Stray Pearls eBook

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

The King had actually done more than the Duke had asked; for he had not only given orders that the chaplain should come, and, if desired, remain with Lord Walwyn, but he had also sent the Queen’s physician, the most skilful man at hand, to oust the Dominican.  We heard that he had sworn that it was as bad as being in a Scotch conventicler to have cowls and hoods creeping about your bed before you were dead, and that Harry had routed them like a very St. George.

CHAPTER XXX

THE NEW MAID OF ORLEANS

(Margaret’s Narrative)

I was summoned to the Luxembourg Palace on the Tuesday in Holy Week, the 25th of March.  My dear brother was then apparently much better, and gaining ground after the attack of hemorrhage caused by his exertions to save M. Darpent from the violence of his assailants.

He did not appear to need me, since he could not venture to talk more than a few words at a time; and, besides, my year’s absence had left me in such arrears of waiting that I could not ask for leave of absence without weighty grounds.  My mother was greatly displeased with me for not having cut short the interview between Darpent and Annora, although it seemed to have served her purpose by embroiling them effectually; but she could not overlook so great an impropriety; and I confess that I was not sorry to avoid her continual entreaties to me to give up all intercourse alike with the Darpents and Ommneys, and all our English friends.  I had satisfied myself that M. Darpent was in no danger, and I was willing to let the matter blow over, since Lady Ommaney, though imprudent, had only done a good-natured thing from the English point of view.

I found my Princess in great excitement.  Cardinal Mazarin had rejoined the King and Queen, and they were at the head of one army, the Prince of Conde was at the head of another.  The Parliament view both Cardinal and Prince as rebels, and had set a price upon the Cardinal’s head.  On the whole, the Prince was the less hated of the two, yet there were scruples on being in direct opposition to the King.  The Cardinal de Retz was trying to stir the Duke of Orleans to take what was really his proper place as the young King’s uncle, and at the head of the Parliament, to mediate between the parties, stop the civil war, convoke the States-General, and redress grievances.  But to move Monsieur was a mere impossibility; he liked to hear of his own power, but whenever anything was to be done that alarmed him, he always was bled, or took physic, so as to have an excuse for not interfering.

And now the royal army was approaching Orleans, and Monsieur could not brook that the city, his own appanage, should be taken from him.  Yet not only was he unwilling to risk himself, but the Coadjutor and he were alike of opinion that he ought not to leave Paris and the Parliament.  So he had made up his mind to send is daughter, who was only too much charmed to be going anywhere or doing anything exciting, especially if it could be made to turn to the advantage of the Prince of Conde, whom she still dreamt of marrying.

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Stray Pearls from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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