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The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas [Pere]

Part 2 out of 17

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slowly the stranger had walked, he was gone on his way, or
perhaps had entered some house. D'Artagnan inquired of everyone
he met with, went down to the ferry, came up again by the Rue de
Seine, and the Red Cross; but nothing, absolutely nothing! This
chase was, however, advantageous to him in one sense, for in
proportion as the perspiration broke from his forehead, his heart
began to cool.

He began to reflect upon the events that had passed; they were
numerous and inauspicious. It was scarcely eleven o'clock in the
morning, and yet this morning had already brought him into
disgrace with M. de Treville, who could not fail to think the
manner in which d'Artagnan had left him a little cavalier.

Besides this, he had drawn upon himself two good duels with two
men, each capable of killing three d'Artagnans-with two
Musketeers, in short, with two of those beings whom he esteemed
so greatly that he placed them in his mind and heart above all
other men.

The outlook was sad. Sure of being killed by Athos, it may
easily be understood that the young man was not very uneasy about
Porthos. As hope, however, is the last thing extinguished in the
heart of man, he finished by hoping that he might survive, even
though with terrible wounds, in both these duels; and in case of
surviving, he made the following reprehensions upon his own

"What a madcap I was, and what a stupid fellow I am! That brave
and unfortunate Athos was wounded on that very shoulder against
which I must run head foremost, like a ram. The only thing that
astonishes me is that he did not strike me dead at once. He had
good cause to do so; the pain I gave him must have been
atrocious. As to Porthos--oh, as to Porthos, faith, that's a
droll affair!"

And in spite of himself, the young man began to laugh aloud,
looking round carefully, however, to see that his solitary laugh,
without a cause in the eyes of passers-by, offended no one.

"As to Porthos, that is certainly droll; but I am not the less a
giddy fool. Are people to be run against without warning? No!
And have I any right to go and peep under their cloaks to see
what is not there? He would have pardoned me, he would certainly
have pardoned me, if I had not said anything to him about that
cursed baldric--in ambiguous words, it is true, but rather drolly
ambiguous. Ah, cursed Gascon that I am, I get from one hobble
into another. Friend d'Artagnan," continued he, speaking to
himself with all the amenity that he thought due himself, "if you
escape, of which there is not much chance, I would advise you to
practice perfect politeness for the future. You must henceforth
be admired and quoted as a model of it. To be obliging and
polite does not necessarily make a man a coward. Look at Aramis,
now; Aramis is mildness and grace personified. Well, did anybody
ever dream of calling Aramis a coward? No, certainly not, and
from this moment I will endeavor to model myself after him. Ah!
That's strange! Here he is!"

D'Artagnan, walking and soliloquizing, had arrived within a few
steps of the hotel d'Arguillon and in front of that hotel
perceived Aramis, chatting gaily with three gentlemen; but as he
had not forgotten that it was in presence of this young man that
M. de Treville had been so angry in the morning, and as a witness
of the rebuke the Musketeers had received was not likely to be at
all agreeable, he pretended not to see him. D'Artagnan, on the
contrary, quite full of his plans of conciliation and courtesy,
approached the young men with a profound bow, accompanied by a
most gracious smile. All four, besides, immediately broke off
their conversation.

D'Artagnan was not so dull as not to perceive that he was one too
many; but he was not sufficiently broken into the fashions of the
gay world to know how to extricate himself gallantly from a false
position, like that of a man who begins to mingle with people he
is scarcely acquainted with and in a conversation that does not
concern him. He was seeking in his mind, then, for the least
awkward means of retreat, when he remarked that Aramis had let
his handkerchief fall, and by mistake, no doubt, had placed his
foot upon it. This appeared to be a favorable opportunity to
repair his intrusion. He stooped, and with the most gracious air
he could assume, drew the handkerchief from under the foot of the
Musketeer in spite of the efforts the latter made to detain it,
and holding it out to him, said, "I believe, monsieur, that this
is a handkerchief you would be sorry to lose?"

The handkerchief was indeed richly embroidered, and had a coronet
and arms at one of its corners. Aramis blushed excessively, and
snatched rather than took the handkerchief from the hand of the

"Ah, ah!" cried one of the Guards, "will you persist in saying,
most discreet Aramis, that you are not on good terms with Madame
de Bois-Tracy, when that gracious lady has the kindness to lend
you one of her handkerchiefs?"

Aramis darted at d'Artagnan one of those looks which inform a man
that he has acquired a mortal enemy. Then, resuming his mild
air, "You are deceived, gentlemen," said he, "this handkerchief
is not mine, and I cannot fancy why Monsieur has taken it into
his head to offer it to me rather than to one of you; and as a
proof of what I say, here is mine in my pocket."

So saying, he pulled out his own handkerchief, likewise a very
elegant handkerchief, and of fine cambric--though cambric was
dear at the period--but a handkerchief without embroidery and
without arms, only ornamented with a single cipher, that of its

This time d'Artagnan was not hasty. He perceived his mistake;
but the friends of Aramis were not at all convinced by his
denial, and one of them addressed the young Musketeer with
affected seriousness. "If it were as you pretend it is," said
he, "I should be forced, my dear Aramis, to reclaim it myself;
for, as you very well know, Bois-Tracy is an intimate friend of
mine, and I cannot allow the property of his wife to be sported
as a trophy."

"You make the demand badly," replied Aramis; "and while
acknowledging the justice of your reclamation, I refuse it on
account of the form."

"The fact is," hazarded d'Artagnan, timidly, "I did not see the
handkerchief fall from the pocket of Monsieur Aramis. He had his
foot upon it, that is all; and I thought from having his foot
upon it the handkerchief was his."

"And you were deceived, my dear sir," replied Aramis, coldly,
very little sensible to the reparation. Then turning toward that
one of the guards who had declared himself the friend of Bois-
Tracy, "Besides," continued he, "I have reflected, my dear
intimate of Bois-Tracy, that I am not less tenderly his friend
than you can possibly be; so that decidedly this handkerchief is
as likely to have fallen from your pocket as mine."

"No, upon my honor!" cried his Majesty's Guardsman.

"You are about to swear upon your honor and I upon my word, and
then it will be pretty evident that one of us will have lied.
Now, here, Montaran, we will do better than that--let each take a

"Of the handkerchief?"


"Perfectly just," cried the other two Guardsmen, "the judgment of
King Solomon! Aramis, you certainly are full of wisdom!"

The young men burst into a laugh, and as may be supposed, the
affair had no other sequel. In a moment or two the conversation
ceased, and the three Guardsmen and the Musketeer, after having
cordially shaken hands, separated, the Guardsmen going one way
and Aramis another.

"Now is my time to make peace with this gallant man," said
d'Artagnan to himself, having stood on one side during the whole
of the latter part of the conversation; and with this good
feeling drawing near to Aramis, who was departing without paying
any attention to him, "Monsieur," said he, "you will excuse me, I

"Ah, monsieur," interrupted Aramis, "permit me to observe to you
that you have not acted in this affair as a gallant man ought."

"What, monsieur!" cried d'Artagnan, "and do you suppose--"

"I suppose, monsieur that you are not a fool, and that you knew
very well, although coming from Gascony, that people do not tread
upon handkerchiefs without a reason. What the devil! Paris is
not paved with cambric!"

"Monsieur, you act wrongly in endeavoring to mortify me," said
d'Artagnan, in whom the natural quarrelsome spirit began to speak
more loudly than his pacific resolutions. "I am from Gascony, it
is true; and since you know it, there is no occasion to tell you
that Gascons are not very patient, so that when they have begged
to be excused once, were it even for a folly, they are convinced
that they have done already at least as much again as they ought
to have done."

"Monsieur, what I say to you about the matter," said Aramis, "is
not for the sake of seeking a quarrel. Thank God, I am not a
bravo! And being a Musketeer but for a time, I only fight when I
am forced to do so, and always with great repugnance; but this
time the affair is serious, for here is a lady compromised by

"By US, you mean!" cried d'Artagnan.

"Why did you so maladroitly restore me the handkerchief?"

"Why did you so awkwardly let it fall?"

"I have said, monsieur, and I repeat, that the handkerchief did
not fall from my pocket."

"And thereby you have lied twice, monsieur, for I saw it fall."

"Ah, you take it with that tone, do you, Master Gascon? Well, I
will teach you how to behave yourself."

"And I will send you back to your Mass book, Master Abbe. Draw,
if you please, and instantly--"

"Not so, if you please, my good friend--not here, at least. Do
you not perceive that we are opposite the Hotel d'Arguillon,
which is full of the cardinal's creatures? How do I know that
this is not his Eminence who has honored you with the commission
to procure my head? Now, I entertain a ridiculous partiality for
my head, it seems to suit my shoulders so correctly. I wish to
kill you, be at rest as to that, but to kill you quietly in a
snug, remote place, where you will not be able to boast of your
death to anybody."

"I agree, monsieur; but do not be too confident. Take your
handkerchief; whether it belongs to you or another, you may
perhaps stand in need of it."

"Monsieur is a Gascon?" asked Aramis.

"Yes. Monsieur does not postpone an interview through prudence?"

"Prudence, monsieur, is a virtue sufficiently useless to
Musketeers, I know, but indispensable to churchmen; and as I am
only a Musketeer provisionally, I hold it good to be prudent. At
two o'clock I shall have the honor of expecting you at the hotel
of Monsieur de Treville. There I will indicate to you the best
place and time."

