St Ives

St Ives

Being the Adventures of a French Prisoner in England

Published

Excerpt:

self! I kept my seat, at first in the confusion of my mind, later on from policy; and she stood, and leaned a little over me, as in pity. She was very still and timid; her voice was low. Did I suffer in my captivity? she asked me. Had I to complain of any hardship?

'Mademoiselle, I have not learned to complain,' said I. 'I am a soldier of Napoleon.'

She sighed. 'At least you must regret La France,' said she, and coloured a little as she pronounced the words, which she did with a pretty strangeness of accent.

'What am I to say?' I replied. 'If you were carried from this country, for which you seem so wholly suited, where the very rains and winds seem to become you like ornaments, would you regret, do you think? We must surely all regret! the son to his mother, the man to his country; these are native feelings.'

'You have a mother?' she asked.

'In heaven, mademoiselle,' I answered. 'She, and my father also, went by the same road to heaven as so many others of the fair and brave: they fo