I was traveling in a coup

I was traveling in a coupe, with a very handsome pair of young thoroughbred English horses. One horse began to rear; he caught his foot and then started to bolt, taking the other horse with him. As they were tearing down a slope in the park, the reins snapped and the coachman was thrown from his seat (he received a very nasty bruising). The carriage was smashed to bits as it was flung against tree after tree; we should have been thrown over a precipice if the vehicle had not been stopped at length by a tree. One of the horses tore itself free and bolted madly, but the other fell with the carriage on top of it. The windows were smashed by branches. Luckily I was unhurt, apart from having my legs bruised from the jolting I had received… None of those who saw what had happened, or we ourselves, could understand how we had escaped being smashed to pieces. I confess that I was calm as I saw my last hour approaching, but the thought of broken legs and hands appalls me. To be a cripple would put the finishing touch to me.”