Twenty Years After Chapter 81 Page 9

Mazarin, “and am I not almost a king — king, indeed, of France?

Thrown over the foot of the royal bed, my simar, madame, looks not unlike the mantle worn by kings.”

This was one of the humiliations which Mazarin made Anne undergo more frequently than any other, and one that bowed her head with shame. Queen Elizabeth and Catherine II. of Russia are the only two monarchs of their set on record who were at once sovereigns and lovers. Anne of Austria looked with a sort of terror at the threatening aspect of the cardinal — his physiognomy in such moments was not destitute of a certain grandeur.

“Sir,” she replied, “did I not say, and did you not hear me say to those people, that you should do as you pleased?”