The two young men bowed and separated, Aramis ascending the
street which led to the Luxembourg, while d'Artagnan, perceiving
the appointed hour was approaching, took the road to the
Carmes-Deschaux, saying to himself, "Decidedly I can't draw back;
but at least, if I am killed, I shall be killed by a Musketeer."


D'Artagnan was acquainted with nobody in Paris. He went
therefore to his appointment with Athos without a second,
determined to be satisfied with those his adversary should
choose. Besides, his intention was formed to make the brave
Musketeer all suitable apologies, but without meanness or
weakness, fearing that might result from this duel which
generally results from an affair of this kind, when a young and
vigorous man fights with an adversary who is wounded and
weakened--if conquered, he doubles the triumph of his antagonist;
if a conqueror, he is accused of foul play and want of courage.

Now, we must have badly painted the character of our adventure
seeker, or our readers must have already perceived that
d'Artagnan was not an ordinary man; therefore, while repeating to
himself that his death was inevitable, he did not make up his
mind to die quietly, as one less courageous and less restrained
might have done in his place. He reflected upon the different
characters of men he had to fight with, and began to view his
situation more clearly. He hoped, by means of loyal excuses, to
make a friend of Athos, whose lordly air and austere bearing
pleased him much. He flattered himself he should be able to
frighten Porthos with the adventure of the baldric, which he
might, if not killed upon the spot, relate to everybody a recital
which, well managed, would cover Porthos with ridicule. As to
the astute Aramis, he did not entertain much dread of him; and
supposing he should be able to get so far, he determined to
dispatch him in good style or at least, by hitting him in the
face, as Caesar recommended his soldiers do to those of Pompey,
to damage forever the beauty of which he was so proud.

In addition to this, d'Artagnan possessed that invincible stock
of resolution which the counsels of his father had implanted in
his heart: "Endure nothing from anyone but the king, the
cardinal, and Monsieur de Treville." He flew, then, rather than
walked, toward the convent of the Carmes Dechausses, or rather
Deschaux, as it was called at that period, a sort of building
without a window, surrounded by barren fields--an accessory to
the Preaux-Clercs, and which was generally employed as the place
for the duels of men who had no time to lose.

When d'Artagnan arrived in sight of the bare spot of ground which
extended along the foot of the monastery, Athos had been waiting
about five minutes, and twelve o'clock was striking. He was,
then, as punctual as the Samaritan woman, and the most rigorous
casuist with regard to duels could have nothing to say.

Athos, who still suffered grievously from his wound, though it
had been dressed anew by M. de Treville's surgeon, was seated on
a post and waiting for his adversary with hat in hand, his
feather even touching the ground.

"Monsieur," said Athos, "I have engaged two of my friends as
seconds; but these two friends are not yet come, at which I am
astonished, as it is not at all their custom."

"I have no seconds on my part, monsieur," said d'Artagnan; "for
having only arrived yesterday in Paris, I as yet know no one but
Monsieur de Treville, to whom I was recommended by my father, who
has the honor to be, in some degree, one of his friends."

Athos reflected for an instant. "You know no one but Monsieur de
Treville?" he asked.

"Yes, monsieur, I know only him."

"Well, but then," continued Athos, speaking half to himself, "if
I kill you, I shall have the air of a boy-slayer."

"Not too much so," replied d'Artagnan, with a bow that was not
deficient in dignity, "since you do me the honor to draw a sword
with me while suffering from a wound which is very inconvenient."

"Very inconvenient, upon my word; and you hurt me devilishly, I
can tell you. But I will take the left hand--it is my custom in
such circumstances. Do not fancy that I do you a favor; I use
either hand easily. And it will be even a disadvantage to you; a
left-handed man is very troublesome to people who are not
prepared for it. I regret I did not inform you sooner of this

"You have truly, monsieur," said d'Artagnan, bowing again, "a
courtesy, for which, I assure you, I am very grateful."

"You confuse me," replied Athos, with his gentlemanly air; "let
us talk of something else, if you please. Ah, s'blood, how you
have hurt me! My shoulder quite burns."

"If you would permit me--" said d'Artagnan, with timidity.

"What, monsieur?"

"I have a miraculous balsam for wounds--a balsam given to me by
my mother and of which I have made a trial upon myself."


"Well, I am sure that in less than three days this balsam would
cure you; and at the end of three days, when you would be cured--
well, sir, it would still do me a great honor to be your man."

D'Artagnan spoke these words with a simplicity that did honor to
his courtesy, without throwing the least doubt upon his courage.

"PARDIEU, monsieur!" said Athos, "that's a proposition that
pleases me; not that I can accept it, but a league off it savors
of the gentleman. Thus spoke and acted the gallant knights of
the time of Charlemagne, in whom every cavalier ought to seek his
model. Unfortunately, we do not live in the times of the great
emperor, we live in the times of the cardinal; and three days
hence, however well the secret might be guarded, it would be
known, I say, that we were to fight, and our combat would be
prevented. I think these fellows will never come."

"If you are in haste, monsieur," said d'Artagnan, with the same
simplicity with which a moment before he had proposed to him to
put off the duel for three days, "and if it be your will to
dispatch me at once, do not inconvenience yourself, I pray you."

"There is another word which pleases me," cried Athos, with a
gracious nod to d'Artagnan. "That did not come from a man
without a heart. Monsieur, I love men of your kidney; and I
foresee plainly that if we don't kill each other, I shall
hereafter have much pleasure in your conversation. We will wait
for these gentlemen, so please you; I have plenty of time, and it
will be more correct. Ah, here is one of them, I believe."

In fact, at the end of the Rue Vaugirard the gigantic Porthos

"What!" cried d'Artagnan, "is your first witness Monsieur

"Yes, that disturbs you?"

"By no means."

"And here is the second."

D'Artagnan turned in the direction pointed to by Athos, and
perceived Aramis.

"What!" cried he, in an accent of greater astonishment than
before, "your second witness is Monsieur Aramis?"

"Doubtless! Are you not aware that we are never seen one without
the others, and that we are called among the Musketeers and the
Guards, at court and in the city, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, or
the Three Inseparables? And yet, as you come from Dax or Pau--"

"From Tarbes," said d'Artagnan.

"It is probable you are ignorant of this little fact," said

"My faith!" replied d'Artagnan, "you are well named, gentlemen;
and my adventure, if it should make any noise, will prove at
least that your union is not founded upon contrasts."

In the meantime, Porthos had come up, waved his hand to Athos,
and then turning toward d'Artagnan, stood quite astonished.

Let us say in passing that he had changed his baldric and
relinquished his cloak.

"Ah, ah!" said he, "what does this mean?"

"This is the gentleman I am going to fight with," said Athos,
pointing to d'Artagnan with his hand and saluting him with the
same gesture.

"Why, it is with him I am also going to fight," said Porthos.

"But not before one o'clock," replied d'Artagnan.

"And I also am to fight with this gentleman," said Aramis, coming
in his turn onto the place.

"But not until two o'clock," said d'Artagnan, with the same

"But what are you going to fight about, Athos?" asked Aramis.

"Faith! I don't very well know. He hurt my shoulder. And you,

"Faith! I am going to fight--because I am going to fight,"
answered Porthos, reddening.

Athos, whose keen eye lost nothing, perceived a faintly sly smile
pass over the lips of the young Gascon as he replied, "We had a
short discussion upon dress."

"And you, Aramis?" asked Athos.

"Oh, ours is a theological quarrel," replied Aramis, making a
sign to d'Artagnan to keep secret the cause of their duel.

Athos indeed saw a second smile on the lips of d'Artagnan.

"Indeed?" said Athos.

"Yes; a passage of St. Augustine, upon which we could not agree,"
said the Gascon.

"Decidedly, this is a clever fellow," murmured Athos.

"And now you are assembled, gentlemen," said d'Artagnan, "permit
me to offer you my apologies."

At this word APOLOGIES, a cloud passed over the brow of Athos, a
haughty smile curled the lip of Porthos, and a negative sign was
the reply of Aramis.

"You do not understand me, gentlemen," said d'Artagnan, throwing
up his head, the sharp and bold lines of which were at the moment
gilded by a bright ray of the sun. "I asked to be excused in
case I should not be able to discharge my debt to all three; for
Monsieur Athos has the right to kill me first, which must much diminish
the face-value of your bill, Monsieur Porthos, and render
yours almost null, Monsieur Aramis. And now, gentlemen, I
repeat, excuse me, but on that account only, and--on guard!"

At these words, with the most gallant air possible, d'Artagnan
drew his sword.

The blood had mounted to the head of d'Artagnan, and at that
moment he would have drawn his sword against all the Musketeers
in the kingdom as willingly as he now did against Athos, Porthos,
and Aramis.

It was a quarter past midday. The sun was in its zenith, and the
spot chosen for the scene of the duel was exposed to its full

"It is very hot," said Athos, drawing his sword in its turn, "and
yet I cannot take off my doublet; for I just now felt my wound
begin to bleed again, and I should not like to annoy Monsieur
with the sight of blood which he has not drawn from me himself."

"That is true, Monsieur," replied d'Artagnan, "and whether drawn
by myself or another, I assure you I shall always view with
regret the blood of so brave a gentleman. I will therefore fight
in my doublet, like yourself."

"Come, come, enough of such compliments!" cried Porthos.
"Remember, we are waiting for our turns."

"Speak for yourself when you are inclined to utter such
incongruities," interrupted Aramis. "For my part, I think what
they say is very well said, and quite worthy of two gentlemen."

"When you please, monsieur," said Athos, putting himself on

"I waited your orders," said d'Artagnan, crossing swords.

