Adventures in a Castle was published initially in eight serialized installments in the Philadelphia Repository and Weekly Register (PRWR). The first of the work’s eight installments was printed on May 2^nd^, 1801 and its publication continued weekly through June 30^th^ of that same year. The editor, David Hogan, was responsible for the serialization and inclusion of Adventures in a Castle in the PRWR magazine. The vast extent of what is known about the author is shared in the paratext Hogan includes in its serialized publication. Hogan references the author Julius intermittently (a total of seven times) throughout the fictional narrative. Typically these references are just by name and appear at the conclusion of an installment. However, at the end of the story, Hogan divulges some interesting views and revealing contextualized interpretation of the tale in the concluding paratext.
In addition to his gratitude for the author Julius’ timely submissions, Hogan admits in the final paratextual reference that “the literary world abounds with the trifles of this kind.” Hogan goes on to suggest that consequently “no doubt [works like this one], in some measure, forms a criterion by which to judge of the taste of the age; tho’ a taste of this kind of reading, is not, perhaps, peculiar to the present one.” Essentially, what Hogan concedes is that while this tale is not extraordinary in and of itself, it does delineate the general expectation readers of that age upheld.
Tales like Adventures in a Castle, as Hogan suggests “inculcates a moral, if not new, yet good.” In this story, Hogan maintains the Count de Vauban (avarice personified) “meets with the deserved punishment: while the innocent objects of his horrid persecution, are extricated from his cruel fangs, and finally brought to the enjoyment of more perfect domestic felicity, than they would otherwise probably have attained, had it not been for those very circumstances to which his machinations gave birth.” This particular outcome not only conforms to reader expectation but it does so because it corroborates an espoused or at least perceived divine truth of the period that “the wicked are often snared in their own devices.” Hogan concludes the paratext with his praise of Julius’ prose and his ability to refrain from “those passionate exclamations, that often insinuate a degree of profanity into the mind, and with which tales and novels frequently abound.” He insinuates to the reader that any new works Julius may choose to submit will be given the utmost consideration from the editor.
Julius is credited with a few additional serialized works and literary appearances that emerged at different times in the Philadelphia Repository and Weekly Register. In a letter to the editor, on October 17^th^ 1801, Julius bemoans the behavior of two primary correspondents over the issue of Mr. Law and the Uranian Society. In the April 2^nd^ 1803 publication Julius addresses the periodical’s editor David Hogan through paratext interjected before the poem “Epitaph” urging his readership to help solve an apparent chronological inconsistency in the work. In one of the earliest submissions on April 4^th^ 1801, Julius, in the short fictional work “Curious Incident,” patterns much of what he accomplishes later in Adventures in a Castle through his construction of this demonstrable moralistic tale. The final reference of Julius in PRWR is the serialized work entitled The Ruins. The Ruins was a similarly moralistic tale that was serialized into six installments beginning on the 28^th^ of November 1801 publication in and finishing on the January 16^th^ edition in 1802.
As its name suggests, the Philadelphia Repository and Weekly Register (PRWR) was printed in the early 19^th^ Century in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The publication was printed in quarto form. A “quarto” is a book or pamphlet composed of one or more sheets of paper on which eight pages are printed, which are then folded twice over to create four “leaves.” During its five-and-a-half-year existence from November 15^th^ 1800 to April 5^th^ 1806, the PRWR was edited by David Hogan, John W. Scott, and ultimately Thomas Irwin.
This eight-page weekly publication included an assortment of miscellaneous subjects, matters, and content that were composed in a diverse range of forms including: original essays, serialized tales, extracts from both new and older publications, biographical sketches, and some material on the theater. According to the History of Philadelphia Volume III, the Philadelphia Repository and Weekly Register was popular with many because it was “edited with a kind spirit of encouragement towards their experiments in writing, and offered a place for their poetry, tales, and sketches, upon terms of criticism not very strict or severe. Interestingly, the majority of issues often included musical compositions, and during the period of time when Hogan and Scott oversaw the periodical’s publication, which essentially constituted the first four volumes, the final page was dedicated almost exclusively to poetry.
Each of the narrative’s serialized excerpts are contained in the periodical’s first volume–in consecutive issues twenty-five through thirty-two. The original aggregation and organization of the serialized content, which was used as the primary source material for the transcription was retrieved from the American Periodicals Series II Database.
Adventures in a Castle was also reprinted and featured in the New-York Weekly Museum (NYWM). It appeared in six installments beginning on January 2^nd^ and ending on the 6^th^ February 1808. It is interesting to consider just how much the readability of the text is impacted by the two different serializations (and even much later novelized edition).
Adventures in a Castle, in its initial eight-installment-serialization were shorter, so out of necessity, the “new” breaks in the two serialized publications must necessarily be evaluated to determine impact. There is no question that the flow of the narrative is changed by the alterations of the second serialized publication, but not knowing exactly who the author is nor if they had completed the entirety of the work prior to its first serialization with a specifically intended form for publication invites a great deal of supposition that is difficult to definitively conclude. Audience, and the organization and publication of the magazine also play a key factors in evaluating the serial’s readability. Changes between serializations are not just limited to form, even the title changed with the second serial. The work was no longer entitled merely Adventures in a Castle but another optional title was inserted—The Two Brothers.
The NYWM was a four-page magazine intended largely for female readerships. It was characterized as a “polite repository of amusement and instruction; being an assemblage of whatever can interest the mind, or exalt the character of the American fair.” Much of the content was of a sentimental and moral nature and included fictional romances that were frequently serialized. Additionally, the magazine included other various written forms like poetry, anecdotes, a morality column, theatrical reviews, domestic and foreign news, as well as advertisements. The publication run of NYWM spanned over a decade from 1805-1817.
[1. 2 May 1801]
Adventures in a Castle.
An Original Story.
PREVIOUS to the revolution which has convulsed Europe, and before peace and order were banished from the bosom of France, lived Monsieur Boileau. His chateau was situated on the border of a small stream which glided through a roman- tic valley in the province of Burgundy. He had formerly resided in the capital, and had ever borne an unblemished character; but having the misfortune of being bereft of the partner of his felicity, he purchased this small spot, to which he retired, accom- panied by his two sons, Louis and Henry, neither of them of an age capable of feel- ing the severity of their loss: Louis the eld- est being but thirteen, and his brother two years younger. Monsieur Boileau here employed the principle part of his time in instructing his two children in every branch of science, and with pleasure observed the progress they made in their studies, and the justice of their observations on the va- rious authors, whose works he had sub- mitted to their perusal. Several years had passed away, and the two brothers had nearly attained the age of maturity, when the hand of death deprived them of their father: sincere was their grief on this oc- casion, for they had always loved him with the fondest affection. On his death-bed he committed them to the care of his friend Monsieur Dupont, then an inhabitant of Dijon, the capital of the province, who received the weeping orphans with tender- ness, sympathized with their sorrows, and soothed their afflictions, by his kind atten- tion. It may not be amiss here to observe, that Monsieur Boileau was a descendant of a noble house, and that if he had survived his brother the Count de Vauban, he would have inherited his title, therefore Louis his eldest son, became the heir apparent of his uncle: between the Count and his brother a difference had long subsisted, and which was not terminated by the death of the latter, but the enmity was continu- ed to his innocent nephews; though as his brother had left a very considerable for- tune, and his own was too small to support his extravagance, he pretended to entertain a great affection for them, that he might have an opportunity of executing his vil- lainous designs. Monsieur Dupont, whom his friend Boileau, appointed guardian of his children, was a gentleman who had too great an acquaintance with the world and its arts, to suffer himself to be deceived by a specious appearance, he therefore min- utely noticed the Count’s conduct, and act- ed with caution in any thing with which he was concerned. Shortly after the young Boileau’s were numbered amongst the family, Dupont removed to his country seat: it was a large house, and it appeared as if it had stood for centuries, by the ru- inous condition of many parts of it. It had been bequeathed to him by a distant rela- tion in its present state; by admiring the grandeur of its situation, and the beautiful scenery which surrounded it, he had resolv- ed to spare no expense in making it suita- ble to receive his family, during the sum- mer months. He had therefore repaired the north wing of the building, and deter- mined to refit the whole in the ensuing year. This spot they made their retreat, and. were frequently visited by the Count de Vauban, who would often spend whole weeks with them. But this seeming friendship for his nephews did not lull the watchfulness of Mr. Dupont, and frequently while tracing the various avenues to the southern wing of the house, he would perceive himself carefully followed, by the scrutinizing eye of the faithful guardian. Although he was sensible that he was the object of the suspicion of Monsieur Dupont, yet it did not deter him from contriving further plans to deprive his nephews of their estate. One night Henry, the youngest, complained of a slight indisposition, and retired unusually early to bed; at breakfast hour the next morning he had not appeared, which his guardian attributed to his not having rested well the preceding night, owing to his trif- ling illness, but when the dinner-bell rung, and he had not been seen, he became se- riously alarmed for his safety, and instant- ly attended by Louis, entered his chamber, when to their astonishment, he was not to be found. To conjecture where he was, orby what unaccountable manner he had disappeared, was almost impossible, but all the supposition that could be entertain- ed by Mr. Dupont was, that it had been effected by foul means, and the suspicion of the deed rested on the Count, who had departed early on the morning. Thus did they remain, when the idea presented it- self to the mind of Mr. Dupont that pro- bably some of the servants had been pre- vailed upon by the Count to poison their food, and that though himself and Louis had escaped, yet Henry might have fallen a victim to the plot, and had been removed in the night.
