The king then sent his chief ministers, and the most distinguished of his family, young in years and eminent for beauty, as well as for wisdom and dignity of manners, to accompany and rest with him, both night and day, in order to influence the prince's mind. And now within a little interval, the prince again requested the king that he might go abroad.
The change is not consistent with hygienic principle; for, if lunch be not taken, the interval between breakfast and dinner is too great, and in that case hunger tempts to make the meal too heavy for the exhausted powers of the stomach: if, on the contrary, lunch be taken, dinner becomes an absurdity, as in that case a meal so elaborate and heavy is not required, and cannot healthfully be partaken of at so late an hour.
In the interval their plans widened into a formidable conspiracy. It was arranged that on the destruction of the king and the Parliament the Catholics should rise, seize the young princes, use the general panic to make themselves masters of the realm, and call for aid from the Spaniards in Flanders.
But I had no happy time to look back at, no past peace of mind to force itself into contrast with my present anxiety and suspense and I held firm to my resolution through it all. I took an interval in the middle of the day, when my patient's condition was at its best, for the repose I needed. For the rest of the four-and-twenty hours, as long as his life was in danger, I never left his bedside.
A soothing procrastination was the anodyne selected for the bitter pangs of the body politic a vague expression of royal benignity the styptic to be applied to its mortal wounds. An interval of hesitation was to bridge over the chasm between the provinces and their distant metropolis.
He was so subdued by his ducking, and the uncomfortable dampness of his cage, for no one dared to open it to wipe it out, that he rolled himself up in the corner, and only, after an interval of some days, was roused by my voice.
A few days later, finding that some weeks must elapse before the Imperial Commissioners could arrive, he sailed for Nagasaki, in order to turn the interval to account by endeavouring to negotiate a treaty with the Japanese Government in accordance with the instructions which he had received when leaving England.
The appearance of guests after so long an interval at Vassilyevskoe fluttered and delighted the old man. It was a pleasure to him to see that his master was acquainted with such fine gentlefolk. He was not, however, the only one who was fluttered that day; Lemm, too, was in agitation.
There was one five-minute interval of excitement when, far down the tunnel through the forest, we saw a light gleaming. The engineer said there was no house there, that it must be a fire. But we did not slacken our speed, and gradually the leaping flames grew larger and redder until we were upon them. Not one gaunt figure stood between them and us. Not one shot broke the stillness of the night.
To make everything worse, he had that morning heard that there was to be a grand inspection of the regiment, and a presentation of colours; Colonel Deane was very anxious; and it was plain that in the interval the officers would be allowed little leisure. The whole affair was to end with a ball, which would lead to a repetition of what had already disturbed him.