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language be addressed to me ? To
most promptly executes my orders and brings me the papers.'
"Only those who have witnessed the state of passive obedience to which ages of slavery have reduced the peasantry of Russia and Poland, who hesitate not at the orders of a tyrannical steward, to inflict the bratal punishment of flogging on women and even on their own parents-only those who know the debased condition of these uncivilized beings, will perhaps believe that the commands of the frantic Vanda were promptly executed. Men of all classes seem to enjoy a malignant pleasure in the humiliation of those whose merit is superior to their own; besides, in this instance, the temptation of the promised reward was irresistible; and the most ignominious of punishments was inflicted on a young man, whose high spirit and cultivated education rendered him keenly sensible to the full extent of the degradation.
"Alas! what a world of vain repentance might we often spare ourselves, if we suffered only a moment's calm reflection to intervene between our anger and its effects. The wretched Vanda, already stung with the pangs of remorse, hurried wildly to her apartment, and sunk exhausted with grief before the portrait. of her father, whose stern glance seemed to heap reproaches on the head of his unhappy daughter. But what was her agony, when she received the packet which she so eagerly desired to possess. The box, which she herself had formerly presented to Elizabeth, and which was adorned with her own portrait and a lock of her hair, contained merely some contracts relative to family property, and a letter addressed to her by her cousin. She instantly broke the seal, and hurriedly glanc ing over its contents, she learned that Elizabeth, having been long a prey to grief, which all her efforts
Iwanowitch signifies the son of Iwan. It is customary in Russia to add the father's name to the baptismal name of the son.
Rods made of the branches of a hard kind of water willow, with which serfs are flogged for any offence they commit. This punishment is less severe than that of the knout.
were unable to subdue, had resolved to forsake a world in which she could no longer be happy; but before she buried herself for ever in a convent, she was anxious to give her two friends a last testimony of her unalterable regard; that she accordingly made over her whole property to Iwan, hoping thereby to remove the only obstacle which could retard his marriage with Vanda: that she attached to this bequest only one condition, namely, that Iwan should liberate and provide for her servants, all of whom had been with her since her childhood. 'Adieu! dear Vanda,' she said at the conclusion of her letter, may you be as happy as Elizabeth wishes you should be, and may Iwan's love repay you for my loss. I return your portrait and your lock of hair, to prove to you that I now tear myself from every earthly tie, aud direct all my thoughts towards another world, in which I trust wo shall all hereafter meet.'
"The grief and despair which now rent the heart of the unhappy Vanda, may be easily conceived. Bring him back,' she exclaimed, bring him back! that I may implore his pardon, and die at his feet.... Fly! odious instruments of my fatal rage!' she continued, addressing the vassals who had come to claim her promised reward, and he who restores him to me, shall immediately have his freedom.' A numerous band of peasants now set out in various directions in pursuit of Iwan; but their search proved fruitless,-they could discover no traces of him.
"Irritated to madness by the degrading punishment to which he had been subjected, Iwan eagerly longed for revenge. He fled to the woods adjoining the castle, uttering cries of fury and despair. Here he wandered about for several hours, entering the thickest recesses of the forest, amidst the haunts of wild beasts. Night drew in, and the rain, which
of an existence which is no longer endurable; and my death, while it releases me from misery, will embitter with remorse the future life of her who has so cruelly wronged me.' He now turned in the direction of the castle, and the lightning, which vividly illumined the heavens, enabled him to retrace his way through the almost impenetrable forest. At length he came within sight of the turrets of the castle, and he heard the clock strike one. Proceeding onward at a rapid pace, he soon reached the garden-gates, which, in the confusion of the preceding day, had been left unfastened. He entered unperceived by any one, for most of the servants were still out in quest of him, and those who were at home had retired to rest. One light was still burning in the castle, and that was visible at Vanda's chamberwindow. 'Ah!' exclaimed Iwan,
sleep has forsaken her couch and how many weary and restless nights must she yet linger out, whilst I shall sleep undisturbedly in the everlasting night of death!' Having entered the castle, and ascended to his own apartment, he took from the head of his bed a brace of pistols, splendidly mounted, which had been one of the first presents he received from the Count; and, hiding them in his bosom, he proceeded to Vanda's chamber. Starting up at the sound of his footsteps, she exclaimed, in wild accents, Ah! have you found him?is he here ?'' He is,' said Iwan, and presenting himself before her in the miserable condition to which his sufferings had reduced him, he added, I am come to afford you the happiness of witnessing this sight.' With these words, he drew one of the pistols from his bosom, and was aiming it at his head, but Vanda, rushing towards him with the quickness of thought, seized his arm, and the pistol-ball struck a mirror, which it shivered in a thousand pieces.
fell in torrents, drenched his gar-Your efforts are vain,' said he, you
have deprived me of honour, and I
ments, though it had no power to allay the fever that raged within him. 'Let me,' he exclaimed, rid myself
it,-live to repent of my murder.'
