« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
hath to thee made profer of his love !-use gentle — distant hints — half spoken words, which scarce shall catch his hearing at the time thou speakest them, but afterwardswhen certain matters which I'll put in train are placed afore him—may break upon his fancy all attonce.”
“Hist-hist-hist!-His Grace !-No more -get hence I know my lesson."
“ Well, Inez! how farest thou my love," said Philip, entering the apartment, “'tis many an hour since I have seen thee, and those have seemed to me as many moons, so much have I desired to press thee in my arms; but I have had much business to transact with the Ambassadors from England, who are not yet departed.—Hast thou yet copied out that act of Edward's vassalage I gave thee to transcribe?"
“ Indeed, your Grace, I grieve to answer, nay. -- I did begin it, and had proceeded more than half way through the task, when haplessly I chanced to blot the writing : wherefore, thinking it unmeet to be pre
sented to your Grace, I tore it in despite; resolving I would write it afresh, and so I will,-in three days hence your Grace shall hold it.”
“So! thanks- but fail not, I have need of it.- Now tell me, hast thou seen Jeanne of late ?--my sister, I should say,” asked the Monarch.
“ My Lord, I seldom see the Lady Countess, -when last I met her-'tis now some days gone by-she was in company with the Queen.”
“My sister doth not love thee, Inez, that I know, and I do also know the reason that she doth not, is what thinkest Inez that it is ?”
“ Truly, my Lord, I know not,” answered Inez.
“ Guess," said the Monarch.
“I can make not e'en a guess, but such as hurts my vanity to utter,-my great demerits I presume !"
“No, no, my fairest, 'tis not that, thou knowest it is not-guess again."
“ Now then for it,” whispered Inez to herself, “ let me see how a little female wit can puzzle the wisdom of these lords of the creation, as they do name themselves,– those men who begin by swearing they will be our slaves — shortly after affect a lordship over us, and always end-if we know how to rule them — with being the tools we use, the fools for us to laugh at. Let me see I cannot indeed, my Lord, guess," she continued aloud, but in some apparent confusion.
“ But thou must, and shalt answer me, my fairest.”
"How !-indeed—my Lord-no—it cannot be," — said Inez, feigning confusion at the obstinacy—though it was his usual custom to insist upon an answer to every questionwith which the King pressed the demand,
-“surely your Grace can never think the Countess is -I mean that there is truth in the idle tale which is abroad.”
" Tale abroad !—what tale's abroad?—why what is that, Inez ?” asked the King.
"A silly one, my Lord_silly indeed—too silly much to be worthy note-let's not speak of it.”
“Well, but what may't be?—tell me I will hear it."
Thus pressed, Inez, with apparent reluctance, answered, “Why then, my dear Lord, 'tis said the Lady Countess, your Grace's sister, hath grown jealous o’me of late,-foolish people !"
“ Jealous of thee, Inez! thou dreamest, wherefore jealous of thee, my little pet ?”
“Ay indeed, my Lord, wherefore! I ne'er did give her cause for jealousy.”
“Why, alas, yes! there may be some truth too in what thou saidest, for since I have enjoyed the blessedness of knowing thee, my fair one, Jeanne and I have not so often met,—but then 'tis only that my time being taken up with thee, I have small leisure to bestow on others,- I love her not the less. She cannot be thus silly as to feel jealous.”
Inez smiled at the simplicity of the King's thoughts, but he continued," I have often