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HIS MAJESTY KING LOUIS XIII

 

This affair made a great noise. M. de Treville scolded his

Musketeers in public, and congratulated them in private; but as

no time was to be lost in gaining the king, M. de Treville

hastened to report himself at the Louvre. It was already too

late. The king was closeted with the cardinal, and M. de

Treville was informed that the king was busy and could not

receive him at that moment. In the evening M. de Treville

attended the king`s gaming table. The king was winning; and as

he was very avaricious, he was in an excellent humor. Perceiving

M. de Treville at a distance--

 

"Come here, Monsieur Captain," said he, "come here, that I may

growl at you. Do you know that his Eminence has been making

fresh complaints against your Musketeers, and that with so much

emotion, that this evening his Eminence is indisposed? Ah, these

Musketeers of yours are very devils--fellows to be hanged."

 

"No, sire," replied Treville, who saw at the first glance how

things would go, "on the contrary, they are good creatures, as

meek as lambs, and have but one desire, I`ll be their warranty.

And that is that their swords may never leave their scabbards but

in your majesty`s service. But what are they to do? The Guards

of Monsieur the Cardinal are forever seeking quarrels with them,

and for the honor of the corps even, the poor young men are

obliged to defend themselves."

 

"Listen to Monsieur de Treville," said the king; "listen to him!

Would not one say he was speaking of a religious community? In

truth, my dear Captain, I have a great mind to take away your

commission and give it to Mademoiselle de Chemerault, to whom I

promised an abbey. But don`t fancy that I am going to take you

on your bare word. I am called Louis the Just, Monsieur de

Treville, and by and by, by and by we will see."

 

"Ah, sire; it is because I confide in that justice that I shall

wait patiently and quietly the good pleasure of your Majesty."

 

 

"Wait, then, monsieur, wait," said the king; "I will not detain

you long."

 

In fact, fortune changed; and as the king began to lose what he

had won, he was not sorry to find an excuse for playing

Charlemagne--if we may use a gaming phrase of whose origin we

confess our ignorance. The king therefore arose a minute after,

and putting the money which lay before him into his pocket, the

major part of which arose from his winnings, "La Vieuville," said

he, "take my place; I must speak to Monsieur de Treville on an

affair of importance. Ah, I had eighty louis before me; put down

the same sum, so that they who have lost may have nothing to

complain of. Justice before everything."

 

Then turning toward M. de Treville and walking with him toward

the embrasure of a window, "Well, monsieur," continued he, "you



say it is his Eminence`s Guards who have sought a quarrel with

your Musketeers?"

 

"Yes, sire, as they always do."

 

"And how did the thing happen? Let us see, for you know, my dear

Captain, a judge must hear both sides."

 

"Good Lord! In the most simple and natural manner possible.

Three of my best soldiers, whom your Majesty knows by name, and

whose devotedness you have more than once appreciated, and who

have, I dare affirm to the king, his service much at heart--three

of my best soldiers, I say, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, had made

a party of pleasure with a young fellow from Gascony, whom I had

introduced to them the same morning. The party was to take place

at St. Germain, I believe, and they had appointed to meet at the

Carmes-Deschaux, when they were disturbed by De Jussac, Cahusac,

Bicarat, and two other Guardsmen, who certainly did not go there

in such a numerous company without some ill intention against the

edicts."

 

"Ah, ah! You incline me to think so," said the king. "There is

no doubt they went thither to fight themselves."

 

"I do not accuse them, sire; but I leave your Majesty to judge

what five armed men could possibly be going to do in such a

deserted place as the neighborhood of the Convent des Carmes."

 

"Yes, you are right, Treville, you are right!"

 

"Then, upon seeing my Musketeers they changed their minds, and

forgot their private hatred for partisan hatred; for your Majesty

cannot be ignorant that the Musketeers, who belong to the king

and nobody but the king, are the natural enemies of the

Guardsmen, who belong to the cardinal."

 

"Yes, Treville, yes," said the king, in a melancholy tone; "and

it is very sad, believe me, to see thus two parties in France,

two heads to royalty. But all this will come to an end, Treville,

will come to an end. You say, then, that the Guardsmen sought a

quarrel with the Musketeers?"

 

"I say that it is probable that things have fallen out so, but I

will not swear to it, sire. You know how difficult it is to

discover the truth; and unless a man be endowed with that

admirable instinct which causes Louis XIII to be named the

Just--"

 

 

"You are right, Treville; but they were not alone, your

Musketeers. They had a youth with them?"

 

"Yes, sire, and one wounded man; so that three of the king`s

Musketeers--one of whom was wounded--and a youth not only

maintained their ground against five of the most terrible of the

cardinal`s Guardsmen, but absolutely brought four of them to

earth."

 

"Why, this is a victory!" cried the king, all radiant, "a

complete victory!"

 

"Yes, sire; as complete as that of the Bridge of Ce."

 

"Four men, one of them wounded, and a youth, say you?"

 

"One hardly a young man; but who, however, behaved himself so

admirably on this occasion that I will take the liberty of

recommending him to your Majesty."

 

"How does he call himself?"

 

"D`Artagnan, sire; he is the son of one of my oldest friends--the

son of a man who served under the king your father, of glorious

memory, in the civil war."

 

"And you say this young man behaved himself well? Tell me how,

Treville--you know how I delight in accounts of war and

fighting."

 

And Louis XIII twisted his mustache proudly, placing his hand

upon his hip.

 

"Sire," resumed Treville, "as I told you, Monsieur d`Artagnan is

little more than a boy; and as he has not the honor of being a

Musketeer, he was dressed as a citizen. The Guards of the

cardinal, perceiving his youth and that he did not belong to the

corps, invited him to retire before they attacked."

 

"so you may plainly see, Treville," interrupted the king, "it was

they who attacked?"

