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were extremely polite. We were invited by the Dominicans to their convent, and saw some very exquisite paintings of Ribeira and Murillo. At noon we took our departure for Mondragone, passing through a country of indescribable beauty. The scale is vast, the heights are lofty without being tremendous, the cultivation is of various sorts, and to be traced in every spot, where the hand of industry can reach; a profusion of fruit trees in blossom colored the landscape with such vivid and luxuriant tints, that we had new charms to admire upon every shift and winding of the road. The people are laborious, and the fields being full of men and women at their work (for here both sexes make common task), nothing could be more animated than the scenery; 'twas not in human nature to present a stronger contrast to the gloomy character and squalid indolence of the Castilians. And what is it, which constitutes this marked distinction between such near neighbors, subjects of the same king, and separated from each other only by a narrow stream? It is because the regal power, which in Castile is arbitrary, is limited by local laws in Catalunia, and gives passage for one ray of liberty to visit that happier and more enlightened country.
From Mondragone we went to Villa Franca, where we dined, and finished our twelfth day's journey at Tolosa; the country still presented a succession of the most enchanting scenery, but I was now become insensible to its beauties, being so extremely ill that it was not without much difficulty, so excruciating were my pains, that I reached Tolosa. Here I stayed three days, and when I found my fever would not yield to James's powder, I resolved to attempt getting to Bayonne, where I might hope to find medical assistance, and better accommodation.
On the seventeenth day, after suffering tortures from the roughness of the roads, I reached Bayonne, and immediately put myself under the care of Doctor Vidal, a Huguenot physician. Here I passed three miserable weeks, and though in a state of almost continued delirium throughout the whole of this time, I can yet recollect that, under Providence, it is only owing to the unwearied care and tender attentions of my ever-watchful wife (assisted by her faithful servant Mary Samson) that I was kept alive; from her hands I consented to receive sustenance and medicine, and to her alone, in the disorder of my senses, I was uniformly obedient.
It was at this period of time that the aggravating news ar rived of my bills being stopped, and my person subjected to arrest. I was not sensible to the extent of my danger, for death hung over me, and threatened to supersede all arrests but of a lifeless corpse; the kind heart, however, of Marchetti had com
passion for my disconsolate condition, and he found means to supply me with five hundred pounds, as I have already related. It pleased God to preserve my life, and this seasonable act of friendship preserved my liberty. The early fruits of the season, and the balmy temperature of the air in that delicious climate, aided the exertions of my physician, and I was at length enabled to resume my journey, taking a day's rest in the magnificent town of Bourdeaux, from whence, through Tours, Blois and Orleans, I proceeded to Paris, which, however, I entered in a state as yet but doubtfully convalescent, emaciated to a skeleton, the bones of my back and elbows still bare and staring through iny skin.
I had both Florida Blanca's and Count Montmorin's passports, but my applications for post-horses were in vain, and here I should in all probability have ended my career, as I felt myself relapsing apace, had I not at length obtained the long-withheld permission to pass onwards. They had pounded the King of Spain's horses also for the space of a whole month, but these were liberated when I got my freedom, and I embarked them at Ostend, from whence I took my passage to Margate, and arrived at my house in Portland Place, destined to experience treatment which I had not merited, and encounter losses I have never
I will here simply relate an incident without attempting to draw any conjectures from it, which is, that whilst I lay ill at Bayonne, insensible, and, as it was supposed, at the point of death, the very monk, who had been so troublesome to me at Elvas, found his way into my chamber, and upon the alarm given by my wife, who perfectly recognized his person, was only driven out of it by force. Again when I was in Paris, and about to sit down to dinner, a salad was brought to me by the lacquey who waited on me, which was given to him for me by a red-haired Dominican, whose person, according to his description, exactly tallied with that of the aforesaid monk; I dispatched my servant Camis in pursuit of him, but he had escaped, and my suspicion of the salad being poisoned was confirmed by experiment on a dog.
