Excerpt from Memoirs of Don Juan Van Halen, Vol. 2 of 2: Comprising the Narrative of His Imprisonment in the Dungeons of the Inquisition at Madrid, and of His Escape, His Journey to Russia, His Campaign With the Army of the Caucasus, &C. &C
November (1818) had just commenced,... and soon the navigation of the Baltic would be en tirely closed. My slender means required that I should proceed to Petersburgh by sea; but the last vessel for Riga having sailed from the Thames on the 18th, I lost the Opportunity of sailing, owing to a delay that occurred in the delivery of the passport, occasioned by some obstacles which were started by the Spanish ambassador to prevent my departure.
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