Thaddeus of Warsaw
by Jane Porter
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"Therefore, I, the King of Poland, enervated by age, and sinking under the accumulated weight of my kingdom's afflictions, and also we, the members of the Diet, declare that, being unable, even by the sacrifice of our lives, to relieve our country from the yoke of its oppressors, we consign it to our children and the justice of Heaven.

"In another age, means may be found to rescue it from chains and misery; but such means are not put in our power. Other countries neglect us. Whilst they reprobate the violations which a neighboring nation is alleged to have committed against rational liberty, they behold, not only with apathy but with approbation, the ravages which are now desolating Poland. Posterity must avenge it. We have done. We accede in silence, for the reasons above mentioned, to the treaty laid before us, though we declare that it is contrary to our wishes, to our sentiments, and to our rights."

Thus, in November, 1793, compressed to one fourth of her dimensions by the lines of demarcation drawn by her invaders, Poland was stripped of her rank in Europe; her "power delivered up to strangers, and her beauty into the hands of her enemies!" Ill-fated people! Nations will weep over your wrongs; whilst the burning blush of shame, that their fathers witnessed such wrongs unmoved, shall cause the tears to blister as they fall.

During these transactions, the Countess Sobieski continued in solitude at Villanow, awaiting with awful anxiety the termination of those portentous events which so deeply involved her own comforts with those of her country. Her father was in prison, her son at a distance with the army. Sick at heart, she saw the opening of that spring which might be the commencement only of a new season of injuries; and her fears were prophetic.

It being discovered that some Masovian regiments in the neighborhood of Warsaw yet retained their arms, they were ordered by the foreign envoys to lay them down. A few, thinking denial vain, obeyed; but bolder spirits followed Thaddeus Sobieski towards South Prussia, whither he had directed his steps on the arrest of his grandfather, and where he had gathered and kept together a handful of brave men, still faithful to their liberties. His name alone collected numbers in every district through which he marched. Persecution from their adversary as well as admiration of Thaddeus had given a resistless power to his appearance, look, and voice, all of which had such an effect on the peasantry, that they eagerly crowded to his standard, whilst their young lords committed themselves without reserve to his sole judgment and command. The Prussian ambassador, hearing of this, sent to Stanislaus to command the grandson of Sobieski to disband his troops. The king refusing, and his answer being communicated to the Russian envoy also, war was renewed with redoubled fury.

The palatine remained in confinement, hopeless of obtaining release without the aid of stratagem. His country's enemies were too well aware of their interest to give freedom to so active an opponent. They sought to vex his spirit with every mental torture; but he rather received consolation than despair in the reports daily brought to him by his jailers. They told him "that his grandson continued to carry himself with such insolent opposition in the south, it would be well if the empress, at the termination of the war, allowed him to escape with banishment to Siberia." But every reproach thus levelled at the palatine he found had been bought by some new success of Thaddeus; and instead of permitting their malignity to intimidate his age or alarm his affection, he told the officer (who kept guard in his chambers) that if his grandson were to lose his head for fidelity to Poland, he should behold him with as proud an eye mounting the scaffold as entering the streets of Warsaw with her freedom in his hand. "The only difference would be," continued Sobieski, "that as the first cannot happen until all virtue be dead in this land, I should regard his last gasp as the expiring sigh of that virtue which, by him, had found a triumph even under the axe. But for the second, it would be joy unutterable to behold the victory of justice over rapine and violence! But, either way, Thaddeus Sobieski is still the same—ready to die or ready to live for his country, and equally worthy of the sacred halo with which posterity would encircle his name forever."

Indeed, the accounts which arrived from this young soldier, who had formed a junction with General Kosciusko, were in the highest degree formidable to the coalesced powers. Having gained several advantages over the Prussians, the two victorious battalions were advancing towards Inowlotz, when a large and fresh body of the enemy appeared suddenly on their rear. The enemy on the opposite bank of the river, (whom the Poles were driving before them,) at sight of this reinforcement, rallied; and not only to retard the approach of the pursuers, but to ensure their defeat from the army in view, they broke down the wooden bridge by which they had escaped themselves. The Poles were at a stand. Kosciusko proposed swimming across, but owing to the recent heavy rains, the river was so swollen and rapid that the young captains to whom he mentioned the project, terrified by the blackness and dashing of the water, drew back. The general, perceiving their panic, called Thaddeus to him, and both plunged into the stream. Ashamed of hesitation, the others now tried who could first follow their example; and, after hard buffeting with its tide, the whole army gained the opposite shore. The Prussians who were in the rear, incapable of the like intrepidity, halted; and those who had crossed on their former defeat, now again intimidated at the daring courage of their adversaries, concealed themselves amidst the thickets of an adjoining valley.

The two friends proceeded towards Cracow, [Footnote: Cracow is considered the oldest regal city in Poland; the tombs of her earliest and noblest kings are there, John Sobieski's being one of the most renowned. It stands in a province of the same name, about 130 miles south-west of Warsaw, the more modern capital of the kingdom, and also the centre of its own province.] carrying redress and protection to the provinces through which they marched. But they had hardly rested a day in that city before dispatches were received that Warsaw was lying at the mercy of General Brinicki. No time could be lost; officers and men had set their lives on the cause, and they recommenced their toil of a new march with a perseverance which brought them before the capital on the 16th of April.

Things were in a worse state than even was expected. The three ambassadors had not only demanded the surrender of the national arsenal, but subscribed their orders with a threat that whoever of the nobles presumed to dispute their authority should be arrested and closely imprisoned there; and if the people should dare to murmur, they would immediately order General Brinicki to lay the city in ashes. The king remonstrated against such oppression, and to "punish his presumption," his excellency ordered that his majesty's garrison and guards should instantly be broken up and dispersed. At the first attempt to execute this mandate, the people flew in crowds to the palace, and, falling on their knees, implored Stanislaus for permission to avenge the insult offered to his troops. The king looked at them with pity, gratitude, and anguish. For some time his emotions were too strong to allow him to speak; at last, in a voice of agony, wrung from his tortured heart, he answered, "Go, and defend your honor!"

The army of Kosciusko marched into the town at this critical moment; they joined the armed people; and that day, after a dreadful conflict, Warsaw was rescued from the immediate grasp of the hovering Black Eagle. During the fight, the king, who was alone in one of the rooms of his palace, sank in despair on the floor; he heard the mingling clash of arms, the roar of musketry, and the cries and groans of the combatants; ruin seemed no longer to threaten his kingdom, but to have pounced at once upon her prey. At every renewed volley which followed each pause in the firing, he expected to see his palace gates burst open, and himself, then indeed made a willing sacrifice, immolated to the vengeance of his enemies.

While he was yet upon his knees petitioning the God of battles for a little longer respite from that doom which was to overwhelm devoted Poland, Thaddeus Sobieski, panting with heat and toil, flew into the room, and before he could speak a word, was clasped in the arms of the agitated Stanislaus.

"What of my people?" asked the king.

"They are victorious!" returned Thaddeus. "The foreign guards are beaten from the palace; your own have resumed their station at the gates."

At this assurance, tears of joy ran over the venerable cheeks of his majesty, and again embracing his young deliverer, he exclaimed, "I thank Heaven, my unhappy country is not bereft of all hope! Whilst a Kosciusko and a Sobieski live, she need not quite despair. They are thy ministers, O Jehovah, of a yet longer respite!"

* * * * * * *



Thaddeus was not less eager to release his grandfather than he had been to relieve the anxiety of his sovereign. He hastened, at the head of a few troops, to the prison of Sobieski, and gave him liberty, amidst the acclamations of his soldiers.

The universal joy at these prosperous events did not last many days: it was speedily terminated by information that Cracow had surrendered to a Prussian force, that the King of Prussia was advancing towards the capital, and that the Russians, more implacable in consequence of the late treatment their garrison had received at Warsaw, were pouring into the country like a deluge.

At this intelligence the consternation became dreadful. The Polonese army in general, worn with fatigue and long service, and without clothing or ammunition, were not in any way, excepting courage, fitted for resuming the field.

The treasury was exhausted, and means of raising a supply seemed impracticable. The provinces were laid waste, and the city had already been drained of its last ducat. In this exigency a council met in his majesty's cabinet, to devise some expedient for obtaining resources. The consultation was as desponding as their situation, until Thaddeus Sobieski, who had been a silent observer, rose from his seat. Sudden indisposition had prevented the palatine attending, but his grandson knew well how to be his substitute. Whilst blushes of awe and eagerness crimsoned his cheek, he advanced towards Stanislaus, and taking from his neck and other parts of his dress those magnificent jewels it was customary to wear in the presence of the king, he knelt down, and laying them at the feet of his majesty, said, in a suppressed voice, "These are trifles; but such as they are, and all of the like kind which we possess, I am commanded by my grandfather to beseech your majesty to appropriate to the public service."

"Noble young man!" cried the king, raising him from the ground; "you have indeed taught me a lesson. I accept these jewels with gratitude. Here," said he, turning to the treasurer, "put them into the national fund, and let them be followed by my own, with my gold and silver plate, which latter I desire may be instantly sent to the mint. Three parts the army shall have; the other we must expend in giving support to the surviving families of the brave men who have fallen in our defence." The palatine readily united with his grandson in the surrender of all their personal property for the benefit of their country; and, according to their example, the treasury was soon filled with gratuities from the nobles. The very artisans offered their services gratis; and all hands being employed to forward the preparations, the army was soon enabled to take the field, newly equipped and in high spirits.