 

"That is true, sire; there can be no more doubt on that head.

They called upon him then to retire; but he answered that he was

a Musketeer at heart, entirely devoted to your Majesty, and that

therefore he would remain with Messieurs the Musketeers."

 

"Brave young man!" murmured the king.

 

"Well, he did remain with them; and your Majesty has in him so

firm a champion that it was he who gave Jussac the terrible sword

thrust which has made the cardinal so angry."

 

"He who wounded Jussac!" cried the king, "he, a boy! Treville,

that`s impossible!"

 

"It is as I have the honor to relate it to your Majesty."

 

"Jussac, one of the first swordsmen in the kingdom?"

 

"Well, sire, for once he found his master."

 

"I will see this young, Treville--I will see him; and if anything

can be done--well, we will make it our business."

 

"When will your Majesty deign to receive him?"

 

"Tomorrow, at midday, Treville."

 

"Shall I bring him alone?"

 

"No, bring me all four together. I wish to thank them all at

once. Devoted men are so rare, Treville, by the back staircase.

It is useless to let the cardinal know."

 

"Yes, sire."

 

"You understand, Treville--an edict is still an edict, it is

forbidden to fight, after all."

 

"But this encounter, sire, is quite out of the ordinary

conditions of a duel. It is a brawl; and the proof is that there

were five of the cardinal`s Guardsmen against my three Musketeers

and Monsieur d`Artagnan."

 

"That is true," said the king; "but never mind, Treville, come

still by the back staircase."

 

Treville smiled; but as it was indeed something to have prevailed

upon this child to rebel against his master, he saluted the king

respectfully, and with this agreement, took leave of him.

 

That evening the three Musketeers were informed of the honor

accorded them. As they had long been acquainted with the king,

they were not much excited; but D`Artagnan, with his Gascon

imagination, saw in it his future fortune, and passed the night

in golden dreams. By eight o`clock in the morning he was at the

apartment of Athos.

 

D`Artagnan found the Musketeer dressed and ready to go out. As

the hour to wait upon the king was not till twelve, he had made a

party with Porthos and Aramis to play a game at tennis in a

tennis court situated near the stables of the Luxembourg. Athos

invited D`Artagnan to follow them; and although ignorant of the

game, which he had never played, he accepted, not knowing what to

do with his time from nine o`clock in the morning, as it then

scarcely was, till twelve.

 

The two Musketeers were already there, and were playing together.

Athos, who was very expert in all bodily exercises, passed with

D`Artagnan to the opposite side and challenged them; but at the

first effort he made, although he played with his left hand, he

found that his wound was yet too recent to allow of such

exertion. D`Artagnan remained, therefore, alone; and as he

declared he was too ignorant of the game to play it regularly

they only continued giving balls to one another without counting.

But one of these balls, launched by Porthos` herculean hand,

passed so close to D`Artagnan`s face that he thought that if,

instead of passing near, it had hit him, his audience would have

been probably lost, as it would have been impossible for him to

present himself before the king. Now, as upon this audience, in

his Gascon imagination, depended his future life, he saluted

Aramis and Porthos politely, declaring that he would not resume

the game until he should be prepared to play with them on more

equal terms, and went and took his place near the cord and in the

gallery.

 

Unfortunately for D`Artagnan, among the spectators was one of his

Eminence`s Guardsmen, who, still irritated by the defeat of his

companions, which had happened only the day before, had promised

himself to seize the first opportunity of avenging it. He

believed this opportunity was now come and addressed his

neighbor: "It is not astonishing that that young man should be

afraid of a ball, for he is doubtless a Musketeer apprentice."

 

D`Artagnan turned round as if a serpent had stung him, and fixed

his eyes intensely upon the Guardsman who had just made this

insolent speech.

 

"PARDIEU," resumed the latter, twisting his mustache, "look at me

as long as you like, my little gentleman! I have said what I

have said."

 

"And as since that which you have said is too clear to require

any explanation," replied D`Artagnan, in a low voice, "I beg you

to follow me."

 

"And when?" asked the Guardsman, with the same jeering air.

 

"At once, if you please."

 

"And you know who I am, without doubt?"

 

"I? I am completely ignorant; nor does it much disquiet me."

 

"You`re in the wrong there; for if you knew my name, perhaps you

would not be so pressing."

 

"What is your name?"

 

"Bernajoux, at your service."

 

"Well, then, Monsieur Bernajoux," said D`Artagnan, tranquilly, "I

will wait for you at the door."

 

"Go, monsieur, I will follow you."

 

"Do not hurry yourself, monsieur, lest it be observed that we go

out together. You must be aware that for our undertaking,

company would be in the way."

 

"That`s true," said the Guardsman, astonished that his name had

not produced more effect upon the young man.

 

Indeed, the name of Bernajoux was known to all the world,

D`Artagnan alone excepted, perhaps; for it was one of those which

figured most frequently in the daily brawls which all the edicts

of the cardinal could not repress.

 

Porthos and Aramis were so engaged with their game, and Athos was

watching them with so much attention, that they did not even

perceive their young companion go out, who, as he had told the

Guardsman of his Eminence, stopped outside the door. An instant

after, the Guardsman descended in his turn. As D`Artagnan had no

time to lose, on account of the audience of the king, which was

fixed for midday, he cast his eyes around, and seeing that the

street was empty, said to his adversary, "My faith! It is

fortunate for you, although your name is Bernajoux, to have only

to deal with an apprentice Musketeer. Never mind; be content, I

will do my best. On guard!"

 

"But," said he whom D`Artagnan thus provoked, "it appears to me

that this place is badly chosen, and that we should be better

behind the Abbey St. Germain or in the Pre-aux-Clercs."

 

"What you say is full of sense," replied D`Artagnan; "but

unfortunately I have very little time to spare, having an

appointment at twelve precisely. On guard, then, monsieur, on

guard!"

