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The mountain Democrat. [volume] (Placerville, El Dorado County, Calif.) 1863-1943, December 05, 1863, Image 1

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VOLUME X.
the mountain democrat.
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY MORJflXO, BY
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A. n. L. DIN* 1' r.*oot for the !Hm-*-*r*t at Virginia C ity.
Nevada Territory.
COI. *•« K1-T KWWWHlK ".' 'lu’S
Allerdcr* gl»< u him for the Dvuuk ra. ...1 '** I •»*'.' at
traded to.
Office, on Colonik Street.
SOPHIE'* HII1UOX.
« You know him ? Be careful, mon
chcr, for my salfe if riot for your own.lmw
you acknowledge such a dangerous ac
quaintance a* that in Nev.-koi, in broad
day.” r, •
Ami I felt my young Russian compan
ion wince and start astro walked, arm in
arm from the Noble l lub, of win. b .ike
the other attache* of our embasssy. ! was
of course free. The person whn>.- salute
I had just acknowledged was-till it: siaslit
t tall, well-dressed man of about thirty,
with a pale, keen, face, brilliant dark eyes,
and a long moustache.
“Know him? To he sure I <1-•. was
my replv. “ In the name of all that's
mysterious, Galitzin, what can he the
harm of knowing the Chevalier —I think
that is on his card —y. s, the Chevalier
Gliska, nephew, or cousin, r r something,
to the old Pi ir.ee I.c zm/.ka, at ude.s
palace 1 have seen y- ■* a d zen tinn s,
waltzing as only the tiuard can waltz
But the young baron, w ho was gener
ally gay enough, would nut con-.nt t“
make a jest of litis occult nco. but mut
tered something about my “ l.ngli'h im
pudence," and soon after ic ft mo. It was
not easy to guess the cause of the your.g
Guard man's evident nervousness, er to
comprehend what particular peri! tinr.
could be in knowing the Ciieviui. r, re
spocting whom I now began t*. I cl soinc
natural curiosity. Of bis nntecedi nts I
knew very little, but that little was in bis
favor. He hail been much abroad, was re
puted to be clever and w ell read, and the
few words which we had exehangt d at any
time had given me the* impression that he
was agreeable. \it Ga.ilzin, who had
been very kind and familiar with me ever
since my arrival at the h-gati >n, seemed to
shrink from even mentioning the stigma
that attached to the Chevalier.
It was from the chancellor at our em
bassy, a quiet, good humored o d man,
with a taste lot gossip, and a memory tor
St. Petersburg small talk dating bom the
peace of To, that I heard the truth.
“ Gliska I Gli«ka I" ssvt-Cke old Scutch
man, takirg a pinch of snutl to refresh his
recollection; “yes. to he sure! the young
man Demetrius tiii-ka. i~ some relation
to the old Priuci s' I.ciziuzka. ami was in
the imperial service. \ our friei I s right.
You had best fight shy of him, Mr. Ac
ton."
“ But why ? Dias he cheat at cards
Or has he a turn f r w hat the doctors call
homicidal monomania ’
“Nothing of the suit,' a?i»w red tie
chancellor: “he's just a ‘ su«pect,’ a; d
that’s the whole <-t it; he’s one -d the
black sheep i-f the political ti-uck, that a.
the rest, and chietly such gay young hirk
ies as your friend Galitziti, are learfu to
rub shoulders with. To be sure be s a
Polo, and can’t be blamed f.r what he
does in behalf of bis down trodden Colin
try; but, man, It 's s airly Irowmd upon
by the powers that be."
Oil further pressing, Mr. Campbell in
formed me that the Chevalier, w ho 1 ad
once held a commission in l. at toy, bad
been arrested on mi-| i-iion of a sliare in
some conspiracy. 11“ «'•« I >und not
guilty; but, being nnabV to i h-ar hiin»elt
wholly in the eyes et tioxeimmnt, l-a-1
been compelled to >*ivc as a private t r
three years in the Caucasus; had quitted
Russia at the end ot this t mi; an t aftei
a long exile, had lately been in rmi'ted to
return, at the intercession ot his powerful
relatives. H- w as still under considerable
suspicion, and it was mote- tti.au rumored
that his presence in the capital was due to
his desire to render aid in some w idely
spread plot f*»r the enfranchisement ot
Poland and its imperfectly Russianized de
pendencies.
“ If they catch him tripping, woe hi- to
the lad," said old Campbell, oracularly ;
“he’ll be lucky if he gets off with hastern
Siberia and ermine trapping for the rest
of his days; more likely the mines or the
knout, if the Czar's ministers happen to he
specially ill-humored, or specially fright
ened, when the bubble bursts.”
Tbo old chancellor had seen so many
abortive plots, painfully planned, warily
iept, collapse in the miserable ruin of the
plotters, that he had got to regard the
Russian Government as conspiracy proof.
-This was peculiarly true as regarded the
Polish aristocracy, many of whose chief
families were understood to reside at St.
Petersburg rather as hostages than as
courtiers, though never venturing to ab
zent themselves from the imperial pres
ence-chamber on ceremonious occasions.
Among these were the Lcczinzkas; the old
prince and princess; their grandson, heir
to the extensive estates in Lithunia and
the Government of Warsaw ; and their
granddaughter, Sophie Leczinzka. The
Prince himself was a gentle, genial old
maw,-with*Tastedbrtmmistflatics. Ido
not believe that his patriotism ever went
beyond a mild sentiment in favor of a free
and prosperous Poland. The Princess,
.who had been a famous beauty in her day,
was kind and hospitable, but not by any
means capable of dabbling in political in
trigues ; while the grandson was as yet so
young, and so heedfully kept under the
eye of a tutor recommended by tho Czar
himself, that he could scarcely have im
bibed any “revolutionary” ideas. Still
THE MOUNTAIN DEMOCRAT.
PLACER VILLE, EL DORADO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1863.
whoever was lord of the Leczinzka lands,
and of the influence attached to the great
natne of that illustrious race, was esteem
ed worth watching by the authorities.
The family had notalways been so pas
sive. The Prince's eldest son, a high
spirited young man, had shared in the last
disastrous revolt of the Poles, and died in
captivity,-of wounds recicved in the defeat
of Oslrolenka. llis young widow had soon
followed him to the grave, leaving Alexis
and Sophie, the one an infant, the other a
girl tight years of age, to the care of their
cratid parents. And the second son,who
oad iong wandered »l> exile, ftora couutry
to country, had died far from his home
and friends. All this happened long ago,
and the Leczinzkas, if still witched, were
smiled upon at court. Their entertain
ments were among the most splendid at
St. Petersburg, and the foreign residents,
in especial, met witls-the most kindly re
ception there.
' Sophie Leczinzka was a beautiful,dark
haired girl, in the early bloom of loveli
ness that gave promise of becoming
queenly and majestic at a later period;
hut just then she was a bright-eyed young
creature, simple and frank of manner,
am) more like an English maiden than
the languid Russian damsels around her.
Indeed Sophie, by far the cleverest of the
household, was also the most national.—
It was her pride to be a Pole; she loved
Mo sing Polish songs, and listen to Polish
stoiies; and I remember her pretty sor
row, half sad, half petulant, w hen her
grandmother absolutely forbade her ap
peariog at the Kmpress's masquerade in
the high cap, velvet jacket, and gold
braided vest of the old Sarnmtian pattern.
It is not surprising that I, who was,
most heartily made welcome at the Lee- ‘
zin/.ka palace, on the strength of some in
timacy in long-past times between the;
old Prince and a relation of my own—
-liould have become attached, and deeply
so, to the beautiful Polish girl, but the
wornhr should rather he that my suit re
ceived the sanction of Sophie's guardians
an 1 kindred. For an attache, even though
tolerably well oil', to aspire to such a
match would have seemed idle in most
ca-< s since even in tinir hour of captivi
•v there is no prouder nobility than that
o! Poland, ami a T.vczinzka might, as 1
w. 11 knew, reasonably expect to ally her
s-.-lf with some tnan of rank much more
brilliant than mine. It must, however,
he remembered that Sophie was no luir
os, since the estates were stiictly entail
ed, and I was at that time understood to
Ik next into ritor of a considerable pro
perly in England. Whatever the cause,
so matters stoo l. I was ngarde 1 in the
h i-e' old a> actually betrothed to Sophie.
I !i re had been no formal troth-plight ;
-til! less had any time been fixed for our
marriage, which, indeed, the Princess
doited to defer for a yiar or two on ac
count of her grandchild's youth, and her
iwii reluctance to be parted from her ;
but the affair was no secret.
And S •pbie? With all my wish tore
late calmly ami fairly what occurred, I
cannot, i v«n at this distance of time, be
certain a-to what were her feelings.—
IV: haps she herself did not realize their
nature. She certainly did not dislike me.
.'•lie had merely hooked down, with a tim
id blush and smile, when the old Princess
bade her look upon me as her future hus
band. Her lips never ratified the tacit
consent thus given, nor is this expected
in a continental Country, especially in a
rank so elevated.
tili-ka, being in some way related to
the Princess,, and having been brought
up in the Leczinzka mansion in Poland,
was often to he met in the family circle,
where he was always w elcome, lie had
bei it a ward of the old nobleman's, having ,
been early an orphan, and both the
Prim e and Princess had a regard for him,
w hi li in- probably in great measure the
result of habit. Nothing could be morel
ni.like than the bent of the ex-guardian's '
min i and that of hi> former charge. The
kind, white -headed nas'er of the house
h id a soft, easy nature, that shrank from
iii-ajr cable or | ainful topics, and a nar
row, though cultivated, intellect. He
had travelled much, had many foreign
friends, and loved to recall bygone inti
macies among the wits and statesmen of
the West. His coiTespondence.liis French
novels, and his nri >us cabinet of rare
c .ins and medals, tilled up his leisure
fully. The t-'h wilier, on the other hand,
was calm and thoughtful, rather silent,
hut nd from the luck of thoughts. When
he did speak it was always in well-chos
en words, and with a certain suppressed
lire and eloquence that told of great pow
ers undi velopi d.
1 could not exactly make nut on what
footing tili-ka stood with rvfeience to So
phie Lrczinzka. They were cousins.—
Sophie, as a child, had been used to look
up tn the tall playfellow so much older
and wiser than herself; nothing would
have he-.n more reasonable than that
tiny should have been on the same terms
as brother and sister. Yet Gliska seemed
to me rather to avoid his pretty cousin
than otherwise, and Sophie rar« ly men
tioned Ins name. There were times when
! could not help feeling a thrill of jealous ,
suspicion, as a vague idea dawned in my j
mind that this apparent indifference, on j
Gliska’s part at any rate, w as mere feign
ing. Hut such impressions were always 1
fugitive, and were not long able to dis- 1
turb my peace.
I was one night at a ball at the Ciorts- 1
chakoff palace, and happened to stand i
close to the open door of a card-room, !
w here the whist players, ignorant of my I
proximity, were chatting of the Lcczinz- j
kas and their prospects. One of them i
asked, carelessly, whether there had not
once been some talk of a match between
the Chevalier and his beautiful cousin ?
Involuntarily I listened for the reply,
which was as indifferently spoken as the
question had been :
“ Why, yes, thero was such a plan.—
The old Princess, who has a match-ma
king turn, like most of your cx-beauties
your deal, General !—was eager about it,
long before mademoiselle was out of the
nursery. But then catne the coup, and
the iwd s In rids tv* crc confiscated, atid hint
self packed off to carry a musket against
Schamyl in the Caucasus; so there was
an end of the matter—cut the cards, mar
shal, if you please.”
“ But the Chevalier is pardoned,” ob
served a cracked female voice across the
table.
“ True, madam ; but poor—poor as
Job ; and not only penniless, but compro
mised. No, no, the English fellow is a
better parti, though I should not wonder
....
ifSoptiie preferred the ‘suspect.’ Wo
men are problems, madanie."
In the midst of the laugh that succeed
ed, I moved away with tingling cars. A
glance at Sophie’s face, as she sat in the
centre of a blooming group of girls of her
own age, prattling of dances and their
partners, made me ashamed of my sus
picions. If ever candor sat enthroned on
! a fair forehead, surely, surely it was man
ifest on hers. I approached and she
; greeted me with a smile, as I asked if she
had been cari table enough to keep an
I early dance for me.
“You are to late, M. Charles; my poor
little bock is terribly full of names ! I
have promised to dance with Roganmoff,
and Oginski, and your great frieud Bar
on Galitzin of the Guard,and oh, so many
j more !"
“ And with your cou-in, Chevalier
Gliska ?" I asked the question in ap
parent playfulness, but I suppose there
was something harsh and hostile-in iny
tone, in spite of myself, which grated on
the quick ear of a woman, for Sophie
glanced rapidly at me with the look of a
(lightened fawn.
“ No!” she said, and her lip trembled
slightly as she spoke.
Vexed with myself for my own unjust
peevishness, I tried to make amends, and
so far succeeded that Sophie recovered
her cheerful composure, and accorded ine
a waltz. It was in one of the pauses of
that giddy whirl, in the midst of light
and glitter, the sparkle and gleam of gold
epaulettes and jewelled head-gear, and
the dying fall of music, that Sophie sud
denly turned her eyes on mine, and said,
will) abrupt frankness ;
“ M. Charles, avow that you are jeal
ous of iny poor cousin Demetrius, and
that you hate him.”
1 forget what I answered in my sur
prise, but I know that Sophie connived
to convey tome the impression that she
bad a sisterly affection for the companion
of her childhood; that she regretted his
misfortunes, and admired his patiotism ;
that she w as only anxious to see him safe
from future perils, ar.d once more in the
good graces of the Russian Government.
“Poor Demetrius! I camlet forget,
dear M. Charles, how good and patient
lie was to me when I was a spoiled, sick
ly child full of fancies and hard to please.
I’oor Demetrius has suffered so much
for our atHieted country. I, as you know,
am a rebel at heart. 1 hate the Musco
vites—I hope that frightful Colonel Anne
k-itf heard that last remark—hut I can
do so safely, because 1 am too young and
weak to be dangerous to the Czar. It is
ditrerent for a man. You should not he
jealous or cross, M. Charles, because I
wi-li to prevent poor Demetrius from
ending his days in Siberia.”
I said something about her cousin's se
curity, since bis pardon; unless he were
rash enough to enter into fresh intiigues
against the Emperor. 1 spoke with more
constraint and coldness than would other
wise have been the case, because I saw
Gliska leaning against a pillar, at a dis
tance, and regarding us with a peculiar
look of watchful interest. When bis eyes
met mine, lie seemed to shrink back, and
was soon lost in the glittering crowd of
gU'.-stS.
That night, as our -ledges went whirl
ing over the hard 1-caten snow of the '
stia eta, there was a great bustle and con- ;
fusion, and the startled horse were sharp
ly cheeked by tile r, in and thrown on
tiic-ir haunches in front of a double rank
of soldiers drawn up acioss the principal
thoiougbl'aies. A haisli voice bade the
drivers ha t, an ! a number of policemen,
arc. mpai ied by several ntln-e-rs mutlleil
in gray watch-coats, went round from
carriage to carriage, throwing the red
glar.- eif a lantern on the laces of the be
ta! -1 guests of tiic Dunce Minister, and
asked with polished but imperious court- j
esv the names of those present, which I
were entered hastily in a book. There
was much shouting and lashing of whips,
plunging of ii ightened horses,and scream
ing of torriticri ladies, as the mass of ve
hicles came to an abrupt halt; but some
of the old re: idents took the matter very
coolly.