[2. 9 May 1801]
THE moment he suggested the thought, he ordered all the servants to be assembled in the hall, but all firmly protesting, that they were innocent, and no proofs of guilt appearing, they were discharged. What confirms this unanimous declaration, and contradicted his former opinion, was the door being locked within, and the height of the chamber from the ground so great, that it appeared to be impossible to ap- proach it from without. Another circum- stance happened soon after this unaccount- able disappearance, which filled the breast of Monsieur Dupont with alarm, and tend- ed to strengthen the suspicion he had en- tertained of the Count’s being concerned in the transaction. Louis returning one evening from Dijon, meditating on the strange accident which had so deeply af- flicted him, rode on before his attendants: but he had not proceeded far, when he was assaulted by six armed ruffians. He de- fended himself with such dexterity and resolution, that when his servants came to his assistance they found one of the vil- lains lifeless at his feet, the others having fled at their approach. The wounds he received in this encounter confined him to the house for several weeks: and when he was restored to health Monsieur Dupont, sensible that the safety of the son of his deceased friend depended on his removal to another part of the kingdom, private- ly departed for the chateau of Monsieur Boileau. The family of Dupont, which consisted of himself, his wife and daugh- ter, willingly relinquished the pleasures of society in favour of Louis, for his engaging behaviour had so won their regard, that there was no gratification which they would not yield when put in competition with his safety. His pleasures were here embittered by the recollection of many painful scenes, and his imagination paint- ed in lively colours the happiness he had once enjoyed on this spot, in the society of his father and brother.
Not far distant from their present resi- dence stood an old castle, the seat of Mon- sieur Boileau’s ancestors, now in the pos- session of the Count de Vauban; this place young Louis had frequently wished to ex- amine when a child, but the dusky ap- pearance of the whole, had prevented the gratification of his curiosity. Monsieur Dupont beheld with concern the melancho- ly that had taken possession of the mind of his young ward, and in order to divert his attention, proposed that they should ex- plore together the recesses of the castle. To this Louis readily assented, and they set out early one morning for that purpose, unattended. They intended entering by the gateway, but their passage was ob- structed by the stones which had fallen from the battlements, and they were obli- ged to seek another entrance, which they soon found in a low door leading to the foot of a staircase: this they ascended, and found themselves in the apartments allotted to the servants. Through these they pas- sed into a large gallery, which still contained a number of beautiful pictures. Louis, who was extremely fond of painting, remained to take a narrower view of them, while Monsieur Dupont advanced farther in the castle. He had not proceeded far, before he heard the murmur of voices approaching in an opposite direction to the portrait gallery, where he had left Louis, and he immediately after perceived two men ap- parently engaged in a very interesting con- versation, but the subject of it remained unknown to him, as they descended a flight of steps at some distance before him. Sur- prised at their appearance, he hastily return- ed to Louis, and acquainted him with what he had seen, telling him they would come in the afternoon with a few servants armed, in order to penetrate the mystery, as the castle had always been considered as un- inhabited. To the chateau they accord- ingly went, and when they had dined, they loaded their pistols and set out, ac- companied by James, Louis’s valet, and five others on whom they could depend. They passed into the castle by the same way as before, and entered a narrow winding passage, which seemed to extend along the whole of the building: following this they reached a spiral staircase, that they descended, and on the first floor below they perceived that they were at the junc- tion of the branches of a large entry. Here they hesitated, not knowing which to pursue, when they heard the sound of a distant footstep behind them. They instant- ly secreted themselves, and immediately perceived a man pass by without noticing them. He was soon met by another, and a dialogue ensued, which was not con- ducted on so low a key but that they were overheard. “Gerald,” said the first, who appeared to have some authority, “the prisoner’s fate is now determined, and he must be dispatched as expeditiously as possible.” “Why,” replied the other, is this sudden resolution? I thought it was not to have been done.”
“No matter,” answered the first, “do you see it is done; I am in haste: when it is finished, prepare to the grand hall.” Upon this they separated, and walked down different avenues. When they had got a considerable distance, it was resolved that Louis, his valet, and another servant, should follow the second, while Monsieur Dupont and the remainder should pursue the first. Louis and his small party proceeded after Gerald with great caution, till he entered a small chamber: They remained within sight of the door for nearly an hour, when finding he did not return, they ventured to look into the room, where they perceive- ed he had passed through an opposite door.
Vexed at being thus disappointed, Louis rushed hastily forward, and had soon ad- vanced considerably before his companions, when he perceived the same man striking a light. As soon as he had succeeded, he proceeded till he reached a stair-case, when he began to descend. Louis, desirous of rescuing the unknown prisoner from the murderous designs of his enemies, contin- ued to follow the man, whom he now saw was armed, till at length he was assured by the dampness of the air and the dim glimmering of the light which Gerald car- ried in his hand, that he was in the vaults of the castle. JULIUS.
[3. 16 May 1801]
Undaunted by the certainty that he was at a great distance from his companions, he persisted in his resolute undertaking, and grasping a brace of pistols, with cautious steps pursued the assassin (who had by this time ceased to descend,) thro’ the winding avenues of the subterranean apartments, when he suddenly fell through a trap door into the vault below. Here he remained a considerable time senseless from the fall; one of the pistols, which he had held in his hand was discharged, and the report rever- berating from the gloomy cavities, vibrated on the ear of the astonish’d Gerald with such an awful sound, that he remained almost lifeless with terror. When reason had resumed her functions over his mind, he removed himself as fast as his trembling limbs would bear him, from the spot which had inspired him with such dreadful appre- hensions, unable to comprehend from what cause they had arisen. While Gerald was proceeding to execute his diabolical pur- pose, far other sensations pervaded the breast of Louis: providentially he had not received any material injury, and when he had recovered from the swoon into which his fall had thrown him, he arose disappoint- ed, because he now believed himself inca- pable of preventing the accomplishment of Gerald’s murderous designs on the un- known victim. Picturing to himself some unfortunate man fallen into the hands of his enemies, and suffering under the dagger of the nightly assassin, he paced with has- ty steps, the cavern into which he had been thrown, when a deep groan assail’d his ear. His first sensation was an invol- untary emotion of fear, but listening for some minutes attentively, and not hearing it repeated, he attributed it to his perturb- ed imagination.
