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Dumas. Vol. Twenty-three 







I. An Abbess of the Eighteenth Century . 3 
II. Decidedly the Family begins to settle 

DOWN 14 

III. What passed Three Nights later at Eight 

Hundred Leagues from the Palais 
Eoyal 21 

IV. Showing how Chance arranges some Mat- 

ters better than Providence . . 32 

V. The Journey 87 

VI. A EooM IN THE Hotel at Eambouillet . 47 
YII. A Servant in the Royal Livery. — Mon- 

seigneur le Due d' Orleans . . .52 
VIII. The Utility of a Seal .... 62 

IX. The Visit . 70 

X. In which Dubois proves that his Police 
WAS better organized at an Expense of 
800,000 Francs than the G-eneral Police 

FOR Three Millions 79 

XL Eambouillet Again . . . .86 

XII. Captain la Jonquiere . . . . .93 

XIII. Monsieur Moutonnet, Draper at St. Ger- 

main-en-Laye 99 

XIV. Trust to Signs of Gratitude . . . 105 

(A)— Vol. 23 


























His Excellency the Due d' Orleans . 


The Faubourg Saint Antoine 
The Artist and the Politician . 
Blood reveals itself .... 
What passed in the Rue du Bag while 
waiting for graston .... 158 

In Bretagne 194 

The Sorceress of Savernay. . . 201 

The Arrest 212 

The Bastille 221 

How Life passed in the Bastille while 


How THE Night passed in the Bastille 

WHILE waiting FOR THE DaY . . 239 

A Companion in the Bastille . . 249 

The Sentence 262 

The Family Feud 272 

State Affairs and Family Affairs . 290 
Showing that we must not always 
JUDGE Others by Ourselves, above 

all if we are called dubois 
monceaux .... 
The Pardon 
The Last Interview 
Nantes .... 
The Tragedy of Nantes 
The ENij .... 





ON THE 8th of February, 1719, a carriage, bearing 
tlie fleur-de-lis of France, witli the motto of Or- 
leans, preceded by two outriders and a page, en- 
tered the porch of the Abbey of Chelles, precisely as the 
clock struck ten, and, the door having been quickly opened, 
its two occupants stepped out. 

The first was a man of from forty-five to forty- six years 
of age, short, and rather stout, with a high color, easy in 
his movements, and displaying in every gesture a certain 
air of high breeding and command. 

The second, who followed slowly, was short, and re- 
markably thin. His face, though not precisely ugly, was 
very disagreeable, although bearing the evidences of a keen 
iaatellect. He seemed to feel the cold, and followed his 
companion, wrapped up in an ample cloak. 

The first of the two made his way up the staircase with 
the air of a man well acquainted with the locality. Pass- 
ing through a large antechamber containing several nuns, 
who bowed to the ground as he passed, he ran rather than 
walked to a reception-room, which, it must be confessed, 



bore but little trace of tbat austerity which is ordinarily 
ascribed to the interior of a cloister. 

The other, who followed leisurely, was saluted almost 
as humbly by the nuns. 

"And now," said the first, "wait here and warm your- 
self while I go to her, and in ten minutes I will make an 
end of all these abuses you mention: if she deny, and I 
want proof, I will call you." 

"Ten minutes, monseigneur, " replied the man in the 
cloak; "in two hours your highness will not have even 
broached the subject of your visit. Oh! the Abbesse de 
Chelles is a clever woman!" 

So saying, he stretched himself out in an easy- chair, 
which he had drawn near the fire, and rested his thin legs 
on the fender. 

"Yes, yes," replied he who had been addressed as "your 
highness"; "I know, and if I could forget it, you take care 
to remind me of it often enough. Why did you bring me 
here to-day through all this wind and snow?" 

"Because you would not come yesterday, monseigneur." 

"Yesterday, it was impossible; I had an appointment 
with Lord Stair at five o'clock." 

"In a house in the Rue des Bons Enfants. My lord does 
not live any longer, then, at the English embassy ?' ' 

"Abbe, I had forbidden you to follow me." 

"Monseigneur, it is my duty to disobey you." 

"Well, then, disobey; but let me tell stories at my 
pleasure, without your having the impertinence to show me 
that you know it, just for the sake of proving the efficiency 
of your police." 

"Monseigneur may rest easy in future — I will believe 
anything I" 


"I will not promise as mucli in return, abb^, for liere I 
think yon liave made a mistake." 

"Monseignenr, I know what I said, and I repeat it" 

"But look I no noise, no light, perfect quiet, your ac- 
count is incorrect: it is evident that we are late." 

"Yesterday, monseignenr, where you stand there was an 
orchestra of fifty musicians; there, where that young sister 
kneels so devoutly, was a buffet: what was upon it I can- 
not tell, but I know it was there, and in the gallery on the 
left, where a modest supper of lentils and cream cheese is 
now preparing for the holy sisters, were two hundred peo- 
ple, drinking, dancing, and making — " 

*'Well, making what?" 

"Making love, monseignenr." 

"Diablel are you sure of this?" 

"Eather more sure than if I had seen it, and that is 
why you do well in coming to-day, and would have done 
better in coming yesterday. This sort of life does not be- 
come an abbess, monseignenr." 

"No, it is only fit for an abbd Hal" 

"I am a politician, monseignenr." 

"Well, my daughter is a political abbess, that is all." 

"Oh, let it be so, if it suit you, monseignenr; I am not 
so particular in point of morals, you know. To-morrow 
there will be another song or two out, but what does that 

"Well, well, wait for me, and I will go and scold." 

"Take my word for it, monseigneur, if you wish to scold 
properly you had better do it here, before me; if you fail 
in memory or arguments, sign to me, and I will come to 
the rescue." 

"Yes, yes, you are right," said the person who had 


undertaken to redress wrongs, and in whom we hope tlio 
reader lias recognized Philippe d' Orleans. "Yes, this scan« 
dal must be quieted a little, at any rate: the abbess must 
not receive more than twice a week. There must be none 
of these dances and assemblies, and the cloisters must be 
re-established. Mademoiselle d' Orleans passed from gayety 
to a religious life; she left the Palais Koyal for Chelles in 
spite of all I could do to prevent her; now, for five days in 
the week she must be the abbess, and that will leave her 
two to play the great lady. ' ' 

"Ah, monseigneur, you are beginning to see the thing 
in its true light." 

"Is not this what you wish ?" 

"It is what is necessary. It seems to me that an abbess 
who has thirty valets, fifteen footmen, ten cooks, eight 
grooms, and a mute — who fences, plays the horn and the 
violoncello — who is a surgeon and a hair- dresser — who 
shoots and makes fireworks — cannot be very dull." 

"Has not my daughter been told of my arrival?" said 
the duke to an old nun who crossed the room with a bunch 
of keys in her hand; "I wish to know whether I shall go to 
her, or whether she is coming to me." 

"Madame is coming, monseigneur," replied the sister, 

"It is well," murmured the regent, somewhat impa- 

"Monseigneur, remember the parable of Jesus driving 
out the money-changers from the temple. You know it, 
or ought to know it, for I taught it you when I was your 
preceptor. Now, drive out these musicians, these Phari- 
sees, these comedians and anatomists; three only of each 
profession will make a nice escort for our return." 


•'Do not fear, I am in a preacliing vein." 

"Then," replied Dubois, rising, "that is most fortunate, 
for here she is. " 

At this moment a door leading to the interior of the con- 
vent was opened, and the person so impatiently expected 

Let us explain who was this worthy person who had 
succeeded, by repeated follies, in rousing the anger of 
Philippe d' Orleans, the most indulgent man and father in 

Mademoiselle de Chartres, Louise- Adelaide d' Orleans, 
was the second and prettiest of the regent's daughters. 
She had a beautiful complexion, fine eyes, a good figure, 
and well-shaped hands. Her teeth were splendid, and her 
grandmother, the princess palatine, compared them to a 
string of pearls in a coral casket. She danced well, sang 
better, and played at sight. She had learned of Cauche- 
reau, one of the first artists at the opera, with whom she 
had made much more progress than is common with ladies, 
and especially with princesses. It is true that she was 
most assiduous; the secret of that assiduity will be shortly 

All her tastes were masculine. She appeared to have 
changed sex with her brother Louis. She loved dogs and 
horses ; amused herself with pistols and foils, but cared lit- 
tle for any feminine occupation. 

Her chief predilection, however, was for music; she sel- 
dom missed a night at the opera when her master Gauche- 
reau performed; and once, when he surpassed himself in an 
air, she exclaimed, "Bravo, bravo, my dear Cauchereaul" 
in a voice audible to the whole house. 

The Duchesse d' Orleans judged that the exclamation was 


somewliat indiscreet for a princess of tKe blood, and decided 
that Mademoiselle Chartres knew enougli of music. Cau- 
chereau was well paid, and desired not to return to the 
Palais Eoyal. The duchess also begged her daughter to 
spend a fortnight at the convent of Chelles, the abbess of 
which, a sister of Mar^chal de Yillars, was a friend of hers. 

It was doubtless during this retreat that mademoiselle-— 
who did everything bj fits and starts — resolved to renounce 
the world. Toward the end of the holy week of 1718 she 
asked and obtained her father's permission to spend Easter 
at Chelles; but at the end of that time, instead of returning 
to the Palais, she expressed a wish to remain as a nun. 

The duke tried to oppose this, but Mademoiselle de 
Chartres was obstinate, and on the 23d of April she took 
the vows. Then the duke treated with Mademoiselle de 
Villars for the abbey, and, on the promise of twelve thou- 
sand francs, Mademoiselle de Chartres was named abbess in 
her stead, and she had occupied the post about a year. 

This, then, was the Abbess of Chelles, who appeared 
before her father, not surrounded by an elegant and profane 
court, but followed by six nuns dressed in black and hold- 
ing torches. There was no sign of frivolity or of pleasure; 
nothing but the most sombre apparel and the most severe 

The regent, however, suspected that he had been kept 
waiting while all this was preparing. 

"I do not like hypocrisy," said he, sharply, '*and can 
forgive vices which are not hidden under the garb of vir- 
tues. All these lights, madame, are doubtless the remains 
of yesterday's illumination. Are all your flowers so faded, 
and all your guests so fatigued, that you cannot show me a 
single bouquet nor a single dancer?" 


"Monsieur," said the abbess, in a grave tone, *'tlii3 is 
not the place for fetes and amusements." 

"Yes," answered the regent, "I see that, if you feasted 
yesterday, you fast to-day." 

"Did you come here, monsieur, to catechise? At least 
what you see should reply to any accusations against me." 

"I came to tell you, madame," replied the regent, an- 
noyed at being supposed to have been duped, "that the life 
you lead displeases me; your conduct yesterday was un be* 
coming an abbess; your austerities to-day are unbecoming 
a princess of the blood: decide, once for all, between the 
nun and the court lady. People begin to speak ill of you, 
and I have enemies enough of my own without your sad- 
dling me with others from the depth of your convent. ' ' 

"Alas, monsieur, in giving entertainments, balls, and 
concerts, which have been quoted as the best in Paris, I 
have neither pleased those enemies, nor you, nor myself. 
Yesterday was my last interview with the world; this 
morning I have taken leave of it forever; and to-day, while 
Btill ignorant of your visit, I had adopted a determination 
from which I will never depart." 

"And what is it?" asked the regent, suspecting that 
this was only a new specimen of his daughter's ordinary 

"Come to this window and look out," said the abbess. 

The regent, in compliance with the invitation, ap- 
proached the window, and saw a large fire blazing in the 
middle of the courtyard. Dubois — ^who was as curious as 
if he had really been an abbd — slipped up beside him. 

Several people were rapidly passing and repassing be- 
fore the fire, and throwing various singular- shaped objects 
into the fiames. 


**But wliat is that?" asked the regent of Dubois, who 
seemed as much surprised as himself. 

' ' That which is burning now ?' ' asked the abbd 

"Yes," replied the regent. 

"Ma foi, monseigneur, it looks to me very much like a 

*'It is mine," said the abbess, "an excellent violoncello 
by Valeri." 

"And you are burning it!" exclaimed the duke. 

"All instruments are soiu'ces of perdition," said the 
abbess, in a tone which betrayed the most profound re- 

"Eh! but here is a harpsichord," interrupted the duke. 

"My harpsichord, monsieur; it was so perfect that it 
enticed me toward earthly things: I condemned it this 

"And what are those chests of papers with which they 
are feeding the fire?" asked Dubois, whom the spectacle 
seemed to interest immensely. 

"My music, which I am having burned." 

"Your music ?" demanded the regent. 

"Yes, and even yours," answered the abbess; "look 
carefully, and you will see your opera of 'Panth^e' follow 
in its turn. You will understand that, my resolution once 
taken, its execution was necessarily general." 

"Well, madame, this time you are really mad! To light 
the fire with music, and then feed it with bass-viols and 
harpsichords, is really a little too luxurious." 

"I am doing penance, monsieur." 

"Hum, say rather that you are refitting your house, 
and that this is an excuse for buying new furniture, since 
you are doubtless tired of the old." 


"No, monseigneur, it is no such thing." 

"Well, then, what is it? Tell me frankly." 

"In truth, I am weary of amusing myself, and indeed 
I intend to act differently." 

"And what are you going to do ?" 

"I am going with my nuns to visit my tomb." 

"Diable, monseigneur!" exclaimed the abbe, "her wits 
are gone at last." 

"It will be truly edifying, will it not, monsieur?" con- 
tinued the abbess, gravely. 

"Indeed," answered the regent, "if you really do this, 
I doubt not but people will laugh at it twice as much as 
they did at your suppers." 

"Will you accompany me, messieurs?" continued the 
abbess; "I am going to spend a few minutes in my coffin: 
it is a fancy I have had a long time. ' ' 

' ' You will have plenty of time for that, ' ' said the regent ; 
"moreover, you have not even invented this amusement; 
for Charles the Fifth, who became a monk as you became 
a nun, without exactly knowing why, thought of it before 

"Then you will not go with me, monsieur?" said the 

"I," answered the duke, who had not the least sym- 
pathy with sombre ideas, "I go to see tombs! I go to hear 
the De Profundis ! No, pardieu ! and the only thing which 
consoles me for not being able to escape them some day is, 
that I shall neither see the one nor the other. ' ' 

"Ah, monsieur," answered the abbess, in a scandalized 
tone, "you do not, then, believe in the immortality of the 

"1 believe that you are raving mad. Confound this 


abbe, wbo promises me a feast, aud brings me to a 
funeral, ' ' 

"By my faith, monseigneur, " said Dubois, "1 tbink 
I prefer tbe extravagance of yesterday; it was more 
attractive. ' ' 

Tlie abbess bowed, and made a few steps toward tbe 
door. The duke and Dubois remained staring at each other, 
uncertain whether to laugh or to cry. 

' ' One word more, ' ' said the duke : ' ' are you decided this 
time, or is it not some fever which you have caught from 
your confessor ? If it be real, I have nothing to say; but 
if it be a fever, I desire that they cure you of it. I have 
Morceau and Chirac, whom I pay for attending on me 
and mine." 

"Monseigneur," answered the abbess, "you forget that 
I know sufficient of medicine to undertake my own cure 
if I were ill. I can, therefore, assure you that I am not. 
I am a Jansenist; that is all." 

"Ah," cried the duke, "this is more of Pere le Doux's 
work, that execrable Benedictine ! At least I know a treat- 
ment which will cure him. ' ' 

' ' What is that ?' ' asked the abbess. 

"The Bastille." 

And he went out in a rage, followed by Dubois, who 
was laughing heartily. 

"You see," said the regent, after a long silence, and 
when they were nearing Paris, "I preached with a good 
grace; it seems it was I who needed the sermon." 

"Well, you are a happy father, that is all; I com- 
pliment you on your younger daughter, Mademoiselle 
de Chartres. Unluckily your elder daughter, the Duch- 
esse de Berry — " 


"Oil, do not talk of lier; slie is my ulcer, particularly 
wlien I am in a bad temper." 


"I liave a great mind to make use of it by finishing 
with her at one blow." 

"She is at the Luxembourg?" 

"I believe so." 

"Let us go to the Luxembourg, monseigneur.'* 

"You go with me?" 

"1 shall not leave you to-night." 

*'Well, drive to the Luxembourg." 




WHATEVER the regent might say, the Duchesse 
de Berry was his favorite daughter. At seven 
years of age she had been seized with a disease 
which all the doctors declared to be fatal, and when they 
had abandoned her, her father, who had studied medicine, 
took her in hand himself, and succeeded in saving her. 

From that time the regent's affection for his daughter 
became almost a weakness. He allowed the haughty and 
self-willed child the most perfect liberty; her education 
was neglected, but this did not prevent Louis XIV. from 
choosing her as a wife for his grandson the Due de Berry. 

It is well known how death at once struck a triple blow 
at the royal posterity, and within a few years carried off th^ 
Dauphin, the Due and Duchesse de Bourgogne, and the Duo 
de Berry. 

Left a widow at twenty years of age, loving her father 
almost as tenderly as he loved her, and having to choose 
between the society of Versailles and that of the Palais 
Royal, the Duchesse de Berry, young, beautiful, and fond 
of pleasure, had quickly decided. She took part in all the 
fetes, the pleasures and follies of her father. 

The Due d' Orleans, in his increasing fondness for his 
daughter, who already had six hundred thousand francs 
a year, allowed her four hundred thousand more from hig 


private fortune. He gave up the Luxembourg to lier, gave 
her a bodyguard, and at length, to the scandal of those who 
advocated the old forms of etiquette, he merely shrugged 
his shoulders when the Duchesse de Berry passed through 
Paris preceded by cymbals and trumpets, and only laughed 
when she received the Venetian ambassador on a throne, 
raised on three steps, which nearly embroiled France with 
the republic of Venice. 

About this time the Duchesse de Berry took a fancy to 
fall in love with the Chevalier de Eiom. 

The Chevalier de Riom was a nephew or grandnephew 
of the Dug de Lauzun, who came to Paris in 1715 to seek 
his fortune, and found it at the Luxembourg. Introduced 
to the princess by Madame de Mouchy, he soon established 
the same influence over her as his uncle, the Due de Lau- 
zun, had exercised over La Grrande Mademoiselle fifty years 
before, and was soon established as her lover, supplanting 
Lahaie, who was sent on an embassy to Denmark. 

The duchess had the singular moderation of never hav- 
ing had more than two lovers; Lahaie, whom she had never 
avowed, and Riom, whom she proclaimed aloud. 

This was not the true cause of the malice with which 
the princess was pursued; it arose rather from the previous 
offences of her passage through Paris, the reception of the 
ambassador, her bodyguard, and her assumptions. 

The duke himself was indignant at Riom's influence 
over his daughter. Riom had been brought up by the 
Due de Lauzun, who in the morning had crushed the hand 
of the Princesse de Monaco with the heel of the boot which, 
in the evening, he made the daughter of Gaston d' Orleans 
pull off, and who had given his nephew the following in- 
struction, which Riom had fully carried out. 


"The dangliters of France," said lie, "must be treated 
witli a liiglL hand;" and Eiom, trusting to his uncle's ex- 
perience, had so well schooled the Duchesse de Berry that 
she scarcely dared to give a fete without his permission. 

The duke took as strong a dislike to Riom as his careless 
character allowed him to take to any one, and, under pre- 
text of serving the duchess, had given him a regiment, then 
the government of Cognac, then the order to retire to his 
government, which almost made his favors look like dis- 
favors and disgrace. 

The duchess was not deceived; she went to her father, 
begged, prayed, and scolded, but in vain; and she went 
away threatening the duke with her anger, and declaring 
that Riom should not go. 

The duke's only reply was to repeat his orders for 
Biom's departure the next day, and Riom had respect- 
fully promised to obey. 

The same day, which was the one preceding that on 
which our story opens, Riom had ostensibly set out, and 
Dubois himself had told the duke that he had left for 
Cognac at nine o'clock. 

Meanwhile the duke had not again seen his daughter; 
thus, when he spoke of going to finish with her, it was 
rather a pardon than a quarrel that he went to seek. 

Dubois had not been duped by this pretended resolu- 
tion; but Riom was gone, and that was all he wanted; he 
hoped to slip in some new personage who would efface all 
memory of Riom, who was to be sent to join the Mar^chal 
de Berwick in Spain. 

The carriage stopped before the Luxembourg, which was 
lighted as usual. 

The duke ascended the steps with his usual celerity. 


Dubois remained in a corner of the carriage. Presently the 
dnke appeared at the door with a disappointed air. 

"Ah, monseigneur, " said Dubois, "are jou refused ad- 

"No, the duchess is not here." 

"Where, then — at the Carmelites?" 

"No, at Meudon." 

"At Meudon, in February, and in such weather; what 
can she be doing there?" 

"It is easy to know." 


"Let us go to Meudon." 

"To Meudon!" said the regent, jumping into the car- 
riage. "I allow you five-and-twenty minutes to get there." 

' ' I would humbly beg to remind monseigneur, ' ' said the 
coachman, "that the horses have already gone ten leagues." 

"Kill them, but be at Meudon in five-and-twenty min- 

There was no reply to be made to such an order; the 
coachman whipped his horses, and the noble animals set 
out at as brisk a pace as if they had just left the stable. 

Throughout the drive Dubois was silent and the regent 
thoughtful; there was nothing on the route to arrest the 
attention of either, and they arrived at Meudon full of 
contradictory reflections. 

This time both alighted; Dubois, thinking the inter- 
view might be long, was anxious to find a more comfor- 
table waiting-place than a carriage. 

At the door they found a Swiss in full livery — he stopped 
them — the duke made himself known. 

"Pardon," said the Swiss, "I did not know that mou' 
seigneur was expected." 


"Expected or not, 1 am here; send word to the 
princess. ' ' 

"Monseigneur is to be at the ceremony?" asked the 
Swiss, who seemed embarrassed. 

"Yep of course," put in Dubois, stopping the duke, 
who was about to ask what ceremony; "and I also." 

"Then shall I lead monseigneur at once to the chapel?" 

"To the chapel?" asked the duke. 

"Yes; for the ceremony is already commenced." 

"Ah, Dubois," said the duke, "is she also going to take 
the veil?" 

"Monseigneur," said Dubois, "I should rather say she 
is going to be married." 

"Pardieu!" exclaimed the regent, "that would crown 
all;" and he darted toward the staircase, followed by 

"Does not monseigneur wish me to guide him?" asked 
the Swiss. 

"It is' needless, " cried the regent; "I know the way." 

Indeed, with an agility surprising in so corpulent a man, 
the regent darted through the rooms and corridors, and ar- 
rived at the door of the chapel, which appeared to be closed, 
but yielded to the first touch. 

Dubois was right. 

Kiom, who had returned secretly, was on his knees with 
the princess before the private chaplain of the Luxembourg, 
while M. de Pons, Kiom's relative, and the Marquis de la 
Rochefoucauld, captain of the princess's guard, held the 
canopy over their heads; Messieurs de Mouchy and de 
Laazun stood, one by the duchess and the other by Riom. 

"Certainly fortune is against us, monseigneur," said 
Dubois; "we are five minutes too late." 


"Mordieu!" cried the duke, exasperated, "we will see." 

"Chut," said Dubois; "I cannot permit sacrilege. If 
It were any use, I do not say; but this would be mere 

' ' Are they married, then ?' ' asked the duke, drawing back. 

"So much married, monseigneur, that the devil himself 
cannot unmarry them, without the assistance of the Pope. ' ' 

' ' I will write to Kome ! ' ' 

"Take care, monseigneur; do not waste your influence; 
you will want it all to get me made a cardinal." 

"But," exclaimed the regent, "such a marriage is 
intolerable. ' ' 

"Mesalliances are in fashion," said Dubois; "there is 
nothing else talked of. Louis XIY. made a mesalliance 
in marrying Madame de Maintenon, to whom you pay a 
pension as his widow; La Grande Mademoiselle made 
a mesalliance in marrying the Due de Lauzun; you did 
so in marrying Mademoiselle de Blois, so much so, indeed, 
that when you announced the marriage to your mdther, the 
princess palatine, she replied by a blow. Did not I do 
the same when I married the daughter of a village school- 
master ? After such good examples, why should not your 
daughter do so in her turn ?' ' 

"Silence, demon," said the regent. 

"Besides," continued Dubois, "the Duchesse de Berry's 
passion began to be talked about, and this will quiet the 
talk; for it will be known all through Paris to-morrow. 
Decidedly, monseigneur, your family begins to settle 
down. ' ' 

The Due d' Orleans uttered an oath, to which Dubois 
replied by a laugh, which Mephistopheles might have 


"Silence!" cried a Swiss, who did not know wlio it 
was tliat was making a noise, and did not wish the pious 
exhortation of the chaplain to be lost. 

"Silence, monseigneur, " repeated Dubois; "you are dis- 
turbing the ceremony. ' ' 

"If we are not silent," replied the duke, "the next thing 
they will do will be to turn us out." 

"Silence!" repeated the Swiss, striking the flagstone 
with his halberd, while the Duchesse de Berry sent M. de 
Mouchy to learn who was causing the disturbance. 

M. de Mouchy obeyed the orders of the duchess, and 
perceiving two persons who appeared to be concealing 
themselves in the shade, he approached them. 

"Who is making this noise?" said he; "and who gave 
you permission to enter this chapel ?" 

' ' One who has a great mind to send you all out by the 
window," replied the regent, "but who will content himself 
at present with begging you to order M. de Riom to set out 
at once for Cognac, and to intimate to the Duchesse de 
Berry that she had better absent herself from the Palais 

The regent went out, signing to Dubois to follow; and, 
leaving M. de Mouchy bewildered at his appearance, re- 
turned to the Palais Royal. 

That evening the regent wrote a letter, and ringing for 
a valet — 

"Take care that this letter is despatched by an express 
courier to-morrow morning, and is delivered only to the 
person to whom it is addressed." 

That person was Madame Ursule, Superior of the Ursuline 
Convent at Clisson. 




THREE nights after tliat on wliicli we have seen the 
regent, first at Chelles and then at Meudon, a scene 
passed in the environs of Nantes which cannot be 
omitted in this history; we will therefore exercise our 
privilege of transporting the reader to that place. 

On the road to Clisson, two or three miles from Nantes, 
near the convent known as the residence of Abelard, was 
a large dark house, surrounded by thick stunted trees; 
hedges everywhere surrounded the inclosure outside the 
walls, hedges impervious to the sight, and only inter- 
rupted by a wicket gate. 

This gate led into a garden, at the end of which was a 
wall, having a small, massive and closed door. From 
a distance this grave and dismal residence appeared 
like a prison; it was, however, a convent, full of 
young Augustines, subject to a rule lenient as com- 
pared with provincial customs, but rigid as compared 
with those of Paris. 

The house was inaccessible on three sides, but the 
fourth, which did not face the road, abutted on a large 
sheet of water; and ten feet above its surface were the 
windows of the refectory. 


This little lake was carefully guarded, and was sur- 
rounded by high wooden palisades, A single iron gate 
opened into it, and at the same time gave a passage to 
the waters of a small rivulet which fed the lake, and the 
water had egress at the ojDposite end. 

In the summer, a small boat belonging to the garden 
was seen on the water, and was used for fishing. 

Sometimes, also, in summer, on dark nights, the river 
gate was mysteriously opened, and a man wrapped in a 
large brown cloak silently dropped into the little boat, 
which appeared to detach itself from its fastenings, then 
glided quietly along, and stopped under one of the barred 
windows of the refectory. 

Soon a sound was heard imitating the croaking of a frog 
or the ciy of the owl so common there, and then a young 
girl would appear at the window, and pass her head through 
the opening between the bars, which were, however, too 
high for the man to reach. A low and tender conversa- 
tion was then carried on, and at length, after a different 
hour and a different signal had been agreed upon for their 
next interview, they separated, the boat disappeared, the 
gate shut gently, and the young girl closed the window 
with a sigh. 

But now it was the month of February, and in the ter- 
rible winter of 1719. The trees were powdered with hoar- 
frost, and it was at this time impossible to glide quietly 
along in the little boat, for the lake was covered with ice. 
And yet, in this biting cold, in this dark, starless night, a 
cavalier ventured alone into the open country, and along 
a crossroad which led to Clisson. He threw the reins on 
the neck of his horse, which proceeded at a slow and care- 
ful pace. 


Soon, however, in spite of liis instinctive precaution, 
tlie poor animal, whicli liad no light to guide him, struck 
against a stone and nearly fell. The rider soon perceived 
that his horse was lamed, and, on seeing a trail of blood 
upon the snow, discovered that it was wounded. 

The young man appeared seriously annoyed at the acci- 
dent, and while deliberating what course to take, he heard 
a sound of horses' feet on the same road; and, feeling sure 
that if they were pursuing him he could not escape them, 
he remounted his horse, drew aside behind some fallen 
trees, put his sword under his arm, drew out a pistol 
and waited. 

The cavalcade soon appeared; they were four in num- 
ber, and rode silently along, passing the group of trees 
which hid the cavalier, when suddenly they stopped. One 
who appeared the chief alighted, took out a dark lantern, 
and examined the road. 

As they could not see far, they returned some steps, 
and, by the light of their lantern, perceived the cavalier. 

The sound of cocking pistols was now heard. 

"Hola!" said the cavalier with the wounded horse, 
taking the initiative; "who are you, and what do you 

"It is he," murmured two or three voices. 

The man with the lantern advanced toward the cavalier. 

"Advance one step further and you are a dead man," 
said the cavalier. "Declare your name at once, that 1 may 
know with whom I have to deal." 

"Shoot no one, Gaston de Chanlay, " replied the man 
with the lantern, calmly, "and put up your pistols." 

' ' Ah ! it is the Marquis de Pontcalec. ' ' 

"Yes, it is I." 


"And wliat do you come liere for, may I ask?" 

"To demand some explanation of your conduct. Ap- 
proach and reply, if you please." 

"The invitation is singular, marquis. If you wish for 
an answer, could you not ask it in other terms?" 

"Approach, Gaston," said another voice; "we really 
wish to speak with you." 

"A la bonne heure, " said Chanlay, "I recognize you 
there, Montlouis; but I confess I am not accustomed to 
M. de Pontcalec's manner of proceeding." 

"My manners are those of a frank and open Breton, 
monsieur," replied the marquis, "of one who has noth- 
ing to hide from his friends, and is willing to be ques- 
tioned as freely as he questions others." 

"I join Montlouis," said another voice, "in begging 
Gaston to explain amicably. Surely it is not our interest 
to quarrel among ourselves. ' ' 

"Thanks, Du Couedic, " said De Chanlay, "I am of the 
same opinion; so here I am." And sheathing his sword 
at these words, the young man issued from his retreat and 
approached the group. 

"M. de Tahouet," said Pontcalec, in the tone of a man 
who has a right to issue commands, "watch that no one 
approaches. ' ' 

M. de Tahouet obeyed, and rode round in a circle, keep- 
ing both eyes and ears open. 

"And now," said the marquis, "let us put out our lan- 
tern, since we have found our man." 

"Messieurs," said De Chanlay, "all this seems to me 
somewhat strange. It appears that you were following 
me, that you were seeking for me; now you have found 
me, and may put out your lantern. What does it mean ? 


If it is a joke, I confess I think both time and place 
ill chosen." 

"No, monsieur, " replied Pontcalec, in his hard, dry 
voice, "it is not a joke; it is an interrogatory." 

"An interrogatory?" said De Chanlay, frowning. 

"An explanation, rather," said Montlouis. 

"Interrogatory or explanation, it matters not," said 
Pontcalec; "the thing is too serious to argue about 
words. M. de Chanlay, I repeat, reply to our questions." 

"You speak roughly. Marquis de Pontcalec," replied 
the chevalier. 

"If I command, it is because I have the right to do 
so. Am I, or am I not, your chief?" 

' ' Certainly you are ; but that is no reason for forgetting 
the consideration which one gentleman owes to another." 

"M. de Chanlay, all these objections seem to me like 
shuffling. You have sworn to obey — do so now." 

"I swore to obey," replied the chevalier, "but not as 
a servant." 

"You swore to obey as a slave. Obey, then or submit 
to the consequences of your disobedience!" 

' ' Monsieur le Marquis ! " 

"My dear Gaston," cried Montlouis, "speak, I beg, as 
soon as possible: by a word you can remove all suspicion.-^' 

"Suspicion!" cried Graston, pale with anger; "am / sus- 
pected, then?" 

"Certainly you are," said Pontcalec, with his ordinary 
roughness, "Do you think if we did not suspect you we 
should amuse ourselves by following you on such a night 
as this?" 

"Oh, that is quite another matter!" said Gaston, coldly; 
"tell me your suspicions. I listen." 

(B)— Vol. 23 


' ' Chevalier, remember the facts ; we four were conspiring 
together, and we did not seek your aid; you offered it, say- 
ing that, besides being willing to aid in the public good, 
you had a private revenge to serve in this. Am I not 

"You are." 

"We received you — welcomed you as a friend, as a 
brother; we told you all our hopes, all our plans; nay, 
more, you were elected, by chance, the one to strike the 
glorious blow. Each one of us offered to take your part, 
but you refused. Is it not so ?" 

"You have spoken the strictest truth, marquis." 

' ' This very morning we drew the lots ; this evening you 
should be on the road to Paris. Instead of that, where do 
we find you ? on the road to Clisson, where are lodged the 
mortal enemies of Breton independence, where lives your 
sworn foe, the Marechal de Montesquieu. ' ' 

' ' Ah ! monsieur, ' ' said Gaston, scornfully. 

"Reply by open words, and not by sneers: reply, M. de 
Chanlay, and quickly." 

"Reply, Graston," said Du Couedic and Montlouis, 

"And to what am I to reply?" 

"You are to account for your frequent absences during 
the last two months — for the mystery which surrounds you 
— for refusing, as you do, once or twice weekly, to join our 
nightly meetings. We confess, G-aston, all this has made 
us uneasy ; by a word you can reassure us. ' ' 

"You see, monsieur, that you are proved guilty by hid- 
ing, instead of pursuing your course." 

"I did not pursue my course, because my horse was 
wounded ; you may see the stains of blood upon the road. ' ' 


"But why did you hide?" 

' ' Because I wislied to know first wlio was pursuing me. 
Have I not the fear of being arrested, as well as yourselves ?" 

"And where are you going?" 

"If you had followed my steps as you have done hith- 
erto, you would have found that my path did not lead 
to Clisson. " 

"I^or to Paris." 

"I beg," said De Chanlay, "that you will trust me, and 
respect my secret — a secret in which not only my own 
honor, but that of another, is concerned. You do not 
know — perhaps it may be exaggerated — how extreme is 
my delicacy on this point." 
, "Then it is a love secret," said Montlouis. 

. ' ' Yes, and the secret of a first love, ' ' replied Gaston. 

"All evasions," cried Pontcalec. 

"Marquis!" said Graston, haughtily. 

"This is not saying enough, my friend," replied Du 
Couedic. "How can we believe that you are going to a 
rendezvous in such weather, and that this rendezvous is 
not at Clisson — where, except the Augustine Convent, there 
is not a single house for two miles around. ' ' 

" M. de Chanlay, ' ' said the Marquis de Pontcalec, in an 
agitated voice, "you swore to obey me as your chief, and 
to devote soul and body to oui' holy cause. Monsieur, our 
undertaking is serious — our property, our liberties, our lives 
and our honor are at stake. Will you reply clearly and 
freely to the questions which I put to you in the name of 
all, so as to remove all doubts ? If not, Gaston de Chan- 
l^Jj -by virtue of that right which you gave me, of your 
own free will, over your life — if not, I declare on my honor 
I will blow your brains out with my own hand!" 


A solemn silence followed these words; not one voice 
was raised to defend Gaston ; he looked at each one in turn, 
and each one turned away from him. 

"Marquis," said the chevalier at length, in a tone of 
deep feeling, "not only do you insult me by suspicions, 
but you grieve me by saying that I can only remove those 
suspicions by declaring my secret. Stay, ' ' added he, draw- 
ing a pocket-book from his coat, and hastily pencilling a 
lew words on a leaf which he tore out; "stay, here is the 
secret you wish to know; I hold it in one hand, and in 
the other I hold a loaded pistol. Will you make me repa- 
ration for the insult you have offered me? or, in my 
turn, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will blow 
my brains out. When I am dead, open my hand and 
read this paper; you will then see if I deserved your 
suspicions. ' ' 

And Graston held the pistol to his head with the calm 
resolution which showed that he would keep his word. 

"Gaston! Gaston!" cried Montlouis, while Du Couedic 
held his arm; "stop, in Heaven's name! Marquis, he would 
do as he said ; pardon him, and he will tell us all. Is it not 
so, Gaston ? You will not have a secret from your brothers, 
who beg you, in the names of their wives and children, to 
tell it them." 

"Certainly," said the marquis, "I not only pardon but 
love him ; he knows it well. Let him but prove his inno- 
cence, and I will make him every reparation; but, before 
that, nothing; he is young, and alone in the world. He 
has not, like us, wives and children, whose happiness and 
whose fortune he is risking; he stakes only his own life, 
and he holds that as cheaply as is usual at twenty years 
of age; but with his life he ^isks ours; and yet let him 


say but one word showing a justification, and I will be 
the first to open my arms to him." 

"Well, marquis," said Gaston, after a few moments* 
silence, "follow me, and you shall be satisfied." 

' ' And we ?' ' asked Montlouis and Du Couedic. 

"Come, also, you are all gentlemen; I risk no more in 
confiding my secret to all than to one." 

The marquis called Tahouet, who had kept good watch, 
and now rejoined the group, and followed without asking 
what had passed. 

All five went on but slowly, for Gaston's horse was 
lame; the chevalier guided them toward the convent, then 
to the little rivulet, and at ten paces from the iron gate 
he stopped. 

"It is here," said he. 


"At the convent?" 

"Yes, my friends; there is here at this moment a young 
girl whom I have loved since I saw her a year ago in the 
procession at the Fete Dieu at Nantes; she observed me 
also. I followed her, and sent her a letter." 

' ' But how do you see her ?' ' asked the marquis. 

"A hundred louis won the gardener over to my interest; 
he has given me a key to this gate ; in the summer I come 
in a boat to the convent wall ; ten feet above the water is 
a window, where she awaits me. If it were lighter, you 
could see it from this spot; and, in spite of the darkness, 
I see it now." 

"Yes, I understand how you manage in summer; but 
you cannot use the boat now." 

"True, but, instead, there is a coating of ice on which 
I shall go this evening; perhaps it will break and engulf 


me; so much the better, for then, I hope, your suspicions 
would die with me." 

' ' You have taken a load from my breast, ' ' said Mont- 
louis. "Ah! my poor Gaston, how happy you make me! 
for, remember, Du Couedic and I answered for you." 

"Chevalier," said the marquis, 'I'^ardon and embrace 

"Willingly, marquis; but you have destroyed a por- 
tion of my happiness." 

"How so?" 

"I wished my love to have been known to no one. I 
have so much need of strength and courage! Am I not 
to leave her to-night forever?" 

"Who knows, chevalier? You look gloomily at the 
future. ' ' 

"I know what I am saying, Montlouis." 

"If you succeed — and with your courage and sang-froia 
you ought to succeed — France is free : then she will owe her 
liberty to you, and you will be master of your own fate. ' ' 

' ' Ah ! marquis, if I succeed, it will be for you ; my own 
fate is fixed. " 

"Courage, chevalier; meanwhile, let us see how you 
manage these love affairs." 

"Still mistrust, marquis?" 

"Still, my dear Gaston, I mistrust myself. And natu- 
rally enough ; after being named your chief, all the respon- 
sibility rests on me, and I must watch over you all. ' ' 

' ' At least, marquis, I am as anxious to reach the foot of 
that wall as you can be to see me, so I shall not keep you 
waiting long." 

Gaston tied his horse to a tree; by means of a plank 
thrown across, he passed the stream, opened the gate, and 


then, following tlie palisades so as to get away from the 
stream, he stepped upon the ice, which cracked under 
his feet. 

"In Heaven's name," cried Montlouis, "be prudent." 

"Look, marquis," said Gaston. 

"I believe you; f believe you, Gaston." 

' ' You give me fresh courage, ' ' replied the chevalier. 

"And now, Gaston, one word more. When shall you 

"To-morrow, at this time, marquis, I shall probably be 
thirty leagues on the way to Paris. 

"Come back and let us embrace, and say adieu," 

"With pleasure." 

Gaston retraced his steps, and was embraced cordially 
by each of the chevaliers, who did not turn away till they 
saw that he had arrived safely at the end of his perilous 




IN SPITE of the cracking of tlie ice, Gaston pursued his 
way boldly, and perceived, with a beating heart, that 
the winter rains had raised the waters of the little lake, 
so that he might possibly be able to reach the window. 

He was not mistaken; on giving the signal, the window 
was opened, then a head appeared nearly at the level of his 
own, and a hand touched his: it was the first time. Gaston 
seized it, and covered it with kisses. 

' ' Gaston, you have come in spite of the cold, and on the 
ice ; I told you in my letter not to do so. ' ' 

"With your letter on my heart, Hel^ne, I think I can 
run no danger; but what have you to tell me? You have 
been crying!" 

"Alas! since this morning I have done little else." 

"Since this morning," said Gaston, with a sad smile, 
**that is strange; if I were not a man, I too should have 
cried since this morning. ' ' 

"What do you say, Gaston?" 

"Nothing, nothing; tell me, what are your griefs, 

' ' Alas 1 you know I am not my own mistress. I am a 
poor orphan, brought up here, having no other world than 


the convent. I have never seen any one to whom I can 
give the names of father or mother — my mother I believe 
to be dead, and my father is absent; I depend upon an 
invisible power, revealed only to our superior. This morn- 
ing the good mother sent for me, and announced, with tears 
in her eyes, that I was to leave. ' ' 

' ' To leave the convent, Hel^ne ?' ' 

"Yes; my family reclaims me, Q-aston." 

"Your family ? Alas! what new misfortune awaits us?" 

"Yes, it is a misfortune, Graston. Our good mother at 
first congratulated me, as if it were a pleasure ; but I was 
happy here, and wished to remain till I became your wife. 
I am otherwise disposed of, but how ?' ' 

"And this order to remove you?" 

' ' Admits of neither disjDute nor delay. Alas ! it seems 
that I belong to a powerful family, and that I am the 
daughter of some great nobleman. When the good mother 
told me I must leave, I burst into tears, and fell on my 
knees, and said I would not leave her; then, suspecting 
that I had some hidden motive, she pressed me, ques- 
tioned me, and — forgive me, Graston — I wanted to confide 
in some one. I felt the want of pity and consolation, and 
I told her all — that we loved each other — all except the 
manner in which we meet. I was afraid, if I told her that, 
that she would prevent my seemg you this last time to 
say adieu." 

"But did you not tell, Hel^ne, what were my plans; 
that, bound to an association myself for six months, per- 
haps for a year, at the end of that time, the very day I 
should be free, my name, my fortune, my very life, were 
yours ?' ' 

"I told her, Gaston; and this is what m.akes me think 


I am tlie daughter of some powerful nobleman, ' for tlien 
Mother Ursula replied: 'You must forget the chevalier, 
my child; for who knows that your new family would 
consent to your marrying him?' " 

' ' But do not I belong to one of the oldest families in 
Brittany ? and, though I am not rich, my fortune is inde- 
pendent. Did you say this, H^l^ne ?" 

"Yes; I said to her, 'Gaston chose me, an orphan, with- 
out name and without fortune. I may be separated from 
him, but it would be cruel ingratitude to forget him, and 
I shall never do so.' " 

"H^l^ne, you are an angel. And you cannot then im- 
agine who are your parents, or to what you are destined ?' ' 

"No; it seems that it is a secret on which all my future 
happiness depends: only, Gaston, I fear they are high in 
station, for it almost appeared as if our superior spoke to 
me with deference. ' ' 

"To you, Hel^ne?" 


"So much the better," said Gaston, sighing. 

"Do you rejoice at our separation, Gaston?" 

"No, H^lene; but I rejoice that you should find a family 
when you are about to lose a friend. ' ' 

"Lose a friend, Gaston! I have none but you; whom 
then should I lose?" 

"At least, I must leave you for some time, Hdl^ne." 

"What do you mean?" 

"I mean that Fate has endeavored to make our lots 
similar, and that you are not the only one who does not 
know what the morrow may bring forth." 

"Gaston! Gaston! what does this strange language 
mean ?' ' 


"That I also am subject to a fatality wliicli 1 must obey 
— that I also am governed by an irresistible and superior 
power. ' ' 

"You! oh heavens!" 

"To a power which may condemn me to leave you in a 
week — in a fortnight — in a month; and not only to leave 
you, but to leave France." 

"Ah, G-aston! what do you tell me?" 

"What in my love, or rather in my egotism, I have 
dreaded to tell you before. I shut my eyes to this hour, 
and yet I knew that it must come ; this morning they were 
opened. I must leave you, Hel^ne." 

' ' But why ? "What have you undertaken ? what will 
become of you ?' ' 

"Alas! H^l^ne, we each have our secret," said the 
chevalier, sorrowfully; "I pray that yours may be less 
terrible than mine." 


"Were you not the first to say that we must part, 
Hel^ne ? Had not you first the courage to renounce me ? 
Well; blessings on you for that courage — for I, Hel^ne, I 
had it not." 

And at these last words the young man again pressed his 
lips to her hand, and Heldne could see that tears stood in 
his eyes. 

"Oh, mon Dieu!" murmured she, "how have we de- 
served this misery?" 

At this exclamation Gaston raised his head. "Come," 
said he, as if to himself, "courage! It is useless to strug- 
gle against these necessities; let us obey without a murmur, 
and perhaps our resignation may disarm our fate. Can I 
see you again?" 


"I fear not — I leave to-morrow." 

"And on what road ?" 

"To Paris." 

"Good heavens!" cried Gaston; "and I also." 

"You also, Gaston?" 

"Yes, Hel^ne; we were mistaken, we need hot part" 

"Oh, Gaston! is it true?" 

"Hel^ne, we had no right to accuse Providence; not 
only can we see each other on the journey, but at Paris we 
will not be separated. How do you travel ?" 

"In the convent carriage, with post horses and by short 

"Who goes with you ?" 

"A nun, who will return to the convent when she has 
delivered me over to those who await me. ' ' 

"All is for the best, H^l^ne. I shall go on horseback, 
as a stranger, unknown to you; each evening I may speak 
to you, or, if I cannot do so, I shall at least see you. It 
will be but a half separation. ' ' 

And the two lovers, with the buoyant hopes of youth, 
after meeting with tears and sadness, parted with smiles 
and joyous confidence in the future. Gaston recrossed the 
frozen lake, and found, instead of his own wounded horse, 
that of Montlouis, and, thanks to this kindness, reached 
Nantes safely in less than three-quarters of an hour. 




THAT very niglit Graston made Ms will, and deposited 
it with a notary at Nantes. 

He left everything to H^l^ne de Chavernyj 
begged her, if he died, not to renounce the world, but to 
accept the career opening to her youth and beauty; but as 
he was the last of his family, he begged her, in memory 
of him, to call her first son Gaston. 

He next went to see each of his friends, and once more 
told them that he believed the enterprise would be success- 
ful. Pontcalec gave him half a piece of gold and a letter, 
which he was to present to a certain Captain la Jonqui^re, 
their correspondent at Paris, who would put Gaston in com- 
munication with the important persons he went to seek. He 
then put all the ready money he had into a valise, and, ac- 
companied only by an old servant named Owen, in whom 
he had great confidence, he set out from Nantes. 

It was midday, a bright sun shone on the stream, and 
sparkled on the icicles which hung from the leafless trees, 
as Gaston made his way along the deserted road, looking 
in vain for anything resembling the convent carriage. 

The servant appeared much more anxious to quicken 
their pace than Gaston himself did, for to him the journey 
was fraught with annoyances, and he was so anxious to 
arrive at that Paris of which he had heard such wonderful 


tales, tliat, had it been possible, he would willingly have 
added wings to their horses' feet. 

Graston, however, travelled slowly as far as Oudon, but 
the convent carriage proceeded more slowly still. At 
Oudon he halted; he chose the Char Couronne, a house 
which had some windows overlooking the road, and which, 
moreover, was the best inn in the village. 

While his dinner was preparing, Gaston, in spite of the 
cold, remained in the balcony; but in vain he looked for 
the carriage he so much wished to see. 

Then he thought that perhaps H^llsne had preceded him, 
and was already in the inn. He went at once to a window 
at the back, overlooking the courtyard, to inspect the car- 
riages standing there. 

His attention was arrested by seeing, not the carriage, 
but his servant, Owen, speaking earnestly to a man dressed 
in gray and wrapped in a sort of military cloak, who, after 
a short conversation, mounted his horse and rode off with 
the air of a man to whom speed is of the utmost impor- 
tance, as Graston heard his steps along the road to Paris. 

At this moment the servant raised his eyes, and began 
busily brushing the snow from his boots and clothes. 

Graston signed to him to approach. 

"Who were you talking with, Owen?" 

"To a man, M. Gaston." 

"Who is that man?" 

"A traveller — a soldier, who was asking his way." 

"His way; to what place ?" 


"But you could not tell him, for you do not know this 
place. ' ' 

"I asked the landlord, monsieur." 


"Why could not lie ask Hmself ?" 

"Because lie liad tad a quarrel witli him about tlie price 
of his dinner, and did not wish to speak to him again. ' ' 

' ' Hum, ' ' said Gaston. 

Nothing was more natural than this, yet Graston became 
thoughtful; but he quickly threw ofE his suspicions, accus- 
ing himself of becoming timid at a time when he most 
needed courage; his brow remained clouded, however, for 
the carriage did not appear. 

He thought at one moment that H^l^ne might have 
chosen another road in order to part from him without 
noise or quarrel, but he soon concluded that it was only 
some accident which delayed her; he sat down again to 
table, though he had finished his dinner, and when Owen 
appeared to clear away, "Some wine," said he. Owen had 
already removed a half empty bottle. 

"Some wine ?" repeated the servant in astonishment, for 
Gaston usually drank but little. 

"Yes, some wine; is there anything surprising in that?" 

"No, monsieur," replied Owen. 

And he transmitted the order for a second bottle of wine 
to the waiter, Gaston poured out a glass, drank it, then a 

Owen stared. 

Then, thinking it both his duty and his interest to pre- 
vent his master's finishing the bottle — 

"Monsieur," said he, "I have heard that, if you are rid- 
ing, it is bad to drink when it is very cold. You forget that 
we have a long way to go, and that it will be getting still 
colder, and if we wait much longer we shall get no post- 
horses. It is nearly three o'clock now, and at half- past four 
it will be dark. ' ' 


This behavior surprised Gaston. 

"You are in a very great hurry, Owen," said he; "have 
you a rendezvous with the man who was asking his way of 


' ' Monsieur knows that to be impossible, ' ' replied Owen. 
"Since he is going to Eennes, and we to Paris." 

However, under the scrutinizing gaze of his master, 
Owen turned red, when suddenly, at the sound of wheels, 
Gaston ran to the window. It was the dark carriage. 

At this sight Gaston darted from the room. 

It was then Owen's turn to run to the window to see 
what it was that had so much interested his master. He 
saw a green and black carriage stop, from which the driver 
alighted and opened the door; then he saw a young lady 
in a cloak go into the hotel, followed by an Augustine sis- 
ter; the two ladies, announcing that they should only 
remain to dine, asked for a room. 

But to reach this room they had to cross a public saloon, 
in which Gaston stood near the fireplace ; a rapid but mean- 
ing glance was exchanged between him and H^l^ne, and, to 
Gaston's great satisfaction, he recognized in the driver of 
the carriage the convent gardener. 

He let him pass, however, unnoticed, but, as he crossed 
the yard to go to the stable, followed him. 

He accosted the gardener, who told him that he was to 
take the two ladies to Rambouillet, where Hel^ne would 
remain, and then he was to take back Sister Th^r^se to 

Gaston, raising his eyes suddenly, saw Owen watching 
Mm, and this curiosity displeased him. 

"What are you doing there ?" asked he. 

' ' Waiting for orders, ' ' said Owen. 


"Do you know that fellow?" asked Gaston of tlie gar- 

"M. Owen, your servant? Of course I do; we are from 
the same place. ' ' 

' ' So much the worse, ' ' murmured Gaston. 

"Oh, Owen is an honest fellow." 

"Never mind," said Gaston; "not a word of Hel^ne, I 

The gardener promised; and indeed it was his own in- 
terest to keep the secret, for had it been discovered that he 
had given Gaston the key, he would have lost his place. 

After a hasty meal, the carriage was again ordered, and 
at the door Gaston met the ladies and handed them in. 
Chanlay was not quite unknown to the sister, so she thanked 
liim graciously as he handed her in. 

"Monsieur," said Owen, behind the chevalier, "our 
horses are ready." 

"One more glass," said Gaston, "and I shall start." 

To Owen's great surprise, Gaston returned to the room 
and ordered a third bottle; for Owen had removed the 
second, of which Gaston had only drunk his two glasses. 

Gaston remained about a quarter of an hour, and then, 
having no further motive for waiting, he set out. 

When they had ridden a short distance, they saw the 
carriage imbedded in a deep rut, where, in spite of the 
efforts of the horses and the gardener, it remained station- 
ary. Gaston could not leave him in such a dilemma, and 
the gardener, recognizing Owen, called to him for aid. The 
two riders dismounted, opened the carriage door, took out 
the ladies, and succeeded in freeing the carriage, so that 
they were able to proceed. 

An acquaintanceship was thus established, and the poor 


nun, who was very timid, inquired of Gaston if the road 
were safe. Graston reassured her, and said that he and his 
servant would escort them, and his offer was at once ac- 
cepted with thanks. 

Meanwhile Helene had played her part admirably, show- 
ing that a young girl, however simple and naive, has the 
instinct of dissimulation, which only requires opportunity 
to develop itself. 

Gaston rode along close to the door, for the road was 
narrow, and Sister Ther^se asked him many questions. 
She learned that he was called the Chevalier de Livry, 
and was the brother of one of the young ladies who had 
been in the convent school, but who was now married 
to Montlouis. 

They stopped, as previously arranged, at Ancenis. 

The gardener confirmed what Gaston had said of his re- 
lationship to Mademoiselle de Livry, so that Sister Ther^se 
had no suspicion, and was very friendly with him. 

She was, in fact, delighted, on starting the next morn- 
ing, to find him already mounted, and to receive his accus- 
tomed politeness in handing them into the carriage. As he 
did so, he slipped a note into Hel^ne's hand, and by a 
glance she told him he should receive a reply. 

Gaston rode by the side of the carriage, for the road was 
bad, and assistance was frequently required, either to free 
a wheel, to assist the ladies to alight for the purpose of 
walking up a steep ascent, or some of the many accidents 
of a journey. "My dear Helene," said Sister Ther^se, sev- 
eral times, "what would have become of us without the aid 
of this gentleman T ' 

Before arriving at Angers, Gaston inquired at what hotel 
they were going to stay, and, finding that it was the same 


at whicli he intended to put up, he sent Owen on before 
to engage apartments. 

When they arrived, he received a note, which Helena 
had written during dinner. She spoke of her love and 
happiness as though they were secure and everlasting. 

But Gaston looked on the future in its true light. Bound 
by an oath to undertake a terrible mission, he foresaw sad 
misfortunes after their present short-lived joy. He remem- 
bered that he was about to lose happiness. Just as he had 
tasted it for the first time, and rebelled against his fate. 
He did not remember that he had sought that conspiracy 
which now bound him, and which forced him to pursue a 
path leading to exile or the scaffold, while he had in sight 
another path which would lead him direct to happiness. 

It is true that when Gaston joined the conspiracy he did 
not know Helene, and thought himself alone in the world. 
At twenty years of age he had believed that the world had 
no pleasure for him ; then he had met Heldne, and the world 
became full of pleasure and hope: but it was too late; he 
had already entered on a career from which he could not 
draw back. 

Meanwhile, in the preoccupation of his mind, Gaston had 
quite forgotten his suspicions of Owen, and had not noticed 
that he had spoken to two cavaliers similar to the one whom 
he had seen the first evening ; but Owen lost nothing of what 
passed between Gaston and Helene. 

As they approached the end of their journey, Gaston be- 
came sad ; and when the landlord at Chartres replied to the 
question of Sister Ther^se, "To-morrow you may, if you 
choose, reach Rambouillet, ' ' it was as though he had said, 
"To-morrow you separate forever." 

Helene, who loved as women love, with the strength, or 


rather tlie weakness, to sacrifice everytliing to tliat love, 
could not understand Gaston's passive submission to the 
decrees of Providence, and she would have preferred to 
have seen him make some effort to combat them. 

But H^l^ne was in this unjust to Gaston ; the same ideas 
tormented him. He knew that at a word from him Helene 
would follow him to the end of the world — he had plenty 
of gold — it would be easy for Helene one evening, instead of 
going to rest, to go with him into a post-chaise, and in two 
days they would be beyond the frontier, free and happy, 
not for a day or a month, but forever. 

But one word, one little word, opposed itself to all this. 
That word was honor. He had given his oath, and he 
would be disgraced if he did not keep it. 

The last evening Helene expected that Gaston would 
speak, but in vain, and she retired to rest with the 
conviction that Gaston did not love her as she loved 

That night Gaston never slept, and he rose pale and 
despairing. They breakfasted at a little village. The nun 
thought that in the evening she would begin her homeward 
journey toward her beloved convent. Heldne thought that 
it was now too late to act, even if Gaston should speak. 
Gaston thought that he was about to lose forever the woman 
whom he loved. 

