Kotzebue, a German dramaist wrote this play about Benyovzky in 1798.In 1769, while fighting for the Polish armies under theBar Confederation, he was captured by the Russians and exiled toKamchatka. He subsequently escaped and returned to Europe viaMacauandMauritius, arriving in France.
p. 5, The daughters Theodora and Athanasia discuss the latter’s books:
You speak like an orator. These detestable books1 your father should let them be used to warm the guard-room.
The books he [her father] may burn, their contents remain in my heart.
p. 37-38, a dialogue between Benyowsky and Crustiew, both exiles in Siberia:
‘Tis well! Shew me now the minuter parts of your great pln. [ Crustiew opens a small cupboard, takes out a boo and gives it to Benyowsky, who opens and reads.] ‘Anson’s voyage round the world. What is this for?
You have pronounced the name of a friend. At my arrival the barbarians ransacked all my pockets; the little money I had about me, with other trifles, was a prey of their rapcity. I trembled—they laughed me to scorn—the fools did not know that I trembled for my books. Three friends have been the fraternal companions of my banishment; Anson, Plato , and Plutarch Pointing to the book ] ‘Twas Anson taught me hope.
Ha! how so?
[ With youthful energy, and an air of secrecy confidence .]
To fly! To fly to the Isles of Marian! This great navigator has shewn me the possibility of it. The Island Tinian—a terrestrial paradise! free! a mild climate! a new created sun! less inhabitants, wholesome fruits—and tranquility!—Ah, Benkowsky, you and us!
[Apart from a passage on p. 54, where Athnasia chides Benyowsky on book learning,there is ot much more about books once the daughter falls in love with the married conspirator, the conspiracy succeeds, the governor and daughter are reunited. Seems to follow much of Benkowsky’s journal.]