Rose glanced anxiously at her brother; his face was much graver than she had expected to see it, but his answer relieved her from all suspense.
“You are quite right, love, to speak as you did,” he said, gently. Then, turning to Lomaque, he added, in a firmer voice, “It shall be done!”
Two days after the traveling-carriage described by Lomaque had passed the diligence on the road to Paris, Madame Danville sat in the drawing-room of an apartment in the Rue de Grenelle, handsomely dressed for driving out. After consulting a large gold watch that hung at her side, and finding that it wanted a quarter of an hour only to two o’clock, she rang her hand-bell, and said to the maid-servant who answered the summons, “I have five minutes to spare. Send Dubois here with my chocolate.”
The old man made his appearance with great alacrity. After handing the cup of chocolate to his mistress, he ventured to use the privilege of talking, to which his long and faithful services entitled him, and paid the old lady a compliment. “I am rejoiced to see madame looking so young and in such good spirits this morning,” he said, with a low bow and a mild, deferential smile.
“I think I have some reason for being in good spirits on the day when my son’s marriage-contract is to be signed,” said Madame Danville, with a gracious nod of the head. “Ha, Dubois, I shall live yet to see him with a patent of nobility in his hand. The mob has done its worst; the end of this infamous revolution is not far off; our order will have its turn again soon, and then who will have such a chance at court as my son? He is noble already through his mother, he will then be noble also through his wife. Yes, yes; let that coarse-mannered, passionate, old soldier-father of hers be as unnaturally republican as he pleases, he has inherited a name which will help my son to a peerage! The Vicomte D’Anville (D with an apostrophe, Dubois, you understand?), the Vicomte D’Anville—how prettily it sounds!”
“Charmingly, madame—charmingly. Ah! this second marriage of my young master’s begins under much better auspices than the first.”
The remark was an unfortunate one. Madame Danville frowned portentously, and rose in a great hurry from her chair.
“Are your wits failing you, you old fool?” she exclaimed, indignantly. “What do you mean by referring to such a subject as that, on this day, of all others? You are always harping on those two wretched people who were guillotined, as if you thought I could have saved their lives. Were you not present when my son and I met, after the time of the Terror? Did you not hear my first words to him, when he told me of the catastrophe? Were they not ’Charles, I love you; but if I thought you had let those two unfortunates, who risked themselves to save me, die without risking your life in return to save them, I would break my heart rather