Imatges de pÓgina
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alto affured, in the moft positive man- through her friend's hands. This is ner, that the queen's disposition to the cause of her majesty's esteeming ward him became every day more me gradually more and more, and and more favourable. « And have to such a degree, as to give me, in ihese assurances (laid I) been given preference to all devoted to her, the to you by any one on whom you can greatest mark of public confidence perfectly rely? “ Yes, perfectly; possible. You will be very much

. and if I could but tell you who, you surprised when I you

what would not be lels satisfied than Lam. it is.?!" and when will that be ?"" A woman, formed to possess the com- "On Saturday next, about this time, plete confidence of the queen, who as probably the affair will be then all frequently spends whole hours alone over :-do not ask me any thing more with her, and, being much attached about it now.” to me, has both with zeal and ad. On Saturday, the cardinal return. dress seized every opportunity of ed from Versailles, without having weakening the prejudices her majes- seen the queen; having been told ty had conceived against me; and that she was suddenly taken ill with she has happily succeeded in conquer- a violent headach, and obliged to go ing them. The affair of the Quinze- to bed : but at the same time a paVingts, or rather the manner in which per was given to him, from her, the king mentioned it before the “ which (laid be) seals the confidence queen, had prepared the way, and her majesty has in me.” convinced her, that I was not a A third appointment failed in: like worthless fellow. Her friend, who manner, under pretence of the queen's knows her better than any one else, being with the Dauphin, who was finding this favourable disposition in indisposed : but, on putting him off ber, has very ably kept it up, and for another week, he was told that increased it: fometimes by mingling her majesty had the greatest plans in her conversation flight expressions, in view for him, and was thinking of which produce great effects; fome. nothing less than having him made times by speaking, though always prime minister. So far was he from with an air of indifference, of some not believing it, that he was alarmed unhappy families whom I have re- by anticipation, at the burden and lieved. You do not know how much difficulties of so important an office. any thing of a beneficent nature af- I too, from this moment, became upfects the queen : it is inconceivable easy; but from very different motives, what she gives away: it is immense, I was afraid that this affair, till en. and yet not equal to what she would veloped in so much mystery, might give, as she has a fixed suin for her prove to be some court intrigue, some monthly expences, and when that is abominable snare laid for the cardi. expended, she is under the neceffity nal. of postponing her bounties till the I told him my fears, which he month following. The lady I allude turned into ridicule. “ What! (said to has done me the service of pointing he) do you take me for a child or an out to me, very opportunely, persons idiot ?" “ No, certainly: but withpatronised by her majesty, and who out being the one or the other, you were experiencing great embarrass- may be too fanguine, too easily imments while waiting her relief: you posed upon.'-" Well! well! come, may believe that I was eager to sup- in spite of all your incredulity, I will ply them, and largely."_" But are convince you :--but give me your

. you sure the queen heard of it?” word, not to speak to any soul alive * Certainly : for, my money went of what I am going to tell you." Ed, Mag: Jan, 1950. E

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“You may depend upon me."-"Let lers?'- yes! I will show you the go into my closet.

agreement tigned by her majeity, and You know that the queen is very all the articles approved in the margin fond of fine diamonds. Sometime ago, by her; for I see you do not believe a magnificent necklace was shewn to a word of what I am telling you.'her, which she immediately longed • Pardon me, but in affairs so nice as to have : but the king thought it 100 this, I am fond of having things upon dear, and would not buy it. Still he paper. - Do you know the queen's longed to have it. As she could not writing?" said he to me, as he thewed pay for it but by inftalments, and me a Night paper book which he took with frequent delays, of which the out of his desk. "I do not,' I replied, jewellers would not run the risk, it but your eminence ought to know was necessary to find some person, it well.'-' Oh, perfectly: read: very secure in every respect, who read!' I ran my eyes hastily over the would secretly make the purchase for conditions of this agreement, which her majesty, and who was in a situa- was figned Marie Antoinette de tion to answer to the tradesmen for France, and I certainly saw in the the payments. The friend, of whom margin, opposite each article, the I have spoken to you, pointed me word approved, written in a small re. out, and undertook to make the pro- gular hand like the signature. “Well!' posal to me. I embraced it without said he, with a satisfied air, do you hesitation, as you will readily ima. begin to see clear?' _' I fee,' said I, gine : and this is the state of things. if this be the queen’s writing, that Well! Mr Incredulous, what say you the writes a pretty little hand: but I now - I say that I cannot compre. think you have undertaken bere a hend it at all. How can the queen, very ticklish commission.'— You will who has all the diamonds of the change your opinion, when you see crown at her command, have so great the sequel : have patience till this day a desire for this necklace ?" · How? eight days, for I am pofitive to fee because, perhaps, in all the diamonds the queen next week.' of the crown, so perfect an assort. This certainly had no other founment could not be made : I tell you dation than the same promises with there cannot be finer seen.'- Be it which the cardinal had been kept in so: but what can lhe do with the suspense for fix weeks before. He necklace ? for, as the king thought it went to Versailles, and returned withtoo dear, she certainly will not think out seeing her majefty: the reafon of wearing it in his presence, and in given was, that the king had passed his presence she is, or may be, every the whole evening with her : and the moment.' • I cannot tell you whether cardinal admitted this account with The will wear it or not : perhaps the an case and confidence that astonish. may wish to make a present of it, or ed me. I expressed to him great unto keep it locked up till the has a fa.. easiness at his fimation. • And lias vourable moment of gaining the not the queen even written to you?' king's approbation of the purchase. faid 1, have you jot a single letter