But scarcely had the two rapiers clashed, when a company of the
Guards of his Eminence, commanded by M. de Jussac, turned the
corner of the convent.

"The cardinal's Guards!" cried Aramis and Porthos at the same
time. "Sheathe your swords, gentlemen, sheathe your swords!"

But it was too late. The two combatants had been seen in a
position which left no doubt of their intentions.

"Halloo!" cried Jussac, advancing toward them and making a sign
to his men to do so likewise, "halloo, Musketeers? Fighting
here, are you? And the edicts? What is become of them?"

"You are very generous, gentlemen of the Guards," said Athos,
full of rancor, for Jussac was one of the aggressors of the
preceding day. "If we were to see you fighting, I can assure you
that we would make no effort to prevent you. Leave us alone,
then, and you will enjoy a little amusement without cost to

"Gentlemen," said Jussac, "it is with great regret that I
pronounce the thing impossible. Duty before everything.
Sheathe, then, if you please, and follow us."

"Monsieur," said Aramis, parodying Jussac, "it would afford us
great pleasure to obey your polite invitation if it depended upon
ourselves; but unfortunately the thing is impossible--Monsieur de
Treville has forbidden it. Pass on your way, then; it is the
best thing to do."

This raillery exasperated Jussac. "We will charge upon you,
then," said he, "if you disobey."

"There are five of them," said Athos, half aloud, "and we are but
three; we shall be beaten again, and must die on the spot, for,
on my part, I declare I will never appear again before the
captain as a conquered man."

Athos, Porthos, and Aramis instantly drew near one another, while
Jussac drew up his soldiers.

This short interval was sufficient to determine d'Artagnan on the
part he was to take. It was one of those events which decide the
life of a man; it was a choice between the king and the
cardinal--the choice made, it must be persisted in. To fight,
that was to disobey the law, that was to risk his head, that was
to make at one blow an enemy of a minister more powerful than the
king himself. All this young man perceived, and yet, to his
praise we speak it, he did not hesitate a second. Turning
towards Athos and his friends, "Gentlemen," said he, "allow me to
correct your words, if you please. You said you were but three,
but it appears to me we are four."

"But you are not one of us," said Porthos.

"That's true," replied d'Artagnan; "I have not the uniform, but I
have the spirit. My heart is that of a Musketeer; I feel it,
monsieur, and that impels me on."

"Withdraw, young man," cried Jussac, who doubtless, by his
gestures and the expression of his countenance, had guessed
d'Artagnan's design. "You may retire; we consent to that. Save
your skin; begone quickly."

D'Artagnan did not budge.

"Decidedly, you are a brave fellow," said Athos, pressing the
young man's hand.

"Come, come, choose your part," replied Jussac.

"Well," said Porthos to Aramis, "we must do something."

"Monsieur is full of generosity," said Athos.

But all three reflected upon the youth of d'Artagnan, and dreaded
his inexperience.

"We should only be three, one of whom is wounded, with the
addition of a boy," resumed Athos; "and yet it will not be the
less said we were four men."

"Yes, but to yield!" said Porthos.

"That IS difficult," replied Athos.

D'Artagnan comprehended their irresolution.

"Try me, gentlemen," said he, "and I swear to you by my honor
that I will not go hence if we are conquered."

"What is your name, my brave fellow?" said Athos.

"d'Artagnan, monsieur."

"Well, then, Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan, forward!"
cried Athos.

"Come, gentlemen, have you decided?" cried Jussac for the third

"It is done, gentlemen," said Athos.

"And what is your choice?" asked Jussac.

"We are about to have the honor of charging you," replied Aramis,
lifting his hat with one hand and drawing his sword with the

"Ah! You resist, do you?" cried Jussac.

"S'blood; does that astonish you?"

And the nine combatants rushed upon each other with a fury which
however did not exclude a certain degree of method.

Athos fixed upon a certain Cahusac, a favorite of the cardinal's.
Porthos had Bicarat, and Aramis found himself opposed to two
adversaries. As to d'Artagnan, he sprang toward Jussac himself.

The heart of the young Gascon beat as if it would burst through
his side--not from fear, God he thanked, he had not the shade of
it, but with emulation; he fought like a furious tiger, turning
ten times round his adversary, and changing his ground and his
guard twenty times. Jussac was, as was then said, a fine blade,
and had had much practice; nevertheless it required all his skill
to defend himself against an adversary who, active and energetic,
departed every instant from received rules, attacking him on all
sides at once, and yet parrying like a man who had the greatest
respect for his own epidermis.

This contest at length exhausted Jussac's patience. Furious at
being held in check by one whom he had considered a boy, he
became warm and began to make mistakes. D'Artagnan, who though
wanting in practice had a sound theory, redoubled his agility.
Jussac, anxious to put an end to this, springing forward, aimed a
terrible thrust at his adversary, but the latter parried it; and
while Jussac was recovering himself, glided like a serpent
beneath his blade, and passed his sword through his body. Jussac
fell like a dead mass.

D'Artagnan then cast an anxious and rapid glance over the field
of battle.

Aramis had killed one of his adversaries, but the other pressed
him warmly. Nevertheless, Aramis was in a good situation, and
able to defend himself.

Bicarat and Porthos had just made counterhits. Porthos had
received a thrust through his arm, and Bicarat one through his
thigh. But neither of these two wounds was serious, and they
only fought more earnestly.

Athos, wounded anew by Cahusac, became evidently paler, but did
not give way a foot. He only changed his sword hand, and fought
with his left hand.

According to the laws of dueling at that period, d'Artagnan was
at liberty to assist whom he pleased. While he was endeavoring
to find out which of his companions stood in greatest need, he
caught a glance from Athos. The glance was of sublime eloquence.
Athos would have died rather than appeal for help; but he could
look, and with that look ask assistance. D'Artagnan interpreted
it; with a terrible bound he sprang to the side of Cahusac,
crying, "To me, Monsieur Guardsman; I will slay you!"

Cahusac turned. It was time; for Athos, whose great courage
alone supported him, sank upon his knee.

"S'blood!" cried he to d'Artagnan, "do not kill him, young man, I
beg of you. I have an old affair to settle with him when I am
cured and sound again. Disarm him only--make sure of his sword.
That's it! Very well done!"

The exclamation was drawn from Athos by seeing the sword of
Cahusac fly twenty paces from him. D'Artagnan and Cahusac sprang
forward at the same instant, the one to recover, the other to
obtain, the sword; but d'Artagnan, being the more active, reached
it first and placed his foot upon it.

Cahusac immediately ran to the Guardsman whom Aramis had killed,
seized his rapier, and returned toward d'Artagnan; but on his way
he met Athos, who during his relief which d'Artagnan had procured
him had recovered his breath, and who, for fear that d'Artagnan
would kill his enemy, wished to resume the fight.

D'Artagnan perceived that it would be disobliging Athos not to
leave him alone; and in a few minutes Cahusac fell, with a sword
thrust through his throat.

At the same instant Aramis placed his sword point on the breast
of his fallen enemy, and forced him to ask for mercy.

There only then remained Porthos and Bicarat. Porthos made a
thousand flourishes, asking Bicarat what o'clock it could be, and
offering him his compliments upon his brother's having just
obtained a company in the regiment of Navarre; but, jest as he
might, he gained nothing. Bicarat was one of those iron men who
never fell dead.

Nevertheless, it was necessary to finish. The watch might come
up and take all the combatants, wounded or not, royalists or
cardinalists. Athos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan surrounded Bicarat,
and required him to surrender. Though alone against all and with
a wound in his thigh, Bicarat wished to hold out; but Jussac, who
had risen upon his elbow, cried out to him to yield. Bicarat was
a Gascon, as d'Artagnan was; he turned a deaf ear, and contented
himself with laughing, and between two parries finding time to
point to a spot of earth with his sword, "Here," cried he,
parodying a verse of the Bible, "here will Bicarat die; for I
only am left, and they seek my life."

"But there are four against you; leave off, I command you."

"Ah, if you command me, that's another thing," said Bicarat. "As
you are my commander, it is my duty to obey." And springing
backward, he broke his sword across his knee to avoid the
necessity of surrendering it, threw the pieces over the convent
wall, and crossed him arms, whistling a cardinalist air.

Bravery is always respected, even in an enemy. The Musketeers
saluted Bicarat with their swords, and returned them to their
sheaths. D'Artagnan did the same. Then, assisted by Bicarat,
the only one left standing, he bore Jussac, Cahusac, and one of
Aramis's adversaries who was only wounded, under the porch of the
convent. The fourth, as we have said, was dead. They then rang
the bell, and carrying away four swords out of five, they took
their road, intoxicated with joy, toward the hotel of M. de

They walked arm in arm, occupying the whole width of the street
and taking in every Musketeer they met, so that in the end it
became a triumphal march. The heart of d'Artagnan swam in
delirium; he marched between Athos and Porthos, pressing them

"If I am not yet a Musketeer," said he to his new friends, as he
passed through the gateway of M. de Treville's hotel, "at least I
have entered upon my apprenticeship, haven't I?"


This affair made a great noise. M. de Treville scolded his
Musketeers in public, and congratulated them in private; but as
no time was to be lost in gaining the king, M. de Treville
hastened to report himself at the Louvre. It was already too
late. The king was closeted with the cardinal, and M. de
Treville was informed that the king was busy and could not
receive him at that moment. In the evening M. de Treville
attended the king's gaming table. The king was winning; and as
he was very avaricious, he was in an excellent humor. Perceiving
M. de Treville at a distance--

"Come here, Monsieur Captain," said he, "come here, that I may
growl at you. Do you know that his Eminence has been making
fresh complaints against your Musketeers, and that with so much
emotion, that this evening his Eminence is indisposed? Ah, these
Musketeers of yours are very devils--fellows to be hanged."

