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Gentleman Of France, A

by Weyman

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Fateful events are in motion in medieval France of the late 1580s -- events that will lead to the War of the Three Henries -- and, eventually, to the ascension of Henry of Navarre to the French throne. Forty-year-old M. de Marsac, a gentleman soldier, is in terrible straights. Money is the problem -- his finances have gone to hell, and soon enough his status will follow. He's a gentleman -- that is, he's gentry -- but being a gentleman isn't like being a beggared baron; there is no title for him to trade on. He grooms his own horse by cover of night, and when he goes before the court of Henry of Navarre seeking a commission, he faces ridicule because of his frayed, wear-worn clothes. But M. de Marsac knows a thing we all could stand to learn: he knows that clothes in no way make the man -- and that a true gentleman can win the respect he deserves by boldness and by courage.



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