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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 secrecy. She now secretly overheard Dores tea entreat the King to set some one at liberty, whom she had no difficulty in recognising 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 follow ed, 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, 15 ATHENEUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.
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 sentinel, 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 unbounded 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 im prudence, 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 object of mercy. They grounded their application on the ma
nifest 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 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 be 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 destinaton, 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 summoned 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 has tening with his comrades towards the head quarters. After a week's march, the company to which he belonged arrived in sight of the ene
my. 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. 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 sus picion 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.
NARRATIVE OF JOHN WILLIAMS,
ONE OF THE PERSONS WHO WERE BURIED ALIVE IN THE RUINS OF THE BRUNSWICK
[Taken down from his Conversations in the Hospital.]
IN the beginning of last autumn I was sent to London on some matters of business by my father Mr. Williams, the building-surveyor of Chester, who is also known to the literary world by his "Remarks" on some of the architectural antiquities of that city. I carried letters of introduction to Mr. Nash, to Mr. Rickman of the House of Commons, and to another Member of Parliament, whose name I do not now wish to mention. The last gentleman invited me to his house, overwhelmed me with professions of esteem, and quite turned my head with his offers of services. When the business which had called me to town was finished, I wrote to my father of the new prospects that had been opened to me, and, in contempt of his advice and injunctions, determined on remaining in London, to follow out a career, so much better adapted to my talents than that of a provincial builder. An open quarrel with my family was the consequence; but I
took no trouble to appease their anger, being convinced that a very short time would prove the wisdom of my conduct, and enable me to demand rather than solicit forgiveness.
Two months passed away in expectation; my money was spent, and the people at my lodgings began to abate in their civility, when I thought it necessary to bring my patron to the point. I called at his house for that purpose, and found him just stepping into a post-chaise. He seemed as glad to see nie as ever, but, of course, had little time for conversation. When he had fairly seated himself in the vehicle, and, in my despair, I had ventured to ask how long he meant to be absent from town, shaking me cordially by the hand, he informed me that if there was a call of the House, he might be obliged to return in the course of the Session, but that, at all events, he would have the pleasure of seeing me this time next year. I do not remember the carriage driving off-but
the passers-by stopping to look at me, as I stood like a statue on the flags, recalled me to myself, and I went home to my lodgings.
I was too timid, or too obstinate, to write to my father. I preferred lowering my expectations, and applying for a clerkship in a builder's office, and was promised the influence of several persons of respecta bility in order to obtain it. In the meantime, by the advice of an acquaintance, I was induced to apply to the pawnbroker for a temporary pecuniary relief; but this did not enable me to discharge the rent of my lodgings. The civility of my landlady was changed to coldness, and her coldness, by a natural transition to heat. The persecution I underwent at home made me take refuge in public-houses, where I fell in with companions as desperate as myself, but apparently more happy. I at length left my lodgings secretly, with the remains of my wardrobe under my arm, I engaged a bed by the night at what is called a theatrical house, but one of the lowest of the sort, where I first acquired a taste-or rather a passion-for stageamusements, and became acquainted, by the introduction of her brother, with a young actress, whose name, whether she is dead or alive, will not be benefited by an association with mine. My appearance at this time, with regard to dress, was respecta ble, and my manners probably intimated an acquaintance with better society than that enjoyed by my companions. The reception I met with from the lady was favourable; and, young, beautiful, amiable, and, I am convinced, innocent, she made an impression on my heart which is the only part of my London his tory I am not ashamed of acknowledging.
I debated with myself whether, on finding a situation, I should not remove her from a mode of life at least dangerous, if not disgraceful, by making her my wife, or, by attaching my self to her profession, serve as a protector from its danger, and derive
from it the means of our mutual subsistence. My debate, however, was speedily cut short: no situation turued up; I was pursued by means of summonses for several small debts; my landlord refused me even a night's lodging without the money in advance, and I was compelled to make my retreat to another quarter of the town. It would be disgusting to pursue, step by step, the path of my decline, which was now fearfully precipitous. From the parlour I sunk to the tap-room-from the society of masters to that of journeymen-from the shabby surtout to the tattered jacket. My place of refuge was in Barlow-court, a narrow lane in the neighbourhood of Wells-street, and having some slight knowledge of the upholstery and cabinet-making business, I received employment accidentally in fitting up the Brunswick Theatre.
My earnings were very small, but I contrived to cheat my hunger out of sufficient to enable me to drown, almost every night, in intoxication the sense of my degradation and my despair.
The theatre was at length opened, although the internal work was not all finished. I was in attendance at the fatal rehearsal of, the 28th of February, in the course of my duty. As I was passing across the stage, I was arrested by the voice of a new actress-a voice that had lingered in my ear in spite of everything. The earnestness of my gaze was observed by one of my fellow-workmen, who informed me that the lady whom I seemed to admire so much was Mrs. Mrs. ! She was married! I forgot at the moment my situation, my dress, the proprieties of time and place, and I rushed forward to demand from her own lips a confirmation or a denial of the truth of what I had heard. That motion saved my life.-There was heard at the instant a sound which I cannot describe by crash, or roar, or any other imitative word in the language; it was not loud-nor shrill-nor hollow: perhaps its associations in my