Suddenly, when least expected, Monk drove the military party out of London, and installed himself in the city amidst the citizens, by order of the parliament; then, at the moment when the citizens were crying out against Monk — at the moment when the soldiers themselves were accusing their leader — Monk, finding himself certain of a majority, declared to the Rump Parliament that it must abdicate — be dissolved — and yield its place to a government which would not be a joke. Monk pronounced this declaration, supported by fifty thousand swords, to which, that same evening, were united, with shouts of delirious joy, the five thousand inhabitants of the good city of London. At length, at the moment when the people, after their triumphs and festive repasts in the open streets, were looking about for a master, it was affirmed that a vessel had left the Hague, bearing King Charles II. and his fortunes.
“Gentlemen,” said Monk to his officers, “I am going to meet the legitimate king. He who loves me will follow me.” A burst of acclamations welcomed these words, which D’Artagnan did not hear without the greatest delight.
“Mordioux!” said he to Monk, “that is bold, monsieur.”
“You will accompany me, will you not?” said Monk.
“Pardieu! general. But tell me, I beg, what you wrote by Athos, that is to say, the Comte de la Fere — you know — the day of our arrival?”
“I have no secrets from you now,” replied Monk. “I wrote these words: ‘Sire, I expect your majesty in six weeks at Dover.’”
“Ah!” said D’Artagnan, “I no longer say it is bold; I say it is well played; it is a fine stroke!”
“You are something of a judge in such matters,” replied Monk.
And this was the only time the general had ever made an allusion to his voyage to Holland.
The king of England made his entree into Dover with great pomp, as he afterwards did in London. He had sent for his brothers; he had brought over his mother and sister. England had been for so long a time given up to herself — that is to say, to tyranny, mediocrity and nonsense — that this return of Charles II., whom the English only knew as the son of the man whose head they had cut off, was a festival for three kingdoms. Consequently, all the good wishes, all the acclamations which accompanied his return, struck the young king so forcibly that he stooped and whispered in the ear of James of York, his younger brother, “In truth, James, it seems to have been our own fault that we were so long absent from a country where we are so much beloved!” The pageant was magnificent. Beautiful weather favored the solemnity. Charles had regained all his youth, all his good humor; he appeared to be transfigured; hearts seemed to smile on him like the