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his eyes and met those of Horace Mudie gazing at him with real solicitude and anxiety, all the indifferent nonchalance gone from his face.

“Are you much hurt, old fellow ?"
Val smiled faintly. “Yes, I am done for entirely,” he gasped.

“No, no,” interposed the other, "you must not give way like that. The ball has gone through your left shoulder, here, where I have tied the handkerchief round. It will not kill you, man!”

“Don't tell Doris, it would hurt her,” he said, gazing imploringly at Mudie.

“She was with me when I found you and has gone for help to the Manor. She will be back directly. You must get well for her sake, Val,” he added, huskily, turning away his head to avoid Val's inquiring eyes.

Never did rivals appear under nobler circumstances. Seeing them thus, Val's head resting trustfully upon Mudie's strong, supporting shoulder, while the latter soothed and relieved his pain with a woman's tenderness, no one would have guessed that Mudie bad that day been rejected by Doris, who had confessed her love for Val, or that Val believed he was in the arms of his successful rival. Yet so it was.

Presently Horace asked: “Do you think it would hurt you if I were to cut off your coat? I must try and stop that bleeding."

“Don't trouble about me. You cannot save me, and it is better so.”

The Englishman did not answer ; he passed a wet handkerchief over the wounded man's face to revive him, and then began gently and firmly to cut away the rough frieze coat, which, together with the impromptu bandage, was saturated with blood; but when he tried to raise him so as to disengage the sleeve, the pain was so intense that Val fainted again.

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But he did not die, though for weeks he lay in the agent's house between life and death, tended with the greatest care by Doris, her father, and the trained nurse sent by Colonel Baldwin. The shoulderblade had been badly fractured, and the bullet-wound, though not mortal, was of a very serious nature, and Val's previous troubles had told considerably upon his naturally strong constitution. It was many months before he was his old bright self again ; but at last, one sunny day in May, Val and Doris were married. The bridegroom received a cordial congratulatory letter from Horace Mudie, who had returned to England as soon as Val was pronounced out of danger, and the two continued firm friends to the end.

Halloran was arrested, tried and sentenced to many years of penal servitude, and, during his long illness, the tide of popularity at Ochnaballagh veered completely round again in Val's favour.

After his daughter's marriage, Mr. Mildmay accepted an agency in England, and though Colonel Baldwin wished to keep him, still Val agreed that he was right to leave the scene of his undeserved disgrace, and felt that his firm upright character would be more appreciated in England, than among the warm-hearted, unruly Irish.

And now, what is there to add ? That Val and Doris "lived happy ever after,” like the prince and princess in a fairy-tale ? I think not. No one, but these fabulous royalties, ever yet spent a cloudless existence, and these two had their share of the cares and troubles of the world like every one else. But they were happy in each other and in their children, and as they shared alike sorrow and joy, the one was robbed of half its bitterness, even as the other became doubly sweet.

GIFTS.

I KNOW not, O my King,
The song Thy ransomed sing,

The anthem full and sweet,
Soaring and swelling to Thy glorious Feet.

I have no costly hoard,
No fragrant spices stored,

Nor frankincense is mine,
Nor golden treasure to enrich Thy shrine.

What shall I give to Thee,
For all Thy gifts so free ?

For all Thy love so dear,
What praise may I accord which Thou shalt hear?

Wilt Thou disdain a sigh,
Thou lowliest Majesty,

To mingle with the song
That angels' and archangels' notes prolong ?

May penitential tears,
Purging the sinful years,

Reach Thee, my LORD, instead
Of precious myrrh for Thine anointing shed ?

And though no casket sweet
Embalm Thy gracious Feet,

Broken for love divine,
Yet wilt Thou smile, that one poor heart is Thine ?

A. M. HERBERT.

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POLAND AND HER VICISSITUDES. “THE decay of the Polish nation,” said Lord Beaconsfield some years back, “is an instance of the principle of race. They were twenty millions, and they produced no men or man, but light and frivolous, did nothing but cut each other's throats in feudal broils, till for the preservation of peace and a quiet neighbourhood, the 'powers' were compelled to step in and govern those who were unable to govern themselves.” Our compassion for the highly educated and intelligent Polish exiles, who have long made England their home, has readily consigned to oblivion the grave defects in the old Polish administration and its turbulent and aggressive policy in ancient days, which produced their natural result in its decline, and that a bill for the dismemberment of Poland was actually carried through the National Diet at Warsaw in the last century. No nation indeed really falls “unwept, without a crime," and the anachronism which Poland presented of a nation ruled by an Asiatic feudal aristocracy in the heart of Europe, with an elected foreign roi fainéant as its nominal head, was recognised by the English statesmen of 1814. For many years she had been an appendage of the Crown of Saxony, and when Austria and Prussia became sufficiently powerful to agree on partitioning this semibarbarous fief of the Saxon state, Russia put in her claim for Lithuania as an old dependency of Muscovy, and akin to her in religion and race, thereby preventing the German frontier from advancing to within a day or two's march of Moscow.

