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They did meet him, and sent word to the duke, who, having already settled what was to be done, as soon as he heard of his arrival, ordered the torches and lamps in the court to be lit and Altisidora to be placed on the catafalque with all the pomp and ceremony that has been described, the whole affair being so well arranged and acted that it differed but little from reality.

The old buffet in the hall was not like the mahogany catafalque in the other rooms, and the flowers were very fresh and the china of unappreciated antiquity.

Under the great void reserved by the height of the roof for the upward flight of prayers the motley crowd of human beings was huddled together like a flock of sheep. They were all there, at the foot of the catafalque surrounded by lights and covered with flowers, Durville, old Maury, Delage, Vicar, Destrée, Léon Clim, Valrosche, Aman, Regnard, Pradel, Romilly, and Marchegeay, the manager.

"She must have loved Claudet, since she is in mourning for him," he kept repeating to himself, "and if she loved him, why this rupture, which she herself provoked, and which drove the unhappy man to despair?" At the close of the absolution, all the assistants defiled close beside Julien, who was now standing in front of the catafalque.

Then all was still again. She was wholly alone. She envied her father's friend who lay in some catafalque across the square. And presently the sense of desolation grew so acute that she threw herself prostrate on the lounge, and clasping a cushion in her arms, she buried her face in its silk. From the square beyond came a muffled roll, and on her shoulder the touch of a hand.

To-morrow the poor body would be mounted upon a magnificent catafalque, surrounded by the pomp of a princely mourning, illuminated by hundreds of funeral torches, an object of aversion, of curiosity, even of jest, perhaps, among those who bore the prince a grudge.

Altisidora, come back from death to life as Don Quixote fancied, following up the freak of her lord and lady, entered the chamber, crowned with the garland she had worn on the catafalque and in a robe of white taffeta embroidered with gold flowers, her hair flowing loose over her shoulders, and leaning upon a staff of fine black ebony.

I have my cuffs stained with the martyr's blood, also my card of invitation to the funeral services, held on Wednesday, April 19, which I attended, having been assigned a place at the head of the coffin at the White House, and a carriage immediately preceding the catafalque in the grand funeral procession from the White House to the Capitol; where during the public ceremonies I was assigned to a place at the head of the casket as it rested beneath the rotunda.

These preliminaries occupy three days; during which rises, as if by magic, or from the crypts below, an immense catafalque, a colossal architectural structure, which fills the nave of that basilica illustrated by inscriptions, and adorned by statuary. Before this huge monument, for nine days funeral rites are performed, closed by a funeral oration.

It was really an enormous catafalque, decorated with gold tinsel and costly embroideries. Peacocks and birds of paradise were depicted on its silken hangings.

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