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The Man in the Iron Mask - The Original Classic Edition

The Man in the Iron Mask - The Original Classic Edition

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Published by Emereo Publishing
The Man in the Iron Mask tells a story based on historic facts. In 1661, King Louis XIV of France had his minister of finances - Nicolas Fouquet - arrested for embezzlement. Also in that year, Louis successfully wooed a young handmaiden named Louise, which caused some stir. In this novel, Dumas gives us the secret history behind these facts, and it is no surprise that the story involves his famous Four Musketeers.More specifically, Aramis becomes privy to the fact that Louis has a twin brother languishing in the Bastille, and he attempts to switch the two. The novel details his fascinating and rather intricate plot to pull this off, as well as how the other Musketeers fit into the plan.The first couple of pages concern mainly the aforementioned historic events, and its a bit of reading before you get to the meat of the action.This book is highly recommended - it will become part of your life, the way some good books can.If you love literature, if you love stories of complex intrigue, and especially if you love the Four Musketeers, you HAVE to read this book at least once in your life!
The Man in the Iron Mask tells a story based on historic facts. In 1661, King Louis XIV of France had his minister of finances - Nicolas Fouquet - arrested for embezzlement. Also in that year, Louis successfully wooed a young handmaiden named Louise, which caused some stir. In this novel, Dumas gives us the secret history behind these facts, and it is no surprise that the story involves his famous Four Musketeers.More specifically, Aramis becomes privy to the fact that Louis has a twin brother languishing in the Bastille, and he attempts to switch the two. The novel details his fascinating and rather intricate plot to pull this off, as well as how the other Musketeers fit into the plan.The first couple of pages concern mainly the aforementioned historic events, and its a bit of reading before you get to the meat of the action.This book is highly recommended - it will become part of your life, the way some good books can.If you love literature, if you love stories of complex intrigue, and especially if you love the Four Musketeers, you HAVE to read this book at least once in your life!

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Published by: Emereo Publishing on Nov 05, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781486411702
List Price: $7.95


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1 The Three Musketeers 2 Twenty Years After


1648-1649 1660

3 The Vicomte de Bragelonne 2609 4 Ten Years Later 2681

1660-1661 1661

3 76-140 3 141-208

5 Louise de la Valliere 2710

6 The Man in the Iron Mask 2759 1661-1673 3 209-269 [Project Etext 1258 listed below, is of the same title as etext 2681 and its contents overlap those of two other volumes: it includes all the chapters of etext 2609 and the first 28 chapters of 2681] Ten Years Later 1258 1660-1661 3 1-104

Contents Introduction: Chapter I. The Prisoner. Chapter II. How Mouston Had Become Fatter without Giving Porthos Notice Thereof Chapter III. Who Messire Jean Percerin Was. Chapter IV. The Patterns. Chapter V. Where, Probably, Moliere Obtained His First Idea of the Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Chapter VI. The Bee-Hive, the Bees, and the Honey. Chapter VII. Another Supper at the Bastile. Chapter VIII. The General of the Order. Chapter IX. The Tempter. 1

Chapter X. Crown and Tiara. Chapter XI. The Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Chapter XII. The Wine of Melun. Chapter XIII. Nectar and Ambrosia. Chapter XIV. A Gascon, and a Gascon and a Half. Chapter XV. Colbert. Chapter XVI. Jealousy. Chapter XVII. High Treason. Chapter XVIII. A Night at the Bastile. Chapter XIX. The Shadow of M. Fouquet. Chapter XX. The Morning. Chapter XXI. The King’s Friend. Chapter XXII. Showing How the Countersign Was Respected at the Bastile. Chapter XXIII. The King’s Gratitude. Chapter XXIV. The False King. Chapter XXV. In Which Porthos Thinks He Is Pursuing a Duchy. Chapter XXVI. The Last Adieux. Chapter XXVII. Monsieur de Beaufort. Chapter XXVIII. Preparations for Departure. Chapter XXIX. Planchet’s Inventory. Chapter XXX. The Inventory of M. de Beaufort. Chapter XXXI. The Silver Dish. Chapter XXXII. Captive and Jailers. Chapter XXXIII. Promises. Chapter XXXIV. Among Women. Chapter XXXV. The Last Supper. Chapter XXXVI. In M. Colbert’s Carriage. Chapter XXXVII. The Two Lighters. Chapter XXXVIII. Friendly Advice. 2

Chapter XXXIX. How the King, Louis XIV., Played His Little Part. Chapter XL: The White Horse and the Black. Chapter XLI. In Which the Squirrel Falls,—the Adder Flies. Chapter XLII. Belle-Ile-en-Mer. Chapter XLIII. Explanations by Aramis. Chapter XLIV. Result of the Ideas of the King, and the Ideas of D’Artagnan. Chapter XLV. The Ancestors of Porthos. Chapter XLVI. The Son of Biscarrat. Chapter XLVII. The Grotto of Locmaria. Chapter XLVIII. The Grotto. Chapter XLIX. An Homeric Song. Chapter L: The Death of a Titan. Chapter LI. Porthos’s Epitaph. Chapter LII. M. de Gesvres’s Round. Chapter LIII. King Louis XIV. Chapter LIV. M. Fouquet’s Friends. Chapter LV. Porthos’s Will. Chapter LVI. The Old Age of Athos. Chapter LVII. Athos’s Vision. Chapter LVIII. The Angel of Death. Chapter LIX. The Bulletin. Chapter LX. The Last Canto of the Poem. Epilogue. Footnotes

Introduction: 3

In the three-volume edition. Louise de la Valliere. he claimed. The four become fast friends. Louis XIII. and Porthos has married a wealthy woman. quiet the Fronde. has become disgusted with serving King Louis XIV while the real power resides with the Cardinal Mazarin. and almost immediately offends three musketeers. Colbert. The third novel. They chronicled the adventures of a young man named D’Artagnan who. D’Artagnan is now a lieutenant of musketeers. the Comte de la Fere. Athos turned out to be a nobleman. international politics. Cromwell menaces the institution of royalty itself while marching against Charles I. thwarts their valiant efforts. The five-volume edition generally does not give titles to the smaller portions. penned by the celebrated playwright Alexandre Dumas. D’Artagnan returns to Paris to live the life of a rich citizen. coincidentally. and. D’Artagnan discovers that the engineer of the fortifications is. readers would enjoy the adventures of this youth and his three famous friends. but the others do. when asked by D’Artagnan’s landlord to find his missing wife. as their exploits unraveled behind the scenes of some of the most momentous events in French and even English history. and has retired to his home with his son. promising him a tremendous salary and his long-promised promotion to captain of the musketeers upon his return. He embarks on his own project. after negotiating the marriage of Philip. 1850). and take her revenge upon the four friends. or five volumes at various points in its history. the first portion of a story appeared. At Belle-Isle. with the help of Athos. The Vicomte de Bragelonne (serialized October. For the purposes of this etext. and tweak the nose of Cardinal Mazarin. our heroes return to France just in time to help save the young Louis XIV. with these titles: The Vicomte de Bragelonne. and gives him Belle-Isle as a present. and The Man in the Iron Mask. Here is a brief summary of the first two novels: The Three Musketeers (serialized March—July. and his three friends have retired to private life. Along the way. just minutes before the usher announces someone else seeking an audience with the king. Fouquet rushes to the king. after thirty-five years of loyal service. who will stop at nothing to disgrace Queen Anne of Austria before her husband. Fouquet. a parish belonging to M. D’Artagnan later discovers that Aramis has become the bishop of Vannes. and throws the court 4 . embark upon an adventure that takes them across both France and England in order to thwart the plans of the Cardinal Richelieu. The young D’Artagnan arrives in Paris at the tender age of 18. but Mordaunt. they encounter a beautiful young spy. Ten Years Later (Etext 2681): As 1661 approaches. became almost immediately embroiled in court intrigues. Mazarin has finally died. and the courage of the youth is made apparent during the battle. twenty years since the close of the last story. that of Aramis. 1847—January. Over the next six years. that of restoring Charles II to the throne of England. and sends Porthos on an heroic ride back to Paris to warn Fouquet of the danger. Meanwhile. In the first three etexts: The Vicomte de Bragelonne (Etext 2609): It is the year 1660. Louise de la Valliere. With the new rank of intendant bestowed on him by Louis. the novels are entitled The Vicomte de Bragelonne. 1845): The year is now 1648. and Athos. which is. named simply Milady. and D’Artagnan. Athos. show evidence of another script that has been erased. Louis calls D’Artagnan out of retirement and sends him to investigate the island. Raoul de Bragelonne. Undaunted. D’Artagnan brings his friends out of retirement to save the threatened English monarch. Louis XIII has died. Ten Years Later. with the assistance of M. Porthos. But trouble is stirring in both France and England. The blueprints for the island. and Athos. Aramis. and at the same time humiliating Colbert. 1844): The year is 1625. He then brings to the king’s attention that Fouquet is fortifying the island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer. Porthos. Fouquet. now the Baron du Vallon. who left him her fortune upon her death. Princess Henrietta of England arrives for her marriage. Colbert succeeds in having two of Fouquet’s loyal friends tried and executed. the king’s superintendent of finances. and ill-fated affairs between royal lovers. and left Louis to assume the reigns of power. and. has enjoyed a strange history in its English translation. the four are attacked by five of the Cardinal’s guards. whose real name is D’Herblay. and became the three D’Artagnan Romances known today. It was based. on some manuscripts he had found a year earlier in the Bibliotheque Nationale while researching a history he planned to write on Louis XIV. the son of Milady. to Princess Henrietta of England. who seeks to avenge his mother’s death at the musketeers’ hands. and at home the Fronde is threatening to tear France apart. and The Man in the Iron Mask.In the months of March-July in 1844. Aramis tricks D’Artagnan into wandering around Vannes in search of Porthos. succeeds. upon entering Paris. as has Cardinal Richelieu. although in Porthos’s handwriting. and that’s not all. and could possibly be planning to use it as a base for some military operation against the king. Twenty Years After (serialized January—August. has followed his intention of shedding the musketeer’s cassock for the priest’s robes. the king’s brother. and while the crown of France may sit upon the head of Anne of Austria as Regent for the young Louis XIV. and has tendered his resignation. Porthos. La Fere. Instead of dueling. Suspecting that D’Artagnan has arrived on the king’s behalf to investigate. Aramis. earning himself quite a fortune in the process. in fact. her secret husband. I have chosen to split the novel as the four-volume edition does. formerly Mazarin’s trusted clerk. four. It has been split into three. likewise retires to his own estate. Colbert has an intense hatred for M. and Aramis. and has resolved to use any means necessary to bring about his fall. thus allaying any suspicion. the real power resides with the Cardinal Mazarin. Eventually these serialized adventures were published in novel form. in the magazine Le Siecle.

Aware of Louise’s attachment. is the next to succumb to Henrietta’s charms. where Louis has a painter create a portrait of Louise. Chevreuse also obtains a secret audience with the queenmother. He uses the existence of this secret to persuade a dying Franciscan monk. On Aramis’s advice. unfortunately undated. who is already in trouble. as the king has invited himself to a fete at Vaux. and his subsequent meeting with a mysterious hooded lady. the new general of the order. But then the king’s eye falls on Madame Henrietta during the comte’s absence. however. Aramis. in other quarters. Both men are seriously wounded. Porthos is invited to dine with the king as a result of his presentation. particularly La Valliere. M. where the two discuss a shocking secret—Louis XIV has a twin brother. This house happens to be right next door to the graveyard. to name him. The mysterious woman turns out to be the Duchesse de Chevreuse. bored to tears by the fetes. the two are identical. Porthos. breaks his sword before the king. de Baisemeaux. nearly occasions a war on the streets of Le Havre. though. at the same oak. thankfully prevented by Raoul’s timely and tactful intervention. The duel leaves De Guiche horribly wounded. They have to resort to building a secret staircase and meeting in the apartments of M. retrieved Porthos. She comes bearing more bad news for Fouquet. his old lackey. who bears a remarkable resemblance to Louis XIV—in fact. The Duchesse has letters from Mazarin that prove that Fouquet has received thirteen million francs from the royal coffers. and Raoul as well. Raoul’s friend. A few days later. come to an end. Raoul. Fouquet is sorely pressed. De Wardes. After the marriage. who is paying Baisemeaux another visit. Although the Belle-Isle plot backfired. This further arouses the suspicions of the musketeer. and is visiting the country-house of Planchet. the king arranges for Raoul to be sent to England for an indefinite period. and this time the comte de Guiche is the one to challenge him. and the whole court begins to talk of the scandal while their love affair blossoms. D’Artagnan has left Fontainebleau. and he continues to regard Aramis’s actions with a curious and wary eye. long believed. resolves to make a little trouble for the bishop. the queen-mother. She is dishonorably discharged from court. while this is going on. The jealousy of the Duke of Buckingham. she runs into D’Artagnan. and in despair. Along the way. and at the Bastile they encounter Aramis. and Monsieur obtains his exile as well. who manages to get word back to the king of what has taken place. a fact that Baisemeaux unwittingly reveals to D’Artagnan while inquiring of him as to Aramis’s whereabouts. but enables Madame to use her influence to destroy De Wardes’s standing at court. by the same token. They unfortunately select Louise de la Valliere. suspicions aroused. De Wardes is a malicious and spiteful man. that will surely bankrupt the poor superintendent. He had ridden overnight at an insane pace. It never reaches its destination. the general of the society of the Jesuits. though De Guiche soon effects a reconciliation. Fouquet. but arrived a few minutes after Fouquet had already presented Belle-Isle to the king. and the letters are instead sold to Colbert. and upon observing Aramis at this funeral. as the servant ordered to deliver it turns out to be an agent of Colbert’s. must resort to selling all her jewels and her gold and silver plate. thereby surprising the wily prelate. Even worse. challenges Saint-Aignan to a duel. meanwhile. Fouquet also writes a love letter to La Valliere. Anne of Austria intervenes. that of Athos. however. the king unwitting overhears Louise confessing her love for him while chatting with her friends beneath the royal oak. and the queen join forces to destroy her. and with D’Artagnan’s guidance. de Wardes at Calais. and the court returns to Paris. Madame de Belliere. Raoul’s inveterate enemy. though. De Guiche confessing his love for her to Raoul. however. the Comte de Guiche. He presents Porthos to the king at the same time as Fouquet presents Aramis. she flees to the convent at Chaillot. Aramis. barely recovered from his wounds. Louis and Louise are trapped alone together. Aramis. D’Artagnan. manages to behave in such a manner as to procure the king’s marked favor. As part of her deal with Colbert. discovers that the receipt that proves his innocence in the affair has been stolen from him. and Athos. Aramis refuses. The king has D’Artagnan arrest Athos. Before leaving. the struggle for power continues between Fouquet and Colbert. 5 . de Saint-Aignan. the better to mask their own affair. and the duke is taken back to England to recover. and without his two friends to raise it for him. and the king promptly forgets his affection for Madame. has grown friendly with the governor of the Bastile. Raoul learns of Athos’s arrest. and. to be dead. Fouquet’s magnificent mansion. desperate for money. furious. That same night. Aramis learns from the governor the location of a mysterious prisoner. and with Porthos in tow. hoping to use Louise’s influence with the king to counteract Colbert’s influence. Aramis is wrong in both suppositions. Raoul’s fiancee. much to his delight. Louise de la Valliere (Etext 2710): Believing D’Artagnan occupied at Fontainebleau and Porthos safely tucked away at Paris. The fetes. crushed. and she wishes to sell these letters to Aramis. Aramis’s professions of affection and innocence do only a little to allay D’Artagnan’s concerns. The king has been more than obvious about his affections for Louise. has returned from Calais. and this time Monsieur’s jealousy has no recourse. and the king and his sister-in-law decide to pick a young lady with whom the king can pretend to be in love. Henrietta overhears. the sworn enemy of D’Artagnan. though. during a rainstorm. Louis manages to secure Louise’s return to court—but Madame still places every obstacle possible before the lovers. and has him exiled. however. is forced to sell the parliamentary position that renders him untouchable by any court proceedings. But Madame recalls Raoul from London and shows him these proofs of Louise’s infidelity. By literally begging Madame in tears. The two embark on their own affair. The situation gets so bad that his new mistress. Fouquet. who was made to look ridiculous by Aramis. and no sooner does he return than he begins again to insult people. who is in love with her. the duke fights a duel with M.of France into complete disorder. Meanwhile. a notorious schemer and former friend of Anne of Austria. While the court is in residence at Fontainebleau. and Madame. Meanwhile. Colbert prompts the king to ask Fouquet for more and more money. Aramis holds a funeral for the dead Franciscan—but in fact. they effect a daring rescue. which the king prevents. Meanwhile. Monsieur Philip becomes horribly jealous of Buckingham.

as D’Artagnan has already secured Athos’s pardon from the king. for Baisemeaux. but Aramis. He himself lighted a lantern. to whom we have already once before introduced Aramis. save that it was newer. and signed to him with his hand to lead the way. In this wise they reached the basement of the Bertaudiere. and made way for Aramis. the place which Aramis had held in the worthy governor’s estimation was that of a prelate whom he respected and a friend to whom he owed a debt of gratitude. the two first stories of which were mounted silently and somewhat slowly. Since Aramis’s singular transformation into a confessor of the order. summoned a turnkey. but now he felt himself an inferior. and seemed afraid to keep his ears open. and Athos and Raoul take the carriage back to La Fere. sustained his clothes. everybody switches modes of transport. and approached the bed with an evident mixture of interest and respect. The arrival of a visitor did not caused any change of position. as the king is now their sworn enemy. On a bed of green serge. in particular to the Jesuits. Also of interest may be an essay Dumas wrote on the possible identity of the real Man in the Iron Mask.” Aramis merely nodded his head. was far from exhibiting any eagerness to obey. Aramis lighted the candle from the lantern. Aramis saw that the young man was stretched upon his bed. It might have been said that the alteration effected in Baisemeaux extended even to the prisoners. pushed back the armchair. According to custom. At the hour of curfew. with twisted legs. “Yes. the intrepid raid is in vain. the same who. Raoul cannot bear to see Louise. The bishop reveals that he is a confessor of the society. where they intend to reside permanently. books. inquires the governor of the prison about his loyalties. reposed a young man. Near the bed a large leathern armchair. showed that the prisoner had scarcely touched his evening meal. Enjoy! John Bursey Chapter I. or ink—stood neglected in sadness near the window.. who took the lantern and entered. A little table—without pens.” 6 . listening whether Baisemeaux and the turnkey had retired. returning to Aramis. Baisemeaux showed a disposition to enter the prisoner’s chamber. though far from disobeying. stopping him on the threshold. D’Artagnan and Porthos take the horses back to Paris. paper. still unemptied. as much as to say. similar in all respect to the other beds in the Bastile. his face half concealed by his arms. “You desired a confessor?” replied Aramis. Although quite impressive. either he was waiting in expectation. It was a calm and lovely starlit night. left alone with Baisemeaux. “What is it?” said he. “I am at your orders. On arriving at the door. monseigneur. on Aramis’s first arrival had shown himself so inquisitive and curious. and we perceive how much he was favored. and invokes their regulations in order to obtain access to this mysterious prisoner who bears such a striking resemblance to Louis XIV. and then signed to them to close the door behind him. while several plates. which is Etext 2751. The Prisoner. And so Baisemeaux is conducting Aramis to the prisoner as the final section of The Vicomte de Bragelonne and this final story of the D’Artagnan Romances opens. and said. Up to that period. Instead. that will enable curious readers to compare personages in the novel with their historical counterparts. Baisemeaux was no longer the same man. Aramis. he put the lantern on the table and gazed around..” Baisemeaux bowed. and under curtains half-drawn. the prisoner was without a light. and the clinking of the keys hanging from the jailer’s girdle made itself heard up to the stories of the towers. but impassible. but as soon as he was assured by the sound of their descending footsteps that they had left the tower.” “Because you were ill?” “Yes. and that Aramis was his master. “Very good”. The young man raised his head. “The rules do not allow the governor to hear the prisoner’s confession.surprising the carriage containing D’Artagnan and Athos as they leave the Bastile. he was bound to extinguish his lamp. in being allowed to keep it burning even till then. and Aramis followed him. The turnkey. He held his head down. the steps of three men resounded on the flags of the terraces. I have written a “Cast of Historical Characters. or was asleep. said. as if to remind the prisoners that the liberty of earth was a luxury beyond their reach. For an instant he remained standing. was now not only silent. Baisemeaux advanced. and they have no more dealings in Paris.” Etext 2760.

“I have seen you before. even among roses these are beautiful. whether in resignation or contempt.” “But the air!” cried Aramis. and answered. which the note you found in your bread informed you of ?” The young man started. Look now on these two roses.” “Not even of the hair-cloth. the flowers. with my arm around the bars of the window to sustain myself. with every opening petal they unfold the treasures of their perfumes. Why. the happiness of going whithersoever the sinewy limbs of one-and-twenty chance to wish to carry you. it is open. “Sit down. crafty. I have no longer the same need of a confessor. “I thank you.” “You have nothing to regret?” “Nothing.” “And so?” said Aramis. “Not even of the ecclesiastic from whom you were to hear an important revelation?” “If it be so. with the tone of a man who is preparing for a struggle.” he continued. Aramis bowed and obeyed. “I have in that Japanese vase two roses gathered yesterday evening in the bud from the governor’s garden. Aramis bowed. sinking again on his pillow.” said he. 7 .” said the young man. exhales its torrid mist or breathes in gentle breezes.” Aramis then looked at him more closely. do you bid me desire other flowers when I possess the loveliest of all?” Aramis gazed at the young man in surprise. “Why. light. Between high heaven and earth the wind whirls on its waftages of hail and lightning. “it is different. When mounted on the back of this armchair.” “You do not suffer?” “No. Aramis continued. It caresses my face. “Very well. monsieur?” asked the prisoner.” returned the prisoner. “If flowers constitute liberty.” The countenance of Aramis darkened as the young man continued: “Light I have! what is better than light? I have the sun.” The young man smiled. “How does the Bastile agree with you?” asked the bishop. monsieur. one which can never be acquired unless Heaven has implanted it in the blood or heart.” “Not even your liberty?” “What do you call liberty. “air is so necessary to life!” “Well. “I call liberty.” After a moment’s silence. “I am better.” said the prisoner. the stars. for he added. then—being better. and was struck with the easy majesty of his mien.“Very ill?” The young man gave Aramis a piercing glance. for I possess them. and imperious character stamped upon the features of the bishop of Vannes was little reassuring to one in his situation. I fancy I am swimming the wide expanse before me. Doubtless the scrutiny the prisoner had just made of the cold. “I am free. monsieur. and the rose is the most beautiful of flowers. a friend who comes to visit me every day without the permission of the governor or the jailer’s company. I am listening. He comes in at the window. “Look. “draw near to the window. but before he had either assented or denied. it was difficult to tell.” sadly resumed the captive. this morning they have blown and spread their vermilion chalice beneath my gaze. I think. then. filling my chamber with a fragrance that embalms it. the air.

” “I ask nothing better. “Say rather. For as my conscience does not accuse me. explain to me in what a crime consists. What crime. you are right. then. “I am your confessor.” continued the young man. with emotion. in perfect warmth. I am a favored mortal. he felt himself overwhelmed with the bitter flow of that sinister philosophy which is the religion of the captive.and traces in my room a square the shape of the window.” “My whole desire is to tell it you.” answered the prisoner. I am a criminal in the eyes of the great of the earth.” “And what reason have you for thinking that I shall now reply to you?” “Because this time I am your confessor.” returned the young man. “yes. “they all resemble each other save in size and brilliancy. firmly. have you committed?” “You asked me the same question the first time you saw me. after a pause.” he said. “but why do you mention it? Of what use is it to talk to a prisoner of Heaven?” Aramis looked steadily at this singular youth.” “Then if you wish me to tell what crime I have committed. at the end of everything. not without bitterness. do you fancy. then. who possessed the resignation of a martyr with the smile of an atheist.” said Aramis.” “Yes. “As to the stars which are so delightful to view. thanks to my winter stove. “Be it so. and the stars. for the flowers. which lights up the hangings of my bed and floods the very floor. “So much.” The prisoner manifested the deepest attention.” “We are often criminals in the sight of the great of the earth. for if you had not lighted that candle you would have been able to see the beautiful stars which I was gazing at from my couch before your arrival.” returned the prisoner. not alone for having ourselves committed crimes. Do I not walk all day in the governor’s garden if it is fine—here if it rains? in the fresh air if it is warm. having hastened to my presence. as if. “there remains but exercise.” 8 . “that men have not done everything for me that a man can hope for or desire?” “Men!” said Aramis. whose silvery rays were stealing through my brain. and laborers who toil in mines. This luminous square increases from ten o’clock till midday. When its last ray disappears I have enjoyed its presence for five hours. I understand you. the air.” Aramis lowered his head. and decreases from one till three slowly. I aver that I am not a criminal.” “Indeed I have forgotten Heaven.” “Every prisoner has committed some crime for which he has been imprisoned. in such a light. it is very possible that. the daylight. you ought. “be it so. “Yes. if it be cold? Ah! monsieur.” Aramis wiped the drops from his brow. as a penitent.” continued the prisoner. “Is not Heaven in everything?” he murmured in a reproachful tone. Is not that sufficient? I have been told that there are unhappy beings who dig in quarries.” tranquilly continued the young man. as now you evaded giving me an answer. “And then.” “Well. “but let us return to our starting-point. who never behold it at all. then. to tell me the truth. monsieur. but it seems to me you are forgetting Heaven. it sorrowed at bidding me farewell. but because we know that crimes have been committed.” murmured the prisoner.

nevertheless. with such a tone in his voice. it is you who are silent. bowing. “Lied!” cried the young man.—Are you ambitious?” said he suddenly to the prisoner.” said Aramis.” replied Aramis. it was evident that he expected something more than silence.” said he. But to look at the kindling eye. Aramis felt the chill of that smile. “who bade me to ask to see you.” “You are afraid of death?” said Aramis. who.” returned Aramis. I deceive myself. “You lied the first time I saw you. “What do you mean by ambitious?” replied the youth. smiling.” said the young man.” retorted the prisoner. “and not at the mercy of the first chance-comer. we both wear masks.” “And then—and then?” said Aramis. monsieur. and such a lightning in his eyes. and shuddered.” Aramis felt the force and justice of the remark. that is all I ask. Tell me your mind.” “You leave off ?” “Yes. that Aramis recoiled. but through the joints of it. the knitted brow. when I am so happy with what I have. “is one who covets that which is beyond his station. and the reflective attitude of the captive.” “I said that I was contented. but it is not impossible I may have some. in spite of himself. “No. He was silent.—a silence which Aramis now broke. I feel ennui overtaking me. “And you.” “An ambitious man. saying to himself. “This is no ordinary man. my head becomes confused and my ideas melancholy. leaving it for me to speak? Since. but. I wish—” “What?” “I don’t know. I am ignorant of the nature of ambition. “you concealed from me what you knew of your infancy.” he cried. “Ambition. perhaps. starting up on his couch. “but sometimes I think—and I say to myself—” “What do you say to yourself ?” “That if I were to think but a little more deeply I should either go mad or I should divine a great deal. I must be cautious. without preparing him for the alteration. who thought he had pierced not merely through a defect in the harness. “Yes. either let us both retain them or put them aside together. then. impatiently. “Then I leave off.” “A man’s secrets are his own. came here promising a world of confidence.“Ah! then you know something. but I do not like to give myself up to longing for things which I do not possess. “I should say.” returned the prisoner. you know more about matters than you say. aloud. you.” said Aramis.” “I covet nothing beyond my station. how is it that. “is the feeling which prompts a man to desire more—much more—than he possesses. when I did ask to see you. monsieur. with an assurance of manner which for the second time made the bishop of Vannes tremble. I am not aware of anything. “Oh.” said the young man. with a slight uneasiness. as you fear death.” replied the young man.” 9 .

” Aramis was struck with admiration at this energetic resistance. if not confidence. since you suspect me of knowing what I do not know.” Aramis rose. not for the reason you think.” said the young man.—is it not so?” said the prisoner. “if you are positively resolved to carry on this game. “that you once saw. firmly. ‘tis true. striking the armchair with his fist. mark me! which can cause you not to be so.” “Well. let us break off. monseigneur. monseigneur.” said Aramis.” answered Aramis. that you aspired to nothing? Why.” said Aramis. I would take your hand and kiss it!” The young man seemed as if he were going to give Aramis his hand. “And why say you so.“True. but you must allow me to see that. “Oh. with an immovable aspect. “I do not know you.” “Then do not be astonished that I am mistrustful. Oh. shaking his head. in the same tone.” said he. you are too prudent!” “Of my old friends?—you one of my old friends. monsieur. you ought to mistrust everybody. but the light which beamed in his eyes faded away.” he said. but to-day do I still occupy the place of a chance-comer? I beseech you to reply.” said Aramis. then.” said Aramis. “have nothing to say to a man who will not understand that a prisoner ought to be mistrustful of everybody. do you prevent me from being frank in my turn?” The same light shone a third time in the young man’s eyes.” This title slightly disturbed the prisoner. monseigneur! you drive me to despair.” said the latter. but if I dared. “that you were happy here? Why. if not candor. “So much the better. monsieur. but nevertheless he did not appear astonished that it was given him. you are none the less what you are. “Kiss the hand of a prisoner. monseigneur. “Stay. bowing still lower than before. if you know what you ought to know. and he coldly and distrustfully withdrew his hand again. monseigneur. “Go on. for a very simple reason. on my part. but died ineffectually away as before. “to what purpose?” “Why did you tell me. be assured I am in need of some encouragement.” said the prisoner. try to understand me.” “And I. a little sympathy.” said he. “that I have before me the man whom I seek. and there is nothing—nothing. But you keep yourself intrenched in a pretended which paralyzes me. “Certainly. “Noisy-le-Sec. I am here to tell you many things. you have a desire to know them. “Oh.” The prisoner looked fixedly at Aramis.—you?” “Do you no longer remember. for. “I have nothing further to say to a man who mistrusts me as you do.” said he. or indifferent as you feign to be. and then—” “And then your man disappears. “’tis true. I do not comprehend you. in the village where your early years were spent—” “Do you know the name of the village?” asked the prisoner.” 10 . “And. ignorant as you may be.” said Aramis. in a word. monsieur. smiling. by thus speaking.” “Even of his old friends. “You distrust me. monseigneur. “Sometimes it seems to me. pardon me. on your side. Before revealing the important matters I still withhold. “Oh. monsieur?” “Oh.” said Aramis.

seeing that he was one of Louis XIII. monseigneur?” “Yes. if you know that. “for it is my duty.” “Then you were in prison?” “If I am a prisoner here. And so you will understand. my recollection can hardly be very confused on this head. with my master.” “And I will do so. that having never seen anything of the world. But this gentleman of yours often used to tell me that my father and mother were dead. to-morrow would behold the steely glitter of the executioner’s axe in a dungeon more gloomy.” “I know it. monseigneur. I was astonished that the abbe had so warlike an air. then. and was now gazing more and more eagerly at Aramis. fit guide for both body and soul. I have nothing left to care for.” said the young prisoner. Did he deceive me. then I was comparatively free. and they replied that there was nothing singular in that. begin by telling me who was my tutor. “to hear you without impatience. monseigneur. “You remember that lady well. “I once asked the name of this cavalier. and the governor of the prison. seeing at Noisy-le-Sec a cavalier. I have seen her twice since then with the same person. In a word. These four people. the young man had raised himself on his couch. I recognized you. ‘Who are you?’” “Do you remember.” said the young man.” “A worthy and. bowing.” “Well. indeed. “I saw that lady once with a gentleman about forty-five years old. and. are the only persons with whom I have ever spoken.” “Then. fifteen or eighteen years ago. and old Perronnette. more obscure than yours. and they told me that he called himself the Abbe d’Herblay. Only it appears to me that I have a right to repeat the question I have already asked. Had you ever any reason to complain of him?” “Oh. accompanied by a lady in black silk. if you relate anything.“I promise you. this confessor.” he murmured.” he said. quite the contrary.’s musketeers. who came to see you every month—is it not so. almost the only persons I have ever seen. “that musketeer and abbe. and therefore. or did he speak the truth?” 11 . my jailer. I never cared to leave them. monsieur. above all. being accustomed to live within these bounds. I saw her once with you. but you know it.” “Do you know who this lady was?” The light seemed ready to flash from the prisoner’s eyes. delivered with emphasis. is your confessor now. The result of his scrutiny was that he appeared to derive some confidence from it. an honorable gentleman. afterwards bishop of Vannes. “With another. “I am aware that she was one of the ladies of the court. this abbe.” said Aramis.” While listening to these words. monseigneur.” “Well. as you have been there. this bishop. I must further add a fact of which you are ignorant—that if the king were to know this evening of the presence of this musketeer. and twice afterwards with another.” replied the prisoner. and with the lady dressed in black. these constituted my residence. you will be obliged to explain each item to me as you go along. with flamecolored ribbons in her hair?” “Yes. “I remember perfectly. do you not?” “Oh. although in a very narrow sense—a house I never quitted. The woman of whom you speak came once with you. who has risked everything to visit you. a garden surrounded with walls I could not climb.” said Aramis. here—he. no.” He hesitated. “Yes.

“He was compelled to comply with the orders given him.” “Then he lied?” “In one respect. Your father is dead.” “And my mother?” “She is dead for you.” “But then she lives for others, does she not?” “Yes.” “And I—and I, then” (the young man looked sharply at Aramis) “am compelled to live in the obscurity of a prison?” “Alas! I fear so.” “And that because my presence in the world would lead to the revelation of a great secret?” “Certainly, a very great secret.” “My enemy must indeed be powerful, to be able to shut up in the Bastile a child such as I then was.” “He is.” “More powerful than my mother, then?” “And why do you ask that?” “Because my mother would have taken my part.” Aramis hesitated. “Yes, monseigneur; more powerful than your mother.” “Seeing, then, that my nurse and preceptor were carried off, and that I, also, was separated from them—either they were, or I am, very dangerous to my enemy?” “Yes; but you are alluding to a peril from which he freed himself, by causing the nurse and preceptor to disappear,” answered Aramis, quietly. “Disappear!” cried the prisoner, “how did they disappear?” “In a very sure way,” answered Aramis—”they are dead.” The young man turned pale, and passed his hand tremblingly over his face. “Poison?” he asked. “Poison.” The prisoner reflected a moment. “My enemy must indeed have been very cruel, or hard beset by necessity, to assassinate those two innocent people, my sole support; for the worthy gentleman and the poor nurse had never harmed a living being.” “In your family, monseigneur, necessity is stern. And so it is necessity which compels me, to my great regret, to tell you that this gentleman and the unhappy lady have been assassinated.” “Oh, you tell me nothing I am not aware of,” said the prisoner, knitting his brows. “How?” 12

“I suspected it.” “Why?” “I will tell you.” At this moment the young man, supporting himself on his two elbows, drew close to Aramis’s face, with such an expression of dignity, of self-command and of defiance even, that the bishop felt the electricity of enthusiasm strike in devouring flashes from that great heart of his, into his brain of adamant. “Speak, monseigneur. I have already told you that by conversing with you I endanger my life. Little value as it has, I implore you to accept it as the ransom of your own.” “Well,” resumed the young man, “this is why I suspected they had killed my nurse and my preceptor—” “Whom you used to call your father?” “Yes; whom I called my father, but whose son I well knew I was not.” “Who caused you to suppose so?” “Just as you, monsieur, are too respectful for a friend, he was also too respectful for a father.” “I, however,” said Aramis, “have no intention to disguise myself.” The young man nodded assent and continued: “Undoubtedly, I was not destined to perpetual seclusion,” said the prisoner; “and that which makes me believe so, above all, now, is the care that was taken to render me as accomplished a cavalier as possible. The gentleman attached to my person taught me everything he knew himself—mathematics, a little geometry, astronomy, fencing and riding. Every morning I went through military exercises, and practiced on horseback. Well, one morning during the summer, it being very hot, I went to sleep in the hall. Nothing, up to that period, except the respect paid me, had enlightened me, or even roused my suspicions. I lived as children, as birds, as plants, as the air and the sun do. I had just turned my fifteenth year—” “This, then, is eight years ago?” “Yes, nearly; but I have ceased to reckon time.” “Excuse me; but what did your tutor tell you, to encourage you to work?” “He used to say that a man was bound to make for himself, in the world, that fortune which Heaven had refused him at his birth. He added that, being a poor, obscure orphan, I had no one but myself to look to; and that nobody either did, or ever would, take any interest in me. I was, then, in the hall I have spoken of, asleep from fatigue with long fencing. My preceptor was in his room on the first floor, just over me. Suddenly I heard him exclaim, and then he called: ‘Perronnette! Perronnette!’ It was my nurse whom he called.” “Yes, I know it,” said Aramis. “Continue, monseigneur.” “Very likely she was in the garden; for my preceptor came hastily downstairs. I rose, anxious at seeing him anxious. He opened the garden-door, still crying out, ‘Perronnette! Perronnette!’ The windows of the hall looked into the court; the shutters were closed; but through a chink in them I saw my tutor draw near a large well, which was almost directly under the windows of his study. He stooped over the brim, looked into the well, and again cried out, and made wild and affrighted gestures. Where I was, I could not only see, but hear—and see and hear I did.” “Go on, I pray you,” said Aramis. “Dame Perronnette came running up, hearing the governor’s cries. He went to meet her, took her by the arm, and drew her quickly towards the edge; after which, as they both bent over it together, ‘Look, look,’ cried he, ‘what a misfortune!’ “’Calm yourself, calm yourself,’ said Perronnette; ‘what is the matter?’ 13

“’The letter!’ he exclaimed; ‘do you see that letter?’ pointing to the bottom of the well. “’What letter?’ she cried. “’The letter you see down there; the last letter from the queen.’ “At this word I trembled. My tutor—he who passed for my father, he who was continually recommending me modesty and humility—in correspondence with the queen! “’The queen’s last letter!’ cried Perronnette, without showing more astonishment than at seeing this letter at the bottom of the well; ‘but how came it there?’ “’A chance, Dame Perronnette—a singular chance. I was entering my room, and on opening the door, the window, too, being open, a puff of air came suddenly and carried off this paper—this letter of her majesty’s; I darted after it, and gained the window just in time to see it flutter a moment in the breeze and disappear down the well.’ “’Well,’ said Dame Perronnette; ‘and if the letter has fallen into the well, ‘tis all the same as if it was burnt; and as the queen burns all her letters every time she comes—’ “And so you see this lady who came every month was the queen,” said the prisoner. “’Doubtless, doubtless,’ continued the old gentleman; ‘but this letter contained instructions—how can I follow them?’ “’Write immediately to her; give her a plain account of the accident, and the queen will no doubt write you another letter in place of this.’ “’Oh! the queen would never believe the story,’ said the good gentleman, shaking his head; ‘she will imagine that I want to keep this letter instead of giving it up like the rest, so as to have a hold over her. She is so distrustful, and M. de Mazarin so—Yon devil of an Italian is capable of having us poisoned at the first breath of suspicion.’” Aramis almost imperceptibly smiled. “’You know, Dame Perronnette, they are both so suspicious in all that concerns Philippe.’ “Philippe was the name they gave me,” said the prisoner. “’Well, ‘tis no use hesitating,’ said Dame Perronnette, ‘somebody must go down the well.’ “’Of course; so that the person who goes down may read the paper as he is coming up.’ “’But let us choose some villager who cannot read, and then you will be at ease.’ “’Granted; but will not any one who descends guess that a paper must be important for which we risk a man’s life? However, you have given me an idea, Dame Perronnette; somebody shall go down the well, but that somebody shall be myself.’ “But at this notion Dame Perronnette lamented and cried in such a manner, and so implored the old nobleman, with tears in her eyes, that he promised her to obtain a ladder long enough to reach down, while she went in search of some stout-hearted youth, whom she was to persuade that a jewel had fallen into the well, and that this jewel was wrapped in a paper. ‘And as paper,’ remarked my preceptor, ‘naturally unfolds in water, the young man would not be surprised at finding nothing, after all, but the letter wide open.’ “’But perhaps the writing will be already effaced by that time,’ said Dame Perronnette. “’No consequence, provided we secure the letter. On returning it to the queen, she will see at once that we have not betrayed her; and consequently, as we shall not rouse the distrust of Mazarin, we shall have nothing to fear from him.’ “Having come to this resolution, they parted. I pushed back the shutter, and, seeing that my tutor was about to re-enter, I threw 14

during which I related the whole adventure. heard the sound of retiring footsteps. at the bottom of the water. monsieur. Something white and luminous glistened in the green and quivering silence of the water.” “Your two attendants disappeared?” “Alas!” “Let us not take up our time with the dead. not daring to keep the occurrence secret.” 15 . without being a lady of quality. the prime minister. and I could hardly breathe. lastly. “And will you tell me what you read therein. and that Perronnette. an attack of delirium supervening. at the same time taking infinite pains not to disturb that coveted letter. I gained the water. Anne of Austria. and. I was alone in the house. but see what can be done with the living. characters of fire traced upon the letter the queen had touched. guided by my avowal.—proof enough that it was sinking. scarcely knowing what I was about. When I saw myself hanging over the dark pool. rang. while I immersed the other and seized the dear letter. to see that my tutor was a man of noble rank. after the closest search. You told me you were resigned. deeply interested. The brilliant disk fascinated and allured me. even if.” “After which.—and then. than I rushed into the sunlight. It was my preceptor come back again. holding on by one hand.” “Without any desire for freedom?” “As I told you. but I managed to decipher it all. wrote of all this to the queen and sent back the torn letter. my eyes became fixed. and at once plunged into it. and. and. owing to the chill and the excitement of my discovery. and also to perceived that I must myself be high-born. I lowered the cord from the windlass of the well to within about three feet of the water. I had but just time.” “I repeat it.myself on my couch. I concealed the two fragments in my body-coat. and Mazarin. Then. slid down into the abyss. My governor opened the door a few moments after. “It happened. Doubtless the unfortunate lady and gentleman. a cold shudder came over me. with the rope weltering in my hands. I calculated that it would take ten minutes before he would gain my place of concealment. that my governor perceived that the brink was all watery. just as my governor had leaned over. a chill fear got the better of me.” “Beyond this. and clinging on with my hands.” Here the young man paused. Then. quite overcome. I rose. monsieur. that I was seized with a violent fever. As soon as ever it was shut. drenching it as I touched it with the water that streamed off me. agile and vigorous as I was. that I was not so dried by the sun as to prevent Dame Perronnette spying that my garments were moist. and took refuge in a kind of shrubbery at the bottom of the garden. which. above all. so leaned I. The writing was already fading.” answered he. and the hair rose on my head. “now I understand.” “As you see. whose fragments I hastened to unite again. I was seized with giddiness. I regained the brink.” “Ah!” said Aramis. leaving the bucket dangling. “And what happened?” asked Aramis. since the queen. was far better than a servant. in a confusion of brain caused by all I had just heard. and twenty if he were obliged to look for me. “Quite enough. helping myself with my feet against the sides of the pit. all is conjecture. Then I returned to the shutters. and thinking I was asleep gently closed it again. pressed for time. guessing where I was. the bell which resounded when the great gate was opened. and urged on by one of those instinctive impulses which drive men to destruction. They had hardly closed the gate before I sprang from the window and ran to the well. and saw my tutor and Dame Perronnette go out together. and. But this was time enough to allow me to read the cherished letter. when I saw the sky lessening above my head. “you were arrested and removed to the Bastile. so that. I was no sooner out of the well with my prize. but my strong will still reigned supreme over all the terror and disquietude. and I thought I read. “that the workmen they had summoned found nothing in the well. my governor found the pieces of the queen’s letter inside the bolster where I had concealed them. As I entered my hiding-place. alas! came in two in my grasp. The well seemed to draw me downwards with its slimy mouth and icy breath. monseigneur?” asked Aramis. he came straight to it. listening.” said Aramis. commended me so earnestly to their care. which was beginning to change its white tint for the hue of chrysoprase.

Louis. “Do you know who was the son of Henry IV.” “Is that all?” “Very nearly. “I have no sort of knowledge of them. there was neither a glass nor a mirror in the house.” “No.” answered the prisoner. So I presumed that. Louis was Henry’s successor. so that. 16 . “and that now it is your turn. Since your imprisonment. there being only two years between the two dates. then. and what is their meaning?” asked the young man. for instance. I am weary.. which reflect the present.” said Aramis.” asked Aramis. St. “they have again taken the same precaution. bearing that of Louis XIII.” “This also was done by design.” “My tutor sometimes related to me the principal deeds of the king.” said Aramis. so that you are unacquainted with a number of facts. “What is it? speak. sorrow. and riding. and a shade of deep solemnity spread itself over his countenance. which reflects the past. “One question.?” “I do. books have been forbidden you.” “They designate two pieces of furniture which reflect objects. which bears the effigy of Henry IV. “you know that the last reigning monarch was Louis XIII. Now. or thought?” The young man made no answer. in a word.” he said. “why are you silent?” “I think I have spoken enough.” “It is true. but you have not said a word about history. “Nor is there anything of the kind here. “Listen.” “How?” “By means of a coin dated 1610.” “Then.” Aramis gathered himself up.“Without ambition. and King Henry IV. either. so they left you in ignorance of history. It was evident that he had reached the crisis in the part he had come to the prison to play. from the time that interests you. and another of 1612. astronomy.” “To what end?” “You will know directly. with the naked eye. from the probable date of your birth. you have told me that you were instructed in mathematics. that is.” answered the youth. “Well.” “Say on. as you see mine now.” And the young man resumed his serious and attentive attitude.” said the young man. just as they deprived you of mirrors. slightly reddening. you may see in them your own lineaments.” “In the house you inhabited there were neither looking-glasses nor mirrors?” “What are those two words. then. Aramis looked round him. I will in a few words tell you what has passed in France during the last twenty-three or twenty-four years.?” “At least I know who his successor was.. by means of which you would be able to reconstruct the shattered mansion of your recollections and your hopes. King Francis I. fencing.” answered the young man.

” he said.” said the young man. “When suddenly. Anne of Austria—” The prisoner trembled. his wife.” said Aramis. “You are about to hear. The birth of twins changed into bitterness the joy to which that of an only son had given rise. “that Louis XIII. for it refers to a secret which they imagined buried with the dead. “Oh!” said Aramis. then. but he was long without one.” said Aramis. to celebrate the event. “They ran at once to the banqueting-room. when suddenly. But this time it was no longer happiness that his face expressed. “I thought that Monsieur was only born in—” Aramis raised his finger. then. with unmistakable emphasis.“Well.” “I hear you. This idea had reduced him to the depths of despair. There was great joy at the intelligence. who was alone in her room.” “I know it. was again taken ill and gave birth to a second son.” “Oh!” said the prisoner. entombed in the abyss of the confessional. The prisoner sighed impatiently.” “Did the king. the midwife. when the king had show the new-born child to the nobility and people. and died young and unhappy. a care which weighs heavily on princes. she gave birth to a son. and for a long while thought he should be the last of his race.’s wife was called Anne of Austria?” “Continue. smiling. without replying to the question. whom Dame Perronnette. “Permit me to continue.” “And that the doctors and jurists assert that there is ground for doubting whether the son that first makes his appearance is the elder 17 . he was a prince full of noble ideas and great projects. “the queen had a second son.” Here Aramis looked at his companion. and whispered to the king what had happened.” “Dame Perronnette!” murmured the young man.” “And you will tell me this secret?” broke in the youth. and all prayed for her happy delivery. But while the court was rejoicing over the event. but something akin to terror. “Yes. “Did you know. The king himself was of a feeble character. gave birth to a son.” “I know it.” said Aramis.” resumed Aramis. die childless?” asked the prisoner. “I do not know that I ought to risk this secret by intrusting it to one who has no desire to quit the Bastile. always. who desire to leave behind them more than one pledge that their best thoughts and works will be continued.” “The queen. and paused. monsieur. the queen. alas! deferred by the trouble of the times and the dread struggle that his minister Richelieu had to maintain against the great nobles of France.” “He had been long anxious about having a heir. he rose and quitted the table. betraying a bitter acquaintance with affairs than he had owned to. “an account which few indeed could now avouch. “No. and thought he observed him turning pale. seeing that in France (a fact you are assuredly ignorant of) it is the oldest of the king’s sons who succeeds his father. and was sitting gayly down to table. 1638. received in her arms. “the queen announced an interesting event. On the 5th of September.

who has cast him off. monsieur. “Be not weak. and who. who at this moment reigns upon the throne of France. will. on which Louis was depicted life-like. and so completely. and. by these means destroying the very dynasty he should have strengthened. ambition. as was your uncle. with a respect he had not yet manifested. “I demand to know which of these two is king. “it be the destiny of your race. “is he who is on the throne. finally. shamefully parted from his brother. who. with a handsome. what they declare. in short.” replied the captive. “And now. quitting his dungeon.” continued Aramis. M. eagerly comparing the likeness of Louis with his own countenance reflected in the glass. also.” cried the prisoner in a tone of despair. Royalty means power.” 18 .” answered Aramis. Heaven ought to send me. and gazed at it with devouring eyes.” “No.” Aramis went on. even the thirst of vengeance. and became whiter than the coverlet under which he hid himself.” pursued Aramis. might one day sow discord and engender civil war throughout the kingdom. satisfy yourself that you are a king’s son. it is impossible.” resumed the bishop ironically. this is why one of the queen’s two sons.” “Yes! his mother. “here is a mirror. it is for us to act. I understand!—I understand!” murmured the young man. the one this miniature portrays. if you desire it. who rouse in my soul curiosity. you. Gaston d’Orleans. was in despair about two. excepting—” “Excepting yourself—is it not? You who come and relate all this. on the other hand. who is not in prison. “Except.” “Monseigneur. and so this second son.” The prisoner uttered a smothered cry. “A portrait of the king. The prisoner eagerly seized the portrait. must possess about you—” “What?” asked Aramis.” “And I—I demand to know.” “Oh. shall maintain himself upon the throne. and you behold how powerless I am. Louis XIV. who ten times conspired against his brother Louis XIII. relying on party interests and caprices.” “Unless. “I think that I am lost. monsieur. “the lady in the black dress.” replied the bishop. “the king. handing the prisoner a miniature in enamel. fearing that the second might dispute the first’s claim to seniority. that not a soul in France. that the brothers excluded from the throne should be always princes void of courage and honesty. on which his friends will place him. whom. whom the note I have received applies to. if you are the man to whom I expect.by the law of heaven and of nature. no. “So high!—so high!” murmured the young man. is buried in profound obscurity. “What do you think of it?” at length said Aramis.” broke in the prisoner bitterly. save his mother. perhaps. hatred. which had been recognized only two hours before. monsieur. “this is what they relate.” sadly replied the young man. shamefully sequestered. “I have brought you all the proofs of your birth.” added the bishop. is aware of his existence.” said Aramis. be the one that. except you. can cause others to be entombed there. consult them. fixing his piercing eyes significantly upon the prisoner.. “Well. or whom the glass reflects?” “The king. lofty mien. monseigneur.” “Tempt me not. who with so much pleasure saw himself repeated in one. “the king will never set me free. mark me. this is why that second son has disappeared. and. “Now you understand.” “Here is the portrait.” persisted Aramis. monseigneur.” Aramis left the prisoner time to recover his ideas. “that the king. indeed.

I will depart. give me my spurs and trusty sword. to sustain the unhappy wretch in some suitable manner. and we are lying lost in night. and to prate of thrones! Is a prison the fit place? You wish to make me believe in splendor. to gain any?” “I fancy I had the honor to offer myself to your royal highness. I admit. not only at a distance from the court. you give me glimpses of power absolute whilst I hear the footsteps of the every-watchful jailer in the corridor—that step which. and more. then. “my uncle Gaston ‘conspired against his brother’. cannon and soldiery at every barrier. eye.” “If we can corrupt one turnkey. only. Bid me not think of aught beyond these prison-walls. “would it not have been better for you to have reflected. do not style me so. I will comply with your desire. whom no one knows. brought up. the young man suddenly cried out. grandeur. I admit that it may be possible to release a poor captive from the Bastile. what did he do?—Failed!” “He failed. monseigneur. To render me somewhat less incredulous. submit to my slavery and my obscurity. nor influence. the detestation of a hundred noble families in this kingdom. after all.” “Well. I tell you the truth. and renounce forever the service of a master.” cried the prince. or.” “Monseigneur. “I know there are guards in every gallery. then we shall begin to understand each other. in some unknown retreat. do you desire it?” “A word more.” “Oh. “We are speaking of friends.” “And he had friends—devoted friends?” “As much so as I am to you. free me from the Bastile. from incapacity and ignorance? Do you really believe it possible that a poor captive such as I. and have neither liberty. in princes. if you again utter these desperate words—if. makes you tremble more than it does me. my uncle slew his friends.” “I understand. you boast of glory. which so grimly confine me. And so. he is a very blot on history. at least. for the sake of purchasing—not his life—for the life of the king’s brother is sacred and inviolable—but his liberty. How will you overcome the sentries—spike the guns? How will you break through the bolts and bars?” “Monseigneur. possible so to conceal him that the king’s people shall not again ensnare him. but always through his own fault. bolts to every door. monsieur. which. and. to whom so eagerly I came to devote my assistance and my life!” “Monsieur. possible. astonished.” 19 . before telling me all that you have done. after having received proof of your high birth. monseigneur. one after another.” “And.” “To talk to me about power. but how can I have any friends—I.“What!” cried the prince. he sacrificed the lives of all his friends. we can corrupt ten. conspired to dethrone him?” “Exactly.” “It is precisely my intention to give you all this. monsieur.” said the prince. with a violence which betrayed the temper of his blood. let me breathe the fresh air. that you have broken my heart forever?” “And so I desire to do. but even from the world—do you believe it possible that such a one could assist those of his friends who should attempt to serve him?” And as Aramis was about to reply. let me again love. money.” “And cannot a man fail. ‘tis either treachery or cruelty. monseigneur. either by weakness or treachery. after all. monseigneur.” “By weakness. is always treachery. and we are smothering our words in the curtains of this miserable bed. for no other reason. you still remain poor-spirited in body and soul. at this day.—how did you get the note which announced my arrival to you?” “You can bribe a jailer for such a thing as a note.

whoever would do this much for me. in some dark cavern at a mountain’s base. you will have promoted the interests of all the friends whom I devote to the success of your cause. I will respect you as my master. far from mankind.” “Again. no. monseigneur.’ I would have replied to him.” “But my brother?” “You shall decree his fate. monseigneur. “I admire the firm. how can you restore me the rank and power which my mother and my brother have deprived me of ? And as. indeed. then.’” “And you would have kept your word. and these friends are numerous. For him I have no pity!” “So much the better. would seem more than mortal in my eyes.” he resumed. You give me far more than Heaven bestowed. for. with fresh distrust inspired by the word. monseigneur. and I 20 . brother of the king. plain and valley. I will explain. “ah! with what. or the stormy sky.” “He might have himself come to this prison. again! oh. place me. A barbarous prejudice has condemned you to pass your days in obscurity.” Aramis waited in silence. after a moment’s reflection.” “Explain yourself. I say that your mother committed a crime in rendering those different in happiness and fortune whom nature created so startlingly alike. “Monseigneur. and have said. and it is enough.” “It is impossible. Will you take advantage of this reconciliation to put down or restrain me? Will you employ that sword to spill my blood?’ ‘Oh! never.” “Ah!” said the prince. on that day that I see you sitting on the throne of France. more you cannot give. I will buckle round your waist our father’s sword. who leaves me to perish in a dungeon? No. ‘My brother. for through you I possess liberty and the privilege of loving and being loved in this world. has humanity to reproach my brother?” “I forgot to say. but as you tell me I am a prince. that if you would allow me to guide you. deprived of every joy. to-morrow. and if you consent to become the most powerful monarch in Christendom. “do not play with me! I have no need to be a king to be the happiest of men. I will make you sit down beside me. not to contend with one another. to effect this. of beholding in freedom the sun of the blue heavens.“Monseigneur!” said Aramis. sound sense which dictates your words. yield me the delight of hearing in freedom sounds of the river. God! for mercy’s sake.” “But I. Heaven created us to love. have taken me by the hand. I am happy to have discovered my monarch’s mind. and it would be a crime to deceive me. wish you to be a king for the good of humanity. how can you cause me to prevail in those combats—render me invulnerable by my enemies? Ah! monsieur. ‘I look on you as my preserver. reflect on all this. Do you pity him?” “Him. Promise me no more than this. I come to you. I must pass a life of war and hatred. monseigneur?” “What do you say as to the resemblance that Heaven has given me to my brother?” “I say that there was in that likeness a providential instruction which the king ought to have heeded. pressing his icy hands upon his clammy brow. I swear before Heaven. monseigneur?” “On my life! While now—now that I have guilty ones to punish—” “In what manner. since you call yourself my friend. of her own flesh.” “Numerous?” “Less numerous than powerful. “I admit that.” cried the prince. smiling.

” “And so I am not to speak a word of this to any one whatever. who sank upon his knee and kissed it.” Aramis bowed very low. aided by your generous hand. my last. The prince offered his hand. “I say that. the posterity whose name you will make glorious. if by your means I am enabled to live in the memory of man. ‘Good day. “It is the first act of homage paid to our future king. or if in my absence you are compelled to do so. and confer luster on my race by deeds of valor. and if it seems good to you. I shall indeed have bestowed upon you more than life. if death befall me.” he said. save to you?” “Save only to me. “the nobleness of your heart fills me with joy and admiration. that is to say. do not leave this chamber save with me.” “And when?” “The day when my prince leaves these gloomy walls. whom I thank with blessings. If.” replied Aramis.” “Heavens! how will you give me notice of it?” “By myself coming to fetch you. still receive my blessing.” “Alas! there’s such infinity of suffering in prison. sire. or by solid benefits bestowed upon my people. then to you. “Monsieur. after punishment. but rather the nation whom you will render happy. for you will have ended my troubles and given me repose from the tormenting fever that has preyed on me for eight long.” “It is that I will hear nothing further from you till I am clear of the Bastile. I raise myself to the very height of honor. my prince.” “I was going to say to your highness that I should only have the pleasure of seeing you once again. “When I see you again.” “Good.” “By which you mean—” “That if I restore you to your place on your brother’s throne. if you are only a tool in the hands of my enemies. in such a case.” “Monseigneur. I shall say. since I could not divide with you the happiness received at your hands.” “Monseigneur. in a tone that issued from his heart. to you will I offer half my power and my glory: though you would still be but partly recompensed. and your share must always remain incomplete.” said he. if.” “Your royal highness will always be free to act as you may desire. from my present depths of sorrow. I shall have given you immortality. anything worse than captivity result. And now. he shall take yours in prison. monsieur?” “Tell me. moved by the pallor and excitement of the young man. you will have it in your power to pardon. remember that I am not concerned in it. especially it would be so for one who has drunk so deeply of the cup of enjoyment. If you have sought me for my destruction.conclude that the object of punishment should be only to restore the equilibrium.” The prince offered his hand to Aramis. in which you have sounded the depths of my mind.” said Aramis. if from our conference. on the other hand. I bless and forgive you. wait the results ere you judge me.’” 21 .” “Yourself ?” “My prince. weary years. “one word more. Yes. you are come to restore me to that position in the sunshine of fortune and glory to which I was destined by Heaven. It is not you who will have to thank me. are you aware of one thing.

How Mouston Had Become Fatter without Giving Porthos Notice Thereof. more than pensive—melancholy air. “since you infer it is I who brought all this. and so long to tell of ?” Aramis made no reply. “What a confessor!” said the governor. lace. “Ah!” exclaimed Porthos. “Let us proceed to business. a man as though in the very jaws of death. D’Artagnan stopped at the threshold and looked in at the pensive Porthos and then. and slashes of ill-assorted hues. and pounced upon him just as he was getting up. and crossing the room in two strides. “And here is the money.” And he rapped immediately on the door. the other had been making many purchases of furniture which he intended to forward to his estate. got out of the way. whose personal corpulency. “Adieu. smiling kindly at the friend of his master. Porthos and D’Artagnan were seldom together. “Ah!” he repeated. Chapter II. contemplating a host of garments. Mouston. no more dreams. quite enough at any time to hide one man from another. who. my dear governor. moreover. whom he folded to his breast with a force of affection that seemed to increase with every day. As soon as they reached Baisemeaux’s quarters. “you are always welcome. and being uneasy at not having heard anything of him for a fortnight. only half-dressed.” said the young man. were strewed all over the floor. Porthos made his sturdy knees crack again in rising. “Here is the receipt. and of the Troubles Which Consequently Befell that Worthy Gentleman. I shall then get hold of an idea!” At these words Mouston.” said the bishop. whose countenance brightened with joy. with a threefold sigh.” said Aramis.” said Aramis. “ah! ah! Here is D’Artagnan. as the sight of the innumerable garments strewing the floor caused mighty sighs to heave the bosom of that excellent gentleman.” added the poor governor. “who would believe that a compulsory recluse. which with their fringes. neither of the speakers had forgotten to smother his voice. screened at this moment by M. devoured by fear and uneasiness. did not observe D’Artagnan’s entrance. in spite of himself. could have committed crimes so numerous. He was eager to leave the Bastile.“Till then. should be able to enter in and to remain here!” “Your royal highness makes me proud. monsieur. it said nothing about receiving the money. directed his steps towards his hotel. sad and reflective as La Fontaine’s hare. “The order instructed me only to give a receipt. ever faithful. where the secret which overwhelmed him seemed to double the weight of the walls. that he might the better see it all over. to listen at the door. splendor. pressing his wan and wasted fingers over his heart. The jailer came to open it with Baisemeaux. “And to pay over the first third of the sum.—”till then.” said Aramis. D’Artagnan thought it time to put an end to these dismal reflections. one morning during an interval of service thought about Porthos. He was sitting on his bed. “You have to ask me for my receipt for one hundred and fifty thousand livres. taking three steps towards his iron strong-box. even in the most passionate outbreaks. and coughed by way of announcing himself. but 22 . doubting what was going on behind him. “Alas!” replied Baisemeaux. and with legs dangling over the edge.” returned Baisemeaux. was effectually doubled by a scarlet coat which the intendant was holding up for his master’s inspection. which was. how small is my prison—how low the window—how narrow are the doors! To think that so much pride. One was occupied with harassing duties for the king. leaving Baisemeaux almost more than stifled with joy and surprise at this regal present so liberally bestowed by the confessor extraordinary to the Bastile. D’Artagnan. forcing a laugh. embroidery. monsieur le governeur!” And he departed. Since the departure of Athos for Blois. by the sleeves. who thus found himself freed from the material obstacle which had prevented his reaching D’Artagnan. dear friend. and happiness. and by aid of which he hoped to establish in his various residences something of the courtly luxury he had witnessed in all its dazzling brightness in his majesty’s society. with a sigh. Happily. was beginning.” rejoined Aramis. The worthy baron had a pensive—nay. Porthos. found himself face to face with his friend. no more strain on my life—my heart would break! Oh.

then. my friend. so I will: if. then?” “The fact is. my friend. it is possible. without being obliged to see the nose of a single tailor from now till then. and were to live to be a hundred years of age. and there is enough left to stock all the pools in the neighborhood. Porthos.” “What in the world is the matter.” said Porthos. Porthos. This. my friend. tearing out a lock of hair in his despair. I have received an invitation for the fete at Vaux. indeed. contemptuously. And so.” said D’Artagnan.” “Trash. “this unnatural melancholy in you frightens me.” “Everything that is grand in France will be brought together there!” “Ah!” cried Porthos.just now you are more welcome than ever. My dear Porthos. on the contrary. “Well. splendid! I’ll wager that you alone in France have so many.” “Alas! I doubt it. 23 . tell me all about it.” “Perhaps your estate at Vallon has been destroyed by an earthquake?” “No.” “But you seem to have the megrims here!” exclaimed D’Artagnan. which wouldn’t astonish me in the very least. Porthos! Cloth at twenty-five livres an ell! gorgeous satin! regal velvet!” “Then you think these clothes are—” “Splendid.” Porthos shook his head. with a lugubrious expression. let me first get rid of all this litter of satin and velvet!” “Oh. you could still wear a new dress the day of your death. And the sooner the better. pray get it out. “you know I have no secrets from you. are you ill?” cried D’Artagnan. “Well! do you complain of that? The king has caused a hundred mortal heart-burnings among the courtiers by refusing invitations. though. the ground was struck with lightning a hundred paces from the chateau. is what saddens me. my dear friend.” “Yes.” “Then there has been a falling-off in the pools of Pierrefonds?” “No.” “In the first place. and a fountain sprung up in a place entirely destitute of water. “it is all trash.” “Perhaps you have received bad news from Bracieux?” “No: they have felled the wood.” “Wait a minute. my friend: they have been fished. my friend. Porthos replied by a look expressive of dejection. unless it is a secret.” said Porthos. and it has yielded a third more than the estimate. “Come. “Eh! good heavens. then. never mind. you are really going to Vaux?” “Indeed I am!” “You will see a magnificent sight.” returned Porthos. Porthos. and suppose you never had any more made. then.

as at any time I might be invited to court to spend a week. Is that what you wished to say?” “Yes. “You understand. monsieur?” “Parbleu! it seems to me that is quite evident. I beg your pardon. “that is quite evident!” “Be still. and I greatly rejoice over the period. “in regard to which I flattered myself I had hit on a very ingenious device.” “Do you see.” answered Mouston. then?” “Yes. I believe you do. each cooked up to a different point. Would you believe it. then?” “’Tis that I have no clothes!” D’Artagnan stood petrified. “No clothes! Porthos.” said Mouston. “You were in Paris. for I don’t doubt your genius. “but unfortunately I have gotten stouter!” “What! you stouter!” “So much so that I am now bigger than the baron.” “No. too. then.” said Porthos.” 24 . my dear Porthos.” “Capitally reasoned. no clothes!” he cried. “You remember having related to me the story of the Roman general Antony.” exclaimed D’Artagnan. because Mouston has grown stouter.” “And you remember. but not one which fits me!” “What? not one that fits you? But are you not measured. well. my friend. Without counting the time lost in being measured.” continued Porthos. “when I see at least fifty suits on the floor. Well.” “That is exactly the point. I resolved.” “Fifty. so that he might be able to have his dinner at any time of the day he chose to ask for it.” “Tell me what it is. there was a time when Mouston began to grow fat.” “Oh! you are not in fault.“I am as firm as the Pont-Neuf! It isn’t that. when you give an order?” “To be sure he is. truly. the fashions are always changing. monsieur.” “I am going to explain it. when he used to call himself Mousqueton.” said Porthos. not exactly. the period when he began to grow fatter?” “No.” “But what is it. my good Mouston. I don’t—by any means. then. “I don’t understand why your clothes should not fit you. we were at Pierrefonds. Porthos—only a man must have a fortune like yours to gratify such whims.” “You remember what Mouston once was. stupid?” said Porthos. and as for us. becoming slightly impatient.” resumed D’Artagnan. graciously.” “Well. my dear Porthos. I resolved to have always seven suits ready for the occasion.” “Indeed. who had always seven wild boars kept roasting. “what a world of trouble it spared for me.

we are like those strongholds whose angles and different thicknesses have been ascertained by a spy. I have always noticed that people’s ideas run parallel. but for Mouston’s carelessness. 25 . and I did all I could. my friend. “at seeing Mouston get fat. one morning. and could then be measured in my stead. then. by means of substantial feeding. and they have generally slight and slender figures. and then you wish to have seven suits always with you.” “Consider my joy when. I perceived Mouston was obliged to squeeze in. too prominent. one may be travelling. who know everything. In the first place. ‘tis no less true. as if to say. which would doubtless have proved a good one. monsieur. And.” “Ah! that is possible. See. when we leave the measurer’s hands. by the way.” “Well.” answered D’Artagnan. They recognize your strong and weak points. “I see—that spared you both time and humiliation. to make him stout—always in the hope that he would come to equal myself in girth.” “My friend. I should like to ask you. delighted at the idea of having jumped to a conclusion so closely in agreement with the greatest sages of antiquity. I have a horror of letting any one take my measure. Confound it! either one is a nobleman or not.” said Mouston. I had an idea. But see how the two things apply to each other.” “Ah! you see when a man is an engineer—” “And has fortified Belle-Isle—’tis natural. those doors. “That’s true. to be measured is a loss of time. To be scrutinized and scanned by a fellow who completely analyzes you. who ought to have the compasses run into them. nearly two thousand years ago.” resumed Porthos.” said Porthos.” “I congratulated myself. humbly. the fact was known before Aristotle’s days—that is to say. D’Artagnan. “You will see whether I am at all to blame in all this. about that door. by inch and line—’tis degrading! Here. “but the architects were probably making their calculations on a basis of the probability of your marrying again. they find you too hollow. “And now I have received an explanation of how it is that doorways are made too narrow. let us return to the subject of Mouston’s fatness. my dear Porthos.” “Well.” “Ah!” cried D’Artagnan. in the chateau of Pierrefonds. even though it occur only once a fortnight. came to make doorways through which nobody but thin people can pass?” “Oh. In short. Costar.“Look here. M. well. as you have said.” said Porthos. I was talking to you of Mouston. And then. “were meant for gallants. observe this phenomenon. my friend. “Perfectly true. my friend. now. just to remind them. and he calls the process by some Greek name which I forget. my friend. Consider my joy when. a savant of my acquaintance.” “Madame du Vallon had no gallant!” answered Porthos.” resumed D’Artagnan. to get through the little secret door that those fools of architects had made in the chamber of the late Madame du Vallon. you possess ideas entirely original.” “In truth. after a year and a half ’s judicious feeding—for I used to feed him up myself—the fellow—” “Oh! I lent a good hand myself. astounded. has made the same observation as you have.” D’Artagnan glanced at Mouston. And so. “I thought I was the discoverer. as I once did myself. who replied by a slight movement of his body.” “What! my remark is not then original?” cried Porthos. why these wretches of architects. and it led us on to Madame du Vallon—” “Who was thin?” “Hum! Is it not marvelous?” “My dear friend. there. majestically. who is fat.

Porthos! Such a thing could happen only to you. and as though I had been two years away from court.” “Ah! monsieur!” said Mouston. those which were made when you were of the same size?” “They are no longer the fashion. but he forgot to inform me that he had got stouter!” “But it was not my fault. I should look like a fresh arrival from Siam.” “And did Mouston neglect complying with your instructions? Ah! that was anything but right.” “’Tis true.” “And this to such an extent. and this is only Sunday morning. “that the fellow in two years has gained eighteen inches in girth. we shall manage it. but Aramis has strongly advised me to be at Vaux twenty-four hours beforehand. monsieur. in a waistcoat of mine. with a gratified air.” “Ah! yes. all over. It seems to me. Mouston. the mere embroidery of which was worth a hundred pistoles. and give the thirty-six to Mouston. a pattern of every fashion) to have a coat made for himself every month. and only this morning discovered my misfortune. instructing Mouston (so as always to have. a fact of which I was well able to convince myself.” “That is to say. you must have a thirtyseventh made. made Mouston post hither with my wardrobe. he never forgot to have his coats made. my dear friend.” “What a marvelous man you are.” “Exactly! They measured him down to the ground. Porthos.” said Mouston. from a foot to a foot and a half.” “Oh. “Mouston fattened so well. and to have him measured instead of myself. Were I to put them on. by reaching my standard. that he gratified all my hopes. “From that moment I determined to put Mouston in communication with my tailors.” “Do you mean to insinuate that I hadn’t that idea.” “But the rest. that monsieur has always been very generous to me. “Well.” “A capital idea.” said Mouston.” “Yes.” “No. nearly two years and a half ago—that I set out for Belle-Isle.” “I understand your difficulty.” “’Twas only to try it on. It was exactly at that time—that is to say. monsieur.“Wonderfully—but suppose we return to Mouston. “The truth is.” continued Porthos.” said Porthos. The invitations are for Wednesday. quite the contrary. and so my last dozen coats are all too large. pay your compliments. I received the invitation yesterday. and the end of the skirt came just below my knee. monsieur. Well. in every event. which he had turned into a coat—a waistcoat. monsieur! your tailor never told me. but Mouston is a foot and a half shorter than you. we have left him fattening under our very eyes. Aramis?” 26 . one covered all over with gold. or that I was deterred by the expense? But it wants only two days to the fete. by seeing the rascal. quite the contrary!” “No. You won’t leave for three days. there isn’t a single fashionable tailor who will undertake to make me a suit. and from now till the day after to-morrow. you have ample grounds to go upon. isn’t it?” “I wish it so! undoubtedly.” “How. one day. monsieur. You have how many new suits? nine? thirty-six? and yet not one to wear.

and having thus become irreproachable. attained the lofty position of master tailor to the Crown of France. like Ambrose Pare. made.” “What! do they measure the king. “Let us go to the king’s tailor. as they used to write and say. Porthos. Percerin?” “Who is M. near the Rue de l’Arbre Sec. for Queen Catherine. I may do worse than allow him to measure me!” Chapter III. he was the only one who could make for her those wonderful riding-habits which she so loved to wear. Honore. it was Aramis who brought me the invitation. gay king as he was. from whose reign dated. The Percerin of that period was a Huguenot. and had been spared by the Queen of Navarre. seeing that they were marvelously well suited to hide certain anatomical defects. and so are you.” “Doubtless he will be. in those days. the beautiful Margot. being hereditary tailor to the king. Messire Jean Percerin. but be at ease.” said Porthos. and having heard it said that there was no more dangerous sign for a Protestant than to be smiled up on by Catherine. too. Who Messire Jean Percerin Was. But Percerin was a very prudent man. whatever you may say about it. He was a man of great taste in elegant stuffs. stamping on the floor. but you leave with M. who wished to appear to know the king’s tailor. “to M. “when I think I shall have no clothes. You are invited on the part of M. as the king does. yes. The letter bears the following as large as life: ‘M. Fouquet?” “By no means! by the king. but now heard his name mentioned for the first time.” Porthos smiled triumphantly. “and since he measures the king.. The king’s tailor. in sooth. I think. Percerin’s. and velvets. Under Henry III. too. very inexpensively indeed. by Jove! I was afraid he would be too busy. fancy in bravery difficult enough to gratify. who ended by being pleased at the preservation of a Huguenot people. with a sigh. Percerin being saved.” “Even M. I am ready to burst with rage! I should like to strangle somebody or smash something!” “Neither strangle anybody nor smash anything. embroideries. he speedily turned Catholic with all his family.” “Ah! to be sure. too? does he put up with it?” “The king is a beau. he will do for me what he wouldn’t do for another. out of gratitude. but what would you have me do?” “Do? As others do. by my faith. The preferment of his house reached as far back as the time of Charles IX. I will manage it all. ah. and come with me to a tailor. and having observed that her smiles were more frequent than usual. because.“Yes. “’tis vexatious.” he said. this position was a grand as the height of one of the loftiest peaks of 27 . dear friend. Fouquet?” “And when I think. which the Queen of Navarre used very studiously to conceal. le Baron du Vallon is informed that the king has condescended to place him on the invitation list—’” “Very good. occupied a rather large house in the Rue St. Only you must allow yourself to be measured!” “Ah!” said Porthos. some beautiful black bodices. on whom she had long looked with detestation. I see.” “Pooh! my agent has seen them all this morning. my good friend.. put on one of your thirty-six suits.” cried Porthos. Porthos. as we know. Percerin?” “Oh! only the king’s tailor!” “Oh.

Percerin was nearly eighty years old. Porthos?” “I think that I once sent Mouston to a fellow of that name. A man becomes easily notable who has made the dresses of a Duke of Buckingham. the son. His renown and his fortune were great enough for M. a misunderstanding. for I give you notice. And so it was a doublet issuing from M. one fine day slipped letters of nobility into his pocket. “Take care. invented that admirable Spanish costume. and that the superintendent highly esteemed him. the king. sought to Italianize the fashion. de Cinq-Mars. M. but. and held the French tailor in such esteem that he would never employ any other. and to retain him in his service. he never succeeded in fitting M. a country house.. a cutter as unerring and exact as the square rule. they act without themselves knowing why. a M. and for those least eager to pay never to dare to leave their accounts in arrear with him. Concino Concini. but politic man as he was. and thus wore a doublet of his on the very day that Vitry blew out his brains with a pistol at the Pont du Louvre. “is beyond my art. de Mazarin. This is beyond explanation. but the second never. He worked for MM. Now Percerin had been a clever man all his life. for Master Percerin would for the first time make clothes upon credit. the last of the Percerins who deserved the name of Great). Percerin’s workshop. and introduced some Florentine tailors. famous and wealthy. above all. in spite of his supreme talent. “you have nothing to fear. one of whom made his debut at the marriage of Anne of Austria.. contrary to the rule of dynasties. he could never hit off anything approaching a creditable fit for M. Colbert. who will. de Beaufort. under a sort of patronage. a pack of hounds. made the costumes for the tragedy of “Mirame. And thus Percerin the third had attained the summit of his glory when his father died. had the generosity to bear no malice to his tailor. together with a few words let fall by M. which was a great cause of sorrow to him. The marriage of Henry IV. that if he is wanting in respect I will infallibly chastise him. who subsequently shone at the French court. instead of running after customers. Louis XIII. and having no son. and by special authority from Louis XIV. took very good care not to make a bad death of it. seeing that with himself his dynasty would end. I expect.. old. that he was positively brittle.” We need scarcely say that Percerin was M. the courtiers used to say. who. “That man.” “Presented by me. my friend. which the Parisians rejoiced in hacking into so many pieces with the living human body it contained. intangible ideas. a Mademoiselle Ninon. Fouquet’s tailor. A story used to circulate that even M. and Marie de Medici. which it will be now exceedingly easy to set right. This same Percerin III.” 28 . and the exquisite court-mourning for the afore-mentioned queen. Great geniuses of every kind live on unseen. He left a son and a daughter. de Bassompiere. Percerin had brought up two sons. and by way of keeping up his reputation beyond the grave. but Percerin. he could mount a mantle for Monsieur. yet further dressed Louis XIV. it was. or those who had but recently obtained patents of nobility. he had brought up several hopeful pupils. my needle can never dot him down. my good D’Artagnan. it is a matter for guessing or for intuition. as they were going along. a M. no doubt. the great Percerin was inspired when he cut a robe for the queen. king of the beaux of the period.” and stitched on to Buckingham’s mantle those famous pearls which were destined to be scattered about the pavements of the Louvre. in which Richelieu danced a saraband. touched to the quick in his patriotism and his self-esteem. and his wife Galligai. Notwithstanding the favor Concino Concini had shown Percerin. and that at the very moment he felt his powers of invention declining.. and a Marion de Lorme. menservants the tallest in Paris. The great Percerin (for. and that so well that Concino was the first to give up his compatriots.” replied D’Artagnan. It was to the house of this grand llama of tailors that D’Artagnan took the despairing Porthos. unless paid for the former order.” “And then?” “The fellow refused to supply me. the clock of a stocking for Madame. M. entirely defeated these foreigners. even though you were what you are not. that king of fops. be very impertinent. nevertheless still fresh. the daughter.” “Oh. de Lyonne and Letellier. and so contrived to die very skillfully.” “Ah! ‘tis because—” “What? Have you anything against Percerin.the Cordilleras. He possessed a carriage. and at designing ornaments. made difficulties about obliging any fresh ones. or a coat for the king. in exchange for Percerin supplying him with a full suit of ceremonial vestments as cardinal. Mouston must have made a mistake. It is easy to see at once that a tailor of such renown. and versed in state secrets. made the fortune of the second generation of Percerins. At the time that Louis the Just afforded this great example of equity. Colbert. apt at embroidery. and at the same time so dry. both worthy of the name they were called upon to bear. not to compromise the dignity of a man such as I am with the arrogance of this Percerin. said to his friend. le Prince.” he used often to say. to take his arm when talking over the fashions. And so Percerin declined to fit bourgeois.

contented with this reason. and that. which I will answer for our doing. and cut of these five suits.” “Very good.” “And we are going to wait too?” “Oh. It was bruited about outside still. but look. intended to take parts in a ballet.” “Well.) The poor fellows had enough to do. on the authority of what the great lackey had told some great noble whom he favored. while a servant. “The king’s order. he was meditating in his office on the ornaments. Some. Percerin’s house. indeed. pass through the footmen and lackeys. behind which the journeyman tailors were doing their best to answer queries. and enter the tailor’s house. succeeded in gaining the counter. and among these last three Blue Ribbons. standing before them. which would inevitably fail unless the said three had their costumes shaped by the very hand of the great Percerin himself. contented to repeat the tale to others. colors. (We forgot to mention that at the door they wanted to put off Porthos like the rest. and you told me the house was at the corner of the Rue de l’Arbre Sec.” “Come along. Percerin could not receive anybody.” “Stop the carriage.” and was let in with his friend. want our horses to clamber up on the roof of the carriage in front of us?” “No. and did their best. Nor that the second should be driven over the roofs of the thirty or forty others which have arrived before us. Porthos. and I see—” “What?” “Pardieu! that we are at the Halles!” “You do not. was explaining to the illustrious customers of the illustrious tailor that just then M. in confidence. They are waiting their turn.” “He has confused the names. here we are. then. but D’Artagnan.“Perhaps. went away again. if you go first. D’Artagnan. What a number of people! And what are they all about?” “’Tis very simple. pushing on Porthos. owing to the urgency of the case. They accordingly alighted and made their way on foot towards the establishment.” “What are we to do.” “Here! how here? We are at the Halles. pronounced merely these words.” “Possibly. we shall show ourselves prompter and not so proud. I do look. Percerin’s doors were closed. insisted on having the doors opened.” “No. to 29 . The cause of the confusion was that M. who scattered the groups of people right and left.” “Nor the carriage in front of us to mount on top of the one in front of it. you are right. their turn to obtain an entrance to M. Percerin was engaged on five costumes for the king.” said Porthos. then?” “Get down. I suppose.” “’Tis true.” “I will take it all upon myself. more tenacious. That rascal Mouston never can remember names. showing himself.” “Bah! Have the comedians of the Hotel de Bourgogne shifted their quarters?” “No. that M. but others.

The subject doubtless appeared a very promising one. took it all in at a glance. and what harm?” “The fact is. or disappointed expectation. in the tone of a courageous dog. for I was occupied in examining some excellent figures. Monsieur Moliere!” “Hush. this man held up his head too often to be very productively employed with his fingers. Only on perceiving. I quite understand the interest you take in the plates—I will not disturb your studies. “I warn you of one thing: that I won’t exhibit to you the friend I have brought with me. “I disturb myself! Ah! Monsieur d’Artagnan. my dear Moliere.” “But on one condition. In other respects his costume was plain. he who was attacked made a dive and disappeared under the counter. it certainly was not at velvet. He was about forty years of age. Percerin that I am here. He was looking at D’Artagnan and the rest. there is no harm.” said D’Artagnan. but—” “You were going to say there is no good in doing it either.reply to the demands of the customers in the absence of their master.” “Thank you.” Moliere fixed upon Porthos one of those looks which penetrate the minds and hearts of men. a man of sure and rapid observation. but you will go and tell him I am here. seated upon a stool. and carefully stitching cloth or velvet.—not he. Nevertheless. “Eh!” said he. that attracted D’Artagnan’s attention. d’Artagnan!” replied the man. and soft luminous eyes. how hard you are upon me!” “If you don’t go directly and tell M. with his chin resting upon his hand. from which you snatch the bone it has legitimately gained.” “Well. If so. Our captain of musketeers. like a calm and inquiring amateur. addressing this man.” “Oh! willingly. He brought me here so that I might be at my ease to make my observations. brought down upon them too cutting a rebuke. and his hair evenly cut enough for customers. leaving off drawing a stitch to knit a sentence. The line of discontented lords formed a truly remarkable picture. that you tell me where M. and he saw at once that if this man was working at anything. his eye rested on a man in front of him. perhaps. who were not close observers. scarcely showed his head above the counter that sheltered him. This man.” “Well.” “Go on—go on. my dear Monsieur Moliere. “and so you have become a tailor’s boy. and having run over the groups. Monsieur Moliere. Percerin really is. in a low tone. pale face. is it not so?” “Alas! no. is it not?” “Yes. to take him for a mere tailor’s apprentice. in his own room. Only—” “Only that one can’t enter it?” “Unapproachable.” “For everybody?” “Everybody. It was this action. “This gentleman. our captain. 30 . M. D’Artagnan was not deceived. for he immediately rose and led the way into the adjoining chamber. and doubtless recognizing. perched behind the board. with a melancholy aspect. softly. “you will make them recognize me. and then he went away. and when wounded pride.” Moliere indicated Porthos by an imperceptible gesture.” “I!” exclaimed Moliere. the gentleman who had pulled down his hat produced an effect entirely different from what he had desired. he pulled his hat down over his eyes.

an ominous sign indeed in old men blanched by age. “I am nearly always pushed for time.” “Eh! yes. The latter hurried after him. ‘tis all the same to me. in the coolest possible manner.” broke in Porthos. as the waves leave foam or scattered seaweed on the sands. You are making three.” Percerin turned crimson. introduced him to M.” he continued.” “Five. Fouquet’s. “there is always time to be found when one chooses to seek it. who. and to do this. even in his whims.” “Yes. he put the silk aside. was gathering up in folds a piece of gold-flowered brocade.” said Percerin. During all this time the noble mob was slowly heaving away. I will say one more word to you. they tell me. and I know that you will make them most exquisitely. “A very good friend of mine. but.” returned Porthos.” “Come. but D’Artagnan did not pay the least attention to the airs which the illustrious tailor began to assume. Percerin. I am sure. a friend of M. Well. my dear Monsieur Percerin.Chapter IV. “I will attend to monsieur. le Baron du Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds. “Monsieur le baron is attached to the superintendent?” he inquired. “you are not in a good temper to-day. had been regarding the tailor askance.” concluded D’Artagnan. and by no means courteous. Once made they will be the most beautiful in the world.” “Three or five. Perceiving D’Artagnan.” interposed D’Artagnan.” “Oh. and came to meet him.” said D’Artagnan. take it altogether. The old man. for I am engaged. “M.” Then turning to Porthos. in a tolerably civil manner. I know. five. come.” “You have already told my valet as much. I am pressed for time. In about ten minutes Moliere reappeared. Percerin raised his head with the air of a man little accustomed to be contradicted. with Porthos in the rear. which will bring you on your knees. with his sleeves turned up. making another sign to D’Artagnan from under the hangings. ‘tis much more than you require. “Monsieur is quite at liberty to confer his custom elsewhere. my dear sir. “Very likely. I know that. leaving at every angle of the counter either a murmur or a menace. “My dear M. when they retire with the ebbing tide.” “My friend. crossly. they must first be made. Monsieur Percerin.” said Percerin. but that they may be the most beautiful in the word. monsieur is not only a friend of mine. “The captain of the king’s musketeers will excuse me. The Patterns. sententiously. “I bring you a customer. I do not deny it. Percerin’s room.” “Ah! ah!” exclaimed Percerin. captain. Percerin attempted a bow.” “Ah! ah!” exclaimed the tailor. which found no favor in the eyes of the terrible Porthos. from his first entry into the room. Percerin. but more.” “Later? but when?” “When I have time.” continued D’Artagnan. “but later. 31 . by no means radiant with joy. “that is another thing. discontentedly. on the king’s costumes. and after threading a labyrinth of corridors. my dear monsieur. so as the better to exhibit its luster. bah! there are two days yet.

D’Artagnan saw the storm coming. M. “Agree. As Moliere and Porthos disappeared. bowing. said to him. a silvery voice which made D’Artagnan prick up his ears. good morning. which seemed to say. make the baron’s dress. because the dress is wanted for the fete at Vaux.” “That. Perhaps he fancied from D’Artagnan’s liveliness that he would leave with Porthos. “Monsieur d’Herblay!” cried the tailor. Master Aristophanes.” Aramis observed this scene with all his eyes. “Good morning. “By no means. delighted. and if perchance monsieur should be one of these—” “Corboeuf! I believe I am too!” “Well.” murmured D’Artagnan. Porthos swore.” returned the obstinate old man. Porthos and Moliere left together: D’Artagnan remained with Percerin. is as much as to refuse. and dismiss them. Porthos. doubtless. It is a new method we have invented for measuring people of quality. at the very moment that the tapestry was raised to introduce a new speaker in the dialogue. Percerin.” he said. But. good-morning.“I am attached to myself. you will make it for him at once. “how do you make that out.” “To you I will not say nay. and his gaze dwelt long and keenly on the Baron Porthos. above all if I ask you. then. if you measure the flesh and bones that Heaven has given him. that is a capital and most consolatory coincidence.” said D’Artagnan. clear-sighted as he was. dear Monsieur Percerin.” And he accompanied the words with a sign.” said Aramis. Aramis deceived himself. and I will answer for it you will gratify M. in an undertone. “you will make a dress for the baron. “Come. come.” said Moliere. so as not to lose the conclusion of a scene well begun. my friend?” “I say that they shall apply neither line nor rule to the seams of your dress. “Go and get measured on the other side. “My dear Percerin. “if you will come with me.” It appeared that Aramis had over Master Percerin an influence superior even to D’Artagnan’s.” “But that is not all. my dear monsieur. ‘Tis I who ask you. We know some susceptible persons who will not put up with being measured. Fouquet. and you shall have the benefit of our invention. Moliere was all observation. said. and addressing Moliere. you will see. probably to enjoy a little longer the society of his good friend Aramis. and turning round upon Porthos. “if you will deign to follow me. a man who considers himself disgraced. “Monsieur.” “Oh!” said Porthos.” Moliere had no need of encouragement. “Aramis. D’Artagnan.” Porthos colored in a formidable manner. a proceeding which appeared 32 . D’Artagnan laughed. who are too sensitive to allow low-born fellows to touch them. Why? From curiosity. “You see before you. and profit by it.” “I repeat that it is impossible.” “’Tis impossible within eight days. I will make them take your measure without touching you. a process which.” “But how in the world can it be done?” asked Porthos. “Ah! our bishop!” said Porthos. study this type for me. It was the voice of Aramis. “Monsieur. D’Artagnan drew near the bishop of Vannes.” said a mild voice at the door. for the tailor bowed in assent. captain.” shouted Porthos. as I think. my dear friends. wounds the natural dignity of a man.

my friend?” Aramis smiled. even less deceived this time than before. at the same time. “You will go to Vaux. from the knowledge he had of his friend’s character. only half convinced. Percerin? Why did you not tell me so at once?” “Something particular.” repeated D’Artagnan. we are going to put our poets in uniform. “but not for you.” “Oh. and which holds its sittings at Saint-Mande?” “Exactly so. Aramis—” “No. have you not?” “Undoubtedly. I am boring you. was designed to some end. then. but an end that. “Well.” said he. no.” he said. aside. he was once more absorbed in contemplation of the brocades. every thing. “I see. let us leave. of which La Fontaine. in an absent manner. Is it not a kind of poetical society.” 33 . similar to those of the Epicureans?” answered Percerin. indeed. “this is what it is. however?” “I shall go. Well. the musketeer felt must be important. I hope you will believe that I can never have anything so particular to say that a friend like you may not hear it. “Don’t you perceive. “And you wish that I should make him a dress. Aramis saw that D’Artagnan was not without suspicion. one of M. “I have. “My dear Percerin. that a poor bishop of Vannes is not rich enough to have new dresses for every fete. my friend. with a most engaging smile. in that impenetrable mind. an unknown one. by snatching from his hands the stuff upon which he was engaged. Fouquet’s Epicureans. and enroll them in a regiment for the king.” “Oh. is it not.” said he. But. very good.” thought D’Artagnan. “No. D’Artagnan. “A dress for you. “that is. And while saying this. friend. “but why Lebrun?” Aramis looked at D’Artagnan. smiling. “that we are greatly boring this good gentleman. my dear D’Artagnan?” “Ah! ah!” murmured the musketeer. Yes.” exclaimed Aramis. had not a whit escaped him. “and do we write no more poems now. “An Epicurean’s dress?” asked D’Artagnan. well dissembled as it was. not I—I wished—” “Ah! you had something particular to say to M. “Stay. “it is written that our dear D’Artagnan shall know all our secrets this evening. Lebrun. near hand. no! I am going. certainly. and he knew that. You forget.” said he. and Moliere are members. who seemed to be occupied with an engraving of Mark Antony.” exclaimed the Gascon. On his part.” said Aramis.—”I am even very happy that you are here. Fouquet’s painters. Aramis roused him violently. and pressed him. for the third time. Pelisson.particularly to disconcert him.” “Bah!” said the musketeer. dear D’Artagnan. M. As for Percerin.” said Aramis. also. and if you are as disengaged as I. even the most apparently trivial.” “Ah.” “True.” Then aloud. the worthy tailor endeavored to recapture his piece of brocade. either?” “Oh! D’Artagnan. I have no further business here. in a tone of inquiry. laughing. you have surely heard speak of M. but without a new dress. Loret. for Aramis’s annoyance.” said D’Artagnan.” repeated Aramis. “My dear Percerin.” Then turning towards the tailor. D’Artagnan. “I have long ago given up all such tomfoolery. by all means. imparting to his voice an evident tone of curiosity. Percerin never moved.

incredulously. Fouquet is getting up for the king. “But. though Aramis had pronounced these words in his softest and most honeyed tones.” “Ah.” “Yes. I will not mention it. and that the hour of battle was approaching. perceiving with his wonderful instinct that they had only been skirmishing till now. one in velvet. Lebrun here is a man who draws most excellently. “Come in. my dear monsieur.” cried the tailor. Aramis took an “opportunity. “I have seen his pictures. terrified. are you not? One in brocade. so monstrous to M. or an original one. M. “It is all very simple. so exaggerated.” “Always agreeable. I appear to be hazarding an absurd question.“Oh. then aloud. my friend. not because he found the matter so “very funny.” said the attentive musketeer. if that is the secret about M. de Percerin.” “You know everything.” Aramis continued.” said Percerin. “that is precisely what I have come to ask you. The request appeared. concert.” but in order not to allow Aramis to cool.” said Percerin. Fouquet give the king a fete?—Is it not to please him?” “Assuredly. will tell you that I could not do otherwise than ask you this.” said D’Artagnan. a surprise M.” 34 . Lebrun.” said Aramis. one in huntingcloth.” “Then. “My dear M. and finished with a shout. “Why. and myself do know. M. this is the surprise we intend. is the color of the materials and nature of the ornaments. promenade and reception. like that of which we were talking?—the enrolment of our Epicureans. if it is so important as all that. opening a side-door with his right hand.” “Let us see. so ridiculous. making a show of departure. then.” said Aramis. Mademoiselle de la Valliere. “Let us see. come in.” “Well. these five kinds of dress are required by etiquette. a banquet. “At the outset.” continued Aramis. I prefer not to know it. the ensemble. “what you do not know. monseigneur?” said Percerin. now. “does M. I too. Percerin that first he laughed to himself. am quite in the dark. monseigneur!” “And a thing or two in addition. one in satin. Be at ease. and one in Florentine stuffs.” “Yes. the secret which concerns him is far more important than the other. and holding back D’Artagnan with his left. Lebrun. do I not?” said Aramis. on reflection. and the cut.” muttered D’Artagnan.” quoth Percerin. Monsieur Lebrun has nothing to do with this part of it. “I’faith. “But D’Artagnan. very well. the finish of it all!” “Well. but how—do you know all that. bah!” exclaimed the tailor. dear Percerin. “By delicate attentions? by some happy device? by a succession of surprises. No. astounded. and observed that his dresses were highly elaborated. I understand. monseigneur—prince of the church though you are—what nobody will know—what only the king. That is why I at once agreed to make him a costume—whether to agree with those of the Epicureans. D’Artagnan nodded assent. who is incarnate wisdom itself.” “Admirable.” said Percerin. D’Artagnan followed his example.” as is said in theatrical matters. there will be a hunt. in triumph. “you are making five dresses for the king.

nearly convinced.—’I shall be constrained to say to the king. “what do you say to this?” “I say. “Help me now to persuade monsieur. whether comedy or tragedy. yes. “It would.” continued Aramis. but of those you are making for the king. you will agree with me. “Yes. “’Only. so plausible was this reasoning. you are right. who was closely watching all the phases of his toil. Monsieur Percerin. more and more calm and smiling. so many strange and startling aspects wore the proposal which Aramis had just hazarded. the fifth being still in the workmen’s hands. Percerin. be a very pretty compliment to pay the young prince. that these are M. M. ‘tis not I who said it. which be a striking resemblance. “Sire. goaded by the idea that the king was to be told he stood in the way of a pleasant surprise. I call the captain of the musketeers to witness it! Is it not true. I can do nothing.” said the musketeer. had been given to Percerin II. and on that head.” replied the bishop. terrified at the responsibility which would weigh upon him. indeed.” “What! you do not understand that M. quietly. and that the portrait. which D’Artagnan—calmest and most appreciative of men. “and that because of a want of precision in the colors. D’Artagnan. Fouquet wishes to afford the king the surprise of finding his portrait on his arrival at Vaux. I had intended to present your majesty with your portrait. after the discomfiture of the Italian tailors ruined in their competition. the will of M.” Then scanning Percerin.’—you understand. “The king’s dresses! Give the king’s dresses to any mortal whatever! Oh! for once. it is a happy idea. I don’t know. M. rather troubled. and shall presently avail ourselves of it. you dread appearing to flatter the king. tell him that it will not at all lower him in my opinion. Oppose! Oh. “but time is wanting.” “Quite true. Fouquet when he is seeking to please the king! Oh. and proceeded to bring from a wardrobe four magnificent dresses. I even understand all the delicacy you feel in taking up with M. Time is necessary for attentively observing the finer shades. after noticing D’Artagnan’s hesitation. “either mine or M. although creditable. Heaven have mercy on me. monseigneur. my dear Aramis.” “Well. slightly exaggerated perhaps. by Marshal d’Onore. I know well—and I by no means count upon compelling you. what a hateful word you have uttered. Lebrun is not in want of the dresses you will make for himself. he was at his wit’s end at not being able to fathom it. and I shall always esteem him.” said Aramis. Percerin opposed the project.” Percerin made a bound backwards. we accept your offer. that I have opposed nothing?” D’Artagnan made a sign indicating that he wished to remain neutral. ought to be dressed exactly as the king will be on the day it is shown?” “Oh! yes. I will wager it is one of your own. monseigneur.”’” “Opposed!” cried the tailor. I will say more. He felt that there was an intrigue at the bottom of it.” said Percerin. my dear Monsieur Percerin. “I think you have not quite got it. I declare.” he asked. A noble spirit. do you not?” “Eh! eh!—not exactly. had offered Lebrun a chair. imported into France in the time of Concini. Fouquet’s. Fouquet’s words. which. “but as the surintendant told me.“My dear monsieur. my dear Lebrun. “Help me now. “I to oppose the desire.” said Aramis. “Well.” he said. “’I shall be compelled to say to the king.” Nevertheless Lebrun went on copying the materials and ornaments with the closest fidelity—a process which Aramis watched with 35 . but owing to a feeling of delicacy. my dear monsieur.” “Then the affair will fail. doubtless. for you understand. a noble spirit!” The tailor stammered. that—” “That you are. only—’” “’Only?’” repeated Percerin. Monsieur d’Artagnan. “your colors will deceive you. The painter set to work to draw and then to paint the dresses. but in the meanwhile wished to keep clear. Aramis. M. But Aramis. suddenly stopped him. Fouquet’s idea.’” continued Aramis. did not consider overdone. But already Percerin. but just now. and on canvas we shall lack that exact resemblance which is absolutely requisite. free to refuse. and these masterpieces he successively fitted upon four lay figures. monseigneur. your grace is mad!” cried the poor tailor in extremity. ‘if Percerin refuse.

always your friend.” Lebrun packed up his paints and brushes. who was looking upon him with a species of idolatry. and as a man would who had not only never seen anything greater.” said Aramis. but not even ever anything so great. “That will never do. consequently. fascinating. “What in the world. “I like this better. “I would answer for the effect. close your box. Where. Chapter V. “If I am your dupe. But the friendly pressure having been performed not too painfully for him. and a better light—” “Oh. I will not be your accomplice. “To Saint-Mande!” cried Porthos. but no longer an irritated Porthos.” said Aramis. “for I have done. ‘tis time I left this place. Lebrun. “this ought to be the knotty point of the whole thing. or a disappointed Porthos. is it not?” said Aramis to D’Artagnan. I am going to rejoin Porthos. 36 . “Well.” “And besides.” cried Lebrun. aloud. surprised at seeing the proud bishop of Vannes fraternizing with a journeyman tailor. Percerin put back the dresses into the closet. M. “will you come with me to Saint-Mande?” “I will go anywhere you like. and with time. is the meaning of this imbroglio?” the musketeer kept saying to himself.” said D’Artagnan. double Jesuit that you are. which lost itself in the gigantic clasp of his old friend. “adieu. cut out five patterns and handed them to the bishop of Vannes. monsieur. and shall be glad to say a parting word to our dear old friend.” cried the vexed painter. then.—and they all left the study.” “Good!” said D’Artagnan.” continued D’Artagnan. “our work is pressing. beaten from his last retreat. Moliere is not altogether what he seems. yes. “Yes.” said Aramis: “M. “my opinion is that you are always the same.” “And. Aramis. D’Artagnan found Porthos in the adjoining chamber. pocketing the patterns. Lebrun. by the feigned good-nature of Aramis. moreover.—Adieu. smiling. Aramis. the bishop of Vannes passed over to Moliere. Mordioux! Will this Percerin give in now?” Percerin.—an operation which Aramis never hazarded without a certain uneasiness. “the light is abominable here. in a low voice. “My dear Aramis. Aramis went straight up to Porthos and offered him his white hand.ill-concealed impatience. now.” answered Moliere. Aramis put his hand on his pocket to assure himself the patterns were secure. they want a pattern of each of the materials.” “Then wait for me. are you going to take this gentleman to Saint-Mande?” “Yes. but Porthos radiant. and to prevent it. Moliere Obtained His First Idea of the Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Probably.” he added aloud. That is your opinion. and chattering with Moliere. monsieur.” said D’Artagnan.” “In what way?” asked Porthos.” “But. blooming. monseigneur. my dear Porthos. “M. an idea! If we had a pattern of the materials. and roll up your canvas.” “An idea. and duped.” said the bishop in a charming tone. then. “What.” said he. for example.

what has he done for you?” “My friend. and is expected at Saint-Mande to try on the dresses which M. “that you are so pleased with him?” “What has he done for me. Fouquet has ordered for the Epicureans. monsieur le baron. What annoyance and humiliation they would have spared me!” “Not to mention of the costumes. D’Artagnan.” said Aramis. Moliere. of all heights and sizes. he has done that which no tailor ever yet accomplished: he has taken my measure without touching me!” “Ah. my dear M. And he left with Aramis. monsieur. Moliere took his leave of Porthos with much ceremony. “Completely so. is this M. then.” “’Tis precisely so.” 37 . or at the very least a great tailor. “above all. do you? I shall make a point of recollecting his name. be exact. my dear Porthos. if you prefer that. tell me M. thirty dresses. I’faith.” he asked. monsieur. but the largest—that of the drum-major of the Swiss guard—was two inches too short.” “What did he do. my friend! done for me!” cried Porthos. they went. enthusiastically. “Pray. but he is a great man. He was not at all put at fault by the circumstance. then. ‘tis an unheard-of thing that people should have been so stupid as not to have discovered this method from the first. “Yes.” “First. I ask you.” answered Moliere. I don’t know where.” concluded Porthos.” “We have finished.“Why. Percerin’s chief clerks. “And you are satisfied?” asked D’Artagnan. this gentleman is one of M.” “Indeed!” “It is exactly as I tell you.” “Yes.” “Well.” replied Porthos. and a half foot too narrow in the chest.” “You will have your dress the day after to-morrow. my dear Porthos. hoping there would be one to suit mine. taking Porthos’s arm.” said Moliere. mincingly.” “Moliere? You call him so. if you have done with M. Moliere’s plan. Then D’Artagnan. and grasped the hand which the captain of the musketeers furtively offered him. come. my dear Porthos. “Yes.” “Yes. Moliere. for a number of lay figures. du Vallon. “What has this tailor done for you. “that is. then?” “Oh! it is a very simple matter.” replied Porthos.” “Come. bah! tell me how he did it. or Poquelin.

