Terror at Home!
When their work was done they liberated my husband, and we remained with our poor friends most of the night, although I often looked towards the Retreat, and thought of my poor helpless mother and our tender little children. When we went thither we found the house in confusion; the robbers had not long left it. They took several articles of value of my mother's, my sister's and ours; and made my mother's man-servant accompany them to the apartment where our children lay in their beds. They asked our little Elizabeth where her father kept his money. She cried, and said she did not know. 'I know,' called our little Jane, 'here my father keeps his money.' 'Where, honey?' 'In his breeches pocket.'
They broke open my husband's desk, and scattered his papers about the room; we missed none of them save three letters to me from Edmund Burke. The beauty of the pocket-book in which they were - a gift to me from his wife - no doubt caused it and them to be taken. I regretted my loss so much that I made a fruitless enquiry for them of the robber?s on their next visit. It is probable these precious relics shared the fate of the guinea notes at Vinegar Hill, being used to light the pipes of the robbers.
They took a great deal of clothes, and broke the furniture, apparently to get at the contents, for they took a looking glass off a chest of drawers, and laid it carefully aside. Perhaps, also, they recollected the superstitious notion that breaking a mirror brings bad luck to the breaker. In bursting open a wardrobe with the handle of a pistol, the charge exploded, and the ball passed through the bedstead in which lay little Jane. The room filled with smoke; the children screamed; the frightened servants ran in; and the robbers, also alarmed, hastened to see if the child was killed. She smiled in their faces, and told them not to be so frightened, for she was not hurt.
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