« НазадПродовжити »
constellation Hercules, which Flamsteed had observed, systems similar to our own. The discovery of the were no longer to be seen. The same phenomenon was planets revolving round these centres yet remains to remarked also in Cancer and Perseus : the stars were add another to the great triumphs of astronomical either lost, or so far removed, as to be no longer recog- science. nisable, while several new ones were visible which had The double stars revolve one around the other, and not been previously noticed. Herschel extended his ob are supposed to present the simplest or elementary form servations to a large number of the stars and constella- of stellar motion. Besides these binary systems, there tions, and the result in all cases showed that the most are others—triple, quadruple-gradually increasing in extraordinary changes had taken place since the days number and complexity. Wherever the observer turns of Flamsteed; and in 1783, in one of his communications his gaze, he discovers movement, in obedience, as it to the Royal Society, he wrote - This consideration were, to one universal law of gravitation : wherever alone would lead us strongly to suspect that there is stars are clustered, they group themselves in increasing not, in strictness of speaking, one fixed star in the hea- brightness round a definite though unseen point of vens; but many other reasons, which I shall presently attraction; and it is not surprising that philosophers adduce, will render this so obvious, that there can should have speculated as to the existence and position hardly remain a doubt of the general motion of all the of some mighty centre, round which, in the course of starry systems, and consequently of the solar one among countless ages, the whole stelfar universe revolves; or, the rest.'
in the words of Schiller, ' amid ceaseless change seek Lalande had thrown out the supposition that the sun the unchanging pole.' has a real movement in absolute space;' but Herschel Various stars have been fixed on from time to time went beyond him—he proved it. As Copernicus, two as the centre round which all revolved. Sirius, from its centuries before, had established that the sun's apparent magnitude and brightness, was often supposed to be the motion round the heavens was due to the real motion of occupant of this position; but the observations of later the earth, so did the English astronomer show that the astronomers, Argelander and Bessel, have shown that changes of position of the distant stars was caused not this star has a sensible movement of its own apparently only by their own movement, but chiefly by that of our around some greater body, far remote, and invisible to systen. Still pursuing the inquiry, we find him writ- us; so that Sirius, instead of being the chief of the ing in 1805 :- A view of the moons, or secondary army of fixed stars, is only one of the subordinate planets, round their primary ones, and of these again members of a partial system. round the sun, may suggest the idea of an additional So carefully have the heavens been explored of late motion of the latter round some other unknown centre.' years, that but few of the greater movements of the He demonstrated beyond a doubt that the sun, with all stars are unknown to us; and looking at the distribu. its attendant planets, was moving with great velocity tion of these through the realms of space, no point has towards one of the stars in Hercules. The further in- been found filled by a star of the first magnitude which vestigation of the subject, it has been said, was 'one fulfils the condition we have just indicated. Hitherto, essentially for modern times ;' and the high degree of the movements appear to be greater or lesser optically perfection now exhibited in the construction of instru- only, and it is one of the objects of modern astronomy ments, has enabled astronomers to distinguish between to define these movements with exactitude by the apparent and real motion, and to confirm Herschel's bold parallax. The same reasoning may be applied to the and original views in every particular. Many anomalies double stars-none of them show the existence of any in the movements of the stars were at once explained considerable mass. From all these negative consideraby the fact of the sun's motion in space. So rapid is tions, the conclusion has been come to, that it was usethis motion, that, according to Bessel, it amounts to less to look for a central body in our more immediate 3,336,000 miles in a day. The effects of this amazing stellar system. velocity are eloquently described by the celebrated The fact that, in the partial systems of fixed stars, Humboldt. He observes—The beautiful