Louise de la Valliere
On the king's arrival in Paris, he sat at the council which had been summoned,
and worked for a certain portion of the day. The queen remained with the queen-
mother, and burst into tears as soon as she had taken leave of the king. "Ah,
madame!" she said, "the king no longer loves me! What will become of me?"
"A husband always loves his wife when she is like you," replied Anne of Austria.
"A time may come when he will love another woman instead of me."
"What do you call loving?"
"Always thinking of a person - always seeking her society."
"Do you happen to have remarked," said Anne of Austria, "that the king has ever
done anything of the sort?"
"No, madame," said the young queen, hesitatingly.
"What is there to complain of, then, Marie?"
"You will admit that the king leaves me?"
"The king, my daughter, belongs to his people."
"And that is the very reason why he no longer belongs to me; and that is the
reason, too, why I shall find myself, as so many queens before me, forsaken and
forgotten, whilst glory and honors will be reserved for others. Oh, my mother! the
king is so handsome! how often will others tell him that they love him, and how
much, indeed, they must do so!"
"It is very seldom, indeed, that women love the man in loving the king. But if such
a thing happened, which I doubt, you would do better to wish, Marie, that such
women should really love your husband. In the first place, the devoted love of a
mistress is a rapid element of the dissolution of a lover's affection; and then, by
dint of loving, the mistress loses all influence over her lover, whose power of
wealth she does not covet, caring only for his affection. Wish, therefore, that the
king should love but lightly, and that his mistress should love with all her heart."
"Oh, my mother, what power may not a deep affection exercise over him!"
"And yet you say you are resigned?"
"Quite true, quite true; I speak absurdly. There is a feeling of anguish, however,
which I can never control."
"And that is?"
"The king may make a happy choice - may find a home, with all the tender
influences of home, not far from that we can offer him, - a home with children
round him, the children of another woman. Oh, madame! I should die if I were but
to see the king's children."
"Marie, Marie," replied the queen-mother with a smile, and she took the young
queen's hand in her own, "remember what I am going to say, and let it always be
a consolation to you: the king cannot have a Dauphin without you."
With this remark the queen-mother quitted her daughter-in-law, in order to meet
Madame, whose arrival in the grand cabinet had just been announced by one of
the pages. Madame had scarcely taken time to change her dress. Her face