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- Pickle the Spy - 10/45 -


Prince's business, without naming his companion, but as if alone), knows nothing, and Graeme must be left in the dark as if he (Mr. Smith) [Goring] were in the same case, and were waiting new orders in total ignorance, not having seen me for a long time.' {71}

There follow a few private addresses in Paris; and the name, to be remarked, of 'Mademoiselle Ferrand.'

All this is very puzzling; we only make out that, by some confusion of the personalities of 'Benn' (the Prince) and 'Mr. Smith' (Goring), Charles hoped to enter Paris undetected. Yet he WAS seen 'entering a gate of Paris in disguise.' Doubtless he had lady allies, but a certain Mademoiselle Ferrand, to whom he wrote, he seems not to have known personally. We shall find that she was later of use to him, and indeed his most valuable friend and ally.

Next, we find this letter of April 10 to Madame Henrietta Drummond, doubtless of the family of Macgregor, called Drummond, of Balhaldie. Charles appears to have had enough of Paris, and is going to Venice. He is anxious to meet the Earl Marischal.

'April 10, 1749.

'I have been very impatient to be able to give you nuse of me as I am fully persuaded of yr Friendship, and concern for everything that regards me; I send you here enclosed a Letter for Ld Marishal, be pleased to enclose it, and forward it without loss of time; the Bearer (he is neither known by you or me), is charged to receive at any time what Letters you want to send me, and you may be shure of their arriving safe. Iff Lord Marishal agrees with my Desier when you give his Packet to yr Bearer, you must put over it en Dilligence, iff otherwise, direct by my Name as I sign it here. I flatter myself of the Continuation of your Friendship, as I hope you will never doubt of mine which shall be constant. I remain yr moste obedient humble Servant

'JOHN DOUGLAS.

'P.S.--Tell ye Bearer when to comback for the answer of ye enclosed or any other Letters you want to send me.

'P.S. to Lord Marischal.--Whatever party you take, be pleased to keep my writing secret, and address to me at Venise to the Sig. Ignazio Testori to Mr. de Villelongue under cover to a Banquier of that town, and it will come safe to me.

'To Md. Henrietta Drummond.'

Charles, on April 20, wrote another letter to the Lord Marischal, imploring for an interview, at some place to be fixed. But the old Lord was not likely to go from Berlin to Venice, whither Charles was hastening.

It is perfectly plain that, leaving Avignon on February 28, Charles was making for Paris on March 6 by a circuitous route through Lorraine (where he doubtless met Madame de Talmond), and a double back on Burgundy. What he did or desired in Paris we do not know. He is said to have visited Lally Tollendal, and he must have seen Waters, his banker. By April 10 he is starting for Venice, where he had, as a boy, been royally received. But, in 1744, the Republic of Venice had resumed relations with England, interrupted by Charles's too kind reception in 1737. The whole romance, therefore, of Henry Goring's letter, and all the voyages to Stockholm, Berlin, Lithuania, and so forth, are visions. Charles probably saw some friends in Paris, was tolerated in Lorraine (where his father was protected before 1715), and he vainly looked for a home in any secular State of Europe. This was all, or nearly all, that occurred between March and May 1749. Europe was fluttered, secret service money was poured out like water, diplomatists caballed and scribbled despatches, all for very little. The best place to have hunted for Charles was really at Luneville, near the gay Court of his kinsman, the Duke Stanislas Leczinski, the father of the Queen of France. There Charles's sometime admirer, Voltaire, was a welcome guest; thither too (as we saw) went his elderly cousin, people said his mistress, the Princesse de Talmond. But the English diplomatists appear to have neglected Luneville. D'Argenson was better informed.

On April 26 Charles was at Strasbourg. Here, D'Argenson says, he was seen, and warned to go, by an ecuyer of the late Cardinal Rohan. Hence he wrote again to the Earl Marischal at Berlin. From this note it is plain that he had sent Goring ('Mr. Smith') to the Earl; Goring, indeed, had carried his letters of April l0-20. He again proposes a meeting with the Earl Marischal at Venice. He will 'answer for the expenses,' and apologises for 'such a long and fatiguing journey.' He wrote to Waters, 'You may let Mr. Newton know that whenever he has thoroly finished his Business, Mr. Williams [the Prince] will make him very wellcum in all his Cuntrihouses.'

The 'business' of 'Mr. Newton' was to collect remittances from Cluny.

On April 30, the Prince, as 'Mr. Williams,' expresses 'his surprise and impatience for the delay of the horses [money] and other goods promised by Mr. Newton.'

On May 3, Charles wrote, without address, to Goring, 'I go strete to Venice, and would willingly avoid your Garrison Towns, as much as possible: id est, of France. I believe to compass that by goin by Ruffach to Pfirt: there to wate for me. The Chese [chaise] you may either leve it in consine to your post-master of Belfort, or, what is still better, to give it to the bearer.'

