The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs of Count Grammont, Complete, by
Anthony Hamilton

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Title: The Memoirs of Count Grammont, Complete

Author: Anthony Hamilton

Editor: Sir Walter Scott

Release Date: June 22, 2009 [EBook #5416]
Last Updated: August 23, 2016

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by David Widger


By Anthony Hamilton

Edited, With Notes, By Sir Walter Scott















Anthony Hamilton, the celebrated author of the Grammont Memoirs, much cannot now be with certainty known.

[For uniformity’s sake the writer of this sketch has followed the Memoirs in the spelling of this name; but he thinks it necessary to observe that it should be Gramont, not Grammont.]

The accounts prefixed to the different editions of his works, down to the year 1805, are very imperfect; in that year a new, and, in general, far better edition than any of the preceding ones, was published in Paris, to which a sketch of his life was also added; but it contains rather just criticisms on his works, than any very novel or satisfactory anecdote concerning himself. It is not pretended here to gratify literary curiosity as fully as it ought to be, with regard to this singular and very ingenious man; some effort, however, may be made to communicate a few more particulars relative to him, than the public has hitherto, perhaps, been acquainted with.

Anthony Hamilton was of the noble family of that name: Sir George Hamilton, his father, was a younger son of James, Earl of Abercorn, a native of Scotland. His mother was daughter of Lord Thurles, and sister to James, the first Duke of Ormond; his family and connections therefore, on the maternal side, were entirely Irish. He was, as well as his brothers and sisters, born in Ireland, it is generally said, about the year 1646; but there is some reason to imagine that it was three or four years earlier. The place of his birth, according to the best family accounts, was Roscrea, in the county of Tipperary, the usual residence of his father when not engaged by military or public business.

[In September, 1646, Owen O’Neale took Roscrea, and, as Carte says, “put man, woman, and child to the sword, except Sir George Hamilton’s lady, sister to the Marquis of Ormond, and some few gentlewomen whom he kept prisoners.” No family suffered more in those disastrous times than the house of Ormond. Lady Hamilton died in August, 1680, as appears from an interesting and affecting letter of her brother, the Duke of Ormond, dated Carrick, August 25th. He had lost his noble son, Lord Ossory, not three weeks before.]

It has been always said, that the family migrated to France when Anthony was an infant; but this is not the fact: “Sir George Hamilton,” says Carte, “would have accompanied his brother-in-law, the Marquis of Ormond, to France, in December, 1650: but, as he was receiver-general in Ireland, he stayed to pass his accounts, which he did to the satisfaction of all parties, notwithstanding much clamour had been raised against him.” When that business was settled, he, in the spring of 1651, took Lady Hamilton and all his family to France, and resided with Lord and Lady Ormond, near Caen, in Normandy, in great poverty and distress, till the Marchioness of Ormond, a lady whose mind was as exalted as her birth, went over to England, and, after much solicitation obtained two thousand pounds a year from her own and, her husband’s different estates in Ireland.

[Hence possibly Voltaire’s mistake in stating that Hamilton was born at Caen, in his Catalogue des Ecrivains du Siecle de Louis XIV.]

This favour was granted her by Cromwell, who always professed the greatest respect for her. The Marchioness resided in Ireland, with the younger part of her family, from 1655 till after the Restoration; while the Marquis of Ormond continued for a considerable part of that period with his two sisters, Lady Clancarty and Lady Hamilton, at the Feuillatines, in the Faubourg St. Jacques, in Paris.

It appears from a letter of the Marquis to Sir Robert Southwell, that, although he himself was educated in the Protestant religion, not only his father and mother, but all his brothers and sisters, were bred, and always continued, Roman Catholics. Sir George Hamilton also, according to Carte, was a Roman Catholic; Anthony, therefore, was bred in the religion of his family, and conscientiously adhered to it through life.

[That historian states that the king (Charles I.) deprived several papists of their military commissions, and, among others, Sir George Hamilton, who, notwithstanding, served him with loyalty and unvarying fidelity.]

He entered early into the army of Louis XIV., as did his brothers George, Richard, and John, the former of whom introduced the company of English gens d’armes into France, in 1667, according to Le Pere Daniel, author of the History of the French Army, who adds the following short account of its establishment: Charles II., being restored to his throne, brought over to England several catholic officers and soldiers, who had served abroad with him and his brother, the Duke of York, and incorporated them with his guards; but the parliament having obliged him to dismiss all officers who were Catholics, the king permitted George Hamilton to take such as were willing to accompany him to France, where Louis XIV. formed them into a company of gens d’armes, and being highly pleased with them, became himself their captain, and made George Hamilton their captain-lieutenant:—[They were composed of English, Scotch, and Irish.] Whether Anthony belonged to this corps I know not; but this is certain, that he distinguished himself particularly in his profession, and was advanced to considerable posts in the French service.

Anthony Hamilton’s residence was now almost constantly in France. Some years previous to this he had been much in England, and, towards the close of Charles II.‘s reign, in Ireland, where so many of his connections remained. When James II. succeeded to the throne, the door being then opened to the Roman Catholics, he entered into the Irish army, where we find him, in 1686, a lieutenant-colonel in Sir Thomas Newcomen’s regiment. That he did not immediately hold a higher rank there, may perhaps be attributed to the recent accession of the king, his general absence from Ireland, the advanced age of his uncle, the Duke of Ormond, and, more than all, perhaps, to his Grace’s early disapprobation of James’s conduct in Ireland, which displayed itself more fully afterwards, especially in the ecclesiastical promotions.

Henry, Earl of Clarendon, son to the lord-chancellor, was at that time lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and appears, notwithstanding his general distrust and dislike of the Catholics, to have held Anthony Hamilton in much estimation: he speaks of his knowledge of, and constant attention to, the duties of his profession; his probity, and the dependance that was to be placed on him, in preference to others of the same religious persuasion, and, in October, 1686, wrote to the Earl of Sunderland respecting him, as follows: “I have only this one thing more to trouble your lordship with at present, concerning Colonel Anthony Hamilton, to get him a commission to command as colonel, though he is but lieutenant-colonel to Sir Thomas Newcomen, in regard of the commands he has had abroad: and I am told it is often done in France, which makes me hope it will not be counted an unreasonable request. I would likewise humbly recommend to make Colonel Anthony Hamilton a privy-councillor here.” Lord Clarendon’s recommendations were ultimately successful: Hamilton was made a privy-councillor in Ireland, and had a pension of L200 a year on the Irish establishment; and was appointed governor of Limerick, in the room of Sir William King, notwithstanding he had strongly opposed the new-modelling of the army by the furious Tyrconnel. In the brief accounts which have been given of his life, it is said that he had a regiment of infantry; but, though this is very probable, there is no mention whatever of his commanding a regiment in the lists published of King James’s army, which are supposed to be very accurate: he is indeed set down among the general officers. Lord Clarendon, in one of his letters to the lord-treasurer, states, “That the news of the day was, that Colonel Russell was to be lieutenant-colonel to the Duke of Ormond’s regiment, and that Colonel Anthony Hamilton was to have Russell’s regiment, and that Mr. Luttrell was to be lieutenant-colonel to Sir Thomas Newcomen, in the place of Anthony Hamilton.” It is not known whether Anthony was present at the battle of the Boyne, or of Aughrim: his brother John was killed at the latter; and Richard, who was a lieutenant-general, led on the cavalry with uncommon gallantry and spirit at the Boyne it is to be wished that his candour and integrity had equalled his courage; but, he acted with great duplicity; and King William’s contemptuous echoing back his word to him, when he declared something on his honour, is well known: He is frequently mentioned by Lord Clarendon, but by no means with the same approbation as his brother. After the total overthrow of James’s affairs in Ireland, the two brothers finally quitted these kingdoms, and retired to France. Richard lived much with the Cardinal de Bouillon, who was the great protector of the Irish in France, and kept (what must have been indeed highly consolatory to many an emigrant of condition) a magnificent table, which has been recorded in the most glowing and grateful terms, by that gay companion, and celebrated lover of good cheer, Philippe de Coulanges, who occasionally mentions the “amiable Richard Hamilton” as one of the cardinal’s particular intimates. Anthony, who was regarded particularly as a man of letters and elegant talents, resided almost entirely at St. Germain: solitary walks in the forest of that place occupied his leisure hours in the morning; and poetical pursuits, or agreeable society, engaged the evening: but much of his time seems to have rolled heavily along; his sister, Madame de Grammont, living more at court, or in Paris, than always suited his inclinations or his convenience. His great resource at St. Germain was the family of the Duke of Berwick (son of James II.): that nobleman appears to have been amiable in private life, and his attachment to Hamilton was steady and sincere. The Duchess of Berwick was also his friend. It is necessary to mention this lady particularly, as well as her sisters: they were the daughters of Henry Bulkeley, son to the first viscount of that name: their father had been master of the household to Charles: their mother was Lady Sophia Stewart, sister to the beautiful Duchess of Richmond, so conspicuous in the Grammont Memoirs. The sisters of the Duchess of Berwick were Charlotte, married to Lord Clare, Henrietta, and Laura. They all occupy a considerable space in Hamilton’s correspondence, and the two last are the ladies so often addressed as the Mademoiselles B.; they are almost the constant subjects of Hamilton’s verses; and it is recorded that he was a particular admirer of Henrietta Bulkeley; but their union would have been that of hunger and thirst, for both were very poor and very illustrious: their junction would, of course, have militated against every rule of common prudence. To the influence of this lady, particularly, we are indebted for one or two of Hamilton’s agreeable novels: she had taste enough to laugh at the extravagant stories then so much in fashion, “plus arabes qu’en Arabie,” as Hamilton says; and he, in compliance with her taste, and his own, soon put the fashionable tales to flight, by the publication of the ‘Quatre Facardins’, and, more especially, ‘La Fleur d’Epine’.

[They were wretched imitations of some of the Persian and Arabian tales, in which everything was distorted, and rendered absurd and preposterous.]

Some of the introductory verses to these productions are written with peculiar ease and grace; and are highly extolled, and even imitated, by Voltaire. La Harpe praises the Fleur d’Epine, as the work of an original genius: I do not think, however, that they are much relished in England, probably because very ill translated. Another of his literary productions was the novel called Le Belier, which he wrote on the following occasion: Louis XIV. had presented to the Countess of Grammont (whom he highly esteemed) a remarkably elegant small country house in the park of Versailles: this house became so fashionable a resort, and brought such constant visitors, that the Count de Grammont said, in his usual way, he would present the king with a list of all the persons he was obliged to entertain there, as more suited to his Majesty’s purse than his own: the countess wished to change the name of the place from the vulgar appellation of Le Moulineau into that of Pentalie: and Hamilton, in his novel, wrote a history of a giant, an enchantment, and a princess, to commemorate her resolution. It has however happened that the giant Moulineau has had the advantage in the course of time; for the estate, which is situated near Meudon, upon the Seine, retains its original and popular designation.

About the year 1704, Hamilton turned his attention to collecting the memoirs of his brother-in-law, the Count de Grammont, as we may conjecture, from the epistle beginning “Honneur des rives eloignees” being written towards the close of the above year: it is dated, or supposed to be so, from the banks of the Garonne. Among other authors whom Hamilton at first proposes to Grammont, as capable of writing his life (though, on reflection, he thinks them not suited to it), is Boileau, whose genius he professes to admire; but adds that his muse has somewhat of malignity; and that such a muse might caress with one hand and satirize him with the other. This letter was sent by Hamilton to Boileau, who answered him with great politeness; but, at the same time that he highly extolled the epistle to Grammont, he, very naturally, seemed anxious to efface any impression which such a representation of his satiric vein might make on the Count’s mind, and accordingly added a few complimentary verses to him: this letter is dated, Paris, 8th February, 1705. About the same time, another letter was written to Hamilton on the subject of the Epistle to Grammont, by La Chapelle, who also seemed desirous that his life should be given to the public, but was much perplexed which of the most celebrated ancients to compare the count to. Mecaenas first presented himself to his imagination: absurdly enough, in my opinion; for there was not a trace of similitude between the two characters. This, however, afforded him some opportunity, as he thought, of discovering a resemblance between Horace and Hamilton, in which he equally failed. Petronius is then brought forward, as affording some comparison to the Count;—a man of pleasure, giving up the day to sleep, and the night to entertainment; but then, adds La Chapelle, it will be suggested that, such is the perpetual activity of the Count of Grammont’s mind, he may be said to sleep neither night nor day; and if Petronius died, the Count seems determined never to die at all. (He was at this time about eighty-five years of age.) It may well be supposed that all this, though now perfectly vapid and uninteresting, was extremely flattering to Grammont; and the result was, that he very much wished to have his life, or part of it, at least, given to the public. Hamilton, who had been so long connected with him, and with whose agreeable talents he was now so familiarized, was, on every account, singled out by him as the person who could best introduce him historically to the public. It is ridiculous to mention Grammont as the author of his own Memoirs: his excellence, as a man of wit, was entirely limited to conversation. Bussy Rabutin, who knew him perfectly, states that he wrote almost worse than any one. If this was said, and very truly, of him in his early days, it can hardly be imagined that he would, when between eighty and ninety years of age, commence a regular, and, in point of style, most finished composition. Besides, independent of everything else, what man would so outrage all decorum as to call himself the admiration of the age? for so is Grammont extolled in the Memoirs, with a variety of other encomiastic expressions; although, perhaps, such vanity has not been without example. Hamilton, it is true, says that he acts as Grammont’s secretary, and only holds the pen, whilst the Count dictates to him such particulars of his life as were the most singular, and least known. This is said with great modesty, and, as to part of the work, perhaps with great truth: it requires, however, some explanation. Grammont was more than twenty years older than Hamilton; consequently, the earlier part of his life could only have been known, or was best known, to the latter from repeated conversations, and the long intimacy which subsisted between them. Whether Grammont formally dictated the events of his younger days, or not, is of little consequence from his general character, it is probable that he did not. However, the whole account of such adventures as he was engaged in, from his leaving home to his interview with Cardinal Mazarin (excepting the character of Monsieur de Senantes, and Matta, who was well known to Hamilton), the relation of the siege of Lerida, the description of Gregorio Brice, and the inimitable discovery of his own magnificent suit of clothes on the ridiculous bridegroom at Abbeville; all such particulars must have been again and again repeated to Hamilton by Grammont, and may therefore be fairly grounded on the count’s authority. The characters of the court of Charles II., and its history, are to be ascribed to Hamilton: from his residence, at various times, in the court of London, his connection with the Ormond family, not to mention others, he must have been well acquainted with them. Lady Chesterfield, who may be regarded almost as the heroine of the work, was his cousin-german.

[She was born at the castle of Kilkenny, July, 1640, as appears from Carte’s life of her father, the Duke of Ormond.]

But, although the history altogether was written by Hamilton, it may not perhaps be known to every reader that Grammont himself sold the manuscript for fifteen hundred livres; and when it was brought to Fontenelle, then censor of the press, he refused to license it, from respect to the character of the Count, which, he thought, was represented as that of a gambler, and an unprincipled one too. In fact, Grammont, like many an old gentleman, seems to have recollected the gaieties of his youth with more complaisance than was necessary, and has drawn them in pretty strong colours in that part of the work which is more particularly his own. He laughed at poor Fontenelle’s scruples, and complained to the chancellor, who forced the censor to acquiesce: the license was granted, and the Count put the whole of the money, or the best part of it, in his pocket, though he acknowledged the work to be Hamilton’s. This is exactly correspondent to his general character: when money was his object, he had little, or rather no delicacy.

The History of Grammont may be considered as unique there is nothing like it in any language. For drollery, knowledge of the world, various satire, general utility, united with great vivacity of composition, Gil Blas is unrivalled: but, as a merely agreeable book, the Memoirs of Grammont perhaps deserve that character more than any which was ever written: it is pleasantry throughout, pleasantry of the best sort, unforced, graceful, and engaging. Some French critic has justly observed, that, if any book were to be selected as affording the truest specimen of perfect French gaiety, the Memoirs of Grammont would be selected in preference to all others. This has a Frenchman said of the work of a foreigner: but that foreigner possessed much genius, had lived from his youth, not only in the best society of France, but with the most singular and agreeable man that France could produce. Still, however, though Grammont and Hamilton were of dispositions very different, the latter must have possessed talents peculiarly brilliant, and admirably adapted to coincide with, and display those of his brother-in-law to the utmost advantage. Gibbon extols the “ease and purity of Hamilton’s inimitable style;” and in this he is supported by Voltaire, although he adds the censure, that the Grammont Memoirs are, in point of materials, the most trifling; he might also in truth have said, the most improper. The manners of the court of Charles II. were, to the utmost, profligate and abandoned: yet in what colours have they been drawn by Hamilton? The elegance of his pencil has rendered them more seductive and dangerous, than if it had more faithfully copied the originals. From such a mingled mass of grossness of language, and of conduct, one would have turned away with disgust and abhorrence; but Hamilton was, to use the words of his admirer, Lord Orford, “superior to the indelicacy of the court,” whose vices he has so agreeably depicted; and that superiority has sheltered such vices from more than half the oblivion which would now have for ever concealed them.

The Count de Grammont died in 1707. Some years after the publication of his Memoirs, Hamilton was engaged in a very different work: he translated Pope’s Essay on Criticism into French, and, as it should seem, so much to that great poet’s satisfaction, that he wrote a very polite letter of thanks to him, which is inserted in Pope’s Correspondence. Hamilton’s Essay was, I believe, never printed, though Pope warmly requested to have that permission: the reign of Louis XIV. had now ceased; and, for several years before his death, the character of the old court of that prince had ceased also: profligacy and gaiety had given way to devotion and austerity. Of Hamilton’s friends and literary acquaintance few were left: the Duke of Berwick was employed in the field, or at Versailles: some of the ladies, however, continued at St. Germain; and in their society, particularly that of his niece, the Countess of Stafford (in whose name he carried on a lively correspondence with Lady Mary Wortley Montague), he passed much of his time. He occasionally indulged in poetical compositions, of a style suited to his age and character; and when he was past seventy, he wrote that excellent copy of verses, ‘Sur l’ Usage de la Vie dans la Vieillesse’; which, for grace of style, justness, and purity of sentiment, does honour to his memory.

Hamilton died at St. Germain, in April, 1720, aged about seventy-four. His death was pious and resigned. From his poem, entitled Reflections, he appears, like some other authors, to have turned his mind, in old age, entirely to those objects of sacred regard, which, sooner or later, must engage the attention of every rational mind. To poetry he bids an eternal adieu, in language which breathes no diminution of genius, at the moment that he for ever recedes from the poetical character. But he aspired to a better.

Whatever were Hamilton’s errors, his general character was respectable. He has been represented as grave, and even dull, in society; the very reverse, in short, of what he appears in his Memoirs: but this is probably exaggerated. Unquestionably, he had not the unequalled vivacity of the Count de Grammont in conversation; as Grammont was, on the other hand, inferior, in all respects, to Hamilton when the pen was in his hand; the latter was, however, though reserved in a large society, particularly agreeable in a more select one. Some of his letters remain, in which he alludes to his want of that facility at impromptu which gave such brilliancy to the conversation of some of his brother wits and contemporaries. But, while we admit the truth of this, let it be remembered, at the same time, that when he wrote this, he was by no means young; that he criticised his own defects with severity; that he was poor, and living in a court which itself subsisted on the alms of another. Amidst such circumstances, extemporary gaiety cannot always be found. I can suppose, that the Duchess of Maine, who laid claim to the character of a patroness of wit, and, like many who assert such claims, was very troublesome, very self-sufficient, and very ‘exigeante’, might not always have found that general superiority, or even transient lustre, which she expected in Hamilton’s society: yet, considering the great difference of their age and situation, this circumstance will not greatly impeach his talents for conversation. But the work of real genius must for ever remain; and of Hamilton’s genius, the Grammont Memoirs will always continue a beauteous and graceful monument. To that monument may also be added, the candour, integrity, and unassuming virtues of the amiable author.


As those who read only for amusement are, in my opinion, more worthy of attention than those who open a book merely to find fault, to the former I address myself, and for their entertainment commit the following pages to press, without being in the least concerned about the severe criticisms of the latter. I further declare, that the order of time and disposition of the facts, which give more trouble to the writer than pleasure to the reader, shall not much embarrass me in these Memoirs. It being my design to convey a just idea of my hero, those circumstances which most tend to illustrate and distinguish his character shall find a place in these fragments just as they present themselves to my imagination, without paying any particular attention to their arrangement. For, after all, what does it signify where the portrait is begun, provided the assemblage of the parts forms a whole which perfectly expresses the original? The celebrated Plutarch, who treats his heroes as he does his readers, commences the life of the one just as he thinks fit, and diverts the attention of the other with digressions into antiquity, or agreeable passages of literature, which frequently have no reference to the subject; for instance, he tells us that Demetrius Poliorcetes was far from being so tall as his father, Antigonus; and afterwards, that his reputed father, Antigonus, was only his uncle; but this is not until he has begun his life with a short account of his death, his various exploits, his good and bad qualities; and at last, out of compassion to his failings, brings forward a comparison between him and the unfortunate Mark Antony.

What I have said upon this subject is not meant to reflect upon this historian, to whom, of all the ancients, we are most obliged; it is only intended to authorize the manner in which I have treated a life far more extraordinary than any of those he has transmitted to us. It is my part to describe a man whose inimitable character casts a veil over those faults which I shall neither palliate nor disguise; a man distinguished by a mixture of virtues and vices so closely linked together as in appearance to form a necessary dependence, glowing with the greatest beauty when united, shining with the brightest lustre when opposed.

It is this indefinable brilliancy, which, in war, in love, in gaming, and in the various stages of a long life, has rendered the Count de Grammont the admiration of his age, and the delight of every country wherein he has displayed his engaging wit, dispensed his generosity and magnificence, or practised his inconstancy: it is owing to this that the sallies of a sprightly imagination have produced those admirable bons-mots which have been with universal applause transmitted to posterity. It is owing to this that he preserved his judgment free and unembarrassed in the most trying situations, and enjoyed an uncommon presence of mind and facetiousness of temper in the most imminent dangers of war. I shall not attempt to draw his portrait: his person has been described by Bussi and St. Evremond, authors more entertaining than faithful.

[Voltaire, in the age of Louis XIV., ch. 24, speaking of that monarch, says, “even at the same time when he began to encourage genius by his liberality, the Count de Bussi was severely punished for the use he made of his: he was sent to the Bastile in 1664. ‘The Amours of the Gauls’ was the pretence of his imprisonment; but the true cause was the song in which the king was treated with too much freedom, and which, upon this occasion, was brought to remembrance to ruin Bussi, the reputed author of it. Que Deodatus est heureux, De baiser ce bec amoureux, Qui d’une oreille a l’autre va! See Deodatus with his billing dear, Whose amorous mouth breathes love from ear to ear! “His works were not good enough to compensate for the mischief they did him. He spoke his own language with purity: he had some merit, but more conceit: and he made no use of the merit he had, but to make himself enemies.” Voltaire adds, “Bussi was released at the end of eighteen months; but he was in disgrace all the rest of his life, in vain protesting a regard for Louis XIV.” Bussi died 1693. Of St. Evremond, see note, postea.]

The former has represented the Chevalier Grammont as artful, fickle, and even somewhat treacherous in his amours, and indefatigable and cruel in his jealousies. St. Evremond has used other colours to express the genius and describe the general manners of the Count; whilst both, in their different pictures, have done greater honour to themselves than justice to their hero.

It is, therefore, to the Count we must listen, in the agreeable relation of the sieges and battles wherein he distinguished himself under another hero; and it is on him we must rely for the truth of passages the least glorious of his life, and for the sincerity with which he relates his address, vivacity, frauds, and the various stratagems he practised either in love or gaming. These express his true character, and to himself we owe these memoirs, since I only hold the pen, while he directs it to the most remarkable and secret passages of his life.


In those days affairs were not managed in France as at present. Louis XIII.—[Son and successor of Henry IV. He began to reign 14th May, 1610, and died 14th May, 1643.]—then sat upon the throne, but the Cardinal de Richelieu, governed the kingdom; great men commanded little armies, and little armies did great things; the fortune of great men depended solely upon ministerial favour, and blind devotion to the will of the minister was the only sure method of advancement.

[Of this great minister Mr. Hume gives the following character:— “Undaunted, Undaunted and implacable, prudent and active, he braved all the opposition of the French princes and nobles in the prosecution of his vengeance; he discovered and dissipated all their secret cabals and conspiracies. His sovereign himself he held in subjection, while he exalted the throne. The people, while they lost their liberties, acquired, by means of his administration, learning, order, discipline, and renown.”]

Vast designs were then laying in the heart of neighbouring states the foundation of that formidable greatness to which France has now risen: the police was somewhat neglected; the highways were impassable by day, and the streets by night; but robberies were committed elsewhere with greater impunity. Young men, on their first entrance into the world, took what course they thought proper. Whoever would, was a chevalier, and whoever could, an abbe: I mean a beneficed abbe: dress made no distinction between them; and I believe the Chevalier Grammont was both the one and the other at the siege of Trino.—[Trino was taken 4th May, 1639.]—This was his first campaign, and here he displayed those attractive graces which so favourably prepossess, and require neither friends nor recommendations in any company to procure a favourable reception. The siege was already formed when he arrived, which saved him some needless risks; for a volunteer cannot rest at ease until he has stood the first fire: he went therefore to reconnoitre the generals, having no occasion to reconnoitre the place. Prince Thomas commanded the army; and as the post of lieutenant-general was not then known, Du Plessis Pralin and the famous Viscount Turenne were his majors general. Fortified places were treated with some respect, before a power which nothing can withstand had found means to destroy them by dreadful showers of bombs, and by destructive batteries of hundreds of pieces of cannon. Before these furious storms which drive governors underground and reduce their garrisons to powder, repeated sallies bravely repulsed, and vigorous attacks nobly sustained, signalized both the art of the besiegers and the courage of the besieged; consequently, sieges were of some length, and young men had an opportunity of gaining some knowledge. Many brave actions were performed on each side during the siege of Trino; a great deal of fatigue was endured, and considerable losses sustained; but fatigue was no more considered, hardships were no more felt in the trenches, gravity was at an end with the generals, and the troops were no longer dispirited after the arrival of the Chevalier Grammont. Pleasure was his pursuit, and he made it universal.

Among the officers in the army, as in all other places, there are men of real merit, or pretenders to it. The latter endeavoured to imitate the Chevalier Grammont in his most shining qualities, but without success; the former admired his talents and courted his friendship. Of this number was Matta:

[Matta, or Matha, of whom Hamilton has drawn so striking a picture, is said to have been of the house of Bourdeille, which had the honour to produce Brautome and Montresor. The combination of indolence and talent, of wit and simplicity, of bluntness and irony, with which he is represented, may have been derived from tradition, but could only have been united into the inimitable whole by the pen of Hamilton. Several of his bons-mots have been preserved; but the spirit evaporates in translation. “Where could I get this nose,” said Madame D’Albret, observing a slight tendency to a flush in that feature. “At the side board, Madame,” answered Matta. When the same lady, in despair at her brother’s death, refused all nourishment, Matta administered this blunt consolation: “If you are resolved, madame, never again to swallow food, you do well; but if ever you mean to eat upon any future occasion, believe me, you may as well begin just now.” Madame Caylus, in her Souvenirs, commemorates the simple and natural humour of Matta as rendering him the most delightful society in the world. Mademoiselle, in her Memoirs, alludes to his pleasantry in conversation, and turn for deep gaming. When the Memoirs of Grammont were subjected to the examination of Fontenelle, then censor of the Parisian press, he refused to license them, or account of the scandalous conduct imputed to Grammont in this party at quinze. The count no sooner heard of this than he hastened to Fontenelle, and having joked him for being more tender of his reputation than he was himself, the license was instantly issued. The censor might have retorted upon Grammont the answer which the count made to a widow who received coldly his compliments of condolence on her husband’s death: “Nay, madame, if that is the way you take it, I care as little about it as you do.” He died in 1674. “Matta est mort sans confession,” says Madame Maintenon, in a letter to her brother. Tome I., p. 67.]

He was agreeable in his person, but still more by the natural turn of his wit; he was plain and simple in his manners, but endued with a quick discernment and refined delicacy, and full of candour and integrity in all his actions. The Chevalier Grammont was not long in discovering his amiable qualities; an acquaintance was soon formed, and was succeeded by the strictest intimacy.

Matta insisted that the Chevalier should take up his quarters with him; to which he only consented on condition of equally contributing to the expense. As they were both liberal and magnificent, at their common cost they gave the best designed and most luxurious entertainments that had ever yet been seen. Play was wonderfully productive at first, and the Chevalier restored by a hundred different ways that which he obtained only by one. The generals, being entertained by turns, admired their magnificence, and were dissatisfied with their own officers for not keeping such good tables and attendance. The Chevalier had the talent of setting off the most indifferent things to advantage; and his wit was so generally acknowledged, that it was a kind of disgrace not to submit to his taste. To him Matta resigned the care of furnishing the table and doing its honours; and, charmed with the general applause, persuaded himself that nothing could be more honourable than their way of living, and nothing more easy than to continue it; but he soon perceived that the greatest prosperity is not the most lasting. Good living, bad economy, dishonest servants, and ill-luck, all uniting together to disconcert their housekeeping, their table was going to be gradually laid aside, when the Chevalier’s genius, fertile in resources, undertook to support his former credit by the following expedient.

They had never yet conferred about the state of their finances, although the steward had acquainted each, separately, that he must either receive money to continue the expenses, or give in his accounts. One day, when the Chevalier came home sooner than usual, he found Matta fast asleep in an easy chair, and, being unwilling to disturb his rest, he began musing on his project. Matta awoke without his perceiving it; and having, for a short time, observed the deep contemplation he seemed involved in, and the profound silence between two persons who had never held their tongues for a moment when together before, he broke it by a sudden fit of laughter, which increased in proportion as the other stared at him. “A merry way of waking, and ludicrous enough,” said the Chevalier; “what is the matter, and whom do you laugh at!” “Faith, Chevalier,” said Matta, “I am laughing at a dream I had just now, which is so natural and diverting, that I must make you laugh at it also. I was dreaming that we had dismissed our maitre-d’hotel, our cook, and our confectioner, having resolved, for the remainder of the campaign, to live upon others as others have lived upon us: this was my dream. Now tell me, Chevalier, on what were you musing?” “Poor fellow!” said the Chevalier, shrugging up his shoulders, “you are knocked down at once, and thrown into the utmost consternation and despair at some silly stories which the maitre-d’hotel has been telling you as well as me. What! after the figure we have made in the face of the nobility and foreigners in the army, shall we give it up, and like fools and beggars sneak off, upon the first failure of our money! Have you no sentiments of honour? Where is the dignity of France?” “And where is the money?” said Matta; “for my men say, the devil may take them, if there be ten crowns in the house, and I believe you have not much more, for it is above a week since I have seen you pull out your purse, or count your money, an amusement you were very fond of in prosperity.” “I own all this,” said the Chevalier, “but yet I will force you to confess, that you are but a mean-spirited fellow upon this occasion. What would have become of you if you had been reduced to the situation I was in at Lyons, four days before I arrived here? I will tell you the story.”


“This,” said Matta, “smells strongly of romance, except that it should have been your squire’s part to tell your adventures.”

“True,” said the Chevalier; “however, I may acquaint you with my first exploits without offending my modesty; besides, my squire’s style borders too much upon the burlesque for an heroic narrative.

“You must know, then, that upon my arrival at Lyons—”

“Is it thus you begin?” said Matta. “Pray give us your history a little further back. The most minute particulars of a life like yours are worthy of relation; but above all, the manner in which you first paid your respects to Cardinal Richelieu: I have often laughed at it. However, you may pass over the unlucky pranks of your infancy, your genealogy, name and quality of your ancestors, for that is a subject with which you must be utterly unacquainted.”

“Pooh!” said the Chevalier; “you think that all the world is as ignorant as yourself; you think that I am a stranger to the Mendores and the Corisandes. So, perhaps I don’t know that it was my father’s own fault that he was not the son of Henry IV. The king would by all means have acknowledged him for his son, but the traitor would never consent to it. See what the Grammonts would have been now, but for this cross-grained fellow! They would have had precedence of the Caesars de Vendome. You may laugh if you like, yet it is as true as the gospel: but let us come to the point.

“I was sent to the college of Pau, with the intention of being brought up to the church; but as I had quite different views, I made no manner of improvement: gaming was so much in my head, that both my tutor and the master lost their labour in endeavouring to teach me Latin. Old Brinon, who served me both as valet-de-chambre and governor, in vain threatened to acquaint my mother. I only studied when I pleased, that is to say, seldom or never: however, they treated me as is customary with scholars of my quality; I was raised to all the dignities of the forms, without having merited them, and left college nearly in the same state in which I entered it; nevertheless, I was thought to have more knowledge than was requisite for the abbacy which my brother had solicited for me. He had just married the niece of a minister, to whom every one cringed: he was desirous to present me to him. I felt but little regret to quit the country, and great impatience to see Paris. My brother having kept me some time with him, in order to polish me, let me loose upon the town to shake off my rustic air, and learn the manners of the world. I so thoroughly gained them, that I could not be persuaded to lay them aside when I was introduced at court in the character of an Abby. You know what kind of dress was then the fashion. All that they could obtain of me was to put a cassock over my other clothes, and my brother, ready to die with laughing at my ecclesiastical habit, made others laugh too. I had the finest head of hair in the world, well curled and powdered, above my cassock, and below were white buskins and gilt spurs. The Cardinal, who had a quick discernment, could not help laughing. This elevation of sentiment gave him umbrage; and he foresaw what might be expected from a genius that already laughed at the shaven crown and cowl.

“When my brother had taken me home, ‘Well, my little parson,’ said he, ‘you have acted your part to admiration, and your parti-coloured dress of the ecclesiastic and soldier has greatly diverted the court; but this is not all: you must now choose, my little knight. Consider then, whether, by sticking to the church, you will possess great revenues, and have nothing to do; or, with a small portion, you will risk the loss of a leg or arm, and be the fructus belli of an insensible court, to arrive in your old age at the dignity of a major-general, with a glass eye and a wooden leg.’ ‘I know,’ said I, ‘that there is no comparison between these two situations, with regard to the conveniences of life; but, as a man ought to secure his future state in preference to all other considerations, I am resolved to renounce the church for the salvation of my soul, upon condition, however, that I keep my abbacy.’ Neither the remonstrances nor authority of my brother could induce me to change my resolution; and he was forced to agree to this last article in order to keep me at the academy. You know that I am the most adroit man in France, so that I soon learned all that is taught at such places, and, at the same time, I also learnt that which gives the finishing stroke to a young fellow’s education, and makes him a gentleman, viz. all sorts of games, both at cards and dice; but the truth is, I thought, at first, that I had more skill in them than I really had, as experience proved. When my mother knew the choice I had made, she was inconsolable; for she reckoned, that had I been a clergyman I should have been a saint; but now she was certain that I should either be a devil in the world, or be killed in the wars. And indeed I burned with impatience to be a soldier; but being yet too young, I was forced to make a campaign at Bidache—[A principality belonging to the family of the Grammonts, in the Province of Gascony.]—before I made one in the army. When I returned to my mother’s house, I had so much the air of a courtier and a man of the world, that she began to respect me, instead of chiding me for my infatuation towards the army. I became her favourite, and finding me inflexible, she only thought of keeping me with her as long as she could, while my little equipage was preparing. The faithful Brinon, who was to attend me as valet-de-chambre, was likewise to discharge the office of governor and equerry, being, perhaps, the only Gascon who was ever possessed of so much gravity and ill-temper. He passed his word for my good behaviour and morality, and promised my mother that he would give a good account of my person in the dangers of the war; but I hope he will keep his word better as to this last article than he has done as to the former.

“My equipage was sent away a week before me. This was so much time gained by my mother to give me good advice. At length, after having solemnly enjoined me to have the fear of God before my eyes, and to love my neighbour as myself, she suffered me to depart, under the protection of the Lord and the sage Brinon. At the second stage we quarrelled. He had received four hundred louis d’or for the expenses of the campaign: I wished to have the keeping of them myself, which he strenuously opposed. ‘Thou old scoundrel,’ said I, ‘is the money thine, or was it given thee for me? You suppose I must have a treasurer, and receive no money without his order. I know not whether it was from a presentiment of what afterwards happened that he grew melancholy; however, it was with the greatest reluctance, and the most poignant anguish, that he found himself obliged to yield. One would have thought that I had wrested his very soul from him. I found myself more light and merry after I had eased him of his trust; he, on the contrary, appeared so overwhelmed with grief, that it seemed as if I had laid four hundred pounds of lead upon his back, instead of taking away these four hundred louis. He went on so heavily, that I was forced to whip his horse myself, and turning to me, now and then, ‘Ah! sir,’ said he, my lady did not think it would be so. ‘His reflections and sorrows were renewed at every stage; for, instead of giving a shilling to the post-boy, I gave him half-a-crown.

“Having at last reached Lyons, two soldiers stopped us at the gate of the city, to carry us before the governor. I took one of them to conduct me to the best inn, and delivered Brinon into the hands of the other, to acquaint the commandant with the particulars of my journey, and my future intentions.

“There are as good taverns at Lyons as at Paris; but my soldier, according to custom, carried me to a friend of his own, whose house he extolled as having the best accommodations, and the greatest resort of good company, in the whole town. The master of this hotel was as big as a hogshead, his name Cerise; a Swiss by birth, a poisoner by profession, and a thief by custom. He showed me into a tolerably neat room, and desired to know whether I pleased to sup by myself or at the ordinary. I chose the latter, on account of the beau monde which the soldier had boasted of.

“Brinon, who was quite out of temper at the many questions which the governor had asked him, returned more surly than an old ape; and seeing that I was dressing my hair, in order to go downstairs: ‘What are you about now, sir?’ said he. ‘Are you going to tramp about the town? No, no; have we not had tramping enough ever since the morning? Eat a bit of supper, and go to bed betimes, that you may get on horseback by day-break.’ ‘Mr. Comptroller,’ said I, ‘I shall neither tramp about the town, nor eat alone, nor go to bed early. I intend to sup with the company below.’ ‘At the ordinary!’ cried he; ‘I beseech you, sir, do not think of it! Devil take me, if there be not a dozen brawling fellows playing at cards and dice, who make noise enough to drown the loudest thunder!’

“I was grown insolent since I had seized the money; and being desirous to shake off the yoke of a governor, ‘Do you know, Mr. Brinon,’ said I, ‘that I don’t like a blockhead to set up for a reasoner? Do you go to supper, if you please; but take care that I have post-horses ready before daybreak.’ The moment he mentioned cards and dice, I felt the money burn in my pocket. I was somewhat surprised, however, to find the room where the ordinary was served filled with odd-looking creatures. My host, after presenting me to the company, assured me that there were but eighteen or twenty of those gentlemen who would have the honour to sup with me. I approached one of the tables where they were playing, and thought I should have died with laughing: I expected to have seen good company and deep play; but I only met with two Germans playing at backgammon. Never did two country boobies play like them; but their figures beggared all description. The fellow near whom I stood was short, thick, and fat, and as round as a ball, with a ruff, and prodigious high crowned hat. Any one, at a moderate distance, would have taken him for the dome of a church, with the steeple on the top of it. I inquired of the host who he was. ‘A merchant from Basle,’ said he, ‘who comes hither to sell horses; but from the method he pursues, I think he will not dispose of many; for he does nothing but play.’ ‘Does he play deep?’ said I. ‘Not now,’ said he; ‘they are only playing for their reckoning, while supper is getting ready; but he has no objection to play as deep as any one.’ ‘Has he money?’ said I. ‘As for that,’ replied the treacherous Cerise, ‘would to God you had won a thousand pistoles of him, and I went your halves; we should not be long without our money.’ I wanted no further encouragement to meditate the ruin of the high-crowned hat. I went nearer to him, in order to take a closer survey; never was such a bungler; he made blots upon blots; God knows, I began to feel some remorse at winning of such an ignoramus, who knew so little of the game. He lost his reckoning; supper was served up; and I desired him to sit next me. It was a long table, and there were at least five-and-twenty in company, notwithstanding the landlord’s promise. The most execrable repast that ever was begun being finished, all the crowd insensibly dispersed, except the little Swiss, who still kept near me, and the landlord, who placed himself on the other side of me. They both smoked like dragoons; and the Swiss was continually saying, in bad French, ‘I ask your pardon, sir, for my great freedom,’ at the same time blowing such whiffs of tobacco in my face as almost suffocated me. Mr. Cerise, on the other hand, desired he might take the liberty of asking me whether I had ever been in his country? and seemed surprised I had so genteel an air, without having travelled in Switzerland.

“The little chub I had to encounter was full as inquisitive as the other. He desired to know whether I came from the army in Piedmont; and having told him I was going thither, he asked me, whether I had a mind to buy any horses; that he had about two hundred to dispose of, and that he would sell them cheap. I began to be smoked like a gammon of bacon; and being quite wearied out, both with their tobacco and their questions, I asked my companion if he would play for a single pistole at backgammon, while our men were supping; it was not without great ceremony that he consented, at the same time asking my pardon for his great freedom.

“I won the game; I gave him his revenge, and won again. We then played double or quit; I won that too, and all in the twinkling of an eye; for he grew vexed, and suffered himself to be taken in so that I began to bless my stars for my good fortune. Brinon came in about the end of the third game, to put me to bed, he made a great sign of the cross, but paid no attention to the signs I made him to retire. I was forced to rise to give him that order in private. He began to reprimand me for disgracing myself by keeping company with such a low-bred wretch. It was in vain that I told him he was a great merchant, that he had a great deal of money, and that he played like a child. ‘He a merchant,’ cried Brinon. ‘Do not believe that, sir! May the devil take me, if he is not some conjurer.’ ‘Hold your tongue, old fool,’ said I; ‘he is no more a conjurer than you are, and that is decisive; and, to prove it to you, I am resolved to win four or five hundred pistoles of him before I go to bed. With these words I turned him out, strictly enjoining him not to return, or in any manner to disturb us.

“The game being done, the little Swiss unbuttoned his pockets, to pull out a new four-pistole piece, and presenting it to me, he asked my pardon for his great freedom, and seemed as if he wished to retire. This was not what I wanted. I told him we only played for amusement; that I had no design upon his money; and that, if he pleased, I would play him a single game for his four pistoles. He raised some objections; but consented at last, and won back his money. I was piqued at it. I played another game; fortune changed sides; the dice ran for him, he made no more blots. I lost the game; another game, and double or quit; we doubled the stake, and played double or quit again. I was vexed; he, like a true gamester, took every bet I offered, and won all before him, without my getting more than six points in eight or ten games. I asked him to play a single game for one hundred pistoles; but as he saw I did not stake, he told me it was late; that he must go and look after his horses; and went away, still asking my pardon for his great freedom. The cool manner of his refusal, and the politeness with which he took his leave, provoked me to such a degree, that I could almost have killed him. I was so confounded at losing my money so fast, even to the last pistole, that I did not immediately consider the miserable situation to which I was reduced.

“I durst not go up to my chamber for fear of Brinon. By good luck, however, he was tired with waiting for me, and had gone to bed. This was some consolation, though but of short continuance. As soon as I was laid down, all the fatal consequences of my adventure presented themselves to my imagination. I could not sleep. I saw all the horrors of my misfortune, without being able to find any remedy; in vain did I rack my brain; it supplied me with no expedient. I feared nothing so much as daybreak; however, it did come, and the cruel Brinon along with it. He was booted up to the middle, and cracking a cursed whip, which he held in his hand, ‘Up, Monsieur le Chevalier,’ cried he, opening the curtains; ‘the horses are at the door, and you are still asleep. We ought by this time to have ridden two stages; give me money to pay the reckoning.’ ‘Brinon,’ said I, in a dejected tone, ‘draw the curtains.’ ‘What!’ cried he, ‘draw the curtains! Do you intend, then, to make your campaign at Lyons? you seem to have taken a liking to the place. And for the great merchant, you have stripped him, I suppose? No, no, Monsieur le Chevalier, this money will never do you any good. This wretch has, perhaps, a family; and it is his children’s bread that he has been playing with, and that you have won. Was this an object to sit up all night for? What would my lady say, if she knew what a life you lead?’ ‘M. Brinon,’ said I, ‘pray draw the curtains.’ But instead of obeying me, one would have thought that the devil had prompted him to use the most pointed and galling terms to a person under such misfortunes. ‘And how much have you won?’ said he; ‘five hundred pistoles? what must the poor man do?

“‘Recollect, Monsieur le Chevalier, what I have said, this money will never thrive with you. It is, perhaps, but four hundred? three? two? well if it be but one hundred louis d’or, continued he, seeing that I shook my head at every sum which he had named, there is no great mischief done; one hundred pistoles will not ruin him, provided you have won them fairly.’ ‘Friend Brinon,’ said I, fetching a deep sigh, ‘draw the curtains; I am unworthy to see daylight’ Brinon was much affected at these melancholy words, but I thought he would have fainted, when I told him the whole adventure. He tore his hair, made grievous lamentations, the burden of which still was, ‘What will my lady say?’ And, after having exhausted his unprofitable complaints, ‘What will become of you now, Monsieur le Chevalier?’ said he, ‘what do you intend to do?’ ‘Nothing,’ said I, ‘for I am fit for no thing. After this, being somewhat eased after making him my confession, I thought upon several projects, to none of which could I gain his approbation. I would have had him post after my equipage, to have sold some of my clothes. I was for proposing to the horse-dealer to buy some horses of him at a high price on credit, to sell again cheap. Brinon laughed at all these schemes, and after having had the cruelty of keeping me upon the rack for a long time, he at last extricated me. Parents are always stingy towards their poor children; my mother intended to have given me five hundred louis d’or, but she had kept back fifty, as well for some little repairs in the abbey, as to pay for praying for me. Brinon had the charge of the other fifty, with strict injunctions not to speak of them, unless upon some urgent necessity. And this you see soon happened.

“Thus you have a brief account of my first adventure. Play has hitherto favoured me; for, since my arrival, I have had, at one time, after paying all my expenses, fifteen hundred louis d’or. Fortune is now again become unfavourable: we must mend her. Our cash runs low; we must, therefore, endeavour to recruit.”

“Nothing is more easy,” said Matta; “it is only to find out such another dupe as the horse-dealer at Lyons; but now I think on it, has not the faithful Brinon some reserve for the last extremity? Faith, the time is now come, and we cannot do better than to make use of it!”

“Your raillery would be very seasonable,” said the Chevalier, “if you knew how to extricate us out of this difficulty. You must certainly have an overflow of wit, to be throwing it away upon every occasion as at present. What the devil! will you always be bantering, without considering what a serious situation we are reduced to. Mind what I say, I will go tomorrow to the head-quarters, I will dine with the Count de Cameran, and I will invite him to supper.” “Where?” said Matta. “Here,” said the Chevalier. “You are mad, my poor friend,” replied Matta. “This is some such project as you formed at Lyons: you know we have neither money nor credit; and, to re-establish our circumstances, you intend to give a supper.”

“Stupid fellow!” said the Chevalier, “is it possible, that, so long as we have been acquainted, you should have learned no more invention? The Count de Cameran plays at quinze, and so do I; we want money; he has more than he knows what to do with; I will bespeak a splendid supper, he shall pay for it. Send your maitre-d’hotel to me, and trouble yourself no further, except in some precautions, which it is necessary to take on such an occasion.” “What are they?” said Matta. “I will tell you,” said the Chevalier; “for I find one must explain to you things that are as clear as noon-day.”

“You command the guards that are here, don’t you? As soon as night comes on, you shall order fifteen or twenty men, under the command of your sergeant La Place, to be under arms, and to lay themselves flat on the ground, between this place and the head-quarters.” “What the devil!” cried Matta, “an ambuscade? God forgive me, I believe you intend to rob the poor Savoyard. If that be your intention, I declare I will have nothing to say to it” “Poor devil!” said the Chevalier, “the matter is this; it is very likely that we shall win his money. The Piedmontese, though otherwise good fellows, are apt to be suspicious and distrustful. He commands the horse; you know you cannot hold your tongue, and are very likely to let slip some jest or other that may vex him. Should he take it into his head that he is cheated, and resent it, who knows what the consequences might be? for he is commonly attended by eight or ten horsemen. Therefore, however he may be provoked at his loss, it is proper to be in such a situation as not to dread his resentment.”

“Embrace me, my dear Chevalier,” said Matta, holding his sides and laughing; “embrace me, for thou art not to be matched. What a fool I was to think, when you talked to me of taking precautions, that nothing more was necessary than to prepare a table and cards, or perhaps to provide some false dice! I should never have thought of supporting a man who plays at quinze by a detachment of foot: I must, indeed, confess that you are already a great soldier.”

The next day everything happened as the Chevalier Grammont had planned it; the unfortunate Cameran fell into the snare. They supped in the most agreeable manner possible Matta drank five or six bumpers to drown a few scruples which made him somewhat uneasy. The Chevalier de Grammont shone as usual, and almost made his guest die with laughing, whom he was soon after to make very serious; and the good-natured Cameran ate like a man whose affections were divided between good cheer and a love of play; that is to say, he hurried down his victuals, that he might not lose any of the precious time which he had devoted to quinze.

Supper being done, the sergeant La Place posted his ambuscade, and the Chevalier de Grammont engaged his man. The perfidy of Cerise, and the high-crowned hat, were still fresh in remembrance, and enabled him to get the better of a few grains of remorse, and conquer some scruples which arose in his mind. Matta, unwilling to be a spectator of violated hospitality, sat down in an easy chair, in order to fall asleep, while the Chevalier was stripping the poor Count of his money.

They only staked three or four pistoles at first, just for amusement; but Cameran having lost three or four times, he staked high, and the game became serious. He still lost, and became outrageous; the cards flew about the room, and the exclamations awoke Matta.

As his head was heavy with sleep, and hot with wine, he began to laugh at the passion of the Piedmontese, instead of consoling him. “Faith, my poor Count,” said he, “if I were in your place, I would play no more.” “Why so?” said the other. “I don’t know,” said he, “but my heart tells me that your ill-luck will continue.” “I will try that,” said Cameran, calling for fresh cards. “Do so,” said Matta, and fell asleep again. It was but for a short time. All cards were equally unfortunate for the loser. He held none but tens or court-cards; and if by chance he had quinze, he was sure to be the younger hand, and therefore lost it. Again he stormed. “Did not I tell you so?” said Matta, starting out of his sleep. “All your storming is in vain; as long as you play you will lose. Believe me, the shortest follies are the best. Leave off, for the devil take me if it is possible for you to win.” “Why?” said Cameran, who began to be impatient. “Do you wish to know?” said Matta; “why, faith, it is because we are cheating you.”

The Chevalier de Grammont was provoked at so ill-timed a jest, more especially as it carried along with it some appearance of truth. “Mr. Matta,” said he, “do you think it can be very agreeable for a man who plays with such ill-luck as the Count to be pestered with your insipid jests? For my part, I am so weary of the game, that I would desist immediately, if he was not so great a loser.” Nothing is more dreaded by a losing gamester, than such a threat; and the Count, in a softened tone, told the Chevalier that Mr. Matta might say what he pleased, if he did not offend him; that, as to himself, it did not give him the smallest uneasiness.

The Chevalier de Grammont gave the Count far better treatment than he himself had experienced from the Swiss at Lyons; for he played upon credit as long as he pleased; which Cameran took so kindly, that he lost fifteen hundred pistoles, and paid them the next morning. As for Matta, he was severely reprimanded for the intemperance of his tongue. All the reason he gave for his conduct was, that he made it a point of conscience not to suffer the poor Savoyard to be cheated without informing him of it. “Besides,” said he, “it would have given me pleasure to have seen my infantry engaged with his horse, if he had been inclined to mischief.”

This adventure having recruited their finances, fortune favoured them the remainder of the campaign, and the Chevalier de Grammont, to prove that he had only seized upon the Count’s effects by way of reprisal, and to indemnify himself for the losses he had sustained at Lyons, began from this time to make the same use of his money, that he has been known to do since upon all occasions. He found out the distressed, in order to relieve them; officers who had lost their equipage in the war, or their money at play; soldiers who were disabled in the trenches; in short, every one felt the influence of his benevolence: but his manner of conferring a favour exceeded even the favour itself.

Every man possessed of such amiable qualities must meet with success in all his undertakings. The soldiers knew his person, and adored him. The generals were sure to meet him in every scene of action, and sought his company at other times. As soon as fortune declared for him, his first care was to make restitution, by desiring Cameran to go his halves in all parties where the odds were in his favour.

An inexhaustible fund of vivacity and good humour gave a certain air of novelty to whatever he either said or did. I know not on what occasion it was that Monsieur de Turenne towards the end of the siege, commanded a separate body. The Chevalier de Grammont went to visit him at his new quarters, where he found fifteen or twenty officers. M. de Turenne was naturally fond of merriment, and the Chevalier’s presence was sure to inspire it. He was much pleased with this visit, and, by way of acknowledgment, would have engaged him to play. The Chevalier de Grammont, in returning him thanks, said, that he had learned from his tutor, that when a man went to see his friends, it was neither prudent to leave his own money behind him, nor civil to carry off theirs. “Truly,” said Monsieur de Turenne, “you will find neither deep play nor much money among us; but, that it may not be said that we suffered you to depart without playing, let us stake every one a horse.”

The Chevalier de Grammont agreed. Fortune, who had followed him to a place where he did not think he should have any need of her, made him win fifteen or sixteen horses, by way of joke; but, seeing some countenances disconcerted at the loss, “Gentlemen,” said he, “I should be sorry to see you return on foot from your general’s quarters; it will be enough for me if you send me your horses to-morrow, except one, which I give for the cards.”

The valet-de-chambre thought he was bantering. “I speak seriously,” said the Chevalier, “I give you a horse for the cards; and, what is more, take whichever you please, except my own.” “Truly,” said Monsieur de Turenne, “I am vastly pleased with the novelty of the thing; for I don’t believe that a horse was ever before given for the cards.”

Trino surrendered at last. The Baron de Batteville, who had defended it valiantly, and for a long time, obtained a capitulation worthy of such a resistance.

[This officer appears to have been the same person who was afterwards ambassador from Spain to the court of Great Britain, where, in the summer of 1660, he offended the French court, by claiming precedence of their ambassador, Count d’Estrades, on the public entry of the Swedish ambassador into London. On this occasion the court of France compelled its rival of Spain to submit to the mortifying circumstance of acknowledging the French superiority. To commemorate this important victory, Louis XIV. caused a medal to be struck, representing the Spanish ambassador, the Marquis de Fuente, making the declaration to that king, “No concurrer con los ambassadores des de Francia,” with this inscription, “Jus praecedendi assertum,” and under it, “Hispaniorum excusatio coram xxx legatis principum, 1662.” A very curious account of the fray occasioned by this dispute, drawn up by Evelyn, is to be seen in that gentleman’s article in the Biographia Britannica.]

I do not know whether the Chevalier de Grammont had any share in the capture of this place; but I know very well, that during a more glorious reign, and with armies ever victorious, his intrepidity and address have been the cause of taking others since, even under the eye of his master, as we shall see in the sequel of these memoirs.


Military glory is at most but one half of the accomplishments which distinguish heroes. Love must give the finishing stroke, and adorn their character by the difficulties they encounter, the temerity of their enterprises, and finally, by the lustre of success. We have examples of this, not only in romances, but also in the genuine histories of the most famous warriors and the most celebrated conquerors.

The Chevalier de Grammont and Matta, who did not think much of these examples, were, however, of opinion, that it would be very agreeable to refresh themselves after the fatigues of the siege of Trino, by forming some other sieges, at the expense of the beauties and the husbands of Turin. As the campaign had finished early, they thought they should have time to perform some exploits before the bad weather obliged them to repass the mountains.

They sallied forth, therefore, not unlike Amadis de Gaul or Don Galaor after they had been dubbed knights, eager in their search after adventures in love, war and enchantments. They were greatly superior to those two brothers, who only knew how to cleave in twain giants, to break lances, and to carry off fair damsels behind them on horseback, without saying a single word to them; whereas our heroes were adepts at cards and dice, of which the others were totally ignorant.

They went to Turin, met with an agreeable reception, and were greatly distinguished at court. Could it be otherwise? They were young and handsome; they had wit at command, and spent their money liberally. In what country will not a man succeed, possessing such advantages? As Turin was at that time the seat of gallantry and of love, two strangers of this description, who were always cheerful, brisk and lively, could not fail to please the ladies of the court.

Though the men of Turin were extremely handsome, they were not, however, possessed of the art of pleasing. They treated their wives with respect, and were courteous to strangers. Their wives, still more handsome, were full as courteous to strangers, and less respectful to their husbands.

Madame Royale, a worthy daughter of Henry IV., rendered her little court the most agreeable in the world. She inherited such of her father’s virtues as compose the proper ornament of her sex; and with regard to what are termed the foibles of great souls, her highness had in no wise degenerated.

The Count de Tanes was her prime minister. It was not difficult to conduct affairs of state during his administration. No complaints were alleged against him; and the princess, satisfied with his conduct herself, was, above all, glad to have her choice approved by her whole court, where people lived nearly according to the manners and customs of ancient chivalry.

The ladies had each a professed lover, for fashion’s sake, besides volunteers, whose numbers were unlimited. The declared admirers wore their mistresses’ liveries, their arms, and sometimes even took their names. Their office was, never to quit them in public, and never to approach them in private; to be their squires upon all occasions, and, in jousts and tournaments, to adorn their lances, their housings, and their coats, with the cyphers and the colours of their dulcineas.

Matta was far from being averse to gallantry; but would have liked it more simple than as it was practised at Turin. The ordinary forms would not have disgusted him; but he found here a sort of superstition in the ceremonies and worship of love, which he thought very inconsistent: however, as he had submitted his conduct in that matter to the direction of the Chevalier de Grammont, he was obliged to follow his example, and to conform to the customs of the country.

They enlisted themselves at the same time in the service of two beauties, whose former squires gave them up immediately from motives of politeness. The Chevalier de Grammont chose Mademoiselle de Saint-Germain, and told Matta to offer his services to Madame de Senantes. Matta consented, though he liked the other better; but the Chevalier de Grammont persuaded him that Madame de Senantes was more suitable for him. As he had reaped advantage from the Chevalier’s talents in the first projects they had formed, he resolved to follow his instructions in love, as he had done his advice in play.

Mademoiselle de Saint-Germain was in the bloom of youth; her eyes were small, but very bright and sparkling, and, like her hair, were black; her complexion was lively and clear, though not fair: she, had an agreeable mouth, two fine rows of teeth, a neck as handsome as one could wish, and a most delightful shape; she had a particular elegance in her elbows, which, however, she did not show to advantage; her hands were rather large and not very white; her feet, though not of the smallest, were well shaped; she trusted to Providence, and used no art to set off those graces which she had received from nature; but, notwithstanding her negligence in the embellishment of her charms, there was something so lively in her person, that the Chevalier de Grammont was caught at first sight; her wit and humour corresponded with her other qualities, being quite easy and perfectly charming; she was all mirth, all life, all complaisance and politeness, and all was natural, and always the same without any variation.