” said D’Artagnan. “’a gentleman ought to measure himself. ‘one may. Porthos! what excellent words you have command of. I know not how that may be. Do me the pleasure to draw near this glass. this good M.” D’Artagnan recoiled. with a piece of Spanish chalk. no doubt. placed one above another. Moliere’s plan?” “’Tis this: instead of pulling me to pieces. ‘that your dress may fit you well. Aramis and I had to use such words in our strategic studies and castramentative experiments. and its breadth of three similar parallelograms in juxtaposition.” “Yes.“No.” “Moliere!” “Ah! yes. as all these rascals do—of making me bend my back. my friend). and not desire to take one’s doublet off—’” “True. You will see now.” “Ah! he expatiated?” “Parbleu!” “Let me hear his theory.’ he said to me.’ and I drew near the glass. which is. Let us return to the looking-glass. “that is an excellent maxim. ‘Monsieur.” said D’Artagnan.” “’Seeing that. it is the very glass in which the king is used to look to see himself.” continued Porthos. which I thought admirable: ‘It is advisable that a dress should not incommode its wearer.” “Ah! well. but where did they find one in which you could see your whole figure?” “My good friend. “Ah! very good. Voliere—” 38 . Moliere—Moliere. Voliere—” “Moliere. have one’s doublet on one’s shoulder. and as I have one at Pierrefonds—” “Capital!” returned D’Artagnan. Where in the word did you acquire such a voluminous vocabulary?” “At Belle-Isle. When I wish to recollect his name. unfortunately. or in a troublesome position. “you saw yourself in the glass.’ But he. Moliere set to work tracing out lines on the mirror. he with his soft voice. ‘Take care.’ continued M. ‘what you are going to do with me. I like Moliere best. my dear friend.” said D’Artagnan. as though the sesquipedalian syllables had knocked the breath out of his body. I shall think of voliere [an aviary]. my friend.” “Yes—Moliere—you are right. a cunning way of flattering the king. but the looking-glass was too large for me. seldom carried out in practice.’ said I to him.” “That is why I found it all the more astonishing. that I shall recollect his name quite well.’” “In fact. it is. and double my joints—all of them low and dishonorable practices—” D’Artagnan made a sign of approbation with his head. Voliere wanted with me.’” “In reality. “’Monsieur. when he expatiated upon it. “’And so. in awkward circumstances. I am very ticklish. it must be made according to your figure. This excellent M. ‘Tis true that its height was made up of three Venetian plates of glass. And as the fear of being measured still possessed me. following in all the make of my arms and my shoulders. I must own I did not exactly understand what this good M. but the king is a foot and a half shorter than you are.’ said he. all the while expounding this maxim. “And M.’ he continued. with his soft voice (for he is a courteous fellow. We shall take the measure of this reflection.” “Then.” “Oh. Your figure is exactly reflected in this mirror. we must admit. I warn you.

“’’Tis nothing.” “I beg your pardon—Poquelin. yes. that two panes of glass burst out of the window.” cried D’Artagnan. while my right arm. does he not?” “Yes. ‘you want to draw your sword.’ “I raised my left arm in the air. my friend. In the meanwhile.” “This Coquelin sketched my arm on the glass. and you have your doublet on your back. securely covered my wrist with the elbow.” “I prefer to call him Poquelin. “’tis the true guard—the academic guard.’ said he. astounded. ‘And so. that it will in no way encumber you. the forearm gracefully bent. prefer to call him—what did you say his other name was?” “Poquelin.” “And change Coc into Poc. and instead of Coquenard I shall have Poquelin. What do you do?’ “’I take it off. after all.” “And how will you remember this name better than the other?” “You understand.” “Yes.” said D’Artagnan. he calls himself Poquelin. Voliere—” “Moliere. dear friend. nard into lin.’ I answered. even in drawing your sword.” “’Tis wonderful. then?” “You said Coquelin. I am listening to you with admiration. “I did it with such wondrous firmness.” “If I were to call to mind Madame Coquenard. ‘Keep your position.’ “’Ah.’ pursued he.” “Good. “’How no?’ “’I say that the dress should be so well made. half extended.’ went on M. no.” “Moliere. the ruffle drooping.” “What did I say. ah!’ “’Throw yourself on guard. and my breast with the wrist. and my wrist curved.” “You have said the very word.’ he replied. “’Well.” 39 .“Moliere. monsieur. “Go on. Moliere.” “Hold! I should certainly. nothing.

I don’t know a happier man than you.” “Oh. bending a little in my hands. I will not allow it.” interrupted D’Artagnan.’ cried he. The garcon complied.” “And there it ended?” “Without a soul having touched me.” “Doubtless. ‘Support monsieur by the waist. Stay.’ “’Very good. and keeps every one in his place. A third approached.“Ah! true.’” “The distinction is full of the soundest sense.’ “’No. ‘there is.” “’Twas delicate in him. “he made a sign: two lads approached.’ I replied. that I must have been looking particularly handsome. men supported those of the prophet.” “Except the three garcons who supported you. my friend. no. one supported my left arm. he kept looking at me a good deal. I think. “Must I confess? Well.” “I much like the plan. but I have.” “’Does it weary you?’ he asked. or I have been the means of a good windfall to that rascal Moliere. it is respectful.” “Poquelin. “I’faith.” “Poquelin—you are right.” “Yes.’ I answered. sketched my arm on the glass. This Poquelin. already explained to you the difference there is between supporting and measuring. supported my right. “’A little. my man. ‘but I could hold out for an hour or so longer. The fact is.’ said I. but he took his time over it. and we shall assuredly see the scene hit off to the life in some comedy or other. with infinite address.” “’Tis true. and Pocquenard drew me on the glass. that is true. my friend. and then it was over. as of old. “What are you laughing at?” asked D’Artagnan. then. I think.” “So that you were at rest?” asked D’Artagnan.’ said he. who said afterwards to himself. I greatly deceive myself. “Then. decidedly I prefer calling him Voliere. while the other.” answered D’Artagnan. “’That will not be humiliating to you?’ “’My friend. wasn’t it?” “During that time Voliere drew me as I appeared in the mirror. But what is this last piece of luck that has befallen you?’ 40 . I was laughing over my good fortune. “Perfectly. a great difference between being supported and being measured.” “’Another.” Porthos smiled.” continued Porthos. the willing fellows will make it a duty to support your arms.

the Bees. and those on the freest footing in the house—every one in his compartment. I shall continued to say Moliere.” “Won’t it be of use to him. coming from Moliere. returned to Saint-Mande in no very good humor. Fouquet proposed to offer his majesty Louis XIV. you have an abominable habit.” “It seems that I am the first who has had his measure taken in that manner. “Yes. whenever he should desire to convert his sketch into a picture. does not surprise me.—for you see my friend Moliere is of all known tailors the man who best clothes our barons. wherein we will leave them. congratulate me. but. and that in the highest degree. and marquises—according to their measure. crossly said. who kept buzzing and humming at everybody’s elbow a thousand poetic abstractions. The Bee-Hive. Loret.—a habit which will ever prevent your becoming a poet of the first order.” a comedy in three acts.” answered Pelisson. in order to look after Moliere and Aramis at Saint-Mande. quite delighted at having made such a capital rough sketch. “I want a rhyme to lumiere. neither the application nor depth of which we shall discuss. one cannot talk of wheel-ruts when celebrating the delights of Vaux. that does not surprise me from Moliere. Well. boring. Pelisson.” said Loret. “Voliere. as for me. La Fontaine.” “It will be of great use to him by and by. no. which was to be put on the stage by Poquelin de Moliere. He so often disturbed Pelisson. before those fetes had taken place. La Fontaine sauntered about from one to the other. Moliere. but. All the first story of the left wing was occupied by the most celebrated Epicureans in Paris. no. indeed! I am very willing to leave you to go on saying Voliere. supply me with a rhyme. as D’Artagnan called him.” answered La Fontaine. The bishop of Vannes. during the fete at Vaux. Percerin’s.” On this observation. it will.” “Well. I was saying. and inspired you with this grand idea. since you have the run of the gardens at Parnassus. my friend. much annoyed at having met D’Artagnan at M. raising his head.“Well. that the latter.” “Oh.” “What rhyme do you want?” asked the Fabler as Madame de Sevigne used to call him. my good friend. employed in producing the honey intended for that royal cake which M. Certain signs of intelligence which passed between Voliere and the other garcons showed me the fact. my friend.—the gazetteers of all ages have always been so artless!—Loret was composing an account of the fetes at Vaux. or Coquelin de Voliere.” “I desire nothing better. de Percerin’s house and rejoined their carriages. and at knowing where to find his original again.” said D’Artagnan.” 41 . this. “Ah. his head leaning on his hand. it doesn’t rhyme. my dear fellow. like the bees in their cells. a peripatetic. as Porthos styled him. indeed? I believe you. D’Artagnan and Porthos quitted M. “What! doesn’t rhyme!” cried La Fontaine. comtes. my friend. Chapter VI. who is a very ingenious fellow. unbearable dreamer. with all the charming innocence of a gazetteer. “Besides.” “Are you so sure of it?’ “Nearly so. absent-minded. and the Honey. was engaged in drawing out the plan of the prologue to the “Facheux. on the other hand. Moliere arrived in the merriest of moods. in surprise. I am sure. You rhyme in a slovenly manner.” “Orniere. “At least.

oh.” “Well. indeed.” said La Fontaine. I am a poor creature!” “Who said so?” “Parbleu! ‘twas Pelisson. What a mind that devil of a Moliere has!” said La Fontaine. “it seems that I rhyme in a slovenly manner. ‘tis wrong to say so. Jean La Fontaine!” he added.” he added. striking his forehead. thou wilt never be aught but an ass. with increasing grief. took good care not to answer. if they are in your head you cannot burn them. “But if Pelisson said you were so.” “Then I will never write anything again save in prose. Remember that a rhyme is never good so long as one can find a better. you think so. “Pelisson has seriously offended you. again absorbed in his work. Pelisson?” “Yes. approaching the poet.” cried Moliere. who had entered just at this point of the conversation. following up his idea. Then. I do.” “Oh. and I shall never forget them!” “The deuce!” cried Loret. “what can I do?” “I have discovered the way. “but if I do not burn them—” “Well. and there is much that is good in your ‘Fables. “Oh. “I say I shall never be aught but an ass. as you are a gentleman. not to leave an insult like that unpunished.” “How simple! Well. my friend.“Oh. with a heavy sigh and swimming eyes.’” “And to begin. “Yes. “What way?” “Write them first and burn them afterwards. “I will go and burn a hundred verses I have just made.” “Nay. do you.” “True.” “Do not say so.” answered La Fontaine. I should never have discovered that. “What are you saying there.” continued La Fontaine. your remark is too sweeping.” “Where are your verses?” “In my head. “Ah! I often suspected I was nothing but a rascally poet! Yes.” said La Fontaine. ‘tis the very truth. whose aside he had heard. Pelisson?” Pelisson.” said Moliere. my friend?” broke in Moliere.” “Do you think so?” “Ah! I advise you. did you not. what will happen if you do not burn them?” “They will remain in my mind. who had taken up Pelisson’s reproach in earnest. “what a dangerous thing! One would go mad with it!” “The deuce! the deuce!” repeated La Fontaine.” 42 .

’ I said.” “Ah! I knew you would.” “I should make them rhyme.“What!” exclaimed La Fontaine. Moliere kept upon his lips the rallying smile which had so nearly died away. above all. Moliere alone passed his hand across his eyes.” continued La Fontaine. “Did you ever fight?” “Once only.” “What wrong had he done you?” “It seems he ran away with my wife. promising never again to set foot in my house. that on the ground my opponent disarmed me. the others had turned round.” said Moliere. at La Fontaine’s declaration. monsieur. for instance. I picked up my sword.” “A hundred thousand!” cried La Fontaine. “I want your advice. too. So. “It is certain. Why? Perhaps to wipe away a tear.” All burst out laughing. returning to the topic of the conversation.” 43 . and continuing to make La Fontaine speak— “And what was the result of the duel?” “The result was. ah!” said Moliere. Is it also on this subject. “Pelisson has insulted you.” “And I have made a hundred thousand such rhymes in my time. but he was not a philosopher. ‘I beg your pardon. tell me really now whether lumiere does not rhyme with orniere.’ which M. and I am going to—” “Stay. you can do so. rhymes with posthume. “Four times as many as ‘La Pucelle. but as.” continued La Fontaine.” “Ah.” “In the plural. “’Tis all one. with a lieutenant in the light horse. and I continue to be the happiest of husbands.” “I do think it indispensable. do me the pleasure to continue your visits as heretofore. “that legume. ‘I have not fought you because you were my wife’s friend. becoming slightly pale.” “Well.” “Upon what? this insult?” “No. but because I was told I ought to fight. if you think it indispensable. Alas! we know that Moliere was a moralist. Chaplain is meditating. that you have composed a hundred thousand verses?” “Listen to me. perhaps to smother a sigh.” he said. or morbleu! let us set to again. truly! I had already forgotten it. as I have never known any peace save since you made her acquaintance. “Not at all! on the contrary.’ And so.” “And you considered yourself satisfied?” said Moliere.” “Ah. “he was compelled to resume his friendship with madame.” exclaimed La Fontaine. and then made an apology.” “And I am going to challenge him on your behalf. you eternally absent-minded creature.

” “But—” said Moliere. no. laughing. “he is off now.” “You asked me to write it?” “Yes. true.“Yes. I recollect. but with four.” “Well. that I have asked you to write this very prologue. and yet why so?” “There is too great a difference in the cadences. no. ‘tis the same to me! And so your divertissement is called the ‘Facheux?’ Well.” “When?” “When you call me absent-minded.” “Ah! you are of my opinion?” “So much so. and Moliere is a judge of such things.’” “Ah. you.” “Come.” “But inasmuch as Pelisson is about it!—” “Ah. he declares he has himself made a hundred thousand verses. can you make heureux rhyme with facheux?” “If obliged. and on your refusal begged you to ask Pelisson.” “It would be hazardous. yes. clapping his hand on the shoulder of his friend. yes. Well.” said La Fontaine. seeing that then it rhymes not with three letters. the ‘Facheux.” said La Fontaine. then? I’faith.” “It is like rivage.” “And even with capriceux.” “Ah! that is what Pelisson is doing. the ‘Facheux. and do your prologue for you. “Moliere says so. above all in the plural. I was thinking a prologue would admirably suit your divertissement. as orniere does with lumiere. then. It is a monstrous defect. “because you are preparing a divertissement for Vaux.” “But give me ornieres and lumieres in the plural.” “It was not Loret who said so.” continued La Fontaine. my dear Pelisson.” “Doubtless it would suit capitally. whose insult he had quite forgotten.” “Hem!” coughed Pelisson. leaving Moliere for Loret—”I was fancying—” 44 . miserable rascal that I am! Loret was indeed right in saying I was a poor creature. you are indeed often right.” “Oh. which rhymes admirably with herbage. I would take my oath of it. “I tell you all this.” said Moliere. who is engaged upon it at this moment.” “I was fancying. my friend. “and they will rhyme. are you not?” “Yes.’ yes. I will cure myself of it. whoever said so. my dear Moliere.

” “Well.” “Ah.” continued La Fontaine. “The nymph of Vaux! thank you. it was Pelisson.” “Then you see clearly I am nothing but a poor creature.’ would you?” “Why not?” “’Quittest. rather more than faded. as you said. your cat—” “She made her nest upon it.” cried La Fontaine. “But the verb. is. my dear Moliere. you have just given me the two concluding verses of my paper. Pelisson. “that the second verse. “that the nymph of Vaux—” “Ah. To admire the greatest king of all kings round. and my cat—” “Well.” “Well.“What were you fancying?” said Loret.” 45 . La Fontaine. the verb?” asked Pelisson.” obstinately insisted Pelisson. ‘king of all kings round.’ are you not?” “No! mordieu! it is Pelisson. I left it on the floor in my room. “To admire the greatest king of all kings round. who—’ After ‘who’ I should place a verb in the second person singular of the present indicative. “I was fancying. in the middle of a sentence. you see. nymph.’ is very weak. “tell me now in what way you would begin my prologue?” “I should say.” “I never said so.” “You would not put ‘who quittest.” said Moliere. and should go on thus: ‘this grot profound. “Make haste.’ after ‘you who’?” “Ah! my dear fellow. My housekeeper told me that my own is rather faded.” exclaimed La Fontaine. “This second person singular of the present indicative?” “Well.” “Ah. if you can rhyme so well. But what annoys me more than anything.” “Diable! your housekeeper is right. my dear La Fontaine.” “And it was not Loret either.” “You are writing the prologue to the ‘Facheux. ‘Oh! nymph. “the fact is. for the fete?” “Yes. and then for after the fete.” resumed La Fontaine. then.’” “But the verb. quittest: “Oh.—a shuffler. going over to him. for instance. as Loret said. “you are a shocking pedant!” “Without counting. which has rather changed its color. beautiful!” cried Loret. then. La Fontaine.” “You expected yours.” said Pelisson.” “Then. that I fear we shall not have our Epicurean dresses. Pelisson was right a hundred times over. who quittest now this grot profound.” he continued. for the fete. the verb.

could find any? “Why doubt me?” said Aramis.” “He has promised me some whitings. and every one resumed his self-possession and his pen. “I am going by Paris. and passed the back of his icy hand across his moistened brow. monseigneur?” “I laugh no longer now.” said Moliere. and Aramis.” said he. Find a rhyme for that. Aramis distributed the notes of invitation. “he loves his home. M. Aramis perceived that the superintendent either doubted him. The fete is approaching.Moliere burst out laughing.’ that does not mean. “Oh. ex-musketeer. Fouquet. gentlemen. “Do you not laugh. “being kept to his room by business. sweet smile. Fouquet.” “’He loves. I must give notice at home. “M. I offer my carriage. an article on the marvelous fetes he predicted. with a sigh. while Aramis went to exchange a parting word with the superintendent. “’He loves. the bishop of Vannes appeared. I am in a hurry. “they love me at Chateau Thierry. but begged them to send him some of the fruits of their day’s work.” Aramis went out laughing. La Fontaine. all settled down to work. “Yes.” Fouquet looked closely at Aramis. re-entered his apartment. after having passed a quarter of an hour with M. poor Moliere!” said Loret. ex-abbe. to enable him to forget the fatigue of his labor in the night.” replied Moliere.” At these words. They were at the bottom of the stairs. La Fontaine placed himself at a table.” “You shall have them the day after the king’s entree into Vaux. I am very sure. laden with his booty like the king of the bees. d’Herblay. with a roll of plans and parchments under his arm. “Remember. Loret. he had undertaken to order the horses.’ yes. “The superintendent. “I accept it. But before departing. Fouquet smiled and shook his head. could not come and see them. how they are laughing there!” said Fouquet. silent and busy. Pelisson made a fair copy of his prologue. As if the angel of death had chilled all gay and sprightly fancies—as if that wan form had scared away the Graces to whom Xenocrates sacrificed—silence immediately reigned through the study. As to Moliere. or felt he was powerless to obtain the money.” “Have I not told you that was my business?” “Yes. How could Fouquet suppose that a poor bishop. Moliere contributed fifty fresh verses. they love him. At this juncture. decked with purple and gold.” said Moliere. that great black drone.” The shouts of laughter reached the ears of Fouquet at the moment Aramis opened the door of the study.” “In that case. de Gourville has promised me some craw-fish.” said Loret. and thanked them in the name of M. when La Fontaine opened the door. you promised me millions.” he said. and shouted out: “He has promised us some whitings. 46 .” said La Fontaine. “we leave to-morrow evening. Pelisson and Loret followed his example. In return for these our writings. as only he could laugh. and set his rapid pen an endless dance across the smooth white vellum. smiling. and Moliere followed him.” “As for me. “Will any one go with me?” he asked.” “Good. with his sad. with which his visit to Percerin had inspired him. money is departing.” Aramis here re-entered after a brief disappearance.” “I shall dine here.

then at the same time. dear prelate. “if I fall—” “Well. “My dear M.” “And what have you been doing at Percerin’s. for two Latin verses he made against the Jesuits.” “Bah! and they will be rich and elegant?” “Splendid! There will be few great monseigneurs with so good.” said he. “And where are you going?” he said.” “And what do you want with Lyonne?” “I wish to make him sign a lettre de cachet.” “’Two Latin verses!’ and. I went to see the dresses for our poets.’ the miserable being has been in prison for ten years!” 47 .” “For whom?” “M. which you are going to give to the king. for ‘two Latin verses. at least.” “’Lettre de cachet!’ Do you desire to put somebody in the Bastile?” “On the contrary—to let somebody out. I went to prepare a surprise. a lad who has been Bastiled these ten years. fall from such a height.” Then giving himself a shake. when you shall have given a certain letter. “I am off to Paris.” “And who?” “A poor devil—a youth.” “In your school. d’Herblay.” answered Fouquet. “my friend?” “From Paris—from Percerin. for I suppose you attach no great importance to our poets’ dresses?” “No. “Whence came you. that I shall shatter myself in falling. whatever you may say or think of it.” “And will it cost much?” “Oh! a hundred pistoles you will give Lebrun. as though to escape from himself. if you ‘fall’?” “I shall.” “Ever generous and grateful.“Man of little faith!” added the bishop. de Lyonne.” “Surprise?” “Yes.” Fouquet grasped his hand.” “A painting?—Ah! all the better! And what is this painting to represent?” “I will tell you. People will see the difference there is between the courtiers of wealth and those of friendship.

grating on their enormous hinges. whose trays. “Wait. sovereign dispenser of gastronomic delicacies. and taking up Moliere. This same hour was that of M. M. but. and you never told me!” “’Twas only yesterday his mother applied to me. Peter in bonds.“Yes!” “And has committed no other crime?” “Beyond this. and the spit turned more heavily than usual. “Stay. She would say I am but a poor superintendent! Go! and I pray that God will bless those who are mindful of his poor!” “So also do I pray. de Baisemeaux de Montlezun was not accustomed to the unbending movements of his greatness my lord of Vannes. carrying some consolation to the prisoners in the shape of honestly filled bottles of good vintages. that famous clock. d’Herblay. We understand on this head the theories of M. “set the son at liberty. He had a guest to-day. He opened his drawer. who was beginning to lose patience. were ascending the steep staircases. like most of the clocks of the period. monseigneur.” said Fouquet. above all. he is as innocent as you or I. seated at table.” replied Aramis. Seven o’clock sounded from the great clock of the Bastile. cardons of Guipuzcoa and la bisque ecrevisses: these. monseigneur?” “That she is ten thousand livres richer than I. represented St. flanked with quails and flanking a larded leveret. M. like all the accessories of the state prison. kept talking of his hunger and testifying the liveliest impatience.” “Yes. as M. was rubbing his hands and looking at the bishop of Vannes. de Baisemeaux. each for a thousand francs. that I hardly wonder there are wretches who doubt of its existence. Stay. And he went out quickly. wrote a few rapid lines to his colleague Lyonne. le gouverneur’s supper also.—But it is too bad. who. “sometimes bears with such injustice on earth. booted like a cavalier. and this evening 48 . recalled to the prisoners’ minds the destination of every hour of their punishment. taking a pen. hams.” “On your word?” “On my honor!” “And his name is—” “Seldon. de Baisemeaux has himself taught us. It was the supper hour of the unfortunate captives. the very use of which is a torture.” “Heaven. You knew this. and took out ten government notes which were there. Chapter VII. adorned with figures. fried and sprinkled with white wine. Roast partridges. opened for the passage of the baskets and trays of provisions. The doors.” “And the woman is poor!” “In the deepest misery. kissing Fouquet’s hand. and give this to the mother. Baisemeaux. full-laden. boiled fowls. Aramis took the letter and made ready to go. constituted the governor’s bill of fare. together with soups and hors d’oeuvres. dressed in gray and sword at side.” And Fouquet. Another Supper at the Bastile. carrying off the letter for Lyonne and the notes for Seldon’s mother. do not tell her—” “What. was regulated by the condition in life of the prisoner. The time-piece of the Bastile. the abundance and the delicacy of which. head cook of the royal fortress.” said Fouquet.” he said. which.

monsieur. wicked. and that disturbs me.” “Have you no wine there?” “’Tis not for wine. “Monsieur.” “You traverse the town and the streets in disguise?” “In disguise. very fortunate. “I was saying that your greatness puts me in mind of two persons. who.” said Aramis. The bishop just trenched on the borders only of license in his style of conversation.” Francois entered. becoming sprightly.” “Do you know. I like exceedingly to be tete-a-tete when I am with a friend.” said he. bishop—and from bishop—” “Ah! stay there. I pray you.” “And let him go. I own. monsieur.” “Oh. turned musketeer. “for indeed to-night I dare not call you monseigneur. very adventurous.” “I shut the windows at supper-time so as not to hear the sounds or the arrival of couriers.” said Aramis.” continued Baisemeaux.” “And you still make use of your sword?” “Yes. As for M. Baisemeaux.” said Aramis. he gave himself up entirely upon this point of his guest’s freedom.” “Ah. yes. “You will allow him. volunteered confidence on confidence. The prelate had again a little touch of the musketeer about him.” said Aramis. Baisemeaux?” 49 . You understand?” “Nevertheless I am suffocated.” cried Baisemeaux. as everything mundane is. shut the window.” “Indeed. I am booted. but only when I am compelled. yes. and from musketeer turned abbe. that you gave me the idea of a cardinal. “The supper is completely served.” “By no means. “and the other?” “The other was a certain musketeer. “Open the windows. from being abbe. “I have just said. and the window is shut. and we shall eat it very well without waiters. Do me the pleasure to summon Francois. Francois.” “But you have wicked intentions.” Baisemeaux bowed respectfully. Francois. the wind may annoy his greatness. nevertheless. the great Cardinal de la Rochelle.” continued Aramis. of whom you remind me this evening?” “No! faith. who wore boots like you. encouraged by Aramis’s smile—”from abbe. You hear them when the window is open?” “But too well.” exclaimed Aramis. one very illustrious. “call me monsieur. de Baisemeaux. As you said. monsieur. but because it is hot here. “From abbe.Aramis. with the facility of vulgar people. for all that. Francois. “but I hope I remind you of a capital guest. very handsome. very brave. but I do not intend.” added Aramis. to embroil myself with the church this evening. I should think so.” “Enough. the late cardinal. taking up his glass. monseigneur. Master Francois. I have on the boots of a cavalier. as you say.” “You remind me of two. I beg. “I like exceedingly. dear M.” “Retire. “to help myself. dear M.” Aramis condescended to smile.

A courier came in about eight o’clock as Francois brought in the fifth bottle. we will see to it to-morrow. there will be daylight. lifting his dazzling Venetian goblet.” grumbled the soldier Francois.” said Aramis. I say.” said Baisemeaux. redoubling his attention to the passing bottle. “Upon my honor. you delight me.” “Yes. is he not?” “You know it as I do. but—” “Let him leave his news at the office. fellow! and better.” “Let him go to the devil. dear Baisemeaux.” “Take care. Baisemeaux heard nothing. though ‘tis singular. and he poured out a great glass of wine and drank it off at a draught. de Baisemeaux. Hurrah! hurrah!” “You forget me. Francois. “I hope ‘tis neither the wine you drank nor he who is the cause of your drinking it. make me tipsy to-night. But I do more than love M. undoubtedly.” “Well.” “Nearly always. by hook or by crook. “Wine.” “Yes. “Yes.” “Bravo!” said Baisemeaux. The window was opened. it is a horse.” said the governor.” said Aramis. for my part. monsieur. half intoxicated. and may the devil take him.” “No. “monsieur. there will be time to-morrow. There is a man for you. in the secret of some high archiepiscopal misdemeanor. To-morrow. de la Fere. seeing that you were in the musketeers with us.” said Baisemeaux. de la Fere has returned to his household gods at Blois? He is a very old friend.” “Pooh! some courier or other. “that you will find yourself very lonely. and if I have a trouble at the bottom of my heart. in spite of himself. let us have a merry time of it as of old. and.” “Bah! with my friends I reckon neither bottles of wine nor years.” replied the governor. monsieur. now M. “The devil take him. and so quickly that we shall never hear him speak more. who is making noise enough in the court for a whole squadron. While he was drinking he did not see with what attention Aramis was noting the sounds in the great court. “Do you not think. but—” “And what to these ministers do but countersign the signature of the king?” 50 . Baisemeaux.“You are at home here.” said Aramis. I venerate him. “What! who?” asked Baisemeaux.” “And you are right. I promise you.” “Baisemeaux. you shall see it as you would a diamond at the bottom of your glass. although the courier made a great noise. wine!” Francois entered. d’Herblay.” “Do not orders issue from the ministers?” “Yes. d’Artagnan to him. “Ah. who drinks long and well! That kind of people allow you at least to penetrate their thoughts. but a courier has just arrived. chanting the words. “The letter which the courier brings to the governor of a fortress is sometimes an order. yes. “I prefer M. monsieur. Baisemeaux! my glass is empty.” said M.” answered the governor. trembling with joy at the idea of being. “take care!” “Of what? dear M.

then?” “However. you will at least agree. they have never considered the thickness of my walls. Baisemeaux. Then. I repeat that the devil—” “If you had said as much to the great cardinal—hem! my dear Baisemeaux. ‘tis very tiresome when you are sitting before a good table.” exclaimed Baisemeaux. excusable?” “Do not forget. merely an irregularity. to Francois. bring me a slip of paper containing these words: ‘Monsieur de Baisemeaux. you see. “Do you know what it is? I will tell you something about as interesting as this. He slowly undid it.” “You wish. recovering himself. what can you expect. and I am accustomed to obedience everywhere. excellent news indeed to disturb us!” “Excellent news for him whom it concerns. ‘tis because there is something extraordinary in this matter. Baisemeaux. then—” “I wish that you would do your duty. having read it: “What was I just saying?” he exclaimed. Baisemeaux took from his hands the minister’s order. monseigneur. but as to orders that arrive when one is at supper. Aramis pretended to be drinking. “An order of release! There. at least before this soldier. “The king’s order is sacred.” added Baisemeaux.” “Let us pass over that. and as slowly read it. It is very possible that it was not Francois who was wrong in demurring. “Then let them do their business. who is clever at escaping. Francois still waited: “Let them send this order of the king’s up to me. Mordioux! am I not.” “Pardon me. They would know better. And he added in a low tone. and if his order had any importance. tete-a-tete with a friend—Ah! I beg your pardon. what news?’ ‘Tis clear enough that those who waste their time writing such orders have never slept in the Bastile.” he repeated. indeed. he has demurred. and to trouble me when I am happy. monsieur.” “’Tis mathematically true. the number of rounds we go.” “I do it that I may not disturb a bishop. and what has Francois done?” “He has demurred!” “He was wrong. monseigneur? It is their business to write and torment me when I am at rest.” stammered Baisemeaux. But I thought it my duty to make an observation which I deem important. But. that I have worn the soldier’s coat. by messengers arriving at full gallop to tell me. so as to be able to watch his host through the glass. smiling. my dear governor!” “And at eight o’clock in the evening!” “It is charitable!” 51 . Francois re-entered. Nevertheless.” “Oh! perhaps you are right. now. dear Baisemeaux.” added the bishop. who are in the wrong in not listening to him.“Perhaps you are right. but you. bowing to Aramis. yes. and that I speak to a future cardinal. “What is it?” asked the bishop. deepest slumber. how many times I have been suddenly awakened from the very sweetest. the vigilance of my officers. or rather.” “And do you do yours. my friend. then.’ or. ‘Beware of fire near the powder magazine.’ Ah! if you only knew.” “Wrong? I to be wrong before Francois? that seems rather hard. ‘Look close after such and such a one. and return to our soldier. I forgot it is I who engage you at supper.” “Well.

you see. “for you to execute the order.” asked M. Baisemeaux. then? And is the prisoner who is to be set at liberty a good payer?” “Oh. and to-morrow morning.” 52 . flung the order on the table and began eating again. both on the direction and inside. seeing that the lettre de cachet bears. indeed! a miserable. such an action is worth ten Benedicites. you have seen that. Once a soldier. who ever said so? Your independence is well known. keep him under lock and key for ten years. but it is for that fellow who says he is so weary and tired. since you have just told me that he has been your prisoner these ten years.” “You wish it?” “I entreat you.’ or ‘Keep him very strictly.’ and actually add to their missive—’urgent. at daybreak. five-franc rat!” “Let me see it. God will repay you in Paradise with years of felicity. this very evening. I feel myself a priest.” “What! in the very middle of our repast?” “I implore you.” “Ah! don’t speak of it!” “And your obedience to your superiors. Baisemeaux.“Oh! charity is all very well. always a soldier. I suppose?” “Oh. This unfortunate man has suffered long enough. the prisoner referred to shall be set free. admirable! ‘Urgent!’—a man who has been there ten years! It is urgent to set him free to-day. at eight o’clock!—urgent!” And Baisemeaux.” “Why not this evening.’ You will own. “It is no indiscretion?” “By no means. without rhyme or reason they write—’Set him at liberty.” “There is ‘Urgent. “They are fond of these tricks!” he said. patience! You must not imagine that I am a slave. ‘urgent’?” “Because this evening we are at supper. “Will you lose by him.” “And I shall directly obey. as soon as you are accustomed to look upon the prisoner as a dangerous man. but not for me who am amusing myself. some fine day.” “To-morrow?” “At dawn. booted though I be. ‘tis enough to make a man at dinner shrug his shoulders!” “What do you expect? It is for them to write. yes. Abridge his suffering.” said Baisemeaux. “they seize a man.” “Thank Heaven!” “But your goodness of heart is also known.” “Good! good! execute it! Oh. exasperated. too!” “Dear Baisemeaux. shrugging his shoulders with an air of supreme disdain. and charity has higher claims upon me than hunger and thirst. ‘Watch this fellow well.” “Gracious Heaven! my very good M. all of a sudden.” said Aramis. d’Herblay. and our affairs are urgent. with his mouth full.’ on the paper. read it. and write to you. give him the benefit quickly. my lord. His good time has come.’ And then.

” “I read ‘Marchiali. And it appeared also that he had hit upon an excuse at last.“It shall be as you desire.” “You see.” “’Tis impossible to set a prisoner at liberty at such an hour. 3. No. indeed. and it was clear he was trying to invent some pretext. you have only to read it. “Francois.” said Aramis. “How impossible?” said Aramis. folded in the same manner.” said Baisemeaux. The order had remained on the table. Francois. I think?” “I said Seldon. no.” “I have read the order. “Give me a glimpse of this impossibility. leaving the two companions alone. tell monsieur le major to go and open the cell of M. now. very naturally. also holding up two fingers. “yes. “Yes. and his arms dropped suddenly.” and Baisemeaux held up his finger.” he said. Marchiali. The General of the Order. whether good or bad. “Look. only our supper will get cold. for delay. confident he was right. Seldon. The latter seemed only half decided to disturb himself thus in the middle of supper.” “And I saw ‘Seldon’ in letters as large as that. at any rate till after dessert.” said the governor. No. let us throw a light on the matter.” Baisemeaux looked. and by a very natural motion turned round towards the door. “There is the paper. “To the proof. Aramis seized the opportunity when Baisemeaux was not looking to change the paper for another.” Baisemeaux leaned back to ring for Francois.” “Oh! never heed that. Where can he go to. Monsieur Baisemeaux. “Eh! but it is impossible!” he cried. yes.’” returned Aramis. There was now a brief silence.” “Oh! you mean to say Marchiali?” said Aramis. Seldon.” Francois bowed and quitted the room. Chapter VIII. ‘Tis the name of the man they set free. “let the major come up here with the turnkeys of the Bertaudiere. “You said Seldon.” “You have an answer for everything.” “And I also. ‘Tis plainly written Marchiali! Quite true!” 53 . one might as well set a blind man free!” “I have a carriage. and will take him wherever he wishes.” “Seldon!” exclaimed Aramis. during which Aramis never removed his eyes from Baisemeaux for a moment.” “I think you are making a mistake. “And I read ‘Marchiali’ in characters as large as this. Bertaudiere. spreading out the paper. which he drew swiftly from his pocket. “Marchiali? oh! yes. a man so unacquainted with Paris?” “He will find a place wherever he can. quite overwhelmed. of course.

” “In a word. This investigation.” “You believe your eyes.” “I don’t know that. dear Monsieur d’Herblay. and above all. “Monseigneur. mechanically. But I understand nothing about it. Ah! I even recollect that under this name there was a blot of ink. I have satisfied myself. and M. though. monsieur.’” repeated the inflexible Aramis. Irishman.” Aramis made no reply.“Ah!—” “How? the man of whom we have talked so much? The man whom they are every day telling me to take such care of ?” “There is ‘Marchiali.” “No. blot or no blot. monsieur.” replied Baisemeaux. But with us. when. “I shall release the prisoner Marchiali when I have summoned the courier who brought the order.” “Oh! but there was.” “To tell me very plainly there is ‘Marchiali.” replied Baisemeaux. monseigneur. would have made the ears of the impatient Aramis burn with anger. “What good?” 54 .” replied the bishop. the irony of which effectually dispelled Baisemeaux’s confusion of mind. under ordinary circumstances. above all. at any rate. be it how it may. “the visit of the Jesuit confessor must have given happiness to this man. it is good that the man of to-day should no longer know what the man of yesterday did. but the bishop of Vannes did not become incensed for so little. no. If your heart dictates you to deliver Seldon also. coldly. monseigneur. “and whatever you may have seen.” “The order is signed to release Marchiali.” said Aramis. de Lyonne will either confirm or withdraw the order. and the courier is ignorant of the contents. I see it. “What mellow.” said Baisemeaux.” “Monseigneur. “this Marchiali is the very same prisoner whom the other day a priest confessor of our order came to visit in so imperious and so secret a manner.” “In any case. he again took up the order and examined it every way.” “’Tis a wonder! I still see this order and the name of Seldon. too.” “What is the good of all that?” asked Aramis. there is no blot. the order is signed to release Marchiali. but recommenced eating and drinking. dear M.” “The order is sealed. by interrogating him. but I shall send to the ministry.” “It is true. no longer touching anything that was on the table. “’Tis no such long time ago. and restored his courage.’” “And in a good handwriting. “Are you going to release Marchiali?” he said. my dear governor. there is no ink. endeavoring to regain his courage. fragrant and delicious sherry this is. “I must own it. What do you want to satisfy yourself about?” “Be it so. I know it. I declare to you I will not oppose it the least in the world.” he said. “And you are going to release this prisoner. because I rubbed my finger—this very one—in the powder that was over the blot. when he had murmured to himself that to do so was dangerous. Baisemeaux.” Aramis accompanied this remark with a smile. As for Baisemeaux.

you will obey?” “Never doubt it. Nothing checks his majesty’s signature. that I will take a pen. that I cannot but admire you. and M. but just now so playful and gay. monseigneur. “It follows. monseigneur.” “Well.” said Aramis. Monsieur de Baisemeaux. And that of M.” pursued Aramis. “and your reasoning is irresistible. nor infringing the duties of a service one has accepted of one’s own free will.” Baisemeaux gave him a pen. you have just spoken so eloquently. had become funereal and sad.” “Is it not on this order of release?” “It is true. “that you are going to ask advice. I—I. and your mode of clearing them up. what is your object.“Yes.” “You know the king’s signature well. de Lyonne is not there to tell me he has signed.” “You are right. Baisemeaux handed him some paper. monseigneur. “And a sheet of white paper.” “Your logic has the stride of a giant. I—am going to write an order to which I am certain you will give credence. and with even greater probability. but for the same reason that the king’s signature may have been forged. It seemed to him that the voice of the bishop’s. de Baisemeaux. and he should be punished if he infringed either the duties or laws of his office. that the wax lights changed into the tapers of a mortuary chapel. It is true that a subaltern owes respect to his superiors. “Now. if you will give me one.” “And if a superior officer gives you orders. But on what special grounds do you base your idea that these signatures are false?” “On this: the absence of counter-signatures. he is guilty when he deceives himself. may M. to put your conscience at ease in the matter?” “Yes. “I adopt so frankly your doubts. I ask?” “The object of never deceiving oneself. de Lyonne’s.” said Aramis.” added Aramis.” “Very good.” Baisemeaux looked at the bishop with astonishment. monseigneur. here present—incontestably. so also. M. bending an eagle glance on the governor. incredulous as you are!” Baisemeaux turned pale at this icy assurance of manner. M. de Baisemeaux?” “Yes. you mean?” “That is evident. 55 . also—I. monseigneur. but it may—” “Be forged. the very glasses of wine into chalices of blood. nor being wanting in the respect which a subaltern owes to his superior officers. de Lyonne?” “I see it plain enough on the order.

the regulations so provide.” “Monseigneur. whose hands trembled in a manner to excite pity. who perceived how strained the cord was and how dangerous it would have been to break it.” “Well.” and thus he continued: “It is our pleasure that the order brought to M.” replied the bishop.” said he. G. who have jested with you! I who have dared to treat you on a footing of equality!” “Say nothing about it. without even deigning to look at the man whom he had reduced to so miserable a condition. “How shall I set about it?” he said. if he is a personage of importance. his lips parted. “A. read over his shoulder. Let us each live in our own way.” And at another gesture he made. or one of the lower officials. Baisemeaux bowed again.” “Good.” 56 . Baisemeaux. kissed Aramis’s hand. let us live happily. and be immediately carried into operation. obeyed. be held by him good and effectual. on a chair. “Oh. he sealed the letter. follow the regulations. take your place again. your obedience. to me. my protection and my friendship. to you..” Baisemeaux reflected. Aramis divined this. the consequence of this withdrawal of a prisoner by means of a forged order. which was fluttering to its death about the candles. by the grace of God. “do not lead me to believe.Aramis took a pen and wrote. so act towards Marchiali as you act towards one of obscure station. during which the governor of the Bastile had slowly recovered his senses. that his features remained contracted. “to the greater glory of God. in terror. The latter. turned a dull and meaningless gaze upon the letter. come. as if he would have said. Take courage. D. “I don’t know. “you are a simpleton.” (Signed) D’HERBLAY “General of the Order. A last gleam of feeling played over his features. for the king.” “I go with my major to the prisoner’s room. and conduct him. dear Baisemeaux. beneath his doublet. I shall never recover such a shock as this. and that men die merely from having seen Him. “What is the process for releasing a prisoner?” “I have the regulations. my friend. and do the honors over this beautiful dessert. de Baisemeaux de Montlezun. shall bring the prisoner before the governor. did not consider it of any value. reassured.” Baisemeaux was so profoundly astonished. “Immediately?” he murmured.” said Aramis. He did not move an inch. “say nothing about it. governor. which signify ad majorem Dei gloriam. They are to the effect that the turnkey. “My dear Baisemeaux. I am right. presented—still in silence—the missive to M. if not satisfied. there is no pressing haste. M. then. after a long silence. and his eyes fixed. and. and stamped it with a seal suspended at his breast.” “But this Marchiali is not an important personage. drew from his pocket a small case of black wax. and he fell. and when the operation was concluded. and rose. give me your hand—obey. putting in the scale the guarantee offered him by the official order of the general. in the office. and he drew a cross under these four letters.” Baisemeaux. he perceived. Aramis.” wrote the bishop.” “Then if you don’t know it. as if thunder-struck. I who have laughed.” said Aramis carelessly. that the presence of the general of the order is as terrible as His. of the castle of the Bastile. my host. de Baisemeaux. old comrade. rouse yourself. Nothing could be heard in that large chamber but the wing-whisper of a little moth. “It is for you to instruct me.” answered the governor. Lose this habit of reflection when I give myself the trouble to think for you. nor articulate a sound. at a glance. “Come. Having exactly fulfilled these two requirements.

in an agitated tone of voice.” The prisoner slightly reddened. Baisemeaux. followed by a prisoner. in a voice the firmness of which made the governor tremble as much as the form of the blessing astonished him. and in that case you would be a powerful and a last auxiliary for me. he stretched out his hands and swore with his lips. all is. Baisemeaux accompanied the bishop to the bottom of the steps.“Well. it would be a certain indication I should be lost.” “What was the minister’s order as to this Marchiali?” “Nothing. There they began to trot. Then four instead of two whirled the carriage away in the direction of Melun. and then?” “Then we return to the prisoner the valuables he wore at the time of his imprisonment. The sergeant and turnkeys disappeared.” “See how simple. by its wavering uncertainty. The prisoner listened. Aramis blew out all the candles which lighted the room but one. so great was the ardor of the coursers. liberty everywhere. or whether they were urged. to the next whom it concerned.” said he. and gave him an order. and pulled up for a moment in the middle of the forest of Senart. went quietly as far as the middle of the faubourg. It multiplied tenfold the changing forms and shadows of the place. a jolt more sever than the others announced to them that they had cleared the last watercourse. Indeed. Half an hour afterwards they heard a gate shut in the court. without hesitation. An officer with a torch went before the horses. Baisemeaux re-entered.” said Aramis to Baisemeaux. “God have you in his holy keeping. and life everywhere. Baisemeaux.” added the governor. on shaking hands with Baisemeaux. making each rusty spring reverberate the carriage again with their impatience. without making a single gesture or saying a word. if the minister’s orders have not otherwise dictated. No doubt the order had been given the postil57 . which had just rendered up its prey to the free air. This flickering glare prevented the sight from resting steadily on any object. where relays were waiting. shrugging his shoulders. and once past Bercy. you mean?” answered Aramis. “Adieu. Aramis. “And now.” he said. his clothes and papers.” The prisoner. “to render the gentleman whatever service he may please to ask. monsieur. buried in a corner of the carriage. whether they were warming to their work. Aramis barely breathed.” “Being your accomplice. passed his arm through that of Aramis. on which he ought to rely.” he said. The governor obeyed. you make a mountain of everything. you are free. “Does my order trouble you? Do you fear their finding it here. Baisemeaux. monseigneur. which he left burning behind the door. “You will swear (‘tis the regulation that requires it). ‘tis very wise. the carriage seemed to fly. they gained in swiftness. and gave orders at every post to let them pass. made the young man acquainted with the order which set him at liberty. The carriage rattled over the pavement of the courtyard. “never to reveal anything that you have seen or heard in the Bastile. and almost without clothes. without papers. “Go and meet your men. Remain here. kept in check by a vigorous hand. Antoine. and. Aramis had placed himself in the shade. which the latter passed on. During the time taken in opening all the barriers. He summoned his lieutenant. without disturbing himself about it. Steps drew near. he saw without being seen. heaven everywhere. and you might have heard his “sealed heart knock against his ribs. George’s. made no more sign of life than his companion. said to him.” said Baisemeaux. “Go on. “If they found it here. The horses. as if looking behind him for some protection.” The prisoner perceived a crucifix.” said he. Aramis caused his companion to mount before him. that. and make them bring the prisoner to the governor’s house. Then was it that Aramis came out of the shade: “I am here. then followed. and without giving the driver any further order. Behind the carriage closed the last gate. for the unhappy man arrived here without jewels. Whither do you intend going?” The prisoner turned his head. that in the Rue St. At length. it was the door to the dungeon. should they come to search?” “I desire to keep it. then. Little by little.” Baisemeaux obeyed. The horses were in waiting. No more walls either on the right or the left. The horses galloped thus as far as Villeneuve St.

it is necessary your royal highness and I should converse. the deep shades formed a curtain blacker than ink. so low in the scale of intelligent beings.” said the young prince to Aramis. on either side. monseigneur. “that before going further. “but what are you doing there?” “I am disarming myself of my pistols. there is yet a precaution to be taken. “My prince.” “The postilion?” “The postilion of this relay is deaf and dumb. deem us in some difficulty. in order to retain its expression. and I like this carriage. “The matter is.” “I listen.” answered the young prince.” Chapter IX. and something tells me that I shall have great difficulty in wresting from you a sincere declaration.” “’Tis exactly what I wished to do. d’Herblay. monseigneur. “What is the matter?” asked the prisoner. “weak creature as I am. The Tempter. “I am listening. whom he touched on the arm. I can read nothing on your features. I beseech you. under the present most grave circumstances. in the reserve which you maintain.” And he buried himself still deeper in the thick cushions of the carriage. and seeing us stopping. not for love of me. monseigneur. which would embarrass us. it has never yet happened to me to converse with a man without penetrating his thoughts through that living mask which has been thrown over our mind. on this moonless night. at the bottom of which. as if waking from a long dream. monsieur. This done. in this darkness. we are comfortably seated. who. monseigneur. turning in the carriage towards his companion. monseigneur. took the leaders by the bridle. so unpretending in genius. monseigneur.” “What?” “We are here on the highway.” “I will await an opportunity. The latter dismounted. “decidedly. Let us avoid offers of assistance. without either eagerly seeking or fearing anything you are about to say to me.” “Give the postilion orders to conceal the carriage in one of the side avenues. 58 . kept nibbling the young oak shoots. of which we have no further need. but for love of yourself.” said Aramis. M. “We could not have a better. and no one can hear us. then. to retain every syllable.” said Aramis.” Aramis made a sign to the deaf and dumb driver of the carriage. every inflexion which.” replied the young prince. the man lay down on a slope near his horses. But to-night. We are in the middle of a forest. trying to deprive his companion not only of the sight of him. for subjects should never weigh as anything in the balance which princes hold. will all have a sense and value as important as any every uttered in the world. but even of the very idea of his presence.” “Is it your pleasure to remain in the carriage?” “Yes. and led them over the velvet sward and the mossy grass of a winding alley. cavaliers or carriages traveling like ourselves might pass. for it has restored me to liberty.ion beforehand. for Aramis had no occasion even to make a sign.” “Wait.” “I am at your service.

The carriage. I am this instrument. they create a misty halo. to accomplish a great work. and convinced.” continued the bishop of Vannes. would not have received a particle of light. I govern a mysterious people. confided in execution to the arm of man.” “Oh. what this Providence. monseigneur. To-morrow. but he will devour the means and substance of his people. for he has no mortal injuries to avenge. as you rise. Be well assured. The day you are elevated.” “I understand. or Charles IX. they heap together all the atoms of their power. “you know the history of the government which to-day controls France. monseigneur. why you are raising your head. instead of ending. and then. who has taken for its motto. and what you aim at my being to-morrow. age. For me. and you possess royal blood. after to-morrow—from the very first. Now see. regal phantom. and the very causes of your persecution are about to become those of your triumphant restoration. to from a single man. ‘Patiens quia oeternus. and will send it rolling so far. you had a right to be proclaimed seeing that you have been concealed. and distresses. I acquit my conscience. for he has himself undergone wrongs in his own interest and money. “Monseigneur. To a just Providence was necessary an instrument. and if I condemn him. and that you will keep under your hand your creation of yesterday. in turn. then.. It has given you the features. and voice of your brother. this persecution to-day consecrates you king of France. you will sit upon his throne. like Louis XI. when I consider openly the merits and the faults of this great prince. which you have so often accused of having in every way thwarted you. It was not to listen if the silence of the forest remained undisturbed. this slavery in a prison. You did not know you were dealing with a king—oh! monseigneur. your younger brother—the king reserved to himself the right of being legitimate sovereign. “All that Heaven does. “I should not take the trouble to play this terrible game with your royal highness. and confined as yours. with the sweat of their labor. conviction. that ages hereafter shall long speak of them. brother of Louis XIV. nor eat the fruit they cultivate. obscure as yours. then. the event will be accomplished. I aspire to more than gratitude! I am convinced that. king of a people very humble. we two will do such great deeds. and he will avenge himself. But the doctors always prefer the king who is to the king who is not. not even if a ray could have struggled through the wreaths of mist that were already rising in the avenue..Black was the darkness which fell wide and dense from the summits of the intertwining trees. It is to tell you that he has drawn you from the abyss for a great purpose..” 59 . to raise you above the powers of the earth—above himself. like yourself. “I divine. these straightened circumstances in concealment.” 1 The prince lightly touched Aramis’s arm. humiliations. on an elevation flooded with light. monseigneur. The king has suffered.” “Tell me plainly.” said the prince. In keeping you near him. I thank you. only.” replied the bishop. living shade of Louis XIV. under the pitiless sun of royalty.” resumed Aramis. “You speak to me. I say not that he will pour out his people’s blood. but it was to gather up his thoughts from the very bottom of his soul—to leave the thoughts he had uttered sufficient time to eat deeply into the mind of his companion. the result of your words is. whence the will of Heaven. do my people reap the harvest they sow.’” The prince moved. this obscurity in solitude. monseigneur. persevering. you will judge me still more worthy to be your friend.. They labor for an abstract idea.” Aramis paused. the motto of God. “of that religious order whose chief you are. Heaven does well. Such is the man you have beside you. you are elevated forever. a right to reign. it rankles in his mind. at once penetrating. In the first place. without hope of return. monsieur—tell me without disguise—what I am to-day. if I had not a double interest in gaining it. you will overturn the footstool. will have hurled him. almost never in this world. You had.” “Undeceive yourself. arises from an excellent disposition. has done for you.” “You are the son of King Louis XIII. that the day you desire to hurl down the man you shall have raised. that not even the sight of it will ever again recall to you its right to simple gratitude. figure. Providence has willed that you should be persecuted. as Monsieur has been kept—Monsieur. which his genius shall. much disinherited. perseverance. since no one has dared to shed yours. I possess penetration. because never. render a glory gilded with the rays of all the crowns in Christendom. my conscience absolves me. where every stain appears a blemish. then. “and I am so persuaded of it that I have long been thankful to have been chosen depositary of the secret which I have aided you to discover. every glory a stain. natural and legitimate heir to the throne of France. He will be a bad king. when arrived at the summit. he was fain to bear all these miseries. then. humble because they have no force save when creeping. seeing that it is disputed. covered in by this prodigious roof. and round this man. The doctors only could dispute his legitimacy.” he said. disinherited.. The king issued from an infancy imprisoned like yours. monsieur!” “Your movement. monseigneur. and are surprised at the people I have under my command. “my brother’s blood will not be shed. as that of your servants has been shed. in full daylight.

“’twill be more human. if you act in such a manner that no one can recognize you?” “’Tis true. that the designs of Providence do not stop on such a fair road. but there are grave difficulties. by being accustomed to honors. a captive. enduring principle of life in withstanding all this. in prison. will have the same interest in concealing him. as you will resemble him as a king. yes.” “The secret of which they made an evil use against me?” “You will employ it against him.” “I will cause Spain to consent to a divorce. soon. and Heaven will resume his soul at the appointed time—that is to say. But your brother. his soul and body have been adapted for but a brief agony. and the destruction of him who is hurtful to you.” “State them. “I will exile the deposed king. your royal highness—” “Besides?” “I was going to say. by walls. the men in whom you put confidence. shuddering. Therefore.” At this point in Aramis’s gloomy analysis.” “I fall back on what I was saying to you. you have exhibited the most sublime. my prince.” 60 . a bird of night uttered from the depths of the forest that prolonged and plaintive cry which makes every creature tremble.” “If need be. will not long endure the calamity. has also determined that the conquered one shall soon end both his own and your sufferings.” said Philippe.” “My brother is married. left alone with your doubts. All that is really noble and really useful in this world will find its account therein. disarmed and enfeebled. What did he do to conceal it? He concealed you. if you choose. deprived of everything. The same Providence which has willed that the concluding step in the geometrical calculation I have had the honor of describing to your royal highness should be your ascension to the throne. like a geometrical calculation. you will defeat the conspiracy of Mazarin and Anne of Austria.” “What will they do?” “Nothing. it is.” “How is that?” “How can they recognize you. You. it is in the interest of your new policy. who will. Who will guard him?” “Who guarded you?” “You know this secret—you have made use of it with regard to myself.“You will be sole arbiter of his fate. moreover.” “The imprisoned king will speak. resemble you. it is human morality. And besides. His soul is naturally proud and impatient. Living image of himself. The king. and by the license of supreme power. I cannot take my brother’s wife.” “To whom do you think he will speak—to the walls?” “You mean. as a prisoner. forgotten. Every scheme of this caliber is completed by its results. Who else knows it?” “The queen-mother and Madame de Chevreuse. will not be for you the cause of embarrassment that you have been for the king enthroned. prince. Put into prison as a private individual. and in bonds.

“there is a weakness of heart of which you remind me. that is a certain and unmistakable sign that you do not wish to continue at liberty.” he resumed. you have forgotten nothing—except. I repeat it. “I am alone in the world. too.” “Ah!” said Aramis. of wild ducks. in the thick covert of the woods. these floating-houses. a secluded corner of the world—where alone. which cries aloud. unfettered and unknown. with a hard. in their import and their sense. monsieur. for you who look with such tender regard upon the bright heavens. I have your happiness spread out before me in my thoughts. terrific. or woodchucks. but have always ill-understood. widgeon. as I have said. indeed. that the mere sound of his respiration seemed like a roaring tumult for Aramis. insurmountable. an insurmountable danger. you will forget all the misery that human folly has so recently allotted you.” resumed the prelate. the whole studded with islands covered with woods of the densest foliage. there are no dangers. Monseigneur. in order to cast you into the crucible of my own desires. These barks. even to its depths. These large marshes. Let us speak of the risks we are running. and the roof woven out of thick rushes. dry voice. There is no danger either for you or for me. true. there is a very serious obstacle. the pure air. if the constancy and intrepidity of your royal highness are equal to that perfection of resemblance to your brother which nature has bestowed upon you.” “Yes. listen to my words. the flooring formed of reeds. I do not jest. and streams of rippling water.” “They would be immense. “But has the problem been well put? Have I brought out of the solution according to the wishes or the foresight of your royal highness?” “Yes. two things. Would you prefer a more humble life. and is killed! The man who trembling crosses his sword with that of another leaves loopholes whereby his enemy has him in his power.” “True.” “Speak. all covered with water and herbage. and can read your own. I will not take you unready for your task. are wafted to and fro by the changing winds. Oh! listen to me. “I have not said all I had to say to your royal highness. I have a heart.“The king’s good pleasure will decide the point. “I know. and. of my caprice. if. or my ambition. “Monseigneur. sick at heart. the verdant meadows. surely. that I wish your happiness to be the result of the trial to which I have exposed you. Let it be all or nothing. my prince. monsieur. indeed. and soul. amidst flowers. A few fishermen with their families indolently pass their lives away there. “No one!—Yes. You are right. for that. 61 .” said the prince.” The young man sank into so profound a silence. teal. and reeds of the most luxuriant nature. indeed. were I king. “in the Bas-Poitou. would have obliterated as useless and absurd. there is some one in the world whom you love?” added Philippe. infinite. a canton. it is but by chance. It is useless to flash bright visions before the eyes of one who seeks and loves darkness: useless. I love you. covered with reeds as with a thick mantle. I know a country instinct with delights of every kind. which fall an easy pray to net or gun. an unknown paradise. which you are forgetting.—aye.” said the bishop. Let us speak of the causes which may bring about the ruin of all the hopes we have conceived. “There is conscience. overcome by excess of the emotions which but one hour’s liberty has produced in you. too. with a vivacity which did not escape Aramis. yes. is an immense obstacle. For me. that never dies. Should he wish to land. precious they indeed are.” said Aramis. Twenty leagues of country is immense. is it to let the magnificence of the cannon’s roar make itself heard in the ears of one who loves repose and the quiet of the country. a life more suited to your strength? Heaven is my witness. a word.” said the latter. “But. Whenever they touch a bank. that the sleeping fisherman is not awakened by the shock. it is merely because he has seen a large flight of landrails or plovers.” “The first?” “Let us speak of it at once.” “Have you a brother?” said the young man to Aramis. is it not? Twenty leagues. all things did not concur to render them of absolutely no account. You are chilled and galled. indeed. and so gently. I have not offered you all the salutary counsels and useful resources which I have at my disposal. of which no one in France suspects the existence. remorse. which I find in all languages. too. speak. with the same frankness we have already conversed in. sleep silently and calmly beneath the sun’s soft and genial rays. leaps into the middle of it. monseigneur. only obstacles. and mind. with their great living-rafts of poplar and alder. The horse afraid of the ditch.

eels. sleeping during the day—to the locality I have described. indeed. he has but to choose the finest and largest. During this space of time. the former task is far more difficult. There would years of your life roll away. There are a thousand pistoles in this bag. than sufficient to purchase the whole marsh of which I have spoken. and the enchanted Eden which the deserts of Bas-Poitou hid from the eyes of the world. Forthwith. and breathed a sigh of ecstasy. Such were the reflections of Aramis as he watched. so free from fears and troubles. penetrated into that district. and return the others to the waters. we would almost say dissimulation of his character. as it was wafted in gentle gusts to his uplifted face. at least. became visible in the midst of the obscurity. monseigneur. as if to control this new sensation of delight. accompanied by my servant—my deaf and dumb attendant—shall conduct you— traveling throughout the night. when he offered the thousand pistoles he had with him in the carriage to the prince. would you live. Once a week. At Poitou. Crown and Tiara. in plentitude of absolute secrecy. which appeared an eternity. “before I determine. thick clouds. it will be remembered. And now. never has any one. which are attached to the carriage yonder. for the sake of your pistoles. the universal freshness—was not all this reality? Was not Aramis a madman to suppose that he had aught else to dream of in this world? Those exciting pictures of country life. monseigneur—more. to be divinely guided in this trying moment. to be foiled in so vast a project from not having foreseen the influence which a view of nature in all its luxuriance would have on the human mind! Aramis. so solemn and august in tone and address had sounded these strange words. upon closer examination. your answer to this proposition? Here is the money. and consult that still voice within me. and shrouded every light and prospect underneath their heavy folds. Chapter X. and then you shall have your answer. I myself should hesitate which lot I should accept. Crossing his arms on his chest. fresher and more penetrating than that which exhaled from the trees around him. and walk round the carriage with an unsteady and almost tottering step. Accept it. he drank in delicious draughts of that mysterious air which interpenetrates at night the loftiest forests. emaciated by the stifling air of the Bastile. more than enough to constitute you the richest. overspread the heavens. Never yet has the food of the stranger. It seemed as if the poor prisoner was unaccustomed to walk on God’s earth. spoke to the prince in so seductive a language. Nay. white. rich in the produce of the chase. as I offer it you—sincerely. never finding itself inferior or vanquished on any occasion. by degrees. contemplated with emotion the painful struggle that was taking place in Philippe’s mind. the freest. walk on the ground. the warm and balmy air which enveloped him for the first time for many years past. I assure you. It was an anxious time for the bishop of Vannes. I will unharness two of my horses. except the chance of catching the fevers prevalent there. The young prince was offering up an inward prayer to Heaven. and golden grapes. with an anxiety impossible to describe. monseigneur. your fishing-lines. It was the 15th of August. the murmuring waters. Then.” “As you please. upon which his life or death depended. he could not restrain his emotion. the ineffable enjoyment of liberty in an open country. He saw him place his foot on the mossy ground with a trembling of the whole body. overwhelmed by anxiety. be he soldier or simple citizen. But the fragrance which ascended from the grass. he held the door open for the young man. at the end of which. Upon my soul. swim in shoals into his nets. far more. The sky he was contemplating. worn out by prison cares. your guns. the ocean of happy days that glitters incessantly before all young imaginations. This suspense lasted the whole ten minutes which the young man had requested. strangled in a prison-cell. a boat is sent to deliver the bread which has been baked at an oven—the common property of all. drawn by Aramis. whose soil is swart and fertile. who had never before been so perplexed. Philippe continued gazing with an imploring and sorrowful look towards the heavens. red and gray mullet. If you play the other game. The extremities of the avenues were imperceptibly detached from the copse. you would have succeeded in acquiring a destiny accorded to you by Heaven. Suddenly the young man 62 . and the happiest man in the country. no longer recognizable. cheerfully. you can risk nothing. which Heaven bids us all to hearken to.” replied the young prince.” “Monsieur.Silver shad. do not hesitate. now I begin to compare them together. you run the chance of being assassinated on a throne. Aramis was the first to descend from the carriage. and even of them. and I shall. unhappy prisoner. The sun’s rays there are soft and tempered: in plots of solid earth. he raised his aching head and inhaled the softly scented air. bending before him with respect. Aramis did not remove the piercing glance he had fixed on Philippe. the so-called wizards of the country will cure you. nourishing with generous juice its purple. by a lighter shadow of opaque gray. for you would have been perfectly transformed. are real allurements wherewith to fascinate a poor. and they. the silent progress of the emotions of Philippe. let me alight from this carriage. accustomed to overcome all obstacles. which. and your beautiful reed-built house. have the satisfaction of knowing that I have rendered to my prince the major service he himself preferred. portending a tempest. His iron will. and Heaven for that will hold me in better account than if I had made one man powerful. greedy pike. grows the vine. that notwithstanding the preternatural caution. of which we have tried to give an idea. more than enough to live there as many years as you have days to live.” said Aramis. I shall have made one human being happy. about eleven o’clock at night. Ten minutes is all I ask. There—like the seigneurs of early days—powerful in virtue of your dogs. whom he perceived gradually becoming more and more absorbed in his meditations. without a moment’s pause. It was the picture.

” “Interrogate me.” “Irrevocably so?” Philippe did not even deign to reply. M. Once a king—” “When will that be?” “To-morrow evening—I mean in the night.” “Do so. Aramis’s look immediately became as soft as it had before been gloomy. Therefore. and you will not do me the injustice to suppose that I think you have no interest in this affair. again his looks became fixed. “It is.” “And understand them? Pardon me.” “Attentively?” “I know them by heart. His thought returned to the earth. without subterfuge or hesitation. agitated manner. monseigneur?” “Doubtless.” “Let us resume our conversation. You will not allow so mere a trifle to stop me. He gazed earnestly at the bishop. seizing his hand in a quick. bowing over Philippe’s hand. pride.” “The conditions. carefully drawn up.” said Aramis. which will thoroughly acquaint your highness with the different persons who compose and will compose your court. hardened by covetousness. his mouth assuming an expression of undaunted courage. I wished to discuss two points with you. abandoned captive of the Bastile? In a week’s time it will not be requisite to further question a mind like yours.” “When I shall have asked your highness a question. d’Herblay.” “We will begin with your family. tell me the truth—” “I will do so. monseigneur. then. and strong desire. her painful malady.” “Your second brother?” asked Aramis. or the obstacles we may meet with.” “I sent to your highness a man in my confidence with instructions to deliver some closely written notes. in the first place the dangers.bowed his head. and I will be a scholar representing his lesson to his master. exclaimed: “Lead me to where the crown of France is to be found.” “Explain yourself. as if to ask him if it were possible for a man to waver after having once made up his mind. “Such looks are flashes of the hidden fire that betrays men’s character. You will then be in full possession of liberty and power. monseigneur?” asked Aramis. The other is the conditions you intend imposing on me. “you will be great. bowing. 63 . but this time they wore a worldly expression. his looks perceptibly hardened. his brow contracted. but I may venture to ask that question of a poor.” “Is this your decision.” “My mother. It is your turn to speak. Anne of Austria! all her sorrows. I will answer for that. That point is decided. Oh! I know her—I know her. Philippe.” “I perused those notes. monseigneur. monseigneur.

we need not disturb ourselves about him. “that I know my lesson by heart. what do you wish to be done with regard to him?” “One moment more. my brother. dark-browed man.. the captain of the musketeers.” “She is fair. I suppose?” Aramis.“To these notes. Monsieur. it is not he whom I intended to refer to.” “Do you know the latter?” “As if I saw him. the mortal enemy of M. du Vallon.” “Very good. an ugly. manners. whom I. as well as those I composed in answer to his.” “It is your duty to do so.” “I will think it over.. Henrietta. at a certain given time. I will undertake to reveal everything.” added the prince. heavy. because necessarily you will not require me to exile him. with a pale face. I shall seldom go wrong. She halts slightly in her gait. for if he discovers our plot before it is revealed to him. but intelligent enough. has blue eyes.” “No. d’Artagnan. the Hercules of France. then?” 64 . to which I have to send an answer by M. loved a little.” “Yes. and history you have so carefully portrayed. and yours afterwards. monseigneur. that I am able to recognize the persons whose characters. Fouquet. monseigneur. I should very much regret forgetting another friend of mine. he who so faithfully served my mother. struck with admiration at the remark.” “M. I entreat you. and I know the last verses he composed for me.” said Aramis.” “The Comte de la Fere. nay. full head. de Saint-Aignan. is a fine.” “You have still an awkward pair of eyes to deal with.” “You will have to be careful with regard to the watchfulness of the latter. he to whom the crown of France owes so much that it owes everything.’” “He who escorted La Valliere to Le Chaillot. D’Artagnan is a man to whom. but be on your guard with him. whose affectionate gaze reveals her identity. more than that. cooped in an iron box.” “No.” “Before we pass to M. monseigneur. your friend. and with Heaven’s assistance. to Charles II. and still flirt with. Now tell me about M. your right. if I seem to fail in respect to questioning you further. I can well say ‘my friend. a large. Do you intend to ask me to exile him also?” “Never. oh! as far as he is concerned. “you have added portraits so faithfully painted. you or I will certainly be killed or taken. his hair covering his forehead. dark young man. she writes a letter every day.” “You see. he who delivered up Monk. he does not love his wife. “she is sincerely attached to the actual king. and forgive me. his interests are more than safe. Do you know your ministers?” “Colbert. Fouquet. He is a bold and enterprising man.” “Yes. Louis XIV.” “As for the latter. said. M. “You will become very great.” replied the prince. you mean. even although she made me weep on the day she wished to dismiss Mademoiselle de la Valliere from her service in disgrace. Fouquet. The eyes of a woman who loves are not easily deceived. sire.

—we shall have made him rich. for that would give rise to too much suspicion and astonishment. M. or is it one of the laws of the human heart?” “A man who loves deeply. whom my brother so disloyally bereft him of ? Be easy on that score.” “That poor boy who is dying of love for La Valliere. as deeply as Raoul loves Mademoiselle de la Valliere.” “I am perfectly aware that M. Marie de Medici. as you are bishop of Vannes. bowing. So it is determined. Fouquet. when they love. We will spare him the annoyance.” “You will have many others by and by. but I do not yet know whether Raoul will be able to forget. that is all. and restored the finances to a sound condition. Tell me only one thing. as a matter of course. I shall be able to think of my own interests and yours. Fouquet will not keep long at the head of affairs. he will soon get old. and that is yourself.” “Well. you would not offend me if you were to ask more than that.” “You shall be my first minister of state. monseigneur. will.” “You shall be nominated before two months are past.“And his son. de Richelieu. but none so devoted. do men.” “A king. with all his labors. Monsieur d’Herblay. But that is a matter of very trifling moment.” “Not quite so. soon became cardinal. in the capacity in which he has hitherto acted. or at the first illness he may experience.” “Speak! speak!” “M. but we cannot save him from ill-health. thanks to the youthfulness he still retains. What do you wish me to do for him?” “To keep him on as surintendant. none so zealous for your glory. de Richelieu. was simply bishop of Lucon.” “I will see after that. When that has been done. by means of the queen’s protection. Have you anything further to say about your friend?” “No. and you would cause me serious regret if you were to limit yourself to that.” “In that case. but he is the first minister at present. the son of all four of us.” “I perceive that your royal highness has studied my notes to great advantage. and I have become your royal highness’s prime minister. ignorant and embarrassed as I shall be.” 65 . forget the treachery that has been shown them? Can a man ever forgive the woman who has betrayed him? Is that a French custom. consistently. When you shall have paid all M. now for M. but this protracted youth will disappear at the approach of the first serious annoyance. I entreat you. Monsieur d’Herblay.” “I have only one.” “Your majesty will require a friend. “that I should not be appointed first minister until your royal highness has procured my nomination as cardinal.” said Aramis. I shall know how to rehabilitate his happiness.” “Not immediately. because he is an agreeable and noble-hearted man. Fouquet will be able to remain the sovereign ruler in his little court of poets and painters. require a first minister of state. Fouquet’s debts. finishes by forgetting the fault or crime of the woman he loves.” “Be it so. I mean. I have something still further to hope for.” “It would be better. the first minister of my grandmother.” “M. monseigneur. He is fond of pleasure. then. your amazing perspicacity overpowers me with delight.

for no other reason than that of having comprehended you thoroughly. whom all things wearied. de Richelieu.” “Still embrace me this very day also. “In fact. fame. There is my hand on it. I will not throw you into persecutions of heretics. “His father!” he thought. quietly. by a secret thought. you will have my inheritance.” “Allow me to kneel before you. I should only interfere with you. until I have first seen you placed upon the round of the ladder immediately above me. and I will take them. his counsel. With us. and mailed hand should joined in ties of intimate association the hand of a pope such as I shall be. will be able to reach to half your stature. who owned two-thirds of the habitable globe. What do you say of my plan. “yes. prime minister of France. this will never be the case. you will confer on me the throne of St. slow in judgment. whilst he might have installed them more conveniently upon two separate and distinct thrones. be kind and indulgent—be my father!” Aramis was almost overcome as he listened to his voice. as certain men 66 . Besides. situated about a league from Melun. had been built by Fouquet in 1655.. more than sublime in genius. at a time when there was a scarcity of money in France. and be. Whenever your loyal. Monsieur d’Herblay. And as I shall be the first to die. Monsieur d’Herblay.” And they resumed their places in the carriage. However. “you will not be a king such as your father was. “a cardinal. he fancied he detected in his own heart an emotion hitherto unknown. I shall always hold myself sufficiently aloof from you to escape incurring your jealousy. Besides. Having retired to rest a crowned sovereign. was very much to blame in the fixed idea he had of governing France alone. or position. however. I do not say impaired. I have no alliances. I shall have given you the throne of France. The chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte.” added Aramis. unaided. I shall never ascend the ladder of fortune. delicate in health.” pursued Aramis. I have no predilections. I will simply say to you: The whole universe is our own. We will remove him from his bed by means of a plank which yields to the pressure of the finger. and then you will point out to me the necessary steps to be taken to secure your election as pope.” “I believe it. for you their bodies. We will embrace each other on the day we shall have upon our temples. and Fouquet expended the remainder. King Louis XIII. He allowed two kings. nor Charlemagne. firm. you will be a king governing by your brain and by your sword. more than skillful. The Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. nor will I cast you into the troubled waters of family dissension. which sped rapidly along the road leading to Vaux-le-Vicomte. Alone you will rule from that moment. more than great. he will awake a captive. and himself. his Holy Father.” “It is useless. monseigneur?” “I say that you render me happy and proud. for me the minds of men. to be seated on the self-same throne. my prime minister. such a man would be acting with twofold injustice in applying these mighty resources to France alone. All the contracts in the world are easily violated because the interests included in them incline more to one side than to another. but in any degree affected.The young man looked at his interrogator. I have no need of any guarantees. Never shall I act except in such a manner that you will be the gainer. a cardinal to whom the king his master lends the treasures of the state. I the tiara. Chapter XI. you will have in the government of the state no more than you will be able to manage unaided. of whom we were speaking just now.” “Upon two thrones?” said the young man. and you will have no interest dearer and better than that of keeping me near you. Mazarin had taken all that there was. his army. assisted by the favor and by the countenance of his Most Christian Majesty the King of France. you shall be cardinal. neither Charles V. who possessed it entirely. sire. thoughtfully. for and towards me. sufficiently near to sustain your personal advantage and to watch over your friendship. Peter. and when cardinal. you the crown. You can ask what guarantees from me you please. our friendship ought never to be. but this impression was speedily removed.” “And so—my dear brother—will disappear?” “Simply. “M. most respectfully.

after his intendants had inspected everything. so-called. the cascades awakened the admiration of kings and princes. and was again going downstairs. vainly had he fancied that thereby he might be remembered. exhausted with fatigue. bordered by a magnificent stone balustrade. the 15th of August. than to refer them to “Clelie. has the principal front of the main building opening upon a vast. as they proudly tower aloft. after he had visited the chapel. and useful vices.” and yet there are as many leagues from Paris to Vaux. M. not forgetting others with their ready-mended pens.have fertile. forgotten enemy! It was to little purpose that Fouquet had squandered thirty millions of francs in the fountains of his gardens. the residence of that illustrious nymph of Vaux. This mansion. even at the present time. A peach—a blushing. M. pretentious character. have been passed through. are still so. it was its grand. had found a means of gathering. the restoration of which would. With a perfect reliance that Aramis had made arrangements fairly to distribute the vast number of guests throughout the palace. supported by caryatides. false. Lenotre had hastened the pleasure of the Maecenas of his period. It was. the architect of the building. in our age.” This magnificent palace had been got ready for the reception of the greatest reigning sovereign of the time. court of honor. that. fifty years later. who had robbed him of Lenotre and Lebrun. all the nursery-grounds had furnished trees whose growth had been accelerated by careful culture and the richest plant-food. blushingly unfold their leaves to the earliest rays of the rising sun. fame! Oh. Moliere led him over the theater. The surintendant joined his friend. as the result of his generous profusion. and ripened. The prelate beckoned to him. walked all through the palace with a calm.—if anything could be preferred to the wonderful arrangement of the interior. at last. and the galleries. in order to give his last orders. glory of this earth! That very man whose judgment was so sound and accurate where merit was concerned—he who had swept into his coffers the inheritance of Nicholas Fouquet. But if magnificence and splendor were displayed in any one particular part of this palace more than another. in order to present them to his master form the fear of rendering him jealous. in scattering broadcast millions of money in the construction of this palace. the immense Ionic columns of which rose majestically to the whole height of the building. It is even at the present day proverbial to calculate the number of acres of roofing. crushed. and gathered the waters of a thousand fountains into torrents. as we have said. The sun poured down its burning rays upon the heathen deities of marble and bronze: it raised the temperature of the water in the conch shells. Fouquet had divided a river into a thousand fountains. and Lebrun. The cascades. in the portfolios of his painters. inclosed by deep ditches. having around it four pavilions at the angles. and. de Scudery said of this palace. Fouquet saw Aramis on the staircase. which were regarded as wonderful in 1653. conferred richness and grace on every part of the building. hidden beneath its long. the decorator of the apartments. observant glance. Vaux-le-Vicomte. rich-flavored fruit. This same Monsieur de Scudery said a great many other things in his “Clelie. Every tree in the neighborhood which presented a fair appearance of beauty or stature had been taken up by its roots and transplanted to the park.” about this palace of Valterre. the trees of which are of eight years’ growth only—that is to say. was sufficient to recall to the memory of this great monarch the mournful shade of the last surintendant of France. An army of servants were hurrying to and fro in squadrons in the courtyard and corridors. that a dormouse would nibble up without a thought. in the crucibles of his sculptors. Fouquet devoted his entire attention to the ensemble alone. when its magnificent gates. be the ruin of fortunes cramped and narrowed as the epoch itself. since he had bought up three villages and their appurtenances (to use a legal word) to increase its extent. like a king upon his throne. and the pediments which crowned the pilasters. blazon of renown! Oh. and that he had not omitted to attend to any of the internal regulations for their comfort. those magnificent peaches. Nothing could be more noble in appearance than the central forecourt raised upon the flight of steps. spoke so regretfully. for the purpose of keeping the grounds and gardens well watered. on an occasion of a scarcity of the finer sorts of peaches being complained of. and as for the famous grotto. in another. Fouquet. whom Pelisson made converse with La Fontaine. In one direction Gourville showed him the preparations which had been made for the fireworks. and had sent him to rot for the remainder of his life in one of the state prisons—merely remembered the peaches of that vanquished. others their troops of sculptors and artists. M. Lenotre. We will do as Despreaux did. the designer of the gardens. we must be spared the description of all its beauties. in the writing-desks of his literary friends. it would be the park and gardens of Vaux. in the beautiful gardens there—gardens which had cost France double the amount that had been expended on Vaux—the great king observed to some one: “You are far too young to have eaten any of M.—we will enter the park. We should be far wiser to send our curious readers to Vaux to judge for themselves. which glistened like fire in the rays of the sun. 67 . somewhat rebellious nymphs though they were. of which the king.—floods of impromptus were contemplated. green leaves. as there are volumes of the “Clelie. poured forth their waters brighter and clearer than crystal: they scattered over the bronze triton and nereids their waves of foam. The jets d’eau. bore a far greater resemblance to those royal residences which Wolsey fancied he was called upon to construct. Fouquet’s peaches.—this little vegetable production. Fouquet’s friends had transported thither. The friezes ornamented with arabesques. nestling in the trellis work on the gardenwall. three illustrious men together: Levau. while the domes which surmounted the whole added proportion and majesty. the theme of so many poetical effusions. to the sumptuousness of the gilding. and to the profusion of the paintings and statues. Fouquet could well afford to purchase trees to ornament his park. some their actors and their dresses. built by a subject. on the walls. when. who had only that morning arrived.” Oh. while Fouquet. the charms of which he describes most minutely. at Marly. the salons. If the Chateau de Vaux possessed a single fault with which it could be reproached. in their present position—and whose summits even yet.

he is my acknowledged sovereign. who am not the people. not being able to find any recompense sufficiently great for this Herculean effort. “In an hour!” replied the latter. D’Herblay. believe me or not. “To my own apartment. “Do not laugh. the sentinels of Vaux had just perceived the advancing procession of the king and the queens. “but rather to M. and was engaged in admiring. in the cool freshness of its flesh. for it should be a day of true rejoicing. pale from fatigue and the inspiration of genius. in the still empty. whom they were expecting.” “You should not say that to me. that since he is approaching my house—” “Well. pointing at the cortege of Louis. In the direction of Melun. as soon as he becomes surintendant. estimated the prodigious labor that had been bestowed upon it.with him. as one might say. too.” returned Aramis. he is more sacred than ever for me. as he called it. Percerin. if he really seemed to wish it. paused before a large picture scarcely finished. monseigneur. “he certainly loves me but very little. The surintendant.” said Aramis. “And the people who ask one another what is the good of these royal fetes!” continued the bishop of Vannes. heart and soul. stained with paint. visible in the horizon. D’Herblay?” “In the blue room on the second story. “Where are you going?” returned Fouquet. and as such is very dear to me. “In an hour—” said Aramis to Fouquet. as my guest. His majesty was entering Melun with his long train of carriages and cavaliers. which was not to be matched except in the wardrobe of the surintendant. which seemed to live. “Alas! I. as the Abbe Terray did. It was a happy moment for the artist. Colbert. ask myself the same thing. Applying himself. monseigneur. playing upon the word. with a gloomy look. what?” “Well. since I know he is on his way here.” “To M. in Lebrun’s painting. had utterly ruined a suit of clothes worth a thousand pistoles. with his false smile. laughing. preparing to leave as soon as he had dealt this last blow. as you like. Assume a cheerful countenance. I feel that. with a swelling heart. a perfect objet d’art. sighing.” “Well. Colbert!” exclaimed Fouquet.” “Dear? yes.” “I will answer you in four and twenty hours. D’Herblay. was putting the last finishing touches with his rapid brush. It was the portrait of the king. with Louis XV.” “The room immediately over the king’s room?” “Precisely. who was walking behind Fouquet. at a later period. but he had satisfied. the painter Lebrun. he passed his arm round the painter’s neck and embraced him. and. Lebrun.” said Aramis. covered with perspiration. dressed in the court suit which Percerin had condescended to show beforehand to the bishop of Vannes. more than satisfied. What an idea to condemn yourself to a room where you cannot stir or move 68 .” “Whereabouts are you lodging. “Why so?” “Because he would allow you a pension out of the king’s privy purse. the suit that he had made for his majesty. but I cannot tell you how it is. in order to change my costume. and in its warmth of color. He gazed upon it long and fixedly. Fouquet placed himself before this portrait. by this action.” “You will be subject to very great restraint there. and I do not care much more for him. I could love that young man.” said the surintendant. to his work. it was an unhappy moment for M. His distress and his exclamations were interrupted by a signal which had been given from the summit of the mansion. open plain.

2 Chapter XII. with a smile. the presence of Aramis. bound him too strictly. again. he hated the financier too cordially. He. I sleep or read in my bed. he wished to unburden his mind to the king. who had returned from Belle-Isle. utter madness even. and which became impossible. there was hope of getting the better of him. besides. monseigneur. and without M. our Gascon could not console himself for not having guessed why Aramis had asked Percerin to show him the king’s new costumes. do not overfatigue yourself. Like Calypso. Adieu. the oath of earlier days. But what can Aramis’s object possibly be?” And D’Artagnan plunged again into deep thought. The king had. And then. It might almost have been called a small army. and after the ceremonial of reception had been gone through. and took the greatest care that the military household of the king. passed on like a commander-in-chief who pays the different outposts a visit after the enemy has been signaled in sight.” And Fouquet. but his friendship for Aramis. 69 .about!” “During the night. I know. which would have ruined a wealthy man. at first. in point of fact. D’Artagnan made every preparation for the journey. The Wine of Melun. So long as Aramis continued a soldier.” he continued. “one is never the stronger except sword in hand. “I will get him. “In order to show greater honor to M. suddenly. Colbert. so intimately acquainted with all the court intrigues. but yet the king would not be able to understand the suspicions which had not even a shadow of reality at their base.” “We shall see you by and by. “With men of Aramis’s stamp.” “And your servants?” “I have but one attendant with me. only twice during the journey had he been able to catch a glimpse of La Valliere. thought of talking the matter over with Colbert. who could not be consoled at the departure of Ulysses. D’Artagnan. had conceived the strangest fancies and suspicions at the announcement of the fete. but since he has covered his cuirass with a stole. “between a couple of candles. we are lost.” and then he began to rack his brains most uselessly. on arriving at Melun. who knew the position of Fouquet better than even Fouquet himself did. and shall see your friend Du Vallon also?” “He is lodging next to me. and he will tell me—What will he tell me? Yes. and is at this moment dressing. direct.” said the musketeer. saw himself at the head of both the musketeers and Swiss guards. after all. entered Melun with the intention of merely passing through the city. the first time he met him. Then. for a man so poor as he was. for mordioux! there is something in it. Fouquet. his perseverance in mixing himself up with all the surintendant’s affairs. Colbert? And what else can he be after?” And D’Artagnan rubbed his forehead—that fertile land. all this suspicious singularity of conduct had excessively troubled and tormented D’Artagnan during the last two weeks. in the gardens. and.” he said. M. as yet very inconsiderable in numbers. should be well officered and well disciplined in its meager and limited proportions. monseigneur.” replied Colbert. and been nominated by Monsieur Fouquet inspector-general of all the arrangements. The result was that. “What does it matter to me. and when he least expects it. whence the plowshare of his nails had turned up so many and such admirable ideas in his time. “There is not a doubt. “But why?” said the king.” he said to himself. Colbert looked at the troops with great delight: he even wished they had been a third more in number. He revolted at the bare idea of such a thing. his visits to Baisemeaux. I suppose. as well as a picket of the French guards. he will tell me something. the king. I find my reader quite sufficient. I will place my hand upon his heart. through the captain’s arrangements. keep yourself fresh for the arrival of the king. He resolved to address himself to Aramis. “that my friend the bishop of Vannes had some motive in that.” Somewhat calmer. suspecting that his only opportunity of speaking to her would be after nightfall. The youthful monarch was most eagerly anxious for amusements. and. bowing. he had been very desirous to arrive at Vaux as early as possible. But he reckoned without his captain of the musketeers. “if his only object is to overthrow M.

for the latter guessed that the king’s intention was very far from that of remaining where he was.” Colbert. who is making himself quite giddy on his donjons yonder.” replied D’Artagnan. “but I believe it was M.” “What name?” “I hardly know. Melun is a city. while the king’s color was visibly increasing. certainly. the chief magistrates came out to meet the king. the speech was now at an end. Monsieur Colbert? You have no luck. other and fresh difficulties arose. in order to partake of the wine of honor. Yes. M. and to present him with the keys of the city. D’Artagnan. coolly. hard enough in all conscience. “What was M. monsieur?” “That of causing a little annoyance to M. Colbert must have been badly inspired that day. The orator still went on with his speech. his majesty said that the man who had thought of the vin de Melun was something of the sort. M. he felt that these delays would irritate that impatient monarch beyond measure.” said the financier. D’Artagnan would not allow him to enter Vaux except he were well and strongly accompanied. then. Fortunately. for the evening was closing in. The king. Colbert was completely thrown out of the saddle by it. which pays well. “Not I. who expected to pass through the city and to proceed to Vaux without delay. now! I.” “In that case. But. Fouquet.” This was a home-stroke. The king bit his lips in anger.” “Monsieur. “Mordioux!” said the musketeer. after this broadside. Colbert. and then every one resumed the progress through the city. d’Artagnan good enough to say?” “I was good enough to remark that it was you who stopped the king’s progress.” D’Artagnan. “the king is going to have an attack of determination of blood to the head. and invited him to enter the Hotel de Ville. seeing how ugly anger made him. no. at the moment he was setting off again. saw only one idea in your idea. in order to reach it before nightfall. owing to the different arrangements. “my zeal for the king’s service inspired me with the idea. did not stop half-way. drawing himself up. it was fool or dolt. On the other hand. and desired that his majesty would not enter except with all the escort. said. “Who was fool enough to occasion this delay?” muttered the king. Where the deuce did you get hold of that idea. the king drank the wine which was presented to him. When this little army appeared before Melun. became quite red in the face from vexation. 70 . as the chief magistrate was in the middle of a long address. and which it would be imprudent to displease. “Is not the king going to sleep at Melun?” said Colbert. therefore. so that he might taste the vin de Brie. quietly caressed his mustache. who was boiling with impatience. thoroughly discomfited. monsieur. hurried forward as much as possible. to address himself in that manner to the chief of the musketeers. and determined to repeated it to the king. Was I right?” “Quite so. in waiting for us. between his teeth. four hours at least were necessary. and retired. but wait a moment—idiot. in a low tone of voice. I think it was—no. it was you whom the king called some name or other.” “There. an excellent city. The king.” “What was that.“In order to ruin him the sooner. to D’Artagnan. Colbert’s large head seemed to become larger and larger than ever. In order that the whole of the king’s household should enter Vaux. and all hope of a walk with La Valliere was at an end.” thought D’Artagnan. who do not pretend to be a financier.” “Bah!” “Monsieur. having heard his name pronounced. In what way could he possibly reconcile these difficulties? D’Artagnan took up Colbert’s remark.

“I shall be quits.” “Double ass that you are!” thought D’Artagnan. who had been informed of his royal guest’s approach. as soon as they had performed the services required of them. “And a quarter of an hour for the king. bowing to the royal ladies.” he said. It will easily be conjectured that all these rival interests. in Heaven’s name. with the exception of your own royal residences. without out-riders or musketeers. placing her hand upon her bosom. “Sleep at Melun! Who.” Delight sparkled in the king’s eyes.” And this was the way how. M. and should be invested with a still more sacred character by doing so.” D’Artagnan listened with the greatest attention.” The king looked at him. de Saint-Aignan and the ladies of the court. “the fear of causing your majesty the least delay. softly. “by getting a little talk with Aramis this evening. I should enter accompanied only by my captain of the guards. more especially. leave my escort behind me. who. If I were in the king’s place. “We should arrive by daylight?” said Louis XIV.” replied Colbert. I could do it in ten minutes. had no restrictions placed upon them. “will make his majesty lose all the advantage of his speed. and without even his advanced guard. the ladies of honor. according to established etiquette. when left to her own free-will. however quick he may be. quickly. with ill-concealed impatience.” objected Colbert. surrounded by his household and his friends. 71 . I should go to him as a friend..” he hastened to add. How could he get out of it? D’Artagnan looked as agreeable as possible. Nectar and Ambrosia.” “How long will it take us to get to Vaux?” inquired Anne of Austria. And this kindness of consideration softened Maria Theresa’s heart. Chapter XIII. for. “But the billeting of the king’s military escort. being of a kind and generous disposition.” “Sleep at Melun! What for?” exclaimed Louis XIV.” And he rode off. and that the clouds were likely to be followed by a tempest. as he galloped along. biting his mustache to conceal his vexation. and therefore kept biting the handle of his whip instead. Fouquet is a man of honor.” said Louis XIV.” he added aloud. Colbert has been asking me if your majesty does not intend to sleep at Melun.“Sire. “I should. when M. and Colbert as sulky as he could. accompanied by all those who were mounted. We will go to see a friend as friends. Mordioux! I have said so. with his head uncovered. I should consider that I was acting more nobly. until the soldiers’ quarters have been marked out by the quartermaster. “if I had any interest or motive in demolishing your credit with the king. gathering together in vapors. you cannot enter any place. “An hour for your majesty’s carriages. and would have preferred to go to rest without proceeding any farther. for. can have thought of such a thing. where the seat of her pain lay. “That is indeed a very sensible suggestion. necessarily produced clouds. Colbert hid his ugly head behind his horse’s neck. without announcing his arrival by the din of trumpets. Who was there he could get in a passion with? “We will consult the queen. “M. had been waiting for the last half-hour. but were at liberty to walk about as they pleased. And then. The king had no mustache to gnaw.” said D’Artagnan. Fouquet. “the roads are tolerably good. in order to prevent the king walking about in the evening with M. and the garrison properly distributed. the gentlemen who are with the carriages can go slowly: but we who are mounted will ride on. and it must be so. replied: “I shall be delighted to do whatever your majesty wishes. towards seven o’clock in the evening. They were fatigued. in going to M.” said D’Artagnan. where Fouquet. Fouquet is expecting us this evening?” “It was simply. if etiquette required the princesses to remain within their own rooms. in slow and measured accents. the king presented himself before the gate of Vaux. and the queens were not less interested.

on all sides. by eight o’clock. not by voice or gesture. while Madame Fouquet stood behind the queen-mother’s armchair. trees. and drank them out of goblets each more valuable than the entire royal cellar. of gold and silver vases. bordering lightly the limits of supreme disdain or simple admiration. which artists in his own employ had modeled and cast for him alone. charmed all who were there. to dine better anywhere. in the middle of the general table. of Francis I. or rather embalmed. nor had he long to wait. and the mean and indifferent style of luxury that prevailed there. he thought the queen a little too familiar in her manners. the happiness and contentment of the guest became the supreme law of all who obeyed the host? The perfect swarm of busily engaged persons moving about noiselessly. in being too proud and haughty. in his recital. but by deep silence and rapt attention.—who were. The fruits came from his own stores. but was only the more humiliated. he did not wish his own different repasts to be served in accordance with the usual etiquette. the value of the article was as much in the workmanship as in the article itself. and marble statues. As for the king. unrestrained comfort. saying to M. the dinner. he was. Fouquet replied that he was not aware of their names. We do not intend to describe the grand banquet. bowed most graciously. he certainly. and a stone would hardly have been found of the size of an egg the whole way from Melun to Vaux. and they testified their admiration over and over again. whose pride was superior to that of any creature breathing. Nay. his eyes filled with tears.M. nor the fairy-like and more than magic transformations and metamorphoses. from being gay. that he might remain cold and distant in his behavior. from the dishes of which was composed. at which the royal guests were present. Fouquet: “It is impossible. and particularly on account of the deferential manner which his courtiers had shown towards Fouquet. and asked the names of the strange fruits as they were placed upon the table. but made a great number of observations which he turned to good profit. he had often cultivated them himself. M. the king became morose and overgloomed again. without jolting or fatigue. Anne of Austria. 72 . was no more than the prelude of the promised fete. who. the floods of dazzling light. nor the concerts. which. soon wore a very gloomy. indeed. The king felt and appreciated the delicacy of the replies. All these wonders and magical effects which the chronicler has heaped up. The disdain of Juno and the sulky fits of temper of Jupiter could not resist this excess of kindly feeling and polite attention. praised Fouquet. the multitude of guests. Fouquet did even better still. What. in obedience to the king’s expressed desire. he dared not look at the queen. but as soon as the soups were served. as his hunger was appeased. however. and that Anne of Austria resembled Juno a little too much. comprised everything the king liked and generally preferred to anything else. The young queen. as well as the imagination. having an intimate acquaintance with the cultivation of exotic fruits and plants. monsieur le surintendant. nothing but specimens of art. of his household? What of the mode of service in which etiquette was replaced by order. carried respectfully to his lips. and at the moment they made their appearance. together with every delight and luxury combined for the satisfaction of all the senses. if one may so express it. stiff formality by personal. and the king ate of everything. who ate a good deal and drank but little. without being his own personal property. rolling along as though on a carpet. one of those men who foresee everything. without allowing it to be noticed. royal though it was. to devour the dishes spread before them with such enthusiasm that it looked as though a cloud of Egyptian locusts was settling down on green and growing crops. and irritated expression. Fouquet drank wines of which the king of France did not even know the name. the older furniture and plate of Henry II. seated himself at the table. ate with an exceedingly good appetite. They were received by Madame Fouquet. overwhelmed her host by the contempt with which she treated everything handed to her. The king wished to wait in the first courtyard for the arrival of the carriages. vases. so long as he remained under Fouquet’s roof. in fact. was himself. he arose and personally waited on the king.—the myriad of exquisitely prepared dishes. Fouquet ate from a gold service. but by the thoughtful attention of the surintendant. was to be said of the apartments. and that he would. Fouquet held the stirrup of the king. the king’s dinner was served up separately. in spite of a slight resistance on the king’s part. which comprised but little more than what was merely useful for the royal wants. those two languages of the courtier which acknowledge the hand of no master powerful enough to restrain them. too. of every description. so that the carriages. even less numerous than the servants who waited on them.. did not lose a single opportunity. which. consequently. constrained. however. He remembered his own residence. brought the ladies to Vaux. redundant with luxuriance of unequaled scent and beauty. dine with the rest of society. the masses of unknown flowers of which the hot-houses had been despoiled. Louis had no excuse—he. for the roads had been put into excellent order by the superintendent. having dismounted. As soon. indeed. The queen ate a biscuit dipped in a glass of San-Lucar wine. at the risk of rivaling the brain-born scenes of romancers. This species of enchantment lasted until their majesties had retired into the palace. were but historic monuments of earlier days. and of Louis XI. his chief anxiety. But Fouquet had foreseen all this. while with Fouquet.” Whereupon the whole court began. the more so in proportion to the satisfaction he fancied he had previously manifested. the relics of his predecessors. kind-hearted by nature and curious by disposition. wonderful in every respect. the pictures. who had the keenest appetite in his kingdom—for saying that he was not hungry. D’Artagnan. Fouquet did in real truth offer to his sovereign in that enchanting retreat of which no monarch could at that time boast of possessing an equal. The king had expressly declared that. and more graciously still held out his hand to him. the hangings. which Fouquet. The large vases of the Louvre.. it will be enough for our purpose to depict the countenance the king assumed.. the perfect harmony of the surroundings. the servants and officers. however. these splendors whereby night seemed vanquished and nature corrected. a light as bright as day burst forth from every quarter.

and on Fouquet asking him the cause of it. He was weary. no sooner had the king entered Vaux. A Gascon. and in fact he never was in the habit of doing so. for once in his life. than Aramis had retired to his own room. “I love you. and people might talk in the midst of its loud bass without fear of disturbing him. yes.When the supper was finished. too. d’Artagnan.” he said. “M.” Fouquet bowed and left the room. that is all. Fouquet. “is the man for me. D’Artagnan desired the servants to announce him. there was immediately a movement in every direction. accompanied by them music of theorbos and lutes. Porthos. The queens passed to their own apartments. I have to talk with a few persons first. D’Artagnan’s suspicions at once disappeared. “Why. thoroughly to enjoy a fete given by a man who was in every sense of the word a king. of which we owe some cursory description to our readers. the king replied. also. the moon.” “Does your majesty wish for your attendants at once?” “No. who followed. the Epicureans took their leave. D’Artagnan had determined to lose no time. The air was strangely soft and balmy. for M. Besides. he had made the companions of his more pleasing pictures. and I like M. and a Gascon and a Half. having met La Valliere in one of the winding paths of the wood. its fairy scenes. as pale as death: “I am sleepy. The king having requested to be shown to his room. “Well. for the king. Colbert I wish to see him. and M. It was the handsomest and largest in the palace. and the freedom of conversation therefore was not interrupted by a third person. the daintily shell-gravelled walks through the thickly set avenues yielded luxuriously to the feet. Fouquet had brought them on from Melun and had invited them to supper. and found on the second story (in a beautiful room called the Blue Chamber. It was a composition as soft and pleasing in one part as dark and gloomy and terrible in another. “Will you have the goodness to tell M. having dined exceedingly well. wizards and phantoms with terrific masks. silvered the trees and lake with her own bright and quasi-phosphorescent light.” The king was conducted with the greatest ceremony to the chamber of Morpheus. Fouquet. he had supped well. The fete was complete in every respect. for true it is that. harmonious snore. as if she had placed herself at the orders of the lord of Vaux. Lebrun had painted on the vaulted ceiling the happy as well as the unhappy dreams which Morpheus inflicts on kings as well as on other men. and wished for an opportunity for conversing secretly with Aramis. the glittering dagger suspended over the head of the sleeper. the wild voluptuousness or profound repose of the senses. however. did not stir. As it was after awhile generally remarked among those present that the musketeer was reserved. he was fast asleep in his armchair. was able to press her hand and say.” without any one overhearing him except M. he had looked for him in every direction until he had succeeded in finding him. these. And how do you like the place?” “Very much. Everything that sleep gives birth to that is lovely. Fouquet. Aramis came forward to embrace his friend. the king expressed a wish not to lose the promenade. and offered him the best seat. doubtless. After having inquired for Aramis. Chapter XIV. its flowers and nectar. D’Artagnan. the king found his musketeers awaiting him on the grand flight of steps. and so we have come to Vaux. The dreamy night of magical enchantments stole smoothly on. on account of the color of its hangings) the bishop of Vannes in company with Porthos and several of the modern Epicureans. Porthos had a deep. The park was illuminated. The poisoned chalice.” said the king. those half-dim shadows more alarming than the approach of fire or the somber face of midnight. had the painter elaborated on his frescoes. and wished. and such as these. meditating. D’Artagnan felt that he was called upon to open the conversation. some new piece of gallant attention for his majesty’s amusement.” “Is he not a charming host?” 73 .” he said. who preceded him. No sooner had the king entered his room than a cold shiver seemed to pass through him.

