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ing a dirty and tattered' bonnet rouge, of which litecies of republican decoration there are very few now to be seen in Paris. The door was opened to me bf the principal goaler, whose predecessor had been dismissed on account os his imputed connivance in the escape of Sir Sidney Smith. His appearance seemed fully to qualify him for his savage ofsice, and to insure his superiors against all future apprehension, of * remiffion of duty by any act of humanity, feeling, or commiseration. He told me, that he could not permit me to advance beyond the lodge, on account of a peremptory order which he had just received from government. From this place I had « full command of the walk and prison, the latter os which is situated in the centre of the walls. He pointed out to me the window of the room in which the royal sufferers languished. As the story of Sir Sidney Smith's es- 1 cape from this prison has been involved in some ambiguity, a short recital of it will, perhaps, not prove uninteresting.
After several months had rolled away, since the gates of his prison had sirst closed upon the British hero, he observed that a lady who lived in an upper apartment on the opposite side os the street seemed frequently to look towards that part of the prison io which he was consined. As often as he observed hor,he played some tender air upon his flute,by which,and by imitating every motion which she made, he at length succeeded in sixing her attention upon him, and had the happiness of remarking that she occasionally ob"served him With akgfass. One morning whe* he fa* that fee was looking attentively upon him in this manner, he tore a blank leaf from an old mafe book which was lying in his cell, and with the foot of the chimney, contrived, by his singer, to describe upon it, in a large character, the letter A, which he held to the Window to be viewed by his fair sympathizing observer. After gazing upon it, for some little time she nodded, to show that she understood what he meant, Sir Sidney then touched the top of the sirst bar of the grating of his window, which he wished her to consider as the representative of the letter A, the second B, and so on, until he had formed, from the top of the bars, a corresponding number os letters v. and by touching the middle, and bottom parts of them, upon a line with each other, he easily, after
* V,..,.' '. „ «I
having inculcated the sirst impreffion of bis wishes^ completed a telegraphic alphabet. The process of communication was from its nature, very .stow, but Sir Sidney had the'happinefe of observing, upon, forming the sirst word, that this excellent being, who^ beamed before him like a guardian angel, seemed completely to comprehend U, which she expressed by Tm asienting movement of the head. Frequently obliged to desist from this tacit and tedious intercourse, from the dread of exciting the curiosity of the goalers, or his fellow prisoners, who were permitted « ro walk beforeTus window, Sir Sidney occupied severa! days in cenHiwnicating to his unknown sriend,
his name and quality, and imploring her to procure feme unsuspected royalist of consequence and address sufficient for the undertaking, to effect his escape; in the achievment of which he assured her, upon his word .of honor, that whatever cost might be incurred, would be amply reimbursed, and that the bounty and gratitude of his country would nobly remunerate those who had the talent, and bravery to accomplish it. By the same means he enabled her to draw considential; and accredited bills, for considerable sums of money* for the promotion of the scheme, which she applied with the most perfect integrity. Colonel Phelipeaux was at this time at Paris; a military man of rank, and a secret royalist, most devoutly attached to the for- . tunes of the exiled family of France, an Ato those who supported their cause. He had been long endeavoring to bring to maturity; a plan for facilitating, their restor ration, but which the. loyal adherent, from a series of untoward and uncontrollable circumstances, began to despair of accomplishing. The lovely deliverer os Sir Sidney, applied to this distinguished character, to whom she was known, and stated the singular correspondence which had taken piace between. herself and the heroic captive in the temple. Phelipeaux, who was acquainted with the fame of Sir Sidney, and cha/grined at the failure, of his former favorite scheme, embraced the present project with a sort of prophetic enthusiasm, by whj.ch he hoped, to restore, to the British nation, one os her greatest heroes, who, by his ikill and valor, might once more impress the. common
CHAP. XV.] IN FRANC& 177
enemy with dismay, augment the glory of his country, and cover himself with the laurels of future victory. Intelligent, active, cool, daring, and insinuating, Col. Phelipeaux immediately applied himself to bring to maturity, apian at once suitable to his genius, and interesting to his wishes. To those whom it was necessary to employ upon the occasion, he contrived tounite one of the clerks of the minister of the police, who forged his'signature with; exact imitation, to aiv order for removing the body of Sir Sidney,' from the Temple to the prison of the Conciergerie: after this' was accomplished, on the day after that on which the inspector of goals was to visit the Temple and Conciergeiie, a ceremony, which is performed once a month in Paris, two gentlemen of tried courageand address* who were previoufly instructed by colonel Phelipeaux, disguised as officer? of the marechausiee, presented themselves in a siacre at the Temple, and demanded the delivery of Sir Sidneyi at the fame time showing the forged order for his removal. This the gdaler attentively perused and examined, as well as the minister's signature. Soon.after the register of the prison informed Sir Sidney of the order of the directory, . upon hearing which, he at sirst appeared to be a little , disconcerted, upon which the pseudo-officers gave him every assurance of the honor and mild intentions of the government towards him, Sir Sidney seemed moro reconciled, packed up his clothes, took leave' of his • fellow prisoners, and distributed'little tokens of his' gratitude to those servants of the prison, from whom he had experienced indulgencies. Upon the eve of their departure, the register observed, that four of the prison guard should accompany them. This arrangement menaced the whole plan with immediate diflbiution. The officers, without betraying the least emotion, acquiesced in the propriety 'of the measure, and. gave orders for the men to be called out, when, as if recollecting the rank and honor of their illustrious prisoner, one of them addressed Sir Sidney, by saying,. ««citizen, you are a brave officer, give us your parole,, "and there is no occasion for an escort." Sir Sidney replied, that he would pledge his faith, as an officer,, to accompany them, without resistance, wherever they chose to conduct him. '"
Not a look or movement betrayed the intention of the party. Every thing was cool, well-timed, and. natural. They entered a siacre, which, as is usual* was brought for the purpose of removing him, in. which he fouud changes of clothes, false passports, and. money. The coach moved with an accustomed,pace, to the Fauxbourg St. Germain, where they alighted,, and parted in different directions. Sir Sidney metColonel Phelipeaux at the appointed spot of rendez-.wus.
The project, was-so ably planned and conducted*, that no one but the party concerned was acquainted, with the escape, until near a month had elapsed, when the inspector paid hisnext periodical visit. What pe» can describe the. sensations of two such men as,