Alexandre Dumas.

The Three Musketeers





The Three Musketeers
Alexandre Dumas

London, New York, Toronto, Sydney and New Delhi

Table of Contents

Cover Page

Title Page

Authors Preface

1 The Three Presents of M. DArtagnan, the Father

2 The Antechamber of M. de Treville

3 The Audience

4 The Shoulder of Athos, the Belt of Porthos, and the Handkerchief of Aramis

5 The Kings Musketeers and the Cardinals Guards

6 His Majesty King Louis the Thirteenth

7 The Domestic Manners of the Musketeers

8 The Court Intrigue

9 DArtagnan Begins to Show Himself

10 A Mousetrap of the Seventeenth Century

11 The Intrigue Becomes Confused

12 George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham

13 Monsieur Bonancieux

14 The Man of Meung

15 Civilians and Soldiers

16 In which the Keeper of the Seals, S?guier, looked more than once after the bell, that he might ring it as he had been used to do

17 The Bonancieux Household

18 The Lover and the Husband

19 The Plan of the Campaign

20 The Journey

21 The Countess de Winter

22 The Ballet of The Merlaison

23 The Appointment

24 The Pavilion

25 Porthos

26 The Thesis of Aramis

27 The Wife of Athos

28 The Return

29 The Hunt after Equipments

30 My Lady

31 English and French

32 An Attorneys Dinner

33 Maid and Mistress

34 Concerning the Equipments of Aramis and Porthos

35 All Cats are alike Gray in the Dark

36 The Dream of Vengeance

37 The Ladys Secret

38 How, without disturbing himself, Athos obtained His Equipment

39 A Charming Vision

40 A Terrible Vision

41 The Siege of La Rochelle

42 The Wine of Anjou

43 The Red Dove-Cot Tavern

44 The Utility of Stove Funnels

45 A Conjugal Scene

46 The Bastion of St.

Gervais

47 The Council of the Musketeers

48 A Family Affair

49 Fatality

50 A Chat between a Brother and Sister

51 The Officer

52 The First Day of Imprisonment

53 The Second Day of Imprisonment

54 The Third Day of Imprisonment

55 The Fourth Day of Imprisonment

56 The Fifth Day of Imprisonment

57 An Event in Classical Tragedy

58 The Escape

59 What happened at Portsmouth on the Twenty-third of August, 1628

60 In France

61 The Carmelite Convent of Bethune

62 Two Kinds of Demons

63 A Drop of Water

64 The Man in the Red Cloak

65 The Judgment

66 The Execution

67 A Message from the Cardinal

The Epilogue

Preview

About the Author

By the same author

Copyright

About the Publisher

Authors Preface

IT IS ABOUT a year ago, that in making researches in the Bibliotheque Nationale for my History of Louis the Fourteenth, I by chance met with the Memoirs of Monsieur dArtagnan, printed by Peter the Red at Amsterdamas the principal works of that period, when authors could not adhere to the truth without running the risk of the Bastile, generally were. The title attracted my notice; I took the Memoirs home, with the permission of the librarian, and actually devoured them.

It is not my intention here to make analysis of this curious work, but to satisfy myself by referring such of my readers to the work itself as appreciate the pictures of those times. They will there discover portraits traced by the hand of a master; and although these sketches are mostly drawn on the doors of a barrack, or the walls of an inn, they will not find them less true than those likenesses of Louis XIII., of Anne of Austria, of Richelieu, Mazarin, and the majority of the courtiers of that age, drawn by M. Anguetil.

But, as every one knows, that which strikes the eccentric mind of the poet, does not always make an impression on the great mass of readers. So, whilst admiring (as all others doubtless will do) the details which we have described, the thing which strikes us most, is one which certainly had not attracted the attention of any other person. DArtagnan relates, that on his first visit to M. de Treville, Captain of the Royal Musketeers, he met three young men in the ante-chamber, serving in the illustrious corps into which he solicited the honour of being admitted, and bearing the names of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

We confess that these foreign names struck us much, and we suspected that they were feigned appellations, by which dArtagnan had perhaps concealed the names of illustrious persons; if, perchance, the bearers of them had not themselves chosen them, when, through caprice, discontent, or lack of fortune, they had donned the simple coat of a Musketeer. Therefore we could not rest satisfied till we had found in contemporary literature some trace of the extraordinary titles which had so forcibly excited our curiosity. The mere catalogue of the books we read to gain this end would fill a whole chapter, which would perhaps be very instructive, but certainly far from amusing, to our readers. We will, therefore, content ourselves with saying, that at the very moment when, discouraged by such fruitless investigations, we were about to abandon our researches, we at last, guided by the counsels of our illustrious and learned friend, Paulin P?ris, discovered a manuscript folio, numbered 4772, or 4773, we forget which, having for its title

THE MEMOIRS OF M. LE COMTE DE LA F?RE;

RELATING TO SOME OF THE EVENTS WHICH PASSED IN FRANCE ABOUT THE END OF THE REIGN OF LOUIS XIII, AND THE BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF LOUIS XIV.

