« PreviousContinue »
society. But let us wait for these that he wished the cause of their gentlemen, I beg of you. I have
I have duel to remain a secret. plenty of time, and it will be more • Indeed!' said Athos looking at according to rule. Ha! here comes D'Artagnan. one of them.'
66 · Yes, a point of St Augustin on * At that moment the gigantic form which we are not agreed,' said the of Porthos appeared at the extremity latter. of the Rue Vaugirard.
"Decidedly he is a man of wit ** • What! cried D'Artagnan, and sense,' muttered Athos to him• Monsieur Porthos is one of your self. seconds ?'
". And now that you are all as* • Yes; is it disagreeable to you?' sembled, gentlemen,' said D'Artag" . By no means.'
• allow me to apologise to you.' * * And here is the other.'
“'At the word apologise, a cloud “D'Artagnan turned his head and passed across the features of Athos, recognised Aramis.
Porthos smiled contemptuously, Ara. *** What!' he exclaimed in still mis made a negative sign. greater astonishment, Monsieur Ara- 66. You do not understand me, mis is the other?'
gentlemen,' said D'Artagnan raising * Certainly; do you not know his head proudly. “I only apologise that we are never seen asunder, and in case I should not be able to pay are known in court, camp, and city, my debt to all of you ; for Monsieur as Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, or the Athos has the right to kill me the three inseparables ? But you are first, which greatly diminishes the just arrived from Gascony, which ac- value of my debt to you, Monsieur counts for your being unacquainted Porthos, and renders that to Monsieur with these circumstances.'
Aramis nearly worthless. And now, * Meanwhile Porthos, who had gentlemen, I say again, accept my abandoned his cloak and changed his apologies, but on that account onlyshoulder-belt, approached, nodded to and to work!' Athos, but on beholding D'Artagnan, “ And so saying, he drew his remained struck with astonishment. sword with the most fearless and
" . This is the gentleman I am gallant mien possible to be seen. His to fight with,' said Athos indicating blood was up, and at that moment he D'Artagnan with his hand, at the would have fought not only Athos, same time bowing to him.
Porthos, and Aramis, but the whole " It is with him that I am to fight,' regiment of mousquetaires. said Porthos.
**• When you please, sir,' said " . Not till one o'clock,' said D'Ar- Athos, putting himself on guard. tagnan.
"I was waiting your orders,' re*· And I also,' said Aramis, who turned D'Artagnan. just then came up.
" But the two rapiers had scarcely * Our appointment was for two clashed together, when five of tho o'clock,' said D'Artagnan with per- Cardinal's guards, commanded by fect composure.
Monsieur de Jussac, appeared from "What are you going to fight behind a corner of the convent. about, Athos ? ' asked Aramis.
" • The Cardinal's guards !' ex“ • Faith, I can hardly tell you.
claimed Porthos and Aramis. 'Sheath He hurt my shoulder.
your swords, gentlemen!' Porthos ?'
" But it was too late. The com* • I fight because I am so minded,' batants had been seen in an attitude replied Porthos colouring.
that left no doubt as to their pugna** Athos, whom nothing escaped, cious intentions. saw a slight smile curling D'Artag- " . Hola!' cried Jussac advancing nan's lip.
towards them, followed by his men. ** We had a dispute about dress,' 'Hola, mousquetaires ! fighting here? said the young Gascon.
And the edicts. We have forgotten " . And you, Aramis?' asked Athos. them, eh?' ** A theological difference,' replied • •Your generosity is really re. Aramis, making a sign to D'Artagnan markable, gentlemen of the guards,' VOL. LVII. NO, CCCLI.
said Athos bitterly, for Jussac had D'Artagnan's intentions by his ges-
low,' said Athos, pressing the young
"We should only be three, of "Sir,' replied Aramis, parodying whom one wounded, and a child,' said Jussac's manner, we should have the Athos; but they will say all the greatest pleasure in accepting your same, that there were four of us.' polite invitation, if it depended upon * * Gentlemen,' said D'Artagnan, us so to do, but unfortunately the only try me, and I swear by my thing is impossible ; Monsieur de honour that if we are conquered I Treville has forbidden it. Move on, will not leave the ground alive.' therefore; it is the best thing you can " What is your name, my brave do.'
fellow?' said Athos. "This bantering exasperated Jus- "D'Artagnan, sir.' sac. • We will charge you,' said he, "Well, then, Athos, Porthos, • if you disobey.'
