THE Unsatisfied LOVERS.



O Formose Puer, Nimium ne crede celori.

LONDON, Printed for James Partridge, at the Post-Office, between Charing-Cross and White-hall, M DC LXXXIII.

TO THE EARL OF Ranelagh, &c.

My Lord,

I Have presum'd to Publish this No­vel [Page]under your Lord­ships Protection, know­ing that your Name (amongst the Judici­ous) renders Authen­tick whatsoever bears its Stamp.

But besides This, there are other Mo­tives, which have rai­sed me to this Confi­dence: Your Lord­ship has been pleas'd [Page]to Honour me with your continued Fa­vours. And, my Lord, I hope you will Ac­cept this Acknowledg­ment, as a Testimo­ny how much I own your Kindness.

'Twou'd be imper­tinent to swell this De­dication with an Ac­count of Your Lord­ship's eminent Birth [Page]and Qualities; Those the World already knows, though it can­not sufficiently admire: for which Reason, I shall be silent; only adding, That I am, in all Respects,

My Lord,
Your Lordship's Most Humble, and most Obedient Servant, James Partridge.

THE Unsatisfied LOVERS. PART I.

FRANCE was never in greater Splendor, than when the Illustrious Mary, Queen of [...]cot­land, made the fair Additions of her Crown and Person to it, by her Marriage with Fran­cis, [Page 2]Daulphine, and Heir to Henry the Second, the last King that had Issue of the House of Valois: She was a Princess, that ow'd nothing to her Dignity, but her Miseries; for had She been Born in the lowest State of Life, her Vertues wou'd have made her Eminent. She was Beautiful in her Person, and as well by Nature, as E­ducation so refindly great, She seem'd only born to support the Glory of the Greatest Court, that ever Europe knew: For what made her Court the only Circle of Wit and Quality, was because the Queen was of so dissembling, base, and po­litick a Nature, and the Princes Elizabeth (the King's Sister, af­terwards [Page 3]Dutchess of Savoy) so proud, that all those who sought only to divert them­selves, shun'd them as much as Respect wou'd give 'em leave.

Amongst the rest that often paid their Duty to the Daul­phine-Queen, for so they call'd the Queen of Scotland, being Married to the Daulphine, was Madame de St. Maure, a Woman of a clear and piercing Wit; and so delightfully quick in her Conversation, that every Bo­dy was pleas'd in her Compa­ny; and tho' at the bottom she was really good, yet she had still the Fate of Wit; which hating to move in the dull com­mon Rode, becomes the Cen­sure of the Ignorant, and Ill­natur'd. [Page 4]Before she was Fif­teen, (e're Love had taught her to distinguish) she was Married by her careful Parents to the Count de St. Maure, who was both Handsome, and of a very considerable Fortune, and had certainly made a most ex­cellent Husband to any Wo­man, that had had less Wit.

As to her Person, she might justly boast of one of the best Shapes that ever was seen; and though she had not in her Face those charming Stroaks of perfect Beauty, yet she had something so agreeable and pleasing, that all the World admir'd her: The Quickness of her Wit, and the little plea­sant Satyr, which naturally [Page 5]fell in her Discourse, made all those, who were industrous in seeking their Diversions, make her of their Party.

Though Love was Trium­phant in almost every Breast, and Gallantry appear'd the greatest Business of the Court, yet Madam de St. Maure had still her Thoughts unmov'd with any Passion; her Mind was in a soft Repose, and be­ing secure in peaceful Inno­cence, she injoy'd all the Plea­sures of Life, without the Pain; till Monsieur de Chastillon, (a Cozen of the renown'd Admi­rals) came to Paris, a Man gallant to the last Degree; and though he was extreamly quick, yet he was not eloquent, [Page 6]which Nature supply'd another way; for so judicious an Ho­nesty appear'd in all his Words, that they perswaded above the Power of Eloquence. He had not pass'd many Months there, ere he made a Friend­ship with the young Count de St. Laurans, who was one of the nearest both in Service, and Favour, to the Daulphine-Queen.

This Count was most Adroit in all his Exercises, as having been bred from his Infancy in the best Academies of France; and what heightned yet more his Education, was, that his Nearness to the Daulphine-Queen gave him the frequent Conversation of all those, who [Page 7]were remarkable for Wit and Breeding; which polish'd in­to a pleasing Lustre, what the pains of his former Studies had filled into a noble Form. But above all, he was a particular Admirer of Madame de St. Maure, and by his often Visits to her, had enter'd into a strict Friendship with her; and one may say, That two of different Sexes were never purer Friends: It was a Stream of Friendship, full and flowing, without the least Violence, or Rapidness of an unjust Desire; which gave him occasion to carry his new Friend Chastillon, to visit her: She not being well, they made the first Visit but short, though long enough to raise in [Page 8] Chastillon's Mind Ideas, that he had never found before: Some­thing appear'd to him in her Conversation, far above the rest of her Sex. In fine, he was so charm'd with her Wit, that His Soul seem'd to be born up­on her Flights, of Thoughts to Heaven. She being not a little pleas'd with the Sincerity and and Freedom which she found in him, desir'd the Count St. Laurans to bring him often thither; which the Count per­form'd every day, all the time of her Indisposition. These frequent Visits rais'd Chastil­lon's Admiration into a violent Passion; he now cou'd find no Quiet when from her; Heaven seemed to appear, [Page 9]when he beheld her; and Hell when he parted from her. But that severe Modesty, which govern'd all her Actions, shew'd him no other Prospect but Despair; yet Love being too strong to yield, his Soul was labouring under the weight of the two most furious Passions, Despair and Love.

He never fail'd the Court of the Daulphin-Queen, where Madame de St. Maure was con­stant, receiving continual Fa­vours from that excellent Prin­ces. He sought all Opportuni­ty, by which he might (un­minded) speak to her; and she, who was not a little pleas'd with his Discourse, (though as yet, not approach­ing [Page 10]any thing of Love,) never deny'd him any. But he was as yet, Alas, so young a Pro­ficient in that Art, that his Despair so far over-rul'd him, that it made him in silence suffer as much, as if he had un­successfully reveal'd his Passi­on. But Love is of so subtle a Nature, that every Motion, every Look betrays it. When e're they spoke of Love, (the common Thearn of Courts) in spight of himself, pressed by the abundance of his Mind, he wou'd infer the Pain of Secret Love; and least she shou'd suspect, he wou'd confirm what he had said, by instan­cing some of the Court, that lay under that unhappy Cir­cumstance. [Page 11]But in vain he strove to hide it; for well she saw, his Words, in spight of all his Art, bore still a Tin­cture of the distracted Mind, from whence they sprung: At which, she was not at all un­easy; for there are few Wo­men, but Love a Conquest, when it tends not to the Ruin of their Honours; and she be­liev'd, that he wou'd never re­veal his Passion, and so it wou'd be no great Detriment to her's: Besides, she liked him well enough, to think the Victory well worth the Pains. But his Passion was grown too violent, to remain unseen; for the whole Frame of his Nature was alter'd; his Conversation, [Page 12]which before was steady and judicious, now was nothing but a rapsody of unchain'd Words: He, who had lov'd a general Converse, and free Acquaintance, now pass'd the greatest Part of his uneasy Hours alone, in his Closet.

Which wonderfull Change the Count de St. Laurans soon perceiv'd; and one Day, find­ing him so alone, pressed Him by all the Power of Friendship, to tell him from whence it pro­ceeded: At first he answered him, That it only was an Indis­position of the Body, and that the Spleen was really the rea­son of his being so. But the Count, knowing the Spleen to be a Distemper incident to so [Page 13]many People, thought that there needed not so much pain to tell it, if that had been all: and from thence concluded, it was but a feign'd Excuse, to conceal some weighty Truth; which made him press him still more violently, till, at length, Chastillon (leaning his Head up­on the Count's Shoulder) said; Oh my Friend! Sure thou didst conspire against my Quiet, when thou carriedst me to that inevita­ble Beauty, that no Man sees unmov'd; to her, who is so Hea­venly Bright, none can behold and Live. Ah! press me no farther; but let me in Silence and despair, end my unhappy Life.

