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tions. I begged of my patron to assist me, as I was ignorant in what terms to address so great a personage as his superior.
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 should 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-Ladies 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 te beat it with. I begged for the sticks, which were given me through my bars. One of them was a vine, and bea came 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 manner. 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 my mind was now enlivened by this gay and busy scene. I watched all the manæuvres, and observed all the colors 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 condescention 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 objection that the first person that offered 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
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 stranger, give me some tokens of your permission, which I shall faitlifully 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 laughing little girl, 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 ent 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 a 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? from that we may discover the cause. 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 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 laudable vigilance had placed himself in the garret, and a sharp look out he kept. Again there was another little round laughing young lady, married or single, I knew not which, dressed in a military dress, who seemed to take pleasure in provoking and insulting me with a pair of large black cyes. I was obliged in my own defence to shoot at her several times, to drive her from her post, which brought upon me the enmity of her 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 threatened 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 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.