The Marchioness de Senantes was esteemed fair, and she might have enjoyed, if she had pleased, the reputation of having red hair, had she not rather chosen to conform to the taste of the age in which she lived than to follow that of the ancients: she had all the advantages of red hair without any of the inconveniences; a constant attention to her person served as a corrective to the natural defects of her complexion. After all, what does it signify, whether cleanliness be owing to nature or to art? it argues an invidious temper to be very inquisitive about it. She had a great deal of wit, a good memory, more reading, and a still greater inclination towards tenderness.

She had a husband whom it would have been criminal even in chastity to spare. He piqued himself upon being a Stoic, and gloried in being slovenly and disgusting in honour of his profession. In this he succeeded to admiration; for he was very fat, so that he perspired almost as much in winter as in summer. Erudition and brutality seemed to be the most conspicuous features of his character, and were displayed in his conversation, sometimes together, sometimes alternately, but always disagreeably: he was not jealous, and yet he was troublesome; he was very well pleased to see attentions paid to his wife, provided more were paid to him.

As soon as our adventurers had declared themselves, the Chevalier de Grammont arrayed himself in green habiliments, and dressed Matta in blue, these being the favourite colours of their new mistresses. They entered immediately upon duty: the Chevalier learned and practised all the ceremonies of this species of gallantry, as if he always had been accustomed to them; but Matta commonly forgot one half, and was not over perfect in practising the other. He never could remember that his office was to promote the glory, and not the interest, of his mistress.

The Duchess of Savoy gave the very next day an entertainment at La Venerie, where all the ladies were invited.

The Chevalier was so agreeable and diverting, that he made his mistress almost die with laughing. Matta, in leading his lady to the coach, squeezed her hand, and at their return from the promenade he begged of her to pity his sufferings. Thus was proceeding rather too precipitately, and although Madame de Senantes was not destitute of the natural compassion of her sex, she nevertheless was shocked at the familiarity of this treatment; she thought herself obliged to show some degree of resentment, and pulling away her hand, which he had pressed with still greater fervency upon this declaration, she went up to the royal apartments without even looking at her new lover. Matta, never thinking that he had offended her, suffered her to go, and went in search of some company to sup with him: nothing was more easy for a man of his disposition; he soon found what he wanted, sat a long time at table to refresh himself after the fatigue, of love, and went to bed completely satisfied that he had performed his part to perfection.

During all this time the Chevalier de Grammont acquitted himself towards Mademoiselle de Saint Germain with universal applause; and without remitting his assiduities, he found means to shine, as they went along, in the relation of a thousand entertaining anecdotes, which he introduced in the general conversation. Her Royal Highness heard them with pleasure, and the solitary Senantes likewise attended to them. He perceived this, and quitted his mistress to inquire what she had done with Matta.

“I” said she, “I have done nothing with him; but I don’t know what he would have done with me if I had been obliging enough to listen to his most humble solicitations.”

She then told him in what manner his friend had treated her the very second day of their acquaintance.

The Chevalier could not forbear laughing at it: he told her Matta was rather too unceremonious, but yet she would like him better as their intimacy more improved, and for her consolation he assured her that he would have spoken in the same manner to her Royal Highness herself; however, he would not fail to give him a severe reprimand. He went the next morning into his room for that purpose; but Matta had gone out early in the morning on a shooting party, in which he had been engaged by his supper companions in the preceding evening. At his return he took a brace of partridges and went to his mistress. Being asked whether he wished to see the Marquis, he said no; and the Swiss telling him his lady was not at home, he left his partridges, and desired him to present them to his mistress from him.

The Marchioness was at her toilet, and was decorating her head with all the grace she could devise to captivate Matta, at the moment he was denied admittance: she knew nothing of the matter; but her husband knew every particular. He had taken it in dudgeon that the first visit was not paid to him, and as he was resolved that it should not be paid to his wife, the Swiss had received his orders, and had almost been beaten for receiving the present which had been left. The partridges, however, were immediately sent back, and Matta, without examining into the cause, was glad to have them again. He went to court without ever changing his clothes, or in the least considering he ought not to appear there without his lady’s colours. He found her becomingly dressed; her eyes appeared to him more than usually sparkling, and her whole person altogether divine. He began from that day to be much pleased with himself for his complaisance to the Chevalier de Grammont; however, he could not help remarking that she looked but coldly upon him. This appeared to him a very extraordinary return for his services, and, imagining that she was unmindful of her weighty obligations to him, he entered into conversation with her, and severely reprimanded her for having sent back his partridges with so much indifference.

She did not understand what he meant; and highly offended that he did not apologize, after the reprimand which she concluded him to have received, told him that he certainly had met with ladies of very complying dispositions in his travels, as he seemed to give to himself airs that she was by no means accustomed to endure. Matta desired to know wherein he could be said to have given himself any. “Wherein?” said she: “the second day that you honoured me with your attentions, you treated me as if I had been your humble servant for a thousand years; the first time that I gave you my hand you squeezed it as violently as you were able. After this commencement of your courtship, I got into my coach, and you mounted your horse; but instead of riding by the side of the coach, as any reasonable gallant would have done, no sooner did a hare start from her form, than you immediately galloped full speed after her; having regaled yourself, during the promenade, by taking snuff, without ever deigning to bestow a thought on me, the only proof you gave me, on your return, that you recollected me, was by soliciting me to surrender my reputation in terms polite enough, but very explicit. And now you talk to me of having been shooting of partridges and of some visit or other, which, I suppose, you have been dreaming of, as well as of all the rest.”

The Chevalier de Grammont now advanced, to the interruption of this whimsical dialogue. Matta was rebuked for his forwardness, and his friend took abundant pains to convince him that his conduct bordered more upon insolence than familiarity. Matta endeavoured to exculpate himself, but succeeded ill. His mistress took compassion upon him, and consented to admit his excuses, for the manner, rather than his repentance for the fact, and declared that it was the intention alone which could either justify or condemn, in such cases; that it was very easy to pardon those transgressions which arise from excess of tenderness, but not such as proceeded from too great a presumption of success. Matta swore that he only squeezed her hand from the violence of his passion, and that he had been driven, by necessity, to ask her to relieve it; that he was yet a novice in the arts of solicitation; that he could not possibly think her more worthy of his affection, after a month’s service, than at the present moment; and that he entreated her to cast away an occasional thought upon him when her leisure admitted. The Marchioness was not offended, she saw very well that she must require an implicit conformity to the established rule of decorum, when she had to deal with such a character; and the Chevalier de Grammont, after this sort of reconciliation, went to look after his own affair with Mademoiselle de St. Germain.

His concern was not the offspring of mere good nature, nay, it was the reverse; for no sooner did he perceive that the Marchioness looked with an eye of favour upon him, than this conquest, appearing to him to be more easy than the other, he thought it was prudent to take advantage of it, for fear of losing the opportunity, and that he might not have spent all his time to no purpose, in case he should prove unsuccessful with the little St. Germain.

In the mean time, in order to maintain that authority which he had usurped over the conduct of his friend, he, that very evening, notwithstanding what had been already said, reprimanded him for presuming to appear at court in his morning suit, and without his mistress’s badge; for not having had the wit or prudence to pay his first visit to the Marquis de Senantes, instead of consuming his time, to no purpose, in inquiries for the lady; and, to conclude, he asked him what the devil he meant by presenting her with a brace of miserable red partridges. “And why not?” said Matta: “ought they to have been blue, too, to match the cockade and sword-knots you made me wear the other day? Plague not me with your nonsensical whimsies: my life on it, in one fortnight your equal in foppery and folly will not be found throughout the confines of Turin; but, to reply to your questions, I did not call upon Monsieur de Senantes, because I had nothing to do with him, and because he is of a species of animals which I dislike, and always shall dislike: as for you, you appear quite charmed with being decked out in green ribands, with writing letters to your mistress, and filling your pockets with citrons, pistachios, and such sort of stuff, with which you are always cramming the poor girl’s mouth, in spite of her teeth: you hope to succeed by chanting ditties composed in the days of Corisande and of Henry IV., which you will swear yourself have made upon her: happy in practising the ceremonials of gallantry, you have no ambition for the essentials. Very well: every one has a particular way of acting, as well as a particular taste: your’s is to trifle in love; and, provided you can make Mademoiselle de St. Germain laugh, you are satisfied: as for my part, I am persuaded, that women here are made of the same materials as in other places; and I do not think that they can be mightily offended, if one sometimes leaves off trifling, to come to the point: however, if the Marchioness is not of this way of thinking, she may e’en provide herself elsewhere; for I can assure her, that I shall not long act the part of her squire.”

This was an unnecessary menace; for the Marchioness in reality liked him very well, was nearly of the same way of thinking herself, and wished for nothing more than to put his gallantry to the test. But Matta proceeded upon a wrong plan; he had conceived such an aversion for her husband, that he could not prevail upon himself to make the smallest advance towards his good graces. He was given to understand that he ought to begin by endeavouring to lull the dragon to sleep, before he could gain possession of the treasure; but this was all to no purpose, though, at the same time, he could never see his mistress but in public. This made him impatient, and as he was lamenting his ill-fortune to her one day: “Have the goodness, madam,” said he, “to let me know where you live: there is never a day that I do not call upon you, at least, three or four times, without ever being blessed with a sight of you.” “I generally sleep at home,” replied she, laughing; “but I must tell you, that you will never find me there, if you do not first pay a visit to the Marquis: I am not mistress of the house. I do not tell you,” continued she, “that he is a man whose acquaintance any one would very impatiently covet for his conversation: on the contrary, I agree that his humour is fantastical, and his manners not of the pleasing cast; but there is nothing so savage and inhuman, which a little care, attention, and complaisance may not tame into docility. I must repeat to you some verses upon the subject: I have got them by heart, because they contain a little advice, which you may accommodate, if you please, to your own case.”

RONDEAU. Keep in mind these maxims rare, You who hope to win the fair; Who are, or would esteemed be, The quintessence of gallantry. That fopp’ry, grinning, and grimace, And fertile store of common-place; That oaths as false as dicers swear, And Wry teeth, and scented hair; That trinkets, and the pride of dress, Can only give your scheme success. Keep in mind. Has thy charmer e’er an aunt? Then learn the rules of woman’s cant, And forge a tale, and swear you read it, Such as, save woman, none would credit Win o’er her confidante and pages By gold, for this a golden age is; And should it be her wayward fate, To be encumbered with a mate, A dull, old dotard should he be, That dulness claims thy courtesy. Keep in mind.

“Truly,” said Matta, “the song may say what it pleases, but I cannot put it in practice: your husband is far too exquisite a monster for me. Why, what a plaguey odd ceremony do you require of us in this country, if we cannot pay our compliments to the wife without being in love with the husband!”

The Marchioness was much offended at this answer; and as she thought she had done enough in pointing out to him the path which would conduct him to success, if he had deserved it, she did not think it worth while to enter into any farther explanation; since he refused to cede, for her salve, so trilling an objection: from this instant she resolved to have done with him.

The Chevalier de Grammont had taken leave of his mistress nearly at the same time: the ardour of his pursuit was extinguished. It was not that Mademoiselle de Saint Germain was less worthy than hitherto of his attentions: on the contrary her attractions visibly increased: she retired to her pillow with a thousand charms, and ever rose from it with additional beauty the phrase of increasing in beauty as she increased in years seemed to have been purposely made for her. The Chevalier could not deny these truths, but yet he could not find his account in them: a little less merit, with a little less discretion, would have been more agreeable. He perceived that she attended to him with pleasure, that she was diverted with his stories as much as he could wish, and that she received his billets and presents without scruple; but then he also discovered that she did not wish to proceed any farther. He had exhausted every species of address upon her, and all to no purpose: her attendant was gained: her family, charmed with the music of his conversation and his great attention, were never happy without him: in short, he had reduced to practice the advice contained in the Marchioness’s song, and everything conspired to deliver the little Saint Germain into his hands, if the little Saint Germain had herself been willing: but alas! she was not inclined. It was in vain he told her the favour he desired would cost her nothing; and that since these treasures were rarely comprised in the fortune a lady brings with her in marriage, she would never find any person, who, by unremitting tenderness, unwearied attachment, and inviolable secrecy, would prove more worthy of them than himself. He then told her no husband was ever able to convey a proper idea of the sweets of love, and that nothing could be more different than the passionate fondness of a lover, always tender, always affectionate, yet always respectful, and the careless indifference of a husband.

Mademoiselle de Saint Germain, not wishing to take the matter in a serious light, that she might not be forced to resent it, answered, that since it was generally the custom in her country to marry, she thought it was right to conform to it, without entering into the knowledge of those distinctions, and those marvellous particulars, which she did not very well understand, and of which she did not wish to have any further explanation; that she had submitted to listen to him this one time, but desired he would never speak to her again in the same strain, since such sort of conversation was neither entertaining to her, nor could be serviceable to him. Though no one was ever more facetious than Mademoiselle de Saint Germain, she yet knew how to assume a very serious air, when ever occasion required it. The Chevalier de Grammont soon saw that she was in earnest; and finding it would cost him a great deal of time to effect a change in her sentiments, he was so far cooled in this pursuit, that he only made use of it to hide the designs he had upon the Marchioness de Senantes.

He found this lady much disgusted at Matta’s want of complaisance; and his seeming contempt for her erased every favourable impression which she had once entertained for him. While she was in this humour, the Chevalier told her that her resentment was just; he exaggerated the loss which his friend had sustained; he told her that her charms were a thousand times superior to those of the little Saint Germain, and requested that favour for himself which his friend did not deserve. He was soon favourably heard upon this topic; and as soon as they were agreed, they consulted upon two measures necessary to be taken, the one to deceive her husband, the other his friend, which was not very difficult: Matta was not at all suspicious: and the stupid Senantes, towards whom the Chevalier had already behaved as Matta had refused to do, could not be easy without him. This was much more than was wanted; for as soon as ever the Chevalier was with the Marchioness, her husband immediately joined them out of politeness; and on no account would have left them alone together, for fear they should grow weary of each other without him.

Matta, who all this time was entirely ignorant that he was disgraced, continued to serve his mistress in his own way. She had agreed with the Chevalier de Grammont, that to all appearance everything should be carried on as before; so that the court always believed that the Marchioness only thought of Matta, and that the Chevalier was entirely devoted to Mademoiselle de Saint Germain.

There were very frequently little lotteries for trinkets: the Chevalier de Grammont always tried his fortune, and was sometimes fortunate; and under pretence of the prizes he had won, he bought a thousand things which he indiscreetly gave to the Marchioness, and which she still more indiscreetly accepted: the little Saint Germain very seldom received any thing. There are meddling whisperers everywhere: remarks were made upon these proceedings; and the same person that made them communicated them likewise to Mademoiselle de Saint Germain. She pretended to laugh, but in reality was piqued. It is a maxim religiously observed by the fair sex, to envy each other those indulgences which themselves refuse. She took this very ill of the Marchioness. On the other hand, Matta was asked if he was not old enough to make his own presents himself to the Marchioness de Senantes, without sending them by the Chevalier de Grammont. This roused him; for of himself, he would never have perceived it: his suspicions, however, were but slight, and he was willing to have them removed. “I must confess,” said he to the Chevalier de Grammont, “that they make love here quite in a new style; a man serves here without reward: he addresses himself to the husband when he is in love with the wife, and makes presents to another man’s mistress, to get into the good graces of his own. The Marchioness is much obliged to you for——-”

“It is you who are obliged,” replied the Chevalier, “since thus was done on your account: I was ashamed to find you had never yet thought of presenting her with any trifling token of your attention: do you know that the people of this court have such extraordinary notions, as to think that it is rather owing to inadvertency that you never yet have had the spirit to make your mistress the smallest present? For shame! how ridiculous it is, that you can never think for yourself?”

Matta took this rebuke, without making any answer, being persuaded that he had in some measure deserved it: besides, he was neither sufficiently jealous, nor sufficiently amorous, to think any more of it; however, as it was necessary for the Chevalier’s affairs that Matta should be acquainted with the Marquis de Senantes, he plagued him so much about it, that at last he complied. His friend introduced him, and his mistress seemed pleased with this proof of complaisance, though she was resolved that he should gain nothing by it; and the husband, being gratified with a piece of civility which he had long expected, determined, that very evening, to give them a supper at a little country seat of his, on the banks of the river, very near the city.

The Chevalier de Grammont answering for them both, accepted the offer; and as this was the only one Matta would not have refused from the Marquis, he likewise consented. The Marquis came to convey them in his carriage at the hour appointed; but he found only Matta. The Chevalier had engaged himself to play, on purpose that they might go without him: Matta was for waiting for him, so great was his fear of being left alone with the Marquis; but the Chevalier having sent to desire them to go on before, and that he would be with them as soon as he had finished his game, poor Matta was obliged to set out with the man who, of all the world, was most offensive to him. It was not the Chevalier’s intention quickly to extricate Matta out of this embarrassment: he no sooner knew that they were gone, than he waited on the Marchioness, under pretence of still finding her husband, that they might all go together to supper.

The plot was in a fair way; and as the Marchioness was of opinion that Matta’s indifference merited no better treatment from her, she made no scruple of acting her part in it: she therefore waited for the Chevalier de Grammont with intentions so much the more favourable, as she had for a long time expected him, and had some curiosity to receive a visit from him in the absence of her husband. We may therefore suppose that this first opportunity would not have been lost, if Mademoiselle de Saint Germain had not unexpectedly come in, almost at the same time with the Chevalier.

She was more handsome and more entertaining that day than she had ever been before; however, she appeared to them very ugly and very tiresome: she soon perceived that her company was disagreeable, and being determined that they should not be out of humour with her for nothing, after having passed above a long half hour in diverting herself with their uneasiness, and in playing a thousand monkey tricks, which she plainly saw could never be more unseasonable, she pulled off her hood, scarf, and all that part of her dress which ladies lay aside, when in a familiar manner they intend to pass the day anywhere. The Chevalier de Grammont cursed her in his heart, while she continued to torment him for being in such ill-humour in such good company: at last the Marchioness, who was as much vexed as he was, said rather drily that she was obliged to wait on her Royal Highness: Mademoiselle de Saint Germain told her that she would have the honour to accompany her, if it would not be disagreeable: she took not the smallest notice of her offer; and the Chevalier, finding that it would be entirely useless to prolong his visit at that time, retired with a good grace.

As soon as he had left the house, he sent one of his scouts to desire the Marquis to sit down to table with his company without waiting for him, because the game might not perhaps be finished as soon as he expected, but that he would be with him before supper was over. Having despatched this messenger, he placed a sentinel at the Marchioness’s door, in hopes that the tedious Saint Germain might go out before her; but this was in vain, for his spy came and told him, after an hour’s impatience and suspense, that they were gone out together. He found there was no chance of seeing her again that day, everything falling out contrary to his wishes; he was forced therefore to leave the Marchioness, and go in quest of the Marquis.

While these things were going on in the city, Matta was not much diverted in the country: as he was prejudiced against the Marquis, all that he said displeased him: he cursed the Chevalier heartily for the tete-a-tete which he had procured him; and he was upon the point of going away, when he found that he was to sit down to supper without any other company.

However, as his host was very choice in his entertainments, and had the best wine and the best cook in all Piedmont, the sight of the first course appeased him; and eating most voraciously, without paying any attention to the Marquis, he flattered himself that the supper would end without any dispute; but he was mistaken.

When the Chevalier de Grammont was at first endeavouring to bring about an intercourse between the Marquis and Matta, he had given a very advantageous character of the latter, to make the former more desirous of his acquaintance; and in the display of a thousand other accomplishments, knowing what an infatuation the Marquis had for the very name of erudition, he assured him that Matta was one of the most learned men in Europe.

The Marquis, therefore, from the moment they sat down to supper, had expected some stroke of learning from Matta, to bring his own into play; but he was much out in his reckoning; no one had read less, no one thought less, and no one had ever spoken so little at an entertainment as he had done as he did not wish to enter into conversation, he opened his mouth only to eat, or ask for wine.

The other, being offended at a silence which appeared to him affected, and wearied with having uselessly attacked him upon other subjects, thought he might get something out of him by changing the discourse of love and gallantry; and therefore, to begin the subject, he accosted him in this manner:

“Since you are my wife’s gallant—” “I!” said Matta who wished to carry it discreetly: “those who told you so, told a damned lie.” “Zounds, sir,” said the Marquis, “you speak in a tone which does not at all become you; for I would have you to know, notwithstanding your contemptuous airs, that the Marchioness de Senantes is perhaps as worthy of your attentions as any of your French ladies, and that I have known some greatly your superiors, who have thought it an honour to serve her.” “Very well,” said Matta, “I think she is very deserving, and since you insist upon it, I am her servant and gallant, to oblige you.”

“You think, perhaps,” continued the other, “that the same custom prevails in this country as in your own, and that the ladies have lovers, with no other intentions than to grant them favours: undeceive yourself if you please, and know, likewise, that even if such events were frequent in this court, I should not be at all uneasy.” “Nothing can be more civil,” said Matta; “but wherefore would you not?” “I will tell you why,” replied he: “I am well acquainted with the affection my wife entertains for me: I am acquainted with her discretion towards all the world; and, what is more, I am acquainted with my own merit.”

“You have a most uncommon acquaintance then,” replied Matta; “I congratulate you upon it; I have the honour to drink it in a bumper.” The Marquis pledged him; but seeing that the conversation dropped on their ceasing to drink, after two or three healths, he wished to make a second attempt, and attack Matta on his strong side, that is to say, on his learning.

He desired him, therefore, to tell him, at what time he thought the Allobroges came to settle in Piedmont. Matta, who wished him and his Allobroges at the devil, said, that it must be in the time of the civil wars. “I doubt that,” said the other. “Just as you like,” said Matta. “Under what consulate?” replied the Marquis: “Under that of the League,” said Matta, “when the Guises brought the Lansquenets into France; but what the devil does that signify?”

The Marquis was tolerably warm, and naturally savage, so that God knows how the conversation would have ended, if the Chevalier de Grammont had not unexpectedly come in to appease them. It was some time before he could find out what their debate was; for the one had forgotten the questions, and the other the answers, which had disobliged him, in order to reproach the Chevalier with his eternal passion for play, which made him always uncertain. The Chevalier, who knew that he was still more culpable than they thought, bore it all with patience, and condemned himself more than they desired: this appeased them; and the entertainment ended with greater tranquillity than it had begun. The conversation was again reduced to order; but he could not enliven it as he usually did. He was in very ill humour, and as he pressed them every minute to rise from table, the Marquis was of opinion that he had lost a great deal. Matta said, on the contrary, that he had won; but for want of precautions had made perhaps an unfortunate retreat; and asked him if he had not stood in need of Serjeant La Place, with his ambuscade.

This piece of history was beyond the comprehension of the Marquis, and being afraid that Matta might explain it, the Chevalier changed the discourse, and was for rising from table; but Matta would not consent to it. This effected a reconciliation between him and the Marquis, who thought this was a piece of civility intended for him; however, it was not for him, but for his wine, to which Matta had taken a prodigious liking.

The Duchess, who knew the character of the Marquis, was charmed with the account which the Chevalier de Grammont gave her of the entertainment and conversation: she sent for Matta to know the truth of it from himself: he confessed, that before the Allobroges were mentioned the Marquis was for quarrelling with him, because he was not in love with his wife.

Their acquaintance having begun in this manner, all the esteem which the Marquis had formerly expressed for the Chevalier seemed now directed towards Matta: he went every day to pay Matta a visit, and Matta was every day with his wife. This did not at all suit the Chevalier: he repented of his having chid Matta, whose assiduity now interrupted all his schemes; and the Marchioness was still more embarrassed. Whatever wit a man may have, it will never please where his company is disliked; and she repented that she had been formerly guilty of some trifling advances towards him.

Matta began to find charms in her person, and might have found the same in her conversation, if she had been inclined to display them; but it is impossible to be in good humour with persons who thwart our designs. While his passion increased, the Chevalier de Grammont was solely occupied in endeavouring to find out some method, by which he might accomplish his intrigue; and this was the stratagem which he put in execution to clear the coast, by removing, at one and the same time, both the lover and the husband.

He told Matta, that they ought to invite the Marquis to supper at their lodgings, and he would take upon himself to provide everything proper for the occasion. Matta desired to know if it was to play at quinze, and assured him that he should take care to render abortive any intention he might have to engage in play, and leave him alone with the greatest blockhead in all Europe. The Chevalier de Grammont did not entertain any such thought, being persuaded that it would be impossible to take advantage of any such opportunity, in whatever manner he might take his measures, and that they would seek for him in every corner of the city rather than allow him the least repose: his whole attention was therefore employed in rendering the entertainment agreeable, in finding out means of prolonging it, in order ultimately to kindle some dispute between the Marquis and Matta. For this purpose he put himself in the best humour in the world, and the wine produced the same effect on the rest of the company.

The Chevalier de Grammont expressed his concern, that he had not been able to give the Marquis a little concert, as he had intended in the morning; for the musicians had been all pre-engaged. Upon this the Marquis undertook to have them at his country-house the following evening, and invited the same company to sup with him there. Matta asked what the devil they wanted with music, and maintained that it was of no use on such occasions but for women who had something to say to their lovers, while the fiddles prevented them from being overheard, or for fools who had nothing to say when the music ended. They ridiculed all his arguments: the party was fixed for the next day, and the music was voted by the majority of voices. The Marquis, to console Matta, as well as to do honour to the entertainment, toasted a great many healths: Matta was more ready to listen to his arguments on this topic than in a dispute; but the Chevalier, perceiving that a little would irritate them, desired nothing more earnestly than to see them engaged in some new controversy. It was in vain that he had from time to time started some subject of discourse with this intention; but having luckily thought of asking what was his lady’s maiden name, Senantes, who was a great genealogist, as all fools are who have good memories, immediately began by tracing out her family, by an endless confused string of lineage. The Chevalier seemed to listen to him with great attention; and perceiving that Matta was almost out of patience, he desired him to attend to what the Marquis was saying, for that nothing could be more entertaining. “All this may be very true,” said Matta; “but for my part, I must confess, if I were married, I should rather choose to inform myself who was the real father of my children, than who were my wife’s grand fathers.” The Marquis, smiling at this rudeness, did not leave off until he had traced back the ancestors of his spouse, from line to line, as far as Yolande de Senantes: after this he offered to prove, in less than half an hour, that the Grammonts came originally from Spain. “Very well,” said Matta, “and pray what does it signify to us from whence the Grammonts are descended? Do not you know, sir, that it is better to know nothing at all, than to know too much?”

The Marquis maintained the contrary with great warmth, and was preparing a formal argument to prove that an ignorant man is a fool; but the Chevalier de Grammont, who was thoroughly acquainted with Matta saw very clearly that he would send the logician to the devil before he should arrive at the conclusion of his syllogism: for which reason, interposing as soon as they began to raise their voices, he told them it was ridiculous to quarrel about an affair in itself so trivial, and treated the matter in a serious light, that it might make the greater impression. Thus supper terminated peaceably, owing to the care he took to suppress all disputes, and to substitute plenty of wine in their stead.

The next day Matta went to the chase, the Chevalier de Grammont to the bagnio, and the Marquis to his country house. While the latter was making the necessary preparations for his guests, not forgetting the music, and Matta pursuing his game to get an appetite, the Chevalier was meditating on the execution of his project.

As soon as he had regulated his plan of operations in his own mind, he privately sent anonymous intelligence to the officer of the guard at the palace that the Marquis de Senantes had had some words with Monsieur de Matta the preceding night at supper; that the one had gone out in the morning; and the other could not be found in the city.

Madame Royale, alarmed at this advice, immediately sent for the Chevalier de Grammont: he appeared surprised when her highness mentioned the affair: he confessed, indeed, that some high words had passed between them, but that he did not believe either of them would have remembered them the next day. He said that if no mischief had yet taken place, the best way would be to secure them both until the morning, and that if they could be found, he would undertake to reconcile them, and to obliterate all grievances: in this there was no great difficulty. On inquiry at the Marquis’s they were informed that he was gone to his country-house: there certainly he was, and there they found him; the officer put him under an arrest, without assigning any reason for so doing, and left him in very great surprise.

Immediately upon Matta’s return from hunting, her Royal Highness sent the same officer to desire him to give her his word that he would not stir out that evening. This compliment very much surprised him, more particularly as no reason was assigned for it. He was expected at a good entertainment he was dying with hunger, and nothing appeared to him more unreasonable than to oblige him to stay at home, in a situation like the present; but he had given his word, and not knowing to what this might tend, his only resource was to send for his friend; but his friend did not come to him until his return from the country. He had there found the Marquis in the midst of his fiddlers, and very much vexed to find himself a prisoner in his own house on account of Matta, whom he was waiting for in order to feast him: he complained of him bitterly to the Chevalier de Grammont: he said that he did not believe that he had offended him; but that, since he was very desirous of a quarrel, he desired the Chevalier to acquaint him, if he felt the least displeasure on the present occasion, he should, on the very first opportunity, receive what is called satisfaction. The Chevalier de Grammont assured him that no such thought had ever entered the mind of Matta; that on the contrary, he knew that he very greatly esteemed him; that all this could alone arise from the extreme tenderness of his lady, who, being alarmed upon the report of the servants who waited at table, must have gone to her Royal Highness, in order to prevent any unpleasant consequences; that he thought this the more probable, as he had often told the Marchioness, when speaking of Matta, that he was the best swordsman in France; for, in truth, the poor gentleman had never fought without having the misfortune of killing his man.

The Marquis, being a little pacified, said he was very much obliged to him, that he would severely chide his wife for her unseasonable tenderness, and that he was extremely desirous of again enjoying the pleasure of his dear friend Matta’s company.

The Chevalier de Grammont assured him that he would use all his endeavours for that purpose, and at the same time gave strict charge to his guard not to let him escape without orders from the Court, as he seemed fully bent upon fighting, and they would be responsible for him: there was no occasion to say more to have him strictly watched, though there was no necessity for it.

One being thus safely lodged, his next step was to secure the other: he returned immediately to town: and as soon as Matta saw him, “What the devil,” said he, “is the meaning of this farce which I am obliged to act? for my part, I cannot understand the foolish customs of this country; how comes it that they make me a prisoner upon my parole?” “How comes it?” said the Chevalier de Grammont, “it is because you yourself are far more unaccountable than all their customs; you cannot help disputing with a peevish fellow, whom you ought only to laugh at; some officious footman has no doubt been talking of your last night’s dispute; you were seen to go out of town in the morning, and the Marquis soon after; was not this sufficient to make her Royal Highness think herself obliged to take these precautions? The Marquis is in custody; they have only required your parole; so far, therefore, from taking the affair in the sense you do, I should send very humbly to thank her Highness for the kindness she has manifested towards you in putting you under arrest, since it is only on your account that she interests herself in the affair. I shall take a walk to the palace, where I will endeavour to unravel this mystery; in the mean time, as there is but little probability that the matter should be settled this evening, you would do well to order supper; for I shall come back to you immediately.”

Matta charged him not to fail to express to her Royal Highness the grateful sense he had of her favour, though in truth he as little feared the Marquis as he loved him; and it is impossible to express the degree of his fortitude in stronger terms.

The Chevalier de Grammont returned in about half an hour, with two or three gentlemen whom Matta had got acquainted with at the chase, and who, upon the report of the quarrel, waited upon him, and each offered him separately his services against the unassisted and pacific Marquis. Matta having returned them his thanks, insisted upon their staying supper, and put on his robe de chambre.

As soon as the Chevalier de Grammont perceived that every thing coincided with his wishes, and that towards the end of the entertainment the toasts went merrily round, he knew he was sure of his man till next day: then taking him aside with the permission of the company, and making use of a false confidence in order to disguise a real treachery, he acquainted him, after having sworn him several times to secrecy, that he had at last prevailed upon the little Saint Germain to grant him an interview that night; for which reason he would take his leave, under pretence of going to play at Court; he therefore desired him fully to satisfy the company that he would not have left them on any other account, as the Piedmontese are naturally mistrustful. Matta promised he would manage this point with discretion; that he would make an apology for him, and that there was no occasion for his personally taking leave: then, after congratulating him upon the happy posture of his affairs, he sent him away with all the expedition and secrecy imaginable; so great was his fear lest his friend should lose the present opportunity.

Matta then returned to the company, much pleased with the confidence which had been placed in him, and with the share he had in the success of this adventure. He put himself into the best humour imaginable in order to divert the attention of his guests; he severely satirised those, whose rage for gaming induced them to sacrifice to it every other consideration; he loudly ridiculed the folly of the Chevalier upon this article, and secretly laughed at the credulity of the Piedmontese, whom he had deceived with so much ingenuity.

It was late at night before the company broke up, and Matta went to bed, very well satisfied with what he had done for his friend; and, if we may credit appearances, this friend enjoyed the fruit of his perfidy. The amorous Marchioness received him like one who wished to enhance the value of the favour she bestowed; her charms were far from being neglected; and if there are any circumstances in which we may detest the traitor while we profit by the treason, this was not one of them; and however successful the Chevalier de Grammont was in his intrigues, it was not owing to him that the contrary was not believed; but, be that as it may, being convinced that in love whatever is gained by address is gained fairly, it does not appear that he ever showed the smallest degree of repentance for this trick. But it is now time for its to take him from the court of Savoy, to see him shine in that of France.


The Chevalier de Grammont, upon his return to France, sustained, with the greatest success, the reputation he had acquired abroad: alert in play, active and vigilant in love; sometimes successful, and always feared, in his intrigues; in war alike prepared for the events of good or ill fortune; possessing an inexhaustible fund of pleasantry in the former, and full of expedients and dexterity in the latter.

Zealously attached to the Prince de Conde from inclination, he was a witness, and, if we may be allowed to say it, his companion, in the glory he had acquired at the celebrated battles of Lens, Norlinguen, and Fribourg; and the details he so frequently gave of them were far from diminishing their lustre.

[Louis of Bourbon, Duke d’Enghien, afterwards, by the death of his father in 1656, Prince de Conde. Of this great man Cardinal de Retz says, “He was born a general, which never happened but to Caesar, to Spinola, and to himself. He has equalled the first: he has surpassed the second. Intrepidity is one of the least shining strokes in his character. Nature had formed him with a mind as great as his courage. Fortune, in setting him out in a time of wars, has given this last a full extent to work in: his birth, or rather his education, in a family devoted and enslaved to the court, has kept the first within too straight bounds. He was not taught time enough the great and general maxims which alone are able to form men to think always consistently. He never had time to learn them of himself, because he was prevented from his youth, by the great affairs that fell unexpectedly to his share, and by the continual success he met with. This defect in him was the cause, that with the soul in the world the least inclined to evil, he has committed injuries; that with the heart of an Alexander, he has, like him, had his failings; that with a wonderful understanding, he has acted imprudently; that having all the qualities which the Duke Francis of Guise had, he has not served the state in some occasions so well as he ought; and that having likewise having all the qualities of the Duke Henry of Guise, he has not carried faction so far as he might. He could not come up to the height of his merit; which, though it be a defect, must yet be owned to be very uncommon, and only to be found in persons of the greatest abilities.”]

So long as he had only some scruples of conscience, and a thousand interests to sacrifice, he quitted all to follow a man, whom strong motives and resentments, which in some manner appeared excusable, had withdrawn from the paths of rectitude: he adhered to him in his first disgrace, with a constancy of which there are few examples; but he could not submit to the injuries which he afterwards received, and which such an inviolable attachment so little merited. Therefore, without fearing any reproach for a conduct which sufficiently justified itself, as he had formerly deviated from his duty by entering into the service of the Prince de Conde, he thought he had a right to leave him to return again to his duty.

His peace was soon made at Court, where many, far more culpable than himself, were immediately received into favour, when they desired it; for the queen, still terrified at the dangers into which the civil wars had plunged the State at the commencement of her regency, endeavoured by lenient measures to conciliate the minds of the people.

[Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III. of Spain, widow of Louis XIII., to whom she was married in 1615, and mother of Louis XIV. She died in 1666. Cardinal de Retz speaks of her in the following terms. “The queen had more than anybody whom I ever knew, of that sort of wit which was necessary for her not to appear a fool to those that did not know her. She had in her more of harshness than haughtiness; more of haughtiness than of greatness; more of outward appearance than reality; more regard to money than liberality; more of liberality than of self-interest; more of self-interest than disinterestedness: she was more tied to persons by habit than by affection; she had more of insensibility than of cruelty; she had a better memory for injuries than for benefits; her intention towards piety was greater than her piety; she had in her more of obstinacy than of firmness; and more incapacity than of all the rest which I mentioned before.” Memoirs, vol. i., p. 247.]

The policy of the minister was neither sanguinary nor revengeful: his favourite maxim was rather to appease the minds of the discontented by lenity, than to have recourse to violent measures; to be content with losing nothing by the war, without being at the expense of gaining any advantage from the enemy; to suffer his character to be very severely handled, provided he could amass much wealth, and to spin out the minority to the greatest possible extent.

[Cardinal Mazarin, who, during a few of the latter years of his life, governed France. He died at Vincennes the 9th of March 1661, aged 59 years, leaving as heir to his name and property the Alarquis de la Meilleray, who married his niece, and took the title of Duke of Mazarin. On his death, Louis XIV. and the court appeared in mourning, an honour not common, though Henry IV. had shewn it to the memory of Gabrielle d’Estrees. Voltaire, who appears unwilling to ascribe much ability to the cardinal, takes an opportunity, on occasion of his death, to make the following observation. —“We cannot refrain from combating the opinion, which supposes prodigious abilities, and a genius almost divine, in those who have governed empires with some degree of success. It is not a superior penetration that makes statesmen; it is their character. All men, how inconsiderable soever their share of sense may be, see their own interest nearly alike. A citizen of Bern or Amsterdam, in this respect, is equal to Sejanus, Ximenes, Buckingham, Richelieu, or Mazarin; but our conduct and our enterprises depend absolutely on our natural dispositions, and our success depends upon fortune.” Age of Louis XIV., chap. 5.]

His avidity to heap up riches was not alone confined to the thousand different means, with which he was furnished by his authority, and the situation in which he was placed: his whole pursuit was gain: he was naturally fond of gaming; but he only played to enrich himself, and therefore, whenever he found an opportunity, he cheated.

As he found the Chevalier de Grammont possessed a great deal of wit, and a great deal of money, he was a man according to his wishes, and soon became one of his set. The Chevalier soon perceived the artfulness and dishonesty of the Cardinal, and thought it was allowable in him to put in practice those talents which he had received from nature, not only in his own defence, but even to attack him whenever an opportunity offered. This would certainly be the place to mention these particulars; but who can describe them with such ease and elegance as maybe expected by those who have heard his own relation of them? Vain is the attempt to endeavour to transcribe these entertaining anecdotes: their spirit seems to evaporate upon paper; and in whatever light they are exposed the delicacy of their colouring and their beauty is lost.

It is, then, enough to say, that upon all occasions where address was reciprocally employed, the Chevalier gained the advantage; and that if he paid his court badly to the minister, he had the consolation to find, that those who suffered themselves to be cheated, in the end gained no great advantage from their complaisance; for they always continued in an abject submission, while the Chevalier de Grammont, on a thousand different occasions, never put himself under the least restraint. Of which the following is one instance:

The Spanish army, commanded by the Prince de Conde and the archduke,—[Leopold, brother of the Emperor Ferdinand the III.]—besieged Arras. The Court was advanced as far as Peronne.—[A little bat strong town, standing among marshes on the river Somme, in Picardy.]—The enemy, by the capture of this place, would have procured a reputation for their army of which they were in great need; as the French, for a considerable time past, had evinced a superiority in every engagement.

The Prince supported a tottering party, as far as their usual inactivity and irresolution permitted him; but as in the events of war it is necessary to act independently on some occasions, which, if once suffered to escape, can never be retrieved; for want of this power it frequently happened that his great abilities were of no avail. The Spanish infantry had never recovered itself since the battle of Rocroy;—[This famous battle was fought and won 19th May, 1643, five days after the death of Louis XIII.]—and he who had ruined them by that victory, by fighting against them, was the only man who now, by commanding their army, was capable of repairing the mischief he had done them. But the jealousy of the generals, and the distrust attendant upon their counsels, tied up his hands.

Nevertheless, the siege of Arras was vigorously carried on.

[Voltaire observes, that it was the fortune of Turenne and Conde to be always victorious when they fought at the head of the French, and to be vanquished when they commanded the Spaniards. This was Conde’s fate before Arras, August 25, 1654, when he and the archduke besieged that city. Turenne attacked them in their camp, and forced their lines: the troops of the archduke were cut to pieces; and Conde, with two regiments of French and Lorrainers, alone sustained the efforts of Turenne’s army; and, while the archduke was flying, he defeated the Marshal de Hoquincourt, repulsed the Marshal de la Ferte, and retreated victoriously himself, by covering the retreat of the vanquished Spaniards. The king of Spain, in his letter to him after this engagement, had these words: “I have been informed that everything was lost, and that you have recovered everything.”]

The Cardinal was very sensible how dishonourable it would be to suffer this place to be taken under his nose, and almost in sight of the king. On the other hand, it was very hazardous to attempt its relief, the Prince de Conde being a man who never neglected the smallest precaution for the security of his lines; and if lines are attacked and not forced, the greatest danger threatens the assailants. For, the more furious the assault, the greater is the disorder in the retreat; and no man in the world knew so well as the Prince de Conde how to make the best use of an advantage. The army, commanded by Monsieur de Turenne, was considerably weaker than that of the enemy; it was, likewise, the only resource they had to depend upon. If this army was defeated, the loss of Arras was not the only misfortune to be dreaded.

The Cardinal, whose genius was happily adapted to such junctures, where deceitful negotiations could extricate him out of difficulties, was filled with terror at the sight of imminent danger, or of a decisive event: he was of opinion to lay siege to some other place, the capture of which might prove an indemnification for the loss of Arras; but Monsieur de Turenne, who was altogether of a different opinion from the Cardinal, resolved to march towards the enemy, and did not acquaint him with his intentions until he was upon his march. The courier arrived in the midst of his distress, and redoubled his apprehensions and alarms; but there was then no remedy.

The Marshal, whose great reputation had gained him the confidence of the troops, had determined upon his measures before an express order from the Court could prevent him. This was one of those occasions in which the difficulties you encounter heighten the glory of success. Though the general’s capacity, in some measure, afforded comfort to the Court, they nevertheless were upon the eve of an event, which in one way or other must terminate both their hopes and their fears while the rest of the courtiers were giving various opinions concerning the issue, the Chevalier de Grammont determined to be an eye-witness of it; a resolution which greatly surprised the court; for those who had seen as many actions as he had, seemed to be exempted from such eagerness; but it was in vain that his friends opposed his resolutions.

The king was pleased with his intention; and the queen appeared no less satisfied. He assured her that he would bring her good news; and she promised to embrace him, if he was as good as his word. The Cardinal made the same promise: to the latter, however, he did not pay much attention; yet he believed it sincere, because the keeping of it would cost him nothing.

He set out in the dusk of the evening with Caseau, whom Monsieur de Turenne had sent express to their majesties. The Duke of York, and the Marquis d’Humieres, commanded under the Marshal: the latter was upon duty when the Chevalier arrived, it being scarce daylight. The Duke of York did not at first recollect him; but the Marquis d’Humieres, running to him with open arms, “I thought,” said he, “if any man came from court to pay us a visit upon such an occasion as this, it would be the Chevalier de Grammont. Well,” continued he, “what are they doing at Peronne?”

[Louis de Crevans, Marechal of France. He died 1694. Voltaire says of him, that he was the first who, at the siege of Arras, in 1658, was served in silver in the trenches, and had ragouts and entremets served up to his table.]

“They are in great consternation,” replied the Chevalier. “And what do they think of us?” “They think,” said he, “that if you beat the Prince, you will do no more than your duty; if you are beaten, they will think you fools and madmen, thus to have risked everything, without considering the consequences.” “Truly,” said the Marquis, “you bring us very comfortable news. Will you now go to Monsieur de Turenne’s quarters, to acquaint him with it; or will you choose rather to repose yourself in mine? for you have been riding post all last night, and perhaps did not experience much rest in the preceding.” “Where have you heard that the Chevalier de Grammont had ever any occasion for sleep?” replied he: “Only order me a horse, that I may have the honour to attend the Duke of York; for, most likely, he is not in the field so early, except to visit some posts.”

The advanced guard was only at cannon shot from that of the enemy. As soon as they arrived there, “I should like,” said the Chevalier de Grammont, “to advance as far as the sentry which is posted on that eminence: I have some friends and acquaintance in their army, whom I should wish to inquire after: I hope the Duke of York will give me permission.” At these words he advanced. The sentry, seeing him come forward directly to his post, stood upon his guard the Chevalier stopped as soon as he was within shot of him. The sentry answered the sign which was made to him, and made another to the officer, who had begun to advance as soon as he had seen the Chevalier come forward, and was soon up with him; but seeing the Chevalier de Grammont alone, he made no difficulty to let him approach. He desired leave of this officer to inquire after some relations he had in their army, and at the same time asked if the Duke d’Arscot was at the siege. “Sir,” said he, “there he is, just alighted under those trees, which you see on the left of our grand guard: it is hardly a minute since he was here with the Prince d’Aremberg, his brother, the Baron de Limbec, and Louvigny.” “May I see them upon parole?” said the Chevalier. “Sir,” said he, “if I were allowed to quit my post, I would do myself the honour of accompanying you thither; but I will send to acquaint them, that the Chevalier de Grammont desires to speak to them:” and, after having despatched one of his guard towards them, he returned. “Sir,” said the Chevalier de Grammont, “may I take the liberty to inquire how I came to be known to you?” “Is it possible,” said the other, “that the Chevalier de Grammont should forget La Motte, who had the honour to serve so long in his regiment?” “What! is it you, my good friend, La Motte? Truly, I was to blame for not remembering you, though you are in a dress very different from that which I first saw you in at Bruxelles, when you taught the Duchess of Guise to dance the triolets: and I am afraid your affairs are not in so flourishing a condition as they were the campaign after I had given you the company you mention.” They were talking in this manner, when the Duke d’Arscot, followed by the gentlemen above mentioned, came up on full gallop. The Chevalier de Grammont was saluted by the whole company before he could say a word. Soon after arrived an immense number of others of his acquaintance, with many people, out of curiosity, on both sides, who, seeing him upon the eminence, assembled together with the greatest eagerness; so that the two armies, without design, without truce, and without fraud, were going to join in conversation, if, by chance, Monsieur de Turenne had not perceived it at a distance. The sight surprised him: he hastened that way; and the Marquis d’Humieres acquainted him with the arrival of the Chevalier de Grammont, who wished to speak to the sentry before he went to the headquarters: he added, that he could not comprehend how the devil he had managed to assemble both armies around him, for it was hardly a minute since he had left him. “Truly,” said Monsieur de Turenne, “he is a very extraordinary man; but it is only reasonable that he should let us now have a little of his company, since he has paid his first visit to the enemy.” At these words he despatched an aide-de-camp, to recal the officers of his army, and to acquaint the Chevalier de Grammont with his impatience to see him.

This order arrived at the same time, with one of the same nature, to the enemy’s officers. The Prince de Conde, being informed of this peaceable interview, was not the least surprised at it, when he heard that it was occasioned by the arrival of the Chevalier de Grammont. He only gave Lussan orders to recal the officers, and to desire the Chevalier to meet him at the same place the next day; which the Chevalier promised to do, provided Monsieur de Turenne should approve of it, as he made no doubt he would.

His reception in the king’s army was equally agreeable as that which he had experienced from the enemy. Monsieur de Turenne esteemed him no less for his frankness than for the poignancy of his wit: he took it very kindly that he was the only courtier who came to see him in a time so critical as the present: the questions which he asked him about the court were not so much for information, as to divert himself with his manner of relating their different apprehensions and alarms. The Chevalier de Grammont advised him to beat the enemy, if he did not choose to be answerable for an enterprise which he had undertaken without consulting the Cardinal. Monsieur de Turenne promised him he would exert himself to the utmost to follow his advice, and assured him, that if he succeeded, he would make the queen keep her word with him; and concluded with saying, that he was not sorry the Prince de Conde had expressed a desire to see him. His measures were taken for an attack upon the lines: on this subject he discoursed in private with the Chevalier de Grammont, and concealed nothing from him except the time of execution: but this was all to no purpose; for the Chevalier had seen too much, not to judge, from his own knowledge, and the observations he had made, that from the situation of the army, the attack could be no longer deferred.

He set out the next day for his rendezvous, attended by a trumpet, and found the Prince at the place which Monsieur de Lussan had described to him the evening before. As soon as he alighted: “Is it possible,” said the Prince, embracing him, “that this can be the Chevalier de Grammont, and that I should see him in the contrary party?” “It is you, my lord, whom I see there,” replied the Chevalier, “and I refer it to yourself, whether it was the fault of the Chevalier de Grammont, or your own, that we now embrace different interests.” “I must confess,” said the Prince, “that if there are some who have abandoned me like base ungrateful wretches, you have left me, as I left myself, like a man of honour, who thinks himself in the right: but let us forget all cause of resentment, and tell me what was your motive for coming here, you, whom I thought at Peronne with the court.” “Must I tell you?” said he: “why, faith then, I came to save your life. I know that you cannot help being in the midst of the enemy in a day of battle; it is only necessary for your horse to be shot under you, and to be taken in arms, to meet with the same treatment from this Cardinal, as your uncle Montmorency did from the other.

[Henry, Duke of Montmorency, who was taken prisoner first September, 1692, and had his head struck off at Toulouse in the month of November following.]

“I come, therefore, to hold a horse in readiness for you, in case of a similar misfortune, that you may not lose your head.” “It is not the first time,” said the Prince, smiling, “that you have rendered me this service, though the being taken prisoner at that time could not have been so dangerous to me as now.”

From this conversation, they passed to more entertaining subjects. The Prince asked him many questions concerning the court, the ladies, play, and about his amours; and returning insensibly to the present situation of affairs, the Chevalier having inquired after some officers of his acquaintance, who had remained with him, the Prince told him that if he chose, he might go to the lines, where he would have an opportunity not only of seeing those whom he inquired after, but likewise the disposition of the quarters and entrenchments. To this he consented, and the Prince having shown him all the works and attended him back to their rendezvous, “Well, Chevalier,” said he, “when do you think we shall see you again?” “Faith,” replied he, “you have used me so handsomely, that I shall conceal nothing from you. Hold yourself in readiness an hour before daybreak; for, you may depend upon it, we shall attack you to-morrow morning. I would not have acquainted you with this, perhaps, had I been entrusted with the secret, but, nevertheless, in the present case you may believe me.” “You are still the same man,” said the Prince, again embracing him. The Chevalier returned to Monsieur de Turenne’s camp towards night; every preparation was then making for the attack of the lines, and it was no longer a secret among the troops.

“Well, Monsieur le Chevalier, were they all very glad to see you?” said Monsieur de Turenne; “the Prince, no doubt, received you with the greatest kindness, and asked a great number of questions?” “He has shown me all the civility imaginable,” replied the Chevalier; “and, to convince me he did not take me for a spy, he led me round the lines and entrenchments, and showed me the preparations he had made for your reception.” “And what is his opinion?” said the Marshal. “He is persuaded that you will attack him to-night, or to-morrow by daybreak; for you great captains,” continued the Chevalier, “see through each other’s designs in a wonderful manner.”

Monsieur de Turenne, with pleasure, received this commendation from a man who was not indiscriminately accustomed to bestow praise. He communicated to him the disposition of the attack; and at the same time acquainted him, that he was very happy that a man who had seen so many actions was to be present at this; and that he esteemed it no small advantage to have the benefit of his advice, but as he believed that the remaining part of the night would be hardly sufficient for his repose, after having passed the former without any refreshment, he consigned him to the Marquis d’Humieres, who provided him with a supper and a lodging.

The next day the lines of Arras were attacked, wherein Monsieur de Turenne, being victorious, added additional lustre to his former glory; and the Prince de Conde, though vanquished, lost nothing of his former reputation.

There are so many accounts of this celebrated battle, that to mention it here would be altogether superfluous. The Chevalier de Grammont, who, as a volunteer, was permitted to go into every part, has given a better description of it than any other person. Monsieur de Turenne reaped great advantage from that activity which never forsook the Chevalier either in peace or war; and that presence of mind which enabled him to carry orders, as coming from the general, so very apropos, that Monsieur de Turenne, otherwise very particular in such matters, thanked him, when the battle was over, in the presence of all his officers, and despatched him to court with the first news of his success.

All that is generally necessary in these expeditions, is to be accustomed to hard riding, and to be well provided with fresh horses, but he had a great many other obstacles to surmount. In the first place, the parties of the enemy were dispersed over all the country, and obstructed his passage. Then he had to prepare against greedy and officious courtiers, who, on such occasions, post themselves in all the avenues, in order to cheat the poor courier out of his news. However, his address preserved him from the one, and deceived the others.

He had taken eight or ten troopers, commanded by an officer of his acquaintance, to escort him half way to Bapaume, being persuaded that the greatest danger would lie between the camp and the first stage. He had not proceeded a league before he was convinced of the truth of what he suspected, and turning to the officer who followed him closely, “If you are not well mounted,” said he, “I would advise you to return to the camp; for my part, I shall set spurs to my horse, and make the best of my way.” “Sir,” said the officer, “I hope I shall be able to keep you company, at whatever rate you go, until you are out of all danger.” “I doubt that,” replied the Chevalier, “for those gentlemen there seem prepared to pay us a visit.” “Don’t you see,” said the officer, “they are some of our own people who are grazing their horses?” “No,” said the Chevalier; “but I see very well that they are some of the enemy’s troopers.” Upon which, observing to him that they were mounting, he ordered the horsemen that escorted him to prepare themselves to make a diversion, and he himself set off full speed towards Bapaume.

He was mounted upon a very swift English horse; but having entangled himself in a hollow way where the ground was deep and miry, he soon had the troopers at his heels, who, supposing him to be some officer of rank, would not be deceived, but continued to pursue him without paying any attention to the others. The best mounted of the party began to draw near him; for the English horses, swift as the wind on even ground, proceeded but very indifferently in bad roads; the trooper presented his carbine, and cried out to him, at some distance, “Good quarter.” The Chevalier de Grammont, who perceived that they gained upon him, and that whatever efforts his horse made in such heavy ground, he must be overtaken at last, immediately quitted the road to Bapaume, and took a causeway to the left, which led quite a different way; as soon as he had gained it, he drew up, as if to hear the proposal of the trooper, which afforded his horse an opportunity of recovering himself; while his enemy, mistaking his intention, and thinking that he only waited to surrender, immediately exerted every effort, that he might take him before the rest of his companions, who were following, could arrive, and by this means almost killed his horse.

One minute’s reflection made the Chevalier consider what a disagreeable adventure it would be, thus coming from so glorious a victory, and the dangers of a battle so warmly disputed, to be taken by a set of scoundrels who had not been in it, and, instead of being received in triumph, and embraced by a great queen, for the important news with which he was charged, to see himself stripped by the vanquished.

During this short meditation, the trooper who followed him was arrived within shot, and still presenting his carbine, offered him good quarter, but the Chevalier de Grammont, to whom this offer, and the manner in which it was made, were equally displeasing, made a sign to him to lower his piece; and perceiving his horse to be in wind, he lowered his hand, rode off like lightning, and left the trooper in such astonishment that he even forgot to fire at him.

As soon as he arrived at Bapaume, he changed horses; the commander of this place showed him the greatest respect, assuring him that no person had yet passed; that he would keep the secret, and that he would retain all that followed him, except the couriers of Monsieur de Turenne.

He now had only to guard against those who would be watching for him about the environs of Peronne, to return as soon as they saw him, and carry his news to court, without being acquainted with any of the particulars. He knew very well that Marshal du Plessis, Marshal de Villeroy, and Gaboury, had boasted of this to the Cardinal before his departure. Wherefore, to elude this snare, he hired two well-mounted horsemen at Bapaume, and as soon as he had got a league from that place, and after giving them each two louis d’ors, to secure their fidelity, he ordered them to ride on before, to appear very much terrified, and to tell all those who should ask them any questions, “that all was lost, that the Chevalier de Grammont had stopped at Bapaume, having no great inclination to be the messenger of ill news; and that as for themselves, they had been pursued by the enemy’s troopers, who were spread over the whole country since the defeat.”

Everything succeeded to his wish: the horsemen were intercepted by Gaboury, whose eagerness had outstripped the two marshals’; but whatever questions were asked them, they acted their parts so well, that Peronne was already in consternation, and rumours of the defeat were whispered among the courtiers, when the Chevalier de Grammont arrived.

Nothing so enhances the value of good news, as when a false alarm of bad has preceded; yet, though the Chevalier’s was accompanied with this advantage, none but their Majesties received it with that transport of joy it deserved.

The queen kept her promise to him in the most fascinating manner: she embraced him before the whole court; the king appeared no less delighted; but the Cardinal, whether with the view of lessening the merit of an action which deserved a handsome reward, or whether it was from a return of that insolence which always accompanied him in prosperity, appeared at first not to pay any attention to what he said, and being afterwards informed that the lines had been forced, that the Spanish army was beaten, and that Arras was relieved, “Is the Prince de Conde taken?” said he. “No,” replied the Chevalier de Grammont. “He is dead then, I suppose?” said the Cardinal. “Not so, neither,” answered the Chevalier. “Fine news indeed!” said the Cardinal, with an air of contempt; and at these words he went into the queen’s cabinet with their majesties. And happy it was for the Chevalier that he did so, for without doubt he would have given him some severe reply, in resentment for those two fine questions, and the conclusion he had drawn from them.

The court was filled with the Cardinal’s spies: the Chevalier, as is usual on such an occasion, was surrounded by a crowd of courtiers and inquisitive people, and he was very glad to ease himself of some part of the load which laid heavy on his heart, within the hearing of the Cardinal’s creatures, and which he would perhaps have told him to his face. “Faith, gentlemen,” said he, with a sneer, “there is nothing like being zealous and eager in the service of kings and great princes: you have seen what a gracious reception his Majesty has given me; you are likewise witnesses in what an obliging manner the queen kept her promise with me; but as for the Cardinal, he has received my news as if he gained no more by it than he did by the death of Peter Mazarin.”

[Peter Mazarin was father to the Cardinal. He was a native of Palermo in Sicily, which place he left in order to settle at Rome, where he died in the year 1654.]

This was sufficient to terrify all those who were sincerely attached to him; and the best established fortune would have been ruined at some period by a jest much less severe: for it was delivered in the presence of witnesses, who were only desirous of having an opportunity of representing it in its utmost malignancy, to make a merit of their vigilance with a powerful and absolute minister. Of this the Chevalier de Grammont was thoroughly convinced; yet whatever detriment he foresaw might arise from it, he could not help being much pleased with what he had said.

The spies very faithfully discharged their duty: however, the affair took a very different turn from what they expected. The next day, when the Chevalier de Grammont was present while their Majesties were at dinner, the Cardinal came in, and coming up to him, everybody making way for him out of respect: “Chevalier,” said he, “the news which you have brought is very good, their Majesties are very well satisfied with it; and to convince you it is more advantageous to me than the death of Peter Mazarin, if you will come and dine with me we will have some play together; for the queen will give us something to play for, over and above her first promise.”

