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t i)'.'—— .... ITHE CZAR OF…


t i)' —— I THE CZAR OF THE NIHILISTS, A RUSSIAN MONTE CRIST0, BY fRINCE JOSEPH LUBOMIRSKI. CHAPTER If. THE INDIAN NABOB. A INT S BUHG, like Paris, HI is a oity where no- j thing is Dew, and hence not <P astonished; and yet the luxury of the Nabob Dowgall- N Sahib was the town talk, for the Nabob was prodigiously, fabulousl7 rich. Two things, however, ft I /L astonished the people of St. Petersburg, t" t where Dowgall had now been living more, ii than two years- st, that the Nabob had chosen to live in a cold eimate aeooudly, that he led ) such a retired life. The Hindoo never r went out except in a close carriage. He J V covered his face fSr with a thick white veil, and kept by his side a person magnifi- cently dressed in Hindoo style. The pasaers-by on the boulevard had frequently met the cairiage, but had never seen the stranger's face. The papers insinua- ted that the Nabob was a negroand some time parsed before St. Petersburg people could be made to understand that Hindoos are not negroes, and that negroes are- not «h&med of the colour of their skin. 1 hen it was given out that he was horribly disfigured, that he had no nose, that his head looked like a death's bead. This story obtained so much sredit that likenesses of the Ilindoo were sold. They represented him wi £ h a deAth"" head, and he was generally known as "the Nabob with the death's Jhetd." Nevertheless, some persons of rank who bad acoess to his home reported at the Knglish Club that the Nabob was a stately-looking person about fifty yeara of age, with a fair complexion, butsomewhat bronzed. He was, they said, a very handsome man; bit hair was black streaked with grey, and woolly, and his features were regular. All agreed in testify- ing that he displayed in all his relations a thorough knowledge of social usages, but these antidotes to the received opinion never passed beyond the threshold of the Winter Palace, the English Club, and a few aristo- cratic circles. Most of theSt. Petersburg-people continued to call Dowgall Sahib the Nabob with the death's bead." Now, on the 12th of November, 1665, nothing was spoken of but that the rich Hindoo was to give a ball. Public curiosity rose to fever heat. The very highest officials, the prettiest ladies of St. Petersburg, were not ashamed to beg for an invitation, and from the Islands to the Monastery of Alexander Newsky there was not a tongue but talked of the great event to come off on that night. The thousand invitations issued were not enough, and many pretty lips pouted with vexation. '1 he night so impatiently awaited at length I arrived. As early as ten uulock the mounted and unmounted police were actively employed in arrangiog the carriages that arrived in a file before the peristyle of the palace. A great crowd had assembled on the quay and on the newly-frozen liiver Neva. To do honour to his guests, the Nabob had hid aside the dress he usually wore and put I on an elegant black suit, out in the latest style. His slightly bronzed features, his brilliant eyes, and a few large diamonds sparkling on his fingers along re-called his Asiatic origin. lie appeared at ease in the juid,st of civilisation, and his somewhat flaoghty countenance gave additional charms to the extreme courtesy with which be clasped each visitor's hand. The beat society of St. Petersburg passed thus in review before him. The man who constantly accompanied Dow- ¡ gall-Sahib was busy superintending the enter- tainment and doing the honours of the I house. As for the Nabob, he did not stir from his place at the door of the reception- room his somewhat cool politeness was the game for all, and he showed no sign of inte- rest as the names of the Russian and European aristocrats who were crowding into his rooms were announced one by one. Bat after a while, as the tnrong of visitors increased, a slight -contraction of his face showed that the entertainment began to be wearisome to him. -His smile, before coolly polite, had become constrained, and a alight twitching of the muscles brought wrinkles to his face. Instead of the few polite phrases that he had addressed to the first arrivals, he now contented himself with clasping the hand of each man and bowirig low to each woman. The Nabob was bored. Presently, the usher announoed "His Excellenoy the Lieutenant-general, Count Lanine, Madame and Mademoiselle Lanine." The Nabob advanced a few steps and said