The Count, who immediate­ly knew at what his Words di­rected, was much surprized to see his Passion (in so little a time) grown to that Prodigi­ous Height; but since it was so, he thought it best, with all Care, to indeavour to divert it. You have been too blame, (said he) to yield so far to the false Insinuations of Love, which had you taken sooner, like tender Plants, you might have torn up by the Roots; but now it is grown so strong, that it requires Time, and Labour, to hew it down; a long and painful Absence, with all the Force of Resolution. Talk not of Absence, without Death (reply'd Chastillon) for I find, when I am but one Day without [Page 15]seeing her, Nature moves weak­ly in me, and I decline like to that Flower, which bends its fee­ble Head when the Sun sets, but is reviv'd again by his Morning Beams: Besides I have no Power to quit her; for all my Faculties deny Obedience to my Reason, and bend towards Her their pro­per Center. If I beheld (answer'd the Count) but the least Prospect of Satisfaction for you, I should offer you all my Power to serve you; but since I do not, pardon me, if I tell you, No Man (but you) e're ran upon so plain a Ru­ine: Therefore, I do conjure you, for your own Quiet, re-assume your Reason, to overcome a Pas­sion that will never let you rest. Think but how much it is below [Page 16]the Free, and Noble Nature of a Man, to be subject to the Weak­ness of a Woman; and then cast her from thee, as a Thing not worth so many Sighs. Ah! Friend, (answer'd Chastillon) they talk but ill of Love, that never felt it; Do you believe, I wear my Passion as I do my Cloaths, that if I find it uneasy, I can cast it off without Trouble. You much mistake; for as soon as Love enters into a Heart, he becomes Absolute Monarch o're the Mind, and sits in Triumph upon every Thought. But to shew you how kindly I receive your Ad­vice, I promise you to use all Means, that I think may help my Cure.

To shew him, that he in­tended what he said, he went that Night abroad with him to a Ball, that the Duke of Guise gave the King. Certainly, there never was a more Mag­nificent Entertainment; the prodigious Number of Flam­beaus set in every Window of the Streets, through which the King passed, made them appear more Bright, than in the clearest Day: Nor was it in any thing less great, within the House; for besides the wonderful Quantity of the Richest Plate, and Furniture, the Tables were filled with all the delicate Meats, that the most industrious Epicure cou'd prepare. And to add to this, [Page 18]there was all the Glory of the Court, both Men and Women, dressed with all the Advantage, that Cost and Pain could give them. The Count went Home, and dressed himself for the Ball; but for Chastillon, his Mind was too much imploy'd on other things, to regard his Dressing. No sooner were they enter'd, and had pay'd their Duty to the King, and Queen, and the Rest, to whom they ow'd it; but Chastillon began to look impatiently a­bout, to see if Madam de St. Maure was there; but hearing that the Night before she had taken cold, and therefore durst not stir abroad, he soon grew weary of the Place; and all [Page 19]that Pomp and Show, (which but some few Weeks before, would have given him vast Delight) had now quite lost their value; for she not being there, he beheld all the Glory of the Court, with such a dull indifference, that he soon grew weary of it, and Stole away; and immediately sent to seek out the best Musick he could find, both of Voices and In­struments, (for he was now resolv'd to give a Seranade to Madam de St. Maure) so weak are Lover's Resolutions, and so soon he had forgot the pro­mises he made to the Count St. Laurans, and having Muster'd up his Troop of Musicians, he commanded them to play at [Page 20]the end of the Street, nigh her House. No sooner had they began, but she immediately imagined to whom they were Addressed, and by whom: But when she heard this Song, she thought her self confirmed be­yond all doubt.


NO more, fond Love, thy Torments I defie,
For it is better much to Dye,
Than to Reveal
A Passion, which I ought for to conceal.
I rather to the Grave my Pain will bear,
Without one Sigh, than injure her;
So shall I prove
The truest Martyr, that e're Dy'd for Love.

The Count de St. Maure (though no way suspecting his Wife, yet) was naturally jea­lous; which gave him a Cu­riosity to see to whom this Se­ranade was directed; which made him go down to in­form himself. Now the Count St. Laurans, having missed Chastillon at the Ball, pursued [Page 22]him, as being unwilling to have him alone; when, pas­sing through the Street, and hearing the Noise of Musick, he bad his Coach drive up to­wards it; where he found his Friend Chastillon at the Head of the Consort. This Rash­ness vext him to the Soul; for he was afraid, lest it might make the Count de St. Maure (whom he knew suspicious) observe Chastillon more nar­rowly hereafter, whose Passi­on he knew was grown to that height, that a Thousand Things would betray it every moment to any curious Eye; and he knew, if her Husband perceived the least Appearance of it, that the most favourable [Page 23]Consequences would be Do­mestick Uneasinesses; which made him not stay long in his Coach, but alighting, told them all to Chastillon; who, at the Thought that his Indis­cretion might be prejudicial to her he loved, stood like a Stone unmov'd, not knowing what to answer. Just in this Inte­rim came down the Count de St. Maure, and seeing the Count de St. Laurans in the midst of the Seranade, asked him con­cerning it; who answered, That Monsieur Chastillon gave it to a young Lady, his Neighbour, whom he had a Design to make his Addresses to hereafter, in the Honourable way of Marriage. The Count smiled, and took [Page 24]for a full Answer, and promised Chastillon all his power to serve him, if he would make him his Confident: And then forced them into his House, almost whether they would or no, and carried them up to his Wife, who not being well, kept her Bed that day. He told her, as soon as ever he entered, all that the Count de St. Laurans had told him concerning the Seranade. But when she heard him talk of Marriage, she be­gan to suspect, that she had been mistaken all this while, and that what she took for Love to Her, had been dire­cted to some Other; which gave her a certain pain, that she knew not how to Name; [Page 25]for it was not Jealousie, she thought, because (as yet) she had not found any Appearan­ces of Love.

It is (says she) a dangerous thing, that Monsieur de Cha­stillon is going to undertake, and few consider it, as the most im­portant Moment of their Lives; but every one thinks he shall be Happy, never regarding the ma­ny miserable Couples, that are as many Instances to the contrary. But this perhaps may appear un­grateful in me, who have all that the most Happy can enjoy in Mar­riage.

Madame, (replyed St. Lau­rans) our Holy Divines forewarn [Page 26]the World of Sin, by the Vices of Others, if they are not guilty of any themselves.

Chastillon (who durst not absolutely deny it, and yet was loath to have her think it true) said; Madame, as yet I have not fixt my Resolution; there­fore, it may be, it will only end in a Gallantry: But I am still obliged to you for your kind Cau­tion; which may make me avoid many unquiet Hours, that other­wise might have fallen upon me.

He spoke this with such a confused Awkwardness, that the Count de St. Laurans grew so uneasy, that he abruptly took his Leave, (pretending he [Page 27]was to go to the Ball) lest the Count St. Maure should per­ceive it; but went streight home to his own Lodgings, where he made Chastillon stay with him all Night.

This doubtful Speech made Madame de St. Maure in pain what to judge; but what made her yet more, was the manner that it was spoken in. She be­gan to wish, that his Court­ship was made to her self; but yet the Circumstances were too strong, not to believe the contrary; and she found no other way, but to referre to Time the expounding of the Mystery: and in the interim, resolve to be at rest. But, Alas! [Page 28] Chastillon's Passion began to grow too violent, to be smo­ther'd: He quickly clear'd her Doubt by a Thousand (as she thought) demonstrative Argu­ments; and from this little Op­position, she began to swell in­to a greater Liking of him; insomuch, that she felta Change in her self every time she only heard his Name, or any thing that concern'd him; which daily grew more and more up­on her.

As the Court was never ful­ler of Illustrious Persons, so was there never more Magnificent Diversions; as Tilts, Turna­ments, Running at the Ring, &c. But none was ever more [Page 29]remarkably Great, than that at the Marriage of the Duke D'aumail, with the Daughter of the Dutchess of Valentinois: This Duke D'aumail was Third Brother to the Duke of Guise; whose Father Claudian, Young­er Brother to the Duke of Lor­rain, coming into France to Possess himself of the Dutchy of Guise, had so far insinuated himself into the Favour of Francis the First, (the King's Father) that he Established his Family so great in France, as to contend even with the Prin­ces of the Blood. He left Three Sons, Francis Duke of Guise, Charles Cardinal of Lorrain, and this Duke D'aumail; all which became so Eminent, that they [Page 30]still encreas'd the mighty Fa­brick of Greatness, that their Father had built.

This Family of Lorraine, growing in so small a Time to that vast height of Power, had drawn the Envy of all the No­bility against it; for still, who­soever increases Greatness, in­creases Enemies; and especial­ly, Strangers: So they thought to confirm themselves more in the King's Favour, by making this Alliance with the Dutchess of Valentinois, whom the King had passionately lov'd for a­bove Twenty Years; and even on his Death-bed, confest he Lov'd her still.

The List was set in the great Court of the Louvre; the Gal­leries, which surrounded it, were all hung with Cloath of Gold; and in the Middle of the largest Square, was plac'd a Canopy of high Imbroide­ry; under which were set the Queen, the Daulphine-Queen, and the Princess Elizabeth; and on each Hand, sat the First of the Nobility.

Surely, never was there a Court that shin'd with a great­er Number of Excellent Beau­ties: For the Queen (Katherine de Medicis) as their own Histo­rians report, was so profound­ly cunning, that she drew to Court the Fairest of the King­dom; [Page 32]over most of which she gain'd, by vast Temptations, so absolute a Power, as to pro­stitute themselves to the Chief Ministers, to make her Mistress of all the Secrets of State.

But amongst those, whose Eyes appear'd this Day like so many influencing Stars, to add new Strength and Vigor to the contending Gallantry of the Men, none look'd so fair as Mademoiselle de Poictiers, a Cozen (tho' at a distance) of the Dutchess of Valentinois. It was the first time she ever ap­pear'd at Court, where she came to be Maid of Honour to the Daulphine-Queen. Whether it were the Newness of her [Page 33]Beauty, or whether she really deserved it, I know not; but certainly, never Woman had so many Admirers, in so short a time. Though she was low of Stature, yet she had an Air that made her so unexpressibly Beautiful, that nothing but to have seen her, can give a true Idea thereof: Besides, a plea­sant Fantastick Genius, right turn'd to please at Court, and to insnare Young Adoration.

The First that enter'd the List, was the King himself: His Colours were Black and White, which he always wore in respect to Madame de Valen­tinois, who was a Widow. He was mounted upon a large [Page 34]White Arabian Horse; so state­ly a Creature, that he seem'd too proud to carry any thing but a King. His Bit and Stir­rups were of Beaten Gold; the Bosses of the Bit, were large Rubies, set round with Dia­monds; and, on the Horses Front, was a large Jewel, of all sorts of the Richest Stones; so big, that it almost cover'd all his Fore-head. In the midst of which, the King bore his Device; which was a Cupid sitting in the Middle of a Circle, holding in his Hand a Flaming Heart; and over the Cupid's Head was writ this Motto, Ma Flame durera jusque a L'eterni­te, My Flame will last to Eter­nity; (of which a Circle is the Emblem.)

The Daulphine followed his Father. The Colours which he wore; were White. He was mounted on a large Black Spa­nish Genet: His Bridle, and his Stirrups, were of Silver. He gave for his Device the King­dom of France; and on one side, a Cupid laid down asleep, with his Bow and Arrows broken by him; with this Motto, C'est toy qui me fait abandoner L'amour; 'Tis for Thee I abandon Love.

The next that enter'd, was the Duke of Guise, (for the King of Navarre, and the Prince of Conde, his Brother, the on­ly Princes of the Blood, were not then in France.) His Co­lours [Page 36]were Green. He was moun­ted on a White Croation-Horse; which, according to the Tem­per, which is particular to Horses of that Country, had naturally Bled himself in many Places of his Body, that his Blood running down, appear'd like so many Streakes of Red, mixt with the White. He bore for his Device the Sun; and for his Motto, Rien que la Gloire; Nothing but Glory.

After his Brother, enter'd the Bridegroom himself. He rode upon a Milk-white Spanish-Ge­net: His Colours were Scarlet; which shew'd the Victory he had obtain'd; as also, it best fitted him: for never was there [Page 37]Man known of a fiercer Na­ture. His Device was a Love shooting Two Hearts with the same Arrow; and the Motto, En sin nous somes heureux; At length, we are Happy.

There was many more of great Quality; but should I name them all, twould swell too much my Narration: There­fore, I shall only tell you, That the Count St. Laurans and Cha­stillon were both there. The Count rode upon a large Turk­ish-Horse. His Colours were Blue. He bore for his Device, a Cupid with a Vail over his Face, with this Motto, Je ne veux pas [...] connoitre; I will not know thee.

Chastillon entred the List up­on a Bay Courser of Naples. His Colours were Grediline and Fevilemort; which extraordi­nary Mixture made all People wonder, but Madame de St. Maure; who soon divin'd, that he meant by Grediline, Secret Love; and by Fevilemort, his Despair. His Device was a Cu­pid shooting at a Rock, and all his Arrows falling broken to the Ground; and the Motto, Trop dure d'estre penetrer; Two hard to be pierced.

For the aforesaid Reason, I shall not give you an Account of each Particular of the Day; but you may easily imagine, [Page 39]that there was never greater Magnanimity shown; for be­sides their Adroitness, and known Valours, most of them were before their Mistresses. But because it comes within the compass of my Story, it will not be amiss to tell you, That Chastillon was so heightned with the Sight of Madame de St. Maure, that he appear'd far above himself. Just in the List und [...]r her, he unhorsed the Duke of Guise, who was not a little concern'd to receive a Re­pulse from any Body, especial­ly one of that Family. The Count won two Prizes at the Ring; but, Alas! in this Days Adventure, he lost a greater, his Heart; for no sooner had [Page 40]he seen Mademoiselle de Poicti­ers, but there appear'd some­thing so pleasing to him in her, that he had never seen in any Woman, but her self. He gaz'd upon her, and at every Look found something Delightful steal about his Heart; which made his Eyes unwilling ever to quit the Object.

The Morning being thus pas­sed, they all retired Home, to prepare themselves for a Ball at Night; for which there was great Preparations on all sides; every one seeming to vye with each other, who should appear with the greatest Lustre.

The Countess de St. Maur's [Page 41]liking to Chastillon, was grown daily more and more upon her; and particularly, that Day he behaved himself so gallantly, that something whisper'd in her Soul, what she would have given the World not to have known: But, in spight of her self, it told her, That she loved. She wished a thousand times, he would declare his Passion; but then considering she was Married, a thousand contrary Wishes blotted the former out. At length, (being alone in her Closet) she fell to Pray­ers, hopeing by Supernatural Means to regain her Freedom. But, Alas! her Heart and Tongue too much disagreed, to gain relief that way; for whilst [Page 42]her Mouth was offering Holy Prayers for Liberty, her con­tradicting Heart was wishing still to be a Slave. So pleasant were the Chains she wore. At length, almost distracted be­tween Reason and Passion, from the Anguish of her Mind, she burst out into these Words: Alas! If Love be not a volunta­ry Motion, but far above our Rea­son to controul, how can it be a Sin? Come all ye Pious Physici­ans of the Mind, who with your grave Advice, pretend to lead us to the Paths of Bliss, give me a Balm to cure this Wound; and then I'le say, You are Masters of your Art. But, Oh! you only bid us to be well: And, Alas! what Succor's that to her, who's raging [Page 43]in a Feaver, unless you provide her too the Means to be so?

Just as she was in the height of this Exclamation, one knock­ed at her Door, and told her, That the Count St. Laurans was without. When having a little composed her self, she went out to him. The first thing he said to her, he asked her, with an unusual Impatience, Who that was that sate nigh her? describing Mademoiselle de Poi­ctiers. She immediately told him; and he frankly reveal'd to her, That since he saw her, he found a Change in himself, and a wonderful Desire to see her again; and that he was just going to Court, to try if [Page 44]he could (by any means) in­gratiate himself into the Hap­piness of her Conversation; to see if her Soul was as rich in Perfections, as her Body; and so he left her to her painful Thoughts.

Chastillon, who all this while was meditating what way to take, to put a period to his Love, resolv'd at length to de­clare his Love; for his Disease was now grown so desperate, that it was useless to apply moderate Remedies. He found he could not suffer more by her Anger, than he did by his Silence; for that Death would certainly be the Issue of One, and that he had a Chance [Page 45]to be Happy in the Other.

Upon which Resolution he went straight to Court, to find out St. Laurans; with an In­tention to tell him his Designe; where he found him entertain­ing Mademoiselle de Poictiers; whom he had found in the Drawing-Room, standing by the Fire, with his Sister Made­moiselle D'aupre's, another of the Maids to the Daulphine-Queen. Chastillon entred into the Conversation; and, in a small time, Madam de St. Maure came in dress'd for the Ball, with all the Advantages that Cloaths could give to one, who was on all Occasions al­low'd the best drest Woman [Page 46]of the Court. But, Alas! her Heart was heavy; she had a Weight of Grief hung at it, without the Power to vent it: For had she staid at home, she would have disappointed the King and Queen, who de­pended upon her for to dance that Night. But though her Soul was all disquiet, her Face betray'd not the least Shew of it: For that Dissimulation, which (they say) is natural to her Sex, only in this was kind to her, that she could com­mand her Looks to be of a quite different Complexion from her Thoughts: But still it mitiga­ted not her inward Pain. And it is one of the greatest Fines Heaven sets upon Greatness, [Page 47]that they are often forc'd be­fore the World almost to burst with Secret Grief in silence; when the Vulgar may, unmin­ded retire themselves, and by complaining, find some Ease.

The Count had not much time with Mademoiselle de Poi­ctiers; for every Body was crowding to admire her. Nei­ther was this first Encounter advantageous to him; for of all the Men of the Court, she lik'd Chastillon much the best.

The Ball lasted till it was ve­ry late; but as soon as it was done, Chastillon went home with the Count; to whom he told his Resolution to declare [Page 48]his Love. The Count replied: My dearest Friend, and after that I need not say, I love you. People are apt to judge accord­ing to the Event of Things, that there are few, to whom we ought to give Advice; especially in what concerns them so nearly, as (you say) this does you: But since it would appear unkind in me to deny you, I must freely tell you, I still advise you to rally your scatter'd Troops of conquer'd Reason, and once more try if you can overcome this Rebel Pas­sion. But if he be so far Master of the Field, that you find all your Attempts are vain, then ne­ver make your Life a Misery; but tell her nobly of it, and end it as she shall determine.

As for the First (replyed Cha­stillon) my Reason is too far di­stracted, e're to be reclaimed: Therefore, I will resolve upon the last, as soon as Fortune will per­mit me a favourable Moment.

Big with this Resolution, he took his Leave of the Count; who all Night, instead of sound and undisturbed Sleep, found nothing but Slumbers hang up­on his Eyes, full of fair Ideas proceeding from the bright Object he had seen that day.

The next day he fail'd not to go see his Sister Mademoisel­le D'aupre's, where he found both Madame de St. Maure, and [Page 50] Mademoiselle de Poictiers; which happy Adventure presently ap­pear'd to him, as a propitious Omen of his future Success. He pass'd most part of that Af­ternoon with them; and one may imagine, not a little to his Satisfaction. In which time he was industrious to make Madame de St. Maure, and Ma­demoiselle de Poictiers have e­qually a good Opinion of each other. And in this he was so far successful, that in a few days they were seldom seen a­sunder.

That Evening, the Weather being extreamly fair, they all four went out to walk toge­ther: When Madame de St. [Page 51]Maure, being earnest in Dis­course with Mademoiselle D'au­pre's, walk'd on a little before; and because they would not be interrupted, they passed in­to a By-walk; the Count and Mademoiselle de Poictiers fol­lowing them at a distance. He being of a quite different Tem­per from his Friend Chastillon, soon found his Flame was in­creased by her Company, too high to be concealed, and the Opportunity too fair to be let slip; so resolved to tell her his Passion: For now the Pleasant­ness of her Conversation, as well as the Beauty of her Per­son, charmed him so, that he was no longer Master of him­self.

When she saw them, who went before, go out of the great Walk, she began to complain, that going by them­selves, they should lose the Company, which to her was all the Pleasure of the Place.

Madam, (reply'd the Count) You perchance have reason to complain; but for my self, I am too nigh Heaven, to think of any other Happiness. Par­don me, Madam, that I dare tell you, That I Love you, since it is in vain to hide that Flame, which in few Days would by my Death have been reveal'd, had I still smoother'd it in a Painful Silence.

She knew not what to an­swer him, for she considered, how dangerous it was to enter into so sudden an Engagement with a Man she knew so little; and, on the other side, she was afraid, that if she should re­pulse him rudely, she should lose a Lover. For as Nature had given her so large a Portion of Beauty, she had given her no less a Share of Vanity; that she was even to that degree Coquette, as to be pleased with the rude Commendati­ons of Foot-men, as she passed out and in. So she only re­turned him this Answer: Sir, I confess, your Discourse came most unexpected to me; and as I [Page 54]own my self not insensible of a Virtuous and Noble Passion, I should be loath to place it on One, whose Ingratitude should force me afterwards to change it: And though you appear too Generous, to fall within the compass of this Suspition; yet you must pardon the useful Cautions of One un­practised in the Art of Love. Therefore, I must return you no positive Answer, till Time shall instruct me, if I ought to hear you talk of Love.

The Count, finding there was nothing, of a despair in what she said, was going to make her a Thousand Prote­stations of the truest Love that Tongue ever utter'd, when [Page 55] Mademoiseble D'aupre's, seeing them behind at a distance, call'd 'em to come up; and walk with them. The Count perceiving, that his happy Op­portunity was now past, and having no more time, but whilst they overtook the o­thers; said, May I then Hope? I bad you not despair (said she) when I told you, That Time would instruct me, if I ought to hear you talk of Love.

He waited upon them to their Lodgings; and after­ward returned home more happy, than the greatest Con­queror on the Night of some important Victory: For he absolutely believ'd, having at [Page 56]first so favourable a Treaty, that the Beautiful Fortress would not hold out long. Be­sides, he thought, few Wo­men of so free and open a Na­ture, as she was, had Power to with-stand the Assiduity of a violent Passion.

This made him from time to time pursue her, where e're she went: He beheld no Day, that he passed not away most part of its douny Hours in her dear Company. In contradi­ction to his Nature, he often became Fantastically Childish to please her; and if he could but succeed in that, he car'd not what the World said of him.

He went straight, and re­ported all that had passed to Madame de St. Maure: He found her alone at home; for the Disquiet she was in, had made all People so insupporta­ble to her, that she deny'd see­ing every Body but himself. No sooner had he told her all that had hapned in the Gar­den; but she, changing her Face, according to the Dictates of her Mind, which was all Confusion and Disorder, said to him; Tho' it be contrary to those severe Laws, that Pow­erful Custome has imposed upon us, to tell our secret Passions, (e­specially where Loves concern'd) to any of another Sex; yet I [Page 58]dare so far confide in you, as to make you the only Phisician of my troubled Thoughts, Oh! St. Laurans, within very few Weeks you knew me placed in the First Degree of Happiness. What in­terposing Fate, (reply'd the Count) hinders you from being so still? Pardon (said she) these confused Blushes, which waits upon my Shame, when I tell you, That 'tis Love which robs me of my Rest, and banishes from my Mind all thoughts of Quiet; and pity her; who, from the Excess of an unguided Passion, throws the bottom Secrets of her Soul before you, and owns to you, that, tho' she is Married to St. Maure, she Loves your Friend Chastillon to distraction; and, [Page 59]but that I am resolved to keep un­stained the last Point of Duty, or dye a Victim to my Passion, I had never let the mighty Secret fly from out my Breast. There­fore, make not too severe a Com­ment, if I have drowned the Name of Modesty, in that of Friend, in telling you with so little scruple of my Love. If you should, it would be unkind, since it only shews a Confidence I have in you, above the rest of the World; and few there are com­plain of Trust. Madame (an­swer'd the Count) have you con­sidered? Yes, till I am mad (said she); for, Alas! I see my Duty placed above Me; and as I climb and climb to reach it, Love plucks me back again.

