Mazeppa, the infant son of a Tartar chief, was captured by the Poles and grew into manhood in the Polish land, never knowing his true parentage. Through his bravery and gallantry, he became the favorite page of Olinska, daughter of Castellan, a Polish noble. Mazeppa was the favorite of all women and the envy of all men. He loved Olinska and his love was returned, but this was against the plan of Castellan, who had made preparations to marry her to Count Prenislas. Mazeppa forced a duel with his rival, in which the latter was seriously wounded and the enraged Castellan, as a punishment to Mazeppa, had him tied to the back of a wild and desperate horse, in spite of the pitiful entreaties of Olinska. The helpless Mazeppa was driven through forests and rivers, attacked by wolves, drenched by the rain, then scorched by the sun, with the ropes that bound him buried deep into his flesh, longing for death. He reached the Tartar camp, where the exhausted horse at last dropped. Mazeppa was ...
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