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mer period have received from my grandfather. But, alas! the consolations of generous hospitality cannot banish the recollections of one's country and one's home! However, my aunt, the Countess Diana, who was exceedingly foud of me, often took me with her on a visit to the castle of Count Bro-ky, where I had the opportunity of receiving instructions from the various masters who were engaged for the education of the young Countess. Vanda's cousin, a charming girl named Elizabeth P-ka, was also the companion of our studies. When left an orphan, at the age of five, she became the Count's ward, who not only educated her carefully, but managed all her large estates, most of which were situated in Cherson, of which her father had been governor. Though Vanda and her young kinswoman differed essentially in character, yet, as both were equally kindly disposed and amiable, that difference did not diminish their friendship. Vanda was lively, and sometimes impetuous; but her excellent heart so quickly overflowed with regret for the commission of a fault, that it was impossible to withhold her pardon for a moment. Elizabeth, on the contrary, who was less handsome than her cousin, was very reserved. By her air of abstraction and melancholy, she seemed to be made to love and to suffer without complaining. Of ten in our juvenile sports did we try to provoke her to depart from that uniform gentleness and patience which seemed her second nature, but without success; for, calm and resigned, she always met our tricks with her usual sweetness of temper, and frequently made us blush for having attempted them. We had all three finished our education when Iwan returned from Wilna. He had lost his mother several years before, and as we had not for a long time heard of his father, we concluded that he had died fighting against the Circassians. The castle of Count B.o-ky now became Iwan's only home; and there he found the want
of parents supplied by the kind hearts of his benefactors. It seemed that the same destiny which made his birth obscure, had, as a compeusation, endowed him with uncommon personal beauty, and qualities which endeared him to all who were capable of appreciating him. It may easily be supposed that the praises of this young man, frequently and publicly pronounced by the Count, made a powerful impression on the minds and hearts of the two charming cousins, who lived under the same roof with him without constraiut, and had been accustomed from infancy to regard him as a brother, and to treat him as an equal. They were still ignorant of what love meant, while both felt the passion in its full force. When they began to understand the nature of their feelings, and ventured to fathom their hearts, Vanda consoled herself by cherishing the idea that her father's blind fonduess for herself, and the affection he had always manifested for Iwan, would smooth the distance which seemed otherwise calculated to separate them for ever. In that happy age in which our belief readily accommodates itself to our wishes, to imagine that she was beloved by Iwan sufficed to make her overlook all idea of danger from such a passion. With respect to Elizabeth, mistress of herself and of her large property, the idea of indemnifying Iwan for the wrongs of fortune, seemed to her the foundation of the feeling she entertained towards him, and she only waited for a favourable opportunity to ask of her uncle that consent which she had no doubt of obtaining.
"Iwan did not long remain ignorant of the sentiments which he had inspired; but, though passionately enamoured of Vanda, respect and honour forbade him to reveal his love; and, to avoid suspicion, he paid more attention to Elizabeth than to her, whom he adored in sileuce. Meanwhile, if Elizabeth supposed herself the object of Iwan's regard, Vauda was certain that she
was beloved; for a woman is seldom long deceived as to the sentiments she raises in the other sex. One day, when I was on a visit, with all my family, at the Castle, the Count said to me, Aglaée, have not you a sister married in England ?—Yes,' I replied, to Lord Tankerville, whose estates are in Northumberland, but who resides constantly in London. In that case,' rejoined the Count, you will oblige me by giving Iwan a letter to Lady Tankerville. I wish him to make a journey to England, and to remain there some months. He will visit the manufacturing towns, to collect information respecting improvements in agriculture, and to bring back with him much general knowledge, which may be easily turned to the advantage of this country. Tomorrow, I intend to go with him to Maknomska, where I have manufactories of leather and cloth, and some German workmen. But men capable of superintending the works are wanting, and I have no doubt that Iwan will be able to bring skilful persons from England, who will soon give life to a branch of trade which is paralyzed solely for want of a system.'
"I assured him that I would with pleasure do what he desired, and my family immediately concurred with me in making joint offers of our services. I shall be absent about a week,' continued the Count; but will return for Vanda's birthday. You will, no doubt, as usual, favour us with your company, and, in the mean time, you can prepare your letter. I expect soon to have an opportunity for Dantzic, and from thence Iwan will proceed immediately to England.' He accordingly set out next day for his manufacturing settlement above alluded to, which was situated in Wolhinia.
"In the following week we returned to the Castle, where every preparation had been made for a fête, for the twofold celebration of Vauda's birthday, and the return of the Count and Iwan, who were expected
that evening. A small but select party of friends were already assem bled, and all were eagerly watching at the windows for the approach of the travellers. About seven o'clock in the evening, we descried them, followed by a few servants, advancing towards the Castle as rapidly as their Ukranian steeds could carry them.
