previous next

[145] Gallatin assured him that it was not to know the causes, or to complain of the manner, that he had desired to see him, but to ascertain the fact, and gave him the Duke de Richelieu's letter. On reading it, Mr. Gallatin said, he was first very much alarmed at finding he had confessed something he should not have told, and then very angry that his conduct was thus disavowed. ‘But,’ said Mr. Gallatin, ‘can there be no mistake?’ ‘Certainly not,’ said the officer; ‘for the order was directed to an American citizen, living in the Rue Taranne, No. 10; and, though there was a mistake in the name, it was only a mistake in spelling it, and I mentioned this circumstance expressly in my proces verbal, which Mr. Ticknor also signed himself, and therefore they know it all, as well as you and I do, and I can prove it, and exculpate myself, unless they have destroyed my proc's verbal.’ He ended by saying that he hoped I should not push the affair any further, which certainly would be best for him, though I doubt not he acted with perfect prudence under his instructions.

There, then, the matter rests. I told Mr. Gallatin that I felt no further interest in it, and he replied that nothing could now be done, but to write to the Minister, and give him the name of the commissary, which he felt so reluctant to do that perhaps he should not do it at all. I acquiesced the more gladly, as this was precisely the man who had behaved most civilly; and thus, I presume, the affair ends. If it were carried further, the reply, no doubt, would be, that it was a mistake arising from similarity of names, which would be as true as that the examination of my papers was unauthorized.

In the Journal, the account of this singular visitation is almost identical with this,—perhaps with less vivacity; but, under the date of June 19th, there is this passage:—

At last, I believe I have found out the cause of my difficulty with the police. M. de Humboldt, having heard of the visitation, called on me this morning, for the express purpose of cautioning me against an Englishman, whom we have both met at Benjamin Constant's. He has lived in Paris fifteen years, and is well known as a spy. M. de Humboldt adds that he is very ill-tempered, and that he never passes an evening in his company without recalling, at home, everything he has said, to know whether possibly he may have exposed himself at all. With this man I had a slight argument at Constant's, one evening, on German literature, in which Constant took my side; but the thing went but a little way, as the Englishman showed ill-feeling, and I chose to remain silent. Humboldt remarked it, and said he thought

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Gallatin, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Albert Gallatin (3)
M. Humboldt (2)
Elisha Ticknor (1)
M. De Humboldt (1)
Benjamin Constant (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 19th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: