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arrives at St. Pierre, traverses the streets as in triumph, sends notice to the Jesuits that he intends to lodge with them, and on his way chooses precisely the road which passes before the governor's house. The latter, who was looking through the blinds exclaims on seeing him pass : “it is absolutely the picture of his mother and sister;" and immediately as if attacked with a vertigo he leaves Saint Pierre and returns to Fort-Royal, leaving the field to his adversary, who joked at his flight and said to those who mentioned it to him; “your general is a runaway; but I will catch him for you ; I will fetch back his ears*.”
Now then the prince was established at the Jesuits' convent. He no longer concealed himself; he had formed his household. The marquis d’Eragny is his grand equery; Duval Ferrol and Laurent Dufont, (this was he who recognized him at the same time as Bois-Fermé,) are his gentlemen; Rhodez, his page. He holds his court, has regular audiences, to which go on the one hand the crowd who have petitions to present against the government, and on the other the principal officers of the colony who come to pay their respects to the prince; among these are M. de Ranché, the intendant, and one Martin Poinsable, local governor of Martinique, who having always done every thing with money or for money, saw nothing better to get himself into favour than to offer his purse together with his services. The prince turned his back without making hiin any answer. This was not the first offer of the kind he had refused; and besides, a particular circumstance at this time enabled him to despisc them.
The duke of Penthiévre possessed at Martinique considerable sums of money, which were entrusted to a confidential person charged with laying them out to advantage. This gentleman had not been among the last to present himself before his master's brother-in-law. The prince had received him very well, had conversed with him in private for half an hour, after which both cash and cashier were placed at his highness' disposal.
* When runaway negroes were caught, it was customary at Martinique to cut off their ears.
If any doubts had yet existed respecting the principality, no more would have been necessary to dissipate them. Liewain, this was the agent's name, had the reputation of being a prudent and honest man; he had resisted with spirit and ability the marquis of Caylus' attempts to engage him in his speculations; he would not, it was said, have allowed himself to be so grossly taken in by a lad of eighteen. He was moreover intimately acquainted with the affairs and connexions of the house of Penthiévre; in order to convince him, the prince must nccessarily have communicated to him details of a very particular nature; he must even have had very cogent reasons for giving him in such a manner the disposal of his money. Thus the arrival of a prince of Modena at Martinique, which could at first be only explained as the frolic of a youth, now assumed in the eyes of the wiseacres of the island, all the appearance of a political mystery.
The prince had yet been only three days at the Jesuits'; he had shown himself on horseback and on foot in all the streets; had walked about, leaning affectedly upon his equery; had supped at the countess de Rochechonart's; had played at cards; had been in the society of the ladies, polite, but cold, lofty and embarrassed. * This was attributed to etiquette. If any chanced to think otherwise, they took good care not to say so.
The Jesuits were proud of the honour done to their convent, the Dominicans jealous, so that in order to content them, the prince, on his return from a little excursion to Saint Pierre, did them the pleasure to take up his residence with them.t
The reception they gave him was even more magnificent than that of the Jesuits.! A table of thirty covers was every day served up for the prince; to which he caused to be invited by his gentlemen the different persons whom he wished to favour. He ate his repasts in public, with trumpets sounding; and but for a
* He soon got rid of his embarrassment. It is supposed he met with some assistance on the occasion.
† They say too that he was afraid of remaining longer exposed to the piercing eyes of the old father principal of the Jesuits, a man of sense and experience, who had lived a long time in Italy.
* This affair cost the Dominicans forty-two thousand livres.
balustrade which was erected in the middle of the hall, he would have been in danger of being crushed by the crowds who pressed in to behold him.
Never had Saint Pierre exhibited such a scene; never was disorder more complete and at the same time more gay.
All action of the government was suspended, but its absence was as yet perceptible only by the cessation of the tyranny it had exercised. Songs, epigrams in ridicule of the chief officers were showered upon them, and these gentlemen thought it the wisest way to bear the joke patiently. Provisions appeared again in abundance; and lastly the news of peace arrived to crown the general intoxication.
However vessels had been a long time before this despatched to France. The prince had written to his family, * and had given his letters in charge to a merchant-captain in the employ of Liewain. No answers arrived, and the prince seemed to be very uneasy on this account. The governer, on the other hand, had sent off the engineer Des Rivieres to the minister, to give him an account of what had happened and to ask for instructions. Des Rivieres had been gone six months and did not return; but he might make his appearance from day to day, and the prince showed no uneasiness about the matter. In the meantime he amused himself with braving the governer, who had tried in vain to be restored to his favour, and with playing boyish tricks on M. de Ranche, whom he caused to ride full gallop over the fields in a heavy rain, with his laced coat, his wig and his white silk stockings.t He made love to all the women, committed every
* Liewain, who acted as his secretary, declared to the writer of this account, that while writing with his own hand to the dutchess of Penthiévre, his eyes were red and filled with tears.
† The prince was ill when the festival of the Corpus Christi took place. It was customary for the shipping in the harbour and the forts to salute the procession with their great guns. The governor, from respect for the sick prince, forbade the salute's being fired He sent every morning to inquire about his highness' health. One day at the Dominican church, where the latter had come to hear mass, the governor sent him word that he had come to the sacristy in order to ascertain with his own eyes the state of his health. “Does he
excess in eating and drinking, abandoned himself to every whinz that came into his head. One day he put on the blue ribbon, which would have been the most ridiculous thing in the world, even if he had been the hereditary prince of Modena. He supported this silly proceeding by a story still more silly, which was not the less credited on that account.
(To be continued in our next.)
take me for a relick.” Said the prince.
The messenger took back no other
On the octave of Corpus Christi, the prince, having perfectly recovered, expressed an inclination to see the procession. The marquis of Caylus, on being informed of this determiner to join in it, hoping to be taken notice of; accordingly he was so by every body, except his highness, who did not
go the procession. Ile was told that the marquis went there only on his account. “I rejoice, said he, that I have been the means of inducing the Jew to perform an act of religion.”
One day the intendant, who was in the habit of putting himself quite at his case wherever he was, was cleaning his teeth at table; the prince sent him word in a loud whisper by a servant, that it was impolite to do so. On another occasion he covered his coat, with the froth of a bottle of champaigne. These were certainly princely diversions.
ORIGINAL POETRY FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
To the Editor of The Port Folio.
Your interesting miscellany deserves universal encouragement. Its effects are so important, in rousing slumbering genius, and exciting literary emulation, that its success is identified with the progress of refinement.
Every literary lounger, as well as the professed votury of science, ought to encourage it by his pen and patronage. I belong to the former class: and indeed to that my pretensions are not“ supereminent.” My effusions have hitherto been confined to my own closet and fire, and have not soared even so high as the columns of an ephemeral newspaper. Induced however by the liberality of your character as a critic; I send you the following inonody occasione i by the death of the right hon. Charles James Fox, confident if it be condemned it will be done with the candour of the scholar, and the politeness of the gentleman.
A MONODY ON THE RIGHT HON. CHARLES JAMES FOX.
Mourn Albion! mourn thy reign of greatness o’er!
Come sacred Virtue, from thy glittering splicrc;