Vladimir Potocki is raising. Prove yourself worthy of your country, and share the honours which will encircle the brows of our Polish heroes. Henceforth bear the name and title of my father, which I give you, with all that I possess; and may these feeble compensations obliterate the recollection of my fault. But you turn from me, Iwan,-you hesitate, Here, then, is my bosom; kill me; and, in the next world, where our parents are now awaiting us'-' And where they will judge you, Vanda, Ah! what an awful account have you to make!' Alas, I am indeed guil ty. But there is no fault which may not be expiated by repentance.' This was too much for the susceptible heart of Iwan. Oh! beloved Vanda,' he exclaimed, command me as you will; I am ready to obey. I consent to live, since glory may ef face the stigma that attaches to me. I will instantly depart, and without scruple I accept all you offer, for it is a sacrifice on the altar of patriot ism.' Rather call it an expiation at the shrine of love,' replied Vanda.
"Overjoyed at this reconciliation, Vanda immediately began to prepare for Iwan's departure. The servants, who had been fruitlessly engaged in searching for him, were filled with astonishment at his unhoped for reappearance. He is your master,' said Vanda, addressing them, and you are to obey no other. Let his will be your law. This is the last duty I have to impose on you.' She ordered a travelling carriage and six to be instantly got ready, to proceed to Warsaw, whither it was to be fol lowed next day by six additional horses. Peter, a servant who had attended Iwan from his boyhood, hastily packed up his master's lug gage. Vanda herself deposited the money and jewels in the carriage; and on the spot on which she had so lately yielded to the transports of her fatal jealousy, she now took leave of Iwan with tears and embraces.
“On his arrival in the Grand Duchy, Iwan, who was known to all the friends of Count Bro-ky,
ceived with the attentions to which of St. Vincent de Paule, devote themselves to the aid of the poor and the infirm. Here every assistance was rendered him, both by the physician of the convent and by those pious sisters, who, like ministering angels, soothe earthly suffering by the hope of celestial bliss. But, alas! Iwan's wound was mortal, and, ou the second day after he was brought to the convent, the doctor pronounced his recovery to be impossible. On hearing this fatal declaration, one of the nuns, who had attended the patient with the most unremitting anxiety, uttered a piercing shriek, and threw herself on his bed in an agony of grief. The dying man raised his languid eyelids, and, to his amazement, recognised Elizabeth, the companion of his boyhood. 'Can it be?' he exclaimed. Is it really you, my dear Elizabeth, or has an angel, assuming your semblance, come to receive my last sigh. Alas,' continued he, taking her hand, was it for this that you abandoned wealth and luxury; and did you enrich me to make yourself the servant of the poor and the afflicted?' Heaven willed it so, my dear Iwan,' she replied; and if I resisted all your affectionate entreaties to turn me from my resolution of retiring from the world, it was because I felt myself called hither by Heaven, and that nothing could have power to change my destiny. Before I had formed my determination, I had suffered all that can most severely try the heart of a woman, There was no sacrifice to which I could not have submitted. In renouncing you, my most difficult task was accomplished. But, alas! little did I think that I should live to close the eyes of him, for whose dear sake mine have shed so many tears.'How, Elizabeth! tears for my sake...
his own good qualities sufficiently entitled him; and he soon became one of the staff-officers of a Prince who knew how to appreciate and to reward merit. Throughout the whole of the campaign, he omitted no opportunity of distinguishing himself, and he gained the esteem and respect of the whole army. He thought of Vanda only to recollect her goodness, and pursued glory only to render himself worthy of her. I need not enter into the details of this campaign, with the results of which you are so well acquainted. Suffice it to say, that Prince Joseph succeeded even beyond his hopes; for, turning the Austrian army, he threw himself upon Galicia, and took possession of Sandomir and Zamoski. Profiting by the enthusiasm of the inhabitants, who rose on all sides to join his forces, he detached General Fischer, the chief officer of his staff, with orders to march upon Limberg, and Iwan was the first who had the honour to affix the White Eagle of Poland on the walls of Leopoldstadt. The bulletins of the Polish army contained the highest encomiums ou his courage, and thus conveyed the Emost acceptable consolations to the heart of Vanda.
