If this had been done, it would doubtless have been interpreted into an entire dereliction
of the federal principle; and would certainly have deprived the State governments of that absolute safeguard which they will enjoy under this provision.
"Madame," replied Villefort, with a mournful smile, "I have already had the honor to observe that my father has -- at least, I hope so -- abjured his past errors, and that he is, at the present moment, a firm and zealous friend to religion and order -- a better royalist, possibly, than his son; for he has to atone for past dereliction
, while I have no other impulse than warm, decided preference and conviction." Having made this well-turned speech, Villefort looked carefully around to mark the effect of his oratory, much as he would have done had he been addressing the bench in open court.
But on Miss Halcombe's declaring that she only wanted to put some questions which she was too much agitated to ask at that moment, and that she had no intention of misleading the nurse into any dereliction
of duty, the woman took the money, and proposed three o'clock on the next day as the time for the interview.