” “What!” said Aramis. jealous. “Ah! you are like all the rest.” “Yes.” “True.” D’Artagnan. involuntarily. then. does Colbert. Fouquet. in order to throw Aramis off his guard. too. “No. Colbert will be minister in four months?” “Because M. and Aramis’s former suspicions were again aroused. etc. but I am delighted to read the verses of others. Pelisson. then?” “You know I am a friend of all kinds of amusement where the exercise of the imagination is called into activity. Colbert. tell me what it was. I remember the verses you used to write. “Why did you not dissuade him from it?” The latter part of the phrase was just a little too much.” “Well. you mean?” said D’Artagnan. when those others are known by the names of Moliere. and that you will serve him as blindly as you did Richelieu or Mazarin—” “And as you serve M. “Why do you tell me that M.” “Ah. “I would wager that it was M. as he pretended to become sad and full of reflection.” he said. he added.” “Do you know what idea occurred to me this evening. I have always been a poet in one way or another. in a tone so full of thoughtful consideration.” “When I think. looking the musketeer full in the eyes. and so well assumed. though. true. they were charming. “that that fellow will be your minister within four months. and then. “With this difference. La Fontaine. you have so many. Aramis?” “No. Fouquet will have ceased to be so.” “Why does he give these fetes. “He comes of a mean race.” added the bishop.” replied Aramis.” “You did not notice it. “Quite true. “It is done with the 74 .” “I have forgotten them. indeed! you are the comptroller-general of the fetes here. it is Monsieur Fouquet. then?” said the musketeer. “Completely so. since you say you have been told so?” “No. Colbert who turned that pretty phrase. for I should never be able to guess it. that the bishop was for the moment deceived by it.” Aramis breathed again. related Colbert’s misadventures with regard to the vin de Melun.“No one could be more so. “He will be ruined. but that his majesty grew much more cordial afterwards.” said D’Artagnan. I was engaged with the gentlemen who have just left the room about the theatrical performances and the tournaments which are to take place to-morrow. Fouquet. Fouquet is not M.” “I am told that the king began by showing great distance of manner towards M. and smiled.” said D’Artagnan. that the true king of France is not Louis XIV. the idea occurred to me. that M.” said Aramis. a moment after.

the tournaments. necessity.” D’Artagnan paused.” “I don’t see that. I shall look upon as my enemy.’” “It is positive madness. and on account of which you took some specimens away.” “How completely Spanish!” “I told him so. the ball. he replied. yet curious to broach another phase of the conversation.” said D’Artagnan.” “What surprise?” “The surprise you seem to have in view. “Aramis. one might say. and the surprise as well.” “By ruining himself ?” “Yes.” “Necessity.” “Do you not? Have you not remarked M. when I met you at Percerin’s. Fouquet?” “That is well known. “That is merely an act of graceful attention. by ruining himself for the king. he would burn the whole building and its contents. the concert. I told M. and that. and the presents—these are well and good. Fouquet that myself. said. do you still care for me a very little?” “What a question to ask!” 75 .” replied Aramis. as soon as the king had left. in order that it might not be made use of by any one else. and that he is doing his utmost to drive the king to get rid of the superintendent?” “One must be blind not to see it. “There are follies.” “And that a cabal is already armed against M. that. slowly. true. completely new inside and out. and that portrait. Colbert’s daily increasing antagonism. the fireworks. and he then added this: ‘Whoever advises me to spare expense. too!” “What portrait?” said Aramis.object of humoring the king. took hold of both his hands. the cascades. the illuminations. the theatricals.” “A most eccentric. and all he had to do was to wait and watch its effect. and looking him full in the eyes.” “What do you allude to?” “As for the banquet. my friend. sinister calculation. hardly convinced.” “What likelihood is there that the king would join a party formed against a man who will have spent everything he had to please him?” “True. from the vanes at the houses to the very sub-cellars. “That of the king.” he resumed. I grant. dear Aramis. but why were not these expenses sufficient? Why was it necessary to have new liveries and costumes for your whole household?” “You are quite right. The shaft was discharged. and follies. that if he were rich enough he would offer the king a newly erected chateau. D’Artagnan went up to his friend. “and I do not like those you are committing.

What suspicion can you have possibly got hold of ?” “Do you believe in my instinctive feelings? Formerly you used to have faith in them. Aramis. should I not have long ago divulged it?” “No. that the ‘opportunity’ has not yet arrived. Tell me the exact truth. I should tell you about it? If I had one that I could and ought to have revealed. your words—at the moment you pronounce them—are full of generous feeling. I repeat. There are certain projects which are never revealed until the favorable opportunity arrives. no.” “Indeed.” “Aramis. you cause me the greatest pain. assured voice. Well.’ You are deceiving me.” “You are right. my dear fellow.“Very good. and will pull out the tooth easily enough. dazzling world. it is on account of others. One favor.” “Be a little considerate. Aramis. laughing.” “It is not thus you should speak of our friendship. and Porthos is fast asleep. mordioux. “Oh. if I were but to ask it. D’Artagnan. is nothing but an unsubstantial shadow—a lure. “And this man. and not on account of either of us. “the only thing now is. then.” “What nonsense!” “I am not only sure of it. friendship!” he said. you astonish me. If I ever suspect you.” said Aramis. An admirable trio of friends. tell me so at once. Will you promise me the same favor?” “If I am not mistaken.” “In that case. you would not like anything disagreeable to happen to me.” replied the bishop. will not open up before me the least corner in his heart. don’t you think so? What an affecting relic of the former dear old times!” “I can only tell you one thing. in a firm. that may be truth for everybody else. and I swear it on the Bible: I love you just as I used to do. nobly. but for me—” “Upon my word.” “You are conspiring against M. but I would even swear it. “for ours is not of the same nature as those of which you have been speaking. D’Artagnan. friendship. “And supposing that I were conspiring against Colbert.” “I—a project?” “I am convinced of it.” “Such a thing is very possible. Is it likely. would you?” “My dear friend. what harm would there be in that?” 76 . an instinct tells me that you have some concealed project on foot. Why did you take some patterns of the king’s costumes at Percerin’s?” “Come with me and ask poor Lebrun. who would shed every drop of blood in his veins for me.” Aramis could not conceal a smile of disdain that flitted over his haughty features. In everything I may do.” D’Artagnan shook his head with a sorrowful expression. you are becoming quite incomprehensible. who has been working upon them for the last two days and nights. “what an idle word you are! Here is a man who. If that be all.” “Look at us. would suffer himself to be cut in pieces for my sake. Friendship. like everything else in this bright. and should happen to succeed in. Colbert. three out of the old ‘four. you will find your fourth. D’Artagnan. then. I have the instrument in my own hand. if I have any project in hand that I ought to keep secret from you. I suspect you. Aramis.” returned the bishop.

one single word of a true friend.” “Ah! he does not stay with you. as he embraced him. then?” said D’Artagnan.“No. Aramis. “Are you going away?” he said. a voice within me speaks and seems to trickle forth a rill of light within my darkness: it is a voice that has never yet deceived me. the true king of this realm of France—if I have not the firm intention of prostrating myself before his throne—if in every idea I may entertain to-morrow. we are not enemies. from whom this separation of the two associates removed his last suspicion.” “I am the wiser of the two. even with my finger. I repeat. I have to get the watch-word. “Besides. could not suspect that any one was lying concealed.” said D’Artagnan. D’Artagnan. deceived. It seems I am to be lodged in the king’s ante-room. here at Vaux. Duty summons me. if he does not assassinate him. seated with his back towards the alcove.” “Will you help me?” said Aramis. trustful and reliant.” “You to suspect me of wishing to assassinate the king!” “Who spoke of such a thing?” smiled the musketeer. in this matter. but I don’t know where. if you like. pretending to be annoyed. I have forgotten. if I cannot help you. D’Artagnan. the king. “Aramis. for he rumbles through his sleepy nose like a park of artillery. you have your guards and your musketeers here. grant me. He has a chamber to himself.” 77 .” “A true friend’s word is ever truth itself. “True. Aramis had endured reproaches without turning pale.” “I am undertaking nothing. “Yes.” said the bishop.” “The king?” exclaimed the bishop. If I think of touching. Fouquet’s house. and shook them cordially. I am at the fete at Vaux. remember—we are brothers. but in spite of that. the studied slowness with which he pronounced them. I do not see what any one can do to a legitimate king as ours is. no. “Aramis. gave the musketeer the most complete satisfaction.” “True. “Your face will not convince me. where D’Artagnan. did him honor.” said Aramis. “Not the least in the world.” D’Artagnan did not say a word. but in your own.” “You are not in M. smiling ironically. upon the word of a D’Artagnan. the solemnity of his oath. made him feel ashamed. my dear fellow. and. let us understand one another. I will swear to remain neuter. Tell me what you wish to undertake. Oh! Aramis. “Well. I will do more than help you—I will do more than remain neuter—I will save you. and had blushed as he listened to words of praise. but D’Artagnan. It is the king you are conspiring against. and he touched Porthos lightly on the shoulder. is that you? What a lucky chance! Oh. Where does Porthos sleep?” “Take him away with you. in order to conceal the flush on his face. for pity’s sake.” “You are mad. He took hold of both Aramis’s hands. The earnestness of his words.” “Very good!” said the musketeer. the latter replied by a loud yawn. will not be the most glorious day my king ever enjoyed—may Heaven’s lightning blast me where I stand!” Aramis had pronounced these words with his face turned towards the alcove of his own bedroom. yes—true. that would be too trifling a matter for you to take in hand. “Come. the son of Anne of Austria. “What. and it was not on that account you asked Percerin for those patterns of the king’s costumes. D’Artagnan.

it seems. when it is too late. he is a Gascon.” said the musketeer. “The ceiling of the king’s room has all the lightness and calm of wholesome sleep.” added the bishop. “Yes. “You are walking so heavily you will make the flooring give way. and your beautiful dress. then?” “Before you called him by his name. wait a moment—” “Look at the notes and the portraits.” “I thought so. and in ten minutes I shall be asleep myself. hurriedly.” replied Philippe. Do not forget. If D’Artagnan does not recognize you before the other has disappeared.” “Look. I assure you. Fouquet. my friends. laying a stress upon the personal pronoun.” The prince did not deceive himself. “It is impossible. Oh. no. “I see the king!” “What is he doing?” “He seems to wish some man to sit down close to him. Good night. “As faithful as a dog. you will look through the opening. and then called out. closed up the chinks of the windows. was it not?” “Hush!” said Aramis.” “He is very devoted to me. he bolted the door.” “And I did not choose it for a fencing-room. as he pushed aside a sliding panel placed behind the bed. Colbert. for in that case. which answers to one of the false windows made in the dome of the king’s apartment.” “True.” “Yes. too. if he has seen nothing. d’Artagnan. If he sees.“Yes.” he said. my prince.” “The man whom the king wishes to sit down in his presence is M. I am going to push aside a portion of the flooring. it was very attentive on the part of Monsieur Coquelin de Voliere. rely upon D’Artagnan to the end of the world. starting as at the sight of an enemy. laughing quietly all the while. Can you see?” “Yes.” And Aramis accompanied them to the door.” said Philippe.” Aramis looked through the opening in the flooring. Fouquet?” “No. at all events. I think.” “Colbert sit down in the king’s presence!” exclaimed Aramis. “Colbert himself. but he bites sometimes. “Monseigneur!— monseigneur!” Philippe made his appearance from the alcove. What are we to do. d’Artagnan entertains a great many suspicions.” “He is your captain of musketeers. even. that my flooring is merely the covering of his ceiling. “Ah!—you recognized M. and will never admit that he has been deceived. As soon as they were outside. 78 . monseigneur! what can we be going to hear—and what can result from this intimacy?” “Nothing good for M.” “M. he will keep his fidelity. “this room is above the dome. now?” “Sit in this folding-chair. “M.” he said. therefore.

” “The occupation of an intendant very often favors those who practice it. and there was courage in the doing of it. refused this unprecedented honor. Fouquet. and Louis XIV. “Colbert. “Colbert. “The truth is. even if it were nothing more than an indigestion.” “Will you be able to prove it with tolerable certainty?” “Easily. wiser and better informed than we are. you knew it. The conversation began between them by the king according to him one of the highest favors that he had ever done.” “Let us listen.—can you tell?” “Yes. had sent for Colbert. where does he get all the money required for this enormous expenditure. then. Fouquet’s wealth.” “Exactitude is the principal qualification required in an intendant of finances. Fouquet has given me too good a meal. “that M. ready to crush them when they liked.” “Very good. Monsieur Colbert?” “The living are witnesses of M.” “But all are not so. the living as well as the dead.” “Every one.” Colbert awaited the effect this coarse jest would produce upon the king. but the dead. for he feared he was about to be dismissed.” “What does that mean. and to the utmost farthing. Yes.” “So that M. he remains standing. I do know.. overcome with delight.” “What! you were afraid of something on my account?” “I was.” The intendant.” said Colbert. and Colbert had arrived. “for people do not give their sovereigns such banquets as the one of to-day. therefore.” And the future king and the future pope listened eagerly to the simple mortals they held under their feet. I like that answer. Tell me. sire. Colbert. unless it be to stifle them beneath the burden of good living.” said the king. know how that wealth was obtained—and they rise up in accusation. but I risked. sire.” “I ran the risk of displeasing your majesty. Fouquet owes his wealth to some cause or other.” “I know it.” “M.” 79 . and I suppose every man knows he is so.—they admire and applaud the result produced.We have seen that Louis XIV. “No.” “I know you are very exact. is rich—very rich. also. who was the vainest and the most fastidiously delicate man in his kingdom. sire. “you have annoyed me exceedingly to-day. “Does he accept?” said Aramis. “sit down.” said he. it was true the king was alone with his subject.” “I thank you majesty for so flattering a compliment from your own lips. the concealment of your best interests. forgave Colbert the joke. sire.” he said.

then.—you will find your advantage in it. That is what I do not very well understand. for by the remembrance of his own fete he. and.” “I see that it refers to money that had been given to M. “The late cardinal’s handwriting.” “Well. do not be afraid. and under the protection of your majesty. in order to learn your vocation of a king. Mazarin indicates the employment of that sum and the name of the person with whom it was deposited?” “As your majesty can judge for yourself.” “I am never afraid of anything under the shelter of my own conscience. nothing further would be learned if we stated them here again. How was this deficit possible?” “Possible I do not say. inasmuch as M. A tolerably good sum.” “You say that these thirteen millions are found to be wanting in the accounts?” “I do not say so. “I do not quite understand. “it is an immense advantage for a king who is destined for hard work to recognize handwritings at the first glance. “Your majesty has not acquired the utilitarian habit of checking the public accounts. but there is no doubt about fact that it is really so. listened without losing a syllable. Fouquet.” For a blunderer. in that case. and with those thirteen millions one could incur four times and a little more as much expense. sire.” The king read Mazarin’s letter. were to speak—” “They do speak sometimes. take from Colbert’s hands a letter the latter held out to him. bowing.” said Colbert. “If the dead. we are quite alone. who.” said the king. where we only spent three millions altogether. in consequence of the misunderstanding between Madame de Chevreuse and Aramis. close beside him. these thirteen millions are wanting to balance the total of the account.” “That results from the accounts. listen to a piece of infamy—of a nature truly royal. Well. “Your majesty has an excellent memory.—read. and saw Louis XIV. bowing. monseigneur. sire.” “Yes. sire. “since you are placed here.” The prince redoubled his attention. I perceive. and make four times as great a display. perceived its inferiority compared with that of Fouquet. but the registry does.” “And this letter of M. for the first time. in the prince’s ear. as your majesty was able to do at Fontainebleau.” replied Colbert. greatly interested. and the result is. as its contents are already known to the reader. consequently—” “Well.” said the king. Fouquet has not yet restored the thirteen millions. Fouquet has not yet given back the thirteen millions. Colbert received back again at Vaux what Fouquet 80 .“You have something to say to me more confidentially.” “Ah!” murmured Aramis. if you remember. and. that M. Listen attentively. the souvenir he had evoked was a rather skillfully contrived piece of baseness. certainly. You are about to be a witness of one of those scenes which the foul fiend alone conceives and executes.” “Yes. he must have appropriated them to his own purpose. therefore.” “Thirteen millions.

” “That is true. changing the conversation.” replied Aramis. The king made a gesture of adieu. Colbert. “Are you aware what is the usual and natural consequence of all this.” said Philippe in a low tone to Aramis. for the king. but the ceremony of the king’s retiring to rest.” returned Colbert.” said the young prince. Look! look!” 81 .” “I mean if it were to be declared and certified. had again sunk into a dull and gloomy state. He felt that such was the case. hastily. “A moment longer. “that the architect who planned this dome ought. Colbert is so very near the king at this moment. so to have contrived that it might be made to fall upon the heads of scoundrels such as M. with his accustomed gentleness of manner. “but M.” “I think so too. perhaps. Colbert had nothing of much importance to detain him.” “I think. that indeed is of the greatest importance. sire. let us keep quiet. Fouquet’s roof. “what has just now taken place is only a detail. and go on listening.had given him at Fontainebleau. Philippe was about to quit his post of observation. if I were king.” “I think it will be to-morrow. the fact of the appropriation of the thirteen millions. and I shall now retire to bed. Colbert. “No. Learn.” “Well. and study well how you ought to go to bed of a night. if your majesty—” “Were we not under M. Monsieur Colbert?” said the king. sire. and to-morrow we shall have no occasion to think anything more about it. and that would open the succession.” “We shall not have long to listen. greatly incensed. then. at last raised his eyes. sire. you were going to say.” replied the king.” “Very good. Colbert awaited the first words from the king’s lips with as much impatience as Philippe and Aramis did from their place of observation. monseigneur. monseigneur?” “Because.” “Of which your younger brother would reap all the advantage.” Louis XIV. and. with something of nobility in his demeanor. and finding Colbert attentively waiting for his next remarks. “The king is in his own palace wherever he may be—especially in houses which the royal money has constructed.” said Aramis to him.” “And what would you do?” “I should wait until to-morrow morning to give myself time for reflection. anticipating the use it could be put to at a future opportunity. By to-morrow morning I shall have made up my mind. Having once disposed the king’s mind in this artful way. too. I do not know. and. although he restrained himself in the presence of the king. if it can be proved—” “But it is so already. as a good financier. the etiquette observed in addressing the king. Colbert. I should make no further reply. after a few moments’ reflection. as they entered the apartment. But stay. “Why not. said. and Colbert withdrew with a respectful bow. returned it with the best possible interest. “M. “My attendants!” cried the king. M. I perceive it is getting very late.

and a comedy. she accordingly presented herself to the king with an embarrassed aspect. in which all the wonders of the “Arabian Night’s Entertainments” seemed to be reproduced for his especial amusement—the king. as soon as he perceived the young girl approaching. so brilliant in its effects. disturbed at the sight of the emotion she had divined. During the whole of the day the king. Oh!” he continued. look round you on every side. there was a promenade. Porthos recognized “M. mademoiselle. it is not sadness I experience. the king. who had avoided him. had won a thousand pistoles. having won them. there still remained a slight shade of dissatisfaction. he could not have done better. Aramis. Fouquet. cards and dice were introduced. put them in his pocket. The king won a thousand pistoles. then.” he said to her. showed himself cold. gentlemen. to the park. during the whole of the day. “when I think that this king—” “Well. in all probability. Colbert was waiting for or upon him at the corner of one of the avenues. was keenly alive in the depths of the king’s heart. as the source becomes a river. in the piece called “Les Facheux. Towards the middle of the day only did he begin to resume a little serenity of manner. in all probability. that wherever I may happen to be. to which he was by no means insensible. no. terrified. of remote origin. This time Colbert seemed to walk in concert with the bishop of Vannes. as in his walk.” He found the ladies of the court were already there. And therefore I am about to change this impudent minister’s fete into sorrow and mourning. which in his then disposition of mind the king interpreted unfavorably. she understood that this repressed wrath menaced some one. It was not the same. or rather history has told us. or who had seemed to avoid him. a circumstance which made the countenances of the courtiers and the officers of the king’s household the most joyous countenances in the world. we say. sire?” “Humiliation. concluded that the event he was expecting would not be long before it was announced. deeply distressed at having been so long separated from her lover. then. who grows proud and self-sufficient upon the strength of property that belongs to me.. and then rose. and which he has stolen. of which 82 . The evening came. Well. I am sorrowful only at the sadness which seems to oppress your majesty. and had put them in his pocket. too. too. but M. the king of France—before the monarch of these wide domains.” Full of preoccupation. to his great amazement. every one who observed him noticed that a deep feeling of resentment. unworthy servant. as Louis XIV. nervously agitated. no one else ought to be the master. and your eyes are filled with tears. and if my eyes are indeed full of tears.” “My sadness? You are mistaken. Colbert. had stopped and drawn back a dozen paces—the king advanced towards La Valliere and took her by the hand. and by that time he had.” “Humiliation? oh! sire.” “Oh! sire. The king had expressed a wish not to walk in the park until after cards in the evening. in which. Nothing could smooth the frowns upon his face. who followed him step by step in his thoughts. however. a banquet. she prepared to withstand the current of his vengeance. for. sire?” said Louise. and they then struck into the depths of the park together. from the scene of the previous evening. a comedy to be acted. suddenly made him a sign. if I be indeed so. Overcome by sadness. and intercede like an angel of mercy. Colbert or M. Fouquet had somehow contrived to lose ten thousand. made up his mind. with the king’s face. who. and hardly recovered from the effects of the poison which Colbert had then administered to him. he was most probably waiting there in consequence of a rendezvous which had been given him by the king. of the splendid fetes given by the surintendant to his sovereign.” “What is it. and judge whether I am not eclipsed—I. clenching his hands and teeth. Coquelin de Voliere” as one of the actors. and taciturn. reserved. she had remarked this—and as nothing which lay hidden or smoldering in his heart was hidden from the gaze of her affection. what a word for you to use!” “I mean. and. In the interval between supper and the promenade. however. saying. so that among the courtiers there was still left a hundred and ninety thousand francs’ profit to divide. had observed the king’s gloomy aspect and kindling glances. inasmuch as Colbert. But La Valliere. History will tell us. Then. and had he received for every annoyance which he inflicted on the king a word of direction from Aramis. “—That this king is a faithless. as they were alone—nearly alone. “should I be guilty of an indiscretion if I were to inquire if you were indisposed? for you seem to breathe as if you were oppressed by some secret cause of uneasiness. mademoiselle. wished to free himself from some of the thoughts which disturbed his mind. Nothing but amusement and delight was allowed to prevail throughout the whole of the following day.Chapter XV. seemed to seek La Valliere’s society as actively as he seemed to show his anxiety to flee that of M. of the various events of the following day. “And now. The king. thanks to the thousand threads of water that increase its body. “Mademoiselle. increased by slow degrees. notwithstanding his success at play. we have before observed. so full of unexpected and startling novelties.

are you about to take M. and go and inform M.” “Speak.” “Pardieu! in order to arrest this haughty. who had advanced. “for I almost believe that Mademoiselle de la Valliere has need of your assistance before she can put any faith in the king’s word. gentle lamb. “when the king acts well. “In plain truth. since the king wishes me to listen to you. he hesitated before carrying into execution. “Speak. Tell mademoiselle what M. I would sacrifice my very life. mademoiselle. “Speak. that timid. leave us. “Sire. do you say?” “Ah! does that surprise you?” “In his own house!” “Why not? If he be guilty. shall not soon lose the remembrance.the nymph of Vaux. it seems as if you were defending this traitor. true to his menace.” said La Valliere to Colbert. arrogant Titan who. sire. mademoiselle. insist upon it in such a manner? A very simple reason—his heart was not at rest. I will only ask whether you are well informed. tortuous intrigue behind these thirteen millions of francs. it is yourself. impatiently. Fouquet has done. “speak. and he wished that the pure heart of La Valliere. as the poets say. and with a glance like lightning imposed silence upon him. “a mere abuse of confidence. The king turned round at the sound of this suppressed mirth. whether. he imagined there lay some dark. d’Artagnan that I have certain orders to give him. mademoiselle. nevertheless.” Why did Louis XIV.” said La Valliere. “but why send for M.” “Oh! your majesty—” “Well.” “Me! you are defending me?” “Sire. my only motive is that of serving your majesty.” Louis XIV. and when you have related it. “No.” “M. speak.” Colbert began to chuckle silently.” she said.” Colbert seemed inclined to grumble and complain. he is as guilty in his own house as anywhere else. sire!” exclaimed La Valliere. which had revolted at the idea of theft or robbery. you show a strange persistence in what you say. he does either myself 83 . in doing so.” “If I do. turning pale with anger. d’Artagnan? I entreat you to tell me. you would dishonor yourself if you were to give such an order. “it is not M. should approve—even were it only by a single word—the resolution he had taken. d’Artagnan. monsieur.” “M.” “In plain truth. who at this moment is ruining himself for his sovereign. his mind was not thoroughly convinced. Monsieur Colbert.” “Arrest M. mademoiselle.” replied the noble-hearted girl: “for that I would risk. Fouquet. Tell me.” he returned. threatens to scale my heaven. “Monsieur. It will not be long. Fouquet’s part?” said Louis. Colbert. Fouquet I am defending. and you. turned round upon him. made a sign for Colbert to approach. will perhaps have the kindness to listen. without the least reserve. hidden. and which. Fouquet is charged?” “Oh! not very heinous. La Valliere. sire. Fouquet.” said the young prince. what is the crime with which M. Your majesty has more than once learned the value of accusations made at court. mademoiselle.” “Dishonor myself!” murmured the king.

” Colbert hung down his head. Fouquet to flee. shook his head. then suddenly his face brightened up again. he was overpowered by the passionate energy of her voice. full of hatred. Colbert exclaimed. was rising from his humble posture. we both love him. his palace is inviolable.” he said. then. and. no. ‘M. that they dishonor the king who advise him to arrest M. as the king. and that is an asylum which even executioners would not dare to violate. Colbert tranquilly fumbled among the papers in his pocket-book and drew out of it a paper folded in the form of a letter. were M. Louise.” “Mademoiselle. he murmured. some one is coming. his home is sacred. “why do you decide against me? Do you know what this wretched fellow will do.’” La Valliere paused. crumpling it in his hand.” “Yes. since his wife is living in it. and take to flight?” exclaimed Colbert. as the light of the approaching torches shone upon it. for he felt that the king had abandoned him. Colbert yielded. Were his house a den of thieves. and then. 84 . However. “Mademoiselle.’ I have no occasion for other lips to say. but one that must have been most precious. Fouquet the vilest of men. old fox!—not yet. pressed La Valliere to his breast. Louise disappeared rapidly among the trees. “I am lost.” he said to himself. ‘I affirm it.” “Do not say it. But whoso touches his honor assails my life. that the king himself does not doubt my affection. “Mademoiselle. as he bent his head. I have only one word to say. Therefore. since the intendant smiled as he looked at it.” replied La Valliere. as he did so. what could you have to tell me? That M. and the more guilty he may have been. And while the king. overcome by the inequality of the struggle. for I would not listen to it. it will always remain on record. if I give him time to breathe again?” “Is he not a prey which will always be within your grasp?” “Should he escape.” “But it appears to me. from the moment the king said. ‘I think so. and was silent. perhaps. I have nothing to say. monseigneur. I should tell him so. gently. “I love him so deeply. mademoiselle. I should say aloud. to expedite the young girl’s departure. Fouquet’s person is sacred to the king because he is the guest of M. inundating the blackness of the scene with a flood of light as bight as day. Besides. and at the same moment the torches arrived. “Oh! no. protected from observation by the thick covert of an enormous lime. were Vaux a cave of coiners or robbers. as he knelt before her. compared with such unnecessary misery and shame. “that I too love the king.” he said. sire.” thought Colbert. the greater will the king’s honor and glory appear.” Louis kissed La Valliere’s hand. At last the king breathed again more freely. “Well. but were the king to confer a benefit either upon me or mine. to the king’s eternal honor. “for some one is coming. mademoiselle. monsieur.” cried Colbert. he then bent a look. In spite of himself the king could not but admire her. by the nobleness of the cause she advocated. monsieur. Louis noticed the light reflected upon La Valliere’s white dress. so purely. with all the ardor of ineffable affection. that the whole world is aware of it. Fouquet.” Colbert ventured to say. who had been on his knees before the young girl. Fouquet has been guilty of certain crimes? I believe he has.” “What is it?” inquired the king. aha. and held out his hand to La Valliere. He is my king and my master. with such an accent that the heart of the young king was powerfully affected by it. upon the charming group which the young girl and the king formed together—a group revealed but for a moment. “Leave me. look there. I am the least of all his servants. but each in a different manner. “Ah! Mademoiselle de la Valliere has let something fall.” The king stooped down immediately and picked up the letter. because the king has said so. and if he acted badly.’ But. Fouquet under his own roof.or those who belong to me an injury. that he allowed M. “A paper—a letter—something white. I repeat. somewhat yellow.

and show him a little attention in return for the expenditure of his twelve millions. Suddenly. In the bitter pang which wrung his heart. Hardly had Fouquet conducted the king towards the chateau. illumined by the many-colored fire which gleamed so brightly. still too weak to hide his sufferings. and calling his guards to gather round him. turned towards the chateau. which the magnificence of the spectacle was already. at twenty paces from the king. sire. as he took leave of him. This.’s heart. to whom the royal order had been communicated.” “Very good. Fouquet to be put an end to with the same readiness. sire?” inquired the superintendent. “that no one enters here. Fouquet accompanied him. when a mass of fire burst from the dome of Vaux. arrived in time to suspend the effect of a resolution which La Valliere had already considerably shaken in Louis XIV. But as he read it. approaching to amiability. Fouquet. This idea was sufficient to console him. now torn by the most stormy and most bitter passions. by the obstinate persistence of his gloomy thoughts. a death-like pallor stole over his face. but allowed M. influenced as he was by jealousy and mad passion. He looked at Fouquet with a feeling almost of gratitude for having given La Valliere an opportunity of showing herself so generously disposed. but did not succeed in obtaining a reply. monsieur. he. “M. the eager attention every one displayed. leaving the remains of the fireworks consuming for their own amusement. Jealousy. The superintendent endeavored again to question Louis XIV. which the king could find to say to M. but. still eagerly attentive. who was surrounded and feted by the owner of Vaux. all were forgotten. The torches we have just referred to. Colbert saw the king’s anger. as he believed. “Nothing. and that the king. as his predecessor had caused the assassination of le Marechal d’Ancre. as he replied. but it is nothing.Chapter XVI. Louis made a violent effort over himself. d’Artagnan to come here. was not all the king had to submit to.’s apartment. and the new ovation paid to the king by Fouquet. D’Artagnan.. with an expression of graceful interest. Fouquet to touch his hand with his lips. whose glance had for a long time past analyzed the stormy indications on the royal countenance. From the very moment when the dark truth was revealed to him. which he supposed was a loving and tender epistle La Valliere had destined for him. The king did not even give the captain of the musketeers time to approach his armchair. but completely absorbed by his passion for La Valliere. The only remark. however. which every one would have shuddered at. every gentler feeling seemed to disappear. but ran forward to meet him. indicated coups d’etat. the king read the letter. and still listening with all their ears.” replied the captain. your majesty?” 85 . and he was perfectly willing to order M. with a prodigious uproar. La Valliere had dropped at his feet as she hurried away. and. he said. and an expression of deep-seated wrath. who had so profoundly dissimulated his feelings. could they only have read into his heart. and so he disguised the terrible resolution he had formed beneath one of those royal smiles which. Louis shuddered throughout his whole frame. just as Louis was on the point of holding it out to Fouquet. and rejoiced inwardly at the approach of the storm. and the whole court followed. by the brilliant light. Fouquet. it was but proper that the guests should thank their host. who was not ordinarily sulky by disposition. This letter which Colbert had thrown down at the king’s feet. the religion of hospitality. kindness of consideration. after the attempt which Fouquet had made upon La Valliere’s heart.” he exclaimed. too easily diverting. without waiting for the termination of the fireworks. was almost on the point of uttering a cry of alarm. Colbert. were in these words. he had even a friendly and kindly smile for the young king. the reader has doubtlessly guessed.. seemed. he was obliged to undergo the usual ceremony. Aramis and Philippe were in theirs. There was no truce for him now. produced a terrible spectacle. to do his utmost to recall Louis’s attention. Five minutes afterwards. and illumining the remotest corners of the gardens.” But the blood of Louis XIV. He gave the necessary order at the door. entered Louis XIV. which on that evening was marked by close adherence to the strictest etiquette. which increased momentarily in beauty. pity. and drew from the neighboring villages loud cheers of admiration. pouring a flood of dazzling cataracts of rays on every side. Fouquet’s voice drew the young prince from his wrathful reverie. Fouquet took the king’s hand and kissed it. soaringly around the scene. had taken a dislike to every one because his mistress had shown herself offended with him. in his opinion. “What is the matter. “Take care. The still stronger magnet of love drew the young prince’s attention towards the souvenir of his idol.” “I am afraid your majesty is suffering?” “I am suffering. Be good enough to desire M. was the same that had disappeared with the porter Toby at Fontainebleau. “Is there something fresh the matter. returning to the king. and have already told you so. Fouquet saw the king’s pallor. so powerful in the influence she exercised over his heart. when the latter wished him good night. like lightning-flashes. The next day was the one fixed for the departure. which had resulted in a slight quarrel. indeed. boiled in his veins. He imagined there had been some misunderstanding between Louis and La Valliere in the park. you shall hear from me. he perceived in his hand the paper which.” And the king. The fireworks began. The moment of the last and greatest display had arrived. and was far from guessing the evil.

when it springs from a feeling of anger. impertinently. complimentary phrase which cannot proceed from any one but M. If that. The king. do it. “This. The king is at home in every man’s house when he has driven its owner out of it. stamping upon the ground with his foot. Colbert. “What is your thought?” he exclaimed. you will regret what you have done. monsieur. “Are you going to tell me that it is impossible?” exclaimed the king. and what others?” “Twenty guards and thirteen Swiss. others have not. however. without making any other reply to the question addressed to him. When your anger shall have passed. vindictive passion. unfortunately. but said nothing.” The king bit his lips. calm eyes.” “A truce to set phrases.” “How many men will be required to—” “To do what. sire. you have another thought besides that?” “Oh. and said.” D’Artagnan replied.” “Well. lose their temper at times. opening his large. I.” “That is a flattering.“How many men have you here?” inquired the king. and drew back in the face of D’Artagnan’s frank courage. “What for. should fail to be a reparation. may possibly change when the feeling changes. just as a horse crouches on his haunches under the strong hand of a bold and experienced rider. when he reached it he suddenly paused.” “For what purpose—and since when has the king’s word been insufficient for you?” “Because the word of a king. but it happens not to be the truth. hesitated. and made his way towards the door. in tones of cold. “Very well. then. before me. in the tempest of his wrath. it will at least show us that the king was wrong to lose his temper. and passion is alone the cause of that. Fouquet. “To arrest M. at least. and he cleared it in half a dozen paces. 86 . in order to effect this arrest. “I have the musketeers. and then I wish to be in a position to show you your signature.” D’Artagnan fell back a step. it was but a short distance. my grandfathers. too.” D’Artagnan turned on his heel. which.” replied D’Artagnan. wounded to the quick. passionate voice.” “Wrong to lose his temper!” cried the king. “Did not my father. Fouquet!” he burst forth. have certain thoughts and ideas. sire?” replied the musketeer.” replied D’Artagnan: “you cause a man to be arrested when you are still under his roof. “I never say that anything is impossible. sire?” “How many men have you. in a loud. I should like written directions. “To arrest M. “Your majesty will forgive me. but. in Heaven’s name?” “The king your father and the king your grandfather never lost their temper except when under the protection of their own palace.” “The king is master wherever he may be. I say?” repeated the king.

and that is all. to drive him up into one of the corners of the chess-board. and now leave me to myself. With his whole mind fixed on the thought of revenge. but he shall forthwith fall! I hate him—I hate him—I hate him!” and as he pronounced these words. Defend himself when such extreme harshness as you are going to practice makes the man a very martyr! Nay. “He pollutes and profanes everything that belongs to me! He destroys everything that is mine. Colbert.” “Stay. with that abhorrent hate with which young men regard those more advanced in life. until I shall have made up my mind by to-morrow morning.” said the king. in such a way that he cannot escape. Fouquet! why. and people treated me in that manner. and send myself and everybody else in blown-up atoms to the sky. and tries to rob me of the one to whom I am most attached. generals. “A man who has never found opposition or resistance in any one.” “Why so?” “Because nothing is easier than to go up to M. This is the reason that perfidious girl so boldly took his part! Gratitude! and who can tell whether it was not a stronger feeling—love itself ?” He gave himself up for a moment to the bitterest reflections. to take him away from his guests. I arrest you. “No. he struck the arm of the chair in which he was sitting violently. in truth. The king closed the door with his own hands. sire. is a genuine difficulty. who still think of love. which I very much doubt. friends. he had forgotten the cause and substance of the offense.’ But to go up to him. when I rise in the morning. and keep him a prisoner for you.” “You do not even want M. one makes an ugly face. “here is a man who is positively ruining himself in order to please you. the greatest of all. “but have you men enough?” “Do you suppose I am going to take a whole host to help me? Arrest M. The king started. and who retains his staff of painters in order to take the portraits of his mistresses in the costume of goddesses. he is my mortal enemy. that is so easy that a very child might do it! It is like drinking a glass of wormwood. if my name was Fouquet. and you wish to have him arrested! Mordioux! Sire. At last he began to take comfort in the expression of his violent feelings.” “I do not prevent your doing anything. but I seem to be surrounded by people who prevent me doing what I wish. firing his last shot as he was leaving the room.” “And return.” “If he defends himself ?” “He! it is not at all likely. and I would set fire to them. and began to walk up and down his apartment at a furious pace.” he said. to turn him first one way and then another. trailing from his horn the colored streamers and the iron darts. But what does that matter? it shall be done at once. I would swallow at a single gulp all sorts of fireworks and other things. and I hardly see how it is to be done. indeed. Heaven help me. alas! having heard anything about it. Fouquet. ‘In the king’s name. and say.” said the king. and it shall be done. He will be my death at last.” “That shall be done. Have you indeed decided?” “Take care of M. and all. then?” said the musketeer.” The king trembled with passion as he continued. artists. Fouquet in the midst of a thousand enthusiastic guests who surround him. no one. “Miserable wretch that he is! not only does he squander my finances.“Can it be possible?” said D’Artagnan.” D’Artagnan quitted the room.” “That will be more difficult. But it is all the same. that. “no one here! Leave me. without one of them. but with his ill-gotten plunder he corrupts secretaries. he would be willing enough to give it in order to have such a termination as this. That man is too much for me. “do not make his arrest a public affair. “A satyr!” he thought. I know. like a wounded bull in an arena. who lavishes his gold and jewels in every direction. it is your wish.” “You had better say it is impossible. for further orders. 87 . and you will have finished much sooner.” “Go. I am sure that if he has a million of francs left.

while from his breast faint and infrequent sighs still issued. had done. his head lay languidly on his pillow. and half-suffocated. The ungovernable fury which took possession of the king at the sight and at the perusal of Fouquet’s letter to La Valliere by degrees subsided into a feeling of pain and extreme weariness. and bit the sheets in his extremity of passion. and moved to and fro in the dome above the sleeper. a young man. seemed to recede from his vision. “It is time to awaken from it. that he had his eyes open also. wearied by his anger and reconciled by his tears. On his right hand and on his left two armed men stood in stolid silence. No paintings. one might say. in his acquired strength of will and purpose. and that the figures and attributes painted by Lebrun became darker and darker as the distance became more and more remote. sleepless nights which enable us to realize the fable of the vulture unceasingly feeding on Prometheus.over and over again. to which it remained suspended. “To-morrow! to-morrow! oh. Youth. The bed creaked beneath his weight. Then it seemed to him. And yet the bed still continued to descend. Then it seemed to him as if the dome gradually retired. Fouquet alone. said to himself. Louis. which the increasing gloom made darker every moment. requiring soon that what it loses should be immediately restored—youth knows not those endless. agitated by muscular contractions. The king could no longer see the light in his room.” Every one has experienced the sensation the above remark conveys. they will be forced to confess at last and at least that I am indeed greater than he. it reached a stratum of air. seemed. by the help of that light which still burns in the brain when every human light is extinguished. and from despair to prostration.” This was precisely what Louis XIV. and then rose like one in an epileptic fit. knocked over with a blow of his fist a small table placed close to his bedside. trying to find repose of body at least there. “It is nothing but a dream. has not said to himself. though vainly so. that the face was saddened by a feeling of the profoundest pity. exploding. one of them held a small lamp in his hand. and the soul above the earth—it seemed to him. Louis could not help saying to himself that his dream still lasted. Then. that something shone brightly. half revealed a human face. exhausted with excessive emotion. find incessant augmentation of their bitter sorrow. but even La Valliere herself. Doubtless the king was dreaming. and with the exception of a few broken sounds. come! wake up. The bed still sunk. his limbs. but when he said. which seemed in its duration almost an age to the king. there is hardly a person who. That man shall fall so low that when people look at the abject ruin my anger shall have wrought. from his overburdened chest. invigorated by health and lightness of spirits. from fury he subsided into despair. surprised by the sudden appearance of misfortune. each wrapped in a huge cloak. so that the winged genius which. as the light of the royal chamber faded away into darkness and gloom. and in an attitude of deep and absorbed meditation. painted on the ceiling. no other rival shall that brilliant king of space possess but me. Once overthrown. whose glimmering light revealed the saddest picture a king could look upon. and the old. which fastened the curtains together. as regular as that by which a vessel plunges beneath the waves. In cases where the man of middle life. to call upon the king. and groans. with a hand resting against the mouth. as it often happens in that first sleep. absolute silence soon reigned in the chamber of Morpheus. and after a minute. too. but still more. could not resist the deception of this cruel hallucination. in the midst of a nightmare whose influence is suffocating. who was fast disappearing from it. something cold. his nerveless arms fell quietly down. he said: 88 . nor velvet hangings. After he had thrown himself for a few minutes to and fro convulsively on his bed. looked at him with eyes resembling human eyes.” he perceived that not only was he already awake. Louis could not hold out more than a few minutes. happy day!” he murmured. weakens himself in sighs. moist ground. and in this dream the crown of gold. towards whom Louis raised his eyes. and scorch in fancy with his looks the invisible objects of his hatred. and the face covered with a mask. Morpheus. with his eyes open. dressed as he was. just as the dome. Chapter XVII. his struggles cease. however. and tears.” The king. addressing himself to the man who held the lamp in his hand. the tutelary deity of the apartment. at the end of which he had ceased to clench his hands. black and chill as death. directly struggling with his grief. were visible any longer. he threw himself on his bed. which raises the body above the couch. we say. nor gold. and then it stopped. he darted from his bed. so light and gentle. this man bore so wonderful a resemblance to the king himself. except as from the bottom of a well we can see the light of day. “I am under the influence of some atrocious dream. A gentle. and that all he had to do to cause it to disappear was to move his arms or to say something aloud. or. High Treason. with the exception. almost weeping. in their state of natural exhaustion. And strange enough. “Come. showered down upon him the sleep-inducing poppies with which his hands are ever filled. easy movement. At last. that Louis fancied he was looking at his own face reflected in a mirror. nothing but walls of a dull gray color. still trembled occasionally. he soon ceased to attack with his violent imprecations not M. had succeeded to the immovableness of the bed. supported the crown. as if the god Morpheus. “when the sun rises. and found himself upon the damp. Come! let me wake. and which were interrupted for a moment. so presently the monarch closed his eyes and fell asleep. escaping from his gaze.” he thought. And then he looked all round him. who was incapable of mastering his emotions any longer. emerging. gloomy. and in the very bitterness of anger. after all. that the crowd of terrible dreams which thronged together in his brain. with both its hand. and inexplicable in its nature seemed to infect the air. and is thereby far sooner overthrown by the inflexible enemy with whom he is engaged.

turned to the other masked figure. greatly astonished at his situation. on the day when he had that unhappy idea of rending his last oak. the king followed him.” replied the man who held the lamp. and roll you up in your own cloak. He shook his head and said: “It seems I have fallen into the hands of a couple of assassins.” “Look. but by the light of the lamp which the masked figure raised for the purpose.” replied in a deep voice the masked figure that held the lantern.” Louis looked all round him.” said the giant. In this manner they passed along a winding gallery of some length. hesitatingly. during the whole of the brief journey. turning towards the one who had just had the audacity to touch his sovereign. stamping his foot.” he said. “because there is nothing to say. why—so much the worse for you. for a moment or two. He held himself erect and motionless as any block of marble. ended at last in a long corridor closed by an iron door. more impatient than intimidated. “In the meantime tell me where I am. and if you should happen to be stifled. “you will tell M. Louis recognized the balmy odors that trees exhale in hot summer nights.” “At least.” exclaimed Louis. “Well!” added the king. “If this is a comedy. All these windings and turnings. and what is the meaning of this jest?” “It is no jest.” said the king. my dear young friend. Fouquet?” inquired the king. while the second masked figure closed the procession. during which the king heard the sound of running water over his head. if necessary. “we are your masters now. The one who carried the lantern walked first. he could perceive nothing but the damp walls which glistened here and there with the slimy traces of the snail.” “Which leads—?” “Will you be good enough to follow us?” “I shall not stir from hence!” cried the king. and that I command it should cease. “what do you intend to do with the king of France?” “Try to forget that word.” The king. that is sufficient. “If you are obstinate.” said the phantom. tell me what you want. and that they would consequently be ready to proceed to extremities.” The second masked person to whom the king had addressed himself was a man of huge stature and vast circumference.” Neither of the men answered a word to this remark. Move on. where. “Another blow. “I will lift you up in my arms. for he could well believe that the two men into whose power he had fallen had not gone so far with any idea of drawing back. with as many staircases leading out of it as are to be found in the mysterious and gloomy palaces of Ann Radcliffe’s creation. the king had heard them rattle. “No. “Do you belong to M. Fouquet that I find it unseemly and improper.” cried the king. a subterranean passage. “Oh—oh!—a dungeon.“What is this. The king dreaded violence. but the huge sentinel who followed him thrust him out of the subterranean passage. He paused.” replied the man with the lamp. my good monsieur. “It matters very little to whom we belong. As soon as the door was opened and admitted the air. in a tone which as little admitted of a reply as one of the famous decrees 89 . “you do not answer!” “We do not answer you. “You will know by and by.” replied the taller of the two. in a stentorian voice. then. folding his arms with a passionate gesture. monsieur.” As he said this. The figure with the lamp opened the door with one of the keys he wore suspended at his girdle. he disengaged from beneath his cloak a hand of which Milo of Crotona would have envied him the possession.

where we are going. “About the order of release. “Hush!” said Aramis. M. and continued to follow the road towards Paris with the same rapidity. “Let us go into your room. took up a short musket which he kept under his feet.” Aramis replied. however. but that you compelled me to believe it. de Baisemeaux appeared in his dressing-gown on the threshold of the door. and placed its muzzle on his prisoner’s chest. and said two or three words to the one who acted as driver. that an order of release was sent to you. monseigneur. at least.” the driver conducted the horses into the circular inclosure of the Bastile. “Very good. turned into the road to Paris. without another remark. that I would not credit it. he cut the fastenings by which the horses were bound. “And fire at once if he speaks!” added aloud the man who alighted from the carriage.” “Yes. monsieur—no. for Marchiali. and without a postilion. “By the king’s order. Two horses. with a kind of respect in his manner. which was unoccupied.” replied his companion. and mounted on the box of the carriage. and leading his prisoner towards a carriage which seemed to be in waiting.” “Good heavens! what brings you here at this hour?” “A mistake. and. the padded door of which was shut and locked immediately upon him and his guide. “Go and wake the governor. “Get in. and a sergeant of the guard ran forward. almost suffocated by surprise and terror. “What is the matter now?” he asked. There the horses drew up. opening the carriage-door and letting down the step. as he extinguished the lamp his companion handed to him. made so sudden a movement that it seemed as if he meditated flight. seated himself at the back of the carriage. and in the forest of Senart found a relay of horses fastened to the trees in the same manner the first horses had been. called La Cour du Gouvernement. Ten minutes afterwards. “Monsieur d’Herblay!” said the latter. after having called out to the sentinel. “Come. “It appears that you were quite right the other day.” said the giant.of Minos.” 90 .” “Very good! we both thought that it was for Marchiali?” “Certainly. As for the giant.” said the same man. The carriage was completely concealed amid the trees. “and whom have you brought me there?” The man with the lantern opened the carriage-door. “But tell me. quietly. my dear friend. at that threat. looking out upon the courtyard. They carriage proceeded along the Faubourg Saint-Antoine.” replied the former of the two men. with their feet fettered. and fixed him motionless where he stood. at the flight of steps. at the top of which the governor was awaiting him. my dear Monsieur de Baisemeaux. “It is a very simple affair: you remember. The carriage set off immediately at a quick trot.” said the coachman in a voice of thunder.” “Tell me what you mean. “You deserve to be broken on the wheel for the words that you have just made use of. the person who had accompanied the king in the carriage ascended the flight of steps. but the giant’s hand was in a moment placed on his shoulder.” “What about?” inquired the governor. The king obeyed. de Baisemeaux. With the exception of this voice. The man on the box changed the horses. With this recommendation. you will recollect. dear M.” said the king. which might have been heard at the entrance of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. who immediately got down from his seat. so that they entered the city about three o’clock in the morning.” Louis. reeking with sweat. were fastened by a halter to the lower branches of a large oak. harnessed them himself. “but the king is too kind-hearted. everything remained as calm in the carriage as in the prison.” said the governor.

coolly tore it in four pieces. it was a mistake. Parbleu! I recognize it by the blot of ink. and that you carried him off with you in your carriage. my good fellow. completely overcome by terror.” and he put his mouth close to Baisemeaux’s ear. “Plain enough.” “Ah!” said the governor. that I bring it for you.” “But then. “Good heavens! what are you doing?” exclaimed Baisemeaux. what a word to make use of!—strongly recommended.” “I do not know whether it is that. that was all. but all I know is. I require a new order to take him back again. my good fellow. and completely dumbfounded. you see. my dear Monsieur de Baisemeaux. strongly recommended to give him up to you. in an extremity of terror. Aramis seized hold of it.” “I have got him here with me. it was discovered at the ministry. as he said. my dear Baisemeaux. in a low tone of voice. at all events.” “Don’t talk such nonsense.” said Aramis. with imperturbable self-possession. in a paroxysm of terror. I see. after having taken Marchiali away from me. “For a friend such as you are.“Oh! Baisemeaux. you talk like a child! Where is the order you received respecting Marchiali?” Baisemeaux ran to his iron chest and took it out. so that I now bring you an order from the king to set at liberty Seldon.” “I should think so.” “Seldon! are you sure this time?” “Well. you know.” “I am a lost man!” “Far from it.” “Well.” “But that is not enough for me. do you bring him back again?” cried the unhappy governor. what about the other?” “What other?” “Marchiali. “and you will see how very simple the whole affair is.” added Aramis. and you will go and shut him up immediately.” said Aramis—”for so devoted a servant. since I have brought Marchiali back to you. and all accordingly is just the same as if he had never left.” “And you will hand over this Seldon to me.” “Indeed?” “It is the very one I assured you I saw the other evening. and burnt them. yes.” Baisemeaux clapped his hands together. “Very good. “Look at your position quietly. I have no secrets. “Why. “this order is the very same that has already passed through my hands. “But why. Do you understand?” “I—I—” “You do understand. and—” 91 .” said Aramis. handing him the order.” said Baisemeaux.—that poor Seldon fellow. whose liberation is authorized by this order. “you know the resemblance between that unfortunate fellow. read it yourself. my good governor. held them to the lamp. You no longer possess any order justifying Marchiali’s release. indeed.” “Strongly recommended.

and opened the door of the room in which Philippe for six long years had bemoaned his existence. “you would not have been deceived by the substitution of the one for the other?” “What a question!” “You are a most valuable fellow. “Ah! is that you. not a doubt of it.” “Bah! to-morrow will be time enough. I repeat. I was going to forget that.” “Well. sentence of death!” “You need not ask me whether I understand.” said Aramis. who had pitied his terrible affliction. to enter his name in the prison-book at once!” “Of course. is it not?” 92 . became perfectly furious. about whom it was desired to observe a certain mystery. so that. Baisemeaux shut the door upon him. when the passages were free.” “Gracious heavens!” “That is the reason why I have brought him back again. in a low tone. at whose breast Porthos.” “In that case.” “Oh. set Seldon free. he led him. he went to take the prisoner from the carriage.” “To-morrow!—oh. faithful to the directions which had been given him. You understand that when his peculiar style of madness came to the king’s ears. have him up.” “So that.” Baisemeaux ordered the drums to be beaten and the bell to be rung. miserable wretch?” cried the governor. then?” “That is very simple. I will go and give orders at once. This very minute. who had not taken off his mask. The king entered the cell without pronouncing a single word: he faltered in as limp and haggard as a rainstruck lily. as a warning to every one to retire. and then pretend to assume that he was the king himself. He is mad and lets every one see how mad he is.” “And now. now—and remember this very distinctly. But it is quite understood. go off to your affairs. and then returned to Aramis. unless you prefer he should come up here. You understand. my dear friend. and Aramis. dear Monsieur de Baisemeaux. the first use that Marchiali made of his liberty was to persist—Can you guess what?” “How is it likely I should guess?” “To persist in saying that he was king of France.” “What would be the good of that?” “It would be better. up the stairs. Then.“And the king?—yes!” “Very good. Baisemeaux.” he said. “It is quite true. turned the key twice in the lock. “and now. the king. Baisemeaux. in order to avoid meeting a prisoner. very good.” said Aramis. still accompanied by Porthos. “Very good. “that he bears a striking resemblance to the king. yes. let no one hold any communication with him. as soon as he perceived the king. I will go away to mine. to dress himself up in clothes like those of the king. certainly. but less so than you said. to the second Bertaudiere. perhaps. no. making the king get out of the carriage. still kept his musket leveled. and conduct this poor devil back to his dungeon again. who again resumed his. and saw that all his kindness had been repaid by black ingratitude. sentence of death pronounced against all those who may allow him to communicate with any one else but me or the king himself. for it concerns you most closely—so that there is now.” And immediately. let us go down.” “What is to be done.

it is—it must be so. His agent— That voice that I but just now heard was M. lightened of a prisoner. “There are no bells in the Bastile. “I—I. God. a prisoner!” He looked round him for a bell to summon some one to him. would not be true. We are separated forever!” And at this idea of separation the poor lover burst into a flood of tears and sobs and groans. sick with terror. saved his country. and as fast as possible. an intelligent and inquiring look upon the new occupant of the cell. expect with an order from the king. And what are the elementary principles. and insult towards a sovereign who formerly wielded unlimited power. “I have seen. is doing that which my uncle wished to do during the whole of his life against my father. he had not abdicated one title of his majesty. found himself led to a cell in the Bastile. He looked round him. Fouquet cannot be acting alone in this affair. coarsely painted in fresco on the wall. And yet. which was raised again immediately behind it. Louis knew that he was alive and in full possession of his natural senses. But what is Fouquet’s object? To reign in my place and stead?—Impossible. “The bed might have been let down by some artificial means? But no! I do not remember to have felt a bruise. which escaped from his breast almost unconsciously. which we remember Baisemeaux had shut with his own hands. 93 . He did not even look round him.” And the carriage. as they did my ancestress. “and it is in the Bastile I am imprisoned. as far as the body is concerned. he fancied death itself is but a sleep. dear girl! Yes. in his regal robes. monseigneur. as upon a velvet armchair. habit.“What ‘is quite understood’?” “That no one is to enter the prisoner’s cell. So let us be off. back again to Vaux. the only refuge open to those who are too closely pressed—too bitterly afflicted. he allowed himself to be carried away by the terrible supposition that he was already dead. I have been drawn to Vaux. I recognized it.” “A man is light and easy enough. The king could not resist a sudden impulse of fear and disgust: he moved back towards the door. that king was still the king: he was enthroned still upon that funeral couch. just below an enormous crucifix. to recognize himself. anguish. where the trial is the same. Would they not rather have poisoned me at my meals. now no longer living. that the bed had broken through the flooring of his room at Vaux. who have done nothing. as he closed his eyes. since it might last forever. those limbs stiffened by the icy grasp of death. Jeanne d’Albret?” Suddenly. so calm and worn. In what way can I have been made a prisoner? It must have been owing to a conspiracy of M. too? And La Valliere? Oh! La Valliere.” Aramis returned to his companion. for that. Porthos. We will not pretend to say that Heaven always apportions to a man’s capability of endurance the anguish with which he afflicts him. Pain. will not punish me. and as if he but needed this cry. cannot. the king. once so skillful. impossible to realize in life. and saw on the mantel-shelf. relapsing into gloom again. passed across the drawbridge of the Bastile. uttering a loud cry. nor any shock either. “Is this what is termed eternity—hell?” he murmured. than the strong. then. that it. sometimes. and suffering in human life are always in proportion to the strength with which a man is endowed. Dear. and. too. has its dreams as well.. that compose human strength? Is it not—more than anything else—exercise.” he said. “How can I have died?” he said to himself. They have shut her up as they have me. as in physics. in order to avoid looking upon something even worse still. at the moment the door was closed upon him. was dreaming one of those horrors. or with the fumes of wax. “A prisoner!” he cried. the Duc d’Orleans. we may ask. as to a snare. A Night at the Bastile. imprisonment. between resemblance and reality. the chill of the dungeons seemed to fall like a wet cloak upon Louis’s shoulders. nothing there betokened a sleep that was disturbed by dreams. M. “The horses will be as light as if our tissues were constructed of the wind of heaven. those hands. to see everything. to float. When the young king. Chapter XVIII. in serving him. she will have been abandoned to Madame. and that. who might well be—as he in fact was—very heavy in the sight of Aramis. lying nerveless by his side. in other words. experience? We shall not even take the trouble to demonstrate this. “Now.” “Quite so. That pale face. Fouquet. To be present at—an actual witness. But the queen?—My mother. and in the room. how numerous were the dreams which Heaven might have sent that royal corpse—him whom so many others had preceded. Louis XIV.” he said. Adieu. indecisively.” A strange sound attracted the young man’s attention. an order which I will myself bring. still carrying out his dream. without interfering in a single detail of agonizing suffering. d’Herblay’s. too—of this bitterness of death. that death had resulted from the occurrence. hurried away by him into eternal death! No. leaning with his back against the wall. stupefied and crushed in every sense and feeling. Yet who knows!” thought the king. my good fellow. since Heaven permits the existence of death. for it is an axiom in morals. which is termed dethronement. a rat of enormous size engaged in nibbling a piece of dry bread. who had not punished him. was—so the king thought within himself—a torture far more terrible. the weak suffer more. Colbert was right. “Perhaps my brother. but fixing all the time. “my father lying dead upon his funeral couch. which is. indeed.” said Porthos. Suffering is in proportion to the strength which has been accorded. when he has faithfully served his king. in an incomprehensible mystery. to hear everything.

Louis began to call out. The wood resounded against the door. This idea almost drove him mad. behind the door of his cell. lozenge-shaped. The sound became tremendous and continuous. the king never rested until his strength was utterly exhausted. having remarked a barred window through which there passed a stream of light. The prisoner broke the chair. But Louis dared not even kneel in prayer to God to entreat him to terminate his bitter trial. during which time he was in a burning fever. made him cease his own. It would be cowardly to pray to Heaven for that which I have so often refused my own fellow-creatures. After having deprived so many people of their liberty. obtained no other or better success. bent upon obtaining some information. and in the enjoyment of every happiness. without having bestowed a moment’s thought on the misery of those who had been unjustly deprived of their liberty. At the end of an hour. now his companions. With a portion of the broken chair he recommenced the noise.” he said. did no more than render to the man the same torture as had been inflicted by that man upon so many others. When the king had assured himself of his departure. he trembled at the idea of disobedience. it was the voice of the prisoners. in whispered tones. Be quiet. He paused to listen. and struck the iron bars with all his might. that is. Twenty other attempts which he made. when a similar noise was again heard behind his door. his linen in shreds. of his agony of mind. and mount to his head. He broke a pane of glass. that he should have lived for five and twenty years a king. which must be. it redoubled his strength. not condescending to reply a single word. “but that is no reason why you should make such a terrible disturbance. The feeling of remorse at this remembrance smote him like the thrust of a dagger. “Heaven is right. mordioux!” “Are you the governor?” the king inquired again. politely. The king blushed for very shame. formerly his victims. “Monsieur. “A moment will come when the food which is given to the prisoners will be brought to me. at first gently enough. as doubtless their sighs and tears accused. in permitting this fearful humiliation. and a violent blow. This sound produced a strange effect upon the king.” And the king tried to remember at what hour the first repast of the prisoners was served at the Bastile. but no one replied. This was a fresh proof for the king of the slight regard in which he was held at the Bastile. he was ignorant even of this detail. and of the bolts being withdrawn from their staples. “Are you mad?” said a rude. but he said aloud. His blood began to boil within him. and get an answer.” He called—no voice replied to his. He felt that Heaven. which was too heavy for him to lift. smothered cries replied in different directions. The voices ascended like vapors through the thick ceilings and the massive walls. his fury knew no longer any bounds. the author of their captivity. He leaned his forehead against the door. He shouted with increasing hoarseness. His nature was such. Nothing could be more efficacious for reawakening his mind to religious influences than the prostration of his heart and mind and soul beneath the feeling of such acute wretchedness. accustomed to command. but from a human creature. and it was not until then that he clearly understood the pitiless thickness of the walls. brutal voice. Therefore. it had seemed as if one single additional pulsation would have made it burst. “Heaven acts wisely. and made use of it as a battering ram to strike against the door. the king came among them to rob them of their rest. and hurled it against the massive oaken door. are you the governor of the Bastile?” “My good fellow. one after another. in a fury of passion. The king bounded forward 94 . “I will speak to him. As agile as a tiger. your head is out of sorts. He seized hold of his chair. that. he knew. none. Louis heard something in the corridor. then louder and louder still. invincible to every influence but that of time. followed this time by the sound of the key in the lock. that the perspiration soon began to pour down his face. the governor!” This excess lasted fully an hour. the jailer had just left. the pieces of which fell clanking into the courtyard below. which was returned upon the door itself. and awakened many a mournful echo in the profound depths of the staircase.” He had reached this stage of his reflections.“There is a governor in this place. and rose in accusations against the author of this noise. his dress torn and covered with dust and plaster. He heard a door on the corridor close. or rather his well. He struck so loudly. when his first fit of anger had passed away. With his hair in disorder and matted on his forehead. I will summon him to me. “The governor. and that he possessed no other weapon but despair. he leaped from the table to the window. I shall speak to him. “What is the matter with you this morning?” “This morning!” thought the king. the impenetrable nature of the cement.” the king continued. the bright orb of approaching day. and let the feverish throbbings of his heart calm by degrees. and so repeatedly. or a conclusion to the affair. certain stifled.” replied the voice. I shall then see some one.

but you are getting vicious. the prisoner was anything but a profitable investment for M. the turnkeys and the sentinels had reported the occurrence to him. to some extent. leaving the king more astounded. which for him was easy enough. that his death may not be far distant. “an ordinary prisoner is already unhappy enough in being a prisoner. “Ah!” said the latter. tearing the door with his nails. accordingly. to induce one to hope. you have gone quite mad. and waited with his back turned towards the window. and equally useless that he threw the plates and dishes out of the window. As for the governor. and M. quietly to have him put out of his misery. still confused and oppressed by the conversation he had just had with the king. Fouquet. Baisemeaux even thought he had remarked that D’Herblay himself was not altogether dissatisfied with the result. namely. Fouquet the owner of the chateau in which Louis XIV. and the surintendant’s wines had met 95 . “Come. assumed a noble and calm expression. the jailer did not even think of disturbing him. although everything was in prodigal profusion at Vaux. charitably enough. In fact. a gentleman.” said Baisemeaux to his next in command.” The jailer placed the basket on the table. and I wish you to know it in time.” added the king. it will be a very serious affair for you.” And the good-natured governor thereupon sat down to his late breakfast. he might rather be called a madman.” And the jailer did what he said. and uttering such wild and fearful cries that the old Bastile seemed to tremble to its very foundations for having revolted against its master. not a single sound was heard in recognition. or to one of the bars of the window. The king looked at the man with restless anxiety. and made a great disturbance. “What do you say?” he said. Two hours afterwards he could not be recognized as a king. de Baisemeaux.” “I insist upon it. These complications of Seldon and Marchiali—the complications first of setting at liberty and then imprisoning again. Baisemeaux.” “I wish to see the governor. trying to tear up the flooring of his cell. why. and might bite and make a terrible disturbance in the Bastile. and looked at his prisoner steadily.” replied the king. hoped only that one thing might happen. You have broken your chair. Very good! I shall take away your knife. do you hear?” “Ah! ah! your eyes are becoming wild again. but what was the good of it? Were not these madmen common enough in such a prison? and were not the walls still stronger? M. could not resist asking himself if he were really in possession of his senses. It was useless. to make the same noise again on his door. were really the captain of the musketeers. though he tried it. when the prisoner has gone mad. “be careful what you say. a human being. a man. It was only a jailer with a basket of provisions. that is an offense punishable by imprisonment in one of the lower dungeons. quitted the prisoner. Chapter XIX. Promise me not to begin over again. it seems. These reflections were not those of a drunken man. and in perfect conformity with the king’s order. more isolated than ever. the complications arising from the strong likeness in question—had at last found a very proper denouement. really. still governing his passions. it is not simply an act of mere charity to wish him dead. in accents full of calm and dignity. more wretched. my boy. “Desire the governor to come to me. that the madman Marchiali might be mad enough to hang himself to the canopy of his bed. but. D’Artagnan. thoroughly impressed with what Aramis had told him. indeed. if he were really and truly at Vaux.to be nearer to the person who was about to enter. in such a case. and closed the door. to conceal his agitation from the eyes of the person who was about to enter. was at that moment partaking of his hospitality. D’Artagnan. in order. “And then. The Shadow of M. he paused. it would be almost a good and even commendable action. if he. and became more annoying than agreeable to him. “you have broken your chair. “He will send you off to one of the dungeons. and I will not say a word about it to the governor. suddenly reflecting that it was a movement unworthy of a sovereign. “you have always been very quiet and reasonable. I tell you. so take care.” said the turnkey. With still greater reason.” said the king. I said you had done so! Why.” “Monsieur. he suffers quite enough. and waited until he spoke.

The air was still perfumed. when he is falling a prey to the intrigues of a pack of women and clerks? For shame! If he be dangerous. but their appearance never fails to arouse surprise and astonishment. it must be admitted. then. as he quitted the royal apartment. however. “Well. the groups of dancers and courtiers were separating in the salons. monsieur. I will look on. People will talk about it. D’Artagnan had never been able to succeed in making himself common at the court. I should let M. was preparing to retire for the night and to sleep tranquilly after the triumphs of the day. he be only persecuted. if I betray my master’s secret. he never failed to produce an effect wherever and whenever he made his appearance. that twenty times. and no sooner did he touch his bright steel blade. I will lay him low enough. I shall be a false-hearted. d’Artagnan. My descendants. he would do as I have done. but more than half-asleep.” And D’Artagnan. miserable fellow. Therefore. it will be written.” “By no means.’ But it is not every one who would be able to take care of M. d’Artagnan?” said Fouquet. drawing by a gesture peculiar to himself his shoulder-belt over his shoulder. “Come in.” he said. because M. than he knew how to adopt morally the cold. for. Fouquet. d’Artagnan. Surrounded by his friends. But the thing is. because he wished to fall in love with Mademoiselle de la Valliere. a younger son of a Gascon family. The god Morpheus. and arresting him off-hand and shutting him up altogether. To deliver up to death (for not a doubt existed that Louis hated Fouquet mortally) the man who had just shown himself so delightful and charming a host in every way. Fouquet. when M. the surintendant half-closed his wearied eyes. le surintendant pass from the height of favor to the direst disgrace. Fouquet. I have come to such a decisive determination. Any man would know how to say to M. d’Artagnan appeared at the entrance of the room. The wax-lights were dying away in their sockets. Colbert doesn’t like him. and added. the second. who had already taken his right arm out of the sleeve of his doublet. Yet. that neither king nor living man shall change my mind. If Athos were here. still smiling.” 96 . indeed. as it were.” D’Artagnan buried his head in his hands. with the odors of the torches and the fireworks. let us admit that I do possess a little readiness of invention. tore at his mustache in sheer vexation. Nicolas Fouquet. what my scruples counsel me to undertake upon a great scale now. The Gascon. a crime provided for and punishable by military laws—so much so. “It almost seems. if. went straight off to M. “What! M. that Vaux be turned into a dungeon for him. had extended his influence over the adjoining rooms. too. “At your service. and whenever they occur. Fouquet. of Enguerrand de Marigny?” And at this reflection. which in that respect resemble either thunder or lightning. and lastly. “I seem now to be mixed up historically with the destinies of the king and of the minister. Oh! he is lost! But shall I put my foot on his neck. he is transferred to the gallows of Haman. just as the members of the De Luynes family have done with regard to the estates of the poor Marechal d’Ancre. the flowers fell unfastened from the garlands. and showered down his most sleep-inducing poppies upon the master of the house. my dear M. in but a small degree. the surintendant of the finances of France. was a man of calm self-possession.” replied the musketeer. Such is the happy privilege of certain natures. he sank upon the bed of laurels which had been heaped up for him for so many days past. I. and notwithstanding he was seen everywhere and on all occasions. will flatter themselves with the distinction which this arrest will confer. the presiding deity of the dome painted by Lebrun. after he had taken leave of his guests.with a distinguished reception at the fete.” said D’Artagnan to himself. “that if I am not a poor. however. I will try and conduct myself like a man who understands what good manners are. Fouquet had just retired to his room. I think that a man of true readiness of wit ought to get out of this difficulty with more skill than that. in cold blood. No. treacherous knave. The musketeer had certain scruples on the matter. whichever way it may be considered. keen weapon as his guide of action. every one recognizes them. in all the perfumes and incense of Ahasuerus. who. Fouquet know the opinion the king has about him. He could listen to nothing more. He longed for rest and quiet. And now. I have seen many a miserable fellow strung up to a tree for doing. I know.” “Have you come to criticise the fete? You are ingenious enough in your criticisms. how best to execute the king’s directions in a proper manner. in other words. was being assisted by his valet de chambre to undress. I am determined. was a real insult to one’s conscience. of all men. because the king likes M. but they shall talk well of it.” “Thank you. Fouquet without others knowing anything about it. so that M. it might almost have been said that he seemed bowed beneath the weight of the new debts which he had incurred for the purpose of giving the greatest possible honor to this fete. in former days when wars were rife. who complimented him and received his flattering remarks in return. a traitor. almost entirely alone. instead of going. mean. Colbert and loves Mademoiselle de la Valliere. up to M. of course. ‘Your sword. I shall be lucky if there were to be a pistole’s-worth left. that after having been steeped to his lips. or infected. if I have any. he could hardly keep his eyes open. though. Fouquet’s disgrace? There seem to be three good ones: the first. that M. placed his hand on the shoulder of M. his bed seemed to possess a fascinating and irresistible attraction for him. after having for forty years absorbed so large a quantity. the impression is always left that the last was the most conspicuous or most important. “What can be the reason of M. D’Artagnan’s brow became clouded with perplexity. it is not at all certain. How am I to manage.

as you see.” “Well. and then replied. there?” “Yes.” “Is that your bed.” Fouquet started. since you have a bed to lie down on. monseigneur? never!” “What am I to do.” “You do not do yourself justice. pray go to bed.“Are not your men looked after properly?” “In every way. nothing at all. Monsieur d’Artagnan.” “Do you think so?” “Oh! beautiful!” “Is the king pleased?” “Enchanted.” “You are not comfortably lodged. then?” “Yes. “Will you take my room. monsieur.” “In that case. but why do you ask? Are you not satisfied with your own?” “My I speak frankly to you?” “Most assuredly. “Are you going to bed already?” he said to the superintendent. “Yes. and I must not fail to express my obligations to you for all your flattering kindness. and let me do the same. You sleep in this room. then?” “Allow me to share yours with you.” 97 . I have to thank you for being so amiably disposed. Monsieur d’Artagnan?” “What! deprive you of it.” “You have given a most charming fete to the king.” These words were as much as to say.” D’Artagnan did not seem to understand it.” “Did he desire you to say as much to me?” “He would not choose so unworthy a messenger. monseigneur. perhaps?” “Nothing could be better. have you anything to say to me?” “Nothing. “My dear D’Artagnan. then. I am not.

monseigneur.” When the man had left. very well. but—” 98 . “You intend to look after me. upon my honor. and said.” “Do not interrogate me. “no. You are the master here. “you have just left the king. “or into the park.” “Do not say such a thing. at such an hour as the present.” replied the musketeer.” “Monsieur d’Artagnan.” “I have. I am in disgrace.” “Upon your honor—ah! that is quite another thing! So I am to be arrested in my own house. then.Fouquet looked at the musketeer fixedly.” “And the king wishes you to pass the night in my room?” “Monseigneur—” “Very well.” said the superintendent to the captain. I will proclaim it aloud. monseigneur. without grave motives. hastily. I shall be compelled to request you to be silent.” “Why?” “The fresh air—” “Come. if you have no objections. I do. Monsieur d’Artagnan. we will have a game. there is a chess-board there. and in my own house. admit at once that you arrest me.” “On the contrary.” “On the contrary.” “We do not seem to understand one another at all. then?” “Not at all.” “No. “You have something to say to me?” “I?” “A man of your superior intelligence cannot have come to talk with a man like myself. What do you want with me?” “Nothing more than the pleasure of your society. “Ah! ah!” he said. too. then?” “Yes. he said to D’Artagnan.” “I assure you.” “Very good! Violence towards me. monseigneur. Stay a moment. “Never!” said the latter.” said the superintendent suddenly. that I do not wish to abuse—” Fouquet turned to his valet.” “If you do so. “Leave us.” “Come into the garden.

“I am prohibited.” “Monseigneur!” “It is perfectly true. Why do you arrest me? What have I done?” “Oh! I know nothing about what you may have done.” “I shall never forgive myself.” “Good night. sounding the captain of the musketeers.” “I am under surveillance. at least!” “This evening!” said Fouquet. at least.” said Fouquet. I am sure. d’Herblay. Do me a service. for a still stronger reason. go to sleep in your bed in my presence. as most becomes the man who is destined to arrest me. coldly. “If that be the case. I was almost sinking for want of sleep. but with me all this is quite superfluous.” “I do not understand a word you are saying. but I shall go along with you. and set off for Paris. “but to-morrow?” “It is not to-morrow just yet. have never asked me anything. Let us come to the point. he said: “You are right. but you have completely awakened me. I suppose. indeed.” “I will leave the room if you say any such thing. you have taught me a lesson I ought not to have evoked. Fouquet ran after him. “I shall order my horses.” said D’Artagnan. captain—with your friend!” “Monseigneur. A fallen man cannot assert his right to anything. and then assuming an air of resignation. and if you wish me to withdraw. monseigneur. d’Herblay. you have always acted in the most admirable manner towards me—in such a manner. your mode of action is enough to drive me mad. captain! let me speak to M. Who can ever answer for the morrow?” “Quick.” 99 . I will try and set you at bay. “It was not for nothing you acquired your reputation as a man of intelligence and resource. I see. then?” “No.” “You are beyond my comprehension. Monsieur d’Artagnan.” “Alas! that is quite impossible. but I do not arrest you—this evening.” “Bah!” cried D’Artagnan. d’Herblay the only person with whom you ought to be prevented holding any communication?” Fouquet colored. from withdrawing from your sight.” “You will arrest me. monseigneur. and since you refuse to treat me as a man. “I will not lie down. and I shall be delighted. even from those whose fortunes he may have made. why. and since you finesse with me. monseigneur. it is very difficult. tell me so. monseigneur. is M. monseigneur. as he pretended to withdraw. “Seriously. monsieur. You. pretending to smile. and if you wish to reconcile me with myself.” returned Fouquet. as a hunter does a wild boar. quick.” “That is quite sufficient.” “My dear Monsieur d’Artagnan. I have strict orders to see that you hold no communication with any one.” he said. Monsieur d’Artagnan.” “With M. he cannot claim anything from those to whom he may never have had the happiness of doing a service. turning pale.

” “But surely you did not call him in such a manner that he could have heard you?” 100 . when he is asleep. whose last hope thus escaped him. with an expression of the warmest and deepest gratitude. but that I am going to look for M. and as soon as it was shut. memorandums. then hurriedly seizing hold of letters. in all probability. and to return?” said D’Artagnan. completely overcome. clasping his hands together. dear Monsieur d’Artagnan. “Or. papers. to leave you alone. he heaped them up into a pile. for he is not in his own room. indeed. When D’Artagnan returned.” replied the Gascon. and having found it.” replied Fouquet. contracts. “To look for M. yes. the first to speak. you confer it upon me to-day. Fouquet looked at him as he quitted the room. at least. he sank down. d’Herblay’s room? The blue room is it not?” “Yes.” “What! not in his own room?” cried Fouquet. more dangerous than ever. monsieur. with some of your poets. “Well!” asked Fouquet. he has very good reasons for not answering.” continued D’Artagnan. touched by his eloquent and noble tone of grief. and that when I return I shall find you here again. he found Fouquet in the same position.“Monsieur. like a man who has just escaped an imminent danger. at all. monseigneur.” “It will take a good ten minutes to go from hence to the blue room. and not one of D’Artagnan’s movements escaped him. And so. for unless he could ascertain in what way the bishop of Vannes could assist him. d’Herblay! to leave me alone!” he exclaimed. d’Herblay must be desperately fond of walking out at night.” “I give it. and whose strength abandons him as soon as the danger is past. And now. D’Artagnan disappeared. if you have never done so before. waited with a feverish impatience until the door was closed behind him. I put that down at another five minutes. he perfectly well knew that he could expect assistance from no other quarter.” “Ah! you have saved me. lifting up his head like a dog who has regained the scent. having given his word. not even taking time to draw from the interior of it the vases and pots of flowers with which it was filled. monseigneur. “and M. and which he seemed to regret not having found in them. since you keep watch and ward over me? Do you suppose I should contend against the most valiant sword in the kingdom?” “It is not that. he perceived an odor resembling smoke he had relied on finding in the atmosphere.” “Your friend! thank you for that word. As soon as he had finished. Fouquet. and contracts. and they both saw that they had understood each other without exchanging a syllable. and composing verses by moonlight in the park of Vaux. “M. the worthy musketeer had not the slightest doubt that Fouquet. which he burnt in the extremest haste upon the marble hearth of the fireplace. looked vainly for certain papers. on his side.” replied D’Artagnan.” “And then to wake Aramis. and. “if he is in his own room. “Which is M. but he had thought it most likely that Fouquet would turn his (D’Artagnan’s) absence to the best advantage in getting rid of all the papers. making a total of fifteen minutes’ absence. which doubtless he had left at Saint-Mande. “Nearly so. monseigneur. made a movement of his head in token of satisfaction. consequently. And then the looks of the two men met. who sleeps very soundly. on a couch. give me your word that you will not in any way attempt to make your escape. flew to his keys. “will you—I ask it as a favor—pledge me your word as a man of honor that you will not leave this room?” “What is the use of it. my friend. would not even think of failing to keep it. d’Herblay?” “Upon my word. which was even now serious enough. As D’Artagnan entered. monseigneur. raised his head.” Fouquet uttered a cry of delight and surprise. which might possibly render his position. opened two or three secret doors concealed in various articles of furniture in the room. d’Herblay. writings.

notwithstanding your liege-man is His Greatness the Lord Bishop of Vannes.” “Yes. or Aramis would have heard you. putting your dinner napkin in your portfolio. D’Artagnan looked at Fouquet with feelings of the deepest and sincerest pity. which forbade me leaving you a single moment— you can hardly suppose. Poverty (a phantom I have sometimes beheld. “I have seen a good many men arrested in my life.” “My papers?” “Of course.” “However softly any one may call Aramis. de Cinq-Mars and M. no. as a disinherited sister. all these cheerful. I am nothing when left to myself. Suppose your friends saw you?” “Monsieur d’Artagnan. at least that is what I should have done in your place. a man like you ought not to be dejected in this manner. Is it likely I shall ever be poor. rose from his seat. I have seen M.” “But I have already told you. then. exist even. “M. of which I am ignorant. “that you are woefully exaggerating. I say. in order that M. Understand that throughout my whole life I have passed every moment of my time in making friends. In times of prosperity. whom I hoped to render my stay and support. awaiting me at the end of my journey through life)—poverty has been the specter with which many of my own friends have trifled for years past. though I was very young then. yes. which they poetize and caress. Aramis always hears when he has an interest in hearing. de Chalais arrested. but the very one of all those whom you most resemble at this moment was that poor fellow Broussel. nor exile. and of which you may be even ignorant yourself. seem to resemble the image of solitude. and finished by seating himself. with such friends as Pelisson. for I have availed myself of it. Colbert might state with positive certainty that I gave you time to burn your papers. monseigneur. took three or four turns in his room. you could not have called loud enough. and although he did not open his lips. as La Fontaine. shaking his head. “you do not understand me. D’Artagnan cast his glance all round the room. for I am ruined already. de Retz arrested. and how you. when a man can no longer cultivate his taste for the magnificent? Do you know what good the greater part of the wealth and the posses101 . de Conde arrested with the princes. and which has attracted me towards them. I repeat what I said before—Aramis was not in his own room. with an expression of extreme dejection. You were very near doing as he did. happy voices—rendered so through and by my means—formed in my honor a concert of praise and kindly actions. In the least disfavor. When any one opens a door for me I always avail myself of it. The king likes you. and costliest lace. sadly. Isolation I have never yet known. monseigneur. monseigneur. isolated from others. I have seen M. Mordioux! Monseigneur Fouquet.” At this singular confession of the superintendent. Broussel arrested. who separate me from all I love.” “M. these humbler voices accompanied in harmonious accents the murmur of my own heart.” said Fouquet. I have seen M.” “And you have done perfectly right. But let us return to Aramis.” Fouquet drew a deep sigh. Fouquet understood him so thoroughly. I do not live.” returned the surintendant.” “No. and wiping your mouth with your papers. Colbert hates you.” “Ah! I defy him to do that. Stay a moment. with a smile full of gentleness. that he added: “What can be done with such wealth of substance as surrounds us. of annihilation—death itself. acknowledge it.“You can hardly suppose. moved to the depths of his soul. and I thank you.” said the musketeer. Every man has his own peculiar secrets with which others have nothing to do. I tell you. Monsieur Fouquet. it is disagreeable to have to say. as Moliere? with such a mistress as—Oh! if you knew how utterly lonely and desolate I feel at this moment. monseigneur. or Aramis had certain reasons for not recognizing my voice.” “Well. that having already exceeded my orders.” replied D’Artagnan. receive it. it is precisely because my friends are not looking on. clad in rags. upon his magnificent bed with velvet hangings. Poverty! I accept it. for poverty is neither solitude. Colbert! What does that matter to me?” “He will ruin you. “I have seen both M. that I am as you see me now. nor imprisonment. that I should have been mad enough to rouse the whole house and allow myself to be seen in the corridor of the bishop of Vannes.

Do you know. these wonderful creations are. indeed. and have no right to lessen yourself in any way. I would take this candle. go straight to the dome. If you are ruined. that the recollection of what I have done serves me as a spur. still alive. and that is the very reason I should prefer to see it perish. Monsieur d’Artagnan. because I am arresting you. “Give it to the king. accorded me a less agreeable and less advantageous part to fill than yours has been.” said Fouquet. makes me forget that poor fellow Broussel altogether. ‘The end crowns the work!’” Fouquet rose from his seat. you would not be able to burn the gardens. Monsieur Fouquet. confer upon us? merely to disgust us. no one would know how. Vaux belongs to Lebrun. “Not a million. I shall remain unto the very end a trooper. to Moliere. to Lenotre. and set fire to a couple of huge chests of fusees and fireworks which are in reserve there. than to walk the boards shod with a pair of old shoes. but I remember the sense of it very well.” and Fouquet accompanied these words with a movement of the shoulders to which it would be impossible to do justice. and would reduce my palace to ashes. Well. orchards. Monsieur d’Artagnan. “in any case. It is far better on the stage—on the stage. I mean. that if the king did not happen to be under my roof.” “Well. monsieur. a man must be too rich. to Pelisson. all in a heap. and the wonders of Vaux! What of it? What boot these wonders? If I am ruined. quickly. and the chief thing is. for I have thought over it more than once—which says. and I now fail to recognize in you the whining complaints of that old Frondeur. and have drudged my life away. You see. I am one of those who think that the parts which kings and powerful nobles are called upon to act are infinitely of more worth than the parts of beggars or lackeys.” said D’Artagnan. “what was I saying? Great heavens! burn Vaux! destroy my palace! But Vaux is not mine. you have ordered and been obeyed—have been steeped to the lips in enjoyment. fate. my dear captain. for you too. to La Fontaine. so that the estate should be made to support its master. I do declare to you. and to continue to maintain it as I have done.” “It is not far from it. with everything which does not equal it! Vaux! you will say. I shall fall perfectly straight. I will not sell my residence at Vaux. monseigneur. “he will take it away from me with the most absolute ease and grace. “At all events. a fall happens only once in a lifetime to men like yourself. the property.” “The king does not require me to give it to him. “If Vaux were yours. or force the air into the lungs of my Tritons? To be rich enough. have been commanded and have obeyed.” D’Artagnan shook his head. although I may seem of such trifling importance beside you. an estate which should have woods. that my very house has ceased to be my own. in fact. it is true. look at the affair manfully. mordioux! belong to posterity. I will give it to you. to Levau.sions which we rich enjoy.” interrupted D’Artagnan. they belong to those who created them. Stay a moment. of the man who has paid for them. No one in France is rich enough to give two millions for Vaux. “Oh! I know very well what you think. thoughtfully. look at me. a million is not abject misery. you would sell it.” “Bah!” said the musketeer. you will make a better bargain. Monsieur d’Artagnan.” he said. and when my turn comes. “the idea is agreeable enough. Fouquet himself in it. you have been a prodigal with money. while I have dragged my tether after me. and I recognize M. or to get one’s backbone gently polished by a hearty dressing with a stick. I who seem to exercise in some degree a kind of superiority over you. you will not find yourself the worse for it. and clasped him in a close embrace. and would purchase an estate in the country. No.” “That is all well and good. if you like. and that is the finest feature of the place.” replied Fouquet. and land attached. whilst with the other hand he pressed his hand. With forty millions you might—” “Ten millions. my dear monsieur. negligently. But you do not understand me. to take it gracefully when the chance presents itself.” said D’Artagnan. which distributes their different parts to the comedians of this world. but as far as duration is concerned. as far as sense of enjoyment goes. after having selected my place beforehand. by their very splendor even. passed his arm round D’Artagnan’s neck. how shall I fill with water the urns which my Naiads bear in their arms. In one word. There is a Latin proverb—the words have escaped me. no one could do it. 102 . Do as I do. and prevents me from bowing my old head too soon. That idea. Vaux belongs to posterity.” “And yet. after a moment’s pause.” resumed Fouquet. of another theater than the theater of this world—it is far better to wear a fine coat and to talk a fine language. “An excellent homily. if it pleases him to do so.

because I would not do it. Monsieur Fouquet.” “In what respect?” 103 .“A soldier’s. “But.” “Very good.” D’Artagnan bowed to the compliment.” “Monsieur d’Artagnan. forget that I am Monsieur Fouquet. monseigneur. remain as close to me as my shadow if you like. but. I remain. captain of the musketeers.” Fouquet resumed his pensive attitude once more. in telling me all that. then. surintendant of the finances. I will do what may almost be regarded as an impossibility.” “Indeed?” “Yes. monseigneur.” “I will wait here till daylight.” “What shall we do when daylight comes?” “I know nothing at all about it.” “You have a regard for me. unless you have some ill feeling against me—” “Your position is a difficult one. you are acting in the full discharge of your duty. a moment after.” “However. and I infinitely prefer such a shadow to any one else.” “Thank you.” “Perhaps. and let us talk about my affairs. who is not mixed up with the affair. and then. he said: “Where can M. forget that you are Monsieur d’Artagnan. that is best. “Yes. People would learn it. I suppose?” “Certainly.” “That is rather a delicate subject.” said Fouquet.” “Ah! is that the way you talk?” “The deuce!” “What do you think of my situation?” “I do not know.” “You guard me. What did the king say to you?” “Nothing. for your sake. will you do me a favor?” “Most willingly. and Aramis. Monsieur Fouquet. d’Herblay be? I dare not ask you to send for him. might possibly be compromised and included in your disgrace.” “You would not ask me.

both of them. let us allow the few hours that remain to pass away undisturbed. and with one hand upon you.” “Your gratitude is too eloquently expressed. whenever the decisive moment may arrive. or coming into. without any preparation. Fouquet. with any one else but yourself. paced up and down. “the case of a door being opened. I should have shown so much frankness?” “What! so much frankness. monsieur. and the sound of their feet could be heard on the gravel walks. without being disturbed at the slight noises and items of little moment that constitute the life and death of human nature. the room—for anything like that my ear is as quick and sensitive as the ear of a mouse. It arises. “Alas! you have perhaps made it too soon. not even from Aramis. but do not touch either the key or the handle of the door. and when I fall asleep. Are you satisfied with the plan?” “It makes me shudder.” “Most certainly.” “Do you suppose that.” D’Artagnan drew a deep sigh. if you are satisfied with what I have done. Not a single visit. who refuse to tell me the slightest thing?” “At all events. It might be that I happened to arrive at your door just as your guests or your friends had left you—or. awaited the first dawn of the day. and have somewhat recovered from the shock which I prepared you for as much as I possibly could. In this way. You are harassed.” “Ah! I have nothing to say in that respect. however. go to sleep. or pretend to go to sleep. which seemed to say. and to have asked you to deliver up your sword. It seemed to act as an additional soporific for the sleepers. for I should start up in a moment. I should lock them up quietly enough. I have not done enough to deserve it. do you say? you. I should just the same have avoided all publicity. It would have been very disagreeable to have made my appearance to-morrow. destroy. and when Fouquet happened to sigh too loudly. burn. I will sleep in this armchair. then. before you suspected the slightest thing amiss. or any other. In this way.” Fouquet smiled. while the murmuring of the wind through the trees. and should arrange your thoughts. or in your bed.” said Fouquet. my rest is so sound that a cannon would not wake me. you will never get me to believe that.” “Monsieur d’Artagnan.” continued the musketeer. if they had not gone yet.” “One moment. walk up and down in any part of the room. and that would shake my nerves and make me ill.” “Oh! monsieur. all disturbance. therefore.” “Well. and the unceasing music of the fountains whose waters tumbled in the basin. but there would also have been no warning for M. then. I should have died of shame and anger.” He then settled himself in his armchair. the guards of honor on duty.” “I thought you would not like it. however.“Because you are under your own roof. and the patrol of musketeers. I understand it very well. 104 . either on your bed. whether a secret door. from a natural antipathy to anything of the kind. monseigneur: let me tell you how I should have behaved towards any one but yourself. “I expect. none of those delicate concessions which are shown by persons who are essentially courteous in their natures. or the case of any one going out of. and you will leave me only one regret. Creaking noises make me start. I should steal softly along the carpet of your corridor. so much ceremony and consideration. still went on uninterruptedly. Move about as much as you like. I should wait until they were leaving. “you are certainly the most witty and the most courteous man I ever met with. while Fouquet. was meditating on his misadventures. all opposition.—nothing like that will prevent me from going to sleep or even prevent me from snoring. Outside. and should then catch them one after the other. like rabbits. I suppose. half lying on his bed and leaning on his arm. D’Artagnan only snored the louder. I beg you. I assure you. monseigneur. efface. leaving the candles burning. I should keep you safely until my master’s breakfast in the morning.” “However difficult it may be. no consideration for his feelings. disturbed their quietude: not a sound even was heard throughout the whole vast palace. write. that of having made your acquaintance so late.

and perceived a pocket-handkerchief lying on it. shrouded in the thickness of its gloom during the remainder of the night the future king of France. the flowers with which it embellishes and enlivens history. alone. sire. in the presence of his power. he waited until some decisive circumstance should permit him to judge for himself. and Philippe stood beside the royal bed. and his face a livid white. which had ascended again after having deposited its prisoner in the secret depths of the subterranean passage. embroidered with the arms of France. after having completed the work it had been destined to perform. The Morning. d’Herblay. resume the blazonry that is yours! Philippe. his bitter tears that have stained this handkerchief: and yet. like those phosphoric lights of the tempest which show the sailors the altitude of the waves against which they have to struggle. Alone. d’Herblay?” “Well. let me imitate M. his eyes on fire. “I am face to face with my destiny. carefully avoid polishing the antithesis in question. it is indeed his head that has left its impression on this pillow. in the same way the king had descended from the apartment dedicated to Morpheus. if Louis XIV. as M. This mute accomplice had returned. sole heir presumptive to Louis XIII. Philippe perceived above him the crown of France. has not even to suffer the agony of the remorse of all that you have had to submit to. the rhetoric of the chroniclers of old would not fail to present. Towards the morning a shadow. whose thoughts are of and for himself alone. as we have stated. which was still damp from the cold sweat which had poured from Louis XIV.” said Philippe. “Well. who lay there sheltered beneath his stolen crown. would in right and justice belong to me alone. suspended. I hesitate to throw myself on the bed. But we shall. in the presence of all the luxury which surrounded him. at this moment. owing to my mother’s criminal abandonment. The dome gradually and slowly sank down under Aramis’s pressure. rather than a body. Philippe expected his approach and neither expressed nor exhibited any surprise. who asserts that a man’s action should be always one degree above his thoughts. on the present occasion. take your place on that bed. in places where they have no right to grow. but can hardly hope to sleep there quietly. and always scatters. it returned with the traces of the crime. your father. for it spoke the truth. it spoke to the guilty author of that crime. Silence. threw himself on the royal bed. and mind. with the frank and unreserved language which an accomplice never fears to use in the company of his companion in guilt. let me imitate M.” 105 . He hoped that imminent danger might be revealed to him. In vivid contrast to the sad and terrible destiny of the king imprisoned in the Bastile. stood in my way. or to press in my hand the handkerchief which is embroidered with my brother’s arms. show yourself without pity or mercy for the usurper who. A man may be ambitious of lying in a lion’s den. the sovereign power and authority I have usurped. d’Herblay observes. with the part he was about to be forced to act. all is accomplished. With his head thrown back and buried in the soft down of his pillow. The young prince alighted from Aramis’s room. and of ambitious minds. Philippe listened attentively to every sound. at every moment. had not.’s face. while he buried his burning face in the handkerchief still moistened by his brother’s tears.Chapter XX.” “How?” “Exactly as we expected. still tumbled by his brother’s body. Philippe for the first time felt his heart. that mortal enemy of restless hearts. Away with such weakness. I. if. and forced his muscles to press the still warm place where Louis XIV. had lain. I alone. This sweat-bestained handkerchief terrified Philippe. in sheer despair. but shall proceed to draw another picture as minutely as possible. but confident in his own strength. M. and this handkerchief. by angels with outspread golden wings. the bolts and bars of his dungeon. glided into the royal chamber. d’Herblay. and in spite of the shudder of terror which mastered his will. I had been left my royal cradle. which was confirmed by the force of an overpoweringly resolute determination. should have occupied this bed. He could not help changing color when he looked upon the empty bed.” With these words. alone. so long as he injures or betrays his enemies only. and soul expand beneath the influence of a thousand mutable emotions. and tearing. as a complete antithesis. We do not pretend to say that such rhetoric is always bad. who regards himself as a man of honor. “Is it likely to be more terrifying than my captivity has been sad and gloomy? Though I am compelled to follow out. Philippe bent over the bed. son of France. which are the vital throbs of a king’s heart. the picture of Philippe lying asleep beneath the royal canopy. Philippe. his heart panted and throbbed at the very suspicion of approaching terror and misfortune. But nothing approached. Philippe. sole king of France.. shall I cease to listen to the scruples of my heart? Yes! the king has lain on this bed. notwithstanding an instinctive repugnance of feeling. to serve as foil and counterfoil to the one in the preceding chapter. as the gore of Abel frightened Cain. Philippe.

Monsieur d’Herblay?” “I laugh at the extreme caution of your idea. and will send him out of the country.” Once more a cold look of intelligence passed between Aramis and the young king. and absolute silence. smiling in a significant manner.” replied Aramis. why so?” “Your majesty is doubtless afraid that poor Porthos may possible become a troublesome witness. a complete victory. we will take the captive out of his prison. In a few days. that human strength and the duration of human life would not be enough for his return.” “And then?” “A perfect stupor. I suppose.“Did he resist?” “Terribly! tears and entreaties.” “What! in making him a duke?” “Certainly.” “What is to be done with him?” “With M. du Vallon?” asked Philippe in order to change the conversation.” “A dukedom. confer a dukedom on him. and the secret would die with him. on former occasion. I was going to say.” 106 . to a place of exile so remote—” “People can return from their exile. Think well of that. sooner if necessary. du Vallon?” “Yes. you would assuredly kill him. “And M. and you wish to get rid of him. for he would die from joy.” “But at last?” “Oh! at last.” “I have already provided for every chance.” “Did the governor of the Bastile suspect anything?” “Nothing. however—” “Was the cause of the success. “He will be presented to you to-day. and confidentially will congratulate you on the danger which that conspirator has made you run. “Why do you laugh.” “To a place of exile so distant.” “The resemblance. Monsieur d’Herblay.” “But the prisoner cannot fail to explain himself. I have myself been able to do as much as that.” “Cautious.

before you retired to bed last night.” replied the bishop. but if he comes into this room the first this morning. my only reason for going out is to try and get that reply. sire. for I hear him at the door. a knock at the door was heard at that moment. under the light tone of which the two conspirators concealed their joy and pride at their mutual success.” “Yes.” At this moment. We have seen how he passed the night in philosophizing with M. and which he would imagine it his business to occupy himself about. Fouquet. Besides. I told my captain of the musketeers. monseigneur. And. that the keenest scent in the whole kingdom may be deceived by the traces of twenty different persons. he has seen nothing. for it was indeed D’Artagnan who adopted that mode of announcing himself. “What is that?” said Philippe. for he is a most punctual man. or introduce so many people into it. he will be sure to detect something of what has taken place. but the musketeer was very weary even of feigning to fall asleep.” “He. “Are you going out?” said Fouquet. like a private soldier getting ready for inspection.” “Very good.” said the young king resolutely. And you?” “I shall remain. would be madness.” “Well?” “Well. “and in order to begin. and in the middle of this idle conversation.” said Aramis.” replied the young man hurriedly. To begin the attack. “I should lose a very good friend. is striking a blow. Aramis was not mistaken. Aramis heard something which made him prick up his ears. brushed his coat and hat with his sleeve. hurriedly. arranged his sword.” “But how can I send him away. “Be cautious for Heaven’s sake. in fact.” added the prince. we must air the room thoroughly.—you know what I mean?” 107 .” “If you told him that. phlegmatically. “Yes. I am going to strike a blow which will completely stupefy our man.” “It must be he. D’Artagnan knows nothing. he is a hundred miles from suspecting our mystery in the slightest degree.“Good heavens!” “Yes. “The dawn. too. since I have given him a rendezvous?” observed the prince. Before we allow D’Artagnan to penetrate into this room. and with D’Artagnan. impatient to measure swords with so redoubtable an antagonist.” “You pledge your word?” “Certainly. “that I should expect him. you probably decided to do something this morning at break of day. and as soon as earliest dawn illumined with its gloomy gleams of light the sumptuous cornices of the superintendent’s room. “I will take care of that. he will certainly be here.” “Come.” “I hear a step in the vestibule. D’Artagnan rose from his armchair. let us begin the attack.

