"You were not mistaken, dear sister," said she; "the duc de la Vrilliere is the bearer of the king's orders respecting you: but compose yourself, I beseech you."
"Fear not," said I; "I am as calm as you would have me. Tell the vile dissembler, I mean the duke, I await him"
M. Tartuffe was but a faint copy of
He approached me with lingering steps and an air of mysterious importance, while a sort of sardonic grin contradicted the sorrow he endeavored to force into his countenance. For my own part, I caused the folding-doors to be thrown open, and advancing ceremoniously, stood to receive the orders of the king. I bowed stiffly and silently; and, with something like a malicious satisfaction, I witnessed the embarrassment into which my cool and collected manner threw him.
"Madam," said he at last, "I have a painful duty to perform: in a word, I am the bearer of a
"Well, sir! "said I, tranquilly.
"Madam, I must request you to believe how greatly I regret the task imposed upon me; but my duty and obedience to the king--"
"Would enable you to strangle your nearest relative. All that is well known; but, in the name of all that is base, cowardly, and unmanly, could no one but
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