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four years as old as its rider; the day in a particularly bad humour ;
6. Athos! Porthos! Aramis !'
tion, left the groups of which they Nearly the last words of the formed a part, and entered the worthy old Gascon, who was com- audience chamber, of which the pelled by his poverty to send his son door was immediately closed behind forth into the world thus slenderly them. provided, were an injunction to hon- " There was a remarkable contrast our the King and Cardinal Richelieu, in the appearance of these two guardsthen in the zenith of his power, and men. One was a man of gigantic to fight as often as he could get an stature, loud-voiced, and of stern and opportunity. With such counsels yet haughty countenance; the other, on ringing in his ears, it is not surprising, the contrary, was of gentle and naïve that before reaching Paris young D'Ar- physiognomy, with smooth rosy cheeks, tagnan gets into a very pretty quarrel a soft expression in his black eye, a against overpowering odds, is some- delicate mustache on his upper lip, what maltreated, and, while sense- white hands, and a voice and smile less from the blows he has received, remarkable for their mildness. The has his letter stolen from him by an bearing of these two gentlemen upon emissary of the Cardinal, among whose entering the presence of their captain, political enemies M. de Treville stands showed a happy mixture of submisin the foremost rank. The young ad- sion and dignity, which excited the venturer, however, consoles himself admiration of D'Artagnan, who was for his loss, shakes his feathers, and already disposed to look upon the arrives at Paris without further ac- mousquetaires as demigods, and upon cident. Before entering the capital their chief as an Olympic Jupiter, he disposes of his horse, of whose un- armed with all his thunders. couth appearance he is heartily asham- “ Monsieur de Treville took two or ed; and after improving his toilet as three turns up and down the apartwell as his scanty wardrobe will allow, ment, silent, and with a contracted he proceeds to the hotel of Monsieur brow, passing each time before Porde Treville, where he falls in with the thos and Aramis, who remained mute three mousquetaires who give a title to and immoveable as if upon the pathe book, in which, however, D'Artag- rade ground. Suddenly he stopped, nan plays the most conspicuous and and measured them from head to foot important part. He finds the hotel with an angry glance. Treville thronged with applicants for "Do you know what the King told an audience, petitioners, mousque- me, gentlemen, and that no longer taires, and lackeys bearing letters ago than yesternight? Do you know, from persons of the first importance. I say, what his Majesty told me?' He sends in his name, and after some "No,' replied the two guardsmen delay, is admitted. Here is M. Du- after a moment's silence. No, sir, mas' account of the interview.
we do not know it.' s6 Monsieur de Treville was that "But I hope you will do us the
honour to inforın is,' said Aramis indeed! The small-pox at his age! in his most polite tone, and with his Not so! But wounded, I supposeinost graceful bow.
killed perhaps. Sangdieu! Messieurs *** He told me that henceforward les Mousquetaires, I insist upon your he would recruit his mousquetaires ceasing to frequent taverns and places from among the guards of Monsieur of bad repute. I will have no more le Cardinal.'
brawling and sword-playing in the *** Among the guards of Monsieur public streets. I will not have my le Cardinal ! And why so?' demand- regiment made a laughing-stock to ed Porthos abruptly.
the Cardinal's guards, who are brave " " Because he finds that his own fellows, prudent and quiet—who do sour wine requires to be improved by not get themselves into trouble, and the admixture of some more generous if they did, would not allow then selves liquor.'
to be arrested. Not they! They " The two guardsmen coloured up would sooner die upon the spot than to the eyes. D'Artagnan felt uncer- recede an inch. It is only the King's tain whether he was standing on his mousquetaires who run away or are head or his heels.
