Nevertheless, he was a fine man; he led a joyous cardinal's life, liked to enliven himself with the royal vintage of Challuau, did not hate Richarde la Garmoise and Thomasse la Saillarde, bestowed alms on pretty girls rather than on old women,--and for all these reasons was very agreeable to the populace of Paris.
It was this justly acquired popularity, no doubt, which preserved him on his entrance from any bad reception at the hands of the mob, which had been so displeased but a moment before, and very little disposed to respect a cardinal on the very day when it was to elect a pope.
Joannes Frollo de Molendin, in his quality of brother to an archdeacon, boldly attacked the scarlet; he sang in deafening tones, with his impudent eyes fastened on the cardinal, " Cappa repleta mero !"
"In that case, monseigneur, do you believe the cardinal will be so kind as to tell me what has become of my wife?"
"Perhaps he may; but you must, in the first place, reveal to the cardinal all you know of your wife's relations with Madame de Chevreuse."
"You are a very complacent husband, my dear Monsieur Bonacieux," said the cardinal.
On the next day Mathieu Mole, the chief president, whose courage at this crisis, says the Cardinal de Retz, was equal to that of the Duc de Beaufort and the Prince de Conde -- in other words, of the two men who were considered the bravest in France -- had been attacked in his turn.
After mass the young monarch drove to the Parliament House, where, upon the throne, he hastily confirmed not only such edicts as he had already passed, but issued new ones, each one, according to Cardinal de Retz, more ruinous than the others -- a proceeding which drew forth a strong remonstrance from the chief president, Mole -- whilst President Blancmesnil and Councillor Broussel raised their voices in indignation against fresh taxes.
Such was the state of affairs at the very moment we introduced our readers to the study of Cardinal Mazarin -- once that of Cardinal Richelieu.
As to the cardinal, he contented himself with touching with his withered lips a bouillon, served in a gold cup.
Anne of Austria, already suffering from the cancer which six or eight years after caused her death, ate very little more than the cardinal.
Monsieur, like a good courtier, was inquiring of monsieur le cardinal after the health of his nieces; he regretted, he said, not having the pleasure of receiving them at the same time with their uncle; they must certainly have grown in stature, beauty and grace, as they had promised to do the last time Monsieur had seen them.