“You will go to Buckingham in my behalf, and you will tell him I am acquainted with all the preparations he has made; but that they give me no uneasiness, since at the first step he takes I will ruin the queen.”

“Will he believe that your Eminence is in a position to accomplish the threat you make him?”

“Yes, for I have the proofs.”

“I must be able to present these proofs so as to convince him.”

“Unquestionably. And you will tell him I will publish the report of Bois-Robert and of the Marquis de Beautru, regarding the interview with the queen which the duke had at the constable’s residence, on the evening Madame la Connétable gave a masked ball. You will tell him, in order that he may not doubt anything, that he came there in the costume of the Great Mogul, which the Chevalier de Guise was to have worn, and which he bought for three thousand pistoles.”

“Very well, monseigneur.”

“All the details of his entrance and departure on the night when he was introduced into the palace in the character of an Italian fortuneteller you will tell him, in order that he may not doubt the correctness of my information.”

“Is that all, monseigneur?”

“Tell him also that I am acquainted with all the details of the adventure at Amiens; that I will have a little romance made of it, wittily turned, with a plan of the garden and portraits of the principal actors in that nocturnal romance.”

“I will tell him that.”

“Then add that his Grace in his precipitation to quit the Isle of Ré forgot and left behind him in his lodging a letter from Madame de Chevreuse, which singularly compromises the queen, inasmuch as it proves not only that her Majesty can love the king’s enemies, but that she can conspire with the enemies of France. You recollect perfectly all I have told you, do you not?”

“Your Eminence will judge: Madame la Connétable’s ball; the night at the Louvre; the evening at Amiens; the arrest of Montague; the letter of Madame de Chevreuse.”

“That’s it,” said the cardinal—“that’s it. You have an excellent memory, milady.”

“But,” resumed the lady to whom the cardinal had just addressed this flattering compliment, “if, in spite of all these reasons, the duke does not yield, and continues to threaten France?”

“If he persists—” His Eminence made a pause, and resumed: “If he persists—well, then I shall hope for one of those events which change the destinies of states.”

“If your Eminence would quote to me some of these events in history,” said milady, “perhaps I should partake of your confidence in the future.”

“Well, here, then, for example,” said Richelieu. “When in 1610, for a cause almost similar to the one that moves the duke, King Henry IV, of glorious memory, was about to invade Flanders and Italy at the same time, in order to attack Austria on both sides—well, did there not happen an event which saved Austria? Why should not the king of France have the same chance as the emperor?”

“Your Eminence means the knife-stab of the Rue de la Ferronnerie?”

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