Still, as she spoke, her words were interrupted by her Tears, and her Breast torn betwixt the different thoughts of Love and Duty.

The Count, who perceived the Inconveniencies, that must arrive to them both from such an Amour, apply'd all his Power to break it; not by ad­vising, nor railing at her Passi­on; for he knew, that was only Infant Love, which could be chid away; and their's was grown strong enough, to Laugh at all such Remedies: Which made him think on a more violent, though a more dangerous way, and hazard [Page 61]the Name of Friend to serve his Friends.

Madame, (said he) I believe, you thought I lov'd you well e­nough, to interest my self in all your Concerns, when you confi­ded in me so weighty a Secret. Therefore, Madame, I must own my self doubly concern'd in this; first, That you love at all; next, That you love a Man, who to my knowledge loves elsewhere.

At which words, she fell backwards in her Chair; and, withall the violence of a distra­cted Passion, cry'd out, Oh! ye cruel Stars, do you heap Moun­tains upon Mountains of Misery, and all to over-whelm one weak [Page 62]Woman? Am I then deceiv'd too?

Then she told the Count, That she saw plainly by the Collours Chastillon wore the Day of the Tilting, and by o­ther Marks and Signes, that he was in Love with some Wo­man, to whom he durst not declare it; and that she had been vain enough to think it was her self.

Madame, (reply'd the Count) be assur'd, his Addresses proceed from his belief, that you love him; and therefore, they are ra­ther Effects of his Vanity than Passion.

After this the Count took his Leave, and went to find Cha­stillon, in order to the carry­ing on of his Designe, leaving her in a more deplorable Con­dition, than he found her.

He found him alone, pen­sive upon a Couch in his Clo­set, meditating upon the Ex­cellencies of Madame de St. Maure. The Count sitting him­self down by him, began to tell him, That he was sorry to bring him such unpleasing News, which he knew would so much disturb him; but be­ing his Friend, he could not but tell him, That he was just then come from Madame de St. [Page 64]Maure; and that he had try'd her always, to see if she had a­ny Inclination for him: But he found all to the contrary.

To which Chastillon answer­ed, That no Man could be sur­prized at an expected Stroke; but that, that should not at all divert him from the Resoluti­on he had taken, of revealing his Passion to her.

They sate together, till it was Court-time; and then went thither, where they found Madame de St. Maure. Chastil­lon, failed not watching his Opportunity; and Fortune was quickly so kind, as to give him One. For Madame de St. [Page 65]Maure, leaving the Circle, went into the Balcony, pre­tending to cool her self; for the vast Company, which was at Court that Night, made the Heat almost insupportable. But the real Reason was, That the sight of Chastillon had put her into such a Confusion, con­cerning what the Count had told her, that she was afraid, lest some Body should perceive it. Chastillon soon followed her, to see if this would prove a fa­vourable Minute to his Inten­tions; for his Love was now grown too impati [...]nt, to in­dure delay in any thing, that he thought might advance it. He found her alone, looking over the Balcony; but hear­ing [Page 66]some Body behind her, she turn'd about, and seeing who it was, her Disorder increased so much at the sight of him, that, had not the Darkness of the Night covered her, he had soon perceived her Frailty in her Face, inspight of all her Power to hide it. She was con­founded, even beyond the Power of Wit to recover; for, lest he should suspect some­thing extraordinary from her not speaking at all, or in the disordered manner, if she did, she catched at the foolish Oc­casion of a Light she saw in a distant Street, (which was on­ly Straw, that playing Chil­dren set on Flame) to pretend to be afrightned, apprehend­ing [Page 67]'twas a House on Fire: But he, (after he had told her, what he thought it was, and that if it had been what she imagin'd, there would have been more noise in the Streets) said to her; Ah, Madame, since you are so much concerned in the Apprehension of a Fire, in which you have no particular Intrest, but only because the poor afflicted Sufferers move your gentle Na­ture; I hope, your Pity will ex­tend to me, who bears about me a real Flame, of which your Beau­ty is the only Cause.

She returned him no An­swer; but turning short about, passed through the Croud down to her Coach; and so [Page 68]went Home, in a strange Per­plexity.

She left Chastillon in a deep Despair: He knew not which way next to move; for he con­cluded by her Carriage, that he had absolutely cast himself, without the utmost Verge of Hope. And now he believed, he should never see her more, but with Frowns upon her Face, which would be to him as so many Darts of Death: But still he resolv'd not to de­sist, till he had her Answer.

The Count, who all this while lived in a doubtful Hap­piness, being she he loved had so little certainty in her Hu­mour; [Page 69]for though by all Marks, and Appearances, he had the first place in her Affe­ctions; yet still she was so Prodigal of lesser Favours to others, that he knew not whi­ther his Felicity was sure or no: And Love is of so ambiti­ons a nature, that it is never sa­tisfy'd with possessing the greatest Part, if it sees any Un­conquer'd behind.

Chastillon, who was think­ing what way to take next, thought of going to visit Ma­dam de St. Maure's Gentlewo­man, (with whom by his fre­quent Visits to her Lady, he became particularly well ac­quainted) and see if he could [Page 70]find any thing from her, that could direct him which way to take. After much discourse, she confess'd, that of late, she found her Lady much disturb­ed; and that often she has o­ver-heard her sigh, and name his Name. But she did be­lieve her too good a Wife, to entertain a kind Opinion of any Man, but her Husband.

From this he took new Fire, and resolv'd to try once more his Fortune, believing that his last Repulse might only be an Effect of her Modesty. Besides, the next time he saw her, when he expected to meet her full of Anger, she receiv'd him (ha­ving forc'd her Nature to obey) [Page 71]just as she us'd to do; think­ing by that to make him be­lieve, she did not hear what he said to her in the Balcony. But he constru'd this a quite different way from what she in­tended; for it only confirm'd what he had heard before; which he believ'd, the Count had not been quick-sighted e­nough, to discern.

He sought now all Opportu­tunities, to tell her once more of his Love; which she per­ceiving, cunningly cluded: He seeing of it, and also the strange indiff'rence with which she spoke to him upon all Oc­casions, (scarce ever seen in those who love, for she never [Page 72]treated him above common Ci­vility) made him begin to sus­pect, that he might be in a Mistake: But yet, however, he resolv'd to speak to her once more: And with much Pain and Diligence, having found her alone at Home; Ah, Ma­dam! (said he) Will you per­mit me to die, and not cast one Favourable Look upon my Mise­ry, which only proceeds from an Excess of Love for you?

Sir, (reply'd she, interrup­ting him) I little thought to have heard this sort of Discourse from you; the only hearing where­of is so much contrary to Duty in me. But since I believe, your Errour only proceeds from a Cu­stom, [Page 73]that you Young Men have got amongst pou, of paying a Gal­lantry to some particular Wo­man. I will pardon you this first Rudeness; but swear, that if ever you use again the like Dis­course, never to speak to you more. Believe me what I say; for the Texts of Holy Writ are not more true.

All which she spoke with such a Calmness, that Chastil­lon was now confirm'd of his Mistake; and she, to prevent what might follow, sent imme­diately for her Coach to go a­broad, keeping still some of her Servants in the Room, till it was made ready.