About three o'clock in the afternoon they all alighted to 
walk up a steep hill, from the summit of which they could 
see before them a steeple and a number of houses. It was 
Rambouillet; they did not know it, but they felt that 
it was. 

Gaston was the first to break the silence. ' ' There, ' ' said 
he, "our paths separate. Helene, I implore you to preserve 


the recollection of me, and, whatever happens, do not con- 
demn or curse me." 

"Graston, you only speak of the most terrible things. 
I need courage, and you take it from me. Have you noth- 
ing joyful to tell me ? I know the present is dark ; but is 
the future also as dreadful? Are there not many years, 
and therefore many hopes, to look forward to? We are 
young, we love one another; are there no means of strug- 
gling against the fate which threatens us? Oh, Graston! I 
feel in myself a great strength, and if you but say — But 
no, I am mad; it is I who suffer, and yet I who console." 

' ' I understand you, Hel^ne — you want a promise, do you 
not? "Well, judge if I am wretched; I dare not promise. 
You tell me to hope, and I can but despair. If I had ten 
years, five years, one year, at my own disposal, I would 
offer them to you, Hel^ne, and think myself blessed; but 
from the moment I leave you we lose each other. From 
to-morrow morning I belong no more to myself." 

"Oh!" cried Hel^ne, "unhappy that I am! Did you 
then deceive me when you said you loved me? are 
you pledged to another?" 

"At least, my poor H^l^ne," said Gaston, "on this point 
I can reassure you. I have no other love. ' ' 

"Then we may yet be happy, Graston, if my new family 
will recognize you as my husband. ' ' 

' ' Hel^ne, do you not see that every word you utter stabs 
me to the heart ?' ' 

"But at least tell me what it is." 

"Fate, which I cannot escape; ties which I dare not 

"I know of none such," cried the young girl. *'I am 
promised a family, riches, scation and a name; and yet, 


Gaston, saj but one word, and I leave tliem all for you. 
"Why, then, will you not do as mucli for me ?' ' 

Gaston answered not; and at this moment Sister Th^r^se 
rejoined them, and they again got into the carriage. When 
they neared the town, the nun called Gaston, told him that 
perhaps some one might come to meet H^l^ne, and that a 
stranger should not be seen with them. Gaston bowed 
silently and sadly, and turned to leave them. 

H^l^ne was no ordinary woman; she saw Gaston's dis- 

"Is it adieu, or au revoir^^ cried she, boldly. 

".4m revoir^^^ said Gaston, and he rode off quickly. 




GASTON went awaj without sajing how tliey were 
to meet again ; but Hel^ne thouglit tliat lie would 
certainly manage that, and she contented herself 
with watching him as long as she could. Ten minutes 
later the carriage stopped at the Tigre Royal. A womaa 
who was waiting came out hastily, and respectfully assisted 
the ladies to alight, and then guided them through the 
passages of the hotel, preceded by a valet carrying 

A door opened, Madame Desroches drew back to allow 
Hel^ne and Sister Ther^se to pass, and they soon found 
themselves on a soft and easy sofa, in front of a bright 

The room was large and well furnished; but the taste 
was severe, for the style called Rococo was not yet intro* 
duced. There were four doors: the first was that by 
which they had entered; the second led to the dining- 
room, which was already lighted and warmed; the third 
led into a richly appointed bedroom; the fourth did not 

Hel^ne admired the magnificence of all around her — the 
quiet and respectful manner of the servants; while Sister 


Ttdr^se rejoiced, wlien slie saw tlie smoking supper, tliat 
it was not a fast day. 

Presently Madame Desroches returned, and, approacliing 
tlie sister, handed her a letter. She opened it, and read as 

"Sister Th^r^se may pass the night at Rambouillet, or 
leave again at once, according to her own wish. She will 
receive two hundred louis offered to the convent by H^l^ne, 
and will give up her charge to the care of Madame Des- 
roches, who is honored by the confidence of H^lene's 

At the bottom of the letter, instead of a signature, was 
a cipher, which the sister compared with that on a letter 
which she had brought from Clisson. The identity being 
proved — 

"My child," said she, "I leave you after supper." 

"So soon!" said H^l^ne, to whom Th^r^se was now the 
only link to her past life. 

"Yes, my child. It is at my option to sleep here, but 
I prefer to return at once; for I wish to be again at home, 
where the only thing wanting to my happiness will be your 

Hel^ne threw herself on Ther^se's neck, weeping. She 
recalled her youth, passed so happily among affectionate 
companions, and she again saw the towers and steeples of 
her former residence. 

They sat down to table, and Sister Ther^se hastily 
partook of some refreshment, then embraced Helene, who 
wished to accompany her to the carriage; but Madame 
Desroches begged her not to do so, as the hotel was full 
of strangers. 

Helene then asked permission to see the poor gardener 


who liad been their escort once more. This man had be- 
come a friend to her, and she quitted him and Ther^se 

Madame Desroches, seeing that Hel^ne felt vainly in her 
pocket, said, "Does mademoiselle want anything?" 

"Yes," said Helena; "I should wish to give a souvenir 
to this good man. ' * 

Madame Desroches gave Hdl^ne twenty-five louis, and 
she, without counting them, slipped them into the gar- 
dener's hand, who overwhelmed her with tears and 

At length they were forced to part, and H^l^ne, hearing 
the sound of their carriage driving away, threw herself on 
a sofa, weeping. 

Madame Desroches reminded her that she had eaten 
nothing. Hel^ne insisted that she should sup with her. 
After her meal she showed H^l^ne her bedroom, saying, 
"Will mademoiselle ring when she requires heryemme de 
chamhre; for this evening mademoiselle will receive a 

"A visit!" cried H^l^ne. 

"Yes, mademoiselle; from a relation." 

"And is it the one who watches over me?" 

"From your birth, mademoiselle." 

"Oh, mon Dieu!" cried Hdl^ne; "and he is coming?" 

' ' He is most anxious to know you. ' ' 

"Oh," murmured H^l^ne; "I feel as if I should 

Madame Desroches ran to her, and supported her. 

"Do you feel so much terror," asked she, "at seeing one 
who loves you?" 

"It is not terror, it is agitation," said H^l^ne. "I did 

(C>— VoL 23 


not know tliat it would be to-niglit; and this important 
news quite overcomes me." 

"But I liave not told you all: this person is necessa- 
rily surrounded by mystery." 

"Why so?" 

"I am forbidden to reply to that question, mademoiselle." 

""What necessity can there be for such precautions with 
a poor orphan like me ?" 

"They are necessary, believe me." 

"But in what do they consist?" 

"First, you may not see the face of this person; so 
that you may not recognize him if you meet him in the 

"Then he will come masked." 

"No, mademoiselle; but the lights will be extinguished." 

"Then we shall be in darkness ?" 


"But you will remain with me, Madame Desroches. " 

"No, mademoiselle; that is expressly forbidden." 

"By whom?" 

' ' By the person who is coming. ' ' 

"But do you, then, owe such absolute obedience to this 

"More than that, mademoiselle, I owe him the deepest 
respect. ' ' 

"Is he, then, of such high station?" 

"He is of the very highest in France." 

"And he is my relation?" 

"The nearest." 

"For heaven's sake, Madame Desroches, do not feave me 
in uncertainty on this point. ' ' 

"I have already told you, mademoiselle, that there are 


some questions to whicli I am expressly forbidden to reply," 
and she was about to retire. 

' ' Why do you leave me ?' ' asked Hdl^ne. 

' ' I leave you to your toilet. ' ' 

"But, madame — " 

Madame Desroches made a low, ceremonious courtesy, 
and went out of the room, closing the door behind her. 




WHILE tlie things which we have related were pass- 
ing in the parlor of the hotel Tigre Royal, in 
another apartment of the same hotel, seated near 
a large fire, was a man shaking the snow from his boots, 
and untying the strings of a large portfolio. This man was 
dressed in the hunting livery of the house of Orleans: the 
coat red and silver, large boots, and a three-cornered hat, 
trimmed with silver. He had a quick eye, a long pointed 
nose, a round and open forehead, which was contradicted 
by thin and compressed lips. 

This man murmured to himself some phrases which he 
interrupted by oaths and exclamations, which seemed less 
the result of words than thoughts. 

"Come, come," said he, "M. de Montaran did not de- 
ceive me, and our Bretons are hard at the work; but for 
what earthly reason can he have come by such short 
stages? He left at noon on the 11th, and only arrived 
on the evening of the 21st, This probably hides some 
new mystery, which will be explained by the fellow 
recommended by Montaran, and with whom my people 
were in communication on the journey. Hola!" 


And lie rang a silver bell. A man dressed in gray, like 
those we liave seen on the route, appeared. 

"Ah! it is you, Tapin ?" 

"Yes, monseigneur; the affair being important, I thought 
it better to come myself. ' ' 

"Have you questioned the men you placed on the 

"Yes, monseigneur; but they know nothing but the 
places at which our conspirators stopped; in fact, that is 
all they were told to learn. ' ' 

"I will try to learn from the servant. What sort of 
man is he?" 

"Oh, a mischievous simpleton, half Norman, half Bre- 
ton; a bad fellow." 

"What is he about now ?" 

"Serving his master's supper." 

"Whom, I hope, they have placed as I desired?" 

"Yes, monseigneur." 

"In a room without curtains?" 

"Yes, monseigneur." 

"And you have made a hole in the shutter?" 

"Yes, monseigneur." 

"Well, then, send me the servant, and remain within 

The man in the red coat consulted his watch. 

"Half-past eight," said he; "at this hour monseigneur 
the regent returns to St. Germain's and asks for Dubois; as 
Dubois is not there, he rubs his hands and prepares for some 
folly. Eub your hands, Philippe d' Orleans, and amuse 
yourself at your pleasure, for the danger is not at Paris, 
but here. We shall see if you will laugh at my secret 
police this time. Ah! here is our man." 


Aw this moment Tapin introduced Owen. 

"Here is the person you wished to see," said he. 

Owen remained standing, trembling, near the door, while 
Dubois wrapped himself in a large cloak, which left only the 
upper part of his face visible to him on whom he fixed his 
cat-like eyes. 

' ' Approach, my friend, ' ' said Dubois. 

In spite of the cordiality of this invitation, it was given 
in so harsh a voice that Owen would have preferred being 
at a greater distance from this man, who looked at him so 

"Well, fellow," said Dubois, seeing that he did not stir, 
**did you not hear me ?" 

' ' Yes, monseigneur, ' ' said Owen. 

"Then why do you not obey?" 

"I did not know you spoke to me." 

And Owen then stepped forward. 

"You have received fifty louis to speak the truth to 
me," continued Dubois. 

"Pardon, monseigneur," said Owen, who began to re- 
cover his composure; "I have not received them; they 
were promised to me, but — " 

Dubois took a handful of gold from his pocket, counted 
fifty louis, and placed them in a pile on the table. 

Owen looked at the pile with an expression of which 
one would have supposed his dull countenance inca- 

"Good," thought Dubois; "he is avaricious." 

In reality, the fifty louis had always appeared very 
doubtful to Owen. He had betrayed his master with 
scarcely a hope of obtaining his reward; and now the 
promised gold was before his eyes. 


"May I take them?" asked Owen, spreading his hand 
toward them. 

' ' Wait a moment, ' ' said Dubois, who amused himseK by 
exciting that cupidity which any but a peasant would have 
concealed; "we will make a bargain." 

"What is it?" asked Owen. 

' ' Here are the fifty louis. ' ' 

"I see them," said Owen, passing his tongue over hia 
lips, like a thirsty dog. 

"At every answer you make to a question of mine, I 
either add ten louis if it is important, or take them away 
if it is unimportant and stupid." 

Owen started; he did not like the terms. 

"Now," said Dubois, "let us talk. What place have 
you come from?" 

"Direct from Nantes." 

"With whom?" 

"With the Chevalier Gaston de Chanlay." 

These being preliminary questions, the pile remained 

"Listen!" said Dubois. 

"I am all attention." 

"Did your master travel under his own name?" 

"He set out in his own name, but changed it on the 
journey. ' ' 

"What name did he take?" 

"M. deLivry." 

Dubois added ten louis; but as they would not stand on 
the others, he commenced a second pile. 

Owen uttered a joyful cry. 

' ' Oh, ' ' said Dubois, ' ' do not exult yet. We are not near 
the end. Is there a M. de Livry at Nantes?" 


"No, monseigneur ; but tliere is a Demoiselle de 

"Who is she?" 

' ' The wife of M. de Montlouis, an intimate friend of my 
master. ' ' 

"Grood," said Dubois, adding ten louis; "and what was 
your master doing at Nantes?" 

"What most young men do; he hunted, danced, and 
so on." 

Dubois took away ten louis. Owen shuddered. 

"Stop," said he, " he did something else." 

"Ah! what was that ?" 

"I do not know," replied Owen. 

Dubois held the ten louis in his hand. 

' ' And since his departure, what has he done ?' ' 

"He passed through Oudon, Ancenis, Le Mans, Nogent, 
and Chartres. ' ' 

Dubois stretched out his hand, and took up another ten 

Owen uttered a dolorous cry. 

"And did he make no acquaintance on the route ?" 

"Yes; with a young lady from the Augustine convent 
at Clisson, who was travelling with a sister of the convent, 
named Ther^se. " 

"And what was the young lady called?" 

"Mademoiselle H^l^ne de Chaverny." 

"Hel^nel A promising name. Doubtless, she is your 
master's mistress?' 

"I do not know,'" said Owen; "he would not have 
told me." 

"He is a shrewd fellow " said Dubois, taking ten louis 
from the fifty. 


Owen trembled: four sucli answers, and he would have 
betrayed his master for nothing. 

"And these ladies are going to Paris with him ?" 

"No, monseigneur; they stop at Eambouillet. " 

"Ah," said Dubois. 

The tone of this exclamation gave Owen some hope. 

"Come," said Dubois, "all this is not very important, 
but one must encourage beginners." 

And he added ten louis to the pile. 

"Sister Ther^se, " continued Owen, "is already gone 

"So that the young lady remains alone?" 

' ' No, ' ' answered Owen. 

"How so?" 

' ' A lady from Paris awaited her. ' ' 

"From Paris?" 


"Do you know her name ?' ' 

"I heard Sister Ther^se call her Madame Desroches. " 

"Madame Desroches!" cried Dubois, and he began an- 
other pile with ten louis. 

"Yes," replied Owen, delighted. 

"Are you sure ?" 

"Of course I am; she is a tall, thin, yellow- looking 
woman. ' ' 

Dubois added ten louis. Owen thought that if he had 
made an interval between each adjective he might have 
had twenty louis. 

"Thin, tall, yellow," repeated Dubois; "just so." 

"From forty to forty-five," added Owen. 

"Exactly," said Dubois, adding ten louis. 

"In a silk dress, with large flowers on it." 


"Very good," said Dubois. 

Owen saw tliat his questioner knew enougli about tlie 
lady, and waited. 

"And you say tbat your master made acquaintance with 
the young lady en route?' ^ 

"Yes, monsieur, but I think it was a farce." 

"What do you mean ?" 

"I mean that they knew each other before; and I am 
sure of one thing, that my master waited for her three hours 
at Oudon. " 

"Bravo," said Dubois, adding ten louis; "we shall make 
something of you." 

"You do not wish to know anything more, then?" 
asked Owen, extending his hand toward the two piles 
of gold. 

"Stop," said Dubois; "is the young lady pretty?" 

' ' Beautiful as an angel, ' ' answered Owen. 

' ' And, no doubt, they made an appointment to meet in 

"No, monsieur, I think they said adieu forever." 

' ' Another farce. ' ' 

"I do not think so, monsieur; my master was so sad 
when they separated." 

"And they are not to meet again ?" 

"Yes, once more, I think, and all will be over." 

"Well, take your money; and remember that, if you 
mention one word of this, in ten minutes you will be a 
dead man." 

Owen snatched the money, which disappeared in his 
pocket instantly. 

"And now," said he, "may I go?" 

"No, idiot; from this moment you belong to me, for I 


have bought you, and you will be more useful to me at 
Paris than elsewhere.' 

"In that case I will remain, monsieur, I promise." 

' ' There is no need to promise. ' ' 

At this moment the door opened, and Tapin appeared, 
looking very much agitated. 

"What has happened now ?" asked Dubois. 

"Something very important, monseigneur; but send 
away this man." 

"Eeturn to your master," said Dubois, "and if he writes 
to any one whatever, remember that I am most anxious to 
see his writing. ' ' 

Owen went out, delighted to be set free. 

"Well, Tapin," said Dubois, "what is it?" 

"Monseigneur, after the hunt at St. Germain's, his royal 
highness, instead of returning to Paris, sent away every one, 
and gave orders to proceed to Eambouillet. ' ' 

"The regent coming to Eambouillet!" 

"He will be here in half an hour, and would have been 
here now, if hunger had not luckily obliged him to enter 
the chateau and procure some refreshment. ' ' 

"And what is he coming to Eambouillet for?" 

"I do not know, monseigneur, unless it be for the young 
girl who has just arrived with a nun, and who is now in the 
pavilion of the hotel. ' ' 

"You are right, Tapin; it is doubtless for her; and Ma- 
dame Desroches, too. Did you know that Madame Des* 
roches was here?" 

"No, monseigneur, I did not." 

"And are you sure that your information is correct, my 
dear Tapin?" 

"Oh, monseigneur, it was from L'Eveille, whom I 


placed near his royal highness ; and what he says is gospel 

"You are right," said Dubois, who seemed to know 
the qualities of this man; "if it be L'Eveilld, there is no 

"The poor fellow has lamed his horse, which fell near 
Kambouillet. ' ' 

"Thirty louis for the horse; he may gain what he can 
of it." 

Tapin took the thirty louis. 

"You know the situation of the pavilion, do you 


"Where is it?" 

"One side looks on the second courtyard; the other on a 
deserted lane. ' ' 

"Place men in the courtyard and in the lane, disguised 
as stablemen, or how you please; let no one enter the pa- 
vilion but monseigneur and myself: the life of his royal 
highness is at stake. ' ' 

"Rest easy, monseigneur." 

"Do you know our Breton?" 

"I saw him dismount." 

"Do your men know him ?" 

"They all saw him on the road." 

"Well, I recommend him to you.'* 

"Shall we arrest him?" 

"Certainly not; he must be allowed to go where he 
pleases, and act as he pleases, and he must have every op- 
portunity to do so. If he were arrested now, he would tell 
nothing, and our plans would be disconcerted; no, no, these 
plans must hatch." 


"Hatch what, monseigneur ?" said Tapin, who appeared 
to be on confidential terms with Dubois. 

"My archbishop's mitre, M. Lecocq," said Dubois. 
*'And now to your work; I go to mine." 

Both left the room and descended the staircase, but 
separated at the door: Lecocq went along the Rue de Paris; 
and Dubois, slipping along by the wall, went to peep through 
the hole in the shutter. 




GASTON had just supped; for at Ms age, whether a 
man be in desj)air or in love, nature asserts her 
rights. He was leaning on the table thoughtfully. 
The lamp threw a light over his face, and enabled Dubois 
to gratify his curiosity. 

He looked at him with an attention almost alarming: his 
quick eye darted — his lip curled with a smile, which gave 
one the idea of a demon smiling at the sight of one of those 
victims who seem to have vowed their own perdition. 

While looking, he murmured, "Young, handsome, black 
eyes, proud lips; — he is a Breton, he is not corrupted, like 
the conspirators of Cellamare, by the soft glances of the 
ladies at court; — then the other spoke of carrying off, de- 
throning, but this one — diable, this one — And yet," con- 
tinued he, after a pause, "I look in vain for traces of cun- 
ning on that open brow. I see no Machiavelism in the 
corners of that mouth, so full of loyalty and honor; yet no 
doubt all is arranged to surprise the regent on his visit to 
this Clisson demoiselle. Who will say again that Bretons 
have dull brains?" 

"No," said Dubois, after another pause, "it cannot be 
so. It is impossible that this young man with his calm sad 
face should be ready in a quarter of an hour to kill a man, 
and that man the first prince of the blood. No, I cannot 


believe in sucli sang-froid; and yet the regent lias kept this 
amourette secret even from me ; he goes out to hunt at St. 
Germain's, announces aloud that he shall sleep at the Palais 
Eoyal, then all at once gives counter orders, and drives to 
Eambouillet. At Kambouillet, the young girl waits, and 
is received by Madame Desroches; who can she be watch- 
ing for, if not for the regent? and this young girl is the 
mistress of the chevalier — but is she? — Ah! we must 
learn. We must find out how far we can depend on Owen," 
and Dubois left his observatory and waited on the staircase. 
He was quite hidden in the shade, and he could see Gas- 
ton's door in the light. 

The door presently opened, and Owen appeared. 

He held a letter in his hand, and, after hesitating a 
minute, he appeared to have taken his determination, and 
mounted the staircase. 

"Good," said Dubois, "he has tasted the forbidden fruit, 
and he is mine," 

Then, stopping Owen: "Give me the letter which you 
were bringing me, and wait here. ' ' 

"How did you know I had a letter?" asked Owen, 

Dubois shrugged his shoulders, took the letter, and dis- 

In his room he examined the seal; the chevalier, who 
had no wax, had used that on the bottle, and had sealed 
it with the stone of a ring. 

Dubois held the letter above the candle, and the wax 
melted. He opened the letter and read: 

"Dear Helene — Your courage has doubled mine; 
manage so that I can enter the house, and you shall know^ 
my plans." 


"Oh!" said Dubois, "it seems she does not know them 
yet. Things are not so far advanced as I supposed. ' ' 

He resealed the letter with one of the numerous rings 
which he wore, and which resembled that of the chevalier, 
and calling Owen — 

"Here," said he, "is your master's letter; deliver it 
faithfully, bring me the answer, and you shall have ten louis. ' ' 

"Ah!" thought Owen, "has this man a mine of gold?" 
And he went off. 

Ten minutes after he returned with the reply. 

It was on scented and ornamented paj)er, sealed with the 
letter H. 

Dubois opened a box, took out a kind of paste in which 
lie was about to take the impression of the seal, when he 
observed that from the manner in which it was folded he 
could read it without opening. It was as follows: 

"The person who sent for me at Bretagne is coming to 
meet me here instead of waiting at Paris, so impatient is he, 
I am told, to see me. I think he will leave again to-night. 
Come to-morrow morning before nine. I will tell you all 
that has passed, and then we can arrange how to act. ' ' 

"This," said Dubois, still taking Hel^ne for the cheva- 
lier's accomplice, "makes it clearer. If this is the way they 
bring up young ladies at Clisson, I congratulate them and 
monseigneur, who, from her age, concludes her to be simple 
and ingenuous. Here," said he to Owen, "here is the let- 
ter, and your ten louis." 

Owen took them. 

At this moment ten o'clock struck, and the rolling of a 
carriage was heard. Dubois went to the window, and saw 
it stop at the hotel door. 


In tlie carriage was a gentleman whom Dubois at one© 
recognized as Lafare, captain of his royal highness's guards. 
"Well," said he, "he is more prudent than I thought; but 
where is he? Ah!" 

This exclamation was uttered at the sight of a man 
dressed in the same red livery which he himself concealed 
under his cloak, and who followed the carriage mounted on 
a superb Spanish jenet, which, however, he could not have 
ridden long, for, while the carriage horses were covered 
with foam, this one was quite fresh. 

Lafare at once demanded a room and supper; meanwhile 
the man dismounted, threw the reins to a page, and went 
toward the pavilion. 

"Well," said Dubois, "all this is as clear as a mountain 
stream; but how is it that the face of the chevalier does not 
appear ? Is he too much occupied with his chicken to have 
heard the carriage ? Let us see. As to you, monseigneur, " ' 
continued Dubois, "be assured; I will not disturb your tSte- 
d-tets. Enjoy at your pleasure this commencement of in- 
genuity, which promises such happy results. Ahl mon- 
seigneur, it is certain that you are short-sighted." 

Dubois went down, and again took up his post at his 
observatory. As he approached it, Gaston rose, after put- 
ting his note in his pocket-book. 

"Ah," said Dubois, "I must have that pocket-book. I 
would pay high for it. He is going out, he buckles on his 
sword, he looks for his cloak; where is he going? Let us 
see: to wait for his royal highness's exit? No, no, that 
is not the face of a man who is going to kill another; I 
could sooner believe he was about to spend the evening 
under the windows of his sweetheart." 

"Ah, if he had that idea it would be a means — *' 


It would be difficult to render the expression which 
passed over the face of Dubois at this moment. 

"Yes, but if I were to get a sword-thrust in the enter- 
prise, how monseigneur would laugh! Bah! there is no 
danger; our men are at their post; and, besides, nothing 
venture, nothing gain." 

Encouraged by this reflection, Dubois made the circuit 
of the hotel, in order to appear at one end of the little lane 
as Gaston appeared at the other. 

As he had expected, at the end of the lane he found 
Tapin, who had placed L'Eveille in the courtyard; in two 
words he explained his project. Tapin pointed out to Du- 
bois one man leaning on the step of an outer door, a second 
was playing a kind of jews-harp, and seemed an itinerant 
musician, and there was another, too well hidden to be seen. 

Dubois, thus sure of support, returned into the lane. 

He soon perceived a figure at the other end, and at once 
recognized the chevalier, who was too thoughtful even to 
notice that he was passing any one. 

Dubois wanted a quarrel, and he saw that he must take 
the initiative. He turned and stopped before the chevalier, 
who was trying to discover which were the windows of the 
room in which Hel^ne was. 

"My friend," said he, roughly, "what are you doing at 
this hour before this house?" 

Gaston was obliged to bring back his thoughts to the 
materialism of life. 

"Did you speak to me, monsieur?" said he. 

"Yes," replied Dubois, "I asked what you were doing 

"Pass on," said the chevalier; "I do not interfere with 
you: do not interfere with me." 


"That might be," said Dubois, "if your presence did 
not annoy me." 

"This lane, narrow as it is, is wide enough for both, 
monsieur; walk on one side, and I will walk on the 

"I wish to walk alone," said Dubois, "therefore, I beg 
you will choose some other window; there are plenty at 
Eambouillet to choose from." 

"And why should I not look at these windows if I 
choose?" asked Chanlay. 

' ' Because they are those of my wife, ' ' replied Dubois. 

"Of your wife!" 

' ' Yes ; of my wife, who has just arrived from Paris, and 
of whom I am Jealous, I warn you." 

' ' Diable, ' ' murmured Graston ; "he must be the husband 
of the person to whom Helene has been given in charge ; ' ' 
and in order to conciliate a person who might be useful to 
him — 

"Monsieur," said he, politely, "in that case I am willing 
to leave a place where I was walking without any object 
in view." 

"Oh," thought Dubois, "here is a polite conspirator; 
I must have a quarrel." 

Gaston was going away. 

' ' You are deceiving me, monsieur, ' ' said Dubois. 

The chevalier turned as though he had been bitten by 
a serpent; however, prudent for the sake of Helene, and 
for the mission he had undertaken, he restrained himself. 

"Is it," said he, "because I was polite that you dis- 
believe my word?" 

' ' You spoke politely because you were afraid ; but it is 
none the less true that I saw you looking at that window. ' ' 


"Afraid — I afraid!" cried Chanlay, facing him; "did 
you say that I was afraid?" 

"I did," replied Dubois. 

"Do you, then, seek a quarrel?" 

"It appears so. I see you come from Quimper- 
Corentin. ' ' 

"Paques Dieu!" said Gaston, drawing his sword, 

"And you, off with your coat," said Dubois, throw- 
ing off his cloak, and preparing to do the same with 
his coat. 

"Why so?" asked the chevalier. 

"Because I do not know you, monsieur, and because 
those who walk at night frequently have their coat pru- 
dently lined with a shirt of mail." 

At these words the chevalier's cloak and coat were 
thrown aside; but, at the moment when Gaston was about 
to rush on his adversary, the four men appeared and 
seized him. 

"A duel, monsieur," cried they, "in spite of the king's 
prohibition!" and they dragged him toward the door. 

"An assassination," murmured Gaston, not daring to 
cry out, for fear of compromising H^l^ne; "cowards!" 

"We are betrayed, monsieur," said Dubois, rolling up 
Gaston's cloak and coat, and putting them under his arm; 
"we shall meet again to-morrow, no doubt." 

And he ran toward the hotel, while they shut up Gaston 
in the lower room. 

Dubois ran up the staircase and into his room, where he 
opened the precious pocket-book. He found in one pocket 
a broken coin and a man's name. This coin was evidently 
a sign of recognition, and the name was probably that of 


the man to whom Gaston was addressed, and who was 
called Captain La Jonqui^re. The paper was oddly folded. 
"La Jonqui^re," said Dubois; "we have our eyes on him 
already. ' ' 

He looked over the rest of the pocket-book — there was 

"It is little," said Dubois, "but it is enough." 
He folded a paper like the other, took the name, and 
rang the bell. 

Some one knocked; the door was fastened inside. "I 
forgot," said Dubois, opening it, and giving entrance 
to Monsieur Tapin. 

"What have you done with him ?" 
"He is in the lower room, and watched." 
"Take back his cloak and coat to the place where h^ 
threw them; make your excuses, and set him free. Take 
care that everything is in his pockets, so that he may sus- 
pect nothing. Bring me my coat and cloak. ' ' 

Monsieur Tapin bowed low, and went to obey his orders. 




ALL this passed, as we have said, in the lane under 
Helene's windows. She had heard the noise; and, 
as among the voices she thought she distinguished 
that of the chevalier, she ran anxiously to the window, 
when, at the same moment, Madame Desroches appeared. 

She came to beg Hel^ne to go into the drawing-room, 
Hs the visitor had arrived. 

Hel^ne started, and nearly fell ; her voice failed her, and 
she followed, silent and trembling. 

The room into which Madame Desroches led her was 
without any light, except what was thrown on the carpet 
by the last remains of a fire. Madame Desroches threw 
some water over the flame, and left the room entirely 

Begging Hel^ne to have no f^sar, Madame Desroches 
withdrew. The instant after, H^l^ne heard a voice behind 
the fourth door, which had not yet opened. 

She started at the sound, and involuntarily made a few 
steps toward the door. 

"Is she ready?" said the voice. 

"Yes, monseigneur, " was the reply. 

"Monseigneur!" murmured H^l^ne; "who is coming, 


*'Isslie alone?" 

"Yes, monseigneur. " 

"Is she aware of my arrival?" 

"Yes, monseigneur. " 

"We shall not be interrupted?" 

' ' Monseigneur may rely upon me. ' * 

"And no light?" 

"None whatever." 

The steps approached, then stopped. 

"Speak frankly, Madame Desroches," said the voice. 
"Is she as pretty as they said?" 

"More beautiful than your highness can imagine." 

"Your highness! who can he be?" thought Hdl^ne, 
much agitated. 

At this moment the door creaked on its hinges, and 
a heavy step approached. 

"Mademoiselle," said the voice, "I beg you to receive 
and hear me." 

"I am here," said Hel^ne, faintly. 

"Are you frightened ?" 

"I confess it, mon — Shall I say 'monsieur' or 'mou- 
seigneur' ?" 

"Say 'my friend.' " 

At this moment her hand touched that of the unknown. 

"Madame Desroches, are you there?" asked Hel^ne, 
drawing back. 

"Madame Desroches," said the voice, "tell mademoiselle 
that she is as safe as in a temple before God." 

"Ah! monseigneur, I am at your feet; pardon me." 

"Else, my child, and seat yourself there. Madame Des- 
roches, close all the doors; and now," continued he, "give 
me your hand, I beg." 


H^l^ne's liand again met tliat of tlie stranger, and tbis 
time it was not witlidrawn. 

' ' He seems to tremble also, ' ' murmured she. 

"Tell me, are you afraid, dear child?" 

"No," replied Hel^ne; "but when your hand clasps 
mine, a strange thrill passes through me." 

"Speak to me, Hel^ne," said the unknown, with an 
expression of tenderness. "I know ah'eady that you are 
beautiful, but this is the first time I have heard your 
voice. Speak — I am listening." 

"But have you seen me, then?" asked H^l^ne. 

"Do you remember that two years ago the abbess had 
your portrait taken?" 

"Yes, I remember. An artist came expressly from 

"It was I who sent him." 

"And was the portrait for you ?" 

"It is here," said the unknown, taking from his pocket 
a miniature, which Hel^ne could feel, though she could 
not see it. 

"But what interest could you have in the portrait of 
a poor orphan?" 

"Hel^ne, I am your father's friend." 

"My father! Is he alive?" 


' ' Shall I ever see him ?' ' 


"Oh!" said H^l^ne, pressing the stranger's hand, "I 
bless you for bringing me this news." 

"Dear child!" said he. 

"But if he be alive," said H^l^ne, "why has he not 
sought out his child?" 


"He liad news of you every montli, and, though at a 
distance, watched over you." 

"And yet," said H^l^ne, reproachfully, "he has not seen 
me for sixteen years. ' ' 

"Believe me, none but the most important reasons would 
have induced him to deprive himself of this pleasure." 

"I believe you, monsieur; it is not for me to accuse my 

"No; it is for you to pardon him if he accuses himself." 

"To pardon him!" cried H^l^ne. 

' ' Yes ; and this pardon, which he cannot ask for himself, 
I ask in his name. ' ' 

"Monsieur," said H^l^ne, "I do not understand you." 

"Listen, then, and give me back your hand." 

"Here it is." 

"Your father was an officer in the king's service; at 
the battle of Neerwinden, where he charged at the head 
of the king's household troops, one of his followers, called 
M. de Chaverny, fell near him, pierced by a ball. Your 
father wished to assist him, but the wound was mortal, and 
the wounded man, who knew that it was so, said, 'Think 
not of me, but of my child. ' Your father pressed his hand 
as a promise, and the man fell back and died, as though 
he only waited this assurance to close his eyes. You are 
listening, are you not, Hel^ne?" 

"Oh! need you ask such a question?" said the young 

"At the end of the campaign, your father's first care 
was for the little orphan. She was a charming child, of 
from ten to twelve years, who promised to be as beautiful 
as you are. The death of M. de Chaverny, her father, left 
her without support or fortune; your father placed her at 

(D)— Vol. 23 


the convent of the Faubourg Saint Antoine, and announced 
that at a proper age he should give her a dowry. ' ' 

"I thank God," cried H^15ne, "for having made me the 
child of a man who so nobly kept his promise. ' ' 

"Wait, H^l^ne," said the unknown, "for now comes the 
time when your father will not receive your praises." 

H^l^ne was silent. 

The unknown continued: "Your father, indeed, watched 
over the orphan till her eighteenth year. She was an adora- 
ble young girl, and his visits to the convent became longer 
and more frequent than they should have been ; your father 
began to love his protegee. At first he was frightened at hia 
own love, for he remembered his promise to her dying fa- 
ther. He begged the superior to look for a suitable hus- 
band for Mademoiselle de Chaverny, and was told that her 
nephew, a young Breton, having seen her, loved her, and 
wished to obtain her hand." 

"Well, monsieur?" asked H^l^ne, hearing that the 
unknown hesitated to proceed. 

"Well; your father's surprise was great, Hel^ne, when 
he learned from the superior that Mademoiselle de Chaverny 
had replied that she did not wish to marry, and that her 
greatest desire was to remain in the convent where she 
had been brought up, and that the happiest day of her life 
would be that on which she should pronounce her vows." 

' ' She loved some one, ' ' said H^l^ne. 

"Yes, my child, you are right — alas! we cannot avoid 
our fate — Mademoiselle de Chaverny loved your father. 
For a long time she kept her secret, but one day, when 
your father begged her to renounce her strange wish to take 
the veil, the poor child confessed all. Strong against his 
love when he did not believe it returned, he succumbed 


wten he found lie liad but to desire and to obtain. They 
were both so young — your father scarcely twenty-iive, she 
not eighteen — they forgot the world, and only remembered 
that they could be happy." 

"But, since they loved," said Hel^ne, "why did they 
not marry?" 

' ' Union was impossible, on account of the distance which 
separated them. Do you not know that your father is of 
high station ?' ' 

"Alas! yes," said Hel^ne, "I know it." 

"During a year," continued he, "their happiness sur- 
passed their hopes; but at the end of that time you came 
into the world, and then — ' ' 

' ' Well ?' ' asked the young girl, timidly. 

"Your birth cost your mother's life." 

H^l^ne sobbed. 

"Yes," continued the unknown, in a voice full of emo- 
tion, "yes, Hdlene, weep for your mother; she was a noble 
woman, of whom, through his griefs, his pleasures, even his 
follies, your father retains a tender recollection; he trans- 
ferred to you all his love for her. ' ' 

"And yet," said Hel^ne, "he consented to remove me 
from him, and has never again seen me. ' ' 

"Hel^ne, on this point pardon your father, for it was 
not his fault. You were born in 1703, at the most austere 
period of Louis XIV. 's reign; your father was already out 
of favor with the king, or rather with Madame de Main- 
tenon ; and for your sake, as much or more than for his, 
he sent you into Bretagne, confiding you to Mother Ursula, 
superior of the convent where you were brought up. At 
length, Louis XIV. being dead, and eveiything having 
changed through all France, it is decided to bring you 


nearer to him. During tlie journey, however, you must 
have seen that his care was over you, and when he knew 
that you were at Kambouillet, he could not wait till to- 
morrow — he is come to you here, Hel^ne. ' ' 

"Oh, mon Dieu!" cried Hdl^ne, "is this true?" 

"And in seeing, or rather in listening to you, he thinks 
he hears your mother — the same accent in the voice. 
Hel^ne, H^lene, that you may be happier than she was 
is his heartfelt prayer!" 

"Oh, heavens!" cried H^l^ne, "this emotion, your trem- 
bling hand. Monsieur, you said my father is come to 
meet me." 


"Here at Eambouillet ?" 


"You say he is happy to see me again?" 

"Oh, yes, very happy!" 

"But this happiness was not enough, is it 'not so? He 
wished to speak to me, to tell me himself the story of 
my life, that I may thank him for his love, that I may 
fall at his feet, that I may ask his blessing. Oh I" cried 
Hel^ne, kneeling, "oh, I am at your feet; bless me, 

"Helene, my child, my daughter!" cried the unknown, 
"not at my feet, but in my arms!" 

"My father, my father!" was H^l^ne's only reply. 

"And yet," continued he, "I came with a different in- 
tention, prepared to deny all, to remain a stranger to you; 
but having you so near me, pressing your hand, hearing 
your voice, I had not the strength. But do not make me 
repent my weakness, and let secrecy — " 

"I swear by my mother's grave," cried Hdl^ne. 


"That is all I desire," cried the unknown. "Now listen, 
for I must leave you. ' ' 

"What, already!" 

"It must be so." 

"Speak, then, my father. I am ready to obey you." 

"To-morrow you leave for Paris; there is a house there 
destined for you. Madame Desroches will take you there, 
and at the very first moment that I can do so I will come 
there to see you." 

' ' Soon, I hope, for do not forget that I am alone in the 

"As soon as possible;" and, pressing his lips to H^l^ne's 
forehead, the unknown imprinted on it one of those kisses as 
Bweet to the heart of a father as a kiss of love to the heart 
of a lover. 

Ten minutes later, Madame Desroches entered with a 
light. Helene was on her knees praying; without ris- 
ing, she signed to Madame Desroches to place the light 
on the chimney-piece, which that lady did, and then 

H^l^ne, after praying for some time, rose, and looked 
around her as though for some evidence that the whole was 
not a dream ; her own emotion, however, assured her that it 
was really a great event in her life which had taken place. 
Then the thought of Gaston rose to her mind; this father 
whom she had so dreaded to see — this father, who himself 
had loved so ardently and suffered so deeply, would not 
do violence to her love; besides, Gaston was a scion of an 
ancient house, and beyond all this she loved him, so that 
she would die if she were separated from him, and her 
father would not wish her death. 

The obstacles on Gaston's side could be but the right. 


and would doubtless be easily overcome, and Hel^ne fell 
asleep to dream of a liappy and smiling future. 

Gaston, on his part, set at liberty witli many apologies 
from those who pretended to have mistaken him for another 
person, went back to fetch his coat and cloak, which he 
was overjoyed to find where he had left them; he anxiously 
opened his pocketbook; it was as he had left it, and for 
greater safety he now burned the address of La Jonqui^re. 
He gave his orders for the next day to Owen and retired. 

Meanwhile, two carriages rolled away from the door of 
the Tigre- Royal; in the first were two gentlemen in trav- 
elling costume, preceded and followed by outriders. 

In the second was a single traveller, wrapped in a large 
cloak; this carriage followed close behind the other as far 
as the Barriere de I'Etoile, where they separated, and while 
the first stopped at the Palais Eoyal, the other drew up 
at the Rue de Valois. 






WHATEVER might have been the fatigues of the 
preceding night, the Due d' Orleans still gave 
his mornings to business. He generally began 
to work with Dubois before he was dressed; then came 
a short and select levee, followed again by audiences, 
which kept him till eleven or twelve o'clock; then the 
chiefs of the councils (La Valliere and Le Blanc) came to 
give an account of their espionage; then Torcy, to bring 
any important letters which he had abstracted. At half- 
past two the regent had his chocolate, which he always 
took while laughing and chatting. This lasted half an 
hour; then came the audience hour for ladies; after that 
he went to the Duchesse d' Orleans, then to the young 
king, whom he visited every day, and to whom he always 
disjDlayed the greatest reverence and respect. 

Once a week he received foreign ministers, and on Sun- 
days heard mass in his private chapel. 

At six on council days, at five on others, all business 
was over; then the regent would go to the opera, or to 
Madame de Berry, with whom, however, he had quarrelled 


now, on account of lier marriage with E,iom. Then came 
those famous suppers. 

They were composed of from ten to fifteen persons, and 
the regent's presence among them sometimes added to their 
license and freedom, but never restrained it. 

At these suppers, kings, ministers, chancellors, ladies 
of the court, were all passed in review, discussed, abused; 
everything might be said, everything told, everything 
done; provided only that it were wittily said, told, or 
done. When all the guests had arrived, the doors were 
closed and barred, so that it was impossible to reach the 
regent until the following morning, however urgent might 
be the necessity. 

Dubois was seldom of the number, his bad health for- 
bade it; and this was the time chosen to pick him to pieces, 
at which the regent would laugh as heartily as any one. 
Dubois knew that he often furnished the amusement of 
these suppers, but he also knew that by the morning the 
regent invariably forgot what had been said the night 
before, and so he cared little about it. 

Dubois, however, watched while the regent supped or 
slept, and seemed indefatigable; he appeared to have the 
gift of ubiquity. 

When he returned from Eambouillet, he called Maitre 
Tapin, who had returned on horseback, and talked with 
him for an hour, after which he slept for four or five, 
then, rising, he presented himself at the door of his royal 
highness; the regent was still asleep. 

Dubois approached the bed and contemplated him with 
a smile which at once resembled that of an ape and a 

At length he decided to wake him. 


"Hola, monseigneur, wake up!" lie cried. 

The duke opened liis eyes, and, seeing Dubois, turned 
liis face to tlie wall, saying — 

"Ah! is that you, abbe? go to the devil!" 

"Monseigneur, I have just been there, but he was too 
busy to receive me, and sent me to you." 

"Leave me alone; I am tired." 

"I dare say, the night was stormy." 

"What do you mean?" asked the duke, turning half 

"I mean that the way you spent the night does not suit 
a man who makes appointments for seven in the morning. ' ' 

"Did I appoint you for seven in the morning?" 

"Yes, yesterday morning, before you went to St. Ger- 

"It is true," said the regent. 

"Monseigneur did not know that the night would be 
so fatiguing." 

"Fatiguing! I left table at seven." 

"And afterward?" 

"Well! what afterward?" 

"Are you satisfied, monseigneur, and was the young 
person worth the journey ?' ' 

"What journey?" 

"The journey you took after you left the table at 
seven. ' ' 

"One would think, to hear you, that from St. Grer- 
main's here was a long distance." 

"No, monseigneur is right; it is but a few steps, but 
there is a method of prolonging the distance." 

"What is that?" 

"Groing round by Eambouillet. " 


"You are dreaming, abbd" 

"Possibly, monseigneur. I will tell you my dream; it 
will at least prove to your bigbness tbat even in my dreams 
I do not forget you. ' ' 

"Some new nonsense." 

"Not at all. I dreamed tbat monseigneur started tbe 
stag at Le Treillage, and tbat tbe animal, after some 
battling, wortby of a stag of bigb birtb, was taken at 

"So far, your dream resembles tbe trutb; continue." 

"After wbicb, monseigneur returned to St. Germain's, 
sat down to table at balf-past five, and ordered tbat tbe 
carriage witbout arms sbould be prepared and barnessed, 
witb four borses, at balf-past seven." 

"Not bad, abbe, not bad; go on." 

"At balf-past seven, monseigneur dismissed every one 
except Lafare, witb wbom be entered tbe carriage. Am I 

" Go on ; go on. ' ' 

"Tbe carriage went toward Eambouillet, and arrived 
tbere at a quarter to ten, but at tbe entrance of tbe town it 
stopped, Lafare went on in tbe carriage to tbe Tigre Koyal, 
monseigneur following as an outrider." 

' ' Here your dream becomes confused, abbd ' ' 

"No, no, not at all." 

"Continue, tben. " 

"Well, wbile Lafare pretended to eat a bad supper, 
wbicb was served by waiters wbo called bim Excellency, 
monseigneur gave bis borse to a page and went to a little 

"Demon, wbere were you bidden?" 

"I, monseigneur, bave not left tbe Palais Eoyal, wbere 


I slept like a dormouse, and the proof is that I am telling 
you my dream." 

"And what was there in the pavilion ?" 

"First, at the door, a horrible duenna, tall, thin, dry, 
and yellow." 

"Dubois, I will recommend you to Desroches, and the 
first time she sees you, she will tear your eyes out. ' ' 

"Then inside, mon Dieu! inside." 

' ' You could not see that, even in a dream, abbd. ' ' 

"Monseigneur, you may take away the 300,000 francs 
which you allow me for my secret police, if, by their aid, I 
did not see into the interior. ' ' 

"Well, what did you see?" 

"Ma foi, monseigneur, a charming little Bretonne, six- 
teen or seventeen years old, beautiful, coming direct from 
the Augustine convent at Clisson, accompanied to Kam- 
bouillet by one of the sisters, whose troublesome presence 
was soon dispensed with, was it not?" 

"Dubois, I have often thought you were the devil, who 
has taken the form of an abbe to ruin me. ' ' 

' ' To save you, monseigneur, to save you. ' ' 

"To save me; I do not believe it." 

"Well," said Dubois, "are you pleased with her?" 

' ' Enchanted, Dubois ; she is charming. ' ' 

"Well, you have brought her from so far that, if she 
were not, you would be quite cheated." 

The regent frowned, but, reflecting that probably Dubois 
did not know the rest, the frown changed to a smile. 

' ' Dubois, ' ' said he, ' ' certainly, you are a great man. ' ' 

"Ah, monseigneur, no one but you doubts it, and yet 
you disgrace me — " 

"Disgrace you!" 


"Yes, you hide your loves from me." 

"Come, do not be vexed, Dubois." 

"There is reason, however, you must confess, men- 
seigneur. ' ' 


"Why did you not tell me you wanted a Bretonne. 
Could not I have sent for one?" 


"Yes, of course I could." 

"As good?" 

"Yes, and better. You think you have found a treasure, 
perhaps ?' ' 

"Hola, hola!" 

"Well, when you know what she is, and to what you 
expose yourself." 

"Do not jest, abb^, I beg." 

' ' Ah ! monseigneur, you distress me. ' ' 

"What do you mean ?" 

"That you are taken by a glance, a single night fas- 
cinates you, and there is no one to compare to the new- 
comer. Is she then very pretty?" 


"And discreet? virtue itself, I suppose?" 

"You are right." 

"Well, I tell you, monseigneur, you are lost." 


"Yes; your Bretonne is a jade." 

"Silence, abbe." 

"Why silence?" 

"I forbid you to say another word." 

"Monseigneur, you, too, have had a dream — let me 
explain it." 


"Monsieur Josepli, I will send you to tlie Bastille." 

' ' As you please, monseigneur, but still you must know 
that this girl — " 

' ' Is my daughter, abbe. ' ' 

Dubois drew back stupefied. 

"Your daughter; and who is her mother?" 

"An honest woman, who had the honor of dying with- 
out knowing you." 

"And the child?" 

"The child has been concealed, that she might not be 
sullied by the looks of such creatures as you." 

Dubois bowed, and retired, respectfully. 

The regent looked triumphant. 

"Ah!" said Dubois, who had not quite closed the door, 
"I thought this plot would bring me my archbishop's mitre. 
If I am careful, it will bring me my cardinal's hat." 




AT THE appointed hour Gaston presented himself at 
H^l^ne's domicile, but Madame Desroches made 
some difficulty about admitting him; Hel^ne, how- 
ever, said firmly that she was quite at liberty to judge for 
herself what was right, and that she was quite determined 
to see M. de Livry, who had come to take leave of her. It 
will be remembered that this was the name which Graston 
had assumed during the journey, and which he intended to 
retain, except when with those connected with his mission 
to Paris. 

Madame Desroches went to her room somewhat out of 
humor, and even attempted to overhear the conversation, 
but Hel^ne bolted the outer door. 

"Ah, Gaston," said she, "I have been expecting you. 
I did not sleep last night." 

"Nor I, Hdlene; but I must admire all this splendor." 

Hel^ne smiled. 

"And your head-dress — how beautiful you are like 


"You do not appear much pleased." 

Gaston made no reply, but continued his investiga- 


"These ricli hangings, these costly pictures, all prove 
that jour protectors are opulent, H^l^ne. " 

"I believe so," said Hdl^ne, smiling; "yet I am told that 
these hangings, and this gilding, which you admire, are old 
and unfashionable, and must be replaced by new." 

' ' Ah, Hel^ne, you will become a great lady, ' * said Gas- 
ton, sighing; "already I am kept waiting for an audience." 

' ' My dear Gaston, did you not wait for hours in your lit- 
tle boat on the lake ?" 

"You were then in the convent. I waited the abbess's 
pleasure. ' ' 

"That title is sacred, is it not ?" 


"It gives security, imposes respect and obedience." 


"Well, judge of my delight. Here I find the same pro- 
tection, the same love, only more powerful, more lasting." 

"What!" exclaimed Gaston, surprised. 

"I find— " 

"Speak, in Heaven's name." 

"Gaston, I have found a father." 

"A father! Ah, my dear H^l^ne, I share your joy; 
what happiness! a father to watch over my Hel^ne, my 

"To watch from afar." 

"Is he separated from you ?" 

"Alas! it seems the world separates us. " 

"Is it a secret?" 

' * A secret even to me, or you may be sure you should 
know all. I have no secrets from you, Gaston. ' ' 

"A misfortune of birth — a prescription in your family — 
some temporary obstacle?" 


**I do not know." 

"Decidedly, it is a secret; but," said he, smiling, "I 
permit you to be discreet with me, if your father ordered it. 
However, may I ask some more questions?" 

"Oh, yes." 

"Are you pleased? Is your father one you can be 
proud of?" 

"I think so, his heart seems noble and good. His voice 
is sweet and melodious. ' ' 

' ' His voice ! but is he like you ?' * 

"I do not know. I have not seen him." 

"Not seen him!" 

"No, it was dark." 

"Your father did not wish to see his daughter; and you, 
so beautiful; oh, what indifference!" 

"No, Gaston, he is not indifferent; he knows me well; 
he has my portrait — ^that portrait which made you so jealous 
last spring. ' ' 

"But I do not understand this." 

"It was dark, I tell you." 

"In that case one might light these girandoles," said 

"That is well, when one wishes to be seen; but when 
one has reasons for concealment — ' ' 

"What!" interrupted Gaston; "what reason can a father 
have for hiding from his own daughter?" 

"Excellent reasons, I believe, and you should under- 
stand them better than I can." 

"Oh, Hel^ne!" said Gaston, "with what terrible ideas 
you fill my mind." 

"You alarm me, Gaston!" 

"Tell me — what did your father speak of?" 


"Of his deep love for me." 

Gaston started. 

"He swore to me tliat in future I should be happy; that 
there should be no more uncertainty as to my fate, for that 
he would despise all those considerations which had induced 
him as yet to disown me as a daughter." 

' ' "Words, words ; but what proof did he give you ? Par- 
don me these questions, Hel^ne. I dread misfortune. I 
wish that for a time your angel's innocence could give place 
to the sharpness and infernal sagacity of a fiend; you would 
then understand me. I should not need to subject you to 
this interrogatory, which now is so necessary. ' ' 

"I do not understand your question, Gaston. I do not 
know how to reply to you. ' ' 

"Did he show you much affection?" 


"But, in the darkness, when he wished to speak to 

"He took my hand, and his trembled the most." 

Gaston clinched his hands with rage. 

"He embraced you paternally, did he not?" 

"He gave me a single kiss on the forehead, which I 
received on my knees." 

"Hel^ne!" he cried, "my fears were not gToundless; 
you are betrayed — you are the victim of a snare. Hdl^ne, 
this man who conceals himself, who fears the light, who 
calls you his child, is not your father." 

' ' Gaston, you distress me. ' ' 

"H^l^ne, angels might envy your innocence; but oa 
earth all is abused, even angels are insulted, profaned, by 
men. This man, whom I will know, whom I will seize and 
force to have confidence in your love and honor, shall tell 


me — if lie be not the vilest of beings — wbetlier I am to call 
him father, or kill him as a wretch!" 

"Gaston, your brain is wandering; what can lead you to 
suspect such treachery? And, since you arouse my sus- 
picions, since you hold a light over those ignoble labyrinths 
of the human heart which I refused to contemplate, I will 
speak to you with the same freedom. "Was I not in this 
man's power? Is not this house his? Are not the people 
by whom I am surrounded devoted to his orders ? Gaston, 
if you love me, you will ask my pardon for what you have 
thought and said of my father. ' ' 

Gaston was in despair. 

"Do not destroy one of the purest and holiest joys I have 
ever tasted. Do not poison the happiness of a life which I 
have often wept to think was solitary and abandoned, with- 
out other affection than that of which Heaven forbids 
us to be lavish. Let my filial ties compensate for the 
remorse which I sometimes feel for loving you almost to 

"Hel^ne, forgive me," cried Gaston. "Yes, you are 
right; I sully your pure joys by my contact, and it may be 
the noble affection of your father; but in Heaven's name, 
H^l^ne, give some heed to the fears of my experience and 
my love. Criminal passions often speculate on innocent 
credulity. The argument you use is weak. To show at 
once a guilty love would be unlike a skilful corrupter ; but 
to win you by a novel luxury pleasing to your age, to ac- 
custom you gradually to new impressions, to win you at 
last by persuasion, is a sweeter victory than that of vio- 
lence. Hel^ne, listen to my prudence of five- and- twenty 
years — I say my prudence, for it is my love that speaks, 
that love which you should see so humble, so devoted, so 


ready to accept a father whom I knew to be really your 
parent. ' ' 

Hdl^ne made no answer. 

"I implore you," continued Gaston, "not to take any 
determination now, but to watch everything around you. 
Suspect the perfumes which are given you, the wine which 
you are offered — everything, H^l^ne. Watch over yourself 
— ^you are my happiness, my honor, my life." 

' ' My friend, I will obey you ; this will not keep me from 
loving my father. ' ' 

"Adore him, Hel^ne, if I am wrong." 

"You are a noble friend, Gaston. We are agreed, 

' ' At the slightest suspicion write to me. ' ' 

"Write! You leave me then?" 

"I must go to Paris on business. I shall be at the Hotel 
Muids d' Amour, Kue des Bourdonnais. Write down this 
address, and do not show it to any one." 

"Why so many precautions?" 

Gaston hesitated. 

"Because, if your devoted protector were known, his 
plans for aiding you might be frustrated in case of bad 

"You are somewhat mysterious, Gaston. I have a father 
who conceals himself, and a lover — this word I can hardly 
speak — who is going to do the same. ' ' 

' ' But my intentions you know, ' ' said Gaston, attempting 
to force a laugh. 

"Ah, Madame Desroches is coming back. She thinks 
our interview too long. I am as much under tutelage as at 
the convent." 

Gaston imprinted a kiss on the hand Hel^ne held out to 


him. As Madame Desroclies appeared, H^l^ne made a for- 
mal courtesy, whicli Gaston returned by an equally formal 

Gaston left for Paris. Owen awaited him with, impa- 
tience, and this time could not reproach his master with 
being slow, for in three hours they were in Paris. 




THERE was, as the reader lias learned, in the Rue 
des Bourdonnais a hotel where one could lodge, 
eat, and drink. 

In his nocturnal interview with Dubois, Tapin had re- 
ceived the famous name of La Jonqui^re, and had trans- 
mitted it to L'Eveille, who had passed it to all the chiefs 
of police, who had begun to search for the suspected officer 
in all the equivocal houses in Paris. The conspiracy of 
Cellamare, which we have related in a history of the Chev- 
alier d'Harmental, had taught them that everywhere con- 
spirators were to be found. 

It was, however, by luck or by cleverness, Maitre Tapin 
himself who, in the Rue des Bourdonnais and in the Hotel 
Muids d' Amour, found La Jonquidre, who was then a night- 
mare to Dubois. 

The landlord took Tapin to be an old attorney's clerk, 
and replied to his questions politely, that "the Captain 
La Jonqui^re was in the hotel, but was asleep." 

Tapin asked no more. La Jonqui^re was asleep, there- 
fore he was in bed, for it was only six in the morning; 
if he were in bed, then he must be stopping at the inn. 

