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was impossible to bribe him, had him conducted into France, where he was thrown into a state-prison; which it was, I know not, for I never afterwards heard any thing more concerning this unfortunate Batavian. The Port Folio from which' I procured these particulars, inakes no further mention of him.
But where was this dreaded memorial? By what means had it escaped the search of these zealous agents of the ministry? This is the explanation.
Some days before his arrest, the author conceived suspicions of a man to whom, in confidence, he had revealed his projects. Impressed with this belief, he deemed it the most advisable mea. · sure, to confide his precious manuscript to a particular friend who usually resided near Prague, but who happened, at this time, to be in Leipsick.
This circumstance alone prevented the discovery of the manuscript by Mons. de M— and his creatures. But the affair was far from resting here. The emperor was determined, at all events, and by any means, to get possession of the manuscript, and the obstacles he met with served only the more strongly to fix his determination.
“ Take what measures you please the manuscript must be had.” As he said this, he turned on his heel, and abruptly quitted de M- , who, compelled to set all his wits at work, immediately made a second journey to Leipsick. He visited the person *who had betrayed the Hollander. This wretch had received only five hundred crowns as the reward of his treachery. A thousand had been promised him in case of his succeeding; but the scheme having failed, nothing more was to be had.
Whilst endeavouring to account for the disappearance of the manuscript, they both at length concluded that it must have been entrusted by the author to the care of some confidential friend.
“A lucky thought has just struck me;" said the German. “A few days before the arrest of the Hollander, an intimate friend came to visit him, I know that they entertain the same sentiments of the emperor-I will stake my life that the manuscript is in his possession.”
This hint was enough for the wily agent. “Where is this man to be found?” he eagerly inquired. He lives in the environs of Prague, in Bohemia-his name is Schustler.” “What is his rank in life?” “ He is only a private citizen, but rich—a man of about forty—a little above the common size, but well shaped-he has been a widower about two years; and has an only child, a daughter about four years old.”
“ What are his pursuits, and his predominant passions?".
“ He is fond of study, and of the fine arts; and particularly attached to women.”
“ If he is remarkable for his fondness for women, I am sure of him,” said de M- , with exultation. “ If I succeed you shall yet receive your thousand crowns; in the meantime, here are five hundred francs, as a reward for this information."
De M- immediately returned to Paris. Nothing could be more desirable, and nothing more easy, to a widower in the vigour of life, and strongly attached to the fair sex, than to introduce him to the acquaintance of a young and beautiful woman, possessed of the most fascinating charms and accomplishments. His plan was quickly conceived, and his measures immediately taken.
Among the nymphs of the Cytherian Cohori, the young and beautiful Mademoiselle D- s, was particularly distinguished.
In early youth she had lost her parents, who were very respect. able. They left her in possession of a fortune, which, had her desirès been moderate, would have been amply sufficient to have satisfied them: but an unrestrained passion for pleasure and expensive luxury, and an excessive love of play, produced her ruin. Nature had lavished on this female all her bounties; her attractions whether of person, or taste, or talents, were perfectly irresistible. She was too beautiful and too interesting, to hear with much exultation, the praises of her own charms. On seeing her I experienced the full force of this sentiment, for I found it utterly impossible to bestow praises on her various accomplishments for the ecstasy itself which we feel in the presence of female beauty, accompanied by mental embellishments, is alone sufficient to paralyse our faculties, and to restrain the freedom of expression. What added greatly to the value and force of her attractions, was her seeming unconsciousness of possessing them. To her personal charms and seductive manners, was superadded an intimate
knowledge of all the intrigues of high life, and refined society. To obtain the means of gratifying her extravagance and her passion for expensive living, she became for some time the mistress of a German nobleman, whom she would at last have ruined, had he not been able to get rid of her by a draft on the banker Reca. mier, for no less a sum than fifteen thousand francs. Thus the German bade her an everlasting farewell.
Mademoiselle D- s, after her separation from the German nobleman, remained a considerable time without a new lover. In the meantime she contrived to make herself the idol of the new made noblesse of the imperial court. So far from being avaricious in her disposition, she was passionately devoted to expensive pleasures. Her lover, whose means would not permit him to maintain for a long time so expensive a conquest, like an honest and gallant lover, determined that she should not be left unprovided for, after his abandonment. If the wife of her lover may be believed, she had cost him, in the course of fifteen months, no less than one hundred and thirty thousand francs.
He contrived to place her at the head of those artful syrens, who had sold themselves to the secret police. This post was not the least lucrative in the power of the government to bestow.
As the part to be acted on the present occasion, was one which required superior adroitness, and the exercise of much skill and cunning; she was promised that her salary should be increased to an hundred times its stated amount, in case she should secure the important manuscript.
No person in the world could be found better fitted for this undertaking than Mademoiselle D s. Besides her other accomplishments, she possessed a perfect knowledge of the German language, which she spoke with great ease and fluency.
After receiving her instructions from de M— , she took a passport in the name of Bridget Adelaide Saulnier, representing herself to be a young widow travelling into Germany for her health.
Her secret instructions were as follows:
“ You will, immediately proceed to Prague in Bohemia. On your arrival, you will secretly obtain a knowledge of the residence of M. Schustler, and all the information in your power respecting
him. Under the pretext of enjoying a pure air necessary to your health, you will express a wish to live in the country, and take your measures so as to obtain lodgings as near as possible to his residence. To effect this object you may pursue any means in your power-spare no expense. The management of the rest is left to your own sagacity and discretion." On her arrival at Prague, Mademoiselle
D h ad no diffi. culty in obtaining all the information she wished for and as for obtaining lodgings in the neighbourhood of M. Schustler, accident befriended her beyond her most sanguine expectations.
Within a short distance from the house of M. Schustler, was one, the owner of which had long been desirous to dispose of it. The bargain was soon concluded, and for thirty-two thousand francs, she found herself very comfortably accommodated, and hard by the residence of the man whom it was her business to ensnare and seduce. I will here take occasion to observe, that the detail which follows, was partly obtained from her letters to a confidential female friend, who at present resides with her.
Scarcely was the lovely spy established in the neighbourhood, before an opportunity occurred to commence her operations. Amongst other things she found out, that he was in the habit of going very often to Prague, and she took her measures according. ly. All her domestics consisted of one man and a woman. She bought for her own use, two beautiful horses: and few riders were more dexterous or more skilful than herself, in all the arts of horsemanship.
One day, when she knew that M. Schustler was gone to town, she mounted her horse, and accompanied by her servant, set out with the view of meeting her neighbour, as he should be returning home. As she descried him at a distance, pretending to be overcome with the heat of the weather, she alighted; and reclined on the grassy turf by the road side, with the bridle of her horse dangling on her arm, and her veil artfully drawn over her face. As if alarmed at the noise of the approaching carriage, she suddenly sprung up like one terrified by some unexpected danger. Her horse was actually affrighted, and started back some paces, when the gallant M. Schustler, alarmed for the lady, threw himself from his carriage and ran to her assistance. At this mo
ment the fair enchantress withdrew her veil, and displayed to the wondering eyes of the German, the most captivating charms. At the sight of so much beauty, he gazed in silent admiration. For some moments he was unable to speak. At length recovering from his surprise Pardon me Madam,” said he,' “ If I have undesignedly disturbed your repose. I should regret the accident most sincerely, had it not afforded me the opportunity of beholding your charms, than which, heaven itself, has never produced any thing more lovely."
“What you call disturbing my repose," said the fascinating beauty,“ is of no sort of consequence. As to the very civil expressions you have been pleased to use, permit me to observe that you are still young, and that I very well know how to estimate them.”
As she said this, she very gracefully re-mounted her horse. The German, afraid of losing sight of her, seized the reins of her horse, and exclaimed:
“Why will you be so cruel, as thus suddenly, to deprive me of the pleasure of gazing on your charms? If my intrusion is disagreeable to you, I will instantly withdraw: but if you are not reluctant to oblige me, have the goodness to inform me who is the angel whom I have the honour of addressing.”
“The real gentleman,” she replied, “ can never permit himself, in any way, to offend an unprotected female. It is very natural you should wish to know who I am. Know then, sir, that I am a French widow, who have occupied for the last two days a mansion in this neighbourhood.”
“What, Madam! are you then the purchaser of Mons. Jhouse?''
“Yes, sir, that is the name of the person from whom I bought it.”
“ Thank heaven! we are near neighbours. From my window I can enjoy the view of your residence. How unfortunate, Madam, that I have not yet had the happiness to visit you!"
“In truth, sir,” she replied with a fascinating smile, “the loss of time is not a matter of regret to either of us--for my house is hardly yet furnished. But I will candidly confess that, as in a country residence, nothing is so desirable as respectable society,