Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

with as much expedition as possible children, an elderly governess, and to proceed with the examination of two servants : I, therefore, who did his papers. “That examination,” he so, must have been conscious of my replied, “ does not concern me; I own innocence, and easy in the conhave orders merely to forward them fidence I reposed in the safe conduct to Petersburg, and you are to ac- granted by his majesty. company them without delay.” At “A person in the uniform of the first I was distressed at this answer, civil administration of Petersburg, but soon recovering myself, I observ was now introduced. “Here,' said cd, that having never lived separately the governor, is the Aulic Counselfrom my wife, I hoped she would be lor Schstschekatichin, who will acallowed to go with me. At first I company you on your journey ; thought he would have acquiesced in make yourself perfectly easy, Sir, you my desire, but upon some remark • are in good hands'.'-This, bowmade to him by a secretary, he gave ever, did not turn out a true predicme a positive denial. I then told tion. The time now cạme, however, hiin I could not answer that my wife for Mr. von K. and his lady to be would not come and solicit his con- separated, which scene we shall give sent herself upon her knees. • Spare in his own words.

me such a scene,' replied he; • I “At length, towards the hour of • am likewise a husband, and a father; seven, every thing being ready, I "I feel all the distress of your situa- bade adieu' to my afflicted family. tion; but I am not able to remedy How did my heart beat at this cruel it; I must execute my orders in the moment! My hands trembled, my most exact manner: set off for knees tottered, my eye-sight failed • Petersburg, justify your conduct me ;-even at the present day I can. 'there, and in a fortnight you may not recollect this separation without • embrace your family again. Your painful emotions. • wife shall remain here; make your “ The reader will allow me to • self easy, every thing shall be done pause in this painful narrative. Nei• for her that humanity and my own iher my wife nor myself could weep; good wishes can suggest.'

the source of our tears was dried up, - On saying this he conducted me and our hearts were wrung with into his chamber, and left me for a expressible anguish. I kissed my moment, to give orders which unsor- children, I blessed them; their moth. tunately concerned me too fatally. er threw her arms about my neck, There was a young lady of a sweet and fainted as she received my emand interesting countenance in the brace. room, who appeared to be the gover “ The secretary, who had hitherto nor's daughter: she was employed at appeared unconcerned, and had had her peedle. On my entrance she recourse to common-place motives of saluted me kindly; did not speak, consolation, could no longer refrain but sometimes raised her eyes from from shedding tears. Ah! if the kind her work, and fixed them upon me. hearted emperor (for such I know I thought I could perceive more com him to be) had been present, with passion than curiosity in these soft what promptitude would he have put looks, and I frequently heard a sigh an end to this scene of affliction. escape her. It will easily be con My wife, who could no longer ceived, that the interest she took in return my caresses, continued to my situation, did not contribute to moan in a low and inarticulate voice; allay my apprehensions. The go- her eyes were closed; I imprinted a vernor soon returned. “Things are kiss on her lips, as if it were the last, i no longer in Russia as they used to and immediately tore myself away. • be ;' said he, justice is now admi. My servants led me to the carriage

nisiered in the most scrupulous and took leave of me, deeply afflict« manner.'

ed. A crowd of spectators assembled " I have great reason then to be under the gate-way had been dise easy,” replied I. He expressed much persed, and the carriage was drawn surprise that I had voluntarily return- up there to avoid notice. I mounted ed, and above all, that I had brought with trembling steps and was instantmy fainily with me. Indeed, a man ly driven away."--p.78-50. who travels with bad designs, does Our Author was now travelling, as not take with him his wife, three he' supposed, for Petersburg ; but

[ocr errors]

soon after they passed through Riga take any of them with me. I have he discovered that the route was regretted this a thousand times since; changed, and that they were going to for I looked iu vain for the flower on Tobolsk, in Siberia. Now driven al- my return, and I could find no one most to desperation, he began to that was acquainted with it.” Vol. ii. think of attempting an escape. An p. 33---33. opportunity speedily offered, and for At Kurgan he was committed to tume days he was concealed in the the care, and recommended to the woods, but hunger and fatigue soon kindness of the first magistrate, who compelled him to surrender, and he treated him with anuch kindness, and renewed his journey. Arrived at To- afforded him every practicable allebaik, be was received with much viation of his situation. He found a respect and tenderness, and hoped companion in misery, in a Polish genhere, at least, to rest in peace; but tieman of the name of Sokolotl, and bis cup of affliction was not yet full. he sometimes went out in company He was obliged to proceed to Kur- with bim a shooting. He had 'con. gan, on the road to which Mr. von trived to forward a memorial to the K. noticed a very curious article in na- emperor, but had no expectation tural history. * At a few posts from that, if at all, he could receive any Tuimen, l observed, in a marshy farther intelligence of his fate before forest, a phænomenon, in botany, the end of August. which I have mentioned, since my “ It was now the seventh of July : return, to several learned naturalists, the morning was fine, and I was ennone of whom had ever heard of it gaged, as usual, in drawing up the before.

