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the members of which look up to him as to the bravest and the most accomplished Knight in France, and who will assemble with their vassals around Vincennes and level it to the ground, sooner than not liberate their idol.”
“ Hast done, Inez? or hast ought more to propound? If the latter of these, here stand I ready to listen to the end ; if the first, adieu -I go”-answered Philip, impetuously, and still moving towards the door.
“Oh yes! yes, yes !-stay, I do entreat, implore, beseech your Grace to stay, though it be but one instant more, — hear what I further have to say. Think of the Countess, your Grace's sister! turn your thoughts but for one moment on her! think into what an abyss of wretchedness the disclosure will plunge her! Oh! pause ere you take a step so cruel."
“ My sister, my sister, say you! think you, Inez, it is fit my sister should be thus abused, and she remain unweeting of the wrong? Thou'st made me still more clearly see the strong necessity there is for me to punish. Hath he not willed to wrong my sister-to wrong her in a manner the most sensible to her, the most injurious to his Sovereign ? Unhand me, Inez; I'll straight to her and tell her on’t.”
Inez's agitation now became extreme; she found herself surrounded by that danger which all those, who meddle in such intrigues, must make up their minds to risk,—that of having the web of their deceit at once destroyed, and themselves laid open to public scorn and contumely. But Inez was not a woman to be easily quite broken; she did not give up the contest.
“ Alas! she replied, “ I might have hoped your Grace would have spared me-me, your poor Inez, whom you have so often said you love; yet cast you such strong censures upon her conduct, that she cannot choose but blush !"
“ Why, Inez, what dost thou, or canst thou mean now? Who did cast censure on thy conduct? What findest thou in my words displeasing ?”
“Oh, my Lord, if you thus harshly do condemn your brother— thus have I heard you name the Count—for that he hath permitted a disloyal thought to lodge within his bosom, and that his wishes have for one short moment wandered from his Lady, what must your Grace then think of me?what must I-ah me! alas, that I was born to breed such gross offence !-what must I deem myself-I who in the selfsame manner daily wrong the Queen ?”
“ Perdie !” replied Philip in amazement, “this is quite a different matter-quitequite so. I see not the slightest similitude existing 'twixt the cases - none whatever; they are as unlike in nature, as any two things can possibly be.”
“ How so, an't please your Grace ?"
“ How so? Inez! why I protest thou dost amaze me by the question! Am not I D'Artois’ Sovereign? his friend to boot? Did I not trust him?-have I not favored him?-preferred him? But I tell thee what, my bonnibel, I can see through the matter. I perceive clearly enough that, under pretence of accusing thyself and bemoaning thine own errors, thou dost aim a blow at me, for being faithless to the Queen.”
“ Our Lady forbid," answered Inez, hastily. “ Our Lady defend me from having such a thought!”
“Yes, yes, Inez, yes, but indeed thou didst, and I will now shew thee wherefore that blow doth fail to wound me;-Jeanne and I did ne'er live well together—our natures are dissimilar
-she doth not suit me; am I not, therefore, justified in not living lovingly with one I cannot love? The reasoning is quite clear and simple. Besides, Inez !—for I desire to shew thee how great thine error is in this-followeth it that because 1-1, the Sovereign of such broad lands, the fairest and most fertile Europe hath—followeth it that, 'cause I do this, or that or the other, which I not disallow it-may not be altogether consistent with propriety,--followeth it, I say, that Robert, who is a subject, should thus misbehave him to his Lord ?-Tush—there may, I think, be
some difference marked betwixt us, and some allowances be made for it.”
One has a hard matter and so I've ofttimes found it-to talk with folk who argue as Philip did; one knows not well how, either to attack them or to defend one's self-vanity rendering them invulnerable.
No, really, a mere plain honest person knows not how to reason with such reasoners as Philip; but Inez was of a superior order of spiritma talented lady-a genius: and so thus replied to the King's last observations respecting the difference which existed betwixt Robert and himself.
“Speaketh thus the King—the Sovereign of France-of Robert D'Artois ?” she said, “ What then would the Count of Valois have replied had either of his predecessors to the crown, Charles, Philip, or Louis, thus said of him ?”
"I tell thee what, Inez,” said Philip, angrily,—"I tell thee what—thou art beginning to weary, and to fret me out of all patience with such idle cavilling,”-80 he called