Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Prince Frederick king, but their first step was to corridor to the king's apartment. She even forced influence Christian VII., who, from early dissipa- her way into it by violence; but her enemies, tion, was become weak in mind, to sign a war

aware that she might try to gain admittizice, and rant for the arrest of Count Struensee, and of the justly apprehensive of her influence over him, had

taken the precaution of removing him, betimes, to queen, and then, it was said, to have them both another part of the palace. put to death. They endeavored to persuade the Exhausted by the agitation of her mind, and by king that there was a plot against his person and such exertions of body, the queen attempted no dignity, at the head of which were Struensee and further resistance. She returned to her own chamhis wife ; but though taken by surprise, and feeble ber, where she was aided to dress herself, and inin understanding, Christian refused to sign the formed that she must instantly quit Copenhagen. document, and it was only on false representations his gouty feet, “Vous voyez, madame, que mes

Rantzau had the insolence to say to her, alluding to urged by the queen dowager and Prince Fred- piès me manquent ; mais, mes bras sont libres, et erick, that he gave at length a reluctant consent. j'en offrirai un à votre majesté, pour l'aides à The order once given, was immediately carried monter en voiture.” She was then put into a into execution. It was long past midnight. coach, which waited for her at the door, near the Struensee was found in bed, and awakened from chapel of the palace. Two ladies, a maid-servant, a deep sleep to the horrors of his condition. The the little princess her daughter, and a major in the queen had for some time retired to her own apart- They took the road to Cronenburg, a distance of

Danish service, got into the carriage with her. ment, and was also asleep.

about twenty-four miles, which, as they drove at a It was about five o'clock in the morning, when great rate, they soon reached, and in which fortress she was awakened by a Danish female attendant, the queen was confined. who always lay in the adjoining room. Holding a

“ There was immured," writes a cotemporary candle in one hand, she held out a paper to the author, “ in the gloomy mansions of guilt and horqueen in the other, which, with marks of agita- ror, a queen, whose personal charms and mental tion, she requested of her majesty to peruse. It accomplishments would have melted into compascontained a request, rather than an order, couched sion the heart of a ruffian. In this inhospitable in very concise but respectful terms, stating that fortress she had not even been permitted to have the “ King of Denmark, for reasons of a private na- the necessary clothes to prepare herself against the ture, wished her to remove to one of the royal pal- severity of the weather in this frozen region ; nor aces in the country for a few days." The queen, was she indulged with more conveniences in her in her first surprise, had imagined that the note apartments than those granted to criminals of the which she saw in the woman's hand, came from the lowest station, but treated with the greatest indigBaron de Bulow, her master of the horse, and that nity by her unfeeling keepers and an insolent solits purport was to inquire whether it was her pleas- diery.”—Vol. i., pp. 244 to 247. ure to hunt on that day. But no sooner had she cast her eye over the paper and read its contents,

The charges against the queen were two ; first, with a royal signature annexed, than she instantly that of adultery with Struensee, and next, a decomprehended the nature and extent of her misfor- sign to poison the king. Although they were tune. Conscious that if she could only gain access altogether unsupported by evidence, the populace to the king, she could in a moment overturn the received them as if they were already proved ; and plans of her enemies, she sprung out of bed, and this bad feeling was stimulated by wretches who without waiting to put on anything except a petti

were paid to cry out, coat and shoes, she rushed into the ante-chamber.

