Page:The Vicomte de Bragelonne 2.djvu/253

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THE VICOJITE DE BRAGELOSTNE. 241 Then, as if speaking to herself, "It is really unaccounta- ble," said she, "how little regard my brother's friends have for his servants." "Ah, madame," cried Buckingham, "your royal highness pierces my heart with a poniard forged by your own hands." "What is the meaning of that speech, which is turned so like a French madrigal, duke? I do not understand it." "It means, madame, that you yourself, so good, so charm- ing, so sensible, you have laughed sometimes — smiled, I should say — at the idle prattle of that good Parry, for whom your royal highness to-day entertains such a marvelous susceptibility." "Well, my lord, if I have forgotten myself so far," said Henrietta, "you do wrong to remind me of it." And she made a sign of impatience. "The good Parry wants to speak to me, I believe; please order them to row to the shore, my Lord Rochester." Rochester hastened to repeat the princess' command; and a moment after the boat touched the bank. "Let us land, gentlemen," said Henrietta, taking the arm which Rochester offered her, although Buckingham was nearer to her and had presented his. Then Rochester, with an ill-dissembled pride, which pierced the heart of the un- happy Buckingham through and through, led the princess across the little bridge which the rowers had cast from the royal boat to the shore. "Which way will your royal highness go?" asked Rochester. "You see, my lord, toward that good Parry, who is wan- dering, as my Lord of Buckingham says, and seeking me with eyes weakened by the tears he has shed over our misfor- tunes." "Good heavens!" said Rochester, "how sad your royal ! highness is to-day; we have, in truth, the air of appearing ridiculous fools to you, madame." "Speak for yourself, my lord," interrupted Buckingham, • with vexation; "for my part, I displease her royal highness to such a degree that I appear absolutely nothing to her." Neither Rochester nor the princess made any reply. Hen- rietta only urged her cavalier to a quicker pace. Bucking- ham remained behind, and took advantage of this isolation to give himself up to such rage, in his handkerchief, that 1 the cambric was bitten in holes. "Parry, my good Parry," said the princess, with her