poured out, and thus tempered, serves as a covering for the eggs. When a sufficient depth, perhaps an inch or more, is attained, the eggs are deposited and covered up, the snail, by means of the muscular action of the disc, returning the earth to the spot whence it had been dislodged. When all is over, the snail crawls away, and seeks a place of rest. Old empty flower-pots are favorite places of resort; and there attaching itself, it rests housed in its shell.
No doubt some of our readers, while turning up the mold of the garden with a spade, have brought to light a cluster of round, pellucid eggs, consisting of some hundreds, each about the size of sparrowshot, of a clear horny or whitish color, and with a glossy surface. Often has the inquiry been made of us, as to the nature of these singular pellet-like bodies, of which the observer could form no certain conjecture; and great has been his surprise, not untinged with a feeling of vexation, to learn that they were the eggs of that annoyance to the gardener, the snail; for the increase of which, in such multiVOL. VIII.-38
The eggs, thus carefully stored, remain during the winter, and even until spring has considerably advanced, without any perceptible alteration. But the genial rains and the warm sun rays soon call into activity the vital germ within. It increases, it moves, and ere long the minute mollusk is already invested with a filmy, fragile, transparent shell, the product of its own secretion. The young now emerge from their prison, and creep about in search of food, and often collect in great numbers on the underside of the leaves of their favorite plants. As yet, and for some time, even after they have considerably increased in size, the shell is very brittle