After some minutes had elapsed it was repeated, and he heard it too distinctly to suffer him to consider it as the wanderings of his own disordered fancy. Advancing towards the place from whence the sound proceeded, he perceived the reflection of a light proceeding from an iron grate, and which upon a nearer view he found was placed upon a small table in the adjoining vault. Near it was a man in chains, ly- ing on a miserable bed of straw, from whom the groans which had alarmed him issued. He had scarcely reached the grate when an opposite door opened, and Gerald, the same whom he had followed so long, enter- ed the vault. Louis had one pistol charg- ed, and that he determined to use in the preservation of the helpless sufferer, and as the assassin was preparing to execute his infamous purpose, he exclaimed,–“Infer- nal instrument of tyranny, go to that world where thy black soul shall suffer torments worthy of so foul a miscreant,” and at the same moment Gerald received a ball in his breast from the hand of Louis. Roused by the noise from a broken slumber, the pri- soner raised himself from the floor, and pre- sented to the eye of the astonished Louis the ghastly countenance of his brother Hen- ry. Joy at once more beholding those be- loved features, inspired him strength, and grasping the bars with a nervous hand, he wrenched the whole out of its position, and in an instant he found himself in the arms of his brother. When the first emotions attendant on such an occasion had subsided, they resolved to return by the way Gerald had entered the dungeon. Louis there- fore searching the pockets of the deceased murderer, found the keys which fastened the chains round the body of Henry, and liberated him. Leaving the lamp upon the table, they quitted this gloomy dungeon, intending to direct their steps towards the mansions of the living without any light, rather than expose themselves to detection. Carefully moving along the vaults, they passed the trap door, through which Louis had descended, and ascended the staircase; as they were moving along the dark passa- ges at the top, they heard the report of a pistol at some distance, and in a few min- utes they were joined by M. Dupont, who placing his finger on his lips in token of si- lence, beckoned them to follow him, and proceeded with hasty steps in the di- rection towards the door by which they had entered the castle: but as they were descending the spiral staircase, they heard a hoarse voice at the bottom, calling to o- thers, and bidding them “ guard all the out-lets, and they had them safe enough.” They, upon hearing this, measured back their steps with rapidity, and were as quick- ly pursued by others, whose hoarse voices proceeding in different directions, announ- ced their approach. The fugitives were obliged to separate, and Louis and Henry entered a recess, which by its gloom fa- voured their concealment. Unfortunately, their pursuers thought proper to search it, and they were both discovered, conducted to separate apartments, and put in fetters, to prevent the possibility of their escape. Henry, reduced in mind and body by the Severity of his confinement, suffered himself to be bound without murmuring, but the ardent spirit of his brother Louis, disdain- ed confinement, and it was with difficulty They secured him. He demanded for what reason he was to be kept a pri- soner, and heaped curses upon them, but they only sneered at his impatience, and left him to his own thoughts. Mean- while M. Dupont, and those who ac- companied him, had found their way to the subterranean apartments, and by means of a breach made by the all-destroying hand of time, escaped from the walls of the castle. His first step was to go to court, where he stated to the king every circum- stance, and was allowed a body of soldiers to search the castle. They did so, but in vain, not a soul was to be found, all was un- disturbed solitude, and he was under the necessity of leaving his wards to their fate. Months passed away, but the cloud of my- stery was not dispelled, when one evening, when the family had all retired to bed, a violent knocking was heard at gate. This untimely intrusion roused M. Dupont, who dressed himself, and went below to know the cause; he found the servants huddled together, disputing who should open the gate, for since the inexplicable disappearance of Louis and Henry, a su- perstitious fear had pervaded the bosom of every domestic. M. Dupont ordered them to follow him, and he opened the gate, when in rushed a figure covered with blood and dust–a sanguine stream issuing from his arm, which hung lifeless at his side. The servants uttered a cry of terror, and clung round their master, when the stran- ger sunk on the floor, fainting through loss of blood. A couch was prepared for him, and every attempt made to recall departed animation, but in vain: the face was cleansed of the blood which besmeared it, and the pallid features proclaimed that the stranger was the lost Louis. Grieved to the soul to be obliged to lose him the moment he was found, M. Dupont exert- ed himself to blow into existence the latent spark of life, and was at length successful. The blood flowing from the wound in his arm was staunched, and a deep groan is- sued from his lips. The faint prospect of recovering him, stimulated the faithful guardian to new exertion, and he had at length the satisfaction of perceiving his eyes open, and a reviving cordial complete- ly restored him to life: But a delirious fever raged through his veins, and he ra- ved with all the incoherence of madness: “his brother, his murdered brother,” was the principal object on which his wander- ing fancy seemed to rest. Seven days he existed under the influence of madness, when his ravings subsided, and he sunk into a state of insensibility. M. Dupont was sensible that the crises of his disorder was at hand, and conceived his inanimate situation as only a prelude to dissolution. “Ill fated youth, he exclaimed,” evil was the planet that presided at thy birth, under its influence have all thy days been tainted with misfortune, and the dart of death is al- ready extended to deprive thee of existence. Small has been thy portion of happiness here, but thy reward is yet to come.” The worthy owner of the chateau had sent for a surgeon from the neighbouring village as soon as he had discovered in the person of the wounded stranger his belov- ed Louis. M. Burton, the surgeon who was expected, was an English gentleman who had studied physic and surgery under the most eminent of the profession in Lon- don, but owing to some disgust he had tak- en to his native country, he retired to France, and took up his residence at the village in the vicinity of the chateau, where he continued the practice of his profession, with equal ability and success. He posses- sed a perfect knowledge of the French lan- guage, as he had resided in the kingdom for many years, and could converse on any subject with ease: his sentiments were ex- pressed without affectation, and his con- versation displayed superior talents and refinement: it may therefore be supposed, that he was a frequent visitant at the cha- teau, where his arrival was ever greeted with all unaffected welcome. He had married a French lady, by whom he had one daughter, and this endearing tie bound him still closer to the country. Upon Monsieur Burton’s examining Louis’s arm, while he was insensible, he found that a ball had been lodged there, but it was luckily extracted without injury. At M. Dupont’s request, this humane gentleman, whose heart was ever alive to sensibility, consented to remain a the chateau, till rea- son superceded madness, or his patient paid “the great debt of nature.” The crisis of his disorder was fast approaching, his breath grew short, and delusive hope was banished from every bosom, and gave place to despondency. Every countenance wore the livery of sorrow, and gave the strongest testimony of the love they bore to him; at length he appeared to have en- tirely ceased to suspire; all his melancho- ly friends were seated round the bed, waiting the moment when his soul should depart “to him who gave it.” The silence which had reigned for some time, was at length interrupted by M. Burton’s saying in a low tone, “I believe all is now over, but there is a possibility that he yet lives, and may be only sleeping.” Then turning to one of the servants, he ordered him to bring him a small mirror, which he placed before his lips for a few minutes, and upon examining it found it sullied, and commu- nicated the pleasing intelligence to his mournful auditors, that he yet breathed, and was asleep, which he considered as a happy omen. Several hours did the unfor- tunate Louis remain perfectly insensible, but at length he moved, to the revival of the hopes of his friends, and in a few mi- nutes opened his eyes, and stretching out his hand to M. Dupont gently pressed his, while a faint smile gleamed across his countenance, on which they thought the unremovable seal of death had been af- fixed. From this time his health gradually returned, and in a few weeks he was able to leave his room, but not a word was ut- tered by him respecting the affairs of the castle, and whenever it was alluded to, it seemed to turn his brain to madness. As it seemed to affect him in such an extra- ordinary manner, M. Dupont deferred an explanation of past events, till he was per- fectly restored, and time had in some mea- sure obliterated the traces of this unknown misfortune from his memory, or at least de- stroyed the keenness of the injuries he had received. JULIUS
[4. 23 May 1801]
