Part 2 out of 13
"Monsieur," said De Guiche, "you seem to me a man of very good taste."
Malicorne was wearing some of Manicamp's old-new clothes. He bowed in
return, saying, "You do me a very great honor, monsieur le comte."
"Whom have I the pleasure of addressing?"
"My name is Malicorne, monsieur."
"M. de Malicorne, what do you think of these pistol-holsters?"
Malicorne was a man of great readiness and immediately understood the
position of affairs. Besides, the "de" which had been prefixed to his
name, raised him to the rank of the person with whom he was conversing.
He looked at the holsters with the air of a connoisseur and said, without
hesitation: "Somewhat heavy, monsieur."
"You see," said De Guiche to the saddler, "this gentleman, who
understands these matters well, thinks the holsters heavy, a complaint I
had already made." The saddler was full of excuses.
"What do you think," asked De Guiche, "of this horse, which I have just
"To look at it, it seems perfect, monsieur le comte; but I must mount it
before I give you my opinion."
"Do so, M. de Malicorne, and ride him round the court two or three times."
The courtyard of the hotel was so arranged, that whenever there was any
occasion for it, it could be used as a riding-school. Malicorne, with
perfect ease, arranged the bridle and snaffle-reins, placed his left hand
on the horse's mane, and, with his foot in the stirrup, raised himself
and seated himself in the saddle. At first, he made the horse walk the
whole circuit of the court-yard at a foot-pace; next at a trot; lastly at
a gallop. He then drew up close to the count, dismounted, and threw the
bridle to a groom standing by. "Well," said the count, "what do you
think of it, M. de Malicorne?"
"This horse, monsieur le comte, is of the Mecklenburg breed. In looking
whether the bit suited his mouth, I saw that he was rising seven, the
very age when the training of a horse intended for a charger should
commence. The forehand is light. A horse which holds its head high, it
is said, never tires his rider's hand. The withers are rather low. The
drooping of the hind-quarters would almost make me doubt the purity of
its German breed, and I think there is English blood in him. He stands
well on his legs, but he trots high, and may cut himself, which requires
attention to be paid to his shoeing. He is tractable; and as I made him
turn round and change his feet, I found him quick and ready in doing so."
"Well said, M. de Malicorne," exclaimed the comte; "you are a judge of
horses, I perceive;" then, turning towards him again, he continued, "you
are most becomingly dressed, M. de Malicorne. That is not a provincial
cut, I presume. Such a style of dress is not to be met with at Tours or
"No, monsieur le comte; my clothes were made at Paris."
"There is no doubt about that. But let us resume our own affair.
Manicamp wishes for the appointment of a second maid of honor."
"You perceive what he has written, monsieur le comte."
"For whom was the first appointment?"
Malicorne felt the color rise in his face as he answered hurriedly.
"A charming maid of honor, Mademoiselle de Montalais."
"Ah, ah! you are acquainted with her?"
"We are affianced, or nearly so."
"That is quite another thing, then; a thousand compliments," exclaimed De
Guiche, upon whose lips a courtier's jest was already fitting, but to
whom the word "affianced," addressed by Malicorne with respect to
Mademoiselle de Montalais, recalled the respect due to women.
"And for whom is the second appointment destined?" asked De Guiche; "is
it for anyone to whom Manicamp may happen to be affianced? In that case
I pity her, poor girl! for she will have a sad fellow for a husband."
"No, monsieur le comte; the second appointment is for Mademoiselle de la
Baume le Blanc de la Valliere."
"Unknown," said De Guiche.
"Unknown? yes, monsieur," said Malicorne, smiling in his turn.
"Very good. I will speak to Monsieur about it. By the by, she is of
"She belongs to a very good family and is maid of honor to Madame."
"That's well. Will you accompany me to Monsieur?"
"Most certainly, if I may be permitted the honor."
"Have you your carriage?"
"No; I came here on horseback."
"Dressed as you are?"
"No, monsieur; I posted from Orleans, and I changed my traveling suit for
the one I have on, in order to present myself to you."
"True, you already told me you had come from Orleans;" saying which he
crumpled Manicamp's letter in his hand, and thrust it in his pocket.
"I beg your pardon," said Malicorne, timidly; "but I do not think you
have read all."
"Not read all, do you say?"
"No; there were two letters in the same envelope."
"Oh! are you sure?"
"Let us look, then," said the count, as he opened the letter again.
"Ah! you are right," he said opening the paper which he had not yet read.
"I suspected it," he continued - "another application for an appointment
under Monsieur. This Manicamp is a regular vampire: - he is carrying on
a trade in it."
"No, monsieur le comte, he wishes to make a present of it."
"To myself, monsieur."
"Why did you not say so at once, my dear M. Mauvaisecorne?"
"Malicorne, monsieur le comte."
"Forgive me; it is that Latin that bothers me - that terrible mine of
etymologies. Why the deuce are young men of family taught Latin? _Mala_
and _mauvaise_ - you understand it is the same thing. You will forgive
me, I trust, M. de Malicorne."
"Your kindness affects me much, monsieur: but it is a reason why I should
make you acquainted with one circumstance without any delay."
"What is it?"
"That I was not born a gentleman. I am not without courage, and not
altogether deficient in ability; but my name is Malicorne simply."
"You appear to me, monsieur!" exclaimed the count, looking at the astute
face of his companion, "to be a most agreeable man. Your face pleases
me, M. Malicorne, and you must possess some indisputably excellent
qualities to have pleased that egotistical Manicamp. Be candid and tell
me whether you are not some saint descended upon the earth."
"For the simple reason that he makes you a present of anything. Did you
not say that he intended to make you a present of some appointment in the
"I beg your pardon, count; but, if I succeed in obtaining the
appointment, you, and not he, will have bestowed it on me."
"Besides he will not have given it to you for nothing, I suppose. Stay,
I have it; - there is a Malicorne at Orleans who lends money to the
"I think that must be my father, monsieur."
"Ah! the prince has the father, and that terrible dragon of a Manicamp
has the son. Take care, monsieur, I know him. He will fleece you
"The only difference is, that I lend without interest," said Malicorne, smiling.
"I was correct in saying you were either a saint or very much resembled
one. M. Malicorne, you shall have the post you want, or I will forfeit
"Ah! monsieur le comte, what a debt of gratitude shall I not owe you?" said
"Let us go to the prince, my dear M. Malicorne." And De Guiche proceeded
toward the door, desiring Malicorne to follow him. At the very moment
they were about to cross the threshold, a young man appeared on the other
side. He was from twenty-four to twenty-five years of age, of pale
complexion, bright eyes and brown hair and eyebrows. "Good-day," said
he, suddenly, almost pushing De Guiche back into the courtyard again.
"Is that you, De Wardes? - What! and booted, spurred and whip in hand,
"The most befitting costume for a man about to set off for Le Havre.
There will be no one left in Paris to-morrow." And hereupon he saluted
Malicorne with great ceremony, whose handsome dress gave him the
appearance of a prince.
"M. Malicorne," said De Guiche to his friend. De Wardes bowed.
"M. de Wardes," said Guiche to Malicorne, who bowed in return. "By the
by, De Wardes," continued De Guiche, "you who are so well acquainted with
these matters, can you tell us, probably, what appointments are still
vacant at the court; or rather in the prince's household?"
"In the prince's household," said De Wardes looking up with an air of
consideration, "let me see - the appointment of the master of the horse
is vacant, I believe."
"Oh," said Malicorne, "there is no question of such a post as that,
monsieur; my ambition is not nearly so exalted,"
De Wardes had a more penetrating observation than De Guiche, and fathomed
Malicorne immediately. "The fact is," he said, looking at him from head
to foot, "a man must be either a duke or a peer to fill that post."
"All I solicit," said Malicorne, "is a very humble appointment; I am of
little importance, and I do not rank myself above my position."
"M. Malicorne, whom you see here," said De Guiche to De Wardes, "is a
very excellent fellow, whose only misfortune is that of not being of
gentle birth. As far as I am concerned, you know, I attach little value
to those who have but gentle birth to boast of."
"Assuredly," said De Wardes; "but will you allow me to remark, my dear
count, that, without rank of some sort, one can hardly hope to belong to
his royal highness's household?"
"You are right," said the count, "court etiquette is absolute. The
devil! - we never so much as gave it a thought."
"Alas! a sad misfortune for me, monsieur le comte," said Malicorne, changing
"Yet not without remedy, I hope," returned De Guiche.
"The remedy is found easily enough," exclaimed De Wardes; "you can be
created a gentleman. His Eminence, the Cardinal Mazarin, did nothing
else from morning till night."
"Hush, hush, De Wardes," said the count; "no jests of that kind; it ill
becomes us to turn such matters into ridicule. Letters of nobility, it
is true, are purchasable; but that is a sufficient misfortune without
the nobles themselves laughing at it."
"Upon my word, De Guiche, you're quite a Puritan, as the English say."
At this moment the Vicomte de Bragelonne was announced by one of the
servants in the courtyard, in precisely the same manner as he would have
done in a room.
"Come here, my dear Raoul. What! you, too, booted and spurred? You are
setting off, then?"
Bragelonne approached the group of young men, and saluted them with that
quiet and serious manner peculiar to him. His salutation was principally
addressed to De Wardes, with whom he was unacquainted, and whose
features, on his perceiving Raoul, had assumed a strange sternness of
expression. "I have come, De Guiche," he said, "to ask your
companionship. We set off for Le Havre, I presume."
"This is admirable - delightful. We shall have a most enjoyable
journey. M. Malicorne, M. Bragelonne - ah! M. de Wardes, let me present
you." The young men saluted each other in a restrained manner. Their
very natures seemed, from the beginning, disposed to take exception to
each other. De Wardes was pliant, subtle, full of dissimulation; Raoul
was calm, grave, and upright. "Decide between us - between De Wardes and
"Upon what subject?"
