Robert Tournay: A Romance of the French Revolution by William Sage

Robert Tournay: A Romance of the French Revolution

byWilliam Sage

Kobo ebook | September 15, 2019

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Title:Robert Tournay: A Romance of the French RevolutionFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 15, 2019Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465632654

ISBN - 13:9781465632654

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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From the Author

The Marquis de Lacheville sat in the dining-hall of the château de Rochefort. In his hand he held a letter. Although it was from a woman, the writing was not in those delicately traced characters which suggest the soft hand of some lady of fashion. The note-paper was scented, but the perfume, like the color, was too pronounced; and the spelling, possibly like the lady's character, was not absolutely flawless. A smile played about the cold thin lips of the marquis; he carelessly thrust the missive into his pocket, as one disposes of a bill he does not intend to pay, and lifting his eyes, allowed his gaze to wander through the open window toward the figure of a young girl who stood outside upon the terrace. She was watching a game of tennis in the court below, now and then conversing with the players, whose voices in return reached de Lacheville's ears on the quiet summer air. A few minutes before in that dining-hall the Baron de Rochefort had betrothed his daughter Edmé to his friend and distant kinsman, Maurice de Lacheville. In the eyes of the world it was a suitable match. The marquis was twenty-five, the girl eighteen. She was an only child; and their rank and fortunes were equal. They did not love each other. The marquis loved no one but himself. Mademoiselle had been brought up to consider all men very much alike. She might possibly have had some slight preference for the Marquis de St. Hilaire, who was now playing tennis in the court beneath; but it was well known that he was dissipating his fortune at the gaming-table. Mademoiselle did not lack strength of will; but, her heart not being involved, she allowed her father to make the choice for her, as was the custom of the time. De Lacheville continued sitting at the table, now looking dispassionately at the woman who was to become his wife, now looking beyond toward the wide sweep of park and meadow land, while he calculated how much longer his cousin, the baron, would live to enjoy possession of his great wealth. What the young girl thought is merely a matter of conjecture. She was as fresh and sweet as the pink rose which she plucked from the trellis and gayly tossed to the marquis below. He caught it gracefully and put it to his lips—while she laughed merrily with never a thought for the marquis within. Near the tennis court stood another man. He was tall and well-made, with dark eyes and a sun-browned face. Beyond furnishing new balls and rackets when required, he took no part in the game, for he was the son of the intendant of the château and therefore a servant. He watched the rose which the lady so carelessly tossed, with hungry eyes, as a dog watches a bone given to some well-fed and happier rival. At the call from one of the players he replaced a broken racket, then took up his former post, apparently intent upon the game, but in reality his mind was far afield. It was in the early summer days of the year 1789. Looking out over the baron's noble estates through the eyes of a girl like mademoiselle, the world was very beautiful. Glancing at it through the careless eyes of the prodigal St. Hilaire, it seemed very pleasing; but in spite of these waving crops, and wealthy vineyards, in spite of the plenty in the baron's household and the rich wines in his cellar, throughout France there were many who had not enough to eat. Men, and women too, were crying out for their share of the world's riches. A new wave of thought was sweeping over France. A thought as old as the hills, yet startlingly new to each man as he discovered it. Books were being written and words spoken which were soon to cause great political changes in a land already seething with discontent. Change and Progress at last were in the saddle, and they were riding fast.