"You have doubtless observed, that almost all the villages in Poland are built on the slope of a mountain, the base of which is washed by 1 lake, and that a narrow road, raised in the form of a dyke, confines the water, which serves to turn a mill. These roads are almost all public thoroughfares; and along one of them the Count was proceeding at full gal lop when we first discerned him in the distance. A herd of oxen was advancing from the opposite extrem ty of the road; and one of the an mals taking fright at the velocity with which the travellers darted along, suddenly thrust his horns into the side of the Count's horse. The noble animal starting back, fell into the lake, dragging his rider with him. To leap from his saddle, and to plunge into the water for the rescue of his benefactor, was to Iwan only the affair of a moment. But his task was difficult. The Count, having one foot entangled in his stirrup, was dragged along by his horse, which, in spite of his loss of blood, swam so rapidly that Iwan, who was encumbered with his clothes, could not easily overtake him. However, by dint of vigorous efforts, he at length reached him. The Count's foot was disengaged from the stirrup, and Iwan kept his head above water until a boat, which had been sent to their aid, received them both, and conveyed them ashore.
"I leave you to imagine the con sternation which at this moment pre vailed in the Castle. Shrieks of terror resounded on every side, and tears streamed from every eve, Vanda fainted in the arms of her cousia; and these two interesting beings were carried to their cham
bers in an almost lifeless state. The unhappy Vanda recovered from her swoon only to learn the full extent of her misfortune. The doctor, who had bled the Count twice, entertained but faint hopes of saving him. Every remedy was applied without effect, and the current of life was rapidly ebbing. As soon as this fatal sentence was pronounced, the assembled guests hastened to quit the house of mourning, conscious that their presence would only be an intrusion on sorrow which they could not alleviate.
"Conceiving that the situation of my unhappy young friends demanded all my sympathy and attention, I prevailed on my family to allow me to remain with them. In a few hours, Iwan, being somewhat recovered from the exhaustion caused by his heroic exertions, came to mingle his tears with ours, and to deplore the sad event which deprived him of more than a parent. Alas! how were our feelings at variance with the objects that intruded themselves on our gaze. On every side we beheld garlands of flowers, blazing chandeliers, and spread tables; while an adored father, lunce, and benefactor, was expiring in the arms of his despairing family. The servants were weeping bitterly, and the sobs and lamentations of the peasantry who thronged the court-yard, were re-echoed in our hearts. The melancholy picture still is, and will ever remain, vividly present in my imagination.
"About midnight, the Count, for a few moments, became sensible, but his strength was reduced to the last extremity. Gazing wildly round him, he uttered the names of Vanda, Elizabeth, and Iwan; but the words died on his lips. A few drops of a potion were administered to him, and he appeared somewhat revived. With difficulty he was raised in his bed; and taking Iwan by the hand, he said, pointing to the two young orphans, My son, I confide them to your protection.' He then pronounced his blessing on all three, as
they kneeled by his bed-side; and
"Vanda now became the object of
He actively su
'All things that were ordained festival,
"The mournful procession was followed by the whole population of . the Count's vast estates, and every individual bore in his countenance visible marks of the grief which All seemed to dewrung his heart
plore the loss of a father.
"For the space of a year after the Count's death, the two cousins declined receiving any visitors, except myself. Vanda, who, by the dying words of her father, considered herself as betrothed to Iwan, no longer disguised her attachment for him. Elizabeth, having renounced all hope of a union with the object of her affectious, suffered in silence the miseries of disappointed love, while she wished to have it supposed that her uncle's death was the sole cause of her deep and continued sorrow, Iwan, however, who well knew its real cause, and who could only offer the affection of a brother in return for her devoted attachment, endea
voured by proofs of the warmest friendship to console her for the love which it was not in his power to be
"Suddenly the cloud of melancholy which had so long overshadowed the countenance of Elizabeth disappeared, and she assumed a serenity to which she had long been a stranger. Instead of avoiding Iwan as heretofore, she eagerly sought his society, and became as familiar with him as they had been in the days of their childhood. Even in the presence of Vauda, she would gaze on him with a look of affection, which seemed to say, 'I shall yet be happy.' This unexpected change excited surprise in all who observed it, and soon gave birth to a feeling of jealousy in the heart of Vanda. Too proud to complain, she cautiously concealed her suspicions from all save a female attendant, whom she instructed to watch the conduct of Iwan and her cousin. She was soon informed that they had secretly met in an arbour in the garden at daybreak, before any of the inmates of the Castle had risen ; and to this disclosure was added, the mention of various circumstances calculated to wound the heart of an affectionate woman. She was told that Iwan had been seen on his knees apparently imploring the forgiveness of Elizabeth, and that when he arose they fondly embraced each other. Distressed beyond imagination at finding herself thus cruelly deceived by the two beings whom she loved most dearly in the world, she anxiously prayed for a favourable opportunity of punishing their ingratitude and treachery. Alas! this opportunity occurred but too soon!