story of my misfortunes, when at « On a spot about six hundred about ten o'clock, M. de Gravi came paces over, appeared an innumerable in, and after a few words of ordinary quantity of red flowers, and on the chat, took up a pack of cards, as he top of each there seemed to lie a most commonly did, to play at the large flake of snow. Their appear- game of grande patience, which he ance struck me, and, alighting froin often carried so far as to put my pathe carriage, I gathered several of the tience to a severe trial. I was some. lovers, which,

I shall now endeavour times whole hours a witness to his to describe. On a stalk of about five pastime, for the good man could not inches in height, the leaves of which, conceive it possible that any one's as well as I can remember, resemble time at Kuryan was valuable, and those of the lily of the valley, hung a particular an exile's. He continued kind of purse, not unlike a work- to play till eleven o'clock; during bag, about an inch and an half square, this time I walked up and down the with teodrils dangling from the upper room in ill-humoured silence, with end, as it were, for the purpose of out taking any notice of the game, tving it up. This bag, which both except once, when he asked me with within and without was of fine deep what view he should turn up the purple colour, was furnished with a cards: Consult the oracle,' said I, leaf in the form of a heart, propor- peevishly, whether ) am to see my Lioned to the other parts of the

flower, family shortly.' The deal proved the top of which was as white as fortunate, and he was highly delightInow, and the bottom of the same ed that they were soon to be with colour as the bag. This leaf opened me. At length he recollected he had and shut with ease, and served in business to dispatch, and took his some sort as a lid. I am unable to leave. express bow beautiful this flower " [ continued my task. In the

(wbich I must observe bad no smell) middle of a period, my servant interļ appeared to the eye. I fear I have rupted me by saying, Well, Sir, wę

Dot been able to describe it with any have some more news.' degree of preciseness, being but a * paid little attention to him, bovice in the science of botany. I concluding he was going to entertain can, however, positively assert, that it me with some new love-affair; (for would prove a very beautiful ornament he had had twenty, and some of no to any garden. The great quantity common sort, since he had resided of them which I saw, induced me to here) and without taking my pen believe it was a common tower in from the paper, I turned myself half biberia, and I therefore neglected to round to ask him what the news was.

• 'This moment a dragoon is ar- window, perceiving me there, and rived to take you away, said he. saluted me in a gay and friendly manStruck with terror, I started from my ver. chair, and looked him fuil in the “ I felt my heart grow lighter,-. face, without being able to utter & attempted to go out to meet him, single world. "Yes, yes,' continued but was unable; I remained quite he, we shall perhaps set off this very motionless, and fixed my eyes opon • day for Tobolsk.'

the door of the chamber;-it opened How!' was all I was able to say. - endeavoured to speak, but con“ Instead of answering, me, he tinued speechless. brought a man to me, who had seen “ Prosda wläja, wui wobodni-1 the dragoon, had heard him speak congratulate you,-you are free!'of his commission, had accompanied as he uttered these words, the good him to M. de Gravi's, and from De Gravi threw himself into my thence had run to my lodging to be arms, and shed tears of joy. I saw the first bearer of the news; but who nothing, heard nothing, felt only the was totally ignorant of the dispatches tears of De Gravi wet my cheek, that were brought.

