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being always with her till five o'clock in the morning, they two shut up together alone, and would not let my maistre d'hotel wait, nor any of my servants, only the ambassadors. This has made so great a noise at Paris, that she is now the holle discourse. I am so much afAicted that I can hardly write this for crying, to see a child that I doted on as I did on her, should make me so ill a return, and join with the worst of men to ruin me. For sure never malice was like the ambassadors, that only because I would not answer to his love, and the importunities he made to me, was resolved to ruin

I hope your majesty will yet have that justice and consideration for me, that though I have done a foolish action, you will not let me be ruined by this most abominable man. I do confess to you that I did write a foolish letter to the chevalier de Chatilion, which letter I sent inclosed to madam de Pallas, and sent hers in a packet I sent to lady Sussex by Sir Henry Tichborn; which letter she has either given to the ambassador, or else he had it by his man, to whom Sir Harry Tichborn gave it, not finding my lady Sus

But as yet I do not know which of the ways he had it, but I shall know as soon as I have spoke with Sir Harry Tichborn. But the letter be has, and I doubt not but he has or will send it to you. Now all I have to say for myself is, that you know as to love, one is not mistress of ones self, and that you ought not to be offended at me, since all things of this nature is at an end with you and I. So that I could do you no prejudice. Nor will you I hope follow the advice of this ill man who in his heart I know hates you, and were it not for his interest would ruin you to if he could. For he has neither conscience or honor, and has several times told me, that in his heart he despised you and your brother; and that for his part, he wished with all his heart that the parliament would send you both to travel; for you were a dull governable fool and the duke a wilful fool. So that it were yet better to have you than him, but that you always chose a greater beast than yourself to govern you. And when I was to come over he brought me two letters to bring to you, which he read both to me before he sealed them. The one was a mans, that he said you had great faith in; for that he had at several times foretold things to you that were of consequence`, and that you believ'd him in all things, like a changeling as you were : And that now he had wrote you word that in a few months the king of France and his son were threatned with death, or at least with a great fit of sickness, in which they would be in great danger if they did not die: and that therefore he counsell'd

sex.

you to defer any resolutions either of war or peace till some months were past; for that if this happened it would make a great change in France. The ambassador after he had read this to me said, now the good of this is said he, that I can do what I will with this man, for he is poor, and a good sum of money will make him write whatever I will.” So he proposed to me that he and I should join together in the ruin of my lord treasurer and the duchess of Portsmouth, which might be done thus: The man, though he was infirm and ill should go into England, and there after having been a little time to sollicit you for money; for that you were so base, that though you employed him, you let him starve. So that he was obliged to give him 501. and that the man had writ several times to you for money. “And,” says he," when he is in England, he shall tell the king things that he foresees will infallibly ruin him; and so wish those to be removed, as having an ill star, that would be unfortunate to you, if they were

a

See Burnet's Hist. of his own Times, vol. I. p. 422.

not removed :” but if that were done, he was confident you would have the most glorious reign that ever was. This, says he, I am sure I can order so as to bring to a good effect, if you will. And in the mean time I will try to get secretary Coventrys place, which he has a mind to part with, but not to Sir William Temple; because he is the treasurers creature, and he hates the treasurer, and I have already employed my sister to talk with Mr. Cook, and to mind him to engage Mr. Coventry not to part with it as yet, and he has assured my lady Harvy he will not. And my lord treasurers lady and Mr. Bertee are both of them desirous I should have it. And when I have it I will be damn'd if I do not quickly get to be lord treasurer; and then you and your

children shall find such a friend as never was. And for the king, I will find a way to furnish him so easily with money for his pocket and his wenches, that we will quickly out Bab. May, and lead the king by the nose. So when I had heard him out, I told him, I thank'd him, but that I would not meddle with any such thing: and that for my part I had no malice to my lady Portsmouth, or to the treasurer, and therefore would never be in any plot to destroy them. But that I found the character which the world gave of him was true : which was that the devil was not more designing than he was, and that I wondered at it, for sure all these things working in his brain must make him very uneasy, and would at last make him mad. 'Tis possible you may think I say all this out of malice. 'Tis true he has urged me beyond all patience : but what I tell

you here is most true; and I will take the sacrament on it whenever you please. 'Tis certain I would not have been so base as to have informed against him for what he said before me, had he not provoked me to it in this violent way that he has. There is no ill thing which he has not done to me, and that without any provocation of mine, but that I would not love him. Now as to what relates to my daughter Sussex and her behaviour to me, I must confess that afflicts me beyond expression, and will do much more, if what he has done be by your orders. For though I have an entire submission to your will, and will not complain whatever you inflict upon me; yet I cannot think you would have brought things to this extremity with me, and not have it in your nature ever to do cruel things to any thing living. I hope therefore you will not begin with me; and if the ambassador has not received his orders from you, that you will severely reprehend him for this inhuman proceeding. Besides he has done what you ought to be very angry with him for. For he has been with the king of France, and told him that he had intercepted letters of mine by your order ; by which he had been informed that there was a kindness between me and the chevalier de Chatilion; and therefore

you

bad him take a course in it, and stop my letters; which accordingly he has done. And that upon this you order'd him to take my children from me and to remove my lady Sussex to another monastery; and that you was resolved to stop all my pensions, and never to have any regard to me in any thing. And that if he would oblige your majesty, he should forbid the chevalier de Chatilion ever seeing me upon the displeasure of losing his place, and being forbid the court: for that he was sure you expected this from him. Upon which the king told him, that he could not do any thing of this nature: for that this was a private matter, and not for him to take notice of. And that he could not imagine that you ought to be so angry, or indeed be at all concerned; for that all the world knew, that now all things of gallantry were at an end with you and I. And that being so, and so publick, he did not see why you should be offended at my loving any body. This it was a thing so common now-a-days to bave a gallantry, that he did not wonder at any thing of this nature. And when he saw the king take the thing thus, he told him if he would not be severe with the chevalier de Chatilion upon your account be supposed he would be so upon his own: for that in the letters he had discovered, he found that the chevalier had proposed to me the engaging of you in the marriage of the Dauphin and Madamoiselle a: and that was my greatest business into England b. That before I went over I had spoke to him of the thing, and would have engaged him in it; but that he refused it: for that he knew very well the indifference you had whether it was so or no, and how little you cared how Madamoiselle was married : that since I went into England it was possible I might engage somebody or other in this matter to press it to you ; but that he knew very well, that in your heart you cared not whether it was or no, that this business setting on foot by the chevalier. Upon which the king told him, that if he would shew him any letters of the chevalier de Chatilion to that purpose, he should then know what he had to say to him ; but that till he saw those letters, he would not punish him without a proof for what he did. Upon which the ambassador shewed a letter, which he pretended one part of it was a double entendre. The king said he could not see that there was any thing relating to it, and so left him, and said to a person there, sure the ambas

a Madamoiselle was the daughter of Philip duke of Orleans, and Henrietta sister of king Charles II.

6 This was Mountague's own proposal, made to the king in his letter ta him of Jan. 10th, 1677-8, preserved in the Danby Papers, p. 48.

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