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fallen asleep, tired with his long day's play, but a rush of indefinable dread of some evil, she knew not what, seemed to come over Gerda, as she dismounted, and with a swift steady step, her face set like stone, ascended the hill, and guided as it seemed by instinct, made straight for one particular point. The nurse started from the ground where she had until then lain in a heavy sleep, and began excusing herself with an air of bewilderment and fear; but Gerda heeded her not, for just below, where ran a tiny brooklet, what did she see? Floating on its waters, white and cold, the bright bonny boy whom but a few hours before she had parted with, full of life and spirits. She gazed as though stunned, whilst amid loudly spoken lamentations the tiny form was drawn forth and laid upon the grass with a loving reverent tenderness. Then she knelt down by it; but did not essay so much as to smooth back one of the long silky curls which strayed all damp and dabbled with wet over the fair face, or to wipe one drop of water from the broad white brow: and the sight of that still speechless agony seemed to overawe and hush all other grief.
None dared to break the silence until Father Anselm appeared. He had heard the sad news, and hurried forward full of grief and pity to try and comfort the poor mother: but his approach seemed to rouse her, and ere he had time to utter more than a few words of his intended speech, she interrupted him, saying, in a voice, which under its hard, cold, metallic ring, had yet a thrill of agony,
"No, my Father-it is of no use your speaking; you always told me GOD was just. I dared any power to snatch my child from me; I have brought the doom upon myself.”
A thrill of fear fell upon the people as they heard her strange words, and mingled pity and amazement sealed the priest's mouth. No word was uttered as the body of the little prince was raised from the ground and borne down the hill, a mournful train, Gerda following cold and rigid as ever.
"Dead on lofty Rhosberry, silent dead and cold;
Out from fair Kirkleathem's towers, June's sad midnight tolled,
S. K. P.
Deep was the grief felt in each one of those faithful northern hearts as they buried their little prince near the scene of his death.
It was soon known that the stranger heir was preparing to come and take possession of his new domain, and that the princess purposed retiring to the nunnery of Mount Grace. But none save the priest knew of that interview held in the solemn stillness of the June night, when the hard crust of despair and defiance at length broken, Gerda in lowly self-abasement told him the history of her pride; how confident she had felt of her own power to guard her boy, how angry at the mere suggestion of the possibility of harm befalling him; and then on the fatal day how an inexplicable dread had seized her, and she had felt impelled to hurry to Mount Grace for prayer, even while something seemed to say to her, the petitions of one hour could not atone for the defiance of months; and then her unnatural calmness giving way, she poured out before the priest the overwhelming flood of her wild grief, remorse, and desolation. The new prince soon came and the walls of the convent closed upon Gerda, shutting her for ever from contact with the outer world; where as time went on and she was never seen and her name seldom heard, she seemed almost forgotten, though a pitying recollection of her still lay deep in the heart of many of her old subjects.
But how few would have recognised in that pale, silent nun so meekly and humbly going about her appointed work, the once imperious princess, the fame of whose beauty and high spirit had resounded throughout Northumbria. That fearful lesson had done its work, and although her proud spirit was broken her heart was not, as Father Anselm had once almost feared it might be. She lived for many years a desolate life, with that ever-present burden of remorse, yet with her newly-acquired self-distrustfulness there dawned a sweet sense of protection wholly unknown to her in her old self-reliant days. At the present day a solemn warning against the sin of presumption
"At lone Osmotherly stands the old grey cross,
Still the hamlet's name recalls Gerda's bitter loss,
E. K. M.
BY-WAYS OF HISTORY.
PRINCE GALITZIN, HETMAN OF THE COSSACKS, 1675,
THE family of Prince Galitzin was one of the most eminent among the noble families of Russia, and was descended from Ghedemin, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, and the father of Prince Jaghellon; who in the fourteenth century united his duchy with Poland by espousing Hedwiga, the daughter of the last king of the Piast or peasant dynasty in Poland.
The word Galitzin is derived from Golitza, a gauntlet, and was borne by one of the ancestors of the minister. His great-great-grandfather, Michael, distinguished himself in the wars with Poland during the reign of the Czar Basil IV. of Muscovy (1505-34,) but in the year 1514, he was taken prisoner with his brother Demetrius in the fatal battle of Orsova, where the Russians sustained a total defeat from the Poles, and for a period of thirty-eight years they languished in a Polish dungeon. At the end of that time Demetrius died, and Michael was shortly afterwards set at liberty by King Augustus of Poland, who in a letter to the Czar, Ivan the Terrible, upon the subject, states, "that he released him out of respect for his loyalty, and stoical firmness." It was stipulated that he should return to Poland, if the peace should not be concluded which the king was then negotiating at Moscow. Galitzin had determined to devote the remainder of his days to a religious life in the monastery of the Trinity, near Moscow, but upon the failure of the treaty, be set out on his journey back to Poland, though he died before he had reached Cracow, in 1556. A descendant of Michael's, and a great-uncle of the minister, was one of the four candidates for the Russian throne in the year 1610, when the Czar Basil Shuiski was a prisoner in Warsaw, and Moscow was surrounded by a large body of Polish troops. His election failed, because in the hope of conciliating Poland, the Russian senators raised Prince Vladislaf, the eldest son of the Polish King, to the dignity of Czar, and Galitzin was sent to announce the elevation of his rival in Poland. On his arrival at Smolensko where the Polish army lay, he was treacherously seized, and carried off as a prisoner into Poland; he was retained there in close captivity till his death in 1619, a few
months before the treaty of peace was concluded between Russia and Poland, and seven years after the accession of Michael Romanoff. He bore his fate with the greatest cheerfulness and resignation, so as even to obtain the esteem of the Poles.