The countess had again to bid adieu to a son who was now become as much the object of her admiration as of her love. In proportion as glory surrounded him and danger courted his steps, the strings of affection drew him closer to her soul; the "aspiring blood" of the Sobieskis which beat in her veins could not cheer the dread of a mother, could not cause her to forget that the spring of her existence now flowed from the fountain which had taken its source from her. Her anxious and watching heart paid dearly in tears and sleepless nights for the honor with which she was saluted at every turning as the mother of Thaddeus: that Thaddeus who was not more the spirit of enterprise, and the rallying point of resistance, than he was to her the gentlest, the dearest, the most amiable of sons. It matters not to the undistinguishing bolt of carnage whether it strike common breasts or those rare hearts whose lives are usually as brief as they are dazzling; this leaden messenger of death banquets as greedily on the bosom of a hero as if it had lit upon more vulgar prey; all is levelled to the seeming chance of war, which comes like a whirlwind of the desert, scattering man and beast in one wide ruin.

Such thoughts as these possessed the melancholy but prayerful reveries of the Countess Sobieski, from the hour in which she saw Thaddeus and his grandfather depart for Cracow until she heard it was retaken, and that the enemy were defeated in several subsequent contests.

Warsaw was again bombarded, and again Kosciusko, with the palatine and Thaddeus, preserved it from destruction. In short, wherever they moved, their dauntless little army carried terror to its adversaries, and diffused hope through the homes and hearts of their countrymen.

They next turned their course to the relief of Lithuania; but whilst they were on their route thither, they received intelligence that a division of the Poles, led by Prince Poniatowski, having been routed by a formidable body of Russians under Suwarrow, that general, elated with his success, was hastening forward to re-attack the capital.

Kosciusko resolved to prevent him, prepared to give immediate battle to Ferfen, another Russian commander, who was on his march to form a junction with his victorious countrymen. To this end Kosciusko divided his forces; half of them to not only support the retreat of the prince, but to enable him to hover near Suwarrow, and to keep a watchful eye over his motions; whilst Kosciusko, accompanied by the two Sobieskis, would proceed with the other division towards Brzesc.

It was the tenth of October. The weather being fine, a cloudless sun diffused life and brilliancy through the pure air of a keen morning. The vast green plain before them glittered with the troops of General Ferfen, who had already arranged them in order of battle.

The word was given. Thaddeus, as he drew his sabre [Footnote: The sabre (like the once famed claymore of Scotland) was the characteristic weapon of Poland. It was the especial appendage to the sides of the nobles;—its use, the science of their youth, their ornament and graceful exercise in peace, their most efficient manual power of attack or defence in war. It is impossible for any but an eye-witness to have any idea of the skill, beauty, and determination with which this weapon was, and is, wielded in Poland.] from its scabbard, raised his eyes to implore the justice of Heaven on that day's events. The attack was made. The Poles kept their station on the heights. The Russians rushed on them like wolves, and twice they repulsed them by their steadiness. Conquest declared for Poland. Thaddeus was seen in every part of the field. But reinforcements poured in to the support of Ferfen, and war raged in new horrors. Still the courage of the Poles was unabated. Sobieski, fighting at the head of his cavalry, would not recede a foot, and Kosciusko, exhorting his men to be resolute, appeared in the hottest places of the battle.

At one of these portentous moments, the commander-in-chief was seen struggling with the third charger which had been shot under him that day. Thaddeus galloped to his assistance, gave him his horse, mounted another offered by a hussar, and remained fighting by his side, till, on the next charge, Kosciusko himself fell forward. Thaddeus caught him in his arms, and finding that his own breast was immediately covered with blood, (a Cossack having stabbed the general through the shoulder,) he unconsciously uttered a cry of horror. The surrounding soldiers took the alarm, and "Kosciusko, our father, is killed!" was echoed from rank to rank with such piercing shrieks, that the wounded hero started from the breast of his young friend just as two Russian chasseurs in the same moment made a cut at them both. The sabre struck the exposed head of Kosciusko, who sunk senseless to the ground, and Thaddeus received a gash near his neck that laid him by his side.

The consternation became universal; groans of despair seemed to issue from the whole army, whilst the few resolute Poles who had been stationed near the fallen general fell in mangled heaps upon his breast. Thaddeus with difficulty extricated himself from the bodies of the slain; and, fighting his way through the triumphant troops which pressed around him, amidst the smoke and confusion soon joined his terror-stricken comrades, who in the wildest despair were dispersing under a heavy fire, and flying like frighted deer. In vain he called to them—in vain he urged them to avenge Kosciusko; the panic was complete, and they fled.

Almost alone, in the rear of his soldiers, he opposed with his single and desperate arm party after party of the enemy, until a narrow stream of the Muchavez stopped his retreat. The waters were crimsoned with blood. He plunged in, and beating the blushing wave with his left arm, in a few seconds gained the opposite bank, where, fainting from fatigue and loss of blood, he sunk, almost deprived of sense, amidst a heap of the killed.

When the pursuing squadrons had galloped past him, he again summoned strength to look round. He raised himself from the ground, and by the help of his sabre supported his steps a few paces further; but what was the shock he received when the bleeding and lifeless body of his grandfather lay before him? He stood for a few moments motionless and without sensation; then, kneeling down by his side, whilst he felt as if his own heart were palsied with death, he searched for the wounds of the palatine. They were numerous and deep. He would have torn away the handkerchief with which he had stanched his own blood to have applied it to that of his grandfather; but in the instant he was so doing, feeling the act might the next moment disable himself from giving him further assistance, he took his sash and neck-cloth, and when they were insufficient, he rent the linen from his breast; then hastening to the river, he brought a little water in his cap, and threw some of its stained drops on the pale features of Sobieski.

The venerable hero opened his eyes; in a minute afterwards he recognized that it was his grandson who knelt by him. The palatine pressed his hand, which was cold as ice: the marble lips of Thaddeus could not move.

"My son," said the veteran, in a low voice, "Heaven hath led you hither to receive the last sigh of your grandfather." Thaddeus trembled. The palatine continued; "Carry my blessing to your mother, and bid her seek comfort in the consolations of her God. May that God preserve you! Ever remember that you are his servant; be obedient to him; and as I have been, be faithful to your country."

"May God so bless me!" cried Thaddeus, looking up to heaven.

"And ever remember," said the palatine, raising his head, which had dropped on the bosom of his grandson, "that you are a Sobieski! it is my dying command that you never take any other name."

"I promise."

Thaddeus could say no more, for the countenance of his grandfather became altered; his eyes closed. Thaddeus caught him to his breast. No heart beat against his; all was still and cold. The body dropped from his arms, and he sunk senseless by its side.

When consciousness returned to him, he looked up. The sky was shrouded in clouds, which a driving wind was blowing from the orb of the moon, while a few of her white rays gleamed sepulchrally on the weapons of the slaughtered soldiers.

The scattered senses of Thaddeus gradually returned to him. He was now lying, the only living creature amidst thousands of the dead who, the preceding night, had been, like himself, alive to all the consciousness of existence! His right hand rested on the pale face of his grandfather. It was wet with dew. He shuddered. Taking his own cloak from his shoulders, he laid it over the body. He would have said, as he did it, "So, my father, I would have sheltered thy life with my own!" but the words choked in his throat, and he sat watching by the corpse until the day dawned, and the Poles returned to bury their slain.

The wretched Thaddeus was discovered by a party of his own hussars seated on a little mound of earth, with the cold hand of Sobieski grasped in his. At this sight the soldiers uttered a cry of dismay and sorrow. Thaddeus rose up. "My friends," said he, "I thank God that you are come! Assist me to bear my dear grandfather to the camp."

Astonished at this composure, but distressed at the dreadful hue of his countenance, they obeyed him in mournful silence, and laid the remains of the palatine upon a bier, which they formed with their sheathed sabres; then gently raising it, they retrod their steps to the camp, leaving a detachment to accomplish the duty for which they had quitted it. Thaddeus, hardly able to support his weakened frame, mounted a horse and followed the melancholy procession.

General Wawrzecki, on whom the command had devolved, seeing the party returning so soon, and in such an order, sent an aid-de-camp to inquire the reason. He came back with dejection in his face, and informed his commander that the brave Palatine of Masovia, whom they supposed had been taken prisoner with his grandson and Kosciusko, was the occasion of this sudden return; that he had been killed, and his body was now approaching the lines on the arms of the soldiers. Wawrzecki, though glad to hear that Thaddeus was alive and at liberty, turned to conceal his tears; then calling out a guard, he marched at their head to meet the corpse of his illustrious friend.

The bier was carried into the general's tent. An aid-de-camp and some gentlemen of the faculty were ordered to attend Thaddeus to his quarters; but the young count, though scarcely able to stand, appeared to linger, and holding fast by the arm of an officer, he looked steadfastly on the body. Wawrzecki understood his hesitation. He pressed his hand. "Fear not, my dear sir," said he; "every honor shall be paid to the remains of your noble grandfather." Thaddeus bowed his head, and was supported out of the tent to his own.

His wounds, of which he had received several, were not deep; and might have been of little consequence, had not his thoughts continually hovered about his mother, and painted her affliction when she should be informed of the lamentable events of the last day's battle. These reflections, awake or in a slumber, (for he never slept,) possessed his mind, and, even whilst his wounds were healing, produced such an irritation in his blood as hourly threatened a fever.

