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The general in command seized the document, but the men, who had no great love for the empress, insisted that it should be read. Their request was refused, and of them at once deserted their standards and joined the ranks of the rebel chief. Alarmed by this defection, the Russian general withdrew to the citadel, while Pugatscheff encamped about a league off, hoping that further desertions would follow, and that the place would fall into his hands. In this he was disappointed; for his fellow-countrymen, although disloyal at heart, did not wish to commit themselves to a desperate undertaking which might involve them in ruin, and were disposed to wait until some success had attended the insurrection.

The who had precipitately chosen the rebellion had induced about a dozen of their officers to join them; but these men, suddenly repenting, refused to break their [35] oath of allegiance, and were at once hanged from the neighbouring trees. Finding further persuasion fruitless, Pugatscheff wisely refrained from any attempt to reduce the fortress, and marched his band towards Orenburg.

On the way he secured large accessions to his force, and in a few days found himself at the head of men. With this army he attacked the fortified town of Iletzka, which offered no resistance—the garrison passing over to him. The commandant consented to share in the enterprise with his followers, but Pugatscheff wanted no commandants or men of intelligence who might interfere with his schemes, and gave orders for his immediate execution. The cannon captured at Iletzka were then pointed against Casypnaja, which yielded after a brief struggle.

Thus fortress after fortress fell into the hands of the reputed emperor, who gladly received the common soldiery, but mercilessly slew their leaders. Crowds of Cossacks heard the intelligence with joy, and hastened to cast in their lot with the army of Pugatscheff. Talischova, a powerful fortress, defended by regular troops, fell before his assault; and the false Peter soon found himself possessed of numerous strongholds, a formidable train of artillery, and a fighting force of men.

Considering himself strong enough to attempt the reduction of Orenburg, the capital of the southern provinces, he marched against it. Here, however, he encountered a stubborn resistance, and attack after attack was repulsed with heavy loss. These repeated failures did not discourage the pretender or his adherents. The Cossacks continued to flock to his banners, and when General Carr, who had been despatched from Moscow to suppress the revolt, arrived in the neighbourhood of Orenburg, he found the rebel chief at the head of 16, soldiers.

An advanced guard, which was sent to harass his movements, fell into the hands of Pugatscheff, who nearly exterminated it, and straightway hanged the officers [36] who were made captive, according to his usual custom. Emboldened by his success, he attacked the main body, and ignominiously defeated it in the open field; and Carr, panic-struck, fled to the capital, leaving General Freyman, if possible, to oppose the advance of the revolutionists.

The result of this decisive victory was soon apparent. Province after province declared in favour of the pretender, chief after chief placed his sword at his service, and Pugatscheff began to play the emperor in earnest. He conferred titles upon his most distinguished officers, granted sealed commissions, and constructed foundries and powder manufactories in various places. Catherine, by this time thoroughly alarmed, despatched another army to the Ukraine under General Bibikoff, an experienced and resolute officer.

He arrived at Casan in February , and issued a manifesto, exposing Pugatscheff's imposture, and calling upon the rebels to lay down their arms. He also caused coin to be impressed with his effigy, and the inscription " Redivivus et Ultor. But Bibikoff was not a man to remain inactive, and lost no time in attacking him. Again and again he was defeated, the siege of the two strongholds was raised, and on more than one occasion his army was dispersed, and he was left at the head of only a few hundred followers.

But, if the Cossack hordes could be easily dissipated, they could rally with equal ease; and on several occasions, when the rebellion seemed to be completely crushed, it suddenly burst out afresh, and Pugatscheff, who was supposed to be hiding like a hunted criminal, appeared at the head of a larger force than ever. Thus at one time scarcely men followed him to a retreat in the Ural Mountains: in a few days he was at the head of 20, men, and took Casan by storm, with the exception of the citadel, which resisted his most determined attacks.

Here he perpetrated the greatest atrocities, until the imperial troops arrived and wrested the town from [37] his grasp, seizing his artillery and his ammunition. For a time his position appeared desperate, and he fled across the Volga, but only to re-appear again at the head of an enormous force, and, as a conqueror, fortress after fortress yielding at his summons. At length a Russian army under Colonel Michelsohn overtook him and gave him battle.

Pugatscheff held a strong position, had 24 pieces of artillery and 20, men, but his raw levies were no match for the regular troops. His position was turned, and a panic seized his followers, who deserted their guns and their baggage, and fled precipitately, leaving dead and prisoners behind them. Pugatscheff himself made for the Volga, closely pursued by the Russian cavalry, who cut down the half of his escort before they could embark.

With sixty men he succeeded in escaping into the desert, and at last it was evident that his game was played out. The only three outlets were soon closed by separate detachments of the imperial troops, and the fugitives were thus confined in an arid waste without shelter, without provisions, and without water.

The situation was so hopeless that each man only thought of saving himself, and Pugatscheff's companions were not slow to perceive that their sole chance of life lay in sacrificing their leader. Accordingly, they fell upon him while he was ravenously devouring a piece of horseflesh—the only food which he could command—and, having bound him, handed him over to his enemies.

