The Three Musketeers
Aramis And His Thesis
D'Artagnan had said nothing to Porthos of his wound or of his procurator's wife. Our
Bernais was a prudent lad, however young he might be. Consequently he had appeared to
believe all that the vainglorious Musketeer had told him, convinced that no friendship
will hold out against a surprised secret. Besides, we feel always a sort of mental
superiority over those whose lives we know better than they suppose. In his projects of
intrigue for the future, and determined as he was to make his three friends the instruments
of his fortune, d'Artagnan was not sorry at getting into his grasp beforehand the invisible
strings by which he reckoned upon moving them.
And yet, as he journeyed along, a profound sadness weighed upon his heart. He thought
of that young and pretty Mme. Bonacieux who was to have paid him the price of his
devotedness; but let us hasten to say that this sadness possessed the young man less from
the regret of the happiness he had missed, than from the fear he entertained that some
serious misfortune had befallen the poor woman. For himself, he had no doubt she was a
victim of the cardinal's vengeance; and, and as was well known, the vengeance of his
Eminence was terrible. How he had found grace in the eyes of the minister, he did not
know; but without doubt M. de Cavois would have revealed this to him if the captain of
the Guards had found him at home.
Nothing makes time pass more quickly or more shortens a journey than a thought which
absorbs in itself all the faculties of the organization of him who thinks. External existence
then resembles a sleep of which this thought is the dream. By its influence, time has no
longer measure, space has no longer distance. We depart from one place, and arrive at
another, that is all. Of the interval passed, nothing remains in the memory but a vague
mist in which a thousand confused images of trees, mountains, and landscapes are lost. It
was as a prey to this hallucination that d'Artagnan traveled, at whatever pace his horse
pleased, the six or eight leagues that separated Chantilly from Crevecoeur, without his
being able to remember on his arrival in the village any of the things he had passed or
met with on the road.
There only his memory returned to him. He shook his head, perceived the cabaret at
which he had left Aramis, and putting his horse to the trot, he shortly pulled up at the
This time it was not a host but a hostess who received him. d'Artagnan was a
physiognomist. His eye took in at a glance the plump, cheerful countenance of the
mistress of the place, and he at once perceived there was no occasion for dissembling
with her, or of fearing anything from one blessed with such a joyous physiognomy.
"My good dame," asked d'Artagnan, "can you tell me what has become of one of my
friends, whom we were obliged to leave here about a dozen days ago?"