A Little Tour In France, By Henry James



























































































 -   It was within the
walls of Amboise that his widow, Anne of Brittany,
already in mourning for three children, two - Page 50
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It Was Within The Walls Of Amboise That His Widow, Anne Of Brittany, Already In Mourning For Three Children, Two

Of whom we have seen commemorated in sepulchral marble at Tours, spent the first violence of that grief which was

Presently dispelled by a union with her husband's cousin and successor, Louis XII. Amboise was a fre- quent resort of the French Court during the sixteenth century; it was here that the young Mary Stuart spent sundry hours of her first marriage. The wars of re- ligion have left here the ineffaceable stain which they left wherever they passed. An imaginative visitor at Amboise to-day may fancy that the traces of blood are mixed with the red rust on the crossed iron bars of the grim-looking balcony, to which the heads of the Huguenots executed on the discovery of the con- spiracy of La Renaudie are rumored to have been suspended. There was room on the stout balustrade - an admirable piece of work - for a ghastly array. The same rumor represents Catherine de' Medici and the young queen as watching from this balcony the _noyades_ of the captured Huguenots in the Loire. The facts of history are bad enough; the fictions are, if possible, worse; but there is little doubt that the future Queen of Scots learnt the first lessons of life at a horrible school. If in subsequent years she was a prodigy of innocence and virtue, it was not the fault of her whilom ??? mother-in-law, of her uncles of the house of Guise, or of the examples presented to her either at the windows of the castle of Amboise or in its more pri- vate recesses.

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