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Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 421 - Volume 17, New Series, January 24, 1852 by Various
page 2 of 70 (02%)

The year before the rising, I went from my native place in Samogitia
(Szamaït), to spend Christmas at the house of my uncle, situated in
the wooded country of Upper Lithuania. He was a nobleman who boasted
his descent from one of the oldest houses in Poland, and still held
the estate which his ancestors had defended for themselves through
many a Tartar invasion--as much land as a hunting-train could course
over in a summer's day. But ample as his domain appeared, my uncle was
by no means rich upon it. The greater portion had been forest-land for
ages; elsewhere it was occupied by poor peasants and their fields; and
in the centre he lived, after the fashion of his forefathers, in a
huge timber-house with antiquated fortifications, where he exercised
liberal hospitality, especially at Christmas times. My uncle was a
widower, but he had three sons--Armand, Henrique, and
Constantine--brave, handsome young men, who kept close intimacy and
right merry companionship with their nearest neighbours, a family
named Lorenski. Their property bordered on my uncle's land, and there
was not a family of their station within leagues; but independently of
that circumstance, the household must have had attractions for my
cousins, for it consisted of the young Count Emerich, his sister
Constanza, and two orphan cousins, Marcella and Eustachia, who had
been brought up with them from childhood.

The count's parents had died in his early youth, leaving him not only
his own guardian, but that of his sister and cousins; and the young
people had grown up safely and happily together in that forest-land.
The cousins were like most of our Polish girls in the provinces,
dark-eyed and comely, gay and fearless, and ready alike for the dance
or the chase; but Count Emerich and his sister had the praise of the
whole province for their noble carriage, their wise and virtuous
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