Louis Philippe - John S. C. Abbott

Wanderings in the Old World and the New


The peninsula of Scandinavia can be explored at a very slight expense. The exiled prince, with his companions, travelled in the most unostentatious manner. He felt quite secure in his wanderings, as but few of the emigrants had penetrated those distant regions. From Copenhagen he passed to Elsineur, visiting all objects of historic interest. Crossing the Sound at Helsinbourg, he entered the hospitable realms of Sweden. After a brief tarry at Gottenburg, and ascending Lake Wener, he directed his steps towards Norway, remaining for a short period at Friedrichsthal, where, in 1718, the half-mad Charles XII., after perhaps the most stormy life through which a mortal ever passed, breathed his last.

Proceeding to Christiania, he was received, as an intelligent and affable traveller, with much distinction, though no one suspected his rank. Wherever he went the purity of his character impressed itself upon the community. M. Monod—subsequently a distinguished pastor of one of the Protestant churches in Paris—was then at Christiania. He fully appreciated the unusual virtues of his countryman, who, in every word and action, manifested the spirit of true Christianity.

"M. Monod has repeatedly since been heard to declare," write A. Laugier and Carpentier, "that the more the virtuous and instructive life of this traveller was examined, the more exalted and exemplary it appeared. What must have been his surprise when, subsequently, in his own country, he recognized in the young Frenchman of Christiania, so gentle and modest, a prince of the blood standing upon the very steps of the throne of France!"

For some time the duke remained at Christiania, receiving many kind attentions. On one occasion he dined with a numerous party at a banker's in the city. In the evening, at the close of the entertainment, as the guests were departing, the duke was startled and alarmed by hearing the son of the banker, in a loud and somewhat playful tone, call out, "The carriage of the Duke of Orleans." For a moment he was much embarrassed. But perceiving that neither the young man nor any of the company turned their eyes to him, he recovered his self-possession, and calmly inquired of the young man, "Why do you call for the carriage of the Duke of Orleans? What have you to do with him?"

"Nothing at all," he replied, with a smile; "but in a journey which we, not long ago, made to Paris, every evening, as we were coming out of the opera, we heard the people shouting on all sides, and with the greatest eagerness, 'La voiture de Monseigneur le Duc d'Orleans! les gens de son Altesse Royale?' I was almost stunned by the noise. At the moment it occurred to me to imitate them, instead of simply calling for the carriage."

Continuing his journey to the north, the prince passed through Drontheim and Hamersfeldt, which latter place was then the most northern town in Europe. Some years after, when Louis Philippe had ascended the throne of France, he sent a clock to the church tower in Hamersfeldt, in graceful recognition of his hospitable reception there as a stranger.

[Illustration] from Louis Philippe by John S. C. Abbott


Continuing along the coast of Norway, he reached the Gulf of Salten, and visited the world-renowned Maelstrom. Taking an Icelander, by the name of Holm, as his guide, he entered Lapland. Thus journeying, he, on the 24th of August, 1795, reached North Cape, the extreme northern point of Europe, within eighteen degrees of the North Pole. It is said that no Frenchman had ever before visited those distant and frigid regions. Here the duke remained for several weeks, enjoying the hospitality of the simple-hearted inhabitants—winning their confidence by his affability, and deeply interested in studying their manners and customs.

Then, turning directly south, accompanied by several of the natives, he reached Tornev, on the extreme northern shore of the Gulf of Bothnia. Thence he traversed the eastern shores of the gulf for many weary leagues, to Abo, in Finland, where he embarked for the Aland Islands, and reached Stockholm the latter part of October. Here, notwithstanding all his endeavors to preserve his incognito, his curiosity to witness a grand court ball, given in honor of the birth-day of King Gustavus II., led to his recognition by the French envoy at that court, though he had adopted the precaution of entering the highest gallery in the ball-room.

The king, being informed of his presence, immediately dispatched a messenger to say that his majesty would be happy to see the duke. The kindest attentions were lavished upon him. From such attentions he deemed it prudent to escape, and speedily resumed his wanderings—searching out and carefully examining all objects of historical interest. Recrossing the Sound, he returned to Hamburg, by the way of Copenhagen and Lubeck. The Revolution was still running riot in France. The duke, having exhausted the resources at his disposal, found himself in truly an embarrassing situation.

The Directory was at that time ruling France with despotic sway. Ever trembling in fear of a reaction, the Directors would gladly place beneath the slide of the guillotine any one in whose veins there ran a drop of royal blood. Fearful of the great influence of the house of Orleans, even when its property was sequestered, and its members were in prison or in exile, the greatest efforts had been made, by means of secret agents, to find out the retreat of Louis Philippe. At length, by some means, they discovered him in the small town of Frederichstadt, in Holstein. His two brothers were then in prison in Marseilles, in hourly danger of being dragged to the guillotine, upon which their father had perished.

The Directory proposed to the Duchess of Orleans, who was imprisoned in Paris, and to Louis Philippe, now the head of the family, that if the duke and his brothers would embark for America, leaving Europe, the two imprisoned princes should be restored to liberty, and the sequestrated property of the family should be refunded.

Louis XVIII., also an emigrant, in the bosom of the armies of Austria, and surrounded by the armed nobility of France, had previously, through an envoy, urged Louis Philippe to join the emigrants, in their attempt, by the aid of the sword of foreigners, to re-establish the throne of France. But the prince was not willing to bear arms against his native land.

The agents of the Directory, who now approached the prince, presented him a letter from his mother. Her husband had suffered a cruel death from the executioner. Her two sons were in hourly peril of the same fate. Her eldest son and her daughter were in exile, wandering in poverty, she knew not where. She herself was a captive, cruelly separated from all her family, exposed to many insults, and liable, at any hour, to suffer upon the scaffold the same fate which her queen, Maria Antoinette, and many others of the noblest ladies of France had already endured.

The affectionate heart of this amiable woman was lacerated with anguish. She wrote a letter to her son, which was intrusted to the agents in search of him, imploring him, in the most affecting terms, to rescue the family, by a voluntary exile to America, from its dreadful woes and perils. In the letter she wrote:

"May the prospect of relieving the misfortunes of your distressed mother, of mitigating the sorrows of your family, and of contributing to restore peace to your unhappy country, reward your generosity."

The duke, upon the reception of this letter, decided at once to embark for America. To his mother he wrote: "When my beloved mother shall have received this letter, her commands will have been executed, and I shall have sailed for America. I shall embark in the first vessel destined for the United States. I no longer think that happiness is lost to me while I have it in my power to alleviate the sorrows of a cherished mother, whose situation and sufferings have for a long time rent my heart."

On the 24th of September, 1796, the Duke of Orleans embarked at Hamburg in an American vessel, "The America," then a regular packet plying between that port and Philadelphia. Still retaining his incognito, he represented himself as a Dane, and obtained Danish passports. He paid thirty-five guineas for his passage, and took with him his ever-faithful servant Baudoin, for whom he paid seventeen and a half guineas. A favorable passage of twenty-seven days landed them at Philadelphia, on the 21st of October, 1796.

We have not space here to describe the cruel sufferings of the two younger brothers of Louis Philippe during their captivity. The elder of the two, the Duke of Montpensier, was but seventeen years of age; the younger, Count Beaujolais, was but thirteen. The brothers were confined separately, in dark, fetid dungeons, and were not allowed any communication with each other. The health of Beaujolais soon began to suffer, and it was evident that he must die unless he could have fresh air. The Duke of Montpensier writes, in his touching autobiography:

"My brother Beaujolais was consequently permitted to spend two or three hours each day in the open air, and was then remanded to his dungeon. His cell being above mine, he was obliged to pass my door on his way out, and he never failed to call out, 'Good-day, Montpensier; how are you?' It is impossible to describe the effect his gentle voice had upon me, or the distress I felt when a day passed without my hearing it; for he was sometimes actually forbidden to utter these words, and was always hurried by so quickly that he had scarce time to hear my answer. Once, however, that he was permitted to remain until my dinner was brought, he kept so close to the heels of the basket-bearer that, in spite of the administrators, who tried to hold him back, he darted into my cell and embraced me. It was six weeks since I had seen him—six wretched weeks. The moment was precious, but how short! He was torn from me forthwith, with threats of being no more allowed to go out should the same scene be repeated. I myself was not afterwards permitted, when my cell door was opened, to go near enough to catch the breeze which passed up the narrow staircase."

