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ville (whose reputation needs no advo- is often found to be the best policy, as cacy of mine, or of any one's, and is well as an excellent safeguard against honored from one end of France to the surprise in ambush. Such was the other) it only remains to be said that maxim of this worthy gentleman, at his promised word once given remains all events, and one from which he saw. as fixed as the stars in their course, no cause for deviating on the present and is no more to be turned aside. occasion. Without beating about the How, then, would it be possible for bush he made answer that, subject to me, a child and dependent, to fly in his the royal will, he had ventured to face, defying his deliberate purpose? guarantee his young friend the post On my soul, madam, I should never of lieutenant-governor under his own dare attempt it,-no, not on the longest command at Metz, besides the promise day of my life! Left to my own re- of a company (having now served his sources, poor coward that I am, I three years), and promotion to the foresee that your Highness's gracious rank and emoluments of a Gentleman design must suffer defeat, and I be de- of the Chamber. prived of every joy I know. Alas! no “So far, so good," quoth the king, hope remains unless my dear mistress adding that the necessary papers herself, out of her charity, and the should be forthcoming. “But tell me, kindness which she professes for me, Vieilleville," he pursued, “has not this shall deign to interpose, and by her fortunate young gentleman been persovereign authority bring about the mitted to cherish other hopes desired change.”
desirable still, and more precious than Madam Claude asked for nothing any you have yet mentioned ?” better. She jumped up at once, skip- Now, indeed, the drift of the king's ping and clapping her hands for joy, remarks could no longer be mistaken. and declaring that she must be off M. de Vieilleville, however, without a moment's delay to consult solved on making a bold stand, and with the queen on ways and
did not deny (since his Majesty "Fear nothing, sweetheart,” she called good enough to inquire), that a matriback from the threshold, wafting monial engagement of long standing kiss on her finger-tips, "I'll soon win subsisted between the said Comte de my own way, as you shall see, and my Saulx and his
second daughter, own first Lady-in-Waiting,-so help Philomèle, which had not yet received me Heaven and my good
mother- public announcement, but was wit!”
the less binding on both parties. And Certainly if any power on earth thereupon he launched out into could remove mountains, 'twas that of eulogy of his proposed son-in-law, the august lady to whom Claude now whose birth, possessions, valor, good addressed herself. The day was not health, good looks, and many other exan hour older when M. de Vieilleville cellent qualities he warmly extolled, received word that his Majesty desired winding up by declaring that there speech of him, and on hastening to was no one to whom he could confide the royal closet found there, impa- his daughter with greater confidence. tiently awaiting his arrival, an august But at this point Queen Catherine, trio, composed of the king's Majesty, who had hitherto remained silent, Queen Catherine, and Madam Claude broke in. "I see plainly,” she cried, of France. Hardly giving him time to “that the Sire de Vieilleville has quite make his reverence, an interrogation forgotten a certain letter which he was straightway opened on the sub- wrote to me some four
year. ago, ject of M. de Saulx, with full particu- when first his daughter was commitlars requested of the hopes or expecta- ted to my charge. That letter I have tions which had been held out to that still, and find in it, over his proper siggentleman.
