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his beloved Old Mistress, saw everything done
that could be done for her safety, and died
from his exertions. Although the Old Lady
is now more hale and hearty than ever,
two of the Senior Clerks sit up in turn every
night, to watch over her; in which duty they
are assisted by a company of Foot Guards.

The kind Old Lady of Threadneedle Street
has, in short, managed to attach her
dependants to her by the strongest of tiesthat
of love. So pleased are some with her service,
that when even temporarily resting from it,
they feel miserable. A late Chief Cashier
never solicited but one holiday, and that for
only a fortnight. In three days he returned
expressing his extreme disgust with every
sort of recreation but that afforded him by the
Old Lady's business. The last words of another
old servant when on his death-bed, were, "Oh,
that I could only die on the Bank steps!"


THE materials for the following tale were
furnished to the writer while travelling last
year near the spot on which the events it
narrates took place. It is intended to convey
a notion of some of the phases of Polish, or
rather Russian serfdom (for, as truly
explained by one of the characters in a succeeding
page, it is Russian), and of the catastrophes
it has occasioned, not only in Catherine's
time, but occasionally at the present. The
Polish noblesthemselves in slaveryearnestly
desire the emancipation of their serfs,
which Russian domination forbids.

The small town of Pobereze stands at the
foot of a stony mountain, watered by numerous
springs in the district of Podolia, in Poland.
It consists of a mass of miserable cabins, with
a Catholic chapel and two Greek churches
in the midst, the latter distinguished by their
gilded towers. On one side of the market-
place stands the only inn, and on the opposite
side are several shops, from whose doors and
windows look out several dirtily dressed Jews.
At a little distance, on a hill covered with vines
and fruit-trees, stands the Palace, which does
not, perhaps, exactly merit such an appellation,
but who would dare to call otherwise the
dwelling of the lord of the domain?

On the morning when our tale opens, there
had issued from this palace the common
enough command to the superintendent of the
estate, to furnish the master with a couple of
strong boys, for service in the stables, and a
young girl, to be employed in the wardrobe.
Accordingly, a number of the best-looking
young peasants of Olgogrod assembled in the
broad avenue leading to the palace. Some were
accompanied by their sorrowful and weeping
parents, in all of whose hearts, however, rose
the faint and whispered hope, "Perhaps it will
not be my child they will choose!"

Being brought into the court-yard of the
palace, the Count Roszynski, with the several
members of his family, had come out to pass
in review his growing subjects. He was a
small and insignificant-looking man, about fifty
years of age, with deep-set eyes and
overhanging brows. His wife, who was nearly of
the same age, was immensely stout, with a
vulgar face and a loud disagreeable voice.
She made herself ridiculous in endeavouring
to imitate the manners and bearing of the
aristocracy, into whose sphere she and her
husband were determined to force themselves,
in spite of the humbleness of their origin.
The father of the "Right Honourable" Count
Roszynski was a valet, who, having been
a great favourite with his master, amassed
sufficient money to enable his son, who
inherited it, to purchase the extensive estate of
Olgogrod, and with it the sole proprietorship
of 1600 human beings. Over them he had
complete control; and, when maddened by
oppression, if they dared resent, woe unto
them! They could be thrust into a noisome
dungeon, and chained by one hand from the
light of day for years, until their very existence
was forgotten by all except the jailer
who brought daily their pitcher of water and
morsel of dry bread.

Some of the old peasants say that Sava,
father of the young peasant girl, who stands
by the side of an old woman, at the head of
her companions in the court-yard, is immured
in one of these subterranean jails. Sava was
always about the Count, who, it was said, had
brought him from some distant land, with his
little motherless child. Sava placed her under
the care of an old man and woman, who had
the charge of the bees in a forest near the
palace, where he came occasionally to visit
her. But once, six long months passed, and
he did not come! In vain Anielka wept,
in vain she cried, "Where is my father?"—
No father appeared. At last it was said that
Sava had been sent to a long distance with a
large sum of money, and had been killed by
robbers. In the ninth year of one's life the
most poignant grief is quickly effaced, and
after six months Anielka ceased to grieve.
The old people were very kind to her, and
loved her as if she were their own child. That
Anielka might be chosen to serve in the palace
never entered their head, for who would be so
barbarous as to take the child away from an old
woman of seventy and her aged husband?

To-day was the first time in her life that
she had been so far from home. She looked
curiously on all she saw,—particularly on a
young lady about her own age, beautifully
dressed, and a youth of eighteen, who had
apparently just returned from a ride on horse-
back, as he held a whip in his hand, whilst
walking up and down examining the boys
who were placed in a row before him. He
chose two amongst them, and the boys were
led away to the stables.

"And I choose this young girl," said
Constantia Roszynski, indicating Anielka; "she
is the prettiest of them all. I do not like ugly
faces about me."