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afterwards Villefort entered. “Sir,” said Madame de Saint-Méran, without using any circumlocution, and as if fearing she had no time to lose, “you wrote to me concerning the marriage of this child?” ” nike air max turnaround Yes, madame,” replied Villefort, “it is not only projected but arranged.” “Your intended son-in-law is named M. Franz d’Epinay?” Air Max 2011 “Yes, madame.” nike air max 180 “Is he not the son of General d’Epinay who was on our side, and who was assassinated some days before the usurper returned from the Island of Elba?” “The same.” “Does he not dislike the idea of marrying the granddaughter of a Jacobin?” “Our civil dissensions are now happily extinguished, mother,” said Villefort; “M. d’Epinay was quite a child when his father died, he knows very little of M. Noirtier, and will meet him, if not with pleasure, at least with indifference.” “Is it a suitable match?” “In every respect.” “And the young man?” “Is regarded with universal esteem.” “You approve of him?” “He is one of the most well-bred young men I know.” During the whole of this conversation Valentine had remained silent. “Well, sir,” said Madame de Saint-Méran, after a few minutes’ reflection, “I must hasten the marriage, for I have but a short time to live.” “You, madame?” “You, dear mamma?” exclaimed M. de Villefort and Valentine at the same time. “I know what I am saying,” continued the marchioness; “I must hurry you, so that, as she has no mother, she may at least have a grandmother to bless her marriage. I am all that is left to her belonging to my poor Renée, whom you have so soon forgotten, sir.” “Ah, madame,” said Villefort, “you forget that I was obliged to give a mother to my child.” “A stepmother is never a mother, sir. But this is not to the purpose,–our business concerns Valentine, let us leave the dead in peace.” All this was said with such exceeding rapidity, that there was something in the conversation that seemed like the beginning of delirium. “It shall be as you wish, madame,” said Villefort; “more especially since your wishes coincide with mine, and as soon as M. d’Epinay arrives in Paris”– “My dear grandmother,” interrupted Valentine, “consider decorum–the recent death. You would not have me marry under such sad auspices?” “My child,” exclaimed the old lady sharply, “let us hear none of the conventional objections that deter weak minds from preparing for the future. I also was married at the death-bed of my mother, and certainly I have not been less happy on that account.” “Still that idea of death, madame,” said Villefort. “Still?–Always! I tell you I am going to die–do you understand? Well, before dying, I wish to see my son-in-law. I wish to tell him to make my child happy; I wish to read in his eyes whether he intends to obey me;–in fact, I will know him–I will!” continued the old lady, with a fearful expression, “that I may rise from the depths of my grave to find him, if he should not fulfil his duty!” “Madame,” said Villefort, “you must lay aside these exalted ideas, which almost assume the appearance of madness. The dead, once buried in their graves, rise no more.” “And I tell you, sir, that you are mistaken. This night I have had a fea nike air max 90 rful sleep. It seemed as though my soul were already hovering over my body, my eyes, which I tried to open, closed against my will, and what will appear impossible above all to you, sir, I saw, with my eyes shut, in the spot where you are now standing, issuing from that corner where there is a door leading into Madame Villefort’s dressing-room–I saw, I tell you, silently enter, a white figure.” Valentine screamed. “It was the fever that disturbed you, madame,” said Villefort. “Doubt, if you please, but I am sure of what I say. I saw a white figure, and as if to prevent my discrediting the testimony of only one of my senses, I heard my glass removed–the same which is there now on the table.” “Oh, dear mother, it was a dream.” “So little was it a dream, that I stretched my hand towards the bell; but when I did so, the shade disappeared; my maid then entered with a light.” “But she saw no one?” “Phantoms are visible to those only who ought to see them. It was the soul of my husband!–Well, if my husband’s soul can come to me, why should not my soul reappear to guard my granddaughter? the tie is even more direct, it seems to me.” “Oh, madame,” said Villefort, deeply affected, in spite of himself, “do not yield to those gloomy thoughts; you will long live with us, happy, loved, and honored, and we will make you forget”– “Never, never, never,” said the marchioness. “when does M. d’Epinay return?” “We expect him every moment.” “It is well. As soon as he arrives inform me. We must be expeditious. And then I also wish to see a notary, that I may be assured that all our property returns to Valentine.” “Ah, grandmamma,” murmured Valentine, pressing her lips on the burning brow, “do you wish to kill me? Oh, how feverish you are; we must not send for a notary, but for a doctor.” “A doctor?” said she, shrugging her shoulders, “I am not ill; I am thirsty–that is all.” “What are you drinking, dear grandmamma?” “The same as usual, my dear, my glass is there on the table–give it to me, Valentine.” Valentine poured the orangeade into a glass and gave it to her grandmother with a certain degree of dread, for it was the same glass she fancied that had been touched by the spectre. The marchioness drained the glass at a single draught, and then turned on her pillow, repeating,–”The notary, the notary!” M. de Villefort left the room, and Valentine seated herself at the bedside of her grandmother. The poor child appeared herself to require the doctor she had recommended to her aged relative. A bright spot burned in either cheek, her respiration was short and difficult, and her pulse beat with feverish excitement. She was thinking of the despair of Maximilian, when he should be informed that Madame de Saint-Méran, instead of being an ally, was unconsciously acting as his enemy. More than once she thought of revealing all to her grandmother, and she would not have hesitated a moment, if Maximilian Morrel had been named Albert de Morcerf or Raoul de Chateau-Renaud; but Morrel was of plebeian extraction, and Valentine knew how the haughty Marquise de Saint-Méran despised all who were not noble. Her secret had each time been repressed when she was about to reveal it, by the sad conviction that it would be useless to do so; for, were it once discovered by her father and mother, all would be lost. Two hours passed thus; Madame de Saint-Méran was in a feverish sleep, and the notary had arrived. Though his coming was announced in a very low tone, Madame de Saint-Méran arose from her pillow. “The notary!” she exclaimed, “let him come in.” The notary, who was at the door, immediately entered. “Go, Valentine,” said Madame de Saint-Méran, “and leave me with this gentleman.” “But, grandmamma”– “Leave me–go!” The young girl kissed her grandmother, and left with her handkerchief to her eyes; at the door she found the valet de chambre, who told her that the doctor was waiting in the dining-room. Valentine instantly ran down. The doctor was a friend of the family, and at the same time one of the cleverest men of the day, and very fond of Valentine, whose birth he had witnessed. He had himself a daughter about her age, but whose life was one continued source of anxiety and fear to him from her mother having been consumptive. “Oh,” said Valentine, “we have been waiting for you with such impatience, dear M. d’Avrigny. But, first of all, how are Madeleine and Antoinette?” Madeleine was the daughter of M. d’Avr nike air max shoes igny, and Antoinette his niece. M. d’Avrigny smiled sadly. “Antoinette is very well,” he said, “and Madeleine tolerably so. But you sent for me, my dear child. It is nike air max 2003 not your father or Madame de Villefort who is ill. As for you, although we doctors cannot divest our patients of nerves, I fancy you have no further need of me than to recommend you not to allow your imagination to take too wide a field.” Valentine colored. M. d’Avrigny carried the science of divination almost to a miraculous extent, for he was one of the physicians who always work upon the body through the mind. “No,” she replied, “it is for my poor grandmother. You know the calamity that has happened to us, do you not?” “I know nike air max 95 nothing.” said M. d’Avrigny. “Alas,” said Valentine, restraining her tears, “my grandfather is dead.” “M. de Saint-Méran?” “Yes.” “Suddenly?” “From an apoplectic stroke.” “An apoplectic stroke?” repeated the doctor. “Yes, and my poor grandmother fancies that her husband, whom she never left, has called her, and that she must go and join him. Oh, M. d’ cheap nike air max 90 Avrigny, I beseech you, do something for her!” “Where is she?” “In her room with the notary.” “And M. Noirtier?” “Just as he was, his mind perfectly clear, but the same incapability of moving or speaking.” “And the same love for you–eh, my dear child?” “Yes,” said Valentine, “he was very fond of me.” “Who does not love you?” Valentine smiled sadly. “What are your grandmother’s symptoms?” “An extreme nervous excitement and a strangely agitated sleep; she fancied this morning in her sleep tha nike air max shop t her soul was hovering above her body, which she at the same time watched. It must have been delirium; she fancies, too, that she saw a phantom enter her chamber and even heard the noise it made on touching her glas nike air max 90 s.” “It is singular,” said the doctor; “I was not aware that Madame de Saint-Méran was subject to such hallucinations.” “It is the first time I ever saw her in this condition,” said Valentine; “and this morning she frightened me so that I thought her mad; and my father, who you know is a strong-minded man, himself appeared deeply impressed.” “We will go and see,” said the doctor; “what you tell me seems very strange.” The notary here descended, and Valentine was informed that her grandmother was alone. “Go upstairs,” she said to the doctor. “And you?” “Oh, I dare not–she forbade my sending for you; and, as you say, I am myself agitated, feverish and out of sorts. I will go and take a turn in the garden to recover myself.” The doctor pressed Valentine’s hand, and while he visited her grandmother, she descended the steps. We need not say which portion of the garden was her favorite walk. After re

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