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throat, he made me give up my own. We both rose: he fell down on the other side, vomiting a quantity of blood ; and, thinking him dead, I took his sword and my own, and went into the Hotel de Condé. Prince Henry de Bourbon was not there then, but Isabelle de Montmorenci, his wife, and Isabelle de Bourbon, his daughter, afterwards Duchess de Longueville, received me with great attention and caresses. As for Busc, his servant went to inform one of his friends, of the state he was in. This gentleman conveyed him to the house of Henry de Lorraine, Count d'Harcourt, who sent his compliments to me, and a sort of apology for receiving a man into his house who had fought me, but that he thought me sufficiently generous to afford him a retreat myself. I received this compliment with many thanks, and sent back Busc's sword, with an account of the whole transaction. I never saw him after; for he lived only six months after receiving that wound.”
His debut as a man of gallantry, at the age of sixteen, displays a great hardness of heart, and disregard for the happiness and reputation of others. The satisfaction with which he mentions that an innocent bourgeoise girl bore the suspicions excited by his absence from quarters at night, during his amour with a widow of quality, is one among innumerable proofs of the justice and honour which generally characterize the conduct of men towards those who, by nature and education, are disqualified from inspiring fear.
" There was at that time, at Guise, a young lady of quality, a very handsome brunette, and five or six very pretty girls, belonging to the town; if I had known any thing of life, at that time, I should have attached myself at once to the widow, for a thousand reasons; but my extreme youth made me afraid of her, so that I preferred gallanting one of the young ladies. It is true, that her bashfulness and mine were so great, (for we were very young and very foolish) that I at length got tired of the affair, and ventured to raise my eyes to the widow of quality. She was not quite so shamefaced as the little bourgeoise, and it was well for me that she was not, for I had so ridiculous an idea of the respect due to women; I was so persuaded that, before one could obtain the love of a lady of quality, one must sigh, weep, supplicate, and write; that as I had done nothing of all this, I thought myself undeserving of any favour."
The lady takes care to remove these impressions.
“ The delight I felt at my conquest, was beyond conception, for not only was my mistress very handsome, but it appeared to me, that I must have some extraordinary merit to oblige a woman of condition to take such steps as she had taken for me. I had not loved her much till then, but finding her mind no less agreeable than her person, love, contrary to custom, came after possession. The first impression that I had given of my attachment to the little bourgeoise saved the widow
for some time, and when it was perceived that I passed the night out of my own house, it was placed to the account of the young lady; nevertheless, some people had doubts of this, and knew not what to think."
The Count de Quincé, governor of the town, to come at this important fact, gives an alarm in the night, hoping to draw Bussy from his hiding place. This scheme, however, does not succeed.
“ Nevertheless, my enjoyments were embittered, for I received so many marks of devoted attention, and extraordinary love, from my mistress, that it excited in my mind some reflections to her disadvantage. I thought that as I was of such great importance to her, she ought not to be of much to me; and, forgetting her beauty, her wit, and her rank, her extreme passion for me, which ought to have increased mine, diminished it. When things come to this pass between two lovers, they give each other great pain, and had better part, by mutual consent; but that never happens, because the one who loves the most, always hopes to revive the passion of the other. When the marks of a violent passion do not give the most intense pleasure to him who receives them, they give the most intense pain; they are great obligations, or heavy burthens."
This is all common enough, and, perhaps, inevitable; but the manner of his desertion of this unhappy woman is unusually hard.
“ Winter quarters now arrived, and my regiment being ordered to go into garrison, in Champagne, my mistress was in despair; she wanted to follow me; and when I represented to her the injury she would do herself, she told me she had rather injure her reputation than die of grief; I told her, I was going to my father's house: she proposed to attend me as a page; I told her that would certainly be discovered, and that it would end. in her relations sending her to a convent. All these arguments did not put an end to her design of following me, when, happily for me, she was seized with a fever: I was, however, touched at this, and having let my regiment go, I staid behind at Guise for eight days, to see what would become of her: she fell into a state of delirium, and, on the ninth day, as the physicians despaired of her life, I set out for Champagne. A fortnight after, I received a letter from her, by one of her lacqueys, which I kept above two years, but which I burnt at last, because I could not read it without being too much affected. In my life I never saw any thing at once so tender and so well written; she told me, among other things, that, believing herself to be dying, she had disinherited her brother, to give the property to me; that she extremely wished I had actually received this proof of her love, since it would have also been a proof of her death, which, next to my love, she desired more passionately than any thing in the world. I wept much, on reading her letter : I told
her what grief I felt at her grief, but I did not delude her with false hopes ; and unless I had told her brutally that I loved her ao longer, it was impossible to flatter her less than I did."
