“Yes, yes. Would God send the same dreams to you as to me if you did not love me? Should we have the same presentiments if our existencies did not meet in our hearts? You love me, my queen, and you will weep for me?”

“Oh, my God, my God!” cried Anne of Austria, “this is more than I can bear. In the name of Heaven, duke, leave me—go! I do not know whether I love you or do not love you, but what I know is, that I will not be a perjured woman. Take pity on me, then, and go. Oh, if you are struck in France, if you die in France, if I could imagine that your love for me was the cause of your death, nothing could ever console me; I should go mad. Depart, then; go, I implore you!”

“Oh, how beautiful you are so! Oh, how I love you!” said Buckingham.

“Oh, but go—go back, I implore you, and return later on! Come as ambassador, come as minister, come surrounded with guards who will defend you, with servants who will watch over you, and then—then I shall no longer fear for your life, and I shall be happy in seeing you again.”

“Oh, is this true, is what you say true?”


“Then, some pledge of your indulgence, some object which, coming from you, may assure me that I have not dreamed; something you have worn, and that I may wear in my turn—a ring, a necklace, a chain!”

“Will you go then, will you go, if I give you what you ask for?”


“This very instant?”


“You will leave France, you will return to England?”

“I will, I swear to you I will.”

“Wait, then, wait.”

And Anne of Austria went into her apartment, and came out again almost immediately, holding a casket in her hand made of rosewood with her monogram incrusted in gold.

“Here, milord, here,” said she; “keep this in memory of me.”

Buckingham took the casket, and fell a second time on his knees.

“You promised me you would go back,” said the queen.

“And I keep my word. Your hand, madame, your hand, and I depart.”

Anne of Austria stretched forth her hand, closing her eyes, and leaned the other upon Estefana, for she felt her strength was about to fail her.

Buckingham pressed his lips passionately to that beautiful hand, and then rising, said,

“Within six months, if I am not dead, I shall have seen you again, madame, even if I have upset the whole world for it.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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