The young man proved to be her brother, whom she commended to my good offices, the impoverishment of the family being so great that she could compass no more regular method of introducing him to the world, though the house of St. Mesmin is truly respectable and, like my own, allied to several of the first consequence. Madame de Bray recalled our old TENDRESSE to my mind, and conjured me so movingly by it--and by the regard which her family had always entertained for me--that I could not dismiss the application with the hundred others of like tenor that at that time came to me with each year. That I might do nothing in the dark, however, I invited the young fellow to walk with me in the garden, and divined, even before he spoke, from the absence of timidity in his manner, that he was something out of the common. "So you have come to Paris to make your fortune?" I said.
"And what are the tools with which you propose to do it?" I continued, between jest and earnest.
"That letter, sir," he answered simply; "and, failing that, two horses, two suits of clothes, and two hundred crowns."
"You think that those will suffice?" I said, laughing.
"With this, sir," he answered, touching his sword; "and a good courage."
I could not but stand amazed at his coolness; for he spoke to me as simply as to a brother, and looked about him with as much or as little curiosity as Guise or Montpensier. It was evident that he thought a St. Mesmin equal to any man under the King; and that of all the St. Mesmins he did not value himself least.
"Well," I said, after considering him, "I do not think that I can help you much immediately. I should be glad to know, however, what plans you have formed for yourself."
"Frankly, sir," he said, "I thought of this as I travelled; and I decided that fortune can be won by three things--by gold, by steel, and by love. The first I have not, and for the last I have a better use. Only the second is left. I shall be Crillon."
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