Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/302

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the most magnificent edifice of the kind, that modern Europe can boast.

As the eye fixes involuntarily upon the central pavilion, past scenes and events of other days sweep by, like living pictures. Francis the First, seems to pass proudly in his royal robes, bearing upon his arm his intriguing mother, Louise of Savoy, for whom he purchased the hotel which originally occupied the site of this palace, somewhat more than three centuries since.

Ninety years after, we see Henry the Third hurrying from its walls to escape a tumult of the people. Assisted by his groom, he hastily mounts his horse, his dress disarranged, and the spurs but half fastened to his boots. Forty arquebusiers take aim at him as he passes out by the Pont Neuf; and when he finds himself free from the perilous neighborhood of the city, he indulges in wrathful gestures and imprecations of vengeance; like the vindictive Marmion, who, on quitting the castle of the haughty Douglas,

"Turned and raised his clenched hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers."

We shrink, as we imagine gliding among these scenes, the form of the ambitious Catharine de Medicis, who built for her son s residence this very central pavilion, with its wings. There, there is the window from whence the infamous Charles the Ninth, whom his mother "Jezebel stirred up," fired upon his own peo-