Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/126

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mind, and make matters look worse than they really were. M. de la Fayette lay on his back and soliloquized on the emptiness of glory and fame.

"Diable!" he said, philosophically, "I have done well certainly. At my time of life—barely twenty years of age—with my name, rank, and fortune, and after having married Mile, de Noailles, to leave everything and serve as a breakfast for cod-fish!"

For my own part I was better off; I had nothing to lose and no one to regret me. I went back to the old sailor. He occupied a cabin on the deck below that where M. de la Fayette was lodged, so that in going from one to the other I met with frequent falls, and had plenty of bruises to show as the result of my messages. It was impossible to keep one's feet, owing to the continual heavy seas which struck the ship. There was some talk of cutting the masts. One of my comrades M. de N——, became so excited that I saw him charge his pistols, so as to shoot himself rather than be drowned.