in bis guttural tones, I am happy, my lord count, that your Excellency has been pleased to accept my invitation. The report of the exploits of your Excellency in Central Asia and the Caoca sus has feached even me, and I have heard you spoken of in India." Count WLadimi) raited his eyes, looked at the Nabob, smiled and said:- 1 Your Ilighness's flattering words give me the keenest pleasure." Dowgall had approached the Countess Iana, who looked at him with an astonish- ment verging on stupefaction. "Your Excellency a name has crossed the Himalayas. The bards of my country have in my palaoe composed songs in honour of the beautiful Vice-Queen of Turkestan. Your beauty is appreciated in the Punjab. Will yoar Excellency deign to permit me to present my respects, while I thank her for the honour she ia doing me." Iaua, having recovered from her astonish- ment. replied, "I wish my daughter to enter society through the most brilliant door. Your HiJtbne", reception Ie an event of which all St. Petersburg is talking. The marvels of I Tho Arabian Nights,' they tell me, will be sur- • passed." i- gf From the moment when your Excellency's leet orosaed tkj sill of my habitation my modest dwelling surpasses the palaces depicted by the Arabian story-teller, for it contains God's fairest oreation." This burlesque compliment, conveyed in the purest Oriental style, caused Iana to smile a little. Your Highness, while thus satisfying the curiosity of my fellow-countrymen after two years' waiting, means to show us at the same 1 time that flattery also is not unknown in India." "I do not flatter," replied Dowgall seriously; "your Excellency has long been known to me." Iana started, and again scanned the Hindoo's face. You are as noble as beautiful," said; Dowgall; "your life is sublime; I knew at my Court H Muller r said lana in a low voice, offer- ing him her hand with a sudden movement. The Nabob, without taking the proffered hand, replied: I have seen the man of whom you speak; but he went among us under another name." Wladimir had already disappeared in the inner apartments. As for lana's daughter, while listening to the conversation between her mother and the Hindoo, she was darting impatient and insignificant glances towards the ball-room. They even say," proceeded the Nabob, that we strangely resemble one another. That God should have been pleased to have j two men born at opposite points of the globe exactly like each other I do not believe at all. I saw the man you call Muller. He waa dressed as I am to-day. I was on my throne, in all the splendour of my power. He looked to me older than I ft as. llii eye was less bright than mine, his movements less confident, his complexion pale, his smile sardonic. I looked at myself in a glass that a slave of my harem presented to me on her knees, and I banished from my court those who said that we looked enough alike to be twin brothers." lana could not keep from smiling at the ingenuous pride of this Hindoo. All the varnish of civilisation could not make him forget the flatteries of slaves in his harem. Dowgall, without appearing to notice the I smile, continued, Muller was not to blame. And there in my kingdom I had the right to suppose that God had wished to favour him by making him resemble a rajah. He was a man, I mast admit, of a strong character and a cultivated mind." as he not a superior man ? asked Dm a. Dowgall thought a moment before speaking. No, he was a fool! He dreamed of univer- sal liberty and justice. At the'end of two years I had to ask him to leave my kingdom. I never saw him again, but he spoke to me of your Excellency wi'h admiration. His life had touched yours. While Dowgall was speaking, Iana made a study of him and tried to re-call the smallest peculiarities in Muller's features. It rea'Iy (ireat Heavens She!cried the lackey. Oh A ad he fell fainting Oil the carpet. I seemed to her that the Nabob's eyes bad an expression of satisfied dignity, while Muller's gleamed with fiery ardour that Dowgall's smile was patronising, Mailer's ironical. Then, examining the H indoo's countenance still more in detail, she found in it that But of oalm greatness, which God sets upon the faces of this world's rulers, and she remem- bered that even the time when he was all powerful in command of the rebels, M uller looked more like an angel in revolt. This shade of expression, which a woman's eye alone can detect, removed her suspicions. It is not he," she said, 11 And yet he is very