Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/212

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

seen walking the streets of Philadelphia, in open day, with a coloured woman on his arm. This was a gratuitous insult to the manners and customs which—rightly or wrongly—prevail in the country, and where social prejudices have such weight and importance that not even an ensign of hussars would dare to run counter to them.

The Americans were certainly accustomed to see Quakers, who would not take off their hats, and even shirtless savages; but all, from the Congressman to the workman, read one or other of the thousands of newspapers which appeared, and they were not ignorant of the celebrity and the responsible position of M. de Talleyrand. All the details of his life as a priest were known, from the first act of it,—his installation as Bishop of Autun,—to the last, when he officiated at the Altar of the Country in the Champ de Mars on the famous day of the Federation of 1790. A refugee so celebrated should have exercised some circumspection in regard to his private life.

That he did not preserve his ecclesias-