« PreviousContinue »
REVOLUTIONARY AGENTS. 22?
fallen, they stripped the dead, and dying. The night was Chap. stormy. The moon, emerging from dark clouds, occasionally, xx' shed its pale lustre upon this horrible scene. "When the plunderers had abandoned their prey, during an interval of deep darkness, in the dead of the night, when all was silent, unconscious of each other's intentions, the two citizens who had escaped the general carnage, disencumbered themselves from the dead, under whom they were buried; chilled and naked, in an agony of mind not to be described, they, at the same moment, attempted to escape. In their agitation, they rushed against each other. Expressions of terror and surprise, dropped from each of them. "Oh! God! it is my father!" said one, ■** my son, my son, my son," exclaimed the other, clasping him in his arms. They were father and son, who had thus miraculously escaped, and met in this extraordinary manner.
The person from whom I received this account, informed me, that he knew diese gentlemen very well, and that they had been resettled in Toulon about two years*
The wretch who had thus directed the ruthless vengeance of a revolutionary banditti, against the breasts of his fellow citizens, was, at this time, in Paris, soliciting, from the present government, from a total misconception of its nature, those remunerations which had been promised, but never realized by his barbarous employers,
I need scarcely add, that although he had been in the capital several months, he had not been able to gain access to the minister's secretary.
The time of terror was over—the murderer's occupation was
G G 2 gone—
2'28 LOVERS OF MARRIED WOMEN.
Chap. gone—the guillotine, with unsatiated hunger, after having xx" gorged the food which was thrown to it, had devoured its feeder.
1 must leave it to the ingenuity of my reader, to connect the observation with which I shall close this chapter, with the preceding story, for I am only enabled to do so, by observing, that an impressive instance of the subject of it, occurred immediately after my mind had been harrowed up> by the narrative which I have just related. The married women of France feel no compunctious visitings of conscience, in cherishing about them a circle of lovers, amongst whom their husbands are merely more favoured than the rest. I hope I shall not be considered' as an apologist, . for_an indulgence which, in France, excites no jealousy in one, and no surprise amongst the many, when I declare, that I confidently believe, in most instances, it commences, and guiltlessly terminates in the love of admiration. I know, and visited in Paris, a most lovely and accomplished young woman, who had. been married about two years. She admitted the visits of men, whom she knew were passionately fond of her. Sometimes she received them in the presence, and sometimes in the absence of her husband, as accident, not arrangement, directed. They approached her with all the agitation and tenderness of the most ardent lovers. Amongst the number, was a certain celebrated orator. This man was her abject slave. A glance from her expressive eye raised him to the summit of bliss, or rendered his night sleepless. The complacent husband of Madame G regarded these men as his most beloved friends, because they enlarged the happiness of his wife; and, strange as it may
appear, LOVERS OF MARRIED WOMEN. 229
appear, I believe that he had as little cause to complain as Chap. Othello, and therefore never permitted his repose to be dis- xx* turbed by those suspicions which preyed upon the vitals of the hapless moor. The french Benedict might truly exclaim,
"Tis not to make me jealous,
** To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
picturesque and Mechanical TJieatre — Filtrating and purifying Vases—English Jacobins—A Farewell—Messagerie—Mai Maison— Forest of Evreuz — Lower Normandy — Caen — Hon. T. Erskine — A Ball—T/ie Keeper of the Sachristy of Notre Dame — The tzvo blind Beggars — Ennui— St. Lo— Cherbourg — England.
I VISITED, one evening, a very beautiful exhibition, wbich I think worthy of being noticed; it was the picturesque and mechanical theatre. The company present were select and genteel. The room and stage were upon a small scale; the former was very elegantly fitted up. The spectacle consisted of scenery and appropriate little moving figures. The first scene was a view of a wood in early morning, every object looked blue, fresh, and dewy. The gradations of light, until the approach of meridian day, were admirably represented Serpents were seen crawling in the grass. A little sportsman entered with his fowling-piece, and imitated all the movements natural to his pursuit; a tiny wild duck rose from a lake, and flew before him. He pointed his gun, changed his situation, pointed it again, and fired. The bird dropped; he threw it over his shoulders, fastened to his gun, and retired. Waggons, drawn by horses about four inches high, passed along; groups of peasantry followed, exquisitely imitating all the indications of life. Amongst several other scenes was a beautiful view of the bay of Naples, and the great bridge; over which little
horses. MCTCRESQUE AND MECHANICAL THEATRE, 231
horses, with their riders, passed in the various paces of walking, Chap. trotting and galloping. All the minutiae of nature were attended' to. The ear was beguiled with the patting of the horses' hoofs upon the pavement r and some of the little animals reared, and ran before the others. There were also some charming little sea-pieces,. in which the vessels sailed with their Reads towards the spectators, and manoeuvred in a surprising manner. The whole concluded with a storm and shipwreck. Sailors were seen floating in the water, then. sinking in the surge. One of them rose again, and reached a rock. Boats put off to his relief, and perished in the attempt. The little figure was seen displaying the greatest agonies. The stormsubsided ;. tiny persons appeared upon the top of a projecting cliff, near a watch tower, and lowered a rope to the little sufferer. below, which he caught, and, after ascending to some height by it, overwhelmed with fatigue, lost his hold. After recovering from the fall, he renewed his efforts,. and at length reached the top in safety, amidst the acclamations of the spectators, who, moved by this enchanting. little illusion, took much. interest in the apparent distress of the scene.
Upon quitting the theatre,. we found a real storm without. The lightning flamed upon. us from every quarter, and was succeeded by loud peals of thunder. Whilst we were contemplating the tempest from the balcony of Madame ,
a ball of fire fell very near us, and filled the room with a sulphureous stench. A servant soon afterwards entered, almost
breathless, to inform his mistress,. Madame R , who was
•f the party, that the fire-ball had penetrated her. house, which