Aramis, and D'Artagnan, forwards! They are five,' said Athos in a cried Athos. low voice, and we are but three; we " What do you decide to do?' shall be beaten again, and we must cried Jussac. die here; for I swear not to reappear "We are going to have the honbefore the captain if conquered.' our of charging you,' said Aramis,
• Athos, Porthos, and Aramis drew raising his hat with one hand and closer to each other. Jussac was ar- drawing his sword with the other. ranging his men in line. This single “And the nine combatants precimoment of delay was sufficient for pitated themselves on each other with D'Artagnan to make up his mind; it a fury that did not exclude a certain was one of those moments that decide degree of method. Athos took one å man's whole life. The choice was Cahusac, a favourite of the Cardinal's; to be made between King and Car- Porthos had Bicarat; and Aramis dinal, and, once made, it must be per- found himself opposed to two adversevered in. If he fought, he disobey- saries. As to D'Artagnan, he ened the law, risked his head, and made countered Jussac himself. an enemy of a minister more power- “ The heart of the young Gascon ful than the king himself. All these beat high, not with fear, there was no considerations passed like lightning shadow of it, but with emulation ; he through the mind of the young Gas- fought like an enraged tiger, turning con ; but, be it said to his honour, he about his enemy, changing each modid not hesitate an instant. Turning ment his ground and his guard. Justowards Athos and his friends.
sac was one of the good blades of the "Gentlemen,' said he, allow me day, and had had much practice; but to amend the words last spoken. You he had, nevertheless, all the difficulty said you were only three, but to my in the world to defend himself against thinking we are four.'
a supple and active antagonist, who "But you are not one of us,' said was constantly deviating from the Porthos.
received rules of fencing, attacking " True,' replied D'Artagnan, 'I him on all sides at once, and parryhave not the coat ; but I have the ing, at the same time, like a man who spirit. In my heart I am a mous- had the greatest regard for his epiquetaire-I feel it, and that leads me dermis. At last Jussac lost patience. on.'
Furious at being thus kept at bay by "You may retire, young man, one whom he looked upon as a child, cried Jussac, who doubtless guessed his sang-froid abandoned him, and he
began to commit blunders. D'Ar- wbich the latter had procured him, tagnan, who, although lacking prac- and now recommenced the fight, feartice, was perfect in theory, redonbled ing that the Gascon would kill his his agility. Jussac, with the design enemy. D'Artagnan saw that he of finishing him at once, delivered a should disoblige him by again interterrible thrust, which D'Artagnan fering. A few seconds later, Cahusac parried adroitly, and, before his op- fell with a wound through the throat. ponent could raise himself, he glided At the same moment Aramis placed like a serpent under his guard, and his sword's point on the breast of his passed his sword through his body. prostrate adversary, and forced him Jussac fell heavily to the earth. to sue for mercy. * D'Artagnan now cast an uneasy
“ Porthos and Bicarat alone reand rapid glance over the field of mained. Porthos, while fighting, inbattle. Aramis had already killed dulged in all sorts of fanfarronades, one of his adversaries. The other asking Bicarat what time of day it was, gave him plenty to do, but Aramis and complimenting him on the company was able to take care of himself. Bi- which his brother had just attained carat and Porthos were wounded ; in the regiment of Navarre. In spite Porthos in the arm, and Bicarat in of his jests, however, he did not gain the thigh. But neither wound was ground. Bicarat was a stubborn and serious, and the sight of their blood skilful opponent. It was time to bring made them fight all the better. There matters to a conclusion before some was no need to interfere there. Athos, patrol should arrive, and take both wounded again by Cahusac, was royalists and cardinalists into custody. growing each moment paler, but he Athos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan, surdid not give way an inch. He had rounded Bicarat, and summoned bim changed his sword to his left hand. to surrender. Although alone against D'Artagnan caught his eye as he was four, and with a wound through the looking to see who most required his thigh, he would not give in, though aid. The look of the wounded mous. Jussac, who had raised himself on his quetaire was most eloquent; he would elbow, called out to him to yield. have died sooner than call for assis. Bicarat was a Gascon, like D'Artagtance, but bis glance said how much nan; he only laughed, and pretended he stood in need of it. With a single not to hear, at the same time pointbound, D'Artagnan was upon Cahu- ing to the ground at his feet.
