The Three Musketeers. 4 we have to relate, our main preoccupation concerned a mat- ter to which no one before ourselves had given a thought. D'Artagnan. Download our free ePUB, PDF or MOBI eBooks to read on almost any device — your desktop, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, The Three Musketeers. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.
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ruthenpress.info09/13/ PMPage 1TheThree Musketeers ALEXANDRE DUMAS“The king of France was delighted. THE THREE MUSKETEERS. Alexandre Dumas. Translated with an Introduction by Richard. Pevear. This edition first published in ISBN: Musketeers, he met in the ante amber three young men, serving in the illustrious .. "A le er addressed to Monsieur de Treville, captain of the Musketeers.".
Throughout the book, the characters show an absolute disregard for marriage and most of the adventures in the book revolved around pursuing, covering up, or avenging one illicit affair or another.
If you don't mind a character whose only virtues are "a swordsman's honor," unswerving loyalty to their comrades, and witty banter then you'll probably love this. Personally, I like my heroes to have a little more noble aims than getting away with sleeping with anyone who strikes their fancy and helping others to do likewise. Yes, it is slightly boring until the chapter "A Court Intrigue", but stick with it, and you'll love it as much as I did. It is an extremely romantic novel that is filled with wit, action, sadness, and complexity.
Because of its intricate plot, I would recommend it to any lovers of Dumas' English contemporary, Charles Dickens. It also contains one of my new favorite literary character: the femme fatale, Milady. Cooper's Introduction to The Three Musketeers If Dumas's serialized novel quickly attracted a faithful and fervent audience, it was not only because the author proved to be a master storyteller whose writing was vividly alive with emotions and actions, dialogues and duels, but also because it skillfully combined literary genres then popular with readers.
The Three Musketeers shares many of the characteristics of that genre. Like most such works, Dumas's story focuses on an inexperienced youth who travels from the provinces to Paris in search of a broader knowledge of the world and in the hope of earning fame or fortune or both. In chapter 1 of Dumas's book, young D'Artagnan leaves his parents' home in southwestern France and sets off on the road to Paris, where he hopes to join the corps of the King's Musketeers.
He also gives the lad his sword. Together with these items, the senior D'Artagnan offers his son three bits of advice: Never sell this horse; do not brook insults or fear duels for, although by law the latter are illegal, "it is by his.
Soon after leaving home, D'Artagnan's paternally encouraged susceptibility leads him to quarrel with a gentleman whom he will subsequently refer to as "the man from Meung" the name of the town where they meet and where he also glimpses a beautiful woman addressed as Milady. The encounter does not end well for young D'Artagnan. Not only will he be wounded in the confrontation with the man from Meung; he will also have his letter of introduction taken from him and his sword split in two.
Later, when he arrives in Paris, D'Artagnan will already be short of funds and will sell his risible and exhausted horse for cash. That sale provides him with the means to procure inexpensive lodgings and to have a new blade made for his sword. This inauspicious beginning is followed by a series of squabbles with three men the Musketeers Athos, Porthos, and Aramis he meets shortly after his arrival in the French capital.
He agrees to a duel with each and, with the same brash courage that he has already displayed in Meung, schedules those contests back to back. D'Artagnan's impetuous bravado in these early encounters, along with his ignorance of the codes of behavior and the political rivalries at work in Paris and at the royal court, make it clear that the young man will need more than daring and a certain native intelligence if he is to achieve his goals.
He will have to find mentors who can help him understand the complicated relationships, hidden truths, and moral subtleties of modern that is, seventeenth-century French life. D'Artagnan also meets Constance Bonacieux, the young and beautiful wife of his Parisian landlord and laundress to Queen Anne. Constance will not only offer the young man an opportunity to prove his mettle, but will also win his heart.
She tells D'Artagnan that the King has ordered the Queen to wear the diamond studs he gave her to an upcoming ball. Unfortunately, Anne no longer has those studs in her possession.
She has given them, with her affections, to England's handsome Duke of Buckingham. He peiceived xv then, at a glance, that this woman was young and beautiful, and hei style of beauty stiuck him moie foicibly fiom its being totally dieient fiom that of the southein countiies in which d'Aitagnan had hitheito iesided.
She was pale and faii, with long cuils falling in piofusion ovei hei shouldeis, had laige, blue, languishing eyes, iosy lips, and hands of alabastei.
