Study Guide

The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Fifteen: Colbert

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Chapter Fifteen: Colbert

  • The next day, Vaux is again overflowing with various delights, including a comedy in which Molière is one of the chief actors.
  • After dinner, the court settles down for a game of cards. The King wins a thousand pistols, and Fouquet somehow manages to lose ten thousand, leaving everyone happy.
  • The royal party heads for a walk in the park. The King is especially keen to see La Valliere again.
  • Her love for the King allows La Valliere to see that somebody is in danger of incurring his wrath. La Valliere does not approve and becomes saddened.
  • The King asks her why she looks so sad. She asks why he is sad.
  • He tells here that he is not sad, but rather humiliated by Fouquet's behavior. He asks her if she is on Fouquet's side. She says no, but asks for the source of the King's information.
  • The King beckons Colbert over and insists that he lay out the indictment against Fouquet. He wants La Valliere to approve of his actions.
  • It becomes clear the King is planning to arrest Fouquet.
  • La Valliere protests; it is dishonorable to arrest Fouquet under his own roof.
  • Colbert tries to disagree, but fails.
  • The King, overcome with love for his mistress, kisses her hand.
  • Colbert despairs, but then remembers he has one more hand to play. As La Valliere leaves, Colbert drops a piece of paper on the floor behind her. He points it out to the King, saying that La Valliere dropped it.
  • The King picks it up as torches arrive to flood the area with light.

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