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RICHELIEU.

And the silly child Visits me daily; calls me “Father;" prays Kind Heaven to bless me; and for all the rest, As well have placed a doll about the queen! She does not heed who frowns, who smiles; with whom The king confers in whispers; notes not when Men who last week were foes, are found in corners Mysteriously affectionate; words spoken Within closed doors she never hears; by chance Taking the air at keyholes. Senseless puppet! No ears, nor eyes! and yet she says “She loves me !" Go on!

JOSEPH.
Your ward has charm'd the king-

RICHELIEU.

Out on you! Have I not, one by one, from such fair shoots Pluck'd the insidious ivy of his love ? And shall it creep around my blossoming tree, Where innocent thoughts, like happy birds, make musie That spirits in Heaven might hear? They're sinful too, Those passionate surfeits of the rampant flesh; The church condemns them; and to us, my Joseph, The props and pillars of the church, most hurtful. The king is weak; whoever the king loves Must rule the king; the lady loves another, The other rules the lady; thus we're balked Of our own proper sway. The king must have No goddess but the state; the state-that's Richelieu !

JOSEPH

This not the worst ; Louis, in all decorous,
And deeming you her least compliant guardian,
Would veil his suit by marriage with his minion,
Your prosperous foe, Count Baradas!

RICHELIEU.

Ha! ha!

I have another bride for Baradas.

JOSEPH.

You, my lord ?

RICHELIEU.

Ay, more faithful than the love
Of fickle woman: when the head lies lowliest,
Clasping him fondest; sorrow never knew
So sure a soother, and her bed is stainless !

JOSEPH (aside).
If of the grave he speaks, I do not wonder
That priests are bachelors!

Enter François.

FRANCOIS.
Mademoiselle de Mortemar.

RICHELIEU.
Most opportune; admit her.

(Erit François.

In my closet You'll find a rosary, Joseph; ere you tell Three hundred beads, I'll summon you. Stay, Joseph; I did omit an ave in my matins, A grievous fault; atone it for me, Joseph; There is a scourge within; I am weak, you strong; It were but charity to take my sin On such broad shoulders. Exercise is healthful.

JOSEPH.

I! guilty of such criminal presumption
As to mistake myself for you! No, never!
Think it not! (Aside) Troth, a pleasant invitation!

[Exit Joseph. Enter Julie de Mortemar:

RICHELIEU.

That's my sweet Julie ! why, upon this face
Blushes such daybreak, one might swear the morning
Were come to visit Tithon.
JULIE (placing herself at his feet).

Are you gracious ?
May I say " Father ?"

RICHELIEU.
Now and ever!

JULIE.

Father!

A sweet word to an orphan.

RICHELIEU.

No; not orphan
While Richelieu lives; thy father loved me well;
My friend, ere I had flatterers (now I'm great,
In other phrase, I'm friendless); he died young
In years, not service, and bequeath'd thee to me;
And thou shalt have a dowry, girl, to buy
Thy mate amid the mightiest. Drooping? sighs ?
Art thou not happy at the court ?

JULIE.

Not often.

RICHELIEU (aside). Can she love Baradas ? Ah! at thy heart There's what can smile and sigh, blush and grow pale, All in a breath! Thou art admired, art young; Does not his majesty commend thy beauty ? Ask thee to sing to him? and swear such sounds Had smooth'd the brows of Saul ?

JULIE

He's very tiresome,

Our worthy king.

RICHELIEU.

Fy; kings are never tiresome, Save to their ministers. What courtly gallants Charm ladies most? De Sourdiac, Longueville, or The favourite Baradas?

[blocks in formation]

RICHELIEU.

Right, girl, shun Baradas. Yet of these flowers
of France, not one in whose more honey'd breath
Thy heart hears summer whisper?

Enter Huguet.
HUGUET.

The Chevalier
De Mauprat waits below.

JULIE (starting up).

De Mauprat!

RICHELIEU.

Hem! He has been tiresome too! Anon.

[Exit Huguet.

JULIE.

What doth he? I mean-I-does your eminence

that is Know you Messire de Mauprat?

RICHELIEU.

Well! and you Has he address'd you often?

JULIE.

Often! No; Nine times; nay, ten; the last time by the lattice Of the great staircase. (In a melancholy tone) The court

sees him rarely.

RICHELIEU.

A bold and forward royster?

JULIE

He? nay, modest, Gentle, and sad, methinks.

RICHELIEU.

Wears gold and azure ?

JULILY

No; sable,

RICHELIEU.

So you note his colours, Julie ?
Shame on you, child, look loftier. By the mass,
I have business with this modest gentleman.

JULIE.

You're angry with poor Julie. There's no cause.

RICHELIEU.

No cause; you hate my foes ?

JULIE.

I do!

RICHELIEU.

Hate Mauprat?

JULIE.

Not Mauprat. No, not Adrien, father.

RICHELIEU.

Adrien ! Familiar! Go, child; no, not that way; wait In the tapestry chamber; I will join you; go.

JULIE.
His brows are knit; I dare not call him father!
But I must speak. Your eminence-

RICHELIEU (sternly).

Well, girl!

JULIE.

Nay, Smile on me-one smile more; there, now I'm happy. Do not ránk Mauprat with your foes; he is not, I know he is not; he loves France too well.

RICHELIEU.

Not rank De Mauprat with my foes? So be it.
I'U blot him from that list.

JULIE.

That's my own father.

(Exit Julie.

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