Here sac's flank.
will die Bicarat,' said he,' the last ** Have a care, sir guardsman,' of those who are with hire.' cried he, or I slay you on the spot.' ". But they are four against you,
* Cahasac turned to face his new cried Jussac; I order you to desist.' opponent. It was high time, for “Ah, if you order me, it is anAthos, who had only been sustained other affair !' said Bicarat ; 'you are by his extreme courage, sank upon my superior, and I must obey.' one knee.
“And giving a spring backwards, 6. Sangdieu !' cried he to D'Ar- he broke his sword across his knee, in tagnan, do not kill him, young man, order not to yield it up, threw the I beg of you; I have an old quarrel pieces over the convent wall, and, to terminate with him when my wound crossing his arms, whistled a Cardiis healed. Disarm him only-So— nalist air. Well done!
“ Courage is always respected even * This last exclamation was caused in an enemy. The mousquetaires by Cahusae's sword, which flew from saluted Bicarat with their swords, his hand to a distance of twenty paces. and returned them to their scabbards. D'Artagnan and Cahusac rushed to D'Artagnan did the same, and, assistpick it up, but D'Artagnan reached it ed by Bicarat, he carried under the first, and put his foot upon it. Cahu- convent rch Jussac, Cahusac, and sac ran to the guardsman whom Ara- that one of Aramis's adversaries who mis had killed, took his rapier, and was only wounded. The other, as was returning to D'Artagnan ; but on already observed, was dead. They his road he met Athos, who had taken then rang the bell, and left the TOE breath during the moment's respite the mousquetaires and D'Arta
intoxicated with joy, carrying away ever fortune or his mistress frowns four swords out of five, and taking upon him, he declares his intention of the direction of Monsieur de Treville's abandening his sinful mode of life, hotel. Every mousquetaire whom and throwing himself into the arms of they met, and informed of what had mother church. Vanity is the failing happened, turned back and accom- of Porthos, who shines more by his panied them; so that at last their imposing appearance, brilliant attire, march was like a triumphal proces- and bull-dog courage, than by any sion. D'Artagnan was beside himself qualities of the head. To Athos, with delight; he walked between who is the most interesting of the Athos and Porthos, holding an arm three, a certain mystery is attached, of each.
which, however, is seen through early "If I am not yet a mousquetaire,' in the book. He is a man of high said he to his new friends, as they birth, princely manners, and chivalcrossed the threshold of the Hotel rous feeling, but whose stormy life Treville, 'I may at least say that I has cast a strong tinge of melancholy am received apprentice.''
over his character, and who now finds The result of this affair is to pro- his sole consolation in the wine-cup. cure D'Artagnan the favour of Mon- It must not be therefore supposed sieur de Treville and the King—the that Athos is a sot, a wallower in latter of whom dislikes the Cardinal wine, or a haunter of tavern orgies. in secret nearly as much as he fears He drinks, it is true, enough to proshim. The young Gascon has an au- trate any three ordinary men; but he dience of Louis the Just, who recruits takes his liquor, as he does every thing his finances by the present of a hand- else, so much like a gentleman, and, ful of pistoles; and a few days later moreover, there is so much self-devo. he is appointed to a cadetship in the tion and generosity in his character, company of guards of the Chevalier such dignity of manner and rectitude des Essarts, a brother-in-law of Tre- of feeling-his temper so even and ville. According to the singular ideas kindly—his courage so heroic-that of those days, there was nothing de- he is unquestionably the most amiable grading to a gentleman in receiving and interesting of the dramatis permoney from the king's hand. D’Ar- sona, preferable to D'Artagnan, to taguan, therefore, pockets the pistoles whom premature worldly wisdom gives with many thanks, and takes an early a hardness bordering upon egotism. opportunity of dividing them with his While Aramis is sighing sonnets to friends with the mythological names, his mistress, and Porthos parading on Messieurs Athos, Porthos, and Ara- the crown of the causeway in all the mis, who, according to the custom of glory of gold lace and embroidery, mousquetaires, have more gold upon Athos sits tranquilly at home, and their coats than in their purses. The says, like Gregory in the Desertercourage and good qualities of the Gascon have won the hearts of the
« J'aime mieux boire." three guardsmen, and he is admitted IIis real name—for Athos, Porthos, to make a fourth in their brotherhood, and Aramis are merely assumed ones of which the motto is, “ Un pour tous, -is known only to the King and to et tous pour un." All is in common Monsieur de Treville. amongst them-pleasures, perils, pis- It would be difficult within the toles.
