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List Of Contents | Contents of The Vicomte de Bragelonne, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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endeavor to engrave your name in stone or bronze with strong swords!
there is something more rebellious, more hard, more forgetful than iron,
bronze, or stone, and that is, the brain of a lodging-house keeper who
has grown rich in the trade; - he does not know me!  Well, I should have
known him, though."

Athos, smiling at his friend's philosophy, unsealed his letter.

"Ah!" said he, "a letter from Parry."

"Oh! oh!" said D'Artagnan; "read it, my friend, read it!  No doubt it
contains news."

	Athos shook his head, and read:

"MONSIEUR LE COMTE. - The king has experienced much regret at not seeing
you to-day beside him, at his entrance.  His majesty commands me to say
so, and to recall him to your memory.  His majesty will expect you this
evening, at the palace of St. James, between nine and ten o'clock.

"I am, respectfully, monsieur le comte, your honor's very humble and very
obedient servant, - PARRY."

"You see, my dear D'Artagnan," said Athos, "we must not despair of the
hearts of kings."

"Not despair! you are right to say so!" replied D'Artagnan.

"Oh! my dear, very dear friend," resumed Athos, whom the almost
imperceptible bitterness of D'Artagnan had not escaped.  "Pardon me! can
I have unintentionally wounded my best comrade?"

"You are mad, Athos, and to prove it, I shall conduct you to the palace;
to the very gate, I mean; the walk will do me good."

"You shall go in with me, my friend; I will speak to his majesty."

"No, no!" replied D'Artagnan, with true pride, free from all mixture; "if
there is anything worse than begging yourself, it is making others beg
for you.  Come, let us go, my friend, the walk will be charming; on the
way I shall show you the house of M. Monk, who has detained me with him.
A beautiful house, by my faith.  Being a general in England is better
than being a marechal in France, please to know."

Athos allowed himself to be led along, quite saddened by D'Artagnan's
forced attempts at gayety.  The whole city was in a state of joy; the two
friends were jostled at every moment by enthusiasts who required them, in
their intoxication, to cry out, "Long live good King Charles!"
D'Artagnan replied by a grunt, and Athos by a smile.  They arrived thus
in front of Monk's house, before which, as we have said, they had to pass
on their way to St. James's.

Athos and D'Artagnan said but little on the road, for the simple reason
that they would have had so many things to talk about if they had
spoken.  Athos thought that by speaking he should evince satisfaction,
and that might wound D'Artagnan.  The latter feared that in speaking he
should allow some little bitterness to steal into his words which would
render his company unpleasant to his friend.  It was a singular emulation
of silence between contentment and ill-humor.  D'Artagnan gave way first
to that itching at the tip of his tongue which he so habitually
experienced.

"Do you remember, Athos," said he, "the passage of the 'Memoires de
D'Aubigny,' in which that devoted servant, a Gascon like myself, poor as
myself, and, I was going to add, brave as myself, relates instances of
the meanness of Henry IV.?  My father always told me, I remember, that
D'Aubigny was a liar.  But, nevertheless, examine how all the princes,
the issue of the great Henry, keep up the character of the race."

"Nonsense!" said Athos," the kings of France misers?  You are mad, my
friend."

"Oh! you are so perfect yourself, you never agree to the faults of
others.  But, in reality, Henry IV. was covetous, Louis XIII., his son,
was so likewise; we know something of that, don't we?  Gaston carried
this vice to exaggeration, and has made himself, in this respect, hated
by all who surround him.  Henriette, poor woman, might well be
avaricious, she who did not eat every day, and could not warm herself
every winter; and that is an example she has given to her son Charles
II., grandson of the great Henry IV., who is as covetous as his mother
and his grandfather.  See if I have well traced the genealogy of the
misers?"

"D'Artagnan, my friend," cried Athos, "you are very rude towards that
eagle race called the Bourbons."

"Eh! and I have forgotten the best instance of all - the other grandson
of the Bernais, Louis XIV., my ex-master.  Well, I hope he is miserly
enough, he who would not lend a million to his brother Charles!  Good!  I
see you are beginning to be angry.  Here we are, by good luck, close to
my house, or rather that of my friend, M. Monk."

"My dear D'Artagnan, you do not make me angry, you make me sad; it is
cruel, in fact, to see a man of your deserts out of the position his
services ought to have acquired; it appears to me, my dear friend, that
your name is as radiant as the greatest names in war and diplomacy.  Tell
me if the Luynes, the Ballegardes, and the Bassompierres have merited, as
we have, fortunes and honors?  You are right, my friend, a hundred times
right."

