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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 antechamber.' 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,
my horse while I was mounting. I returned him his cloak, bid 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 is 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, 117 the sad object of the sad elegies of the Countess de la
118 the other was the president Tambonneau, 119 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 any thing 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. ing the matter a little too far for Miss Hamilton's complaisance, who was of opinion that she had already shewn 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 beard of the amorous declaration he had made : this was a confidence of no great importance ; it, however, saved Tombonneau from some ridicule which might have
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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 every thing 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, 120 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 con
tempt 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, 121 an intriguing Jesuit, and a great match-maker: the other was, what was called, a lay-monk, 122 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 shewed 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.123 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