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would rather die a thousand deaths than see her misery consummated by so fatal an union; and that in short I was ready to go all lengths and to brave the resentment of parents on both sides rather than lose her; making some bold allusions at the same time to Gretna Green, and to the necessity sometimes of a runaway match, which, I assured her, parents always forgave, to secure the happiness of their daughter.
Under such circumstances as these, it may be easily understood that our intimacy grew apace, and young as we both were, being neither more nor less than a boy and a girl, it seemed to us that we had been acquainted and intimate for years; so deceptive and engrossing is the passion that absorbed us.
This delightful state of freedom and companionship was too good to last; and, as we both expected, on the morning of the seventh day, a letter from Miss McDragon to her brother, as Lavinia informed me, communicated the tidings of their immediate return. She, the aunt, congratulated herself that all matters were now prepared for her dear Lavinia's marriage, with the worthy Mr. Peter McDragon," and she communicated information which she had no doubt she said "would be particularly pleasing to Lavinia, for she had unexpectedly met with the daughter of an old friend and admirer of hers now deceased-who had been a captain in His Majesty's Royal Navy. She had had the good fortune she said to meet the young lady with her mother in London, and she had prevailed on them to allow her to bring them with her to Willow Lodge to be present at the wedding; and that if the daughter should be agreeable to her niece as she felt sure that she would, she intended to propose to her to act as bride's-maid on the occasion."
This letter, as we both agreed, was most artfully written, and it filled us with the liveliest apprehensions. It assumed that Lavinia's consent was given; and the wily aunt knew her brother-in-law too well, not to feel confident that under such circumstances he would not allow Lavinia to draw back, as he would consider an assent given in such a matter in the same light and as being of nearly the same grave nature as the endorsement of a bill of exchange which it became the bounden duty of the endorser imperatively to pay. It was a skilful act also on the part of the aunt not to write to her niece direct, but to make her communication to the father; which, while it had an appearance of delicacy and of a desire to save Lavinia's feelings, prevented her at the same time from addressing to her aunt any reply in remonstrance or denial; and she trusted to her niece's habits of obedience to her father not to dare to exhibit to him any disposition to depart from her accustomed filial respect and duty.
In this the manoeuvring Miss McDragon, was quite correct in her judgment; and it must be admitted that she conducted her strategic plans with admirable ability; but she did not take into consideration, that during her absence, an enemy had established myself in the heart of the town, in the very citadel; and that to dislodge the obstinate possessor would require heavier guns than it was likely she could bring to bear on him.
As it was, however, the position of the enemy was alarming; and all that we could engage to do, under the circumstances, was to swear mutually, an inviolable attachment (which was regularly signed and sealed as is usual on such occasions ;) and to watch the proceedings of her enemy with diligence and attention in order that we might meet stratagem by stratagem, and oppose any attempt at coercion with firmness; I mentally
resolving to meet force by force, and to settle the matter with the inconvenient Peter, if he had the courage to show fight, with signal punish
And so, for that day, we parted; not without renewing again and again our mutual protestations. I rode home in rather a melancholy humour, and retired early, partly to avoid my mother's affectionate and rather inquisitive observations, and partly to gather up my own thoughts, and to decide in an extremity, which seemed likely to arrive, on some resolute plan of action. While my mind was engrossed however, with the contemplation of our unfortunate condition, and with the fear of losing Lavinia, I could not prevent some uneasy thoughts from obtruding themselves relative to the proposed bride's maid. The description tallied oddly enough with the widow and daughter whose acquaintance I had formed at the university. Could it be the same? or was it only an accidental similarity of circumstances and position? The dwelling on this thought worried me not a little. I had nothing to reproach myself with so far as I could see, in respect to my acquaintance with the daughter; but, still, if it should prove to be the same, my meeting with them, I felt, I hardly knew why, would be awkward. And then, I regretted, that, I had not mentioned my adventnre to Lavinia, who might possibly misinterpret the reasons of my silence on the subject and regard it as a suspicious concealment. Altogether the circumstance, if it should turn out as it seemed possible, was vexatious.
As the solution of this enigma gave rise in a curious way, to fresh embarrassments greater than the first, it is necessary to develope it in a new chapter.
IT CANNOT BE SO LONG AGO.
BY J. E. CARPENTER, ESQ.
Ir cannot be so long ago,
But yesterday it seems,
When hand in hand, and to and fro',
We wander'd by the streams;
A girl and boy, and now I gaze
Upon your locks as white as snow,
Yet mem'ry brings back those sweet days—
It cannot be so long ago,
Or was it but a dream?