taken prisoners.' "Yes,' continued Monsieur de " Porthos and Aramis trembled Treville with increased vivacity, and
They would willingly his Majesty is right; for, by my honour, have strangled their chief, if they the mousquetaires cut a sorry figure had not felt that it was the great at the court! Monsieur le Cardinal affection he bore them that induced was relating yesterday at the King's him to speak thus harshly. They bit card-table, in a tone of condolence their lips till the blood came, and that displeased me no little, how those clutched the hilts of their swords in infernal mousquetaires, those sabreurs silent fury. Several of the guardsas he ironically called them, had for- men in the anteroom, who had heard gotten themselves over their bottle at Monsieur de Treville's summons to a tavern in the Rue Ferou, and how Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and susa patrol of his guards had found it spected what was going on, had apnecessary to arrest them. I thought plied their ears to the tapestry, and he was going to laugh in my face as lost not a word of their captain's rehe said the words, looking at me all proaches, which they repeated to the time with his tiger-cat eyes. those around them, who in their turn Morbleu ! you ought to know some- repeated them to their comrades on thing about it. You were amongst the staircase and in the courtyard. them; the cardinal named you. Mous- In an instant, from the anteroom to quetaires, indeed, who allow them- the street, all was commotion. selves to be arrested! But it is my 6. Ha! his Majesty's mousquefault for not choosing my men better. taires allow themselves to be arrested What the devil possessed you, Aramis, by the Cardinal's guards !' continued to ask me for a guardsman's uniform, Monsieur de Treville, who was as when a priest's surplice would have furious as his soldiers. Aha! sirs, fitted you better? And you, Porthos, six of his Eminence's guards arrest what is the use of your wearing that six of the King's! Morbleu! I have magnificent embroidered sword-belt, made up my mind what to do. I will if the weapon it supports is of such go at once to the Louvre, resign my small service to you? And Athos, I post as captain of mousquetaires, and do not see Athos. Where is he?' solicit a lieutenancy in the Cardinal's
“Sir,' replied Aramis gravely, 'he guards; and if I am refused, morbleu ! is ill-very ill.
I will turn priest!' • Ill, say you? And of what dis- " At these words the murmur outease?'
side the audience chamber became an ** • It is feared that it is the small- explosion. On all sides oaths and pox, sir,' replied Porthos, who was blasphemies were resounding. D'Ardesirous of putting in a word. 'It tagnan looked about for a place to would be a great pity, for it would hide himself. He felt a strong incliassuredly spoil his appearance.' nation to get under the table.
" . The small-pox! A fine story " • Well, captain,' said Porthos
who was completely beside himself 56. I was telling these gentlemen,'
ment, appeared at the opening of the 666 And I have the honour to assure tapestry. Doubtless Monsieur de you, sir,' said Aramis, that I killed Treville was about to check sharply one of the guards with his own sword, this infraction of the laws of etiquette, for mine was broken at the first onset.' when he suddenly felt the band of
“ I did not know that,' said Treville Athos contract in his, and looking at in a more gentle tone. “I see that the the guardsman, he saw that he was Cardinal exaggerated matters.' going to faint. At the same moment
“ • But for heaven's sake, sir,' Athos, who had summoned all his continued Aramis, encouraged by the energies to struggle against the sufsoftened manner of his commander, ferings he endured, was overcome by for heaven's sake, do not mention the torture of his wound, and fell that Athos is wounded : he would be senseless to the ground. in despair if the King heard of it; and " • A surgeon !' cried Monsieur de as the wound is very serious, having Treville. "My surgeon--the King's— passed through the shoulder and en- the best! A surgeon! or, sangdieu ! tered the breast, it is to be feared my brave Athos will die !!!