Tapin went back to the Palais Royal, and found Dubois, 
who had just left the regent. A number of false La Jon- 


qui^res had already been discovered by liis emissaries. 
One was a smuggler, called Captain La Jonci^re, wliom 
L'Eveill^ had found and arrested. A second was La 
Jonquille, sergeant in the French Guards, and many 

"Well," said Dubois, when Tap in had made his re- 
port, "you have found the real Captain La Jonqui^re, 

"Yes, monseigneur. " 

"Is he called La Jonqui^re ?" 

"Yes, monseigneur." 

" L-a, la; J-o-n, jon; q-u-i-^r-e, qui^re?" continued he, 
spelling the word. 

"La Jonquiere, " repeated Tapin. 

"A captain?" 

"Yes, monseigneur." 

"What is he doing?" 

"Waiting and drinking." 

"That must be he," said Dubois; "and does he pay?" 

He evidently attached great importance to the question. 

"Very well, monsieur." 

" A la bonne heure, Tapin. You have some sense. ' ' 

"Monseigneur," said Tapin, modestly, "you flatter me; 
it is quite clear, if he had not paid, he could not have been 
a dangerous man. ' ' 

Dubois gave him ten louis as a reward, gave him some 
further orders, and set out at once to go to the Eue des 

Let us say a word regarding the interior of the hotel. 
It was partly hotel, partly public house; the dwelling 
rooms were on the first floor, and the tavern rooms on 
the ground floor. 


The principal of these, the common room, had four oak 
tables, and a quantity of red and white curtains; some 
benches along the wall, some glasses on a sideboard, some 
handsomely framed pictures, all blackened and rendered 
nauseous by smoke, completed the tout ensemble of this 
room, in which sat a fat man with a red face, thirty- 
five or forty years old, and a little pale girl of twelve 
or fourteen. 

This was the landlord and his only daughter and heiress. 

A servant was cooking a ragout in the kitchen. 

As the clock struck one, a French guard entered, and, 
stopping at the threshold, murmured, "Eue des Bourdon- 
nais, Muids d' Amour, in the common room, to sit at the 
table on the left, and wait." 

Then, in accordance with this, the worthy defender of 
his country, whistling a tune and twirling his moustache, 
seated himself at the place indicated. 

Scarcely had he had time to seat himself and strike his 
fist on the table, which, in the language of all taverns, 
means ' ' Some wine, ' ' than a second guard, dressed exactly 
like the first, appeared at the door, murmured some words, 
and, after a little hesitation, seated himself by the other. 

The two soldiers looked at each other, and both ex- 
claimed — 

"Ah!" which in all languages means surprise. 

"It is you, Grrippart, " said one. 

"It is you, L'Eulevant, " said the other. 

"What are you doing in this tavern?" 

"And you?" 

"I do not know." 

"Nor I." 

"You come here, then?" 


' ' Under orders. ' ' 

"That is my case." 

"And you are waiting?" 

' ' For a man wlao is coming. ' ' 

" With a watchword ? " 

"And on this watchword ?" 

"I am to obey as though it were Tapin himself." 

"Just so; and, in the meantime, I have a pistole for 

' ' I have a pistole also, but I was not told to drink. ' ' 

"And it being doubtful?" 

"In doubt, as the sage says, I do not abstain." 

' ' In that case, let us drink. ' ' 

And he raised his hand to call the landlord, but it was 
not necessary, for he was standing near, expecting orders. 

' ' Some wine, ' ' cried the two guards. 

"Orleans," added one; "I like that." 

The landlord brought an inclosed bottle. 

The two drinkers filled their glasses, emptied them, and 
then placed them on the table, each with a different grimace, 
but both intended to express the same opinion. 

When the host was gone, one said to the other — 

"You know more of this than you have told me ?" 

"I know it concerns a certain captain," answered the 

"Yes; just so. But I suppose we shall have aid to 
arrest him." 

"Doubtless; two to one is not enough." 

"You forget the man with the watchword." 

' ' Ah ! I think I hear something. ' ' 

"Yes; some one coming downstairs." 




And the soldiers, much more occupied by their com- 
mission than if they had really been soldiers, kept an eye 
turned toward the staircase while they drank. 

They were not deceived; the step on the staircase ap- 
proached, and they saw, first, some legs, then a body, then 
a head descending. The legs were covered with fine silk 
stockings and white cashmere breeches, the body with a 
tight blue coat, and the head with a three-cornered hat, 
jauntily placed over one ear; his epaulets left no doubt 
that he held the rank of captain. 

This man, who was in fact Captain La Jonqui^re, was 
about five feet five, rather fat, and had a sagacious air; 
one would almost have supposed that he suspected spies 
in the two soldiers, for he turned his back to them at once, 
and entered into conversation with his host in a somewhat 
assumed tone and manner. 

"In truth," said he, "I should have dined here, and this 
delicious perfume of stewed kidneys would have tempted 
me, but some hons vivants are expecting me at the Galou- 
bet de Paphos. Perhaps a young man may come here this 
morning, but I could not wait any longer. Should he ask 
for a hundred pistoles, say that I shall be back in an hour, 
if he will wait. ' ' 

"Very well, captain," said the host. 

"Some wine," said the guard. 

"Ah," said the captain, throwing an apparently careless 
glance at the drinkers, "here are some soldiers who have 
but little respect for an epaulet." Then, turning to the 
host — 

"Serve these gentlemen; you see they are in a hurry." 

' ' Ah, ' ' said one, rising, ' ' as soon as monsieur will permit. ' * 

(E)— YoL 23 


"Certainly I permit it," said La Jouqui^re; and he 
stepped toward tlie door. 

"But, captain," said tlie host, stopping him, "you have 
not told me the name of the gentleman you expect. ' ' 

La Jonqui^re hesitated. After a moment — 

"Monsieur Gaston de Chanlay, " he replied. 

"Gaston de Chanlay," repeated the host. "I hope I 
shall remember the name. Gaston — Gascon; ah, I shall 
remember Gascon. Chanlay; ah, I shall think of Chan- 

"That is it," repeated La Jonqui^re, gravely; "Gascon 
de Chandelle." 

And he went out, but not without looking round the 
corners of the street and the angles of the houses. 

He had not taken a hundred steps in the Kue St. Honor^ 
before Dubois presented himself at the door. He had passed 
La Jonqui^re, but, never having seen him, could not recog- 
nize him. 

He presented himself boldly, dressed as a shopkeeper. 




DUBOIS at once accosted tlie host. 
"Monsieur," said lie timidly, "does Captain La 
Jonqui^re lodge here ? I wish to speak to him. ' ' 

"Yon wish to speak to him?" said the host, examining 
the new-comer from head to foot. 

"If possible," said Dubois. 

"Are you sure that is the person you want?" asked the 
host, who did not think this was the man La Jonqui^re 

"I think so," said Dubois modestly. 

"A short, fat man?" 


"Drinks his brandy neat?" 

"That is the man." 

"Always ready with his cane if he is not attended 
to directly?" 

"Ah, that is Captain La Jonquiere!" 

"You know him, then?" 

"Not in the least," said Dubois. 

' ' True, for you must have met him at the door. ' ' 

"Diable! Is he out?" said Dubois, with a start of ill- 
humor badly repressed. "Thank you," and he called 
up an amiable smile. 


"He lias not been gone five minutes." 

"But he is coming back?" 

"In an hour." 

"Maj I wait for him, monsieur?" 

' ' Certainly, if you take something. ' ' 

"Give me some brandy cherries," said Dubois. "I never 
drink wine except with meals. ' ' 

The two guards exchanged a contemptuous smile. 

The host hastened to bring the cherries. 

"Ah!" said Dubois; "only five! At St. Grermain-en- 
Laye they give six." 

"Possibly, monsieur; for at St. Grermain-en-Laye they 
have no excise to pay." 

"Yes, I forgot that," and he began to eat a cherry, 
which he could not, however, accomplish without a grimace. 

"Where does the captain lodge?" asked Dubois. 

"There is the door of his room; he preferred the 
ground floor," 

"Yes," murmured Dubois ; "the windows look into the 
public road." 

"And there is a door opening into the Eue des Deux 

"Oh, how convenient! And does not the noise annoy 

"There is another room above: sometimes he sleeps in 
one, sometimes in the other." 

"Like Denis the tyrant," said Dubois, who could not 
refrain from Latin or historical quotations. 

"What?" said mine host. 

Dubois bit his lip. At this moment one of the soldiers 
called for wine, and the host darted ofi to wait upon him. 

Dubois turned to the two guards. 


"Thank you," said lie. 

"What is it, bourgeois?" asked they. 

"France and the regent," replied Dubois. 

"The watchword!" cried both, rising. 

"Enter this room," said Dubois, showing La Jonqui^re's 
room. ' ' Open the door into the Kue des Deux Boules, and 
hide behind a curtain, under a table, in a closet, wherever 
you can. If, when I come in, I can see so much as an ear, 
you will have no pay for six months." 

The two men emptied their glasses, and entered the 
room, while Dubois, who saw they bad forgotten to pay, 
put a piece of twelve sous on the table, then, opening the 
window, and calling to the driver of a hackney carriage 
standing before the door — 

"L'Eveille, " said he, "bring the carriage to the little 
door in the Rue des Deux Boules, and tell Tapin to come 
up when I knock on the window with my fingers. He has 
his orders ; be off. ' ' 

The host reappeared. 

"Hola!" cried he, "where are my men?" 

"A sergeant came and called them away." 

"But they have not paid." 

"Yes, they left a twelve-sou piece on the table." 

"Diable! twelve sous; and my wine is eight sous the 

"Ah!" said Dubois, "no doubt they thought that as 
they were soldiers you would make a reduction. ' ' 

"At any rate," said the host, consoling himseK, "it is 
not all lost; and in our trade one must expect this kind 
of thing." 

"You have nothing of the sort to fear with Captain 
La Jonqui^re?" 


"Oil, no, lie is the best of lodgers; lie pays witliout a 
word, and ready money. True, lie never likes anytking. " 
' ' Oil, tliat may be his manner, ' ' said Dubois. 

"What you tell me of his prompt payment pleases me." 
' ' Rave you come to ask for money ? He said he ex- 
pected some one to whom he owed a hundred pistoles. ' ' 
"No; on the contrary, I owe him fifty louis. " 
"Fifty louis! Peste!" said the host, "what a pretty 
sum! Perhaps I was mistaken, and he said receive, not 
pay. Are you the Chevalier GTaston de Chanlay?" 

"Does he expect the Chevalier Gaston de Chanlay?" 
said Dubois, with a joy he could not conceal, 

"He told me so, " said the host. "Is that you ?" 
"No; I am not noble. I am called Moutonnet. " 
"Nobility is nothing," said the host, "One may be 
called Moutonnet and be an honest man." 

"Yes; Moutonnet, draper at St. Grermain-en-Laye." 
"And you have fifty louis for the captain ?" 
"Yes. In turning over some old accounts of my father's,^ 
I find he owed fifty louis to Captain La Jonqui^re's father, 
and I have had no peace till, instead of the father, who is 
dead, I had found the son." 

"Do you know there are not many debtors like you?" 
"The Moutonnets are all the same, from father to son. 
When we are owed anything we are pitiless. Listen. There 
is an honest fellow who owed Moutonnet and Son one hun- 
dred and sixty francs; my grandfather put him in prison, 
and there he has been for the three generations, and he has 
just died there. I calculated that, during the thirty years 
he was there, he cost us twelve thousand francs; but we 
maintained the principle. But I beg your pardon for keep- 


ing you with all this nonsense; and here is a new customer 
lor you. ' ' 

"Ahi" said the host, "it is Captain La Jonqui^re him- 
self. Captain," continued he, "some one is waiting for 


The captain entered suspiciously — he had seen some 
strange, and he thought sinister, faces about. 

Dubois saluted him politely. 

La Jonquiere asked the host if the friend he had ex- 
pected had arrived. 

"No one but monsieur. However, you lose nothing by 
the exchange, since one was to fetch away money, and the 
other brings it, ' ' 

La Jonquiere, surprised, turned to Dubois, who repeated 
the same story he had told to the host, and with such suc- 
cess that La Jonquiere, calling for wine, asked Dubois to 
follow him into his room. 

Dubois approached the window, and quietly tapped on 
it with his fingers. 

"But shall I not be in the way in your room?" asked 

"Not at all — not at all. The view is pleasant; as we 
drink we can look out and see the passers-by; and there 
are some pretty women in the Eue des Bourdonnais. ' ' 

They entered the room. Dubois made a sign to Tapin, 
who appeared in the first room, followed by two men, then 
shut the door behind him. 

Tapin 's two followers went to the window of the common 
room, and drew the curtains, while Tapin placed himself 
behind the door of Jonquiere 's room, so as to be hidden 
by it when it opened. The host now returned from La 
Jonquiere 's room, to write down the receipt for the money 


wliicli La Jonquiere liad just paid him for tlie wine, wlien 
Tapin threw a handkerchief over his mouth, and carried 
him oft' like a feather to a second carriage standing at the 
door. One of the men seized the little girl who was cook- 
ing eggs, the other carried off the servant, and soon they 
were all on the way to St. Lazare, drawn by two such good 
horses that it was evidently not a real hired car. 

Tapin remained behind, and taking from a closet a calico 
apron and waistcoat, signed to a loiterer who was looking 
in at the window, and who quickly transformed himself 
into a publican. 

At this moment a violent noise was heard in the cap- 
tain's room, as of a table thrown down with bottles and 
glasses; then oaths, then the clinking of a sword, then 

Presently a carriage was heard rolling away up the Kue 
de Deux Boules. Tapin looked joyous. 

"Bravo!" said he, "that is done." 

"It was time, masters," said the pretended publican, 
**for here is a customer." 




TAPIN at first thouglit that it was the Chevalier de 
Chanlay, but it was only a woman who wanted 
a pint of wine. 

"What has happened to poor M. Bourguignon ?" asked 
she. "He has just been taken away in a coach." 

"Alas!" said Tapin, "we were far from expecting it. 
He was standing there talking, and was suddenly seized 
with apoplexy. ' ' 

' ' Grracious heavens ! ' ' 

"We are all mortal," said Tapin, throwing up his eyes. 

"But why did they take the little girl?" 

' ' To attend to her father — it is her duty. ' ' 

"But the servant?" 

"To cook for them." 

"Ah, I could not understand it all, so I came to buy a 
pint of wine, though I did not want it, that I might find 

"Well, now you know." 

"Yes, but who are you ?" 

"I am Champagne, Bourguignon's cousin. I arrived by 
chance this morning; I brought him news of his family, 
and the sudden joy overcame him. Ask Grrabigeon," con- 


tinued Tapin, showing his assistant, who was finishing an 
omelet commenced by the landlord's daughter. 

"Oh, yes, everything passed exactly as M. Champagne 
says," replied Grabigeon, wiping away a tear with the 
handle of his spoon. 

' ' Poor M. Bourguignon ! then you think that we should 
pray for him ?" 

"There is never any harm in praying," said Tapin, 

"Ah, stop a minute; give me good measure." 

Monsieur Bourguignon would have groaned in spirit 
could he have seen the wine that Tapin gave for her two 


"Well," said she, "I will go and tell the neighbors, 
who are very anxious, and I promise you my custom, M. 
Champagne; indeed, if M. Bourguignon were not your 
cousin, I would tell you what I think." 

"Oh, tell me, never mind that." 

"I perceive that he cheated me shamefully. What you 
have given me for two sous, he would hardly have given 
me for four; but if there is no justice here there is in 
heaven, and it is very providential that you are to con- 
tinue his business." 

"I believe so," said Tapin, in a half voice, "particu- 
larly for his customers." 

And he dismissed the woman just as the door opened, 
and a young man entered, dressed in a blue cloak. 

"Is this the hotel Le Muids d' Amour?" asked he. 

"Yes, monsieur." 

"Does Captain La Jonqui^re lodge here?" 

**Yes, monsieur." 

*'Is he within?" 


' ' Yes, lie has just returned. ' ' 

"Tell him, if you please, that the Chevalier Gaston de 
Chanlay is here." 

Tapin offered the chevalier a chair, and went into La 
Jonqui^re's room. 

Graston shook the snow from his boots and cloak, and 
proceeded leisurely to examine the pictures on the wall, 
never supposing that he had close to him three or four 
swords, which, at a sign from the polite host, would leave 
their sheaths to be plunged into his breast. 

Tapin returned, saying, "Captain La Jonqui^re waits for 
M. de Chanlay. ' ' 

Graston proceeded to the room where sat a man whom the 
host pointed out as Captain La Jonqui^re, and — without 
being much of a physiognomist — he perceived at once that 
he was no bully. 

Little, dry, gray- eyed, uneasy in his uniform, such ap- 
peared the formidable captain whom Graston had been rec- 
ommended to treat with so much consideration. 

"This man is ugly, and looks like a sexton," thought 
G-aston; then, as the stranger advanced toward him — 

"Have I the honor of speaking to Captain La Jon- 
qui^re ?" asked Gaston. 

"Himself," said Dubois* "and are you M. le Chevalier 
Gaston de Chanlay?" 

"lam, monsieur." 

"Have you the sign of recognition?" asked the false 
La Jonqui^re. 

"Here is the half of the gold piece." 

''And here the other," said Dubois. 

They tried the two, which fitted exactly. 

"And now," said Gaston, "the papers;" and he drew 


from his pocket the strangely folded paper on which was 
written the name of La Jonqui^re. 

Dubois took from his pocket a similar paper, bearing 
Gaston's name; they were precisely alike. 

"Now," said Gaston, "the pocket-book." 

They found that their pocket-books were precisely simi- 
lar, and both, though new, contained an almanac for the 
year 1700, nineteen years previous. 

"And now, monsieur," said Gaston. 

"Now we will talk of business: is not that your mean- 
ing, chevalier?" 

"Exactly; are we safe?" 

' ' As though in a desert. ' ' 

They seated themselves by a table, on which were a 
bottle of sherry and two glasses. 

Dubois filled one, and was about to fill the other, when 
Gaston stopped him. 

"Peste!" thought Dubois, "he is slender and sober, bad 
signs ; Caesar mistrusted thin people who did not drink, and 
Brutus and Cassius were such. ' ' 

"Captain," said Gaston, after a short silence, "when we 
undertake, as now, an affair in which we risk our heads, I 
think we should know each other, so that the past may 
vouch for the future. Montlouis, Talhouet, Du Couedic, 
and Pontcalec have told you my name and condition. I 
was brought up by a brother, who had reasons for personal 
hatred to the regent. This hatred I have imbibed; there- 
fore, three years ago, when the league was formed among 
the nobility in Bretagne, I entered the conspiracy; now 
I have been chosen to come to Paris to receive the in- 
structions of Baron de Valef, who has arrived from 
Spain, to transmit them to the Due d'Olivares, his Cath- 


olic Majesty's agent in Paris, and to assure myself of 
his assent." 

"And what is Captain La Jonqui^re to do in all this?" 
asked Dubois, as though he were doubting the chevalier's 

"To present me to the Due d'OHvares, I arrived two 
hours ago ; since then I have seen M. de Valef , and now I 
come to you. Now you know my history. ' ' 

Dubois listened, and, when Graston had finished — 

"As to me, chevalier," said he, throwing himself back 
indolently in his chair, "I must own my history is some- 
what longer and more adventurous; however, if you wish 
to hear it, I obey." 

"I think it necessary, in our position, to know each 
other," said Gaston. 

"Well," said Dubois, "as you know, I am called Cap- 
tain La Jonqui^re ; my father was, like myself, a soldier of 
fortune ; this is a trade at which one gains in general a good 
deal of glory and very little money; my glorious father 
died, leaving me, for sole inheritance, his rapier and his 
uniform; I girded on the rapier, which was rather too 
long, and I wore the uniform, which was rather too large. 
From that time," said Dubois, calling the chevalier's at- 
tention to the looseness of his coat, "from that time I 
contracted the habit of always having plenty of room to 
move easily." 

Gaston nodded, as though to express his approbation of 
this habit. 

' ' Thanks to my good looks, I was received in the Royal 
Italian, which was then recruiting in France. I held a dis- 
tinguished post; when — the day before the battle of Mal- 
plaquet — I had a slight quarrel with my sergeant about an 


order wliich lie gave me witli tlie end of his cane raised 
instead of lowered, as it should have been. ' ' 

"Pardon me," said Gaston, "but I cannot see what dif- 
ference that could make to the order he was giving. ' ' 

"It made this difference, that in lowering his cane it 
struck against my hat, which fell to the ground ; the result 
was a duel, in which I passed my sabre through his body. 
Now, as I certainly should have been shot if I had waited 
to be arrested, I made ofi, and woke the next morning — 
devil take me if I know how it happened — in Marlborough's 
army. ' ' 

"That is to say you deserted," said Graston, smiling. 

"I had Coriolanus and the great Cond^ for examples," 
said Dubois, "and this appeared to me to be sufficient to 
excuse me in the eyes of posterity. I assisted then, I must 
tell you, as we are to hide nothing from one another, at the 
battle of Malplaquet; but instead of being on one side of 
the brook, I was on the other, and instead of having the 
village behind me, I faced it. I think this was a lucky 
exchange for your humble servant; the Eoyal Italian left 
eight hundred men on the field of battle, my company was 
cut to pieces, and my own comrade and bedfellow killed by 
a cannon-ball. The glory with which my late regiment cov- 
ered itself so much delighted Marlborough that he made 
me an ensign on the field of battle. With such a protector 
I ought to have done well, but his wife, Lady Marlborough, 
whom Heaven confound, having been awkward enough to 
spill a bowl of water over Queen Anne's dress, this great 
event changed the face of things in Europe. In the over- 
throw which resulted, I found myself without any other 
protector than my own merit and the enemies I had gained 


"And what did you do then?" asked Gaston, some- 
what interested in the adventurous life of the pretended 

"What could I do? I was forced to enter the service of 
his Catholic Majesty, who, to his honor be it said, graciously 
acceded to my demand for a commission. In three years I 
"Was a captain; but out of our pay of thirty reals a day they 
kept back twenty, telling us what an honor it was for us to 
lend money to the King of Spain. As the security did not 
appear good in my eyes, I asked leave of my colonel to quit 
the service and return to my beautiful country, accom- 
panied by a recommendation, in order that the Malplaquet 
affair might not be too much brought on the tapis. The 
colonel referred me to the Prince de Cellamare, who, recog- 
nizing in me a natural disposition to obey, without discus- 
sion, any orders given in a proper manner and accompanied 
by a certain music, employed me actively in the famous 
conspiracy which bears his name, when, all at once, the 
whole affair blew up, as you know, by the double denun- 
ciation of La Fillon and a wretched writer called Buvat; 
but his highness, wisely thinking that what is deferred is 
not lost, recommended me to his successor, to whom I hope 
my services may be useful, and whom I thank most heartily 
for procuring me the acquaintance of so accomplished a 
cavalier as yourself. Count on me, then, chevalier, as your 
most humble and obedient servant." 

"I ask nothing of you, captain," replied Gaston, "but to 
present me to the duke, the only person to whom my in- 
structions permit me to speak openly, and to whom I am to 
deliver the Baron de Valef's despatches. I beg, therefore, 
that you will present me to his excellency." 

"This very day, chevalier," said Dubois, who seemed to 


have decided on his course of action; "in an liour if you 
like, in ten minutes if necessary. ' ' 

"As soon as possible." 

"Listen," said Dubois; "I was a little too quick when I 
said you should see his excellency in an hour — in Paris one 
is never sure; perhaps he does not know of your coming, 
and I may not find him at home. ' ' 

"I understand." 

' ' Perhaps even I may be prevented from coming back to 
fetch you, ' ' 

"How so?" 

"Peste, chevalier; it is easy to see that this is your first 
visit to Paris." 

"What do you mean?" 

"I mean that in Paris there are three distinct bodies of 
police, who all unite to torment those honest people who 
only desire to substitute what is not for what is. First, the 
regent's police, which is not much to be feared; secondly, 
that of Messire Voyer d' Argenson — ^this has its days, when 
he is in a bad humor, or has been ill received at the con- 
vent of the Madeleine du Tresnel; thirdly, there is Dubois's 
police; ah! that is a different thing. Dubois is a — " 

"A wretch!" cried Graston; "I am well aware of 

Dubois smiled his sinister smile. 

"Well, to escape these three police?" said Gaston. 

"One must be prudent, chevalier." 

"Instruct me, captain; for you seem to know more about 
it than I, who am a provincial." 

"First, we must not lodge in the same hotel." 

"Diable!" said Gaston, who remembered the address 
given to Hel^ne; "I had a great wish to remain here." 


"I will be tlie one to turn out then, chevalier. Take 
one of my rooms — this one, or the one above." 

"I prefer this." 

*'You are right; on the ground floor, a window looking 
into one street, a secret door to the other. You have a 
quick eye; we shall make something of you." 

"Let us return to our business." 

"Eight; where was I?" 

"You said you might not be able to come back and 
fetch me." 

"Yes, but in that case take care not to follow any one 
without sufficient signs." 

"By what sign shall I recognize any one as coming 
from you?" 

"First, he must have a letter from me." 

"I do not know your writing." 

"True; I will give you a specimen." 

And Dubois wrote the following lines: 

"Monsieur le Chevalier — Follow without fear the 
man who brings this note ; he is deputed by me to lead you 
to the house where the Due d'Olivares and Captain La 
Jonqui^re await you." 

"Stay," said he, giving him the note, "if any one comes 
in my name, he will give you a similar letter." 

"Is that enough?" 

"One cannot be too careful; besides the letter, he will 
show you the half-coin, and at the door of the house to 
which he leads you, ask for the third sign." 

"Which will be— " 

"The paper." 

"It is well," said Gaston, "with these precautions, the 


devil is in it if we are mistaken. Nov?", wliat am I to 

"Wait; you will not go out to-day?" 


"Well, remain quiet in this hotel, where you will want 
for nothing. I will recommend you to the host. ' ' 


"My dear M. Champagne," said Dubois to Tapin, open- 
ing the door, "the Chevalier de Chanlay takes my room; 
attend to him as you would to me." 

Then, closing it — 

"That fellow is worth his weight in gold, Tapin,*' said 
he in a low voice, "do not lose sight of him for a moment; 
you will answer for him with your head." 




DUBOIS, on leaving tlie chevalier, contemplated tke 
chance which had again placed in his hands the 
future of the regent and of France. In crossing 
the hall he recognized L'Eveille, and signed to him to fol- 
low. It was L'Eveille who had undertaken to get the real 
La Jonqui^re out of the way. Dubois became thoughtful: 
the easiest part of the affair was done ; it now remained to 
persuade the regent to put himself in a kind of affair which 
he held in the utmost horror — the manoeuvring of intrigue. 

Dubois began by asking where the regent was, and how 
occupied ? The prince was in his studio, finishing an etch- 
ing commenced by Hubert, the chemist, who, at an adjoin- 
ing table, was occupied in embalming an ibis, by the Egyp- 
tian method, which he professed to have recovered. 

A secretary was reading some letters to the regent. 

All at once, to the regent's astonishment — for this was 
his sanctum — the door opened, and an usher announced 
Captain La Jonqui^re. 

The regent turned. 

"La Jonquiere ?" said he; "who is this?" 

Hubert looked surprised that a stranger should be thus 
unceremoniously intruded on their privacy. 

116 THE hegent's daughter 

At tliis moment a long pointed head, appeared at tlie 
open door. 

Tlie regent did not at first recognize Dubois in his dis- 
guise: but shortly the pointed nose, which had not its. 
match in the kingdom, betrayed him. 

A merry look took the place of the astonishment which 
the regent's features had at fi.rst displayed. 

"Ah, it is you, abbe!" said his highness, laughing, "and 
what is the meaning of this disguise ?" 

' ' It means that I have changed my skin, and from a fox 
have turned into a lion; and now. Monsieur the Chemist 
and Monsieur the Secretary, do me the favor to take your 
bird and letters elsewhere. ' ' 

"Why so ?" asked the regent. 

"Because I have important business to speak of with 


"Go to the devil with your important business ; it is too 
late : come to-morrow. ' ' 

" Monseigneur, " said Dubois, "do not force me to remain 
till to-morrow in this villanous disguise." 

"Do what you please, but I have decided that the rest 
of this day shall be given to pleasure. ' ' 

"Well, I come to propose a disguise to you also." 

"A disguise! what do you mean, Dubois?" asked the 
regent, who thought it was probably one of his ordinary 

"Ah, it makes your mouth water, Monseigneur Alain.'* 

"Speak; what do you want to do?" 

"First send away your chemist and secretary." 

"You still wish it?" 


"Yery well, then." 


The regent signed to them to leave : they did so. 

"And now," said he, "what is it?" 

"I want to present to you, monseigneur, a young man, 
a very delightful fellow, just arrived from Bretagne, and 
strongly recommended to me." 

"His name?" 

"The Chevalier Graston de Chanlay. " 

"De Chanlay!" said the regent, "the name is not un- 
known to me." 


"Yes, I think I have heard it formerly; but I do not 
remember where or how. What does your 'protege come 
to Paris for?" 

"Monseigneur, I shall leave him to tell you that him- 

"Tell it to me?" 

"Yes; that is to say, to the Due d'Olivares, whom you 
are about to personate. Ah, my protege is a discreet con- 
spirator, and I have had some trouble to get at the truth 
of things. He was addressed to Paris, to a certain La Jon- 
qui^re, who was to present him to the Due d'Olivares. 
Do you understand now?" 

"Not at all." 

"Well, I have been Captain La Jonqui^re, but I cannot 
be both La Jonquiere and his excellency. ' ' 

"So you reserve that part — " 

' ' For you, monseigneur. ' ' 

"Thank you. So you think that, under a false name, 
I will get at the secrets — " 

"Of your enemies, monseigneur," interrupted Dubois. 
"Pardieu! what a dreadful crime, and how it would dis- 
tress you, to change name and dress ; you ■ have never 


before learned secrets by such, means. But remember, 
monseigneur, our many disguises, and after being called 
M. Alain and Maitre Jean you may well, I tbink, witbout 
anything derogatory to your dignity, be called Le Due 

"I ask no better than a disguise for amusement, but — " 

"But a disguise," continued Dubois, "to preserve tbe 
peace of France, to prevent traitors from overthrowing 
the kingdom, to prevent assassins from murdering you 
. — this, I suppose, is unworthy of you. I understand; ah, 
if it were only in pursuit of some little ironmongress in 
tbe Pont-Neuf, or the pretty widow of the Eue Saint 
Augustine, it might be worth your while." 

"If I do what you wish," said the regent, "what will 
be the result?" 

"Probably, that you will own that I am no visionary, 
and that you will allow others to watch over you, since 
jou will not watch over yourself." 

' ' But, once for all, if the thing turns out not worth the 
trouble, shall I be freed from your worrying ?" 

"I promise you, on my honor." 

" Abb^, if you have no objection, I should prefer another 

"Oh, monseigneur, you are too hard; but you consent?" 

"Again this folly." 

' ' You shall see if it be folly. ' ' 

"I believe you make plots to frighten me." 

' ' Then they are well made ; you shall see. ' ' 

"Are you certain?" 


"If I am not frightened, look to yourself." 

"Monseigneur exacts too much." 


"You are not sure, Dubois." 

"I swear to you, monseigneur, that you will be moved, 
and will be glad to speak witb liis excellency's tongue." 

And Dubois went out before the regent had time to with- 
draw his consent. 

Five minutes after, a courier entered the antechamber, 
and gave a letter to a page, who brought it to the regent. 

"Madame Desroches, " said he, looking at the writing, 
and, breaking the seal, read as follows — 

"Monseigneur — The young lady you left in my charge 
does not appear to be in safety here. ' ' 

"Bah!" cried the regent, and then read on — 

"The residence in the town, which your highness feared 
for her, would be a hundred times better than isolation ; and 
I do not feel strong enough to defend her as I would wish, 
and as I ought. ' ' 

"Ouais!" said the regent, "it seems something is the 

"A young man, who had written to Mademoiselle Hdl^ne 
shortly before your arrival yesterday, presented himself this 
morning at the pavilion ; I wished to refuse him admittance, 
but mademoiselle so peremptorily ordered me to admit him, 
and to retire, that in her look and tone I recognized the blood 
which commands. ' ' 

"Yes, yes," said the regent, "she is indeed my daughter; 
but who can this young man be ? Some coxcomb she must 
have seen in the convent parlor." Then he read on: 

"I believe, monseigneur, that this young man and made- 
moiselle have met before. I did not think it wrong to lis- 
ten, for jour highness's service, and in spite of the double 


door I once heard liim say, ' To see you as formerly. ' Will 
your royal highness secure me against this danger, and send 
me a written order which I can use to shelter myself from 
the anger of mademoiselle. ' ' 

"Diable!" exclaimed the regent, "it cannot be a love 
affair already; brought up in the only convent in France 
where men never pass the parlor. No, it is some foolish 
fear of Madame Desroches; but let us see what else she 
writes. ' ' 

"P.S. — I have just been to the hotel Tigre Eoyal for 
information. The young man arrived yesterday evening 
at seven o'clock, just three quarters of an hour before 
mademoiselle; he came by the Bretagne Road, that is, 
the road she also came. He travels under the name of 
M. de Livry. " 

"Ohl" said the regent, "this looks like a concerted 
plan. Pardieu! Dubois would laugh if he knew this; 
how he would talk! It is to be hoped he knows nothing 
of it, in spite of his police. Hola! page." 

The page who had brought the letter entered. 

"Where is the messenger from Rambouillet ?" 

"He is waiting for an answer." 

"Give him this, and tell him to start at once." 

As to Dubois, while preparing the interview between 
Gaston and the false duke, he made the following cal- 

"I hold the regent hoth by himself and his daughter. 
This intrigue of his is either serious or not; if it be not, 
I distress her in exaggerating it. If it be serious, I have 
the merit of having discovered it; but I must not strike 
both blows at once. Fii'st, I must save the duke, then his 
daughter, and there will be two rewards. Is that the best ? 


Yes, the duke first; if a young girl falls, no one suffers, 
if a man falls, a kingdom is lost; let us begin with the 
duke." And Dubois despatched a courier to M. de Mon- 
taran at Nantes. 

M. de Montaran was, as we have said, the ancient Gov- 
ernor of Bretagne. 

As to Gaston, his plan was fixed. Ashamed of being 
associated with a man like Jonqui^re, he congratulated him- 
self that he was now to communicate with the chief of the 
enterprise, and resolved, if he also appeared base and ve- 
nial, to return and take counsel with his friends at Nantes. 
As to Hdl^ne he doubted not; he knew her courage and her 
love, and that she would die rather than have to blush be- 
fore her dearest friend. He saw with joy that the happiness 
of finding a father did not lead her to forget the past, but 
still he had his fears as to this mysterious paternity; even 
a king would own such a daughter, were there not some 
disgraceful obstacle. 

Gaston dressed himself carefully; there is a coquetry in 
danger as well as in pleasure, and he embellished his youth 
with every advantage of costume. 

The regent, by Dubois's advice, dressed in black velvet 
and half hid his face in an immense cravat of Mechlin 

The interview was to take place in a house belonging 
to the regent, in the Faubourg Saint Germain: he arrived 
there at five o'clock, as night was falling. 

(P)— Vol. 2S 




GASTON remained in tlie room on the ground floor, 
and dressed himself carefully, as we have said, 
while Tapin continued his apprenticeship. By the 
evening he knew how to measure a pint as well as his 
predecessor, and even better; for he thought that in the 
compensation which would be given to Bourguignon waste 
would be considered, and that therefore the less waste the 
better; so the morning's customer on her return got badly 
served, and went off disgusted. 

When his toilet was finished, Graston began to inspect 
La Jonqui^re's library, and found it composed of three sets 
of books; theatrical books, obscene books, and arithmetical 

While he was thus engaged, a man entered, introduced 
by Tapin, who went out directly, and left him alone with 
Gaston. The man announced that Captain La Jonqui^re, 
not being able to return, had sent him in his stead. Gaston 
demanding proof, the man showed a letter in the same terms 
and the same writing as the specimen Graston had received, 
and then the half- coin, after which Gaston made no diffi- 
culty as to following him, and both got into a carefully 
closed carriage. They crossed the Pont-Neuf, and, in the 
Rue du Bac, stopped at the courtyard of a pavilion; then 


the man drew from his pocket the paper bearing the cheva- 
lier's name as the third signal of recognition. 

Gaston and his companion alighted, ascended the four 
steps of the doorway, and entered a large circular corridor 
surrounding the pavilion. Graston looked round and saw 
that his guide had disappeared and that he was alone. 

His heart beat quickly. He was about to face, not the 
tool, but the master and originator of the whole plot, the 
representative of a king; he was to play a kingdom against 
a kingdom. 

A bell sounded within. 

Graston almost trembled. He looked in a glass and saw 
that he was pale; a thousand new ideas assailed him; the 
door opened, and La Jonqui^re appeared. 

"Come, chevalier," said he, "we are expected." 

Gaston advanced with a firm step. 

They found a man seated in an armchair, his back 
turned to the door. A single light, placed on a table 
and covered with a shade, lighted only the lower part of 
his body; his head and shoulders were in shadow. 

Gaston thought the face noble, and understood at once 
that this was a man of worth, and no La Jonqui^re. The 
mouth was benevolent and the eyes large, bold and firm, 
like those of a king or a bird of prey; deep thought was 
written on his brow, prudence and some degree of firmness 
in the lower part of the face ; all this, however, in the half- 
darkness, and in spite of the Mechlin cravat. 

"At least this is an eagle," thought he, "the other was 
but a raven." 

Gaston bowed silently, and the unknown, rising, went 
and leaned against the chimney. 

"Monsieur is the person of whom I spoke to your ex- 


cellency," said La Jonqui^re, "M. le Chevalier Graston 
de Chanlay." 

The unknowii bowed silently. 

"Mordieu!" whispered Dubois in his ear, "if you do not 
speak he will not say anything." 

"This gentleman comes from Bretagne, I believe," said 
the duke, coldly. 

"Yes, monsieur; but will your excellency pardon me. 
Captain La Jonqui^re has told my name, but I have not 
been told yours. Excuse my rudeness, monseigneur; it is 
not I who speak, it is my province, which sends me. ' ' 

' ' You are right, monsieur, ' ' said La Jonqui^re, quickly, 
taking from a portfolio on the table a paper, at the bottom 
of which was a large signature with the seal of the King 
of Spain. 

"Here is the name," said he. 

"Due d'Olivares, " read Graston. 

Then turning to him, he bowed respectfully. 

"And now, monsieur," said the duke, "you will not, I 
presume, hesitate to speak. ' ' 

"I thought I had first to listen," said Graston, still on 
the defensive. 

' ' True : but, remember, it is a dialogue ; each one speaks 
in turn. ' ' 

"Monseigneur, you do me too much honor, and I will 
set the example of confidence. ' ' 

"I listen, monsieur." 

"Monseigneur, the states of Bretagne — " 

' ' The malcontents of Bretagne, ' ' interrupted the regent, 
smiling, in spite of a sign from Dubois. 

"The malcontents are so numerous," replied Gaston, 
"that they may be considered the representatives of the 


province: however, I will employ the word your excellency 
points out; the malcontents of Bretagne have sent me to 
you, monseigneur, to learn the intentions of Spain in 
this affair." 

"First let us learn those of Bretagne." 

"Monseigneur, Spain may count on us; we pledge our 
word, and Breton loyalty is proverbial." 

"But what do you promise ?" 

' ' To second the efforts of the French nobility. ' ' 

"But are you not French ?" 

"Monseigneur, we are Bretons. Bretagne, reunited to 
France by a treaty, may look on herself as separated from 
the moment when France no longer respects the rights of 
that treaty." 

"Yes, I know; the old story of Anne de Bretagne's con- 
tract. It is a long time since that contract was signed, 
monsieur. ' ' 

The false La Jonqui^re pushed the regent violently. 

"What matter," said Gaston, "if each one of us has it 
by heart?" 




"■\ /OU said tliat tlie Breton nobility were ready to second 

I tlie Frencli nobility: now, what do the French no- 
bility want ?" 

"They desire, in case of his Majesty's death, to place 
the King of Spain on the throne of France, as sole heir 
of Louis XIV." 

"Very good, very good," said La Jonqui^re, taking 
snuff with an air of extreme satisfaction. 

"But," said the regent, "the king is not dead, although 
you speak almost as if he were. ' ' 

"The Grand Dauphin, the Due and Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne, and their children, disappeared in a deplorable 
manner. ' ' 

The regent turned pale with anger; Dubois coughed. 

"Then they reckon on the king's death?" 

' ' Generally, monseigneur. ' ' 

"Then that explains how the King of Spain hopes, in 
spite of the renunciation of his rights, to mount the throne 
of France. But, among the people attached to the regency, 
he may meet with some opposition. ' ' 

The false Spaniard involuntarily lingered on these words. 


*'Moiiseigneur," replied tlie clievalier, "this case also has 
been foreseen." 

"Ah.!" said Dubois, "this has been foreseen. Did not 
I tell you, monseigneur, that the Bretons were valuable to 
us. Continue, monsieur, continue." 

In spite of this invitation, Gaston was silent 

""Well, monsieur," said the pretended duke, "I am 

"This secret is not mine, monseigneur." 

"Then," said the duke, "I have not the confidence of 
your chiefs?" 

"On the contrary, you alone have it." 

"I understand, monsieur; but the captain is my friend, 
and I answer for him as for myself. ' ' 

"My instructions are, monsieur, to speak to you 

"But, I tell you, I answer for the captain." 

"In that case," said Graston, bowing, "I have said all 
I have to say." 

"You hear, captain," said the regent; "have the kind- 
ness to leave us alone." 

"Yes, monseigneur; I have but two words to say to 


Q-aston drew back. 

"Monseigneur," whispered Dubois, "press him hard — 
get out the whole affair — ^you will never have such an- 
other chance. "What do you think of our Breton?" 

"A noble fellow; eyes full of intelligence and a fine 

"So much the better for cutting it off.'' 

""What do you say?" 

"Nothing, monseigneur; I am exactly of your opinion. 


M. de Chanlay, your hunible servant; some miglit be angry 
tliat you would not speak before tbem, but I am not proud, 
and, provided all things turn out as I expect, I do not care 
for tlie means. " 

Chanlay bowed. 

"Monsieur," said tbe regent, when Dubois had closed 
the door, "we are alone, and I am listening. Speak — ^you 
understand my impatience." 

"Yes, monseigneur. You are doubtless surprised that 
you have not yet received from Spain a certain despatch 
which you were to send to Cardinal Olocroni?" 

"True, monsieur," said the regent, dissembling with 

"I will explain the delay. The messenger who should 
have brought this despatch fell ill, and has not left 
Madrid. The Baron de Valef, my friend, who was in 
Spain, offered himself; and, after three or four days' hesi- 
tation, at length — as he was a man already tried in Cella- 
mare's conspiracy — they trusted him." 

"In fact," said the regent, "the Baron de Valef narrowly 
escaped Dubois's emissaries; it needed some courage to re- 
new such a work. I know that when the regent saw Ma- 
dame du Maine and Cellamare arrested, Richelieu, Polignac, 
Malezieux, and Mademoiselle de Launay in the Bastille, 
and that wretched Lagrange- Chancel at the Sainte Mar- 
guerite, he thought all was finished." 

"You see he was mistaken, monseigneur." 

"But do not these Breton conspirators fear that in thus 
rising they may sacrifice the heads of the Paris conspirators 
whom the regent has in his power ?" 

"They hope to save them, or die with them." 

"How save them?" 


•'Let us return to the despatch, if joa please, monsei- 
gueur; here it is." 

The regent took the paper, but seeing the address to 
his excellency the Duo d'Olivares, laid it on the table 

Strange inconsistency! This man opened two hundred 
letters a day by his spies ; it is true that then he dealt with 
a Torcy or a Dubois, and not with a Chevalier de Chanlay. 

"Well, monseigneur, " said G-aston. 

"You know, doubtless, what this despatch contains, 

"Not word for word, perhaps; but I know what was 

""Well, tell me. I shall be glad to know how far you 
are admitted into the secrets of the Spanish cabinet." 

"When the regent is got rid of," said Gaston, without 
noticing the slight start which his interlocutor gave at 
these words, "the Due du Maine will be provisionally 
recognized in his place. The Due du Maine will at once 
break the treaty of the quadruple alliance signed by that 
wretch Dubois." 

"I wish La Jonqui^re had been here to hear you speak 
thus ; it would have pleased him. Go on, monsieur. ' * 

"The Pretender will start with a fleet for the English 
shore; Prussia, Sweden, and Eussia will then be engaged 
with Holland; the Empire will profit by this war to re* 
take Naples and Sicily, to which it lays claim through 
the house of Suabia; the Grand Duchy of Tuscany will be 
assured to the second son of the King of Spain, the Cath- 
olic Low Countries will be reunited to France, Sardinia 
given to the Duke of Savoy, Commachio to the Pope. 
France will be the soul of the great league of the south 


against tlie nortli, and, if Louis XY. dies, Philip V. will 
be crowned king of lialf tlie world." 

"Yes, I know all that," said the regent, "and this is 
Cellamare's conspiracy renewed. But you used a phrase 
I did not understand." 

'^ Which, monseigneur ?" 

"You said, when the regent is got rid of. How is he to 
be got rid of?" 

' ' The old plan was, as you know, to carry him off to the 
prison of Saragossa, or the fortress of Toledo. ' ' 

"Yes; and the plan failed through the duke's watch- 
fulness. ' ' 

"It was impracticable— a thousand obstacles opposed 
it. How was it possible to take such a prisoner across 

"It was difficult," said the duke, "I never understood 
the adoption of such a plan. I am glad to find it modi- 

"Monseigneur, it would be possible to seduce guards, 
to escape from a prison or a fortress, to return to France, 
retake a lost power, and punish those who had executed 
this abduction. Philip V. and Alberoni have nothing to 
fear; his excellency the Due d'Olivares regains the frontier 
in safety ; and, while half the conspirators escape, the other 
half pay for all." 

"However — " 

"Monseigneur, we have the example ot tfie last con- 
spiracy before our eyes, and you yourself named those 
who are in the Bastille." 

"What you say is most logical," replied the duke. 

"While, on the contrary, in getting rid of the regent — " 
continued the chevalier. 


"Yes; you prevent his return. It is possible to return 
from a prison, but not from a tomb — that is what you 
would say?" 

"Yes, monseigneur, " replied Gaston, with a somewhat 
tremulous voice. 

"Now I understand your mission. You come to Paris 
to make away with the regent?" 

"Yes, monseigneur." 

' ' Explain yourself. ' ' 

"We were five Breton gentlemen forming a small party 
or league in the midst of the general association, and it was 
agreed that the majority should decide on our plans. ' ' 

"I understand, and the majority decided that the regent 
should be assassinated. ' ' 

"Yes, monseigneur, four were for assassination, and one 
against it." 

"And that one?" 

"If I lose your excellency's confidence, I must own that 
I was that one. ' ' 

"But, then, why are you to accomplish a design you dis- 

"Chance was to decide the one who should strike the 

"And the lot?" 

"Fell on me, monseigneur." 

"Why did you not refuse ?" 

' ' The ballot was without names, no one knew my vote. 
I should have been taken for a coward. ' ' 

"And you came to Paris ?" 

' ' For the task imposed on me. ' ' 

"Beckoning on me ?" 

"As on an enemy of the regent, for aid in accomplishing 


an enterprise wliicli not only concerns tlie interests of Spain, 
but wliicli will save our friends from tlie Bastille. ' ' 

"Do they run as mucli danger as you believe ?" 

"Deatb bovers over tbem; the regent bas proofs, and 
bas said of M. de Ricbelieu that if be bad four beads be bas 
wberewitb to condemn tbem all." 

"He said tbat in a moment of passion." 

' ' Wbat, monseigneur, you defend tbe duke — you tremble 
wben a man devotes bimself to save, not only bis -accom- 
plices, but two kingdoms — you hesitate to accept tbat de- 
votion. ' ' 

"If you fail!" 

"Everything bas its good and evil side; if the happiness 
of being tbe savior of a country is lost, the honor of being a 
martyr to its cause is gained. ' ' 

"But remember, in facilitating your access to the regent 
I become your accomplice. ' ' 

"Does tbat frighten you, monseigneur?" 

' ' Certainly, for you being arrested — ' ' 

' ' Well— I being arrested ? " 

"They may force from you, by means of tortures, tbe 
names of those — " 

Gaston's reply was a smile of supreme disdain. 

"You are a foreigner and a Spaniard, monseigneur," said 
be, "and do not know what a French gentleman is, therefore 
I pardon you. ' ' 

"Then I may reckon on your silence." 

"Pontcalec, Du Couedic, Talbouet, and Montlouis 
doubted me for an instant, and have since apologized to 
me for doing so." 

"Well, monsieur, I will think seriously of wbat you 
have said, but in your place — " 


"In my place?" 

"I would renounce this enterprise." 

"I wish I had never entered into it, monseigneur, I own, 
for since I did so a great change has taken place in my life, 
but I am in it and must accomplish it. ' ' 

"Even if I refuse to second you?" 

"The Breton committee have provided for that emer- 
gency. ' ' 

"And decided—" 

"To do without you." 

"Then your resolution — " 

"Is irrevocable." 

"I have said all I had to say," replied the regent, "since 
you are determined to pursue your undertaking." 

"Monseigneur," said Gaston, "you seem to wish to 
retire. ' ' 

' ' Have you anything more to say to me ?' ' 

"Not to-day; to-morrow, or the day after." 

"You have the captain as go-between — when he gives 
me notice, I will receive you with pleasure. ' ' 

"Monseigneur," said Gaston firmly, and with a noble 
air, "let me speak freely. "We should have no go-between; 
you and I — so evidently separated by rank and station — are 
equal before the scaffold which threatens us. I have even 
a superiority over you, since I run the greater danger; how- 
ever, you are now, monseigneur, a conspirator, like the 
Chevalier de Chanlay, with this difference: that you have 
the right, being the chief, to see his head fall before yours. 
Let me, then, treat as an equal with your excellency, and 
see you when it is necessary." 

The regent thought for a moment. 

"Yery well," said he, "this house is not my residence: 


you understand I do not receive many at my house: since 
the war, my position is precarious and delicate in France; 
Cellamare is in prison at Blois ; I am only a sort of consul, 
good as a hostage; I cannot use too many precautions." 

The regent lied with a painful effort. 

"Write, then, poste restanie, to M. Andre; you must name 
the time at which you wish to see me, and I will be there." 

"Through the post ?" asked Gaston. 
■ "Yes, it is only a delay of three hours; at each post a 
man will watch for your letter, and bring it to me when it 
arrives; three hours after you can come here." 

"Your excellency forgets," said Gaston, laughing, "that 
I do not know where I am, in what street, at what number; 
I came by night. Stay, let us do better than that; you 
asked for time to reflect, take till to-morrow morning, and 
at eleven o'clock send for me. We must arrange a plan 
beforehand, that it may not fail, like those plans where 
a carriage or a shower of rain disconcerts everything." 

"That is a good idea," said the regent; "to-morrow, 
then, at eleven o'clock, you shall be fetched, and we will 
then have no secrets from each other. ' ' 

Gaston bowed and retired. In the antechamber he found 
the guide who brought him, but he noticed that in leaving 
they crossed a garden which they had not passed through 
on entering, and went out by a different door. At this door 
the carriage waited, and it quickly arrived at the Eue des 




NO MOEE illusion for tlie clievalier. In a day or 
two lie might be called to liis work. 

The Spanish envoy had deeply impressed Gas- 
ton — there was about him an air of greatness which sur- 
prised |iim. 

A strange circumstance passed across his mind;. there 
was between his forehead and eyes and those of Hel^ne one 
of thosp vague and distant likenesses which seem almost like 
the incoherence of a dream. Graston, without knowing why, 
associated these two faces in his memory, and could not 
separate them. As he was about to lie down, worn out 
with fatigue, a horse's feet sounded in the street, the hotel 
door opened, and Gaston heard an animated conversation; 
but soon the door was closed, the noise ceased, and he 
slept as a man sleeps at five-and-twenty, even if he be a 

However, Gaston was not mistaken ; a horse had arrived, 
and a conversation had taken place. A peasant from Eam* 
bouillet brought in haste a note from a young and pretty 
woman to the Chevalier de Chanlay, Hotel Muids d' Amour. 

We can imagine who the young and pretty woman was. 

Tapin took the letter, looked at it, then, taking off his 


apron, left th.e charge of tlie liotel to one of his servants, and 
went off to Dubois. 

' ' Oil, ' ' exclaimed the latter, ' ' let us see ; a letter !' ' 

He unsealed it skilfully by aid of steam, and, on reading 
it, seemed pleased. 

"Grood! excellent! Let them alone to go their own way; 
we hold the reins, and can stop them when we like. ' ' Then, 
turning to Tapin, he gave him the letter, which he had re- 
sealed. ' ' Here, ' ' said he, ' ' deliver the letter. ' ' 

"When?" asked Tapin. 

"At once." 

Tapin stepped toward the door. 

"No, stop," said Dubois; "to-morrow morning will be 
soon enough." 

"Now," said Tapin, "may I make an observation?" 


"As monseigneur's agent, I gain three crowns a day." 

"Well, is not that enough, you scoundrel?" 

"It was enough as agent. I do not complain; but it is 
not enough as wine-merchant. Oh, the horrid trade!" 

"Drink and amuse yourself." 

' ' Since I have sold wine I hate it. ' ' 

"Because you see how it is made; but drink champagne, 
muscat, anything: Bourguignon pays. Apropos, he has 
had a real attack; so your lie was only an affair of chro- 


"Yes, fear has caused it; you want to inherit his 

"No, no; the trade is not amusing." 

"Well, I will add three crowns a day to your pay while 
you are there, and I will give the shop to your eldest 


daughter. Bring me sucli letters often, and you sliall be 

Tapin returned to tlie hotel, but waited for the morning 
to deliver the letter. 

At six o'clock, hearing Graston moving, he entered, and 
gave him the note. 

This was what it contained — 

"My Friend — I think of your advice, and that perhaps 
you were right at last, I fear. A carriage has just arrived 
— Madame Desroches orders departure — I tried to resist — 
they shut me up in my room. Fortunately, a peasant 
passed by to water his horse ; I have given him two louis, 
and he promised to take you this note. I hear the last 
preparations — in two hours we leave for Paris. 

"On my arrival I will send you my address, if I have to 
jump out of the window and bring it. 

"Be assured, the woman who loves you will remain 
worthy of herself and you." 

"Ah, Hel^ne!" cried Graston; "I was not deceived. 
Eight o'clock, but she must have arrived. — Why was not 
this letter brought to me at once ?" 

"You were asleep, monsieur. I waited your awaking.'* 

There was no reply to be made. Graston thought he 
would go and watch at the barrier, as Hel^ne might not 
have arrived. He dressed quickly, and set out, after saying 
to Tapin — 

"If Captain La Jonqui^re comes here, say I shall be 
back at nine." 

While Gaston waits uselessly for H^l^ne, let us look 

We saw the regent receive Madame Desroches' letter and 


send a reply. Indeed, it was necessary to remove Hel^ne 
from the attempts of this M. de Livry. 

But who could he be ? Dubois alone could tell. So 
when Dubois appeared — 

"Dubois," said the regent, "who is M. de Livry, of 

"Livry— Livry," said he. "Stay!" 

"Yes, Livry." 

"Who knows such a name ? Send for M. d'Hozier." 


"But, monseigneur, I do not study genealogies. I am 
an unworthy plebeian." 

"A truce to this folly." 

' ' Diable ! it seems monseigneur is in earnest about these 
Livrys. Are you going to give the order to one of 
them? because, in that case, I will try and find a noble 
origin. ' ' 

"Go to the devil, and send me Noce. " 

Dubois smiled, and went out. 

Noc^ quickly appeared. He was a man about forty, dis- 
tinguished-looking, tall, handsome, cold and witty, one of 
the regent's most faithfal and favorite friends. 

"Monseigneur sent for me?" 

"Ah, Noc^, good-day." 

"Can I serve your royal highness in anything ?" 

"Yes; lend me your house in the Faubourg Saint An- 
toine, but empty, and carefully arranged. I will put my 
owr people in it. ' ' 

"Is it to be for—" 

"For a prude, Noce." 

"The houses in the faubourg have a bad name, moii* 
seigneur. ' ' 


"The person for whom I require it does not know that; 
remember, absolute silence, Noc^, and give me the keys." 

' ' A quarter of an hour, monseigneur, and you shall have 

"Adieu, Noce, your hand; no spying, no curiosity, 
I beg." 

' ' Monseigneur, I am going to hunt, and shall only return 
at your pleasure. ' ' 

"Thanks; adieu till to-morrow." 

The regent sat down and wrote to Madame Desroches, 
sending a carriage with an order to bring Hel^ne, after read- 
ing her the letter without showing it to her. 

The letter was as follows: 

"My Daughter — On reflection, I wish to have you near 
me. Therefore follow Madame Desroches without loss of 
time. On your arrival at Paris, you shall hear from me. 

"Your affectionate father." 

Helene resisted, prayed, wept, but was forced to obey. 
She profited by a moment of solitude to write to Graston, 
as we have seen. Then she left this dwelling which had 
become dear to her, for there she had found her father 
and received her lover. 

As to Gaston, he waited vainly at the barrier, till, giv- 
ing up all hope, he returned to the hotel. As he crossed 
the garden of the Tuileries, eight o'clock struck. 

At that moment Dubois entered the regent's bedcham- 
ber with a portfolio under his arm, and a triumphant smile 
on his face. 




