schloss hainfeld

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. THE COUNTESS. Miss Jane Anne Cranstoun was born in Scotland about the year 1760, of a noble family, both by the father's and the mother's side; and she enjoyed likewise the advantage of being allied to the aristocracy of talent, by the marriage of her sister with the celebrated Dugald Stewart. Her own abilities and attainments improved these advantages, and won for her early in life the intimate friendship of Sir Walter Scott; and long before he was known to the public, she had discovered the secret of that wonderful mine of intellectual gold, which has become in our day the established currency of fashionable literature in every part of the civilized world. In the latter stages of our acquaintance with her, we came upon some curious circumstances connected with this intimacy, which shall be touched upon in due season. In the mean time I may mention, that we made out almost to demon- stration, that one of the most original and spirited of all his female characters, no less a personage than Die Vernon, must have been sketched from this very lady. In the year 1797, Miss Cranstoun married Count Purgstall, a German nobleman of the highest family in Austria, with whom she proceeded to Lower Sty- ria, where his large estates lay; and she never afterwards returned to her native country. During the fierce wars which Napoleon waged with Austria, her husband served in the army in posts of distinction, until, towards the close of those disastrous periods, he was taken prisoner under circumstances so peculiarly distressing, that his health gave way, and after in vain trying the climate of Italy, he died in 1811. Madame Purgstall was now left with an only child, a son, who lived only a few years after his father's death. No sooner was he gone, than upwards of seventy c...
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