網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

parture from the castle, enter Lady could be as mad as he was; and Jane's dressing-room to take his according to all accounts she was leave of her. The Duke, in an un- as good as her word. She is gengovernable fury, went to his room, erally credited with having burned seized a pistol, and entering Cap- down Douglas Castle to compel tain Ker's chamber, who had then her husband to quit his retirement gone to bed, pulled down the and resume his position in society; clothes, and shot him in the side but as her own jewels were lost in with a mortal wound. Whether the fire, we must hold her acquitted this led to a quarrel between Lady of this charge. Jane and her brother, or whether Beginning in mystery, the Dougshe felt apprehensive for her per- las history ends in romance; what sonal safety, she soon after this event is known as the “Douglas Cause'' quitted the castle, and went to live closes its annals. We have menwith her mother in Edinburgh.

tioned one adventurous escapade Mr Fraser also does something of Lady Jane Douglas. She was, less than justice to the very however, destined to be the heroine strongly marked individuality of of more remarkable situations. Peggy Douglas of Mains, whom She certainly did not escape the the Duke married—or perhaps, breath of scandal, and she is made more strictly speaking, who mar- to figure in Mrs Heywood's • Utoried the Duke. Perhaps he thinks pia,' no doubt with as little justice the numerous anecdotes current as other ladies of reputation are with regard to her Grace unworthy mentioned in that now happily of being recorded by the family forgotten work. When the trial historian. Still, the traits pre- of her son's cause was turning, to served of her are so indicative of a very considerable exrent, upon a strong and original spirit, that the mother's character, all sorts of we would not have them perish. slanderous charges were bruited reHer reasons for wishing to marry garding her—such, for instance, as the Duke were three in number: that she had had a liaison with Lord

a she, like the Fair Maid of Gallo- Mansfield, who afterwards was way, would wed no one but a one of the judges who declared in Douglas, and the chief of the favour of her son. For our own name; she bore a fierce animosity part, we prefer to accept the to the Hamilton family, and wished estimate of Lady Jane which Mr to be instrumental in cutting off Fraser offers us, with the qualificatheir succession to the Douglas tion that we cannot acquit her of titles and estates; and lastly, she a tendency to gallantry characterwished to be a duchess. She con- istic of the fashionable ladies of trived to get access to the Duke, her generation. But whatever who was then shut up in seclusion faults she had were painfully exat Douglas, by pretending to con- piated; and no one can read her sult him on some law affair, and letters, or the account of her sufsoon succeeded in leading him on ferings, without being moved to to matrimony. When some of her sympathy on her behalf. friends remonstrated with her re- According to the statement of garding the risk she ran in marry- her husband, Colonel Stuart, Lady ing one who was generally looked Jane had refused “the Dukes of upon as a madınan, her courageous Hamilton, Buccleuch, and Athole, reply was, that when she chose she Earls of Hopetoun, Aberdeen, Panmure, cum multis aliis.This at the time—rent society into was, no doubt, a pardonable flight Douglas and Hamilton factions, of feminine imagination. She had and had almost led to civil commoreached her forty-eighth year when tions in the country. The decrees she married Colonel Stuart, “a of the Court of Session extends in prodigious fine figure of a man," manuscript to ten folio volumes, who had been out in the 'Fifteen, containing in all nine thousand six had served under Charles XII. of hundred and seventy-six pages; Sweden, had ventured in the Mis- and it was adverse to Mr Stuart. sissippi Scheme, and was at the time When it came before the House of of his marriage in very needy cir- Lords, the contest was conducted cumstances.The pair were pri- under not less heat and excitevately united by the Episcopal ment, one of the incidents of which Bishop Keith, and almost imme- was a duel between Thurlow, Mr diately left for the Continent, Stuart's counsel, and Mr Stuart, keeping the marriage secret in the agent of the Duke of Hamilcase the Duke might cut off Lady ton. After two months' pleadings Jane's annuity. Singularly enough and able speeches from Lord CamLady Jane became the mother of den, the Chancellor, and Lord twins, both boys, within two years Mansfield, in favour of Mr Stuart, of her marriage, and the Douglas the Peers reversed the decision of case—as distinguished from the the Court of Session. The news Douglas Cause—was based upon was received in Edinburgh with doubts regarding the maternity of rapturous enthusiasm by the parthese children. Lady Jane's age, tisans of the winning side. In a the private life led by her and her private letter to Mr Stuart's father, husband upon the Continent, their Sir John of Grandtully, the exfrequent changes of residence, and citement is thus described : above all, the stakes involved in