"Upon the subject of noble birth."
"Who can be better informed on that subject than a De Gramont?"
"No compliments; it is your opinion I ask."
"At least, inform me of the subject under discussion."
"De Wardes asserts that the distribution of titles is abused; I, on the
contrary, maintain that a title is useless to the man on whom it is
"And you are correct," said Bragelonne, quietly.
"But, monsieur le vicomte," interrupted De Wardes, with a kind of
obstinacy, "I affirm that it is I who am correct."
"What was your opinion, monsieur?"
"I was saying that everything is done in France at the present moment, to
humiliate men of family."
"And by whom?"
"By the king himself. He surrounds himself with people who cannot show
"Nonsense," said De Guiche, "where could you possibly have seen that, De
"One example will suffice," he returned, directing his look fully upon
"State it then."
"Do you know who has just been nominated captain-general of the
musketeers? - an appointment more valuable than a peerage; for it gives
precedence over all the marechals of France."
Raoul's color mounted in his face; for he saw the object De Wardes had in
view. "No; who has been appointed? In any case it must have been very
recently, for the appointment was vacant eight days ago; a proof of which
is, that the king refused Monsieur, who solicited the post for one of his
"Well, the king refused it to Monsieur's _protege_, in order to bestow it
upon the Chevalier d'Artagnan, a younger brother of some Gascon family,
who has been trailing his sword in the ante-chambers during the last
"Forgive me if I interrupt you," said Raoul, darting a glance full of
severity at De Wardes; "but you give me the impression of being
unacquainted with the gentleman of whom you are speaking."
"I not acquainted with M. d'Artagnan? Can you tell me, monsieur, who
does _not_ know him?"
"Those who _do_ know him, monsieur," replied Raoul, with still greater
calmness and sternness of manner, "are in the habit of saying, that if he
is not as good a gentleman as the king - which is not his fault - he is
the equal of all the kings of the earth in courage and loyalty. Such is
my opinion, monsieur; and I thank heaven I have known M. d'Artagnan from
De Wardes was about to reply, when De Guiche interrupted him.
The Portrait of Madame.
The discussion was becoming full of bitterness. De Guiche perfectly
understood the whole matter, for there was in Bragelonne's face a look
instinctively hostile, while in that of De Wardes there was something
like a determination to offend. Without inquiring into the different
feelings which actuated his two friends, De Guiche resolved to ward off
the blow which he felt was on the point of being dealt by one of them,
and perhaps by both. "Gentlemen," he said, "we must take our leave of
each other, I must pay a visit to Monsieur. You, De Wardes, will
accompany me to the Louvre, and you, Raoul, will remain here master of
the house; and as all that is done here is under your advice, you will
bestow the last glance upon my preparations for departure."
Raoul, with the air of one who neither seeks nor fears a quarrel, bowed
his head in token of assent, and seated himself upon a bench in the sun.
"That is well," said De Guiche, "remain where you are, Raoul, and tell
them to show you the two horses I have just purchased; you will give me
your opinion, for I only bought them on condition that you ratified the
purchase. By the by, I have to beg your pardon for having omitted to
inquire after the Comte de la Fere." While pronouncing these latter
words, he closely observed De Wardes, in order to perceive what effect
the name of Raoul's father would produce upon him. "I thank you,"
answered the young man, "the count is very well." A gleam of deep hatred
passed into De Wardes's eyes. De Guiche, who appeared not to notice the
foreboding expression, went up to Raoul, and grasping him by the hand,
said, - "It is agreed, then, Bragelonne, is it not, that you will rejoin
us in the courtyard of the Palais Royal?" He then signed to De Wardes to
follow him, who had been engaged in balancing himself first on one foot,
then on the other. "We are going," said he, "come, M. Malicorne." This
name made Raoul start; for it seemed that he had already heard it
pronounced before, but he could not remember on what occasion. While
trying to recall it half-dreamily, yet half-irritated at his conversation
with De Wardes, the three young men set out on their way towards the
Palais Royal, where Monsieur was residing. Malicorne learned two things;
the first, that the young men had something to say to each other; and the
second, that he ought not to walk in the same line with them; and
therefore he walked behind. "Are you mad?" said De Guiche to his
companion, as soon as they had left the Hotel de Grammont; "you attack M.
d'Artagnan, and that, too, before Raoul."
"Well," said De Wardes, "what then?"
"What do you mean by 'what then?'"
"Certainly, is there any prohibition against attacking M. d'Artagnan?"
"But you know very well that M. d'Artagnan was one of those celebrated
and terrible four men who were called the musketeers."
"That they may be; but I do not perceive why, on that account, I should
be forbidden to hate M. d'Artagnan."
"What cause has he given you?"
"Me! personally, none."
"Why hate him, therefore?"
"Ask my dead father that question."
"Really, my dear De Wardes, you surprise me. M. d'Artagnan is not one to
leave unsettled any _enmity_ he may have to arrange, without completely
clearing his account. Your father, I have heard, carried matters with a
high hand. Moreover, there are no enmities so bitter that they cannot be
washed away by blood, by a good sword-thrust loyally given."
"Listen to me, my dear De Guiche, this inveterate dislike existed between
my father and M. d'Artagnan, and when I was quite a child, he acquainted
me with the reason for it, and, as forming part of my inheritance, I
regard it as a particular legacy bestowed upon me."
"And does this hatred concern M. d'Artagnan alone?"
"As for that, M. d'Artagnan was so intimately associated with his three
friends, that some portion of the full measure of my hatred falls to
their lot, and that hatred is of such a nature, whenever the opportunity
occurs, they shall have no occasion to complain of their allowance."
De Guiche had kept his eyes fixed on De Wardes, and shuddered at the
bitter manner in which the young man smiled. Something like a
presentiment flashed across his mind; he knew that the time had passed
away for _grands coups entre gentilshommes_; but that the feeling of
hatred treasured up in the mind, instead of being diffused abroad, was
still hatred all the same; that a smile was sometimes as full of meaning
as a threat; and, in a word, that to the fathers who had hated with their
hearts and fought with their arms, would now succeed the sons, who would
indeed hate with their hearts, but would no longer combat their enemies
save by means of intrigue or treachery. As, therefore, it certainly was
not Raoul whom he could suspect either of intrigue or treachery, it was
on Raoul's account that De Guiche trembled. However, while these gloomy
forebodings cast a shade of anxiety over De Guiche's countenance, De
Wardes had resumed the entire mastery over himself.
"At all events," he observed, "I have no personal ill-will towards M. de
Bragelonne; I do not know him even."
"In any case," said De Guiche, with a certain amount of severity in his
tone of voice, "do not forget one circumstance, that Raoul is my most
intimate friend;" a remark at which De Wardes bowed.
The conversation terminated there, although De Guiche tried his utmost to
draw out his secret from him; but, doubtless, De Wardes had determined to
say nothing further, and he remained impenetrable. De Guiche therefore
promised himself a more satisfactory result with Raoul. In the meantime
they had reached the Palais Royal, which was surrounded by a crowd of
lookers-on. The household belonging to Monsieur awaited his command to
mount their horses, in order to form part of the escort of the
ambassadors, to whom had been intrusted the care of bringing the young
princess to Paris. The brilliant display of horses, arms, and rich
liveries, afforded some compensation in those times, thanks to the kindly
feelings of the people, and to the traditions of deep devotion to their
sovereigns, for the enormous expenses charged upon the taxes. Mazarin
had said: "Let them sing, provided they pay;" while Louis XIV.'s remark
was, "Let them look." Sight had replaced the voice; the people could
still look but they were no longer allowed to sing. De Guiche left De
Wardes and Malicorne at the bottom of the grand staircase, while he
himself, who shared the favor and good graces of Monsieur with the
Chevalier de Lorraine, who always smiled at him most affectionately,
though he could not endure him, went straight to the prince's apartments,
whom he found engaged in admiring himself in the glass, and rouging his
face. In a corner of the cabinet, the Chevalier de Lorraine was extended
full length upon some cushions, having just had his long hair curled,
with which he was playing in the same manner a woman would have done.
The prince turned round as the count entered, and perceiving who it was,
said: "Ah! is that you, De Guiche; come here and tell me the truth."
"You know, my lord, it is one of my defects to speak the truth."
"You will hardly believe, De Guiche, how that wicked chevalier has
The chevalier shrugged his shoulders.
"Why, he pretends," continued the prince, "that Mademoiselle Henrietta is
better looking as a woman than I am as a man."
"Do not forget, my lord," said De Guiche, frowning slightly, "you require
me to speak the truth."
"Certainly," said the prince, tremblingly.
"Well, and I shall tell it you."
"Do not be in a hurry, Guiche," exclaimed the prince, "you have plenty of
time; look at me attentively, and try to recollect Madame. Besides, her
portrait is here. Look at it." And he held out to him a miniature of
the finest possible execution. De Guiche took it, and looked at it for a
long time attentively.
"Upon my honor, my lord, this is indeed a most lovely face."
"But look at me, count, look at me," said the prince, endeavoring to
direct upon himself the attention of the count, who was completely
absorbed in contemplation of the portrait.
"It is wonderful," murmured Guiche.
"Really one would imagine you had never seen the young lady before."
"It is true, my lord, I have seen her but it was five years ago; there is
a great difference between a child twelve years old, and a girl of
"Well, what is your opinion?"
"My opinion is that the portrait must be flattering, my lord."
"Of that," said the prince triumphantly, "there can be no doubt; but let
us suppose that it is not, what would your opinion be?"
"My lord, that your highness is exceedingly happy to have so charming a
The Chevalier de Lorraine burst out laughing. The prince understood how
severe towards himself this opinion of the Comte de Guiche was, and he
looked somewhat displeased, saying, "My friends are not over indulgent."
