“The patriot Boccari,” repeated the impassible secretary.
“Tell Duplessis to send an order for five-and-twenty louis to Fra Paolo. Make a note of it.”
“Hausman informs us that the French dancer, Albertine Ducornet, is the mistress of the reigning prince; she has the most complete influence over him, and it would be easy through her means to arrive at the end proposed, but that she is herself governed by her lover (condemned in France as a forger), and that she does nothing without consulting him.”
Let Hausman get hold of this man—if his claims are reasonable, accede to them—and learn if the girl has any relations in Paris.”
“The Duke d’Orbano announces, that the king his master will authorize the new establishment, but on the conditions previously stated.”
“No condition!—either a frank adhesion or a positive refusal. Let us know our friends from our enemies. The more unfavorable the circumstances, the more we must show firmness, and overbear opposition by confidence in ourselves.”
“The same also announces, that the whole of the corps diplomatique continues to support the claims of the father of that young Protestant girl, who refuses to quit the convent where she has taken refuge, unless it be to marry her lover against her father’s will.”
“Ah! the corps diplomatique continues to remonstrate in the father’s name?”
“Then, continue to answer, that the spiritual power has nothing to do with the temporal.”
At this moment, the bell of the outer door again sounded twice. “See who it is,” said Rodin’s master; and the secretary rose and left the room. The other continued to walk thoughtfully up and down, till, coming near to the huge globe, he stopped short before it.
For some time he contemplated, in profound silence, the innumerable little red crosses, which appeared to cover, as with an immense net, all the countries of the earth. Reflecting doubtless on the invisible action of his power, which seemed to extend over the whole world, the features of this man became animated, his large gray eye sparkled, his nostrils swelled, and his manly countenance assumed an indescribable expression of pride, energy, and daring. With haughty brow and scornful lip, he drew still nearer to the globe, and leaned his strong hand upon the pole.
This powerful pressure, an imperious movement, as of one taking possession, seemed to indicate, that he felt sure of governing this globe, on which he looked down from the height of his tall figure, and on which he rested his hand with so lofty and audacious an air of sovereignty.
But now he no longer smiled. His eye threatened, and his large forehead was clad with a formidable scowl. The artist, who had wished to paint the demon of craft and pride, the infernal genius of insatiable domination, could not have chosen a more suitable model.
When Rodin returned, the face of his master had recovered its ordinary expression. “It is the postman,” said Rodin, showing the letters which he held in his hand; “there is nothing from Dunkirk.”