« ForrigeFortsæt »
And that all communication between us having been intercepted, I remained in a state of most cruel uncertainty, and therefore begged for permission to write; in order to prevent, if it were not yet too late, so great a calamity. I told him, that cut off from all pecuniary resources, I wished to discharge a servant, who had already, for being my servant, suffered torture and imprisonment; and that my papers, which were the guarantees of my personal safety, being seized, I begged they might be restored to me. For the rest, I was better pleased to remain where I now was, than to be exposed to any new insult or atrocity.
A messenger was called, who, instead of taking my letter to the British ambassador, took it to the Intendente of the police, which I discovered from him on his return to be paid, and complained of it to the gaolers. They all, with one consent, set up a hypocritical lamentation for the ruin brought upon them, by permitting me to write. I paid no more regard to this, than to any other of their vile farces, but offered Joachim a cruzada nova, to carry another letter to the British ambassador, and bring me an answer. I wrote without any opposition, and without any difficulty. Joachim undertook to carry my letter. This letter was only to inform Mr. Walpole, that a former one, addressed to him, had been carried to the Intendente of the police, and to request that he would have the goodness to send for it, and favor me with an answer.
Lisbon, April 17, 1799. Sir,
AS I have no intercourse with the Intendente of the police, to authorise me to send for the letter you allude to, I must confine myself to acknowledging the receipt of that which has been just delivered to me,
And am, Sir,
The next day I sent my servant with a guide to Mr. Walpole's, who delivered him a letter as nearly as possible in the words of that which had been given to the Intendente of the police, and received this answer :
Lisbon, April 18, 1799.
letter of this morning ; that to which you refer of yesterday, has not yet been delivered to me. I shall make application for the leave you request, which I have no doubt will be granted to you.
I waited some days without further result ; and again sent my man, who returned with the following letter :
Lisbon, April 21, 1799.
I must assure you, that I immediately complied with my promise, of making the application you required of me by your letter of Friday evening, and I received an answer from the secretary of state, that orders were given by the Intendente to report upon the subject of your imprisonment. I was in hopes that some speedier method might have been adopted in regard to what more immediately in point of humanity concerns you personally. I shall immediately renew my application, which I hope will be attended to.
I am, Sir,
On this, as on the former occasion, my servant had been sent to the house of Mr. Mathews (so I think his name was) the secretary of Mr. Walpole. He was kindly treated by this gentleman, as also by a lady at his house, who expressed much concern for me, and sent me as a present a pot of conserves of Brazil.
But they told my man, that I was to be sent on board an English ship of war to an English prisonship at Gibraltar; and when he murmured against
such injustice in the English goverument, from whose ministers alone such orders could proceed, he was cautioned by the lady to hold his tongue, and advised, if he should be interrogated, to say nothing, but mere. ly that he was my servant, and ignorant of my affairs; otherwise she said it might be worse for him than for me.
AT length came the doctor : I do not recollect his name, but I understood he was the accoucheur of the Intendant's lady. He so far differed from the bridewell doctor, that he treated me with respect and good manners. He excused his minister from all share in my persecution, assuring me, that his lordship was very sorry for me, and very much concerned for what I was made to suffer. He complimented me on my patience, which he called animo grande : he said justly, that it was not of medicines I had need for the restoration of my health, but of liberty and tranquillity, and that nothing was so dangerous for me as a prison. He promised to use all his interest with the Intendente in my favor, and asked me, what country I should like to go to? mentioning several times France and Spain. I answered, that having been so long deprived of all political intelligence, I could not tell what countries were in alliance with England, what were in hoshostility, or what were neutral. · Or in the strange changes that succeeded each other, how long any country might remain in its present posture. But as to the two countries he had named, France and Spain, I could not consent to go to either of them, because I had made an agreement, to which it was my intention as to every other of my life, to be true ; at least until it should be so flagrantly broken on the other part, as to leave me no choice. I then explained to him the labyrinth of vexations in which I was involved. To France or Spain I could not go, because those countries being at war with the king of England, it might be made a pretext for subjecting me to the penalties of high treason, and serve at least as a justification for the crimes already committed against me. That my going to a neutral country, or even to one in alliance with the king of England, might be turned to my disadvantage, as I was obliged, before I could get out of bridewell, to give security that I should go to Portugal, and remain there during the continuance of the war. And, if I went home, or to any part of the British dominions, I was a felon by act of parliament, and transportable to Botany-Bay: and though that parliament had shortly after this atrocious law annihilated itself, yet, “The evil that men do, lives after them.”