D'Artagnan sighed, and preceded his friend under the porch of he mansion
Monk inhabited, at the extremity of the city.  "Permit me," said he, "to
leave my purse at home; for if in the crowd those clever pickpockets of
London, who are much boasted of, even in Paris, were to steal from me the
remainder of my poor crowns, I should not be able to return to France.
Now, content I left France, and wild with joy I should return to it,
seeing that all my prejudices of former days against England have
returned, accompanied by many others."

Athos made no reply.

"So, then, my dear friend, one second, and I will follow you," said
D'Artagnan.  "I know you are in a hurry to go yonder to receive your
reward, but, believe me, I am not less eager to partake of your joy,
although from a distance.  Wait for me."  And D'Artagnan was already
passing through the vestibule, when a man, half servant, half soldier,
who filled in Monk's establishment the double function of porter and
guard, stopped our musketeer, saying to him in English:

"I beg your pardon, my Lord d'Artagnan!"

"Well," replied the latter: "what is it?  Is the general going to dismiss
me?  I only needed to be expelled by him."

These words, spoken in French, made no impression upon the person to whom
they were addressed, and who himself only spoke an English mixed with the
rudest Scots.  But Athos was grieved at them, for he began to think
D'Artagnan was not wrong.

The Englishman showed D'Artagnan a letter: "From the general," said he.

"Aye! that's it, my dismissal!" replied the Gascon.  "Must I read it,
Athos?"

"You must be deceived," said Athos, "or I know no more honest people in
the world but you and myself."

D'Artagnan shrugged his shoulders and unsealed the letter, while the
impassible Englishman held for him a large lantern, by the light of which
he was enabled to read it.

"Well, what is the matter?" said Athos, seeing the countenance of the
reader change.

"Read it yourself," said the musketeer.

Athos took the paper and read:

"MONSIEUR D'ARTAGNAN. - The king regrets very much you did not come to
St. Paul's with his _cortege_.  He missed you, as I also have missed you,
my dear captain.  There is but one means of repairing all this.  His
majesty expects me at nine o'clock at the palace of St. James's: will you
be there at the same time with me?  His gracious majesty appoints that
hour for an audience he grants you."

This letter was from Monk.


Chapter XXXIII:
The Audience.

"Well?" cried Athos with a mild look of reproach, when D'Artagnan had
read the letter addressed to him by Monk.

"Well!" said D'Artagnan, red with pleasure, and a little with shame, at
having so hastily accused the king and Monk.  "This is a politeness, -
which leads to nothing, it is true, but yet it is a politeness."

"I had great difficulty in believing the young prince ungrateful," said
Athos.

"The fact is, that his present is still too near his past," replied
D'Artagnan; "after all, everything to the present moment proved me right."

"I acknowledge it, my dear friend, I acknowledge it.  Ah! there is your
cheerful look returned.  You cannot think how delighted I am."

"Thus you see," said D'Artagnan, "Charles II. receives M. Monk at nine
o'clock; he will receive me at ten; it is a grand audience, of the sort
which at the Louvre are called 'distributions of court holy water.'
Come, let us go and place ourselves under the spout, my dear friend!
Come along."

Athos replied nothing; and both directed their steps, at a quick pace,
towards the palace of St. James's, which the crowd still surrounded, to
catch, through the windows, the shadows of the courtiers, and the
reflection of the royal person.  Eight o'clock was striking when the two
friends took their places in the gallery filled with courtiers and
politicians.  Every one looked at these simply-dressed men in foreign
costumes, at these two noble heads so full of character and meaning.  On
their side, Athos and D'Artagnan, having with two glances taken the
measure of the whole assembly, resumed their chat.

A great noise was suddenly heard at the extremity of the gallery, - it
was General Monk, who entered, followed by more than twenty officers, all
eager for a smile, as only the evening before he was master of all
England, and a glorious to-morrow was looked to, for the restorer of the
Stuart family.

"Gentlemen," said Monk, turning round, "henceforward I beg you to
remember that I am no longer anything.  Lately I commanded the principal
army of the republic; now that army is the king's, into whose hands I am
about to surrender, at his command, my power of yesterday."

Great surprise was painted on all the countenances, and the circle of
adulators and suppliants which surrounded Monk an instant before, was
enlarged by degrees, and ended by being lost in the large undulations of
the crowd.  Monk was going into the ante-chamber as others did.
D'Artagnan could not help remarking this to the Comte de la Fere, who
frowned on beholding it.  Suddenly the door of the royal apartment
opened, and the young king appeared, preceded by two officers of his

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