List Of Contents | Contents of The Vicomte de Bragelonne, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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sympathy.  He himself selected from among those with the least
disreputable look, two guards whom he had formerly known, and whose only
faults were being drunkards and gamblers.  These men had not entirely
lost all ideas of civilization, and under proper garments their hearts
would beat again.  D'Artagnan, not to create any jealousy with the
others, made the rest go forward.  He kept his two selected ones, clothed
them from his own wardrobe, and set out with them.

It was to these two, whom he seemed to honor with an absolute confidence,
that D'Artagnan imparted a false secret, destined to secure the success
of the expedition.  He confessed to them that the object was not to learn
to what extent French merchants were injured by English smuggling, but to
learn how far French smuggling could annoy English trade.  These men
appeared convinced; they were effectively so.  D'Artagnan was quite sure
that at the first debauch, when thoroughly drunk, one of the two would
divulge the secret to the whole band.  His game appeared infallible.

A fortnight after all we have said had taken place at Calais, the whole
troop assembled at the Hague.

Then D'Artagnan perceived that all his men, with remarkable intelligence,
had already travestied themselves into sailors, more or less ill-treated
by the sea.  D'Artagnan left them to sleep in a den in Newkerke street,
whilst he lodged comfortably upon the Grand Canal.  He learned that the
king of England had come back to his old ally, William II. of Nassau,
stadtholder of Holland.  He learned also that the refusal of Louis XIV.
had a little cooled the protection afforded him up to that time, and in
consequence he had gone to reside in a little village house at
Scheveningen, situated in the downs, on the sea-shore, about a league
from the Hague.

There, it was said, the unfortunate banished king consoled himself in his
exile, by looking, with the melancholy peculiar to the princes of his
race, at that immense North Sea, which separated him from his England, as
it had formerly separated Mary Stuart from France.  There, behind the
trees of the beautiful wood of Scheveningen, on the fine sand upon which
grows the golden broom of the down, Charles II. vegetated as it did, more
unfortunate, for he had life and thought, and he hoped and despaired by

D'Artagnan went once as far as Scheveningen, in order to be certain that
all was true that was said of the king.  He beheld Charles II., pensive
and alone, coming out of a little door opening into the wood, and walking
on the beach in the setting sun, without even attracting the attention of
the fishermen, who, on their return in the evening, drew, like the
ancient mariners of the Archipelago, their barks up upon the sand of the

D'Artagnan recognized the king; he saw him fix his melancholy look upon
the immense extent of the waters, and absorb upon his pale countenance
the red rays of the sun already cut by the black line of the horizon.
Then Charles returned to his isolated abode, always alone, slow and sad,
amusing himself with making the friable and moving sand creak beneath his

That very evening D'Artagnan hired for a thousand livres a fishing-boat
worth four thousand.  He paid a thousand livres down, and deposited the
three thousand with a Burgomaster, after which he brought on board,
without their being seen, the six men who formed his land army; and with
the rising tide, at three o'clock in the morning, he got into the open
sea, maneuvering ostensibly with the four others, and depending upon the
science of his galley slave as upon that of the first pilot of the port.

Chapter XXIII:
In which the Author, very unwillingly, is forced to write a Little

While kings and men were thus occupied with England, which governed
itself quite alone, and which, it must be said in its praise, had never
been so badly governed, a man upon whom God had fixed his eye, and placed
his finger, a man predestined to write his name in brilliant letters upon
the page of history, was pursuing in the face of the world a work full of
mystery and audacity.  He went on, and no one knew whither he meant to
go, although not only England, but France, and Europe, watched him
marching with a firm step and head held high.  All that was known of this
man we are about to tell.

Monk had just declared himself in favor of the liberty of the Rump
Parliament, a parliament which General Lambert, imitating Cromwell, whose
lieutenant he had been, had just blocked up so closely, in order to bring
it to his will, that no member, during all the blockade, was able to go
out, and only one, Peter Wentworth, had been able to get in.

Lambert and Monk - everything was summed up in these two men; the first
representing military despotism, the second pure republicanism.  These
men were the two sole political representatives of that revolution in
which Charles I. had first lost his crown, and afterwards his head.  As
regarded Lambert, he did not dissemble his views; he sought to establish
a military government, and to be himself the head of that government.

