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List Of Contents | Contents of Ten Years Later, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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is with ladies fair especially that the qualities of this king of the
shepherds are most prominently displayed.  He is a shepherd with a mind
as refined as his heart is pure; he can pay a compliment with a charm of
manner whose fascination it is impossible to resist; and in his
attachments he is so discreet, that beautiful and happy conquests may
regard their lot as more than enviable.  Never a syllable of disclosure,
never a moment's forgetfulness.  Whoever has seen and heard Tyrcis must
love him; whoever loves and is beloved by him, has indeed found
happiness."  Saint-Aignan here paused; he was enjoying the pleasure of
all these compliments; and the portrait he had drawn, however grotesquely
inflated it might be, had found favor in certain ears, in which the
perfections of the shepherd did not seem to have been exaggerated.
Madame begged the orator to continue.  "Tyrcis," said the comte, "had a
faithful companion, or rather a devoted servant, whose name was -
Amyntas."

"Ah!" said Madame, archly, "now for the portrait of Amyntas; you are such
an excellent painter, Monsieur de Saint-Aignan."

"Madame - "

"Oh! comte, do not, I entreat you, sacrifice poor Amyntas; I should never
forgive you."

"Madame, Amyntas is of too humble a position, particularly beside Tyrcis,
for his person to be honored by a parallel.  There are certain friends
who resemble those followers of ancient times, who caused themselves to
be buried alive at their masters' feet.  Amyntas's place, too, is at the
feet of Tyrcis; he cares for no other; and if, sometimes, the illustrious
hero - "

"Illustrious shepherd, you mean?" said Madame, pretending to correct M.
de Saint-Aignan.

"Your royal highness is right; I was mistaken," returned the courtier;
"if, I say, the shepherd Tyrcis deigns occasionally to call Amyntas his
friend, and to open his heart to him, it is an unparalleled favor, which
the latter regards as the most unbounded felicity."

"All that you say," interrupted Madame, "establishes the extreme devotion
of Amyntas to Tyrcis, but does not furnish us with the portrait of
Amyntas.  Comte, do not flatter him, if you like; but describe him to
us.  I will have Amyntas's portrait."  Saint-Aignan obeyed, after having
bowed profoundly to his majesty's sister-in-law.

"Amyntas," he said, "is somewhat older than Tyrcis; he is not an ill-
favored shepherd; it is even said that the muses condescended to smile
upon him at his birth, even as Hebe smiled upon youth.  He is not
ambitious of display, but he is ambitious of being loved; and he might
not, perhaps, he found unworthy of it, if he were only sufficiently well-
known."

This latter paragraph, strengthened by a killing glance, was directed
straight to Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente, who received them both
unmoved.  But the modesty and tact of the allusion had produced a good
effect; Amyntas reaped the benefit of it in the applause bestowed upon
him: Tyrcis's head even gave the signal for it by a consenting bow, full
of good feeling.

"One evening," continued Saint-Aignan, "Tyrcis and Amyntas were walking
together in the forest, talking of their love disappointments.  Do not
forget, ladies, that the story of the Dryad is now beginning, otherwise
it would be easy to tell you what Tyrcis and Amyntas, the two most
discreet shepherds of the whole earth, were talking about.  They reached
the thickest part of the forest, for the purpose of being quite alone,
and of confiding their troubles more freely to each other, when suddenly
the sound of voices struck upon their ears."

"Ah, ah!" said those who surrounded the narrator.  "Nothing can be more
interesting."

At this point, Madame, like a vigilant general inspecting his army,
glanced at Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente, who could not help wincing as
they drew themselves up.

"These harmonious voices," resumed Saint-Aignan, "were those of certain
shepherdesses, who had been likewise desirous of enjoying the coolness of
the shade, and who, knowing the isolated and almost unapproachable
situation of the place, had betaken themselves there to interchange their
ideas upon - "  A loud burst of laughter occasioned by this remark of
Saint-Aignan, and an imperceptible smile of the king, as he looked at
Tonnay-Charente, followed this sally.

"The Dryad affirms positively," continued Saint-Aignan, "that the
shepherdesses were three in number, and that all three were young and
beautiful."

"What were their names?" said Madame, quickly.

"Their names?" said Saint-Aignan, who hesitated from fear of committing
an indiscretion.

"Of course; you call your shepherds Tyrcis and Amyntas; give your
shepherdesses names in a similar manner."

"Oh!  Madame, I am not an inventor; I relate simply what took place as
the Dryad related it to me."

"What did your Dryad, then, call these shepherdesses?  You have a very
treacherous memory, I fear.  This Dryad must have fallen out with the
goddess Mnemosyne."

"These shepherdesses, Madame?  Pray remember that it is a crime to betray
a woman's name."