” “Of prosperity?” “Yes. The captain thought that it was the king who had just opened it himself. “if there is nothing disagreeable predicted to you by your sword.” “You! arrest you!” “Of course.” “I did not know your sword kept you so well informed. every time it fell completely out of the scabbard. and made up my mind that I should have to remain on the field of battle. that tells me of an arrest that will have to be made this very day. It is not you I shall have to arrest. the previous evening. It was written that the day would pass away and realize all the predictions that had been made in the morning.” “What is it. I am to conclude that it is not disagreeable for you to arrest me. and this supposition was not altogether inadmissible. That is an infallible sign. de Mazarin. So extreme was his surprise that he could hardly refrain from uttering a loud exclamation. it told me of nothing this morning. That is the reason why I am delighted. He had accordingly knocked. or a throbbing of their temples. pronounced with the most affectionate graciousness of manner. I remarked that my sword had got caught in one of the aiguillettes. de Treville. the captain took leave of Fouquet in order to wait upon the king. But. which showed how he was struggling against his own weakness. Do you know what that is a warning of ?” “No.” And with these words.” D’Artagnan did not think himself so good a prophet. Every time my sword hung fast to my shoulder-belt. when I got up. “One last mark of kindness. or a refusal of money by M. d’Herblay. fortunate in its result. whom he was on the point of saluting with the greatest respect. be sure of it. you must know that my sword may almost be regarded as part of my own body. more astonished than annoyed by this frankness. and also the reason why I said that my day will be a happy one. it has just fallen of its own accord into the last hole of the belt. Every time.” said the surintendant. “His majesty desires you to report that he is still sleeping. dear D’Artagnan. I was booked. With me. The warning—” “Does not concern you.” “Well. The door opened.” said Fouquet. and I have had showers of them all my life through. and that my shoulder-belt had slipped quite off. it signified a slight wound. I have heard that certain men seem to have warnings given them by feeling something the matter with their legs. “Is your sword bewitched. considering the state of agitation in which he had left Louis XIV. or under the influence of some imperial charm?” “Why.” “Well. too. This morning. let me see Monsieur d’Herblay. after having been greatly fatigued during the whole night. since you have been arrested ever since yesterday. he perceived the long.” 108 . stay a moment—look here. I have something of the old Roman in me. it always predicted some disagreeable commission or another for me to execute. as we have seen. “Good morning.” “I am going to try and get him to come to you. coldly. be assured of that. was sure to follow: whenever it dangled about the calves of my legs.“That sentence. it is my sword that warns me. it always signified a punishment from M. but instead of his royal master. my sword danced about in its sheath.” replied the prelate. calm features of Aramis. “Aramis!” he said. with a faint smile. when Fouquet said to him. for every time that that confounded belt of mine stuck fast to my back. Well. He was on the point of leaving the room. at the king’s door. a duel. with two or three months under surgical bandages into the bargain. you mean—” “Stay. “You here!” stammered out the musketeer. monseigneur?” “M.

” said the bishop. “Well. my dear D’Artagnan. in its tenor. for it concerns M.” D’Artagnan took the order which was held out to him. d’Herblay issued the order in the king’s name. and particularly of giving unrestrained passage to the suspicions which the king’s silence had aroused—”but. “you will be good enough. monseigneur. as soon as these words had been pronounced. how you puzzled me just now!” said D’Artagnan again. indeed. “To be set at liberty!” he murmured. The mere sight of Aramis was a complete compensation to the surintendant for the unhappiness he had undergone in his arrest. D’Artagnan’s expressive eye. who had been so indifferent a favorite the previous evening. anticipating the usual hour of his ordinary receptions.“Ah!” said D’Artagnan. amazed.” objected D’Artagnan.” he said aloud.” 109 . His majesty does not wish to be disturbed just yet. almost hissing the words between his teeth. so you have brought M. and that Aramis. I suppose?” “Of course I understand.” “And something better still.” and he conducted Aramis to Fouquet’s apartments. to allow those only to pass into the king’s room this morning who have special permission. he had already sent away many of his servants and friends. and that this favor explained. “Moreover. When he saw D’Artagnan return. who. “No. it was fully equal to his previous uneasiness. almost on the point of refusing to obey this order.” continued the bishop. captain.” “But. “I will lead the way. for here is the order for it. monseigneur. monsieur l’eveque. where Aramis was. to serve as an intermediary of Louis XIV. The prelate was silent and grave.” “Later. the hardly conceivable assurance with which M. no. Fouquet was waiting with anxiety. I wish to be a witness of his delight. “I am going with you. he only asked them. but added in a low tone to himself. “as an answer to what you were coming to ask the king. The King’s Friend. who came to the door. who remained calm and perfectly unmoved. Preserving the utmost silence respecting the danger which hung suspended by a hair above his head. In fact. he must have become more than Richelieu had ever been to Louis XIII. “But you understand now. in order to have obtained Fouquet’s pardon.” said the king’s voice. D’Artagnan completely bewildered by such an accumulation of events. monsieur le capitaine des mousquetaires. for this order explained Aramis’s presence with the king.” And then he added. and when he perceived the bishop of Vannes behind him. his curling mustache. For D’Artagnan it was quite sufficient to have understood something of the matter in hand to order to understand the rest. as he did every one. Fouquet. “Where to?” “To M. But it is all the same.” continued the bishop. must have made considerable progress in the royal favor. He bowed. who could not understand how the bishop of Vannes. his majesty gave me a rendezvous for this morning. d’Herblay to me. had become in half a dozen hours the most magnificent mushroom of fortune that had ever sprung up in a sovereign’s bedroom. so as to be able to give a single order in his name at a couple paces from him. “Ah!” and he uttered a second “ah!” still more full of intelligence than the former. later. as though he were about to leave. Fouquet. and stupefied by the smile with which Aramis seemed to overwhelm him. “And then. here is an order of his majesty. to transmit the orders of the king even to the mere threshold of that monarch’s room. had called at his door to inquire after him. He bowed and withdrew a couple of paces. said as much indeed in the plainest language to the chief favorite. half-opened lips. from the bottom of the alcove. Chapter XXI. confused. I do not understand yet.” “Ah! Aramis. a voice which made a cold shudder pass through the musketeer’s veins. he could hardly restrain his delight. which you will be good enough to attend to forthwith.

who was as much surprised as the musketeer. more humiliated at the service than grateful at its success. than Fouquet. whose impatience had hardly been able to wait for that moment.” And thereupon he saluted M.” said Aramis.” “No. and M. darted towards the door to close it.” pursued D’Artagnan. when he feels his presence is an inconvenience for others.” “Since my arrest. remained incapable of uttering a single syllable.” “We will explain all that to you. you can thank M. “the king desires me to inform you that he is more than ever your friend. my friend. “Where shall I begin?” “With this first of all. Fouquet’s protector and patron. has touched him to the very heart.” continued D’Artagnan. l’eveque de Vannes. only we have kept it very secret.” And without trying to remove the color which at this revelation made D’Artagnan’s face flush scarlet. Colbert out of temper. whilst the fact is I have seen him more than a hundred times.” “Very well. the king’s order respecting those whom he intends to receive this morning on rising. there is no question at all just now of Belle-Isle. “I cannot conceal anything. “My dear D’Herblay. Aramis turned towards M. and then returning to the bishop. that he might interrogate Aramis with a look.” “Ah! very good.” These words were clear enough.” said Aramis. and I shall be perfectly satisfied. that the latter. Belle-Isle. “Oh! yes.” Fouquet resumed his usual serenity. by the king’s order. and the musketeer understood them. and he was about to yield to that feeling of instinctive politeness which in such a case hurries a man towards the door. he therefore bowed to Fouquet. “Monseigneur. and said. but his eager curiosity.” “I am free!” “Yes.—to the latter with a slight admixture of ironical respect. my friend.” he resumed.—and disappeared. and making Fouquet sit down also. I do not understand anything. and my idea is that it arises out of some slight feeling of jealousy. Fouquet. You think that I have seen the king only twice. My fete put M. in his calmest tones. Why does the king set me at liberty?” “You ought rather to ask me what his reason was for having you arrested. so generously offered by you on his behalf. “for it is indeed to him that you owe the change that has taken place in the king. “But you. can you not do something for me?” “Anything in the wide world you like. I have had time to think over it. counseled him to remain. in a quiet tone. you who have never spoken to him more than twice in your life?” “From a friend such as you are. then.“What is that?” “Liberty. No sooner had he left. Colbert discovered some cause of complaint against me. “One thing only. “You will not forget. for. incapable of understanding a man whose diplomacy was of so prodigious a character. How on earth did you manage to become the favorite of the king.” 110 . that is all. Aramis thereupon turned towards him.” “Oh!” said Fouquet. I think it now high time you should explain all that has passed. he said. tell me. then. addressing Aramis—”you. spurred on by so many mysteries. Fouquet with so much reverence of manner. who have become M. D’Artagnan fancied he perceived that these two men had something to say to each other. in plain and honest truth. and then to Aramis. and that your beautiful fete. sitting down. and equally incapable of thought or movement.” replied the bishop. for instance.

111 . may have given him as a hold upon me?” “It is clear. is your powerful. certainly. but said nothing. The king. and he can do no other than believe you are incriminated. should Louis XIV. that Fouquet could not resist starting. I see. since he has absolved me—” “Do you believe it likely?” asked the bishop. Do you also remember that letter you wrote to La Valliere?” “Alas! yes. coldly. the king has seen the receipts. or my misfortunes.” “I beg your pardon.” Aramis slightly shrugged his shoulders. moreover. I believe it in the accomplished fact. then.” “But. I suppose?” “Certainly. But am I. “that the king has quarreled with you—irreconcilably. but. then?” “Do you remember those receipts for thirteen millions which M. “But why. having read your love-letter to La Valliere. you will admit that. stupefied. Pray conclude. so powerful. you are pronounced a public robber. and the offers you there made her.” “Why should he have pardoned me.” “And that proclaims you a traitor and a suborner.” and these words were pronounced by Aramis in so strange a tone. cannot retain any doubt of your intentions with regard to that young lady. of course!” “Well. at all events. then?” “We have not yet arrived at that part of our argument. “But. What is it?” Aramis softly rubbed his white fingers over his chin. though. “Without believing in his sincerity.” pursued Aramis. I do not see—” “You will see presently.” “Agreed. and eternal enemy. implacable. then. There is an order. beyond all doubt. Oh! of course I know that you have done nothing of the kind.” “In the fewest words. You are quite right. that he has not dared to sacrifice me.” “With nothing!” said the superintendent. with all the means which my weakness. de Mazarin contrived to steal from you?” “Yes. with a searching look.“What is it. we may henceforth assume. that order—” “Oh! yes. have commissioned you to tell me what you have just stated?” “The king charged me with no message for you. The king. I wish you to be quite convinced of the fact itself. Observe this well: the king knows you to be guilty of an appropriation of public funds.” “Good heavens!” “Oh! that is not all. “You are concealing something from me. notwithstanding his hatred.

monseigneur.” “You alarm me.” “A secret of such a nature as to change his majesty’s interests?” “You are.” “What did the king say to you? In the name of our friendship. by our friendship.” “The king will like me now. I am certain. “and you shall tell me if I am mistaken with regard to the importance of this secret.’s prejudices.” “But what extraordinary empire have you so suddenly acquired over his majesty’s mind?” “Ah! that’s the point. indeed.” “D’Herblay. I implore you.” 112 . “You have something particular.” “I am listening.” “He does your bidding?” “I believe so. do not deceive me. by our alliance.” said Aramis.” “A secret.” “Guess. when they are approaching near to it.” pursued Aramis. since you are good enough to unbosom yourself to me.” “The king has not said one word to me.” “Speak. and have made a particularly accurate guess. laying stress upon the last word. only do not forget that I have asked you about nothing which it may be indiscreet in you to communicate. between you?” “Yes. I have. perhaps?” “A secret. By what means have you succeeded in overcoming Louis XIV. D’Herblay. then. Am I still superintendent?” “As long as you like. or going away from it. in fact.“Does the king exile me?” “Do not act as if you were playing at the game children play at when they have to try and guess where a thing has been hidden. for he did not like you.” “So any one would say. speak openly. then.” “Ah!” said Fouquet.” “Bah! that is because you have not guessed. and are informed. then. by a bell being rung. “And you shall judge of it yourself. by everything you hold dearest in the world. discovered a secret.” “You are killing me with impatience. with the reserve of a man who does not wish to ask any more questions.” “It is hardly credible. of a nature to change the interests of the king of France. a man of superior intelligence.

” “Suppressed. in gloom and isolation.” “True. rather. “the birth of Louis XIV. whose minister you are—the other. clasping his hands. what has he done. instead of being delivered of a son. 113 . except that the king was not really the son of Louis XIII. so he put out of the way—he suppressed—one of the twins.” “Is it possible?” cried the surintendant.” Fouquet looked up suddenly as he replied: “And the second is dead?” “You will see. casting down his eyes. Both the children grew up. whose father is recognized by law. “Do not speak!” said Fouquet: “there is still time enough. Monsieur d’Herblay? And what is this poor prince doing?” “Ask me. after all. do you say?” “Have patience. you have never learned or heard anything in particular?” “Nothing. you must know. when the quality of races is called into question. says the French law.” said the bishop. the one on the throne. So that. was delivered of twins. The queen. for a moment. and the hope of France.” “Do you remember. and then thrown into a fortress which goes by the name of the Bastile.” “He was brought up in the country. made him apprehend a series of conflicts between two children whose rights were equal.” “Good heavens! What are you saying.” “Have you ever heard anything particular respecting his birth?” “Nothing.Aramis seemed. as if he were collecting himself.?” “As if it were yesterday. but it is a grave matter.” “A merely secondary question. or the kingdom either. his superstitious feelings.” said Fouquet.” “And the king?” “Knows absolutely nothing. These twins seemed likely to be regarded as the pride of their mother. who is my friend. in fact.” “Does his mother not know this?” “Anne of Austria knows it all.” “So much the better.” “That does not matter to us. “The one was the most fortunate of men: the other the most unhappy and miserable of all living beings. but the weak nature of the king.” “Yes. yes. he is the son of his father.” “That is where my secret begins.

then you threatened him with that secret. You went to see the king when the intelligence of my arrest reached you.” 114 . I understand. and can guess everything now.—Patience.” “In that case.” “Oh! I shall find ‘patience’ enough. by intrigue and personal hatred. I interrupted you. or vindicator. that each of them possessed equal rights. or a supporter. of large and generous nature. You have thought well.” said Aramis.” said Fouquet. alarmed at the risk of its betrayal. ought to have been kings.” said Fouquet. perfectly unmoved. well.This remark seemed to make a great impression on Aramis.” “Unreservedly?” “Most unreservedly. The reigning king—I say the reigning king—you can guess very well why?” “No.” said Fouquet.” resumed Aramis.” “M. if you prefer it. you have the king in your power. out of consideration for the unhappy prince who had been sacrificed) that M. I understand. then. usurpation is the word. he looked at Fouquet with the most anxious expression of countenance. “I understand you. was suddenly taken into the greatest aversion. I believe. he refused to listen to you. the minister of the reigning sovereign. after having had the strength to carry it locked up in his own heart for twenty years. Fouquet. “I understand you. and menaced with the ruin of his fortune. It is agreed. loss of life even. “Go no farther. D’Herblay. and Louis XIV.” “Oh. it is not that at all. whose thoughts are over all His creatures. But Heaven permits (still. to which the king gave too readily an attentive ear.. Why?” “Because both of them. I thank you. twins are one person in two bodies.” “Oh! in what way? Tell me. I was observing. “I was saying.” “Heaven wished to raise up for that oppressed child an avenger. that it is an act of usurpation quietly to enjoy. what an extraordinary circumstance!” “We are not at the end of it yet. loss of liberty. gracious heavens. undertook to come to his assistance. I continue. when Heaven. “that this poor prince was the unhappiest of human beings. Is not that your opinion?” “It is. then. “I beg your pardon.” “You will see. and selfishly to assume the right over. is it not?” “Incontestably! but. in the person of his first minister. however. no. Fouquet should in his turn have a devoted friend who knew this state secret. It was Heaven’s will that the usurper should possess.” “Well. I thank you. a man of great talent. certainly. you have not allowed me to finish. I understand. you have relied upon me to repair the wrong which has been done to this unhappy brother of Louis XIV. you implored him. and felt that he possessed strength and courage enough to divulge this secret. full of generous feelings. It happened that the reigning king. being legitimate princes. threatened to reveal it.” “I am pleased that a legist of your learning and authority should have pronounced such an opinion. “I will not say another word. granted to the terror of your indiscretion what he refused to your generous intercession. the usurper—you are quite of my opinion. I will help you. an inheritance to which a man has only half a right?” “Yes.

from the earliest period of its history. Yes. satisfied himself that they were alone. and then returned and placed himself close to the armchair in which Fouquet was seated. that God had formed them so startlingly. than have betrayed my secret to the king. “I forgot to tell you. awaiting with the deepest anxiety the revelation he had to make. but what feeling of hate could resist the threat of such a revelation?” “Such a revelation. who listened to him with the most absorbed attention—”I forgot to mention a most remarkable circumstance respecting these twins. too.” Fouquet buried his face in his hands. impenetrable bishop of Vannes had wrought himself. and if. to a feeling more than ever to be dreaded in that young man? To have robbed him. which was so thoroughly his old musketeer’s expression. if I were to expose you. from his prison. after having mastered his feelings. but he would have had the time to get me gagged and thrown in a dungeon. namely. to have addressed the woman he loves. show a little consistency in your reasoning. He might not have had the time to get me killed outright.” replied Aramis. why. monseigneur. I admit. superior in every way to his brother.” “But their thoughts? degree of intelligence? their knowledge of human life?” “There is inequality there. “And then. invincible hate for me. the same voice.” “That may be. most incontestably. Fouquet could not but understand to what a pitch of exaltation the calm. then?” “I would sooner. his majesty’s hate. that it would be utterly impossible to distinguish the one from the other.” Aramis walked softly all round the room.” resumed Aramis. I hope. addressing himself to Fouquet. “There is a further inequality. in order to try and avoid death. is not much. continuing his work of temptation. this unhappy victim were to pass to the throne. I think I shall not fail to excite in you a little interest. forgotten by one who never seemed to forget anything. far sooner. Their own mother would not be able to distinguish them. and that all was silent. You are listening. the same carriage. mordieu!” And by the mere use of this word. monseigneur. should I be the true friend you believe me.” “Is it possible?” exclaimed Fouquet. allow me to observe that you pay no attention to logical reasoning. Come. do you say? that is the very point where your logic fails you. so miraculously. monseigneur. have had a master more powerful in genius and nobility of character. France would not. the same stature. he would pluck out your heart with his own hands. He shuddered. What! do you suppose that if I had made such a revelation to the king. “should I be the man I really am. as if he were overwhelmed by the weight of this immense secret.” “How can you ask me if I am listening? Go on. “and again you interrupt me. “The same noble character in their features. I should have been alive now?” “It is not ten minutes ago that you were with the king.“You understand nothing—as yet. have swallowed at one draught all the poisons that Mithridates drank in twenty years. perhaps.” replied the latter. come. Aramis approached him.” “You have not allowed him to penetrate your secret. then?” “Ah! now we are coming to the point. is nothing.” “What do you mean?” “You know upon what I laid the greatest stress at the beginning of our conversation?” “Yes. and seem to forget what you ought most to remember. 115 . Then.” “What have you done. yes. for the prisoner of the Bastile is.” he said. “an inequality which concerns yourself. but to hold in your keeping both his crown and his honor. whom the king already hates so bitterly. like each other.

with the same intonation on the word friend that he had applied to it the first time—”I mean that if there has been any confusion. in Heaven’s name. who is at this moment asleep in the Chamber of Morpheus?” Aramis smiled with the sinister expression of the sinister thought which was passing through his brain. Oh! Monsieur d’Herblay. But you forget that this agent is called death. Maria Theresa. you propose that I should agree to the substitution of the son of Louis XIII. that we shall have to depose the reigning sovereign. or the one who likes you?” “The king—of—yesterday.” “What do you mean?” “I mean. inspired by Heaven. “and you who know the mystery.. succeed like Heaven itself. as you said at the beginning of this conversation.” “One of those attempts which. “a man like you refuse to view the practical bearing of the case! Do you confine yourself to the childish delight of a political illusion.” stammered Fouquet. “There is not a single syllable of sense in all you have just said.” “What!” said the superintendent. Anne of Austria. you are going beyond the object in view. and that men. and seats the triumphant rival on the empty throne. “I understand you. and suppose that it were all done.” continued Aramis. and even effort in the substitution of the prisoner for the king. without difficulty or exertion. yes. in all they do. in his gentlest tone.” returned Aramis. “What king?” said Aramis. tell me if you have had the idea—” “There is no question of that. namely. and embraces every result at a glance—”have you thought that we must assemble the nobility. the last comer does not know M. in all their undertakings. becoming animated with that strength of talent which in a few seconds originates. my friend. whiter than the handkerchief with which he wiped his temples. alters the fate of empires?” “And of superintendents. and neglect the chances of its being carried into execution. to sacrifice the life. monseigneur. who is now a prisoner in the Bastile. too. “you are proposing a conspiracy to me?” “Something like it.” 116 . in all they attempt.” he said to Aramis.between the twins. who seizes upon the doomed victim. both sons of Louis XIII. monseigneur. coldly. without exciting comment or remark. I defy even you to perceive that the prisoner of the Bastile is lying in his brother’s bed.” he said. and with that largeness of view which foresees all consequences.” “What!” cried Fouquet.’s death? who spoke of adopting the example which Heaven sets in following out the strict execution of its decrees? No. the honor of a woman.. is it possible?” “My friend.” “In a word. “the one who hates you. to disturb by so frightful a scandal the tomb of their dead father. the life and peace of mind and heart of another woman. but his mind and comprehension. the reality itself. in other words. for the son of Louis XIII.” “But the king. the clergy. seized with horror at the intelligence. scandal. Colbert. I defy you to prove it. tranquilly. and the third estate of the realm.. and matures the conception of a plan.” said Aramis. emphasizing the word with a kind of disdainful familiarity. Who spoke of Louis XIV. surprised. I wish you to understand that Heaven effects its purposes without confusion or disturbance. hurries him away. The bolt had hit its mark—not his heart. “what does Heaven do in order to substitute one king for another?” “Heaven!” exclaimed Fouquet—”Heaven gives directions to its agent.” Fouquet raised his head immediately—his features were pale and distorted. “Exactly.” continued Aramis. “what do you say?” “Go to the king’s apartment. “Have you thought.” continued Fouquet. if we were to succeed in doing it—” “I do not understand you.

woe is me!” “Woe to the man. “Have I a man out of his senses to deal with?” he said. then. at Vaux. your life. in an irresolute tone of voice. and in the simplest way. “in committing so foul an act of treason. A flash of lightning without thunder awakens nobody.” “Monsieur Fouquet. in a half-strangled voice. that the whole world shall hear me. It would almost seem that it had been built in anticipation of such an act.” “And at what time did it occur?” “Last night. Oh! woe. “you are speaking too loudly. “You have dishonored me. as if he had been struck by some invisible blow. Do you forget that?” “He was my guest. his eyes literally bloodshot.” Aramis rose. here. I carried him away last night. “You have an honorable man to deal with. take care!” “I will call out so loudly. too?” “Yes. the other was ascending into day.” 117 . smothered cry.” he said. I do not think there has been any disturbance whatever. “At Vaux. take care!” Fouquet turned round towards the prelate.” “Great God! And who took him there?” “I.” “And such an action was committed here. he restrained himself. what do you think of it?” “You dethroned the king? imprisoned him. “this crime more execrable than an assassination! this crime which dishonors my name forever. whom he looked at full in the face.” “You are not in your senses.” “You?” “Yes.” “It was under my roof.” replied Aramis. at Vaux?” “Yes. he has gone to take the place in the Bastile which his victim occupied for so many years. too.“The king of yesterday! be quite easy on that score. and clasping his head between his clenched hands. upon one who was peacefully reposing beneath my roof. who beneath your roof meditated the ruin of your fortune. between twelve and one o’clock. Colbert cannot rob you of it now. that you committed this crime?” “This crime?” said Aramis. While he was descending into midnight. “I believe so! for it is still your house. his mouth trembling convulsively. he murmured: “You did that?” “Cleverly enough. and entails upon me the horror of posterity. under my roof!” he said.” Fouquet uttered a thick. in the Chamber of Morpheus. becoming more and more excited. that has been done. my sovereign. “This abominable crime!” pursued Fouquet. stupefied. and it is likely to continue so.” Fouquet made a movement as if he were on the point of springing upon Aramis. so heinous a crime upon my guest. monsieur. rather. since M. monsieur.

You will therefore have four hours’ advance of those whom the king may wish to dispatch after you. “I had no arms. as Vaux is mine for the king. He threw open his arms as if to embrace him.” said Aramis. and give me your hand. who would kill you even. “Go at once. Aramis raised his head gently. which I give you as a place of refuge. “you will be so. insensate. You will leave Vaux—you must leave France.” “A man who would sooner. smothered voice. and then his heart smote him with pity.” “Yes. “you will not be more fatally lost than he whose ruin you have consummated.” murmured Aramis. He had dug his nails into his flesh. “Reflect. believe me.” he said. “Monsieur.“You are mad. This movement did not escape Fouquet.” Aramis withdrew from his breast the hand he had concealed there. first of all. “It is more than you will need to get on board a vessel and flee to Belle-Isle. and his imprisonment saves your life. in a thick. then. “I would sooner die here on the spot than survive this terrible disgrace. Monsieur d’Herblay. you to save your life.” Aramis stifled the exclamation which almost escaped his broken heart. I to save my honor. I say. rather than allow you to complete his dishonor. no one shall follow you before the expiration of that time. You will leave this house. and thrust his hand into his breast as if in search of a weapon. nothing shall stop me.” “Four hours!” repeated Aramis. Aramis frowned. with a cold irony of manner. I do not wish your ruin. and a glimmer of hope might be seen once more to animate his eyes. more vain. prophetic voice. in a hoarse. the king is still alive.” “A man who will prevent you consummating your crime.” replied Fouquet.” “Four hours?” said Aramis. “I am hospitable towards all who are dwellers beneath my roof. and clenched it resolutely in his hand. oh! far sooner. go! as long as I live.” Aramis remained silent and motionless. it was stained with his blood. scornfully and incredulously. and approached Aramis so close as to touch his shoulder with his disarmed hand. full of nobleness and pride in his magnanimity. before we both hasten away. “upon everything we have to expect.” “You are mad.” continued Fouquet. accept your services. but nothing shall prevent me. which D’Artagnan had placed at the head of his bed. D’Herblay.” And Fouquet snatched up his sword.” said Aramis. I give you four hours to place yourself out of the king’s reach. die. with an air of inexpressible majesty.” “You will be so. who. not a hair of your head shall be injured. “Belle-Isle is as much mine for you. Go. as if in punishment for having nursed so many projects. “you may have been acting on my behalf. And then. but I will not. and if you have any pity left for me.” “I accept the augury. “You do not reply?” said Fouquet. threw his sword to a distance from him. do not. As the matter now stands. I entreat you to take my life. “Upon the word of Fouquet. as wild and terrible in his wrath as the shade of Dido. But.” “Thank you.” “Ah!” murmured Aramis.” he said. monseigneur. Fouquet was horror-stricken. without touching Fouquet’s 118 . and fleeting than the life of the man himself.

light as a shadow.’ nothing more. whom men call the genius of humanity. Aramis started. “We shall go mounted. “We are going off on a mission of great importance. “Yes. Porthos. “Oh. “come.hand. “Hush!” said Porthos.. but thou art nothing. dear me!” said Porthos. even before his intelligence seemed to be aroused.” “Was that all?” 119 . “Shall I go alone?” said Aramis to himself. so recently returned from Paris. and faster than we have ever gone in our lives. would follow—civil war. And both of them darted out of the room by the secret staircase which led down to the inner courtyard. who will have to suffer for what he has done. “I feel so wearied. and placed his nervous grasp on the giant’s shoulder. his last gesture a curse.” “Ah!” repeated Porthos. opened his eyes. “You are very fortunate. more baselessly useless. crumblest mountains at thy approach. He seems like one of the members of my own frame. apprehensive of meeting any one to whom his hurried movements might appear suspicious.” said the musketeer. perhaps. Whilst he was thus engaged. as his mind forgot its thoughts. “or warn the prince? Oh! fury! Warn the prince. thou term’st thyself.” said Aramis. as it sprinkled on Fouquet’s face a few drops of blood which flowed from his breast. rose from his bed. Porthos shall leave with me. I will not let poor Porthos suffer. and stepped back a pace or two. in a carriage. “Dress yourself. and then—do what? Take him with me? To carry this accusing witness about with me everywhere? War..” “What did he say to you?” “’Adieu. He reflected profoundly and for some time. let him remain so then! Good or evil Spirit—gloomy and scornful Power. Fouquet?” said Aramis to D’Artagnan.” he cried. which his blood-stained hand seemed to invoke. “We leave immediately. It must be so. and on looking up. “What the devil are you doing there in such an agitated manner?” said the musketeer. Porthos. thou art a power more restlessly uncertain. Aramis entered.. was already in a profound sleep. my friend. But the service of the king. too.” Porthos obeyed. thou inflamest everything with thy breath. Yet who knows—let destiny be fulfilled—condemned he was. and thrust his gold and diamonds into his pocket. he turned his head aside.” And he helped the giant to dress himself. His last word was an imprecation. and shall follow my destiny. than wild mountain wind! Chance. ascended the staircase without being perceived. implacable in its nature! And without any resource save myself—it is impossible! What could he do without me? Oh! without me he will be utterly destroyed. “Come. I would far sooner have been fast asleep.” “Have you seen M. and his grief or misfortune would be mine as well. this very minute. and suddenly art thyself destroyed at the presence of the Cross of dead wood behind which stand another Power invisible like thyself—whom thou deniest. too. and hurls thee in the dust dishonored and unnamed! Lost!—I am lost! What can be done? Flee to Belle-Isle? Yes. a slight noise attracted his attention. his huge body forgot its fatigue. to talk and relate the whole affair to every one! Porthos. and leave Porthos behind me.” added the bishop. while Fouquet’s carriage left the courtyard at full gallop. but whose avenging hand is on thee. “Ah!” returned Porthos.” And Aramis. while Aramis paused at the foot of the staircase which led to Porthos’s apartment. Fouquet ordered his best horses. he saw D’Artagnan watching them through the half-opened door.

that is more than enough for me. and gazed after them until they were out of sight. These orders were addressed to M. “prisoner or not. Porthos has his own stud. Chapter XXII. he might possibly find an order of arrest. it will be because some misfortune will have befallen me. “What must have been. “In this way. and consequently they will not have been unsealed.” “Ah! bah!” “I predict that something will happen to you to-day which will increase your importance more than ever. which would send him to join the dethroned king. “On any other occasion. while fresh horses were being harnessed to his carriage. and whether the fable itself was not the snare.“What else do you think he could say? Am I worth anything now. On his way he trembled with horror at the idea of what had just been revealed to him. So adieu! adieu!” The fugitives mounted their horses beneath the very eyes of the captain of the musketeers. I have no objection. he gave certain sealed orders on his route. I shall have performed the duty that I owe my honor. “the youth of those extraordinary men. If I am delayed.” said Aramis. “I should say that those gentlemen were making their escape. are still able to conceive such gigantic plans. I shall take them back again. You will have no occasion to be jealous of any one. who held Porthos’s stirrup for him.” “Really?” “You know that I know all the news?” “Oh. who.” said Fouquet to himself. Strongly impressed with this idea. d’Artagnan and to certain others whose fidelity to the king was far above suspicion. The orders will not reach them until after my return.” “Let us embrace D’Artagnan first.” thought the Gascon. even as age is stealing fast upon them. since you have got into such high favor?” “Listen. Fouquet tore along as fast as his horses could drag him.” “But the horses?” “Oh! there is no want of them here. if I should return free. Porthos. “your good times are returning again. Showing How the Countersign Was Respected at the Bastile. so that when Fouquet arrived at the Bastile.” “Most certainly. yes!” “Come.” “I am quite ready. and in that case assistance will be sent for me as well 120 . embracing the musketeer. let me attend to my own affairs.”—and he philosophically entered his apartments. Aramis. and carry them through without a tremor?” At one moment he could not resist the idea that all Aramis had just been recounting to him was nothing more than a dream. but in these days politics seem so changed that such an exit is termed going on a mission. Will you have mine?” “No. are you ready? Let us go.” he thought.

and accompanied by a picket of twenty men. he could not succeed in obtaining an entrance. however. and dropped the sword he bravely had been brandishing. Aramis’s early visit. aloud. It was useless giving his name. he desired them to inform the governor of his presence.” replied the soldier. “Monseigneur. Baisemeaux. “But what crime. for if. Fouquet sprang through it. but the latter. but the latter had already heard the disturbance at the gate. was perfectly justified in apprehending. It was quite another thing. impatiently. d’Herblay this morning?” “Yes.” he stammered. when Fouquet in a sharp tone of voice. He told me that M. By dint of entreaties. and portended a furious burst of anger. “how can I excuse—” “Monsieur. monsieur. who went and told the major. a word with you. beckoning the sentinel and the subaltern. followed by his major. Fouquet gained ground. too. but they refused to do so without the countersign. having at last come up with Fouquet. equally useless his being recognized. he had traveled at the rate of five leagues and a half the hour. monseigneur—” 121 . called out to the sentinel of the second gate.” said Fouquet. he succeeded in inducing a sentinel to speak to one of the subalterns. “You pretend to be ignorant? Very good—it is the best plan for you. he said. The subaltern. monseigneur. Fouquet would not get up at so early an hour as the present. “good so far. Pray receive my compliments. at the outer gate of the fortress. who were rubbing their shoulders. Every circumstance of delay which Aramis had escaped in his visit to the Bastile befell Fouquet. in fact. Fouquet desired them to open the gate. Fouquet was at Vaux. persuaded that an attack was being made on the Bastile. regardless of the cries of the man. said. wrested the pike from the soldier and struck him a violent blow on the shoulder with it. Conduct me immediately to the prisoner. He ran forward. sentinel!” The man crossed his pike before the minister. “I congratulate you.” “To what prisoner?” said Baisemeaux. to seem to believe in your assumption of ignorance.” and then he added. the superintendent arrived at the Bastile. however. who. and.” thought Baisemeaux. thinking that this remark was made ironically. and who called. And now. Your watch and ward are admirably kept. Baisemeaux also recognized Fouquet immediately. therefore. who cried out for assistance. “You have seen M. gentlemen.” “I entreat you. which a functionary such as he (Baisemeaux) was. look out. monsieur—do not forget that! But this is not a time to show anger. and before the subaltern had time to shut the gate. perhaps. it would be all over with you. received a share of the blows as well. M. who approached too closely. I wish. do you allude to?” “That for which you can be quartered alive.” cried the minister. stop. and fifty for the officer. and hurried away.” And he followed the governor to his official residence. “Ah! monseigneur. M. and heated by his exertions. from that moment.” said the superintendent. “There are twenty pistoles for the sentinel. who were on the point of revenging their companions. robust and active. however. I will not fail to speak to his majesty about you. awaiting the return of the officers. flushed with anger. who recognized the superintendent. commands. Fouquet sat in his carriage. and that even were he at Paris. threats. As for the governor they did not even dare disturb him. But Fouquet had recovered his breath.” “And are you not horrified at the crime of which you have made yourself an accomplice?” “Well. “the major laughed in my face. ah! monseigneur.” “Mordieu! you are an absolute set of fools. chafing with rage and impatience. monseigneur. Both of them uttered loud and furious cries. “what did the major say?” “Well. Among them there was one. you were to admit your participation in such a crime. Baisemeaux was already trembling with shame and uneasiness. accompanied by a murmur of general satisfaction. and with an imperious look. by his passion. towards him. darting out of the carriage. “Well. trembling. you fellows!” And he effectually checked the soldiers. at the sound of which the whole of the first body of the advanced guard poured out of the guardhouse. Stop. who at last re-appeared with a sufficiently sulky air.as for the king.” Prepared in this manner.” Baisemeaux turned pale. and ran forward in spite of the soldier. seemed to possess consequences. “Look out.

d’Herblay carried away the day before yesterday?” “Yes. d’Herblay. Marchiali. as if he would read his very heart.” said Fouquet.” “I will soon relieve you of his possession. “Precisely.“That will do. monseigneur. “with regard to allowing prisoners to leave. He has had such terrible fits of passion. “whom M. Besides. he could not believe that Aramis would have chosen such a confidant. that is the name under which he was inscribed here. then?” “Ever since this morning he has annoyed me extremely. and perceived.” “And whom he brought back this morning?” added Fouquet. “As you are so scrupulous.” “But Marchiali is not at liberty. I must have an order from the king.” said Fouquet. for I was going to write about him. in observing his face for a few moments.” said the superintendent to him.” he said. that the man was speaking with perfect sincerity. monseigneur. monseigneur. monseigneur. so much the better. If monseigneur has come here to remove him. “Very good. “but Seldon is not Marchiali. with that clear-sightedness most men possess who are accustomed to the exercise of power. show me the order by which this one was set at liberty. you say?” “Yes.” Baisemeaux showed him the order to release Seldon.” “That will not be sufficient.” “To Marchiali?” “Who is Marchiali?” “The prisoner who was brought back this morning by M. as almost to make me believe that he would bring the Bastile itself down about our ears.” Fouquet assumed an irritated expression. “Yes.” “And his name is Marchiali.” “Wait until I sign you one. Lead me to the prisoner. his conviction somewhat shaken by Baisemeaux’s cool manner.” “Will monseigneur give me the order?” “What order?” “An order from the king.” “He is called Marchiali?” said the superintendent.” 122 . “It is the prisoner. he is here.” Fouquet looked steadily at Baisemeaux.” “Conduct me to his prison. monseigneur.” “What has he done. quickly: for he understood immediately the mechanism of Aramis’s plan. “Ah! so much the better.

” “Stay. who govern this kingdom. Baisemeaux. I am acting according to the very strictest regulation.” “You. influence me. what does. I give you my word that if you allow me to see the prisoner. monseigneur.” “Give it to me now. I feel as though I were about to faint.” “And that. monseigneur.” “True. who am perfectly innocent.” “You must prove that. d’Herblay brought me an order to set Seldon at liberty. and you shall enter. then.” “Do you dare to say so?” “I would say so in the presence of one of the apostles. “do you know why I am so anxious to speak to the prisoner?” “No.” said Baisemeaux. d’Herblay has entered.” 123 . Give me an order from him.” “M.” “It was a slip of my tongue. monseigneur. Seldon is free. M.” “No. you will reflect. “perfectly true. who had turned very pale.” “I have nothing to fear.” “Let me see him. M. monseigneur.” “Take care. monseigneur. if you refuse me. I am doing my duty. d’Herblay! Impossible!” “You see that he has undoubtedly influenced you.” he added. d’Herblay is overthrown. in a sonorous voice. I will have you and all your officers arrested on the spot. take care.” “Before you commit such an act of violence.” “That remains to be proved. le gouverneur. that I almost seem to hear it now.” “I did not say so. is the king’s service.” “I tell you that Marchiali has left the Bastile. True!” cried Fouquet. I am trembling all over—in fact. monseigneur. monseigneur. know very well that no one can see any of the prisoners without an express order from the king.” “M. M.” “Overthrown?—M. and allow me to observe that you are terrifying me out of my senses. and that it will be just as easy for you to obtain one to see Marchiali as to obtain one to do me so much injury. I will give you an order from the king at once. M. de Baisemeaux.” “M. however. d’Herblay carried him away and brought him back again. monseigneur. monseigneur. once more I warn you to pay particular attention to what you are saying. furiously. de Baisemeaux. too.” “So surely did you say it. in fact. “that we will only obey an order signed by the king. monseigneur. drawing the unhappy governor towards him. me.” “All the documents are there.“But you said that M.

“Again!” cried M. monseigneur. do you understand. but he did not reply a single syllable. Not a single person. undecided. except by the minister. monseigneur. the more clearly did certain muffled murmurs become distinct appeals and fearful imprecations. of the king’s guards. le Chevalier d’Herblay. The higher they advanced up the spiral staircase.” he said. who are: first. citizen. Come with me to the keep. must hear what is going to take place here. Fouquet wrote: “Order for the Duc de Bouillon and M.” “Good heavens. He was afraid of his companion. you shall see Marchiali. de Baisemeaux. “That is your Marchiali. Fouquet still wrote: “Order for every soldier. might happen here in a couple of hours. monseigneur!” cried Baisemeaux. Then—you shall see!” Baisemeaux stamped his foot on the ground like a man in a state of despair. or gentleman to seize and apprehend. “A truce to this child’s play. and you may think me as mad as you like. in this armchair. you are losing your senses. I leave this place. “this is the way these madmen scream. “What is that?” asked Fouquet. Eveque de Vannes. and to march upon the Bastile on the king’s immediate service. “I do not understand a single jot of the whole matter. than polite124 . wherever he may be found.” Baisemeaux reflected. M. “Let the man remain here. and wrote: “Order for M.“You will stand a better chance of fainting outright. will see whether I have been wrong in withdrawing the countersign before this flood of imminent catastrophes. and hanged you to the topmost tree of yonder pinnacle!” “Monseigneur! monseigneur! for pity’s sake!” “I give you ten minutes to make up your mind. in a calm voice. which the latter could not fail to perceive. suspected of the crimes of high treason and rebellion—” “Stop. roughly. in ten minutes’ time. le Prince de Conde to assume the command of the Swiss guards. but so many misfortunes. “Ah! say ‘no’ at once. Fouquet. and unaccompanied. and I will leave the Bastile and will myself carry my own dispatches.” added Fouquet. “I will sit down here. Monsieur Baisemeaux.” said the governor. when I return here at the head of ten thousand men and thirty pieces of cannon. whereupon Fouquet seized a pen and ink. took the keys.” And he accompanied that reply with a glance more pregnant with injurious allusion. and his accomplices. you still persist.” replied Fouquet. even were it madness itself that had set them at their awful work. that the king. if. followed by Baisemeaux as he wiped the perspiration from his face. ascended the staircase. “What a terrible morning!” he said. by whom I must be judged.” “When I have roused the whole population of Paris against you and your accursed towers. “what a disgrace for me!” “Walk faster. take the keys yourself.” Baisemeaux shrugged his shoulders.” Fouquet darted out of the room.” “Ah!” said Baisemeaux.” Baisemeaux bowed his head. Baisemeaux made a sign to the jailer to precede them. le Prevot des Marchands to assemble the municipal guard and to march upon the Bastile on the king’s immediate service. governor of the Bastile. and show me the way. and have battered open the gates of this place. and wait for you. as far as Fouquet was concerned.

They were followed by a shower of blows leveled against the door with a part of the broken chair with which the king had armed himself. “Sire. in a voice trembling with emotion. I am sure.” he said.” “Give me the keys at once!” cried Fouquet. The king. The latter trembled. his hair in disheveled masses. his clothes were in tatters. so affected and disturbed by it. and took him in his arms with inconceivable tenderness. I am sure it will. When Fouquet had satisfied himself that Baisemeaux had reached the bottom of the staircase.” “Go!” repeated Fouquet. that he ran towards him with his arms stretched out and his eyes filled with tears. presented the most perfect picture of despair. he could hardly articulate distinctly as he shouted. d’Herblay did not say a word about that. and the one will kill the other. Fouquet at last succeeded in finding the key. The King’s Gratitude. “Have you come to assassinate me. “There will be a couple of madmen face to face. to himself. “If you place your foot on this staircase before I call you. distress.” “This job will kill me.ness. “how you must have suffered!” 125 .” murmured the latter. snatching the bunch of keys from Baisemeaux. who thought this new madman was going to dash out his brains with one of them. Haggard. crying out. monsieur?” said the king. furious and almost mad with rage and passion. the king’s voice. The prisoner’s cries became more and more terrible. kissed his knees. “It was M. my child. help! I am the king. “Ah!” he cried. “Leave this place. He paused on the staircase. “Death to Fouquet! death to the traitor Fouquet!” The door flew open. “The most respectful of your servants. was stained with sweat and with the blood which streamed from his lacerated breast and arms. The king was almost exhausted. shouted at the top of his voice.” said Fouquet. gnashing his teeth in a manner which betrayed his hate and desire for speedy vengeance. Help me against M. “do you not recognize the most faithful of your friends?” “A friend—you!” repeated Louis. in a frenzy of rage. “Which is the key of the door I am to open?” “That one. in a threatening tone. as he withdrew with tottering steps. made the whole staircase resound with the echo. “My king. “M.” added Fouquet.” The key of the second door was not the same as the first. Fouquet!” These cries filled the minister’s heart with terrible emotions.” muttered Baisemeaux. ghastly pale. open and torn to rags. when he recognized Fouquet. however. tearing them from his hand. remember that you shall take the place of the meanest prisoner in the Bastile. choking voice of the king. The two men were on the point of darting towards each other when they suddenly and abruptly stopped.” A fearful cry. Fouquet approached him. he inserted the key in the first lock. followed by a violent blow against the door. Louis XIV.” said Fouquet to Baisemeaux. throwing himself on his knees. Fouquet who brought me here. Fouquet! I am the king! Help the king against M. “The king in this state!” murmured the minister. “I ask nothing better. and each uttered a cry of horror. It was then that he heard the hoarse. as a mutual recognition took place. “Help. Nothing could be more terrible indeed than the appearance of the young prince at the moment Fouquet had surprised him. Chapter XXIII. and Fouquet was obliged to look for it on the bunch. he had just recognized in one cry more terrible than any that had preceded it. his shirt. The king let the rude weapon fall from his grasp. Louis held up the massive piece of wood of which he had made such a furious use. anger and fear combined that could possibly be united in one figure. Fouquet was so touched.

Louis. sire. it is impossible—you cannot have been the dupe of it. “you cannot believe me to be guilty of such an act.” Fouquet persisted. he related the whole particulars of the intrigue. drew back. the details of which are already known to the reader. I await your orders.” he said. that the honor. shall be done. beginning with the governor of the Bastile. I have accomplished that duty. “Muster all the troops in Paris. then?” murmured the king. the virtue of my mother can be suspected.” “You do not believe that!” exclaimed Fouquet. whatever your majesty may command. “The birth of your brother—” “I have only one brother—and that is Monsieur. “Come.” Louis reflected for a few moments.” “Free?” repeated the king. sire. those who had prepared everything in order to face and deceive your ministers.” replied Fouquet. I tell you.” “Likeness? Absurd!” “This Marchiali must be singularly like your majesty. and ashamed of the air of pity and protection that was shown towards him. While the recital continued. Fouquet did not understand this movement. “For that purpose. sire.” The only reply the king made was to take hold of Fouquet’s hand with such an expression of feeling.” “Sire!” “It is impossible. “All the necessary orders are given for that purpose. and ashamed of the disordered state of his apparel.” “But where are these persons.” replied Fouquet. yes. your majesty will be at the head of ten thousand men in less than an hour. he did not perceive that the king’s feeling of pride would never forgive him for having been a witness of such an exhibition of weakness. and now. the members of your family. and when it was finished. ashamed of his conduct. “Oh! you set me at liberty.” he said.” he said. and my first minister has not yet done justice on the criminals!” “Reflect. looked at himself. “Monsieur. Louis suffered the most horrible anguish of mind.” “At Vaux! and you suffer them to remain there!” “My most instant duty appeared to me to be your majesty’s release. “you are free. sire. before you are hurried away by anger.” And rapidly. then. “You have given orders!” exclaimed the king. There is a plot.” “Be careful. your officers of state. “At Vaux. after having dared to lift up your hand against me. sire. You know it as well as myself. “this double birth is a falsehood. I tell you. the magnitude of the danger he had run struck him far more than the importance of the secret relative to his twin brother. for this man has been deceived as every one else has by the prince’s likeness to yourself. warmly even. that it was very easy to perceive 126 . “Ridiculous!” “Do not say so. your mother. recalled to himself by the change of situation. must be quite confident of the resemblance between you. to be able to deceive every one’s eye. indignantly. suddenly to Fouquet.

” replied the king.” “You have unmasked this false prince also?” “No. “we must not forget the connection that existed between the conspirators and M. formerly one of the musketeers. nobly. “And with these troops.how strongly he had. destined through his whole life to wretchedness.” “With those whom you deliver up to me. Be satisfied with those whom I deliver up to you. for you will deliver up those who are guilty to me. “Why?” “Because their chief—the very soul of the enterprise—having been unmasked by me. “we shall go at once and besiege in your house the rebels who by this time will have established and intrenched themselves therein. notwithstanding the mask with which the villain covered his face. M. “Such friendships. it was not that I meant. until that remark. not that unhappy young man. de Bragelonne. sire. you say? Very good.” “It is M.” “I should be surprised if that were the case.” “Whom have you seen.” “Most certainly. do not go too far. “Well! I assure you that. I have not seen him. sire.” replied Fouquet. I had something like a vague suspicion that he was the very man. had nothing dishonorable in them so long as I was ignorant of the crime. 127 . what is he?” “It must be his friend the Baron du Vallon.” he said. as he paused at the name of the latter. the latter is merely an instrument. But with this chief of the enterprise there was a man of prodigious strength.” “If I am guilty.” returned the king.” replied Fouquet.” “The friend of D’Artagnan? the friend of the Comte de la Fere? Ah!” exclaimed the king. “I understand.” “Your majesty will put these men to death!” cried Fouquet.” said the king. I plainly perceive. the whole plan seems to me to have miscarried. then?” “The leader of the enterprise. I place myself in your majesty’s hands. l’Abbe d’Herblay.” “Ah! Monsieur Fouquet. sire. Eveque de Vannes. “that we shall soon arrive at Vaux with a large body of troops. and that not a soul shall escape.” “Sire. the one who menaced me with a force almost herculean. maintained his suspicions of the minister. that we will lay violent hands upon that nest of vipers. in a less generous tone of voice.” “What does your majesty understand by that?” inquired Fouquet.” “Your friend?” “He was my friend. sorry to have shown the bitterness of his thought in such a manner. “An unfortunate circumstance for you.” “You should have foreseen it. notwithstanding the latter’s intervention. de la Fere is the most honorable man in France.

Freed from the real king. d’Herblay’s complete and entire justification. and have saved your life.” “Speak.” pursued Fouquet. “We no longer live in times when assassination was the only and the last resource kings held in reservation at extremity. sire. Heaven be praised! I have parliaments who sit and judge in my name. d’Herblay and of M.” “And punish it with death. The august name of Anne of Austria must never be allowed to pass the lips of the people accompanied by a smile. Monsieur Fouquet.” “Oh! sire. “I will take the liberty of observing to your majesty.” “Justice must be done. you ask me to forgive your friends. he could very easily have assassinated your majesty this morning in the forest of Senart. and you will doubtless consult the queen-mother upon the subject. but I have a favor to ask of you. monsieur. deeply wounded. stamping his foot on the ground.” “My friends!” said Fouquet. sire. as he raised his head proudly. it would have been impossible in all futurity to guess the false. “What do you require?” “The pardon of M. “and the disfigured features of Louis XIV. certainly. “your majesty will take the life. that concerns you alone.” “My assassins?” “Two rebels. d’Herblay wished to carry out his character of an assassin. would be M. which no one could have recognized. d’Herblay’s crime.” “Good. but royal blood must not be shed upon a scaffold. d’Herblay. do I see M. that is all. sire?” “With death.” “I will not permit myself to remind your majesty that I have just restored you to liberty.” “Monsieur!” “I will not allow myself to remind your majesty that had M. Whatever she may command will be perfectly correct. and I have scaffolds on which supreme authority is carried out. The usurper.” “Oh! I understand. and all would have been over. or the insult. “had been an assassin.” “Let us understand one another. “If M.” said the surintendant. he had no occasion to inform me of his plan in order to succeed.” Fouquet turned pale.” continued Fouquet. I do not wish to mix myself up in it. “Your friends.” The king started. No.” “Sire. I have said it. he would still have been—her son. du Vallon. It is the crime I wish to punish rather than the violence. and in that invention. if you please. And if the usurper had been recognized by Anne of Austria. and I beg to submit it to you. however. not even for the honor of your crown.” The king turned pale and giddy at the bare idea of the danger he had escaped. monsieur.” said the king. haughtily. in no little degree agitated by his minister’s last words.” “The royal blood! you believe that!” cried the king with fury in his voice. that any proceedings instituted respecting these matters would bring down the greatest scandal upon the dignity of the throne. of your brother Philippe of France. “A pistol-bullet through the head. yes. was still 128 . particularly. with firmness.” said the king. “This double birth is an invention.“To the very meanest of them.. but the safety of the state requires that an exemplary punishment should be inflicted on the guilty. as far as Monsieur d’Herblay’s conscience was concerned. then.

Nothing could bend or soften him. which restored the serene expression of his features. Moreover. “Do me the kindness not to speak of it again. for I am in your power.” “I was wrong. sire. why you should solicit the pardon of these men. Let the poor madman rot between the slimy walls of the Bastile. my life. “I really don’t know. by degrees. nor is M. change nothing in the position of affairs. secrecy. For the sake of Heaven.” “Well.” “And you will bear me no ill-will for it?” 129 . Addressing himself to Fouquet. Every word that fell from Fouquet’s lips.” The king. impunity. “I am not child enough. sire. “Yes. in a dungeon. so faithfully drawn in all details. Where am I now?” “In the Bastile. d’Herblay. and M. monsieur. as you say.” “And no one is known here but Marchiali?” “Certainly. with a smile. he said.” replied Fouquet. instead of being touched by the picture. and I answer according to my conscience. with some degree of persistence. and you are wrong. groundlessly. I had no occasion to have come here to force open the gates and doors of the Bastile. either. d’Herblay and M.” “Your majesty does me a great injustice. His unconquerable pride revolted at the idea that a man had held suspended at the end of his finger the thread of his royal life. and entreat your majesty’s forgiveness.” “Yes. in that course. I regret it. as long as I live. du Vallon?” “They will never obtain theirs. felt himself most painfully and cruelly humiliated. What good is there in asking that which can be obtained without solicitation?” “I do not understand you. Their new king will absolve them. and which he thought most efficacious in procuring his friend’s pardon.” replied Fouquet. seemed to pour another drop of poison into the already ulcerated heart of Louis XIV. certainly.” he replied. the very one of your servants who has rendered you the most important service of all. d’Herblay silly enough.” Fouquet was silent. “What I do is as generous.” said the king. sire.” Louis perceived that he had gone too far. the conspirator.” replied the minister.—I had the appearance of extorting a favor. and if I had wished to make a new king. to have omitted to make all these reflections. which so many circumstances had altered since the preceding evening. “I have my own forgiveness. sire. And so. my dear Monsieur Fouquet. would have had security.a king of the blood of Louis XIII. the floodgates were gradually being opened. Heaven knows. grant me his forgiveness.” “It is not difficult. and M.” “And you are forgiven. monsieur. otherwise you would be far from offending. am I not?” “Yes. “I did not say that to humiliate you. “Only you are addressing yourself to me in order to obtain a pardon. That would show a want of even common sense. I am looked upon as a madman. may depend. that the gates of the Bastile were still closed upon him. sire. of Aramis’s generosity. “but M.” replied the inflexible king. whilst. dryly. I will even say it is more generous.” “Your majesty shall be obeyed. the criminals we speak of are not worthy of consideration or forgiveness. behind which the generous-hearted Fouquet had restrained his anger. inasmuch as you place before me certain conditions upon which my liberty.” added the king. A pistolbullet would have procured him all that. judging by my conscience. du Vallon will stand in no need of my forgiveness. to free you from this place. and to reject which is to make a sacrifice of both. “as what you have done. Your majesty’s mind is disturbed by anger.

sire.” “You take it back again. to deliver himself into my hands. d’Herblay the best horses in my stables and four hours’ start over all those your majesty might. and that the king wrote beneath it. tore out the major portion of his few remaining hairs. the latter swallowed his rage. Chapter XXIV. d’Herblay to death. who looked completely bewildered as he saw Marchiali once more leave.” “Well! and what have you done?” “Sire. nor could I. sire. “Come.” “In giving him these four hours. “Are we going to return to Vaux?” “I am at your majesty’s orders. said. and the affair will be at an end. “M.” said the king. “But still. dispatch after him. on the other hand. and all my measures were taken in consequence. that Fouquet wrote and gave him an authority for the prisoner’s release. “but I think that your majesty can hardly dispense with changing your clothes previous to appearing before your court. a lightning flash seemed to dart from his eyes. d’Herblay.” “But not for you to arrest my friends. probably. the world is wide enough and large enough for those whom I may send to overtake your horses.” “We shall pass by the Louvre. as may be said. sire. passing before Baisemeaux.” “My musketeers shall capture it. and after a few moments’ silence. before your musketeers. The False King. where I have given him a safe asylum. incapable of putting two ideas together. however. it would have been just the same as if I had killed him myself. I could not condemn M. acknowledged by giving himself a terrible blow on the forehead with his own fist. in his helplessness. He bore the king’s wrathful gaze. surprised.“Oh! no. d’Herblay left to me the happiness of saving my king and my country. with a low bow. Fouquet felt that he was lost. I gave M.” “You had ‘anticipated’ that I should refuse to forgive those gentlemen?” “Certainly. d’Herblay came. for I anticipated the event. “Seen and approved. It was perfectly true. 130 . he will reach my chateau of Belle-Isle. and he will save his life. then?” “As far as that goes—yes. coldly.” “That may be! But you forget that you have made me a present of Belle-Isle. Louis”.” “What do you mean to say?” cried the king.” replied Fouquet.” “Neither your musketeers.” “Be it so!” murmured the king. and. but he as not one to shrink when the voice of honor spoke loudly within him. nor your whole army could take Belle-Isle.” And they left the prison.” The king became perfectly livid. notwithstanding the ‘four hours’ start’ which you have given to M. expose him to your majesty’s justifiable wrath.” said Fouquet. M. “Belle-Isle is impregnable.” “In what way?” “After having galloped as hard as possible. with the four hours’ start. a piece of madness that Baisemeaux. I knew I was giving him his life.

he allowed the stem to rise without heeding its elevation or majestic life. had cast no shades athwart his life. “Well. but which is imposed upon me as a duty. “Why. whose beauty struck him. Fouquet?” “Saint-Aignan. that.” “A superintendent who is never sordid or niggardly. Philippe opened his folding doors. and played the king in such a manner as to awaken no suspicion. d’Herblay. He smiled at seeing these countenances. “and who pays in gold all the orders I have on him. Another reason urged him to this—Anne of Austria was about to appear. ravaged by pain. have always liked M. to render the man a witness of it before whom he was bound thenceforth to display so much strength. it is a fact. but he saw in the eyes of that princess an expression of coldness which would facilitate. the slight difference that there was between his voice and that of the king was sensible to maternal ears. Fouquet had given to the house of France.” added Monsieur. Happily the queen did not come. his heart—his mind—had just been shaken by so violent a trial. to whom Monsieur gave his hand.In the meantime. not believing that absence could be prolonged. and then Madame with M. all the habits of his brother. “I. M. but trembled on recognizing his mother. A separate tree. He bowed with a friendly air to Saint-Aignan. He is a man of good taste. in rather a lower key. you speak to me now in such a manner that I can almost fancy I am listening to your father. mother?” “Monsieur. usurped royalty was playing out its part bravely at Vaux. and nobody for the state. Fouquet. support another shock. to try his valor and his fortune far from all protection and instruction. their future relations.” said she. as all rash spirits do. mother!” replied Philippe. you know I do not—and you have even spoken well of him yourself. therefore I only question you on the state of your sentiments with respect to him. Colbert?” “How is that?” replied the old queen. Then commenced. He determined to give this order notwithstanding the absence of M. That still so noble and imposing figure. my son. “and what sort of humor are you in to-day towards me?” Philippe continued: “Is not Madame de Chevreuse always in league against somebody? Has not Madame de Chevreuse been to pay you a visit. his sister-in-law.” said the old queen. “do you likewise constitute yourself the buckler of M.” said Henrietta. His own memory and the notes of Aramis announced everybody to him. on my part. and he promised himself to love her likewise. and not to prove a scourge to her old age. if he had a weakness. and Anne of Austria looked earnestly at her son. the guilty mother was about to stand in the presence of her sacrificed son. Fouquet ill-spoken of. He contemplated his brother with a tenderness easily to be understood.” “Why do you mention Madame de Chevreuse to me?” said she. loved her. with little maternal flatteries and diplomatic artifices. first of all Anne of Austria. should be introduced. Philippe gave orders that for his petit lever the grandes entrees.” replied Philippe. Philippe was not willing. de Saint-Aignan. as he thought. I do not like to hear M. on the part of Anne of Austria. Philippe promised himself to be a kind brother to this prince. and trembling held out his hand to Henrietta. Fouquet is ruining the state. “M. a political dissertation upon the welcome M. rather surprised. She mixed up hostilities with compliments addressed to the king. He knew that Louis XIV. already prepared to appear before the king. “are you convinced with regard to M. they would not. and several persons entered silently.” At these words. He had watched. the evening before. the first Philippe had pronounced aloud.” “Sire. wished. “How much more easy.—a superior man. “you speak that just as your old friend Madame de Chevreuse would speak. and Philippe continued: “Madame.” 131 . in truth. pleaded in his heart the cause of the famous queen who had immolated a child to reasons of state. “have the goodness to go and inquire after the queen. He found his mother still handsome. But the prince. who was all reverences and smiles. Saint-Aignan left the room. “it will be to be the brother of that woman than her gallant. if she evinces towards me a coldness that my brother could not have for her.” said Philippe.” “Well.” “Every one in this thinks too much of himself. and questions as to his health.” “That is true. He was thus completely dressed in hunting costume when he received his visitors. who did not return—our readers know the reason. who required nothing but gold to minister to his pleasures.” The only visit he dreaded at this moment was that of the queen.” thought he. Philippe did not stir whilst his valets de chambre dressed him. perhaps. Fouquet. in spite of their firm temperament. The latter had usurped nothing.

and if she thinks proper to come here as she formerly did. given in spite of repulsion and bitterness of the heart. Anne of Austria was nearly fainting.” “We will put that to rights. and has concealed them in the shadow of its clemency. I will not permit Madame de Chevreuse to counteract the just designs of fate. in search of surer sources of supply. to sow divisions and hatreds under the pretext of begging money—why—” “Well! what?” said Anne of Austria. sire. Fouquet rejected her offers with indignation. “Well!” replied the young man firmly.“My father did not like Madame de Chevreuse. I like her no better than he did. who supported and embraced her without fear of irritating the king. Fouquet to sell him a certain secret. Fouquet. whose absence began to alarm him. D’Artagnan.” murmured she. herself provoking the storm.” “I bear M. preferring the esteem of the king to complicity with such intriguers. Ah! come in. I am expecting a most distinguished man. recommending him to your good graces. appearing. I only dreaded his prodigalities. “For my part. or perhaps he wished to judge the effect of it. “you are treating your mother very cruelly. and had good reason for not liking her.” continued Philippe. more uneasy than irritated. He took her hand and kissed it tenderly. with a cheerful smile: “We will not go to-day. “Concerning pretended robberies that monsieur le surintendant had committed.” “What is your majesty looking for?” said Henrietta. like those who.” The latter part of this speech had so agitated the queen-mother.” And. madame?” “You know all. “I will drive Madame de Chevreuse out of my kingdom—and with her all who meddle with its secrets and mysteries.” added Philippe. “My sister. turning towards the door. supposing he was so anxiously expecting either La Valliere or a letter from her.” “What does your majesty wish?” said D’Artagnan. “my sister. who comes to my court to plan the shame of some and the ruin of others.” said he.” said the young man. suffering from a chronic pain. madame?” replied he. “Where is monsieur the bishop of Vannes. “Now.” said he. Then. then. a most able counselor.” “A certain secret!” cried Anne of Austria. “Sire. I tell you Madame de Chevreuse has returned to France to borrow money. Philippe allowed the silence of a moment to swallow the emotions that had just developed themselves. If Heaven has suffered certain crimes to be committed. thanks to that marvelous perspicuity of which fortune was from that time about to allow him the exercise. mother. Colbert. and was not satisfied with having extorted a hundred thousand crowns from a servant of the state. Is that true. touch their wound to procure a sharper pang. her eyes. seeing the king’s eyes constantly turned towards the door. who had divined her thought. Fouquet no ill-will.” “In what respect. “I wish you to make your peace with M. your friend?” 132 . which is false. then. she did not feel that in that kiss. there was a pardon for eight years of suffering. and will take nothing of the superintendent but his good qualities. and as she is insatiable. and wishing to let fly a little poisoned arrow at his heart. she has taken a still bolder flight. she stretched out her arms towards her other son. does my mother prefer Madame de Chevreuse to the security of the state and of my person? Well. whom I wish to present to you all. and that she addressed herself to M. proudly. “I have good reason to dislike this fury. “I am only speaking of Madame de Chevreuse. “M.” He had not calculated the effect of this terrible speech.” said the prince. “I have a plan. The queen-mother wished to leave the room. that her son had pity on her. madame. and seeking to break the monotony of that suffering. “Remain where you are. ceased to see for several seconds.” said the queen. Then Madame de Chevreuse sold the secret to M. he hoped to see Aramis. open but meaningless.

without the avarice of M. officers. “One of the four braves who formerly performed such prodigies. he concluded that the king wished to preserve the secret. and seconded it with all the resources of his admirable nature. de Richelieu. Philippe. this way! A few steps more. d’Herblay to be brought to you?” “Absolutely is not the word. and manners were so like the king’s. who only kept her bed from precaution. and grew pale at this unexpected obstacle. Fouquet and Aramis. do not retire!” M. reflecting that Aramis had left Vaux privately on a mission from the king. de Mazarin!” “A prime minister. “You will find in him. On his side. and everybody. servants. in a fright. his air. de Saint-Aignan returned. Nothing from that time could disturb the usurper. and to have strength to carry out the king’s wishes. sire!” 133 .” replied he. The latter were astonished. but if he can be found—” “I thought so. turning round towards the door of the second staircase. and began. Philippe was completely ignorant of that language. before you. applying to all countenances the accurate descriptions and key-notes of character supplied by his accomplice Aramis. preoccupied. by degrees. “does your majesty absolutely require M. an old musketeer.“Why. Philippe. something like a specter gliding between him and the rays of his new glory. his voice. The conversation had languished in the royal family. Aramis did not appear. sire—” “I am waiting for him.” said she.” All bowed in support of that sentiment. “Sire. But. “I do not want him so particularly as that. madame. With what strange facility had Providence just reversed the loftiest fortune of the world to substitute the lowliest in its stead! Philippe admired the goodness of God with regard to himself. Philippe rose. “What is all that noise?” said Philippe. “Well! what?” said Anne of Austria. had not the least suspicion of his identity. But he felt. “This way. d’Herblay is not here!” He called out: “Let M.” “A friend of M.” continued Philippe. and he does not come. Whilst everybody was seeking M. d’Herblay the bishop of Vannes?” “Yes.” said D’Artagnan to himself. as if the spirit of the imperturbable Aramis had covered him with his infallibility. And a voice was heard saying. conducted himself so as not to give birth to a doubt in the minds of those who surrounded him. Fouquet be informed that I wish to speak to him—oh! before you. family. sire?” said Monsieur. brother. Anne of Austria stooped towards her son’s ear and addressed some words to him in Spanish.” Anne of Austria blushed. instead of appearing disconcerted. “Whatever may be your choice. “Is this M. but it is strange that M. Let him be sought for. “I will tell you all about that. at times. “I have no doubt it will be excellent. the new king quietly continued his experiments.” The old queen repented of having wished to bite. bringing satisfactory news of the queen. madame. to lose all patience. but soon.” said Philippe. she broke off the conversation. “the depth and penetration of M. in order to preserve the rest of her teeth. forgot to dismiss his brother and Madame Henrietta. Fouquet?” “Yes. sire.” D’Artagnan remained for an instant stupefied.

“The voice of M. Fouquet,” said D’Artagnan, who was standing close to the queen-mother. “Then M. d’Herblay cannot be far off,” added Philippe. But he then saw what he little thought to have beheld so near to him. All eyes were turned towards the door at which M. Fouquet was expected to enter; but it was not M. Fouquet who entered. A terrible cry resounded from all corners of the chamber, a painful cry uttered by the king and all present. It is given to but few men, even those whose destiny contains the strangest elements, and accidents the most wonderful, to contemplate such a spectacle similar to that which presented itself in the royal chamber at that moment. The half-closed shutters only admitted the entrance of an uncertain light passing through thick violet velvet curtains lined with silk. In this soft shade, the eyes were by degrees dilated, and every one present saw others rather with imagination than with actual sight. There could not, however, escape, in these circumstances, one of the surrounding details; and the new object which presented itself appeared as luminous as though it shone out in full sunlight. So it happened with Louis XIV., when he showed himself, pale and frowning, in the doorway of the secret stairs. The face of Fouquet appeared behind him, stamped with sorrow and determination. The queen-mother, who perceived Louis XIV., and who held the hand of Philippe, uttered a cry of which we have spoken, as if she beheld a phantom. Monsieur was bewildered, and kept turning his head in astonishment from one to the other. Madame made a step forward, thinking she was looking at the form of her brother-in-law reflected in a mirror. And, in fact, the illusion was possible. The two princes, both pale as death—for we renounce the hope of being able to describe the fearful state of Philippe—trembling, clenching their hands convulsively, measured each other with looks, and darted their glances, sharp as poniards, at each other. Silent, panting, bending forward, they appeared as if about to spring upon an enemy. The unheard-of resemblance of countenance, gesture, shape, height, even to the resemblance of costume, produced by chance—for Louis XIV. had been to the Louvre and put on a violet-colored dress—the perfect analogy of the two princes, completed the consternation of Anne of Austria. And yet she did not at once guess the truth. There are misfortunes in life so truly dreadful that no one will at first accept them; people rather believe in the supernatural and the impossible. Louis had not reckoned on these obstacles. He expected that he had only to appear to be acknowledged. A living sun, he could not endure the suspicion of equality with any one. He did not admit that every torch should not become darkness at the instant he shone out with his conquering ray. At the aspect of Philippe, then, he was perhaps more terrified than any one round him, and his silence, his immobility were, this time, a concentration and a calm which precede the violent explosions of concentrated passion. But Fouquet! who shall paint his emotion and stupor in presence of this living portrait of his master! Fouquet thought Aramis was right, that this newly-arrived was a king as pure in his race as the other, and that, for having repudiated all participation in this coup d’etat, so skillfully got up by the General of the Jesuits, he must be a mad enthusiast, unworthy of ever dipping his hands in political grand strategy work. And then it was the blood of Louis XIII. which Fouquet was sacrificing to the blood of Louis XIII.; it was to a selfish ambition he was sacrificing a noble ambition; to the right of keeping he sacrificed the right of having. The whole extent of his fault was revealed to him at simple sight of the pretender. All that passed in the mind of Fouquet was lost upon the persons present. He had five minutes to focus meditation on this point of conscience; five minutes, that is to say five ages, during which the two kings and their family scarcely found energy to breathe after so terrible a shock. D’Artagnan, leaning against the wall, in front of Fouquet, with his hand to his brow, asked himself the cause of such a wonderful prodigy. He could not have said at once why he doubted, but he knew assuredly that he had reason to doubt, and that in this meeting of the two Louis XIV.s lay all the doubt and difficulty that during late days had rendered the conduct of Aramis so suspicious to the musketeer. These ideas were, however, enveloped in a haze, a veil of mystery. The actors in this assembly seemed to swim in the vapors of a confused waking. Suddenly Louis XIV., more impatient and more accustomed to command, ran to one of the shutters, which he opened, tearing the curtains in his eagerness. A flood of living light entered the chamber, and made Philippe draw back to the alcove. Louis seized upon this movement with eagerness, and addressing himself to the queen: “My mother,” said he, “do you not acknowledge your son, since every one here has forgotten his king!” Anne of Austria started, and raised her arms towards Heaven, without being able to articulate a single word. “My mother,” said Philippe, with a calm voice, “do you not acknowledge your son?” And this time, in his turn, Louis drew back. As to Anne of Austria, struck suddenly in head and heart with fell remorse, she lost her equilibrium. No one aiding her, for all were petrified, she sank back in her fauteuil, breathing a weak, trembling sigh. Louis could not endure the spectacle and the affront. He bounded towards D’Artagnan, over whose brain a vertigo was stealing and who staggered as he caught at the door for support. “A moi! mousquetaire!” said he. “Look us in the face and say which is the paler, he or I!” This cry roused D’Artagnan, and stirred in his heart the fibers of obedience. He shook his head, and, without more hesitation, he walked straight up to Philippe, on whose shoulder he laid his hand, saying, “Monsieur, you are my prisoner!” 134

Philippe did not raise his eyes towards Heaven, nor stir from the spot, where he seemed nailed to the floor, his eye intently fixed upon the king his brother. He reproached him with a sublime silence for all misfortunes past, all tortures to come. Against this language of the soul the king felt he had no power; he cast down his eyes, dragging away precipitately his brother and sister, forgetting his mother, sitting motionless within three paces of the son whom she left a second time to be condemned to death. Philippe approached Anne of Austria, and said to her, in a soft and nobly agitated voice: “If I were not your son, I should curse you, my mother, for having rendered me so unhappy.” D’Artagnan felt a shudder pass through the marrow of his bones. He bowed respectfully to the young prince, and said as he bent, “Excuse me, monseigneur, I am but a soldier, and my oaths are his who has just left the chamber.” “Thank you, M. d’Artagnan.... What has become of M. d’Herblay?” “M. d’Herblay is in safety, monseigneur,” said a voice behind them; “and no one, while I live and am free, shall cause a hair to fall from his head.” “Monsieur Fouquet!” said the prince, smiling sadly. “Pardon me, monseigneur,” said Fouquet, kneeling, “but he who is just gone out from hence was my guest.” “Here are,” murmured Philippe, with a sigh, “brave friends and good hearts. They make me regret the world. On, M. d’Artagnan, I follow you.” At the moment the captain of the musketeers was about to leave the room with his prisoner, Colbert appeared, and, after remitting an order from the king to D’Artagnan, retired. D’Artagnan read the paper, and then crushed it in his hand with rage. “What is it?” asked the prince. “Read, monseigneur,” replied the musketeer. Philippe read the following words, hastily traced by the hand of the king: “M. d’Artagnan will conduct the prisoner to the Ile Sainte-Marguerite. He will cover his face with an iron vizor, which the prisoner shall never raise except at peril of his life.” “That is just,” said Philippe, with resignation; “I am ready.” “Aramis was right,” said Fouquet, in a low voice, to the musketeer, “this one is every whit as much a king as the other.” “More so!” replied D’Artagnan. “He wanted only you and me.”

Chapter XXV. In Which Porthos Thinks He Is Pursuing a Duchy. Aramis and Porthos, having profited by the time granted them by Fouquet, did honor to the French cavalry by their speed. Porthos did not clearly understand on what kind of mission he was forced to display so much velocity; but as he saw Aramis spurring on furiously, he, Porthos, spurred on in the same way. They had soon, in this manner, placed twelve leagues between them and Vaux; they were then obliged to change horses, and organize a sort of post arrangement. It was during a relay that Porthos ventured to interrogate Aramis discreetly. “Hush!” replied the latter, “know only that our fortune depends on our speed.” As if Porthos had still been the musketeer, without a sou or a maille of 1626, he pushed forward. That magic word “fortune” always means something in the human ear. It means enough for those who have nothing; it means too much for those who have enough. 135

“I shall be made a duke!” said Porthos, aloud. He was speaking to himself. “That is possible,” replied Aramis, smiling after his own fashion, as Porthos’s horse passed him. Aramis felt, notwithstanding, as though his brain were on fire; the activity of the body had not yet succeeded in subduing that of the mind. All there is of raging passion, mental toothache or mortal threat, raged, gnawed and grumbled in the thoughts of the unhappy prelate. His countenance exhibited visible traces of this rude combat. Free on the highway to abandon himself to every impression of the moment, Aramis did not fail to swear at every start of his horse, at every inequality in the road. Pale, at times inundated with boiling sweats, then again dry and icy, he flogged his horses till the blood streamed from their sides. Porthos, whose dominant fault was not sensibility, groaned at this. Thus traveled they on for eight long hours, and then arrived at Orleans. It was four o’clock in the afternoon. Aramis, on observing this, judged that nothing showed pursuit to be a possibility. It would be without example that a troop capable of taking him and Porthos should be furnished with relays sufficient to perform forty leagues in eight hours. Thus, admitting pursuit, which was not at all manifest, the fugitives were five hours in advance of their pursuers. Aramis thought that there might be no imprudence in taking a little rest, but that to continue would make the matter more certain. Twenty leagues more, performed with the same rapidity, twenty more leagues devoured, and no one, not even D’Artagnan, could overtake the enemies of the king. Aramis felt obliged, therefore, to inflict upon Porthos the pain of mounting on horseback again. They rode on till seven o’clock in the evening, and had only one post more between them and Blois. But here a diabolical accident alarmed Aramis greatly. There were no horses at the post. The prelate asked himself by what infernal machination his enemies had succeeded in depriving him of the means of going further,—he who never recognized chance as a deity, who found a cause for every accident, preferred believing that the refusal of the postmaster, at such an hour, in such a country, was the consequence of an order emanating from above: an order given with a view of stopping short the king-maker in the midst of his flight. But at the moment he was about to fly into a passion, so as to procure either a horse or an explanation, he was struck with the recollection that the Comte de la Fere lived in the neighborhood. “I am not traveling,” said he; “I do not want horses for a whole stage. Find me two horses to go and pay a visit to a nobleman of my acquaintance who resides near this place.” “What nobleman?” asked the postmaster. “M. le Comte de la Fere.” “Oh!” replied the postmaster, uncovering with respect, “a very worthy nobleman. But, whatever may be my desire to make myself agreeable to him, I cannot furnish you with horses, for all mine are engaged by M. le Duc de Beaufort.” “Indeed!” said Aramis, much disappointed. “Only,” continued the postmaster, “if you will put up with a little carriage I have, I will harness an old blind horse who has still his legs left, and peradventure will draw you to the house of M. le Comte de la Fere.” “It is worth a louis,” said Aramis. “No, monsieur, such a ride is worth no more than a crown; that is what M. Grimaud, the comte’s intendant, always pays me when he makes use of that carriage; and I should not wish the Comte de la Fere to have to reproach me with having imposed on one of his friends.” “As you please,” said Aramis, “particularly as regards disobliging the Comte de la Fere; only I think I have a right to give you a louis for your idea.” “Oh! doubtless,” replied the postmaster with delight. And he himself harnessed the ancient horse to the creaking carriage. In the meantime Porthos was curious to behold. He imagined he had discovered a clew to the secret, and he felt pleased, because a visit to Athos, in the first place, promised him much satisfaction, and, in the next, gave him the hope of finding at the same time a good bed and good supper. The master, having got the carriage ready, ordered one of his men to drive the strangers to La Fere. Porthos took his seat by the side of Aramis, whispering in his ear, “I understand.” “Aha!” said Aramis, “and what do you understand, my friend?” “We are going, on the part of the king, to make some great proposal to Athos.” 136

spoke with contempt of royal words. that I may drown even my reason in it. Nothing replaces in the deeply afflicted heart the remembrance and thought of the beloved object. had drawn him nearer to his father again. was rung. trembling. and walking backwards and forwards in the long alley of limes in the park. Love absolves everything. In this world. kings will lose their privileges. Athos did not wish that the offended lover should forget the respect due to his king. pale. Never shall I accustom myself to the idea that Louise. never did he give him the details of that vigorous lecture. Raoul. And when Bragelonne. did he make any allusion to that scene. The two young people love each other with sincerity. And remember well what I say to you. “would deserve to be styled infamous. Athos said to him. Raoul. conversing. but Athos. coming up to Athos with a smile. angry. Young. monsieur. endeavoring to reseat himself so as to avoid the jolting. but subdued.” “Well! do. perhaps. passing over two centuries. when conversing with his son. Athos. We can only live for the future for God.“Pooh!” said Aramis. guess away. where we are about to meet again our old acquaintances Athos and Bragelonne.” These were his last words in the carriage. had brought him to understand that this pang of a first infidelity is necessary to every human existence. both. This painful wound. the latter of whom had disappeared since the discovery of the infidelity of La Valliere. or the solitude of his chamber. saw Raoul bound away beneath the rankling wound. persuasive voice. as usual. that idea is much more cruel to me than Raoul abandoned—Raoul unhappy!” Athos then employed the heroic remedy. but you are a man too great by reason of intelligence. must live for the present. I shall guess. to redeem his fault. He could not help showing something of this to Porthos. I believe that no one has suffered in the affections of the heart so much as you have. Thus passed away the days that followed that scene in which Athos had so violently shaken the indomitable pride of the king. “Gentlemen.” added the worthy Porthos. an hour after. and fly to the thickest recesses of the wood. “You need tell me nothing about it. “you need tell me nothing. men. women. have consoled the young man. when the bell which served to announce to the comte either the hour of dinner or the arrival of a visitor. but Louise loves Louis. Raoul redeemed nothing but his weakness. whence. Raoul then replied to the reasoning of his father: “Monsieur. the chastest and most innocent of women. and too severely tried by adverse fortune not to allow for the weakness of the soldier who suffers for the first time. all.” Porthos and his companion alighted before the gate of the little chateau. Never can I persuade myself that I see that sweet and noble mask change into a hypocritical lascivious face. he turned towards the house with his son. “A woman who would have yielded to a king because he is a king. and justified her perfidy by her love. we have arrived. But when that moment comes. If there be one saying truer than another. he would return. Raoul. who replied—”Ay! ay! I guess how it is! the mission is a secret one. I am paying a tribute that will not be paid a second time. and kings. of the equivocal faith which certain madmen draw from promises that emanate from thrones. with a sigh. Never. and at the end of the alley they found 137 . but Aramis appeared annoyed by it in an equal degree. This cheerful light rejoiced Porthos beyond expression.” “Raoul! Raoul!” “Listen. Raoul listened. The wound was not cicatrized. and that no one has loved without encountering it.” And when he had dealt this severe poniard-thrust. and God knows how sweet were the consolations which flowed from the eloquent mouth and generous heart of Athos. which might. without attaching any importance to it. we shall be dead. favored by a splendid moon. when. by showing him his rival humbled. as stars which have survived their aeons lose their splendor. but never understood. my friend. all that you say will happen. The driver interrupted him by saying. he his rank. Raoul ventured to predict the time in which kings would be esteemed as less than other men. it is this: great griefs contain within themselves the germ of consolation. again and again. Louise lost! Louise infamous! Ah! monseigneur. and melancholy. having been beaten.” They arrived at Athos’s dwelling about nine o’clock in the evening. with that rapidity of a bird that traverses a narrow strait to go from one continent to the other. she her vows. they have forgotten. He defended Louise against Raoul. by dint of conversing with his son and mixing a little more of his life with that of the young man. like the dog who. inflicted upon Raoul. ardent. Then. and. has been able to so basely deceive a man so honest and so true a lover as myself. permit me to plunge myself so deeply in my grief that I may forget myself in it.” This was the manner in which Athos and Raoul were. in his serene. and only confessed his grief. “You are right. all that you tell me is true.” said he. caresses a respected master. he would kiss his hand.

” “Good God!” And Athos turned towards Porthos. Listen to me. “oh.” said he.” “It is a crime. “I must make you acquainted with the whole. He threw himself into it. Athos. “My friend. I have. after having asked Porthos’s permission to say a word to his friend in private. and he related the history as we know it.” said the worthy Porthos. and this embrace itself being a question for Aramis. who was smiling complacently. we have not long to remain with you. in the ear of the young man. and now he is as much compromised as myself—as completely ruined as I am. Athos looked silently at Aramis. “My dear Athos.” “With grief and trouble.” “You are pursued!—a conspiracy! Eh! my friend.” “Therefore. with a smile.” said Raoul. “It was a great idea. I am doubtless pursued. The latter took Athos by the arm. I have conspired against the king. drawn Porthos into my conspiracy. with an air of mystery. several times felt the sweat break from his forehead. Athos. “What is the good fortune that has happened to you? Let us hear it. “but a great error. The Last Adieux. “The king has made me a duke. “you see me overwhelmed with grief and trouble. His murmurs were in the diapason of ordinary roaring. as you know he would do.” he began.” “A capital crime. during the recital. at this moment. nevertheless. and uttered an exclamation which made Aramis start.” “Ah!” said the comte. believing in infallible success. Raoul uttered a cry. without knowing what he was about. my dear friend?” cried the comte. but Porthos—this title of duke—what does all that mean?” “That is the subject of my severest pain. “a duke by brevet.” interrupted Porthos. whose somber air had already appeared to him very little in harmony with the good news Porthos hinted. that is the deepest of my wounds. Chapter XXVI. that conspiracy has failed. I am entirely ruined. Lese majeste.” continued Aramis.” “Tell it.” 138 . and. he immediately said. Athos heard him. what do you tell me?” “The saddest truth.” “For which I am punished.” But the asides of Porthos were always loud enough to be heard by everybody. “Only time to tell you of my good fortune.themselves in the presence of Aramis and Porthos.” “Well. Aramis and Athos embraced like old men. “Ah!” said Raoul. with all his strength. I will not tell you my entire thought. and. and affectionately embraced Porthos. what?” “In two words. I know it is.

Then we shall see. be so. and again I recommend poor Porthos strongly to your care. and a duchy in France to you. yes.—No.” “But.—your absolution. One word more: do you think I am maneuvering for him as I ought?” “The evil being committed. must not. and a vessel to pass over into England. between its wheels.” “That is sufficient for me. Then. the wisdom of man! Oh.” 139 . “Oh. and you have.” “M. as I have been refused any under the pretext of the Duc de Beaufort being traveling in this country. that in a month there will be war between France and Spain on the subject of this son of Louis XIII. How do you think of acting?” “I am taking away Porthos. give me your two best horses to gain the second post.” “You have credit. as I have told you. at first. pass over into Belle-Isle. where I have many relations. It shall not. or else in Spain.” These words were accompanied by a warm pressure of the hand.” “And I a fool for having so ill-judged him. But the thing is done.” “Oh! I give it you if you really wished to avenge the weak and oppressed against the oppressor. I guarantee upon my honor. but I should be a loser in my conscience. it is a pride natural to my race to pretend to a superiority over royal races.” “All is provided for. I should certainly be the gainer on that ground. who are already a grandee of Spain. Aramis!” said Athos. to reconcile myself with Louis XIV. His head would pay my fault. for my part I prefer having something to reproach the king with.” “You are taking him away. he being himself compromised. where I have still more. and restore Porthos to favor. Will you join us?” “No. Athos. who will not abandon you. Fouquet. whatever may be said. and at the service of my friends. our excellent Porthos! you ruin him. whilst acting as he has done. millstone that grinds the world! and which is one day stopped by a grain of sand which has fallen.” “Oh! I have no fear on that score. was certain. the result of which must bring greatness to Porthos and to me. have griefs to lay to the king.” “You shall have the two best horses. “And while we are on this head. for the king would not pardon him. who is an Infante likewise. thank you!” “Then give me two things. Raoul. That is an impregnable place of refuge. notwithstanding his heroic action.” “Say by a diamond.. for the king will confiscate all his property. “Thank you. I know how. He never can believe that Porthos has thought he was serving the king. and whom France detains inhumanly. Doing what you propose. I have the sea. The king will never believe that that worthy man has acted innocently.“Porthos! poor Porthos!” “What would you advise me to do? Success. as Louis XIV.” “You? in England?” “Yes. always a supporter in M. I will answer for an arrangement. Aramis. Fouquet is an honest man. “And now.” replied the comte. Aramis. Follow our example. you also. with a blush which was lost in the obscurity of the night.. seemingly.” said Aramis. no one knows how. “you also are a malcontent.” said Aramis. I should become the obliged of the king.” said Aramis. when once in Spain. would have no inclination for a war on that subject. “Much. Now. whither?” “To Belle-Isle. with a discreet air.

with that frank cordiality which won him so many hearts. with me.” “How so?” “It was I who fortified Belle-Isle. Belle-Isle will not be attacked without the signature of M. “our brother Porthos will fare as I do—or better. this dust of a dozen richly caparisoned horses. and if you chance never to see those old friends again.” “It does not astonish me. and it was not in the mist. this noise. returned towards the house. English. Fouquet is there. from time to time. without either of them finding another word in their hearts. which would proclaim my fear and guilt. “It is strange. you are young. as he folded his cloak round him. as you have said just now. The latter watched them along the high-road. At the end of the perspective. But the duke had already alighted from his horse. I don’t know what it is that has just told me that I have seen those two for the last time. and something like a mist passed before his eyes and weighed upon his heart.” Aramis smiled. and he came towards his old friend with open arms.” thought he. M. instead of gaining the sea at once. all the flambeaux stopped and appeared to enflame the road. “for I have at this moment the same.” replied the count. my dear friend. from the extremity of the road to Blois.” repeated the count. and. Like phantoms they seemed to enlarge on their departure from the earth. le Duc de Beaufort”—and Athos sprang towards the door of his house. Then Athos. Aramis came back once more to throw his arms round the neck of Athos. and turned to embrace Porthos with emotion. or Roman. and was looking around him. “Is it too late for a friend?” 140 . formed a strange contrast in the middle of the night with the melancholy and almost funereal disappearance of the two shadows of Aramis and Porthos. dear count. transported with happiness. “I am here. in the same tone. A cry was heard of “M. Athos went towards the house. it will because they no longer exist in the world in which you have yet many years to pass.” said the prince.” replied the young man. but in the declivity of the ground that they disappeared.” replied Aramis. “I again recommend Porthos to you. Nevertheless. when the entrance gate appeared in a blaze.” “That is true. And that is why. with a very heavy heart. Fouquet.” said Athos. and turned round. “whence comes the inclination I feel to embrace Porthos once more?” At that moment Porthos turned round. All at once a noise of horses and voices.” Athos bowed whilst pressing the hand of Aramis. so long as I defend it. “Whatever becomes of me. “I was born lucky. but he had hardly reached the parterre. be prudent. “Raoul. on the standard I shall think proper to unfurl. Spanish. with a sort of cold persistence. nobody can take Belle-Isle from me. and think also that I shall never see Messieurs du Vallon and d’Herblay again. to avoid distancing the horsemen who followed them. The group was already divided. And then Porthos mounted his horse. And then. “you speak like a man rendered sad by a different cause. which made them vanish as if evaporated into cloud-land. But Belle-Isle will be for me whatever ground I wish it to be. “Come. that you should have such a thought. saying to Bragelonne. count. These flames. you see everything in black. as in times when hearts were warm—life happy.” said Aramis. But I—” Raoul shook his head sadly. monseigneur. both seemed to have given a spring with their feet.” “Oh! you. in their white cloaks. elongated by the shade. The king is both cunning and strong. This last endearment was tender as in youth. attracted their attention that way. that is why I remain upon French ground.“You are right. “Ah! good evening. all will depend. Raoul had gone out to give orders for the saddling of the horses. monsieur. Flambeaux-bearers shook their torches merrily among the trees of their route. was I not?” murmured the latter. which were ready to overflow. Athos saw his two friends on the point of departure. and leaned upon the shoulder of the count.

” “I am going to become an African prince. from a Frondeur I am becoming an adventurer!” “Oh. I suppose. Raoul.” “He is quite the soldier. followed by Raoul. and have been called King of the Halles. “Is that the young man I have heard M. Monsieur de Beaufort. and it is more probable that I shall there meet with something else. I call upon you to bid you farewell. there is no glory in firing muskets at savages. in order to leave him alone with Athos. le Prince speak so highly of ?” asked M. The prince turned round at the moment when Raoul. And.“Ah! my dear prince. I see no glory in that. But I have wished. would it? Believe me. is it not? I. monseigneur?” said Athos. and preparing to go with the other officers into an adjoining apartment. since monseigneur permits it. you must admit that it is sufficiently strange to be born the grandson of a king. Ah. in good truth. and still wish earnestly. my dear count. “Why. what you have always been. “Will you give him to me.” “Remain. “Ma foi! he is tall and handsome!” continued the duke. nevertheless.” “Farewell!” “Yes. if I ask him of you?” “How am I to understand you. for my part. after all the whimsical exhibitions I have seen myself make during fifty years. to have made war against kings. and we have but to bid each other farewell. can you guess?” “Because your highness loves glory above—everything. de Beaufort leaning on the arm of Athos. the Parisian par essence. come in!” said the count.—a Bedouin gentleman. if you did not yourself tell me that—” “It would not be credible. who walked respectfully and modestly among the officers of the prince.” said Athos. monseigneur?” “Strange.” “Oh! no. to have maintained my rank. and an excellent gentleman. “It is. let him stay. de Beaufort. I who have reigned in the faubourgs. M. and Moors.” 141 . within me. they entered the house. do you know why I have accepted this enterprise. For. The king is sending me to make conquests among the Arabs. to be great admiral of France—and then to go and get killed at Gigelli. count. in short. we cannot spare him. You smile. Chapter XXVII.—I am going to pass from the Place Maubert to the minarets of Gigelli. Saracens. Have you no idea of what I am about to become?” “Why. to feel Henry IV. monseigneur.” “Into favor?” “Yes. monseigneur. with several of whom he was acquainted.” “What is this you tell me. monseigneur. monseigneur. my dear count. among all those Turks. to have been reckoned among the powers of the age.—a valiant prince. that my life should have that last facet. This is what comes of getting into favor again. was shutting the door.

a propos. upright and simple as you are. and. my master.” replied the duke. but you aided me in that. “Oh! the good old times.” “Who had a son. I perform it in grim earnest. then. had sunk into a profound reverie. I know. Vaugrimaud.” “Yes. “Nothing at present. Do you know those fellows still use poisoned arrows? And then. monseigneur.” said Athos. since the passion of the king for La Valliere. I fancy.“Monseigneur. I tell you. my contemporaries.” 142 . I turn this way and that. with careless naivete and a complaisant forgetfulness. I. smiling.” added M. you harp with strange persistence on that theme.” “Ah! monseigneur! monseigneur!” “And you may understand that if Grimaud’s name were to appear in my will—” The duke began to laugh.” “Peste! my dear friend. and hitherto you have shown nothing exaggerated save in bravery. and I believe—” Raoul left the room precipitately to order the wine. How is he?” “M. king of Paris. “What do you mean to do with him?” asked he.” said he. poisoned arrows.” said Athos. that little La Valliere. de Beaufort. who is your son. “Now. She is not particularly handsome. “Young man.” “That is all true. you made up your mind to escape from Vincennes. de Turenne. Vaugrimaud is still your highness’s most respectful servant. monseigneur.” “Ah! yes. “Yes. My will is made. “Do you know whom she reminds me of ?” “Does she remind your highness of any one?” “She reminds me of a very agreeable girl. had she not?” 3 “I believe she had.” “Ay. you know me of old. “I have a hundred pistoles here for him. who. dysentery. is it? I think I know her. if no there. Louis did. In the meantime M. M. I believe. from the commencement of this conversation. whose mother lived in the Halles. “How can you suppose that so brilliant a destiny will be extinguished in that remote and miserable scene?” “And can you believe.” “Why. that if I go into Africa for this ridiculous motive. as my ancestor St. count. monseigneur. and many others. admiral of France. somewhere else. locusts. smiling. de Beaufort took the hand of Athos. grandson of Henry IV.” “Yes. if I remember right?” “No. of which no words could translate the tone and the vocal expression. monseigneur.” “Ah! ah!” said Athos. then addressing Raoul. and you know that when I once make up my mind to a thing. which I bring as a legacy. La Valliere reminds me of that girl. when there are Monsieur le Prince.” said Athos. this is mere exaggeration. “I know there is to be found here a certain De Vouvray wine. I will not endeavor to come out of it without ridicule? Shall I not give the world cause to speak of me? And to be spoken of. without seeing my old friend. there is bravery in facing scurvy. in an agitated voice. have I anything left but to get myself killed? Cordieu! I will be talked of. nowadays. I shall be killed whether or not. here is poor Raoul.. M.

On seeing his old protege. monseigneur. and with the other gave him a purse. “And what have you wished for?” replied the duke.” Athos became pale. the duke uttered an exclamation of pleasure. “But that is not all. nevertheless. and the blood mounted to his cheeks. monseigneur. “Cordieu! you were right to bring only one glass. to grant me what I wish for?” “Pardieu! That is agreed upon. only one glass?” “I should not think of drinking with your highness. “I am still thirsty.“Yes. “Pardon me.” said he to Raoul. monsieur le duc. count. monseigneur. if only with his smile. and replied with the same promptitude: “I have wished for something.” “And the poor lad has been cut out by the king. count. and passed the goblet to his companion. “You are a charming friend. with noble humility. he is my son. who drank. and I wish to do honor to this handsome young man who stands here. “Will you promise me. Come. monseigneur. we will both drink out of it. vicomte. He preceded Grimaud. I have no longer anything in the world but him. as if desirous to assist him to parry this unexpected blow. “Two old friends!” said the duke.” “You are going to let the boy rust in idleness.” His eyes sparkled with a gloomy fire.” “My wish is to keep him at home. The duke looked at his friend. in a lower tone of voice. shaking honest Grimaud’s shoulder after a vigorous fashion. whose still steady hands carried the plateau with one glass and a bottle of the duke’s favorite wine. “but as you yourself invited me to wish—” 143 . well. but it is the king who makes marechals of France.” “Still better.” “Do me the honor. “I could. Begin.” replied Raoul. he abstains. and Raoul will never accept anything of the king.” replied the Duc de Beaufort.” replied the duke.” said Athos. monseigneur.” “That is very possible. like two brothers in arms. “That is difficult. “Grimaud! Good evening. and he frets. have soon put matters to rights again. to go with you to Gigelli. “But what is this. I have been indiscreet. who hastily moistened his lips. “how goes it?” The servant bowed profoundly. monseigneur. my dear vicomte. I carry good luck with me. Grimaud!” said he. I have seen more than one produced from less likely rough material. sinking back into his fauteuil. and may the black plague grab me if what you wish does not come to pass!” He held the goblet to Raoul. in a firm voice.” added he. give him to me. it is a mistake. whilst with one hand he returned the bottle to Grimaud. and was unable to conceal his agitation.” Raoul interrupted this conversation by his return. “wish for something while drinking out of my glass. I assure you. monseigneur. unless your highness permitted me. gently putting back the glass. which was followed by another still more profound and delighted bow from Grimaud. and as long as he likes to remain—” “Well.” replied Athos.” “I wished. I think he has in him the stuff of which marechals of France are made. as much gratified as his noble interlocutor. very difficult.” continued he. he terrified Athos.

