After mass the young monarch drove to the Parliament House, where, upon the throne, he hastily confirmed not only such edicts as he had already passed, but issued new ones, each one, according to Cardinal de Retz, more ruinous than the others -- a proceeding which drew forth a strong remonstrance from the chief president, Mole -- whilst President Blancmesnil and Councillor Broussel raised their voices in indignation against fresh taxes.
Such was the state of affairs at the very moment we introduced our readers to the study of Cardinal Mazarin -- once that of Cardinal Richelieu.
"Bernouin," said the cardinal, not turning round, for having whistled, he knew that it was his valet-de-chambre who was behind him; "what musketeers are now within the palace?"
The cardinal, in deep thought and in silence, began to take off the robes of state he had assumed in order to be present at the sitting of parliament, and to attire himself in the military coat, which he wore with a certain degree of easy grace, owing to his former campaigns in Italy.
All these details which we here lay bare for the edification of the reader, were so covered by the general uproar, that they were lost in it before reaching the reserved platforms; moreover, they would have moved the cardinal but little, so much a part of the customs were the liberties of that day.
"The much honored embassy of Monsieur the Duke of Austria," brought the cardinal none of these cares, but it troubled him in another direction.
It was a subtle, intelligent, crafty-looking face, a sort of combined monkey and diplomat phiz, before whom the cardinal made three steps and a profound bow, and whose name, nevertheless, was only, "Guillaume Rym, counsellor and pensioner of the City of Ghent."
All which things were quite unknown to that throng, who were amazed at the cardinal's politeness to that frail figure of a Flemish bailiff.
"Let him come in, then!" said the cardinal, quickly.
The officer sprang out of the apartment with that alacrity which all the servants of the cardinal displayed in obeying him.
The newly introduced personage followed Bonacieux impatiently with his eyes till he had gone out; and the moment the door closed, "They have seen each other;" said he, approaching the cardinal eagerly.
The cardinal being left alone, reflected for an instant and then rang the bell a third time.
The court was young, it was true, but the avarice of the cardinal had taken good care that it should not be brilliant.
"Not at all," replied the cardinal, forcing his Italian pronunciation in such a manner that, from soft and velvety as it was, it became sharp and vibrating, "not at all: I have a full and fixed intention to marry them, and that as well as I shall be able."
"Parties will not be wanting, monsieur le cardinal," replied Monsieur, with a bonhomie worthy of one tradesman congratulating another.