MEANWHILE the Count de Vauban, whose unbounded extravagance reduced him to the verge of ruin, was obliged to abscond from the importunity of his cre- ditors; but when Louis and Henry were both lost, he thought proper to come for- ward and claim their fortunes: at the ear- nest prayer of M. Dupont the grant of them to the Count was deferred by the king for one year, promising, that if in that time, one of them did not appear, he should be put in possession of them. As M. Dupont still entertained suspicions of the Count, he did not think it necessary to inform the King, that the lawful owner of the estates was found, till Louis was able to carry himself the evidence of it. Therefore as soon as he was well enough to travel, he set out, attended by two servants, well armed for the security of their master, and proceeded by easy stages to Paris, to claim the inves- titure of the states, as his age authorised the demand. Louis the fifteenth, who then ruled over that fertile and extensive kingdom, without hesitation ordered him to be put in possession of all the fortune his father had left, which was far from being small, though principally vested in the funds: his landed estate only consisted of the chateau and grounds occupied by M. Dupont. Upon his return, night overtook him two leagues from the chateau, but his desire of reaching it determined him to proceed, notwithstanding the darkness, and a wood which he was obliged to pass through, in which several robberies and murders had been perpetrated. He had passed through the greater part of it without any alarm, when just as he approached the farther side, a report of a pistol, followed by the clashing of swords, roused him from a re- verie into which he had fallen. Clapping spurs to his horse, he hastened forward with the servants at full speed; the moon at in- tervals shone forth from the broken clouds, and very opportunely yielded her light for him to perceive a group of men, apparent- ly of different parties, as the clashing of swords announced an encounter. Impelled by the natural generosity of his disposition, he hastened to join the weaker party, who thus reinforced soon put their adversaries to flight. A gentleman who seemed to be the superior of the party, was slightly wounded, and thro’ fear of its being irri- tated by riding far, he accepted an invita- tion to the chateau, which he had accorded in the politest terms. They found M. Dupont and his family expecting Louis with anxie- ty, and his guests they treated with the most hospitable politeness. Before they retired, Louis begged to know what had occasioned the rencounter in the forest, and whom it was he had the good fortune to assist upon that occasion. The stranger informed him, that he was no other than the Duke of Alencon, who upon his way to his seat a short distance beyond the cha- teau, had the misfortune of breaking his carriage, and as he did not wish to stay till it was repaired, he proceeded on horse- back with a few servants, and in the forest had been attacked by some men, whom he supposed to be banditti. He overwhelm- ed Louis with his thanks, and the next morning insisted upon his accompanying him to his castle, to which he consented, as the easy behaviour of the Duke had entire- ly won his confidence. He remained with him several weeks, and every day raised them in each other’s estimation, till Louis had resolved to open his whole soul to him. This he deferred till his venerable guardian should come to the castle, whither he had been urged to present himself. The Duke of Alencon had one son and one daughter, to whom all his immense estates would be- long; the daughter possessed all the graces of the sex, but her brother the Marquis de Lantz, disgraced his distinguished rank by his vicious propensities. Antoniette de Lantz (this was the Duke’s family name) had been universally admired, and Louis understood that a young nobleman, who was one of her suitors, was favoured by the Marquis, and approved by Alencon. Notwithstanding the caution which this information was calculated to give, young Boileau could not exclude the passion of love from his bosom, and the image of An- toniette haunted him continually. At length he was told that the lover of Mademoiselle de Lantz, was expected at the castle the day following, and the day after M. Dupont had announced his intention of visiting the Duke. Curiosity to see the man to whom his admired Antoniette would probably be joined in the bands of marriage, prevented him from sleeping, and he arose early the next morning, with his ideas occupied by the same subject. After he had breakfast- ed, he remained in the parlour with the Duke, Antoniette and the Marquis, when a carriage drove into the yard. “It is the Count,” exclaims the Marquis, and flew out of the room to receive him, while Louis walked to one of the windows and saw a light from his carriage the Count de Vauban. Astonishment transfixed him to the spot, and contradictory ideas passed through his brain with such rapidity, as almost to de- range him. To find his uncle, whom he strongly suspected of being the source of all his misfortunes, received into the family of the Duke of Alencon, as the approved lo- ver of his daughter, almost surpassed com- prehension. He however, fortunately re- covered his presence of mind, before the Count entered the room, and determined to observe his countenance with the most watchful scrutiny. De Vauban entered, introduced by the Marquis with smiles in his aspect, when his attention was arrested by the sight of his nephew, his counte- nance displayed contending emotions, and guilt and fear were delineated in every feature. The company observed the ex- traordinary confusion of the Count, and were at a loss to account for it, or the pier- cing attention with which Louis regarded him: but in a short time de Vauban’s wont- ed ease of manners returned, and he paid his compliments to the company, apologizing for his emotion, which he said was to be at- tributed to his surprise, at again seeing his runaway nephew, who he had much feared had been lost to his friends for ever. He then acquainted the company with their consanguinity, but was completely at a loss to enter into conversation with Louis, who sat totally silent wrapt in his own reflections. To all their enquiries respecting his absence, of which the Count had spoken, he gave incoherent replies, and instantly relapsed into his abstraction of mind to what was passing before him. The day passed with a degree of unsociability, to which the fam- ily of the Duke of Alencon were unaccus- tomed, but the unusual reserve, to them so mysterious, which clouded the manners of their two guests, deprived them of their wonted cheerfulness. The Duke, to whom Louis had endeared himself in the first place, by according him his assistance when be- set in the forest, with so much celerity, and which his affectionate manners had confirm- ed, was anxious to know what occasioned the uneasiness under which his young friend seemed to labour, and they all separated to retire to bed at night, seemingly pleased that the day was expired. Louis was un- able to sleep, from the concurrence of cir- cumstances which a short time had produ- ced; the confusion of the Count upon their interview, almost confirmed his suspicions that he was the cause of his imprisonment. Restless and tormented with his own ideas, he arose, dressed and seated himself at the window;–opening the casement to give admission to the air, he observed a man walking on the terrace below, apparently waiting for some one, and in a few minutes he was joined by another. The casement at which he sat, was too high from the ter- race to permit him to hear the whole of the discourse that ensued, but he found that it was an assignation. Curiosity to know who it was that had taken this oppor- tunity for a private interview, prompted him to listen, and he found it was the Mar- quis and the Count de Vauban. He was so much interested in every thing which concerned his uncle, that he could not re- frain from listening, and from what part of their discourse reached his ear, he found it of dreadful import. He had conceived a dislike to the Marquis at first sight, which had been strengthened by his manners to- wards him, but he now found him to be a man, in whom every species of villainy were concentrated. The attack made up- on the Duke of Alencon in the forest, where Louis had been the means of his res- cue, had been the act of the Count’s des- perate dependants under his influence. De Vauban’s situation with respect to pecuni- ary affairs, was desperate, and in order to rid himself of the importunity of his creditors, he had afforded protection to a party of banditti, who resided in the environs of the Castle, which had been the scene of the Boileaus’ imprisonment. From this place They made depredations throughout the vi- cinity, and a considerable dividend of their plunder was appropriated to the use of de Vauban. But as this was a very uncer- tain dependence, the Count had listened to proposals from the Marquis de Lantz, who also felt his extravagance limited by the prudence of the Duke, to assassinate his father, and share with him the large estates which would then come into his possession. This horrid scheme, of which Louis had been the means of disappointing, plainly proves that de Vauban Would hesitate at nothing, that had a tendency to promote his views. The conversation then turned upon Louis, and the Count de Vauban re- lated to the Marquis the obstacle he was to the possession of M. Boileau’s estate, and communicated his desire of having him removed, to his worthless companion, who readily assented to his intentions, and they removed to another part of the terrace to lay the plan of their future proceedings. The horror which pervaded the breast of Louis was indescribable; to find that any Human being should be so lost to every sense of rectitude, as to not only connive at, but to assist in an attempt, to murder his own father, was more than he could ever have supposed. Nothing more transpired of their intentions that night, and the day dawned upon Louis, while he remained fixed at the casement so deeply wrapt in meditation, and he was scarcely conscious of his exis- tence. When roused from his reveries, he was almost ready to conclude that it was a horrid dream; but memory recalled to his imagination the conversation he had heard, too forcibly to suffer him to admit the pleasing supposition. The next day brought M. Dupont to the Castle de Alen- con, and as soon as possible a private in- terview was obtained·with Louis and the Duke, when, after receiving the request of his two friends, Louis racapitulated his ad- ventures in the castle.