“ Justice against Matilda !" There the first object which she met was Count

“ Vivat Regina Juliana.” The queen dowager Rantzau, seated quietly in a chair. Recollecting ruled the king and the kingdom, Prince Frederick then her dishevelled state, she cried out, “ Eloignez was given the significant title of The Hereditary vous, Monsieur Le Comte, pour l'amour de Dieu, Prince, and the council, now composed of the encar je ne suis pas présentable.” She immediately emies of the queen, pronounced her, without even ran back to her chamber, and hastily threw on the form of a trial, guilty of adultery, and of some clothes, assisted by her women. ing a second time to leave her room, she found that having been privy to poison being administered to Rantzau had withdrawn himself, but had stationed her husband. There appears to be no doubt that an officer in the doorway, who opposed her further the intention of the conspirators was to put her to passage. Rendered almost frantic by this insult, death. They perfectly well knew the influence added to her distress, she seized him by the hair, which she possessed with her weak and wavering demanding to see Count Struensee or the king. husband, and that so long as she lived, her return “Madam,” said he, “ I only do my duty, and obey to power would be, at any time, probable. This orders. There is no Count Struensee now, por view is corroborated by the authority of Archdea can your majesty see the king.” Having pushed him aside, she advanced to the door of the ante con Cox, who, after having twice visited Den chamber, where two soldiers had crossed their fire-mark, and carefully inquired into the matter, exlocks in order to stop her progress. The queen pressed himself as well assured that the queen commanded them to let her pass, and added prom- was “not only uncertain of the fate that awaited ises of reward if they obeyed. Both the soldiers her, but had reason to apprehend that the party fell on their knees, and one of them said in Danish, who arrested her meditated still more violent “It is a sad duty, but we must perform it. Our heads are answerable if we allow your majesty to

measures."

It was under such circumstances that pass. As no man, however, dared to lay hands Keith, the English minister, forced his way into upon the queen, she stepped over the muskets, the council, and stood forward as the defender of which were crossed, and ran, half wild, along the the queen; he refuted the statements made against her, vindicated her innocence, denounced the ven- remotest of the frozen regions of Jutland. The geance of her nation, and threatened the bombard- case, as got up against the queen, was before her ment of Copenhagen, if justice were not done to trial sent over to London, and submitted to the most her; and, by his energy and firm demeanor, pre- distinguished civilians of that day, who, though vented them from passing a sentence which would their opinions were taken separately, all agreed have been, no doubt, promptly carried into effect. that so far from affording grounds for conviction, He then des ched a messenger to England, and it did not sanction a presumption of her guilt. The locked himself and his household up until the an- unhappy King of Denmark, during all this time, swer should arrive. Four tedious weeks elapsed, never once accused his queen of infidelity. He, on and the messenger returned, bearing his despatches the contrary, repeatedly avowed that she was worin a large, square packet. Keith, not without thy of a better husband, and that his excesses and emotion, cut the strings, and the Order of the Bath irregularities justified the indifference she had fell at his feet. The insignia had been enclosed long exhibited towards him. The queen dowager, by the hands of George III. himself, who directed however, counted so surely on his weakness that him to invest himself, and appear forth with at the she hoped, at least, to get him divorced from his Danish court. His majesty had, with great deli- wife. Had she succeeded, it would have been, cacy, desired Lord Suffolk, the secretary of state as Walpole remarks, “the unique instance of a for foreign affairs, to inform Colonel, now Sir divorce passed without the consent of either parRobert Murray Keith, that he chose the time pre- ty." In this, as in her other perils, Keith was vious to the issue of the negotiations relative to the real defender and sole champion of the queen. the Queen of Denmark on purpose to distinguish It is true that he knew he was supported by the his merit, independent of his success, and the dis- English government, and that he was enabled with tinction was more signal, as there was, at that perfect earnestness, to threaten all Denmark with time, no stall vacant. It is right also to observe the vengeance of England. But it is also true that the Order of the Bath, which has been since that it was his judgment, energy, and firm deextended, was then confined to twenty-five knights, meanor, which made these threats effective before and only given to persons of the highest grades in an English fleet appeared, too late perhaps to save the public services.