I shall only add that somewhere in Castile, I forget the place, but it was between Valladolid and Burgos, as I was sitting on a bench at the door of a house, where my calasseros were giving water to the mules, I tendered my snuff-box to a grave elderly man, who seemed of the better sort of Castilians, and who appeared to have thrown himself in my way, sitting down beside me as one who invited conversation. The stranger looked. steadily in my face, and after a pause, put his fingers into my box, and taking a very small portion of my snuff between them,
said to me: I am not afraid, sir, of trusting myself to you, whom I know to be an Englishman, and a person in whose honor I may perfectly repose. But there is death concealed in many a man's snuff-box, and I would seriously advise you on no account to take a single pinch from the box of any stranger, who may offer it to you; and if you have done that already, I sincerely hope no such consequences as I allude to will result from your want of caution.' I continued in conversation with this stranger for some time; I told him I had never before been apprised of the practices he had spoken of, and being perfectly without suspicion, I might, or might not, have exposed myself to the danger he was now so kind as to apprise me of, but I observed to him, that however prudent it might be to guard myself against such evil practices in other countries, I should not expect to meet them in Castile, where the Spanish point of honor most decidedly prevailed. Ah! Senor,' he replied, 'they may not all be Spaniards, whom you have chanced upon, or shall hereafter chance upon, in Castile.' When I asked him how this snuff operated on those who took it, his answer was, as I expected, 'on the brain.' I was not curious to inquire who this stranger was, as I paid little attention to his information at the time, though I confess it occurred to me, when after a few days I was seized with such agonies in my head as deprived me of my senses; I merely give this anecdote as it occurred; I draw no inferences from it.
I have now done with Spain, and if the detail, which I have truly given of my proceedings, whilst I was there in trust, may serve to justify me in the opinion of those who read these Memoirs, I will not tire their patience with a dull recital of my unprofitable efforts to obtain a just and equitable indemnification for my expenses, according to agreement. The evidences, indeed, are in my hands, and the production of them would be highly discreditable to the memory of some, who are now no more; but redress is out of my reach; the time for that is long since gone by, and has carried me on so far towards the hour which must extinguish all human feelings, that there can be little left for me to do but to employ the remaining pages of this history in the best manner I can devise, consistently with strict veracity, for the satisfaction of those who may condescend to peruse them, and to whom I should be above measure sorry to appear in the character of a querulous, discontented, and resentful old man; I rather hope that when I shall have laid before them a detail of literary labors, such as few have executed within a period of the like extent, they will credit me for my industry, at least, and allow me to possess some claim upon the
favor of posterity as a man, who, in honest pride of conscience, has not let his spirit sink under oppression and neglect, nor suffered his good-will to mankind, or his zeal for his country's service and the honor of his God, to experience intermission or abatement, nor made old age a plea for insolence, or an apology for ill humor.
Nevertheless, as I have charged my employers with a direct breach of faith, it seems necessary for my more perfect vindication, to support that charge by an official document, and this consideration will, I trust, be my sufficient apology for inserting the following statement of my claim:
'To the Right Honorable Lord North, &c. &c. &c.
The humble memorial of Richard Cumberland sheweth :
That you memorialist in April, 1780, received his majesty's most secret and confidential orders and instructions to set out for the court of Spain, in company with the Abbé Hussey, one of His Catholic Majesty's chaplains, for the purpose of negotiating a separate peace with that court.
That to render the object of this commission more secret, your memorialist was directed to take his family with him to Lisbon, under the pretence of recovering the health of one of his daughters, which he accordingly did, and having sent the Abbé Hussey before him to the court of Spain, agreeably to the king's instructions, your memorialist and his family soon after repaired to Aranjuez, where his Catholic Majesty then kept his court.
That your memorialist, upon setting out on this important undertaking, received by the hands of John Robinson, Esquire, one of the secretaries of the treasury, the sum of one thousand pounds on account, with directions how he should draw, through the channel of Portugal, upon his banker in England, for such further sums as might be necessary (particularly for a large discretionary sum to be employed as occasion might require in secret services), and your memorialist was directed to accompany his drafts by a separate letter to Mr. Secretary Robinson, advising him what sum or sums he had given order for, that the same might be replaced to your memorialist's credit with the bank of Messieurs Crofts & Co., in Pall Mall.
