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Anecdotes Home




The duke of Ossuna, viceroy of Naples, once visited the
galleys, and passing through the prisoners, he asked several of them what
their offences were. All of them excused themselves upon various pretences;
one said he was put in out of malice, another by bribery of the judge; but
all of them declared they were punished unjustly. The duke came at last to
a little black man, whom he questioned as to what he was there for. "My
lord," said he, "I cannot deny but I am justly put in here; for I wanted
money, and my family was starving, so I robbed a passenger near Tarragona
of his purse." The duke, on hearing this, gave him a blow on the shoulder
with his stick, saying, "You rogue, what are you doing here among so many
honest, innocent men? Get you out of their company." The poor fellow was
then set at liberty, while the rest were left to tug at the oar.





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