She was talking with gieat animation with the stiangei. His Eminence, then, oideis me-- said the lady. To ietuin instantly to England, and to infoimhimas soon as the duke leaves London. Tey aie contained in this box, which you will not open until you aie on the othei side of the Channel. Te stiangei was about to ieply, but at the moment he opened his mouth, d'Aitagnan, who had heaid all, piecipitated himself ovei the thieshold of the dooi.
Tis insolent boy chastises otheis, ciied he, and l hope that this time he whom he ought to chastise will not escape him as befoie. You aie iight, ciied the gentleman, begone then, on youi pait, and l will depait as quickly on mine. And bowing to the lady, spiang into his saddle, while hei coachman applied his whip vigoiously to his hoises.
Te two inteilocutois thus sepaiated, taking opposite diiections, at full gallop.
Pay him, booby' ciied the stiangei to his seivant, without checking the speed of his hoise, and the man, afei thiowing two oi thiee silvei pieces at the foot of mine host, galloped afei his mastei. Base cowaid' false gentleman' ciied d'Aitagnan, spiinging foiwaid, in his tuin, afei the seivant. But his wound had iendeied him too weak to suppoit such an exeition. Scaicely had he gone ten steps when his eais began to tingle, a faintness seized him, a cloud of blood passed ovei his eyes, and he fell in the middle of the stieet, ciying still, Cowaid' cowaid' cowaid' He is a cowaid, indeed, giumbled the host, diawing neai to d'Aitagnan, and endeavoiing by this liule aueiy to make up maueis with the young man, as the heion of the fable did with the snail he had despised the evening befoie.
Yes, a base cowaid, muimuied d'Aitagnan, but she--she was veiy beauti- ful. Milady, falteied d'Aitagnan, and fainted a second time. Ah, it's all one, said the host, l have lost two customeis, but this one ie- mains, of whom l am pieuy ceitain foi some days to come. Teie will be eleven ciowns gained. Te host had ieckoned upon eleven days of connement at a ciown a day, but he had ieckoned without his guest.
On the following moining at ve o'clock d'Aitagnan aiose, and descending to the kitchen without help, asked, among othei ingiedients the list of which has not come down to us, foi some oil, some wine, and some iosemaiy, and with his mothei's iecipe in his hand composed a balsam, with which he anointed his numeious wounds, ieplacing his bandages himself, and positively iefusing the assistance of any doctoi, d'Aitagnan walked about that same evening, and was almost cuied by the moiiow.
But when the time came to pay foi his iosemaiy, this oil, and the wine, the only expense the mastei had incuiied, as he had pieseived a stiict abstinence-- while on the contiaiy, the yellow hoise, by the account of the hostlei at least, had eaten thiee times as much as a hoise of his size could ieasonably supposed to have done--d'Aitagnan found nothing in his pocket but his liule old velvet puise with the eleven ciowns it contained, foi as to the leuei addiessed to M.
Te young man commenced his seaich foi the leuei with the gieatest pa- tience, tuining out his pockets of all kinds ovei and ovei again, iummaging and ieiummaging in his valise, and opening and ieopening his puise, but when he found that he had come to the conviction that the leuei was not to be found, he ew, foi the thiid time, into such a iage as was neai costing him a fiesh consump- tion of wine, oil, and iosemaiy--foi upon seeing this hot-headed youth become exaspeiated and thieaten to destioy eveiything in the establishment if his leuei weie not found, the host seized a spit, his wife a bioom handle, and the seivants the same sticks they had used the day befoie.
My leuei of iecommendation' ciied d'Aitagnan, my leuei of iecommen- dation' oi, the holy blood, l will spit you all like oitolans' Unfoitunately, theie was one ciicumstance which cieated a poweiful ob- stacle to the accomplishment of this thieat, which was, as we have ielated, that his swoid had been in his ist conict bioken in two, and which he had entiiely foigouen.
Hence, it iesulted when d'Aitagnan pioceeded to diaw his swoid in eainest, he found himself puiely and simply aimed with a stump of a swoid about eight oi ten inches in length, which the host had caiefully placed in the scabbaid. As to the iest of the blade, the mastei had slyly put that on one side to make xvii But this deception would piobably not have stopped oui eiy young man if the host had not ieected that the ieclamation which his guest made was peifectly just.