The princes were not allowed to see the public journals, or to receive from their friends any letters which had not been previously examined by their jailers. They were left in entire ignorance of their father's execution until some time after his head had fallen. When the awful tidings were conveyed to them, both of the young princes, weakened by imprisonment and misery, fainted away. The hatred with which they were pursued is evinced by the epithet of wolves' cubs, which was ever applied to them in the clubs of the Jacobins. Eight francs a day were allowed for their support. Their mother had sent to them, for their immediate necessities, twelve thousand francs ($2400); but the magistrates had seized the whole sum. As the weary months rolled on, there were variations in the treatment of the illustrious prisoners—it sometimes being more and sometimes less brutal, but ever marked with almost savage ferocity. After the fall of Robespierre, a decree was passed—

"That the imprisoned members of the Orleans family should have the outer walls of the fort as the limits of their captivity, the privilege of ranging about within those bounds, and in future they were not to be locked up in their cells."

The mother of the princes, the Duchess of Orleans, who had been in close surveillance in the palace of the Luxembourg, in Paris, also experienced very considerable alleviation in the severity of her treatment. From various quarters the captives at length obtained funds, so that their pecuniary wants were supplied. On the 18th of November, 1795, the princes made a desperate but unavailing effort to escape. The breaking of a rope by which Montpensier was endeavoring to let himself down, outside of the walls, precipitated him from a great height to the ground, very seriously breaking one of his legs. He was recaptured, and suffered terribly from mental and bodily anguish. His brother, Beaujolais, having effected his escape, learning of the misfortune which had befallen his brother, returned, with true brotherly love, to voluntary captivity, that he might do something to cheer the sufferer.

Upon the return of Beaujolais, the commandant of the prison said, exultingly, to the Duke of Montpensier, who was writhing upon a bed of bodily suffering and of mental anguish:

"Your young brother is again my prisoner in the fortress, and burns with anxiety to see you. You are henceforth to be confined separately, and will no longer have an opportunity to communicate with each other."

The two brothers were allowed one short interview. "Ah, brother," said Beaujolais, "I fear we shall derive no benefit from what I have done, for we are to be confined separately. But without you it was impossible for me to enjoy liberty."

For forty days Montpensier was confined to his bed. It was a year and a half before he entirely recovered the use of his broken limb. Thus three years of almost unmitigated wretchedness passed away. There were many massacres in the prison; and often it seemed that miraculous interposition alone had saved them from a bloody death. Gradually the horrors of the Reign of Terror seemed to subside. The captive princes were allowed to occupy a room together, and that a comfortably furnished apartment in the fort, overlooking the sea. It was under these circumstances that the mother consented to their banishment to America, as the condition of their liberation. The Directory, however, would not open their prison doors until it had received official intelligence of the embarkation of Louis Philippe.

Immediately upon being satisfied that the Duke of Orleans had sailed from Hamburg, the authorities prepared to release the princes from their captivity, and to send them also to the New World. When all things were ready, General Willot, a humane man, who had arrived at Marseilles with extensive powers, informed them that the hour for their release had come.

"The prisoners at first could scarcely credit their senses. They looked steadfastly at each other; then, throwing themselves into each other's arms, they began to cry, laugh, leap about the room, and for several minutes continued to manifest a temporary derangement."

It would still be a few days before the vessel would sail. Jacobinical fury was such in Marseilles that it was not safe for the princes to appear in public, lest they should be torn in pieces by the mob. They were therefore removed to the house of the American consul, Mr. Cathalan, who had manifested almost a brotherly interest in their welfare.

