The scene and the actors.
The heroine of this tale is one so famous in history that her proper name never appears in it. The seeming paradox is the soberest fact.
To us Americans
, glory lies in the abundant display of one's personal appellation in the newspapers.
Our heroine lived in the most gossiping of all ages, herself its greatest gossip; yet her own name, patronymic or baptismal, never was talked about.
It was not that she sunk that name beneath high-sounding titles; she only elevated the most commonplace of all titles till she monopolized it and it monopolized her. Anne Marie Louise
d'orleans, Souveraine de Dombes
, Princesse Dauphine d'auvergne, Duchesse de Montpensier
, is forgotten, or rather was never remembered; but the great name of Mademoiselle
, La Grande Mademoiselle
, gleams like a golden thread shot through and through that gorgeous tapestry of crimson and purple which records for us the age of Louis Quatorze
In May of the year 1627, while the slow tide of events was drawing Charles I. toward his scaffold,--while Sir John Eliot
was awaiting in the Tower of London
the summoning of the Third Parliament,--while the troops of