His next adventure is of a less tragical cast. The lady was of the material fitted for the sort of intercourse from which both parties seek nothing beyond amusement; they met upon equal terms.
“At length I arrived with two regiments at Moulins, whither a young Countess came, as she said, to see a sister of hers who was a nun; but, in fact, to amuse herself. As good fortune would have it, she lodged in the front part of the house of which I occupied the back, for, if she had been at a little distance, I should, probably, never have known her. Two days elapsed before I condescended to see her, though we were in the same house; at length Beauvoir Dunfun, my relation and friend, who had been with me three weeks, and who knew the lady, reproached me for my incivility in suffering a woman of her quality to be so near me without paying her a visit. I told him, by way of excuse, that I wished to go very shortly into Burgundy; that, from the description he gave of the lady, I might fall in love with her, and that I should be glad to avoid engaging myself in a passion when I had other things to do. No, no,' said Beauvoir, you will not fall in love, I answer for it; and, at all events, a passion of a day will be cured by an absence of four and twenty hours.' I went to see her, therefore, on my friend's word, and told her, laughing, what had deterred me from paying her a visit till then: she replied, that I had nothing to fear; and when I was about to leave her room, • I must confess to you, Sir,' said she, “that, before I saw you, I imagined you were a savage, whom it was impossible to tame, but I am undeceived now, and I have no doubt that you, on the other hand, find that I am not so dangerous as you imagined.' You are so much so, Madam,' replied I, that there's an end to my journey into Burgundy.'"
After a little coolness, caused by the misrepresentations of a rival, he makes his peace in the following manner :
“ The next day, the Countess being ready to step into her carriage, Beauvoir and I went to take leave of her. I said, in handing her in, that, if she would allow us, my cousin and I would escort her a league or two from Moulins, for fear she might meet some of our soldiers, who might rob her. • You will do me a great kindness, Sir,' said she, if you will take that trouble.' She had no sooner uttered these words, than Beauvoir and I jumped into the carriage, in the place of two gentlemen of hers, who got upon horses I had ready for that purpose."
He finds the Countess so placable that he forgets to take leave of her, and proceeds to the end of her first day's journey. The description which follows, of their reception at the house
of a country cousin of the Countess's, is in the happiest style of French vivacity. The picture of the interior of a French château, of the lower order, is hardly credible in England, and in the nineteenth century.
“ The next day, as she was ready to get into her carriage, I told her that I wished to accompany her one league farther; she consented ; and, as we both of us thought of nothing but of affecting to forget to part, I went on to the second resting place. It was at the house of one of her cousins, whom we did not see, because he had a quartan ague, and the shivering fit seized him, happily for us, just as we arrived. Our good luck would have been complete, if his wife had had the ague too; for we could not have fared worse than we did, and we should have had our liberty. We arrived, about an hour after night-fall, in a deep snow: we were received in a room below the level of the court-yard, the walls of which, I am persuaded, are damp in the dog-days; the pavement was up in several places, so that one could only cross it by leaps. Whilst the servants went to fell the trees, by which we were to warm ourselves, we were seated in chairs without cushions, or covers, before a chimney-piece without a fire. We preserved a cold and melancholy silence; for, after certain common places which are in use on such occasions, we knew not what to say to this woman, nor she to us; she was not such a fool as not to be ashamed of the ridiculous reception she gave us, and we were too ill received to have any pity for her. I was dying to go
and warm myself at the kitchen fire, which I heard crackling, for, in spite of the ardour of my love, I was freezing by my mistress's side, but I thought it would be uncivil to leave her, and not to share her sufferings both from cold and ennui. Beauvoir, who was as cold as I, and not restrained by the same considerations, went out under the pretence of hastening the people who were gone to fetch wood, and went to give his orders before the kitchen fire ; in about a quarter of an hour, we had the happiness of seeing two peasants enter, bringing on their shoulders a waggon
load of wood covered with snow, which they laid on the hearth; then came the kitchen maid, with a bundle of straw so wet that it could not light, and nearly stifled us with smoke. last, she was obliged to empty the palliasses of the beds, and all that we gained by that was to melt the snow on the wood, and make a kind of lake, which flowed round our feet, and drove us to the middle of the room.