 

Bernajoux was not a man to have such a compliment paid to him

twice. In an instant his sword glittered in his hand, and he

sprang upon his adversary, whom, thanks to his great

youthfulness, he hoped to intimidate.

 

But D`Artagnan had on the preceding day served his

apprenticeship. Fresh sharpened by his victory, full of hopes of

future favor, he was resolved not to recoil a step. So the two

swords were crossed close to the hilts, and as D`Artagnan stood

firm, it was his adversary who made the retreating step; but

D`Artagnan seized the moment at which, in this movement, the

sword of Bernajoux deviated from the line. He freed his weapon,

made a lunge, and touched his adversary on the shoulder.

D`Artagnan immediately made a step backward and raised his sword;

but Bernajoux cried out that it was nothing, and rushing blindly

upon him, absolutely spitted himself upon D`Artagnan`s sword.

As, however, he did not fall, as he did not declare himself

conquered, but only broke away toward the hotel of M. de la

Tremouille, in whose service he had a relative, D`Artagnan was

ignorant of the seriousness of the last wound his adversary had

received, and pressing him warmly, without doubt would soon have

completed his work with a third blow, when the noise which arose

from the street being heard in the tennis court, two of the

friends of the Guardsman, who had seen him go out after

exchanging some words with D`Artagnan, rushed, sword in hand,

from the court, and fell upon the conqueror. But Athos, Porthos,

and Aramis quickly appeared in their turn, and the moment the two

Guardsmen attacked their young companion, drove them back.

Bernajoux now fell, and as the Guardsmen were only two against

four, they began to cry, "To the rescue! The Hotel de la

Tremouille!" At these cries, all who were in the hotel rushed

out and fell upon the four companions, who on their side cried

aloud, "To the rescue, Musketeers!"

 

This cry was generally heeded; for the Musketeers were known to

be enemies of the cardinal, and were beloved on account of the

hatred they bore to his Eminence. Thus the soldiers of other

companies than those which belonged to the Red Duke, as Aramis

had called him, often took part with the king`s Musketeers in

these quarrels. Of three Guardsmen of the company of M.

Dessessart who were passing, two came to the assistance of the

four companions, while the other ran toward the hotel of M. de

Treville, crying, "To the rescue, Musketeers! To the rescue!"

As usual, this hotel was full of soldiers of this company, who

hastened to the succor of their comrades. The MELEE became

general, but strength was on the side of the Musketeers. The

cardinal`s Guards and M. de la Tremouille`s people retreated into

the hotel, the doors of which they closed just in time to prevent

their enemies from entering with them. As to the wounded man, he

had been taken in at once, and, as we have said, in a very bad

state.

 

Excitement was at its height among the Musketeers and their

allies, and they even began to deliberate whether they should not

set fire to the hotel to punish the insolence of M. de la

Tremouille`s domestics in daring to make a SORTIE upon the king`s

Musketeers. The proposition had been made, and received with

enthusiasm, when fortunately eleven o`clock struck. D`Artagnan

and his companions remembered their audience, and as they would

very much have regretted that such an opportunity should be lost,

they succeeded in calming their friends, who contented themselves

with hurling some paving stones against the gates; but the gates

were too strong. They soon tired of the sport. Besides, those

who must be considered the leaders of the enterprise had quit the

group and were making their way toward the hotel of M. de

Treville, who was waiting for them, already informed of this

fresh disturbance.

 

"Quick to the Louvre," said he, "to the Louvre without losing an

instant, and let us endeavor to see the king before he is

prejudiced by the cardinal. We will describe the thing to him as

a consequence of the affair of yesterday, and the two will pass

off together."

 

M. de Treville, accompanied by the four young fellows, directed

his course toward the Louvre; but to the great astonishment of

the captain of the Musketeers, he was informed that the king had

gone stag hunting in the forest of St. Germain. M. de Treville

required this intelligence to be repeated to him twice, and each

time his companions saw his brow become darker.

 

"Had his Majesty," asked he, "any intention of holding this

hunting party yesterday?"

 

"No, your Excellency," replied the valet de chambre, "the Master

of the Hounds came this morning to inform him that he had marked

down a stag. At first the king answered that he would not go;

but he could not resist his love of sport, and set out after

dinner."

 

"And the king has seen the cardinal?" asked M. de Treville.

 

"In all probability he has," replied the valet, "for I saw the

horses harnessed to his Eminence`s carriage this morning, and

when I asked where he was going, they told me, "To St. Germain.`"

 

"He is beforehand with us," said M. de Treville. "Gentlemen, I

will see the king this evening; but as to you, I do not advise

you to risk doing so."

 

This advice was too reasonable, and moreover came from a man who

knew the king too well, to allow the four young men to dispute

it. M. de Treville recommended everyone to return home and wait

for news.

 

On entering his hotel, M. de Treville thought it best to be first

in making the complaint. He sent one of his servants to M. de la

Tremouille with a letter in which he begged of him to eject the

cardinal`s Guardsmen from his house, and to reprimand his people

for their audacity in making SORTIE against the king`s

Musketeers. But M. de la Tremouille--already prejudiced by his

esquire, whose relative, as we already know, Bernajoux was--

replied that it was neither for M. de Treville nor the Musketeers

to complain, but, on the contrary, for him, whose people the

Musketeers had assaulted and whose hotel they had endeavored to

burn. Now, as the debate between these two nobles might last a

long time, each becoming, naturally, more firm in his own

opinion, M. de Treville thought of an expedient which might

terminate it quietly. This was to go himself to M. de la

Tremouille.

 

He repaired, therefore, immediately to his hotel, and caused

himself to be announced.

 

The two nobles saluted each other politely, for if no friendship

existed between them, there was at least esteem. Both were men

of courage and honor; and as M. de la Tremouille--a Protestant,

and seeing the king seldom--was of no party, he did not, in

general, carry any bias into his social relations. This time,

however, his address, although polite, was cooler than usual.