Now, none but those, who know the Force of Love, can judge with how much Torment she perform'd this mighty work; which we may well call so, since few besides her self could be able to have done it: And cer­tainly, had she kept her Word, (considering the Violence of her Love) her Character might have been writ in the chief Re­cords of Vertue.

Chastillon now began to con­sider himself, as in a most de­sperate Disease; which made him think of as desperate Cure, and what would in a little time either bring him Death, or certain Health. Which was, That he would make his Ad­dresses [Page 75]to some other Woman; and that if Madame de St. Maure had but the least Spark of Love for him, this wou'd blow it up into a violent Flame: And none he thought so fit for this, as Mademoiselle de Poictiers.

The Count having been so severe with Chastillon about his Love, was asham'd to tell him of his own: Which made him (by Errour) run into a Breach of Friendship. He chose her to make his False Courtship to, first, because she was Beauti­ful, and for that reason every Body wou'd be the apter to believe his pretended Flame to be true; next, because he found [Page 76]her Coquette enough, to re­ceive his Court: And withal, she having so many Admirers, he might slip himself out of the Crowd when he would, and no body take notice of it.

He lost no time, but went immediately into the Circle, where she was; and having singled her out, he approach'd her with the highest Flights of Gallantry; but never wou'd declare a formal Passion, lest his Honour might suffer, when he shou'd retreat. He took all occasions to be always in her Company; he follow'd her, and sought her from place to place: And she her self was so vain, that she never fail'd ma­king [Page 77]his Addresses publick by all possible means.

This came quickly to the Ears of the Count, and Ma­dame de St. Maure: As for him, whom Mademoiselle de Poicti­ers had beheld with a quite dif­ferent Mine, since the Ap­proaches of Chastillon, (for, as was said before, she lik'd Chastil­lon better than any body) he re­solv'd not to make a Breach of Friendship for so light a Mi­stress, till he had try'd all the Remedies that Reason should instruct him, to cure his Love.

Madame de St. Maure con­ceiv'd now, that all was true, which the Count had told her; [Page 78]and so look'd upon her self, as the most Miserable of Women: For now the Shock appear'd too great to be withstood; and she fear'd the Violence of her Mind wou'd not only expose her to her Husband, but to all the World besides. She had a Thousand different Thoughts, which way to take; and, at length, she concluded, that if the Count (her Husband) came to perceive any thing of it, she wou'd freely confess it all to him; and, as the last Proof of her Duty, offer him to leave the Court, and retire with him, and never see Chastillon more: To shew him, that tho' she cou'd not command her Affe­ctions, yet she cou'd her Acti­ons.

But Fortune was kind to her, and sent a favourable War to her Relief: For Philip the Second, King of Spain, having raised a great Army in Flan­ders, with an intent to enter France, the Count de St. Maure was forc'd to retire himself to a Government he had in Pi­cardy, where (they said) wou'd be the Seat of the War. She took the Advantage of this lucky Event, and made her Trouble pass to the World under the false colour of his Departing; where she might reasonably believe, he might be in danger. Besides, she took this Pretence to retire her self from Court for some time, in [Page 80]hopes that Absence, like cool­ing Lenitives, might allay the raging of her Feaver.

She went to a Country-house she had, about two Leagues distant from Paris, upon the same Hill of St. Cloud, and a­bout a League from it: It was Master of all the Prospect of that lovely Plain, where the Silver Scene so often spreads its wanton Arms in pleasing Meanders, to embrace the Earth. In the Middle of which is placed the Renown'd City of Paris. At the Foot of the Hill, on which the House was seated, the River glided gent­ly by, and the Descent from the House to it, was only spa­cious, [Page 81]and beautiful Gardens. Thither she went, and staid some time; and found her Mind grew much more easie upon the Account of Chastillon: But, Alas! the Fire was only smothered, and not quenched.

The Count St. Laurans, who began now to be convinced, that Mademoiselle de Poctiers had never had the least spark of Affection for him; but that her Beauty, like an Ignis Fa­tuus, had led him upon the ve­ry Brink of Ruine; now re­solv'd wisely to shut his Eyes, and be no more seduc'd by that fair, deceitful Leader: But, like a wounded Tyger, he set a Resolution first to summon [Page 82]up all his Force, and spend his dying Fury on those, from whom he receiv'd the Wound. Therefore he went straight to her, with an intent to vent the over-flowing of his Breast to her; and after that, to deter­mine Love, or Life.

But as soon as he saw her, Love grew Triumphant, and his Anger melted away, like Wax before the Fire, that he had only Power to say; Ah, Madame! Sure 'twas some an­gry Power, that plac'd your Beau­ty on the Earth; so infinitely Fair, and yet so Cruel, never was Woman seen before!

You have no reason to accuse [Page 83]me of Cruelty, (said she) but you Men never fail laying the Fault on us, when you have a mind to break off Loving.

By all that's Good, (reply'd the Count) I love you still so well, that the least kind Word you give particularly to me, comes more welcome, than a Reprieve to him that only waits the Stroke of Death. But, Madam, now you shed your Favours upon O­thers, while I lie cover'd with Despair.

When Love (said she) becomes a Burden, throw it down; I consent; for I know, 'tis that you wou'd be at: Else, why shou'd you suspect me?

'Tis beyond Suspicion, that 'tis Day, when we see the Sun, (reply­ed the Count) and your receiving Chastillon's Love, is as Pub­lick.

No Woman (answers she) lives without malicious Reports; and if you are so apt to believe them now, I shall have a happy time with you, if I Marry you. 'Tis true, I allow'd your Love; but in that I did not tell you, That I wou'd become your Slave. And this I tell you still; If you like me, I will permit you to Love on; but never pretend to govern my Actions.

And, without hearing him [Page 85]reply, away she went; tho' he press'd her very hard, that she wou'd but stay, and hear him speak.

He knew not now what to conclude on; he found his Love was too great a Master on him, to be cast off; for it rather increased, than diminish­ed: And now there was no way left, but to leave it to Time.

He went to visit Madame de St. Maure, who he heard was come to Paris, to pay her Du­ty at the Court; and was to return back again the next day in the Morning. She invited the Count to go and dine with [Page 86]her; for there wou'd be none of the Court left in Town: For the King had invited the Queen, and the rest of the Court, to go, and hunt down a Stag, that was grown Famous for his Age; and afterwards, to dine at Madrid, a House of the King's, about a League and half distant from Paris; which his Father, Francis the First, had built, to evade (by Equi­vocation) an Oath, that Ne­cessity had oblig'd him to take. For Charles the Fifth, Emperour, and King of Spain, having ta­ken him Prisoner, set him at Liberty, with this Condition, (besides some Ransome he paid) That he should visit Ma­drid (which is the Chief Town [Page 87]in Spain) once every Year. But when he was return'd into his own Country again, he had this House built, and call'd it Madrid; and never fail'd go­ing to it once a Year; fancy­ing by this, that he satisfy'd the Duty of his Oath.

As the Count St. Laurans, and Madame de St. Maure were pas­sing thro' the A Wood, that is called so. Bois de Bologne, they perceiv'd at a distance a Man, and a Wo­man, walking together in a fine Path all alone, leading their Horses in their Hands. They saw by their Dresses, that they were People of Quality; and he appear'd by the Posture of [Page 88]his Body, to be saying to her something above common Dis­course: But when, drawing nearer, they perceiv'd it was Chastillon, and Mademoiselle de Poictiers, it pierc'd them like Daggers to their Hearts.

The King, and all the Court were rode on before, in pursuit of the Stagg, which had led them a most toilsome Chace; insomuch that those Ladies, who not being us'd to Hunt, cou'd not indure the Fatigue of the Day, were forc'd to stay, till the Coaches that were be­hind came up: Amongst which was Mademoiselle de Poictiers, who was so weary she cou'd sit no longer on Horseback; [Page 89]and Chastillon, to carry on his Design, fail'd not to stay be­hind to wait upon her.