Matilda. When we consider the daring and amTo return to the principal characters of our bitious character of the queen dowager, and her tragedy ; Struensee was, during his imprisonment, ascendency at the moment, we are disposed to chained so closely that he could hardly sit upright wonder that she did not incur all other hazards on the side of his bed, and he suffered the barbar- rather than that which was to her the greatestous punishment of having first his right hand and the letting her victim live. She knew that the then his head cut off. The dismal story of his king retained an affection for his queen, and that closing days derives a deeper interest from the her restoration to influence, which would, of circumstance that amidst his misfortunes the early course, be followed by her ruin, and that of her teaching of a pious father came back upon him, friends, was, while she lived, at any time probaand that, aided by these, and by the instructions ble. The dangers of the alternative, of putting and prayers of the chaplain, a holy man, there is Matilda to death, might easily have appeared to reason to believe that he died a Christian. The her to be less. There was the hope that the Engcase of the queen will move the reader's pity, as lish government, however much it might threaten, it once did the indignation of all England. Her would not, when the Queen of Denmark was no trial, which proceeded slowly, was held in secret ; more, make her case the cause of a national war; and the queen dowager, who appeared to have and there were again the chances of Russian and regained all her ascendency, assigned her, with French interference, aided by the fact that the ostentatious impartiality, the most celebrated ad- leading men of the revolution in Denmark were, vocate in Denmark. This, like all her acts, had and had long been, much in the interest of these a double motive. The public, she hoped, would powers. These views may enable us to apprecisay, that if he could not show her to innocent ate, in some degree, the difficulties with which she must be guilty; and as he was the ablest man Keith had to contend in his endeavors towards of her party, and the one on whom she could most saving the life of the young queen, and obtaining rely, she hoped to arrange with him so to conduct her liberty. He at length compelled the governthe cause of his client as that he might indirectly ment of Denmark to deliver her up into his hands, injure it. She understood the character of her to consent to her residing in the electorate of Hanfriend, and the demon artifice was successful. over, and to allow her a pension of £5,000 a year; The name of this individual was Uhhldahl ; we and on the 27th of May, 1772, he had the heartgive it, as it would be wrong to deprive him of felt happiness of escorting her through the gothic the infamy he deserves. After all, the trial was gates of Hamlet's castle, so long her prison, and a failure ; the public, who had time to reflect, of embarking with her on board an English frigate disbelieved the charges, and the queen dowager, at Elsinore. Even the hour of her escape from whose original purpose was to have Matilda pun- Denmark was rendered in the highest degree ished with death, and her children declared ille- distressing—she was obliged to give up her gitimate, felt herself compelled to change the infant child, whom she had until then nursed hersentence to that of perpetual imprisonment in the self.

per cent.

was

She fondly pressed for some minutes the babe to | ing from $ to 30 discount—the greater number, her bosom, and bedewed it with a shower of tears; however, do not exceed g discount. she then attempted to tear herself away ; but the In the state of Maine there are forty banks issuing voice, the smiles, the endearing, emotions of the infant were claims that irresistibly drew her back. notes, the whole of which are marked at discounts At last she called up all her resolution, took her once varying from 5 to 10 per cent. more in her arms, with the impetuous ardor of dis

In New Hampshire there are twenty-five banks tracted love, imprinted on the lips of the babe the issuing notes, which are all marked at discount. farewell kiss, and returning it to the attendant, ex- In Vermont there are twenty-two banks, all of claimed, “ Away, away, I now possess nothing which are marked at discounts varying from to 1 here!" This guiltless and more than widowed queen,

In Massachusetts, the great manufacturing porresided for five years at Zell, in Hanover, where tion of the Union, there are one hundred and twentyshe was beloved, and where, her health having three banks issuing notes. The whole are marked been impaired by her misfortunes, she closed her at } discount. painful life, on the 10th of May, 1774, at the

In Rhode Island there are sixty-two banks, all of early age of twenty-four.

which are marked at | discount, except one, which We have been led to give this outline of the is marked at 60 discount. story of Caroline Matilda, because the narrative

In Connecticut there are thirty-seven banks, all of her life' fills, as we have already said, a great of which are marked at $ discount. portion of these volumes, and is of the deepest

In New Jersey there are twenty-six banks, all of interest. The part which Keith took as her de- which are marked at to discount, except one, fender, was the great achievement of his life, and which is marked 80 discount. justly established his influence and his fame. He In Pennsylvania there are fifty-four banks issuing

soon afterwards appointed ambassador at notes, only one of which is marked at par, and fiftyVienna, and held that high office until a few three are marked at discounts varying from }, 1, 14, years before his death, which took place at his 2, 3, to 10 discount, and one is even as low as 50 residence near London, on the 7th of July, 1795. discount. His memoirs and letters, now collected, form the

In Delaware there are six banks, all of which are best monument to his honorable name, and they marked at $ discount. are illustrated with a very remarkable industry,

In Maryland there are twenty-three banks, all of and great happiness of research.

which are marked at discounts varying from , 1,

3, and up to 10 discount. From the Economist, 8 Sept.