As Moscow had shown some sympathy for him, he was carried in chains to that city, and was there condemned to death. Several of his principal adherents likewise suffered punishment at the same time. On the 23d of January , Pugatscheff and his followers were led to the place of execution, where a large scaffold had been erected. Some had their tongues cut out, the noses of others were cut off, eighteen were knouted and sent to Siberia, and the chief was decapitated—his body being afterwards cut in pieces and exposed in different parts of the town.

He met his fate with the utmost fortitude. On the death of Feodor, son of Ivan the Terrible, the Russian throne was occupied by Boris Godunoff, who had contrived to procure the murder of Dimitri, or Demetrius, the younger brother of Feodor. For a time he governed well; but the crafty nobles beginning to plot against him, he had recourse to measures of extreme cruelty and severity, so that even the affections of the common people were alienated from him, and universal confusion ensued. Advantage was taken of this state of affairs by a monk named Otrefief, who bore an almost miraculous likeness to the murdered Dimitri, to assume the name of the royal heir.

At first he proceeded cautiously, and, retiring to Poland, by degrees made public the marvellous tale of his wrongs and of his escape from his assassins. Many of the leading nobles listened to his recitals and believed them. In order to render his campaign more certain, the pretender set himself to learn the Polish language, and acquired it with remarkable rapidity. Nor did he rest here. He represented to the Poles that he was disposed to embrace the Catholic faith; and by assuring the Pope that if he regained the throne of his ancestors, his first care should be to recall his subjects to their obedience to Rome, he succeeded in securing the patronage and the blessing of the Pontiff.

Sendomir, a wealthy boyard, not only espoused his cause, and gave him pecuniary help, but promised him his daughter Marina in marriage whenever he became the Czar of Muscovy. Marina herself was no less eager for the union, and through Sendomir's influence the support of the King of Poland was obtained. News of the imposture soon reached Moscow, and Boris instantly denounced Dimitri as an impostor, and sent emissaries to endeavour to secure his arrest. In this, however, they were unsuccessful; and the false Dimitri not only succeeded in raising a considerable [39] force in Poland, but also in convincing the great mass of the Russian population that he really was the son of Ivan.

In he appeared on the Russian frontier at the head of a small but efficient force, and overthrew the army which Boris had sent against him. His success was supposed by the ignorant peasantry to be entirely due to the interposition of Providence, which was working on the side of the injured prince, and Dimitri was careful to foster the delusion that his cause was specially favoured by heaven.

He treated his prisoners with the greatest humanity, and ordered his followers to refrain from excesses, and to cultivate the goodwill of the people. The result was that his ranks rapidly increased, while those of the czar diminished. Even foreign governments began to view the offender with favour; and at last Boris, devoured by remorse for the crimes which he had committed, and by chagrin at the evil fate which had fallen upon him, lost his reason and poisoned himself.

The chief nobles assembled when the death of the czar was made known, and proclaimed his son Feodor emperor in his stead; but the lad's reign was very brief. The greater part of the army and the people declared in favour of Dimitri, and the citizens of Moscow having invited him to assume the reins of power, Dimitri made a triumphal entry into the capital, and was crowned with great pomp. At first he ruled prudently, and, had he continued as he began, might have retained his strangely acquired throne.

But after a time he gave himself up to the gratification of his own wild passions, and lost the popularity which he really had succeeded in gaining. He disgusted the Russians by appointing numerous Poles, who had swelled his train, to the highest posts in the empire, to the exclusion of meritorious officers, who not only deserved well of their country, but also had claims upon himself for services which they had rendered. These Polish officers misconducted themselves sadly, and the people murmured sore.

The czar, too, made no secret of his attachment to the Catholic faith; and while by so doing he irritated the clergy, he provoked the boyards by his haughty patronage, and disgusted the [40] common people by his cruelty and lewdness. At last the murmurs grew so loud and threatening, that some means had to be devised to quiet the popular discontent, and Dimitri had recourse to a strange stratagem. The widow of Ivan, who had long before been immured in a convent by the orders of Boris, and had been kept there by his successor, was released from her confinement, and was induced publicly to acknowledge Dimitri as her son.

The widowed empress knew full well that her life depended upon her obedience; but notwithstanding her outward consent to the fraud, the people were not satisfied, and demanded proofs of Dimitri's birth, which were not forthcoming.

Discontent continued to spread, and at length the popular fury could no longer be restrained. According to his promise, the sham czar married Marina, the daughter of the Polish boyard. The very fact that she was a Pole made her distasteful to the Russians; but that fact was rendered still more offensive by the manner of her entrance into the capital, and the treatment which the Muscovites received at the bridal ceremony.

The bride was surrounded by a large retinue of armed Poles, who marched through the streets of Moscow with the mien of conquerors; the Russian nobles were excluded from all participation in the festivities; and the common people were treated by their emperor with haughty insolence, and held up to the scorn of his foreign guests.

A report also became rife that a timber fort, which Dimitri had erected opposite the gates of the city, had been constructed solely for the purpose of giving the bloodthirsty Marina a martial spectacle, and that, sheltered behind its wooden walls, the Polish troops and the czar's bodyguard would throw firebrands and missiles among the crowds of spectators below.