nature, a complete surrender of his Now, at court, as elsewhere, honesty own parental rights in the said young
lady, whom he confides uncondition- the natural gratification of a parent ally to me, to guard and cherish so at hearing his child's praises sung in long as seems good to me, and to dis- such high quarters, M. de Vieilleville pose of according to my sovereign will, was fairly at his wits' end. In all sinwith many other courteous protesta- cerity he still adhered to the cause of tions, to the effect that he hopes much the generous youth who had been his from my generous protection and the own free choice, and had received in bounty with which it is known I am his heart, as far back as the days of in the habit of rewarding those among Metz, that endearing title which namy maidens whose services have ture denied when it withheld a legitiproved agreeable to me. In fine,” mate son of his name. Yet much exCatherine declared, facing the seign- perience of courts could not fail to eur with that majesty of mien which warn him of the madness of setting she could so well assume, “I have to himself in opposition to the sovereign inform you that the hand of your will. Imperious eyes were bent upon daughter is already disposed of. him, and he did not take long to realNothing doubting of my unique au- ize his own situation, or the danger of thority in this matter, I promised it jeopardizing his young friend's future away several days ago to the Grand- prospects by an indiscreet advocacy. Seneschal of Lorraine, for his eldest Bowing low, accordingly, the seignson, the young Duilly, of whose per- eur returned grateful thanks for the sonal merit you cannot fail to be in honor done to him and his in the performed, as well as of the high dignity, or his daughter, and called wealth, and puissance of his noble Heaven to witness that everything he house. I will only add that, in consid- possessed, from his sword and life eration of its kinship with that of Lor- down to the least of his creatures and raine, into which my own daughter is last penny in his coffer, was the king's about to marry, and because of the to command. Nevertheless, saving great sympathy subsisting between their presence, he could not deny that this princess and your daughter so summary a dismissal of M. de (which is so tender and constant as to Saulx appeared to him a hard chance, be a marvel to all), it has been decided and he was reluctant that that gentlethat the one shall accompany the other man should be left in misapprehension into Lorraine in the capacity of First of the true bearings of the case. Lady-in-Waiting, and this over the His Majesty readily admitted the heads of many whose claims were justice of this complaint, but observed pressed by very great and powerful that M. Vieilleville need suffer protectors, for I can assure you that farther uneasiness on that score, as he there has been no lack of applicants would take it upon himself to inform for the place. And now that you may M. de Saulx, of his altered prospects. know the young girl's own inclination, The young gentleman was thereupon and how little the constraint put upon summoned in haste from the tennisit, I leave you to hear the conversa- court where he was engaged, and retion which passed between her and ceived on the spot the various brevets my daughter within this very hour." and other papers in confirmation of
Thereupon Madam Claude took up his new appointments, besides a gift the thread of discourse, recounting her of two thousand crowns out of the version of the morning's interview king'ş, privy, purse. But alas! bardly with so much grace, heart, and good had he time to congratulate himself on feeling, that the king was sensibly af- his good fortune than the thunderbolt fected, and Madam Catherine turned fell. By the king's command he was aside to wipe her eyes. Indeed, by called upon to renounce all claims on this time, what between the eloquent the hand of Mademoiselle de Vleilleloquacity of these ladies' tongues, the ville, and forbidden, under pain of respect due to their exalted rank, and royal displeasure, so much as to ad
dress her again, or even approach the woman on earth, or he the
to frontiers of Lorraine so long as she break his heart over such light weight. made that country her residence. “Perish the whole tribe,” he anathe
Who has not pitied the fate which matizes, low but deep, “from our fine overtakes a gallant cavalier when, lady of Italy, with her smooth-tongued riding at full tilt, he is brought up by cajoleries, down to this pretty puppet a sudden check and rolls sprawling in that jumps so nimbly at her bio g!” the dust? Nothing for it, in such And now, for the last time, bebola plight, but to pick himself up as best the rejected suitor, his back finally he may, and limping off, sore and mor- turned on the perfidious world of tified, seek out some retired spot in courts, wending his moody way into which to nurse his wounds. Farewell Provence, where lie the paternal esto the dear delights of lists and tennis- tates. Leave has been asked and obcourt; farewell to triumphs in the ball- tained of the king's Majesty, not forroom, at masquerades, and festivities. getting most humble grateful thanks, No more loitering for him in royal and dutiful respects as well paid to M. ante-chambers; no more joyous fanfare de Vieilleville. . In both pockets gold of the royal chase, or junketings with pieces jingle an accompaniment to the Catherine's merry maids beneath the prancing of a high-mettled steed, the greenwood tree and adown silvery parting gift of the said seigneur, river reaches!
