« PreviousContinue »
passo passare la literatura " says the searcher, shaking his head and grinning sorrowfully, as he turns out all the traveller's books, with eyes so fixed on the portmanteau and with so little heart in the discharge of his shamelul duty, that one is free to stow his books away in his pockets and bandkerchief, as fast as his luggage is cleared of them. The poor mah is contented if he put the luggage in such order, as to be fit for the inspection of the officers in Rome; for the luggage has to be visited there again.
The Overland traveller however has no occasion to trouble either bimself or the officers in this way. Let him put in his portman. tealt only such umobjectionable articles as he will require during hivisit to Rome, and his Bible in his pocket. And all that speaks of the light and liberty and religion of England (which is all contraband in the Roman states) let him lock it up in his heavy luggage, and leave the whole in charge of the police till he return. It will be quite sufe. And in this way he may take it on board again without its ever requiring to be opened at all.
But let us post to Rome. There are from 40 to 50 miles of the road. It is also very bad, as might be expected in a country where every trifle done by Government for the accommodation of the public is looked upon as such an achievement, that not a yard of wall is bult as a parapet w a bridge, but large letters on il set forth the fame of the Pope who had the magnanin iiy 10 send a man with a trowel w pot And now let us he tanglit we are among a set of sharp fellows. A word of the postillions. The purse-bearer of our party, a very delightful travelling companion, and unsuspecting because suspicion was so foreign to bis own mind, was at first not a little pleased with these postillions, as indeed every man of taste must be sight of such picturesque figues. But his gratification arose not a liule from their respectfully addressing him always by the term Eccellenza, showing as he naturally thought, that they were aware that he was the minister of a foreign power, and were well disposed to do homage to bis diplomatic dignity. Well at the end of the first stage when the postillion received from our friend something more than the pori-tariff allowance, and what was conceived to be a handsome pour-boire, instead of being contented he assumed the attitude of a man going to make a thrust will a 'apier, and did nothing but pettisbly and imploringly exclaim “ Eccellenza ! Eccellenza !" holding ont the silver pieces in the flattened palm of his hand as if contemptuously to display their insufficiency, his conical broad-brimmed hal meanwhile obliquely surmounting his handsome nose and hairy cheeks and cbir- and bis embroidered jacket bis sash and formidable boots-all-as if sympathizing in his attitude and feelings. On this, our friend unwilling to do any thing that might be unbandsome, especially since it was obvious (as he thought) that he was known, and that the Romans bade fair to show all honor to his diplomatic dignity, gave another piece, and at next stage still another (for the postillions played the same game at every stage) tiil at last disgusted, our friend made a dead halt. This led to an enquiry into details, when our friend made the
discovery to the no small vexation of the party and his own, that he had been serving out pieces of two Pauls instead of single Pauls to the postillions all the way, while they were profitably enjoying the joke, winking it to each other froin stage to stage and success fully assuming the attitude of injured men at every post-house, They are as bad a
But on this road the travel. ler just landed in Italy for the first time is thankful for any body who is not a brigand, and regards every mile passed over escape. But such fears are groundless. Returning from Rome we travelled all night with two Italians, and we found that they apprehended no danger but that of arriving at Civiia belore the gates were opened. At the same time it must be confessed, that the Roman Government has been peculiarly unfortunate in its attempts to put down the banditti. The Pope looks to prisons and gens
d'armes for that which the encouragement of Agriculture and the reward of in. dustry only can effect. Tliese gens d'armes according to the present system only feed the supply. For ever scouring the country like moss-troopers without either religious or moral principle or other object to look to but their pay and their dastardly pay, masters, and feeling as they must, that there is more heroism in the life of a Brigand than in that of a police-man, naturally break ofl' into the mountains in many cases and become the most accomplished banditti all the more difficult to catch from their knowing all about police. Touching the Pope's prisons also- ibat is a sore subject. Some years ago the Goverument actually capitulated willi a band of Brigands; and Gasparoni the chief delivered himself upon condition of having his lite spared and of being imprisoned during a certain term of years. He was imprisoned accordingly, and is now in the prison, which fills the eye on landing at Civitą Vecchia. But it is said that the stiputaled term of imprisonment has expired some time
ago, and that the Pope has broke faith with the Robber and still keeps him in confinement. And if it really be so, (and every body affirms it,) no wonder the Roman government is despised as well as hated by every generous mind; no wonder that Brigands abound, and thai įhe best men are apt to be the worst subjectsSuch pusallanimity, not to say such want of principle, is truly con, temptible. But indeed though a just alliance between church and state be so conducive to the well being of both, the confounding of both into one as is the case in Rome is found to be so bad every way, that even in Rome itself now, many voices begin to declare (and those the voices of men of consideration too) that if the Roman States are to keep peace with the other nations of Europe the Civil and the Ecclesiastical must no longer be confounded as they have been hitherto
But let us not touch on Rome in this number,
(To be Continued.)
