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was disagreeable to me, to some neutral country which I should prefer--perhaps Hamburg. He even went so far as to say he would pledge his word of honor, and be answerable, with his heart's blood, that no mischief, whatever, should happen to me.All this he said with an air of kindness and sincerity, which made a strong impression on me; and added, seizing both my hands affectionately, that if my wife should arrive after my departure, she should find in him a brother, and in Mrs. Nash a sister. And also that he would charge himself with forwarding any letters or commissions, or any effects I might leave behind me.
The candid and kind manner in which he expressed himself, put it out of my power to reply. It might appear headstrong, and even ungenerous, not to acquiesce ; and I instantly consented. Though long persecution had taught me distrust, and I boded, secretly, some perfidy which I did not chuse to hiņt at; but the sequel will shew how true those bodings were.
The following morning, being the first of April, I was called up; and, on looking out of my window, perceived that I was to have three men armed to escort me: but of this I made 'no complaint. The weather was cold and unsettled; and not daring to expose myself to the rain, in the feeble state of my health, I travelled in a machine in use in that country, called a litter, suspended between two mules ; at the side of which, walked a fellow with a stick, who did nothing but curse and beat these
animals. My servant was mounted on a mule, as were
all the others, except the Courier, the chief of the expedition, who rode upon a poney.
Were I writing a work of fancy, there would be ample matter in the history of our Caravan. We were joined, at the ferry, by two Dominican friars; the prior, and a noviciate of the convent of VillaReal. In their conversation I found great resource; as, by means of the Latin language, I could express the names of many things which I did not know in the Portuguese. They seemed very kind-hearted; and when, in conversation, I mentioned the misfortunes of my country, of which mine were but a slight instance, and particularly the state of cruel proscription in which those of the Catholic faith were held in their native land, I could perceive the tears more than once to start in the eyes of the young
We had some persons of an opposite calling to that of the good fathers a family of Italian comedians. From one of the ladies, with whom I had an opportunity of conversing, as we walked together one day along the road, I found that they had been invited by the Corrigidor to Oporto. That he, without knowing their language or their art, had taken upon him to manage their opera, and finished by putting them in prison for not giving full execution to his conceptions. From this prison they had been, at length, delivered, and were making the best of their way to the frontiers.
There were also some of a meaner description-such as fish-carriers, carrying eels as a present to some
Fidalgo from the Corrigidor: also a mulatto woman following her husband (a soldier) to Lisbon, and a poor barefooted Gallego, going to seek for work in the same metropolis. This latter danced and sung before us the whole way; and was, though the most despised, doubtless the most happy of the party. At our table, between couriers, scribes, friars and comedians, mule-drivers, litter-driver, and their valets, we sat down together to dinner, seldom less than fifteen persons; and our constant repast, twice in the day, was boiled fowls, buried in greasy yellow rice, of which I scarcely tasted. At night we, of the higher sort, lay down promiscuously on the floor, where mattrasses of straw were laid, the inns affording nothing better; for there was but one inn on all the way in which there was a bedstead.
In return for this, I was quite unrestrained upon the road. As often as I chose, I got out to walk : sometimes mounted the mule of my servant, but oftener the horse of the Courier, on which occasions I had a sword and a case of pistols before me. I got leave to walk about the towns with one of my guards, and in Coimbra I bought some books, and conversed with some of the students of the university in a coffee-house; and it was every where given out, that I was a grandee, going to the minister of state.
After seven days travelling, we arrived in the metropolis. The friars took leave of me at the last stage. The comedians had staid beind to give a concert at Coimbra. The fish carriers had long since disappeared. The Mulatress and the Gallego had abandoned me to my fortune, and there remained none but such mules; mule-drivers, mule-driver's valets, scribes, couriers, &c. as were in my immediate pay. The Courier rode on, as he said, to announce me to the minister; but, upon entering the suburbs, I saw him waiting for us at the end of a street, and then drawing up with the rest in regular order of procession.
I was conducted through a number of dirty streets; to the foot of a frightful prison, where my future house-mates were eyeing me through their bars. I asked the Courier, if that was his minister's hotel ? He answered, no : for the minister, he said, was not able to receive me, nor to see me this evening, being very busy : but that I was going to lodge in a fine apartment, built for kings and queens. I asked him, if I was going to gaol ? and he denied it, saying, that this was not a gaol, but a castle : that the minister would come to see me in the morning, and that in the mean time they would all go, and announce my arrival to the English ambassador.
I need not tell you, that I was not the dupe of this mummery. I was taken into a great hall, where was an old man, who deliberately putting on his spectacles, and opening a book, asked me my name, my country, and some other impertinent questions. Í asked him if there was lodgings bespoke for me, by the minister, who was to come and visit me in the morning? He said, he knew nothing of the matter. I then asked him, if he knew who I was? He said,
no : why then do you detain me in prison, without knowing who I am ? He continued his work searching my trunks and my secretary ; took away every thing that was of metal or glass; and the guides withdrawing to announce me, as they said, to the English ambassador, he offered to conduct me to my room. Before I went, I told him, I should wish to have a little explanation with him, but would have need for that of some person who could do the office of interpreter. He asked me in what language ? and I said, either in English or French. A French captain of a privateer, a prisoner of war, was then called upon. After assuring myself that no other person then present spoke French, I profited by the moment, to request that he would watch where they were about to put me, and if possible to find means of speaking with me, as I had been a victim of the most frightful perfidy, and had reason to expect foul play. I was then taken through a long filthy passage to a dungeon: the smell of this approach, which was infectious, gave but a disagreeable presentiment of the dwelling to which it led: nor was the presage deceitful. A door of solid wood was first opened, and then a heavy iron grate, in which was an opening or flat hole made by the divergent direction given to the bars, through which a plate or trencher could be thrust, in every thing resembling the den of a wild beast. The floor was damp—there was no chimney nor window ; but high up, next the springing of the arch, for it was vaulted, was a square hole ; and that the sky as well as earth might be hid from the ten