The Three Musketeers – Day 26 of 227

“And who told you this fine story, sire?” asked Treville, quietly.

“Who has told me this fine story, monsieur? Who should it be but he who watches while I sleep, who labors while I amuse myself, who conducts everything at home and abroad—in France as in Europe?”

“Your Majesty probably refers to God,” said M. de Treville; “for I know no one except God who can be so far above your Majesty.”

“No, monsieur; I speak of the prop of the state, of my only servant, of my only friend—of the cardinal.”

“His Eminence is not his holiness, sire.”

“What do you mean by that, monsieur?”

“That it is only the Pope who is infallible, and that this infallibility does not extend to cardinals.”

“You mean to say that he deceives me; you mean to say that he betrays me? You accuse him, then? Come, speak; avow freely that you accuse him!”

“No, sire, but I say that he deceives himself. I say that he is ill-informed. I say that he has hastily accused your Majesty’s Musketeers, toward whom he is unjust, and that he has not obtained his information from good sources.”

“The accusation comes from Monsieur de la Tremouille, from the duke himself. What do you say to that?”

“I might answer, sire, that he is too deeply interested in the question to be a very impartial witness; but so far from that, sire, I know the duke to be a royal gentleman, and I refer the matter to him—but upon one condition, sire.”


“It is that your Majesty will make him come here, will interrogate him yourself, tete-a-tete, without witnesses, and that I shall see your Majesty as soon as you have seen the duke.”

“What, then! You will bind yourself,” cried the king, “by what Monsieur de la Tremouille shall say?”

“Yes, sire.”

“You will accept his judgment?”


“Any you will submit to the reparation he may require?”


“La Chesnaye,” said the king. “La Chesnaye!”

Louis XIII’s confidential valet, who never left the door, entered in reply to the call.

“La Chesnaye,” said the king, “let someone go instantly and find Monsieur de la Tremouille; I wish to speak with him this evening.”

“Your Majesty gives me your word that you will not see anyone between Monsieur de la Tremouille and myself?”

“Nobody, by the faith of a gentleman.”

“Tomorrow, then, sire?”

“Tomorrow, monsieur.”

“At what o’clock, please your Majesty?”

“At any hour you will.”

“But in coming too early I should be afraid of awakening your Majesty.”

“Awaken me! Do you think I ever sleep, then? I sleep no longer, monsieur. I sometimes dream, that’s all. Come, then, as early as you like—at seven o’clock; but beware, if you and your Musketeers are guilty.”

“If my Musketeers are guilty, sire, the guilty shall be placed in your Majesty’s hands, who will dispose of them at your good pleasure. Does your Majesty require anything further? Speak, I am ready to obey.”

“No, monsieur, no; I am not called Louis the Just without reason. Tomorrow, then, monsieur—tomorrow.”

“Till then, God preserve your Majesty!”

However ill the king might sleep, M. de Treville slept still worse. He had ordered his three Musketeers and their companion to be with him at half past six in the morning. He took them with him, without encouraging them or promising them anything, and without concealing from them that their luck, and even his own, depended upon the cast of the dice.

Arrived at the foot of the back stairs, he desired them to wait. If the king was still irritated against them, they would depart without being seen; if the king consented to see them, they would only have to be called.

On arriving at the king’s private antechamber, M. de Treville found La Chesnaye, who informed him that they had not been able to find M. de la Tremouille on the preceding evening at his hotel, that he returned too late to present himself at the Louvre, that he had only that moment arrived and that he was at that very hour with the king.

This circumstance pleased M. de Treville much, as he thus became certain that no foreign suggestion could insinuate itself between M. de la Tremouille’s testimony and himself.

In fact, ten minutes had scarcely passed away when the door of the king’s closet opened, and M. de Treville saw M. de la Tremouille come out. The duke came straight up to him, and said: “Monsieur de Treville, his Majesty has just sent for me in order to inquire respecting the circumstances which took place yesterday at my hotel. I have told him the truth; that is to say, that the fault lay with my people, and that I was ready to offer you my excuses. Since I have the good fortune to meet you, I beg you to receive them, and to hold me always as one of your friends.”

“Monsieur the Duke,” said M. de Treville, “I was so confident of your loyalty that I required no other defender before his Majesty than yourself. I find that I have not been mistaken, and I thank you that there is still one man in France of whom may be said, without disappointment, what I have said of you.”

“That’s well said,” cried the king, who had heard all these compliments through the open door; “only tell him, Treville, since he wishes to be considered your friend, that I also wish to be one of his, but he neglects me; that it is nearly three years since I have seen him, and that I never do see him unless I send for him. Tell him all this for me, for these are things which a king cannot say for himself.”

“Thanks, sire, thanks,” said the duke; “but your Majesty may be assured that it is not those—I do not speak of Monsieur de Treville—whom your Majesty sees at all hours of the day that are most devoted to you.”

“Ah! You have heard what I said? So much the better, Duke, so much the better,” said the king, advancing toward the door. “Ah! It is you, Treville. Where are your Musketeers? I told you the day before yesterday to bring them with you; why have you not done so?”

“They are below, sire, and with your permission La Chesnaye will bid them come up.”

“Yes, yes, let them come up immediately. It is nearly eight o’clock, and at nine I expect a visit. Go, Monsieur Duke, and return often. Come in, Treville.”

The Duke saluted and retired. At the moment he opened the door, the three Musketeers and d’Artagnan, conducted by La Chesnaye, appeared at the top of the staircase.

“Come in, my braves,” said the king, “come in; I am going to scold you.”

The Musketeers advanced, bowing, d’Artagnan following closely behind them.

“What the devil!” continued the king. “Seven of his Eminence’s Guards placed hors de combat by you four in two days! That’s too many, gentlemen, too many! If you go on so, his Eminence will be forced to renew his company in three weeks, and I to put the edicts in force in all their rigor. One now and then I don’t say much about; but seven in two days, I repeat, it is too many, it is far too many!”

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