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"If we are to make that sacrifice," said Phil Evans, "the

time: 2023-12-05 00:54:43laiyuan:toutiaovits: 534

"Do you indeed think so?" returned Louis XV. "May heaven grant your prophecy be a correct one. But see the state in which I now am; give me your hand."

He took my hand and made me feel the pustules with which his burning cheeks were covered. I know not what effect this touch of my hand might have produced, but the king in his turn patted my face, pushed back the curls which hung negligently over my brow; then, inclining me towards him, drew my head upon his pillow. I submitted to this whim with all the courage I could assume; I even went so far as to be upon the point of bestowing a gentle kiss upon his forehead. But, stopping me, with a mournful air, he said, "No, my lovely countess; I am no longer myself, but here is a miniature which has not undergone the same change as its unfortunate master."

I took the miniature, which I placed with respectful tenderness in my bosom, nor have I ever parted with it since.

This scene lasted for some minutes, after which I was retiring, but the king called me back, seized my hand, which he tenderly kissed, and then whispered an affectionate "Adieu." These were the last words I ever heard from his lips.

Upon re-entering my apartments I found madame de Mirepoix awaiting me, to whom I related all that had taken place, expressing, at the same time, my earnest hope of being again summoned, ere long, to the presence of my friend and benefactor.

"Do not deceive yourself, my dear," said she; "depend upon it you have had your last interview; you should have employed it more profitably. His portrait! why, if I mistake not, you have already. Why did you not carry about with you some deed of settlement ready for signature? he would have denied you nothing at such a moment, when you may rest assured he knew himself to be taking his last farewell."

"Is it possible?" exclaimed I. "And can you really suppose the king believed he spoke to me for the last time?"

"I have not the slightest doubt of it; I have known him for many a day. He remembers the scene of Metz, and looks upon you as

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