Things were in this situation, when the surgeon put a letter from the countess into his hand. He opened it, and read with breathless anxiety these lines:


"Console yourself, my most precious son, console yourself for my sake. I have seen Colonel Lonza, and I have heard all the horrors which took place on the tenth of this month. I have heard them, and I am yet alive. I am resigned. He tells me you are wounded. Oh! do not let me be bereft of my son also! Remember that you were my dear sainted father's darling; remember that, as his representative, you are to be my consolation; in pity to me, if not to our suffering country, preserve yourself to be at least the last comfort Heaven's mercy hath spared to me. I find that all is lost to Poland as well as to myself! that when my glorious father fell, and his friend with him, even its name, as a country, became extinct. The allied invaders are in full march towards Masovia, and I am too weak to come to you. Let me see you soon, very soon, my beloved son. I beseech you to come to me. You will find me feebler in body than in mind; for there is a holy Comforter that descends on the bruised heart, which none other than the unhappy have conceived or felt. Farewell, my dear, dear Thaddeus! Let the memory that you have a mother check your too ardent courage. God forever guard you! Live for your mother, who has no stronger words to express her affection for you than she is thy mother—thy


"VILLANOW, October, 1794."

This letter was indeed a balm to the soul of Thaddeus. That his mother had received intelligence of the cruel event with such "holy resignation" was the best medicine that could now be applied to his wounds, both of mind and body; and when he was told that on the succeeding morning the body of his grandfather would, be removed to the convent near Biala, he declared his resolution to attend it to the grave.

In vain his surgeons and General Wawrzecki remonstrated against the danger of this project; for once the gentle and yielding spirit of Thaddeus was inflexible. He had fixed his determination, and it was not to be shaken.

Next day, being the seventh from that in which the fatal battle had been decided, Thaddeus, at the first beat of the drum, rose from his pallet, and, almost unassisted, put on his clothes. His uniform being black, he needed no other index than his pale and mournful countenance to announce that he was chief mourner.

The procession began to form, and he walked from his tent. It was a fine morning. Thaddeus looked up, as if to upbraid the sun for shining so brightly. Lengthened and repeated rounds of cannon rolled along the air. The solemn march of the dead was moaning from the muffled drum, interrupted at measured pauses by the shrill tremor of the fife. The troops, preceded by their general, moved forward with a decent and melancholy step. The Bishop of Warsaw followed, bearing the sacred volume in his hands; and next, borne upon the crossed pikes of his soldiers, and supported by twelve of his veteran companions, appeared the body of the brave Sobieski. A velvet pall covered it, on which were laid those arms with which for fifty years he had asserted the loyal independence of his country. At this sight the sobs of the men became audible. Thaddeus followed with a slow but firm step, his eyes bent to the ground and his arms wrapped in his cloak; it was the same which had shaded his beloved grandfather from the dews of that dreadful night. Another train of solemn music succeeded; and then the squadrons which the deceased had commanded dismounted, and, leading their horses, closed the procession.

On the verge of the plain that borders Biala, and within a few paces of the convent gate of St. Francis, the bier stopped. The monks saluted its appearance with a requiem, which they continued to chant till the coffin was lowered into the ground. The earth received its sacred deposit. The anthems ceased; the soldiers, kneeling down, discharged their muskets over it; then, with streaming cheeks, rose and gave place to others. Nine volleys were fired, and the ranks fell back. The bishop advanced to the head of the grave. All was hushed. He raised his eyes to heaven; then, after a pause, in which he seemed to be communing with the regions above him, he turned to the silent assembly, and, in a voice collected and impressive, addressed them in a short but affecting oration, in which he set forth the brightness of Sobieski's life, his noble forgetfulness of self in the interests of his country, and the dauntless bravery which laid him in the dust. A general discharge of cannon was the awful response to this appeal. Wawrzecki took the sabre of the palatine, and, breaking it, dropped it into the grave. The aids-de-camp of the deceased did the same with theirs, showing that by so doing they resigned their offices; and then, covering their faces with their handkerchiefs, they turned away with the soldiers, who filed off. Thaddeus sunk on his knees. His hands were clasped, and his eyes for a few minutes fixed themselves on the coffin of his grandfather; then rising, he leaned on the arm of Wawrzecki, and with a tottering step and pallid countenance, mounted his horse, which had been led to the spot, and returned with the scattered procession to the camp.

The cause for exertion being over, his spirits fell with the rapidity of a spring too highly wound up, which snaps and runs down to immobility. He entered his tent and threw himself on the bed, from which he did not raise for the five following days.



At a time when the effects of these sufferings and fatigues had brought his bodily strength to its lowest ebb, the young Count Sobieski was roused by information that the Russians had planted themselves before Praga, and were preparing to bombard the town. The intelligence nerved his heart's sinews again, and rallied the spirits, also, of his depressed soldiers, who energetically obeyed their commander to put themselves in readiness to march at set of sun.

Thaddeus saw that the decisive hour was pending. And as the moon rose, though hardly able to sit his noble charger, he refused the indulgence of a litter, determining that no illness, while he had any power to master its disabilities, should make him recede from his duty. The image of his mother, too, so near the threatened spot, rushed on his soul. In quick march he led on his troops. Devastation met them over the face of the country. Scared and houseless villagers were flying in every direction; old men stood amongst the ashes of their homes, wailing to the pitying heavens, since man had none. Children and woman sat by the waysides, weeping over the last sustenance the wretched infants drew from the breasts of their perishing mothers.

Thaddeus shut his eyes on the scene.

"Oh, my country! my country!" exclaimed he; "what are my personal griefs to thine? It is your afflictions that barb me to the heart! Look there," cried he to the soldiers, pointing to the miserable spectacles before him; "look there, and carry vengeance into the breasts of their destroyers. Let Praga be the last act of this tragedy."

"Unhappy young man! unfortunate country! It was indeed the last act of a tragedy to which all Europe were spectators—a tragedy which the nations witnessed without one attempt to stop or to delay its dreadful catastrophe! Oh, how must virtue be lost when it is no longer a matter of policy even to assume it." [Footnote: To answer this, we must remember that Europe was then no longer what she was a century before. Almost all her nations had turned from the doctrines of "sound things," and more or less drank deeply of the cup of infidelity, drugged for them by the flattering sophistries of Voltaire. The draught was inebriation, and the wild consequences burst asunder the responsibilities of man to man. The selfish principle ruled, and balance of justice was then seen only aloft in the heavens!]

After a long march through a dark and dismal night, the morning began to break; and Thaddeus found himself on the southern side of that little river which divides the territories of Sobieski from the woods of Kobylka. Here, for the first time, he endured all the torturing varieties of despair.

The once fertile fields were burnt to stubble; the cottages were yet smoking from the ravages of the fire; and in place of smiling eyes and thankful lips coming to meet him, he beheld the dead bodies of his peasants stretched on the high roads, mangled, bleeding, and stripped of that decent covering which humanity would not deny to the vilest criminal.

Thaddeus could bear the sight no longer, but, setting spurs to his horse, fled from the contemplation of scenes which harrowed up his soul.

At nightfall, the army halted under the walls of Villanow. The count looked towards the windows of the palace, and by a light shining through the half-drawn curtains, distinguished his mother's room. He then turned his eye on that sweep of building which contained the palatine's apartments; but not one solitary lamp illumined its gloom: the moon alone glimmered on the battlements, silvering the painted glass of the study window, where, with that beloved parent, he had so lately gazed upon the stars, and anticipated with the most sanguine hopes the result of the campaign which had now terminated so disastrously for his unhappy country.

But these thoughts, with his grief and his forebodings, were buried in the depths of his determined heart. Addressing General Wawrzecki, he bade him welcome to Villanow, requesting at the same time that his men might be directed to rest till morning, and that he and the officers would take their refreshment within the palace.

As soon as Thaddeus had seen his guests seated at different tables in the eating-hall, and had given orders for the soldiers to be served from the buttery and cellars, he withdrew to seek the countess. He found her in her chamber, surrounded by the attendants who had just informed her of his arrival. The moment he appeared at the room door, the women went out at an opposite passage, and Thaddeus, with a bursting heart, threw himself on the bosom of his mother. They were silent for some time. Poignant recollection stopped their utterance; but neither tears nor sighs filled its place, until the countess, on whose soul the full tide of maternal affection pressed, and mingled with her grief, raised her head from her son's neck, and said, whilst she strained him in her arms, "Receive my thanks, O Father of mercy, for having spared to me this blessing!"

Thaddeus Sobieski (all that now remained of that beloved and honored name!) with a sacred emotion breathed a response to the address of his mother, and drying her tears with his kisses, dwelt upon the never-dying fame of his revered grandfather, upon his preferable lot to that of their brave friend Kosciusko, who was doomed not only to survive the liberty of his country, but to pass the residue of his life within the dungeons of his enemies. He then tried to reanimate her spirits with hope. He spoke of the approaching battle, without any doubt of the valor and desperation of the Poles rendering it successful. He talked of the resolution of their leader, General Wawrzecki, and of his own good faith in the justice of their cause. His discourse began in a wish to cheat her into tranquillity; but as he advanced on the subject, his soul took fire at its own warmth, and he half believed the probability of his anticipations.

The countess looked on the honorable glow which crimsoned his harassed features with a pang at her heart.

"My heroic son!" cried she, "my darling Thaddeus! what a vast price do I pay for all this excellence! I could not love you were you otherwise than what you are; and being what you are, oh, how soon may I lose you! Already has your noble grandfather paid the debt which he owed to his glory. He promised to fall with Poland; he has kept his word; and now, all that I love on earth is concentrated in you." The countess paused, and pressing his hand almost wildly on her heart, she continued in a hurried voice, "The same spirit is in your breast; the same principle binds you; and I may be at last left alone. Heaven have pity on me!"

She cast her eyes upward as she ended. Thaddeus, sinking on his knees by her side, implored her with all the earnestness of piety and confidence to take comfort. The countess embraced him with a forced smile. "You must forgive me, Thaddeus; I have nothing of the soldier in my heart: it is all woman. But I will not detain you longer from the rest you require; go to your room, and try and recruit yourself for the dangers to-morrow will bring forth. I shall employ the night in prayers for your safety."

Consoled to see any composure in his mother, he withdrew, and after having heard that his numerous guests were properly lodged, went to his own chamber.

