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He complied, and the first words he dictated were seuo afflitto creado-your afflicted servant. I objected to this, as though it might be proper for his minister, it was not what was due to myself. He did not seem well to comprehend my objection; so I was forced to sacrifice my pride, and give him carte blanche, promising to copy whatever he would write. But I could not shut my eyes against the striking resemblance which my situation bore to that of Tom Pipes, when he applied to the village school-master for a letter to Emily, after wearing out the original in his shoe. This epistle, which was no uncurious production, being finished, my patron charged himself with the delivery of it: and I was not, certainly, the worse for his protection, for my restraints were much relaxed. I was allowed to go to the window, where I could converse freely with the family of the governor in the court below.
Better--The Ladies-The Mirror--Prospect-La
dies Eyes-Bow and Arrows-Bad shot—Hopes still.
I HAD nothing for it now but patience, and I endeavored to profit by every means of amusement that offered. There were two girls who diverted themselves riding upon an ass through the yard, and each had a stick to beat it with. I begged for the sticks, which were given me through my bars. One of them was a vine, and became afterwards an instrument of great interest. To one of these sticks I fastened a shaving-mirror, and could, by holding it up before the window, command a view of the gaoler's room above me, and converse with the ladies of the mansion, who could see me in like
And again, by adding the length of the other stick, I could see over the wall, and have, by that means, looking up through two bars, a beautiful prospect of the harbor towards the sea, including the castle of Belem. At all times I have taken delight in such views, but I cannot say how much
how much my mind was now enlivened by this gay and busy scene. I watched all the manœuvres, and observed all the colours of so many ships of different nations, going to sea, or returning from their voyages : but envied most those whom I saw amusing themselves in skiffs of pleasure. I had, besides, the satisfaction of discovering the position I was in near the water's edge.
One day, whilst busied in this exercise, I observed that I had turned the reflection of the sun upon the eyes of a young lady in an opposite window. There was between her and me the distance not only of the prison-yard, but of a broad street besides ; so that the only way I had of apologizing, was by desisting. I dismounted the machine, made her a respectful bow, and laid it aside. And taking up the flute, endeavored the best I could to make amends; and was in my turn repaid by the condescension with which she staid to listen.
Though this young person was a very deserving object of admiration, I had for paying my court to her a motive more justifiable than that of gallantry, and warranted by the strictest fidelity. The persons in whose hands I was, were in the middle of their greatest kindnesses impenetrably secret : their office was to keep me deprived of liberty, and also of every means of attaining it. The least and most caressing of the children had been instructed in the school of mystery. I naturally longed for some acquaintance who was not under circumstances of necessary enmity to my wishes : and I could see no great objec
tion that the first person who presented itself should be young and handsome, and of that sex to which alone I could ever consent to humble myself. I therefore encouraged the hope, that by gaining the favor of the young lady, I might in some way profit by her friendship, though I could not say in what manner. In this view, I manufactured the vine into a bow, and the old box into arrows, and began by shooting at marks in the yard, letting the children win a few vintim pieces to keep them in my interest, and in this manner concealed my project. On one of the arrows, instead of feathers, I fixed a paper, on which was written a billet in the Portuguese language, couched nearly in these terms: “ If youth and beauty be not deceitful, and that you can be sensible to the undeserved misfortunes of a stanger, give me some token of your permission, which I shall faithfully respect, and I shall communicate much more. This done, I shot the arrow at her window. It unluckily hit against the frame, and bounded back into the street, and shortly afterwards I saw her father enter with it in his hand, and assemble in a groupe, . this young lady, another malicious little girl who always laughed at my complaints, and an elderly person, that I took to be a governante. I was in great anxiety lest I had been the cause of pain where it was so much my interest as well as my wish, to please. But when I saw the dear young lady pat the cheeks of her father, and that he suffered such tender play, my fears vanished, and I even went the length to hope, that he also had seen the thing in the true
light, and become my friend. I therefore renewed my diligence, and finding by her gestures that she no longer approved of my first mode of communication, I broke some of my arrows in her view, in token of obedience, and invented in their place, a better stratagem, if such a name can be given to so loyal a manner of making known one's griefs. I hollowed out an orange rhind, and with a thread, unravelled from à stocking, contrived to throw it over the wall next the sea, when the tide was not full. In the same manner, if I had been happy enough to have been favored with an answer, I could have drawn it up. Nor was I without hope ; for whether it was the illusion of an imagination in search of some agreeable deception, or a substantial, material fact, I thought I felt a little twitch at the end of the cord : I thought I felt it in my fingers :- I am sure I felt it in my heart. If you, a philosopher, skilled in the wonderful works of nature, and deeply read in her mysterious books, can tell me what principle it was that could communicate by so frail and flimsy a conductor as an old stocking-thread through the stone walls and iron bars of a flinty gaol, a fire more rapid than the electric spark; a movement more subtle than the galvanic fluid, you will relieve me from some curious doubts. What, you will say, was the effect ?
Why it was a kind of sudden vibration, of gratitude, hope, joy, and what not. Perhaps if duty and inclination had not long since taught me to love but one, then far away
but I fear it is getting into my pen-and