Abbildungen der Seite

heard that the police were on his son's nose it he did, and off with it to Le Croitrack at Nantes. So off he trudges there sic, to spend it in pleasure. But, as afoot, ferrets Jim out, and brings him chance would have it, back comes Peter home by the scruff of his neck. He never from his fishing that very night; and what asks him what he'd done amiss; but he does he see, Aoating on the top of the says to him, says he, 'If you don't stop water, close by the landing-place, but a here and live decent and respectable with scrap of paper, which he picks up and car. me and your mother for a couple of years, ries home to his wife, who falls back in a you and me will have a crow to pluck to- dead swoon as soon as ever she sees gether.' But the scamp wouldn't be said ' For Polly,' in her own handwriting, on

not he. He just fancies he can twist the scrap of paper. Peter, he holds his his father and mother round his little fin- tongue, but goes straight to Le Croisic, and ger. So he takes and pulls a face at hears that his son is in the billiard-room at Peter. Peter gives him a cuff as lays the inn. To the door of the ion he goes, Master Jim on his beam ends for a matter and says to Dame Flowers, the landlady, of six weeks. His poor mother, she • I told our Jim not to spend a certain bit a-most broke her heart over it. Well, one of gold as he'll be for paying you with presnight, as she was quietly sleeping by her ently. I'll wait here, and when he gives good man's side, she hears a noise as it you, you just bring it to me, and I'll wakes her. Up she jumps, and the first give you its full value in silver.' By-andthing she feels is a 'stab in the arm, as by Dame Flowers brings him the doubmakes her scream out. Peter, he wakes, loon, he gives her the value of it, and strikes a light, and sees her bleeding. He takes it straight bome. All the folks at fancies it must be a thief — as if there Le Croisic know that much, but they can was such a thing in these parts, where you only give a rough guess at what I'm going might carry a sack of gold from Croisic to to tell you. As soon as he gets home, St. Nazaire, and no one so much as ask Peter bids his wife clean up the parlor, what you'd got in your hand! Well, then he makes up the fire, lights a couple Peter goes and looks for Jim. Jim was of candles, sets two chairs on one side of nowhere to be found. But in the morning the hearth and a three-legged stool on the in he comes, as cool as a cucumber, and other, and orders his wife to get out his has the face to tell 'em as he's been spend- and her own wedding-clothes — as was ing the night at Batz. No need to say as laid up safe in a coffer — and brush them all this time his mother was at her wits' up a bit. Then he puts on his weddingend to find a safe hiding-place for her clothes, and goes to his brother's house, money. As for Peter's, Lawyer Dupotel and asks him to be on the lookout in front of Croisic always took care of it for him. of his (Peter's) house, and give him waraOf course, Master Jim's pranks had costing if he hears any one a-landing on the the old folks a pretty penny by this time. island. After that he goes back home by In fact, they was well-nigh ruined. And the time he thought his wife would have that was hard for folks as had been worth got her wedding.clothes on, loads his gun,

house and all, together – a matter of and hides it in the chimney-corner. Presfour or five hundred pounds. Nobody ently back comes Jim — late enough, you ever knew how much it cost Peter to get may be sure, when I tell you that he'd his son out of that scrape at Nantes, when stayed at Le Croisic till ten o'clock, drinkthe police were after him, and it seemed ing and gambling. as if the whole family were doomed to * As soon as ever he shows his face, his bad luck. For everything had been going father says to him, ' Sit you down on yonwrong with Peter's brother. And so, to der stool; you're in the presence of your comfort him, Peter says to him, “My. Jim father and mother, whom you've offended, and your Polly must make a match of it and now they're going to judge you.' one of these days.' Meantime, to keep Thereupon Jim begins to whimper, seeing him from starving, Peter gives him a berth as how there was a fearsome look in his in his fishing-smack; and Peter's wife she father's face, while the mother was a-sittakes and sews a real Spanish doubloon in ting there as stiff as an oar. 'If you cry, a bit of a bag and shoves it into her mat- or stir from that stool — if you don't sit tress, with For Polly' written on it, as there as still as a mouse, I'll shoot you large as life, in her own handwriting - like a dog,' says Peter. And so Jim sits for she was a good scholar, was Peter's there as dumb as a fish, and his mother, wife.

