She was, however, deceived as to the amount of Garcia’s knowledge of her past life. Accustomed to read human nature under all its varied phases—employing an unusually acute penetration so to know his fellows as to enable him, when needed, to create the greatest amount of misery—he had simply perceived that Marie’s love for her husband was of a different nature to his for her, and that she had some secret to conceal. On this he had based his words: his suspicions were, unhappily, confirmed by the still, yet expressive agony they had occasioned. Baffled, as in some measure he had been, his internal rage that he should have so quailed before a woman, naturally increased the whirlwind of contending passions: but schooled by his impenetrable system of hypocrisy to outward quietness and control, he waited, certain that circumstances would either of themselves occur, or be so guided by him as to give him ample means of triumph and revenge.
“You would have thought the very
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes.”
In an apartment, whose pale, green hangings, embroidered with richly-colored flowers, and whose furniture and ornaments, all of delicate material and refined taste, marked it as a meet boudoir for gentle blood, sat Marie and her husband. She occupied her favorite seat—a cushion at his feet, and was listening with interest to his animated history of the Sovereign’s welcome to Saragossa, the popular ferment at their appearance, the good they had accomplished, and would still accomplish, as their judicious plans matured. It was clear, he said, that they had resolved the sovereign power should not be merely nominal, as it had been. By making himself proclaimed and received as grand master of the three great orders of knighthood—Saint Iago, Compostella, and Alcantara—the immense influence of those associations must succumb to, and be guided by, Ferdinand alone; the power of the nobles would thus be insensibly diminished, and the mass of the kingdom—the PEOPLE—as a natural consequence, become of more importance, their position more open to the eyes of the sovereigns, and their condition, physically and morally, ameliorated and improved.