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manded to retire to Blois. Ancre's body was buried that night in a church-yard by the court; but the next morning the lacquies and pages (who are more unhappy here than the apprentices of London) broke up his grave, tore the coffin to pieces, ripped the winding-sheet, and tied his body to an ass's tail, and so dragged him up and down the gutters of Paris (which are none of the sweetest); they then sliced off his ears, and nailed them upon the gates of the city: they cut off his genitories, and sent them as a present to the Duke of Maine. The rest of his body they carried to the new bridge, and hung him, his heels upwards and his head downwards, upon a new gibbet, that had been set up a little before to punish them who should speak ill of the present government, and it was his chance to have the first fruits of it himself. His wife was hereupon apprehended, imprisoned, and beheaded for a witch, some few days after, upon a surmise that she had enchanted the Queen to dote so upon her husband : and they say, the young King's picture was found in her closet, in virgin wax, with one leg melted away. A little after, a process was formed against the Marquis her husband, and so he was condemned after death. This was a right act of a French popular fury, which, like an angry torrent, is irresistible, nor can any banks, boundaries, or dykes, stop the impetuous rage of it.”.
JOHANNA BAPTISTA VERU, DAUGHTER of the Duke de Luynes, and a much beloved wife of the Count de Verue; a woman of extraordinary beauty, intellect, and accomplishment, but an unfaithful wife; to this defect in duty, her husband undesignedly contributed.
Not content with possessing such excellence, joined to ä love of retirement and domestic life; the thoughtless and imprudent Count; was perpetually speaking of her charms to his royal master, Victor Amadeus, King of Sardinia and Duke of Savoy; a sovereign, who with many good qualities, was alternately a prey to female art, capricious infatuation, and unavailing repentance.
Hearing so much of the Countess de Verue, and her hushand frequently boasting how much she excelled alt the ladies he saw, the king asked why he did not bring her to Turin.“ As if impatient of the happiness he enjoyed, and in an unlucky moment, he introduced her at
court, she became a favourite with the queen, who little suspected that she was encouraging a rival in the affec. tions of her husband.
Amadeus soon became passionately fond of her; princes and kings, it has been said, inake rapid strides in love; the Countess fascinated by royal attentions, irritated by some real or imaginary neglect on the part of her hus. band, forgot her duty, and forfeited her reputation.
A separate establishment, guards, and other accompaniinents of royalty, soon proclaimed to the indignant public, her splendid infamy.
The injured queen was for a long time unacquainted with their amours, till with a desigu of shewing the height of his regard for the fair favourite, and in that peculiar fatality, which often accompanies guilt, Victor actually invited his royal consort to a public entertainment, given in honour of the birth of a child he had by the countess,
It was not till the company sat down to table, that the eyes of the unhappy wife were open to the cruel and unfeeling conduct of her husband. The guilty countess was adorned with some of the most valuable of the jewels, which had been presented to the qneen on her marriage ; naturally provoked at such indecorous and unfeeling treatment; after reproaching them for thus adding insult to injury, the queen immediately quitted the room.
For the honour of the count, it ought to be recorded, that the moment he perceived the consequences of his foliy approaching, he could not reconcile it to himself, to remain a silent and contented spectator of domestic dishonour; he repented a thousand times, as we all do, of our indiscretions—when it is too late.
Having demanded an audience of the king, which, as guilt is always a coward, was denied ; in a short interview with his infatuated wife, he pointed out the ingratitude and baseness of her conduct; spoke of the frail texture of royal attachments, and unlawful love; professed himself ready to forgive what had passed, if she would directly separate from her seducer, and with her husband, that husband whom she once professed to love,-quit Turin for ever.
Their conversation was interrupted by a message from the king, who probably dreaded the result of so trying a struggle; but the lady shewing no symptom of returning duty, the count left her in agonies; and after indignantly rejecting a pension of two bundred thousand livres, settled
on him by the king, the count quitted Turin, and repair ed to Paris.
In the blandishments of unhallowed pleasure, and forgetful of her nuptial vows, three years passed quickly away. , At length, perceiving a diminution of royal favour, stimulated by compunction, and a return of suppressed affection for her absent husband, and probably
disgusted, as every sensible and delicate woman must be, i at her degraded condition, which excepting the thin veil
of spleudor, differed in no essential, from the odious and obscene situation of a prostitute, with the additional character of a foul and ungrateful adultress; the countess determined to leave the king. ..
Taking advantage of his absence, on a journey to Chame'. bery, and assisted by her brother, who resided at Paris, with whom she had corresponded on the subject, relays of post-horses were provided at short distances; she departed from Turin, and was half-way to Paris before Amadeus was apprised of her departure. . The queen's jewels, with a letter for the king, were found on her toilette; she apologized for her conduct, imputing it to the anguish of repentance for her sinful life ; she expressed the warmest sense of his kindness and attentions, and concluded with earnestly entreating his majesty to be reconciled to the queen, as it would add considerably to her peace of mind to hear that, shew as no longer the occasion of separating him from so good and worthy woman. · Victor, chagrined at her abrupt departure, and apparent want of tenderness, bitterly cursed the whole sex, in a transport of rage, but impelled rather by necessity than inclination, reluctantly followed her advice.
The countess, unhappy, although considerably enriched, and still feeling the impressions of her first love, that love, which however faithless or unworthy the object of it, or we ourselves may prove, we never recollect without regret; the countess, in the hope of being able to compensate for her failure, by future good conduct, and probably wishing to emerge from the infamy of her condition, planned a reconciliation with her husband.
This purpose she wished to accomplish without sub, jecting herself to the mortification of a notorious refusal; an opportunity soon offered of puting her scheme into execution, and in her own way.
A public entertainment, with a grand masquerade, being announced to be given by a prince of the blood ; a few
louis d'ors to his valet, enabled the lady to find out, that the Count de Verue was to be present, and the dress he was to wear.
While the unfaithful wife was making these enquiries, she could not help detaining the servant, an old and faith. ful domestic of the family, to ask him a few questions concerning his master; the life he led, and the company he kept.
The feelings of the countess may be guessed at, when the valet informed her, that his master neither enjoyed health nor spirits since he left Turin; that his sister, alarmed at the state of her brother's health, had insisted on his consulting a physician, who described the disease as an affection of the mind, entirely out of the reach of medicine, and recommended company and dissipation. - On this principle, the uvhappy inan bad been prevailed on tó promise bis sister that he would accompany her to the masquerade. The valet added, that the count saw little company, but spent the greatest part of his time in his own room; that his chief attention seemed occupied by a picture, on which he fixed his melancholy eyes for hours together. “A picture,” replied the countess, with augmented emotion,—" a picture, and of whom ?” “ Of yourself, ma'am,” said the valet, in an emphatic expressive manner, and immediately quitted the apartment. The adultress, as if a dagger had pierced her vitals, instantly sunk on the floor, in the agonies of bitter repentance.
Whilst she had been passing her unhallowed hours in chambering and wantonness, her déserted husband, the object of her earliest love, and for whom, even in the moments of infidelity, she was not able wholly to suppress her affection, her deserted husband had been solitary, disconsolate, comfortless, and unhappy; still doating on the unfaithful blaster of all his joys. ,
Such reflections stimulated the countess to pursue her purpose with augmented eagerness; she prepared for the masquerade, and resolved to appear in the assumed character of Diana.
The day which was to decide her fate at length arrived; and as midnight approached, being conveyed to the festive spot, she was literally what she appeared to be, the goddess of the night. Her splendid and expensive dress, ornamented with jewels, which were not within the reach of common finances, and her superior air and deportinente attracting general attention.
It was some time before the count appeared ; when at last he entered the room, supported by his sister, his debilitated appearance, and slow pace, soon caught her eye,
HE WAS THE GHOST OF DEPARTED JOY.
Having seated himself near where she sat, the countess. soon contrived to enter into conversation with him, in that kind of audible whisper, which, on such occasions, is the general vehicle of folly or of crime. From the state of her feelings, she was unable to exhibit external gaiety, while discontent sat heavy on her heart.
Affecting, or actually experiencing indisposition, and hinting a wish to retire, she mentioned, with regret, that her carriage was sent home, with orders not to return till a late hour. The count, interested in the fate of the fair. stranger, offered to attend her home in his own coach, which he had ordered to wait, designing to make a short stay; with apparent reluctance, but inward satisfaction, she accepted his offer; and they were driven to a house, in maguificence, nearly approaching to a palace, in the Fauxbourg St. Germaine.
The count, though ill able, insisted on handing the lady. from his coach; as she descended, the mask, by accident or design, dropped from her face, and disco. vered that countenance he had so often looked on with tenderness and rapture, drowned in tears.
He paused for a moment, distracted by love, which was still ardent, and resentments proportionably keen; the latter predominated, and, in the anguish of a husband, irreparably injured, he turned from the woman he once adored, without uttering a word.
The miserable countess, sinking under the horrors of her situation, was conveyed by the attendants to her apart ment; and de Verue, notwithstanding the state of his health, soon after joined a regiment on actual service, and met with that death, he had long and ardently de. sired.
This is another of the numerous instances daily occurs ring, in which a little prudence, and a little common sense, would have prevented irretrievable calamity.
The Count de Verue hạd too high an opinion of his wife's chastity, and thought she would, like gold, be more pure for passing through the fire ; poor human nature is not made of materials for such trials ;-LEAD US NOT IN, TO TEMPTATION, is a safe axiom, laid down by one who well knew, because he made us what we are,