“An express arrived here at eight the issue, raised suspicions of which o'clock, Thursday night, with the those interested naturally did not news of Mr Douglas having prevailhesitate to take advantage. On ed, which was so agreeable to the the death of the Duke in 1761, people in general, that in a few minMr Stuart was served heir of en

utes the whole houses were illumitail and provision to his uncle, nated; all the windows to the street the Marquisate of Douglas and could be lighted. They began with

were broke by the mob before candles Earldom of Angus going to the the President's house, the Justiceseventh Duke of Hamilton, the Clerk's, Lord Galloway's, &c., &c., upheir-male of the Douglas line. on which the military in the castle A year after the Hamiltons were called. Last night the mob assailed Mr Stuart's title to the

were as

ever. The Douglas and Angus estates, on the

houses were again illuminated last ground that he was not the son of continue this evening. The military

night, and it's thought the mob will Lady Jane. We are not going continue still to patrole the streets; into the details of the Douglas and notwithstanding, I hear of no Cause, which fill numerous bulky damage except the breaking of winvolumes, which engaged the Court dows, which indeed is general." of Session from 1761 to 1767, Mr Stuart was recompensed for occupied the talents of the ablest the persecution he had sustained lawyers in Scotland—and the Bar by being created a British peer, was crowded by intellectual giants by the title of Baron Douglas of

numerous

as

a

Douglas. Three of his sons in now matter of more than a succession bore the title; and as hundred years ago. the last Lord Douglas, who died The history of the Douglases in 1857, left no issue, the peerage down to the time when the Stuarts became extinct, until it was revived succeeded to the English throne, in 1875 in favour of the Earl of may be almost said to comprehend Home, who represents the old within itself the history of ScotDouglas line through his grand- land; and the Scottish annals lose mother, a daughter of the first in interest and picturesqueness peer of the new creation.

when they no longer occupy the We are reluctant to part from foremost place. For good and for volumes which have afforded us evil they wrote their names deeply so much pleasure and information in the records of their country. as • The Douglas Book' has given The house of Douglas produced, us, with any remark implicative of to quote the · Hamilton Informacensure; but we cannot forbear tion,' wa series of heroes whose referring to one important omis- gallant and martial achievements sion. In the admirable genealog- in the service of their country, ical tables of the Douglas families, however fatal upon many occasions so elaborately full in all other re- to themselves, has stamped upon spects, no notice is taken of the the minds of all ranks and degrees Marquises of Douglas and Earls of persons indelible characters of of Angus since 1761. These titles esteem, respect, and veneration, are still in existence; and this which neither length of time nor fact is not affected by the exclu- the degeneracy of later ages has sion of those who bear them from been able to efface.” When we • The Douglas Book.' But the have said that “The Douglas Book' omission might be construed as is worthy of its subject, we can meaning more than it doubtless bestow no higher praise upon either implies. The Douglas Cause is the work or its author.

[ocr errors]

DIANE DE BRETEUILLE.

IV.

THOUGH the Countess's letter had not always a bad adviser. Conbeen answered in as great a hurry sult time, and it will tell you to a as it had no doubt been written nicety what you can and cannot by that charming type of a Pari- do: and time is not only an adsian fashionable lady of those days, viser, but it is a friend ; for gain and though Bob's telegram had him on your side, and the dark been replied to without much con- hour rolls into a flood of light; cern as to its meaning, and with whisper your hopes and aspirations the sole desire on my part to gain in his ear, and he gives the opportime-nay, to give myself one more tunity so ardently longed for. clear day wherein to develop plans I made up my mind that as -in other words, to gratify the I was to be absent from Paris cravings of my love-sick disposi- shortly, I would make the most of tion, still an uncomfortable feel- the time left to me, and that, come ing kept asserting itself that my what might, I would at least reveal arguments with the Count had no myself in my true colours. I would longer any foundation ; that being be true to the girl I loved before I apprised of Diane's engagement to were so to considerations of etihim by her own aunt, I had per- quette, false sense of honour, or haps no right to go to this dinner other social demands upon my in his absence and after his re- reticence. I would know the quest; and the conviction that I truth, ask Diane for authority to might be giving the Count some speak to her parents, ask her reason for doubting the honourable parents for permission to supplant motives which prompted my con- the Count, ask the Count to look duct, and which I had so loftily upon me as his rival, ask the world paraded to his face, made me to judge between us; and if refused naturally reflect whether, after all, that authority by Diane herself, I had better start for England leave Paris on the morrow, and that evening, than get myself into swallow my grief as best I could, possible disrepute.