stars of the and especially those of double stars, there is not, geneCentaur and of the Southern Cross will at some future rally speaking, a great superiority of mass in one of the day be visible in our northern latitudes, whilst other bodies—and that, on the contrary, the two masses are stars (Sirius, and the stars forming the belt of Orion) almost equal in the greater proportion of them-has will no longer appear above the horizon. The place of necessarily thrown doubt on the existence of such a the north pole will be successively marked by Cephi central body as has frequently been described of an and Cygni, until after the lapse of twelve thousand enormously preponderating mass. years, when Syra will become the brightest of all pos If such were the case, we should see the most active sible pole stars. These statements serve in some degree movements in the neighbourhood of this mass, as in to realise in the mind the magnitude of the movements our own system we see the most rapid revolutions in which proceed uninterruptedly in infinitely small divi- the planets nearest the sun. By the same analogy, sions of time in the great chronometer of the universe. supposing the central mass to be invisible, we should In every point of the celestial vault we recognise the see the stars in some quarters of the heavens moving dominion of progressive movement, as on the surface of much more slowly than those situated nearer the central the earth, where vegetation is constantly putting forth region. We should not find, likewise, any more active its leaves and buds, and unfolding its blossoms.' movements than in this region, excepting, perhaps, in
The improvements in telescopes, that enabled astro- some of the members of our own system already renomers to penetrate farther into space, gave them at ferred to. the same time the means of more accurate observation Foremost among those who have directed their atthan they had previously possessed. The heavens were tention to this subject is M. Maedler, the Russian as'gauged'in every direction, and carefully mapped out. tronomer at Dorpat, in Esthonia, who is already well Among the more interesting phenomena brought to light known as author of an admirable geographical map of by these researches were those of double stars, of which the moon. From a series of observations continued about six thousand are now known, chiefly by the labours during a period of six years, he has come to the concluof the Herschels, father and son, and Struve, a Russian sion that the Newtonian law of attraction, which reguastronomer. The difference in the appearance of stars lates our solar system, exists also in the systems of the was shown to depend not on their size, but on their dis- fixed stars. It is difficult to convey an idea of the tance. They are, however, always classed according to method pursued in working out results involving an tlieir magnitudes, ranging from 1 to 22. No. 1 denotes acquaintance with the most abstruse details of astro. the brightest and nearest stars, and 22 the smallest and nomical science. The pilot of a ship feeling his way most remote: the first six only are visible to the naked along with the lead on a foggy day, might be instanced eye. The fixed stars were found to be comparatively, as a comparative illustration of the process by approxiand not absolutely, stationary, and to be the centres of I mation. After going through the various hypotheses
to which we have referred, M. Maedler treats of the the inquiry still further, to investigate still more sucMilky Way as the fundamental plane of our stellar cessfully the system of the universe. In whatever way groups. Its general line of direction describes more or his appeal may be answered, he has not the less renless perfectly a great circle, dividing the heavens into dered a new and signal service to science, and opened two unequal portions: the northern or smaller portion a wider field of astronomical research. being comparatively devoid of stars, while the southern half, near to which we are situated, is thickly studded. By a series of observations of groups, as well as of indi THE DAUGHTER OF STANISLAUS. vidual stars, M. Maedler deduced approximations for the position he was seeking, and, rejecting one after the other, arrived, after persevering exertions, at what he It was the night of the 15th of February, and intensely conceived to be the true centre in the group of the cold, and notwithstanding the night and the cold, a Pleiades; which, to use his own words, is the pivot young man, rather thinly clad, was lurking about the round which the fixed stars, as a whole, describe their castle of Weissemburg, a small town in Alsatia, some immense orbits.'
