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- Stray Pearls - 2/67 -


imprisoned, and Mademoiselle had to retire from Court, while other less distinguished persons had to undergo the punishment for their resistance, though, to the credit of the Court party be it spoken, there were no executions, only imprisonments; and in after years the Fronde was treated as a brief frenzy, and forgotten.

Perhaps it may be well to explain that Mademoiselle was Anne Genevieve de Bourbon, daughter of Gaston, Duke of Orleans, by his first wife, the heiress of the old Bourbon branch of Montpensier. She was the greatest heiress in France, and an exceedingly vain and eccentric person, aged twenty-three at the beginning of the Fronde.

It only remains to say that I have no definite authority for introducing such a character as that of Clement Darpent, but it is well known that there was a strong under-current of upright, honest, and highly-cultivated men among the bourgeoisie and magistrates, and that it seemed to me quite possible that in the first Fronde, when the Parliament were endeavouring to make a stand for a just right, and hoping to obtain further hopes and schemes, and, acting on higher and purer principles than those around him, be universally misunderstood and suspected.

C. M. YONGE.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. WHITEHALL BEFORE THE COBWEBS

CHAPTER II. A LITTLE MUTUAL AVERSION

CHAPTER III. CELADON AND CHLOE

CHAPTER IV. THE SALON BLEU

CHAPTER V. IN GARRISON

CHAPTER VI. VICTORY DEARLY BOUGHT

CHAPTER VII. WIDOW AND WIFE

CHAPTER VIII. MARGUERITE TO THE RESCUE

CHAPTER IX. THE FIREBAND OF THE BOCAGE

CHAPTER X. OLD THREADS TAKEN UP

CHAPTER XI. THE TWO QUEENS

CHAPTER XII. CAVALIERS IN EXILE

CHAPTER XIII. MADEMOISELLE'S TOILETTE

CHAPTER XIV. COURT APPOINTMENTS

CHAPTER XV. A STRANGE THANKGIVING DAY

CHAPTER XVI. THE BARRICADES

CHAPTER XVII. A PATIENT GRISEL

CHAPTER XVIII. TWELFTH NIGHT, OR WHAT YOU WILL

CHAPTER XIX. INSIDE PARIS (Annora's Narrative)

CHAPTER XX. CONDOLENCE (By Margaret)

CHAPTER XXI. ST. MARGARET AND THE DRAGON

CHAPTER XXII. ST. MARGARET AND THE DRAGON (By Annora)

CHAPTER XXIII. THE LION AND THE MOUSE

CHAPTER XXIV. FAMILY HONOUR

CHAPTER XXV. THE HAGUE

CHAPTER XXVI. HUNKERSLUST

CHAPTER XXVII. THE EXPEDIENT (Annora's Narrative)

CHAPTER XXVIII. THE BOEUF GRAS (Annora's Narrative)

CHAPTER XXIX. MADAME'S OPPORTUNITY (Annora's Narrative)

CHAPTER XXX. THE NEW MAID OF ORLEAN (Margaret's Narrative)

CHAPTER XXXI. PORTE ST. ANTOINE (Margaret's Narrative)

CHAPTER XXXII. ESCAPE (Annora's Narrative)

CHAPTER XXXIII. BRIDAL PEARLS

CHAPTER XXXIV. ANNORA'S HOME

STRAY PEARLS

MEMOIRS OF MARGARET DE RIBAUMONT

VISCOUNTESS OF BELLAISE

CHAPTER I.

WHITEHALL BEFORE THE COBWEBS.

I have long promised you, my dear grandchildren, to arrange my recollections of the eventful years that even your father can hardly remember. I shall be glad thus to draw closer the bonds between ourselves and the English kindred, whom I love so heartily, though I may never hope to see them in this world, far less the dear old home where I grew up.

For, as perhaps you have forgotten, I am an English woman by birth, having first seen the light at Walwyn House, in Dorsetshire. One brother had preceded me--my dear Eustace--and another brother, Berenger, and my little sister, Annora, followed me.

Our family had property both in England and in Picardy, and it was while attending to some business connected with the French estate that my father had fallen in love with a beautiful young widow, Madame la Baronne de Solivet (nee Cheverny), and had brought her home, in spite of the opposition of her relations. I cannot tell whether she were warmly welcomed at Walwyn Court by any one but the dear beautiful grandmother, a Frenchwoman herself, who was delighted again to hear her mother tongue, although she had suffered much among the Huguenots in her youth, when her husband was left for dead on the S. Barthelemi.

He, my grandfather, had long been dead, but I perfectly remember her. She used to give me a sugar-cake when I said 'Bon soir, bonne maman,' with the right accent, and no one made sugar-cake like hers. She always wore at her girdle a string of little yellow shells, which she desired to have buried with her. We children were never weary of hearing how they had been the only traces of her or of her daughter that her husband could find, when he came to the ruined city.

I could fill this book with her stories, but I must not linger over them; and indeed I heard no more after I was eight years old. Until that time my brother and I were left under her charge in the country, while my father and mother were at court. My mother was one of the Ladies of the Bedchamber of Queen Henrietta Maria, who had been enchanted to find in her a countrywoman, and of the same faith. I was likewise bred up in their Church, my mother having obtained the consent of my father, during a dangerous illness that followed my birth, but the other children were all brought up as Protestants. Indeed, no difference was made between Eustace and me when we were at Walwyn. Our grandmother taught us both alike to make the sign of the cross, and likewise to say our prayers and the catechism; and oh! we loved her very much.

Eustace once gave two black eyes to our rude cousin, Harry Merricourt, for laughing when he said no one was as beautiful as the Grandmother, and though I am an old woman myself, I think he was right. She was like a little fairy, upright and trim, with dark flashing eyes, that never forgot how to laugh, and snowy curls on her brow.

I believe that the dear old lady made herself ill by nursing us two children day and night when we had the smallpox. She had a stroke, and died before my father could be fetched from London; but I knew nothing of all that; I only grieved, and wondered that she did not come to me, till at last the maid who was nursing me told me flatly that the old lady was dead. I think that afterwards we were sent down to a farmer's house by the sea, to be bathed and made rid of infection; and that the pleasure of being set free from our sick chambers and of playing on the shore drove from our minds for the time our grief for the good grandma, though indeed I dream of her often still, and of the old rooms and gardens at Walwyn, though I have never seen them since.

When we were quite well and tolerably free from pock-marks, my father took us to London with him, and there Eustace was sent to school at Westminster; while I, with little Berry, had a tutor to teach us Latin and French, and my mother's waiting-maid instructed me in sewing and embroidery. As I grew older I had masters in dancing and the spinnet, and my mother herself was most careful of my deportment. Likewise she taught me such practices of our religion as I had not learnt from my grandmother, and then it was I found that I was to be brought up differently from Eustace and the others. I cried at first, and declared I would do like Eustace and my father. I did not think much about it; I was too childish and thoughtless to be really devout; and when my mother took me in secret to the queen's little chapel, full of charming objects of devotion, while the others had to sit still during sermons two hours long, I began to think that I was


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