she never opens her mouth. Look here, “Well, no mortal could ever tell how says Peter, there was a Spanish doubloon Jim came to nose that bit of gold; but in this bit of paper. That doubloon was in

your mother's mattress; and no one but soon as ever he heard Jim snoring, he her, as put it there, knew it was there. I takes and gags him with a handful of tow found this piece of paper a-floating on the and a strip of sail-cloth, and binds him water when I landed. This very evening band and foot. The poor mother flings you gave that doubloon to Dame Flowers, herself at her husband's feet and begs him and your mother has missed hers from the to stay his hand. But Peter only says to bed. Now what have you got to say for her, “He's doomed. Come and help me yourself ?'. Jim takes and swears as he to carry him to the boat.' Of course she never touched his mother's doubloon, and refuses. So Bend-the-sea carries him that the one he'd paid away was one that alone, ties a big stone to his neck, and he had left when he came away from rows out into the open sea, as far as the Nantes, after his frolic. “So much the bet- rock where you saw him. Meantime his ter,' says Peter. • But how can you prove poor wife prays her brother-in-law to row the truth of your words ? Will you take her after him; and follows him in another your sacred solemn oath as you didn't steal boat, crying aloud for mercy. She might your mother's doubloon?' Jim was quite as well have prayed to a ravening wolf. ready to swear by all his hopes of heaven. It was a bright moonlight night; and But his mother stopped him.. 'Jim, my presently the poor woman saw her husboy,' says she, “beware! Don't forswear band lift the lad from the bottom of the yourself! You may turn out a good boy boat and fing him overboard. Not a yet, if you'll only repent and mend your breath of wind was stirring, and she disways.'' And with that she burst out cry- tinctly heard the loud splash which told ing. You're an old this and an old that, her that her only child was drowned — as always wanted to bring me to ruin !' and then nothing! Ah! the sea is a descries Jim. Whereupon Peter he turns perate sure prison ! Poor creature! The pale, and cries, • What you've just said to shock killed her. The two brothers had your mother will help to swell my account to carry her from the boat back to the against you. Come, now, are you pre house; and she died within the week, pared to swear?' 'Yes,' says Jim. imploring her husband, with her last

Stop a moment,' says his father. “Had breath, to burn the accursed boat. And your doubloon got this same cross upon it burn it he did. After that, he seemed to as the sardine-merchant from whom I took have lost his wits. He knew no more it put upon our piece ?' This question than a madman what he was about. When staggers and sobers Jim a bit, and he be. he walked, he reeled and staggered like a gins to blubber. •Enough said !' cries drunken man. Then he took a journey his father. I'm not going to tax you with somewhere, and was away for a fortnight. your old misdeeds. But look you here, I When he came back he went straight to won't see a Bend the-sea swinging on the the place where you saw him ; and there gallows in front of Croisic gaol. So make he has ever since remained, never speakhaste and say your prayers. A priest willing to any living soul.” be here directly to confess you.'

“ Meantime Jim's mother had left the house, to escape hearing her son's condemnation. While she was outside, in

From The Westminster Review. comes Peter's brother with the rector of

REMINISCENCES OF CARDINAL Piriac. But Jim was far too artful to

MAZARIN. make any confession; he thought he knew

We return to the Memoirs of the Chev. his father well enough to make sure that he'd never kill him till he had confessed. alier de Rochefort,” which are replete with Well, seeing Jim so obstinate, Peter says the earlier part of the seventeenth century.

pictures of French life as it existed during to the priest, Thank you, sir, all the same, In attempting, however, to make a selec. for coming. I'm sorry to have troubled tion such as our space will admit of, we you ; but I just wanted to give my son a lesson ; and I beg you to be good enough

encounter an embarras de richesses, every to keep the matter quiet. Ås for you, page bristling with some amusing or exJim, the very next time I catch you going and Characteristics of an age in which the

citing adventure, illustrating the manners astray, your fate is sealed, confession or no confession !'

