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with a "ça, ça!" and a "holà!" So away
we went.

I need not describe our visit to Sans Souci,
the Haïtian Balmoral. We were told of a
strong fortress among the mountains filling
the horizon in which the courtiers fabled that
there was a royal treasure to the amount of
sixty millions of pounds value, no more and
no less. We wandered with black maids of
honour over lawns smiling with the richest
and softest beauty. We dined luxuriously
from tables covered with the finest damask,
and set out with a profusion of rich plate.
We were served by footmen in the royal
livery of blue and black, with thin shoes and
silk stockings. When the cloth had been
removed, though thirty years have passed
since then, I still remember the grizzled head
of Christophe as he rose to speak; and, being
overcome with some thought, passed his hand
before his forehead, and sat down while the
breeze was sighing audibly in the thick
foliage outside an adjoining open window.

We left Hati after the stay of a day or
two, and were, I believe, at Jamaica, when
a vessel from Monte Christi, a port on the
northern shore of St. Domingo, brought
important news. This was two months after
our visit to the Black Prince. My captain,
crossing over to the side of the deck where I
was, and holding a letter in his hand, told me
of Haïti being in revolt, the government
upset, the King dethroned. Christophe had
been seized with illness;—poison was hinted
at. His English doctor prescribed for him
in vain; and, while he lay thus prostrate, a
revolution broke out. It began with the
mutiny of one regiment, the ringleaders of
which were immediately shot. The flame,
however, spread. The Englishman was offered
untold riches, could he but enable the King
to sit his horse for one hour, half an hour,
ten minutes:—in vain. Christophe was able
only to think, to plan, and to give orders
from his couch, that never were obeyed.
Partial risings took place amongst those who
had considered themselves hardly dealt with.
Pillage began; massacre followed. The royal
guards poured out of their barracks into the
great square before the palaceChristophe's
proposed ten minutes might have bound them
to him; but they joined the movement.
Obnoxious officers were sacrificed upon the
spot, the Prussian adjutant being the first to
die. The Prince Royal was forced into the
ranks; his uniform having been first torn
from his back, but he himself was only
maltreated; for being popular, they did not
kill him. Christophe, lifted into his carriage
from a back door, fled at a gallop for his
mountain fastness. The garrison of that still
remained faithful.

The Queen and the Princesses escaped on
board, a merchantman which carried them
to England. Amongst the domestics of the
palace, there were, as ever, some devoted
people who perilled gladly their own lives to
save their master and his family. The mountain
hold proved to be no shelter for the king
against a host. The country rose, the troops
followed the flying monarch, and he was soon
surrounded in the den to which he had
escaped, by a mixed multitude. Christophe
saw then that his hour was come: mercy
was not to be expected from a rugged populace
and a revolted Prætorian band. He was
summoned to surrender, and replied by
discharging a pistol into his own heart. So he
died. The mob sacked his treasure tower,
and if they carried away property worth sixty
millions of pounds somebody's nest must have
been very warmly feathered.

As a man and a king Christophe may have
deserved his fate; but as a giver of good
dinners, whose politeness and whose
champagne I had appreciated, he is remembered
by me to this day, as a man whom it was
surely barbarous to crush.


"MY boy, my poor blind boy!"

This sorrowful exclamation broke from the
lips of Mrs. Owen, as she lay upon the couch
to which a long and wasting illness had
confined her, and whence she well knew she was
never more to rise.

Her son, the only child of her widowed
hearth, the sole object of her cares and affections,
knelt beside her, his face bowed upon
her pillow, for now only, in a moment of
solemn communion with his mother, had she
revealed the fatal truth, and told him she
must soon die! He had watched, and hoped,
and trembled for many weary months, but
never yet had he admitted to himself the
possibility of losing her; her fading cheek
and sunken eye could not reveal to him the
progress of decay, and so long as the loved
voice maintained its music to his ear and
cheered him with promise of improvement,
so long as her hand still clasped his, he had
hoped she would recover.

He had been blind since he was three
years old; stricken by lightning, he had
totally lost his sight. A dim remembrance of
his widowed mother's face, her smoothly
braided hair, and flowing white dress, was
one of the few recollections entwined with
the period before all became dark to him.

The boy; grew up, tall, slender, delicate,
with dark pensive eyes which bore no trace
of the calamity that had destroyed their
powers of vision; grave, though not sad;
dreamy, enthusiastic, and requiting his
mother's care with the deepest veneration
and tenderness. In the first years of his
childhood, and also whenever his education
did not take them to London and elsewhere,
they had resided near a town on the sea-coast
in one of the prettiest parts of England.

Independently of the natural kindness
which very rarely fails to be shown towards
any person who is blind, there was that