« ForrigeFortsæt »
“We came to a grated window, where I was, and as in letting which opened on my raising the ourselves down we might get latch, and we entered a large into a labyrinth of small courts, I hall; we felt round the walls, seized an instrument with which and met with a table surrounded the parchments are pierced to by arm-chairs. I at length affix the seals. This tool I bid found a window, opened the Balbi stick into the chink in the sash of it, and looked by star-door, which I made with my light down a fearful depth ; here bolt, and worked it about on was no descent by rope prac-all sides, not caring for the ticable. I returned to the place noise, till I had made a tolerwhere we had left our things, able hole; but the projecting and sat down in an arm-chair, splinters threatened to tear our where I was seized with such an skin and clothes, and it was five invincible desire to sleep, that feet from the floor to the openif I had been told it was death ing; for I had chosen the place I should have welcomed it; the where the planks were thinnest. feeling was indescribable. At I drew a chair to it, and the the third hour the noise of the monk got on it; he stuck his monk awoke me; he said my arms and head through the sleeping at such a time and opening, and I pushed the rest place was incomprehensible ; of him through into the chambut nature had overcome me. ber, the darkness of which did I, however, gained a little not alarm me. I knew where strength by my rest.
we were, and threw my bundle 'I said as I arose that this through to him, but left the was no prison, and that there rope behind. I had no one to must therefore be an exit some aid me, on which account I where. I searched till I found placed a chair on the top of the large iron door, and opposite two others, and got through the to it was a smaller one with a aperture as far as my loins ; keyhole; I put my stiletto in- when I desired Balbi to pull to it, and exclaimed, “Heaven me through with all his force, grant it may not be a cup- regardless of the pain the laceboard !” After some efforts ration of flesh gave me. We the lock yielded, and we entered hastened down two flights of a small room, in which was a steps, and arrived at the pastable with a key upon it; I sage leading to the royal stairs tried it; it opened, and I found as they are called; but these, myself in cupboards filled with wide as a town gate, were, as papers, it being the archive- well as those beyond, shut with chamber. We ascended some four wide doors; to force these steps, and passing through a would have required a petard. glass door, entered the chancery 'I sat down by Balbi, calm of the Doge. I now knew and collected, and told him
that my work was done, and and looking through a chink, that heaven and fortune would saw only one man, with some achieve the rest for us.
“To keys in his hand. I commanded day," I continued, “is All Balbi to observe the strictest Saints' Day, and to-morrow All silence, and hiding my stiletto Souls', and it is not likely any under my clothes, placed myself body should come here ; if any close to the door, so that I one should come to open the needed only one step to reach doors, I will rescue myself, and the stairs. The door was opened, do you follow
me; if none and the old man was so astoncome, I will remain here and ished at my appearance, that I die of hunger, for I can do no was able silently and quickly more.”
Balbi’s rage and des- to pass by him, the monk folperation knew no bounds; but lowing me.
Assuming then a I kept my temper, and began sedate pace, I took the directo dress myself completely. If tion to the great staircase ; Balbi Balbi looked like a peasant, his wanted to go to the church to dress at least was not in shreds the right, for the sake of the and bloody like mine. I drew sanctuary, forgetting that in off my stockings, and found on Venice there was no sanctuary each foot large wounds, for against state crimes and capital which I was indebted to the offences; but at last he followed gutter and lead plates; I tore my handkerchief, and fastened 'I did not expect security in the bandages with thread which Venice. I knew I could not I had about me. I put on my be safe till I had passed the silk dress, which was ill-assorted frontiers; I stood now before with the weather, arranged my the royal door of the ducal hair, and put on a shirt with palace; but without looking at lace ruffles, and silk stockings, any one, which was the best and tossed my old clothes into a way to avoid being looked at, chair. I now had the appear-I crossed the Piazzetta, and ance of a rake.
I threw my reaching the canal, entered the handsome cloak on the monk's first gondola I found there. I shoulders, and the fellow looked cast a look behind us, and saw as if he had stolen it. I now no gondola in pursuit of us. I approached a window, and, as I rejoiced in the fine day, which learned some two years after was as glorious as could be wards in Paris, some loiterer wished, shining with the first below, who saw me, informed rays of an incomparable sunthe keeper of the palace of it, shine. Reflecting on the danwho, fearing that he had locked gers of the past, on the place some one in by mistake, came where I had spent the preceding to release us. I heard the noise day, and on all the fortunatelyof steps coming up the stairs, concurring events which had so
favoured me, gratitude filled But although out of prison, my soul, and I raised in silence Casanova was not free from my thanks for the mercy of danger, and many days, spent God. Overcome by the variety in weary wanderings and hairof emotions, I burst into tears, breadth escapes from re-capwhich relieved my heart from ture, elapsed ere he successfully the oppression of a joy that gained the Venetian frontier, seemed ready to burst it.' and with a joyful heart crossed
Such is the record of one of the border line and found himthe most remarkable escapes self in safety. from prison ever attempted.
