"We are come to see you, my dearest father," replied madame Adelaide; "we have heard of your indisposition, and trifling as it is said to be, we could not rest without satisfying our anxious wish to know how you found yourself."
The other sisters expressed themselves in similar terms.
"It is all very well, my children," said Louis XV, with a pleasing smile, "and you are all three very excellent girls, but I would rather you should keep away from this close room; it can do you no good, and I promise to let you know if I find myself getting any worse."
After a slight resistance the princesses feigned an obedience to his will; but, in reality, they merely retired into an adjoining chamber, concealed from the sight of their parent, where they remained, until the moment when they undertook the charge of the patient. Their heroic devotion was the admiration of all France and Europe.
Much as their presence constrained me, I still kept my place beside the sick-bed of his majesty, who would not suffer me to leave him for a minute.
At an early hour the marechale de Mirepoix returned, according to her promise. I met her in the corridor as I was passing along on my way to the king's apartment; her face was full of cheerful smiles.
"How greatly am I obliged to you for your prompt succour," said she, without even inquiring after my health or that of the king. "Do you know, I was but just in time; ten minutes later, and I should have been refused payment for your cheque. M. de Laborde, who was so devotedly your friend only yesterday, counted out to me the glittering coin I was so anxious to obtain. He even accompanied me to my carriage, when behold, just at the moment, when, with his hat in his hand, he was most gallantly bowing, and wishing me a pleasant journey, a courier arrived from Versailles bringing him the news of the king's illness. He looked so overwhelmed with consternation and alarm, that I could not prevent myself from bursting into a hearty fit of laughter, nor has my gaiety forsaken me up to the present moment."
"You are very fortunate," said I, "to be enabled thus to preserve your good spirits."
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