Goring and Harrington were to meet the bearer at Belfort, but Harrington seems to have been mystified, and to have failed in effecting a junction. The poor gentleman, we learn, from letters of Stafford and Sheridan, Charles's retainers at Avignon, could scarcely raise money to leave that town. Sir James Harrington was next to meet Charles at Venice. He was to carry a letter for Charles to a Venetian banker. 'Nota bene, that same banquier, though he will deliver to me your letter, knows nothing about me, nor who I am. . . . Change your name, and, in fine, keep as private as possible, till I tell you what is to be done.' Harrington failed, and lay for months in pawn at Venice, pouring out his griefs in letters to Goring. He was a lachrymose conspirator.

These weary affairs are complicated by mysterious letters to ladies: for example to Mademoiselle Lalasse, 'Je vous prie, Mademoiselle, de rendre justice a mon inviolable attachement . . .' (May 3). He gives her examples of his natural and of his disguised handwriting; probably she helped him in forwarding his correspondence. Charles's chief anxiety was to secure the Lord Marischal. Bulkeley and the official English Jacobites kept insisting that he should have a man with him who was trusted by the party. Kelly was distrusted, though Bulkeley defends him, and was cashiered in autumn. Charles's friends also kept urging that he must 'appear in public,' but where? Bulkeley suggested Bologna. The Earl Marischal, later (July 5), was for Fribourg. No place was really both convenient and possible. On May 17 Charles wrote from Venice to the Earl Marischal, 'I am just arrived, but will not be able for some days, to know what reception to meet with.' He fears he 'may be chased from hence,' and his fears were justified. On the same day (May 17) he wrote to Edgar in Rome, 'Venice, next to France, is the best for my interest, and the only one in Italy.'

Venice ejected the Prince. On May 26 he wrote to his father:

'Sir,--I received last night from ye Nuntio a definitive answer about my project, which is quite contrary to my expectation; as I have nothing further to do here, and would not run the least risk of being found out, I depart this very evening, having left a direction to the said Nuntio how to forward my letters for me.' On the same day he wrote to Chioseul de Stainville, the minister at Versailles of the Empress, 'Could an anonymous exiled Prince be received by the Kaiser and the Queen of Hungary? He would remain incognito.'

On June 3 Charles wrote to James, without address or news, and to Bulkeley. 'Now my friend must skulk to the perfect dishonour and glory of his worthy relations, until he finds a reception fitting at home or abroad.' On the back of the draft he writes:

'What can a bird do that has not found a right nest? He must flit from bough to bough--ainsi use les Irondel.'

Probably Charles, after a visit, perhaps, to Ferrara, returned to Paris and his Princess. We find a draft thus conceived and spelled:

'ARRENGEMENT.

'Goring to come here immediately, he to know nothing but that I am just arrived. I am not to go to Paris, but at the end of the month, as sooner no answer can be had, moreover perhaps obliged to wait another, which would oblige me to remain to long in P.' He also (June 3) wrote to Montesquieu, from whom (I think) there is an unsigned friendly letter. He sent compliments to the Duchesse d'Aiguillon, a lady much attached to Montesquieu. An unsigned English letter (June 5) advised him to appear publicly. People are coming to inquire into reports about his character, 'after which it is possible some proposals may be made to you.' The writer will say more when 'in a safer place.'

Newton (Kennedy), meanwhile, had been imprisoned and examined in London, but had been released, and was at Paris. He bought for the Prince 'a fine case of double barrill pistols, made by Barber,' and much admired 'on this side.' Charles expresses gratitude for the gift. Newton had been examined by the Duke of Newcastle about the 40,000 louis d'or buried at Loch Arkaig in 1740, but had given no information. On June 26 Charles again asks Bulkeley, 'What CAN a bird do that has found no right nest?'

On June 30 the Prince was probably in Paris, whither we have seen that he meant to go. He had 'found a right nest,' and a very curious nest he had found. The secret of the Prince's retreat became known, many years later, to Grimm, the Paris correspondent of Catherine the Great. Charles's biographers have overlooked or distrusted Grimm's gossip, but it is confirmed by Charles's accidentally writing two real names, in place of pseudonyms, in his correspondence. The history of his 'nest' was this. After her reign as favourite of Louis XIV., Madame de Montespan founded a convent of St. Joseph, in the Rue St. Dominique, in the Faubourg St. Germain. Attached to the convent were rooms in which ladies of rank might make a retreat, or practically occupy chambers. {79}

About this convent and its inmates, Grimm writes as follows:

'The unfortunate Prince Charles, after leaving the Bastille [really Vincennes] lay hidden for three years in Paris, in the rooms of Madame de Vasse, who then resided with her friend, the celebrated Mademoiselle Ferrand, at the convent of St. Joseph. To Mademoiselle


Pickle the Spy - 10/45

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