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that position by his royal master. Every circumstance connected with the plot, from its commencement, had been known by Peter. That terrible tribunal, which was established in Russia during the reign of Czar Alexei Michailowitch, called “The Chancery of Secret Inquisition,” was, during his reign, merely a nominal institution. The numerous conspiracies, both of a political and private nature, which were formed against Peter, rendered it necessary, in his view, not only to continue, but to render it additionally active. Its members were found in all ranks, yet known by none save themselves. Nothing transpired, of the most trivial nature, but, through this medium, was almost instantly conveyed to the Czar. Thus he had heard of the meeting at the inn, at which Sobiesky and Chowanskoi first stopped: there, in the habit of a slave, Peter was present: he overheard the plot, and determined to be of the party in the ruins.
He had there noticed the confusion of Sobiesky, was convinced of his innocence, and determined to save him; and therefore he had led him, by a secret communication, to a wing of his palace.
It was determined, on the part of Peter, that Sobiesky should return to the inn, where a ready excuse for his absence, if called for, would be furnished, in his ignorance of the streets of the city. Chowanskoi had not, however, returned when Sobiesky reached the place: he had been detained on his way by some of the conspirators.
Shortly after his entrance, each repaired to his chamber, and, on the following night, when the inhabitants of Moscow had retired to rest, they rejoined the conspirators in the place of general rendezvous. The execution of the plot was now finally arranged; each person had his place and work assigned him. The palace was to be fired at various places; and during the confusion which would ensue, while part of the band were employed in plunder, the others, headed by Sobiesky, were to force the palace, and surround the apartment of the emperor, upon whom, instantly as he appeared, they were to rush, and dispatch him with their daggers. The arrangements were completed :a dreadful oath had been prepared, to bind them together:-an awful silence ensued. The individual who had addressed Sobiesky on his first appearance among them, rose, and was proceeding to swear the assembly, when a sudden crush shook the dilapidated building: the barricades were forced; gleaming fire-arms and glittering swords struck terror into the hearts of the boldest of the conspirators. To flee was impossible ;-resistance was in vain. The soldiers of the Czar, led by himself, surrounded them: the whole were secured ; and on the dawning of the day, which was to have witnessed a flaming palace, a murdered monarch, and a pillaged city, the lifeless bodies of those who had formed the plot, afforded a fresh instance of the knowledge and determination of PETER THE GREAT
The forfeited estates of Count Soltikoff were, with his titles, conferred upon his son, whose courage and loyalty proved, that the professions he had made to the Czar, while in the habit of a slave, were not less sincere than strong. Honour and dignity were in him united; and, next to Prince Menzikoff, in power and in influence, stood the once humble Sobiesky of Valdai. This sudden reverse of fortune, and flattering elevation, did not, however, divert his attachment from those to whom from infancy he had been united. By his interest, the life of Chowanskoi had been spared. He was, however, condemned to perpetual banishment, to the regions of Siberia: but this sentence was not carried into execution: a disease, which then prevailed in the prison where he was confined, carried him off. He died in the arms of Sobiesky, who had occasionally visited him during his confinement; and, as his last breath trembled on his lip, commended Eudocia to his care. This was not necessary; his heart was too deeply interested in the welfare of the maid, to neglect her.
Immediately after the interment of Chowanskoi, he flew to Valdai. The cottage of his childhood appeared in sight. The sun had not sunk beneath the waves of the Boristhenes, when he drew up to the gate. Eudocia was walking in the garden. She turned her head as the carriage stopped. The well-known form of Sobiesky, as he stepped from it, met her eye; and, in an instant, she was in his
“My own Sobiesky !" was all that escaped
her lips, as her lifeless head fell over his shoulder. The scene was painfully interesting. The excess of joy which she suddenly felt had stopped the current of life. Sobiesky bore his lovely burden into the cottage, and then, yielding to all the agony of sorrow, demonstrated by his emotions, that the lacerating wound he had received was incurable, as he deplored his blasted hopes and crushed affections. Eudocia was interred by the side of her father in the cemetery of the convent of the Holy Trinity; and, after sustaining, with honour to himself and profit to his sovereign, the dignity conferred upon him, Sobiesky was, at his death, by his own particular desire, deposited in the tomb, which had received his beloved Eudocia.
Such things I've heard and read of, but before
Yet I doubt no more;
“SEVEN hundred years ago, and upwards, when as yet the die was not cast, or the fatal arrow drawn, which pierced the heart of Harrold, on the plain of Epiton, and determined who should be the masters of our happy isle; whether those in whose veins the hot blood of the Danish race flowed, or those whose cooler, though not less fierce, temperature was of Norman extraction”
Thus far I had proceeded in my projected piece, intending to furnish a sketch of the fortunes of William, Henry, Joceline, or some one at least of the renowned De Percies, the brave progenitors of a long line of noble lords of Petworth, from whom