That your memorialist, in the execution of this commission, for the space of nearly fourteenth months, defrayed the expenses of the Abbé Hussey's separate journey into Spain, paid all charges incurred by him during four months' residence there, and supplied him with money for his return to England, no part of which has been repaid to your memorialist.
That your memorialist, with his family, took two very long and expensive journeys (the one by way of Lisbon and the other through France), no consideration for which has been granted to him.
That your memorialist, during his residence in Spain, was obliged to follow the removals of the court to Aranjuez, San Ildefonso, the Escurial, and Madrid, besides frequent visits to the Pardo; in all which places, except the Pardo, he was obliged to lodge himself, the expense of which can only be known to those who, in the service of their court, have incurred it.
That every article of necessary expense, being inordinately high in Madrid, your memorialist, without assuming any vain appearance of a minister, and with as much domestic frugality as possible, incurred a very heavy charge.
That your memorialist, having no courier with him, nor any cypher, was obliged to employ his own servant in that trust, and the servant of Abbé Hussey, at his own proper cost, no part of which has been repaid to him.
That your memorialist did at considerable charge obtain papers and docu
ments containing information of a very important nature, which need not here be enumerated, of which charge so incurred no part has been repaid.
That upon the capture of the East and West India ships by the enemy, your memorialist was addressed by many of the British prisoners, some of whom he relieved with money, and in all cases obtained the prayer of their memorials. Your memorialist also, through the favor of the Bishop of Burgos, took with him out of Spain some valuable British seamen, and restored them to his majesty's fleet; and this, also, he did at his own cost.
That your memorialist, during his residence in Spain, was indispensably obliged to cover these, his unavoidable expenses, by several drafts upon his banker to the amount of £4,500, of which not one single bill has been replaced, nor one farthing issued to his support during fourteen months' expensive and laborious duty in the king's immediate and most confidential service; the consequence of which unparalleled treatment was, that your memorialist was stopped and arrested at Bayonne by order from his remittancers at Madrid; in this agonizing situation your memorialist, being then in the height of a most violent fever, surrounded by a family of helpless women in an enemy's country, and abandoned by his employers, on whose faith he had relied, found himself incapable of proceeding on his journey, and destitute of means for subsisting where he was; under this accumulated distress he must have sunk and expired, had not the generosity of an officer in the Spanish service, who had accompanied him into France, supplied his necessities with the loan of five hundred pounds, and passed the King of Great Britain's bankrupt servant into his own country, for which humane action this friendly officer (Marchetti by name) was arrested at Paris, and by the Count D'Aranda remanded back to Madrid, there to take his chance for what the influence of France may find occasion to devise against him.
Your memorialist, since his return to England, having, after innumerable attempts, gained one only admittance to your lordship's person, for the space of more than ten months, and not one answer to the frequent and humble suit he has made to you by letter, presumes now, for the last time, to solicit your consideration of his case, and as he is persuaded it is not, and cannot be, in your lordship's heart to devote and abandon to unmerited ruin an old and faithful servant of the crown, who has been the father of four sons (one of whom has lately died, and three are now carrying arms in the service of their king), your memorialist humbly prays that you will give order for him to be relieved in such manner as to your lordship's wisdom shall seem meet.
All which is humbly submitted by
Your lordship's most obedient
And most humble servant,
This memorial, which is perhaps too long and loaded, I am persuaded Lord North never took the pains to read, for I am unwilling to suppose that, if he had, he would have treated it with absolute neglect. He was upon the point of quitting office when I gave it in, and being my last effort, I was desirous of summing up the circumstances of my case so, that if he had thought fit to grant me a compensation, this statement might have been a justification to his successor for the issue; but it produced no compensation, though I should presume it proved enough to have touched the feelings of one of the best tempered men living, if he would have devoted a very few minutes to the perusal of it.