Lady Sarah Lennox: An Irrepressible Stuart, 1745-1826

Lady Sarah Lennox: An Irrepressible Stuart, 1745-1826

Lady Sarah Lennox: An Irrepressible Stuart, 1745-1826

Lady Sarah Lennox: An Irrepressible Stuart, 1745-1826

Excerpt

On October ninth, 1671, sobersided John Evelyn recorded in his diary that he had gone that night "with Mr. Treasurer to Euston, a palace of Lord Arlingtons where we found Monsieur Colbert (the French Ambassador) and the famous new French Maid of Honor, Mlle. de Querouaille, now coming to be in great favor with the King." Charles, he reported, "came almost every second day with the Duke, who commonly returned to Newmarket, but the King often lay there." And during Evelyn's visit of nearly a fortnight a rumor even went around the palace that Mlle. de Querouaille "was bedded one of these nights, and the stocking flung after the manner of a married bride." Evelyn indignantly denied that he witnessed this ceremony, but there were other scenes that could escape no one's eyes. "She was for the most part in her undresse all day," he says, "and there was fondnesse and toying with that young wanton."

There was probably little objection on the part of the young wanton. Scenes such as these, which Evelyn records in accents curiously compounded of envy and disapproval, were for her the culmination of a year and a half of intrigue and passion, of schemes thwarted and hopes revived, of angry disappointment and careful calculation. And from them one of the great families of England was to trace its rise -- a family which, in a later age and under strangely dif-

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