Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/48

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A FRENCH VOLUNTEER


about two and a half feet high, all round the room. I may note also as a strange freak of chance, that this predecessor was a near relative of my aunt. I will not say that she had anything to do with his imprisonment, for I never inquired the reason of it, but at any rate it caused the cell to seem quite like a family apartment. The purchase of a quantity of blue paper,—the paper in which hair powder is usually packed,—was therefore one of my first steps, for the sapper required a mantlet behind which he could work. Above all, I had need of money. Money has been called the sinews of war, and is certainly necessary in all great enterprises, and no enterprise was greater in my eyes than that which absorbed all my thoughts. Virgil has said,

Quid non mortalia pectora cogis
Auri sacra fames.

If he had been in my place he would have said, as I did, sacra fames libertatis.

I received fifty francs a month, to enable me to supplement my scanty fare with