I ordered the coachman to put in his horses instantly, and when the coach was ready I took up the countess and carried her to it. The canon followed us in blank astonishment, and asked me what was the matter. I told him to bid the coachman drive fast and not to spare his horses. He did so, but he asked again what was the matter.
"The countess will be delivered of a child if we do not make haste."
I thought I should be bound to laugh, in spite of my sympathies for the poor lady's pains, when I saw the dean turn green and white and purple, and look as if he were going into a fit, as he realized that the countess might be delivered before his eyes in his own carriage. The poor man looked as grievously tormented as St. Laurence on his gridiron. The bishop was at Plombieres; they would write and tell him! It would be in all the papers! "Quick! coachman, quick!"
We got to the castle before it was too late. I carried the lady into her rook, and they ran for a surgeon and a midwife. It was no good, however, for in five minutes the count came out and said the countess had just been happily delivered. The dean looked as if a weight had been taken off his mind; however, he took the precaution of having himself blooded.
I spent an extremely pleasant four months at Augsburg, supping twice or thrice a week at Count Lamberg's. At these suppers I made the acquaintance of a very remarkable man--Count Thura and Valsamina, then a page in the prince-bishop's household, now Dean of Ratisbon. He was always at the count's, as was also Dr. Algardi, of Bologna, the prince's physician and a delightful man.
I often saw at the same house a certain Baron Sellenthin, a Prussian officer, who was always recruiting for his master at Augsburg. He was a pleasant man, somewhat in the Gascon style, soft-spoken, and an expert gamester. Five or six years ago I had a letter from him dated Dresden, in which he said that though he was old, and had married a rich wife, he repented of having married at all. I should say the same if I had ever chanced to marry.
During my stay at Augsburg several Poles, who had left their country on account of the troubles, came to see me. Amongst others was Rzewuski, the royal Prothonotary, whom I had known at St. Petersburg as the lover of poor Madame Langlade.
"What a diet! What plots! What counterplots! What misfortunes!" said this honest Pole, to me. "Happy are they who have nothing to do with it!"
He was going to Spa, and he assured me that if I followed him I should find Prince Adam's sister, Tomatis, and Madame Catai, who had become the manager's wife. I determined to go to Spa, and to take measures so that I might go there with three or four hundred ducats in my purse. To this intent I wrote to Prince Charles of Courland, who was at Venice, to send me a hundred ducats, and in my letter I gave him an infallible receipt for the philosopher's stone. The letter containing this vast secret was not in cypher, so I advised him to burn it after he had read it, assuring him that I possessed a copy. He did not do so, and it was taken to Paris with his order papers when he was sent to the Bastile.
If it had not been for the Revolution my letter would never have seen the light. When the Bastille was destroyed, my letter was found and printed with other curious compositions, which were afterwards translated into German and English. The ignorant fools that abound in the land where my fate wills that I should write down the chief events of my long and troublous life--these fools, I say, who are naturally my sworn foes (for the ass lies not down with the horse), make this letter an article of accusation against me, and think they can stop my mouth by telling me that the letter has been translated into German, and remains to my eternal shame. The ignorant Bohemians are astonished when I tell them that I regard the letter as redounding to my glory, and that if their ears were not quite so long their blame would be turned into praise.
I do not know whether my letter has been correctly translated, but since it has become public property I shall set it down here in homage to truth, the only god I adore.