De Guiche looked at the portrait again, and, after lengthened
contemplation, returned it with apparent unwillingness, saying, "Most
decidedly, my lord, I should rather prefer to look ten times at your
highness, than to look at Madame once again." It seemed as if the
chevalier had detected some mystery in these words, which were
incomprehensible to the prince, for he exclaimed: "Very well, get married
yourself." Monsieur continued painting himself, and when he had
finished, looked at the portrait again once more, turned to admire
himself in the glass, and smiled, and no doubt was satisfied with the
comparison. "You are very kind to have come," he said to Guiche, "I
feared you would leave without bidding me adieu."
"Your highness knows me too well to believe me capable of so great a
"Besides, I suppose you have something to ask from me before leaving
"Your highness has indeed guessed correctly, for I have a request to
"Very good, what is it?"
The Chevalier de Lorraine immediately displayed the greatest attention,
for he regarded every favor conferred upon another as a robbery committed
against himself. And, as Guiche hesitated, the prince said: "If it be
money, nothing could be more fortunate, for I am in funds; the
superintendent of the finances has sent me 500,000 pistoles."
"I thank your highness; but is not an affair of money."
"What is it, then? Tell me."
"The appointment of a maid of honor."
"Oh! oh! Guiche, what a protector you have become of young ladies," said
the prince, "you never speak of any one else now."
The Chevalier de Lorraine smiled, for he knew very well that nothing
displeased the prince more than to show any interest in ladies. "My
lord," said the comte, "it is not I who am directly interested in the
lady of whom I have just spoken; I am acting on behalf of one of my
"Ah! that is different; what is the name of the young lady in whom your
friend is so interested?"
"Mlle. de la Baume le Blanc de la Valliere; she is already maid of honor
to the dowager princess."
"Why, she is lame," said the Chevalier de Lorraine, stretching himself on
"Lame," repeated the prince, "and Madame to have her constantly before
her eyes? Most certainly not; it may be dangerous for her when in an
The Chevalier de Lorraine burst out laughing.
"Chevalier," said Guiche, "your conduct is ungenerous; while I am
soliciting a favor, you do me all the mischief you can."
"Forgive me, comte," said the Chevalier de Lorraine, somewhat uneasy at
the tone in which Guiche had made his remark, "but I had no intention of
doing so, and I begin to believe that I have mistaken one young lady for
"There is no doubt of it, monsieur; and I do not hesitate to declare that
such is the case."
"Do you attach much importance to it, Guiche?" inquired the prince.
"I do, my lord."
"Well, you shall have it; but ask me for no more appointments, for there
are none to give away."
"Ah!" exclaimed the chevalier, "midday already, that is the hour fixed
for the departure."
"You dismiss me, monsieur?" inquired Guiche.
"Really, count, you treat me very ill to-day," replied the chevalier.
"For heaven's sake, count, for heaven's sake, chevalier," said Monsieur,
"do you not see how you are distressing me?"
"Your highness's signature?" said Guiche.
"Take a blank appointment from that drawer, and give it to me." Guiche
handed the prince the document indicated, and at the same time presented
him with a pen already dipped in ink; whereupon the prince signed.
"Here," he said, returning him the appointment, "but I give it on one
"That you make friends with the chevalier."
"Willingly," said Guiche. And he held out his hand to the chevalier with
an indifference amounting to contempt.
"Adieu, count," said the chevalier, without seeming in any way to have
noticed the count's slight; "adieu, and bring us back a princess who will
not talk with her own portrait too much."
"Yes, set off and lose no time. By the by, who will accompany you?"
"Bragelonne and De Wardes."
"Both excellent and fearless companions."
"Too fearless," said the chevalier; "endeavor to bring them both back,
"A bad heart, bad!" murmured De Guiche; "he scents mischief everywhere,
and sooner than anything else." And taking leave of the prince, he
quitted the apartment. As soon as he reached the vestibule, he waved in
the air the paper which the prince had signed. Malicorne hurried
forward, and received it, trembling with delight. When, however, he held
in his hand, Guiche observed that he still awaited something further.
"Patience, monsieur," he said; "the Chevalier de Lorraine was there, and
I feared an utter failure if I asked too much at once. Wait until I
"Adieu, monsieur le comte; a thousand thanks," said Malicorne.
"Send Manicamp to me. By the way, monsieur, is it true that Mlle. de la
Valliere is lame?" As he said this, he noticed that Bragelonne, who had
just at that moment entered the courtyard, turned suddenly pale. The
poor lover had heard the remark, which, however, was not the case with
Malicorne, for he was already beyond the reach of the count's voice.
"Why is Louise's name spoken of here," said Raoul to himself; "oh! let
not De Wardes, who stands smiling yonder, even say a word about her in my
"Now, gentlemen," exclaimed the Comte de Guiche, "prepare to start."
At this moment the prince, who had complete his toilette, appeared at the
window, and was immediately saluted by the acclamations of all who
composed the escort, and ten minutes afterwards, banners, scarfs, and
feathers were fluttering and waving in the air, as the cavalcade galloped
This brilliant and animated company, the members of which were inspired
by various feelings, arrived at Le Havre four days after their departure
from Paris. It was about five o'clock in the afternoon, and no
intelligence had yet been received of Madame. They were soon engaged in
quest of apartments; but the greatest confusion immediately ensued among
the masters, and violent quarrels among their attendants. In the midst
of this disorder, the Comte de Guiche fancied he recognized Manicamp. It
was, indeed, Manicamp himself; but as Malicorne had taken possession of
his very best costume, he had not been able to get any other than a suit
of violet velvet, trimmed with silver. Guiche recognized him as much by
his dress as by his features, for he had very frequently seen Manicamp in
his violet suit, which was his last resource. Manicamp presented himself
to the count under an arch of torches, which set in a blaze, rather than
illuminated, the gate by which Le Havre is entered, and which is situated
close to the tower of Francis I. The count, remarking the woe-begone
expression of Manicamp's face, could not resist laughing. "Well, my poor
Manicamp," he exclaimed, "how violet you look; are you in mourning?"
"Yes," replied Manicamp; "I am in mourning."
"For whom, or for what?"
"For my blue-and-gold suit, which has disappeared, and in the place of
which I could find nothing but this; and I was even obliged to economize
from compulsion, in order to get possession of it."
"It is singular you should be astonished at that, since you leave me
without any money."
"At all events, here you are, and that is the principal thing."
"By the most horrible roads."
"Where are you lodging?"
"I am not lodging anywhere."
De Guiche began to laugh. "Well," said he, "where do you intend to
"In the same place you do."
"But I don't know, myself."
"What do you mean by saying you don't know?"
"Certainly, how is it likely I should know where I should stay?"
"Have you not retained an hotel?"
"Yes, you or the prince."
"Neither of us has thought of it. Le Havre is of considerable size, I
suppose; and provided I can get a stable for a dozen horses, and a
suitable house in a good quarter - "
"Certainly, there are some very excellent houses."
"Well then - "
"But not for us."
"What do you mean by saying not for us? - for whom, then?"
"For the English, of course."
"For the English?"
"Yes; the houses are all taken."
"By the Duke of Buckingham."
"I beg your pardon?" said Guiche, whose attention this name had awakened.
"Yes, by the Duke of Buckingham. His Grace was preceded by a courier,
who arrived here three days ago, and immediately retained all the houses
fit for habitation the town possesses."
"Come, come, Manicamp, let us understand each other."
"Well, what I have told you is clear enough, it seems to me."
"But surely Buckingham does not occupy the whole of Le Havre?"
"He certainly does not occupy it, since he has not yet arrived; but, once
disembarked, he will occupy it."
"It is quite clear you are not acquainted with the English; they have a
perfect rage for monopolizing everything."
"That may be; but a man who has the whole of one house, is satisfied with
it, and does not require two."
"Yes, but two men?"
"Be it so; for two men, two houses, or four or six, or ten, if you like;
but there are a hundred houses at Le Havre."
"Yes, and all the hundred are let."
"What an obstinate fellow you are. I tell you Buckingham has hired all
the houses surrounding the one which the queen dowager of England and the
princess her daughter will inhabit."
"He is singular enough, indeed," said De Wardes, caressing his horse's
"Such is the case, however, monsieur."
"You are quite sure of it, Monsieur de Manicamp?" and as he put this
question, he looked slyly at De Guiche, as though to interrogate him upon
the degree of confidence to be placed in his friend's state of mind.
During this discussion the night had closed in, and the torches, pages,
attendants, squires, horses, and carriages, blocked up the gate and the
open place; the torches were reflected in the channel, which the rising
tide was gradually filling, while on the other side of the jetty might be
noticed groups of curious lookers-on, consisting of sailors and
townspeople, who seemed anxious to miss nothing of the spectacle. Amidst
all this hesitation of purpose, Bragelonne, as though a perfect stranger
to the scene, remained on his horse somewhat in the rear of Guiche, and
watched the rays of light reflected on the water, inhaling with rapture
the sea breezes, and listening to the waves which noisily broke upon the
shore and on the beach, tossing the spray into the air with a noise that
echoed in the distance. "But," exclaimed De Guiche, "what is
Buckingham's motive for providing such a supply of lodgings?"
"Yes, yes," said De Wardes; "what reason has he?"
"A very excellent one," replied Manicamp.
"You know what it is, then?"
"I fancy I do."
"Tell us, then."
"Bend your head down towards me."
"What! may it not be spoken except in private?"
"You shall judge of that yourself."
"Very well." De Guiche bent down.
"Love," said Manicamp.
"I do not understand you at all."
"Say rather, you cannot understand me yet."
"Very well; it is quite certain, count, that his royal highness will be
the most unfortunate of husbands."
"What do you mean?"
"The Duke of Buckingham - "
"It is a name of ill omen to the princes of the house of France."
"And so the duke is madly in love with Madame, so the rumor runs, and
will have no one approach her but himself."
De Guiche colored. "Thank you, thank you," said he to Manicamp, grasping
his hand. Then, recovering himself, added, "Whatever you do, Manicamp,
be careful that this project of Buckingham's is not made known to any
Frenchman here; for, if so, many a sword would be unsheathed in this
country that does not fear English steel."
"But after all," said Manicamp, "I have had no satisfactory proof given
me of the love in question, and it may be no more than an idle tale."
"No, no," said De Guiche, "it must be the truth;" and despite his command
over himself, he clenched his teeth.
"Well," said Manicamp, "after all, what does it matter to you? What does
it matter to me whether the prince is to be what the late king was?
Buckingham the father for the queen, Buckingham the son for the princess."
"It is a fact, or at least, everybody says so."
"Silence!" cried the count.
"But why, silence?" said De Wardes; "it is a highly creditable
circumstance for the French nation. Are not you of my opinion, Monsieur
"To what circumstance do you allude?" inquired De Bragelonne with an
"That the English should render homage to the beauty of our queens and
"Forgive me, but I have not been paying attention to what has passed;
will you oblige me by explaining."
"There is no doubt it was necessary that Buckingham the father should
come to Paris in order that his majesty, King Louis XIII., should
perceive that his wife was one of the most beautiful women of the French
court; and it seems necessary, at the present time, that Buckingham the
son should consecrate, by the devotion of his worship, the beauty of a
princess who has French blood in her veins. The fact of having inspired
a passion on the other side of the Channel will henceforth confer a title
to beauty on this."
"Sir," replied De Bragelonne, "I do not like to hear such matters treated
so lightly. Gentlemen like ourselves should be careful guardians of the
honor of our queens and our princesses. If we jest at them, what will
our servants do?"
"How am I to understand that?" said De Wardes, whose ears tingled at the
"In any way you chose, monsieur," replied De Bragelonne, coldly.
"Bragelonne, Bragelonne," murmured De Guiche.
"M. de Wardes," exclaimed Manicamp, noticing that the young man had
spurred his horse close to the side of Raoul.
"Gentlemen, gentlemen," said De Guiche, "do not set such an example in
public, in the street too. De Wardes, you are wrong."
"Wrong; in what way, may I ask you?"
"You are wrong, monsieur, because you are always speaking ill of someone
or something," replied Raoul, with undisturbed composure.
"Be indulgent, Raoul," said De Guiche, in an undertone.
"Pray do not think of fighting, gentlemen!" said Manicamp, "before you
have rested yourselves; for in that case you will not be able to do much."
"Come," said De Guiche, "forward, gentlemen!" and breaking through the
horses and attendants, he cleared the way for himself towards the center
of the square, through the crowd, followed by the whole cavalcade. A
large gateway looking out upon a courtyard was open; Guiche entered the
courtyard, and Bragelonne, De Wardes, Manicamp, and three or four other
gentlemen, followed him. A sort of council of war was held, and the
means to be employed for saving the dignity of the embassy were
deliberated upon. Bragelonne was of the opinion that the right of
priority should be respected, while De Wardes suggested that the town
should be sacked. This latter proposition appearing to Manicamp rather
premature, he proposed instead that they should first rest themselves.
This was the wisest thing to do, but, unhappily, to follow his advice,
two things were wanting; namely, a house and beds. De Guiche reflected
for awhile, and then said aloud, "Let him who loves me, follow me!"
"The attendants also?" inquired a page who had approached the group.
"Every one," exclaimed the impetuous young man. "Manicamp, show us the
way to the house destined for her royal highness's residence."
Without in any way divining the count's project, his friends followed
him, accompanied by a crowd of people, whose acclamations and delight
seemed a happy omen for the success of that project with which they were
yet unacquainted. The wind was blowing strongly from the harbor, and
moaning in fitful gusts.
The following day was somewhat calmer, although the gale still
continued. The sun had, however, risen through a bank of orange clouds,
tingeing with its cheerful rays the crests of the black waves. Watch was
impatiently kept from the different look-outs. Towards eleven o'clock
in the morning a ship, with sails full set, was signalled as in view; two
others followed at the distance of about half a knot. They approached
like arrows shot from the bow of a skillful archer; and yet the sea ran
so high that their speed was as nothing compared to the rolling of the
billows in which the vessels were plunging first in one direction and
then in another. The English fleet was soon recognized by the line of
the ships, and by the color of their pennants; the one which had the
princess on board and carried the admiral's flag preceded the others.
The rumor now spread that the princess was arriving. The whole French
court ran to the harbor, while the quays and jetties were soon covered by
crowds of people. Two hours afterwards, the other vessels had overtaken
the flagship, and the three, not venturing perhaps to enter the narrow
entrance of the harbor, cast anchor between Le Havre and La Heve. When
the maneuver had been completed, the vessel which bore the admiral
saluted France by twelve discharges of cannon, which were returned,
discharge for discharge, from Fort Francis I. Immediately afterwards a
hundred boats were launched; they were covered with the richest stuffs,
and destined for the conveyance of the different members of the French
nobility towards the vessels at anchor. But when it was observed that
even inside the harbor the boats were tossed to and fro, and that beyond
the jetty the waves rose mountains high, dashing upon the shore with a
terrible uproar, it was readily believed that not one of those frail
boats would be able with safety to reach a fourth part of the distance
between the shore and the vessels at anchor. A pilot-boat, however,
notwithstanding the wind and the sea, was getting ready to leave the
harbor, for the purpose of placing itself at the admiral's disposal.
De Guiche, who had been looking among the different boats for one
stronger than the others, which might offer a chance of reaching the
English vessels, perceiving the pilot-boat getting ready to start, said
to Raoul: "Do you not think, Raoul, that intelligent and vigorous men, as
we are, ought to be ashamed to retreat before the brute strength of wind
"That is precisely the very reflection I was silently making to myself,"
"Shall we get into that boat, then, and push off? Will you come, De
"Take care, or you will get drowned," said Manicamp.
"And for no purpose," said De Wardes, "for with the wind in your teeth,
as it will be, you will never reach the vessels."
"You refuse, then?"
"Assuredly I do; I would willingly risk and lose my life in an encounter
against men," he said, glancing at Bragelonne, "but as to fighting with
oars against waves, I have no taste for that."
"And for myself," said Manicamp, "even were I to succeed in reaching the
ships, I should not be indifferent to the loss of the only good dress
which I have left, - salt water would spoil it."
"You, then, refuse also?" exclaimed De Guiche.
"Decidedly I do; I beg you to understand that most distinctly."
"But," exclaimed De Guiche, "look, De Wardes - look, Manicamp - look
yonder, the princesses are looking at us from the poop of the admiral's
"An additional reason, my dear fellow, why we should not make ourselves
ridiculous by being drowned while they are looking on."
"Is that your last word, Manicamp?"
"And then yours, De Wardes?"
"Then I go alone."
"Not so," said Raoul, "for I shall accompany you; I thought it was
understood I should do so."
The fact is, that Raoul, uninfluenced by devotion, measuring the risk
they run, saw how imminent the danger was, but he willingly allowed
himself to accept a peril which De Wardes had declined.
The boat was about to set off when De Guiche called to the pilot.
"Stay," said he: "we want two places in your boat;" and wrapping five or
six pistoles in paper, he threw them from the quay into the boat.
"It seems you are not afraid of salt water, young gentlemen."
"We are afraid of nothing," replied De Guiche.
"Come along, then."
The pilot approached the side of the boat, and the two young men, one
after the other, with equal vivacity, jumped into the boat. "Courage, my
men," said De Guiche; "I have twenty pistoles left in this purse, and as
soon as we reach the admiral's vessel they shall be yours." The sailors
bent themselves to their oars, and the boat bounded over the crest of the
waves. The interest taken in this hazardous expedition was universal;
the whole population of Le Havre hurried towards the jetties and every
look was directed towards the little bark; at one moment it flew
suspended on the crest of the foaming waves, then suddenly glided
downwards towards the bottom of a raging abyss, where it seemed utterly
lost. At the expiration of an hour's struggling with the waves, it
reached the spot where the admiral's vessel was anchored, and from the
side of which two boats had already been dispatched towards their aid.
Upon the quarter-deck of the flagship, sheltered by a canopy of velvet
and ermine, which was suspended by stout supports, Henriette, the queen
dowager, and the young princess - with the admiral, the Duke of Norfolk,
standing beside them - watched with alarm this slender bark, at one
moment tossed to the heavens, and the next buried beneath the waves, and
against whose dark sail the noble figures of the two French gentlemen
stood forth in relief like two luminous apparitions. The crew, leaning
against the bulwarks and clinging to the shrouds, cheered the courage of
the two daring young men, the skill of the pilot, and the strength of the
sailors. They were received at the side of the vessel by a shout of
triumph. The Duke of Norfolk, a handsome young man, from twenty-six to
twenty-eight years of age, advanced to meet them. De Guiche and
Bragelonne lightly mounted the ladder on the starboard side, and,
conducted by the Duke of Norfolk, who resumed his place near them, they
approached to offer their homage to the princess. Respect, and yet more,
a certain apprehension, for which he could not account, had hitherto
restrained the Comte de Guiche from looking at Madame attentively, who,
however, had observed him immediately, and had asked her mother, "Is not
that Monsieur in the boat yonder?" Madame Henriette, who knew Monsieur
better than her daughter did, smiled at the mistake her vanity had led
her into, and had answered, "No; it is only M. de Guiche, his favorite."
The princess, at this reply, was constrained to check an instinctive
tenderness of feeling which the courage displayed by the count had
awakened. At the very moment the princess had put this question to her
mother, De Guiche had, at last, summoned courage to raise his eyes
towards her and could compare the original with the portrait he had so
lately seen. No sooner had he remarked her pale face, her eyes so full
of animation, her beautiful nut-brown hair, her expressive lips, and her
every gesture, which, while betokening royal descent, seemed to thank and
to encourage him at one and the same time, than he was, for a moment, so
overcome, that, had it not been for Raoul, on whose arm he leant, he
would have fallen. His friend's amazed look, and the encouraging gesture
of the queen, restored Guiche to his self-possession. In a few words he
explained his mission, explained in what way he had become envoy of his
royal highness; and saluted, according to their rank and the reception
they gave him, the admiral and several of the English noblemen who were
grouped around the princess.
Raoul was then presented, and was most graciously received; the share
that the Comte de la Fere had had in the restoration of Charles II. was
known to all; and, more than that, it was the comte who had been charged
with the negotiation of the marriage, by means of which the granddaughter
of Henry IV. was now returning to France. Raoul spoke English perfectly,
and constituted himself his friend's interpreter with the young English
noblemen, who were indifferently acquainted with the French language. At
this moment, a young man came forward, of extremely handsome features,
and whose dress and arms were remarkable for their extravagance of
material. He approached the princesses, who were engaged in conversation
with the Duke of Norfolk, and, in a voice which ill concealed his
impatience, said, "It is now time to disembark, your royal highness."
The younger of the princesses rose from her seat at this remark, and was
about to take the hand which the young nobleman extended to her, with an
eagerness which arose from a variety of motives, when the admiral
intervened between them, observing: "A moment, if you please, my lord; it
is not possible for ladies to disembark just now, the sea is too rough;
it is probable the wind may abate before sunset, and the landing will not
be effected, therefore, until this evening."
"Allow me to observe, my lord," said Buckingham, with an irritation of
manner which he did not seek to disguise, "you detain these ladies, and
you have no right to do so. One of them, unhappily, now belongs to
France, and you perceive that France claims them by the voice of her
ambassadors;" and at the same moment he indicated Raoul and Guiche, whom
"I cannot suppose that these gentlemen intend to expose the lives of
their royal highnesses," replied the admiral.
"These gentlemen," retorted Buckingham, "arrived here safely,
notwithstanding the wind; allow me to believe that the danger will not be
greater for their royal highnesses when the wind will be in their favor."
"These envoys have shown how great their courage is," said the admiral.
"You may have observed that there was a great number of persons on shore
who did _not_ venture to accompany them. Moreover, the desire which they
had to show their respect with the least possible delay to Madame and her
illustrious mother, induced them to brave the sea, which is very
tempestuous to-day, even for sailors. These gentlemen, however, whom I
recommend as an example for my officers to follow, can hardly be so for
Madame glanced at the Comte de Guiche, and perceived that his face was
burning with confusion. This look had escaped Buckingham, who had eyes
for nothing but Norfolk, of whom he was evidently very jealous; he seemed
anxious to remove the princesses from the deck of a vessel where the
admiral reigned supreme. "In that case," returned Buckingham, "I appeal
to Madame herself."
"And I, my lord," retorted the admiral, "I appeal to my own conscience,
and to my own sense of responsibility. I have undertaken to convey
Madame safe and sound to France, and I shall keep my promise."
"But, sir - " continued Buckingham.
"My lord, permit me to remind you that I command here."
"Are you aware what you are saying, my lord?" replied Buckingham,
"Perfectly so; I therefore repeat it: I alone command here, all yield
obedience to me; the sea and the winds, the ships and men too." This
remark was made in a dignified and authoritative manner. Raoul observed
its effect upon Buckingham, who trembled with anger from head to foot,
and leaned against one of the poles of the tent to prevent himself
falling; his eyes became suffused with blood, and the hand which he did
not need for his support wandered towards the hilt of his sword.
"My lord," said the queen, "permit me to observe that I agree in every
particular with the Duke of Norfolk; if the heavens, instead of being
clouded as they are at the present moment, were perfectly serene and
propitious, we can still afford to bestow a few hours upon the officer
who has conducted us so successfully, and with such extreme attention, to
the French coast, where he is to take leave of us."
Buckingham, instead of replying, seemed to seek counsel from the
expression of Madame's face. She, however, half-concealed beneath the
thick curtains of the velvet and gold which sheltered her, had not
listened to the discussion, having been occupied in watching the Comte de
Guiche, who was conversing with Raoul. This was a fresh misfortune for
Buckingham, who fancied he perceived in Madame Henrietta's look a deeper
feeling than that of curiosity. He withdrew, almost tottering in his
gait, and nearly stumbled against the mainmast of the ship.
"The duke has not acquired a steady footing yet," said the queen-mother,
in French, "and that may possibly be his reason for wishing to find
himself on firm land again."
The young man overheard this remark, turned suddenly pale, and, letting
his hands fall in great discouragement by his side, drew aside, mingling
in one sigh his old affection and his new hatreds. The admiral, however,
without taking any further notice of the duke's ill-humor, led the
princesses into the quarter-deck cabin, where dinner had been served with
a magnificence worthy in every respect of his guests. The admiral seated
himself at the right hand of the princess, and placed the Comte de Guiche
on her left. This was the place Buckingham usually occupied; and when he
entered the cabin, how profound was his unhappiness to see himself
banished by etiquette from the presence of his sovereign, to a position
inferior to that which, by rank, he was entitled to. De Guiche, on the
other hand, paler still perhaps from happiness, than his rival was from
anger, seated himself tremblingly next to the princess, whose silken
robe, as it lightly touched him, caused a tremor of mingled regret and
happiness to pass through his whole frame. The repast finished,
Buckingham darted forward to hand Madame Henrietta from the table; but
this time it was De Guiche's turn to give the duke a lesson. "Have the
goodness, my lord, from this moment," said he, "not to interpose between
her royal highness and myself. From this moment, indeed, her royal
highness belongs to France, and when she deigns to honor me by touching
my hand it is the hand of Monsieur, the brother of the king of France,
And saying this, he presented his hand to Madame Henrietta with such
marked deference, and at the same time with a nobleness of mien so
intrepid, that a murmur of admiration rose from the English, whilst a
groan of despair escaped from Buckingham's lips. Raoul, who loved,
comprehended it all. He fixed upon his friend one of those profound
looks which a bosom friend or mother can alone extend, either as
protector or guardian, over the one who is about to stray from the right
path. Towards two o'clock in the afternoon the sun shone forth anew, the
wind subsided, the sea became smooth as a crystal mirror, and the fog,
which had shrouded the coast, disappeared like a veil withdrawn before
it. The smiling hills of France appeared in full view, with their
numerous white houses rendered more conspicuous by the bright green of
the trees or the clear blue sky.
The admiral, as we have seen, was determined to pay no further attention
to Buckingham's threatening glances and fits of passion. In fact, from
the moment they quitted England, he had gradually accustomed himself to
his behavior. De Guiche had not yet in any way remarked the animosity
which appeared to influence that young nobleman against him, but he felt,
instinctively, that there could be no sympathy between himself and the
favorite of Charles II. The queen-mother, with greater experience and
calmer judgment, perceived the exact position of affairs, and, as she
discerned its danger, was prepared to meet it, whenever the proper moment
should arrive. Quiet had been everywhere restored, except in
Buckingham's heart; he, in his impatience, addressed himself to the
princess, in a low tone of voice: "For Heaven's sake, madame, I implore
you to hasten your disembarkation. Do you not perceive how that insolent
Duke of Norfolk is killing me with his attentions and devotions to you?"
Henrietta heard this remark; she smiled, and without turning her head
towards him, but giving only to the tone of her voice that inflection of
gentle reproach, and languid impertinence, which women and princesses so
well know how to assume, she murmured, "I have already hinted, my lord,
that you must have taken leave of your senses."
Not a single detail escaped Raoul's attention; he heard both Buckingham's
entreaty and the princess's reply; he remarked Buckingham retire, heard
his deep sigh, and saw him pass a hand over his face. He understood
everything, and trembled as he reflected on the position of affairs, and
the state of the minds of those about him. At last the admiral, with
studied delay, gave the last orders for the departure of the boats.
Buckingham heard the directions given with such an exhibition of delight
that a stranger would really imagine the young man's reason was
affected. As the Duke of Norfolk gave his commands, a large boat or
barge, decked with flags, and capable of holding about twenty rowers and
fifteen passengers, was slowly lowered from the side of the admiral's
vessel. The barge was carpeted with velvet and decorated with coverings
embroidered with the arms of England, and with garlands of flowers; for,
at that time, ornamentation was by no means forgotten in these political
pageants. No sooner was this really royal boat afloat, and the rowers
with oars uplifted, awaiting, like soldiers presenting arms, the
embarkation of the princess, than Buckingham ran forward to the ladder in
order to take his place. His progress was, however, arrested by the
queen. "My lord," she said, "it is hardly becoming that you should allow
my daughter and myself to land without having previously ascertained that
our apartments are properly prepared. I beg your lordship to be good
enough to precede us ashore, and to give directions that everything be in
proper order on our arrival."
This was a fresh disappointment for the duke, and, still more so, since
it was so unexpected. He hesitated, colored violently, but could not
reply. He had thought he might be able to keep near Madame during the
passage to the shore, and, by this means, to enjoy to the very last
moment the brief period fortune still reserved for him. The order,
however, was explicit; and the admiral, who heard it given, immediately
called out, "Launch the ship's gig." His directions were executed with
that celerity which distinguishes every maneuver on board a man-of-war.
Buckingham, in utter hopelessness, cast a look of despair at the
princess, of supplication towards the queen, and directed a glance full
of anger towards the admiral. The princess pretended not to notice him,
while the queen turned aside her head, and the admiral laughed outright,
at the sound of which Buckingham seemed ready to spring upon him. The
queen-mother rose, and with a tone of authority said, "Pray set off, sir."
The young duke hesitated, looked around him, and with a last effort, half-
choked by contending emotions, said, "And you, gentlemen, M. de Guiche
and M. de Bragelonne, do not you accompany me?"
De Guiche bowed and said, "Both M. de Bragelonne and myself await her
majesty's orders; whatever the commands she imposes on us, we shall obey
them." Saying this, he looked towards the princess, who cast down her
"Your grace will remember," said the queen, "that M. de Guiche is here to
represent Monsieur; it is he who will do the honors of France, as you
have done those of England; his presence cannot be dispensed with;
besides, we owe him this slight favor for the courage he displayed in
venturing to seek us in such a terrible stress of weather."
Buckingham opened his lips, as if he were about to speak, but, whether
thoughts or expressions failed him, not a syllable escaped them, and
turning away, as though out of his mind, he leapt from the vessel into
the boat. The sailors were just in time to catch hold of him to steady
themselves; for his weight and the rebound had almost upset the boat.
"His grace cannot be in his senses," said the admiral aloud to Raoul.
"I am uneasy on the Duke's account," replied Bragelonne.
While the boat was advancing towards the shore, the duke kept his eyes
immovably fixed on the admiral's ship, like a miser torn away from his
coffers, or a mother separated from her child, about to be lead away to
death. No one, however, acknowledged his signals, his frowns, or his
pitiful gestures. In very anguish of mind, he sank down in the boat,
burying his hands in his hair, whilst the boat, impelled by the exertions
of the merry sailors, flew over the waves. On his arrival he was in such
a state of apathy, that, had he not been received at the harbor by the
messenger whom he had directed to precede him, he would hardly have had
strength to ask his way. Having once, however, reached the house which
had been set apart for him, he shut himself up, like Achilles in his
tent. The barge bearing the princess quitted the admiral's vessel at the
very moment Buckingham landed. It was followed by another boat filled
with officers, courtiers, and zealous friends. Great numbers of the
inhabitants of Le Havre, having embarked in fishing-cobles and boats of
every description, set off to meet the royal barge. The cannon from the
forts fired salutes, which were returned by the flagship and the two
other vessels, and the flashes from the open mouths of the cannon floated
in white fumes over the waves, and disappeared in the clear blue sky.
The princess landed at the decorated quay. Bands of gay music greeted
her arrival, and accompanied her every step she took. During the time
she was passing through the center of town, and treading beneath her
delicate feet the richest carpets and the gayest flowers, which had been
strewn upon the ground, De Guiche and Raoul, escaping from their English
friends, hurried through the town and hastened rapidly towards the place
intended for the residence of Madame.
"Let us hurry forward," said Raoul to De Guiche, "for if I read
Buckingham's character aright, he will create some disturbance, when he
learns the result of our deliberations of yesterday."
"Never fear," said De Guiche, "De Wardes is there, who is determination
itself, while Manicamp is the very personification of the artless
De Guiche was not, however, the less diligent on that account, and five
minutes afterwards they were within sight of the Hotel de Ville. The
first thing which struck them was the number of people assembled in the
square. "Excellent," said De Guiche; "our apartments, I see, are
In fact, in front of the Hotel de Ville, upon the wide open space before
it, eight tents had been raised, surmounted by the flags of France and
England united. The hotel was surrounded by tents, as by a girdle of
variegated colors; ten pages and a dozen mounted troopers, for an escort,
mounted guard before the tents. It had a singularly curious effect,
almost fairy-like in its appearance. These tents had been constructed
during the night-time. Fitted up, within and without, with the richest
materials that De Guiche had been able to procure in Le Havre, they
completely encircled the Hotel de Ville. The only passage which led to
the steps of the hotel, and which was not inclosed by the silken
barricade, was guarded by two tents, resembling two pavilions, the
doorways of both of which opened towards the entrance. These two tents
were destined for De Guiche and Raoul; in whose absence they were
intended to be occupied, that of De Guiche by De Wardes, and that of
Raoul by Manicamp. Surrounding these two tents, and the six others, a
hundred officers, gentlemen, and pages, dazzling in their display of silk
and gold, thronged like bees buzzing about a hive. Every one of them,
their swords by their sides, was ready to obey the slightest sign either
of De Guiche or Bragelonne, the leaders of the embassy.
At the very moment the two young men appeared at the end of one of the
streets leading to the square, they perceived, crossing the square at
full gallop, a young man on horseback, whose costume was of surprising
richness. He pushed hastily thorough the crowd of curious lookers-on,
and, at the sight of these unexpected erections, uttered a cry of anger
and dismay. It was Buckingham, who had awakened from his stupor, in
order to adorn himself with a costume perfectly dazzling from its beauty,
and to await the arrival of the princess and the queen-mother at the
Hotel de Ville. At the entrance to the tents, the soldiers barred his
passage, and his further progress was arrested. Buckingham, hopelessly
infuriated, raised his whip; but his arm was seized by a couple of
officers. Of the two guardians of the tent, only one was there. De
Wardes was in the interior of the Hotel de Ville, engaging in attending
to the execution of some orders by De Guiche. At the noise made by
Buckingham, Manicamp, who was indolently reclining upon the cushions at
the doorway of one of the tents, rose with his usual indifference, and,
perceiving that the disturbance continued, made his appearance from
underneath the curtains. "What is the matter?" he said, in a gentle tone
of voice, "and who is making this disturbance?"
It so happened, that, at the moment he began to speak, silence had just
been restored, and, although his voice was very soft and gentle in its
touch, every one heard his question. Buckingham turned round, and looked
at the tall thin figure, and the listless expression of countenance of
his questioner. Probably the personal appearance of Manicamp, who was
dressed very plainly, did not inspire him with much respect, for he
replied disdainfully, "Who may you be, monsieur?"
Manicamp, leaning on the arm of a gigantic trooper, as firm as the pillar
of a cathedral, replied in his usual tranquil tone of voice, - "And
"I, monsieur, am the Duke of Buckingham; I have hired all the houses
which surround the Hotel de Ville, where I have business to transact; and
as these houses are let, they belong to me, and, as I hired them in order
to preserve the right of free access to the Hotel de Ville, you are not
justified in preventing me passing to it."
"But who prevents you passing, monsieur?" inquired Manicamp.
"Because you wish to pass on horseback, and orders have been given to let
only persons on foot pass."
"No one has any right to give orders here, except myself," said
"On what grounds?" inquired Manicamp, with his soft tone. "Will you do
me the favor to explain this enigma to me?"
"Because, as I have already told you, I have hired all the houses looking
on the square."
"We are very well aware of that, since nothing but the square itself has
been left for us."
"You are mistaken, monsieur; the square belongs to me, as well as the
houses in it."
"Forgive me, monsieur, but you are mistaken there. In _our_ country, we
say, the highway belongs to the king, therefore this square is his majesty's;
and, consequently, as we are the king's ambassadors, the square belongs
"I have already asked you who you are, monsieur," exclaimed Buckingham,
exasperated at the coolness of his interlocutor.
"My name is Manicamp," replied the young man, in a voice whose tones were
as harmonious and sweet as the notes of an Aeolian harp.
Buckingham shrugged his shoulders contemptuously, and said, "When I hired
these houses which surround the Hotel de Ville, the square was
unoccupied; these barracks obstruct my sight; I hereby order them to be
A hoarse and angry murmur ran through the crowd of listeners at these
words. De Guiche arrived at this moment; he pushed through the crowd
which separated him from Buckingham, and, followed by Raoul, arrived on
the scene of action from one side, just as De Wardes came up from the
other. "Pardon me, my lord; but if you have any complaint to make, have
the goodness to address it to me, inasmuch as it was I who supplied the
plans for the construction of these tents."
"Moreover, I would beg you to observe, monsieur, that the term 'barrack'
is a highly objectionable one!" added Manicamp, graciously.
"You were saying, monsieur - " continued De Guiche.
"I was saying, monsieur le comte," resumed Buckingham, in a tone of anger
more marked than ever, although in some measure moderated by the presence
of an equal, "I was saying that it is impossible these tents can remain
where they are."
"_Impossible!_" exclaimed De Guiche, "and why?"
"Because I object to them."
A movement of impatience escaped De Guiche, but a warning glance from
Raoul restrained him.
"You should the less object to them, monsieur, on account of the abuse of
priority you have permitted yourself to exercise."
"Most assuredly. You commission a messenger, who hires in your name the
whole of the town of Le Havre, without considering the members of the
French court, who would be sure to arrive here to meet Madame. Your
Grace will admit that this is hardly friendly conduct in the
representative of a friendly nation."
"The right of possession belongs to him who is first on the ground."
"Not in France, monsieur."
"Why not in France?"
"Because France is a country where politeness is observed."
"Which means?" exclaimed Buckingham, in so violent a manner that those
who were present drew back, expecting an immediate collision.
"Which means, monsieur," replied De Guiche, now rather pale, "that I
caused these tents to be raised as habitations for myself and my friends,
as a shelter for the ambassadors of France, as the only place of refuge
which your exactions have left us in the town; and that I and those who
are with me, shall remain in them, at least, until an authority more
powerful, and more supreme, than your own shall dismiss me from them."
"In other words, until we are ejected, as the lawyers say," observed
"I know an authority, monsieur, which I trust is such as you will
respect," said Buckingham, placing his hand on his sword.
At this moment, and as the goddess of Discord, inflaming all minds, was
about to direct their swords against each other, Raoul gently placed his
hand on Buckingham's shoulder. "One word, my lord," he said.
"My right, my right, first of all," exclaimed the fiery young man.
"It is precisely upon that point I wish to have the honor of addressing a
word to you."
"Very well, monsieur, but let your remarks be brief."
"One question is all I ask; you can hardly expect me to be briefer."
