The Vicomte De Bragelonne eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 556 pages of information about The Vicomte De Bragelonne.

“Your father brings you up rather strictly?” said he.

“Justly, monsieur le chevalier.”

“Oh, yes, I know Athos is just; but close, perhaps?”

“A royal hand, Monsieur d’Artagnan.”

“Well, never want, my boy!  If ever you stand in need of a few pistoles, the old musketeer is at hand.”

“My dear Monsieur d’Artagnan!”

“Do you play a little?”

“Never.”

“Successful with the ladies, then? — Oh! my little Aramis!  That, my dear friend, costs even more than play.  It is true we fight when we lose; that is a compensation.  Bah! that little sniveller, the king, makes winners give him his revenge.  What a reign! my poor Raoul, what a reign!  When we think that, in my time, the musketeers were besieged in their houses like Hector and Priam in the city of Troy; and the women wept, and then the walls laughed, and then five hundred beggarly fellows clapped their hands and cried, ‘Kill! kill!’ when not one musketeer was hurt. Mordioux! you will never see anything like that.”

“You are very hard upon the king, my dear Monsieur d’Artagnan and yet you scarcely know him.”

“I!  Listen, Raoul.  Day by day, hour by hour, — take note of my words, — I will predict what he will do.  The cardinal being dead, he will fret; very well, that is the least silly thing he will do, particularly if he does not shed a tear.”

“And then?”

“Why, then he will get M. Fouquet to allow him a pension, and will go and compose verses at Fontainebleau, upon some Mancini or other, whose eyes the queen will scratch out.  She is a Spaniard, you see, — this queen of ours; and she has, for mother-in-law, Madame Anne of Austria.  I know something of the Spaniards of the house of Austria.”

“And next?”

“Well, after having torn the silver lace from the uniforms of his Swiss, because lace is too expensive, he will dismount his musketeers, because oats and hay of a horse cost five sols a day.”

“Oh! do not say that.”

“Of what consequence is it to me? I am no longer a musketeer, am I?  Let them be on horseback, let them be on foot, let them carry a larding-pin, a spit, a sword, or nothing — what is it to me?

“My dear Monsieur d’Artagnan, I beseech you speak no more ill of the king.  I am almost in his service, and my father would be very angry with me for having heard, even from your mouth, words injurious to his majesty.”

“Your father, eh!  He is a knight in every bad cause. Pardieu! yes, your father is a brave man, a Caesar, it is true — but a man without perception.”

“Now, my dear chevalier,” exclaimed Raoul, laughing, “are you going to speak ill of my father, of him you call the great Athos?  Truly you are in a bad vein to-day; riches render you as sour as poverty renders other people.”

Pardieu! you are right.  I am a rascal and in my dotage; I am an unhappy wretch grown old; a tent-cord untwisted, a pierced cuirass, a boot without a sole, a spur without a rowel ; — but do me the pleasure to add one thing.”

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The Vicomte De Bragelonne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.