In the District of Columbia there are five banks,

all marked at 1 discount. UNITED STATES BANK-NOTE CIRCULATION.

In Virginia there are nine banks, all marked at We have lying before us a remarkable document discounts varying from 1 to 24. in relation to the monetary system of the United In North Carolina there are four banks, all States. It is a list of all the banks of the Union marked at 2 discount. which issue notes, with the value of each at New In South Carolina there are eleven banks, all York at the sailing of the last mail. Of these marked at lf discount. banks there are no fewer than six hundred and

In Georgia there are ten banks, all marked at 14 ninety-eight, of which the notes of only fifty-three discount. were at par, leaving those of no less than six hun

In Alabama there are two banks, the one marked dred and forty-five at various rates of discount. No at 2, the other at 6 discount. doubt, in a great majority of these cases, the dis- In Louisiana there are eight banks, all marked count has reference rather to the cost of exchange at 2 discount. than to a depreciation of the note, or a doubt as to In Ohio there are twenty-two banks, all marked its value. On the other hand, in very many cases, at 11 discount, except three, which are marked at the large discounts marked against these notes 40, 60, and 80 discount respectively. show that in New York, at least, they are greatly In Indiana there is one bank, at 2 discount. depreciated, and in every case the discount betokens

In Kentucky there are three banks, all marked at a very imperfect system of internal exchange. 5 discount.

In the city of New York there are twenty-eight In Missouri there is one bank, marked at 2 disbanking establishments, which issue their own count. notes. The whole of these are marked at par. In In Michigan there are three banks, all marked at this city alone, therefore, we find 28 out of the 2 discount. entire number of 53 banks in the Union in that

In Wisconsin Territory there is one bank, marked position.

at 2 discount. In the state of New York there are no fewer than

Making in all 698 banks, of which the notes of one hundred and sirty-seven banks, of which only 53 are marked at par, and those of the remaining twenty-four are marked at par, and the remaining | 645 at the various rates of discount indicated above. one hundred and twenty-three are at discounts vary-|

CHAPTER IV.

very well.”

And now, for the first time since their separaThe next morning, at sunrise, Pavel was re- tion, the young man obtained some information tracing the road over the Gallician frontier in about the General, and his habits of life, subsecompany with his cousin. The latter probably quent to the Countess Vanda's death. With the thought some explanation necessary, for, as he exception of occasional visits to his mines, he had entered his native territory, he said :

not been seen on the estate, and had never ap“ Now, Pavel, that you are old enough fully to proached the chateau. Having, a year after his understand your position, it is but fair you should bereavement, married again, he had, in right of be put on your guard as to the dangers that will his wife, acquired another domain, on which he surround you on your return to the estate of your chiefly resided, leaving to the care of his bailiffs master. But first, tell me how much do you recol- his lands of Stanoiki, nor did anything seem to lect of the past ?"

indicate his intention of ever again dwelling upon I recollect that a beggar woman attempted to them. frighten me into the belief that I was her son." “ And the servants who accompanied him on