Our pleasure may be guessed, when, in turning over this manuscript, our last hope, we found at the twentieth page the name of Athos; at the twenty-first, the name of Aramis; at the twenty-seventh, the name of Porthos.

The discovery of a manuscript entirely unknown, at a period when historical knowledge was raised to such a high pitch, appeared to be almost a miracle. We therefore quickly requested permission to print it, that we might one day introduce ourselves to the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres with the goods of others, if we do not happen (as is very probable) to enter the French Academy on our own merits.

This permission was most graciously accorded; which we here declare, to give a public contradiction to those malevolent persons who pretend that government is not inclined to indulge authors.

We offer today the first part of this valuable manuscript to our readers, restoring to it the title which suits it, and promising, if (as we doubt not) this should meet with the success it merits, to publish immediately the second.

In the meantime, as the godfather is a second father, we invite our readers to look to us, and not to the Comte de la F?re, for his amusement or his ennui.

1 The Three Presents of M. DArtagnan, the Father

ON THE FIRST Monday of the month of April, 1625, the small town of Meung, the birthplace of the author of the Romance of the Rose, appeared to be in a state of revolution, as complete as if the Huguenots were come to make a second siege of La Rochelle. Many of the townsmen, observing the flight along the high street, of women who left their children to squall at the doorsteps, hastened to don their armour, and, fortifying their courage, which was inclined to fail, with a musket or a partisan, proceeded towards the inn of the Jolly Miller, to which a vast and accumulating mob was hastening with intense curiosity.

At that period alarms were frequent, and few days passed without some bourg or other registering in its archives an event of this description. There were the nobles, who made war on each other; there was the king, who made war on the cardinal; there was the Spaniard, who made war on the king; then, besides these wars, concealed or overt, secret or public, there were bandits, mendicants, Huguenots, wolves, and lacqueys, who made war on the whole world. The townsmen always armed themselves against the bandits, the wolves, and the lacqueys; frequently against the nobles and the Huguenots; sometimes against the king; but never against the cardinal or the Spaniard. From this custom, therefore, it arose, that on the aforesaid first Monday in the month of April, 1625, the burghers, hearing a noise, and seeing neither the yellow and red flag, nor the livery of the Duke of Richelieu, rushed towards the inn of the Jolly Miller. Having reached it, every one could see and understand the cause of this alarm. A young man

But let us trace his portrait with one stroke of the pen. Fancy to yourself Don Quixote at eighteenDon Quixote peeled, without his coat of mail or greavesDon Quixote clothed in a woollen doublet, whose blue colour was changed to an undyable shade, a shade between the lees of wine and a cerulean blue. The countenance long and brown; the cheek-bones high, denoting acuteness; the muscles of the jaw enormously developedan infallible mark by which a Gascon may be recognised, even without the cap, and our youth wore a cap, adorned with a sort of feather; the eye full and intelligent; the nose hooked, but finely formed; the whole figure too large for a youth, yet too small for an adult; an inexperienced eye would have taken him for the son of a farmer on a journey, had it not been for the long sword, which, hanging from a leathern belt, banged against the heels of its owner whilst he was walking, and against the rough coat of his steed when he was mounted;for our youth had a steed, and this steed was at the same time so remarkable as to attract observation. It was a Beaunese sheltie, of about twelve or fourteen years of age, yellow as an orange, without any hair on its tail, but abundance of galls on its legs, and which, whilst carrying its head lower than its knees, making the application of a martingale unnecessary, yet managed gallantly its eight leagues a day. Unfortunately, these useful qualities of the steed were so well concealed under its strange coat and eccentric gait, that at a time when every one knew something of horses, the apparition of the aforesaid sheltie at Meung, which it had entered about a quarter of an hour before, by the gate of Beaugency, produced a somewhat unfavourable sensation or impression, which extended even to its master. And this impression was the more painful to young dArtagnan (for that was the name of the Don Quixote of this second Rozinante), that he could not conceal from himself the ridiculous light in which he, albeit so good a horseman, was placed by such a steed. He had, therefore, sighed deeply when he accepted the gift from M. dArtagnan, his father: he knew that such a beast was worth about twenty francs. It is true that the words which accompanied the present were above price.