In this manner did the Chevalier de Grammont dare to provoke a powerful minister, and this was all the resentment which the least vindictive of all statesmen expressed on the occasion. It was indeed very unusual for so young a man to reverence the authority of ministers no farther, than as they were themselves respectable by their merit; for this, his own breast, as well as the whole court, applauded him, and he enjoyed the satisfaction of being the only man who durst preserve the least shadow of liberty, in a general state of servitude; but it was perhaps owing to the Cardinal’s passing over this insult with impunity, that he afterwards drew upon himself some difficulties, by other rash expressions less fortunate in the event.

In the mean time the court returned: the Cardinal, who was sensible that he could no longer keep his master in a state of tutelage, being himself worn out with cares and sickness, and having amassed treasures he knew not what to do with, and being sufficiently loaded with the weight of public odium, he turned all his thoughts towards terminating, in a manner the most advantageous for France, a ministry which had so cruelly shaken that kingdom. Thus, while he was earnestly laying the foundations of a peace so ardently wished for, pleasure and plenty began to reign at court.

The Chevalier de Grammont experienced for a long time a variety of fortune in love and gaming: he was esteemed by the courtiers, beloved by beauties whom he neglected, and a dangerous favourite of those whom he admired; more successful in play than in his amours; but the one indemnifying him for want of success in the other, he was always full of life and spirits; and in all transactions of importance, always a man of honour.

It is a pity that we must be forced here to interrupt the course of his history, by an interval of some years, as has been already done at the commencement of these memoirs. In a life where the most minute circumstances are always singular and diverting, we can meet with no chasm which does not afford regret; but whether he did not think them worthy of holding a place among his other adventures, or that he has only preserved a confused idea of them, we must pass to the parts of these fragments which are better ascertained, that we may arrive at the subject of his journey to England.

The peace of the Pyrenees, the king’s marriage,—the return of the Prince de Conde, and the death of the Cardinal, gave a new face to the state.

[Louis XIV. married Maria Theresa of Austria. She was born 20th September, 1638, married 1st June, 1660, and entered Paris 26th August following. She died at Versailles 30th July, 1683, and was buried at St. Denis.]

The eyes of the whole nation were fixed upon their king, who, for nobleness of mien, and gracefulness of person, had no equal; but it was not then known that he was possessed of those superior abilities, which, filling his subjects with admiration, in the end made him so formidable to Europe. Love and ambition, the invisible springs of the intrigues and cabals of all courts, attentively observed his first steps: pleasure promised herself an absolute empire over a prince who had been kept in ignorance of the necessary rules of government, and ambition had no hopes of reigning in the court except in the minds of those who were able to dispute the management of affairs; when men were surprised to see the king on a sudden display such brilliant abilities, which prudence, in some measure necessary, had so long obliged him to conceal.

An application, inimical to the pleasures which generally attract that age, and which unlimited power very seldom refuses, attached him solely to the cares of government: all admired this wonderful change, but all did not find their account in it: the great lost their consequence before an absolute master, and the courtiers approached with reverential awe the sole object of their respects and the sole master of their fortunes: those who had conducted themselves like petty tyrants in their provinces, and on the frontiers, were now no more than governors: favours, according to the king’s pleasure, were sometimes conferred on merit, and sometimes for services done the state; but to importune, or to menace the court, was no longer the method to obtain them.

The Chevalier de Grammont regarded his master’s attention to the affairs of state as a prodigy: he could not conceive how he could submit at his age to the rules he prescribed himself, or that he should give up so many hours of pleasure, to devote them to the tiresome duties, and laborious functions of government; but he blessed the Lord that henceforward no more homage was to be paid, no more court to be made, but to him alone, to whom they were justly due. Disdaining as he did the servile adoration usually paid to a minister, he could never crouch before the power of the two Cardinals who succeeded each other: he neither worshipped the arbitrary power of the one, nor gave his approbation to the artifices of the other; he had never received anything from Cardinal Richelieu but an abbey, which, on account of his rank, could not be refused him; and he never acquired anything from Mazarin but what he won of him at play.

By many years’ experience under an able general he had acquired a talent for war; but this during a general peace was of no further service to him. He therefore thought that, in the midst of a court flourishing in beauties and abounding in wealth, he could not employ himself better than in endeavouring to gain the good opinion of his master, in making the best use of those advantages which nature had given him for play, and in putting in practice new stratagems in love.

He succeeded very well in the two first of these projects, and as he had from that time laid it down as the rule of his conduct to attach himself solely to the king in all his views of preferment, to have no regard for favour unless when it was supported by merit, to make himself beloved by the courtiers and feared by the minister, to dare to undertake anything in order to do good, and to engage in nothing at the expense of innocence, he soon became one in all the king’s parties of pleasure, without gaining the ill will of the courtiers. In play he was successful, in love unfortunate; or, to speak more properly, his restlessness and jealousy overcame his natural prudence, in a situation wherein he had most occasion for it. La Motte Agencourt was one of the maids of honour to the queen dowager, and, though no sparkling beauty, she had drawn away lovers from the celebrated Meneville.

[These two ladies at this period seem to have made a distinguished figure in the annals of gallantry. One of their contemporaries mentions them in these terms: “In this case, perhaps, I can give a better account than most people; as, for instance, they had raised a report, when the queen-mother expelled Mademoiselle de la Motte Agencourt, that it was on his score, when I am assured, upon very good grounds, that it was for entertaining the Marquis de Richelieu against her majesty’s express command. This lady, who was one of her maids of honour, was a person whom I was particularly acquainted with; and that so much, as I was supposed to have a passion for her: she was counted one of the finest women of the court, and therefore I was not at all displeased to have it thought so; for except Mademoiselle de Meneville, (who had her admirers,) there was none that could pretend to dispute it” Memoirs of the Comte de Rochfort, 1696, p. 210. See also Anquetil, Louis XVI. sa Cour et le Regent, tome i. p. 46.]

It was sufficient in those days for the king to cast his eye upon a young lady of the court to inspire her with hopes, and often with tender sentiments; but if he spoke to her more than once, the courtiers took it for granted, and those who had either pretensions to, or love for her, respectfully withdrew both the one and the other, and afterwards only paid her respect; but the Chevalier de Grammont thought fit to act quite otherwise, perhaps to preserve a singularity of character, which upon the present occasion was of no avail.

He had never before thought of her, but as soon as he found that she was honoured with the king’s attention, he was of opinion that she was likewise deserving of his. Having attached himself to her, he soon became very troublesome, without convincing her he was much in love. She grew weary of his persecutions, but he would not desist, neither on account of her ill-treatment nor of her threats. This conduct of his at first made no great noise, because she was in hopes that he would change his behaviour; but finding him rashly persist in it, she complained of him: and then it was that he perceived that if love renders all conditions equal, it is not so between rivals. He was banished the court, and not finding any place in France which could console him for what he most regretted—the presence and sight of his prince—after having made some slight reflections upon his disgrace, and bestowed a few imprecations against her who was the cause of it, he at last formed the resolution of visiting England.


Curiosity to see a man equally famous for his crimes and his elevation, had once before induced the Chevalier de Grammont to visit England. Reasons of state assume great privileges. Whatever appears advantageous is lawful, and every thing that is necessary is honourable in politics. While the King of England sought the protection of Spain in the Low Countries, and that of the States-General in Holland, other powers sent splendid embassies to Cromwell.

This man, whose ambition had opened him a way to sovereign power by the greatest crimes, maintained himself in it by accomplishments which seemed to render him worthy of it by their lustre. The nation, of all Europe the least submissive, patiently bore a yoke which did not even leave her the shadow of that liberty of which she is so jealous; and Cromwell, master of the Commonwealth, under the title of Protector, feared at home, but yet more dreaded abroad, was at his highest pitch of glory when he was seen by the Chevalier de Grammont; but the Chevalier did not see any appearance of a court. One part of the nobility proscribed, the other removed from employments; an affectation of purity of manners, instead of the luxury which the pomp of courts displays all taken together, presented nothing but sad and serious objects in the finest city in the world; and therefore the Chevalier acquired nothing by this voyage but the idea of some merit in a profligate man, and the admiration of some concealed beauties he had found means to discover.

Affairs wore quite a different appearance at his second voyage. The joy for the restoration of the royal family still appeared in all parts. The nation, fond of change and novelty, tasted the pleasure of a natural government, and seemed to breathe again after a long oppression. In short, the same people who, by a solemn abjuration, had excluded even the posterity of their lawful sovereign, exhausted themselves in festivals and rejoicings for his return.

The Chevalier de Grammont arrived about two years after the restoration. The reception he met with in this court soon made him forget the other; and the engagements he in the end contracted in England lessened the regret he had in leaving France.

This was a desirable retreat for an exile of his disposition.

Everything flattered his taste, and if the adventures he had in this country were not the most considerable, they were at least the most agreeable of his life. But before we relate them it will not be improper to give some account of the English court, as it was at that period.

The necessity of affairs had exposed Charles II. from his earliest youth to the toils and perils of a bloody war. The fate of the king his father had left him for inheritance nothing but his misfortunes and disgraces. They overtook him everywhere; but it was not until he had struggled with his ill-fortune to the last extremity that he submitted to the decrees of Providence.

All those who were either great on account of their birth or their loyalty had followed him into exile; and all the young persons of the greatest distinction having afterwards joined him, composed a court worthy of a better fate.

Plenty and prosperity, which are thought to tend only to corrupt manners, found nothing to spoil in an indigent and wandering court. Necessity, on the contrary, which produces a thousand advantages whether we will or no, served them for education; and nothing was to be seen among them but an emulation in glory, politeness, and virtue.

With this little court, in such high esteem for merit, the King of England returned two years prior to the period we mention, to ascend a throne which, to all appearances, he was to fill as worthily as the most glorious of his predecessors. The magnificence displayed on thus occasion was renewed at his coronation.

The death of the Duke of Gloucester, and of the Princess Royal, which followed soon after, had interrupted the course of this splendour by a tedious mourning, which they quitted at last to prepare for the reception of the Infanta of Portugal.

[The Princess Royal: Mary, eldest daughter of Charles I., born November 4th, 1631, married to the Prince of Orange, 2nd May, 1641, who died 27th October, 1650. She arrived in England, September 23rd, and died of the smallpox, December 24th, 1660,-according to Bishop Burnet, not much lamented. “She had lived,” says the author, “in her widowhood for some years with great reputation, kept a decent court, and supported her brothers very liberally; and lived within bounds. But her mother, who had the art of making herself believe anything she had a mind to, upon a conversation with the queen-mother of France, fancied the King of France might be inclined to marry her. So she wrote to her to come to Paris. In order to that, she made an equipage far above what she could support. So she ran herself into debt, sold all her jewels, and some estates that were in her power as her son’s guardian; and was not only disappointed of that vain expectation, but fell into some misfortunes that lessened the reputation she had formerly lived in.” History of his Own Times, vol. i., p. 238. She was mother of William III.] [“The Infanta, of Portugal landed in May (1662) at Portsmouth. The king went thither, and was married privately by Lord Aubigny, a secular priest, and almoner to the queen, according to the rites of Rome, in the queen’s chamber; none present but the Portuguese ambassador, three more Portuguese of quality, and two or three Portuguese women. What made this necessary was, that the Earl of Sandwich did not marry her by proxy, as usual, before she came away. How this happened, the duke knows not, nor did the chancellor know of this private marriage. The queen would not be bedded, till pronounced man and wife by Sheldon, bishop of London.”—Extract 2, from King James II.‘s Journal.—Macpherson’s State Papers, vol. i. In the same collection is a curious letter from the King to Lord Clarendon, giving his opinion of the queen after having seen her.]

It was in the height of the rejoicings they were making for this new queen, in all the splendour of a brilliant court, that the Chevalier de Grammont arrived to contribute to its magnificence and diversions.

Accustomed as he was to the grandeur of the court of France, he was surprised at the politeness and splendour of the court of England. The king was inferior to none, either in shape or air; his wit was pleasant; his disposition easy and affable; his soul, susceptible of opposite impressions, was compassionate to the unhappy, inflexible to the wicked, and tender even to excess; he showed great abilities in urgent affairs, but was incapable of application to any that were not so: his heart was often the dupe, but oftener the slave, of his engagements.

The character of the Duke of York was entirely different he had the reputation of undaunted courage, an inviolable attachment for his word, great economy in his affairs, hauteur, application, arrogance, each in their turn: a scrupulous observer of the rules of duty and the laws of justice; he was accounted a faithful friend, and an implacable enemy.

[James, Duke of York, afterwards King James II. He was born 15th October, 1633; succeeded his brother 6th February, 1684-5; abdicated the crown in 1688; and died 6th September, 1701. Bishop Burnet’s character of him appears not very far from the truth.—“He was,” says this writer, “very brave in his youth; and so much magnified by Monsieur Turenne, that till his marriage lessened him, he really clouded the king, and passed for the superior genius. He was naturally candid and sincere, and a firm friend, till affairs and his religion wore out all his first principles and inclinations he had a great desire to understand affairs: and in order to that he kept a constant journal of all that passed, of which he showed me a great deal. The Duke of Buckingham gave me once a short but severe character of the two brothers. It was the more severe, because it was true: the king, (he said,) could see things if he would: and the duke would see things if he could. He had no true judgment, and was soon determined by those whom he trusted: but he was obstinate against all other advices. He was bred with high notions of kingly authority, and laid it down for a maxim, that all who opposed the king were rebels in their hearts. He was perpetually in one amour or other, without being very nice in his choice: upon which the king once said, he believed his brother had his mistress given him by his priests for penance. He was naturally eager and revengeful: and was against the taking off any, that set up in an opposition to the measures of the court, and who by that means grew popular in the house of commons. He was for rougher methods. He continued many years dissembling his religion, and seemed zealous for the church of England, but it was chiefly on design to hinder all propositions, that tended to unite us among ourselves. He was a frugal prince, and brought his court into method and magnificence, for he had L100,000. a-year allowed him. He was made high admiral, and he came to understand all the concerns of the sea very particularly.”]

His morality and justice, struggling for some time with prejudice, had at last triumphed, by his acknowledging for his wife Miss Hyde, maid of honour to the Princess Royal, whom he had secretly married in Holland. Her father, from that time prime minister of England, supported by this new interest, soon rose to the head of affairs, and had almost ruined them: not that he wanted capacity, but he was too self-sufficient.

The Duke of Ormond possessed the confidence and esteem of his master: the greatness of his services, the splendour of his merit and his birth, and the fortune he had abandoned in adhering to the fate of his prince, rendered him worthy of it nor durst the courtiers even murmur at seeing him grand steward of the household, first lord of the bed-chamber, and lord-lieutenant of Ireland. He exactly resembled the Marshal de Grammont, in the turn of his wit and the nobleness of his manners: and like him was the honour of his master’s court.

The Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of St. Albans were the same in England as they appeared in France: the one full of wit and vivacity, dissipated, without splendour, an immense estate upon which he had just entered: the other, a man of no great genius, had raised himself a considerable fortune from nothing, and by losing at play, and keeping a great table, made it appear greater than it was.

[“The Duke of Buckingham is again one hundred and forty thousand pounds in debt; and by this prorogation his creditors have time to tear all his lands to pieces.”—Andrew Marvell’s Works, 4to. edit., vol. i. p. 406.]

Sir George Berkeley, afterwards Earl of Falmouth, was the confidant and favourite of the King: he commanded the Duke of York’s regiment of guards, and governed the Duke himself. He had nothing very remarkable either in his wit, or his person; but his sentiments were worthy of the fortune which awaited him, when, on the very point of his elevation, he was killed at sea. Never did disinterestedness so perfectly characterise the greatness of the soul: he had no views but what tended to the glory of his master: his credit was never employed but in advising him to reward services, or to confer favours on merit: so polished in conversation, that the greater his power, the greater was his humility; and so sincere in all his proceedings, that he would never have been taken for a courtier.

The Duke of Ormond’s sons and his nephews had been in the king’s court during his exile, and were far from diminishing its lustre after his return. The Earl of Arran had a singular address in all kinds of exercises, played well at tennis and on the guitar, and was pretty successful in gallantry: his elder brother, the Earl of Ossory, was not so lively, but of the most liberal sentiments, and of great probity.

The elder of the Hamiltons, their cousin, was the man who of all the court dressed best: he was well made in his person, and possessed those happy talents which lead to fortune, and procure success in love: he was a most assiduous courtier, had the most lively wit, the most polished manners, and the most punctual attention to his master imaginable: no person danced better, nor was any one a more general lover: a merit of some account in a court entirely devoted to love and gallantry. It is not at all surprising, that with these qualities he succeeded my Lord Falmouth in the King’s favour; but it is very extraordinary that he should have experienced the same destiny, as if this sort of war had been declared against merit only, and as if this sort of combat was fatal to none but such as had certain hopes of a splendid fortune. This, however, did not happen till some years afterwards.

The beau Sydney, less dangerous than he appeared to be, had not sufficient vivacity to support the impression which his figure made; but little Jermyn was on all sides successful in his intrigues.

[Robert Sydney, third son of the Earl of Leicester, and brother of the famous Algernon Sydney, who was beheaded. This is Lord Orford’s account; though, on less authority, I should have been inclined to have considered Henry Sydney, his younger brother, who was afterwards created Earl of Rumney, and died 8th April, 1704, as the person intended. There are some circumstances which seem particularly to point to him. Burnet, speaking of him, says, “he was a, graceful man, and had lived long in the court, where he lead some adventures that became very public. He was a man of a sweet and caressing temper, had no malice in his heart, but too great a love of pleasure. He had been sent envoy to Holland in the year 1679, where he entered into such particular confidences with the prince, that he had the highest measure of his trust and favour that any Englishman ever had.”—History of his Own Times, vol. ii., p. 494. In the Essay on Satire, by Dryden and Mulgrave, he is spoken of in no very decent terms. “And little Sid, for simile renown’d, Pleasure has always sought, but never found Though all his thoughts on wine and women fall, His are so bad, sure he ne’er thinks at all. The flesh he lives upon is rank and strong; His meat and mistresses are kept too long. But sure we all mistake this pious man, Who mortifies his person all he can What we uncharitably take for sin, Are only rules of this odd capuchin; For never hermit, under grave pretence, Has lived more contrary to common sense.” These verses, however, have been applied to Sir Charles Sedley, whose name was originally spelt Sidley. Robert Sydney died at Pensburst, 1674.]

The old Earl of St. Albans, his uncle, had for a long time adopted him, though the youngest of all his nephews. It is well known what a table the good man kept at Paris, while the King his master was starving at Brussels, and the Queen Dowager, his mistress, lived not over well in France.

[To what a miserable state the queen was reduced may be seen in the following extract from De Retz.—“Four or five days before the king removed from Paris, I went to visit the Queen of England, whom I found in her daughter’s chamber, who hath been since Duchess of Orleans. At my coming in she said, ‘You see I am come to keep Henrietta company. The poor child could not rise to-day for want of a fire.’ The truth is, that the cardinal for six months together had not ordered her any money towards her pension; that no trades-people would trust her for anything; and that there was not at her lodgings in the Louvre one single billet. You will do me the justice to suppose that the Princess of England did not keep her bed the next day for want of a faggot; but it was not this which the Princess of Conde meant in her letter. What she spoke about was, that some days after my visiting the Queen of England, I remembered the condition I had found her in, and had strongly represented the shame of abandoning her in that manner, which caused the parliament to send 40,000 livres to her majesty. Posterity will hardly believe that a Princess of England, grand-daughter of Henry the Great, hath wanted a faggot, in the month of January, to get out of bed in the Louvre, and in the eyes of a French court. We read in histories, with horror, of baseness less monstrous than this; and the little concern I have met with about it in most people’s minds, has obliged me to make, I believe, a thousand times, this reflection,—that examples of times past move men beyond comparison more than those of their own times. We accustom ourselves to what we see; and I have sometimes told you, that I doubted whether Caligula’s horse being made a consul would have surprised us so much as we imagine.” —Memoirs, vol. i., p. 261. As for the relative situation of the king and Lord Jermyn, (afterwards St. Albans,) Lord Clarendon says, that the “Marquis of Ormond was compelled to put himself in prison, with other gentlemen, at a pistole a-week for his diet, and to walk the streets a-foot, which was no honourable custom in Paris, whilst the Lord Jermyn kept an excellent table for those who courted him, and had a coach of his own, and all other accommodations incident to the most full fortune: and if the king had the most urgent occasion for the use but of twenty pistoles, as sometimes he had, he could not find credit to borrow it, which he often had experiment of.” —History of the Rebellion, vol. iii., p. 2.]

Jermyn, supported by his uncle’s wealth, found it no difficult matter to make a considerable figure upon his arrival at the court of the Princess of Orange: the poor courtiers of the king her brother could not vie with him in point of equipage and magnificence; and these two articles often produce as much success in love as real merit: there is no necessity for any other example than the present; for though Jermyn was brave, and certainly a gentleman, yet he had neither brilliant actions, nor distinguished rank, to set him off; and as for his fibre, there was nothing advantageous in it. He was little: his head was large and his legs small; his features were not disagreeable, but he was affected in his carriage and behaviour. All his wit consisted in expressions learnt by rote, which he occasionally employed either in raillery, or in love. This was the whole foundation of the merit of a man so formidable in amours.

The Princess Royal was the first who was taken with him: Miss Hyde seemed to be following the steps of her mistress: this immediately brought him into credit, and his reputation was established in England before his arrival. Prepossession in the minds of women is sufficient to find access to their hearts: Jermyn found them in dispositions so favourable for him, that he had nothing to do but to speak.

It was in vain they perceived that a reputation so lightly established, was still more weakly sustained: the prejudice remained: the Countess of Castlemaine, a woman lively and discerning followed the delusive shadow; and though undeceived in a reputation which promised so much, and performed so little, she nevertheless continued in her infatuation: she even persisted in it, until she was upon the point of embroiling herself with the King; so great was this first instance of her constancy.

Such were the heroes of the court. As for the beauties, you could not look anywhere without seeing them: those of the greatest reputation were this same Countess of Castlemaine, afterwards Duchess of Cleveland, Lady Chesterfield, Lady Shrewsbury, the Mrs. Roberts, Mrs. Middleton, the Misses Brooks, and a thousand others, who shone at court with equal lustre; but it was Miss Hamilton and Miss Stewart who were its chief ornaments.

[Lady Shrewsbury: Anna, Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury, eldest daughter of Robert Brudenel, Earl of Cardigan, and wife of Francis, Earl of Shrewsbury, who was killed in a duel by George, Duke of Buckingham, March 16, 1667. She afterwards re-married with George Rodney Bridges, Esq., second son of Sir Thomas Bridges of Keynsham, in Somersetshire, knight, and died April 20, 1702. By her second husband she had one son, George Rodney Bridges, who died in 1751. This woman is said to have been so abandoned, as to have held, in the habit of a page, her gallant, the duke’s horse, while he fought and killed her husband; after which she went to bed with him, stained with her husband’s blood.]

The new queen gave but little additional brilliancy to the court, either in her person or in her retinue, which was then composed of the Countess de Panetra, who came over with her in quality of lady of the bedchamber; six frights, who called themselves maids of honour, and a duenna, another monster, who took the title of governess to those extraordinary beauties.

[Lord Clarendon confirms, in some measure, this account. “There was a numerous family of men and women, that were sent from Portugal, the most improper to promote that conformity in the queen that was necessary for her condition and future happiness that could be chosen; the women, for the most part, old, and ugly, and proud, incapable of any conversation with persons of quality and a liberal education: and they desired, and indeed had conspired so far to possess the queen themselves, that she should neither learn the English language, nor use their habit, nor depart from the manners and fashions of her own country in any particulars: which resolution,” they told, “would be for the dignity of Portugal, and would quickly induce the English ladies to conform to her majesty’s practice. And this imagination had made that impression, that the tailor who had been sent into Portugal to make her clothes could never be admitted to see her, or receive any employment. Nor when she came to Portsmouth, and found there several ladies of honour and prime quality to attend her in the places to which they were assigned by the king, did she receive any of them till the king himself came; nor then with any grace, or the liberty that belonged to their places and offices. She could not be persuaded to be dressed out of the wardrobe that the king had sent to her, but would wear the clothes which she had brought, until she found that the king was displeased, and would be obeyed; whereupon she conformed, against the advice of her women, who continued their opiniatrety, without any one of them receding from their own mode, which exposed them the more to reproach.”—Continuation of Clarendon’s Life, p. 168. In a short time after their arrival in England, they were ordered back to Portugal.]

Among the men were Francisco de Melo, brother to the Countess de Panetra; one Taurauvedez, who called himself Don Pedro Francisco Correo de Silva, extremely handsome, but a greater fool than all the Portuguese put together: he was more vain of his names than of his person; but the Duke of Buckingham, a still greater fool than he, though more addicted to raillery, gave him the additional name of Peter of the Wood. He was so enraged at this, that, after many fruitless complaints and ineffectual menaces, poor Pedro de Silva was obliged to leave England, while the happy duke kept possession of a Portuguese nymph more hideous than the queen’s maids of honour, whom he had taken from him, as well as two of his names. Besides these, there were six chaplains, four bakers, a Jew perfumer, and a certain officer, probably without an office, who called himself her highness’s barber. Katharine de Braganza was far from appearing with splendour in the charming court where she came to reign; however, in the end she was pretty successful.

[Lord Clarendon says, “the queen had beauty and wit enough to make herself agreeable to him (the king); and it is very certain, that, at their first meeting, and for some time after, the King had very good satisfaction in her.... Though she was of years enough to have had more experience of the world, and of as much wit as could be wished, and of a humour very agreeable at some seasons, yet, she had been bred, according to the mode and discipline of her country, in a monastery, where she had only seen the women who attended her, and conversed with the religious who resided there; and, without doubt, in her inclinations, was enough disposed to have been one of that number: and from this restraint she was called out to be a great queen, and to a free conversation in a court that was to be upon the matter new formed, and reduced from the manners of a licentious age to the old rules and limits which had been observed in better times; to which regular and decent conformity the present disposition of men or women was not enough inclined to submit, nor the king enough disposed to exact.”—Continuation of Lord Clarendon’s Life, p. 167. After some struggle, she submitted to the king’s licentious conduct, and from that time lived upon easy terms with him, until his death. On the 30th March, 1692, she left Somerset-house, her usual residence, and retired to Lisbon, where she died, 31st December, 1705, N. S.]

The Chevalier de Grammont, who had been long known to the royal family, and to most of the gentlemen of the court, had only to get acquainted with the ladies; and for this he wanted no interpreter: they all spoke French enough to explain themselves, and they all understood it sufficiently to comprehend what he had to say to them.

The queen’s court was always very numerous; that of the duchess was less so, but more select. This princess had a majestic air, a pretty good shape, not much beauty, a great deal of wit, and so just a discernment of merit, that, whoever of either sex were possessed of it, were sure to be distinguished by her: an air of grandeur in all her actions made her be considered as if born to support the rank: which placed her so near the throne.

[“The Duchess of York,” says Bishop Burnet, “was a very extraordinary woman. She had great knowledge, and a lively sense of things. She soon understood what belonged to a princess, and took state on her rather too much. She wrote well, and had begun the duke’s life, of which she showed me a volume. It was all drawn from his journal; and he intended to have employed me in carrying it on. She was bred in great strictness in religion, and practised secret confession. Morley told me he was her confessor. She began at twelve years old, and continued under his direction till, upon her father’s disgrace, he was put from the court. She was generous and friendly, but was too severe an enemy."-history of his Own Times, vol. i., p. 237. She was contracted to the duke at Breda, November 24, 1659, and married at Worcester-house, 3rd September, 1660, in the night, between eleven and two, by Dr. Joseph Crowther, the duke’s chaplain; the Lord Ossory giving her in marriage. —Kennet’s Register, p. 246. She died 31st March, 1671, having previously acknowledged herself to be a Roman Catholic.—See also her character by Bishop Morley.—Kennet’s Register, p. 385, 390.]

The queen dowager returned after the marriage of the princess royal, and it was in her court that the two others met.

The Chevalier de Grammont was soon liked by all parties those who had not known him before were surprised to see a Frenchman of his disposition. The king’s restoration having drawn a great number of foreigners from all countries to the court, the French were rather in disgrace; for, instead of any persons of distinction having appeared among the first who came over, they had only seen some insignificant puppies, each striving to outdo the other in folly and extravagance, despising everything which was not like themselves, and thinking they introduced the ‘bel air’, by treating the English as strangers in their own country.

The Chevalier de Grammont, on the contrary, was familiar with everybody: he gave in to their customs, eat of everything, and easily habituated himself to their manner of living, which he looked upon as neither vulgar nor barbarous; and as he showed a natural complaisance, instead of the impertinent affectation of the others, all the nation was charmed with a man, who agreeably indemnified them for what they had suffered from the folly of the former.

He first of all made his court to the king, and was of all his parties of pleasure: he played high, and lost but seldom: he found so little difference in the manners and conversation of those with whom he chiefly associated, that he could scarcely believe he was out of his own country. Everything which could agreeably engage a man of his disposition, presented itself to his different humours, as if the pleasures of the court of France had quitted it to accompany him in his exile.

He was every day engaged for some entertainment; and those who wished to regale him in their turn, were obliged to take their measures in time, and to invite him eight or ten days before hand. These importunate civilities became tiresome in the long run; but as they seemed indispensable to a man of his disposition, and as they were the most genteel people of the court who loaded him with them, he submitted with a good grace; but always reserved to himself the liberty of supping at home.

His supper hour depended upon play, and was indeed very uncertain; but his supper was always served up with the greatest elegance, by the assistance of one or two servants, who were excellent caterers and good attendants, but understood cheating still better.

The company, at these little entertainments, was not numerous, but select: the first people of the court were commonly of the party; but the man, who of all others suited him best on these occasions, never failed to attend: that was the celebrated Saint Evremond, who with great exactness, but too great freedom, had written the history of the treaty of the Pyrenees: an exile like himself, though for very different reasons.

Happily for them both, fortune had, some time before the arrival of the Chevalier de Grammont, brought Saint Evremond to England, after he had had leisure to repent in Holland of the beauties of that famous satire.

[Charles de St. Denis, Seigneur de Saint Evremond, was born at St. Denis le Guast, in Lower Normandy, on the 1st of April, 1613. He was educated at Paris, with a view to the profession of the law; but he early quitted that pursuit, and went into the army, where he signalized himself on several occasions. At the time of the Pyrenean treaty, he wrote a letter censuring the conduct of Cardinal Mazarin, which occasioned his being banished France. He first took refuge in Holland; but, in 1662, he removed into England, where he continued, with a short interval, during the rest of his life. In 1675, the Duchess of Mazarin came to reside in England; and with her St. Evremond passed much of his time. He preserved his health and cheerfulness to a very great age, and died 9th of September, 1703, aged ninety years, five months, and twenty days. His biographer Monsieur Des Maizeaux, describes him thus: “M. de St. Evremond had blue, lively, and sparkling eyes, a large forehead, thick eyebrows, a handsome mouth, and a sneering physiognomy. Twenty years before his death, a wen grew between his eye-brows, which in time increased to a considerable bigness. He once designed to have it cut off, but as it was no ways troublesome to him, and he little regarded that kind of deformity, Dr. Le Fevre advised him to let it alone, lest such an operation should be attended with dangerous symptoms in a man of his age. He would often make merry with himself on account of his wen, his great leather cap, and grey hair, which he chose to wear rather than a periwig.” St. Evremond was a kind of Epicurean philosopher, and drew his own character in the following terms, in a letter to Count de Grammont. “He was a philosopher equally removed from superstition and impiety; a voluptuary who had no less aversion from debauchery than inclination for pleasure: a man who had never felt the pressure of indigence, and who had never been in possession of affluence: he lived in a condition despised by those who have everything, envied by those who have nothing, and relished by those who make their reason the foundation of their happiness. When he was young he hated profusion, being persuaded that some degree of wealth was necessary for the conveniencies of a long life: when he was old, he could hardly endure economy, being of opinion that want is little to be dreaded when a man has but little time left to be miserable. He was well pleased with nature, and did not complain of fortune. He hated vice, was indulgent to frailties, and lamented misfortunes. He sought not after the failings of men with a design to expose them; he only found what was ridiculous in them for his own amusement: he had a secret pleasure in discovering this himself, and would, indeed, have had a still greater in discovering this to others, had not he been checked by discretion. Life, in his opinion, was too short to read all sorts of books, and to burden one’s memory with a multitude of things, at the expense of one’s judgment. He did not apply himself to the most learned writings, in order to acquire knowledge, but to the most rational, to fortify his reason: he sometimes chose the most delicate, to give delicacy to his own taste, and sometimes the most agreeable, to give the same to his own genius. It remains that he should be described, such as he was, in friendship and in religion. In friendship he was more constant than a philosopher, and more sincere than a young man of good nature without experience. With regard to religion, his piety consisted more in justice and charity than in penance or mortification. He placed his confidence in God, trusting in His goodness, and hoping that in the bosom of His providence he should find his repose and his felicity.”—He was buried in Westminster Abbey.]

The Chevalier was from that time his hero: they had each of them attained to all the advantages which a knowledge of the world, and the society of people of fashion, could add to the improvement of good natural talents. Saint Evremond, less engaged in frivolous pursuits, frequently gave little lectures to the Chevalier, and by making observations upon the past, endeavoured to set him right for the present, or to instruct him for the future. “You are now,” said he, “in the most agreeable way of life a man of your temper could wish for: you are the delight of a youthful, sprightly, and gallant court: the king has never a party of pleasure to which you are not admitted. You play from morning to night, or, to speak more properly, from night to morning, without knowing what it is to lose. Far from losing the money you brought hither, as you have done in other places, you have doubled it, trebled it, multiplied it almost beyond your wishes, notwithstanding the exorbitant expenses you are imperceptibly led into. This, without doubt, is the most desirable situation in the world: stop here, Chevalier, and do not ruin your affairs by returning to your old sins. Avoid love, by pursuing other pleasures: love has never been favourable to you.

[“Saint Evremond and Bussi-Rabutin, who have also written on the life of the Count de Grammont, agree with Hamilton in representing him as a man less fortunate in love than at play; not seeking for any other pleasure in the conquest of a woman but that of depriving another of her; and not able to persuade any one of his passion, because he spoke to her, as at all other times, in jest: but cruelly revenging himself on those who refused to hear him; corrupting the servants of those whom they did favour, counterfeiting their handwriting, intercepting their letters, disconcerting their rendezvous; in one word, disturbing their amours by everything which a rival, prodigal, indefatigable, and full of artifice, can be imagined to do. The straitest ties of blood could not secure any one from his detraction. His nephew, the Count de Guiche, was a victim: he had in truth, offended the Count de Grammont, by having supplanted him in the affection of the Countess de Fiesque, whom he loved afterwards for the space of twelve years. Here was enough to irritate the self-love of a man less persuaded of his own merit.” Hamilton does not describe the exterior of the count, but accuses Bussi-Rabutin of having, in the following description, given a more agreeable than faithful portrait of him: “The chevalier had laughing eyes, a well-formed nose, a beautiful mouth, a small dimple in the chin, which had an agreeable effect on his countenance, a certain delicacy in his physiognomy, and a handsome shape, if he had not stooped.”]

“You are sensible how much gallantry has cost you; and every person here is not so well acquainted with that matter as yourself. Play boldly: entertain the court with your wit: divert the king by your ingenious and entertaining stories; but avoid all engagements which can deprive you of this merit, and make you forget you are a stranger and an exile in this delightful country.

“Fortune may bow weary of befriending you at play. What would have become of you, if your last misfortune had happened to you when your money had been at as low an ebb as I have known it? Attend carefully then to this necessary deity, and renounce the other. You will be missed at the court of France before you grow weary of this; but be that as it may, lay up a good store of money: when a man is rich he consoles himself for his banishment. I know you well, my dear Chevalier: if you take it into your head to seduce a lady, or to supplant a lover, your gains at play will by no means suffice for presents and for bribes: no, let play be as productive to you as it can be, you will never gain so much by it as you will lose by love, if you yield to it.

“You are in possession of a thousand splendid qualifications which distinguish you here: generous, benevolent, elegant, and polite; and for your engaging wit, inimitable. Upon a strict examination, perhaps, all this would not be found literally true; but these are brilliant marks; and since it is granted that you possess them, do not show yourself here in any other light: for, in love, if your manner of paying your addresses can be so denominated, you do not in the least resemble the picture I have just now drawn.”

“My little philosophical monitor,” said the Chevalier de Grammont, “you talk here as if you were the Cato of Normandy.” “Do I say anything untrue?” replied Saint Evremond: “Is it not a fact, that as soon as a woman pleases you, your first care is to find out whether she has any other lover, and your second how to plague her; for the gaining her affection is the last thing in your thoughts. You seldom engage in intrigues, but to disturb the happiness of others: a mistress who has no lovers would have no charms for you, and if she has, she would be invaluable. Do not all the places through which you have passed furnish me with a thousand examples? Shall I mention your coup d’essai at Turin? the trick you played at Fontainebleau, where you robbed the Princess Palatine’s courier upon the highway? and for what purpose was this fine exploit, but to put you in possession of some proofs of her affection for another, in order to give her uneasiness and confusion by reproaches and menaces, which you had no right to use?

“Who but yourself ever took it into his head to place himself in ambush upon the stairs, to disturb a man in an intrigue, and to pull him back by the leg when he was half way up to his mistress’s chamber? yet did not you use your friend the Duke of Buckingham in this manner, when he was stealing at night to ——— although you were not in the least his rival? How many spies did not you send out after d’Olonne?

[Mademoiselle de la Loupe, who is mentioned in De Retz’s Memoirs, vol. iii., p. 95. She married the Count d’Olonne, and became famous for her gallantries, of which the Count de Bussi speaks so much, in his History of the Amours of the Gauls. Her maiden name was Catherine Henrietta d’Angennes, and she was daughter to Charles d’Angennes, Lord of la Loupe, Baron of Amberville, by Mary du Raynier. There is a long character of her by St. Evremond, in his works, vol. i., p. 17. The same writer, mentioning the concern of some ladies for the death of the Duke of Candale, says, “But his true mistress (the Countess d’Olonne) made herself famous by the excess of her affliction, and had, in my opinion, been happy, if she had kept it on to the last. One amour is creditable to a lady; and I know not whether it be not more advantageous to their reputation than never to have been in love.”—St. Evremond’s works, vol. ii., p. 24.]

“How many tricks, frauds, and persecutions, did you not practise for the Countess de Fiesque, who perhaps might have been constant to you, if you had not yourself forced her to be otherwise? But, to conclude, for the enumeration of your iniquities would be endless, give me leave to ask you, how you came here? Are not we obliged to that same evil genius of yours, which rashly inspired you to intermeddle even in the gallantries of your prince? Show some discretion then on this point here, I beseech you; all the beauties of the court are already engaged; and however docile the English may be with respect to their wives, they can by no means bear the inconstancy of their mistresses, nor patiently suffer the advantages of a rival: suffer them therefore to remain in tranquillity, and do not gain their ill-will for no purpose.

“You certainly will meet with no success with such as are unmarried: honourable views, and good landed property, are required here; and you possess as much of the one as the other. Every country has its customs: in Holland, unmarried ladies are of easy access, and of tender dispositions; but as soon as ever they are married, they become like so many Lucretias: in France, the women are great coquettes before marriage, and still more so afterwards; but here it is a miracle if a young lady yields to any proposal but that of matrimony and I do not believe you yet so destitute of grace as to think of that.”

Such were Saint Evremond’s lectures; but they were all to no purpose: the Chevalier de Grammont only attended to them for his amusement; and though he was sensible of the truth they contained, he paid little regard to them: in fact, being weary of the favours of fortune, he had just resolved to pursue those of love.

Mrs. Middleton was the first whom he attacked: she was one of the Handsomest women in town, though then little known at court: so much of the coquette as to discourage no one; and so great was her desire of appearing magnificently, that she was ambitious to vie with those of the greatest fortunes, though unable to support the expense. All this suited the Chevalier de Grammont; therefore, without trifling away his time in useless ceremonies, he applied to her porter for admittance, and chose one of her lovers for his confidant.

This lover, who was not deficient in wit, was at that time a Mr. Jones, afterwards Earl of Ranelagh: what engaged him to serve the Chevalier de Grammont, was to traverse the designs of a most dangerous rival, and to relieve himself from an expense which began to lie too heavy upon him. In both respects the Chevalier answered his purpose.

Immediately spies were placed, letters and presents flew about: he was received as well as he could wish: he was permitted to ogle: he was even ogled again; but this was all. He found that the fair one was very willing to accept, but was tardy in making returns. This induced him, without giving up his pretensions to her, to seek his fortune elsewhere.

Among the queen’s maids of honour, there was one called Warmestre: she was a beauty very different from the other. Mrs. Middleton was well made, fair, and delicate; but had in her behaviour and discourse something precise and affected. The indolent languishing airs she gave herself did not please everybody: people grew weary of those sentiments of delicacy, which she endeavoured to explain without understanding them herself; and instead of entertaining she became tiresome. In these attempts she gave herself so much trouble, that she made the company uneasy, and her ambition to pass for a wit, only established her the reputation of being tiresome, which lasted much longer than her beauty.

Miss Warmestre was brown: she had no shape at all, and still less air; but she had a very lively complexion, very sparkling eyes, tempting looks, which spared nothing that might ensnare a lover, and promised everything which could preserve him. In the end, it very plainly appeared that her consent went along with her eyes to the last degree of indiscretion.

It was between these two goddesses that the inclinations of the Chevalier de Grammont stood wavering, and between whom his presents were divided. Perfumed gloves, pocket looking-glasses, elegant boxes, apricot paste, essences, and other small wares of love, arrived every week from Paris, with some new suit for himself; but, with regard to more solid presents, such as ear-rings, diamonds, brilliants, and bright guineas, all this was to be met with of the best sort in London, and the ladies were as well pleased with them as if they had been brought from abroad.

Miss Stewart’s beauty began at this time to be celebrated.

[Frances, Duchess of Richmond, daughter of Walter Stewart, son of Walter, Baron of Blantyre, and wife of Charles Stewart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox: a lady of exquisite beauty, if justly represented in a puncheon made by Roettiere, his majesty’s engraver of the mint, in order to strike a medal of her, which exhibits the finest face that perhaps was ever seen. The king was supposed to be desperately in love with her; and it became common discourse, that there was a design on foot to get him divorced from the queen, in order to marry this lady. Lord Clarendon was thought to have promoted the match with the Duke of Richmond, thereby to prevent the other design, which he imagined would hurt the king’s character, embroil his affairs at present, and entail all the evils of a disputed succession on the nation. Whether he actually encouraged the Duke of Richmond’s marriage, doth not appear; but it is certain that he was so strongly possessed of the king’s inclination to a divorce, that, even after his disgrace, he was persuaded the Duke of Buckingham had under taken to carry that matter through the parliament. It is certain too that the king considered him as the chief promoter of Miss Stewart’s marriage, and resented it in the highest degree. (See Pepys’ Diaries. Ed.) The ceremony took place privately, and it was publicly declared in April, 1667. From one of Sir Robert Southwell’s dispatches, dated Lisbon, December 12, 1667, it appears that the report of the queen’s intended divorce had not then subsided in her native country.—History of the Revolutions of Portugal, 1740, p. 352. The duchess became a widow in 1672, and died October 15, 1702. See Burnet’s History, Ludlow’s Memoirs, and Carte’s Life of the Duke of Ormond. A figure in wax of this duchess is still to be seen in Westminster-abbey.]

The Countess of Castlemaine perceived that the king paid attention to her; but, instead of being alarmed at it, she favoured, as far as she was able, this new inclination, whether from an indiscretion common to all those who think themselves superior to the rest of mankind, or whether she designed, by this pastime, to divert the king’s attention from the commerce which she held with Jermyn. She was not satisfied with appearing without any degree of uneasiness at a preference which all the court began to remark: she even affected to make Miss Stewart her favourite, and invited her to all the entertainments she made for the king; and, in confidence of her own charms, with the greatest indiscretion, she often kept her to sleep. The king, who seldom neglected to visit the countess before she rose, seldom failed likewise to find Miss Stewart in bed with her. The most indifferent objects have charms in a new attachment: however, the imprudent countess was not jealous of this rival’s appearing with her, in such a situation, being confident, that whenever she thought fit, she could triumph over all the advantages which these opportunities could afford Miss Stewart; but she was quite mistaken.

The Chevalier de Grammont took notice of this conduct, without being able to comprehend it; but, as he was attentive to the inclinations of the king, he began to make his court to him, by enhancing the merit of this new mistress. Her figure was more showy than engaging: it was hardly possible for a woman to have less wit, or more beauty: all her features were fine and regular; but her shape was not good: yet she was slender, straight enough, and taller than the generality of women: she was very graceful, danced well, and spoke French better than her mother tongue: she was well bred, and possessed, in perfection, that air of dress which is so much admired, and which cannot be attained, unless it be taken when young, in France. While her charms were gaining ground in the king’s heart, the Countess of Castlemaine amused herself in the gratification of all her caprices.

Mrs. Hyde was one of the first of the beauties who were prejudiced with a blind prepossession in favour of Jermyn she had just married a man whom she loved: by this marriage she became sister-in-law to the duchess, brilliant by her own native lustre, and full of pleasantry and wit. However, she was of opinion, that so long as she was not talked of on account of Jermyn, all her other advantages would avail nothing for her glory: it was, therefore, to receive this finishing stroke, that she resolved to throw herself into his arms.

She was of a middle size, had a skin of a dazzling whiteness, fine hands, and a foot surprisingly beautiful, even in England: long custom had given such a languishing tenderness to her looks, that she never opened her eyes but like a Chinese; and, when she ogled, one would have thought she was doing something else.

Jermyn accepted of her at first; but, being soon puzzled what to do with her, he thought it best to sacrifice her to Lady Castlemaine. The sacrifice was far from being displeasing to her; it was much to her glory to have carried off Jermyn from so many competitors; but this was of no consequence in the end.

Jacob Hall (the famous rope-dancer) was at that time in vogue in London; his strength and agility charmed in public, even to a wish to know what he was in private; for he appeared, in his tumbling dress, to be quite of a different make, and to have limbs very different from the fortunate Jermyn.

[“There was a symmetry and elegance, as well as strength and agility, in the person of Jacob Hall, which was much admired by the ladies, who regarded him as a due composition of Hercules and Adonis. The open-hearted Duchess of Cleveland was said to have been in love with this rope-dancer and Goodman the player at the same time. The former received a salary from her grace.”—Granger, vol. ii., part 2, p. 461. In reference to the connection between the duchess and the ropedancer, Mr. Pope introduced the following lines into his “Sober Advice from Horace:” “What push’d poor E—s on th’ imperial whore? ‘Twas but to be where Charles had been before, The fatal steel unjustly was apply’d, When not his lust offended, but his pride Too hard a penance for defeated sin, Himself shut out, and Jacob Hall let in.”]

The tumbler did not deceive Lady Castlemaine’s expectations, if report may be believed; and as was intimated in many a song, much more to the honour of the rope-dancer than of the countess; but she despised all these rumours, and only appeared still more handsome.

While satire thus found employment at her cost, there were continual contests for the favours of another beauty, who was not much more niggardly in that way than herself; this was the Countess of Shrewsbury.

The Earl of Arran, who had been one of her first admirers, was not one of the last to desert her; this beauty, less famous for her conquests than for the misfortunes she occasioned, placed her greatest merits in being more capricious than any other. As no person could boast of being the only one in her favour; so no person could complain of having been ill received.

Jermyn was displeased that she had made no advances to him, without considering that she had no leisure for it; his pride was offended; but the attempt which he made to take her from the rest of her lovers was very ill-advised.

Thomas Howard, brother to the Earl of Carlisle, was one of them; there was not a braver, nor a more genteel man in England; and though he was of a modest demeanour, and his manners appeared gentle and pacific, no person was more spirited nor more passionate. Lady Shrewsbury, inconsiderately returning the first ogles of the invincible Jermyn, did not at all make herself more agreeable to Howard; that, however, she paid little attention to; yet, as she designed to keep fair with him, she consented to accept an entertainment which he had often proposed, and which she durst no longer refuse. A place of amusement, called Spring Garden,—was fixed upon for the scene of this entertainment.

As soon as the party was settled, Jermyn was privately informed of it. Howard had a company in the regiment of guards, and one of the soldiers of his company played pretty well on the bagpipes; this soldier was therefore at the entertainment. Jermyn was at the garden, as by chance; and, puffed up with his former successes, he trusted to his victorious air for accomplishing this last enterprise; he no sooner appeared on the walks, than her ladyship showed herself upon the balcony.

I know not how she stood affected to her hero; but Howard did not fancy him much; this did not prevent his coming up stairs upon the first sign she made to him; and not content with acting the petty tyrant, at an entertainment not made for himself, no sooner had he gained the soft looks of the fair one, than he exhausted all his common-place, and all his stock of low irony, in railing at the entertainment, and ridiculing the music.

[Spring Garden: They stay there so long as if they wanted not time to finish the race; for it is usual here to find some of the young company till midnight; and the thickets of the garden seem to be contrived to all advantages of gallantry, after they have refreshed with the collation, which is here seldom omitted, at a certain cabaret, in the middle of this paradise, where the forbidden fruits are certain trifling tarts, newts’ tongues, spacious meats, and bad Rhenish, for which the gallants pay sauce, as indeed they do at all such houses throughout England; for they think it a piece of frugality beneath them to bargain or account for what they eat in any place, however unreasonably imposed upon.‘’-Character of England, 12mo., 1659, p. 56, written, it is said, by John Evelyn, Esq. Spring Garden is the scene of intrigue in many of our comedies of this period.]

Howard possessed but little raillery, and still less patience; three times was the banquet on the point of being stained with blood; but three times did he suppress his natural impetuosity, in order to satisfy his resentment elsewhere with greater freedom.

Jermyn, without paying the least attention to his ill-humour, pursued his point, continued talking to Lady Shrewsbury, and did not leave her until the repast was ended.

He went to bed, proud of this triumph, and was awakened next morning by a challenge. He took for his second Giles Rawlings, a man of intrigue, and a deep player. Howard took Dillon, who was dexterous and brave, much of a gentleman, and, unfortunately, an intimate friend to Rawlings.

In this duel fortune did not side with the votaries of love poor Rawlings was left stone dead; and Jermyn, having received three wounds, was carried to his uncle’s, with very little signs of life.

While the report of this event engaged the courtiers according to their several interests, the Chevalier de Grammont was informed by Jones, his friend, his confidant, and his rival, that there was another gentleman very attentive to Mrs. Middleton: this was Montagu, no very dangerous rival on account of his person, but very much to be feared for his assiduity, the acuteness of his wit, and for some other talents which are of importance, when a man is once permitted to display them.

There needed not half so much to bring into action all the Chevalier’s vivacity, in point of competition: vexation awakened in him whatever expedients the desire of revenge, malice, and experience, could suggest, for troubling the designs of a rival, and tormenting a mistress. His first intention was to return her letters, and demand his presents, before he began to tease her; but, rejecting this project, as too weak a revenge for the injustice done him, he was upon the point of conspiring the destruction of poor Mrs. Middleton, when, by accident, he met with Miss Hamilton. From this moment ended all his resentment against Mrs. Middleton, and all his attachment to Miss Warmestre: no longer was he inconstant: no longer were his wishes fluctuating: this object fixed them all; and, of all his former habits, none remained, except uneasiness and jealousy.

Here his first care was to please; but he very plainly saw, that to succeed he must act quite in a different manner to that which he had been accustomed to.

The family of the Hamiltons, being very numerous, lived in a large and commodious house, near the court: the Duke of Ormond’s family was continually with them; and here persons of the greatest distinction in London, constantly met: the Chevalier de Grammont was here received in a manner agreeable to his merit and quality, and was astonished that he had spent so much time in other places; for, after having made this acquaintance, he was desirous of no other.

All the world agreed that Miss Hamilton was worthy of the most ardent and sincere affection: nobody could boast a nobler birth, nothing was more charming than her person.

[Elizabeth, sister of the author of these Memoirs, and daughter of Sir George Hamilton, fourth son of James, the first Earl of Abercorn, by Mary, third daughter of Thomas, Viscount Thurles, eldest son of Walter, eleventh Earl of Ormond, and sister to James, the first Duke of Ormond. She married Philibert, Count of Grammont, the hero of these Memoirs, by whom she had two daughters: Claude Charlotte, married, 3rd April, 1694, to Henry, Earl of Stafford; and another, who became superior, or abbess, of the Canonesses in Lorraine.]


The Chevalier de Grammont, never satisfied in his amours, was fortunate without being beloved, and became jealous without having an attachment.

Mrs. Middleton, as we have said, was going to experience what methods he could invent to torment, after having experienced his powers of pleasing.

He went in search of her to the queen’s drawing-room, where there was a ball; there she was; but fortunately for her, Miss Hamilton was there likewise. It had so happened, that of all the beautiful women at Court, this was the lady whom he had least seen, and whom he had heard most commended; this, therefore, was the first time that he had a close view of her, and he soon found that he had seen nothing at court before this instant; he asked her some questions, to which she replied; as long as she was dancing, his eyes were fixed upon her; and from this time he no longer resented Mrs. Middleton’s conduct. Miss Hamilton was at the happy age when the charms of the fair sex begin to bloom; she had the finest shape, the loveliest neck, and most beautiful arms in the world; she was majestic and graceful in all her movements; and she was the original after which all the ladies copied in their taste and air of dress. Her forehead was open, white, and smooth; her hair was well set, and fell with ease into that natural order which it is so difficult to imitate. Her complexion was possessed of a certain freshness, not to be equalled by borrowed colours: her eyes were not large, but they were lively, and capable of expressing whatever she pleased: her mouth was full of graces, and her contour uncommonly perfect; nor was her nose, which was small, delicate, and turned up, the least ornament of so lovely a face. In fine, her air, her carriage, and the numberless graces dispersed over her whole person, made the Chevalier de Grammont not doubt but that she was possessed of every other qualification. Her mind was a proper companion for such a form: she did not endeavour to shine in conversation by those sprightly sallies which only puzzle; and with still greater care she avoided that affected solemnity in her discourse, which produces stupidity; but, without any eagerness to talk, she just said what she ought, and no more. She had an admirable discernment in distinguishing between solid and false wit; and far from making an ostentatious display of her abilities, she was reserved, though very just in her decisions: her sentiments were always noble, and even lofty to the highest extent, when there was occasion; nevertheless, she was less prepossessed with her own merit than is usually the case with those who have so much. Formed, as we have described, she could not fail of commanding love; but so far was she from courting it, that she was scrupulously nice with respect to those whose merit might entitle them to form any pretensions to her.

The more the Chevalier de Grammont was convinced of these truths, the more did he endeavour to please and engage her in his turn: his entertaining wit, his conversation, lively, easy, and always distinguished by novelty, constantly gained him attention; but he was much embarrassed to find that presents, which so easily made their way in his former method of courtship, were no longer proper in the mode which, for the future, he was obliged to pursue.

He had an old valet-de-chambre, called Termes, a bold thief, and a still more impudent liar: he used to send this man from London every week, on the commissions we have before mentioned; but after the disgrace of Mrs. Middleton, and the adventure of Miss Warmestre, Mr. Termes was only employed in bringing his master’s clothes from Paris, and he did not always acquit himself with the greatest fidelity in that employment, as will appear hereafter.

The queen was a woman of sense, and used all her endeavours to please the king, by that kind obliging behaviour which her affection made natural to her: she was particularly attentive in promoting every sort of pleasure and amusement especially such as she could be present at herself.

She had contrived, for this purpose, a splendid masquerade, where those, whom she appointed to dance, had to represent different nations; she allowed some time for preparation, during which we may suppose, the tailors, the mantua makers, and embroiderers, were not idle: nor were the beauties, who were to be there, less anxiously employed; however, Miss Hamilton found time enough to invent two or three little tricks, in a conjuncture so favourable, for turning into ridicule the vain fools of the court. There were two who were very eminently such: the one was Lady Muskerry, who had married her cousin-german; and the other a maid of honour to the Duchess, called Blague.

The first, whose husband most assuredly never married her for beauty, was made like the generality of rich heiresses, to whom just nature seems sparing of her gifts, in proportion as they are loaded with those of fortune: she had the shape of a woman big with child, without being so; but had a very good reason for limping; for, of two legs uncommonly short, one was much shorter than the other. A face suitable to this description gave the finishing stroke to this disagreeable figure.

Miss Blague was another species of ridicule: her shape was neither good nor bad: her countenance bore the appearance of the greatest insipidity, and her complexion was the same all over; with two little hollow eyes, adorned with white eye-lashes, as long as one’s finger. With these attractions she placed herself in ambuscade to surprise unwary hearts; but she might have done so in vain, had it not been for the arrival of the Marquis de Brisacier. Heaven seemed to have made them for each other: he had in his person and manners every requisite to dazzle a creature of her character he talked eternally, without saying anything, and in his dress exceeded the most extravagant fashions. Miss Blague believed that all this finery was on her account; and the Marquis believed that her long eyelashes had never taken aim at any but himself: everybody perceived their inclination for each other; but they had only conversed by mute interpreters, when Miss Hamilton took it into her head to intermeddle in their affairs.

She was willing to do everything in order, and therefore began with her cousin Muskerry, on account of her rank. Her two darling foibles were dress and dancing. Magnificence of dress was intolerable with her figure; and though her dancing was still more insupportable, she never missed a ball at court: and the queen had so much complaisance for the public, as always to make her dance; but it was impossible to give her a part in an entertainment so important and splendid as this masquerade: however, she was dying with impatience for the orders she expected.

It was in consequence of this impatience, of which Miss Hamilton was informed, that she founded the design of diverting herself at the expense of this silly woman. The queen sent notes to those whom she appointed to be present, and described the manner in which they were to be dressed. Miss Hamilton wrote a note exactly in the same manner to Lady Muskerry, with directions for her to be dressed in the Babylonian fashion.

She assembled her counsel to advise about the means of sending it: this cabinet was composed of one of her brothers and a sister, who were glad to divert themselves at the expense of those who deserved it. After having consulted some time, they at last resolved upon a mode of conveying it into her own hands. Lord Muskerry was just going out, when she received it: he was a man of honour, rather serious, very severe, and a mortal enemy to ridicule. His wife’s deformity was not so intolerable to him, as the ridiculous figure she made upon all occasions. He thought that he was safe in the present case, not believing that the queen would spoil her masquerade by naming Lady Muskerry as one of the dancers nevertheless, as he was acquainted with the passion his wife had to expose herself in public, by her dress and dancing, he had just been advising her very seriously to content herself with being a spectator of this entertainment, even though the queen should have the cruelty to engage her in it: he then took the liberty to show her what little similarity there was between her figure, and that of persons to whom dancing and magnificence in dress were allowable. His sermon concluded at last, by an express prohibition to solicit a place at this entertainment, which they had no thoughts of giving her; but far from taking his advice in good part, she imagined that he was the only person who had prevented the queen from doing her an honour she so ardently desired; and as soon as he was gone out, her design was to go and throw herself at her Majesty’s feet to demand justice. She was in this very disposition when she received the billet: three times did she kiss it; and without regarding her husband’s injunctions, she immediately got into her coach in order to get information of the merchants who traded to the Levant, in what manner the ladies of quality dressed in Babylon.

