Louise de la Valliere is the middle section of The Vicomte de Bragelonne, or, Ten Years After. Against a tender love story, Dumas continues the suspense which began with The Vicomte de Bragelonne and will end with The Man in the Iron Mask. Set during the reign of Louis XIV and filled with... read more
Raoul has persuaded his father, Athos, to ask King Louis XIV to grant permission for him to marry his childhood sweetheart, Louise de la Valliere. However, the King, perceiving Athos' reluctance at the match, does no forbid the marriage, but instead says it must be deferred. Meanwhile, also... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Raoul has persuaded his father, Athos, to ask King Louis XIV to grant permission for him to marry his childhood sweetheart, Louise de la Valliere. However, the King, perceiving Athos' reluctance at the match, does no forbid the marriage, but instead says it must be deferred. Meanwhile, also at the palace, D'Artagnan apologises to de Wardes for killing his father in front of witnesses, but also dresses de Wardes down for continually insulting others. Buckingham, who is about to leave for England, having been asked by Anne of Austria to depart, takes advantage of de Wardes humiliated anger to challenge him to a dual. They dual on the sands at Calais, and Buckingham is the victor, seriously wounding de Wardes, although he ensures de Wardes receives medical care before returning to England.
Aramis visits la Bastille to talk with the governor, Baisemeaux who is having financial difficulties due to his kind-hearted treatment of the prisoners. Aramis visits a mysterious prisoner whose name and origins are unknown. The man is in prison for his striking resemblance to the king.
Madame de Belliere finally acknowledges her love for Fouquet, who is also experiencing financial difficulties. Coulbert is plotting to overtake Fouquet as minister of finance by ruining him through large requests for money for the king. Madame de Belliere sells many of her jewellery and ornaments to raise money so that Fouquet is not humiliated by being unable to finance the kings planned festivities at Fontainebleu.
At court, Phillipe's new wife Henrietta is making him jealous again, this time due to her flirtations with de Guiche. Anne of Austria asks the king to intercede with Henrietta who she fears is a coquette. The king goes to Henrietta's apartments, planning to admonish her, but instead finds himself taken in by her charms, and falls in love with her himself, an affection which Henrietta returns. Fearing that Phillipe's jealousy will make problems for them, the two lovers decide that Louis should act as though he is in love with one of the maids of honour to put his brother off the scent. Henrietta selects Louise for this role.
A ballet is performed by the court, where Henrietta and Louis are the stars of the show. De Guiche is devestated that Henrietta has transferred her affections to the king. Montalais, Louise and Athenais have a conversation about love under a tree in the park. They believe they are alone. Montalais declares her love for Malicorne, Athenais her preference for Saint-Aignan, and Louise delcares innocently and vehemently that she has been in love with the king since she first set eyes on him. Unbeknownst to the three maids of honour, the king and Saint-Aignan are listening behind a bush.
When the girls find out that they were overheard Louise faints and is revived by the king, who is trying to act like he is interested in her. However, in the process of caring for her, he finds himself feeling more attached to her innocence than to Henrietta's coquettry. Henrietta becomes worried as she suspects that Louis may have fallen for Louise after hearing her declare her love. She humiliates the king and Saint-Aignan by telling them that the three maids of honour knew they were overheard and had made a joke of the two men by saying what they thought would please their vanity most. Louise is unhappy to lie, but is forced to do so by Henrietta. She requests an audience from the king to explain herself. Initially he does not believe she was sincere in her declaration of love for him, but her vehemence to the point of fainting with shame convinces him, and he tells her that he loves her too. At this point, Raoul has been sent away by the king to deliver a message in England.
Meanwhile, Aramis has been made the director general of the Jesuits, putting him in a position of extreme power and influence. He half-shares some of his plans with Fouquet which focus on the mysterious prisoner, and replacing Louis IX and Coulbert with a king who is more disposed to Fouquet, whose ideals of freedom and chivalry are more inline with Aramis' views.
I. ing Louis XIV does not think Mademoiselle de la Valliere rich enough or pretty enough for a gentleman of the rank of the Vicomte de Bragelonne
II. D'Artagnan calls de Wardes to account
III. Baisemeaux de Montlezun
IV. The King's card-table
V. M. Baisemeaux's de Montlezun's accounts
VI. The breakfast of Monsieur de Baisemeaux
VII. The second floor of la Beraudiere
VIII. The two friends
IX. Madame de Belliere's plate
X. The dowry
XI. On the sands at Calais
XII. Madame amuses herself
XIII. Lorraine is jealous
XIV. Monsier is jealous of Guiche
XV. The mediator
XVI. The advisers
XVIII. The bath
XVIX. The butterfly-chase
XX. What was caught in the hand after the butterflies
XXI. The ballet of the seasons
XXII. The nymphs of the park of Fontainebleau
XXIII. Under the royal oak
XXIV. The King's uneasiness
XXV. The King's secret
XXVI. Midnight rambles
XXVII. Madame acquires a proof that listeners can hear what is said
XXVIII. Aramis's correspondance
XXIX. The orderly clerk
XXX. Fontainebleau at two o'clock in the morning
XXXI. The labyrinth
XXXII. How Malicorne had been turned out of the Hotel of the Beau Paon
XXXIII. What really took place at the Beau Paon
XXXIV. A Jesuit of the eleventh year
XXXV. The state secret
XXXVI. A special mission
XXXVII. As happy as a prince
XXXVIII. The story of a dryad and of a naiad
XXXIX. Conclusion of the story of a dryad and of a naiad
XL. Royal pyschology
XLI. Showing what neither the naiad nor dryad had anticipated
XLII. The new general of the Jesuits
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