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      Conduct yourself properly, said he; you will make a great marriage. Being colonel at your age, you have a splendid military career before you, and as I look upon you as my son I will get the King to make Sillery into a duchy on the occasion of your marriage.She looked at him thoughtfully.


      Are you not the MM. de ? Objections to the British Alliance.Obstinacy of the King.Wilhelminas Journal.Policy of Frederick William and of George II.Letter from Fritz.The Camp of Mühlberg.The Plan of Escape.The Flight arrested.Ungovernable Rage of the King.Endeavors to kill his Son.Arrest and Imprisonment of Fritz.Terror of his Mother and Sister.Wilhelmina imprisoned.

      The sun had just gone down, veiled in autumnal haze, and behind the long ridge of waters beyond the Dodman there glowed the deep crimson of the western sky. Eastward above the Polruan hills the moon moved slowly upward, amidst dark masses of cloud which melted and rolled away before her on-coming, till all the sky became of one dark azure. The two girls went down the hill in silence, Allegra holding[Pg 143] Isola's arm, linked with her own, steadying those weaker footsteps with the strength of her own firm movements. The difference between the two in physical force was no less marked than the difference in their mental characteristics, and Allegra's love for her sister-in-law was tempered with a tender compassion for something so much weaker than herself.

      "I went to Mrs. Baynham's sometimes on her day; but I didn't care about going to Glenaveril. It is all too grand and too fineand I don't like Mr. Crowther."


      Tho occasion never did present itself. The one English club existent at Dinan in those days was amply provided[Pg 24] with the secretarial element. There was nothing in Dinan for an Englishman to manage; no English agency required. Colonel Manwaring settled down into a kind of somnolent submission to obscure fortunes. He liked the old town, and he liked the climate. He liked the cooking, and he liked being out of the way of all the people he knew, and whose vicinity would have obliged him to live up to a certain conventional level. He liked to get his English newspapers upon French soil, and it irked him not that they were thirty-six hours old. He liked to bask in the sunshine on the terrace above the Rance, or in the open places of the town. He liked talking of the possibilities of an impending war, in very dubious French, with the French officers, whose acquaintance he made at club or caf. He had sold his commission and sunk the proceeds of the sale upon an annuity. He had a little income of his own, and his wife had a little money from a maiden aunt, and these resources just enabled him to live with a certain unpretending comfort. He had a good Breton cook, and an old Scotch valet and butler, who would have gone through fire and water for his master. Mrs. Manwaring was a thoroughly negative character, placid as summer seas, sympathetic and helpless. She let Macgregor and Antoinette manage the house for her, do all the catering, pay all the bills, and work the whole machinery of her domestic life. She rejoiced in having a good-tempered husband and obedient daughters. She had no boys to put her in a fever of anxiety lest they should be making surreptitious ascents in balloons or staking their little all upon Zero at the "Etablissement" at Dinard. In summer she sat all day in one particular south window, knitting stockings for the colonel and reading the English papers. In winter she occupied herself in the same manner by the chimney corner. She devoted one day in the week to writing long letters to distant relatives. Once a day, weather permitting, she took a gentle constitutional walk upon the terrace above the Rance, with one of her daughters. Needless to say that in this life of harmless apathy she had grown[Pg 25] very stout, and that she had forgotten almost every accomplishment of her girlhood.

      Quite, said Esmeralda. You know them all, I suppose?"I don't know," she faltered, turning over the loose music with a faintly tremulous gesture, while Isola sat by the piano, touching the notes dumbly now and then.

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      No.There was at Versailles a certain Laboull, coiffeur to Louis XV., and to Marie Antoinette when the Dauphine. He invented a perfume which he called eau Antoinette, and which was so much in vogue that he opened a perfume shop at Versailles, which was patronised by Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette when they came to the throne. He married, and the Queen was very kind to his wife, whom she used to employ in her various charities; and was devoted to her.

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      "He asked if he might write to me, and I told him no," Allegra said, rather dolefully, one morning, as they sat a little way from the well, Allegra engaged in painting a brown-skinned peasant girl of ten years old, whom she had met carrying olives the night before, and had forthwith engaged as a model. "I said it would never do for us to begin the folly of engaged lovers, who write to each other about nothing, sometimes twice a day. He has been wonderfully obedient: yet I think he ought to have written once or twice in two months. He ought to have known that though I told him not to write, I should be very anxious to hear from him."The tone was cold, almost icily so, the manner that of an empress graciously thanking an inferior.

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      "I have telegraphed for rooms at Whitley's," he said, naming a small private hotel near Cavendish Square, where they had stayed for a few days before he started for the East.The First Consul had restored her fortune to her, and treated her with more deference than he showed to any other woman; she assumed royal prerogatives, never returning visits or rising to receive them, in fact she was considered and often called in society, the Duchess Dowager of Orlans.


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