"It is impossible to describe," writes the Duke Montpensier, in his autobiography, "the sensations I experienced in crossing the draw-bridge, and contrasting the present moment with the frightful occasions on which I had passed it before; the first time, on my entrance into that dismal fortress, where I had been immured for nearly three years of my life; and the second, on my unfortunate attempt to escape from it and recover my liberty. The gratifying reflection that I now trod on it for the last time could with difficulty impress itself upon my mind; and I could not avoid fancying that the whole was a sleeping vision, the illusion of which I was every moment apprehensive of seeing dissipated. On our exit from the fort, we were received by a strong detachment of grenadiers, who conducted us to the sloop."

Being thus placed under the protection of the stars and stripes, the soldiers of the Directory left them, and they repaired immediately from the vessel to the house of the American consul, where several friends had assembled to greet them.

"Here," continues M. Montpensier in his journal, "we passed very agreeably the few days that remained before the departure of the vessel for America. We were, indeed, true birds of the night—only venturing out after dusk; but our days passed happily enough. Still, we were too near that abode of misery, the fort, which we never ceased to think of without anguish. And so apprehensive were we of a sudden change in the sentiments of the existing Government, or an actual revolution in the Government itself, that our anxiety to depart was almost insupportable. At last we were informed that the vessel would sail the following day. The effect of this joyous news was the total loss of our rest during the night. Seven o'clock in the morning of the 5th of November, 1796, found us awake and in transports of delight at being permitted to take wings and fly to some land of toleration and liberty, since our own had ceased to be such.

"The citizens of Marseilles, being informed of our intended departure, assembled in crowds to see us embark. The ramparts of the fort were lined, the windows filled. Almost all congratulated us upon the recovery of our liberty. Some envied us our lot; while a few, undoubtedly, wished that the sea might ingulf us where its depth was greatest, and rid France of two members of the proscribed and hated race. The anchor was raised, and the sails were set. A favorable breeze springing up, we soon lost sight of that country in which we had been victims of a persecution so relentless, but for whose prosperity and happiness we never ceased to offer up our prayers to heaven."

The voyage was long and stormy. It was not until after the expiration of ninety-two days that the vessel, the "Jupiter," reached Philadelphia, in February, 1797. Here, with inexpressible emotions of joy, they found their brother awaiting their arrival. They took up their residence in a humble house in Walnut Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets, adjoining the church; from which they soon removed to a house which they rented from the Spanish consul, in Sixth Street.

Philadelphia was then the seat of the Federal Government. The incognito of the princes was removed, and they were received with marked respect and attentions. They were present when Washington delivered his Farewell Address to Congress, and also witnessed the inauguration of President Adams. The funds of the princes, though not large, enabled them to meet their frugal expenses. In the early summer the three princes—accompanied by the faithful servant Baudoin, who had accompanied Louis Philippe in all his wanderings—set out on horseback to visit Baltimore and other Southern cities. The present City of Washington did not then exist. They, however, visited Georgetown, where they were hospitably entertained by Mr. Law.

Passing through Alexandria, they took the road to Mount Vernon, where they had been invited to pass a few days with perhaps the most illustrious man of modern ages. Washington, with whom they had become acquainted in Philadelphia, and who had invited them to his house, received them with the greatest kindness. The modest, gentlemanly, heroic character of these remarkable young men deeply impressed him. He furnished them with letters of introduction, and drew up an itinerary of their journey, south and west, directing their attention to especial objects of interest.

In those early days, and through that wild, almost uncultivated country, travelling was attended with not a little difficulty and with some danger. Mounted on horseback, with all their baggage in saddle-bags, the princes took leave of their honored host, and rode, by the way of Leesburg and Harper's Ferry, to Winchester, where they were entertained in the celebrated inn of Mr. Bush. An American has in the following terms described the character and appearance of this celebrated landlord:

"I have him in my mind's eye as he was then, portly, ruddy, though advanced in life, with a large, broad-brimmed hat, and with his full clothes of the olden time, looking the very patriarch of his establishment. He had two houses—one for his family, and the other for his guests; and there was no resting-place in all that rich valley more frequented by travellers than his. It was a model of neatness and comfort, and the excellent man who built it up, and who continued it more from the desire of employment than from the love of gain, seemed to consider the relations subsisting between the traveller and himself as a favor to the former rather than to the latter."