AH! it is you, Dubois," exclaimed tlie regent, as Ms 
minister entered. 

"Yes, monseigneur, " said Dubois, taking out 
some papers. "Well, what do you say to our Bretons 

"Wbat papers are those?" asked the regent, who, 
in spite of the preceding day's conversation, or perhaps 
because of it, felt a secret sympathy with De Chanlay. 

"Oh, nothing at all, first a little report of what passed 
yesterday evening between M. de Chanlay and his Excel- 
lency the Due d'Olivares. " 

"You listened, then?" said the regent. 

"Pardieu, monseigneur, what did you expect that 
I should do?" 

"And you heard?" 

"All. What do you think of his Catholic Majesty's 

"I think that perhaps they use his name without his 
consent. ' ' 

"And Cardinal Alberoni? Tudieu! monseigneur, how 
nicely they manage Europe: the Pretender in England; 
Prussia, Sweden and Russia tearing Holland to pieces; 
the Empire recovering Sicily and Naples; the Grand 


Duchy of Tuscany for Philip the Fifth's son; Sardinia 
for the King of Savoy; Commachio for the Pope; France 
for Spain; really, this plan is somewhat grand, to emanate 
from the brain of a bell-ringer." 

"All smoke, these prospects!" said the duke; "mere 
dreams. ' ' 

"And the Breton league, is that all smoke?" 

"I am forced to own that that really exists." 

"And the dagger of our conspirator, is that a dream?" 

"No; it even appeared to me likely to be vigorously 
handled. ' ' 

"Peste! monseigneur, you complained in the other plot 
that you found none but rose-water conspirators. Well, 
this time I hope you are better pleased. These fellows 
strike hard." 

"Do you know," said the regent, thoughtfully, "ths/f- 
the Chevalier de Chanlay is of an energetic and vigorous 
nature. ' ' 

"Ah, the next thing will be, jow will conceive a great 
admiration for this fellow. I know, monseigneur, that you 
are capable of it." 

"How is it that a j^rince always finds such natures 
among his enemies, and not among friends?" 

"Because, monseigneur, hatred is a passion, and devo- 
tion often only a weakness; but if you will descend from 
the height of philosophy and deign to a simple act, namely, 
to give me two signatures — ' ' 

"What signatures?" asked the regent. 

"First, there is a captain to be made a major." 

"Captain La Jonqui^re?" 

"Oh, no; as to him, we'll hang him when we have done 
with him ; but meanwhile we must treat him with care. ' ' 


"Who, then, is this captain?" 

"A brave officer, whom monseigneur eight days, or rather 
eight nights ago, met in a house in the Eiie St. Honore. " 

"What do you mean?" 

' ' Ah, 1 see I must aid your memory a little, monseigneur, 
since you have such a bad one. ' ' 

' ' Speak, one can never get at the truth with you. ' ' 

"In two words, eight nights ago you went out disguised 
as a musketeer through the little door in the Rue Eichelieu, 
accompanied by Noce and Simiane. ' ' 

"It is true; what passed in the Eue St. Honor^?" 

"Do you wish to know, monseigneur?" 

"I do." 

"I can refuse you nothing." 

"Speak, then." 

"You supped at the house — that house, monseigneur." 

"Still with Noce and Simiane ?" 

"No, monseigneur, tete-d-tete. Noce and Simiane supped, 
too, but separately. You supped, then, and were at table, 
when a brave officer, who probably mistook the door, 
knocked so obstinately at yours that 3^ou became im- 
patient, and handled the unfortunate who disturbed you 
somewhat roughly; but he, who, it seems, was not of 
an enduring nature, took out his sword, whereupon you, 
monseigneur, who never look twice before committing a 
folly, drew your rapier and tried your skill with the 
officer. ' ' 

"And the result?" asked the regent. 

"Was that you got a scratch on the shoulder, in return 
for which you bestowed on your adversary a sword-thrust 
in the breast." 

"But it was not dangerous ?" asked the regent anxiously. 


*'No; fortunately tlie blade glided along the ribs." 

"So muob tbe better." 



"It appears tliat you owed the officer a special grudge." 

"I had never seen him." 

"Princes strike from a distance." 

"What do you mean ?" 

"This officer had been a captain for eight years, when, 
on your highness 's coming into power, he was dismissed." 

"Then I suppose he deserved it." 

"Ah, monseigneur, you would make us out as infallible 
as the Pope!" 

"He must have committed some cowardly act." 

"He is one of the bravest officers in the service." 

"Some infamous act then ?" 

"He is the most honest fellow breathing." 

"Then this is an injustice to be repaired." 

"Exactly; and that is why I prepared this major's 
brevet. ' ' 

"Give it to me, Dubois, you have some good in you 
sometimes. ' ' 

A diabolical smile passed over Dubois's face as he drew 
from his portfolio a second paper. 

The regent watched him uneasily. 

"What is that paper?" asked he. 

"Monseigneur, you have repaired an act of injustice, 
now do an act of justice." 

"The order to arrest the Chevalier Gaston de Chanlay, 
and place him in the Bastille," cried the regent. "Ah I I 
see now why you bribed me with a good action; but stay, 
this requires reflection." 


**Do you tliink I propose to you an abuse of power, 
monseigneur ?" asked Dubois, laugbing. 

"No, but yet—" 

"Monseigneur," continued Dubois, "when we have in 
our hands the government of a kingdom, the thing most 
necessary is to govern." 

"But it seems to me that I am the master." 

"To reward, yes; but on condition of punishing. The 
balance of justice is destroyed, monseigneur, if an eternal 
and blind mercy weighs down one of the scales. To act 
as you always wish, and often do, is not good, but weak. 
"What is the reward of virtue, if you do not punish 

"Then," said the regent, the more impatiently that he 
felt he was defending a bad though generous cause, "if you 
wished me to be severe, you should not have brought about 
an interview between me and this young man ; you should 
not have given me the opportunity of appreciating his 
worth, but have allowed me to suppose him a common 

"Yes; and now, because he presented himself to your 
highness under a romantic guise, your artistic imagination 
runs away with you. Diable I monseigneur, there is a time 
for everything; so chemistry with Hubert, engraving with 
Audran, music with Lafare, make love with the whole 
world; but politics with me." 

"Mon Dieul" said the regent, "is it worth while to de- 
fend a life, watched, tortured, calumniated as mine is?" 

"But it is not your life you are defending, monseigneur; 
consider, among all these calumnies which pursue you, and 
against which Heaven knows you should be steeled by this 
time, your most bitter enemies have never accused you of 


cowardice; as to your life, at Steinkirk, at Neerwinden, 
and at Lerida you proved at what rate you valued it. 
Pardieu! if you were merely a private gentleman, a 
minister, or a prince of the blood, and you were assas- 
sinated, a man's heart would cease to beat, and that would 
be all; but wrongly or rightly, you coveted a place among 
the powerful ones of the world; for that end you broke the 
will of Louis the Fourteenth, you drove the bastards from 
the throne whereon they had already placed their feet, you 
made yourself Kegent of France — that is to say, the key- 
stone of the arch of the world. If you die, it is not a man 
who falls, it is the pillar which supports the European 
edifice which gives way ; thus our last four years of watch- 
fulness and struggles would be lost, and everything around 
would be shaken. Look at England — the Chevalier do 
Saint George will renew the mad enterprises of the Pre- 
tender; look at Holland — Russia, Sweden, and Prussia 
would hunt her to death; look at Austria — her two- 
headed eagle seizes Venice and Milan, as an indemnifi- 
cation for the loss of Spain; cast your eyes on France — 
no longer France, but Philip the Fifth's vassal. Look 
finally at Louis the Fifteenth, the last descendant of the 
greatest monarch that ever gave light to the world, and 
the child whom by watchfulness and care we have saved 
from the fate of his father, his mother, and his uncles, to 
place him safe and sound on the throne of his ancestors; 
this child falls back again into the hands of those whom 
an adulterous law boldly calls to succeed him; thus, on 
all sides, murder, desolation, ruin, civU and foreign wars. 
And why? Because it pleases Monsieur Philippe d' Or- 
leans to think himself still major of the king's troops, or 

commandant of the army in Spain, and to forget that he 

(G)— Vol. 23 


ceased to be so from tlie moment lie became Begent 
of France." 

"You will bave it, tben," said tbe duke. 

"Stay, monseigneur, " said Dubois, *'it shall not be 
said tbat in an affair of tbis importance you gave way to 
my importunity. I bave said what I bad to say, now 
I leave you — do as you please. I leave you tbe paper; I 
am going to give some orders, and in a quarter of an 
bour I will return to fetcb it." 

And Dubois saluted tbe regent and went out. 

Left alone, tbe regent became tbougbtful. Tbis wbola 
affair, so sombre and so tenacious of life, tbis remains of 
tbe former conspiracy, filled tbe duke's mind witb gloomy 
tbougbts; be bad braved deatb in battle, bad laugbed at 
abductions meditated by tbe Spaniards and by Louis tbe 
Fourteenth's bastards. But tbis time a secret borror op- 
pressed bim; be felt an involuntary admiration for tbe 
young man wbose poniard was raised against bim; some- 
times be bated bim, at others be excused, he almost loved 
bim. Dubois, cowering down over tbis conspiracy like an 
infernal ape over some dying prey, and piercing witb bis 
ravenous claws to its very heart, seemed to bim to possess 
a sublime intelligence and power; be felt that be, ordinarily 
so courageous, should have defended his life feebly in tbis 
instance, and his eyes involuntarily sought tbe paper. 

"Yes," murmured he, "Dubois is right, my life is no 
longer my own ; yesterday my mother also told me the same 
thing. Who knows what might happen if I were to fall ? 
The same as happened at tbe death of my ancestor Henry 
the Fourth, perchance. After having reconquered his king- 
dom step by step, he was about — thanks to ten years of 
peace, economy, and prosperity — to add Alsace, Lorraine, 


and perhaps Flanders to France, while the Duke of Savoy, 
his son-in-law, descending the Alps, should cut out for 
himself a kingdom in the Milanais, and with the leavings 
of that ^^ kingdom enrich the kingdom of Venice and 
strengthen the Dukes of Modena, Florence, and Mantua; 
everything was ready for the immense result, prepared 
during the whole life of a king who was at once a legis- 
lator and a soldier; then the 13th of May arrived; a car- 
riage with the royal livery passed the Eue de la Feronni^re, 
and the clock of Les Innocents struck three. In a moment 
all was destroyed; past prosperity, hopes of the future; it 
needed a whole century, a minister called Eichelieu and 
a king called Louis the Fourteenth, to cicatrize the wound 
made in France by Ravaillac's knife. Yes, Dubois was 
right," cried the duke, "and I must abandon this young 
man to human justice; besides, it is not I who condemn 
him; the judges are there to decide; and," added he, with 
animation, "have I not still the power to pardon?" 

And quieted by the thought of this royal prerogative, 
which he exercised in the name of Louis XY., he signed 
the paper, and left the room to finish dressing. 

Ten minutes after the door opened softly, Dubois care- 
fully looked in, saw that the room was empty, approached 
the table near which the prince had been seated, looked 
rapidly at the order, smiled on seeing the signature, and 
folding it in four, placed it in his pocket, and left the 
room with an air of great satisfaction. 




WHEN Gaston returned from tlie Barri^re de la 
Conference, and entered his room, he found La 
Jonqui^re installed by the fireplace, and dis- 
cussing a bottle of wine which he had just uncorked. 

"Well, chevalier," said he, as Gaston entered, "how do 
you like my room ? it is convenient, is it not ? Sit down 
and taste this wine; it rivals the best Kosseau. Do you 
drmk Eosseau? No, they do not drink wine in Bretagne; 
they drink cider or beer, I believe. I never could get any- 
thing worth drinking there, except brandy. ' * 

Gaston did not reply, for he was so occupied that he 
had not even heard what La Jonqui^re said. He threw 
himself in an easy chair, with his hand in his pocket, hold- 
ing H^l^ne's first letter. 

"Where is she?" he asked himself ; "this immense, un- 
bounded Paris may keep her from me forever. Oh I the 
difficulty is too great for a man without power or experi- 

"Apropos," said La Jonqui^re, who had followed the 
young man's ideas easily, "there is a letter for you." 

"From Bretagne?" asked the chevalier, trembling. 

"No; from Paris. A beautiful writing — evidently a 

"Where is it?" cried Gaston. 


"Ask our host. When I came in lie held it in his hands. " 

"Give it to me," cried Gaston, rushing into the com- 
mon room. 

"What does monsieur want?" asked Tapin, with his 
usual politeness. 

"My letter." 

"What letter?" 

"The letter you received for me." 

"Pardon, monsieur; I forgot it." 

And he gave Gaston the letter. 

"Poor imbecile!" said the false La Jonqui^re, "and 
these idiots think of conspiring. It is like D'Harmental; 
they think they can attend to love and politics at the same 
time. Triple fools; if they were to go at once to La Fil- 
lon's for the former, the latter would not be so likely to 
bring them to the Place de Gr5ve. " 

Gaston returned joyously, reading and rereading He- 
line's letter. "Eue du Faubourg St. Antoine; a white 
house behind trees — poplars, I think. I could not see the 
number, but it is the thirty- first or thirty -second house on 
the left side, after passing a chateau with towers, resem- 
bling a prison." 

"Oh," cried Gaston, "I can find that; it is the Bastille." 

Dubois overheard these words. 

' ' Parbleu ; I will take care you shall find it, if I lead you 
there myself. ' ' 

Gaston looked at his watch, and finding that it wanted 
two hours of the time appointed for his rendezvous in the 
Rue du Bac, took up his hat and was going out. 

"What! are you going away?" asked Dubois. 

"I am obliged to do so." 

"And our appointment for eleven o'clock?" 


"It is not yet nine." 

"You do not want me ?" 

"No, thank you." 

"If you are preparing an abduction, for instance, I am 
an adept, and miglit assist you." 

"Thank you," said Gaston, reddening involuntarily, 
"but I am not." 

Dubois whistled an air, to show that he took the answer 
for what it was worth. 

"Shall I find you here on my return ?" asked Gaston. 

"I do not know; perhaps I also have to reassure some 
pretty creature who is interested in me ; but, at any rate, at 
the appointed hour you will find your yesterday's guide 
with the same carriage and the same coachman." 

Gaston took a hasty leave. At the corner of the cem- 
etery of the Innocents he took a carriage and was driven 
to the Eue St. Antoine. At the twentieth house he 
alighted, ordering the driver to follow him; then he pro- 
ceeded to examine the left side of the street. He soon 
found himself facing a high wall, over which he saw the 
tops of some tall poplars; this house, he felt sure, was 
the one where Hel^ne was. 

But here his difficulties were but commencing. There 
was no opening in the wall, neither bell nor knocker at the 
door; those who came with couriers galloping before them 
to strike with their silver- headed canes could dispense with 
a knocker. Gaston was afraid to strike with a stone, for 
fear of being denied admittance; he therefore ordered the 
coachman to stop, and going up a narrow lane by one side 
of the house, he imitated the cry of the screech-owl — a 
signal preconcerted. 

Hel^ne started. She recognized the cry, and it seemed 


to her as though she were again in the Augustine convent 
at Clisson, with the chevalier's boat undei her windows. 
She ran to the window; Gaston was there. 

Hdlene and he exchanged a glance; then, re-entering 
the room, she rang so violently a bell which Madame 
Desroches had given her that two servants and Madame 
Desroches herself all entered at once. 

"Go and open the door," said H^l^ne, imperiously. 
"There is some one at the door whom I expect." 

"Stop," said Madame Desroches to the valet, who was 
going to obey; "I will go myself." 

"Useless, madame. I know who it is, and I have al- 
ready told you that it is a person whom I expect. ' ' 

"But mademoiselle ought not to receive this person," 
replied the duenna, trying to stand her ground. 

"I am no longer at the convent, madame, and I am not 
yet in prison," replied Hel^ne; "and I shall receive whom 
I please." 

"But, at least, I may know who this is?" 

"I see no objection. It is the same person whom I re- 
ceived at Kambouillet. ' ' 

"M. dcLivry?" 


"I have positive orders not to allow this young man 
to see you. ' ' 

' ' And / order you to admit him instantly. ' ' 

' ' Mademoiselle, you disobey your father, • said Madame 
Pesroches, half angrily, half respectfully. 

"My father does not see through your eyes, madame." 

"Yet, who is master of your fate ?" 

"I alone," cried Hel^ne, unwilling to allow any domi 


"Mademoiselle, I swear to joii that your father — " 

"Will approve, if he be my father." 

These words, given with all the pride of an empress, 
cowed Madame Desroches, and she had recourse to silence. 

"Well," said Hel^ne, "I ordered that the door should 
be opened; does no one obey when I command?" 

No one stirred; they waited for the orders of Madame 

Hel^ne smiled scornfully, and made such an imperious 
gesture that Madame Desroches moved from the door, and 
made way ior her; Hel^ne then, slowly and with dignity, 
descended the staircase herself, followed by Madame Des- 
roches, who was petrified to find such a will in a young girl 
just out of a convent. 

"She is a queen," said the waiting-maid to Madame Des- 
roches; "I know I should have gone to open the door if she 
had not done so herself. ' ' 

"Alas!" said the duenna, "they are all alike in that 
family. ' ' 

"Do you know the family, then?" asked the servant, 

Madame Desroches saw that she had said too much. 

"Yes," said she; "I formerly knew the marquis, her 

Meanwhile Helene had descended the staircase, crossed 
the court, and opened the door; on the step stood Gaston. 

' ' Come, my friend, ' ' said H^l^ne. 

Gaston followed her, the door closed behind them, and 
they entered a room on the ground floor. 

' ' You called me, and I am here, H^l^ne, ' ' said the young 
man; "what do you fear, what dangers threaten you?" 

"Look around you," said Helene, "and judge." 


The room in which they were was a charming boudoir, 
adjoining the dining-room, with which it communicated not 
only by folding- doors, but also by an opening almost con- 
cealed by rare and peculiar flowers. The boudoir was hung 
with blue satin; over the doors were pictures by Claude 
Audran, representing the history of Yenus in four tableaux, 
while the panels formed other episodes of the same history, 
all most graceful in outline and voluptuous in expression. 
This was the house which Noce, in the innocence of his 
heart, had designated as fit for a prude. 

"Gaston," said H^l^ne, "I wonder whether I should 
really mistrust this man, who calls himself my father. My 
fears are more aroused here than at Eambouillet. ' ' 

After examining the boudoir, Graston and Hel^ne passed 
into the dining-room, and then into the garden, which was 
ornamented with marble statues of the same subjects as the 
pictures. As they returned, they passed Madame Des- 
roches, who had not lost sight of them, and who, raising 
her hands in a despairing manner, exclaimed — 

"Oh, mon Dieu ! what would monseigneur think of this ?" 

These words kindled the smouldering fire in Graston 's 

"Monseigneur!" cried he; "you heard, Helene — mon- 
seigneur ! We are then, as I feared, in the house of one of 
those great men who purchase pleasure at the expense of 
honor. Helene, do not allow yourself to be deceived. At 
Eambouillet I foresaw danger; here I see it." 

"Mon Dieu," said Helene, "but if, by aid of his valets, 
this man should retain me here by force ?" 

"Do not fear, Helene; am not I here?" 

"Oh!" said Helene, "and must I renounce the sweet 
idea of finding a father, a preceptor, a friend. ' ' 


"And at wliat a moment, when you are about to be left 
alone in tlie world," said Gaston, unconsciously betraying 
a part of his secret. 

"What were you saying, Gaston? What is the meaning 
of these words ?" 

"Nothing — nothing," replied the young man; "some 
meaningless words which escaped me, and to which you 
must not attacl^ any consequence. ' ' 

"Gaston, you are hiding some dreadful secret from me, 
since you speak of abandoning me at the moment I lose a 

"Hel^ne, I will never abandon you except with life." 

"Ah," cried the young girl, "your life is in danger, and 
it is thus that you fear to abandon me. Gaston, you betray 
yourself; you are no longer the Gaston of former days. 
You met me to-day with a constrained joy; losing me yes- 
terday did not cause you intense sorrow, there are more im- 
portant prospects in your mind than in your heart. There 
is something in you — pride, or ambition — more powerful 
than your love. You turn pale, Gaston; your silence 
breaks my heart." 

"Nothing — nothing, Helene, I assure you. Is it surpris- 
ing that I am troubled to find you here, alone and defence- 
less, and not know how to protect you; for doubtless this is 
a man of power. In Bretagne I should have had friends 
and two hundred peasants to defend me; here I have no 

"Is that all, Gaston?" 

' ' That is, it seems to me, more than enough. ' ' 

"No, Gaston, for we will leave this house instantly." 

Gaston turned pale ; H^l^ne lowered her eyes, and pl3,c- 
ing her hand in that of her lover — 


"Before tliese people who watclius," said slie, "before 
the eyes of tliis woman, we will go away together. ' ' 

Gaston's eyes lighted up with joy; but sombre thoughts 
quickly clouded them again. H^l^ne watched this chang- 
ing expression, 

"Am I not your wife, Gaston?" said she; "is not my 
honor yours ? Let us go. ' ' 

"But where to place you?" said Gaston. 

"Gaston," replied Hel^ne, "I know nothing, I can do 
nothing ; I am ignorant of Paris — of the world ; I only know 
myself and you; well, you have opened my eyes; I distrust 
all except your fidelity and love. ' ' 

Gaston was in despair. Six months previous, and he 
would have paid with his life the generous devotion of the 
courageous girl. 

' ' Hel^ne, reflect, ' ' said Gaston. " If we were mistaken, 
and this man be really your father!" 

' ' Gaston, do you forget that you first taught me to dis- 
trust him ?" 

"Oh, yes, Hel^ne, let us go," cried Gaston. 

"Where are we to go?" asked Hdl^ne; "but you neea 
not reply — if you know, it is sufficient. ' ' 

"Helene, " said Gaston, "I will not insult you by swear- 
ing to respect your honor ; the offer which you have made 
to-day I have long hesitated to make — rich, happy, sure for 
the present of fortune and happiness, I would have placed 
all at your feet, trusting to God for the future ; but at this 
moment I must tell you, that you were not mistaken; from 
day to day, from this day to the next, there is a chance of a 
terrible event. I must tell you now, Helene, what I can 
offer you. If I succeed, a high and powerful position; but 
if I fail, flight, exile, it may be poverty. Do you love me 


enougli, H^l^ne, or ratlier do you love your honor enough 
to brave all this and follow me ?" 

"I am ready, Gaston; tell me to follow you, and I do so. " 

' ' Well, Helene, yoiTr confidence shall not be misplaced, 
believe me. I will take you to a person who will protect 
you, if necessary, and who in my absence will replace the 
father you thought to find, but whom you have, on the con- 
trary, lost a second time. ' ' 

"Who is this person, Gaston? This is not distrust," 
added Helene, with a charming smile, "but curiosity." 

"Some one who can refuse me nothing, Helene, whose 
days are dependent on mine, and who will think I demand 
small payment when I exact your peace and security. ' ' 

"Still mysterious, Gaston: really, you frighten me." 

"This secret is the last, Helene; from this moment my 
whole life will be open to you. ' ' 

"I thank you, Gaston." 

"And now I am at your orders, Helene." 

"Let us go then." 

Helene took the chevalier's arm, and crossed the draw- 
ing-room, where sat Madame Desroches, pale with anger, 
and scrawling a letter, whose destination we can guess. 

"Mon Dieu! mademoiselle, where are you going? what 
are you doing?" 

"I am going away from a house where my honor is 
threatened. ' ' 

"What!" cried the old lady, springing to her feet, "you 
are going away with your lover. ' ' 

"You are mistaken, madame, " replied Helene, in an 
accent of dignity, "it is with my husband." 

Madame Desroches, terrified, let her hands fall by her 
side, powerless. 


"You shall not go, mademoiselle, even if I am forced to 
use violence. ' ' 

' ' Try, madame, ' ' said Helena, in the queenly tone which 
seemed natural to her. 

"Hola, Picard, Coutourier, Blanchet." 

The servants appeared. 

"The first who stops me I kill," said Gaston quietly, as 
he drew his sword. 

"What a will," cried Madame Desroches; "ah, Mesde- 
moiselles de Chartres and de Valois, I recognize you there." 

The two young people heard this exclamation, but did 
not understand it. 

"We are going, madame," said H^l^ne; "do not forget 
to repeat, word by word, what I told you." 

And, hanging on Gaston's arm, flushed with pleasure 
and pride, brave as an ancient Amazon, the young girl 
ordered that the door should be opened for her; the Swiss 
did not dare to resist. Gaston took Hel^ne by the hand, 
summoned the carriage in which he had come, and seeing 
that he was to be followed, he stepped toward the assailants, 
and said in a loud voice — 

"Two steps further, and I tell this history aloud, and 
place myself and mademoiselle under the safeguard of the 
public honor." 

Madame Desroches believed that Gaston knew the mys- 
tery, and would declare it: she therefore thought best to 
retire quickly, followed by the servants. 

The intelligent driver started at a gallop. 





**'! T THAT, monseigneur, you liere!" cried Dubois^ 

Y v entering the room of the house in the Rue 
du Bac, and finding the regent seated in the 
same place as on the previous da3^ 

' ' Yes ; is there anything wonderful in that ? Have I not 
an appointment at noon with the chevalier?" 

"But I thought the order you signed would have put an 
end to these conferences. ' ' 

"You were mistaken, Dubois; I wish to have another 
interview with this young man. I shall make one more 
effort to induce him to renounce his plans." 

"And if he should do so?" 

' ' Then all will be at an end, there will be no conspiracy ; 
there will have been no conspirators. I cannot punish 
intentions. ' ' 

"With any other I should not allow this, but with him 
1 say, as you please. ' ' 

"You think he will remain firm?" 

"Oh! I am quite easy. But when he has decidedly 
refused, when you are quite convinced that he persists in 
his intention of assassinating you, then you will give him 
over to me, will you not?" 


"Yes, but not here." 

"Why not here?" 

"Better to arrest him at his hotel." 

"There, at the Muids d' Amour, with Tapin and D'Ar- 
genson's people — impossible, monsieur. Bourguignon's af- 
fair is still in everybody's mouth in that quarter. I am not 
sure that they even quite believe in the attack of apoplexy, 
since Tapin now gives strict measure. It will be much 
better to arrest him as he leaves here, monseigneur; the 
house is quiet; four men could easily do it, and they are 
already here. I will move them, as you insist on seeing 
him ; and, instead of arresting him as he enters, it must be 
done as he leaves. At the door a carriage shall be ready 
to take him to the Bastille, so that even the coachman who 
brings him here shall not know what has become of him. 
No one but Monsieur Delaunay shall know; and I will 
answer for his discretion." 

"Do as you please." 

"That is my usual custom." 

"Eascal that you are!" 

"But I think monseigneur reaps the benefit of the 
rascality. ' ' 

"Oh, I know you are always right." 

"But the others?" 

"What others?" 

"The Bretons, Pontcalec, Du Couedic, Talhouet, and 

"Oh, the unfortunates; you know their names." 

"And how do you think I have passed my time at the 
hotel Muids d' Amour?" 

"They will know of their accomplice's arrest." 



' ' Having no letter from Paris, they will fear that some- 
thing is wrong. ' ' 

"Bah! Is not Captain La Jonqui^re there to reassure 

"True; but they must know the writing?" 

"Not bad, monseigneur, you are improving; but you 
take useless precautions, as Racine says. At this mo- 
ment, probably, they are arrested." 

"And who despatched the order?" 

"I. Pardieu! I am not your minister for nothing. 
Besides, you signed it." 

"I! Are you mad?" 

"Assuredly, these men are not less guilty than the 
chevalier; and in authorizing me to arrest one, you au- 
thorized me to arrest all." 

"And when did the bearer of this order leave?" 

Dubois took out his watch. 

"Just three hours ago. Thus, it was a poetical license 
when I said they were all arrested; they will not be till to- 
morrow morning." 

"Bretagne will be aroused, Dubois." 

' ' Bah ! I have taken measures. ' ' 

"The Breton tribunals will not condemn their com- 
patriots. ' ' 

' ' That case is foreseen. ' ' 

"And, if they should be condemned, none will be 
found to execute them. It will be a second edition of 
the affair at Chalais. Remember it was at Nantes that 
that took place, Dubois. I tell you, Bretons are unac- 
commodating. ' ' 

"This is a point to settle with the commissioners, of 
whom this is a list. I will send three or four executioners 


from Paris — men accustomed to noble deeds — wlio have 
preserved the traditions of the Cardinal de Kichelieu." 

"Good God!" cried the regent; "bloodshed under my 
reign — I do not like it. As to Count Horn, he was a thief, 
and Duchaffour a wretch; but I am tender, Dubois." 

"No, monseigneur, you are not tender; you are uncer- 
tain and weak ; I told you so when you were my scholar — 
I tell you so again, now that you are my master. When 
you were christened, your godmothers, the fairies, gave you 
every gift of nature — strength, beauty, courage, and mind: 
only one — whom they did not invite because she was old, 
and they probably foresaw your aversion to old women — . 
arrived the last, and gave you weakness — that sjjoiled all." 

"And who told you this pretty tale? Perrault or St 

' ' The princess palatine, your mother. ' ' 

The regent laughed. 

"And whom shall we choose for the commission?" 
asked he. 

"Oh, monseigneur, people of mind and resolution, be 
sure; not provincials; not very sensitive to family scenes; 
men old in the dust of tribunals, whom the Breton men will 
not frighten with their fierce eyes, nor the Breton women 
seduce with their beautiful languid ones." 

The regent made no reply. 

"After all," continued Dubois, "these people may not 
be as guilty as we suppose. What they have plotted let us 
recapitulate. Bah ! mere trifles. To bring back the Span- 
iards into France, what is that? To call Philip the Fifth 
king, the renouncer of his country; to break all the laws 
of the state — these good Bretons." 

"Dubois, I know the national law as well as you." 


' ' Tlien, monseigneur, if you speak truly, jou have only 
to approve tlie nomination of tlie commissioners I have 
chosen. " 

"How many are there?" 


"Their names?" 

Dubois gave in the list. 

"Ah, you were right — a happy choice; but who is to 
preside over this amiable assembly?" 

' ' Guess, monseigneur. ' ' 

' ' Take care ; you must have an honest man at the head 
of these ravagers. " 

' ' I have one. ' ' 

"Who is it?" 

"An ambassador." 

' ' Cellamare, perhaps. ' ' 

"Ma foi! I think if you would let him come out of 
Blois he would not refuse you even the heads of his 
accomplices. ' ' 

"Let him stop at Blois. Who is to preside?" 


"The ambassador from Holland, from the great king. 
Dubois, I do not generally compliment you, but this time 
you have done wonders." 

"You understand, monseigneur; he knows that these 
people wish to make a republic; and he, who is brought 
up to know none but Sultans, and who has a horror of 
Holland through the horror of Louis XIV. for republics, 
has accepted with a good grace. We shall have Argram 
for prosecutor; Cayet shall be our secretary. We go [io 
work quickly and well, monseigneur, for time presses." 

"But shall we at least have quiet afterward?" 


"I believe so. We may sleep all day and all niglit; that 
is to say, wlien we have finished the war in Spain, ' ' 

"Oh!" cried the regent, "why did I strive for the re- 
gency? I should laugh to see M. du Maine freeing himself 
with his Jesuits and his Spaniards ! Madame de Maintenon 
and her politics, with Villeroy and Yillars, would drive 
away the spleen; and Hubert says it is good to laugh 
once a day." 

"Apropos of Madame de Maintenon," replied Dubois; 
"you know, monseigneur, that she is very ill, and that she 
cannot live a fortnight. ' ' 


"Since the imprisonment of Madame du Maine and the 
exile of her husband, she says that decidedly Louis XIY. is 
dead, and that she goes weeping to rejoin him. ' ' 

"Which does not trouble you, eh?" 

"Oh! I confess that I hate her cordially; it was she who 
made the king open his eyes so wide when I asked for the 
red hat at your marriage ; and, corbleu ! it was not an easy 
thing to arrange, monseigneur, as you know. If you had 
not been there to redress my wrongs she would have spoiled 
my career. If I could but have crammed her M, du Maine 
into this Bretagne affair; but it was impossible — the poor 
man is half dead with fear, so that he says to every one he 
meets, 'Do you know there has been a conspiracy against 
the government of the king and against the person of the 
regent? it is a disgrace to France. Ah! if all men were 
only like me!' " 

"No one would conspire; that is certain, " said the regent. 

"He has disowned his wife," added Dubois, laughing. 

* ' And she has disowned her husband, ' ' said the regent, 
lauofhino; also. 


"I should not advise you to imprison them together — 
thej would fight." 

"Therefore I have placed one at Doulens and the other 
at Dijon." 

, ' ' From whence they bite by post. ' ' 

"Let us put all that aside, Dubois." 

"Ah, monseigneur! you have, I see, sworn the loss of 
the blood of Louis XIV. ; you are a true executioner. ' ' 

This audacious joke proved how sure Dubois felt of his 
ascendency over the prince. 

The regent signed the order naming the tribunal, and 
Dubois went out to prepare for Gaston's arrest. 

Gaston, on his return to the Muids d' Amour, found the 
same carriage and the same guide awaiting him that had 
before conducted him to the Kue du Bac. Gaston, who 
did not wish H^l^ne to alight, asked if he could continue 
his route in the hired carriage in which he had just arrived; 
the man replied that he saw no objection, and mounted 
on the box by the driver, to whom he told the ad- 

During the drive, Gaston, instead of displaying the 
courage which Hel^ne had expected, was sad, and yet 
gave no explanation of his sadness. As they entered the 
Rue du Bac, Helene, in despair at finding so little force of 
character in him on whom she leaned for protection, said, 
*'Gaston, you frighten me." 

"H^l^ne, you shall see before long if I am acting for 
your good or not." 

The carriage stopped. 

"Helene, there is one in this house who will stand in 
the place of a father to you. Let me go first, and I will 
announce you." 


"Ah!" cried H615ne, trembling, she knew not why; 
*'and you are going to leave me here alone?" 

"You have nothing to fear, Hel^ne; besides, in a few 
minutes I will return and fetch you." 

The young girl held out her hand, which Gaston pressed 
to his lips; the door opened; the carriage drove into the 
courtyard, where Gaston felt that Hel^ne ran no danger; 
the man who had come to the hotel to fetch him opened 
the carriage door; Gaston again pressed Helene's hand, 
alighted, ascended the steps, and entered the corridor, 
when his guide left him as before. 

Gaston, knowing that Hel^ne waited his return, at once 
tapped at the door of the room. 

' ■ Enter, ' ' said the voice of the false Spaniard. 

Gaston knew the voice, entered, and with a calm face 
approached the Due d'Olivares. 

"You are punctual, monsieur," said the latter; "we 
named noon, and it is now striking. ' ' 

"I am pressed for time, monseigneur; my undertaking 
weighs on me ; I fear to feel remorse. That astonishes and 
alarms you, does it not, monseigneur ? But reassure your- 
self ; the remorse of a man such as I am troubles no one but 
himself. ' ' 

"In truth, monsieur," cried the regent, with a feeling of 
joy he could not quite conceal, "I think you are drawing 

"Not so, monseigneur; since fate chose me to strike the 
prince, I have gone steadily forward, and shall do so till my 
mission is accomplished. ' ' 

"Monsieur, I thought I detected some hesitation in your 
words; and words are of weight in certain mouths, and 
under certain circumstances." 


"Monsieur, in Bretagne we speak as we feel, but we 
also do as we promise." 

' ' Then you are resolved ?' ' 

"More tlian ever." 

"Because, you see," replied the regent, "there is still 
time — the evil is not yet done." 

"The evil, you call it, monseigneur, " said Gaston; "what 
shall I call it then?" 

"It is thus that I meant it," replied the regent; "the 
evil is for you, since you feel remorse. ' ' 

"It is not generous, monseigneur, to dwell on a confi- 
dence which I should not have made to any person of less 
merit than yourself." 

"And it is because I appreciate your worth, monsieur, 
that I tell you there is yet time to draw back; that I ask 
if you have reflected — if you repent having mixed yourself 
with all these" — ^the duke hesitated — "these audacious en- 
terprises. Fear nothing from me — I will protect you, even 
if you desert us ; I have seen you but once, but I think I 
judge of you as you deserve — men of worth are so rare that 
the regrets will be for us." 

"Such kindness overwhelms me, monseigneur," said 
Gaston, who, in spite of his courage, felt some indecision. 
* ' My prince, I do not hesitate ; but my reflections are those 
of a duellist, who goes to the ground determined to kill his 
enemy, yet deploring the necessity which forces him to rob 
a man of life. But here the interest is so great, so superior 
to the weaknesses of our nature, that I will be true to my 
friendship if not my sympathies, and will conduct myself 
so that you shall esteem in me even the momentary weak- 
ness which for a second held back my arm." 

"Well," said the regent, "how shall you proceed?" 



"I stall wait till I meet him face to face, and then I 
shall not use an arquebuse, as Paltrot did, nor a pistol, 
as Vitry did. I shall say, ' Monseigneiir, jom are the curse 
of France — I sacrifice you to her salvation;' and I shall stab 
him with my poniard. ' ' 

"As Ravaillac did," said the duke, with a serenity which 
made Gaston shudder ; " it is well. ' ' 

Gaston did not reply. 

"This plan appears to me the most secure, and I approve 
of it; but I must ask you one other question: suppose you 
should be taken and interrogated ?' ' 

"Your excellency knows what men do in such cases — 
they die, but do not answer; and since you have quoted 
Ravaillac, I think, if my memory serves me, that was what 
he did — and yet Eavaillac was not a gentleman. ' ' 

Gaston's pride did not displease the regent, who had a 
young heart and a chivalric mind; besides, accustomed to 
worn-out and time-serving courtiers, Gaston's vigorous and 
simple nature was a novelty to him ; and we know how the 
regent loved a novelty. 

"I may then reckon," said he, "that you are immov- 

Gaston looked surprised that the duke should repeat 
this question. 

"Yes," said the regent; "I see you are decided." 

"Absolutely, and wait your last instructions." 

"How? m?/ instructions ?" 

"Certainly; I have placed myself body and soul at your 
disposal. ' ' 

The duke rose. 

"Well," said he, "you must go out by that door, and 
cross the garden which surrounds the house. In a carriage 


whicli awaits you at the bottom you will find my secretary, 
who will give you a pass for an audience with the regent; 
besides that, you will have the warranty of my word. ' ' 

"That is all I have to ask on that point, monseigneur.'* 

' ' Have you anything else to say ?' ' 

"Yes; before I take leave of you, whom I may never 
see again in this world, I have a boon to ask. ' ' 

' ' Speak, monsieur ; I listen. ' ' 

"Monsieur," said Gaston, "do not wonder if I hesitate 
a moment, for this is no personal favor and no ordinary 
service. Gaston de Chanlay needs but a dagger, and here 
it is; but in sacrificing his body he would not lose his soul; 
mine, monseigneur, belongs to God first and then to a young 
girl whom I love to idolatry — sad love, is it not, which has 
bloomed so near a tomb ? To abandon this pure and tender 
girl would be to tempt God in a most rash manner, for I see 
that sometimes he tries us cruelly, and lets even his angels 
suffer. I love, then, an adorable woman, whom my affec- 
tion has supported and protected against infamous schemes; 
when I am dead or banished, what will become of her? 
Our heads fall, monseigneur; they are those of simple gen- 
tlemen; but you are a powerful adversary, and supported 
by a powerful king; you can conquer evil fortune. I wish 
to place in your hands the treasure of my soul. You will 
bestow on her all the protection which, as an accomplice, 
as an associate, you owe to me." 

"Monsieur, I promise you," replied the regent, deeply 

"That is not all, monseigneur; misfortune may overtake 
me, and find me not able to bestow my person upon her; I 
would yet leave her my name. If I die she has no fortune, 
for she is an orphan. On leaving Nantes I made a will 



wlierein I left lier everything I possessed. Monseigneur, 
if I die, let her be a widow — is it possible?" 

"Who opposes it?" 

"No one; but I may be arrested to-morrow, this even- 
ing, on putting my foot outside this house." 

The regent started at this strange presentiment. 

* ' Suppose I am taken to the Bastille ; could you obtain 
for me permission to marry her before my execution. ' ' 

' ' I am sure of it. ' ' 

"You will use every means to obtain this favor for me? 
Swear it to me, monseigneur, that I may bless your name, 
and that even under torture nothing may escape but a 
thanksgiving when I think of you." 

' ' On my honor, monsieur, I promise you that this young 
girl shall be sacred to me; she shall inherit in my heart all 
the affection which I involuntarily feel for you. ' ' 

' ' Monseigneur, one word more. ' ' 

"Speak, monsieur; I listen with the deepest sjonpathy. " 

"This young girl knows nothing of my project; she does 
not know what brought me to Paris, nor the catastrophe 
which threatens us, for 1 have not had the courage to tell 
her. You will tell it to her, monseigneur — prepare her for 
the event. I shall never see her again, but to become her 
husband. If I were to see her again at the moment of strik- 
ing the blow which separates me from her, my hand might 
tremble, and this must not be." 

"On my word of honor, monsieur," said the regent, 
softened beyond all expression, "I repeat, not only shall 
this young girl be sacred to me, but I will do all you wish 
for her — she shall reap the fruits of the respect and affection 
with which you have inspired me. ' ' 

"Now," said Gaston, "I am strong." 

(H)— Vol. 23 


"And where is tliis young girl?" 

"Below, in the carriage whicli brought me. Let me 
retire, monseigneur, and only tell me where she will be 
placed. ' ' 

"Here, monsieur; this house, which is not inhabited, 
and which is very suitable for a young girl, shall be 

"Monseigneur, your hand." 

The regent held out his hand, but hearing a little dry 
cough, he understood that Dubois was becoming impatient, 
and he indicated to Graston that the audience was over. 

"Once more, monseigneur, watch over this young girl; 
she is beautiful, amiable, and proud — one of those noble 
natures which we meet but seldom. Adieu, monseigneur, 
I go to find your secretary." 

"And must I tell her that you are about to take a man's 
life?" asked the regent, making one more effort to restrain 

"Yes, monseigneur," said the chevalier; "but you will 
add that I do it to save France. ' ' 

"Gro, then, monsieur," said the duke, opening a door 
which led into the garden, "and follow the directions 
I have given you." 

"Wish me good fortune, monseigneur." 

"The madman," thought the regent; "does he wish me 
to pray for success to his dagger's thrust? Ma foi, no!" 

Gaston went out, the gravel, half covered with snow, 
creaked under his feet — the regent watched him for some 
time from the window of the corridor — then, when he had 
lost sight of him — 

"Well," said he, "each one must go his own way. Poor 


And lie returned to the room, where lie found Dubois, 
<ffho had entered by another door, and was waiting for 

Dubois's face wore an expression of malicious satisfac- 
tion which did not escape the regent, who watched him 
some time in silence, as if trying to discover what was 
passing through the brain of this second Mephistopheles. 

Dubois was the first to speak. 

"Well, monseigneur, you are rid of him at last, I 

"Yes," replied the duke; "but in a manner which 
greatly displeases me. I do not like playing a part in 
your comedies, as you know." 

' ' Possibly ; but you might, perhaps, do wisely in giving 
me a part in yours. ' ' 

"How so?" 

"They would be more successful, and the denouements 
would be better." 

"I do not understand. Explain yourself, and quickly, 
for I have some one waiting whom I must receive." 

' ' Oh ! certainly, monseigneur, receive them, and we will 
continue our conversation later — the denouement of thia 
comedy has already taken place, and cannot be changed." 

And with these words, Dubois bowed with the mock 
respect which he generally assumed whenever, in the 
eternal game they played against each other, he held 
the best cards. 

Nothing made the regent so uneasy as this simulated 
respect; he held him back — 

""What is there now?" asked he; "what have you dis- 

"That you are a skilful dissimulator, peste!" 


"Tliat astonishes you?" 

"No, it troubles me; a few steps further, and you will 
do wonders in this art; you will have no further need of me; 
you will have to send me away to educate your son, who, 
it must be confessed, requires a master like myself. ' ' 

"Speak quickly." 

"Certainly, monseigneur; it is not now, however, a ques- 
tion of your son, but of your daughter. ' ' 

"Of which daughter?" 

"Ah! true; there are so many. First, the Abbess of 
Chelles, then Madame de Berry, then Mademoiselle de 
Valois; then the others, too young for the world, and 
therefore for me to speak of; then, lastly, the charming 
Bretagne flower, the wild blossom which was to be kept 
away from Dubois's poisoning breath, for fear it should 
wither under it." 

"Do you dare to say I was wrong?" 

"Not so, monseigneur: you have done wonders; not 
wishing to have anything to do with the infamous Dubois, 
for which I commend you, you — the Archbishop of Cam- 
bray being dead — have taken in his place the good, the 
worthy, the pure Noce, and have borrowed his house." 

"Ah!" said the regent, "you know that?" 

' ' And what a house ! Pure as its master — jes, monsei- 
gneur, you are full of prudence and wisdom. Let us con- 
ceal the corruptions of the world from this innocent child, 
let us remove from her everything that can destroy her 
primitive naivete; this is why we choose this dwelling for 
her — a moral sanctuary, where the priestesses of virtue, 
and doubtless always under pretext of their ingenuousness, 
take the most ingenuous but least permitted of positions." 

"Noce told me that all was proper." 


"Do you know tlie house, monseigneur ?" 

"Do I look at sucli things ?" 

* ' Ah ! no ; jour sight is not good, I remember. '^ 


"For furniture your daughter will have strange couches, 
magic sofas; and as to books, ah! that is the climax. 
Nock's books are good for the instruction and formation 
of youth; they would do well to go with the breviary of 
Bussy-Eabutin, of which I presented you a copy on your 
twelfth birthday." 

"Yes; serpent that you are." 

"In short, the most austere prudery prevails over the 
dwelling. I had chosen it for the education of the son; 
but monseigneur, who looks at things differently, chose 
it for the daughter." 

"Ah, 9a! Dubois," said the regent, "you weary me." 

"I am just at the end, monseigneur. No doubt, your 
daughter was well pleased with the residence; for, like all 
of your blood, she is very intelligent. ' ' 

The regent shuddered, and guessed that some disagree- 
able news was hidden under the long preamble and mocking 
smile of Dubois. 

"However, monseigneur, see what the spirit of contra- 
diction will do ; she was not content with the dwelling you 
chose for her, and she is moving." 

""What do you mean?" 

"I am wrong — she has moved." 

"My daughter gone!" cried the regent. 

"Exactly," said Dubois. 


"Through the door. Oh, she is not one of those young 
ladies who go through the windows, or by night — oh, she is 


of jour blood, monseigneur ; if I liad ever doubted it, I 
should be convinced now. ' ' 

"And Madame Desrocbes?" 

"She is at the Palais Royal; I have just left her. She 
came to announce it to your highness." 

"Could she not prevent it ?" 

' ' Mademoiselle commanded. ' ' 

"She should have made the servants close the doors: 
they did not know that she was my daughter, and had no 
reason to obey her." 

"Madame Desroches was afraid of mademoiselle's anger, 
but the servants were afraid of the sword. ' ' 

"Of the sword! Are you drunk, Dubois ?" 

"Oh, I am very likely to get drunk on chicory water 1 
No, monseigneur; if I am drunk, it is with admiration of 
your highness 's perspicacity when you try to conduct an 
affair all alone." 

"But what sword do you mean?" 

"The sword which Mademoiselle Hel^ne disposes of, 
and which belongs to a charming young man — " 


"Who loves her!" 

"Dubois! you will drive me mad." 

"And who followed her from Nantes to Rambouillet 
with infinite gallantry." 

"Monsieur de Livry ?" 

' ' Ah ! you know his name ; then I am telling you noth- 
ing new, monseigneur." 

"Dubois, I am overwhelmed." 

"Not without sufficient cause, monseigneur; but see 
what is the result of your managing your own affairs, while 
you have at the same time to look after those of France." 


•'But where is slie ?" 

"Ah! where indeed? how should I know?" 

"Dubois, you have told me of her flight — I look to you 
to discover her retreat. Dubois, my dear Dubois, for God's 
sake find my daughter!" 

"Ah, monseigneur, you are exactly like the father in 
Moliere, and I am like Scapin — 'My good Scapin, my dear 
Scapin, find me my daughter.' Monseigneur, I am sorry 
for it, but Geroute could say no more; however, we will 
look for your daughter, and rescue her from the ravisher. ' ' 

"Well, find her, Dubois, and ask for what you please 
when you have done so." 

"Ah, that is something like speaking." 

The regent had thrown himself back in an armchair, 
and leaned his head upon his hands. Dubois left him to 
his grief, congratulating himself that this affection would 
double his empire over the duke. All at once, while 
Dubois was watching him with a malicious smile, some 
one tapped at tJie door. 

"Who is there?" asked Dubois. 

"Monseigneur," said an usher's voice at the door, "there 
is in the carriage which brought the chevalier a young 
woman who wishes to know if he is coming down soon." 

Dubois made a bound toward the door, but he was too 
late; the regent, to whom the usher's words had recalled 
the solemn promise he had made to Gaston, rose at once. 

"Where are you going, monseigneur?" asked Dubois. 

"To receive this young girl." 

' ' That is my affair, not yours — jom forget that you aban- 
doned this conspiracy to me. ' ' 

' ' I gave up the chevalier \o you, but I promised him to 
be a father to this girl whom he loves. I have pledged my 


•word, and I will keep it; since ttrougli me she loses lier 
lover, I must at least console her." 

"I undertake it," said Dubois, trying to hide his pale- 
ness and agitation under one of his own peculiar smiles. 

' ' Hold your tongue, and remain here, ' ' said the regent. 

"Let me at least speak to her, monseigneur. " 

"I will speak to her myself — this is no affair of yours; I 
have taken it upon myself, have given my word as a gentle- 
man. Silence, and remain here. ' ' 

Dubois ground his teeth; but when the regent spoke in 
this tone, he knew he must obey: he leaned against the 
chimney-piece and waited. 

Soon the rustling of a silk dress was heard. 

"Yes, madame, " said the usher, "this way." 

"Here she is," said the duke. "Eemember one thing, 
Dubois: this young girl is in no way responsible for her 
lover's fault; consequently, understand me, she must be 
treated with the greatest respect." Then turning to the 
door, ' ' Enter, ' ' said he. The door was hastily opened and 
the young girl made a step toward the regent, who started 
back thunderstruck. 

"My daughter!" murmured he, endeavoring to regain 
his self-command, while Hel^ne, after looking round for 
Gaston, stopped and courtesied. 

Dubois's face would not be easy to depict. 

"Pardon me, monseigneur," said H^l^ne, "perhaps I am 
mistaken. I am seeking a friend who left me below, who 
was to come back to me ; but, as he delayed so long, I came 
to seek for him. I was brought here, but perhaps the usher 
made a mistake. ' ' 

"No, mademoiselle," said the duke, "M. de Chanlay has 
just left me, and I expected you. " 


As the regent spoke, the young girl became abstracted, 
and seemed as though taxing her memory ; then, in answer 
to her own thoughts, she cried — 

"Mon Dieu! how strange." 

"What is the matter?" asked the regent. 

"Yes: that it is." 

"Explain!" said the duke, "I do not understand you." 

"Ah, monsieur!" said Hel^ne, trembling, "it is strange 
how your voice resembles that of another person. ' ' 

"Of your acquaintance ?" asked the regent. 

"Of a person in whose presence I have been but once, 
but whose accents live in my heart. ' ' 

"And who was this person?" asked the regent, while 
Dubois shrugged his shoulders at this half recognition. 

"He called himself my father," replied Hel^ne. 

' ' I congratulate myself upon this chance, mademoiselle, ' ' 
said the regent, ' ' for this similarity in my voice to that of a 
person who is dear to you may give greater weight to my 
words. You know that Monsieur de Chanlay has chosen 
me for your protector?" 

' ' He told me he would bring me to some one who would 
protect me from the danger — ' ' 

"What danger?" asked the regent. 

Helene looked round her, and her glance rested uneasily 
on Dubois, and there was no mistaking her expression. 
Dubois's face inspired her with as much distrust as the 
'*-- regent's did with confidence. 

"Monseigneur, " said Dubois (who did not fail to notice 
this expression), in an undertone to the regent, "I think I 
am de trop here, and had better retire; you do not want me, 
do you?" 

"No, but I shall presently; do not go away." 


"I will be at jour orders." 

This conversation was too low for Hel^ne to hear; be- 
sides, she had stepped back, and continued watching the 
doors, in the hope of seeing Gaston return. 

It was a consolation to Dubois to know she would be 

"When Dubois was gone, they breathed more freely. 

" Seat yourself , mademoiselle," said the duke; "I have 
much to tell you. ' ' 

' ' Monsieur, one thing before all. Is the Chevalier Gas- 
ton de Chanlay in any danger?" 

"We will speak of him directly, but first of yourself; 
he brought you to me as a protector. Now, tell me against 
whom I am to protect you?" 

"All that ha^ happened to me for some days is so 
strange, that I do not know whom to fear or whom to 
trust. If Gaston were here — " 

"Yes, I understand; if he authorized you to tell me, 
you would keep nothing back. But if I can prove to you 
that I know nearly all concerning you?" 

"You, monsieur!" 

"Yes, I. Are you not called Hel^ne de Chaverny? 
Were you not brought up in the Augustine convent be- 
tween Kantes and Clisson? Did you not one day receive 
an order to leave the convent from a mysterious protector 
who watches over you ? Did you not travel with one of the 
sisters, to whom you gave a hundred louis for her trouble ? 
At Rambouillet, did not a person called Madame Desroches 
await you ? Did she not announce to you a visit from your 
father? The same evening, did not some one arrive who 
loved you, and who thought you loved him ?' ' 

"Yes, yes, monsieur, it is all true," said Hel^ne, aston- 


ished that a stranger sliould thus know the detailis of her 

"Then the next day," continued the regent, "did not 
Monsieur de Chanlay, who followed you under the name 
of De Livr}^, pay you a visit, which was vainly opposed by 
Madame Desroches?" 

"You are right, monsieur, and I see that Gaston has 
told you alL" 

"Then came the order to leave for Paris. You would 
have opposed it, but were forced to obey. You were taken 
to a house in the Faubourg St. Antoine; but there your 
captivity became insupportable." 

"You are mistaken, monsieur; it was not the captivity, 
but the prison. ' ' 

" I do not understand you. ' ' 

"Did not Graston tell you of his fears, which I laughed 
at at first, but shared afterward ?" 

"No, tell me what did you fear ?" 

"But if he did not tell you, how shall IT' 

"Is there anything one cannot tell to a friend ?" 

"Did he not tell you that this man whom I at first be- 
lieved to be my father — " 


"Yes; I swear it, monsieur. Hearing his voice, feeling 
my hand pressed by his, I had at first no doubt, and it 
almost needed evidence to bring fear instead of the filial 
love with which he at first inspired me. ' ' 

"I do not understand you, mademoiselle; how could you 
fear a man who — to judge by what you tell me — had so 
much affection for you?" 

"You do not understand, monsieur; as you say, under 
a frivolous pretext, I was removed from Rambouillet to 


Paris, shut in a house in the Faubourg Saint Antoine 
which spoke more clearly to my eyes than Gaston's fears 
had done. Then I thought myself lost — and that this 
feigned tenderness of a father concealed the wiles of a 
seducer. I had no friend but Gaston,r-I wrote to him — 
he came." 

"Then," said the regent, filled with joy, "when you left 
that house it was to escape those wiles, not to follow your 

"Oh, monsieur, if I had believed in that father whom 
I had seen but once, and then surrounded by mysteries, I 
swear to you that nothing would have led me from the path 
of duty." 

"Oh, dear child!" cried the duke, with an accent which 
made Hel^ne start. 

' ' Then Q-aston spoke to me of a person who could refuse 
him nothing — who would watch over me and be a father 
to me. He brought me here, saying he would return to 
me. I waited in vain for more than an hour, and at length, 
fearing some accident had happened to him, I asked for 

The regent's brow became clouded. 

"Thus," said he, "it was Gaston's influence that turned 
you from your duty — his fears aroused yours ?' ' 

' ' Yes ; he suspected the mystery which encircled me, and 
feared that it concealed some fatal project." 

"But he must have given you some proof to persuade 

"What proof was needed in that abominable house? 
Would a father have placed his daughter in such a 
habitation ?' ' 

"Yes, yes," murmured the regent, "he was wrong; but 


confess that without the chevalier's suggestions, you, in the 
innocence of your soul, would have had no suspicion. ' ' 

"No," said Hel^ne, "but happily Gaston watched over 

"Do you then believe that all Gaston said to you was 
true?" asked the regent. 

"We easily side with those we love, monsieur." 

"And you love the chevalier?" 

"Yes; for the last two years, monsieur." 

"But how could he see you in the convent?" 

"By night, with the aid of a boat." 

"And did he see you often ?" 

"Every week." 

"Then you love him ?" 

"Yes, monsieur." 

' ' But how could you dispose of your heart, knowing that 
you were not your own mistress ?' ' 

"For sixteen years I had heard nothing of my family; 
how could I suppose that all at once it would reveal itself, 
or rather, that an odious manoeuvre should take me from 
my quiet retreat to my ruin ?' ' 

"Then you still think that that man lied, when he called 
himself your father ?" 

"I scarcely know what to think, and my mind becomes 
bewildered in contemplating this strange reality, which 
seems so like a dream." 

