The Three Musketeers
M. de Treville was at the moment in rather ill-humor, nevertheless he saluted the young
man politely, who bowed to the very ground; and he smiled on receiving d'Artagnan's
response, the Bearnese accent of which recalled to him at the same time his youth and his
country--a double remembrance which makes a man smile at all ages; but stepping
toward the antechamber and making a sign to d'Artagnan with his hand, as if to ask his
permission to finish with others before he began with him, he called three times, with a
louder voice at each time, so that he ran through the intervening tones between the
imperative accent and the angry accent.
"Athos! Porthos! Aramis!"
The two Musketeers with whom we have already made acquaintance, and who answered
to the last of these three names, immediately quitted the group of which they had formed
a part, and advanced toward the cabinet, the door of which closed after them as soon as
they had entered. Their appearance, although it was not quite at ease, excited by its
carelessness, at once full of dignity and submission, the admiration of d'Artagnan, who
beheld in these two men demigods, and in their leader an Olympian Jupiter, armed with
all his thunders.
When the two Musketeers had entered; when the door was closed behind them; when the
buzzing murmur of the antechamber, to which the summons which had been made had
doubtless furnished fresh food, had recommenced; when M. de Treville had three or four
times paced in silence, and with a frowning brow, the whole length of his cabinet, passing
each time before Porthos and Aramis, who were as upright and silent as if on parade--he
stopped all at once full in front of them, and covering them from head to foot with an
angry look, "Do you know what the king said to me," cried he, "and that no longer ago
then yesterday evening--do you know, gentlemen?"
"No," replied the two Musketeers, after a moment's silence, "no, sir, we do not."
"But I hope that you will do us the honor to tell us," added Aramis, in his politest tone
and with his most graceful bow.
"He told me that he should henceforth recruit his Musketeers from among the Guards of
Monsieur the Cardinal."
"The Guards of the cardinal! And why so?" asked Porthos, warmly.
"Because he plainly perceives that his piquette* stands in need of being enlivened by a
mixture of good wine."
*A watered liquor, made from the second pressing of the grape.