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Madame de Sévigné to Madame de Coulanges-A slip between Cup and Lip.

already shared in the joy, the transport, the ecstacies of the Princess and her happy lover. It was just as I told you, the affair was made public on Monday. Tuesday was passed in talking, astonishment, and compliments. Wednesday, Mademoiselle made a deed of gift to Monsieur de Lauzun, investing him with certain titles, names, and dignities, necessary to be inserted in the marriage-contract, which was drawn up that day. She gave him then, till she could give him something better, four duchies; the first was that of Count d'Eu, which entitles him to rank as first peer of France; the Dukedom of Montpensier, which title he bore all that day; the Dukedom de Saint Fargeau, and the Dukedom de Châtellerault, the whole valued at twentytwo millions of livres. The contract was then drawn up, and he took the name of Montpensier. Thursday morning, which was yesterday, Mademoiselle was in expectation of the King's signing the contract, as he had said that he would do; but, about seven o'clock in the evening, the Queen, Monsieur, and several old dotards that were about him, had so persuaded his majesty that his reputation would suffer in this affair, that, sending for Mademoiselle and Monsieur de Lauzun, he announced to them, before the Prince, that he forbade them to think any further of this marriage. Monsieur de Lauzun received the prohibition with all the respect, submission, firmness, and, at the same time, despair, that could be expected in so great a reverse of fortune. As for Mademoiselle, she gave a loose to her feelings, and burst into tears, cries, lamentations, and the most violent expressions of grief; she keeps her bed all day long, and takes nothing within her lips but a little broth. What a fine dream is here! what a glorious subject for a tragedy or romance, but especially talking and reasoning eternally! This is what we do day and

Madame de Sévigné to Madame de Coulanges-A slip between Cup and Lip.

night, morning and evening, without end, and without intermission; we hope you do the same, E fra tanto vi bacio le mani : "and with this I kiss your hand.”

VI.

From the Same to the Same.

PARIS, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 1670.

You are now perfectly acquainted with the romantic story of Mademoiselle and of Monsieur de Lauzun. It is a story well adapted for a tragedy, and in all the rules of the theatre; we laid out the acts and scenes the other day. We took four days instead of four and twenty hours, and the piece was complete. Never was such a change seen in so short a time; never was there known so general an emotion. You certainly never received so extraordinary a piece of intelligence before. M. de Lauzun behaved admirably; he supported his misfortune with such courage and intrepidity, and at the same time showed so deep a sorrow, mixed with such profound respect, that he has gained the admiration of everybody. His loss is doubtless great, but then the King's favor, which he has by this means preserved, is likewise great; so that, upon the whole, his condition does not seem so very deplorable. Mademoiselle, too, has behaved extremely well on her side. She has wept much and bitterly; but yesterday, for the first time, she returned to pay her duty at the Louvre, after having received the visits of every one there; so the affair is all over. Adieu.

Madame de Sévigné to Madame de Coulanges-A slip between Cup and Lip.

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PARIS, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1670.

I have received your answers to my letters. I can easily conceive the astonishment you were in at what passed between the 15th and 20th of this month; the subject called for it all. I admire likewise your penetration and judgment, in imagining so great a machine could never support itself from Monday to Sunday. Modesty prevents my launching out in your praise on this head, because I said and thought exactly as you did. I told my daughter on Monday, "This will never go on as it should do till Sunday; I will wager, notwithstanding this wedding seems to be sure, that it will never come to a conclusion." In effect the sky was overcast on Thursday morning, and about ten o'clock, as I told you, the cloud burst. That very day I went about nine in the morning to pay my respects to Mademoiselle, having been informed that she was to go out of town to be married, and that the coadjutor of Rheims* was to perform the cermony. These were the resolves on Wednesday night, but matters had been determined otherwise at the Louvre ever since Tuesday. Mademoiselle was writing; she made me place myself on my knees at her bedside; she told me to whom she was writing, and upon what subject, and also of the fine presents she had made the night before, and the titles she had conferred; and as there was no match in any of the Courts of Europe for her, she was resolved, she said, to provide for herself. She related to me, word for word, a conversation she had had with the King, and appeared overcome with joy to think how happy she should

* Charles Maurice le Tellier.

Madame de Sévigné to Madame de Coulanges-A slip between Cup and Lip.

make a man of merit. She mentioned, with a great deal of tenderness, the worth and gratitude of M. de Lauzun. To all which I made her this answer: "Upon my word, Mademoiselle, your highness seems quite happy; but why was not this affair finished at once last Monday? Do not you perceive that the delay will give time and opportunity to the whole kingdom to talk, and that it is absolutely tempting God, and the King, to protract an affair of so extraordinary a nature as this is to so distant a period?" She allowed me to be in the right, but was so sure of success, that what I said made little or no impression on her at the time. She repeated the many amiable qualities of Monsieur de Lauzun, and the noble house he was descended from. To which I replied in these lines of Corneille's Polyeuctus:

Du moins on ne la peut blâmer d'un mauvais choix,
Polyeucte a du nom, et sort du sang des rois.

Her choice of him no one can surely blame,

Who springs from kings, and boasts a noble name.

Upon which she embraced me tenderly. Our conversation lasted above an hour. It is impossible to repeat all that passed between us, but I may without vanity say that my company was agreeable to her, for her heart was so full that she was glad of any one to unburden it to. At ten o'clock she devoted her time to the nobility, who crowded to pay their compliments to her. She waited all the morning for news from Court, but All the afternoon she amused herself with putting M. de Montpensier's apartment in order, which she did with her own hands. You know what happened at night. The next morning, which was Friday, I waited upon her, and found her in bed; her grief redoubled at seeing me; she called me to her, embraced me, and overwhelmed me with tears.

none came.

Mrs. Bradshaw to Mrs. Howard—Life of a Lady of Fashion in the Country.

"Ah!" said she, "you remember what you said to me yesterday? What foresight! what cruel foresight!" In short, she made me weep to see her weep so violently. I have seen her twice since; she still continues in great affliction, but behaves to me as to a person that sympathizes with her in her distress; in which she is not mistaken, for I really feel sentiments for her that are seldom felt for persons of such superior rank. This, however, between us two and Madame de Coulanges; for you are sensible that this chit-chat would appear ridiculous to others.

VIII.-LIFE OF A LADY OF FASHION IN THE COUNTRY.

Mrs. Bradshaw to Mrs. Howard.*

GOSWORTH HALL, May 28th, 1722. Our bells have rung ever since four this morning, which is more a proof of Lady Mohun's power than the people's inclination.

I am told you expect from me an account of the manners and customs of this place. It is impossible for me to obey your commands at present, for the weather has been so wet that none of the neighboring nymphs or swains have been able to make their appearance; but if you can be contented with a description of the hall, and the manner of life we lead this Christmas time (for so it is here, I do assure you), take it, as follows:

We meet in the work-room before nine; eat and brake a joke or two till twelve; then we repair to our own chambers

* This lady was afterwards the famous Countess of Suffolk, whose intimacy with both George II. and Queen Caroline was the great court scandal of that day.-H.

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