dy, and the particular esteem she expressed for the Duke de Nemours, gave ground to believe that he had raised his views even to her. Messieurs de Guise, whose niece she was, had so far increased their authority and reputation by this match, that their ambition prompted them to aspire at an equality with the Princes of the blood, and to share in power with the Constable Montmorency. The King entrusted the Constable with the chief share in the administration of the Government, and treated the Duke of Guise and the Mareschal de St. Andre as his favourites; but whether favour or business admitted men to his presence, they could not preserve that privilege without the good-liking of the Duchess of Valentinois; for though she was no longer in possession of either of youth or beauty, she yet reigned so absolutely in his heart, that his person and state seemed entirely at her disposal.
The King had such an affection for the Constable, that he was no sooner possessed of the Government, but he recalled him from
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