The plot laid for Miss Blague was of a different kind: she had such faith in her charms, and was so confident of their effects, that she could believe anything. Brisacier, whom she looked upon as desperately smitten, had wit, which he set off with common-place talk, and with little sonnets: he sung out of tune most methodically, and was continually exerting one or other of these happy talents: the Duke of Buckingham did all he could to spoil him, by the praises he bestowed both upon his voice and upon his wit.

Miss Blague, who hardly understood a word of French, regulated herself upon the Duke’s authority, in admiring the one and the other. It was remarked, that all the words which he sung to her were in praise of fair women, and that always taking this to herself, she cast down her eyes in acknowledgment and consciousness. It was upon these observations they resolved to make a jest of her, the first opportunity.

While these little projects were forming, the king, who always wished to oblige the Chevalier de Grammont, asked him, if he would make one at the masquerade, on condition of being Miss Hamilton’s partner? He did not pretend to dance sufficiently well for an occasion like the present; yet he was far from refusing the offer: “Sire,” said he, “of all the favours you have been pleased to show me, since my arrival, I feel this more sensibly than any other; and to convince you of my gratitude, I promise you all the good offices in my power with Miss Stewart.” He said this, because they had just given her an apartment separate from the rest of the maids of honour, which made the courtiers begin to pay respect to her. The king was very well pleased at this pleasantry, and having thanked him for so necessary an offer: “Monsieur le Chevalier,” said he, “in what style do you intend to dress yourself for the ball? I leave you the choice of all countries.” “If so,” said the Chevalier, “I will dress after the French manner, in order to disguise myself; for they already do me the honour to take me for an Englishman in your city of London. Had it not been for this, I should have wished to have appeared as a Roman; but for fear of embroiling myself with Prince Rupert, who so warmly espouses the interests of Alexander against Lord Thanet, who declares himself for Caesar, I dare no longer think of assuming the hero: nevertheless, though I may dance awkwardly, yet, by observing the tune, and with a little alertness, I hope to come off pretty well; besides, Miss Hamilton will take care that too much attention shall not be paid to me. As for my dress, I shall send Termes off tomorrow morning; and if I do not show you at his return the most splendid habit you have ever seen, look upon mine as the most disgraced nation in your masquerade.”

Termes set out with ample instructions, on the subject of his journey: and his master, redoubling his impatience on an occasion like the present, before the courier could be landed, began to count the minutes in expectation of his return: thus was he employed until the very eve of the ball; and that was the day that Miss Hamilton and her little society had fixed for the execution of their project.

Martial gloves were then very much in fashion: she had by chance several pairs of them: she sent one to Miss Blague, accompanied with four yards of yellow riband, the palest she could find, to which she added this note:

“You were the other day more charming than all the fair women in the world: you looked yesterday still more fair than you did the day before: if you go on, what will become of my heart? But it is a long time since that has been a prey to your pretty little young wild boar’s eyes. Shall you be at the masquerade to-morrow? But can there be any charms at an entertainment, at which you are not present? It does not signify: I shall know you in whatever disguise you may be: but I shall be better informed of my fate, by the present I send you: you will wear knots of this riband in your hair; and these gloves will kiss the most beautiful hands in the universe.”

This billet, with the present, was delivered to Miss Blague with the same success as the other had been conveyed to Lady Muskerry. Miss Hamilton had just received an account of it, when the latter came to pay her a visit: something seemed to possess her thoughts very much; when, having stayed some time, her cousin desired her to walk into her cabinet. As soon as they were there: “I desire your secrecy for what I am going to tell you,” said Lady Muskerry. “Do not you wonder what strange creatures men are? Do not trust to them, my dear cousin: my Lord Muskerry, who, before our marriage, could have passed whole days and nights in seeing me dance, thinks proper now to forbid me dancing, and says it does not become me. This is not all: he has so often rung in my ears the subject of this masquerade, that I am obliged to hide from him the honour the queen has done me, in inviting me to it. However, I am surprised I am not informed who is to be my partner: but if you knew what a plague it is, to find out, in this cursed town, in what manner the people of Babylon dress, you would pity me for what I have suffered since the time I have been appointed: besides, the cost which it puts me to is beyond all imagination.”

Here it was that Miss Hamilton’s inclination to laugh, which had increased in proportion as she endeavoured to suppress it, at length overcame her, and broke out in an immoderate fit: Lady Muskerry took it in good humour, not doubting but it was the fantastical conduct of her husband that she was laughing at. Miss Hamilton told her that all husbands were much the same, and that one ought not to be concerned at their whims; that she did not know who was to be her partner at the masquerade; but that, as she was named, the gentleman named with her would certainly not fail to attend her; although she could not comprehend why he had not yet declared himself, unless he likewise had some fantastical spouse, who had forbid him to dance.

This conversation being finished, Lady Muskerry went away in great haste, to endeavour to learn some news of her partner. Those who were accomplices in the plot were laughing very heartily at this visit, when Lord Muskerry paid them one in his turn, and taking Miss Hamilton aside: “Do you know,” said he, “whether there is to be any ball in the city tomorrow?” “No,” said she; “but why do you ask?” “Because,” said he, “I am informed that my wife is making great preparations of dress. I know very well she is not to be at the masquerade: that I have taken care of; but as the devil is in her for dancing, I am very much afraid that she will be affording some fresh subject for ridicule, notwithstanding all my precautions: however, if it was amongst the citizens, at some private party, I should not much mind it.”

They satisfied him as well as they could, and having dismissed him, under pretence of a thousand things they had to prepare for the next day, Miss Hamilton thought herself at liberty for that morning, when in came Miss Price, one of the maids of honour to the Duchess. This was just what she was wishing for: This lady and Miss Blague had been at variance some time, on account of Duncan, whom Miss Price had drawn away from the other; and hatred still subsisted between these two divinities.

Though the maids of honour were not nominated for the masquerade, yet they were to assist at it; and, consequently, were to neglect nothing to set themselves off to advantage. Miss Hamilton had still another pair of gloves of the same sort as those she had sent to Miss Blague, which she made a present of to her rival, with a few knots of the same riband, which appeared to have been made on purpose for her, brown as she was. Miss Price returned her a thousand thanks, and promised to do herself the honour of wearing them at the ball. “You will oblige me if you do,” said Miss Hamilton, “but if you mention that such a trifle as this comes from me, I shall never forgive you; but,” continued she, “do not go and rob poor Miss Blague of the Marquis Brisacier, as you already have of Duncan: I know very well that it is wholly in your power: you have wit: you speak French: and were he once to converse with you ever so little the other could have no pretensions to him.” This was enough: Miss Blague was only ridiculous and coquettish: Miss Price was ridiculous, coquettish, and something else besides.

The day being come, the court, more splendid than ever, exhibited all its magnificence at this masquerade. The company were all met except the Chevalier de Grammont: every body was astonished that he should be one of the last at such a time, as his readiness was so remarkable on every occasion; but they were still more surprised to see him at length appear in an ordinary court-dress, which he had worn before. The thing was preposterous on such an occasion, and very extraordinary with respect to him: in vain had he the finest point-lace, with the largest and best powdered peruke imaginable his dress, magnificent enough for any other purpose, was not at all proper for this entertainment.

The king immediately took notice of it: “Chevalier,” said he, “Termes is not arrived then?” “Pardon me, sire,” said he, “God be thanked!” “Why God be thanked?” said the king; “has anything happened to him on the road?” “Sire,” said the Chevalier de Grammont, “this is the history of my dress, and of Termes, my messenger.” At these words the ball, ready to begin, was suspended: the dancers making a circle around the Chevalier de Grammont, he continued his story in the following manner:

“It is now two days since this fellow ought to have been here, according to my orders and his protestations: you may judge of my impatience all this day, when I found he did not come: at last, after I had heartily cursed him, about an hour ago he arrived, splashed all over from head to foot, booted up to the waist, and looking as if he had been excommunicated ‘Very well, Mr. Scoundrel,’ said I, ‘this is just like you, you must be waited for to the very last minute, and it is a miracle that you are arrived at all.’ ‘Yes, faith,’ said he, ‘it is a miracle. You are always grumbling: I had the finest suit in the world made for you, which the Duke de Guise himself was at the trouble of ordering.’ ‘Give it me then, scoundrel,’ said I. ‘Sir,’ said he, ‘if I did not employ a dozen embroiderers upon it, who did nothing but work day and night, I am a rascal: I never left them one moment: ‘And where is it traitor?’ said I: ‘do not stand here prating, while I should be dressing.’ ‘I had,’ continued he, ‘packed it up, made it tight, and folded it in such a manner, that all the rain in the world could never have been able to reach it; and I rid post, day and night, knowing your impatience, and that you were not to be trifled with.’ ‘But where is it?’ said I. ‘Lost, sir,’ said he, clasping his hands. ‘How! lost,’ said I, in surprise. ‘Yes, lost, perished, swallowed up: what can I say more?’ ‘What! was the packet-boat cast away then?’ said I. ‘Oh! indeed, sir, a great deal worse, as you shall see,’ answered he: ‘I was within half a league of Calais yesterday morning, and I was resolved to go by the sea-side, to make greater haste; but, indeed, they say very true, that nothing is like the highway; for I got into a quicksand, where I sunk up to the chin.’ ‘A quicksand,’ said I, ‘near Calais?’ ‘Yes, sir,’ said he, ‘and such a quicksand that, the devil take me, if they saw anything but the top of my head when they pulled me out: as for my horse, fifteen men could scarce get him out; but the portmanteau, where I had unfortunately put your clothes, could never be found: it must be at least a league under ground.’

“This, sire,” continued the Chevalier de Grammont, “is the adventure, and the relation which this honest gentleman has given me of it. I should certainly have killed him, but I was afraid of making Miss Hamilton wait, and I was desirous of giving your Majesty immediate advice of the quicksand, that your couriers may take care to avoid it.”

The King was ready to split his sides with laughing, when the Chevalier de Grammont, resuming the discourse, “apropos, sire,” said he, “I had forgot to tell you, that, to increase my ill-humour, I was stopped, as I was getting out of my chair, by the devil of a phantom in masquerade, who would by all means persuade me that the queen had commanded me to dance with her; and as I excused myself with the least rudeness possible, she charged me to find out who was to be her partner, and desired me to send him to her immediately so that your Majesty will do well to give orders about it; for she has placed herself in ambush in a coach, to seize upon all those who pass through Whitehall. However, I must tell you, that it is worth while to see her dress; for she must have at least sixty ells of gauze and silver tissue about her, not to mention a sort of a pyramid upon her head, adorned with a hundred thousand baubles.”

This last account surprised all the assembly, except those who had a share in the plot. The queen assured them, that all she had appointed for the ball were present; and the king, having paused some minutes: “I bet,” said he, “that it is the Duchess of Newcastle.” “And I,” said Lord Muskerry, coming up to Miss Hamilton, “will bet it is another fool; for I am very much mistaken if it is not my wife.”

The king was for sending to know who it was, and to bring her in: Lord Muskerry offered himself for that service, for the reason already mentioned; and it was very well he did so. Miss Hamilton was not sorry for this, knowing very well that he was not mistaken in his conjecture; the jest would have gone much farther than she intended, if the Princess of Babylon had appeared in all her glory.

The ball was not very well executed, if one maybe allowed the expression, so long as they danced only slow dances; and yet there were as good dancers, and as beautiful women in this assembly, as were to be found in the whole world: but as their number was not great, they left the French, and went to country dances. When they had danced some time, the king thought fit to introduce his auxiliaries, to give the others a little respite; the queen’s and the duchess’s maids of honour were therefore called in to dance with the gentlemen.

Then it was that they were at leisure to take notice of Miss Blague, and they found that the billet they had conveyed to her on the part of Brisacier had its effect: she was more yellow than saffron: her hair was stuffed with the citron-coloured riband, which she had put there out of complaisance; and, to inform Brisacier of his fate, she raised often to her head her victorious hands, adorned with the gloves we have before mentioned: but, if they were surprised to see her in a head-dress that made her look more wan than ever, she was very differently surprised to see Miss Price partake with her in every particular of Brisacier’s present: her surprise soon turned to jealousy; for her rival had not failed to join in conversation with him, on account of what had been insinuated to her the evening before; nor did Brisacier fail to return her first advances, without paying the least attention to the fair Blague, nor to the signs which she was tormenting herself to make him, to inform him of his happy destiny.

Miss Price was short and thick, and consequently no dancer, the Duke of Buckingham, who brought Brisacier forward as often as he could, came to desire him, on the part of the king, to dance with Miss Blague, without knowing what was then passing in this nymph’s heart: Brisacier excused himself, on account of the contempt that he had for country dances: Miss Blague thought that it was herself that he despised; and, seeing that he was engaged in conversation with her mortal enemy, she began to dance, without knowing what she was doing. Though her indignation and jealousy were sufficiently remarkable to divert the court, none but Miss Hamilton and her accomplices, understood the joke perfectly: their pleasure was quite complete; for Lord Muskerry returned, still more confounded at the vision, of which the Chevalier de Grammont had given the description. He acquainted Miss Hamilton, that it was Lady Muskerry herself, a thousand times more ridiculous than she had ever been before, and that he had had an immense trouble to get her home, and place a sentry at her chamber door.

The reader may think, perhaps, that we have dwelt too long on these trifling incidents; perhaps he may be right. We will therefore pass to others.

Everything favoured the Chevalier de Grammont in the new passion which he entertained: he was not, however, without rivals; but, what is a great deal more extraordinary, he was without uneasiness: he was acquainted with their understandings, and no stranger to Miss Hamilton’s way of thinking.

Among her lovers, the most considerable, though the least professedly so, was the Duke of York: it was in vain for him to conceal it, the court was too well acquainted with his character to doubt of his inclinations for her. He did not think it proper to declare such sentiments as were not fit for Miss Hamilton to hear; but he talked to her as much as he could, and ogled her with great assiduity. As hunting was his favourite diversion, that sport employed him one part of the day, and he came home generally much fatigued; but Miss Hamilton’s presence revived him, when he found her either with the queen or the duchess. There it was that, not daring to tell her of what lay heavy on his heart, he entertained her with what he had in his head: telling her miracles of the cunning of foxes and the mettle of horses; giving her accounts of broken legs and arms, dislocated shoulders, and other curious and entertaining adventures; after which, his eyes told her the rest, till such time as sleep interrupted their conversation; for these tender interpreters could not help sometimes composing themselves in the midst of their ogling.

The duchess was not at all alarmed at a passion which her rival was far from thinking sincere, and with which she used to divert herself, as far as respect would admit her; on the contrary, as her highness had an affection and esteem for Miss Hamilton, she never treated her more graciously than on the present occasion.

The two Russells, uncle and nephew,—were two other of the Chevalier de Grammont’s rivals: the uncle was full seventy, and had distinguished himself by his courage and fidelity in the civil wars. His passions and intentions, with regard to Miss Hamilton, appeared both at once; but his magnificence only appeared by halves in those gallantries which love inspires. It was not long since the fashion of high crowned hats had been left off, in order to fall into the other extreme. Old Russell, amazed at so terrible a change, resolved to keep a medium, which made him remarkable: he was still more so, by his constancy for cut doublets, which he supported a long time after they had been universally suppressed; but, what was more surprising than all, was a certain mixture of avarice and liberality, constantly at war with each other, ever since he had entered the list with love.

His nephew was only of a younger brother’s family, but was considered as his uncle’s heir; and though he was under the necessity of attending to his uncle for an establishment, and still more so of humouring him, in order to get his estate, he could not avoid his fate. Mrs. Middleton showed him a sufficient degree of preference; but her favours could not secure him from the charms of Miss Hamilton: his person would have had nothing disagreeable in it, if he had but left it to nature; but he was formal in all his actions, and silent even to stupidity; and yet rather more tiresome when he did speak.

The Chevalier de Grammont, very much at his ease in all these competitions, engaged himself more and more in his passion, without forming other designs, or conceiving other hopes, than to render himself agreeable. Though his passion was openly declared, no person at court regarded it otherwise than as a habit of gallantry, which goes no farther than to do justice to merit.

His monitor, Saint Evremond, was quite of a different opinion; and finding, that, besides an immense increase of magnificence and assiduity, he regretted those hours which he bestowed on play; that he no longer sought after those long and agreeable conversations they used to have together; and that this new attachment everywhere robbed him of himself:

“Monsieur le Chevalier,” said he, “methinks that for some time you have left the town beauties and their lovers in perfect repose: Mrs. Middleton makes fresh conquests with impunity, and wears your presents, under your nose, without your taking the smallest notice. Poor Miss Warmestre has been very quietly brought to bed in the midst of the court, without your having even said a word about it. I foresaw it plain enough, Monsieur le Chevalier, you have got acquainted with Miss Hamilton, and, what has never before happened to you, you are really in love; but let us consider a little what may be the consequence. In the first place, then, I believe, you have not the least intention of seducing her: such is her birth and merit, that if you were in possession of the estate and title of your family, it might be excusable in you to offer yourself upon honourable terms, however ridiculous marriage may be in general; for, if you only wish for wit, prudence, and the treasures of beauty, you could not pay your addresses to a more proper person: but for you, who possess only a very moderate share of those of fortune, you cannot pay your addresses more improperly.

“For your brother Toulongeon, whose disposition I am acquainted with, will not have the complaisance to die, to favour your pretensions: but suppose you had a competent fortune for you both—and that is supposing a good deal—are you acquainted with the delicacy, not to say capriciousness, of this fair one about such an engagement? Do you know that she has had the choice of the best matches in England? The Duke of Richmond paid his addresses to her first; but though he was in love with her, still he was mercenary: however, the king, observing that want of fortune was the only impediment to the match, took that article upon himself, out of regard to the Duke of Ormond, to the merit and birth of Miss Hamilton, and to her father’s services; but, resenting that a man, who pretended to be in love, should bargain like a merchant, and likewise reflecting upon his character in the world, she did not think that being Duchess of Richmond was a sufficient recompense for the danger that was to be feared from a brute and a debauchee.

“Has not little Jermyn, notwithstanding his uncle’s great estate, and his own brilliant reputation, failed in his suit to her? And has she ever so much as vouchsafed to look at Henry Howard, who is upon the point of being the first duke in England, and who is already in actual possession of all the estates of the house of Norfolk? I confess that he is a clown, but what other lady in all England would not have dispensed with his stupidity and his disagreeable person, to be the first duchess in the kingdom, with twenty-five thousand a year?

“To conclude, Lord Falmouth has told me himself, that he has always looked upon her as the only acquisition wanting to complete his happiness: but, that even at the height of the splendour of his fortune, he never had had the assurance to open his sentiments to her; that he either felt in himself too much weakness, or too much pride, to be satisfied with obtaining her solely by the persuasion of her relations; and that, though the first refusals of the fair on such occasions are not much minded, he knew with what an air she had received the addresses of those whose persons she did not like. After this, Monsieur le Chevalier, consider what method you intend to pursue: for, if you are in love, the passion will still increase, and the greater the attachment, the less capable will you be of making those serious reflections that are now in your power.”

“My poor philosopher,” answered the Chevalier de Grammont, “you understand Latin very well, you can make good verses, you understand the course, and are acquainted with the nature of the stars in the firmament; but, as for the luminaries of the terrestrial globe, you are utterly unacquainted with them: you have told me nothing about Miss Hamilton, but what the king told me three days ago. That she has refused the savages you have mentioned is all in her favour if she had admitted their addresses, I would have had nothing to say to her, though I love her to distraction. Attend now to what I am going to say: I am resolved to marry her, and I will have my tutor Saint Evremond himself to be the first man to commend me for it. As for an establishment, I shall make my peace with the king, and will solicit him to make her one of the ladies of the bed-chamber to the queen: this he will grant me. Toulongeon will die, without my assistance.

[Count de Toulongeon was elder brother to Count Grammont, who, by his death, in 1679, became, according to St. Evremond, on that event, one of the richest noblemen at court.—See St. Evremond’s Works. vol. ii., p. 327.]

“Notwithstanding all his care; Miss Hamilton will have Semeat,—[A country seat belonging to the family of the Grammonts.]—with the Chevalier de Grammont, as an indemnification for the Norfolks and Richmonds. Now, have you any thing to advance against this project? For I will bet you an hundred louis, that everything will happen as I have foretold it.”

At this time the king’s attachment to Miss Stewart was so public, that every person perceived, that if she was but possessed of art, she might become as absolute a mistress over his conduct as she was over his heart. This was a fine opportunity for those who had experience and ambition. The Duke of Buckingham formed the design of governing her, in order to ingratiate himself with the king: God knows what a governor he would have been, and what a head he was possessed of, to guide another; however, he was the properest man in the world to insinuate himself with Miss Stewart: she was childish in her behaviour, and laughed at everything, and her taste for frivolous amusements, though unaffected, was only allowable in a girl about twelve or thirteen years old. A child, however, she was, in every other respect, except playing with a doll: blind man’s buff was her most favourite amusement: she was building castles of cards, while the deepest play was going on in her apartments, where you saw her surrounded by eager courtiers, who handed her the cards, or young architects, who endeavoured to imitate her.

She had, however, a passion for music, and had some taste for singing. The Duke of Buckingham, who built the finest towers of cards imaginable, had an agreeable voice: she had no aversion to scandal: and the duke was both the father and the mother of scandal, he made songs, and invented old women’s stories, with which she was delighted; but his particular talent consisted in turning into ridicule whatever was ridiculous in other people, and in taking them off, even in their presence, without their perceiving it: in short, he knew how to act all parts with so much grace and pleasantry, that it was difficult to do without him, when he had a mind to make himself agreeable; and he made himself so necessary to Miss Stewart’s amusement, that she sent all over the town to seek for him, when he did not attend the king to her apartments.

He was extremely handsome, and still thought himself much more so than he really was: although he had a great deal of discernment, yet his vanity made him mistake some civilities as intended for his person, which were only bestowed on his wit and drollery: in short, being seduced by too good an opinion of his own merit, he forgot his first project and his Portuguese mistress, in order to pursue a fancy in which he mistook himself; for he no sooner began to act a serious part with Miss Stewart, than he met with so severe a repulse that he abandoned, at once, all his designs upon her: however, the familiarity she had procured him with the king, opened the way to those favours to which he was afterwards advanced.

[George Villiers, the second Duke of Buckingham, was born 30th January, 1627. Lord Orford observes, “When this extraordinary man, with the figure and genius of Alcibiades, could equally charm the presbyterian Fairfax and the dissolute Charles; when he alike ridiculed that witty king and his solemn chancellor: when he plotted the ruin of his country with a cabal of bad ministers, or, equally unprincipled, supported its cause with bad patriots,—one laments that such parts should have been devoid of every virtue: but when Alcibiades turns chemist; when he is a real bubble and a visionary miser; when ambition is but a frolic; when the worst designs are for the foolishest ends,—contempt extinguishes all reflection on his character.”]

Lord Arlington took up the project which the Duke of Buckingham had abandoned, and endeavoured to gain possession of the mind of the mistress, in order to govern the master. A man of greater merit and higher birth than himself might, however, have been satisfied with the fortune he had already acquired. His first negotiations were during the treaty of the Pyrenees: and though he was unsuccessful in his proceedings for his employer, yet he did not altogether lose his time; for he perfectly acquired, in his exterior, the serious air and profound gravity of the Spaniards, and imitated pretty well their tardiness in business: he had a scar across his nose, which was covered by a long patch, or rather by a small plaister, in form of a lozenge.

Scars in the face commonly give a man a certain fierce and martial air, which sets him off to advantage; but it was quite the contrary with him, and this remarkable plaister so well suited his mysterious looks, that it seemed an addition to his gravity and self-sufficiency.

Arlington, under the mask of this compound countenance where great earnestness passed for business, and impenetrable stupidity for secrecy, had given himself the character of a great politician; and no one having leisure to examine him, he was taken at his word, and had been made minister and secretary of state, upon the credit of his own importance.

His ambition soaring still above these high stations, after having provided himself with a great number of fine maxims, and some historical anecdotes, he obtained an audience of Miss Stewart, in order to display them; at the same time offering her his most humble services, and best advice, to assist her in conducting herself in the situation to which it had pleased God and her virtue to raise her. But he was only in the preface of his speech, when she recollected that he was at the head of those whom the Duke of Buckingham used to mimic; and as his presence and his language exactly revived the ridiculous ideas that had been given her of him, she could not forbear bursting out into a fit of laughter in his face, so much the more violent as she had for a long time struggled to suppress it.

The minister was enraged: his pride became his post, and his punctilious behaviour merited all the ridicule which could be attached to it: he quitted her abruptly, with all the fine advice he had prepared for her, and was almost tempted to carry it to Lady Castlemaine, and to unite himself with her interests; or immediately to quit the court party, and declaim freely in parliament against the grievances of the state, and particularly to propose an act to forbid the keeping of mistresses; but his prudence conquered his resentments; and thinking only how to enjoy with pleasure the blessings of fortune, he sent to Holland for a wife, in order to complete his felicity.

Hamilton was, of all the courtiers, the best qualified to succeed in an enterprise, in which the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Arlington had miscarried: he was thinking upon it; but his natural coquetry traversed his intentions, and made him neglect the most advantageous prospects in the world, in order unnecessarily to attend to the advances and allurements thrown out to him by the Countess of Chesterfield. This was one of the most agreeable women in the world: she had a most exquisite shape, though she was not very tall; her complexion was extremely fair, with all the expressive charms of a brunette; she had large blue eyes, very tempting and alluring; her manners were engaging; her wit lively and amusing; but her heart, ever open to tender sentiments, was neither scrupulous in point of constancy, nor nice in point of sincerity. She was daughter to the Duke of Ormond, and Hamilton, being her cousin-german, they might be as much as they pleased in each other’s company without being particular; but as soon as her eyes gave him some encouragement, he entertained no other thoughts than how to please her, without considering her fickleness, or the obstacles he had to encounter.

[This lady was Isabella, daughter to Lewis de Nassau, Lord Beverwaert, son to Maurice, Prince of Orange, and Count Nassau. By her, Lord Arlington had an only daughter, named Isabella.]

His intention, which we mentioned before, of establishing himself in the confidence of Miss Stewart, no longer occupied his thoughts: she now was of opinion that she was capable of being the mistress of her own conduct: she had done all that was necessary to inflame the king’s passions, without exposing her virtue by granting the last favours; but the eagerness of a passionate lover, blessed with favourable opportunities, is difficult to withstand, and still more difficult to vanquish; and Miss Stewart’s virtue was almost exhausted, when the queen was attacked with a violent fever, which soon reduced her to extreme danger.

Then it was that Miss Stewart was greatly pleased with herself for the resistance she had made, though she had paid dearly for it: a thousand flattering hopes of greatness and glory filled her heart, and the additional respect that was universally paid her, contributed not a little to increase them. The queen was given over by her physicians: the few Portuguese women that had not been sent back to their own country filled the court with doleful cries; and the good nature of the king was much affected with the situation in which he saw a princess, whom, though he did not love her, yet he greatly esteemed. She loved him tenderly, and thinking that it was the last time she should ever speak to him, she told him, that the concern he showed for her death, was enough to make her quit life with regret; but that not possessing charms sufficient to merit his tenderness, she had at least the consolation in dying to give place to a consort who might be more worthy of it, and to whom heaven, perhaps, might grant a blessing that had been refused to her. At these words, she bathed his hands with some tears, which he thought would be her last: he mingled his own with hers; and without supposing she would take him at his word, he conjured her to live for his sake. She had never yet disobeyed him; and, however dangerous sudden impulses may be, when one is between life and death, this transport of joy, which might have proved fatal to her, saved her life, and the king’s wonderful tenderness had an effect, for which every person did not thank heaven in the same manner.

Jermyn had now for some time been recovered of his wounds: however, Lady Castlemaine, finding his health in as deplorable a condition as ever, resolved to regain the king’s heart, but in vain: for notwithstanding the softness of her tears, and the violence of her passions, Miss Stewart wholly possessed it. During this period the court was variously entertained: sometimes there were promenades, and at others the court beauties sallied out on horseback, and to make attacks with their charms and graces, sometimes successfully, sometimes otherwise, but always to the best of their abilities at other seasons there were such shows on the river, as the city of London alone can afford.

The Thames washes the sides of a large though not a magnificent palace of the kings of Great Britain:—[This was Whitehall, which was burnt down, except the banqueting-house, 4th January, 1698.]—from the stairs of this palace the court used to take water, in the summer evenings, when the heat and dust prevented their walking in the park: an infinite number of open boats, filled with the court and city beauties, attended the barges, in which were the Royal Family: collations, music, and fireworks, completed the scene. The Chevalier de Grammont always made one of the company, and it was very seldom that he did not add something of his own invention, agreeably to surprise by some unexpected stroke of magnificence and gallantry. Sometimes he had complete concerts of vocal and instrumental music, which he privately brought from Paris, and which struck up on a sudden in the midst of these parties; sometimes he gave banquets, which likewise came from France, and which, even in the midst of London, surpassed the king’s collations. These entertainments sometimes exceeded, as others fell short of his expectations, but they always cost him an immense deal of money.

Lord Falmouth was one of those who had the greatest friendship and esteem for the Chevalier de Grammont: this profusion gave him concern, and as he often used to go and sup with him without ceremony, one day finding only Saint Evremond there, and a supper fit for half a dozen guests, who had been invited in form: “You must not,” said he, addressing himself to the Chevalier de Grammont, “be obliged to me for this visit. I come from the king’s ‘coucher’, where all the discourse was about you; and I can assure you that the manner in which the king spoke of you, could not afford you so much pleasure as I myself felt upon the occasion. You know very well, that he has long since offered you his good offices with the King of France; and for my own part,” continued he, smiling, “you know very well that I would solicit him so to do, if it was not through fear of losing you as soon as your peace is made; but, thanks to Miss Hamilton, you are in no great haste: however, I am ordered by the king, my master, to acquaint you, that while you remain here, until you are restored to the favour of your sovereign, he presents you with a pension of fifteen hundred Jacobus’s: it is indeed a trifle, considering the figure the Chevalier de Grammont makes among us; but it will assist him,” said he, embracing him, “to give us sometimes a supper.”

The Chevalier de Grammont received, as he ought, the offer of a favour he did not think proper to accept: “I acknowledge,” said he, “the king’s bounty in this proposal, but I am still more sensible of Lord Falmouth’s generosity in it; and I request him to assure his Majesty of my perfect gratitude: the king, my master, will not suffer me to want, when he thinks fit to recall me; and while I continue here, I will let you see that I have wherewithal to give my English friends now and then a supper.”

At these words, he called for his strong box, and showed him seven or eight thousand guineas in solid gold. Lord Falmouth, willing to improve to the Chevalier’s advantage the refusal of so advantageous an offer, gave Monsieur de Comminge, then ambassador at the English court, an account of it; nor did Monsieur de Comminge fail to represent properly the merit of such a refusal to the French court.

Hyde Park, every one knows, is the promenade of London! nothing was so much in fashion, during the fine weather, as that promenade, which was the rendezvous of magnificence and beauty: every one, therefore, who had either sparkling eyes, or a splendid equipage, constantly repaired thither; and the king seemed pleased with the place.

Coaches with glasses were then a late invention.

[Coaches were first introduced into England in the year 1564. Taylor, the water poet, (Works, 1630, p. 240,) says,—“One William Boonen, a Dutchman, brought first the use of coaches hither; and the said Boonen was Queen Elizabeth’s coachman; for, indeed, a coach was a strange monster in those days, and the sight of them put both horse and man into amazement.” Dr. Percy observes, they were first drawn by two horses, and that it was the favourite Buckingham, who, about 1619, began to draw with six horses. About the same time, he introduced the sedan. ‘The Ultimum Vale of John Carleton’, 4to, 1663, p. 23, will, in a great measure, ascertain the time of the introduction of glass coaches. He says, “I could wish her (i. e. Mary Carleton’s) coach (which she said my lord Taff bought for her in England, and sent it over to her, made of the new fashion, wide glasse, very stately; and her pages and lacquies were of the same livery,) was come for me,” &c.]

The ladies were afraid of being shut up in them: they greatly preferred the pleasure of showing almost their whole persons, to the conveniences of modern coaches: that which was made for the king not being remarkable for its elegance, the Chevalier de Grammont was of opinion that something ingenious might be invented, which should partake of the ancient fashion, and likewise prove preferable to the modern; he therefore sent away Termes privately with all the necessary instructions to Paris: the Duke of Guise was likewise charged with this commission; and the courier, having by the favour of Providence escaped the quicksand, in a month’s time brought safely over to England the most elegant and magnificent calash that had ever been seen, which the Chevalier presented to the king.

The Chevalier de Grammont had given orders that fifteen hundred louis should be expended upon it; but the Duke of Guise, who was his friend, to oblige him, laid out two thousand. All the court was in admiration at the magnificence of the present; and the king, charmed with the Chevalier’s attention to everything which could afford him pleasure, failed not to acknowledge it: he would not, however, accept a present of so much value, but upon condition that the Chevalier should not refuse another from him.

The queen, imagining that so splendid a carriage might prove fortunate for her, wished to appear in it first, with the Duchess of York. Lady Castlemaine, who had seen them in it, thinking that it set off a fine figure to greater advantage than any other, desired the king to lend her this wonderful calash to appear in it the first fine day in Hyde Park: Miss Stewart had the same wish, and requested to have it on the same day. As it was impossible to reconcile these two goddesses, whose former union was turned into mortal hatred, the king was very much perplexed.

Lady Castlemaine was with child, and threatened to miscarry, if her rival was preferred; Miss Stewart threatened, that she never would be with child, if her request was not granted. This menace prevailed, and Lady Castlemaine’s rage was so great, that she had almost kept her word; and it was believed that this triumph cost her rival some of her innocence.

The queen dowager, who, though she had no share in these broils, had no objection to them, and as usual being diverted with this circumstance, she took occasion to joke with the Chevalier de Grammont, for having thrown this bone of contention among such competitors; and did not fail to give him, in the presence of the whole court, those praises which so magnificent a present deserved: “But how comes it,” said she, “that you have no equipage yourself, though you are at so great an expense? for I am told that you do not keep even a single footman, and that one of the common runners in the streets lights you home with a stinking link.” “Madam,” said he, “the Chevalier de Grammont hates pomp: my linkboy, of whom you speak, is faithful to my service; and besides, he is one of the bravest fellows in the world. Your Majesty is unacquainted with the nation of link-boys: it is a charming one, I can assure you: a man cannot step out in the night without being surrounded by a dozen of them. The first time I became acquainted with them, I retained all that offered me their services; so that when I arrived at Whitehall, I had at least two hundred about my chair: the sight was new; for those who had seen me pass with this illumination, asked whose funeral it was. These gentlemen, however, began fighting about some dozen shillings I had thrown among them then; and he whom your Majesty mentions having beaten three or four of his companions, I retained him for his valour. As for the parade of coaches and footmen, I despise it: I have sometimes had five or six valets-de-chambre at once, without having a single servant in livery, except my chaplain Poussatin.” “How!” said the queen, bursting out laughing, “a chaplain in your livery! he surely was not a priest?” “Pardon me, madam,” said he, “and the first priest in the world for dancing the Biscayan jig.” “Chevalier,” said the king, “pray tell us the history of your chaplain Poussatin.”


“Sir,” said the Chevalier de Grammont, “the Prince de Conde besieged Lerida: the place in itself was nothing; but Don Gregorio Brice who defended it, was something. He was one of those Spaniards of the old stamp, as valiant as the Cid, as proud as all the Guzmans put together, and more gallant than all the Abencerrages of Granada: he suffered us to make our first approaches to the place without the least molestation. The Marshal de Grammont, whose maxim it was, that a governor who at first makes a great blustering, and burns his suburbs in order to make a noble defence, generally makes a very bad one, looked upon Gregorio de Brice’s politeness as no good omen for us; but the prince, covered with glory, and elated with the campaigns of Rocroy, Norlinguen, and Fribourg, to insult both the place and the governor, ordered the trenches to be mounted at noon-day by his own regiment, at the head of which marched four-and-twenty fiddlers, as if it had been to a wedding.

“Night approaching, we were all in high spirits: our violins were playing soft airs, and we were comfortably regaling ourselves: God knows how we were joking about the poor governor and his fortifications, both of which we promised ourselves to take in less than twenty-four hours. This was going on in the trenches, when we heard an ominous cry from the ramparts, repeated two or three times, of, ‘Alerte on the walls!’ This cry was followed by a discharge of cannon and musketry, and this discharge by a vigorous sally, which, after having filled up the trenches, pursued us as far as our grand guard.

“The next day Gregorio Brice sent by a trumpet a present of ice and fruit to the Prince de Conde, humbly beseeching his highness to excuse his not returning the serenade which he was pleased to favour him with, as unfortunately he had no violins; but that if the music of last night was not disagreeable to him, he would endeavour to continue it as long as he did him the honour to remain before the place. The Spaniard was as good as his word; and as soon as we heard, ‘Alerte on the walls,’ we were sure of a sally, that cleared our trenches, destroyed our works, and killed the best of our officers and soldiers. The prince was so piqued at it, that, contrary to the opinion of the general officers, he obstinately persisted in carrying on a siege which was like to ruin his army, and which he was at last forced to quit in a hurry.

“As our troops were retiring, Don Gregorio, far from giving himself those airs which governors generally do on such occasions, made no other sally, than sending a respectful compliment to the prince. Signor Brice set out not long after for Madrid, to give an account of his conduct, and to receive the recompense he had merited. Your majesty perhaps will be desirous to know what reception poor Brice met with, after having performed the most brilliant action the Spaniards could boast of in all the war—he was confined by the inquisition.”

“How!” said the Queen Dowager, “confined by the inquisition for his services!” “Not altogether for his services,” said the Chevalier; “but without any regard to his services, he was treated in the manner I have mentioned for a little affair of gallantry, which I shall relate to the King presently.

“The campaign of Catalonia being thus ended, we were returning home, not overloaded with laurels; but as the Prince de Conde had laid up a great store on former occasions, and as he had still great projects in his head, he soon forgot this trifling misfortune: we did nothing but joke with one another during the march, and the prince was the first to ridicule the siege. We made some of those rhymes on Lerida, which were sung all over France, in order to prevent others more severe; however, we gained nothing by it, for notwithstanding we treated ourselves freely in our own ballads, others were composed in Paris in which we were ten times more severely handled. At last we arrived at Perpignan upon a holy-day: a company of Catalans, who were dancing in the middle of the street, out of respect to the prince came to dance under his windows: Monsieur Poussatin, in a little black jacket, danced in the middle of this company, as if he was really mad. I immediately recognized him for my countryman, from his manner of skipping and frisking about: the prince was charmed with his humour and activity. After the dance, I sent for him, and inquired who he was: ‘A poor priest, at your service, my lord,’ said he: ‘my name is Poussatin, and Bearn is my native country: I was going into Catalonia to serve in the infantry, for, God be praised, I can march very well on foot; but since the war is happily concluded, if your lordship pleases to take me into your service, I would follow you everywhere, and serve you faithfully.’ ‘Monsieur Poussatin,’ said I, ‘my lordship has no great occasion for a chaplain; but since you are so well disposed towards me, I will take you into my service.’

“The Prince de Conde, who was present at this conversation, was overjoyed at my having a chaplain. As poor Poussatin was in a very tattered condition, I had no time to provide him with a proper habit at Perpignan; but giving him a spare livery of one of the Marshal de Grammont’s servants, I made him get up behind the prince’s coach, who was like to die with laughing every time he looked at poor Poussatin’s uncanonical mien in a yellow livery.

“As soon as we arrived in Paris, the story was told to the Queen, who at first expressed some surprise at it: this, however, did not prevent her from wishing to see my chaplain dance; for in Spain it is not altogether so strange to see ecclesiastics dance, as to see them in livery.

“Poussatin performed wonders before the Queen; but as he danced with great sprightliness, she could not bear the odour which his violent motions diffused around her room the ladies likewise began to pray for relief; for he had almost entirely got the better of all the perfumes and essences with which they were fortified: Poussatin, nevertheless, retired with a great deal of applause, and some louis d’or.

“Some time afterwards I procured a small benefice in the country for my chaplain, and I have since been informed that Poussatin preached with the same ease in his village as he danced at the wedding of his parishioners.”

The King was exceedingly diverted at Poussatin’s history; and the Queen was not much hurt at his having been put in livery: the treatment of Gregorio Brice offended her far more; and being desirous to justify the court of Spain, with respect to so cruel a proceeding: “Chevalier de Grammont,” said she, “what heresy did Governor Brice wish to introduce into the state? What crime against religion was he charged with, that he was confined in the inquisition?” “Madam,” said he, “the history is not very proper to be related before your majesty: it was a little amorous frolic, ill-timed indeed; but poor Brice meant no harm: a school-boy would not have been whipped for such a fault, in the most severe college in France; as it was only for giving some proofs of his affection to a young Spanish fair one, who had fixed her eyes upon him on a solemn occasion.”

The King desired to know the particulars of the adventure; and the Chevalier gratified his curiosity, as soon as the Queen and the rest of the court were out of hearing. It was very entertaining to hear him tell a story; but it was very disagreeable to differ with him, either in competition, or in raillery: it is true that at that time there were few persons at the English court who had merited his indignation: Russell was sometimes the subject of his ridicule, but he treated him far more tenderly than he usually did a rival.

This Russell was one of the most furious dancers in all England, I mean, for country dances: he had a collection of two or three hundred in print, all of which he danced at sight; and to prove that he was not an old man, he sometimes danced until he was almost exhausted: his mode of dancing was like that of his clothes, for they both had been out of fashion full twenty years.

The Chevalier de Grammont was very sensible that he was very much in love; but though he saw very well that it only rendered him more ridiculous, yet he felt some concern at the information he received, of his intention of demanding Miss Hamilton in marriage; but his concern did not last long. Russell, being upon the point of setting out on a journey, thought it was proper to acquaint his mistress with his intentions before his departure. The Chevalier de Grammont was a great obstacle to the interview, he was desirous of obtaining of her; but being one day sent for, to go and play at Lady Castlemaine’s, Russell seized the opportunity, and addressing himself to Miss Hamilton, with less embarrassment than is usual on such occasions, he made his declaration to her in the following manner: “I am brother to the Earl of Bedford: I command the regiment of guards: I have three thousand pounds a year, and fifteen thousand in ready money: all which, madam, I come to present to you, along with my person. One present, I agree, is not worth much without the other, and therefore I put them together. I am advised to go to some of the watering places for something of an asthma, which, in all probability, cannot continue much longer, as I have had it for these last twenty years: if you look upon me as worthy of the happiness of belonging to you, I shall propose it to your father, to whom I did not think it right to apply before I was acquainted with your sentiments: my nephew William is at present entirely ignorant of my intention; but I believe he will not be sorry for it, though he will thereby see himself deprived of a pretty considerable estate; for he has great affection for me, and besides, he has a pleasure in paying his respects to you since he has perceived my attachment. I am very much pleased that he should make his court to me, by the attention he pays to you; for he did nothing but squander his money upon that coquet Middleton, while at present he is at no expense, though he frequents the best company in England.”

Miss Hamilton had much difficulty to suppress her laughter during this harangue: however, she told him that she thought herself much honoured by his intentions towards her, and still more obliged to him for consulting her, before he made any overtures to her relations: “It will be time enough,” said she, “to speak to them upon the subject at your return from the waters; for I do not think it is at all probable that they will dispose of me before that time, and in case they should be urgent in their solicitations, your nephew William will take care to acquaint you; therefore, you may set out whenever you think proper; but take care not to injure your health by returning too soon.”

The Chevalier de Grammont, having heard the particulars of this conversation, endeavoured, as well as he could, to be entertained with it; though there were certain circumstances in the declaration, notwithstanding the absurdity of others, which did not fail to give him some uneasiness. Upon the whole, he was not sorry for Russell’s departure; and, assuming an air of pleasantry, he went to relate to the king how Heaven had favoured him by delivering him from so dangerous a rival. “He is gone then, Chevalier,” said the king. “Certainly, sir,” said he; “I had the honour to see him embark in a coach, with his asthma, and country equipage, his perruque a calotte, neatly tied with a yellow riband, and his old-fashioned hat covered with oil skin, which becomes him uncommonly well: therefore, I have only to contend with William Russell, whom he leaves as his resident with Miss Hamilton; and as for him, I neither fear him upon his own account, nor his uncle’s; he is too much in love himself to pay attention to the interests of another; and as he has but one method of promoting his own, which is by sacrificing the portrait, or some love-letters of Mrs. Middleton, I have it easily in my power to counteract him in such kind of favours, though I confess I have pretty well paid for them.”

“Since your affairs proceed so prosperously with the Russells,” said the king, “I will acquaint you that you are delivered from another rival, much more dangerous, if he were not already married: my brother has lately fallen in love with Lady Chesterfield.” “How many blessings at once!” exclaimed the Chevalier de Grammont: “I have so many obligations to him for this inconstancy, that I would willingly serve him in his new amour, if Hamilton was not his rival: nor will your majesty take it ill, if I promote the interests of my mistress’s brother, rather than those of your majesty’s brother.” “Hamilton, however,” said the king, “does not stand so much in need of assistance, in affairs of this nature, as the Duke of York; but I know Lord Chesterfield is of such a disposition, that he will not suffer men to quarrel about his wife, with the same patience as the complaisant Shrewsbury; though he well deserves the same fate.” Here follows a true description of Lord Chesterfield.

[Philip, the second Earl of Chesterfield. He was constituted, in 1662, lord-chamberlain to the queen, and colonel of a regiment of foot, June 13, 1667. On November 29, 1679, he was appointed lord- warden and chief-justice of the king’s forests on this side Trent, and sworn of the privy-council, January 26, 1680. On November 6, 1682, he was made colonel of the third regiment of foot, which, with the rest of his preferments, he resigned on the accession of James IT. He lived to the age of upwards of 80, and died, January 28, 1713, at his house, in Bloomsbury-square.]

He had a very agreeable face, a fine head of hair, an indifferent shape, and a worse air; he was not, however, deficient in wit: a long residence in Italy had made him ceremonious in his commerce with men, and jealous in his connection with women: he had been much hated by the king; because he had been much beloved by Lady Castlemaine: it was reported that he had been in her good graces prior to her marriage; and as neither of them denied it, it was the more generally believed.

He had paid his devoirs to the eldest daughter of the Duke of Ormond, while his heart was still taken up with his former passion: the king’s love for Lady Castlemaine, and the advancement he expected from such an alliance, made him press the match with as much ardour as if he had been passionately in love: he had therefore married Lady Chesterfield without loving her, and had lived some time with her in such coolness as to leave her no room to doubt of his indifference. As she was endowed with great sensibility and delicacy, she suffered at this contempt: she was at first much affected with his behaviour, and afterwards enraged at it; and, when he began to give her proofs of his affection, she had the pleasure of convincing him of her indifference.

They were upon this footing, when she resolved to cure Hamilton, as she had lately done her husband, of all his remaining tenderness for Lady Castlemaine. For her it was no difficult undertaking: the conversation of the one was disagreeable, from the unpolished state of her manners, her ill-timed pride, her uneven temper, and extravagant humours Lady Chesterfield, on the contrary, knew how to heighten her charms with all the bewitching attractions in the power of a woman to invent who wishes to make a conquest.

Besides all this, she had greater opportunities of making advances to him than to any other: she lived at the Duke of Ormond’s, at Whitehall, where Hamilton, as was said before, had free admittance at all hours: her extreme coldness, or rather the disgust which she showed for her husband’s returning affection, wakened his natural inclination to jealousy: he suspected that she could not so very suddenly pass from anxiety to indifference for him, without some secret object of a new attachment; and, according to the maxim of all jealous husbands, he immediately put in practice all his experience and industry, in order to make a discovery, which was to destroy his own happiness.

Hamilton, who knew his disposition, was, on the other hand, upon his guard, and the more he advanced in his intrigue, the more attentive was he to remove every degree of suspicion from the Earl’s mind: he pretended to make him his confidant, in the most unguarded and open manner, of his passion for Lady Castlemaine: he complained of her caprice, and most earnestly desired his advice how to succeed with a person whose affections he alone had entirely possessed.

Chesterfield, who was flattered with this discourse, promised him his protection with greater sincerity than it had been demanded: Hamilton, therefore, was no further embarrassed than to preserve Lady Chesterfield’s reputation, who, in his opinion, declared herself rather too openly in his favour: but whilst he was diligently employed in regulating, within the rules of discretion, the partiality she expressed for him, and in conjuring her to restrain her glances within bounds, she was receiving those of the Duke of York; and, what is more, made them favourable returns.

He thought that he had perceived it, as well as every one besides; but he thought likewise, that all the world was deceived as well as himself: how could he trust his own eyes, as to what those of Lady Chesterfield betrayed for this new rival? He could not think it probable, that a woman of her disposition could relish a man, whose manners had a thousand times been the subject of their private ridicule; but what he judged still more improbable was, that she should begin another intrigue before she had given the finishing stroke to that in which her own advances had engaged her: however, he began to observe her with more circumspection, when he found by his discoveries, that if she did not deceive him, at least the desire of doing so was not wanting. This he took the liberty of telling her of; but she answered him in so high a strain, and treated what he said so much like a phantom of his own imagination, that he appeared confused without being convinced: all the satisfaction he could procure from her, was her telling him, in a haughty manner, that such unjust reproaches as his ought to have had a better foundation.

Lord Chesterfield had taken the same alarm; and being convinced, from the observations he had made, that he had found out the happy lover who had gained possession of his lady’s heart, he was satisfied; and without teasing her with unnecessary reproaches, he only waited for an opportunity to confound her, before he took his measures.

After all, how can we account for Lady Chesterfield’s conduct, unless we attribute it to the disease incident to most coquettes, who, charmed with superiority, put in practice every art to rob another of her conquest, and spare nothing to preserve it.

But before we enter into the particulars of this adventure, let us take a retrospect of the amours of his Royal Highness, prior to the declaration of his marriage, and particularly of what immediately preceded this declaration. It is allowable sometimes to drop the thread of a narrative, when real facts, not generally known, give such a variety upon the digression as to render it excusable: let us see then how those things happened.

The Duke of York’s marriage, with the chancellor’s daughter, was deficient in none of those circumstances which render contracts of this nature valid in the eye of heaven the mutual inclination, the formal ceremony, witnesses, and every essential point of matrimony, had been observed.

[The material facts in this narrative are confirmed by Lord Clarendon.—‘Continuation of his Life’, p. 33. It is difficult to speak of the persons concerned in this infamous transaction without some degree of asperity, notwithstanding they are, by a strange perversion of language, styled, all men of honour.]

Though the bride was no perfect beauty, yet, as there were none at the court of Holland who eclipsed her, the Duke, during the first endearments of matrimony, was so far from repenting of it, that he seemed only to wish for the King’s restoration that he might have an opportunity of declaring it with splendour; but when he saw himself enjoying a rank which placed him so near the throne; when the possession of Miss Hyde afforded him no new charms; when England, so abounding in beauties, displayed all that was charming and lovely in the court of the King his brother; and when he considered he was the only prince, who, from such superior elevation, had descended so low, he began to reflect upon it. On the one hand, his marriage appeared to him particularly ill suited in every respect: he recollected that Jermyn had not engaged him in an intimacy with Miss Hyde, until he had convinced him, by several different circumstances, of the facility of succeeding: he looked upon his marriage as an infringement of that duty and obedience he owed to the King; the indignation with which the court, and even the whole kingdom, would receive the account of his marriage presented itself to his imagination, together with the impossibility of obtaining the King’s consent to such an act, which for a thousand reasons he would be obliged to refuse. On the other hand, the tears and despair of poor Miss Hyde presented themselves; and still more than that, he felt a remorse of conscience, the scruples of which began from that time to rise up against him.

In the midst of this perplexity he opened his heart to Lord Falmouth, and consulted with him what method he ought to pursue: He could not have applied to a better man for his own interests, nor to a worse for Miss Hyde’s; for at first, Falmouth maintained not only that he was not married, but that it was even impossible that he could ever have formed such a thought; that any marriage was invalid for him, which was made without the King’s consent, even if the party was a suitable match: but that it was a mere jest, even to think of the daughter of an insignificant lawyer, whom the favour of his sovereign had lately made a peer of the realm, without any noble blood, and chancellor, without any capacity; that as for his scruples, he had only to give ear to some gentlemen whom he could introduce, who would thoroughly inform him of Miss Hyde’s conduct before he became acquainted with her; and provided he did not tell them that he really was married, he would soon have sufficient grounds to come to a determination.

The Duke of York consented, and Lord Falmouth, having assembled both his council and his witnesses, conducted them to his Royal Highness’s cabinet, after having instructed them how to act: these gentlemen were the Earl of Arran, Jermyn, Talbot, and Killegrew, all men of honour; but who infinitely preferred the Duke of York’s interest to Miss Hyde’s reputation, and who, besides, were greatly dissatisfied, as well as the whole court, at the insolent authority of the prime minister.

The Duke having told them, after a sort of preamble, that although they could not be ignorant of his affection for Miss Hyde, yet they might be unacquainted with the engagements his tenderness for her had induced him to contract; that he thought himself obliged to perform all the promises he had made her; but as the innocence of persons of her age was generally exposed to court scandal, and as certain reports, whether false or true, had been spread abroad on the subject of her conduct, he conjured them as his friends, and charged them upon their duty, to tell him sincerely everything they knew upon the subject, since he was resolved to make their evidence the rule of his conduct towards her. They all appeared rather reserved at first, and seemed not to dare to give their opinions upon an affair of so serious and delicate a nature; but the Duke of York having renewed his entreaties, each began to relate the particulars of what he knew, and perhaps of more than he knew, of poor Miss Hyde; nor did they omit any circumstance necessary to strengthen the evidence. For instance the Earl of Arran, who spoke first, deposed, that in the gallery at Honslaerdyk, where the Countess of Ossory, his sister-in-law, and Jermyn, were playing at nine-pins, Miss Hyde, pretending to be sick, retired to a chamber at the end of the gallery; that he, the deponent, had followed her, and having cut her lace, to give a greater probability to the pretence of the vapours, he had acquitted himself to the best of his abilities, both to assist and to console her.

Talbot said, that she had made an appointment with him in the chancellor’s cabinet, while he was in council; and, that, not paying so much attention to what was upon the table as to what they were engaged in, they had spilled a bottle full of ink upon a despatch of four pages, and that the King’s monkey, which was blamed for this accident, had been a long time in disgrace.

Jermyn mentioned many places where he had received long and favourable audiences: however, all these articles of accusation amounted only to some delicate familiarities, or at most, to what is generally denominated the innocent part of an intrigue; but Killegrew, who wished to surpass these trivial depositions, boldly declared that he had had the honour of being upon the most intimate terms with her he was of a sprightly and witty humour, and had the art of telling a story in the most entertaining manner, by the graceful and natural turn he could give it: he affirmed that he had found the critical minute in a certain closet built over the water, for a purpose very different from that of giving ease to the pains of love: that three or four swans had been witnesses to his happiness, and might perhaps have been witnesses to the happiness of many others, as the lady frequently repaired to that place, and was particularly delighted with it.

The Duke of York found this last accusation greatly out of bounds, being convinced he himself had sufficient proofs of the contrary: he therefore returned thanks to these officious informers for their frankness, ordered them to be silent for the future upon what they had been telling him, and immediately passed into the King’s apartment.

As soon as he had entered the cabinet, Lord Falmouth, who had followed him, related what had passed to the Earl of Ossory, whom he met in the presence chamber: they strongly suspected what was the subject of the conversation of the two brothers, as it was long; and the Duke of York appeared to be in such agitation when he came out, that they no longer doubted that the result had been unfavourable for poor Miss Hyde. Lord Falmouth began to be affected for her disgrace, and to relent that he had been concerned in it, when the Duke of York told him and the Earl of Ossory to meet him in about an hour’s time at the chancellor’s.

They were rather surprised that he should have the cruelty himself to announce such a melancholy piece of news: they found his Royal Highness at the appointed hour in Miss Hyde’s chamber: a few tears trickled down her cheeks, which she endeavoured to restrain. The chancellor, leaning against the wall, appeared to them to be puffed up with some thing, which they did not doubt was—rage and despair. The Duke of York said to them, with that serene and pleasant countenance with which men generally announce good news: “As you are the two men of the court whom I most esteem, I am desirous you should first have the honour of paying your compliments to the Duchess of York: there she is.”

Surprise was of no use, and astonishment was unseasonable on the present occasion: they were, however, so greatly possessed with both surprise and astonishment, that in order to conceal it, they immediately fell on their knees to kiss her hand, which she gave to them with as much majesty as if she had been used to it all her life.

The next day the news was made public, and the whole court was eager to pay her that respect, from a sense of duty, which in the end became very sincere.

The petits-maitres who had spoken against her, seeing their intentions disappointed, were not a little embarrassed. Women are seldom accustomed to forgive injuries of this nature; and, if they promise themselves the pleasure of revenge, when they gain the power they seldom forget it: in the present case, however, the fears of these petits-maitres were their only punishment.

The Duchess of York, being fully informed of all that was said in the cabinet concerning her, instead of showing the least resentment, studied to distinguish, by all manner of kindness and good offices, those who had attacked her in so sensible a part; nor did she ever mention it to them, but in order to praise their zeal, and to tell them that nothing was a greater proof of the attachment of a man of honour, than his being more solicitous for the interest of his friend or master, than for his own reputation: a remarkable example of prudence and moderation, not only for the fair sex, but even for those who value themselves most upon their philosophy among the men.

The Duke of York, having quieted his conscience by the declaration of his marriage, thought that he was entitled, by this generous effort, to give way a little to his inconstancy: he therefore immediately seized upon whatever he could first lay his hands upon: this was Lady Carnegy, who had been in several other hands. She was still tolerably handsome, and her disposition, naturally inclined to tenderness, did not oblige her new lover long to languish. Everything coincided with their wishes for some time: Lord Carnegy, her husband, was in Scotland; but his father dying suddenly, he as suddenly returned with the title of Southesk, which his wife detested; but which she took more patiently than she received the news of his return. Some private intimation had been given him of the honour that was done him in his absence: nevertheless, he did not show his jealousy at first; but, as he was desirous to be satisfied of the reality of the fact, he kept a strict watch over his wife’s actions. The Duke of York and her ladyship had, for some time, been upon such terms of intimacy, as not to pass their time in frivolous amusements; however, the husband’s return obliged them to maintain some decorum: he therefore never went to her house, but in form, that is to say, always accompanied by some friend or other, to give his amours at least the appearance of a visit.

About this time Talbot returned from Portugal: this connection had taken place during his absence; and without knowing who Lady Southesk was, he had been informed that his master was in love with her.

