Page:The Czar, A Tale of the Time of the First Napleon.djvu/51

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41
IVAN'S HORIZON WIDENS.

himself well satisfied with half, and leaving the other half to my father to start with on his own account. Large hearts had the Princes of Pojarsky, one and all, God rest their souls! From that day all things prospered with my father; and now he and his have silver and gold more than enough for their needs. For he has sons and sons' sons, all prosperous—one here and one there, as God wills. About fifteen days ago, tidings reached him, through Dmitri, Zoubof's steward, which filled his aged heart with joy. The grandson of our lord is living still, and among you. I am come the bearer of my father's earnest prayer that you would give the boy to him. It will be his pride and pleasure to have him taught all that a young noble ought to know, and so to maintain and provide for him that he may go without shame among his equals, and live the kind of life that is right for such as he. And I, the son of Petrovitch, say that therein my father will do well. Since every rouble and kopeck we have came from Prince Pojarsky, it is right that some should go back to his heir. But my father prays of you to send him the little lad at once, while yet he can see his face, for God's hand is fast drawing down a curtain over his aged eyes. What say you, Starost Alexis Vasilovitch?"

The starost paused. At length he said firmly, though in a broken voice—"That we love our little lord too well not to send him with you—ay, and that thankfully, though it wrings our hearts to part with him. Ah! here he comes himself.—Ivan Barrinka, this good man will take you with him to Moscow the holy, and make of you that which it is your birth right to be."

Petrovitch gazed admiringly on the tall, graceful figure of the handsome lad, now about fourteen, and looking considerably older. "Praise be to God!" he said. "That is a goodly shoot from the old stem."

Ivan's face changed rapidly from pale to red, and from red