As soon as the Count, and Madame de St. Maure over­took them, Mademoiselle de Poictiers thought to have ex­cus'd her being found so a­lone with Chastillon, by telling the Reason of it; which the o­thers took only for an Excuse. As for Madame de St. Maure, she kept her Countenance firm: But for the Count, (who had not the power to hide the least thing, that troubled him; but it appear'd as lively in his Face, as if he told it) he look'd with all the Marks of Anger and De­spair; and immediately the [Page 90]Coaches coming up, Mademoi­selle de Poictiers got in, and Chastillon upon his Horse; so, taking their Leaves, follow'd the Court.

The Count de St. Laurans, and Madame de St. Maure, kept on their way; but with so strange an increase of Torment, that it even border'd upon Di­straction.

Chastillon now began to sus­pect, that he was still in the wrong; and that the Course he was taking, was but making his Condition worse, by the E­venness that he perceiv'd in Ma­dame de St. Maure's Counte­nance. Besides, he consider'd, [Page 91]he had to do with a Woman, that had Pride enough to cure her Love, if she had any. There­fore, now he resolv'd to rest all his Hopes upon one Adven­ture; and, if it fall'd, to leave the World, and breath the re­maining part of his unhappy Life in some unknown Re­treat.

The Expedient that pleas'd him best, was once more to seek an Opportunity to speak to her; and to desire her, to tell him, as a Woman of Ho­nour, If she had the least Thought for him, that cou'd tend to his Satisfaction.

He lost no time; but that [Page 92]very Night went to Madame de St. Maure; and having ap­pointed a Boat to meet him at the foot of the Garden, he pass'd over the River into it, knowing her Husband was from Home, and that by this time the Count wou'd have left her, and that she her self wou'd perhaps be come down into the Garden; and so he thought to have an Opportunity to speak to her. But when one considers the Ex­travagancy of the Underta­king, one may justly judge, he knew not what he thought. But however, Fortune so far helpt him, that it became the most lucky of all his Designs; and this last rash Stroak finish­ed his Work: Like to that [Page 93]excellent Painter, who when by all his Art and Pains he cou'd not bring a Picture to his wonted Perfection, by rashly throwing of his Pencil at it, made it the rarest Piece he e­ver wrought.

He was scarcely enter'd the Garden, but he heard a Voice, towards which he went; and peeping through a sweet smel­ling Hedge, being set all round with Woodbine and Jessamine, saw the unfortunate Countess (sate in an Arbour) leaning upon her Arm: There hung over her Head a Canopy of Blossom'd Woodbines, held up by unseen Supports; and the Place was all set round with [Page 94] Orange-Trees in Flowers: and just by her, on a small Ascent, was plac'd a large A Water-Work. Cascade, which not being allow'd to shew its Waters but just a­bove the Pipes, they fell gent­ly murmuring down again up­on the Stones.

He forbore approaching of her, till he had stood, and observed her, to see if he cou'd perceive any thing, on which he might ground his Hope, or might absolutely confirm his Despair. He scarce had stood a moment, but he heard her give a Sigh, as if she had yielded up her Soul; and with a torrent of Tears, [Page 95]cry'd out: Oh, cruel Love! all Powers but Thee reward their Votaries, and show'r a thou­sand Blessings upon those, who with most Zeal obey their Laws: But Thou, with cruelty beyond the Lion, or the Tygre, only for the sake of Slaughter, de­stroyest even those who best do serve Thee. With blind Devo­tion at thy Altars I have dai­ly offer'd up a thousand Sighs, a thousand Tears, a thousand ten­der Thoughts, to please Thee: and in return, go seek through thy unhappy Empire, and tell me, if there be one so Wretch­ed as my self. Oh, Chastillon! Little doest thou think the Pains I bear: But, Alas! how canst thou, when thou doest not know [Page 96]I love thee, nor never shalt; or if thou did'st, what would it a­vail, when thou art near thy dear de Poictiers?

Chastillon was too much fir'd with what he had heard, to remain unobserv'd any longer: But with all the Eagerness of a Man, that was drawn from the lowest Ebb of Despair, to the Top of all his Hopes, threw himself at her Feet. Ah, Ma­dame! (said he) be milder in your Opinion of one, that more than dies for love of you: And don't believe, that he can doat on Trash, when there is so much Excellence as your self, for to at­tract his Love.

She started up, and with a Face full of Confusion, and as much of Anger, as Love wou'd give her leave, reply­ed:

Though you have, by a base Intrusion, heard me confess I Love; yet you shall have no o­ther Advantage from it, but that it shall prove my Cure; for from this time, I will never speak to you more.

Chastillon, who only desired her to hear him, kneel'd down in the most submissive manner that cou'd be: To which (in­sensibly over-come) she con­sented; which was the first Ground her Love got upon [Page 98]her Honour; and in those Fights he seldom gets the least Advantage, but he quickly beats the Other quite out of the Field.

Madame, (said he) that I have loved you ever since I saw you, Heaven, and St. Laurans can bear me witness; and with a Flame so tender of your Ho­nour, that I ne'r told it to any but him, in whom I knew I might confide; and, not inten­ding to have reveal'd it even to your self, I kept the swelling Passion labouring in my Bosome, till it quite destroy'd my Rea­son: Then having lost that chief Director of my Actions, I pre­sum'd to tell you of my Love, [Page 99]when cruelly you turn'd away, denying (as I thought) my Words the least Accession to your Soul, as if they came to violate that Beauteous Shrine. Then again to your Ears I offer'd my Ʋn­happy Love, when you doom'd me to name it no more, or for ever lose the Blessing of your Conversation.

Then (distracted in my Thoughts) I went, and fain'd a Passion for Mademoiselle de Poictiers; which I thought, if you had the least tender Remem­brance of me, wou'd kindle it into Love: But when I saw, that all this was no Advantage to my Flame, by the Indifference that I read in your Looks the o­ther day; I then, thrown down [Page 100]from all that I cou'd call Hap­piness, resolv'd (like a losing Gamester, just upon his Ruine) to set all my Stock of Hope up­on this last Cast; which, if I lose, I swear by that unmeasur'd Love I bear you, never to con­verse with Mankind more; but retire my self from that tedious Creature, and die alone.

As soon as he had spoke, she threw her self back in her Chair; where she lay for a little while, without speak­ing: At length, she cry'd out:

Oh Honour! Oh Love! How do ye divide my Soul!

There she lay for some time weeping, and sighing; by which she shew'd the Combate of her Mind.

Then afterward getting up, with a Voice more calm, she said:

Be witness, this Flood of Tears, how strongly my Honour argues in the Right of Duty: But Love does plead so power­fully for Thee, Chastillon, that I must own it to Thee; which thou should'st ne'r have known, hadst thou not thus press'd into my secret Thoughts.

He leapt up; and kissing her Hand, reply'd:

Those who are Mighty in Possessions, and are Masters of all their Wishes, are poor in Happiness, compared to me. When I hear you say, You Love, I am so Transported, methinks I have already left my Natural Dust behind me, and am in Hea­ven.

She seeing him in such an Extasie of Joy, said:

Moderate your self, Chastil­lon, and keep your Passion with­in the Rules of Vertue, and I will still permit it; for know, that I am Married; and I will rather die, than intrench one step farther on my Duty.

Ah, Madame! (said he) pardon the Extravagance of my Love; which as yet having known no Dwelling, but the dark Re­cesses of Despair, at the Ap­proach of Glorious Happiness, is dazled, and knows not what it does. But, Madame, fear not; for I will be more careful of your Honour, than I am of my own Life.

Then after a thousand Marks of Love, and Joy, she said to him:

St. Laurans, who knew of both our Loves, (for I also told him mine) discreetly, as I suppose, to break off what he perceiv'd mov'd so fast to both our Dis­advantages, was unfaithful in [Page 104]this, though otherwise the best of Friends: For he told me, You to his Knowledge loved another.

Oh Heavens! (said he) and he told me, That you to his cer­tain knowledge Loved not me.

The Countess reply'd: He thought by a little Pain to have cured us both: But, Alas! he finds, by sad Experience, that Jealousie won't cure Love; for he parted just now from hence the most unhappy of Men: For seeing you to day alone with Mademoiselle de Poicti­ers, —

Does he then admire her, said he?

