Imagens das páginas
[blocks in formation]



THE count Sobieski was cordially received by his worthy landlady; indeed he never stood in more need of kindness.

[ocr errors]


slow fever, which had been gradually creeping over him since he quitted Poland, settled on his lungs; and reduced him to such weakness, that he possessed neither strength nor spirits to stir abroad.

Mrs. Robson was greatly distressed at this sudden and violent illness of her guest: Her own son, the father of the orphans whom she protected, died a victim to a consumption.

[ocr errors]

Thaddeus gave himself up entirely to her management: he had no money for medical assistance; and, to please her, he




took what little medicines she prepared. According to her advice, he remained for several days shut up in his chamber, with a large fire, his curtains drawn, and the shutters closed, to exclude the smallest portion of that air, which, the good woman thought, had already stricken him with death.

But all would not do; her patient became worse and worse. Frightened at the symptoms, Mrs. Robson begged leave to send for the apothecary who had attended her deceased son. In this instance only, she found the count obstinate no arguments, nor even her tears, could move him. When she stood weeping holding his burning hand, his answer was constantly of this kind:

"Do not, my excellent Mrs. Robson, grieve on my account; I am not in the danger you think; I shall do very well with your assistance."

"No, no; I see death in your eyes Can I feel this hand, and see that hectic cheek,

cheek, without beholding your grave, as it were opening before me?"

She was not much mistaken; for, during the night after this debate, Thaddeus grew so delirious, that, no longer able to subdue her terrors, she sent for the apothecary to come instantly to her house.

"O doctor," cried she, as the man ascended the stairs, "I have the best young gentleman ever the sun shone on, dying in that room! He would not let me send for you; and now he is raving like a mad creature."

Mr. Vincent entered the count's humble apartment, and undrew the curtains of the bed. Thaddeus, exhausted by his delirium, had sunk back senseless on the pillow. Mrs. Robson, at this sight supposing him dead, uttered a shriek, which was in a moment echoed by the cries of the little William, who stood near his grandmother.

"Hush, my good woman," said the

[blocks in formation]

doctor, in a low voice, "the gentleman is not dead; leave the room till you have recovered yourself, and I will engage that you shall see him alive when you return."

Mrs. Robson, considering all his words as oracles, quitted the room with her grandson.

Mr. Vincent on entering the chamber, saw that the hot and stifling state of the room augmented the fever of his patient; and, before he attempted to disturb him from the temporary rest of insensibility, he opened the window-shutters, unclosed the room-door wide enough to admit the air from the adjoining apartment, and pulling the heavy clothes down from the count's bosom, raised his head on his arm, and poured some drops into his mouth. Sobicski opened his eyes, and uttered a few wild and incoherent words; but he did not rave, he only wandered, and appeared to know that he did so.; for he several times stopped in the midst


« AnteriorContinuar »