This quarrel, and the defection of the
"You are severe, madam," replied he, "yet I can solemnly affirm that circumstances, and not inclination, have kept me from your presence until now."
"May I believe you?" said I. "Are you quite sure you have not been imitating the policy of the abbe Terray?" Upon which I related the behaviour of the comptroller-general.
"Priest-like," answered the prince.
"And is it not
"Perhaps it may," rejoined M. de Soubise; "for the two species of priest and courtier so nearly resemble each other in many particulars, as to have become well nigh amalgamated into one; but I claim your indulgence to make me an exception to the general rule, and to class me as a soldier and a man of honour; besides which, you are too lovely ever to be forgotten, and your past goodness to me will ensure you my services let what may occur."
"Well, then," said I, extending my hand, "as a reward for your candour, which I receive as genuine, I will request your forgiveness for any annoyance I may have caused you on your family's account, I ought never to have resented any thing they have done. My presence here could not fail of being highly disagreeable to them; however, they will soon be relieved from that source of uneasiness, my stay draws rapidly to a close."
The prince de Soubise, with a ready grace and obliging manner, for which I shall ever remember him with a grateful recollection, endeavoured to dispel my apprehensions as to the state of the king; but whilst I acknowledged the kindness of his intention, my heart refused all comfort in a case, which I too well knew was utterly hopeless.