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XCVIL

His friends the more for his long absence prized him, They reach'd the island, he transferr'd his lading, Finding he'd wherewithal to make them gay, And self and live stock, to another bottom,

With dinners, where he oft became the laugh of And pass'd for a true Turkey-merchant, trading

them, With goods of various naines, but I forgot 'em. For stories - but I don't believe the half of them. Huwever, he got off by this evading, Or else the people would perhaps have shot him;

XCIX. And thus at Venice i landed to reclaim

Whate'er his youth had suffer'd, his old age His wife, religion, house, and Christian name.

With wealth and talking make him some amends ;

Though Laura sometimes put him in a rage,
XCVIII.

I've heard the Count and he were always friends. His wife received, the patriarch re-baptized him, My pen is at the bottom of a page,

(He made the church a present, by the way); Which being finish'd, here the story ends; He then threw off the garments which disguised him, 'Tis to be wish'd it had been sooner done,

And borrow'd the Count's smallclothes for a day : But stories somehow lengthen when begun. ?

Mazeppa.

ADVERTISEMENT. “ CELUI qui remplissait alors cette place était un gentilhomme Polonais, nommé Mazeppa, né dans le

palatinat de Podolie : il avait été élevé page de Jean Casimir, et avait pris à sa cour quelque teinture des belles-lettres. Une intrigue qu'il eut dans sa jeunesse avec la femme d'un gentilhomme Polonais ayant été

! (" You ask me," says Lord Byron, in a letter written in intelligible object ;-a mere piece of lively and loquacious 182, - for a volume of Manners, &c. on Italy. Perhaps I am prattling, in short, upon all kinds of frivolous subjects, - a sort in the case to know more of them than most Englishmen, of gay and desultory babbling about Italy and England, Turks, because I have lived among the natives, and in parts of the balls, literature, and fish sauces. But still there is something country where Englishmen never resided before (I speak of very engaging in the uniform gaiety, politeness, and good Romagna and this place particularly); but there are many humour of the author, and something still more striking and reasons why I do not choose to treat in print on such a subject. admirable in the matchless facility with which he has cast into Their moral is not your moral; their life is not your life ; you regular, and even difficult, versification the unmingled, unwould not understand it: it is not English, nor French, nor constrained, and unselected language of the most light, familiar, Gerinan, which you would all understand. The conventual and ordinary conversation. With great skill and felicity, he education, the cavalier servitude, the habits of thought and has furnished us with an example of about one hundred living, are so entirely different, and the difference becomes so stanzas of good verse, entirely composed of common words, in much more striking the more you live intimately with them, their common places; never presenting us with one sprig of that I know not how to make you comprehend a people who what is called poetical diction, or even making use of a single are at once temperate and profligate, serious in their characters inversion, either to raise the style or assist the rhyme, but and buffoons in their amusements, capable of impressions and running on in an inexhaustible series of good easy colloquial passions, which are at once sudden and durable (what you find phrases, and finding them fall into verse by some unaccountable in no other nation), and who actually have no society (what and happy fatality. In this great and characteristic quality it we would call so), as you may see by their comedies; they is almost invariably excellent. In some other respects, it is have no real comedy, not even in Goldoni, and that is because more unequal. About one half is as good as possible, in the they have no society to draw it from. Their conversazioui style to which it belongs; the other half bcars, perhaps, are not society at all. They go to the theatre to talk, and into too many marks of that haste with which such a work must company to hold their tongues. The women sit in a circle, necessarily be written. Some passages are rather too snappish, and the men gather into groups, or they play at dreary faro, and some run too much on the cheap and rather plebeian or lotto reale,' for small sums. Their academie are concerts humour of out-of-the-way rhymes, and strange-sounding words like our own, with better music and more form. Their best

and epithets. But the greater part is extremely pleasant, things are the carnival balls and masquerades, when every amiable, and gentlemanlike. – JEFFREY.) body runs mad for six weeks. After their dinners and suppers 3 [The following “lively, spirited, and pleasant tale," as Mr. they make extempore verses and buffoon one another; but it