” interrupted Raoul. memory. and said. because you do me the honor to take me with you. it will be the king you will serve. for all your kindness. “I am in great haste. The duke at length rose.” “Oh! no. it is I. bending his knee. “Raoul shall do just as he likes. with animation. that not another word escaped him. and turned to the lights with a serene and impassible countenance. or shall he not? If he goes. I shall set off in two days for Toulon. 4 Under this blow Athos staggered and the prince himself was moved. replied: “Monsieur le duc.” “Monseigneur!” cried Raoul. my friend. “and that is to say. “the young vicomte is right! What can he do here? He will go moldy with grief. de Beaufort looked the young man in the face. and was so guarded. one by one. Raoul sprang towards the comte.” Raoul blushed. “Oh! monsieur—can you imagine—” “Well. great or small. the objection you make I have already considered in my mind.” said Raoul. so much the better!” He repented of having spoken so warmly when he saw Athos rise and open the window. will you serve? The times are past when you might have said. taking the hand of the duke. Therefore. though his eyes were cast down. he could not hope to make it deviate from the fatal road it had just chosen. to conceal his emotion. my dear vicomte. the intractable enemy of the king. eagerly. “Will you meet me at Paris. “Well. but if I am told I have lost time in talking with a friend. but I shall there serve a more powerful master than the king: I shall serve God!” “God! how so?” said the duke and Athos together. mordieu!” cried the duke. my son. Raoul comprehended it all.” “Pardon me. Grimaud uttered a heavy groan. there can be nothing equivocal about it. He was thankful to M. if you serve on board my vessels.” said M. But Raoul. and become a knight of Malta. comte. doubtless.” Athos waited with a kind of impatient joy for the reply about to be made to this embarrassing question by Raoul. mon prince. we can only lose one thing by it— life—then so much the worse!” “That is to say. de Beaufort. his rival. “Par la corbleu!” said the prince in his turn. we all belong to the king. monsieur. he was too well acquainted with that tender.” Raoul smiled again so sadly. I will serve on board your vessels. monsieur le duc. then. words more icy than the drops which fall from the bare trees after the tempests of winter. whose lightness or generous reflection had thrown an impediment in the way of the departure of a son. and let fall the bottle. As to Athos. I will take him away. letting fall. I will reply I have gained—on the balance—a most excellent recruit. but the latter had already overcome his emotion. which was broken without anybody paying attention.” said the duke. ‘I belong to M. but inflexible soul. for it is not the king I wish to serve. “My intention is to make profession. the fire of resolution before which everything must give way. “Comte. and the excitable prince continued: “War is a distraction: we gain everything by it. nowadays.” interrupted the young man. come. that this time Athos felt his heart penetrated by it. which was. The marine offers a superb fortune. “let us see! Shall he go. M. “do not tell the king so. whom. de Beaufort. He could only press the hand the duke held out to him. just as you like. in order that I may know your determination?” “I will have the honor of thanking you there. The father hoped that the obstacle would overcome the desire. and read plainly. he recovered his calmness. on observing the advanced hour. still firm and tranquil.“To wish to leave me?” said Athos.” “Eh! my friend.” replied the comte. de Beaufort.’ No. and replied to him by a severe look. 144 . “it is neither the comte nor the vicomte that shall have his way. “Monseigneur!” cried Athos. he shall be my aidede-camp.” added Bragelonne. now his only joy.

and in his turn embraced his father. you will have left me. adieu. the day after the visit of M. then. In exchange for the sacrifice I make of my youth and liberty. he really existed no longer. in two days we shall be with M. saying. which were to his father two hours of agony. Athos gave this worthy servant orders to take the route to Paris when the equipments should be ready. de Beaufort. he himself. Raoul!” “Monsieur.” Raoul rose. Send me away quickly. by striking. and therefore we must part. “you go with the intention of getting killed in Africa? Oh.” Having thrown a little balm upon the wound of the paternal heart. I shall die here of grief and love. felt as if he were dying. Raoul went down into the garden. Athos rose first. For the poor young man it was an emotion easily to be understood. God alone can give me the strength not to forget that I owe you everything.” “You leave me desolate by going. de Beaufort at Paris. coldly. monsieur. and passed the night in the alley of limes. not to expose himself to the danger of keeping the duke waiting. The clock.. he was informed that Guiche was with Monsieur.” “Then. “it is late. Till to-morrow. on approaching Paris. But these two men were of such a nature that all emotion following their final resolutions plunged itself so deep into their hearts that it was lost forever. Raoul. “he has my word. all at once: “Monsieur.” said he. and. some circumstance of his unhappy love. “I have promised to devote myself to God. tell me! do not lie!” Raoul grew deadly pale. without suspecting that he was going to the place where La Valliere had lived. and said. Athos and Bragelonne were again face to face. Raoul took the road to the Luxembourg. I implore you. and soon placed a considerable distance between their master and the chateau. Every face recalled a pang to him who had suffered so much. in a tremulous voice. so that the duke should perceive his absence. Preparations for Departure. who immediately applied himself to it with the good-will and intelligence we know he possessed. the hour that preceded midnight.” Athos embraced his son tenderly. The horses. This labor chiefly concerned Grimaud. Then. set off for Paris with his son.” replied the young man. monsieur. whose eyes sparkled more than usual. whether he follows me or does not follow me. If I do not go. my son—left me forever.“And be sure to bring the vicomte with you. he pulled the ear of Grimaud. and that is. rested and refreshed. the proper appointments for Raoul. and remained silent for two seconds. then. The father and son preserved a profound silence towards each other. but you would have thought that cowardly.” And he slowly gained his bedroom. to him who had loved so much. to preserve me for you. Athos lost no more time in combating this immutable resolution. and you will then do what will be proper for you to do. Raoul. “I had formed a determination. set off with spirit through the lovely night. alone pointed out to them how many minutes had lasted the painful journey made by their souls in the immensity of their remembrances of the past and fear of the future. I know how long a time I have to live thus. during the two days the duke had granted him. where an intelligent observer would have expected cries and tears. and I only ask yours. and regained his escort in the parterre. and said: “You have just replied to me on the word of honor of an honest man. thus to return to Paris amongst all the people who had known and loved him. Chapter XXVIII. I will only ask of Him one thing. silently and almost breathlessly. because you are the only tie which attaches me to this world. Once in Paris. “In two days.” “Listen to me again. and that nothing ought to stand in my esteem before you. They passed... he heard so much music and respired so many 145 . Raoul. that of piercing my heart with my sword.” added the duke. You are free. The latter held him clasped to his breast. Eleven o’clock was striking. or delaying Raoul. He gave all his attention to preparing.” said Athos. I have renounced that determination. or you will see me basely die before your eyes—in your house—this is stronger than my will—stronger than my strength—you may plainly see that within one month I have lived thirty years. and when arrived. and that I approach the end of my life. When he reached Guiche’s residence.

for we may be surprised. which had stopped for nearly an hour. that if they had been thus surprised. but had sunk down upon a bench near the velvet doorway. and expressed herself with much vivacity. that if it had not been for a charitable woman. you compromise me by a reception almost uncivil. solely for the sake of not mixing himself with all those happy beings he felt were moving around him in the adjacent salons. “Pardon me. followed by Raoul. and interrogated Raoul whether he should inform M. that he might never meet with anything Louise had seen. in the ante-chamber. made no answer. A lady. de Guiche of his being there. were you not?” said she to Raoul. and was terminated by a kiss on the fingers of the lady. but Raoul. his mouth half open for the escape of his sighs. and placing in the hands of her cameriste the mantle she had held upon her arm: “You were seeking M. it cannot enter into my thoughts to be uncivil. And as one of Monsieur’s servants. she did not think she ought to let the opportunity slip of making good her justification. “and no doubt—” She here interrupted herself by uttering a cry.” “I will go and ask him to come up here. lighter than a fairy. This name did not even arouse the recollections of Raoul. with the smile of former days. after I have spoken to you. Raoul remained.perfumes. entered by that way. mademoiselle. when all at once a lady’s robe passed. She looked at the clock. rubbing against the doors of a side salon. she ran up to her chamber. then. the companion of Louise—Montalais. Raoul had scarcely answered him. which opened on the gallery. “I did not think there was any one here. ever vigilant. The young lady advanced behind Raoul. looking at a clock.” said she.” said she. but she had comprehended that savage and cruel grief. or even touched. “we shall have an hour to ourselves. presently. as we have said. though stopped by her in the middle of the gallery. opening his large eyes. it was rather a little love pet than a quarrel of courtiers. and tried to make his way across the slippery mosaic of the floor. and was teaching it to the ladies. and you confound your friends with enemies. pretty. but his sadness increased two shades. like the absent man in Theophrastus. He rose unsteadily. and pushing away the officer: “Make your escape. having reflected: “In my apartment. after having had a glimpse of Montalais. “Ah! monsieur. who perceived him so dejected and pale beneath a doorway. he would have remained there a few minutes. never to return. thus forgotten.” said she. “what you are doing is very unworthy of a gentleman. and another. monsieur. My heart inclines me to speak to you. Raoul. young. The officer replied in calm but firm sentences. scolding an officer of the household. With his head hanging down. de Guiche. “Well! come somewhere else.” 146 .” “Do so. Suddenly. “Yes. his limbs relaxed. paler than death. recognizing him. blushing. he heard so much joyous laughter. I shall curse you. But. the lady became silent. on perceiving Raoul. it enters not. He took it up in a tone so cold and embarrassed. mademoiselle. doubtingly. had come up. if they have either heard or seen us!” Malicorne hastened away. the whole court would have no doubt about the proceedings of Mademoiselle de Montalais. “Raoul!” said she. But after the first shock of his pride. she felt that in the flight of Raoul there was an accusation of herself. who reminded him of the turret of Blois and the joys of youth— all his reason faded away. The servant had passed on.” And taking her course. A woman. had asked him if he wished to see Monsieur or Madame. mademoiselle. did not seem disposed to surrender without a combat.” “Do you wish to speak to me?” said she. never even to look at those who might have seen Louise. he was going into another world. Shutting the door. “Mademoiselle de Montalais!” said Raoul.” “Oh!” said he. and then would have gone away. The persistent servant went on to relate that De Guiche had just invented a new game of lottery.” said she with disdain. you are wrong. in the first ante-chamber he had stopped. and saw so many dancing shadows. Farewell!” Raoul had sworn never to speak of Louise. Malicorne. and stretching her joyous face over him as he lay: “Monsieur is a gallant man. better acquainted with him. and gay.

You can laugh. mademoiselle. mademoiselle. I know. and that Louise has one enemy the more. of both sexes.” And he rose from his chair full of anger. I am much altered. I shall never be consoled. “No.” But. M. “I feel as though you are all. “Oh! mademoiselle.” said Montalais.” “You have not even tried to speak to Louise?” “Who! I?” exclaimed the young man.” “Oh.” said Raoul. I loved Mademoiselle de—” Raoul could not pronounce her name. with eyes flashing fire.” “I care but little for that. with bitterness. a man of your age ought never to leave a woman of hers alone.” “Listen. pressing the hands of Raoul in her own.” “There is no longer any faith in the world.” “Oh! while she has her lover to protect her.” “You are in error. stopping all at once. let me tell you that. “You think I was concerned in the plot which brought about the rupture. “I see. I.” “You are consoled. pointing to his reflection in a looking-glass. of a different age from me. “And then she has you for a friend. favorites are but little beloved at the court of France.” replied Montalais. is not that enough? She has chosen him of such a quality that her enemies cannot prevail against her. “Louise did love you. there can be no rupture where there has been no love. the outer surface changed to match the mind within. mademoiselle. with a shade of irony which did 147 . “You tell me that very much at your ease. then. I pray you.” added he.“Are you angry with me?” Raoul looked at her for a moment. “I know what you mean. vicomte!” said Montalais.” said Montalais.—”I loved her well! I put my faith in her—now I am quits by loving her no longer. “Yes. I do not quite understand myself.” “One enemy the more!” “Yes. then?” said Montalais.” said the young woman. “I!—Why do you not advise me to marry her? Perhaps the king would consent now.” Raoul broke into a sinister laugh. instead of loving Louise coldly and philosophically. Do people marry whom they like? You forget that the king then kept for himself as his mistress her of whom we are speaking. you had endeavored to awaken her to love—” “Enough. “you were wrong in every way. and you ought to have married her before you set out for London. casting down his eyes. then.” said Raoul. do you not?” “Rupture!” said he. “Not with love. sharply.” “I don’t understand you.” Raoul started.” said he. “that you are not cured. “No. which made Montalais shudder. “Nevertheless. am I not? Well! Do you know why? Because my face is the mirror of my heart. vicomte. and you can banter agreeably. but she liked you. quietly. mademoiselle. if. de Bragelonne. mademoiselle.

It was equally repugnant to her to accept the evasion offered by this delicate deception. but—” This but. and if such sufferings were to continue. this terrible but. “With M. and taking his hand. with great delight. was still Raoul. in a low voice.” De Guiche was anxious to raise objections. No one ventured to support her. I am going to seek death in yonder country. “Your royal highness. Obtain from Madame—from Madame.not glide off the cuirass. This scene occupied several minutes of terrible suspense. “My friend. on recognizing the sister-in-law of the king. You are both free.” said Montalais. but he felt that he was in the way. however. being buried beneath the earth. Raoul! a man!” “Do you know what is my thought. time to warn the princess. also from that closet. and that the horror of the treachery that has been practiced on me renders me inexorable towards all other treachery that may be committed around me. love each other. and came once more to her aid.—obtain her pardon for you whom she has just surprised also. she struggled against the double stings of these two troubles.” said Raoul. and—” The princess began to lose countenance. “in two days I shall be far from Paris. who by degrees absorbed him. Agitated. mademoiselle. Madame was preparing a word of transition to recover herself. “Madame!” exclaimed Raoul. who was walking towards Raoul. before the princess. in a fortnight I shall be far from France. The princess. “Not one word more on my account. and disappeared herself. We are Christians. was interrupted by a moderately loud noise heard by the speakers proceeding from the alcove behind the wainscoting. “I have been mistaken in an hour!” She had. I would not be answerable for the safety of my soul. But Raoul broke it. “Dear count. during which time Montalais had led away Madame. Madame. where I shall never be seen again. and Raoul was already rising. “but advice to you. throwing herself. when a lady entered the room quietly by the secret door. “I never would divulge the secret of the visits of my friend to your apartment. Bending his knee before her: “Madame!” said he.” “Are you going away. tell her also that I have loved in the course of my life.” and at these words the princess drew back. “is kind enough to think of this lottery. who is so clement and so generous. notwithstanding the exquisite delicacy which Raoul had exhibited. “and you have not even consulted me!” And he embraced him. such griefs did it presage for her whom lately he loved so dearly. who are the elected of my heart. Raoul passed his hand over his brow. and said. however. no! I am no longer one of those whom Mademoiselle de la Valliere condescends to look upon. my friend. with a smile.” said he. count? This is it—I shall live more vividly. to feel herself at the mercy of one who had discovered such an indiscretion. smiling to Montalais. forgetting that that forgetfulness itself compromised the princess more eloquently than his presence. where everybody dies!” And forgetting everything. “Who! I?—Oh. Raoul—oh! my friend—into Africa. “I conceal nothing from you. Montalais turned to listen.” said he. in his turn. without divining all. dear friend. which made the heart of Raoul beat. it was repugnant to her. we must admit. what I am going to say to you is of much greater 148 . and M. which she closed after her. “M. your secret will not remain in my breast more than a year. this but. “I have been dreaming!” Then warmly to Guiche. de Beaufort. “You. so significant in a woman like Montalais. “Ingrate!” said he.” said he. whose inexpressible emotion made his knees tremble. This is why. “Stupid wretch!” murmured Montalais. The palest of the four.” “Oh. but too late. “tell Madame I am too unhappy not to merit pardon.” “Into Africa!” cried De Guiche. uttering a cry in her turn. de Guiche issued. Raoul hastened his departure. was near fainting. Raoul comprehended her position. with volubility. when a closet opened in front of the alcove. all radiant. than I have lived for this month past. nervous. He went up to the count. so big with menace and with storm. and was obliged to lean upon the foot of the bed for support. de Bragelonne. be happy!” The princess felt for a moment a despair that cannot be described. then?” said she.

Raoul suppressed his feverish excitement. as I would have done myself. beware of Montalais. with arid eye and fainting heart. collects and heaps up diamonds and gold. you are beloved! You do not endure those atrocious nights. “They will make her.” “I know she has—” “Oh! fear nothing—you are beloved—you are beloved. at the warm request of M. Madame has been long jealous of the king.” “What! of that kind friend?” “She was the friend of—her you know of. De Guiche. that you can sleep tranquilly. and if I can understand you—” “In two words.” De Guiche contemplated for some time this unfortunate young man.” continued Raoul. Swear to me that you will not second them in anything—but that you will defend her when possible. whose name I should wish still to be able to pronounce—they will make her suffer. She ruined her by pride. others pass through who are destined to die.” “What is that?” “Without doubt you risk much more than I do. “And. she would ravish from her the only thing that renders that woman excusable in my eyes.” “By Montalais?” “Take her as the least dangerous of the enemies I dread for—the other!” “Explain yourself clearly.” “What do you mean by that?” “I mean that there is a plot formed against her who is the mistress of the king—a plot formed in the very house of Madame. You will live long. “some day. that you can thank God every minute of you life.” “Can you think so?” “I am certain of it.” “What is that?” “Her love. then. bit by bit. You are beloved. count. if you act like the miser who. de Bragelonne. even the counsel of a friend who wishes to preserve your happiness. You are beloved. because you love. madame. that signifies that you may hear everything. crumb by crumb. those nights without end.” “Oh!” “It is a joy so sweet to me to be able to speak to you thus! Well.” “You are mistaken. when you shall have rendered her a great service—some day when she shall thank you.” “And now. half mad with despair. De Guiche. which. promise me to say these words to her—’I have done you this kindness. do you feel the value of these three words? They signify that you can raise your head. my friend.” replied De Guiche.importance. You are beloved!—allow me to tell you what you must do that you may be beloved forever. to assume the voice and countenance of an impassible man. when she has ruined her.” “I swear I will. till there passed through his heart something like remorse at his own happiness. whom you so 149 .

at the lodgings of the comte. as usual. inform him that M. An inventory was being taken. No. no doubt. would not have hesitated to say. monsieur. on sacks and barrels. were setting down a number of figures. but it was not the encumberment of a lucky sale. during the visit made to the Luxembourg by Raoul. Planchet. my friend. if you please. He therefore asked very politely if he could see M. “Ah! monsieur le comte!” exclaimed he.” At the mention of the comte’s name. Planchet was not enthroned. The reply. had gone to Planchet’s residence to inquire after D’Artagnan. where have you been rummaging?” “Ah. Planchet’s Inventory. felt himself a little embarrassed by material obstacles and the majesty of those who were thus employed. no. and asked himself whether he. Planchet going away?” “Yes. who came to buy nothing.” “What for? Flour or dust only whiten. don’t come near me till I have well shaken myself. d’Artagnan?” “Yes. If you have a few hours to spare. would not be more properly deemed importunate. no doubt accustomed to hear it pronounced with respect. monsieur. found the shop of the grocer in great confusion. pointing to Raoul. Those who chanced to see them both thus. arrived at the grocer’s house. whilst a third counted and weighed. Adieu! I set out to-morrow. Farewell!” The two young men embraced. immediately went to inform Planchet. Farewell. Planchet left his job directly he received the comte’s message. “how glad I am to see you! What good star brings you here?” “My dear Planchet. Athos.” “Arsenic?” 150 . d’Artagnan. and another with an account-book in his hand. le comte at Planchet’s residence. who loves me dearly. after his painful scene with Montalais and De Guiche. He is a brave man. le Comte de la Fere desires to speak to him for a moment.” said Athos. “Thank you!” “And what are you going to do now?” “I am going to meet M.deeply injured. or that of an arrival of goods. A young man with a pen behind his ear. you will find me. on arriving at the Rue des Lombards.” “Then.” “All! all!” cried the young man. for Toulon. where we hope to find M. “That is all.’” “I swear I will. was that M. diable! take care. who had no knowledge of commercial matters. “is M. or the day after. give them to me. quite carelessly given. when you wish. pressing the hand of his son.—”we are come to learn of you—But in what confusion do I find you! You are as white as a miller.” “No. Athos.” murmured De Guiche. Planchet was packing his trunks. whose sad look he silently observed. These words surprised Athos. “That is the happy man!” Chapter XXIX. The comte. It was at this moment that Raoul. He saw several customers sent away. you are expected. one of the young men. “What! his trunks?” said he. what you see on my arms is arsenic. I wish to embrace him before my departure.” “M. directly.

” And Planchet marked this confession with a rather pretentious laugh for a man making profession of humility.” “Bah! you are rich. I am taking my precautions against rats. You have a room. my inventory is being taken. in order to try his strength in mundane facetiousness. He had no sooner uttered it than he shut the door sharply. when we grow old we more often think of the adventures of our youth. monsieur. I have disposed of my business to one of my young men. “let us have a little talk by ourselves—in your own room. I have taken a dislike to the city. it came from Planchet. Athos was mistaken in the cause of this hesitation. The third was from fright. “Yes. I suppose in an establishment like this.” “A little house at Fontainebleau. “It is—but—” said Planchet. monsieur. perhaps?” And Athos. and entered first. The rats have robbed me of more here than they will ever rob me of again. wished to relieve him by going first. for example. no doubt. and as M. seen that what Planchet said was true. still going up.” “Very well. you may have observed.” “But. “madame is dressing. “the dwelling of a tradesman in this quarter is not expected to be a palace. monsieur.” “Ay.“Yes. and.” “Upstairs.” “It is not with this establishment I concern myself. I suppose?” “Monsieur. the cursed dust makes you cough. then?” “Eh! mon Dieu! yes. we are not comfortable here.” “Are you leaving trade. Another proceeded from the mouth of Raoul. and then added: “You are going to buy an estate. monsieur le comte. monsieur le comte. I was a countryman formerly. Planchet! Accept my compliments on your acquisition. have you not?” “Certainly. Athos made a gesture of approval. Come on.” said he. it emanated from a woman.” “Ah! that is still better. hesitating.” Raoul nimbly preceded him. rats play a conspicuous part.” Raoul had. then.” Athos did not smile at this little pleasantry which Planchet had aimed at him. “Never mind.” “What do you mean?” “Why. seeing Planchet a little embarrassed. never mind. attributing it to a fear the grocer might have of offering humble hospitality. for he turned round to go downstairs again. “I ask your pardon!” added he. One of these cries dominated the others. Corbleu! I do not wish to poison the most worthy gentleman in the kingdom. but for some time past I have felt myself attracted towards the country and gardening. Two cries were heard simultaneously—we may say three. d’Artagnan one day said.” said Athos. I don’t know whether it is because I am growing old. it was an exclamation of surprise. with something like twenty acres of land round it. 151 . then?” “I have bought one.

rich yet coquettish. “Oh! pardon me.” “If I had one he would have three hundred thousand livres. gentlemen. Athos perceived that the grocer would marry Truchen. then. were you not?” “On account of the speculation. and brought good luck to his business. farewell!” “Eh. phlegmatically. “Oh! monsieur. then. on his part.” “Disappeared!” said Athos. She left the apartment after two courtesies.” “No.” “If we had known you had a lady upstairs.” said Athos. like the voice of the sergeant when Planchet was but a piqueur in the regiment of Piedmont. Truchen was quite dressed: in the costume of the shopkeeper’s wife. Planchet. but pardon my rudeness. no. having notice.” “We will do no such thing. as Ruth did to Boaz. and went down into the shop—but not without having listened at the door. “we would have asked permission to pay our respects to her.” added Planchet.” “Whenever M. was burning to give explanations. This appeared the more evident to him when he learned that the young man to whom Planchet was selling the business was her cousin. but heirs to your property. in spite of fate.” “Has he said anything to you about it?” “Never.” said Planchet.” This word little fortune placed Planchet in his rank. in surprise.” “You were acquainted with his departure for England formerly. and himself opened the door to admit the comte and his son. d’Artagnan disappears it is always for some mission or some great affair.” said Planchet. and therefore turned the conversation accordingly. and. as certain tenacities are stronger than others. gentlemen! you would not disoblige me by thus standing on the staircase. heedlessly. “he is not at the Louvre. German eyes attacking French eyes. in which Rochefort had placed him. we know what that means. “Oh! madame.” “But I do not know.” replied Athos. “The speculation!” 152 . I did not know that you had upstairs—” “It is Truchen. d’Artagnan about?” said he. has had time—” “No. Athos was forced to hear Planchet recite his idyls of felicity. Planchet. Having heard all that was necessary of the happy prospects of the retiring grocer. establish a family. or by going away without having sat down.” “Ah! monsieur le comte. that he forced the passage. my good Planchet.” Planchet was so disconcerted by this little extravagance. blushing a little. “You want nothing now. So Planchet related how Truchen had charmed the years of his advancing age. But. go up now.“Madame—” said Athos. Planchet. “It is whoever you please. which Athos avoided. “What is M. “if only to prevent your little fortune being lost. to know what Planchet’s gentlemen visitors would say of her.” said Athos. translated into a language more chaste than that of Longus. with his customary coolness. Monsieur d’Artagnan has disappeared. “Humph! you must have one. Athos suspected that.

we will take our leave of you. The Inventory of M. Let us be gone. It was this egotistical aristocracy Richelieu had constrained to contribute. Raoul. It was near Cannes that the marks and the punctured places ceased. Raoul’s researches were not more successful than his father’s. “Road to Fontainebleau!” cried Planchet to his coachman. even the cousin of Truchen. to have seen Planchet quit Paris to bury himself in his country retreat. at least. the gentlemen set out to pay a visit to M. Chapter XXX. They had only to pay a visit to M. I am not the man to reproach a servant with discretion. was a map of France. and with his finger. the present age in misfortune? Evidently neither of them had anything to ask of his contemporaries. several great nobles were richer than the king. M. They knew it. who silently. Be assured that we shall meet with him more easily upon our route than on this map. Planchet.” This word “servant” struck rudely on the ears of the demi-millionnaire Planchet. On leaving the grocer’s shop. but natural respect and bonhomie prevailed over pride. my friend. say no more about it. Then. upon which the practiced eye of that gentleman discovered an itinerary. quite confused. The duke was lodged magnificently in Paris. the future depository of the charms of Mademoiselle Truchen and Planchet’s bags of crowns. d’Artagnan. who went to fetch from the neighboring wall. This plan. will. saw that D’Artagnan had taken the direction of the south.” Then. where it was suspended by a twist. with its blood. and as we cannot learn from you where we are likely to find M. well. de Beaufort. its purse. monsieur. the plan consulted by the captain on his last visit to Planchet.” “Monsieur le comte. the interest we take in him alone has induced me to apply to you. which he brought to the comte. forming a triangle with the bar of the window to which it was fastened. “Never mind. towards Toulon. de Beaufort. the like of which certain old men remembered to have seen in all their glory in the times of wasteful liberality of Henry III. d’Artagnan. and what motive could have led him to examine the banks of the Var. neither your affairs nor those of your master are in question. au revoir. monsieur le comte. a hole denoted its having been there. Athos. his successor. conduct me as far as Toulon. “we must confess that there is a Providence always occupied in connecting our destiny with that of M. had made him understand the route of D’Artagnan. they saw a coach. really. in a melancholy tone.” “And the chart is there as a proof. and never deprived themselves of the pleasure of humiliating his royal majesty when they had an opportunity. From Louis XI. “There is nothing indiscreet in telling you. and gone as far as the Mediterranean. What. The reflections of Athos suggested nothing.” “You are right. wherever a pin was missing. His accustomed perspicacity was at fault. who was scolding his shopmen. and arrange with him the particulars of departure.” said Raoul. did these men leave behind them—one of whom had exhausted the past age in glory. To have talked of D’Artagnan with Planchet. “Every one journeys towards happiness by the route he chooses. Au revoir. to what was from his time styled the king’s service. “Well.’s reign. and you. to divine what the musketeer could be going to do at Cannes. marked out with small pins. in fact. then. The Comte de la Fere puzzled his brains for some time. There he is on the coast of Cannes. used it. d’Artagnan came here the other day—” “Aha?” “And remained several hours consulting a geographical chart. taking leave of Planchet. had been for Athos and his son like a last farewell to the noise of the capital—to their life of former days.” added Planchet. and the other. de Beaufort.—that terrible mower153 . Since the captain of the musketeers is not here. I wish I were able to tell you—” “Oh. by following with his eye the pins and holes.” said the young man to the comte. not at all. and its duties. He had one of those superb establishments pertaining to great fortunes.“I mean—” interrupted Planchet.

In fact. monseigneur. it is worth at least five hundred livres. Athos.” And De Beaufort gave Raoul the order. with the dessert. at the conclusion of which repast. to whom nobody refused to become a creditor. never to raise them again! But M. and his table? Nobody knew. “Here is your commission. had been given to the servants. In addition to the mines to be worked—which could not be begun till after the campaign—there would be the booty made by the army. I would give it you. “Do you know anything of the sea?” “Yes. and of a blood which is not shed upon scaffolds. Why. had bowed their heads. “Ah! step over. set any store by the poor utensils of his past life? And reciprocally. refuse to carry away a present worth six thousand.” 154 . The Oriental fable of the poor Arab who carried away from the pillage of palace a kettle at the bottom of which was concealed a bag of gold.? And how. M. Only there were then privileges for the sons of kings. his people. that he was sent to Gigelli by the king to reconstruct his lost fortunes.” The effect of which was—so truly is courtesy a current payment—that the prince constantly found means to renew his creditors. and.” Athos tried to find a passage through the heaps of linen and plate. saw what was going on at once. and the empty dishes and plates to the curious. likewise. Owing nearly two millions—an enormous amount in those days—M.. He made more than thirty happy with kitchen utensils. When he saw Athos and Raoul: “There is my aide-de-camp being brought to me!” he cried. no more jewels.down of the great—to Richelieu. was making his inventory. every empty purse. le Prince. how many families had raised their heads! How many. and whom everybody allowed to pass without jealousy.” And to others. comte. monseigneur. he had no longer need of superfluous arms. How did he maintain his horses. step over!” said the duke. They repeated to each other. de Beaufort only acted in this manner to prepare for a new fortune concealed beneath the Arabs’ tents. Thus. which was more magnificent in selling it. then. how could a man to whom ten thousand livres were owing. he was distributing to his old creditors plate. “I wish I had what you have. should he. You will go before me as far as Antibes. The duke. from Richelieu to Louis XIV. gloriously stamped with the arms of the prince. while pillaging his hotel. why should they spare the property of him who spared it so little himself ? Such was the position of affairs. the art of making happy the creditors most to be pitied. was what had happened. could he refuse ten thousand livres more to this generous noble? This. but he had three or four hundred thousand crowns fresh in his coffers. The prince had. This time he used no ceremony. Athos and Raoul found the mansion of the duke in as much confusion as that of Planchet. He had drunk his old wine to the health of his wine of the future. “I have but this silver ewer. after having carried away that present. The number of millions from these sources defied calculation.—this fable had become a truth in the prince’s mansion. come hither. M. jewels. the gold and silver mines of Mount Atlas did not even obtain the honor of being named. under the weight of earthen jars and bottles. de Beaufort would lay his hands on all the riches pirates had robbed Christendom of since the battle of Lepanto. “I had prepared it. unless by the decree of peoples. I have traveled with M. de Beaufort was born a prince. the provision department. in order to find that sum. The latter drank it. de Beaufort finished by giving away his horses and the hay from his lofts. vicomte. The duke had no longer a dwelling-house—that had become useless to an admiral whose place of residence is his ship. “Come hither. when he was placed amidst his cannons. found in him patience and sympathy for his position. that is to say.—a prince who had kept up a grand style of living. de Beaufort had calculated that he could not set out for Africa without a good round sum. The prince was intoxicated with his ruin and his popularity at one and the same time. all these people went away with the conviction that M.—take it.” “Here is the order. it might be called a general pillage. who was going in quest of such treasure. then. reckoning upon you. who plundered the clothes-presses and the harness-rooms. and brought him back double. in a supreme degree. whether from respect or the persuasion that they would some day be paid. many were seen bounding joyously along.” said the prince to Raoul. Still further. And throughout the house there was a joyous movement of people who believed they were plundering monseigneur. himself less than others. that the treasures of Africa would be equally divided between the admiral and the king of France. He found the admiral of France a little exalted. he was distributing to his friends everything of value he had in his house. He gave up everything. Every distressed man. offering a full glass to Athos. the remains. at which the guests had drunk long and deeply to the prosperity of the expedition. Many contractors paid themselves upon the offices of the duke. and furniture. Anxious to carry home to their wives presents given them by monseigneur. and thirty more with the contents of his cellar. or other fabulous stones. Raoul scarcely moistened his lips. enhanced in estimation from having belonged to a descendant of Henry IV. To some he said. arms. which the sea might rob him of.” “Yes. attached very little value to things which tailors and saddlers set great store by. for he was rising from a table of fifty covers. that these treasures consisted in mines of diamonds. with his piercing practiced glance.

M. in presence of your strong-box.” “To be sure you will.” Having spoken thus.” “He may.” “That may be true. who replied with a smile. “Ah. comte. 155 . to provision a fleet.” “But I am sure you will. you would only meet the fate that you deserve. I shall go with Raoul. devil take me! I should always see you fasting. stay with me!” “No. he will give you a hundred of them. to enroll your maritime force. the mission with which you charge him is a troublesome and difficult one. “you are such people as a man should not see after dinner. be gone. animated. and you allow him a fortnight!” “I tell you he will do it. No. monseigneur. I believe you will find nowhere so much zeal and intelligence.” “That shall be done. monseigneur. then. and that then.” “God grant it may be so!” cried the delighted duke. and still further believe that when we are once at Toulon you will not let him depart alone. monsieur le duc. I shall disappear in the smoke. But one finds that such fine young fellows as your son generally do all that is required of them. if you wear such a face as that. “and then you are acquainted with my ideas upon the expedition—plenty of noise.” “Bah!” “And in your naval arrangements. “Comte. suppleness. He perceived this at once.” “Oh!” said Athos.“That is well. monseigneur. stiff. Raoul is a cavalry officer. de Beaufort began to laugh. to assemble a flotilla. having Raoul at your elbow. if so it must be. and.” Athos interrupted the prince. too. and dry when I am all fire. and generous. plenty of fire. drawn upon the cities of the south.” “Humph! you are scolding me. shaking his head. vicomte. and wine. Now. pressing the hand of Athos. but I will go and help him.” said he. you have given him command of the first order. you will be surprised to see him gay.” “I hope not. with the courteous egotism of his rank and age. and you.” “And you are an active man. do not talk so grandly because you happen to have plenty of money. you will spend much money. as in Raoul. “Monseigneur. you are cold. so much real bravery. I reckoned upon you. because he will have some new crowns to offer you.” “I wish to try the contrary. Alone it would be too much for him to execute. I predict that within a month you will be dry. dear vicomte.” replied the duke. All these barges and lighters must be in attendance to form an escort and carry my provisions. fasting. but if he failed to arrange your embarkation. and cold. You do not observe.” “Monseigneur. “Keep your money. war is to be waged among the Arabs with gold as well as lead. you will there make the enrolments and levies you may want for me. stiff.” “Monseigneur. but his mirth was not reciprocated by Athos and Raoul. My intendant has prepared the orders of a thousand livres. and will work freely. would take an admiral a year.” He said this. you shall see me no more. monseigneur.” “The present order gives you the right to visit and search all the isles along the coast. The army must be prepared to embark in a fortnight at the very latest.” “Yes.

or thwart him by too pressing inquiries. permit us to take our leave. and so gain more money when all his companions were gone. sternly. If you set out for this war solely with the intention of getting killed therein. He even feared to offend his friend. but do not die without honor and without advantage to France. mildly. I love you. because they prove to me that some one loves me still. whichever you please to call it. but—” “You forget also that you are of a country that is proud of its military glory. but the gentleman had arrived with an immense carriage case. at sight of which the syndic. as regarded both spirit and practice. bowing to the very ground. for Athos derived from his inquiries an assurance that such a cavalier as he described had exchanged his horse for a well-closed carriage on quitting Avignon. The journey passed off pretty well. have hearts and bodies. and may my good luck attend you. believing that this man was telling a falsehood in order to be left at liberty to fish. provisions will not be wanted. you stand in need of nobody. the weather is so fine. Raoul. “if all are going to do as I am. Cheer up. the heavens so clear. His affectionate heart longed to take a farewell and received consolation from that heart of steel. a man had come in the night to hire his boat. who. in the ensuing expedition. and got together the chalands and lighters to send them to Toulon. who will weep for their country and endure all the necessities of their condition. and having summed up the ducal policy under the one word vanity. And yet when Raoul commenced his labor of classing the flotilla. according to the intensity of Raoul’s grief. the question is no longer about you. Athos and his son traversed France at the rate of fifteen leagues per day.” said the young man.” “Monsieur.” “Monsieur. and they lost all traces of D’Artagnan at Antibes.” “I love your reproaches. The sacrifice was half accomplished. he had recourse to the syndic of his brotherhood at Antibes. “do not be unjust and senseless in your egotism. The price was agreed upon. sometimes more.” “Begone. but his threats had procured him nothing but a shower of blows from the gentleman’s cane.” “Adieu! monseigneur. Remember. thus?” “Humph!” murmured Raoul. go and die if you like. and it was scarcely worth while to recommend you to M. which fell upon his shoulders sharp and long. Raoul! do not let my words grieve you. enjoined obedience 156 . Swearing and grumbling. Chapter XXXI. then. after having agreed on this point. “No provisions—no store flotilla! What can be done. which he insisted upon embarking. one of the fishermen told the comte that his boat had been laid up to refit since a trip he had made on account of a gentleman who was in great haste to embark. Athos. “they alone may cure me.” replied Athos. and may your own good luck attend you likewise. The fisherman informed him that six days previously. which you will see more clear still at Gigelli. I would have continued to do so still. in obedience rather to their will than destiny. who administer justice among themselves and protect each other. that officers are ministers as useful to the world as priests. de Beaufort. The fisherman wished to retract. monsieur. convinced that France would be served in a very incomplete manner. and wish to see you perfect.” “And now.” “Here is an expedition admirably commenced!” said Athos to his son. for the purpose of visiting the island of St.” The two gentlemen. Raoul was much affected at not meeting with D’Artagnan. as well as you. I know it and have practiced it. The Silver Dish. Honnorat. It took them a fortnight to reach Toulon. but about all those poor soldiers. but the gentleman had exhibited a certain paper. in spite of the many difficulties that opposed the operation. sometimes less. those heavens which we always find above our heads. and which will speak to you of me there. insisted upon having the details. let us be off.“Patience! patience!” “Monseigneur. Raoul. whether on his own account or on the service of the king. or your grief. He had even threatened. They were forced to believe that the captain of the musketeers was desirous of preserving an incognito on his route. talked over the wild freaks of the duke. they set forward. But when you have been introduced to the prime commandant—when you have accepted the responsibility of a post in his army. as they speak to me here of God. and that they ought to have more charity. Athos knew from experience that D’Artagnan became impenetrable when engaged in any serious affair.

But the gentleman drew his sword. and wished to try the channel. for when we recovered the boat. “You must know.” 157 . and there came out of it a sort of a phantom. “And what did you do?” asked the latter of the fisherman.” “What! did the governor himself say so?” “Yes. that we neither of us could get near him. and abused him for having been refractory. for the gentleman. “a man is a sailor. but when one of them turned out to be the devil. monsieur. hadn’t I. with great glee. as a citizen is in his chamber. and yet my boat was injured. I don’t know how. and I had a right to do so.” “Very strange! very strange!” repeated the comte. monsieur. and protected the other. They then departed with the freight. which came towards me threatening with its fist. to cut the gentleman in two. my friend?” “I made my complaint to the governor of Sainte-Marguerite’s. the gentleman required me to land him at Sainte-Marguerite’s.” “Well. monsieur. monsieur!” cried the fisherman. a dangerous passage. with his Provencal accent. The gentleman took me by the collar. I was steering towards St. towards the southern point.” “Well?” “Well. I was going. for the prow is left upon the point of Sainte-Marguerite’s. on seeing him: ‘Ah! thank you. I was about to hurl my hatchet at his head.” “And why not?” “Because. as there was a little wind from the southwest. “But after that. and pretended that I could not pass to the south of the abbey.” “Oh!—but the travelers?” “Bah! you need not be uneasy about them! It was pretty plain that one was the devil. seriously injured. in self-defense. “But all this does not tell us. and told me quietly he would strangle me. or he is nothing but a fresh-water lubber. yet one I have cleared a thousand times. the bank of the Moines. his head covered with a black helmet and a black mask. there is in front of the square tower of the Benedictines. could be no match for two gentlemen. Honnorat as the gentleman desired me. looking at Raoul. “Level with the water. monsieur.” said Athos. We had the affront of the night before to pay him out for. or he is not. all at once—believe me or not. for we were within seven or eight hundred feet of the shore. not even the carriage or the case. the boat drifted into the sands of Sainte-Marguerite’s.from the fisherman. “That was the devil. he knows his course.” “A rock?” asked Athos. My mate armed himself with a hatchet. instead of finding these two creatures injured by the shock. something terrible to look upon.” “And that was—” said Athos. and used it in such an astonishingly rapid manner. what did you do. then.” “This is the way. monseigneur. but below water. that two poor men. cried out. monsieur—the great carriage case opened of itself. we had no earthly chance! My companion and I did not stop to consult one another. and then?” “Why. monseigneur!’” “A most strange story!” murmured the comte. “how you injured your boat. who brought my finger under my nose by telling me if I plagued him with such silly stories he would have me flogged. but he changed his mind. when. we found nothing. such as we are. after she got afloat again. and then. monsieur? for a sailor aboard is master. we made but one jump into the sea. I was obstinate. and so did I. and the carpenter asks a hundred and twenty livres to repair it.

pomegranate. and a ball was flattened against a stone within six inches of the two gentlemen. and waited with a firm demeanor. perceived in the frame of the bars of the window something of a white color. and the ball flew into the air. Orange. returned to dine himself. when a stroke upon a drum called the eight soldiers of the garrison to arms. At the same moment they heard a cry from the top of the donjon. Each living thing sought its shelter under grass or stone. on board a chasse-maree come from Toulon under orders. and at every step of the comte and Raoul a terrified rabbit quitted his thyme and heath to scuttle away to the burrow. and bullets have not been able to do in forty years?” That same day they set out for Sainte-Marguerite’s.” “We shall see to that. commenced an attentive examination of the dusty plate. A musket-barrel glittered from the crest of the wall. and disappeared in the shade of his sentry-box. The heavens spread their fiery veils as if to stifle all noises. who went shares with them. The island seemed loaded with flowers and fruits. One of the assailants—he who was about to fire—replied to these cries by an exclamation of surprise. French gentlemen and Christians. balls. The story of the masked man and the carriage having disappeared. harvesting wines. may be told to conceal some violence these fellows have committed upon their passengers in the open sea. The fortress. shall we?” said the comte to Bragelonne. preserving his citrons and cedrates in the sun of his casemates. and then disappeared. expected they would come down to them. the governor was in a situation to be satisfied with a garrison of eight men to guard his fortress. and. and Raoul ran to pick up a silver plate which was rolling along the dry sand. Alas! we are no longer the young invincibles of former days. Athos and Raoul wandered for some time round the fences of the garden without finding any one to introduce them to the governor. cowards as you are!” “Yes. In its cultivated part it served as a garden for the governor. A white smoke floated like a plume from the mouth of the musket. Raoul. and. like a polished weapon struck by the rays of the sun. Athos and Raoul. in the uncultivated parts. And before they were able to ascertain what it was. “What. Go. arose like three heads upon turrets connected with each other by terraces covered with moss. A second dull noise was heard from the ditch.” replied Raoul. All round this garden. in characters traced upon the bottom of it with the point of a knife. The governor was a sort of happy farmer. who was carrying a basket of provisions on his head. the carriage was more likely to contain property than a man. The hand that had thrown this plate made a sign to the two gentlemen. as his companion. and they discovered. furiously shaking his fist at the castle. its only guardian. Flat.“Very well. pray to God for the soul and the reason of the son of your old rulers. oil. to punish him for his persistence in embarking.” The plate fell from the hands of Athos whilst Raoul was endeavoring to make out the meaning of these dismal words. to envelop all existences. in which twelve cannons accumulated coats of moldy green. called their attention from the donjon to the ground. offering nothing but a tiny bay for the convenience of embarkation. and forced down that of his father likewise. approaching each other. Five minutes had not elapsed. The impression they experienced on landing was a singularly pleasing one. monsieur. smugglers made use of it as a provisional entrepot. who wished to continue the attack. and under the protection of the governor. Raoul.” “I formed the same suspicion. figs. and oranges. after having done so. a luminous train. slept as the wave did beneath the heavens. The gentleman very much resembles D’Artagnan. Quick as lightning Raoul bent down his head. and fig trees bent beneath the weight of their golden or purple fruits. “Yes. this inscription: “I am the brother of the king of France—a prisoner to-day—a madman to-morrow. for there is something to be cleared up. seeing them disappear from the platform. Athos and Raoul. accompanied by a hissing sound in the air. are people assassinated here? Come down. he who had cried out threw up the weapon. Athos supposed he must have been carrying dinner to some one. encircled by a deep ditch. “Cordieu!” cried Athos. red partridges ran about in conveys among the brambles and tufts of junipers. come down!” cried Raoul. I recognize his methods of proceeding.” “We will go to Sainte-Marguerite’s. They ended by making their own way into the garden. the fly under the leaf. It was at the hottest time of the day. This man returned almost immediately without his basket. In fact. and they 158 . “you will be exempted from the service. like a hand that was waved backwards and forwards—something shining. the rabbit under the broom. and raising their heads. as the man walked away.” “Nor to me either. Who knows whether the hatchet or the iron bar of this miserable coaster has not succeeded in doing that which the best blades of Europe. With this compromise. All at once they heard some one call out. this fortunate isle was uninhabited. upon the terrace beneath the second and third court. at the expense of not killing the game or devastating the garden. had re-seized his loaded musket. that man does not seem to me to have told the truth. Athos saw nothing living but a soldier.

my dear friends. eagerly. to his friends in a low voice. “Silence!—Here is the governor. whom Athos and Raoul recognized as the one who had fired the first musket.” said the captain. for he had run fast. Silence. “what stops us?” “You are Spaniards—you do not understand a word of French.” 159 . “And yet they were trying to read the inscription on the plate. when a well-known voice resounded behind them. has he not?” “Yes. seized the plate. last year. At the head of these men was an officer. and if the governor missed you. I would willingly be killed for you. let us leap the ditch! We shall kill at least two of these scoundrels. but—” “But—” said Athos and Raoul. “It is true?” “Silence! I tell you—silence! If he only believes you can read. addressing the governor. these gentlemen are two Spanish captains with whom I was acquainted at Ypres. “I was right. they don’t know a word of French.” “And why did he fire at us? What have we done to him?” “Pardieu! You received what the prisoner threw to you?” “That is true. The man ordered the soldiers to “make ready. sharply.” “Ah!” said the governor. “Recover arms! Mordioux!” cried the captain to the soldiers. at least.” “That plate—the prisoner has written something on it. “but. a fearful pallor spread across his countenance.” And. suiting the action to the word. “Well!” replied he.showed themselves on the other side of the ditch with their muskets in hand. with all the marks of mortal disquietude. “I was sure I could not be mistaken!” “What is the meaning of this?” asked Athos.” “Good heavens! I was afraid he had. and emotion with him was not feigned. “What! were we to be shot without warning?” “It was I who was going to shoot you. in a subdued voice. sword in hand. I love you.” “We are going to be shot!” cried Raoul. When he had read it. when their muskets are empty. “Athos! Raoul!” “D’Artagnan!” replied the two gentlemen. Raoul was springing forward.” “And what will he do to us? Is it our fault?” “It is true. to read the inscription. then?” said Athos. if he only suspects you have understood. “How!” said Athos. I should not have missed you. Ah! my dear friends. my dear friends. instead of firing at the instant I raise my weapon! I thought I recognized you. followed by Athos.” And D’Artagnan. “Oh! good heavens!” repeated he. How fortunate it is that I am accustomed to take a long aim. how fortunate!” And D’Artagnan wiped his brow. “Well!” said he to D’Artagnan. then! Silence again!” The governor came up. “And is the gentleman who fired at us the governor of the fortress?” “In person. having crossed the ditch upon a plank bridge. “But I could not save you from perpetual imprisonment if I saved you from death.

explain to me how it is possible Louis XIII. according to the king’s orders. effacing the characters with the point of his sword. “Invite these gentlemen to come to the fortress. can place any faith in the nonsense written by an idiot?” “I do believe in it. Athos. it does not follow that they should understand what is written. for a moment disturbed by this unexpected adventure. and would have wished his friends a hundred leagues off. And then—” “And then—you commanded us to be shot. and whilst the governor was making some preparations for the reception of his guests. most unconcerned silence. however absurd it may be. “I have conducted hither a prisoner. They cannot even read Spanish. the incident being at an end. but he was still tenacious. I was at dinner with the governor. Besides. which they accepted. “what are you doing? I cannot read them now!” “It is a state secret. I was about to propose it to you. and have you shot immediately afterwards. half ironical—Athos and Raoul preserved the coolest. remember. ought never to know how to read. the captain had quite another idea.” “With so much the more reason. “How!” cried the governor.” “Do not talk in such a childish manner. A noble Spaniard. “and as you know that. who the king commands shall not be seen. “let us have a word of explanation whilst we are alone.” said Athos. It does not take long to understand this.” 160 . or I shall begin to think you have lost your senses.” replied Athos. “That I will willingly do. He addressed the two gentlemen in Spanish.D’Artagnan took it out of his hands. You came here. They all turned towards the entrance of the fort.” “It is simply this. is it possible. I should have had the good fortune to die for the royal house of France.” replied the musketeer.” “Ma foi! I admit it. “That is because. fortunately. should have a son in the Isle of Sainte-Marguerite. D’Artagnan. allow you to read it. I understood it. if I was the first to seize a musket.” “No. but. and. giving them a polite invitation.” said the governor. I was the last to take aim at you. bluntly. and cover with shame the executioners of the son of Louis XIII. and I thought you in intelligence with my prisoner.” The governor was obliged to be satisfied with these explanations. Captive and Jailers. a well-informed and sensible man. “Come.” replied the captain of the musketeers—”because every calumny.” replied D’Artagnan. has the almost certain chance of becoming popular. its noblest and most loyal defender. he has thrown something to you through the lattice of his window.” said he.” “If you had killed me. “but because the king is not willing that the secret of his family should transpire among the people.” During this apostrophe—half serious. But he was obliged to make the best of it. D’Artagnan. I will. “You don’t mean that you. the eight soldiers returned to their delightful leisure.” The fact is.” said Raoul. “that these gentlemen do not comprehend at least some words?” “Suppose they do! If they do understand a few spoken words. promptly. and I saw Raoul pick it up. and it would be an honor to die by your hand—you. my dear chevalier.” “What the devil. Chapter XXXII. “But. I saw the object thrown. from your having orders to kill all those who do believe in it. Athos. if you like. do you mean by the royal house?” stammered D’Artagnan. it is under the penalty of death any one should penetrate it. When they had entered the fort.

in a fishing-boat.” interrupted the governor.” D’Artagnan and his friends immediately resumed their parts. I suppose. “your not being certain proves that your situation here is provisional. but he dares not. coolly. not you!” “My friend. He would like to carry it away.” observed Raoul. “whence do you know that a fishing-boat—?” “Brought you to Sainte-Marguerite’s with the carriage containing the prisoner—with a prisoner whom you styled monseigneur. behaved towards D’Artagnan with a politeness almost amounting to obsequiousness. he regrets not having me near him.” cried the musketeer. nothing proves that this prisoner must be a prince—a prince of the house of France. with his customary mild severity. the prince’s jailer?” “Eh! how can I tell? I may be kept at Sainte-Marguerite forever. “but here is your governor.” D’Artagnan’s head sunk on his breast in some confusion. for no one else would serve him as faithfully as I do.” said he. but neither the one nor the other gave him the least advantage. in a tone of sadness.” “Oh! no. Athos and Raoul observed that he often tried to embarrass them by sudden attacks. “in which God turns to nothing that which men call wisdom! A fine secret must that be of which twelve or fifteen persons hold the tattered fragments! Athos. from being aware that no one would be of so much service near his person as myself. he contented himself with offering good cheer. “This is the way. D’Artagnan bit his mustache. and Aramis has told me enough to make me believe in the complaints this unfortunate young prince cut upon the bottom of the plate. but he cannot. a fugitive. “He is. I have seen Aramis. “I have something like a sinister idea that all who are concerned with this secret will die.” replied the captain. They rose from the table to repose awhile. “that I had brought hither in a boat and with a carriage a masked prisoner. if the governor did not believe it to be quite true. The king will not dare to recall me. then. or to catch them off their guard. he would like to leave it. But it will happen as it may please God.” said Athos to D’Artagnan in Spanish. “De Saint-Mars. my friend.” said he. suspicious and hard.” replied D’Artagnan. and you will return to Paris?” “Ask these gentlemen. and never taking his eye from them. cursed be the chance which has brought you face to face with me in this affair! for now—” “Well. and die unhappily. ruined.” “But. “is your secret lost because I know it? Consult your memory. The governor. “Have you seen Aramis?” “After his discomfiture at Vaux. bewildered. With respect to the travelers. quite at a stand. pursued. Have I not borne secrets heavier than this?” “You have never borne one so dangerous. “Aramis. yes. What D’Artagnan had said was probable. “If it were true.” “Ask Aramis such riddles.“A son whom you have brought hither masked.” said Athos.” “The will of God be done!” said Athos.” replied Athos.” said Athos. “what was their purpose in coming to Saint-Marguerite?” “They came from learning there was a convent of Benedictines at Sainte-Honnorat which is considered curious. “Why not?” D’Artagnan was brought to a pause. Oh! I am acquainted with all that. and from being told 161 .” resumed the comte. I am in the situation of a man who finds a treasure in the midst of a desert. “Oh!” said he. “What is this man’s name? I don’t like the looks of him.

” Whilst the two friends were commencing their conversation. my dear friend. seated himself on a mossy rock.” “As you please.” said the musketeer. leaning upon the arm of the cap162 . but to gain an opportunity for talking freely. and he bores me. “He has not recovered the blow?” said he to Athos. and then returned to the fort. “Why do you let him go?” “Because he insists on going. a real park. And he did not add a word to this exclamation.” “And why do you not go with him?” “Because I could not bear to see him die. Let us try to amuse ourselves.” “Mordioux!” said D’Artagnan. “To-morrow. The first bleeds. Raoul is of a tempered nature. I command this man.” replied Saint-Mars. de Beaufort it is. the walk will be beautiful. not for the sake of amusing ourselves. with the breadth of a league. there is a second envelope that forms a cuirass. “Raoul will die of it. M. Around all hearts as noble as his.” “No. “He is struck to death.” continued the comte. I hope. his gun across his knees. let us have a shot or two at the rabbits. a minute after. You always guess correctly. with his head hanging down and his heart oppressed. Then. who brought the gentlemen some guns.” “Bid me farewell! What do you mean by that? Is Raoul going anywhere?” “Yes. Raoul. D’Artagnan politely thanked him. “answer me the question put to you by that black-looking Saint-Mars: what did you come to do at the Lerin Isles?” “To bid you farewell. the second resists. D’Artagnan. de Saint-Mars went to make his rounds. “You know one thing. and not fatiguing.there was excellent shooting in the island. mordioux! Come.” “With M. D’Artagnan remarked his absence.” replied D’Artagnan.” “Then I will lay a wager it is with M. “When will they depart?” added the governor. “here is a life and a society that suits me very little.” D’Artagnan looked his friend earnestly in the face. and left D’Artagnan alone with the pretended Spaniards. in a melancholy tone. “Oh!” exclaimed the musketeer. “And now.” “Oh! your fears exaggerate. The whole island is but a league and a half in length. as well as yours. he allowed the sportsmen to attain a considerable distance from him.” “That is quite at their service. looking at the sea—looking at the heavens. de Beaufort.” “From habit. and listening to the voice of his soul.” D’Artagnan made a sign to a soldier.” replied Athos.

I cannot even tell you. look you.” “Go and say them to her. nowhere again be a Raoul. I will serve him. my friend. cutting across the brambles. I have a perfect conviction of that. but I am convinced you will not succeed. Who knows?” “Try. I have within me the revelation that if God should decree that my friend or my son should render up his last sigh in my presence—oh! no. which your speech might not possess?” 163 . but I would not see him die. what virtue do you attribute to a letter.” “How is this. and continued his walk alone. friendship. oh! I am old.” “You will some day return to France?” “I hope so. except against the death of those I love. you say you have ever seen. “oh!” “He will die. D’Artagnan. and you come and tell him. “you know that in the course of my life I have been afraid of but few things. and respect for God. he who sees others die. as you formerly called him.” “You will?” “Doubtless. with your arms folded. Athos. if you please.tain. I should curse him. I tell you. insurmountable fear that an hour will come in which I shall hold the dead body of that boy in my arms. loses. A Christian gentleman ought not to curse his God. Raoul! You have something to say to me?” “I have a kindness to ask of you. Well! I have an incessant gnawing.” “Listen to me. you who have seen all that can be seen in this world! Why have you this fear. my duty as a father—that of eternity.” replied Bragelonne. D’Artagnan. it is enough to once have cursed a king!” “Humph!” sighed D’Artagnan. speak. After having worn myself out upon this earth of which you speak.” “Oh!” murmured D’Artagnan. He who dies.” “But I have many things to say to her. “Ask it. I have no longer courage. gains. I pray God to spare me in my weakness. but if he struck me so plainly and in that fashion. “Well. to know that there would nowhere be a D’Artagnan any more. No.” “I will not attempt to console him. then. tell me!” “I am strong against everything. love. Do you think this would be the first time a woman had repented of an infidelity? I will go to him. this is it—to know that I should no more meet on earth him whom I now behold with joy. D’Artagnan!” “Speak. a little confused by this violent tempest of grief. of that man without an equal. and ought to face everything. then. “Let me speak to him. Now. that you are afraid of witnessing the death of your son. I have preserved but two religions: that of life.” “Ought I to write to Mademoiselle de la Valliere?” “No. rejoined Raoul and held out his hand to him. of your own D’Artagnan. I will. For that only there is no remedy. I know.” Athos shook his head. Athos? you come and place yourself in the presence of the bravest man. you must not.” “Never!” “Pray. Athos? Man upon this earth must expect everything.

“And you. what is passing in my heart. then. you whom she abandons.—You are not wrong in my eyes in not loving me.” “D’Artagnan. as to yourself. save with anxiety.” “She loves the king. the treasure I possessed. and my painful end will assure me. “that is a conclusion which I was far from expecting. in preferring the king to you. It is said that happy lovers are deaf to the sorrows of rejected lovers. ‘Go there.” “The letter reads very well. “and she is an honest girl. you would have yielded out of a fear of bringing about my death. Oblige yourself. she.” Raoul started. if you think proper. loves better than she does the king.” “This is what I wish. and D’Artagnan read: “MADEMOISELLE. I would shed that drop.” “That is a very absurd word.” 164 .” “To set off to see her again?” “No. I wish to love her forever. You will accept this last farewell. will you love me. knowing that you are free and satisfied. will explain to her. my friend. It is much more delightful to me to die.” “Ha! I must confess. Her heart is inaccessible to any other feeling. I willingly make the sacrifice of it to my misery! “RAOUL. Do.” said the captain. but after another fashion. I have allowed to escape. that by seeing her closely with the eyes of a jealous man—” “Well?” “Well! you would cease to love her. do you believe she loves the king?” “To idolatry. Was she base or brave. the king whom her heart commanded her imperiously to prefer to you? No. You might continue to live near her. If your happiness could be purchased by the last drop of my blood. that of having left me to believe you loved me. You will see her again. and because my devotedness. You have only been guilty of one fault towards me. which would lead me to think slightly of your understanding. to set off that I may never see her again. This error will cost me my life. that it is never base to do that which is imposed upon us by a superior force. “I have only one fault to find with it. in the candid credulity of my heart. my dear D’Artagnan.“Perhaps you are right. How much.” “Ah!” exclaimed Raoul. she was the bravest of women. Do you know one thing of which I am sure. Raoul.” said D’Artagnan. perhaps. It will not be so with you. “Will you do so?” “It would be base. Please to understand. and you will bless me for having taken refuge in the inviolable asylum where hatred is extinguished. VICOTME DE BRAGELONNE. mademoiselle. but I cannot pardon myself. who did not love me. or die.” He held the letter out. If your heart says to you. and you will give her a letter which. and would be her best friend. when you will no longer fear either my presence or reproaches? You will love me. Something told me I should see you to-day. she whom you loved. Read it. Raoul. That idea takes from my mind all bitterness.” replied the musketeer.’ why go. I pardon you. God has not made me in anything inferior to him you have chosen. in your eyes. Raoul?” “What is that?” “Why. a certain superiority over him. bluntly. however charming a new love may appear to you. I am sure that if I had persisted in endeavoring to change that friendship into love. because. and leads me only to blame myself. or lessening the esteem I had for you. with a passionate burst of repugnance at such a hideous hope. as she has done. Adieu. then. and where all love endures forever. I drew it up last night. my sacrifice.” “Then I am decided. Many people tell me that you loved me enough to lead me to hope you would have loved me much.

“Tell me what that is!” said Raoul. “Why, it is that it tells everything, except the thing which exhales, like a mortal poison from your eyes and from your heart; except the senseless love which still consumes you.” Raoul grew paler, but remained silent. “Why did you not write simply these words: “’MADEMOISELLE,—Instead of cursing you, I love you and I die.’” “That is true,” exclaimed Raoul, with a sinister kind of joy. And tearing the letter he had just taken back, he wrote the following words upon a leaf of his tablets: “To procure the happiness of once more telling you I love you, I commit the baseness of writing to you; and to punish myself for that baseness, I die.” And he signed it. “You will give her these tablets, captain, will you not?” “When?” asked the latter. “On the day,” said Bragelonne, pointing to the last sentence, “on the day when you can place a date under these words.” And he sprang away quickly to join Athos, who was returning with slow steps. As they re-entered the fort, the sea rose with that rapid, gusty vehemence which characterizes the Mediterranean; the ill-humor of the element became a tempest. Something shapeless, and tossed about violently by the waves, appeared just off the coast. “What is that?” said Athos,—”a wrecked boat?” “No, it is not a boat,” said D’Artagnan. “Pardon me,” said Raoul, “there is a bark gaining the port rapidly.” “Yes, there is a bark in the creek, which is prudently seeking shelter here; but that which Athos points to in the sand is not a boat at all—it has run aground.” “Yes, yes, I see it.” “It is the carriage, which I threw into the sea after landing the prisoner.” “Well!” said Athos, “if you take my advice, D’Artagnan, you will burn that carriage, in order that no vestige of it may remain, without which the fishermen of Antibes, who have believed they had to do with the devil, will endeavor to prove that your prisoner was but a man.” “Your advice is good, Athos, and I will this night have it carried out, or rather, I will carry it out myself; but let us go in, for the rain falls heavily, and the lightning is terrific.” As they were passing over the ramparts to a gallery of which D’Artagnan had the key, they saw M. de Saint-Mars directing his steps towards the chamber inhabited by the prisoner. Upon a sign from D’Artagnan, they concealed themselves in an angle of the staircase. “What is it?” said Athos. “You will see. Look. The prisoner is returning from chapel.” And they saw, by the red flashes of lightning against the violet fog which the wind stamped upon the bank-ward sky, they saw pass gravely, at six paces behind the governor, a man clothed in black and masked by a vizor of polished steel, soldered to a helmet of the same nature, which altogether enveloped the whole of his head. The fire of the heavens cast red reflections on the polished surface, 165

and these reflections, flying off capriciously, seemed to be angry looks launched by the unfortunate, instead of imprecations. In the middle of the gallery, the prisoner stopped for a moment, to contemplate the infinite horizon, to respire the sulphurous perfumes of the tempest, to drink in thirstily the hot rain, and to breathe a sigh resembling a smothered groan. “Come on, monsieur,” said Saint-Mars, sharply, to the prisoner, for he already became uneasy at seeing him look so long beyond the walls. “Monsieur, come on!” “Say monseigneur!” cried Athos, from his corner, with a voice so solemn and terrible, that the governor trembled from head to foot. Athos insisted upon respect being paid to fallen majesty. The prisoner turned round. “Who spoke?” asked Saint-Mars. “It was I,” replied D’Artagnan, showing himself promptly. “You know that is the order.” “Call me neither monsieur nor monseigneur,” said the prisoner in his turn, in a voice that penetrated to the very soul of Raoul; “call me ACCURSED!” He passed on, and the iron door croaked after him. “There goes a truly unfortunate man!” murmured the musketeer in a hollow whisper, pointing out to Raoul the chamber inhabited by the prince.

Chapter XXXIII. Promises. Scarcely had D’Artagnan re-entered his apartment with his two friends, when one of the soldiers of the fort came to inform him that the governor was seeking him. The bark which Raoul had perceived at sea, and which appeared so eager to gain the port, came to Sainte-Marguerite with an important dispatch for the captain of the musketeers. On opening it, D’Artagnan recognized the writing of the king: “I should think,” said Louis XIV., “you will have completed the execution of my orders, Monsieur d’Artagnan; return, then, immediately to Paris, and join me at the Louvre.” “There is the end of my exile!” cried the musketeer with joy; “God be praised, I am no longer a jailer!” And he showed the letter to Athos. “So, then, you must leave us?” replied the latter, in a melancholy tone. “Yes, but to meet again, dear friend, seeing that Raoul is old enough now to go alone with M. de Beaufort, and will prefer his father going back in company with M. d’Artagnan, to forcing him to travel two hundred leagues solitarily to reach home at La Fere; will you not, Raoul?” “Certainly,” stammered the latter, with an expression of tender regret. “No, no, my friend,” interrupted Athos, “I will never quit Raoul till the day his vessel disappears on the horizon. As long as he remains in France he shall not be separated from me.” “As you please, dear friend; but we will, at least, leave Sainte-Marguerite together; take advantage of the bark that will convey me back to Antibes.” “With all my heart; we cannot too soon be at a distance from this fort, and from the spectacle that shocked us so just now.” The three friends quitted the little isle, after paying their respects to the governor, and by the last flashes of the departing tempest they took their farewell of the white walls of the fort. D’Artagnan parted from his friend that same night, after having seen fire set to the carriage upon the shore by the orders of Saint-Mars, according to the advice the captain had given him. Before getting on horseback, and after leaving the arms of Athos: “My friends,” said he, “you bear too much resemblance to two soldiers who are abandoning their post. Something warns me that Raoul will require being supported by you in his rank. Will you allow me to ask permission to go over into Africa with a hundred good muskets? The king will not refuse me, and I will take you with me.” 166

“Monsieur d’Artagnan,” replied Raoul, pressing his hand with emotion, “thanks for that offer, which would give us more than we wish, either monsieur le comte or I. I, who am young, stand in need of labor of mind and fatigue of body; monsieur le comte wants the profoundest repose. You are his best friend. I recommend him to your care. In watching over him, you are holding both our souls in your hands.” “I must go; my horse is all in a fret,” said D’Artagnan, with whom the most manifest sign of a lively emotion was the change of ideas in conversation. “Come, comte, how many days longer has Raoul to stay here?” “Three days at most.” “And how long will it take you to reach home?” “Oh! a considerable time,” replied Athos. “I shall not like the idea of being separated too quickly from Raoul. Time will travel too fast of itself to require me to aid it by distance. I shall only make half-stages.” “And why so, my friend? Nothing is more dull than traveling slowly; and hostelry life does not become a man like you.” “My friend, I came hither on post-horses; but I wish to purchase two animals of a superior kind. Now, to take them home fresh, it would not be prudent to make them travel more than seven or eight leagues a day.” “Where is Grimaud?” “He arrived yesterday morning with Raoul’s appointments; and I have left him to sleep.” “That is, never to come back again,” D’Artagnan suffered to escape him. “Till we meet again, then, dear Athos—and if you are diligent, I shall embrace you the sooner.” So saying, he put his foot in the stirrup, which Raoul held. “Farewell!” said the young man, embracing him. “Farewell!” said D’Artagnan, as he got into his saddle. His horse made a movement which divided the cavalier from his friends. This scene had taken place in front of the house chosen by Athos, near the gates of Antibes, whither D’Artagnan, after his supper, had ordered his horses to be brought. The road began to branch off there, white and undulating in the vapors of the night. The horse eagerly respired the salt, sharp perfume of the marshes. D’Artagnan put him to a trot; and Athos and Raoul sadly turned towards the house. All at once they heard the rapid approach of a horse’s steps, and first believed it to be one of those singular repercussions which deceive the ear at every turn in a road. But it was really the return of the horseman. They uttered a cry of joyous surprise; and the captain, springing to the ground like a young man, seized within his arms the two beloved heads of Athos and Raoul. He held them long embraced thus, without speaking a word, or suffering the sigh which was bursting his breast to escape him. Then, as rapidly as he had come back, he set off again, with a sharp application of his spurs to the sides of his fiery horse. “Alas!” said the comte, in a low voice, “alas! alas!” “An evil omen!” on his side, said D’Artagnan to himself, making up for lost time. “I could not smile upon them. An evil omen!” The next day Grimaud was on foot again. The service commanded by M. de Beaufort was happily accomplished. The flotilla, sent to Toulon by the exertions of Raoul, had set out, dragging after it in little nutshells, almost invisible, the wives and friends of the fishermen and smugglers put in requisition for the service of the fleet. The time, so short, which remained for father and son to live together, appeared to go by with double rapidity, like some swift stream that flows towards eternity. Athos and Raoul returned to Toulon, which began to be filled with the noise of carriages, with the noise of arms, the noise of neighing horses. The trumpeters sounded their spirited marches; the drummers signalized their strength; the streets were overflowing with soldiers, servants, and tradespeople. The Duc de Beaufort was everywhere, superintending the embarkation with the zeal and interest of a good captain. He encouraged the humblest of his companions; he scolded his lieutenants, even those of the highest rank. Artillery, provisions, baggage, he insisted upon seeing all himself. He examined the equipment of every soldier; assured himself of the health and soundness of every horse. It was plain that, light, boastful, egotistical, in his hotel, the gentleman became the soldier again—the high noble, a captain—in face of the responsibility he had accepted. And yet, it must be admitted that, whatever was the care with which he presided over the preparations for departure, it was easy to perceive careless precipitation, and the absence of all the precaution that make the French soldier the first soldier in the world, because, in that world, he is the one most abandoned to his own physical and 167

All things having satisfied. and everything seems beautiful to living things. He invited the comte had his son to dine with him. kept themselves apart. we sigh like those waves. I believed that I should always be as I was. which with other creatures is but habit. and I love you ardently. situated under the trees of the great Place. The sea. rejoicing in the largesses of the admiral. de Guiche is an agreeable companion. to tell you that I had a friend. I fell once.” “A friend!” cried Raoul. It is quite true that I wrecked myself. the joyous buds that spring incessantly from the fair tree of youth. under a pretext of service.moral resources. and moreover he loves me. loaded with phosphoric light. oppress the heart like fear. suddenly.” “My dear Raoul. I thought God had cast me in a path quite clear. All this life speaks of death. You have sought a secluded life. and the little red fires had made their openings in the black masses of every ship. sad and severe. When the moon had risen to its fullest height. in the times in which you live.” said Athos.” “Monsieur. The sailors. I bless you.” “I have not been a friend for you.” “I know why you say that. monsieur. men are more engaged in their own interests and their own pleasures than they were in ours. bordered with fruits and flowers. and that once deprived me of courage for the whole of my life. furnished much more resistance when misfortune presented itself. vast gray mountains.” 168 . and in what respect not?” “Because I have given you reason to think that life has but one face. such a spectacle. among the brambles of the promontory.—poor atoms mixed up with this monstrous universe. because.” “I have not interrupted you. animated man. as precious and as strong as that of which you speak. I had ever watching over me your vigilance and strength. they took their repast in haste. Around their heads passed and repassed large bats. Raoul. rising behind the rocks.” resumed the comte. Nothing prepared me. “I have wanted a friend!” “M. we suffer like those great ships. whence the view is infinite and embraces a liquid horizon which appears. alas! I have always cut off for you. In the roadsteads maneuvered silently the vessels which had just taken their rank to facilitate the embarkation. carried along by the fearful whirl of their blind chase. But I have lived under the guardianship of another friendship. every dip of the prow plowed up this gulf of white flames. the admiral. The night was fine. “but I believe. “Eh! monsieur. monsieur. and Athos led Raoul to the rocks which dominate the city. He has made us also. Raoul. opened beneath the hulls of the barks that transported the baggage and munitions. he paid his compliments to Raoul. as it always is in these happy climes. and that that friend is M. bathed in that void which is peopled by vertigo. I have no reproach to make against life such as you made it for me. We shine like those fires and those stars.” “I shall only act for you. your words do me good. Such harmonies. or appearing to have satisfied. The feet of Raoul were over the edge of the cliff. “we have before us a beautiful spectacle!” “How good D’Artagnan is!” interrupted Athos. Certes. Everything likes to live. it is not you who have made me what I am. Raoul. Athos. I believed myself to be vigilant and strong. monsieur. which took me at the time when children only have inclinations. as the breath of God blows us towards a port. wishing to do so. “and what a rare good fortune it is to be supported during a whole life by such a friend as he is! That is what you have missed. We four. so remote is it. when the watery mirror was illumined in its full extent. which was ordered the next morning at daybreak. more weaned from those delicate abstractions that constitute your joy. in obeying the wind that urges them towards an end. upon the moss. Oh. on a level with the rocks themselves. and provokes to self-annihilation. caressing with light the neighboring peaks. de Guiche. it was love. Gaining their hostelry. but you have lost your strength thereby. God knows. from every oar dropped liquid diamonds. he is good and generous. collecting all his ideas and all his courage. that is a great happiness. it is the constancy natural to my character. monsieur! you are nothing in my past but happiness—in my future but hope! No. They prove to me that you will act a little for me in the time to come. were heard murmuring their slow and artless songs. which are worn out in plowing the waves. Raoul. dissipated. Sometimes the grinding of the chains was mixed with the dull noise of shot falling into the holds. so that at this moment I repent of not having made of you a more expansive. coldly. without. The moon. quite straight. but they. Athos had seated himself with his son. and dilate it like hope. and gave the last orders for sailing. said: “God has made all these things that we see. since it is yours. no. monsieur.” said Raoul. unrolled a silver sheet on the cerulean carpet of the sea. No.

ambuscades. and I am one also.” replied the young man.” “Soon. I will henceforward do. and when you smile on thinking of me. do you not. have died to little purpose. as his aide-de-camp. “for.” “I will not promise you to be joyous.” “First and at once! Oh! yes. “the climate to be dreaded: that is an ugly end. and that it was which made me sleep so soundly—formerly. I will be your friend.” “No.” “I will do all you may command. You have gone through your ordeal. We will live in expanding ourselves. what I have never hitherto done with respect to you. before that time. on any occasion. almost choked with emotion. Raoul.” said the comte. “that from this moment. During my early youth I saw you in my dreams.” said Raoul. Raoul? God forbid I should encourage you to avoid encounters. And that will be soon. for such an expedition cannot last long. when you come back. the conqueror laughs. you are known to be a true man under fire.” “There is in addition. It is a death which always implies a little rashness or want of foresight. Do you clearly understand what I am saying to you.” said Raoul.” “You dream of me sometimes. Often.” “There is never much glory in falling in an ambuscade. not one hour. Still further. Whenever you may be sad. “Besides. then. instead of living and holding ourselves prisoners. rather than the fever. and should not dwell wherever we may dwell. I will give you the capital of my estates. “in twenty combats through which I have been.” said Raoul. that your duty as aide-de-camp should lead you into too hazardous enterprises. de Beaufort a promise that his dispatches shall be sent off every fortnight to France.” said Athos. calm and mild. will it not?” “Certainly.” “So it is said. “It is not necessary. monsieur.” “And will call upon me?” “Instantly. the consolation of not seeing my race extinct. with reasonable exercise—” “I have already obtained from M.” “I am naturally prudent.” “Oh. monsieur. with one hand stretched out over my head. Raoul. I swear. not your father. Raoul. Promise me that if anything evil should happen to you. monsieur. soon. Raoul. Those who are not pitied. It will suffice for launching you into the world till my death. monsieur.“Raoul. in which we separate. will be charged with expediting them. you will think of me at once. much agitated. with a smile which chilled the heart of his poor father. I hope. and I have very good fortune. be assured you will send me. You. a portion of both our souls should not travel with one and the other of us. to die of fever! King Saint-Louis prayed God to send him an arrow or the plague. monsieur! with sobriety. instead of living moderately on my income. a vital scintillation of your joy. and we Frenchmen ought not to allow stupid infidels to triumph over our faults. I have only received one scratch. Raoul. and you will give me. indeed. he who falls in one meets with but little pity. Raoul?” “Every night. monsieur. from however remote a distance.” 169 . and will be sure not to forget me. I feel that my heart will be dissolved in sadness. as you are a good Christian. monsieur. unless I shall be dead. Remember that war with Arabs is a war of snares.” “We love each other too dearly. “but you may be certain that I will never pass an hour without thinking of you. and assassinations. we ought to reckon upon a more special protection of God and His guardian angels.” the young man hastened to add.

left the white-colored flag. “Whether we part here or part there. Athos threw his cloak over the shoulders of Raoul. monsieur le comte. M. At that moment the drums suddenly rolled. followed after. as if in indecision or ashamed to be seen. where burdens and porters were already in motion. if you would please me.” said Grimaud. and was there awaiting him.Athos could contain himself no longer. a golden band surrounded the horizon. spend them. which showed to what an extent the old man was troubled. Musketeers at the wings. he threw his arm round the neck of his son. fourteen feet in length. no. boiling with the ardor of a young man. “it is no less a separation.” 170 . yes. At the extremity of the plateau which Athos and Bragelonne were quitting. with a sprinkling of golden fleurs-de-lis. some friendly heart to recall to him all he loved!” “I?” said Grimaud. with their forked sticks and their muskets on their shoulders. you!” cried Raoul. Raoul shall not go alone. de Beaufort. He himself was seen closing the march with his staff—it would take a full hour before he could reach the sea. “you are very old. pikemen in the center.” added the comte. Royals marched first. monsieur. like a vast ant-hill.” “So much the better. faced with blue. and are simply a volunteer.” said Grimaud. “an aide-de-camp ought not thus to quit his general. de Beaufort had known well how to select his troops. he shall not be left alone in a strange land without some friendly hand to support him. showing the keys of his trunks. “But. with his arm passed through that of the son he was about to lose. “you cannot leave monsieur le comte thus alone. you must not reckon upon either pay or largesse. as if to measure the strength of both. They advanced to the number of five. and I am certain it will be agreeable to you to purchase horses and arms. Raoul. “But the embarkation is begun.” said Athos. with its fleur-de-lised cross. my good Grimaud. with an inexpressible depth of feeling and intelligence. and the clarions filled the air with their inspiring notes. “Have the kindness to tell the prince. “I do. “But.” said Athos. Athos. de Beaufort’s train will be splendid. they saw a dark shadow moving uneasily backwards and forwards. “Monsieur le comte prefers my going. which are very dear things in Africa. who in his anxiety had tracked his master. Raoul with Athos turned his steps slowly towards the beach. with their lances. The regiments destined for the expedition began to debouch from the city. The regiments of Picardy.” The officer set off at a gallop. The comte uttered not a word.” “No. and Royal Vaisseau. Normandy. Please to tell the prince. absorbed in melancholy meditation. marched gayly towards the transports. have you not?” “Alone?” said Grimaud. The ordonnance colors. An officer came quickly towards them to inform Raoul that M. “you want money. “No. “that I request he will allow me this hour to enjoy the company of my father.” again objected Raoul. mixed with those of his young master. “Oh! my good Grimaud. “what do you want? You are come to tell us it is time to be gone.” He carefully brushed the dust from his son’s coat.” replied the latter. and led him back to the city. Here are two hundred pistoles. Now. in order to take his place when the prince embarked. touched to the inmost heart. quartered cross-wise. and held him embraced with all the power of his heart. The moon began to be now eclipsed by twilight. no. Grimaud. by an inclination of the head. Raoul. addressing Athos and pointing to Raoul in a tone of reproach.” said Raoul.” said he. “You. was deaf to every noise around him. But I should not like you to want for anything at Gigelli. that the vicomte will join him immediately. de Beaufort was anxious to have him by his side. violet and dead leaf. whom you have never quitted?” Grimaud turned his diamond eyes upon Athos and Raoul. It was Grimaud. “and you are not prepared. which carried them in detail to the ships. M. Navarre.” “Yes. as you are not actually in the service of the king or M. and passed his hand over his hair as they walked along. announcing the approach of the day. “Oh! you are right!” cried the comte. “Alas!” said Athos. distinguished by their white uniform. to dominate the whole.” cried Raoul. superintended the embarkation of Raoul’s baggage in the admiral’s vessel.” said Raoul. each composed of forty companies.

Raoul pressed the hand of his father.” said Athos. passing from black to pale. immediately were dipped in the waves. therefore. D’Artagnan. he knew right well that the king’s calling him was from necessity. the warmth of the sun. I do not wish to voice a second. The musketeer had no doubts. his eyes fixed. notwithstanding the clearness of the heavens. very much affected. wishing to spare the tears of these two men. The sea. to human weakness. which M. the soldiers and sailors exchanged the last kisses with their families and friends. D’Artagnan had not been able to hide his feelings from his friends so much as he would have wished.” said he. at the turning of a street. and Athos returned with slow and painful step to his deserted hostelry. “my farewell has been spoken. “Adieu!” cried Raoul. mounted on a magnificent white genet. to everything. D’Artagnan found himself completely at a loss. evident to both father and son that their walk amounted to nothing less than a punishment. of the perfumes of the air. The duke called Raoul. which responded by graceful curvets to the applause of the women of the city. must experience an imperious desire for a private conversation with one whom the possession of such a secret placed on a level with the highest powers of the kingdom. accommodating his action to the pace of the horse. his mouth open. Athos. for a few moments. of God. and held out his hand to the comte. and the rich life that was circulating in their veins. that the leader had placed his foot on board his vessel. de Beaufort. the reply was negative. when the sun devoured space. very much as Porthos might have done. the impassive man-at-arms. carried away boats and faces to that distance at which men become nothing but points. a silent servant.” “No. forgetful of ceremony. disappeared for Athos—disappeared very long after. It was customary for the admiral and his suite to embark last. Athos replied only by a sign. As to the first subject. one of the shades of the pale face of his son. always listening. and vanish as soon as seen. at a signal. He still further knew that Louis XIV. tenderly. in which. whose hearts were bursting. But as to saying exactly what the king’s wish was. he had silenced his heart and calmed the agitation of his nerves. and. “Accompany us on board. It was. jumped into his boat. Every instant took from him one of the features. at the most. he remained confounded with Raoul—in one same look. with its formidable voice. vicomte. This kiss given.” “At your pleasure. and pressed him convulsively to his heart. He himself. to all the eyes of the spectators. opened his arms to his son. deaf. and pushed it off with a vigorous foot. de Beaufort ordered to be fired as a last salute to the coast of France. everything created doubts of Providence. And paternally. nothing but remembrances. everything bitter. Grimaud jumped from the step of the mole upon the stem of a two-oared yawl. and of his own dignity as a strong man. the oars of which. “mind.” replied Rabaud. he saw him lean upon the rail of the deck.” said the duke. overcome by fear and sad presentiments. in one same thought. he took Raoul in his arms and placed him in the boat.” “Then. Athos perceived a soft aerial shadow rise. in order to obey the more promptly: “Rabaud. Chapter XXXIV. nay. and the imperceptible atom. from pale to white. and scarcely the tops of the masts dominated the incandescent limit of the sea. forgetful of both the admiral and the fleet. they saw M. Among Women. responded to by immense acclamations from the shore.—loves. and place himself in such a manner as to be always an object in the eye of his father. which had just been taken in tow by a chaland served by twelve galley-oars. When. In vain the cannon thundered. With his arms hanging down. gave up his thoughts to nothing—that is to say. He spoke to him for some time. from white to nothing. Towards midday. however. Raoul appeared to him to the last moment. The point was buried in its turn beneath the sky. but he felt something burning on his hand: it was the respectful kiss of Grimaud—the last farewell of the faithful dog. turning towards his lackey. in vain did the noise deafen the ear of the father. abandoned. everything appeared black. why the Iron Mask had thrown the silver plate at the feet of Raoul. The stoical soldier. And from that moment. the smoke obscured the cherished object of his aspirations. embark—embark quickly!” added the prince. either. upon the reason which had urged the 171 . in vain from the ship sounded the long and lordly tumult. captain. we must travel thirty leagues a day. with such a kindly expression that the heart of the poor father even felt a little comforted. Athos seated himself on the mole. like a true centaur. “you will gain a good half-hour. There was a terrible moment—that at which. on quitting the sands of the shore. stunned. This was the smoke of a cannon. He asked himself why the king had sent for him back. the cannon waited to announce. had disappeared both gallant ships and swelling sails. had yielded. a supreme moment. Athos saw his son ascend the ladder of the admiral’s ship. in one same stupor. by degrees.

Those were times in which everybody traveled. he was polite. gallant. he resolved to profit by the absence of the king to have a minute’s talk with Mademoiselle de la Valliere. and as D’Artagnan loved to philosophize a little occasionally. more. exiled to a country where the men seemed little more than slaves of the elements. and had just departed for the chase towards Meudon. during the last fortnight. like a queen. if his body was exposed to fatigue. D’Artagnan trembled at the very idea of receiving some commission that would make his very soul bleed. He learned that the king. nevertheless. that Monsieur. Aramis had never taken the good things of this life except as stepping-stones to rise to giddier ends. He directed his course. who still did not cure him. and as the king called for his man of execution in hours of vengeance and malice. On seeing him enter. reflected on the prodigious genius of Aramis. who were very dear to our captain. The king did not expect him so soon. despair beginning to devour him. and on the crown of his hat scrawling bombastic phrases. that sun of court trees. D’Artagnan then thought of the wishes of poor Raoul. and did not allow him to be ever out of his sight. as is not unfrequently the case with fair ladies. avaricious. harmless Porthos! To see Porthos hungry. but the surintendant. Never was the man of spirit subjected to ennui. that the king. all this threw D’Artagnan incessantly back on lamentable predictions and forebodings. D’Artagnan was told. imprisoned. This set all the ladies laughing. and in arming himself against all ill chances. priest. fugitives. D’Artagnan passed from these considerations to the remembrance of the proscribed Porthos and Aramis. like one of those fine trees a worm has punctured. buried forever beneath a mask of steel. during his sporting excursions. de Saint-Aignan. ruined—laborious architects of fortunes they had lost. the king’s brother. D’Artagnan did not doubt that. therefore. behaved in the kindest manner to M. was the sun. the destiny which had so strangely brought Athos to participate in the great state secret. the obscurity of the future which threatened to end in a melancholy death. Colbert was radiant. to the spot where he knew he should find Mademoiselle de la Valliere. notwithstanding. the first king in the world was seen descending from his horse with an ardor beyond compare. dishonored even to the timber. if he had something to engage his mind. 172 . in spite of the royal smile. and his terrible reputation had conciliated as much friendship among the men as admiration among the women. Sometimes. to see Mousqueton without gold lace. at the moment of reaching the goal. received. to the delight and astonishment of the curious from the king’s balcony?” He replied that he had just come from the land of oranges. D’Artagnan found La Valliere the center of the circle. which was much worse. D’Artagnan. and that his principal complaint was one which physicians do not usually cure. no longer verses. “Where had he been? What had become of him so long? Why had they not seen him as usual make his fine horse curvet in such beautiful style. in the state of heart in which he had left him. Fouquet. aide-de-camp in perpetuity. as the political Pleiad of the day said. left to more freedom of thought. In her apparent solitude. had a bath. although no squire of dames. Bracieux. touched to the heart. tracked. the art of venery ran great risk of degenerating at the court of France. as a brave man always is. and heaved his flanks. took off his boots. razed to the very stones. and hope. D’Artagnan. when all the king’s looks were directed to her and commanded the looks of the courtiers. prose. Philippe. opened the attack by questions. to see Pierrefonds. or at least consolation for Raoul. Louise might give him grounds for writing a consolatory letter to the poor exile. cunning. if not lofty in heart. “From Spain?” “Eh! eh!” said the musketeer. de Guiche was gone to one of his estates. riding fast. instead of riding after the king. good. while the king was hunting. who had loaded him with honors and delicate attentions. deprived even of the society of D’Artagnan. perhaps. he had made a false step upon a plank. Fouquet consulted a fresh physician every day. This was a very easy affair. in the belief that his revelations would raise up some avenger for him. as it used formerly to do. he bounded like a horse at the sting of a gadfly beneath the vaults of foliage where he has sought shady shelter from the burning sun. and that whole pages at a time. and waited till his majesty should return dusty and tired. During this time. Towards the end of his career. but in which. and. they immediately accosted him. that Madame had the vapors. He occupied the interval of five hours in taking. if he could but open the conversation on Raoul. The manner in which the musketeer had been near killing his two best friends. as he would formerly have done. Thus. wrote to her frequently. perhaps. hunted so lazily that. that M. but. which M. thinking as constantly. D’Artagnan learned that Mademoiselle de la Valliere had become indispensable to the king. was exhibiting a devotional turn. the farewell of Raoul. Generous in spirit. carried to La Valliere at the risk of foundering his horses. Louise was walking with some other ladies in one of the galleries of the Palais Royal. exactly where the captain of the musketeers had some guards to inspect. fresh and tender in his muscles as the athlete preparing for the gymnasium. “From the land of oranges?” cried Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente. of that desponding letter destined for a woman who passed her life in hoping. therefore. Soldier. he poured himself forth in complaints. he never did ill but for the sake of shining even yet more brilliantly. diplomatist. the air of the house. deer and pheasants were left to the free enjoyment of their nature. a match to which the Fronde and the civil war had produced but twice. was declining daily. civilities and attentions from the ladies. as people say. never did the man of healthy body fail to find life light. it was said. like the patrician Fuscus. and every time that one of these griefs struck him. and. was life to two men. when the winded horse breathed hard from his red nostrils. a homage of which Madame had been so proud. alighted from his horse in Pairs. He saw them both. the captain. that the queen-mother was ill and much depressed.unfortunate Philippe to reveal his character and birth. He learned that M. than the queen. D’Artagnan. unless they are political physicians. The king. a journey of a hundred leagues was a problem often solved by death. had been gloomy.—these were so many poignant griefs for D’Artagnan. had nothing more to see than odious specters in this world. ascending hills. and had fallen into the sea. if he did not take her with him. and that M. the king’s favorite received. a genius of acumen and intrigue. which the rapidity of his pace did not dissipate. But Porthos. Philippe.

“From Malta?” echoed Montalais.” replied D’Artagnan. “As plainly as I see you. what!—is he gone to the wars?—he!” Montalais trod on her toe.” said D’Artagnan. Montalais coughed loud enough to waken the dead. “I will not give you the trouble of seeking any further. without finding it.” “Is it an island?” asked La Valliere.” “My opinion is.” continued Athenais. de Manchy. but I should like very much to know it. Resuming the conversation without pause.” said Athenais.” Some of the ladies laughed.” “Yellow!” exclaimed the bevy of fair beauties. that all the men who go to this war are desperate. addressing D’Artagnan. at this moment. Poor fellow!” A profound silence followed these words. “Eh! do not disparage it. “No. “Why. that is a right which every honest woman has. “Mademoiselle. mademoiselle?” stammered the unfortunate girl. “Do you know what my opinion is?” continued she. “that there is a great sin on your conscience?” “What sin. there were M. it is much better to cast him off. in an affected tone. “but that is not the sin Mademoiselle de la Valliere has to reproach 173 . “you are in error when you speak of black women at Gigelli. she determined to make her blush likewise. “the poor young man was affianced to you. “M. but all in vain. “Mademoiselle. you cast him off. “yes. looking round her for support.” said she.” interrupted D’Artagnan. I saw everything. I have never seen a finer color to match with black eyes and a coral mouth. he loved you. the women there have not jet faces. But making La Valliere pale did not satisfy Athenais. and who go to try if they cannot find jet-complexioned women more kind than fair ones have been. de Bragelonne.” “Well. “When we know we cannot constitute the happiness of a man. “Eh. it is true they are not white—they are yellow.” said Montalais. mademoiselle. desponding men. but in a manner to attract attention to a question that was not without its calculated aim. I come from the country where M. “And the fleet?” “Yes. de Bragelonne!” cried the perfidious Athenais. “He will make amends for his loss. La Valliere was evidently confused. “Eh!—why.” “Have we any of us any friends there?” said Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente. Louise. M. de Beaufort is. ladies.” “So much the better for M. whom love has treated ill. de Bragelonne—” La Valliere became pale.” replied D’Artagnan. M. coldly. “Do you know.” said Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente. with persistent malice. then. “Ma foi! You are coming very near.” “Cast him off! or refuse him!—that’s all very well. and D’Artagnan had time to observe and reflect that women—mild doves—treat each other more cruelly than tigers.” “Have you seen the army?” asked several warlike fair ones. embarking for Algiers. de la Guillotiere.

” “When shall I set out?” said the captain.” said he.herself with.” “I have rested.” “What did he do?” “There was a moment at which the fisherman—who took me in his boat to Sainte-Marguerite—revolted. “You wished to speak with me. Will you majesty make so long a journey as to Nantes?” “The States are assembled there. That is the sin. Louis walked about his cabinet with hasty steps. and D’Artagnan bowed. “the prisoner?” “Is in his prison. sire. coolly. I was setting off when monsieur le duc arrived. and to wars in which death is so very likely to be met with.” “Yes. but as soon as he saw D’Artagnan.” “Ah!” which was followed by a fresh silence. it is true but still in its entirety.” replied the king. “you will have killed him. then.” replied he. “I have two demands to make of them: I wish to be there. who bowed to him—”Ah! monsieur!” cried he. mademoiselle. Not perceiving La Valliere. “What had you to say to me?” D’Artagnan made several steps along the gallery. “Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente has just expressed. she went her way. She disappeared at one door. “I have sent for you. The king perceived he was unwilling to speak.” said she. “Were you at Antibes. sire. “In Bretagne. “Enough!” said he. monsieur le capitaine. The first glance of the king was directed towards the empty seat of his mistress. holding Louise on his arm. when they were far enough removed from the others—”What I had to say to you. pierced to the heart by this new wound. and did his best to kill me. “you have been diligent! I am much pleased with you. Many men would have been ready to lay down their lives for such a speech from the king. “Well! Monsieur d’Artagnan. “And if he dies.” This was the superlative expression of royal satisfaction. after having again. “Whom did you see there?” “A great many persons. struck unto death. to desire you to go and prepare my lodgings at Nantes. with his eyes. it is in Bretagne. “when Monsieur de Beaufort came there?” “No. sire. on observing he wished to speak privately with his captain of the musketeers. at the moment the king was entering by another. like one of those poor birds which. whose absence he could not account for. sought everywhere for La Valliere. The actual sin is sending poor Bragelonne to the wars. The maids of honor and the courtiers.” continued her pitiless tormentor.” The king became pale.” Louise pressed her hand over her icy brow. in a voice broken by anger and pain. roughly and unkindly. caught at the arm of the captain of the musketeers. half-dead. “This evening—to-morrow—to-morrow evening. The moment they were out of the reach of curious ears. The king led the way out of the gallery. drew back.” She uttered a faint cry.” said D’Artagnan. seek the shade of the thicket in which to die. sire.” Louise. sire.” said he. Monsieur d’Artagnan.” 174 .” “What did he say on the road?” “Nothing. who had formed a respectful circle round the king on his entrance. a frown came over his brow.” “At Nantes!” cried D’Artagnan. whose face betrayed unusual emotion. The—the prisoner defended me instead of attempting to fly. for you must stand in need of rest.

turning cavalierly on his heel. “take the court with you?” “Certainly I shall. “Take a brigade of them. “Why did he not dare to say. Precedence always belongs to the first comer. de Brienne?” “Yes. Then between this and to-morrow evening. Monsieur d’Artagnan. want the musketeers?” And the eye of the king sank beneath the penetrating glance of the captain. “Is that all? Has your majesty no other orders to give me?” “No—ah—yes. Be sure that your musketeers are placed before his guards arrive.” “For instance. but.” “Then you majesty will. perceiving the king very much embarrassed.” “And of monsieur le surintendant?” “Without doubt. stepping two paces forward. le Duc de Gesvres. “Will you majesty. one of M. exclaiming.” “And that of M. sire. de Lyonne?” “Yes. “To Nantes!” said he to himself. sire.” “Oh.” “Of the principal?” “Yes. at the door of M. when you please. as he descended from the stairs. which I hear is very ill arranged. de Gesvres should question me?” And the musketeer.” “Yes. sire.“That is well.” replied Louis. sire! Is it likely that M.” “Of M. de Gesvres should question you?” “Question me. “Monsieur d’Artagnan! I beg your pardon—” “What is the matter. At Nantes you will meet with M.” “Very well. captain of the guards. Monsieur Ariste?” 175 . you will adopt the practice of placing musketeers at the door of each of the principal dignitaries I shall take with me. yes.” “I am all attention. disappeared. Letellier?” “Yes. but one more word.” D’Artagnan bowed as if to take his leave. doubtless.” “At the castle of Nantes.” said he. By to-morrow I shall have set out. from thence to Belle-Isle?” As he reached the great gates. Brienne’s clerks came running after him.” “And if M.

“M. “What!” thought he. D’Artagnan crossed the court. le surintendant. for he was giving a farewell dinner to his friends. 176 . the support of their twined arms. presented himself at the offices. but that the customs of the house were respectable likewise. with his order in his hand. was looking anxiously towards the door by which Pelisson had gone out to bring D’Artagnan. denoted an approaching change in offices and kitchen. as devoted in misfortune as they had been in prosperity. D’Artagnan. that “that was a very respectable reason. The captain entered at first full of courtesy. “No. placed in the center.” “Upon your cash-box?” asked the musketeer. Fouquet. Monsieur Pelisson. Fouquet. On the left of the surintendant sat Madame de Belliere. and. and placed his boot between the door and the door-case. smiling. then! Mordioux! that is a bit of pure Louis XI. he had divined as well as taken in the expression of every face. on his right was Madame Fouquet. these are the offices. went straight to the house of M. and he took the captain by the hand. But the latter had foreseen this stroke. he begged the bearer to call again next day. The superintendent had no doubt received advice of the approaching departure.” And D’Artagnan. they had not fled their protector at the approach of the storm. in consequence. dragging him behind him.” said the clerk. in spite of the trembling earth.” D’Artagnan was surprised. D’Artagnan smiled. Fouquet is to pay for the journey. a little put out by the serious air of the captain. “There is nothing unpleasant. Joyous friends. to receive his two hundred pistoles. for the most part faithful. which was in the king’s own writing. with one hand on her husband’s.” said the captain. delighted to be free. with terrified politeness. “If monsieur wishes to speak to M. in spite of the threatening heavens. and rudely closed the outer door in the captain’s face. only a little order to receive the money for. a little pale. From the bottom to the top of the house. He only replied: “On the king’s service. when. Fouquet raised himself up in his chair.” “Oh! very well! Where are they?” replied D’Artagnan. cheerful. Colbert? He would have paid it with such joy. “On the other side of the court. and that. and buried in the cushions of a fauteuil. Fouquet. came hastily out of the dining-room to learn what was the matter. This made him change his tone. “Monseigneur sees nobody at this hour. There were assembled all the Epicureans who so lately at Vaux had done the honors of the mansion of wit and money in aid of M. as if braving the laws of the world. He arrived just in time to meet M.” The fellow uttered a cry of surprise. and putting all vulgar reasons of propriety to silence. the chest was closed. monsieur. and was for two hundred pistoles. “that I am M. “Tell him. the two protecting angels of this man united to offer. Pelisson in the ante-chamber: the latter. captain of his majesty’s musketeers. they remained there. with his infallible glance. The clerk replied that M. where a number of friends surrounded the surintendant. he must go to the ante-chambers. and full of respectful attentions for madame la surintendante. le surintendant did not interfere with such details. and. Fouquet. on that of M. breathing more freely.“The king has desired me to give you this order. laying hold of the servant by the end of his dish. in which were three pheasants and twelve quails. led him into the dining-room.” The clerk. and say. Madame de Belliere was pale. when he was told it was too late to pay cash. after having politely thanked M. at the moment of the crisis. Chapter XXXV.” “Ah!” said Fouquet’s friend.” he was answered by a fellow carrying a vermeil dish. trembling. and fell in with a crowd of servants. The Last Supper. faithful to his principle of never letting an order at sight get cold. and afterwards of admiration.” D’Artagnan asked if he could not see M. the hurry of the servants bearing dishes. but he took the order. who. where monseigneur never comes. replied. and the clerk was still nose to nose with his interlocutor. Why was not this order on the chest of M. and disappeared. and the diligence of the registres. D’Artagnan following him slowly. Brienne’s clerk. so that the lock did not catch. d’Artagnan.

and ordered one to be given to D’Artagnan.” Madame Fouquet permitted her countenance to show clearly that if Fouquet had conducted himself well towards the king. which seized me after the fete at Vaux. “you are not going so soon. when Fouquet. whatever may happen. monseigneur?” “I have a tertian fever. making a sign to his intendant.” said he. who went out with the order D’Artagnan handed him. to whom the two hundred pistoles were brought. monseigneur. which still remained overcast.” said Fouquet. “Do you feel your attack coming on?” asked Madame Fouquet. “Ah! then. “if I did not myself receive you when coming in the king’s name. “The fact is. to his poet. recovered from her fright. monsieur le capitaine. that hospitality was never practiced as at Vaux. without suspicion that he was uttering a sacrilege. the house is good.” said Madame Fouquet. those two men had not. perhaps?” “No. “Your attack?” said D’Artagnan. was about to take his leave. “Are you in pain?” asked Madame de Belliere. at night. with perfect frankness and much amenity. “Neither. The captain. nothing but agitation. He alone with Fouquet knew it. “We cannot devote too much heart to the reception of our king. mildly. took a glass of wine. “Monseigneur. “to the health of the king. the one the courage to complain.” “The reply to which shall be gold.” replied D’Artagnan. “Monsieur meant to say the too great ardor. “I only come to you in the king’s name to demand payment of an order for two hundred pistoles.” said he.” said La Fontaine. to all the company. But D’Artagnan knew the terrible secret. “Oh!” said the latter. the other the right to accuse. you see. “Monsieur.” “The too much heart you displayed in your reception of the king. who rose as soon as they heard the sound of his spurs and boots at 177 . no. whatever may happen. which filled the hearts of all his friends with terror.” A painful smile passed over the pale features of Fouquet. quietly.” interrupted D’Artagnan.“Pardon me. He bowed.” “And to your health. “are you unwell. that. thank you both. monseigneur.” said Fouquet. I have been obliged to permit myself to interrupt your repast to procure payment of my note.” “Caught cold in the grottos.” said D’Artagnan. the king had hardly done the like to the minister.” said he.” And he pronounced the last words with a sort of melancholy firmness. Monsieur d’Artagnan. with these words of evil omen. “perhaps you also are setting out for Nantes?” “I do not know whither I am setting out. rising. as not to do us the honor to take a seat with us?” “Madame. but I am so pressed for time.” “But. “I was not uneasy about the payment.” The clouds passed from every brow but that of Fouquet. monseigneur.” said Fouquet. that was all. in his turn. I should esteem that a great honor done me.

when he really sinks? I have no more money.” said La Fontaine. it is our duty to be frank. I have discovered the means of reconciling everything. in the first place. then. “And. In fact.” “More than that. “Shut the doors. but in your own carriage as far as Orleans. in your own barge as far as Nantes.” said Pelisson.” said Madame de Belliere. “Fly!” “I will remain. do so. but remember. but to refuse to go would be to evince uneasiness. you are hastening to your ruin—stop. “what was I formerly? What am I now? Consult among yourselves and reply. 178 .” “We will draw up memoirs to justify you. what a distance!” said Madame Fouquet. and from Belle-Isle you will shoot out wherever it may please you.” said Madame Belliere. “Relays. if you are threatened. you are ruined— yes. it will be said that I have carried away twenty millions with me. I know that well. when going to Nantes. and the God we adore. if you are attacked. lowering his voice.” cried Pelisson. “I. in the name of Heaven!” “Oh! do not deceive yourselves. I have no longer anything but powerful enemies. besides.” said the intendant. no more credit.” continued Fouquet. you will carry your money against all chances.” A painful cry of denial arose from all parts of the table.” said Madame Fouquet to her husband. “Yes.” “Quick!” cried Pelisson. and which was nothing but a farewell dinner. “Patience. likewise.” cried the Abbe Fouquet. patience!” “Before arriving at Nantes. reaching the sea.” said the superintendent.” said Fouquet. “My friends. my dear brothers in Epicurus.” Fouquet looked at him with an air of surprise. whilst flying.” said Fouquet. “it will be said that he was guilty—was afraid. what money have we left?” “Seven hundred thousand livres. “Bread. “I do not wish to make a comparison between the most humble sinner on the earth. I know well it is for the purpose of ruining me. then. like that which we are making at this moment. like the eagle that leaps into space when it has been driven from its eyrie. And. when you like. you will embark for Belle-Isle.” replied Fouquet. “And I am naturally going there. does not everything serve me?” “You have Belle-Isle. and.” A general assent followed Pelisson’s words. always ready to defend yourself.” said Fouquet. What shall we say. you will only have obeyed the king. then. “But with friends.” murmured Madame Fouquet. “Since you explain yourself with such frankness. and the servants disappeared. thought it was I and not my money he wanted. and fly!” “Whither?” “To Switzerland—to Savoy—but fly!” “If monseigneur flies. “You are going to set out for Nantes. “You!” cried his friends. “and what for. he gave one day to his friends a repast which is called the Last Supper. “Yes. “Do so. endeavoring to laugh. “relays. for a moment. A man like me sinks when he does not continue to rise.the bottom of the stairs. and powerless friends. “But what is to be done there? The king summons me to the States.” “Well. Yes.” replied the superintendent. to escape.

