Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/44

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things considered, it must be owned that,—when one is behind the bars,—the smiling fields, the harvests, the forests, the flocks, the sight of men at liberty, though they make a delightful picture, are only an added punishment to the poor prisoner.

Let me now give in my own fashion, and according to my own observations, a topographical and picturesque description of Pierre-en-Cize, internally and externally. It may be confidently accepted as correct, for I may say with truth, "I have seen."

The castle is situated on the banks of the Saone, as you enter Lyon by the faubourg of Vaize. It stands on a high and steep hill, which you ascend by steps cut in the rock. At the main-gate is a guardhouse, occupied by a company of the Lyonnais regiment,—some of them veterans, but a good number young soldiers of good conduct, admitted into the garrison as a favour. There was no possible means of escape this way; moreover, the prisoners were only allowed to walk in a portion of the courtyard; the sentinel stopped them