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the necessary courage to act with firmness, and expose himself to the chance of an unpleasant outbreak. It is thus that weakness often drives the mind to more violent resolutions than even passion, which at least calms down after any vehement outbreak. Louis knew well that the measures he meditated would excite the rage of his mother to the very highest pitch; but in determining her exile, he imagined he would at least be spared the embarrassment of having personally to endure face to face her invectives and reproaches. He was aware that public opinion would be against him, but he flattered himself that it would never reach his ears; in a word, he only feared personally to see and to hear what might give annoyance. Such are the vices of weak characters.

ambition. Louis was not so foolish as to be entirely duped by these false representations; but flattery, even where it fails to convince, raises at least a kind of doubt in the mind, which is itself agreeable.

Some days after the disappearance of Marie de Medicis, the Princess Marie of Mantova proposed to the queen to confer the situation of Mademoiselle de Hautefort, which had remained vacant, to Mademoiselle de la Fayette, to whose family she was much attached. The queen, quite despairing of obtaining the recall of the former, promised to ask the king. Louis at once complied with her wish, delighted to see by this demand that the queen had renounced all idea of recalling Mademoi. selle de Hautefort.

He hastened to hide himself in one of the royal residences in the country, when the letter announcing her exile was to be presented to Marie de Medicis, giving her the choice of remaining at Compiègne or in the chateau of Angers, of Nevers, or of Moulins. The disgrace of a sovereign wanting in intellect and discernment is the more overwhelming because generally unexpected. The same weakness of character that leads to the commission of imprudences, shuts the eyes of the understanding to the dangerous consequences sure to be the result. Marie de Medicis was overwhelmed. Anne of Austria, on hearing of this event, saw only in her unfortunate mother-in-law (who had never ceased to persecute the young queen) an unhappy parent. She flew to her apartment, threw herself into her arms, mingled her tears with those of Marie de Medicis, and promised to employ all the little influence she possessed in her favor. She kept her word; but although in reality her conduct was irreproachable, her position was neither that of a happy nor respected wife. Her intercession appeared

Mademoiselle de la Fayette, the daugh ter of an illustrious house, was the last representative in the male line of the fa mous Maréchal de la Fayette, who gained so much renown in 1421 at the battle of Baugé, in Anjou, and who afterwards contributed by his valor and activity in driving the English out of the kingdom, Mademoiselle de la Fayette, an orphan from her cradle, had been educated by her aunt, the Comtesse de Brégi, who placed her in a convent until she was fifteen, after which period her house be came her future home, where Mademoiselle de la Fayette was gradually accustomed to do the honors before being introduced by her friend into the great world. The comtesse was a widow, rich, and very old; she had no children, and loved and adored her niece as her child, looking on her as the person whom she intended to make her future heiress. The young lady joined to the most enchanting beauty and great acquirements the utmost propriety of conduct. She had already passed her twenty-third year, and every one was surprised that, amongst her numerous admirers, no one had as yet succeeded in winning her regard. The

to Louis XIII. only a pretext for censur-Comtesse de Brégi had experienced all the ing his conduct, and he coldly desired her miseries of an ill-assorted marriage formed to be silent. Some few days after the in extreme youth; she, therefore, left enqueen-mother, who had selected Com- tirely to her niece the decision of her fu piègne as her residence, disappeared, and ture destiny, and far from pressing her went into another country. All the cour- marriage, she continually exhorted her tiers assured Cardinal Richelieu, who re- not to decide on any one without most peated it to the king, that Marie de mature reflection. Medicis was hated by the public, who felt no interest in her fate, and that every one entirely approved of her exile, as a measure rendered necessary by her unbounded

Mademoiselle de la Fayette had all the principles that can be imparted by a careful education, and her religious views were sincere and well grounded,


the queen's reception; he was more affa ble than even on the former occasion, and seemed entirely occupied with Mademoiselle de la Fayette.

The court was at this moment agitated by political events. The Spaniards were making the most alarming progress in France; they had made good a descent into Provence on one side, and on the other had taken Corbie, in Picardy. Louis had announced that very morning at the council that he intended at once to take the command in person against the Spaniards. Men and money were both wanting, and the situation of France was so alarming, that even the genius of Richelieu was perplexed, and for a time he contemplated resigning his post. The Cardinal of La Vallet, however, reänimated his hopes and his courage, and the glory of France served as a specious pretext for still retaining the sovereign authority intrusted to him. Louis, on the eve of departure, and in a situation so critical, excited general interest and attention. Mademoiselle de la Fayette, who until this time had felt only a certain degree of esteem for him, now beheld in Louis a courageous soldier. She forgot his weakness and his faults; she could only remember his personal courage, his amiable qualities, and the dangers he was about to encounter. The melancholy though composed demeanor of the king added to the interest with which he se cretly began to inspire her, especially when Louis XIII. publicly announced that he should depart as soon as the levy of twenty thousand men, making at Paris by his order, was completed.

