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THE PORTFOLIO,

NEW SERIES,

BY OLIVER OLDSCHOOL, ESQ.

Various; that the mind
of desultory man, studious of change,
And pleas'd with novelty, may be indulged.

CowPER.

VOL, VII.

APRIL, 1812.

No. 4.

FOR THE PORT FOLIO.

LIFE OF A TYROLESE AT WASHINGTON.

ACCOUNT OF THE REMARKABLE TYROLESE, PATRONIZED BY

THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.

Sully thought it worth while to delineate the character of Servin; Goldsmith employed himself in describing the qualities of Chrichton; and Johnson has drawn at full length the portrait of Savage. Other extraordinary persons demand from time to time the aid of biography. For a year and more, a remarkable man has lived at the seat of the national government. He has attracted so much attention as to have been the subject of a special act of congress. Few of the members knew much about him; and still less was known to the public. On the passage of the bill in his favour, one of the representatives of the people was from diffidence and the love of quiet, withheld from delivering the following history of the man.

GERVASIO PROBASIO SANTUARI was born at a village ncar Trent, in the Tyrol, on the twenty-first of October, 1772. He VOL. VIII.

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was educated in one of the schools of that country, in which part of the learner's time is devoted to literature, and part to the exercise of the agricultural and mechanic arts. He was then sent to college, for the purpose of being educated to the Romish church. But not liking his occupation or prospects, he quitted his theological studies, and entered very young into the married life. For a while he solicited employment as a surveyor of land. Shortly after, when Joseph the Second ordered an expedition against the Turks, he entered the army under Laudun, and marched on the expedition to Belgrade. He afterwards sustained his part of the siege of Mantua under Wurmser. After the capitulation of that city, he was under the command of Alvinzy, and deserted from the Austrian army to avoid the pun. ishment of hanging for having been concerned in a duel. He joined the French at Milan, and passed by the name of Carlo Hossando. But growing weary of the suspicion wbich attached to him as a spy, he poisoned the guards by administering to them drink containing deadly doses of opium, and escaped to a village situated in the southern extremity of Switzerland. Here, to avoid detection, he assumed the name of Johan Eugene Lei. bensdorfer. From this place he sent word to his family of his situation, and received from them a remittance of money. With this he bought watches and jewellery, and travelled into France and Spain, selling his ware as he went.

In this capacity he visited Toulon, and was induced to embark in a vessel and sail for Egypt. After his arrival he wandered to Cairo, while Menou commanded the French forces, and he assisted in the agricultural and economical projects of the institute that was formed there. Some time after the arrival of the English army and of Abercrombie's death, he quitted the French and attached himself to the British. By the English officers he was encouraged to open a coffee-house, for their entertainment. In this occupation he collected money enough to buy a house, and to be concerned in a theatre, in which the military gentlemen of dramatic taste performed plays. Here he married a Coptic woman.

On the withdrawing of the English, he found it necessary to leave Alexandria too. He abandoned his wife, child and proper

ty, and arrived, after an ordinary voyage at Messina, in Sicily. At that place, being out of employment, and destitute of resources, he entered himself a novice in a monastery of Capuchin friars; and after having practised their discipline and enjoyed their bounty, under the name of Padre Anselmo, until a convenient opportunity offered of running away, he went off in a vessel for Smyrna. He soon reached Constantinople, and there rambled about for three days without food or drink. At length meeting a capuchin, he begged of him a pack of cards and a pistol; and with the aid of these he exhibited tricks, and retrieved in some measure his desperate fortune.

About this time, Brune who had commanded the French army at Milan, when he made his escape, arrived at Constantinople as the French ambassador; and he, fearing that he might be discovered and arrested, enlisted in the Turkish service. Two expeditions were then on foot; one against Passwan Oglou in Bulgaria; and the other against Elfy Bey in Egypt. He joined the latter; and on the defeat of the Turkish detachment to which he belonged, saved his head by betaking himself to the desert, and courting protection from the Bedoween Arabs. After his unfortunate expedition, he returned to Constantinople, and solicited a passport from the Russian minister to get into Muscovy. This being refused him, he once more endeavoured to obtain military employment, by the Turks; but in this he was unsuccessful.

He now resolved to assume the character of a dervise. These are the functionaries of religion, and always combine, with their sacerdotal office, those of physician and conjurer. To be initiated into this order he made a formal renunciation of christianity, denounced its followers for the wrongs and injuries they had done him, prosessed the Mahometan faith in due form, and to show that he was in earnest, circumcised himself, in the presence of the faithful, by his own hand with a razor. This being accomplished, he joined, under the new name of Murat Aga, a caravan for Trebizond, on the southern shore of the Black sea. On the way he practised his profession by giving directions to the sick and selling, for considerable sums of money, small pieces of paper on which were written sentences from the Ko

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