leagues from Strasburg. After having made two or It is generally known that, among the most remark- three circuits about the castle, he stopped before a able of the stellar groups, there is none comparable to Gothic window, through the curtains of which light the Pleiades for splendour or number of stars. The was visible. closeness with which they are placed is not merely He was evidently waiting for some one, and soon he optical. They are found in a region rich in stars, and was relieved from his solitude by the approach of a answering well to the other general conditions which person wrapped in a heavy cloak. we have endeavoured to explain. The perfect concord 'I am glad you are punctual, Mikaël,' said the newexisting between the determinations of the proper comer; 'now for the work in hand. In that castle, movements of these stars, notwithstanding their minute perhaps in that room before us, is Stanislaus, late king quantities, is cited as a proof of the correctness of astro- of Poland. All I desire is, that you contrive to get nomical catalogues, and thereby facilitating the labours him to use this snuff-box. It contains good Spanish of future observers. M. Maedler compares the observa- snuff, an article of which he is fond. Here also is a tions of the most eminent British and continental astro- basket of porcelain. You are to sell the whole. Maria nomers on this group and some of the neighbouring Lesczinska, the daughter of Stanislaus, will buy it all stars—taking, first of all, twelve stars situated within from you.' 5 degrees of Alcyone, the brightest of the Pleiades; and * All very good, my lord,' replied Mikaël; but should next, thirty at a distance of from 5 to 10 degrees ; and I not have a little payment in hand to excite my merlastly, fifty-seven stars, whose distance is from 10 to cantile diligence ? Look at my miserable clothing, 15 degrees. Observations on these stars prove that, which is even at this moment insufficient to keep out with some exception, they all have a positive motion the cold; and my mother, too, she is in abject poverty towards the south. The most numerous of the excep -she is both cold and hungry.' tions are in the fifty-seven last mentioned : forty of “So long as Stanislaus lives, both you and she must them having moved but two seconds of a degree in be cold and hungry,' was the only answer his employer eighty-five years, it is difficult to determine the direc- deigned to give him as he strode away. tion. The fact, however, remains, that of the one hun Mikaël, it may be imagined, was on no good errand. dred and ten stars enumerated within 15 degrees of Lingering about the castle till pretty well on in the Alcyone, the movements of sixty of the number are morning, he presented himself at the gate, which opened towards the south, and in no case towards the north. to let out a servant, going upon some commission for It would be idle to contend that such a result is the the household. He approached and said, “ Have comeffect of chance : it has been further proved by obser- passion on me, sir, and procure me an audience of the vations on one hundred and seventy-two stars of Brad- Princess Maria.' ley’s catalogue; and the direction to the south, though Another beggar coming to ask her charity!' said the in many instances feeble, is not the less certain.
domestic abruptly; "and he is early enough.' * Although,' continues M. Maedler, ‘it results, from “Ah, sir,' said the youth, 'I am a child of Poland ; what precedes, that the region of the heaven which I banished like your master, but still more unhappy than have chosen satisfies the conditions indicated, it is not he, inasmuch as I am alone in the world.' less necessary to submit it to every possible proof. You are coming, then, as his countryman to ask Many trials with different combinations have convinced alms of him ?' interrupted the valet. me that no other point could be found to answer so Mikaël replied humbly, 'I am come to sell to the well as the one I have adopted. I can state, therefore, princess all that remains of former wealth as the result of my researches, that the group of the china.' Pleiades is the central group of the entire system of Oh, that is quite a different matter,' answered the fixed stars extending to the exterior limits determined servant. “Stay there—I will let the princess know;' by the Milky Way; and that Alcyone is the star of and closing the gate after him, he went back into the this group which appears the most probably to be the house. true Central Sun.' Light is five hundred and thirty The poor youth waited for a long time before the door seven years in travelling to us from this Central Sun, opened. The day was far advanced, and the rays of the whose mass is 117,400,000 times larger than that of sun had succeeded in making their way through the our own luminary. The revolution of the latter round gray clouds of a wintry sky, when a gentle voice roused Alcyone requires a period of 18,200,000 years; and him from the stupor into which the cold was fast throwsupposing the movement to continue the same as at ing him, saying, "I am told you have some beautiful present, the sun will reach the ascending node of its porcelain for sale?' orbit in the year 154,500 of our era. The calculations At a glance, Mikaël perceived that the speaker was are not given as positively determined, but as the a young girl, with a countenance rather pleasing than nearest approximation hitherto obtained.
