Full Online Books
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesQuentin Durward - Chapter XII - THE POLITICIAN
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Quentin Durward - Chapter XII - THE POLITICIAN Post by :xsitepro Category :Long Stories Author :Sir Walter Scott Date :April 2012 Read :2680

Click below to download : Quentin Durward - Chapter XII - THE POLITICIAN (Format : PDF)

Quentin Durward - Chapter XII - THE POLITICIAN


This is a lecturer, so skill'd in policy,
That (no disparagement to Satan's cunning)
He well might read a lesson to the devil,
And teach the old seducer new temptations.


As Louis entered the gallery, he bent his brows in the manner we have formerly described as peculiar to him, and sent, from under his gathered and gloomy eyebrows, a keen look on all around; in darting which, as Quentin afterwards declared, his eyes seemed to turn so small, so fierce, and so piercing, as to resemble those of an aroused adder looking through the bush of heath in which he lies coiled.

When, by this momentary and sharpened glance, the King had reconnoitered the cause of the bustle which was in the apartment, his first address was to the Duke of Orleans.

"You here, my fair cousin?" he said; -- and turning to Quentin, added sternly, "Had you not charge?"

"Forgive the young man, Sire," said the Duke; "he did not neglect his duty; but I was informed that the Princess was in this gallery."

"And I warrant you would not be withstood when you came hither to pay your court," said the King, whose detestable hypocrisy persisted in representing the Duke as participating in a passion which was felt only on the side of his unhappy daughter; "and it is thus you debauch the sentinels of my guard, young man? -- But what cannot be pardoned to a gallant who only lives par amours (by his love affairs)?"

The Duke of Orleans raised his head, as if about to reply in some manner which might correct the opinion conveyed in the King's observation; but the instinctive reverence, not to say fear, of Louis, in which he had been bred from childhood, chained up his voice.

"And Joan hath been ill?" said the King; "but do not be grieved, Louis; it will soon pass away; lend her your arm to her apartment, while I will conduct these strange ladies to theirs."

The order was given in a tone which amounted to a command, and Orleans accordingly made his exit with the Princess at one extremity of the gallery, while the King, ungloving his right hand, courteously handed the Countess Isabelle and her kinswoman to their apartment, which opened from the other. He bowed profoundly as they entered, and remained standing on the threshold for a minute after they had disappeared; then, with great composure, shut the door by which they had retired and turning the huge key, took it from the lock, and put it into his girdle -- an appendage which gave him still more perfectly the air of some old miser, who cannot journey in comfort unless he bear with him the key of his treasure closet.

With slow and pensive step, and eyes fixed on the ground, Louis now paced towards Quentin Durward, who, expecting his share of the royal displeasure, viewed his approach with no little anxiety.

"Thou hast done wrong," said the King, raising his eyes, and fixing them firmly on him when he had come within a yard of him, -- "thou hast done foul wrong, and deservest to die. -- Speak not a word in defence! -- What hadst thou to do with Dukes or Princesses? -- what with any thing but my order?"

"So please your Majesty," said the young soldier, "what could I do?"

"What couldst thou do when thy post was forcibly passed?" answered the King, scornfully, -- "what is the use of that weapon on thy shoulder? Thou shouldst have levelled thy piece, and if the presumptuous rebel did not retire on the instant, he should have died within this very hall! Go -- pass into these farther apartments. In the first thou wilt find a large staircase, which leads to the inner Bailley; there thou wilt find Oliver Dain (the inner bailey contained the stables and often the chapel. It communicated directly with the keep). Send him to me -- do thou begone to thy quarters. -- As thou dost value thy life, be not so loose of thy tongue as thou hast been this day slack of thy hand."

Well pleased to escape so easily, yet with a soul which revolted at the cold blooded cruelty which the King seemed to require from him in the execution of his duty, Durward took the road indicated; hastened down stairs, and communicated the royal pleasure to Oliver, who was waiting in the court beneath. The wily tonsor bowed, sighed, and smiled, as, with a voice even softer than ordinary, he wished the youth a good evening; and they parted, Quentin to his quarters, and Oliver to attend the King.