This idle rumour was carefully circulated; the clergy, who had long been disaffected, went from house to house denouncing the czar as a heretic, and calling an their countrymen to rise against the insolent traducer of their religion; and the secret of his birth and imposition was everywhere proclaimed.

The people burst into open revolt, and, headed by the native prince Schnisky, rushed [41] to storm the imperial palace. The Polish troops broke their ranks and fled, and were massacred in the streets. Dimitri himself sought to escape by a private avenue in the confusion; but watchful enemies were lying in wait for him. He was overtaken and killed, and his body was exposed for three days in front of the palace, so that the mob might wreak their vengeance upon his inanimate clay.

Marina and her father were captured, and after being detained for a little time were set at liberty. By the death of the impostor, the throne was left vacant, and the privilege of electing a new czar reverted to the people. Schnisky, who had headed the revolt, made good use of his opportunity and popularity, and while the people were exulting over their success, contrived to secure the empire for himself.

But when the heat of triumph died away, the nobles were chagrined because they had elevated one of their own number to rule over them, and the reaction against the new czar was as strong and as rapid as the extraordinary movement in his favour had been. The Muscovite nobles were determined to oust him from his newly-found dignities, and for this purpose adopted the strange expedient of reviving the dead Dimitri.

It mattered little to them that the breathless carcase of the impostor had been seen by thousands. They presumed upon the gullibility of their countrymen, and, asserting that Dimitri had escaped and was prepared to come forward to claim his throne, endeavoured to stir up an insurrection.

The cheat, however, was not popular, and the sham czar of the nobles never appeared. But although the nobles failed in their attempt to foist another Dimitri upon their fellow-countrymen, the Poles, who were interested for their countrywoman Marina, were not discouraged from trying the same ruse. They produced a flesh-and-blood candidate for the Russian sceptre. This person was a Polish schoolmaster, who bore a striking likeness to the real Dimitri, and who was sufficiently intelligent to play his part creditably.

To give a greater semblance of truth to their imposture, they succeeded in persuading Marina to abet [42] them; and not only did she openly assert that the new Dimitri was her husband, but she embraced him publicly, and actually lived with him as his wife. At the time that this impostor appeared, Sigismund declared war against Russia, and his marshal Tolkiewski succeeded in inflicting a terrible defeat on Schnisky. Moscow yielded before the victorious Poles; and in despair Schnisky renounced the crown and retired into a monastery.

But no sooner was the diadem vacant than a host of false Dimitris appeared to claim it, and the chief power was tossed from one party to another during a weary interregnum. At last, in , Sigismund, who had remained at Smolensko while his marshal advanced upon Moscow, proclaimed his own son Vladislaf to the vacant sovereignty, and the pretended Dimitri sank into obscurity.

Others, however, arose; and although some of them perished on the scaffold, it was not until that Russia was freed from the last of the disturbing impostors who attempted to personate princes of the race of Ivan the Terrible. In the year , there lived in Constantinople one Giovanni Jacobo Cesii, a Persian merchant of high repute throughout the Levant. This man, who was descended from a noble Roman family, was on most intimate terms with Jumbel Agha, the Sultan's chief eunuch, who sometimes gave him strange commissions.

Among other instructions which the merchant received from the chief of the imperial harem, was an order to procure privately the prettiest girl he could find in the slave marts of Stamboul, where at this time pretty girls were by no means rare. Jumbel Agha intended this damsel as an adornment for his own household, and a personal companion for himself, and particularly specified [43] that to her beauty she should add modesty and virginity.

Cesii executed his orders to the best of his ability, and procured for the bloated and lascivious Agha a Russian girl called Sciabas, as fair as a houri , and apparently as timid as a fawn. Unfortunately, notwithstanding her innocent demeanour, it only too soon became apparent that her virtue was not unimpeachable, and that ere long she would add yet another member to the household of her new master.

Jumbel Agha, who was at first wroth with his pretty plaything, after the heat of his passion had passed, consented to forgive her if she would divulge the name of the father of her expected offspring; but the fair one, although frail, was firm, and despising alike threats and cajoleries, declined to give any hint as to its paternity. Thereupon her master handed her over to his major-domo to be re-sold for the best price she would fetch; but before she could be disposed of she was brought to bed of a goodly boy.

Some time after the child was born, the Agha, moved either by curiosity or compassion, expressed a strong desire to see it, and when it was brought into his presence, was so captivated by its appearance, that he loaded it with gifts, and gave orders that it should be sumptuously apparelled, and should remain with its mother in the house of the major-domo until he had decided as to its future fate. Just about this time the Grand Sultana had presented her Lord Ibrahim with a baby boy; and proving extremely weak after her delivery, it was found necessary to procure a wet-nurse for the heir to the sword and dominions of Othman.

No better opportunity could have offered for Jumbel Agha. He at once introduced his disgraced slave and her "pretty by-blow" to his imperial mistress, who accepted the services of the mother without hesitation. For two years mother and child had their home in the grizzled old palace on Seraglio Point, until at last the Sultan began to display such a decided preference for the nurse's boy, that the jealousy of the Sultana was aroused, and she banished the offenders from her sight.

