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In my cruel situation, it may well be was quite incomprehensible to me, by supposed that I read this letter with what I had merited fetters and chains. the highest delight. I set out with. I was carried out of my prison, at last, out delay, and begged my way, like a to be tried. My judge said in a mepilgrim, to the place where my cou- nacing tone, Confess your crimes ! I sin resided, which lay 150 miles be- begged as a favour to know what was yond Petersburgh. I soon was a rich laid to my charge. ' Aha! he reman again, for my old relation died, plied, with a devilish grin, we must in my arms, not many weeks after my help then to set you a going, you vilarrival, and I found myself in pos- lain? You'll wait long for that! We session of an ampler fortune than I shall give you three days more for rehad ever had.
flection: when these are expired, if “ I resolved to live and die in the you do not confess, we shall give you Russian town where I was, and re- the knout.' main a hermit as much as possible, at “I was now carried back to my least to the women. I got myself prison, and the third day after was dressed in the Russian fashion, and again brought into court. let my beard grow untouched by a not yet make confession ?' said the razor. It soon surpassed all the beards same tyrannical judge. What shall of the country, and at length flowed I confess?' I answered, with tears in oyer my girdle.
my eyes, Heaven knows I am inno“ I took a poor boy into my service, cent of all possible crimes.' Yes, and had him instructed in all those yes,' said the man on the bench, household concerns which commonly that is the usual song
of such pretty fall to the women. He swept my birds as you. Stay, we shall soon rooms, cooked my victuals, and wash- teach you to sing in a different strain. ed my linen. Every thing, in which Away with the fellow, and give him it was indispensably necessary that the knout, till he confess to a hair his women should have a hand, was trans- criminal deeds. Two fellows tried acted by my trusty Jacob, and was the strength of their arms upon me moreover to be done out of doors. No for some minutes. I suffered the pain such dangerous creature was to pass in silence. The hard-hearted man, the threshold of my house. When I by whose order I was so cruelly used, saw a woman I closed my eyes, and I stood by all the while; but I did not shut my ears against the voice of the deign to beg him to spare me. At Syrens.
lagt he ordered the flagellants to stop, By these measures, invariably and to lead me back to my prison. strict, í lived in peace and satisfaction Here I passed six terrible, months in for thirty years. I was now a grey dreadful uncertainty as to my fate. haired man of sixty, and I firmly be- I at times asked the jailor who brought lieved that, without meeting any more me my water and bread,what at of the storms of life, I should get into last they would do with me?" He the port of repose.
always gave me for answer, “He coull “But no.
At last I was suddenly not inform me, for in the courts there awaked, one night, outof sleep by thun was now no questiou of me. At last dering raps. Ijumpedoutof bed, and ran he one day appeared at an unusual to the window, where I saw my dwel- tour, with unusual speed threw open ling surrounded by soldiers, who, in the door of my prison, and said to me the Empress's name, commanded me quite out of breath, • Come along, to open my door. Jacob opened and you are now to appear before Prince let them in. They made me their Potemkin.' That awful name made prisoner, dragged me away, put me ine tremble : I walked, more dead in chains, and shoved me into a vehi. than alive, surrounded by soldiers, to cle, which stopped not ek her by night the palace of the prince. They conor by day, till it reached St Peters- ducted me into a gala-saloon, in which burgh.
a brilliaut assembly was met. A mul• Here I was thrown into a dun- titude of gentlemen, with stars and geon, where being left in solitude for ribbons, crowded around me. cight days, I bad time to review the their head was a lady of dazzling events of my life. I found myself beauty. She smiled in my face, clear of even the smallest act against stroaked my beard with her hand the laws of the land, and, therefore, it white as snow, and said with the voice
you are free!
of an angel, 'O what a fine, what a was so much admired is not of the venerable beard ! On this the prince number; she is a weak and a cold(whom I easily knew by the homage hearted creature.' And how is universally done him) made me a that to be proved ?' asked I, a little slight and gracious motion with his offended ; as for me, old fop that I hand, and said, “Now you may gom am, I was almost in love with her.'
