Not a member? Join for FREE here. Existing members login below:

Ten Years Later

Chapter 10
The Tents.
The admiral, as we have seen, was determined to pay no further attention to
Buckingham's threatening glances and fits of passion. In fact, from the moment they
quitted England, he had gradually accustomed himself to his behavior. De Guiche had
not yet in any way remarked the animosity which appeared to influence that young
nobleman against him, but he felt, instinctively, that there could be no sympathy
between himself and the favorite of Charles II. The queen-mother, with greater
experience and calmer judgment, perceived the exact position of affairs, and, as she
discerned its danger, was prepared to meet it, whenever the proper moment should
arrive. Quiet had been everywhere restored, except in Buckingham's heart; he, in his
impatience, addressed himself to the princess, in a low tone of voice: "For Heaven's
sake, madame, I implore you to hasten your disembarkation. Do you not perceive how
that insolent Duke of Norfolk is killing me with his attentions and devotions to you?"
Henrietta heard this remark; she smiled, and without turning her head towards him, but
giving only to the tone of her voice that inflection of gentle reproach, and languid
impertinence, which women and princesses so well know how to assume, she
murmured, "I have already hinted, my lord, that you must have taken leave of your
Not a single detail escaped Raoul's attention; he heard both Buckingham's entreaty and
the princess's reply; he remarked Buckingham retire, heard his deep sigh, and saw him
pass a hand over his face. He understood everything, and trembled as he reflected on
the position of affairs, and the state of the minds of those about him. At last the admiral,
with studied delay, gave the last orders for the departure of the boats. Buckingham
heard the directions given with such an exhibition of delight that a stranger would really
imagine the young man's reason was affected. As the Duke of Norfolk gave his
commands, a large boat or barge, decked with flags, and capable of holding about
twenty rowers and fifteen passengers, was slowly lowered from the side of the admiral's
vessel. The barge was carpeted with velvet and decorated with coverings embroidered
with the arms of England, and with garlands of flowers; for, at that time, ornamentation
was by no means forgotten in these political pageants. No sooner was this really royal
boat afloat, and the rowers with oars uplifted, awaiting, like soldiers presenting arms,
the embarkation of the princess, than Buckingham ran forward to the ladder in order to
take his place. His progress was, however, arrested by the queen. "My lord," she said,
"it is hardly becoming that you should allow my daughter and myself to land without
having previously ascertained that our apartments are properly prepared. I beg your
lordship to be good enough to precede us ashore, and to give directions that everything
be in proper order on our arrival."