Next morning at sunrise the troops prepared to march. General Wawrzecki, with his officers, begged permission to pay their personal gratitude to the countess for the hospitality of her reception; but she declined the honor, on the plea of indisposition. In the course of an hour, her son appeared from her apartment and joined the general.

The soldiers filed off through the gates, crossed the bridge, and halted under the walls of Praga. The lines of the camp were drawn and fortified before evening, at which time they found leisure to observe the enemy's strength.

Russia seemed to have exhausted her wide regions to people the narrow shores of the Vistula; from east to west, as far as the eye could reach, her arms were stretched to the horizon. Sobieski looked at them, and then on the handful of intrepid hearts contained in the small circumference of the Polish camp. Sighing heavily, he retired into his tent; and vainly seeking repose, mixed his short and startled slumbers with frequent prayers for the preservation of these last victims to their country.

The hours appeared to stand still. Several times he rose from his bed and went to the door, to see whether the clouds were tinged with any appearance of dawn. All continued dark. He again returned to his marque, and standing by the lamp which was nearly exhausted, took out his watch, and tried to distinguish the points; but finding that the light burned too feebly, he was pressing the repeating spring, which struck five, when the report of a single musket made him start.

He flew to his tent door, and looking around, saw that all near his quarter was at rest. Suspecting it to be a signal of the enemy, he hurried towards the intrenchments, but found the sentinels in perfect security from any fears respecting the sound, as they supposed it to have proceeded from the town.

Sobieski paid little attention to their opinions, but ascending the nearest bastion to take a wider survey, in a few minutes he discerned, though obscurely, through the gleams of morning, what appeared to be the whole host of Russia advancing in profound silence towards the Polish lines. The instant he made this discovery, he came down, and lost no time in giving orders for the defence; then flying to other parts of the camp, he awakened the commander-in-chief, encouraged the men, and saw that the whole encampment was not only in motion, but prepared for the assault.

In consequence of these prompt arrangements, the assailants were received with a cross-fire of the batteries, and case-shot and musketry from several redoubts, which raked their flanks as they advanced. But in defiance of this shower of bullets, they pressed on with an intrepidity worthy of a better cause, and overleaping the ditch by squadrons, entered the camp. A passage once secured, the Cossacks rushed in by thousands, and spreading themselves in front of the storming party, put every soul to the spear who opposed them.

The Polish works being gained, the enemy turned the cannon on its former masters, and as they rallied to the defence of what remained, swept them down by whole regiments. The noise of artillery thundered from all sides of the camp; the smoke was so great, that it was hardly possible to distinguish friends from foes; nevertheless, the spirits of the Poles flagged not a moment; as fast as one rampart was wrested from them, they threw themselves within another, which was as speedily taken by the help of hurdles, fascines, ladders, and a courage as resistless as it was ferocious, merciless, and sanguinary. Every spot of vantage position was at length lost; and yet the Poles fought like lions; quarter was neither offered to them nor required; they disputed every inch of ground, until they fell upon it in heaps, some lying before the parapets, others filling the ditches and the rest covering the earth, for the enemy to tread on as they cut their passage to the heart of the camp.

Sobieski, almost maddened by the scene, dripping with his own blood and that of his brave friends, was seen in every part of the action; he was in the fosse, defending the trampled bodies of the dying; he was on the dyke, animating the few who survived. Wawrzecki was wounded, and every hope hung upon Thaddeus. His presence and voice infused new energy into the arms of his fainting countrymen; they kept close to his side, until the victors, enraged at the dauntless intrepidity of this young hero, uttered the most fearful imprecations, and rushing on his little phalanx, attacked it with redoubled numbers and fury.

Sobieski sustained the shock with firmness; but wherever he turned his eyes, they were blasted with some object which made them recoil; he beheld his companions and his soldiers strewing the earth, and their triumphant adversaries mounting their dying bodies, as they hastened with loud huzzas to the destruction of Praga, whose gates were now burst open. His eyes grew dim at the sight, and at the very moment in which he tore them from spectacles so deadly to his heart, a Livonian officer struck him with a sabre, to all appearance dead upon the field.

When he recovered from the blow, (which, having lit on the steel of his cap, had only stunned him,) he looked around, and found that all near him was quiet; but a far different scene presented itself from the town. The roar of cannon and the bursting of bombs thundered through the air, which was rendered livid and tremendous by long spires of fire streaming from the burning houses, and mingling with the volumes of smoke which rolled from the guns. The dreadful tocsin, and the hurrahs of the victors, pierced the soul of Thaddeus. Springing from the ground, he was preparing to rush towards the gates, when loud cries of distress issued from within. They were burst open, and a moment after, the grand magazine blew up with a horrible explosion.

In an instant the field before Praga was filled with women and children, flying in all directions, and rending the sky with their shrieks. "Father Almighty!" cried Thaddeus, wringing his hands, "canst thou suffer this?" Whilst he yet spake, some straggling Cossacks near the town, who were prowling about, glutted, but not sated with blood, seized the poor fugitives, and with a ferocity as wanton as unmanly, released them at once from life and misery.

This hideous spectacle brought his mother's defenceless state before the eyes of Sobieski. Her palace was only four miles distant; and whilst the barbarous avidity of the enemy was too busily engaged in sacking the place to permit them to perceive a solitary individual hurrying away amidst heaps of dead bodies, he flew across the desolated meadows which intervened between Praga and Villanow.

Thaddeus was met at the gate of his palace by General Butzou, who, having learned the fate of Praga from the noise and flames in that quarter, anticipated the arrival of some part of the victorious army before the walls of Villanow. When its young count, with a breaking heart, crossed the drawbridge, he saw that the worthy veteran had prepared everything for a stout resistance; the ramparts were lined with soldiers, and well mounted with artillery.

"Here, thou still honored Sobieski," cried he, as he conducted Thaddeus to the keep; "let the worst happen, here I am resolved to dispute the possession of your grandfather's palace until I have not a man to stand by me!" [Footnote: It was little more than just a century before this awful scene took place that the invincible John Sobieski, King of Poland, acting upon the old mutually protecting principles of Christendom, saved the freedom and the faith of Christian Europe from the Turkish yoke. And in this very mansion he passed his latter years in honored peace. He died in 1694—a remarkable coincidence, the division of Poland occurring in 1794.]

Thaddeus strained him in silence to his breast; and after examining the force and dispositions, he approved all with a cold despair of their being of any effectual use, and went to the apartments of his mother.

The countess's women, who met him in the vestibule, begged him to be careful how he entered her excellency's room, for she had only just recovered from a swoon, occasioned by alarm at hearing the cannonade against the Polish camp. Her son waited for no more, but not hearing their caution, threw open the door of the chamber, and hastening to his mother's couch, cast himself into her arms. She clung round his neck, and for a while joy stopped her respiration. Bursting into tears, she wept over him, incapable of expressing by words her tumultuous gratitude at again beholding him alive. He looked on her altered and pallid features.

"O! my mother," cried he clasping her to his breast; "you are ill; and what will become of you?"

"My beloved son!" replied she kissing his forehead through the clotted blood that oozed from a cut on his temple; "my beloved son, before our cruel murderers can arrive, I shall have found a refuge in the bosom of my God."

Thaddeus could only answer with a groan. She resumed. "Give me your hand. I must not witness the grandson of Sobieski given up to despair; let your mother incite you to resignation. You see I have not breathed a complaining word, although I behold you covered with wounds." As she spoke, her eye pointed to the sash and handkerchief which were bound round his thigh and arm. "Our separation will not be long; a few short years, perhaps hours, may unite us forever in a better world."

The count was still speechless; he could only press her hand to his lips. After a pause, she proceeded—

"Look up, my dear boy! and attend to me. Should Poland become the property of other nations, I conjure you, if you survive its fall, to leave it. When reduced to captivity, it will no longer be an asylum for a man of honor. I beseech you, should this happen, go that very hour to England: that is a free country; and I have been told that the people are kind to the unfortunate. Perhaps you will find that Pembroke Somerset hath not quite forgotten Poland. Thaddeus! Why do you delay to answer me? Remember, these are your mother's dying words!"

"I will obey them, my mother!"

"Then," continued she, taking from her bosom a small miniature, "let me tie this round your neck. It is the portrait of your father." Thaddeus bent his head, and the countess fastened it under his neck- cloth. "Prize this gift, my child; it is likely to be all that you will now inherit either from me or that father. Try to forget his injustice, my dear son; and in memory of me, never part with that picture. O, Thaddeus! From the moment in which I first received it until this instant, it has never been from my heart!"

"And it shall never leave mine," answered he, in a stifled voice," whilst I have being."

The countess was preparing to reply, when a sudden volley of firearms made Thaddeus spring upon his feet. Loud cries succeeded. Women rushed into the apartment, screaming, "The ramparts are stormed!" and the next moment that quarter of the building rocked to its foundation. The countess clung to the bosom of her son. Thaddeus clasped her close to his breast, and casting up his petitioning eyes to heaven, cried, "Shield of the desolate! grant me a shelter for my mother!"

Another burst of cannon was followed by a heavy crash, and the most piercing shrieks echoed through the palace. "All is lost!" cried a soldier, who appeared for an instant at the room door, and then vanished.

Thaddeus, overwhelmed with despair, grasped his sword, which had fallen to the ground, and crying, "My mother, we will die together!" would have given her one last and assuring embrace, when his eyes met the sight of her before-agitated features tranquillized in death. She fell from his palsied arms back on the couch, and he stood gazing on her as if struck by a power which had benumbed all his faculties.

The tumult in the palace increased every moment; but he heard it not, until Butzou, followed by two or three of his soldiers, ran into the apartment, calling out "Count, save yourself!"

Sobieski still remained motionless. The general caught him by the arm, and instantly covering the body of the deceased countess with the mantle of her son, hurried his unconscious steps, by an opposite door, through the state chambers into the gardens.

Thaddeus did not recover his recollection until he reached the outward gate; then, breaking from the hold of his friend, was returning to the sorrowful scene he had left, when Butzou, aware of his intentions, just stopped him in time to prevent his rushing on the bayonets of a party of the enemy's infantry, who were pursuing them at full speed.

The count now rallied his distracted faculties, and making a stand, with the general and his three Poles, they compelled this merciless detachment to seek refuge among the arcades of the building.

Butzou would not allow his young lord to follow in that direction, but hurried him across the park. He looked back, however; a column of fire issued from the south towers. Thaddeus sighed, as if his life were in that sigh, "All is indeed over;" and pressing his hand to his forehead, in that attitude followed the steps of the general towards the Vistula.

The wind being very high, the flame soon spread itself over the roof of the palace, and catching at every combustible in its way, the invaders became so terrified at the quick progress of fire which threatened to consume themselves as well as their plunder, that they quitted the spot with precipitation. Decrying the count and his soldiers at a short distance, they directed their motions to that point. Speedily confronting the brave fugitives, they blocked up a bridge by a file of men with fixed pikes, and not only menaced the Polanders as they advanced, but derided their means of resistance.

Sobieski, indifferent alike to danger and to insults, stopped short to the left, and followed by his friends, plunged into the stream, amidst a shower of musket-balls from the enemy. After hard buffeting with the torrent, he at last reached the opposite bank, and was assisted from the river by some of the weeping inhabitants of Warsaw, who had been watching the expiring ashes of Praga, and the flames then devouring the boasted towers of Villanow.

Emerged from the water, Thaddeus stood to regain his breath; and leaning on the shoulder of Butzou, he pointed to his burning palace with a smile of agony. "See," said he, "what a funeral pile Heaven has given to the manes of my unburied mother!"

The general did not speak, for grief stopped his utterance; but motioning the two soldiers to proceed, he supported the count into the citadel.



From the termination of this awful day, in which a brave and hitherto powerful people were consigned to an abject dependence, Thaddeus was confined to his apartment in the garrison.

It was now the latter end of November. General Butzou, supposing that the illness of his young lord might continue some weeks, and aware that no time ought to be lost in maintaining all that was yet left of the kingdom of Poland, obtained his permission to seek its only remaining quarter. Quitting Warsaw, he joined Prince Poniatowski, who was yet at the head of a few troops near Sachoryn, supported by the undaunted Niemcivitz, the bard and the hero, who had fought by the side heart, would have thrown himself on his knee, but the king presented him, and pressed him with emotion in his arms.

"Brave young man!" cried he, "I embrace in you the last of those Polish youth who were so lately the brightest jewels in my crown."

Tears stood in the monarch's eyes while he spoke. Sobieski, with hardly a steadier utterance, answered, "I come to receive your majesty's commands. I will obey them in all things but in surrendering this sword (which was my grandfather's) into the hands of your enemies."

"I will not desire it," replied Stanislaus. "By my acquiescence with the terms of Russia, I only comply with the earnest petitions of my people. I shall not require of you to compromise your country; but alas! you must not throw away your life in a now hopeless cause. Fate has consigned Poland to subjection; and when Heaven, in its mysterious decrees, confirms the chastisement of nations, it is man's duty to submit. For myself, I am to bury my griefs and indignities in the castle of Grodno."

The blood rushed over the cheek of Thaddeus at this declaration, to which the proud indignation of his soul could in no way subscribe, and with an agitated voice he exclaimed, "If my sovereign be already at the command of our oppressors, then indeed is Poland no more! and I have nothing to do but to perform the dying will of my mother. Will your majesty grant me permission to set off for England, before I may be obliged to witness the last calamity of my wretched country?"

"I would to Heaven," replied the king, "that I, too, might repose my age and sorrows in that happy kingdom! Go, Sobieski; your name is worthy of such an asylum; my prayers and blessings shall follow you."

Thaddeus pressed his hand in silence to his lips.

"Believe me, my dear count," continued Stanislaus, "my soul bleeds at this parting. I know the treasure which your family has always been to this nation; I know your own individual merit. I know the wealth which you have sacrificed for me and my subjects, and I am powerless to express my gratitude."

"Had I done more than my duty in that," replied Thaddeus, "such words from your majesty would have been a reward adequate to any privation; but, alas! no. I have perhaps performed less than my duty; the blood of Sobieski ought not to have been spared one drop when the liberties of his country perished!" Thaddeus blushed while he spoke, and almost repented the too ready zeal of his friends in having saved him from the general destruction at Villanow.

The voice of the venerable Stanislaus became fainter as he resumed—

"Perhaps had a Sobieski reigned at this time, these horrors might not have been accomplished. That resistless power which has overwhelmed my people, I cannot forget is the same that put the sceptre into my hand. But Catherine misunderstood my principles, when assisting in my election to the throne; she thought she was planting merely her own viceroy there. But I could not obliterate from my heart that my ancestors, like your own, were hereditary sovereigns of Poland, nor cease to feel the stamp the King of kings had graven upon that heart— to uphold the just laws of my fathers! and, to the utmost, I have struggled to fulfil my trust."

"Yes, my sovereign," replied Thaddeus; "and whilst there remains one man on earth who has drawn his first breath in Poland, he will bear witness in all the lands through which he may be doomed to wander that he has received from you the care and affection of a father. O! sire, how will future ages believe that, in the midst of civilized Europe, a brave people and a virtuous monarch were suffered, unaided, and even without remonstrance, to fall into the grasp of usurpation!— nay, of annihilation of their name!"

Stanislaus laid his hand on the arm of the count.

"Man's ambition and baseness," said the king, "are monstrous to the contemplation of youth only. You are learning your lesson early; I have studied mine for many years, and with a bitterness of soul which in some measure prepared me for the completion. My kingdom has passed from me at the moment you have lost your country. Before we part forever, my dear Sobieski, take with you this assurance—you have served the unfortunate Stanislaus to the latest hour in which you beheld him. That which you have just said, expressive of the sentiments of those who were my subjects, is indeed a balm to my heart, and I will earn its consolations to my prison."

The king paused. Sobieski, agitated, and incapable of speaking, threw himself at his majesty's feet, and pressed his hand with fervency and anguish to his lips. The king looked down on his graceful figure, and pierced to the soul by the more graceful feelings which dictated the action, the tear which stood in his eye, rolled over his cheek, and was followed by another before he could add—pented the too ready zeal of his friends in having saved him from the general destruction at Villanow.

The voice of the venerable Stanislaus became fainter as he resumed—

"Perhaps had a Sobieski reigned at this time, these horrors might not have been accomplished. That resistless power which has overwhelmed my people, I cannot forget is the same that put the sceptre into my hand. But Catherine misunderstood my principles, when assisting in my election to the throne; she thought she was planting merely her own viceroy there. But I could not obliterate from my heart that my ancestors, like your own, were hereditary sovereigns of Poland, nor cease to feel the stamp the King of kings had graven upon that heart— to uphold the just laws of my fathers! and, to the utmost, I have struggled to fulfil my trust."

"Yes, my sovereign," replied Thaddeus; "and whilst there remains one man on earth who has drawn his first breath in Poland, he will bear witness in all the lands through which he may be doomed to wander that he has received from you the care and affection of a father. O! sire, how will future ages believe that, in the midst of civilized Europe, a brave people and a virtuous monarch were suffered, unaided, and even without remonstrance, to fall into the grasp of usurpation!— nay, of annihilation of their name!"

Stanislaus laid his hand on the arm of the count.

"Man's ambition and baseness," said the king, "are monstrous to the contemplation of youth only. You are learning your lesson early; I have studied mine for many years, and with a bitterness of soul which in some measure prepared me for the completion. My kingdom has passed from me at the moment you have lost your country. Before we part forever, my dear Sobieski, take with you this assurance—you have served the unfortunate Stanislaus to the latest hour in which you beheld him. That which you have just said, expressive of the sentiments of those who were my subjects, is indeed a balm to my heart, and I will carry its consolations to my prison."

The king paused. Sobieski, agitated, and incapable of speaking, threw himself at his majesty's feet, and pressed his hand with fervency and anguish to his lips. The king looked down on his graceful figure, and pierced to the soul by the more graceful feelings which dictated the action, the tear which stood in his eye, rolled over his cheek, and was followed by another before he could add—

"Rise, my young friend. Take from me this ring. It contains my picture. Wear it in remembrance of a man who loves you, and who can never forget your worth or the loyalty and patriotism of your house."

The Chancellor Zamoyisko at that moment being announced, Thaddeus rose from his knee, and was preparing to leave the room, when his majesty, perceiving his intention, desired him to stop.

"Stay, count!" cried he, "I will burden you with one request. I am now a king without a crown, without subjects, without a foot of land in which to bury me when I die. I cannot reward the fidelity of any one of the few friends of whom my enemies have not deprived me; but you are young, and Heaven may yet smile upon you in some distant nation. Will you pay a debt of gratitude for your poor sovereign? Should you ever again meet with the good old Butzou, who rescued me when my preservation lay on the fortune of a moment, remember that I regard him as once the saviour of my life! I was told to-day that on the destruction of Praga this brave man joined the army of my brother. It is now disbanded, and he, with the rest of my faithful soldiers, is cast forth in his old age, a wanderer in a pitiless world. Should you ever meet him, Sobieski, succor him for my sake."

"As Heaven may succor me!" cried Thaddeus; and putting his majesty's hand a second time to his lips, he bowed to the chancellor and passed into the street.

When the count returned to the citadel, he found that all was as the king had represented. The soldiers in the garrison were reluctantly preparing to give up their arms; and the nobles, in compassion to the cries of the people, were trying to humble their necks to the yoke of the dictator. The magistrates lingered as they went to take the city keys from the hands of their good king, and with sad whispers anticipated the moment in which they must surrender them, and their laws and national existence, to the jealous dominion of three despotic foreign powers.

Poland was now no place for Sobieski. He had survived all his kindred. He had survived the liberties of his country. He had seen the king a prisoner, and his countrymen trampled on by deceit and usurpation. As he walked on, musing over these circumstances, he met with little interruption, for the streets were deserted. Here and there a poor miserable wretch passed him, who seemed, by his wan cheeks and haggard eyes, already to repent the too successful prayers of the deputation, The shops were shut. Thaddeus stopped a few minutes in the great square, which used to be crowded with happy citizens, but now, not one man was to be seen. An awful and painful silence reigned over all. His soul felt too truly the dread consciousness of this utter annihilation of his country, for him to throw off the heavy load from his oppressed heart, in this his last walk down the east street towards the ramparts which covered the Vistula.

He turned his eyes to the spot where once stood the magnificent towers of his paternal palace.

"Yes," cried he, "it is now time for me to obey the last command of my mother! Nothing remains of Poland but its soil—nothing of my home but its ashes!"

The victors had pitched a detachment of tents amidst the ruins of Villanow, and were at this moment busying themselves in searching amongst the stupendous fragments for what plunder the fire might have spared.

"Insatiate robbers!" exclaimed Thaddeus; "Heaven will requite this sacrilege." He thought on his mother, who lay beneath the ruins, and tore himself from the sight, whilst he added, "Farewell! forever farewell! thou beloved, revered Villanow, where I was reared in bliss and tenderness! I quit thee and my country forever!" As he spoke, he raised his hands and eyes to heaven, and pressing the picture his mother had given him to his lips and bosom, turned from the parapet, determining to prepare that night for his departure the next morning.

He arose by daybreak, and having gathered together all his little wealth, the whole of which was compressed within the portmanteau that was buckled on his gallant horse, precisely two hours before the triumphal car of General Suwarrow entered Warsaw, Sobieski left it. As he rode along the streets, he bedewed its stones with his tears. They were the first that he had shed during the long series of his misfortunes, and they now flowed so fast, that he could hardly discern his way out of the city.

At the great gate his horse stopped, and neighed with a strange sound.

"Poor Saladin!" cried Thaddeus, stroking his neck; "are you so sorry at leaving Warsaw that, like your unhappy master, you linger to take a last lamenting look!"

His tears redoubled; and the warder, as he closed the gate after him, implored permission to kiss the hand of the noble Count Sobieski, ere he should turn his back on Poland, never to return. Thaddeus looked kindly round, and shaking hands with the honest man, after saying a few friendly words to him, rode on with a loitering pace, until he reached that part of the river which divides Masovia from the Prussian dominions.

Here he flung himself off his horse, and standing for a moment on the hill that rises near the bridge, retraced, with his almost blinded sight, the long and desolated lands through which he had passed; then involuntarily dropping on his knee, he plucked a tuft of grass, and pressing it to his lips, exclaimed, "Farewell, Poland! Farewell all my earthly happiness!"

Almost stifled by emotion, he put this poor relic of his country into his bosom, and remounting his noble animal, crossed the bridge.

As one who, flying from any particular object, thinks to lose himself and his sorrows when it lessens to his view, Sobieski pursued the remainder of his journey with a speed which soon brought him to Dantzic.

Here he remained a few days, and during that interval the firmness of his mind was restored. He felt a calm arising from the conviction that his afflictions had gained their summit, and that, however heavy they were, Heaven had laid them on him for a trial of his faith and virtue. Under this belief, he ceased to weep; but he never was seen to smile.

Having entered into an agreement with the master of a vessel to carry him across the sea, he found the strength of his finances would barely defray the charges of the voyage. Considering this circumstance, he saw the impossibility of taking his horse to England.

The first time this idea presented itself, it almost overset his determined resignation. Tears would again have started into his eyes, had he not by force repelled them.

"To part from my faithful Saladin," said he to himself, "that has borne me since I first could use a sword; that has carried me through so many dangers, and has come with me even into exile—it is painful, it is ungrateful!" He was in the stable when this thought assailed him; and as the reflections followed each other, he again turned to the stall. "But, my poor fellow, I will not barter your services for gold. I will seek for some master who may be kind to you, in pity to my misfortunes."

He re-entered the hotel where he lodged, and calling a waiter, inquired who occupied the fine mansion and park on the east of the town. The man replied, "Mr. Hopetown, an eminent British merchant, who has been settled at Dantzic above forty years."

"I am glad he is a Briton!" was the sentiment which succeeded this information in the count's mind. He immediately took his resolution, but hardly had prepared to put it into execution, when he received a summons from the vessel to be on board in half an hour, the wind having set fair.

Thaddeus, somewhat disconcerted by this hasty call, with an agitated hand wrote the following letter:—



"A Polish officer, who has sacrificed everything but his honor to the last interests of his country, now addresses you.

"You are a Briton; and of whom can an unhappy victim to the cause of loyalty and freedom with less debasement solicit an obligation?

"I cannot afford support to the fine animal which has carried me through the battles of this fatal war; I disdain to sell him, and therefore I implore you, by the respect that you pay to the memory of your ancestors, who struggled for and retained that liberty in defence of which we are thus reduced—I implore you to give him an asylum in your park, and to protect him from injurious usage.

"Perform this benevolent action, sir, and you shall ever be remembered with gratitude by an unfortunate


"DANTZIC, November, 1794."

The count, having sealed and directed this letter, went to the hotel yard, and ordered that his horse might be brought out. A few days of rest had restored him to his former mettle, and he appeared from the stable prancing and pawing the earth, as he used to do when Thaddeus was about to mount him for the field.

The groom was striving in vain to restrain the spirit of the animal, when the count took hold of the bridle. The noble creature knew his master, and became gentle as a lamb. After stroking him two or three times, with a bursting heart Thaddeus returned the reins to the man's hand, and at the same time gave him a letter.

"There," said he; "take that note and the horse directly to the house of Mr. Hopetown. Leave them, for the letter requires no answer."

This last pang mastered, he walked out of the yard towards the quay. The wind continuing fair, he entered the ship, and within an hour set sail for England.



Sobieski passed the greater part of each day and the whole of every night on the deck of the vessel. He was too much absorbed in himself to receive any amusement from the passengers, who, observing his melancholy, thought to dispel it by their company and conversation.

When any of these people came upon deck, he walked to the head of the ship, took his seat upon the cable which bound the anchor to the forecastle, and while their fears rendered him safe from their well- meant persecution, he gained some respite from vexation, though none from misery.

The ship having passed through the Baltic, and entered on the British sea, the passengers, running from side to side of the vessels, pointed out to Thaddeus the distant shore of England, lying like a hazy ridge along the horizon. The happy people, whilst they strained their eyes through glasses, desired him to observe different spots on the hardly-perceptible line which they called Flamborough Head and the hills of Yorkshire. His heart turned sick at these objects of their delight, for not one of them raised an answering feeling in his breast. England could be nothing to him; if anything, it would prove a desert, which contained no one object for his regrets or wishes.

The image of Pembroke Somerset, indeed, rose in his mind, like the dim recollection of one who has been a long time dead. Whilst they were together at Villanow, they regarded each other warmly, and when they parted they promised to correspond. One day, in pursuit of the enemy, Thaddeus was so unlucky as to lose the pocket-book which contained his friend's address; but yet, uneasy at his silence, he ventured two letters to him, directed merely at Sir Robert Somerset's, England. To these he received no answer; and the palatine evinced so just a displeasure at such marked neglect and ingratitude, that he would not suffer him to be mentioned in his presence, and indeed Thaddeus, from disappointment and regret, felt no inclination to transgress the command.

When the young count, during the prominent interests of the late disastrous campaign, remembered these things, he found little comfort in recollecting the name of his young English guest; and now that he was visiting England as a poor exile, with indignation and grief he gave up the wish with the hope of meeting Mr. Somerset. Sensible that Somerset had not acted as became the man to whom he could apply in his distress, he resolved, unfriended as he was, to wipe him at once from his memory. With a bitter sigh he turned his back on the land to which he was going, and fixed his eyes on the tract of sea which then divided him from all that he had ever loved, or had given him true happiness.

"Father of mercy!" murmured he, in a suppressed voice, "what have I done to deserve this misery? Why have I been at one stroke deprived of all that rendered existence estimable? Two months ago, I had a mother, a more than father, to love and cherish me; I had a country, that looked up to them and to me with veneration and confidence. Now, I am bereft of all. I have neither father, mother, nor country, but I am going to a land of utter strangers."

Such impatient adjurations were never wrung from Sobieski by the anguish of sudden torture without his ingenuous and pious mind reproaching itself for such faithless repining. His soul was soft as a woman's; but it knew neither effeminacy nor despair. Whilst his heart bled, his countenance retained its serenity. Whilst affliction crushed him to the earth, and nature paid a few hard-wrung drops to his repeated bereavements, he contemned his tears, and raised his fixed and confiding eye to that Power which poured down its tempests on his head. Thaddeus felt as a man, but received consolation as a Christian.

When his ship arrived at the mouth of the Thames, the eagerness of the passengers increased to such an excess that they would not stand still, nor be silent a moment; and when the vessel, under full sail, passed Sheerness, and the dome of St. Paul's appeared before them, their exclamations were loud and incessant. "My home! my parents! my wife! my friends!" were the burden of every tongue.