Fouquet opened his right hand. looking at Pelisson. and displayed a paper. like a shade that comes to salute the friends of former days. saying. An instant after.” added La Fontaine. His brow was streaming with perspiration. and trembled with emotion. yes!” “What will you do. and every one rushed towards Fouquet. as if the message brought by this courier was nothing but a reply to all the projects given birth to a moment before. but it was no longer the same pale. “’The present letter is to serve as a receipt. but glistening with perspiration. annihilated. A knock at the door interrupted this concert of joy and hope. he advanced with his arms stretched out. “What is there to prevent our arming corsairs at Belle-Isle?” “And. “’LOUIS. and throughout the attendance. broken by fatigue. from pale he had become livid. I have paid it.” “But—” “If I have received it. Pelisson. if necessary. “Then we are ruined!” 179 . Every one waited to see what the master would do. “This very evening?” “In an hour?” “Instantly. A breathing. however. “Well. A profound silence immediately ensued. On seeing him thus. and from spiritless. and to have you in His holy keeping. my God!” said some one to him. intoxicated with fresh projects and enthusiasm. with a simplicity that went to the heart of all present. since I have received it. He read the following lines. written by the king’s hand: “’DEAR AND WELL-BELOVED MONSIEUR FOUQUET.” replied Fouquet. of which we stand in need to prepare for our departure. upon that which you have left of ours. in a voice which had nothing human in it. then?” “Nothing. upon which Pelisson cast a terrified glance. to receive the king’s message. “That is well.” cried Pelisson. The latter. Fouquet called Gourville. “A courier from the king. he himself re-appeared among his guests.” said he. we will go and discover a new world. There prevailed. and he was really suffering from his fever at that instant.” said the master of the ceremonies. that from the dining-room could be heard the voice of Fouquet. every one cried out. and pressed the icy hand of the Marquise de Belliere. monsieur. “You have paid it!” cried Madame Fouquet. as we know your health is not good. in his turn.” This voice was. as we have said. which was clenched. “What has happened. “you have received that letter?” “Received it.” “With seven hundred thousand livres you can lay the foundation of another fortune.—Give us. “Well.” said the Abbe Fouquet. the sum of seven hundred thousand livres. we pray God to restore you. who crossed the gallery amidst the universal expectation.“Do it! do it!” cried all his friends. leaned upon his wife.’” A murmur of terror circulated through the apartment. At length. spiritless countenance they had beheld when he left them. such a silence in the chambers.” said the surintendant. his mouth parched. living specter. He passed into his cabinet. “’And. “I will do so.

by which D’Artagnan recognized a young woman. “Next to money. “He is right. then!” cried every voice at once. in saving yourself. the other the Duchesse de Chevreuse. In this carriage D’Artagnan perceived the hoods of two women. in the meantime. in passing along the Rue des PetitsChamps. left his brigade under the orders of a lieutenant. was shut up in his carriage.” “Oh! if he takes time to reflect—” said the intrepid Pelisson. Monseigneur. and being rather curious. Gourville took the reins. four steps at once. my poor friend. and set off on post horses. for they kept themselves closely covered up. However rapidly they might travel. Chapter XXXVI. they could not arrive before him. “Monseigneur! Monseigneur!” cried Gourville. the king’s musketeers were mounting and following their captain. no useless words. he had seen and known them. he urged his horse so near the carriage. Colbert’s Carriage. He had time. the one a faint cry. and saying: “Madame. do not manifest alarm. To horse!” “But he cannot hold himself on. “there. The terrified women uttered.” “What did you see?” cried the impatient friends. and mounted the box. Madame de Belliere flew after her. As Gourville had seen. Colbert coming out from his house to get into his carriage. Pelisson supported Madame Fouquet. the other an imprecation. which was stationed before the door. rushing up the stairs. “Monseigneur!” “Well! what?” “I escorted. And. in which he recognized the vigor and aplomb that half a century bestows. and was well paid for it. he wished to know the names of the ladies hid beneath these hoods. the pious alms made to misery by poverty. He saw M. “There. catching her in her arms. and as they laughed at their fright. do not betray anything. calling for her horses. who did not like to be confined in his proceedings. carried by others.” “Yes.— 180 . the king’s courier with the money. you are suffocating. to see something which afforded him plenty of food for thought and conjecture. “Eh! monseigneur. leave us!” at once cried both the women. To get a glimpse at them. The hoods were thrown back: one of the women was Madame Vanel.” interrupted Pelisson. you save us all.” “Well! when I arrived at the Palais Royal. that he drove him against the step with such force as to shake everything containing and contained. as you desired. whilst they did not recognize him. who had fainted. I saw—” “Take breath. life. recommending his men to use all diligence. to horse! to horse!” “What.” murmured Fouquet. “I saw the musketeers mounting on horseback. then! is there an instant to be lost?” Madame Fouquet rushed downstairs.” Pelisson ran to have the horses put to the carriages. Pelisson easily explained this precipitate departure by saying that an order from the king had summoned the minister to Nantes. Madame de Belliere had more strength. The latter. Gourville gathered in his hat all that the weeping friends were able to throw into it of gold and silver—the last offering. The surintendant. dragged along by some. D’Artagnan’s eyes were quicker than those of the ladies.” said Gourville. wild with grief. In M. in the name of his safety. take breath. she received Fouquet’s last kiss.“Come. pressing each other’s hands. Look at him.

Mazarin concerning M. all the old nobility of the kingdom. She showed him the secret of so many secrets that. Fouquet. poor man! was ignorant of the fact. Fouquet always appeared to me to practice a system opposed to the true interests of the king. for a moment. Is not that your opinion?” Colbert darted a glance at the duchesse. Fouquet? Answer without evasion. Fouquet. “the king.” “It was useless. “must be a high place. It was idle. M. Neither can I conceive why you have laid those letters before the king. and that the surintendant has ruined them. who is only anxious for a pretext. that dear duchesse. as she had held the Fouquet of yesterday. half stupefied. The States will say that the imposts are too heavy.” continued the duchesse. is a man gone by—and for you also. though ever with a view to her own good. Fouquet.—”I will say no more to you about M. To what does your ambition aspire?” “I have none. madame—” “Oh! yes. Madame de Chevreuse set down Madame Vanel at her husband’s house. then.” Colbert. 181 . she bewildered him. how great a minister he was. The journey the king is about to take to Nantes will give a good account of him.” replied he. all about the interest of the king—but. and did not fail to leave a favorable impression. and how Fouquet would soon become a cipher. Colbert! Poor M. and then—” “And then?” said Colbert. Do you perceive any one between the king and yourself. “the differences of system oft bring about dissentions between men.” “Your place. which plainly said: “If M. left alone with M. I know. Fouquet?” “I do not understand. Fouquet! that presages you nothing good!” He rode on. are you. in politics.” “In short. for me. Colbert. why you purchased from me the letters of M.” Colbert made no reply. or are you not endeavoring to ruin M. She taught Colbert. She had an inexhaustible fund of conversation.” “Mine! that is to say. and questioned him as to the preponderance it would be proper to allow La Valliere. Colbert thought he was doing business with the devil. chatted upon affairs whilst continuing her ride.” said he. looked at the duchesse with an air of constraint. then. and as she always talked for the ill of others.“Humph!” said D’Artagnan. I ruin nobody.” She interrupted him. She paying her court to the mistress of M.” “I am endeavoring to comprehend.” “Madame. “Madame. She praised him. the affairs of his majesty. “You will understand. “On his return from Nantes. will find that the States have not behaved well—that they have made too few sacrifices. if you please. Monsieur Colbert. She proved to him that she held in her hand the Colbert of to-day. She promised to rally around him. who. “Oh! he will be disgraced. M. she blamed him. and.” “I had the honor to tell you. when he should become surintendant. Fouquet be only disgraced. Colbert. her conversation amused her interlocutor. M. “the old duchesse is no more inaccessible to friendship than formerly. and as he asked her very simply the reason of her hatred for the surintendant: “Why do you yourself hate him?” said she. Colbert got into his carriage and the distinguished trio commenced a sufficiently slow pilgrimage toward the wood of Vincennes.” the duchesse hastened to say. we will speak of your own. to overthrow the superintendent. Fouquet. you will not be the cause of it. The king will lay all the blame on M. after the fall of M. M.

” “That fight in favor of M. “because we must will that which we wish for. Fouquet very prejudicial to her son. she would not wish. at Vaux. In short. who received the money. would it not?” “I think it would. quite confounded by such coarse logic. my scruples would be all removed.” said the old duchesse. has a weakness for M. the queen-mother has conceived a bitter hatred for all those who have participated. let me help you. and small means. for. the queen-mother. Fouquet? What are they? Stop.” “And why not?” said Colbert. Fouquet arrested. unless we are not able to obtain what we wish. perhaps?” “Her majesty.” “Well! have you never heard talk of a certain secret?” “A secret?” “Call it what you like. if I were certain of not displeasing her majesty. no knowledge of business. to destroy certain influences near the king. M. in one fashion or another.” “Never believe that. “I can less easily conceive how you. “we may be sure of the assent of the queen-mother?” 182 .” “La Valliere?” “Oh! very little influence. astonished.” “On the contrary.” “I am not able.” “To defend him would be to accuse herself. what do you say to that?” “Is it considerable?” “The queen-mother. Fouquet has paid his court to her. to-day.” “Formerly?” “Very recently. That which the queen may have wished recently. I think it is of great consequence. It was she who prevented the king from having M.” “Will!” said Colbert.” said he. the queen-mother. perhaps.” “There is still another influence.” said the old duchesse.“Madame. I allow.” “People do not forever entertain the same opinions. “Oh!” said Colbert. “I have often experienced it. “You are not able. madame. hein! Speak. in the discovery of this secret. Fouquet I believe is one of these.” “Then.” said Colbert. can reproach me on that head—” “That is. my dear monsieur. and M. madame. “Oh! the reason is of very little consequence. smiling.” “Do. with incredulity.

d’Herblay. madame.” And this us.” “At the residence of M. accompanied by a firmness not altogether wanting in grandeur. or will not give. “Say where.—a matter. That will give.” said he. that so far from being taken.” It was now the duchesse’s turn to smile. we take others. madame. d’Herblay conspires. d’Herblay. of little importance to us.” Colbert fixed upon the old duchesse one of those fierce looks of which no words can convey the expression. If M.” Colbert looked at the duchesse.” “And is that the desire of the queen-mother?” “An order is given for it. and he meant to keep it. “to have this M. madame?” “Because M. she would not be satisfied with anything less than his head. M. the queen-mother is pursuing with the utmost rancor. then. made the duchesse thoughtful for a moment. Fouquet?” “At the residence of M.” “He shall be taken.” “He is a rebel. “You ask me. and yet you see plainly. Fouquet. “in which subjects gained duchies by making war against the king of France. we have passed all our lives in making rebels. do you happen to know a man who was the intimate friend of M.” “But there is something further. a bishop.” “So be it. a strange word in the mouth of Colbert. d’Herblay arrested?” “I?—I ask you nothing of the kind!” 183 .” he said.” “Oh! it is well known where he is.” “Well! this M. Fouquet. I believe?” “Bishop of Vannes.” “Indeed!” “So hotly pursued. by the way. madame. then?” “Oh! Monsieur Colbert. he will perish on the scaffold. pleasure to his enemies. d’Herblay is not one of those people who can be taken when and where you please. “The times are gone. who also knew the secret. “do not promise it so lightly. that if he were dead.” “This Monsieur d’Herblay shall be sought for.” “Why not.” “He is at Belle-Ile-en-Mer. madame. “Do not fancy the capture so easy. to satisfy her he would never speak again.“I have just left her majesty.” said she. She caught herself reckoning inwardly with this man—Colbert had regained his superiority in the conversation. and she assures me so.

” “I believe a secret better concealed behind the walls of the Bastile than behind those of Belle-Isle. and fortified by him. monsieur. under the late king. M. but what shall I tell her of your projects respecting this man?” “That when once taken. and we may say. and he will be taken.” “It is I. and who. he either has it or will have it. in will. You do not know D’Herblay. what can he do. “Is not the queen a woman? If she wishes M. Besides. Monsieur d’Herblay?” “I repeat to you. gave so much trouble to Monseigneur Mazarin. It is evident you know nothing of the man you have to do with. that is. the king has said nothing about him.” “Belle-Isle is fortified. monsieur. we will leave him alone. who place myself at yours. he will clear up the point. unless he has a kingdom to back him?” “He has one.” “You may be very certain.” “He will always find an asylum. the place shall be besieged. monsieur. and if Monsieur l’Eveque de Vannes is shut up in Belle-Isle. d’Herblay arrested. Monsieur Colbert.” 184 . is not M. and that I am absolutely at your service. made Cardinal de Richelieu tremble. if he is not the enemy of the king. we have formed a solid alliance. you do not know Aramis. he! what. if not in fact.” “I will speak to the king about it. I will not even take the slightest notice of him.” “A kingdom. Is that displeasing to you?” “I say nothing. no. I promise you he shall not escape. monsieur. This Chevalier d’Herblay is a kind of Spanish spy. well. that if he wants a kingdom.” “Well. Belle-Isle is not impregnable. that the zeal you display in the interest of the queen-mother will please her majesty mightily.” “Very well. Colbert.” “Yes—you wish to see him in prison.” continued Colbert.” “Escaped! he! and whither should he escape? Europe is ours.” “If Belle-Isle were also defended by him. madame. “Game for a woman!” said she. “what a poor capture would this bishop be! A bishop game for a king! Oh! no.” “And whilst waiting for that enlightenment. “This man shall be spared. in the Bastile. she has her reasons. is he not?” “Much more. madame. he shall be shut up in a fortress from which her secret shall never escape. during the regency. madame. madame. d’Herblay the friend of him who is doomed to fall?” “Oh! never mind that.” said Colbert. “Besides.“I thought you did. as you are so earnest that this rebel should not escape. He was one of those four musketeers who.” “But. for instance. I would do so. madame. Monsieur l’Eveque de Vannes will have escaped.” The duchesse bit her nails. and you will be magnificently rewarded.” The hatred of the duchesse now discovered itself. But as I have been mistaken. that. you and I. dating from this instant.

M. madame. He is.” “Stop—King Phillip III.” “To Paris!” cried the duchesse to the coachman. Colbert.” “But you were not attending to what I said to you just now. who forgot himself so far as to swear in the presence of this great lady. The first moments of this journey.” said he.” “But.” Colbert bit his lips.” “And it was lucky for us he has attacked the throne. the new foe of the old duchesse. after the conclusion of the treaty that gave to death the last friend of Fouquet. D’Artagnan had set off. had we not better return?” “The more willingly. this flight. you will not be prime minister. he will be sure to make another.” replied the duchesse.” “I believe you have guessed it at last. “He must then be the general of the Jesuits. in a lower tone: “we will find a little retreat from which the invincible cannot possibly escape. if he has missed one blow. were troubled by a ceaseless dread of every horse and carriage to be seen behind 185 . “Oh! if you knew. “We will renounce the idea of the prison. and not us. of whom. perhaps.” The duchesse smiled again. the confessor of Phillip III. “we will take care that he shall not get out this time. and with a rapidity which doubled the tender interest of his friends. “Ah! then. and we must make haste. in a manner satisfactory for both. this man will ruin us all if we do not ruin him. “I feel assured that a prison will settle this affair for us.“A secret ambassador?” “Higher still. The Two Lighters. If he has allowed an opportunity to escape of making a king for himself.” “Mordieu!” cried Colbert. but I did not dare to give it you. mark this well. Chapter XXXVII.” “Such was my opinion. “But it is getting late. M.” “That was well spoken. from my having my preparations to make for setting out with the king. “how many times Aramis has got out of prison!” “Oh!” replied Colbert. monsieur.” “You must go higher even than that. of this old friend of the queenmother. too. our ally!” replied the duchesse. of Spain is a bigot.” said she. madame. he will begin again.” Colbert knitted his brow with a menacing expression. And the carriage returned towards the Faubourg Saint Antoine. Do you remember that Aramis was one of the four invincibles whom Richelieu so dreaded? And at that period the four musketeers were not in possession of that which they have now—money and experience. the former friend of Marie Michon. d’Herblay is never discouraged. madame. he will make another. the last defender of Belle-Isle. or better say. Fouquet likewise was gone. to a certainty. sooner or later.

was determined to seize this prey. and mounted to the deck. It was not natural. Fouquet did not go up with him. “They must be in a hurry. where he found. because there is no white flag with fleurs-de-lis. fatigued. then acted as passage-boats from Orleans to Nantes. that behind it might be plainly seen the white wake illumined with the fires of the day. containing a small chamber. displayed the river in all its limpid serenity. more for the sake of haste than of respect. a sunrise that empurpled all the landscape.” repeated the skipper.” said one of the rowers. “at Nantes. that no one is watching you. even for the king. besides. and we but eight. at Orleans. we will have horses always ready to convey you to Poitou. dear friend. which set out immediately. “In the first place. there he would see the notables and gain support among the principal members of the States. The current and the rowers carried Fouquet along as wings carry a bird. somewhat wide and heavy. and when once upon the open sea. travelers which the most piercing eye could not yet have succeeded in discovering. You see. the masts of a huge lighter coming down. These lighters. you will make out. of which they wished to prove themselves worthy.” 186 . thanks to the care of a courier who had preceded him.the fugitive. or we will make out. he would make himself a necessity. But insensibly all fears were dispersed. by the Loire. This honor had been paid to monsieur le surintendant.” The number of eight rowers for a lighter had never been exceeded. “What is the matter?” asked Fouquet. It came on so fast. the finances. the intentions of your enemies. no one is following.” said the patron. the surintendant. his friends had made it excellent for him. promised them a liberal gratification. knowing they had the honor of conveying the surintendant of the finances. “How they go. Gourville. As to his position. if Louis XIV. “twelve! impossible. “that oars of wood could behave better than ours. that no one of them could reasonably be expected to overtake him.” said Fouquet. in fact. “that it is a truly remarkable thing—that lighter comes along like a hurricane. if he did not succeed in avoiding it entirely. a thing very easy for a man of his merit. behind an elbow formed by the river. and would delay the catastrophe. The lighter seemed to leap the mimic waves of the Loire.” The lighter had just passed the elbow. by hard traveling. that he should allow it to escape. with restrained mistrust: “See what it is. The rowers. Belle-Isle is your inviolable port. and he arrived before Beaugency without the slightest accident having signalized the voyage. with its post-hacks and its ill-hung carriages. a long one in our days. “By what sign do you know that it is not the king?” said Gourville. but said to Gourville. “because it is impossible it should be the king. which the royal lighter always carries. “they are twelve. but reassured. and this passage. Magnificent weather.” He had scarcely finished when they discovered at a distance.” “And then. for it is not the king. a bark in which to gain the sea. and what did the rapidity prove but his zeal to obey? He arrived. and a chamber in the poop. the young lion was already accustomed to the chase. and that magic word. pulled with all their strength. and he had bloodhounds sufficiently clever to be trusted. a handsome lighter of eight oars. but yonder oarsmen prove the contrary.” “Well they may. Fouquet shuddered.” Gourville started. as the king was still in Paris yesterday. monseigneur. in order to obtain a better view. Fouquet hoped to be the first to arrive at Nantes.” “Twelve rowers!” replied Gourville. The rowers of Fouquet’s boat uttered a cry of surprise on seeing this galley. covered by the deck. “Besides. endeavoring to distinguish beneath the tent.” he added. “What does it mean?” said Gourville. “The matter is. placed such a distance between himself and his persecutors. “how they go! They must be well paid! I did not think. Was he not traveling to join the king at Nantes.” Gourville replied to the surintendant by a look which said: “You were there yourself yesterday. in the shape of gondolas. Fouquet went on board this lighter.” replied the patron of the bark. appeared then more easy and convenient than the high-road. which was already apparent.” said Gourville to him. formed by a tent.

and they have already nearly overtaken us. “Colbert!” repeated Fouquet. for they continued to urge on their boat so vigorously that it arrived quickly within musket-shot. it is impossible!” “I tell you I recognized him. Gourville was annoyed by the sun.” said Fouquet. with one hand over his eyes. Gourville. and. and makes great haste. except at Orleans. the lighter imitated the movement commanded by Fouquet. monsieur.” “Bah!” said Gourville. and resisting the water. “on the contrary. before we are too far off. at first. row.” 187 . It comes from Orleans.” said the captain. “I cannot comprehend this. with that habit and clearness which are acquired by a constant struggle with the elements.” “Monseigneur! what folly!” interrupted Gourville. “Pull up!” repeated Fouquet.” But what the patron announced was not realized. monseigneur.—”If it is any one who wishes to overtake us.” “We can try. for the sake of gaining time.” The patron opened his mouth to say that it was quite impossible. The twelve rowers in the other did not. you fellows. but Fouquet said with much hauteur. “I can see them!” cried he. stop short. perceived distinctly the travelers in the neighboring lighter. and all at once. “Nor I.” A little cloud at that moment passed across the azure. in twenty strokes of their oars they will be within ten paces of us. and not allow him to come up with us. and he. let us win the wager. created a retrograde motion. Fouquet was short-sighted. jumping from the deck into the chamber where Fouquet awaited him: “Colbert!” said he. Perhaps the king has sent him on our track. “try to describe them to us. at the same time. darkening the sun. the skipper alone. that he is just gone into the chamber on the poop. perceive this maneuver. who has laid a wager he would catch us. stooping towards his ear.” “I thought I saw two. “Come. broad-shouldered.” said the man. “who told you that they do not come from Beaugency or from Moit even?” “We have seen no lighter of that shape. now full in his eyes.” replied the boatman. “Too strange! but no. let him come. became able to see what he sought.” Fouquet and Gourville exchanged a glance.” “I can see nothing. “there are two. under the tent.” said Gourville.” “What sort of man is he?” “He is a dark man. Gourville immediately said: “Some friend. timidly. who was still looking. It stopped. “By this. row!” “No. “I can only see one now. bull-necked. “You who can see so plainly the people in that lighter. The eight oars stopped.” said the patron. it stopped short in the middle of the river. “these people must have set out a long while after us.” resumed Fouquet. so plainly recognized me. to mislead him. “You will not be long before you distinguish them. The captain remarked their uneasiness.” cried Gourville. and instead of coming to join its pretended friends. put out your strength. in a voice broken by emotion. monsieur.“And by what sign do you make out they are in such haste?” added he.

Redouble the speed.” “Oh! monseigneur. at the spot where Fouquet pretended to wish to land. Gourville hoped he should be able to seek refuge at once. to my ruin?” “Oh! monseigneur!” “These two boats. the two lighters held their course as far as Nantes. therefore. your eloquence and genius for business are the buckler and sword that will serve to defend you. considered his intention evident. the lighter is full of armed men. then?” “Do not stop.” “But to allow them to watch me like a malefactor!” “Nothing yet proves that they are watching you. and have the relays prepared. at my house? Am I going. Colbert’s people returned likewise to theirs. Colbert’s lighter imitated this maneuver. and marched along the banks. Come!” cried Fouquet.“In that case he would join us. first served!’ Well! M. for four or five men. and do you not believe. monseigneur. Fouquet was completely self-possessed.” “He wishes to arrest me. armed with muskets. from the chateau of Langeais.” “I do not like uncertainty. Upon seeing this. satisfied of having forced the enemy to a demonstration. without a doubt. let us go on. What is he doing there?” “He is watching us. He is a prudent man is M. Gourville? Why does he not come on?” “Monseigneur. it is not consistent with your dignity to go to meet even your ruin. Scarcely had the lighter made a hundred fathoms. Colbert was there—so much the worse for Colbert. or not. resumed its rapid course. The Bretons do not know you.” said he. He who lives will see!” “That is better. you are about to appear at the States. a stableman. replied. M.” The captain gave the signal. as if to gain ground on the horseman. a prize for swiftness on the Loire.” said he. “there is still uncertainty. He ordered his rowers to pull towards the shore. Fouquet felt himself threatened closely. than the other. whisperingly. “since they remain stock-still yonder.” objected Gourville. Towards evening Fouquet wished to try the intentions of his persecutor. do they not aptly represent our fortunes. his faster than yours. that their result was the bringing of the whole population upon La Fosse.” He was right. if not to conquer with. and Colbert. at the landing. watching each other. was following the flowery banks leading three horses in halters. that with the twelve rowers. then. jumped from the lighter on to the shore. approaching Fouquet. as if to effect a landing.” said Fouquet. Colbert. Colbert?” 188 . for his lighter is as much exposed as yours to being upset. By the merest chance. and when they become acquainted with you your cause is won! Oh! let M. saluted him on the quay with marks of the profoundest respect—marks so significant. M. and in a prophetic voice—”Well. Fouquet. be patient!” “What is to be done. and steered towards the shore in a slanting direction. as if we were disputing. and Fouquet’s rowers resumed their task with all the success that could be looked for from men who had rested. he felt that in his last moments of greatness he had obligations towards himself.” Fouquet. we shall see which will be wrecked first. and the course of the two vessels was resumed with fresh perseverance. do not do that. and put his boat in motion again. “let us go straight up to him. the second lighter joined the first. Both go quickly. When the surintendant landed. He wished to fall from such a height that his fall should crush some of his enemies. Colbert and I. so public. Colbert takes care not to pass me. instead of lying by. Gourville. But. Gourville. which follow each other with so much emulation. Without doubt the people of the twelve-oared lighter fancied that Fouquet was directing his course to these horses ready for flight. Colbert look to it well. with that arrogant semi-closure of the eyes peculiar to him—”What! is that you. it is true. ‘First come. without any increase or diminution of distance between the two vessels. remember the proverb. you were only going so fast to appear to obey the king’s order with zeal. This position lasted all day. you are about to show what sort of man you are. taking Gourville’s hand—”My friend. “everything considered. coming up to him. that one of the two will be wrecked at Nantes?” “At least. “what did I say at our last repast. The surintendant.

Fouquet got into a carriage which the city had sent to him. Friendly Advice. happily. so annoyingly attacked. we know not why or how.” replied the musketeer. At least he did not give him the satisfaction of showing that he had been frightened. Monsieur l’Intendant!” said Fouquet. newly arrived. however. arrived!—You see. I drink.” “Monseigneur!”—and Colbert blushed. A report was spread during the night.” said the intendant. of which they occupied all the posts. except for the counteraction of that immense disturber of human projects. who was delighted with that honor. and generosity. more nearly saved. thank you. I should be very glad to sleep. leaving him uncertain whether the maneuvers of the second lighter had escaped the notice of the first. “Were you in that lighter?”—pointing to the one with twelve rowers. Colbert. For a moment I thought it was the queen-mother. arrived before you.” “Who hinders you?” 189 . that never was Fouquet. Colbert. that the king was coming in great haste on post horses. “as you had a superior crew to mine. Scarcely was he installed when Gourville went out to order horses on the route to Poitiers and Vannes. Chapter XXXVIII.” “You should sleep first. “I have not been quick. and he repaired to la Maison de Nantes. why did you not either join me or pass me?” “Out of respect.” he replied. monseigneur. “because I followed your example whenever you stopped. D’Artagnan appeared at the door of this chamber. as you perceive. although he was in such pain as to be bathed in sweat.—chance. bowing to the ground.” “Bon jour! monseigneur. who for several days had been agog with expectation of a convocation of the States. at the lodgings of the surintendant to pay his respectful compliments. he would receive M. monseigneur. M. with Monsieur d’Artagnan.” added he. and wishes to economize. monseigneur. in quality of guard of honor. and I have already levied a contribution of tisane upon Nantes. their captain. escorted by a vast crowd of people. “But you have. Fouquet had gone to bed. irritated by the base audacity.” “And the fever?” “But poorly. and quartered in the castle. like a man who clings to life. as will be seen by the conversation they had together.” said the latter. I am scarcely arrived. did not give way. Monsieur Colbert?” cried Fouquet. He performed these various operations with so much mystery. and was saluted by the superintendent with a very affable “Good day. “how did you get through the journey?” “Tolerably well. who was very polite. then laboring under an attack of fever. “that I. presented himself. and a boat at Paimboef. “Yes.“To offer you my respects. activity. and would arrive in ten or twelve hours at the latest. d’Artagnan. that slender tissue of existence. while waiting for the king. “This is a voyage that will cost those who have to pay for it dear. “what luxury.” And he turned his back towards him.” “Eh! corbleu! my dear Monsieur d’Artagnan. who had but eight rowers. M. about ten o’clock. of which the shocks and frictions of this world so quickly wear out the tenuity. as much as possible. and although the minister suffered from fever. d’Artagnan. were greatly rejoiced to see the musketeers. The people.” “Of twelve rowers?” said Fouquet. a moment after.” “And why did you do that. monseigneur.

“drink. in the name of the king. while you were rolling about tons of gold. You will see me place my hand on my sword. and that is the same thing. take my word for it. “Upon my honor! But we have not come to that.” said D’Artagnan.” said the captain. at the bottom of his heart.” “Do you know that you are speaking to me quite as a friend?” replied Fouquet. mordioux! the squirrel can guard himself against the adder with very little trouble. “Why did you wait till to-day to pay me such a compliment?” “Blind that we are!” murmured Fouquet.” interrupted Fouquet.” “I did not say so. The king should not. “How this M. ‘Monseigneur. Colbert?” said he. monseigneur.” “I? Oh. monseigneur!” “No doubt you do.” replied D’Artagnan. “But M. You were clearing an annual pension of four millions. He does not love you. with the most friendly cordiality.” “What makes you think that.” replied D’Artagnan. You are an agreeable man. I shall not pass a single day without saying to myself. who does not think as M. believe me.” “I have heard speak of nothing of the kind. I think quite the contrary. but. “Indeed. Colbert looms up in your imagination! He is worse than fever!” “Oh! I have good cause. and thanked him by a gentle smile.” said the musketeer. M. then. Colbert.” And he related the details of the course of the lighters.” Fouquet’s expression implied doubt. “Is not this a clear sign of my ruin?” 190 . as I strike my brow. upon my life! I have never met with a man of your intelligence. you in the first place. “and that. “I esteem you greatly. “Your voice is getting hoarse.” said the surintendant. and heart?” “You are pleased to say so. “Judge for yourself.” replied the captain. you never observed me. ‘Fool! fool!—stupid mortal! You had a Monsieur d’Artagnan under your eye and hand. Colbert thinks. in spite of your fever. for the purpose you mean. “Such things only happen to me. Colbert love me as much as you say?” “I am not speaking of M.” said Fouquet. according to the ordonnance. I arrest you!’” “You promise me that frankness?” said the superintendent.” replied D’Artagnan.” “But you thought so. “That is true. d’Artagnan? For my part. and you find out there is such a person in the world. “He is an exceptional man. cannot help loving you. “does M. I will not leave you long in doubt. “leave the king alone! The day on which I shall come on the part of the king. monseigneur. Fouquet took it. and you will hear my say at once. and you did not employ him. and the hypocritical persecution of Colbert.” “There exists another man. Well! if I fall. so much is very possible. no. drink!” And he offered him a cup of tisane. “I have passed ten years under your very beard.“Why. you did not enrich him!’” “You overwhelm me. just at the moment you—” “Just at the moment I am about to fall. in ceremonial voice. my dear Monsieur d’Artagnan. Is it at Nantes as at Paris? Do you not come in the king’s name?” “For Heaven’s sake. take my word as truth. “Eh! eh!” said Fouquet.

de Chalais. and D’Artagnan feigned not to observe his preoccupation. “A special guard about the castle. “All that is not to be put into execution before the arrival of the king at Nantes. “Oh! nothing but insignificant orders. still absent. it has an unsavory odor. yes. and that I am trying to prove to you that none of them are directed against you. allowing none of M. signed by the king. So that you see plainly.” “A brigade!” said Fouquet. de Gesvres. where I have so many creatures.” “Monsieur d’Artagnan. The same number as were employed in arresting MM. d’Herblay is.” Fouquet pricked up his ears at these words. monseigneur?—not the smallest word. such as guarding the castle.” continued D’Artagnan. and to possess himself of Belle-Isle?” “Where M. “what orders had you?” “As to you. whose eye s did not cease to speak a language different from the language of his lips. it is true. de Treville used to say. guarding every lodging. without a pass. as M. raising himself upon his elbow. de Gesvres’s guards to occupy a single post.” Fouquet became thoughtful. monseigneur. but it cannot concern you—a simple measure of police. by my thus confiding to you the orders which have been given to me.” said the captain. de Gesvres.” added D’Artagnan.” “To M. de Cinq-Mars.” “Without doubt!—without doubt!” said Fouquet. perhaps my life are at stake. “That is true. You would not deceive me?” “I?—to what end? Are you threatened? Only there really is an order with respect to carriages and boats—” “An order?” “Yes.” And he fixed on M.” “And as to myself. in which your lodging is to be. “As for me. captain? Is not the king bringing me to Nantes to get me away from Paris. as the country is quite quiet.D’Artagnan became very serious.” cried Fouquet. monseigneur. my honor. “The king. my safety. and Montmorency.” “Great God! but—” D’Artagnan began to laugh. pronounced without apparent value. “And what else?” said he. monseigneur. that I am friendly towards you. the order in nowise concerns you. Fouquet his intelligent and significant look. Fouquet raised his head.” “My friend. his glance beaming with earnestness. “Yes. and to say nothing about it to M.” he said. which is apparently superfluous. captain?—what is it?” “To forbid all horses or boats to leave Nantes. “Let us recapitulate. “Am I not clearly designated in that. is it not?” 191 .” “Indeed!” “The king commanded me to set out for Nantes. commanded me to take a brigade of musketeers.” continued the musketeer. moreover. “I can assure you the king has said nothing to me against you.” “What is it. “Ninety-six horsemen. “It is evident. yes. monseigneur.

de Gesvres. monseigneur?” And that word still completed the proof to Fouquet of how much information and how many useful counsels were contained in the first visit the musketeer had paid him. He had not reached the steps of the vestibule. I have seen him.” “We are lost!” murmured Fouquet. was entering the city. that if. The king was conducted to the castle with great pomp. From his window. and the movement of a large troop.” replied he. In truth. when the king had passed under the arch. “Brave D’Artagnan. which had followed the prince. and from a vessel which replied from the lower parts of the river. that it might be said he was counting the seconds. the musketeer. he called his valets de chambre and dressed in ceremonial costume. monsieur. who are one of the first in the kingdom. and this time you come from him—” 192 . The closing of the gates of the city. no orders. the roads free. “Let us be gone! Let us be gone!” cried Fouquet. in return. and say something in the ear of D’Artagnan. breathless and pale. Monsieur Fouquet. before accomplishing his object.” “The king!” “The king. whose looks had lost none of their intelligent kindness. do me a service. he could see the eagerness of the people. but so slowly. and who is eight hours in advance of all our calculations. hung to the bell-rope. for the king would not have left me thus independent. in case you embark for Belle-Isle. and shouted. “My horses!—my lighter!” But nobody answered.” Saying these words. “It is too late!” said the surintendant’s poor friend. instead of speaking to man like you. all is over. “are you still there. the water free. Monsieur d’Artagnan obliged to lend his horses. “Gourville!—Gourville!” Gourville at length appeared. What a fine opportunity for any one who wished to be free! No police. drawn up like a hedge. ask me whatever you like. who held his stirrup. monseigneur. monsieur. only when the king shall have arrived. Gourville?” “It means the king is come.” “Oh. The surintendant sighed deeply. no guards. “Gourville!—Gourville!” cried he. and. and with a profound bow. behind the curtains. I were speaking to a troubled. The surintendant dressed himself with everything that came to hand. left the apartment. quite beside himself. if you will consent to do it. and Fouquet saw him dismount under the portcullis. who has ridden double stages. “Good heavens! yes. “What does that mean. Monsieur Fouquet. or the steps. And the bell sounded again. that of giving my compliments to Aramis and Porthos. Please to observe. but. immediately. in fact. “Ah!” cried D’Artagnan. All this ought to reassure you. when Fouquet. if required. who has killed horses. then you know that the king has arrived?” “Yes. thou has spoken to me too late!” The king. as you have a right to do without changing your dress. I am at your service. D’Artagnan. Monsieur Fouquet. a regular prison! The absence of M. which soon resounded with the cannon from the ramparts.“Do you know the castle?” “Ah! monseigneur. directed his steps towards the house Fouquet was in. Fouquet opened the window to speak to him in the court. uneasy conscience—I should compromise myself forever. who has the honor of being one of your friends. on perceiving him. in your robe de chambre—just as you are. whilst Fouquet repeated. “Too late!—why?” “Listen!” And they heard the sounds of trumpets and drums in front of the castle. if he had any sinister designs. and of the river without a pass. and stopping so frequently to speak to his musketeers. while slipping his watch into his pocket. as soon as he saw him. “The arrival of the king has interrupted me in the projects I had formed. Fouquet’s brow darkened.

he had respectfully accompanied. this paper should compromise a faithful friend. without saying monsieur. “No. till that time.” said he.” Fouquet heaved a last sigh. through the small windows made at every landing of the donjon stairs. on perceiving him. there is no more walking for anybody—no more free will. “now the king is come. you as much as me. as he went up behind Fouquet. a peculiarity which confirmed the captain of the musketeers in his suspicions. and entered the royal cabinet. spread about by the wind from the balustrade of the terrace. and passed on towards the king’s apartments. when he was recalled by the king’s bell. at the end of which the cabinet of the king was located. who disappeared in the adjacent streets. and pushed him away. Fouquet was made to wait for a moment on the terrace of which we have spoken. D’Artagnan.. looking round him on the place and making signs to several persons. The house is already surrounded by musketeers. A white horse is in waiting for you behind the esplanade!” Fouquet recognized the writing and zeal of Gourville. Monsieur d’Artagnan. and went to the castle. it will be on your return home. and gave him a letter.” said the king.” “Directly. “The order is executed. so great was his weakness. climbed with difficulty into his carriage. “Who. directly!” “Ah.” replied the king. Not being willing that. conceived thus: “Something is being contrived against you. and instantly a vague terror. was painted on the countenance of the first minister. if any evil happened to himself. if your health is not too bad. sire?” “Fouquet. to enter the castle of Nantes. Do not enter. threw on to the table covered with papers a large green cloth.. Chapter XXXIX. “Did he not appear astonished?” asked the king. the password governs all now.” “And Fouquet?” “Monsieur le surintendant follows me. “the king awaits you.” replied he. Fouquet had not quitted the terrace where he had been left by his guide. “In ten minutes let him be introduced. mordioux!” said the captain. after having themselves repeated the signals. D’Artagnan endeavored to prevent this man from speaking to Fouquet. who. whom. Played His Little Part. monseigneur. which D’Artagnan did not fail to penetrate. and. “Monsieur. “That’s well!” And a second time Louis dismissed D’Artagnan. As Fouquet was alighting from his carriage. Here D’Artagnan passed on before the surintendant. the surintendant was busy tearing it into a thousand morsels. saw. me as much as you. Louis XIV. Perhaps they will not dare to carry it out at the castle.” said D’Artagnan. the man who had delivered the note. escorted by D’Artagnan. but had scarcely reached the corridor at the extremity of which Fouquet was waiting for him. sire. Fouquet put the paper into the portfolio which he had under his arm. How the King. but the message had been given to the surintendant. a man of mean appearance went up to him with marks of the greatest respect. “Well?” asked Louis XIV. He reperused his note. The latter retired. to beg you to have the kindness to repair to the castle.” 193 . whose politeness was not less terrifying this time than it had just before been consoling and cheerful. Fouquet opened the letter and read it.“To inquire after you. dismissing D’Artagnan again with a gesture. D’Artagnan found him watching the snowflake fluttering of the last scraps in space.—a terrace which abutted on the little corridor. sire.

sire.” “You say all this to me very uselessly. and entered the king’s apartment.” “That reply proves to me. likewise in the corridor. sire. his sword between his legs. and I. “I will go straight to the facts. I was not willing to fatigue you. with feverish impatience. and de Saint-Aignan. many times—” “What do you wish to say?” said the king. Monsieur Fouquet?” said he. where a little bell. But how could he expect to find it otherwise among courtiers. “but I am at the king’s service. He alone who cannot go back can show such obstinacy.” “Your majesty will not allow me to justify myself ?” “I repeat that I do not accuse you. where MM. that I am right. Ask it. Monsieur Fouquet. and since the moment is come for me to demand an explanation of my king—” “Oh. without rising. sire. the States assemble to-morrow. Brienne.” “Not when one is accused?” “We have already spoken too much about this affair. appeared to be waiting for orders. not to shun it would be stupid. the surintendant. determined to look every one and everything bravely in the face. of what?” “Of your majesty’s intentions with respect to myself. Not to see the danger now would be to be blind indeed.” Fouquet. will your majesty permit me?” “Certainly. whilst others have spoken many. “and I feel called upon to adjure the justice of the king to make inquiries. had already announced him to his majesty. as he.” He resumed 194 .” “Monsieur Fouquet. The king. pray. Monsieur Fouquet! an explanation? An explanation.” “Your majesty can only know the things that have been told to you.” continued Fouquet. “I am in a high fever. Monsieur Fouquet. Rose. he whom the king no longer called anything but Fouquet? He raised his head. seated on a chair. de Brienne and Rose were at work. sire.” replied he. whilst the Duc de Saint-Aignan. It appeared strange to Fouquet that MM.” thought he.” replied the surintendant. I am too well acquainted with affairs to feel any embarrassment. I know what I know. on my part. I do not like people to be accused. impatient to put an end to this embarrassing conversation.” “Never did a labor—never did an explanation fatigue me. “I have not. made a step backward. warmly. “It is certain. “I have been calumniated. and with interest: “Well! how are you. and I accuse a certain man of having injured me in your majesty’s opinion.” “Why did not your majesty do his first minister the honor of giving him notice of this in Paris?” “You were ill. have said nothing to you. “that he has made up his mind. which we already know.” “That is well. “but I will improvise one. I have only one question to ask. nodded to him. have you a speech ready?” Fouquet looked at the king with astonishment.Fouquet walked with a deliberate step along the little corridor.” “Nobody has injured you. in general so attentive and obsequious. passed. with a half-bow. should scarcely take the least notice.” The king blushed.

This uneasiness struck the king.” “Rest yourself. do not throw away your strength. that is all I have to say to you. “Yes. Fouquet?” said he. and will entreat the king to grant me his physician. I am lost. or feigns to be angry for the sake of a pretext. “if he becomes angry. M. sire.” “Well! do you not remember.” “Thanks!” said Fouquet. was only uneasy at the alarm of Fouquet. to judge of the effect of such a proposal. The king blushed again. “that you have just said. I am not accustomed to take rest. suddenly. “If I appear frightened. bowing.” 195 . sire. the session of the States will be short. you shall have the physician. how shall I extricate myself ? Let us smooth the declivity a little. and I cannot express to your majesty how happy and proud I have been to see all the king’s regiments from Paris to help take possession.” “I mean to do so. “that you gave me Belle-Isle?” “That is true again. “since the goodness of the king watches over my health to the point of dispensing with my labor. may I not be allowed to be absent from the council of to-morrow? I could pass the day in bed.” again thought Fouquet.” thought he. I beg you. as you have not taken it.” replied he. “Did your majesty send for me on business?” “No. and shall be restored to health. sire. Only. Gourville was right. Then.” “Not to me. The king. you must take care of yourself. Fouquet felt the weight of this hesitation.” said he. but for some advice I wish to give you. Monsieur Fouquet. which fear would but precipitate. besides. you will doubtless come with me and take possession of it. I do not wish business to be talked of in France for a fortnight. He was evidently busy with some uneasy thought. “If his first word is severe. on his part.” continued the king in the same cheerful tone.” “So be it.aloud. sire. and when my secretaries shall have closed it. this unexpected stroke embarrassed him. your majesty’s intention as well as mine.” “That was. He thought he could read danger in the eyes of the young prince.” “Has the king nothing to say to me on the subject of this assembly of the States?” “No. ‘My residence of Belle-Isle’?” “Yes. endeavoring to smile.” “Sire. you shall have a holiday to-morrow. it shall be as you desire. that we may endeavor to find a remedy against this fearful fever.” “Your majesty spoke just now of a speech to be pronounced to-morrow. Monsieur Fouquet. “Do you know. Monsieur Fouquet. the surintendant of the finances?” “Rest yourself. Monsieur Fouquet.” “But you are ill. opening his game: “Shall I not have the happiness of conducting your majesty to my residence of Belle-Isle?” And he looked Louis full in the face. “Has he a suspicion of anything?” murmured he. “Are you angry at having to rest yourself.” Fouquet bit his lips and hung his head.” “I respectfully await it.” His majesty made no reply.

“I do not wish those fine fortifications. ringing his little bell.The king stammered out that he did not bring the musketeers for that alone. “your majesty knows very well that you have nothing to do but to come alone with a cane in your hand. it is the pretty peasants and women of the lands on the sea-shore. “and I would lay a wager there would be people found wicked enough to laugh at it.” The surintendant felt this stroke. You would not guess what I want to see at Belle-Isle. it is painful to behold! Come.” “You have a boat of your own. begone! I will send to inquire after you. but Fouquet prevented his ringing. let them stand against the Dutch and English. now perfectly convinced and very pale. or at Paimboeuf. and are so seducing with their scarlet petticoats! I have heard great boast of your pretty tenants. you are in a shiver. and extremely well!” “Yes. and replied. would require at least twenty-four hours. and to join them. laughing in such a manner as made the prince feel cold. Monsieur Fouquet. warmly. whilst me—” “Go on!” “If I am obliged to return home supported by the leader of the musketeers. 196 . well. sire.—”arrested! oh!” “And why should they not say so?” continued Fouquet. The king started.” “And why. who dance so well. let me have a sight of them. but when he conducts you. I would gladly take the arm of any one. sire.” said he. Fouquet? M. monsieur le surintendant.” interrupted Fouquet.” “I will call some one to reconduct you.” “Whenever your majesty pleases. I am convinced of that. “As you please. “Oh. nevertheless?” “I have five. or fortunate enough. it is to obey you. if you like.” “Indeed.” “Monsieur d’Artagnan!” cried the king. who became paler than Fouquet himself. d’Artagnan conducts me often. but they are all in port. I beg. it would be everywhere said you had had me arrested. or bring them hither.—wait till to-morrow. and I am prepared with nothing. “would you give me the captain of your musketeers to take me to my lodgings? An equivocal honor that. sire. “No.” “That is true. still laughing. sire. sire! A simple footman. Have I any occasion to send a courier? Must I do so?” “Wait a little. Fouquet was skillful enough.” This sally disconcerted the monarch. M. above all. “I have an ague—I am trembling with cold. to make Louis XIV.” said the king. Monsieur Fouquet. which was not adroit. “Oh. No. If I remain a moment longer. “Sire.” “Peste!” cried the king. to bring to the ground all the fortifications of Belle-Isle. which cost so much to build. put an end to the fever. and stretched his hand out towards his little bell.” “Arrested!” replied the king. Who knows but that by to-morrow we may not have a hundred other ideas?” replied Fouquet.” “Your majesty overwhelms me with kindness. In an hour I shall be better. I shall most likely faint. I was ignorant of your haste to see Belle-Isle. I was ignorant of your majesty’s wish. I request your majesty’s permission to go and fling myself beneath the bedclothes.” said Fouquet. to fall at all.” “Have you any means of transport? It shall be to-morrow.

and will shut him up in a carriage. you shall see Belle-Isle. then. “sword for sword. When once out of the castle. d’Artagnan. “Oh! yes. is waiting in the lower court of the castle.” said the king.” “Afterwards we will see. and your majesty commands me to go immediately to M. Fouquet at the distance of a hundred paces. we have only to set it in motion.” “The case is provided for. I prefer Gourville.” D’Artagnan bowed. disloyal king. very well.” “Pardon me. d’Artagnan. “There only remains for me to ask your majesty whither I shall conduct M. Fouquet’s lodgings. “Captain.” said the latter. at first. sire?” “In such a fashion that he may not. You will go with him. “Quite unnecessary.” He disappeared. I cannot prevent him by closing both the windows and the blinds. he is so good a judge of fortifications.” “Ah! that is quite a different thing.” “Yes. leaving D’Artagnan with the king. sire.” said the captain.” “It is ready—and the horses harnessed. when he appeared. “but a carriage with an iron trellis is not made in half an hour.” “Yes. sire.” D’Artagnan bowed.” “Very well. sire. either converse with any one or throw notes to people he may meet. I am glad he will see Belle-Isle. Well.” “Ah!” “And the coachman. Fouquet. without at all comprehending what was going on.” “Not at all. “you will follow M. M.” “That will be rather difficult. a carriage with a trellis will obviate both the difficulties you point out. But that will not prevent me enjoying the society of M. Fouquet. who is waiting for me below. on the road. sire.” “In a carriage.” “Yes.” 197 .” “A carriage with an iron trellis!” cried D’Artagnan. and if he asks for liberty to breathe. Fouquet bowed again and left the apartment. received an order to desire a musketeer to accompany the surintendant. He will throw out at the doors all the cries and notes possible.” “He is going to his lodgings again.” “You will arrest him in my name. Monsieur d’Artagnan. but it shall be when I am no longer there. with the outriders. affecting all the slowness of a man who walks with difficulty. “I am saved!” said he. I cannot stifle M. “if the carriage is ready made.” “To the castle of Angers. sire.recoil before the appearance of the deed he meditated.” “The carriage in question is already made. sire.

was I not at liberty to show my interest in this man?” “In truth. the living chart rose in relief with the cries. wished to save M. for M. de Gesvres will be furious. bordering the Loire. that I have more confidence in you. monsieur. Fouquet. have. I will obey those orders. Fouquet is not a bad man. and the shadows of men and things. and left the room. from this moment. Fouquet. Fouquet. for making this capture of M. yes!” “In writing. sire?” “Yes. who went by with a joyous air towards the lodgings of M. captain. “That is rather surprising. the movements. “because you mistrust M. that is because he has done something clever. and given to the winds by monsieur le surintendant. for an instant.” said the captain. de Gesvres. “I had then a right to do so. Gourville? Gourville is coming from the Rue aux Herbes. Whither does the Rue aux Herbes lead?” And D’Artagnan followed. but for others. Fouquet you may consider as a man arrested. But he was not willing. Gourville is rubbing his hands. he let the hour of liberty slip by. Fouquet.“Monsieur d’Artagnan.” said D’Artagnan.” “And why not with you?” “Because I. and go towards the lodgings of M. and appeared to run towards the pink horizon. along the tops of the houses of Nantes. at the moment of 198 . Fouquet.” “That concerns me. “Gourville running about the streets so gayly. when it is almost equally certain that it was Gourville who warned M.” “Here is the order.” “If I had saved him then. was led by the line of the Rue aux Herbes to the mouth of one of those roads which took its rise under the gates of Nantes. this very M. a little humiliated. only. having guessed your majesty’s plan. and that I took an interest in M. and he was about to descend the stairs. the great verdant plains stretched out. So much the worse! Now I have orders. I have not employed my guards.” “That is to say. “Because. monsieur—” “Oh! very often. Whence comes M. D’Artagnan. Fouquet. He is at the castle of Angers. sire. Now. Fouquet just now by the note which was torn into a thousand pieces upon the terrace. But chance decreed. sire. sire.” The king started. his destiny prevailed.” continued the captain. which was cut by the azure of the waters and the dark green of the marshes. you do not reassure me with regard to your services. sire. only. when he is almost certain that M. I should have done well. I will say more. take his trellised carriage. it should happen that by any chance whatever M. that is all. one last word: you have remarked that. I should have been perfectly innocent. From the height of the terrace he perceived Gourville.” “I know that very well. on which account M. as he would have done upon a topographical plan. then. dominated by the castle. instead of the dead. monsieur. flat paper. every one to his trade.” D’Artagnan read it. once more. that if. and M. reflect! Do you seriously give me orders to arrest M. Immediately outside the gates of Nantes two white roads were seen diverging like separate fingers of a gigantic hand.” “Oh! you have not got him yet. a thousand times. Fouquet is in danger. without you having spoken to me of it. Fouquet should escape—such chances have been. sire! and it is of no use to make so much of it. who had taken in all the panorama at a glance by crossing the terrace. the line traced by the streets.” “It is only for the sake of arriving at this. Chapter XL: The White Horse and the Black. not for me. monsieur. Fouquet. One step more. Beyond the inclosure of the city. bowed to the king.” “Your majesty does not employ your guards.

Poor man! he has given his secret to the wind. enlightened by ideas and suspicions. “What is that?” said the musketeer to himself. wave-balanced like a water-butterfly. rapidly reascended the stairs towards the terrace. he saw a white form which showed itself. the red cassock—it was a musketeer. when the saddle had become burning hot. behind the hedges. He selected his best horse. “Ah. Decidedly. who has half an hour’s start.” “Stop!” said he. upon which there was not a letter traced. at the extremity of which.—the discovery of following century. on his part. you play with misfortune! the game is not a fair one. there is but one Fouquet. who had just observed the color thrown luminously against the dark ground. jumped upon his back. “A white horse. it was that of the steps of D’Artagnan’s horse. he doubted himself. He had then time to study the direction of the road. D’Artagnan dropped his head. Both followed the same route. galloped along the Rue aux Herbes. certain that he should gain ten minutes upon the total distance. so that he would cut his quarry off the road when he came up with him. “I! I! duped by a Gourville! I! They will say that I am growing old. The superintendent had completely winded his horse by crossing the soft ground. The star of Louis XIV. which D’Artagnan. like a child that is spelling. “a white horse!” And. D’Artagnan’s heart leaped with joy. and. had so frequently admired and envied for their vigor and their fleetness. He was losing his senses.—then the struggle would be in earnest. as swift as the wind. “and he is mounted. burning. and who will have gained his boat within an hour. but. it must be some boy whose horse is thirsty and has run away with him. that he was attracted by a moving point then gaining ground upon that road. Some morsels of paper were spread over the stairs. What a rate he is going at!” The moving point became detached from the road. and saw behind him. and entered into the fields. But both of them were too much pressed for time to allow them to continue long at that pace.” This being said. and his black horse broke into a gallop. which rolled along like thunder. relaxed the tension of his knees. so mild. when the wind cut his eyes so as to make the tears spring from them. as he repeated. “I was not mistaken. he called to his mind Daedalus and the vast wings that had saved him from the prisons of Crete. looked up into the air like a madman. he. his enemy bent over the neck of his horse.—they will say I have received a million to allow Fouquet to escape!” And he again dug his spurs into the sides of his horse: he had ridden astonishingly fast. the adder is stronger and more cunning than the squirrel. Then the real race would begin. who could have no suspicion of being pursued in that direction.plunging into the staircase. Fouquet had not yet perceived D’Artagnan. In the rapidity of the pursuit. “here are some of the fragments of the note torn by M. His rage assumed fury. gathering up his reins. taking. too. a single echo struck the air. concealed by the sloping shore. mordioux!” cried the suspicious spirit. “Oh. was surprised to find himself become ferocious—almost sanguinary. no doubt.” These reflections. At such moments. at Saint-Mande. “Eh! eh!” said the captain to himself. and brings it back to the king. becoming very anxious. “Gourville’s pretty little hand!” cried he. D’Artagnan. the musketeer gave orders that the carriage with the iron trellis should be taken immediately to a thicket situated just outside the city. Fouquet. simultaneous with visual perception. whilst examining one of the fragments of the note.—fortune is against you. devoured by the fear of ridicule. melting into the vapors of the water.” And he read the word “horse. The white horse sprang off like an arrow the moment his feet touched firm ground. not the road Fouquet had taken.” “white horse. at the extremity of some open pasture-ground. But on issuing from the slope. and turned towards the road by the shortest secant line. but the bank itself of the Loire. The white horse was still galloping in the direction of the Loire. a financier. and he examined another. animating himself as in war. there is no one but the lord of Belle-Isle who would make his escape towards the sea. D’Artagnan. He observed that the superintendent had relaxed into a trot. and shone out white against the dirty stones. at the intersection of the two lines. his active accomplice on this man-hunt. In the paroxysms of eagerness he dreamt of aerial ways.” repeated he.—he suspected that Fouquet had buried himself in some subterranean road. Fouquet is upon—let us see!” And he 199 . Suddenly. D’Artagnan. a little sail appeared. “Oh!” cried the musketeer.” continued the captain. and at last remained distinctly visible against the rising ground. D’Artagnan gave his horse good breathing-time. and there is but one D’Artagnan in the world to catch M. had nothing to do but to ride straight on. He wiped the streaming sweat from his brow. and seeing nothing on the waters. “that is not a common horse M. or that he had changed the white horse for one of those famous black ones. and the white horse placed twenty feet more between his adversary and himself.—by which the horse breathed more freely.” thought D’Artagnan. dilates into ten thousand times its volume. and his position with regard to Fouquet. obscures yours. A hoarse sigh broke from his lips. and threw behind him a shower of dust and stones. to ride thus in open day upon a white horse.—and. Fouquet. D’Artagnan had already forgotten when he descended the first steps of the staircase. moderated the speed of the vigorous animal. come up with the fugitive. disappeared. the quadruple echoes of this new race-course were confounded. rapid as lightning. within a hundred paces. the wind will have no more to do with it. For a long time he galloped without catching sight of the white horse. and with the impatience of the avenger. Fouquet turned round. “a horse galloping. was favoring his horse. “only a man who wants to fly would go at that pace across plowed lands. raising himself in his stirrups. like that grain of powder which. D’Artagnan. which was to say. when the galled and spurred horse reared with pain. Fouquet slackened his hand likewise. There could be no doubt—the shining baldrick. so kind towards Fouquet. Fouquet. He felt the necessity of gaining a firmer footing.—a runaway horse. Upon a third he read the word “white. nothing beneath the trees. while there are such thick forests on land.” D’Artagnan picked up one of these morsels of paper as he descended.

which made Fouquet turn round. upon this road. “A famous horse! a mad rider!” growled the captain. and came up within pistol-shot of Fouquet. “I am a miserable wretch! for pity’s sake. hurled his pistol to the ground. “Hola! mordioux! Monsieur Fouquet! stop! in the king’s name!” Fouquet made no reply. I should die bravely. already his hand was stretched out to seize his prey. if I kill my horse. on the contrary. M. the blood rushed boiling to his temples and his eyes. and if the horse does not fall. the part of his dress which concealed his body.” Fouquet did turn round at the noise. Fouquet!” 200 . D’Artagnan was nearly mad. The black horse. opened. “I will take you alive!” said he. M. It was an unheard-of spectacle. “that which you will not do at this moment. surrender! what is a prison?” “I would rather die!” replied Fouquet. He spurred his own. It might be said that D’Artagnan rode.” D’Artagnan. D’Artagnan seized a pistol and cocked it. The animal was hit in the quarters—he made a furious bound. To the furious gallop had succeeded the fast trot. and plunged forward. “Do you hear me?” shouted D’Artagnan.” said he. began to puff like any blacksmith’s bellows. “’twould be more humane!” “No! alive—alive!” murmured the captain. Fouquet. “For mercy’s sake! for mercy’s sake!” cried D’Artagnan. and he began to saw the mouth of the poor animal. gaining ground by difficult degrees. Round full quarters—a thin long tail—large hocks—thin legs. “Pardieu!” replied Fouquet. whilst he buried the rowels of his merciless spurs into his sides. and looking D’Artagnan full in the face. but here. as dry as bars of steel—hoofs hard as marble. not a breath of the horse reached him. “stop. seized his second pistol. “You have pistols likewise. D’Artagnan. drunk with despair.” thought the musketeer. “I shall suffer less. “Mordioux!” said D’Artagnan. and cocked it. “I will not assassinate you. “courage! the white horse will perhaps grow weaker. throw me one of your pistols. And he fired. I should die esteemed. D’Artagnan listened attentively. hoping that the double click of the spring would stop his enemy. “Kill me! kill me!” cried Fouquet. and Fouquet’s again took the lead. or I will bring you down with a pistol-shot!” “Do!” replied Fouquet. and added speed to the white horse. and yet he seemed to cut the air. “turn and defend yourself. “In the king’s name!” cried he again. whose horse had just stumbled. But the chase appeared equally warm in the two fatigued athletoe. without relaxing his speed. but the distance between the two remained the same. “I must overtake him. and that had sunk to what might be scarcely called a trot at all. D’Artagnan uttered a wild cry. the master must pull up at last. At that moment D’Artagnan’s horse fell dead. “Courage!” said the musketeer to himself. quite in despair. he threw his horse forward to within ten paces of the white horse. There were not more than twenty paces between the two. laconically. At this moment his horse made a false step for the second time.” But horse and rider remained upright together. “I am dishonored!” thought the musketeer. “At your horse! not at you!” cried he to Fouquet. this race between two horses which now only kept alive by the will of their riders.attentively examined with his infallible eye the shape and capabilities of the courser. and rode on faster. do me that service. if you will not fire upon me. carrying his horse along between his knees. but he did not even touch his holsters. that I may blow out my brains!” But Fouquet rode away. I myself will do within an hour. and by a prodigy of skill which this incomparable horseman alone was capable. The maddened horse gained twenty toises. with his right hand.

But they had scarcely charged the animal with this double load. it is you. a contracted brow. then looking the captain full in the face. certainly. “Can I speak to you?” “Why. proscribed. “There is an idea that did not emanate from a brave man. monsieur. he is a good horse! Mount. without breath or strength. dipped some water in his hat. who. “Mordioux!” cried the latter. the two pistols D’Artagnan might have seized. “One single word. and dismounting from his horse—”I am your prisoner. D’Artagnan raised himself with difficulty. is not Louis of the Louvre. gloomily. but continued to trot on. “We will go on foot—destiny wills it so—the walk will be pleasant. D’Artagnan made a desperate effort. “Oh. and ride slowly. When Fouquet perceived that sinister machine. in soul. if you wish to do so. “To prevent your throwing letters out. with which he bathed the temples of the musketeer. with his wet hat in his hand.” said the captain. Captain d’Artagnan. and sank down dead by the side of the black horse. “He will go. I know him.” “We can try.” “Ingenious!” “But you can speak. saying in a broken. sprang towards Fouquet. and a swelling heart—”What a disgraceful day!” They walked slowly the four leagues which separated them from the little wood behind which the carriage and escort were in waiting. The sword in his hand itself became too heavy. but we can do better still. condemned!” “I. Fouquet made no reply. felt the earth sliding from under his feet. Monsieur d’Artagnan. which embarrassed him. is that?” “I should have had you for a friend! But how shall we return to Nantes? We are a great way from it. it is not yours. I will walk till you have rested a little.” “What.” said he. From a trot the exhausted animal sunk to a staggering walk—the foam from his mouth was mixed with blood. which he had just managed to come up to. then?” cried he.” Fouquet hurled far from him. in the name of Heaven. who cast down his eyes. “You are not off. and then with a great effort walked a few minutes. d’Artagnan. smiling upon him with ineffable sweetness. The white horse began to rattle in its throat. “will you take my arm. we have both done our duty. into the river. then he rolled upon the sand. in fact. “The white horse will recover..M.” said D’Artagnan. who this day am ruined by a single error. and he threw it after the sheath. and seized him by the leg.” Fouquet reflected for a moment. if you like.” said he. breathless voice. and the light of day turning to blackness around him. D’Artagnan began to run after his enemy. and then the sheath of his sword. or Philippe of Sainte-Marguerite. D’Artagnan gained upon him. in heart. “I arrest you in the king’s name! blow my brains out.” “That is true. He beheld Fouquet on his knees. perhaps. too?” said the musketeer. then staggered again. passing his arm through that of D’Artagnan.” “Poor beast! and wounded. Fouquet hastened to the brink of the river. “will you remember it?” “I will not forget it. if you cannot write.” said D’Artagnan. and introduced a few drop between his lips.” “Will you speak it to whom I wish?” 201 . when he began to stagger. for I see you are ready to faint?” “Thanks!” murmured D’Artagnan. and looked about him with a wandering eye. ashamed of Louis XIV. What are these gratings for?” said he. he said to D’Artagnan.” said Fouquet. with a fixed eye. M. let us both get up. Successively he threw away his hat. monsieur! the true king of royalty. his coat. which got between his legs as he was running. I tell you.

“D’Artagnan!” cried the king. he had been expecting this all the morning. Colbert.“I will. sire. sire. Five minutes after.” “Saint-Mande.” “It shall be done. 202 . but I do not presume to be positive.” Colbert entered. M.” “It is very strange. d’Artagnan has returned. and returned to his room. and took the route to Angers.” “Monsieur. In Which the Squirrel Falls. “Monsieur Colbert. sire. with evident joy.” said the king. It was two o’clock in the afternoon.” “I might have been able to imagine. and you. “Very well. acrimoniously.” articulated Fouquet. above all. rising. de Brienne. “Have you finished your copies?” asked the king. The king opened the door suddenly. full of impatience. Colbert. de Saint-Aignan had so long occupied in the morning. “What is it you are saying?” “We were speaking of the first sitting of the States. in a low voice.” Colbert had not finished these words when a rougher voice than that of the king interrupted the interesting conversation thus begun between the monarch and his clerk. are apt to guess them. was chatting in a low voice with M. and addressed them. “you must ascertain what has become of M.” murmured the king. went to his cabinet on the terrace. there are things that must be guessed. seated in the same place M. very sharply.” Colbert in his calm voice replied. the summons of the bell recalled Rose.” said M.” replied the king. “Not yet.—the Adder Flies.” “See if M. “Your majesty did not inform me. “Well! and for whom?” “For Madame de Belliere or Pelisson. d’Artagnan.” “Not yet.” The carriage rolled through Nantes. de Brienne. whose hour it was. to see what his secretaries were doing. and kept opening the door of the corridor. Chapter XLI. “Call M. The king. “Where does your majesty desire him to be sought for?” “Eh! monsieur! do you not know on what I have sent him?” replied Louis.

but. “take care. to beat M. his justice is not blind! When he says. Fouquet’s house?” “None!” replied Louis.” Thus saying. any more of the respect you owe the king. his hand on his sword. monsieur—monsieur. to force the drawers. and imprisoned!” “Accomplices. and. in a faltering voice. “What orders? Let me know. D’Artagnan took his station haughtily in the king’s cabinet. Fouquet. “It is hard to be so treated by one of your majesty’s officers. Fouquet’s servants.” “I have acted for the good of the king. sire. such were my orders. or even that he was guilty? The king alone knows that.” and he pointed to Colbert. “Who told you M. but we do not serve M. and ferocity on yours? You have caused the innocent to be arrested. we do. Colbert!” 5 “Monsieur d’Artagnan. affecting much more anger than he really felt. Fouquet had accomplices. “Ha!” said D’Artagnan. I forbid you to do it. by forcing them to assist in this pillage. that they may not chance to convey the slightest menace. nor clerks of the intendant. “I was not mistaken. turning pale. understand. his eyes flashing. as he entered. humiliated and devoured with rage. it is not in my presence that such explanations. and that without redress. “Orders to turn the house topsy-turvy. Colbert. and made in such a tone.” said Colbert. Fouquet. he is obeyed.D’Artagnan. of M.” interrupted D’Artagnan. his eyes flashing fire. as to you. Fouquet. sternly. monsieur. thank you. and when people curse the hand which strikes them. pale and in evidently bad humor. bowed to the king as if to ask his permis203 . is it your majesty who has given orders to my musketeers?” “What orders?” said the king. “About this. should take place. “About M.” cried D’Artagnan. who could not guess your majesty’s orders. de Roncherolles to the lodgings of M. and his person beloved.” said the king. have they been made accomplices in it? Mordioux! we serve the king. who has caused the iron cage to be constructed for his patron of yesterday—has sent M. bound. Every agent of a power without control represents that power. then. it is the royal hand that God reproaches. Why did any one presume to order them to enter? Why. mordioux!” “Well! but what is all this about?” said the king with authority. “It is humiliating.” said the king. “my soldiers are disgraced.” “D’Artagnan! D’Artagnan!” murmured the king. “Monsieur. I would make myself respected. under the pretense of securing the surintendant’s papers. “consists. they have taken away the furniture. My musketeers have been posted round the house all the morning. gentlemen who carry swords do not sling pens behind their ears. his lips trembling. it was monsieur here. biting his mustache. for the king will not allow those to be threatened who do him service by others who do him disservice. then. give you this lesson.” continued the musketeer. do you hear? Must a soldier. I do not command reitres. and consequently could not know I was gone to arrest M. and be careful of your words. hardened by forty years of wounds and blood. and I tell you so before his majesty. to give over a peaceful house to pillage! Mordioux! these are savage orders!” “Monsieur!” said Colbert. and if in case I should have. perhaps.—the king alone has a right to command my musketeers. which God forbid! a master so ungrateful. ‘Arrest and imprison’ such and such a man. cried to the king. “Sire. in the first place. monsieur? Must mercy be on my side. on account of the respect I owe the king.” “The respect you owe the king. Do not talk to me. “the king alone. in making his authority respected.” said Colbert.

who might have fled ten times over. who. His countenance assumed almost a purple hue. Fouquet at this moment?” asked Louis.” “Well!” cried the king. and drumming with his finger-nails upon the table. astonished. lastly.” said he. It is by the dawn that people judge whether the day will be fine or dull. Fouquet would never attempt to escape. that the man who conducts himself thus is a gallant man. my orders are executed—very unwillingly on my part. with that poetry. bowed before the king. “I perceive that I have expressed myself badly. D’Artagnan saw him hesitate. “let me see the result of your commission. and went away with death in his heart. and what then?” “Well! I ought to have told your majesty that M.” “You did.—the king. How. and is galloping as fast as four strong horses can drag him. is that the king desired me to be sought for but this minute. Fouquet. stopped at the voice of the king. Colbert had prepared for him. Let us speak of myself. monsieur. sire. and composing his countenance: “Sire. sharply. softened immediately. argue of your reign. the inimitable generosity of the surintendant. And then I had another reason. “In the first place. D’Artagnan bowed as Colbert had done. who might have killed the adversary in the pursuit. whom the hand of God has placed under your law.” “You took plenty of time about it. poor M. it is true. sire. which perhaps he alone possessed at that period. his black and threatening eyes shone with a dark fire beneath their thick brows. the furious race.” “Where is M.” said he. to be surprised. and I have received my orders. to the humiliation of one who wished to rob him of his liberty. He related.” replied D’Artagnan.” “What is that?” “Whilst I was with him. but the king. you may rest yourself hereafter. and the only method was to touch the king so near the quick. retraced his steps. “is in the iron cage that M. His majesty was astonished in his turn. Fouquet. Fouquet. D’Artagnan looked at the king. in preference to everything else. “M. knew not which part to take. will the people. To remain longer would have been a mistake: it was necessary to score a triumph over Colbert. I re-establish the truth. perhaps worse. devouring the narrator’s words. and. the best proof of what I advance. But I am a soldier.—reasons of state. That is my opinion. I say no more. and Colbert was forced to leave the closet. In proportion as the tale advanced. let us leave a discussion that may appear idle. towards Angers. the pursuit. perceiving that the ill-humor of D’Artagnan would put off for half an hour at least the details he was burning to be acquainted with. sire. that would have been more just. the escape of Fouquet.” D’Artagnan. that picturesqueness. at least. we say. So be it! To my ears that sounds highly respectable. half drew himself up in passing D’Artagnan. then. He did not allow him time to put any questions. The king. D’Artagnan. appreciated what was passing in the heart of his master. that his majesty would have no other means of extrication but choosing between the two antagonists. I have been arrested by M. I know what the king will say to me. in my eyes. he stepped out. after a short silence. who had nothing new to tell him. you allow angry and violent ministers to interpose their mischief ? But let us speak of myself. and perhaps inconvenient to you. but who had preferred imprisonment.” “Why did you leave him on the road?” “Because your majesty did not tell me to go to Angers.” It was now the turn of Louis XIV. I have arrested M. who was just passing through the doorway. sire. I announced to your majesty that I had arrested Monsieur Fouquet.—Louis. thwarted alike in pride and in curiosity.” said the king. and I repeat it to your majesty. The proof. the king became agitated. D’Artagnan. and recalled his captain of the musketeers. and I bow to it. if between them and you. “you are a young king. and cannot be an enemy to the king. on being left alone with the king. but they are executed. “It results from all this. with his quick glance.sion to leave the room. forgot Colbert. Fouquet had arrested me. was anxious to have all the exact details of the arrest of the surintendant of the finances from him who had made him tremble for a moment. 204 .

turning towards the soldier. sire. the D’Artagnan whom he saluted with his hand at the door of his carriage. who. Before that speech of his captain of the musketeers.” “He will henceforward be a winged-serpent. he appeared so good. “That which the king has just told you. and if I have 205 . crossing his arms on his breast.” “I am surprised. certainly. monsieur. and almost changed in his convictions.” added he. proves how well his majesty is acquainted with men. when repairing to Notre Dame on his return to Paris. after what he has just done for you and me. no. him who. with a deeply impressive manner. and his jealousy confined his wings. monsieur. the bird would. “you do not know this man. Colbert pressed his hand. if you desire that he should remain under your lock and bolt. however closely wired might be the cage. you will only find a master.“Your majesty ought to understand. in the end. make his acquaintance. for my country a great blessing. never give him in charge to me.” said the king. You will see them expand in the sun of public peace. so easy. the most stupid I could find among my musketeers. did you make a perquisition on the house of M.” replied D’Artagnan. that my warmest wish is to know that M. that I may place it in that of M. but he will be a great man if I raise him to the foremost rank.” “Precisely. Fouquet.” “My hand. a connoisseur in physiognomies. held himself concealed behind the curtains of his bed. d’Artagnan. and does understand.” The king was brought to a pause.” And he pointed to Colbert. offered to his eyes a physiognomy so different from that which he had been accustomed to see him wear. confused with pleasure and fear. “one single man would have gone there. up to this day. On hearing D’Artagnan. came to assure themselves of the presence of the king. had resumed his haughty attitude. has remitted me some papers. “Colbert. sire!” “Yes.” “Sire!” stammered Colbert. M. at the Palais Royal. “I will look at them. courageous. In fact. gratitude. “I always understood why.” “If M. proves that I had it in view to prepare for my king a glorious reign. when the people of Paris. d’Artagnan. with a smile. approaching him. No. Fouquet wished to place upon my throne. “you did not follow the fortunes of the man M.” “What has it produced?” “M. in order that the prisoner might have a chance of escaping. the king had nothing to offer. Colbert had not left the corridor where the secretaries were at work. was moved. You had in him all you want—affection. Fouquet?” “Yes. Fouquet is at liberty.” murmured D’Artagnan in the king’s ear. But Colbert. I have many ideas. sire. de Roncherolles. even when they have the misfortune to think them?” “Ah! sire. in his sternest tone. Fouquet had not gone to seek you in the Bastile. d’Artagnan. Louis remembered the D’Artagnan of former times. The inveterate opposition I have displayed. his eyes took the expression of an intelligence so noble. “he was jealous.” “Are you mad. sire. He reappeared. I have given him one of my brigadiers. the soldier who had quitted his service at Blois. led by Cardinal de Retz. at sight of the clerk. and I should have been that man—you know that right well. In my service. “Do people utter such enormities. M.” replied Colbert. take wing. Monsieur d’Artagnan?” cried the king. that D’Artagnan. devoted. Give me your hand.” grumbled the musketeer. Louis advanced towards the door and called Colbert. who was sent with your majesty’s musketeers. the man he had always found loyal. you cannot expect that I should be an enemy to M. so mild. “He has been made but a moderately valuable servant in subaltern positions. against abuses and not against men. the lieutenant he had recalled to be beside his person when the death of Mazarin restored his power. so frankly spoken and so true. with a remnant of hatred against his recent adversary.

in thirty years not a denir of it will remain in my hands.” This change. this mute approbation of the king. but the king stopped him. above all.” said the duke. And then.” said he. “oh. Fouquet. because. de Saint-Aignan. when France is great and strong. if I live thirty years. and fallen from such a height?” “I.” said he.” said he.” replied the musketeer. in fact. who prevented my acting. with that gold. d’Artagnan. I will equip navies that shall waft the name of France to the most distant people.” said the captain to the minister. monsieur! I would never persecute him. “I am here. M.” The duke bowed and departed to execute his commission. because I have the most entire confidence in my own merit. “You. because I am ambitious.” “The king never forgets. and harbors. He bowed civilly to Colbert. He is going to issue an order. I will build granaries. because. gave the musketeer matter for profound reflection. “you will go immediately. monsieur. and. d’Artagnan. “you will have any one shot who shall attempt to speak privately with M. because I will make France the first country in the world. have I? Listen. “Monsieur. “Saint-Aignan. he will forget. Hark! the king calls. These are the motives for my animosity against M. then. As soon as they were out of the cabinet. will I cry.” “You were right.” “Yes. and I love to look at the king’s gold. Fouquet.not the good fortune to conquer the friendship of honest men. at the first glance. The king is only crushing him on your account.” “But the king will grow tired. The king. it is not for me to teach you that. dismissed them. when I shall be great and strong. to form a guard for M. “And from Angers. discover what sort of man I am?” “Monsieur Colbert.” “But myself. “Monsieur. this sudden elevation. that I shall obtain their esteem. The man in power radiates. in my turn. that with such an eye as yours. you will only speak to him in the presence of the musketeers. For their admiration. sire. I wished to administer the finances and to administer them alone. because I will create a marine. sire. why should you continue to persecute him who had just fallen into disgrace.” The king. I am at least certain. They left the room together. I have not influenced him. castles. “Monsieur d’Artagnan. and since you are there. I would give my life. Alone?” 206 . monsieur. was calling his secretaries. M. at the first impression. monsieur. you know. Fouquet. cities.” D’Artagnan and Colbert exchanged looks. did you say? then ask his liberty of the king. you did not. and that the king has his own personal animosity against M. sire. ‘Mercy’!” “Mercy. during the journey. Fouquet. because I will create libraries and academies. because I know that all the gold of this country will ebb and flow beneath my eyes. D’Artagnan was about to retire likewise.” “Give twenty of your musketeers to M. “they will conduct the prisoner to the Bastile.” continued the king. “you know that is not so.” Colbert again raised his head. said: “Is it possible. stopping the captain.” continued the king. and take possession of the isle and fief of Belle-Ile-en-Mer. when he saw they were reconciled. the new minister. who did not take his eyes off him. in Paris. monsieur!” said Colbert. and the wealthiest. “a ray of the sun in our eyes prevents us from seeing the most vivid flame.

Then. whilst Colbert returned to the king. and that they will not wait for the hand of the fowler to extend over their wings.” resumed the king. monsieur. both silent. that they will have quite time enough to see it. The other. You have heard me? Go. one of these men. I will show them that hand so plainly. and it is not an easy thing for men like you to march over the bodies of their friends to obtain success. if you carry it out well. my dear Aramis. since the discomfiture of the colossal schemes of M. Monsieur d’Artagnan. two men.” “True.” A murmur of courtly incredulity rose from the group of courtiers. “It is of no use. “and I do not wish to see it again. with power of life and death over all the inhabitants or refugees. Every one has already perceived that these two men were our proscribed heroes. all our boats would not have foundered. The disappearance of all the fishing-boats that went out two days ago is not an ordinary circumstance. and an injunction not to allow one to escape. Belle-Ile-en-Mer. further. as they were.” thought D’Artagnan. borne away. with the white foam swept from the crests of the waves. and do not return without the keys. they resumed their walk. “for me the baton of a marechal of France will cost the lives of my two friends. A quarter of an hour after. in case the place should be contumacious. There has been no storm at sea. do you not observe that if the boats have perished.” Colbert went up to D’Artagnan. “You are right. whose ideas the assent of the bishop of Vannes seemed to enlarge. Poor Porthos! Poor Aramis! No. without the loss of an unnecessary minute. were conversing in an animated and expansive tone. against which the furious sea beats at the evening tide. “A commission which.” 207 . I repeat. “That shall be done. Porthos and Aramis. without the possibility of any other human being hearing their words.” “And further. not even the lightest gale. inhaling vigorously the salt breeze with which he charged his massive chest. seemed to seek for information in his looks. the captain received the written order from the king. my fortune should shall not cost your wings a feather. I tell you. d’Herblay. “will be worth a marechal’s baton to you.” D’Artagnan hung his head in deepest thought.” Having thus determined. embarked it at Paimboeuf. by the gusts of wind. “If is of no use your saying anything to the contrary. cast an anxious. turning towards the east. ‘if you carry it out well’?” “Because it is difficult.” said D’Artagnan. and set sail. From time to time. it is strange. one by one.” repeated Porthos. Aramis. Chapter XLII. inquiring look over the sea. holding each other by the arm. and even if we had had a tempest. in case of resistance. not a single plank has washed ashore?” “I have remarked it as well as yourself. it is true. At the extremity of the mole.“You will take a sufficient number of troops to prevent delay. “I saw the place in my infancy. Only they seem to forget that my friends are not more stupid than the birds. This complete disappearance astonishes me. busied with dismal thoughts. D’Artagnan assembled the royal army.” “Ah! in what respect?” “You have friends in Belle-Isle.” added Porthos. there is something strange in it. interrogating the features of his companion.” “Why do you employ the words. like a gigantic crucible. “Colbert was right.” murmured Aramis. who had taken refuge in Belle-Isle. friend Porthos. the weather has been constantly calm. to blow up the fortress of Belle-Isle. since the ruin of their hopes. “and.” said he. The sun had just gone down in the vast sheet of the crimsoned ocean.

and say nothing. we are not in France. Porthos. but I declare to you I am not happy at Belle-Isle. hovered for a long time over the sea. that in the glorious days of youth—do you remember. I am assailed by cries and complaints whichever way I go. What I regret is certainly not the more or less amusement we can find at Belle-Isle: what I regret.” This reply did not satisfy Porthos at all. Porthos?” “No. that we could not depart. pardieu! No. seeking to pierce the very horizon. calmly.” Aramis was silent. and that the more closely from the bishop having apparently endorsed it. ma foi! For my part. to be sure I have. in full sincerity of soul. and which I sent in search of the others—” Aramis here interrupted his companion by a cry. I don’t regret it at all. and your affection will excuse my frankness. “Unhappy man! What have you done? Then we are indeed lost.” continued Porthos. that Porthos stopped as if he were stupefied. I meant to say—” “What?” “That if we were inclined—if we took a fancy to make an excursion by sea.” “’Departed!’ And the orders. “You see. kneading the two hands of the giant between his own with affectionate cordiality. what sort of a plank should we want. my friend. If you had not sent them away. when we were all strong and valiant— we. and the other two—if we had then had an inclination to return to France. and by so sudden a movement.” replied he: “that is why it is so sad a thing you have sent the two boats we had left in search of the boats which disappeared two days ago.“And do you not think it strange that the two only boats we had left in the whole island. “Lost!—what did you say?” exclaimed the terrified Porthos. What do you suppose. my good Porthos. is Pierrefonds. He turned away grumbling something in ill-humor. my friend. “but six leagues. and that the sending away of the boats in search of the others cannot prove prejudicial to us in the very least. and his vague glances. “do you remember. But. Porthos? What!—You have sent the two boats—” “In search of the others! Yes. beautiful France! Here. No.—”with all that. “What do you say. in good truth. and how ought I to answer them?” “Think all you like. “Do you remember. but stifled sigh. we are—I know not where. Bracieux. then. Aramis? How are we lost?” Aramis bit his lips. I am not happy!” Aramis breathed a long. who adhered to his idea. you give me no explanation about what can have happened to these unfortunate boats. “With all that. as if I could restore the absent husbands and fathers. Aramis. my dear friend. Aramis?” “What orders?” “Parbleu! Why. interrogating space.” And the Seigneur de 208 . “How lost. the orders you have been constantly. plainly.” cried the bishop.” “If you had seen me get astride of a plank. luminous as that of an albatross. Aramis. nowadays. we could not.” replied Porthos. do you think this sheet of salt water would have stopped us?” “Oh!” said Porthos. You know very well!” “That is true!” murmured Aramis again. “Dear friend. in and out of season. in a melancholy tone. The children cry to see the desolation of the women. my friend. Oh! I tell you. “Nothing! nothing! Your pardon. in particular. repeating to me—that we were to hold Belle-Isle against the usurper. Aramis stopped the valiant musketeer. le Vallon. Aramis.” said he. would you have remained on land.” “Very good! and why should that vex you? A precious pleasure. my friend! I. we would have departed.

” “No. or written or verbal communications. such dreams!” “Porthos. since the disappearance of our barks. Fouquet all the night. much embarrassed. and all my reflections. in spite of the efforts he made to restrain it. and the observation was the more naturally made. who in his faith and calmness understood nothing of the sort of exasperation which was betrayed by his companion’s continual convulsive starts—Porthos stopped him. too.” “Yes?” “I know that we engineers and captains came and threw ourselves into Belle-Isle to take direction of the works. they leave Belle-Isle without arrivals.” said Aramis. that instead of sending us troops. We will wait. Porthos. it is a bark! Ah! we shall have some news at last.” said the bishop of Vannes. “yes. or rather. Fouquet. not a single small boat has landed on the shores of the isle?” “Yes. what is that yonder?” interrupted Aramis. “Let us stay where we are. but that decidedly—if we had a fixed idea. and there were not boats—” “Have you remarked another thing. certainly! you are right. my dear D’Herblay. “But what I cannot understand. Porthos? A canoe to be upset in. and pointing out to his friend a black spot upon the empurpled line of the water. we will wait. and with great agitation. what. “and yet. and that you would not prefer the comforts of your dwelling—of your episcopal palace. the plan I have conceived?” The bishop raised his head. all relations with the shore are intercepted. I have imagined that an event has taken place in France. I understand that. meanly kept. my friend. my friend—that is. “And do you mean seriously to say you are not tired of Belle-Isle a little. answer me.” 209 . Tell me. “Well! Aramis. instead of sending us reinforcements of men. at Vannes? Come.” said he. to explain to me in a manner I can comprehend—explain to me what we are doing here. in spite of all the efforts of my mind. if we seriously wished. “Place yourself there. “Let us sit down upon this rock. whether by signals. provisions. Villainous dreams. confess. close to me. barks and shallops were as plentiful as shrimps. or rather the ten companies of his son-in-law. of broken eggs. during the last two days’ absence of fishermen. “I know that the false king formed the project of selling Belle-Isle to the English. “A bark!” said Porthos. before the last two fatal days. no. which. “Let us remain!—let us remain! And yet.” Aramis rose in a state of great impatience.” “Porthos. too. who grew tired of following all the feverish movements of his friend—Porthos.” continued Porthos. if we had a raft constructed—” “But there are some canoes. of lifeless fish. for. without daring to look at Porthos. with a sigh. very unlucky. they leave us without boats. He might be said to be a lion importuned by a gnat. Aramis. for the last time. to return to France. I cannot comprehend.” And Aramis continued walking about with increased agitation. before answering me. “And then. “I have dreamed. That is a fact. I dreamt of M.” added he.Bracieux cast a profound glance over his colossal rotundity with a loud laugh. Porthos held him by the arm. will you allow me to tell you what I have thought? Will you hear what my idea is. have remarked it. Well—” “Yes?” said Aramis. suddenly. I. All that is plain. and never shall comprehend. rising suddenly. and the command of ten companies levied and paid by M. is.” said his friend. of chambers badly furnished.” replied Aramis. it is that instead of establishing with us a correspondence. and I conjure you. “it is not our trade to ride upon the waves.” said Aramis. escaped his echoing breast. Aramis. then.” “I must inquire. No. “I know that the false king wished to dethrone the true king. munitions. that I understand. shall I board one?” “A canoe!—a canoe! Can you think of such a thing. without help. one firmly taken.

” “By the Loire? That would have an evil look.” Porthos opened his eyes to their widest extent. placed behind the large cannon bedded in their stone carriages.” “The alarm! do you imagine such a thing?” “Yes. look. “No. That sort of craft is generally used for transport of troops. to see if the bishop of Vannes were not deceived.” replied he. they are reinforcements.” said he. on discovering another mast. Porthos.—”Porthos.” Aramis leaned his head upon his hands.” observed Porthos. very uneasily. in his blandest tone. in spite of the assurance he affected. “I will do it. in Aramis’s ear. my friend. the great bronze bell swung in horror from its lofty belfry. trumpets brayed.” whispered Porthos. don’t you think they are.” “Ah!” groaned Aramis. and be particularly watchful of the coast batteries. my dear Porthos.” “Boats in the royal service?” replied Aramis. can you distinguish the flag?” “I see there is one. “our boats. The dikes and moles were quickly filled with the curious and soldiers.” “Well! I will—instantly!” said Porthos. women and children are beginning to crowd the jetty. that they come from the Loire?” “They come from the Loire—yes—” “And look! everybody here sees them as well as ourselves.” replied the old man. The alarm was sounded. casting all the while looks behind him. my friend. yonder?” asked Aramis. “have the alarm sounded. The old man looked steadily into the eye of the horizon. to try to comprehend. “and do you not remark. and let the cannoniers mount their batteries. for they must have come through Paris!” “You are right. or provisions. to convince himself he was in his proper senses. who went to execute the orders.” said Porthos. “they are sending us reinforcements. “I will go and have these orders executed myself. “They are very large for fishing-boats. “By the flag. and made no reply. do not carry any. my friend. if you do not go. “Are those our barks. decidedly. “Six! seven! Ah! mon Dieu! mon Dieu! it is a fleet!” “Our boats returning.” “Unless it is the English coming. timidly. drums rolled. Then.” An old fisherman passed. 210 . he would not recall him. Aramis?” “Probably. When every man was at his post. “they are lighter boars. boats in the king’s service. trade lighters. “two! three! four!” “Five!” said Porthos. when all the preparations for defense were made: “Permit me. the artillerymen be at their pieces. starting. matches sparkled in the hands of the artillerymen.” “But. monseigneur.“There are two!” cried the bishop. “How do you know that?” said he. “Vivat!” cried Porthos. on recovering more rational ideas. how the devil. all at once.” said Aramis. Aramis. and if.” continued Aramis. in his turn. He looked attentively at his friend. probably. “the boat is scarcely visible.

is it not?” “But as there are two kings in France. The commander jumped ashore. we set out in search of our comrades?” “Yes. with sails unfurled. d’Herblay.” replied the giant. whose eyes this reply of his friend’s had at last opened. bending to their oars. straight towards the port of Belle-Isle. Two soldiers. marched him between them. at a signal from a sergeant. “And they have released you to-day?” asked he. This man was soon recognized by several soldiers as one of the pilots of the island. but which Porthos. saw the ships continually drawing nearer. notwithstanding the flambeaux borne at a small distance by the soldiers who were following Aramis in his rounds.” replied Jonathan. “We were captured.“My dear friend. and escorted him. could distinguish the masts. “Of which king?” cried Porthos.” “Who captured you?” “You know. “Speak!” continued the bishop. to which of these two kings does this fleet belong?” “Oh! you open my eyes. “Well. “Humph!” said he. “then I suppose it is a royal fleet blockading the coasts?” 211 . is a royal fleet. which had created such a sensation among the inhabitants of Belle-Isle. stunned by the insinuation. you will comprehend but too soon. took the direction of the port. or rather thickened the bandage which covered his sight. Jonathan started. and afterwards?” “Well! monseigneur. d’Herblay. from whom do you come?” “Monseigneur.” thought honest Porthos. bearing at the masthead the royal flag of France. In the meantime. Aramis was upon the quay. Jonathan. and at last the hulls of the lighters. He had a letter in his hand. The darkness was almost absolute. and joined to those who had been taken yesterday morning. monseigneur. within a short league we were captured by a chasse maree belonging to the king. and exhort every one to do his duty. then the lower sails. Porthos was again at a loss to comprehend. He was the captain of one of the two barks retained by Aramis. “Monsieur. which he waved in the air. of which the three rowers. The people and the soldiers. monsieur.” “Ah!” said Aramis. had sent in search of the missing boats. dropped anchor within cannon shot of the place. The envoy presented himself before the bishop of Vannes. and seemed to wish to communicate with somebody. went with his best speed to the batteries to overlook his people. “That I might tell you they have captured us. Aramis. notwithstanding the darkness. perched on the summits of the rocks. to prevent us from telling you. monseigneur.” “Trouble upon trouble. from the side of which a skiff was lowered.” “What was the cause of the mania for capturing you all?” said Porthos. And Porthos. “The fleet which is coming yonder. from those who captured me. He asked to be conducted to M. It was night when one of these vessels. with his eye fixed on the horizon. During this time Aramis was reflecting. that some sort of agitation reigned on board the vessel. in his anxiety with regard to the fate of the fishermen who had disappeared. and in a few instants struck land at the foot of the fort.” murmured M. It was soon seen. Porthos. in reply to this question of his lieutenant.

arrested M. nothing.” “What did he say to you?” “That for ampler information. monseigneur. “Nothing. or to put the garrison to the sword. monseigneur. “Are you mad?” cried he. d’Artagnan?” “Yes. and bring you to him. who.” “Let us go at once. signed. order to make prisoners of all the men of the garrison. mysteriously.” continued Jonathan. Fouquet. and crushed the paper in his hands. my friend. “Who knows that it is not a snare?” “Of the other king’s?” said Porthos. the day before yesterday. monseigneur.“Yes. if they resist. Jonathan?” “Monseigneur?” “Did you speak to M.” said Porthos. D’ARTAGNAN.” “Where?” “On board his own vessel.” “Tell me. he would speak with monseigneur.” “It is his writing. “Dear D’Artagnan!” But Aramis stopped him.” “Bring the torches nearer.” “On board his vessel!” and Porthos repeated. for the purpose of his being sent to the Bastile.” “And did he give you this letter?” “Yes. le mousquetaire. 212 .” “D’Artagnan?” “D’Artagnan!” exclaimed Porthos. “told me to take you both on board my canoe.” exclaimed Porthos.” “Who commands it?” “The captain of the king’s musketeers. “On board his vessel!” “M. Aramis eagerly read the following lines: “Order of the king to take Belle-Isle. “What is it?” asked Porthos.” Aramis turned pale. “I believe that is the name.

Explanations by Aramis. Porthos. we know nothing.” “Very possibly. “do not spare me. and bring back an answer. you men there!” And the canoe pushed off to regain the fleet. Allow the canoe to pass. what is to be done. therefore. Aramis took Porthos by the hand. my dear friend.” “And will tell him that we beg he will himself come into the island. “but if the captain should refuse to come to Belle-Isle?” “If he refuses. and commenced his explanations.” “Ah! I comprehend!” said Porthos. we will make use of them. no fear of that. my friend. but. sit down upon this gun-carriage. monseigneur.” Aramis was silent. but it may prove instructive. and listen well to me. I beg. as we have cannon. monseigneur?” cried Jonathan. don’t fear. “Yes.” said Porthos. Go. Chapter XLIII. “It is true.” 213 . “What I have to say to you. in the meantime. go!” “Ma foi! I no longer comprehend anything. speak out. I am hardened against emotions. will probably surprise you. begone. “Yes. but—but his writing—” “Writing is easily counterfeited. “I will make you comprehend it all.” “I like to be surprised.” “What shall I do?” asked Jonathan.“A snare. Jonathan.” “What! against D’Artagnan?” “If it is D’Artagnan.” “Oh! pardieu! I will listen.” said the good Porthos. in a kindly tone. friend Porthos. he will come. the time for it has come.” “Yes. “You will return on board this captain’s vessel.” replied Jonathan. in fact! That’s what it is.” “May I depart. “we do not want to know anything.” murmured Porthos. This looks counterfeited—unsteady—” “You are always right. open your ears. monseigneur. then? If D’Artagnan sends for us—” “Who assures you that D’Artagnan sends for us?” “Well.

” “I shall be pleased at your doing so.?” “You have hit the matter in one word. trust me. my friend.“It is difficult. Porthos—difficult.” “What are we going to fight for.” “Then. and devoted. my poor friend. we shall still find means of getting out of the affair.” “Ah! but—” “And so. to assist you in telling me such things.” “Was it for my good. I have very strange things.” “The usurper!” said Porthos. my worthy friend. I will. Speak. the duchy that was promised me—” “It was the usurper that was to give it to you. tell me?” “In that I was serving the usurper against whom Louis XIV.” Porthos began to bite his nails in a melancholy way. according to this. “you have rendered me a service.” “The devil! the devil!” cried Porthos.” “You have deceived me!” “Good Heavens! yes. Porthos. I thought so sincerely. I beg—and—stop. dear Porthos. have you deceived me. I have an idea: I will. to make your task more easy. you will not help me at all. scratching his head. “Oh! but. Aramis. and I thank you for it. So far. I might have deceived myself. much disappointed. that I could listen to you for days together. I do not quite clearly comprehend!” “He is one of the two kings who are contending fro the crown of France. In what. to tell you. at this moment. then.” “Oh! you speak so well. Aramis?” “I thought so. be calm. But. I have deceived you. “My friend. for if you had not deceived me. 214 . that is the very Gordian knot.” “It follows that—” “It follows that we are rebels. is directing his efforts.. Porthos.” said Porthos.” said the honest seigneur of Bracieux. then.” replied Porthos. I warn you a second time.” “Very well! Then you were serving him who is not Louis XIV.” “And that is not the same thing. generous. on the contrary. Aramis?” “If you ask me many such questions as that—if you would render my task the easier by interrupting my revelations thus. “that which alone touches me is that ugly word rebels. my friend.” “It is not that which makes me uneasy. the confession must be bravely made. for. good. if it had only depended upon me. my friend. very extraordinary things. you should have become a prince. majestically. in truth. “That is—well. question you. with a man like you.

