The Vicomte De Bragelonne eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 712 pages of information about The Vicomte De Bragelonne.
sun.  Amongst this noisy crowd of courtiers and worshipers, who did not appear to remember they had conducted to the scaffold at Whitehall the father of the new king, a man, in the garb of a lieutenant of musketeers, looked, with a smile upon his thin, intellectual lips, sometimes at the people vociferating their blessings, and sometimes at the prince, who pretended emotion, and who bowed most particularly to the women, whose bouquets fell beneath his horse’s feet.

“What a fine trade is that of king!” said this man, so completely absorbed in contemplation that he stopped in the middle of the road, leaving the cortege to file past.  “Now, there is, in good truth, a prince all bespangled over with gold and diamonds, enamelled with flowers like a spring meadow; he is about to plunge his empty hands into the immense coffer in which his now faithful — but so lately unfaithful — subjects have amassed one or two cartloads of ingots of gold.  They cast bouquets enough upon him to smother him; and yet, if he had presented himself to them two months ago, they would have sent as many bullets and balls at him as they now throw flowers.  Decidedly it is worth something to be born in a certain sphere, with due respect to the lowly, who pretend that it is of very little advantage to them to be born lowly.”  The cortege continued to file on, and, with the king, the acclamations began to die away in the direction of the palace, which, however, did not prevent our officer from being pushed about.

Mordioux!” continued the reasoner, “these people tread upon my toes and look upon me as of very little consequence, or rather of none at all, seeing that they are Englishmen and I am a Frenchman.  If all these people were asked, — ‘Who is M. d’Artagnan?’ they would reply, ’Nescio vos.’  But let any one say to them, ‘There is the king going by,’ ’There is M. Monk going by,’ they would run away, shouting, — ‘Vive le roi!’ ‘Vive M. Monk!’ till their lungs were exhausted.  And yet,” continued he, surveying, with that look sometimes so keen and sometimes so proud, the diminishing crowd, — “and yet, reflect a little, my good people, on what your king has done, on what M. Monk has done, and then think what has been done by this poor unknown, who is called M. d’Artagnan!  It is true you do not know him, since he is here unknown, and that prevents your thinking about the matter!  But, bah! what matters it!  All that does not prevent Charles II. from being a great king, although he has been exiled twelve years, or M. Monk from being a great captain, although he did make a voyage to Holland in a box.  Well, then, since it is admitted that one is a great king and the other a great captain, — ‘Hurrah for King Charles II.!Hurrah for General Monk!’” And his voice mingled with the voices of the hundreds of spectators, over which it sounded for a moment.  Then, the better to play the devoted man, he took off his hat and waved it in the air.  Some one seized his arm in the very height of his expansive loyalism. (In 1660 that was so termed which we now call royalism.)

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The Vicomte De Bragelonne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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