*' The first time this year!” said the
senior attache, who bad taken a seat in
iny carriage; “ 1 began to wonder if the
pn.icc lia-l gone to sleep. Two years ago,
l lemeinber four sueli stoppages in a sin
gle winter. 1 wonder il they'll make
many captions to-night V"
And 1, who l.ad been but eight months
in St. Detersbnrg, learned with some sur
prise that the favorite time for the secret
police t" select for a razzia against the in
numerable plotters, Russian or Doli-b,
was that of some great festivity or public
reception. Half the conspiracies of the
elliptic were hatched, my informant said,
in the saloons of the higher aristocracy,
under the- very noses of the Emperor and
his ministers; and the best paid and most
valuable spies were those who from their
rank and position could enter such assem
blies without provoking remark or dis
trust. No doubt something had trans
pired at the- Prince Minister’s ball which
iiad aroused the vigilance of the lynx-eyed
prefect of police, and hence the impedi
ment to our progress homewards.
The explanation bad got to this point,
when a plotiiik said civilly to our driver
that lie- might “ go on as fast as he liked."
at the same time taking otf bis bat and
extending bis open palm significantly.—
My companion dropped a few copecks in
it, and the man bowed low as lie suffered
us to pass by hint and strike off by a side
street to tile Admiralty quay.
“ They have caught their birds, no
doubt!” said the more experienced senior
attache,treating the whole aflair as a thing
of course.
The next day we heard vague rumors
of detections and arrests, some said of
many, others of only one or two persons.
When I called, next morning, at the Lec
■inzka palace, I found the old Prince ner
vous and irritable, the Princess agitated,
and Sophie not to be seen. She had a
frightful headache, her grandmother said,
and was too unwell to leave her chamber.
No doubt the heat and crush of the Gort.---
chakoff assembly—those official people
gave such shocking balls, where you were
squeezed and elbowed by all the ill man
nered Tchinn in Russia—had been too
much for the poor dear child. But it was
not on Sophie’s account that her grand
parents were so ill at case. It was on
Gliska's. Gliska had not returned to his
lodgings on the previous night. Ilis ser
vant, alarmed at the non-arrival of his
master, had como early to tire palace to
ask for uews concerning him. One of tfce
Leczinzka V*A the prison
ers of the night before led away to the
Conciergeric, and was sure, or nearly
sure, that one of them was the missing
Chevalier. '
I heard this news with mixed feelings.
An Englishman's instinct always rises in
arms against an act of arbitrary oppres
sion ; and the arrest of the night before
had in it something of cat-like and Orien
tal stealthiness that was peculiarly odious.
But I had an uneasy distrust of the Chev
alier, a smouldering jealousy which I
tried to trample down, and I could not
help feeling a vague sense of relief.
However, while i was copying a precis
in the attache's room at the embassy that
afternoon, old Mr. Campbell came in,
chuckling and rubbing his hands.
“ Yon fine conspeeracy has just turned
out a mere (lash in the pan —a mare’s nest
of the police,” .said he; “ the chaps are
set free, Gliska and the rest of them.—
Their captivity was over by lunch time."
“ Then there was no real plot, after
all!''’ I asked, looking up from my wri
ting.
'• I canna, toll,” said the cautious Scot,
shaking his head as he took a fresh pinch
of high dried; “the thing broke down for
want of evidence; a verdict of not proven,
as we say in the North. They say the
Emperor "had Gliska taken into bis own
cabinet, and questioned him there, but
could na cross-examine much cut of the 1
close fellow. And the story goes that his
Majesty said, in a loud voice, before the ,
aide-dc camp : ‘You may go, Chevalier, i
but be careful how you give me the right
to punish !’ Nicholases ill to thwart. He
likes contradiction even less than con
speeracy. so I'd advise M. Gliska to heed
his steps in future."'-*^
< iliska had, in c(T< ct, beer, set at liberty,
and I nut hitu that evening, calm and ele
gant as ever, at the Lcczinzka mansion.
He said very little about the exciting,
events of the night, or the formidable in
terview of the morning, hut talked pleas
antly on general topics. Sophie was pres
ent, having fortunately recovered from
her headache, hut she was silent and
thoughtful, and I fancied that I detected
a glance of intelligence once or tw ice be
tween her cousin and herself. But I soon
felt convinced that I was mistaken. Glis- .
ka paid no sort of attention to Sophie.—
He addressed her rarely, and never with
any particular show ol interest; indeed,
lie speke less to her than to her brother, a -
pale, sleepy-eyed stripling, whose Russian
tutor was his inseparable mentor and com- ,
panion.
The noise the arrest had made in St. '
Petersburg society soon died away, and
(lie usual round of gayeties went on, ns if
Siberia and the knout, plots and disaffec
tion, had been myths. My own prospects
unexpectedly improved. The relative to
whose estate 1 was heir of entail, and
whom I had never seen since lie hail lived
in morose seclusion, died, and 1 found
myself rich enough to lea l an idle life.