Methinks, e'en now, I long to go
Where on the banks those bright flow'rs grow,
Where flows the rippling stream;
Yet past and is many a year,
For thus the stream of life must flow,
We scarcely mark its bright career
It cannot be so long ago!
PANSLAVISM AND THE SLAVONIANS.
THERE is no question, but that whether viewed in the light of progressive civilisation, of the extinction of the Mahometan rule in Europe, of national regeneration, or of Panslavic or international, and more especially Muscovite and Germanic relations, that the so-called Slavonie populations are at the present moment more replete with interest than any others in Europe. The very fact of a long political degradation, their occupation of remote and little-known countries, their servility alike to Russian, German, Turk, and Magyar, become, with the prospects of regeneration, only circumstances of more paramount curiosity.
The Slavonians are of the Indo-European family of nations. They are one of the primeval races of Europe, and were settled in the countries they now occupy before the commencement of the historic era. About the middle of the fourth century, the Slavonian countries were visited by three successive irruptions of the Celtic or Gallic nations. These drove
before them the Slavonians of Pannonia and Illyria, and even the Thracian nations settled in Dacia were also compelled to yield part of their country. The migrations of the Slavonians from Russia began as early as the time of the Huns, and we find them accordingly settled in Roman Dacia, or in Wallachia, Moldavia, and Transylvania; as also in the highland districts at the foot of the Hamus-the Bal-Khan of the Turks.
These lost, in the early part of the sixth century, not only their independence, but their very name, which was absorbed into that of their conquerors, the Bulgarians. The latter, who, according to the Greek writers, derived their name or descent from the Huns, attracted by Roman wealth, marked the same year in which Ravenna fell, by an invasion of so dreadful and devastating a character that it almost effaced the memory of past inroads. Repulsed ultimately by Belisarius, they retired to the fertile country which lay between the Bal-Khan and the Danube, and which corresponds to the Masia Inferior of the ancients. Here they assumed a vague dominion over the Slavonian name; and the people, whose intermediate boundaries, Gibbon justly remarks, were never accurately known or respected by the barbarians themselves, became fused into one, for the same authority also insists with equal justice upon the fact that the same race of Slavonians appears to have maintained, in every age, the possession of the same countries. Ranke has repeated the same thing in his "History of Servia."
"Leaving it," he says, "to antiquaries to trace out the origin and migrations of these people, by combining languages and myths with fragmentary traditions, it will suffice to say, that, from the earliest times, we find them in the country which they occupy to this day."
The Bulgarian Slavonians were converted to Christianity in 860. Constantine Cyrillus and Methodius, two celebrated Slavonian apostles, introduced letters among them, and gave them a Slavonic version of the Scriptures, and a national liturgy. Their capital, Pereslau, the ancient Marcianopolis, was overthrown in 971 by the united forces of the Greeks and Russians; after which they remained vassals of the former, till the period of the Osmanli conquests, when they not only fell under the Oct.-VOL. LXXXIV. NO. CCCXXXIV.
bondage and bigoted rule of their oriental conquerors, but were in large part forced to adopt their faith.
According to Szaffarik, in his "Slavonic Ethnography," published in 1842, 3,500,000 Bulgarians live under the sway of the Osmanlis ; 80,000 under that of Russia, and 7000 under that of Austria, making a total of 3,587,000. These numbers are important, for throughout Turkey in Europe the Osmanlis now form only an insignificant portion of the population. It is calculated by the same authority that of the Bulgarians 3,287,000 belong to the Greek church, 50,000 are Roman Catholics, and 250,000 Mahometans. Among the Bulgarians of the Greek church, Russia possesses great influence. It is much to be doubted if the Mahometan Bulgarians are in any way attached either to their religion or their masters, while it is more than probable that any prospect of national regeneration would unite all persuasions in a common cause, to the exclusion alike of Russians, Austrians, or Turks.
There is no
The modern Bulgarian has been much calumniated. doubt that he is often ignorant, and wants sobriety; but he is always plodding, industrious, and persevering; attentive to his business, domestic in his habits, and peaceful in his manners. Dr. Walsh says of the Bulgarians, that they are particularly distinguished by their honest and goodhumoured countenances.* And Bell quotes the same authority as asserting, that of all the peasantry he ever met with, the Bulgarians seemed the most simple, kind, and affectionate; forming a striking contrast with the rude and brutal Turks who are mixed among them.
