In the chair of State, on this day of petitions, his head and hand busied themselves with a wonderful new doorlock he had devised. "Sire," said the suppliant de Linieres, "in the matter of the grand alliance betwixt my nephew Chevalier de Vaudrey and your ward Princesse de Acquitaine " The monarch nodded absentmindedly. "Oh, yes, yes! Of course.
We have subjected no new provinces or people to our government; and, with few or no exceptions, we are almost for dominion where King Edward I. left us; nay, we have lost all the dominions which our ancient kings for some hundreds of years held in France such as the rich and powerful provinces of Normandy, Poictou, Gascoigne, Bretagne, and Acquitaine; and instead of being enriched by war and victory, on the contrary we have been torn in pieces by civil wars and rebellions, as well in Ireland as in England, and that several times, to the ruin of our richest families, and the slaughter of our nobility and gentry, nay, to the destruction even of monarchy itself, and this many years at a time, as in the long bloody wars between the houses of Lancaster and York, the many rebellions of the Irish, as well in Queen Elizabeth's time, as in King Charles I.'s time, and the fatal massacre, and almost extirpation of the English name in that kingdom; and at last, the late rebellion in England, in which the monarch fell a sacrifice to the fury of the people, and monarchy itself gave way to tyranny and usurpation, for almost twenty years.
"Then it is your duty to give him up, since it is the will of the King that he marry Princesse de Acquitaine " Henriette paled. For an instant the blue eyes looked near-tigerish, with green and yellow lights. Yet she must save Maurice from the King's wrath. "If you will make this sacrifice," continued the Countess, "I shall not prove ungrateful with any reward that is in my power."
At Upper Ingelheim, likewise, his chapel was adorned with scenes from the Old and New Testaments, while the banqueting hall exhibited on one wall the deeds of great Pagan rulers, such as Cyrus, Hannibal, and Alexander, and on the other those of Constantine and Theodosius, the seizure of Acquitaine by Pepin, and Charlemagne's own conquest over the Saxons and finally himself enthroned as conqueror.
The Société des Monuments Historiques defined it as "a small district on both sides of the Loire between Normandy and Acquitaine."
That would get rid of her, truly! In the meanwhile the Chevalier, if disobedient, could cool his heels in the prison tower of the royal fortress at Caen. After a while, he might indeed see reason and think better of marrying the Princesse de Acquitaine! He summoned the Chevalier. The autocratic Count brooked no words; he commanded marriage with the State heiress or exile!
Nowhere, not even in Provence or Acquitaine, are to be noted more significant tendencies toward a southern influence in the matter of civil and ecclesiastical building. True, many of the minor structures have to-day descended unto base uses, and many of their perfections and beauties are therefore sunk below the surface.
"As sure as the Black Prince was lord of Acquitaine as sure as the English were masters of Bordeaux and why did we ever lose the country?" cries George, filling himself a bumper, "every word I have said about Florac is true;" and Florac coming in at this juncture havin just finished his cigar, George turned round and made him a fine speech in the French language, in which he lauded his constancy and good-humour under evil fortune, paid him two or three more cordial compliments, and finished by drinking another great bumper to his good health.