Mémoires de M. le Comte de Rochefort: contenant “ Then he sent him up-stairs to bed. ce qui s'est passé de plus particulier sous le Ministre The lad, firmly believing as his father du Cardinal de Richelieu et du Cardinal Mazarin, avec meant to let him off scot-free, went qui- Louis le Grand. Seconde édition.

plusieurs particularités remarquables du Règne de

A Cologne: chez etly to sleep. But Peter sat up; and as

Pierre Marteau. 1700.

weaknesses of human nature are dealt have some enemies there were a few who with with a naiveté that often needs some took a particular pleasure in talking about discretion upon the part of an editor. this adventure, and thus it came to the

After the death of Cardinal de Riche- ears of Cardinal Mazarin, who, possessing lieu, the Chevalier de Rochefort seems to sovereign authority, determined to make have passed into the service of his suc- an example of us, and commanded that cessor, Cardinal Mazarin, whom he found we should be treated with the utmost posquite as exacting, but much more austere sible severity. We were then interroand far less liberal, than his predecessor, gated with all the precautions that it is and for whom he appears to have been customary to take with the worst crimipretty constantly engaged in business of a nals. This was particularly the case with secret and confidential nature. When not regard to myself, who had had some time actually employed, he occasionally amused ago some words with the provost of the himself with his friends, and he gives us city, who had got an idea into his head a rather graphic account of what we might that I had stood in his light with Cardinal call a spree, ending disastrously. He de Richelieu. If I had really been guilty says :

of this act I would not have complained, “ However, in the intervals of Cardinal and I told him so; but, having nothing Mazarin's service, I sometimes sought whatever on my conscience to reproach how to pass away my time, and, it having myself with, 1 freely answered all his chanced that I had joined the set of the questions, which pleased him, he not Comte de Harcourt, the younger son of doubting but that after that he would have the present Duc d'Elbeuf, I found myself plenty of opportunity for showing me his one day engaged in a drunken revel with ill-will. Indeed, I noticed that the gref. them. After everybody had drunk to ex-fier, who was in league with him, wrote cess, some one proposed that we should down in my deposition a number of things go and commit some robberies on the that I had never said, so that when it was Pont Neuf. These were the pleasures finished I was not content with simply that the Duc d'Orleans had made quite hearing him read it over, but I asked to the fashion at that time. For some time be allowed to read it over myself before I I refused to go, but the majority carried signed it. Upon this he replied that such their point, and I followed them in spite was not the custom, and that he could not of myself. The Chevalier de Rieux, the make new laws especially to please me. younger son of the Marquis de Sordeac, This speech made me more suspicious who had been of my way of thinking, was still, so I told him resolutely that I should no sooner arrived on the bridge than he not sign it without, whereon he violently said we had better do as the others did, abused me, and sent me at once to a dunand proposed that we should get up on to geon. God knows what was my despair the bronze horse of Henri IV. in order when I saw myself thus treated as an that we might see at our ease who came assassin or a highwayman. I could not along. No sooner said than done; we see the way to get out of this disaster at climbed up to the horse's head and used all, and he kept me so closely locked up the reins for our feet, both of us si that I had no opportunity of speaking to on the neck. The others lay in wait for any one except the gaolers. I begged the passers-by, and took four or five cloaks, one of these to carry a letter to one of my but, some one who had been robbed hav. friends, and intreated him to bring me ing gone to make a complaint, the archers some ink and paper, so that I might write came, and our party, finding themselves to them, but the promise that I made him outnumbered, took precipitately to flight. of a reward for this service as soon as I We intended to do the like, but the bronze should get out of prison, instead of touchreins having broken under the weight of ing him, only caused him to say a thou. the Chevalier de Rieux, he fell fat on the sand annoying things quite sufficient to pavement, whilst I remained perched up render an honest man desperate. like some bird of prey. The archers did “ Cardinal Mazarin, having fully deternot need their dark lanterns to discover mined to make an example in Paris, where us, for the Chevalier de Rieux, who was it was high time to put a stop to the rob. a good deal hurt, called out pretty lustily, beries that were of daily occurrence in the and they, running to the spot from whence city, ordered the provost to bring him the the noise proceeded, secured him and depositions taken in our case, and, having made me come down whether I would or seen the garbled version that they had not, and carried us bot!) off to the châtelet. drawn up, he told him to proceed at once