[5. 30 May 1801]
HE commenced his relation, when him- self and Henry were separated from M. Dupont, and entered the recess. He re- counted the insults he received upon his being found, and, together with his bro- ther, being closely confined in irons. His daily pittance was brought him by a ruffian, whose countenance indicated villainy of the deep- est dye; to all his requests to know by whose authority, and for what reason he was kept a prisoner, no answer was return- ed, nor could all his entreaties procure him information of the fate of Henry. All was incertitude, and his imagination conjured up the form of Henry, receiving his death- wound from the hand of an assassin, who would next plunge the weapon, perhaps yet reeking in his brother’s gore, into his own bosom. A few days only had elapsed, when his keeper entered the prison, ac- companied by two others, and he was led out, (the two men following him with drawn swords,) and conveyed through the subterranean apartments, to a remote place, where he naturally concluded his life was to be terminated. But he was mistaken, for he had soon the pleasure of seeing Henry conducted into the same apartment, which was filled with armed men, and found that their removal was on account of a body of troops under M. Dupont, approaching to search the castle. They distinctly heard them at a distance in the building, and the hopes of the prisoners began to revive; but after a few hours had elapsed, they had the mortification of hearing them depart, and all the fond visions of liberty, which fancy had created, vanished, and gloomy despair usurped their place.– No embrace was permitted them, nor were they allowed to speak to each other, and they were con- ducted back to their cells without enjoying any satisfaction from the interview, but what Louis derived from seeing the youth of his brother, bearing up against the ill ef- fects of confinement, and his recovering his health notwithstanding all his misfortunes. But his own countenance could convey no such satisfaction to his brother, for it bore the stamp of melancholy, and when a smile illuminated his pallid features upon the ap- pearance of Henry, like the gleam of a meteor in a watery atmosphere, it quickly disappeared. The same dull routine occu- pied the time of his imprisonment, without any material occurrence, when one even- ing after the guard had seen him for the last time that night, as he was pacing with “heavy steps and slow” the floor of his prison, a dismal long-drawn groan, reach- ed his ear. His chains had been taken off some time, as his keepers supposed the door secured with massy bars and bolts, suffice- ent. The idea that this horrid sound might be the last groan of his brother, roused into exertion all his dormant faculties, which had sunk through inactivity into nerveless indo- lence. He examined the door, and to his inexpressible surprise he found it had been left unfastened through the negligence of his keeper; taking advantage of this lucky occurrence, he issued from his prison, and passed hastily along the passage; a door half open arrested his progress, and an ir- resistable impulse urged him to inspect the room. A lamp suspended from the ceiling, in the same manner as in the cell where he had been confined, afforded its glimmering light, and presented to his view a scene replete with horror. It was the body of his brother Henry, laying in his gore, who thus in the spring of life, ere he had tasted its pleasures, had bidden them adieu for ever. Driven to distraction by the horrific appearance, he rushed out of the room, and flew along the passage with such rapidity, that he would have been mistaken for an aerial being, the sound of whose footsteps were not perceptible to mortal ear. Not knowing whither it led, he pursued the avenue till it terminated in a postern gate, which was open, and where two centinels were stationed. With the velocity of light- ning he flew past them, and, unconscious of the action, quitted the hated walls which had been productive of so much misery to himself and his loved Henry, leaving the centinels stupefied with surprise and terror. But ere Louis could proceed far from the castle they recalled their scattered faculties, and discharged their muskets in the direc- tion he had taken, and with two much suc- cess, for the contents of one of them was lodged in his arm, and felled him to the earth. Animated with almost supernatural strength, he arose and resumed his progress towards the chateau, which he just reached when all his strength failed him, and he sunk into a state of total insensibility, as has been mentioned before.
When Louis had finished his relation, a consultation was held upon the most proba- ble means to evade any future attacks which might be made on his person. To relate the conversation young Boileau had overheard the preceding night, would give the Duke of Alencon too severe a shock, he therefore deferred speaking of it till he could have a private interview with M. Dupont, and as the suspicions of the whole party attached to the Count, it was resolved that they should return the same day to the chateau; the Duke intended to take the first opportunity to dismiss the Count, and de- stroy all his hopes of an alliance with his daughter. Agreeable to the plan they had adopted, M. Dupont and Louis returned to the chateau; and the same afternoon the Count de Vauban, in a private conference With the Duke of Alencon, avowed his at- tachment to Mademoiselle de Lantz, and demanded her hand in marriage. The pro- posal was rejected in the most civil terms, to the great surprize, and mortification of de Vauban, who, after a secret inter- view with the Marquis, departed from the castle.
Arrived at such an advanced period of our history, let us take a review of the life of de Vauban, as far as concerns his ne- phews. Possessing a perfect knowledge of his brother’s wealth, he no sooner receiv- ed the intelligence of his death, than he conceived the: nefarious design on remov- ing his nephews by force, and enjoying the uninterrupted possession of the estate. The execution of his purpose would how- ever be attended with difficulty, but he was not to be discouraged, and he concert- ed his plan with precision, determined by perseverance to surmount every obstacle. His dependents were numerous, and he well knew would execute any thing he could wish. For the purpose of securing his nephews, he stationed a number of the villains under his protection in the castle, some parts of which, were in a ruinous si- tuation, and when M. Dupont retired with his wards to his country seat, de Vauban, who frequently visited them, dili- gently explored every part of the building, and found the ruined wing communicated by narrow passages with that in which the family resided. Ever on the watch for an opportunity to reduce his plans to practice, he discovered in the apartment assigned to Henry, a private door, which was en- tirely unknown to any of the family. Thro’ this he gave admission in the night to some of his ruffian attendants, who conveyed Henry to the castle, where he was con- Fined in a damp prison, and fettered. No Ray of light illuminated the obscurity of The dungeon, nor served to cheer his me- lancholy situation, save what one glimmer- ing taper afforded. A superstitious fear prevented de Vauban’s immediately order- ing the assassination of Henry, but he left him a pray to torturing sensations, and the pestiferous atmosphere of his prison. But when he learned the arrival of M. Dupont’s family in the neighbourhood, the fear of being discovered induced him to order Henry’s death, and insure his own safety: but this unfortunate termination of his life, was prevented by the timely interposition of Louis, in the vaults of the castle, when Gerald paid the forfeit of his crimes. Lou- is for a considerable time eluded the vigi- lance of his uncle, till the unfortunate ad- venture of exploring the castle, when he fell a victim to his temerity. The Count carefully kept his abused nephews in un- certainty respecting the author of their misfortunes, lest any unavoidable accident, which his guilty and mistrustful conscience could not foresee or guard against, should give them their liberty, and raise an in- controvertible evidence of his guilt. Be- ing disappointed in his expectations of im- mediate possession of M. Boileau’s estate, he obtained an introduction to the family of Alencon, through the medium of the Marquis, whom he had often met at the gaming table: hoping to recruit his dis- ordered and almost exhausted finances, by a marriage with Antoniette. Fearful of his anger, his dependents forbore to mention to him the escape of Louis, and he had no reason to suppose he had eluded his vil- lainous intentions, till he met him at the Duke of Alencon’s castle. The surprize the sight of him occasioned, roused in his bosom the dormant spark of shame, and kindled the confusion which shone in his countenance. When his nephew had de- parted to the chateau, and he met with the unexpected rejection of his proposals, on the part of the duke, his enmity to Louis, who he supposed had influenced the decision of the Duke, was redoubled, and he vowed the most sanguinary revenge. He depart- ed sullen and mortified, for his castle, which he had previously put in a state of defence, as his capacious mind had prepared against the evils of adversity, and admitted the pos- sibility of his experiencing the frowns of for- tune, and being obliged to recur to his predatory system for support. Here, with his band of ruffians, he resided, and spread terror and devastation throughout the vi- cinity. The Marquis being himself re- stricted by his father, in his pecuniary af- fairs, could afford him no assistance, and tired with his frequent importunities, broke the bonds of intimacy which had united them. Had not the Marquis been of a timid disposition, had he been endowed with the daring courage of de Vauban, he would have been a paricide, for he had a heart sufficiently corrupted to harbour the attrocious design.
