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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 expres sions, 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.
It was with great difficulty and mortification that he was obliged to suppress a passion, which had måde 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 :124 this lord had married the daughter of Sir Stephen Fox, 125 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 Warmestré : 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 freshcoloured ; 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 Warmestré, whom we have before mentioned, when speaking of the Chevalier de Grammont.
Lord Taaffe, 126 eldest son of the Earl of Carlingford, was supposed to be in love with her; and Miss Warmestré 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, 127 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 Garde 128 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 Warmestré; for there every thing 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 any thing that was not fair and honourable, consented that they should sup as often as they pleased in Miss Warmestré'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 Warmestré, that this kind of life was led in her chamber. God knows how many hampies, 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 Warmestré; 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-Warmestré 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