Three Years in Europe - Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met
by William Wells Brown
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"The next day, while standing in the cabin and looking through the window, the French gentleman (for such he was) came to the window while walking on the guards, and again commenced as on the previous evening. He took from his pocket a bit of paper and put into my hand, and at the same time saying, 'Take this, it may some day be of service to you, remember it is from a friend,' and left me instantly. I unfolded the paper, and found it to be a 100 dols. bank note, on the United States Branch Bank, at Philadelphia. My first impulse was to give it to my mistress, but upon a second thought, I resolved to seek an opportunity, and to return the hundred dollars to the stranger. Therefore, I looked for him, but in vain; and had almost given up the idea of seeing him again, when he passed me on the guards of the boat and walked towards the stem of the vessel. It being now dark, I approached him and offered the money to him. He declined, saying at the same time, 'I gave it to you—keep it.' 'I do not want it,' I said. 'Now,' said he, 'you had better give your consent for me to purchase you, and you shall go with me to France.' 'But you cannot buy me now,' I replied, 'for my master is in New Orleans, and he purchased me not to sell, but to retain in his own family.' 'Would you rather remain with your present mistress, than be free?' 'No,' said I. 'Then fly with me to-night; we shall be in Mobile in two hours from this, and, when the passengers are going on shore, you can take my arm, and you can escape unobserved. The trader who brought you to New Orleans exhibited to me a certificate of your good character, and one from the Minister of the Church to which you were attached in Virginia; and upon the faith of these assurances, and the love I bear you, I promise before high heaven that I will marry you as soon as it can be done.' This solemn promise, coupled with what had already transpired, gave me confidence in the man; and rash as the act may seem, I determined in an instant to go with him. My mistress had been put under the charge of the captain; and as it would be past ten o'clock when the steamer would land, she accepted an invitation of the captain to remain on board with several other ladies till morning. I dressed myself in my best clothes, and put a veil over my face, and was ready on the landing of the boat. Surrounded by a number of passengers, we descended the stage leading to the wharf and were soon lost in the crowd that thronged the quay. As we went on shore we encountered several persons announcing the names of hotels, the starting of boats for the interior, and vessels bound for Europe. Among these was the ship Utica, Captain Pell, bound for Havre. 'Now,' said Mr. Devenant, 'this is our chance.' The ship was to sail at 12 o'clock that night, at high tide; and following the men who were seeking passengers, we went immediately on board. Devenant told the Captain of the ship that I was his sister, and for such we passed during the voyage. At the hour of twelve the Utica set sail, and we were soon out at sea.

"The morning after we left Mobile, Devenant met me as I came from my state-room and embraced me for the first time. I loved him, but it was only that affection which we have for one who has done us a lasting favour: it was the love of gratitude rather than that of the heart. We were five weeks on the sea, and yet the passage did not seem long, for Devenant was so kind. On our arrival at Havre, we were married and came to Dunkirk, and I have resided here ever since."

At the close of this narrative, the clock struck ten, when the old man, who was accustomed to retire at an early hour, rose to take leave, saying at the same time, "I hope you will remain with us to-night." Mr. Green would fain have excused himself, on the ground that they would expect him and wait at the hotel, but a look from the lady told him to accept the invitation. The old man was the father of Mrs. Devenant's deceased husband, as you will no doubt long since have supposed. A fortnight from the day on which they met in the grave-yard, Mr. Green and Mrs. Devenant were joined in holy wedlock; so that George and Mary, who had loved each other so ardently in their younger days, were now husband and wife. Without becoming responsible for the truthfulness of the above narrative, I give it to you, reader, as it was told to me in January last, in France, by George Green himself.

A celebrated writer has justly said of woman: "A woman's whole life is a history of the affections. The heart is her world; it is there her ambition strives for empire; it is there her avarice seeks for hidden treasures. She sends forth her sympathies on adventure; she embarks her whole soul in the traffic of affection; and if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless—for it is a bankruptcy of the heart."

Mary had every reason to believe that she would never see George again; and although she confesses that the love she bore him was never transferred to her first husband, we can scarcely find fault with her for marrying Mr. Devenant. But the adherence of George Green to the resolution never to marry, unless to his Mary, is, indeed, a rare instance of the fidelity of man in the matter of love. We can but blush for our country's shame, when we recall to mind the fact, that while George and Mary Green, and numbers of other fugitives from American slavery, can receive protection from any of the Governments of Europe, they cannot return to their native land without becoming slaves.



Transcriber's notes: ====================

ERRATA from the original volume, applied to the text. ======

Page 8, eleventh line from bottom, for villages read villas The beautiful villages [**Erratum: villas] on the opposite side of the

145, fourth line from top, for Dante read Whittier our own Dante? [**Erratum: Whittier?]