A few days after his arrival, he was carried, merely to keep up appearances, to her house by the duke; and after being introduced, and some compliments having been paid on both sides, he thought it his duty to give his Royal Highness an opportunity to pay his compliments, and accordingly retired into the ante-chamber, which looked into the street, and placed himself at the window to view the people as they passed.

He was one of the best meaning men in the world on such occasions; but was so subject to forgetfulness, and absence of mind, that he once forgot, and left behind him at London, a complimentary letter which the duke had given him for the Infanta of Portugal, and never recollected it till he was going to his audience.

He stood sentry, as we have before said, very attentive to his instructions, when he saw a coach stop at the door, without being in the least concerned at it, and still less, at a man whom he saw get out of it, and whom he immediately heard coming upstairs.

The devil, who ought to be civil upon such occasions, forgot himself in the present instance, and brought up Lord Southesk ‘in propria persona’: his Royal Highness’s equipage had been sent home, because my lady had assured him that her husband was gone to see a bear and a bull baiting, an entertainment in which he took great delight, and from whence he seldom returned until it was very late; so that Southesk, not seeing any equipage at the door, little imagined that he had such good company in his house; but if he was surprised to see Talbot carelessly lolling in his wife’s ante-chamber, his surprise was soon over. Talbot, who had not seen him since they were in Flanders, and never supposing that he had changed his name: “Welcome, Carnegy, welcome, my good fellow,” said he, giving him his hand, “where the devil have you been, that I have never been able to set eyes on you since we were at Brussels? What business brought you here? Do you likewise wish to see Lady Southesk? If this is your intention, my poor friend, you may go away again; for I must inform you, the Duke of York is in love with her, and I will tell you in confidence, that, at this very time, he is in her chamber.”

Southesk, confounded as one may suppose, had no time to answer all these fine questions: Talbot, therefore, attended him downstairs as his friend; and, as his humble servant, advised him to seek for a mistress elsewhere. Southesk, not knowing what else to do at that time, returned to his coach; and Talbot, overjoyed at the adventure, impatiently waited for the duke’s return, that he might acquaint him with it; but he was very much surprised to find that the story afforded no pleasure to those who had the principal share in it; and his greatest concern was, that Carnegy had changed his name, as if only to draw him into such a confidence.

This accident broke off a commerce which the Duke of York did not much regret; and indeed it was happy for him that he became indifferent; for the traitor Southesk meditated a revenge, whereby, without using either assassination or poison, he would have obtained some satisfaction upon those who had injured him, if the connection had continued any longer.

He went to the most infamous places, to seek for the most infamous disease, which he met with; but his revenge was only half completed; for after he had gone through every remedy to get quit of his disease, his lady did but return him his present, having no more connection with the person for whom it was so industriously prepared.

[Bishop Burnet, taking notice of the Duke of York’s amours, says, “a story was set about, and generally believed, that the Earl of Southesk, that had married a daughter of the Duke of Hamilton’s, suspecting some familiarities between the duke and his wife, had taken a sure method to procure a disease to himself, which he communicated to his wife, and was, by that means, sent round till it came to the duchess. Lord Southesk was, for some years, not ill pleased to have this believed. It looked like a peculiar strain of revenge, with which he seemed much delighted. But I know he has, to some of his friends, denied the whole of the story very solemnly.” —history of His Own Times, vol. i., p. 319. It is worthy of notice that the passage in the text was omitted in most editions of Grammont, and retained in that of Strawberry-hill, in 1772.]

Lady Robarts was then in the zenith of her glory; her beauty was striking; yet, notwithstanding the brightness of the finest complexion, with all the bloom of youth, and with every requisite for inspiring desire, she nevertheless was not attractive. The Duke of York, however, would probably have been successful, if difficulties, almost insurmountable, had not disappointed his good intentions: Lord Robarts, her husband, was an old, snarling, troublesome, peevish fellow, in love with her to distraction, and to complete her misery, a perpetual attendant on her person.

She perceived his Royal Highness’s attachment to her, and seemed as if she was inclined to be grateful: this redoubled his eagerness, and every outward mark of tenderness he could possibly show her; but the watchful husband redoubling his zeal and assiduity, as he found the approaches advance, every art was practised to render him tractable: several attacks were made upon his avarice and his ambition. Those who possessed the greatest share of his confidence, insinuated to him that it was his own fault if Lady Robarts, who was so worthy of being at court, was not received into some considerable post, either about the queen or the duchess: he was offered to be made Lord Lieutenant of the county where his estate was; or to have the management of the Duke of York’s revenues in Ireland, of which he should have the entire disposal, provided he immediately set out to take possession of his charge; and having accomplished it, he might return as soon as ever he thought proper.

He perfectly well understood the meaning of these proposals, and was fully apprised of the advantages he might reap from them: in vain did ambition and avarice hold out their allurements; he was deaf to all their temptations, nor could ever the old fellow be persuaded to be made a cuckold. It is not always an aversion to, or a dread of this distinction, which preserves us from it: of this her husband was very sensible; therefore, under the pretence of a pilgrimage to Saint Winifred, the virgin and martyr, who was said to cure women of barrenness, he did not rest, until the highest mountains in Wales were between his wife and the person who had designed to perform this miracle in London, after his departure.

The duke was for some time entirely taken up with the pleasures of the chase, and only now and then engaged in those of love; but his taste having undergone a change in this particular, and the remembrance of Lady Robarts wearing off by degrees, his eyes and wishes were turned towards Miss Brook; and it was in the height of this pursuit that Lady Chesterfield threw herself into his arms, as we shall see by resuming the sequel of her adventures.

The Earl of Bristol, ever restless and ambitious, had put in practice every art, to possess himself of the king’s favour. As this is the same Digby whom Count Bussy mentions in his annals, it will be sufficient to say that he was not at all changed: he knew that love and pleasure had possession of a master, whom he himself governed, in defiance of the chancellor; thus he was continually giving entertainments at his house; and luxury and elegance seemed to rival each other in those nocturnal feasts, which always lead to other enjoyments. The two Miss Brooks, his relations, were always of those parties; they were both formed by nature to excite love in others, as well as to be susceptible of it themselves; they were just what the king wanted: the earl, from this commencement, was beginning to entertain a good opinion of his project, when Lady Castlemaine, who had lately gained entire possession of the king’s heart, was not in a humour, at that time, to share it with another, as she did very indiscreetly afterwards, despising Miss Stewart. As soon, therefore, as she received intimation of these secret practices, under pretence of attending the king in his parties, she entirely disconcerted them; so that the earl was obliged to lay aside his projects, and Miss Brook to discontinue her advances. The king did not even dare to think any more on this subject; but his brother was pleased to look after what he neglected; and Miss Brook accepted the offer of his heart, until it pleased heaven to dispose of her otherwise, which happened soon after in the following manner.

Sir John Denham, loaded with wealth as well as years, had passed his youth in the midst of those pleasures which people at that age indulge in without restraint; he was one of the brightest geniuses England ever produced, for wit and humour, and for brilliancy of composition: satirical and free in his poems, he spared neither frigid writers, nor jealous husbands, nor even their wives: every part abounded with the most poignant wit, and the most entertaining stories; but his most delicate and spirited raillery turned generally against matrimony; and, as if he wished to confirm, by his own example, the truth of what he had written in his youth, he married, at the age of seventy-nine, this Miss Brook of whom we are speaking, who was only eighteen.

The Duke of York had rather neglected her for some time before; but the circumstance of so unequal a match rekindled his ardour; and she, on her part, suffered him to entertain hopes of an approaching bliss, which a thousand considerations had opposed before her marriage: she wished to belong to the court; and for the promise of being made lady of the bedchamber to the duchess, she was upon the point of making him another promise, or of immediately performing it, if required, when, in the middle of this treaty, Lady Chesterfield was tempted, by her evil genius, to rob her of her conquest, in order to disturb all the world.

However, as Lady Chesterfield could not see the Duke of York, except in public assemblies, she was under the necessity of making the most extravagant advances, in order to seduce him from his former connection; and as he was the most unguarded ogler of his time, the whole court was informed of the intrigue before it was well begun.

Those who appeared the most attentive to their conduct were not the least interested in it. Hamilton and Lord Chesterfield watched them narrowly; but Lady Denham, vexed that Lady Chesterfield should have stepped in before her, took the liberty of railing against her rival with the greatest bitterness. Hamilton had hitherto flattered himself that vanity alone had engaged Lady Chesterfield in this adventure; but he was soon undeceived, whatever her indifference might have been when she first commenced this intrigue. We often proceed farther than we at first intended, when we indulge ourselves in trifling liberties which we think of no consequence; for though perhaps the heart takes no part at the beginning, it seldom fails to be engaged in the end.

The court, as we have mentioned before, was an entire scene of gallantry and amusements, with all the politeness and magnificence which the inclinations of a prince naturally addicted to tenderness and pleasure, could suggest: the beauties were desirous of charming, and the men endeavoured to please: all studied to set themselves off to the best advantage: some distinguished themselves by dancing; others by show and magnificence; some by their wit, many by their amours, but few by their constancy. There was a certain Italian at court, famous for the guitar: he had a genius for music, and he was the only man who could make anything of the guitar: his style of play was so full of grace and tenderness, that he would have given harmony to the most discordant instruments. The truth is, nothing was so difficult as to play like this foreigner. The king’s relish for his compositions had brought the instrument so much into vogue, that every person played upon it, well or ill; and you were as sure to see a guitar on a lady’s toilet as rouge or patches. The Duke of York played upon it tolerably well, and the Earl of Arran like Francisco himself. This Francisco had composed a saraband, which either charmed or infatuated every person; for the whole guitarery at court were trying at it; and God knows what an universal strumming there was. The Duke of York, pretending not to be perfect in it, desired Lord Arran to play it to him. Lady Chesterfield had the best guitar in England. The Earl of Arran, who was desirous of playing his best, conducted his Royal Highness to his sister’s apartments: she was lodged at court, at her father’s, the Duke of Ormond’s; and this wonderful guitar was lodged there too. Whether this visit had been preconcerted or not, I do not pretend to say; but it is certain that they found both the lady and the guitar at home: they likewise found there Lord Chesterfield, so much surprised at this unexpected visit, that it was a considerable time before he thought of rising from his seat to receive them with due respect.

Jealousy, like a malignant vapour, now seized upon his brain: a thousand suspicions, blacker than ink, took possession of his imagination, and were continually increasing; for, whilst the brother played upon the guitar to the duke, the sister ogled and accompanied him with her eyes, as if the coast had been clear, and no enemy to observe them. This saraband was at least repeated twenty times: the duke declared it was played to perfection: Lady Chesterfield found fault with the composition; but her husband, who clearly perceived that he was the person played upon, thought it a most detestable piece. However, though he was in the last agony at being obliged to curb his passion while others gave a free scope to theirs, he was resolved to find out the drift of the visit; but it was not in his power: for, having the honour to be chamberlain to the queen, a messenger came to require his immediate attendance on her majesty. His first thought was to pretend sickness: the second to suspect that the queen, who sent for him at such an unseasonable time, was in the plot; but at last, after all the extravagant ideas of a suspicious man, and all the irresolutions of a jealous husband, he was obliged to go.

We may easily imagine what his state of mind was when he arrived at the palace. Alarms are to the jealous what disasters are to the unfortunate: they seldom come alone, but form a series of persecution. He was informed that he was sent for to attend the queen at an audience she gave to seven or eight Muscovite ambassadors: he had scarce begun to curse the Muscovites, when his brother-in-law appeared, and drew upon himself all the imprecations he bestowed upon the embassy: he no longer doubted his being in the plot with the two persons he had left together, and in his heart sincerely wished him such recompense for his good offices as such good offices deserved. It was with great difficulty that he restrained himself from immediately acquainting him what was his opinion of such conduct: he thought that what he had already seen was a sufficient proof of his wife’s infidelity; but before the end of the very same day, some circumstances occurred which increased his suspicions, and persuaded him that they had taken advantage of his absence, and of the honourable officiousness of his brother-in-law. He passed, however, that night with tranquillity; but the next morning, being reduced to the necessity either of bursting or giving vent to his sorrows and conjectures, he did nothing but think and walk about the room until Park-time. He went to court, seemed very busy, as if seeking for some person or other, imagining that people guessed at the subject of his uneasiness: he avoided everybody, but at length meeting with Hamilton, he thought he was the very man that he wanted; and, having desired him to take an airing with him in Hyde Park, he took him up in his coach, and they arrived at the Ring, without a word having passed between them.

Hamilton, who saw him as yellow as jealousy itself, and particularly thoughtful, imagined that he had just discovered what all the world had perceived long before; when Chesterfield, after a broken, insignificant preamble, asked him how he succeeded with Lady Castlemaine. Hamilton, who very well saw that he meant nothing by this question, nevertheless thanked him; and as he was thinking of an answer: “Your cousin,” said the earl, “is extremely coquettish, and I have some reason to suppose she is not so prudent as she ought to be.” Hamilton thought the last charge a little too severe; and as he was endeavouring to refute it: “Good God!” said my lord, “you see, as well as the whole court, what airs she gives herself: husbands are always the last people that are spoken to about those affairs that concern them the most; but they are not always the last to perceive it themselves: though you have made me your confidant in other matters, yet I am not at all surprised you have concealed this from me; but as I flatter myself with having some share in your esteem, I should be sorry you should think me such a fool as to be incapable of seeing, though I am so complaisant as not to express my sentiments: nevertheless, I find that affairs are now carried on with such barefaced boldness, that at length I find I shall be forced to take some course or other. God forbid that I should act the ridiculous part of a jealous husband: the character is odious; but then I do not intend, through an excess of patience, to be made the jest of the town. Judge, therefore, from what I am going to tell you, whether I ought to sit down unconcerned, or whether I ought to take measures for the preservation of my honour.

“His royal highness honoured me yesterday by a visit to my wife.” Hamilton started at this beginning. “Yes,” continued the other, “he did give himself that trouble, and Lord Arran took upon himself that of bringing him: do not you wonder, that a man of his birth should act such a part? What advancement can he expect from one who employs him in such base services? But we have long known him to be one of the silliest creatures in England, with his guitar, and his other whims and follies.” Chesterfield, after this short sketch of his brother-in-law’s merit, began to relate the observations he had made during the visit, and asked Hamilton what he thought of his cousin Arran, who had so obligingly left them together. “This may appear surprising to you,” continued he, “but hear me out, and judge whether I have reason to think that the close of this pretty visit passed in perfect innocence. Lady Chesterfield is amiable, it must be acknowledged; but she is far from being such a miracle of beauty as she supposes herself: you know she has ugly feet; but perhaps you are not acquainted that she has still worse legs.” “Pardon me,” said Hamilton, within himself: and the other continuing the description: “Her legs,” said his lordship, “are short and thick; and, to remedy these defects as much as possible, she seldom wears any other than green stockings.”

Hamilton could not for his life imagine the drift of all this discourse, and Chesterfield, guessing his thoughts: “Have a little patience,” said he: “I went yesterday to Miss Stewart’s, after the audience of those damned Muscovites: the king arrived there just before me; and as if the duke had sworn to pursue me wherever I went that day, he came in just after me. The conversation turned upon the extraordinary appearance of the ambassadors. I know not where that fool Crofts had heard that all these Muscovites had handsome wives; and that all their wives had handsome legs. Upon this the king maintained that no woman ever had such handsome legs as Miss Stewart; and she, to prove the truth of his majesty’s assertion, with the greatest imaginable ease, immediately shewed her leg above the knee. Some were ready to prostrate themselves, in order to adore its beauty; for indeed none can be handsomer; but the duke alone began to criticise upon it. He contended that it was too slender, and that as for himself he would give nothing for a leg that was not thicker and shorter, and concluded by saying that no leg was worth anything without green stockings. Now this, in my opinion, was a sufficient demonstration that he had just seen green stockings, and had them fresh in his remembrance.”

Hamilton was at a loss what countenance to put on during a narrative which raised in him nearly the same conjectures; he shrugged up his shoulders, and faintly said that appearances were often deceitful; that Lady Chesterfield had the foible of all beauties, who place their merit on the number of their admirers; and whatever airs she might imprudently have given herself, in order not to discourage his royal highness, there was no ground to suppose that she would indulge him in any greater liberties to engage him: but in vain was it that he endeavoured to give that consolation to his friend which he did not feel himself. Chesterfield plainly perceived he did not think of what he was saying; however, he thought himself much obliged to him for the interest he seemed to take in his concerns.

Hamilton was in haste to go home to vent his spleen and resentment in a letter to his cousin. The style of this billet was very different from those which he formerly was accustomed to write to her: reproaches, bitter expostulations, tenderness, menaces, and all the effusions of a lover who thinks he has reason to complain, composed this epistle; which, for fear of accidents, he went to deliver himself.

Never did she before appear so lovely, and never did her eyes speak so kindly to him as at this moment: his heart quite relented; but he was determined not to lose all the fine things he had said in his letter. In receiving it, she squeezed his hand: this action completely disarmed him, and he would have given his life to have had his letter again. It appeared to him at this instant that all the grievances he complained of were visionary and groundless: he looked upon her husband as a madman and an impostor, and quite the reverse of what he supposed him to be a few minutes before; but this remorse came a little too late: he had delivered his billet, and Lady Chesterfield had shewn such impatience and eagerness to read it as soon as she had got it that all circumstances seemed to conspire to justify her, and to confound him. She managed to get quit, some way or other, of some troublesome visitors, to slip into her closet. He thought himself so culpable that he had not the assurance to wait her return: he withdrew with the rest of the company; but he did not dare to appear before her the next day, to have an answer to his letter: however, he met her at court; and this was the first time, since the commencement of their amour, that he did not seek for her. He stood at a distance, with downcast looks, and appeared in such terrible embarrassment that his condition was sufficient to raise laughter or to cause pity, when Lady Chesterfield approaching, thus accosted him: “Confess,” said she, “that you are in as foolish a situation as any man of sense can be: you wish you had not written to me: you are desirous of an answer: you hope for none: yet you equally wish for and dread it: I have, however, written you one.” She had not time to say more; but the few words she had spoken were accompanied with such an air, and such a look, as to make him believe that it was Venus with all her graces who had addressed him. He was near her when she sat down to cards, and as he was puzzling himself to devise by what means he should get this answer, she desired him to lay her gloves and fan down somewhere: he took them, and with them the billet in question; and as he had perceived nothing severe or angry in the conversation he had with her, he hastened to open her letter, and read as follows:

“Your transports are so ridiculous that it is doing you a favour to attribute them to an excess of tenderness, which turns your head: a man, without doubt, must have a great inclination to be jealous, to entertain such an idea of the person you mention. Good God! what a lover to have caused uneasiness to a man of genius, and what a genius to have got the better of mine! Are not you ashamed to give any credit to the visions of a jealous fellow who brought nothing else with him from Italy? Is it possible that the story of the green stockings, upon which he has founded his suspicions, should have imposed upon you, accompanied as it is with such pitiful circumstances? Since he has made you his confidant, why did not he boast of breaking in pieces my poor harmless guitar? This exploit, perhaps, might have convinced you more than all the rest: recollect yourself, and if you are really in love with me, thank fortune for a groundless jealousy, which diverts to another quarter the attention he might pay to my attachment for the most amiable and the most dangerous man of the court.”

Hamilton was ready to weep for joy at these endearing marks of kindness, of which he thought himself so unworthy he was not satisfied with kissing, in raptures, every part of this billet; he also kissed several times her gloves and her fan. Play being over, Lady Chesterfield received them from his hands, and read in his eyes the joy that her billet had raised in his heart. Nor was he satisfied with expressing his raptures, only by looks: he hastened home, and wrote to her at least four times as much. How different was this letter from the other! Though perhaps not so well written; for one does not show so much wit in suing for pardon, as in venting reproaches, and it seldom happens that the soft languishing style of a love-letter is so penetrating as that of invective.

Be that as it may, his peace was made: their past quarrel gave new life to their correspondence; and Lady Chesterfield, to make him as easy as he had before been distrustful expressed on every occasion a feigned contempt for his rival, and a sincere aversion for her husband.

So great was his confidence in her, that he consented she should show in public some marks of attention to the duke, in order to conceal as much as possible their private intelligence. Thus, at this time nothing disturbed his peace of mind, but his impatience of finding a favourable opportunity for the completion of his desires: he thought it was in her power to command it; but she excused herself on account of several difficulties which she enumerated to him, and which she was desirous he should remove by his industry and attentions.

This silenced his complaints; but whilst he was endeavouring to surmount these obstacles, still wondering how it was possible that two persons who were so well disposed to each other, and who were agreed to make each other happy, could not put their designs in execution, accident discovered an unexpected adventure, which left him no room to doubt, either of the happiness of his rival, or of the perfidy of his mistress.

Misfortunes often fall light when most feared; and frequently prove heaviest when merited, and when least suspected. Hamilton was in the middle of the most tender and passionate letter he had ever written to Lady Chesterfield, when her husband came to announce to him the particulars of this last discovery: he came so suddenly upon him, that he had only just time to conceal his amorous epistle among his other papers. His heart and mind were still so full of what he was writing to his cousin, that her husband’s complaints against her, at first, were scarce attended to; besides, in his opinion, he had come in the most unfortunate moment on all accounts.

He was, however, obliged to listen to him, and he soon entertained quite different sentiments: he appeared almost petrified with astonishment, while the earl was relating to him circumstances of such an extravagant indiscretion, as seemed to him quite incredible, notwithstanding the particulars of the fact. “You have reason to be surprised at it,” said my lord, concluding his story; “but if you doubt the truth of what I tell you, it will be easy for you to find evidence that will convince you; for the scene of their tender familiarities was no less public than the room where the queen plays at cards, which while her majesty was at play, was, God knows, pretty well crowded. Lady Denham was the first who discovered what they thought would pass unperceived in the crowd; and you may very well judge hew secret she would keep such a circumstance. The truth is, she addressed herself to me first of all, as I entered the room, to tell me that I should give my wife a little advice, as other people might take notice of what I might see myself, if I pleased.

“Your cousin was at play, as I before told you: the duke was sitting next to her: I know not what was become of his hand; but I am sure that no one could see his arm below the elbow: I was standing behind them, just in the place that Lady Denham had quitted: the duke turning round perceived me, and was so much disturbed at my presence, that he almost undressed my lady in pulling away his hand. I know not whether they perceived that they were discovered; but of this I am convinced, that Lady Denham will take care that everybody shall know it. I must confess to you, that my embarrassment is so great, that I cannot find words to express what I now feel: I should not hesitate one moment what course to take, if I might be allowed to show my resentment against the person who has wronged me. As for her, I could manage her well enough, if, unworthy as she is of any consideration, I had not still some regard for an illustrious family, that would be distracted were I to resent such an injury as it deserves. In this particular you are interested yourself: you are my friend, and I make you my confidant in an affair of the greatest imaginable delicacy: let us then consult together what is proper to be done in so perplexing and disagreeable a situation.”

Hamilton, if possible, more astonished, and more confounded than himself, was far from being in a proper state to afford him advice on the present occasion: he listened to nothing but jealousy, and breathed nothing but revenge; but these emotions being somewhat abated, in hopes that there might be calumny, or at least exaggeration in the charges against Lady Chesterfield, he desired her husband to suspend his resolutions, until he was more fully informed of the fact; assuring him, however, that if he found the circumstances such as he had related, he should regard and consult no other interest than his.

Upon this they parted; and Hamilton found, on the first inquiry, that almost the whole court was informed of the adventure, to which every one added something in relating it. Vexation and resentment, inflamed his heart, and by degrees extinguished every remnant of his former passion.

He might easily have seen her, and have made her such reproaches as a man is generally inclined to do, on such occasions; but he was too much enraged to enter into any detail which might have led to an explanation: he considered himself as the only person essentially injured in this affair; for he could never bring his mind to think that the injuries of the husband could be placed in competition with those of the lover.

He hastened to Lord Chesterfield, in the transport of his passion, and told him that he had heard enough to induce him to give such advice, as he should follow himself in the same situation, and that if he wished to save a woman so strongly prepossessed, and who perhaps had not yet lost all her innocence, though she had totally lost her reason, he ought not to delay one single instant, but immediately to carry her into the country with the greatest possible expedition, without allowing her the least time to recover her surprise.

Lord Chesterfield readily agreed to follow this advice, which he had already considered as the only counsel a friend could give him; but his lady who did not suspect he had made this last discovery of her conduct, thought he was joking with her, when he told her to prepare for going into the country in two days: she was the more induced to think so as it was in the very middle of an extremely severe winter; but she soon perceived that he was in earnest: she knew from the air and manner of her husband that he thought he had sufficient reason to treat her in this imperious style; and finding all her relations serious and cold to her complaint, she had no hope left in this universally abandoned situation but in the tenderness of Hamilton. She imagined she should hear from him the cause of her misfortunes, of which she was still totally ignorant, and that his love would invent some means or other to prevent a journey, which she flattered herself would be even more affecting to him than to herself; but she was expecting pity from a crocodile.

At last, when she saw the eve of her departure was come, that every preparation was made for a long journey; that she was receiving farewell visits in form, and that still she heard nothing from Hamilton, both her hopes and her patience forsook her in this wretched situation. A few tears perhaps might have afforded her some relief, but she chose rather to deny herself that comfort, than to give her husband so much satisfaction. Hamilton’s conduct on this occasion appeared to her unaccountable; and as he still never came near her, she found means to convey to him the following billet.

“Is it possible that you should be one of those, who, without vouchsafing to tell me for what crime I am treated like a slave, suffer me to be dragged from society? What means your silence and indolence in a juncture wherein your tenderness ought most particularly to appear, and actively exert itself? I am upon the point of departing, and am ashamed to think that you are the cause of my looking upon it with horror, as I have reason to believe that you are less concerned at it than any other person: do, at least, let me know to what place I am to be dragged; what is to be done with me within a wilderness? and on what account you, like all the rest of the world, appear changed in your behaviour towards a person whom all the world could not oblige to change with regard to you, if your weakness or your ingratitude did not render you unworthy of her tenderness.”

This billet did but harden his heart, and make him more proud of his vengeance: he swallowed down full draughts of pleasure in beholding her reduced to despair, being persuaded that her grief and regret for her departure were on account of another person: he felt uncommon satisfaction in having a share in tormenting her, and was particularly pleased with the scheme he had contrived to separate her from a rival, upon the very point perhaps of being made happy. Thus fortified as he was against his natural tenderness, with all the severity of jealous resentment, he saw her depart with an indifference which he did not even endeavour to conceal from her: this unexpected treatment, joined to the complication of her other misfortunes, had almost in reality plunged her into despair.

The court was filled with the story of this adventure; nobody was ignorant of the occasion of this sudden departure, but very few approved of Lord Chesterfield’s conduct. In England they looked with astonishment upon a man who could be so uncivil as to be jealous of his wife; and in the city of London it was a prodigy, till that time unknown, to see a husband have recourse to violent means, to prevent what jealousy fears, and what it always deserves. They endeavoured, however, to excuse poor Lord Chesterfield, as far as they could safely do it, without incurring the public odium, by laying all the blame on his bad education. This made all the mothers vow to God that none of their sons should ever set a foot in Italy, lest they should bring back with them that infamous custom of laying restraint upon their wives.


Every man who believes that his honour depends upon that of his wife is a fool who torments himself, and drives her to despair; but he who, being naturally jealous, has the additional misfortune of loving his wife, and who expects that she should only live for him; is a perfect madman, whom the torments of hell have actually taken hold of in this world, and whom nobody pities. All reasoning and observation on these unfortunate circumstances attending wedlock concur in this, that precaution is vain and useless before the evil, and revenge odious afterwards.

The Spaniards, who tyrannise over their wives, more by custom than from jealousy, content themselves with preserving the niceness of their honour by duennas, grates, and locks.

The Italians, who are wary in their suspicions, and vindictive in their resentments, pursue a different line of conduct: some satisfy themselves with keeping their wives under locks which they think secure: others by ingenious precautions exceed whatever the Spaniards can invent for confining the fair sex but the generality are of opinion, that in either unavoidable danger or in manifest transgression, the surest way is to assassinate.

But, ye courteous and indulgent nations, who, far from admitting these savage and barbarous customs, give full liberty to your dear ribs, and commit the care of their virtue to their own discretion, you pass without alarms or strife your peaceful days, in all the enjoyments of domestic indolence!

It was certainly some evil genius that induced Lord Chesterfield to distinguish himself from his patient and good-natured countrymen, and ridiculously to afford the world an opportunity of examining into the particulars of an adventure which would perhaps never have been known without the verge of the court, and which would everywhere have been forgotten in less than a month; but now, as soon as ever he had turned his back, in order to march away with his prisoner, and the ornaments she was supposed to have bestowed upon him, God only knows what a terrible attack there was made upon his rear: Rochester, Middlesex, Sedley, Etheredge, and all the whole band of wits, exposed him in numberless ballads, and diverted the public at his expense.

The Chevalier de Grammont was highly pleased with these lively and humorous compositions; and wherever this subject was mentioned, never failed to produce his supplement upon the occasion: “It is strange,” said he, “that the country, which is little better than a gallows or a grave for young people, is allotted in this land only for the unfortunate, and not for the guilty! poor Lady Chesterfield, for some unguarded looks, is immediately seized upon by an angry husband, who will oblige her to spend her Christmas at a country-house, a hundred and fifty miles from London; while here there are a thousand ladies who are left at liberty to do whatever they please, and who indulge in that liberty, and whose conduct, in short, deserves a daily bastinado. I name no person, God forbid I should; but Lady Middleton, Lady Denham, the queen’s and the duchess’s maids of honour, and a hundred others, bestow their favours to the right and to the left, and not the least notice is taken of their conduct. As for Lady Shrewsbury, she is conspicuous. I would take a wager she might have a man killed for her every day, find she would only hold her head the higher for it: one would suppose she imported from Rome plenary indulgences for her conduct: there are three or four gentlemen who wear an ounce of her hair made into bracelets, and no person finds any fault; and yet shall such a cross-grained fool as Chesterfield be permitted to exercise an act of tyranny, altogether unknown in this country, upon the prettiest woman in England, and all for a mere trifle: but I am his humble servant; his precautions will avail him nothing; on the contrary, very often a woman, who had no bad intentions when she was suffered to remain in tranquillity, is prompted to such conduct by revenge, or reduced to it by necessity: this is as true as the gospel: hear now what Francisco’s saraband says on the subject:

“Tell me, jealous-paced swain, What avail thy idle arts, To divide united hearts? Love, like the wind, I trow, Will, where it listeth, blow; So, prithee, peace, for all thy cares are vain. “When you are by, Nor wishful look, be sure, nor eloquent sigh, Shall dare those inward fires discover, Which burn in either lover Yet Argus’ self, if Argus were thy spy, Should ne’er, with all his mob of eyes, Surprise. “Some joys forbidden, Transports hidden, Which love, through dark and secret ways, Mysterious love, to kindred souls conveys.”

The Chevalier de Grammont passed for the author of this sonnet: neither the justness of the sentiment, nor turn of it, are surprisingly beautiful; but as it contained some truths that flattered the genius of the nation, and pleased those who interested themselves for the fair sex, the ladies were all desirous of having it to teach their children.

During all this time the Duke of York, not being in the way of seeing Lady Chesterfield, easily forgot her: her absence, however, had some circumstances attending it which could not but sensibly affect the person who had occasioned her confinement; but there are certain fortunate tempers to which every situation is easy; they feel neither disappointment with bitterness, nor pleasure with acuteness. In the mean time, as the duke could not remain idle, he had no sooner forgotten Lady Chesterfield, but he began to think of her whom he had been in love with before, and was upon the point of relapsing into his old passion for Miss Hamilton.

There was in London a celebrated portrait-painter called Lely, who had greatly improved himself by studying the famous Vandyke’s pictures, which were dispersed all over England in abundance. Lely imitated Vandyke’s manner, and approached the nearest to him of all the moderns. The Duchess of York, being desirous of having the portraits of the handsomest persons at court, Lely painted them, and employed all his skill in the performance; nor could he ever exert himself upon more beautiful subjects. Every picture appeared a master-piece; and that of Miss Hamilton appeared the highest finished: Lely himself acknowledged that he had drawn it with a particular pleasure. The Duke of York took a delight in looking at it, and began again to ogle the original: he had very little reason to hope for success; and at the same time that his hopeless passion alarmed the Chevalier de Grammont, Lady Denham thought proper to renew the negotiation which had so unluckily been interrupted: it was soon brought to a conclusion; for where both parties are sincere in a negotiation, no time is lost in cavilling. Everything succeeded prosperously on one side; yet, I know not what fatality obstructed the pretensions of the other. The duke was very urgent with the duchess to put Lady Denham in possession of the place which was the object of her ambition; but as she was not guarantee for the performance of the secret articles of the treaty, though till this time she had borne with patience the inconstancy of the duke, and yielded submissively to his desires; yet, in the present instance, it appeared hard and dishonourable to her, to entertain near her person, a rival, who would expose her to the danger of acting but a second part in the midst of her own court. However, she saw herself upon the point of being forced to it by authority, when a far more unfortunate obstacle for ever bereft poor Lady Denham of the hopes of possessing that fatal place, which she had solicited with such eagerness.

Old Denham, naturally jealous, became more and more suspicious, and found that he had sufficient ground for such conduct: his wife was young and handsome, he old and disagreeable: what reason then had he to flatter himself that Heaven would exempt him from the fate of husbands in the like circumstances? This he was continually saying to himself; but when compliments were poured in upon him from all sides, upon the place his lady was going to have near the duchess’s person, he formed ideas of what was sufficient to have made him hang himself, if he had possessed the resolution. The traitor chose rather to exercise his courage against another. He wanted precedents for putting in practice his resentments in a privileged country: that of Lord Chesterfield was not sufficiently bitter for the revenge he meditated: besides, he had no country-house to which he could carry his unfortunate wife. This being the case, the old villain made her travel a much longer journey without stirring out of London. Merciless fate robbed her of life, and of her dearest hopes, in the bloom of youth.

As no person entertained any doubt of his having poisoned her, the populace of his neighbourhood had a design of tearing him in pieces, as soon as he should come abroad; but he shut himself up to bewail her death, until their fury was appeased by a magnificent funeral, at which he distributed four times more burnt wine than had ever been drunk at any burial in England.

[The lampoons of the day, some of which are to be found in Andrew Marvell’s Works, more than insinuate that she was deprived of life by a mixture infused into some chocolate. The slander of the times imputed her death to the jealousy of the Duchess of York.]

While the town was in fear of some great disaster, as an expiation for these fatal effects of jealousy, Hamilton was not altogether so easy as he flattered himself he should be after the departure of Lady Chesterfield: he had only consulted the dictates of revenge in what he had done. His vengeance was satisfied; but such was far from being the case with his love; and having, since the absence of her he still admired, notwithstanding his resentments, leisure to make those reflections which a recent injury will not permit a man to attend to: “And wherefore,” said he to himself, “was I so eager to make her miserable, who alone, however culpable she may be, has it in her power to make me happy? Cursed jealousy!” continued he, “yet more cruel to those who torment than to those who are tormented! What have I gained by having blasted the hopes of a more happy rival, since I was not able to perform this without depriving myself, at the same time, of her upon whom the whole happiness and comfort of my life was centred.”

Thus, clearly proving to himself, by a great many reasonings of the same kind, and all out of season, that in such an engagement it was much better to partake with another than to have nothing at all, he filled his mind with a number of vain regrets and unprofitable remorse, when he received a letter from her who occasioned them, but a letter so exactly adapted to increase them, that, after he had read it, he looked upon himself as the greatest scoundrel in the world. Here it follows:

“You will, no doubt, be as much surprised at this letter as I was at the unconcerned air with which you beheld my departure. I am led to believe that you had imagined reasons which, in your own mind, justified such unseasonable conduct. If you are still under the impression of such barbarous sentiments it will afford you pleasure to be made acquainted with what I suffer in the most horrible of prisons. Whatever the country affords most melancholy in this season presents itself to my view on all sides: surrounded by impassable roads, out of one window I see nothing but rocks, out of another nothing but precipices; but wherever I turn my eyes within doors I meet those of a jealous husband, still more insupportable than the sad objects that encompass me. I should add to the misfortunes of my life that of seeming criminal in the eyes of a man who ought to have justified me, even against convincing appearances, if by my avowed innocence I had a right to complain or to expostulate: but how is it possible for me to justify myself at such a distance; and how can I flatter myself that the description of a most dreadful prison will not prevent you from believing me? But do you deserve that I should wish you did? Heavens! how I must hate you, if I did not love you to distraction. Come, therefore, and let me once again see you, that you may hear my justification; and I am convinced that if after this visit you find me guilty it will not be with respect to yourself. Our Argus sets out to-morrow for Chester, where a law-suit will detain him a week. I know not whether he will gain it; but I am sure it will be entirely your fault if he does not lose one, for which he is at least as anxious as that he is now going after.”

This letter was sufficient to make a man run blindfold into an adventure still more rash than that which was proposed to him, and that was rash enough in all respects: he could not perceive by what means she could justify herself; but as she assured him he should be satisfied with his journey, this was all he desired at present.

There was one of his relations with Lady Chesterfield, who, having accompanied her in her exile, had gained some share in their mutual confidence; and it was through her means he received this letter, with all the necessary instructions about his journey and his arrival. Secrecy being the soul of such expeditions, especially before an amour is accomplished, he took post, and set out in the night, animated by the most tender and flattering wishes, so that, in less than no time almost, in comparison with the distance and the badness of the roads, he had travelled a hundred and fifty tedious miles at the last stage he prudently dismissed the post-boy. It was not yet daylight, and therefore, for fear of the rocks and precipices mentioned in her letter, he proceeded with tolerable discretion, considering he was in love.

By this means he fortunately escaped all the dangerous places, and, according to his instructions, alighted at a little hut adjoining to the park wall. The place was not magnificent; but, as he only wanted rest, it did well enough for that: he did not wish for daylight, and was even still less desirous of being seen; wherefore, having shut himself up in this obscure retreat, he fell into a profound sleep, and did not wake until noon. As he was particularly hungry when he awoke, he ate and drank heartily: and, as he was the neatest man at court, and was expected by the neatest lady in England, he spent the remainder of the day in dressing himself, and in making all those preparations which the time and place permitted, without deigning once to look around him, or to ask his landlord a single question. At last the orders he expected with great impatience were brought him, in the beginning of the evening, by a servant, who, attending him as a guide, after having led him for about half an hour in the dirt, through a park of vast extent, brought him at last into a garden, into which a little door opened: he was posted exactly opposite to this door, by which, in a short time, he was to be introduced to a more agreeable situation; and here his conductor left him. The night advanced, but the door never opened.

Though the winter was almost over, the cold weather seemed only to be beginning: he was dirtied up to his knees in mud, and soon perceived that if he continued much longer in this garden it would all be frozen. This beginning of a very dark and bitter night would have been unbearable to any other; but it was nothing to a man who flattered himself to pass the remainder of it in the height of bliss. However, he began to wonder at so many precautions in the absence of a husband his imagination, by a thousand delicious and tender ideas supported him some time against the torments of impatience and the inclemency of the weather; but he felt his imagination, notwithstanding, cooling by degrees; and two hours, which seemed to him as tedious as two whole ages, having passed, and not the least notice being taken of him, either from the door or from the window, he began to reason with himself upon the posture of his affairs, and what was the fittest conduct for him to pursue in this emergency: “What if I should rap at this cursed door,” said he; “for if my fate requires that I should perish, it is at least more honourable to die in the house than to be starved to death in the garden but then,” continued he, “I may, thereby, perhaps, expose a person whom some unforeseen accident may, at this very instant, have reduced to greater perplexity than even I myself am in.” This thought supplied him with a necessary degree of patience and fortitude against the enemies he had to contend with; he therefore began to walk quickly to and fro, with resolution to wait, as long as he could keep alive, the end of an adventure which had such an uncomfortable beginning. All this was to no purpose; for though he used every effort to keep himself warm, and though muffled up in a thick cloak, yet he began to be benumbed in all his limbs, and the cold gained the ascendancy over all his amorous vivacity and eagerness. Daybreak was not far off, and judging now that, though the accursed door should even be opened, it would be to no purpose, he returned, as well as he could, to the place from whence he had set out upon this wonderful expedition.

All the faggots that were in the cottage were hardly able to unfreeze him: the more he reflected on his adventure, the circumstances attending it appeared still the more strange and unaccountable; but so far from accusing the charming countess, he suffered a thousand different anxieties on her account. Sometimes he imagined that her husband might have returned unexpectedly; sometimes, that she might suddenly have been taken ill; in short, that some insuperable obstacle had unluckily interposed, and prevented his happiness, notwithstanding his mistress’s kind intentions towards him. “But wherefore,” said he, “did she forget me in that cursed garden? Is it possible that she could not find a single moment to make me at least, some sign or other, if she could neither speak to me nor give me admittance?” He knew not which of these conjectures to rely upon, or how to answer his own questions; but as he flattered himself that everything would succeed better the next night, after having vowed not to set a foot again into that unfortunate garden, he gave orders to be awakened as soon as any person should inquire for him: then he laid himself down in one of the worst beds in the world, and slept as sound as if he had been in the best: he supposed that he should not be awakened, but either by a letter or a message from Lady Chesterfield; but he had scarce slept two hours when he was roused by the sound of the horn and the cry of the hounds. The but which afforded him a retreat, joining, as we before said, to the park wall, he called his host, to know what was the occasion of that hunting, which made a noise as if the whole pack of hounds had been in his bed-chamber. He was told that it was my lord hunting a hare in his park. “What lord?” said he, in great surprise. “The Earl of Chesterfield,” replied the pea sant. He was so astonished at this that at first he hid his head under the bed-clothes, under the idea that he already saw him entering with all his bounds; but as soon as he had a little recovered himself he began to curse capricious fortune, no longer doubting but this jealous fool’s return had occasioned all his tribulations in the preceding night.

It was not possible for him to sleep again, after such an alarm; he therefore got up, that he might revolve in his mind all the stratagems that are usually employed either to deceive, or to remove out of the way, a jealous scoundrel of a husband, who thought fit to neglect his law-suit in order to plague his wife. He had just finished dressing himself, and was beginning to question his landlord, when the same servant who had conducted him to the garden delivered him a letter, and disappeared, without waiting for an answer. This letter was from his relation, and was to this effect:

“I am extremely sorry that I have innocently been accessary to bringing you to a place, to which you were only invited to be laughed at: I opposed this journey at first, though I was then persuaded it was wholly suggested by her tenderness; but she has now undeceived me: she triumphs in the trick she has played you: her husband has not stirred from hence, but stays at home, out of complaisance to her: he treats her in the most affectionate manner; and it was upon their reconciliation that she found out that you had advised him to carry her into the country. She has conceived such hatred and aversion against you for it, that I find, from her discourse, she has not yet wholly satisfied her resentment. Console yourself for the hatred of a person, whose heart never merited your tenderness. Return: a longer stay in this place will but draw upon you some fresh misfortune: for my part, I shall soon leave her: I know her, and I thank God for it. I do not repent having pitied her at first; but I am disgusted with an employment which but ill agrees with my way of thinking.”

Upon reading this letter, astonishment, shame, hatred, and rage, seized at once upon his heart: then menaces, invectives, and the desire of vengeance, broke forth by turns, and excited his passion and resentment; but, after he deliberately considered the matter, he resolved that it was now the best way quietly to mount his horse, and to carry back with him to London a severe cold, instead of the soft wishes and tender desires he had brought from thence. He quitted this perfidious place with much greater expedition than he had arrived at it, though his mind was far from being occupied with such tender and agreeable ideas: however, when he thought himself at a sufficient distance to be out of danger of meeting Lord Chesterfield and his hounds, he chose to look back, that he might at least have the satisfaction of seeing the prison where this wicked enchantress was confined; but what was his surprise, when he saw a very fine house, situated on the banks of a river, in the most delightful and pleasant country imaginable. Neither rock nor precipice was here to be seen; for, in reality, they were only in the letter of his perfidious mistress. This furnished fresh cause for resentment and confusion to a man who thought himself so well acquainted with all the wiles, as well as weaknesses, of the fair sex; and who now found himself the dupe of a coquette, who was reconciled to her husband in order to be revenged on her lover.

At last he reached London, well furnished with arguments to maintain that a man must be extremely weak to trust to the tenderness of a woman who has once deceived him, but that he must be a complete fool to run after her.

This adventure not being much to his credit, he suppressed, as much as possible, both the journey and the circumstances attending it; but, as we may easily suppose, Lady Chesterfield made no secret of it, the king came to the knowledge of it; and, having complimented Hamilton upon it, desired to be informed of all the particulars of the expedition. The Chevalier de Grammont happened to be present at this recital; and, having gently inveighed against the treacherous manner in which he had been used, said: “If she is to be blamed for carrying the jest so far, you are no less to be blamed for coming back so suddenly, like an ignorant novice. I dare lay an hundred guineas, she has more than once repented of a resentment which you pretty well deserved for the trick you had played her: women love revenge; but their resentments seldom last long; and if you had remained in the neighbourhood till the next day, I will be hanged if she would not have given you satisfaction for the first night’s sufferings.” Hamilton being of a different opinion, the Chevalier de Grammont resolved to maintain his assertion by a case in point; and, addressing himself to the king: “Sir,” said he, “your majesty, I suppose, must have known Marion de l’Orme, the most charming creature in all France: though she was as witty as an angel, she was as capricious as a devil. This beauty having made me an appointment, a whim seized her to put me off, and to give it to another; she therefore wrote me one of the tenderest billets in the world, full of the grief and sorrow she was in, by being obliged to disappoint me; on account of a most terrible headache, that obliged her to keep her bed, and deprived her of the pleasure of seeing me till the next day. This headache coming all of a sudden, appeared to me very suspicious; and, never doubting but it was her intention to jilt me: ‘Very well, mistress coquette,’ said I to myself, ‘if you do not enjoy the pleasure of seeing me this day, you shall not enjoy the satisfaction of seeing another.’

“Hereupon, I detached all my servants, some of whom patrolled about her house, whilst others watched her door; one of the latter brought me intelligence that no person had gone into her house all the afternoon; but that a foot-boy had gone out as it grew dark; that he followed him as far as the Rue Saint Antoine, where this boy met another, to whom he only spoke two or three words. This was sufficient to confirm my suspicions, and make me resolve either to make one of the party, or to disconcert it.

[Marion de l’Orme, born at Chalons, in Champagne, was esteemed the most beautiful woman of her times. It is believed that she was secretly married to the unfortunate Monsieur Cinqmars. After his death, she became the mistress of Cardinal Richelieu, and, at last, of Monsieur d’Emery, superintendent of the finances.]

“As the bagnio where I lodged was at a great distance from the Marais, as soon as the night set in I mounted my horse, without any attendant. When I came to the Place-Royale, the servant, who was sentry there, assured me that no person was yet gone into Mademoiselle de l’Orme’s house: I rode forward towards the Rue Saint Antoine; and, just as I was going out of the Place-Royale, I saw a man on foot coming into it, who avoided me as much as he possibly could; but his endeavour was all to no purpose; I knew him to be the Duke de Brissac, and I no longer doubted but he was my rival that night: I then approached towards him, seeming as if I feared I mistook my man; and, alighting with a very busy air ‘Brissac, my friend,’ said I, ‘you must do me a service of the very greatest importance: I have an appointment, for the first time, with a girl who lives very near this place; and, as this visit is only to concert measures, I shall make but a very short stay: be so kind, therefore, as to lend me your cloak, and walk my horse about a little, until I return; but, above all, do not go far from this place: you see that I use you freely like a friend; but you know it is upon condition that you may take the same liberty with me.’ I took his cloak, without waiting for his answer, and he took my horse by the bridle, and followed me with his eye; but he gained no intelligence by this; for, after having pretended to go into a house opposite to him, I slipped under the piazzas to Mademoiselle de l’Orme’s, where the door was opened as soon as I knocked. I was so much muffled up in Brissac’s cloak that I was taken for him: the door was immediately shut, not the least question asked me; and having none to ask myself I went straight to the lady’s chamber. I found her upon a couch in the most agreeable and genteelest deshabille imaginable: she never in her life looked so handsome, nor was so greatly surprised; and, seeing her speechless and confounded: ‘What is the matter, my fair one?’ said I, ‘methinks this is a headache very elegantly set off; but your headache, to all appearance, is now gone?’ ‘Not in the least,’ said she, ‘I can scarce support it, and you will oblige me in going away that I may go to bed.’ ‘As for your going to bed, to that I have not the least objection,’ said I, ‘but as for my going away, that cannot be, my little princess: the Chevalier de Grammont is no fool; a woman does not dress herself with so much care for nothing.’ ‘You will find, however,’ said she, ‘that it is for nothing; for you may depend upon it that you shall be no gainer by it.’ ‘What!’ said I, ‘after having made me an appointment!’ ‘Well,’ replied she hastily, ‘though I had made you fifty, it still depends upon me, whether I chose to keep them or not, and you must submit if I do not.’ ‘This might do very well,’ said I, ‘if it was not to give it to another.’ Mademoiselle de l’Orme, as haughty as a woman of the greatest virtue, and as passionate as one who has the least, was irritated at a suspicion which gave her more concern than confusion; and seeing that she was beginning to put herself in a passion: ‘Madam,’ said I, ‘pray do not talk in so high a strain; I know what perplexes you: you are afraid lest Brissac should meet me here; but you may make yourself easy on that account: I met him not far from this place, and God knows that I have so managed the affair as to prevent his visiting you soon.’ Having spoken these words in a tone somewhat tragical, she appeared concerned at first, and, looking upon me with surprise: ‘What do you mean about the Duke de Brissac?’ said she. ‘I mean,’ replied I, ‘that he is at the end of the street, walking my horse about; but, if you will not believe me, send one of your own servants thither, or look at his cloak which I left in your ante-chamber.’ Upon this she burst into a fit of laughter, in the midst of her astonishment, and, throwing her arms around my neck, ‘My dear Chevalier,’ said she, ‘I can hold out no longer; you are too amiable and too eccentric not to be pardoned.’ I then told her the whole story: she was ready to die with laughing; and, parting very good friends, she assured me my rival might exercise horses as long as he pleased, but that he should not set his foot within her doors that night.

“I found the duke exactly in the place where I had left him: I asked him a thousand pardons for having made him wait so long, and thanked him a thousand times for his complaisance. He told me I jested, that such compliments were unusual among friends; and to convince me that he had cordially rendered me this piece of service, he would, by all means, hold my horse while I was mounting. I returned him his cloak, bade him good night, and went back to my lodgings, equally satisfied with my mistress and my rival. This,” continued he, “proves that a little patience and address are sufficient to disarm the anger of the fair, to turn even their tricks to a man’s advantage.”

It was in vain that the Chevalier de Grammont diverted the court with his stories, instructed by his example, and never appeared there but to inspire universal joy; for a long time he was the only foreigner in fashion. Fortune, jealous of the justice which is done to merit, and desirous of seeing all human happiness depend on her caprice, raised up against him two competitors for the pleasure he had long enjoyed of entertaining the English court; and these competitors were so much the more dangerous, as the reputation of their several merits had preceded their arrival, in order to dispose the suffrages of the court in their favour.

They came to display, in their own persons, whatever was the most accomplished either among the men of the sword, or of the gown. The one was the Marquis de Flamarens, the sad object of the sad elegies of the Countess de la Suse, the other was the president Tambonneau, the most humble and most obedient servant and admirer of the beauteous Luynes. As they arrived together, they exerted every endeavour to shine in concert: their talents were as different as their persons; Tambonneau, who was tolerably ugly, founded his hopes upon a great store of wit, which, however, no person in England could find out; and Flamarens, by his air and mien, courted admiration, which was flatly denied him.

They had agreed mutually to assist each other, in order to succeed in their intentions; and therefore, in their first visits, the one appeared in state, and the other was the spokesman. But they found the ladies in England of a far different taste from those who had rendered them famous in France: the rhetoric of the one had no effect on the fair sex, and the fine mien of the other distinguished him only in a minuet, which he first introduced into England, and which he danced with tolerable success. The English court had been too long accustomed to the solid wit of Saint Evremond, and the natural and singular charms of his hero, to be seduced by appearances; however, as the English have, in general, a sort of predilection in favour of anything that has the appearance of bravery, Flamarens was better received on account of a duel, which, obliging him to leave his own country, was a recommendation to him in England.

Miss Hamilton had, at first, the honour of being distinguished by Tambonneau, who thought she possessed a sufficient share of wit to discover the delicacy of his; and, being delighted to find that nothing was lost in her conversation, either as to the turn, the expression, or beauty of the thought, he frequently did her the favour to converse with her; and, perhaps, he would never have found out that he was tiresome, if, contenting himself with the display of his eloquence, he had not thought proper to attack her heart. This was carrying the matter a little too far for Miss Hamilton’s complaisance, who was of opinion that she had already shown him too much for the tropes of his harangues: he was therefore desired to try somewhere else the experiment of his seducing tongue, and not to lose the merit of his former constancy by an infidelity which would be of no advantage to him.

He followed this advice like a wise and tractable man; and some time after, returning to his old mistress in France, he began to lay in a store of politics for those important negotiations in which he has since been employed.

It was not till after his departure that the Chevalier de Grammont heard of the amorous declaration he had made: this was a confidence of no great importance; it, however, saved Tambonneau from some ridicule which might have fallen to his share before he went away. His colleague, Flamarens, deprived of his support, soon perceived that he was not likely to meet in England with the success he had expected, both from love and fortune: but Lord Falmouth, ever attentive to the glory of his master, in the relief of illustrious men in distress, provided for his subsistence, and Lady Southesk for his pleasures: he obtained a pension from the king, and from her everything he desired; and most happy was it for him that she had no other present to bestow but that of her heart.

It was at this time that Talbot, whom we have before mentioned, and who was afterwards created Duke of Tyrconnel, fell in love with Miss Hamilton. There was not a more genteel man at court: he was indeed but a younger brother, though of a very ancient family, which, however, was not very considerable either for its renown or its riches; and though he was naturally of a careless disposition, yet, being intent upon making his fortune, and much in favour with the Duke of York, and fortune likewise favouring him at play, he had improved both so well that he was in possession of about forty thousand pounds a year in land. He offered himself to Miss Hamilton, with this fortune, together with the almost certain hopes of being made a peer of the realm, by his master’s credit; and, over-and-above all, as many sacrifices as she could desire of Lady Shrewsbury’s letters, pictures, and hair; curiosities which, indeed, are reckoned for nothing in housekeeping, but which testify strongly in favour of the sincerity and merit of a lover.

Such a rival was not to be despised; and the Chevalier de Grammont thought him the more dangerous, as he perceived that Talbot was desperately in love; that he was not a man to be discouraged by a first repulse; that he had too much sense and good breeding to draw upon himself either contempt or coldness by too great eagerness; and, besides this, his brothers began to frequent the house. One of these brothers was almoner to the queen, an intriguing Jesuit, and a great match-maker: the other was what was called a lay-monk, who had nothing of his order but the immorality and infamy of character which is ascribed to them; and withal, frank and free, and sometimes entertaining, but ever ready to speak bold and offensive truths, and to do good offices.

When the Chevalier de Grammont reflected upon all these things, there certainly was strong ground for uneasiness: nor was the indifference which Miss Hamilton showed for the addresses of his rival sufficient to remove his fears; for being absolutely dependent on her father’s will, she could only answer for her own intentions: but Fortune, who seemed to have taken him under her protection in England, now delivered him from all his uneasiness.

Talbot had for many years stood forward as the patron of the distressed Irish: this zeal for his countrymen was certainly very commendable in itself; at the same time, however, it was not altogether free from self-interest: for, out of all the estates he had, through his credit, procured the restoration of to their primitive owners, he had always obtained some small compensation for himself; but, as each owner found his advantage in it, no complaint was made. Nevertheless, as it is very difficult to use fortune and favour with moderation, and not to swell with the gales of prosperity, some of his proceedings had an air of haughtiness and independence, which offended the Duke of Ormond, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as injurious to his Grace’s authority. The Duke resented this behaviour with great spirit. As there certainly was a great difference between them, both as to their birth and rank, and to their credit, it had been prudent in Talbot to have had recourse to apologies and submission; but such conduct appeared to him base, and unworthy for a man of his importance to submit to: he accordingly acted with haughtiness and insolence; but he was soon convinced of his error; for, having inconsiderately launched out into some arrogant expressions, which it neither became him to utter nor the Duke of Ormond to forgive, he was sent prisoner to the Tower, from whence he could not be released until he had made all necessary submissions to his Grace: he therefore employed all his friends for that purpose, and was obliged to yield more to get out of this scrape than would have been necessary to have avoided it. By this imprudent conduct he lost all hopes of marrying into a family, which, after such a proceeding, was not likely to listen to any proposal from him.

[A very exact account of this transaction is given by Lord Clarendon, by which it appears, that Talbot was committed to the Tower for threatening to assassinate the Duke of Ormond. —Continuation of Clarendon, p. 362.]

It was with great difficulty and mortification that he was obliged to suppress a passion which had made far greater progress in his heart than this quarrel had done good to his affairs. This being the case, he was of opinion that his presence was necessary in Ireland, and that he was better out of the way of Miss Hamilton, to remove those impressions which still troubled his repose: his departure, therefore, soon followed this resolution.

Talbot played deep, and was tolerably forgetful: the Chevalier de Grammont won three or four hundred guineas of him the very evening on which he was sent to the Tower. That accident had made him forget his usual punctuality in paying the next morning whatever he had lost over-night; and this debt had so far escaped his memory, that it never once occurred to him after he was enlarged. The Chevalier de Grammont, who saw him at his departure, without taking the least notice of the money he owed him, wished him a good journey; and, having met him at court, as he came to take his leave of the king: “Talbot,” said he, “if my services can be of any use to you during your absence, you have but to command them: you know old Russell has left his nephew as his resident with Miss Hamilton: if you please, I will act for you in the same capacity. Adieu, God bless you: be sure not to fall sick upon the road; but if you should, pray remember me in your will.” Talbot, who, upon this compliment, immediately recollected the money he owed the Chevalier, burst out a-laughing, and embracing him: “My dear Chevalier,” said he, “I am so much obliged to you for your offer, that I resign you my mistress, and will send you your money instantly.” The Chevalier de Grammont possessed a thousand of these genteel ways of refreshing the memories of those persons who were apt to be forgetful in their payments. The following is the method he used some years after with Lord Cornwallis: this lord had married the daughter of Sir Stephen Fox,—treasurer of the king’s household, one of the richest and most regular men in England. His son-in-law, on the contrary, was a young spendthrift, was very extravagant, loved gaming, lost as much as any one would trust him, but was not quite so ready at paying. His father-in-law disapproved of his conduct, paid his debts, and gave him a lecture at the same time. The Chevalier de Grammont had won of him a thousand or twelve hundred guineas, which he heard no tidings of, although he was upon the eve of his departure, and he had taken leave of Cornwallis in a more particular manner than any other person. This obliged the Chevalier to write him a billet, which was rather laconic. It was this:

“MY LORD, “Pray remember the Count de Grammont, and do not forget Sir Stephen Fox.”