Her anger was also excited against the unfortunate Agha, [44] who had been the means of introducing them into the harem, and she set herself to plot his ruin. Her dusky servitor was, however, sufficiently shrewd to perceive his danger, and begged Ibrahim's permission to resign his office, in order to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca.

At first his request was refused; for Jumbel Agha was a favourite slave, and whoever obtains leave to go the holy pilgrimage is ipso facto made free. But the chief eunuch having agreed to go as a slave, and to return to his post when he had performed his devotions, Ibrahim permitted him to set out.

A little fleet of eight vessels was ready to sail for Alexandria, and one of these was appropriated to Jumbel Agha and his household, amongst whom was his beautiful slave and her little son. After drifting about for some time in the inconstant breezes off the Syrian coast, they fell in with six galleys, which they at first supposed to be friendly ships of the Turkish fleet, but which ultimately proved Maltese cruisers, and showed fight.

The Agha made a valiant resistance, and fell in the struggle, as did also Sciabas, the fair Russian—the cause of his journey and his misfortunes. The baby, however, was preserved alive; and when the Maltese boarded their prize, they were attracted by the gorgeously dressed child, and inquired to whom it belonged.

The answer, given either in fear or in the hope of obtaining better treatment, was that he was the son of Sultan Ibrahim, and was on his way to Mecca, under the charge of the chief eunuch, to be circumcised. The captors, greatly exhilarated by the intelligence, at once made all sail for Malta, and there the glorious news was accepted without question.

For a time the knights were so elated that they seriously began to consult together as to the possibility of exchanging the supposed Ottoman prince for the Island of Rhodes, which had slipped from their enfeebled grasp. The Grand Master of the Order and the Grand Croci had no doubt as to the genuineness of their captive, and wrote letters to Constantinople informing the Sultan where he might find his heir and his chief spouse, if he chose to comply with the Frankish [45] conditions.

It is true that Sciabas was dead, but the worthy knights had recourse to subterfuge in dealing with the infidel, and had dressed up another slave to represent her. Portraits also were taken of the reputed mother and child, and were sent with descriptive letters to the European courts.

The French and Italians eagerly purchased these representations of the beloved of the Grand Turk; but that mysterious being himself preserved an ominous silence. Even the knights of Malta, who hated him as a Mohammedan, nevertheless supposed that the Ottoman ruler was human, and when he made no effort to recover his lost ones, began to have some doubt as to the identity of the child of whom they made so much.

In their dilemma they despatched a secret messenger to Constantinople, who contrived to ingratiate himself at the seraglio, and lost no opportunity of inquiring whether any of the imperial children were missing, and whether it were true that the Sultana had been captured by the Maltese some years before.

Of course his researches were fruitless, and in he wrote to his employers assuring them that they had all the while been on a false scent. It was deemed best to let the imposture die slowly. Little by little the knights forbore to boast of their illustrious hostage; by degrees they lessened the ceremonials with which he had been treated, and at last neglected him altogether. He was made a Dominican friar; and the only mark of his supposed estate was the name Padre Ottomano, which was conferred upon him more in scorn than reverence, and which he continued to bear till the day of his death.

In the miscellaneous writings of John Evelyn, the diary-writer, there is an account of this extraordinary impostor, whose narration of his own adventures outshines [46] that of Munchausen, and whose experiences, according to his own showing, were more remarkable than those of Gulliver. In this remarkable book the pretender sums up the antiquity of the family of Cigala, entitling it to most of the crowns of Europe, and makes himself out to be the descendant of Scipio, son of the famous Viscount de Cigala, who was taken prisoner by the Turks in He pretends that Scipio, after his capture, was persuaded to renounce Christianity, and, having become a renegade, was advanced to various high offices at the Porte by Sultan Solyman the Magnificent.

Under the name of Sinam Pasha, he asserts that his father became first general of the Janizaries, then seraskier, or commander-in-chief of the whole Turkish forces, and was finally created Grand Vizier of the empire. He also maintains that various illustrious ladies were bestowed as wives upon the new favourite; and among others the daughter of Sultan Achonet, who gave himself birth.

According to his own story he was educated by the Moslem muftis in all the lore of the Koran, and by a series of strange accidents was advanced to the governorship of Palestine. Here, in consequence of a marvellous dream, he was converted, and was turned from his original purpose of despoiling the Holy Sepulchre of its beautiful silver lamps and other treasures.

His Christianity was not, however, of that perfervid kind which demands an open avowal; and, continuing to outward appearance a Mussulman, he was promoted to the governorship of Cyprus and the islands. In this post he used his power for the benefit of the distressed Christians—redressing their, wrongs, and delivering such of them as had fallen into slavery. From Cyprus, after two years made brilliant by notable exploits which no man ever heard of but himself , he was constituted Viceroy of Babylon, Caramania, [47] Magnesia, and other ample territories.

