Page images

amiable caressing, manner; and above all, a heart full of sensibility and goodness.

She had learned at Paris to dance, and to draw. In: the former she became, in a short time, very excelleňt, even in that country where that accomplishment is so universal, and so improved. Her brother ac-quitted himself

very well also ; and they have sometimes innocently figured in their old and new gavottee. of vestris, before some of the first of the good company of Europe. I knew just enough of this matter, from having paid attention to their lessons, to exercise them. I had stolen, some instructions from their drawing masters ; and having a natural love of that art, I was in some slight degree qualified to be their teacher, until a better could be had. I taught them, moreover, to write, in which my son has now surpassed me ; and to count, and now he and I are perhaps nearly on a par. I made them write little letters to each other alternately, in French and English ; and, as I soon learned to read the Hamburgh Correspondenten, so I began to teach my son to read the German. But in this the scholar soon became master ; and he repaid me in a short time for my poor lessons in the German-language, by teaching me to speak it, and to write it. He had then advanced so far in the Latin, as to have a sort of understanding of the æneid, and in a few months more would have had no difficulty with any Latin author, had I not judged it preferable, for fear of oppressing his mind with too many studies, to drop that course, in order that he might take more full advantage of the opportunity

that offered, of acquiring the German. And though we were now in Germany, yet you would be much surprised at the difficulties we had to attain this end. During the summer which we spent at Slavshoff, I in vain endeavored to get him put to school, for it was necessary to conform to the rules of these seminaries, and to send him to board there for a certain length of time; with other circumstances, which did not square with my plans. In the house where we lived, there was no person but the gardner, who spoke German. He was a Hanoverian ; all the rest, masters, and servants, were French. In the shops, and all other places where any little affairs inight lead us, they preferred speaking bad French, or bad English, to hearing our bad German : and indeed the language of Hamburg and Altona, is a most barbarous jargon, called plat Deüch, insomuch that I have been told, by those who spoke the true language, that they could not understand this. Thus, my son was indebted for all he knew of the polite German, to the Hanoverian (George) until he returned in the winter to Hamburg, and here the matter was not easily mended. I naturally wished to put him to one of the first schools; but there I found that it was forbidden, under fines and penalties, to speak in the German language ; and" in French or English he needed no instructions. I therefore sent him to a school of less pretentions, where he made a very rapid progress.But leaving this subject, let us return to our story. You will recollect, that Mr. Thornton had

promised, shortly after my coming to Hamburg, to write

[ocr errors][merged small]

to Lord. Hawkesbury. The summer however passed over without any answer; and I then determined to write myself.—The following is a copy of


letter :

To the Right Hon. Lord Hawkesbury, His Majesty's

Principal Secretary of State, for the Home Department, London.

Hamburg, September 3, 1801. My Lord,

My case having been already represented to government, I shall not trouble your lordship with a useless repetition. During eight years

I have been separated from my friends and my country, under very extraordinary circumstances. My conduct has defied all reproach. And your lordship is too well informed to be ignorant of that fact. I do not attempt to reconcile your lordship to my avowed conduct and sentiments, prior to my arrestation. My peculiar position in my country, and the point of view in which I saw what passed within my sphere, is so different from any that could ever have presented itself to your lordship, that it is impossible you could make much allowance for my feelings. But I do not despair, that in time your lordship may acknowledge, that I have been too harshly judged.

It was much to be wished, that the important act which succeeded to the troubles in Ireland, had closed all her wounds. And yet, though I presume not to dictate, it is for government to judge, whether it


might not be good policy to suffer such as love their country, and are not disrespected in it, to return in freedom to it. For my part, the frankness I have always used, even where disguise might have been justifiable, is the best guarantee, that had I intentions injurious to government, I should not proceeed by asking any favor, it is my duty to suppose all motives of personal vengeance beneath the dignity of his majesty's ministers, in whose hands are affairs of so very different moment. And in that view I have no doubt that the request I am about to make will be complied with, as I have every conviction that it ought.

Having formed the design of quitting Europe, where during its present agitations I can call no country mine, it becomes of urgent necessity that I should conduct my family home; the more so, as my son's health has rendered his native air indispensible. I must also assertain the means of


future subsistence. For, under whatever embarrassment my voluntary exile to Portugal might have laid me, the forceable deportation from thence to France, and the extraordinary penalties enacted against me in my absence, must, your lordship can conceive, have considerably augmented them. It is now seven weeks since Mr. Thornton, his majesty's minister resident at Hamburg, had the goodness to charge himself with an application on my behalf to this effect : but he has received no answer, and as the bad season advances, I shall request to know your lordship's deter


mination as early as possible ; and that you will have the goodness to transmit to that gentleman your lordship's answer, and the passport or permission which may be necessary for my safety: by which your

lordship will confer a very great obligation.

My Lord,
Your Lordship's

Most obedient humble servant,


To this there was no other answer, than a letter from Mr. King, the under secretary of state, to Mr. Thornton. All that I could gather was, that my expressions had not been pleasing, and were not marked with sufficient contrition. It does not however require more than this, in any transaction, to shew when there is good intention or good heart. I had gone as low in humility as I could bring myself to go. Was I an injured man, or was I not? One would suppose that that was the principal question ; or if not that, whether it was more wise to drop such unworthy persecutions, or to keep them alive to rank le in the hearts of an aggrieved people. Such would be the counsel of generosity or of wisdom. For if a man be injured, and knows and feels it, you only add to his injuries, by extoşting false protestations from him, which must aggravate his feelings, or wound his honor. If there be any danger in admitting him to be a citizen of his own country, it is doubled by forcing him to be insincere, and consequently trea

« PreviousContinue »