"Well, living or dead, I am advised to keep out of the way; and this night will see me on my journey from Paris. Will you accompany me?"
"No, I replied I; "I have refused travelling with a much more creditable companion than yourself."
"There you are wrong then; for, depend upon it, a cloister will be your fate; at any rate my business here is at an end. The new monarch is young, and attached to his wife, and my daughter-in-law is too great a simpleton to be turned to any account at court."
My brother-in-law then requested I would furnish him with money. I gave him what I had, and placed in his hands diamonds to the value of 30,000 francs. He was very anxious to obtain all my jewels, under pretence of conveying them safely out of the kingdom, but this I was too wise to agree to; he would have staked them at t he first gaming-table he met with. We separated without much emotion on either side. He next took leave of Chon and his daughter-in-law. the former wept bitterly, for she was a most excellent and amiable girl--but the latter, who knew but too much of the villainy of her father-in-law, could scarcely repress her joy at his departure. Comte Jean perceived it; and, according to his brutal custom, indulged in a coarse jest at her expense; for one of his maxims was to hold all women in sovereign contempt but such as could be useful to him. For my own part, his absence gave me something like pleasure; his presence was wearisome to me; it was like the dregs of the cup which had intoxicated my senses.
During the day several false reports arrived of the death of the king; but at length, about half past four o'clock in the afternoon, I received the following letter:--
"MADAM,-You have lost your best friend and I an excellent master: at three clock this day his majesty breathed his last. I can scarcely describe to you the horrors of his death-bed. The princesses Adelaide and Sophie braved the frightful contagion to the last and never quitted him till the last spark had flown. Alas! with the exception of themselves, every attendant openly expressed their weariness and disgust.
"For several days the physicians have forbidden the windows to be opened; and those condemned to inhale the pestilential vapor of the room vainly sought to counteract them by every powerful fumigation. Alas, madam, what is a king when he can no longer grasp the sceptre? How great a leveller is death! The prelates abandoned the sick chamber, and left a simple cure of the chapel to take their place; the lords in waiting and other officers shrunk from the duties of their office, and with their eyes fixed on a time-piece eagerly awaited the hour which should free them from it. The princesses, who perceived this impatience, durst make no complaint, while the king, occasionally recovering his senses, uttered broken sentences, expressive of the religious terror which had seized his mind. At length, at a few minutes past three o'clock, Lemonnier, in his capacity of first physician, said, after laying his hand upon the heart of the patient, and placing a glass before his lips, 'The king is dead.' At these words all present strove with indecent haste to quit the chamber; not a single sigh, not one regret was heard. The princesses were carried insensible to their apartments.
"The extinction of a
Source of this article：http://fjkvm.dgost.com/news/289f499365.html
Copyright statement: The content of this article was voluntarily contributed by internet users, and the views expressed in this article only represent the author themselves. This website only provides information storage space services and does not hold any ownership or legal responsibility. If you find any suspected plagiarism, infringement, or illegal content on this website, please send an email to report it. Once verified, this website will be immediately deleted.