The swoon of Athos had merely " At this moment the tapestry that been occasioned by loss of blood. covered the door was raised, and the The surgeon declares there is no danhead of a man of noble aspect and ger, and D'Artagnan, who has stood handsome features, but fearfully pale, his ground with true Gascon tenacity, appeared below the fringe.
at length obtains an audience. The "6Athos !' exclaimed the two loss of his letter of recommendation guardsmen.
now proves a great disadvantage to " • Athos !' repeated Monsieur de him. In those days of court intrigue Treville himself.
and espionage, men were naturally "You asked for me, sir,” said Athos suspicious of each other, and the to Monsieur de Treville, in a calm but mingled naïveté and shrewdness of the enfeebled voice—my comrades told young Béarnais, are causes for Monme that you asked for me, and I has-sieur de Treville at first suspecting him tened to obey your summons.'
of being a spy of the Cardinal's. His * And so saying, the mousquetaire suspicions, however, are wearing off, entered the room with a tolerably firm and he is disposed to be useful to step, in full uniform and belted as D'Artagnan, although he cannot admit usual. Monsieur de Treville, touched him into the mousquetaires--å novito the soul by this proof of courage, ciate of two years in some other regisprang to meet him.
ment being the indispensable condition
of admission into that favoured corps— with his officiousness. The Gascon when D'Artagnan, happening to look blood gets up, good resolutions are out of the window, starts, reddens forgotten, and a third rendezvous is with anger, and rushes to the door. the result. He has recognised, in a passer-by, the M. Dumas is never more at home person who had stolen his letter; and than in the description of duels. Himleaves Monsieur de Treville in doubt self an excellent swordsman, he luxuwhether he has to do with a madman riates and excels in the description of or with an emissary of the Cardinal's, points and parries, cartes and tierces, who, fearing himself suspected, takes and of the vigorous estocades which this pretext for eilecting a retreat. his heroes administer to each other.
In his hurry to leave the hotel One of the good chapters of the book and pursue his robber, D'Artagnan —and there are many such-is the gets into all sorts of scrapes. On the one in which D'Artagnan encounters landing-place he runs against Athos, the three redoubtable champions whom who is returning home after having he has so heedlessly provoked. We his wound dressed. Some hasty words will endeavour, by abridgement, to lay pass, a challenge is the result, and it before our readers. rendezvous is taken for noon in a field " D'Artagnan knew nobody at Dear the Carmelite convent, then a Paris, and betook himself, therefore, favourite duelling ground. In the to his first rendezvous without segateway of the courtyard, Porthos is conds, intending to content himself talking with one of his comrades, and with those whom his adversary should D'Artagnan, in trying to pass between bring. Moreover, bis firm intention them, gets entangled in the velvet was to make all reasonable apologies cloak of the former, and discovers to Athos, fearing that there would what the guardsman had been most result from this duel the usual conseanxious to conceal, that the front only quence of an encounter between a of his embroidered shoulder-belt was young and vigorous man and a gold, and the back mere leather. wounded and feeble one if the former Porthos, not having sufficient pistoles is conquered, his antagonist's triumph to purchase a whole belt, had gratified is doubled ; and it he conquers, he is bis vanity with half a one, and wore accused of taking an advantage, or of his cloak to conceal the deficiency: being brave at small risk. Besides The young Gascon finds himself with this, either we have been unsuccessful a second duel on his bands, and sets in the exposition of our young advenhimself down as a dead man. Mean- turer's character, or the reader will time his robber has disappeared, and have already perceived that D'Artagas D'Artagnan is proceeding in the nan was no ordinary man. Thus, direction of his lodging, he encounters although he repeated to himself that Aramis, standing in the middle of the his death was inevitable, he by no street with some other gentlemen. means made up his mind to fall an Furious with himself for the follies he easy sacrifice, as one less cool and has been committing, D'Artagnan has courageous than himself might permade a resolution to be all things to baps have done. He reflected on the all men, at least for the hour or two different characters of the three men that he still has to live; and observing with whom he had to fight, and began that Aramis has dropped a handker- to think that his case was not so deschief, and placed his foot upon it, he perate as it might have been. He hastens to drag it from under his boot, hoped, by the candid and loyal apoand present it to him with a most logy which he intended to offer, to gracious bow and smile. A coronet make himself a friend of Athos, whose and cipher on the embroidered cam- austere mien and noble air pleased bric attract notice, and draw down a him greatly. He flattered himself shower of raillery upon the head of that he should be able to intimidate the mousquetaire, who, in order to Porthos by the affair of the shouldershield the honour of a lady, is com- belt, which he could, if not killed upon pelled to deny that the handkerchief the spot, relate to every body, and is his. His companions walk away, which would cover the giant with ridiand Aramis reproaches D'Artagnan cule. Finally, he did not feel much afraid of Aramis, and he resolved, if 6. Truly, sir,' said D'Artagnan, he lived long enough, either to kill with another bow, 'I know not how him, or at least to administer to himn
to express my gratitude for such a wound in the face, that would con- courtesy.' siderably impair the beauty of which 66. You
ou are too obliging to say so,' he was evidently so proud.