Gifford calls it, on the margin of the MS., was written in the is in a humour which you would not enter into, ye of the north. autumn of 1818, at Ravenna. We extract the following from - in their houses it is better. As for the women, from the

a reviewal of the time :-"MAZEPPA is a very fine and fisherman's wife up to the nobil daina, their system has its spirited sketch of a very noble story, and is every way worthy rules, and its fitnesses, and its decorums, so as to be reduced of its author. The story is a well-known one ; namely, that to a kind of discipline or game at hearts, which admits few

of the young Pole, who, being bound naked on the back of a deviations, unless you wish to lose it. They are extremely wild horse, on account of an intrigue with the lady of a certain tenacious, and jealous as furies, not permitting their lovers great noble of his country, was carried by his steed into the even to marry if they can help it, and keeping them always heart of the Ukraine, and being there picked up by some close to them in public as in private, whenever they can. In

Cossacks, in a state apparently of utter hopelessness and ex. short, they transfer marriage to adultery, and strike the not hau n, recovered, and lived to be long after the prince and out of that commandment. The reason is, that they marry for leader of the nation among whom he had arrived in this their parents, and love for themselves. They exact fidelity

extraordinary manner. Lord Byron has represented the from a lover as a debt of honour, while they pay the husband

strange and wild incidents of this adventure, as being related as a tradesman, that is, not at all. You hear a person's

in a half serious, half

sportive way, by Mazeppa himself, to no character, male or female, canvassed, not as depending on their

less a person than Charles the Twelfth of Sweden, in some conduct to their husbands or wives, but to their mistress or

of whose last campaigns the Cossack Hetinan took a distin. lorer. If I wrote a quarto, I don't know that I could do more guished part He tells it during the desolate bivouack of than amplify what I have here noted.”)

Charles and the sew friends who fled with him towards 2 [This extremely clever and amusing performance affords Turkey, after the bloody overthrow of Pultowa. There is a very curious and complete specimen of a kind of diction and not a little of beauty and gracefulness in this way of setting composition of which our English literature has hitherto the picture ; - the age of Mazeppa- the calm, practised presented very few examples. It is, in itself, absolutely a indifference with which he now submits to the worst of ching of nothing - without story, characters, sentimients, or fortune's deeds - the heroic, unthinking coldness of the royal

découverte, le mari le fit lier tout nu sur un cheval farouche, et le laissa aller en cet état. Le cheval, qui était du pays de l'Ukraine, y retourna, et y porta Mazeppa, demi-mort de fatigue et de faim. Quelques paysans le secoururent: il resta long-tems parmi eux, et se signala dans plusieurs courses contre les Tartares. La supériorité de ses lumières lui donna une grande considération parmi les Cosaques : sa réputation s'augmentant de jour en jour, obligea le Czar à le faire Prince de l'Ukraine." — VOLTAIRE, Hist. de Charles XII. p. 196.

“ Le roi fuyant, et poursuivi, eut son cheval tué sous lui; le Colonel Gieta, blessé, et perdant tout son sang, lui donna le sien. Ainsi on remit deux fois à cheval, dans la fuite, ce conquérant qui n'avait pu y monter pendant la bataille.”—p. 216.

“ Le roi alla par un autre chemin avec quelques cavaliers. Le carrosse où il était rompit dans la marche; on le remit à cheval. Pour comble de disgrace, il s'égara pendant la nuit dans un bois ; làm son courage ne pouvant plus suppléer à ses forces épuisées, les douleurs de sa blessure devenues plus insupportables par la fatigue, son cheval étant tombé de lassitude, il se coucha quelques heures au pied d'un arbre, en danger d'être surpris à tout moment par les vainqueurs, qui le cherchaient de tous côtés."