but bear my fate like a man. I even looked at my watch to I became so energetic as I heaped see how much time I hail before resolve upon resolve that I conthe mail left for Calais; but it siderably retarded the progress of being half-past six, and there being my toilet; but it was accomonly half an hour between the plished at last, and not without time of seeing once more the girl some little misgivings, notwithI loved and an hour and a half standing my high resolves. before the train could whirl me I arrived punctually at seven, away from her delightful pretence, and was ushered into the drawingI of course concluded that I had no room. No one was there ; but in time to catch the train, while only a minute or two my hostess came, just time enough not to miss my dressed in a cloud of Valenciennes, dinner.

and looking for all the world like a That watch decided the future, fairy, or some beautiful bird suddenwhich at least proves that time is ly entrapped in a gilded cage. The

12.

room was a wonder of upholstery me so ridiculous a place for love at and a labyrinth of costly stuffs, first sight to be born in, so I conshawls, old brocades, and cosy tented myself by assuring her she nooks. It was redolent of the would hear the whole story from perfume of flowers; and wherever me, as soon as I could secure her one stood, some knick-knack of attention for a while, and ask her value attracted the eye.

advice in my predicament, while I The Countess came up to me, had just time to beg of her to stand shook hands, and with a look which by me as the friend she had ever at once indicated both weariness proved--when the door opened, and some anxiety, said

and ushered in the Marquise de " Tell me all about this business, Breteuille, followed_heavens ! with for it appears to be more serious what delight I marked the enthan I thought it. Diane's parents trance !--by Diane and her father. will be here directly; but I am not The lace fairy went up joyously sure that Diane herself will be to her sister-in-law, embraced her allowed, after all, to accompany on both cheeks, and being kissed them, though I hope she will.' on the forehead by her brother, led

I was dismayed, and my friend him by the hand to where I was, saw it.

and said"Why could you not tell me " Thou dost not know my friend yesterday that you were in love here, M. Vere, an Anglo-Frenchwith her? It would have saved man, anxious to learn our ways such an amount of trouble both to and our manners, so as to feel with yourself, to us, and, I fear, to the us and for us." poor girl herself, for I strongly "I am happy to make your suspect that she has a penchant acquaintance, sir," said the Marfor you.

quis, stiffly. His wife gave me an I brightened up at this.

equally stiff bow, and Diane, on “She has not said anything to whose face a blush of untold elolead me to this conclusion," quick- quence spread quickly, in unison ly added the Countess, “ for she is with the inward feelings which too well brought up to betray her were agitating her, gave me a little sentiments even when they are nod of the head, so friendly, so strong, when she knows them to graceful, and so modest withal, be contrary to the wishes of her that it nerved me to any battle parents; but I can plainly see that which I might be called upon to this marriage is distasteful to her, wage on her behalf. and I can only conclude that it is Simply dressed as usual, did so from her desire to meet you here not escape me that, tied in her hair this evening.”

in the most captivating manner, “ Has she expressed such a de- and at the same time so cleverly sire?” I asked, with a fervour I worn as to defy close observation, could not conceal.

rose de Dijon half faded, Pauvre garçon !smiled the which I recognised as the principal Countess. Is it so far gone as flower in the bouquet I had offered all that? But how is it that you her overnight. fell in love with my niece ? where We all sat down presently. The did you meet her?"

conversation was general and someI could not for the life of me what constrained, for we all had bring out the fact that it was at a so much on the mind that it was pastry.cook's shop. It seemed to almost impossible to hide the

was

« 上一頁繼續 »