like him." Will your excellency deign to permit me to come and present my respectful homage at her residence p" said Dowgall. Mulier often spoke to me of the Countess Lanine, of her courage, her devotion." But at this instant the usher announced "Their Imperial ilighuesnes, the Grand Dukes. Dowgall, obliged by etiquette to receive the Grand Dukes on the stairs, made his way towards the threshold. Iana had barely time to say to him Prince, 1 shall be delighted to see you." 114) mamma, said lana's daughter, let us go into the ball. 1 thought you would never stop talking with this Hindoo." And she added, smiling He is very handsome Is he not ?" said the mother. The Grand Dukes, attended by the Nabob, entered the ball-room, and Dowgall had to do the honours of his house to his great visitors. Iana, followed by her daughter, soon found herself the centre of a circle of admirers, who were only waiting till she was through con- versing with the Hindoo to pay their court to her. Mdlle. Alexandra Lanine would soon be sixteen, and looked much like her mother one would bare called her a younger sister". She had the same clear-cut outline, the same colourless complexion, the name black hair, the same carriage; there was perhaps a little less dignity in the way she held herself; perhaps also" the regular beauty of Mdlle. Lanine might have appeared to a good ob- server less distinguishes than her mother's. This extraordinary likeness was. it is true, a little to her disadvantage, for she looked like the fair countess's shadow. Passing a row of bowing heads fana and ber daughter directed their bteps towards a withdrawing roo.n intended for ladies who were not danoing. All at once Iana came across her husband as he was talking with a goneral in the Emperor's suite. "Have you noticed the Nabob's face she asked in an undertone. M No why should IP" Iana replied with a trace of impatienoe, I advise you to look well at him and to oome and ipform me of your impressions," In spite of the Nabob's assurance, lana's suspicion could not be allayed; she remem- bered the letter in which Muller confessed an inordinate desire to re-visit Europe. Of oourse," she said to herself, if he has come back to Europe, prudence would make him change his name. There is nothing more natural than that he should conceal his identity, but to me he owes it to be frank, for he can fear no indiscretion on my part; that would hurt me." She was looking for an unoccupied seat where she might await her husband's return, when her daughter cried: "Ah! there are Louise and Vadime I Le us sit by them Iaua acceded to her daughter's request, and moved toward a sofa, from which a young girl, seated by a young man in the uniform of the Infantry of the Guards, sent many bows and many friendly signs toward Mdlle. Lanine. This young girl's face formed a striking contrast with that of Alexandra. The oval countenance, in its frame of almost flaxen hair, had a look of deep melancholy, of a vague and almost painful weariness. Seeing Alexandra approaching the sofa on which she was sitting, she rose quickly and kissed her. lana's daughter, a vigorous brunette, looked as if she might protect this frail child. A puzzling smile played on lana's I lips as she seated herself, and said: Good jevening, Louise! I must scold you. We have not seen you these two days." "Oh my lady countess, papa had a crisis. It was not till to night that. we could he easy about hiin. I only came to the ball," she said by way of excuse, "because he absolutely required it." "Yes," said AlexAndra in her ear, "and to meet Vadime." "I assure you —— said Louise, blushing. "Hush! If mamma suspected your love, she would be displeased, Since my cousin's sita#ren has changed for the better she has designs upon me to which I do not consent. "Get married. You have long loved each other," "Dear Alexandra, how can I thank you ?" You need not," replied the young girl laughing, "for I do not love him "And he? I have not ventured Mamma," broke -in Alexandra, with her decisive little voice, 1 am thirsty let us go to the refreshment-room, is it not magnili- cent r" As you please, my child r said Iana, still immersed in thought. Louise, come with us, we shall be worshipped all the way When we go together everyone itnyfiitif a charming sight. Just ask Vadíme," Alexandra, you ought not to talk so remarked Iana. Why not, when I think Louise pretty? As for ino, I know I am beautiful, because 1 look like you, and your reputation