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Stray Pearls, Charlotte M. Yonge ’ So the child made the big four-post bed, all curtained round, into a fortress, and I besieged her there, till she screamed with glee, while the Queen took my mother’s arm, and they paced the rooms together, sadly discussing the times and the utter lack of news from home, when the last tidings had been most alarming. Poor lady! I think it was a comfort to her, for she loved my mother; but we could not but grieve to see her in such a plight. As we went home we planned that we would carry a faggot in the carriage the next day, and that I would take it upstairs to her. And so I actually did, but the sentry insisted on knowing what I was carrying hidden in a cloak, and when he saw it, the honest man actually burst into tears that the daughter of Henri IV. should be in such straits. The Queen kissed me for it, and said I was like the good girl in Madame d’Aulnoy’s tales, and she would fain be the benevolent fairy to reward me. And then the little Princess insisted that I was Capuchon Rouge, and that she was my Grandmother Wolf, and after making her great eyes at me, she ate me up with kisses over and over again! Ah! how happy children can be. It was strange to remember that this was the way King Charles’s little daughter spent that 30th of January! We had told M. Darpent of the condition in which we found the Queen, and he told the Coadjutor, who went himself to see her, and then stirred up the Parliament to send her regular supplies both of firing and provisions, so that she never suffered again in the same way.


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