To return to Talbot: he went away more concerned than became a man who had voluntarily resigned his mistress to another: neither his stay in Ireland, nor his solicitude about his domestic affairs, perfectly cured him; and if at his return he found himself disengaged from Miss Hamilton’s chains, it was only to exchange them for others. The alteration that had taken place in the two courts occasioned this change in him, as we shall see in the sequel.

We have hitherto only mentioned the queen’s maids of honour, upon account of Miss Stewart and Miss Warmestre the others were Miss Bellenden, Mademoiselle de la Garde and Mademoiselle Bardou, all maids of honour, as it pleased God.

Miss Bellenden was no beauty, but was a good-natured girl, whose chief merit consisted in being plump and fresh-coloured; and who, not having a sufficient stock of wit to be a coquette in form, used all her endeavours to please every person by her complaisance. Mademoiselle de la Garde, and Mademoiselle Bardou, both French, had been preferred to their places by the queen dowager: the first was a little brunette, who was continually meddling in the affairs of her companions; and the other by all means claimed the rank of a maid of honour, though she only lodged with the others, and both her title and services were constantly contested.

It was hardly possible for a woman to be more ugly, with so fine a shape; but as a recompense, her ugliness was set off with every art. The use she was put to, was to dance with Flamarens, and sometimes, towards the conclusion of a ball, possessed of castanets and effrontery, she would dance some figured saraband or other, which amused the court. Let us now see in what manner this ended.

As Miss Stewart was very seldom in waiting on the queen, she was scarcely considered as a maid of honour: the others went off almost at the same time, by different adventures; and this is the history of Miss Warmestre, whom we have before mentioned, when speaking of the Chevalier de Grammont.

Lord Taaffe, eldest son of the Earl of Carlingford, was supposed to be in love with her; and Miss Warmestre not only imagined it was so, but likewise persuaded herself that he would not fail to marry her the first opportunity; and in the mean time she thought it her duty to entertain him with all the civility imaginable. Taaffe had made the Duke of Richmond his confidant: these two were particularly attached to each other; but still more so to wine. The Duke of Richmond, notwithstanding his birth, made but an indifferent figure at court; and the king respected him still less than his courtiers did: and perhaps it was in order to court his majesty’s favour that he thought proper to fall in love with Miss Stewart. The Duke and Lord Taaffe made each other the confidants of their respective engagements; and these were the measures they took to put their designs in execution. Little Mademoiselle de la Gardet was charged to acquaint Miss Stewart that the Duke of Richmond was dying of love for her, and that when he ogled her in public it was a certain sign that he was ready to marry her, as soon as ever she would consent.

Taaffe had no commission to give the little ambassadress for Miss Warmestre; for there everything was already arranged; but she was charged to settle and provide some conveniences which were still wanting for the freedom of their commerce, such as to have free egress and regress to her at all hours of the day or night: this appeared difficult to be obtained, but it was, however, at length accomplished.

The governess of the maids of honour, who for the world would not have connived at anything that was not fair and honourable, consented that they should sup as often as they pleased in Miss Warmestre’s apartments, provided their intentions were honourable, and she one of the company. The good old lady was particularly fond of green oysters, and had no aversion to Spanish wine: she was certain of finding at every one of these suppers two barrels of oysters; one to be eaten with the party, and the other for her to carry away: as soon, therefore, as she had taken her dose of wine, she took her leave of the company.

It was much about the time that the Chevalier de Grammont had cast his eyes upon Miss Warmestre, that this kind of life was led in her chamber. God knows how many ham pies, bottles of wine, and other products of his lordship’s liberality were there consumed!

In the midst of these nocturnal festivals, and of this innocent commerce, a relation of Killegrew’s came up to London about a lawsuit: he gained his cause, but nearly lost his senses.

He was a country gentleman, who had been a widower about six months, and was possessed of fifteen or sixteen thousand pounds a-year: the good man, who had no business at court, went thither merely to see his cousin Killegrew, who could have dispensed with his visits. He there saw Miss Warmestre; and at first sight fell in love with her. His passion increased to such a degree that, having no rest either by day or night, he was obliged to have recourse to extraordinary remedies; he therefore early one morning called upon his cousin Killegrew, told him his case, and desired him to demand Miss Warmestre in marriage for him.

Killegrew was struck with wonder and astonishment when he heard his design: nor could he cease wondering at what sort of creature, of all the women in London, his cousin had resolved upon marrying. It was some time before Killegrew could believe that he was in earnest; but when he was convinced that he was, he began to enumerate the dangers and inconveniences attending so rash an enterprise. He told him that a girl educated at court, was a terrible piece of furniture for the country; that to carry her thither against her inclination, would as effectually rob him of his happiness and repose, as if he was transported to hell; that if he consented to let her stay, he needed only to compute what it would cost him in equipage, table, clothes, and gaming-money, to maintain her in London according to her caprices; and then to cast up how long his fifteen thousand a-year would last.

His cousin had already formed this computation; but, finding his reason less potent than his love, he remained fixed in his resolution; and Killegrew, yielding at length to his importunities, went and offered his cousin, bound hand and foot, to the victorious fair. As he dreaded nothing more than a compliance on her part, so nothing could astonish him more than the contempt with which she received his proposal. The scorn with which she refused him, made him believe that she was sure of Lord Taaffe, and wonder how a girl like her could find out two men who would venture to marry her. He hastened to relate this refusal, with all the most aggravating circumstances, as the best news he could carry to his cousin; but his cousin would not believe him: he supposed that Killegrew disguised the truth, for the same reasons he had already alleged; and not daring to mention the matter any more to him, he resolved to wait upon her himself. He summoned all his courage for the enterprise, and got his compliment by heart; but as soon as he had opened his mouth for the purpose, she told him he might have saved himself the trouble of calling on her about such a ridiculous affair; that she had already given her answer to Killegrew; and that she neither had, nor ever should have, any other to give; which words she accompanied with all the severity with which importunate demands are usually refused.

He was more affected than confounded at this repulse: everything became odious to him in London, and he himself more so than all the rest: he therefore left town, without taking leave of his cousin, went back to his country seat, and thinking it would be impossible for him to live without the inhuman fair, he resolved to neglect no opportunity in his power to hasten his death.

But whilst, in order to indulge his sorrow, he had forsaken all intercourse with dogs and horses; that is to say, renounced all the delights and endearments of a country squire, the scornful nymph, who was certainly mistaken in her reckoning, took the liberty of being brought to-bed in the face of the whole court.

An adventure so public made no small noise, as we may very well imagine: all the prudes at court at once broke loose upon it; and those principally, whose age or persons secured them from any such scandal, were the most inveterate, and cried most loudly for justice. But the governess of the maids of honour, who might have been called to an account for it, affirmed that it was nothing at all, and that she was possessed of circumstances which would at once silence all censorious tongues. She had an audience of the queen, in order to unfold the mystery; and related to her majesty how everything had passed with her consent, that is to say, upon honourable terms.

The queen sent to inquire of Lord Taaffe, whether he acknowledged Miss Warmestre for his wife: to which he most respectfully returned for answer, that he neither acknowledged Miss Warmestre nor her child, and that he wondered why she should rather father it upon him than any other. The unfortunate Warmestre, more enraged at this answer than at the loss of such a lover, quitted the court as soon as ever she was able, with a resolution of quitting the world the first opportunity.

Killegrew, being upon the point of setting out upon a journey, when this adventure happened, thought he might as well call upon his afflicted cousin in his way, to acquaint him with the circumstance; and as soon as he saw him, without paying any attention to the delicacy of his love, or to his feelings, he bluntly told him the whole story: nor did he omit any colouring that could heighten his indignation, in order to make him burst with shame and resentment.

We read that the gentle Tiridates quietly expired upon the recital of the death of Mariamne; but Killegrew’s fond cousin falling devoutly upon his knees, and lifting up his eyes to Heaven, poured forth this exclamation:

“Praised be the Lord for a small misfortune, which perhaps may prove the comfort of my life! Who knows but the beauteous Warmestre will now accept of me for a husband; and that I may have the happiness of passing the remainder of my days with a woman I adore, and by whom I may expect to have heirs?” “Certainly,” said Killegrew, more confounded than his cousin ought to have been on such an occasion, “you may depend upon having both: I make no manner of doubt but she will marry you as soon as ever she is recovered from her lying-in; and it would be a great ill-nature in her, who already knows the way, to let you want children: however, in the meantime I advise you to take that she has already, till you get more.”

Notwithstanding this raillery, all that was said did take place. This faithful lover courted her, as if she had been the chaste Lucretia, or the beauteous Helen: his passion even increased after marriage, and the generous fair, first out of gratitude, and afterwards through inclination, never brought him a child of which he was not the father; and though there have been many a happy couple in England, this certainly was the happiest.

Some time after, Miss Bellenden, not being terrified by this example, had the prudence to quit the court before she was obliged so to do: the disagreeable Bardou followed her soon after; but for different reasons. Every person was at last completely tired of her saraband, as well as of her face; and the king, that he might see neither of them any more, gave each a small pension for her subsistence. There now only remained little Mademoiselle de la Garde to be provided for neither her virtues nor her vices were sufficiently conspicuous to occasion her being either dismissed from court, or pressed to remain there: God knows what would have become of her, if a Mr. Silvius, a man who had nothing of a Roman in him except the name, had not taken the poor girl to be his wife. We have now shown how all these damsels deserved to be expelled, either for their irregularities, or for their ugliness; and yet, those who replaced them found means to make them regretted, Miss Wells only excepted.

She was a tall girl, exquisitely shaped: she dressed very genteel, walked like a goddess; and yet, her face, though made like those that generally please the most, was unfortunately one of those that pleased the least: nature had spread over it a certain careless indolence that made her look sheepish. This gave but a bad opinion of her wit: and her wit had the ill-luck to make good that opinion: however, as she was fresh coloured, and appeared inexperienced, the king, whom the fair Stewart did not render over nice as to the perfections of the mind, resolved to try whether the senses would not fare better with Miss Wells’s person than fine sentiments with her understanding: nor was this experiment attended with much difficulty: she was of a loyal family; and her father having faithfully served Charles the First, she thought it her duty not to revolt against Charles the Second. But this connection was not attended with very advantageous circumstances for herself; some pretended that she did not hold out long enough, and that she surrendered at discretion before she was vigorously attacked; and others said, that his majesty complained of certain other facilities still less pleasing. The Duke of Buckingham made a couplet upon this occasion, wherein the king, speaking to Progers, the confidant of his intrigues, puns upon the name of the fair one, to the following purport:

When the king felt the horrible depth of this Well, “Tell me, Progers,” cried Charlie, “where am I? oh tell! Had I sought the world’s centre to find, I had found it, But this Well! ne’er a plummet was made that could sound it.” [Edward Progers, Esq., was a younger son of Philip Progers, Esq., of the family of Garreddin, in Monmouthshire. His father was a colonel in the army, and equerry to James I. Edward was early introduced to court, and, after having been page to Charles I., was made groom of the bed-chamber to his son, while Prince of Wales. He attached himself to the king’s interest during the war with the parliament, with laudable fidelity. The following letter, from which antiquaries may derive the minute information that Charles II. did wear mourning for a whole year for his father, serves to shew the familiar style which Charles used to Progers, as well as his straitened circumstances while in the island of Jersey. “Progers, I wold have you (besides the embroidred sute) bring me a plaine riding suite, with an innocent coate, the suites I haue for horsebacke being so spotted and spoiled that they are not to be seene out of this island. The lining of the coate, and the petit toies are referred to your greate discretion, provided there want nothing when it comes to be put on. I doe not remember there was a belt, or a hat-band, in your directions for the embroidred suite, and those are so necessarie as you must not forget them. “Jearsey, 14th Jan. old stile, 1649. CHARLES R.”]

Miss Wells, notwithstanding this species of anagram upon her name, and these remarks upon her person, shone the brightest among her new companions. These were Miss Levingston, Miss Fielding, and Miss Boynton, who little deserve to be mentioned in these memoirs; therefore we shall leave them in obscurity until it please fortune to draw them out of it.

This was the new establishment of maids of honour to the queen. The Duchess of York, nearly about the same time, likewise recruited hers; but showed, by a happier and more brilliant choice, that England possessed an inexhaustible stock of beauties. But before we begin to speak of them, let us see who were the first maids of honour to her royal highness, and on what account they were removed.

Besides Miss Blague and Miss Price, whom we have before mentioned, the establishment was composed of Miss Bagot and Miss Hobart, the president of the community. Miss Blague, who never knew the true reason of her quarrel with the Marquis de Brisacier, took it up upon that fatal letter she had received from him, wherein, without acquainting her that Miss Price was to wear the same sort of gloves and yellow riband as herself, he had only complimented her upon her hair, her fair complexion, and her eyes marcassins. This word she imagined must signify something particularly wonderful, since her eyes were compared to it; and being desirous, some time afterwards, to know all the energy of the expression, she asked the meaning of the French word marcassin. As there are no wild boars in England, those to whom she addressed herself, told her that it signified a young pig. This scandalous simile confirmed her in the belief she entertained of his perfidy. Brisacier, more amazed at her change, than she was offended at his supposed calumny, looked upon her as a woman still more capricious than insignificant, and never troubled himself more about her; but Sir Yarborough, of as fair a complexion as herself, made her an offer of marriage in the height of her resentment, and was accepted: chance made up this match, I suppose, as an experiment to try what such a white-haired union would produce.

Miss Price was witty; and as her person was not very likely to attract many admirers, which, however, she was resolved to have, she was far from being coy when an occasion offered: she did not so much as make any terms: she was violent in her resentments, as well as in her attachments, which had exposed her to some inconveniences; and she had very indiscreetly quarrelled with a young girl whom Lord Rochester admired. This connection, which till then had been a secret, she had the imprudence to publish to the whole world, and thereby drew upon herself the most dangerous enemy in the universe: never did any man write with more ease, humour, spirit, and delicacy; but he was at the same time the most severe satirist.

Poor Miss Price, who had thus voluntarily provoked his resentment, was daily exposed in some new shape: there was every day some new song or other, the subject of which was her conduct, and the burden her name. How was it possible for her to bear up against these attacks, in a court, where every person was eager to obtain the most insignificant trifle that came from the pen of Lord Rochester? The loss of her lover, and the discovery that attended it, was only wanting to complete the persecution that was raised against her.

About this time died Dongan, a gentleman of merit, who was succeeded by Durfort, afterwards Earl of Feversham, in the post of lieutenant of the duke’s life guards. Miss Price having tenderly loved him, his death plunged her into a gulf of despair; but the inventory of his effects had almost deprived her of her senses: there was in it a certain little box sealed up on all sides: it was addressed in the deceased’s own handwriting to Miss Price; but instead of receiving it, she had not even the courage to look upon it. The governess thought it became her in prudence to receive it, on Miss Price’s refusal, and her duty to deliver it to the duchess herself, supposing it was filled with many curious and precious commodities, of which perhaps she might make some advantage. Though the duchess was not altogether of the same opinion, she had the curiosity to see what was contained in a box sealed up in a manner so particularly careful, and therefore caused it to be opened in the presence of some ladies, who happened then to be in her closet.

All kinds of love trinkets were found in it; and all these favours, it appeared, came from the tender-hearted Miss Price. It was difficult to comprehend how a single person could have furnished so great a collection; for, besides counting the pictures, there was hair of all descriptions, wrought into bracelets, lockets, and into a thousand other different devices, wonderful to see. After these were three or four packets of letters, of so tender a nature, and so full of raptures and languors so naturally expressed, that the duchess could not endure the reading of any more than the two first.

Her royal highness was sorry that she had caused the box to be opened in such good company; for being before such witnesses, she rightly judged it was impossible to stifle this adventure; and, at the same time, there being no possibility of retaining any longer such a maid of honour, Miss Price had her valuables restored to her, with orders to go and finish her lamentations, or to console herself for the loss of her lover, in some other place.

Miss Hobart’s character was at that time as uncommon in England, as her person was singular, in a country where, to be young, and not to be in some degree handsome, is a reproach; she had a good shape, rather a bold air, and a great deal of wit, which was well cultivated, without having much discretion. She was likewise possessed of a great deal of vivacity, with an irregular fancy: there was a great deal of fire in her eyes, which, however, produced no effect upon the beholders and she had a tender heart, whose sensibility some pretended was alone in favour of the fair sex.

Miss Bagot was the first that gained her tenderness and affection, which she returned at first with equal warmth and sincerity; but perceiving that all her friendship was insufficient to repay that of Miss Hobart, she yielded the conquest to the governess’s niece, who thought herself as much honoured by it as her aunt thought herself obliged by the care she took of the young girl.

It was not long before the report, whether true or false, of this singularity, spread through the whole court, where people, being yet so uncivilized as never to have heard of that kind of refinement in love of ancient Greece, imagined that the illustrious Hobart, who seemed so particularly attached to the fair sex, was in reality something more than she appeared to be.

Satirical ballads soon began to compliment her upon these new attributes; and upon the insinuations that were therein made, her companions began to fear her. The governess, alarmed at these reports, consulted Lord Rochester upon the danger to which her niece was exposed. She could not have applied to a fitter person: he immediately advised her to take her niece out of the hands of Miss Hobart; and contrived matters so well that she fell into his own. The duchess, who had too much generosity not to treat as visionary what was imputed to Miss Hobart, and too much justice to condemn her upon the faith of lampoons, removed her from the society of the maids of honour, to be an attendant upon her own person.

Miss Bagot was the only one who was really possessed of virtue and beauty among these maids of honour: she had beautiful and regular features, and that sort of brown complexion, which, when in perfection, is so particularly fascinating, and more especially in England, where it is uncommon. There was an involuntary blush almost continually upon her cheek, without having anything to blush for. Lord Falmouth cast his eyes upon her: his addresses were better received than those of Miss Hobart, and some time after Cupid raised her from the post of maid of honour to the duchess to a rank which might have been envied by all the young ladies in England.

The Duchess of York, in order to form her new court, resolved to see all the young persons that offered themselves, and, without any regard to recommendations, to choose none but the handsomest.

At the head of this new assembly appeared Miss Jennings and Miss Temple; and indeed they so entirely eclipsed the other two, that we shall speak of them only.

Miss Jennings, adorned with all the blooming treasures of youth, had the fairest and brightest complexion that ever was seen: her hair was of a most beauteous flaxen: there was something particularly lively and animated in her countenance, which preserved her from that insipidity which is frequently an attendant on a complexion so extremely fair. Her mouth was not the smallest, but it was the handsomest mouth in the world. Nature had endowed her with all those charms which cannot be expressed, and the graces had given the finishing stroke to them. The turn of her face was exquisitely fine, and her swelling neck was as fair and as bright as her face. In a word, her person gave the idea of Aurora, or the goddess of the spring, “such as youthful poets fancy when they love.” But as it would have been unjust that a single person should have engrossed all the treasures of beauty without any defect, there was something wanting in her hands and arms to render them worthy of the rest: her nose was not the most elegant, and her eyes gave some relief, whilst her mouth and her other charms pierced the heart with a thousand darts.

With this amiable person she was full of wit and sprightliness, and all her actions and motions were unaffected and easy: her conversation was bewitching, when she had a mind to please; piercing and delicate when disposed to raillery; but as her imagination was subject to flights, and as she began to speak frequently before she had done thinking, her expressions did not always convey what she wished; sometimes exceeding, and at others falling short of her ideas.

Miss Temple, nearly of the same age, was brown compared with the other: she had a good shape, fine teeth, languishing, eyes, a fresh complexion, an agreeable smile, and a lively air. Such was the outward form; but it would be difficult to describe the rest; for she was simple and vain, credulous and suspicious, coquettish and prudent, very self-sufficient and very silly.

As soon as these new stars appeared at the duchess’s court, all eyes were fixed upon them, and every one formed some design upon one or other of them, some with honourable, and others with dishonest intentions. Miss Jennings soon distinguished herself, and left her companions no other admirers but such as remained constant from hopes of success: her brilliant charms attracted at first sight, and the charms of her wit secured her conquests.

The Duke of York having persuaded himself that she was part of his property, resolved to pursue his claim by the same title whereby his brother had appropriated to himself the favours of Miss Wells; but he did not find her inclined to enter into his service, though she had engaged in that of the duchess. She would not pay any attention to the perpetual ogling with which he at first attacked her. Her eyes were always wandering on other objects, when those of his royal highness were looking for them; and if by chance he caught any casual glance, she did not even blush. This made him resolve to change his manner of attack: ogling having proved ineffectual, he took an opportunity to speak to her; and this was still worse. I know not in what strain he told his case; but it is certain the oratory of the tongue was not more prevailing than the eloquence of his eyes.

Miss Jennings had both virtue and pride, and the proposals of the duke were consistent with neither the one nor the other. Although from her great vivacity one might suppose that she was not capable of much reflection, yet she had furnished herself with some very salutary maxims for the conduct of a young person of her age. The first was, that a lady ought to be young to enter the court with advantage, and not old to leave it with a good grace: that she could not maintain herself there but by a glorious resistance, or by illustrious foibles and that, in so dangerous a situation, she ought to use her utmost endeavours not to dispose of her heart until she gave her hand.

Entertaining such sentiments, she had far less trouble to resist the duke’s temptations, than to disengage herself from his perseverance: she was deaf to all treaties for a settlement, with which her ambition was sounded: and all offers of presents succeeded still worse. What was then to be done to conquer an extravagant virtue that would not hearken to reason? He was ashamed to suffer a giddy young girl to escape, whose inclinations ought in some manner to correspond with the vivacity that shone forth in all her actions, and who nevertheless thought proper to be serious when no such thing as seriousness was required of her.

After he had attentively considered her obstinate behaviour, he thought that writing might perhaps succeed, though ogling, speeches, and embassies had failed. Paper receives everything, but it unfortunately happened that she would not receive the paper. Every day billets, containing the tenderest expressions, and most magnificent promises, were slipped into her pockets, or into her muff: this, however, could not be done unperceived; and the malicious little gipsy took care that those who saw them slip in, should likewise see them fall out, unperused and unopened; she only shook her muff, or pulled out her handkerchief; as soon as ever his back was turned, his billets fell about her like hail-stones, and whoever pleased might take them up. The duchess was frequently a witness of this conduct, but could not find in her heart to chide her for her want of respect to the duke. After this, the charms and prudence of Miss Jennings were the only subjects of conversation in the two courts: the courtiers could not comprehend how a young creature, brought directly from the country to court, should so soon become its ornament by her attractions, and its example by her conduct.

The king was of opinion that those who had attacked her had ill-concerted their measures; for he thought it unnatural that she should neither be tempted by promises, nor gained by importunity: she, especially, who in all probability had not imbibed such severe precepts from the prudence of her mother, who had never tasted any thing more delicious than the plums and apricots of Saint Albans. Being resolved to try her himself, he was particularly pleased with the great novelty that appeared in the turn of her wit, and in the charms of her person; and curiosity, which at first induced him to make the trial, was soon changed into a desire of succeeding in the experiment. God knows what might have been the consequence, for he greatly excelled in wit, and besides he was king: two qualities of no small consideration. The resolutions of the fair Jennings were commendable, and very judicious; but yet she was wonderfully pleased with wit; and royal majesty prostrate at the feet of a young person, is very persuasive. Miss Stewart, however, would not consent to the king’s project.

She immediately took the alarm, and desired his majesty to leave to the duke, his brother, the care of tutoring the duchess’s maids of honour, and only to attend to the management of his own flock, unless his majesty would in return allow her to listen to certain proposals of a settlement which she did not think disadvantageous. This menace being of a serious nature, the king obeyed; and Miss Jennings had all the additional honour which arose from this adventure: it both added to her reputation, and increased the number of her admirers. Thus she continued to triumph over the liberties of others without ever losing her own: her hour was not yet come, but it was not far distant; the particulars of which we shall relate as soon as we have given some account of the conduct of her companion.

Though Miss Temple’s person was particularly engaging, it was nevertheless eclipsed by that of Miss Jennings; but she was still more excelled by the other’s superior mental accomplishments. Two persons, very capable to impart understanding, had the gift been communicable, undertook at the same time to rob her of the little she really possessed: these were Lord Rochester and Miss Hobart: the first began to mislead her by reading to her all his compositions, as if she alone had been a proper judge of them. He never thought proper to flatter her upon her personal accomplishments; but told her that if heaven had made him susceptible of the impressions of beauty, it would not have been possible for him to have escaped her chains; but not being, thank God, affected with anything but wit, he had the happiness of enjoying the most agreeable conversation in the world without running any risk. After so sincere a confession he either presented to her a copy of verses, or a new song, in which whoever dared to come in competition in any respect with Miss Temple was laid prostrate before her charms, most humbly to solicit pardon: such flattering insinuations so completely turned her head that it was a pity to see her.

The duchess took notice of it, and well knowing the extent of both their geniuses, she saw the precipice into which the poor girl was running headlong without perceiving it; but as it is no less dangerous to forbid a connection that is not yet thought of, than it is difficult to put an end to one that is already well established, Miss Hobart was charged to take care, with all possible discretion, that these frequent and long conversations might not be attended with any dangerous consequences: with pleasure she accepted the commission, and greatly flattered herself with success.

She had already made all necessary advances to gain possession of her confidence and friendship; and Miss Temple, less suspicious of her than of Lord Rochester, made all imaginable returns. She was greedy of praise, and loved all manner of sweetmeats, as much as a child of nine or ten years old: her taste was gratified in both these respects. Miss Hobart having the superintendence of the duchess’s baths, her apartment joined them, in which there was a closet stored with all sorts of sweetmeats and liqueurs: the closet suited Miss Temple’s taste, as exactly as it gratified Miss Hobart’s inclination, to have something that could allure her.

Summer, being now returned, brought back with it the pleasures and diversions that are its inseparable attendants. One day, when the ladies had been taking the air on horseback, Miss Temple, on her return from riding, alighted at Miss Hobart’s, in order to recover her fatigue at the expense of the sweetmeats, which she knew were there at her service; but before she began she desired Miss Hobart’s permission to undress herself, and change her linen in her apartment; which request was immediately complied with: “I was just going to propose it to you,” said Miss Hobart, “not but that you are as charming as an angel in your riding habit; but there is nothing so comfortable as a loose dress, and being at one’s ease: you cannot imagine, my dear Temple,” continued she, embracing her, “how much you oblige me by thus free unceremonious conduct; but, above all, I am enchanted with your particular attention to cleanliness: how greatly you differ in this, as in many other things, from that silly creature Jennings! Have you remarked how all our court fops admire her for her brilliant complexion, which perhaps, after all, is not wholly her own; and for blunders, which are truly original, and which they are such fools as to mistake for wit: I have not conversed with her long enough to perceive in what her wit consists; but of this I am certain, that if it is not better than her feet, it is no great matter. What stories have I heard of her sluttishness! No cat ever dreaded water so much as she does: fie upon her! Never to wash for her own comfort, and only to attend to those parts which must necessarily be seen, such as the neck and hands.”

Miss Temple swallowed all this with even greater pleasure than the sweetmeats; and the officious Hobart, not to lose time, was helping her off with her clothes, while the chambermaid was coming. She made some objections to this at first, being unwilling to occasion that trouble to a person, who, like Miss Hobart, had been advanced to a place of dignity; but she was overruled by her, and assured that it was with the greatest pleasure she showed her that small mark of civility. The collation being finished, and Miss Temple undressed: “Let us retire,” said Miss Hobart, “to the bathing closet, where we may enjoy a little conversation secure from any impertinent visit.” Miss Temple consented, and both of them sitting down on a couch: “You are too young, my dear Temple,” said she, “to know the baseness of men in general, and too short a time acquainted with the court to know the character of its inhabitants. I will give you a short sketch of the principal persons, to the best of my knowledge, without injury to any one; for I abominate the trade of scandal.

“In the first place, then, you ought to set it down as an undoubted fact that all courtiers are deficient either in honesty, good sense, judgment, wit, or sincerity; that is to say, if any of them by chance possess some one of these qualities, you may depend upon it he is defective in the rest: sumptuous in their equipages, deep play, a great opinion of their own merit, and contempt of that of others, are their chief characteristics.

“Interest or pleasure are the motives of all their actions: those who are led by the first would sell God Almighty, as Judas sold his Master, and that for less money. I could relate you a thousand noble instances of this, if I had time. As for the sectaries of pleasure, or those who pretend to be such, for they are not all so bad as they endeavour to make themselves appear, these gentlemen pay no manner of regard either to promises, oaths, law, or religion; that is to say, they are literally no respecters of persons; they care neither for God nor man, if they can but gain their ends. They look upon maids of honour only as amusements, placed expressly at court for their entertainment; and the more merit any one has, the more she is exposed to their impertinence, if she gives any ear to them; and to their malicious calumnies, when she ceases to attend to them. As for husbands, this is not the place to find them; for unless money or caprice make up the match, there is but little hopes of being married: virtue and beauty in this respect here are equally useless. Lady Falmouth is the only instance of a maid of honour well married without a portion; and if you were to ask her poor weak husband for what reason he married her, I am persuaded that he can assign none, unless it be her great red ears and broad feet. As for the pale Lady Yarborough, who appeared so proud of her match, she is wife, to be sure, of a great country bumpkin, who, the very week after their marriage, bid her take her farewell of the town for ever, in consequence of five or six thousand pounds a year he enjoys on the borders of Cornwall. Alas! poor Miss Blague! I saw her go away about this time twelvemonth, in a coach with four such lean horses, that I cannot believe she is yet half way to her miserable little castle. What can be the matter! all the girls seem afflicted with the rage of wedlock, and however small their portion of charms may be, they think it only necessary to show themselves at court in order to pick and choose their men: but was this in reality the case, the being a wife is the most wretched condition imaginable for a person of nice sentiments. Believe me, my dear Temple, the pleasures of matrimony are so inconsiderable in comparison with its inconveniences, that I cannot imagine how any reasonable creature can resolve upon it: rather fly, therefore, from this irksome engagement than court it. Jealousy, formerly a stranger to these happy isles, is now coming into fashion, with many recent examples of which you are acquainted. However brilliant the phantom may appear, suffer not yourself to be caught by its splendour, and never be so weak as to transform your slave into your tyrant: as long as you preserve your own liberty, you will be mistress of that of others. I will relate to you a very recent proof of the perfidy of man to our sex, and of the impunity they experience in all attempts upon our innocence. The Earl of Oxford fell in love with a handsome, graceful actress belonging to the duke’s theatre, who performed to perfection, particularly the part of Roxana, in a very fashionable new play, insomuch that she ever after retained that name: this creature being both very virtuous and very modest, or, if you please, wonderfully obstinate, proudly rejected the addresses and presents of the Earl of Oxford. This resistance inflamed his passion: he had recourse to invectives, and even to spells; but all in vain. This disappointment had such effect upon him that he could neither eat nor drink; this did not signify to him; but his passion at length became so violent, that he could neither play nor smoke. In this extremity love had recourse to Hymen; the Earl of Oxford, one of the first peers of the realm, is, you know, a very handsome man: he is of the order of the garter, which greatly adds to an air naturally noble. In short, from his outward appearance, you would suppose he was really possessed of some sense; but as soon as ever you hear him speak, you are perfectly convinced of the contrary. This passionate lover presented her with a promise of marriage, in due form, signed with his own hand: she would not, however, rely upon this, but the next day she thought there could be no danger, when the earl himself came to her lodgings attended by a clergyman, and another man for a witness: the marriage was accordingly solemnized with all due ceremonies, in the presence of one of her fellow players, who attended as a witness on her part. You will suppose, perhaps, that the new countess had nothing to do but to appear at court according to her rank, and to display the earl’s arms upon her carriage. This was far from being the case. When examination was made concerning the marriage, it was found to be a mere deception: it appeared that the pretended priest was one of my lord’s trumpeters, and the witness his kettle drummer. The parson and his companion never appeared after the ceremony was over; and as for the other witness, they endeavoured to persuade her that the Sultana Roxana might have supposed, in some part or other of a play, that she was really married. It was all to no purpose, that the poor creature claimed the protection of the laws of God and man, both which were violated and abused, as well as herself, by this infamous imposition: in vain did she throw herself at the King’s feet to demand justice: she had only to rise up again without redress; and happy might she think herself to receive an annuity of one thousand crowns, and to resume the name of Roxana, instead of Countess of Oxford. You will say, perhaps, that she was only a player; that all men have not the same sentiments as the earl; and, that one may at least believe them, when they do but render justice to such merit as yours. But still do not believe them, though I know you are liable to it, as you have admirers; for all are not infatuated with Miss Jennings: the handsome Sydney ogles you; Lord Rochester is delighted with your conversation; and the most serious Sir Lyttleton forsakes his natural gravity in favour of your charms. As for the first, I confess his figure is very likely to engage the inclinations of a young person like yourself; but were his outward form attended with other accomplishments, which I know it is not, and that his sentiments in your favour were as real as he endeavours to persuade you they are, and as you deserve, yet I would not advise you to form any connections with him, for reasons which I cannot tell you at present.

“Sir Lyttleton is undoubtedly in earnest, since he appears ashamed of the condition to which you have reduced him; and I really believe if he could get the better of those vulgar chimerical apprehensions, of being what is vulgarly called a cuckold, the good man would marry you, and you would be his representative in his little government, where you might merrily pass your days in casting up the weekly bills of housekeeping, and in darning old napkins. What a glory would it be to have a Cato for a husband, whose speeches are as many lectures, and whose lectures are composed of nothing but ill-nature and censure!

“Lord Rochester is, without contradiction, the most witty man in all England; but then he is likewise the most unprincipled, and devoid even of the least tincture of honour; he is dangerous to our sex alone; and that to such a degree that there is not a woman who gives ear to him three times, but she irretrievably loses her reputation. No woman can escape him, for he has her in his writings, though his other attacks be ineffectual; and in the age we live in, the one is as bad as the other in the eye of the public. In the mean time nothing is more dangerous than the artful insinuating manner with which he gains possession of the mind: he applauds your taste, submits to your sentiments, and at the very instant that he himself does not believe a single word of what he is saying, he makes you believe it all. I dare lay a wager, that from the conversation you have had with him, you thought him one of the most honourable and sincerest men living; for my part I cannot imagine what he means by the assiduity he pays you not but your accomplishments are sufficient to excite the adoration and praise of the whole world; but had he even been so fortunate as to have gained your affections, he would not know what to do with the loveliest creature at court: for it is a long time since his debauches have brought him to order, with the assistance of the favours of all the common street-walkers. See then, my dear Temple, what horrid malice possesses him, to the ruin and confusion of innocence! A wretch! to have no other design in his addresses and assiduities to Miss Temple, but to give a greater air of probability to the calumnies with which he has loaded her. You look upon me with astonishment, and seem to doubt the truth of what I advance; but I do not desire you to believe me without evidence: ‘Here,’ said she, drawing a paper out of her pocket, ‘see what a copy of verses he has made in your praise, while he lulls your credulity to rest, by flattering speeches and feigned respect.’”

After saying this, the perfidious Hobart showed her half-a-dozen couplets full of strained invective and scandal, which Rochester had made against the former maids of honour. This severe and cutting lampoon was principally levelled against Miss Price, whose person he took to pieces in the most frightful and hideous manner imaginable. Miss Hobart had substituted the name of Temple instead of Price, which she made to agree both with the measure and tune of the song. This effectually answered Hobart’s intentions: the credulous Temple no sooner heard her sing the lampoon, but she firmly believed it to be made upon herself; and in the first transports of her rage, having nothing so much at heart as to give the lie to the fictions of the poet: “Ah! as for this, my dear Hobart,” said she, “I can bear it no longer: I do not pretend to be so handsome as some others; but as for the defects that villain charges me with, I dare say, my dear Hobart, there is no woman more free from them: we are alone, and I am almost inclined to convince you by ocular demonstration.” Miss Hobart was too complaisant to oppose this motion; but, although she soothed her mind by extolling all her beauties, in opposition to Lord Rochester’s song, Miss Temple was almost driven to distraction by rage and astonishment, that the first man she ever attended to should, in his conversation with her, not even make use of a single word of truth, but that he should likewise have the unparalleled cruelty falsely to accuse her of defects; and not being able to find words capable of expressing her anger and resentment, she began to weep like a child.

Miss Hobart used all her endeavours to comfort her, and chid her for being so much hurt with the invectives of a person whose scandalous impostures were too well known to make any impression: she however advised her never to speak to him any more, for that was the only method to disappoint his designs; that contempt and silence were, on such occasions, much preferable to any explanation, and that if he could once obtain a hearing, he would be justified, but she would be ruined.

Miss Hobart was not wrong in giving her this counsel: she knew that an explanation would betray her, and that there would be no quarter for her if Lord Rochester had so fair an opportunity of renewing his former panegyrics upon her; but her precaution was in vain: this conversation had been heard from one end to the other, by the governess’s niece, who was blessed with a most faithful memory; and having that very day an appointment with Lord Rochester, she conned it over three or four times, that she might not forget one single word, when she should have the honour of relating it to her lover. We shall show in the next chapter, what were the consequences resulting from it.


The conversation before related was agreeable only to Miss Hobart; for if Miss Temple was entertained with its commencement, she was so much the more irritated by its conclusion this indignation was succeeded by the curiosity of knowing the reason why, if Sidney had a real esteem for her, she should not be allowed to pay some attention to him.

As soon as they retired from the closet, Miss Sarah came out of the bath, where during all this conversation, she had been almost perished with cold, without daring to complain. This little gipsy had, it seems, obtained leave of Miss Hobart’s woman to bathe herself unknown to her mistress; and having, I know not how, found means to fill one of the baths with cold water, Miss Sarah had just got into it, when they were both alarmed with the arrival of the other two. A glass partition enclosed the room where the baths were, and Indian silk curtains, which drew on the inside, screened those that were bathing. Miss Hobart’s chamber-maid had only just time to draw these curtains, that the girl might not be seen to lock the partition door, and to take away the key, before her mistress and Miss Temple came in.

These two sat down on a couch placed along the partition, and Miss Sarah, notwithstanding her alarms, had distinctly heard, and perfectly retained the whole conversation. As the little girl was at all this trouble to make herself clean, only on Lord Rochester’s account, as soon as ever she could make her escape she regained her garret; where Rochester, having repaired thither at the appointed hour, was fully informed of all that had passed in the bathing room. He was astonished at the audacious temerity of Hobart, in daring to put such a trick upon him; but, though he rightly judged that love and jealousy were the real motives, he would not excuse her. Little Sarah desired to know whether he had a real affection for Miss Temple, as Miss Hobart said she supposed that was the case. “Can you doubt it,” replied he, “since that oracle of sincerity has affirmed it? But then you know that I am not now capable of profiting by my perfidy, were I even to gain Miss Temple’s compliance, since my debauches and the street-walkers have brought me to order.”

This answer made Miss Sarah very easy, for she concluded that the first article was not true, since she knew from experience that the latter was false. Lord Rochester was resolved that very evening to attend the duchess’s court, to see what reception he would meet with after the fine portrait Miss Hobart had been so kind as to draw of him. Miss Temple did not fail to be there likewise, with the intention of looking on him with the most contemptuous disdain possible, though she had taken care to dress herself as well as she could. As she supposed that the lampoon Miss Hobart had sung to her was in everybody’s possession, she was under great embarrassment lest all those whom she met should think her such a monster as Lord Rochester had described her. In the mean time, Miss Hobart, who had not much confidence in her promises never more to speak to him, narrowly watched her. Miss Temple never in her life appeared so handsome every person complimented her upon it; but she received all the civilities with such an air, that every one thought she was mad; for when they commended her shape, her fresh complexion, and the brilliancy of her eyes: “Pshaw,” said she, “it is very well known that I am but a monster, and formed in no respect like other women: all is not gold that glisters; and though I may receive some compliments in public, it signifies nothing.” All Miss Hobart’s endeavours to stop her tongue were ineffectual; and continuing to rail at herself ironically, the whole court was puzzled to comprehend her meaning.

When Lord Rochester came in, she first blushed, then turned pale, made a motion to go towards him, drew back again, pulled her gloves one after the other up to the elbow; and after having three times violently flirted her fan, she waited until he paid his compliments to her as usual, and as soon as he began to bow, the fair one immediately turned her back upon him. Rochester only smiled, and being resolved that her resentment should be still more remarked, he turned round and posting himself face to face: “Madam,” said he, “nothing can be so glorious as to look so charming as you do, after such a fatiguing day: to support a ride of three long hours, and Miss Hobart afterwards, without being tired, shows indeed a very strong constitution.”

Miss Temple had naturally a tender look, but she was transported with such a violent passion at his having the audacity to speak to her, that her eyes appeared like two fireballs when she turned them upon him. Hobart pinched her arm, as she perceived that this look was likely to be followed by a torrent of reproaches and invectives.

Lord Rochester did not wait for them, and delaying until another opportunity the acknowledgments he owed Miss Hobart, he quietly retired. The latter, who could not imagine that he knew anything of their conversation at the bath, was, however, much alarmed at what he had said; but Miss Temple, almost choked with the reproaches with which she thought herself able to confound him and which she had not time to give vent to, vowed to ease her mind of them upon the first opportunity, notwithstanding the promise she had made; but never more to speak to him afterwards.

Lord Rochester had a faithful spy near these nymphs: this was Miss Sarah, who, by his advice, and with her aunt’s consent, was reconciled with Miss Hobart, the more effectually to betray her: he was informed by this spy, that Miss Hobart’s maid, being suspected of having listened to them in the closet, had been turned away; that she had taken another, whom in all probability, she would not keep long, because, in the first place, she was ugly, and, in the second, she eat the sweetmeats that were prepared for Miss Temple. Although this intelligence was not very material, Sarah was nevertheless praised for her punctuality and attention; and a few days afterwards she brought him news of real importance.

Rochester was by her informed, that Miss Hobart and her new favourite designed, about nine o’clock in the evening to walk in the Mall, in the Park; that they were to change clothes with each other, to put on scarfs, and wear black-masks: she added, that Miss Hobart had strongly opposed this project, but that she was obliged to give way at last, Miss Temple having resolved to indulge her fancy.

Upon the strength of this intelligence, Rochester concerted his measures: he went to Killegrew, complained to him of the trick which Miss Hobart had played him, and desired his assistance in order to be revenged: this was readily granted, and having acquainted him with the measures he intended to pursue, and given him the part he was to act in this adventure, they went to the Mall.

Presently after appeared our two nymphs in masquerade: their shapes were not very different, and their faces, which were very unlike each other, were concealed with their masks. The company was but thin in the Park; and as soon as Miss Temple perceived them at a distance, she quickened her pace in order to join them, with the design, under her disguise, severely to reprimand the perfidious Rochester; when Miss Hobart stopping her: “Where are you running to?” said she; “have you a mind to engage in conversation with these two devils, to be exposed to all the insolence and impertinence for which they are so notorious?” These remonstrances were entirely useless: Miss Temple was resolved to try the experiment: and all that could be obtained from her, was, not to answer any of the questions Rochester might ask her.

They were accosted just as they had done speaking: Rochester fixed upon Hobart, pretending to take her for the other; at which she was overjoyed; but Miss Temple was extremely sorry she fell to Killegrew’s share, with whom she had nothing to do: he perceived her uneasiness, and, pretending to know her by her clothes: “Ah! Miss Hobart,” said he, “be so kind as look this way if you please: I know not by what chance you both came hither, but I am sure it is very apropos for you, since I have something to say to you, as your friend and humble servant.”

This beginning raising her curiosity, Miss Temple appeared more inclined to attend him; and Killegrew perceiving that the other couple had insensibly proceeded some distance from them: “In the name of God,” said he: “what do you mean by railing so against Lord Rochester, whom you know to be one of the most honourable men at court, and whom you nevertheless described as the greatest villain, to the person whom of all others he esteems and respects the most? What do you think would become of you, if he knew that you made Miss Temple believe she is the person alluded to in a certain song, which you know as well as myself was made upon the clumsy Miss Price, above a year before the fair Temple was heard of? Be not surprised that I know so much of the matter; but pay a little attention, I pray you, to what I am now going to tell you out of pure friendship: your passion and inclinations for Miss Temple are known to every one but herself; for whatever methods you used to impose upon her innocence, the world does her the justice to believe that she would treat you as Lady Falmouth did, if the poor girl knew the wicked designs you had upon her: I caution you, therefore, against making any farther advances, to a person, too modest to listen to them: I advise you likewise to take back your maid again, in order to silence her scandalous tongue; for she says everywhere, that she is with child, that you are the occasion of her being in that condition, and accuses you of behaving towards her with the blackest ingratitude, upon trifling suspicions only: you know very well, these are no stories of my own invention; but that you may not entertain any manner of doubt, that I had all this from her own mouth, she has told me your conversation in the bathing-room, the characters you there drew of the principal men at court, your artful malice in applying so improperly a scandalous song to one of the loveliest women in all England; and in what manner the innocent girl fell into the snare you had laid for her, in order to do justice to her charms. But that which might be of the most fatal consequences to you in that long conversation, is the revealing certain secrets, which, in all probability, the duchess did not entrust you with, to be imparted to the maids of honour: reflect upon this, and neglect not to make some reparation to Sir Lyttleton, for the ridicule with which you were pleased to load him. I know not whether he had his information from your femme-de-chambre, but I am very certain that he has sworn he will be revenged, and he is a man that keeps his word; for after all, that you may not be deceived by his look, like that of a Stoic, and his gravity, like that of a judge, I must acquaint you, that he is the most passionate man living. Indeed, these invectives are of the blackest and most horrible nature: he says it is most infamous, that a wretch like yourself should find no other employment than to blacken the characters of gentlemen, to gratify your jealousy; that if you do not desist from such conduct for the future, he will immediately complain of you; and that if her royal highness will not do him justice, he is determined to do himself justice, and to run you through the body with his own sword, though you were even in the arms of Miss Temple; and that it is most scandalous that all the maids of honour should get into your hands before they can look around them.

“These things, madam, I thought it my duty to acquaint you with: you are better able to judge than myself, whether what I have now advanced be true, and I leave it to your own discretion to make what use you think proper of my advice; but were I in your situation, I would endeavour to reconcile Lord Rochester and Miss Temple. Once more I recommend to you to take care that your endeavours to mislead her innocency, in order to blast his honour, may not come to his knowledge; and do not estrange from her a man who tenderly loves her, and whose probity is so great, that he would not even suffer his eyes to wander towards her, if his intention was not to make her his wife.”

Miss Temple observed her promise most faithfully during this discourse: she did not even utter a single syllable, being seized with such astonishment and confusion, that she quite lost the use of her tongue.

Miss Hobart and Lord Rochester came up to her, while she was still in amazement at the wonderful discoveries she had made; things in themselves, in her opinion, almost incredible, but to the truth of which she could not refuse her assent, upon examining the evidences and circumstances on which they were founded. Never was confusion equal to that with which her whole frame was seized by the foregoing recital.

Rochester and Killegrew took leave of them before she recovered from her surprise; but as soon as she had regained the free use of her senses, she hastened back to St. James, without answering a single question that the other put to her; and having locked herself up in her chamber, the fast thing she did, was immediately to strip off Miss Hobart’s clothes, lest she should be contaminated by them; for after what she had been told concerning her, she looked upon her as a monster, dreadful to the innocence of the fair sex, of whatever sex she might be: she blushed at the familiarities she had been drawn into with a creature, whose maid was with child, though she never had been in any other service but hers: she therefore returned her all her clothes, ordered her servant to bring back all her own, and resolved never more to have any connection with her. Miss Hobart, on the other hand, who supposed Killegrew had mistaken Miss Temple for herself, could not comprehend what could induce her to give herself such surprising airs, since that conversation; but being desirous to come to an explanation, she ordered Miss Temple’s maid to remain in her apartments, and went to call upon Miss Temple herself, instead of sending back her clothes; and being desirous to give her some proof of friendship before they entered upon expostulations, she slipt softly into her chamber, when she was in the very act of changing her linen, and embraced her. Miss Temple finding herself in her arms before she had taken notice of her, everything that Killegrew had mentioned, appeared to her imagination: she fancied that she saw in her looks the eagerness of a satyr, or, if possible, of some monster still more odious; and disengaging herself with the highest indignation from her arms, she began to shriek and cry in the most terrible manner, calling both heaven and earth to her assistance.

The first whom her cries raised were the governess and her niece. It was near twelve o’clock at night: Miss Temple in her shift, almost frightened to death, was pushing back with horror Miss Hobart, who approached her with no other intent than to know the occasion of those transports. As soon as the governess saw this scene, she began to lecture Miss Hobart with all the eloquence of a real duenna: she demanded of her, whether she thought it was for her that her royal highness kept the maids of honour? whether she was not ashamed to come at such an unseasonable time of night into their very apartments to commit such violences? and swore that she would, the very next day, complain to the duchess. All this confirmed Miss Temple in her mistaken notions: and Hobart was obliged to go away at last, without being able to convince or bring to reason creatures, whom she believed to be either distracted or mad. The next day Miss Sarah did not fail to relate this adventure to her lover, telling him how Miss Temple’s cries had alarmed the maids of honour’s apartment, and how herself and her aunt, running to her assistance, had almost surprised Miss Hobart in the very act.

Two days after, the whole adventure, with the addition of several embellishments, was made public: the governess swore to the truth of it, and related in every company what a narrow escape Miss Temple had experienced, and that Miss Sarah, her niece, had preserved her honour, because, by Lord Rochester’s excellent advice, she had forbidden her all manner of connection with so dangerous a person. Miss Temple was afterwards informed, that the song that had so greatly provoked her, alluded to Miss Price only: this was confirmed to her by every person, with additional execrations against Miss Hobart, for such a scandalous imposition. Such great coldness after so much familiarity, made many believe, that this adventure was not altogether a fiction.

This had been sufficient to have disgraced Miss Hobart at court, and to have totally ruined her reputation in London, had she not been, upon the present, as well as upon a former occasion, supported by the duchess: her royal highness pretended to treat the whole story as romantic and visionary, or as solely arising from private pique: she chid Miss Temple, for her impertinent credulity: turned away the governess and her niece, for the lies with which she pretended they supported the imposture; and did many improper things in order to re-establish Miss Hobart’s honour, which, however, she failed in accomplishing. She had her reasons for not entirely abandoning her, as will appear in the sequel.

Miss Temple, who continually reproached herself with injustice, with respect to Lord Rochester, and who, upon the faith of Killegrew’s word, thought him the most Honourable man in England, was only solicitous to find out some opportunity of easing her mind, by making him some reparation for the rigour with which she had treated him: these favourable dispositions, in the hands of a man of his character, might have led to consequences of which she was not aware; but heaven did not allow him an opportunity of profiting by them.

Ever since he had first appeared at court he seldom failed being banished from it, at least once in the year; for whenever a word presented itself to his pen, or to his tongue, he immediately committed it to paper, or produced it in conversation, without any manner of regard to the consequences the ministers, the mistresses, and even the king himself, were frequently the subjects of his sarcasms; and had not the prince, whom he thus treated, been possessed of one of the most forgiving and gentle tempers, his first disgrace had certainly been his last.

Just at the time that Miss Temple was desirous of seeing him, in order to apologize for the uneasiness which the infamous calumnies and black aspersions of Miss Hobart had occasioned both of them, he was forbid the court for the third time: he departed without having seen Miss Temple, carried the disgraced governess down with him to his country seat, and exerted all his endeavours to cultivate in her niece some dispositions which she had for the stage; but though she did not make the same improvement in this line, as she had by his other instructions, after he had entertained both the niece and the aunt for some months in the country, he got her entered in the king’s company of comedians the next winter; and the public was obliged to him for the prettiest, but at the same time, the worst actress in the kingdom.

[Though no name is given to this lady, there are circumstances enough mentioned to fix on the celebrated Mrs. Barry, as the person intended by the author. Mrs. Barry was introduced to the stage by Lord Rochester, with whom she had an intrigue, the fruit of which was a daughter, who lived to the age of thirteen years, and is often mentioned in his collection of love-letters, printed in his works, which were written to Mrs. Barry. On her first theatrical attempts, so little hopes were entertained of her, that she was, as Cibber declares, discharged the company at the end of the first year, among others that were thought to be a useless expense to it. She was well born; being daughter of Robert Barry, Esq., barrister at law; a gentleman of an ancient family and good estate, who hurt his fortune by his attachment to Charles I.; for whom he raised a regiment at his own expense. Tony Aston, in his Supplement to Cibber’s Apology, says, she was woman to lady Shelton of Norfolk, who might have belonged to the court. Curl, however, says, she was early taken under the patronage of Lady Davenant. Both these accounts may be true. The time of her appearance on the stage was probably not much earlier that 1671; in which year she performed in Tom Essence, and was, it may be conjectured, about the age of nineteen. Curl mentions the great pains taken by Lord Rochester in instructing her; which were repaid by the rapid progress she daily made in her profession. She at last eclipsed all her competitors, and in the part of Monimia established her reputation. From her performance in this character, in that of Belvidera, and of Isabella, in the Fatal Marriage, Downes says she acquired the name of the famous Mrs. Barry, both at court and in the city. “Mrs. Barry,” says Dryden, in his Preface to Cleomenes, “always excellent, has in this tragedy excelled herself, and gained a reputation beyond any woman I have ever seen on the theatre.” “In characters of greatness,” says Cibber, “Mrs. Barry had a presence of elevated dignity; her mien and motion superb, and gracefully majestic; her voice full, clear, and strong; so that no violence of passion could be too much for her; and when distress or tenderness possessed her, she subsided into the most affecting melody and softness. In the art of exciting pity, she had a power beyond all the actresses I have yet seen, or what your imagination can conceive. In scenes of anger, defiance, or resentment, while she was impetuous and terrible, she poured out the sentiment with an enchanting harmony; and it was this particular excellence for which Dryden made her the above-recited compliment, upon her acting Cassandra in his Cleomenes. She was the first person whose merit was distinguished by the indulgence of having an annual benefit play, which was granted to her alone in King James’s time, and which did not become common to others till the division of this company, after the death of King William and Queen Mary.”]

About this time Talbot returned from Ireland: he soon felt the absence of Miss Hamilton, who was then in the country with a relation, whom we shall mention hereafter. A remnant of his former tenderness still subsisted in his heart, notwithstanding his absence, and the promises he had given the Chevalier de Grammont at parting: he now therefore endeavoured to banish her entirely from his thoughts, by fixing his desires upon some other object; but he saw no one in the queen’s new court whom he thought worthy of his attention: Miss Boynton, however, thought him worthy of hers. Her, person was slender and delicate, to which a good complexion and large motionless eyes gave at a distance an appearance of beauty, that vanished upon nearer inspection: she affected to lisp, to languish, and to have two or three fainting-fits a day. The first time that Talbot cast his eyes upon her she was seized with one of these fits: he was told that she swooned away upon his account: he believed it, was eager to afford her assistance; and ever after that accident showed her some kindness, more with the intention of saving her life, than to express any affection he felt for her. This seeming tenderness was well received, and at first she was visibly affected by it. Talbot was one of the tallest men in England, and in all appearance one of the most robust; yet she showed sufficiently that she was willing to expose the delicacy of her constitution, to whatever might happen, in order to become his wife; which event perhaps might then have taken place, as it did afterwards, had not the charms of the fair Jennings at that time, proved an obstacle to her wishes.

I know not how it came to pass that he had not yet seen her; though he had heard her much praised, and her prudence, wit, and vivacity equally commended; he believed all this upon the faith of common report. He thought it very singular that discretion and sprightliness should be so intimately united in a person so young, more particularly in the midst of a court where love and gallantry were so much in fashion; but he found her personal accomplishments greatly to exceed whatever fame had reported of them.

As it was not long before he perceived he was in love, neither was it long before he made a declaration of it: as his passion was likely enough to be real, Miss Jennings thought she might believe him, without exposing herself to the imputation of vanity. Talbot was possessed of a fine and brilliant exterior, his manners were noble and majestic: besides this, he was particularly distinguished by the favour and friendship of the duke; but his most essential merit, with her, was his forty thousand pounds a-year, landed property, besides his employments. All these qualities came within the rules and maxims she had resolved to follow with respect to lovers: thus, though he had not the satisfaction to obtain from her an entire declaration of her sentiments, he had at least the pleasure of being better received than those who had paid their addresses to her before him.

No person attempted to interrupt his happiness; and Miss Jennings, perceiving that the duchess approved of Talbot’s pretensions; and after having well weighed the matter, and consulted her own inclinations, found that her reason was more favourable to him than her heart, and that the most she could do for his satisfaction was to marry him without reluctance.

Talbot, too fortunate in a preference which no man had before experienced, did not examine whether it was to her heart or to her head that he was indebted for it, and his thoughts were solely occupied in hastening the accomplishment of his wishes: one would have sworn that the happy minute was at hand; but love would no longer be love, if he did not delight in obstructing, or in overturning the happiness of those who live under his dominion.

Talbot, who found nothing reprehensible either in the person, in the conversation, or in the reputation of Miss Jennings, was however rather concerned at a now acquaintance she had lately formed; and having taken upon him to give her some cautions upon this subject, she was much displeased at his conduct.

Miss Price, formerly maid of honour, that had been set aside, as we have before mentioned, upon her leaving the duchess’s service, had recourse to Lady Castlemaine’s protection: she had a very entertaining wit: her complaisance was adapted to all humours, and her own humour was possessed of a fund of gaiety and sprightliness which diffused universal mirth and merriment wherever she came. Her acquaintance with Miss Jennings was prior to Talbot’s.

As she was thoroughly acquainted with all the intrigues of the court, she related them without any manner of reserve to Miss Jennings, and her own with the same frankness as the others: Miss Jennings was extremely well pleased with her stories; for though she was determined to make no experiment in love, but upon honourable terms, she however was desirous of knowing from her recitals, all the different intrigues that were carrying on: thus, as she was never wearied with her conversation, she was overjoyed whenever she could see her.

Talbot, who remarked the extreme relish she had for Miss Price’s company, thought that the reputation such a woman had in the world might prove injurious to his mistress, more especially from the particular intimacy there seemed to exist between them: whereupon, in the tone of a guardian rather than a lover, he took upon him to chide her for the disreputable company she kept. Miss Jennings was haughty beyond conception, when once she took it into her head; and as she liked Miss Price’s conversation much better than Talbot’s, she took the liberty of desiring him “to attend to his own affairs, and that if he only came from Ireland to read lectures about her conduct, he might take the trouble to go back as soon as he pleased.” He was offended at a sally which he thought ill-timed, considering the situation of affairs between them; and went out of her presence more abruptly than became the respect due from a man greatly in love. He for some time appeared offended; but perceiving that he gained nothing by such conduct, he grew weary of acting that part, and assumed that of an humble lover, in which he was equally unsuccessful; neither his repentance nor submissions could produce any effect upon her, and the mutinous little gipsy was still in her pouts when Jermyn returned to court.