pretty: she was accompanied by a middle-aged lady, The mind is bewildered in the contemplation of such who did not seem to be in the best of humours. It may tremendous phenomena, of whose workings only the be that the early rising was not very agreeable to her, dimmest perception can be realised ; sufficient, however, or else the cold of the morning, from which the furs in to impress us with the infinite majesty of Nature. which they were both closely wrapped could not altoM. Maedler, in concluding his observations, expresses gether protect them. the hope that he has pursued an object favourable to • Ah, princess,' said Mikaël, giving a most piteous the progress of science, one that may possess such inte tone to his voice, while his foreign accent lent some prerest for other scientific men, as to lead them to push | bability to his words, 'I am a poor child of Poland,
whose father perished in battle in the service of King is so fond of! And I think this porcelain so pretty, Stanislaus. Come to France with my mother, who was that if the young man will let me have the whole for of a good family, we have been obliged to sell for our my louissubsistence, little by little, all that remained to us of That is exactly what Monsieur Levi, a toy-merchant, past opulence; now, only this porcelain is left to us.' offered me yesterday morning,' said the young Mikaël,
* Poor boy! Let us see your china,' said the princess believing, by the help of this lie, to make the princess kindly. 'But first come in, it is so dreadfully cold more eager to buy. here.'
. And you refused it?' said the princess. * What are you thinking of, princess,' whispered the “Yes, madame; but I will not refuse you,' replied old lady to Maria, “to introduce a stranger into the Mikaël; - for since I may choose, I would much rather castle?'
have you for a customer. So here is my basket.' * But this is a Pole, Mockzinska,' observed the prin *No, keep it,' replied the princess, while I go for the
money.' • What proof have you that he is ?' replied Mock The princess and her governess now re-entered the zinska. 'I am perhaps wrong, dear princess, but your castle, leaving the pretended Pole waiting for them. noble father's life has so often been threatened, that it He was sauntering about the gate, when suddenly his has rendered me suspicious ; besides, this man has a look became fixed, and his countenance assumed a most forbidding countenance, and a downcast look, strange expression; and though the bargain had been which, in spite of myself, repels me.'
concluded, and he on the point of receiving his money, 'I confess, Mockzinska, that, like you, I am obliged he snatched up his basket and disappeared at full to struggle against the prejudice produced by the ex. speed. pression of his countenance,' said Maria, still in a The person who had thus caused his alarm was a whisper, and looking at the pretended Pole, who at this poor beggar woman, well known in all Weissemburg, moment betrayed a marked uneasiness. But, after all, not less for her honesty than her poverty. the poor boy did not make himself. Is it his fault that The princess soon returned with her beautiful louishe is ugly, and ought we to visit it upon his head ? d'or, and was gazing upon it as it sparkled upon her However, there is no harm in being cautious, so we may white glove, as we gaze on a beloved object we are to as well look at the china outside. Then approaching see no more, when, raising
her eyes to address the mer. Mikaël, she added, raising her voice, . Let us see your chant, she found that both merchant and porcelain had porcelain, my friend.' The face of Mikaël brightened vanished. at this demand, and he hastened to open his basket. She looked around in surprise, but perceiving only the
'Here,' said he, drawing out one by one the articles, old beggar woman, she called her. My good mother,' which he presented alternately to the princess and her said she, do you know where a lad who was selling governess, is a china vase, with teacups of a set which porcelain is gone—he was here not a moment ago ?' a sea-captain, a wealthy relative of ours, gave to my *I have seen no one,' replied the poor woman in mother the day of her marriage with my father. No- tone so expressive of extreme weakness, that the thing but sore distress could make us part with so pre- princess felt moved to the bottom of her heart. cious a souvenir. But look here! Oh, this article, though • What is the matter with you, my good woman?' only in Dresden china, is dearer to me than all! It was said she kindly. the snuff-box which my father had in daily use. I have Cold and hunger,' replied the beggar. heard it said that King Stanislaus is particularly fond * Dear Mockzinska,' said the princess, turning to her of Spanish snuff; indeed I could not be a Pole and be governess, “go, I beg of you, and desire something to be ignorant of it, for all the Poles are so warmly attached brought here for this poor woman.' to their former king, your noble father, and the father *I am indeed very poor, and much to be pitied,' reof us all, if I may dare call him so, that we know his plied the beggar, whilst Mockzinska went away; ' but tastes, his habits, his likings and dislikings, just as we nevertheless I should not complain, madame, if I sufdo those of our natural parents; and knowing this, fered alone.' yesterday I spent the little I possessed in buying from You have children, then?' demanded Maria. an old Spaniard what remained to him of this snuff. I Two, madame—a son and daughter. My son !-may have filled the box with it, and I think, princess, that God give him grace to walk in the right way! As to you will have much pleasure in presenting your royal my daughter, she is dying.' father with what he likes so much.'