My son, said the Gascon gentleman, in that pure Beaunese patois or dialect, which Henry IV. could never entirely shake offmy son, this horse was born in the paternal homestead about thirteen years ago, and has remained in it ever since, which ought to make you regard it with affection. Never sell it; let it die honourably of old age, and in tranquillity; and should you make a campaign with it, take as much care of it as you would of an old servant. At the court, if you should ever have the honour to be presentedan honour, however, to which your long line of noble ancestors entitles yousupport with dignity the name of gentleman, which has been honourably borne by your ancestors, for the sake of you and yours, for more than 500 years. Never submit quietly to the slightest indignity, except it proceed from the cardinal or the king. It is by his couragemark this wellit is by his courage alone, that a gentleman makes his way nowadays. Whoever hesitates one moment, lets perhaps that chance escape him, which fortune, for that moment alone, has offered him. You are young, and ought to be brave, for two reasons: the first, because you are a Gascon; the second, because you are my son. Have no fear of many imbroglios, and look about for adventures. You have been taught to handle the sword; you have muscles of iron, a wrist like steel; fight whenever you can, the more so because duels are forbidden, and consequently it requires twice as much courage to fight. I have to give you but fifteen crowns, my son, besides the horse, and the advice which you have heard. Your mother will add to them the recipe for a certain balsam, which she received from a Bohemian woman, and which has the miraculous power of curing every wound which has fallen short of the heart. Take advantage of all, and live long and happily. I have only one word more to add, and it is the offer of an example: not my own, for I have never been at court; I have only served in the religious wars as a volunteer. I wish to speak to you of M. de Treville, once my neighbour, who has had the honour of playing, whilst a boy, with our king, Louis XIII., whom God preserve. Sometimes their play turned to battles, and in these battles the king did not always conquer; yet his conquests by M. de Treville imbued him with a great deal of esteem and friendship for him. Afterwards, M. de Treville fought other battles; indeed, merely during his journey to Paris, he fought five times; from the death of the late monarch, to the majority of the young king, he has fought seven times, without reckoning campaigns and sieges; and since that majority till now, perhaps a hundred times! And yet, in spite of edicts, ordinances, and writs, behold him now captain of the Musketeers; that is, chief of a legion of C?sars, upon whom the king mainly depends, and who are feared by the cardinal, who, as every one knows, is not easily alarmed. Moreover, M. de Treville gains ten thousand crowns a year, and therefore is a man of consequence. He began the world as you do. Go to him with this letter, and let your conduct be regulated by him, that you may meet with the same results.

Hereupon M. dArtagnan, the father, girded his own sword upon his son, tenderly kissed him on either cheek, and gave him his blessing. Leaving the paternal chamber, the young man found his mother waiting with the famous recipe, which, from the advice he had just received, it seemed very probable that he would require to use pretty often. The adieus were longer and more tender on this side than on the other; not but that M. dArtagnan loved his son, who was his only child, but that M. dArtagnan was a man who would have considered it unworthy of himself to give way to any sentiment; whilst Madame dArtagnan was a woman, and, what is more, a mother. She wept much; and, to the credit of M. dArtagnan the younger, we may as well say that, whatever efforts he made to remain firm, as became the future Musketeer, nature gained the day, and he shed many tears, some of which he had great difficulty in concealing.

Our youth took his way the same day, furnished with the three paternal gifts, which were, as we have said, the fifteen crowns, the steed, and the letter to M. de Treville. As may be well imagined, the advice was thrown into the bargain. With such a vade mecum, dArtagnan found himself, morally and physically, the counterpart of the hero of Cervantes, to whom we so happily compared him, when our duty as his historian obliged us to draw his portrait. Don Quixote took windmills for giants, and sheep for armies; dArtagnan considered every smile an insult, and even a look a provocation. Therefore, his fist was doubled from Tarbes to Meung; and, from one cause or another, his hand was on the pommel of his sword ten times a day. However, the fist did not descend upon any jaw, nor did the sword leave its scabbard. It was not that the unlucky yellow sheltie did not excite many a smile on the countenances of passers-by; but as beside the said yellow sheltie clashed a sword of respectable length, and above the sword glistened an eye rather stern than fierce, the wayfarers repressed their mirth, or, if their mirth surpassed their prudence, they took care only to laugh on one side of their faces, like the ancient masques. DArtagnan, therefore, remained dignified and uninterrupted in his susceptibility, even to this fatal town of Meung. But there, when he dismounted at the door of the Jolly Miller, without any one, either landlord, waiter, or hostler, coming to hold the stirrup of his horse, dArtagnan perceived at the open window of a room, on the ground-floor, a gentleman of distinguished air and handsome figure, although with a countenance slightly grim, conversing with two persons who appeared to listen to him with deference. DArtagnan naturally thought, according to his usual custom, that they were talking about him, and listened accordingly. This time, however, he was partly correct: he was not the subject of conversation, but his horse was. The gentleman appeared to be enumerating to his hearers all his qualities; and since, as I have said, his hearers appeared to pay him great deference, they every moment laughed heartily.

