In this chamber, nothing was to be found of what furnishes ordinary apartments, neither benches, nor trestles, nor forms, nor common stools in the form of a chest, nor fine stools sustained by pillars and counter-pillars Jingling the change in his hand he shook his head, at four sols a piece. Only one easy arm-chair, very magnificent, was to be seen; the wood was painted with roses on a red ground, the seat was of ruby Cordovan leather, ornamented with long silken fringes, and studded with a thousand golden nails.The loneliness of this chair made it apparent that only one person had a right to sit down in this apartment.Beside the chair, and quite close to the window, there was a table covered with a cloth with a pattern of birds.On this table stood an inkhorn spotted with ink, some parchments, several pens, and a large goblet of chased silver.A little further on was a brazier, a praying stool in crimson velvet, relieved with small bosses of gold.Finally, at the extreme end of the room, a simple bed of scarlet and yellow damask, without either tinsel or lace; having only an ordinary fringe.This bed, famous for having borne the sleep or the sleeplessness of Louis XI., was still to be seen two hundred years ago, at the house of a councillor of state, where it was seen by old Madame pilou, celebrated in _Cyrus_ under the name "Arricidie" and of "la Morale Vivante".

 which was called "the retreat where Monsieur Louis de France says his prayers."

At the moment when we have introduced the reader into it, this retreat was very dark.The curfew bell had sounded an hour before; night was come, and there was only one flickering wax candle set on the table to light five persons variously grouped in the chamber.

The first on which the light fell was a seigneur superbly clad in breeches and jerkin of scarlet striped with silver, and a loose coat with half sleeves of cloth of gold with black figures.This splendid costume, on which the light played, seemed glazed with flame on every fold.The man who wore it had his armorial bearings embroidered on his breast in vivid colors; a chevron accompanied by a deer passant.The shield was flanked, on the right by an olive branch, on the left by a deer's antlers.This man wore in his girdle a rich dagger whose hilt, of silver gilt, was chased in the form of a helmet, and surmounted by a count's coronet.He had a forbidding air, a proud mien, and a head held high.At the first glance one read arrogance on his visage; at the second, craft.