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only known to those who have felt it. But this was of a very short duration, for I soon found I had to do with one of those men, whose only end in the pursuit of a woman is to make her fall a victim to an insatiable desire to be admired. His designs had succeeded, and now he every day grew colder, and, as if by infatuation, my passion every day increased; and, notwithstanding all my resolutions and endeavours to the contrary, my rage at the disappointment at once both of my love and pride, and at the finding a passion fixed in my breast I knew not how to conquer, broke out into that inconsistent behaviour which must always be the consequence of violent passions. One moment I reproached him, the next I grew to tenderness and blamed myself, and thought I fancied what was not true; he saw my straggle, and triumphed in it; but, as he had not witnesses enough there of his victory to give him the full enjoyment of it, he grew weary of the country and returned to Paris, and left me in a condition it is utterly impossible to describe. My mind was like a city up in arms, all confusion: and every new thought was a fresh disturber of my peace. Sleep quite forsook me, and the anxiety I suffered threw me into a fever which had like to have cost me my life. With great care I recovered; but the violence of the distemper left such a weakness on my body that the disturbance of my mind was greatly assuaged; and now I began to comfort myself in the reflection that this gentleman's being a finished coquet was very likely the only thing could have preserved me; for he was the only man from whom I was ever in any danger. By that time I was got tolerably well we returned to Paris; and I confess I both wished and feared to see this cause of all my pain: however, I hoped, by the help of my resentment, to be able to meet him with indifference.
VOL. IV, H H
This employed my thoughts till our arrival. The next day there was a very full court to congratulate the queen on her recovery; and among the rest my love appeared dressed and adorned, as if he designed some new conquest. Instead of seeing a woman he despised and slighted, he approached me with that assured air which is common to successful coxcombs. At the same time I perceived I was surrounded by all those ladies who were on his account my greatest enemies: and, in revenge, wished for nothing more than to see me make a ridiculous figure. This situation so perplexed my thoughts, that when he came near enough to speak to me, I fainted away in his arms. (Had I studied which way I could gratify him most, it was impossible to have done any thing to have pleased him more.) Some that stood by brought smelling-bottles, and used means for my recovery; and I was welcomed to returning life by all those ill-natured repartees which women enraged by envy are capable of venting. One cried, Well, I never thought my lord had any thing so frightful in his person, or so fierce in his manner as to strike a young lady dead at the sight of him. No, no, says another, some ladies' senses are more apt to be hurried by agreeable than disagreeable objects. With many more such sort of speeches which shewed more malice than wit. This not being able to bear, trembling, and with but just strength enough to move, I crawled to my coach and hurried home. When I was alone, and thought on what had happened to me in a public court, I was at first driven to the utmost despair; but afterwards, when I came to reflect, I believe this accident contributed more to my being cured of my passion than any other could have done. I began to think the only way to pique a man who had used me so barbarously, and to be revenged on my spiteful rivals, was to recover that beauty, which was then languid, and had lost its lustre, to let them see I had still charms enough to engage as many lovers as I could desire, and that I could yet rival them who had tbus cruelly insulted me. These pleasing hopes revived my sinking spirits, and worked a more effectual cure on me than all the philosophy and advice of the wisest men could have done. I now employed all my time and care in adorning my person, and studying the surest means of engaging the affections of others, while I myself continued quite indifferent; for I resolved for the future, if ever one soft thought made its way to my heart, to fly the object of it, and by new lovers to drive the image from my breast. I consulted my glass every morning, and got such a command of my countenance that I could suit it to the different tastes of a variety of lovers; and though I was young, for I was not yet above seventeen, yet my public way of life gave me such continual opportunities of conversing with men, and the strong desire I now had of pleasing them, led me to make such constant observations on every thing they said or did, that I soon found out the different methods of dealing with them. I observed that most men generally liked in women what was most opposite to their own characters; therefore, to the grave solid man of sense I endeavoured to appear sprightly and full of spirit; to the witty and gay, soft and languishing; to the amorous (for they want no increase of their passions), cold and reserved; to the fearful and backward, warm and full of fire, and so of all the rest. As to beaus, and all those sort of men, whose desires are centered in the satisfaction of their vanity, T had learned by sad experience the only way to deal with them was to laugh at them, and let their own good opinion of themselves be the only support of their hopes. I knew, while I could get other followers, I was sure of them; for the only sign of modesty they ever give is that of not depending on their own judgments, but following the opinions of the greatest number. Thus furnished with maxims, and grown wise by past errors, I in a manner began the world again: I appeared in all public places handsomer and more lively than ever, to the amazement of every one who saw me, and had heard of the affair between me and my lord. He himself was much surprised and vexed at this sudden change, nor could he account how it was possible for me so soon to shake off those chains he thought he had fixed on me for life, nor was he willing to lose his conquest in this manner. He endeavoured by all means possible to talk to me again of love, but I stood fixed to my resolution (in which I was greatly assisted by the crowd of admirers that daily surrounded me), never to let him explain himself; for notwithstanding all my pride, I found the first impression the heart receives of love is so strong that it requires the most vigilant care to prevent a relapse. Now I lived three years in a constant round of diversions, and was made the perfect idol of all the men that came to court of all ages and all characters. I had several good matches offered me, but I thought none of them equal to my merit; and one of my greatest pleasures was to see those women, who had pretended to rival me, often glad to marry those whom I had refused. Yet, notwithstanding this great success of my schemes, I cannot say I was perfectly happy; for every woman that was taken the least notice of, and every man that was insensible to my arts, gave me as much pain as all the rest gave me pleasure; and sometimes little underhand plots, which were laid against my designs, would succeed in spite of my care: so that I really began to grow weary of this manner of life, when my father, returning from his embassy in France, took me home with him, and carried me to a little pleasant country-house, where there was nothing grand or superfluous, but every thing neat and agreeable; there I led a life perfectly solitary. At first, the time hung very heavy on my hands, and I wanted all kind of employment, and I had very like to have fallen into the height of the vapours, from no other reason but from want of knowing what to do with myself. But when I had lived here a little time I found such a calmness in my mind, and such a difference between this and the restless anxieties I had experienced in a court, that I began to share the tranquillity that visibly appeared in every thing round me. I set myself to do works of fancy, and to raise little flower-gardens, with many such innocent rural amusements; which, although they are not capable of affording any great pleasure, yet they give that serene turn to the mind, which I think much preferable to any thing else human nature is made susceptible of. I now resolved to spend the rest of my days here, and that nothing should allure me from this sweet retirement, to be again tossed about with tempestuous passions of any kind. Whilst I was in this situation, my Lord Piercy, the Earl of Northumberland's eldest son, by an accident of losing his way after a fox-chase, was met by my father about a mile from our house; he came home with him, only with a design of dining with us; but was so taken with me that he stayed three days. I had too much experience* in all affairs of this kind not to see presently the influence I had on him; but I was at that time so entirely free from all ambition, that even the prospect of being a countess had no effect on me; and I then thought nothing in the world could have bribed me to have changed my way of life. This young lord,