I• I cannot say, and it does not become from her on this business !--- No: me to quelion her on those topics.' but she has made her friend write to

- Certainly not; but I hope, at me, and that is the same thing. I least, that you will not conclude this will mow you a letter that will saaffair without having seen the queen.tisfy you. He opened a small press

' - Doubtless not : see her I must, to in an angle between the fire.place deliver the necklace to her.'• Isevery and the window, and, taking out a thing already settled with the jewel. handful of letters, read me one of

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them, about a page and a half long. The circumstances given in evi. It was an inexplicable piece of ambi- dence are all that have been certainguity, which I had no sooner read, ly known. What I have here related, than I said to the cardinal with could not be proved, but by my testiwarmth—If it be noi, my lord, the mony, which was not taken, or by molt respectable woman in the king. Madame La Mothe's correspondence, dom, who has written this letier, you and that was burnt an hour after the are shamefully played upon. What cardinal's arrest. He was so thorough. does all this fignify? There are ex. ly convinced, that that corresponpreffions in it which may apply to dence contained the queen's secret, fome circumstances relative to the and that the severity with which her secklace, when we know them, but majelty had treated him before the they may as well, and better, be ap- king, was a proof of the implicit conplied to a hundred other itories: in fidence she had in his discretion, that, Thort, this letcer is fu inapplicable, instead of attempting to justify himtbat, happen what will, you can make self to the king. he only thought of Bo use of it: and I am convinced not ex- ling the queen. After conthat the person who wrote it had firming, sometimes by his filence, this in view.'- Fie! do not take sometimes by the embarrassment of it in that manner : you would speak his replies to their majefties questions, very differently, if you knew how a charge that could not but excite much that person is in every respect their indignation againit him, his first above all suspicion : besides, have you care, the moment he was arrested, not seen the agreement signed, and was to dispatch one of his people poft approved by the queen ?-Yes; to Paris, with an order to open the but, as I am upacquainted with her press in his closet, which contained majesty's writing, which may very all Madame La Mothe's letters, and well have been forged, and also with to burn them. This order he delithe lady so estimable, and who may vered to liis man in German, that be much less fo than you imagine, he might not be understood by the I am more apprehensive than ever, officer, who went with him from the that this affair may turn out very king's chamber to the apartments octroublesome to you. There is but cupied by the high almoner, in the one thing that can remove my fears; palace. An adjutant of the gardesa and that is, as you have not yet des corps was charged to take him, delivered the necklace, that you pro. first to Paris, to seize his mise me, and I conjure you, not to

then to the Bastille. part with it, but to the queen hers By destroying this correspondenec, felf.'— I do promise you, and so you the cardinal lolt the most important may be easy; indeed you would be papers for his juftification : for they perfectly so, if you knew the name

would have fewn the maneuvres, of the perfon; all I can tell you is, the profound and ftudied subtilty that there is not a more diftinguilhed practised by the most intriguing of one in the kingdom.

women, to convince him of the kindTwo days after this I went ioto ness, extreme confidence, and friendBrittany, where I had not been fix ship which the queen bestowed upon weeks, before I learned, by the pub. her; of the effential service it was lic papers, that the cardinal was ar. in her power to render him with her retted, without any particulars of the majesty, and the like. Had this cause of so extraordinary an event, point been cleared up, the obscurity but it was not difficult for me to in which the affair remained enveguess it.

loped would have been dispelled. It

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would have been evident to all, that blamed the excess of his credulity; the cardinal, far from being seduced but to judge in what degree he deby the ambitious and criminal hopes served this censure, it would have of which he was accused, had no been necessary to know all the art other object in view, than to gain praised by Madame La Mothe to the queen's good opinion, by lend- make herself miftress of his confi. ing her his credit for the purchase dence, which, unfortunately for him, of a necklace, which he could not it was but too easy, both to gain and but believe the very much wished to keep. to possess, as the fact was attested to Being absent from the court, him, not only by a person who he and from Paris, a great part of the thought had received the commission year, he knew Madame La Mothe expressly from her majesty, but by a only from her genealogy, by the writing, which he imagined to be patronage she had received from the iigned and approved by the queen. king and queen, and by the favour.