It was above a year since he had triumphed over the weakness of Lady Castlemaine, and above two since the king had been weary of his triumphs: his uncle, being vile of the first who perceived the king’s disgust, obliged him to absent himself from court, at the very time that orders were going to be issued for that purpose; for though the king’s affections for Lady Castlemaine were now greatly diminished, yet he did not think it consistent with his dignity that a mistress, whom he had honoured with public distinction, and who still received a considerable support from him, should appear chained to the car of the most ridiculous conqueror that ever existed. His majesty had frequently expostulated with the countess upon this subject: but his expostulations were never attended to; it was in one of these differences that he, advising her rather to bestow her favours upon Jacob Hall, the rope-dancer, who was able to return them, than lavish away her money upon Jermyn to no purpose, since it would be more honourable for her to pass for the mistress of the first, than for the very humble servant of the other, she was not proof against his raillery. The impetuosity of her temper broke forth like lightning: she told him “that it very ill became him to throw out such reproaches against one, who, of all the women in England, deserved them the least; that he had never ceased quarrelling thus unjustly with her, ever since he had betrayed his own mean low inclinations; that to gratify such a depraved taste as his, he wanted only such silly things as Stewart, Wells, and that pitiful strolling actress,—[Probably Nell Gwyn.]—whom he had lately introduced into their society.” Floods of tears from rage, generally attended these storms; after which, resuming the part of Medea, the scene closed with menaces of tearing her children in pieces, and setting his palace on fire. What course could he pursue with such an outrageous fury, who, beautiful as she was, resembled Medea less than her dragons, when she was thus enraged!

The indulgent monarch loved peace; and as he seldom contended for it on these occasions without paying something to obtain it, he was obliged to be at great expense, in order to reconcile this last rupture: as they could not agree of themselves, and both parties equally complained, the Chevalier de Grammont was chosen, by mutual consent, mediator of the treaty. The grievances and pretensions on each side were communicated to him, and what is very extraordinary, he managed so as to please them both. Here follow the articles of peace, which they agreed to:

“That Lady Castlemaine should for ever abandon Jermyn; that as a proof of her sincerity, and the reality of his disgrace, she should consent to his being sent, for some time, into the country; that she should not rail any more against Miss Wells, nor storm any more against Miss Stewart; and this without any restraint on the king’s behaviour towards her that in consideration of these condescensions, his majesty should immediately give her the title of duchess, with all the honours and privileges thereunto belonging, and an addition to her pension, in order to enable her to support the dignity.”

[The title of Duchess of Cleveland was conferred on her 3rd August, 22 Charles II., 1670.]

As soon as this peace was proclaimed, the political critics, who, in all nations, never fail to censure all state proceedings, pretended that the mediator of this treaty, being every day at play with Lady Castlemaine, and never losing, had, for his own sake, insisted a little too strongly upon this last article.

Some days after, she was created Duchess of Cleveland, and little Jermyn repaired to his country-seat: however, it was in his power to have returned in a fortnight; for the Chevalier de Grammont, having procured the king’s permission, carried it to the Earl of St. Alban’s: this revived the good old man; but it was to little purpose he transmitted it to his nephew; for whether he wished to make the London beauties deplore and lament his absence, or whether he wished them to declaim against the injustice of the age, or rail against the tyranny of the prince, he continued above half a year in the country, setting up for a little philosopher, under the eyes of the sportsmen in the neighbourhood, who regarded him as an extraordinary instance of the caprice of fortune. He thought the part he acted so glorious, that he would have continued there much longer had he not heard of Miss Jennings: he did not, however, pay much attention to what his friends wrote to him concerning her charms, being persuaded he had seen equally as great in others: what was related to him of her pride and resistance, appeared to him of far greater consequence; and to subdue the last, he even looked upon as an action worthy of his prowess; and quitting his retreat for this purpose, he arrived in London at the time that Talbot, who was really in love, had quarrelled, in his opinion, so unjustly with Miss Jennings.

She had heard Jermyn spoken of as a hero in affairs of love and gallantry. Miss Price, in the recital of those of the Duchess of Cleveland, had often mentioned him, without in any respect diminishing the insignificancy with which fame insinuated he had conducted himself in those amorous encounters: she nevertheless had the greatest curiosity to see a man, whose entire person, she thought, must be a moving trophy, and monument of the favours and freedoms of the fair sex.

Thus Jermyn arrived at the right time to satisfy her curiosity by his presence; and though his brilliancy appeared a little tarnished by his residence in the country; though his head was larger, and his legs more slender than usual, yet the giddy girl thought she had never seen any man so perfect; and yielding to her destiny, she fell in love with him, a thousand times more unaccountably than all the others had done before her. Everybody remarked this change of conduct in her with surprise; for they expected something more from the delicacy of a person who, till this time, had behaved with so much propriety in all her actions.

Jermyn was not in the least surprised at this conquest, though not a little proud of it; for his heart had very soon as great a share in it as his vanity. Talbot, who saw with amazement the rapidity of this triumph, and the disgrace of his own defeat, was ready to die with jealousy and spite; yet he thought it would be more to his credit to die than to vent those passions unprofitably; and shielding himself under a feigned indifference, he kept at a distance to view how far such an extravagant prepossession would proceed.

In the mean time Jermyn quietly enjoyed the happiness of seeing the inclinations of the prettiest and most extraordinary creature in England declared in his favour. The duchess, who had taken her under her protection ever since she had declined placing herself under that of the duke, sounded Jermyn’s intentions towards her, and was satisfied with the assurances she received from a man, whose probity infinitely exceeded his merit in love: he therefore let all the court see that he was willing to marry her, though, at the same time, he did not appear particularly desirous of hastening the consummation. Every person now complimented Miss Jennings upon having reduced to this situation the terror of husbands, and the plague of lovers: the court was in full expectation of this miracle, and Miss Jennings of a near approaching happy settlement: but in this world one must have fortune in one’s favour, before one can calculate with certainty upon happiness.

The king did not use to let Lord Rochester remain so long in exile: he grew weary of it, and being displeased that he was forgotten, he posted up to London to wait till it might be his majesty’s pleasure to recall him.

He first took up his habitation in the city, among the capital tradesmen and rich merchants, where politeness indeed is not so much cultivated as at court; but where pleasure, luxury, and abundance reign with less confusion, and more sincerity. His first design was only to be initiated into the mysteries of those fortunate and happy inhabitants: that is to say, by changing his name and dress, to gain admittance to their feasts and entertainments; and, as occasion offered, to those of their loving spouses; as he was able to adapt himself to all capacities and humours, he soon deeply insinuated himself into the esteem of the substantial wealthy aldermen, and into he affections of their more delicate, magnificent, and tender ladies: he made one in all their feasts, and at all their assemblies; and, whilst in the company of the husbands, he declaimed against the faults and mistakes of government, he joined their wives in railing against the profligacy of the court ladies, and in inveighing against the king’s mistresses: he agreed with them, that the industrious poor were to pay for these cursed extravagances; that the city beauties were not inferior to those of the other end of the town, and yet a sober husband in this quarter of the town was satisfied with one wife; after which, to out-do their murmurings, he said, that he wondered Whitehall was not yet consumed by fire from heaven, since such rakes as Rochester, Killegrew, and Sidney were suffered there, who had the impudence to assert that all married men in the city were cuckolds, and all their wives painted. This conduct endeared him so much to the cits, and made him so welcome at their clubs, that at last he grew sick of their cramming and endless invitations.

But, instead of approaching nearer the court, he retreated into one of the most obscure corners of the city: where, again changing both his name and his dress, in order to act a new part, he caused bills to be dispersed, giving notice of “The recent arrival of a famous German doctor, who, by long application and experience, had found out wonderful secrets, and infallible remedies.”

[Bishop Burnet confirms this account.—“Being under an unlucky accident, which obliged him to keep out of the way, he disguised himself so, that his nearest friends could not have known him, and set up in Tower Street for an Italian mountebank, where he practised physic for some weeks, not without success. In his latter years he read books of history more. He took pleasure to disguise himself as a porter, or as a beggar; sometimes to follow some mean amours, which, for the variety of them, he affected. At other times, merely for diversion, he would go about in odd shapes; in which he acted his part so naturally, that even those who were in the secret, and saw him in these shapes, could perceive nothing by which he might be discovered.”—Burnet’s Life of Rochester, ed. 1774, p. 14.]

His secrets consisted in knowing what was past, and foretelling what was to come, by the assistance of astrology: and the virtue of his remedies principally consisted in giving present relief to unfortunate young women in all manner of diseases, and all kinds of accidents incident to the fair sex, either from too unbounded charity to their neighbours, or too great indulgence to themselves.

His first practice being confined to his neighbourhood, was not very considerable; but his reputation soon extending to the other end of the town, there presently flocked to him the women attending on the court, next, the chamber-maids of ladies of quality, who, upon the wonders they related concerning the German doctor, were soon followed by some of their mistresses.

Among all the compositions of a ludicrous and satirical kind, there never existed any that could be compared to those of Lord Rochester, either for humour, fire, or wit; but, of all his works, the most ingenious and entertaining is that which contains a detail of the intrigues and adventures in which he was engaged while he professed medicine and astrology in the suburbs of London.

The fair Jennings was very near getting a place in this collection; but the adventure that prevented her from it, did not, however, conceal from the public her intention of paying a visit to the German doctor.

The first chamber-maids that consulted him were only those of the maids of honour; who had numberless questions to ask, and not a few doubts to be resolved, both upon their own and their mistresses’ accounts. Notwithstanding their disguise, he recognised some of them, particularly Miss Temple’s and Miss Price’s maids, and her whom Miss Hobart had lately discarded: these creatures all returned either filled with wonder and amazement, or petrified with terror and fear. Miss Temple’s chamber-maid deposed that he assured her she would have the small-pox, and her mistress the great, within two months at farthest, if her aforesaid mistress did not guard against a man in woman’s clothes. Miss Price’s woman affirmed that, without knowing her, and only looking in her hand, he told her at first sight that, according to the course of the stars, he perceived that she was in the service of some good-natured lady, who had no other fault than loving wine and men. In short, every one of them, struck with some particular circumstance relating to their own private affairs, had either alarmed or diverted their mistresses with the account, not failing, according to custom, to embellish the truth, in order to enhance the wonder.

Miss Price, relating these circumstances one day to her new friend, the devil immediately tempted her to go in person, and see what sort of a creature this new magician was. This enterprise was certainly very rash; but nothing was too rash for Miss Jennings, who was of opinion that a woman might despise appearances, provided she was in reality virtuous. Miss Price was all compliance, and thus having fixed upon this glorious resolution, they only thought of the proper means of putting it into execution.

It was very difficult for Miss Jennings to disguise herself, on account of her excessive fair and bright complexion, and of something particular in her air and manner: however, after having well considered the matter the best disguise they could think of was to dress themselves like orange girls.

[These frolics appear to have been not unfrequent with persons of high rank at this period. In a letter from Mr. Henshaw to Sir Robert Paston, afterwards Earl of Yarmouth, dated October 13, 1670, we have the following account: “Last week, there being a faire neare Audley-end, the queen, the Dutchess of Richmond, and the Dutchess of Buckingham, had a frolick to disguise themselves like country lasses, to red petticoats, wastcotes, &c., and so goe see the faire. Sir Barnard Gascoign, on a cart jade, rode before the queen; another stranger before the Dutchess of Buckingham; and Mr. Roper before Richmond. They had all so overdone it in their disguise, and looked so much more like antiques than country volk, that, as soon as they came to the faire, the people began to goe after them; but the queen going to a booth, to buy a pair of yellow stockings for her sweet hart, and Sir Bernard asking for a pair of gloves sticht with blew, for his sweet hart, they were soon, by their gebrish, found to be strangers, which drew a bigger flock about them. One amongst them had seen the queen at dinner, knew her, and was proud of her knowledge. This soon brought all the faire into a crowd to stare at the queen. Being thus discovered, they, as soon as they could, got to their horses; but as many of the faire as had horses got up, with their wives, children, sweet harts, or neighbours, behind them, to get as much gape as they could, till they brought them to the court gate. Thus, by ill conduct, was a merry frolick turned into a penance.”—I’ve’s Select Papers, p. 39. Bishop Burnet says, “at this time, (1668) the court fell into much extravagance in masquerading: both the king and queen, all the court, went about masked, and came into houses unknown, and danced there, with a great deal of wild frolic. In all this people were so disguised, that, without being in the secret, none could distinguish them. They were carried about in hackney chairs. Once the queen’s chairmen, not knowing who she was, went from her. So she was alone, and was much disturbed, and came to Whitehall in a hackney coach; some say in a cart.”—Burnet’s History, vol. i., p. 368.]

This was no sooner resolved upon, but it was put in execution they attired themselves alike, and, taking each a basket of oranges under their arms, they embarked in a hackney coach, and committed themselves to fortune, without any other escort than their own caprice and indiscretion.

The duchess was gone to the play with her sister: Miss Jennings had excused herself under pretence of indisposition she was overjoyed at the happy commencement of their adventure; for they had disguised themselves, had crossed the Park, and taken their hackney coach at Whitehall gate, without the least accident. They mutually congratulated each other upon it, and Miss Price, taking a beginning so prosperous as a good omen of their success, asked her companion what they were to do at the fortune-teller’s, and what they should propose to him.

Miss Jennings told her that, for her part, curiosity was her principal inducement for going thither; that, however, she was resolved to ask him, without naming any person, why a man, who was in love with a handsome young lady, was not urgent to marry her, since this was in his power to do, and by so doing he would have an opportunity of gratifying his desires. Miss Price told her, smiling, that, without going to the astrologer, nothing was more easy than to explain the enigma, as she herself had almost given her a solution of it in the narrative of the Duchess of Cleveland’s adventures.

Having by this time nearly arrived at the playhouse, Miss Price, after a moment’s reflection, said, that since fortune favoured them, a fair opportunity was now offered to signalize their courage, which was to go and sell oranges in the very playhouse, in the sight of the duchess and the whole court. The proposal being worthy of the sentiments of the one, and of the vivacity of the other, they immediately alighted, paid off their hack, and, running through the midst of an immense number of coaches, with great difficulty they reached the playhouse door. Sidney, more handsome than the beautiful Adonis, and dressed more gay than usual, alighted just then from his coach: Miss Price went boldly up to him, as he was adjusting his curls; but he was too much occupied with his own dear self to attend to anything else, and so passed on without deigning to give her an answer. Killegrew came next, and the fair Jennings, partly encouraged by the other’s pertness, advanced towards him, and offered him her basket, whilst Price, more used to the language, desired him to buy her fine oranges. “Not now,” said he, looking at them with attention; “but if thou wilt to-morrow morning bring this young girl to my lodgings, I will make it worth all the oranges in London to thee” and while he thus spoke to the one he chucked the other under the chin, examining her bosom. These familiarities making little Jennings forget the part she was acting, after having pushed him away with all the violence she was able, she told him with indignation that it was very insolent to dare—“Ha! ha!” said he, “here’s a rarity indeed! a young w——, who, the better to sell her goods, sets up for virtue, and pretends innocence!”

Price immediately perceived that nothing could be gained by continuing any longer in so dangerous a place; and, taking her companion under the arm, she dragged her away, while she was still in emotion at the insult that had been offered to her.

Miss Jennings, resolving to sell no more oranges on these terms, was tempted to return, without accomplishing the other adventure; but Price having represented to her the disgrace of such cowardly behaviour, more particularly after having before manifested so much resolution, she consented to go and pay the astrologer a short visit, so as they might be enabled to regain the palace before the play was ended.

They had one of the doctor’s bills for a direction, but there was no occasion for it; for the driver of the coach they had taken told them he knew very well the place they wanted, for he had already carried above an hundred persons to the German doctor’s: they were within half a street of his house, when fortune thought proper to play them a trick.

Brounker had dined by chance with a merchant in that part of the city, and just as he was going away they ordered their coach to stop, as ill-luck would have it, just opposite to him. Two orange girls in a hackney coach, one of whom appeared to have a very pretty face, immediately drew his attention; besides, he had a natural curiosity for such objects.

[Gentleman of the chamber to the Duke of York, and brother to Lord Viscount Brounker, president of the royal society. Lord Clarendon imputes to him the cause of the great sea-fight, in 1665, not being so well improved as it might have been, and adds, “nor did the duke come to hear of it till some years after, when Mr. Brounker’s ill course of life, and his abominable nature, had rendered him so odious, that it was taken notice of in parliament, and, upon examination, found to be true, as is here related; upon which he was expelled the house of commons, whereof he was a; member, as an infamous person, though his friend Coventry adhered to him, and used many indirect acts to have protected him, and afterwards procured him to have more countenance from the king than most men thought he deserved; being a person, throughout his whole life, never notorious for anything but the highest degree of impudence, and stooping to the most infamous offices, and playing very well at chess, which preferred him more than the most virtuous qualities could have done.”—Continuation of Clarendon’s Life, p. 270.]

Of all the men at court, he had the least regard for the fair sex, and the least attention to their reputation: he was not young, nor was his person agreeable; however, with a great deal of wit he had a violent passion for women. He did himself justice respecting his own merit; and, being persuaded that he could only succeed with those who were desirous of having his money, he was at open war with all the rest. He had a little country-house four or five miles from London always well stocked with girls: in other respects he was a very honest man, and the best chess-player in England.

Price, alarmed at being thus closely examined by the most dangerous enemy they could encounter, turned her head the other way, bid her companion do the same, and told the coachman to drive on. Brounker followed them unperceived on foot; and the coach having stopped twenty or thirty yards farther up the street, they alighted. He was just behind them, and formed the same judgment of them which a man much more charitable to the sex must unavoidably have done, concluding that Miss Jennings was a young courtesan upon the look-out, and that Miss Price was the mother-abbess. He was, however, surprised to see them have much better shoes and stockings than women of that rank generally wear, and that the little orange girl, in getting out of a very high coach, showed one of the handsomest legs he had ever seen: but as all this was no obstruction to his designs, he resolved to purchase her at any rate, in order to place her in his seraglio.

He came up to them, as they were giving their baskets in guard to the coachman, with orders to wait for them exactly in that place. Brounker immediately pushed in between them: as soon as they saw him, they gave themselves up for lost; but he, without taking the least notice of their surprise, took Price aside with one hand, and his purse with the other, and began immediately to enter upon business, but was astonished to perceive that she turned away her face, without either answering or looking at him: As this conduct appeared to him unnatural, he stared her full in the face, notwithstanding all her endeavours to prevent him: he did the same to the other: and immediately recognised them, but determined to conceal his discovery.

The old fox possessed a wonderful command of temper on such occasions, and having teazed them a little longer to remove all suspicions he quitted them, telling Price; “That she was a great fool to refuse his offers, and that her girl would not, perhaps, get so much in a year, as she might with him in one day; that the times were greatly changed, since the queen’s and the duchess’s maids of honour forestalled the market, and were to be had cheaper than the town ladies.” Upon this he went back to his coach, whilst they blessed themselves, returning heaven their most hearty thanks for having escaped this danger without being discovered.

Brounker, on the other hand, would not have taken a thousand guineas for this rencounter: he blessed the Lord that he had not alarmed them to such a degree as to frustrate their intention; for he made no doubt but Miss Price had managed some intrigue for Miss Jennings: he therefore immediately concluded, that at present it would be improper to make known his discovery, which would have answered no other end but to have overwhelmed them with confusion.

Upon this account, although Jermyn was one of his best friends, he felt a secret joy in not having prevented his being made a cuckold, before his marriage; and the apprehension he was in of preserving him from that accident, was his sole reason for quitting them with the precautions aforementioned.

Whilst they were under these alarms, their coachman was engaged in a squabble with some blackguard boys, who had gathered round his coach in order to steal the oranges: from words they came to blows: the two nymphs saw the commencement of the fray as they were returning to the coach, after having abandoned the design of going to the fortuneteller’s. Their coachman being a man of spirit, it was with great difficulty they could persuade him to leave their oranges to the mob, that they might get off without any further disturbance: having thus regained their hack, after a thousand frights, and after having received an abundant share of the most low and infamous abuse applied to them during the fracas, they at length reached St. James’s, vowing never more to go after fortune-tellers, through so many dangers, terrors, and alarms, as they had lately undergone.

Brounker, who, from the indifferent opinion he entertained of the fair sex, would have staked his life that Miss Jennings did not return from this expedition in the same condition she went, kept his thoughts, however, a profound secret; since it would have afforded him the highest satisfaction to have seen the all-fortunate Jermyn marry a little street-walker, who pretended to pass for a pattern of chastity, that he might, the day after his marriage, congratulate him upon his virtuous spouse; but heaven was not disposed to afford him that satisfaction, as will appear in the sequel of these memoirs.

Miss Hamilton was in the country, as we before mentioned, at a relation’s: the Chevalier de Grammont bore this short absence of hers with great uneasiness, since she would not allow him permission to visit her there, upon any pretence whatever; but play, which was favourable to him, was no small relief to his extreme impatience.

Miss Hamilton, however, at last returned. Mrs. Wetenhall (for that was the name of her relation) would by all means wait upon her to London, in appearance out of politeness; for ceremony, carried beyond all bearing, is the grand characteristic of country gentry: yet this mark of civility was only a pretence, to obtain a peevish husband’s consent to his wife’s journey to town. Perhaps he would have done himself the honour of conducting Miss Hamilton up to London, had he not been employed in writing some remarks upon the ecclesiastical history, a work in which he had long been engaged: the ladies were more civil than to interrupt him in his undertaking, and besides, it would entirely have disconcerted all Mrs. Wetenhall’s schemes.

This lady was what may be properly called a beauty, entirely English, made up of lilies and roses, of snow and milk, as to colour; and of wax, with respect to the arms, hands, neck, and feet, but all this without either animation or air; her face was uncommonly pretty; but there was no variety, no change of countenance in it: one would have thought she took it in the morning out of a case, in order to put it up again at night, without using it in the smallest degree in the daytime. What can I say of her! nature had formed her a baby from her infancy, and a baby remained till death the fair Mrs. Wetenhall. Her husband had been destined for the church; but his elder brother dying just at the time he had gone through his studies of divinity, instead of taking orders, he came to England, and took to wife Miss Bedingfield, the lady of whom we are now speaking.

His person was not disagreeable, but he had a serious contemplative air, very apt to occasion disgust: as for the rest, she might boast of having one of the greatest theologists in the kingdom for her husband: he was all day poring over his books, and went to bed soon, in order to rise early; so that his wife found him snoring when she came to bed, and when he arose he left her there sound asleep: his conversation at table would have been very brisk, if Mrs. Wetenhall had been as great a proficient in divinity, or as great a lover of controversy, as he was; but being neither learned in the former, nor desirous of the latter, silence reigned at their table, as absolutely as at a refectory.

She had often expressed a great desire to see London; but though they were only distant a very short day’s journey from it, she had never been able to satisfy her curiosity: it was not therefore without reason, that she grew weary of the life she was forced to lead at Peckham. The melancholy retired situation of the place was to her insupportable; and as she had the folly, incident to many other women, of believing sterility to be a kind of reproach, she was very much hurt to see that she might fall under that suspicion; for she was persuaded, that although heaven had denied her children, she nevertheless had all the necessary requisites on her part, if it had been the will of the Lord. This had occasioned her to make some reflections, and then to reason upon those reflections; as for instance, that since her husband chose rather to devote himself to his studies, than to the duties of matrimony, to turn over musty old books, rather than attend to the attractions of beauty, and to gratify his own pleasures, rather than those of his wife, it might be permitted her to relieve some necessitous lover, in neighbourly charity, provided she could do it conscientiously, and to direct her inclinations in so just a, manner, that the evil spirit should have no concern in it. Mr. Wetenhall, a zealous partisan for the doctrine of the casuists, would not perhaps have approved of these decisions; but he was not consulted.

The greatest misfortune was, that neither solitary Peckham nor its sterile neighbourhood, presented any expedients, either for the execution of the afore-mentioned design, or for the relief of poor Mrs. Wetenhall: she was visibly pining away, when, through fear of dying either with solitude or of want, she had recourse to Miss Hamilton’s commiseration.

Their first acquaintance was formed at Paris, whither Mr. Wetenhall had taken his wife half a year after they were married, on a journey thither to buy books: Miss Hamilton, who from that very time greatly pitied her, consented to pass some time in the country with her, in hopes by that visit to deliver her, for a short time at least, out of her captivity; which project succeeded according to her wish.

The Chevalier de Grammont, being informed of the day on which they were to arrive, borne on the wings of love and impatience, had engaged George Hamilton to go with him, and meet them some miles out of London. The equipage he had prepared for the purpose, corresponded with his usual magnificence; and on such an occasion, we may reasonably suppose he had not neglected his person: however, with all his impatience, he checked the ardour of the coachman, through fear of accidents, rightly judging that upon a road prudence is preferable to eagerness. The ladies at length appeared, and Miss Hamilton, being in his eyes, ten or twelve times more handsome than before her departure from London, he would have purchased with his life so kind a reception as she gave her brother.

Mrs. Wetenhall had her share of the praises, which at this interview were liberally bestowed upon her beauty, for which her beauty was very thankful to those who did it so much honour; and as Hamilton regarded her with a tender attention, she regarded Hamilton as a man very well qualified for putting in execution the little projects she had concerted with her conscience.

As soon as she was in London, her head was almost turned, through an excess of contentment and felicity: everything appeared like enchantment to her in this superb city; more particularly, as in Paris she had never seen anything farther than the Rue Saint Jacques, and a few booksellers’ shops. Miss Hamilton entertained her at her own house, and she was presented, admired, and well received at both courts.

The Chevalier de Grammont, whose gallantry and magnificence were inexhaustible, taking occasion, from this fair stranger’s arrival, to exhibit his grandeur, nothing was to be seen but balls, concerts, plays, excursions by land and by water, splendid collations and sumptuous entertainments: Mrs. Wetenhall was transported with pleasures, of which the greatest part were entirely new to her; she was greatly delighted with all, except now and then at a play, when tragedy was acted, which she confessed she thought rather wearisome: she agreed, however, that the show was very interesting, when there were many people killed upon the stage, but thought the players were very fine handsome fellows, who were much better alive than dead.

Hamilton, upon the whole, was pretty well treated by her, if a man in love, who is never satisfied until the completion of his wishes, could confine himself within the bounds of moderation and reason: he used all his endeavours to determine her to put in execution the projects she had formed at Peckham: Mrs. Wetenhall, on the other hand, was much pleased with him. This is the Hamilton who served in the French army with distinction; he was both agreeable and handsome. All imaginable opportunities conspired to favour the establishment of an intimacy, whose commencement had been so brisk, that in all probability it would not languish for a conclusion; but the more he pressed her to it, the more her resolution began to fail, and regard for some scruples, which she had not well weighed, kept her in suspense: there was reason to believe that a little perseverance would have removed these obstacles; yet this at the present time was not attempted. Hamilton, not able to conceive what could prevent her from completing his happiness, since in his opinion the first and greatest difficulties of an amour were already overcome, with respect to the public, resolved to abandon her to her irresolutions, instead of endeavouring to conquer them by a more vigorous attack. It was not consistent with reason, to desist from an enterprise, where so many prospects of success presented themselves, for such inconsiderable obstacles; but he suffered himself to be intoxicated with chimeras and visions, which unseasonably cooled the vigour of his pursuit, and led him astray in another unprofitable undertaking.

[I apprehend he is the same George Hamilton already described, who married Miss Jennings, and not the author of this work, as Lord Orford supposes. In a letter from Arlington to Sir William Godolphin, dated September 7, 1671, it is said, “the Conde de Molina complains to us of certain levies Sir George Hamilton hath made in Ireland. The king hath always told him he had no express license for it; and I have told the Conde he must not find it strange that a gentleman who had been bred the king’s page abroad, and losing his employment at home, for being a Roman Catholic, should have some more than ordinary connivance towards the making his fortune abroad by the countenance of his friends and relations in Ireland: and yet take the matter in the worst sense he could give, it would not amount to the breach of any article betwixt the king my master and the court of Spain.”—Arlington’s letters, vol. ii., p. 332. In a letter from the same nobleman to Lord Sandwich, written about October, 1667, we find the cause of Sir George Hamilton’s entering into the French service “Concerning the reformadoes of the guards of horse, his majesty thought fit, the other day, to have them dismissed, according to his promise, made to the parliament at the last session. Mr. Hamilton had a secret overture made him, that he, with those men, should be welcome into the French service; his majesty, at their dismissal, having declared they should have leave to go abroad whither they pleased.” They accepted of Mr. Hamilton’s offer to carry them into France. “Arlington’s Letters,” vol. i., p. 185. Lodge, in his Peerage of Ireland, says, Sir George Hamilton died in 1667, which, from the first extract above, appears to be erroneous. He has evidently confounded the father and son; the former of whom was the person who died in 1667.]

I know not whether poor Wetenhall took the blame upon herself; but it is certain, she was extremely mortified upon it. Soon after being obliged to return to her cabbages and turkeys at Peckham, she had almost gone distracted: that residence appeared a thousand times more dreadful to her, since she had been initiated into the amusements of London; but as the queen was to set out within a month for Tunbridge Wells, she was obliged to yield to necessity, and return to the philosopher, Wetenhall, with the consolation of having engaged Miss Hamilton to come and live at her house, which was within ten or twelve miles of Tunbridge, as long as the court remained there.

Miss Hamilton promised not to abandon her in her retirement, and further engaged to bring the Chevalier de Grammont along with her, whose humour and conversation extremely delighted her. The Chevalier de Grammont, who on all occasions started agreeable raillery, engaged on his part to bring George Hamilton, which words overwhelmed her with blushes. The court set out soon after to pass about two months in the place of all Europe the most rural and simple, and yet, at the same time, the most entertaining and agreeable. Tunbridge is the same distance from London, that Fontainebleau is from Paris, and is, at the season, the general rendezvous of all the gay and handsome of both sexes. The company, though always numerous, is always select: since those who repair thither for diversion, ever exceed the number of those who go thither for health. Everything there breathes mirth and pleasure: constraint is banished, familiarity is established upon the first acquaintance, and joy and pleasure are the sole sovereigns of the place.

The company are accommodated with lodgings in little, clean, and convenient habitations, that lie straggling and separated from each other, a mile and a half all round the Wells, where the company meet in the morning: this place consists of a long walk, shaded by spreading trees, under which they walk while they are drinking the waters: on one side of this walk is a long row of shops, plentifully stocked with all manner of toys, lace, gloves, stockings, and where there is raffling, as at Paris, in the Foire de Saint Germain: on the other side of the walk is the market; and, as it is the custom here for every person to buy their own provisions, care is taken that nothing offensive appears on the stalls. Here young, fair, fresh-coloured country girls, with clean linen, small straw hats, and neat shoes and stockings, sell game, vegetables, flowers and fruit: here one may live as one pleases: here is, likewise, deep play, and no want of amorous intrigues. As soon as the evening comes, every one quits his little palace to assemble at the bowling-green, where, in the open air, those who choose, dance upon a turf more soft and smooth than the finest carpet in the world.

Lord Muskerry had, within two or three short miles of Tunbridge, a very handsome seat called Summer-hill: Miss Hamilton, after having spent eight or ten days at Peckham, could not excuse herself from passing the remainder of the season at his house; and, having obtained leave of Mr. Wetenhall, that his lady should accompany her, they left the melancholy residence of Peckham, and its tiresome master, and fixed their little court at Summer-hill.

They went every day to court, or the court came to them. The queen even surpassed her usual attentions in inventing and supporting entertainments: she endeavoured to increase the natural ease and freedom of Tunbridge, by dispensing with, rather than requiring, those ceremonies that were due to her presence; and, confining in the bottom of her heart that grief and uneasiness she could not overcome, she saw Miss Stewart triumphantly possess the affections of the king without manifesting the least uneasiness.

Never did love see his empire in a more flourishing condition than on this spot: those who were smitten before they came to it, felt a mighty augmentation of their flame; and those who seemed the least susceptible of love, laid aside their natural ferocity, to act in a new character. For the truth of the latter, we shall only relate the change which soon appeared in the conduct of Prince Rupert.

[Lord Orford’s contrast to this character of Prince Rupert is too just to be here omitted. “Born with the taste of an uncle whom his sword was not fortunate in defending, Prince Rupert was fond of those sciences which soften and adorn a hero’s private hours, and knew how to mix them with his minutes of amusement, without dedicating his life to their pursuit, like us, who, wanting capacity for momentous views, make serious study of what is only the transitory occupation of a genius. Had the court of the first Charles been peaceful, how agreeably had the prince’s congenial propensity flattered and confirmed the inclination of his uncle! How the muse of arts would have repaid the patronage of the monarch, when, for his first artist, she would have presented him with his nephew! How different a figure did the same prince make in a reign of dissimilar complexion! The philosophic warrior, who could relax himself into the ornament of a refined court, was thought a savage mechanic, when courtiers were only voluptuous wits. Let me transcribe a picture of Prince Rupert, drawn by a man who was far from having the least portion of wit in that age, who was superior to its indelicacy, and who yet was so overborne by its prejudices, that he had the complaisance to ridicule virtue, merit, talents. —But Prince Rupert, alas! was an awkward lover!” Lord Orford here inserts the character in the text, and then adds, “What pity that we, who wish to transmit this prince’s resemblance to posterity on a fairer canvas, have none of these inimitable colours to efface the harsher likeness! We can but oppose facts to wit, truth to satire. —How unequal the pencils! yet what these lines cannot do they may suggest: they may induce the reader to reflect, that if the prince was defective in the transient varnish of a court, he at least was adorned by the arts with that polish which alone can make a court attract the attention of subsequent ages.”—Catalogue of Engravers, p 135, 8vo ed.]

He was brave and courageous, even to rashness; but cross-grained and incorrigibly obstinate: his genius was fertile in mathematical experiments, and he possessed some knowledge of chemistry: he was polite even to excess, unseasonably; but haughty, and even brutal, when he ought to have been gentle and courteous: he was tall, and his manners were ungracious: he had a dry hard-favoured visage, and a stern look, even when he wished to please; but, when he was out of humour, he was the true picture of reproof.

The queen had sent for the players, either that there might be no intermission in the diversions of the place, or, perhaps, to retort upon Miss Stewart, by the presence of Nell Gwyn, part of the uneasiness she felt from hers. Prince Rupert found charms in the person of another player called Hughes, who brought down and greatly subdued his natural fierceness.

[Mrs. Hughes was one of the actresses belonging to the king’s company, and one of the earliest female performers. According to Downs, she commenced her theatrical career after the opening of Drury lane theatre, in 1663. She appears to have been the first female representative of Desdemona. By Prince Rupert she had a daughter, named Ruperta, married to Lieutenant-general Howe, who survived her husband many years, dying at Somerset house, about the year 1740.]

From this time, adieu alembics, crucibles, furnaces, and all the black furniture of the forges: a complete farewell to all mathematical instruments and chemical speculations: sweet powder and essences were now the only ingredients that occupied any share of his attention. The impertinent gipsy chose to be attacked in form; and proudly refusing money, that, in the end she might sell her favours at a dearer rate, she caused the poor prince to act a part so unnatural, that he no longer appeared like the same person. The king was greatly pleased with this event, for which great rejoicings were made at Tunbridge; but nobody was bold enough to make it the subject of satire, though the same constraint was not observed with other ridiculous personages.

There was dancing every day at the queen’s apartments, because the physicians recommended it, and no person thought it amiss: for even those who cared least for it, chose that exercise to digest the waters rather than walking. Lord Muskerry thought himself secure against his lady’s rage for dancing; for, although he was ashamed of it, the princess of Babylon was, by the grace of God, six or seven months advanced in pregnancy; and, to complete her misfortune, the child had fallen all on one side, so that even Euclid would have been puzzled to say what her figure was. The disconsolate lady, seeing Miss Hamilton and Mrs. Wetenhall set out every morning, sometimes on horseback and sometimes in a coach, but ever attended by a gallant troop to conduct them to court, and to convey them back, she fancied a thousand times more delights at Tunbridge than in reality there were, and she did not cease in her imagination, to dance over at Summer-hill all the country dances which she thought had been danced at Tunbridge. She could no longer support the racking torments which disturbed her mind, when relenting heaven, out of pity to her pains and sufferings, caused Lord Muskerry to repair to London, and kept him there two whole days: as soon as ever he had turned his back, the Babylonian princess declared her resolution to make a trip to court.

She had a domestic chaplain who did not want sense, and Lord Muskerry, for fear of accidents, had recommended her to the wholesome counsels and good prayers of this prudent divine; but in vain were all his preachings and exhortations to stay at home; in vain did he set before her eyes her husband’s commands, and the dangers to which she would expose herself in her present condition; he likewise added that her pregnancy, being a particular blessing from heaven, she ought therefore to be so much the more careful for its preservation, since it cost her husband, perhaps, more trouble than she was aware of, to obtain it. These remonstrances were altogether ineffectual: Miss Hamilton and her cousin Wetenhall, having the complaisance to confirm her in her resolution, they assisted in dressing her the next morning, and set out along with her all their skill and dexterity were requisite to reduce her shape into some kind of symmetry; but, having at last pinned a small cushion under her petticoat on the right side, to counteract the untoward appearance the little infant occasioned by throwing itself on the left, they almost split their sides with laughter, assuring her at the same time that she looked perfectly charming.

As soon as she appeared, it was generally believed that she had dressed herself in a farthingale, in order to make her court to the queen; but every person was pleased at her arrival: those who were unacquainted with the circumstances assured her in earnest that she was pregnant with twins; and the queen, who envied her condition, notwithstanding the ridiculous appearance she then made, being made acquainted with the motive of her journey, was determined to gratify her inclinations.

As soon as the hour for country dances arrived, her cousin Hamilton was appointed her partner: she made some faint excuses at first on account of the inconvenient situation she was then in: but soon suffered them to be overcome, in order, as she said, to show her duty to the queen; and never did a woman in this world enjoy such complete satisfaction.

We have already observed, that the greatest prosperity is liable to the greatest change: Lady Muskerry, trussed up as she was, seemed to feel no manner of uneasiness from the motion in dancing; on the contrary, being only apprehensive of the presence of her husband, which would have destroyed all her happiness, she danced with uncommon briskness, lest her ill stars should bring him back before she had fully satisfied herself with it. In the midst, therefore, of her capering in this indiscreet manner, her cushion came loose, without her perceiving it, and fell to the ground in the very middle of the first round. The Duke of Buckingham, who watched her, took it up instantly, wrapped it up in his coat, and, mimicking the cries of a new-born infant, he went about inquiring for a nurse for the young Muskerry among the maids of honour.

This buffoonery, joined to the strange figure of the poor lady, had almost thrown Miss Stewart into hysterics; for the princess of Babylon, after this accident, was quite flat on one side, and immoderately protuberant on the other. All those who had before suppressed their inclinations to laugh, now gave themselves free scope, when they saw that Miss Stewart was ready to split her sides. The poor lady was greatly disconcerted: every person was officious to console her; but the queen, who inwardly laughed more heartily than any, pretended to disapprove of their taking such liberties.

Whilst Miss Hamilton and Mrs. Wetenhall endeavoured to refit Lady Muskerry in another room, the Duke of Buckingham told the king that, if the physicians would permit a little exercise immediately after a delivery, the best way to recover Lady Muskerry was to renew the dance as soon as ever her infant was replaced; this advice was approved, and accordingly put in execution. The queen proposed, as soon as she appeared, a second round of country-dances; and Lady Muskerry accepting the offer, the remedy had its desired effect, and entirely removed every remembrance of her late mishap.

Whilst these things were passing at the king’s court, that of the Duke of York took a journey on the other side of London; the pretence of this journey was to visit the county whose name he bore; but love was the real motive. The duchess, since her elevation, had conducted herself with such prudence and circumspection, as could not be sufficiently admired: such were her manners, and such the general estimation in which she was held, that she appeared to have found out the secret of pleasing every one; a secret yet more rare than the grandeur to which she had been raised: but, after having gained universal esteem, she was desirous of being more particularly beloved; or, more properly speaking, malicious Cupid assaulted her heart, in spite of the discretion, prudence, and reason, with which she had fortified it.

In vain had she said to herself a hundred times, that if the duke had been so kind as to do her justice by falling in love with her, he had done her too much honour by making her his wife; that with respect to his inconstant disposition, which estranged him from her, she ought to bear it with patience, until it pleased heaven to produce a change in his conduct; that the frailties on his part, which might to her appear injurious, would never justify in her the least deviation from her duty; and, as resentment was still less allowable, she ought to endeavour to regain him by a conduct entirely opposite to his own. In vain was it, as we have said before, that she had long resisted Love and his emissaries by the help of these maxims: how solid soever reason, and however obstinate wisdom and virtue may be, there are yet certain attacks which tire by their length, and, in the end, subdue both reason and virtue itself.

The Duchess of York was one of the highest feeders in England: as this was an unforbidden pleasure she indulged herself in it, as an indemnification for other self-denials. It was really an edifying sight to see her at table. The duke, on the contrary, being incessantly in the hurry of new fancies, exhausted himself by his inconstancy, and was gradually wasting away; whilst the poor princess, gratifying her good appetite, grew so fat and plump that it was a blessing to see her. It is not easy to determine how long things would have continued in this situation, if Love, who was resolved to have satisfaction for her late conduct, so opposite to the former, had not employed artifice as well as force, to disturb her repose.

He at first let loose upon her resentment and jealousy two mortal enemies to all tranquillity and happiness. A tall creature, pale-faced, and nothing but skin and bone, named Churchill, whom she had taken for a maid of honour, became the object of her jealousy, because she was then the object of the duke’s affection. The court was not able to comprehend how, after having been in love with Lady Chesterfield, Miss Hamilton, and Miss Jennings, he could have any inclination for such a creature; but they soon perceived that something more than unaccountable variety had a great share in effecting this conquest.

[Miss Arabella Churchill, daughter of Sir Winston Churchill of Wotton Basset, in the county of Wilts, and sister to the celebrated John, Duke of Marlborough. She was born 1648.]

The duchess beheld with indignation a choice which seemed to debase her own merit in a much greater degree than any of the former; at the very instant that indignation and jealousy began to provoke her spleen, perfidious Cupid threw in the way of her passions and resentments the amiable, handsome Sidney; and, whilst he kept her eyes fixed upon his personal perfections, diverted her attention from perceiving the deficiency of his mental accomplishments: she was wounded before she was aware of her danger; but the good opinion Sidney had of his own merit did not suffer him long to be ignorant of such a glorious conquest; and, in order more effectually to secure it, his eyes rashly answered everything which those of her royal highness had the kindness to tell him, whilst his personal accomplishments were carefully heightened by all the advantages of dress and show.

The duchess, foreseeing the consequences of such an engagement, strongly combated the inclination that hurried her away; but Miss Hobart, siding with that inclination, argued the matter with her scruples, and, in the end, really vanquished them. This girl had insinuated herself into her royal highness’s confidence by a fund of news with which she was provided the whole year round: the court and the city supplied her; nor was it very material to her whether her stories were true or false, her chief care being that they should prove agreeable to her mistress: she knew, likewise, how to gratify her palate, and constantly provided a variety of those dishes and liquors which she liked best. These qualifications had rendered her necessary; but, desirous of being still more so, and having perceived both the airs that Sidney gave himself, and what was passing in the heart of her mistress, the cunning Hobart took the liberty of telling her royal highness that this unfortunate youth was pining away solely on her account; that it was a thousand pities a man of his figure should lose the respect for her which was most certainly her due, merely because she had reduced him to such a state that he could no longer preserve it; that he was gradually dying away on her account, in the sight of the whole court; that his situation would soon be generally remarked, except she made use of the proper means to prevent it; that, in her opinion, her royal highness ought to pity the miserable situation into which her charms had reduced him, and to endeavour to alleviate his pain in some way or other. The duchess asked her what she meant by “endeavouring to alleviate his pain in some way or other.” “I mean, madam,” answered Miss Hobart, “that, if either his person be disagreeable, or his passion troublesome, you will give him his discharge; or, if you choose to retain him in your service, as all the princesses in the world would do in your place, you will permit me to give him directions from you for his future conduct, mixed with a few grains of hope, to prevent his entirely losing his senses, until you find a proper occasion yourself to acquaint him with your wishes.” “What!” said the duchess, “would you advise me, Hobart—you, who really love me—to engage in an affair of this nature, at the expense of my honour, and the hazard of a thousand inconveniences! If such frailties are sometimes excusable, they certainly are not so in the high station in which I am placed; and it would be an ill-requital on my part for his goodness who raised me to the rank I now fill to——” “All this is very fine,” interrupted Miss Hobart: “but is it not very well known that he only married you because he was importuned so to do? Since that I refer to yourself whether he has ever restrained his inclination a single moment, giving you the most convincing proofs of the change that has taken place in his heart, by a thousand provoking infidelities? Is it still your intention to persevere in a state of indolence and humility, whilst the duke, after having received the favours, or suffered the repulses, of all the coquettes in England, pays his addresses to the maids of honour, one after the other, and at present places his whole ambition and desires in the conquest of that ugly skeleton, Churchill? What! Madam, must then your prime of life be spent in a sort of widowhood in deploring your misfortunes, without ever being permitted to make use of any remedy that may offer? A woman must be endowed with insuperable patience, or with an inexhaustible degree of resignation, to bear this. Can a husband, who disregards you both night and day, really suppose, because his wife eats and drinks heartily, as, God be thanked, your royal highness does, that she wants nothing else than to sleep well too? Faith, such conduct is too bad: I therefore once more repeat that there is not a princess in the universe who would refuse the homage of a man like Sidney, when a husband pays his addresses elsewhere.”

These reasons were certainly not morally good; but had they been still worse the duchess would have yielded to them, so much did her heart act in concert with Miss Hobart, to overthrow her discretion and prudence.

This intrigue began at the very time that Miss Hobart advised Miss Temple not to give any encouragement to the addresses of the handsome Sidney. As for him, no sooner was he informed by the confidant Hobart that the goddess accepted his adoration than he immediately began to be particularly reserved and circumspect in his behaviour, in order to divert the attention of the public; but the public is not so easily deceived as some people imagine.

As there were too many spies, too many inquisitive people and critics, in a numerous court, residing in the midst of a populous city, the duchess to avoid exposing the inclinations of her heart to the scrutiny of so many inquisitors, engaged the Duke of York to undertake the journey before mentioned, whilst the queen and her court were at Tunbridge.

This conduct was prudent; and, if agreeable to her, was far from displeasing to any of her court, except Miss Jennings: Jermyn was not of the party; and, in her opinion, every party was insipid in which he was not one of the company. He had engaged himself in an enterprise above his strength, in laying a wager which the Chevalier de Grammont had laid before, and lost. He betted five hundred guineas that he would ride twenty miles in one hour upon the same horse, in the high road. The day he had fixed upon for this race was the very same in which Miss Jennings went to the fortune-teller’s.

Jermyn was more fortunate than her in this undertaking he came off victorious; but as his courage had far exceeded the strength of his constitution in this exertion to win the wager, he got a violent fever into the bargain, which brought him very low. Miss Jennings inquired after his health; but that was all she dared to do. In modern romances, a princess need only pay a visit to some hero, abandoned by his physicians, a perfect cure would be wrought in three days; but since Miss Jennings had not been the cause of Jermyn’s fever, she was not certain of relieving him from it, although she had been sure that a charitable visit would not have been censured in a malicious court. Without therefore paying any attention to the uneasiness she might feel upon the occasion, the court set out without him: she had, however, the gratification to testify her ill-humour throughout the whole journey, by appearing displeased with everything which seemed to afford satisfaction to all the rest of the company.

Talbot made one of the company; and flattering himself that the absence of a dangerous rival might produce some change in his favour, he was attentive to all the actions, motions, and even gestures, of his former mistress. There was certainly enough fully to employ his attention: it was contrary to her disposition to remain long in a serious humour. Her natural vivacity hurried her away, from being seemingly lost in thought, into sallies of wit, which afforded him hopes that she would soon forget Jermyn, and remember that his own passion was the first she had encouraged. However, he kept his distance, notwithstanding his love and his hopes, being of opinion that it ill became an injured lover to betray either the least weakness, or the smallest return of affection, for an ungrateful mistress, who had deserted him.

Miss Jennings was so far from thinking of his resentments, that she did not even recollect he had ever paid his addresses to her; and her thoughts being wholly occupied upon the poor sick man, she conducted herself towards Talbot as if they never had had anything to say to each other. It was to him that she most usually gave her hand, either in getting into or out of the coach; she conversed more readily with him than any other person, and, without intending it, did everything to make the court believe she was cured of her passion for Jermyn in favour of her former lover.

Of this he seemed likewise convinced, as well as the rest; and thinking it now proper to act another part, in order to let her know that his sentiments with respect to her were still the same, he had resolved to address her in the most tender and affectionate manner upon this subject. Fortune seemed to have favoured him, and to have smoothed the way for this intended harangue: he was alone with her in her chamber; and, what was still better, she was rallying him concerning Miss Boynton; saying, “that they were undoubtedly much obliged to him for attending them on their journey, whilst poor Miss Boynton had fainting fits at Tunbridge, at least twice every day, for love of him.” Upon this discourse, Talbot thought it right to begin the recital of his sufferings and fidelity, when Miss Temple, with a paper in her hand, entered the room. This was a letter in verse, which Lord Rochester had written some time before, upon the intrigues of the two courts; wherein, upon the subject of Miss Jennings, he said: “that Talbot had struck terror among the people of God, by his gigantic stature; but that Jermyn, like a little David, had vanquished the great Goliath.” Jennings, delighted with this allusion, read it over two or three times, thought it more entertaining than Talbot’s conversation, at first heartily laughed at it, but soon after, with a tender air, “Poor little David!” said she, with a deep sigh, and turning her head on one side during this short reverie, she shed a few tears, which assuredly did not flow for the defeat of the giant. This stung Talbot to the quick; and, seeing himself so ridiculously deceived in his hopes, he went abruptly out of the room, vowing never to think any more of a giddy girl, whose conduct was regulated neither by sense nor reason; but he did not keep his resolution.

The other votaries of love, who were numerous in this court, were more successful, the journey being undertaken solely on that account. There were continual balls and entertainments upon the road; hunting, and all other diversions, wherever the court halted in its progress. The tender lovers flattered themselves with the thought of being able to crown their happiness as they proceeded in their journey; and the beauties who governed their destiny did not forbid them to hope. Sidney paid his court with wonderful assiduity: the duchess made the duke take notice of his late perfect devotion to his service: his royal highness observed it, and agreed that he ought to be remembered upon the first opportunity, which happened soon after.

Montagu, as before mentioned, was master of the horse to the duchess: he was possessed of a great deal of wit, had much penetration, and loved mischief. How could she bear such a man near her person, in the present situation of her heart? This greatly embarrassed her; but Montagu’s elder brother having, very a-propos, got himself killed where he had no business, the duke obtained for Montagu the post of master of the horse to the queen, which the deceased enjoyed; and the handsome Sidney was appointed to succeed him in the same employment to the duchess. All this happened according to her wish; and the duke was highly pleased that he had found means to promote these two gentlemen at once, without being at the least expense.

Miss Hobart greatly applauded these promotions: she had frequent and long conversations with Sidney, which, being remarked, some did her the honour to believe it was upon her own account; and the compliments that were made her upon the occasion she most willingly received. The duke, who believed it at first, observed to the duchess the unaccountable taste of certain persons, and how the handsomest young fellow in England was infatuated with such a frightful creature.

The duchess confessed that taste was very arbitrary; the truth whereof he himself seemed to be convinced of, since he had fixed upon the beauteous Helen for his mistress. I know not whether this raillery caused him to reflect for what reasons he had made his choice; but it is certain he began to cool in his affections for Miss Churchill; and perhaps he would entirely have abandoned this pursuit, had not an accident taken place, which raised in him an entirely new inclination for her.

The court having halted for a few days in a fine open country, the duchess was desirous of seeing a greyhound course. This diversion is practised in England upon large downs, where the turf, eaten by the sheep, is particularly green, and wonderfully even. She was in her coach, and all the ladies on horseback, every one of them being attended by her squire; it therefore was but reasonable that the mistress should likewise have her squire. He accordingly was at the side of her coach, and seemed to compensate for his deficiencies in conversation, by the uncommon beauty of his mien and figure.

The duke attended Miss Churchill, not for the sake of besieging her with soft flattering tales of love, but, on the contrary, to chide her for sitting so ill on horseback: She was one of the most indolent creatures in the world; and although the maids of honour are generally the worst mounted of the whole court, yet, in order to distinguish her, on account of the favour she enjoyed, they had given her a very pretty, though rather a high-spirited horse; a distinction she would very willingly have excused them.

The embarrassment and fear she was under had added to her natural paleness. In this situation, her countenance had almost completed the duke’s disgust, when her horse, desirous of keeping pace with the others, set off in a gallop, notwithstanding her greatest efforts to prevent it; and her endeavours to hold him in, firing his mettle, he at length set off at full speed, as if he was running a race against the duke’s horse.

Miss Churchill lost her seat, screamed out, and fell from her horse. A fall in so quick a pace must have been violent; and yet it proved favourable to her in every respect; for, without receiving any hurt, she gave the lie to all the unfavourable suppositions that had been formed of her person, in judging from her face. The duke alighted, in order to help her: she was so greatly stunned, that her thoughts were otherwise employed than about decency on the present occasion; and those who first crowded around her found her rather in a negligent posture: they could hardly believe that limbs of such exquisite beauty could belong to Miss Churchill’s face. After this accident, it was remarked that the duke’s tenderness and affection for her increased every day; and, towards the end of the winter, it appeared that she had not tyrannized over his passion, nor made him languish with impatience.

The two courts returned to London much about the same time, equally satisfied with their respective excursions; though the queen was disappointed in the hopes she had entertained of the good effects of the Tunbridge waters.

It was about this time that the Chevalier de Grammont received a letter from the Marchioness de Saint-Chaumont, his sister, acquainting him, that he might return when he thought proper, the king having given him leave. He would have received this news with joy at any other time, whatever had been the charms of the English court; but, in the present situation of his heart, he could not resolve to quit it.

He had returned from Tunbridge a thousand times deeper in love than ever; for, during this agreeable excursion, he had every day seen Miss Hamilton, either in the marshes of melancholy Peckham, or in the delicious walks of cheerful Summerhill, or in the daily diversions and entertainments of the queen’s court; and whether he saw her on horseback, heard her conversation, or observed her in the dance, still he was persuaded that Heaven had never formed an object in every respect more worthy of the love, and more deserving of the affection, of a man of sense and delicacy. How then was it possible for him to bear the thoughts of leaving her? This appeared to him absolutely impracticable; however, as he was desirous of making a merit with her, of the determination he had made to neglect his fortune, rather than to be separated from her charms, he showed her his sister’s letter: but this confidence had not the success he expected.

Miss Hamilton, in the first place, congratulated him upon his recall: She returned him many thanks for the sacrifice he intended to make her; but as this testimony of affection greatly exceeded the bounds of mere gallantry, however sensibly she might feel this mark of his tenderness, she was, however, determined not to abuse it. In vain did he protest that he would rather meet death than part from her irresistible charms; and her irresistible charms protested that he should never see them more, unless he departed immediately. Thus was he forced to obey. However, he was allowed to flatter himself, that these positive orders, how harsh soever they might appear, did not flow from indifference; that she would always be more pleased with his return than with his departure, for which she was now so urgent; and having generously given him assurances that, so far as depended upon herself, he would find, upon his return, no variation in her sentiments during his absence, he took leave of his friends, thinking of nothing but his return, at the very time he was making preparations for his departure.


The nearer the Chevalier de Grammont approached the court of France, the more did he regret his absence from that of England.

A thousand different thoughts occupied his mind upon the journey: Sometimes he reflected upon the joy and satisfaction his friends and relations would experience upon his return; sometimes upon the congratulations and embraces of those who, being neither the one nor the other, would, nevertheless, overwhelm him with impertinent compliments: All these ideas passed quickly through his head; for a man deeply in love makes it a scruple of conscience not to suffer any other thoughts to dwell upon his mind than those of the object beloved. It was then the tender, endearing remembrance of what he had left in London that diverted his thoughts from Paris; and it was the torments of absence that prevented his feeling those of the bad roads and the bad horses. His heart protested to Miss Hamilton, between Montreuil and Abbeville that he only tore himself from her with such haste, to return the sooner; after which, by a short reflection, comparing the regret he had formerly felt upon the same road, in quitting France for England, with that which he now experienced, in quitting England for France, he found the last much more insupportable than the former.

It is thus that a man in love entertains himself upon the road; or rather, it is thus that a trifling writer abuses the patience of his reader, either to display his own sentiments, or to lengthen out a tedious story; but God forbid that this character should apply to ourselves, since we profess to insert nothing in these memoirs, but what we have heard from the mouth of him whose actions and sayings we transmit to posterity.

Who, except Squire Feraulas, has ever been able to keep a register of all the thoughts, sighs, and exclamations, of his illustrious master? For my own part, I should never have thought that the attention of the Count de Grammont, which is at present so sensible to inconveniences and dangers, would have ever permitted him to entertain amorous thoughts upon the road, if he did not himself dictate to me what I am now writing.

But let us speak of him at Abbeville. The postmaster was his old acquaintance: His hotel was the best provided of any between Calais and Paris; and the Chevalier de Grammont, alighting, told Termes he would drink a glass of wine during the time they were changing horses. It was about noon; and, since the preceding night, when they had landed at Calais, until this instant, they had not eat a single mouthful. Termes, praising the Lord, that natural feelings had for once prevailed over the inhumanity of his usual impatience, confirmed him as much as possible in such reasonable sentiments.

Upon their entering the kitchen, where the Chevalier generally paid his first visit, they were surprised to see half a dozen spits loaded with game at the fire, and every other preparation for a magnificent entertainment. The heart of Termes leaped for joy: he gave private orders to the hostler to pull the shoes off some of the horses, that he might not be forced away from this place before he had satisfied his craving appetite.

Soon after, a number of violins and hautboys, attended by all the mob of the town, entered the court. The landlord, being asked the reason of these great preparations, acquainted the Chevalier de Grammont that they were for the wedding of one of the most wealthy gentlemen in the neighbourhood with one of the handsomest girls in the whole province; that the entertainment was to be at his house; and that, if his lordship chose to stop, in a very short time he would see the new-married couple arrive from the church, since the music was already come. He was right in his conjectures; for these words were scarce out of his mouth, when three uncommonly large coaches, loaded with lackeys, as tall as Swiss, with most gaudy liveries, all covered with lace, appeared in the court, and disembarked the whole wedding company. Never was country magnificence more naturally displayed: Rusty tinsel, tarnished lace, striped silks, little eyes, and full swelling breasts, appeared on every side.

If the first sight of the procession surprised the Chevalier de Grammont, faithful Termes was no less astonished at the second. The little that was to be seen of the bride’s face appeared not without beauty; but no judgment could be formed of the remainder: Four dozen of patches, at least, and ten ringlets of hair, on each side, most completely concealed her from all human eyes; but it was the bridegroom who most particularly attracted the Chevalier de Grammont’s attention.