"This success was, however, speedily followed by a reverse of fortune; for, a few days after, while be was engaged pushing a reconnaisance beyond Leopoldstadt, he was surprised by a party of Austrian Hullans. After an obstinate engagement, he succeeded in putting them to flight, but not until a musket-ball had entered his chest, and he fell, seriously wounded, from his horse. He was immediately raised by his brave lancers, assisted by his faithful servant Peter. The blood, which flowed profusely from his wound, rendered it unsafe to attempt conveying him back to the camp. He was, therefore, carried to a neighbouring village, in which there was an hospital founded by Princess Lubornieska, where some sisters of La Charité, conforming to the institution
"Dearest Iwan, - listen to me. This fatal secret I now disclose, at the moment when you must carry it with you to the tomb. I loved you, Iwan, with the most devoted affection; but, alas! after doing all that could be done, to avoid disturbing
Vanda's happiness and yours, I find that the death of him I love is the sad result of the great sacrifice I have made.' He is dying, he is dying!' said Peter, raising his master's head. Oh, Madam, for Heaven's sake, withdraw! this emotion is too much for him.'- Must I die so young and so beloved,' said Iwan, in a faint voice. Elizabeth, Vanda, farewell! Ah! may I find in heaven angels such as you! These were his last words. At that dreadful moment, the influence of religion alone prevented Elizabeth from following Iwan to the tomb.
"The news of his death, and of his triumphs, reached Vanda almost at the same time. You may easily conceive what must then have been the state of her mind. Her grief was calm, but deep; her sorrow did not spend itself in tears. The bitterness of anguish, which filled her heart, turned to fixed and inconsolable remorse. All the efforts of her friends, to arouse her from her melancholy and disconsolate state, were vain. When apprehensions for her life were expressed, she replied,' When we have nothing to love, we have nothing to fear;' and every day seemed likely to be the last of her existence.
"About two years ago, a Prince Loff fell desperately in love with her, and solicited her hand. For a long time, she resisted his suit; but, unable long to see another heart of true sensibility suffering on her account, she at last yielded. Since their marriage, they have travelled
through France and Germany, and have just returned from Italy. It was hoped that change of scene, and the affectionate attentions of her busband, would have alleviated the af fiction under which she laboured; but you may judge, from the forlorn state in which she still remains, how deep a wound she has received, and how little prospect there is of its ever being healed. She is a flower cut down by a whirlwind of passion, and which neither time nor care can ever make bloom again.” "Alas!" said I to Madame Davidoff, " passion is to man as the sun to plants. When 150 ardent, it burns up what its milder rays would have vivified."
This melancholy story had made us forget the fete and our friends; and the night was far advanced before we recollected them. Forte nately, some fire-works, which had just begun to be let off, attracted al: the company towards the Terrace, We soon fell in with Prince Ypsy lanti* and Colonel Davidoff, who had been looking for us. Supper was served in the Garden, after the fireworks, which were extremely beau tiful; but I was so moved by what I had heard that I was anxious to get home, where I sat down and hastily sketched out the sad story. Though I can guarantee its fidelity, I am well aware, that to make others partici pate in the emotion I felt, there is wanting the presence of the interest ing heroine, and the graceful and feeling diction in which the facts were related by my fair informant.
RECORDS OF WOMAN.†
E have been long wishing to see these exquisite productions of Mrs. Hemans collected into a vol
ume, and they now meet us at the ve ry season best fitted for their appear ance. There is something in this la
* In his youth, Ypsylanti was full of hope and ardour. More advanced in life, he was dis tinguished for energy and patriotism, and for zeal in the noble cause of his country. He me rited a more glorious fate; but if Greece triumph, and finally break the barbarous yoke which has so long oppressed her, thy name, Ypsylanti, will live in the memory of thy countrymen, as it will long be engraven in the hearts of thy friends. (For some further account of his lif and death, see page 226 of the present volume of the Atheneum.)
+ Records of Woman: with other Poems. By Felicia Hemans. 12mo. Edinburgh, wood; London, Cadell. 1828.