205, second line from bottom, for towns read lawns in the vicinity of the lakes. Magnificent towns [**Erratum: lawns]

264, seventh line from top, for 1834 read 1844 In the month of May, 1834, [**Erratum: 1844,] while one evening

273, eighth line from top, for vanity read variety lack vanity [**Erratum: variety] or imagination, either in his public

Letter XXIII displaced to be between XII and XIII, as per editor's footnote.

TYPOS =====

All "Mr" replaced with "Mr." (~10%). Similarly for "Mrs".

play," was to flag [**typo: flog] his slaves severely, and

tyranny in Great Britian [**typo: Britain] found social and

passengers, forty of whom were the "Vienneise [**typo: Viennese]

we were in sight of the land of Emmitt [**typo: Emmett] and

Rev. Dr. Ritchie, of Edinburgh. [** quote deleted] "It is indeed a

by M. Duguery, [**typo: Duguerry,] cure of the Madeleine,

The column is in imitation of the Trojan [**typo: Trajan]

XVI. and Marie Antionette [**typo: Antoinette] were driven from it by

building. [** full-stop added] The speaker, in the delivery of one of

Fete. [**typo: Fete.]

soiree [**typo: soiree] by M. de Tocqueville, Minister for

to the whole scene out of doors. The soiree [**typo: soiree]

announced, and after a good deal of jambing [**typo: jamming] and

same basket, without any regard to birth or station. [** full-stop added]

had more interesting incidents occuring [**typo: occurring] in it than

of Raphael and David—Arc de Triomphe—Beranger [** final em-dash added]

Jardin des Plantes, and spent an hour and a-half [**typo: a half]

Were [**typo: were] at the time continually running through my

meeted [**typo: meted] out to me while at Hartwell. And the

I will see you." [** missing quote inserted] In looking across the street, I

great contrast beetween [**typo: between] the monster Institution,

The Tower is surounded [**typo: surrounded] by a high wall, and

skilful muscians; [**typo: musicians;] I have listened with delight

history, and the accumulated discoveries of byegone [**typo: bygone]

acquiline, [**typo: aquiline] his mouth rather small, and not at all

and died at Newstead Abbey, November 18, 1808." [**missing quote inserted]

with the poet and saying:— [**colon added]

had such ruins in view when he exclaimed:— [**colon added]

Elyses [**typo: Elysees] at Paris; and as for statuary, the latter

where the celebrated Reformer, John Knox, re-resided.[**typo: resided.]

lake is carved out and and [**typo: deleted second "and"] built up into terrace

through to the north gallery, and and [**typo: deleted second "and"] thence to

myself upon so diminutive a looking [**typo: looking a] creature.

upon the wing—the artifical [**typo: artificial] stream, the brook

seemed to have forgotton [**typo: forgotten] that this was an exhibition

"Sartar [**typo: Sartor] Resartus," and if he does not rise from its

the cloisters of Tinterran [**typo: Tintern] Abbey, in its proudest

that which has accomplished the mightest [**typo: mightiest] and

That measure was in every respect an unconsitutional [**typo: unconstitutional]

practice what they have so long professsd [**typo: professed]. (Hear,

I had writen [**typo: written] for the occasion, was unanimously

taken him back and placed him in goal [**typo: gaol], and

was kept in goal [**typo: gaol] three days, during

into my hand, and at the sametime [**typo: same time] saying,

be a 100 dols. Bank [**typo?: bank] note, on the United States

But the adherence of George Green to the re-resolution [**typo: resolution]

Apparent errata, but possibly acceptable period words: (left as-is in text). ===============

without the least difficulty, and his jestures, [**typo: gestures,] Per OED, jesture obs. form of gesture. May be typo?

motion, and the variagated [**typo: variegated] lamps with their many Per OED, verb variagate was known variant of variegate up to the 19th century

enemies on the 13th Vendimaire [**typo: Vendemiaire]. The Hotel de May be British variant used at the period

observed visiters [**typo: visitors] lingering about it, as if they May be valid past spelling

being conveyed to them by means of a pully-basket, [**typo: pulley-basket,] Per OED, pully known variant of pulley, 15th-19th centuries

under heaven!—Perish the sum of all villanies! [**typo: villainies!] Per OED, known alternate spelling, 16th-19th centuries

force, carrying, upsetting, engulphing [**typo: engulfing] its adversaries, Per OED, known alternate spelling (along with ingulf and ingulph); an example of engulph quoted from an 1871 source.

master and visiters [**typo: visitors] speak of the down-trodden May be valid past spelling

with long curls of a chesnut [**typo: chestnut] colour hanging down Per OED, chesnut was the most common spelling as late as 1820. Johnson set "chestnut" as the standard...

Others found to be acceptable variants: Bastile, plebians, laureat, trode, Shakspere.


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