Stray Pearls eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 384 pages of information about Stray Pearls.

CHAPTER XX

CONDOLENCE

(By Margaret)

Our siege was over at last.  I can hardly explain how or why, for there was no real settlement of the points at issue.  I have since come to understand that the Queen and the Cardinal were alarmed lest the Vicomte de Turenne with his army should come to the assistance of his brother, the Duke of Bouillon, and thus leave the frontier open to the Spaniards; and that this very possibility also worked upon the First President Mole, who was too true a Frenchman not to prefer giving way to the Queen to bringing disunion into the army and admitting the invader.  Most of the provincial Parliaments were of the same mind as that of Paris, and if all had united and stood firm the Court would have been reduced to great straits.  It was well for us at St. Germain that they never guessed at our discomforts on our hill, and how impossible it would have been to hold out for a more complete victory.

I was glad enough to leave St. Germain the day after the terms had been agreed upon.  The royal family did not yet move, but my term of waiting had long been expired; I burned to rejoin my mother and sister, and likewise to escape from the assiduities of M. de Lamont, who was becoming more insufferable than ever.

So I asked permission of the Queen to let my son resume his studies, and of Mademoiselle to leave her for the time.  Both were gracious, though the Queen told me I was going into a wasp’s nest; while, on the other hand, Mademoiselle congratulated me on returning to those dear Parisians, and said she should not be long behind me.  I was too much afraid of being hindered not to set out immediately after having received my license, so as to take advantage of the escort of some of the deputies with whom I had a slight acquaintance.  I also hoped to avoid M. de Lamont’s leave-takings, but I was not fortunate enough to do this.  The absurd man, learning that I was on the point of departure, came rushing headlong into the court where the carriages stood, having first disordered his hair and untied his scarf, so as to give himself a distracted appearance, and thus he threw himself on his knees between me and the coach door, declaring that I was killing him and breaking his heart by my cruelty.

I was very angry, and afraid of showing any excitement, lest it should give him any advantage, so I only drew up my head coldly and said: 

‘Let me pass, sir.’  But that only made him throw himself on the ground as if he would kiss my robe, whereupon Gasppard, with his hand on his little sword, said:  ’Why don’t you give him a good kick, mama?’ This made everybody laugh; and I said, still keeping my head stiff:  ’We will go round to the other door, my son, since there is this obstruction in our way.’

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Stray Pearls from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook