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[141] was not much fanaticism in this; it was the out-breathed despair of the heart of a poet, whose family has been exterminated by one revolution, and who has himself been sacrificed to another; and, though I do not think of the destinies of Europe and the world very much as he does, yet I shall, as long as I live, respect him for what I saw of his feelings to-night.


To Elisha Ticknor.

Paris, June 13, 1817.
. . . . You tell me, in whatever country I am, ‘to say nothing against its government.’ I have never done so, least of all in France, where, on the whole, an impartial man would respect the present government and the Bourbon family; and yet I have become, by some means of which I have no conjecture, suspected by the police here. Just as I was finishing my French lesson (on the 10th), at half-past 6 A. M., two persons asked to see me, but declined giving their names. I told my servant to admit them. The oldest, a respectable-looking man, asked me if I knew him; to which I replied in the negative; and then, inquiring whether I was an American citizen, he said he wished to speak to me in private; upon which my instructor withdrew. The stranger then, unbuttoning his coat, showed the badge of the police, and presented to me a royal order signed by the minister of police, requiring him to take the justice of the peace of my quarter, to proceed to my lodgings, and to institute a ‘severe search’ for ‘all papers, libels or libellous writings, and books dangerous to the government,’ —to seal up all such as might be found of this nature, and carry them to the office of the police.

I did not hesitate a moment what to do. The commissaries who were standing guard outside were called in. I opened—not without making a proper protest against the outrage—my drawers and my desk, sat myself quietly down, and told them to do what they saw fit, upon peril of their responsibility. The search occupied until nearly eleven o'clock; and, after reading all my letters, my journal, my copies, etc.,—or as much of them as was necessary to be sure they were merely domestic and commonplace,—they finished by drawing up a proces verbal of two folio pages, saying, as you may well suppose, that they had found nothing, for in truth there was nothing to find. On parting with the gentlemen, I read them a lecture on the nature of the fruitless outrage they had committed, of the cause of which they were of course as ignorant as myself; and the justice of the peace in return expressed his regrets, and his conviction that I was ‘not a ’


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