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Nocturnal Migration-Other prison-More nauseous
Dungeon-Hunting by candle-light.
I WAS no sooner seated in the carriage with my new conductor, than he began to overwhelm me with excuses and compliments, and became officious in his efforts to amuse me; and pointed out whatever was curious as we passed, the night being tolerably clear. I recollect his mentioning a column in memory of the execution of the grandees who conspired against their king--a royal palace—the street inhabited by the gold-smiths, and various other objects. He entreated me often to forgive him, and promised in return to see me lodged in the best apartment of the prison where we were going ; intimating, that as it was only a part of the gaoler's house, it might not be difficult to escape.
On our road we called at another prison, where we took up two other persons, a gentleman and his servant; so that our cavalcade consisted of four carriages. My conductor told me, that this was a gen
tleman of my country ; that he would give orders to have us put together. And I was in hopes to have at length obtained the company of some person in whose misfortunes I might sympathise : perhaps some victim like myself, banished to make room for the auspicious union of his country with Great-Britain. But when we arrived at the gaol of Belem, the order of procession was inverted, and the other prisoners went in first, so that for this time I saw no more of them ; though from henceforth their sufferings and mine were in some sort to be identified.
I was detained some time in a small room of the gaoler, until a negress was brought through, who had reason to welcome me, as she was released from her secret dungeon in order to make room for me. I was then locked up with my servant in a little hole, foul and filthy beyond description. The space of it was scarcely more than the area of a coach. There was in it a commodity, of which the smell was infectious. The walls were bedaubed with ordure : and for light and air, there was only a square orifice, through which a cat could not creep, near two fathoms in length, sloping upwards towards the sky. And there was, for more security at the outer end, a bar of iron. This threw upon the opposite wall a spectrum of the size of a man's hand, where any object became visible, the rest was utter darkness. There was in it no article of furniture-my mattrass was allowed for me, and John lay down upon thy floor.
It would be impossible to express what I suffered during this night, from the difficulty of breathing in this suffocating hole, and from the vermin with which it abounded. Luckily we had a flint and steel, and from time to time, when we could suffer no longer, we suddenly struck a light, and endeavored to take the bugs and fleas that infested us by surprise, and so destroy them.
In the morning the gaoler came to visit me, and lamented that the strict orders delivered to him from the minister by the officer who conducted me, obliged him to lodge me so incommodiously. I told him that there must be some gross treachery somewhere, as this officer had promised to lodge me in the best apartment in his house ; and that I should be indulged in the company of another gentleman of my own country. He persisted that his orders were to put me in the very dungeon where the negress had been ; and there was no appeal !
Not quite so bad-Music--Amours of various Colours
-Delays of State—The Saints-Something like
I FOUND however through the gaoler the means of having the door left open in the day time, and soon after for a sum of money was removed into an adjoining room, nearly of the same size, but more clean, and where there was a bedstead. Opposite the door in the corridor there was a barred window, but I was put upon honor not to appear at it.
I had now however, for a companion, several hours every day, a son of the gaoler, an organist to one of the churches : he took pleasure in English airs, and particularly country-dances; and I wrote him down from memory some that he liked best. I had also a German flute, but could play but little on account of my breast, which was still painful.
There was, also, a young officer, whose father had put him here until he could be sent to Goa, because
he would not marry to please him. The negress had been confined for a crime of a like tender nature, but differing in circumstance; for her lover was a young man of family, and it was feared so enslaved to her charms, that he would marry her. For this, his family had used its power to deprive the poor wench of her liberty, and the world of so bright an ornament.
The gaoler, at length, for obvious reasons, became more propitious: and, upon my paying his coachhire, put on his diced coat, his black velvet breeches, and his sword; and either did, or said he did, make one or more visits to the Intendente on my behalf. But here, as before, the delays of state intervened. It was either a church-holiday, or a birth-day, or a wedding anniversary, or a Sunday, or a rejoicingday, or a hunting-day, or Good-Friday, or Easter-day. All the saints were inauspicious to me-St. Polycarpe, St. Hildegonde, St. Beuve, and all. In short, among so many idle days, no moment could be spared from pleasure or devotion for the relief of the unfortunate or oppressed.
I bore all with patience ; until, at length, I was told, that I must write, not as before, in English, but in Portuguese, to the Intendente of the police himself. This was rather hard for me, who had but two or three months to learn the language, and that without the slightest instructions. I begged of my patron to assist me, as I was ignorant in what terms to address so great a personage as his superior.