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Dark Scenes of History (Classic Reprint)

Dark Scenes of History (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Dark Scenes of History

"Be seated, noble sirs, be seated," said Conde; "I crave your pardon for detaining you; but it is better that an empty room should lie between ourselves and listening ears. All my people are doubtless honest; but yet I am fond of having a lock between them and my counsels."

One by one they took their places round the table. The first - who seated himself on the right hand of Conde - was dressed in a scarlet robe, with a broad edge of lace. He advanced with a quiet, gliding step, a graceful air, and a countenance the general expression of which was mild but shrewd. The features were good, the forehead broad, the eye quick and clear, and there was a bland and polished smile about the mouth which was wondrous winning.

It was the Cardinal de Chatillon.

The next who appeared was a powerful man of the middle age, with thin, white locks, and somewhat shaggy eyebrows. The brow was broad and massive, the lower part of the face square cut, the chin somewhat prominent, and the lips and teeth compressed, as if he feared his thoughts might have too ready utterance. He was plainly dressed in a dark brown suit, and across the back of his large, bony hand was the scar of an ancient wound. His steps were peculiarly slow and considerate, each one falling firm upon the floor, and seeming to take hold of it, before another was advanced. It was a very characteristic step; and those who knew the Admiral de Coligni, could tell his approach by his footfall long before they saw him.

Next came his brother, D'Andelot, somewhat taller than Coligni, with his hair much darker and his forehead higher, but not so broad. His movements were lighter and more free, and, though the features of his face were stern, there was a bold and open frankness in the expression, and a somewhat sarcastic turn of the lip, which diminished the likeness between himself and his brother. He advanced quickly to his seat, cast himself down upon it abruptly, and swung his arm over the tall back of the chair.

Some eighteen or twenty more made up the party; and among them, as they ranged themselves round the table, might be seen many a different set of features, many a different expression.

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