At Iconium another miracle was performed for his benefit; and thus specially favoured of heaven, he determined openly to declare his conversion. At this important crisis, however, his father-confessor died, and all his good resolutions seem to have been abandoned. He repaired to Constantinople once more still preserving the outward semblance of a true believer, and ever obedient to the muezzin's call , and was created Viceroy of Trebizonde and Generalissimo of the Black Sea. Before setting out for his new home on the shores of the Euxine, he had despatched a confidant named Chamonsi to Trebizonde in charge of all his jewels and valuables, and his intention was to seize the first opportunity of throwing off the yoke of the Grand Signior, and declaring himself a Christian.

But Chamonsi proved faithless; and instead of repairing to the place of tryst, plotted with the Governor of Moldavia to seize his master. Mohammed Bey fell into the trap which they had prepared for him, but succeeded in making his escape, although grievously wounded, after a wonderful fight, in which he killed all his opponents.

In his flight he met a shepherd who exchanged clothes with him, and in disguise and barefoot he contrived to reach the head-quarters of the Cossacks, who were at the time in arms against Russia. In the Cossack camp there were three soldiers whom the quondam Ottoman general had released from captivity, and they, at once penetrating the flimsy disguise of the stranger, revealed him to their own commander in his true character.

At first he was well treated by the Cossack chief, who was anxious that the honour of his baptism should appertain to the Eastern Greek Church; but our prince, designing from the beginning to make his solemn profession at Rome, and to receive that sacrament from the Pope's own hands, was neglected upon making his resolve known.

He, therefore, stole away from the Cossacks, and, guided by a Jew, succeeded in reaching Poland, where the queen, hearing the report of his approach, and knowing his high rank, received him with infinite respect and at last persuaded him to condescend [48] to be baptized at Warsaw by the archbishop, she herself standing sponsor at the font, and bestowing upon him the name of John.

After his baptism and subsequent confirmation, this somewhat singular Christian set out on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Loretto, and afterwards proceeded to Rome, where he was received with open arms by Alexander VII. On his return journey through Germany he found that the emperor was at war with the Turks; and, without hesitation, espoused the Christian cause against the circumcised heathen, slaying the Turkish general with his own hand, and performing other stupendous exploits, of which he gives a detailed narration.

As a reward for his services the German emperor created him "Captain Guardian" of his artillery, and would have loaded him with further honours, but a roving spirit was upon him, and he started for Sicily to visit his noble friends who were resident in that island. On his route he was everywhere received with the utmost respect by the Princes of Germany and Italy; and when he arrived in Sicily, not only did Don Pedro d'Arragon house him in his own palace, but the whole city of Messina turned out to meet him, acknowledging his high position as a member of the noble house of Cigala, from which it seems the island had received many great benefits.

Leaving Sicily he next came to Rome, into which he made a public entry, and was warmly received by Clement IX. At last, after touching at Venice and Turin, he arrived in Paris, where he was received by the king according to his high quality, and where he published the extraordinary narrative from which we have taken the above statements, and which honest John Evelyn, who was roused by his appearance in England, sets himself to disprove.

Right willingly does Evelyn devote himself to the task of stripping the borrowed feathers from this fine jackdaw. After inaugurating his work by quoting the Horatian [49] sneer, " Spectatum admissi risum teneatis, amici? From Evelyn's revelation it appears that the family of the pretended Cigala were at one time well-to-do, and ranked high in the esteem of Prince Mathias of Moldavia, but that this youth was a black sheep in the flock from the very beginning.

After the death of his father he had a fair chance of distinguishing himself, for the Moldavian prince took him into his service, and sent him to join his minister at Constantinople. Here he might have risen to some eminence; but he was too closely watched to render his life agreeable, and after a brief sojourn in the Turkish capital returned to his native land.

Here he became intimately acquainted with a married priest of the Greek Church, and made love to his wife; but the woman, the better to conceal the familiarity which existed between herself and the young courtier, led her husband to believe that he had an affection for her daughter, of which she approved. The simple ecclesiastic credited the story; until it became apparent that the stranger's practical fondness extended to the mother as well as the daughter, and that he had taken advantage of the hospitality which was extended to him to debauch all the priest's womankind.

A complaint was laid before Prince Mathias, who would have executed him if he had not fled to the shores of the Golden Horn. He remained in Constantinople until the death of the Moldavian ruler, when he impudently returned to Wallachia, thinking that his former misdemeanours had been forgotten, and hoping to be advanced to some prominent post during the general disarrangement of affairs. His identity was, however, discovered; his old crimes were brought against him; and he only escaped the executioner's sword by flight.

For the third time Constantinople became his home, and on this occasion he embraced the Moslem faith, hoping to secure his advancement thereby. The Turks, however, [50] viewed the renegade with suspicion, and treated him with neglect. Therefore, driven by starvation, he ranged from place to place about Christendom, and in countries where he was utterly unknown concocted and published the specious story of his being so nearly related to the Sultan, and succeeded in deceiving many.

Of his ultimate fate nothing is known. In the beginning of the year , a small French merchantman, which was bound from Rochelle to Martinique, was so closely chased by the British cruisers that the captain and crew were compelled to take to their boat. By so doing they avoided the fate of the ship and cargo, which fell a prey to the pursuers, and succeeded in effecting a safe landing at Martinique. In their company was a solitary passenger—a youth of eighteen or nineteen summers, whose dignified deportment and finely-cut features betokened him of aristocratic lineage.