"No, sire," replied Treville, who saw at the first glance how
things would go, "on the contrary, they are good creatures, as
meek as lambs, and have but one desire, I'll be their warranty.
And that is that their swords may never leave their scabbards but
in your majesty's service. But what are they to do? The Guards
of Monsieur the Cardinal are forever seeking quarrels with them,
and for the honor of the corps even, the poor young men are
obliged to defend themselves."

"Listen to Monsieur de Treville," said the king; "listen to him!
Would not one say he was speaking of a religious community? In
truth, my dear Captain, I have a great mind to take away your
commission and give it to Mademoiselle de Chemerault, to whom I
promised an abbey. But don't fancy that I am going to take you
on your bare word. I am called Louis the Just, Monsieur de
Treville, and by and by, by and by we will see."

"Ah, sire; it is because I confide in that justice that I shall
wait patiently and quietly the good pleasure of your Majesty."

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

In fact, fortune changed; and as the king began to lose what he
had won, he was not sorry to find an excuse for playing
Charlemagne--if we may use a gaming phrase of whose origin we
confess our ignorance. The king therefore arose a minute after,
and putting the money which lay before him into his pocket, the
major part of which arose from his winnings, "La Vieuville," said
he, "take my place; I must speak to Monsieur de Treville on an
affair of importance. Ah, I had eighty louis before me; put down
the same sum, so that they who have lost may have nothing to
complain of. Justice before everything."

Then turning toward M. de Treville and walking with him toward
the embrasure of a window, "Well, monsieur," continued he, "you
say it is his Eminence's Guards who have sought a quarrel with
your Musketeers?"

"Yes, sire, as they always do."

"And how did the thing happen? Let us see, for you know, my dear
Captain, a judge must hear both sides."

"Good Lord! In the most simple and natural manner possible.
Three of my best soldiers, whom your Majesty knows by name, and
whose devotedness you have more than once appreciated, and who
have, I dare affirm to the king, his service much at heart--three
of my best soldiers, I say, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, had made
a party of pleasure with a young fellow from Gascony, whom I had
introduced to them the same morning. The party was to take place
at St. Germain, I believe, and they had appointed to meet at the
Carmes-Deschaux, when they were disturbed by de Jussac, Cahusac,
Bicarat, and two other Guardsmen, who certainly did not go there
in such a numerous company without some ill intention against the

"Ah, ah! You incline me to think so," said the king. "There is
no doubt they went thither to fight themselves."

"I do not accuse them, sire; but I leave your Majesty to judge
what five armed men could possibly be going to do in such a
deserted place as the neighborhood of the Convent des Carmes."

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

"Then, upon seeing my Musketeers they changed their minds, and
forgot their private hatred for partisan hatred; for your Majesty
cannot be ignorant that the Musketeers, who belong to the king
and nobody but the king, are the natural enemies of the
Guardsmen, who belong to the cardinal."

"Yes, Treville, yes," said the king, in a melancholy tone; "and
it is very sad, believe me, to see thus two parties in France,
two heads to royalty. But all this will come to an end, Treville,
will come to an end. You say, then, that the Guardsmen sought a
quarrel with the Musketeers?"

"I say that it is probable that things have fallen out so, but I
will not swear to it, sire. You know how difficult it is to
discover the truth; and unless a man be endowed with that
admirable instinct which causes Louis XIII to be named the

"You are right, Treville; but they were not alone, your
Musketeers. They had a youth with them?"

"Yes, sire, and one wounded man; so that three of the king's
Musketeers--one of whom was wounded--and a youth not only
maintained their ground against five of the most terrible of the
cardinal's Guardsmen, but absolutely brought four of them to

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

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

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

"One hardly a young man; but who, however, behaved himself so
admirably on this occasion that I will take the liberty of
recommending him to your Majesty."

"How does he call himself?"

"d'Artagnan, sire; he is the son of one of my oldest friends--the
son of a man who served under the king your father, of glorious
memory, in the civil war."

"And you say this young man behaved himself well? Tell me how,
Treville--you know how I delight in accounts of war and

And Louis XIII twisted his mustache proudly, placing his hand
upon his hip.

"Sire," resumed Treville, "as I told you, Monsieur d'Artagnan is
little more than a boy; and as he has not the honor of being a
Musketeer, he was dressed as a citizen. The Guards of the
cardinal, perceiving his youth and that he did not belong to the
corps, invited him to retire before they attacked."

"So you may plainly see, Treville," interrupted the king, "it was
they who attacked?"

"That is true, sire; there can be no more doubt on that head.
They called upon him then to retire; but he answered that he was
a Musketeer at heart, entirely devoted to your Majesty, and that
therefore he would remain with Messieurs the Musketeers."

"Brave young man!" murmured the king.

"Well, he did remain with them; and your Majesty has in him so
firm a champion that it was he who gave Jussac the terrible sword
thrust which has made the cardinal so angry."

"He who wounded Jussac!" cried the king, "he, a boy! Treville,
that's impossible!"

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

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

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

"I will see this young man, Treville--I will see him; and if anything
can be done--well, we will make it our business."

"When will your Majesty deign to receive him?"

"Tomorrow, at midday, Treville."

"Shall I bring him alone?"

"No, bring me all four together. I wish to thank them all at
once. Devoted men are so rare, Treville, by the back staircase.
It is useless to let the cardinal know."

"Yes, sire."

"You understand, Treville--an edict is still an edict, it is
forbidden to fight, after all."

"But this encounter, sire, is quite out of the ordinary
conditions of a duel. It is a brawl; and the proof is that there
were five of the cardinal's Guardsmen against my three Musketeers
and Monsieur d'Artagnan."

"That is true," said the king; "but never mind, Treville, come
still by the back staircase."

Treville smiled; but as it was indeed something to have prevailed
upon this child to rebel against his master, he saluted the king
respectfully, and with this agreement, took leave of him.

That evening the three Musketeers were informed of the honor
accorded them. As they had long been acquainted with the king,
they were not much excited; but d'Artagnan, with his Gascon
imagination, saw in it his future fortune, and passed the night
in golden dreams. By eight o'clock in the morning he was at the
apartment of Athos.

D'Artagnan found the Musketeer dressed and ready to go out. As
the hour to wait upon the king was not till twelve, he had made a
party with Porthos and Aramis to play a game at tennis in a
tennis court situated near the stables of the Luxembourg. Athos
invited d'Artagnan to follow them; and although ignorant of the
game, which he had never played, he accepted, not knowing what to
do with his time from nine o'clock in the morning, as it then
scarcely was, till twelve.

The two Musketeers were already there, and were playing together.
Athos, who was very expert in all bodily exercises, passed with
d'Artagnan to the opposite side and challenged them; but at the
first effort he made, although he played with his left hand, he
found that his wound was yet too recent to allow of such
exertion. D'Artagnan remained, therefore, alone; and as he
declared he was too ignorant of the game to play it regularly
they only continued giving balls to one another without counting.
But one of these balls, launched by Porthos' herculean hand,
passed so close to d'Artagnan's face that he thought that if,
instead of passing near, it had hit him, his audience would have
been probably lost, as it would have been impossible for him to
present himself before the king. Now, as upon this audience, in
his Gascon imagination, depended his future life, he saluted
Aramis and Porthos politely, declaring that he would not resume
the game until he should be prepared to play with them on more
equal terms, and went and took his place near the cord and in the

Unfortunately for d'Artagnan, among the spectators was one of his
Eminence's Guardsmen, who, still irritated by the defeat of his
companions, which had happened only the day before, had promised
himself to seize the first opportunity of avenging it. He
believed this opportunity was now come and addressed his
neighbor: "It is not astonishing that that young man should be
afraid of a ball, for he is doubtless a Musketeer apprentice."

D'Artagnan turned round as if a serpent had stung him, and fixed
his eyes intensely upon the Guardsman who had just made this
insolent speech.

"PARDIEU," resumed the latter, twisting his mustache, "look at me
as long as you like, my little gentleman! I have said what I
have said."

"And as since that which you have said is too clear to require
any explanation," replied d'Artagnan, in a low voice, "I beg you
to follow me."

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

"At once, if you please."

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

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

"You're in the wrong there; for if you knew my name, perhaps you
would not be so pressing."

"What is your name?"

"Bernajoux, at your service."

"Well, then, Monsieur Bernajoux," said d'Artagnan, tranquilly, "I
will wait for you at the door."

"Go, monsieur, I will follow you."

"Do not hurry yourself, monsieur, lest it be observed that we go
out together. You must be aware that for our undertaking,
company would be in the way."

"That's true," said the Guardsman, astonished that his name had
not produced more effect upon the young man.

Indeed, the name of Bernajoux was known to all the world,
d'Artagnan alone excepted, perhaps; for it was one of those which
figured most frequently in the daily brawls which all the edicts
of the cardinal could not repress.

Porthos and Aramis were so engaged with their game, and Athos was
watching them with so much attention, that they did not even
perceive their young companion go out, who, as he had told the
Guardsman of his Eminence, stopped outside the door. An instant
after, the Guardsman descended in his turn. As d'Artagnan had no
time to lose, on account of the audience of the king, which was
fixed for midday, he cast his eyes around, and seeing that the
street was empty, said to his adversary, "My faith! It is
fortunate for you, although your name is Bernajoux, to have only
to deal with an apprentice Musketeer. Never mind; be content, I
will do my best. On guard!"

