“C’est un beau garcon,” observed M. de Fontanges. “Mais que faire? Il est prisonnier. Il faut l’envoyer a mon frere, le gouverneur.”
“Il est joli garcon,” replied Madame de Fontanges.
“Donnez-lui des habits, Fontanges; et ne l’envoyez pas encore.”
“Et pourquoi, mon amie?”
“Je voudrais lui apprendre le Francais.”
“Cela ne se peut pas, ma chere; il est prisonnier.”
“Cela se peut, Monsieur de Fontanges,” replied the lady.
“Je n’ose pas,” continued the husband.
“Moi j’ose,” replied the lady, decidedly.
“Je ne voudrais pas,” said the gentleman.
“Moi, je veux,” interrupted the lady.
“Mais il faut etre raisonnable, madame.”
“II faut m’obeir, monsieur.”
“Pschut!” replied the lady; “c’est une affaire decidee. Monsieur le gouverneur ne parle pas l’Anglais. C’est absolument necessaire que le jeune homme apprenne notre langue; et c’est mon plaisir de l’enseigner. Au revoir, Monsieur de Fontanges. Charlotte, va chercher des habits.”
pleasing to be school’d in a strange tongue
By female lips and eyes; that is, I mean
When both the teacher and the taught are young,
As was the case, at least, where I had been.
They smile so when one’s right, and when one’s wrong
They smile still more.”
M. de Fontanges, aware of the impetuosity and caprice of his wife (at the same time that he acknowledged her many redeeming good qualities), did not further attempt to thwart her inclinations. His great objection to her plan was the impropriety of retaining a prisoner whom he was bound to give up to the proper authorities. He made a virtue of necessity, and having acquainted Newton with the wish of Madame de Fontanges, requested his parole of honour that he would not attempt to escape, if he was not delivered up to the authorities, and remain some time at Lieu Desire. Newton, who had no wish to be acquainted with a French cachot sooner than it was absolutely necessary, gave the promise required by M. de Fontanges, assuring him that ingratitude was not a part of his character. M. de Fontanges then requested that Newton would accept of a portion of his wardrobe, which he would direct to be sent to the room that would be prepared for him. This affair being arranged, Newton made his bow to the lady, and in company with M. de Fontanges, retired from the boudoir.
It may be suspected by the reader, that Madame de Fontanges was one of those ladies who cared a great deal about having her own way, and very little for her husband. As to the first part of the accusation, I can only observe, that I never yet had the fortune to fall in with any lady who did not try all she could to have her own way, nor do I conceive it to be a crime. As to the second, if the reader has formed that supposition, he is much mistaken. Madame de Fontanges was very much attached to her husband, and the attachment as well as the confidence was reciprocal.