"Speak, monsieur, I am listening."
"Are you, or is the Duke of Orleans, going to marry the granddaughter of
"What do you mean?" exclaimed Buckingham, retreating a few steps,
"Have the goodness to answer me," persisted Raoul tranquilly.
"Do you mean to ridicule me, monsieur?" inquired Buckingham.
"Your question is a sufficient answer for me. You admit, then, that it
is not you who are going to marry the princess?"
"You know it perfectly well, monsieur, I should imagine."
"I beg your pardon, but your conduct has been such as to leave it not
"Proceed, monsieur, what do you mean to convey?"
Raoul approached the duke. "Are you aware, my lord," he said, lowering
his voice, "that your extravagances very much resemble the excesses of
jealousy? These jealous fits, with respect to any woman, are not
becoming in one who is neither her lover nor her husband; and I am sure
you will admit that my remark applies with still greater force, when the
lady in question is a princess of the blood royal!"
"Monsieur," exclaimed Buckingham, "do you mean to insult Madame
"Be careful, my lord," replied Bragelonne, coldly, "for it is you who
insult her. A little while since, when on board the admiral's ship, you
wearied the queen, and exhausted the admiral's patience. I was
observing, my lord; and, at first, I concluded you were not in possession
of your senses, but I have since surmised the real significance of your
"Monsieur!" exclaimed Buckingham.
"One moment more, for I have yet another word to add. I trust I am the
only one of my companions who has guessed it."
"Are you aware, monsieur," said Buckingham, trembling with mingled
feelings of anger and uneasiness, "are you aware that you are holding
language towards me which requires to be checked?"
"Weigh your words well, my lord," said Raoul, haughtily; "my nature is
not such that its vivacities need checking; whilst you, on the contrary,
are descended from a race whose passions are suspected by all true
Frenchmen; I repeat, therefore, for the second time, be careful!"
"Careful of what, may I ask? Do you presume to threaten me?"
"I am the son of the Comte de la Fere, my lord, and I never threaten,
because I strike first. Therefore, understand me well, the threat that I
hold out to you is this - "
Buckingham clenched his hands, but Raoul continued, as though he had not
observed the gesture. "At the very first word, beyond the respect and
deference due to her royal highness, which you permit yourself to use
towards her, - be patient my lord, for I am perfectly so."
"Undoubtedly. So long as Madame remained on English territory, I held my
peace; but from the very moment she stepped on French ground, and now
that we have received her in the name of the prince, I warn you, that at
the first mark of disrespect which you, in your insane attachment,
exhibit towards the royal house of France, I shall have one of two
courses to follow; - either I declare, in the presence of every one, the
madness with which you are now affected, and I get you ignominiously
ordered back to England; or if you prefer it, I will run my dagger
through your throat in the presence of all here. This second alternative
seems to me the least disagreeable, and I think I shall hold to it."
Buckingham had become paler than the lace collar around his neck. "M. de
Bragelonne," he said, "is it, indeed, a gentleman who is speaking to me?"
"Yes; only the gentleman is speaking to a madman. Get cured, my lord,
and he will hold quite another language to you."
"But, M. de Bragelonne," murmured the duke, in a voice, half-choked, and
putting his hand to his neck, - "Do you not see I am choking?"
"If your death were to take place at this moment, my lord," replied
Raoul, with unruffled composure, "I should, indeed, regard it as a great
happiness, for this circumstance would prevent all kinds of evil remarks;
not alone about yourself, but also about those illustrious persons whom
your devotion is compromising in so absurd a manner."
"You are right, you are right," said the young man, almost beside
himself. "Yes, yes; better to die, than to suffer as I do at this
moment." And he grasped a beautiful dagger, the handle of which was
inlaid with precious stones; and which he half drew from his breast.
Raoul thrust his hand aside. "Be careful what you do," he said; "if you
do not kill yourself, you commit a ridiculous action; and if you were to
kill yourself, you sprinkle blood upon the nuptial robe of the princess
Buckingham remained a minute gasping for breath; during this interval,
his lips quivered, his fingers worked convulsively, and his eyes
wandered, as though in delirium. Then suddenly, he said, "M. de
Bragelonne, I know nowhere a nobler mind than yours; you are, indeed, a
worthy son of the most perfect gentleman that ever lived. Keep your
tents." And he threw his arms round Raoul's neck. All who were present,
astounded at this conduct, which was the very reverse of what was
expected, considering the violence of the one adversary and the
determination of the other, began immediately to clap their hands, and a
thousand cheers and joyful shouts arose from all sides. De Guiche, in
his turn, embraced Buckingham somewhat against his inclination; but, at
all events, he did embrace him. This was the signal for French and
English to do the same; and they who, until that moment, had looked at
each other with restless uncertainty, fraternized on the spot. In the
meantime, the procession of the princess arrived, and had it not been for
Bragelonne, two armies would have been engaged together in conflict, and
blood would have been shed upon the flowers with which the ground was
covered. At the appearance, however, of the banners borne at the head of
the procession, complete order was restored.
Concord returned to its place amidst the tents. English and French
rivaled each other in their devotion and courteous attention to the
illustrious travelers. The English forwarded to the French baskets of
flowers, of which they had made a plentiful provision to greet the
arrival of the young princess; the French in return invited the English
to a supper, which was to be given the next day. Congratulations were
poured in upon the princess everywhere during her journey. From the
respect paid her on all sides, she seemed like a queen; and from the
adoration with which she was treated by two or three; she appeared an
object of worship. The queen-mother gave the French the most
affectionate reception. France was her native country, and she had
suffered too much unhappiness in England for England to have made her
forget France. She taught her daughter, then, by her own affection for
it, that love for a country where they had both been hospitably received,
and where a brilliant future opened before them. After the public entry
was over, and the spectators in the streets had partially dispersed, and
the sound of the music and cheering of the crowd could be heard only in
the distance; when the night had closed in, wrapping with its star-
covered mantle the sea, the harbor, the town, and surrounding country, De
Guiche, still excited by the great events of the day, returned to his
tent, and seated himself upon one of the stools with so profound an
expression of distress that Bragelonne kept his eyes fixed upon him,
until he heard him sigh, and then he approached him. The count had
thrown himself back on his seat, leaning his shoulders against the
partition of the tent, and remained thus, his face buried in his hands,
with heaving chest and restless limbs.
"You are suffering?" asked Raoul.
"Bodily, I suppose?"
"This has indeed been a harassing day," continued the young man, his eyes
fixed upon his friend.
"Yes; a night's rest will probably restore me."
"Shall I leave you?"
"No; I wish to talk to you."
"You shall not speak to me, Guiche, until you have first answered my
"You will be frank with me?"
"I always am."
"Can you imagine why Buckingham has been so violent?"
"Because he is in love with Madame, is it not?"
"One could almost swear to it, to observe him."
"You are mistaken; there is nothing of the kind."
"It is you who are mistaken, Raoul; I have read his distress in his eyes,
in his every gesture and action the whole day."
"You are a poet, my dear count, and find subjects for your muse
"I can perceive love clearly enough."
"Where it does not exist?"
"Nay, where it does exist."
"Do you not think you are deceiving yourself, Guiche?"
"I am convinced of what I say," said the count.
"Now, inform me, count," said Raoul, fixing a penetrating look upon him,
"what happened to render you so clear-sighted."
Guiche hesitated for a moment, and then answered, "Self-love, I suppose."
"Self-love is a pedantic word, Guiche."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that, generally, you are less out of spirits than seems to be the
case this evening."
"I am fatigued."
"Listen to me, Guiche; we have been campaigners together; we have been on
horseback for eighteen hours at a time, and our horses dying from
exhaustion, or hunger, have fallen beneath us, and yet we have laughed at
our mishaps. Believe me, it is not fatigue that saddens you to-night."
"It is annoyance, then."
"That of this evening."
"The mad conduct of the Duke of Buckingham, do you mean?"
"Of course; is it not vexations for us, the representatives of our
sovereign master, to witness the devotion of an Englishman to our future
mistress, the second lady in point of rank in the kingdom?"
"Yes, you are right; but I do not think any danger is to be apprehended
"No; still he is intrusive. Did he not, on his arrival here, almost
succeed in creating a disturbance between the English and ourselves; and,
had it not been for you, for your admirable presence, for your singular
decision of character, swords would have been drawn in the very streets
of the town."
"You observe, however, that he has changed his tactics."
"Yes, certainly; but this is the very thing that amazes me so much. You
spoke to him in a low tone of voice, what did you say to him? You think
he loves her; you admit that such a passion does not give way readily.
He does not love her, then!" De Guiche pronounced the latter with so
marked an expression that Raoul raised his head. The noble character of
the young man's countenance expressed a displeasure which could easily be
"What I said to him, count," replied Raoul, "I will repeat to you.
Listen to me. I said, 'You are regarding with wistful feelings, and most
injurious desire, the sister of your prince, - her to whom you are not
affianced, who is not, who can never be anything to you; you are
outraging those who, like ourselves, have come to seek a young lady to
escort her to her husband.'"
"You spoke to him in that manner?" asked Guiche, coloring.
"In those very terms; I even added more. 'How would you regard us,' I
said, 'if you were to perceive among us a man mad enough, disloyal
enough, to entertain other than sentiments of the most perfect respect
for a princess who is the destined wife of our master?'"