An idle life was not my choice, however,
and ut about the same time that I succeed
ed to tin's inheritance I seemed likely to
rise in my professional career. Certain
promotions and retirements had occurred
among the diplomatists, in consequence
ot which 1 was promised the post of se
nior attached at one of the Southern courts
as soon as the present occupant should
vacate it. which would probably be in
early summer.
Fortified by this intelligence, I was en
couraged to renew, or rather to press my
suit for Sophie's hand; the old Prince
standing my friend in the affair, the Prin
cess’s objections to parting with her
granddaughter were by degrees overruled.
As for Sophie's consent, that was rather '
assumed than asked for. Her grandfather
blessed her, and stroked her raven hair as
caressingly us if she had been a child fur
whom some holiday treat was in prepara
tion ; her grand mother cried as she press
ed her darling in her arms, and dilated on
tlie happiness of her future life and the
splendors of her prospective trosseau. —
It was settled that Sophie and I were to
he married soon after blaster ; that, in the
meantime, milliners, lawyers, and jewel
lers were to he busy in providing laces,
diamonds and deeds of settlement; and
that ali was to go uicrrv as a martiage
bell.
In all thl* arrangement,the bride elect's
part seemed a curiously passive one. So
phie Lcczinzka ueitlc r ratified nor re
jected the engagement wliLli her nearest
relations had thought fit to conclude on
her account; she listened submissively to
ail the Prince and Princess chose to say
on the subject,kissed their wrinkled hands
in the ancient Polish fashion, in sign ol
obedience, made me a formal curtsey, and
left the room with downcast eyes and
something like a smothered sob. After
that, Sophie always seemed to shrink from
me; her spirits grew variable, tier cheeks
thinner, her manlier graver and more
thoughtful. I ought to have read the les
son thus mutely conveyed, hut 1 was will
fully blind to it, and lent too ready an ear
to the assurances of the old folks that
Sophie’s manner was merely the result of
girlish timidity and a deep sense of duty.
The aged Princess, in especial, was conti
dent that her grandchild esteemed me
quite as highly as could be expected from
“ a young person bien elevee.”
I must not, the old lady said, judge of
the sentiments of a Polish girl as if she
were a “ Mecss Anglaisc."
Glinka's conduct left no room for fault
finding. He wished me joy, as the phrase
goes, politely, but witli no affectation of
heartiness. Indeed, we had never been
intimate, though 1 had been at first dis
posed to like him well enough; hut there
was something dark and inscrutable in his
bearing and disposition, very unusual
among his rash, chivalrous countrymen.
Perhaps the wretched years of degrada
tion and suffering during which he had
been a soldier in the Caucasus, and from
any reference to which he always shrank,
had changed his character. He often re
minded mo of the traditional Italians of
the middle ages; such Italians as Macchia
vclli knew, and Shakespeare painted.
lie and I now met less frequently than
before. He did not often spend his even
ings at the Leczinzka palace, excusing
himself on the score of pressing business,
and throwing out hints that seemed to in
dicate that lie was importuning the Impe
rial Chancellcrie for the restoration of his
forfeited estates. The old Prince, always
good natured, in spite of his indolence
and frivolous habits, offered bis interest
at court, and Gliska gratefully accepted
bis proffer, lie seemed preoccupied in
bis tnind, and there were new lines of
care on hit forehead, and a harassed look
in his bold, keen eyes; but he treated So
phie with the same indifferent good hu
mor as before. •>
One day, when I was driving out of the
city with one of the French attaches,
young Dumanoir, to whom the sledge be
longed, and who was not a little vain of
his heavy apron of Astracan fur, and of
the spirit and beauty of his swift horses,
with their silver bells, wc had an unex
pected rencounter. We had made a short
cut through the wretched suburbs inhab
ited by the tshernoi narod, or ‘“black peo
ple,” as the ill-fed poor of St. Petersburg
are called, and were striking across to
ward the broad drive on the bank of the
Neva, when we spun round a corner, and
nearly run over a group of four men in
earnest converse. They started with evi
dent alarm and vexation as they caught
sight of us in that unfrequented quarter;
and we on our part were surprised to see
them, for more incongruous companions
could scarcely have met together.
The party consisted of a young Russian
in black clothes, wearing a scrap of color
ed rihhon at his button-hole, and who was
some Government clerk or other member
of the pi ivileged bureaucracy of the em
pire; of a sergeant in the Guards, trim and
smart in his well-fitting uniform ; of a
long-bearded, grizzled peasant, in a torn
caftan and sheep-kin boot-; and of—Glis
ka. We nodded to him—the Frenchman
and I--but he was too much startled to
return the salute, and his pale face flush
ed like hot iron as we dashed by.
*“ What an odd quartette!” said I.
“ Very !" said Dumanoir, dryly, knit
ting his black eyebrows; then he thawed
into a laugh of unfeigned mirth, as he
said, “ 1 never saw rats so neatly caught!
Vou are too guileless and unsuspicious,
my dear colleague, for such a ‘metier’ as
our i ascally one of diplomacy. Wc catch
a Polish noble, whose very name is as
wormwood in the Emperor's august
mouth, conferring with his friends in this
delightful and civilized quarter; and those
friends are a discontented sergeant,a sulky
Kaskolnik, and a hungry understrapper of
some government bureau ; and you won- j
dcr at their confusion on being seen by ;
us! Foi de Dumanoir! My chief would ,
never forgive me. if I omitted to inform
him of what will be welcome news to bis !
Majesty, Louis l’hillippe, King of the
French.”
1 could not but own that there was
something suspicious in the affair, though
1 with some trouble extorted from Duma
noir a promise that he would not mention
what we had seen to any other than his
ambassador, —unwilling as I was that the
Let/.inzka family should be annoyed by
any fresh proceedings against their rela
tive. but though 1 was not one of those
who see a conspiracy in every gathering
of men, 1 felt an innate conviction that all
was not right. Gliska’s politics were no
torious, ami his secret communing, in so
lonely and barbarous a-quarter of the
town, with persons so unlike himself in
rank and hearing, seemed ominous of
coming troubles. I had heard—as who
had not?—of disaffection existing among
the Poles, Finns, and Malorossians, who
had been forced into the Muscovite army;
of disaffected among the educated serv
ants of the State, weary of a career in
which corruption and chicanery overruled
zeal and merit; and of deadly hatred on
the part of the fanatics of the old Greek
faith—those grim Raskolniks of whom
Dumanoir had spoken. A junction of
such malcontents with the restless Polish
nobles, was exactly what the authorities
most dreaded.
When, later in the day, 1 drove to the
Lcczinzka palace, I saw Gliska leaving it
on foot, lie-seemed to avoid recognition,
turning up the collar of his furred over
coat so as nearly to conceal his face, and
hurrying on at a quicke pace as he caught
sight of my vehicle. 1 found Sophie,
with sparkling eyes and a Hushed check,
alone in the great drawing-room, the old
Princess coming in as soon as she was in
formed of my arrival. Never had I seen i
Sophie look more beautiful; but her ex- j
citcmi nt, which I could not help connect- j
ing with Gliska’s visit, caused me a sen- ;
sation of pain as contrasting with her
usual cold resignation, wdien its cause
was explained; Invitations had just been
issued for a masked ball at residence of
Prince Wittgenstein, the Austrian Am
bassador; and this ball, long projected,
was to be by far the most splendid of the
season. It was to have taken place long
before,hut had been postponed,and many '
of the intemlfd guests had their fancy i
dresses prepared, while ull the town talked I
of the ruinous cost of the decorations and ;
the skill of the artists who were to turn I
the embassy saloons into an ephemeral i
fairy land. Sophie was wild with pleas- j
ure at the prospect of the fete ; it was her
first season, poor child, and she had truly
a child's delight in the coming treat. —
Her aged relatives smiled as she talked
with unusual animation of the fantastic
splendors that, were anticipated. It was
said that the Emperor and Empress would
bo there. The Grand Duke and the
Grand Duchess Olga would most certain
ly attend. Count Dcmidoff was to go as
a Chinese—no, as a Persian Khan, with
the Sancy diamond to fasten the plume
on his turban. The four beautiful daugh
ters of toe Swedish minister would repre
sent the seasons; and so on,interminably.
It struck me that Sophie’s interest in
this hall was more than natural, but it
never slackened during the few interven
ing days, and her spirits rose and fell in
a capricious manner. At one time she
was as happy and light of heart as a bird
on a sun-lit bough; at another, there
would be tear-drops clinging to her dark
eyelashes, and she had the drooping head
and dejected look of that same bird when
prisoned in a cage. Her old grandparents
did not wonder at these abrupt transi
tions.
“ Lcs jeuncs lilies, my dear Acton,”
said the aged Prince, lightly tapping his
enamelled snuff-box; ‘“lesjcunes lilies—
who can reason with them ? They have
whims—that is all.”
' The great night came, and with it came
the south wind and a thaw. The soft
snow became Cue consistency of treacle,
and the horses had to labor hard to drag
the runners of tho carriages, which had
so faccfy glided easily along over a frozen
surface, through the tenacious drift But
it was done, some how, and the superb
saloons of the Austrian minister began to
fill with guests, some in dominoes, and
the majority in fanciful attire of every
period and country. I shall not describe
the fete. It was splendid and tasteful in
its way, and the crowd thickened and
thickened, and the music swelled higher
and higher, as half or more than half of
the “ society” of St. Petersburg passed
in. The Emperor and Empress realized
Sophie’s anticipations, for they paid the
Prince and Princess of Wittgenstein the
compliment of their presence.
They walked, unmasked, through the
rooms, the glittering company parting
into two lines to give them free passage ;
both Czar and Czarina smiled graciously, !
and addressed a civil word,here and therfe, !
to some well-known personages. The>
band played the Russian anthem, and ev- ,
erv face was uncovered, in deference to j
the august visitors, as they moved slowly j
past. ' j
Rut those who were best used to watch
the face of the strong-willed despot,whose |
personal influence was mightier, at that ;
time, than any Czar’s since Peter the ■
Great, felt ill at ease as they watched bis
gigantic form pass through the crowded !
saloons. There was an ominous firmness
about the imperial mouth, it was said,and
a dangerous sparkle in the imperial eye.
The Emperor was known to have much
self-control, but there were signs of sup
pressed anger under bis placidity of as
pect which courtiers could read.
The Emperor and Empress did not stay
long. When they departed, the masks
were replaced, the music struck up with
fresh spirit, and the aristocracy of Russia j
forgot the darkling glance of their mas j
tor’s eye. The dance went pleasantly on. .
