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List Of Contents | Contents of Ten Years Later, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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of the young ambassador and the balcony of the princess, a mysterious and
magical bond of sympathy - a bond created by thoughts imprinted with so
much strength and persistence of will, that they must have caused happy
and loving dreams to alight upon the perfumed couch, which the count,
with the eyes of his soul, devoured so eagerly.

But De Guiche and Raoul were not the only watchers.  The window of one of
the houses looking on the square was opened too, the casement of the
house where Buckingham resided.  By the aid of the rays of light which
issued from this latter, the profile of the duke could be distinctly
seen, as he indolently reclined upon the carved balcony with its velvet
hangings; he also was breathing in the direction of the princess's
apartment his prayers and the wild visions of his love.

Raoul could not resist smiling, as thinking of Madame, he said to
himself, "Hers is, indeed, a heart well besieged;" and then added,
compassionately, as he thought of Monsieur, "and he is a husband well
threatened too; it is a good thing for him that he is a prince of such
high rank, that he has an army to safeguard for him that which is his
own."  Bragelonne watched for some time the conduct of the two lovers,
listened to the loud and uncivil slumbers of Manicamp, who snored as
imperiously as though he was wearing his blue and gold, instead of his
violet suit.

Then he turned towards the night breeze which bore towards him, he seemed
to think, the distant song of the nightingale; and, after having laid in
a due provision of melancholy, another nocturnal malady, he retired to
rest thinking, with regard to his own love affair, that perhaps four or
even a larger number of eyes, quite as ardent as those of De Guiche and
Buckingham, were coveting his own idol in the chateau at Blois.  "And
Mademoiselle de Montalais is by no means a very conscientious garrison,"
said he to himself, sighing aloud.


Chapter XII:
From Le Havre to Paris.

The next day the _fetes_ took place, accompanied by all the pomp and
animation that the resources of the town and the cheerful disposition of
men's minds could supply.  During the last few hours spent in Le Havre,
every preparation for the departure had been made.  After Madame had
taken leave of the English fleet, and, once again, had saluted the
country in saluting its flags, she entered her carriage, surrounded by a
brilliant escort.  De Guiche had hoped that the Duke of Buckingham would
accompany the admiral to England; but Buckingham succeeded in
demonstrating to the queen that there would be great impropriety in
allowing Madame to proceed to Paris, almost unprotected.  As soon as it
had been settled that Buckingham was to accompany Madame, the young duke
selected a corps of gentlemen and officers to form part of his own suite,
so that it was almost an army that now set out towards Paris, scattering
gold, and exciting the liveliest demonstrations as they passed through
the different towns and villages on the route.  The weather was very
fine.  France is a beautiful country, especially along the route by which
the procession passed.  Spring cast its flowers and its perfumed foliage
on their path.  Normandy, with its vast variety of vegetation, its blue
skies and silver rivers, displayed itself in all the loveliness of a
paradise to the new sister of the king.  _Fetes_ and brilliant displays
received them everywhere along the line of march.  De Guiche and
Buckingham forgot everything; De Guiche in his anxiety to prevent any
fresh attempts on the part of the duke, and Buckingham, in his desire to
awaken in the heart of the princess a softer remembrance of the country
to which the recollection of many happy days belonged.  But, alas! the
poor duke could perceive that the image of that country so cherished by
himself became, from day to day, more and more effaced in Madame's mind,
in exact proportion as her affection for France became more deeply
engraved on her heart.  In fact, it was not difficult to perceive that
his most devoted attention awakened no acknowledgement, and that the
grace with which he rode one of his most fiery horses was thrown away,
for it was only casually and by the merest accident that the princess's
eyes were turned towards him.  In vain did he try, in order to fix upon
himself one of those looks, which were thrown carelessly around, or
bestowed elsewhere, to produce in the animal he rode its greatest display
of strength, speed, temper and address; in vain did he, by exciting his
horse almost to madness, spur him, at the risk of dashing himself in
pieces against the trees, or of rolling in the ditches, over the gates
and barriers which they passed, or down the steep declivities of the
hills.  Madame, whose attention had been aroused by the noise, turned her
head for a moment to observe the cause of it, and then, slightly smiling,
again entered into conversation with her faithful guardians, Raoul and De
Guiche, who were quietly riding at her carriage doors.  Buckingham felt
himself a prey to all the tortures of jealousy; an unknown, unheard of
anguish glided through his veins, and laid siege to his heart; and then,
as if to show that he knew the folly of his conduct, and that he wished
to correct, by the humblest submission, his flights of absurdity, he
mastered his horse, and compelled him, reeking with sweat and flecked
with foam, to champ his bit close beside the carriage, amidst the crowd
of courtiers.  Occasionally he obtained a word from Madame as a
recompense, and yet her speech seemed almost a reproach.