llush, little flatterer," said lana, unabls to keep from smiling at the compliment. As they were talking W'ladimir appeared; behind the Count came thu Nabob Dowgall Sahib. W'ladimir, not seeing the Hindoo, said, — J have examined the man's face, and except a vague resemblance to someone whose name I have forgotten I could see nothing extraordi- nary fine eyes, dark complexion, distin- guished bearing—" Iana darted at her husbaud a look that stopped him short. WJadimir turned and perceived the Hindoo. Ah murmured Iana, sweeping over him a look that finally settled upon the impressive face of the Hindoo. You remember with the head, not with the heart." Determined, apparently, to risk a last ven- ture, she moved her husband aside. "Will your Highness permit me to present a. friend of my daughter f" she asked of the Nabob. 0 She led him toward the sofa and said. Mdlle. Louise de Schelmberg." Not a muscle of the Nabob's face moved. He bowed low and replied, Venus and i.ackmi!" Iana felt almost vexed; but, resolved to clear up the suspicion which kept forcing itself upon her, she took the Nabob's arm. Will your highness please take me to the refreshment-room these young ladies wish to behold your magnificence iI" lie offered his arm with all the grace of an European. I esteem it\m honour to serve as your Excellency's escort." But lana's attempt had one result that gratified her cUl'¡osit,l- \Vladimir's dormant I memory awoke. When this name Scbelm- berg was pronounced iu his hearing, Siberia, his persecution by the Chancellor, the whole I story of bis youth which he had hAd time to forget during sixteen years of prosperity, suddenly presented itself before him. He gazed at the Nabob, was struck forcibly, hurried to his wife, and whispered in her ear, Oh,fuller!" Iana, without replying, put her arm beneath that of the Nabob. laiiitio, on his part, in great excitement, followed them with his daughter. Louise and Vadime moved in the same direction. Iana treibbled slightly, « vlr* ^'bob, perceiving it, smiled vaguely. as this name, Schelmberg," Iaua said suddenly, never pronounced in your presence by Muller ?" The Nabob replied with dignity, It may have been, but my memory preserves only such names as are worthy of memory. Who is ibu perlOn r" He was, at one time, the bitterest enemy of my husband and of Muller, one of our most implacable persecutors." Ah ? And this young lady Iana looked at him fixedly. "Ia his daughtei, she said. In spite of his self-control, the eyes of tiifi Nabob emitted a sombre gleam. His daughter? Ah Iana was startled by the savage expression of the Nabob's features; but it lasted but a seoond, and Dowgall resumed his calm and haughty look. "In your cold couutry," he said, you neither know how to love nor to hate; the daughter of your enemy is now the friend of your child In India we hardly understand such weakness." "Our religion commands us to forgive." That may be, but between forgiveness and friendship Oh you have no idea of the delight which a Christian woman feels in loading the child of her enemy with kindness and caresses! I love Louise because she isSchelm's daughter, and is innocent of his crimes." Dowgall looked amazed. Of whom is your Excellency speaking ? asked he. And as Iana did not comprehend him, Dowgall continued: I don't quite understand; your Excellency will pardon my ignorance of French. Your Excellency was saying—' When I found that Soheltn s daughter was in the same boarding- school as Alexandra. Scheim repeated Dowgall. Who is Schelm? You presented this young lady under another name. Pardon me, madame." A tfifSt Iana was non-plussed. Again a smile played upon the Hindoo's lips. The Countess added "Schelm and bchelmberg are the same person. Monsieur Schelm, on marrv- ing Louise's mother, was made Baron de iSchcimberg." The Nabob bowed. You will understand, madame, that I find some difficulty about iimnes so unlike those we are used to pronoun- ting in the Punjab." They were crossing the ball-room. Iaua, annoyed by her repeated failures, wished to ) question the Hindoo further; but tbia was no longer possible; someone came up every moment. I Yon will come and see me," said Iana to Dowgall, in an undertone, I really must have a talk wiih you. I expect you at my j housi*, and claim a visit from vou." I Dowgall replied aloud, I am at your Excellency's disposal." At this moment they had readied the threshold of the room set apart for refresh- men's. This vast apartment was decor a