Between the care of the little one, who needed in the tossing of the ship to be constantly in arms though he never cried and when awake was always merry, and the giving as much succour as possible to her suffering companions, Anne could not either rest or think, but seemed to live in one heavy dazed dream of weariness and endurance, hardly knowing whether it were day or night, till the welcome sound was heard that Calais was in sight.
Then, as well as they could, the poor travellers crawled from the corners, and put themselves in such array as they could contrive, though the heaving of the waves, as the little yacht lay to, did not conduce to their recovery. The Count de Lauzun went ashore as soon as a boat could be lowered to apprise M. Charot, the Governor of Calais, of the guest he was to receive, and after an interval of considerable discomfort, in full view of the massive fortifications, boats came off to bring the Queen and her attendants on shore, this time as a Queen, though she refused to receive any honours. Lady Strickland, recovering as soon as she was on dry land, resumed her Prince, who was fondled with enthusiastic praises for his excellent conduct on the voyage.
Anne could not help feebly thinking some of the credit might be due to her, since she had held him by land and water nearly ever since leaving Whitehall, but she was too much worn out by her nights of unrest, and too much battered and beaten by the tossings of her voyage, to feel anything except in a languid half-conscious way, under a racking headache; and when the curious old house where they were to rest was reached, and all the rest were eating with ravenous appetites, she could taste nothing, and being conducted by a compassionate Frenchwoman in a snow-white towering cap to a straw mattress spread on the ground, she slept the twenty-four hours round without moving.
CHAPTER XXI: EXILE
“‘Oh, who are ye, young man?’ she
‘What country come ye frae?’
‘I flew across the sea,’ he said;
‘’Twas but this very day.’”
Five months had passed away since the midnight flight from England, when Anne Woodford was sitting on a stone bench flanked with statues in the stately gardens of the Palace of St. Germain, working away at some delicate point lace, destined to cover some of the deficiencies of her dress, for her difficulties were great, and these months had been far from happy ones.
The King was in Ireland, the Queen spent most of the time of his absence in convents, either at Poissy or Chaillot, carrying her son with her to be the darling of the nuns, who had for the most part never even seen a baby, and to whom a bright lively child of a year old was a perfect treasure of delight. Not wishing to encumber the good Sisters with more attendants than were needful, the Queen only took with her one lady governess, one nurse, and one rocker, and this last naturally was Pauline Dunord, both a Frenchwoman and a Roman Catholic.