"For some days past Elizabeth's servants had been observed busily preparing their mistress's travelling carriage, and relays were ordered to be in readiness at certain places. These were the only circumstances which warranted a suspicion of her intention to quit the Castle. She herself had intimated no such design to any one, until, suddenly seizing
the hand of Vanda, she said, with tears in her eyes, 'Dearest cousin, I must leave you to-morrow, bat I hope only for a short while, though I cannot, at present, name the day of my return. My mother's sister, wh, along with you, forms my whole family, is, I am informed, dangerously ill, and desires anxiously to see me, perhaps, for the last time, I must, of course, hasten to fulfil so sacred a duty, and I shall according ly set out to-morrow at day-break. I mean to take only my maid with me; but, in my absence, Iwan will take charge of the rest of my servants who remain behind. Do not forget your Elizabath, who, be assured, wid love you affectionately till her latest breath.' With these last words, she threw her arms round Vanda's neck, and strained her to her bosom. Such emotion, on account of a very shor absence, was far from appearing natural, and it excited the strongest suspicious. in the mind of Vanda She supposed that Elizabeth and Iwan had concerted their flight together, and that the story of the jour ney was only a pretext to enable them to carry their scheme the more easily into effect. The coldness with which Vanda received this tender farewell was not observed by Eliza beth, whose excessive grief seemed to subdue all ber-faculties.
"As soon as Vanda returned to her own apartments she ordered Se rah, her favourite maid, to be imme diately called. It is but too true,' said she, the ungrateful wretches are flying from me, and repaying the benefits of my father and myself, by breaking a heart whose only fault was its mistaken reliance on their virtues.-Run-lose not a momenttrace their footsteps-watch their movements; and come back immediately and tell me every thing you discover. They are not yet so cer tain of success as they imagine. Sarah obeyed ber mistress without delay; and Vanda, overpowered with grief, threw herself on a sofa in her chamber. There, calling lection all the marks of love which
Iwan had given her, all the proofs of affection and attachment which, ever since their infancy, her cousin had lavished upon her, she strove to repel the cruel idea that she was deceived by two beings so dear to her. But her confidante returned; and, with her, all the torments of jealousy revived. 'Well, have you seen them together? Yes,' replied the maid, I have just left them. Where? In the very same part of the garden where I have already told you they meet every morning.'-Ah! what did you overhear I have no doubt they had been there some time before I got sight of them. Iwan was kneeling before Elizabeth; he held in his hand a paper, which it appeared she had just given him, and which he was urging her to take back. "Nothing can make me change my resolution," said Elizabeth ;" it is unalterable. Be prudent; I have your promise, and on that I rely. In three days we shall have nothing to conceal." "Three days!" said Vanda, with a sigh. "At the altar," continued Elizabeth," I will release you from this oath, especially if every thing is kept from Vanda's knowledge." Iwan, still on his knees, begged her to defer her departure but for one day. "My dear Iwan," said she," tomorrow at day-break we shall both of us have done our duty!" Here their tears flowed in abundance. At last both left the arbour, and Iwan, placing the paper in his bosom, said: "It shall remain here, dear Elizabeth, along with your secret, and the vow of adoration which I have made to you. Here they remain conjoined for life." "Farewell, Iwan," said she, to-morrow Elizabeth will give you all that she can now dispose of." They then parted, and I hurried back to you, for it now wants but a few hours to day-break.'
"Certain of being sacrificed to a rival, disdain for a moment took place of indignation in the mind of
Vanda; but resolved to confound the two deceivers, she threw herself, dressed as she was, upon her bed, in order to be in readiness to leave her chamber at the first dawn of day. But exhausted as she was by grief, sleep soon overcame her, and after several troubled dreams, she awoke only in time to hear the tinkling of the bell which was attached to Elizabeth's travelling carriage.*
"Vanda flew to the window, and beheld her cousin tearing herself from the embraces of Iwan, while she gave him a box, which he firmly pressed to his lips. She then hastily threw herself into the carriage which was waiting to receive her. In the first transport of her indignation Vanda rushed from the chamber, for the purpose of convicting them of their treachery; but, in the state of agitation in which she was, she missed her way, and wandered wildly about the long winding avenues of the castle. When at length she reached the court-yard, Elizabeth's carriage had started, and was already out of sight. Iwan was alone, and with eyes suffused with tears, was looking out upon the road in the direction which the carriage had taken. He was unconscious of her presence, until his attention was directed towards her by the expressions of astonishment which her frantic air elicited from a group of peasants who hap pened to observe ber. 'Dear Vanda,' he exclaimed, 'I did not expect or wish to see you here; Elizabeth and I had determined to spare you the pain of another farewell.' Your scheme was well contrived,' replied Vanda, with an ironical smile, but it is not yet too late to defeat the perfidious design. Your base treach ery fills me with detestation and contempt: and these are the only sentiments with which you can, henceforth, inspire me! Vanda,' said Iwan, in a tone of mingled astonishment, grief, and pride, can this
*In Russia it is usual to fasten bells to travelling carriages; and the ringing being heard at a distance in the solitary roads, warns the peasantry to range their carts and sledges on one side, so as not to obstruct the way.
38 ATHENEUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.