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although perchance he better should have saidwrong head. Repent!—why, 'twould be beneath his dignity!"
" I own, Robert, that my brother is apt to be led astray by passion, but by the side of this defect he hath many virtues--he is good and generous."
“ Ay, ay, ay, Jeanne, I know all about that -would only that he would show me some of it. Why for more than two months past hath he used me so like a dog? Then that caitiff there
-Flanders! he seemeth to have given his heart to him. No, Jeanne, go I must.”
“I ever bade thee to have a care of that man," the Countess answered, without seeming to have heard his last words—“ But"
“So did Heaven or Satan, I know not which, but 'twas in a dream—and the admonition came so late that it might as well have not been given at all. Dost remember the dream I had at St. Omer, Jeanne ? Hark ye, Jeanne ! I must go. Louis hath been the means of bringing scath on me! 'Tis well for him his betters had no better wit! Had not Philip wronged
me too, Flanders would have been my quarry, but as it is, he's safe, for I've no time to spare in thinking on him .... Well, Jeanne! what should I change my plan, and promise to remain with thee. The people love me. I could lead them far! Thou know’st not what high courage I am in, dear Jeanne. Philip hath given a fillip to my thought. Why, I do see a diadem almost within my grasp. It were, methinks, a little thing to overrun this land, and snatch it quite! What say'st thou, love-wouldst like to be a queen ?-How now, Jeanne," he continued, starting with terror, as he at that moment looked at her. “What aileth thee, my love ?my best-beloved—thou lookest pale-art faint ? Seat thee there, my dearest,” he continued, taking her up in his arms, and gently laying her on the couch.
“I feel better now, Robert-but it doth fear me sadly thus to hear thee talk. Why, what hath turned thy brain in this sad guise ? What didst say of diadems? Sure thou wouldst not use the public love to such bad purpose, as to stir the people up against their sovereign ; and to bring ruin on themselves—aye, and on us too!"
" Ay! but I will, Jeanne! There is nought I will not undertake for justice. If I may have it for the asking, so!-if not, I'll snatch it. Give me justice, no lamb can be more tame or gentle than myself; but, if refused it-then is there no Demon more ferocious.”
“Oh Robert, Robert! thou dost rend my very heart in twain. Hast thou not ever found in me a good and faithful wife, tender, kind, affectionate.-A nurse to thee in sickness, and a companion in health, --sorrowing with thee in sorrow, rejoicing in thy gladness, loving thee always. Hast thou not found all this?"
"My love! Oh my beloved,” said Robert, falling on his knees, and burying his face within her lap, whilst she laid her hands upon his head. “ Thinkest thou 'tis for myself alone—for mine own vile, wretched self, I grieve.—No, 'tis for thee—’tis for my boy—'tis for-Oh! Jeanne ! Jeanne! how can I ever bear to think thou art allied to one who passeth for
5. Is not this enough to crush a firmer heart than mine?”
“Nay, Robert, but none of these will ever happen.-Fear it not.—Truth will make her way.—'Tis but a trial sent to prove thy faith in Heaven, who will not fail thee, so that thou fail'st not to thyself.”
“Heaven! Heaven! Heaven!” Robert replied, looking up.—“The only Heaven which I reck of, is in thine eyes, Jeanne.-There is gentleness, benevolence, truth, and love.—I find them no part else throughout the world, and therefore look not for them from the hands of Him who formed the world."
“Hush, hush, Robert-hush, in pity,hush!"she replied, hastily placing her hand upon his lips.-" Those words will rise to Heaven and appear against thee.-Have not I had my share of evil too?- Is it a little thing to see for ever grieving him I love ?-Is it a little thing to see him flouted by my brother thus ?- Is it,” she added, hiding her cheek within her hands, and weeping—"Is it a small matter to have lost our child ?-Oh! Robert! I have had my share of
grief, believe me; yet do I never weary Heaven with such unrighteous murmurings."
Robert arose, and pressing her to his bosom, kissed the tears from off her cheek.
“Oh! Jeanne ! thy brother's conduct, and that of others at the Council, fitted me for deeds above the thought of common men;—but thou, thou and thy tears, nigh turn me from my purpose.”
“Heaven be praised !” thought Jeanne to herself, and her heart smiled again, as she saw his mood becoming more gentle.- Robert continued,
“Out on the slaves !—No one of them, except the good old Abbot of St. Bertin--and the Count Otho, as I am told—who is indeed a noble creature,—did dare to say one manly word in my defence.—Their craven lips were sealed. They spoke, indeed, some of them-at least, they seemed to wish 't should thus be thought-in my support.—But how ?—not with that show of warmth which love makes visible."
“Thou art with thine ancient error still, though I so oft have chided it, and strived to drive it