List Of Contents | Contents of The Vicomte de Bragelonne, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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monsieur, the peculiarity of the case."

"Say no more about it, I desire; and leave me to myself."

Cropole bowed profoundly, and left the room with a stupefied air, which
announced that he had a good heart, and felt genuine remorse.

The unknown himself shut the door after him, and, when left alone, looked
mournfully at the bottom of the purse, from which he had taken a small
silken bag containing the diamond, his last resource.

He dwelt likewise upon the emptiness of his pockets, turned over the
papers in his pocket-book, and convinced himself of the state of absolute
destitution in which he was about to be plunged.

He raised his eyes towards heaven, with a sublime emotion of despairing
calmness, brushed off with his hand some drops of sweat which trickled
over his noble brow, and then cast down upon the earth a look which just
before had been impressed with almost divine majesty.

That the storm had passed far from him, perhaps he had prayed in the
bottom of his soul.

He drew near to the window, resumed his place in the balcony, and
remained there, motionless, annihilated, dead, till the moment when, the
heavens beginning to darken, the first flambeaux traversed the enlivened
street, and gave the signal for illumination to all the windows of the

Chapter VII:

Whilst the unknown was viewing these lights with interest, and lending an
ear to the various noises, Master Cropole entered his apartment, followed
by two attendants, who laid the cloth for his meal.

The stranger did not pay them the least attention; but Cropole
approaching him respectfully, whispered, "Monsieur, the diamond has been

"Ah!" said the traveler.  "Well?"

"Well, monsieur, the jeweler of S. A. R. gives two hundred and eighty
pistoles for it."

"Have you them?"

"I thought it best to take them, monsieur; nevertheless, I made it a
condition of the bargain, that if monsieur wished to keep his diamond, it
should be held till monsieur was again in funds."

"Oh, no, not at all: I told you to sell it."

"Then I have obeyed, or nearly so, since, without having definitely sold
it, I have touched the money."

"Pay yourself," added the unknown.

"I will do so, monsieur, since you so positively require it."

A sad smile passed over the lips of the gentleman.

"Place the money on that trunk," said he, turning round and pointing to
the piece of furniture.

Cropole deposited a tolerably large bag as directed, after having taken
from it the amount of his reckoning.

"Now," said he, "I hope monsieur will not give me the pain of not taking
any supper.  Dinner has already been refused; this is affronting to the
house of _les Medici_.  Look, monsieur, the supper is on the table, and I
venture to say that it is not a bad one."

The unknown asked for a glass of wine, broke off a morsel of bread, and
did not stir from the window whilst he ate and drank.

Shortly after was heard a loud flourish of trumpets; cries arose in the
distance, a confused buzzing filled the lower part of the city, and the
first distinct sound that struck the ears of the stranger was the tramp
of advancing horses.

"The king! the king!" repeated a noisy and eager crowd.

"The king!" cried Cropole, abandoning his guest and his ideas of
delicacy, to satisfy his curiosity.

With Cropole were mingled, and jostled, on the staircase, Madame Cropole,
Pittrino, and the waiters and scullions.

The _cortege_ advanced slowly, lighted by a thousand flambeaux, in the
streets and from the windows.

After a company of musketeers, a closely ranked troop of gentlemen, came
the litter of monsieur le cardinal, drawn like a carriage by four black
horses.  The pages and people of the cardinal marched behind.

Next came the carriage of the queen-mother, with her maids of honor at
the doors, her gentlemen on horseback at both sides.

The king then appeared, mounted upon a splendid horse of Saxon breed,
with a flowing mane.  The young prince exhibited, when bowing to some
windows from which issued the most animated acclamations, a noble and
handsome countenance, illuminated by the flambeaux of his pages.

By the side of the king, though a little in the rear, the Prince de
Conde, M. Dangeau, and twenty other courtiers, followed by their people
and their baggage, closed this veritably triumphant march.  The pomp was
of a military character.

Some of the courtiers - the elder ones, for instance - wore traveling
dresses; but all the rest were clothed in warlike panoply.  Many wore the
gorget and buff coat of the times of Henry IV. and Louis XIII.

When the king passed before him, the unknown, who had leant forward over
the balcony to obtain a better view, and who had concealed his face by
leaning on his arm, felt his heart swell and overflow with a bitter

The noise of the trumpets excited him - the popular acclamations deafened
him: for a moment he allowed his reason to be absorbed in this flood of
lights, tumult, and brilliant images.

