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And Baradas have got the map of action At their fingers' end." “ So be it," quoth the other; “ I will be there-Marion de Lorme's—at midnight!"


I have them, man, I have them!


So they say
Of you, my lord; believe me, that their plans
Are mightier than you deem. You must employ
Means no less vast to meet them!


Bah! in policy We foil gigantic danger, not by giants, • But dwarfs. The statues of our stately fortune Are sculptured by the chisel, not the axe !* Ah! were 1 younger, by the knightly heart That beats beneath these priestly robes,t I would Have pastime with these cutthroats! Yea, as when, Lured to the ambush of the expecting foe, I clove my path through the plumed sea! Reach me yon falchion, François; not that bawble For carpet-warriors; yonder, such a blade As old Charles Martel might have wielded when He drove the Saracen from France,

* Richelieu not only employed the lowest, but would often consult men commonly esteemed the dullest.“ Il disoit que dans des choses de très grande importance, il avait expérimenté, que les moins sages donnoient souvent les meilleurs expédiens."— Le Clerc.

+ Both Richelieu and Joseph were originally intended for the profession of arms. Joseph had served before he obeyed the spiritual inspiration to become a Capuchin. The death of his brother opened to Richelieu the bishopric of Luçon; but his military propensities were as strong as his priestly ambition. I need scarcely add that the cardinal, during his brilliant campaign in Italy, marched at the head of his troops in complete armour. It was under his adminis. tration that occurs the last example of proclaiming war by the chivalric defiance of herald and cartel. Richelieu valued himself much on his personal activity, for his vanity was as universal as his ambition. À nobleman of the house of Grammont one day found him employed in jumping, and, with all the savoir vivre of a Frenchman and a courtier, offered to jump against him. He suffered the cardinal to jump higher, and soon after found himself rewarded by an appointment Yet, stra enough, this vanity did not lead to a patronage injurious to the state ; for never before in France was ability made so essential a requisite in promotion. He was lucky in finding the cleverest fellows among his adroitest flatterers.

(François brings him one of the long two-handed swords worn in the Middle Ages.)

With this I, at Rochelle,

did hand to hand engage The stalwart Englisher; no mongrels, boy, Those island mastiffs; mark the notch-a deep oneHis casque made here. I shore him to the waist ! A toy, a feather, then!

(Tries to wield, and lets it fall.)

You see a child could Slay Richelieu now.

FRANCOIS (his hand on his hilt).

But now, at your command
Are other weapons, my good lord.
RICHELIEU (who has seated himself as to write, lifts the pen).

True, This!
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanter's wand! itself a nothing !
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyze the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! Take away the sword;
States can be saved without it!

(Looking on the clock.)

'Tis the hour; Retire, sir.

[Exit François (A knock is heard. A door, concealed in the arras, opens cautiously. Enter Marion de Lorme.)

JOSEPH (amazed).
Marion de Lorme !


Hist! Joseph, Keep guard.

(Joseph retires to the principal entrance.)

My faithful Marion!


Good, my lord,

They meet to-night in my poor house. The Duke
Of Orleans heads them.


Yes; go on.


His highness Much question'd if I knew some brave, discreet, And vigilant man, whose tongue could keep a secret, And who had those twin qualities for service, The love of gold, the hate of Richelieu.





Made answer, “ Yes, my brother; bold and trusty, Whose faith my faith could pledge;" the duke then bade Have him equipp'd and arm’d, well-mounted, ready This night to part for Italy.


Has Bouillon too turn'd traitor! So methought!
What part of Italy?


The Piedmont frontier, Where Bouillon lies encamp'd.


Now there is danger!
Great danger! If he tamper with the Spaniard,
And Louis list not to my council, as,
Without sure proof, he will not, France is lost.
What more?


Dark hints of some design to seize
Your person in your palace. Nothing clear;
His highness trembled while he spoke; the words
Did choke each other!

So! Who is the brother

You recommended to the duke ?


Whoever Your eminence may father!


Darling Marion !* (Goes to the table, and returns with a large bag of gold.) There-pshaw-a trifle! What an eye you have ! And what a smile, child! (kisses her.) Ah! you fair per

dition, 'Tis well I'm old !

MARION (aside and seriously).

What a great man he is !


You are sure they meet? the hour?


At midnight.


You will engage to give the duke's despatch ,
To whom I send ?

Ay, marry!
RICHELIEU (aside).

Huguet? No;

* Voltaire openly charges Richelieu with being the lover of Marion de Lorme, whom the great poet of France, Victor Hugo, has sacrificed history to adorn with qualities which were certainly not added to her personal charms. She was not less perfidious than beautiful. Le Clerc, properly, refutes the accusation of Voltaire, against the discretion of Richelieu; and says, very, justly, that if the great minister had the frailties of human nature, he learned how to veil them; at least when he obtained the scarlet. In earlier life he had been prone to gallantries which a little prepossessed the king (who was formal and decorous, and threw a singular coldness into the few at. tachments he permitted to himself) against the aspiring intriguer. But these gayer occupations died away

in the engagement of higher pursuits or of darker passions.

He will be wanted elsewhere. Joseph ? zealous,
But too well known, too much the elder brother!
Mauprat? alas! it is his wedding-day!
François ? the man of men! unnoted, young,
Ambitious. (Goes to the door) François !

Enter François.

Follow this fair lady
(Find him the suiting garments, Marion): take
My fleetest steed: arm thyself to the teeth;
A packet will be given you, with orders,
No matter what! The instant that


hand Closes upon it, clutch it, like your honour, Which death alone can steal or ravish; set Spurs to your steed; be breathless till you stand

ain before me. Stay, sir! You will find me Two short leagues hence, at Ruelle, in my castle. Young man, be blithe! for, note me, from the hour I

grasp that packet, think your guardian star Rains fortune on you!


If I fail


Fail! fail !
In the lexicon of youth, which Fate reserves
For a bright manhood, there is no such word
As fail! (You will instruct him further, Marion.)
Follow her, but at distance; speak not to her
Till you are housed. Farewell, boy! Never say
Fail” again.

I will not!
RICHELIEU (patting his locks).

There's my young hero!

[Exeunt François-Marion.


So, they would seize my person in this palace?
I cannot guess their scheme : but my retinue
Is here too large! a single traitor could

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