List Of Contents | Contents of Ten Years Later, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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alluding to Madame; of Monsieur, without speaking of domestic affairs; of
the king, without speaking of his brother's wife; of the queen-mother,
without alluding to her daughter-in-law; of the king of England, without
alluding to his sister; of the state of the affections of either of the
travelers, without pronouncing any name that might be dangerous.  In this
way the journey, which was performed by short stages, was most agreeable,
and Buckingham, almost a Frenchman from wit and education, was delighted
at having so admirably selected his traveling companion.  Elegant repasts
were served, of which they partook but lightly; trials of horses made in
the beautiful meadows that skirted the road; coursing indulged in, for
Buckingham had his greyhounds with him; and in such ways did they pass
away the pleasant time.  The duke somewhat resembled the beautiful river
Seine, which folds France a thousand times in its loving embrace, before
deciding upon joining its waters with the ocean.  In quitting France, it
was her recently adopted daughter he had brought to Paris whom he chiefly
regretted; his every thought was a remembrance of her - his every memory
a regret.  Therefore, whenever, now and then, despite his command over
himself, he was lost in thought, De Wardes left him entirely to his
musings.  This delicacy might have touched Buckingham, and changed his
feelings towards De Wardes, if the latter, while preserving silence, had
shown a glance less full of malice, and a smile less false.  Instinctive
dislikes, however, are relentless; nothing appeases them; a few ashes
may, sometimes, apparently, extinguish them; but beneath those ashes the
smothered embers rage more furiously.  Having exhausted every means of
amusement the route offered, they arrived, as we have said, at Calais
towards the end of the sixth day.  The duke's attendants, since the
previous evening, had traveled in advance, and now chartered a boat, for
the purpose of joining the yacht, which had been tacking about in sight,
or bore broadside on, whenever it felt its white wings wearied, within
cannon-shot of the jetty.

The boat was destined for the transport of the duke's equipages from the
shore to the yacht.  The horses had been embarked, having been hoisted
from the boat upon the deck in baskets, expressly made for the purpose,
and wadded in such a manner that their limbs, even in the most violent
fits of terror or impatience, were always protected by the soft support
which the sides afforded, and their coats not even turned.  Eight of
these baskets, placed side by side, filled the ship's hold.  It is well
known that, in short voyages horses refuse to eat, but remain trembling
all the while, with the best of food before them, such as they would have
greatly coveted on land.  By degrees, the duke's entire equipage was
transported on board the yacht; he was then informed that everything was
in readiness, and that they only waited for him, whenever he would be
disposed to embark with the French gentleman; for no one could possibly
imagine that the French gentleman would have any other accounts to settle
with his Grace other than those of friendship.  Buckingham desired the
captain to be told to hold himself in readiness, but that, as the sea was
beautiful, and as the day promised a splendid sunset, he did not intend
to go on board until nightfall, and would avail himself of the evening to
enjoy a walk on the strand.  He added also, that, finding himself in such
excellent company, he had not the least desire to hasten his embarkation.

As he said this he pointed out to those who surrounded him the
magnificent spectacle which the sky presented, of deepest azure in the
horizon, the amphitheatre of fleecy clouds ascending from the sun's disc
to the zenith, assuming the appearance of a range of snowy mountains,
whose summits were heaped one upon another.  The dome of clouds was
tinged at its base with, as it were, the foam of rubies, fading away into
opal and pearly tints, in proportion as the gaze was carried from base to
summit.  The sea was gilded with the same reflection, and upon the crest
of every sparkling wave danced a point of light, like a diamond by
lamplight.  The mildness of the evening, the sea breezes, so dear to
contemplative minds, setting in from the east and blowing in delicious
gusts; then, in the distance, the black outline of the yacht with its
rigging traced upon the empurpled background of the sky - while, dotting
the horizon, might be seen, here and there, vessels with their trimmed
sails, like the wings of a seagull about to plunge; such a spectacle
indeed well merited admiration.  A crowd of curious idlers followed the
richly dressed attendants, amongst whom they mistook the steward and the
secretary for the master and his friend.  As for Buckingham, who was
dressed very simply, in a gray satin vest, and doublet of violet-colored
velvet, wearing his hat thrust over his eyes, and without orders or
embroidery, he was taken no more notice of than De Wardes, who was in
black, like an attorney.

