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The Historical Nights' Entertainment
Second Series

written by "Sabatini, Rafael, 1875-1950"
... unworthy and intolerable to her, the mother of the Dauphin. And so it was Henry's part to yield. His hands were tied by the wrongs that he had done, and the culminating wrong that he was doing her by this very war, as he had himself openly acknowledged. He had chanced one day to ask the Papal Nuncio what Rome thought of this war. "Those who have the best information," the Nuncio answered boldly, "are of opinion that the principal object of the war is the Princess of Conde, whom your Majesty wishes to bring back to France." Angered by this priestly insolence, Henry's answer had been an impudently defiant acknowledgment of the truth of that allegation. "Yes, by God!" he cried. "Yes—most certainly I want to have her back, and I will have her back; no one shall hinder me, not even God's viceregent on earth." Having uttered those words, which he knew to have been carried to the Queen, and to have wounded her perhaps more deeply than anything that had yet happened in this affair, his conscience left him, despite his fears, powerless now to thwart her even to the extent of removing those pernicious familiars of hers of whose plottings he had all but positive evidence. And so the coronation was at last performed with proper pomp and magnificence at St. Denis on Thursday, the 13th May. It had been concerted that the festivities should last four days and conclude on the Sunday with the Queen's public entry into Paris. On the Monday the King was to set out to take command of his armies, which were already marching upon the frontiers. Thus Henry proposed, but the Queen—convinced by his own admission of the real aim and object of the war, and driven by outraged pride to hate the man who offered her this crowning insult, and determined that at all costs it must be thwarted—had lent an ear to Concini's purpose to avenge her, and was ready to repay infidelity with infidelity. Concini and his fellow-conspi...

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