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Countess de St. Belmont

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When M. de St. Belmont, who defended a feeble
fortress against the arms of Louis XIV., was taken prisoner, his wife, the
Comtesse de St. Belmont, who was of a most heroic disposition, still
remained upon the estates to take care of them. An officer of cavalry
having taken up his quarters there without invitation, Madame de St.
Belmont sent him a very civil letter of complaint on his ill behaviour,
which he treated with contempt. Piqued at this, she resolved he should give
her satisfaction, and sent him a challenge, which she signed "Le Chevalier
de St. Belmont." The officer accepted it, and repaired to the place
appointed. Madame de St. Belmont met him, dressed in men's clothes. They
immediately drew their swords, and the heroine had the advantage of him;
when, after disarming him, she said, with a gracious smile, "You thought,
sir, I doubt not, that you were fighting with the Chevalier de St. Belmont;
it is, however, Madame de St. Belmont, who returns you your sword, and begs
you in future to pay more regard to the requests of ladies." She then left
him, covered with shame and confusion.





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