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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 556 pages of information about The Vicomte De Bragelonne.
the indefinable affection of the friend.  It was evident that Aramis had asked himself this question:  — “Why is D’Artagnan with Porthos, and what does he want at Vannes?” Aramis comprehended all that was passing in the mind of D’Artagnan, on turning his look upon him again, and seeing that he had not lowered his eyes.  He knew the acuteness and intelligence of his friend; he feared to let him divine the secret of his blush and his astonishment.  He was still the same Aramis, always having a secret to conceal.  Therefore, to put an end to his look of an inquisitor, which it was necessary to get rid of at all events, as, at any price, a general extinguishes a battery which annoys him, Aramis stretched forth his beautiful white hand, upon which sparkled the amethyst of the pastoral ring; he cut the air with sign of the cross, and poured out his benediction upon his two friends.  Perhaps thoughtful and absent, D’Artagnan, impious in spite of himself, might not have bent beneath this holy benediction; but Porthos saw his distraction, and laying his friendly hand upon the back of his companion, he crushed him down towards the earth.  D’Artagnan was forced to give way; indeed, he was little short of being flat on the ground.  In the meantime Aramis had passed.  D’Artagnan, like Antaeus, had only touched the ground, and he turned towards Porthos, almost angry.  But there was no mistaking the intention of the brave Hercules; it was a feeling of religious propriety that had influenced him.  Besides, speech with Porthos, instead of disguising his thought, always completed it.

“It is very polite of him,” said he, “to have given his benediction to us alone.  Decidedly, he is a holy man, and a brave man.”  Less convinced than Porthos, D’Artagnan made no reply.

“Observe my friend,” continued Porthos, “he has seen us; and, instead of continuing to walk on at the simple pace of the procession, as he did just now, — see, what a hurry he is in; do you see how the cortege is increasing its speed?  He is eager to join us and embrace us, is that dear Aramis.”

“That is true,” replied D’Artagnan, aloud. — Then to himself:  — “It is equally true he has seen me, the fox, and will have time to prepare himself to receive me.”

But the procession had passed; the road was free.  D’Artagnan and Porthos walked straight up to the episcopal palace, which was surrounded by a numerous crowd anxious to see the prelate return.  D’Artagnan remarked that this crowd was composed principally of citizens and military men.  He recognized in the nature of these partisans the address of his friend.  Aramis was not the man to seek for a useless popularity.  He cared very little for being beloved by people who could be of no service to him.  Women, children, and old men, that is to say, the cortege of ordinary pastors; was not the cortege for him.

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