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A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793,

Adopted the impartial justice of the men of Charles Town


* I am aware of Mr. Burke's pleasantry on the expression of very little, being greatly diminished; but my exchequer at this time was as well calculated to prove the infinite divisibility of matter, as that of the Welch principality.

** The guards of the republican Bastilles were paid by the prisoners they contained; and, in many places, the tax for this purpose was levied with indecent rigour. It might indeed be supposed, that people already in prison could have little to apprehend from an inability or unwillingness to submit to such an imposition; yet those who refused were menaced with a dungeon; and I was informed, from undoubted authority, of two instances of the sort among the English--the one a young woman, the other a person with a large family of children, who were on the point of suffering this treatment, but that the humanity of some of their companions interfered and paid the sum exacted of them. The tax for supporting the imprisoned poor was more willingly complied with, though not less iniquitous in its principle; numbers of inoffensive and industrious people were taken from their homes on account of their religion, or other frivolous pretexts, and not having the wherewithal to maintain themselves in confinement, instead of being kept by the republic, were supported by their fellow-prisoners, in consequence of a decree to

that purpose. Families who inherited nothing from their noble ancestors but their names, were dragged from obscurity only to become objects of persecution; and one in particular, consisting of nine persons, who lived in extreme indigence, but were notwithstanding of the proscribed class; the sons were brought wounded from the army and lodged with the father, mother, and five younger children in a prison, where they had scarcely food to support, or clothing to cover them.

I take this opportunity of doing justice to the Comte d'Artois, whose youthful errors did not extinguish his benevolence--the unfortunate people in question having enjoyed a pension from him until the revolution deprived them of it.

Our male companions are for the most part transferred to other prisons, and among the number are two young Englishmen, with whom I used sometimes to converse in French, without acknowledging our compatriotism. They have told me, that when the decree for arresting the English was received at Amiens, they happened to be on a visit, a few miles from the town; and having notice that a party of horse were on the road to take them, willing to gain time at least, they escaped by another route, and got home. The republican constables, for I can call the military employed in the interior by no better appellation, finding their prey had taken flight, adopted the impartial justice of the men of Charles Town,* and carried off the old couple (both above seventy) at whose house they had been.

* "But they maturely having weigh'd "They had no more but him o'th'trade, "Resolved to spare him, yet to do "The Indian Hoghan-Moghan too "Impartial justice--in his stead did "Hang an old weaver that was bed-rid."


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