In this place, the Memoirs which we have chiefly followed in compiling this true history were unhappily defective; for, founded chiefly on information supplied by Quentin, they do not convey the purport of the dialogue which, in his absence, took place between the King and his secret counsellor. Fortunately the Library of Hautlieu contains a manuscript copy of the Chronique Scandaleuse of Jean de Troyes (the Marquis de Hautlieu is the name of an imaginary character in whose library Scott declares himself to have found the memorials which form the basis of the novel of Quentin Durward), much more full than that which has been printed; to which are added several curious memoranda, which we incline to think must have been written down by Oliver himself after the death of his master, and before he had the happiness to be rewarded with the halter which he had so long merited. From this we have been able to extract a very full account of the obscure favourite's conversation with Louis upon the present occasion, which throws a light upon the policy of that Prince, which we might otherwise have sought for in vain.

When the favourite attendant entered the Gallery of Roland, he found the King pensively seated upon the chair which his daughter had left some minutes before. Well acquainted with his temper, he glided on with his noiseless step until he had just crossed the line of the King's sight, so as to make him aware of his presence, then shrank modestly backward and out of sight, until he should be summoned to speak or to listen. The Monarch's first address was an unpleasant one: "So, Oliver, your fine schemes are melting like snow before the south wind! -- I pray to Our Lady of Embrun that they resemble not the ice heaps of which the Switzer churls tell such stories, and come rushing down upon our heads."

"I have heard with concern that all is not well, Sire," answered Oliver.

"Not well!" exclaimed the King, rising and hastily marching up and down the gallery. "All is ill, man -- and as ill nearly as possible; so much for thy fond romantic advice, that I, of all men, should become a protector of distressed damsels! I tell thee Burgundy is arming, and on the eve of closing an alliance with England. And Edward, who hath his hands idle at home, will pour his thousands upon us through that unhappy gate of Calais. Singly, I might cajole or defy them; but united, united -- and with the discontent and treachery of that villain Saint Paul! -- All thy fault, Oliver, who counselled me to receive the women, and to use the services of that damned Bohemian to carry messages to their vassals."

"My lord," said Oliver, "you know my reasons. The Countess's domains lie between the frontiers of Burgundy and Flanders -- her castle is almost impregnable -- her rights over neighbouring estates are such as, if well supported, cannot but give much annoyance to Burgundy, were the lady but wedded to one who should be friendly to France."

"It is, it is a tempting bait," said the King; "and could we have concealed her being here, we might have arranged such a marriage for this rich heiress as would have highly profited -- France. But that cursed Bohemian, how couldst thou recommend such a heathen hound for a commission which required trust?"

"Please you," said Oliver, "to remember it was your Grace's self who trusted him too far -- much farther than I recommended. He would have borne a letter trustily enough to the Countess's kinsman, telling him to hold out her castle, and promising speedy relief; but your Highness must needs put his prophetic powers to the test; and thus he became possessed of secrets which were worth betraying to Duke Charles."

"I am ashamed, I am ashamed," said Louis. "And yet, Oliver, they say that these heathen people are descended from the sage Chaldeans, who did read the mysteries of the stars in the plains of Shinar (they lie between the Tigris and Euphrates)."

Well aware that his master, with all his acuteness and sagacity, was but the more prone to be deceived by soothsayers, astrologers, diviners, and all that race of pretenders to occult science, and that he even conceived himself to have some skill in these arts. Oliver dared to press this point no farther; and only observed that the Bohemian had been a bad prophet on his own account, else he would have avoided returning to Tours, and saved himself from the gallows he had merited.

"It often happens that those who are gifted with prophetic knowledge," answered Louis, with much gravity, "have not the power of foreseeing those events in which they themselves are personally interested."

"Under your Majesty's favour," replied the confidant, "that seems as if a man could not see his own hand by means of the candle which he holds, and which shows him every other object in the apartment."

"He cannot see his own features by the light which shows the faces of others," replied Louis; "and that is the more faithful illustration of the case. -- But this is foreign to my purpose at present. The Bohemian hath had his reward, and peace be with him. -- But these ladies! -- Not only does Burgundy threaten us with war for harbouring them, but their presence is like to interfere with my projects in my own family. My simple cousin of Orleans hath barely seen this damsel, and I venture to prophesy that the sight of her is like to make him less pliable in the matter of his alliance with Joan."

"Your Majesty," answered the counsellor, "may send these ladies of Croye back to Burgundy, and so make your peace with the Duke. Many might murmur at this as dishonourable; but if necessity demands the sacrifice --"

"If profit demanded the sacrifice, Oliver, the sacrifice should be made without hesitation," answered the King. "I am an old, experienced salmon, and use not to gulp the angler's hook because it is busked up with a feather called honour. But what is worse than a lack of honour, there were, in returning those ladies to Burgundy, a forfeiture of those views of advantage which moved us to give them an asylum. It were heart breaking to renounce the opportunity of planting a friend to ourselves, and an enemy to Burgundy, in the very centre of his dominions, and so near to the discontented cities of Flanders. Oliver, I cannot relinquish the advantages which our scheme of marrying the maiden to a friend of our own house seems to hold out to us."

"Your Majesty," said Oliver, after a moment's thought, "might confer her hand on some right trusty friend, who would take all blame on himself, and serve your Majesty secretly, while in public you might disown him."

"And where am I to find such a friend?" said Louis. "Were I to bestow her upon any one of our mutinous and ill ruled nobles, would it not be rendering him independent? and hath it not been my policy for years to prevent them from becoming so? -- Dunois indeed -- him, and him only, I might perchance trust. -- He would fight for the crown of France, whatever were his condition. But honours and wealth change men's natures. -- Even Dunois I will not trust."

"Your Majesty may find others," said Oliver, in his smoothest manner, and in a tone more insinuating than that which he usually employed in conversing with the King, who permitted him considerable freedom; "men dependent entirely on your own grace and favour, and who could no more exist without your countenance than without sun or air -- men rather of head than of action -- men who"

"Men who resemble thyself, ha!" said King Louis. "No, Oliver, by my faith that arrow was too rashly shot! -- What! because I indulge thee with my confidence, and let thee, in reward, poll my lieges a little now and then, dost thou think it makes thee fit to be the husband of that beautiful vision, and a Count of the highest class to boot? -- thee -- thee, I say, low born, and lower bred, whose wisdom is at best a sort of dinning, and whose courage is more than doubtful."

"Your Majesty imputes to me a presumption of which I am not guilty, in supposing me to aspire so highly," said Oliver.

"I am glad to hear it, man," said the King; "and truly, I hold your judgment the healthier that you disown such a reverie. But methinks thy speech sounded strangely in that key. -- Well, to return. -- I dare not wed this beauty to one of my subjects -- I dare not return her to Burgundy -- I dare not transmit her to England or to Germany, where she is likely to become the prize of some one more apt to unite with Burgundy than with France, and who would be more ready to discourage the honest malcontents in Ghent and Liege, than to yield them that wholesome countenance which might always find Charles the Hardy enough to exercise his valour on, without stirring from his domains -- and they were in so ripe a humour for insurrection, the men of Liege in especial, that they alone, well heated and supported, would find my fair cousin work for more than a twelvemonth; and backed by a warlike Count of Croye -- O, Oliver! the plan is too hopeful to be resigned without a struggle. -- Cannot thy fertile brain devise some scheme?"

Oliver paused for a long time -- then at last replied, "What if a bridal could be accomplished betwixt Isabelle of Croye and young Adolphus, the Duke of Gueldres?"

"What!" said the King, in astonishment "sacrifice her, and she, too, so lovely a creature, to the furious wretch who deposed, imprisoned, and has often threatened to murder his own father! -- No, Oliver, no that were too unutterably cruel even for you and me, who look so steadfastly to our excellent end, the peace and the welfare of France, and respect so little the means by which it is attained. Besides, he lies distant from us and is detested by the people of Ghent and Liege. -- No, no -- I will none of Adolphus of Gueldres -- think on some one else."

"My invention is exhausted, Sire," said the counsellor; "I can remember no one who, as husband to the Countess of Croye, would be likely to answer your Majesty's views. He must unite such various qualities -- a friend to your Majesty -- an enemy to Burgundy -- of policy enough to conciliate the Ghentois and Liegeois, and of valour sufficient to defend his little dominions against the power of Duke Charles -- of noble birth besides -- that your Highness insists upon; and of excellent and virtuous character to the boot of all."

"Nay, Oliver," said the King, "I leaned not so much -- that is so very much, on character; but methinks Isabelle's bridegroom should be something less publicly and generally abhorred than Adolphus of Gueldres. For example, since I myself must suggest some one -- why not William de la Marck?"

"On my halidome, Sire," said Oliver, "I cannot complain of your demanding too high a standard of moral excellence in the happy man, if the Wild Boar of Ardennes can serve your turn. De la Marck! -- why, he is the most notorious robber and murderer on all the frontiers -- excommunicated by the Pope for a thousand crimes."

"We will have him released from the sentence, friend Oliver -- Holy Church is merciful."

"Almost an outlaw," continued Oliver, "and under the ban of the Empire, by an ordinance of the Chamber at Ratisbon."

(Ratisbon was the seat of the German Reichstag from 1663 to 1806.)

"We will have the ban taken off, friend Oliver," continued the King, in the same tone; "the Imperial Chamber will hear reason."

(A supreme court of appeals established in 1495 by Maximilian I: the first law court established in Germany.)

"And admitting him to be of noble birth," said Oliver, "he hath the manners, the face, and the outward form, as well as the heart, of a Flemish butcher -- she will never accept of him."

"His mode of wooing, if I mistake him not," said Louis, "will render it difficult for her to make a choice."

"I was far wrong indeed, when I taxed your Majesty with being over scrupulous," said the counsellor. "On my life, the crimes of Adolphus are but virtues to those of De la Marck! -- And then how is he to meet with his bride? Your Majesty knows he dare not stir far from his own forest of Ardennes."

"That must be cared for," said the King; "and, in the first place, the two ladies must be acquainted privately that they can be no longer maintained at this Court, except at the expense of a war between France and Burgundy, and that, unwilling to deliver them up to my fair cousin of Burgundy, I am desirous they should secretly depart from my dominions."

"They will demand to be conveyed to England," said Oliver "and we shall have her return to Flanders with an island lord, having a round, fair face, long brown hair, and three thousand archers at his back."

"No -- no," replied the king; "we dare not (you understand me) so far offend our fair cousin of Burgundy as to let her pass to England. It would bring his displeasure as certainly as our maintaining her here. No, no -- to the safety of the Church alone we will venture to commit her; and the utmost we can do is to connive at the Ladies Hameline and Isabelle de Croye departing in disguise, and with a small retinue, to take refuge with the Bishop of Liege, who will place the fair Isabelle for the time under the safeguard of a convent."

"And if that convent protect her from William de la Marck, when he knows of your Majesty's favourable intentions, I have mistaken the man."

"Why, yes," answered the King, "thanks to our secret supplies of money, De la Marck hath together a handsome handful of as unscrupulous soldiery as ever were outlawed; with which he contrives to maintain himself among the woods, in such a condition as makes him formidable both to the Duke of Burgundy and the Bishop of Liege. He lacks nothing but some territory which he may call his own; and this being so fair an opportunity to establish himself by marriage, I think that, Pasques dieu! he will find means to win and wed, without more than a hint on our part. The Duke of Burgundy will then have such a thorn in his side as no lancet of our time will easily cut out from his flesh. The Boar of Ardennes, whom he has already outlawed, strengthened by the possession of that fair lady's lands, castles, and seigniory, with the discontented Liegeois to boot, who, by may faith, will not be in that case unwilling to choose him for their captain and leader -- let Charles then think of wars with France when he will, or rather let him bless his stars if she war not with him. -- How dost thou like the scheme, Oliver, ha?"

"Rarely," said Oliver, "save and except the doom which confers that lady on the Wild Boar of Ardennes. -- By my halidome, saving in a little outward show of gallantry, Tristan, the Provost Marshal, were the more proper bridegroom of the two."

"Anon thou didst propose Master Oliver the barber," said Louis; "but friend Oliver and gossip Tristan, though excellent men in the way of counsel and execution, are not the stuff that men make counts of. - Know you not that the burghers of Flanders value birth in other men precisely because they have it not themselves? -- A plebeian mob ever desire an aristocratic leader. Yonder Ked, or Cade, or -- how called they him? -- in England, was fain to lure his rascal rout after him by pretending to the blood of the Mortimers (Jack Cade was the leader of Cade's Rebellion. Calling himself Mortimer, and claiming to be a cousin of Richard, Duke of York, in 1450, at the head of twenty thousand men, he took formal possession of London. His alleged object was to procure representation for the people, and so reduce excessive taxation.). William de la Marck comes of the blood of the Princes of Sedan, as noble as mine own. -- And now to business. I must determine the ladies of Croye to a speedy and secret flight, under sure guidance. This will be easily done -- we have but to hint the alternative of surrendering them to Burgundy. Thou must find means to let William de la Marck know of their motions, and let him choose his own time and place to push his suit. I know a fit person to travel with them."

"May I ask to whom your Majesty commits such an important charge?" asked the tonsor.

"To a foreigner, be sure," replied the King, "one who has neither kin nor interest in France, to interfere with the execution of my pleasure; and who knows too little of the country and its factions, to suspect more of my purpose than I choose to tell him -- in a word, I design to employ the young Scot who sent you hither but now."

Oliver paused in a manner which seemed to imply a doubt of the prudence of the choice, and then added, "Your Majesty has reposed confidence in that stranger boy earlier than is your wont."

"I have my reasons," answered the King. "Thou knowest" (and he crossed himself) "my devotion for the blessed Saint Julian. I had been saying my orisons to that holy Saint late in the night before last, wherein (as he is known to be the guardian of travellers) I made it my humble petition that he would augment my household with such wandering foreigners as might best establish throughout our kingdom unlimited devotion to our will; and I vowed to the good Saint in guerdon, that I would, in his name, receive, and relieve; and maintain them."

"And did Saint Julian," said Oliver, "send your Majesty this long legged importation from Scotland in answer to your prayers?"

Although the barber, who well knew that his master had superstition in a large proportion to his want of religion, and that on such topics nothing was more easy than to offend him -- although, I say, he knew the royal weakness, and therefore carefully put the preceding question in the softest and most simple tone of voice, Louis felt the innuendo which it contained, and regarded the speaker with high displeasure.

"Sirrah," he said, "thou art well called Oliver the Devil, who darest thus to sport at once with thy master and with the blessed Saints. I tell thee, wert thou one grain less necessary to me, I would have thee hung up on yonder oak before the Castle, as an example to all who scoff at things holy -- Know, thou infidel slave, that mine eyes were no sooner closed; than the blessed Saint Julian was visible to me, leading a young man whom he presented to me, saying that his fortune should be to escape the sword, the cord, the river, and to bring good fortune to the side which he should espouse, and to the adventures in which he should be engaged. I walked out on the succeeding morning and I met with this youth, whose image I had seen in my dream. In his own country he hath escaped the sword, amid the massacre of his whole family, and here within the brief compass of two days, he hath been strangely rescued from drowning and from the gallows, and hath already, on a particular occasion, as I but lately hinted to thee, been of the most material service to me. I receive him as sent hither by Saint Julian to serve me in the most difficult, the most dangerous, and even the most desperate services."

The King, as he thus expressed himself, doffed his hat, and selecting from the numerous little leaden figures with which the hat band was garnished that which represented Saint Julian, he placed it on the table, as was often his wont when some peculiar feeling of hope, or perhaps of remorse, happened to thrill across his mind, and, kneeling down before it, muttered, with an appearance of profound devotion, "Sancte Juliane, adsis precibus nostris! Ora, ora, pro nobis! (St. Julian, give heed to our prayers. Plead, plead for us!)"

This was one of those ague fits of superstitious devotion which often seized on Louis in such extraordinary times and places, that they gave one of the most sagacious monarchs who ever reigned the appearance of a madman, or at least of one whose mind was shaken by some deep consciousness of guilt.

While he was thus employed, his favourite looked at him with an expression of sarcastic contempt which he scarce attempted to disguise. Indeed, it was one of this man's peculiarities, that in his whole intercourse with his master, he laid aside that fondling, purring affectation of officiousness and humility which distinguished his conduct to others; and if he still bore some resemblance to a cat, it was when the animal is on its guard, -- watchful, animated, and alert for sudden exertion. The cause of this change was probably Oliver's consciousness that his Master was himself too profound a hypocrite not to see through the hypocrisy of others.

"The features of this youth, then, if I may presume to speak," said Oliver, "resemble those of him whom your dream exhibited?"

"Closely and intimately," said the King, whose imagination, like that of superstitious people in general, readily imposed upon itself. "I have had his horoscope cast, besides, by Galeotti Martivalle, and I have plainly learned, through his art and mine own observation, that, in many respects, this unfriended youth has his destiny under the same constellation with mine."

Whatever Oliver might think of the causes thus boldly assigned for the preference of an inexperienced stripling, he dared make no farther objections, well knowing that Louis, who, while residing in exile, had bestowed much of his attention on the supposed science of judicial astrology, would listen to no raillery of any kind which impeached his skill. He therefore only replied that he trusted the youth would prove faithful in the discharge of a task so delicate.

"We will take care he hath no opportunity to be otherwise," said Louis; "for he shall be privy to nothing, save that he is sent to escort the Ladies of Croye to the residence of the Bishop of Liege. Of the probable interference of William de la Marck he shall know as little as they themselves. None shall know that secret but the guide; and Tristan or thou must find one fit for our purpose."

"But in that case," said Oliver, "judging of him from his country and his appearance, the young man is like to stand to his arms as soon as the Wild Boar comes on them, and may not come off so easily from the tusks as he did this morning."

"If they rend his heart strings," said Louis, composedly, "Saint Julian, blessed be his name! can send me another in his stead. It skills as little that the messenger is slain after his duty is executed, as that the flask is broken when the wine is drunk out. -- Meanwhile, we must expedite the ladies' departure, and then persuade the Count de Crevecoeur that it has taken place without our connivance; we having been desirous to restore them to the custody of our fair cousin, which their sudden departure has unhappily prevented."

"The Count is perhaps too wise, and his master too prejudiced, to believe it."

"Holy Mother!" said Louis, "what unbelief would that be in Christian men! But, Oliver, they shall believe us. We will throw into our whole conduct towards our fair cousin, Duke Charles, such thorough and unlimited confidence, that, not to believe we have been sincere with him in every respect, he must be worse than an infidel. I tell thee, so convinced am I that I could make Charles of Burgundy think of me in every respect as I would have him, that, were it necessary for silencing his doubts, I would ride unarmed, and on a palfrey, to visit him in his tent, with no better guard about me than thine own simple person, friend Oliver."

"And I," said Oliver, "though I pique not myself upon managing steel in any other shape than that of a razor, would rather charge a Swiss battalion of pikes, than I would accompany your Highness upon such a visit of friendship to Charles of Burgundy, when he hath so many grounds to be well assured that there is enmity in your Majesty's bosom against him."

"Thou art a fool, Oliver," said the King, "with all thy pretensions to wisdom -- and art not aware that deep policy must often assume the appearance of the most extreme simplicity, as courage occasionally shrouds itself under the show of modest timidity. Were it needful, full surely would I do what I have said -- the Saints always blessing our purpose, and the heavenly constellations bringing round in their course a proper conjuncture for such an exploit."

In these words did King Louis XI give the first hint of the extraordinary resolution which he afterwards adopted in order to dupe his great rival, the subsequent execution of which had very nearly proved his own ruin.

He parted with his counsellor, and presently afterwards went to the apartment of the Ladies of Croye. Few persuasions beyond his mere license would have been necessary to determine their retreat from the Court of France, upon the first hint that they might not be eventually protected against the Duke of Burgundy; but it was not so easy to induce them to choose Liege for the place of their retreat. They entreated and requested to be transferred to Bretagne or Calais, where, under protection of the Duke of Bretagne or King of England, they might remain in a state of safety, until the sovereign of Burgundy should relent in his rigorous purpose towards them. But neither of these places of safety at all suited the plans of Louis, and he was at last successful in inducing them to adopt that which did coincide with them.

The power of the Bishop of Liege for their defence was not to be questioned, since his ecclesiastical dignity gave him the means of protecting the fugitives against all Christian Princes; while, on the other hand, his secular forces, if not numerous, seemed at least sufficient to defend his person, and all under his protection, from any sudden violence. The difficulty was to reach the little Court of the Bishop in safety; but for this Louis promised to provide, by spreading a report that the Ladies of Croye had escaped from Tours by night, under fear of being delivered up to the Burgundian Envoy, and had taken their flight towards Bretagne. He also promised them the attendance of a small but faithful retinue, and letters to the commanders of such towns and fortresses as they might pass, with instructions to use every means for protecting and assisting them in their journey.

The Ladies of Croye, although internally resenting the ungenerous and discourteous manner in which Louis thus deprived them of the promised asylum in his Court, were so far from objecting to the hasty departure which he proposed, that they even anticipated his project, by entreating to be permitted to set forward that same night. The Lady Hameline was already tired of a place where there were neither admiring courtiers, nor festivities to be witnessed; and the Lady Isabelle thought she had seen enough to conclude that, were the temptation to become a little stronger, Louis XI, not satisfied with expelling them from his Court, would not hesitate to deliver her up to her irritated Suzerain, the Duke of Burgundy. Lastly, Louis himself readily acquiesced in their hasty departure, anxious to preserve peace with Duke Charles, and alarmed lest the beauty of Isabelle should interfere with and impede the favourite plan which he had formed for bestowing the hand of his daughter Joan upon his cousin of Orleans.

If you like this book please share to your friends :

Quentin Durward - Chapter XIII - THE JOURNEY Quentin Durward - Chapter XIII - THE JOURNEY

Quentin Durward - Chapter XIII - THE JOURNEY
CHAPTER XIII - THE JOURNEYTalk not of kings -- I scorn the poor comparison;I am a sage and can command the elements --At least men think I can; and on that thoughtI found unbounded empire.ALBUMAZAROccupation and adventure might be said to crowd upon the young Scottishman with the force of a spring tide; for he was speedily summoned to the apartment of his Captain, the Lord Crawford , to his astonishment, he again beheld the King. After a few words respecting the honour and trust which were about to be reposed in him, which made Quentin internally afraid that they were

Quentin Durward - Chapter XI - THE HALL OF ROLAND Quentin Durward - Chapter XI - THE HALL OF ROLAND

Quentin Durward - Chapter XI - THE HALL OF ROLAND
CHAPTER XI - THE HALL OF ROLANDPainters show cupid blind -- Hath Hymen eyes?Or is his sight warp'd by those spectacleswhich parents, guardians, and advisers, lent him,That he may look through them on lands and mansions,On jewels, gold, and all such rich dotations,And see their value ten times magnified? --Methinks 't will brook a question.THE MISERIES OF ENFORCED MARRIAGELouis XI of France, though the sovereign in Europe who was fondest and most jealous of power, desired only its substantial enjoyment; and though he knew well enough, and at times exacted strictly, the observances due to his rank, he was in general