“ As one is always pretty certain to with the prosecution. This order had


been given too publicly to allow the gen- | and, as we were both accused of the same tlemen of the court to ignore it, and, as crime, the provost had been obliged to put the Chevalier de Rieux was a man of him also into one of the very worst dunquality, they were obliged to interfere in geons, for fear of letting it be known that his behalf for fear of giving offence to so he had acted against me only through powerful a family as his. They therefore revenge. This chevalier was very litile went in search of the provost, who told better than his elder brother, who was them that he should be only too delighted well known in Paris as a thoroughly licen. to oblige them, provided it could be done tious fellow, and, like him, had his soul without my obtaining a like benefit; that blackened with innumerable crimes; thus our affair being the same it would be he thought that God had made him fall necessary that those whom we had said into this disaster in order to punish him had been with us should submit them- for his faults. Resembling then those selves to be examined, which had not people who make a thousand good resolubeen done as yet on account of their high tions when they see themselves on the rank, and that they must allege that it was point of being shipwrecked, he made a 1, who had not only first proposed to go vow entirely to change his life if he should upon the Pont Neuf, but who had ac- only be able to get out of prison; but he tually committed the offences laid to their very soon forgot all about his good resocharge. These gentlemen accepted the lutions, and recommenced his old courses, task, and I found myself all of a sudden until, having now run through everything charged with a thousand things of which that he had, he was obliged to come into I had never even dreamed. I was thus S. Sulpice for the bare means of subsistupon the point of becoming the victim of ence. This life, however, was incompati. the provost, and I should undoubtedly ble with his inclinations, and he very soon have become his victim if God had not quitted the cassock and cotta, and lived sent me help from a quarter where I least for several more years in the world, but, expected it. There came one day into having got into some more rather serious my cell, with her husband, the wife of one scrapes, he embraced for the second time of the gaolers, and she, taking compassion the ecclesiastical profession, and, fearing on me, regarded me with a more pitiable human justice quite as much as divine, manner than any one had done for a long he became a priest, and is now curé of a time. She did not dare to say a word to parish in Normandy, where, however, not me in presence of her husband, but com- very much good is said of him even now." ing a second time she found the oppor

A little farther on M. de Rochefort tunity of thrusting a little note under the gives a very graphic account of a duel. mattress of my bed, which I took out when He says: “There was at court a gentleshe was gone. It was to the effect that man of Normandy, named Breauté, brave, she pitied me, seeing that the provost was well-made, but of a presumption so exacting against me solely from motives of traordinary that it caused one to disregard private revenge, and that I was indubitably his otherwise good qualities. He had lost if I did not at once get some one of doubtless inherited this failing from the consideration to take my part; that she Marquis de Breauté, bis near relative, who would contrive to bring me pen, ink, and had such an extremely good opinion of paper, and would take care to deliver any himself that he had upon one occasion letter that I wrote. This advice could not challenged twenty-five Spaniards to fight have been more seasonable, for the pro- him, one after the other; but Grobendonc, vost had added still more to the deposi- the governor of Bois-le duc, disgusted tions than there was at first, the archers with his arrogance, told him that he would now affirming that they had found me not have quite enough to do with one only, upon the bronze horse, as they had said and, to show him that what he said was at first, but that they had taken me in the the truth, he told him to go and take very act of committing a robbery. I wrote four-and-twenty Frenchmen with him, and two letters, one to Cardinal Mazarin, and he, on his part, would send twenty-five one to M. de Marillac, the son of himn Spaniards against them. Breauté felt who had been keeper of the seals. M. de extremely annoyed at this answer, but, Marillac applied in my name to the Parle. nevertheless, having asked permission of ment, and, he having a good many relations the Prince of Orange, with whose troops and friends in the Parlement, I ultimately he was then serving, to be allowed to acobtained my liberty:

cept the challenge, he did so, and fought " The Chevalier de Rieux was scarcely so badly that he was killed, together with better treated in the prison than I was, I twenty-two of his seconds. The remain.