The queen and all her ladies were playing at cards. The king was seated by the side of Mademoiselle de la Fayette, and was speaking in general terms of the melancholy anticipations felt by all those about to leave for the war.

"Happy," said the king, "is the man who feels that he is personally regretted

The day that Mademoiselle de la Fayette was presented at court by the Princess Marie of Mantova she was magnificently dressed; all admired the ex--he has a motive in desiring glory. treme beauty of the maid of honor, and Those who are beloved must indeed seek were charmed with an indescribable at- fame with ardor. But when no one cares traction about her. The king, evidently for one-when the mind feels that it pos struck by the naïveté and elegance of her sesses no kindred sympathy-then even whom he then saw for the first time, ap- success is valueless, without merit, and proached Mademoiselle de la Fayette, and without reward." complimented her warmly on her beauty and graceful manners. The maid of honor only blushed aud made no reply.

These words affected the pretty maid of honor. The king observed it. He looked at her fixedly, and after a moment's silence again addressed her:

The king was present on the morrow at

was, moreover, prudent, discreet and sensible; her imagination lively, her soul lofty, generous and full of sensibility; her spirits gay, yet equable. The purity of her mind appeared in a certain calm and peaceful expression that can only be imparted by internal goodness, and which was displayed in all she did. It was easy to see no passion had as yet ruffled the calm of that gentle soul; always happy in herself, she had experienced no internal conflicts, and the agitations of envy, pride, or vanity were utterly unknown to her. Every one was at ease in her company; her conversation possessed those peculiar charms of grace and tact that never fail to attract, added to an unaffected gentleness of bearing, free from all pretensions. She possessed that gift (so rare in a woman) of charming without effect or display, and when all around her were delighted, envy itself could not be irritated, so little had she tried even to attract attention. She excused the faults of others, and indeed avoided making herself acquainted with them; it was enough for her to suspect their existence, to turn away her mind from their consideration as one turns from an unpleasant picture. There are many qualities that are apparent in a first interview, and there are others which only become visible by degrees and after long acquaintance. All are sensible of the brilliancy of a magnificent day, but it is time only that can make manifest the happy influence of pure air and a fine climate; so was it with the admirable qualities of Mademoiselle de la Fayette. No shadow, no contrast made one particular qualification stand out in relief more than another. It was impossible not to think her clever and fascinating, but it required time and observation to discover the full extent of her superiority.

"I hope," said he, in a low voice, "that | ties who had refused to enregister the this conversation will be resumed. I anx- edicts necessary for raising the money iniously desire-" dispensable for the maintenance of the army ?"

At these words he rose, without waiting for a reply. Mademoiselle de la Fayette followed him with her eyes, and all the rest of the evening experienced an involuntary absence of mind.

The Duchesse de Chevreuse, whose taste for intrigue had been increased by considerable practical experience, had already remarked the king's budding attachment. She went to Mademoiselle de la Fayette and told her that all the world saw that the king was in love with her. "But in his fashion," added she; "he loves you timidly, modestly-even in his most secret thoughts there would not be an idea of any thing more profane. The Comte de la Meilleraie assures me that the king shows every sign of having conceived a violent passion for you-much more violent, in fact, than he ever felt for Mademoiselle de Hautefort, to whom, indeed, he never really was attached."

"I do not know the king well enough yet to give an opinion about him," replied Mademoiselle de la Fayette, "but I confess I have already lost many of my prepossessions against him. He certainly is capable of friendship, and only desires to open his heart to a real friend; but his confidence has been abused. He seeks, perhaps, to hear the truth, and he may be worthy of hearing it. If he asks counsel of me I shall not dissemble any of my opinions."

"I am sure if you could only inspire him with courage to reign himself, and to shake off the sway of the cardinal, you would render a vast service to France." "Oh, that is quite chimerical. The king would never consult me. He will never ask me to tell him the truth; and, moreover, he is going away."

