shown, which expose young women to remark, and which are enough to drive out of their senses even those husbands who are least disposed to be jealous." "Ah! now we are coming to the real point at last, and not without some difficulty. You speak of frequent visits, and certain preferences - very good; for the last hour we have been beating about the bush, and at last you have broached the true question." "Well then, yes – " "This is more serious than I thought. It is possible, then, that Madame can have given you grounds for these complaints against her?" "Precisely so." "What, your wife, married only four days ago, prefers some other person to yourself? Take care, Philip, you exaggerate your grievances; in wishing to prove everything, you prove nothing." The prince, bewildered by his mother's serious manner, wished to reply, but he could only stammer out some unintelligible words. "You draw back, then?" said Anne of Austria. "I prefer that, as it is an acknowledgement of your mistake." "No!" exclaimed Philip, "I do not draw back, and I will prove all I asserted. I spoke of preference and of visits, did I not? Well, listen." Anne of Austria prepared herself to listen, with that love of gossip which the best woman living and the best mother, were she a queen even, always finds in being mixed up with the petty squabbles of a household. "Well," said Philip, "tell me one thing." "What is that?" "Why does my wife retain an English court about her?" said Philip, as he crossed his arms and looked his mother steadily in the face, as if he were convinced that she could not answer the question. "For a very simple reason," returned Anne of Austria; "because the English are her countrymen, because they have expended large sums in order to accompany her to France, and because it would hardly be polite – not politic, certainly - to dismiss abruptly those members of the English nobility who have not shrunk from any devotion or sacrifice." "A wonderful sacrifice indeed," returned Philip, "to desert a wretched country to come to a beautiful one, where a greater effect can be produced for a guinea that can be procured elsewhere for four! Extraordinary devotion, really, to travel a hundred leagues in company with a woman one is in love with!" "In love, Philip! think what you are saying. Who is in love with Madame?" "The Duke of Buckingham. Perhaps you will defend him, too?" Anne of Austria blushed and smiled at the same time. The name of the Duke of Buckingham recalled certain recollections of a very tender and melancholy nature. "The Duke of Buckingham?" she murmured. "Yes; one of those arm-chair soldiers - " "The Buckinghams are loyal and brave," said Anne of Austria, courageously. "This is too bad; my own mother takes the part of my wife's lover against me," exclaimed Philip, incensed to such an extent that his weak organization was affected almost to tears. "Philip, my son," exclaimed Anne of Austria, "such an expression is unworthy of you. Your wife has no lover; and, had she one, it would not be the Duke of Buckingham. The members of that family, I repeat, are loyal and discreet, and the rights of hospitality are sure to be respected by them." "The Duke of Buckingham is an Englishman, madame," said Philip, "and may I ask if the English so very religiously respect what belongs to princes of France?" Anne blushed a second time, and turned aside under the pretext of taking her pen from her desk again, but in reality to conceal her confusion from her son. "Really, Philip," she said, "you seem to discover expressions for the purpose of embarrassing me, and your anger blinds you while it alarms me; reflect a little." "There is no need for reflection, madame. I can see with my own eyes." "Well, and what do you see?" "That Buckingham never quits my wife. He presumes to make presents to her, and she ventures to accept them. Yesterday she was talking about _sauchets a la violette_; well, our French perfumers, you know very well, madame, for you have over and over again asked for it without success – our French perfumers, I say, have never been able to procure this scent. The duke, however, wore about him a _sachet a la violette_, and I am sure that the one my wife has came from him." "Indeed, monsieur," said Anne of Austria, "you build your pyramids on needle points; be careful. What harm, I ask you, can there be in a man giving to his countrywoman a recipe for a new essence? These strange ideas, I protest, painfully recall your father to me; he who so frequently and so unjustly made me suffer." "The Duke of Buckingham's father was probably more reserved and more respectful than his son," said Philip, thoughtlessly, not perceiving how deeply he had wounded his mother's feelings. The queen turned pale, and pressed her clenched hands upon her bosom; but, recovering herself immediately, she said," You came here with some intention or another, I suppose?" "Certainly." "What was it?" "I came, madame, intending to complain