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some dangerous employ. This consideration taught the Count, all the horrible danger which he had thrown himself into : and soon he was on the brink of that danger. From this place of confinement he plainly heard them consulting what to do with him : all voted his death but one; who with more humanity, was for sending him back, after a discovery of his quality.Though the Count thought his death inevitable, yet he begged to speak to them before they took their last resolution. They led him out of his dungeon into the midst of their assembly, and permitted him to speak.
“I understand, gentlemen, (said he to them) how much reason you have to get rid of me. My indiscretion deserves death, and I accept it: but give me leave to represent to you, that your ruin must infallibly follow it. I think myself obliged to declare my name and quality. I am the Count of Beaumont, brigadier general of his Majesty's forces: I was going from the army to my own estate. The bad weather kept me in this village, where I have all my equipage: my valet, who lay at my bed's foot, must have made bis escape, and apprised my people of my adventure; and be assured that if they don't find me, they will pull down the castle, but that they will find out what has become of me. Consider it gentlemen ; I don't want to threaten you; but how necessary soever my death may appear to your security, I think myself obliged to assure you that it will certainly ruin you. If you doubt my quality, letters in my pocket, with orders from his majesty, will confirm my testimony.” The Count produced his letters; and while these Cyclops examined them, he added, " Sirs, I am a gentleman and can keep a secret, without desiring to dive into yours; and I swear by my faith, and honour, I will not betray you." This speech, which he made with that dignity which never abandons great men in distress, astonished them all. They sent him back to his cave to renew their deliberations.
They now gave into softer counsels, though some still persisted in advising his death, but those in less number, and with less vehemence than before. The debates which the Count heard distinctly, would have alarmed a heart less great than his; for besides the idea of death, which was always present, every one formed a different punishment, and made him feel all the horrors of it. Even death itself, in my opinion, is preferable to this cruel vicissitude of hope and despair. The Count, however, calmly waited for his sentence. The votes were onanimous in his favour: they brought him out again. One of the subterranean crew pronounced him at liberty, on condition that he swore an inviolable secrecy, and would leave the village and his servants in the notion of spirits which they already entese tained; and that when he was out of the province he would not mention the adventure. After these oaths, they gave him his arms and letters, except one, which they kept. They made him drink some glasses of wine : the whole company drank to his health, and after having made him sensible what a risque they ran in sparing his life, they opened the trap door and two guides led bim towards the apartment. As soon as he was upon the stair-case, the guides took off his bandage, and returned to the cavern.
The Count however returned to his chamber, amazed at his adventure ; but had like to have met with a more terrible one from his valet. The poor fellow, now sober by bis fears, was in despair when he missed the Count. He concluded that the spirits had strangled him, according to the stories of the night before. Full of grief for his dear master, he even mistook hini when he entered, and taking him for the spectre let fly bis pistol at him. By a providential stroke the pistol missed, and the Count made himself known. The poor servant was ready to die with shame and horror at the misfortune he had escaped, and implored his master's forgiveness. The Count, without staying to hear him, bid him follow him ; for he thought quitting the castle a better security than the mutual oaths in the cavern, since it was possible they might recant theirs. They went together, and waited for day-light in the avenue leading to the village; and the Count told his man, that having followed the spectre with his hand, after several rounds it buried itself in a kind of well, which he was almost decoyed into, and that he had much ado to find his room again. When it was day he went to the Curate and told him the same story, which soon spread itself through the village ; and having sent for his bed and clothes, he continued his journey.
Several years passed before the Count mentioned his adventure; and he had never divulged it, without the express permission which he has since received. One day, when he was at his country seat, they told him a man wanted to communicate to him an important affair, and that he could not stay nor come into the castle. The Count surprised at the message, sent for the messenger, and ordered his people to inquire whence he came. The messenger again answered, that he would not come in, nor wait, "nor name his masters; and notwithstanding all their persuasion, he persisted in staying upon the draw-bridge. - The Count who was at dinner, communicated this extraordinary message to the gentlemen at table with him, and asked their advice. Some found reason to distrust where there was so much mystery, and were for securing the messenger; but the majority advised the Count to go and speak with him, for fear of losing some advice of consequence to his safety, and offered to accompany him. The counsel prevailed: The Count rose from the table, and with all the gentlemen, went to the bridge where the messenger waited.
When the messenger saw him, he cried out sear nothing, sir, and to prove that I have no ill design, I discharge my arms. Immediately he shot off his pistols towards the fields. Then the Count approaching, the messenger without dismounting, put into his hands two noble Spanish horses, which he led; and delivering a packet, said to him, this, sir, will inform you further ; I have finished my commission, and my orders oblige me to depart. At the end of this speech he spurred his horse, and went off full gallop; nor could they ever find cut where he retired to.