"But you should not consult your mind here, Hel^ne," 
said the regent; "you should consult your heart. When 
you were with this man, did not your heart speak to 

"Oh!" said Hel^ne, "while he was there I was con- 
vinced, for I have never felt emotion such as I felt then." 


"Yes," replied tlie regent, bitterly; "but when he was 
gone, this emotion disappeared, driven away by stronger 
influence. It is very simple, this man was only your 
father; Graston was your lover." 

"Monsieur," said Hel^ne, drawing back, "you speak 
strangely. ' ' 

"Pardon me," replied the regent, in a sweet voice; "I 
see that I allowed myself to be carried away by my interest. 
But what surprises me more than all, mademoiselle," con- 
tinued he, "is that, being beloved as you are by Graston, 
you could not induce him to abandon his projects." 

"His projects, monsieur! what do you mean?" 

"What! you do not know the object of his visit to 

"I do not, monsieur. When I told him, with tears in 
my eyes, that I was forced to leave Clisson, he said he must 
also leave Nantes. When I told him that I was coming to 
Paris, he answered, with a cry of joy, that he was about 
to set out for the same place." 

' ' Then, ' ' cried the regent, his heart freed from an enor- 
mous load, "you are not his accomplice?" 

"His accomplice!" cried Helene, alarmed; "ah, mon 
Dieu! what does this mean?" 

"Nothing," said the regent, "nothing." 

"Oh, 3^es, monsieur; you have used a word which ex- 
plains all. I wondered what made so great a change in 
Gaston; why, for the last year, whenever I spoke of our 
tuture, his brow became dark; why, with so sad a smile, 
he said to me, 'Helene, no one is sure of the morrow'; why 
he fell into such reveries, as though some misfortune threat- 
ened Tiim. That misfortune you have shown me, monsieur. 
Gaston saw none but malcontents there — Montlouis, Pont- 


calec. Ah! Gaston is conspiring — that is why he came to 

' ' Then you knew nothing of this conspiracy ?' ' 

"Alas, monsieur! I am but a woman, and, doubt- 
less, Gaston did not think me worthy to share such a 
secret. ' ' 

"So much the better," cried the regent; "and now, my 
child, listen to the voice of a friend, of a man who might 
be your father. Let the chevalier go on the path he has 
chosen, since you have still the power to go no further." 

"Who? I, monsieur!" cried Hdl^ne; "I abandon him 
at a moment when you yourself tell me that a danger 
threatens him that I had not known! Oh, no, no, mon- 
sieur! We two are alone in the world, we have but each 
other. Gaston has no parents, I have none either; or if I 
have, they have been separated from me for sixteen years, 
and are accustomed to my absence. We may, then, lose 
ourselves together without costing any one a tear. Oh, I 
deceived you, monsieur! and whatever crime he has com- 
mitted, or may commit, I am his accomplice. ' ' 

"Ah!" murmured the regent, in a choking voice, "my 
last hope fails me; she loves him." 

H^lene turned with astonishment toward the stranger 
who took so lively an interest in her sorrow. The regent 
composed himself. 

"But," continued he, "did you not almost renounce 
him ? Did you not tell him, the day you separated, that 
you could not dispose of your heart and person?" 

' ' Yes, I told him so, ' ' replied the young girl, with exal- 
tation, "because at that time I believed him happy, because 
I did not know that his liberty, perhaps his life, were com- 
promised; then, my heart would have suffered, but my 


conscience would have remained tranquil; it was a grief 
to bear, not a remorse to combat; but since I know him 
threatened, unhappy, I feel that his life is mine." 

"But you exaggerate your love for him," replied the 
regent, determined to ascertain his daughter's feelings. 
"This love would yield to absence." 

"It would yield to nothing, monsieur; in the isolation 
in which my parents left me, this love has become my only 
hope, my happiness, ni}^ life. Ah! monsieur, if you have 
any influence with him — and you must have, since he 
confides to you the secrets which he keeps from me — in 
Heaven's name, induce him to renounce these projects of 
which you speak; tell him what I dare not tell him myself, 
that I love him beyond all expression; tell him that his 
fate shall be mine; that if he be exiled, I exile myself; 
if he be imprisoned, I will be so too; and that if he dies, 
I die. Tell him that, monsieur; and add — add that you 
saw, by my tears and by my despair, that I spoke the 

"Unhappy child!" murmured the regent. 

Indeed, Heldne's situation was a pitiable one. By the 
paleness of her cheeks, it was evident that she suffered 
cruelly; while she spoke, her tears flowed ceaselessly, and 
it was easy to see that every word came from her heart, 
and that what she had said she would do. 

"Well," said the regent, "I promise you that I will do 
all I can to save the chevalier." 

Helene was about to throw herself at the duke's feet, so 
humbled was this proud spirit by the thought of Gaston's 
danger; but the regent received her in his arms. Helene 
trembled through her whole frame — there was something 
in the contact with this man which filled her with hope 


and joy. Slie remained leaning on Ms arm, and made 
no effort to raise herself. 

"Mademoiselle," said the regent, watching her with 
an expression which would certainly have betrayed him 
if Hel^ne had raised her eyes to his face, ' ' Mademoiselle, . 
the most pressing affair first. I have told you that Gaston 
is in danger, but not in immediate danger; let us then first 
think of yourself, whose position is both false and precari- 
ous. You are intrusted to my care, and I must, before all 
else, acquit myself worthily of this charge. Do you trust 
me, mademoiselle?" 

"Oh, yes; Gaston brought me to you." 

"Always Gaston," sighed the regent, in an undertone; 
then to H^l^ne he said — 

"You will reside in this house, which is unknown, and 
here you will be free. Your society will consist of excel- 
lent books, and my presence will not be wanting, if it be 
agreeable to you." 

Hdl^ne made a movement as if to speak. 

"Besides," continued the duke, "it will give you an 
opportunity to speak of the chevalier." 

H61^ne blushed, and the regent continued — 

' ' The church of the neighboring convent will be open to 
you, and should you have the slightest fear, such as you 
have already experienced, the convent itself might shelter 
you — the superior is a friend of mine. ' ' 

"Ah, monsieur," said H^l^ne, "you quite reassure me; 
I accept the house you offer me — and your great kindness 
to Gaston and myself will ever render your presence agree- 
able to me. ' ' 

The regent bowed. 

"Then, mademoiselle," said he, "consider yourself at 


home here; I think there is a sleeping-room adjoining this 
room — the arrangement of the ground- floor is commodious, 
and this evening I will send you two nuns from the con- 
vent, whom doubtless you would prefer to servants, to wait 
on you. ' ' 

"Ah, yes, monsieur." 

"Then," continued the regent, with hesitation, "then 
you have almost renounced your — father?" 

"Ah, monsieur, do you not understand that it is for fear 
he should not be my father ?" 

"However, " replied the regent, "nothing proves it; that 
house alone is certainly an argument against him, but he 
might not have known it. ' ' 

"Oh," said H^l^ne, "that is almost impossible." 

"However, if he took any further steps, if he should 
discover your retreat and claim you, or at least ask to 
see you." 

"Monsieur, we would inform Gaston, and learn his 
opinion. ' ' 

" It is well, ' ' said the regent, with a smile ; and he held 
out his hand to Hel^ne, and then moved toward the door. 

"Monsieur," said Hel^ne, in a scarcely audible voice. 

"Do you wish for anything?" asked the duke, returning. 

"Can I see him?" 

The words seemed to die away on her lips as she pro- 
nounced them. 

"Yes," said the duke, "but is it not better for your sake 
to do so as little as possible ?" 

Hel^ne lowered her eyes. 

"Besides," said the duke, "he has gone on a journey, 
and may not be bacK for some days." 

"And shall I see him on his return?" 


"I swear it to you. " 

Ten minutes after, two nuns and a lay sister entered 
and installed themselves in the house. 

"When the regent quitted his daughter, he asked for 
Dubois, but he was told that, after waiting half an hour, 
Dubois had returned to the Palais Royal. 

The duke, on entering the abbe's room, found him at 
work with his secretaries; a portfolio full of papers was 
on the table. 

"I beg a thousand pardons," said Dubois, on seeing the 
duke, "but as you delayed, and your conference was likely 
to be prolonged greatly, I took the liberty of transgressing 
your orders, and returning here. ' ' 

"You did rightly; but I want to speak to you." 


"Yes, to you." 

"To me alone?" 


"In that case, will monseigneur go into my cabinet, or 
into your own room ?" 

' ' Let us go into your cabinet. ' ' 

The abbe made a respectful bow and opened the door; 
the regent passed in first, and Dubois followed when he 
had replaced the portfolio under his arm. These papers 
Lad probably been got together in expectation of this visit. 

When they were in the cabinet, the duke looked round him. 

"The place is safe?" asked he. 

"Pardieu! each door is double, and the walls are two 
feet thick." 

The regent sat down and fell into a deep revery. 

"I am waiting, monseigneur," said Dubois, in a few 


"Abb^," said tbe regent, in a quick decided tone, as of 
a man determined to be answered, ' ' is tlie chevalier in the 

" Monseigneur, " replied Dubois, "be must have been 
there about half an hour." 

"Then write to M. Delaunay. I desire that he be set 
free at once." 

Dubois did not seem surprised; he made no reply, but 
he placed the portfolio on the table, opened it, took out 
some papers, and began to look over them quietly. 

"Did you hear me ?" asked the regent, after a moment's 

' ' I did, monseigneur. ' ' 

"Obey, then." 

""Write yourself, monseigneur," said Dubois. 

"And why?" 

"Because nothing shall induce this hand to sign your 
highness's ruin," said Dubois. 

' ' More words, ' ' said the regent, impatiently. 

"Not words, but facts, monseigneur. Is M. de Chanlay 
a conspirator, or is he not ?' ' 

' ' Yes, certainly ! but my daughter loves him. ' ' 

"A fine reason for setting him at liberty." 

"It may not be a reason to you, abbe, but to me it is, 
and a most sacred one. He shall leave the Bastille at 
once. ' ' 

' ' Go and fetch him, then ; I do not prevent you. ' ' 

"And did you know this secret?" 


"That M. de Livry and the chevalier were the same." 

"Yes, I knew it. What then ?" 

"You wished to deceive me." 


"I wished to save you from tlie sentimentality in wliich 
you are lost at this moment. The Kegent of France — al- 
ready too much occupied by whims and pleasures — must 
make things worse by adding passion to the list. And 
what a passion! Paternal love — dangerous love! An or- 
dinary love may be satisfied, and then dies away; but a 
father's tenderness is insatiable, and above all intolerable. 
It will cause your highness to commit faults which I shall 
prevent, for the simple reason that I am happy enough not 
to be a father; a thing on which I congratulate myself 
daily, when I see the misfortunes and stupidity of those 
who are." 

"And what matters a head more or less?" cried the re- 
gent. "This De Chanlay will not kill me, when he knows 
it was I who liberated him. ' ' 

"No; neither will he die from a few days in the Bastille, 
and there he must stay." 

"And I tell you he shall leave it to-day." 

"He must, for his own honor," said Dubois, as though 
the regent had not spoken; "for if he were to leave the 
Bastille to-day, as you wish, he would appear to his ac- 
complices, who are now in the prison at Nantes, and whom 
I suppose you do not wish to liberate also, as a traitor 
and spy who has been pardoned for the information he 
has given." 

The regent reflected. 

"You are all alike," pursued Dubois, "you kings and 
reigning princes; a reason stupid enough, like all reasons 
of honor, such as I have just given, closes your mouth; 
but you will never understand true and important reasons 
of state. What does it matter to me or to France that 
Mademoiselle Helene de Chaverny, natural daughter of 


tlie regent, should weep for her lover, Monsieur Gaston 
cle Clianlay ? Ten thousand wives, ten thousand mothers, 
ten thousand daughters, may weep in one year for their 
sons, their husbands, their fathers, killed in your high- 
ness' s service by the Spaniard who threatens you, who 
takes your gentleness for weakness, and who becomes em- 
boldened by impunity. We know the plot; let us do it 
justice. M. de Chanlay, chief or agent of this plot, com- 
ing to Paris to assassinate you — do not deny it, no doubt 
he told you so himself — is the lover of your daughter. So 
much the worse — it is a misfortune which falls upon you, 
but may have fallen upon you before, and will again. I 
knew it all; I knew that he was beloved; I knew that he 
was called De Chanlay, and not De Livry; yes, I dissimu- 
lated, but it was to punish him exemplarily with his accom- 
plices, because it must be understood that the regent's head 
is not one of those targets which any one may aim at 
through excitement or ennui, and go away unpunished 
if they fail." 

"Dubois, Dubois, I shall never sacrifice my daughter's 
life to save my own, and I should kill her in executing 
the chevalier; therefore no prison, no dungeon; let us 
spare the shadow. of torture to him whom we cannot treat 
with entire justice; let us pardon completely; no half 
pardon, any more than half justice." 

' ' Ah, yes ; pardon, pardon ; there it is at last. Are you 
not tired of that word, monseigneur? are you not weary 
of harping eternally on one string?" 

' ' This time, at least, it is a different thing, for it is not 
generosity. I call heaven to witness that I should like to 
punish this man, who is more beloved as a lover than 
I as a father, and who takes from me my last and only 


daughter; but, in spite of myself, I stop, I can go bo 
further. Chanlay shall be set free." 

"Chanlay shall be set free; yes, monseigneur ; mon 
Dieu! who opposes it? Only it must be later, some days 
hence What harm shall we do him ? Diable ! he will not 
die of a week in the Bastille; you shall have your son-in- 
law ; be at peace ; but do act so that our poor little govern- 
ment shall not be too much ridiculed. Eemember that at 
this moment the affairs of the others are being looked into, 
and somewhat roughly too. Well, these others have also 
mistresses, wives, mothers. Do you busy yourself with 
them ? No, you are not so mad. Think, then, of the ridi- 
cule if it were known that your daughter loved the man who 
was to stab you ; the bastards would laugh for a month ; it 
is enough to revive La Maintenon, who is dying, and make 
her live a year longer. Have patience, monseigneur, let 
the chevalier eat chicken and drink wine with Delaunay. 
Pardieu! Kichelieu does very well there; he is loved by 
another of your daughters, which did not prevent you 
from putting him in the Bastille." 

"But," said the regent, "when he is in the Bastille, what 
will you do with him ?' ' 

"Oh, he only serves this little apprenticeship to make 
him your son-in-law. But, seriously, monseigneur, do you 
think of raising him to that honor ?' ' 

"Oh, mon Dieu! at this moment I think of nothing, 
Dubois, but that I do not want to make my poor Hel^ne 
unhappy ; and yet I really think that giving him to her as a 
husband is somewhat derogatory, though the De Chanlays 
are a good family. ' ' 

"Do you know them, monseigneur? Parbleu! it only 
wanted that.' 


"I lieard the name long ago, but I cannot remember on 
"wliat occasion; we sliall see; but, meanwbile, whatever you 
may say, one thing I have decided — he must not appear as 
a traitor; and remember, I will not have him maltreated." 

"In that case he is well off with M. Delaunay. But you 
do not know the Bastille, monseigneur. If you had ever 
tried it, you would not want a country house. Under the 
late king it was a prison: oh, yes, I grant that, but under 
the gentle reign of Philippe d' Orleans, it is a house of 
pleasure. Besides, at this moment there is an excellent 
company there. There are fetes, balls, vocal concerts ; they 
drink champagne to the health of the Due du Maine and 
the King of Spain. It is you who pay, but they wish aloud 
that you may die, and your race become extinct. Pardieu ! 
Monsieur de Chanlay will find some acquaintances there, 
and be as comfortable as a fish in the water. Ah, pity him, 
monseigneur, for he is much to be pitied, poor fellow!" 

"Yes, yes," cried the duke, delighted; "and after the 
revelations in Bretagne we shall see. ' ' 

Dubois laughed. 

"The revelations in Bretagne. Ah, pardieu! monsei- 
gneur, I shall be anxious to know what you will learn that 
the chevalier did not tell you. Do you not know enough 
yet, monseigneur ? Peste ! if it were me, I should know too 

"But it is not you, abbd" 

"Alas, unfortunately not, monseigneur, for if I were the 
Due d' Orleans and regent, I would make myself cardinal. 
But do not let us speak of that; it will come in time, I 
hope; besides, I have found a way of managing the afiair 
which troubles you." 

"I distrust you, abbd I warn you." 


•'Stay, monseigneur; you only love tlie chevalier be- 
cause your claugliter does?" 


"But if th.e clievalier repaid her fidelity by ingratitude. 
Mon Dieu! the young woman is proud, monseigneur; she 
herself would give him up. That would be well played, I 

' ' The chevalier cease to love Hdl^ne ! impossible ; she is 
an angel." 

"Many angels have gone through that, monseigneur; 
besides, the Bastille does and undoes many things, and one 
soon becomes corrupted there, especially in the society he 
will find there." 

""Well, we shall see, but not a step without my consent." 

' ' Fear nothing, monseigneur ; and now will you examine 
the j)apers from Nantes?" 

"Yes, but first send me Madame Desroches." 


Dubois rang and gave the regent's orders. 

Ten minutes after, Madame Desroches entered timidly; 
but instead of the storm she had expected, she received a 
smile and a hundred louis. 

"I do not understand it," thought she; "after all, the 
young girl cannot be his daughter. ' ' 

(I)— Vol 23 




OUR readers must now permit us to look backward, 
for we liave (in following the principal persons of 
our history) neglected some others in Bretagne who 
deserve some notice; besides, if we do not represent them, 
as taking an active part in this tale, history is ready with 
her inflexible voice to contradict us ; we must therefore, for 
the present, submit to the exigencies of history. 

Bretagne had, from the first, taken an active part in the 
movement of the legitimated bastards; this province, which 
had given pledges of fidelity to monarchical principles, and 
pushed them to exaggeration, if not to madness, since it 
preferred the adulterous offspring of a king to the interests 
of a kingdom, and since its love became a crime by calling 
in aid of the pretensions of those whom it recognized as its 
princes, enemies against whom Louis XIV. for sixty years, 
and France for two centuries, had waged a war of exter 

We have seen the list of the principal names which con 
stituted this revolt; the regent had wittily said that it con 
tained the head and tail ; but he was mistaken — it was the 
head and body. The head was the council of the legiti 
mated princes, the King of Spain, and his imbecile agent, 
the Prince of Cellamare; the body was formed by those 


brave and clever men who were now in the Bastille; but 
the tail was now agitating in Bretagne among a people un- 
accustomed to the ways of a court, and it was a tail armed 
with stings like those of a scorpion, and which was the most 
to be feared. 

The Bretagne chiefs then renewed the Chevalier de 
Eohan, under Louis XIY. ; we say the Chevalier de Kohan, 
because to every conspiracy must be given the name of a 

Along with the prince, who was a conceited and com- 
monplace man, and even before him, were two men, 
stronger than he, one in thought and the other in execu- 
tion. These two men were Letreaumont, a Norman gentle- 
man, and Afhnius Yan der Enden, a Dutch philosopher; 
Letreaumont wanted money, he was the arm; Affinius 
wanted a republic, he was the soul. This republic, more- 
over, he wanted inclosed in Louis XIY. 's kingdom, still 
further to annoy the great king — who hated republicans 
even at a distance — who had persecuted and destroyed the 
Pensioner of Holland, John de Witt, more cruel in this than 
the Prince of Orange, who, in declaring himself De Witt's 
enemy, revenged personal injuries, while Louis XIY. had 
received nothing but friendship and devotion from this 
great man. 

Now Affinius wanted a republic in Normandy, and got 
the Chevalier de Kohan named Protector; the Bretons 
wished to revenge themselves for certain injuries their 
province had received under the regency, and they decreed 
it a republic, with the power of choosing a protector, even 
were he a Spaniard; but Monsieur du Maine had a good 

This is what passed in Bretagne. 


The Bretons lent an ear to the first overtures of the 
Spaniards; thej had no more cause for discontent than 
other provinces, but to them it seemed a capital opportunity 
for war, and they had no other aim. Richelieu had ruled 
them severely; they thought to emancipate themselves 
under Dubois, and they began by objecting to the admin- 
istrators sent by the regent; a revolution always commences 
by a riot. 

Montesquieu was appointed viceroy, to hold assemblies, 
to hear the people's complaints, and to collect their money. 
The people complained plentifully, but would not pay, be- 
cause they did not like the steward; this appeared a bad 
reason to Montesquieu, who was a man of the old regime. 

"You cannot offer these complaints to his majesty," said 
he, "without aj)pearing to rebel; pay first, and complain 
afterward ; the king will listen to your sorrows, but not to 
your antipathies to a man honored by his choice. ' ' 

Monsieur de Montaran, of whom the Bretons complained, 
gave no offence; but, in being intendant of the province, 
any other would have been as much disliked, and they per- 
sisted in their refusal to pay. 

"Monsieur le Marechal, " said their deputies, "your lan- 
guage might suit a general treating with a conquered place, 
but cannot be accepted by free and privileged men. We 
are neither enemies nor soldiers — we are citizens and mas- 
ters at home. In compensation of a service which we ask, 
namely, that Monsieur de Montaran, whom we dislike, 
should be removed, we will pay the tax demanded; but 
if the court takes to itself the highest prize, we will keep 
our money, and bear as we best can the treasurer who dis- 
pleases us." 

Monsieur de Montesquieu, with a contemptuous smile. 


turned on his heel — the deputies did the same, and both 
retired with their original dignity. 

But the marshal was willing to wait; he behaved himself 
as an able diplomatist, and thought that private reunions 
would set all right; but the Breton nobles were proud — in- 
dignant at their treatment, they appeared no more at the 
marshal's reception; and he, from contempt, changed to 
angry and foolish resolves. This was what the Span- 
iards had expected. Montesquieu, corresponding with the 
authorities at Nantes, Quimper, Yannes, and Rennes, wrote 
that he had to deal with rebels and mutineers, but that ten 
thousand of his soldiers should teach the Bretons politeness. 

The States were held again; from the nobility to the 
people in Bretagne is but a step; a spark lights the whole; 
the citizens declared to M. de Montesquieu that if he had 
ten thousand men, Bretagne had a hundred thousand, who 
would teach his soldiers, with stones, forks, and muskets, 
that they had better mind their own business, and that only. 

The marshal assured himself of the truth of this asser- 
tion, and was quiet, leaving things as they were for a while; 
the nobility then made a formal and moderate complaint; 
but Dubois and the council of the regency treated it as 
a hostile manifesto, and used it as an instrument. 

Montaran, Montesquieu, Pontcalec, and Talhouet were 
the men really fighting among themselves. Pontcalec, a 
man of mind and power, joined the malcontents and en- 
couraged the growth of the struggle. 

There was no drawing back; the court, however, only 
saw the revolt, and did not suspect the Spanish affair. The 
Bretons, who were secretly undermining the regency, cried 
aloud, "No impost, no Montaran," to draw away suspicion 
from their anti-patriotic plots: but the event turned out 


against them. The regent — a skilful politician — guessed 
the i^lot without perceiving it; he thought that this local 
veil hid some other phantom, and he tore off the veil. 
He withdrew Montaran, and then the conspirators were 
unmasked; all the others were content and quiet, they 
alone remained in arms. 

Then Pontcalec and his friends formed the plot we 
are acquainted with, and used violent means to attain 
their ends. 

Spain was watching; Alberoni, beaten by Dubois in 
the affair of Cellamare, waited his revenge, and all the 
treasures prepared for the plot of Paris were now sent to 
Bretagne; but it was late; he did not believe it, and his 
agents deceived him ; he thought it was possible to recom- 
mence the war, but then France made war on Spain. He 
thought it possible to kill the regent; but he, and not 
Chanlay, should do what no one would then recommend 
to the most cruel enemy of France. Alberoni reckoned on 
the arrival of a Spanish vessel full of arms and money, and 
this ship did not arrive; he waited for news of Chanlay; 
it was La Jonqui^re who wrote — and what a La Jonqui^re ! 

One evening Pontcalec and his friends had met in a little 
room near the old castle; their countenances were sad and 
irresolute. Du Couedic announced that he had received a 
note recommending them to take flight. 

"I have a similar one to show you," said Montlouis; "it 
was slid under my glass at table, and my wife, who expected 
nothing, was frightened. ' ' 

"I neither expect nor fear anything," said Talhouet; 
"the province is calm, the news from Paris is good; every 
day the regent liberates some one of those imprisoned for 
the Spanish affair. ' ' 


"And I, gentlemen," said Pontcalec, "must tell you of 
a strange communication I have received to-day. Show 
me your note, Du Couedic, and you yours, Montlouis; 
perhaps it is the same writing, and is a snare for us." 

"I do not think so, for if they wish us to leave this, it 
is to escape some danger; we have nothing to fear for our 
reputation, for that is not at stake. The affairs of Bretagne 
are known to the world: your brother Talhouet and your 
cousin have fled to Spain: Solduc, Rohan, Sanbilly the 
counsellor, have all disappeared, yet their flight was sup- 
posed to be natural, and from some simple cause of discon- 
tent. I confess, if the advice be repeated, I shall fly." 

"We have nothing to fear, my friends," said Pontcalec, 
*'our affairs were never more prosperous. See, the court 
has no suspicion, or we should have been molested already. 
La Jonqui^re wrote yesterday; he announces that De Chan- 
lay is starting for La Muette, where the regent lives aa 
a private gentleman, without guards, without fear." 

"Yet you are uneasy," said Du Couedic. 

"I confess it, but not for the reason you suppose." 

"What is it, then?" 

' ' A personal matter. ' ' 

"Of your own!" 

"Yes, and I could not confide it to more devoted friends, 
or any who know me better. If ever I were molested — if 
ever I had the alternative of remaining or of flying to es- 
cape a danger, I should remain ; do you know why ?' ' 

"No, speak." 

' ' I am afraid. ' ' 

"You, Pontcalec? — afraidl What do you mean by these 
words, after those you have just uttered ?' ' 

"Mon Dieu! yes, my friend; the ocean is our safeguard; 


we could find safety on board one of those vessels whicli 
cruise on the Loire from Paimboeuf to Saint Nazaire; but 
what is safety to you is certain death to me. ' ' 

"I do not understand you," said Talhouet. 

"You alarm me," said Montlouis. 

"Listen, then, my friends," said Pontcalec. 

And he began, in the midst of the most scrupulous atten- 
tion, the following recital; for they knew that if Pontcalec 
were afraid there must be a good cause. 




** 1 WAS ten years old, and I lived at Pontcalec, in the 
I midst of woods, when one day my uncle Crysogon, 
my father, and I, resolved to have a rabbit hunt in 
a warren at five or six miles' distance, found seated on the 
heath a woman reading. So few of our peasants could read 
that we were surprised. "We stopped and looked at her. 
I see her now, as though it were yesterday, though it is 
nearly twenty years ago. She wore the dark costume of 
our Breton women, with the usual white head-dress, and 
she was seated on a large tuft of broom in blossom which 
she had been cutting. 

"My father was mounted on a beautiful bay horse, with 
a gold-colored mane, my uncle on a gray horse, young and 
ardent, and I rode one of those little white ponies which to 
strength and activity unite the docility of a sheej). 

"The woman looked up from her book at the group 
before her, and, seeing me firm in my stirrups near my 
father, who seemed proud of me, she rose all at once, and 
approaching me, said — 

" 'What a pity!' 

" 'What do you mean ?' asked my father. 

" 'It means that I do not like that white pony,' replied 
the woman. 


" 'And wliy not?' 

" 'Because lie will bring misfortune to your child, Sire 
de Pontcalec. ' 

""We Bretons are superstitious, you know; so that even 
my father, who, you know, Montlouis, was an enlightened 
as well as a brave man, stopped, in spite of my uncle 
Crysogon, who urged us to proceed, and, trembling at the 
idea of danger to me, he added — 

" 'Yet the pony is gentle, my good woman, and Clement 
rides well for his age. I have often ridden the little animal 
in the park, and its paces are perfect. ' 

" 'I do not know anything of that. Marquis de Guer,' 
replied the woman, 'but the little white horse will injure 
your son Clement, I tell you.' 

' ' ' And how can you know this ?' 

" ' I see it, ' replied she, in a strange voice. 

" 'When?' asked my father. 

" 'To-day.' 

' ' My father turned pale, and I was afraid ; but my uncle 
Crysogon, who had been in the Dutch wars, and had be- 
come somewhat hardered by combating the Huguenots, 
laughed till he nearly fell from his horse. 

" 'Parbleu!' said he, 'this good woman certainly is in 
league with the rabbits at Savernay. "What do you say 
to it, Clement: would you like to go home and lose the 

" 'Uncle,' I replied, 'I would rather go on with you.' 
'You look pale and odd — are you afraid?' 

" 'I am not afraid,' said I. 

"I lied, for I felt a certain shudder pass through me, 
which was very like fear. 

"My father has since owned to me, that if it had not 


been for my uncle's words, wliicli caused a certain false 
shame in him, he would have sent me home or given my 
horse to one of the servants ; but what an example for a boy 
of my age, who declared himself to have no fear, and what 
a subject for ridicule to my uncle ! 

"I continued, then, to ride my pony; we reached the 
warren, and the chase commenced. 

"While it lasted, the pleasures made us forget the pre- 
diction ; but the chase over, and having started on our road 
home — 

" 'Well, Clement,' said my uncle, 'still on your pony; 
you are a brave boy. ' 

"My father and I both laughed; we were then crossing 
a plain as flat and even as this room, no obstacles in the 
way, nothing that could frighten a horse, yet at that mo- 
ment my pony gave a bound which shook me from my 
seat, then he reared violently and threw me off; my uncle 
laughed, but my father became as pale as death. I did not 
move, and my father leaped from his horse and came to me, 
and found that my leg was broken. 

"To describe my father's grief and the cries of the 
grooms would be impossible; but my uncle's despair was 
indescribable. Kneeling by my side, removing my clothcvS 
with a trembling hand, covering me with tears and caresses, 
his every word was a fervent prayer. My father was obliged 
to console him, but to all his consolations and caresses he 
answered not. 

"They sent for the first surgeon at Nantes, who pro- 
nounced me in great danger. My uncle begged my mother's 
pardon all day long; and we remarked that, during my 
illness, he had quite changed his mode of life; instead of 
drinking and hunting with the officers — instead of going ou 


iisliing expeditions, of wliicli lie was so fond — lie never left 
my pillow. 

"Tlie fever lasted six weeks, and tlie illness nearly four 
months ; but I was saved, and retained no trace of tlie acci- 
dent. "When I went out for the first time, my uncle gave 
me his arm; but when the walk was over, he took leave 
of us with tears in his eyes. 

" 'Where are you going, Crysogon?' asked my father 
in astonishment. 

" 'I made a vow,' replied the good man, 'that, if our 
child recovered, I would turn Carthusian, and I go to 
fulfil it' 

"This was a new grief. My father and my mother shed 
tears; I hung on my uncle's neck, and begged him not to 
leave us; but the viscount was a man who never broke 
a promise or a resolution. Our tears and prayers were 

" 'My brother,' said he, 'I did not know that God 
sometimes deigns to reveal Himself to man in acts of 
mystery. I doubted, and deserve to be punished; be- 
sides, I do not wish to lose my salvation in the pleas- 
ures of this life.' 

"At these words the viscount embraced me again, 
mounted his horse, and disappeared. He went to the 
Carthusian monastery at Morlaix. Two years afterward, 
fasts, macerations, and grief had made of this bon vivant^ 
this joyous companion, this devoted friend, a premature 
skeleton. At the end of three years he died, leaving me 
all his wealth. ' ' 

"Diable! what a frightful tale, " said Du Couedic; "but 
the old woman forgot to tell you that breaking your leg 
would double your fortune." 


"Listen," said Pontcalec, more gravely tlian ever. 

* ' Ah ! it is not finislied, ' ' said Talliouet. 

' ' We are onlj at tlie commencement. ' ' 

"Continue, we are listening." 

"You have all heard of the strange death of the Baron 
de Caradec, have you not?" 

"Our old college friend at Nantes," said Montlouis, 
"who was found murdered ten years ago in the forest of 
Chateaubriant ?" 

"Yes. Now listen; but remember that this is a secret 
which till this moment has been only known to me, and 
which even now must go no further than ourselves." 

The three Bretons, who were deeply interested, gave the 
required promises. 

"Well," said Pontcalec, "this college friendship of which 
Montlouis speaks had undergone some change between 
Caradec and myself, on account of a rivalry. We loved 
the same woman, and I was loved by her. 

' ' One day I determined to hunt the stag in the forest of 
Chateaubriant; my dogs and huntsmen had been sent out 
the day before, and I was on my way to the rendezvous, 
when, on the road before me, I saw an enormous fagot walk- 
ing along. This did not surprise me, for our peasants carry 
such enormous fagots that they quite disappear under their 
load; but this fagot appeared from behind to move alone. 
Soon it stopped; an old woman, turning round, showed her 
face to me. As I approached, I could not take my eyes off 
her, for I recognized the sorceress of Savernay, who had 
predicted the misfortune caused by my white pony. 

"My first impulse, I confess, was to take another road, 
and avoid the prophetess of evil; but she had already seen 
me, and she seemed to wait for me with a smile full of 


malice. I was ten years older than when her first threat 
had frightened me. I was ashamed to go back. 

" 'Good-day, Viscount de Pontcalec, ' said she; 'how is 
the Marquis de Guer?' 

' ' ' Well, good woman ; and I shall be quite easy about 
him if you will assure me that nothing will happen to him 
during my absence. ' 

" 'Ah! ah!' said she, laughing; 'you have not forgotten 
the plains of Savernay. You have a good memory, vis- 
count; but yet, if I gave you some advice, you would not 
follow it any more than the first time. Man is blind.' 

" 'And what is your advice?' 

" 'Not to go hunting to-day.' 

" 'Why not?' 

" 'And to return at once to Pontcalec' 

" 'I cannot; I have a rendezvous with some friends at 
Chateaubriant. ' 

" 'So much the worse, viscount, for blood will be 
spilled. ' 

" 'Mine?' 

" 'Yours, and another's.' 

" 'Bah! are you mad?' 

" 'So said your uncle Crysogon. How is he?' 

" 'Do you not know that he died seven years ago at 
Morlaix ?' 

" 'Poor fellow!' said the woman, 'like you, ne would 
not believe; at length, he beheld, but it was too late.' 

"I shuddered involuntarily; but a false shame whispered 
that it would be cowardly to give way, and that doubtless 
the fulfilment of the pretended witch's former prediction 
had been but a chance. 

" 'Ah! I see that a former experience has not made you 


wiser, ray fine fellow,' said she. 'Well, go to Chateau- 
briant then, since you must have it so, but at least send 
back that handsome hunting-knife.' 

" 'And with what will monsieur cut the stag's foot?' 
asked the servant who followed me. 

" 'With your knife,' said the old woman. 

" 'The stag is a royal animal,' replied the servant, 'and 
deserves a hunting- knife. ' 

. " 'Besides,' said I, 'you said my blood would flow. 
What means that? — I shall be attacked, and if so I shall 
want it to defend myself.' 

" 'I do not know what it means,' replied the old woman; 
'but I do know that in your place, my brave gentleman, I 
would listen to a poor old woman, and that I would not go 
to Chateaubriant; or, if I did go, it would be without my 
hunting- knife, ' 

" 'Do not listen to the old witch, monsieur,' said the 
servant, who was doubtless afraid to take the fatal weapon. 

"If I had been alone, I should have returned; but before 
my servant I did not like to do so. 

" 'Thank you, my good woman,' said I, 'but really I do 
not see what reason there is for not going to Chateaubriant. 
As to my knife, I shall keep it; if I be attacked I must 
have a weapon to defend myself. ' 

" 'Gro then and defend yourself,' said the old woman, 
shaking her head; 'we cannot escape our destiny.' 

"I heard no more. I urged my horse to a gallop; but, 
turning a corner, I saw that the old woman had resumed her 
route, and I lost sight of her. 

"An hour after, I was in the forest of Chateaubriant; 
and I met you, Montlouis and Talhouet, for you were both 
of the party. ' ' 


"It is true," said Talhouet, "and I begin to under- 
stand. ' ' 

' ' And I, ' ' said Montlouis. 

"But I know notliing of it," said Du Couedic; "so pray 
continue, Pontcalec. " 

"Our dogs started the deer, and we set off in pursuit; 
but we were not the only hunters in the forest — at a distance 
we heaj'd the sound of another pack, which gradually ajD- 
proached; soon the two crossed, and some of my dogs by 
mistake went after the wrong deer. I ran after them to 
stop them, which separated me from you. You followed 
the rest of our pack; but some one had forestalled me. I 
heard the howls of my dogs under the lash of a whip; I 
redoubled my pace, and found the Baron de Caradec strik- 
ing them. I told you there were causes of dislike between 
us, which only needed an opportunity to burst out. I asked 
him why he struck my dogs. His reply was haughtier than 
my question. We were alone — we were both twenty years 
of age — we were rivals — each was armed. We drew our 
knives, threw ourselves one upon the other, and Caradec 
fell from his horse, pierced through the body. To tell you 
what I felt when I saw him, bleeding and writhing in agony, 
would be impossible; I spurred my horse, and darted 
through the forest like a madman. 

"I heard the voices of the hunters, and I arrived, one of 
the first, but I remember — do you remember it, Montlouis ? 
— that you asked me why I was so pale. " 

"I do," said Montlouis. 

"Then I remembered the advice of the sorceress, and 
reproached myself bitterly for neglecting it. This solitary 
and fatal duel seemed to me like an assassination. Nantes 
and its environs became insupportable to me, for every day 


I heard of the murder of Caradec. It is true that no one 
suspected me, but the secret voice of my conscience spoke 
so loud that twenty times I was on the point of denouncing 

"Then I left Nantes and went to Paris, but not until 
I had searched for the sorceress; not knowing either her 
name or her residence, I could not find her. ' ' 

"It is strange," said Talhouet; "and have you ever seen 
her since ?" 

"Wait," said Pontcalec, "and listen, for now comes the 
terrible part. This winter — or rather last autumn — I say 
winter, because there was snow falling, though it was only 
in November — I was returning from Guer, and had ordered 
a halt at Pontcalec- des-Aulnes, after a day during which I 
had been shooting snipes in the marshes with two of my 
tenants. We arrived, benumbed with the cold, at the ren- 
dezvous, and found a good fire and supper awaiting us. 

"As I entered, and received the salutations and compli- 
ments of my people, I perceived in the chimney-corner an 
old woman wrapped in a large gray and black cloak, who 
appeared to be asleep. 

" 'Who is that?' I asked of the farmer, and trembling 

" 'An old beggar, whom I do not know, and she looks 
like a witch,' said he; 'but she was perishing with cold, 
hunger, and fatigue. She came begging; I told her to come 
in, and gave her a piece of bread ; which she ate while she 
warmed herself, and now she has gone to sleep. ' 

"The figure moved slightly in its corner. 

" 'What has happened to you. Monsieur le Marquis,' 
asked the farmer's wife, 'that you are so wet, and that your 
clothes are splashed with mud up to the shoulder ?' 


" 'You nearly had to dine witliout me, my good Mar- 
tine,' I replied, 'althoiigli this repast and this fire were 
prepared for me. ' 

" 'Truly!' cried the good woman, alarmed. 

' ' ' Ah ! monsieur had a narrow escape, ' said the farmer. 

" 'How so, my good lord?' 

' ' ' You know your marshes are full of bogs ; I ventured 
without sounding the ground, and all at once I felt that I 
was sinking in; so that, had it not been for my gun, which 
I held across, enabling your husband to come and pull me 
out, I should have been smothered, which is not only a 
cruel but a stupid death.' 

" 'Oh, monsieur,' said the wife, 'pray do not expose 
yourself in this way!' 

" 'Let him alone,' said the sepulchral voice of the figure 
crouched in the chimney-corner; 'he will not die thus; I 
foretell that.' 

' ' And, lowering the hood of her gray cloak, she showed 
me the face of that woman who had twice crossed my path 
with sad j^rediction. 

"I remained motionless and petrified. 

" 'You recognize me?' she asked, without moving. 

' ' I made a sign of assent, but had not really the courage 
to reply. All gathered in a circle round us. 

" 'No, no,' continued she; 'be easy, Marquis de Guer; 
you will not die thus.' 

" 'How do you know ?' I stammered out, with a convic- 
tion, however, that she did know. 

" 'I cannot tell you, for I do not know myself; but you 
know well that I do not make mistakes. ' 

" 'And how shall I die ?' asked I, making an effort over 
myself to ask this question and to listen to her reply. 


" 'You will die by the sea. Beware of the water, Mar- 
quis de Guer!' she replied. 

" 'How ?' asked I. 'What do you mean ?' 

" 'I have spoken, and cannot explain further, marquis; 
but again I say, Beiuare of the vjater !' 

"All the peasants looked frightened; some muttered 
prayers, others crossed themselves; the old woman returned 
to her corner, buried herself again in her cloak, and did not 
speak another syllable. 




**'Tr^HE details of tliis affair may some day escape my 
j memory, but tlie impression it made will never be 
effaced. I had not tlie sbadow of a doubt; and 
this prediction took the aspect of a reality, as far as I was 
concerned. Yes," continued Pontcalec, "even though you 
should laugh, like my uncle Crysogon, you would never 
change my opinion, or take away from me the conviction 
that the prediction will be realized; therefore, I tell you, 
were it true that we are pursued by Dubois's exempts — were 
there a boat ready to take us to Belle Isle to escape them, 
so convinced am I that the sea will be fatal to me, and that 
no other death has any power over me, that I would give 
myself up to my pursuers, and say, 'Do your worst, I shall 
not die by your hands. ' ' ' 

The three Bretons had listened in silence to this strange 
declaration, which gathered solemnity from the circum- 
stances in which they stood. 

"Then," said Du Couedic, after a pause, "we understand 
your courage, my friend; believing 3'ourself destined to one 
sort of death, you are indifferent to all other danger. But 
take care; if the anecdote were known, it would rob you 
of all merit, not in our eyes, for we know what you really 


are ; but otliers would say that you entered this conspiracy 
because you can neither be beheaded, shot, nor killed by 
the dagger, but that it would have been very different 
if conspirators were drowned." 

■ "And perhaps they would speak the truth," said Pont- 
calec, smiling. 

"But, my dear marquis," said Montlouis, "we who have 
not the same grounds for security should, I think, pay some 
attention to the advice of our unknown friend, and leave 
Nantes, or even France, as soon as possible. ' ' 

"But this may be wrong," said Pontcalec; "and I do 
not believe our projects are known at Nantes or else- 

"And probably nothing will be known till Gaston has 
done his work," said Talhouet; "and then we shall have 
nothing to fear but enthusiasm, and that does not kill. As 
to you, Pontcalec, never apj^roach a seaport, never go to 
sea, and you will live to the age of Methuselah!" 

The conversation might have continued in this jocular 
strain; but at this moment several gentlemen, with whom 
they had appointed a meeting, came in by different secret 
ways, and in different costumes. 

It was not that they had much to fear from the provin- 
cial police — that of Nantes, though Nantes was a large 
town, was not sufficiently well organized to alarm con- 
spirators, who had in the locality the influence of name 
and social position — but the police of Paris — the regent's 
police, or that of Dubois — sent down spies, who were 
easily detected by their ignorance of the place, and the 
difference of their dress and speech. 

Though this Breton association was numerous, we shall 
onl}^ occupy ourselves with its four chiefs, who were 


beyond all tke otliers in name, fortune, courage, and 

They discussed a new edict of Montesquieu's, and the 
necessity of arming themselves in case of violence on the 
marshal' s part : thus it was nothing less than the beginning 
of a civil war, for which the pretexts were the impiety of 
the regent's court and Dubois's sacrileges — pretexts which 
would arouse the anathemas of an essentially religious 
province against a reign so little worthy to succeed that 
of Louis XIV. 

Pontcalec explained their plan, not suspecting that at 
that moment Dubois's police had sent a detachment to 
each of their dwellings, and that an exempt was even then 
on the spot with orders to arrest them. Thus, all who had 
taken part in the meeting saw, from afar, the bayonets of 
soldiers at their houses; and thus, being forewarned, they 
might probably escape by a speedy flight; they might 
easily find retreats among their numerous friends; many 
of them might gain the coast, and escape to Holland, 
Spain, or England. 

Pontcalec, Du Couedic, Montlouis and Talhouet, as 
usual, went out together; but, on arriving at the end 
of the street where Montlouis' s house was situated, they 
perceived lights crossing the windows of the apartments, 
and a sentinel barring the door with his musket. 

"Oh," said Montlouis, stopping his companions, "what 
is going on at my house ?' ' 

"Indeed, there is something," said Talhouet; "and 
just now I fancied I saw a sentinel at the Hotel de 
Eouen. ' ' 

"Why did you not say so ?" asked Du Couedic; "it was 
surely worth mentioning." 


"Oh, I was afraid of appearing an alarmist, and I tiiought 
it miglit be only a patrol. ' ' 

"But this man belongs to the regiment of Picardy," said 
Montlouis, stepping back. 

"It is strange," said Pontcalec; "let me go up the lane 
which leads to my house ; if that also be guarded, there will 
be no further doubt." 

Keeping together, in case of an attack, they went on 
silently till they saw a detachment of twenty men grouped 
round Pontcalec' s house. 

"This passes a joke," said Du Couedic, "and, unless our 
houses have all caught fire at once, I do not understand 
these uniforms around them; as to me, I shall leave mine, 
most certainly." 

"And I," said Talhouet, "shall be off to Saint-ISTazaire, 
and from there to Le Croisic; take my advice and come 
with me. I know a brig about to start for Newfoundland, 
and the captain is a servant of mine; if the air on shore 
becomes too bad, we will embark, set sail, and vogue la 
galeres ; come, Pontcalec, forget your old witch and come 
with us." 

"No, no," said Pontcalec, "I will not rush on my fate. 
Reflect, my friends: we are the chiefs, and we should set 
a strange example by flying before we even know if a real 
danger exists. There is no proof against us. La Jonqui^re 
is incorruptible; Gaston is intrepid; our letters from him 
say that all will soon be over; perhaps, at this very mo- 
ment, France may be delivered and the regent dead. What 
would be thought of us if, at such a time, we had taken 
flight ? The example of our desertion would ruin every- 
thing here. Consider it well; I do not command you as a 
chief, but I counsel you as a friend; you are not obliged 


to obey, for I free you from your oatt, but in your place 
I would not go. We liave given an example of devotion; 
tlie worst that can happen to us is to give tliat of martyr- 
dom; but Ibis will not, I bope, be tbe case. If we are 
arrested, tbe Breton parliament will judge us. Of wbat 
is it composed ? — of our friends and accomplices. We are 
safer in a prison of wbicb tbey bold tbe key, tban on 
a vessel at tbe mercy of tbe winds; besides, before tbe 
parliament bas assembled, all Bretagne will be in arms; 
tried, we are absolved; absolved, we are triumphant !" 

"He is rigbt," said Talbouet; "my uncle, my brothers, 
all my family, are compromised with me. I shall save 
myself with them or die with him." 

"My dear Talbouet," said Montlouis, "all this is very 
fine; but I have a worse opinion of this affair tban you 
have. If we are in the bands of any one, it is Dubois, 
who is not a gentleman, and bates those who are. I do not 
like these people who belong to no class — who are neither 
nobles, soldiers, nor priests. I like better a true gentleman, 
a soldier, or a monk: at least, they are all supported by the 
authority of their profession. However, I appeal, as we 
generally do, to tbe majority; but I confess that, if it be 
for flight, I shall fly most willingly. ' ' 

"And I," said Du Couedic; "Montesquieu may be bet- 
ter informed than we suppose; and if it be Dubois who holds 
us in his clutches, we shall have some difficulty in freeing 
ourselves. ' ' 

"And, I repeat, we must remain," said Pontcalec; "the 
duty of a general is to remain at the head of his soldiers 5 
the duty of the chief of a conspiracy is to die at the head 
of the plot." 

"My dear friend," said Montlouis, "your sorceress blinds 


you; to gain credence for her prediction, you are ready to 
drown yourself intentionally^ I am less enthusiastic about 
this pythoness, I confess; and as I do not know what kind 
of death is in store for me, I am somewhat uneasy." 

"You are mistaken, Montlouis," said Pontcalec, "it is 
duty above all which influences me; and, besides, if I do 
not die for this, you will not, for I am your chief, and cer- 
tainly before the judges I should reclaim the title which I 
have abjured to-day. If I do not die by Dubois, neither 
will you. "We soldiers, and afraid to pay an official visit 
to parliament; for that is it, after all, and nothing else! 
benches covered with black robes — smiles of intelligence 
between the accused and the judge : it is a battle with the 
regent; let us accept it, and when parliament shall absolve 
us, we shall have done as well as if we had put to flight all 
the troops in Bretagne. ' ' 

' ' Montlouis proposed to refer it to a majority, ' * said Du 
Couedic, "let us do so." 

"I did not speak from fear," said Montlouis; "but I 
do not see the use of walking into the lion's mouth if we 
can muzzle him." 

"That was unnecessary, Montlouis," said Pontcalec; 
"we all know you, and we accept your proposition. Let 
those who are for flight hold up their hands. ' ' 

Montlouis and Du Couedic raised their hands. 

""We are two and two," said Montlouis; "we must, 
then, trust to inspiration." 

"You forget," said Pontcalec, "that, as president, I 
have two votes." 

"It is true." 

"Let those, then, who are remainiag here hold up their 
hands. ' ' 

(J)— Vol. 23 


Pontcalec and Talliouet raised tlieir hands; thus the 
majority was fixed. 

This deliberation in the open street might have seemed 
absurd, had it not involved in its results the question of 
life or death to four of the noblest gentlemen in Bretagne. 

""Well," said Montlouis, "it appears, Du Couedic, that 
we were wrong ; and now, marquis, we obey your orders. ' ' 

"See what I do," said Pontcalec, "and then do as you 

And he walked straight up to his house, followed by 
his three friends. 

Arriving at the door, he tapped a soldier on the 

"My friend," said he, "call your officer, I beg." 

The soldier passed the order to the sergeant, who called 
the captain. 

"What do you want?" asked the latter. 

"I want to come into my house." 

"Who are you?" 

"I am the Marquis de Pontcalec." 

"Silence!" said the officer, in a low voice, "and fly in. 
stantly — I am here to arrest you." Then aloud, "You 
cannot pass," said he, pushing back the marquis, and 
closing in his soldiers before him. 

Pontcalec took the officer's hand, pressed it, and said — 

"You are a brave fellow, but I must go in. I thank 
you, and may God reward you!" 

The officer, surprised, opened his ranks, and Pontcalec, 
followed by his friends, crossed the court. On seeing him, 
his family uttered cries of terror. 

"What IS it?'' asked the marquis, calmly; "and what 
is going on here?" 


"I arrest you, Monsieur le Marquis," said an exempt of 
the Provost of Paris. 

"Parclieu! what a fine exploit!" said Montlouis; "and 
you seem a clever fellow — ^you, a provost's exempt, and 
absolutely those whom you are sent to arrest are obliged 
to come and take you by the collar." 

The exempt saluted this gentleman, who joked so pleas- 
antly at such a time, and asked his name. 

"I am Monsieur de Montlouis. Look, my dear fellow, 
if you have not got an order against me, too — if you have, 
execute it." 

"Monsieur," said the exempt, bowing low, more and 
more astonished, "it is not I, but my comrade, Duchevon, 
who is charged to arrest you; shall I tell him?" 

"Where is he?" 

"At your house, waiting for you." 

"I should be sorry to keep you waiting long," said 
Montlouis, "and I will go to him. Thanks, my friend." 

The exempt was bewildered. 

Montlouis pressed Pontcalec's hand and those of the 
others; then, whispering a few words to them, he set out 
for his house, and was arrested. 

Talhouet and Du Couedic did the same; so that by 
eleven at night the work was over. 

The news of the arrest ran through the town, but every 
one said, "The parliament will absolve them," 

The next day, however, their opinions changed, for 
there arrived from Nantes the commission, perfectly con- 
stituted, and wanting, as we have said, neither president, 
procureur du roi, secretary, nor even executioners. "We 
use the plural, for there were three. 

The bravest men are sometimes stupefied by great mis* 


fortune. This fell on the province with the power and 
rapidity of a thunder- stroke; it made no cry, no movement; 
Bretagne expired. 

The commission installed itself at once, and expected 
that, in consideration of its powers, people would bow be- 
fore it rather than give offence ; but the terror was so great, 
that each one thought of himself alone, and merely deplored 
the fate of the others. 

This, then, was the state of affairs in Bretagne three or 
four days after the arrest of Pontcalec and his three friends. 
Let us leave them a while at Nantes, Ie Dubois's toils, and 
see what was passing in Paris. 




AND now, with the reader's permission, we will enter 
the Bastille — that formidable building at which 
even the passing traveller trembled, and which, 
to the whole neighborhood, was an annoyance and cause 
of alarm; for often at night the cries of the unfortunate 
prisoners who were under torture might be heard piercing 
the thick walls, so much so, that the Duchesse de Lesde- 
quieres once wrote to the governor, that, if he did not 
prevent his patients from making such a noise, she should 
complain to the king. 

At this time, however, under the reign of Philippe 
d' Orleans, there were no cries to be heard; the society was 
select, and too well bred to disturb the repose of a lady. 

In a room in the Du Coin tower, on the first floor, was 
a prisoner alone; the room was large, and resembled an 
immense tomb lighted by two windows, furnished with 
an unusual allowance of bars and irons. A painted couch, 
two rough wooden chairs, and a black table, were the whole 
furniture; the walls were covered with strange inscriptions, 
which the prisoner consulted from time to time when he 
was overcome by ennui. 

He had, however, been but one day in the Bastille, and 
yet already he paced his vast chamber, examining the iron- 


"barred doors, looking tlirougli tlie grated windows, listen- 
ing, sighing, waiting. This day, whicli was Sunday, a pale 
sun silvered the clouds, and the prisoner watched with a 
feeling of inexpressible melancholy the walkers on the 
Boulevards. It was easy to see that every passer-by 
looked at the Bastille with a feeling of terror, and of self- 
gratulation at not being within its walls. A noise of bolts 
and creaking hinges drew the prisoner from this sad occu- 
pation, and he saw the man enter before whom he had been 
taken the day before. This man, about thirty years of age, 
with an agreeable appearance and polite bearing, was the 
governor, M. Delaunay, father of that Delaunay who died 
at his post in '89. 

The prisoner, who recognized him, did not know how 
rare such visits were. 

"Monsieur de Chanlay, " said the governor, bowing, 
"I come to know if you have passed a good night, and 
are satisfied with the fare of the house and the conduct 
of the employes" — thus M. Delaunay, in his politeness, 
called the turnkeys and jailers. 

' ' Yes, monsieur ; and these attentions paid to a prisoner 
have surprised me, I own." 

' ' The bed is hard and old, but yet it is one of the best, 
luxury being forbidden by our rules. Your room, mon- 
sieur, is the best in the Bastille; it has been occupied by 
the Due d'Angouleme, by the Marquis de Bassompierre, 
and by the Marechaux de Luxembourg and Biron; it is 
here that I lodge the princes when his majesty does me 
the honor to send them to me." 

"It is an excellent lodging," said Graston, smiling, 
'though ill furnished; can I have some books, some 
paper, and pens?" 



"Books, monsieur, are strictly forbidden; but if you 
veiy mucli "wisli to read, as many things are allowed to 
a prisoner who is ennuye^ come and see me; tben you 
can put in your pocket one of tbose volumes which my 
wife or I leave about; you will hide it from all eyes; on 
a second visit you will take the second volume, and to 
this abstraction we will close our eyes." 

"And paper, pens, ink?" said Graston, "I wish most 
particularly to write." 

"No one writes here, monsieur; or, at least, only to the 
king, the regent, the minister, or to me; but they draw, and 
I can let you have drawing-paper and pencils." 

"Monsieur, how can I thank you sufficiently for your 

''^^j granting me the request I came to make, for my 
visit is an interested one. I came to ask if you would do 
me the honor to dine with me to-day ?" 

"With you, monsieur! truly, you surprise me ; however, 
I cannot tell you how sensible I am of your courtesy, and 
should retain for it an everlasting gratitude if I had any 
prospect but death before my eyes." 

"Death! monsieur, you are gloomy; you should not 
think of these things — forget them and accept — " 

"I do, monsieur." 

"A la bonne heure, " said the governor, bowing to Gas- 
ton, "I will take back your answer." And he went out, 
leaving the prisoner plunged in a new train of ideas. 

The politeness which at first charmed the chevalier on 
reflection began to arouse some suspicion. Might it not 
be intended to inspire him with confidence, and lead him 
on to betray himself and his companions; he remembered 
the tragic chronicle of the Bastille, the snares laid for 


prisoners, and tliat famous dungeon chamber so mucli 
Bpoken of, whicli none who had entered ever left alive. 
Gaston felt himself alone and abandoned. He also felt 
that the crime he had meditated deserved death; did not 
all these flattering and strange advances conceal some 
snare? In fact, the Bastille had done its ordinary work; 
the prison acted on the prisoner, who became cold, sus- 
picious, and uneasy. 

"They take me for a provincial," he thought, "and they 
hope that — prudent in my interrogatories — I shall be im- 
prudent in my conduct; they do not, they cannot, know 
my accomplices; and they hope that in giving me the 
means of communicating with them, of writing to them, 
or of inadvertently speaking of them, they will get some- 
thing out of me. Dubois and D'Argenson are at the 
bottom of this." 

Then Gaston thought of his friends who were waiting 
for him without news from him, who would not know what 
had become of him, or, worse still, on some false news, 
might act and ruin themselves. 

