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The Three Musketeers

George Villiers, Duke Of Buckingham
Mme. Bonacieux and the duke entered the Louvre without difficulty. Mme. Bonacieux
was known to belong to the queen; the duke wore the uniform of the Musketeers of M. de
Treville, who, as we have said, were that evening on guard. Besides, Germain was in the
interests of the queen; and if anything should happen, Mme. Bonacieux would be accused
of having introduced her lover into the Louvre, that was all. She took the risk upon
herself. Her reputation would be lost, it is true; but of what value in the world was the
reputation of the little wife of a mercer?
Once within the interior of the court, the duke and the young woman followed the wall
for the space of about twenty-five steps. This space passed, Mme. Bonacieux pushed a
little servants' door, open by day but generally closed at night. The door yielded. Both
entered, and found themselves in darkness; but Mme. Bonacieux was acquainted with all
the turnings and windings of this part of the Louvre, appropriated for the people of the
household. She closed the door after her, took the duke by the hand, and after a few
experimental steps, grasped a balustrade, put her foot upon the bottom step, and began to
ascend the staircase. The duke counted two stories. She then turned to the right, followed
the course of a long corridor, descended a flight, went a few steps farther, introduced a
key into a lock, opened a door, and pushed the duke into an apartment lighted only by a
lamp, saying, "Remain here, my Lord Duke; someone will come." She then went out by
the same door, which she locked, so that the duke found himself literally a prisoner.
Nevertheless, isolated as he was, we must say that the Duke of Buckingham did not
experience an instant of fear. One of the salient points of his character was the search for
adventures and a love of romance. Brave, rash, and enterprising, this was not the first
time he had risked his life in such attempts. He had learned that the pretended message
from Anne of Austria, upon the faith of which he had come to Paris, was a snare; but
instead of regaining England, he had, abusing the position in which he had been placed,
declared to the queen that he would not depart without seeing her. The queen had at first
positively refused; but at length became afraid that the duke, if exasperated, would
commit some folly. She had already decided upon seeing him and urging his immediate
departure, when, on the very evening of coming to this decision, Mme. Bonacieux, who
was charged with going to fetch the duke and conducting him to the Louvre, was
abducted. For two days no one knew what had become of her, and everything remained
in suspense; but once free, and placed in communication with Laporte, matters resumed
their course, and she accomplished the perilous enterprise which, but for her arrest, would
have been executed three days earlier.
Buckingham, left alone, walked toward a mirror. His Musketeer's uniform became him
marvelously.
 
 
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