Page:The Vicomte de Bragelonne 2.djvu/252

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HO THE VICOMTE BE ERAGELONNE "My mother expects me," replied the princess; "and • must frankly admit, gentlemen, I am ennuyee." And jvhile uttering this cruel word, Henrietta endeavored to console by a look each of the young men, who appeared ierrified at such frankness. The look produced its effect — the two faces brightened; but immediately, as if the royal coquette thought she had done too much for simple mortals, she made a movement, turned her back to both her adorers. and appeared plunged in a reverie in which it was evident they had no part. Buckingham bit his lips with anger, for he was truly in love with the Lady Henrietta, and, in that case, took every- thing in a serious light. Rochester bit his lips likewise; but his wit always dominated over his heart; it was purely and simply to repress a malicious smile. The princess was then allowing the eyes she turned from the young nobles to wander over the green and flowery turf of the park, when she perceived Parry and D'Artagnan at a distance. "Who is coming yonder?" said she. The two young men turned round with the rapidity of lightning. "Parry," replied Buckingham; "nobody but Parry." "I beg your pardon," said Rochester, "but I think he has a companion." "Yes," said the princess, at first with languor, but then: "What mean those words, 'Nobody but Parry;' say, my lord?" "Because, madame," replied Buckingham, piqued, "be- cause the faithful Parry, the wandering Parry, the eternal Parry, is not, I believe, of much consequence." "You are mistaken, duke. Parry — the wandering Parry, as you call him — has always wandered for the service of my family, and the sight of that old man always gives me satis- faction." The Lady Henrietta followed the usual progress of pretty women, particularly coquettish women; she passed from caprice to contradiction; the gallant had undergone the caprice, the courtier must bend beneath the contradictory humor. Buckingham bowed, but made no reply. "It is true, madame," said Rochester, bowing in his turn, "that Parry is the model of servants; but, madame, he is no longer young, and we only laugh at seeing cheerful objects. Is an old man a gay object?" "Enough, my lord," said the princess coolly; "the sub ject of conversation is unpleasant to me."