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THE severest misfortunes of adversity are incapable of crushing an attachment that is founded upon real affection. The following story goes to prove this assertion, and will also shew that the tie of affection has greater power over the mind, than any other consideration.
“ Art cold?
The facts contained in the following narration were transmitted in a letter from Moscow in the year 1778.
A party of Englishmen making the tour of Russia, among other places that were deemed worthy of observation, visited the dungeons of Calouskoi Ostrog, the principal prison in the city of Moscow, and one of the party sent these par. ticulars to his friend in England:-"In visiting this gloomy receptacle of human woe I met with so rare an instance of strong attachment and uncommon generosity, that I deem it worthy of being made known to the world, that thousands may benefit by the example of such an unparalleled instance of disinterested friendship.
In the most wretched compartment of this most melancholy mansion of perpetual misery, stood an immense wooden cage, barricaded on every side by massy bolts of iron. As my guide pointed it out for my observation, a deep and hol- . low groan issued from the thick gloom that nearly concealed it from my view, and as I approached the horrid spot, I was just able to perceive through a small grated window, high in the solid wall, the spectral form of a human being, lying in the most obscure corner, bound down to the damp earth by a huge chain of iron.
The pale light that gleamed through the narrow casement, struck only upon his countcnance, and the gigantic length of his figure was almost concealed in the dismal gloom that shewed no
thing distinctly, but which leaving full scope for the workings of the imagination, increased the horror, already excited by the miserable spectacle.
This wretch was a murderer. Every line and every furrow in his strongly marked countenance evinced the fall and depravity of a mighry mind. The perpetration of every dreadful crime had stamped an additional mark upon it that never could be mistaken for the effect of any other than the most diabolical of deeds.
As the wan light beamed upon him, I could perceive he had dark curling hair, which stood all dishevelled from his head, while large knotted locks fell over his forehead down to his black, long, horizontal, and bushy brows, that nearly met over a long aqueline nose, and these seemed torn and rent by the most terrible and conflicting passions. Yet they were bent in gloomy frown, over his large black eyes which were fixed in a steady and immoveable stare upon me, and seemed at once to express an untameable and unsubdued spirit, the keen fire of ungoverned passions, and the dark workings of a mighty mind debased from all good purposes, and bent only upon evil deeds. His haggard cheeks were deeply furrowed by strong lines, and a bold projecting chin curled from his terrible front, which altogether bore the indelible characters of hardened guilt, and struck the spectator with a dread bordering upon terror.
Every thing bad might be apprehended from this man, who not only (like other miserable wretches that prey upon society) wished to do evil, but had the powerin an eminent degree, for he possessed abilities that might have raised him to the highest degree of excellence in any profession of life. But those rare talents which he possessed from the bounty of Nature, had been early perverted and entirely corrupted, and his character was not now to be changed.
In his youth he had been like too great a portion of mankind.
“ Self flatter'd, unexperienc'd, high in hope,