*Of what?' demanded the princess, her heart quite * Is it scented ?' inquired Maria.
touched. 'I do not offer your highness a specimen,' replied the * Of want, madame. That is the sickness which kills false merchant, opening the box, but holding it at a dis- most surely, and kills in the most cruel manner-slowly tance from the ladies, because it is very powerful — and hopelessly.' very powerful ; it would get into your head, particularly How shocking!' exclaimed the princess, clasping into that of a young person. It requires the solid brain her hands. “And how old is she?' of a man in the prime of life to bear a pinch.'
• The same age as our young king, Louis XV., “How much is the box and the snuff?' demanded the madame,' replied the beggar. "She was born on the princess.
same day as he, the 15th of February 1710. She was • Will not your highness take all ?' inquired the mer- ten years old to-day.' chant.
• And can anything be done for her, my good wo'Yes. How much are they altogether ?' said the man?' replied the princess. “Perhaps good air and princess with a complacent look into the interior of the wholesome food ?' basket.
Good air !—we live in a cellar. Wholesome food! Going to buy all! How can you think of it, dear -all we have to eat is the offal of the streets ! and we princess ?' interrupted the governess. Did you not have not even sufficient covering for her poor little yesterday give to two poor children, who were crying body, which is quite blue with the cold.' with cold, all the money you had except that beautiful • Here-oh here, my good mother,' said the princess ; louis-d'or with the effigy of the young king of France, and forgetting the porcelain, forgetting the romantic Louis XV., and which you prize so ch, that you interest she attached to the louis-d'or, she put it into would buy nothing this week in order not to spend the hand of the old beggar. “Here, this is all I have. it?'
Oh, poor creature, how you must suffer at seeing your But, dear Mockzinska,' said the princess with the daughter dying before your eyes!' coaxing look that so well became her almost infantine . Am I to have all this?' demanded the beggar, whom youthfulness of expression, only think what a delight the sight of the gold now in her hand seemed to overto give my father some of that Spanish snuff, which he / whelm with astonishment—all this!'
* Alas! it is very little for so much wretchedness,' narrow a street, that the cheerful sunbeams could never said the princess.
find admission. As he set foot on the threshold of the Oh, my good princess !' exclaimed the beggar with house, a child playing near called out— Mikaël, your a burst of gratitude, 'may God bless you—and he will mother has removed. She lives now in the street openbless you! You deserve to be queen of France !' ing upon the fields, down there, near the garden. Oh, • Where do you live?' inquired the princess.
it is so nice! Run, man, and see it !' *At No. 3 of the old street of the Arcade,' said the Astounded by this intelligence, which he could hardly poor woman.
understand, Mikaël did not make up his mind to repair At this moment Mockzinska returned, followed by a to the place pointed out to him by the child till per. servant carrying something to eat, which he gave to the fectly assured that his mother no longer inhabited beggar.
her old residence; and even then, he hesitated as he * Will you permit me not to eat it myself ?' demanded approached it, hardly believing that it was really the she.
dwelling of his poor mother. Notwithstanding the snow Just as you please. Take it where you like, and you which covered the ground, and hung from the shrubs may expect to see me to-day.'