	The duke's attendants had received directions to have a boat in
readiness at the jetty head, and to watch the embarkation of their
master, without approaching him until either he or his friend should
summon them, - "whatever may happen," he had added, laying a stress upon
these words, so that they might not be misunderstood.  Having walked a
few paces upon the strand, Buckingham said to De Wardes, "I think it is
now time to take leave of each other.  The tide, you perceive, is rising;
ten minutes hence it will have soaked the sands where we are now walking
in such a manner that we shall not be able to keep our footing."

"I await your orders, my lord, but - "

"But, you mean, we are still upon soil which is part of the king's


"Well, do you see yonder a kind of little island surrounded by a circle of
water?  The pool is increasing every minute, and the isle is gradually
disappearing.  This island, indeed, belongs to Heaven, for it is situated
between two seas, and is not shown on the king's charts.  Do you observe

"Yes; but we can hardly reach it now, without getting our feet wet."

"Yes; but observe that it forms an eminence tolerably high, and that the
tide rises up on every side, leaving the top free.  We shall be admirably
placed upon that little theatre.  What do you think of it?"

"I shall be perfectly happy wherever I may have the honor of crossing my
sword with your lordship's."

"Very well, then, I am distressed to be the cause of your wetting your
feet, M. de Wardes, but it is most essential you should be able to say to
the king: 'Sire, I did not fight upon your majesty's territory.'  Perhaps
the distinction is somewhat subtle, but, since Port-Royal, your nation
delights in subtleties of expression.  Do not let us complain of this,
however, for it makes your wit very brilliant, and of a style peculiarly
your own.  If you do not object, we will hurry ourselves, for the sea, I
perceive, is rising fast, and night is setting in."

"My reason for not walking faster was, that I did not wish to precede
your Grace.  Are you still on dry land, my lord?"

"Yes, at present I am.  Look yonder!  My servants are afraid we shall be
drowned, and have converted the boat into a cruiser.  Do you remark how
curiously it dances upon the crests of the waves?  But, as it makes me
feel sea-sick, would you permit me to turn my back towards them?"

"You will observe, my lord, that in turning your back to them, you will
have the sun full in your face."

"Oh, its rays are very feeble at this hour and it will soon disappear; do
not be uneasy on that score."

"As you please, my lord; it was out of consideration for your lordship
that I made the remark."

"I am aware of that, M. de Wardes, and I fully appreciate your kindness.
Shall we take off our doublets?"

"As you please, my lord."

"Do not hesitate to tell me, M. de Wardes, if you do not feel comfortable
upon the wet sand, or if you think yourself a little too close to French
territory.  We could fight in England, or even upon my yacht."

"We are exceedingly well placed here, my lord; only I have the honor to
remark that, as the sea is rising fast, we have hardly time - "

Buckingham made a sign of assent, took off his doublet and threw it on
the ground, a proceeding which De Wardes imitated.  Both their bodies,
which seemed like phantoms to those who were looking at them from the
shore, were thrown strongly into relief by a dark red violet-colored
shadow with which the sky became overspread.

"Upon my word, your Grace," said De Wardes, "we shall hardly have time to
begin.  Do you not perceive how our feet are sinking into the sand?"

"I have sunk up to the ankles," said Buckingham, "without reckoning that
the water is even now breaking in upon us."

"It has already reached me.  As soon as you please, therefore, your
Grace," said De Wardes, who drew his sword, a movement imitated by the

"M. de Wardes," said Buckingham, "one final word.  I am about to fight
you because I do not like you, - because you have wounded me in
ridiculing a certain devotional regard I have entertained, and one which
I acknowledge that, at this moment, I still retain, and for which I would
very willingly die.  You are a bad and heartless man, M. de Wardes, and I
will do my very utmost to take your life; for I feel assured that, if you
survive this engagement, you will, in the future, work great mischief
towards my friends.  That is all I have to remark, M. de Wardes,"
concluded Buckingham as he saluted him.

"And I, my lord, have only this to reply to you: I have not disliked you
hitherto, but, since you give me such a character, I hate you, and will
do all I possibly can to kill you;" and De Wardes saluted Buckingham.

Their swords crossed at the same moment, like two flashes of lightning on
a dark night.  The swords seemed to seek each other, guessed their
position, and met.  Both were practiced swordsmen, and the earlier passes
were without any result.  The night was fast closing in, and it was so

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