List Of Contents | Contents of Ten Years Later, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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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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