NARRATIVE OF THE ADVENTURES OF TWO BROTHERS DURING
THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE. Soon after the outbreak of the among others a family of Dutch American War of Independ- descent, of great wealth and reence, Sir John Johnson made a spectability, named Sammons, sudden incursion into the Mo- -an old man, and his two sons hawk valley-where he once Jacob and Frederick. held large possessions—with a The old Dutchman, however, force composed of Europeans was soon after released, but his and Indians. He penetrated two sons, with about forty other the country by the way of Lake captives, were sent to the forChamplain to Crown Point, and tress of Chamblee. On the thence through the woods to the day after their arrival, Jacob Sacondaga river. He divided Sammons, having taken an achis force into two detachments, curate survey of the garrison himself leading one to the vil- and facilities of escape, conlage of Johnstown. The other ceived the project of inducing detachment was sent through a his fellow-prisoners to rise upon more eastern settlement, to strike the guard and obtain their freethe Mohawk river at, or below, dom. The garrison was weak Tripe's Hill. From thenceit was in number, and the sentinels directed to sweep up the river, less vigilant than is usual among through the ancient Dutch vil- good soldiers. The prison doors lage of Caughnawaga, to the were open once a day, when Cayadutta Creek, and there the prisoners were visited by unite with Sir John. The old the proper officer, with four or Dutch village was surprised five soldiers. Jacob had obin the night, and many of its served where the arms of the habitants taken prisoners, guards were stacked in the yard,
and his plan was, that some of with great fleetness. The alarm the prisoners should arrest, and was given, and the whole gardisarm the visiting guard at the rison was soon after them in opening of the door, while the hot pursuit. Unfortunately for residue were to rush forth, seize Jacob, he fell into a ditch and the arms, and fight their way sprained his ankle. Perceiving out. The proposition was ac- the accident, Frederick turned ceded to by his brother Frede- to his assistance; but the other rick, and another man named generously admonished him to Van Shuyck, but was considered secure his own flight if possible, too daring by the great body of and leave him to the chances the prisoners to be undertaken. of war. Recovering from his It was therefore abandoned, and fall, and regardless of the acthe brothers sought afterwards cident, Jacob sprang forward only a chance of escaping by again with as much expedition themselves. Within three days as possible ; but finding that his the desired opportunity occurred, lameness impeded his progress, viz. on the 13th of June. he plunged into a thick clump
The prisoners were supplied of shrubs and trees, and was with an allowance of spruce fortunate enough to hide himbeer, for which two of their self between two logs before number were detached daily to the pursuers came up. Twenty bring the cask from a brew- or thirty shots had previously house, under a guard of five been fired upon them, but withmen with fixed bayonets. Hav- out effect. Probably, in coning reason to suppose that the sequence of the smoke of their arms of the guards, though fire, the guards had not obcharged, were not primed, the served Jacob when he threw brothers so contrived matters himself into the thicket, and as to be taken together to the supposing that like his brother brewery on the day mentioned, he had passed round it, they with an understanding that, at followed on until they were a given point, they were to dart fairly distanced by Frederick, from the guard, and run for their of whom they lost sight and lives,-believing that in the con- trace. They returned in about fusion of the moment, and the half an hour, halting by the delay consequent upon priming bushes in which the other fugitheir muskets by the guards, tive was sheltered, and so near they would be able to escape that he could distinctly hear beyond the ordinary range of their conversation. The officer musket-shot. The project was in command was Captain Steele. boldly executed. At the con-On calling his men together, certed moment the brothers some were swearing, and others sprang from their conductors, laughing, at the race and the and darted across the plain speed of the 'long-legged Dutch
men,' as they called the flying three miles, before he came prisoners. The pursuit being upon a party of several hundred abandoned, the guards returned men engaged in getting out to the fort.
timber for the public works at The brothers had agreed, in the fort. To avoid these he case of separation, to meet at was obliged to describe a wide a certain spot at ten o'clock circuit, in the course of which, that night. Of course Jacob at about twelve o'clock, he came lay ensconced in the bushes to a small clearing. Within until night had dropped her the enclosure was a house, and sable curtain, and until he in the field a man and a boy supposed the hour had arrived, were hoeing potatoes. They when he sallied forth, according were at that moment called to to the antecedent understand dinner, and supposing them to ing. But time did not move be French, who he had heard so rapidly on that evening as were rather friendly to the he supposed. He waited at American cause than otherwise, the spot agreed on, and called incited also by hunger and aloud for Frederick, until he fatigue, he made bold to predespaired of meeting him, and sent himself, trusting that he prudence forbade his remaining might be invited to partake of any longer. It subsequently their hospitality. But instead appeared that he was too early of a friend he found an enemy. on the ground, and that Frede- On making known his character rick had made good his appoint- he was roughly received. It ment.
is by such villains as you are,' Following the bank of the replied the forester, that I was Sorel, Jacob passed Fort St. obliged to fly from Lake ChampJohn, soon after day-break on lain. The rebels, he added, the morning of the 14th. His had robbed him of all he purpose was to swim the river possessed, and he would now at that place, and pursue his deliver his self-invited guest to course homeward through the the guard, which he said was wilderness, on the eastern shore not more than a quarter of a mile of Lake Champlain ; but just distant. Sammons promptly reas he was preparing to enter plied that that was more than the water, he descried a boat he should do.
The refugee approaching from below, filled then said he would go for the with officers and soldiers of the guard himself, to which Sanenemy. They were already mons rejoined that he might within twenty rods. Conceal- act as he pleased, but that all ing himself again in the woods, the men in Canada should not he resumed his journey after again make him a prisoner. their departure, but had not The man thereupon returned proceeded more than two or with his son to the potato-field