He was as ridiculously dressed as the rest of the company, except a coat of the greatest magnificence, and of the most exquisite taste. The Chevalier de Grammont, walking up to him to examine his dress, began to commend the embroidery of his coat. The bridegroom thought himself much honoured by this examination, and told him he bought it for one hundred and fifty louis, at the time he was paying his addresses to his wife. “Then you did not get it made here?” said the Chevalier de Grammont. “No,” replied the other; “I bought it of a London merchant, who had ordered it for an English lord.” The Chevalier de Grammont, who now began to perceive in what manner the adventure would end, asked him if he should recollect the merchant if he saw him again? “Recollect him!” replied the other, “I surely ought; for I was obliged to sit up drinking with him all night at Calais, as I was endeavouring to beat down the price.” Termes had vanished out of sight as soon as ever this coat appeared, though he little supposed that the cursed bridegroom would have any conversation concerning it with his master.

The Chevalier’s thoughts were some time wavering between his inclination to laugh, and a desire of hanging Master Termes; but the long habit of suffering himself to be robbed by his domestics, together with the vigilance of the criminal, whom his master could not reproach with having slept in his service, inclined him to clemency; and yielding to the importunities of the country gentleman, in order to confound his faithful servant, he sat down to table, to make the thirty-seventh of the company.

A short time after, he desired one of the waiters to call for a gentleman whose name was Termes. He immediately appeared; and as soon as the master of the feast saw him, he rose from table, and offering him his hand; “Welcome, my friend,” said he; “you see that I have taken good care of the coat which you sold me with so much reluctance, and that I have kept it for a good purpose.”

Termes, having put on a face of brass, pretended not to know him, and pushed him back with some degree of rudeness. “No, no!” said the other; “since I was obliged to sit up with you the whole night, in order to strike the bargain, you shall pledge me in the bride’s health.” The Chevalier de Grammont, who saw that Termes was disconcerted, notwithstanding his impudence, said to him with a smile: “Come, come, my good London merchant, sit down, as you are so civilly invited: we are not so crowded at table but that there will be room enough for such an honest gentleman as yourself.” At these words five-and-thirty of the guests were in motion to receive this new visitor: the bride alone, out of an idea of decorum, remained seated; and the audacious Termes, having swallowed the first shame of this adventure, began to lay about him at such a rate, as if it had been his intention to swallow all the wine provided for the wedding, if his master had not risen from the table as they were taking off four-and-twenty soups, to serve up as many other dishes in their stead.

The company were not so unreasonable as to desire a man who was in such haste to remain to the end of a wedding dinner; but they all got up when he arose from table, and all that he could obtain from the bridegroom was that the company should not attend him to the gate of the inn. As for Termes, he wished they had not quitted him till the end of their journey, so much did he dread being left alone with his master.

They had advanced some distance from Abbeville, and were proceeding on in the most profound silence, when Termes, who expected an end to it in a short time, was only solicitous in what manner it might happen, whether his master would attack him with a torrent of invectives, and certain epithets which were most justly his due, or whether, in an insulting, ironical manner, he might make use of such commendations as were most likely to confound him; but finding, instead of either, that he remained in sullen silence, he thought it prudent rather to prevent the speech the Chevalier was meditating than to suffer him to think longer about it; and, accordingly, arming himself with all his effrontery: “You seem to be very angry, Sir,” said he, “and I suppose you think you have reason for being so; but the devil take me, if you are not mistaken in reality.”

“How! traitor! in reality?” said the Chevalier de Grammont. “It is then because I have not had thee well thrashed, as thou hast for a long time merited.” “Look ye, Sir,” replied Termes, “you always run into a passion, instead of listening to reason! Yes, Sir, I maintain that what I did was for your benefit.” “And was not the quicksand likewise for my service?” said the Chevalier de Grammont. “Have patience, if you please,” pursued the other: “I know not how that simpleton of a bridegroom happened to be at the custom-house when my portmanteau was examined at Calais: but these silly cuckolds thrust in their noses everywhere. As soon as ever he saw your coat, he fell in love with it. I immediately perceived he was a fool; for he fell down upon his knees, beseeching me to sell it him. Besides being greatly rumpled in the portmanteau, it was all stained in front by the sweat of the horses. I wonder how the devil he has managed to get it cleaned; but, faith, I am the greatest scoundrel in the world, if you would ever have put it on. In a word, it cost you one hundred and forty louis d’ors, and seeing he offered me one hundred and fifty for it; ‘My master,’ said I, ‘has no occasion for this tinselled bauble to distinguish him at the ball; and, although he was pretty full of cash when I left him, how know I in what situation he may be upon my return? there is no certainty at play.’ To be brief, Sir, I got ten louis d’ors for it more than it cost you: this you see is all clear profit: I will be accountable to you for it, and you know that I am sufficiently substantial to make good such a sum. Confess now, do you think you would have appeared to greater advantage at the ball, if you had been dressed out in that damned coat, which would have made you look just like the village bridegroom to whom we sold it? and yet how you stormed at London when you thought it lost; what fine stories you told the king about the quicksand; and how churlish you looked, when you first began to suppose that this country booby wore it at his wedding!”

What could the Chevalier reply to such uncommon impudence? If he indulged his resentment, he must either have most severely bastinadoed him, or he must have discarded him, as the easiest escape the rogue could expect; but he had occasion for him during the remainder of his journey; and, as soon as he was at Paris, he had occasion for him for his return.

The Marechal de Grammont had no sooner notice of his arrival than he went to him at the hotel; and, the first embraces being over on both sides, “Chevalier,” said the Marechal, “how many days have you been in coming from London hither? for God knows at what a rate you travel on such occasions.” The Chevalier told him he had been three days upon the road; and, to excuse himself for making no more haste, he related to him his Abbeville adventure. “It is a very entertaining one,” said his brother; “but what is yet more entertaining is, that it will be your fault if you do not find your coat still at table; for the country gentry are not accustomed to rise very soon from a wedding dinner.” And then, in a very serious tone, told him, “he knew not who had advised him to this unexpected return, which might probably ruin all his affairs; but he had orders from the king to bid him go back again without appearing at court. He told him afterwards that he was very much astonished at his impatience, as, till this time, he had conducted himself uncommonly well, and was sufficiently acquainted with the king’s temper to know that the only way to merit his pardon was to wait until it freely came from his clemency.”

The Chevalier, in justification of his conduct, produced Madame de Saint Chaumont’s letter, and told the Marechal that he would very willingly have spared her the trouble of writing him such kind of news, to occasion him so useless a journey. “Still more indiscretion,” replied his brother; “for pray how long has our sister being either secretary of state or minister, that she should be employed by the king to make known his majesty’s order? Do you wish to know the real state of the case? Some time ago the king told Madame—[Henrietta]—how you had refused the pension the King of England offered you.

[“Henrietta, youngest daughter of Charles the First,—born at Exeter 16th June, 1644, from whence she was removed to London in 1646, and, with her governess, Lady Dalkeith, soon afterwards conveyed to France. On the restoration, she came over to England with her mother, but returned to France in about six months, and was married to Philip, Duke of Orleans, only brother of Louis XIV. In May, 1670, she came again to Dover, on a mission of a political nature, it is supposed, from the French king to her brother, in which she was successful. She died, soon after her return to France, suddenly, not without suspicion of having been poisoned by her husband. King James, in his Diary, says, ‘On the 22d of June, the news of the Duchess of Orleans’ death arrived. It was suspected that counter-poisons were given her; but when she was opened, in the presence of the English ambassador, the Earl of Ailesbury, an English physician and surgeon, there appeared no grounds of suspicion of any foul play. Yet Bucks tallied openly that she was poisoned; and was so violent as to propose to foreign ministers to make war on France.’—Macpherson’s Original Papers, vol i. At the end of Lord Arlington’s Letters are five very remarkable ones from a person of quality, who is said to have been actually on the spot, giving a particular relation of her death.]

“He appeared pleased with the manner in which Comminges had related to him the circumstances attending it, and said he was pleased with you for it: Madame interpreted this as an order for your recall; and Madame de Saint Chaumont being very far from possessing that wonderful discretion she imagines herself mistress of, she hastened to despatch to you this consequential order in her own hand. To conclude, Madame said yesterday, when the king was at dinner, that you would very soon be here; and the king, as soon as dinner was over, commanded me to send you back as soon as you arrived. Here you are; set off again immediately.”

This order might have appeared severe to the Chevalier de Grammont at any other time; but, in the present state of his heart, he soon resolved upon obeying. Nothing gave him uneasiness but the officious advice which had obliged him to leave the English court; and being entirely unconcerned that he was not allowed to see the French court before his departure, he only desired the Marechal to obtain leave for him to stay a few days to collect in some play debts which were owing him. This request was granted, on condition that he should not remain in Paris.

He chose Vaugirard for his retreat: it was there that he had several adventures which he so often related in so humorous and diverting a manner, that it would be tedious to repeat them; there it was that he administered the sacrament in so solemn a manner, that, as there did not remain a sufficient number of Swiss at Versailles to guard the chapel, Vardes was obliged to acquaint the king that they were all gone to the Chevalier de Grammont, who was administering the sacrament at Vaugirard: there likewise happened that wonderful adventure which threw the first slur upon the reputation of the great Saucourt, when, having a tete-a-tete with the gardener’s daughter, the horn, which was agreed upon as the signal to prevent surprises, was sounded so often, that the frequent alarms cooled the courage of the celebrated Saucourt, and rendered useless the assignation that was procured for him with one of the prettiest girls in the neighbourhood. It was, likewise, during his stay at Vaugirard, that he paid a visit to Mademoiselle de l’Hopital at Issy, to inquire into the truth of a report of an amour between her and a man of the long robe; and it was there that, on his arriving unexpectedly, the President de Maisons was forced to take refuge in a closet, with so much precipitation, that half of his robe remained on the outside when he shut the door; while the Chevalier de Grammont, who observed it, made his visit excessively long, in order to keep the two lovers upon the rack.

His business being settled, he set out for England on the wings of love. Termes redoubled his vigilance upon the road. The post horses were ready in an instant at every stage: the winds and tides favoured his impatience; and he reached London with the highest satisfaction. The court was both surprised and charmed at his sudden return. No person condoled with him upon his late disappointment, which had occasioned him to come back, as he testified no manner of uneasiness concerning it himself: nor was Miss Hamilton in the least displeased at his readiness in obeying the orders of the king his master.

Nothing new had happened in the English court during his short absence; but it assumed a different aspect soon after his return: I mean with respect to love and pleasure, which were the most serious concerns of the court during the greatest part of this gay reign.

The Duke of Monmouth, natural son to Charles the Second, now made his first appearance in his father’s court.

[James Duke of Monmouth, was the son of Charles the II., by one Lucy Walters. He was born at Rotterdam, April 9, 1649, and bore the name of James Crofts until the restoration. His education was chiefly at Paris, under the eye of the queen-mother, and the government of Thomas Ross, Esq., who was afterwards secretary to Mr. Coventry during his embassy in Sweden. At the restoration, he was brought to England, and received with joy by his father, who heaped honours and riches upon him, which were not sufficient to satisfy his ambitious views. To exclude his uncle, the Duke of York, from the throne, he was continually intriguing with the opposers of government, and was frequently in disgrace with his sovereign. On the accession of James II. he made an ineffectual attempt to raise a rebellion, was taken prisoner, and beheaded on Tower-hill, 15th July, 1685. Mr. Macpherson has drawn his character in the following terms: “Monmouth, highly beloved by the populace, was a fit instrument to carry forward his (i.e. Shaftesbury’s) designs. To a gracefulness which prejudiced mankind in his favour as soon as seen, he joined an affability which gained their love. Constant in his friendships, and just to his word, by nature tender, and an utter enemy to severity and cruelty, active and vigorous in his constitution, he excelled in the manly exercises of the field. He was personally brave. He loved the pomp and the very dangers of war. But with these splendid qualities, he was vain to a degree of folly, versatile in his measures, weak in his understanding. He was ambitious without dignity, busy without consequence, attempting ever to be artful, but always a fool. Thus, taking the applause of the multitude for a certain mark of merit, he was the dupe of his own vanity, and owed all his misfortunes to that weakness.”—History of England, vol. i., chap. iii.]

His entrance upon the stage of the world was so brilliant, his ambition had occasioned so many considerable events, and the particulars of his tragical end are so recent, that it were needless to produce any other traits to give a sketch of his character. By the whole tenor of his life, he appeared to be rash in his undertakings, irresolute in the execution, and dejected in his misfortunes, in which, at least, an undaunted resolution ought to equal the greatness of the attempt.

His figure and the exterior graces of his person were such, that nature perhaps never formed anything more complete: His face was extremely handsome; and yet it was a manly face, neither inanimate nor effeminate; each feature having its beauty and peculiar delicacy: He had a wonderful genius for every sort of exercise, an engaging aspect, and an air of grandeur: in a word, he possessed every personal advantage; but then he was greatly deficient in mental accomplishments. He had no sentiments but such as others inspired him with; and those who first insinuated themselves into his friendship, took care to inspire him with none but such as were pernicious. The astonishing beauty of his outward form caused universal admiration: those who before were looked upon as handsome were now entirely forgotten at court: and all the gay and beautiful of the fair sex were at his devotion. He was particularly beloved by the king; but the universal terror of husbands and lovers. This, however, did not long continue; for nature not having endowed him with qualifications to secure the possession of the heart, the fair sex soon perceived the defect.

The Duchess of Cleveland was out of humour with the king, because the children she had by his majesty were like so many little puppets, compared to this new Adonis. She was the more particularly hurt, as she might have boasted of being the queen of love, in comparison with the duke’s mother.

The king, however, laughed at her reproaches, as, for some time, she had certainly no right to make any; and, as this piece of jealousy appeared to be more ill-founded than any she had formerly affected, no person approved of her ridiculous resentment. Not succeeding in this, she formed another scheme to give the king uneasiness: Instead of opposing his extreme tenderness for his son, she pretended to adopt him, in her affection, by a thousand commendations and caresses, which she was daily and continually increasing. As these endearments were public, she imagined they could not be suspected; but she was too well known for her real design to be mistaken. The king was no longer jealous of her; but, as the Duke of Monmouth was of an age not to be insensible to the attractions of a woman possessing so many charms, he thought it proper to withdraw him from this pretended mother-in-law, to preserve his innocence, or at least his fame, uncontaminated: it was for this reason, therefore, that the king married him so young. An heiress of five thousand pounds a-year in Scotland, offered very a-propos: her person was full of charms, and her mind possessed all those perfections in which the handsome Monmouth was deficient.

[This was Lady Anne Scott, daughter and sole heir of Francis, Earl of Buccleugh, only son and heir of Walter, Lord Scott, created Earl of Buccleugh in 1619. On their marriage the duke took the surname of Scott, and he and his lady were created Duke and Duchess of Buccleugh, Earl and Countess of Dalkeith, Baron and Baroness of Whitchester and Ashdale in Scotland, by letters patent, dated April 20th, 1673. Also, two days after he was installed at Windsor, the king and queen, the Duke of York, and most of the court being present. The next day, being St. George’s day, his majesty solemnized it with a royal feast, and entertained the knights companions in St. George’s hall in the castle of Windsor. Though there were several children of this marriage, it does not appear to have been a happy one; the duke, without concealment attaching himself to Lady Harriet Wentworth, whom, with his dying breath, he declared he considered as his only wife in the sight of God. The duchess, in May, 1688, took to her second husband Charles, Lord Cornwallis. She died Feb. 6, 1731-32, in the 81st year of her age, and was buried at Dalkeith in Scotland. Our author is not more correct about figures than he avows himself to be in the arrangement of facts and dates: the duchess’s fortune was much greater than he has stated it to have been.]

New festivals and entertainments celebrated this marriage. The most effectual method to pay court to the king, was to outshine the rest in brilliancy and grandeur; and whilst these rejoicings brought forward all manner of gallantry and magnificence, they either revived old, or established new amours.

The fair Stewart, then in the meridian of her glory, attracted all eyes, and commanded universal respect and admiration. The Duchess of Cleveland endeavoured to eclipse her at this fate, by a load of jewels, and by all the artificial ornaments of dress; but it was in vain: her face looked rather thin and pale, from the commencement of a third or fourth pregnancy, which the king was still pleased to place to his own account; and, as for the rest, her person could in no respect stand in competition with the grace and beauty of Miss Stewart.

It was during this last effort of her charms, that she would have been queen of England, had the king been as free to give his hand as he was to surrender his heart: for it was at this time that the Duke of Richmond took it into his head either to marry her, or to die in the attempt.

A few months after the celebration of the Duke of Monmouth’s nuptials, Killegrew, having nothing better to do; fell in love with Lady Shrewsbury; and, as Lady Shrewsbury, by a very extraordinary chance, had no engagement at that time, their amour was soon established. No one thought of interrupting an intimacy which did not concern any one; but Killegrew thought proper to disturb it himself. Not that his happiness fell short of his expectation, nor did possession put him out of love with a situation so enviable; but he was amazed that he was not envied, and offended that his good fortune raised him no rivals.

He possessed a great deal of wit, and still more eloquence, which most particularly displayed itself when he was a little elevated with the juice of the grape: he then indulged himself in giving luxurious descriptions of Lady Shrewsbury’s most secret charms and beauties, which above half the court were as well acquainted with as himself.

The Duke of Buckingham was one of those who could only judge from outward appearances: and appearances, in his opinion, did not seem to promise any thing so exquisite as the extravagant praises of Killegrew would infer. As this indiscreet lover was a frequent guest at the Duke of Buckingham’s table, he was continually employing his rhetoric on this subject, and he had full opportunity for his harangues; for they generally sat down to dinner at four o’clock, and only rose just in time for the play in the evening.

The Duke of Buckingham, whose ears were continually deafened with descriptions of Lady Shrewsbury’s merits, resolved at last to examine into the truth of the matter himself. As soon as he had made the experiment, he was satisfied; and, though he fancied that fame did not exceed the truth, yet this intrigue began in such a manner, that it was generally believed its duration would be short, considering, the fickleness of both parties, and the vivacity with which they had engaged in it: nevertheless, no amour in England ever continued so long.

The imprudent Killegrew, who could not be satisfied without rivals, was obliged, in the end, to be satisfied without a mistress. This he bore very impatiently; but so far was Lady Shrewsbury from hearkening to, or affording any redress for the grievances at first complained of, that she pretended even not to know him. His spirit could not brook such treatment; and without ever considering that he was the author of his own disgrace, he let loose all his abusive eloquence against her ladyship: he attacked her with the most bitter invectives from head to foot: he drew a frightful picture of her conduct; and turned all her personal charms, which he used to extol, into defects. He was privately warned of the inconveniences to which these declamations might subject him, but despised the advice, and, persisting, he soon had reason to repent it.

As he was returning one evening from the Duke of York’s apartments at St. James’s, three passes with a sword were made at him through his chair, one of which went entirely through his arm. Upon this, he was sensible of the danger to which his intemperate tongue had exposed him, over and above the loss of his mistress. The assassins made their escape across the Park, not doubting but they had dispatched him.

Killegrew thought that all complaints would be useless; for what redress from justice could he expect for an attempt of which his wounds were his only evidence? And, besides, he was convinced that if he began a prosecution founded upon appearances and conjectures, the parties concerned would take the shortest and most effectual means to put a stop to all inquiries upon the subject, and that their second attempt would not prove ineffectual. Being desirous, therefore, of deserving mercy from those who had endeavoured to assassinate him, he no longer continued his satires, and said not a word of the adventure. The Duke of Buckingham and Lady Shrewsbury remained for a long period both happy and contented. Never before had her constancy been of so long a duration; nor had he ever been so submissive and respectful a lover.

This continued until Lord Shrewsbury, who never before had shown the least uneasiness at his lady’s misconduct, thought proper to resent this: it was public enough, indeed, but less dishonourable to her than any of her former intrigues. Poor Lord Shrewsbury, too polite a man to make any reproaches to his wife, was resolved to have redress for his injured honour: he accordingly challenged the Duke of Buckingham; and the Duke of Buckingham, as a reparation for his honour, having killed him upon the spot, remained a peaceable possessor of this famous Helen. The public was at first shocked at the transaction; but the public grows familiar with everything by habit, and by degrees both decency, and even virtue itself, are rendered tame, and overcome. The queen was at the head of those who exclaimed against so public and scandalous a crime, and against the impunity of such a wicked act. As the Duchess of Buckingham was a short fat body, like her majesty, who never had had any children, and whom her husband had abandoned for another; this sort of parallel in their situations interested the queen in her favour; but it was all in vain: no person paid any attention to them; the licentiousness of the age went on uncontrolled, though the queen endeavoured to raise up the serious part of the nation, the politicians and devotees, as enemies against it.

The fate of this princess was in many cases truly melancholy: The king, indeed, paid her every outward attention; but that was all: She easily perceived that the respect he entertained for her daily diminished, in proportion as the credit of her rivals increased: She saw that the king her husband was now totally indifferent about legitimate children, since his all-charming mistresses bore him others. As all the happiness of her life depended upon that blessing, and as she flattered herself that the king would prove kinder to her if Heaven would vouchsafe to grant her desires, she had recourse to all the celebrated secrets against sterility: pious vows, nine days’ prayers, and offerings having been tried in all manners, but all to no purpose, she was at last obliged to return to natural means.

What would she have given on this occasion for the ring which Archbishop Turpin wore on his finger, and which made Charlemagne run after him, in the same manner as it had made him run after one of his concubines, from whose finger Turpin had taken it after her death! But it is now many years since the only talismans for creating love are the charms of the person beloved, and foreign enchantments have been looked upon as ineffectual. The queen’s physicians, men of great prudence, sagacity, and wisdom, as they always are, having duly weighed and considered that the cold waters of Tunbridge had not succeeded in the preceding year, concluded that it would be advisable for her to try the warm baths at Bristol—[Probably Bath, D.W.]—This journey was therefore fixed for the next season; and in the confidence of its proving effectual, this excursion would have afforded her much pleasure, if the most dangerous of her rivals had not been one of the first that was appointed to attend the court. The Duchess of Cleveland being then near her time, there was no uneasiness on her account: the common rules of decency required a little attention. The public, it is true, was not either more or less acquainted with the circumstances of her situation; by the care which she now took to conceal it; but her appearing at court in her present condition would have been too great an insult to the queen. Miss Stewart, more handsome than ever, was appointed for this excursion, and began to make magnificent preparations. The poor queen durst say nothing against it; but all hopes of success immediately forsook her. What could the baths, or the feeble virtue of the waters, perform against charms that entirely counteracted their effects, either through the grief and uneasiness they occasioned her, or by their still more powerful consequences?

The Chevalier de Grammont, to whom all pleasures were insipid without the presence of Miss Hamilton, was yet unable to excuse himself from attending the court: the king delighted too much in his sprightly conversation to leave him behind; and however pleasing his company might have been in the solitude occasioned by the absence of the court, Miss Hamilton did not think it right to accept his offer of staying in town, because she was obliged to remain there: she, however, granted him the permission of writing her an account of any news that might occur upon the journey. He failed not to make use of this permission, in such a manner as one may imagine: and his own concerns took up so much space in his letters, that there was very little room left for other subjects during his stay at the baths. As absence from the object of his affections rendered this place insupportable, he engaged in everything that might dissipate his impatience, until the happy moment of return arrived.

He had a great esteem for the elder of the Hamiltons; no less esteem, and far more friendship for his brother, whom he made the confidant of his passion and attachment for his sister. The Chevalier was also acquainted with his first engagements with his cousin Wetenhall; but being ignorant of the coldness that had interrupted a commerce so brisk in its commencement, he was surprised at the eagerness he showed upon all occasions to please Miss Stewart: his assiduity appeared to the Chevalier de Grammont to exceed those civilities and attentions that are usually paid for the purpose of making court to the favourites of princes. He observed him more strictly, and soon perceived that he was deeper in love with her than was consistent either with his fortune or his repose. As soon as the remarks he made had confirmed him in his suspicions, he resolved to use his endeavours to prevent the consequences of an engagement pernicious in every respect: but he waited for a proper opportunity of speaking to him upon the subject.

In the mean time, the court enjoyed every kind of diversion, in a place where amusement is sought with avidity. The game of bowls, which in France is the pastime of mechanics and servants only, is quite the contrary in England, where it is the exercise of gentlemen, and requires both art and address: it is only in use during the fair and dry part of the season, and the places where it is practised are charming, delicious walks, called bowling-greens, which are little square grass plots, where the turf is almost as smooth and level as the cloth of a billiard-table. As soon as the heat of the day is over, all the company assemble there: they play deep; and spectators are at liberty to make what bets they please.

The Chevalier de Grammont, long before initiated in the English games and diversions, had been engaged in a horse-race, in which he was indeed unsuccessful; but he had the satisfaction of being convinced by experience, that an English horse can go twenty miles upon the high road in less than an hour. He was more fortunate at cock-fighting; and in the bets he made at the bowling-green, the party he betted upon never failed to win.

Near all these places of diversion there is usually a sort of inn, or house of entertainment, with a bower or arbour, in which are sold all sorts of English liquors, such as cider, mead, bottled beer, and Spanish wines. Here the rooks meet every evening to drink, smoke, and to try their skill upon each other, or, in other words, to endeavour to trick one another out of the winnings of the day. These rooks are, properly speaking, what we call capons or piqueurs, in France; men who always carry money about them, to enable them to lend to losing gamesters, for which they receive a gratification, which is nothing for such as play deep, as it is only two per cent., and the money to be repaid the next day.

These gentlemen are so nice in their calculations, and so particularly skilful in all manner of games, that no person would dare to enter the lists with them, were they even assured that no unfairness would be practised. Besides, they make a vow, to win four or five guineas a day, and to be satisfied with that gain; a vow which they seldom or never break.

It was in the midst of a company of these rooks, that Hamilton found the Chevalier de Grammont, when he called in one evening to get a glass of cider. They were playing at hazard; and as he who holds the dice is supposed to have the advantage, the rooks did the Chevalier de Grammont that honour out of compliment: he had the dice in his hand when Hamilton came into the room. The rooks, secure of their odds, were betting against him at a high rate, and he took all.

Hamilton could hardly believe his eyes, to see a man of his experience and knowledge engaged in so unequal a contest; but it was to no purpose that he informed him of his danger, both aloud in French, and in private by signs; he still disregarded his warnings, and the dice, that bore Caesar and his fortunes, performed a miracle in his favour. The rooks were defeated for the first time, but not without bestowing upon him all the encomiums and praises of being a very fair and honourable player, which they never fail to lavish upon those whom they wish to engage a second time; but all their commendations were lost, and their hopes deceived: the Chevalier was satisfied with the first experiment.

Hamilton, when the king was at supper, related to him how he found the Chevalier de Grammont rashly engaged with the rooks, and in what manner he had been providentially preserved. “Indeed, Sir,” said the Chevalier de Grammont, “the rooks were discomfited for once;” and thereupon related the adventure to his majesty in his usual way, attracting the attention of all the company, to a circumstance trifling in itself, but rendered interesting by his humour.

After supper, Miss Stewart, in whose apartment there was play, called Hamilton to her to tell the story. The Chevalier de Grammont, perceiving that she attended to him with pleasure, was fully confirmed in the truth of his first conjectures; and, having carried Hamilton home with him to supper, they began to discourse freely together as usual, “George,” said the Chevalier de Grammont, “are you in any want of money? I know you love play: perhaps it may not be so favourable to you as it is to me. We are at a great distance from London. Here are two hundred guineas: take them, I beseech you; they will do to play with at Miss Stewart’s.” Hamilton, who little expected this conclusion, was rather disconcerted. “How! at Miss Stewart’s!” “Yes, in her apartments. Friend George,” continued the Chevalier de Grammont, “I have not yet lost my eyes: you are in love with her, and, if I am not mistaken, she is not offended at it; but tell me how you could resolve to banish poor Wetenhall from your heart, and suffer yourself to be infatuated with a girl, who perhaps after all is not worth the other, and who besides, whatever favourable dispositions she may have for you, will undoubtedly in the end prove your ruin. Faith, your brother and you are two pretty fellows, in your choice. What! can you find no other beauties in all the court to fall in love with, except the king’s two mistresses! As for the elder brother, I can pardon him he only took Lady Castlemaine after his master had done with her, and after Lady Chesterfield had discarded him; but, as for you, what the devil do you intend to do with a creature, on whom the king seems every day to dote with increasing fondness? Is it because that drunken sot Richmond has again come forward, and now declares himself one of her professed admirers? You will soon see what he will make by it: I have not forgotten what the king said to me upon the subject. ‘Believe me, my dear friend, there is no playing tricks with our masters; I mean, there is no ogling their mistresses.’ I myself wanted to play the agreeable in France with a little coquette, whom the king did not care about, and you know how dearly I paid for it. I confess she gives you fair play, but do not trust to her. All the sex feel an unspeakable satisfaction at having men in their train, whom they care not for, and to use them as their slaves of state, merely to swell their equipage. Would it not be a great deal better to pass a week or ten days incognito at Peckham, with the philosopher Wetenhall’s wife, than to have it inserted in the Dutch Gazette.—We hear from Bristol, that such a one is banished the court on account of Miss Stewart, and that he is going to make a campaign in Guinea on board the fleet that is fitting out for the expedition, under the command of Prince Rupert.”

Hamilton, who was the more convinced of the truth of this discourse, the more he considered it, after musing some time, appeared to wake from a dream, and addressing himself with an air of gratitude to the Chevalier de Grammont: “Of all the men in the world, my dear friend,” said he, “you have the most agreeable wit, and at the same time the clearest judgment with respect to your friends: what you have told me has opened my eyes. I began to suffer myself to be seduced by the most ridiculous illusion imaginable, and to be hurried away rather by frivolous appearances than any real inclination: to you I owe the obligation of having preserved me from destruction at the very brink of a precipice. This is not the only kindness you have done me, your favours have been innumerable; and, as a proof of my gratitude for this last, I will follow your advice, and go into retirement at my cousin Wetenhall’s, to eradicate from my recollection every trace of those chimeras which lately possessed my brain; but so far from going thither incognito, I will take you along with me, as soon as the court returns to London. My sister shall likewise be of the party; for it is prudent to use all precautions with a man who, with a great deal of merit, on such occasions is not over scrupulous, if we may credit your philosopher.” “Do not pay any attention to that pedant,” replied the Chevalier de Grammont: “but tell me what put it into your head to form a design upon that inanimate statue, Miss Stewart?” “How the devil should I know?” said Hamilton: “you are acquainted with all her childish amusements. The old Lord Carlingford was at her apartment one evening, showing her how to hold a lighted wax candle in her mouth, and the grand secret consisted in keeping the burning end there a long time without its being extinguished. I have, thank God, a pretty large mouth, and, in order to out-do her teacher, I took two candles into my mouth at the same time, and walked three times round the room without their going out. Every person present adjudged me the prize of this illustrious experiment, and Killegrew maintained that nothing but a lanthorn could stand in competition with me. Upon this she was like to die with laughing; and thus was I admitted into the familiarity of her amusements. It is impossible to deny her being one of the most charming creatures that ever was: since the court has been in the country, I have had an hundred opportunities of seeing her, which I had not before. You know that the dishabille of the bath is a great convenience for those ladies, who, strictly adhering to all the rules of decorum, are yet desirous to display all their charms and attractions. Miss Stewart is so fully acquainted with the advantages she possesses over all other women, that it is hardly possible to praise any lady at court for a well-turned arm, and a fine leg, but she is ever ready to dispute the point by demonstration; and I really believe, that, with a little address, it would not be difficult to induce her to strip naked, without ever reflecting upon what she was doing. After all, a man must be very insensible to remain unconcerned and unmoved on such happy occasions; and, besides, the good opinion we entertain of ourselves is apt to make us think a woman is smitten, as soon as she distinguishes us by habitual familiarity, which most commonly signifies nothing. This is the truth of the matter with respect to myself: my own presumption, her beauty, the brilliant station that sets it off, and a thousand kind things she had said to me, prevented me from making serious reflections; but then, as some excuse for my folly, I must likewise tell you, that the facility I found in making her the tenderest declarations by commending her, and her telling me in confidence a thousand things which she ought not to have entrusted me with, might have deceived or infatuated any other man as well as myself.

“I presented her with one of the prettiest horses in England. You know what peculiar grace and elegance distinguish her on horseback. The king, who, of all the diversions of the chase, likes none but hawking, because it is the most convenient for the ladies, went out the other day to take this amusement, attended by all the beauties of his court. His majesty having galloped after a falcon, and the whole bright squadron after him, the rustling of Miss Stewart’s petticoats frightened her horse, which was at full speed, endeavouring to come up with mine, that had been his companion; so that I was the only witness of a disorder in her clothes, which displayed a thousand new beauties to my view. I had the good fortune to make such gallant and flattering exclamations upon that charming disorder as to prevent her being concerned or out of countenance upon it: on the contrary, this subject of my admiration has been frequently since the subject of our conversation, and did not seem to displease her.

“Old Lord Carlingford, and that mad fellow, Crofts (for I must now make you my general confession), those insipid buffoons, were frequently telling her some diverting stories, which passed pretty well with the help of a few old threadbare jests, or some apish tricks in the recital, which made her laugh heartily. As for myself, who know no stories, and do not possess the talent of improving them by telling, if I did know any, I was often greatly embarrassed when she desired me to tell her one: ‘I do not know one, indeed,’ said I, one day, when she was teazing me on the subject. ‘Invent one, then,’ said she. ‘That would be still more difficult,’ replied I; ‘but if you will give me leave, madam, I will relate to you a very extraordinary dream, which has, however, less appearance of truth in it than dreams generally have.’ This excited her curiosity, which would brook no denial. I therefore began to tell her that the most beautiful creature in the world, whom I loved to distraction, paid me a visit in my sleep. I then drew her own portrait, with a rapturous description of all her beauties; adding, that this goddess, who came to visit me with the most favourable intentions, did not counteract them by any unreasonable cruelty. This was not sufficient to satisfy Miss Stewart’s curiosity: I was obliged to relate every particular circumstance of the kindness I experienced from this delicate phantom; to which she was so very attentive, that she never once appeared surprised or disconcerted at the luscious tale. On the contrary, she made me repeat the description of the beauty, which I drew as near as possible after her own person, and after such charms as I imagined of beauties that were unknown to me.

“This is, in fact, the very thing that had almost deprived me of my senses: she knew very well that she herself was the person I was describing: we were alone, as you may imagine, when I told her this story; and my eyes did their utmost to persuade her that it was herself whom I drew. I perceived that she was not in the least offended at knowing this; nor was her modesty in the least alarmed at the relation of a fiction, which I might have concluded in a manner still less discreet, if I had thought proper. This patient audience made me plunge headlong into the ocean of flattering ideas that presented themselves to my imagination. I then no longer thought of the king, nor how passionately fond he was of her, nor of the dangers attendant upon such an engagement: in short, I know not what the devil I was thinking of; but I am very certain that, if you had not been thinking for me, I might have found my ruin in the midst of these distracted visions.”

Not long after, the court returned to London; and from that time, some malevolent star having gained the ascendant, every thing went cross in the empire of Love: vexation, suspicions, or jealousies, first entered the field, to set all hearts at variance; next, false reports, slander, and disputes, completed the ruin of all.

The Duchess of Cleveland had been brought to bed while the court was at Bristol; and never before had she recovered from her lying-in with such a profusion of charms. This made her believe that she was in a proper state to retrieve her ancient rights over the king’s heart, if she had an opportunity of appearing before him with this increased splendour. Her friends being of the same opinion, her equipage was prepared for this expedition; but the very evening before the day she had fixed on to set out, she saw young Churchill, and was at once seized with a disease, which had more than once opposed her projects, and which she could never completely get the better of.

[Churchill—Afterwards the celebrated Duke of Marlborough. He was born midsummer-day, 1650, and died June 16, 1722. Bishop Burnet takes notice of the discovery of this intrigue. “The Duchess of Cleveland finding that she had lost the king, abandoned herself to great disorders; one of which, by the artifice of the Duke of Buckingham, was discovered by the king in person, the party concerned leaping out of the window.”—History of his own Times, vol. i. p. 370. This was in 1668. A very particular account of this intrigue is to be seen in the Atalantis of Mrs. Manley, vol. i., p. 30. The same writer, who had lived as companion to the Duchess of Cleveland, says, in the account of her own life, that she was an eye-witness when the duke, who had received thousands from the duchess, refused the common civility of lending her twenty guineas at basset.—The history of Rivella, 4th ed. 1725, p. 33. Lord Chesterfield’s character of this noblemen is too remarkable to be omitted. “Of all the men that ever I knew in my life, (and I knew him extremely well,) the late Duke of Marlborough possessed the graces in the highest degree, not to say engrossed them: and indeed he got the most by them! for I will venture, (contrary to the custom of profound historians, who always assign deep causes to great events,) to ascribe the better half of the Duke of Marlborough’s greatness and riches to those graces. He was eminently illiterate, wrote bad English, and spelled it still worse. He had no share of what is commonly called parts; that is, he had no brightness, nothing shining in his genius. He had, most undoubtedly, an excellent good plain understanding, with sound judgment. But these alone would probably have raised him but something higher than they found him, which was page to King James II.‘s queen. There the graces protected and promoted him; for while he was an ensign of the guards, the Duchess of Cleveland, then favourite mistress to King Charles II., struck by those very graces, gave him five thousand pounds; with which he immediately bought an annuity for his life, of five hundred pounds a-year, of my grandfather, Halifax; which was the foundation of his subsequent fortune. His figure was beautiful; but his manner was irresistible by either man or woman. It was by this engaging, graceful manner, that he was enabled, during all his wars, to connect the various and jarring powers of the grand alliance, and to carry them on to the main object of the war, notwithstanding their private and separate views, jealousies, and wrong-headednesses. Whatever court he went to, (and he was often obliged to go himself to some restive and refractory ones,) he as constantly prevailed, and brought them into his measures. The pensionary Heinsius, a venerable old minister, grown grey in business, and who had governed the republic of the United Provinces for more than forty years, was absolutely governed by the Duke of Marlborough, as that republic feels to this day. He was always cool; and nobody ever observed the least variation in his countenance. He could refuse more gracefully than other people could grant; and those who went away from him the most dissatisfied, as to the substance of their business, were yet personally charmed with him, and, in some degree, comforted by his manner. With all his gracefulness, no man living was more conscious of his situation, or maintained his dignity better.”—Chest. Letters, letter 136.]

A man who, from an ensign in the guards, was raised to such a fortune, must certainly possess an uncommon share of prudence, not to be intoxicated with his happiness. Churchill boasted in all places of the new favour he had received: the Duchess of Cleveland, who neither recommended to him circumspection in his behaviour, nor in his conversation, did not seem to be in the least concerned at his indiscretion. Thus this intrigue was become a general topic in all companies, when the court arrived in London, and occasioned an immense number of speculations and reasonings: some said she had already presented him with Jermyn’s pension, and Jacob Hall’s salary, because the merits and qualifications of both were united in his person: others maintained that he had too indolent an air, and too delicate a shape, long to maintain himself in her favour; but all agreed that a man who was the favourite of the king’s mistress, and brother to the duke’s favourite, was in a fair way of preferment, and could not fail to make his fortune. As a proof, the Duke of York soon after gave him a place in his household: this was naturally to be expected; but the king, who did not think that Lady Cleveland’s kindness to him was a sufficient recommendation to his favour, thought proper to forbid him the court.

This good-natured king began now to be rather peevish: nor was it altogether without reason: he disturbed no person in their amours, and yet others had often the presumption to encroach upon his. Lord Dorset, first lord of the bed-chamber, had lately debauched from his service Nell Gwyn, the actress. Lady Cleveland, whom he now no longer regarded, continued to disgrace him by repeated infidelities with unworthy rivals, and almost ruined him by the immense sums she lavished on her gallants; but that which most sensibly affected him, was the late coldness and threats of Miss Stewart. He long since had offered her all the settlements and all the titles she could desire, until he had an opportunity more effectually to provide for her, which she had pretended only to decline, for fear of the scandal they might occasion, on her being raised to a rank which would attract the public notice; but since the return of the court, she had given herself other airs: sometimes she was for retiring from court, to appease the continual uneasiness her presence gave the queen: at other times it was to avoid temptations, by which she wished to insinuate that her innocence was still preserved: in short, the king’s heart was continually distracted by alarms, or oppressed by humour and caprice.

As he could not for his life imagine what Miss Stewart wished him to do, or what she would be at, he thought upon reforming his establishment of mistresses, to try whether jealousy was not the real occasion of her uneasiness. It was for this reason that, after having solemnly declared he would have nothing more to say to the Duchess of Cleveland, since her intrigue with Churchill, he discarded, without any exception, all the other mistresses which he had in various parts of the town. The Nell Gwyns, the Misses Davis, and the joyous rain of singers and dancers in his majesty’s theatre, were all dismissed. All these sacrifices were ineffectual: Miss Stewart continued to torment, and almost to drive the king to distraction; but his majesty soon after found out the real cause of this coldness.

This discovery was owing to the officious Duchess of Cleveland, who, ever since her disgrace, had railed most bitterly against Miss Stewart as the cause of it, and against the king’s weakness, who, for an inanimate idiot, had treated her with so much indignity. As some of her grace’s creatures were still in the king’s confidence, by their means she was informed of the king’s uneasiness, and that Miss Stewart’s behaviour was the occasion of it—and as soon as she had found the opportunity she had so long wished for, she went directly into the king’s cabinet, through the apartment of one of his pages called Chiffinch. This way was not new to her.

The king was just returned from visiting Miss Stewart, in a very ill humour: the presence of the Duchess of Cleveland surprised him, and did not in the least diminish it: she, perceiving this, accosted him in an ironical tone, and with a smile of indignation. “I hope,” said she, “I may be allowed to pay you my homage, although the angelic Stewart has forbid you to see me at my own house. I will not make use of reproaches and expostulations, which would disgrace myself: still less will I endeavour to excuse frailties which nothing can justify, since your constancy for me deprives me of all defence, considering I am the only person you have honoured with your tenderness, who has made herself unworthy of it by ill conduct. I come now, therefore, with no other intent than to comfort and to condole with you upon the affliction and grief into which the coldness, or new-fashioned chastity of the inhuman Stewart have reduced your majesty.” These words were attended by a fit of laughter, as unnatural and strained as it was insulting and immoderate, which completed the king’s impatience: he had, indeed, expected that some bitter jest would follow this preamble; but he did not suppose she would have given herself such blustering airs, considering the terms they were then upon; and, as he was preparing to answer her: “be not offended,” said she, “that I take the liberty of laughing at the gross manner in which you are imposed upon: I cannot bear to see that such particular affectation should make you the jest of your own court, and that you should be ridiculed with such impunity. I know that the affected Stuart has sent you away, under pretence of some indisposition, or perhaps some scruple of conscience; and I come to acquaint you that the Duke of Richmond will soon be with her, if he is not there already. I do not desire you to believe what I say, since it might be suggested either through resentment or envy: only follow me to her apartment, either that, no longer trusting calumny and malice, you may honour her with a just preference, if I accuse her falsely; or, if my information be true, you may no longer be the dupe of a pretended prude, who makes you act so unbecoming and ridiculous a part.”

As she ended this speech, she took him by the hand, while he was yet undecided, and pulled him away towards her rival’s apartments. Chiffinch being in her interest, Miss Stewart could have no warning of the visit; and Babiani, who owed all to the Duchess of Cleveland, and who served her admirably well upon this occasion, came and told her that the Duke of Richmond had just gone into Miss Stewart’s chamber. It was in the middle of a little gallery, which, through a private door, led from the king’s apartments to those of his mistresses. The Duchess of Cleveland wished him good night, as he entered her rival’s chamber, and retired, in order to wait the success of the adventure, of which Babiani, who attended the king, was charged to come and give her an account.

It was near midnight: the king, in his way, met his mistress’s chamber-maids, who respectfully opposed his entrance, and in a very low voice, whispered his majesty that Miss Stewart had been very ill since he left her: but that, being gone to bed, she was, God be thanked, in a very fine sleep. “That I must see,” said the king, pushing her back, who had posted herself in his way. He found Miss Stewart in bed, indeed, but far from being asleep: the Duke of Richmond was seated at her pillow, and in all probability was less inclined to sleep than herself. The perplexity of the one party, and the rage of the other, were such as may easily be imagined upon such a surprise. The king, who, of all men, was one of the most mild and gentle, testified his resentment to the Duke of Richmond in such terms as he had never before used. The duke was speechless, and almost petrified: he saw his master and his king justly irritated. The first transports which rage inspires on such occasions are dangerous. Miss Stewart, window was very convenient for a sudden revenge, the Thames flowing close beneath it: he cast his eyes upon it; and, seeing those of the king more incensed and fired with indignation than he thought his nature capable of, he made a profound bow, and retired, without replying a single word to the vast torrent of threats and menaces that were poured upon him.

Miss Stewart, having a little recovered from her first surprise, instead of justifying herself, began to talk in the most extravagant manner, and said everything that was most capable to inflame the king’s passion and resentment; that, if she were not allowed to receive visits from a man of the Duke of Richmond’s rank, who came with honourable intentions, she was a slave in a free country; that she knew of no engagement that could prevent her from disposing of her hand as she thought proper; but, however, if this was not permitted her in his dominions, she did not believe that there was any power on earth that could hinder her from going over to France, and throwing herself into a convent, to enjoy there that tranquillity which was denied her in his court. The king, sometimes furious with anger, sometimes relenting at her tears, and sometimes terrified at her menaces, was so greatly agitated, that he knew not how to answer, either the nicety of a creature who wanted to act the part of Lucretia under his own eye, or the assurance with which she had the effrontery to reproach him. In this suspense, love had almost entirely vanquished all his resentments, and had nearly induced him to throw himself upon his knees, and entreat pardon for the injury he had done her, when she desired him to retire, and leave her in repose, at least for the remainder of that night, without offending those who had either accompanied him, or conducted him to her apartments, by a longer visit. This impertinent request provoked and irritated him to the highest degree: he went out abruptly, vowing never to see her more, and passed the most restless and uneasy night he had ever experienced since his restoration.

The next day the Duke of Richmond received orders to quit the court, and never more to appear before the king; but it seems he had not waited for those orders, having set out early that morning for his country seat.

Miss Stewart, in order to obviate all injurious constructions that might be put upon the adventure of the preceding night, went and threw herself at the queen’s feet; where, acting the new part of an innocent Magdalen, she entreated her majesty’s forgiveness for all the sorrow and uneasiness she might have already occasioned her. She told her majesty that a constant and sincere repentance had induced her to contrive all possible means for retiring from court: that this reason had inclined her to receive the Duke of Richmond’s addresses, who had courted her a long time; but since this courtship had caused his disgrace, and had likewise raised a vast noise and disturbance, which perhaps might be turned to the prejudice of her reputation, she conjured her Majesty to take her under her protection, and endeavour to obtain the king’s permission for her to retire into a convent, to remove at once all those vexations and troubles her presence had innocently occasioned at court. All this was accompanied with a proper deluge of tears.

It is a very agreeable spectacle to see a rival prostrate at our feet, entreating pardon, and at the same time justifying her conduct. The queen’s heart not only relented, but she mingled her own tears with those of Miss Stewart. After having raised her up, and most tenderly embraced her, she promised her all manner of favour and protection, either in her marriage, or in any other course she thought fit to pursue, and parted from her with the firm resolution to exert all her interest in her support; but, being a person of great judgment, the reflections which she afterwards made, induced her to change her opinion!

She knew that the king’s disposition was not capable of an obstinate constancy. She therefore judged that absence would cure him, or that a new engagement would by degrees entirely efface the remembrance of Miss Stewart, and that, since she could not avoid having a rival, it was more desirable she should be one who had given such eminent proofs of her prudence and virtue. Besides, she flattered herself that the king would ever think himself eternally obliged to her, for having opposed the retreat and marriage of a girl, whom at that time he loved to distraction. This fine reasoning determined her conduct. All her industry was employed in persuading Miss Stewart to abandon her schemes; and what is most extraordinary in this adventure, is, that, after having prevailed upon her to think no more either of the Duke of Richmond, or of a nunnery, she charged herself with the office of reconciling these two lovers.

Indeed it would have been a thousand pities if her negotiation had miscarried but she did not suffer this misfortune; for never were the king’s addresses so eager and passionate as after this peace, nor ever better received by the fair Stewart.

His majesty did not long enjoy the sweets of a reconciliation, which brought him into the best good humour possible, as we shall see. All Europe was in a profound peace, since the treaty of the Pyrenees: Spain flattered herself she should be able to recruit, by means of the new alliance she had contracted with the most formidable of her neighbours; but despaired of being able to support the shattered remains of a declining monarchy, when she considered the age and infirmities of her prince, or the weakness of his successor: France, on the contrary, governed by a king indefatigable in business, young, vigilant, and ambitious of glory, wanted nothing but inclination to aggrandize herself.

It was about this time, that the king of France, not willing to disturb the tranquillity of Europe, was persuaded to alarm the coasts of Africa, by an attempt, which, if it had even been crowned with success, would have produced little good; but the king’s fortune, ever faithful to his glory, has since made it appear, by the miscarriage of the expedition of Gigeri, that such projects only as were planned by himself were worthy of his attention.

[Gigeri is about forty leagues from Algiers. Till the year 1664 the French had a factory there; but then attempting to build a fort on the sea-coast, to be a check upon the Arabs, they came down from the mountains, beat the French out of Gigeri, and demolished their fort. Sir Richard Fanshaw, in a letter to the deputy governor of Tangier, dated 2nd December, 1664, N.S., says, “We have certain intelligence that the French have lost Gigheria, with all they had there, and their fleet come back, with the loss of one considerable ship upon the rocks near Marseilles.”—Fanshaw’s Letters, vol. i. p. 347.]

A short time after, the king of England, having resolved also to explore the African coasts, fitted out a squadron for an expedition to Guinea, which was to be commanded by Prince Rupert. Those who, from their own experience, had some knowledge of the country, related strange and wonderful stories of the dangers attendant upon this expedition that they would have to fight not only the inhabitants of Guinea, a hellish people, whose arrows were poisoned, and who never gave their prisoners better quarter than to devour them, but that they must likewise endure heats that were insupportable, and rains that were intolerable, every drop of which was changed into a serpent: that, if they penetrated farther into the country, they would be assaulted by monsters a thousand times more hideous and destructive than all the beasts mentioned in the Revelations.

But all these reports were vain and ineffectual: for so far from striking terror into those who were appointed to go upon this expedition, it rather acted as an incentive to glory, upon those who had no manner of business in it. Jermyn appeared among the foremost of those; and, without reflecting that the pretence of his indisposition had delayed the conclusion of his marriage with Miss Jennings, he asked the duke’s permission, and the king’s consent to serve in it as a volunteer.

Some time before this, the infatuation which had imposed upon the fair Jennings in his favour had begun to subside. All that now inclined her to this match were the advantages of a settlement. The careless indolence of a lover, who faintly paid his addresses to her, as it were from custom or habit, disgusted her; and the resolution he had taken, without consulting her, appeared so ridiculous in him, and so injurious to herself, that, from that moment, she resolved to think no more of him. Her eyes being opened by degrees, she saw the fallacy of the splendour, which had at first deceived her; and the renowned Jermyn was received according to his real merit when he came to acquaint her with his heroical project. There appeared so much indifference and ease in the raillery with which she complimented him upon his voyage, that he was entirely disconcerted, and so much the more so, as he had prepared all the arguments he thought capable of consoling her, upon announcing to her the fatal news of his departure. She told him, “that nothing could be more glorious for him, who had triumphed over the liberty of so many persons in Europe, than too and extend his conquests in other parts of the world; and that she advised him to bring home with him all the female captives he might make in Africa, in order to replace those beauties whom his absence would bring to the grave.”

Jermyn was highly displeased that she should be capable of raillery in the condition he supposed her reduced to; but he soon perceived she was in earnest: she told him, that she considered this farewell visit as his last, and desired him not to think of making her any more before his departure.

Thus far everything went well on her side: Jermyn was not only confounded at having received his discharge in so cavalier a manner; but this very demonstration of her indifference had revived, and even redoubled, all the love and affection he had formerly felt for her. Thus she had both the pleasure of despising him, and of seeing him more entangled in the chains of love than he had ever been before. This was not sufficient: she wished still farther, and very unadvisedly, to strain her resentment.

Ovid’s Epistles,—[This is the translation of Ovid’s Epistles published by Mr. Dryden. The second edition of it was printed in 1681.]—translated into English verse by the greatest wits at court, having lately been published, she wrote a letter from a shepherdess in despair, addressed to the perfidious Jermyn. She took the epistle of Ariadne to Theseus for her model. The beginning of this letter contained, word for word, the complaints and reproaches of that injured fair to the cruel man by whom she had been abandoned. All this was properly adapted to the present times and circumstances. It was her design to have closed this piece with a description of the toils, perils, and monsters, that awaited him in Guinea, for which he quitted a tender mistress, who was plunged into the abyss of misery, and was overwhelmed with grief and despair; but not having had time to finish it, nor to get that which she had written transcribed, in order to send it to him under a feigned name, she inconsiderately put this fragment, written in her own hand, into her pocket, and, still more giddily, dropped it in the middle of the court. Those who took it up, knowing her writing, made several copies of it, which were circulated all over the town; but her former conduct had so well established the reputation of her virtue, that no person entertained the smallest doubt but the circumstances were exactly as we have related them. Some time after, the Guinea expedition was laid aside for reasons that are universally known, and Miss Jenning’s subsequent proceedings fully justified her letter; for, notwithstanding all the efforts and attentions Jermyn practised to regain her affections, she would never more hear of him.

But he was not the only man who experienced the whimsical fatality, that seemed to delight in disuniting hearts, in order to engage them soon after to different objects. One would have imagined that the God of Love, actuated by some new caprice, had placed his empire under the dominion of Hymen, and had, at the same time, blind-folded that God, in order to cross-match most of the lovers whom we have been speaking of’

The fair Stewart married the Duke of Richmond; the invincible Jermyn, a silly country girl; Lord Rochester, a melancholy heiress; the sprightly Temple, the serious Lyttleton; Talbot, without knowing why or wherefore, took to wife the languishing Boynton; George Hamilton, under more favourable auspices, married the lovely Jennings; and the Chevalier de Grammont, as the reward of a constancy he had never before known, and which he never afterwards practised, found Hymen and Love united in his favour, and was at last blessed with the possession of Miss Hamilton.

[After the deaths of Miss Boynton and of George Hamilton, Talbot married Miss Jennings, and became afterwards Duke of Tyrconnel.] [“The famous Count Grammont was thought to be the original of The Forced Marriage. This nobleman, during his stay at the court of England, had made love to Miss Hamilton, but was coming away for France without bringing matters to a proper conclusion. The young lady’s brothers pursued him, and came up with him near Dover, in order to exchange some pistol-shot with him: They called out, ‘Count Grammont, have you forgot nothing at London?’ ‘Excuse me,’ answered the Count, guessing their errand, ‘I forgot to marry your sister; so lead on, and let us finish that affair.’ By the pleasantry of the answer, this was the same Grammont who commanded at the siege of a place, the governor of which capitulated after a short defence, and obtained an easy capitulation. The governor then said to Monsieur Grammont, I’ll tell you a secret—that the reason of my capitulation was, because I was in want of powder.’ Monsieur replied, ‘And secret for secret—the reason of my granting you such an easy capitulation was, because I was in want of ball.”—Biog. Gallica, vol. i., p. 202. Count Grammont and his lady left England in 1669. King Charles in a letter to his sister, the Duchess of Orleans, dated 24th October, in that year, says, “I writt to you yesterday, by the Compte de Grammont, but I beleeve this letter will come sooner to your handes; for he goes by the way of Diep, with his wife and family; and now that I have named her, I cannot chuse but againe desire you to be kinde to her; for, besides the merrit her family has on both sides, she is as good a creature as ever lived. I beleeve she will passe for a handsome woman in France, though she has not yett, since her lying-inn, recovered that good shape she had before, and I am affraide never will.”—Dalxymple’s Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 26. “The Count de Grammont fell dangerously ill in the year 1696; of which the king (Louis XIV.) being informed, and knowing, besides, that he was inclined to libertinism, he was pleased to send the Marquis of Dangeau to see how he did, and to advise him to think of God. Hereupon Count de Grammont, turning towards his wife, who had ever been a very devout lady, told her, Countess, if you don’t look to it, Dangeau will juggle you out of my conversion. Madame de l’Enclos having afterwards written to M. de St Evremond that Count de Grammont was recovered, and turned devout,—I have learned, answered he to her, with a great deal of pleasure, that Count de Grammont has recovered his former health, and acquired a new devotion. Hitherto I have been contented with being a plain honest man; but I must do something more; and I only wait for your example to become a devotee. You live in a country where people have wonderful advantages of saving their souls, there vice is almost as opposite to the mode as to virtue; sinning passes for ill-breeding, and shocks decency and good manners, as much as religion, Formerly it was enough to be wicked; now one must be a scoundrel withal, to be damned in France. They who have not regard enough for another life, are led to salvation by the consideration and duties of this.” —“But there is enough upon a subject in which the conversion of the Count de Grammont has engaged me: I believe it to be sincere and honest. It well becomes a man who is not young, to forget he has been so.”—Life of St. Evremond, by Des Marzeaux, p. 136; and St. Evremond’s Works, vol. ii. p. 431.]

PG EDITOR’S BOOKMARKS: All day poring over his books, and went to bed soon Ambition to pass for a wit, only established her tiresome An affectation of purity of manners As all fools are who have good memories Better memory for injuries than for benefits Better to know nothing at all, than to know too much Better to partake with another than to have nothing at all Busy without consequence By a strange perversion of language, styled, all men of honour Despising everything which was not like themselves Devote himself to his studies, than to the duties of matrimony Duke would see things if he could Embellish the truth, in order to enhance the wonder Entreating pardon, and at the same time justifying her conduct Envy each other those indulgences which themselves refuse Every thing that is necessary is honourable in politics Four dozen of patches, at least, and ten ringlets of hair Good attendants, but understood cheating still better Great earnestness passed for business Grew so fat and plump that it was a blessing to see her Hardly possible for a woman to have less wit, or more beauty He had no sentiments but such as others inspired him with He talked eternally, without saying anything He as little feared the Marquis as he loved him His mistress given him by his priests for penance How I must hate you, if I did not love you to distraction Impenetrable stupidity (passed) for secrecy Impertinent compliments Life, in his opinion, was too short to read all sorts of books Long habit of suffering himself to be robbed by his domestics Maxim of all jealous husbands Never felt the pressure of indigence Not disagreeable, but he had a serious contemplative air Not that he wanted capacity, but he was too self-sufficient Obstinate against all other advices Offended that his good fortune raised him no rivals One amour is creditable to a lady Possessed but little raillery, and still less patience Public is not so easily deceived as some people imagine Public grows familiar with everything by habit Reasons of state assume great privileges Resolved to renounce the church for the salvation of my soul She just said what she ought, and no more So weak as to transform your slave into your tyrant Terrible piece of furniture for the country (educated girl) The shortest follies are the best There are men of real merit, or pretenders to it They can by no means bear the inconstancy of their mistresses Those who open a book merely to find fault Very willing to accept, but was tardy in making returns Wealth was necessary for the conveniencies of a long life What jealousy fears, and what it always deserves What a glory would it be to have a Cato for a husband Would have been criminal even in chastity to spare (her husband)

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