Yes (reply'd the Countess); but he told me, He durst not tell his Love to you; for he was too much asham'd.

I wonder'd (said he) what made him so kind, to be so of­ten at his Sisters? But now I find the Reason.

Dear Chastillon, (said she, interrupting him) though it be pain in me to desire it, yet I must beg of you to leave me, and let not our Indiscretion make us again Ʋnhappy.

Madame, (said he) I obey you, and return so bless'd above my Expectation, that as yet it seems but a Vision to me. Let me wait upon you to morrow, to confirm me it is true.

You may come, and dine with me, (said she) and bring St. Laurans with you; and I will contrive to have Mademoiselle de Poictiers.

Then, Madame, (said he) I will freely own to her, that all my Passion was but feign'd; and so we will leave St. Laurans, and Her, to agree it together.

Then after many Expressi­ons of Love, much fuller of distracted Passion, than of Sense, they parted: She went into her Chamber, where we will leave her, though not without many Conflicts in her Mind; unsatisfy'd with what she had done, and yet pleas'd that she had done it.

He return'd back to Paris; and the first thing he did, he went to find out St. Laurans, who received him with an unwonted Coldness: He knew well enough the Reason; however he press'd him to tell him, what it was that sate so heavy upon his Mind, and seem­ed to direct at him?

The Count answer'd him: You will not wonder at it, when I shall tell you, That I am not only so unhappy, as to be faln into the Snares of Love; but that you (my Friend) are, fince you chang'd your Love, become my Rival.

Chastillon smil'd, and said to him: Think but how much it is below the free and noble Nature of a Man, to be subject to the Weakness of a Woman; and then cast her from thee.

The Count, remembering this was the Advice that he had gi­ven him before, said: 'Tis true, I knew not Love, when I gave thee this Advice.

Chastillon wou'd not keep him any longer in suspence, but unfolded all the Mystery to him; and withal, told him of his Success with Madame de St. Maure; and accus'd him severe­ly of his false Dealing: Which he excus'd by the same Rea­sons, that Madame de St. Maure had alleadg'd before; and pro­mis'd to go with him to Mor­row, to excuse himself also to her.

So Chastillon left him, and went home to Bed. But the Count was not in the least more satisfy'd; for the Disturbance of his Mind did not so much a­rise from Chastillon's Loving her, as the belief he had, that [Page 110]she Lov'd him; which was not at all remov'd by what had been told him. But his Love being so far from cur'd, that it still in­creas'd, he resolv'd (in spight of her Unkindness) to try his Fate once more; believing, that Chastillon's leaving of her, might turn the Current of her Love on him.

Therefore he resolv'd to take the first Opportunity to renew his Addresses to her; which he unexpectedly found the next Day, (for Chastillon had told him nothing of her being there) while Chastillon, and the Coun­tess were minding their own Affairs. Mademoiselle de Poicti­ers, who now found how things [Page 111]stood between Chastillon, and her, (for he had freely con­fess'd the Cheat he had put up­on her) and finding that now there was no more hopes of him, receiv'd St. Laurans's Love; and was intrusted with the Se­cret of the Love there was be­tween Chastillon, and the Coun­tess of St. Maure.

From this time, tho' she was Coquette to the last Degree, and even Inconstant beyond her Sex; yet for a great while, she lov'd the Count St. Laurans with a violent Flame.

Thus they became each o­thers Confidents, and as kind Instruments to promote each o­thers [Page 112]Love. But, Alas! there wanted something yet to make this Union firm; for Made­moiselle de Poictiers retain'd still too much of her Old Hu­mour, to enter into the Bonds of perfect Love: She still re­ceiv'd the Courtship of all those who wou'd make it to her; and wou'd be pleas'd with the Admiration of all the contem­ned Fops of the Court; the pert, insipid, talking, dancing, dressing Fools, who doated up­on any thing wou'd give them leave, were all welcom to her, and always about her: Which made the Count St. Laurans so uneasie, that he began to think, that unless she wou'd change her self in this, it wou'd be [Page 113]the best for him to try once more, if he could desist from loving of her; for still he thought, that Love and Hate were in his Power, when he was absent from her. But her sight soon convinc'd him of his Er­rour: Besides, he had now greater Hopes than ever; it growing so insupportable to him, to hear every where those Creatures boasting of her Fa­vours. So one time he came to her, and freely told her, how prodigal she had been of her Graces; insomuch, that it grew a great torment to him, to hear so many bragging of her kind Returns to their Services. At which she grew into a violent Anger; and told him, That she [Page 114]had declared to him before, that tho' she permitted him to Love her, yet she wou'd never make him Master of her Actions.

That Reply rais'd the Count's Anger so much above his Love, that he swore, Ʋnless she wou'd quit that Humour, he wou'd ne­ver speak to her more: And she, flinging away with a contem­ning Laugh, bad him keep his Word, if he cou'd.

This Carriage of hers had rais'd him into such a Fury, that he took so strong a Reso­lution, that for five Weeks he kept his Word. In all which time, when ere they met, they saluted each other with such a [Page 115]sad Formality, as if they were passing by to go contrary ways to Execution. By this time she began to soften, and wou'd have submitted to any thing, but Speaking to him first. And to pass over that, she had no way but to pretend to Madame de St. Maure, (who she knew, wou'd tell the Count again) that he, since their falling out, had ungenerously spoken basely of her. This she believ'd wou'd bring the Count to vindicate himself; and so they might make up all again. Which De­sign took to her Wish; for in few days, the Court going to St. Cloud, where the Count and Mademoiselle de Poictiers went too with the Daulphine-Queen, [Page 116]he went one day to Paris, to visit some Friends of his; and returning in the Evening back again, he walk'd very thought­fully along those Walks, that borders upon the River, where he found Mademoiselle de Poi­ctiers all alone, having slipt a­way from the other Maids that were walking above. As soon as she perceiv'd he saw her, she pretended to shun him; but he seeing it, went straight up to her: Madame, (said he) I did not think you wou'd have held so injurious an Opinion of me, as to think, that I can rail at you, whom I love above my Life.

She turn'd about hastily, and darting from her Eyes Rage [Page 117](instead of Love) at him, brake out into these words: Traitour, base, inhuman Man, shame of thy Sex, and Curse to me, who love thee! Think, how you drew me to it by a thousand Oaths and Promises, which (in a moment) for one rash Word, you have broke! By your delusive Arts, you led me to a high and slippery Precipice, then left me alone to fall head-long into my Grave. Now consider thy own Ingrati­tude, then blush to look upon me.

Madame, (said he) 'tis only for those who are Guilty, to blush; but for me, who protest my self innocent of any thing either spo­ken, or thought against you: I can only tell you, That your In­formations [Page 118]have been all most no­toriously false: And to shew, that what I say is true, here I swear and vow, never to love any but your self, if you will only conde­scend to my last Request: Which she (after much railing at his Ingratitude) yielded to; and withal, gave him much greater marks of her Love, than she had ever done before.

She went straight that night, and supp'd with Madam de St. Maure, to whom she told all that had pass'd; at which she extreamly rejoyc'd; for she had been in great pain, lest the Breach between them, might be a means to publish her Love to Chastillon.

They liv'd thus, and injoy­ed (for a great while undi­sturb'd) the Sweets of Love; and, as they thought, unob­serv'd: But the continual fan­tastical Quarrels, that happen'd between the Count de St. Lau­rans, and Mademoiselle de Poi­ctiers, were causes of much Unhappiness to them all after­wards; for they gave occasion to the World to search deeper into their Actions; and so to perceive the Kindness, that there was between Chastillon, and the Countess de St. Maure. For many People had been en­deavouring to plumb the bot­tom of both the Count St. Lau­ran's, and Mademoiselle de Poi­ctier's [Page 120]five Weeks sadness; and espe­cially those, who were con­cern'd on either side: Which was the Beginning of their in­suing Troubles.

End of the First Part.

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