[6. 6 June 1801]
THE Count de Vauban had been long invisible at the metropolis, being so much engaged in his plans to get Louis again in his hands. But as soon as the intelligence reached M. Dupont, of de Vauban’s being at the head of the banditti which infested the vicinity, he prepared to remove to Paris, sensible that when in possession of power, he would regard no law, human or divine, to effect his infamous purposes, and glut his sanguinary revenge on Louis. Once alone did de Vauban find an opportunity to make an attempt upon the person of Louis, which was before the commencement of their journey to Paris, when one night he made an assault upon the chateau, hoping to be able to force his entrance. But the family were roused at the first attack, and seizing all the warlike weapons which they could find in the house, they obliged them to retire. It was a fortunate circumstance that the owner of the chateau, upon the first intelligence of the existence of a band of robbers in the neighbourhood, had pro- cured musquets and ammunition, in order to be prepared against any event. This occurrence hastened their departure, and the next day they set out for the capital, where they had prepared a residence. Vice seldom fails ultimately to receive its punishment, and the marquis de Lantz was another instance of the reward of villainy, whether executed or 1nercly concerted. ‘Tis true the imbecility of his mind and his cowardice, prevented the execution of his unnatural designs against the life of his father, but it did not diminish his atrocity in the conception of such an idea. He had made an excursion to Dijon, where, among his careless unthinking companions, he had been passing away the tardy hours, and was returning home for want of the necessary money to support his extravagance. He had not recovered from the influence of wine, when he entered the forest, which had been the theatre of murder perpetrated by the lawless dependents of de Vauban. He had sunk into a slumber, and the spell which bound him in the embraces of Mor- pheus, was so potent, that he heard not the whistle of the banditti, nor knew of their approach, till his attendants were fi- red upon by them. All who could fly, made their escape, as no tie attached them to the fate of de Lantz, who scarcely was roused from his stupidity, till the robbers roughly ordered him to deliver up his money. This demand he was unable to comply with, as he had spent the last livre at the gaming- table. Wine inspired him with something like courage, of which his natural dispose- tion was entirely destitute, and snatching up his pistol that lay at his side, he dis- charged it at the person next to him. This was the signal of his fate, the murderers instantly dragged him from his carriage, and buried their poignards in his bosom. Thus was the miserable death of this wretched being, whose heart was never inspired with one sentiment that would reflect honour on himself, accomplished by the means of his colleague in the attroci- ous attempt, to deprive his father of life. Such was the end of a life which that one crime indeliably stained, and which, had he possessed the tallents of the Count de Vau- ban, would have been productive of more mischief to society. Soon as the murder- ers had satiated their revenge and taken ample vengeance for the wound he had given their comrade, they returned to the castle to dispose of the trifling booty they had obtained, and convey the wounded ruf- fian. The Count possessed sufficient sa- gacity to know, that his petty despotism would be of short continuance, as the out- rages the banditti under his command, had committed in the province, much shortly, reach the royal ear; and the consequence would be fatal to him, but it was too late to think of obtaining pardon, and he flatter- ed himself that he could make his escape at any time, when imperious necessity should command such a proceeding. Had the Count de Vauban been educated in the principles of virtue, he would probably have become an ornament to society, but unlimited indul- gence had suffered his good qualities to be obscured, and by the continued practice of engaging in bachanalian festivals and carou- sals, his heart became at last as depraved as we behold it. When M. Dupont arriv- ed at Paris, he made a report to the king of the numerous murders and robberies that had been committed in the province of Burgundy. The Duke of Alencon also, who mourned his son cut of in the prime of life by the hands of lawless ruffians, was determined to destroy the combination of the villains who infested this fertile part of the kingdom, and revenge the death of his son. His influence at court was conside- rable, and he was permitted by the king to lead a body of the regular troops against the Count, to conduct him to the capital if he made a voluntary surrender of his person or in case of resistance, to destroy the haunt of the banditti, and bring him to condign punishment. In order to pre- vent the escape of the Count, the Duke of Alencon, accompanied by Louis Boileau, and M. Dupont, with the troops under his authority, marched towards the castle with rapidity, lest the intelligence of their approach should give the alarm, and de Vauban escape the fate due to his attroci- ous guilt. But all their caution did not prevent his receiving notice of their arri- val, and acting according to the dictates of prudence. With every necessary pre- caution to prevent a surprize from the ban- ditti, the troops invested the castle, and a messenger was dispatched to demand the surrender of it to his Majesty’s commission, a refusal was the answer, unless the com- mandant of the party would pledge his hon- our to procure them a free pardon. This offer was not accepted, and they were or- dered to surrender unconditionally, de- pending on the clemency of the king, or death was denounced as their portion, the instant they were taken. Inflated with visionary ideas of the strength of the for- tifications, and confident of the plenty which abounded from the stores of provi- sion, which the provident Count had taken care to lay up, they bid defiance to regal authority, and dared them to the assault. Several petty conflicts were maintained with the banditti, who, though inferior in point of numbers, counterbalanced it by their ferocity, and several were killed on either side. To conquer or die, was the maxim the ruffian defenders of the castle faithfully adhered to, and the soldiers of the royal party were unable to obtain any advantage. Finding they made but very little progress towards the object of their excursion, the leaders of the detachment determined upon a vigorous attempt to overcome all resistance. For this purpose they prepared torches and fire-brands, re- solved to set fire to the castle, and bury its infatuated inhabitants in the ruins. Hu- manity however induced them to make a final offer of conditional pardon, if they would give up the arm of justice the Count de Vauban. The proposal was re- jected by the banditti with disdain, for al- though dead to every sentiment of recti- tude and humanity, the imaginary tie of honour bound them to the Count, and they resolved to procure his pardon or perish with him. JULIUS.
[7. 13 June 1801]
FINDING all attempts to induce the banditti to except the intended pardon were futile, they prepared to carry the plan of burning the castle into execution. Having made every necessary preparation, the lead- ers of the troops assigned to each the part they were to act, and an hour after the sun had sunk beneath the horizon, the signal for the attack was given, by throwing a rocket from the General’s tent. The sol- diers rushed forward to the onset, brandish- ing their torches, and after a severe conflict, gained the out-works of the castle. In a short time the conflagration was general, and the gleams of light proceeding from it, and to the darkness which prevailed, ren- dered it a scene of horror. Having accom- plished the design of setting the castle on fire, the troops retreated to guard all the out-lets, that those who escaped the fury of the raging element, should fall by the a- venging sword. A body of the banditti, with the Count at their head, sallied from the castle, to endeavour to cut their way thro’ the hostile party. But the principal part of them fell in the attempt, and among them, the infamous De Vauban.