“ You mean poor old Jakubska? I swear to the day of his departure—the coachman—the you she is your mother, as you will find by the jager?" demanded Pavel. parish register. Who should know that better They have never been heard of since," said than myself, who am your father's cousin? That the cousin. “ The peasants were duly informed of you ever were wrongfully palmed upon the count, Count Leon's death, said to have taken place on a was the fault of my poor deceased sister, who tour through Russia. You may be sure the count would have gone through fire rather than see the has procured all the papers necessary to prove his Countess Vanda weep. She devised and conducted version of the story ; so every precaution, you see, the whole affair. However, they all meant it for has been taken ; and after all he has done to blot the best ; and, had the countess not been seized out every trace of your existence, I leave you to with remorse at the last, it would have answered judge if he is likely to leave unpunished any blab

bing of yours. See what it will bring upon you, Pavel listened with an incredulous smile. that's all. It is easy to silence you in such a way

“ Well, you will find all true, to your cost," that you will never be tempted to meddle with his said the cousin, “ for your name is down in the affairs again. So be prudent, and keep your own steward's book among the other serfs, and you counsel.” will, by and by, be reminded of your real condi- The man knew not what to hope or what to fear tion, I promise you."

from the boy's obstinate silence. He continued “I

suppose I can run away,” said Pavel, sul- to preach him into patience and discretion until lenly, “ if I don't like it ?"

they arrived at Jakubska's cottage, an abode so For that you will want a few things not easily wretched and comfortless, that his late home might

Who is to get you a passport ? Be- well seem worth regretting—not but, as Pavel's sides, I know it for sure, that the bailiff has already cousin explained, it might have been very differasked after you, most likely by his master's orders, ent, considering the pension she enjoyed, had she and certainly without the slightest notion of your not ruined herself by drinking. “Every farthing having ever borne another name. Doubtless, he of it goes for brandy,” said he,“ or she might will keep a sharp look-out."

have paid for you at the Jew's these last two “ But if I do not choose to remain ?" persisted years, and kept her hut in better trim too. HowPavel.

ever, she is your mother—you must not quarrel “ Ay, but the law binds you. Say, however, with her little weaknesses, especially now that she you get off—you can't apply to the count—what has no other child left but you.” would you do to live? Go into service ? You The hut stood somewhat apart from the village. are as well here. You have no money that I know Like all such tenements, it was put together of of to set up anything for yourself. Besides, 1 lime, sand, and wood, materials at no time very must tell you that your mother has been greatly solid, but which, from the owner's neglect, showed tried during the last few years. All your brothers a tendency to ruin on all sides. The solitary are dead. She has been bed-ridden, and, but for chimney seemed about to fall. The thatch had the pension secured to her by the count, must have been blown from the roof, through which patches starved. Now, indeed, she is better, and can of sky were visible. The cottage had all the hobble about the room ; but she'll never be able appearance of having been shaken by a recent to do much for herself—so it is your duty to stay earthquake. Pavel paused an instant before crossat home and work for her. She has given out ing the threshold. that you have been with distant relations since “ Is it not lucky," said his cousin, " that you your birth, which makes your long absence and were prepared for this by your long sojourn at present return seem natural enough. If you keep Noah's? I don't think you would have liked it quiet, all may go well ; and the count may in time fresh from the castle." remember you with less bitterness. You must not Pavel smiled, but did not give utterance to the spoil your own chances. After all, remember thought that rose in his mind at that moment ; you are a born vassal, and have no right whatever namely, that to be Jakubska's son and a serf, was to anything better than your present lot." a fate which, to him, no externals could either

come at.

66

aggravate or soften ; and he resolutely entered the “ How changed ! how changed !" mumbled the hut.

old woman, in a rambling way to herself. No Jakubska lay huddled up on the bench by the one will take him for a count now, with that dark slove, her person more ragged and shrunken than brow, sulky look, and loutish bearing ; and yet ever, but her eyes glittering with the same painful, my own handsome Pavel, I 'll be bound, if I could piercing look that had affected him when a boy. but see his face ;' but Pavel resolutely kept his