 

"Monsieur," said M. de Treville, "we fancy that we have each

cause to complain of the other, and I am come to endeavor to

clear up this affair."

 

"I have no objection," replied M. de la Tremouille, "but I warn

you that I am well informed, and all the fault is with your

Musketeers."

 

"You are too just and reasonable a man, monsieur!" said Treville,

"not to accept the proposal I am about to make to you."

 

"Make it, monsieur, I listen."

 

"How is Monsieur Bernajoux, your esquire`s relative?"

 

"Why, monsieur, very ill indeed! In addition to the sword thrust

in his arm, which is not dangerous, he has received another right

through his lungs, of which the doctor says bad things."

 

"But has the wounded man retained his senses?"

 

"Perfectly."

 

"Does he talk?"

 

"With difficulty, but he can speak."

 

"Well, monsieur, let us go to him. Let us adjure him, in the

name of the God before whom he must perhaps appear, to speak the

truth. I will take him for judge in his own cause, monsieur, and

will believe what he will say."

 

M. de la Tremouille reflected for an instant; then as it was

difficult to suggest a more reasonable proposal, he agreed to it.

 

Both descended to the chamber in which the wounded man lay. The

latter, on seeing these two noble lords who came to visit him,

endeavored to raise himself up in his bed; but he was too weak,

and exhausted by the effort, he fell back again almost senseless.

 

M. de la Tremouille approached him, and made him inhale some

salts, which recalled him to life. Then M. de Treville,

unwilling that it should be thought that he had influenced the

wounded man, requested M. de la Tremouille to interrogate him

himself.

 

That happened which M. de Treville had foreseen. Placed between

life and death, as Bernajoux was, he had no idea for a moment of

concealing the truth; and he described to the two nobles the

affair exactly as it had passed.

 

This was all that M. de Treville wanted. He wished Bernajoux a

speedy convalescence, took leave of M. de la Tremouille, returned

to his hotel, and immediately sent word to the four friends that

he awaited their company at dinner.

 

M. de Treville entertained good company, wholly anticardinalst,

though. It may easily be understood, therefore, that the

conversation during the whole of dinner turned upon the two

checks that his Eminence`s Guardsmen had received. Now, as

D`Artagnan had been the hero of these two fights, it was upon him

that all the felicitations fell, which Athos, Porthos, and Aramis

abandoned to him, not only as good comrades, but as men who had

so often had their turn that could very well afford him his.

 

Toward six o`clock M. de Treville announced that it was time to

go to the Louvre; but as the hour of audience granted by his

Majesty was past, instead of claiming the ENTREE by the back

stairs, he placed himself with the four young men in the

antechamber. The king had not yet returned from hunting. Our

young men had been waiting about half an hour, amid a crowd of

courtiers, when all the doors were thrown open, and his Majesty

was announced.

 

At his announcement D`Artagnan felt himself tremble to the very

marrow of his bones. The coming instant would in all probability

decide the rest of his life. His eyes therefore were fixed in a

sort of agony upon the door through which the king must enter.

 

Louis XIII appeared, walking fast. He was in hunting costume

covered with dust, wearing large boots, and holding a whip in his

hand. At the first glance, D`Artagnan judged that the mind of

the king was stormy.

 

This disposition, visible as it was in his Majesty, did not

prevent the courtiers from ranging themselves along his pathway.

In royal antechambers it is worth more to be viewed with an angry

eye than not to be seen at all. The three Musketeers therefore

did not hesitate to make a step forward. D`Artagnan on the

contrary remained concealed behind them; but although the king

knew Athos, Porthos, and Aramis personally, he passed before them

without speaking or looking--indeed, as if he had never seen them

before. As for M. de Treville, when the eyes of the king fell

upon him, he sustained the look with so much firmness that it was

the king who dropped his eyes; after which his Majesty,

grumbling, entered his apartment.

 

"Matters go but badly," said Athos, smiling; "and we shall not be

made Chevaliers of the Order this time."

 

"Wait here ten minutes," said M. de Treville; "and if at the

expiration of ten minutes you do not see me come out, return to

my hotel, for it will be useless for you to wait for me longer."

 

The four young men waited ten minutes, a quarter of an hour,

twenty minutes; and seeing that M. de Treville did not return,

went away very uneasy as to what was going to happen.

 

M. de Treville entered the king`s cabinet boldly, and found his

Majesty in a very ill humor, seated on an armchair, beating his

boot with the handle of his whip. This, however, did not prevent

his asking, with the greatest coolness, after his Majesty`s

health.

 

"Bad, monsieur, bad!" replied the king; "I am bored."

 

This was, in fact, the worst complaint of Louis XIII, who would

sometimes take one of his courtiers to a window and say,

"Monsieur So-and-so, let us weary ourselves together."

 

"How! Your Majesty is bored? Have you not enjoyed the pleasures

of the chase today?"

 

"A fine pleasure, indeed, monsieur! Upon my soul, everything

degenerates; and I don`t know whether it is the game which leaves

no scent, or the dogs that have no noses. We started a stag of

ten branches. We chased him for six hours, and when he was near

being taken--when St.-Simon was already putting his horn to his

mouth to sound the HALALI--crack, all the pack takes the wrong

scent and sets off after a two-year-older. I shall be obliged to

give up hunting, as I have given up hawking. Ah, I am an

unfortunate king, Monsieur de Treville! I had but one gerfalcon,

and he died day before yesterday."

 

"Indeed, sire, I wholly comprehend your disappointment. The

misfortune is great; but I think you have still a good number of

falcons, sparrow hawks, and tiercets."

 

"And not a man to instruct them. Falconers are declining. I

know no one but myself who is acquainted with the noble art of

venery. After me it will all be over, and people will hunt with

gins, snares, and traps. If I had but the time to train pupils!

