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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 556 pages of information about The Vicomte De Bragelonne.

“I only fear to be placed so that I cannot serve your majesty.”

“What do you wish, then?”

“I wish your majesty to allow me assistance in the labors of the office of intendant.”

“That post would lose its value.”

“It would gain in security.”

“Choose your colleagues.”

“Messieurs Breteuil, Marin, Hervart.”

“To-morrow the ordonnance shall appear.”

“Sire, I thank you.”

“Is that all you ask?”

“No, sire, one thing more.”

“What is that?”

“Allow me to compose a chamber of justice.”

“What would this chamber of justice do?”

“Try the farmers-general and contractors, who, during ten years, have been robbing the state.”

“Well, but what would you do with them?”

“Hang two or three, and that would make the rest disgorge.”

“I cannot commence my reign with executions, Monsieur Colbert.”

“On the contrary, sire, you had better, in order not to have to end with them.”

The king made no reply.  “Does your majesty consent?” said Colbert.

“I will reflect upon it, monsieur.”

“It will be too late when reflection may be made.”

“Why?”

“Because you have to deal with people stronger than ourselves, if they are warned.”

“Compose that chamber of justice, monsieur.”

“I will, sire.”

“Is that all?”

“No, sire; there is still another important affair.  What rights does your majesty attach to this office of intendant?”

“Well — I do not know — the customary ones.”

“Sire, I desire that this office be invested with the right of reading the correspondence with England.”

“Impossible, monsieur, for that correspondence is kept from the council; monsieur le cardinal himself carried it on.”

“I thought your majesty had this morning declared that there should no longer be a council?”

“Yes, I said so.”

“Let your majesty then have the goodness to read all the letters yourself, particularly those from England; I hold strongly to this article.”

“Monsieur, you shall have that correspondence, and render me an account of it.”

“Now, sire, what shall I do with respect to the finances?”

“Everything M. Fouquet has not done.”

“That is all I ask of your majesty.  Thanks, sire, I depart in peace;” and at these words he took his leave.  Louis watched his departure.  Colbert was not yet a hundred paces from the Louvre when the king received a courier from England.  After having looked at and examined the envelope, the king broke the seal precipitately, and found a letter from Charles II.  The following is what the English prince wrote to his royal brother:  —

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