Then came the thought of his poor Hel^ne, isolated, as 
he himself was, whom he had not even presented to the 
Due d'Olivares, her sole protector for the future, and who 
might himself be arrested or have taken flight. Then what 
would become of Hel^ne, without support, and pursued by 
that unknown person who had sought her even in the heart 
of Bretagne ? 

In a paroxysm of despair at this thought, Gaston threw 
himself on his bed, cursing the doors and bars which im- 
prisoned him, and striking the stones with his hands. 

At this moment there was a noise at the door. Gaston 
rose hastily, and met M. d'Argenson with a law officer, 


and behind them an imposing escort of soldiers. He un- 
derstood that he was to be interrogated. 

D'Argenson, with his great wig, large black ejes, and 
dark shaggy eyebrows, made little impression on the 
chevalier; he knew that in joining the conspiracy he 
sacrificed his happiness, and that in entering the Bastille 
he had sacrificed his life. In this mood it was difficult 
to frighten him. D'Argenson asked a hundred questions 
which Graston refused to answer, replying only by com- 
plaints of being unjustly arrested, and demanding proof. 
M. d'Argenson became angry, and Graston laughed in his 
face; then D'Argenson spoke of the Breton conspiracy; 
Gaston assumed astonishment, and listened to the list of 
his accomplices with the greatest sang-froid. When the 
magistrate had finished, he thanked him for giving him 
intelligence of events which were quite new to him. 
D'Argenson again lost patience, and gave his ordinary 
angry cough. 

Then he passed from interrogatory to accusation. 

"You wanted to kill the regent," said he, all at once, 
to the chevalier. 

"How do you know that?" asked Gaston, calmly. 

' ' Never mind how, since I know it, ' ' 

' ' Then I will answer you as Agamemnon did Achilles. 
Why ask, since you know it ?" 

' ' Monsieur, I am not jesting, ' ' said D ' Argenson. 

"Nor I," said Gaston; "I only quote Racine." 

"Take care, monsieur, you may find this system of de- 
fence do you no good. ' ' 

' ' Do you think it would be better to confess what you 
ask me?" 

"It is useless to deny a fact which I am aware of." 


"Then permit me to repeat my question: What is the 
use of asking me about a project of which apparently you 
are so much better informed than I am?" 

"I want the details." 

"Ask your police, which reads even people's most 
secret thoughts." 

"Hum, hum!" said D'Argenson, in a tone which, in 
spite of Gaston's courage, made some impression on him, 
"what would you say if I asked news of your friend La 

"I should say," replied Gaston, turning pale, "that 
I hope the same mistake has not been made about him 
as about me." 

"Ah!" said D'Argenson, "that name touches you, I 
think — you know M. la Jonquiere?" 

' ' I know him as a friend, recommended to me to show 
me Paris." 

"Yes, Paris and its environs — the Palais Eoyal, the Eue 
du Bac, or La Muette: he was to show you all these, was 
he not?" 

"They know all," thought Gaston. 

"Well, monsieur," said D'Argenson, "can you find 
another verse from Racine which will serve as an answer 
to my question?" 

"Perhaps I might, if I knew what you meant; certainly 
I wished to see the Palais Royal, for it is a curious place, 
and I have heard it much spoken of. As to the Rue du 
Bac, I know little of it; then there only remains La Muette, 
of which I know nothing." 

"I do not say that you have been there; I say that 
La Jonquiere was to take you there — do you dare to 
deny it?" 


"Ma foi, monsieur, I neither deny nor avow; I refer you 
to him; he will answer you if he thinks fit." 

"It is useless, monsieur; he has been asked, and has 
replied. ' ' 

Gaston felt a shudder pass through him. He might 
be betrayed, but he would divulge nothing. He kept 

D'Argenson waited a moment, then, seeing that Gaston 
remained silent — 

"Would you like to meet La Jonqui^re ?" asked he, 

"You can do with me as you please, monsieur," said 
Gaston ; "I am in your hands. ' ' 

But at the same time he resolved, if he were to face La 
Jonquiere, he would crush him beneath his contempt. 

"It is well. As you say, I am the master, and I choose 
just now to apply the ordinary and "the extraordinary 
question: Do you know what they are, monsieur?" said 
D'Argenson, leaning on each syllable. 

A cold sweat bathed Gaston's temples, not that he feared 
to die, but torture was worse than death. A victim of the 
torture was always disfigured or crippled, and the best of 
these alternatives was a cruel one for a young man of five- 
and- twenty. 

D'Argenson saw, as in a mirror, what was passing in 
Gaston's mind. 

"Hola!" said the interrogator. 

Two men entered. 

"Here is a gentleman who seems to have no dislike to 
the question ordinary or extraordinar3^ Take him to the 
room. ' ' 

"It is the dark hour, the hour I expected, " murmured 
Gaston. "Oh, my God! give me courage." 


Doubtless his prayer was heard, for, making a sign that 
he was ready, he followed the guards with a firm step. 

D'Argenson came behind him. 

They descended the stone staircase and passed the first 
dungeon in the tower. There they crossed two courts. 
As they crossed the second court, some prisoners, look- 
ing through their windows and seeing a gentleman well 
dressed, called out — 

"Hola! monsieur, you are set free then?" 

A woman's voice added — 

"Monsieur, if you are asked about us when _you are free 
from here, say that we said nothing. ' ' 

A young man's voice said — 

"You are happy, monsieur — you will see her you love." 

"You are mistaken, monsieur," said the chevalier. "1 
am about to suffer the question. ' ' 

A terrible silence succeeded. Then the sad procession 
went over the drawbridge. Gaston was placed in a closed 
and locked chair and taken to the arsenal, which was sepa- 
rated from the Bastille by a narrow passage. 

D'Argenson had taken the lead, and awaited the pris- 
oner, who found himself in a low room covered with damp. 
On the wall hung chains, collars, and other strange instru- 
ments; chafing dishes stood on the ground, and crosses of 
Saint Andre were in the corner. 

"You see this," said D'Argenson, showing the chevalier 
two rings fastened into flagstones at six feet apart and sepa- 
rated by a wooden bench about three feet high; "in these 
rings are placed the head and feet of the patient; then this 
tressel is placed under him, so that his stomach is two feet 
higher than his mouth; then we pour pots of water holding 
two pints each into his mouth. The number is fixed at 


eight for the ordinary, ten for the extraordinary question. 
If the patient refuses to swallow, we pinch his nose so that 
lie cannot breathe ; then he opens his mouth, then he swal- 
lows. This question," continued he, emphasizing every 
detail, ' ' is very disagreeable, and yet I do not think I should 
prefer the boot. Both kill sometimes; the boot disfigures 
the patient, and it is true that the water destroys his health 
for the future ; but it is rare, for the prisoner always speaks 
at the ordinary question if he be guilty, and generally at 
the extraordinary, if he be not. ' ' 

Gaston, pale and silent, listened and watched. 

' ' Do you prefer the wedges, chevalier ? Here, bring the 
wedges. ' ' 

A man brought six wedges and showed them, still 
stained with blood and flattened at the edges by the blows 
which had been struck upon them. 

"Do you know the way in which these are used? The 
knees and ankles of the patient are pressed between two 
wooden slabs as tightly as possible, then one of these men 
forces a wedge between the knees, which is followed by a 
larger one. There are eight for the ordinary torture, and 
two larger for the extraordinary. These wedges, I warn 
you, chevalier, break bones like glass and wound the flesh 
insupportably. ' ' 

"Enough, enoagh," said Gaston, "unless you wish to 
double the torture by describing it; but if it be only to 
guide my choice, I leave it to you, as you must know them 
better than I, and I shall be grateful if you will choose the 
one which will kill me most quickly. ' ' 

D' Argenson could not conceal the admiration with which 
Gaston's strength of will inspired him. 

"Come," said he, "speak, and you will not be tortured." 


' ' I have notliing to say, monsieur, so I cannot. ' ' 

"Do not play tlie Spartan, I advise you. One may cry, 
but between the cries one always speaks under torture. ' ' 

"Try," said Gaston. 

Gaston's resolute air, in spite of the struggle of nature — 
a struggle which was evidenced by his paleness, and by a 
slight nervous tremor which shook him — gave D'Argenson 
the measure of his courage. He was accustomed to this 
kind of thing, and was rarely mistaken. He saw that he 
should get nothing out of him, yet he persisted. 

"Come, monsieur," said he, "it is still time. Do not 
force us to do you any violence." 

"Monsieur," said Gaston, "I swear, before God, who 
hears me, that if you put me to the torture, instead of 
speaking, I will hold my breath, and stifle myself, if the 
thing be possible. Judge, then, if I am likely to yield to 
threats, where I am determined not to yield to pain. ' ' 

D'Argenson signed to the tormentors, who approached 
Gaston ; but as they did so he seemed to gain new strength. 
With a calm smile, he helped them to remove his coat and 
to unfasten his cuffs. 

"It is to be the water, then ?" asked the man. 

' ' The water first, ' ' said D ' Argenson. 

They passed the cords through the rings, brought the 
tressels, filled the vases — Gaston did not flinch. 

D'Argenson reflected 

After about ten minutes' thought, which seemed an age 
to the chevalier — 

"Let him go," said D'Argenson, with a grunt of dis- 
content, "and take him back to the Bastille." 




GASTON was inclined to tliank the lieutenant of 
police, but lie refrained. It might appear as 
though he had been afraid. He took his hat 
and coat, and returned to the Bastille as he had come. 

"They did not like to put a man of high birth to the 
torture," thought he; "they will try me and condemn me 
to death." 

But death seemed easy when divested of the preliminary 
agonies which the lieutenant of police had so minutely 

On re-entering his room, Graston saw, almost with joy, 
all that had seemed so horrible to him an hour before. The 
prison seemed gay, the view charming, the saddest inscrip- 
tions on the walls were madrigals compared to the menacing 
appearance of the room he had just quitted. 

The major of the Bastille came to fetch him about an 
hour afterward, accompanied by a turnkey. 

"I understand, " thought Graston; "the governor's invi- 
tation is a pretext, in such a case, to take from the prisoner 
the anguish of expectation. I shall, doubtless, cross some 
dungeon, into which I shall fall and die. God's will be 
done." And, with a firm step, he followed the major, ex- 


pecting every moment to be precipitated into some secret 
dungeon, and murmuring Hdl^ne's name, tliat lie might die 
witli it on his lips. 

But, no accident following this poetical and loving invo- 
cation, the prisoner quietly arrived at the governor's door. 

M. Delaunay came to meet him. 

"Will you give me your word of honor, chevalier," said 
he, "not to attempt to escape while you are in my house? 
It is understood, of course," he added, smiling, "that this 
parole is withdrawn as soon as you are taken back to your 
own room, and it is only a precaution to insure me a con- 
tinuance of your society. ' ' 

"I give you my word so far," said Gaston. 

" 'Tis well, monsieur, enter; you are expected." 

And he led Gaston to a well- furnished room, where a 
numerous company was already assembled. 

"I have the honor to present to you M. Le Chevalier 
Gaston de Chanlay, ' ' said the governor. Then naming, in 
turn, each of the persons assembled — 

"M. le Due de Richelieu." 

"M. le Comte de Laval." 

"M. le Chevalier Dumesnil. " 

"M. de Malezieux." 

"Ah," said Gaston, smiling, "all the Cellamare con- 
spiracy. ' ' 

"Except M. and Madame du Maine, and the Prince of 
Cellamare," said the Abbe Brigand, bowing. 

"Ah, monsieur," said Gaston, in a reproachful tone, 
"you forget the brave D'Harmental and the learned Made- 
moiselle de Launay. " 

"D'Harmental is kejJt in bed by his wounds," said 


' ' As to Mademoiselle de Laiinay, ' ' said the Chevalier 
Dumesnil, reddening with pleasure, "here she comes; she 
does us the honor of dining with us." 

"Present me, monsieur," said Gaston; "among pris- 
oners we must not make ceremonies; I reckon, therefore, 
on you." 

And Dumesnil, taking Gaston by the hand, presented 
him to Mademoiselle de Launay. 

Gaston could not repress a certain expression of aston- 
ishment at all he saw. 

"Ah, chevalier," said the governor, "I see that, like 
three-quarters of the inhabitants of Paris, you thought I 
devoured my prisoners." 

"No, monsieur," said Gaston, "but I certainly thought 
for a moment that I should not have had the honor of 
dining with you to-day." 

"How so?" 

"Is it the habit to give your prisoners an appetite for 
their dinners by the walk I have had to-day?" 

"Ah, yes," cried Mademoiselle de Launay, "was it not 
you who were being led to the torture just now ?" 

"Myself, mademoiselle; and be assured that only such 
a "hindrance would have kept me from so charming a 
society. ' ' 

' ' Ah, these things are not in my jurisdiction, ' ' said the 
governor; "thank Heaven, I am a soldier, and not a judge. 
Do not confound arms and the toga, as Cicero says. My 
business is to keep you here, and to make your stay as 
agreeable as possible, so that I may have the pleasure of 
seeing you again. M. d'Argenson's business is to have you 
tortured, hanged, beheaded, put on the wheel, quartered, 
if possible; each to his task. Mademoiselle de Launay," 


added he, ' ' dinner is ready ; will you take my arm ? Y"our 
pardon, Chevalier Dumesnil; you think me a tyrant, I am 
sure, but as host I am privileged. Gentlemen, seat your- 
selves. ' ' 

"What a horrible thing a prison is," said Kichelieu, 
delicately turning up his cuffs, "slavery, irons, bolts, 
chains. ' ' 

"Shall I pass you this potage a I'^crevisses ?" said 
the governor. 

"Yes, monsieur," said the duke, "your cook does it 
beautifully, and I am really annoyed that mine did not 
conspire with me; he might have profited by his stay in 
the Bastille." 

' ' There is champagne, ' ' said Delaunay , ' ' I have it direct 
from Ai." 

"You must give me the address," said Eichelieu, "for 
if the regent leaves me my head, I shall drink no other wine 
than this. I have got accustomed to it during my sojourns 
here, and I am a creature of habit. ' ' 

"Indeed," sidd the governor, "you may all take exam- 
ple by Richelieu; he is most faithful to me; and, in fact, 
unless we are overcrowded, I always keep his room ready 
for him." 

' ' That tyrant of a regent may force us all to keep a room 
here," said Brigand. 

"Monsieur Delaunay," said Laval, in an angry tone, 
"permit me to ask if it was by your orders that I was 
awoke at two o'clock this morning, and the meaning of 
this persecution?" 

"It is not my fault, monsieur; you must blame these 
gentlemen and ladies, who will not keep quiet, in spite 
of all I tell them." 


"We!" cried all tlie guests. 

"Certainly," replied the governor, "you all break 
througli rules; I am always having reports of commu- 
nications, correspondences, notes, etc." 

Richelieu laughed, Dumesnil and Mademoiselle de Lau- 
nay blushed. 

"But we will speak of that at desert. You do not drink, 
M. deChanlay?" 

"No, I am listening." 

' ' Say that you are dreaming ; you cannot deceive me thus. ' ' 

"And of what?" asked Malezieux. 

"Ah, it is easy to see that you are getting old, my 
poetical friend; of what should M. de Chanlay dream but 
of his love ?' ' 

"Is it not better, M. de Chanlay," cried Richelieu, "to 
have your head separated from your body, than your body 
from your soul?" 

"Apropos," interrupted Laval, "is there any news from 
the court; how is the king?" 

"No politics, gentlemen, if you please," said the gov- 
ernor. "Let us discuss poetry, arts, war, and even the 
Bastille, if you like, but let us avoid jjolitics, ' ' 

"Ah, yes," said Richelieu, "let us talk of the Bastille. 
What have you done with Pompadour?" 

"I am sorry to say he forced me to place him in the 
dungeon. ' ' 

"What had he done?" asked Graston. 

"He had beaten his jailer." 

"How long has it been forbidden for a gentleman to beat 
his servant ?' ' asked Richelieu. 

"The Jailers are servants of the king, M. leDuc, " said 
Delaunay, smiling. 


' ' Say rather of the regent. ' ' 

' ' A subtle distinction. ' ' 

"A just one." 

"Shall I pass you the chambertin, M. de Laval?" 

"If you will drink with me to the health of the king." 

"Certainly, if afterward you will drink with me to the 
health of the regent. ' ' 

"Monsieur," said Laval, "I am no longer thirsty." 

"I believe it; you have just drunk some wine from his 
highness 's cellar." 

"From the regent's?" 

"He sent it to me yesterday, knowing that I was to 
have the pleasure of your company." 

"In that case," said Brigand, throwing the contents of 
his glass upon the floor, "no more poison." 

"Oh!" said Malezieux, "I did not know you were such 
a fanatic for the good cause." 

"You were wrong to spill it, abb^," said Eichelieu, 
"I know that wine, and you will hardly find such out 
of the Palais Royal; if it were against your principles to 
drink it, you should have passed it to your neighbor, or 
put it back in the bottle. 'Vinum in amphoram,' said 
my schoolmaster." 

"M. le Due," said Brigand, "you do not know Latin as 
well as Spanish. ' ' 

"I know French still less, and I want to learn it." 

"Oh! that would be long and tedious; better get ad- 
mitted into the Academy, it would be far easier." 

"And do you speak Spanish?" asked Richelieu of De 

"Report says, monsieur, that I am here for the abuse 
of that tongue." 


"Monsieur," said tlie governor, "if you return to politics 
I must leave the table. " 

"Then," said Richelieu, "tell Mademoiselle de Launay 
to talk mathematics ; that will not frighten any one. ' ' 

Mademoiselle de Launay started; she had been carrying 
on a conversation with Dumesnil, which had been greatly 
exciting the jealousy of Maison- Rouge, who was in love 
with her. 

When dinner was over, the governor conducted each 
guest back to his own room, and when it came to Gaston's 
turn he asked M. Delaunay if he could have some razors, 
instruments which appeared necessary in a place where such 
elegant company was assembled. 

"Monsieur le Chevalier," said the governor, "I am dis- 
tressed to refuse you a thing of which I see the necessity; 
but it is against the rules for gentlemen to shave themselves 
unless they have special permission from the lieutenant of 
police. No doubt you will obtain the permission if you 
apjoly for it." 

"But are those gentlemen whom I met here privileged, 
for they were well dressed and shaved ?" 

"No, they all had to ask permission; the Due de 
Richelieu remained for a month with a beard like a 
patriarch. ' ' 

"I find it difficult to reconcile such severity in detail 
vrith the liberty I have just seen." 

"Monsieur, I also have my privileges, which do not 
extend to giving you books, razors, or pens, but which 
allow me to invite to my table such prisoners as I choose 
to favor, always supposing that it is a favor. True, it is 
stipulated that I shall give an account of anything which 
is spoken against the government, but by preventing my 


guests from toucliing on politics, I avoid tlie necessity 
of betraying them." 

"Is it not feared, monsieur," said Gaston, "that this 
intimacy between you and your prisoners should lead to 
indulgences on your part, which might be contrary to the 
intentions of the government?" 

"I know my duty, monsieur, and keep within its strict 
limits; I receive my orders from the court, and my guests 
— who know that I have nothing to do with them — bear 
me no ill will for them. 1 hope you will do the same." 

"The precaution was not unnecessary," said Gaston, 
"for doubtless I shall not long be left in the enjoyment 
of the pleasure I have had to-day." 

"You have doubtless some protector at court?" 

' ' None, ' ' said Gaston. 

' ' Then you must trust to chance, monsieur. ' ' 

' ' I have never found it propitious. ' ' 

"The more reason that it should weary of persecuting 

' ' I am a Breton, and Bretons trust only in God. ' ' 

"Take that as my meaning when I said chance." 

Gaston retired, charmed with the manners and attentions 
of M. Delaunay. 




GASTON had already, on the preceding night, asked 
for a light, and been told that it was against the 
rules; this night he did not renew the request, 
but went quietly to bed; his morning's visit to the 
torture- room had given him a lesson in philosophy. 

Thus, rather from youthful carelessness than from force 
of will or courage, he slept quietly and soundly. 

He did not know how long he had slept when he was 
awoke by the sound of a small bell, which seemed to be 
in his room, although he could see neither bell nor ringer; 
it is true that the room was very dark, even by day, and 
doubly so at that hour. The bell, however, continued to 
sound distinctly, but with caution, as though it were afraid 
of being heard. Gaston thought the sound seemed to come 
from the chimney. 

He rose, and, approaching it gently, became convinced 
that he was right. 

Presently he heard blows struck, under the floor on 
which he stepped, at regular intervals, with some blunt 


It was evident that these were signals among the 

Gaston went to the window to raise the curtain of green 
serge which intercepted the rays of the moon, and in doing 
so he perceived an object hanging at the end of a string 
and swinging before the bars. 

"Good," said he; "it appears that I shall have occupa- 
tion; but each one in turn; regularity above all things; let 
us see what the bell wants, that was the first. ' ' 

Gaston returned to the chimney, extended his hand, and 
soon felt a string, at the end of which a bell was hanging; 
he pulled, but it resisted. 

"Good," said a voice, which came down the chimney, 
"you are there?" 

"Yes," said Gaston; "what do you want?" 

"Parbleu, I want to talk." 

"Yery well," said the chevalier, "let us talk." 

"Are you not M. de Chanlay, with whom I had the 
pleasure of dining to-day?" 

"Exactly so, monsieur." 

' ' In that case I am at your service. ' ' 

"And I at yours." 

"Then have the goodness to tell me the state of the 
Bretagne affairs." 

"You see they are in the Bastille." 

"Good," said a voice, whose joyous tone Gaston could 
hear with ease. 

"Pardon me," said Gaston, "but what interest have you 
in these affairs ?' ' 

"Why, when affairs are bad in Bretagne, they treat us 
well, and when they prosper we are treated badly; thus 
the other day, apropos of some affair, I do not know what^ 


which they pretended was connected with ours, we were 
all put in the dungeon." 

"Ah, diable!" said Gaston to himself, "if you do not 
know, I do." Then he added, aloud, "Well then, mon- 
sieur, be content, they are very bad, and that is perhaps 
the reason why we had the pleasure of dining together 
to-day. ' ' 

"Eh, monsieur, are you compromised?" 

"I fear so." 

"Keceive my excuses." 

"I beg you, on the contrary, to accept mine; but I have 
a neighbor below who is becoming impatient, and who is 
striking hard enough to break the boards of my floor; 
permit me to reply to him." 

"Do so, monsieur; if my topographical calculations are 
correct, it must be the Marquis de Pompadour. ' ' 

"It will be difiicult to ascertain." 

"Not so difficult as you suppose." 

"How so?" 

"Does he not strike in a peculiar manner?" 

"Yes; has it a meaning?" 

"Certainly; it is our method of talking without direct 
communication. ' ' 

"Have the kindness to give me the key to the vo- 
cabulary. ' ' 

"It is not difficult; every letter has a rank in the 
alphabet. ' ' 


"There are twenty-four letters." 

"I have never counted them, but no doubt you are 

"Well, one blow for A, two for B, three for C, and so on. " 

(K)— Vol. 23 


' ' I understand, but this method of communication must 
be somewhat lengthy, and I see a string at my window 
which is getting impatient. I will strike a blow or two to 
show my neighbor that I have heard him, and then attend 
to the string." 

"Go, monsieur, I beg, for if I am not mistaken that 
string is of importance to me; but first strike three blows 
on the floor — in Bastille language that means patience; the 
prisoner will then wait for a new signal." 

Gaston struck three blows with the leg of his chair, and 
the noise ceased. 

He then went to the window. 

It was not easy to reach the bars, but he at length 
succeeded in doing so and raising the string, which 
was gently pulled by some hand as a sign of acknowl- 

Gaston drew the packet — which would scarcely pass the 
bars — toward him; it contained a pot of sweetmeats and 
a book. He saw that there was something written on 
the paper which covered the pot, but it was too dark 
to read it. 

The string vibrated gently, to show that an answer 
was expected, and Gaston, remembering his neighbor's 
lesson, took a broom, which he saw in the corner, and 
struck three blows on the ceiling. 

This, it will be remembered, meant patience. 

The prisoner withdrew the string, freed from its burden. 

Gaston returned to the chimney. 

"Eh! monsieur," said he. 

•'All right, what is it?" 

"I have just received, by means of a string, a pot of 
sweets and a book." 


"Is not there something written on one of them?" 

"About the booli I do not know, but there is on the pot; 
unfortunately, it is too dark to read. ' ' 

"Wait," said the voice, "I will send a light." 

"I thought lights were forbidden." 

' ' Yes, but I have procured one. ' ' 

"Well, then, send it, for I am as impatient as you to 
know what is written to me." And Gaston, feeling cold, 
began to dress himself. 

All at once he saw a light in his chimney ; the bell came 
down again transformed into a lantern. 

This transformation was effected in the most simple 
manner; the bell turned upside down, so as to form a 
vessel, into which some oil had been poured, and in the 
oil burned a little wick. 

Gaston found this so ingenious that for a moment he 
forgot both the pot and the book. "Monsieur," said 
he to his neighbor, "may I, without indiscretion, ask 
you how you procured the different objects with which 
you fabricated this lamp?" 

"Nothing more simple, monsieur ; I asked for a 
bell, which was given me, then I saved some oil 
from my breakfasts and dinners, till I had a bottle 
full; I made wicks by unravelling one of my hand- 
kerchiefs; I picked up a pebble when I was walking 
in the yard; I made some tinder with burned linen; I 
stole some matches when I dined at the governor's; 
then I struck a light with a knife, which I possess; 
and with the aid of which I made the hole thi'ough 
which we correspond." 

"Keceive my compliments, monsieur, you are a man of 
great invention," 


"Thank you, monsieur; will you now see what book 
has been sent you, and what is written on the paper of 
the pot of sweetmeats." 

' ' Monsieur, the book is a Yirgil. ' ' 

' ' That is it — she promised it to me, ' ' cried the voice, in 
an accent of happiness which surprised the chevalier, who 
could not understand that a Yirgil should be so impatiently 

"Now," said the prisoner with the bell, "pass on, I beg, 
to the pot of sweetmeats, ' ' 

"Willingly," said Graston, and he read: 

"Monsieur le Chevalier — I hear from the lieutenant 
of the prison that you occupy the room on the first floor, 
which has a window immediately below mine. Prisoners 
should aid and help each other; eat the sweetmeats, and 
pass the Yirgil up to the Chevalier Dumesnil, whose chim- 
ney looks into the court. ' ' 

' ' That is what is expected, ' ' said the prisoner with the 
bell; "I was told at dinner to-day that I should receive 
this message." 

"Then you are the Chevalier Dumesnil?" 

"Yes, monsieur, and your humble servant." 

"I am yours," replied Graston, "I have to thank you 
for a pot of sweetmeats, and I shall not forget my 
obligation. ' ' 

"In that case, monsieur," replied the prisoner, "have 
the kindness to detach the bell, and fasten on the Yirgil 
instead. ' ' 

"But if you have not the light, you cannot read." 

"Oh, I will make another lantern." 

iQraston, who trusted to his neighbor's ingenuity, after 


tlie proofs he liad had of it, made no further difficulties; 
he took the bell, which he placed in the neck of an empty 
bottle, and fastened on the Virgil, conscientiously replacing 
a letter which fell from between the leaves. 

"Thank you, monsieur," said Dumesnil; "and now, if 
you will reply to your neighbor below ?' ' 

"You give me liberty ?" 

"Yes, monsieur; though presently I shall make an ap- 
peal to your good nature. " 

"At your orders, monsieur; you say, then, that for the 
letters—' ' 

"One blow for A; twenty- four for Z." 

"Thank you." 

The chevalier struck a blow with the handle of the 
broom, to give notice to his neighbor that he was ready 
to enter into conversation with him; it was instantly an- 
swered by another blow. 

At the end of half an hour the prisoners had succeeded 
in saying this: 

"Good evening, monsieur; what is youi' name?" 

"Thank you, monsieur; I am the Chevalier Gaston de 

"And I, the Marquis de Pompadour." 

At this moment Gaston, looking toward the window, 
saw the string shaking convulsively. 

He struck three blows, to ask for patience, and returned 
to the chimney. 

"Monsieur," said he to Dumesnil, "I beg you to re- 
member that the string at the window seems prodigiously 

"Beg her to have patience; I will attend to her 


Gaston renewed tlie signal for patience on the ceiling, 
and then returned to the chimney, and the Virgil soon 

"Monsieur," said Dumesnil, "will you have the good- 
ness to fasten the Virgil to the string? That is what 
she wants." 

Gaston had the curiosity to see if Dumesnil had replied 
to Mademoiselle de Launay. He opened the Virgil; there 
was no letter, but some words were underlined in pencil, 
and Gaston read: "Meos amores," and "Carceris oblivia 
longa. ' ' 

Gaston understood this method of correspondence, 
which consisted in underlining words which, placed to- 
gether, made sense. 

"Ah," said Gaston, fastening the book to the string, 
"it seems that I have become the postman." 

Then he sighed deeply, remembering that he had no 
means of corresponding with H^l^ne, and that she was 
entirely ignorant what had become of him. This gave 
him sympathy for the attachment of Mademoiselle de 
Launay and the Chevalier Dumesnil. He returned to the 

"Monsieur," said he, "your letter is despatched." 

' ' A thousand thanks, chevalier. Now a word more, and 
I will leave you to sleep in peace. ' ' 

"Oh, say whatever you wish, monsieur." 

"Have you spoken with the prisoner below?" 


"Who is he?" 

"The Marquis de Pompadour." 

"1 thought so. What did he say ?' ' 

•' 'Good-evening,' and asked who I was; he had mo 


time to ask more; tlie method of communication is not as 
expeditious as it is ingenious." 

"You must make a hole, and then you can trlk as 
we do." 

"What with?" 

"I will lend you my knife." 

"Thank you." 

"It will serve to amuse you at least.** 

"Give it me." 

"Here it is." 

And the knife fell at Gaston's feet. 

"Now, shall I send back the bell?" 

"Yes; for my jailers might miss it to-morrow morning, 
and you do not want light for your conversation with 
Pompadour. ' ' 

' ' No ; certainly not. ' ' 
And the bell was drawn up. 

"Now," said the chevalier, "you must have something 
to drink with your sweets, and I will send you a bottle of 
champagne. ' ' 

"Thank you," said Gaston, "do not deprive yourself of 
it; I do not care much for it," 

"Then when you have made the hole, you shall pass it 
to Pompadour, who is of a very different opinion. Stay, 
here it is." 

"Thank you, chevalier." 



And the string ascended. 

Gaston looked for the string at the window, and saw that 
it had disappeared. 

"Ah," sighed he, "the Bastille would be a palace for 


me, if my poor Helene were in Mademoiselle de Launay's 

Then lie resumed a conversation witli Pompadour, whicli 
lasted until three in the morning, and in which he told him 
that he was going to pierce a hole, that they might have 
more direct communication. 





^ r I "^HUS occupied, Gaston was more uneasy than ennuye; 
I besides, lie found another source of amusement. 
Mademoiselle de Launaj, who obtained whatever 
she liked from the lieutenant, Maison-Rouge, provided her 
request were only accompanied by a sweet smile, obtained 
paper and pens; she had sent some to Dumesnil, who had 
shared them with Gaston, with whom he still communi- 
cated, and with Richelieu, with whom also he managed to 
correspond. Then Gaston formed the idea of making some 
verses to Helene. 

On his part, the Chevalier Dumesnil made some for 
Mademoiselle de Launay, who made them in return for him, 
so that the Bastille was a true Parnassus. There was only 
Richelieu who dishonored the society by writing prose. 

Time passed, as it will pass, even in the Bastille. 

Gaston was asked if he would like to attend mass, and, 
as he was deeply religious, he had assented most gladly. 
The next day they came to fetch him. 

The mass was celebrated in a little church, having, in- 
stead of chapels, separate closets, with bull's-eye windows 
into the choir, so that they could only see the officiatmg 
priest at the moment of elevation, and he could not see the 
prisoners at all. 

Gaston saw M. de Laval and the Duo de Richelieu, who 


had apparently come to mass for the purpose of talking, 
for they knelt side by side, and kept up an incessant whis- 
pering. Monsieur de Laval appeared to have some impor- 
tant news to communicate, and kept looking at Gaston as 
though he were interested in it. As neither spoke to him, 
however, except in the way of mere salutation, he asked 
no questions. 

When the mass was over, the prisoners were taken back. 
As they crossed a dark corridor, Gaston passed a man who 
seemed to be an employe of the house. This man sought 
Gaston's hand, and slipped a paper into it, which he put 
quietly into his waistcoat pocket. 

When he was alone in his own room he eagerly took it 
out. It was written on sugar paper, with the point of a 
sharpened coal, and contained this line — "Feign illness 
from ennui." 

It seemed to Gaston that the writing was not unknown 
to him, but it was so roughly traced that it was difficult to 
recognize. He waited for the evening impatiently, that he 
might consult with the Chevalier Dumesnil. 

At night Gaston told him what had passed, asking him, 
as he had a longer acquaintance with the Bastille, what he 
thought of the advice of his unknown correspondent. 

"Ma foi, though I do not understand the advice, I 
should follow it, for it cannot hurt you; the worst that 
can happen is that they may give you less to eat." 

"But," said Gaston, "suppose they discover the illness 
to be feigned." 

"Oh! as to that," replied Dumesnil, "the doctor is en- 
tirely ignorant, and will give you whatever you may ask 
for; perhaps they will let you walk in the garden, and that 
would be a great amusement. ' ' 


Gaston consulted Mademoiselle de Launay, wliose ad- 
vice, by logic or sympathy, was the same as that of the 
chevalier; but she added, "If they diet you, let me know, 
and I will send you chicken, sweets, and Bordeaux. ' ' 

Pompadour did not reply ; the hole was not yet pierced. 

Gaston then played the sick man, did not eat what they 
sent him, relying on his neighbor's liberality. At the end 
of the second day M. Delaunay appeared; he had been told 
that Gaston was eating nothing, and he found the prisoner 
in bed, 

"Monsieur," he said, "I fear you are suffering, and have 
come to see you." 

"You are too good, monsieur," said Gaston; "it is true 
that I am suffering. ' ' 

"What is the matter?" 

"Ma foi, monsieur, I do not know that there is any 
amour propre here; I am ennuye in this place." 

"What, in four or five days?" 

' ' From the first hour. ' ' 

"What kind of ennui do you feel ?" 

"Are there several ?" 

' ' Certainly — one pines for his family. ' * 

"I have none." 

' ' For his mistress. ' ' 

Gaston sighed. 

"For one's country." 

"Yes," said Gaston, "it is that," seeing that he must 
say something. 

The governor appeared to reflect. 

"Monsieur," said he, "since I have been governor of the 
Bastille, my only agreeable moments have been those in 
which I have been of service to the gentlemen confided to 


my care by tlie king. I am ready to do anytliing foi you 
if you will promise to be reasonable. ' ' 

"I promise you, monsieur." 

"I can put you in communication witb one of your 
compatriots, or at least witb a man wlio seems to know 
Bretagne perfectly." 

"Is lie a prisoner?" 

"Like yourself." 

A vague sentiment passed tbrougli Gaston's mind that 
it must be this man wbo bad slipped the note into bis band. 
"I should be very grateful if you would do this," said be. 

"Well, to-morrow you shall see him; but as I am recom- 
mended to be strict with him, you can only remain with 
bim an hour, and, as be may not quit his chamber, you 
must go to him." 

"As you please, monsieur," said Gaston. 

"Then it is decided; at five o'clock expect me or the 
major; but it is on one condition." 

"What is it?" 

' ' That in consideration of this distraction you will eat a 
little to-day." 

"I will try." 

Gaston ate a little chicken and drank a little wine to 
keep his promise. 

In the evening he told Dumesnil what had passed. 

"Ma foi," said he, "you are lucky; the Count de Laval 
had the same idea, and all be got was to be put into a room 
in the tower Du Tresor, where he said he was dreadfully 
dull, and had no amusement but speaking to the prison 
apothecary. ' ' 

"Diablel" said Gaston, "why did you not tell me that 


"I had forgotten it." 

This tardy recollection somewhat troubled Gaston; 
placed as he was between Pompadour, Dumesnil, and 
Mademoiselle de Launay, his position was tolerable; if 
he were to be removed, he would be really attacked by 
the malady he had feigned. 

At the appointed time the major of the Bastille came, 
and led Graston across several courts, and they stopped at 
the tower Du Tresor. Every tower had its separate 

In the room number one was a prisoner asleep on a fold- 
ing bed, with his back turned to the light; the remains of 
his dinner were by him on a worn-out wooden table, and 
his costume, torn in many places, indicated a man of low 

"Ouais," said Gaston, "did they think that I was so 
fond of Bretagne that any fellows who happened to have 
been born at Nismes or at Penmarch may be raised to the 
rank of my Pylades ? No, this fellow is too ragged, and 
seems to eat too much; but as one must not be too capri- 
cious in prison, let us make use of the hour. I will recount 
my adventure to Mademoiselle de Launay, and she will put 
it into verse for the Chevalier Dumesnil. ' ' 

Gaston was now alone with the prisoner, who yawned 
and turned in his bed. 

"Ugh! how cold it is in this cursed Bastille," said he, 
rubbing his nose. 

"That voice, that gesture — it is he!" said Gaston, and 
he approached the bed. 

' ' What, ' ' cried the prisoner, sitting up in bed and look- 
ing at Gaston, "you here, M. de Chanlay?" 

"Captain La Jonqui^re!" cried Gaston. 


"Myself — tliat is to say, I am the person you name; but 
my name is clianged. ' 

"To what?" 

"First Tresor." 


"First Tresor. It is a custom in the Bastille for the 
prisoner to take the name of his room — that saves the turn- 
key the trouble of remembering names; however, if the 
Bastille be full, and two or three j)risoners in the same 
room, they take two numbers; for example: I am first 
Tresor, if you were put here you would be first Tresor 
number two ; another would be first Tresor number 
three. The jailers have a kind of Latin literature for 

"Yes, I understand," said Gaston, watching La Jon- 
qui^re intently; "then you are a prisoner?" 

' ' Parbleu, you see for yourself ; I presume we are neither 
of us here for pleasure. ' ' 

"Then we are discovered." 

"I am afraid so." 

"Thanks to you." 

"How to me?" cried La Jonqui^re, feigning surprise. 
*'Ko jokes, I beg." 

"You have made revelations, traitor!" 

"I! come, come, young man, you are mad; you ought 
not to be in the Bastille, but in the Petites Maisons. ' ' 

"Do not deny it, M. d'Argenson told me!" 

"D'Argenson. Pardieu, the authority is good; and do 
you know what he told me ?' ' 


"That you had denounced me." 



"Well; what tlien ? Are we to cut each, other's throats 
because the police has followed out its trade and lied ?" 

"But how could he discover?" 

"I ask the same of you. But one thing is certain; if 
I had told anything, I should not be here. You have not 
seen much of me, but you ought to know that I should 
not be fool enough to give information gratis; revelations 
are bought and sold, monsieur, and I know that Dubois 
pays high for them." 

' ' Perhaps you are right, ' ' said Gaston ; ' ' but at least let 
Tis bless the chance which brings us together. ' ' 


' ' You do not appear enchanted, nevertheless. ' ' 

"I am only moderately so, I confess." 


"Ah, monsieur, how bad-tempered you are." 


"Yes; you are always getting angry. I like my soli- 
tude; that does not speak." 


"Again. Now listen. Do you believe, as you say, that 
chance has brought us together ?" 

"What should it be?" 

"Some combination of our jailers — of D'Argenson's, or 
perhaps Dubois's." 

"Did you not write to me ?" t 


"Telling me to fain illness from ennui." 

' ' And how should I have written ? — on what ? — by 

Graston reflected; and this time it was La Jonquiere 
who watched him. 


"Then," said the captain, presently, "I think, on the 
contrary, that it is to you we owe the pleasure of meeting 
in the Bastille. ' ' 

"To me, monsieur?" 

"Yes, chevalier; you are too confiding. I give you that 
information in case you leave here; but more particularly 
in case you remain here. ' ' 

"Thank you." 

' ' Have you noticed if you were followed ?' ' 


"A conspirator should never look before, but always 
behind him." 

Gaston confessed that he had not taken this precaution. 

' ' And the duke, ' ' asked La Jonqui^re, "is he arrested ?' ' 

' ' I know not ; I was going to ask you. ' ' 

' ' Peste ! that is disagreeable. You took a young woman 
to him?" 

"You know that?" 

' ' Ah ! my dear fellow, everything becomes known. Did 
not she give the information? Ah! woman, woman!" 

"This was a brave girl, monsieur; I would answer for 
her discretion, courage, and devotion." 

"Yes, I understand. We love her — so she is honey and 
gold. What an idea of a conspiracy you must have to take 
a woman to the chief of the plot!" 

"But I told her nothing; and she could know no secrets 
of mine but such as she may have surprised." 

"She has a keen eye." 

"And if she knew my projects, I am convinced she 
would never have spoken." 

"Oh, monsieur, without counting her natural disposition 
to that exercise, can we not always make a woman speak ? 


Some one might have said, without any preparation, 'Your 
love for M. de Chanlay will lose your head' — I will wager 
that she will speak. ' ' 

"There is no danger — she loves me too much." 

"That is the very reason, pardieu! that she would 
chatter like a magpie, and that we are both caged up. 
However, let us drop this. What do you do here?" 

"Amuse myself." 

"Amuse yourself — how ?" 

"With making verses, eating sweets, and making holes 
in the floor. ' ' 

"Holes in the king's boards?" said La Jonqui^re. "Oh, 
oh! that is good to know. Does not M. Delaunay scold?" 

"He does not know it; besides, I am not singular — 
everybody makes a hole in something; one his floor, the 
other his chimney, the next his wall. Do you not make 
holes in something?" 

La Jonqui^re looked to see if Graston were not laughing 
at him. 

"But now, monsieur," said La Jonqui^re, "let us speak 
seriously. Are you condemned to death ?' ' 


"Yes, you." 

"You say that coolly." 

"It is a habit in the Bastille. There are twenty here 
condemned to death, and not a bit the worse for it." 

' ' I have been interrogated. ' ' 

"Ah! you see." 

"But I do not believe I am condemned." . 

"That will come." 

"My dear captain, do you know that, although you do 
not look so, you are marvellously merry ?" 


"You tliinkso?" 


"Does it astonish you ?" 

"I did not know you were so brave." 

"Then you would regret life ?" 

"I confess it; I only want one thing to make me happy, 
and that is to live. ' ' 

' ' And you became a conspirator with a chance of hap- 
piness before you ? I do not understand you ; I thought 
people conspired from despair, as they marry when they 
have no other resource." 

"When I joined the conspiracy I did not love." 

"And afterward?" 

"I would not draw back. " 

"Bravo! that is what I call character. Have you been 

"No; but I had a narrow escape." 

"Then you will be." 

"Why so?" 

"Because I have been; and it would be unfair to treat 
us differently. Look at the state of my clothes." 

' ' Which did they give you ?' ' asked Gaston, shuddering 
at the recollection of what had passed between D' Argenson 
and himself. 

"The water. They made me drink a barrel and a half; 
my stomach was like a bladder; I did not think I could 
have held so much." 

"And did you suffer much?" asked Gaston, with 

"Yes; but my temperament is robust — the next day I 
thought no more of it. It is true that since then I have 
drunk a great deal of wine. If you have to choose, select 


tlie water — it cleans. All the mixtures doctors give us are 
only a means of making us swallow water. Fangon says 
the best doctor he ever heard of was Doctor Sangrado; he 
only existed in Le Sage's brain, or he would have done 
miracles. ' ' 

"You know Fangon?" asked Gaston, surprised. 

"By reputation; besides, I have read his works. But 
do you intend to persist in saying nothing?" 


"You are right. I should tell you, if you regret life so 
much as you say, to whisper a few words to M. d' Argenson, 
but he is a talker who would reveal your confession. ' ' 

"I will not speak, be assured; these are points on which 
I do not need strengthening." 

"I believe it; pardieu! you seem to me like Sardana- 
palus in your tower. Here I have only M. de Laval, who 
takes medicine three times a day — it is an amusement he 
has invented. Well, tastes differ; and perhaps he wants 
to get accustomed to the water." 

"But did you not say I should certainly be condemned ?" 

"Do you wish to know the whole truth ?" 


"Well, D' Argenson told me that you were." 

Gaston turned pale, in spite of his courage. La Jon- 
qui^re remarked it. 

"However," said he, "I believe you might save your- 
self by certain revelations." 

"Why, do you think I should do what you refused?" 

"Our characters and our positions are different. I am 
no longer young — I am not in love — I do not leave a mis- 
tress in tears. ' ' 

Gaston sighed. 


"YoTi see there is a great difference between us; when 
did you ever hear me sigh like that ?' ' 

"Ah! i£ I die, his excellency will take care of H^l^ne." 

"And if he be arrested ?" 

' ' You are right. ' ' 


' ' God will protect her. ' ' 

"Decidedly you are young," said La Jonqui^re. 

■ "Suppose his excellency be not arrested?" 


"What age is he?" 

"Forty- five or six, I suppose." 

"And if he fell in love with Heldne; is not that her 

"The duke fall in love with her! he to whose protection 
I confided her! It would be infamous!" 

"The world is full of infamy; that is how it gets on." 

"Oh, I will not dwell on such a thought." 

"I do not tell you to dwell on it; I only suggested it for 
you to make what use you liked of. ' ' 

"Hush," said Graston, "some one is coming." 

"Have you asked for anything ?" 


"Then the time allowed for your visit is out," and La 
Jonqui^re threw himself quickly on his bed. 

The bolts creaked, the door opened, and the governor 

"Well, monsieur," said he to Gaston; " does your com- 
panion suit you?" 

"Yes, particularly as I know Captain La Jonqui^re." 

"That makes my task more delicate; but, however, I 


made you an offer, and I will not draw back. I will 
permit one visit daily, at any hour you please: shall it 
be morning or evening?" 

Gaston looked at La Jonqui6re. 

"Say five in the evening," said La Jonqui^re, quickly. 

"Li the evening at five o'clock, if you please." 

"The same as to-day, then?" 


"It shall be as you desire, monsieur." 

Gaston and La Jonqui^re exchanged a glance, and the 
chevalier was taken back to his chamber. 





T WAS half-past six, and quite dai'k; the chevalier's 
first act on being left in his room was to run to 
the chimney. 

' ' Chevalier, ' ' said he. : 

Dumesnil replied. 

' ' I have paid mj visit. ' ' 
, "Well?" 

"I have found an acquaintance, if not a friend." ] 

' ' A new prisoner ?" s 

' ' Of the same date as myself. ' ' 

"His name?" 

' ' Captain La Jonqui^re. ' ' 


' ' Do you know him ?' ' 


"Then do me a favor: what is he?" 

"Oh, an enemy of the regent's." 

"Are you sure?" 

"Quite; he was in our conspiracy, and only withdrew 
because we preferred abduction to assassination. ' ' 

"Then he was-?" 

"For assassination." U 

"That is it," murmured Gaston; "he is a man to be 
trusted. ' ' 


"If it be tlie same I mean, he lives in tlie Rue Bour- 
donnais, at the Muicls d' Amour." 

"The same." 

"Then he is a safe man." 

"That is well, " said Graston, "for he holds the lives of 
four brave gentlemen in his hands. ' ' 

"Of whom you are one." 

"No, I put myself aside, for it seems all is over with 

"How all is over?" 

' ' Yes, I am condemned. ' ' 

"To what?" 

"To death." 

There was a moment's silence. 

"Impossible!" cried the Chevalier Dumesnil, at length. 

"Why impossible?" 

"Because, if I be not mistaken, your affair is attached 
to ours." 

"It follows on it." 



"Our affairs prospering, yours cannot go wrong." 

"And who says yours are prospering?" 

"Listen, for with you I will have no secrets." 

"I am listening." 

' ' Mademoiselle de Launay wrote me this yesterday. She 
was walking with Maison- Rouge, who, as you know, loves 
her, and at whom we both laugh, but who is useful to us. 
On pretext of illness, she asked, as you did, for a doctor; 
he told her that the prison doctor was at her orders. I 
must tell you that we have known this doctor intimately; 
his name is Herment. 


' ' However, she did not hope to get much out of him, for 
he is a timid man ; but when he entered the garden where 
she was walking, and gave her a consultation in the open 
air, he said to her, 'Hope!' In the mouth of any one else 
this would have been nothing — in his it was a vast deal; 
since we are told to hope, you have nothing to fear, as our 
affairs are intimately connected." 

"However," said Gaston, "La Jonqui^re seemed sure 
of what he said." 

At this moment Pompadour knocked. 

Gaston went to the hole, which, with the aid. of his 
knife, he soon made practicable. 

"Ask the Chevalier Dumesnil if he does not know 
anything more from Mademoiselle de Launay." 

"About what?" 

"One of us; I overheard some words between the gov- 
ernor and the major at my door: they were, 'condemned 
to death.' " 

Gaston shuddered. 

"Be easy, marquis; I believe they spoke of me." 

"Diable! that would not make me easy at all; first, 
because we have quickly become friends^ and I should be. 
grieved if anything were to happen to you; and secondly, 
because what happened to you might well happen to us, 
our affairs being so similar." 

"And you believe that Mademoiselle de Launay could 
remove your doubts." 

' ' Yes, her windows look on the arsenal. ' ' 


' ' She would have seen if there were anything new going 
on there to-day." 

"Ah! she is striking now." 


At tliat moment Mademoiselle de Launay struck two 
blows, which meant attention. 

Gaston replied by one, wbicb meant that he was 

Then he went to the window. 

A minute after, the string appeared with a letter. 

Gaston took the letter, and went to the hole to Pom- 

"Well ?" said the marquis. 

"A letter," replied Gaston. 

"What does she say?" 

"I cannot see, but I will send it to Dumesnil, who will 
read it." 

"Make haste." 

"Pardon," said Gaston, "I am as anxious as you"; and 
he ran to the chimney. 

"The string!" he cried. 

"You have a letter?" 

"Yes; have you a light ?" 


' ' Lower the string. ' ' 

Gaston tied on the letter, which was drawn up. 

" It is for you and not for me, ' ' said Dumesnil. 

"Never mind, read it, and tell me what it is; I have no 
light, and it would lose time to send me one. ' ' 

"You permit me?" 


A moment's silence. 

"Well?" said Gaston. 


"Bad news, is it not?" 

"Judge for yourself." And Dumesnil read: 

CL)— Vol. 23 


"My dear Neighbor — Some judge extraordinary has 
arrived at the arsenal this evening. I recognized D'Ar- 
genson's livery. We shall know more soon, when I see 
the doctor. A thousand remembrances to Dumesnil. " 

"That is what La Jonqui^re told me; it is I that am 
condemned. ' ' 

"Bah, chevalier," said Dumesnil; "you are too easily 
alarmed. ' ' 

"Not at all. I know well what to think, and then 


"Silence; some one is coming." And Gaston went 
away from the chimney. 

The door opened, and the major and lieutenant, with 
four soldiers, came for Graston, who followed them. 

"I am lost," murmured he. "Poor H^l^ne!" 

And he raised his head with the intrepidity of a brave 
man, who, knowing death was near, went boldly to 
meet it. 

"Monsieur," said D'Argenson, "your crime has been 
examined by the tribunal of which I am the president. 
In the preceding sittings you were permitted to defend 
yourself; if you were not granted advocates, it was not 
with the intention of inquiring your defence, but, on the 
contrary, because it was useless to give you the extreme 
indulgence of a tribunal charged to be severe." 

"I do not understand you." 

"Then I will be more explicit. Discussion would have 
made one thing evident, even in the eyes of your defenders 
— that you are a conspirator and an assassin. How could 
you suppose that, with these points established, indulgence 


would be shown you? But liere you are before us; every 
facility will be given for your justification. If you ask a 
delay, you shall have it. If you wish researches, they shall 
be made. If you speak, you have the reply, and it will 
not be refused you." 

"I understand, and thank the tribunal for this kind- 
ness," replied Graston. "The excuse it gives me for the 
absence of a defender seems sufficient. I have not to 
defend myself." 

"Then you do not wish for witnesses, delays or docu- 

"I wish my sentence — that is all." 

"Do not be obstinate, chevalier; make some con- 
fessions. ' ' 

"I have none to make, for in all my interrogatories 
you have not made one precise accusation." 

"And you wish — " 

"Certainly — I should like to know of what I am 
accused. ' ' 

"I will tell you. You came to Paris, appointed by 
the republican committee of Nantes, to assassinate the 
regent. You were referred to one La Jonqui^re, your 
accomplice, now condemned with you." 

Gaston felt that he turned pale at these true accusations. 
"This might be true, monsieur," said he, "but you could 
not know it. A man who wishes to commit such a deed 
does not confess it till it be accomplished. ' ' 

"No; but his accomplices confess for him." 

"That is to say, that La Jonqui^re denounces me." 

"I do not refer to La Jonqui^re, but the others." 

"The others!" cried Gaston; "are there, then, others 
arrested besides La Jonqui^re and myself?" 


"Yes. Messieurs de Pontcalec, de Talhouet, du Couedic, 
and de Montlouis. ' ' 

" I do not understand, ' ' said Gaston, with a vague feel- 
ing of terror — not for himself, but for his friends. 

"What! do you not understand that Messieurs de Pont- 
calec, de Talhouet, du Couedic, and de Montlouis are now 
being tried at Nantes?" 

"Arrested!" cried Graston, "impossible!" 

"Yes," said D'Argenson, "you thought that the prov- 
ince would revolt rather than allow its defenders — as you 
rebels call yourselves — to be arrested. Well, the province 
has said nothing. The province has gone on singing, laugh- 
ing, and dancing, and is already asking where they will be 
beheaded, in order to hire windows." 

"I do not believe you, monsieur," said Graston, coldly. 

"Grive me that portfolio," said D'Argenson to a man 
standing behind him. "Here, monsieur," continued he, 
"are the writs of arrest. Do you doubt their authenticity ?" 

"That does not say that they have accused me." 

' ' They told all we wanted to know, and your culpability 
is the result." 

"In that case, if they have told all you want to know, 
you have no need of my confession. ' ' 

"Is that your final answer?" 


' ' Officer, read the sentence. ' ' 

The officer read — 

"As the result of the investigation commenced on the 
19th of February, that M. Gaston de Chanlay came from 
Nantes to Paris with the intention of committing the crime 
of murder on the person of his royal highness Monseigneur 
the Eegent of France, which was to have been followed by 


a revolt against the authority of the king, the extraordi- 
nary commission instituted to inquire into this crime has 
adjudged the Chevalier Graston de Chanlay worthy of the 
punishment for high treason, the person of the regent being 
as inviolable as that of the king. In consequence — We 
ordain that the Chevalier Graston de Chanlay be degraded 
from all his titles and dignities; that he and his posterity 
be declared ignoble in perpetuity; that his goods be con- 
fiscated, his woods cut down to the height of six feet from 
the ground, and he himself beheaded on the Gr^ve, or 
wheresoever it shall please the provost to appoint, saving 
his majesty's pardon." 

Gaston was pale, but still as marble. "And when am I 
to be executed ?" asked he. 

"As soon as it may please his majesty." 

Gaston felt a cloud pass before his eyes, and his ideas 
became confused; but this soon vanished, and the serenity 
of his bearing returned; the blood rushed back to his 
cheeks, and a contemptuous smile settled on his lips. 

"It is well, monsieur," said he; "at whatever moment 
his majesty's order may arrive, it will find me prepared; 
but I wish to know whether I may not see some persons 
who are very dear to me before I die, and I wish to ask a 
favor of the king." 

D'Argenson's eyes glistened with malignant joy. "Mon- 
sieur, ' ' said he, "I told you that you would be treated with 
indulgence. You might therefore have spoken sooner, and 
perhaps his highness 's kindness might not have waited for 
a prayer." 

"You mistake me, monsieur," said Gaston, with dig- 
nity; "neither his majesty's honor nor mine will suffer 
from the favor which I shall ask." 


"What would you ask?" said D'Argenson; "speak, 
and I will tell you at once if tkere be a cliance of your 
request being granted." 

"I ask, first, that my titles and dignities — wliicb are not 
very great — should not be cancelled, as I bave no posterity. 
I am alone in tbe world; my name only survives me; but 
as that name is only noble, and not illustrious, it would not 
survive long." 

"This is quite a royal favor, monsieur. His majesty 
alone can and will reply. Is tbat all you wisb to ask ?" 

"No; I liave another request to make, but I do not 
know to wliom I should apply." 

"First to me, monsieur, in my character of lieutenant 
of police. I shall see if I can grant it, or if I must refer 
it to his majesty." 

"Well, then, monsieur, I desire to see Mademoiselle 
Helene de Chaverny, ward of his excellency the Due d'Oli- 
vares, and also the duke himself." 

D'Argenson, at this request, made a singular gesture, 
which Gaston interpreted as one of hesitation. 

"Monsieur," said Gaston, "I would see them in any 
place, and for as short a time as may be thought advisable. ' ' 

"You shall see them," said D'Argenson. 

"Ah! monsieur," said Gaston, stepping forward as 
though to take his hand, "you lay me under the greatest 
obligation. ' ' 

"On one condition, however, monsieur." 

"What is it? there is no condition compatible with my 
honor that I will not accept in exchange for so great a 

"You must tell no one of your condemnation, and this 
on your word as a gentleman. ' ' 



"I accede to that all the more willingly," said Gaston, 
"as one of the persons named would certainly die if she 
knew of it." 

"Then all is well; have yon anything further to say ?" 

"Nothing, monsieur, except to beg that you will record 
my denials." 