But there is the cardinal always at hand, who does not leave me a

moment`s repose; who talks to me about Spain, who talks to me

about Austria, who talks to me about England! Ah! A PROPOS of

the cardinal, Monsieur de Treville, I am vexed with you!"

 

This was the chance at which M. de Treville waited for the king.

He knew the king of old, and he knew that all these complaints

were but a preface--a sort of excitation to encourage himself--

and that he had now come to his point at last.

 

"And in what have I been so unfortunate as to displease your

Majesty?" asked M. de Treville, feigning the most profound

astonishment.

 

"Is it thus you perform your charge, monsieur?" continued the

king, without directly replying to De Treville`s question. "Is

it for this I name you captain of my Musketeers, that they should

assassinate a man, disturb a whole quarter, and endeavor to set

fire to Paris, without your saying a word? But yet," continued

the king, "undoubtedly my haste accuses you wrongfully; without

doubt the rioters are in prison, and you come to tell me justice

is done."

 

"Sire," replied M. de Treville, calmly, "on the contrary, I come

to demand it of you."

 

"And against whom?" cried the king.

 

"Against calumniators," said M. de Treville.

 

"Ah! This is something new," replied the king. "Will you tell

me that your three damned Musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis,

and your youngster from Bearn, have not fallen, like so many

furies, upon poor Bernajoux, and have not maltreated him in such

a fashion that probably by this time he is dead? Will you tell

me that they did not lay siege to the hotel of the Duc de la

Tremouille, and that they did not endeavor to burn it?--which

would not, perhaps, have been a great misfortune in time of war,

seeing that it is nothing but a nest of Huguenots, but which is,

in time of peace, a frightful example. Tell me, now, can you

deny all this?"

 

"And who told you this fine story, sire?" asked Treville,

quietly.

 

"Who has told me this fine story, monsieur? Who should it be but

he who watches while I sleep, who labors while I amuse myself,

 

who conducts everything at home and abroad--in France as in

Europe?"

 

"Your Majesty probably refers to God," said M. de Treville; "for

I know no one except God who can be so far above your Majesty."

 

"No, monsieur; I speak of the prop of the state, of my only

servant, of my only friend--of the cardinal."

 

"His Eminence is not his holiness, sire."

 

"What do you mean by that, monsieur?"

 

"That it is only the Pope who is infallible, and that this

infallibility does not extend to cardinals."

 

"You mean to say that he deceives me; you mean to say that he

betrays me? You accuse him, then? Come, speak; avow freely that

you accuse him!"

 

"No, sire, but I say that he deceives himself. I say that he is

ill-informed. I say that he has hastily accused your Majesty`s

Musketeers, toward whom he is unjust, and that he has not

obtained his information from good sources."

 

"The accusation comes from Monsieur de la Tremouille, from the

duke himself. What do you say to that?"

 

"I might answer, sire, that he is too deeply interested in the

question to be a very impartial witness; but so far from that,

sire, I know the duke to be a royal gentleman, and I refer the

matter to him--but upon one condition, sire."

 

"What?"

 

"It is that your Majesty will make him come here, will

interrogate him yourself, TETE-A-TETE, without witnesses, and

that I shall see your Majesty as soon as you have seen the duke."

 

"What, then! You will bind yourself," cried the king, "by what

Monsieur de la Tremouille shall say?"

 

"Yes, sire."

 

"You will accept his judgment?"

 

"Undoubtedly."

 

"Any you will submit to the reparation he may require?"

 

"Certainly."

 

"La Chesnaye," said the king. "La Chesnaye!"

 

Louis XIII`s confidential valet, who never left the door, entered

in reply to the call.

 

"La Chesnaye," said the king, "let someone go instantly and find

Monsieur de la Tremouille; I wish to speak with him this

evening."

 

"Your Majesty gives me your word that you will not see anyone

between Monsieur de la Tremouille and myself?"

 

"Nobody, by the faith of a gentleman."

 

"Tomorrow, then, sire?"

 

"Tomorrow, monsieur."

 

"At what o`clock, please your Majesty?"

 

"At any hour you will."

 

"But in coming too early I should be afraid of awakening your

Majesty."

 

"Awaken me! Do you think I ever sleep, then? I sleep no longer,

monsieur. I sometimes dream, that`s all. Come, then, as early

as you like--at seven o`clock; but beware, if you and your

Musketeers are guilty."

 

"If my Musketeers are guilty, sire, the guilty shall be placed in

your Majesty`s hands, who will dispose of them at your good

pleasure. Does your Majesty require anything further? Speak, I

am ready to obey."

 

"No, monsieur, no; I am not called Louis the Just without reason.

Tomorrow, then, monsieur--tomorrow."

 

"Till then, God preserve your Majesty!"

 

However ill the king might sleep, M. de Treville slept still

worse. He had ordered his three Musketeers and their companion

to be with him at half past six in the morning. He took them

with him, without encouraging them or promising them anything,

and without concealing from them that their luck, and even his

own, depended upon the cast of the dice.

 

Arrived at the foot of the back stairs, he desired them to wait.

If the king was still irritated against them, they would depart

without being seen; if the king consented to see them, they would

only have to be called.

 

On arriving at the king`s private antechamber, M. de Treville

found La Chesnaye, who informed him that they had not been able

to find M. de la Tremouille on the preceding evening at his

hotel, that he returned too late to present himself at the

Louvre, that he had only that moment arrived and that he was at

that very hour with the king.