Louis as soon as he perceived the flames bursting from all parts of the castle, and the towering ramparts enveloped in spoke, ap- proached the walls: the sally of the bandit- ti had been made on a different side, and had not attracted his attention from the scene of ruin before him. While he was contem- plating the destruction which was taking place, his attention was arrested by the sight of a person leaping from one rampart to another, to escape the threatening flames which pursued him, and in which he ap- peared to be almost involved. At length, by means of his surprising activity, he ap- proached towards the place where Louis stood, but still at such a height, that his es- cape seemed almost impossible. He had considerably descended since Louis first noticed him, and now paused, apparent- ly contemplating his height from the ground, and dubious of his ability to reach it in safety. But the flames approached, he sprung from the walls, and fell almost at the feet of Louis, who raised his arm to terminate his life, but an impulse of huma- nity induced him to spare it, if indeed he had not been killed by the fall. Young Boi- leau laid his hand on his heart, and felt it beat. The horizon was illuminated by the conflagration, and as he inclined himself, to see if the spark of life was extinguished, he observed the stranger was dressed differ- ently from the common banditti. Strange emotions agitated his bosom, and “hope, the fond deceiver,” fluttered round his heart. He approached to inspect the fig- ure which lay prostrate before him, cover- ed with dust, and stunned with the fall. He gently raised him from the ground, and as the light gleamed on his ashy counte- nance, discovered him to be–HIS LONG LOST BROTHER!—-Reader, conceive his sensations, for words cannot express them; no language could convey them to thee, though all the eloquence of TULLY was exhausted to effect it. His astonishment almost surpassed conception–Had he not beheld him prostrate on the floor of his cell, his life’s blood streaming from his bosom?– Had he not seen him a palled corpse, the victim of fell revenge?–And now, did he not see him before him? did not his arms support him?–All that had passed ap- peared as a fearful dream, the offspring of a disordered fancy. He called loudly for assistance, and had him conveyed to his tent, where they successfully endeavoured to restore l1im to existence, but he had re- ceived some very severe contusions from the fall, and his arm appeared considerably scorched.
The next day, as soon as the dawn oppo- sed its pleasing light to the more awful ap- pearance of the castle, which exhibited one vast sheet of flame, our new-found invalid was conveyed to the hospitable mansion of Monsieur Burton, where M. Dupont and Louis were kindly urged to take up their residence. A few weeks crowned the as- siduities of the amiable surgeon and his friends with success, and they had the in- expressible satisfaction of seeing their be- loved Henry, whom they very naturally had long concluded, was traversing the regions of eternity, restored to all his former health and vigour. Happiness they yet hoped was in store for them, since De Vauban, the grand and only enemy to their happiness, had fell the victim to the justice of his of- fended country. Carrying his resentment no farther than to see the execution of jus- tice on the vile disturbers of the public tran- quility, the Duke of Alencon, with his usu- al humanity, ordered that the bodies of the banditti should receive decent burial, and every rite be performed, that, according to the forms of the Romish church, was ne- cessary to remove all obstacles from their road to heaven. Soon as the bodies of these infatuated wretches were committed to the embraces of their mother earth, the troops commenced their march, to return to the capital, and the Duke retired to his cas- tle to receive from the filial assiduities of his daughter, consolation for the untimely death of his son. Ignorance frequently con- duces more to our happiness than knowl- edge, and had de Alencon known of the in- famous design of his son, he would not have stood in need of any consolation. Hen- ry upon his restoration to health, complied with the desires of his friends, and thus com- menced the relation of his misfortunes. “You, my kind friends, must certainly have been greatly astonished, when you found my chamber vacant, and per- ceive no traces of my having left the room; but your surprise could not have equalled mine, when about midnight, without any previous noise which would have announced the entrance of any person, (especially as the door was fastened within) I saw by the light the lamp burning in the chimney afforded, a man standing by my bed-side. I demanded his business in my chamber, at such an unseasonable hour, but he instant- ly drew a pistol from his pocket, and order- ed me to dress immediately, and without noise, as the least attempt to alarm the family should be attended with death. Re- sistance was vain, and I according com- plied with his demand in silence: as soon as dressing was finished, he bade me attend him, and removing a pannel in the parti- tion, I discovered a secret-door, which he opened, and we passed through. We now entered several apartments, which the noisome atmosphere, and decayed furniture declared had been long deserted, and re- signed to the all-destroying hand of time. Here, still holding the pistol in his hand, he obliged me to walk before him. Before we left the building, he was joined by sev- eral other ruffians, whose countenances plainly denoted their villainous characters, and that they were fit instruments to ac- complish any design which villainy could conceive. When we made an exit from the mansion, we found a carriage waiting, into which three of the ruffians entered with myself. We proceeded with amazing rapidity I knew not Whither, but my heart sunk within me, at the strange pro- ceedings, and mysterious silence of my companions: at length the dawn broke up- on us, as we attained the summit of a steep hill. At any other time, and almost in any other situation, I should have beheld the surrounding scenery with delight, but my mind was a pray to despondency, and the most gloomy prospect appeared before me. In vain did I request of my companions to inform me Whither I was to be led, for they preserved a uniform and uninterrupted si- lence, except when the leader of the party as he appeared to be, cautioned me to make no noise, as he said it would be instant- neously punished. I could not forbear ta- king a retrospective view of the happy past, and comparing it with my present forlorn situation. Surrounded by ruffians, who it was evident, had some villainous design upon me, hope almost forsook me, and I only beheld in perspective, either a life dragged out in chains and misery, or a ter- mination to my sufferings, by an untimely death. In vain did I pray my companions to give me some clue to guide me through this labyrinth of uncertainty, they deigned not to answer me, unless to reprehend me for my loquacity. But why am I thus fa- tiguing you with a detail of my sensations, during this memorable journey, memorable to me, as it will ever be a distinguished æra of my life; to be brief, I arrived, after a tiresome journey, at the castle, without having left the carriage for a moment; as provision had been made to avoid the ne- cessity. Having alighted from the car- riage, I was immediately conducted to the dreary dungeon from whence the magna- nimity of my beloved brother released me. When I was secured by chains in this hor- rible place, my guide condescended to open his lips, and inform me, that here the re- mainder of my days Was to be spent, that here I was to drag out in misery; the rem- nant of my life, which till then had been spent in a course of uninterrupted felicity, ex- cept when the death of my father, for a time, cast a shade over my happiness. I then repeated my request to know by whom, and for what motive, I was thus severely punished, but I could obtain no answer from the monster, and I thought I could perceive a horrid smile of satisfaction, gleam across his countenance, at having thus doomed fellow creature to be mise- rable, as long as life remained. From that day till the time I was delivered from the murderous designs of my enemies, I held no converse with any human being, my food which was of the most ordinary kind, was daily delivered me by one of those vil- lains, who had escorted me to the castle. Grief and the dampness of my dungeon, Was bringing me rapidly to the verge of the grave, when Louis intervened and snatched me from the jaws of destruction. The pros- pect of liberty was now before me, and it is, only for the man, who has been as long con- fined within the gloomy walls of a dungeon, to conceive my sensations. But not long was I permitted to indulge the flattering hope, as we were so soon taken, and I again became the victim of tyranny. To whom was to be attributed all my misfortunes, I was totally ignorant; but my condition was comparatively enviable, to that from which I had emerged, as my prison was dry and comfortable. The cheering rays of the sun penetrated my cell, and to me who had so long been deprived of the enlivening sight, it was indeed a pleasure. I was but a short time oppressed with the weight of my irons, for to what motive it was to be attributed I know not, but I suppose they conceived my escape impossible, and I was suffered to enjoy the valuable privilege of traversing my narrow cell; my constitution had be- come inured to confinement, although the disappointment I suffered in being depri- ved of the blessings of liberty, when I had supposed it within my grasp, did not by any means tend to strengthen my patience. You have already heard from Louis, of our interview in the vaults of the castle, and when I was led back to my cell, the hor- ror of continual imprisonment, seemed to occupy the whole of the dreary prospect. Disappointment had soured my temper, and I gave myself up a prey to desponden- cy. To my repeated requests to receive information respecting Louis, my keeper used to seldom reply without equivocation, and sometimes he would answer in a way that roused my passions, dormant only for want of something to call them into action; one night when he entered my cell, to see that every thing was in the situation he chose it to be, I inquired after Louis, and his answer was accompanied with bitter taunts at my defenceless situation. This I sup- pose was occasioned by some incident, that had occurred to ruffle his temper, and he took the opportunity to vent on me his spleen. My temper, soured by misfortune, was unprepared to endure this new and un- provoked treatment, and I heaped on him reproaches for his villainy, and bestowed on him every term which my resentment could suggest. Fired by this unusual retort, and stung with my merited reproaches, he drew a dagger from his bosom, and dart- ed upon me, aimed it at my heart. JULIUS