The Countess and I were so diverted at this, that we looked at each other, and burst out a laughing. At this moment, one of her lacqueys came to tell me that an Augustin friar, just come from Moulins, was at the door, and that he had letters to give me from the Lieutenant Colonel of my reginient. I rose to go and speak to him; and as soon as I got to the door I recognized Beauvoir, who had made a hood of the collar of a great black cloak he wore, and had tied his hair behind. I affected not to perceive the disguise, and telling him to draw near the fire-place, and that we would talk of business after supper, I introduced him to the mistress of the house, who, it
may be supposed, had not the least idea who he was, since even the Countess did not recognize him. As soon as he was seated,
he began to talk of the various accidents of life, subject, as he said, to a thousand inconveniencies, among which he particularly insisted on extremes of heat and cold; but that even these were not greater than the misery of being badly lodged ; that if he had ever been induced, by any circumstance, to murmur against Providence, it would have been by that; but that he had been enabled to bear it, by his great resignation to the will of God. The lady of the house listened to all this, as devoutly as if it had been a sermon, and told him that the monks of his order often visited her, and her husband, and did them the honor to like them. The Countess thought it very droll that this man, whom she thought a real Augustin friar, should happen to discuss a matter which was then so peculiarly interesting; and I had the greatest difficulty in the world to help laughing out at seeing these women so deceived, and at the thought that the Augustin friar was a Huguenot. At length supper was brought, and when the ladies enquired for Beauvoir, a lacquey, who had orders, answered that he was ill, and had gone to bed, and would take nothing.
“ The supper was nowise inferior to the fire: the soups were hot water; all the meat at table was alive when we arrived ; the bread was new, and half baked; the wine sour, and muddy; the table-cloth not damp, but wet; so that the heat of the dishes made it steam. This thick cloud completely dimmed the feeble light given by two little candles. Another annoyance was that the spoons,
which were really silver, were of the thickness of foil : as I am always unlucky, the one which fell to my lot was half broken, so that, in taking it from my mouth, it caught my lower lip, and nearly tore it. It is true that, for our comfort, the mistress of the house overwhelmed us with silly apologies. The infinite series of inconveniences seemed to depress the Countess a little ; so, to enliven her, I whispered who the Augustin friar was. She could not restrain a violent burst of laughter as she looked at him ; and the reverend father and I, who were dying to exchange some jokes, were delighted to find a reason for throwing off all constraint. We, therefore, discovered Beauvoir's masquerade to the country lady, and, under pretext of this joke, we gave ourselves up to laughing at our entertainment. The lady was very glad, thinking this diverted our attention, and made us forget her horrid fire and cùrsed sopper; however, we were not people to be so easily put off.
“That nothing might be wanting to make this repast thoroughly detestable, it was very long; and, if there had been any thing we could eat, we might have digested the first course before the second was brought. At length we came to the end of it, not without impatience, for, thuugh we laughed till our eyes ran over, we were so cold that we wept with pain as well as with joy. On leaving the table, I told the Countess it was late, and that I advised her to retire, in order that she might set out at day-break, as I had heard the next day's journey was long and difficult. The lady of the house, who, like most provincials, thought she should not appear hospitable if she did not try to make us set out late, contradicted me, as civilly as she could, about the journey, and added, that her cousin would be ill if she went to bed