I will take it on myself alone!” “Aramis!” “No. my friend. No false generosity! No inopportune devotedness! You knew nothing of my projects. and you came to me in remembrance of our ancient device. He replied by a mute and energetic pressure to the endearment of his friend.” said the admirable good sense of Porthos. that is a word I like. if we are in such an easy position. has no longer now but one enemy: that enemy is myself.. why. excuse me. my good Porthos.” said Porthos. I conjure you. nothing more plain.” said Porthos. which is more imposing than brilliancy of mind. “and seeing that you have acted entirely for yourself. muskets. I implore you!” “So. “that we have come to an explanation.” And upon this sublime reflection. “then why.’ My crime is that I was an egotist. to extricate you from the false position in which I have so imprudently involved you. I alone am the author of this plot. I am bowed down with mental anguish. all my powers of reflection. and engines of all sorts? It seems to me it would be much more simple to say to Captain d’Artagnan: ‘My dear friend. knowing you to be a man of your word. but. without replying to the bishop’s prayer.” “What! defend ourselves against D’Artagnan? Folly! Against the good D’Artagnan!” Aramis once more replied by shaking his head. Aramis. I will settle all that. “in deceiving me. my friend?” “I see a difficulty in it. you fly back to your prince.?” “Oh! I will settle all that. It is natural. Porthos. I have made you a prisoner.” “Now. myself alone. “Why do you say ‘that’? Do you not approve of my plan.” “Poor Porthos! pardon me. You have done nothing of yourself. let us pass through. I think. but nothing can be more clear. than your position.’” “Ah! that!” said Aramis. Oh! I reckoned upon it seriously. You can perceive. and we will say good-bye. The king Louis XIV. do we prepare cannon.” continued he. In presence of this ingenuous greatness of soul. I am deeply grieved.” “Do you think so?” said Porthos. and I have need of all my presence of mind. henceforth.” “D’Artagnan. you have followed me. shaking his head. Porthos. I called upon you. With me it is different. one for all. I stood in need of my inseparable companion. “Now. to-day I liberate you.” “What is it?” “The hypothesis that D’Artagnan may come with orders which will oblige us to defend ourselves. no. then.” “Then why. 215 .“That is where you have been wrong. I have quite fallen out with Louis XIV. “so then. Porthos pressed his friend’s hand cordially. now that I am perfectly aware of our situation with respect to Louis XIV. Aramis felt his own littleness. D’Artagnan is coming. and will detail it to you in all its circumstances. open the door to us. “I am quite sure of it. let me act. my friend.” continued Porthos. ‘All for one. my good friend. it is impossible for me to blame you. It was the second time he had been compelled to bend before real superiority of heart. for that promised duchy I reckoned upon. that error is to be repaired. we have been mistaken. it seems. it is time to make me comprehend the political intrigue of which we are the victims—for I plainly see there is a political intrigue at the bottom of all this. there is not one difficulty in all this.

my friend. growing warm—”monsieur. who has given you that order.” “But there is one thing much more simple than defending ourselves:—a boat. in virtue of your order. “Yes. turning towards him who followed him: “Monsieur. timidly.” continued D’Artagnan. when I received the reply of these two gentlemen” (and he pointed to Aramis and Porthos). You produced an order to that effect. without doubt. that. in a low voice.” replied the officer. to overhear your conversations.” said the officer. when I sent a canoe hither. I am directed not to allow you to communicate with any one without taking cognizance of what you do. a bad position. all that was well executed. I follow you.” said he. closely to be followed by an explosion. monsieur. in a voice of thunder. “Monsieur. I simply. you spoke so arrogantly to me. “it is my duty which—” “Monsieur. Colbert. approached the officer. “you heard every word of what the messenger said. no. and almost faintly.” stammered the officer. in my turn. The captain stopped upon the stairs of the mole. you demanded to accompany me. you wished to know what I wrote to the defenders of Belle-Isle. and all five preceding times I killed my man. But you are under my hand. monsieur. you have had the misfortune.” said he. Then D’Artagnan. “yes. “do not let us reason like children. You are now at Belle-Isle. those good ramparts of Belle-Isle which you have so well fortified. d’Artagnan. I swear to you by my name. “we are no longer on board the king’s fleet. are you not?” “Yes. or of whomsoever in the world you are following the instructions.” said Porthos. it was not for nothing. and pitch you into the water. biting his mustache with that vivacity which denoted in him exasperation. and away for France—where—” “My dear friend. It is done. and who is alone with M. if I am a restraint upon you. to insult me.” This order. His companions imitated him. I brought you with me.—But. or are at too great a distance. affecting calm. Wait to judge. or rather. very punctually.” at length said he. d’Artagnan upon steps whose feet are bathed by thirty feet of salt water. the question now is of a man who is a clog upon M. and I swear that if you make one step behind me when I raise my feet to go up to those gentlemen. I will cleave your head in two with my sword. so much the more impressive. “I did not speak arrogantly to you.” 216 . trembled likewise. Porthos and Aramis observed an officer who followed D’Artagnan. smiling with a strong shade of sadness. let us be men in council and in execution. accordingly. running lightly up the steps of the mole. I would have told you.” “But.” replied the captain of the musketeers. Oh! it will happen! it will happen! I have only been six times angry in my life. monsieur. obeyed instructions. I cannot seek redress from those who employ you. no doubt. When the skipper of the boat sent by me returned. hark! I hear a hail for landing at the port. I am in duty bound. “Make your men draw back. but rigorously.” said Aramis. when half-way up. if I have called every man to his post upon the ramparts. and. but—” “But—the question no longer is of M. when I manifested the intention of quitting my vessel to cross to Belle-Isle.” cried D’Artagnan to Porthos and Aramis. monsieur. was executed immediately. given by Porthos. I instantly showed you the note I had written. Porthos.“Porthos. D’Artagnan. serious attention!” “It is D’Artagnan. “if I have had the matches lighted and the guns pointed. “let them retire out of hearing. I was commanded to follow you. Attention. but with uneasiness and fear. just now. a bad position for that man. either you or those that sent you. was it not?” “Yes. if I have had the signal of alarm sounded. but—” “Monsieur.—they are unknown to me.” “Monsieur. approaching the parapet. it threatened tempest—”monsieur. who heard this dialogue. it is I. and Porthos and Aramis. As soon as he came towards them. All that was plainly in your orders.” D’Artagnan trembled with rage. I did not hesitate. and gaining rapidly the little esplanade on which his two friends waited for him. monsieur! I warn you. treading apparently in his very steps. do not wait—” “What can I do?” “If I knew. where.

speak. no more has Aramis. “I have another trial to make of this officer. that I may not find secret orders which will take from me my command. “These gentlemen we have just seen. But D’Artagnan passed his sword into his left hand. sword in hand. D’Artagnan remarked the silence of his friend. but if I do not do it. and turned round. You will all the better comprehend what I am going to say to you now. I break my word. judge for yourselves. to keep you near me.” said D’Artagnan.— “Monsieur. and then went up to his friends. “My idea was this.” “Monsieur d’Artagnan. But now. cried to the musketeer. and you alone.” said Aramis. I may not find a superior. but replied with simplicity. permit me. and against whom you have orders. mute and trembling at the top of the parapet. take care!” D’Artagnan made them a sign to keep silence. are my friends. then. “You ought to have a suspicion of what they signify. and do not despise me. if I yield to your request. and he will take you. if I do that which you beg me.” D’Artagnan tore at his gray mustache. I disoblige you. Porthos angry. I prefer the one dilemma to the other.” “I know they are.” “I understand your reserve.” “You can understand whether or not I ought to act towards them as your instructions prescribe. “you are a brave man. “Dear Porthos!” cried the bishop of Vannes. and whose courageous resistance makes me 217 . uttered a cry. monsieur. and give it to another.” “Speak. he became pale under this terrible threat. monsieur. threw his arm round the neck of the young man. who knew their D’Artagnan. The officer. I will not surrender easily. in fact.” “Very well. “You see what is being done against you. on the watch for you. “What is the meaning of all these preparations?” said Porthos. resolutely. The king wants you to be taken.” replied the officer. which penetrated that hardened heart. for my part. you would have fallen into the hands of the cruisers that plow the sea in all directions. I assure you. and rushed down to prevent the blow they thought they already heard. in an agitated voice.” Porthos and Aramis. weed-covered steps. of this brave fellow who accompanies me. much agitated. my dear captain. to converse with them without a witness. raised his foot with ominous calmness to mount the stair. when I return to my ship. enveloped in his cloak. to see if the officer followed him. and restore you your liberty. who will dispose of me and you without hope of help?” “We must remain at Belle-Isle. Porthos and Aramis. The officer made a sign of the cross and stepped up. “Well!” said D’Artagnan to his friends.The officer did not stir. Aramis grew somber. for doing this for your sake.” Porthos said nothing. who can say. Converse with your friends. “such is my position. do not despise me for committing for you.” D’Artagnan. Your means of transport seized.” continued D’Artagnan: “to make you both come on board. Monsieur d’Artagnan. D’Artagnan darted a reproachful look at the prelate.” said he to the officer. “and I assure you. whom I esteem and honor.” the worthy baron hastened to say. “Not any. “Good D’Artagnan. for. an unworthy act. you are wrong in acting against my orders. “interception of all boats coming to or going from Belle-Isle.” said D’Artagnan. “Monsieur.” All three embraced as in the glorious days of their youth. If you had endeavored to fly. sat down on the damp. I have done nothing.

precisely. he had full time for meditation. “monsieur. “Only.” “Now. nothing had changed in appearance in the fate of one or the other. offensive and defensive. “During the first emotion this resolution will cause. “and I now believe that will not be long. but having direct explicit orders to put them under guard.” said Porthos. moored within cannon-shot of the island. having tenderly embraced his two old friends.” said the bishop of Vannes.” “No. for I have one already. Now. for it denotes an honest man. with the exception of the explanation with which the worthy Porthos had been willing to be satisfied. D’Artagnan went to the parapet. a thousand thanks! You have made yourself three friends for life. “Until we have an idea.” added Aramis.” said Aramis. “He can prove to the king. Porthos alone said nothing.” “Ah!” said D’Artagnan.” “Yes.” resumed D’Artagnan. As to the officer. “That’s all over. monsieur. Let us try to learn from him what his instructions are.” said Aramis.” “Let us say adieu. take care of yourself. placing his ear near Aramis’s mouth.” replied Aramis. if I wished to take away these gentlemen from here. “But still take Porthos. we know that whatever D’Artagnan did examine. which consisted of the officers serving under his orders. who immediately came up. “there is D’Artagnan’s idea. is a thousand times better than a complaisant coward.” said Aramis.” “Let us see. my good Porthos.” “Infallible!” cried Aramis. The latter spoke several words rapidly. These were eight in number. “but in truth. “thanks. after having exchanged the cordial courtesies natural between gentlemen who know and appreciate each other. Monsieur d’Artagnan. a little wounded in his susceptibilities at the morose tone of his companion. and what his orders permit or forbid. and called the officer. Porthos did not stir. “That is it.” “Let us try. who.” “Hum!” said D’Artagnan. “As you please. and I will help him do so. now grown mute again. according to custom.” said Aramis. you ought to go. leaned over towards the steps of the mole. on putting his foot on board his vessel. “Monsieur.” said the latter. “Will you come? Will you follow me. that he had nothing to do with this affair. Aramis. “Only I am reassured by the promise of an idea from D’Artagnan.” said Aramis. the captain of the musketeers had already got together all his means. Thus.” said D’Artagnan to the officer. left Belle-Isle with the inseparable companion with whom M. though an enemy. with vivacity. a chief 218 . Colbert had saddled him.” said the musketeer. I should detain them.” “Oh! don’t be afraid. then. Porthos? The king is merciful.” D’Artagnan did not return on board without profoundly analyzing the idea he had discovered.” “I want time for reflection. what would you do?” “I should not oppose it.” said D’Artagnan. daylight was certain to illuminate. and you too. laconically. “You will remain here. to which D’Artagnan replied. but merely bowed. D’Artagnan. Therefore. He immediately assembled his council. gloomily. monsieur.very happy. then?” “Until fresh orders. an idea I fancy I have divined.

should they agree. “Oh! do not interrupt me. Now the inhabitants and defenders of Belle-Isle know nothing of this arrest. We will affirm to them. in case of rebellion. “You are going to tell me that that right to arm themselves against the English was not a right to arm themselves against their king.” The major made a movement. “What. We will tell them that at the first cannon fired. I know that there is an order of the king’s to prevent all secret communications with the defenders of Belle-Isle. Fouquet nor his signature. surprising they hold out against that which is neither M. Having assembled them. I have been to reconnoiter Belle-Ile-en-Mer. d’Artagnan to assemble any council whatever. and that all resistance can only be prejudicial to them. he serves his master till he has seen him dead. It is a thing so unheard-of and extraordinary. D’Artagnan. The place is then. and with a gracious smile: “That is well. This paper bore upon its superscription the number 1. moreover. particularly by reasoning with them. a major directing the artillery. that they would not believe you. the officer we are acquainted with. and that former monarchs gave the right to the seigneurs of Belle-Isle to arm their people. we shall be better able to deal with them.” continued D’Artagnan. which he placed in the hands of D’Artagnan. Fouquet’s. unfolded the paper. who knew him well enough to attach a certain value to the condescension. full of mistrust. so unexpected. “your reply is just. Having separated them from their troops and cannon. took of his hat. but firmness.” said he. But it is not M. and we shall have a place given up to us in a friendly way which it might cost prodigious efforts to subdue. and resumed: “Monsieur. You would announce it to them in vain. The officers looked at each other as if to read each other’s opinions in their eyes. “I propose to cause two of the principal officers of the garrison to come on board my vessel. I suppose. gentlemen. and that is exactly why I do not offer to communicate except in presence of my staff. Fouquet is a prisoner. with a courtesy that was not free from sadness. monsieur. Signed—LOUIS.” The major bowed in token of assent.” The officer who had followed D’Artagnan to Belle-Isle was preparing to speak. monsieur. They will see you. Now the Bretons.” said the officer. have not seen the body of M. but he was not the man to allow himself to be subdued by a trifle. “Yes. “Monsieur.” 219 . “That is why.” D’Artagnan repressed the quiver of impatience that ran through his whole body. they will see the forces we have at our disposal. and four lieutenants. and not his masters. A Breton serves his master. they will resist no longer. They will yield up without fighting. more!” murmured the surprised captain. an engineer. there will be no further hope of mercy from the king. Fouquet. then. Fouquet. Then. and read these words: “Prohibition to M. And already the latter saw with joy that the result of their consent would be sending a bark to Porthos and Aramis. “I have heard you say that the place is preparing to make a troublesome defense. as far as I know.” continued D’Artagnan.” And D’Artagnan made an inclination of the head to his officers. “Read. as you know. But you are ignorant that Belle-Isle is a fief of M. Is not this your opinion. and addressed them thus: “Gentlemen.of the maritime forces. monsieur. gentlemen?” The major of artillery rose. upon our honor. I therefore intend to send for two of the principal officers of the place. when the king’s officer drew from a pocket a folded paper. or to deliberate in any way before Belle-Isle be surrendered and the prisoners shot. according to the desire of D’Artagnan. D’Artagnan arose. “the king’s orders shall be complied with.” said he. and the fate that attends them. It is not. they will consequently know to what they have to trust. Fouquet the day before yesterday. determined on rebellion?” D’Artagnan was visibly put out by this reply. with the intention of evidently acting. that we may converse with them. I know what you are going to tell me. with respect.” said he. since I arrested M. that M. but D’Artagnan interrupted him. or so at least I trust. preparations are made for a defense that may prove troublesome. who holds Belle-Isle at this moment. and I have found in it a good and solid garrison.

it must be because I no longer possess his confidence. except the surveillant officer. even yet. and reflecting upon the idea he had brought back from Belle-Isle. without fear of being molested. he would be sent back with full powers. in an agitated voice (such despair did he behold in that man of iron). and set sail for England or Spain. Let us see your powers. gentlemen! I suppose. recalled to him the solid foresight and inflexible logic of the great cardinal. The blow was direct. “it is for you that this last order remitted to me is intended. “since the king has charged some other than myself with his secret orders. 220 .” “I am ready. “do me the favor to depart at once. addressing the new leader.” stammered he. suddenly. Therefore I will go immediately and carry my resignation to the king. “I await your good pleasure to depart. Result of the Ideas of the King. and every officer placed under his orders shall be held to no longer obey him. within an hour. It was thus conceived: “From the moment M. “Gentlemen. which the passive agent of the thoughts of that infernal Colbert had distributed to them. crushed by implacable impossibility. d’Artagnan shall have manifested the desire of giving in his resignation.” “Here they are. Moreover. this time?” And D’Artagnan almost triumphed while speaking these words. after the birds had flown. “will you carry on the directions of the different corps?” “When you are gone. grinding his teeth. the cage. Whilst they were making their escape. feebly. It was severe. he saw the officers around him reading similar orders. D’Artagnan would return to the king. did not despair. At sight of this he became almost distraught with rage. return all to your posts. “If I were to put this order in my pocket.” said he. he shall no longer be reckoned leader of the expedition. would justify his return by the indignation which the mistrust of Colbert had raised in him.” said he.Chapter XLIV. and who will consider him a prisoner for whom he is answerable.” Brave and careless as he was. The blockade once raised. accompanied by the officer who will have remitted the message to him. monsieur. and the Ideas of D’Artagnan. monsieur. “who would know it. monsieur.” said the officer. D’Artagnan. and turning round towards D’Artagnan.” “Immediately!” articulated D’Artagnan. furious at having been anticipated by an idea of the king’s.” replied D’Artagnan. “Monsieur. The officer immediately ordered a canoe to receive M. But to this plan the officer opposed a further order of the king’s. we shall have the ebb of the tide. “Come. “you have no orders to object. scarcely breathing. shall set out immediately for France. “it is to me the command of the whole is committed.” thought he. what would prevent my doing it? Before the king had had time to be informed. d’Artagnan and himself. mortal. Everything had been calculated with a depth of precognition which. He leaned his head on his hand. subdued. and I should really be unworthy of it if I had the courage to hold a command subject to so many injurious suspicions. This plan would prove the safety of his friends. We will disobey!” But at the moment he was about to adopt this plan. on seeing that all prepared to obey him. placing the folded paper in his hands. they might embark immediately. “Here are your instructions.” “Then. having lost that quality of leader of the army sent against Belle-Isle. however.” added he. I tender it before you all.” replied the commander of the fleet. he elicited therefrom novel means of safety for his friends. To your posts. that is to say. For this purpose. in such a way as not to compromise the safety of the forces his majesty has confided to me.” said the officer. coming up to him.” replied the officer. monsieur. and he would take Belle-Isle. This contingency of his disobedience had been foreseen—as all the rest had been. enjoining you all to fall back with me upon the coast of France. exhibiting the royal signature. I should have saved those poor fellows yonder. Let us exercise some small audacity! My head is not one of those the executioner strikes off for disobedience. “How. the said Monsieur d’Artagnan. thoughtful. D’Artagnan turned pale. for the first time in thirty years.” rejoined Colbert’s man.

” Here Porthos shook his head and replied: “We will escape together. “what would I give to know the instructions for the new commander! They are all pacific. and two or three still louder. the thunder of a distant cannon rolled athwart the waves.” “I am not angry with you.” said he. “only your melancholy uneasiness affects me. do you put on such a dismal countenance?” “I will tell you.” replied the officer. Aramis. “Ah! monsieur. still thoughtful. “Then you are angry with me.” “What idea. the good Porthos looked sadly in the face of Aramis.” “Ah! indeed!” said Porthos. and during the confusion that will result from his absence. much astonished. “They have commenced the siege of Belle-Isle. and of pleading the cause of his friends eloquently enough to incline the king to mercy. “Let us hear it. whose mind had never felt itself more free. or rather you will get away. suddenly. I am making my will. another. Aramis?” “An idea to which we shall owe our liberty within twelve hours. and there is a custom in our family.” “Well! D’Artagnan is going to give in his resignation to the king. in the scene our friend had with the officer.” said Porthos. in order to converse with greater liberty. The Ancestors of Porthos. The canoe had just touched the soil of France. When D’Artagnan left Aramis and Porthos. my friend?” 221 . or we will stay together. we will get away. Chapter XLV. for an hour. are they not? and—” He did not finish.” And while saying these words. The bark flew like a swallow. then! do you think yourself lost?” “I feel fatigued. which started.” said he. The musketeer still preserved the hope of reaching Nantes quickly. D’Artagnan distinctly saw the land of France profiled in black against the white clouds of night. for the coast of France.” “Then why. “I will explain D’Artagnan’s idea to you. favored by wind and tide. “Dear Porthos. that certain orders constrained him with regard to us?” “Yes. if there is possibility of flight for only one. “Your will!” cried the bishop. a generous heart. the latter returned to the principal fort. in a low voice.” “What is it. he had ceased speaking.” said Aramis. The king’s guards embarked with him.” “Did you remark.” “I am not uneasy. I did notice that. D’Artagnan shuddered. Porthos.” “Thine is a right. It is the first time. to the officer to whom. my friend. “What. Porthos.And he painfully subsided into the little boat. was a restraint on Aramis.

will never imagine we can escape. where we have so often lain in wait for the foxes. his name was Antoine. and Henry IV. the scouts. I have fine estates. and during the night we will go to sea!” “That is a grand idea. the man who had never known what weakness was before. seeing no bark upon the shore.” “No. du Vallon. indeed. and lately this phenomenon.” said he. my father insisted upon going down into the garden. no. that is a good sign.” “What was the meaning of that fatigue. de Coligny. Trust yourself to me. having this weakness.” “Bah! A friend of M. I have also friends that I love: D’Artagnan.” “I understand. when were your legs known to fail? Never have you stood so firm.” said Porthos. dear Porthos. he had never known what lassitude was. Athos. It is not becoming in a man of your strength to be superstitious. “then your grandfather must have been Samson himself. my brave Porthos. but Gaspard. as the late M. and you. and said to my mother. He was a rough soldier. ‘Would not one believe I was going to meet with a wild boar. In case of misfortunes.” “Precisely. for having set out. He must have given orders to get the vessels together and clear the seas. I have money. as you will see.” said he. perhaps. so haughtily. he was astonished at this lassitude. “I feel myself pretty active. We will wait for a favorable moment. de Bassompierre.” “Well! that weakness in the legs?” 222 . the same as M. On my part I have just issued directions that a bark should be rolled on rollers to the mouth of the great cavern of Locmaria. which you know. and was ripped up by the beast and died immediately. nonsense! No. and which terminates at the little creek by a trench where we discovered the day that splendid fox escaped that way.” “At this moment. but it annoys me.” “There is no reason in that why you should alarm yourself. “to preserve to the world such specimens of its rarest men. Always on horseback. Besides. Raoul.” Aramis raised his eyes to his friend: “These are two extraordinary circumstances.“My grandfather was a man twice as strong as I am. you could carry a house on your shoulders. or rather its issue. which made head against him. he missed him with his arquebuse. he met a wild boar. we have no reply from D’Artagnan.” “Oh! you will see. it must be there by this time. “let us not infer that there may succeed a third. complaining still of weakness of the legs. we shall gain this—that if the island is occupied. I have horses that I love.” said Aramis.” “Indeed!” said Aramis. and he was stretched out dead upon the spot. “and that was why he staggered. who laughed at him. his legs failed him. has occurred four times.” “Yes. his foot slipped on the first stair. he felt his legs weak.. my father fell against a stone in which an iron hinge was fixed. when. as he rose from table. a bark is to be concealed for us in that cavern. One evening. and will cease to watch. under Henry III. his name was not Antoine. instead of going to bed. I will not say this frightens me. my friend?” “Nothing good. my father did?’” “Well?” said Aramis. as you say.” “He had supped heartily. The hinge gashed his temple. except ourselves and two or three hunters of the island. Well! he was about my age. My father was as strong again as I am. “Well. Aramis pressed his hand: “We will still live many years. the staircase was steep. Life is an agreeable thing. why. setting out one day for the chase. my friend.” The admirable Porthos did not even take the trouble to dissimulate in the very presence of Aramis the rank he gave him in his friendship. I sink. but at times I vacillate. What shall we gain by it?” “We shall gain this—nobody knows that grotto.

and seized by the nape of the neck one of the officers of the royal army who was waiting to embark till all his people should be in the boat.” In fact. much. enlivened by the warmth of his companion. we have still half a century of magnificent adventure before us. “Well!” cried the latter. “The fleet?” repeated the latter. Women were seeking places of safety.” “We live by hope. The Bretons of the Isle were very proud of this victory.” said Porthos. No royal fleet or descent to be dreaded. without gaining anything but the wounds they carried away. it is really incomprehensible!—they will be better when we charge. “Within half cannon-shot. then.” added the bishop with terrible energy. These were the shots that D’Artagnan had heard as he landed in France. and so thoroughly animated their men.” continued the soldier. quick! quick!” Porthos bent over the stair of the mole. Porthos and Aramis did charge with such vigor.” said Porthos coolly to Aramis.” cried Aramis. just now. carried surprise to one. All at once a cry resounded in their ears: “To arms! to arms!” This cry. “it was with my arms!” Chapter XLVI. D’Artagnan will sweep the sea and leave us free. “that your brevet of duke is not such a chance as it is said to be. he saw a crowd of people running with flambeaux. The arm of the giant lifted up his prey. Five minutes later. “To arms!” cried Aramis. which served him as a buckler. “Nothing! nothing!—only my legs. when everybody was gone home. Aramis opened the window. “did you not calumniate your legs?” “It was not with my legs I captured him.“Oh! better. “What will happen. laughing. piercing the chamber where the two friends were conversing. plainly. the cannonade commenced. and the combat commenced hand to hand. and uneasiness to the other. that everything conspires to give us quietude and hope. “Here is a prisoner for you.” “You see. But the boats were too near the mole to allow the cannon to aim correctly. were seen approaching. “we must have a prisoner. “The fleet! the fleet!” cried a soldier. And both rushed forth towards the mole to place themselves within the shelter of the batteries. “What must be done?” said an officer of the guard. that the royalists re-embarked precipitately.” said Porthos. who recognized Aramis. They landed. “To arms!” repeated Porthos. Porthos?” said Aramis to his friend. The Son of Biscarrat. “What’s the matter. laden with soldiers. “Stop them. Vive Dieu! Porthos. I swear to you.” said he to Porthos. Boats. and if they persist. for the purpose of landing at three points at once. “Eh! but Porthos. Aramis did not encourage them in the feeling. repeated by a hundred throats. fire!” said Aramis. the armed population were hastening to their posts. and if I once touch Spanish ground. and he recovered himself without a shot being fired at him. “will be that the anger of the king will be roused by the ac223 . formidably. and in three directions.

“That is true.” replied the bishop. messieurs. but you can tell us. I should say even the best of all soldiers. drinking himself. after that departure.” said he. monsieur. “One more cup of wine to your health. We are going to supper. “if I address a question to you. “Biscarrat! Do you remember that name. Aramis. and—” “I am called Georges de Biscarrat. From one subject to another the chat with the officer was prolonged. “and the means of making him speak are very simple. “people like me break the cord.” “Oh!” cried Porthos. “that what we have done is of not the slightest use.” said Porthos.” said Porthos. “I am too light for the gallows. Porthos bowed. let us interrogate the prisoner. then. both in the musketeers of the late king?” “Yes. No more dependence to be placed now on D’Artagnan’s fertile imagination—no further resource in the event of defeat.” “From which it results.” “Of your father?” cried Aramis.” Porthos and Aramis looked at each other again.” “For the moment it may be. Aramis?” “Biscarrat!” reflected the bishop. “Do you know what my name is?” “Ma foi! no.” replied he. or hang afterwards. “The orders are.” This was done. seriously. There his explanations stopped. “people like me are not hung. He gave. and the color mounted to their faces. “to kill during combat. “for we have a prisoner from whom we shall learn what our enemies are preparing to do. in his turn.count of the resistance. if I did not fear to offend the memory of my father. but men who are in their sixth bottle have a clear right to forget themselves a little. which cannot fail to take place.” said he. He was an intelligent gentleman. as he drinks he will talk. monsieur. “address it!” “Speak. if you please.” replied Aramis. and amongst the best of them.” “A thousand thanks!” said Aramis. “Pardon me.” said Aramis.” “And I am too heavy.” “I am sure. He explained how. The officer was at first rather uneasy.” said Porthos. Aramis and Porthos exchanged a glance that evinced their despair.” “Address it!” cried Porthos.” said the prisoner.” said Porthos. without having any fear of compromising himself. asked the prisoner what the leaders of the expedition contemplated doing with the leaders of Belle-Isle. all the details imaginable of the resignation and departure of D’Artagnan.” “Yes. gallantly. continuing his interrogations. gentlemen. “Were you not. the new leader of the expedition had ordered a surprise upon Belle-Isle. but became reassured on seeing what sort of men he had to deal with. “It seems to me—” 224 . and suffered himself to be led on by the charm of Aramis’s wit and Porthos’s cordial bonhomie. we will invite him to join us. “that we could have guaranteed you the exact kind of death you preferred. and that these brave people will be decimated or shot when they are taken.

Monsieur de Biscarrat.” “Consequently.” “I don’t think I am mistaken.” “I said so just now. that is a predetermined thing. likewise.” cried Aramis. with dignity. eagerly.” said Porthos. with noble intrepidity. Aramis looked at Porthos as much as to say. “Pardieu! that won’t take me long.” “The only one. too!” cried the bishop.” “Cannon!” said Porthos.—”Confess.” and without delay. in his turn. “that it is good to have once been a good man. they must come and seek us here.” continued Porthos. we are delighted to make the acquaintance of such a brave man’s son. who had grown silent and constrained.” “What is that?” 225 . but now that I know you. “Ma foi! Monsieur Biscarrat. Biscarrat and the bishop—”provided nothing disgraceful be required of us.” “Nothing at all will be required of you. “that is just what I expected. monsieur. to say something to us. to prevent their finding you. hereditary friends. gentlemen. constantly consulting with his looks the countenance of Biscarrat. gentlemen. and to learn that these men are old acquaintances. “Eh! Pardieu!” cried Aramis.” “Confess. monsieur. a capital blade?” said the prisoner. that it is a sad circumstance in which you find yourself. “Here is a man who will help us. messieurs and friends!” said the young man.” “Precisely. try.” “Oh! you are not reserved for such a frightful fate as that. my worthy friend. looking. “Cannon and musketry. then.” said he.“Try to recollect.” “In that you are perfectly right.” replied the officer—”what should they ask of you? If they find you they will kill you. gentlemen. whose eyes beamed with intelligence as he looked alternately at the prisoner and Porthos. monsieur. On hearing at a distance. among the rocks.” Biscarrat pressed the hands held out by the two musketeers. “That’s true! most true!” exclaimed both friends together. “Biscarrat—called Cardinal—one of the four who interrupted us on the day on which we formed our friendship with D’Artagnan.” “My father always said so.” replied Aramis. if you wish!” “How—if we wish?” echoed Aramis. “but it appears evident to me that if they want to find us. and you dare not—is that true?” “Ah! gentlemen and friends! it is because by speaking I betray the watchword.” said Porthos. sword in hand. in fact. these sinister reports of a combat which they thought had ceased: “What can that be?” asked Porthos. of falling in with men destined to be shot or hung. hark! I hear a voice that frees mine by dominating it. warmly. But. “You wish. “we could not scratch. to make us some overture.” said the officer. I say—you will evade this dismal fate. “Bah! you said so yourself. at M. when I did not know you. “Provided.

Aramis. quietly. and forget. You would sacrifice yourselves in vain—you. full of soldiers waiting for orders and bewildered inhabitants imploring succor. messieurs. It is I who ask you to do so. your property. Lay down your arms. it is I who beg you to do so. has been arrested by an order of the king. “My friends. monsieur? And whilst your companions allowed themselves to be repulsed. at the news of the surprise which might deliver up the island to the royal troops. “but we are not taken or hung. but—” “That would render us a service.” “Oh! several. and thrown into the Bastile. between two flambeaux.” said the bishop of Vannes. but thus you will neither save yourself nor your friend. “what is the meaning of that word?” Aramis touched the elbow of his friend roughly. do not think of avenging him. At the report of the cannon. bowing to him. “The soldiers of Louis XIV. then. begone. in the name of the Lord of Hosts!” The mutineers retired slowly. or was about to commit.” said Aramis. Fouquet.” continued Aramis. is not that true. you will perhaps obtain some grace for us on informing him of the manner in which that submission has been effected. you father. in the name of M. monsieur. but a few minutes before. “M. you were certain of effecting a landing on the other side of the island. “Monsieur. Love God and the king. then. “Monsieur de Biscarrat.” “Grace!” replied Porthos with flashing eyes. “I will go. who have struck M.“That the attack made by you was nothing but a feint.” 226 . which he examined with the care of an old soldier who is preparing for battle. Porthos understood him. with a singular accent of nobility and courtesy. your liberty.” said Biscarrat to the bishop. “Lost! that is possible. of and to whom. The king is the mandatory of God. submissive. then. when he wanted to warn Porthos that he had committed. The king and God have struck M. “you may save all these inhabitants. as he had been accustomed to do in the days of their youth. solemnly. no resistance. a little surprised likewise at the word “grace” pronounced by the haughty musketeer. went to the wall. your wives and children. But do not avenge your seigneur.” replied Aramis.” A sustained yell of vengeful fury came floating up to the window at which the bishop stood. “From this time it would no longer be a fight betwixt them and you—it would be a massacre. Fouquet.” “Monsieur de Biscarrat. pale and downcast. your friend. my friends. “Ah! what have you just been saying.” And so saying.” replied Biscarrat. Begone. for when announcing to the king’s lieutenant the submission of the islanders. “Go. Fouquet.” said D’Herblay. monsieur. Monsieur Biscarrat. and who feels that life. Fouquet. a blunder. and coolly took down his sword and pistols. my friend?” said Porthos. have reached the island. in the hour of need. this time I command you.” said the bishop of Vannes. he rose from the table. Humble yourselves before the hand of God. The king is master in his kingdom. showed himself at the window which looked into the principal court. my friends—lay down your arms! since the king commands you so to do—and retire peaceably to your dwellings. your protector. depends upon the excellence and right conditions of his arms. “no. “Avenge Monsieur Fouquet!” cried the most excited of his hearers.” “I am very willing to do so. “and at parting receive the expression of our entire gratitude. silent.” replied the Seigneur de Pierrefonds. command you to do so. my friends. in a great measure.” “We are lost. be kind enough to resume your liberty. and was silent immediately. “death to the royalists!” “No.” The crowd collected under the window uttered a prolonged roar of anger and terror. and enveloped him in a magnetic field. he had related with so much enthusiasm the heroic exploits with which his father had delighted him. in a grave and sonorous voice. the terrified crowd rushed precipitately to the fort to demand assistance and advice from their leaders. it is I who now.

Besides. Then. monsieur—yes.“But you. trembling.” cried Aramis. Porthos?” replied Aramis. the king’s lieutenant. our boat awaits us. in which the prophetic bishop of Vannes had taken care to have secreted a bark capable of keeping the sea at this fine season. “They are certainly waiting for us in the cavern. by surging the crowd into the fort. I will repair to the commander of the expedition. they reached the deep grottoes. then. to gather something from them for their own interest. then. who fled. “We will wait here.” said he to the giant. messieurs. are resting.” Chapter XLVII. I hope. “My good friend. which stretched between the mole and the cavern. “it is true. Porthos and Aramis were loaded with money and arms. gayly. “Forward. three servants. departed in the direction of the sound of cannon. very much agitated at taking leave of the two ancient adversaries of his father.” “But. after a rapid race.” “I am bishop of Vannes. since you have been willing to accept that title. go. carrying with them their most valuable effects. King Louis has not caught us—yet. I will depart. panting vigorously. on the road which they had carefully left on their left. at the news of the landing of the royal troops.” “Ah! yes. “Ma foi! no. jumping upon a horse given him by Aramis.” said Porthos. The Grotto of Locmaria. I comprehend. I don’t see them—where are they?” “Why should you see them. and when left alone with Porthos: “Well. of which I spoke to you. “we have arrived. We are going to escape by the cavern. who were to accompany us.” The worthy officer.” “Yes. you impersonate wisdom and foresight. he is a brave fellow. no doubt.” Aramis stopped Porthos. mon Dieu!—the order is precise and formal.” “Go on. go on—go first. collected the words that escaped from the poor people. and tried. whilst listening to their complaints. and they no more shoot a bishop than they hang a gentleman. messieurs. It has just seized me afresh. would be very likely to fire upon you or slash away with their knives in the dark. midnight had struck at the fort. you are right. friend Porthos. to meet again. listening to every noise. Adieu! then.” replied Biscarrat. who. Aramis watched the departure.” 227 . Ah! there is that fatigue again.” “Did not Biscarrat inconvenience you here?” “No. At length. not hearing it. in order better to avoid an ambush. do you comprehend?” said he. it seems. my friend. across the heath. monseigneur.” “If you please. or rather. frequently interrupted by prudent stoppages. which. but the grotto of Locmaria—is it necessary all the world should know it?” “Ah! that is true. there is still that chance for you. From time to time. The cavern of Locmaria was sufficiently distant from the mole to render it necessary for our friends to husband their strength in order to reach it. passed fugitives coming from the interior. “to pass in first? I know the signal I have given to these men. Aramis and Porthos. having accomplished their rough and difficult task. you whom I think it an honor to call my friends. that is true. had interrupted the conversation of the two friends with their prisoner. Monsieur de Biscarrat. what will become of you in the meantime?” replied the officer. who was preparing to enter the cavern. concealed behind some projecting mass of rock. “Will you allow me. They walked. But I thought you spoke of three men. Aramis. and. night was advancing.

so as to protect the rowers. Yves?” said the bishop. “let us try the open-air passage. thin of keel.” “That is well.” said Porthos. “for as you desired me. it will require so much 228 . The canoe was long. at high tide. on the contrary. and all loaded. The arms. biscuit.” “So be it. a quarter of bacon. that at its extremity we shall come to the trench which leads into the sea. in the open air. “and satisfy ourselves at once what it will hold. monseigneur. eight muskets. and that little sail called trinquet. and. In two wellclosed coffers. Aramis pursued his way cautiously. were in good condition.” continued Yves. monseigneur. “and I am certain it will pass. and Porthos assured his friend that he felt as strong again as ever.” said the bishop. furnished with planks which. and would be able to revictual. which is but twenty feet high. monseigneur. formed a sort of deck over which the waves might glide.” “The more so. three or four fathoms of good water upon a sound bottom. to make it slide upon its rollers through the bushes. drawing little water. and is so useful when the breeze is slack. following the descent and the shade of the cavern. monseigneur. a little high in its sides.” “It must be as you please. respectfully. leveling the road of the little beach. I know the beach well. There were additional oars. very manageable. my good Yves.” said he. When Aramis had seen to all these things. in the coffer you know of.” said the patron Yves. But the recommendation given to his servants was superfluous. he examined minutely all parts of the canoe. “but I don’t believe that by the slope of the cavern. and gives. and appeared satisfied with the result of his inspection.” “I think the skipper may be right. Goenne is here likewise. in short. A little plaintive cooing. is rough. with the precautions of a man who is neither timid nor ignorant in the face of danger.” “Go to the entrance of the grottoes. His son accompanies us. and you will there find the Seigneur de Pierrefonds. “Yes.” The three men obeyed. light. “to know if we must endeavor to get the boat out by the unknown extremity of the grotto. placed beneath the benches of the prow and the poop. one of those that have always been so aptly built at Belle-Isle. dried fruits.” “Do not go too near with the light. the whole forming rations sufficient for people who did not mean to quit the coast. Aramis found bread. lift him up.” continued the fisherman. And if he should happen not to be able to walk. “but that is giving him a great deal of trouble. and bowing his head. imitating the cry of the owl. there is an enormous stone to be lifted—that under which the fox always passes.” said Aramis. As soon as the Seigneur de Bracieux had rejoined the bishop. the barrel of powder. and in the dark in which we shall be obliged to maneuver our boat.” replied Yves. in uncertain weather. replied from the depths of the cave.” “Oh! I know that monseigneur has the strength of ten men. and bring him hither to me.” said Aramis.Aramis left Porthos sitting at the entrance of the grotto. monseigneur. “Are you there. monseigneur. taking the lantern himself. “that is nothing. within ten paces of him. and perhaps the canoe will not pass down it. “but your highness knows very well that to make it reach the extremity of the trench. and can certify that it is as smooth as a grass-plot in a garden. who is resting after the fatigue of our journey. refreshed. if necessity commanded. “Let us consult Porthos. he penetrated into the interior of the cavern. the interior of the grotto. “Let us inspect the boat. monseigneur. and the musket-charges that you sent me from the fort. formed and supported by columns of porphyry and granite. and his heavy step resounded amongst the cavities. without reckoning. and as many horse-pistols.” said Aramis. in case of accident.” “Very well. solid upon the water.” “I have made my calculation.” replied the skipper Yves. I wish it may. Porthos.” “It can be raised. and soon was stopped by the same kind of cry as he had first uttered. and which closes the trench like a door. Are all things ready?” “Yes. I have placed under the bench of the poop. a scarcely distinct echo. or whether it be better. a good provision of water in leathern bottles. “that we should not be able to embark before day. the road will be so convenient as the open air. which assists the speed of the canoe at the same time the boatmen row. had already commenced the descent. the Bretons lighted a lantern with which they were furnished.

” “No. Pardieu! But don’t you know. posted on the look-out behind a chink in the rocks. Porthos.” replied the sailor. plain enough!” said Aramis. “It is a pack of hounds. and had brought Aramis and Porthos out of the cavern. but had scarcely proceeded a hundred steps in the darkness.” “How so?” said Porthos. followed by Porthos. “let us go back into the grotto.” “The noise comes nearer. when a noise like the hoarse sigh of a creature in distress resounded through the cavern. “they are not the Seigneur de Locmaria’s hounds. “he will leave the dogs to hunt the grotto. particularly. and after hounds men?” Porthos hung his head. “our retreat is discovered. “now.” 229 . skipper?” said Porthos. Dawn just tinted with purple and white the waves and plain. Porthos. being quite sure that the fox will come out the other side. leaving behind its sour scent. now seemed to come from a deep gorge within about a league of the grotto.” And the three robust Bretons went to the boat. But. No. when the distant barking of dogs was heard.” continued Porthos. and were beginning to place their rollers underneath it to put it in motion. a fox passed like a flash of lightning before the fugitives. we will go by the beach. who are the huntsmen?” “If it is the Seigneur de Locmaria’s. “come here! come here!” Yves ran towards him. to watch the maneuvers of the lighters or cruisers that are on the look-out for us. Six foxhounds burst at once upon the little heath. which had stopped the three fishermen engaged in moving the boat. and yet the dogs—” “Unless they have escaped from the kennel. “What is the meaning of this hunt. I cannot understand it. Aramis darted out of the grotto. yes.” “Who can be hunting at such a moment as this?” said Aramis. letting fall the cylinder which he was about to place under the boat when the bishop’s call interrupted him. the wakened birds announced it to all nature. your reasons are good.labor. Yes. and breathless. what do you mean by that? why do you specify the fox? It is not the fox alone. a good vedette placed outside the grotto would be necessary. In a quarter of an hour it would be clear daylight.” “Yes. “Eh! monseigneur.” said Porthos. As though to confirm the words of Aramis. The barkings which had been heard. indispensable even. with mingling yelps of triumph. we shall soon know what we have to trust to. “There are the dogs.” said Goenne. the voices evidently draw nearer. “are you afraid of a fox?” “Eh! my friend. through the dim light. melancholy fir-trees waved their tender branches over the pebbles. rapid. “It is not at such a moment that the Seigneur de Locmaria would hunt. that after the foxes come hounds. “The fox!” cried the Bretons. and long flights of crows were skimming with their black wings the shimmering fields of buckwheat. “Accursed mischance!” cried the bishop. Yves. and will not enter in himself. leaped over the boat and disappeared. for he knows them. it is there he will wait for him. the dogs are on a scent. “the dogs are on a scent. with the glad surprise of born hunters. which was perceptible for several seconds under the low vaults of the cave.” “In common prudence. terrified. they heard the yelping pack approach with frightful swiftness upon the trail. you are right.” said Aramis.” replied the Breton. Yves!” cried Aramis.” They re-entered. proceeding from the interior of the island. “And this way. “where they might expect the army of the royalists. and that as soon as daylight appears.

“It is not the Seigneur de Locmaria who is hunting. with the rapid precision of command. Porthos.” The Bretons sprang forward. before the others are aware of anything—that is certain. silence. my friend. at the lowest computation. conceal ourselves. Goenne. “Yves. one chance left. growing pale in turn. with a smile of consolation. “With Biscarrat at their head. In a few minutes there was a lamentable concert of angry barks and mortal howls—and then. “at least. monseigneur?” cried the Bretons. “I am perfectly satisfied we are lost. The hounds at the same moment rushed into the grotto like an avalanche.” replied Aramis. and saw at the summit of a hillock a dozen horsemen urging on their horses in the track of the dogs. The dogs must not go out of the cavern. You.” replied he. coolly. and kill them. “Ah! the devil!” said Aramis. then?” said Porthos. mounted upon my gray horse. there are five of us. there is no help for us.” added Porthos.” said Porthos. “Who is it. “Look!” Porthos applied his eye to the slit. “That’s well!” said Aramis. coolly. and placed a hunting-knife between his teeth. “You understand. inevitable danger. “Wait their arrival.” “Kill them!” replied Porthos. will dispatch the other eight. at least. Aramis reflected a moment—”Biscarrat first. “To work!” And with a resolute air he took up a musket. “there are six dogs that will be forced to stop at the great stone under which the fox has glided—but at the too narrow opening of which they must be themselves stopped and killed. knife in hand. but we have. resuming all his coolness at the sight of this certain. knife in hand.” “The king’s guards! do you say. “There are sixteen.” said Aramis.” added Aramis. the king’s guards. If the guards who follow their hounds happen to discover there is an issue to the grotto. “Yes. “It will last about ten minutes. eight. “now for the masters!” “What is to be done with them?” said Porthos.” continued Aramis. for on entering they must see both ourselves and our boat. and his son. and the depths of the cavern were filled with their deafening cries. then all. Their masters must not enter.” “And poor Biscarrat?” said Porthos.” said Aramis.” “That is clear. “He knows us. “Taiaut! taiaut!” “The guards!” said he.” continued Aramis. will fire when they are close. “will pass the muskets to us. turning pale in spite of his efforts to maintain a placid countenance.” 230 . We shall have brought down.” “And well armed. shouting. at present.

in a low voice. better mounted than his companions. which Aramis immediately suppressed by placing a handkerchief over his mouth. but not all at once. which was about to fall upon him with all force of a Breton’s arm. “Stop! stop! I will accompany you. Biscarrat entered then alone.” said he. “Only. he stopped at the outside of the grotto. messieurs. “why don’t they give tongue?” “It is strange!” muttered another. Yves lifted a knife against the young man. whistled to him in his favorite mode. The Grotto. out of breath. the first groan. but—” 231 . they formed a circle round the grotto. but.” “Be it so. he could not prevent a cry escaping him. Only.” said a fourth. you can come in. “to have lost scent all at once. “But why are you here—what are you doing. However brave the young man might be. we should hear them from one side or another.” said one of the guards.” said a guard. “It is perhaps an enchanted grotto. “Well. but.” “And you. I recognize you. arrived first at the opening of the grotto.” replied Biscarrat. did not imagine that Biscarrat ran much risk in the enterprise. at the first word. “Monsieur de Biscarrat. the one almost as terrible as the other. They must. he naturally raised his hand and laid hold of the icy barrel. you were to obtain conditions for us. and you must know that if you have recognized us. “No. I think?” “I did all I was able. when the iron wrist of Porthos stopped it half-way. In spite of the sort of divination which was the remarkable side of the character of Aramis. we might break our necks in it.” said the young man.” “But then. gentlemen.” “They were too close up. as Biscarrat says. monsieur. “I will not have him killed!” Biscarrat found himself between a protection and a threat. his voice growled in the darkness. At the same instant. and advanced through the darkness till he came in contact with the muzzle of Porthos’s musket. we shall be forced to kill you as we have killed your dogs. “Well!” asked the young men. Besides. be in this grotto.” said the officer. here? Unfortunate men! I thought you were in the fort. And every master called his dog by his name. Does it happen to be forbidden we should enter it?” “No. and waited till his companions should have assembled round him. besides. coming up.” And. The resistance which his chest met with astonished him. and comprehended that fox and hounds were one and all engulfed in it. “we mean you no harm.” “What the devil can have become of them?” asked the young men in chorus. the event.” said Biscarrat. “who seem to have broken theirs. “Well! I cannot hear the dogs. “we will wait for you. as it looks as dark as a wolf ’s mouth.” said one of the guards.” replied Biscarrat. on seeing Biscarrat disappear in the shades of the cavern’s mouth. did not fall out exactly as the bishop of Vannes had foreseen. Then. and unable to understand the meaning of this inaction. who.” “Yes. “let us see.Chapter XLVIII. If in ten minutes you do not hear of me. in a low voice. subject to the risks of things over which uncertainty presides. “there must be something extraordinary in the place—don’t let us risk ourselves all at once. like low muttering thunder. they and the fox must all be lost in this infernal cavern. the first whisper. he made a step into the grotto. jumping from his horse. struck by that superstitious terror which every dark and subterraneous way naturally impresses upon the mind of man. “let us go into this grotto. without a single one replying to either call or whistle.” And without dismounting from their horses.” “Witness the dogs.” said one of the young men. Biscarrat.

“Oh! oh!” exclaimed one of the guards. “Here I am!” cried Biscarrat. “Reply. And the echo of the cavern carried like a menace to Porthos and Aramis. “you ought to say corpse-color. the dogs. “in the name of Heaven! do not go in!” 232 . and I have been struck with a chill. even if it is the devil! To the grotto! messieurs. “Messieurs! messieurs!” cried he. That is all.“But what?” “But there are positive orders. does any one of you happen to have any salts?” And they all laughed.” said one of them.” said he. “Messieurs. as he came to the light. “you would be already dead if we had not regard for your youth and our ancient association with your father. Aramis and Porthos listened with the intense attention of men whose life depends upon a breath of air. “Now. “there is in that which is going on. “In the name of Heaven! what has happened?” exclaimed all the voices.” said another. “Monsieur Biscarrat. begone. and met them just as they were adventuring into the cave. to the grotto!” “To the grotto!” repeated all the voices. who hastily returned towards the light. laughing. coming like a whirlwind into the cave.” said one of the young men.” “Messieurs. This hail of jests fell round Biscarrat’s ears like musket-balls in a melee.” “Biscarrat! Biscarrat!” cried several voices from the outside. “To the grotto! to the grotto!” Biscarrat threw himself before his companions. Biscarrat has seen something in the grotto.” said Aramis. I am very curious to see what it is. have you seen them again—did you see anything of them—do you know anything about them?” “I suppose they have got out some other way. still nearer. Well. “What do you suppose I have seen?” asked he. we depend on your loyalty. It would have cost him too much to speak of the cord to gentlemen.” said Biscarrat. He recovered himself amidst a deluge of interrogations.” “I!” said the young man. And the shadows of several human forms projected into the interior of the grotto. my poor friend. in the paleness and silence of our friend. but you may yet escape from the place by swearing that you will not tell your companions what you have seen. and this is certain.” “I will not only swear that I will not speak of it. endeavoring to collect his faculties. Aramis understood the silence of the prisoner.” “To kill us?” Biscarrat made no reply. “Biscarrat! Biscarrat!” cried the voices. “he is going to faint. “You have not a drop of blood in your veins. Biscarrat rushed to meet his friends in order to stop them. “how pale you are!” “Pale!” cried another. Only. for my part.” “But the dogs. a mystery which Biscarrat will not. it is serious. “but I still further swear that I will do everything in the world to prevent my companions from setting foot in the grotto. “I was too hot when I entered the grotto.” And he left his hold of the young man. or cannot reveal.

and as it was impossible to see whence this murderous thunder issued. shrieks.” said one of the young men. Biscarrat remained safe and sound. imprecations burst forth. who—of a riper age than the others—had till this time remained behind. he rushed head foremost into the cavern.” said one of the survivors. as the others had done. “Seriously. uttering a groan which was his last. “there is in there some person. But.” 233 .” Then one of the officers. that is not the devil. exploded in the entrails of the vault. “Come. some bleeding—all enveloped in a cloud of smoke. Biscarrat!” “You are the cause of my being wounded unto death. which the outer air seemed to suck from the depths of the cavern. sitting quietly on a rock. “you knew there was an ambuscade in that cavern. for he wished to die without defending himself.” “Messieurs! messieurs! I beseech you. Biscarrat. seated on a fragment of rock.” “Decidedly. and lifting towards his companion an arm bearing a useless sword. with a calmness which contrasted with the animation of the young men. a discharge of musketry. or what this something is. in vain he clung to the rocks to bar the passage. “Oh! no!” replied another. in the steps of the officer who had spoken last. In vain he threw himself before the rashest. you went in yourself. “He is dead!” said two or three voices. cries. “Messieurs. He is in the cavern. you are the cause that four of us are murdered men! Woe be to you. “Nonsense! Let us pass!” “Messieurs. raising himself upon one knee. advanced towards the interior of the cavern.“Why. what is there so terrific in the cavern?” asked several at once. repulsed by his friends.” urged Biscarrat. and you did not warn us! Biscarrat. it is the devil he has seen. I am a worthless wretch!” And throwing away his sword. Two or three balls were flattened against the rock on which Biscarrat was leaning. at least. “if he has seen him. has had sufficient power to silence our dogs. Biscarrat rushed towards him.” said another. whatever it may be. speak. Biscarrat remained silent. letting a gush of scarlet life-blood vomit in his palm. and saw that Biscarrat did not answer. they penetrated further and further.” said another. he is waiting for us. saying. The eleven who remained out of sixteen imitated his example. Biscarrat. but it was useless. or something.” repeated he who had before advanced that hypothesis. and had said nothing. to face the unknown danger. We must discover who this some one is. “Well. the crowd of young men rushed into the cave. “Ask Biscarrat. but which. with hair on end. the others fell back with a terror that can be better imagined than described. “My blood be on your head!” And he rolled in agony at the feet of the young man. “I saw him through the smoke.” Biscarrat made a last effort to stop his friends. “is it the devil?” “Ma foi! it is much worse. he knows. who have allowed my comrades to be assassinated. tell us who is there?” cried several furious voices. Death to me. haggard eyes. unable to accompany them.” “Where is Biscarrat?” The young men looked round them. “Tell us. advanced. or die!” cried the wounded man. The others followed him. “Biscarrat! Biscarrat!” cried the fugitives. Biscarrat. and bewildered head. he need not be selfish. he may as well let us have a look at him in turn. As to the guards. growling like thunder. “But. but who had sprung in first. far from flying. At the same instant. opening his breast for the blow. All at once. and the little troop of gentlemen reappeared—some pale. There were only six gentlemen left. I implore you not to enter!” “Why. and waited. but the wounded man fell back not to rise again. with exclamations that grew fainter as they advanced.” said he. sword in hand. “You are right. A second discharge laid five upon the icy sand. and spattering it into Biscarrat’s livid face. with painfully attentive ear and unconsciously supplicating hands leaned against the rough side of a rock which he thought must be exposed to the fire of the musketeers. but they did not go further than the first. without passing in the eyes of Porthos and Aramis for a traitor and a perjurer.

addressing Biscarrat. “you have no need to command me.” said the captain. these are two of those same musketeers. “Dead!” “But there were sixteen of you!” “Ten are dead. and who make such a desperate defense. unless you grant them satisfactory terms. And they advanced to meet Biscarrat. and I came in the name of these men.” “That is true.” “Captain. whom the ardor of the chase had carried away—from seventy-five to eighty men—arrived in good order. My word has been restored to me this very instant. “Biscarrat! Biscarrat!” But Biscarrat did not answer. “We have no longer any need of him. and. and they have already killed ten of our men. “Come on!” “Come on!” cried all the troop. for here he is—look.” “How many are there of them. The five officers hastened to meet their soldiers. “He is making a sign to come on.” In fact. Biscarrat appeared at the opening of the grotto. Well! let us call him. captain?” “Yes. “There are two—and want to impose conditions upon us?” “There are two. “I am assured that you know who the men are in that grotto.” In fact. Biscarrat is in the cavern.” “To tell me who they are?” “To tell you they are determined to defend themselves to the death.“He must know who are there. then?” “There are two. in language the eloquence of which may be easily imagined.” “What sort of people are they—giants?” “Worse than that. “Where are your companions?” demanded he. In the king’s name I command you to declare what you know. they related the adventure.” And all voices shouted. here are reinforcements coming.” said Biscarrat.” 234 .” said Biscarrat. “Monsieur.” “And how should he know them?” “He was taken prisoner by the rebels. left in the rear by their officers.” “No. The captain interrupted them. “Good!” said the officer who had shown so much coolness in the affair. where four musketeers held out against an army.” “Well. led by their captain and the first lieutenant. and learn from him whom we have to deal with. a company of guards.” “Biscarrat is a prisoner?” “Probably. Do you remember the history of the Bastion Saint-Gervais. and we are five.” said the officer. and asked for aid.

the names of Hercules. but. their assistants. Then. du Vallon. which were to enter successively. “you have all the honor. and end by killing themselves rather than surrender. I should be a dishonored man. “I do not tell you that they have not with them two or three men. will defend themselves to the death. They have already killed ten of our men. too. I have seen these men.” “So be it. they must end by taking the rebels. Porthos. my men!” And he marched first as far as the opening of the grotto. and all prepared to obey. “be persuaded by me. The object of this halt was to give Biscarrat and his companions time to describe to him the interior of the grotto. What shall we gain by fighting them?” “We shall gain the consciousness. No doubt.” said Biscarrat. attention!” At this reply. gentlemen.” “And what interest have they in all this?” “It is they who were holding Bell-Isle for M. Biscarrat alone risked a last attempt. Now they are styled M. then. I have been taken prisoner by them—I know they themselves alone are all-sufficient to destroy an army.” said the captain. Castor. as. monsieur. Forward. two men could not kill eighty.” And placing himself at the head of the first platoon. since there was no issue. let us pass on our way. “Captain. “Take your sword. and to describe at once the combatants and the field of battle. I go to be killed.” replied the latter. In fact. and. those four names—D’Artagnan. An Homeric Song. and Pollux were venerated. d’Herblay and M. those two lions you are going to attack. in this attack they would lose five more.” “I shall go as I am. when he believed he had a sufficient acquaintance with the place. run through them. in antiquity. with head uncovered and arms crossed.” said he. believe me. “for I do not go to kill.“And their names?” “At that period they were called Porthos and Aramis. of not having allowed eighty of the king’s guards to retire before two rebels. as well as the three Bretons.” “Thanks!” replied the young man.” replied the captain. “I beg to be allowed to march at the head of the first platoon. captain. Athos. and Aramis—were venerated among all who wore a sword. Those two men. captain. certainly. they will kill double the number. It is time to pass to the other camp. monsieur. no one stirred. There he halted. made a shiver.” “The musketeers! the musketeers!” repeated they. keeping up a sustained fire in all directions. perhaps ten. but. as the musketeers of the Bastion Saint-Gervais had two or three lackeys. 235 . with all the firmness of his race. And among all these brave men. he divided his company into three bodies.” “That we shall see. two-thirds terror. Aramis and Porthos had gone to the grotto of Locmaria with the expectation of finding there their canoe ready armed.—”March. Theseus. and by dishonoring myself I should dishonor the army.” said he.” said Biscarrat. Fouquet. the idea that they were going to have a struggle against two of the oldest glories of the French army. If I listened to your advice. Gentlemen. in a low voice. half enthusiasm. Chapter XLIX. “Two men—and they have killed ten in two discharges! It is impossible. I make you a present of it. at any rate. Monsieur Biscarrat!” “Eh! captain. “and that in a moment.” A murmur ran through the ranks of the soldiers on hearing the two words “Porthos and Aramis. “Monsieur.

which communicated with each other by means of rough and jagged steps. if one of us was killed. At the third shock the stone gave way.” “Tell me what?” “These people are coming down into the grotto. from succumbing before the end of the day? Aramis. to favor the labors of his friends.” 236 . above which distorted rocks formed a weird arcade. in pursuing their conquerors. he decided upon flight—a flight most dangerous. “our adversaries have just received a reinforcement. “what is to be done. When the two discharges had killed ten men. with him. since all the assailants were not dead. to that little slope dominating a creek. and it would glide into the ocean. grew grander with necessity. and one of their discharges would riddle the boat if it did not kill the navigators. Aramis.” “Ah. so interested on recognizing their small number. “for it is difficult to suppose that out of two. who was doing more work than all the rollers—whether of flesh or wood—”My friend. allowing everything. familiar with the windings of the cavern. Porthos. when Belle-Isle was still called Kalonese.” “Yes. The stone fell. Porthos seized this gigantic stone at its base. with the ashes of ten thousand generations of sea birds. the passage so narrow.” “Seventy-five and five. this grotto had beheld more than one human sacrifice accomplished in its mystic depths. they would have to fly in open day. The arrival of the fox and dogs obliged them to remain concealed. whilst the Bretons made it run rapidly along the rollers. and convinced himself at a single glance of the insurmountable peril to which fresh combat would expose them.” Porthos spoke these words with that heroic nature which. and oscillated for a minute. then?” “To recommence the combat. ah!” said Porthos. Aramis watched over everything. at the moment the cavern was about to be invaded. To escape by sea. brilliant. after having fought the fight. was impossible. before the conquered. friend Porthos. They began to lift the bark over the barricade. in moments of despair. and raised it up. applied his robust shoulder. wood softens and stone grows flexible beneath the human will. for the smoke prevented seeing outside. went to reconnoiter them one by one.and they at first hoped to make the bark pass through the little issue of the cavern. but no more. Calling to Porthos. They had descended into the third compartment. in uncouth natural pillars.—if the bark escaped with the men on board of it. “is hazardous.” “We could kill about fifteen of them. the closure of the liberating issue. “If they fire all at once they will riddle us with balls. radiant. A cloud of dust fell from the vault. concealing in that fashion both their labors and their flight. and the blue sea appeared to the delighted Bretons. made an arch with his foot. followed by sea and watched from the shore. and counted them. Formerly a temple of the Celtic divinities. the interior. and that. was drawn up by the captain. He saw the reinforcements. digging his hands into his gray hair with rage. invoked the assistance of God and the assistance of the demons.” said he. Besides.” “Yes. when. very uneven and dangerous from the inequalities of the vault. Aramis felt it like a spur to his heart. “They have received a reinforcement of seventy-five men. took the canoe in his arms. nevertheless. one should not be killed. and daylight was visible. fixed right and left. Porthos collected all his strength. was subdivided into several compartments. and certainly. which drove the block out of the calcareous masses which served for hinges and cramps.” said Porthos. Ah!” sighed Porthos. placing his back against the neighboring rock. The grotto extended the space of about a hundred toises. whose nests stuck like cement to the rock. and gave a heave which made the wall crack. they had arrived at the stone which walled the outlet. counted the men. how could the alarm be suppressed—how could notice to the royal lighters be prevented? What could hinder the poor canoe. Twenty more toises. The first entrance to the cavern was by a moderate descent. the two rebels within musket-shot. admitting the possibility of putting the bark to sea. “We shall neither of us be killed if you do what I tell you. eighty. and he immediately commanded that the canoe should be rolled as far as the great stone. the daylight which had just been admitted to the last compartments had exposed to the soldiers the bark being rolled towards the sea.” “How many are there in all?” asked Porthos. In fact. and disposed for either an escalade or an assault.” said Aramis. Such was the thought of Aramis. flooding the cavern through the opening. At the third compartment the vault was so low. that the bark would scarcely have passed without touching the side. quietly. the other would get himself killed also. It was during this time that the company arrived.

” “But you. perfect! I approve it greatly. the hissing balls seemed actually to rarefy the air.” “It is they! To your post. was busy with some mysterious maneuver. During this time. “the defense by musketry is a bad one.” “We must determine upon something quickly. “I will place myself in ambuscade behind the pillar with this iron bar. who. A command was given in a loud voice.” “Well! we won’t stir. innocently. is the entire destruction of the troop. the balls. the giant held in his hand an iron bar of about fifty pounds weight. wished to guide his soldiers in that direction. Aramis. I have a task to perform. with marvelous facility.” “To your ambuscade. my good friend. then. and invisible. began to fire. I can let my bar fall upon their skulls. It was the last order of the captain commandant. animated by the smell of powder. I have an idea. Hein! what do you think of the project? You smile!” “Excellent.” “I think I hear shouts. my dear Aramis—we shall never fire three shots together.” Porthos took refuge in the second compartment. Our Bretons are going to continue to roll the canoe towards the sea. pray?” “By not stirring.” said Porthos. what will you do?” “Don’t trouble yourself about me. “that the detonation might occasion a collapse of the cavern. then. Keep within reach of my voice and hand.” “Very well. in his first assault. accordingly. A single survivor encompasses our ruin. if they come in floods.” “Without reckoning. eagerly. In the further and lighter compartment. and then opaque smoke filled the vault. my good Porthos. and half of them will remain outside to take us by famine.” “We two will keep the powder. Aramis glided into the third. What we want. stooping and concealed. and who. Porthos. and having taken their ground. and count how many enter. had seen the passage to the second chamber. The echoes shrieked and barked. but how can we attract them. but when they are all together—” “Then leave it to me.” added Aramis. “To the left! to the left!” cried Biscarrat. unattackable.” “Ay. which was in darkness. absolutely black. and your idea proves a good one—and your idea is most likely to be good—I am satisfied. Twenty-five men jumped from the upper rocks into the first compartment of the grotto. The troop. the Bretons had pushed the bark to the beach. precipitated themselves to the left—the 237 . my friend.” “Find a better. then?” “Oh! it is nothing.” “You see. Porthos handled this lever.” “I have found one. thirty times in a minute.” said Porthos. “a piece of falling rock just now grazed my shoulder.“Certainly they will. which had been used in rolling the bark. dear friend.” “If it is so.” “But only two.” “You are right.” said the giant. only you will frighten them. and the muskets here.

And amidst the noise of the third brigade.” repeated Porthos. “I see daylight!” “Strike. the captain had made a flambeau. a barrel of powder weighing from seventy to eighty pounds. marched in advance of the muskets. and yet their way was stopped by a heap of dead bodies—they literally walked in blood. without a single sound to warn the second. “Hush!” said Aramis. of which he in vain sought the cause.” “Light it. the first rank drew back in terror. had destroyed all he touched. illumining with trembling pine-torch this frightful carnage. the imprecations of the guards still left alive. “On my part. and then. “My friend. mechanical feeling. “Come on! come on!” exclaimed he. and. they came forward jostling each other. commanded by the captain. which was quietly advancing. his stretched-out arms beating the air. they stumbled over dead bodies. the men had stripped a fir. At the moment when Porthos. like the exterminating angel. now entering the cavern.” continued Aramis. annihilated the first platoon. Chapter L: The Death of a Titan. the match of which I am going to set fire to.” said Aramis. “till they are all massed together. A second after. launch it strongly. To this succeeded a profound silence. the torch fell and was extinguished in blood. still falling. All this was effected as mysteriously as though by magic. drew back towards the pillar behind which Porthos was concealed. The implacable bar. Aramis led Porthos into the last but one compartment. Porthos breathed a heavy sigh—but he obeyed. From an unreflective. Then the formidable lever rose ten times in ten seconds. The cavern was lighted for an instant by this discharge. the lieutenant cried: “Fire!” Immediately a volley of musketry flamed. was looking round him to see if through this artificial midnight Aramis were not making him some signal. more accustomed to the darkness than these men. and throw it amidst our enemies. with its resinous branches twisted together. and then immediately returned to pitchy darkness rendered thicker by the smoke. Porthos!” cried the sepulchral voice of Aramis. can you do so?” “Parbleu!” replied Porthos. who was dead before he had ended his cry. only. and fastened on the throat of the captain. Aramis and Porthos glided unseen along the granite walls of the cavern.passage gradually growing narrower. the corpse of the captain dropped close to the extinguished torch. and showed him. and help them to get the canoe to the sea. broken only by the steps of the third brigade. caught a glimpse of his extended arms. instinctive.” “Oh!” said Porthos. I will wait for you on the shore. “you will take this barrel. coming from open daylight. The soldiers could see nothing. a third time. “Light it!” “Stop. The captain. which continued to advance. if possible. hurl your thunderbolt among them. bringing down enormous fragments from the vaults. “Come. in a hollow of the rocky wall. At hearing the rattling in the throat of the captain. thundered. and then the torch fell and they were left in darkness. yet more softly. “I will join our Bretons. growing on the shore. his eyes starting from their sockets. he felt his arm gently touched. and made ten corpses. and he lifted the barrel with one hand.” said he to Porthos. to which he had just attached a fuse. and added another body to the heap of dead which blocked up the passage. roared in the cavern.” “Light it. and hasten to us.” said Porthos. they heard sighs and groans. devoted to death. with his hands stretched forward. Biscarrat. the soldiers who accompanied him had turned round. who uttered a stifle rattle. the muffled groans of the dying. 238 . Then a gigantic hand issued from the shade. Porthos was still behind his pillar. and a voice low as a breath murmured in his ear. but as they had no conception of the cause of all this. No firing had replied to that of the guards. The iron bar fell full and direct upon the head of Biscarrat. my Jupiter. On arriving at the compartment where Porthos.

brilliant in gold. Two or three officers cried out to Porthos to promise him his liberty if he would spare their lives. and debris sprang from the middle of the grotto. but during these two seconds this is what it illumined: in the first place. stretching like a winding sheet and smoking over the dismal scene. a torch which. the match. an instrument of pain when launched from its hard bed. who held out his arm to him. this is what the second which followed disclosed in that cavern of horrors. who threw themselves on their faces. he had fled. Some endeavored to fly. out of the vault! a dozen of his vigorous leaps and he would reach the canoe. A jet of fire. In addition to this principal group scattered about the grotto. showed death to come. ordered them to fire upon Porthos. that of this giant. “Oh! oh!” murmured he. Then the lighter sand and ash came down in turn. a heap of bleeding bodies. left alone. this subterranean volcano. The spark—a feeble spark. there liberty. thus vivifying the match. and fell amidst a group of shrieking soldiers. isolated bodies seemed to be making ghastly exhibitions of their gaping wounds. “when a thing is explained to me I understand it. he endeavored to precipitate himself upon the barrel and tear out the match before it reached the powder it contained. But they who received the order to fire trembled so that three guards fell by the discharge. And all this was seen by the tremulous light of a match attached to a barrel of powder. crushed. As for Porthos. and give me the light. that is to say. or indent the pillars of the cavern. Seek the officers. be distinguished. enlarged in the darkness. and the sand itself. as Aramis had directed him to do. but they encountered the third brigade. first principle of conflagration—shone in the darkness like a glow-worm. There remained nothing of the three compartments—nothing by which God could have recognized His handiwork. mutilated. every vegetable. Suddenly he felt his knees give way. seek the king’s guards with their blue coats laced with silver. and he would be out of the vault. And now. imprecations. Scarcely had he turned the angle which separated the third compartment from the fourth when he perceived at a hundred paces from him the bark dancing on the waves. There were his friends. there life and victory.“But do you understand me?” “Parbleu!” said Porthos again. As I have said. The lieutenant of the third brigade commanded his men to fire. as the chances of death or surprise had stretched them. already choked with horror at the sight of what had been accomplished. seek for the arms upon which they depended for their defense. which barred their passage. and sunshine penetrated through the opening. Shrieks. human life. or human fragment. applied the spark bravely to the match. gave out a simultaneous shriek of agony. hurled a distance of thirty feet. was consumed in thirty seconds. but the guards had before them their terrified companions. his knees seemed powerless. with laughter that he did not even attempt to restrain. of which the strongly marked shades threw out the luminous particles. pale. the short. and fell back to the outlet of the cavern where the three rowers awaited him. more terrible than the chaos which existed before the creation of the world. During this short space of time an officer of the third brigade got together eight men armed with muskets. We have said that the light produced by the spark and the match did not last more than two seconds. the giant. and by the light of the sparkling match objects might. mingled with streaks of purple. in the order of their weight. at ten paces off. The smoke was a little dispersed. Porthos enlivening the flame with his breath. and the five remaining balls hissed on to splinter the vault. The barrel. his hands being engaged. The large walls of silex tottered and fell upon the sand. in the midst of which some still heaved in the last agony. and the infernal work exploded. begone. like a falling star. they saw the barrel he held in his hand—they at once understood what was going to happen. after having hurled the barrel of powder amidst his enemies. sent towards this heap of bodies a phosphorescent aura. then. Six more of his formidable strides. then was deadened against the match which it set fire to. for two seconds. mineral. enlarging as it mounted. light. bloody. Every breath of Porthos. then was seen whirling through the air. devouring shoals of fire which caught every object. and had gained the last compartment. others fell instinctively upon their knees. Furious vortices of sulphur and nitre. through an opening. these men. It was a brief but splendid spectacle. whilst throwing a light on the dead past. rose. Above ground. lifting the mass as a last respiration inflating the sides of some old monster dying in the night. more shapeless. The officer had followed the brilliant train in the air. riddled the faces with its myriad cutting atoms. and. this spectacle did not last above two seconds. his legs to yield beneath him. The rocks split like planks of deal beneath the axe. his countenance lighted by the fire of the match burning in surrounding darkness! The soldiers saw him. smoke. which at rest might have burnt five minutes. thick pillars of the cavern. plow the ground. into which air. Useless! The air had made the flame attached to the conductor more active. dead bodies—all were engulfed in one terrific crash.” Aramis gave the burning match to Porthos. filled with terror at thought of what was about to be accomplished. A burst of laughter replied to this volley. heavy and sparkling. in this burning tomb. the train of fire. Aramis pressed the arm of Porthos with both his hands. “there is my weakness seizing me again! I can walk no further! What is this?” 239 . The three first compartments became one sepulchral sink into which fell grimly back. One single man has made of all of those things a chaos more confused. Then. then the arm of the giant swung round. the terrible thunder of the explosion. bedded in pools of blood. cleared the barricade of dead bodies. who served as a living rampart for Porthos. others mechanically took aim and attempted to fire their discharged muskets. Porthos.

bending forward towards the shore. For an instant the power of Porthos seemed about to fail him. his heart ready to break. Aramis listened. the hands whitened. and added their weight to the ponderous mass which would have been sufficient to crush ten men.” While saying these words. began to roll and totter round our Titan. The three men dropped the levers. pressing upon him with all its weight. Aramis had sprung to land. Two of the Bretons followed him. united their triple strength. then prostrating themselves. breathing his last sigh. declined. for an instant he believed that. and unable to conceive what could induce him to stop thus—”Come on. and the two walls of the prison in which he was buried fell back slowly and gave him place. and the rough voice of Porthos. “In the name of Heaven! Porthos. and a third granite mass sank between his shoulders. On hearing the dying voice of his friend. who looked as if precipitated from heaven amidst rocks which he had just been launching. but this new Hercules united all his force. and the colossus sank quite down. A gigantic block was held back by each of his extended arms. “Porthos! where are you? Speak!” “Here. the extended shoulders sank. for. his brow covered with sweat. earth gaped. here. But at the moment he was flying between the double hedge of granite phantoms. but sustain it. and fell successively the mighty monoliths of rock which the violence of the explosion had not been able to uproot from the bed of ages. for the monolith which weighed upon his shoulders. even in his dying agony he had still held up. active and young as at twenty. This frightful shock seemed to restore Porthos the strength that he had lost. when the impulse of the fall augmented the weight. the smoke which hurled through the clefts obscured the sky. strung for an instant.” stammered Porthos. making an effort that contorted every muscle of his body—”oh! but I cannot. Porthos! come on. He stretched both hands to repulse the falling rocks. like Enceladus. a giant among granite giants. breathless. “Too heavy!” After which his eyes darkened and closed. monseigneur!” shouted the Bretons to Porthos. the hands. But there was no time.” he cried. he arose. the solid rocks cracked to their base. The dying rattle of the valiant gladiator guided them amidst the ruins. make haste! the barrel will blow up!” “Make haste. but with his mighty hands he clung to the rocks. which rolled upon the tumulary stone. sprang towards the triple mass. drew together again. he lost his point of support. tearing his hair. and. collecting all his strength to make one step more. the explosion thundered. “Quick! quick!” repeated Aramis. as it were. who was floundering as in a dream. “Porthos! Porthos!” cried Aramis. the arms stiffened for a last effort. They gave way with cries of grief. delicate as those of a woman. and separated like blocks beneath the operation of the wedge. 240 . to whom the momentary lifting of the mass restored a momentary respiration. his breast oppressed. With him sank the rock. “come quickly!” “Oh!” replied the giant. as if it had been built of cardboard. Porthos felt the very earth beneath his feet becoming jelly-tremulous.Aramis perceived him through the opening. thanks to the powerful arch of his hands. animated. the green and blue and topaz conflagration and black lava of liquefactions clashed and combated an instant beneath a majestic dome of smoke. a portion of the vault was carried up towards heaven. he would succeed in shaking off the triple load. murmured in an almost cheerful tone those supreme words which came to his lips with the last respiration. pale. brought the giant down upon his knees. he fell upon his knees. and raised himself up again. with each a lever in his hand—one being sufficient to take care of the bark. then oscillated. his face grew ashy pale. but in pushing back the lateral rocks. and the boulder. But by degrees Aramis beheld the block sink. these latter. through the darkness of that charnelhouse. raised by a miracle of strength the corner-stone of this great granite grave. The hero fell without a groan—he fell while answering Aramis with words of encouragement and hope. grasped their iron levers. The two men came rushing up. in this frame of granite. like the angel of chaos. gave way. with a voice growing evidently weaker. Aramis. they bowed to each other like grave and stiff old men. the enormous rock sank down. pressed by those others which sank in from the sides. and the rocks continued to gradually collapse. “Here I am. of the still brilliant eye of his friend. “patience! patience!” Scarcely had he pronounced these words. for an instant pushed back. which. Then he caught a glimpse. swallowed up Porthos in a sepulcher of badly jointed stones. lay down forever in their dusty tomb. The lateral rocks. seeing them exhaust themselves in a useless struggle. which were no longer supported by the corresponding links. the sea flowed back as though driven by the blast of flame which darted from the grotto as if from the jaws of some gigantic fiery chimera. He bent his head. and with his hands. All was useless. wounded and torn. Then. as if to draw Porthos towards him with his arms. For an instant he appeared. not merely to raise it.” murmured Porthos. the reflux took the bark out twenty toises.

it was the time of the finest and longest days of the year. looked. his heart upon his lips. trembling like a timid child. with the first gray lines that lighted up the heavens. which might betray them. one of the three sailors. lost. and which Porthos had only known to suffer by its terrible solidarity. even till. Not a word escaped him. we are being chased!” Aramis made no reply. a stone. to come upon a desert shore. Aramis yielded to their kind exertions. in all her brilliancy. The balancelle. like that of his dear old honest valiant friend. the strongest of the four. he was not capable of walking. It might be said that something of dead Porthos had just died within him. and saw better by night than by day—Aramis seemed to sleep in this despair of soul. which was pursuing the little bark before the wind. the rowers became inactive. and in the decisive moment. when dying he only thought he was carrying out the conditions of his compact with Aramis. yet the first dead. noble Porthos. as if God had only given him strength for that purpose. the canoe hoisted its little sail. whose eye. On the part of the ship in sight. swelling with the kisses of the breeze. lifting him up. it was the silence of a statue. of their own accord. Such silence was not that of a man. to heap so much gold. that which appeared stationary upon the ocean was cutting a rapid way through it. not a sigh rose from his deep breast. in the sepulcher which God had built about him to his measure. lakes overflowing with fish. yet invincible head towards heaven. still pale. in fact. that menacing proud mass of rock seemed to draw itself up. was it worth while to labor to sweeten and gild life. His Bretons surrounded him. and lay thyself. succeeded inauspicious daylight. beneath a torpid stone? Was it worth while. Chapter LI. in proportion as the shore receded. watched without ceasing. Porthos’s Epitaph. bent by the bitter wind of ocean. And so many twining branches. which. two of the sailors. so many lichens solder thy sepulcher to earth. a rock. proud of the power delegated by thee! Oh. and the moon. arose shivering from the stone. with the last ray of daylight. in order that that single point upon the surface of the waters should cease to be a guide to the eye of the enemy pursuing them. and. without doubt. and the three sailors. during which daylight gradually disappeared. raising a smiling. Aramis. trembling. two more small sails were run up at the extremities of the masts. and in the midst of them Mousqueton. the ship still gained upon them. sleeps. still icy-cold. by the direction of the patron Yves. An hour passed thus. A Christian does not walk on tombs. cellars overflowing with wealth! Of what service to thee now thy lackeys in brilliant liveries. reclining on their benches. though capable of standing. preferring this to hoisting sail. always ready to sacrifice himself for the safety of the weak. as formerly Porthos used to draw himself up. The superstitious Bretons looked upon him. in short. forgotten. strength of body guided by subtlety of mind. they took to their oars. Noble Porthos! of what good now are thy chateaux overflowing with sumptuous furniture. lowered the sail. triumphed over manly strength. But. 241 . Then. and falling upon the body. the shore faded on the horizon. that no passers-by will imagine such a block of granite could ever have been supported by the shoulders of one man. The giant slept the eternal sleep. like that of the lynx. forests overflowing with game. Aramis never removed his from it. ventured to say aloud: “Monseigneur. a compact. across the dreaded Gulf of Gascony. at a distance out in the sea. Aramis. Strange destiny of these men of brass! The most simple of heart allied to the most crafty. seeing the profound torpor in which their master was plunged. with broken bones. a vile material weight. had then still half an hour of twilight. drove out the mind. In the meantime. silent and sad as ice. and. noble Porthos! careful heaper-up of treasure. which Aramis alone had drawn up. But that which might have appeared motionless to ordinary eyes was moving at a quick rate to the experienced eye of the sailor. so rife with storms. made bravest way towards Spain. so vigilant. For some time. so many mosses. surrounded by the cries of seagulls. beneath the rock the shepherds of the heath take for the gigantic abode of a dolmen. Then. and not have even the distich of a poor poet engraven upon thy monument? Valiant Porthos! he still. on the contrary. and satisfied themselves with exchanging their conjectures in whispers. pointed out to each other a white spot which appeared on the horizon as motionless as a gull rocked by the viewless respiration of the waves. Aramis. But scarcely half an hour after the sail had been hoisted. but during which also the sail in view gained so swiftly on the bark. making an eye-shade with their hands. they did not dare to rouse him. so active—Aramis. one single hillock attracted their eyes. carried him to the canoe. that Goenne. Unfortunately. Worthy Porthos! born to help other men. having laid him down upon the bench near the rudder. and a whole night almost as light as day. when vigor alone could save mind and body.Nothing more. and carrying them rapidly from the coast. however. On all that leveled surface of the ancient grotto of Locmaria.

“That is true!” said the sailors.” said Aramis.“Monseigneur! monseigneur! we are lost!” said the captain. I will take it on myself. and is looking at us. Greek fire with which to lighten their own course and ours likewise.” said the sailor. and sank again into impassibility. look yourself. “How—let us wait?” “Yes. and uttered a cry. on withdrawing the instrument from his eye. “Don’t be alarmed. appeared again in its true aspect. then. and disappear at the end of it. 242 . And he passed him the glass. where it continued to burn.” Aramis took a telescope from the bottom of the boat. and the pursuing ship. But.” murmured one of the sailors. monseigneur. and if there is any sin. Twenty-five men at least! Ah! I see the captain forward.” said he. a boy makes ducks and drakes. “they can see us as we see them. “Oh! monseigneur. “Give us your orders. “What is to be done?” asked the patron. and from the bosom of that cloud sparkled an arrow of flame. which described a parabola like a rainbow.” said Aramis.” “They see us. perhaps. ashamed of their weakness. except the way which the balancelle had been able to make during that brief instant. “Look! they see us plainly. “Impossible!” “Well.” murmured the sailor.” “Let us wait. but the maneuver sighted thus was not less real. by night as well as by day.” “That is not to be wondered at. “give us absolution. “it is a miracle—there they are. It was at once a menace and a warning. at about a mile from the little canoe.” said the bishop. though we have lowered sail. “So.” the patron ventured to say. Misericorde! they are firing at us!” And by a mechanical movement. and fell into the sea. as if the vessel was responsive to the appeal of Aramis. the skipper put aside the telescope. “since they say that. “perhaps under cover of night. A light cloud of smoke appeared beneath the sails. The skipper lifted the glass to his eye. it was still at the same distance. He believed that the vessel.” “Oh!” said Aramis. “they have. He holds a glass like this. in play. “You forget that they can see you. had at a single bound cleared the whole distance. more blue than they. “They will sink us!” said Goenne. dig a white furrow in the sea.” At the same moment. they are rolling a piece of cannon forward—they are loading it—pointing it. illuminating a space of a quarter of a league in diameter. do you not see. he saw that. captain. and spreading like a flower opening.” The sailor lifted the glass to his eye. and gives an order. which appeared to be distant about cannon-shot. as inoffensive as the stone with which. we are prepared to die for you. it seems as if I were going to touch them. relegated to the horizon. the Paris-folk have fabricated instruments with which they see as well at a distance as near. by the aid of the devil. that if we endeavor to fly. Ah! he turns round. we could escape them. “What!—they see us!” said Yves. “look!” The sailor hesitated. they saw the ball take the crown off two or three waves. “Monseigneur assures me that the devil has nothing to do with this?” asked Yves.” said he. as you just now said. they will sink us?” “But. focussed it silently. no doubt. The vessel was still at the distance of nearly a league.” said he. “Here. monseigneur!” And the sailors fell on their knees before him. “there is no sin in it. and passing it to the sailor. a second cloud of smoke mounted slowly to the heavens. Aramis shrugged his shoulders.

’ and my name is Louis Constant de Pressigny. who had come on board after their bishop.” “Well. It launched a fresh Greek fire. rocked motionless upon the summits of the waves. alive. At last it came within musket-shot. 243 . with a firm step.” said Aramis. to which he turned with smiles as to a friend. monseigneur?” said the sailors. and dipped the ends of his long white fingers in the green limpid waters of the sea.” The oars dropped from the hands of the sailors. “Did we not say we surrendered?” said Yves. Aramis—already bent over the side of the bark towards the sea—drew himself up. The pursuer came on like a race-horse. Aramis made a sign with his head. illumined by the last flashes of the Greek fire. “Do you hear. ceasing to make way. “By my rank and by my name I swear that all except M. not to attempt the capture of a canoe manned by four people. walked straight up to the commander. The three Bretons. This was like striking their flag. which ran along the sides of the waves. and the bark. looked at him earnestly. and bowed his head. the sailors were profoundly astonished. arms in hand. in his turn. Without a word Aramis then raised his hand to the eyes of the commander and showed him the collet of a ring he wore on the ring-finger of his left hand. I am lieutenant of the king’s frigate the ‘Pomona. “it will be better to wait for them. that is to say. a mysterious and unknown sign at sight of which the officer turned pale. monseigneur?” Aramis leaned still more forward. When Aramis. It might be thought they were about to board a frigate and to fight a crew superior in number to their own. the cannoniers were at their guns. For an instant his eye was fixed upon the depths of the ocean. the formidable Greek fire darted from its sides. as a vulture rears its head out of its nest. Then turning towards the Bretons. He was obeyed. and cast its flame upon the ocean like an incandescent snowfall. and with a flashing eye. played on the crests like plumes. towards the poop. “fire!” The soldiers brought their muskets to the present. captain!” cried one excited soldier. Then stretching his hand out. “Yes. bowed a second time with marks of the most profound respect. yes—living. “Accept!” repeated he. and rendered still darker and more terrible the gulfs they covered.” “What are your orders?” “Accept!” “But you. “they must be taken alive. It might be imagined it redoubled its speed with darkness. the matches burning. had the air of an emperor giving his hand to be kissed. and a smile upon his lips.The Bretons looked at each other in terror.” repeated the sailors. “Surrender!” cried the commander of the balancelle. And while making this sign Aramis.” Aramis stared imperceptibly. From time to time. “We accept.” cried the commander of the balancelle. “Alive. with the aid of his speaking-trumpet.” said the officer. Night came on.” said he. who for a moment had raised his head. “At the first sign of resistance. “You see plainly. looked at each other. draped in cold and haughty majesty. Yves waved a white cloth at the end of a gaff. trembled. “Your lives are safe.” With a rapid gesture. towards his own cabin. which fell within twenty paces of the little canoe. “Throw out the ladder. made a sign to him with his hand. my friends!” cried he. but still the ship drew nearer. as if the command had belonged to him. and threw a light upon them as white as sunshine. le Chevalier d’Herblay shall have their lives spared. “but what security have we?” “The word of a gentleman. seizing the rope ladder. All the men were on deck. The commandant. “all but the Chevalier d’Herblay. The sailors looked at Aramis. he drew back to allow Aramis to go first. messieurs.” said the captain.

who stopped him politely. which few people. for fear of complicating the affair by a display of premature ill-humor. “I will talk to the king while he is eating.” Who knows?—that dew was. “Not at Nantes. for the wood on which the bishop’s head had rested was soaked with dew. and my two friends by now probably taken or killed. with this vigorous man. the first tears that had ever fallen from the eyes of Aramis! What epitaph would have been worth that. and asked an audience with the king.” Brienne took the captain’s hand kindly. will find work for his majesty’s soldiers. the commander called the second lieutenant. Poor Porthos! As to Master Aramis. his majesty has been up all night. He went out quickly. and I am easy on his account. Whilst this order was being executed. de Gesvres.” said D’Artagnan. Yves. remarked that “the night must have been a very damp one. I think. But about what o’clock do you suppose he will rise?” “Oh! in about two hours. nor is Aramis in his dotage. He returned. of the words that I may speak to him. Five minutes after. It might be about seven o’clock in the morning. Porthos is not yet an invalid. He came back at half-past nine. in a low and humble voice. But. to Nantes. on approaching him next morning. “will not receive me. And yet. “We don’t know.” M. Aramis passed the night leaning upon the bastingage.” continued 244 . They have cannon and a garrison. in this journey. that I have the privilege of entree anywhere—and at any hour. “But. and.” said he. and said. who had returned to take his post in the stern. “Is the king asleep?” said D’Artagnan. he is always full of resources. The one with his arm. “you do not know. But on arriving at the corridor with which we are acquainted. telling him not to speak too loud and disturb the king. de Gesvres’s Round. were they king. looking askant at Brienne. and returned to his own apartments. “Well. beforehand. perhaps. since his arrival at Nantes. Aramis reappeared upon the deck. ordering the head to be put towards Corunna.” D’Artagnan. who returned immediately. bowed to M. no. hitherto. that is evident. profoundly irritated. he is afraid. D’Artagnan was little used to resistance like that he had just experienced. I will wait where I am.” “Oh! dear Monsieur d’Artagnan. yet Aramis looked incessantly towards Belle-Isle. no. D’Artagnan found M. “What course are we to follow. that is enough. usually vented itself in impetuous attack. asked about what o’clock the king would have finished his breakfast. if we admit that the air of the Loire gives an additional appetite. I am on guard for that particular purpose. the king had been an early riser. it may be. Irritation. and said.” “Eh?—don’t know! What does that mean? You don’t know how much time the king devotes to eating? It is generally an hour. but in the meantime Belle-Isle is besieged.” D’Artagnan took his hat again. I will let him sleep. The king. he went straight to the castle. were they giants. Night had fallen. The young man is angry. Yves then approached the captain. captain?” “We take what course monseigneur pleases. had been able to resist. a little softened. “The king. Yes. the other with his imagination. As soon as he was out he began to reflect. “That will just suit me. Who knows if these brave men may not get up for the edification of his most Christian majesty a little bastion of Saint-Gervais! I don’t despair of it.” replied the officer. and took a seat near the bastingage. good Porthos? Chapter LII. and. M. The crew were awed to silence. Trembling with rage.stupefied. de Gesvres. dear Monsieur d’Artagnan. de Brienne reminded D’Artagnan that the king would not see any one at meal-time. the moon had not yet risen. the order of the day is not to allow any person to remain in this corridor. we will extend it to an hour and a half.” D’Artagnan felt his anger mounting to his brain a second time. and was told that the king was at breakfast.” said D’Artagnan. has changed everything. monsieur.

plainly. wounded to the heart. Colbert. For myself alone I will not put up with either surly looks or insults from the king.” “Not even he.” And D’Artagnan set forward bravely to find M. then. Fouquet?” 245 .’” replied Lyonne.” said M. “Not even the captain who takes the order?” cried D’Artagnan. in front of the hostelry.” “Were you looking for me. then?” “Mon Dieu! yes. Colbert? Now. when M. castle. de Lyonne was coming out. M. “Monsieur d’Artagnan!” said he.—I am mounted. de Lyonne. “Good!” cried he. I have the pleasure of bidding you good-bye! Farewell. he could not fail seeing thirteen men and thirteen horses. at the castle of Nantes.—as you see. Lyonne returned. and was about to put his horse in motion. He gave D’Artagnan both hands. I will go. but told him that the king had been busy all the preceding evening and all night. M. went in search of M.” said Lyonne. “That it was well!” said the captain.” replied D’Artagnan. D’Artagnan saw all from the corner of his eye. beware of what you are doing!” “For friendship’s sake. that he accepts it? Good! Now. he had taken what was called his city-chamber. what did the king say?” exclaimed D’Artagnan. there is a man I must acquire the habit of terrifying. put his money into a large leather purse. I will wager?” “Yes.” “On the part of the king. become children again!—To the castle. then.” “It is fortunate I have met with you. “the times have come again in which I measured my steps from De Treville to the cardinal. Everything went on according to his wishes. “I don’t know whether it would not be better to stop the combat. Shall I go to M. Do me the favor. according to the custom of all great officers who have lodgings at the castle. then!” He returned thither. either the king is dead. he was putting his foot in the stirrup.” “As I. from the cardinal to the queen. about to breathe at liberty. three days ago. corridor. de Lyonne. “I think that is rather too strong. sent for his horses from the castle-stables. Monsieur de Gesvres! good evening!” “One would say you were getting on horseback. Truly is it said that men. At eight o’clock in the evening. “Ah. where. aloud. or his salle-a-manger. M. “That is to say. Colbert. “He simply answered. de Gesvres appeared. But when he arrived there. takes his farewell of you. “since the captain of the musketeers. with an explosion. I will go to M. the captain sprang from the terrace down the staircase. walking about the corridor in no enviable mood. Five minutes after. but for my friends I must put up with everything. is no longer allowed to enter it.D’Artagnan. to return and tell the king. where he had picked up the fragments of Gourville’s letter. but was informed that he was working with the king. he took his pistols. at the head of twelve guards. I send him my resignation. Gesvres rode up to him.” “More than that.” “D’Artagnan. who has always entered the king’s chamber. instead of throwing off his sword and cloak. ‘’Tis well. I am free! I am only a plain citizen. he was at the hostelry. and gave orders that would ensure their reaching Vannes during the night. “Well. and that orders had been given that no one should be admitted. his cabinet. who are in favor. or his captain is in disgrace. “Since that is the case. from the queen to Louis XIII. in growing old. ante-chamber! a bourgeois. “Well. But he feigned not to observe anything. D’Artagnan waited. go!” and he pushed him gently towards the cabinet. de Lyonne.” And without waiting longer.

for this: if I were to succeed you in the musketeers after having arrested you—” “Ah! then you admit you have arrested me?” “No. I will swear. for if ever I had had to make my rounds near your chambre-de-ville.” “I will take exceeding good care not to avail myself of it. “that is very polite.” D’Artagnan laughed aloud.” “Well. I shan’t die of that.” “Where?” “To the king.” “Why do you come to accost me with twelve horsemen at your heels.” “To arrest you?—Good heavens! no.” 246 . may take the trouble to grow calm again.” “That isn’t bad! And so you pick me up in your round. on the word of a gentleman! Now. who has thought it worth while to be angry. I assure you. and replied: “March! People who are arrested are placed between the six first guards and the six last. “you will march behind.” “But as I am not arresting you. but—” “But—I shall be sent to keep company with unfortunate M.” “For Heaven’s sake.” “And why not. the king is furious!” “Very well! the king. Tell me at once you are come to arrest me.” “No. eh?” “I don’t pick you up. “I have been told that you are ambitious of uniting your guards with my musketeers. that is all labor lost. “Captain. duke!” said D’Artagnan. if you please.” “Here we are at our place of destination. Mordioux! That is a gallant man. pray?” “Oh. duke. and I beg you to come with me. what does the king want with me?” “Oh. I should have been courteous to you. I meet with you. a worthy man! We shall live very sociably together.” said the duke. in a low voice to the musketeer. that is all. for many reasons—in the first place. de Gesvres. This strikes me as a splendid opportunity. and you are right in being so.” said M. with a bantering air. captain. with me. de Gesvres. then?” “I am making my round. one favor more. “the king is disengaged.” “Good!” said D’Artagnan.” said D’Artagnan. “do not compromise yourself! these men hear you. Fouquet. for Heaven’s sake be calm with the king!” “Ah! ah! you are playing the brave man with me. throwing one of his defiant glances over Gesvres. captain.“Oh!” “Nonsense! It is of no use being over-delicate with me. I don’t. I will be sworn.” said M.

” replied the musketeer. musketeers. He foresaw the very moment the explosion would take place.” The king while uttering these words looked intently at his captain. would fire my way. by mistake. The king could be heard distinctly.” The king was going to reply that he had not had D’Artagnan arrested. The king was seated in his cabinet.” proclaimed an usher. D’Artagnan understood this by-play. if you please. “if. The king had desired Brienne to say. there was an end of menace and sedition. and placed himself behind his colleague in the ante-chamber. “I believe. “All is over!” said he. How I should laugh!” But. “that your majesty does me the honor to ask what I went to Belle-Isle to accomplish?” 247 . “I have nothing to say to your majesty. So. and saw nothing save from the corner of his eye. The guards remained as a mounted picket before the principal gate. but spread above his letters and plans the large silk cloth he used to conceal his secrets from the importunate. while turning over his papers.” D’Artagnan sighed. “Well. after being interrogated by the musketeers who had just got among their ranks. All is over!” “Monsieur d’Artagnan. then. fixing his pellucid eyes on D’Artagnan. “what have you to say to me?” “I. and took him straight to the cabinet where Louis was waiting for his captain of the musketeers. de Treville. soldiers. messieurs! you disturb the king.” thought he. the captain of the guards. this evening.” at length resumed the king. Here D’Artagnan was fortunate. you were saying if you were to succeed me after having arrested me?” “Your musketeers. like the distant moaning of the waves. dispersed. advancing. and as in the good old times of Louis XIII. who. and staircases were filled. M. As soon as he entered. you are wanted in the ante-chamber of the king. de Gesvres became uneasy. “what did I charge you to go and do at Belle-Isle? Tell me. and M. One word had calmed the waves.” replied he. “Monsieur. In front of him was a mirror. and he was silent. “the musketeers of the present day are not those of his majesty Louis XIII. vague murmurs. d’Artagnan there?” “I am here. King Louis XIV. and the report was quickly spread throughout the city that monsieur le capitaine of the musketeers had been arrested by order of the king. uneasiness. and here I am. began to shun them with a manifestation of innocence. unless it be that you have caused me to be arrested. the king speaking aloud with M. a few days before. sire. “Is not M. No step of the progressive fermentation which had shown itself at the report of his arrest escaped him.” Gesvres made D’Artagnan pass in first. speaking aloud to Colbert in the same cabinet where Colbert might have heard.” said the king. he could see at a glance those who came in. so that at the end of a minute the king. who watched the first blow of his adversary to make a good retort.“Say met me. the king seemed to place the game in his hands. D’Artagnan was certainly less disturbed by all this than M. monsieur. murmurs. de Gesvres. for the fellows do love me a little. came rolling to the upper stories. He did not take any notice of the entrance of D’Artagnan. my praetorians should make me king of France. groups were formed. at the first exercise with ball cartridges. died away. as to that I won’t say. who heard nothing. Then these men were seen to be in motion. but any such sentence appeared too much like an excuse. vanished.” “Oh. officers. and kept in the background. He looked at his guards. “Hush. “It would be very whimsical. Guards. and we know that his previsions were in general correct. with his back turned towards the door of entrance. d’Artagnan. sire!” replied the latter. at the height. issuing from the court below. was obliged to cry. all was stopped. Chapter LIII. in which. D’Artagnan likewise preserved an obstinate silence. he seated himself on the ledge of a window whence with his eagle glance he saw all that was going on without the least emotion.

“orders have only been given to such as were judged faithful. go through a like ordeal. “Monsieur. who eat my bread and should defend my person.” said D’Artagnan.” The king was hurt: he showed it by his reply. by siding with my enemies against me. “Besides. I am not accustomed to that service. sire. it is not of me that question should be asked.” “For one bad servant your majesty loses.” “But I have to judge of my own friendships.” The king would not condescend to perceive the pleasantry. but of that infinite number of officers of all kinds. wounded by this lesson. The trial has succeeded ill. when I found the door closed against me. monsieur.” “I so well understand this. sire. these men were 248 . I have been astonished. to what grave steps your disobedience forces me. for your majesty has had me arrested. seriously.” said the king. “that a captain like myself.” “It was a trial I had to make. has led me to quit your majesty’s service.” “Your majesty has kept more than your word. implored you to save. I know nothing about it. under the orders and at the discretion of their inferiors. head of the expedition. Listen to me. and continued. sire.” said the musketeer.” “My disobedience!” cried D’Artagnan.” “And.“Yes. which. with his cold.” “Two men the enemies of the whole of your majesty’s army! That is incredible. but not at all fit to conduct a warlike expedition.” replied the king. “It is the mildest term that I can find. monsieur. that I have respectfully offered your majesty my resignation. Fouquet. “Before being separated from you I was willing to prove to you that I know how to keep my word. “you did not promise me that. therefore. offends him. sire. “My idea was to take and punish rebels. monsieur.” said he.” said the musketeer. when he asks of his king how he has ill-served him. monsieur. It was ill to send me in pursuit of two men whose lives M. good to make spies of. red with anger. “You see. sire?” “The men I sent you to fight. was I bound to inquire whether these rebels were your friends or not?” “But I was. You seem to forget that a king owes an account of his actions to none but God. Monsieur d’Artagnan.” retorted the musketeer. Mine is a rebel sword when I am required to do ill. sire.” “You have no power to judge of my will. sire.” pursued the king.” “He who serves his friends does not serve his master. who ranks with a marechal of France. “It was a cruelty on your majesty’s part to send me to capture my friends and lead them to your gibbets.” “Well! sire. “you still believe that you are living in an age when kings were.” replied D’Artagnan.” “Monsieur. your majesty’s preserver. of pretended servants. Still further. It was upon this subject I came to demand an explanation of your majesty. should have found himself under the orders of five or six lieutenants or majors. the final insult offered to a brave man. monsieur. possibly. “there are ten who. bantering air.” “I forget nothing. I do not see in what an honest man. on that same day.” “Who are your enemies. nothing precise was said or stated in any form whatever. with bitterness. as you complain of having been. to whom have been given innumerable orders of all kinds.” “And I have accepted it.” “You have ill-served me. whilst to me.

and I am certain not a bark can escape. but I have an excellent memory. to call you a barbarous king. in a hollow voice. Monsieur d’Artagnan. “Well. your replies are those of a rebel! Tell me. enough of these dominating interests which arise to keep the sun itself from my interests. “what I learn here you would know later. We will then reckon if the game has been worth the stakes. d’Herblay.” “So that. why were they not allowed to escape? What crime had they committed? I admit you may contest with me the right of judging their conduct. “Taken or killed!” cried he. the moment is at hand for me to keep my promise. while reading it. Besides. free to destroy my plans and save my enemies? I will thwart you or will drop you—seek a more compliant master. in the first place. a man of heart. brought back to his dismal idea.” As he spoke thus. and would allow himself to be dominated by you. I should forget all that is just. These supports on which your capricious mind instinctively relied I have caused to disappear. “The rebels have fled. how much has it cost you in men and money. who. to evoke the remembrance of that terrible adventure.my friends. though his heart was beating fast enough to choke him. “I very well remember that one morning at Vaux you addressed that question to many people who did not answer to it. I know full well that another king would not conduct himself as I do. in whom till now you showed the most entire confidence—who for thirty years have been attached to your person. 249 . one would imagine you forget that I was there. M. D’Artagnan could not restrain a cry of triumph. services are sacred titles to gratitude. not having imitated them in favor. the king went up to him in great anger. in his turn. and I will not imitate my predecessors in anger. if you thought what you tell.” said he. And. secondly.” said he. at the risk of sending you some day to keep company with M. I think it would be useless to ask the question of me now.” replied the captain of the musketeers.” D’Artagnan became pale. with a calm air. my soldiers have taken or killed the rebels of Belle-Isle. changed color. coldly. It appeared to him that the shade of the unfortunate Philippe passed between D’Artagnan and himself. all that is magnanimous in your words. to impunity. and that you should learn it from the mouth of your king. who is king of France? Do you know any other?” “Sire. At this moment.” said the king. “I pardon them to a young prince who does not know. a man of excellent sense. quietly. as I promised you. did answer to it. Monsieur d’Artagnan. whilst I. They did not attack your majesty.” At these words Louis cast down his eyes. and said. and myself are. Taken or killed! Ah! Ah! sire! tell me. “I have a fleet which closely blockades Belle-Isle.” A beam of joy and pride shone in the eyes of D’Artagnan. “if these two gentlemen are taken—” “They will be hanged. and have given you a thousand proofs of my devotion—for it must be said. because you are a man of sense.” “Is it possible?” said D’Artagnan. other reasons make me act mildly towards you. if you were sure you were telling me the truth. now that I am accused—why reduce me to see three thousand of the king’s soldiers march in battle against two men?” “One would say you have forgotten what these men have done to me!” said the king. Fouquet and the rest. Almost at the same moment an officer entered and placed a dispatch in the hands of the king. You wish to be.” “Sire.” said the musketeer. as the punishment of your want of discipline. “Oh! sire. because you will cease to have any motives for insubordination. “Only. sire?” “Well. it is better I should tell you. on my part. I am founding a state in which there shall be but one master. if you please. and for me. “Monsieur.” “Enough.” added the king. But why suspect me before the action? Why surround me with spies? Why disgrace me before the army? Why me. if the news is true. and that you will be a capital servant to him who shall have mastered you. “And the rebels?” said he. when the thing was not easy. who cannot comprehend what such men as M. monsieur—and I have lost a hundred and ten men. smiling with pride. But I pardon you these words. when your majesty and I are alone. du Vallon. then. according to your tastes or private friendships. “Monsieur d’Artagnan. You shall only have this lesson.” said the king. A battle has taken place at Belle-Isle. they succumbed to your blind anger. Your friends are now destroyed or ruined by me. “and that it was no merit of theirs I was not lost. If I recognized my king on that day. and an unnatural man.

generous. and constant master. Why have you judged me prematurely? Judge me from this day forward. monsieur. who should have a hundred kings. as you say. at the fire of Rochelle. and could do without a D’Artagnan. Could you serve a king. who reckons sufficiently upon your loyalty to allow you to leave him dissatisfied. has emancipated it. let us see what stops you?” said the king.. if by chance I should not think them so? I have seen war. sire. no longer violence. Look around you. and taking up his letter again. because you must have told them yourself.” “Ah!” said the king. sire. If you knew how well it suits me to carry my head high. I have seen peace. of what consequence is it that God has given no sense to arms and legs? It is to the head he has given genius.” “Oh!” replied D’Artagnan. and that will come to the same thing. “I have told you. let us conclude between us two the bargain I promised to make with you one day when you found me in a very strange predicament at Blois. seize the opportunity of our being on good terms. I regret sincerely. continued as if he had seen nothing. but council. “Very well. although this emotion had not by any means escaped him. Do me justice. the old leaven of feudal abuse! The Fronde. it was calculation. since I should only take them to have them hanged. and you will regret as I do. deranged the somewhat headstrong calculations of the musketeer. no. and have habits difficult to abandon. negligently. no longer boasting. do with such weak instruments the great things I meditate? Did you ever see an artist effect great works with an unworthy tool? Far from us. Do not imagine that I bear malice. This young man who had brought down a Fouquet. who could bite 250 . Perhaps. Truly. I will not spare you either sentiment. This was no longer trick. the rest obey. when you possess a great state secret. monsieur. to take it from me. you have tamed me. lofty heads have bowed. Of what consequence.” D’Artagnan started. I ask you. “They know it. will carry devotion and obedience to the verge of heroism. his equals. your genius. and what a pitiful mien I shall have while scenting the dust of your carpets! Oh! sire. “You have given in your resignation. Great they will be. when reflecting upon it. you know. and be as severe as you please. I know you to be so. and all the country knows it. kindly. they will never be taken alive. After affronts and injustices. tell me. you must have courtiers who know how to amuse you—madmen who will get themselves killed to carry out what you call your great works. mute. I have a command which was formerly something. always swearing—cross-grained mastiffs. but will. I hesitate to take back my resignation because I am old in comparison with you. having grown a new skin ten times. but strength. Monsieur d’Artagnan. undecided for the first time in his life. and I shall have servants who. D’Artagnan. “Come. lacking. and the head. according to your conduct. by bowing me you have convicted me of weakness. they will be dead. I feel—but. “Now. as serpents do. I am the head. no longer passion. perhaps. if that is to be my employment from this time. Louis XIV. You are a brave man. or choose such exile as will suit you.” D’Artagnan wiped the sweat which flowed from his brow.” D’Artagnan remained bewildered. Henceforward. because it gave the bearer the right of speaking as he liked to his king. when you admit I do not make any one pay for the tears of shame that I then shed.” pursued Louis XIV. in the kingdom? Could I. I will answer for that. which threatened to ruin monarchy. Bow yours. I have been scorched with your father.” “Then. repressing his trembling.“And do they know it?” replied D’Artagnan. I have served Richelieu and Mazarin. but it must be confessed that in taming me you have lowered me. riddled with sword-thrusts like a sieve. the old days when the king of France saw in every vestibule those insolent gentlemen. shall I refuse to accept it? I admit that it may be hard for such an old captain to recover lost good-humor. You are now the only man of former times worthy of my anger or my friendship. lean. then. “that I would one day be an affectionate. Monsieur d’Artagnan. At last he had found an adversary worthy of him. Captain d’Artagnan. sire. in a melancholy tone. you will find your king has a generous heart. “that is not my most serious care. I am master at home. But your captain of the musketeers will henceforward be an officer guarding the outer doors.

In the meanwhile. in particular—so good! so brave! so true!” “Do you ask their pardon of me?” “Upon my knees. like a bird of prey. much agitated. Why should I do it? Because I love money?—I have enough. These men were the best of courtiers to the hand which fed them—they would lick it. and it ought. he wills that I should make verses. eat of my very best bread. and sleep in absolute tranquillity. “Thanks. which had fallen on the heroic Porthos. the haughty marechaux of France. whose lives he had so earnestly endeavored to save—aided by three faithful Bretons. and to have said to me ‘Good evening. And with a heart swelling with joy.” “Be assured of that. and with him D’Artagnan. according to the calculation of D’Artagnan. and devoured the poor little bird that was flying with such palpitating wings. my faithful friend. Such was the news.’ with a smile I did not beg for. “But those poor men at Belle-Isle? One of them. a little sparkling of gray in their dry hair. But do you answer for them?” “With my life. my old servant. but I have got over greater difficulties.. Because I am ambitious?—my career is almost at an end. That smile I will beg for! Are you content. but the corvette was known to be a good sailer and solid in its timbers. But why should I tell you all this? The king is master. he rushed out of the castle on his way to Belle-Isle. Chapter LIV. The field of supposition was thrown open. To-morrow I set out for Paris. but for the hand that struck them.” said he. Fouquet’s Friends. the human remains which had stained with clouted blood the scattered stones among the flowering broom. sire. when the king. M. returned to Paris. what could he conjecture? The vessel had not returned. Depend upon me for finding you an opportunity. But there D’Artagnan’s certainties ended.” “That is all kind and well!” said D’Artagnan. which D’Artagnan brought to Louis XIV. go and take it to them. sire?” And D’Artagnan bowed his silver head. He had seen. I will remain here because I have been accustomed for thirty years to go and take the orderly word of the king. ambiguous. and you will behold the handsome dukes and peers. D’Artagnan. it is true. spread on the neighboring heath. Mordioux! that is difficult. who. sire!” “Well! then.” “Go. He learned also that a bark had been seen far out at sea. for I do not wish you to leave me in the future. in twenty-four hours. sire. reckoning from this day. “As. 251 . Because I love the court? No. but in some degree reassuring to him personally. it had no need to fear a gale of wind. overtaken. oh! the bite that followed! A little gold on the lace of their cloaks. It is true that a brisk wind had prevailed for three days. it remains with me to send you to a foreign field to gather your marshal’s baton. The king had returned to Paris. The captain of the musketeers only knew what those two valiant men—these two friends. if it be still in time. I have no longer any enemies in France.” said D’Artagnan. Return by that time. kissing the royal hand. Now. to have either returned to Brest. upon which the smiling king placed his white hand with pride. whose defense he had so nobly taken up. a royal vessel had pursued. a slender stomach in their hauts-de-chausses. he wills that I should polish the mosaics of his ante-chambers with satin shoes. succeeded in learning nothing of the secret so well kept by the heavy rock of Locmaria.mortally in the hour of danger or of battle. and that. I will do it. then. had accomplished against a whole army. followed by all the court. or come back to the mouth of the Loire. having made with greatest care all possible inquiries at Belle-Isle.

Louis. “I have several pieces of good news to announce to you. and brought here. drawing from a casket placed upon the table closet to the seat upon which D’Artagnan was leaning. had just risen and taken his first repast when his captain of the musketeers presented himself before him. I knew that M. “you were the only man whose star was equal to the task of dominating the fortune and strength of my two friends. d’Herblay. that always in me the man will sacrifice himself to subjects. was so well worthy of respect. sire! I can wait.” “Good heavens! what is that?” “Sire. in the affair of Belle-Isle. “I knew it. the moment I have made my accounts all straight. at the first glance. but you shall know them. D’Artagnan fixed his falcon eye upon Louis XIV. d’Herblay had taken one of my vessels with its crew. with a smile beaming with kindness. It was my duty to treat it gently. so generous as you have shown yourself with respect to me and M. D’Artagnan. Everything breathed the future. writes me from Bayonne. whilst I go and practice patience. while speaking these words. “I could have M. The king.” murmured the musketeer. “here is a letter copied exactly from that of M. d’Herblay comes from Colbert himself. To have informed you of this misfortune. Yes. and would make. But I implore you. Only that past was like a painful bleeding wound to the hearts of certain tender and devoted spirits. that promise will soon become reality.” “Yes. how could you know?” “How do you yourself know. when he received a touching proof of this. D’Artagnan?” “By this letter.” “Look here. and had compelled it to convey him to Bayonne.” “No. which I knew would pain you so greatly.” “Oh. I have lost one of my friends. I am well served. to catch the first feeling that would show itself. which M. d’Herblay. you are mistaken when you accuse my council of urging me to pursue rigorous measures. to have triumphed over you. I have said that I wish to make. be assured I will not yield to this first and natural impulse. “What is the matter. You have used your power. sire. in order that you might be convinced my friends are with me respected and sacred. in your eyes. so noble. du Vallon had buried himself beneath the rocks of Locmaria. perceived the change in a countenance generally so unconcerned. the past was nothing to anybody. sire!” said D’Artagnan. would have been. and did not tell me!” cried the musketeer. “To what good? Your grief. du Vallon. Everybody was anxious to amuse the two queens. sire. But. with a kindness very uncommon to him. your fortune. Scarcely was the king reinstalled in Paris. D’Artagnan. you may perceive.” “A thousand times thanks. more mild and affable as he felt himself more powerful—had not ceased for an instant to ride beside the carriage door of Mademoiselle de la Valliere. M. will you?” “D’Artagnan. Here is the very letter.” said the king. “As for you. But I was willing you should learn these matters in a direct manner. “Sire. my dear captain. d’Herblay. alive. which Colbert placed in my hands a week before you received yours. you will have about you counselors who will cure you of that weakness.” And. D’Artagnan.. sire.” continued the king. you will not abuse it. “You knew it. sire! you will not always remain so clement. sire. quietly.” “But. free and out of danger. satisfied with his success—Louis. D’Artagnan was pale and looked unhappy.” said the king. He is free—let him continue free. to inflict justice upon him.” “Oh.” replied the king. The advice to spare M. extremely surprised. a great misfortune has happened to me. D’Artagnan?” said he. I knew that M. my friend. that your majesty will deign to notice 252 . whilst the king is so often found to sacrifice men to majesty and power. d’Herblay carried off from the territories of the king of Spain. Louis XIV. so as to make them forget this abandonment by son and husband.

as if fearful of being affected by contagion with disgrace and misfortune. with a quick step. “Their names?” “M. Gourville.” replied Pelisson. “Friends of M. cried. and directing his voice to the adjoining room. the remorse of the guilty. D’Artagnan. M. disturbed only by sighs and groans. “I cannot. and was preparing himself to give the supplicants a rigorously diplomatic reception. Monsieur Gourville. awaited the moment of presentation.” “Sire.those poor people who have for so long a time besieged your ante-chamber. Monsieur Pelisson. raised by his sobs.” said the king. The first of the friends of Fouquet’s to advance was Pelisson. at the approach of the friends of the unfortunate superintendent of finances. For these reasons.” added D’Artagnan. Pelisson bowed to the ground. see you come to plead for one of the greatest criminals it is the duty of justice to punish. D’Artagnan turned rapidly on his heel. raised the tapestry which closed the entrance to the royal chamber. not compassion. but his tears were only restrained that the king might better hear his voice and prayer. He did not weep. came forward to take by the hand the unhappy men who stood trembling at the door of the cabinet. Fouquet. and you.” The king raised his head. Fouquet or the tears of his friends. “Monsieur Gourville.” The three men D’Artagnan had named immediately appeared at the door of the cabinet in which were the king and his captain. began to excite in the king. to say nothing that will not plainly proclaim the respect you have for my will. and a poet. and the only signs of life he gave were the convulsive motions of his shoulders.” The king took a moment to reflect. having placed himself in the embrasure of a window. “What do they want?” “I do not know. and you.” “How do they appear?” “In great affliction. he led them in front of the king’s fauteuil. His countenance was impassible. I beg you. Your majesty’s justice is redoubtable. who. A king does not allow himself to soften save at the tears of the innocent. La Fontaine buried his face in his handkerchief. and come humbly to lay a petition at your feet. trembling at these words. Jean de la Fontaine.” said he.” and he remained standing. Pelisson. The king preserved his dignity. and the others ought to dread offending me in my own palace. dry tone. He even maintained the frown which appeared when D’Artagnan announced his enemies. Monsieur—” and he did not name La Fontaine. with his eyes fixed searchingly on these desponding men.” “What do they say?” “Nothing. because the one is tainted to the very heart. with a serious brow. out of respect for the king. “Monsieur Pelisson.” “Who are they?” “Enemies of your majesty. drew back. He made a gesture which signified. without sensible displeasure. every one 253 . “we are come to say nothing to your majesty that is not the most profound expression of the most sincere respect and love that are due to a king from all his subjects. A profound silence prevailed in their passage. but impatience. “Speak. Gourville bit his lips to check his tears.” “Let them come in. “Enter. M. I have no faith either in the remorse of M. Monsieur—. in a sharp. The courtiers.” “What do they do?” “They weep. This dismal silence. and La Fontaine knelt as people do in churches.

but the blood had mounted to his cheeks. upon whom emotion was fast gaining. du Vallon. and those persuasive words. At least. calmed by that supplicating voice. who himself cut short their solemn reverences by entrenching himself suddenly behind the fauteuil. Madame Fouquet—the lady who had the honor to receive your majesty at her table—Madame Fouquet. “I give you the leave of absence you must want to put the affairs of your friend. the king turned very pale. turned round towards the angle of the cabinet to bite his mustache and conceal a groan. when the hour for defending an accused friend strikes. he cast a softened look upon the men who knelt sobbing at his feet. with clasped hands and bended knees. but he is an enemy to the state. the chosen instrument of heavenly mercy. He is the last resource of the dying. messieurs. “Well. D’Artagnan remained alone with the king. who interrogated him with his look. Conrart might translate into eclectic Latin. He who has incurred your displeasure may be a friend of ours. They know me but ill who doubt my mercy towards the weak. “my parliament will decide. she has neither credit nor hope left. and risks his life to combat death. “that I should confound the innocent with the guilty.” “Therefore we have every confidence in that impartiality of the king. more destitute than her husband. Madame Fouquet has no longer bread. Far from us the idea of coming to defend him who has had the misfortune to offend your majesty. and passed into the next apartment. pity rose from his heart to his lips. Sometimes. and Madame Fouquet. without incurring the displeasure of your majesty. The tears had been scorched away by contact with their burning cheeks and eyelids.” continued Pelisson. but with tears. When the Lord sends the curse of leprosy or pestilence into a family. We abandon him. the wife of the ancient superintendent of your majesty’s finances. my master! If you had not the device which belongs to your sun. every one flies and shuns the abode of the leprous or plaguestricken. The little property he had was scarcely sufficient to pay his debts. to the severity of the king. with his most imposing air. is abandoned by everybody. no longer any means of support. and the firmness of his look was visibly diminished.” said he. I do not strike without first having weighed the crime. to lend to Madame Fouquet two thousand pistoles collected among the old friends of her husband. we supplicate you. “What do you wish?” said he. Sire. my justice does not wield the sword without employing first a pair of scales. As much afflicted. in order. since her husband’s captivity. approaching the young prince.” At the word widow. Do. the late M. abandoned by all those who besieged its doors in the hour of prosperity. The hand of your majesty strikes like the hand of God. and hope to make our feeble voices heard. “Well. in order that the widow may not stand in need of the necessaries of life. she weeps in her deserted home.’” The king smiled.” “Besides. stormy with the strong. The king had preserved his eye dry and his countenance severe. whose chest heaved at hearing this humble prayer.—his pride disappeared. as a divinity is supplicated! Madame Fouquet has no longer any friends. ‘Calm with the lowly. and D’Artagnan. a generous physician alone ventures to approach the ill-reputed threshold. Go. “to permit us. do all that your hearts counsel you to assuage the grief of Madame Fouquet. however culpable he may be. I would recommend you one which M. what do you ask of me?” said the king. “Sire.” “In that case. “the accused has a wife and family. the unhappy wretch upon whom your anger falls receives from you. We respectfully bow before it. after having said to D’Artagnan. They had not the strength to address their thanks to the king. “God forbid. but very rarely.must yield to the sentences it pronounces. passes it with courage.” said he.” replied Pelisson. with the consent of your majesty.” interrupted the king. pronounced by Pelisson whilst Fouquet was still alive. in an agitated voice. his daily bread though moistened by his tears.” Here the mortal silence which had chained the breath of Pelisson’s two friends was broken by an outburst of sobs. messieurs.” 254 . “We come humbly to ask your majesty. I strike none but the arrogant. messieurs—go!” The three now rose in silence with dry eyes.

forming three farms. “3. the better to weep and the better to hear. more than all. or the task would have been too much for the reader. At Pierrefonds everything was in mourning. His face. not to enumerate his enemies or the injuries done to them. D’Artagnan raised the poor intendant. and sank upon the steps. At this paragraph. This was D’Artagnan. the fountains.” 255 . The little estate Du Vallon. At each fresh arrival. he raised his head. recognized the old friend of his master. and. Three fish-pools in Berry. announced for that day. he went and took his seat at the extremity of the great carved oak hall. commenced. who was suffocating with excess of woe. handed their horses to a melancholy-looking groom. He recalled to his mind the old soldier. who had come alone to the gate. The domain of Bracieux. who. Three mills upon the Cher. Mousqueton had squatted himself in a corner. and directed their steps. Porthos’s Will. woods. had tied his horse to the knocker and announced himself. was furrowed by two silver rivulets which had dug their beds in his cheeks. meadows. Mousqueton found fresh tears. were thrown open as if by magic. The splendor of daylight invading the room. and a warlike figure appeared upon the threshold. asked pardon of his enemies for all the injuries he might have done them. where Mousqueton received them at the door. composed of red and white. as he had left no relations behind him. and finding nobody to hold his stirrup. Mousqueton had become so thin in two days that his clothes moved upon him like an ill-fitting scabbard in which the sword-blade dances at each motion. The seal broken—the spectacles put on—the preliminary cough having sounded—every one pricked up his ears. and. formerly so jubilantly fresh and noisy. and which furnish all my chateaux or houses. had stopped of themselves. bringing in six hundred livres each. the instinct of the faithful dog. The visitors took their places as they arrived. Porthos. screaming with grief. and. Fifty farms in Touraine. Then came the following schedule of his extensive lands: “I possess at this present time. All these visits were for the purpose of hearing the reading of Porthos’s will. amounting to five hundred acres. conducted by a huntsman in black. Then the procureur. and at which all the covetous friends of the dead man were anxious to be present.” (Brave Porthos!) “4. and it was pitiful to see him press his throat with his fat hand to keep from bursting into sobs and lamentations. still holding by the hand poor Mousqueton. so named because it is in the valley. was considerably agitated. forests. plowed lands. “5. watering the floor with his tears. and forests. Porthos’s procureur—and that was naturally the successor of Master Coquenard—commenced by slowly unfolding the vast parchment upon which the powerful hand of Porthos had traced his sovereign will. which had been shut. the hour fixed for the reading of the important document. The domain of Pierrefonds. These were rural neighbors. The courts were deserted—the stables closed—the parterres neglected. by the grace of God— “1. waters. so called because it can be moved. “2. In goods which I cannot detail here for want of room. “6. he embraced his knees. to the great dining-room. drew Mousqueton from his reverie. All these people entered the chateau silently. all those enemies of Porthos brought to earth by his valiant hand. like the rest. producing two hundred livres a year. having nobly saluted the assembly. resplendent in the full light of the sun. lands. he reckoned up the numbers of them. as is so well explained by my learned friend the bishop of Vannes—” (D’Artagnan shuddered at the dismal remembrance attached to that name)—the procureur continued imperturbably—”they consist—” “1. and the great room had just been closed when the clock struck twelve. as full formerly as they had become flabby since his grief began. after a profession of faith of the most Christian character. but of which the list is drawn up by my intendant. Along the roads around the chateau came a few grave personages mounted on mules or country nags. embraced him as if he had been a brother. and said to himself that Porthos had acted wisely. “As to my personal or movable property. In the basins.Chapter LV. like that of the Madonna of Vandyke. surrounded by good walls. cures and bailiffs of adjacent estates. All at once the folding-doors of the great room. the murmur of all present. a ray of inexpressible pride beamed from the eyes of D’Artagnan. who all bowed as they whispered to each other his name. chateaux.

and redoubled his attention. Yolande. La Hire. Dalilah. seconded by the flashing eye of D’Artagnan. glancing over the assembly. Nimrod. My pictures and statues. and which are called—Bayard. “8. already named. for the stag. or immovable. “4. the luminous edge of which shone like a little crescent moon. my wines of Burgundy. comprised in the above enumerations. and have never been opened. “This young nobleman appears to me extremely worthy to succeed the valiant gentleman of whom I am the friend and very humble servant. divided as follows: the first. to M. All these objects. The procureur continued. “6.” 256 . Finette. in my various houses. le Comte de la Fere. le Chevalier d’Artagnan.” Here the reader stopped to take breath. le Vicomte de Bragelonne my old servant and faithful friend Mousqueton. Lisette.” continued the procureur. “I have left all my property.” On hearing these words. “Mousqueton. for I had great trouble in lifting the coffer that contained it and could not carry it more than six times round my chamber. “go and make your preparations. the true son of M. In arms for war and the chase contained in my gallery of arms. “7. movable. in addition to the table and house linen. the second. for the wild boar. and Musette. Rebecca. though wishing to leave the hall. “5. slipping from his baldric. I bequeath to M. which are said to be of great value. and it is probable I never shall have any. My wines of Anjou. son of M. Armida. le Vicomte de Bragelonne do give to M. and the two others. if he should need it in exile. providing that the said vicomte shall so act that Mousqueton shall declare. Pepin. And yet I am mistaken. le Comte de la Fere. and Spain. selected for Athos. whatever the said Chevalier d’Artagnan may demand of my property. My library. It was D’Artagnan’s sword. Moreover. stocking eight cellars and twelve vaults. Milo. or chase. Champagne. but which ought to weigh from a thousand to twelve hundred pounds. and the spectators saw him stagger and hesitate.Every one turned his eyes towards Mousqueton. which. he has never ceased to be happy. for the wolf.” Here a sharp sound interrupted the reader. quickly restored the interrupted silence: “On condition that M. my friend. Every one turned his eyes that way. quite new. of city. are divided in the residences I liked the best. for setters and protection. Flastrade. “9. and saw that a large tear had rolled from the thick lid of D’Artagnan. for the love of and in remembrance of his master. le Vicomte Raoul Auguste Jules de Bragelonne. le Vicomte de Bragelonne do pay a good pension to M. Dunois. who was still lost in grief. Every one sighed. and enable him to add more luster to his already glorious name. for I have a son. consisting of six thousand volumes. which. compressed by a frightful grief. Raoul Auguste Jules de Bragelonne. Roland. appeared from between his icy hands. war. his countenance. “2. I leave to my intendant Mousqueton all of my clothes. In twenty horses for saddle and draught. and which are sufficiently numerous to fatigue the sight. In sixty dogs. Ogier. My silver plate. whither I shall go on leaving Pierrefonds.” said D’Artagnan. Urganda. for the hare. he did not know the way. which I have particularly at my chateau of Pierrefonds. M. my good friend. in the assurance that he will wear them till they are worn out. which to me is a cutting grief. The procureur resumed: “I have lived without having any children. Mousqueton bowed. half-way down to his aquiline nose. Samson. the fourth. On condition that M. as if. to console him for the grief he seems to suffer. Bordeaux.” A vague murmur ran through the auditory. when dying. “This is why. coughed. had fallen on the sonorous flooring. le Chevalier d’Herblay. who liked them formerly. to the number of forty-seven suits. Charlemagne. Grisette. his shoulders shook convulsively. that is. “3. the third. which is perhaps a little worn. forming six packs. captain of the king’s musketeers. pale and trembling. in common with my other friends. I will take you with me to Athos’s house.

and perceived. and in case he did demand anything. he was lost in admiration of the wisdom of the testator. his mild serenity of soul and body in spite of Milady. until. he sought. without apparent intention. no longer finding anything to understand its feelings. upon which Mousqueton had laid himself down after heaping them all on the floor together. most exquisite criticism upon that conduct of Aramis which had brought about the death of Porthos? But there was no mention of Athos in the testament of the dead. He rose. Chapter LVI. better than custom. and slowly disappeared. was it not the mildest. with more propriety than taste. absorbed in silent reverie. who. exquisite in tenderness and reserve. crawls back to die upon his cloak. whom he felt it was a pleasing duty to divert from his grief. Mousqueton was dead! Dead. after which the greater part of those who had come to hear the last will of Porthos dispersed by degrees.” said D’Artagnan to himself with a sigh. were astonished to hear seven o’clock strike before their master quitted his bed. but all penetrated with respect. the deeper glades where sunshine scarcely penetrated. left alone after the departure of Raoul. having lost his master. he knew well. The servants. a heap of clothes of all colors and materials. in Porthos’s own chamber. he regained the chamber and his bed. or to God. 6 His people were sometimes terrified to see him. many disappointed. our worthy Porthos. accustomed to see him stirring with the dawn at all seasons. the hand of Mousqueton was stretched over these relics. from the moment at which he lost the comfort of his later youth. Athos. “My God!” said he. his freshness of mind in spite of misfortune. Porthos left a pension to Aramis. When Porthos enjoined Raoul de Bragelonne to give D’Artagnan all that he would ask. which had been kept back by the presence of the beloved object. if he should be inclined to ask too much. they had been given to him. he allowed his soul and spirit to wander from their envelope and return to his son. The Comte de la Fere. thrown out by the testator. “he does not stir—he has fainted!” But D’Artagnan was mistaken. he fancied he hard a groan in the room above him. an ever-ardent focus at which to kindle anew the fire of his looks. for hours together. It was the legacy of the faithful friend. though bent. The Old Age of Athos. formerly bound together in a manner that seemed indissoluble. Athos daily felt the decline of vigor of a nature which for so long a time had seemed impregnable. gave itself up to grief with all the warmth of common natures when they yield to joy. arrived with that cortege of pains and inconveniences. mute and insensible. descended to his shady walk. who had remained a young man to his sixty-second year. as though to partake of its warmth for a minute in memory of his absent child. that nature. and covered with his body. The procureur finished his reading. While these affairs were separating forever the four musketeers. As for D’Artagnan. He scarcely breathed. Those clothes were truly his own. As he made this reflection. as he had not returned. which grows by geometrical accretion. Athos remained in bed with a book under his pillow—but he did not sleep. began to pay his tribute to that foretaste of death which is called the absence of those we love. none but himself could say what. “Porthos had indeed a heart. Age. the warrior who had preserved his strength in spite of fatigue. that D’Artagnan would ask or take nothing. Could the latter for a moment suppose that the son would not offer the best part to the father? The rough mind of Porthos had fathomed all these causes. thus left alone. Remaining in bed that he might no longer have to carry his body. and that word exile. that the hours for the two first meals were gone by. D’Artagnan approached to console the poor fellow. since his solitude. noble. And then. who had so judiciously bestowed his wealth upon the most necessitous and the most worthy. neither did he read. his 257 . as if everything in that hall would from that time be foreign. he no longer heard the timid step of the servant who came to the door of his chamber to watch the sleeping or waking of his master. he had no longer. Then he was awakened. He ascended the staircase leading to the first story. Athos had become an old man in a week. after having received the formal compliments of the procureur. and he thought immediately of poor Mousqueton. And then the dismal monotonous walk recommenced. Athos had no longer his son to induce him to walk firmly. seized all these shades more clearly than law. was checked by the example of D’Artagnan. in spite of La Valliere. like the dog who. as a good example. He opened the door. with all his face. with a delicacy that neither nobleman nor courtier could have displayed more kindly. exhausted.Mousqueton made no reply. in those brilliant eyes of the young man. when Raoul was no longer with him. must it be said. but sad. with head erect. no longer having even Grimaud to receive a poor smile as he passed through the parterre. It often occurred that he forgot the day had half passed away. He discontinued all the mighty exercises he had enjoyed through life. in spite of Mazarin. which he was kissing with his lips. For this purpose he left the hall hastily to seek the worthy intendant. Back in his house at Blois. Still handsome. then came out a little into the sun.

The doctor obeyed. Man thus absorbed. although he did not complain. doctor. “Is it your wish to kill yourself ?” “Never. the Blaisois boasted of possessing this sacred relic of French glory. from Paris to Pierrefonds.” “I! ill!” said Athos. was terrified at the monotonous beating of that heart from which never a sigh arose to vary the melancholy state. from the depths of his hiding-place. for fear of displeasing their master.” And he seated himself by the pillow of Athos. He refused to receive the visits that were paid him. born in a fold of the heart. and his terrified people. Get well! monsieur le comte. doctor?” asked the comte. he did not even talk to himself. no subterfuges. He examined. Half a day passed away thus. The comte walked feebly as far as the middle trees. People respected Athos. Athos wrote one of these letters to Vannes.” “Well! monsieur. and they loved him. “is it possible? I do not get up. and have had no advice. although he wore a smile upon his lips.” “Come. Athos was a sort of model for the gentlemen of the country. His valet de chambre observed that he shortened his walk every day by several turns. The doctor formed his resolution like a brave man. monsieur. we say. you are a good Christian?” “I hope so. it approached to that degree of over-excitement which borders upon ecstasy. “but I have a reproach to make you—you shall hear me. coming up to the patient with open arms. he declined all nourishment. which feeds upon itself. they placed him in a closet adjoining the chamber of the patient. “What is the matter. the nature of that mysterious malady which bent and aged more mortally every day a man but lately so full of life and a desire to live. and implored him not to show himself. though he does not yet belong to God. For several days the comte did not speak a single word. never did the sky appear more blue to me. Very shortly a hundred steps exhausted him. “Monsieur le comte. We know why: Aramis had quitted France. after a silence. I never knew myself better.domicile by choice. “The matter is. at once cause and effect of a perilous situation. slow fever. The great alley of limes soon became too long for feet that used to traverse it formerly a hundred times a day. they remained without answers. weakness. For my part. or rather the return of night. seated himself upon a mossy bank that sloped towards a sidewalk. The doctor remained for several hours studying this painful struggle of the will against superior power. For this purpose. pitiless. another to Fontainebleau. Thus to remain is suicide. and there waited the return of his strength. sheltering itself behind that rampart.” said the doctor. The comte spoke to nobody.” said Athos. and D’Artagnan was traveling from Nantes to Paris. get well!” “Of what? Find the disease first. I crave your pardon. to see flock round him the poor of the canton. He remarked upon the cheeks of Athos the hectic hue of fever. already appertains no longer to the earth. he was terrified at seeing those eyes always fixed. decay. who had great trouble in rousing himself from his preoccupation. monsieur le comte!” “Weakness!” replied Athos. who beheld him without evincing more surprise than if he had understood nothing of the apparition.” 258 . consumption. or examining parchments. he issued suddenly from his place of retreat. “Fever. The physician could not bear to see his people weep. and during the night he was seen to relight his lamp and pass long hours in writing. ever directed on some invisible object. smiling. come! monsieur le comte. never did I take more care of my flowers. growing from the suffering it engenders. who had not asked for a physician. His thought feared noise. therefore. and brought him to the Comte de la Fere in such a fashion that he could see the comte without being himself seen. for often pain becomes the hope of the physician. you are ill. although he continued to speak with his sweet voice—his people went to Blois in search of the ancient physician of the late Monsieur. to whom Athos had so often given life and consolation by his kind words and his charities. you are in a fair way of doing so. Athos was a great seigneur compared with such nobles as the king improvised by touching with his artificial scepter the parched-up trunks of the heraldic trees of the province. and went straight up to Athos. At length Athos refused to rise at all.

of his race.“You have a hidden grief. In fact. he meant to send to D’Artagnan. At this moment. or Aramis. indifferent life would be beyond my strength. told himself that words were useless. “for as long as Raoul lives. doctor. your son lives. and he read. Look. I repeat it. remedies absurd. Raoul! thanks! thou keepest thy promise. “Oh! Raoul. ever so dear a friend. By intense thinking. doctor. lying down. to prevail upon him to recommence the painful voyage to Belle-Isle. thou warnest me!” And Athos. almost ashamed of having given way before this superior natural event. Lying down like the soldiers. oh! be satisfied of that. Athos forgot himself. Athos’s Vision.” “Monsieur le comte.” replied Raoul. it will be plainly known. that is my malady. and I do not conceal it. nor at the place the earth was going to lose them. Athos evinced neither anger nor vexation at having been disturbed. the word is the one which paints my present life. where they were waiting to embark. he clasped his cuirass slowly. I await the signal—I wait. I leave life suspended within me. The momentary repose which this forgetfulness thus gave the body. Who will make me that summons? life or death? God or Raoul? My baggage is packed. he appreciated the strength of that body. arms stacked—they waited.” added he. “Porthos is dead!” cried he. for Athos lived a double life during these wanderings of his understanding. half on one element. de Beaufort in person. more obscure than other people would have called a dream. “What afflicts me is the death of Porthos. he dreamt that Raoul was dressing himself in a tent. When this fainting of Athos had ceased. baggage prepared. my soul is prepared. He did not even desire that all letters that came should be brought to him directly.” thought the comte. remember those soldiers we have so often seen together at the ports. for as long as he lives. doctor. to open more certain correspondences with either Africa. now I have no longer Raoul with me. Chapter LVII. The doctor being gone. tenderly. Athos wished to go and pay his friend Porthos a last visit. he is strong. which his servants would have paid with their blood to procure him. they were neither at the place where the sea was going to carry them.” “Concealed!—not at all. he has all the future before him—the future of men of merit. for a few hours at most. to go upon an expedition commanded by M. “I suffer here the grief you soon will feel at home. It gave him sufficient details of the death of Porthos to move the tender and devoted heart of Athos to its innermost fibers. without any other cause than weakness. I wait. At daybreak one of his servants entered his master’s apartment. a hope. minds on the stretch. I prepare myself.” “What do you say?” “A very simple thing. The young man was sad. and slowly he girded on his sword. to accomplish in his company that sad pilgrimage to the tomb of 259 . fainted in his bed. this letter from Aramis informed the Comte de la Fere of the bad success of the expedition of Belle-Isle. my ear on the stretch for the report that may reach me. and gave him a letter which came from Spain. and left the chateau. I wait!” The doctor knew the temper of that mind. seized with a mortal sweat. after the first lines. “What is the matter?” asked his father.” And the vision disappeared with the slumber of Athos. One night. “The writing of Aramis. with a melancholy smile. I wish to be ready to set out at the first summons. I shall live. dressed himself and ordered his horse. doctor. half on the other. exhorting Athos’s servants not to quit him for a moment. the absence of my son. he reflected for the moment. doctor. do not ask me to live amidst noise and merriment. live for him—” “But I do live. still further fatigued the soul. D’Artagnan. Sleep had become rare. in a reverie most profound. He knew very well that every distraction which should arise would be a joy. indifferent. A forgetful. To render this honor to his companion in arms. You do not ask the lamp to burn when the match has not illumed the flame. dissipated. the comte. I vegetate. determined to ride to Blois.

when the father of Raoul felt his head become confused. He commenced the night in this painful persuasion. and there was nothing to the address of the comte. then to return to his dwelling to obey that secret influence which was conducting him to eternity by a mysterious road. whom they saw with pleasure preparing for a journey which might dissipate his melancholy. His imagination penetrated the fields of Africa in the environs of Gigelli. when he felt himself better again. Four times the express sent to Blois had repeated his journey. “it is willed that I should stay at home. It besieged with its last palpitations the tense extremities. where the fire soon caught. the courier had brought no news. His strength seemed to revive and with it the desire to go to Blois. A movement. de Beaufort must have landed with his army. The fever rose: it invaded the chest. but his disturbed slumber resembled torture rather than repose. where M. stretching out his arms. “quick! come closer! I feel my muscles relax—I shall fall from my horse. and carried him as quickly as possible into the house.” replied the comte. “Well! decidedly. was a delay of eight mortal days to be endured. the valet called his comrades by gestures and voice.” The valet had seen the movement made by his master at the moment he received the order. and terrified movements. Free to think. And yet this redoubtable fever had ceased. and without power of action in anything but his brain. a sort of small town. received the comte in his arms.the giant he had so much loved. but only with the aid of his servants was he able painfully to climb into the saddle.” replied his valet de chambre. But scarcely had his joyous servants dressed their master. Athos took a bouillon. Perhaps Athos was dreaming. Athos heaped up during the early hours of this dismal night. indefinable state. A waste of gray rocks. “Something. he sunk again into a state of torpor and anguish. Everything was prepared in his chamber. can add of melancholy suppositions to probabilities already gloomy.” replied Athos. seeing the incontestable improvement. and declared that the comte was saved. He went up to him quickly. disposing himself to sleep. they laid him upon his bed of moss where he passed a full hour before he could recover his spirits. and as they were not yet sufficiently distant from the house for the servants. but left the patient very weak. “This is very strange!” said he to his valet de chambre. and he clearly perceived the impossibility of going one step further. Beyond. Nothing could be more natural than this weakness after then inert repose of the latter days. the animal. with his placid smile. “You will be sure to remember. and bathed his dried lips in a glassful of the wine he loved the best—that old Anjou wine mentioned by Porthos in his admirable will. they lifted him from his horse. at the animal’s first steps. had checked the bit.” said he.” “Monsieur will no doubt hear with pleasure that Blaisois’s son is gone on horseback. The comte reckoned the minutes with despair. ascended. who had been brought back from Blois by Blaisois at his last journey. “Thank you. to give him strength. All that a sick man. Athos knew that the courier only arrived once a week. The comte fell asleep. which dislodged it for the time. in form of an amphitheater among mastictrees and cactus. “how pale you are getting!” “That will not prevent my pursuing my route. irritated by suffering. his legs give way. a shivering seized him again at the turning of the road. scarcely had the comte’s gentlest horse been saddled and brought to the door. The idea that he was forgotten seized him once. that beloved son. of which Athos was unconscious. The day passed away. “wills that I should go no further. confused noises. The servant who watched him saw several times the expression of internal suffering shadowed on his features. Here. and all hastened to his assistance. Athos had gone but a few steps on his return.” said Athos. free in mind. refreshed. who had remained at the door to watch their master’s departure. he shuddered when those minutes made an hour. But suddenly. And he gave his horse his head again. who accompanied him. Soon it gained the head.” said he. Then. Then commenced for Athos a strange. monsieur—I conjure you!” replied the faithful servant. it ended by yielding as midnight struck. Everybody in the house had given up all hopes of the courier—his hour had long passed. stopped. now I have once started. Support me.” His people flocked around him. he had his horse brought again. after having ordered some prescriptions. Blaisois’s son returned. his mind turned towards Raoul. then. according to the expression of the physician. and they put him to bed. to gain an hour over the courier of Blois. not to perceive the disorder in the usually regular proceeding of the comte. He did not go a hundred paces. All of a sudden. instead of obeying the thought of his master. rendered green in certain parts by the waters of the sea. “that I expect letters from Africa this very day. “Let us stop. when it lashed the shore in storms and tempest. full of smoke. The physician.” added he. He ordered himself to be carried into the sun. strewed over with these rocks like gravestones. from the bosom of 260 . the shore. returned to Blois. He made his horse turn round: but. and brought on a fearful pang of the heart. The physician made two successive bleedings.

with his head beaten to pieces. but wished to open his arms. as if the young man had been drawn away in his own despite. The large blazing stars which spangled the African sky glittered and gleamed without illuminating anything. creeping along the houses. stiff. not a shepherd in charge of the flocks. Raoul rose insensibly into the void. the smoke began to subside. stones and ditches. He was convinced by this touch that he was present. of swords broken. a ruin and destruction magically wrought without the co-operation of a single human being.—when he saw the slaughtered horses. like a vigilant eye. paled and disappeared entirely. But not a soldier to apply the match to the batteries of cannon. made a last effort. Who can paint the mortal agony with which his soul followed. But yet. to see if Raoul slept among them? Who can express the intoxication of joy with which Athos bowed before God. There was. musketry madly barked. After the ruin of the village. still recognizable with ease. smiling. one after the other. The gray rocks. and the latter also stretched out his. painfully traversing briers and bushes. and Athos saw the clear blue sky shine between the feet of his child and the ground of the hill. he was astonished. a frightful pele-mele of timbers falling to pieces. The comte attempted to utter a cry. directed him to be silent. then. and increased by degrees. but suddenly. still calling with gesture:— he departed towards heaven. stopping short and fixing his eyes upon it.this smoke arose a flame. seemed to turn with complacency towards the Comte de la Fere. these effigies of clay-cold soldiers. because in this silent officer he had already recognized Raoul. placing his finger on his lips and drawing back by degrees. looking up to the bright heavens as if to demand back of them the souls to which they had opened a passage. which succeeded. thrown out in black. A long silence ensued. which he was astonished not to find burning. we say. upon the horizon whitened by the moon. The cannon thundered at a distance. And. It was a strange thing that in this chaos. the sea moaned. shed its diamonds and opals upon the briers and bushes of the hills. he did not see one human figure. was now strewn with fallen bodies. Fatigued. and climbed the mountain after the young man. He looked for a soldier to conduct him to the tent of M. in the first ranks of the dead. as a spectator. and groans. Athos uttered a cry of tenderness and terror. therefore. When he saw all the gaping wounds. To such a point did the illusion extend. repose to the troubled imagination of Athos. He looked below again. sobs. on the top of which floated the white fleur-de-lised pennon. which gave. still retreating. de Beaufort. the flames were extinguished. with having traversed seas and continents. turning on all sides. then diminished in intensity. Raoul. exhausted. not a sailor to assist in maneuvering the fleet. whom the inequalities of the path fatigued. This figure was clothed in the costume of an officer. still paler than Raoul. the dead. the day after the battle fought upon the shores of Gigelli by the army of the expedition. and thanked Him for not having seen him he sought with so much fear among the dead? In fact. staining their furniture and their manes. he saw a white form appear behind the scented myrtles. he saw the figure of his son still beckoning him to climb the mystic void. that this vision was for him a real voyage made by the father into Africa. Night then came over the scene. The comte. Raoul not appearing to touch the earth. which he had seen leave the coast of France and disappear upon the dim horizon. he left the earth. not to perceive the survivors. streaking at first the undulating ripples of the sea. who. who attracted him by gesture and by smile. soon stopped. but it was stifled in his throat. Athos reached forth his hand to get closer to his beloved son upon the plateau.—when he saw the white horse of M. for a moment. and saw. This spectacle was soon continued for him. uniting in its red and angry vortices tears. de Beaufort. screams. night dark upon the earth. trees burnt and disappearing. The tender father. appeared to raise their heads to examine likewise the field of battle by the light of the moon. fallen in their ranks. in which he heard cries. 261 . and supplicating arms outstretched to Heaven. and all those white bodies of the royal army. like so many motionless atoms. empty during the combat. he applied more attentively the eyes of his understanding on the strange spectacle which his imagination had presented. neither spoke nor moved. with their long pikes and blue handles. stiff. in which Athos distinguished raised arms. to obtain more exact information respecting his son. while his eye was wandering over the plain. which appeared to have calmed after the roaring it had sent forth during the vision of Athos—the moon. raising his head. so many silent and attentive phantoms. Then. in covering the entire surface of the town. An inexpressible shudder of fear and horror seized his soul as he recognized the white and blue uniforms of the soldiers of Picardy. icy. flocks made their escape. during his sad review. brilliant in the firmament. without Athos being able to see his legs move. with a gesture. it advanced slowly towards Athos. Raoul still continued to beckon him to follow him. and muskets marked with the fleur-de-lis on the butts. He saw a camp destroyed. the destruction of the forts which dominated it. he sought repose under one of the tents sheltered behind a rock. no obstacle seeming to impede the lightness of his march. Athos passed a cold hand over his brow. it held in its hand a broken sword. and examined them. to whom love restored strength. to be the better seen by him. the aerial form of Raoul. without delirium’s dreadful aid. At length he gained the crest of the hill. and Athos perceived that the field. of stones calcined. followed his son. The comte. and of which he had saluted with thought and gesture the last cannon-shot fired by the duke as a signal of farewell to his country. A mild pale moon rose behind the declivities of the coast. while viewing all these bodies. their tongues hanging out at one side of their mouths. sleeping in the shiny blood congealed around them. and as he felt that that which he saw was not terminated. bounding over the verdant slope. for a moment.

with their eyes fixed upon the bed of their sick master. the smile did not quit his lips. And the sweat began to pour down his face. still young with courage and devotion. remained tongue-tied whilst looking at each other. in the dread of the other life of which they get but merest glimpses by the dismal murky torch of death. never again to come out of it. patient. The old servitor bore upon his countenance the impression of a grief already old. and Athos. and in the same tone he would have employed to speak to Raoul in his dream: “Grimaud. had opened with an indulgent finger the gates of eternity to that noble soul. which had recently galloped. and whose eyes. Then arose voices of lamentation. and he murmured low. he was now accustomed not to smile at all. into the contemplation of that paradise which the living never see. at this hour when other men tremble with the idea of being severely received by the Lord. By the exchange of a single glance they had just read to the bottom of each other’s hearts.” replied a voice which made the father of Raoul start upright in his bed. convulsions of the last departure. to open to this elect the treasures of eternal beatitude. Without uttering a cry. for after having gently closed his eyes. Athos did not stir from the place he occupied. Athos read at a glance all these shades upon the visage of his faithful servant. A horse was heard galloping over the hard gravel of the great alley. when he jumped the first into the boat destined to convey Raoul de Bragelonne to the vessels of the royal fleet. resigned as a martyr. which groaned without measure. who had smiled upon him. which aspired to be like the paternal soul. had led him before. the beloved shade that was leaving him at the moment of Grimaud’s arrival. These two men who had lived so long together in a community of intelligence. heaving the monosyllable from his chest with a hoarse. bathed by the fresh air of night. resuming his marvelous dream. He appeared to have no longer in use more than a single version of his thoughts. The Angel of Death. without shedding a tear. knew how to say so many things silently—these two old friends. in order there to see again. Everything for this just man was melody and perfume in the rough road souls take to return to the celestial country. God had no doubt ordered it thus that the pious re262 . is it not?” “No. no doubt. when the charm was suddenly broken by a great noise rising from the outer gates. broken sigh. God willed. and cling to this life they know. the outward token of a grim familiarity with woe. ‘Twas now a stern and pale old man. Athos softly raised his hands as white as wax.” replied the old man. Without doubt. he scarcely turned his head towards the door to ascertain the sooner what these noises could be. and the sound of noisy and animated conversations ascended to the chamber in which the comte was dreaming. which by degrees approached the chamber. “Yes. which brought upon its wings the aroma of the flowers and the woods. It had spared him the tortures of the agony. the countenance of his master. so low as scarcely to be audible. at once so terrible and sweet. As formerly he was accustomed not to speak much. This was for Athos like the transition which led to his dream. and filled with regrets and prayers the chamber where the agonized father sought with his eyes the portrait of his son. he repassed by the same road by which the vision. accustomed to economize expressions. he reopened them and began to smile: he had just seen Raoul. Athos was spirit-guided by the pure serene soul of his son. With his hands joined upon his breast. turning a little towards the part of the room the noise came from. rising above the mountain of Gigelli. if they were unequal in fortune and birth. and was near falling on seeing. and a heart-breaking silence followed. cried. After an hour of this ecstasy. Great hesitation appeared in the steps. A door was opened. “Raoul is dead. He trembled whilst leaning against the door-frame. It was no longer the Grimaud we have seen. in a weak voice: “It is a courier from Africa. these three words addressed to God or to Raoul: “HERE I AM!” And his hands fell slowly. They heard the terrible question. “Grimaud!” murmured he. while looking towards the heavens. monsieur le comte. the horse. his face turned towards the window. Is it not so?” Behind Grimaud the other servants listened breathlessly. Grimaud appeared in the doorway. and hair whitened by old age.” said he. mild. one as noble as the other in heart. Athos entered. Death had been kind and mild to this noble creature. his clothes covered with dust. he raised his eyes towards Heaven. Athos was at this part of his marvelous vision. departed slowly towards the stables. as though he himself had laid them on the bed. by the light of the lamps.Chapter LVIII. A heavy step ascended the stairs.

“Grimaud.” faltered out Grimaud. by anxiously listening.” Grimaud drew from his breast a large letter. he rose completely up. The Bulletin. All at once the bitter flood which mounted from minute to minute invaded his heart. at the very moment. But Grimaud. or for the first time disturb the slumber of his master. he made him a sign to come to him. who seemed only to wait for an explosion of grief. Chapter LIX. presented the most touching spectacle that D’Artagnan. agitated even to tears. biting his fingers to stifle his sighs—D’Artagnan went up once more. fatigued as he was. D’Artagnan went down again. “Athos! Athos! my friend!” cried this voice. trembling. while walking about in the first steel-chill rays of dawn. followed by Grimaud. who wept. refused to leave the room. The comte’s people wished to remove Grimaud. “Monsieur le Chevalier d’Artagnan. watching his master with the vigilance of a sentinel. He sat himself down upon the threshold. and when he had gained the vestibule. He raised himself with his hands leaning on the ground. and for whom each of his movements had been a revelation. “I have seen how the father died. Had not Athos always bidden him be dumb? At daybreak D’Artagnan. to give his best friend. from pious fear of bringing to him the breath of death. answered to it by their lugubrious clamors. in the dark alley of old limes. which the faithful servant obeyed without making more noise than a shadow. who. nor breath! D’Artagnan drew back. de Beaufort. came timidly. who had followed him with his eyes. He was feeding his soul with the remembrances the noble visage of the comte brought to his mind in crowds—some blooming and charming as that smile—some dark. upon the envelope of which was traced the address of Athos. dismal. who had been so kind and affectionate to him for five and thirty years. and. who seemed to have burnished his last thought. and did not approach. He advanced on tip-toe. and in the memory of other men—a death which caused to be loved the passage from this life to the other by those whose existence upon this earth leads them not to dread the last judgment. had ever met with. This old man in invincible despair. A voice more sonorous than brass or steel resounded within three paces of him. and tearing himself violently from the chamber where he had just found dead him to whom he came to report the news of the death of Porthos. “Where is he? Where is he?” continued the musketeer. his heart rent by a nameless agony. The noises all were quiet in the house—every one respected the slumber of their lord. and with his trembling fingers closed his eyes. D’Artagnan went and kissed Athos fervently on the brow. looked to see if there did not appear some motion in the body of his master. He recognized the writing of M. and began to read. The captain resumed standing in contemplation before that smiling dead man. He placed his ear to the breast of Athos. A noise of spurs knocking against a sword—a warlike sound familiar to his ears—stopped him as he was going towards the bed of Athos. that placid and sincere smile—an ornament which was to accompany him to the tomb. marked by the still visible footsteps of the comte who had just died. and watching the moments when Grimaud turned his head towards him. But Grimaud. Nothing! Fear seized him. Then large drops began to flow from his red eyes. perceived that the comte no longer breathed. A choked respiration.” said he. Even in the paroxysm of his grief he would not have dared to profane the dead. Grimaud was the only one who did not lift up his voice. taking the old man’s hands. he uttered sobs so heart-rending that the servants. Grimaud.membrance of this death should remain in the hearts of those present. seated himself at the foot of the bed. swelled the throat of D’Artagnan. frightened at the noise his feet made on the floor. and icy as that visage with its eyes now closed to all eternity. the opposite to a sharp cry. who had wandered about the lower hall. and swelled his breast almost to bursting. and glued his lips to the sheet which was raised by the stiffened feet of his master. and pointed to the bed. bent doubled without uttering a word. upon the sheets of which the livid tints of death already showed. jealous to receive either his first waking look or his last dying sigh. he arose. the man he had loved next to Raoul. now let me know about the son. his face to the comte’s mouth. even in the eternal sleep. Grimaud seized his arm in his bony fingers. heard some one coming up the stairs. devoured the face now quickly growing marble-pale. 263 . Neither noise. Incapable of mastering his emotion. a gracious welcome even beyond life. in a life so filled with emotion. and the dogs of the late comte by their lamentable howlings. broke the seal. And for reply to that exalted flattery of hospitality. Then he seated himself by the pillow without dread of that dead man. from a distance. The quietude and calm of his fine features made his servants for a long time doubt whether he had really quitted life. Athos preserved.

and with a heart armed against tenderness. the pikemen with pikes elevated. D’Artagnan. finding themselves seriously injured by the balls from the fleet. ‘You see. understood that he must act without orders. Repulsed by the firm attitude of the battalion. With monseigneur were the oldest captains and his aides-de-camp. which had but small effect. and the event took upon itself to justify his foresight and refusal. killed several men near the prince. dyeing the sand with his blood. ‘Stop. advancing against the ramparts. He fought near the prince with the valor of a Roman. I beseech you. and rushed full tilt upon the columns of infantry. Report that. M. however. which was not on its guard at that moment. commanded the frigates moored in the little road to commence a regular fire against the place. Heaven distributes trials according to the greatness of our hearts. The regiments formed in column. ‘Vrai Dieu! Young man. le Duc de Beaufort. Then the Arabs. There was a sort of hesitation in our troops. He excited himself to such a degree that monseigneur called to him to stop. which. He was quite right. so gloriously that I have not the strength to weep as I could wish. and it is so delightful to distinguish ourselves before our general.’ M. began to regulate their fire. some day. comprehending the bad effect of this position on the siege artillery. As M. were rather roughly handled. M.” The letter contained a relation written by one of the prince’s secretaries. In fact. “monseigneur commanded the attack. the name of that beloved boy who had become a shade now—like his father. of that dismal episode which unraveled two existences. The prince followed attentively the march and movements of the troops. I have saved your life. “Monseigneur. stopped this mad assault. and M. But it was evident that his bravery did not arise from that sentiment of pride so natural to all who fight. so as to be able to sustain them with a strong reserve. by the soul of Henry IV. de Bragelonne was a well-disciplined officer. and the most true.” said the prince’s secretary. the regiments marched full of resolution. he sought to glut. and replied. affected. but. The grenadiers of the two regiments got near enough to the ditches and intrenchments to launch their grenades. in order that. the Arabs threw themselves with fury towards the etat-major. when two shots from long carbines issued from the enemy’s ranks and laid him low.” wrote the prince. the batteries which had been established the evening before had but a weak and uncertain aim. bent over their saddles. monseigneur drew his sword. gave different orders. d’Estrees. who found themselves ill-seconded by the artillery. I mean to keep my word. le Vicomte de Bragelonne had received orders not to leave his highness. The upward direction of the aim lessened the justness of the shots as well as their range. one would say that your mouth waters for death. the musket-bearers with their weapons ready. he may thank me. but not above your courage. stop. le Comte de la Fere. Normandy and Picardy had taken positions in the rocks dominated by the heights of the mountain. his secretaries and people imitated him.—”a great misfortune has struck us amidst a great triumph. The king loses one of the bravest of soldiers. where the poor sergeant has fallen. and the balls. “The danger was great. de Bragelonne made this reply in such a tone that monseigneur answered him warmly. He has died gloriously. Their horsemen descended the mountain at a gallop. crossing their pikes. ‘It is true. I lose a friend.’ “Monseigneur was a little softened by this. M. intoxicate himself with strife and carnage. the officers of the suite engaged in combat with the furious Arabs. crying. particularly when that general is M. He did not. The letter destined for the living only reached the dead. better directed. Monseigneur was right. de Bragelonne was able to satisfy the inclination he had so clearly shown from the commencement of the action. pardon me. “LE DUC DE BEAUFORT. for he loved and wished to spare the young nobleman. “MY DEAR COMTE. de Bragelonne offered himself at once to carry this order. observing which. “In the morning. I have always had a desire to meet good opportunities. school-boy’s hand. and should be at rest. “The cannon opened the action. and opened fire. learning it from you. which at first thundered with little success against the masses. In the meanwhile. turning to the officers who surrounded him. upon the declivity of which were raised the bastions of Gigelli. in his large.. Receive my sad compliments. and beholding the destruction and the ruin of their walls. vicomte. Bragelonne! Where are 264 . my dear comte. M. who said to him. and killed three Arabs with his small sword. in a lower voice. uttered the most fearful cries. Your good friend. It was then M. and.’ The young nobleman smiled sadly. and. accustomed to battle emotions. de Bragelonne gained the seashore. But monseigneur refused to acquiesce in the vicomte’s request. de Bragelonne. this disobedience to the orders of monseigneur very much surprised everybody. de Beaufort redoubled his earnestness. who commanded the fleet.The Duc de Beaufort wrote to Athos. He must have heard the voice of monseigneur. on account of their position. It was the most touching recital. This is an immense one. having seen the attempt of the sergeant to approach the vessels. to M. for scarcely had the sergeant charged with the message solicited by M. You lose M. and replied to the duke. It was impetuous. de Bragelonne smiled at monseigneur. In the meantime the enemy’s cannon. could not help starting on reading the name of Raoul. I have promised your father to bring you back alive. because we who were close to him heard it. even forced. monseigneur. that but for your kindness I should have been killed. ‘Monseigneur. and. The sergeant fell. God had changed the address.’ “Monseigneur de Bragelonne colored. but continued his course to the intrenchments. please the Lord.

“The vicomte was summoned to surrender by the Arabs. ‘I command you!’ “We all. and M. that the fall had accelerated his end. by the side of at least fifty of our troops. who had eight large wounds in his body. It was at this moment the second discharge shook the walls. imitating the gesture of M. even a finger. “’Stop. we will save you yet. But Monseigneur le Duc de Beaufort had followed all this with his eyes. but this time the smoke dispersed in vain. At three o’clock the fire of the Arabs ceased.’ “In the evening. the enemy had abandoned his positions. It was a lieutenant from Normandy who took the body of the vicomte on his shoulders and carried it back to the lines. thought he perceived a faint and sad smile glide over the lips of M. ‘Throw yourself off. but so strong was the constitution of the wounded. replied that he saw plainly three mortal wounds out of eight. and had watched him precede the first grenadiers. named Luzerne. Bragelonne!’ repeated the prince. We all ran up in disorder. 265 . M. we then concluded that his horse must have run away with him. the cursed jennet was irritated. but rushed out again immediately. Monseigneur threw his arms around their necks. The third surgeon was the brother of Sylvain de Saint-Cosme. the regiments took the reserve with them. ‘stop! in the name of your father!’ “At these words M. rushing in his steps. de Bragelonne fixed his eyes steadily upon the skillful surgeon. seeing the Arabs running like white phantoms among the mastic-trees. and continued to march towards the palisades. at the foot of his bed. and promised them a thousand louis each if they could save him. shouted in the loudest manner. Instead of falling. le duc with us. on leaving the tent. upon being questioned by monseigneur. At five o’clock we were victorious at all points. and so merciful was the goodness of God. He was down. The latter. when a discharge was poured upon him that enshrouded him in fire and smoke. de Bragelonne turned round. when it was believed the wounded youth had taken some repose. It was then we had time to think of M. uttering loud cries. since illchance had led him so near. and seemed to interrogate his every movement. particularly in one of the secretaries when he had heard what follows. de Bragelonne continued to ride towards the palisades. he expressed by his countenance a contradiction. who took aim at the animal. he himself rode towards the enemy. ‘Grenadiers! lancers! will you let them take that noble body?’ “Saying these words and waving his sword. bathed in the remainder of his blood. however. but he did not stop. vicomte. his highness cried. his horse was killed. and said nothing. fired. It appeared that he had suffered some convulsion. in a very loud voice. de Bragelonne might recover. he was on foot. and with such inveteracy was it fought that a hundred and sixty Arabs were left upon the field. he had breathed. which afforded inexpressible joy to monseigneur. and the Arabs began to think of leaving their intrenchments to come and cut off his head or take his body—as is the custom with the infidels.’ repeated monseigneur. de Bragelonne upon the ground. and the sad spectacle drew from him many painful sighs. for we saw the blood redden the hair of the horse. and the assistant pointed to the body of M. with his head lower than his legs. When M. and the enemy’s palisades were utterly destroyed. ran in their turn. de Bragelonne. Nevertheless the entire army was pleased that he would not retreat. but M. among the bushes.’ and we all left the tent in very low spirits. and hit him in the quarters. who insisted on being present at the first dressing of the wounds and the consultation of the surgeons. the most learned of them all. we all raised our hands. particularly if he did not move in the slightest manner. and the two regiments clapped their hands. according to the prognosis of Frere Sylvain. le duc. he was a sharp-shooter of the regiment of Picardy. or you will kill him. we no longer saw him standing. le duc ordered the white flag to be planted on the summit of the little mountain. turning towards his assistants. “The combat commenced over the body of M. and carried him on more furiously than ever. de Bragelonne was an officer much beloved in the army. There were two among them who declared M. le duc saw cause to conclude that the vicomte was no longer master of his horse. Frere Sylvain added. kind voice. We lost sight of him. and that he had fallen. pursued. ‘We will save you. that perhaps M. his countenance expressed a lively grief. so rich was he in youth. Still. He marched a few paces further. de Bragelonne when the duke said to him. ‘Musketeers. the smoke dispersed. some delirium. de Bragelonne. through which almost all his blood had welled away. but he made them a negative sign with his head. de Bragelonne would live. “The vicomte heard these transports of joy. This was a mortal imprudence. and the Vicomte de Bragelonne again disappeared in the smoke. Already had the vicomte arrived within pistol-shot of the ramparts. and whether he was in despair. M. it was a massacre. however. The regiments. which gave rise to reflection. upright. At length one presented himself. Every Picard who saw this unfortunate young man rushing on to meet certain death. do not allow him to move. one of the assistants entered his tent. We expected that the cavalier would turn bridle. He probed the wounds in his turn. That secretary I have mentioned. ‘Above everything. kill his horse! A hundred pistoles for the man who kills his horse!’ But who could expect to hit the beast without at least wounding his rider? No one dared the attempt. the hand-to-hand fight lasted two hours. uttering cries as terrible as those of the Arabs were wild. He then cried aloud. The advantage was. or whether he suffered much from his wounds.you going? Stop. monsieur le vicomte!—off!—off! throw yourself off!’ M. in a cheerful.

Grimaud. He shuddered at seeing the father and son.” Then followed the details of the expedition. and raised his eyes eloquently towards Heaven. and led the way to the hall. and showed him. Thou hast willed it to be so. He had had the stones. He held a lock of fair hair in his right hand. de Beaufort’s secretary had written more than he. le Comte de la Fere. showed the captain with his finger the place of the empty bed. so closely after the death of Porthos. and all the vassals of his domain. those two departed souls. thus rebuilt. the musketeer saw neither servants nor guests. Chapter LX. in which Athos slept in eternal sleep. the road from the city was filled with horsemen and pedestrians in mourning. after the manner practiced by the Arabs when they wish their dead to be carried to their native land. It was ministered in every Sunday. The captain turned away his eyes. from the noises in the house. “yes. by the cure of the neighboring bourg. brought from an old Gothic manor-house in Berry. to whom Athos paid an allowance of two hundred francs for this service. D’Artagnan was struck at seeing two open coffins in the hall. still handsome in death. and monsieur le duc has appointed relays.” And he returned through the parterre with slow and melancholy steps. for a long time oppressed that spirit which had hitherto been so indefatigable and invulnerable. of the environs. melancholy bodies. Grimaud descended to the comte’s bed-chamber. Athos had chosen for his resting-place the little inclosure of a chapel erected by himself near the boundary of his estates. as we have said. it seemed to thee a preferable gift to life. then. The chapel. and wherever messengers had carried the news. “Raoul here!” murmured he. On the morrow. came thither to hear mass. without having any occasion to go to the city. he made a sign to D’Artagnan to follow him. my dear boy—I. represented on earth by two silent. had seated himself upon a joint-stool near the door. Two such heavy deaths falling upon the captain. like a man who meditates profoundly. “now I believe them to be happy. might have been seen arriving in detachments. the black wounds by which life had escaped. cut in 1550. according to the custom of the province. why did you not tell me this?” Grimaud shook his head.” At length arrived the moment when the chill remains of these two gentlemen were to be given back to mother earth. he was cold and dead. the body was laid out. however close they might be. judging it was useless to question Grimaud. he led him to the coffin. and. “I shall follow thy funeral. with their families. so that the same confidential servant who brought up the young man might take back his remains to M.” said he. There was such an affluence of military and other people that up to the place of the sepulture. without being willing to speak to anybody. in a low voice. he recollected that M. good Grimaud—now with the son he loved so much!” Grimaud left the chamber. who would not answer. rising. who entered his chamber once. who am of no value on earth—and I shall scatter dust upon that brow I kissed but two months since. The Last Canto of the Poem. which ended the concluding paragraph of the letter: “Monseigneur le duc has ordered that the body of monsieur le vicomte should be embalmed. which was a little chapel on the plain. He supposed. D’Artagnan. previously to being put away forever. “Oh! Grimaud.” thought D’Artagnan. and. The latter obeyed in silence. D’Artagnan stopped at the account of the death of poor Raoul. transported. “unhappy boy! a suicide!” And turning his eyes towards the chamber of the chateau. Raoul with his eyes closed. and of the victory obtained over the Arabs. and making preparations for the funeral. which had sheltered his early youth. Except Grimaud. under the thin winding-sheet. all the noblesse of the provinces. where. God has willed it to be so. and that hand was tightly pressed upon his heart.” “And so. He wrote to the king to ask for an extension of his leave of absence. had entered D’Artagnan’s apartment. incapable of touching each other. but taking D’Artagnan by the hand. he found these words. D’Artagnan had shut himself up. and saw in one of them Athos. was pleasing to the eye beneath its leafy curtains of poplars and sycamores. and made no reply. “Yes. “They kept their words with each other.We raised the vicomte. already old—I. “Oh!” murmured he. Thou hast chosen death. and the continual coming and going. 266 . All the village—all the neighborhood—were filled with grieving neighbors relating to each other the double catastrophe. his cheeks pearly as those of the Palls of Virgil.” replied D’Artagnan. they must be reunited. with a smile on his violet lips. he approached. that preparations were being made for the funeral of the comte. in the other. In reply to the mute invitation of Grimaud. Taking up the recital of the affair which had cost Raoul his life. I have no longer the right even to weep. thyself. had had the courage to read.

because the mosses there grew thick. madame. a well-known face. a prisoner in its marble cistern. and wished.—now I have no longer anything to wish for. wild heliotrope and ravenelles there mingled perfumes. I should better have liked to see you decked with flowers in the mansion of the Comte de la Fere. D’Artagnan in vain sought to make out what caused her delay. because then I hoped. coldly. a travelling carriage was in waiting for this lady. the assembly dispersed. of the hopes the son had given. but I must say that the place of the murderer is not upon the grave of her victims.—”it was you who sped these two men to the grave. and also to endeavor to find out who was the pious friend who performed this sacred duty with so much zeal and perseverance. she must be a woman of distinction.” added this pitiless friend of the dead. touched by this love for his so much regretted friends. all noises were extinguished. surrounded by two high hedges of hazel. “I have already told the king. and of his melancholy end upon the arid coast of Africa. the little inclosure— uncultivated. “You!” replied the captain. as the priest had done. by which D’Artagnan perceived she was weeping.” interrupted Louise. you know whether I suffered when you met me lost. perceived that night was coming on. or that I should make her weep in vain.” said she. Outside the inclosure were several horses mounted by servants. He beheld her strike her breast with the compunction of a Christian woman. I pardon her while despising her. and frequently pressed her handkerchief to her face. and I feel that he whom I love—oh! it is but just!—will repay me with the tortures I have made others undergo. But as soon as his step sounded on the gravel. which were white as alabaster. dying. kneeling on the moist earth.” “Oh! spare me!” “God forbid.” “I will repeat to you. “What I now tell you. She continued praying. in order to interrupt the melancholy colloquy of the penitent with the dead. It was to this place the somber coffins were carried. at Antibes. He heard her several times exclaim as from a wounded heart: “Pardon! pardon!” And as she appeared to abandon herself entirely to her grief. to go and bid a last adieu to the double grave which contained his two lost friends. D’Artagnan. along the roads. then. It was Mademoiselle de la Valliere! “Monsieur d’Artagnan!” murmured she. and on the thyme all around alighted thousands of bees from the neighboring plants. the last adieux paid to the noble departed. left alone.” said D’Artagnan. Little by little.’” “You know. exhausted by complaints and prayers. mademoiselle. I pardon her. made a few steps towards the grave. followed by his assistant. “you here!—oh! madame. If love has produced her error. “For it was you. to avoid disturbing her. He arose from the oaken bench on which he was seated in the chapel. I have two punishments to expect from Heaven. “what M. the unknown raised her head. whilst chaffinches and redthroats sang cheerfully among the flower-spangled hedges. he slowly took the road back to the presbytery. I know that the death of the son has killed the father. A woman was praying. D’Artagnan stopped at the door of the chapel. in a stern voice. I have traveled during the night forty leagues to come and ask pardon of the comte. talking. and to pray God. “I know.” 267 . desired. almost fainting. like the lamps illuminating the humble nave. I have two crimes to reproach myself with. when he already meditated death: ‘If pride and coquetry have misled her. The unknown had hidden her face in her hands.” added he. that he would send me all the misfortunes I have merited. but I swear that no one could have loved her as I have done. de Bragelonne said of you. on the tomb of Raoul. “that of my love I was about to sacrifice myself. Now. because I can no longer dare to love without remorse. The minister bowed for the last time to the altar and the still fresh graves. thinking only of the dead. attended by a silent and respectful crowd.” She wished to reply. whom I supposed to be still living. that I should offend a woman. “I have caused the death of the Vicomte de Bragelonne. abandoned. From the noble simplicity of her costume.Behind the chapel extended. elder and white thorn.” She clasped her hands. except a single one. and a deep ditch. You would have wept less—and they too—and I!” “Monsieur!” said she. monsieur. He had forgotten the hour. The office of the dead being celebrated. sobbing. though gay in its sterility. revealing to D’Artagnan a face aflood with tears. of the virtues and mild death of the father.” “Ah! you know it?” “The news arrived at court yesterday. while from beneath an ancient chestnut issued a crystal spring. because this death drags all my joy into the tomb. as she threw herself down. Well! never have I suffered so much as now. D’Artagnan.

he was too well convinced that she was not mistaken. and I have not paid all my debt. I know not whither. in an agitated voice. He rejoined the party outside the inclosure. who possessed all I have named. I love madly. I shall suffer so much that you yourself will be the first to pity my sufferings. traversed Blois early in the morning. d’Artagnan does not get any older. and carriage. See. signed himself as if he had been at the benitier in church.” 268 . that if with my life I could have redeemed thine. He seemed a little bent. He was looking about him watchfully. do not overwhelm me to-day. and disappeared. this moss. leave it to me for a few days. “when you will repent of having so misjudged me. personages greatly respected in the time of Louis XIII. fear nothing. “Forward! still forward!” said he.” said the captain bitterly to the young woman. she again knelt down. with the ends of his fingers. upon a splendid horse. “You see. My God! this double murder is perhaps already expiated!” While she was speaking thus. softly and affectionately. “Well. it costs me dear. when they perceived certain little groups of soldiers. but rather neglected by his successor. and wealth have disappeared? That rock. “I have broken our chain.” said the keeper of the harriers to his colleague the falconer. it is I who will pray God to forgive you for having been unjust towards me. the sound of voices and of horses drew the attention of the captain. half concealed by the trunk of a chestnut-tree which shaded the double grave. Four years after the scene we have just described.” Saying these words. who possessed much more!” He hesitated for a moment. over the ashes of the dead. Once more. we are both destined to die of grief. Besides. were returning. even to the point of coming to tell it. M. I no longer hold to anything in this world—a current drags me on. madame. These were the keeper of the king’s harriers and the master of the falcons. glory. wretch that I am. Monsieur d’Artagnan. forgive me. wiping the tears from her eyes.. On that day. “A day will come. the heavily stricken lady bowed to D’Artagnan. two horsemen. the captain.” He touched the earth. forgotten. and that I have come to bid thee this last adieu.” said she. dearest. “M. with a dull eye. perhaps it no longer exists. only. Raoul.” Saint-Aignan did not perceive D’Artagnan. he has the seat of a young man on horseback. “is a prey to jealousy and uneasiness. horsemen. strength. which borders on the one side Meung. as he foretold the others. “Pardon me the last time. “What is there left for man after youth. The captain watched the departure of the horses. “When will it be my turn to depart?” said he. Behind them came. “When it is time. moistened with the evening dew. I would have given that life without hesitation.” The young woman raised her head with a solemn air. their observations made. whom the sergeants were placing at distances at the openings of the inclosures. I shall follow thee. known by his richly embroidered uniform. spare me in my ephemeral happiness. Such love is a religion. The horsemen. love. here and there. that I have not been base. although sitting and handling his horse gracefully. kindest friend. “with ten years more to carry than either of us. then. my affianced Raoul!” said she. under which repose Athos and Raoul. friendship.” She strewed a few sweet flowers on the freshly sodded earth. “dear Monsieur d’Artagnan. his beard turning so. His hair was gray. “The king. then. as you will see me punished. as I am destined to be punished. well mounted. Louise thanked Saint-Aignan.—”you see your happiness still lasts. as hereafter you will see me alone. then crossing his arms upon his swelling chest. I could not give my love. for a few minutes. I again implore you! I am like the branch torn from the trunk. then. disdained. for the purpose of arranging a hawking party the king had arranged to make in that uneven plain the Loire divides in two. under which sleeps Porthos. having reconnoitered the ground. Epilogue. Only.D’Artagnan made no reply. even at the moment I am speaking to you. Now. and I do not blush for it—I have no remorse on this account. The Lord is my witness. on the other Amboise. It is thou who departest first. and retook alone—ever alone—the road to Paris. These were the king’s musketeers. de Saint-Aignan came to seek La Valliere. Do not reproach me with my fleeting happiness. drawing himself up. God will tell me.” added she.” he said. and dismissed him with a gesture.

poor M. and that the execution was ordered. pensively. He had the good fortune to be conducted there by you. I should pity you and would not allow people to speak ill of you. D’Artagnan accosted the officers with the shade of affability which distinguishes superiors. the poor man had a close chance of the scaffold. laughing. Monsieur d’Artagnan. “Monsieur. and that to save his life from the claws of parliament was to be under too much obligation to Heaven. he robbed the king sufficiently. monsieur the keeper of the harriers.” said the falconer. “It must be full two hundred leagues from hence to Pignerol.” said the falconer. “I don’t see any change in him for the last twenty years. monsieur le capitaine?” continued the falconer. he has richly deserved it. “Yes.” said the keeper of the harriers.” replied D’Artagnan. and allowed the falconer to get two steps in advance of him nearer to D’Artagnan. “And.” replied D’Artagnan.” continued the falconer. monsieur le comte. D’Artagnan made no reply.” “Ah! yes. “Do you remember.” “Enough!” said D’Artagnan. “He is content. it was a good time. quietly. “Never mind that. And yet. Age had printed its pitiless claws at each angle of his eyes. seeing that it is always a good time when we are young. he says that parliament absolved him by banishing him. his brow was bald. “is he well?” “Who?” asked D’Artagnan. “It is rather I who should say that. D’Artagnan in the last four years had lived a dozen.” said D’Artagnan. not only would I refuse to believe it. The title of comte had hardly struck him. messieurs. 269 .” But this officer was mistaken. and as many to return.” “Two hundred and sixty to go.” “Ah! it is not as it was in the good old times. and banishment is. to the musketeer.” D’Artagnan smiled in a melancholy manner at seeing this great political question resolved by the discontent of such humble interest. Monsieur d’Artagnan. “for nowadays.” replied the captain.“That is true.” 7 “And you were nothing but under-corporal of the tiercelets. “the poor man frets terribly. “Are you not very much fatigued with the long journey you have taken. the keeper of the harriers hung his head. or should be. were getting white. if he were a falconer he would not talk in that way. honest man as you may be. “No. Monsieur d’Artagnan!” cried the falconer. and received in turn for his courtesy two most respectful bows. Fouquet. he cannot comprehend how imprisonment can be a favor. “it is said that M. I assure you that you are not more so than poor M.” replied the falconer. Fouquet is now at Pignerol. if any one told me you had eaten your dogs’ meat. the king makes more frequent use of his musketeers than of his falcons. drawing towards them. “we all know that harriers are in fashion nowadays. as if the blood had half forgotten them.” replied the falconer. “Ah! what a lucky chance to see you here. liberty. and with a view of cutting short the conversation. Colbert had given orders to the governor of the Bastile. in a low voice. Fouquet was. “M.” “You do me honor. “Why.” After having undergone this sharp rebuke.” said the latter. and said to him. formerly brown and nervous. if you were condemned to the lash or to jail for it. The keeper of the harriers had prudently withdrawn.” sighed the falconer. when the late king flew the pie in the vineyards beyond Beaugence? Ah! dame! you were not the captain of the musketeers at that time. He cannot imagine that they had sworn his death. monsieur. D’Artagnan had been a comte four years. his hands. but still more. Good day.” D’Artagnan launched at the master of the dogs one of his crossest looks. in a low voice.

I shall fly the birds. give us a good swift bird. since the last chagrin she suffered.—he burned to know. no! not Mademoiselle de la Valliere. It summoned the dogs and the hawks. “Oh! you may safely laugh.— ”there is something beginning. complained to the king. and the melancholy death that awaited him. “Oh. unless it be the fictitious splendor of a theatric spectacle. a little neglected since the death of her mother-in-law. then. “Ah!” said D’Artagnan. after a month’s absence. and to conclude.” The words “to amuse the ladies” were so strongly accented they set D’Artagnan thinking. the crumbling of his fortunes.” said the keeper with a coarse laugh. The keeper of the harriers smiled.” “Oh. no doubt with a view of making it up with the musketeer.” resumed D’Artagnan.—’Do I not sleep at home every night.” replied the falconer. “But.” “Has she been ill. and continued to advance. “I know nothing of current news. I left the court mourning the death of the queen-mother. it seems?” The keeper gave him a significant wink. with an eye a little. “but you need not be alarmed. “Shall we see the king early?” asked he of the falconer. Is it a heron or a swan?” “Both. The king appeared at a distance. but D’Artagnan was unwilling to learn anything from this man. who answered her. D’Artagnan allowed the ill-humor of the one and the regret of the other to pass. distinguished behind 270 . I have but just returned. for I am very tired. and the white horses skirting the bosky thickets looking like illuminated apparitions.—”poor woman! She must heartily hate Mademoiselle de la Valliere. a mirage of light. a second time. “At seven o’clock. “will the sport last long? Pray. then?” “Monsieur. the feathers of the outriders passing like shooting stars across the clearings. dimmed by age. monsieur. but dignity would not allow him to interrogate people below him. the king is not much of a sportsman. he only wishes to amuse the ladies. I only arrived yesterday. “Ah!” said he. of which nothing now can give an idea. All the troop advanced in beautiful order. They could already catch glimpses of the huntsmen at the issue of the wood. The falconer and his companions set off immediately. but everything comes to an end in this world. monsieur!” repeated the falconer. Monsieur d’Artagnan.He for a moment ran over in his mind the glorious existence of the surintendant. leaving D’Artagnan alone in the midst of the suspended sentence. he does not take the field on his own account. The king was not willing to take any amusement after receiving the last sigh of Anne of Austria.” “What chagrin? You need not fancy your news is old. with an accent of bitter regret and a sigh that was the funeral oration of Fouquet.” said the falconer.” “It appears that the queen. “Who then—” The blast of a hunting-horn interrupted this conversation. her majesty has been unwell. madame? What more do you expect?’” “Ah!” said D’Artagnan. Well! then he is no longer sad? So much the better. D’Artagnan. surrounded by ladies and horsemen. just a little. There was an animation in the scene. looking keenly at the falconer.” 8 “And everything begins as well as ends. passionately. the horns of various sorts animating the dogs and horses.” said D’Artagnan.” “Who comes with the king? How is Madame? How is the queen?” “Better. monsieur. “Did M. Fouquet love falconry?” said he. at a foot’s pace.

now Madame de Montespan. how uneasy she is! How her eyes. Dining with the king was an honor his majesty was not so prodigal of as Henry IV. “who can she be?” And he stooped towards his friend. And he felt. On the left hand of the king. “because your majesty was asleep when I arrived. and D’Artagnan found himself in the midst of a fresh group.” “An old friend of mine?” asked D’Artagnan. to whom he addressed the question he had put to himself. The king smiled upon her. white as snow. restrained by a bold and skillful hand. which had swallowed up for him so many friendships and so many hatreds.” replied the captain. and left the two old friends together. The falconer was about to reply. “M. the falconer. Loud laughter followed every word she uttered. sitting bent in his carriage. already despoiled of their leaves by the first cutting winds of au271 .” 9 They chatted together.” said Aramis. smiling. The king alighted.” A murmur of admiration surrounded D’Artagnan like a caress. le Duc d’Almeda. who seemed as dull as their mistress.the group three carriages. struck with profound amazement. when the king. Is she then deserted?” “Not quite yet.” thought the musketeer. inert as it was. Madame de Montespan followed his example. it was empty. after having observed them in silence for a few moments. will you not ask yourself what is the use of fidelity in this world? Stop! let us allow poor La Valliere’s carriage to pass. dim with tears. “I heard the king invite you to his table for this evening. She was alone with two of her women. reflecting in vain. Monsieur d’Artagnan. the exile. the rebel. who is riding on horseback yonder!” “With whom?” “With Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente. saw her in the second carriage. perceiving D’Artagnan. in a loud voice. They were in front of an isolated chapel. denoting satisfaction. Look. who is arrived this morning from Spain. “Yes. on looking about for her. “Here!” cried an old man.” continued the minister. who did not see Mademoiselle de la Valliere by the king’s side. which he caused to be thrown open to make room for the musketeer. The king passed a few steps in advance. monsieur. I command you to do so.” said the musketeer. “you will meet an old friend there. “Good-day. urged his horse forward. but it will not be long before she is. “have you had a pleasant journey?” “Yes. comte!” said he.” “The Duc d’Almeda?” said D’Artagnan. “Take some rest.” “Still the same. while following the sport. taking Aramis’s arm. among whom shone Colbert. Colbert. follow the king. and she smiled upon the king. “And so. attacking the bird. shone a lady of most dazzling beauty. Every one was eager to salute him. with marked affability. You will dine with me to-day. had been. plunging painfully into the dark waves of the past.” said the minister. D’Artagnan. “She is jealous. concealed by huge trees. “you are amongst us once more then! Why have I not seen you?” “Sire. “you.” said D’Artagnan. upon a high-spirited horse. “Aramis!” cried D’Artagnan. and fell upon him. and not awake when I resumed my duties this morning. beat him down. bowing to the neck of his horse. “Ah. “I must know that woman. the thin arm of the old nobleman hanging round his neck.” said Louis.” replied Aramis. are again in France?” “Ah! and I shall dine with you at the king’s table. The first was intended for the queen. comte. and Aramis’s coachman drove them so cleverly that they arrived at the instant when the falcon.

whilst Monsieur. “of Raoul. There is a cross. The conversation between Aramis. They spoke of preceding ministers. and very sad. and he. and desired those of Richelieu to be related to him. “Poor woman!” muttered D’Artagnan. The falcon had beaten down his prey in the inclosure belonging to this little chapel. gave his hand to the queen. plucking out the first feather from the heron.tumn. Aramis. and concealed himself in the shade. Behind this chapel was an inclosure. who sleeps under that cross with his father. for that cypress shades a tomb. how much the conversation of the king and Madame annoyed him. who. The tree of grief is planted over their tomb. She. “Humph!” said Aramis to D’Artagnan. like the rest. Madame de Montespan complied. the heron has fallen just there. which the falconer had strangled. l’ambassadeur. display so much sound knowledge and cheerful spirits. penetrated into the chapel by a little door which D’Artagnan opened for him. “What will you give me in exchange?” said he. with his heavy eyebrows and low forehead.” said D’Artagnan. with a melancholy heart. The king began to chat with his sister. “Here repose men that we knew well. Madame’s eyes were almost red: was she going to complain? Was she going to expose a little scandal in open court? The king took her on one side. without ceasing to watch his wife and brother from the corner of his eye. “why do I see tears in those lovely eyes?” 272 . according to custom. and the king was desirous of going in to take the first feather.” said he. closed by a latticed gate. to alight from his carriage. They then saw. a thousand kindnesses to Madame. beneath yon little cypress. The king grew scarlet with vanity and pleasure. carried away by jealousy. without being seen. who looked intoxicated with hope. as there was nothing to be afraid of. and then. the pale face of La Valliere. The cortege formed a circle round the building and the hedges. “whither chance has conducted us?” “No. and in a tone so tender that it must have reminded the princess of the time when she was loved for herself: “Sister. on rising from table. Colbert related the successful tricks of Mazarin. and with a trembling step. he looked at Madame de Montespan with all the fire of new love. “the present is but a sad one. heard all. in the inclosure. and the tomb is that of Raoul de Bragelonne.” said he. D’Artagnan could not overcome his surprise at finding this man. greatly agitated. placed it in his beautiful companion’s hat. to which nobody made any allusion. as he was about. D’Artagnan held back Aramis by the arm. “Do you know. you see. le Duc d’Almeda. calling him M. neglected in her carriage. He paid a thousand little attentions to the queen. from the door. Colbert took D’Artagnan and Aramis on one side. and Colbert turned upon indifferent subjects. “Where are they buried?” said he. seated at his left hand. Aramis was astonished at that lightness of character which permitted this serious man to retard with advantage the moment for more important conversation. kissed the hand tenderly which made her this present. although all three interlocutors felt its imminence. broken voice. Aramis. and made a sign to Colbert. too small to receive so many.” Aramis stopped. from the embarrassed appearance of Monsieur. which increased the surprise already felt by D’Artagnan at seeing his friend the rebel so marvelously well received at court.” replied the duke.” “Yes. D’Artagnan. leaning against a pillar. and in a hoarse. The king was very gay. as he helped the attendants to carry back to her carriage the lonely lady whose lot henceforth in life was suffering. It might have been supposed that time of calm when the king was wont to watch his mother’s eyes for the approval or disapproval of what he had just done. smiling in her turn. without divining anything. She broke off a little branch of cypress and offered it to the king.” said D’Artagnan aloud. at first looked on. advanced into the chapel. entertained the queen with a preoccupied air. The king. she took the hand the king held out to her. That evening D’Artagnan was seated at the king’s table. The king addressed Aramis two or three times. very uneasy. It was very plain. Of mistresses there was no question at this dinner. don’t go to it. whose eye was on his master’s face. Colbert and M. near M. the king is going that way.” A groan resounded—they saw a woman fall fainting to the ground. “There. whence. Mademoiselle de la Valliere had seen all. she contemplated the king smiling and making signs to Madame de Montespan to approach.

slowly. an infallible sign that they were talking about him. “you call your brother of England a better friend than I am?” “Actions speak for themselves.” “The Chevalier de Lorraine. as well as myself. “Listen to me.” said she. they. “if your friends compromise you. I will put an end to them.” said she.” “Unjust. “tell me your griefs. whom I have exiled. then?” “I would have asked him to have had it represented to you that Monsieur and his favorite M. so good.” “So.” said the king. I pity them. sister?” “So unjust. Cousin and brother-in-law. has endeavored to get himself killed once every day.” 273 . sister?” She looked towards Monsieur. dear little sister. I shall be the most miserable woman in the kingdom. having borne so many solitary griefs so long.” “You are the grandchild of Henry IV. come. say you. they have been brought into disgrace with your majesty. sire.” He spoke these words with so much kindness that Madame. was nearly bursting into tears. so full was her heart. so devoted.“Why—sire—” said she. on the word of a brother.” said the king. le Chevalier de Lorraine ought not with impunity to constitute themselves the executioners of my honor and my happiness.” said the king. where Monsieur retains him and delegates his power to him. in a melancholy tone: “It is not my friends who compromise me. that if I had not had the respect mixed with friendship that I have always entertained for your majesty—” “Well!” “Well! I would have asked my brother Charles. it is not Monsieur’s fault. “Monsieur is jealous.” said the king. “act!” “Let us form an alliance.” She raised her glorious eyes and. “Come. does not that amount pretty well to the title of brother-germain?” “Then. “they are either absent or concealed. lady. “What. “yes. is he not. Whilst that man lives in my household. at Monsieur’s desire?” “And who. upon whom I can always—” The king started. “Yes. sire. on the word of a king. so loyal!” “You say this on account of De Guiche. encouraged. since that unjust exile.” “And you would prefer going to ask assistance there—” “To my own country!” said she with pride. “that dismal fellow?” “Is my mortal enemy.” said Henrietta.

” “And then your negotiations will fail?” “Oh! those ladies cause all negotiations to fall through which they don’t make themselves. It hence results that we have not always coffers in a fit condition for such friendships. all armed with cannons and stored with provisions.” said she. vessels we must offer.” “Oh! not quite so easy as you may suppose.” 10 “So far.” said Madame.” “And now you say that I do wrong in having in your household the Chevalier de Lorraine. my dear brother. that it is better to give balls and suppers at Hampton Court than to equip ships of the line at Portsmouth and Greenwich. blushing.” “Instead of embroiling me with your brother Charles.” “I have. and that only costs a kiss or a return. Mademoiselle Gwyn. If.” “Counselors. you say. sire. do you say?” “Precisely. is it?” “Yes. profitable expenses. eagerly.” “Only. if ever I come to a dreadful end.” “But you. you can secure more than an ambassador could ever get the promise of. you must make him a more intimate friend than ever. “De Guiche shall return. who are in number seven—Mademoiselle Stewart. it is soldiers—it is soldiers all alive and well equipped—that we must serve up to our friends. the Chevalier de Lorraine some day—Observe. I beforehand accuse the Chevalier de Lorraine. “and I have said to myself that such a voyage would do your health and spirits good. sire. “it is possible I should fail.” “Ah! you are quite right. Miss Orchay. for in ordinary friendship people embrace or exercise hospitality. unjustly exiled De Guiche. by chance. who gives Monsieur ill advice respecting you?” “Remember well what I tell you. Miss Davies.” replied the king.” interrupted Madame.” “That is very easy. Mademoiselle Zunga.” “To effect that I must go to London. “the coffers of the king of England have been sonorous for some time. he has a spirit that is capable of any crime!” “The Chevalier de Lorraine shall no longer annoy you—I promise you that.” 274 . and the proud Countess of Castlemaine—will represent to the king that war costs a great deal of money.” “Oh! yes.” 11 “Then that will be a true preliminary of alliance. but in political friendship—” “Ah! it’s a political friendship. The king of England has dangerous counselors.—I sign. my sister.“Begin. well! then the king’s counselors. Mademoiselle Wells. but since you have done your part. tell me what shall be mine. who have so much influence over your brother.” “I have thought so. instead of embraces and feasts. well. my sister. and then. your majesty had any intention—I am only supposing so—of asking Charles II. his alliance in a war—” “A war?” “Yes.

searching well around you. on two conditions. yes!” said Louis XIV. enough to enable her to approach the king without awkwardness—not too lofty. my dear little sister.” “You will find what you want. and that their vessels will soon occupy all the ports of Europe. my sister. and will add a dowry to the title.” “Nobility. “like Mademoiselle de Keroualle.” “A pretty ambassadress is necessary.” “Mon Dieu! why. and by their republican attitude.” “It is that. sire.” “Very true.—it is you who have found. The Dutch. nevertheless.” “They are your allies.“Do you know the idea that has struck me. you know. is there?” “I thought you had forgotten that miserable episode?” “I never forget anything.” “That is it. is it not?” “Most assuredly. such as your brother Charles.” “That may easily be imagined. sister. sister?” “No. I do not like republics. sire. audacious character.” “I will go.” “An animated. There is not much fraternity in that. you might perhaps find a female counselor to take with you to your brother. sister.” “I hope so. Such a power is too near me.” “And who knows a little English.” “That is well. that is.” “I fancy you already on your road. I will name her seductrice plenipotentiaire at once. inform me what it is.” “That is really an idea.” cried Madame. “you have hit the mark. consoled for all your griefs. whose eloquence might paralyze the ill-will of the seven others. she will have no cause to complain. a medal which represents Holland stopping the sun. I suppose. are willing to second me—” The princess 275 . with this legend: The sun had stopped before me. and I will search. so as not to trouble herself about the dignity of her race.” “Oh! no. insult me daily in their gazettes.” “I will take her. an agreeable face is better than an ugly one. And if my true friends.” “That is why they were wrong in having the medal you have heard of struck. some one. The first is.” “I see with pain that these kings of the sea—they call themselves so—keep trade from France in the Indies. that I shall know what I am negotiating about.” “Certainly. as Joshua did. for instance!” “Oh! why. lively..

” Colbert. “Monsieur. darting a furious look at Madame. and was soon to meet no more in Europe. the expression of which already met no further contradiction in France. but as you have often expressed friendship for me. To embroil Europe with the Provinces would doubtless be our policy. “I am not pleased with M. if we undertake anything against the United Provinces?” “Monsieur.” “You shall have it. who adored his favorite. “We may talk openly with D’Artagnan. turning round at this moment. that it would infer a maritime war. Louis XIV. and Aramis stood. if you please. During this time Colbert was talking with the Duc d’Almeda. brother. an opportunity presents itself for giving me a proof of it.” replied Madame. 276 .” said Colbert to Aramis. here. turned round towards the corner of the room in which D’Artagnan. evidently uneasy. from politeness. had gone to him. as it were. shall have crossed over into England. “Monsieur. “this is the moment for us to come to an understanding. “And also when Madame. He directed his steps towards the fireplace. I have made your peace with the king. le Chevalier de Lorraine. and said to Aramis: “Monsieur l’ambassadeur. besides. Shall we secure—answer me frankly—the neutrality of Spain.” “Then consider me already gone. to sweeten. Colbert then broke in on the conversation suddenly. which England submits to.” said the king to his brother.” continued the king. and that France is in no state to undertake this with advantage. “We were saying. The face of the king was animated. Upon his brow was stamped a strength of will. who do him the honor to protect him.” “That’s evident enough. sister?” “The consent of Monsieur. saw D’Artagnan who was seeking some interlocutor. there is the empire of the seas to be shared. besides. You are.” said Louis XIV. “For this partition. my husband. “whilst we will go whither I will shortly tell you. and I owed that clearly to a man of so much merit. You are not ignorant. suavely.” “Madame! in England!” murmured Monsieur.” replied Aramis.” said the king. and concentrated all his affections in him. You.remained pensively silent. in amazement. could I not represent the second party as well as the Dutch?” “We have Mademoiselle de Keroualle to treat that question. within hearing of what the king was about to say to Monsieur. and made an affirmative sign to his minister. “that a conflict with the United Provinces would mean a maritime war. during this “aside” of the king and Monsieur. must advise him to travel for a few months. but the king of France is an ally of the United Provinces. smiling in his brother’s face.” And the king turned on his heel. d’Almeda and I.” replied the musketeer.” replied the ambassador. I suppose?” “Oh! certainly. at the same time saying in a low voice to Aramis.” These words fell with the crush of an avalanche upon Monsieur. “Your second condition for going. “Listen to me. M. Colbert. He called him. “In a week. more a Frenchman than a Spaniard. “I will tell you that when he is gone. who. the bitter draught he had given him. shall we talk about business?” D’Artagnan immediately withdrew. brother. “the interest of Spain is clear.” On hearing these words.” said Colbert. “In what has the chevalier been inconsiderate enough to displease your majesty?” cried he.

then the more we buy’—Ah! I must add this: I have Forant—do you know Forant. with ships. he has a specialty. “no. “Something like two thousand pieces of cannon. did you not know it? Do you know M. they will be happy to sell to the king what they fabricate for themselves. “That is what the king possesses at this moment. M. we might have sailors. ‘They are merchants. d’Artagnan. “and I have had an account drawn up of the vessels we have altogether—thirty-five ships. I said to myself. “Why such a large land army?” said Aramis. in his warmth. D’Artagnan?” Colbert. dwelt upon his fantasy with a certainty of success. But the captain only smiled at it. civilly.” “Five!” cried Aramis. but I have a still further idea. he is a man of genius—he knows how to set men to work.“And what do you think of it.” rejoined D’Artagnan. “I do not know him. As to arming them. “No.” “And Spain neutral?” asked Aramis. “I am but an indifferent sailor.” “Calculating upon the character of the Dutch. “Neutral as long as the king shall prove stronger. forgot himself. monsieur!” said Aramis. d’Imfreville?” “D’Imfreville?” replied D’Artagnan. “is difficult. France being a seaport with two hundred exits. monsieur l’ambassadeur. resumed the subject. We may venture on a contest with them. as he had long known that in diplomacy D’Artagnan acknowledged no superior. “I always believe you. you must have very large land forces. like all proud men.” said he to D’Artagnan.” replied he.” “He is a man I have discovered.” “Bah!” replied Colbert.” 277 . thinking he had ill understood him. It is he who has cast cannon and cut the woods of Bourgogne.” replied the captain. how is that to be done? In France there are neither foundries nor military docks. Colbert admired that sagacity which never touched a question without enlightening it thoroughly. I hate the sea. “Because the king will be beaten by sea if he has not the English with him. Colbert. Monsieur d’Artagnan?” “I think that to carry on such a war successfully. and that when beaten by sea.” “Oh. they are friendly with the king.” “What did you say?” said Colbert. “They will be afloat before the end of the year. you may not believe what I am going to tell you. the king will have fifty ship of the line. “I have planned all that this year and a half past. gentlemen. may we not?” “To build vessels. in a bantering tone. And then. either by the Dutch in his ports. as the king did. who. our allies.” Colbert drew from his pocket a little oblong book divided into two columns. Of five and thirty vessels we can make three squadrons. on the other the figures recapitulating the number of cannon and men requisite to equip these ships. he will soon be invaded. Like all nervous people. “I have had the same idea as you. that the king had no navy?” “Oh! I take no heed of these details. Aramis smiled. he called the captain simply D’Artagnan. or by the Spaniards by land. and yet I have an idea that. On the first were the names of vessels. but I must have five. but possible.” said Colbert.” “Thirty-five ships! impossible!” cried D’Artagnan.” said D’Artagnan. “Who told you.

“we go into Holland?” “Yes. “And. what are the defects and qualities of that ship—that is valuable.“That is another man I have discovered. I am getting old. that of captain of the musketeers. “If we. pitch. “to have Dutch cannon-balls cast which will return to the Dutch. that I will do my best to choose fire. I declare to you beforehand. in France.” “Is it not.” “That is why I told monsieur l’ambassadeur. Monsieur Colbert. “these same Dutch are building for the king. you will have. and he is superintending the construction of six vessels of seventy-eight guns. I heard the king say the other day that he should like to see you wear the grand cordon of St. “So.” And D’Artagnan looked so handsome still in quasi-juvenile strength as he pronounced these words. “only—” “Only?” said M. this Destouches appeared to me to be a man likely to prove useful in marine affairs.” replied D’Artagnan. A captain of 278 .000 pounds of powder. “out of France still less must be known. He prepared his price in advance. would have a very pretty fleet. Monsieur d’Artagnan. too?” And Colbert laughed aloud. that Colbert. “and Porthos is no longer here! What ells of ribbons would there be for him in these largesses! Dear Porthos!” “Monsieur d’Artagnan. could not help admiring him. It results from this. Spain promising its neutrality. tar—I know not what! with a saving of seven per cent upon what all those articles would cost me fabricated in France. the question of self-love. D’Artagnan perceived the effect he had produced. that the king. six vessels after the model of the best of their name.” “I take you at your word. as it is seldom in war that much water is met with without a little fire. It is a very fine title. grenades.” “That is a capital and quaint idea. Destouches—Ah! perhaps you don’t know Destouches?” “No. Michael. I wager. 200. “Oh!” thought D’Artagnan. monsieur.” said Aramis. at this moment. were ignorant of what was going on. “Still further. with a genius for buying. and was touched by this best of flatteries.” said Colbert.000 pounds of iron in balls.’ Monsieur d’Almeda. when they are valuable.” Colbert hastened to reply with his blunt bonhomie. which the Provinces are building for his majesty. “between us two. an inclination to lead your musketeers into Holland.” added he. matches.” said D’Artagnan. then.” repeated D’Artagnan. my dear Monsieur d’Artagnan. “Ah! but there are some bitter passages of canals and marshes yonder. This Forant has purchased for me 350. “Only. wondering at the mysterious labors this man had undertaken in so short a time. you have not the ‘Golden Fleece. Can you swim?” And he laughed like a man in high good humor. “Only. Colbert understood them. “I promise the neutrality of Spain. He was delighted with his own joke. “there lurks in everything the question of interest. and the best swimmers are sometimes drowned there. Colbert. with loss. “Like an eel.” D’Artagnan and Aramis looked at each other.” Aramis bowed. water freezes me—but fire warms.” said Colbert.” resumed Colbert. when a ship is launched. a propos of Spain. you know better than anybody else if the land army is efficient. but observe this: we have now the king’s guards and the military household of the king. observe! Nature is truly whimsical.” replied D’Artagnan.” replied D’Artagnan. Now.” “He is a man who has a sure glance to discern. “that.” “It is my profession to die for his majesty. in his turn. if he wished to quarrel with the Provinces. Well. twelve cargoes of Northern timber. He remembered that the best tradesman is he who fixes a high price upon his goods. England helping us—” “If England assists you.” said the musketeer.

it is for want of a boat. separated—forever. therefore.” said Aramis. however short it may be. “only die satisfied with joy in glory. monsieur?” “We were speaking of canals and marshes in which people are drowned.” D’Artagnan became very pale with joy.” They once more embraced.” said Colbert. honor condemns me to die. “I assure you. Aramis.” replied he. sure of carrying his point. “and implore you to tell the king that the first opportunity