though not in this instance named “This poor count,” declares the after its donor
customary. veracious historian, “at this news, was But with every allowance made the greatly taken aback." We can well society of a jilted lover is best to be believe it, and feel naught but sym- avoided. It may not prove of the most pathy at learning that the unhappy enlivening on the present occasion, or gentleman passed a restless night, be likely to beguile a lonely road, despite laboring his pillow and cursing the the softening influence of April hour that gave him birth. Many a one weather, budding thickets, and the under like provocation, has done the song of cuckoo, lark, and nightingale, same before and since. But daylight which have come to celebrate the tribrought cooler blood, and a wise reso- umph of love and spring in the land. lution to get away so soon as possible No sooner had M. de Saulx disapfrom the scene of his disaster. Car peared over the brow of the hill than nival, indeed, was drawing near, and the betrothals of Mademoiselle de M. de Saulx had little mind to run the Vieilleville and M. le Grand-Senegauntlet of unseasonable witticisms. chal's eldest son were solemnized in He made haste, then, to bolt the king's the queen's apartment and under her bribe, and dispose of his new acquisi- special patronage. King and queen tions for what they would bring; con graced the ceremony, assisted by their scious of no other inconvenience, if we daughters, the most high, virtuous and are to believe this naive recital, than excellent Infants, the Ladies Elizawas natural on the depreciation of a beth, Claude, and Marguerite of forced sale. The point of honor, it is France; together with other great evident, varies to suit different times princes, princesses, and noble lords and customs, whereas dear human na- and ladies, not forgetting, it is to be ture remains always the same. No hoped, the tip-toeing bevy of queen's one need mistake the angry would-be maids. cynical declaration (confided doubtless Still more splendid, if less unique, to all who would listen) that for his was the marriage which took place a part M. de Saulx deemed himself well few days later at Paris, following on escaped, and no such loser, either, that of the Demoiselle de Nemours, when he came to reckon up his profits and making use of the same sumptuagainst the trifle forfeited. Just ous paraphernalia. His Majesty, we. Heavens! as if there
are informed, singled out fair Vieille
ville for special honor by breaking at it given to force open the petals of the least a dozen more spearheads on her half-blown rose; not for M. le Grandday than on the one preceding (that Senechal's eldest son the lovely blush of the great duke's sister), besides which suffuses this pale flower as calling up her father at supper-time to Madam Claude, blithe and radiant, in take a seat at his own table among gold skirts outspread and jewel-spanprinces of the blood, "whereat," we gled bodice, flings a passing smile as read, "was no little murmuring and she pirouettes down the middle. jealousies in certain quarters.” The Loyal Servitor spares us no jot of his eloquence when describing these honors and the attendant festivities. "Admirable above all,” he writes, “was the
THE ANCIENT WAY: A TRIVIAL TOPIC. spectacle of the ball at night, with its parade of jewels, laces, broidery, and
" Monumentum ære perennius.” priceless stuffs, both of gold and sil- This is a very old country, and withver. Truly our eyes fairly winked at out knowing or heeding it we are all the sight, and we were all but blinded of us more or less in bondage to the by this dazzling display, particularly past. Our lives are shaped by what is after supper, when torches were alight left to us, and whether we turn to the in the great hall. I'll warrant thee, right or to the left every day was really those fabulous goddesses and nymphs determined for us untold years ago. of legendary times, celebrated by our County councils—more imperious than poets, would scarce dare show their
emperors—cannot alter it; even they, faces in such an assembly, so greatly like the rest of us, must work with would their lustre tarnish by compari- what they have. For if one searches son, not only in actual beauty, but be among the monuments of the work of cause of the fine apparel wherewith the dim forgotten dead, there comes out our ladies know so well how to embel- the curious result that some of the comlish and set off their charms."
monest and more ancient of them are Still less could shy young Philomèle still in use every day for their original hope to dazzle or eclipse in that bright purpose. There are, of course, carbongalaxy. Her place, rather, was among ized stumps of the piles of lake dwellthe timorous nymphs and sylphid ings, and by those that have the skill shapes, half of earth, half air, that fly there are flint instruments to be found the garish light, mirroring their by the score. But one would not call a beauty in dim woodland pools, or danc- pocket-knife, or even the stump of a ing by twos and threes, as one
gate-post, a monument. Stonehenge them in Corot's pictures, along the and its brethren are so old that no one margin of silvery streams ere morning knows anything whatever about them, mists are lifted.
