Page:Englishmen in the French Revolution.djvu/350

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Besides its being irregularly paid, it was quite insufficient to subsist upon, in the state in which France then was, paper money being then reduced to a very low ebb.

We received the above for the first time on the 23rd of December 1794. Its value was then computed at twopence-halfpenny, or at most threepence, per day English.

Some time after this, the prisoners began to be treated with more lenity than they had yet experienced. The Rev. James Higginson and the Hon. T. Roper had liberty to go into the town; this was of much service to us, for the latter of these gentlemen proved himself indefatigable in using every means possible to procure for us victuals and fuel—he even carried wood himself, and ran from shop to shop to buy us bread. Still, notwithstanding this seeming liberty, the situation was very disagreeable, though the soldiers had no longer power to command us as formerly, yet the street door was open night and day, so that we could not step out of our room without meeting crowds of people. One part of the prison being turned into a guard house, all came in and went out at pleasure. The garden, too, was always taken up by the soldiers and rabble. About this time the Convention frequently ordered the prisoners of war to be sent from one town to another, to show them to the people; when these companies passed through Compiègne, they were always lodged in our place of confinement, and nothing distressed us more than on such occasions to meet with brave Englishmen in want of the most common necessaries of life; and at the same time treated with the most inhuman scorn and contempt by the French Jacobins, who were quite elated to have an Englishman in their power. Whenever the above prisoners arrived, all was noise and confusion, and we often expected nothing less than to see the house on fire, for the