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israry, governed weakness of his the age an
most extraordinary in this adventure is, that, after having prevailed upon her to think no more either of the Duke of Richmond, or of a nunnery, she charged herself with the office of reconciling these two lovers.
Indeed it would have been a thousand pities if her negotiation had miscarried: but she did not suffer this misfortune; for never were the king's addresses so eager and passionate as after this peace, nor ever better received by the fair Stewart.
His majesty did not long enjoy the sweets of a reconciliation, which brought him into the best good humor possible, as we shall see. All Europe was in a profound peace, since the treaty of the Pyrenees : Spain flattered herself she should be able to recruit, by means of the new alliance she had contracted with the most formidable of her neighbors; but despaired of being able to support the shattered remains of a declining monarchy, when she considered the age and infirmities of her prince, or the weakness of his successor: France, on the contrary, governed by a king indefatigable in business, young, vigilant, and ambitious of glory, wanted nothing but inclination to aggrandize herself.
It was about this time, that the king of France, not willing to disturb the tranquillity of Europe, was persuaded to alarm the coasts of Africa, by an attempt, which, if it had even been crowned with success, would have produced little good; but the king's fortune, ever faithful to his glory, has since made it appear, by the miscarriage of the expedition of Gigeri, that such projects only as were planned by himself were worthy of his attention.
A short time after, the king of England, having resolved also to explore the African coasts, fitted out a squadron for an expedition to Guinea, which was to be commanded by Prince Rupert. Those who, from their own experience, had some knowledge of the country, related strange and wonderful stories of the dangers attendant upon this expedition: that they would have to fight not only the inhabitants of Guinea, a hellish people, whose arrows were poisoned, and who never gave their prisoners better quarter than to devour them, but that they must likewise endure heats that were insupportable, and rains that were intolerable, every drop of which was changed into a serpent: that, if they penetrated farther into the country, they would be assaulted by monsters a thousand times more hideous and destructive than all the beasts mentioned in the Revelations.
But all these reports were vain and ineffectual: for so far from striking terror into those who were appointed to go upon this expedition, it rather acted as an incentive to glory, upon those who had no manner of business in it.
One would have imagined that the God of Love, actuated by some new caprice, had placed his empire under the dominion of Hymen, and had, at the same time, blindfolded that God, in order to cross-match most of the lovers whom we have been speaking of.
The fair Stewart married the Duke of Richmond; the invincible Jermyn, a silly country girl; and the Chevalier de Grammont, as the reward of a constancy he had never before known, and which he never afterwards practiced, found Hymen and Love united in his favor, and was at last blessed with the possession of Miss Hamilton.1
* Count Grammont and his lady left England in 1669. King Charles in a letter to his sister, the Duchess of Orleans, dated 24th October, in that year, says, “I writt to you yesterday, by the Compte de Grammont, but I beleeve this letter will come sooner to your handes; for he goes by the way of Diep, with his wife and family: and now that I have named her, I cannot chuse but againe desire you to be kinde to her; for, besides the merrit her family has on both sides, she is as good a creature as ever lived."