With respect to the Servians, we have so lately called attention to their peculiar position and history in the New Monthly Magazine, on the occasion of the publication of Mrs. Kerr's translation of "Ranke's History of Servia," that we need not refer to the peculiar features which they present as a branch of the great Slavonic race on the present occasion. So intimate are these relations, that Szaffarik places the Servians and Illyrians in the same category. As the Slavonians of Servia obtained their name from the country they inhabited (Sirbia), so, also, with little difference of race, did the Slavonians of Illyria obtain theirs from the same Roman territorial divisions, and that name was resuscitated to designate, in the language of the Austrian administration, the Hungarian provinces on the south side of the Drave. The Servians and Illyrians number 5,294,000 souls. Of these, 2,600,000 are subjects of Turkey, 2,594,000 subjects of Austria, and 100,000 subjects of Russia. 2,880,000 belong to the Greek church, and 1,864,000 to the Latin church; 550,000 are Mahometans. It is evident, from these proportions, that there cannot be an European struggle for nationality that will not sooner or later involve the Slavonic populations of Turkey. And this not only applies itself to the Servians, but also to the Turco-Croatians, to the Bosnians, the Herzegovinians, the Montenegrians, and even to the Albanians, who are partly of Slavonic origin. All these nations are of bold warlike habits, and past history attests how prone to struggle for their nationalities.
As the Bulgarians are of Tartar-Slavonic origin, and the Russians are of Slavonic-Tshudish origin, so the Wallachians, or the Kara-Iflak, “Black Wallaks," as the Turks call them, and the Moldavians, or Akh Vlakhi, or "White Wallachians," are of Slavonian-Romaic origin. They are supposed, indeed, to be part descendants of the Romans with whom Trajan
* "Narrative of a Residence at Constantinople," vol. ii., p. 436.
peopled Dacia after the defeat and death of Decebalus. Their language is an admixture of the Slavonian and Roman dialects. As these principalities have, however, shown more anxiety to act for themselves in the regeneration at present going on in south-eastern Europe, and which will inevitably once more light up the long-protracted struggle between European civilisation and Oriental despotism, it is unnecessary to discuss their position in regard to Slavonian nationality.
Any movement on their part will not, however, be without its direct and indirect effects upon neighbouring territories. It sets a direct example of insubordination and struggle; it diverts the attention of the Sublime Porte, and it indirectly foments similar aspirations on the part of Hungarians, Wallachians, and the more pure Slavonian races.
What is of more importance to notice here is, that the Slavonian population of northern Hungary, where they are called Slovacs, amounts to 2,753,000 souls, and that these, united with the Croats, 801,000 in number, and Illyrians, as far exceed in number the dominant race of Magyars, or Huns, who refuse to accede to them their national rights, as they do in manly and military prowess. Austria not only does not refuse the demands of the Slavonians, but almost abets and encourages them in the strife, as we shall afterwards see, for Austria has 4,370,000 Slavonians to legislate for in Bohemia and Moravia, 2,341,000 Slavonian Poles, and 1,151,000 Carinthians of same descent, and towards all of whom she professes to be actuated with the same desire of securing national rights and granting national privileges, so far as they do not interfere with imperial ascendency.
The term of Panslavism, which means the union of all the Slavonic nations into one empire or confederation, is as yet little known in England. It has, however, already produced a strong sensation in Germany and has been much talked of and discussed in France. We shall borrow from a very able work just published by Mr. Newby,* a rapid sketch of the rise and progress of the idea of Panslavism.
The rapid progress of intellectual development in Europe, since the beginning of this century, exerted its influence upon the Slavonic nations also: literature has been steadily advancing, and all branches of human knowledge have been successfully cultivated by those nations. The principal subjects, however, that have engaged the attention of Slavonic scholars, are the history and antiquities of their respective countries, studied not only in their written records, but also in their popular songs, traditions, and superstitions, together with the cultivation and improvement of their national languages. Such studies could not, however, lead to any satisfactory result, as long as they were confined to the student's own country, and it was soon found indispensable to extend them to other Slavonic nations. The result was, the universal conviction, that all the Slavonic nations are not only so many offsets of the same common stock, and that their respective idioms are only so many dialects of the same mother-tongue, but also that the most important parts of their moral and physical character are identical. In short, that all Slavonians, notwithstanding the various modifications resulting from the influence of different climates, religions, and forms of government, are, in all their essentials, one and the same nation. This conviction could not but expand the love of their native land, which animated the above-mentioned students, into that of their whole race, and they promoted, by their writings, this feeling amongst their countrymen. The thoughts of extending their intellectual activity over the
Panslavism and Germanism," by Count Valerian Krasinski, author of “Reformation in Poland." T. C. Newby.