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glish minister, to whose authority alone I could look in a foreign country: and that, not granted but upon full knowledge of my case, and of the exigency of the moment. That at all events, what I wanted was not a favor very difficult to grant, namely, to conduct my family to a place of safety and repose, , until I should go and seek out for a new home and a new country. His lordship answered, that Mr. Thornton had no right to grant me a passport, but admitted, “ that the confusion they were in, in Hamburg, might be some excuse for my coming over. He said something sharply that he knew all my conduct, and all I had spoken and written, and that he could not dispense with the law. I must go
back wherever I chose, but that he could not let me stay a moment longer there; and he did not care where I went.
I began now to be satisfied, that nothing was to be gained, and I only thought of getting through a disagreeable business as well as I could, and as speedily: and I observed, that as I found it was useless to say any more, it rested now with him.
You talked of going to America, said his lordship. I answered, that I had ; particularly when I found so much difficulty in getting leave to go home, as to persuade me that I should have neither pleasure nor security in remaining there. And as there were few countries in Europe, not now at war with England, and such as were not, uninhabitable for me, I had no other choice. I might have sometimes flattered myself, that time and circumstances had altered the state
of things in Ireland, but from what fell from his lordship, I feared it was not so. You shall go then, said he, to America ; and I made no objection, other than to insist a little upon the hardship of being forced from my family so suddenly, unprepared.
The under-secretary then reminded him, that I should not be allowed to go without a messenger ; and he said he could not let me have the liberty of going about, unless I had some one that would answer for me. I replied, that I had been now so long abroad, that I did not know who to call upon on the instant; that London had never been my residence since the time of my studies, which was many years ago ; that I supposed it might be necessary to find a person at once a friend to me, and known to his lordship ; that I doubted not, in a short time, were I at liberty, to be able to offer the very best sureties; but that if I was a prisoner of state, terror might hinder my friends from coming near me. I however mentioned, that his lordship's colleague in the ministry, and in council, the earl of Moira, knew me; that Mr. Geo. Ponsonby (now Lord Ponsonby) knew me, and that Mr. Grattan knew me.
Lord Moira, says his lordship, is out of town; Lord Ponsonby is chancellor in Ireland. Will Mr. Grattan answer for you ?—The suggestions of the imagination, are very prompt ; and the manner in which Lord Spencer asked this question, inclined me to believe, that he already knew what Mr. Grattan would do, but wished to hear what I would say, I said, without the least hesitation, that I could not answer for Mr. Grattan, nor for any man, after such a lapse of time, and surrounded as I was by the terrors of an angry government; that there was no obligation certainly on Mr. Grattan, to answer for me, and his opinions might be changed even without any fault of mine ; for the absent are always in the wrong : but that if I was at liberty, I should ask him.
Lord Spencer then said, he must commit me. I begged of him, that whatever sentiments he might entertain towards me, he would consider the feelings of a wife, whose virtues and whose sufferings deserved respect; and that whatever was to take place, might pass in a way least shocking to her. And feeling how soon another pang was to be added to those she had already suffered-how much her heart was set upon the hope of having me once more at home with her; and the cruel disappointment she was to suffer— I spoke these last words with emotion. In this his lordship however did not very graciously partake, but said in a peevish tone, that “that was all very fine," and then went behind his table to write my committal. I remember another of his answers was, that “ he was not going to argue law with me."
The under-secretary now observed to me, that I was irritating his lordship, and conducted me out towards the messenger's room. My fellow-traveller, Sparrow, was much dejected at seeing the course this affair had taken. I sent in a request, that I might be rather committed to his care, than to any other of
the messengers, as my wife, from her acquaintance with him, would be less alarmed. This was perhaps before intended, and I returned with him a prisoner to his house. He sent two of his daughters, in a very delicate manner, to invite Mrs. Sampson to pay
her bill at the hotel, and to come and join me. She readily understood the hint, and we were now once more prison-companions, which had not happen. ed for eight or nine years before. However, it might be said, that in that time, our fortune was mended for instead of that execrable bridewell, where we were in the year 1798, we were now in a genteel, well-furnished apartment ; and Mrs. Sparrow, like a good hostess, with a fine family of children, vying with each other which should do us the most kindness. If the French proverb, “Il n'y a point de belles prisons, ni de laides amours," was not too strictly true, this might be called a pretty prison.
Mr. Sparrow, in doing the honors of it, mentioned, that his last guest had been Governor Picton, who was then out on bail, and has continued to get free of all charges by means which I have not learned.
Strange coincidence of circumstances—there is a moral in every thing. Here was a man who was convicted by an English jury, of the wanton, torture of a young female, in a manner too shocking to be repeated; enjoying his liberty, and his ease, and laughing at justice. A man who, if we can believe Col. Fullerton, was charged with nine and twenty deliberate murders: who had disgraced the English name, by first introducing the crime of torture into a Span
ish colony, where torture never had been known. He was protected, if not indemnified, whilst I, whose crime was to have rebelled against torture, was shut up, doomed to perpetual exile, torn from my family, betrayed, surrounded with terror, and over-whelmed with obloquy !!!
It was signified to me, that I must set off for Falmouth the following morning. I must bid perhaps an eternal adieu to those by whom my heart was chiefly linked, to a miserable world. I wanted time I wanted preparation of every kind. I entreated just so much time as might serve to have an interview with one or two unsuspected friends. I asked merely to wait until my wife's brother, who was hastening over, might arrive, and receive her from my hands. As he was also our agent, I had strong reasons of interest for desiring to see him, and I asked for nothing more ; and then was ready to depart for ever.
All this was refused : and so great was the hurry to send me out of London, that after spending five days on the road, I had near a fortnight to remain at Falmouth before the regular sailing of the packet. I wrote about this time to Mr. Fox, as follows :
The Right Honorable Charles James Fox, &c. &c.
Downing-street, April 21, 1806.
As this is the last application with which shall trouble government, I hope it will be receiv