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The rest of Latude's history, during the remainder of his thirty-five years' imprisonment, for all that time passed from the day of his first commitment to the Bastille to that of his final deliverance, is only a painful detail of the horrors of a badly regulated prison.
Látude, always active, made many attempts to gain the support of some powerful person. He found means, through the connivance of a turnkey, to procure pen, ink, and paper, and to write a letter to a person, on whose assistance he thought he could depend; but the turnkey, who promised to deliver this letter, dropped it in the street. The packet, much injured by the dirt of the street, was picked up by a young woman named Le Gros. She read, with horror, the account it gave of Latude's sufferings, and determined to devote herself entirely to the obtaining his deliverance. She took a copy of the letter, and then sent it according to its original address.
Madame Le Gros was the wife of a language-master, established in Paris. Her husband approved for some time her humane project, but afterwards endeavoured to disuade her from it, through despair of success. It would be impossible to detail, in a sketch like this, her various exertions in the course of three years.
At length, after three years' anxiety and labor, she obtained an order for his discharge ; but the relentless enemies of Latude accompanied it with another order, which made him an exile for life. Madame Le Gros returned again to the charge ; and before she would avail herself of the first order, procured a reversal of the second. M. Latude obtained his liberty ; and, shortly after, a pension of four hundred livres a year from Government.
THE SOLITARY STRANGER:
A TALE, BY JANE TAYLOR. From the Monday Edition of the Observer, Sunday Newspaper.
Once in a town remote in Britain's Isle,
Her years were waning, and her whole array
- Just as their social parties came to meet,
Beyond the town some low, damp meadows lay,
This walk she chose, and thought it seemed so dull,
“ There's something suits the temper of my mind In the deep howlings of this wintry wind. How the sky lowers! all thickly overspread, Save one horizon streak of awful red ; So lowers my sky, and that bright line appears, Like the last glimmer of departed years. If those who loved me then could see this sight,--Me, wandering here on such a cheerless night, A poor, lone stranger in this friendless wild, How they would mourn for their deserted child. But they are gone, and now these storms may blow, And I, unheeded, wander to and fro. And not in all this peopled world find one To screen and cherish me as they had done.
I thought the world was kinder, and would prove Some compensation for my parents' love :I thought of friends——that once united band With whom I used to journey hand in hand ;
But some are gone whence traveller ne'er returns,
- They had their failings,-ah, dear parents ! how
'Twas thus in those dull evenings, all alone,
FANNY,-A MOST AFFECTING TALE. The morning sun dasted transiently through the swift passing clouds, on the lone mansion of Marmaduke Herbert, when Fanny arose, but no longer blithe as the lark, which used to awaken her at her father's :-her head sunk on her hand; her eyes were thoughtfully cast on the distant expanse of sea, which lay before her window, and she asked of Heaven why she was in love with Vernon? why doomed, at the early age of sixteen, to a tormenting, passion she disapproved ? Sympathy then drew her eyes from the distant scene to the beach, where her lover walked with arms folded, and every attitude of depressed spirits.--Soon after he passed her window, and, bowing, waved his hand to sea, where he was soon to sail. " Ah, look not so melancholy,” cried Fanny,“ least I fly to you, and in your arms tell you there is no cause; for where you lead I will follow, though it should be to destruction."
A few days after she saw him give the word of command : it was the first time Fanny had ever seen soldiers in martial array; he bowed to her.-The music had softened her heart ; his image sunk deep into the utmost recesses of her soul ; she returned home enamoured of his person and character, and they improved on each other every day, for she was fair and innocent, and he was assiduous and in love.
Vernon's regiment was under sailing orders for America.The lovers could not part; a promise of marriage was exchanged, and as she never yet had forfeited her promise, that good habit now led her on to regard her promise as sacred. The ceremony was performed on board a ship, which sailed a few hours afterwards.-Then it was that the precipitate Fanny became overwhelmed with astonishment: she found herself sailing for a distant country, with a man who was a stranger to her, having treacherously left her parents to unavailing sorrow and anxiety for her loss.
In a few weeks they arrived at their destined port. Fanny's error was ever before her, but she loved her husband, and determined on a dutiful part, though not so happy as when with her parents; for she became acquainted with poverty, and now and then the caprice of her husband. Every scene was new, often. times distressing, but chiefly so when she was prevented relieving the necessities of the poor, by a recollection that she in some measure shared their wants.
weeks she slept not two nights under the same roof.-Winter quarters at length gave her rest, and some poor accommodation for the birth of her daughter Mary.
The regiment being at length stationed, she prevailed on Vernon to take a small farm, situated near Farley. Here being assisted by a small gift from her mother, she succeeded in furnishing the place with every necessary convenience.
There was in the regiment to which Vernon belonged two of his uncles, the elder, Herod, was of a proud disposition, and professed himself irreconcileable to Vernon's marriage. Want of fortuue was with him a sufficient reason, and instead of advising Vernon to solicit the forgiveness of his father-in-law, he took an opposite course. The younger uncle, John, though he did not wholly approve of Vernon's clandestine match, often visited this little family, and became so reconciled to Fanny, that all the time duty permitted him to be absent from his regiment he spent at Farley:
Fanny's good qualities were not latent, but so easily brought into action, and her best endeavours for Vernon's interest such certain possessions that Vernon, who knew not the value of them, continued in secret to chew the bitter cup of poverty, forgetful of Fanny's reconciling qualities, which had first awakened him to the contemplation of his pecuniary resources.Vernon's mind was in this state when his elder uncle, Herod, arrived to join his regiment. He viewed his nephew with the eye of a dishonoured relation; told him that his whole appearance was so different from what it was when a single man, that he was ashamed of him.-Vernon, by listening in silence, became easily accessible to his uncle's favourite theme, and in a little time Herod, advancing more openly, asked him, if he could not devise some cause of divorce. This encouraged Vernon to confess what never had yet passed his lips, that the person who married them was not a clegyman; but that it was not done with a design of taking any advantage of Fanny, but because the clergyman on land refused to marry so young a person. Herod, elated with this last intel. ligence, indulged himself in schemes of advancement for his nephew. He thought that, if an accomplished woman of large fortune was at that time proposed to him, he would not refuse her, but that both his ambition and his wishes might be raised to gain such a prize, and Heród had one in view on whom his intentions were at work; a woman who, dancing at an assembly, had said pretty loud that Vernon was a sweet fellow. This lady was not only mentioned to Vernon, but several others were, by way of preparation, and to whom Herod knew he would take a dislike instantly, while he thundered poverty in his ear one moment, and the next poured in the charming means of avoiding it.
Marry, if you ever can compass so fortunate an event, some rich, some young, some beautiful heiress-Miss Clans I hear, thinks you a single man, who knows but her tender heart might be induced to accept of yours; but you are lost, sunk to the