With the opening of the story Richelieu pardons the Duke of Orleans and all his followers in the Languedoc revolt, save one. The exception is Adrien de Mauprat, because he seized a French town without his leader's orders. Richelieu advises him to lead his troops against the Spaniards and seek honorable death in battle. Julie, Richelieu's ward, loves de Mauprat, but notwithstanding her entreaties, the Cardinal is relentless; de Mauprat courts death on the battlefield. But now that he seeks death, it shuns him; instead of a soldier's grave, he wins glory. Julie has another admirer, Haradas, the King's favorite. Aware of de Mauprat's place in Julie's affections, he sets himself to bring discredit upon his rival. Later, Julie, at the King's request, attends court. She makes a deep impression upon the weak-minded, fickle monarch. A year after the departure of de Mauprat, Baradas and his followers conspire to murder Richelieu and seize the throne of France. At this critical time de Mauprat ...
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