11 M. Charles, will you do me a favor?”
It was Sophie who spoke, and her voice
quivered in a manner inexplicable to me,
considering bow ordinary were tier words.
She was in the rich Circassian dress of
blue and silver she had chosen ; but she
would not have known me,in an ordinary
doinino of crimson silk, but for my face
being exposed, through my not having
replaced iny mask. She was clinging to
the arm of a boyish figure in Louis the
Fourteenth attire, her brother, I guessed.
“ M. Charles, will you do me a favor?"
It was not very difficult to grant. She
merely wanted me to affix to the breast of
my domino a certain yellow rosette, a
sliouldcr-knot of yellow ribbon with two
fluttering ends—that was all. Hurriedly
she thanked me for my consent, and in
sisted on pinning the knot to my domino
with her own hands, though her slender
fingers shook so much that they could
hardly perform the task. It was a whim
of hers, she said, a trick to “ mystify"
some one; and oh, it was so kind of me to
humor her, and would I please to wear it
till after supper time, and to be masked !
Reforc I could ask her fora dance she was
gone, lost in the crowd.
“ Hist 1 come nearer, the game’s up !”
said a man's voice, thick and husky with
emotion, at my car. 1 started. A tall
man in a dark domino was at my elbow.
“ It's all over,” said the stranger, in bis
guttural French, spoken with a German
accent; “ some one has betrayed us.—
The troops are under arms,and the soldiers
we counted on arc disarmed and confined
to barracks. Rest assured that the Em
peror knows all. Gliska— ’
“Monsieur, you mistake!" exclaimed
T, and the man shrunk away. Scarcely
lmd 1 time to debate in my own tnind the
purport of wliat 1 had heard, when two
or three masked persons came hastily for
ward, the foremost pointing me out to
the others.
“ That is he. I know him by the rib
bon.”
There was a pause, and a shuffling and
whispering. 1 bethought tne of the mys
tification Sophie had spoken of. Were
these the friends at whose expense some
harmless trick was to he played ? I had
little time to think, for one of the new
comers passed his arm familiarly through
mine.
“Come quietly, monsieur, to avoid
scandal.”
Ry this time my other arm had been
grasped hv another of the group. I made
some jocular observation, in French, on
the peremptory nature of the summons,
fully persuaded that the whole was a mas
querade frolic. The inti uder spoke again,
more sternly:
“ You carry it off well, sir. Rut your
enterprises are unfortunate. You must
come with me in the Emperor’s name, or
I swear to shoot you where you stand.—
Come on 1”
I was pushed, or dragged, through a
side door, down a passage, and into the
hall of the embassy. It was full of soldiery
and gendarmes. In a moment a cloak was
thrown over my head, my wrists were
chained together, and I was hustled out
into the snow* and thrust into a sledge.
There was a shout, a trampling and clash
ing, and I felt the jerk of the start. The
sledge was going ofF at a rapid pace, in
spite ol the softness of the snow. Half
smothered by the cloak over my head, I
rather lay than sat in the place into which
I had been pushed, while by the bound
ing motion of the kibitka I knew that the
speed of our progress was great.
Presently the woollen wrapper which
muffled my head was removed,and I could
see the true state of the case. The sledge
was traversing a snow-covered roadpnark
ed out by painted posts at frequent inter
vals. To right and left lay liilloeky
mounds of snow, covering the peat tnorass
through which the morass passed. Over
head was a wrack of hurrying lead color
ed cloud,with the pale winter moon peep
ing out sufficiently to show the horsemen
of the escort, a party of dragoons of the
guard, who rode at the right and left of
the sledge, their burnished helmets and
long white cloaks looming ghost-like
through the dim light. Resides myself,
there were two persons in the kibitka,
the driver and a sturdy figure in the uni
form of a sergeant. The latter held a
pistol in liis gloved right hand ; an excess
of precaution, for I was bound and help
less.
I closed my eyes for a minute or two,
and calmed my nerves by a strong effort
Then I looked again. Yes, nothing had
changed. Snowy road, lashing whip,
bounding horses, painted posts to mark
the way, the mantled horsemen riding on
cither flank, the threatening attitude of
the armed man at my side, ail were real.
And all these objects had but one signifl
| cance—one which my soul shrank from.
, The guards, the haste,the chains, the des
1 olate wastes through which we were
1 speeding, reminded me of many a dismal
[ tale of exile to the gloomy deserts of
Northern Asia. Either I was actually on
my way to Siberia, or I was mad. *.
My courage revived. It was impossible
that an Englishman, and an Englishman
NUMBER 49.
in government employ, should be emsM
ble to boat w in,i.,jSu>en t, even had hi*
offences against the Caar baa* flagrant |
whereas 1 was utterly unconcerned- in
Russian politics. Even the barbarian ca
price of absolute power could not have
taken umbrage at any act of mine, and
then the idea that my arrest waa torn*
cruel blunder flashed upon me. I triad
the sergeant with French and German,
but in rain. He knew only one language,
and in answer to my Caw awkward word*
of Russian, he merely growled out tba
words “ Polish dog I” and pressed the
cold muzzle of the pistol barrel between
my eyes, as a bint to keep quiet I spake
no more.