energetically, and to inform you that I will not submit to such behavior from the Duke of Buckingham." "What do you intend to do, then?" "I shall complain to the king." "And what do you expect the king to reply?" "Very well, then," said Monsieur, with an expression of stern determination on his countenance, which offered a singular contrast to its usual gentleness. "Very well. I will right myself!" "What do you call righting yourself?" inquired Anne of Austria, in alarm. "I will have the Duke of Buckingham quit the princess, I will have him quit France, and I will see that my wishes are intimated to him." "You will intimate nothing of the kind, Philip," said the queen, "for if you act in that manner, and violate hospitality to that extent, I will invoke the severity of the king against you." "Do you threaten me, madame?" exclaimed Philip, almost in tears; "do you threaten me in the midst of my complaints?" "I do not threaten you; I do but place an obstacle in the path of your hasty anger. I maintain, that, to adopt towards the Duke of Buckingham, or any other Englishman, any rigorous measure - to take even a discourteous step towards him, would be to plunge France and England into the most disastrous disagreement. Can it be possible that a prince of the blood, the brother of the king of France, does not know how to hide an injury, even did it exist in reality, where political necessity requires it?" Philip made a movement. "Besides," continued the queen, "the injury is neither true nor possible, and it is merely a matter of silly jealousy." "Madame, I know what I know." "Whatever you may know, I can only advise you to be patient." "I am not patient by disposition, madame." The queen rose, full of severity, and with an icy ceremonious manner. "Explain what you really require, monsieur," she said. "I do not require anything, madame; I simply express what I desire. If the Duke of Buckingham does not, of his own accord, discontinue his visits to my apartments I shall forbid him entrance." "That is a point you will refer to the king," said Anne of Austria, her heart swelling as she spoke, and her voice trembling with emotion. "But, madame," exclaimed Philip, striking his hands together, "act as my mother and not as the queen, since I speak to you as a son; it is simply a matter of a few minutes' conversation between the duke and myself." "It is that very conversation I forbid," said the queen, resuming her authority, "because it is unworthy of you." "Be it so; I will not appear in the matter, but I shall intimate my will to Madame." "Oh!" said the queen-mother, with a melancholy arising from reflection, "never tyrannize over a wife - never behave too haughtily or imperiously towards your own. A woman unwillingly convinced, is unconvinced." "What is to be done, then? - I will consult my friends about it." "Yes, your double-dealing advisers, your Chevalier de Lorraine - your De Wardes. Intrust the conduct of this affair to me. You wish the Duke of Buckingham to leave, do you not?" "As soon as possible, madame." "Send the duke to me, then; smile upon your wife, behave to her, to the king, to every one, as usual. But follow no advice but mine. Alas! I too well know what any household comes to, that is troubled by advisers." "You shall be obeyed, madame." "And you will be satisfied at the result. Send the duke to me." "That will not be difficult." "Where do you suppose him to be?" "At my wife's door, whose _levee_ he is probably awaiting." "Very well," said Anne of Austria, calmly. "Be good enough to tell the duke that I shall be charmed if he will pay me a visit." Philip kissed his mother's hand, and started off to find the Duke of Buckingham. Chapter XVII: Forever! The Duke of Buckingham, obedient to the queen-mother's invitation, presented himself in her apartments half an hour after the departure of the Duc d'Orleans. When his name was announced by the gentleman-usher in attendance, the queen, who was sitting with her elbow resting on a table, and her head buried in her hands, rose, and smilingly received the graceful and respectful salutation which the duke addressed to her. Anne of Austria was still beautiful. It is well known that at her then somewhat advanced age, her long auburn hair, perfectly formed hands, and bright ruby lips, were still the admiration of all who saw her. On the present occasion, abandoned entirely to a remembrance which evoked all the past in her heart, she looked almost as beautiful as in the days of her youth, when her palace was open to the visits of the Duke of Buckingham's father, then a young and impassioned man, as well as an unfortunate prince, who lived for her alone, and died with her name upon his lips. Anne of Austria fixed upon Buckingham a look so tender in its expression, that it denoted, not alone the indulgence of maternal affection, but a gentleness of expression like the coquetry of a woman who loves.
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