"From which a woman absolves you, comte, on the condition that you will
reveal the names of the shepherdesses."

"Their names were Phyllis, Amaryllis, and Galatea."

"Exceedingly well! - they have not lost by the delay," said Madame, "and
now we have three charming names.  But now for their portraits."

Saint-Aignan again made a slight movement.

"Nay, comte, let us proceed in due order," returned Madame.  "Ought we
not, sire, to have the portraits of the shepherdesses?"

The king, who expected this determined perseverance, and who began to
feel some uneasiness, did not think it safe to provoke so dangerous an
interrogator.  He thought, too, that Saint-Aignan, in drawing the
portraits, would find a means of insinuating some flattering allusions
which would be agreeable to the ears of one his majesty was interested in
pleasing.  It was with this hope and with this fear that Louis authorized
Saint-Aignan to sketch the portraits of the shepherdesses, Phyllis,
Amaryllis, and Galatea.

"Very well, then; be it so," said Saint-Aignan, like a man who has made
up his mind, and he began.


Chapter LVII:
Conclusion of the Story of a Naiad and of a Dryad.

"Phyllis," said Saint-Aignan, with a glance of defiance at Montalais,
such as a fencing-master would give who invites an antagonist worthy of
him to place himself on guard, "Phyllis is neither fair nor dark, neither
tall nor short, neither too grave nor too gay; though but a shepherdess,
she is as witty as a princess, and as coquettish as the most finished
flirt that ever lived.  Nothing can equal her excellent vision.  Her
heart yearns for everything her gaze embraces.  She is like a bird,
which, always warbling, at one moment skims the ground, at the next rises
fluttering in pursuit of a butterfly, then rests itself upon the topmost
branch of a tree, where it defies the bird-catchers either to come and
seize it or to entrap it in their nets."  The portrait bore such a strong
resemblance to Montalais, that all eyes were directed towards her; she,
however, with her head raised, and with a steady, unmoved look, listened
to Saint-Aignan, as if he were speaking of an utter stranger.

"Is that all, Monsieur de Saint-Aignan?" inquired the princess.

"Oh! your royal highness, the portrait is but a mere sketch, and many
more additions could be made, but I fear to weary your patience, or
offend the modesty of the shepherdess, and I shall therefore pass on to
her companion, Amaryllis."

"Very well," said Madame, "pass on to Amaryllis, Monsieur de Saint-
Aignan, we are all attention."

"Amaryllis is the eldest of the three, and yet," Saint-Aignan hastened to
add, "this advanced age does not reach twenty years."

Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente, who had slightly knitted her brows at
the commencement of the description, unbent them with a smile.

"She is tall, with an astonishing abundance of beautiful hair, which she
fastens in the manner of the Grecian statues; her walk is full of
majesty, her attitude haughty; she has the air, therefore, rather of a
goddess than a mere mortal, and among the goddesses, she most resembles
Diana the huntress; with this sole difference, however, that the cruel
shepherdess, having stolen the quiver of young love, while poor Cupid was
sleeping in a thicket of roses, instead of directing her arrows against
the inhabitants of the forest, discharges them pitilessly against all
poor shepherds who pass within reach of her bow and of her eyes."

"Oh! what a wicked shepherdess!" said Madame.  "She may some day wound
herself with one of those arrows she discharges, as you say, so
mercilessly on all sides."

"It is the hope of shepherds, one and all!" said Saint-Aignan.

"And that of the shepherd Amyntas in particular, I suppose?" said Madame.

"The shepherd Amyntas is so timid," said Saint-Aignan, with the most
modest air he could assume, "that if he cherishes such a hope as that, no
one has ever known anything about it, for he conceals it in the very
depths of his heart."  A flattering murmur of applause greeted this
profession of faith on behalf of the shepherd.

"And Galatea?" inquired Madame.  "I am impatient to see a hand so
skillful as yours continue the portrait where Virgil left it, and finish
it before our eyes."

"Madame," said Saint-Aignan, "I am indeed a poor dumb post beside the
mighty Virgil.  Still, encouraged by your desire, I will do my best."

Saint-Aignan extended his foot and hand, and thus began: - "White as
milk, she casts upon the breeze the perfume of her fair hair tinged with
golden hues, as are the ears of corn.  One is tempted to inquire if she
is not the beautiful Europa, who inspired Jupiter with a tender passion
as she played with her companions in the flower-spangled meadows.  From
her exquisite eyes, blue as azure heaven on the clearest summer day,
emanates a tender light, which reverie nurtures, and love dispenses.
When she frowns, or bends her looks towards the ground, the sun is veiled
in token of mourning.  When she smiles, on the contrary, nature resumes

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