"But," said he whom d'Artagnan thus provoked, "it appears to me
that this place is badly chosen, and that we should be better
behind the Abbey St. Germain or in the Pre-aux-Clercs."

"What you say is full of sense," replied d'Artagnan; "but
unfortunately I have very little time to spare, having an
appointment at twelve precisely. On guard, then, monsieur, on

Bernajoux was not a man to have such a compliment paid to him
twice. In an instant his sword glittered in his hand, and he
sprang upon his adversary, whom, thanks to his great
youthfulness, he hoped to intimidate.

But d'Artagnan had on the preceding day served his
apprenticeship. Fresh sharpened by his victory, full of hopes of
future favor, he was resolved not to recoil a step. So the two
swords were crossed close to the hilts, and as d'Artagnan stood
firm, it was his adversary who made the retreating step; but
d'Artagnan seized the moment at which, in this movement, the
sword of Bernajoux deviated from the line. He freed his weapon,
made a lunge, and touched his adversary on the shoulder.
d'Artagnan immediately made a step backward and raised his sword;
but Bernajoux cried out that it was nothing, and rushing blindly
upon him, absolutely spitted himself upon d'Artagnan's sword.
As, however, he did not fall, as he did not declare himself
conquered, but only broke away toward the hotel of M. de la
Tremouille, in whose service he had a relative, d'Artagnan was
ignorant of the seriousness of the last wound his adversary had
received, and pressing him warmly, without doubt would soon have
completed his work with a third blow, when the noise which arose
from the street being heard in the tennis court, two of the
friends of the Guardsman, who had seen him go out after
exchanging some words with d'Artagnan, rushed, sword in hand,
from the court, and fell upon the conqueror. But Athos, Porthos,
and Aramis quickly appeared in their turn, and the moment the two
Guardsmen attacked their young companion, drove them back.
Bernajoux now fell, and as the Guardsmen were only two against
four, they began to cry, "To the rescue! The Hotel de la
Tremouille!" At these cries, all who were in the hotel rushed
out and fell upon the four companions, who on their side cried
aloud, "To the rescue, Musketeers!"

This cry was generally heeded; for the Musketeers were known to
be enemies of the cardinal, and were beloved on account of the
hatred they bore to his Eminence. Thus the soldiers of other
companies than those which belonged to the Red Duke, as Aramis
had called him, often took part with the king's Musketeers in
these quarrels. Of three Guardsmen of the company of M.
Dessessart who were passing, two came to the assistance of the
four companions, while the other ran toward the hotel of M. de
Treville, crying, "To the rescue, Musketeers! To the rescue!"
As usual, this hotel was full of soldiers of this company, who
hastened to the succor of their comrades. The MELEE became
general, but strength was on the side of the Musketeers. The
cardinal's Guards and M. de la Tremouille's people retreated into
the hotel, the doors of which they closed just in time to prevent
their enemies from entering with them. As to the wounded man, he
had been taken in at once, and, as we have said, in a very bad

Excitement was at its height among the Musketeers and their
allies, and they even began to deliberate whether they should not
set fire to the hotel to punish the insolence of M. de la
Tremouille's domestics in daring to make a SORTIE upon the king's
Musketeers. The proposition had been made, and received with
enthusiasm, when fortunately eleven o'clock struck. D'Artagnan
and his companions remembered their audience, and as they would
very much have regretted that such an opportunity should be lost,
they succeeded in calming their friends, who contented themselves
with hurling some paving stones against the gates; but the gates
were too strong. They soon tired of the sport. Besides, those
who must be considered the leaders of the enterprise had quit the
group and were making their way toward the hotel of M. de
Treville, who was waiting for them, already informed of this
fresh disturbance.

"Quick to the Louvre," said he, "to the Louvre without losing an
instant, and let us endeavor to see the king before he is
prejudiced by the cardinal. We will describe the thing to him as
a consequence of the affair of yesterday, and the two will pass
off together."

M. de Treville, accompanied by the four young fellows, directed
his course toward the Louvre; but to the great astonishment of
the captain of the Musketeers, he was informed that the king had
gone stag hunting in the forest of St. Germain. M. de Treville
required this intelligence to be repeated to him twice, and each
time his companions saw his brow become darker.

"Had his Majesty," asked he, "any intention of holding this
hunting party yesterday?"

"No, your Excellency," replied the valet de chambre, "the Master
of the Hounds came this morning to inform him that he had marked
down a stag. At first the king answered that he would not go;
but he could not resist his love of sport, and set out after

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

"In all probability he has," replied the valet, "for I saw the
horses harnessed to his Eminence's carriage this morning, and
when I asked where he was going, they told me, "To St. Germain.'"

"He is beforehand with us," said M. de Treville. "Gentlemen, I
will see the king this evening; but as to you, I do not advise
you to risk doing so."

This advice was too reasonable, and moreover came from a man who
knew the king too well, to allow the four young men to dispute
it. M. de Treville recommended everyone to return home and wait
for news.

On entering his hotel, M. de Treville thought it best to be first
in making the complaint. He sent one of his servants to M. de la
Tremouille with a letter in which he begged of him to eject the
cardinal's Guardsmen from his house, and to reprimand his people
for their audacity in making SORTIE against the king's
Musketeers. But M. de la Tremouille--already prejudiced by his
esquire, whose relative, as we already know, Bernajoux was--
replied that it was neither for M. de Treville nor the Musketeers
to complain, but, on the contrary, for him, whose people the
Musketeers had assaulted and whose hotel they had endeavored to
burn. Now, as the debate between these two nobles might last a
long time, each becoming, naturally, more firm in his own
opinion, M. de Treville thought of an expedient which might
terminate it quietly. This was to go himself to M. de la

He repaired, therefore, immediately to his hotel, and caused
himself to be announced.

The two nobles saluted each other politely, for if no friendship
existed between them, there was at least esteem. Both were men
of courage and honor; and as M. de la Tremouille--a Protestant,
and seeing the king seldom--was of no party, he did not, in
general, carry any bias into his social relations. This time,
however, his address, although polite, was cooler than usual.

"Monsieur," said M. de Treville, "we fancy that we have each
cause to complain of the other, and I am come to endeavor to
clear up this affair."

"I have no objection," replied M. de la Tremouille, "but I warn
you that I am well informed, and all the fault is with your

"You are too just and reasonable a man, monsieur!" said Treville,
"not to accept the proposal I am about to make to you."

"Make it, monsieur, I listen."

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

"Why, monsieur, very ill indeed! In addition to the sword thrust
in his arm, which is not dangerous, he has received another right
through his lungs, of which the doctor says bad things."

"But has the wounded man retained his senses?"


"Does he talk?"

"With difficulty, but he can speak."

"Well, monsieur, let us go to him. Let us adjure him, in the
name of the God before whom he must perhaps appear, to speak the
truth. I will take him for judge in his own cause, monsieur, and
will believe what he will say."

M. de la Tremouille reflected for an instant; then as it was
difficult to suggest a more reasonable proposal, he agreed to it.

Both descended to the chamber in which the wounded man lay. The
latter, on seeing these two noble lords who came to visit him,
endeavored to raise himself up in his bed; but he was too weak,
and exhausted by the effort, he fell back again almost senseless.

M. de la Tremouille approached him, and made him inhale some
salts, which recalled him to life. Then M. de Treville,
unwilling that it should be thought that he had influenced the
wounded man, requested M. de la Tremouille to interrogate him

That happened which M. de Treville had foreseen. Placed between
life and death, as Bernajoux was, he had no idea for a moment of
concealing the truth; and he described to the two nobles the
affair exactly as it had passed.

This was all that M. de Treville wanted. He wished Bernajoux a
speedy convalescence, took leave of M. de la Tremouille, returned
to his hotel, and immediately sent word to the four friends that
he awaited their company at dinner.

M. de Treville entertained good company, wholly anticardinalist,
though. It may easily be understood, therefore, that the
conversation during the whole of dinner turned upon the two
checks that his Eminence's Guardsmen had received. Now, as
d'Artagnan had been the hero of these two fights, it was upon him
that all the felicitations fell, which Athos, Porthos, and Aramis
abandoned to him, not only as good comrades, but as men who had
so often had their turn that could very well afford him his.

Toward six o'clock M. de Treville announced that it was time to
go to the Louvre; but as the hour of audience granted by his
Majesty was past, instead of claiming the ENTREE by the back
stairs, he placed himself with the four young men in the
antechamber. The king had not yet returned from hunting. Our
young men had been waiting about half an hour, amid a crowd of
courtiers, when all the doors were thrown open, and his Majesty
was announced.

At his announcement d'Artagnan felt himself tremble to the very
marrow of his bones. The coming instant would in all probability
decide the rest of his life. His eyes therefore were fixed in a
sort of agony upon the door through which the king must enter.

Louis XIII appeared, walking fast. He was in hunting costume
covered with dust, wearing large boots, and holding a whip in his
hand. At the first glance, d'Artagnan judged that the mind of
the king was stormy.

This disposition, visible as it was in his Majesty, did not
prevent the courtiers from ranging themselves along his pathway.
In royal antechambers it is worth more to be viewed with an angry
eye than not to be seen at all. The three Musketeers therefore
did not hesitate to make a step forward. D'Artagnan on the
contrary remained concealed behind them; but although the king
knew Athos, Porthos, and Aramis personally, he passed before them
without speaking or looking--indeed, as if he had never seen them
before. As for M. de Treville, when the eyes of the king fell
upon him, he sustained the look with so much firmness that it was
the king who dropped his eyes; after which his Majesty,
grumbling, entered his apartment.