 

This circumstance pleased M. de Treville much, as he thus became

certain that no foreign suggestion could insinuate itself between

M. de la Tremouille`s testimony and himself.

 

In fact, ten minutes had scarcely passed away when the door of

the king`s closet opened, and M. de Treville saw M. de la

Tremouille come out. The duke came straight up to him, and said:

"Monsieur de Treville, his Majesty has just sent for me in order

to inquire respecting the circumstances which took place

yesterday at my hotel. I have told him the truth; that is to

say, that the fault lay with my people, and that I was ready to

offer you my excuses. Since I have the good fortune to meet you,

I beg you to receive them, and to hold me always as one of your

friends."

 

"Monsieur the Duke," said M. de Treville, "I was so confident of

your loyalty that I required no other defender before his Majesty

than yourself. I find that I have not been mistaken, and I thank

you that there is still one man in France of whom may be said,

without disappointment, what I have said of you."

 

"That`s well said," cried the king, who had heard all these

compliments through the open door; "only tell him, Treville,

since he wishes to be considered your friend, that I also wish to

be one of his, but he neglects me; that it is nearly three years

since I have seen him, and that I never do see him unless I send

for him. Tell him all this for me, for these are things which a

king cannot say for himself."

 

"Thanks, sire, thanks," said the duke; "but your Majesty may be

assured that it is not those--I do not speak of Monsieur de

Treville--whom your Majesty sees at all hours of the day that are

most devoted to you."

 

"Ah! You have heard what I said? So much the better, Duke, so

much the better," said the king, advancing toward the door. "Ah!

It is you, Treville. Where are your Musketeers? I told you the

day before yesterday to bring them with you; why have you not

done so?"

 

"They are below, sire, and with your permission La Chesnaye will

bid them come up."

 

"Yes, yes, let them come up immediately. It is nearly eight

o`clock, and at nine I expect a visit. Go, Monsieur Duke, and

return often. Come in, Treville."

 

The Duke saluted and retired. At the moment he opened the door,

the three Musketeers and D`Artagnan, conducted by La Chesnaye,

appeared at the top of the staircase.

 

"Come in, my braves," said the king, "come in; I am going to

scold you."

 

The Musketeers advanced, bowing, D`Artagnan following closely

behind them.

 

"What the devil!" continued the king. "Seven of his Eminence`s

Guards placed HORS DE COMBAT by you four in two days! That`s too

many, gentlemen, too many! If you go on so, his Eminence will be

forced to renew his company in three weeks, and I to put the

edicts in force in all their rigor. One now and then I don`t say

much about; but seven in two days, I repeat, it is too many, it

is far too many!"

 

"Therefore, sire, your Majesty sees that they are come, quite

contrite and repentant, to offer you their excuses."

 

"Quite contrite and repentant! Hem!" said the king. "I place no

confidence in their hypocritical faces. In particular, there is

one yonder of a Gascon look. Come hither, monsieur."

 

D`Artagnan, who understood that it was to him this compliment was

addressed, approached, assuming a most deprecating air.

 

"Why you told me he was a young man? This is a boy, Treville, a

mere boy! Do you mean to say that it was he who bestowed that

severe thrust at Jussac?"

 

"And those two equally fine thrusts at Bernajoux."

 

"Truly!"

 

"Without reckoning," said Athos, "that if he had not rescued me

from the hands of Cahusac, I should not now have the honor of

making my very humble reverence to your Majesty."

 

"Why he is a very devil, this Bearnais! VENTRE-SAINT-GRIS,

Monsieur de Treville, as the king my father would have said. But

at this sort of work, many doublets must be slashed and many

swords broken. Now, Gascons are always poor, are they not?"

 

"Sire, I can assert that they have hitherto discovered no gold

mines in their mountains; though the Lord owes them this miracle

in recompense for the manner in which they supported the

pretensions of the king your father."

 

"Which is to say that the Gascons made a king of me, myself,

seeing that I am my father`s son, is it not, Treville? Well,

happily, I don`t say nay to it. La Chesnaye, go and see if by

rummaging all my pockets you can find forty pistoles; and if you

can find them, bring them to me. And now let us see, young man,

with your hand upon your conscience, how did all this come to

pass?"

 

D`Artagnan related the adventure of the preceding day in all its

details; how, not having been able to sleep for the joy he felt

in the expectation of seeing his Majesty, he had gone to his

three friends three hours before the hour of audience; how they

had gone together to the tennis court, and how, upon the fear he

had manifested lest he receive a ball in the face, he had been

jeered at by Bernajoux who had nearly paid for his jeer with his

life and M. de la Tremouille, who had nothing to do with the

matter, with the loss of his hotel.

 

"This is all very well," murmured the king, "yes, this is just

the account the duke gave me of the affair. Poor cardinal!

Seven men in two days, and those of his very best! But that`s

quite enough, gentlemen; please to understand, that`s enough.

You have taken your revenge for the Rue Ferou, and even exceeded

it; you ought to be satisfied."

 

"If your Majesty is so," said Treville, "we are."

 

"Oh, yes; I am," added the king, taking a handful of gold from La

Chesnaye, and putting it into the hand of D`Artagnan. "Here,"

said he, "is a proof of my satisfaction."

 

At this epoch, the ideas of pride which are in fashion in our

days did not prevail. A gentleman received, from hand to hand,

money from the king, and was not the least in the world

humiliated. D`Artagnan put his forty pistoles into his pocket

without any scruple--on the contrary, thanking his Majesty

greatly.

 

"There," said the king, looking at a clock, "there, now, as it is

half past eight, you may retire; for as I told you, I expect

someone at nine. Thanks for your devotedness, gentlemen. I may

continue to rely upon it, may I not?"

 

"Oh, sire!" cried the four companions, with one voice, "we would

allow ourselves to be cut to pieces in your Majesty`s service."

 

"Well, well, but keep whole; that will be better, and you will be

more useful to me. Treville," added the king, in a low voice, as

the others were retiring, "as you have no room in the Musketeers,

and as we have besides decided that a novitiate is necessary

before entering that corps, place this young man in the company

of the Guards of Monsieur Dessessart, your brother-in-law. Ah,

PARDIEU, Treville! I enjoy beforehand the face the cardinal will

make. He will be furious; but I don`t care. I am doing what is

right."