ing two demanded quarter, and, being cions were strengthened by what was told sent as prisoners to Bois-le-duc, Groben- me next morning, namely, that he had cardonc put them to death, a deed which ried my sword straight to the Comte de sullied the victory that those of his side Harcourt's house ; that to celebrate their had otherwise gained; he, however, gave victory they had held a great revel there, it as his reason that all the combatants and that all those who were present were had sworn to fight to the very last drop of carried home in a pitiable state. My their blood, and that as these two men wound was too severe to be very quickly had not kept their word it was only just healed, for my lung was pierced quite that they should expiate their perjury with through. Monseigneur the cardinal, who their lives.

hated the Comte de Harcourt and all his Be this as it may, however, Breauté family because they were always opposed always had this combat of his relative on to him, suspecting, as well as I did, that the tip of his tongue, and although he the whole affair originated with the comte could not pride himself very much upon in consequence of my being in his service, the result, yet he nevertheless was always declared himself openly for me, and said citing it to show the great courage of his in the presence of everybody that Breauté family, adding at the same time that, if did extremely well to hide' himself, as if these Spaniards of Grobendonc's had only he fell into his hands he would teach him had him to deal with instead of the mar. how to lie in wait for people in order to quis, they would not have been let off quarrel with them. Cardinal Mazarin did quite so easily. I had heard him say this not stop there, for, to spite the Comte de many times, and it had always raised a Harcourt, rather than from any real love laugh among the company present, but, as he had for me, he sent me his own surexperience had taught me that it is not geon and a purse containing five hundred always wise to deride even the follies of crowns." others, I had been the only one to pre Recovered from the effects of his duel, serve my composure, and so was far from De Rochefort was subsequently engaged thinking that I should be drawn into a in a rather delicate affair for Cardinal quarrel with him. However, when I least Mazarin, attempting to negotiate with the expected it he obliged me to cross swords Comte de Marcin, who had joined the with him, upon the pretext that I had done party of the Prince de Condé, with the precisely the same as the others had. My view of bringing him over to the side of honor scarcely permitted me to disabuse the king. Rochefort, who had had one him, yet suspecting that there was some interview already with De Marcin, goes thing else upon the cards, and being anx: on to say: ious to find it out, I said to him that if “ M. le Comte de Marcin told me that it were but this which obliged him to this conversation had already been proquarrel with me he could put his sword tracted far too long; that the Spaniards back in its scabbard, as I had never were getting suspicious; and that, as it dreamt of doing that of which he accused would not do to increase their suspicions, me, and of this I had plenty of witnesses; he could not see me again at that house, that what I now said I did not say through and he begged me to go to Liége and to any fear, as I believed that there had been come to him at his château at Modave, ample proof of my courage on previous where he should be in a week's time; that occasions. In saying these things I kept he did not know whether I should be able the length of my sword from him in order to pass through the Spanish places that I not to provoke the combat, but, refusing could not well avoid, and that he would my explanation, or rather, being animated have given me a passport if the Prince de by some other motive, he ran at me in a Condé had been absent, but that, as it fúry and wounded me in the side. I no was, I had perhaps better address myself sooner found my blood trickling down to the secretary of the Low Countries, as than I became furious. I hastened to though I were simply a native of Liége, avenge myself, and, fortune seconding my and that this kind of official did anything courage, I passed my sword right through for money without asking too many ques. his thigh. He, however, soon had his tions. I'thanked him for his advice, and revenge, and pierced my body through indeed I did not want to be under any and through, so that, falling a moment or obligation to him, as I had taken all my so after from faintness, he disarmed me. precautions when I came to Brussels bé.

" I strongly suspected that he had picked fore for Cardinal Mazarin, so, instead of this quarrel with me at the instigation of travelling by the highroad from Paris, I the Comte de Harcourt, and these suspi. came down the Meuse in a trading-boat as

« ZurückWeiter »