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The Princess of Ponthieu (in) The New-York Weekly Magazine or Miscellaneous Repository   By:

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Interesting History of


Translated from the French.

Among all the great families which flourished in France in the reign of Philip the First, the Count de St. Paul and the Count de Ponthieu were the most distinguished; but especially the Count de Ponthieu, who, possessing a great extent of dominion, maintained the title of sovereign with inconceiveable magnificence. He was a widower, and had an only daughter, whose wit and beauty, supported by the shining qualities of her father, made his court polite and sumptuous, and had attracted to it the bravest Cavaliers of that age. The Count de St. Paul had no children but a nephew, son of his sister, by the Sieur la Domar, who was the only heir of his title and possessions. This expectation was for the present his only fortune; but Heaven having formed him to please, he might be said to be one of those whose intrinsic worth is sufficient to render them superior to the rest of mankind: courage, wit, and a good mien, together with a high birth, made ample atonement for his want of riches. This young Cavalier having engaged the notice of the Count de Ponthieu in a tournament, where he had all the honour; he conceived so great an esteem for him, that he invited him to his court. The considerable advantages he offered him were so much above what the Count de St. Paul's nephew could for the present expect, that he embraced the proposals he made him with pleasure, and the Count thought himself happy in having prevailed on him to stay with him. Thibault, for so history calls this young Cavalier, was no sooner come to court, than the beauty of the princess inspired him with admiration, which soon ripened into love; and it was but in vain that reason opposed his passion, by representing how little he was in a condition to make any such pretensions. Love is not to be controuled, it is not to be repelled. But in some measure to punish his temerity, he condemned himself to an eternal silence; yet, though his tongue was mute, the princess, who had as great a share of sensibility as beauty, soon perceived the effect of her charms written in his eyes, and imprinted in all his motions, and, in secret, rejoiced at the conquest she had gained. But the same reasons which obliged Thibault to conceal his sentiments, prevented her from making any discovery of her's, and it was only by the language of their glances, they told each other that they burned with a mutual flame.

As at that time there were great numbers of sovereign princes, there were very often wars between them; and as the Count de Ponthieu had the greatest extent of land, so he was the most exposed: But Thibault, by his courage and prudence, rendered him so formidable to his neighbours, that he both enlarged his dominions and made the possession of them secure. These important services added to that esteem the Count and Princess had for him before; but at last, a signal victory which he gained, and which was of the utmost consequence to the Count, carried the gratitude of that prince to such a height, that in the middle of his court, and among the joyful acclamations of the people, he embraced the young hero, and begged him to demand a reward for his great services; assuring him, that did he ask the half of his dominions, he should think himself happy in being able to give a mark of his tenderness and gratitude. Thibault, who had done nothing but with a view of rendering himself worthy of owning the passion he so long and painfully had concealed, encouraged by such generous offers, threw himself at the feet of the Count, telling him, that his ambition was entirely satisfied in having been able to do him any service; but that he had another passion more difficult to be pleased, which induced him to beg a favour, on which depended the whole felicity of his life. The Count pressed him to an explanation of these words, and swore to him by the faith of a knight, an oath inviolably sacred in those times, that there was nothing in his power he would refuse him... Continue reading book >>

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