“Well, gossip,” she said, addressing her cousin, face averted. may the Virgin repay you your trouble and kind- “ I have been very sick," she continued, " and ness-you have brought me home at length my could not go to see you, and then God deprived last, my only one ; they are all dead and gone, my me of the use of my limbs ; but you never missed good boys, who loved me and whom I loved—there me, and I had then good sons to take care of me; remains but this ungrateful one, who would not but I-I never forgot my last-born ; and though I come when he knew me at death's door ; but still have been pinched at times, and sorely tempted, 1 my own Pavel, the only one left me.” She put never parted, or dreamt of parting, with the only forth her arms as if to embrace him, but Pavel gift of my own flesh and blood, all count as he then made no inotion towards her. The woman crossed was." herself rapidly, muttering as she did som I have She rose, and, with feeble steps, tottered over been a great sinner, and this will be my punish- to her bed, which was surrounded with color prints ment.

of the family's patron saints ; a rude crucifix of “Well," said the cousin, “ I'll leave you for wood and a benilier standing at its head and foot, a time to make acquaintance, whilst I go and refresh and sundry branches of consecrated box, embowermyself hard by."

ing a flaring image of the virgin over the crucifix. The moment the door closed upon him, Pavel From some hidden nook behind the bed, the old approached the old woman, threw himself at her woman brought out a broken cup, in which Pavel feet, and clasping his hands, as if prostrate before recognized the small gold buttons, a gift from the a saint, exclaimed :

count, which he had brought on one occasion from “ By all that is holy, I conjure you tell me the Lemberg, the child having expressed a caprice for truth-you are not my mother—the count pays the then new fashion. These trinkels were the you to deceive me, as well as every one else ?" only objects that had Aoated across his way from

“ Pavel, Pavel! why will you come back upon the wreck of his fortunes. He snatched the cup that after so many long years? There is no oath from Jakubska's hand, and, holding it to the light, so sacred but I am ready to take, to convince you he gazed intently at the jewels. Each bution was that you are my own legitimate child. I will a small ruby, surrounded with filigree work. swear it on the graves of your father and brothers. Light as that tracery had then been his thouglıtsIs there, then, no voice in nature to tell you so?" his hopes bright as those rubies-and, now! Pavel looked earnestly into her eyes.

The “ These buttons are mine!” he said, with imwoman returned his gaze with one as steady. He petuosity. had encouraged the belief that Jakubska would “ So they are," answered the old woman ; reveal all at his urgent solicitation ; he now felt " take them back, Pavel, if you

like." like a drowning man, between whom and the deep “I will find means to give you the equivalent," the last plank has given way, and, rising from his said he, grasping the treasure. knees, he said coldly :

“ Though why you should like to remember “ Well, I shall work for you."

those people,” she continued, " is more than I can Jakubska made no reply. Vile as was her understand. It is true I don't know much about spirit, deeply as it was steeped in insensibility, her fine writing, but it seems to me that there never son had inflicted pain on her; and she felt that one was anything more touching than the petition got dark shadow more had fallen on her cheerless life. up by the Jew in your favor. I had it read out Though in his heart he did not, would not, credit to me by a priest, without telling him for whom it the tale of her relationship to himself, still the was intended, and by whom addressed. Well, I sincerity and solemnity of her manner had raised presented it. It was one day when I knew the doubts in his mind, and somewhat startled his con- count had gone up to his mines—he sometimes science ; for Noah's house was a school where visits them, though he never comes near the castle filial duty was enforced above all others. He --the moment he saw me, he looked as black as could not, he would not, love that woman, or ac. thunder, and asked me what I wanted with himknowledge her as his parent; but yet he felt it were you dead? I thought he looked as if he incumbent upon him to provide for her in her old wished it.” Pavel clenched his hand. " He age. He would not have her curse on his head-took the paper, cast a hasty glance at it, then in case she were his mother. He would take upon throwing it in my face, rode off with a curse." himself the cultivation of the bit of land that had Pavel's head fell on his breast. He had fallen to his father's lot, and see what he could cherished a secret hope that this petition had never make of it. As these ideas flitted through his reached the count, or that some show of tenderness mind, he stood, with folded arms, gazing through had accompanied its reception. But no ; spurned the solitary windows upon the bleak prospect with-like a hound-how he hated that man! His emoout.

tion was too deep for utterance.

[ocr errors]

“ He'll get no

« ElőzőTovább »