His wonted gaiety of conversation left him, and although he continued to jest in the evening with the timid girl, yet it was of a different nature. He treated her as a knightly armor-bearer ought to treat a noblewoman.
"Ay, ay, ay!" said the Lancastrian noblewoman, "ye men of wrath and turbulence should reap what ye have sown! This is the king for whom ye dethroned the sainted Henry! this the man for whom ye poured forth the blood of England's best! Ha! ha! Look down from heaven, my husband, my martyr-sons!
As soon as the old noblewoman heard that the bill of exchange for her son was on the way to Paris, she expressed her intention of thanking his Majesty for this noble donation.
They have held aloof so long—fearing to compromise themselves by any advances to the powers that be, and restrained by countless traditions from taking an active part in either the social or political strife—that little by little they have been passed by and ignored; which is a pity, for amid the ruin of many hopes and ambitions they have remained true to their caste and handed down from generation to generation the secret of that gracious urbanity and tact which distinguished the Gallic noblewoman in the last century from the rest of her kind and made her so deft in the difficult art of pleasing—and being pleased.
What is one more mouth to feed could it even come to that for one of madame's wealth? Madame but jests. Did not madame bring me that Jeanne there? Ah, if only it were right for her to linger with us, how happy we should be! Madame is a noblewoman, we are but poor; yet she has honored us. Very well, then, what good to wonder about the future? Madame is rich, that is true.
It was only for the sake of the woman he loved that he had recently made more active exertions, but with his excellent acquirements and the fair prospects which were open to him at the court, it seemed, even to his modest mind, too humble a fate to bury himself in a Spanish castle in order to while away with music the lonely hours of a noblewoman, no matter how high her rank, how beautiful and estimable she might be, or how gladly he would render her admirable husband a favour.
She had been called the most beautiful woman in Venice Catherine, Countess of Treviso. Still young, with a face which spoke of ambition and of love, her white neck glittered with the jewels it carried, her dress of blue velvet was such a dress as only a noblewoman of Venice could wear.
The sight of the aged noblewoman writhing like a maniac in the dust was so pitiful and touching that it melted Barbara's heart, and induced her to promise to use the first favourable opportunity to intercede with the Emperor in behalf of her son and his child, a little girl of six.
Simon de Montfort turned to look at him, but the blank wall of his lowered visor gave no sign of the thoughts that passed beneath. "You do much for a mere friendship, Norman of Torn," said the Earl coldly, "and I doubt me not but that my daughter has already forgot you. An English noblewoman, preparing to become a princess of France, does not have much thought to waste upon highwaymen."
She had heard that, since first she had heard words at all, from every servant, teacher, visitor and relation except her mother in her Prussian home. Indeed, over there she had been told she was more than a gentlewoman, for she was a noblewoman and therefore her instincts ought positively to drip tact. "Mr.