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Twenty Years After - Alexandre Dumas

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Twenty Years After

by Alexandre Dumas

1

The Shade of Cardinal Richelieu.



In a splendid chamber of the Palais Royal, formerly styled
the Palais Cardinal, a man was sitting in deep reverie, his
head supported on his hands, leaning over a gilt and inlaid
table which was covered with letters and papers. Behind this
figure glowed a vast fireplace alive with leaping flames;
great logs of oak blazed and crackled on the polished brass
andirons whose flicker shone upon the superb habiliments of
the lonely tenant of the room, which was illumined grandly
by twin candelabra rich with wax-lights.

Any one who happened at that moment to contemplate that red
simar -- the gorgeous robe of office -- and the rich lace,
or who gazed on that pale brow, bent in anxious meditation,
might, in the solitude of that apartment, combined with the
silence of the ante-chambers and the measured paces of the
guards upon the landing-place, have fancied that the shade
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