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I next waited upon Mr. Merry, who excused himself from forwarding my letters, but offered to take charge of any application I should wish to address to Lord Pelham, to whom I wrote a long letter, stating all that had been perpetrated against me: and protesting anew against the injustice of being sent into an enemy's country, where I assured him with truth, I had not at this day, nor never had, any other relation than the loyalty which every honest man owes to a government whatsoever, whilst under its protection, and whilst it tenders him an asylum rather than a prison : and I enclosed a letter to my wife, filled with little details which I intended to follow up by a journal of my projected tour through Switzerland.--But my letter was suppressed, and no answer returned to me, which determined me to make no other appeal through that channel.
In the above mentioned letter to my wife, I had, in hopes of amusing her, mentioned, amongst other little details, my having made the acquaintance of Madame Bonaparte,* and her daughter Mademoiselle Hortence.t You will, I am sure, upon reading these names, expect that I should say something of their persons. You will be curious to know what are the charms that can captivate that spirit which no other power can restrain ; and it is right you should, as far as in my power, be satisfied.
As to Josephine, the freedom which reigns at such watering-places, gave me daily opportunity of observing her: and I was often of those rural excur- .
* Now Empress Josephine. † Now Queen of Holland.
sions in which she joined, and invited to the enter, tainments given in her honor. Were I then to pronounce, I should ascribe her ascendency to the gentleness and flexibility of her disposition ; to a graceful person, an elegant deportment, with an habitual or constitutional desire of pleasing, polished by the usage of the best society. These are, indeed, truly feminine attributes, more winning, undoubtedly, than masculine endowments of the understanding, which sometimes excite to contention, and encroach upon the natural graces of the sex. Mademoiselle Hortence is also of an affable character, adding the agreeable manners of her mother, to the gaiety natural to her years; insomuch that I have had the honor sometimes of playing hot-cockles and draw-gloves with her. I had obtained her permission to write to her, on behalf of a friend; whose occasions not requiring it, I no further availed myself of it. This I almost regret, as I should have been undoubtedly proud of such a correspondent.* She possesses various accomplishments-rides well-dances well--and designs well. She was then employed in finishing a whole length portrait of the First Consul. . She also spoke English: and, as I lodged just opposite her balcony, we often talked across the street, in my vernacular tongue.
Madame Bonaparte, the mother, is a fine person undoubtedly, for her years; a sensible Italian
.* This is not said because this lady is now a Queen, but beri cause she was then so amiable.
physiognomy_fresh, alert, and vigorous. On the day of a fête champêtre, in the enchanting valley called the the Val-da-jol, the rendevous of the ladies was on a steep and rugged mountain. She took my arm to descend the abrupt declivity, which she achieved with the lightness of a nymph; proving herself the true mother of her intrepid son. I asked her if it would not be delightful to pass away life in peace amongst these craggy mountains and flowery fields ? and she answered, as if from her heart, with an accent that marked a soul : On n'y serait que trop hereux. This, my dear friend, is all I can call to mind. If these little gossipings be of no importance in themselves, the persons of whom they are related, and their growing and extraordinary fortunes may give them some. If they afford you the slightest amusement, I am repaid.
I might have had the honor of being, on my return to Paris, presented at the circles of these ladies, and at the court; but after the așrival of the English ambassador, a rule was made, that no stranger should be presented, but by the ministers of their respective countries; and I, a poor Irish exile, had no country nor no minister. That however does not hinder me to live in peace with myself and all the world.
Peace-Cornwallis-Colonel Littlehales-My Memoriul--AniensGeneral Musnier----Unrelenting Persecution--Mrs. Sampson--Her arrival in France with her Children.
: : AT length, in an unexpected moment, the sound of cannon proclaimed the joyful news of peace. Festive illuminations gave it new eclat, and drooping humanity, half doubting, half believing, ventured to raise up her head. Next came the news of the almost frantic transports into which this event had thrown the government, no less than the people of England ; and how all contending parties seemed now to be united. This might be supposed an auspicious moment for me ; one of whose principal crimes was, with the infinite majority of the people of Great-Britain and Ireland, to have opposed a war, the bare termination of which, although no one end for which it was ever pretended to exist, had been at: tained, produced so much extacy. If such a peace had produced so much joy, as to resemble the effects
of a reprieve upon the point of an execution,* one would suppose, that persecution would at least cease against those who had never encouraged that war; one might have hoped, that past experience had dictated a milder and a wiser system.
But more-The minister of this good work, was Lord Cornwallis : the same nobleman whose honor was pledged to me so solemnly, that I was authorised by the chancellor, Lord Clare, to say, “ that the govment that could prove false to such an agreement, could neither stand, nor deserve to stand.” Relying upon Lord Cornwallis's honor, however, more than on the assertions of Lord Clare, I had given him a confidence blindly implicit, and to that honor so Alagrantly violated, I had now an opportunity to appeal. He was now in the plenitude of power, and he knew whether four years separation from my family, and that detestable and atrocious law, that it should be felony to correspond with me, entered either into the letter or the spirit of my agreement with him ; for so alone I shall consent to call it. Or whether so base and virulent a persecution was a just return for the loyalty I had put into the observation of my part of this hard bargain; and the moderation I had shewn: not to speak of the great sacrifice I had made to hu -manity and peace. I was warmly counselled also by my friends, and I had sincere ones in every class (for I have sought only the good, and shunned only
* Mr. Lauriston, the Aid-de-Camp who carried the news to England, was drawn in triumph, by the Eglish men, through the streets of London.