while my own eyes remained dry. “ What had I to expect? My li. The cry of prosdawlaja was repeated berty? Alas, no! for in such case, by all around me-every one strove to why was I to be taken back to To- be first to embrace me, and iny servant bolsk: The nearest road lay through too pressed me to his heart. í permit. Ekatarinabourgh, and why make a ted all these proceedings, still looking circuitous journey of five hundred at them with silent stupor: I could verstes ? Besides, the answer to my neither thank them nor uiter a word.'' memorial could not arrive for a con

p. 99-105. siderable time to come. I had there The dragoon immediately deliverfore nothing better before me than ed to our Author a letter of recall, the horrid prospect of being trans- with a power to command every ported from Tobolsk further up the thing necessary for his speedy and country, perhaps to Kamtschatka. [ comfortable return. So soon as he remained a considerable time in great recovered his surprize, he began to perturbation of mind, till, rousing prepare for his journey, took leave of myself from a painful train of thought, his newly acquired friends, and sat I took the quire of paper on which I out with all possible expeditionhad been writing, together with all chiding the slowness of his conductors, the bank notes I had leit, and con- and wishing for wings, instead of a cealed the whole under my waistcoat. kibbick, to convey hiin. When he I waited for more than ten minutes came to Petersburgh, his first enquiry in the most painful state of suspence, was naturally after his wife and tami for the arrival of my sentence. ly, who had arrived before him; and

" These ten minutes are to be a friend undertook to prepare then numbered among the most dreadful for an interview, of which the follow of my life. At last I perceived from ing is Mr. K.'s account. my window M. de Gravi, accompa * I was conversing with M. Fuch: nied by a crowd of people, turning when Graumann, with the counte the corner of the street, and in the nance of an angel, burst into th midst of them I discerned a dragoon, room : 'Your wite is here,' said h with a plume that covered his hat: I could not contain myself, but utte they were too far off for me to ob- ed a loud cry of joy. M. l'uchs ha serve the expression of their counte- the delicacy to retire, to avoid di nances; and I remained more dead turbing the first moments of our r than alive, waiting to know my fate. union. Graumann was gone to co

“I walked with trembling steps duct her to me. I stood treinbling about the room, and again drawing the window, which was just over t near the window, I could distinguish gateway: I saw my wife enter ; the features of M. de Gravi, which staggered toward the door; she ru. seemed to be very composed. A ray ed in, and fainted in my arms. of hope now gleamed upon me, “ Who can attempt the descri yet heaviness stiil pressed upon my tion of such a scene! I pity the 13 heart.

who cannot enter into my feelings The people were now in the this occasion. Yes, there are 13 jard. M. de Gravi looked up at my ments in life which counterbalas

years, that compensate for a series of lume too remarkable to be passed years of misery! I would not in this over. All Europe remembers the fainoment have relinquished for the mous challenge of Paul to his brother world the remembrance of what I potentates, which it now appears was had suffered; the enjoyinent of this written by his own hand in French, one moment overbalanced it all. and our Author was employed to

* With the assistance of my friends, translate it into German. I had placed my wife on the only The death of this sapient emperor chair the room afforded: kneeling seems no where to have been more dowa and hiding my face in her lap, welcome intelligence than at home; I wept such lears as I had never wept and the suddenness of it is a lesson of before, and waited till her senses wisdom and moderation to thrones in should return. She recovered, and general. hanging affectionately over me, min. “ The first measures adopted by gled her tears with mine. My friend Alexander, his proclamation, the first walked silently about the room; he orders he issued, all tended to enwas much affected; he was not an courage and confirm the confidence indifferent spectator of this affecting with which bis subjects beheld him scene; be shared in the transports ascend the throne of his forefathers. of it. Generous man! This hour has He solemnly promised to tread in recompenced thee for all thou hast the steps of Catherine II. of glorious done for me and mine : thou hast en memory; he allowed every one to joged a scene which is not often re dress according to his own fancy; presented on the great stage of the exonerated the inhabitants of the caworld, and thou felt that my disin- pital from the troublesome duty of terested friendship had contributed alighting from their carriages at the to prepare it. After the first trans- approach of any of the Imperial faports of delight had in some degree mily; dismissed the court-advocate, subsided, after we had recovererl our who was universally and justly despeech, what questions we had to tested; suppressed the secret inquiask! What answers! What broken sition, that had become the scourge recitals and narrations ! How often of the country; restored to the sedid we interrupt each other, and nate its former authority; and set at smile and kiss off the tear that be- liberty the state prisoners in the fortdewed our cheeks! it seemed as if ress. What a spectacle to see these our graves had been opened, as if we unfortunate people released from were rising from the earth, and had captivity, mute with surprise at their become two celestial substances." p. delivery, taking their happiness for a 190-192.

