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has paid. Sometimes he buys tools or agricultural implements for workmen without means. Here, relations of his master obtain from him large sums which they will not restore and that he will never demand ; there, he is left unpaid by persons who have employed him and whom he does not press because they have fallen into misfortune, and he respects distress.
When he found, to his great surprise, how much his doings were admired, he answered one of the committee who had sought him out, “Indeed, sir, I am not doing this for men, but for the Master above.”
Eustache was not the only negro who received a “prize of virtue.” In 1848 the French liberated all the slaves in their various colonies, without having given sufficient time for preparation. The blacks made instant use of their freedom by deserting their masters and setting up little huts for themselves, with gardens, where the tropical climate enabled them to grow all their wants required without any need for exertion. This was, of course, ruin to the owners of the large plantations hitherto entirely dependent on slave labor. Among those thus de-. serted was one in French Guiana, named La Parterre, and belonging to a lady, a widow with a large family. Out of seventy negro slaves, not one remained on the estate except Paul Dunez, who had become a sort of foreman, and who promised his mistress that he would do his utmost for her. He tried at first to obtain some hired labor, but not succeeding, he tried to keep as much as possible under cultivation, though he had no one to help him but his wife and young sons. The great difficulty was in keeping up the dykes which fence out the coast from the sea on that low, marshy coast of northern South America, a sort of tropical Holland. Day after day was Paul laboring at the dykes, and at every spring tide he would watch for two or
three nights together, so as to be ready to repair any breach in the embankment. This went on for thirty-two months, and was labor freely given without hire, for faithful loyalty's sake; but at last the equinoctial tides of 1851 were too much for Paul's single arm, - he could not be at every breach at once, and the plantation was all laid under water.
To work he set again to repair the damage as best he might, and the government at Cayenne, hearing of his exertions, resolved to assign to him a prize which had been founded for the most meritorious laborer in the colony; namely, the sum of 600 francs and admission for his son into the college at the capital. But Paul's whole devotion was still for his mistress. Her son, not his own, was sent to the college, and the 600 francs were expended in fitting the boy out as became the former circumstances of his family, on whose service Paul continued to spend himself.
The next year his name was sent up to Paris, and the first prize of virtue was decreed to him for his long course of self-denying exertions.
( one in our country has deserved warmer or
more loving esteem than Helen Walker, the Scottish maiden, who, though she would not utter a word of untruth to save her sister from being sentenced to death, yet came on foot from Edinburgh to London, made her way to the Duke of Argyle, and being introduced by him, by her entreaties obtained that sister's pardon from Queen Caroline, who was acting as Regent in the absence of George II. It is hard to say which was the most glorious, the God-fearing truth that strengthened this peasant girl to risk a life so dear to her, or the trustful courage and perseverance that carried her through a journey, which in the early part of the eighteenth century was both tedious and full of danger; and it is satisfactory to know that her after-life, though simple and homely, by no means was unworthy of the high excellence of her youth. Her sister, Tibbie, for whom she had done so much, married and left her, and she lived on to be remembered by her neighbors as a religious, quiet old woman, gaining her living by knitting new feet to old stockings, teaching little children, and keeping chickens. Her neighbors respected her, and called her a “lofty body.” They used to tell that in a thunder-storm she used to move herself with her work and her Bible to the front of the house, saying that the Almighty could smite as well in the city as in the field. Sir Walter Scott made her the model of the most beautiful character he ever drew, and afterwards placed a monument to her honor in her own village church.
In the beginning of this century, a girl younger than Helen Walker was impelled to a journey beside which that from Edinburgh to London seems only like a summer stroll, and her motive was in like manner deep affection, love truly stronger than death. As Helen Walker served to suggest the Jeanie Deans of the “Heart of Mid-Lothian,” so Prascovia Lopouloff was the origin of Elizabeth, the heroine of Madame Cottin's “Exiles of Siberia,” but in both cases the real facts have been a good deal altered in the tales, and we may doubt whether the Russian lady appears to so much advantage, when dressed up by the French authoress, as does the Scottish lassie in the hands of her countrymen.
Prascovia was the daughter of a captain in the Russian army, who for some unknown reason had undergone the sentence of exile to Siberia, from the capricious and insane Czar, Paul I. The Russian government, being despotic, is naturally inclined to be suspicious, and it has long been the custom to send off persons supposed to be dangerous to the state, to live in the intensely cold and remote district of Siberia. Actual criminals are marched off in chains, and kept working in the mines; but political offenders are permitted to live with their families, have a weekly sum allowed for their support, and when it is insufficient, can eke it out by any form of labor they prefer, whether by hunting, or by such farming as the climate will allow.
The miseries of the exiles have been much mitigated in these later times, many more comforts are permitted them, and though closely watched, and
suffering from many annoying regulations, those of higher rank receive a sufficient sum out of their own revenues to enable them to live in tolerable ease, and without actual drudgery ; •and at Tobolsk, the capital of Siberia, there is a highly educated and accomplished society of banished Poles and of Russians who have incurred suspicion.
Under the Czars who reigned before the kindhearted Alexander I., the banishment was far more terrible. It was not only the being absent from home and friends, but it was a fall from all the luxuries of civilized life to the utmost poverty, and that in a climate of fearful severity, with a winter lasting nine months, and the sun unseen for many weeks of that time. Captain Lopouloff was condemned for life, was placed in the village of Ischim, far to the north of Tobolsk, and only obtained an allowance of ten kopecks a day. His wife, and their little girl of about three years old, accompanied him, and the former adapted herself patiently to her situation, working hard at the common domestic cares for which she had been used to trust to servants ; and as the little Prascovia grew older, she not only helped her mother, but gained employment in the village, going out to assist in the late and scanty rye harvest, and obtaining a small bundle of the rye as her wages. She was very happy, even in this wild, dreary home, amid all the deep snows, iron frosts, and long darkness, until she was nearly fifteen, when she began to understand how wretched her father was in his banishment. He had sent a petition to the Governor of Siberia, in the charge of an officer, who had promised to represent his case strongly, and the watching for the answer, and continued disappointment, whenever a courier arrived from Tobolsk, rendered him so restless, that he no longer tried to put on a cheerful countenance before his daughter, but openly lamented his hard