These words were so applicable to De Guiche that he turned pale, and,
overcome by a sudden agitation, was barely able to stretch out one hand
mechanically towards Raoul, as he covered his eyes and face with the
"But," continued Raoul, not interrupted by this movement of his friend,
"Heaven be praised, the French, who are pronounced to be thoughtless and
indiscreet, reckless, even, are capable of bringing a calm and sound
judgment to bear on matters of such high importance. I added even more,
for I said, 'Learn, my lord, that we gentlemen of France devote ourselves
to our sovereigns by sacrificing them our affections, as well as our
fortunes and our lives; and whenever it may chance to happen that the
tempter suggests one of those vile thoughts that set the heart on fire,
we extinguish the flame, even if it has to be done by shedding our blood
for the purpose. Thus it is that the honor of three is saved: our
country's, our master's, and our own. It is thus that we act, your
Grace; it is thus that every man of honor ought to act.' In this manner,
my dear Guiche," continued Bragelonne, "I addressed the Duke of
Buckingham; and he admitted I was right, and resigned himself
unresistingly to my arguments."
De Guiche, who had hitherto sat leaning forward while Raoul was speaking,
drew himself up, his eyes glancing proudly; he seized Raoul's hand, his
face, which had been as cold as ice, seemed on fire. "And you spoke
magnificently," he said, in a half-choked voice; "you are indeed a
friend, Raoul. But now, I entreat you, leave me to myself."
"Do you wish it?"
"Yes; I need repose. Many things have agitated me to-day, both in mind
and body; when you return to-morrow I shall no longer be the same man."
"I leave you, then," said Raoul, as he withdrew. The count advanced a
step towards his friend, and pressed him warmly in his arms. But in this
friendly pressure Raoul could detect the nervous agitation of a great
The night was clear, starlit, and splendid; the tempest had passed away,
and the sweet influences of the evening had restored life, peace and
security everywhere. A few fleecy clouds were floating in the heavens,
and indicated from their appearance a continuance of beautiful weather,
tempered by a gentle breeze from the east. Upon the large square in
front of the hotel, the shadows of the tents, intersected by the golden
moonbeams, formed as it were a huge mosaic of jet and yellow flagstones.
Soon, however, the entire town was wrapped in slumber; a feeble light
still glimmered in Madame's apartment, which looked out upon the square,
and the soft rays from the expiring lamp seemed to be the image of the
calm sleep of a young girl, hardly yet sensible of life's anxieties, and
in whom the flame of existence sinks placidly as sleep steals over the
Bragelonne quitted the tent with the slow and measured step of a man
curious to observe, but anxious not to be seen. Sheltered behind the
thick curtains of his own tent, embracing with a glance the whole square,
he noticed that, after a few moments' pause, the curtains of De Guiche's
tent were agitated, and then drawn partially aside. Behind them he could
perceive the shadow of De Guiche, his eyes, glittering in the obscurity,
fastened ardently upon the princess's sitting apartment, which was
partially lighted by the lamp in the inner room. The soft light which
illumined the windows was the count's star. The fervent aspirations of
his nature could be read in his eyes. Raoul, concealed in the shadow,
divined the many passionate thoughts that established, between the tent
of the young ambassador and the balcony of the princess, a mysterious and
magical bond of sympathy - a bond created by thoughts imprinted with so
much strength and persistence of will, that they must have caused happy
and loving dreams to alight upon the perfumed couch, which the count,
with the eyes of his soul, devoured so eagerly.
But De Guiche and Raoul were not the only watchers. The window of one of
the houses looking on the square was opened too, the casement of the
house where Buckingham resided. By the aid of the rays of light which
issued from this latter, the profile of the duke could be distinctly
seen, as he indolently reclined upon the carved balcony with its velvet
hangings; he also was breathing in the direction of the princess's
apartment his prayers and the wild visions of his love.
Raoul could not resist smiling, as thinking of Madame, he said to
himself, "Hers is, indeed, a heart well besieged;" and then added,
compassionately, as he thought of Monsieur, "and he is a husband well
threatened too; it is a good thing for him that he is a prince of such
high rank, that he has an army to safeguard for him that which is his
own." Bragelonne watched for some time the conduct of the two lovers,
listened to the loud and uncivil slumbers of Manicamp, who snored as
imperiously as though he was wearing his blue and gold, instead of his
Then he turned towards the night breeze which bore towards him, he seemed
to think, the distant song of the nightingale; and, after having laid in
a due provision of melancholy, another nocturnal malady, he retired to
rest thinking, with regard to his own love affair, that perhaps four or
even a larger number of eyes, quite as ardent as those of De Guiche and
Buckingham, were coveting his own idol in the chateau at Blois. "And
Mademoiselle de Montalais is by no means a very conscientious garrison,"
said he to himself, sighing aloud.
From Le Havre to Paris.
The next day the _fetes_ took place, accompanied by all the pomp and
animation that the resources of the town and the cheerful disposition of
men's minds could supply. During the last few hours spent in Le Havre,
every preparation for the departure had been made. After Madame had
taken leave of the English fleet, and, once again, had saluted the
country in saluting its flags, she entered her carriage, surrounded by a
brilliant escort. De Guiche had hoped that the Duke of Buckingham would
accompany the admiral to England; but Buckingham succeeded in
demonstrating to the queen that there would be great impropriety in
allowing Madame to proceed to Paris, almost unprotected. As soon as it
had been settled that Buckingham was to accompany Madame, the young duke
selected a corps of gentlemen and officers to form part of his own suite,
so that it was almost an army that now set out towards Paris, scattering
gold, and exciting the liveliest demonstrations as they passed through
the different towns and villages on the route. The weather was very
fine. France is a beautiful country, especially along the route by which
the procession passed. Spring cast its flowers and its perfumed foliage
on their path. Normandy, with its vast variety of vegetation, its blue
skies and silver rivers, displayed itself in all the loveliness of a
paradise to the new sister of the king. _Fetes_ and brilliant displays
received them everywhere along the line of march. De Guiche and
Buckingham forgot everything; De Guiche in his anxiety to prevent any
fresh attempts on the part of the duke, and Buckingham, in his desire to
awaken in the heart of the princess a softer remembrance of the country
to which the recollection of many happy days belonged. But, alas! the
poor duke could perceive that the image of that country so cherished by
himself became, from day to day, more and more effaced in Madame's mind,
in exact proportion as her affection for France became more deeply
engraved on her heart. In fact, it was not difficult to perceive that
his most devoted attention awakened no acknowledgement, and that the
grace with which he rode one of his most fiery horses was thrown away,
for it was only casually and by the merest accident that the princess's
eyes were turned towards him. In vain did he try, in order to fix upon
himself one of those looks, which were thrown carelessly around, or
bestowed elsewhere, to produce in the animal he rode its greatest display
of strength, speed, temper and address; in vain did he, by exciting his
horse almost to madness, spur him, at the risk of dashing himself in
pieces against the trees, or of rolling in the ditches, over the gates
and barriers which they passed, or down the steep declivities of the
hills. Madame, whose attention had been aroused by the noise, turned her
head for a moment to observe the cause of it, and then, slightly smiling,
again entered into conversation with her faithful guardians, Raoul and De
Guiche, who were quietly riding at her carriage doors. Buckingham felt
himself a prey to all the tortures of jealousy; an unknown, unheard of
anguish glided through his veins, and laid siege to his heart; and then,
as if to show that he knew the folly of his conduct, and that he wished
to correct, by the humblest submission, his flights of absurdity, he
mastered his horse, and compelled him, reeking with sweat and flecked
with foam, to champ his bit close beside the carriage, amidst the crowd
of courtiers. Occasionally he obtained a word from Madame as a
recompense, and yet her speech seemed almost a reproach.
"That is well, my lord," she said, "now you are reasonable."
Or from Raoul, "Your Grace is killing your horse."
Buckingham listened patiently to Raoul's remarks, for he instinctively
felt, without having had any proof that such was the case, that Raoul
checked the display of De Guiche's feelings, and that, had it not been
for Raoul, some mad act or proceeding, either of the count, or of
Buckingham himself, would have brought about an open rupture, or a
disturbance - perhaps even exile itself. From the moment of that excited
conversation the two young men had held in front of the tents at Le
Havre, when Raoul made the duke perceive the impropriety of his conduct,
Buckingham felt himself attracted towards Raoul almost in spite of
himself. He often entered into conversation with him, and it was nearly
always to talk to him either of his father or of D'Artagnan, their mutual
friend, in whose praise Buckingham was nearly as enthusiastic as Raoul.
Raoul endeavored, as much as possible, to make the conversation turn upon
this subject in De Wardes's presence, who had, during the whole journey,
been exceedingly annoyed at the superior position taken by Bragelonne,
and especially by his influence over De Guiche. De Wardes had that keen
and merciless penetration most evil natures possess; he had immediately
remarked De Guiche's melancholy, and divined the nature of his regard for
the princess. Instead, however, of treating the subject with the same
reserve which Raoul practiced; instead of regarding with that respect,
which was their due, the obligations and duties of society, De Wardes
resolutely attacked in the count the ever-sounding chord of juvenile
audacity and pride. It happened one evening, during a halt at Mantes,
that while De Guiche and De Wardes were leaning against a barrier,
engaged in conversation, Buckingham and Raoul were also talking together
as they walked up and down. Manicamp was engaged in devoted attendance
on the princess, who already treated him without reserve, on account of
his versatile fancy, his frank courtesy of manner, and conciliatory
"Confess," said De Wardes, "that you are really ill, and that your
pedagogue of a friend has not succeeded in curing you."
"I do not understand you," said the count.
"And yet it is easy enough; you are dying of love."
"You are mad, De Wardes."
"Madness it would be, I admit, if Madame were really indifferent to your
martyrdom; but she takes so much notice of it, observes it to such an
extent, that she compromises herself, and I tremble lest, on our arrival
at Paris, M. de Bragelonne may not denounce both of you."
"For shame, De Wardes, again attacking De Bragelonne."
"Come, come, a truce to child's play," replied the count's evil genius,
in an undertone; "you know as well as I do what I mean. Besides, you
must have observed how the princess's glance softens as she looks at you;
- you can tell, by the very inflection of her voice, what pleasure she