"I know that, but he will die; and by speaking of the event as if it had already taken place, we prepare our minds to meet the blow with greater resignation when it does fall. I am much concerned, I can assure you; but let us quit the close confined air of this corridor, and go where we may breathe a purer atmosphere."
She took me by the arm with a greater familiarity than she had ever before assumed, and led the way to my chamber, where I found the duc de la Vrilliere awaiting me, to request I would return to the king, who had asked for me more than once. This consummate hypocrite seized the present opportunity of renewing his assurances of an unalterable attachment to me, vowing an eternal friendship. I was weak enough to believe him, and when I gave him my hand in token of reconciliation, I espied the marechale standing behind him, making signals to me to distrust his professions.
I know not the reason of this conduct on the part of the duc de l a Vrilliere, but I can only suppose it originated in his considering the king in less danger than he was said to be; however, I suffered him to lead me to the chamber of the invalid. When Louis XV saw me return, he inquired why I had quitted him? I replied, because I was fearful of wearying him; upon which he assured me, that he only felt easy and comfortable so long as I was with him.
"But, perhaps, there is some contagion in my present complaint?" exclaimed he, as though labouring under some painful idea.
"Certainly not," replied I; "it is but a temporary eruption of the skin, which will, no doubt, carry off the fever you have suffered with."
"I feared it was of a more dangerous nature," answered the king.
"You torment yourself needlessly, sire," said I; "why should you thus create phantoms for your own annoyance and alarm? Tranquillize yourself, and leave the task of curing you to us."
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