 

The king waved his hand to Treville, who left him and rejoined

the Musketeers, whom he found sharing the forty pistoles with

D`Artagnan.

 

The cardinal, as his Majesty had said, was really furious, so

furious that during eight days he absented himself from the

king`s gaming table. This did not prevent the king from being as

complacent to him as possible whenever he met him, or from asking

in the kindest tone, "Well, Monsieur Cardinal, how fares it with

that poor Jussac and that poor Bernajoux of yours?"

 

7 THE INTERIOR OF "THE MUSKETEERS"

 

When D`Artagnan was out of the Louvre, and consulted his friends

upon the use he had best make of his share of the forty pistoles,

Athos advised him to order a good repast at the Pomme-de-Pin,

Porthos to engage a lackey, and Aramis to provide himself with a

suitable mistress.

 

The repast was carried into effect that very day, and the lackey

waited at table. The repast had been ordered by Athos, and the

lackey furnished by Porthos. He was a Picard, whom the glorious

Musketeer had picked up on the Bridge Tournelle, making rings and

plashing in the water.

 

Porthos pretended that this occupation was proof of a reflective

and contemplative organization, and he had brought him this

gentleman, for whom he believed himself to be engaged, had won

Planchet--that was the name of the Picard. He felt a slight

disappointment, however, when he saw that this place was already

taken by a compeer named Mousqueton, and when Porthos signified

to him that the state of his household, though great, would not

support two servants, and that he must enter into the service of

D`Artagnan. Nevertheless, when he waited at the dinner given my

his master, and saw him take out a handful of gold to pay for it,

he believed his fortune made, and returned thanks to heaven for

having thrown him into the service of such a Croesus. He

preserved this opinion even after the feast, with the remnants of

which he repaired his own long abstinence; but when in the

evening he made his master`s bed, the chimeras of Planchet faded

away. The bed was the only one in the apartment, which consisted

of an antechamber and a bedroom. Planchet slept in the

antechamber upon a coverlet taken from the bed of D`Artagnan, and

which D`Artagnan from that time made shift to do without.

 

Athos, on his part, had a valet whom he had trained in his

service in a thoroughly peculiar fashion, and who was named

Grimaud. He was very taciturn, this worthy signor. Be it

understood we are speaking of Athos. During the five or six

years that he had lived in the strictest intimacy with his

companions, Porthos and Aramis, they could remember having often

seen him smile, but had never heard him laugh. His words were

brief and expressive, conveying all that was meant, and no more;

no embellishments, no embroidery, no arabesques. His

conversation a matter of fact, without a single romance.

 

Although Athos was scarcely thirty years old, and was of great

personal beauty and intelligence of mind, no one knew whether he

had ever had a mistress. He never spoke of women. He certainly

did not prevent others from speaking of them before him, although

it was easy to perceive that this kind of conversation, in which

he only mingled by bitter words and misanthropic remarks, was

very disagreeable to him. His reserve, his roughness, and his

silence made almost an old man of him. He had, then, in order

not to disturb his habits, accustomed Grimaud to obey him upon a

simple gesture or upon a simple movement of his lips. He never

spoke to him, except under the most extraordinary occasions.

 

Sometimes, Grimaud, who feared his master as he did fire, while

entertaining a strong attachment to his person and a great

veneration for his talents, believed he perfectly understood what

he wanted, flew to execute the order received, and did precisely

the contrary. Athos then shrugged his shoulders, and, without

putting himself in a passion, thrashed Grimaud. On these days he

spoke a little.

 

Porthos, as we have seen, had a character exactly opposite to

that of Athos. He not only talked much, but he talked loudly,

little caring, we must render him that justice, whether anybody

listened to him or not. He talked for the pleasure of talking

and for the pleasure of hearing himself talk. He spoke upon all

subjects except the sciences, alleging in this respect the

inveterate hatred he had borne to scholars from his childhood.

He had not so noble an air as Athos, and the commencement of

their intimacy often rendered him unjust toward that gentleman,

whom he endeavored to eclipse by his splendid dress. But with

his simple Musketeer`s uniform and nothing but the manner in

which he threw back his head and advanced his foot, Athos

instantly took the place which was his due and consigned the

ostentatious Porthos to the second rank. Porthos consoled

himself by filling the antechamber of M. de Treville and the

guardroom of the Louvre with the accounts of his love scrapes,

after having passed from professional ladies to military ladies,

from the lawyer`s dame to the baroness, there was question of

nothing less with Porthos than a foreign princess, who was

enormously fond of him.

 

An old proverb says, "Like master, like man." Let us pass, then,

from the valet of Athos to the valet of Porthos, from Grimaud to

Mousqueton.

 

Mousqueton was a Norman, whose pacific name of Boniface his

master had changed into the infinitely more sonorous name of

Mousqueton. He had entered the service of Porthos upon condition

that he should only be clothed and lodged, though in a handsome

manner; but he claimed two hours a day to himself, consecrated to

an employment which would provide for his other wants. Porthos

agreed to the bargain; the thing suited him wonderfully well. He

had doublets cut out of his old clothes and cast-off cloaks for

Mousqueton, and thanks to a very intelligent tailor, who made his

clothes look as good as new by turning them, and whose wife was

suspected of wishing to make Porthos descend from his

aristocratic habits, Mousqueton made a very good figure when

attending on his master.

 

As for Aramis, of whom we believe we have sufficiently explained

the character--a character which, like that of his lackey was

called Bazin. Thanks to the hopes which his master entertained

of someday entering into orders, he was always clothed in black,

as became the servant of a churchman. He was a Berrichon,

thirty-five or forty years old, mild, peaceable, sleek, employing

the leisure his master left him in the perusal of pious works,

providing rigorously for two a dinner of few dishes, but

excellent. For the rest, he was dumb, blind, and deaf, and of

unimpeachable fidelity.