like so many white and crystal tear-drops, the good The old woman did not need a second bidding, but order of the garden, and the beauty of the fruit-trees, went away, calling down the blessings of Heaven on the were easily discernible. Then the house, small as it compassionate princess.
was, had an air of neatness and simplicity, the best sub• Here is the porcelain, your highness,' said the voice stitute for elegance, and nearly as attractive. Suddenly of the pretended pedlar, who now reappeared.
he heard himself called. My good friend, I advise you to carry them to M. Well, Mikaël, what are you doing there?' and a Levi. Ï have just disposed of my last louis-d'or,' said young child, still pale, but with eyes sparkling with the princess.
happiness, appeared at the door. So fierce an expression overspread the features of It was his sister Louisa, who was so ill only three Mikaël, that the princess recoiled almost in terror; but, days ago, that she had to be supported while getting a in the unsuspicious goodness of her nature, she accounted drink, and now she was walking alone and unaided. for it by the thought that the destitution he had told • Louisa !' exclaimed he, darting towards her, 'what her of must have rendered the disappointment a severe miracle is this ?' one; and she hastened to add, “If you do not sell them *A miracle, indeed, dear Mikaël,' replied the child ; to M. Levi, return to-morrow, and I will see what I can an angel has visited us. Wont you come in ?' added do.'
she, drawing her brother into one division of the house, *I will return to-morrow!' said Mikaël in a tone which served as a kitchen, and making him sit down which almost sounded like a threat.
by a good fire, on which a pot was boiling. “Look, all Mikaël, as it may be supposed, carried the porce- this is ours-mamma's, and yours, and mine. All this lain to no toy-merchant; so that the next day, at the has been given us by a young lady, who wept on seeing appointed hour, he appeared at the castle, the asylum our old house, and said, “ I could not have believed it granted to the unfortunate king of Poland by the possible that there was such wretchedness in the regent of France. This time, instead of the princess, world.” Yesterday she brought us here in a fine he saw only a valet, who spoke gruffly to him, and did carriage, and we were expecting her again to-day, as not waste much pains in softening his message. she promised to come.'
“The princess neither can nor will buy your porce "Oh, is that you, my son ?' said an old woman, comlain ; so be off with yourself.'
ing out of a neighbouring apartment. “Louisa has told "It is as bad for you as for me ; for I intended to you all our happiness. But what have you there ?' added have shared the profits with you,' replied Mikaël. she, pointing to the basket, which Mikaël continued to
On second thoughts, you may come back to-mor- hold in his hand. Tow,' said the valet, seduced by this unexpected offer. It is china, which has been given to ine to sell,' reThe princess has no money to-day, but to-morrow plied Mikaël. she will have some; for the Princess Palatine, her *And that is what has kept you these three days from grandmother, fills her purse whenever she knows it your mother, my son ?' said she in that tone of tender is empty.'
reproach which, from the lips of a parent, is almost a The next day Mikaël was again punctual at the same place. This time the princess had gone out, and was Before Mikael had time to invent a falsehood, as pronot to return till dinner-time. Mikaël took up his bably he would have done, a carriage stopped at the basket, and again went away ; but as he was gloomily door of the house, from which alighted a young girl, crossing a street, which led out of the town, a neighbour who ran across the garden with a step so light, that it accosted him.
scarcely left its trace upon the snow, and entering the Mikaēl, how comes it that you have not been near kitchen, darted towards the fire. 'Oh, how cold it is!' your mother for the last three days?'
said she. She was followed by an old lady, who also I had something better to do,' answered Mikaël approached the fire, but without speaking. On the gruffly.
appearance of these two ladies, Mikaël made a moveOh, is that the way with you?" replied the neigh- ment as if to run away ; but the youngest having perbour. Well, if you wish to know what has been going ceived him, prevented him by saying, "Well, my little on at home, go and see. Strange things. Enough; porcelain merchant, have you concluded your bargain that is all I have to say to you.'