His name, as given by himself, was the Count de Tarnaud, and his father, according to his own showing, was a field-marshal in the French service; but the deference with which he was treated by his shipmates seemed to suggest that his descent was even more illustrious, and his dignity loftier than that to which he laid claim. He was unattended, save by a sailor lad to whom he had become attached after his embarkation.

This youth, called Rhodez, treated him with the utmost deference, and, while on an intermediate footing between friendship and servitude, was careful never to display the slightest familiarity. This strangely assorted couple had no sooner landed upon the island than the pseudo De Tarnaud asked to be directed to the house of one of the leading inhabitants, and was referred to Duval Ferrol, an officer, whose residence was situated near the spot at which he had come [51] on shore.

This gentleman, attracted by the appearance of the youth, and sympathising with his misfortunes, at once offered him a home, and De Tarnaud and Rhodez took up their abode at the maison Ferrol. The hospitable advances of its proprietor were received by his new guest in a kindly spirit, yet more as due than gratuitous; and this air of superiority, combined with the extreme deference of Rhodez, aroused curiosity.

The captain of the vessel which had brought the distinguished guest was questioned as to his real name, but professed himself unable to give any information beyond stating that the youth had been brought to him at Rochelle by a merchant, who had privately recommended him to treat him with great attention, as he was a person of distinction.

Ample scope was, therefore, left for the curiosity and credulity of the inhabitants of Martinique, who at this time were closely blockaded by the English, and were sadly in want of some excitement to relieve the monotony of their lives. Every rumour respecting the stranger was eagerly caught up and assiduously disseminated by a thousand gossips, and, as statement after statement and canard after canard got abroad, he rose higher and higher in popular repute.

No one doubted that he was at least a prince; and why he had elected to come to Martinique at such an inconvenient season nobody stopped to inquire. As far as could be made out from the disjointed stories which were afloat, this mysterious individual had been seen to arrive at Rochelle some time before the date of his embarkation. He was then accompanied by an old man, who acted as a sort of mentor. On their arrival they established themselves in private lodgings, in which the youth remained secluded, while his aged friend frequented the quays on the look-out for a ship to convey his companion to his destination.

When one was at last found he embarked, leaving his furniture as a present to his landlady, and generally giving himself the air of a man of vast property, although at the time possessed of very slender resources; and that he really was a person of distinction and wealth the colonists were prepared to believe. After treating him hospitably for some time, Duval Ferrol precipitated matters by informing his strange guest, that as he did not know anything of his past life, and was himself only a subaltern, he had been under the necessity of informing his superior officers of his presence, and that the king's lieutenant who commanded at Port Maria desired to see him.

The young man immediately complied with this request, and presented himself to the governor as the Count de Tarnaud. Nadau for such was the name of this official had of course heard the floating rumours, and was resolved to penetrate the mystery. He therefore received his visitor with empressement , and offered him his hospitality. The offer was accepted, but again rather as a matter of right than of generosity, and the young count and Rhodez became inmates of the house of the commandant.

Two days after young Taraud's removal to the dwelling of Nadau, the latter was entertaining some guests, when, just as they were sitting down to dinner, the count discovered that he had forgotten his handkerchief, on which Rhodez got up and fetched it. Such an occurrence would have passed without comment in France; but in Martinique, where slavery was predominant, and slaves were abundant, such an act of deference from one white man to another was noted, and served to strengthen the opinions which had already been formed respecting the stranger.

During the course of the meal also, Nadau received a letter from his subordinate, Duval Ferrol, to the following effect:—"You wish for information relative to the French passenger who lodged with me some days; his signature will furnish more than I am able to give. I enclose a letter I have just received from him. As soon as he could find a decent excuse, the excited commandant drew aside one of his more intimate friends, and communicated to him the surprising discovery which he had made, at the same time urging him to convey [53] the information to the Marquis d'Eragny, who lived at no great distance.

The marquis had not risen from table when the messenger arrived, and disclosed to those who were seated with him the news which he had just received. The disclosure thus boisterously made seemed to offend, rather than give pleasure to, the self-styled Count de Tarnaud, who, while not repudiating the title applied to him, expressed his dissatisfaction at the indiscretion which had revealed him to the public.

At this time the inhabitants of Martinique were in a very discontented and unhappy position. Their coast was closely blockaded by the English fleet, provisions were extremely scarce, and the necessities of the populace were utilised by unscrupulous officials who amassed riches by victimising those who had been placed under their authority. The Marquis de Caylus, governor of the Windward Islands, was one of the most rapacious of these harpies; and although, perhaps, he was more a tool in the hands of others than an independent actor, the feeling of the people was strong against him, and it was hoped that the newly-arrived prince would supersede him, and redress the grievances which his maladministration had created.

Accordingly Nadau, who entertained a private spite against De Caylus, lost no time in representing the infamy of the marquis, and was comforted [54] by the assurance of his youthful guest, that he would visit those who had abused the confidence of the king with the severest punishment, and not only so, but would place himself at the head of the islands to resist any attempt at invasion by the English.

