The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,055 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4.

(731) a Great-uncle of the present Duc de Coigny.

(732) On the 5th of February, the committee appointed to try the merits of the petition, reported it to be frivolous and vexatious.  Mr. Burke urged the necessity of taking some step against the author of it:  but the subject was got rid of by a motion for the order of the day.-E.

Letter 368 To Miss Agnes Berry.  Feb. 13, 1791. (page 474)

The following narrative, though only the termination of a legend of ’which you know the foregoing chapters, is too singular and too long to be added to my letter; and therefore, though you will receive two by the same post, you will not repine.  In short, the Gunninghiad is completed—­not by a marriage, like other novels of the Minifies.(733)

Voici how the d`enouement happened.  Another supposed love-letter had come from the Marquis(734) within these few weeks; which was so improbable, that it raised more suspicions, and was more closely examined; and thence was discovered to have been both altered and interlined.  On this the General sent all the letters down to the Marquis;(735) desiring to be certified of their authenticity, or the contrary.  I should tell you, that all this has happened since the death of is sister; who kept up the high tone, and said, her brother was not a man to be trifled with.  The Marquis immediately distinguished the two kinds; owned the few letters that disclaimed all inclination for Miss Charlemagne, disavowed the rest.  Thence fell the General’s wrath on his consort; of which I have told you.

However, the General and his ducal brother-in-law thought it expedient that Miss Charly’s character should be cleared as far as possible; she still maintaining the prodigious encouragement she had received from the parents of her intended sposo.  She was ordered to draw up a narrative, which should be laid before the Duke of Marlborough; and, if allowed by him, to be shown for her vindication.  She obeyed; and her former assertions did not suffer by the new statement.  But one singular circumstance was added:  she confessed—­ingenuous maid!—­that, though she had not been able to resist so dazzling an offer, her heart was still her cousin’s, the other Marquis.(736)

Well! this narrative, after being laid before a confidential junto at Argyll-house, was sent to Blenheim by the General, by his own groom.  Judge of the astonishment of the junto, when Carloman, almost as soon as was possible, laid before them a short letter from the Prince of Mindleheim(737) declaring how delighted he and his Princess had been at their son’s having made choice of so beautiful and amiable a virgin for his bride; how greatly they had encouraged the match; and how chagrined they were, that, from the lightness and inconstancy of his temper, the proposed alliance was quite at an end.  This wonderful acquittal of the damsel the groom deposed he had received in half-an-hour after his arrival at Blenheim; and he gave the most natural and unembarrassed account of all the stages he had made, going and coming.

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The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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