Thaddeus found his calmed spirits again disturbed; and, rising from his seat, he retired unobserved by the people, who were too happy to attend to anything which did not agree with their own transports. The cabin was as deserted as himself. Feeling that there is no solitude like that of the heart, when it looks around and sees in the vast concourse of human beings not one to whom it can pour forth its sorrows, or receive the answering sigh of sympathy, he threw himself on one of the lockers, and with difficulty restrained the tears from gushing from his eyes. He held his hand over them, while he contemned himself for a weakness so unbecoming his manhood.

He despised himself: but let not others despise him. It is difficult for those who lie morning and evening in the lap of domestic indulgence to conceive the misery of being thrown out into a bleak and merciless world; it is impossible for the happy man, surrounded by luxury and gay companions, to figure to himself the reflections of a fellow-creature who, having been fostered in the bosom of affection and elegance, is cast at once from all society, bereft of home, of comfort, of "every stay, save innocence and Heaven." None but the wretched can imagine what the wretched endure from actual distress, from apprehended misfortune, from outraged feelings, and ten thousand nameless sensibilities to offence which only the unfortunate can conceive, dread and experience. But what is it to be not only without a home, but without a country? Thaddeus unconsciously uttered a groan like that of death.

The noise redoubled above his head, and in a few minutes afterwards one of the sailors came rumbling clown the stairs.

"Will it please your honor," said he, "to get up? That be my chest, and I want my clothes to clean myself before I go on shore. Mother I know be waiting me at Blackwall."

Thaddeus rose, and with a withered heart again ascended to the deck.

On coming up the hatchway, he saw that the ship was moored in the midst of a large city, and was surrounded by myriads of vessels from every quarter of the globe. He leaned over the railing, and in silence looked down on the other passengers, who where bearing off in boats, and shaking hands with the people who came to receive them.

"It is near dark, sir," said the captain; "mayhap you would wish to go on shore? There is a boat just come round, and the tide won't serve much longer: and as your friends don't seem to be coming for you, you are welcome to a place in it with me."

The count thanked him; and after defraying the expenses of the voyage, and giving money amongst the sailors, he desired that his portmanteau might be put into the wherry. The honest fellows, in gratitude to the bounty of their passenger, struggled who should obey his commands, when the skipper, angry at being detained, snatched away the baggage, and flinging it into the boat, leaped in after it, and was followed by Thaddeus.

The taciturnity of the seamen and the deep melancholy of his guest were not broken until they reached the Tower stairs.

"Go, Ben, fetch the gentleman a coach."

The count bowed to the captain, who gave the order, and in a few minutes the boy returned, saying there was one in waiting. He took up the portmanteau, and Thaddeus, following him, ascended the Tower stairs, where the carriage stood. Ben threw in the baggage and the count put his foot on the step. "Where must the man drive to?"

Thaddeus drew it back again.

"Yes, sir," continued the lad; "where be your honor's home?"

"In my grave," was the response his aching heart made to this question. He hesitated before he spoke. "An hotel," said he, flinging himself on the seat, and throwing a piece of silver into the lad's hat.

"What hotel, sir?" asked the coachman.


The man closed the door, mounted his box, and drove off.

It was now near seven o'clock, on a dark December evening. The lamps were lighted; and it being Saturday-night, the streets were crowded with people. Thaddeus looked at them as he was driven along. "Happy creatures!" thought he; "you have each a home to go to; you have each expectant friends to welcome you; every one of you knows some in the world who will smile when you enter; whilst I, wretched, wretched Sobieski where are now all thy highly-prized treasures, thy boasted glory, and those beloved ones who rendered that glory most precious to thee? Alas! all are withdrawn; vanished like a scene of enchantment, from which I have indeed awakened to a frightful solitude."

His reflections were broken by the stopping of the carriage. The man opened the door.

"Sir, I have brought you to the Hummums, Covent Garden; it has as good accommodations as any in the town. My fare is five shillings."

Thaddeus paid the amount, and followed him and his baggage into the coffee-room. At the entrance of a man of his figure, several waiters presented themselves, begging to know his commands.

"I want a chamber."

He was ushered into a very handsome dining-room, where one of them laid down the portmanteau, and then bowing low, inquired whether he had dined.

The waiter having received his orders, (for the count saw that it was necessary to call for something,) hastened into the kitchen to communicate them to the cook.

"Upon my word, Betty," cried he, "you must do your best to-night; for the chicken is for the finest-looking fellow you ever set eyes on. By Jove, I believe him to be some Russian nobleman; perhaps the great Suwarrow himself! and he speaks English as well as I do myself."

"A prince, you mean, Jenkins!" said a pretty girl who entered at that moment. "Since I was borne I never see'd any English lord walk up and down the room with such an air; he looks like a king. For my part, I should not wonder if he is one of them there emigrant kings, for they say there is a power of them now wandering about the world."

"You talk like a fool, Sally," cried the sapient waiter. "Don't you see that his dress is military? Look at his black cap, with its long bag and great feather, and the monstrous sword at his side; look at them, and then if you can, say I am mistaken in deciding that he is some great Russian commander,—most likely come over as ambassador!"

"But he came in a hackney-coach," cried a little dirty boy in the corner. "As I was running up stairs with Colonel Leson's shoes, I see'd the coachman bring in his portmanteau." "Well, Jack-a-napes, what of that?" cried Jenkins; "is a nobleman always to carry his equipage about him, like a snail with its shell on its back? To be sure, this foreign lord, or prince, is only come to stay here till his own house is fit for him. I will be civil to him."

"And so will I, Jenkins," rejoined Sally, smiling; "for I never see'd such handsome blue eyes in my born days; and they turned so sweet on me, and he spoke so kindly when he bade me stir the fire; and when he sat down by it, and throwed off his great fur cloak, I see'd a glittering star on his breast, and a figure so noble, that indeed, cook, I do verily believe he is, as Jenkins says, an enthroned king!"

"You and Jenkins be a pair of fools," cried the cook, who, without noticing their description, had been sulkily basting the fowl. "I will be sworn he's just such another king as that palavering rogue was a French duke who got my master's watch and pawned it! As for you, Sally, you had better beware of hunting after foreign men-folk: it's not seemly for a young woman, and you may chance to rue it."

The moralizing cook had now brought the whole kitchen on her shoulders. The men abused her for a surly old maid, and the women tittered, whilst they seconded her censure by cutting sly jokes on the blushing face of poor Sally, who stood almost crying by the side of her champion, Jenkins.

Whilst this hubbub was going forward below stairs, its unconscious subject was, as Sally had described, sitting in a chair close to the fire, with his feet on the fender, his arms folded, and his eyes bent on the flames. He mused; but his ideas followed each other in such quick confused succession, it hardly could be said he thought of anything.

The entrance of dinner roused him from his reverie. It was carried in by at least half a dozen waiters. The count had been so accustomed to a numerous suite of attendants, he did not observe the parcelling out of his temperate meal: one bringing in the fowl, another the bread, his neighbor the solitary plate, and the rest in like order, so solicitous were the male listeners in the kitchen to see this wonderful Russian.

Thaddeus partook but lightly of the refreshment. Being already fatigued in body, and dizzy with the motion of the vessel, as soon as the cloth was withdrawn, he ordered a night candle, and desired to be shown to his chamber.

Jenkins, whom the sight of the embroidered star confirmed in his decision that the foreigner must be a person of consequence, with increased agility whipped up the portmanteau and led the way to the sleeping-rooms. Here curiosity put on a new form; the women servants, determined to have their wishes gratified as well as the men, had arranged themselves on each side of the passage through which the count must pass. At so strange an appearance, Thaddeus drew back; but supposing that it might be a custom of the country, he proceeded through this fair bevy, and bowed as he walked along to the low curtesies which they continued to make, until he entered his apartment and closed the door.

The unhappy are ever restless; they hope in every change of situation to obtain some alteration in their feelings. Thaddeus was too miserable awake not to view with eagerness the bed on which he trusted that, for a few hours at least, he might lose the consciousness of his desolation, with its immediate suffering.



When he awoke in the morning, his head ached, and he felt as unrefreshed as when he had lain down; he undrew the curtain, and saw, from the strength of the light, it must be midday. He got up; and having dressed himself, descended to the sitting-room, where he found a good fire and the breakfast already placed. He rang the bell, and walked to the window, to observe the appearance of the morning. A heavy snow had fallen during the night; and the sun, ascended to its meridian, shone through the thick atmosphere like a ball of fire. All seemed comfortless without; and turning back to the warm hearth, which was blazing at the other end of the room, he was reseating himself, when Jenkins brought in the tea-urn.

"I hope, my lord," said the waiter, "that your lordship slept well last night?"

"Perfectly, I thank you," replied the count, unmindful that the man had addressed him according to his rank; "when you come to remove these things, bring me my bill."

Jenkins bowed and withdrew, congratulating himself on his dexterity in having saluted the stranger with his title.

During the absence of the waiter, Thaddeus thought it time to examine the state of his purse. He well recollected how he had paid at Dantzic; and from the style in which he was served here, he did not doubt that to defray what he had already contracted would nearly exhaust his all. He emptied the contents of his purse into his hands; a guinea and some silver was all that he possessed. A flush of terror suffused itself over his face; he had never known the want of money before, and he trembled now lest the charge should exceed his means of payment.

Jenkins entered with the bill. On the count's examining it, he was pleased to find it amounted to no more than the only piece of gold his purse contained. He laid it upon the tea-board, and putting half- a-crown into the hand of Jenkins, who appeared waiting for something, wrapped his cloak round him as he was walking out of the room.

"I suppose, my lord," cried Jenkins, pocketing the money with a smirk, and bowing with the things in his hands, "we are to have the honor of seeing your lordship again, as you leave your portmanteau behind you?"

