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IT WAS a heavy mass of building, that chateau of Monsieur the
Marquis, with a large stone courtyard before it, and two stone
sweeps of staircase meeting in a stone terrace before the principal
door. A stony business altogether, with heavy stone balustrades,
and stone urns, and stone flowers, and stone faces of men, and
stone heads of lions, in all directions. As if the Gorgonís head had
surveyed it, when it was finished, two centuries ago.

Up the broad flight of shallow steps, Monsieur the Marquis,
flambeau preceded, went from his carriage, sufficiently disturbing
the darkness to elicit loud remonstrance from an owl in the roof of
the great pile of stable building away among the trees. All else was
so quiet, that the flambeau carried up the steps, and the other
flambeau held at the great door, burnt as if they were in a close
room of state, instead of being in the open night-air. Other sound
than the owlís voice there was none, save the falling of a fountain
into its stone basin; for, it was one of those dark nights that hold
their breath by the hour together, and then heave a long low sigh,
and hold their breath again.

The great door clanged behind him, and Monsieur the Marquis
crossed a hall grim with certain old boar-spears, swords, and
knives of the chase; grimmer with certain heavy riding-rods and
riding-whips, of which many a peasant, gone to his benefactor
Death, had felt the weight when his lord was angry.

Avoiding the larger rooms, which were dark and made fast for the
night, Monsieur the Marquis, with his flambeau-bearer going on
before, went up the staircase to a door in a corridor. This thrown
open, admitted him to his own private apartment of three rooms:
his bed-chamber and two others. High vaulted rooms with cool
uncarpeted floors, great dogs upon the hearths for the burning of
wood in winter time, and all luxuries befitting the state of a
marquis in a luxurious age and country. The fashion of the last
Louis but one, of the line that was never to break-the fourteenth
Louis-was conspicuous in their rich furniture; but, it was
diversified by many objects that were illustrations of old pages in
the history of France.

A supper-table was laid for two, in the third of the rooms; a round
room, in one of the chateauís four extinguisher-topped towers. A
small lofty room, with its window wide open, and the wooden
jalousie-blinds closed, so that the dark night only showed in slight
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