List Of Contents | Contents of Ten Years Later, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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without a single syllable having been uttered.  Manicamp, who was less
intimate with his royal highness than the Chevalier de Lorraine, vainly
endeavored to detect, from the expression of the prince's face, what had
made him so ill-humored.  The Chevalier de Lorraine, who had no occasion
to speculate about anything, inasmuch as he knew all, ate his breakfast
with that extraordinary appetite which the troubles of one's friends but
stimulates, and enjoyed at the same time both Monsieur's ill-humor and
the vexation of Manicamp.  He seemed delighted, while he went on eating,
to detain a prince, who was very impatient to move, still at table.
Monsieur at times repented the ascendency which he had permitted the
Chevalier de Lorraine to acquire over him, and which exempted the latter
from any observance of etiquette towards him.  Monsieur was now in one of
those moods, but he dreaded as much as he liked the chevalier, and
contented himself with nursing his anger without betraying it.  Every now
and then Monsieur raised his eyes to the ceiling, then lowered them
towards the slices of _pate_ which the chevalier was attacking, and
finally, not caring to betray the resentment, he gesticulated in a manner
which Harlequin might have envied.  At last, however, Monsieur could
control himself no longer, and at the dessert, rising from the table in
excessive wrath, as we have related, he left the Chevalier de Lorraine to
finish his breakfast as he pleased.  Seeing Monsieur rise from the table,
Manicamp, napkin in hand, rose also.  Monsieur ran rather than walked,
towards the ante-chamber, where, noticing an usher in attendance, he gave
him some directions in a low tone of voice.  Then, turning back again,
but avoiding passing through the breakfast apartment, he crossed several
rooms, with the intention of seeking the queen-mother in her oratory,
where she usually remained.

It was about ten o'clock in the morning.  Anne of Austria was engaged in
writing as Monsieur entered.  The queen-mother was extremely attached to
her son, for he was handsome in person and amiable in disposition.  He
was, in fact, more affectionate, and it might be, more effeminate than
the king.  He pleased his mother by those trifling sympathizing
attentions all women are glad to receive.  Anne of Austria, who would
have been rejoiced to have had a daughter, almost found in this, her
favorite son, the attentions, solicitude, and playful manners of a child
of twelve years of age.  All the time he passed with his mother he
employed in admiring her arms, in giving his opinion upon her cosmetics,
and recipes for compounding essences, in which she was very particular;
and then, too, he kissed her hands and cheeks in the most childlike and
endearing manner, and had always some sweetmeats to offer her, or some
new style of dress to recommend.  Anne of Austria loved the king, or
rather the regal power in her eldest son; Louis XIV. represented
legitimacy by right divine.  With the king, her character was that of the
queen-mother, with Philip she was simply the mother.  The latter knew
that, of all places, a mother's heart is the most compassionate and
surest.  When quite a child he always fled there for refuge when he and
his brother quarreled, often, after having struck him, which constituted
the crime of high treason on his part, after certain engagements with
hands and nails, in which the king and his rebellious subject indulged in
their night-dresses respecting the right to a disputed bed, having their
servant Laporte as umpire, - Philip, conqueror, but terrified at victory,
used to flee to his mother to obtain reinforcements from her, or at least
the assurance of forgiveness, which Louis XIV. granted with difficulty,
and after an interval.  Anne, from this habit of peaceable intervention,
succeeded in arranging the disputes of her sons, and in sharing, at the
same time, all their secrets.  The king, somewhat jealous of that
maternal solicitude which was bestowed particularly on his brother, felt
disposed to show towards Anne of Austria more submission and attachment
than his character really dictated.  Anne of Austria had adopted this
line of conduct especially towards the young queen.  In this manner she
ruled with almost despotic sway over the royal household, and she was
already preparing her batteries to govern with the same absolute
authority the household of her second son.  Anne experienced almost a
feeling of pride whenever she saw any one enter her apartment with woe-
begone looks, pale cheeks, or red eyes, gathering from appearances that
assistance was required either by the weakest or the most rebellious.
She was writing, we have said, when Monsieur entered her oratory, not
with red eyes or pale cheeks, but restless, out of temper, and annoyed.
With an absent air he kissed his mother's hands, and sat himself down
before receiving her permission to do so.  Considering the strict rules
of etiquette established at the court of Anne of Austria, this
forgetfulness of customary civilities was a sign of preoccupation,
especially on Philip's part, who, of his own accord, observed a respect
towards her of a somewhat exaggerated character.  If, therefore, he so
notoriously failed in this regard, there must be a serious cause for it.

