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Accompanied by a strong military escort provided by Giles de Souvri, governor of Touraine, a deputation of friars brought the phial to Chartres, where the consecration was to take place. Prayers were offered up, without ceasing, in the monastery during their absence that no mishap should befal the sacred treasure.

"How many worshippers can the Cathedral contain? Well, nearly 18,000," said the Abbé Plomb. "But I need hardly tell you, I suppose, that it is never full; that even during the season for pilgrimages the vast crowds of Mediæval times never assemble here. Ah, no! Chartres is not exactly what you would call a pious town!"

It possessed a special head elected by the priests themselves; special schools, in which its very comprehensive tradition was transmitted; special privileges, particularly exemption from taxation and military service, which every clan respected; annual councils, which were held near Chartres at the "centre of the Celtic earth"; and above all, a believing people, who in painful piety and blind obedience to their priests seem to have been nowise inferior to the Irish of modern times.

Mademoiselle de Blois is but twelve, and no fitter to be married than your son. But it is well for young people to know that they are bound by honor to restrain their passions and curb their irregularities. If the Duke de Chartres is untamed, you have the means of keeping him within bounds, and of forcing him to lead a chaste and virtuous life."

Le Mans stands, without doubt, in advance of Chartres in the importance and number of its secondary churches, as well as its ecclesiastical, civil, and military establishments in general. In spite of all this, the city has never ranked as of supreme importance as a European city; nor did it ever attain the rank in Gallic times, that the events which have been woven around it would seem to augur.

The Duke having read the billet, which fully justified him, presented it to her to read, and told her she might possibly know the hand. She could not forbear taking it, and examining the superscription to see if it was addressed to the Viscount de Chartres, and reading it all over, that she might the better judge, if the letter which was redemanded was the same with that she had in her hand.

Mayenne fled to Mantes, the Duke of Nemours to Chartres, other leaders of the League in various directions, Mayenne told every body he met that the Bearnese was killed, and that although his own army was defeated, he should soon have another one on foot. The same intelligence was communicated to the Duke of Parma, and by him to Philip.

Such devotion, however, expressed in such fashion, did not fail in its appeal to the romantic girl; and when, a little later, Gabrielle visited the Royalist army then besieging Chartres, it was a much more pliant Gabrielle who listened to the King's wooing and whose eyes brightened at his stories of bravery and danger.

Zébédé told me that they left Versailles on the 31st of March, after the capitulation of Paris, and marched to Chartres, to Chateaudun, to Blois, Orleans and so on like real Bohemians, for six weeks without pay or equipments, until at last at Rouen, they received orders to cross France and return to Pfalzbourg, and everywhere the processions and funeral services for the King, Louis XVI., had excited the people against them.

Meanwhile, Lord Bracondale had gone on to sup at the Café de Paris, with Marion de Beauvoison and Esclarmonde de Chartres; and among the diamonds and pearls and scents and feathers he suddenly felt a burning disgust, and a longing to be out again in the moonlight alone with his thoughts. "Mais qu'as tu, mon vieux chou?" they said.

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