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Eudocia had nearly fallen with surprise : she feared that the mind of her dear Sobiesky was affected; but entreated him to be calm, and explain to her, if possible, what his words portended. He led her to a moss bank, and, seating himself beside her, said,

“Hear me then, Eudocia, and learn at least all that present information has put me in possession of.” So saying, he drew from his bosom a letter. “This,” continued he, “informed me, about four weeks since, that I am not the son of Chowanskoi !” “Not Chowanskoi's son!” exclaimed the gentle Eudocia, “whose son are you then ?” “Of that,” replied Sobiesky, “I am equally ignorant with yourself; and thence arises my present misery; but,” continued he, "you recollect the departure of Chowanskoi, now two months since, for Moscow: at his departure, I accompanied him to the other side of the Vhisokaya Plostchade: there, in the valley, as the sun broke forth above the dark woods of Valdai, he bade me farewell, and, as I then thought, with more than usual solemnity. There was, indeed, as I conceived, a degree of agitation in his manner, which I had never before observed. I had frequently pressed my wish to accompany him to the city,--never having seen the imperial residence. I thought his eye looked angry, as I mentioned our beloved Emperor, and he exclaimed, -not now, Sobiesky, not now: when next I visit Moscow, you will, I hope, accompany


Of that, however, and why I have not yielded to your desires, I will hereafter inform you.' Thus we parted. This letter has partially given the information, only leaving so much unexplained as to throw a mystery over the rest. One thing I may inform you of, Sobiesky,' he says, 'I am not your father, you are of noble birth.' I am then requested to stand in readiness for whatever may demand my attention.

Instantly on the receipt of this, I should have hastened to Chowanskoi, to learn from his own lips, what now above all things I feel desirous to know,—who my parents are, if indeed 1 yet possess any, and what must be their circumstances; but Obisci, the bearer of it, assured me I should not discover Chowanskoi, if I undertook the journey; and that his return was certain at the time he had mentioned. That time draws nigh: two days more, and I then may hope to learn the secret of my birth.”

“ Then I am indeed not your sister !” said Eudocia, mournfully, and a flood of tears prevented further utterance. Sobiesky pressed her most affectionately to his bosom, as he replied, “Yes, yes, you shall still be my Eudocia, my own dear, dear Eudocia.” Then taking her hand, he led her through the forest by a circuitous way, from the spot occupied by the dancers, to their quiet cottage.

The day came which Chowanskoi had named for his return, and Sobiesky arose with its dawning

light. Full of restless anxiety, he left his chamber, and strolled into the garden by which the dwelling of Chowanskoi was surrounded. The quiet and composure of the florist's mind no longer possessed him. Other and wilder pursuits, better accorded with his strongly excited feelings. He seized his gun, threw over his shoulder the belt, to which was appended his powder and shot, and, like a proscribed one, left the habitations of man, and sought the lonely mountain's quiet. The sun rose with its usual brilliancy. Its blazing disk appeared above the hills of Valdai, and Sobiesky pushed onwards. It reached its highest altitude, -still Sobiesky halted not. He had been unsuccessful in his sport during his ramble, although so excellent a shot, that it was no uncommon thing to hear the old sportsmen of the province say, when speaking of a good marksman, “He is as sure as young Sobiesky of Valdai.” Whatever the cause of his present failure might have been, is not necessary to inquire; so it was :-still he pushed on. The contents of his small wallet supplied his excited appetite, and the clear waters of the bubbling spring allayed his thirst.

The broad shadows of the evening, which here and there appeared, gave to loneliness a lonelier aspect. Sobiesky left the thicket in which he had been shooting, and a wide plain lay before him, across which he hasted in his return home. Now and then flitting across his path, the reflected forms of the tall dark pines looked like

“Giant spectres stalking into shade,"

and reminded him that he had wandered too far. With increased speed he moved onwards, and entered a deep valley. All here was silent. Even the feathered choristers had ceased to render it vocal, having retired to their mossy cells. The scene was such an one as has been described :

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The sun that cheer'd, but now, with borrow'd light,
Like maiden modesty, has shrunk from sight;
Its rays still tremble on some leafy spire,
Like glimmering tapers ere the flame expire;
Or faintly gild the giant mountain's brow,
Which frowns in grandeur o'er the vales below;
While lofty grove-tops, that in ether play,
Catch the last pallid smiles of dying day.

In such a place, and in such an hour as this, imagination, founding her powerful empire on the site of ancient superstition, might have summoned from the regions of nonentity, beings and forms such as nature never knew. If the path of Sobiesky was in any degree beset by such, it must be imputed rather to the ignorance of the times, than to anything like cowardice in the young Valdaian.

As he passed forward, a distant foot-fall fell on his ear: at first he regarded it but as the echo of his own tread; he made a halt however, and became convinced that some other than himself travelled the valley. He listened ;—the steps approached him. He challenged the person, but received no answer. Again he called, when a ball whizzed past him, and the unknown being sought a precipitate retreat. Sobiesky raised his piece to his shoulder, and fired. The stranger fell. With all possible speed he ran to his assistance, and instantly as he reached him, to his almost sinking astonishment, discovered Chowanskoi ! With feelings which nearly produced madness, Sobiesky wept over him. It was soon discovered, however, that the fall of Chowanskoi had been occasioned by exhaustion, rather than by the wound he had received, which was of a trifling nature on his left arm. Papers which he had about his person induced him to travel by a circuitous road: the consequence was, he had reached that place some hours later than he had expected; while anxiety and a desire to reach home, according to his word, had led him to neglect such refreshment as his fatigue rendered necessary. He had heard the challenge of Sobiesky, but his papers rendered him suspicious of every voice, and produced the present unpleasant circumstance.

Chowanskoi leaned on the arm of Sobiesky, and was indeed half borne by him; and in that manner, they both reached the village of Valdai. The anxiety of Eudocia was relieved by the sight of Sobiesky, which his absence had occasioned her to feel; but the joy occasioned by his and her father's presence, was changed to agony, as she beheld the blood which had flowed from Chowanskoi's arm. Her fears were calmed by the explanation

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