The Vicomte De Bragelonne eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 712 pages of information about The Vicomte De Bragelonne.
two thieves, devourers of the people.  And these people, whose interests were so warmly looked after, in order not to fail in respect for their king, quitted shops, stalls, and atliers, to go and evince a little gratitude to Louis XIV., absolutely like invited guests, who feared to commit an impoliteness in not repairing to the house of him who had invited them.  According to the tenor of the sentence, which the criers read aloud and incorrectly, two farmers of the revenues, monopolists of money, dilapidators of the royal provisions, extortioners, and forgers, were about to undergo capital punishment on the Place de Greve, with their names blazoned over their heads, according to their sentence.  As to those names, the sentence made no mention of them.  The curiosity of the Parisians was at its height, and, as we have said, an immense crowd waited with feverish impatience the hour fixed for the execution.  The news had already spread that the prisoners, transferred to the Chateau of Vincennes, would be conducted from that prison to the Place de Greve.  Consequently, the faubourg and the Rue Saint Antoine were crowded; for the population of Paris in those days of great executions was divided into two categories:  those who came to see the condemned pass — these were of timid and mild hearts, but philosophically curious — and those who wished to see the condemned die — these had hearts that hungered for sensation.  On this day M. d’Artagnan received his last instructions from the king, and made his adieus to his friends, the number of whom was, at the moment, reduced to Planchet, then he traced the plan of his day, as every busy man whose moments are counted ought to do, because he appreciates their importance.

“My departure is to be,” said he, “at break of day, three o’clock in the morning; I have then fifteen hours before me.  Take from them the six hours of sleep which are indispensable for me — six; one hour for repasts — seven; one hour for a farewell visit to Athos — eight; two hours for chance circumstances — total, ten.  There are then five hours left.  One hour to get my money, — that is, to have payment refused by M. Fouquet; another hour to go and receive my money of M. Colbert, together with his questions and grimaces; one hour to look over my clothes and arms, and get my boots cleaned.  I still have two hours left. Mordioux! how rich I am.”  And so saying, D’Artagnan felt a strange joy, a joy of youth, a perfume of those great and happy years of former times mount into his brain and intoxicate him.  “During these two hours I will go,” said the musketeer, “and take my quarter’s rent of the Image-de-Notre-Dame.  That will be pleasant.  Three hundred and seventy-five livres! Mordioux! but that is astonishing!  If the poor man who has but one livre in his pocket, found a livre and twelve deniers, that would be justice, that would be excellent; but never does such a godsend fall to the lot of the poor man.  The rich man,

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The Vicomte De Bragelonne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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