This too sinks after many a league
Of well sustain'd, but vain fatigue;
And in the depth of forests, darkling
The watch-fires in the distance sparkling -

The beacons of surrounding foes -
A king must lay his limbs at length.

Are these the laurels and repose For which the nations strain their strength ? They laid him by a savage tree, In outworn nature's agony ; His wounds were stiff- his limbs were stark The heavy hour was chill and dark; The fever in his blood forbade A transient slumber's fitful aid : And thus it was; but yet through all, Kinglike the monarch bore his fall, And made, in this extreme of ill, His pangs the vassals of his will : All silent and subdued were they, As once the nations round him lay.

- p. 218.1

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A band of chiefs !-alas! how few,

Since but the fleeting of a day
Had thinn'd it; but this wreck was true

And chivalrous : upon the clay
Each sate him down, all sad and mute,

Beside his monarch and his steed,
For danger levels man and brute,

And all are fellows in their need.
Among the rest, Mazeppa made
His pillow in an old oak's shade -
Himself as rough, and scarce less old,
The Ukraine's hetman, calm and bold :
But first, outspent with this long course,
The Cossack prince rubb'd down his horse,
And made for him a leafy bed,

And smooth'd his fetlocks and his mane,

And slack'd his girth, and stripp'd his rein, And joy'd to see how well he fed ; For until now be had the dread His wearied courser might refuse To browse beneath the midnight dews : But he was hardy as his lord, And little cared for bed and board; But spirited and docile too; Whate'er was to be done, would do. Shaggy and swift, and strong of limb, All Tartar-like he carried him ; Obey'd his voice, and came to call, And knew him in the midst of all: Though thousands were around, - and Night, Without a star, pursued her flight, That steed from sunset until dawn His chief would follow like a fawn.

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I. 'Twas after dread Pultowa's day,

When fortune left the royal Swede. Around a slaughter'd army lay,

No more to combat and to bleed. The power and glory of the war,

Faithless as their vain votaries, men,
Had pass'd to the triumphant Czar,

And Moscow's walls were safe again,
Until a day more dark and drear,
And a more memorable year,
Should give to slaughter and to shame
A mightier host and haughtier name;
A greater wreck, a deeper fall,
A shock to one-a thunderbolt to all.

II.
Such was the hazard of the die ;
The wounded Charles was taught to fly
By day and night through field and food,
Stain'd with his own and subjects' blood;
For thousands fell that flight to aid :
And not a voice was heard t'upbraid
Ambition in his humbled hour,
When truth had nought to dread from power.
His horse was slain, and Gieta gave
His own — and died the Russians' slare.

madman to whom he speaks - the dreary and perilous ac. companiments of the scene around the speaker and the audience, - all contribute to throw a very striking charm both of preparation and of contrast over the wild story of the Hetman. Nothing can be more beautiful, in like manner,

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His sabre's hilt and scabbard felt,
And whether they had chafed his belt-
And next the venerable man,
From out his havresack and can,

Prepared and spread his slender stock;
And to the monarch and his men
The whole or portion offer'd then
With far less of inquietude
Than courtiers at a banquet would.
And Charles of this his slender share
With smiles partook a moment there,
To force of cheer a greater show,
And seem above both wounds and woe;-
And then he said“ Of all our band,
Though firm of heart and strong of hand,
In skirmish, march, or forage, none
Can less have said or more have done
Than thee, Mazeppa! On the earth
So fit a pair had never birth,
Since Alexander's days till now,
As thy Bucephalus and thou :
AU Scythia's fame to thine should yield
For pricking on o'er flood and field.”
Mazeppa answer'd“ Ill betide
The school wherein I learn'd to ride !”
Quoth Charles —" Old Hetman, wherefore go,
Since thou hast learn'd the art so well ?"
Mazeppa said — “ 'T were long to tell;
And we have many a league to go,
With every now and then a blow,
And ten to one at least the foe,
Before our steeds may graze at ease,
Beyond the swift Borysthenes :
And, sire, your limbs have need of rest,
And I will be the sentinel
Of this your troop.”—“ But I request,”
Said Sweden's monarch, “ thou wilt tell
This tale of thine, and I may reap,
Perchance, from this the boon of sleep;
For at this moment from my eyes
The hope of present slumber flies."