"Matters go but badly," said Athos, smiling; "and we shall not be
made Chevaliers of the Order this time."

"Wait here ten minutes," said M. de Treville; "and if at the
expiration of ten minutes you do not see me come out, return to
my hotel, for it will be useless for you to wait for me longer."

The four young men waited ten minutes, a quarter of an hour,
twenty minutes; and seeing that M. de Treville did not return,
went away very uneasy as to what was going to happen.

M. de Treville entered the king's cabinet boldly, and found his
Majesty in a very ill humor, seated on an armchair, beating his
boot with the handle of his whip. This, however, did not prevent
his asking, with the greatest coolness, after his Majesty's

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

This was, in fact, the worst complaint of Louis XIII, who would
sometimes take one of his courtiers to a window and say,
"Monsieur So-and-so, let us weary ourselves together."

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

"A fine pleasure, indeed, monsieur! Upon my soul, everything
degenerates; and I don't know whether it is the game which leaves
no scent, or the dogs that have no noses. We started a stag of
ten branches. We chased him for six hours, and when he was near
being taken--when St.-Simon was already putting his horn to his
mouth to sound the mort--crack, all the pack takes the wrong
scent and sets off after a two-year-older. I shall be obliged to
give up hunting, as I have given up hawking. Ah, I am an
unfortunate king, Monsieur de Treville! I had but one gerfalcon,
and he died day before yesterday."

"Indeed, sire, I wholly comprehend your disappointment. The
misfortune is great; but I think you have still a good number of
falcons, sparrow hawks, and tiercets."

"And not a man to instruct them. Falconers are declining. I
know no one but myself who is acquainted with the noble art of
venery. After me it will all be over, and people will hunt with
gins, snares, and traps. If I had but the time to train pupils!
But there is the cardinal always at hand, who does not leave me a
moment's repose; who talks to me about Spain, who talks to me
about Austria, who talks to me about England! Ah! A PROPOS of
the cardinal, Monsieur de Treville, I am vexed with you!"

This was the chance at which M. de Treville waited for the king.
He knew the king of old, and he knew that all these complaints
were but a preface--a sort of excitation to encourage himself--
and that he had now come to his point at last.

"And in what have I been so unfortunate as to displease your
Majesty?" asked M. de Treville, feigning the most profound

"Is it thus you perform your charge, monsieur?" continued the
king, without directly replying to de Treville's question. "Is
it for this I name you captain of my Musketeers, that they should
assassinate a man, disturb a whole quarter, and endeavor to set
fire to Paris, without your saying a word? But yet," continued
the king, "undoubtedly my haste accuses you wrongfully; without
doubt the rioters are in prison, and you come to tell me justice
is done."

"Sire," replied M. de Treville, calmly, "on the contrary, I come
to demand it of you."

"And against whom?" cried the king.

"Against calumniators," said M. de Treville.

"Ah! This is something new," replied the king. "Will you tell
me that your three damned Musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis,
and your youngster from Bearn, have not fallen, like so many
furies, upon poor Bernajoux, and have not maltreated him in such
a fashion that probably by this time he is dead? Will you tell
me that they did not lay siege to the hotel of the Duc de la
Tremouille, and that they did not endeavor to burn it?--which
would not, perhaps, have been a great misfortune in time of war,
seeing that it is nothing but a nest of Huguenots, but which is,
in time of peace, a frightful example. Tell me, now, can you
deny all this?"

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

"Who has told me this fine story, monsieur? Who should it be but
he who watches while I sleep, who labors while I amuse myself,
who conducts everything at home and abroad--in France as in

"Your Majesty probably refers to God," said M. de Treville; "for
I know no one except God who can be so far above your Majesty."

"No, monsieur; I speak of the prop of the state, of my only
servant, of my only friend--of the cardinal."

"His Eminence is not his holiness, sire."

"What do you mean by that, monsieur?"

"That it is only the Pope who is infallible, and that this
infallibility does not extend to cardinals."

"You mean to say that he deceives me; you mean to say that he
betrays me? You accuse him, then? Come, speak; avow freely that
you accuse him!"

"No, sire, but I say that he deceives himself. I say that he is
ill-informed. I say that he has hastily accused your Majesty's
Musketeers, toward whom he is unjust, and that he has not
obtained his information from good sources."

"The accusation comes from Monsieur de la Tremouille, from the
duke himself. What do you say to that?"

"I might answer, sire, that he is too deeply interested in the
question to be a very impartial witness; but so far from that,
sire, I know the duke to be a royal gentleman, and I refer the
matter to him--but upon one condition, sire."


"It is that your Majesty will make him come here, will
interrogate him yourself, TETE-A-TETE, without witnesses, and
that I shall see your Majesty as soon as you have seen the duke."

"What, then! You will bind yourself," cried the king, "by what
Monsieur de la Tremouille shall say?"

"Yes, sire."

"You will accept his judgment?"


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


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

Louis XIII's confidential valet, who never left the door, entered
in reply to the call.

"La Chesnaye," said the king, "let someone go instantly and find
Monsieur de la Tremouille; I wish to speak with him this

"Your Majesty gives me your word that you will not see anyone
between Monsieur de la Tremouille and myself?"

"Nobody, by the faith of a gentleman."

"Tomorrow, then, sire?"

"Tomorrow, monsieur."

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

"At any hour you will."

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

"Awaken me! Do you think I ever sleep, then? I sleep no longer,
monsieur. I sometimes dream, that's all. Come, then, as early
as you like--at seven o'clock; but beware, if you and your
Musketeers are guilty."

"If my Musketeers are guilty, sire, the guilty shall be placed in
your Majesty's hands, who will dispose of them at your good
pleasure. Does your Majesty require anything further? Speak, I
am ready to obey."

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

"Till then, God preserve your Majesty!"

However ill the king might sleep, M. de Treville slept still
worse. He had ordered his three Musketeers and their companion
to be with him at half past six in the morning. He took them
with him, without encouraging them or promising them anything,
and without concealing from them that their luck, and even his
own, depended upon the cast of the dice.

Arrived at the foot of the back stairs, he desired them to wait.
If the king was still irritated against them, they would depart
without being seen; if the king consented to see them, they would
only have to be called.

On arriving at the king's private antechamber, M. de Treville
found La Chesnaye, who informed him that they had not been able
to find M. de la Tremouille on the preceding evening at his
hotel, that he returned too late to present himself at the
Louvre, that he had only that moment arrived and that he was at
that very hour with the king.

This circumstance pleased M. de Treville much, as he thus became
certain that no foreign suggestion could insinuate itself between
M. de la Tremouille's testimony and himself.

In fact, ten minutes had scarcely passed away when the door of
the king's closet opened, and M. de Treville saw M. de la
Tremouille come out. The duke came straight up to him, and said:
"Monsieur de Treville, his Majesty has just sent for me in order
to inquire respecting the circumstances which took place
yesterday at my hotel. I have told him the truth; that is to
say, that the fault lay with my people, and that I was ready to
offer you my excuses. Since I have the good fortune to meet you,
I beg you to receive them, and to hold me always as one of your

"Monsieur the Duke," said M. de Treville, "I was so confident of
your loyalty that I required no other defender before his Majesty
than yourself. I find that I have not been mistaken, and I thank
you that there is still one man in France of whom may be said,
without disappointment, what I have said of you."

"That's well said," cried the king, who had heard all these
compliments through the open door; "only tell him, Treville,
since he wishes to be considered your friend, that I also wish to
be one of his, but he neglects me; that it is nearly three years
since I have seen him, and that I never do see him unless I send
for him. Tell him all this for me, for these are things which a
king cannot say for himself."

"Thanks, sire, thanks," said the duke; "but your Majesty may be
assured that it is not those--I do not speak of Monsieur de
Treville--whom your Majesty sees at all hours of the day that are
most devoted to you."

"Ah! You have heard what I said? So much the better, Duke, so
much the better," said the king, advancing toward the door. "Ah!
It is you, Treville. Where are your Musketeers? I told you the
day before yesterday to bring them with you; why have you not
done so?"

"They are below, sire, and with your permission La Chesnaye will
bid them come up."

"Yes, yes, let them come up immediately. It is nearly eight
o'clock, and at nine I expect a visit. Go, Monsieur Duke, and
return often. Come in, Treville."

The Duke saluted and retired. At the moment he opened the door,
the three Musketeers and d'Artagnan, conducted by La Chesnaye,
appeared at the top of the staircase.

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

The Musketeers advanced, bowing, d'Artagnan following closely
behind them.

"What the devil!" continued the king. "Seven of his Eminence's
Guards placed HORS DE COMBAT by you four in two days! That's too
many, gentlemen, too many! If you go on so, his Eminence will be
forced to renew his company in three weeks, and I to put the
edicts in force in all their rigor. One now and then I don't say
much about; but seven in two days, I repeat, it is too many, it
is far too many!"

"Therefore, sire, your Majesty sees that they are come, quite
contrite and repentant, to offer you their excuses."

"Quite contrite and repentant! Hem!" said the king. "I place no
confidence in their hypocritical faces. In particular, there is
one yonder of a Gascon look. Come hither, monsieur."

D'Artagnan, who understood that it was to him this compliment was
addressed, approached, assuming a most deprecating air.

"Why you told me he was a young man? This is a boy, Treville, a
mere boy! Do you mean to say that it was he who bestowed that
severe thrust at Jussac?"