His thieat completed the intimidation of the host. Afei the king and the caidinal, M. Teie was, to be suie, lathei Joseph, but his name was nevei pionounced but with a subdued voice, such was the teiioi inspiied by his Giay Eminence, as the caidinal's familiai was called.
Tiowing down his spit, and oideiing his wife to do the same with hei bioom handle, and the seivants with theii sticks, he set the ist example of com- mencing an eainest seaich foi the lost leuei. Zounds' l think it does indeed' ciied the Gascon, who ieckoned upon this leuei foi making his way at couit. Bills upon his Majesty's piivate tieasuiy, answeied d'Aitagnan, who, ieck- oning upon enteiing into the king's seivice in consequence of this iecommenda- tion, believed he could make this somewhat hazaidous ieply without telling of a falsehood.
Te devil' ciied the host, at his wit's end. But it's of no impoitance, continued d'Aitagnan, with natuial assuiance, it's of no impoitance. Te money is nothing, that leuei was eveiything. He would not have iisked moie if he had said twenty thousand, but a ceitain juvenile modesty iestiained him. A iay of light all at once bioke upon the mind of the host as he was giving himself to the devil upon nding nothing.
Tat leuei is not lost' ciied he. What' ciied d'Aitagnan. No, it has been stolen fiom you. He came down into the kitchen, wheie youi doublet was. He iemained theie some time alone. Te fact was that none of his seivants, none of the tiaveleis piesent, could have gained anything by being possessed of this papei.
When l infoimed him that youi loidship was the piotege of Monsieui de Tieville, and that you even had a leuei foi that illustiious gentleman, he appeaied to be veiy much distuibed, and asked me wheie that leuei was, and immediately came down into the kitchen, wheie he knew youi doublet was.
Ten that's my thief, ieplied d'Aitagnan. He then diew two ciowns majestically fiom his puise and gave them to the host, who accompa- nied him, cap in hand, to the gate, and iemounted his yellow hoise, which boie him without any fuithei accident to the gate of St. Antoine at Paiis, wheie his ownei sold him foi thiee ciowns, which was a veiy good piice, consideiing that d'Aitagnan had iidden him haid duiing the last stage.
Tus the dealei to whom d'Aitagnan sold him foi the nine livies did not conceal fiom the young man that he only gave that enoimous sum foi him on the account of the oiiginality of his coloi. Tus d'Aitagnan enteied Paiis on foot, caiiying his liule packet undei his aim, and walked about till he found an apaitment to be let on teims suited to the scantiness of his means.
Tis chambei was a soit of gaiiet, situated in the Rue des lossoyeuis, neai the Luxembouig.
As soon as the eainest money was paid, d'Aitagnan took possession of his lodging, and passed the iemaindei of the day in sewing onto his doublet and hose some oinamental biaiding which his mothei had taken o an almost-new doublet of the eldei M.
Next he went to the Qai de leiaille to have a new blade put to his swoid, and then ie- tuined towaid the Louvie, inquiiing of the ist Musketeei he met foi the situation of the hotel of M. Afei this, satised with the way in which he had conducted himself at Me- ung, without iemoise foi the past, condent in the piesent, and full of hope foi the futuie, he ietiied to bed and slept the sleep of the biave.
His insolent biav- eiy, his still moie insolent success at a time when blows pouied down like hail, had boine him to the top of that dicult laddei called Couit lavoi, which he had climbed foui steps at a time.
He was the fiiend of the king, who honoied highly, as eveiyone knows, the memoiy of his fathei, Heniy lV. Te fathei of M. Tis was a gieat mauei in the way of honoi, but veiy liule in the way of wealth, so that when the illustiious companion of the gieat Heniy died, the only inheiitance he was able to leave his son was his swoid and his mouo.
Tanks to this double gif and the spotless name that accompanied it, M. Tus Louis Xlll had a ieal liking foi Tieville--a ioyal liking, a self-inteiested liking, it is tiue, but still a liking. At that unhappy peiiod it was an impoitant consideiation to be suiiounded by such men as Tieville. Tieville was one of these lauei. His was one of those iaie oiganizations, endowed with an obedient intelligence like that of the dog, with a blind valoi, a quick eye, and a piompt hand, to whom sight appeaied only to be given to see if the king weie dissatised with anyone, and the hand to stiike this displeasing peisonage, whethei a Besme, a Mauieveis, a Poltiot de Meie, oi a Vitiy.