COMPILED BY THE EDITOR,
many of their
Origin of these Papers. Anecdote of the late Duke of Port
land. Mr. Reeres. Trip to Boulogne. Vidocq, the thief taker. Secrets of the Prison House. Mission to Paris. Narrow escape. Fouché. The Egyptian Nessenger. [The following passages
are taken from the note book of a gentleman who was for many years a most active agent in the secret service of the British Government. The memoranda were never made with a view to publication, but simply for his own satisfaction, as, being constantly engaged in important missions, be was liable at all times to be called upon for an
account of his movements and the employment of his time. These reminiscences form but a very small portion of his notes, but it is thought they are all which can interest the public, or, from their nature, ought to be printed. It is to be regretted that he preserved so few anec, dotes, for the many occasions on which he mixed with the great political stars of the day gave him an opportunity of hearing and seeing
peculiarities of character, which, bad they been recorded, would have been highly interesting at the present time. The earlier notes are dated 1793, but at that period the writer was only a clerk in the Foreign Office : his service in the dangerous character of secret agent did not commence until 1802 when he was sent on a mission to Paris, to watch and report on the movements pf the Consul. The last and most interesting așe connected with the trial of the late Queen Caroline.]
The Duke of Portland was a hard working man and frequently did more fagging than many of our clerks. He was early too, a tare quality in greatmen, both of that and the present day. In his dress he was remarkably plain and when he rode up to the private entrance of the Foreign office in St. James's Park one would have taken him to be a country grazier. He used to be much amused with the morning salutations of the old lady who officiated as office-keeper and usually opened the wicket-gate for him. She had lived in the family of Lord Sidmouth for many years and had al..
accustomed to address him as My Lord,” but now that she spoke to 9 Duke she thought something more was necessary, and wbenever his grace addressed her she curtseyed very low and replied “ Yes, my Duke." His Grace, however plain his outward garb may bave been, was far from simple in bis wits, and knew how to turn things to account as well as most people. I remember young M being brought into our office, & per
fect stranger, and in a few months stepping over all onr heads: At the time we could not make out how this was brought about and whose interest he had, but I afterwards learnt the whole his. tory of it. M-s father, it appeared, supplied his grace of Portland with coals and was a creditor to the amount of two or three-thousand pounds. Il not being convenient to the noble debtor to pay the hard cash, and M
not being in want of it and having a son whoni he wished to push on in the world, an arrangement was made by which his grace gave M- 's son a sing birth, and
never asked for the money. The fortunate youth bad at, once a salary of £200 a year, and in three months it was raised to £300.