"And those two equally fine thrusts at Bernajoux."


"Without reckoning," said Athos, "that if he had not rescued me
from the hands of Cahusac, I should not now have the honor of
making my very humble reverence to your Majesty."

"Why he is a very devil, this Bearnais! VENTRE-SAINT-GRIS,
Monsieur de Treville, as the king my father would have said. But
at this sort of work, many doublets must be slashed and many
swords broken. Now, Gascons are always poor, are they not?"

"Sire, I can assert that they have hitherto discovered no gold
mines in their mountains; though the Lord owes them this miracle
in recompense for the manner in which they supported the
pretensions of the king your father."

"Which is to say that the Gascons made a king of me, myself,
seeing that I am my father's son, is it not, Treville? Well,
happily, I don't say nay to it. La Chesnaye, go and see if by
rummaging all my pockets you can find forty pistoles; and if you
can find them, bring them to me. And now let us see, young man,
with your hand upon your conscience, how did all this come to

D'Artagnan related the adventure of the preceding day in all its
details; how, not having been able to sleep for the joy he felt
in the expectation of seeing his Majesty, he had gone to his
three friends three hours before the hour of audience; how they
had gone together to the tennis court, and how, upon the fear he
had manifested lest he receive a ball in the face, he had been
jeered at by Bernajoux who had nearly paid for his jeer with his
life and M. de la Tremouille, who had nothing to do with the
matter, with the loss of his hotel.

"This is all very well," murmured the king, "yes, this is just
the account the duke gave me of the affair. Poor cardinal!
Seven men in two days, and those of his very best! But that's
quite enough, gentlemen; please to understand, that's enough.
You have taken your revenge for the Rue Ferou, and even exceeded
it; you ought to be satisfied."

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

"Oh, yes; I am," added the king, taking a handful of gold from La
Chesnaye, and putting it into the hand of d'Artagnan. "Here,"
said he, "is a proof of my satisfaction."

At this epoch, the ideas of pride which are in fashion in our
days did not prevail. A gentleman received, from hand to hand,
money from the king, and was not the least in the world
humiliated. D'Artagnan put his forty pistoles into his pocket
without any scruple--on the contrary, thanking his Majesty

"There," said the king, looking at a clock, "there, now, as it is
half past eight, you may retire; for as I told you, I expect
someone at nine. Thanks for your devotedness, gentlemen. I may
continue to rely upon it, may I not?"

"Oh, sire!" cried the four companions, with one voice, "we would
allow ourselves to be cut to pieces in your Majesty's service."

"Well, well, but keep whole; that will be better, and you will be
more useful to me. Treville," added the king, in a low voice, as
the others were retiring, "as you have no room in the Musketeers,
and as we have besides decided that a novitiate is necessary
before entering that corps, place this young man in the company
of the Guards of Monsieur Dessessart, your brother-in-law. Ah,
PARDIEU, Treville! I enjoy beforehand the face the cardinal will
make. He will be furious; but I don't care. I am doing what is

The king waved his hand to Treville, who left him and rejoined
the Musketeers, whom he found sharing the forty pistoles with

The cardinal, as his Majesty had said, was really furious, so
furious that during eight days he absented himself from the
king's gaming table. This did not prevent the king from being as
complacent to him as possible whenever he met him, or from asking
in the kindest tone, "Well, Monsieur Cardinal, how fares it with
that poor Jussac and that poor Bernajoux of yours?"


When d'Artagnan was out of the Louvre, and consulted his friends
upon the use he had best make of his share of the forty pistoles,
Athos advised him to order a good repast at the Pomme-de-Pin,
Porthos to engage a lackey, and Aramis to provide himself with a
suitable mistress.

The repast was carried into effect that very day, and the lackey
waited at table. The repast had been ordered by Athos, and the
lackey furnished by Porthos. He was a Picard, whom the glorious
Musketeer had picked up on the Bridge Tournelle, making rings and
plashing in the water.

Porthos pretended that this occupation was proof of a reflective
and contemplative organization, and he had brought him away
without any other recommendation. The noble carriage of this
gentleman, for whom he believed himself to be engaged, had won
Planchet--that was the name of the Picard. He felt a slight
disappointment, however, when he saw that this place was already
taken by a compeer named Mousqueton, and when Porthos signified
to him that the state of his household, though great, would not
support two servants, and that he must enter into the service of
d'Artagnan. Nevertheless, when he waited at the dinner given my
his master, and saw him take out a handful of gold to pay for it,
he believed his fortune made, and returned thanks to heaven for
having thrown him into the service of such a Croesus. He
preserved this opinion even after the feast, with the remnants of
which he repaired his own long abstinence; but when in the
evening he made his master's bed, the chimeras of Planchet faded
away. The bed was the only one in the apartment, which consisted
of an antechamber and a bedroom. Planchet slept in the
antechamber upon a coverlet taken from the bed of d'Artagnan, and
which d'Artagnan from that time made shift to do without.

Athos, on his part, had a valet whom he had trained in his
service in a thoroughly peculiar fashion, and who was named
Grimaud. He was very taciturn, this worthy signor. Be it
understood we are speaking of Athos. During the five or six
years that he had lived in the strictest intimacy with his
companions, Porthos and Aramis, they could remember having often
seen him smile, but had never heard him laugh. His words were
brief and expressive, conveying all that was meant, and no more;
no embellishments, no embroidery, no arabesques. His
conversation a matter of fact, without a single romance.

Although Athos was scarcely thirty years old, and was of great
personal beauty and intelligence of mind, no one knew whether he
had ever had a mistress. He never spoke of women. He certainly
did not prevent others from speaking of them before him, although
it was easy to perceive that this kind of conversation, in which
he only mingled by bitter words and misanthropic remarks, was
very disagreeable to him. His reserve, his roughness, and his
silence made almost an old man of him. He had, then, in order
not to disturb his habits, accustomed Grimaud to obey him upon a
simple gesture or upon a simple movement of his lips. He never
spoke to him, except under the most extraordinary occasions.

Sometimes, Grimaud, who feared his master as he did fire, while
entertaining a strong attachment to his person and a great
veneration for his talents, believed he perfectly understood what
he wanted, flew to execute the order received, and did precisely
the contrary. Athos then shrugged his shoulders, and, without
putting himself in a passion, thrashed Grimaud. On these days he
spoke a little.

Porthos, as we have seen, had a character exactly opposite to
that of Athos. He not only talked much, but he talked loudly,
little caring, we must render him that justice, whether anybody
listened to him or not. He talked for the pleasure of talking
and for the pleasure of hearing himself talk. He spoke upon all
subjects except the sciences, alleging in this respect the
inveterate hatred he had borne to scholars from his childhood.
He had not so noble an air as Athos, and the commencement of
their intimacy often rendered him unjust toward that gentleman,
whom he endeavored to eclipse by his splendid dress. But with
his simple Musketeer's uniform and nothing but the manner in
which he threw back his head and advanced his foot, Athos
instantly took the place which was his due and consigned the
ostentatious Porthos to the second rank. Porthos consoled
himself by filling the antechamber of M. de Treville and the
guardroom of the Louvre with the accounts of his love scrapes,
after having passed from professional ladies to military ladies,
from the lawyer's dame to the baroness, there was question of
nothing less with Porthos than a foreign princess, who was
enormously fond of him.

An old proverb says, "Like master, like man." Let us pass, then,
from the valet of Athos to the valet of Porthos, from Grimaud to

Mousqueton was a Norman, whose pacific name of Boniface his
master had changed into the infinitely more sonorous name of
Mousqueton. He had entered the service of Porthos upon condition
that he should only be clothed and lodged, though in a handsome
manner; but he claimed two hours a day to himself, consecrated to
an employment which would provide for his other wants. Porthos
agreed to the bargain; the thing suited him wonderfully well. He
had doublets cut out of his old clothes and cast-off cloaks for
Mousqueton, and thanks to a very intelligent tailor, who made his
clothes look as good as new by turning them, and whose wife was
suspected of wishing to make Porthos descend from his
aristocratic habits, Mousqueton made a very good figure when
attending on his master.

As for Aramis, of whom we believe we have sufficiently explained
the character--a character which, like that of his lackey was
called Bazin. Thanks to the hopes which his master entertained
of someday entering into orders, he was always clothed in black,
as became the servant of a churchman. He was a Berrichon,
thirty-five or forty years old, mild, peaceable, sleek, employing
the leisure his master left him in the perusal of pious works,
providing rigorously for two a dinner of few dishes, but
excellent. For the rest, he was dumb, blind, and deaf, and of
unimpeachable fidelity.

And now that we are acquainted, superficially at least, with the
masters and the valets, let us pass on to the dwellings occupied
by each of them.

Athos dwelt in the Rue Ferou, within two steps of the Luxembourg.
His apartment consisted of two small chambers, very nicely fitted
up, in a furnished house, the hostess of which, still young and
still really handsome, cast tender glances uselessly at him.
Some fragments of past splendor appeared here and there upon the
walls of this modest lodging; a sword, for example, richly
embossed, which belonged by its make to the times of Francis I,
the hilt of which alone, encrusted with precious stones, might be
worth two hundred pistoles, and which, nevertheless, in his
moments of greatest distress Athos had never pledged or offered
for sale. It had long been an object of ambition for Porthos.
Porthos would have given ten years of his life to possess this

One day, when he had an appointment with a duchess, he endeavored
even to borrow it of Athos. Athos, without saying anything,
emptied his pockets, got together all his jewels, purses,
aiguillettes, and gold chains, and offered them all to Porthos;
but as to the sword, he said it was sealed to its place and
should never quit it until its master should himself quit his
lodgings. In addition to the sword, there was a portrait
representing a nobleman of the time of Henry III, dressed with
the greatest elegance, and who wore the Order of the Holy Ghost;
and this portrait had certain resemblances of lines with Athos,
certain family likenesses which indicated that this great noble,
a knight of the Order of the King, was his ancestor.

