The hoods were thrown back: one of the women was Madame Vanel, the other the Duchesse
The virtues of the Duchesse
d'Angouleme were properly appreciated by some of us, while I discovered that others entertained for her any feelings but those of veneration and respect.
"Meanwhile, do you know where the Duchesse
de Chevreuse and the Duke of Buckingham are now concealed?"
Thus, he was in the habit of saying that the year 1476 had been "white and black" for him--meaning thereby, that in the course of that year he had lost his mother, the Duchesse
de la Bourbonnais, and his cousin, the Duke of Burgundy, and that one grief had consoled him for the other.
There were very common hacks, with father and mother and all the children in them; conspicuous little open carriages with celebrated ladies of questionable reputation in them; there were Dukes and Duchesses
abroad, with gorgeous footmen perched behind, and equally gorgeous outriders perched on each of the six horses; there were blue and silver, and green and gold, and pink and black, and all sorts and descriptions of stunning and startling liveries out, and I almost yearned to be a flunkey myself, for the sake of the fine clothes.
'Sir' in front of your names within the twenty-four hours; and you could bring about a new distribution of the married princesses and duchesses
of the Court in another twenty-four.
A thousand thoughts at once suggested themselves to him on the subject of this new adventure, and it struck him as being ill done and worse advised in him to expose himself to the danger of breaking his plighted faith to his lady; and said he to himself, "Who knows but that the devil, being wily and cunning, may be trying now to entrap me with a duenna, having failed with empresses, queens, duchesses
, marchionesses, and countesses?
Aramis has always fifty duchesses
quarreling over the priest, as they quarreled formerly over the musketeer; but I -- what have I in the world?
No more artificial duchesses
. The whole thing has been simple purgatory.
But the Colonel yawned sadly among the Duchesses
and great ladies of the Court.
Like most young scribblers, she went abroad for her characters and scenery, and banditti, counts, gypsies, nuns, and duchesses
appeared upon her stage, and played their parts with as much accuracy and spirit as could be expected.
Opposite was the Duchess of Harley, a lady of admirable good-nature and good temper, much liked by every one who knew her, and of those ample architectural proportions that in women who are not duchesses
are described by contemporary historians as stoutness.