"Well, he will meet you again on his


"Dear duchess, we really must not talk such nonsense; yet I do pity this prince, naturally brave, good, and accomplished, who so ill fulfills his glorious destiny. It is evident he is aware of this. He suffers -he is wretched. If he had but one true friend he might, perhaps, have proved a worthy successor to Henry IV. This idea makes me quite miserable. I still have hope, for he is yet young. Did you hear that he spoke this morning with great firmness to the parliamentary depu


"Yes. The money I demand,' said he, is neither to be wasted in gambling nor in idle expenses. I do not demand it for myself, but for the interest of the nation. Those who oppose my pleasure in this injure me more than the Spaniards; but I shall find means to be obeyed.'"

"What energy there is in that speech! Oh! I am certain that he is not appreciated."

The following days the king regularly visited the queen, and appeared much engrossed with Mademoiselle de la Fayette; but his timidity did not allow him to remain long at a time with her, for he could not but perceive that they were both observed with curiosity. The day before his departure for the army he went in the morning to see the queen, and on leaving her apartments he stopped in the ante-chamber, where the maids of honor were assembled. He approached Mademoiselle de la Fayette, who was standing with one of the other maids of honor in a large bay-window. This lady at once retired, and the king, taking her place, desired Mademoiselle de la Fayette to seat herself beside him. She, finding herself separated in a manner from her companions, and tête-à-tête with the king, recollected with extreme agitation and emotion that it was in this manner, during his liaison with Mademoiselle de Hautefort, that the king had conversed with her.

"I come," said the king to her, in a low and trembling voice-"I come to bid you adieu."

At these words Mademoiselle de la Fayette bowed, utterly unable to articulate; and Louis started at seeing tears roll down her cheeks.

"I have enjoyed during the course of my life," said he, "few moments of happiness, but this instant is one of the-"

At these words, pronounced in a low voice, trembling with emotion, Mademoiselle de la Fayette became sensibly affected, and replied, that "he would find every loyal heart experienced the same emotion she felt, if his majesty would only conde scend to inform himself personally of the sentiments of his subjects."

"No, mademoiselle," said Louis, "I only wish to hear yours; and if in you I find that friendship I have sought so long

in vain, my entire confidence shall be the reward. I go to-morrow, but I shall cherish this tender recollection in my heart. Continue to think of me, I entreat, with the same touching sensibility. If it pleases Heaven to preserve me, it will be my greatest consolation."

This conversation was interrupted by the Duchesse de Chevreuse, who, on leaving the queen's apartment, passed through the ante-room. The king, who had risen, was opening the door. He advanced towards the duchess, and addressed her in some embarrassment. The duchess instantly seized on this moment, when she saw he was confused, to request a favor. Such a petition at that moment entirely removed all recollection of the scene that had just taken place, and at once relieved the king from embarrassment, who, in gratitude for the tact shown by the duchess, at once and most graciously granted her request. When he had left the room, the duchess seated herself by Mademoiselle de la Fayette, laughing at what had passed, who, somewhat recovered from her agitation, was stitching away with exemplary diligence at a small piece of embroidery she held in her hand. Smiling at the duchess, she asked her the reason of her her mirth.

"I am laughing," replied she, "at the idea of the admirable presence of mind I have just shown; and as you are but a débutante at court, I will give you a little description of it for your especial instruction. The king does not exactly hate me, but at the same time no love is lost between us. He is afraid of my flightiness and my inclination to turn every thing into ridicule. Certainly of all the persons who might have interrupted your conversation, I am the very last he would have desired to behold. He advanced towards me full of confusion. I at once saw the advantage I might derive from this favorable opportunity. I know that when people are afraid they are always obliging, particularly at the first moment. Well, I at once requested a favor that is of great importance to me; and, as I foresaw he did not hesitate to grant it, I shall be grateful, and will tell no one of this little adventure. But do own now that it was capital."

marked preference shown for her by the king as simple politeness.

The duchess ridiculed both her reserve and her prudery.

"When the king returns," continued she, "we will resume this conversation. My good advice shall be at your service; and if you will only follow my directions, in six months you will upset the whole court, which, truth to say, will be all the better after a general regeneration. We live in a state of horrible apathy-nothing advances-every thing is paralyzed. We are terribly in want of life and animation, and nothing will be more easy than for you to accomplish all this, if you will only follow precisely the plan I will trace out for you."

Mademoiselle de la Fayette would agree to nothing of the sort. She affected not even to understand what the duchess meant. She endeavored to represent the

Mademoiselle de la Fayette chose only to understand as a joke this, in fact, serious admonition of the Duchess de Chevreuse.

