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Under the Rose   By: (1866-1922)

Book cover

First Page:

UNDER THE ROSE

by

FREDERIC S. ISHAM

Author of The Strollers

With illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy

[Frontispiece: Kneeling, he received it.]

The Bobbs Merrill Company Publishers : Indianapolis

Copyright Nineteen Hundred Three The Bowen Merrill Company January

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I A NEST OF NINNIES II A ROYAL EAVESDROPPER III A GIFT FOR THE DUKE IV AN IMPATIENT SUITOR V JACQUELINE FETCHES THE PRINCESS' FAN VI THE ARRIVAL OF THE DUKE VII THE COURT OF LOVE VIII A BRIEF TRUCE IX THE FLIGHT OF THE FOOL X THE FOOL RETURNS TO THE CASTLE XI A NEW MESSENGER TO THE EMPEROR XII THE DUKE ENTERS THE LISTS XIII A CHAPLET FOR THE DUKE XIV AN EARLY MORNING VISIT XV A NEW DISCOVERY XVI TIDINGS FROM THE COURT XVII JACQUELINE'S QUEST XVIII THE SECRET OF THE JESTERS XIX A FIGURE IN THE MOONLIGHT XX AN UNEQUAL CONFLICT XXI THE DESERTED HUT XXII THE TALE OF THE SWORD XXIII THE DWARF MAKES AN EARLY CALL XXIV AN ENCOUNTER AT THE BRIDGE XXV IN THE TENT OF THE EMPEROR XXVI THE DEBT OF NATURE XXVII A MAID OF FRANCE XXVIII THE FAVORITE IS ALARMED XXIX THE FAVORITE IS REASSURED

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Kneeling, he received it . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

Taking the book, he opened it at random, mechanically sinking at her feet.

He threw the dregs of his glass in the face of the jester.

He looked not at the young girl, but calmly met the scrutiny of the king.

UNDER THE ROSE

CHAPTER I

A NEST OF NINNIES

"A song, sweet Jacqueline!"

"No, no "

"Jacqueline! Jacqueline! "

"No more, I say "

A jingle of tinkling bells mingled with the squeak of a viola; the guffaws of a rompish company blended with the tuneless chanting of discordant minstrels, and the gray parrot in its golden cage, suspended from one of the oaken beams of the ceiling, shook its feathers for the twentieth time and screamed vindictively at the roguish band.

Jingle, jingle, went the merry bells; squeak, squeak, the tightened strings beneath the persistent scraping of the rosined bow. On his throne in Fools' hall, Triboulet, the king's hunchback, leaned complacently back, his eyes bent upon a tapestry but newly hung in that room, the meeting place of jesters, buffoons and versifiers.

"We appeal to Triboulet "

"Triboulet!"

A girl's silvery laugh rang out.

"Triboulet!"

Again the derisive musical tones.

Upon his chair of state, the dwarf did not answer; professed not to hear. By the uncertain glimmer of torches and the flickering glow of the fire he was engaged in tracing a resemblance to himself in the central figure of the composition wrought in threads of silk Momus, fool by patent to Jove, thrust from Olympus and greeting the earth born with a great grin.

"An excellent likeness!" muttered Triboulet. "A very pretty likeness!" he continued, swelling with pride.

And truly it was said that sprightly ladies, working between love and pleasure times, drew from the court fool for their conception of the mythological buffoon, reproducing Triboulet's great head; his mouth, proportionately large; his protruding eyes; his bowed back, short, twisted legs and long, muscular arms; and his nose far larger than that of Francis, who otherwise had the largest nose in the kingdom.

But how could they depict the meanness of soul that dwelt in that extraordinary shell? The blithesome tapestry makers, albeit adepts in form, grace and harmony, could not touch the subjectiveness of existence. Thus it was a double pleasure for Triboulet to see, limned in well chosen hues, his form, the crookedness of which he was as proud as any courtier of his symmetry and beauty, the while his dark, vain soul lay concealed behind the mask of merry deformity and laughing monstrosity.

"Would your Majesty like to command me?"

The mocking feminine voice recalled Triboulet from his pleasing contemplation... Continue reading book >>




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