with M. Levi?' Though Mikaēl now eagerly called on him to ex No, madame,' replied he, stammering. plain himself, his neighbour went off whistling, and *What! princess, you know my son?' inquired the without seeming to hear him. These words : 'Strange poor woman. things have been going on at home,' went to the heart •What! this child of Poland is your son ?' demanded of the youth. He thought it was some new misery; for, in her turn the princess. Then seeing the confusion of like all persons brought up in the school of misfortune, the son, and the anger of the mother, the kind heart of he anticipated nothing else. Was his mother ill? or the princess came to the aid of both. had his sister sunk under the malady which had so long I guess it all, Mother Jalson,'added she. “You must undermined her health?' And with every thought fixed forgive him, as I do. Nothing can excuse falsehood ; but upon them both for the heart of Mikael was not yet it may be some palliation of his, that he had recourse 10 wholly corrupt as to be destitute of natural affection to it to get bread for you ; and I suppose his story about - he took the way to the city, and hastened to the abode his porcelain and M. Levi was like the rest. Well, I of his mother.
trust it may be a lesson to him ; for if he had told me the It was the underground storey of a house, built in so truth, and had not led me to think that he had so cer
tain a sale for them that my not buying them did him man, so noble, trampled upon you, because you are no injury--if he had but said to me, "My mother is weak? Has this monarch, so unfortunate, visited upon dying of hunger, and my sister of disease," I should have you his misfortunes? Speak-speak, sir! How did my given my louis-d'or to him as well as to you, Mother father ever wrong you ? Jalson ; but I will say no more. So, then, your porce • Never, madame. But-oh! I ask not pity for mylain is not sold ?' added Maria, observing the basket. self—but for the sake of my mother, my young sister, * Alas! no, madame,' said Mikaël.
hear me!' cried Mikaël, throwing himself at the feet of My son !--my son!' cried Mother Jalson sorrow- Maria. "The man who tempted me to do this dreadful fully; for some time you have not been steady; you deed, drove me almost mad by perpetually saying, keep bad company; you no longer work at the cur Whilst Stanislaus lives, your mother, your sister, and rier's with whom I placed you. What are you doing? yourself will suffer cold and hunger.” where do you go to ? and where did you get that Then who were these men ?' demanded Maria, reporcelain, which I never saw before ?'
straining her indignation in order to learn and defeat the * From a friend—from a real Pole,' said Mikaël, with plots of her father's enemies. his eyes cast down ; in his shame and embarrassment * I am quite ignorant of their names, their rank, or trying to avoid every eye.
their number,' replied Mikaël ; 'but to-morrow I am to Then as your friend's position remains unaltered, he meet him who, for the last eight days, has been my evil is still in want: is it not 80 ?' demanded the princess. genius, under the walls of the castle, outside the Gothic * Yes, yes!' said Mikaël.
window of your royal father's room. You now know . Fortunately I am just now rich enough to make all I know myself, princess. As to asking your pardon, many happy,' said Maria gaily. “The Princess Pala- it is useless ; my doom is fixed, my life is forfeited, sold tine, my grandmother, having heard yesterday from the either way. gossipping of my people, and a little also, I believe, 'Fear not; I take you under my protection; no harm from that of dear Mockzinska,' added Maria, smiling shall happen you,' said the princess. But I must archly at her governess, how it fared with my poor return to the castle. My father, my good father, so purse, which I empty so often, has been good enough to noble, so good, so virtuous! Oh, may à gracious Profill it; so I can buy the porcelain of your Polish friend. vidence bestow on you the reward of your virtues!' At all events, I must have the snuff-box for my father,' • He has already bestowed it on him, in giving you to continued the princess; and going to the basket, and him, dear princess,' said Mother Jalson weeping. Have uncovering it, she took out, one by one, the articles, and you not already been his preserver by the very act of laid them on the table. “I will give the bowl to the loading us with benefits ?' Princess Palatine, the six cups to my dear mother I have indeed been rewarded for what I have been
. And what for yourself?' demanded Mockzinska. able to do for you,' said the princess, wiping her beauOh, as to me, I shall be quite content if my father tiful eyes, still wet with tears. 'Oh let us hasten back will give me a pinch of his good Spanish snuff.'
