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in the hands of Mr. Wilson at Carlisle. Even now the recollection of it fills me with admiration. I had a guard during the day, but not an armed one. This circumstance was rather favorable, as it gave me a means of conversing and learning the language; and my guard of the forenoon being relieved by one of the afternoon, and every day a new change, I had a variety of company. Besides the Maitre d'Hotel, who was charged to do the honors of the house towards me, I had seven or eight servants to wait at breakfast and dinner, and was served with every thing that was best from the table of the Corrigidor. Whether I owed this to the munificence of the Fidalgo, or to the interference of my friends, or to the interposition of the British Consul, I cannot say; but it was a style of imprisonment highly flattering: yet for which, having an incurable love of liberty rather than of compliments, I fear I have not been sufficiently grateful.
My guards were clerks of the police and the customs. But part of their duty was to wait in the anti-chamber of the Fidalgo. Although they conversed freely upon common subjects, they were most impenetrably secret upon whatever it concerned me to know. At first it was told me, without hesitation, that I was arrested by orders from England; they said from the king of England. But the manner in which I 'reproved this assertion, prevented the repetition of it. Though I had received no benefits, I told them, from the king of England, nor no favors from his ministers, for which I should feel myself called upon to defend them; nevertheless, such a charge as this was too gross to be endured; that it was but a few weeks since I came into Portugal, sanctioned by their passports; and by an agreement to which the king himself, and the parlia
ment, and the ministers, were all pledged. And I repeated to them the words of lord Clare_That the government which could violate an engagement so solemnly entered into, could neither stand, nor deserve to stand.” And I told them, that they would see, when the British ambassador at Lisbon received the letters of my friends, informing him of this proceeding, how nobly he would vindicate the dignity of the king his master, and the honor of his nation.
This harrangue could have no merit but the spirit with which it was pronounced. I was at that time sitting up in my bed, and I could observe that the by-standers, who had gathered round me, were at least in some astonishment: for it was almost the first time I had ventured to make a discourse in Portuguese: some effect it certainly produced, for next day I was told that it was the queen of Portugal who did not like me, which was still more afflicting to me: for I am sure I could not live if the fair sex were to hold me in displeasure; much more if it were queens.
It is true the son of this illustrious personage, the prince of Brazil, has since, on taking the reins of the government, been forced to declare, that he had from tenderness to his loyal mother, suffered her to govern the Portuguese people for seven years, though in a state of insanity. This might be some consolation to me, for had this royal lady been in her right mind, she would not certainly have given herself the trouble of being angry at me.
It is however a melancholy consolation that is derived out of the misfortunes of princes. Sometimes they said the king of Portugal was not willing that I should stay in his country: but as there was no king in Portugal, I could see clearly that this was not true.
In the mean time, however, couriers went and returned
from Lisbon; and I was told that my fate depended upon their news.
At length I was for the first time in my life brought to trial, of which I must give you a summary report.
Report of my Trial-Mr. Sealy.
THE same minister who came formerly to arrest me, came now with the same interpreter to judge me. He asked me my father's name, my mother's name, their calling and my calling. I was obliged to declare that I was fillio dum padre; literally the son of a father, but figuratively the son of a priest. And I fear this heresy in my nativity might have done me no service. I was then asked why I was so dangerous that I could not get leave to live in my own country? To which I answered, that my conduct since I had been in Portugal had been the very reverse of dangerous: and the respect due to the king of England and the government of my country should stand in place of an answer to such questions, because it would be supposing a bad compliment to the queen of Portugal, and such as the king of England, who was a gallant monarch, was incapable of paying her majesty to send a dangerous subject into her kingdom to live; and not only to live, but to take security from him that he would live there and no where else. And then I told my judge about lord Castlereagh and the law secretary, Mr. Marsden; how they had taken so many months to consider how to draw up that security; all which time I was obliged to remain in gaol; and that in the end all they had done was, to leave out some words of lord Cornwallis, which seemed to imply a doubt that I might be sent away by the Portuguese government; so sure were they that I would not be molesteid; but on the contrary, that I should find protection in the passport they had given me.
I then asked my judge in my turn, whether he had ever l.card of any crime I had committed, either in my country or his? In this country, certainly not, said he. I then asked him whether the passports of the viceroy of Ireland and the king's secretary in England, were not the most Certain proofs that I had nothing to answer for in England. And I also reminded him how highly injurious it would be to the king of England to try his subjects coming there with such passports, for what could in no shape concern any but him and them. He then asked me whether the duke of Portland was qualified to give passports? or if it was not alderman James of Dublin? I could not help smiling at this strange question: but in truth this little presumptuous faction in Ireland, from the habit of insulting their fellow-citizens with impunity, had, I dare say, by their organized partisans, some of whom are to be found in all countries, arrogated to themselves the entire sovereignty in every department and in every region, without being able to foresee how short their reign was to be or how near the day of their humiliation was at hand. I have often thought it curious to see how in all cases they applied the word government to their purposes. Every man in place down to the collector of the hearth money, called himself government. Every man, and there were
too many who shared the public plunder, was government. Every man in a red coat was government. Every turnkey was government. Every hired informer was government. Every Hessian soldier was government. Every centry-box was government. Judge then how imposing and awful a name must that be of an alderman of the loyal and magnanimous corporation of Dublin. But to finish; the judge produced a letter from a Mr. Sealy of Lisbon, which I had sometime before received in answer to one of mine to him. In it was this phrase: “I cannot on account of my political principles comply with your request.” I was called upon to explain these mysterious words, and my trial seemed now to be narrowed to this point, what were Mr. Sealy's principles and my request. I certainly know nothing of Mr. Sealy's political principles: but if I were to judge from the specimen he gave me of his breeding and his sense, I should not think favorably of them. I had been furnished by one of his friends with a credit upon his house, and also with a private recommendation to him. Mr. Nash having determined me to stay at Oporto, offered himself to be my banker, and advised me merely to send forward my letter of recommendation to Mr. Sealy, and to request of him to give me on the credit of it some introductions to his friends in Oporto; and took upon himself to enclose the letter, with many obliging expressions touching me. His answer, which now became the subject of my interrogatories and the head of accusation, shews only one thing, namely, how dangerous it is in every case to be exposed either to the vulgar or the vicious.
This imprisonment, though not painful in itself, filled me on account of my wife, whom I daily expected, with