 

And now that we are acquainted, superficially at least, with the

masters and the valets, let us pass on to the dwellings occupied

by each of them.

 

Athos dwelt in the Rue Ferou, within two steps of the Luxembourg.

His apartment consisted of two small chambers, very nicely fitted

up, in a furnished house, the hostess of which, still young and

still really handsome, cast tender glances uselessly at him.

Some fragments of past splendor appeared here and there upon the

walls of this modest lodging; a sword, for example, richly

embossed, which belonged by its make to the times of Francis I,

the hilt of which alone, encrusted with precious stones, might be

worth two hundred pistoles, and which, nevertheless, in his

moments of greatest distress Athos had never pledged or offered

for sale. It had long been an object of ambition for Porthos.

Porthos would have given ten years of his life to possess this

sword.

 

One day, when he had an appointment with a duchess, he endeavored

even to borrow it of Athos. Athos, without saying anything,

emptied his pockets, got together all his jewels, purses,

aiguillettes, and gold chains, and offered them all to Porthos;

but as to the sword, he said it was sealed to its place and

should never quit it until its master should himself quit his

lodgings. In addition to the sword, there was a portrait

representing a nobleman of the time of Henry III, dressed with

the greatest elegance, and who wore the Order of the Holy Ghost;

and this portrait had certain resemblances of lines with Athos,

certain family likenesses which indicated that this great noble,

a knight of the Order of the King, was his ancestor.

 

Besides these, a casket of magnificent goldwork, with the same

arms as the sword and the portrait, formed a middle ornament to

the mantelpiece, and assorted badly with the rest of the

furniture. Athos always carried the key of this coffer about

him; but he one day opened it before Porthos, and Porthos was

convinced that this coffer contained nothing but letters and

papers--love letters and family papers, no doubt.

 

Porthos lived in an apartment, large in size and of very

sumptuous appearance, in the Rue du Vieux-Colombier. Every time

he passed with a friend before his windows, at one of which

Mousqueton was sure to be placed in full livery, Porthos raised

his head and his hand, and said, "That is my abode!" But he was

never to be found at home; he never invited anybody to go up with

him, and no one could form an idea of what his sumptuous

apartment contained in the shape of real riches.

 

As to Aramis, he dwelt in a little lodging composed of a boudoir,

an eating room, and a bedroom, which room, situated, as the

others were, on the ground floor, looked out upon a little fresh

green garden, shady and impenetrable to the eyes of his

neighbors.

 

With regard to D`Artagnan, we know how he was lodged, and we have

already made acquaintance with his lackey, Master Planchet.

 

D`Artagnan, who was by nature very curious--as people generally

are who possess the genius of intrigue--did all he could to make

out who Athos, Porthos, and Aramis really were (for under these

pseudonyms each of these young men concealed his family name)--

Athos in particular, who, a league away, savored of nobility. He

addressed himself then to Porthos to gain information respecting

Athos and Aramis, and to Aramis in order to learn something of

Porthos.

 

Unfortunately Porthos knew nothing of the life of his silent

companion but what revealed itself. It was said Athos had met

with great crosses in love, and that a frightful treachery had

forever poisoned the life of this gallant man. What could this

treachery be? All the world was ignorant of it.

 

As to Porthos, except his real name (as was the case with those

of his two comrades), his life was very easily known. Vain and

indiscreet, it was as easy to see through him as through a

crystal. The only thing to mislead the investigator would have

been belief in all the good things he said of himself.

 

With respect to Aramis, though having the air of having nothing

secret about him, he was a young fellow made up of mysteries,

answering little to questions put to him about others, and having

learned from him the report which prevailed concerning the

success of the Musketeer with a princess, wished to gain a little

insight into the amorous adventures of his interlocutor. "And

you, my dear companion," said he, "you speak of the baronesses,

countesses, and princesses of others?"

 

"PARDIEU! I spoke of them because Porthos talked of them

himself, because he had paraded all these fine things before me.

But be assured, my dear Monsieur D`Artagnan, that if I had

obtained them from any other source, or if they had been confided

to me, there exists no confessor more discreet than myself."

 

"Oh, I don`t doubt that," replied D`Artagnan; "but it seems to me

that you are tolerably familiar with coats of arms--a certain

embroidered handkerchief, for instance, to which I owe the honor

of your acquaintance?"

 

This time Aramis was not angry, but assumed the most modest air

and replied in a friendly tone, "My dear friend, do not forget

that I wish to belong to the Church, and that I avoid all mundane

opportunities. The handkerchief you saw had not been given to

me, but it had been forgotten and left at my house by one of my

friends. I was obliged to pick it up in order not to compromise

him and the lady he loves. As for myself, I neither have, nor

desire to have, a mistress, following in that respect the very

judicious example of Athos, who has none any more than I have."

 

"But what the devil! You are not a priest, you are a Musketeer!"

 

"A Musketeer for a time, my friend, as the cardinal says, a

Musketeer against my will, but a churchman at heart, believe me.

Athos and Porthos dragged me into this to occupy me. I had, at

the moment of being ordained, a little difficulty with--But that

would not interest you, and I am taking up your valuable time."

 

"Not at all; it interests me very much," cried D`Artagnan; "and

at this moment I have absolutely nothing to do."

 

"Yes, but I have my breviary to repeat," answered Aramis; "then

some verses to compose, which Madame d`Aiguillon begged of me.

Then I must go to the Rue St. Honore in order to purchase some

rouge for Madame de Chevreuse. So you see, my dear friend, that

if you are not in a hurry, I am very much in a hurry."

 

Aramis held out his hand in a cordial manner to his young


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