Mr. Bush had been in Manheim, which Louis Philippe had recently visited, and he could speak German. This created quite an intimacy between guest and host, and led to a long conversation. The journey had been rough, the exposure great, and the youngest brother, unaccustomed to such fatigue, was greatly exhausted. The Duke of Orleans, who watched over his brother with parental tenderness, out of regard to his prostration, asked the privilege, so common in Europe, of having their dinner served to them in their own room. The pride of the republican inn-keeper was touched.

"Such a request," writes G. N. Wright, "had never been heard in the fair and fertile vale of Shenandoah, or, at all events, within the limits of Bush's Winchester Hotel. It infringed his rules; it wounded his professional pride; it assailed his very honor. The recollection of Manheim, and the pleasant days he had passed there—the agreeable opportunity of living over those hours again in the conversation of the Duke of Orleans—the gentle conduct of the three young strangers—were all, in a moment of extravagant folly, passion, and intractableness, forgotten, flung to the winds, when, with a scornful air, he addressed Louis Philippe:

"'Since you are too good to eat at the same table with my guests, you are too good to eat in my house. I desire, therefore, that you leave it instantly.'"

In vain did the Duke of Orleans endeavor to explain and convince his irate host that he intended no disrespect. The weary travellers were compelled immediately to leave, and to seek hospitality elsewhere. Continuing their journey through a variety of adventures, some amusing and some painful, they passed through Staunton, Abington, and Knoxville, and reached Nashville, in Tennessee. After a short tarry here, they continued their ride through Louisville, Lexington, Maysville, Chilicothe, Lancaster, Zanesville, Wheeling, to Pittsburg, in Pennsylvania. Their accommodations in these vast wilds were often of the humblest kind. The three brothers often slept on the floor, wrapped in their cloaks, in some wretched hut, with their feet towards the blazing fire, while their landlord and his wife occupied the only bed in the only room.

At Pittsburg the travellers rested for several days. From that place the princes directed their steps to Buffalo, skirting, for some distance, the shores of Lake Erie. At Cattaraugus they were the guests, for one night, of the Seneca Indians. They felt some anxiety in reference to their baggage, the loss of which, in those distant regions, would have been a serious calamity. The chief, perceiving their solicitude, said that he would be personally responsible for every article which might be committed to his care, but for nothing else. After a little reflection, the duke placed in his hands saddles, bridles, blankets, clothes, and money—every thing, except a beautiful dog, which he did not think of including in the inventory. All were restored in the morning, excepting that the dog was missing. "If the dog," said the chief, "had been intrusted to my care, it would have been waiting your departure." With some difficulty the favorite animal was reclaimed.

At Buffalo the travellers crossed the head of the Niagara River, and, passing down the Canadian shore, visited the world-renowned falls. On their way, they passed a night in the huts of the Chippewa Indians. The following extracts, written by the Duke of Montpensier to his sister, throw much light upon the character of these excellent young men. It was dated August 14, 1797:

"I hope you have received the letters which we wrote to you from Pittsburg about two months ago. We were then in the midst of a long journey, which we have terminated only fifteen days since. It occupied us four months. We journeyed during all that time a thousand leagues, and always upon the same horses, except the last hundred leagues, which we performed partly by water, partly on foot, partly on hired horses, and partly by stage, or the public conveyance.

"We have seen many Indians, and we remained even many days in their country. They are, in general, the best people in the world, except when they are intoxicated or inflamed by passion. They received us with great kindness; and our being Frenchmen contributed not a little to this reception, for they are very fond of our nation. The most interesting object we visited, after the Indian villages, was certainly the Cataract of Niagara, which I wrote you word from Pittsburg that we were going to see. It is the most astonishing and majestic spectacle I have ever witnessed. I have made a sketch of it, from which I intend to make a water-color drawing, which our dear little sister shall certainly see at our beloved mother's home.

"To give you an idea of the agreeable manner in which they travel in this country, I must tell you, dear sister, that we passed fourteen nights in the woods, devoured by all kinds of insects, often wet to the bone, without being able to dry ourselves, and our only food being pork, a little salt beef, and maize bread. Independently of this adventure, we were forty or fifty nights in miserable huts, where we were obliged to lie upon a floor made of rough timber, and to endure all the taunts and murmuring of the inhabitants, who often turned us out of doors, often refused us admission, and whose hospitality was always defective. I should never recommend a similar journey to any friend of mine; yet we are far from repenting what we have done, since we have all three brought back excellent health and more experience.

"Adieu, beloved and cherished sister—so tenderly loved. Receive the embraces of three brothers, whose thoughts are constantly with you."

As the travellers were proceeding from Buffalo to Canandaigua, over a country so rude that they suffered more than on any other part of their journey, they met Mr. Alexander Baring, afterwards Lord Ashburton, whose acquaintance they had made in Philadelphia. Mr. Baring was on a tour to Niagara, from which the princes were returning. His patience was quite exhausted by the hardships he was enduring on the way; and he expressed the doubt whether the sight of Niagara could repay one for such excessive toil and privation. His experience must, indeed, have been different from that of the modern tourist, who glides smoothly along in the palace-cars. Arriving at Geneva, they took a boat and sailed up Seneca Lake to its head; whence they crossed over to Tioga Point, on the Susquehanna. The last twenty-five miles of this trip they accomplished on foot, each one carrying his baggage. Passing through the country, in almost a direct line, by the way of Wilkesbarre, they returned to Philadelphia.

Soon after their return the yellow-fever broke out in Philadelphia with great malignity, in July, 1797. The princes had expended on their long journey all their funds, and were impatiently awaiting remittances from Europe. They were thus unable to withdraw from the pestilence, from which all who had the means precipitately fled. It was not until September that their mother succeeded in transmitting to them a remittance.

With these fresh resources they commenced a journey to the Eastern States, passing through the States of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, to Boston; and it is said that they extended their travels to Hallowell, in the District of Maine, to call upon the Vaughans, an illustrious family from England, then residing there.

Louisiana at that time belonged to Spain. The exiles decided to cross the country to the Ohio, descend the river to New Orleans, and thence to proceed to Havana, on the island of Cuba, by some Spanish vessel. Returning to Philadelphia, they set out, on the 10th of December, 1797, to cross the Alleghanies. Upon those heights and gorges winter had already set in, and the cold was very severe. Just before leaving, they learned that the Directory had passed a decree banishing every member of the Bourbon family from France, including their mother, who was a Bourbon only by marriage, and that their mother had taken refuge in Spain. At that time Spain was in alliance with France, and the British Government was consequently at war against it.

At Pittsburg they found the Alleghany still open, but the Monongahela was frozen over. They purchased a small keel-boat, which they found lying upon the ice, and with considerable difficulty transported it to a point where they could launch it in the open water, though the stream was encumbered with vast masses of floating ice. Then the three brothers, with but three attendants, embarked to float down the Ohio and the Mississippi, through an almost unbroken wilderness of nearly two thousand miles, to New Orleans. When they arrived at Wheeling, Virginia, where there was a small settlement, they found their way hedged up by solid ice, which filled the stream, from shore to shore. They drew their boat upon the land, to wait for an opening through this effectual barricade. Louis Philippe, with characteristic energy, impatient of delay, ascended an eminence, and, carefully surveying the windings of the river, found that the obstruction of ice occupied only about three miles, beyond which the stream was clear.

Watching their opportunity, they forced their way through some miles of broken ice, and continued their adventurous voyage. An American military courier, less energetic, was detained three weeks by the obstructions which the French party thus speedily overcame. At Marietta, Ohio, they found another small village. Here they landed to lay in supplies; and they spent some time in examining those Indian mounds so profusely scattered there—interesting memorials of an extinct race.

Continuing their voyage amidst the masses of ice which still encumbered these northern waters, they one day, through the negligence of their helmsman, ran against a branch of a tree, termed a snag, and stove in their bows. The boat was immediately unloaded, drawn upon the shore, and in twenty-four hours was so repaired as to enable them to continue their journey. As they entered more southern latitudes the floating ice disappeared, and the voyage became more pleasant, as they rapidly floated down the tortuous stream, by forests and headlands, and every variety of wild, sublime, and beautiful scenery, until they reached New Orleans, on the 17th of February, 1798.

Here they met with a very friendly welcome, not only from the colonists generally, but from the Spanish governor, Don Gayoso. They were detained in New Orleans five weeks, awaiting the arrival of the corvette which was engaged in conveying passengers and light freight from that port to Havana. Impatient of the delay, as the packet did not arrive, they embarked in an American vessel. England was then truly mistress of the seas. She made and executed her own laws, regardless of all expostulations from other nations.

As the American vessel was crossing the Gulf of Mexico, she was encountered by an English frigate, which, by firing several guns, brought her to, and immediately boarded her. The British Government had adopted the very extraordinary principle that an English ship might stop a ship, of whatever nationality, on the seas, board her, summon her passengers and crew upon the deck, and impress, to serve as British seamen, any of those passengers or crew whom the officers of the frigate might pronounce to be British subjects. From their decision there was no appeal.

"The princes," says the Rev. G. N. Wright, "had an opportunity of witnessing one of those violations of international law which not only marked but degraded the maritime history of that period, by the gross sacrifice of public law and private liberty. This was the seizure and impressment of men employed on board neutral vessels, and compelling them to enter the navy of a foreign country. The crew, being mustered on the deck, Captain Cochrane selected the ablest hands from among them—taking them on a service in which they not only had no interest, but with which some of them were actually at variance, and might, therefore, be compelled to fight against their own country.

"It is not the least strange, of all the strange events which have occurred in those days of change, that a young man, a passenger on board an American ship, and who was brought by circumstances in contact with the practical operation of the iniquitous claim which Great Britain set up—of taking out of vessels sailing under the American flag any person they pleased—should have been called upon subsequently, when upon the throne of France, by the English Government to disavow the forcible abduction of a seaman from an English ship."

Many years after this, when Louis Philippe was king of the French, a French frigate, from a squadron blockading Vera Cruz, boarded an English packet-ship, and took out of her a Mexican pilot. All England resounded with a burst of indignation. Both Houses of Parliament passed a decree that such an act was a gross outrage upon the British flag, which demanded immediate apology from the French Government.

"The pilot," said Lord Lyndhurst, "had come on board, under the protection of the British flag. But in this instance it was no protection. A more grave and serious outrage was never committed against our country."

"Any man," said Lord Brougham, "on board a British merchantman is as much under the protection of the British flag as if he were on board the queen's ship. The gravemen of the charge is that a man has been taken from an English ship."

Louis Philippe, who deemed it essential to the stability of his throne to maintain friendly relations with the British Government, humbly disavowed the act in the name of his country, while he considerately forbore from taunting the British Government with its own opposite and arbitrary course, or from congratulating it upon the happy change of principles which it had so suddenly experienced.

Captain Cochrane, learning that the Duke of Orleans, with his brothers, the Duke of Montpensier and Count Beaujolais, were on board the small and uncomfortable American vessel, politely invited them to continue the remainder of their voyage in the enjoyment of the superior accommodations of his large and commodious ship. The deck of the frigate towered far above that of the humble American merchantman. A rope was lowered to assist the travellers in their ascent. The Duke of Orleans slipped his hold and fell into the sea. Being an excellent swimmer, he swam around to the stern of the ship, where a boat was lowered, which rescued him from his unwelcome bath. On the 31st of March, 1798, the British frigate landed them safely in Havana.