returned Athos, with his princely air; “When D'Artagnan arrived in sight let us talk of something else, if not of the waste land adjoining the con- disagreeable to you. Ah, sangbleu! vent of barefooted Carmelites, noon you hurt me terribly! My shoulder was striking, and Athos was already burns.' on the ground. The guardsman, who “If you would permit me,' said still suffered cruelly from his wound, D'Artagnan, timidly. was seated on a post, and awaiting his " What then, sir?' adversary with the calm countenance "I have a balm that is wonderfully and dignified air that never abandoned efficacious in the cure of wounds. I him. Upon D'Artagnan's appear- hold the recipe from my mother, and ance, he rose courteously, and advan- have myself experienced its good ced a few steps to meet him. Our effects.' Gascon, on bis side, made his approach · Well?' hat in hand, the plume trailing on the "Well, I am sure that in less earth.
than three days it would heal your "Sir,' said Athos, “I have given wound ; and at the end of that time, notice to two gentlemen to act as my sir, it would still be a great honour for seconds, but they are not come. I am me to meet you. surprised at it, for they are usually “D'Artagnan said these words with punctual.'
a simplicity that did credit to his na" . For my part, sir,' returned tural courtesy of feeling, at the same D'Artagnan, 'I have no seconds. I time that it could not give rise to the arrived in Paris yesterday, and know slightest doubt of his courage. no one but Monsieur de Treville, to * • Pardieu, sir!' said Athos, 'your whom I was recommended by my proposition pleases me, not that I can father, who has the honour to be a accept it, but because it is that of a friend of his.'
chivalrous gentleman. It is thus that “ Athos glanced at the beardless spoke and acted those heroes of Charchin and youthful mien of his adver- lemagne's days, on whom every cavasary, and seemed to reflect for a lier should strive to model himself. moment.
Unfortunately we do not live in the " • Ah ça !' said he at last, speaking times of the great emperor, but in half to himself and half to D'Artag- those of Cardinal Richelieu ; and nan; 'ah ça! but if I kill you, it will however well we might keep our be something very like child-murder.' secret, it would be known before
"Not exactly, sir,' replied D'Ar- three days had elapsed that we intagnan, with a bow that was not with- tended to fight, and our duel would out its dignity; not exactl sir, be prevented. Ah ça! whère can since you do me the honour to meet those idlers be?' me with a wound by which you must ** If you are in haste, sir,' rebe greatly inconvenienced.'
sumed D'Artagnan with the same “ Inconvenienced certainly, and you simplicity with which he had a mohurt me terribly, I must acknowledge, ment before proposed to put off the when you ran against me just now; duel for three days, if you are but I will use my left hand, according pressed for time, and that it pleases to my custom in such circumstances. you to finish with me at once, let me Do not suppose on that account that beg of you to do so.' I am sparing you; I fight decently * • Another proposal that I like,' with both hands, and a left-handed said Athos with an approving nod of swordsman is an awkward antagonist the head ; it is that of a man lackwhen one is not prepared for him. I ing neither wit nor valour. Sir, I like am sorry I did not tell you of it sooner, men of your stamp; and I see that that you might have got your hand in if we do not kill one another, I shall accordingly.'
hereafter have much pleasure in your