As soon as Mademoiselle de la Fayette was left to herself she made a pretext for retiring, and, shutting herself up alone in her room, sat down to reflect calmly on the farewell of the king. At last he had spoken out. He wanted a friend-he had made choice of one, and had promised, moreover, his entire confidence. His religious principles were too well known to have given ground for the slightest suspicion during his liaison with Mademoiselle de Hautefort; it would, therefore, be absurd in her to reject his proffered friendship. The petty maid of honor greatly desired to see Louis XIII. displaying rather more firmness of character than was his wont; she fervently wished to emancipate him from the dominion of Richelieu, who, appropriating all the glory attached to the throne, only left to his pupil the responsibility of governing, and the reproach of being governed. This weakness was a fault which, to be frank, by no means annoyed her; on the contrary, she, as well as other women, liked a feeble character. To correct, to perfect, to suggest, is with them, to act, to domineer, to reign; it is the only legitimate province that nature has granted to the sex, of which no effort can ever deprive them. With what lofty frankness, with what energy Mademoiselle de la Fayette proposed to address the king, and to open her heart to him! She did not doubt that in reality he possessed much more firmness of character than was generally supposed. Had he not addressed the parliament with the utmost decision?

Did he not display much vigor in continu- | her, for in her mind it was unmixed with ing the war, and placing himself in person any idea of love. at the head of his troops? With his mind and sensibility guided by good advice, why might he not equal the renown of his gallant father? Why, indeed, might he not surpass him? The influence of friendship would restore his activity; it would inspire him with a taste for business. He already possessed courage and acquirements, and he was superior to Henri IV. in his conduct and principles, both of unspotted purity. In a word, if it were desirable to possess the esteem and confidence of a hero, it was a still nobler task to form one, and to render him worthy of the admiration of the whole universe.

The danger to which Louis was exposed made her tremble; but feeling certain that the time was now arrived when he would himself hold the reins of government, and display all the nobleness of character she attributed to him, her thoughts dwelt principally on the loss France would sustain by his death. She passionately desired his return, not for the sake of the frivolous pleasure of again seeing and conversing with him, but to speak to him of his duties, to elevate his soul, to inspire him with generous resolves, and to admonish him to persevere in his present line of conduct. Such at least was the conviction, however delusive, of Mademoiselle de la Fayette. At length the successful termination of the campaign was announced. The king had re-taken the places conquered by the Spaniards, and these latter, everywhere defeated, were

All these seductive yet vague ideas passed through the brain of La Fayette; they took root there, were gradually developed, and raised her hopes and her feelings to the utmost pitch of enthusiasm. The king took his departure next morning at daybreak, and almost all the courtiers, obliged to re-pass the Somme. On the both young and old, followed him. After other side, the Imperialists, who had penethey had left, many ladies affected an ex-trated into Burgundy, were repulsed to aggerated display of anxiety, and many the banks of the Rhine by the Cardinal more betrayed, in spite of themselves, se- La Valette and the Duke of Weimar. cret regrets that they would fain have concealed. This affectation on one side, and constraint on the other, diffused a cloud of dullness and ennui over the whole court. At last every one was of opinion that some amusement must be invented, and, without in words admitting that any one could possibly be entertained during such an anxious moment, all the usual amusements were re-commenced with renewed ardor.

News soon arrived from the army, announcing brilliant successes, due to the valor of the king and the bravery of the French troops.

During this time of glory and of peril Louis XIII. was no longer that timid, feeble prince, often almost overlooked in his own court; he was metamorphosed, indeed, and became suddenly a brilliant monarch, every way worthy of the throne. He was described as ever foremost in danger, leading his troops into action in person. All parties agreed in applauding his conduct: he was loved and admired-he really reigned.

Every day that his absence lasted, and every fresh intelligence that arrived, added to the state of excitement in which Mademoiselle de la Fayette found herself. Her own perfect purity insured her safety. Such an attachment could not alarm

The king returned to Paris, which, not having been considered out of danger from the attacks of the enemy, received him with transports of joy. Mademoiselle de la Fayette, witness of this universal enthusiasm, saw in Louis the worthy successor of Henri the Great, and the inheritor of all his glory. Intoxicated by these delusions, she imagined that even the advice dictated by her friendship would be in future needless, and that the king would of his own accord suppress the arrogance of Richelieu, lower his inordinate power, and from henceforth exercise himself the royal authority.

The next morning Louis visited the queen, remained, as usual, some minutes, and only stayed in the ante-chamber for a moment, during which time he approached Mademoiselle de la Fayette, and conducted her aside.

"I do not know," said he, "when I shall be able to resume those conversations that are so infinitely delightful, for after an absence of some months, I am overwhelmed with business."

"Ah, so much the better!" cried Mademoiselle de la Fayette. "May you, sire, ever be thus fully occupied." The king smiled.

"You have doubtless heard me blamed

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