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streamed from his hands, elbows, and knees, down to his legs. After some time, however, he got to the top, and, by means of a string, drew up his companion, and all their implements, to the top of the building, from which they lowered their baggage, by fastening a rope to the chimney; and in this way they descended, both at once on the platform, serving as a counterpoise to each other.
Here they fastened their rope-ladder to a piece of cannon, and let themselves and their baggage down into the trench, an operation which was attended with the utmost difficulty; for out of 1,000 spectators who should have seen them by daylight, vibrating backward and forward in the air, not one of them, says M. de la Tude, but would have given us over for lost. They arrived, however, at length, safely in the trench, and felicitated themselves upon the success of this part of their enterprise; having been extremely apprehensive of detection, as the sentinel was all the time walking on the corridor, at not more than thirty feet distance.
From this place they proceeded to the wall which parted the trench of the Bastile from that of St. Anthony's Gate, where there was a ditch six feet wide, and deep enough to wet them to the armpits. When they had crossed this, they had yet to work their way through
the stone-wall of the governor's garden, which was more than four feet thick: and all the time they were employed in this business, the major's round passed them with a great lantern every half hour, at about ten or twelve feet over their heads; during which times they were always obliged to retreat into the ditch, and to stand up to their chins in water, in order to avoid being seen.
Before midnight, by means of the iron bars which had been taken out of the chimney, they had displaced two or three wheelbarrows of stones, and in a few hours more a breach was made in the wall sufficiently large for them to get through it. They were now in the trench of St. Anthony's Gate, and thought themselves entirely out of danger, when they both suddenly fell into an aqueduct, with at least six feet of water over their heads. In this dangerous situation, De la Tude caught hold of the bank, and plunging his arm into the water, drew his companion to him by the hair of his head, and thus happily escaped the danger which threatened them.
“Here,” says M. de la Tude, “ended the horrors of that dreadful night; and here we embraced each other, and fell upon our knees to thank God for the great mercy he had bestowed upon us, in thus restoring us to liberty." They
now mounted the slope of the ditch as it struck four o'clock, and after calling upon a friend who was not at home, flew for refuge to the abbey of St. Germain-des-prez.
Soon after this almost miraculous escape, they both set out, by different routes, for Brussels, agreeing to meet at the same inn; but when De la Tude, who had to encounter with a number of perils on his journey, arrived at the place appointed, he found that his friend had been discovered, and conducted back to prison. Shocked at this intelligence, he set out immediately for Amsterdam, where he had not been long before he was demanded of the states by the French embassador, in the name of the king, and carried back to his old quarters in the Bastile, fettered hands and feet, and only allowed a bed of straw, without covering, to repose on.
In this wretched situation he remained forty months, and during this confinement was one day indulged with the barbarous privilege of being permitted to see his friend D'Alegre, whom he found raving mad in the hospital for lunatics at Charenton. The poor creature had no remembrance of him, and made him no other answer, when he reminded him of their escape from the Bastile, than by telling him that he was God.
Some time after this shocking interview, in the year 1764, and when he had been fifteen years in confinement, he observed from the tower of the Bastile a large piece of paper at the window of a chamber, in St. Anthony's street, on which was written these words : “ Yesterday died the Marchioness of Pompadour.” This had been placed there by some young ladies, who were acquainted with his story, and he was now persuaded that he should be released from his confinement; but M. de Sartine had expressly forbidden all the officers of the Bastile to inform the prisoners of her decease. When De la Tude, therefore, wrote to him, entreating his deliverance, he came to the prison, and insisted upon knowing his author.
His behavior upon this occasion proving offensive to M. de Sartine, he was removed from prison to the governor's house, loaded with chains from head to foot, and afterward sent to the Castle of Vincennes, to be confined in the black-hole. Here, however, the lieutenantgovernor, being a humane man, suffered him to walk two hours a day in the fosse, guarded by two fusileers and a sergeant, who stood at the gate with another sentinel. While he was walking here one evening, it happened to be a prodigious thick fog, which he thought was a circumstance by no means to be neglected; he
therefore struck down the two sentinels with his elbows, and pushing boldly past the others, flew as fast as his legs would carry him. A great cry of “Stop thief !” ensued, in which he joined, and by that means made his escape to Paris.
Although the author of De la Tude's misfortunes was now no more, although her death was little regretted by the king, and rejoiced over by the nation, still, strange to say, the persecution of our hero was not remitted. His escape was no sooner made known than a number of spies and setters were sent out upon the search after him, and 1000 crowns were offered
a reward for discovering him. Finding, therefore, that it would be impossible to elude the vigilance of scouts and informers, he wrote a letter to the minister of the war department, acquainting him that he would not fail to be with him on such a day, and begging he would have the goodness to suspend the orders for arresting him till he had been indulged with a moment's audience. Going, according to his promise, to the apartment of the minister, he was immediately secured, without being permitted to utter a syllable, and put into one of the most gloomy dungeons of the Castle of Vincennes.
All hope of relief now died within the bosom