“The proof is the easiest thing in “ Full of amazement I left the sa the world,' said the Count. T'he loon; the guard that had conducted following history of your arrest and me to the gate had vanished. The imprisonment will prove it at once :sacred feeling of recovered liberty About seven months ago, a young man poured new force into my frame. of rank dined with Potemkin. He With the vigour of a youth I hasten- was just returned from a tour through ed down stairs, and suddenly heard the Russian provinces, and was entermyself called by my name. With taining the company with what he terror I looked back and saw behind had seen on his travels. Among me a Russian officer, whom I had al- other things of equal importance, ready remarked in the prince's saloon, he mentioned a man he had seen * Do you not recollect me?' said he, and with a beard which was. frightgave my hand a most friendly squecze. fully long; he talked of it as of one I stared a moment in his face, and of the wonders of the world, and the then I assured him, I did not recol- lady you so much admire pertly cried lect I had ever seen him before.' And out, o how I should like to behold yet we have seen one another very that beard of all beards!' This wish close,' he replied, much closer than I raised a complaisant laugh among the could have wished. I thought and great folks at table; on which Pothought; he remained a stranger to temkin, the lady's admirer, expressed me. "Hem !' said he, smiling, have a desire to hear more about Longyou really forgotten Count Ossek? beard. The prince, in compliance,
Ossek !' cried I, and fell on his drew out of his pocket his tablets, neck ! 'Is it possible? How are you read aloud the name of your town, here?' 'A short time after our duel,' and, with all due gravity, added, “It said he, ' I entered into the Russian is there he lives. It is true I don't service, and many a bloody fight I know his name; one cannot, however, have had with the Turks.' And I mistake; his beard would point the with the women,' said I. O! since man out among millions of men.' the story you know, how barbarously “ The haughty favourite now sent I have been used by the sex! They for a secretary, whom he enjoined to at last brought it so far, that I was draw up an order forth with, and send forced to avoid them as serpents, as it in haste to the commandant of the vipers ! But yet to-day I am a little town. The order ran thus : 'On readreconciled with the odious sex. At ing these presents, you will straightlast I have seen for once a good-na- way take up and send off to Peterstured and compassionate woman! The burgh the man with the longest beard young, the beautiful lady, who stroak- in your place. After that time, neied my beard with such kindness, ap- ther the Taurian prince nor the lady peared to me an angel of Heaven. I thought more of the matter. It was am sure I owe my deliverance to her.' not till to-day that it again occurred "My poor friend there you are sadly to the latter at table. • How is that mistaken,' said the Count, with a then?' said she to the prince ; ' Did smile of compassion ; 'it is to that not your highness once mean to show very angel you owe the knout, and all me a man with a beard amazingly you have now undergone.' • That long?' That moment the prince sent jest is too cruel,' said 1; Olet me for the secretary to whom he had
to the grave with the pleasing be- given the commission, and roared, as Lief, that one good woman is still to he came, with a terrible voice, ‘Have be found upon earth.' My dear but you not had my orders to have the singular friend,' Count Ossek replied, man with the beard brought to town?'
there are thousands, and thousands, 'Yes, your highness,' answered the and thousands again of excellent wo- other, 'and he has been for six months men, of women whom one might a- in prison, but refuses still to confess dore ; but she by whom your beard the crime he committed. It was not
thought proper to trouble your high- gone! Dead do you mean?" . No, ness with questions about it. The not dead, he ran off! Good people, precognition and all the proceedings do not say so of my Jacob,- he never are lying in chancery.' 'Let the write could treat me so ill.' 'It is perfectings be brought,' said the prince ; . ly true ; he ran off and took with him and let the fellow himself appear, all he could carry away.' 'O Jacob, as soon as dinner is over.'
Jacob, on whose faith and honesty I “ The register of process went 'all could have built a second Petersburgh. round the table : when it came to me, How is it possible? it cannot be! I observed with consternation, that how is it possible?! Yes, indeed, you, my dear Limbach, were the un- as we tell you; an infamous woman fortunate prisoner; all the rest is seduced him.' 'A woman!! said known to yourself. What think you Limbach ; and fell to the ground, as now of the lady? Can a person who if struck by a thunderbolt, and never exposes a worthy man to imprison- rose more.” ment for sport, —who then coolly gazes at him, as at a wild beast for Whenever Jannes had stopt reading, show,—who does not say a word to we awoke with “What were you saye apologize for the sufferings she has ing about the old professor of astronocaused, - can we call such a silly crea- my??" ture good-natured ? Has she a com Jannes. 0! he is gone to bed an passionate heart? Can we call her an hour since. angel of Heaven? No, she is a mon Editor. Well, then, we had better ster,--she is destitute of all the finer all follow his example. feelings of the soul.'
“ I stood silent, and sunk in a deep Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund reverie on my wonderful fate, which Stands tip-toe on the misty mountain-tops. was spun by the hands of the women. The Count roused me, as from a The crowds below are now dispersed, dream, and said, "Don't dwell any and you can get to your own garrets longer upon it,—the thing is now without molestation. Ah! it was
Come to my house, my old just on such a morning as this that honest friend. Refresh yourself there we saw, as we were taking our early as long as you please, after all your rounds, poor Porteous dangling at the hardships in prison, and, when you dyester's door! The streets were as are in spirits, do me the favour to quiet, and the dawn of day as serene. write me your life.'