Monk, a rigid republican, some said, wished to maintain the Rump
Parliament, that visible though degenerated representative of the
republic.  Monk, artful and ambitious, said others, wished simply to make
of this parliament, which he affected to protect, a solid step by which
to mount the throne which Cromwell had left empty, but upon which he had
never dared to take his seat.

Thus Lambert by persecuting the parliament, and Monk by declaring for it,
had mutually proclaimed themselves enemies of each other.  Monk and
Lambert, therefore, had at first thought of creating an army each for
himself: Monk in Scotland, where were the Presbyterians and the
royalists, that is to say, the malcontents; Lambert in London, where was
found, as is always the case, the strongest opposition to the existing
power which it had beneath its eyes.

Monk had pacified Scotland, he had there formed for himself an army, and
found an asylum.  The one watched the other.  Monk knew that the day was
not yet come, the day marked by the Lord for a great change; his sword,
therefore, appeared glued to the sheath.  Inexpugnable in his wild and
mountainous Scotland, an absolute general, king of an army of eleven
thousand old soldiers, whom he had more than once led on to victory; as
well informed, nay, even better, of the affairs of London, than Lambert,
who held garrison in the city, - such was the position of Monk, when, at
a hundred leagues from London, he declared himself for the parliament.
Lambert, on the contrary, as we have said, lived in the capital.  That
was the center of all his operations, and he there collected all around
him all his friends, and all the people of the lower class, eternally
inclined to cherish the enemies of constituted power.

It was then in London that Lambert learnt the support that, from the
frontiers of Scotland, Monk lent to the parliament.  He judged there was
no time to be lost, and that the Tweed was not so far distant from the
Thames that an army could not march from one river to the other,
particularly when it was well commanded.  He knew, besides, that as fast
as the soldiers of Monk penetrated into England, they would form on their
route that ball of snow, the emblem of the globe of fortune, which is for
the ambitious nothing but a step growing unceasingly higher to conduct
him to his object.  He got together, therefore, his army, formidable at
the same time for its composition and its numbers, and hastened to meet
Monk, who, on his part, like a prudent navigator sailing amidst rocks,
advanced by very short marches, listening to the reports which came from

The two armies came in sight of each other near Newcastle; Lambert,
arriving first, encamped in the city itself.  Monk, always circumspect,
stopped where he was, and placed his general quarters at Coldstream, on
the Tweed.  The sight of Lambert spread joy through Monk's army, whilst,
on the contrary, the sight of Monk threw disorder into Lambert's army.
It might have been thought that these intrepid warriors, who had made
such a noise in the streets of London, had set out with the hopes of
meeting no one, and that now seeing that they had met an army, and that
that army hoisted before them not only a standard, but still further, a
cause and a principle, - it might have been believed, we say, that these
intrepid warriors had begun to reflect that they were less good
republicans than the soldiers of Monk, since the latter supported the
parliament; whilst Lambert supported nothing, not even himself.

As to Monk, if he had had to reflect, or if he did reflect, it must have
been after a sad fashion, for history relates - and that modest dame, it
is well known, never lies - history relates, that the day of his arrival
at Coldstream search was made in vain throughout the place for a single

If Monk had commanded an English army, that was enough to have brought
about a general desertion.  But it is not with the Scots as it is with
the English, to whom that fluid flesh which is called blood is a
paramount necessity; the Scots, a poor and sober race, live upon a
little barley crushed between two stones, diluted with the water of the
fountain, and cooked upon another stone, heated.

The Scots, their distribution of barley being made, cared very little
whether there was or was not any meat in Coldstream.  Monk, little
accustomed to barley-cakes, was hungry, and his staff, at least as hungry
as himself, looked with anxiety right and left, to know what was being
prepared for supper.

Monk ordered search to be made; his scouts had on arriving in the place
found it deserted and the cupboards empty; upon butchers and bakers it
was of no use depending in Coldstream.  The smallest morsel of bread,
then, could not be found for the general's table.

As accounts succeeded each other, all equally unsatisfactory, Monk,
seeing terror and discouragement upon every face, declared that he was
not hungry; besides, they should eat on the morrow, since Lambert was

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