to the castle, Mockzinska; after the danger my father As she uttered these words, Maria had taken the has been in, I long as much to see him as if we had been snuff-box, opened it, and was putting it to her nose, parted for years.' when Mikaël, who for some minutes had been uneasily Thus the life of Stanislaus was once more saved; I watching every motion of the princess, darted towards say once more, because this was the third plot to assasher, and pale, palpitating, and as if beside himself, sinate him. The first attempt was by a barber, who, snatched it from her hands, and threw it into the fire. having undertaken to kill him, ran away, leaving the Then, as if terrified at what he had done, remained king with the napkin round his neck, and his face standing breathless and motionless.
covered with lather; the second was defeated by a plot • What can be the meaning of this?' cried in different still more artfully contrived; and this third and last was tones each spectator of the scene. The princess alone the forerunner of an event overwhelming the family of said nothing. Indignant, but proudly calm, she sought Stanislaus with joy. to read, in his forehead and eye, the secret which made The treaty of marriage between Louis XV. and the that scowling brow droop before her gaze.
infanta of Spain having been broken off, the ministers Speak, young man,' said Mockzinska to Mikaël; of the boy-king sought everywhere for the princess what motive that we do not understand has led you most likely to render Louis happy; and after some conto fail in respect to the daughter of the most unfor- sideration, they decided on Maria Lesczinska. tunate, as well as of the most virtuous of monarchs ?' Stanislaus still inherited Weissemburg, when pro
Are you mad, my son ?' said the mother in a tone of posals for her hand were made to him through the deep sorrow.
Cardinal de Rohan, bishop of Strasburg. He repaired Brother,' murmured Louisa, 'it is the Princess immediately to the chamber of his wife, who was emMaria—the angel who cured me.'
ployed at needlework. *Speak, Mikael; I command you!' said Maria. There Let us kneel down and thank God,' said he as he was such an energy of authority in the tone of the entered. young girl, that Mikaël fell on his knees, hid his face • Father!' exclaimed Maria, 'you are reinstated on in his hands, and bursting into tears, cried, “I am a the throne of Poland ?' wretch, a monster; I deserve death in all its torture. . Oh, my daughter!' replied the dethroned king, Whilst she was saving my mother, and curing my sister 'Heaven has been much more propitious to us-for -whilst she was giving us health, joy, and happiness you are queen of France!' -I-I was carrying to her death and desolation !
The nuptials were celebrated at Fontainbleau on the • Wretched boy! that snuff was poisoned, and you in- 5th of September 1725. tended it for my father, and fixed upon my hands to She had scarcely been six months on the throne, when offer it to him ? cried Maria, and she would have fallen, she wrote thus to her father :—'I hope, my dear papa, had not Mockzinska caught her in her arms.
that you will not keep me waiting longer for what you • Oh! it cannot be—it cannot be!' exclaimed the poor promised. Mark out clearly all my duties for me: tell mother in accents of despair.
me all my faults. You know me better than I know Answer, Mikaël,' said Maria, regaining a little com- myself. Be my guiding angel. I am indeed sure that posure.
by following you I shall never go astray; but I cannot • It is too true!' said Mikaël, still quailing under the answer for what I may do if I depend only upon my fixed look of the princess.
own poor understanding. It seems as if everybody was 'It is true!' repeated the princess, clasping her hands pleased with me. I do not judge by what is spoken, for - it is true you wished to kill my father! But who has that is but flattery ; but it seems as if every face was incited you? Say–has this man, so just, unknowingly lit up with joy at my approach, and that gives me pleacommitted any act of injustice towards you? Has this sure. Praise be to our gracious God for all! My dear