Another interloper was Mr. J. Reeves who was made chief clerk of the Alien Department at one step. This howeyer was no private job, but was the reirard of Services rendered at a time when the country was in a very unsettled slate. It was in the early part of 1794; when the Corresponding Society of Hardy, Tooke and others gave
so much uneasiness to government, coming as it did, upon the heels of the French Revolution. Mr. Reeves having å little money and more ability, formed a Society in opposition to Tooke's for the avowed purpose of supporting government: he went
a great expense in printing handbills and circulars full of loyally and denunciations against the revolutionists, and distributed vast mimbers of them all over the kingdom. He called upon all the leurling Tories lo assemble and adopt t'csolutions expressive of their attachment to the Throne : this was done, at first in his own house; but that being soon found too small to contain so much loyalty; the meetings were for the future held at the mansion of the Earl of M-,Where there were some splendid lung rooms. His placards vere as violent as those of the opposite faction: there was an allegory in one of them which represented the constitution as being & tree of which the king was the root, the Lords the trunk, and the Commons the branches, and he stated that the lauter might be cut off without the least injury to the tree itself. For this he was called to the bar of the House of Commons and had ii not been for the great influence of the ministry on his behalf would most assuredly have been committed to Newgale,-as it was he escaped with a severe reprimand. In all iris tuiling and scbeming for the government, I was the chief actor, giving him assistalice and advice on many delicate points ; but mark ihe difference in our rewards,--he was presented with a share in the king's prints ing oflice, appointed a Commissioner of Parkinpcy and chief clerk of the Alien Deparıment of our oflice, whilst I, who had really done all the lagging, was simply promised promotion and at last sent on some most difficult and dangerous missions to foreign countries, for which I was badly rewarded.
In 1802 Lord Lauderdale was at Paris negociating for peace when I was sent after him with despatches. At Boulogne I saw a vast uumber of small vessels which it was said were for the in• vasion of Euglaud: there was also a sliong show of military in
the neighbourhood. It was during my short stay in this town, while my passport was being risêed, that I first met with Vidocq, although we had been previously well known to each other by our corres pondence on police matters. I found him of great use, for with bis unbounded knowledge and influence in all affairs of Police be was enabled to facilitate my movements and I reached Paris before another would have got clear of Boulogne. I had been at Paris but forty-eight hours when intelligence arrived of the Bombardment of Boulogne by Nelson ; this of course put a stop to all negociations, and Lord L. was sent for by the Consul who reproached him most bitterly with the perfidy of the British Government. His Lordship replied with dignified firmness to the Corsican's threats; and in truth it would have been difficult to see where the perfidy lay inasmuch as boib powers were then at war, and France had not ceased her operations : but Bonaparte had hoped to have kept the negociations longer on the tapis as he wished to gain time, and being disappointed, became furious. The Ambassador was ordered to quit Frauce instanter. On our arrival at Boulogne, which was soon known, an immense mob assembled round our Hotel and commenced breaking the windows. I got out by a back door and sought my friend Vidocq, who came attended by two gens-d'armes, and with a cudgel beat off the mob from the dồor. He walked with us to the Jetty and saw us safely on board, but could not prevent the ena raged populace from smashirg his Lordship’s carriage to pieces.
In the same year I was desired by Lord Sidmouth to repair to the French capitol, as a secret agent, to watch the consular movements. Considering the strict urganization of the Parisian police, this was a matter of no small difficulty and risk ; however I was young, and active, and, burning with a desire to distinguish myself, thought not of the danger. I sat out with my pocket full of money and arrived in Paris without any mishap. When there, a wilness of the jealous watchfulness of the police under the eagleeyed Fouché, I began to entertain some misgivings as to my fate, for I could not shut my eyes to the fact of my being a spy, and had I been discovered I should certainly have forfeited my life. But I deceived all their vigilance by a pretended love of pleasure. I visited every sight and place of amusement, by which means I noc only lulled suspicion but also picked up some information that was highly useful to me. Vidocq had given me letters to Fouché the Minister of Police who received me with much attention, at which I was the more pleased as it removed all suspicion of my real character. I learnt a great deal from him, for he was talkative whenever he found any one who took an interest in his conversation and it was my object to do so, for he was well acquainted with the internal resources of the republic. During my stay in Paris he fell into disgrace with the consul who deprived him of his portfolio. I dined with him a few days after this took place, but his manner would not have indicated his recent disgrace to any
but a close observer. He was the same cool, calculating courtier as ever; he had not lost one whit of his gaietie de coeur, or of his politeness,