Soon after this the wind veered round
to the north, the moon vanished, the
night grew piercing cold, and then the
heavy flakes of snow came whirling
down, and the horses could hardly strug
gle through the drift. Then all sensa
tions were gradually and snrely merged
into one—the numbing effects of the in
tense cold.
Hours passed; post stations were reach
ed, horses changed, and fresh trooper*
took the place of the escort; but I only
grew colder and feebler, and the blood in
my veins seemed freezing into aolid ice,
and there ware shooting pains through
every joint. I remember moaning like a
child in agony, and then I seemed to faint
with suffering—the last thing I remember
being a flash of ruddy torchlight
When I recovered, I was in a warm
bed, and beside it stood two men—one
dressed in black—a doctor; the other, a
tall officer, in a long military cloak, wet
with half-melted snow. In a corner of
the room was an Ingrian peasant woman,
heating some water in a samovar.
“ He’ll do well, now," said the doctor,
in French ; “ mortification had not really
begun. It’s only a slight case of frostbite,
with eitremo debility."
“ I’m glad to hear it!” said the officer,
in whom I recognized a certain Major Or
loff, or.e of the imperial aides-de-camp.—
“ The Emperor is truly distressed that
the mistake should have occurred. But
how this Englishman came to wear the
yellow knot of ribbon by which Gliska
was to be recognized by the other conspir
ators, had the plot really come to a head,
and had the Czar's person been seized on,
is a puzzle to us all. I’d lay my life
there’s a woman's hand in it."
“ Very likely," said the doctor, with a
smile; “ perhaps Mademoiselle Sophie
I.eczinzka contrived the exchange when
Gliska found out that all was lost, and his
arrest imminent. The runaway couple
hare not been caught, I believe ?”
I groaned.
“ Come away, doctor,” whispered the
good-natured aide-de-camp; “ the poor
fellow may wake and overbear us. And
he will know quite soon enough that his
fiancee deceive! him from the first, and
that she will be Madame Gliska when
they get in safety across the Prussian
frontier, of which the police prefect ad
mits there is no doubt—so artfully were
the Chevalier’s projects laid, to provide
the means of escape, in case of the failure
of the conspiracy. Allonsl Bad news
flies fast.”
Beautiful Legend. —There is a beau
tiful legend illustrating the blessedneas of
performing our duty at whatever cost to
our inclinations. A beautiful vision of
our Saviour had appeared to t monk, and
in silent bliss he was gazing upon it—
The hour arrived in which it was his
duty to feed the poor of the convent. lie
lingered not in his cell to enjoy the vision,
but left to perform his humble duty.—
When he returned, he found the blessed
vision still waiting for him, and uttering
these words, “Hadst thou staid, I muat
hare fled.”
The Oswego Times wants to know if
a man has torticullus, anchylosis of the
radius, paralyzation of the iter atertia ad
quartern, ventriculum, obliteration of the
levater, labli superiosis aliquinasi, and
besides don’t feel very well himself
he would be exempt from the draft t
A bachelor up Penn street, Pittsburg (
Pennsylvania, picked up a thimble. He
stood awhile, meditating upon the proba
ble beauty of the owner, when he pressed
it to his lips, exclaiming, “Ob, that it
were the fair cheek of the wearer 1" Just
as he had finished a fat female Contra
band looked out of an upper window,and
said, “ Boss, jist please to frow dat fimble
in the entry—I jist now drapt it”
“ Well,” said a Yankee, proudly, to a
traveling Scot as they stood by the Falla
of Niagara, “ is not that wonderful ? In
your country you never saw anythin*
like that 1"
“ Like that,” quoth the Scot; “ there’s
a far mair wonderful concern no twa miles
frae whaur I was born."
“Indeed,” says Jonathan ; “and pray
what kind of a concern may it be ?”
“ Why, mon,” replied the Scot, “it’s a
peacock wi’ a wooden leg 1"
■■ - ■ * O- i i .
A female teacher in a school that stood
on tho banks of a small river, once wish
ed to communicate to her pupils an idea
of faith. While she was trying to ex
plain the meaning of the word, a am.11
covered boat hove in sight. Siezing up
on the incident for an illustration, she
exclaimed, “ If I were to tell you that
there was a leg of mutton in that boat,
you would believe me,wouldn't you, with
out even seeing it yourselves ?” “ Yea
ma’am,” replied the scholars. “ Well,
that is faith,” said the schoolmistress.—
The next day, in order to test their rec
ollection of the lesson, she inquired,
“ What is faith f ” —“ A leg of mutton in
a boat,” was the answer, shouted from
all parts of the school-room.
Judge Jeffreys, pointing to s man with
his cane, who was about to be tried, said:
“ There’s a great rogue at the end of
my cane.”
The man to whom he pointed, laid,
“ At which end, my lord f"
When you Andaman too close and
stingy to advertise, yon can safety put
him down as too selfish to act generously,
or very fairly or honestly.
How an old maid always eyes s tingle
gentleman I She looks at him SS SB#
would at a dog in dog days—wondering
whether he intends to bite.
“ Are you the mate ?" said a man to
the Irish cook of a vessel lying in port—
“No.” said be, “but I’m the msa wfc#
boils the mate.” r

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