We remember it as well as yesterday, “ I accepted my friend's invitation, though it is nearly a century ago. passed several comfortable weeks in Aye, aye-fugit hora sine mora, --sie his house, and, to please the generous transit gloria mundi. Go home now, Ossek, have become my own biogra- you dogs; but come and give us some pher. I am now about to set out on more German stories another evening. my return to
and heartily rejoice at the thought of seeing my good Jacob again.
ITALIAN LITERATURE. “ The worthy man never saw him No. 11.-The Alcestis of Alfieri.
When he arrived at the door of his house, a neighbour, with his THE Alcestis of Alfieri is said to face turned away, and with tears in have been the last tragedy he composhis eyes, gave him the key, and quiet- ed, and is distinguished to a remarkly disappeared, without stopping to able degree by that tenderness, of speak. Limbach went in and found which his former works present so the house as deserted and bare, as few examples. It would appear as if thirty years before he bad found that the pure and exalted affection by which of Rosa. ' Jacob, Jacob,' be cried in the impetuosity of his fiery spirit was all the apartments. No Jacob ap- ameliorated during the latter years of peared. In the mean time, some of his life had impressed its whole chathe neighbours had, from curiosity, racter on this work, as a record of that come in. He asked them if they domestic happiness in whose bosom knew what was become of his servant. his heart at length found 2 resting
"O he is gone!' 'My Jacob place. Most of his earlier writings
bear witness to that “ fever at the Alc. He shall, to thce.
Confirms the oracle-be thou secure. tameable aspirations after a wider
Phe. O sounds of joy ! Ile lives! sphere of action, by which his youth Think not that e'en for this the stranger
Alc. But not for this, was consumed; but the poetry of Al
Joy cestis must find its echo in every heart Shall yet revisit these devoted walls. which has known the power of do
Phé. Can there be grief when from his mestic ties, or felt the bitterness of
bed of death their dissolution. The interest of the Admetus rises ? What deep mystery larks piece, however, though entirely do- Within thy words ? What mean'st thou ? mestic, is not for a moment allowed Gracious Heaven ! to languish, nor does the conjugal af- Thou, whose deep love is all his own, who fection, which forms the main-spring
hear'st of the action, ever degenerate into the The tidings of his safety, and dost bear pastoral insipidity of lletastasio. The Transport and life in that glad oracle character of Alcestis herself, with all With death, and on thy pure ingenuous
To his despairing sire ; thy cheek is ting'd its lofty fortitude, heroic affection, and
brow subdued anguish, powerfully recalls To the brief lightning of a sudden joy to our imagination the calm and tem- Shades dark as night succeed, and thou art pered majesty distinguishing the mas wrapt terpieces of Greek sculpture, in which In troubled silence-speak! oh! speak! the expression of mental or bodily Alc. The gods suffering is never allowed to trans Themselves have limitations to their power gress the limits of beauty and sub- Impassable, eternal—and their will limity. The union of dignity and af
Resists not the tremendous laws of fate : fliction impressing more than earthly Nor small the boon they grant thee in the grandeur on the countenance of Nio. Of thy restored Admetus. be, would be, perhaps, the best illus
Phe. In thy looks tration of this analogy.
There is expression, more than in thy The following scene, in which Al
words, cestis announces to Pheres, the father which thrills my shuddering heart. Deof Admetus, the terms upon which the clare, what terms oracle of Delphos has declared that his Can render fatal to thyself and us, son may be restored, has seldom been The rescued life of him thy soul adores ? surpassed by the author, even in his Alc. O father! could my silence aughs
avail most celebrated productions. It is, however, to be feared that little of its To keep that fearful secret from thine ear, beauty can be transfused into translu- Were the dread sacrifice. But vain the wish;
Still should it rest unheard, till all fulfill'd tion, as the severity of a style so com
And since too soon, too well it must be pletely devoid of imagery must ren
known, der it dependent for many incommu- Hear it from me. nicable attractions upon the melody Phe. Through my curdiing veins of the original language.
Runs a cold, death-like horror ; and I feel
I am not all a father. In my heart
Strive many deep affections. Thee I love,
O fair and high-sould consort of my son!
More than a daughter; and thine infant Alc. Weep thou no more-0 monarch !
race, dry thy tears,
The cherish'd hope and glory of my age ; For know, he shall not die; not now shall And, unimpair'd by time, within my Fate
breast, Bereave thee of thy son.
