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

“Oh, do not flatter yourself, monseigneur; if they have thus lulled your friendship and suspicions — if things have gone so far, you will be able to undo nothing.”

“But I have not given my sanction.”

“M. de Lyonne has ratified for you.”

“I will go to the Louvre.”

“Oh, no, you will not.”

“Would you advise such baseness?” cried Fouquet, “would you advise me to abandon my friends? would you advise me, whilst able to fight, to throw the arms I hold in my hand to the ground?”

“I do not advise you to do anything of the kind, monseigneur.  Are you in a position to quit the post of superintendent at this moment?”

“No.”

“Well, if the king wishes to displace you — "

“He will displace me absent as well as present.”

“Yes, but you will not have insulted him.”

“Yes, but I shall have been base; now I am not willing that my friends should die; and they shall not die!”

“For that it is necessary you should go to the Louvre, is it not?”

“Gourville!”

“Beware! once at the Louvre, you will be forced to defend your friends openly, that is to say, to make a profession of faith; or you will be forced to abandon them irrevocably.”

“Never!”

“Pardon me; — the king will propose the alternative to you, rigorously, or else you will propose it to him yourself.”

“That is true.”

“That is the reason why conflict must be avoided.  Let us return to Saint-Mande, monseigneur.”

“Gourville, I will not stir from this place, where the crime is to be carried out, where my disgrace is to be accomplished; I will not stir, I say, till I have found some means of combating my enemies.”

“Monseigneur,” replied Gourville, “you would excite my pity, if I did not know you for one of the great spirits of this world.  You possess a hundred and fifty millions, you are equal to the king in position, and a hundred and fifty millions his superior in money.  M. Colbert has not even had the wit to have the will of Mazarin accepted.  Now, when a man is the richest person in a kingdom, and will take the trouble to spend the money, if things are done he does not like, it is because he is a poor man.  Let us return to Saint-Mande, I say.”

“To consult with Pelisson? — we will.”

“No, monseigneur, to count your money.”

“So be it,” said Fouquet, with angry eyes; — “yes, yes, to Saint-Mande!” He got into his carriage again, and Gourville with him.  Upon their road, at the end of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, they overtook the humble equipage of Vatel, who was quietly conveying home his vin de Joigny.  The black horses, going at a swift pace, alarmed, as they passed, the timid hack of the maitre d’hotel, who, putting his head out at the window, cried, in a fright, “Take care of my bottles!” (2)

Chapter LVII:  The Gallery of Saint-Mande.

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