These loyal and generous intentions, which Nadau did not fail to make public, increased the general enthusiasm, and rumours of the plot which was hatching reached Fort St. Pierre, where the Marquis de Caylus had his headquarters. He at once sent a mandate to Nadau, ordering the stranger before him.

A message of similar purport was also sent to the youth himself, addressed to the Count de Tarnaud. Upon receiving it he turned to the officers who had brought it, saying—"Tell your master that to the rest of the world I am the Count de Tarnaud, but that to him I am Hercules Renaud d'Est. If he wishes to see me let him come half-way. Let him repair to Fort Royal in four or five days.

I will be there. This bold reply seems to have completely disconcerted De Caylus. He set out for Fort Royal, but changed his mind on the way, and returned to St. The prince, on the other hand, kept his appointment, and not finding the marquis, proceeded to Fort St. Pierre, which he entered in triumph, attended by seventeen or eighteen gentlemen. The governor caught a glimpse of him as he passed through the streets, and exclaimed "that he was the very image of his mother and sister," and in a panic quitted the town.

Nothing could have been more fortunate than his flight. The prince assumed all the airs of royalty, and proceeded to establish a petty court, appointing state officers to wait upon him. The Marquis d'Eragny he created his grand equerry; Duval Ferrol and Laurent 'Dufont were his gentlemen-in-waiting; and the faithful Rhodez was constituted his page. Regular audiences were granted to those who came to pay their respects to him, or to present memorials or petitions, and for a time [55] Martinique rejoiced in the new glory which this illustrious presence shed upon it.

This man, who seems to have been a simple soul, no sooner heard of the arrival of his master's brother-in-law in the island than he hastened to offer him not only his respects, but, what was far better, the use of the cash which he held in trust for the duke. He was, of course, received with peculiar graciousness, and immediate advantage was taken of his timely offer. The prince was now supplied with means adequately to support the royal state which he had assumed, and the last lingering relics of suspicion were dissipated, for Lievain was known to be a thoroughly honest and conscientious man, and one well acquainted with his master's family and affairs, and it was surmised that he would not thus have committed himself unless he had had very good grounds for so doing.

On his arrival at St. Pierre the prince had taken up his quarters in the convent of the Jesuits; and now the Dominican friars, jealous of the honour conferred upon their rivals, besought a share of his royal favour, and asked him to become their guest. Nothing loth to gratify their amiable ambition, the prince changed his residence to their convent, in which he was entertained most sumptuously. Every day a table of thirty covers was laid for those whom he chose to invite; he dined in public—a fanfaronade of trumpets proclaiming his down-sitting and his up-rising—and the people thronged the banqueting-hall in such numbers that barriers had to be erected in the middle of it to keep the obtrusive multitude at a respectful distance.

Meanwhile vessels had left Martinique for France bearing the news of these strange proceedings to the mother country. The prince had written to his family, and had entrusted his letters to the captain of a merchantman who was recommended by Lievain.

And the discomfited governor, the Marquis de Caylus, had forwarded a full account of the extraordinary affair to his government, [56] and had demanded instructions. Six months passed away and no replies came. The prince pretended to be seriously discomposed by this prolonged silence, but amused himself in the meantime by defying M. But at last it became apparent that letters from France might arrive at any moment; the rainy season was approaching; the prince was apprehensive for his health; and the inhabitants had discovered by this time that their visitor was very costly.

Accordingly, when he expressed his intention of returning to France, nobody opposed or gainsaid it; and, after a pleasant sojourn of seven months among the planters of Martinique, he embarked on board the "Raphael," bound for Bordeaux. His household accompanied him, and under a salute from the guns of the fort he sailed away. A fortnight later the messenger whom the governor had despatched to France returned bearing orders to put his so-called highness in confinement. At the same time he was informed that since his indiscretion was in part the result of his zeal to serve his master, and since he had only shared in a general folly, the duc was not disposed to deal harshly with him, but would retain his services and share the loss with him.

This leniency, and the delay which had taken place, only served to confirm the inhabitants of Martinique in their previous belief, and they were more than ever convinced that the real Prince of Modena had been their guest, although neither his relatives nor the government were willing to admit that he had been guilty of such an escapade.

The "Raphael" in due course arrived at Faro, where her illustrious passenger was received with a salute by the Portuguese authorities. These facilities were obligingly afforded to him, and he arrived at Seville in safety. His fame had preceded him, and he was received with the most extravagant demonstrations of joy by the inhabitants. The susceptible donnas of the celebrated Spanish city adored this youthful scion of a royal house; sumptuous entertainments were prepared in his honour, and his praises were in every mouth.

His courier came not, but instead there arrived an order for his arrest, which was communicated to him by the governor in person. He seemed much astonished, but resignedly answered, "I was born a sovereign as well as he: he has no control over me; but he is master here, and I shall yield to his commands. His ready acquiescence in his inevitable fate was well thought of; and while it excited popular sympathy in his favour, rendered even those who were responsible for his safe-keeping anxious to serve him.

Immediately on his apprehension he was conveyed to a small tower, which was occupied by a lieutenant and a few invalids, and very little restraint was placed upon his movements. His retinue were allowed to visit him, and every possible concession was made to his assumed rank. But he was far from content, and succeeded by a scheme in reaching the sanctuary of the Dominican convent.

From this haven of refuge he could not legally be removed by force; but on the urgent representations of the authorities the Archbishop of Seville sanctioned his transfer, if it could be accomplished without bloodshed. A guard was despatched to remove him. No sooner, however, had the officer charged with the duty entered his apartment than the prince seized his sword, and protested that he would kill the first man that laid a finger upon him.

The guard surrounded him with their bayonets, but he defended himself so valiantly that it became evident that he could not be captured without infringing the conditions laid down by the archbishop, and the soldiers were compelled to withdraw. Meanwhile news of what had been going on reached the populace, a crowd [58] gathered, and popular feeling ran so high that the discomfited emissaries of the law reached their quarters with difficulty. This disturbance made the government more determined than ever to bring the affair to an issue.

Negotiations were renewed with the Dominicans, who were now anxious to deliver up their guest, but his suspicions were aroused, and his capture had become no easy matter. He always went armed, slept at night with a brace of pistols under his pillow, and even at meal times placed one on either side of his plate. At last craft prevailed—a young monk, who had been detailed to wait upon him at dinner, succeeded in betraying him into an immoderate fit of laughter, and before he could recover himself, pinioned him and handed him over to the alguazils, who were in waiting in the next apartment.

He was hurried to gaol, loaded with chains, and cast into a dungeon. After twenty-four hours' incarceration he was summoned for examination, but steadily refused to answer the questions of his judges. He was not, however, remitted to his former loathsome place of confinement, as might have been expected from his obstinacy, but was conveyed to the best apartment in the prison. His retinue were meanwhile examined relative to his supposed design of withdrawing Martinique from its allegiance to France.

The result of these inquiries remained secret, but, without further trial, the prince was condemned to the galleys, or to labour in the king's fortifications in Africa, and his attendants were banished from the Spanish dominions. In due time he was despatched to Cadiz to join the convict gangs sentenced to enforced labour at Ceuta. The whole garrison of Seville was kept under arms on the morning of his departure, to suppress any popular commotion, and resist any possible attempt at rescue, On his arrival at Cadiz he was conducted to Fort la Caragna, and handed over to the commandant, a sturdy Frenchman named Devau, who was told that he must treat the prisoner politely, but would be held answerable for his safe-keeping.

Devau read these orders, and replied, "When I am made responsible for the safe custody of anybody, I know but one way of treating him, and that [59] is to put him in irons. On the voyage the pretender was treated differently from the other galley-slaves, and on reaching his destination was placed under little restraint.

He had full liberty to write to his friends, and availed himself of this permission to send a letter to Nadau, who had been ordered home to France to give an account of his conduct. In this document he mentioned the courtesy with which he was treated, and begged the Port Maria governor to accept a handsome pair of pistols which he sent as a souvenir. His prison, however, had not sufficient charms to retain his presence. He took the first opportunity of escaping, and having smuggled himself on board an English ship, arrived in the Bay of Gibraltar.

The captain informed the governor of the fort that he had on board his ship the person who claimed to be the Prince of Modena, and that he demanded permission to land. A threat of immediate apprehension was sufficient to deter the refugee from again tempting the Spanish authorities: he remained on board; and the ship sailed on her voyage, carrying with her the prince, who was seen no more.

On the 1st of August , a horseman, who was approaching the town of Peronne in France, discovered by the wayside a boy, apparently about eleven years of age, clad in rags, evidently suffering from want, and uttering piercing cries. Stirred with pity for this unfortunate object, the traveller dismounted, and, finding his efforts to comfort his new acquaintance, or to discover the cause of his sorrow, unavailing, persuaded him to accompany him to the town, where his immediate necessities were [60] attended to.

The boy ate ravenously of the food which was set before him, but continued to preserve the strictest silence, and, at length, it was discovered that he was deaf and dumb. Here his conduct was remarkable. From the first day of his entrance he shrank from association with the other inmates, who were for the most part boys belonging to the lower orders, and by so doing earned their ill-will, and brought upon himself their persecution.

His story was that he had a distinct recollection of living with his father and mother and sister, in a splendid mansion, situated in spacious grounds, and that he was accustomed to ride on horseback and in a carriage. He described his father as a tall man and a soldier, and stated that his face was seamed by scars received in battle.

He gave a circumstantial account of his father's death, and said that he, as well as his mother and sister, were mourning for him. After his father's funeral he asserted that he was taken from home by a man whom he did not know, and that when he had been carried come distance he was deserted by his conductor and left in the wood, in which he wandered for some days, until he reached the highway, where he was discovered by the passing traveller, as above narrated.

At length, in the year , a lady, who had heard the boy's story, suggested a solution of the mystery.


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Perkin Warbeck Article Additional Info. Perkin Warbeck English pretender. Print Cite. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login. External Websites. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.

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