James and Melanie will marry in Versailles tomorrow.

Marie arrives for the wedding day but there is an unrest within the French Court.

Marie’s sympathies with her Austrian heritage had long been causing concern with some power brokers in political circles and they had been sowing their hateful seeds within the population, who were now openly accusing her of excesses while they suffered in poverty.

Inviting the Royal Bourbon family of Austria to the wedding of Melanie and James, had played into the hands of her enemies.

She took Melanie to one side.

“Ne fais pas ce que j'ai fait Mélanie; ne gaspille pas tes plus jeunes années. N'oubliez pas de vivre chaque jour que pour le jour.”

{“Do not do what I have done Melanie; do not waste your younger years. Remember to live every day only for the day.”}

“Je me rappelle si bien le jour de mon mariage que Melanie et le tien seront incroyables aussi Nous sommes très excités.”

{“I remember my wedding day so well Melanie and yours will be incredible too. We are very excited.”}

“Ce soir, c'est la nuit qui précède votre mariage avec James. Je veux que vous vous en souveniez comme le début de votre éternité sans aucune crainte ni préoccupation. Rappelez-vous que le lien entre nous ne sera jamais rompu mon ami.

Rappelez-vous ce soir, quand vous dormez, que l'amour entre James et vous est devenu et que vous et moi avons un lien qui ne peut jamais être rompu.

N'ayez aucune crainte ou incertitude mon ami comme je n'en ai aucune.”

{“Tonight, is the night before you are wed to James. I want you to remember it as the start of your eternity without any fear or concern. Remember that the bond between us will never be broken my friend.

Remember tonight when you sleep how the love between you and James has come to be and how you and I have a bond that can never be broken.

Have no fear or uncertainty my friend as I have none.”}

Marie squeezed Melanie’s hand and kissed her gently on the cheek.

Ching Dynasty Collection

We are the custodians of some of the most exquisite examples of hand carved artistry from 200 years ago, here as just a few for you to look at: