The abbe saw that it was necessary to obey, he therefore bowed and retired. Two hours afterwards he sent me the sum which I had asked of him for my brother-in-law, accompanied by a most humble and contrite letter. Certainly, had I only listened to the inspiration of my heart, I should have sent back the money without touching it, and the epistle without reading it; but my heroism did not suit comte Jean, who chanced to be present. 'Take it, take it," cried he; "the only way of punishing such a miscreant, is to break his purse-strings. He would, indeed, have the laugh on his side were your fit of anger to change into a fit of generosity; besides, this may be the last we shall ever see."
My brother-in-law and the comptroller-general were an excellent pair. I treated the latter with silent contempt, not even replying to his letter; this was, however, my first and only stroke of vengeance, the disastrous events which followed did not permit me to pursue my plans for revenging this treacherous and contemptible conduct.
This quarrel, and the defection of the
"You are severe, madam," replied he, "yet I can solemnly affirm that circumstances, and not inclination, have kept me from your presence until now."
"May I believe you?" said I. "Are you quite sure you have not been imitating the policy of the abbe Terray?" Upon which I related the behaviour of the comptroller-general.
"Priest-like," answered the prince.
"And is it not
"Perhaps it may," rejoined M. de Soubise; "for the two species of priest and courtier so nearly resemble each other in many particulars, as to have become well nigh amalgamated into one; but I claim your indulgence to make me an exception to the general rule, and to class me as a soldier and a man of honour; besides which, you are too lovely ever to be forgotten, and your past goodness to me will ensure you my services let what may occur."
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