but they can hardly be older than the After all, now our story is done, and oldest thing in the country, and that is proud Lorraine left master of
a country road. Before men build a field, does not a doubt intrude that temple or a town, it is without all possibly his triumph may prove less en- contradiction that they must make a during than he deems it? And who way to it. But that the road should shall certify that the wrongs of in- remain as a monument when town and jured Provençe are to pass quite un- traffic have passed away seems at first avenged? Far from M. de Duilly, it sight unlikely. Yet it is so. is true, was any suspicion of such fail- Now, ancient monuments are very ure, as he led his bride through the precious things. There is a society to mazes of a Bransles du Haut Barrois, protect them, and there is usually her slender right hand close clasped in rather more outcry when its owner his own, to hold and direct so long as
proposes to touch one than when a life lasts. But not to his iron grasp is dozen or so Englishmen are shot down
in Africa. To practical people the an- of their necks, looked steadily ahead cent monument is dear, because it sup- towards their destination. They plies a reason for archæological picnics, passed (though they did not know it) to and papers afterwards before (more or the left, buried in a wood, a kind of less) learned societies, and even-if amphitheatre, of which no man knows fates and the editor are kindly-for an the maker or the purpose; but our anarticle in one of the magazines. And cestors, having no imagination to spare these people work themselves up into a except for witches, decided that it was genuine fever of admiration for the a big bull ring, and so named it. Presbeauties of their monuments, which ently the coach came to the lip of a colors their own lives and those of valley, where
down others, so that at this moment there are straight in a steep descent for the betmen in England ready to compel a ter part of a mile, a place not to be quarter of Egypt to remain desert adventured at a trot with a light heart. rather than allow the stone floor of an And there in front of them, on the other island temple which they have never side of the valley, ought to have been seen, and never will see, to be period- the town they were seeking. Only it ically flooded by the waters of the Nile. was not there at all, but away to the But there are others who value the an- right, looking pretty enough among the cient monument, not so much for its trees, which have the mysterious propbeauty (of a truth it is far more often erty of hiding themselves away in unbeautiful than not), but for the some manner before you get to them, scraps and fragments of unwritten bis- so as to leave nothing but mean houses tory which cling to it. Now, when and squalid fences. Nevertheless, the things are desired, their value is pro- road went straight and steep down the portionate to their scarceness, and the face of the hill, paying no regard to the older history gets the less there is of it, town instead of slanting off to it in a and so the more precious iu ought to be. gentle slope. So Mr. Pickwick was carLet us see, therefore, whether there are ried down one hill and through a brook any fragments, even ever so small, to be and up to the top of another hill, where scraped off that very ancient monu- there was a green and cross roads and a ment, a country road. But, first of all, sharp turn before he could be driven is it really so very ancient, after all? past the ladies' school on which he
When Mr. Pickwick rode up by coach made that unlucky raid, through narfrom Ipswich to Bury St. Edmunds, it row, crooked streets and past a couple took him about three hours, for though of big churches, to his destination. And the mail-coach of our grandfathers and here it may be said that the reviser great-grandfathers is supposed to have and compiler of the posthumous papers gone at least ten miles an hour, that did of the Pickwick Club has in this innot allow for stoppages and patches of stance shown less attention to topogbad road. Although our ancestors raphy and local detail than he is genwould never have confessed it-a mail- erally credited with, and though the coach drive being considered one of the natives do their best to make things fit peculiar glories of Britain-after three in right with Mr. Pickwick's advenhours of it passengers were quite ready tures, they cannot manage it satisfacto stretch their legs, and began to torily anyhow. watch the milestones to the next stop- Concerning that half-forgotten little ping-place. So, as the coach ran along town, some things have been written, the broad road between what were then and many more might be, for there is promising young trees, but which have hardly any collection of habitations exnow grown up and arched over the way cept the brand new residential suburb, 80 as to make it dark at nights and or the miles of mean streets that cluster ghostly, all except the unfortunate round factories in the North and elsecouple who had the hind seat facing the where, that has not a character of its guard, and got the wind down the back own which is interesting. One would