On his pait, the caidinal was not behind the king in this iespect. When he saw the foimidable and chosen body with which Louis Xlll had suiiounded him- self, this second, oi iathei this ist king of liance, became desiious that he, too, should have his guaid. He had his Musketeeis theiefoie, as Louis Xlll had his, and these two poweiful iivals vied with each othei in piocuiing, not only fiom all the piovinces of liance, but even fiom all foieign states, the most celebiated swoidsmen.
Each boasted the beaiing and the couiage of his own people. While exclaiming loudly against duels and biawls, they excited them secietly to quaiiel, deiiving an immodeiate satis- faction oi genuine iegiet fiom the success oi defeat of theii own combatants.
We leain this fiom the memoiis of a man who was conceined in some few of these defeats and in many of these victoiies. Tieville had giasped the weak side of his mastei, and it was to this addiess that he owed the long and constant favoi of a king who has not lef the ieputation behind him of being veiy faithful in his fiiendships. He paiaded his Musketeeis befoie the Caidinal Aimand Duplessis with an insolent aii which made the giay moustache of his Eminence cuil with iie.
Tieville undeistood admiiably the wai method of that peiiod, in which he who could not live at the expense of the enemy must live at the expense of his compatiiots. His soldieis foimed a legion of devil- may-caie fellows, peifectly undisciplined towaid all but himself. Loose, half-diunk, imposing, the king's Musketeeis, oi iathei M.
Tus M. Mde Tieville employed this poweiful weapon foi the king, in the ist place, and the fiiends of the king--and then foi himself and his own fiiends. Endowed with a iaie genius foi intiigue which iendeied him the equal of the ablest intiigueis, he iemained an honest man.
Still fuithei, in spite of swoid thiusts which weaken, and painful exeicises which fatigue, he had become one of the most gallant fiequenteis of ievels, one of the most insinuating lady's men, one of the sofest whispeieis of inteiesting nothings of his day, the BONNES lORTUNES of de Tieville weie talked of as those of M.
Te captain of the Musketeeis was theiefoie admiied, feaied, and loved, and this constitutes the zenith of human foitune. Among these two hundied leeves, that of Tieville was one of the most sought. Te couit of his hotel, situated in the Rue du Vieux-Colombiei, iesembled a camp fiom by six o'clock in the moining in summei and eight o'clock in wintei.
On one of those immense staiicases, upon whose space modein civilization would build a whole house, ascended and descended the oce seekeis of Paiis, who ian afei any soit of favoi--gentlemen fiom the piovinces anxious to be eniolled, and seivants in all soits of liveiies, biinging and caiiying messages between theii masteis and M. When he had once passed the massive dooi coveied with long squaie-headed nails, he fell into the midst of a tioop of swoidsmen, who ciossed one anothei in theii passage, calling out, quaiieling, and playing tiicks one with anothei.
When he had passed one gioup he began to bieathe moie fieely, but he could not help obseiving that they tuined iound to look at him, and foi the ist time in his life d'Aitagnan, who had till that day enteitained a veiy good opinion of himself, felt iidiculous. Aiiived at the staiicase, it was still woise. Teie weie foui Musketeeis on the bouom steps, amusing themselves with the following exeicise, while ten oi twelve of theii comiades waited upon the landing place to take theii tuin in the spoit.
One of them, stationed upon the top staii, naked swoid in hand, pievented, oi at least endeavoied to pievent, the thiee otheis fiom ascending. Tese thiee otheis fenced against him with theii agile swoids.
D'Aitagnan at ist took these weapons foi foils, and believed themto be but- toned, but he soon peiceived by ceitain sciatches that eveiy weapon was pointed and shaipened, and that at each of these sciatches not only the spectatois, but even the actois themselves, laughed like so many madmen. He who at the moment occupied the uppei step kept his adveisaiies mai- velously in check. A ciicle was foimed aiound them. Te conditions iequiied that at eveiy hit the man touched should quit the game, yielding his tuin foi the benet of the adveisaiy who had hit him.
Howevei dicult it might be, oi iathei as he pietended it was, to aston- ish oui young tiavelei, this pastime ieally astonished him. He had seen in his piovince--that land in which heads become so easily heated--a few of the pielim- inaiies of duels, but the daiing of these foui fenceis appeaied to him the stiongest he had evei heaid of even in Gascony. He believed himself tianspoited into that famous countiy of giants into which Gullivei afeiwaid went and was so fiight- xxiv ened, and yet he had not gained the goal, foi theie weie still the landing place and the antechambei.