It was a court of jousts and mimes,
Where every courtier tried at rhymes;
Even I for once produced some verses,
And sign'd my odes • Despairing Thyrsis.'
There was a certain Palatine,

A count of far and high descent,
Rich as a salt or silver mine;'
And he was proud, ye may divine,

As if from heaven he had been sent:
He had such wealth in blood and ore

As few could match beneath the throne ; And he would gaze upon his store, And o'er his pedigree would pore, Until by some confusion led, Which almost look'd like want of head,

He thought their merits were his own. His wife was not of his opinion

His junior she by thirty years — Grew daily tired of his dominion ;

And, after wishes, hopes, and fears,

To virtue a few farewell tears, A restless dream or two, some glances At Warsaw's youth, some songs, and dances, Awaited but the usual chances, Those happy accidents which render The coldest dames so very tender, To deck her Count with titles given, 'T is said, as passports into heaven; But, strange to say, they rarely boast Of these, who have deserved them most.

“ Well, sire, with such a hope, I'll track
My seventy years of memory back :
I think 't was in my twentieth spring, -
Ay, 't was, — when Casimir was king-
Joba Casimir, — I was his page
Six summers, in my earlier age :
A learned monarch, faith! was he,
And most unlike your majesty :
He made no wars, and did not gain
New realms to lose them back again;
And (save debates in Warsaw's diet)
He reign'd in most unseemly quiet ;
Not that he had no cares to vex,
He loved the muses and the sex ;
And sometimes these so froward are,
They made him wish himself at war ;
But soon his wrath being o'er, he took
Another mistress, or new book;
And then he gave prodigious fêtes -
All Warsaw gather'd round his gates
To gaze upon his splendid court,
And dames, and chiefs, of princely port:
He was the Polish Solomon,
So sung his poets, all but one,
Who, being unpension'd, made a satire,
And boasted that he could not flatter.

V. “ I was a goodly stripling then ;

At seventy years I so may say,
That there were few, or boys or men,

Who, in my dawning time of day,
Of vassal or of knight's degree,
Could vie in vanities with me;
For I had strength, youth, gaiety,
A port, not like to this ye see,
But smooth, as all is rugged now;

For time, and care, and war, have plough'd My very soul from out my brow;

And thus I should be disavow'd By all my kind and kin, could they Compare my day and yesterday ; This change was wrought, too, long ere age Had ta'en my features for his page : With years, ye know, lave not declined My strength, my courage, or my mind, Or at this hour I should not be Telling old tales beneath a tree, With starless skies my canopy. But let me on: Theresa's form Methinks it glides before me now, Between me and yon chestnut's bough, The memory is so quick and warm ; And yet I find no words to tell The shape of her I loved so well : She had the Asiatic eye,

Such as our Turkish neighbourhood,

Hath mingled with our Polish blood, Dark as above us is the sky;

1 This comparison of a "salt mine" may, perhaps, be permitted to a Pole, as the wealth of the country consists greatly in the salt mines.

And on the thought my words broke forth,

All incoherent as they were — Their eloquence was little worth, But yet she listend - 't is enough

Who listens once will listen twice;

Her heart, be sure, is not of ice., And one refusal no rebuff.