"That is well, my lord," she said, "now you are reasonable."

Or from Raoul, "Your Grace is killing your horse."

Buckingham listened patiently to Raoul's remarks, for he instinctively
felt, without having had any proof that such was the case, that Raoul
checked the display of De Guiche's feelings, and that, had it not been
for Raoul, some mad act or proceeding, either of the count, or of
Buckingham himself, would have brought about an open rupture, or a
disturbance - perhaps even exile itself.  From the moment of that excited
conversation the two young men had held in front of the tents at Le
Havre, when Raoul made the duke perceive the impropriety of his conduct,
Buckingham felt himself attracted towards Raoul almost in spite of
himself.  He often entered into conversation with him, and it was nearly
always to talk to him either of his father or of D'Artagnan, their mutual
friend, in whose praise Buckingham was nearly as enthusiastic as Raoul.
Raoul endeavored, as much as possible, to make the conversation turn upon
this subject in De Wardes's presence, who had, during the whole journey,
been exceedingly annoyed at the superior position taken by Bragelonne,
and especially by his influence over De Guiche.  De Wardes had that keen
and merciless penetration most evil natures possess; he had immediately
remarked De Guiche's melancholy, and divined the nature of his regard for
the princess.  Instead, however, of treating the subject with the same
reserve which Raoul practiced; instead of regarding with that respect,
which was their due, the obligations and duties of society, De Wardes
resolutely attacked in the count the ever-sounding chord of juvenile
audacity and pride.  It happened one evening, during a halt at Mantes,
that while De Guiche and De Wardes were leaning against a barrier,
engaged in conversation, Buckingham and Raoul were also talking together
as they walked up and down.  Manicamp was engaged in devoted attendance
on the princess, who already treated him without reserve, on account of
his versatile fancy, his frank courtesy of manner, and conciliatory
disposition.

"Confess," said De Wardes, "that you are really ill, and that your
pedagogue of a friend has not succeeded in curing you."

"I do not understand you," said the count.

"And yet it is easy enough; you are dying of love."

"You are mad, De Wardes."

"Madness it would be, I admit, if Madame were really indifferent to your
martyrdom; but she takes so much notice of it, observes it to such an
extent, that she compromises herself, and I tremble lest, on our arrival
at Paris, M. de Bragelonne may not denounce both of you."

"For shame, De Wardes, again attacking De Bragelonne."

"Come, come, a truce to child's play," replied the count's evil genius,
in an undertone; "you know as well as I do what I mean.  Besides, you
must have observed how the princess's glance softens as she looks at you;
- you can tell, by the very inflection of her voice, what pleasure she
takes in listening to you, and can feel how thoroughly she appreciates
the verses you recite to her.  You cannot deny, too, that every morning
she tells you how indifferently she slept the previous night."

"True, De Wardes, quite true; but what good is there in your telling me
all that?"

"Is it not important to know the exact position of affairs?"

"No, no; not when I am a witness of things that are enough to drive one
mad."

"Stay, stay," said De Wardes; "look, she calls you, - do you understand?
Profit by the occasion, while your pedagogue is absent."

De Guiche could not resist; an invincible attraction drew him towards the
princess.  De Wardes smiled as he saw him withdraw.

"You are mistaken, monsieur," said Raoul, suddenly stepping across the
barrier against which the previous moment the two friends had been
leaning.  "The pedagogue is here, and has overheard you."

De Wardes, at the sound of Raoul's voice, which he recognized without
having occasion to look at him, half drew his sword.

"Put up your sword," said Raoul; "you know perfectly well that, until our
journey is at an end, every demonstration of that nature is useless.  Why
do you distill into the heart of the man you term your friend all the
bitterness that infects your own?  As regards myself, you wish to arouse
a feeling of deep dislike against a man of honor - my father's friend and
my own; and as for the count you wish him to love one who is destined for
your master.  Really, monsieur, I should regard you as a coward, and a

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