"What is the matter, Philip?" inquired Anne of Austria, turning towards
her son.

"A good many things," murmured the prince, in a doleful tone of voice.

"You look like a man who has a great deal to do," said the queen, laying
down her pen.  Philip frowned, but did not reply.  "Among the various
subjects which occupy your mind," said Anne of Austria, "there must
surely be one that absorbs it more than others."

"One has indeed occupied me more than any other."

"Well, what is it?  I am listening."

Philip opened his mouth as if to express all the troubles his mind was
filled with, and which he seemed to be waiting only for an opportunity of
declaring.  But he suddenly became silent, and a sigh alone expressed all
that his heart was overflowing with.

"Come, Philip, show a little firmness," said the queen-mother.  "When one
has to complain of anything, it is generally an individual who is the
cause of it.  Am I not right?"

"I do not say no, madame."

"Whom do you wish to speak about?  Come, take courage."

"In fact, madame, what I might possibly have to say must be kept a
profound secret; for when a lady is in the case - "

"Ah! you are speaking of Madame, then?" inquired the queen-mother, with a
feeling of the liveliest curiosity.


"Well, then, if you wish to speak of Madame, do not hesitate to do so.  I
am your mother, and she is no more than a stranger to me.  Yet, as she is
my daughter-in-law, rest assured I shall be interested, even were it for
your own sake alone, in hearing all you may have to say about her."

"Pray tell me, madame, in your turn, whether you have not remarked

"'Something'!  Philip?  Your words almost frighten me, from their want of
meaning.  What do you mean by 'something?'"

"Madame is pretty, certainly."

"No doubt of it."

"Yet not altogether beautiful."

"No, but as she grows older, she will probably become strikingly
beautiful.  You must have remarked the change which a few years have
already made in her.  Her beauty will improve more and more; she is now
only sixteen years of age.  At fifteen I was, myself, very thin; but even
as she is at present, Madame is very pretty."

"And consequently others have remarked it."

"Undoubtedly, for a woman of ordinary rank is noticed - and with still
greater reason a princess."

"She has been well brought up, I suppose?"

"Madame Henriette, her mother, is a woman somewhat cold in manner,
slightly pretentious, but full of noble thoughts.  The princess's
education may have been neglected, but her principles, I believe, are
good.  Such at least was the opinion I formed of her when she resided in
France; but she afterwards returned to England, and I am ignorant what
may have occurred there."

"What do you mean?"

"Simply that there are some heads naturally giddy, which are easily
turned by prosperity."

"That is the very word, madame.  I think the princess rather giddy."

"We must not exaggerate, Philip; she is clever and witty, and has a
certain amount of coquetry very natural in a young woman; but this defect
in persons of high rank and position, is a great advantage at a court.  A
princess who is tinged with coquetry usually forms a brilliant court; her
smile stimulates luxury, arouses wit, and even courage; the nobles, too,
fight better for a prince whose wife is beautiful."

"Thank you extremely, madame," said Philip, with some temper; "you really
have drawn some very alarming pictures for me."

"In what respect?" asked the queen, with pretended simplicity.

"You know, madame," said Philip, dolefully, "whether I had or had not a
very great dislike to getting married."

"Now, indeed, you alarm me.  You have some serious cause of complaint
against Madame."

"I do not precisely say it is serious."

"In that case, then, throw aside your doleful looks.  If you show
yourself to others in your present state, people will take you for a very
unhappy husband."

"The fact is," replied Philip, "I am not altogether satisfied as a
husband, and I shall not be sorry if others know it."

"For shame, Philip."

"Well, then, madame, I will tell you frankly that I do not understand the
life I am required to lead."

"Explain yourself."

"My wife does not seem to belong to me; she is always leaving me for some
reason or another.  In the mornings there are visits, correspondences,
and toilettes; in the evenings, balls and concerts."

"You are jealous, Philip."

"I!  Heaven forbid.  Let others act the part of a jealous husband, not
I.  But I _am_ annoyed."

"All these things you reproach your wife with are perfectly innocent,
and, so long as you have nothing of greater importance - "

"Yet, listen; without being very blamable, a woman can excite a good deal
of uneasiness.  Certain visitors may be received, certain preferences

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