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By Sergeanne Golon

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You are not very funny," hissed Athenais de Montespan in a rage. " "Be careful you don't step into a hole," P├ęguilin warned them. " Madame de Montespan stalked off, stumbled several times, and twisted her ankle. She burst out into oaths again, and all the way back to the palace kept hurling epithets over her shoulder at the Marquis that would have done credit to a guardsman. " The King had gone to his bedroom, and the nobles were supposed to be there when the chief valet handed the nightshirt to the Grand Chamberlain, who passed it to His Majesty.

She was beginning to admire the young King's capacity for work. He had not gone to bed until three o'clock in the morning, but he was up and at Mass at six, and ever since had been attending to his business without stopping. As he prepared to leave her, Louvois steered her toward a young man, so wretchedly dressed that he seemed out of place in that elegant assemblage. His powdered wig and his lace jabot, both of which seemed unaccustomed articles of dress to him, made his tanned face appear even darker.

I have a horror of messes. " "The King. He punishes those he deems guilty, but he is not one to let a man of talent slip out of his grasp. " She had spoken with spirit, but she finished with a disarming smile. Nevertheless she was far from feeling comfortable. Colbert had been a bitter enemy of Fouquet, and he had slyly set the trap in which Fouquet had eventually been snared. Everything the former Comptroller had done was now exposed. " Colbert asked bluntly. "I thought of it. " "There was nothing to fear from the Barbary pirates.

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