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St Ives - Robert Louis Stevenson

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St Ives - Robert Louis Stevenson

St. Ives
The Adventures of a French Prisoner
in England


IT was in the month of May 1813 that I was so unlucky as to fall at 
last into the hands of the enemy.  My knowledge of the English 
language had marked me out for a certain employment.  Though I 
cannot conceive a soldier refusing to incur the risk, yet to be 
hanged for a spy is a disgusting business; and I was relieved to be 
held a prisoner of war.  Into the Castle of Edinburgh, standing in 
the midst of that city on the summit of an extraordinary rock, I 
was cast with several hundred fellow-sufferers, all privates like 
myself, and the more part of them, by an accident, very ignorant, 
plain fellows.  My English, which had brought me into that scrape, 
now helped me very materially to bear it.  I had a thousand 
advantages.  I was often called to play the part of an interpreter, 
whether of orders or complaints, and thus brought in relations, 
sometimes of mirth, sometimes almost of friendship, with the 
officers in charge.  A young lieutenant singled me out to be his 
adversary at chess, a game in which I was extremely proficient, and 
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