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the shortest follies are the best. However, having digressed so far in hopes of varying the tedious story of my griefs, I shall complete the picture of my
whimsical situation. In the first place, the good papa, with a laudible vigilance, had placed himself in the garret, and a sharp look out he did keep. Again, there was a little round laughing young lady, married or single, I knew not which, but dressed in a military dress, who seemed to take pleasure in provoking and insulting me, with a pair of large black eyes. I obliged in my own defence to shoot at her several times, to drive her from her post, which brought upon me the enmity of another duenna, who, after putting the young wicked one from the window, came to it herself. I made grimaces at her—she made faces at me.
I threatened to shoot her-she threat. ened to have me punished.--When I took up my flute to play to the true object of my attention, this little soldier lady would take it to herself, and dance to my music. I had, besides, a trick for the father
; for I could see where he hung up his hat, and knew by that when he was gone out.
You will say this was carrying the thing too far. No! for our commerce was most innocent. The ladies were secure in the iron bars that restrained me, and still more in the the purity of my thoughts, and they knew that the fullest effect their charms could have, was but leading captivity captive. In short, I had enough upon my hands, but I was not discouraged, until all such fond hopes were at once cut off, as you shall see in the sequel.
The Neighbours~-Infernal Dungeons.
of ventures, I think it may not be uninteresting to my friend, to know, among what persons I was now living. I was one day surprised in the corridor, by the voice of a man asking me abruptly in the French language, if the negréss was gone out ?.“ Monsieur, la
negresse est elle sortie ? I looked round in vain for the person or the place from whence this voice issued; but it was not until a following day, that I perceived fingers through a small hole in a step that led down from the gaoler's quarters to this wing which I inhabited. The light gave obliquely on the spot, and by reflection, so that it was scarcely visible within was entire darkness ; and when I approached my mouth to this orifice to speak, the smell was poi
I asked the unhappy tenant of this cell, for what he had been immured there? and he answered, pour ’n marriage de la Republique ; from which I at first concluded, he had lost his senses ; but I found after
wards, that he had actually married a French woman under the revolutionary forms when in France: that she had separated from him : that upon his return he had consulted the emigrant priests, who affirmed the marriage to be null; and that another advantageous match offering, he had proposed, but not concluded the second marriage ; for which crime, as he told me, he had been long in this dungeon. His anxiety about the negress was, that if she had got out by means of an examination, he would have concluded himself to have been passed over, and to have no more hope. He begged of me to purchase him some bread, as for myself, offering me at the same time, the price of it through the hole, from which I judged that hunger was a part of his punishment. I do not take upon myself to say what might have been the degree of this unfortunate being's crime, but his punishment was certainly severe. I saw him, when at night he had got a candle to pick the vermin off his body. His beard was long, and his aspect miserable. His dungeon was deep and narrow ; and in a corner was a little door, through which he must have crept in, and which served now to thrust in his food. It was from the depth of this dungeon, and the effort he had to make in clinging by his fingers in order to raise his mouth to the orifice in the stair, that the utterance of that abrupt sentence" La negresse est elle sortie,” had such an extraordinary effect.
But this was not the only miserable being of my species, of whose sufferings I was forced to partake:
There was under the corridor another inferno, into which the descent was by a trap-door, over which I had often walked without perceiving it. This dungeon was damp and dark, and so foul, that when the trap-door was opened twice in the day to give provisions to the wretch that inhabited it, the whole surrounding space was infected with a pestilential smell for a length of time, and yet the entire operation of opening and shutting, did not last more than half a minute ; nothing further taking place on the occasion, than the handing down one little earthen dish, and receiving another, which was given up by the prisoner. But lest any thing should interrupt the fearful seclusion of this mortal from the rest of his
species, or that any means should be conveyed to him of quitting an existence so terrible, his meal was regularly and diligently searched each day before his trap-door was opened ; and even his bread torn asunder for fear of some concealment.-It would be too tedious to detail the histories of my other fellow-pri
Those most immediately my neighbours, whose door gave into the corridor, were a Corsican smuggler, and a soldier imprisoned for stabbing with a knife.
The predecessor of the negress, had been an American captain, called William Atkinson, from Philadelphia. His name was written with a pencil on the wall. He had been a length of time in secret, on account of a barrel of gun-powder which he had been charged with purchasing unduly, as belonging to the stores. At length, when he had no more money,
'the gaoler enquired of the minister who sent him there? what was to be done with him ? and the minister, not recollecting his name, so totally had he been forgotten, he was let out.
The gentleman who came on the same night with me, and with whom I had conversed only by stealth, through the flaw in his door, was a Mr. Rivet, of Nantes, formerly consul general of the Portuguese in France. It was not until a day or two before our departure, that we were permitted to see each other. But I found afterwards great resources in the company of this new fellow-sufferer ; who was, for what reason I know not, to be sent on board the same vessel, which was to transport me, against my will, to France.
Kid-napped— Transported— Our Adieus
AT length, after a series of abominations, which had now lasted six weeks, I was called upon suddenly one morning, by an ecrivan, a man of autho rity, to prepare for an immediate departure, and was scarcely allowed time to thrust my clothes into my trunks. In vain I demanded where I was going. I