Thaddeus hesitated a few seconds, then again moving towards the door, said, "I will send for it."

"By what name, my lord?"

"The Count Sobieski."

Jenkins immediately set down the tea-board, and hurrying after Thaddeus along the passage, and through the coffee-room, darted before him, and opening the door into the lobby for him to go out, exclaimed, loud enough for everybody to hear, "Depend upon it, Count Sobieski, I will take care of your lordship's baggage."

Thaddeus, rather displeased at his noisy officiousness, only bent his head, and proceeded into the street.

The air was piercing cold; and on his looking around, he perceived by the disposition of the square in which he was that it must be a market-place. The booths and stands were covered with snow, whilst parts of the pavement were rendered nearly impassable by heaps of black ice, which the market people of the preceding day had shoveled up out of their way. He recollected it was now Sunday, and consequently the improbability of finding any cheaper lodgings on that day. [Footnote: Those who remember the terrible winter of 1794, will not call this description exaggerated. That memorable winter was one of mourning to many in England. Some of her own brave sons perished amidst the frozen dykes of Holland and the Netherlands, vainly opposing the march of the French anarchists. How strange appeared then to him the doom of nations.]

Thaddeus stood under the piazzas for two or three minutes, bewildered on the plan he should adopt. To return to the hotel for any purpose but to sleep, in the present state of his finances, would be impossible; he therefore determined, inclement as the season was, if he could not find a chapel, to walk the streets until night. He might then go back to the Hummums to his bed chamber; but he resolved to quit it in the morning, for a residence more suitable to his slender means.

The wind blew keenly from the north-east, accompanied with a violent shower of sleet and rain; yet such was the abstraction of his mind, that he hardly observed its bitterness, but walked on, careless whither his feet led him, until he stopped opposite St. Martin's church.

"God is my only friend! and in any house of His I shall surely find shelter!"

He turned up the steps, and was entering the porch, when he met the congregation thronging out of it.

"Is the service over?" he inquired of a decent old woman who was passing him down the stairs. The woman started at this question, asked her in English by a person whose dress was so completely foreign. He repeated it. Smiling and curtseying, she replied—

"Yes, sir; and I am sorry for it. Lord bless your handsome face, though you be a stranger gentleman, it does one's heart good to see you so devoutly given!"

Thaddeus blushed at this personal compliment, though it came from the lips of a wrinkled old woman; and begging permission to assist her down the stairs, he asked when service would begin again.

"At three o'clock, sir, and may Heaven bless the mother who bore so pious a son!"

While the poor woman spoke, she raised her eyes with a melancholy resignation. The count, touched with her words and manner, almost unconsciously to himself, continued by her side as she hobbled down the street.

His eyes were fixed on the ground, until somebody pressing against him, made him look round. He saw that his aged companion had just knocked at the door of a mean-looking house, and that she and himself were surrounded by nearly a dozen people, besides boys who through curiosity had followed them from the church porch.

"Ah! sweet sir," cried she, "these folks are staring at so fine a gentleman taking notice of age and poverty."

Thaddeus was uneasy at the inquisitive gaze of the bystanders; and his companion observing the fluctuation of his countenance, added, as the door was opened by a little girl,

"Will your honor walk in out of the rain, and warm yourself by my poor fire?"

He hesitated a moment; then, accepting her invitation, bent his head to get under the humble door-way, and following her through a neatly- sanded passage, entered a small but clean kitchen. A little boy, who was sitting on a stool near the fire, uttered a scream at the sight of the stranger, and running up to his grandmother, rolled himself in her cloak, crying out,

"Mammy, mammy, take away that black man!"

"Be quiet, William; it is a gentleman, and no black man. I am so ashamed, sir; but he is only three years old."

"I should apologize to you," returned the count, smiling, "for introducing a person so hideous as to frighten your family."

By the time he finished speaking, the good dame had pacified the shrieking boy, who stood trembling, and looking askance at the tremendous black gentleman stroking the head of his pretty sister.

"Come here, my dear!" said Thaddeus, seating himself by the fire, and stretching out his hand to the child. He instantly buried his head in his grandmother's apron.

"William! William!" cried his sister, pulling him by the arm, "the gentleman will not hurt you."

The boy again lifted up his head. Thaddeus threw back his long sable cloak, and taking off his cap, whose hearse-like plumes he thought might have terrified the child, he laid it on the ground, and again stretching forth his arms, called the boy to approach him. Little William now looked steadfastly in his face, and then on the cap, which he had laid beside him; whilst he grasped his grandmother's apron with one hand, he held out the other, half assured, towards the count. Thaddeus took it, and pressing it softly, pulled him gently to him, and placed him on his knee. "My little fellow," said he, kissing him, "you are not frightened now?"

"No," said the child; "I see you are not the ugly black man who takes away naughty boys. The ugly black man has a black face, and snakes on his head; but these are pretty curls!" added he, laughing, and putting his little fingers through the thick auburn hair which hung in neglected masses over the forehead of the count.

"I am ashamed that your honor should sit in a kitchen," said the old lady; "but I have not a fire in any other room."

"Yes," said her granddaughter, who was about twelve years old; "grandmother has a nice first-floor up stairs, but because we have no lodgers, there be no fire there."

"Be silent, Nanny Robson," said the dame; "your pertness teases the gentleman."

"O, not at all," cried Thaddeus; "I ought to thank her, for she informs me you have lodgings to let; will you allow me to engage them!"

"You, sir!" cried Mrs. Robson, thunderstruck; "for what purpose? Surely so noble a gentleman would not live in such a place as this?"

"I would, Mrs. Robson: I know not where I could live with more comfort; and where comfort is, my good madam, what signifies the costliness or plainness of the dwelling?"

"Well, sir, if you be indeed serious; but I cannot think you are; you are certainly making a joke of me for my boldness in asking you into my poor house."

"Upon my honor, I am not, Mrs. Robson. I will gladly be your lodger if you will admit me; and to convince you that I am in earnest, my portmanteau shall this moment be brought here."

"Well, sir," resumed she, "I shall be honored in having you in my house; but I have no room for any one but yourself, not even for a servant."

"I have no servant."

"Then I will wait on him, grandmother," cried the little Nanny; "do let the gentleman have them; I am sure he looks honest."

The woman colored at this last observation of the child, and proceeded:

"Then, sir, if you should not disdain the rooms when you see them, I shall be too happy in having so good a gentleman under my roof. Pardon my boldness, sir; but may I ask? I think by your dress you are a foreigner?"

"I am," replied Thaddeus, the radiance which played over his features contracting into a glow; "if you have no objection to take a stranger within your doors, from this hour I shall consider your house my home?"

"As your honor pleases," said Mrs. Robson; "my terms are half-a- guinea a week; and I will tend on you as though you were my own son! for I cannot forget, excellent young gentleman, the way in which we first met."

"Then I will leave you for the present;" returned he, rising, and putting down the little William, who had been amusing himself with examining the silver points of the star of St. Stanislaus which the count wore on his breast. "In the meanwhile," said he, "my pretty friend," stooping to the child, "let this bit of silver," was just mounting to his tongue, as he put his hand into his pocket to take out half-a-crown; but he recollected that his necessities would no longer admit of such gifts, and drawing his hand back with a deep and bitter sigh, he touched the boy's cheek with his lips, and added, "let this kiss remind you of your new friend."

This was the first time the generous spirit of Sobieski had been restrained; and he suffered a pang, for the poignancy of which he could not account. His had been a life accustomed to acts of munificence. His grandfather's palace was the asylum of the unhappy— his grandfather's purse a treasury for the unfortunate. The soul of Thaddeus did not degenerate from his noble relative: his generosity, begun in inclination, was nurtured by reflection, and strengthened with a daily exercise which had rendered it a habit of his nature. Want never appeared before him without exciting a sympathetic emotion in his heart, which never rested until he had administered every comfort in the power of wealth to bestow. His compassion and his purse were the substance and shadow of each other. The poor of his country thronged from every part of the kingdom to receive pity and relief at his hands. With those houseless wanderers he peopled the new villages his grandfather had erected in the midst of lands which in former times were the haunts of wild beasts. Thaddeus participated in the happiness of his grateful tenants, and many were the old men whose eyes he had closed in thankfulness and peace. These honest peasants, even in their dying moments, wished to give up that life in his arms which he had rescued from misery. He visited their cottage; he smoothed their pillow; he joined in their prayers; and when their last sigh came to his ear, he raised the weeping family from the dust, and cheered them with pious exhortations and his kindest assurances of protection. How often has the countess clasped her beloved son to her breast, when, after a scene like this, he has returned home, the tears of the dying man and his children yet wet upon his hand! how often has she strained him to her heart, whilst floods of rapture have poured from her own eyes! Heir to the first fortune in Poland, he scarcely knew the means by which he bestowed all these benefits; and with a soul as bounteous to others as Heaven had been munificent to him, wherever he moved he shed smiles and gifts around him. How frequently he had said to the palatine, when his carriage-wheels were chased by the thankful multitude, "O my father! how can I ever be sufficiently grateful to God for the happiness he hath allotted to me in making me the dispenser of so many blessings! The gratitude of these people overpowers and humbles me in my own eyes; what have I done to be so eminently favored of Heaven? I tremble when I ask myself the question." "You may tremble, my dear boy," replied his grandfather, "for indeed the trial is a severe one. Prosperity, like adversity, is an ordeal of conduct. Two roads are before the rich man—vanity or virtue; you have chosen the latter, and the best; and may Heaven ever hold you in it! May Heaven ever keep your heart generous and pure! Go on, my dear Thaddeus, as you have commenced, and you will find that your Creator hath bestowed wealth upon you not for what you have done, but as the means of evincing how well you would prove yourself his faithful steward."

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