Twenty Years After

Twenty Years After

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Twenty Years After

Twenty Years After

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In one of the rooms of the Palais Royal, in old times styled the Palais Cardinal, there sat a man in deep reverie, his head supported on his hands, leaning over a table, the corners of which were of silver-gilt, and which was covered with letters and papers. Behind this figure was a vast fireplace glowing with heat; large masses of wood blazed and crackled on the gilded andirons, and the flames shone upon the superb habiliments of the solitary inhabitant of the chamber, illumined in the foreground by a candelabra filled with wax-lights.

Any one who had happened at that moment to contemplate that red simar—the gorgeous robe of office—and the rich lace—or who gazed upon that pale brow, bent in anxious meditation, might, in the solitude of that apartment, combined with the silence of the ante-chambers, and the measured spaces of the guards upon the landing-place, have fancied that the shade of Cardinal Richelieu still lingered in his accustomed haunt.

A But it was, alas! only the ghost of former greatness. France enfeebled, the authority of her sovereign rejected, her nobles returning to their former turbulence and insolence, her enemies within her frontiers—all proved that Richelieu was no longer in existence

In truth, that the red simar which occupied his wonted, place was his no longer, was still more strikingly obvious from the isolation which I seemed, as we have observed, more appropriated to a phantom than to a living creature—from the corridors, deserted . . .

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