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when he was roused by the sound of the horn and the cry
of the hounds. The hut, 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 bedchamber. 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 peasant. He was so astonished at this, that at first he hid his head under the bedclothes, under the idea that he already saw him entering with all his hounds; 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 lawsuit, 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
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.115 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 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 a 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, 116 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 writ 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
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.
“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
attendant. When I came to the PlaceRoyale, 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
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 dishabille 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, thinks 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
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 choose 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,