"Are we quite alone, monsieur?" asked the marquise, looking round the room.
what precautions!" said the marquise, with a slight bitterness of expression; "and how evident it is that you fear the least suspicion of your amours to escape."
"Oh, no; you act like a delicate man," said the marquise, smiling.
"Come, dear marquise, punish me not with reproaches, I implore you."
The marquise looked at Fouquet, on his knees at her feet, and there was in the looks of the woman a strange mixture of love and melancholy.
Still, marquise, it has been so with other usurpers -- Cromwell, for instance, who was not half so bad as Napoleon, had his partisans and advocates."
"True," replied the marquise, without wincing in the slightest degree at the tragic remembrance thus called up; "but bear in mind, if you please, that our respective parents underwent persecution and proscription from diametrically opposite principles; in proof of which I may remark, that while my family remained among the stanchest adherents of the exiled princes, your father lost no time in joining the new government; and that while the Citizen Noirtier was a Girondin, the Count Noirtier became a senator."
Come, now, I have hopes of obtaining what I have been for years endeavoring to persuade the marquise to promise; namely, a perfect amnesty and forgetfulness of the past."
"With all my heart," replied the marquise; "let the past be forever forgotten.
"For heaven's sake, where is that?" asked the marquise.
"You began to earn your living when you were a mere baby?" said the marquise.
"Ah, you make houses also of india-rubber?" inquired the marquise.
"My children have some little india-rubber shoes which they put on when they go to play in the Tuileries in damp weather," said the young marquise. "I wonder whether your brother-in-law made them."
"Claire will go with us!" cried the young marquise. "En voila, du nouveau!"
"I think you are audacious," said the marquise. "It was but three days ago, when I asked you, as a particular favor to myself, to go to the Duchess de Lusignan's, that you told me you were going nowhere and that one must be consistent.