The Count wondered at this commission, and was impatient to know the contents of the packet, which having opened, he read aloud ; it was to this effect
“We thank you, sir, for having hitherto preserved a secret in our favour, and we have sent these two horses as instances of our gratitude. We have sent too an important letter, which you left such a day and such a year, at the castle of - It may put you in mind of a strange adventure which happened you there. We have happily concluded our affair, and returned to our own homes. We disengage you from your oaths,
, and your secret : we shall tell your adventure ourselves, and give you permission to publish it. Adieu, generous Count. This comes from the six gentlemen who put you into such a fright in the cellars of the castle.”
After reading this letter, the Count yet doubted whether he ought to divulge the secret ; but, at the request of the gentlemen then with him, he told them his singular adventure, and took a pleasure in repeating it ou all accasions.
A WONDERFUL PROVIDENCE.
A remarkable story of a Dog which preserved the life of the late
Earl of Crawford's Grandfather. The life of the late earl of Crawford (who was the present earl's grand-father) is reported to have been saved in an inn at Flanders, about four miles from Ratisbon, as he was going to Frankfort, by his dog, which he had sent to be hanged as thinking him mad; but the servant gave the dog to a soldier that was quartered at that inn; when bis lordship came thither, the dog followed him to his bed chamber, but would not let him go into bed, still pulling him away by the tail of his shirt, till he tore it off, and then by his heels ; at last his lordship obeyed the dog barricaded the door, and set up all night in a chair; after a while he saw the bed with so much of the floor as it stood on descending into the under room, among the robbers who were to have cut his throat; but finding him not there, they came up to get in at the door; whereupon he fired a pistol through it, and killed the drawer; aster which he heard no more of them, when he from a window, by throwing his hat with a note pinned on it into the road, drew passengers to him, who released him, and found the house empty, and discovered the remains, or tokens, of several former murders; and among them, bis lordship's servant, with his throat cut from ear to ear. But as for the dog, he was carefully kept as long as his lordship lived, and when he died, he left twenty pounds a year to a person whom he engaged to take care of him, for his maintenance.
It is said that there is to be seen, at his present lordship's house at Edinburgh, a fine, large, capital painting of this story, performed by Sir Paul Reubens, or Sir Anthony Van Dyke, with an inscription under it.
AN ACCOUNT OF AN ELEPHANT, AND OF THE
NATURAL history furnishes many examples which shew that instinct in animals makes a near approach to reason. The acuteness of this faculty in the half-reasoning elephant is known almost to a proverb, and the well attested accounts of it given by travellers, have in them something astonishing.
We are informed by Thevenot, that elephants are the only public executioners in the Mogul's country, and that these animals are trained in such a manner that they break the limbs of the criminals with as much dexterity as a Paris executioner.
This they do by command, as it were, observing the signs made by a person who stands up to superintend the execution, with such care and attention, that they protract the sufferings of the criminal, or dispatch him expeditiously, according to the pleasure of the sovereign.
Among other surprising stories, told by the above author, of the instinct of this animal, we meet with the following:
An elephant who had been very often fed and kindly treated by an herb-woman, belonging to the market of Delhi, the capital of Indostan, passed once through the market when proud. This animal, at such a time, is observed to be quite outrageous,
and to spare nothing that comes in its way; it accordingly drove on with the utinost fury, throwing down and trampling upon all those it met, till the daughter of the herb-woman, a little child that could scarce crawl along, bappened to come in its way; its rage immediately subsided : it took up the child gently upon its proboscis, and laying it upon a shed hard by, where it might be out of harm's way, proceeded with the same fury as before.
A human creature could hardly discover stronger symptoms of gratitude and understanding. The circumstance of its knowing the child again to be that of its benetactress, and preserving it with tenderness and care, in reluid for benefits received, shews that this animal is possessed of a high degree of intelligence and thought.
A still more surprising instance, of instinct making a nearer approach to reason, is to be found in the natural history of the Ukraine, or country of the Cossacks, bordering upon Poland.
The baubaci, a sort of animal that bears a strong resemblance to monkies, abound in the plains and forests of the Ukraine.
These creatures form separate parties, or clans; and upon certain days, meet in hostile bands, and engage in pitched battle. The opposing armies have their respective chiefs, and officers of several subordinate ranks, and the various combatants appear to obey orders, and proceed with the same regularity that men do upon like occasions.
After the two armies have fought with stones and sticks, that which is beaten retreats, and leaves the other in possession of the field. The fight being over, they come and bury their dead with the same care that human creatures might do.
Cardinal Polignac, who was sent embassador by Lewis XVI. to Poland, in order to support the interests of the prince of Conti against those of Stanislaus, had often an opportunity of seeing these animals engage. He tells us, that they give the word of command for the onset, by a sort of cry, or inarticulate sound ; that he has seen them march in regular companies, each led by its particular captain ; and, upon meeting their adversaries, both parties have drawn up in battle array; and, upon the signal being given by their chiefs, have engaged with a degree of fury that has surprised him.
Sometimes two baubaci fight at a distance, with stones and other things of a missile nature ; sometimes they proceed to a claw fight, and then their rage and obstinacy are astonishing. The cardinal tells us, that he
has often known a whole party of these creatures, consisting of two or three hundred and upwards betake themselves to fight on the falling of its chief.