It has been very inconfiderately able accounts given of her to him supposed, that the cardinal was too by all persons whose good offices the well acquainted with the queen's had managed to secure. Finding her writing, and particularly her signa. fprightly and amiable, the cardinal ture, to be so grossly deceived in it. was naturally led to believe, that these He had never received a letter from qualities, which the name of Valois her majesty, and could never have must render ftill more interesting in seen her writing, or rather, her fig- the eyes of the queen, had gained nature, but twice or thrice in a hurry, Madame La Mothe her majesty's af. on the registers of baptism; and does fe&tion and implicit confidence. Most it therefore follow that he could have of those who have cast the greatest preserved so accurate a remembrance blame on the cardinal, would perof it, as to know it long after, though haps have fallen as blindly into the written in a different manner, or fame fault, had the same fnares been vith different

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? It was said, that laid for them. at least he knew that the queen's sig. The severity, as unmerited as nature was Marie Antoinette, and not impolitic, with which this error was Marie Antoinette de France. It was, punited, would be a ftain

upon

the doubtless, possible for him to have memory of Louis XVI. had he not observed this from the registers of been entirely ignorant of all the facts baptifm: 'but it was also possible for I am relating: had not the minifter him not to have attended to it, or, (the baron de Bretuil) who was the if he did, to have imagined that the informer, or reporter of the infora queen might sign differently in pub- mation against the cardinal, no doubt fic registers and private deeds. Nay, more induced by his zeal than by how could he suspect it, when he had his former enmity to the high alin his hands a deed that he must as moner, represented this affair to their firmly have believed to have been majesties in all ihe odious lights in figned by the queen, as if he had which it could be placed: and had feen her write her name to it because he not painted it as so serious an ofa part of the first installment, to fence against the honour of the queen, which' the instrument bound her ma- or at least so calculated to implicate jelly, was paid on her account into her, that the flightest indulgence the cardinal's own hands by Madame might cast a fufpicion of connivance La Mothe?

on her majesty. The king confiThe most moderate censurer of dered the cardinal, a

and could do no the cardinal's conduct must have otherwise, as guilty of high treason :

for,

for, according to the laws of France, respectability, and services, deserved the crime of which he was accused confideration; it was alienating the came under that description : and in first noblemen of the kingdom, and being so pointedly harih to him, his alarming every body; it was, in short, majelty meant to make the most law- preparing and facilitating the revoluful use of his authority, and at the tion, by awaking ideas of despotisin same time fuch as the queen’s honour which the reign of Louis XVI, had imperiously prescribed.

buried in oblivion, and by exciting a This exertion of power was cer. general desire of seeing the royal autainly unmerited, and its consequences thority limited. The unfortunate have sufficiently proved that it was affair of the cardinal de Rohan is not no less impolitic. It was humbling less connected with the hiłtory of the unnecessarily a powerful and nu- revolution than with that of the Balmerous family, whose rank, alliances, tille.

CURIOUS EXTRACTS.

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From Strutt's View of the Drejs, &c. of the People of England, Vol. II. The Horned Head-Dress of the Ladies The knight, who has already fur.

in the Fifteenth Century. nished us so largely with selections*, ABOUT this time (fifteenth cene calls in, upon this occafion, the au

tury) a prepofterous kind of thority of an “holy bishop,” who, head-drefs made its appearance among declaiming from the pulpit against the fair-sex, dininguished by the ap- the fashionable foibles of the fair sex, pellation of “the Horned Head-Dress,accuses them of being marvelloully which is severely reprobated by John arrayed in divers quaint manners, de Meun, in his poem called the Co. and particularly with high horns. The dicil: he speaks to this effect : “ If I prelate then gravely, with more zeal “dare say it, without making them, perchance than learning, attributes

(that is the ladies,) angry, I should the cause of the deluge to the

dispraise their hofing, their velture, pride and disguising of the women, their 'girding, their head-dresses, who, he tells us, were thereby led “their hoods thrown back, with their altray into the paths of vice : but, reo "borns elevated and brought forward, suming the former subject, he comas if it were to wound us. I know pares the ladies of his day to horned not whether they call them gal. fnails, to harts, and to unicorns; de

lowfes or brackets, that prop up the claring that, by such unnatural ad"hoins, which they think are fu jaitments, they mocked God; and “handsome; but of this I am certain, proceeds to relate a ftory of a gentle. " that Saint Elizabeth obtained not woman, who came to a feast, having • paradise by the wearing of such her head so strangely attired with trumpery.".

.—He then proceeds to long pins, that her head-dress resemderide the excessive widih of these bled a gibbet; "and so," adds he, head-dresses, and speaks of the quan. “The was scorned by all the company, tity of fine linen that was used to de- " who ridiculed her talte, and said, corate them, with much dilapproba. " the carried a gallows upon her tion.

6 head." All the remonftrances from

the * From a work in MS. compiled towards the conclusion of the fourteenth century, for the useof three young ladies, daughters of a knight in Normandy ; in the Harleian Library at the British Museum, marked 1761.

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