Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/246

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222

A FRENCH VOLUNTEER


ure to my visit to France, and had no family ties, for my relations had either been murdered or driven out of the country, but there was danger to be incurred by returning.

Nitimur in vetitum semper cupimusque negata.

I meant to preserve my incognito, and hoped that my friends,—if I should meet any,—would also keep it. This mystery, with a spice of danger added, gave promise that my days would not be dull, and besides I wanted to see France from behind the scenes;—to view the carnival in action. The Directoire was still at the Luxembourg, and on the walls, the coins, and at the head of decrees, you read the words, Republique Frangaise, and saw the fasces and the cap of liberty. I had heard all this, but I only half believed it, and, at all events, the spectacle seemed worth witnessing, even at some risk.

To revisit France, if a chance occurred, was a fixed resolve with me, and the chance did occur. One morning while I was at Hamburg, I received a letter, addressed to