VII. “ I loved, and was beloved again

They tell me, Sire, you never knew

Those gentle frailties ; if 't is true,
I shorten all my joy or pain;
To you 't would scem absurd as vain ;
But all men are not born to reign,
Or o'er their passions, or as you
Thus o'er themselves and nations too.
I am — or rather was — a prince,

A chief of thousands, and could lead

Them on where each would foremost bleed; But could not o'er myself evince The like control But to resume:

I loved, and was beloved again ;
In sooth, it is a happy doom,

But yet where happiest ends in pain. -
We met in secret, and the hour
Which led me to that lady's bower
Was fiery Expectation's dower.
My days and nights were nothing — all
Except that hour which doth recall
In the long lapse from youth to age

No other like itself - I'd give

The Ukraine back again to live
It o'er once more — and be a page,
The happy page, who was the lord
Of one soft heart, and his own sword,
And had no other gem nor wealth
Save nature's gift of youth and bealth.
We met in secret — doubly sweet,
Some say, they find it so to meet;
I know not that I would have given

My life but to have call'd her mine
In the full view of earth and heaven;

For I did oft and long repine That we could only meet by stealth.

VIII. “ For lovers there are many eyes,

And such there were on us ; – the devil

On such occasions should be civil — The devil! - I'm loth to do him wrong,

It might be some untoward saint, Who would not be at rest too long,

But to his pious bile gave ventBut one fair night, some lurking spies Surprised and seized us both. The Count was something more than irroth I was unarmd ; but if in steel, All cap-à-pie from head to heel, What 'gainst their numbers could I do? "T was near his castle, far away

From city or from succour near, And almost on the break of day;

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But through it stole a tender light,
Like the first moonrise of midnight;
Large, dark, and swimming in the stream,
Which seem'd to melt to its own beam;
All love, half langour, and half fire,
Like saints that at the stake expire,
And lift their raptured looks on high,
As though it were a joy to die.'
A brow like a midsummer lake,

Transparent with the sun therein,
When waves no murmur dare to make,

And heaven beholds her face within. A chcek and lip — but why proceed ?

I loved her then - I love her still ;
And such as I am, love indeed

In fierce extremes - in good and ill.
But still we love even in our rage,
And haunted to our very age
With the vain shadow of the past,
As is Mazeppa to the last.

VI.
“ We met — we gazed – I saw, and sigh'il,
She did not speak, and yet replied ;
There are ten thousand tones and signs
We hear and see, but none defines
Involuntary sparks of thought,
Which strike from out the heart o'erwrought,
And form a strange intelligence,
Alike mysterious and intense,
Which link the burning chain that binds,
Without their will, young hearts and minds ;
Conveying, as the electric wire,
We know not how, the absorbing fire.
I saw, and sigh'd - in silence wept,
And still reluctant distance kept,
Until I was made known to her,
And we might then and there confer
Without suspicion - then, even then,

I long'd, and was resolved to speak;
But on my lips they died again,

The accents tremulous and weak, Until one hour. There is a game,

A frivolous and foolish play,

Wherewith we while away the day ;
It is -- I have forgot the name -
And we to this, it seems, were set,
By some strange chance, which I forget :
I reck'd not if I won or lost,

It was enough for me to be

So near to hear, and oh! to see
The being whom I loved the most. —
I watch'd her as a sentinel,
(May ours this dark night watch as well !)

Until I saw, and thus it was,
That she was pensive, nor perceived
Her occupation, nor was grieved
Nor glad to lose or gain; but still
Play'd on for hours, as if her will
Yet bound her to the place, though not
That hers might be the winning lot. 2

Then through my brain the thought did pass
Even as a flash of lightning there,
That there was something in her air
Which would not doom me to despair;

'C“ Until it prorės a joy to die." - NIS.)

but not

For that which we had both forgol."-JS.)