"They are already firmly attached. Officer, hand the 
papers to Monsieur de Chanlay, that he may read and sign 

Gaston sat down by a table, and, while D' Argenson and 
the judges chatted around him, he carefully perused the 
papers and the report of his own answers to the interroga- 
tory — then, finding all correct, he signed. 

"Monsieur," said he, "here are the documents. Shall 
I have the pleasure of seeing you again ?' ' 

"I do not think so," said D' Argenson, with that bru- 
tality which was the terror of those who were subjected 
to him. 

' ' Then to our meeting in another world, monsieur. ' ' 

The major led Gaston to his own room. 




WHEN Gaston returned to liis room, lie was obliged 
to answer the questions of Dumesnil and Pompa- 
dour, who were waiting to hear news from him ; 
but, in compliance with his promise made to D'Argenson, 
he did not mention his sentence, but simply announced a 
severer interrogatory than before ; and as he wished to write 
some letters, he asked Dumesnil for a light. Dumesnil sent 
him a candle : things were progressing, it may be remarked ; 
Maison-Eouge could refuse nothing to Mademoiselle de 
Launay, and she shared all with Dumesnil, who, in his 
turn, again shared with his neighbors, Gaston and Eichelieu. 

Gaston doubted whether, in spite of D' Argenson's prom- 
ise, he would be allowed to see H^l^ne, but he knew that 
at least he should see a priest before he died; there could 
be no doubt that the priest would forward two letters 
for him. 

As he began to write. Mademoiselle de Launay made a 
signal that she had something to send him; it was a letter. 
Gaston read: 

"Our friend — for you are our friend, and now we have 
no secrets from you — tell Dumesnil of the famous hope I 
conceived after the word that Herment said to me. ' ' 

Gaston's heart beat. Might not he also find in this let- 


ter some ground for hope ? Had they not said that his 
fate could not be separated from the others ? It is true 
that those who had said so did not know of his conspiracy. 

He read on — 

' ' An hour ago the doctor came, accompanied by Maison- 
Kouge; from the latter's manner I drew the most favorable 
augury ; however, when I asked to speak in private, or, at 
least, to whisper to the doctor, he made some difficulties, 
which I removed with a smile. 'At least,' said he, 'no one 
must know that I am out of hearing. I should lose my 
place if it were known how weak I am. ' This tone of love 
and interest combined seemed to me so grotesque that I 
laughingly promised him what he asked; you see how I 
keep my promise. He went to a distance, and Herment 
approached. Then commenced a dialogue, wherein the 
gestures meant one thing while the voice declared another. 
'You have good friends,' said Herment; 'friends in good 
places, who are greatly interested for you.' I naturally 
thought of Madame du Maine. 'Ah, monsieur,' I cried, 
'have you anything for me?' 'Hush,' said Herment. 
Judge how my heart beat." 

Gaston felt his own beating vigorously. 

" 'And what have you to give me?' 'Oh, nothing my- 
self; but you will have the object agreed upon.' 'But 
what is the object? Speak!' 'The beds in the Bastille 
are known to be bad, and particularly badly covered, and 
I am commissioned to offer you — ' 'What ?' 'A coverlet. ' 
I burst out laughing; the devotion of my friends was shown 
in preventing my catching cold. 'My dear Monsieur Her- 
ment,' said I, 'in my present position it would be better if 
my friends were to occupy themselves less about my feet 
and more about my head. ' ' It is a female friend, ' said he. 


•Who is it?' 'Mademoiselle de Charolais,' said Herment, 
lowering his voice so that I could scarcely hear him. Then 
he withdrew. I, my dear chevalier, am now waiting for 
Mademoiselle de Charolais' s coverlet. Tell this to Du- 
mesnil ; it will make him laugh. ' ' 

Gaston sighed. The gayety of those around him weighed 
heavily on his heart. It was a new torture which they had 
invented, in forbidding him to confide his fate to any one; 
it seemed to him that he should have found consolation in 
the tears of his two neighbors. He had not the courage to 
read the letter to Dumesnil, so he passed it on to him, and 
a moment after heard shouts of laughter. 

At this moment Gaston was saying adieu to Hdl^ne. 

After passing a part of the night in writing, he slept; 
at five- and- twenty one must sleep, even if it be just before 

In the morning Gaston's breakfast was brought at the 
usual hour, but he remarked that it was more rechercM than 
usual; he smiled at this attention, and as he was finishing 
the governor entered. 

Gaston with a rapid glance interrogated his expression, 
which was calm and courteous as ever. Was he also 
ignorant of the sentence, or was he wearing a mask? 

"Monsieur," said he, "will you take the trouble to de- 
scend to the council chamber?" 

Gaston rose. He seemed to hear a buzzing in his ears, 
for to a man condemned to death every injunction which he 
does not understand is a torture. 

"May I know the reason, monsieur?" asked Gaston, in 
so calm a tone that it was impossible to detect his real 

"To receive a visit," replied the governor. "Yesterday, 


after the interrogatory, did you not ask the lieutenant of 
police to be allowed to see some one?" 

Gaston started. 

"And is it that person ?" asked he. 

"Yes, monsieur." 

Graston had asked for two persons; the governor only 
announced one ; which one was it ? He had n j the courage 
to ask, and silently followed the governor. 

Delaunay led Gaston to the council chamber; on enter- 
ing, he cast an eager glance around, but the room was 

"Eemain here, monsieur; the person whom you expect 
is coming, ' ' said the governor, who bowed and went out. 

Gaston ran to the window, which was barred, and looked 
out — there was a sentinel before it. 

The door opened, and Gaston, turning round, faced the 
Due d'Olivares. 

"Ah, monsieur," cried he, "how good of you to come 
at the request of a poor prisoner." 

"It was a duty," replied the duke; "besides, I had to 
thank you." 

"Me!" said Gaston, astonished; "what have I done to 
merit your excellency's thanks?" 

"You have been interrogated, taken to the torture 
chamber, given to understand that you might save your- 
self by naming your accomplices, and yet you kept silence. " 

"I made an engagement and kept it; that does not de- 
serve any thanks, monseigneur. " 

"And now, monsieur, tell me if I can serve you in 
anything. ' ' 

"First, tell me about yourself; have you been molested, 


"Not at all: and if all tlie Bretons are as discreet as 
you, I doubt not tliat my name will never be mentioned 
in tbese unfortunate debates." 

"Oh, I will answer for tbem as for myself, monseigneur; 
but can you answer for La Jonqui^re ?" 

"La Jonqui^re!" repeated the duke. 

"Yes. Do you not know that he is arrested?" 

"Yes; I heard something of it." 

"Well, I ask you, monseigneur, what you think of him?" 

"I can tell you nothing, except that he has my con- 
fidence. ' ' 

"If so, he must be worthy of it, monseigneur. That 
is all I wished to know. ' ' 

"Then come to the request you had to make." 

"Have you seen the young girl I brought to your 

"Mademoiselle Hellne de Chaverny? Yes." 

"Well, monsieur, I had not time to tell you then, but 
I tell you now, that I have loved her for a year. The 
dream of that year has been to consecrate my life to her 
happiness. I say the dream, monseigneur; for, on awak- 
ing, I saw that all hope of happiness was denied me; and 
yet, to give this young girl a name, a position, a fortune, 
at the moment of my arrest she was about to become 
my wife." 

"Without the knowledge of her parents or the consent 
of her family ?' ' cried the duke. 

' ' She had neither, monseigneur ; and was probably about 
to be sold to some nobleman when she left the person who 
had been set to watch her. ' ' 

"But who informed you that Mademoiselle H^l^ne de 
Chaverny was to be the victim of a shameful bargain?" 


"What slie herself told me of a pretended father, who 
concealed himself; of diamonds which had been offered to 
her. Then, do you know where I found her, monseigneur ? 
In one of those houses destined to the pleasures of our 
roues. She, an angel of innocence and purity! In short, 
monseigneur, this young girl fled with me, in spite of the 
cries of her duenna, in broad daylight, and in the face 
of the servants who surrounded her. She stayed two hours 
alone with me; and, though she is as pure as on the day 
when she received her mother's first kiss, she is not the 
less compromised. I wish this projected marriage to take 
place. ' ' 

"In your situation, monseigneur?" 

' ' A still greater reason. ' ' 

"But perhaps you may deceive yourself as to the punish- 
ment reserved for you. ' ' 

"It is probably the same which, under similar circum- 
stances, was inflicted on the Count de Cbalais, the Marquis 
de Cinq-Mars, and the Chevalier Louis de Kohan. " 

"Then you are prepared even for death, monsieur?" 

"I prepared for it from the day I joined the conspiracy: 
the conspirator's only excuse is, that, while robbing others 
of their lives, he risks his own. ' ' 

"And what will this young girl gain by the marriage?" 

"Monseigneur, though not rich, I have some fortune; 
she is poor; I have a name, and she has none. I would 
leave her my name and fortune; and with that intention 
I have already petitioned the king that my goods may not 
be confiscated, nor my name declared infamous. Were it 
known for what reason I ask this, it would doubtless be 
granted; if I die without making her my wife, she will 
be supposed to be my mistress, and will be dishonored, 


lost, and there will be no future for her. If, on the con- 
trary, by your protection, or that of your friends (and that 
protection I earnestly implore), we are united, no one can 
reproach her — the blood which flows for a political offence 
does not disgrace a family — no shame will fall on my 
widow; and if she cannot be happy, she will at least be 
independent and respected. This is the favor which I have 
to ask, monseigneur; is it in your power to obtain it 
for me?" 

The duke went to the door and struck three blows: 
Maison-Eouge appeared. 

"Ask M. Delaunay, from me," said the duke, "whether 
the young girl who is at the door in my carriage may come 
in ? Her visit, as he knows, is authorized. You will have 
the kindness to conduct her here. ' ' 

"What! monseigneur; Helene is here — at the door?" 

"Were you not promised that she should come ?" 

"Yes; but seeing you alone, I lost all hope." 

' ' I wished to see you first, thinking that j^ou might have 
many things to say which you would not wish her to hear; 
for I know all. ' ' 

"You know all! What do you mean ?" 

"I know that you were taken to the arsenal yester- 


"I know that you found D'Argenson there, and that he 
read your sentence. ' ' 

"Mon Dieu!" 

' ' I know that you are condemned to death, and that you 
were bound not to speak of it to any one. 

' ' Oh, monseigneur, silence ! One word of this would kill 


"Be easy, monsieur; but let us see; is there no way of 
avoiding this execution ?" 

"Days would be necessary to prepare and execute a plan 
of escape, and I scarcely have hours." 

"I do not speak of escape; I ask if you have no excuse 
to give for your crime ?" 

"My crime!" cried Gaston, astonished to hear his ac- 
complice use such a word. 

"Yes," replied the duke; "you know that men stigma- 
tize murder with this name under all circumstances; but 
posterity often judges differently, and sometimes calls it 
a grand deed. ' ' 

"I have no excuse to give, monseigneur, except that 
I believe the death of the regent to be necessary to the 
salvation of France." 

"Yes," replied the duke, smiling; "but you will see 
that that is scarcely the excuse to offer to Philippe d' Or- 
leans. I wanted something personal. Political enemy of 
the regent's as I am, I know that he is not considered 
a bad man. Men say that he is merciful, and that there 
have been no executions during his reign." 

"You forget Count Horn." 

' ' He was an assassin. ' ' 

"And what am I?" 

"There is this difference: Count Horn murdered in order 
to rob." 

' ' I neither can nor will ask anything of the regent, said 

' ' Not you personally, I know ; but your friends. If they 
had a plausible pretence to offer, perhaps the prince him- 
self might pardon you." 

"I have none, monseigneur." 


"It is impossible, monsieur — permit me to say so. 
A resolution sucli as you have taken must proceed from 
a sentiment of some kind — either of hatred or vengeance. 
And stay; I remember you told La Jonqui^re, who re- 
peated it to me, that there was a family feud: tell me 
the cause." 

"It is useless, monseigneur, to tire you with that; it 
would not interest you." 

"Never mind, tell it me." 

"Well, the regent killed my brother." 

' ' The regent killed your brother ! how so ? It is — im- 
possible, Monsieur de Chanlay," said the Due d'Olivares. 

' ' Yes, killed ; if from the effect we go to the cause. ' ' 

"Explain yourself; how could the regent do this?" 

"My brother, who, being fifteen years of age when my 
father died, three months before my birth, stood to me in 
the place of that father, and of mother, who died when 
I was still in the cradle — my brother loved a young girl 
who was brought up in a convent by the orders of the 
prince. ' ' 

"Do you know in what convent?" 

' ' No ; I only know that it was at Paris. ' ' 

The duke murmured some words which Graston could 
not hear. 

"My brother, a relation of the abbess, had seen this 
young girl and asked her hand in marriage. The prince's 
consent to this union had been asked, and he made a pre- 
tence of granting it, when this young girl, seduced by 
her so-called protector, suddenly disappeared. For three 
months my brother hoped to find her, but all his searches 
were vain; he found no trace of her, and in despair he 
souo-ht death in the battle of Eamillies. " 


"And what was tlie name of this girl!" 

"No one ever knew, monseigneur ; to speak her name 
was to dishonor it. " 

"It was doubtless she," murmured the duke; "it was 
H^l^ne's mother: and your brother was called — ?" added 
he aloud. 

"Olivier de Chanlay, monseigneur." 

"Olivier de Chanlay!" repeated the duke, in a low voice, 
"I knew the name of De Chanlay was not strange to me." 
Then, aloud, "Continue, monsieur; I listen to you." 

"You do not know what a family hatred is in a province 
like ours. I had lavished upon my brother all the love 
which would have fallen to the share of my father and 
mother, and now I suddenly found myself alone in the 
world. I grew up in isolation of heart, and in the hope 
of revenge ; I grew up among people who were constantly 
repeating, 'It was the Due d'Orl^ans who killed your 
brother.' Then the duke became regent; the Breton league 
was therefore organized. I was one of the first to join it. 
You know the rest. You see that there is nothing in all 
this which has any interest for your excellency. ' ' 

"You mistake, monsieur; unfortunately, the regent has 
to reproach himself with many such faults." 

"You see, therefore," said Gaston, "that my destiny 
must be accomplished, and that I can ask nothing of this 
man. ' ' 

"You are right, monsieur; whatever is done must be 
done without you." 

At this moment the door opened and Maison-Eouge 

"Well, monsieur?" asked the duke. 

' ' The governor has an order from the lieutenant of police 


to admit Mademoiselle H^l^ne de Chaverny; sliall I bring 
her here?" 

" Monseigneur, " said Gaston, looking at the duke with 
an air of entreaty. 

"Yes, monsieur," said he, "I understand — grief and 
love do not need witnesses — I will come back to fetch 
Mademoiselle H^l^ne." 

"The permission is for half an hour," said Maison- 

' ' Then at the 6nd of that time I will return, ' ' said the 
duke, and bowing to Gaston, he went out. 

An instant after the door opened again, and H^l^ne 
appeared, trembling, and questioning Maison- Rouge, but 
he retired without replying. 

H^l^ne looked round and saw Gaston, and for a few 
minutes all their sorrows were forgotten in a close and 
passionate embrace. 

"And now — " cried H^l^ne, her face bathed in tears. 

"Well! and now?" asked Gaston. 

' ' Alas ! to see you here — in prison, ' ' murmured Hel^ne, 
with an air of terror, "here, where I dare not speak freely, 
where we may be watched — overheard." 

"Do not complain, H^l^ne, for this is an exception in 
our favor; a prisoner is never allowed to press one who is 
dear to him to his heart; the visitor generally stands against 
that wall, the prisoner against this, a soldier is placed be- 
tween, and the conversation must be fixed beforehand." 

"To whom do we owe this favor ?" 

"Doubtless to the regent; for yesterday, when I asked 
permission of Monsieur d'Argenson, he said that it was 
beyond his power to grant, and that he must refer it to 
the regent." 



"But now that I see you again, Gaston, tell me all that 
has passed in this age of tears and suffering. Ah! tell me; 
but my presentiments did not deceive me; you were con- 
spiring — do not deny it — I know it." 

"Yes; Hel^ne, you know that we Bretons are constant 
both in our loves and our hatreds. A league was organized 
in Bretagne in which all our nobles took part — could I act 
differently from my brothers? I ask you, Hel^ne, could 
I, or ought I, to have done so ? Would you not have 
despised me, if, when you had seen all Bretagne under 
arms, I alone had been inactive — a whip in my hand while 
others held the sword?" • (• r.' 

"Oh, yes! you are right; but why did you not remain 
in Bretagne with the others?" 

' ' The others are arrested also, Hel^ne. ' ' 

' ' Then you have been denounced — betrayed. ' ' 

"Probably. But sit down, H^l^ne; now that we are 
alone, let me look at you, and tell you that you are beau- 
tiful, that I love you. How have you been in my absence ? 
Has the duke — " 

"Oh! if you only knew how good he is to me; every 
evening he comes to see me, and his care and attention" — 

"And," said G-aston, who thought of the suggestion 
of the false La Jonqui^re, "nothing suspicious in those 

"What do you mean, Gaston?" 

"That the duke is still young, and that, as I told you 
just now, you are beautiful." 

"Oh, Heaven! no! Gaston, this time there is not a 
shadow of doubt; and when he was there near me — as near 
as you are now — there were moments when it seemed as if 
I had found my father." 


"Poor child!" 

"Yes, by a straDge chance, for which I cannot account, 
there is a resemblance between the duke's voice and that 
of the man who came to see me at Rambouillet — it struck 
me at once." 

"You think so ?" said Gaston, in an abstracted tone. 

' ' What are you thinking of, Gaston ?' ' asked H^l^ne ; 
"you seem scarcely to hear what I am saying to you." 

"Hdlene, every word you speak goes to the inmost 
depth of my heart" 

"You are uneasy, I understand. To conspire is to stake 
your life; but be easy, Gaston; I have told the duke that 
if you die I shall die too." 

Gaston started. 

"You are an angel," said he. 

"Oh, my God!" cried poor H^l^ne, "how horrible to 
know that the man I love runs a danger, all the more ter- 
rible for being uncertain; to feel that I am powerless to 
aid him, and that I can only shed tears when I would give 
my life to save him." 

Gaston's face lighted up with a flush of joy; it was the 
first time that he had ever heard such words from the lips 
of his beloved; and under the influence of an idea which 
had been occupying him for some minutes — 

"Yes, dearest," said he, taking her hand, "you can do 
much for me." 

"What can I do?" 

' ' You can become my wife. ' ' 

Helene started. 

"I your wife, Gaston?" cried she. 

"Yes, H^16ne; this plan, formed in our liberty, maybe 
executed in captivity. Hdl^ne, my wife before God and 


man, in tliis world and the next, for time and for eternity. 
You can do this for me, Hel6ne, and am I not right in 
saying that you can do much?" 

"Gaston," said she, looking at him fixedly, "you are 
hiding something from me." 

It was Gaston's turn to start now. 

"I!" said he, "what should I conceal from you?" 

"You told me you saw M. d'Argenson yesterday?" 

"Well, what then?" 

"Well, Gaston," said Helene, turning pale, "you are 
condemned. ' ' 

Gaston took a sudden resolution. 

"Yes," said he, "I am condemned to exile; and, egotist 
as I am, I would bind you to me by indissoluble ties before 
I leave France. ' ' 

"Is that the truth, Gaston?" 

"Yes; have you the courage to be my wife, Helene? to 
be exiled with me ?' ' 

"Can you ask it, Gaston?" said she, her eyes lighted 
with enthusiasm; exile — I thank thee, my God — I, who 
would have accepted an eternal prison with you, and have 
thought myself blessed — I may accompany, follow you ? 
Oh, this condemnation is indeed a joy after what we feared I 
Gaston, Gaston, at length we shall be haj)py. ' ' 

"Yes, Helene," said Gaston, with an effort. 

"Picture my happiness," cried Helene; "to me France 
is the country where you are ; your love is the only country 
I desire, I know I shall have to teach you to forget Bre- 
tagne, your friends, and your dreams of the future; but 
1 will love you, so that it will be easy for you to forget 

Gaston could do nothing but cover her hands with kisses. 


"Is tlie place of your exile fixed ?" said she. "Tell me, 
when do you go? Shall we go together?" 

"My Hel^ne," replied Gaston, "it is impossible. We 
must be separated for a time. I shall be taken to the fron- 
tier of France — I do not as yet know which — and set free. 
Once out of the kingdom, you shall rejoin me. ' ' 

"Oh, better than that, Gaston — better than that. By 
means of the duke I will discover the place of your exile, 
and, instead of joining you there, I will be there to meet 
you. As you step from the carriage which brings you, you 
shall find me waiting to soften the pain of your adieus to 
France; and then, death alone is irretrievable; later, the 
king may pardon you; later still, and the action punished 
to-day may be looked upon as a deed to be rewarded. Then 
we will return ; then nothing need keep us from Bretagne, 
the cradle of our love, the paradise of our memories. Oh!" 
continued she, in an accent of mingled love and impatience, 
"tell me, Gaston, that you share my hopes, that you are 
content, that you are happy." 

"Yes, Hdl^ne, I now am happy indeed; for now, and 
only now, I know by what an angel I am beloved. Yes, 
dearest, one hour of such love as yours, and then death 
would be better than a whole life with the love of any 

"Well!" exclaimed Hel^ne, her whole mind and soul 
earnestly fixed on the new future which was opening before 
her, "what will they do? Will they let me see you again 
before your departure ? When and how shall we meet 
next ? Shall you receive my letters ? Can you reply to 
them? What hour to-morrow may I come?" 

"They have almost promised me that our marriage shall 
take place this evening or to-morrow morning." 


"What! here in a prison," said Helene, shuddering 

"Wherever it may be, Helene, it will bind us together 
for the rest of our lives." 

"But suppose they do not keep their promise to 
you ? Suppose they make you set out before I have 
seen you?" 

"Alas!" said Gaston with a bursting heart, "that is pos- 
sible, Helene, and it is that I dread." 

"Oh, mon Dieu! do you think your departure is so 

"You know, Helene, that prisoners are not their own 
masters; they may be removed at any moment." 

' ' Oh, let them come — let them come ; the sooner you are 
free, the sooner we shall be reunited. It is not necessary 
that I should be your wife in order to follow and join you. 
Do I not know my Graston's honor, and from this day I 
look upon him as my husband before God. Oh, go proudly, 
Gaston, for while these thick and gloomy walls surround 
you I tremble for your life. Go, and in a week we shall 
be reunited; reunited, with no sej^aration to threaten us, 
no one to act as spy on us — reunited forever." 

The door opened, 

"Great Heaven, already!" said Helene. 

"Madame," said the lieutenant, "the time has elapsed." 

"Hel5ne, " said Gaston, seizing the young girl's hand, 
with a nervous trembling which he could not master. 

"What is it?" cried she, watching him with terror. 
"Good Heaven! you are as pale as marble." 

"It is nothing," said he, forcing himself to be calm; 
"indeed it is nothing," and he kissed her hand. 

"Till to-morrow, Gaston." 


' ' To-morrow — yes. ' ' 

The duke appeared at the door ; Gaston ran to him. 

"Monseignenr, " said he, "do all in your power to obtain 
permission for her to become my wife; but if that be im- 
possible, swear to me that she shall be your daughter." 

The duke pressed Gaston's hand; he was so afiected 
that he could not speak. 

Hel^ne approached. Gaston was silent, fearing she 
might overhear. 

He held out his hand to Hel^ne, who presented her fore- 
head to him, while silent tears rolled down her cheeks; 
Gaston closed his ej^es, that the sight of her tears might 
not call up his own. 

At length they must part. They exchanged one last 
lingering glance, and the duke pressed Gaston's hand. 

How strange was this sympathy between two men, one 
of whom had come so far for the sole purpose of killing 
the other! 

The door closed, and Gaston sank down on a seat, 
utterly broken and exhausted. 

In ten minutes the governor entered; he came to con- 
duct Gaston back to his own room. 

Gaston followed him silently, and, when asked if there 
was anything he wanted, he mournfully shook his head. 

At night Mademoiselle de Launay signalled that she had 
something to communicate. 

Gaston opened the window, and received a letter inclos- 
ing another. 

The first was for himself. He read: 

"Dear Neighbor — The coverlid was not so contempti- 
ble as I supposed; it contained a little paper on which 


was written the word already spoken by Herment, ' Hope !' 
It also inclosed this letter for M. de Eichelieu; send it to 
Dumesnil, who will pass it to the dnke. 

' ' Your servant, 

"De Launay." 

"Alas!" thought Gaston, "they will miss me when I 
am gone," and he called Dumesnil, to whom he passed 
the letter. 

(M)— Vol. 23 




ON" LEAVING the Bastille, the duke took H^l^ne 
home, promising to come and see her as usual 
in the evening; a promise which Hel^ne would 
have estimated all the more highly if she had known 
that his highness had a bal-masque at Monceaux. 

On re-entering the Palais Royal, the duke asked for 
Dubois, and was told he was in his study, working. The 
duke entered without allowing himself to be announced. 
Dubois was so busy that he did not hear the duke, who 
advanced and looked over his shoulder, to see what was 
occupying him so intently. 

He was writing down names, with notes by the side 
of each. 

"What are you doing there, abbe?" asked the re- 

"Ah! monseigneur, it is you; pardon; I did not hear 

"I asked what you were doing?" 

"Signing the burial tickets for our Breton friends," 

"But their fate is not yet decided, and the sentence 
of the commission — " 

' ' I know it, ' ' said Dubois. 

"Is it given, then?" 


"No, but I dictated it before they went." 

"Do you know tbat your conduct is odious?" 

"Truly, monseigneur, you are insupportable. Manage 
your family affairs, and leave state affairs to me." 

"Family affairs!" 

"Ah! as to those, I hope you are satisfied with me, or 
you would indeed be difficult to please. You recommend 
to me M. de Chanlay, and on your recommendation I make 
it a rose-water Bastille to him; sumptuous repasts, a charm- 
ing governor. I let him pierce holes in your floors, and 
spoil your walls, all which will cost us a great deal to 
repair. Since his entrance it is quite a fete. Dumesnil 
talks all day through his chimney. Mademoiselle de Lau- 
nay fishes with a line through her window, Pompadour 
drinks champagne. There is nothing to be said to all 
this; these are your family affairs; but in Bretagne you 
have nothing to see, and I forbid you to look, monsei- 
gneur, unless you have a few more unknown daughters 
there, which is possible." 

"Dubois! scoundrel!" 

"Ah! you think when you have said 'Dubois,' and 
added 'scoundrel' to my name, you have done every- 
thing. Well, scoundrel as much as you please; mean- 
while, but for the scoundrel you would have been assas- 
sinated. ' ' 

"Well, what then?" 

' ' What then ? Hear the statesman ! Well, then, I 
should be hanged, perhaps, which is a consideration; then 
Madame de Main tenon would be Regent of France ! What 
a joke I What then, indeed ! To think that a philosophic 
prince should utter such naivetes! Oh, Marcus Aurelius! 
was it not he who said, 'Populos esse demum felices si 


reges philosoplii forent, aut pliilosoplii reges'? Here is a 
sample. ' ' 

Dubois still wrote on. 

"Dobois, you do not know ttis young man." 

"What young man?" 


' ' Really ! you sliall present liim to me when he is your 

"That will be to-morrow, Dubois." 

The abbe looked round in astonishment, and looking at 
the regent with his little eyes as wide open as possible — 

"Ah, monseigneur, are you mad?" he said. 

"No, but he is an honorable man, and you know that 
they are rare." 

"Honorable man! Ah, you have a strange idea of 
honor. ' ' 

"Yes; I believe that we differ in our ideas of it." 

"What has this honorable man done ? Has he poisoned 
the dagger with which he meant to assassinate you ? for 
then he would be more than an honorable man, he would 
be a saint. We have already St. Jacques Clement, St. Ra- 
vaillac; St. Gaston is wanting in the calendar. Quick, 
quick, monseigneur! you who will not ask the Pope to 
give a cardinal's hat to your minister, ask him to canonize 
your assassin ; and for the first time in your life you would 
be logical. ' ' 

"Dubois, I tell you there are few capable of doing what 
this young man has done." 

"Peste! that is lucky; if there were ten in France I 
should certainly resign." 

"I do not speak of what he wished to do, but of what 
he has done." 


""Well, what lias lie done ? I should like to be edified." 

"First, lie kept his oath to D'Argenson. " 

"I doubt it not, he is faithful to his word; and but 
for me would have kept his word also with Pontcalec, 
Talhouet, etc." 

"Yes, but one was more difficult than the other. He 
had sworn not to mention his sentence to anj one, and 
he did not speak of it to his mistress." 

"Nor to you?" 

"He spoke of it to me, because I told him that I knew 
it. He forbade me to ask anything of the regent, desiring, 
he said, but one favor. ' ' 

"And that one?" 

"To marry Hel^ne, in order to leave her a fortune and 
a name. ' ' 

"Good; he wants to leave your daughter a fortune and 
a name; he is polite, at least." 

"Do you forget that this is a secret from him ?" 

"Who knows?" 

"Dubois, I do not know in what your hands were 
steeped the day you were born, but I know that you 
sully everything you touch." 

"Except conspirators, monseigneur, for it seems to me 
that there, on the contrary, I jDurify. Look at those of 
Cellamare, how all that affair was cleared out; Dubois 
here, Dubois there, I hope the apothecary has properly 
purged France from Spain. Well, it shall be the same 
with Olivares as with Cellamare. There is now only Bre- 
tagne congested; a good dose, and all will be right." 

"Dubois, you would Joke with the Gospel." 

"Pardieu! I began by that." 

The regent rose. 


"Come, monseigueur, I was wrong; I forgot you were 
fasting; let us liear the end of tliis story." 

' ' Tlie end is that I promised to ask this favor from the 
regent, and that the regent will grant it. ' ' 

' ' The regent will commit a folly. ' ' 

"No, he will only repair a fault," 

"Ah, now you find you have a reparation to make to 
M. deChanlay." 

' ' Not to him, but to his brother. ' ' 

"Still better. What have you done to his brother?" 

' ' I took from him the woman he loved. ' ' 


' ' Helene's mother. ' ' 

' ' Well, that time 3-ou were wrong ; if you had let her alone 
we should not have had this tiresome affair on our hands." 

"But we have it, and must now get out of it as well as 
possible. ' ' 

"Just what I am working at; and when is the marriage 
to take place?" 


' ' In the chapel of the Palais Eoyal ? Y'ou shall dress 
in the costume of a knight of the order; you shall extend 
both hands over your son-in-law's head — one more than he 
meant to have held over you — it will be very affecting. ' ' 

' ' No, abbe, it shall not be thus ; they shall be married in 
the Bastille, and I shall be in the chapel where they cannot 
see me. ' ' 

"Well, monseigneur, I should like to be with you. I 
should like to see the ceremony; I believe this sort of thing 
is very touching." 

"No, you would be in the way, and your ugly face 
would betray my incognito." 


"Your handsome face is still more easy to recognize, 
monseigneur, " said Dubois, bowing; "there are portraits of 
Henry the Fourth and Louis the Fourteenth in the Bastille. ' ' 

"You flatter me." 

"Are you going away, monseigneur?" 

"Yes, I have an appointment with Delaunay." 

"The governor of the Bastille?" 


"Go, monseigneur, go." 

"Shall I see you to-night at Monceaux?" 


"Have you a disguise?" 

"I have La Jonqui^re's dress." 

"Oh! that is only lit for the Rue du Bac. " 

"Monseigneur forgets the Bastille, where it has had some 
success. ' ' 

"Well, adieu, abbe." 

"Adieu, monseigneur." 

When Dubois was left alone he appeared to take some 
sudden resolution. He rang the bell, and a servant entered. 

"M. Delaunay is coming to the regent; watch him, and 
bring him here afterward. ' ' 

The servant retired without a reply, and Dubois resumed 
his work. 

Half an hour afterward the door opened, and the servant 
announced Delaunay. Dubois gave him a note. 

' ' Read that, ' ' said he ; "I give you written instructions, 
that there may be no pretext for neglecting them. ' ' 

"Ah, monseigneur," said Delaunay, "you would ruin 

"How so?" 

"To-morrow when it becomes known." 


"Who will tell it? will you ?" 

"No, but monseigneur — " 

"Will be encbanted; I answer for bim. " 

"A governor of tbe Bastille!" 

' ' Do you care to retain tbe title ?' * 


"Tben do as I tell you." 

"'Tis bard, bowever, to close one's eyes and ears." 

"My dear Delaunay, go and pay a visit to Dumesnil's 
cbimney and Pompadour's ceiling." 

"Id it possible ? You tell me of tbings I was not at all 
aware of. ' ' 

' ' A proof tbat I know better tban you wbat goes on in 
tbe Bastille; and if I were to speak of some tbings you 
do know, you would be still more surprised." 

"Wbat could you tell me ?" 

"Tbat a week ago one of tbe officers of tbe Bastille, and 
an important one too, received fifty tbousand francs to let 
two women pass witb — ' ' 

' ' Monsieur, tbey were — ' ' 

"I know wbo tbey were, wbat tbey went for, and wbat 
tbey did. Tbey were Mademoiselle de Valois and Made- 
moiselle de Cbarolais; tbey went to see tbe Due de Eicb- 
elieu, and tbey ate bon-bons till midnigbt in tbe Tour du 
Coin, wbere tbey intend to pay anotber visit to-morrow, 
as tbey bave already announced to M. de Eicbelieu. " 

Delaunay turned pale. 

' ' Well, ' ' continued Dubois, ' ' do you tbink if I repeated 
tbese tbings to tbe regent, wbo is, as you know, greedy of 
scandal, tbat a certain M. Delaunay would be long gover- 
nor of tbe Bastille ? But I shall not say a word, for we 
must belp eacb otber. " 


"I am at your orders, monsieur." 

"Then I shall find everjtliing ready ?" 

"I promise you; but not a word to monseigneur. " 

"That is riglit, M. Delaunay. Adieu!" 

"Grood," said Dubois, when he was gone; "and now, 
monseigneur, when you want to marry your daughter to- 
morrow there shall be only one thing missing — your son- 
in-law. " 

As Gaston passed on the letter to Dumesnil he heard 
steps in the corridor, and, hastily signing to the chevalier 
not to speak, he put out the light and began to undress. 
The governor entered. As it was not his custom to visit 
his prisoners at this hour, Gaston saw him with alarm, 
and he noticed that, as M. Delaunay placed his lamp on 
the table, his hand trembled. The turnkeys withdrew, 
but the prisoner saw two soldiers at the door. 

"Chevalier," said the governor, "you told me to treat 
you as a man — learn that you were condemned yesterday." 

"And you have come to tell me," said Gaston, who 
always gained courage in the face of danger, "that the 
hour of my execution is arrived." 

"No, monsieur, but it approaches." 

"When will it be?" 

' ' May I tell you the truth, chevalier ?' ' 

"I shall be most grateful to you." 

' ' To-morrow, at break of day. ' ' 

^In the yard of the Bastille." 

"Thank you; I had hoped, however, that before I died 
I might have been the husband of the young girl who was 
here yesterday. ' ' 

"Did M. d' Argenson promise you this ?" 


' ' No, but lie promised to ask tlie kiiig. ' ' 

' ' The king may liave refused. ' ' 

"Does lie never grant sucli favors ?" 

' ' ' Tis rare, monsieur, but not without a precedent. ' ' 

"I am a Christian," said Gaston; "I hope I shall be 
allowed a confessor." 

"He is here." 

"May I see him?" 

"Directly; at present he is with your accomplice!" 

' ' My accomplice ! who ?' ' 

"La Jonqui^re, who will be executed with you." 

"And I had suspected him!" said Gaston. 

' ' Chevalier, you are young to die, ' ' said the governor. 

"Death does not count years: God bids it strike and it 
obeys. " 

"But if one can avert the blow, it is almost a crime not 
to do so. ' ' 

"What do you mean? I do not understand." 

' ' I told you that M. d' Argenson gave hopes. ' ' 

"Enough, monsieur, I have nothing to confess." 

At this moment the major knocked at the door and ex- 
changed some words with the governor. 

"Monsieur," said the latter, "Captain La Jonqui^re 
wishes to see you once more." 

"And you refuse it?" said Gaston, with a slight 
ironical smile. 

"On the contrary, I grant it, in the hope that he will 
be more reasonable than you, and that he wishes to con- 
sult you as to making confessions." 

' ' If that be his intention, tell him I refuse to come. ' ' 

"I know nothing of it, monsieur; perhaps he only wishes 
once again to see his companion in misfortune." 


"In that case, monsieur, I consent." 

"Follow me, then." 

Thej found the captain lying on the bed with his clothes 
in rags. 

"I thought the almoner of the Bastille was with you?" 
said M. Delaunay. 

"He was, but I sent him away." 

"Why so?" 

"Because I do not like Jesuits; do you think, morhhu! 
that I cannot die properly without a priest?" 

"To die properly, monsieur, is not to die bravely, but 
as a Christian. ' ' 

" If I had wanted a sermon, I would have kept the priest, 
but I wanted M. de Chanlay. " 

"He is here, monsieur; I refuse nothing to those who 
have nothing to hope." 

"Ah! chevalier, are you there?" said La Jonqui^re, 
turning round; "you are welcome." 

"Explain," said Gaston; "I see with sorrow that you 
refuse the consolations of religion." 

"You also! if you say another word, I declare I will 
turn Huguenot." 

"Pardon, captain, but I thought it my duty to advise 
you to do vrhat I shall do myself. ' ' 

"I bear you no ill-will, chevalier; if I were a minister, 
I would proclaim religious liberty. Now, M. Delaunay," 
continued he, "you understand that as the chevalier and 
I are about to undertake a long iete-d-tete journey, we have 
some things to talk over together first." 

"I will retire. Chevalier, jou. have an hour to remain 

' ' Thank you, monsieur, ' ' said Gaston. 


"Well?" said tlie captain, wlien they were alone. 

"Well," said Gaston, "jou were right." 

"Yes; but I am exactly like the man who went round 
Jerusalem crying out 'Woe!' for seven days, and the eighth 
day a stone thrown from the walls struck him and killed him. " 

' ' Yes, I know that we are to die together. ' ' 

"Which annoys you a little; does it not?" 

"Very much; for I had reason to cling to life." 

' ' Every one has. ' ' 

"But I above all." 

"Then I only know one way." 

"Make revelations! never." 

"No, but fly with me." 

"How! fly with you?" 

"Yes, I escape." 

"But do you know that our execution is fixed for to- 
morrow ?' ' 

"Therefore I decamp to-night" 

"Escape, do you say?" 


"How? where?" 

"Open the window." 


"Shake the middle bar." 

"Great God!" 

"Does it resist?" 

"No, it yields!" 

"Very good, it has given me trouble enough. Heaven 
knows. ' ' 

' ' It seems like a dream. ' ' 

"Do you remember asking me if I did not make holes 
in anything, like all the others?" 


"Yes, but you replied — " 

"That I would tell you anotlier time; was the answer 
a good one?" 

"Excellent; but how to descend?" 

"Help me." 

"In what?" 

' ' To search my paillasse.'* 

"A ladder of cord 1" 


' ' But how did you get it ?" 

"I received it with a file in a lark pie the day of my 
arrival. ' ' 

"Certainly, you are decidedly a great man,'' 

"I know it; besides that, I am a good man — for I might 
escape alone." 

"And you have thought of me." 

"I asked for you, saying that I wished to say adieu to yoiL 
I knew I should entice them to do some act of stupidity. ' ' 

"Let us make haste, captain." 

' ' On the contrary, let us act slowly and prudently ; we 
have an hour before us. ' * 

"And the sentinels?" 

"Bah! it is dark." 

"But the moat, which is full of water?" 

"It is frozen." 

"But the wall?" 

' ' When we are there will be time enough to think about 

"Must we fasten the ladder?" 

"I want to try if it be solid; I have an affection for my 
spine, such as it is, and do not want to break my neck to 
save it from another fate. ' * 


"You are tlie first captain of the day, La Jonqui^re." 

"Bah! I have made plenty of others," said La JoU' 
qui^re, tying the last knot in the ladder. 

"Is it finished?" asked Gaston. 


"Shall I pass first?" 

"As yon like." 

"I like it so." 

"Go, then." 

"Is it high?" 

"Fifteen to eighteen feet." 

"A trifle." 

"Yes, for you who are young, but it is a different affair 
for me ; be prudent, I beg. ' ' 

"Do not be afraid." 

Gaston went first, slowly and prudently, followed by 
La Jonqui^re, who laughed in his sleeve, and grumbled 
every time he hurt his fingers, or when the wind shook 
the cords. 

' ' A nice affair for the successor of Eichelieu and Maza- 
rin, " he growled to himself. "It is true I am not yet a 
cardinal; that saves me." 

Gaston touched the water, or rather ice, of the fosse; a 
moment after. La Jonqui^re was by his side. 

"Now follow me," said the latter. 

On the other side of the moat a ladder awaited them. 

"You have accomplices then?" 

"Parbleu! do you think the lark p^t^ came by itself?" 

"Who says one cannot escape from the Bastille ?" said 
Cfaston joyously. 

' ' My young friend, ' ' said Dubois, stopping on the third 
step, "take my advice: don't get in there again without 


me; you miglit not be as fortunate tlie second time as 
the first." 

They continued to mount the wall, on the platform of 
which a sentinel walked, but, instead of opposing them, he 
held his hand to La Jonquidre to assist him, and in three 
minutes they were on the platform, had drawn up the lad- 
der, and placed it on the other side of the wall. 

The descent was as safely managed, and they found 
themselves on another frozen moat. 

"Now," said the captain, "we must take away the ladder, 
that we may not compromise the poor devil who helped us. ' ' 

"We are then free ?" 

"Nearly so," said La Jonqui^re. 

Gaston, strengthened by this news, took up the ladder 
on his shoulder. 

"Peste, chevalier! the late Hercules was nothing to 
you, I think." 

"Bah!" said Gaston, "at this moment I could carry the 
Bastille itself." 

They went on in silence to a lane in the Faubourg St. 
Antoine; the streets were deserted. 

"Now, my dear chevalier," said La Jonqui^re, "do me 
the favor to follow me to the corner of the Faubourg." 

"I would follow you to — " 

"Not so far, if you please; for safety's sake we will each 
go our own way. ' ' 

"What carriage is that?" 


"How! yours?" 


"Peste! my dear captain; four horses! you travel like 
a prince!" 


' ' Three horses ; one is for you. ' ' 

"How! you consent ?" 

"Pardieu! that is not all." 


"You have no money?" 

"It was taken away." 

"Here are fifty louis. " 

"But, captain — " 

"Come, it is Spanish money; take it." 

Gaston took the purse, while a postilion unharnessed a 
horse and led it to him. 

"Now," said Dubois, "where are you going?" 

"To Bretagne, to rejoin my companions," 

"You are mad, my dear fellow; they are all condemned 
and may be executed in two or three days. ' ' 

"You are right," said Gaston. 

"Go to Flanders," said La Jonqui^re, "it is a pleasant 
country; in fifteen or eighteen hours you can reach the 
frontier. ' ' 

"Yes," said Gaston gloomily; "thank you, I know 
where I shall go." 

"Well, good luck to you," said Dubois, getting into 
his carriage. 

"The same to you," said Gaston. 

They grasped each other's hand, and then each went 
his own way. 




THE regent, as usual, passed the evening with H^l^ne. 
He had not missed for four or five days, and the 
hours he passed with her were his happy hours, hut 
this time he found her very much shaken by her visit to 
her lover in the Bastille. 

"Come," said the regent, "take courage, Heldne; to- 
morrow you shall be his wife." 

"To-morrow is distant," replied she. 

"H^l^ne, believe in my word, which has never failed 
you. I tell you that to-morrow shall dawn happily for 
you and for him." 

Hel&ne sighed deeply. 

A servant entered and spoke to the regent. 

"What is it?" asked H^l^ne, who was alarmed at the 
slightest thing. 

"Nothing, my child," said the duke; "it is only my 
secretary, who wishes to see me on some pressing business." 

"Shall I leave you?" 

' ' Yes, do me that favor for an instant. ' ' 

Hel^ne withdrew into her room. 

At the same time the door opened and Dubois entered, 
out of breath. 


"Where do you come from in sucli a state?" 

"Parbleu! from the Bastille." 

"And our prisoner?" 


"Is everything arranged for the marriage?" 

"Yes, everything but the hour, which you did not 

"Let us say eight in the morning." 

"At eight in the morning," said Dubois, calculating. 

"Yes, what are 3^ou calculating?" 

' ' I am thinking where he will be. ' ' 


' ' The prisoner. ' ' 

"What! the prisoner!" 

"Yes; at eight o'clock he will be forty leagues from 

"From Paris!" 

"Yes; if he continues to go at the pace at which I saw 
him set out. ' ' 

"What do 3'ou mean ?" 

"I mean, monseigneur, that there will be one thing only 
wanting at the marriage — the husband. ' ' 


"Has escaped from the Bastille half an iiour ago." 

"You lie, abbe! People do not escape from the Bas- 

"I beg your pardon, monseigneur; people escape from 
any place when they are condemned to death." 

"He escaped, knowing that to-morrow he was to wed 
her whom he loved?" 

"Listen, monseigneur, life is a charming thing, and we 
all cling to it; then your son-in-law has a charming head 


which he wishes to keep on his shoulders. What more 

"And where is he ?" 

"Perhaps I may be able to tell you to-morrow evening; 
at present, all I know is that he is at some distance, and 
that I will answer for it he will not retui-n. " 

The regent became deeply thoughtful. 

"Eeally, monseigneur, your na/ivete causes me perpetual 
astonishment; you must be strangely ignorant of the human 
heart if you suppose that a man condemned to death would 
remain in prison when he had a chance of escape. ' ' 

"Oh, Monsieur de Chanlay!" cried the regent. 

"Eh, mon Dieu! this chevalier has acted as the com- 
monest workman would have done, and quite right too. ' ' 

"Dubois! and my daughter ?" 

"Well, your daughter, monseigneur?" 

"It will kill her," said the regent. 

"Oh, no, monseigneur, not at all. When she finds out 
what he is, she will be consoled, and j^ou can marry her 
to some small German or Italian prince — to the Duke of 
Modena, for instance, whom Mademoiselle de Yalois will 
not have." 

"Dubois! and I meant to pardon him." 

"He has done it for himself, monseigneur, thinking it 
safer, and, mafoi! I should have done the same." 

"Oh, you ! you are not noble, you had not taken an oath. " 

"You mistake, monseigneur; I had taken an oath, to 
prevent your highness from committing a folly, and I have 
succeeded. ' ' 

"Well, well, let us speak of it no more; not a word of 
this before Hel^ne — I will undertake to tell her." 

"And I to get back your son-in-law." 


' ' No, no, lie lias escaped, let him profit by it. ' ' 

As the regent spoke these words a noise was heard in 
the neighboring room, and a servant, entering, hurriedly 
announced — 

"Monsieur Gaston de Chanlay. " 

Dubois turned pale as death, and his face assumed an 
expression of threatening anger. The regent rose in a trans- 
port of joy, which brought a bright color into his face: 
there was as much pleasure in this face, rendered sublmie 
by confidence, as there was compressed fury in Dubois's 
sharp and malignant countenance. 

' ' Let him enter, ' ' said the regent. 

"At least, give me time to go," said Dubois. 

"Ah! yes, he would recognize you." 

Dubois retired with a growling noise, like a hyena dis- 
turbed in its feast, or in its lair ; he entered the next room. 
There he sat down by a table on which was every material 
for writing, and this seemed to suggest some new and ter- 
rible idea, for his face suddenly lighted up. 

He rang. 

' ' Send for the portfolio which is in my carriage, ' ' said 
he to the servant who appeared. 

This order being executed at once, Dubois seized some 
papers, wrote on them some words with an expression of 
sinister joy, then, having ordered his carriage, drove to the 
Palais Koyal. 

Meanwhile the chevalier was led to the regent, and 
walked straight up to him. 

"How! you here, monsieur!" said the duke, trying to 
look surprised. 

"Yes, monseigneur, a miracle has been worked in my 
favor by La Jonquiere; he had prepared all for flight, he 


asked for me under pretence of consulting me as to con- 
fessions; tlien, wlien we were alone, lie told me all, and 
we escaped together and in safety." 

"And instead of flying, monsieur, gaining the frontier, 
and placing yourself in safety, you are here at the peril 
of your life," 

"Monseigneur," said Graston, blushing, "I must confess 
that for a moment liberty seemed to me the most precious 
and the sweetest thing the world could afford. The first 
breath of air I drew seemed to intoxicate me, but 1 soon 
reflected. ' ' 

"On one thing, monsieur?" 

' ' On two, monseigneur. ' ' 

' ' You thought of Helene, whom you were abandoning. ' ' 

' ' And of my companions, whom I left under the axe. 

"And then you decided?" 

"That I was bound to their cause till our projects were 
accomplished. ' ' 

"Our projects!" 

"Yes, are they not yours as well as mine?" 

"Listen, monsieur," said the regent; "I believe that 
man must keep within the limits of his strength. There 
are things which Grod seems to forbid him to execute; 
there are warnings which tell him to renounce certain 
projects. I believe that it is sacrilege to despise these 
warnings, to remain deaf to this voice; our projects have 
miscarried, monsieur, let us think no more of them." 

"On the contrary, monseigneur," said Gaston, sadly 
shaking his head, "let us think of them more than ever." 

"But you are furious, monsieur," said the regent, "to 
persist in an undertaking which has now become so difficult 
that it is almost madness." 


"I think, monseigneur, of our friends arrested, tried, 
condemned; M. d'Argenson told me so; of our friends 
wlio are destined to tlie scaffold, and wlio can be saved 
only by the death of the regent; of our friends who would 
say, if I were to leave France, that I purchased my safety 
by their ruin, and that the gates of the Bastille were opened 
by my revelations." 

"Then, monsieur, to this point of honor you sacrifice 
everything, even H^lene ?" 

' ' Monseigneur, if they be still alive, I must save them. ' ' 

"But if they be dead?" 

"Then it is another thing," replied Gaston; "then I 
must revenge them." 

"Eeally, monsieur," said the duls:e, "this seems to me 
a somewhat exaggerated idea of heroism. It seems to me 
that you have, in your own person, already paid your 
share. Believe me, take the word of a man who is a 
good judge in affairs of honor; you are absolved in the 
eyes of the whole world, my dear Brutus." 

' ' 1 am not in my own, monseigneur. ' ' 

"Then you persist?" 

' ' More than ever ; the regent must die, and, ' ' added he 
in a hollow voice, ' ' die he shall. ' ' 

"But do you not first wish to see Mademoiselle de Cha- 
verny ?" asked the regent. 

"Yes, monseigneur, but first I must have your promise 
to aid me in my project. Remember, monseigneur; there 
is not an instant to lose; my companions are condemned, 
as I was. Tell me at once, before I see Helene, that you 
will not abandon me. Let me make a new engagement 
with you. I am a man; I love, and therefore I am weak. 
I shall have to struggle against her tears and against my 


own weakness; monseigneur, I will only see Hel^ne under 
the condition that you will enable me to see the regent." 

"And if I refuse that condition?" 

"Then, monseigneur, I will not see Hel^ne; I am dead 
to her; it is useless to renew hope in her which she must 
lose again, it is enough that she must weep for me once. ' ' 

"And you would still persist?" 

"Yes, but with less chance." 

"Then what would you do ?" 

"Wait for the regent wherever he goes, and strike him 
whenever I can find him. ' ' 

"Think once more," said the duke. 

"By the honor of my name," replied Graston, "I once 
more imjDlore your aid, or I declare that I will find means 
to dispense with it. ' ' 

"Well, monsieur, go and see Heldne, and jou shall have 
my answer on your return. ' ' 


' ' In that room, ' ' 

"And the answer shall be according to my desire ?" 


Gaston went into Helene's room; she was kneeling be- 
fore a crucifix, praying that her lover might be restored 
to her. At the noise which Graston made in opening the 
door, she turned round. Believing that God had worked 
a miracle, and uttering a cry, she held out her arms tow- 
ard the chevalier, but without the strength to raise her- 

"Oh, mon Dieu! is it himself? is it his shade?" 

"It is myself, Hel^ne, " said the young man, darting 
toward her and grasping her hands. 

"But how ? a prisoner this morning — free this evening ?" 


"I escaped, Helene. " 

"And then you tlaouglit of me, you ran to me, you 
would not fly without me. Oh! I recognize my Gaston 
there. Well — I am ready, take me where you will — I am 
yours — I am — " 

"Helene," said Gaston, "you are not the bride of an 
ordinary man; if I had been only like all other men, you 
would not have loved me." 

"Oh, no!" 

"Well, Helene, to superior souls superior duties are 
allotted, and consequently greater trials; before I can be 
yours I have to accomplish the mission on which I came 
to Paris; we have both a fatal destiny to fulfil. Our life 
or death hangs on a single event, which must be accom- 
plished to-night." 

"What do you mean?" cried the young girl. 

"Listen, Helene," rej)lied Gaston, "if in four hours, that 
is to say, by daybreak, you have no news of me, do not ex- 
pect me, believe that all that has passed between us is but 
a dream; and, if you can obtain permission to do so, come 
again and see me in the Bastille. 

Helene trembled. Gaston took her back to her prie-Vieu, 
where she knelt. 

Then, kissing her on the forehead as a brother might 
have done — "Pray on, Helene," said he, "for in praying 
for me you pray also for Bretagne and for France. ' ' Then 
he rushed out of the room. 

"Alas! alas!" murmured Helene, "save him, my God! 
and what care I for the rest of the world!" 

Gaston was met by a servant who gave him a note, tell- 
ing him the duke was gone. 

The note was as follows: 



"There is a hal-masque to-niglit at Monceaux; the regent 
will be there. He generally retires toward one o'clock in 
the morning into a favorite conservatory, which is situated 
at the end of the gilded gallery. No one enters there ordi- 
narily but himself, because this habit of his is known and 
respected. The regent will be dressed in a black velvet 
domino, on the left arm of which is embroidered a golden 
bee. He hides this sign in a fold when he wishes to re- 
main incognito. The card I inclose is an ambassador's 
ticket. With this you will be admitted, not only to the 
ball, but to this conservatory, where you will appear to 
seek a private interview. Use it for your encounter with 
the regent. My carriage is below, in which you will find 
my own domino. The coachman is at your orders." 

On reading this note, which, as it were, brought him 
face to face with the man he meant to assassinate, a cold 
perspiration passed over Gaston's forehead, and he was 
obliged for a moment to lean against a chair for support; 
but suddenly, as if taking a violent resolution, he darted 
down the staircase, jumped into the carriage and cried — 

"To Monceaux!" 

Scarcely had he quitted the room, when a secret door 
in the woodwork opened and the duke entered. He went 
to Hel^ne's door. She uttered a cry of delight at seeing him. 

"Well," said the regent, sadly, "are you content, 

"Oh! it is you, monseigneur?" 

"You see, my child, that my predictions are fulfilled. 
Believe me when I say, 'Hope.' " 

"Ah! monseigneur, are you then an angel come down 
to earth to stand to me in the place of the father whom 
I have lost?" 

(N)— Vol. 23 


"Alas!" said tlie regent, smiling, "I am not an angel, 
my dear Helene; but such as I am, I will indeed be to 
you a father, and a tender one." 

Saying this the regent took Helene 's band, and was 
about to kiss it respectfully, but she raised ber bead and 
presented ber forebead to him. 

"I see that you love bim truly," said be. 

" Monseigneur, I bless you." 

"May your blessing bring me bappiness, " said the 
regent; then, going down to bis carriage — 

"To the Palais Eoyal," said he, "but remember you 
have only a quarter of an bour to drive to Monceaux. " 

The horses flew along tbe road. 

As tbe carriage entered under tbe peristyle, a courier 
on horseback was setting out. 

Dubois, having seen him start, closed the window and 
went back to bis apartments. 





E AN WHILE Gaston went toward Monceaux. 

He had found tlie duke's domino and mask in 
the carriage. The mask was of black velvet, the 
domino of violet satin. He put them both on, and sud. 
denly remembered that he was without arms. 

He thought, however, he should easily procure some 
weapon at Monceaux. As he approached, he found it was 
not a weapon that he needed, but courage. There passed 
in his mind a terrible contest. Pride and humanity strug- 
gled against each other, and, from time to time, he repre- 
sented to himself his friends in prison, condemned to a 
cruel and infamous death. 

As the carriage entered the courtyara of Monceaux, 
he murmured, "Already!" 

However, the carriage stopped, the door was opened, 
he must alight. The prince's private carriage and coach- 
man had been recognized, and all the servants over- 
whelmed him with attentions. 

Gaston did not remark it — a kind of mist passed before 
his eyes — he presented his card. 

It was the custom then for both men and women to be 
masked: but it was more frequently the women than the 
men who went to these reunions unmasked. At this period 


women spoke not only freely, but well, and tlie mask liid 
neither folly nor inferiority of rank, for the women of that 
day were all witty, and if they were handsome they were 
soon titled: witness the Duchesse de Chateauroux and the 
Comtesse Dubarry. 

Gaston knew no one, but he felt instinctively that he 
was among the most select society of the day. Among the 
men were Novilles, Brancas, Broglie, St. Simon, and Biron. 
The women might be more mixed, but certainly not less 
spirituelles nor less elegant. 

No one knew how to organize a fete like the regent. 
The luxury of good taste, the profusion of flowers, the 
lights, the princes and ambassadors, the charming and 
beautiful women who surrounded him, all had their effect 
on Gaston, who now recognized in the regent, not only 
a king, but a king at once powerful, gay, amiable, beloved, 
and, above all, popular and national. 