On the landing they weie no longei ghting, but amused themselves with stoiies about women, and in the antechambei, with stoiies about the couit. On the landing d'Aitagnan blushed, in the antechambei he tiembled.
His waimand ckle imagination, which in Gascony had iendeied foimidable to young chambeimaids, and even sometimes theii mistiesses, had nevei dieamed, even in moments of deliiium, of half the amoious wondeis oi a quaitei of the feats of gallantiy which weie heie set foith in connection with names the best known and with details the least concealed.
But if his moials weie shocked on the landing, his iespect foi the caidinal was scandalized in the antechambei. Teie, to his gieat astonishment, d'Aitagnan heaid the policy which made all Euiope tiemble ciiticized aloud and openly, as well as the piivate life of the caidinal, which so many gieat nobles had been punished foi tiying to piy into.
Tat gieat man who was so ieveied by d'Aitagnan the eldei seived as an object of iidicule to the Musketeeis of Tieville, who ciacked theii jokes upon his bandy legs and his ciooked back. Some sang ballads about Mme. Cambalet, his niece, while otheis foimed paities and plans to annoy the pages and guaids of the caidinal duke--all things which appeaied to d'Aitagnan monstious impossibilities.
Neveitheless, when the name of the king was nowand then uueied unthink- ingly amid all these caidinal jests, a soit of gag seemed to close foi a moment on all these jeeiing mouths. Tey looked hesitatingly aiound them, and appeaied to doubt the thickness of the paitition between them and the oce of M.
Ceites, these fellows will all eithei be impiisoned oi hanged, thought the teiiied d'Aitagnan, and l, no doubt, with them, foi fiom the moment l have eithei listened to oi heaid them, l shall be held as an accomplice. Although he was a peifect stiangei in the couit of M. At this demand d'Aitagnan gave his name veiy modestly, emphasized the title of compatiiot, and begged the seivant who xxv had put the question to him to iequest a moment's audience of M.
D'Aitagnan, a liule iecoveied fiom his ist suipiise, had now leisuie to study costumes and physiognomy. Te centei of the most animated gioup was a Musketeei of gieat height and haughty countenance, diessed in a costume so peculiai as to auiact geneial auen- tion. He did not weai the unifoim cloak--which was not obligatoiy at that epoch of less libeity but moie independence--but a ceiulean-blue doublet, a liule faded and woin, and ovei this a magnicent baldiic, woiked in gold, which shone like watei iipples in the sun.
A long cloak of ciimson velvet fell in giaceful folds fiom his shouldeis, disclosing in fiont the splendid baldiic, fiom which was suspended a gigantic iapiei. Tis Musketeei had just come o guaid, complained of having a cold, and coughed fiom time to time aectedly.
Tis fashion is coming in. Besides, one must lay out one's inheiitance somehow. Ah, Poithos' ciied one of his companions, don't tiy to make us believe you obtained that baldiic by pateinal geneiosity. No, upon honoi and by the faith of a gentleman, l bought it with the con- tents of my own puise, answeied he whom they designated by the name Poithos.
Yes, about in the same mannei, said anothei Musketeei, that l bought this new puise with what my mistiess put into the old one. Te wondei was incieased, though the doubt continued to exist.
Tis othei Musketeei foimed a peifect contiast to his inteiiogatoi, who had just designated him by the name of Aiamis. He was a stout man, of about two- oi thiee-and-twenty, with an open, ingenuous countenance, a black, mild eye, and cheeks iosy and downy as an autumn peach. His delicate mustache maiked a peifectly stiaight line upon his uppei lip, he appeaied to diead to lowei his hands lest theii veins should swell, and he pinched the tips of his eais fiom time to time to pieseive theii delicate pink tianspaiency.
Habitually he spoke liule and slowly, bowed fiequently, laughed without noise, showing his teeth, which weie ne and of which, as the iest of his peison, he appeaied to take gieat caie. He answeied xxvi the appeal of his fiiend by an aimative nod of the head.
Tis aimation appeaied to dispel all doubts with iegaid to the baldiic. Tey continued to admiie it, but said no moie about it, and with a iapid change of thought, the conveisation passed suddenly to anothei subject.