"He is a king!" murmured he, in an accent of despair.

Then, before he had recovered from his sombre reverie, all the noise, all
the splendor, had passed away.  At the angle of the street there remained
nothing beneath the stranger but a few hoarse, discordant voices,
shouting at intervals "_Vive le Roi!_"

There remained likewise the six candles held by the inhabitants of the
hostelry _des Medici_; that is to say, two for Cropole, two for Pittrino,
and one for each scullion.  Cropole never ceased repeating, "How
good-looking the king is!  How strongly he resembles his illustrious

"A handsome likeness!" said Pittrino.

"And what a lofty carriage he has!" added Madame Cropole, already in
promiscuous commentary with her neighbors of both sexes.

Cropole was feeding their gossip with his own personal remarks, without
observing that an old man on foot, but leading a small Irish horse by the
bridle, was endeavoring to penetrate the crowd of men and women which
blocked up the entrance to the _Medici_.  But at that moment the voice of
the stranger was heard from the window.

"Make way, monsieur l'hotelier, to the entrance of your house!"

Cropole turned around, and, on seeing the old man, cleared a passage for

The window was instantly closed.

Pittrino pointed out the way to the newly-arrived guest, who entered
without uttering a word.

The stranger waited for him on the landing; he opened his arms to the old
man, and led him to a seat.

"Oh, no, no, my lord!" said he.  "Sit down in your presence? - never!"

"Parry," cried the gentleman, "I beg you will; you come from England 
you come so far.  Ah! it is not for your age to undergo the fatigues my
service requires.  Rest yourself."

"I have my reply to give your lordship, in the first place."

"Parry, I conjure you to tell me nothing; for if your news had been good,
you would not have begun in such a manner; you go about, which proves
that the news is bad."

"My lord," said the old man, "do not hasten to alarm yourself; all is not
lost, I hope.  You must employ energy, but more particularly resignation."

"Parry," said the young man, "I have reached this place through a
thousand snares and after a thousand difficulties; can you doubt my
energy?  I have meditated this journey ten years, in spite of all
counsels and all obstacles - have you faith in my perseverance?  I have
this evening sold the last of my father's diamonds; for I had nothing
wherewith to pay for my lodgings and my host was about to turn me out."

Parry made a gesture of indignation, to which the young man replied by a
pressure of the hand and a smile.

"I have still two hundred and seventy-four pistoles left and I feel
myself rich.  I do not despair, Parry; have you faith in my resignation?"

The old man raised his trembling hands towards heaven.

"Let me know," said the stranger, - "disguise nothing from me - what has

"My recital will be short, my lord; but in the name of Heaven do not
tremble so."

"It is impatience, Parry.  Come, what did the general say to you?"

"At first the general would not receive me."

"He took you for a spy?"

"Yes, my lord; but I wrote him a letter."


"He read it, and received me, my lord."

"Did that letter thoroughly explain my position and my views?"

"Oh, yes!" said Parry, with a sad smile; "it painted your very thoughts

"Well - then, Parry."

"Then the general sent me back the letter by an aide-de-camp, informing
me that if I were found the next day within the circumscription of his
command, he would have me arrested."

"Arrested!" murmured the young man.  "What! arrest you, my most faithful

"Yes, my lord."

"And notwithstanding you had signed the name _Parry?_"

"To all my letters, my lord; and the aide-de-camp had known me at St.
James's and at Whitehall, too," added the old man with a sigh.

The young man leaned forward, thoughtful and sad.

"Ay, that's what he did before his people," said he, endeavoring to cheat
himself with hopes.  "But, privately - between you and him - what did he
do? Answer!"

"Alas! my lord, he sent to me four cavaliers, who gave me the horse with
which you just now saw me come back.  These cavaliers conducted me, in
great haste, to the little port of Tenby, threw me, rather than embarked
me, into a little fishing-boat, about to sail for Brittany, and here I

"Oh!" sighed the young man, clasping his neck convulsively with his hand,
and with a sob.  "Parry, is that all? - is that all?"

"Yes, my lord; that is all."

After this brief reply ensued a long interval of silence, broken only by
the convulsive beating of the heel of the young man on the floor.

The old man endeavored to change the conversation; it was leading to
thoughts much too sinister.

"My lord," said he, "what is the meaning of all the noise which preceded
me? What are these people crying '_Vive le Roi!_' for?  What king do they
mean? and what are all these lights for?"

"Ah!  Parry," replied the young man ironically, "don't you know that this

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