I did not think to see another,

My moments seem'd reduced to few;
And with one prayer to Mary Mother,

And, it may be, a saint or two,
As I resign'd me to my fate,
They led me to the castle gate :

Theresa's doom I never knew,
Our lot was henceforth separate.
An angry man, ye may opine,
Was be, the proud Count Palatine ;
And he had reason good to be,

But he was most enraged lest such

An accident should chance to touch
Upon his future pedigree;
Nor less amazed, that such a blot
His noble 'scutcheon should have got,
While he was highest of his line ;

Because unto himself he seem'd

The first of men, nor less he deem'd In others' eyes, and most in mine. 'Sdeath! with a page perchance a king Had reconciled him to the thing; But with a stripling of a page I felt - but cannot paint his rage.

Nor of its fields a blade of grass,

Save what grows on a ridge of wall,

Where stood the hearth-stone of the hall; And many a time ye there might pass, Nor dream that e'er that fortress was : I saw its turrets in a blaze, Their crackling battlements all cleft,

And the hot lead pour down like rain From off the scorch'd and blackening roof, Whose thickness was not vengeance-proof.

They little thought that day of pain, When launch'd, as on the lightning's flash, They bade me to destruction dash,

That one day I should come again,
With twice five thousand horse, to thank

The Count for his uncourteous ride.
They play'd me then a bitter prank,
When, with the wild horse for my guide,
They bound me to his foaming flank :
At length I play'd them one as frank —
For time at last sets all things even -

And if we do but watch the hour,

There never yet was human power
Which could evade, if unforgiven,
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a wrong.

LX. " "Bring forth the horse!'- the horse was brought;

In truth, he was a noble steed,

A Tartar of the Ukraine breed,
Who look'd as though the speed of thought
Were in his limbs; but he was wild,

Wild as the wild deer, and untaught,
With spur and bridle undefiled -

'Twas hut a day he had been caught;
And snorting, with erected mane,
And struggling fiercely, but in vain,
In tbe full foam of wrath and dread
To me the desert-born was led :
They bound me on, that menial throng,
Upon his back with many a thong ;
They loosed him with a sudden lash
Away! - away ! — and on we dash !
Torrents less rapid and less rash.

X.
« Away! - away! – My breath was gone
I saw not where he hurried on :
'T was scarcely yet the break of day,
And on he foam'd away 1 -- away !
The last of human sounds which rose,
As I was darted from my foes,
Was the wild shout of savage laughter,
Which on the wind came roaring after
A moment from that rabble rout:
With sudden wrath I wrench'd my head,

And snapp'd the cord, which to the mane

Had bound my neck in lieu of rein, And writhing half my form about, Howl'd back my curse; but 'midst the tread, The thunder of my courser's speed, Perchance they did not hear nor heed : It rexes me - for I would fain Have paid their insult back again. I paid it well in after days : There is not of that castle gate, Its drawbridge and portcullis' weight, Stone, bar, moat, bridge, or barrier left;

XI. “ Away, away, my steed and I,

Upon the pinions of the wind,

All human dwellings left behind ; We sped like meteors through the sky, When with its crackling sound the night Is chequer'd with the northern light: Town village none were on our track,

But a wild plain of far extent,
And bounded by a forest black;

And, save the scarce seen battlement
On distant heights of some strong hold,
Against the Tartars built of old,
No trace of man. The year before
A Turkish army had march'd o'er ;
And where the Spahi's hoof hath trod,
The verdure flies the bloody sod :
The sky was dull, and dim, and gray,

And a low breeze crept moaning by

I could have answer'd with a sigh –
But fast we fled, away, away —
And I could neither sigh nor pray ;
And my cold sweat-drops fell like rain
Upon the courser's bristling mane ;
But, snorting still with rage and fear,
He flew upon his far career :
At times I almost thought, indeed,
He must have slackend in his speed;
But no - my bound and slender frame

Was nothing to his angry might,
And merely like a spur became :
Each motion which I made to free
My swoln limbs from their agony

Increas'd his fury and affright: I tried my voice, — 't was faint and low, But yet he swerv'd as from a blow; And, starting to each accent, sprang As from a sudden trumpet's clang : Meantime my cords were wet with gore, Which, oozing through my limbs, ran o'er ;

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