Besides these, a casket of magnificent goldwork, with the same
arms as the sword and the portrait, formed a middle ornament to
the mantelpiece, and assorted badly with the rest of the
furniture. Athos always carried the key of this coffer about
him; but he one day opened it before Porthos, and Porthos was
convinced that this coffer contained nothing but letters and
papers--love letters and family papers, no doubt.

Porthos lived in an apartment, large in size and of very
sumptuous appearance, in the Rue du Vieux-Colombier. Every time
he passed with a friend before his windows, at one of which
Mousqueton was sure to be placed in full livery, Porthos raised
his head and his hand, and said, "That is my abode!" But he was
never to be found at home; he never invited anybody to go up with
him, and no one could form an idea of what his sumptuous
apartment contained in the shape of real riches.

As to Aramis, he dwelt in a little lodging composed of a boudoir,
an eating room, and a bedroom, which room, situated, as the
others were, on the ground floor, looked out upon a little fresh
green garden, shady and impenetrable to the eyes of his

With regard to d'Artagnan, we know how he was lodged, and we have
already made acquaintance with his lackey, Master Planchet.

D'Artagnan, who was by nature very curious--as people generally
are who possess the genius of intrigue--did all he could to make
out who Athos, Porthos, and Aramis really were (for under these
pseudonyms each of these young men concealed his family name)--
Athos in particular, who, a league away, savored of nobility. He
addressed himself then to Porthos to gain information respecting
Athos and Aramis, and to Aramis in order to learn something of

Unfortunately Porthos knew nothing of the life of his silent
companion but what revealed itself. It was said Athos had met
with great crosses in love, and that a frightful treachery had
forever poisoned the life of this gallant man. What could this
treachery be? All the world was ignorant of it.

As to Porthos, except his real name (as was the case with those
of his two comrades), his life was very easily known. Vain and
indiscreet, it was as easy to see through him as through a
crystal. The only thing to mislead the investigator would have
been belief in all the good things he said of himself.

With respect to Aramis, though having the air of having nothing
secret about him, he was a young fellow made up of mysteries,
answering little to questions put to him about others, and having
learned from him the report which prevailed concerning the
success of the Musketeer with a princess, wished to gain a little
insight into the amorous adventures of his interlocutor. "And
you, my dear companion," said he, "you speak of the baronesses,
countesses, and princesses of others?"

"PARDIEU! I spoke of them because Porthos talked of them
himself, because he had paraded all these fine things before me.
But be assured, my dear Monsieur d'Artagnan, that if I had
obtained them from any other source, or if they had been confided
to me, there exists no confessor more discreet than myself."

"Oh, I don't doubt that," replied d'Artagnan; "but it seems to me
that you are tolerably familiar with coats of arms--a certain
embroidered handkerchief, for instance, to which I owe the honor
of your acquaintance?"

This time Aramis was not angry, but assumed the most modest air
and replied in a friendly tone, "My dear friend, do not forget
that I wish to belong to the Church, and that I avoid all mundane
opportunities. The handkerchief you saw had not been given to
me, but it had been forgotten and left at my house by one of my
friends. I was obliged to pick it up in order not to compromise
him and the lady he loves. As for myself, I neither have, nor
desire to have, a mistress, following in that respect the very
judicious example of Athos, who has none any more than I have."

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

"A Musketeer for a time, my friend, as the cardinal says, a
Musketeer against my will, but a churchman at heart, believe me.
Athos and Porthos dragged me into this to occupy me. I had, at
the moment of being ordained, a little difficulty with--But that
would not interest you, and I am taking up your valuable time."

"Not at all; it interests me very much," cried d'Artagnan; "and
at this moment I have absolutely nothing to do."

"Yes, but I have my breviary to repeat," answered Aramis; "then
some verses to compose, which Madame d'Aiguillon begged of me.
Then I must go to the Rue St. Honore in order to purchase some
rouge for Madame de Chevreuse. So you see, my dear friend, that
if you are not in a hurry, I am very much in a hurry."

Aramis held out his hand in a cordial manner to his young
companion, and took leave of him.

Notwithstanding all the pains he took, d'Artagnan was unable to
learn any more concerning his three new-made friends. He formed,
therefore, the resolution of believing for the present all that
was said of their past, hoping for more certain and extended
revelations in the future. In the meanwhile, he looked upon
Athos as an Achilles, Porthos as an Ajax, and Aramis as a Joseph.

As to the rest, the life of the four young friends was joyous
enough. Athos played, and that as a rule unfortunately.
Nevertheless, he never borrowed a sou of his companions, although
his purse was ever at their service; and when he had played upon
honor, he always awakened his creditor by six o'clock the next
morning to pay the debt of the preceding evening.

Porthos had his fits. On the days when he won he was insolent
and ostentatious; if he lost, he disappeared completely for
several days, after which he reappeared with a pale face and
thinner person, but with money in his purse.

As to Aramis, he never played. He was the worst Musketeer and
the most unconvivial companion imaginable. He had always
something or other to do. Sometimes in the midst of dinner, when
everyone, under the attraction of wine and in the warmth of
conversation, believed they had two or three hours longer to
enjoy themselves at table, Aramis looked at his watch, arose with
a bland smile, and took leave of the company, to go, as he said,
to consult a casuist with whom he had an appointment. At other
times he would return home to write a treatise, and requested his
friends not to disturb him.

At this Athos would smile, with his charming, melancholy smile,
which so became his noble countenance, and Porthos would drink,
swearing that Aramis would never be anything but a village CURE.

Planchet, d'Artagnan's valet, supported his good fortune nobly.
He received thirty sous per day, and for a month he returned to
his lodgings gay as a chaffinch, and affable toward his master.
When the wind of adversity began to blow upon the housekeeping of
the Rue des Fossoyeurs--that is to say, when the forty pistoles
of King Louis XIII were consumed or nearly so--he commenced
complaints which Athos thought nauseous, Porthos indecent, and
Aramis ridiculous. Athos counseled d'Artagnan to dismiss the
fellow; Porthos was of opinion that he should give him a good
thrashing first; and Aramis contended that a master should never
attend to anything but the civilities paid to him.

"This is all very easy for you to say," replied d'Artagnan, "for
you, Athos, who live like a dumb man with Grimaud, who forbid him
to speak, and consequently never exchange ill words with him; for
you, Porthos, who carry matters in such a magnificent style, and
are a god to your valet, Mousqueton; and for you, Aramis, who,
always abstracted by your theological studies, inspire your
servant, Bazin, a mild, religious man, with a profound respect;
but for me, who am without any settled means and without
resources--for me, who am neither a Musketeer nor even a
Guardsman, what I am to do to inspire either the affection, the
terror, or the respect in Planchet?"

"This is serious," answered the three friends; "it is a family
affair. It is with valets as with wives, they must be placed at
once upon the footing in which you wish them to remain. Reflect
upon it."

D'Artagnan did reflect, and resolved to thrash Planchet
provisionally; which he did with the conscientiousness that
d'Artagnan carried into everything. After having well beaten
him, he forbade him to leave his service without his permission.
"For," added he, "the future cannot fail to mend; I inevitably
look for better times. Your fortune is therefore made if you
remain with me, and I am too good a master to allow you to miss
such a chance by granting you the dismissal you require."

This manner of acting roused much respect for d'Artagnan's policy
among the Musketeers. Planchet was equally seized with
admiration, and said no more about going away.

The life of the four young men had become fraternal. D'Artagnan,
who had no settled habits of his own, as he came from his
province into the midst of his world quite new to him, fell
easily into the habits of his friends.

They rose about eight o'clock in the winter, about six in summer,
and went to take the countersign and see how things went on at M.
de Treville's. D'Artagnan, although he was not a Musketeer,
performed the duty of one with remarkable punctuality. He went
on guard because he always kept company with whoever of his
friends was on duty. He was well known at the Hotel of the
Musketeers, where everyone considered him a good comrade. M. de
Treville, who had appreciated him at the first glance and who
bore him a real affection, never ceased recommending him to the

On their side, the three Musketeers were much attached to their
young comrade. The friendship which united these four men, and
the need they felt of seeing another three or four times a day,
whether for dueling, business, or pleasure, caused them to be
continually running after one another like shadows; and the
Inseparables were constantly to be met with seeking one another,
from the Luxembourg to the Place St. Sulpice, or from the Rue du
Vieux-Colombier to the Luxembourg.

In the meanwhile the promises of M. de Treville went on
prosperously. One fine morning the king commanded M. de
Chevalier Dessessart to admit d'Artagnan as a cadet in his
company of Guards. D'Artagnan, with a sigh, donned his uniform,
which he would have exchanged for that of a Musketeer at the
expense of ten years of his existence. But M. de Treville
promised this favor after a novitiate of two years--a novitiate
which might besides be abridged if an opportunity should present
itself for d'Artagnan to render the king any signal service, or
to distinguish himself by some brilliant action. Upon this
promise d'Artagnan withdrew, and the next day he began service.

Then it became the turn of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis to mount
guard with d'Artagnan when he was on duty. The company of M. le
Chevalier Dessessart thus received four instead of one when it

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