My friend, the only friend I have, speak…

My friend, speak...
“What sort of a person do you take me for?”
“What do you mean?”
“If you know anything, why conceal it from me? If you do not know anything, why did you write so warningly?”
“True, true, I was very wrong, and I regret having done so, Raoul. It seems nothing to write to a friend and say ‘Come;’ but to have this friend face to face, to feel him tremble, and breathlessly and anxiously wait to hear what one hardly dare tell him, is very different.”
“Dare! I have courage enough, if …Read more »

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They, both together, formed so charming a group…

Sitting for the painter
“Shall we pass into the next room, sire?” said Saint-Aignan, opening the door to let his guests precede him. The king walked behind La Valliere, and fixed his eyes lingeringly and passionately upon her neck as white as snow, upon which her long fair ringlets fell in heavy masses.
La Valliere was dressed in a thick silk robe of pearl gray color, with a tinge of rose, with jet ornaments, which displayed to greater effect the dazzling purity of her skin, holding in her slender and transparent hands a bouquet of heartsease, Bengal roses, and clematis, surrounded with leaves of the tenderest green, above which uprose, like a tiny
goblet shedding perfumes, a Haarlem tulip of gray and violet tints, of a pure and beautiful species, which had cost the gardener five years’ toil of combinations and the king five thousand francs.
Louis had placed this bouquet in La Valliere’s hand as he saluted her.
In the room, the door of which Saint-Aignan had just opened, a young man …Read more »

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A patrol of Swiss guards appeared in the garden

Au pied du mur
The ladder just reached the edge of the cornice, that is to say, the sill of the window; so that, by standing upon the last round but one of the ladder, a man of about the middle height, as the king was, for instance, could easily hold a communication with those who might be in the room. Hardly had the ladder been properly placed, than the king, dropping the assumed part he had been playing in the comedy, began to ascend the rounds of the ladder, which Malicorne held at the bottom. But hardly had he completed half the distance, when a patrol of Swiss guards appeared in the garden, and advanced straight toward them. The king descended with the utmost precipitation, and concealed himself among the trees. Malicorne at once perceived that he must offer himself as a sacrifice; for, if he, too, were to conceal himself, the guard would search everywhere until they had found either himself or the king, perhaps both. It would be far better …Read more »

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The price of beautiful apples

Initial letternce upon a time, there was a king of France who liked beautiful apples so much that he was called the apple king. He had only one daughter, a princess of remarkable beauty.
He made it known all over his kingdom, and even abroad, that he would give his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man, whether he was a prince or the son of a farmer, who would bring him a dozen apples of the most beautiful kind. And so, all the roads were crowded with all sort of people going to the court and carrying apples; kings, princes, dukes, counts, marquis and knights, but also mere farmers and gardeners. A good farmer, named Dagorn, who lived in the region of Tréguier, had superb apples in his orchards. No one in the country could …Read more »

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La Valliere held out her small white hand to the musketeer

La Valliere, d'Artagnan, Louis XIV
— Very well, Louise, to prove to you how fondly I love you, I will do one thing, I will see Madame; I will make her revoke her sentence, I will compel her to do so.
— Compel? Oh! no, no.
— True; you are right. I will bend her.
Louise shook her head.
— I will entreat her, if it be necessary, said Louis. Will you believe
in my affection after that?
Louise drew herself up.
— Oh, never, never, shall you humiliate yourself on my account; sooner, a thousand times,
would I die.
Louis reflected, his features assumed a dark expression. …Read more »

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The king and the queen of Spain

Duc d'Anjou
The first glance I took, when I made my first reverence to the king of Spain1 upon arriving, astonished me so much that I had to use all my senses to pull myself together. I couldn’t see anything about him reminding one of the Duc d’Anjou, and I had to look hard into this long and much changed face, which was even more closed up than when he left France. He was bent forward, and much smaller, his chin thrown forward, far away from his chest, his feet stiff, touching each other, and stepping over each over as he walked, although walked quickly, and the knees more than one foot apart. What he told me was well said, but he said it so slowly, as though dragging each word out of his mouth, with such a stupid look on his face, that I felt astounded. A jerkin, without any gilt, made of some sort of brown homespun, because of the hunt where he was about to go, did not do anything for his appearance or his bearing. He wore a wig and his blue ribbon over his jerkin, always and on any occasion, so that …Read more »

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