Sitting in Sully's cabinet, in a low chair which the Duke had expressly provided for his use, tapping and drumming on his spectacle case, or starting up and smiting himself on the thigh, he would pour out his soul hours long to his one confidential minister.
Any friend of dear old Sully's is a friend of mine. How do you like my new song?" "What new song?" I inquired incautiously. "Why, 'Who milked the cow? of course."
Had it been possible at that moment to bring the insane dream of James for a Spanish alliance to naught, the States would have breathed more freely. He was also to urge payment of the money for the French regiments, always in arrears since Henry's death and Sully's dismissal, and always supplied by the exchequer of Holland.
He would boast to them of the blows by which he meant to demolish Spain and the whole house of Austria, so that there should be no longer danger to be feared from that source to the tranquillity and happiness of Europe, and he would do this so openly and in presence of those who, as he knew, were perpetually setting traps for him and endeavouring to discover his deepest secrets as to make Sully's hair stand on end.
The king zealously upheld Sully's policy of retrenchment: he reduced the subsidies to artists and the grants to favorites, and retained only a small part of his army, sufficient to overawe rebellious nobles and to restore order and security throughout the realm.
Meantime the secret conferences between Henry and his superintendent of finances and virtual prime minister were held almost every day. Scarcely an afternoon passed that the King did not make his appearance at the Arsenal, Sully's residence, and walk up and down the garden with him for hours, discussing the great project of which his brain was full.
'Epargnez la tête, he shouted, 'elle est encore bonne pour faire rire le public'; upon which, according to one account, there were exclamations from the crowd which had gathered round of 'Ah! le bon seigneur! The sequel is known to everyone: how Voltaire rushed back, dishevelled and agonised, into Sully's dining-room, how he poured out his story in an agitated flood of words, and how that high-born company, with whom he had been living up to that moment on terms of the closest intimacy, now only displayed the signs of a frigid indifference.
Sully's gang are going to cut the guy ropes. Look out for the parade too. I suspect they will try to break it up!" "What!" "Yes, hurry!" and Phil sank back, weak from lack of food and the severe strain he had put upon himself. Mr. Sparling grasped the meaning of the lad's words in a flash. Snatching a whistle from his pocket he blew two short, shrill blasts.
A temporary calm Louis XIII Marie de Medicis purchases the Marquisate of Ancre for Concini Rapid rise of his fortunes His profusion He intrigues to create dissension among the Princes of the Blood His personal endowments The Duc de Bouillon endeavours to induce M. de Condé to revolt He fails He disposes of his office at Court to the Marquis d'Ancre Marie de Medicis continues the public edifices commenced and projected by Henri IV Zeal of the Duc de Mayenne Cupidity of the Court M. de Condé and his advisers The Prince and the Minister Forebodings of Sully He determines to resign office His unpopularity The Regent refuses to accept his resignation The war in Germany The Regent resolves to despatch an army to Clèves The Duc de Bouillon demands the command of the troops Is refused by the Council Retires in disgust to Sedan The command is conferred on the Maréchal de la Châtre A bootless campaign The French troops return home New dissensions at Court The Duc d'Epernon becomes the declared enemy of the Protestants Apprehensions of the reformed party Quarrel of Sully and Villeroy The Regent endeavours to effect a reconciliation with the Prince de Conti Princely wages M. de Conti returns to Court The Princes of the Blood attend the Parliament The Marquis d'Ancre is admitted to the State Council Sully and Bouillon retire from the capital Sully resolves to withdraw from the Government, but is again induced to retain office The King and Père Cotton The Court leave Paris for Rheims Coronation of Louis XIII His public entry into the capital The Prince de Condé and the Comte de Soissons are reconciled Quarrel between the Marquis d'Ancre and the Duc de Bellegarde Cabal against Sully The Huguenots petition for a General Assembly Reluctance of the Regent to concede their demand She finds herself compelled to comply M. de Villeroy garrisons Lyons Sully retires from the Ministry Demands of the Princes Sully's last official act His parting interview with Louis XIII The Minister and the Mountebanks.
When at last he summoned up courage to place the document in Sully's hands, he awaited the verdict as nervously as any schoolboy in the presence of a dreaded master. Sully read through the paper, was silent for a few moments, and then spoke. "Sire," he said, "am I to give you my candid opinion on this document, without fear of anger or giving offence?" "Certainly," answered the King.