The Vicomte De Bragelonne eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 556 pages of information about The Vicomte De Bragelonne.
him was emotion, and therefore enjoyment.  He loved the society of others, but never became tired of his own; and more than once, if he could have been heard when he was alone, he might have been seen laughing at the jokes he related to himself or the tricks his imagination created just five minutes before ennui might have been looked for.  D’Artagnan was not perhaps so gay this time as he would have been with the prospect of finding some good friends at Calais, instead of joining the ten scamps there; melancholy, however, did not visit him more than once a day, and it was about five visits that he received from that somber deity before he got sight of the sea at Boulogne, and then these visits were indeed but short.  But when once D’Artagnan found himself near the field of action, all other feelings but that of confidence disappeared never to return.  From Boulogne he followed the coast to Calais.  Calais was the place of general rendezvous, and at Calais he had named to each of his recruits the hostelry of “Le Grande Monarque,” where living was not extravagant, where sailors messed, and where men of the sword, with sheath of leather, be it understood, found lodging, table, food, and all the comforts of life, for thirty sous per diem.  D’Artagnan proposed to himself to take them by surprise in flagrante delicto of wandering life, and to judge by the first appearance if he could count on them as trusty companions.

He arrived at Calais at half past four in the afternoon.

Chapter XXII:  D’Artagnan travels for the House of Planchet and Company.

The hostelry of “Le Grand Monarque” was situated in a little street parallel to the port without looking out upon the port itself.  Some lanes cut — as steps cut the two parallels of the ladder — the two great straight lines of the port and the street.  By these lanes passengers came suddenly from the port into the street, or from the street on to the port.  D’Artagnan, arrived at the port, took one of these lanes, and came out in front of the hostelry of “Le Grand Monarque.”  The moment was well chosen and might remind D’Artagnan of his start in life at the hostelry of the “Franc-Meunier” at Meung.  Some sailors who had been playing at dice had started a quarrel, and were threatening each other furiously.  The host, hostess, and two lads were watching with anxiety the circle of these angry gamblers, from the midst of which war seemed ready to break forth, bristling with knives and hatchets.  The play, nevertheless, was continued.  A stone bench was occupied by two men, who appeared thence to watch the door; four tables, placed at the back of the common chamber, were occupied by eight other individuals.  Neither the men at the door, nor those at the tables took any part in the play or the quarrel.  D’Artagnan recognized his ten men in these cold, indifferent spectators.  The quarrel went on increasing.  Every passion has, like the sea, its tide which ascends and descends.  Reaching the climax of passion, one sailor overturned the table and the money which was upon it.  The table fell, and the money rolled about.  In an instant all belonging to the hostelry threw themselves upon the stakes, and many a piece of silver was picked up by people who stole away whilst the sailors were scuffling with each other.

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The Vicomte De Bragelonne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.