Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/217

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

In fact, besides the causes I have already mentioned, a report was current that once in a conversation about the loss of Hayti, when someone spoke of the difficulty of reconquering it, and of the scarcity of negroes in America, he said, "Why not establish the slave trade here? The West India Islands are nearer than Africa."

This remark, and the lady of colour, did not tend to place him in the odour of sanctity in Philadelphia. A tempest drove into the Delaware a Prussian ship, and the captain consented to take the ex-Bishop, but the crew did not appear over delighted with their passenger. I should not have been surprised to hear of the sailors doing as they did in an amusing story told by Bacon, when, after having first confessed all their sins to a Capucin monk who was on board, the sailors thought they would appease the wrath of heaven by dropping him into the sea.

Thus we saw depart the diable boiteux[1] who since,—under the name of the Prince

  1. An accident in infancy bad rendered Talleyrand lame for life.