ted with j I a luxury that was extiaordinat-yand somewhat j eccentric. The Hindoo probably desired to transfer to St. Petersburg some of the customs of his Court. His buffet was not arraii-ed according to the invariable rules for all balls, he department was divided into two by a drapery of red brocade extending to the ceil- ing. The folds of the drapery, held back by bands with golden tassels, formed a large portiere, and gave access to a table set out in the background, bending under the weight of gold and silver plate, bottles of champagne, and glasses. This was the buffet reserved for men. J he other half of the room, des- tined for ladies, was one immense conserva- tory the rartat flowers, with tropical plants and ihrabs of the temperate zone, concealed the walls. Batches of roses and cainelias set off the dark green of palms and sloes, forming several bowers. in the centre of each of these bowers was a littidi table with refreshments and a card in a gold frame on which was the menu for supper. ■ An army of servants, tMp!endent with gold' beneath their liveries of red, blue, and yellow satin, were ranged in rows on each side of the drapery, nndtir the vigilant eye of two chief stewards. NN, bell a table was occupied one of the stewards gave a sign, and imme- diately a waiter from one of the rows callle forth to receive orders, This was Hindoo1 luxury, which consists in having many ser- vants. Notwithstanding the annoyance; which the presence of such an army of waiters in the ballroom might cause to persons not U!ied to it, the sight was really grand and imposing. t The rvitbob entered the refi-eshii-ion t-rooimi with laffls on his arm, and made his way towards one of the bowers. Then the Nabob's mysterious companion appealer]. On entering this room sp&rkliiig with lights, reflected in silvery gleams from the foliage and in diamond scintillations from the silver vases; at the sight of this army of servants draped in liveries of bright coloured satin, and of this tent-like drapery, Iana could not help uttering an exclamation of surprise. This is actually fairv-land," she said. The Hindoo smiled modestly, and, without replying to the oompliment, led the Countess towards one of the bowers. Iana sat down Louise and Alexandra followed her example. WIadimir and Vadime remained standing. "ill your Excellency deign to take some- tbing P "asked the Hindoo, "i wiii take a cup of tea. As for these young ladies-" We will take tea, too," gsid Alexandra," j won't we, Louise Yea." The Nabob's companion, attending to the dceires expressed by the persons whom his master accompanied, went away. A few seconds later a servant left the drapery, and. after receiving from the chief steward a heavy salver, went towards the bower occupied by the Nabob and the ladies. Raising his eyeft 'n order to see where he might put down what he brought, the salver slipped from his hands. Great Heavens --he I" cried the lackey. Oh And he fell fainting on the carpet. Louise de Schelmberg, for her part, had turned pale as a sheet and bad risen. Alex- andra, surprised at her friend's movement, laughingly said, "Why, Louise! Are you beside yourself, to be so frightened by a trivial accident? The Nabob's companion, the chief steward, and the other servants rushed to pick up the cups and wipe the ladies' dresses. The JSahob said cotdty," Ladies, pray excuse this man's I awkwardness." Then only he observed ddile de Scheimberg's pallor. Mademoiselle, what! is the matter r he asked. Louise did not answer. lIer eyes were fixad upon the fainting lackey. I "1 have reongnised him, too,"said Iana. "it is Andrew.Popoff. You see what revolu- tionary ideas lead to. Louise, my child, com- pose yourself. You are too sensitive." Occupied with the young girl, Iana did not set) the smile that curled the Nabob's lips. She added, He was ashamed to see us. Come, Louise, be calm. Prince," the said, let us have some water." The Hindoo said a few words in a foreign tongue aside to his mysterious companion, pointing to the still prostrate lackey. The Countess Lanine thought she detected in the Nabob's eye an expression of such cruelty that it made her shudder. lhis incident, caused by the awkwardness of an European servant, has annoyed your Excellency," said the Nabob. I "regret it and hope that my steward will in future engage servants who do not faint while waiting at table." and bope that my steward will in future engage servants who do not faint while waiting at table."