Basil Galitzin, the great-nephew of this unfortunate nobleman, was born at Moscow, in the year 1633, and though he never left Russia, he received what would then have been considered a good education, in even the Western countries of Europe, as it comprised the study of German, Latin, and Greek. He was appointed page to the Czarovitz, at the age of ten years, and passed his youth at the court, where he perfected himself in those military exercises, which were at that time the principal instruction bestowed upon young men of rank in Mus
At this period, the Czar Michael, the first sovereign of the reigning house of Romanoff, wore the Russian crown, and the difficulties he experienced in composing the discordant factions, which the late domestic disturbances in the Empire had brought into life, and restoring the administration of the laws, with order and justice, left him little or no opportunity for introducing foreign improvements or carrying on distant wars; a task which he bequeathed to his descendants. He died in the year 1645, and was succeeded by his only son, Alexis, then a boy of fifteen, while the affairs of the state were chiefly directed by Boris Morosof, the brother-in-law of the late Czar.
Nothing but wars and disasters ushered in the new reign. A fresh issue of copper money intended to replace the silver, which had been collected and carried off by the Poles, when they held possession of Moscow, was considered a fit occasion for a revolt. A pretender to
the throne started up, in an obscure village in the Ukraine, and asserting that he was the youngest son of the Czar Ivan IV.,—to whose identity there had been already numerous claimants,-obtained credit and assistance from Poland, but was soon hunted down and executed in Moscow, and serious disturbances took place in Novogorod and Pleskof. But the Empire was at this time strengthened by the annexation of the warlike community of the Ukraine Cossacks, who were incited by the cruel and impolitic oppression of the Poles, to whom
1 Korb, the Austrian Secretary of Legation at Moscow, writing in 1698, says, Among the things which the Muscovites chiefly guard against as prognostics of the ruin of Moscow, according to the prediction of one of their saints, includes change of money."
they had long given their allegiance, to cast off the yoke of Poland, and seek the protection of Muscovy, and they proved valuable auxiliaries to Alexis in a subsequent war with Poland.
This war was soon provoked by various causes of annoyance and discontent. The Czar was offended by the refusal of the Poles to elect his eldest son, Alexis, whom he offered as a candidate for their crown on the death of their king, Vladislaf, and he was further incited by the Patriarch of Moscow to interfere on behalf of the interests of the Greek Church in Poland, which had been much oppressed by the followers of the national faith. A most bitter feeling had existed between the two nations since the Poles had conquered Russia, and carried the Czar Basil V., a prisoner to Warsaw. The plains on the frontiers of Poland were still in the wasted and desolate state in which they had been left by the invading army as it was finally driven back by the patriots to its own dominions, and revenged itself by spreading fire, ruin, and destruction on its route. The Muscovites had not forgotten the gold and jewels which had formerly decorated their churches, and which had all been carried off to Poland, to be melted down to pay the soldiers who had shared in that sanguinary campaign; the twelve massive silver figures of the Apostles as large as life, which had been torn from the cathedral of the Archangel; the golden cross that was ruthlessly dragged down by the Polish soldiery from the Kremlin, and the flames kindled by the enemy which had razed their city with all its palaces to the dust and a war with Poland, now they thought that they were strong enough to oppose her successfully, was the most popular enterprise that Alexis could have proposed to his subjects. The Czar demanded the restoration of those provinces which had been wrested from Russia by the Poles in the early part of the seventeenth century, and upon the refusal of the new sovereign, John Casimir, to listen to his demands, he marched an army into Poland, and gained a series of rapid victories. But his career was arrested by the intercession of the court of Austria, which induced him to conclude a truce, and turn his arms against the Swedish king, Charles Gustavus, who at the same time with himself had entered the country and captured Cracow and Warsaw; and Alexis received as the price of his compliance the offer of the crown of Poland. The Russians immediately turned upon Livonia, then included within the dominions of the king of Sweden, but their manœuvres after the first few weeks were unsuccessful, and at last they gladly agreed to a peace with Charles Gus