dream, and with trembling steps The conversation that followed, it seeking their respective homes. may easily be anticipated, related to " I saw an old colonel of the Costheir mutual sutferings, and is highly sacks and his son brought from the interesting, but we cannot stay to fortress to Count de Pahlen's aparttranscribe it. In a short time, our ments. The story of this generous Author was introduced to the em- youth is extremely interesting. His peror, who not only received him father had been dragged, for I know graciously, but loaded him with ho- not what oifence, from Tscherkask to tours and emoluments, placing him Petersburg, and there closely iinpriat the head of the theatre at Peters. soned. Soon afterwards his son ar. burgh. This situation was very irk- rived, a handsome and brave young some and troublesome, but could not man, who had obtained in the reign be refused : in a short time, however, of Catharine II. the cross of St. Mr. von K. found means to rid him- George, and that of Wolodimer. self of the burden, on receiving a For a long while he exerted himself commission to draw up a description to procure his father's enlargement of the new palace of Michailoff, which by solicitations and petitions; but Paul considered as the cighth wonder perceiving no hopes of success, he of the world. This description was requested, as a particular favour, to nearly finished at his death; and ex be allowed to share his captivity and tracts are given of it in the third vo misfortunes. This was in part grantlume.

ed him; he was committed a prisoUne circumstance is, however, re ner to the fortress; but was not perlated in the close of the second vo mitted to see his father; nor was the

unfortunate old man even informed it opened a way for his return, the that his son was so near him. Ona narrative of which, with the circumsudden the prison bolts were drawn, stances attending it, occupy chiedly the doors were opened, his son rushed the remainder of this volume, and of into his arms; and he not only learnt the work. that he was at liberty, but at the same time was informed of the noble sacrifice which filial piety had offered. He alone can decide which informa- XLIII. A Discourse, delivered April tion gave him most delight. I saw 6th, 1801, in the Middle Dutch Church, him several mornings together in before the New York Missionary, at Count de Pahlen's audience cham. their Annual Meeting. By JOHN ber; he still wore his long beard, N. ABEEL, A.M. (one of the Alini. reaching down to his waist. He sters of the above Church.) 8.vo. 67 pp. commonly sat in the recess of a win Printed by Collins and Son, New dow, with downcast eyes, and with York. out paying the least attention to the

S this son, whose noble countenance shone more resplendent from the conscious- public attention, as it appears to be ness of his own heroism, than did his the composition of a man of talents breast decorated by the two orders and respectability, and especially as which he wore, walked about the it is not imported for sale, we may be room and conversed with his ac- permitted to pay it more attention quaintances.

than we should ibink ourselves war. "The audience chamber was indeed ranted in paying to a single sermon in a rich field of observation to a looker- our own country. on at all conversant with the human The preacher selects for his text heart; and though I had no particu- the well known prophecy of Haggai, lar business there, I continued to pass (ch. ii. 6, 7.) relative to®“ the desire several hours on the spot every morn- of all nations," and after a short exing, nor did I ever leave the groups that ordium, he divides his discourse into surrounded me, without having add, two parts. I. He proposes to attend ed to my stock of this species of to the character under which the proknowledge. By way of contrast to phet represents the Messiah; and the affecting scene I have just relat. ll. “To the events which develope ed, I shall give the reader an anec. the plans of his grace, and prepare dote of a livelier cast: It happened, I the way for the establishment of his think, the day after the emperor's kingdom.” Under the first, "the dedeath. The room was extremely sire of all nations," is considered asfull; there were probably some hun. " the source of that information which dreds present: I was warming my. they need-the only acceptable sacriself at a stove, when suddenly there fice for sin--the dispenser of those was a great murmur, and the com present blessings which they most arpany, one after another, all rushed deotly desire--and in all these re. io the windows, and kept looking in spects, literally the desire of the Jew, to the street as if something very and the hope of the Christian." wonderful had happened. Curiosity From this part of the Sermon we at length drew me from the stove; select the following passage, which it was with difficulty I could share the speaks of Christ as the dispenser of interesting spectacle. At length I got blessings the most desirable-blessings through the crowd, and what was the which result from the propagation of mighty atfair : Why truly the first Christianity. round hat that had passed by. This "If the best system of morals, enround hat appeared to make more forced by the strongest motives, conimpression upon the minds of the tribute to the perfection of the human company, than even the liberation of character; if the contemplation of the state prisoners had done : no- boundless excellence exalt the soul; thing was to be seen but cheerful if love, joy, and peace, residing in laughing countenances. Such crea- the heart, and leading to whatsoever tures are men !” p. 75--80.

things are lovely and of good report, The accession of the new emperor ensure the testimony of a good conwas a happy event also to Mr. K. as science; is the firm persuasion of a

« PoprzedniaDalej »