Although Roman Catholicism was the established religion in Poland divorce was permitted without limit, till it was forbidden by the Russian Government in 1831, and other points on which the Roman Church has been rigid in Western Europe, were here relaxed to prevent the people from embracing the more self-indulgent creed of their neighbouring Mahometan allies in Turkey and the Crimea. A large Mahometan community had existed for centuries in Lithuania. Carlyle has vividly described the condition of Polish Silesia when it was first annexed by Prussia, under Frederick the Great; and also of Posen, where the towns lay in ruins, plundered by lawless brigands, who called themselves patriots, under the pretence of extinguishing Lutheranism. “The country people hardly knew such a thing as bread ; many had never in their lives tasted such a delicacy; few villages possessed an oven. A weaving loom was rare, the spinningwheel unknown. ... It was a desolate land, without discipline, without a law, without a master.”

Such was the state of the richest part of Poland, and Prussia a short time later also became master of Warsaw, which was conquered from her by Napoleon in 1806, and in 1814 transferred by the Treaty of Vienna to Russia, who had expelled the French garrisons from the whole of the Polish territory. The partial restoration of the kingdom of Poland, with Home Rule, under the Czar Alexander I., was contrary to the advice of almost every European statesman, including the Duke of Wellington and Talleyrand, who pointed out to the Russian Emperor that he was preparing a “sea of troubles” for his successors, and that Poland would, as formerly, become the seat of Communist and Socialist (then called Jacobin) intrigues. As to the province of Lithuania, the Polish poet and patriot Niemciewicz, writing in 1797 says, that it was actually the richest of the Polish nobles, settled at S. Petersburg, who convinced the Empress Catharine II. of the need of completing the third and last partition of Poland in self-defence, for they hoped to benefit by the confiscated estates of their less compliant countrymen ; and as Niemciewicz was being conducted a prisoner to S. Petersburg, after the final defeat of Kosciusko, he tells us that he

must own with shame that those Polish districts which had been longest annexed to Russia were far more flourishing and well cultivated than they had ever been before.” From this he draws the conclusion, that England is the only country able to unite liberty with an energetic administration and good order.

Niemciewicz's published account of his two years' imprisonment in the fortress of S. Petersburg is highly interesting, and it did not deter him from taking part in the Polish Revolution of 1830. The death of Catharine II. in 1796, and the accession of her son Paul, was the occasion of his release and that of the other Polish prisoners of war, who having expected nothing less than years of captivity, and believing the resuscitation of their country to be hopeless, thankfully accepted the new Emperor's favours, and took an oath of allegiance to him

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without reserve. The chief of these captives, General Kosciusko, had already distinguished himself in the American War of Independence, but hastened back to his native country and headed a fierce resistance to the three partitioning powers, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, in 1793. He was assisted by many French Republican officers, and adventurers from all Europe, as well as by his lieutenant Niemciewicz, but he fell desperately wounded in a lost battle in 1794, and was conveyed a prisoner to S. Petersburg, where in consideration of his state of health and of his renown, he had been allowed to live comfortably in Count Orlof's palace, and even to take a drive every day. It was here that the eccentric but not unfeeling Emperor came in person to announce to him that he was free, accompanied by his eldest son, who in less than five years ascended the throne as Alexander I. The Pole at once asked for the release of his fellow-countrymen. They shall be free also,” said the Emperor, "if you will give me your word and be the guarantee of their good conduct, though my Council greatly oppose the release of Potocki and Niemciewicz. It thinks them too dangerous.” Kosciusko said he was sure of Niemciewicz, but would not answer for Marshal Potocki, on which Paul said he would call on Potocki himself. “I know," he said to Potocki, as he entered his room, " that you have suffered much and been long ill-treated, persecuted, but under the last reign all honest men were, myself the first. My ministers are violently opposed to your liberty. I was alone in my opinion, and I do not know how it has prevailed. In general those gentlemen, (speaking of his ministers,) greatly wish to lead me by the nose, but unfortunately for them I have none,” (an accident had formerly crushed it,) and he passed his hand over his face. “You are free, but promise me to be peaceable. Reason itself must show you the need of it. New attempts could only draw upon you fresh misfortunes. I have always been opposed to the partition of Poland; it was an act as unjust as impolitic, but it is completed. To re-establish your country we want the concordant consent of three powers to restore what they have taken. Is there the least probability that Austria, and above all Prussia, would restore their parts ? Ought I alone to restore mine, to weaken myself, whilst they are strengthened ? Impossible. Ought I alone to make war upon them to force them to do it? Still less ; my empire has only too much need of peace. You see, then, that you must submit to circumstances and remain quiet.”

Niemciewicz writes, that Marshal Potocki, “ touched with so much VOL. III.

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