Gaston's heart beat when, seeking among these heads 
the one for which his blows were destined, he saw a black 

Without the mask, which hid his face and concealed 
from all eyes its changing expression, he would not have 
taken four steps through the rooms without some one 
pointing him out as an assassin. 

Gaston could not conceal from himself that there waa 
something cowardly in coming to a prince, his host, to 
change those brilliant lights into funeral torches, to stain 
those dazzling tapestries with blood, to arouse the cry of 
terror amid the joyous tumult of a fete — and at this thought 
his courage failed him, and he stepped toward the door. 

"I will kill him outside," said he, "but not here." 

Then he remembered the duke's directions; his card 


would open to liim the isolated conservatory, and he 
murmured — 

"He foresaw that I should be a coward." 

He approached a sort of gallery containing buffets, 
where the guests came for refreshment. He went also, 
not that he was hungry or thirsty, but because he was 
unarmed. He chose a long, sharp, and pointed knife, and 
put it under his domino, where he was sure no one could 
see it. 

"The likeness to Eavaillac will be complete," said he. 

At this moment, as Gaston turned, he heard a well* 
known voice say — 

"You hesitate?" 

Gaston opened his domino, and showed the duke the 
knife which it concealed. 

"I see the knife glisten, but I also see the hand tremble." 

"Yes, monseigneur, it is true," said Gaston; "I hesi- 
tated, I trembled, 1 felt inclined to fly; but thank God 
you are here." 

"And your ferocious courage?" said the duke, in a 
mocking voice. 

"It is not that I have lost it." 

"What has become of it, then?" 

"Monseigneur, I am under his roof." 

"Yes; but in the conservatory you are not." 

"Could you not show him to me first, that I might 
accustom myself to his presence, that I may be inspired 
by the hatred I bear him, for I do not know how to find 
him in this crowd?" 

"Just now he was near you." 

Gaston shuddered. 

"Near me ?" said he. 


"As near as I am," replied tlie duke, gravely. 

*'I will go to tlie conservatory, monseigneur. " 

"Oo, then." 

"Yet a moment, monseigneur, tliat I may recover 
myself. ' * 

' ' Yery well, jom know tlie conservatory is beyond tliat 
gallery ; stay, tlie doors are closed. ' ' 

' ' Did you not say tliat with this card tlie servants would 
open tliem to me ?" 

"Yes, but it would be better to open them yourself — a 
servant might wait for your exit. If you are thus agitated 
before you strike the blow, what will it be afterward? 
Then the regent probably will not fall without defending 
himself — without a cry; they will all run to him, you will 
be arrested, and adieu your hope of the future. Think of 
H^l^ne, who waits for you, ' ' 

It is impossible to describe what was passing in Gaston's 
heart during this speech. 

The duke, however, watched its effect upon his coun- 

"Well," said Gaston, "what shall I do? advise me. " 

"When you are at the door of the conservatory, the 
one which opens on to the gallery turning to the left — 
do you know?" 


"Under the lock you will find a carved button: push 
it, and the door will open, unless it be fastened within. 
But the regent, who has no suspicion, will not take this 
precaution. I have been there twenty times for a private 
audience. If he be not there, wait for him. You wil' 
know him, if there, by the black domino and the golden 


"Yes, yes; I know," said Gaston; not knowing, how- 
ever, what he said. 

"I do not reckon much on jou this evening," replied 
the duke. 

"Ah! monseigneur, the moment approaches which will 
change my past life into a doubtful future, perhaps of 
shame, at least of remorse." 

"Remorse!" replied the duke. "When we perform an 
action which we believe to be just, and commanded by con- 
science, we do not feel remorse. Do you doubt the sanctity 
of your cause ?' ' 

"No, monseigneur, but it is easy for you to speak thus. 
You have the idea — I, the execution. You are the head, 
but I am the arm. Believe me, monseigneur," continued 
he, in a hollow voice and choking with emotion, "it is a 
terrible thing to kill a man who is before you defenceless — • 
smiling on his murderer. I thought myself courageous and 
strong; but it must be thus with every conspirator who 
undertakes what I have done. In a moment of excite- 
ment, of pride, of enthusiasm, or of hatred, we take a 
fatal vow; then there is a vast extent of time between 
us and our victim; but the oath taken, the fever is 
calmed, the enthusiasm cools, the hatred diminishes. 
Every day brings us nearer the end to which we are 
tending, and then we shudder when we feel what a crime 
we have undertaken. And yet inexorable time flows on; 
and at every hour which strikes, we see our victim take 
another step, until at length the interval between us dis- 
appears, and we stand face to face. Believe me, mon- 
seigneur, the bravest tremble; for murder is always mur- 
der. Then we see that we are not the ministers of our 
consciences, but the slaves of our oaths. We set out with 


head erect, saying, ' I am the chosen one' ; we arrive with 
head bowed down, saying, 'I am accursed.' " 

"There is yet time, monsieur." 

"No, no; you well know, monseigneur, that fate urges 
me onward. I shall accomplish my ta^k, terrible though 
it be. My heart will shudder, but my hand will still be 
firm. Yes, I tell you, were it not for my friends, whose 
lives hang on the blow I am about to strike, were there 
no Hel^ne, whom I should cover with mourning, if not 
with blood, oh, I would prefer the scaffold, even the 
scaffold, with all its shame, for that does not punish, it 

"Come," said the duke, "I see that, though you trem- 
ble, 3'"ou will act. ' ' 

"Do not doubt it, monseigneur; pray for me, for in 
half an hour all will be over." 

The duke gave an involuntary start; however, approv- 
ing Gaston's determination, he once more mixed with the 

Gaston found an open window with a balcony. He 
stepped out for a moment to cool the fever in his veins, 
but it was in vain; the flame which consumed him was 
not to be extinguished thus. 

He heard one o'clock strike. 

"Now," he murmured, "the time is come, and I cannot 
draw back. My God, to thee I recommend my soul! — 
Hel^ne, adieu!" 

Then slowly bat firmly he went to the door, and, press- 
ing the button, it opened noiselessly before him. 

A mist came before his eyes. He seemed in a new 
world. The music sounded like a distant and charming 
melody. Around him breathed the sweetly perfumed 


flowers, and alabaster lamps lialf hidden in luxuriant 
foliage shed a delicious twilight over the scene, while 
through the interlacing leaves of tropical plants could 
just be seen the leafless gloomy trees beyond, and the 
snow covering the earth as with a winding sheet. Even 
the temperature was changed, and a sudden shiver passed 
through his veins. The contrast of all this verdure, these 
magnificent and blossoming orange trees — these magnolias, 
splendid with the waxy blooms, with the gilded saloons he 
had left, bewildered him. It seemed difficult to connect the 
thought of murder with this fair- smiling and enchanted 
scene. The soft gravel yielded to his tread, and plashing 
fountains murmured forth a plaintive and monotonous 

Graston was almost afraid to look for a human form. 
At length he glanced round. 

Nothing ! He went on. 

At length, beneath a broad-leaved palm, surrounded 
by blooming rhododendrons, he saw the black phantom 
seated on a bank of moss, his back turned toward the side 
from which he was approaching. 

The blood rushed to Gaston's cheeks, his hand trembled, 
and he vainly sought for some support. 

The domino did not move. 

Gaston involuntarily drew back. All at once he forced 
his rebellious limbs to move on, and his trembling fingers 
to grasp the knife they had almost abandoned, and he 
stepped toward the regent, stifling a sob which was about 
to escape him. 

At this moment the figure moved, and Gaston saw the 
golden bee, which seemed like a burning gem before his 


The domino turned toward Gaston, and as te did so, 
the young man's arm grew rigid, the foam rose to his lips, 
his teeth chattered, for a vague suspicion entered his breast. 

Suddenly he uttered a piercing cry. The domino had 
risen and was unmasked — his face was that of the Due 

Gaston, thunderstruck, remained livid and mute. The 
regent and the duke were one and the same. The regent 
retained his calm majestic attitude; looked at the hand 
which held the knife, and the knife fell. Then, looking at 
his intended murderer with a smile at once sweet and sad, 
Gaston fell down before him like a tree cut by the axe. 

Not a word had been spoken; nothing was heard but 
Gaston's broken sobs, and the water of the fountains plash- 
ing monotonously as it fell. 




""T^ISE, monsieur," said the regent. 
I y "Ko, monseigneur, " cried Gaston, bowing his 

forehead to the ground, "oh, no, it is at jour feet 
that I should die. ' ' 

"Die! Gaston, you see that you are pardoned." 

"Oh, monseigneur, punish me, in Heaven's name; for 
you must indeed despise me if you pardon me. ' ' 

"But have you not guessed?" asked the regent. 


"The reason why I pardon you." 

Gaston cast a retrospective glance upon the past: his sad 
and solitary youth, his brother's despairing death, his love 
for Hel^ne, those days that seemed so long away from her, 
those nights that passed so quickly beneath the convent 
window, his journey to Paris, the duke's kindness to the 
young girl, and, last, this unexpected clemency; but in all 
this he beheld nothing, he divined nothing. 

"Thank Hel^ne," said the duke, who saw that Gaston, 
vainly sought the cause of what had happened; "thank 
H^l^ne, for it is she who saves your life." 

' ' Hel^ne ! monseigneur. ' ' 

"I cannot punish my daughter's affianced husband." 


"H^lene your daugliter! oli, monseigneur, and I would 
have killed you!" 

"Yes, remember wliat you said just now. We set out 
tlie cliosen one, we return tlie murderer. And sometimes 
you seem more than a murderer — a parricide — for I am al- 
most your father, ' ' said the duke, holding out his hand to 

"Monseigneur, have mercy on me." 

"You have a noble heart, Gaston." 

"And you, monseigneur, are a noble prince. Hence- 
forth I am yours, body and soul. Every drop of my blood 
for one tear of Hdlene's, for one wish of your highness' s," 

"Thanks, Gaston," said the duke, smiling, "I will repay 
your devotion by your happiness." 

"I happy through your highness! Ah! monseigneur, 
God revenges himself in permitting you to return me so 
much good for the evil I intended you." 

The regent smiled at this effusion of simple joy, when 
the door opened and gave entrance to a green domino. 

"Captain La Jonqui^re!" cried Gaston. 

"Dubois!" murmured the duke, frowning. 

' ' Monseigneur, ' ' said Gaston, hiding his face in his hand, 
pale with affright; "monseigneur, I am lost. It is no 
longer I who must be saved. I forgot my honor, I forgot 
my friends." 

"Your friends, monsieur?" said the duke coldly. "I 
thought you no longer made common cause with such 
men. ' ' 

' ' Monseigneur, you said I had a noble heart ; believe me 
when I say that Pontcalec, Montlouis, Du Couedic, and 
Talhouet have hearts as noble as my own." 

"Noble!" repeated the duke, contemptuously. 


"Yes, monseigneur, I repeat wliat I said." 

"And do you know what ihej would have done, my 
poor child? you, who were their blind tool, the arm that 
they placed at the end of their thoughts. These noble 
hearts would have delivered their country to the stranger, 
they would have erased the name of France from the list of 
sovereign nations. Nobles, they were bound to set an ex- 
ample of courage and loyalty — they have given that of per- 
fidy and cowardice; well, you do not reply — ^you lower your 
eyes; if it be your poniard you seek, it is at your feet; take 
it up, there is yet time. ' ' 

"Monseigneur," said Gaston, clasping his hands, "I re- 
nounce my ideas of assassination, I detest them, and I ask 
your pardon for having entertained them; but if you will 
not save my friends, I beg of you at least to let me perish 
with them. If I live when they die, my honor dies with 
them ; think of it, monseigneur, the honor of the name your 
daughter is to bear. ' ' 

The regent bent his head as he replied — 

"It is impossible, monsieur; they have betrayed France; 
and they must die. ' ' 

"Then I die with them," said Gaston, "for I also have 
betrayed France, and, moreover, would have murdered 
your highness." 

The regent looked at Dubois; the glance they exchanged 
did not escape Gaston. He understood that he had dealt 
with a false La Jonqui^re as well as a false Due d'Olivares. 

"No," said Dubois, addressing Gaston, "you shall not 
die for that, monsieur ; but you must understand that there 
are crimes which the regent has neither the power nor the 
right to pardon." 

"But he pardoned me I" exclaimed Gaston. 


"You are Helene's liusband," said tlie duke. 

' ' You mistake, monseigneur ; I am not, and I never shajt 
be; and as such a sacrifice involves tlie death of him who 
makes it, I shall die, monseigneur." 

"Bah!" said Dubois, "no one dies of love nowadays; it 
was very well in the time of M. d'Urfe and Mademoiselle 
de Scuderi." 

"Perhaps you are right, monsieur; but in all times men 
die by the dagger;" and Gaston stooped and picked up the 
knife with an expression which was not to be mistaken. 

Dubois did not move. 

The regent made a step. 

"Throw down that weapon, monsieur," said he, with 

Gaston placed the point against his breast. 

' ' Throw it down, I say, ' ' repeated the regent. 

"The life of my friends, monseigneur," said Gaston. 

The regent turned again to Dubois, who smiled a sar- 
donic smile. 

" 'Tis well," said the regent, "they shall live." 

"Ah! monsieur," said Gaston, seizing the duke's hand, 
and trying to raise it to his lips, "you are the image of God 
on earth." 

"Monseigneur, you commit an irreparable fault," said 

"What!" cried Gaston, astonished, "you are then — " 

' ' The Abb^ Dubois, at your service, ' ' said the false La 
Jonqui^re, bowing. 

"Oh! monseigneur, listen only to your own heart — I 
implore. ' ' 

"Monseigneur, sign nothing," said Dubois. 

"Sign! monseigneur, sign!" repeated Gaston. "You 


promised tliey should live, and I know your promise is 
sacred. ' ' 

"Dubois, I shall sign," said tlie duke. 

"Has jour highness decided?" 

"I have given my word. " 

"Yery well; as you please." 

"At once, monseigneur, at once; I know not why, but I 
am alarmed in spite of myself; monseigneur, their pardon, 
I implore you. ' ' 

"Eh! monsieur," said Dubois, "since his highness has 
promised, what signify five minutes more or less?" 

The regent looked uneasily at Dubois. 

"Yes, you are right," said he, "this very moment; your 
portfolio, abbe, and quick, the young man is impatient. 

Dubois bowed assent, called a servant, got his portfolio, 
and presented to the regent a sheet of paper, who wrote an 
order on it and signed it. 

"Now a courier." 

"Oh, no! monseigneur, it is useless." 

"Why so?" 

"A courier would never go quickly enough. I will go 
myself, if your highness will permit me; every moment I 
gain will save those unhappy men an age of torture. ' ' 

Dubois frowned. 

"Yes, yes, you are right," said the regent, "go your- 
self;" and he added in a low voice, "and do not let the 
order leave your hands." 

"But, monseigneur," said Dubois, "you are more im- 
patient than the young man himself; you forget that if 
he goes thus there is some one in Paris who will think 
he is dead." 

These words struck Gaston, and recalled to him Hel^ne, 


whom lie had left, expecting him from one moment to an- 
other, in the fear of some great event, and who would never 
forgive him should he leave Paris without seeing her. In 
an instant his resolution was taken; he kissed the duke's 
hand, took the order, and was going, when the regent 
said — 

"Not a word to Helene of what I told you; the only 
recompense I ask of you is to leave me the pleasure of 
telling her she is my child." 

"Your highness shall be obeyed," said Gaston, moved 
to tears, and, again bowing, he hastily went out. 

"This way," said Dubois; "really, you look as if you 
had assassinated some one, and you will be arrested : cross 
this grove, at the end is a path which will lead you to 
the street." 

"Oh, thank you; you understand that delay — " 

"Might be fatal. That is why," added he to himself 
"I have shown you the longest way — go." 

When Gaston had disappeared, Dubois returned to the 

"What is the matter, monseigneur ?" asked he; "you 
seem uneasy." 


"And why?" 

' ' You made no resistance to my performing a good action 
— this frightened me. ' ' 

Dubois smiled. 

"Dubois," said the duke, "you are plotting something." 

"No, monseigneur, it is all arranged." 

"What have you done ?" 

"Monseigneur, I know you.'' 



"I knew what would happen. That you would never 
be satisfied till you had signed the pardon of all these 

"Go on." 

"Well, I also have sent a courier." 


"Yes, I; have I not the right to send couriers?" 

"Yes; but, in Heaven's name, tell me what order your 
courier carried. ' ' 

' ' An order for their execution. ' ' 

"And he is gone ?" 

Dubois took out his watch. 

' ' Two hours ago, ' ' said he. 


"Ah, monseigneur! always big words. Every man to 
his trade. Save M. de Chanlay, if you like; he is your 
son-in-law; as for me, I save you." 

"Yes; but I know De Chanlay. He will arrive before 
the courier." 

"No, monseigneur." 

"Two hours are nothing to a man like him; he will 
soon have made them up." 

"Were my courier only two hours in advance," said 
Dubois, "De Chanlay might overtake him, but he will 
be three." 

"How so?" 

"Because the worthy young man is in love; and if I 
reckon an hour for taking leave of your daughter, I am 
sure it is not too much." 

"Serpent! I understand the meaning of what you said 
just now." 

"He was in an excess of enthusiasm — he might have 


forgotten his love. Yovl know my principle, monseigneur; 
distrust first impulses, they are always good." 

"It is an infamous principle." 

"Monseigneur, either one is a diplomatist or one is 

"Well," said the regent, stepping toward the door, 
"I shall go and warn him." 

"Monseigneur," said Dubois, stopping the duke with 
an accent of extreme resolution, and taking a paper out 
of his portfolio, already prepared, "if you do so, have 
the kindness in that case to accept my resignation at 
once. Joke, if you will, but, as Horace said, 'Est modus 
in rebus.' He was a great as well as a courteous man. 
Come, come, monseigneur, a truce to politics for this even- 
ing. Go back to the ball, and to-morrow evening all will 
be settled — France will be rid of four of her worst enemies, 
and you will retain a son-in-law whom I greatly prefer to 
M. de Riom, I assure you." 

And with these words they returned to the ball-room. 
Dubois joyous and triumphant, the duke sad and thought- 
ful, but convinced that his minister was right. 




GASTON left the conservatory, his heart bounding 
with joj. The enormous weight which had op- 
pressed him since the commencement of the con- 
spiracy, and which ndlene's love had scarcely been able 
to alleviate, now seemed to disappear as at the touch of 
an angel. 

To dreams of vengeance, dreams both terrible and 
bloody, succeeded visions of love and glory. H^l^ne 
was not only a charming and a loving woman, she was 
also a princess of the blood royal — one of those divinities 
whose tenderness men would purchase with their heart's 
blood, if they did not, being after all weak as mortals, 
give this inestimable tenderness away. 

And Gaston felt revive within his breast the slumber- 
ing instinct of ambition. What a brilliant fortune was his 
— one to be envied by such men as Richelieu and Lauzun. 
No Louis XIY., imposing, as on Lauzun, exile or the aban- 
donment of his mistress — no irritated father combating the 
pretensions of a simple gentleman — but, on the contrary, 
a powerful friend, greedy of love, longing to prove his 
affection for his pure and noble daughter. A holy emu- 
lation between the daughter and the son-in-law to make 


themselves more worthy of so just a prince, so mild a 

In a quarter of an hour Graston liad gained tlie Eue 
du Bac. 

The door opened before him — a cry was heard — Hel^ne, 
at the window watching for his return, had recognized the 
carriage, and ran joyously to meet him. 

"Saved!" cried Graston, seeing her; "saved! my friends, 
I — ^you — all — saved !" 

"Oh, God!" cried Helene, turning pale, "you have 
killed him, then?" 

"No, no; thank God! Oh Helene! what a heart, what 
a man is this regent ! Oh, love him well, Helene ! you will 
love him, will you not?" 

"Explain yourself, Gaston." 

"Come, and let us speak of ourselves; I have but a 
few moments to give you, Helene; but the duke will tell 
you all." 

"One thing before all," said Helene, "what is your 

"The brightest in the world, H^l^ne — your husband, 
rich and honored. Helene, I am wild with joy." 

"And you remain with me at last?" 

"No; I leave you, Helene." 

"Oh, heavens!" 

' ' But to return. ' ' 

' ' Another separation ! ' ' 

' ' Three days at the most — three days only. I go to bring 
blessings on your name, on mine, on that of our protector, 
our friend." 

' ' Where are you going ?' ' 

"To Nantes!" 


*'To Nantes!" 

"Yes. This order is the pardon of Pontcalec, Mont- 
louis, Talhouet and Du Couedic. They are condemned 
to death, and they will owe me their lives. Oh, do not 
keep me here, Hel^ne; think of what you suffered just 
now, when you were watching for me. ' ' 

"And, consequently, what I am to suffer again." 

"No, my Hel^ne; for this time there is no fear, no ob- 
stacle ; this time you are sure of my return. ' ' 

"Gaston, shall I never see you but at rare intervals, and 
for a few minutes ? Ah ! Gaston, I have so much need of 
happiness. ' ' 

"You shall be happy, Hel^ne, be assured." 

"My heart sinks." 

"Ah! when you know all!" 

' ' But tell me at once. ' ' 

"Hdl^ne, the only thing wanting to my happiness is the 
permission to fall at your feet and tell you all ; but I have 
promised ; nay more, I have sworn. ' ' 

"Always some secret!" 

"This, at least, is a joyful one." 

"Oh, Gaston, Gaston, I tremble." 

"Look at me, Helene; can you fear when you see the 
joy that sparkles in my eyes ?' ' 

"Why do you not take me with you, Gaston ?" 


' ' I beg of you to let us go together. ' ' 

* 'Impossible." 


"Because, first, I must be at Nantes in twenty hours." 

"I will follow you, even should I die with fatigue." 

"Then, because you are no longer your own mistress; 


you have liere a protector, to whom you owe respect and 
obedience. ' ' 

"The duke?" 

"Yes; the duke. Oh, when you know what he has done 
for me — for us. ' ' 

"Let us leave a letter for him, and he will forgive us." 

"No, no; he will say we are ungrateful; and he would 
be right. No, Hel^ne; while I go to Bretagne, swift as a 
saving angel, you shall remain here and hasten the prepara- 
tions for our marriage. And when I return, I shall at once 
demand my wife ; at your feet I shall bless you for the hap- 
piness and the honor you bestow on me. ' ' 

"You leave me, Gaston?" cried Hel^ne, in a voice of 

"Oh, not thus, Helene, not thus; I cannot leave you so. 
Oh, no! be joyous, Hel5ne; smile on me; say to me, in 
giving me your hand, that hand so pure and faithful, 'Go, 
Gaston, go, for it is your duty.' " 

"Yes, my friend," said Hel5ne, "perhaps I ought to 
speak thus, but I have not the strength. Gaston, for- 
give me. ' ' 

"Oh, Helene, when I am so joyful." 

"Gaston, it is beyond my power; remember that you 
take with you the half of my life. ' ' 

Gaston heard the clock strike three, and started. 

' ' Adieu, Helene, ' ' said he. 

' ' Adieu, ' ' murmured she. 

Once more he pressed her hand and raised it to his lips, 
then dashed down the staircase toward the door. 

But he heard Helene 's sobs. 

Rapidly he remounted the staircase and ran to her. 
She was standing at the door of the room he had just left. 


Graston clasped her in his arms, and she hung weeping upon 
his neck. 

''Oh, mon Dieu!" cried she, "you leave me again, Gas- 
ton; listen to what I say, we shall never meet more." 

"My poor Hel^ne, " cried the young man, "you are 

"Despair has made me so." 

And her tears ran down her cheeks. 

All at once she seemed to make a violent effort, and, 
pressing her lips on those of her lover, she clasped him 
tightly to her breast, then quickly repulsing him — 

"Now go, Gaston," said she, "now I can die." 

Gaston replied by passionate caresses. The clock struck 
the half-hour. 

"Another half -hour to make up." 

"Adieu, adieu, Gaston; you are right, you should al- 
ready be away. ' ' 

' ' Adieu for a time. ' ' 

"Adieu, Gaston." 

And Hel^ne returned to the pavilion. Gaston procured 
a horse, saddled, mounted, and left Paris by the same gate 
by which he had entered some days previously. 




THE commission named by Dubois was to be perma- 
nent. Invested witb unlimited powers, wbicli in 
certain cases means tbat tbe decision is settled 
beforehand, tbey besieged tbe earth, supported by strong 
detachments of troops. 

Since the arrest of the four gentlemen, Nantes, terrified 
at first, had risen in their favor. The whole of Bretagne 
awaited a revolt, but in the meanwhile was quiet. 

However, the trial was approaching. On the eve of 
the public audience, Pontcalec held a serious conversation 
with his friends. 

"Let us consider," said he, "whether in word or deed 
we have committed any imprudence. ' ' 

"No," said the other three. 

' • Has any one of you imparted our projects to his wife, 
his brother, a friend ? Have you, Montlouis ?' ' 

"No, on my honor." 

"You, Talhouet?" 


"You, Couedic?" 


"Then they have neither proof nor accusation against 
us. No one has surprised us, no one wishes us harm." 

"But," said Montlouis, "meanwhile we shall be tried." 


"On what grounds ?" 

"Oh, secret information," said Talhouet, smiling. 

"Very secret," said Du Couedic, "since they do not 
breathe a word." 

(J "Ah, one fine night they will force us to escape, that 
they may not be obliged to liberate us some fine day." 

"I do not believe it," said Montlouis, who had always 
been the most desponding, perhaps because he had the most 
at stake, having a young wife and two children who adored 
him. "I do not believe it. I have seen Dubois in Eng- 
land. I have talked with him; his face is like a ferret's, 
licking his lips when thirsty. Dubois is thirsty, and we 
are taken. Dubois's thirst will be slaked by our blood." 

"But," said Du Couedic, "there is the parliament of 
Bretagne. ' ' 

"Yes, to look on, while we lose our heads." 

There was only one of the four who smiled; that was 

"My friends," said he, "take courage. If Dubois be 
thirsty, so much the worse for Dubois. He will go mad, 
that is all; but this time I answer for it he shall not taste 
our blood. ' ' 

And, indeed, from the beginning the task of the com- 
mission seemed difficult. No confessions, no proofs, no 
witnesses. Bretagne laughed in the commissioners' faces, 
and when she did not laugh, she threatened. The president 
despatched a courier to Paris to explain the state of things, 
and get further instructions. 

"Judge by their projects," said Dubois; "they may have 
done little because they were prevented, but they intended 
much, and the intention in matters of rebellion is equiva- 
lent to the act." 

(0)— Yol. 23 


Armed witli this terrible weapon, the commission soon 
overthrew the hopes of the province. There was a terrible 
audience, in which the accused commenced with raillery 
and ended with accusation. On re- entering the prison, 
Pontcalec congratulated them on the truths they had 
told the judge. 

"Nevertheless," said Montlouis, "it is a bad affair. 
Bretagne does not revolt." 

"She waits our condemnation," said Talhouet. 

"Then she will revolt somewhat late," said Montlouis. 

"But our condemnation may not take place," said Pont- 
calec. "Say, frankly, we are guilty, but without proofs 
who will dare to sentence us ? The commission ?' ' 

"No, not the commission, but Dubois." 

"I have a great mind to do one thing," said Du Couedic. 


"At the first audience to cry, 'Bretagne to the rescue!' 
Each time we have seen faces of friends; we should be de- 
livered or killed, but at least it would be decided. I should 
prefer death to this suspense." 

"But why run tha iisk of being wounded by some satel- 
lite of justice ^' 

"Because such a wound might be healed; not so the 
wound tne executioner would make." 

"Oh! ' said Pontcalec, "you will have no more to do 
with the executioner than I shall." 

"Always the prediction," said Montlouis. "You know 
that I have no faith in it. ' ' 

"You are wrong." 

"This is sure, my friends," said Pontcalec. "We shall 
be exiled, we shall be forced to embark, and I shall be lost 
on the way. This is my fate. Bu^ yours may be different. 



Ask to go by a different vessel from me ; or there is another 
chance. I may fall from the deck, or slip on the steps; at 
least, I shall die by the water. You know that is certain. 
I might be condemned to death, taken to the very scaffold, 
but if the scaffold were on dry ground I should be as easy 
as I am now. ' ' 

His tone of confidence gave them courage. They even 
laughed at the rapidity with which the deliberations were 
carried on. They did not know that Dubois sent courier 
after courier from Paris to hasten them. 

At length the commission declared themselves sufficiently 
enlightened, and retired to deliberate in secret session. 

Never was there a more stormy discussion. History 
has penetrated the secrets of these deliberations, in which 
some of the least bold or least ambitious counsellors re- 
volted against the idea of condemning these gentlemen 
on presumptions which were supported solely by the in- 
telligence transmitted to them by Dubois; but the majority 
were devoted to Dubois, and the committee came to abuse 
and quarrels, and almost to blows. 

At the end of a sitting of eleven hours' duration, the 
majority declared their decision. 

The commissioners associated sixteen others of the con- 
tumacious gentlemen with the four chiefs, and declared — 

"That the accused, found guilty of criminal projects, of 
treason, and of felonious intentions, should be beheaded: 
those present, in person, those absent, in e^gj. That the 
walls and fortifications of their castles should be demol- 
ished, their patents of nobility annulled, and their forests 
cat down to the height of nine feet." 

An hour after the delivery of this sentence, an order was 
given to the usher to announce it to the prisoners. 


The sentence had been given after the stormy sitting 
of which we have spoken, and in which the accused had 
experienced such lively marks of sympathy from the pub- 
lic. And so, having beaten the judges on all the counts of 
the indictment, never had they been so full of hope. 

They were seated at supper in their common room, call- 
ing to mind all the details of the sitting, when suddenly the 
door opened, and in the shade appeared the pale and stern 
form of the usher. 

The solemn apparition changed their pleasant conversa- 
tion, on the instant, into anxious palpitations. 

The usher advanced slowly, while the jailer remained 
at the door, and the barrels of muskets were seen shining 
in the gloom of the corridor. 

"What is your will, sir?" asked Pontcalec, "and what 
signifies this deadly paraphernalia?" 

"Gentlemen," said the usher, "I bear the sentence of 
the tribunal. On your knees and listen." 

"How?" said Montlouis, "it is only sentences of death 
that must be heard kneeling. ' ' 

"On your knees, gentlemen," replied the usher. 

"Let the guilty and the base kneel," said Du Couedic; 
"we are gentlemen, and innocent. We will hear our sen- 
tences standing. ' ' 

•'As you will, gentlemen; but uncover yourselves, for 
I speak in the king's name." 

Talhouet, who alone had his hat on, removed it. The 
four gentlemen stood erect and bareheaded, leaning on 
each other, with pale faces and a smile upon their lips. 

The usher read the sentence through, uninterrupted by 
a murmur, or by a single gesture of surprise. 

When he had finished — 


"Why was I told," asked Pontcalec, "to declare tlie 
designs of Spain against France, and that 1 should be 
liberated ? Spain was an enemy's country. I declared 
what I believed I knew of her projects; and, lo! I am 
condemned. Why is this? Is the commission, then, com- 
posed of cowards who spread snares for the accused?" 

The usher made no answer. 

"But," added Montlouis, "the regent spared all Paris, 
implicated in the conspiracy of Cellamare; not a drop of 
blood was shed. Yet those who wished to carry off the 
regent, perhaps to kill him, were at least as guilty as men 
against whom no serious accusations even could be made. 
Are we then chosen to pay for the indulgence shown to 
the capital?" 

The usher made no reply. 

"You forget one thing, Montlouis," said Du Couedic, 
"the old family hatred against Bretagne; and the regent, 
to make people believe that he belongs to the family, 
wishes to prove that he hates us. It is not we personally 
who are struck at; it is a province, which for three hundred 
years has claimed in vain its privileges and its rights, and 
which they wish to find guilty in order to have done with 
it forever. ' ' 

The usher preserved a religious silence. 

"Enough," said Talhouet, "we are condemned. 'Tia 
well. Now, have we, or have we not, the right of 
appeal ?' ' 

"No, gentlemen," said the usher. 

"Then you can retire," said Du Couedic. 

The usher bowed and withdrew, followed by his escort, 
and the prison door, heavy and clanging, closed once more 
upon the four gentlemen- 


"Well!" said Montlouis, wlien tliey were again alone. 

"Well, we are condemned," said Pontcalec. "I never 
said there would be no sentence; I only said it would not 
be carried into execution." 

' ' I am of Pontcalec' s opinion, ' ' said Talhouet. ' ' What they 
have done is but to terrify the province and test its patience. ' ' 

"Besides," said Du Couedic, "they will not execute 
us without the regent's ratification of the sentence. Now, 
without an extraordinary courier, it will take two days 
to reach Paris, one to examine into the affair, and two to 
return, all together five days. We have, then, five days 
before us; and what may not happen in five days? The 
province will rise on hearing of our doom-r-" 

Montlouis shook his head. 

"Besides, there is Gaston," said Pontcalec, "whom you 
always forget." 

"I am much afraid that Gaston has been arrested," said 
Montlouis. "I know Gaston, and were he at liberty, we 
should have heard of him ere now." 

"Prophet of evil," said Talhouet, "at least you will not 
deny that we have some days before us. ' ' 

"Who knows ?" said Montlouis. 

" And the waters ?" said Pontcalec; "the waters? You 
always forget that I can only perish by the waters. ' ' 

"Well, then, let us be seated again," said Du Couedic, 
"and a last glass to our healths." 

"There is no more wine," said Montlouis; " 'tis an evil 
omen. ' ' 

"Bah! there is more in the cellar," said Pontcalec. 

And he called the jailer. 

The man, on entering, found the four friends at table; 
he looked at them in astonishment. 


"Well, what is there new, Master Cliristoplier ?" said 

Christoplier came from Guer, and liad a particular re- 
spect for Pontcalec, whose uncle Crjsogon had been his 

"Nothing but what you know," he replied. 

"Then go and fetch some wine." 

"They wish to deaden their feelings," said the jailer to 
himself; "poor gentlemen." 

Montlouis alone heard Christopher's remark, and he 
smiled sadly. 

An instant afterward they heard steps rapidly ap- 
proaching their room. The door opened, and Christopher 
reappeared without any bottle in his hand. 

"Well," said Pontcalec, "where is the wine?" 

"Good news," cried Christopher, without answering 
Pontcalec' s inquiry, "good news, gentlemen." 

"What?" said Montlouis, starting. "Is the regent — 

"And Bretagne in revolt ?" asked Du Couedic. 

"No. I could not call that good news." 

"Well, what is it then ?" asked Pontcalec. 

"Monsieur de Chateauneuf has just ordered back to their 
barracks the hundred and fifty men who were under arms 
in the market-place, which had terrified everybody." 

"Ah," said Montlouis, "I begin to believe it will not 
take place this evening." 

At this moment the clock struck six. 

"Well," said Pontcalec, "good news is no reason for 
our remaining thirsty; go and fetch our wine." 

Christopher went out, and returned in ten minutes with 
a bottle. 


The friends, who were still at table, filled their glasses. 

"To Gaston's health," said Pontcalec, exchanging a 
meaning glance with his friends, to whom alone this toast 
was comprehensible. 

And they emptied their glasses, all except Montlouis, 
who stopped as he was lifting his to his lips. 

"Well, what is it?" said Pontcalec. 

"The drum," said Montlouis, stretching out his hand in 
the direction where he heard the sound. 

' ' Well, ' ' said Talhouet, ' ' did you not hear what (3hris- 
topher said ? it is the troops returning, ' ' 

' ' On the contrary, it is the troops going out ; that is not 
a retreat, but the generulo. ' ' 

"The generalef^ said Talhouet, "what on earth can that 
mean ?' ' 

"ISTo good," said Montlouis, shaking his head. 

"Christopher!" said Pontcalec, turning to the jailer. 

"Yes, gentlemen, I will find out what it is," said he, 
"and be back in an instant." 

He rushed out oi the room, but not without carefully 
shutting the door behind him. 

The four friends remained in anxious silence. After a 
lapse of ten minutes the door opened, and the jailer reap- 
peared, pale with terror. 

"A courier has just entered the castle court," said he; 
"he comes from Paris, he has delivered his despatches, and 
immediately the guards were doubled, and the drums beat 
in all the barracks. ' ' 

"Oh, oh!" said Montlouis, "that concerns us." 

' ' Some one is ascending the stairs, ' ' said the jailer, more 
pale and trembling than those to whom he spoke. In fact, 
they heard the butt ends of the muskets clanging on the 


stones of the corridor, and at the same time several voices 
were heard speaking hastily. 

The door opened, and the usher reappeared. 

' ' Gentlemen, ' ' said he, ' ' how long do you desire to set your 
worldly affairs in order, and to undergo your sentence ?' ' 

A profound terror froze even the hearers. 

"I desire," said Montlouis, "time for the sentence to 
reach Paris and return, approved by the regent." 

"I," said Talhouet, "only desire the time necessary for 
the commission to repent of its iniquity." 

"As for me," said Du Couedic, "I wish for time for the 
minister at Paris to commute the sentence into eight days' 
imprisonment, which we deserve for having acted somewhat 
thoughtlessly. ' ' 

"And you," said the usher gravely, to Pontcalec, who 
was silent, "what do you ask?" 

"I," said Pontcalec calmly, "I demand nothing." 

"Then, gentlemen," said the usher, "this is the answer 
of the commission : you have two hours at your disposal to 
arrange your spiritual and temporal affairs; it is now half- 
past six, in two hours and a half you must be on the Place 
du Bouffay, where the execution will take place. ' ' 

There was a profound silence; the bravest felt fear 
seizing the very roots of their hair. 

The usher retired without any one having made any 
answer; only the condemned looked at each other, and 
pressed each other's hands. 

They had two hours. 

Two hours, in the ordinary course of life, seem some- 
times an age, at others two hours are but a moment. 

The priests arrived, after them the soldiers, then the 


The situation was appalling. Pontcalec, alone, did not 
belie himself. Not that the others wanted courage, but 
they wanted hope; still Pontcalec reassured them by the 
calmness with which he addressed, not only the priests, 
but the executioners themselves. 

They made the preparations for that terrible process 
called the toilet of the condemned. The four sufferers 
must proceed to the scaffold dressed in black cloaks, in 
order that in the eyes of the people, from whom they always 
feared some tumult, they might be confounded with the 
priests who exhorted them. 

Then the question of tying their hands was discussed — 
an important question. 

Pontcalec answered with his smile of sublime con- 
.fidence — 

"Oh, leave us at least our hands free; we will go with- 
out disturbance." 

"That has nothing to do with us," replied the execu- 
tioner who was attending to Pontcalec; "unless by special 
order, the rules are the same for all sufferers. ' ' 

"And who gives these orders?" said Pontcalec, laugh- 
ing, ' ' the king ?' ' 

"No, marquis," replied the executioner, astonished by 
such unexampled presence of mind, "not the king, but 
our chief." 

"And where is your chief ?" 

"That is he, talking with the jailer Christopher." 

"Call him then," said Pontcalec. 

"Ho, Monsieur Waters!" cried the executioner, "please 
to come this way; there is one of these gentlemen asking 
for you." 

A thunderbolt falling in the midst of them would not 


have produced a more terrible effect upon the four gentle- 
men than did this name. 

' ' What did you say ?' ' cried Pontcalec, shaking with 
affright; "what did you say? What name did you pro- 
nounce ?" 

' ' Waters, our chief. ' ' 

Pontcalec, pale and overcome, sank upon a chair, cast- 
ing an unutterable glance upon his affrighted comjjanions. 
No one around them understood this sudden despair, which 
so rapidly succeeded to so high a confidence. 

" Well ?" said Montlouis, addressing Pontcalec in a tone 
of tender reproach. 

"Yes, gentlemen, you were right," said Pontcalec; "but 
I also was right to believe in this prediction, for it will be 
accomplished, as the others were. Only this time I yield, 
and confess that we are lost." 

And by a spontaneous movement the four gentlemen 
threw themselves into each other's arms, with prayers to 

"What do you order?" asked the executioner. 

"It is useless to tie their hands if they will give their 
words of honor ; they are soldiers and gentlemen. ' ' 





EANWHILE, Graston posted along the road to 
Nantes, leaving behind him all postilions, whose 
place, then as now, was to hold the horses instead 
of urging them on. 

He had already passed Sevres and Versailles, and on 
arriving at Rambouillet just at daybreak, he saw the inn- 
keeper and some postilions gathered round a horse which 
had just been bled. The horse was lying stretched on its 
side, in the middle of the street, breathing with difficulty. 

Gaston at first paid no attention to all this; but as 
he was mounting himself, he heard one of the bystanders 
say — "If he goes on at that pace he will kill more than 
one between this and Nantes." 

Gaston was on the point of starting, but struck by a 
sudden and terrible idea, he stopped and signed to the 
innkeeper to come to him. 

The innkeeper approached. 

"Who has passed by here?" asked Gaston, "going at 
such a pace as to have put that poor animal in such 
a state?" 

"A courier of the minister's," answered the innkeeper. 

"A courier of the minister's!" exclaimed Gaston, "and 
coming from Paris ?' ' 


"From Paris." 

"How long lias he passed, more or less?" 

' ' About two hours. ' ' 

Gaston uttered a low cry whicli was like a groan. He 
knew Dubois — Dubois, who had tricked him under the 
disguise of La Jonqui^re. The goodwill of the minister 
recurred to his mind and frightened him. Why this cou- 
rier despatched post haste just two hours before himself? 

' ' Oh ! I was too happy, ' ' thought the young man, ' ' and 
Hel^ne was right when she told me she had a presenti- 
ment of some great misfortune. Oh, I will overtake this 
courier, and learn the message that he bears, or perish 
in the attempt. ' ' 

And he shot off like an arrow. 

But with all these doubts and interrogations he had lost 
ten minutes more, so that on arriving at the first post sta- 
tion he was still two hours behind. This time the courier's 
horse had held out, and it was Gaston's which was ready 
to drop. The innkeeper tried to speak, but Gaston dropped 
two or three louis and set off again at a gallop. 

At the next posting- house he had gained a few minutes, 
and that was all. The courier who was before him had not 
slackened his pace. Gaston increased his own; but this 
frightful rapidity redoubled the young man's fever and 

"Oh!" said he, "I tyiZZ arrive at the same time that he 
does, if I am unable to precede him. ' ' And he doubled his 
speed, and spurred on his horse, which, at every station, 
stopped dripping with blood and sweat, or tumbled down 
exhausted. At every station he learned that the courier 
had passed almost as swiftly as himself, but he always 
gained some few minutes, and that sustained his strength. 


Those wlaom lie passed upon the way, leaving them far 
behind, pitied, in spite of themselves, the beautiful young 
man, pale-faced and haggard, who flew on thus, and took 
neither rest nor food, dripping with sweat, despite the 
bitter cold, and whose parched lips could only frame the 
words: "A horse! a horse! quick, there, a horse!" 

And, in fact, exhausted, with no strength but that sup- 
plied him by his heart, and maddened more and more by 
the rapidity of his course and the feeling of danger, Graston 
felt his head turn, his temples throb, and the perspiration 
of his limbs was tinged with blood. 

Choked by the thirst and dryness of his throat, at An- 
cenis he drank a glass of water: it was the first moment 
he had lost during sixteen hours, and yet the accursed 
courier was still an hour and a half in advance. In 
eighty leagues Gaston had only gained some forty or fifty 

The night was drawing in rapidly, and Gaston, ever 
expecting to see some object appear on the horizon, tried 
to pierce the obscurity with his bloodshot glances; on he 
went, as in a dream, thinking he heard the ringing of bells, 
the roar of cannon, and the roll of drums. His brain was 
full of mournful strains and inauspicious sounds; he lived 
no longer as a man, but his fever kept him up ; he flew as 
it were in the air. 

On, and still on. About eight o'clock at night he per- 
ceived Nantes at length upon the horizon, like a dark mass 
from out the midst of which some scattered lights were 
shining starlike in the gloom. 

He tried to breathe, and, thinking his cravat was chok- 
ing him, he tore it off and threw it on the road. 

Thus, mounted on his black horse, wrapped in his black 


cloak, and long ago bareheaded (his hat had fallen off), 
Gaston was like some fiendish cavalier bound to the 
Witches' Sabbath. 

On reaching the gates of Nantes his horse stumbled, 
but Gaston did not lose his stirrups, pulled him up sharply, 
and driving the spurs into his sides, he made him recover 

The night was dark, no one appeared upon the ramparts, 
the very sentinels were hidden in the gloom; it seemed like 
a deserted city. 

But as he passed the gate a sentinel said something 
which Gaston did not even hear. 

He held on his way. 

At the Eue du Chateau his horse stumbled and fell, 
this time to rise no more. 

What mattered it to Gaston now ? — he had arrived. On 
he went on foot; his limbs were strained and deadened, yet 
he felt no fatigue, he held the paper crumpled in his hand. 

One thing, however, astonished him, and that was meet- 
ing no one in so populous a quarter. 

As he advanced, however, he heard a sullen murmur 
coming from the Place de Bouffay, as he passed before 
a long street which led into that Place. 

There was a sea of heads, lighted up by flaring lights; 
but Gaston passed on — his business was at the castle — and 
the sight disappeared. 

At last he saw the castle — ^he saw the door gaping wide 
before him. The sentinel on guard upon the drawbridge 
tried to stop him; but Gaston, his order in his hand, pushed 
him roughly aside and entered the inner door. 

Men were talking, and one of them wiping his tears off 
as he talked. 


Gaston understood it all. 

"A reprieve!" he cried, "A re — " 

Tlie word died upon his lips; but the men had done 
better than hear, they had seen his despairing gesture. 

"Go, go!" they cried, showing him the way, "go! and, 
perhaps you may yet arrive in time. ' ' 

And they themselves dispersed in all directions. Gaston 
pursued his way; he traversed a corridor, then some empty 
rooms, then the great chamber, and then another corridor. 

Far off, through the bars, by the torchlight, he per- 
ceived the great crowd of which he had caught a glimpse 

He had passed right through the castle, and issued on 
a terrace; thence he perceived the esplanade, a scaffold, 
men, and all around the crowd. 

Gaston tried to cry, but no one heard him, he waved. 
his handkerchief, but no one saw him; another man mounts 
on the scaffold, and Gaston uttered a cry and threw himself 
down below. 

He had leaped from the top of the rampart to the bot- 
tom. A sentinel tried to stop him, but he threw him down, 
and descended a sort of staircase which led down to the 
square, and at the bottom was a sort of barricade of 
wagons. Gaston bent down and glided between the wheels. 

Beyond the barricade were all St. Simon's Grenadiers 
—a living hedge; Gaston, with a desperate effort, broke 
through the line, and found himself inside the ring. 

The soldiers, seeing a man, pale and breathless, with 
a paper in his hand, allowed him to pass. 

All of a sudden he stopped, as if struck by light- 
ning. Talhouet ! — he saw him ! — Talhouet kneeling on the 
scaffold ! 


' ' Stop I stop !' ' cried Gaston, witli all the energy of despair. 

But even as lie spoke tlie sword of tlie executioner 
flashed like lightning, a dull and heavy blow followed, 
and a terrible shudder ran through all the crowd. 

The young man's shriek was lost in the general cry 
arising from twenty thousand palpitating breasts at once. 

He had arrived a moment too late — Talhouet was dead: 
and, as he lifted his eyes, he saw in the hand of the heads- 
man the bleeding head of his friend — and then, in the 
nobility of his heart, he felt that, one being dead, they 
all should die; that not one of them would accept a par- 
don which arrived a head too late. He looked around him; 
Du Couedic mounted in his turn, clothed with his black 
mantle, bare-headed and bare-necked. 

Gaston remembered that he also had a black mantle, 
and that his head and neck were bare, and he laughed 

He saw what remained for him to do, as one sees some 
wild landscape by the lightning's livid gleam — 'tis awful, 
but grand. 

Du Couedic bends down; but, as he bends, he cries: 
"See how they recompense the services of faithful soldiers! 
— see how you keep your promises, oh ye cowards of 

Two assistants force him on his knees; the sword of 
the executioner whirls round and gleams again, and Du 
Couedic lies beside Talhouet. 

The executioner takes up the head; shows it to the 
people; and then places it at one corner of the scaffold, 
opposite that of Talhouet. 

"Who next?" asks Waters. 

"It matters little," answers a voice, "provided that 


Monsieur de Pontcalec be tlie last, according to his 
sentence. ' ' 

"I, then," says Montlouis, "I." And he springs upon 
the scaffold. But there he stops, his hair bristling; at 
a window before him he has seen his wife and his 

"Montlouis! Montlouis!" cries his wife, with the despair- 
ing accent of a breaking heart, "Montlouis! loojs: at us!" 

, At the same moment all ejes were turned toward that 
window. Soldiers, citizens, priests, and executioners look 
the same way. Gaston profits by the deathlike silence 
which reigns around him, springs to the scaffold, and 
grasps the staircase and mounts the first steps. 

"My wife! my children!" cries Montlouis, wringing his 
hands in despair; "0 Grod, have pity upon me!" 

"Montlouis!" cries his wife, holding up afar the young- 
est of his sons, "Montlouis, bless your children, and one 
day, perhaps, one of them will avenge you." 

"Adieu! my children, my blessing on you!" cries Mont- 
louis, stretching his hands toward the window. 

These mournful adieus pierce the night, and reverberate 
like a terrible echo in the hearts of the spectators. 

"Enough," says Waters, "enough." Then, turning to 
his assistants — 

"Be quick!" says he, "or the people will not allow us 
to finish. ' ' 

"Be easy," says Montlouis; "if the people should rescue 
me, I would not survive them." 

And he pointed with his finger to the heads of his com- 

' ' Ah, I had estimated them rightly, then, ' ' cried Gaston, 
who heard these words, "Montlouis, martyr, pray forme." 


Montlouis turned round, lie seemed to "have heard a 
well-known voice; but at tlie very moment the execu- 
tioner seized him, and almost instantly a loud cry told 
Gaston that Montlouis was like the others, and that Ins 
turn was come. 

He leaped up; in a moment he was on the top of the 
ladder, and he in his turn looked down from the abomi- 
nable platform upon all that crowd. At three corners 
of the scaffold were the heads of Talhouet, Du Couedic, 
and Montlouis. 

But there arose then a strange emotion in the people. 
The execution of Montlouis, attended by the circumstances 
we have narrated, had upset the crowd. All the square, 
heaving and uttering murmurs and imprecations, seemed 
to Gaston some vast sea with life in every wave. At this 
moment the idea flashed across him that he might be 
recognized, and that his name uttered by a single mouth 
might prevent his carrying out his intention. He fell on 
his knees, and laid his head himself upon the block. 

"Adieu!" he murmured, "adieu, my friends, my tender, 
dear Hel^ne; thy nuptial kiss has cost me my life indeed, 
but not mine honor. Alas! those fifteen minutes wasted 
in thine arms will have struck down five heads. Adieu I 
Helene, adieu!" 

The sword of the executioner gleamed. 

' ' And you, my friends, pardon me, ' ' added the young man. 

The steel fell; the head rolled one way, and the body 
fell the other. 

Then Waters raised the head and showed it to the 

But then a mighty murmur rose from the crowd; no 
one had recognized Pontcalec. 


The executioner mistook tlie meaning of this murmur; 
lie placed Gaston's head at the empty corner, and with his 
foot pushing the body into the tumbrel where those of 
his three companions awaited it, he leaned upon his sword, 
and cried aloud — "'Justice is done." 

"And I, then," cried, a voice of thunder, "am I to be 
forgotten ?" 

And Pontcalec, in his turn, leaped upon the scaffold. 

"You!" cried "Waters, recoiling as if he had seen a 
ghost. ' ' You ! who are you ?' ' 

"I," said Pontcalec; "come, I am ready." 

' ' But, ' ' said the executioner, trembling, and looking one 
after the other at the four corners of the scaffold — "but 
there are four heads already." 

"I am the Baron de Pontcalec, do you hear? I am to 
die the last — and here I am." 

"Count," said Waters, as pale as the baron, pointing 
with his sword to the four corners. 

"Four heads!" exclaimed Pontcalec; "impossible." At 
this moment he recognized in one of the heads the pale and 
noble face of Gaston, which seemed to smile upon him even 
in death. 

And he in his turn started back in terror. 

"Oh, kill me then quickly!" he cried, groaning with 
impatience; "would you make me die a thousand times?" 

During this interval, one of the commissioners had 
mounted the ladder, called by the chief executioner. He 
cast a glance upon Pontcalec. 

"It is indeed the Baron de Pontcalec," said the commis- 
sioner; "perform your office." 

"But," cried the executioner, "there are four heads 
there already." 


"Well, then, liis will make five; better too many tlian 
too few." 

And the commissioner descended the steps, signing to 
the drums to beat. 

Waters reeled upon the boards of his scaffold. The 
tumult increased. The horror was more than the crowd 
could bear. A long murmur ran along the square; the 
lights were put out; the soldiers, driven back, cried, "To 
arms!" there was a moment of noise and confusion, and 
several voices exclaimed — 

"Death to the commissioners! death to the execution- 
ers!" Then the guns of the fort, loaded with grape, were 
pointed toward the people. 

"What shall I do?" asked Waters. 

"Strike," answered the same voice which had always 

Pontcalec threw himself on his knees; the assistants 
placed his head uj^on the block. Then the priests fled iu 
horror, the soldiers trembled in the gloom, and Waters, 
as he struck, turned away his head lest he should see his 
victim. Ten minutes afterward the square was empty — the 
windows closed and dark. The artillery and the fusiliers 
encamped around the demolished scaffold looked in silence 
on the spots of blood that incarnadined the pavement. 

The priests to whom the bodies were delivered recog- 
nized that there were indeed, as Waters had said, five 
bodies instead of four. One of the corpses still held a 
crumpled paper in his hand. 

This paper was the pardon of the other four. Then only 
was all explained — and the devotion of Gaston, which he 
had confided to no one, was divined. 

The priests wished to perform a mass, but the president, 


Chateauneuf, fearing some disturbance at Nantes, ordered 
it to be performed witbout pomp or ceremony. 

Tbe bodies were buried on the Wednesday before 
Easter. The people were not permitted to enter the 
chapel where the mutilated bodies reposed, the greater 
part of which, report .says, the quicklime refused to 

And this finished the tragedy of Nan ^s. 



AFOETNIGHT after the events we have just related, 
a queer carriage, the same which we saw arrive at 
Paris at the commencement of this history, went 
out at the same barrier by which it had entered, and pro- 
ceeded along the road from Paris to Nantes. A young 
woman, pale and almost dying, was seated in it by the 
side of an Augustine nun, who uttered a sigh and wiped 
away a tear every time she looked at her companion. 

A man on horseback was watching for the carriage a 
little beyond Eambouillet. He was wrapped in a large 
cloak which left nothing visible but his eyes. 

Near him was another man also enveloped in a cloak. 

When the carriage passed, he heaved a deep sigh, and 
two silent tears fell from his eyes. 

"Adieu!" he murmured, "adieu all my joy, adieu my 
happiness! adieu, Hel^ne, my child, adieu!" 

"Monseigneur," said the man beside him, "you must 


pay for being a great prince; and he who would govern 
others must first conquer himself. Be strong to the end, 
monseigneur, and posterity will say that you were great.** 

"Oh, I shall never forgive you," said the regent, with a 
sigh so deep it sounded like a groan ; ' ' for you have killed 
my happiness. ' ' 

' ' Ah, yes ! — work for kings, ' ' said the companion of this 
sorrowful man, shrugging his shoulders. " 'Noli fidere 
principibus terras nee filiis eorum.' " 

The two men remained there till the carriage had dis- 
appeared, and then returned to Paris. 

Eight days afterward the carriage entered the porch of 
the Augustines at Clisson. On its arrival, all the convent 
pressed round the suffering traveller — poor floweret ! broken 
by the rough winds of the world. 

"Come, my child; come and live with us again," said 
the superior. 

"Not live, my mother," said the young girl, "but die.** 

"Think only of the Lord, my child," said the good 

"Yes, my mother! Our Lord, who died for the sins 
of men." 

Helena returned to her little cell, from which she had 
been absent scarcely a month. Everything was still in its 
place, and exactly as she had left it. She went to the win- 
dow: the lake was sleeping tranquil and sad, but the ice 
which had covered it had disappeared beneath the rain, and 
with it the snow, where, before departing, the young girl 
had seen the impression of Gaston's footsteps. 

Spring came, and everything but Hdl^ne began to live 
once more. The trees around the little lake grew green, 
the large leaves of the water-lilies floated once more upon 


the surface, the reeds raised up tlieir heads, and all the 
families of warbling birds came back to people them again. 
Even the barred gate opened to let the sturdy gardener in. 

Hel^ne survived the summer, but in September she 
faded with the waning of the year, and died. 

The very morning of her death, the superior received 
a letter from Paris by a courier. She carried it to the 
dying girl. It contained only these words — 

' ' My mother, obtain from your daughter her pardon for 
the regent." 

H^l^ne, implored by the superior, grew paler at that 
name, but she answered — 

"Yes, my mother, I forgive him. But it is because 
I go to rejoin him whom he killed." 

At four o'clock in the afternoon she breathed her last. 

She asked to be buried at the spot where Gaston used 
to untie the boat with which he came to visit her; and 
her last wishes were complied with. 

And there she sleeps beneath the sod, pure as the flowers 
that blossom over her grave; and, like them, broken by the 
cruel gusts that sweep the delicate blossoms so mercilessly 
down, and wither them with a breath. 

TH8 Bwr