limits of this paper to give an idea The characters of the three mous- of the entire plot of the Three Mousquetaires are well sketched and sus- quetaires, which is, in fact, less a tale tained, and illustrate admirably the with a regular intrigue and dénouement, rices, virtues, and propensities of their than a narrative of adventures and time and station. Aramis, who was incidents, extending over a period originally intended for the church, has of nearly three years. D'Artagnan, relinquished the black coat of an abbé whose enterprising character and Gasin order to fight a nobleman who had con acuteness qualify him admirably insulted him. He still, however, per- to take a part in the court intrigues of sists in considering himself as a guards- the time, soon finds himself almost at man only pro tempore ; and when- open war with the C'ardinal, and engaged in serving the interests of Louis to proceed far without molestation. the Thirteenth's unhappy queen, Anne They stop to breakfast, and a stranger of Austria, who, by rejecting the suit picks a quarrel with Porthos, who of the scarlet duke—as the mousque- stays behind to fight him, and does not taires irreverently style the Cardinal rejoin them. Near Beauvais they reDuke of Richelieu-has drawn upon ceive a volley from some pretended herself the deadly hatred of that om- labourers; D'Artagnan's hat is knocknipotent personage. The Duke of ed off by a ball; a lackey is left in Buckingham, who is madly in love the road, and Aramis is badly woundwith the queen, visits Paris in dis- ed, and obliged to remain at the next guise, and obtains an interview with town. D'Artagnan, Athos, and their her. At parting, he implores her to two attendants, reach Amiens at midgive him some trifle, which he may night, and stop to sleep at the sign of preserve as a souvenir of their attach- the Golden Lily. Here various susinent; and Anne of Austria gives him picious incidents occur, and in the the first thing that comes to hand, morning their horses are found to be which happens to be a jewel-case, dead-lame, and unable to proceed. containing twelve diamond clasps or One that might still have gone on has ferrets that she has lately received been bled by mistake. from the King. The Cardinal, omni- “ All these accidents succeeding present by his spies, learns this; man- each other began to alarm our travelages adroitly to rouse the king's jea- lers; they might be the result of lousy; and prevails on him to give a chance, but they were more probably ball, at which the queen is desired to that of an organized plot. Athos and appear, wearing the ferrets in ques- d'Artagnan left their room, while tion. Anne of Austria is in despair. Planchet (D'Artagnan's groom) went To obtain the restitution of the jewels to enquire whether there were any within the eight days that have to horses to be bought in the neighbourelapse before the one fixed for the hood. At the door were standing two ball, appears impossible. Bucking- vigorous animals, saddled and bridled, ham is in England; if she writes, her and which would have suited the letter will be intercepted by the Car- guardsmen well. Planchet asked dinal; if she sends, her messenger will whom they belonged, and was told be stopped. Nothing could at that that their masters had passed the time be done in France without com- night at the inn, and were then paying ing to the knowledge of Richelieu. In their score previous to departure. her extremity she is induced to con- Athos went to do the same, while fide in one of her attendants, with D'Artagnan and Planchet remained at whom D'Artagnan is in love; and a the street door. few hours later, the intrepid Gascon • The host was in a small back and his three inseparable friends set room, which Athos was requested to out for England, provided with a leave enter. He did so without suspicion, of absence from Monsieur de Treville, and took out some pistoles to pay. and attended by their four lackeys. The innkeeper, who was seated at a D'Artagnan alone knows the object of desk, of which one of the drawers was their journey; but the others, confid- half-open, took the money, turned it ing implicitly in his judgment, and about, and examined it on all sides, bound, moreover, by the rules of their and suddenly exclaiming that it was association, ask no questions, and false, declared that he would have willingly brave the dangers that the Athos and his companion arrested as Cardinal strews in their path. It is coiners. agreed that, in case of rencontres by 66Scoundrel!' cried Athos, adthe way, the dead or wounded are to vancing towards him ; 'I will cut your be left to their fate, and the others are cars off for your insolence.' to push on without an instant's delay. “But the man stooped down, took Should D'Artagnan fall, the survivors a brace of pistols out of the open are to take from his pocket the queen's drawer, and pointing them at Athos, letter to Buckingham, and continue called loudly for help. On the instant their route.