A story of life among Polish gentlefolk in the years 1811 and 1812.
"But if this world has no ear for their sorrows, if at each moment fresh tidings overwhelm them, reverberating from Poland like a graveyard bell; if their jailers wish them an early doom and their enemies beckon them from afar like grave-diggers; if even in Heaven they see no hope--then it is no marvel that they loathe men, the world, themselves; that, losing their reason from their long tortures, they spit upon themselves and consume one another.
* * * * * *
"I longed to pass by in my flight, bird of feeble wing--to pass by regions of storm and thunder, and to search out only pleasant shade and fair weather--the days of my childhood, and my home gardens.
* * * * * *
"One happiness remains: when in a grey hour you sit by the fireside with a few of your friends and lock the door against the uproar of Europe, and escape in thought to happier times, and muse and dream of your own land.
"But of that blood that was shed so lately, of the tears which have flooded the
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