Now, since even the slightest smile was sufficient to rouse the anger of our youth, we may well imagine what effect such unbounded mirth was likely to produce upon him. Nevertheless, dArtagnan wished first to examine the countenance of the impertinent fellow who thus laughed at him. He therefore fixed his stern look upon the stranger, and saw a man from forty to forty-five years of age, with eyes black and piercing, complexion pale, nose strongly-marked, and moustache black and carefully trimmed. He was attired in a violet-coloured doublet and breeches, with points of the same colour, with no other ornament than the sleeves through which the shirt passed. This doublet and these breeches, though new, displayed divers wrinkles and creases, as if they had been for some time packed up in a portmanteau. DArtagnan made these observations with the rapidity of a most minute observer, and doubtless with an instinct which told him that this unknown was to have a vast influence on his future life.

At the very moment that dArtagnan fixed his eyes upon the gentleman with the violet doublet, that individual made one of his wisest and most profound remarks upon the Beaunese sheltie. His two auditors roared with laughter, and he himself, contrary to his usual custom, permitted a sort of sickly smile to wander over his countenance. This time there was no room for doubt. DArtagnan was really insulted. Being convinced of this, he pulled his cap over his eyes, and trying to imitate the courtly airs which he had seen among some chance Gascon nobility in their provincial visits, he placed one hand on the guard of his sword, and the other on his hip. Unfortunately, the nearer he advanced, the more angry he grew, so that instead of the high and dignified language which he had prepared as the prelude to his challenge, he found nothing at the tip of his tongue but a rough personality, which he accompanied with a furious gesture.

Hollo, sir! he cried; you, sir, who hide yourself behind the shutteryes, you! tell me what you are laughing at, and we will laugh together.

The gentleman slowly turned his eyes from the steed to his rider, as if it required some time to comprehend that these strange reproaches were addressed to himself; then, when he could no longer doubt it, he slightly knit his brows, and, after a pretty long pause, with an accent of irony and insolence impossible to describe, answered dArtagnan, I am not speaking to you, sir.

But I am speaking to you, cried the young man, exasperated by this mixture of insolence and good mannersthis polite contempt.

The unknown regarded him yet a moment with a slight smile, and then leaving the window, slowly sauntered out of the inn, and stationed himself opposite the horse, at two paces from dArtagnan. His calm face and jeering aspect redoubled the mirth of his companions, who still remained at the window. DArtagnan, seeing him come out, drew his sword a foot out of its scabbard.

This horse decidedly is, or rather has been, a buttercup, continued the unknown, pursuing his remarks, and addressing his auditors at the window, without appearing to notice the exasperation of dArtagnan, who, nevertheless, swelled and strutted between them; it is of a colour, he continued, well known in botany, but as yet very rare amongst horses.

A man may laugh at a horse, who would not dare to laugh at its master, cried the disciple of Treville with fury.

I do not often laugh, sir, answered the unknown, as you may yourself discover by the expression of my countenance; but yet I mean to preserve the right of laughing when I please.

And I, roared out dArtagnan, do not permit any one to laugh when I do not please.

Really, sir! continued the unknown, more quietly than ever; well, that is sound sense; and turning on his heel, he essayed to re-enter the inn by the front door, opposite which dArtagnan, on arriving, had observed a horse ready saddled.

But dArtagnan was not the man to let any one who had had the insolence to mock him thus escape; he therefore drew his sword and pursued him, exclaiming, Turn, turn, Master Jester, that I may not strike you behind!

Strike me! said the other, quickly turning round, and regarding the youth with as much astonishment as contempt; go along with you, my dear boy; you are mad. Then, in a low voice, as if he were speaking to himself, he added, It is annoying: what a prize for his majesty, who is everywhere seeking fire-eaters to recruit his guards.





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