High, holy, and unalterable love, Phe. What mean thy words?
For her, the partner of my cares and joys, Hath then Apollo--is there then a hope? Dwells pure and perfect yet. Bethink dic. Yes! hope for thce--hope, by the thee, then, voice announced
In what suspense, what agony of fear, From the prophetic cave. Nor would I I wait thy words; for well, too well, I see yield
Thy lips are fraught with fatal auguries, To other lips the tidings, meet alone To some one of my race. For thee to hear from mine.
Alc. Death hath his rights, Phe. But say! oh! say,
of which not e'en the great Supernal Shall then my son be spared ?
May hope to rob him. By his ruthless Than his lov'd parents-than his children
hand, Already seized, the noble victim lay, More than himself !-Oh ! no, it shall not The heir of empire, in his glowing prime
be ! And noon-day, struck :-Admetus, the re Thou perish, 0 Alcestis ! in the flower ver'd,
Of thy young beauty !-perish, and destroy The bless'd, the lov'd, by all who own'd Not him, not him alone, but us, but all,
Who as a child adore thee! Desolate By his illustrious parents, by the realms Would be the throne, the kingdom, reft of Surrounding his,-and oh! what need to thee. add,
And think'st thou not of those, whose tenHow much by his Alcestis ?-Such was he,
Demand thy care ?-thy children! think Already in th' unsparing grasp of death,
of them! Withering, a certain prey.--Apollo thence O thou, the source of each domestic joy, Hath snatch'd him, and another in his Thou, in whose life alone Admetus lives, stead,
His glory, his delight, thou shalt not die, Though not an equal,-(who can equal While I can die for thee !_Me, me him ?)
alone, Must fall a voluntary sacrifice.
The oracle demands--a wither'd stem, Another, of his lineage, or to him
Whose task, whose duty, is, for him to By closest bonds united, must descend
die. To the dark realm of Orcus in his place,
My race is run—the fulness of my years, Who thus alone is saved.
The faded hopes of age, and all the love Phe. What do I hear ?
Which hath its dwelling in a father's heart, Woe to us, wee!- what victim ?- who And the fond pity, half with wonder blent, shall be
Inspired by thee, whose youth with heaAccepted in his stead ?
venly gifts Alc. The dread exchange
So richly is endowed; all, all unite E'en now, O father! hath been made; the To grave in adamant the just decree, prey
That I must die. But thou, I bid the Is ready, tior is wholly worthless him
live! For whom 'tis freely offered. Nor wilt Pheres commands thee, O Alcestis ! live! thou,
Ne'er, ne'er shall woman's youthful love O mighty goddess of th' infernal shades !
surpass Whose image sanctifies this threshold An aged sire's devotedness. floor,
Alc. I know Disdain the victim.
Thy lofty soul, thy fond paternal love; Phc. All prepar'd the prey !
Pheres, I know them well, and not in vain and to our blood allied ! o leaven !-and Strove to anticipate their high resolves. yet
But if in silence I have heard thy words, Thou bad'st me weep no more !
Now calmly list to mine, and thou shalt Alc. Yes! thus I said,
own And thus again I say, thou shalt not weep They may not be withstood. Thy son's, nor I deplore my husband's Phe. What can'st thou say doom.
Which I should hear? I go, resolved to Let him: be saved, and other sounds of woe Less deep, less mournful far, shall here be Him who with thee would perish ;-to the heard,
shrine Than those his death had caus'd.— With E'en now I fly. some few tears,
Alc. Stay, stay thee! 'tis too late. But brief, and mingled with a gleam of Already hath consenting Proserpiue, joy,
From the remote abysses of het realms, F'en while the involuntary tribute lasts, Heard and accepted the terrific vow The victim shall be honour'd, who resign'd Which binds me, with indissoluble ties, Life for Admetus.-Would'st thou know To deatli. And I am firm, and well i
know The vow'd, the willing, the devoted one, None can deprive me of the awful right Offer'd and hallow'd to th' infernal gods, That vow hath won. Father! 'tis I.
Phé. What hast thou done ? O heaven! Alc. Yes! thou may'st weep my fate, What hast thou done?-And think'st thou Mourn for me, father! but thou can'st not he is say'd
blame By such a compact ?- Think'st thou he My lofty purpose. Oh! the more encan live
dear'd Bereft of thee? Of thee, his light of life, My life by every tie, the more I feel His very soul ! Of thee, belov'd far more Death's bitterness, the more my sacrifice