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which did direct my thoughts unto the Sire of Artois; for how could I otherwise have imagined that one so nearly allied unto your Grace, one too whom you so greatly favor, should seek to undermine you in those affections, which, however little worthy of your Grace, you are yet pleased to covet ?”
“ Dear, dearest, and lovely creature,”— replied the King, with a joy upon his countenance, which proved how great a weight had been taken from off his heart,—“ I have been far too hasty in my words. But tell me, my love, wherefore was it that, discovering Robert's disloyalty to me, thou didst not straight give me intelligence of it, or send him back the jewel? Yet, perhaps, hast thou done this latter!”
“No, my Lord, I have not so :—there it is! The reason wherefore I named not the matter to your Grace, is, that to have done so would have made more bustle than the matter merited. It would have roused your anger 'gainst the Count; and this to what fit purpose? He is a good servant."
“ Excellent!” exclaimed the King.
"Well, Sire, at all events the Count of Artois doth regulate the public business of the kingdom in a most clerkly fashion--that much is acknowledged on all sides—and had I idly angered you against him, methinks that neither your Grace, nor your Grace's subjects, would have had much cause to have been pleased with me.”
“ Idly angered me — The traitor !"
“Be it so, my Lord,—what mattereth-provided always he prevail not that he essay my faith--perchance toomthe thought hath but this moment struck memperchance he only wished to prove, whether I was deserving of all the great affection which your Grace is pleased to lavish on me. But stay, I was going to say, that it but little signifieth that he attempted to make me break my faith unto your Grace, so that he continue well to serve the realm.”
“ Indeed! I'll see to this shortly.--I have no mind to let myself be thus jostled in mine own palace, I can tell thee, Inez, Bụt where
fore didst thou not return the gem together with the traitor's letter, accompanied by one from thine own dear self, reproaching him for his baseness ?”
“Your Grace may remember, that in the letter which you tore just now, the Count professed an intention of absenting himself from Paris for a few days; and I feared, that by sending the gem and letter to his apartments, they might chance to fall into the hands of his lady the Countess, thus cause her much annoy, and breed dissentions."
“ Kind hearted and considerate creature,” whispered the King to himself. “Oh! Inez,” he continued aloud,“ little knowest thou the love I bear to thee. How dost thou persuade me to believe in all thou sayest or canst say. For this I thank thee-for should I ever know thee to be false !—that thou, on whose fair panting bosom I've laid my head so oft, and been there lulled to rest-could be disloyal; I should tread down the diadem-a worthless toy-beneath my feet, or send it as a present to young Edward ; and then, retiring from the world, seek some lone solitary cave, wherein to hide myself from light; -mankind—from thee-and from myself. But that traitor !—the caitiffthat wretched creature—that Fiend, who like another Judas, embraced his master and betrayed him !-He, he shall deeply rue the day on which he dared abuse his Sovereign's confidence. This instant will I order his arrest. -He shall not cross the barriers, lest he pollute my city with his presence.”
"Oh, my dear Lord !” exclaimed Inez, starting up suddenly, and hastening to detain the King, already advanced half across the room, that he might order the arrest at Robert's arrival before the gates of Paris." Have a care of what you do!”-..
On Philip's assertion that he would order the Count of Artois to be arrested, and at the determination which he manifested of putting this threat into immediate execution, Inez began to be very sincerely and most seriously alarmed; and though she might have foreseen that this conduct, or something similar to it, would be a necessary consequence of her ac
cusation : she nevertheless does not appear to have been able to guard against it; and she now had to parry, with all the art of which she was mistress, against the new danger which presented itself.
“ Have a care, Inez? said you so? have a care !"-exclaimed Philip, somewhat pettishly -of what? Thinkest thou I will suffer such a wretch-a despicable thing-one who hath fawned around me, with all show of love that he might wound me in the tenderest point.Shall I suffer him to use me thus—and shall I have a care not to punish him I'll go, this very moment, I'll have him locked within the closest tower of Vincennes.—Why should I hesitate-wherefore dost thou detain me?”
“ Because, my good Lord, the action which your Grace contemplates is replete with danger. The Count is far too mighty to be thus used. He is descended from the same source as is your Grace; he is allied to you by marriage; he is beloved—not perhaps by his Peers, the great Barons of the realm, for they do envy him,—but by that class next in degree,