[8. 20 June 1801]
ALL conception from this moment failed me, and, upon returning to life, I found myself on a bed in a cell, similar to that in which I had been confined. I was attend- ed by some of the ruffians, whose motives for their present attention I could not scan. Whether they were actuated by humanity, or whether remorse had stung the villain who had attempted my assassination, I could not tell, tho’ from what knowledge of their dispositions I had gathered from painful ex- perience, I rather supposed it was the re- proaches of conscience, not yet grown cal- lous by repeated acts of barbarity. To whatever cause their conduct was to· be at- tributed, whether to sensations of remorse, or the dictates of compassion, I was soon convinced the sentiment was short-lived, and had expired with returning animation; for soon as I had emerged from the state of in- sensibility into which I had fallen, their as- siduities gradually decreased, and my only assistance was in the strength of my con- stitution, which safely bore me through the strange vicissitudes of my fate. My con- valescence was tedious and painful; I had lost a considerable quantity of blood, which occasioned extraordinary debility, and my wound was deep. I had received the dagger of the assassin in my breast, and surely it is to be attributed to the intervene- tion of my guardian angel, that I escaped the impending destruction. My debility was so extreme, that my guards did not think it necessary to secure the door with more fastenings than a simple bolt, which was in itself ample security; for my strength and ardour were too much exhausted, to make an attempt to regain my liberty, had the fairest prospect been opened before me. At length the ability of my only nurse, “Dame Nature,” restored me by the geni- al influence of sleep (the enjoyment of which was a pleasure I had not for some time been gratified with) to the blessings of health. I had scarcely retrieved the posses- sion of this glorious blessing, which had been so long banished from, when the royal troops encompassed the castle, to a- venge my wrongs on the author of all my misfortunes. I longed for an opportunity to join the detachment, and assert my own cause,–my ardour disdained to be confin- ed within the circumscribed limits of my prison, but my power would not second the inspiration. The tardy hours seemed to have almost ceased to revolve, my heart was with my brother, but my arms, which ought to have been extended, to hurl the bolt of vengeance on the heads of my op- pressors, were imprisoned within the walls of the hateful castle. At length arrived the night Of horror, when the polluted walls of the castle, which screened the guilty ruffians from the hands of justice tottered to their foundations; when the “cloud-cap’t tow- ers” trembled with the intensity of the heat, and threatened ruin to all beneath them. I had notice of the commencement of the conflagration by the gleams of light which illuminated the horizon, and render- ed “darkness, visible.” A horrible death was now before me and the innate princi- ple, inherent in the breast of man, that of self-preservation, induced me to exam- ine the door of my apartment. But the faint hope, that some one actuated by humanity, might have left it unsecured, vanished. The flames gradually increased, and already en- veloped the towering ramparts, when the bustle in the castle announced some uncom- mon attempt to escape the devouring ele- ment, which was making rapid strides to involve the whole of the inhabitants in one common destruction. Abhorring a death so painful as was presented to me, I endea- voured to loosen the bars with which the window was secured, and alight on the bat- tlements. The urgency of my situation in- spired me with uncommon strength,–I suc- ceeded in the attempt to escape from the window, and reached the battlements in safety. I was nearly at the summit of the castle, and all below me was involved in smoke, from which at intervals the flames would burst forth, and aspire to the high- est turrets. Perseverance and composure, aided by my exertions, surmounted every obstacle, and I at length reached the ground, with only a trifling burn I received as I rush- ed through the flames. Thus, my kind and compassionate friends, you have heard the whole of my unfortunate story in detail, and situated as I now am, surrounded by those who endear existence to me, I defy all the storms of fate, and the frowns of fortune, Hope befriends me, and whis- pers to my heart, That happiness shall a- gain be mine.”
Tranquillity being thus restored to the family of Dupont and his wards, whom he regarded with paternal love, the chateau was re-occupied, and Louis made an ex- cursion to the Castle de Alencon, where he was received with an unaffected wel- come. No obstacle recurring to oppose his wish, to pay his addresses to the love- ly Antoinette, he took the first opportuni- ty of a secret interview, to offer his heart and hand to her acceptance. Free from affectation, Mademoiselle de Lantz avow- ed a reciprocal attachment, and soon as the period of mourning, which the laws of etiquette required, for her brother’s death, had expired, they were united in the silken bands of marriage.
The Duke with rapture beheld the hap- piness his beloved children enjoyed, and, through his influence with the King, the succession to his titles and estates, were settled upon Louis.
The humane surgeon, of whom honour- able mention has been made, had only one surviving daughter, whose charms made an impression on the susceptible heart of Hen- ry Boileau, that was not to be effaced. The attachment was mutual, and much to the satisfaction of their friends, whose in- timacy would be cemented by their union. Large additions were made to the Chat- eau, and in this delightful retirement, far distant from the busy and tumultuous scenes of life, the Duke of Alencon, Mons. Berton, Louis (now Count de Vauban) his brother Henry, and the venerable Mons. Dupont, with their respective families, passed the remainder of their lives, in the enjoyment of a greater portion of felicity, than is the usual lot of mankind. No tales of woe, no descriptive scenes of carnage and bloodshed, ever disturbed their tranquillity, but possessing within themselves inexhaust- ible resources of amusement, they lived insulated from the rest of mankind. No foe to domestic tranquility, ever passed their threshold, no intestine uneasiness in- habited their retirement, but as far as pos- sible for humanity, they enjoyed perma- nent and unalloyed happiness. HAVING brought this story too close, it may not be superfluous to account for the author’s adding this to the multitude of si- milar trifles, with which the literary world abounds. He is confident, that attempts of this kind, are productive of nothing but amusement, and are frequently barren even of this. Tales, (unless moral,) novels, and romances are justly considered as weeds in the garden of literature, which prevent the growth of, and attract the attention from, more useful productions. To drive away the monster ennύi, to pass away those hours of leisure, which fall to the lot of every one, and to derive from it amusement, were the motives by which he was actua- ted. He does not pretend that it incul- cates any new moral, but if he may be ex- onerated from censure, in increasing the number or works of this kind, if it has con- duced to the amusement of any, he is satis- fied. Approbation he does not court, but to incur censure he has strove to avoid, and he hopes that this tale will find refuge in its insignificance from the penetrating eye of criticism. JULIUS
[JULIUS is entitled to thanks of the editor, for the punctuality with which he has forwarded the copy of the Adventures in a castle–That the literary world a- bounds with the trifles of this kind is true; and this, no doubt, in some measure, forms a criterion by which to judge of the taste of the age; tho’ a taste of this kind of reading, is not, perhaps, peculiar to the present one. The story under consideration inculcates a moral, if not new, yet good–Avarice, stimulating to treachery and a variety of vicious a??s, in the person of the Count de Vauban, meets with the deserved punishment: while the innocent objects of his horrid persecution, are extricated from his cruel fangs, and finally brought to the enjoy- ment of more perfect domestic felicity, than they would otherwise probably have attained, had it not been for those very circumstances to which his machinations gave birth–corroborating a divine truth, that the wicked are often snared in their own devices. The reader will also observe, (and it does credit to the writer,) that the the language is free from those passionate exclamations, that often insinuate a degree of profanity into the mind, and with which tales and novels frequently abound, Should Julius continue his correspondence, as he has hinted to the editor may be the case, he will always meet with merited attention.]