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The Three Musketeers
Alexandre Dumas père
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His Majesty King Louis XIII
This affair made a great noise. M. de Treville scolded his Musketeers in public, and
congratulated them in private; but as no time was to be lost in gaining the king, M. de
Treville hastened to report himself at the Louvre. It was already too late. The king was
closeted with the cardinal, and M. de Treville was informed that the king was busy and
could not receive him at that moment. In the evening M. de Treville attended the king's
gaming table. The king was winning; and as he was very avaricious, he was in an
excellent humor. Perceiving M. de Treville at a distance--
"Come here, Monsieur Captain," said he, "come here, that I may growl at you. Do you
know that his Eminence has been making fresh complaints against your Musketeers, and
that with so much emotion, that this evening his Eminence is indisposed? Ah, these
Musketeers of yours are very devils--fellows to be hanged."
"No, sire," replied Treville, who saw at the first glance how things would go, "on the
contrary, they are good creatures, as meek as lambs, and have but one desire, I'll be their
warranty. And that is that their swords may never leave their scabbards but in your
majesty's service. But what are they to do? The Guards of Monsieur the Cardinal are
forever seeking quarrels with them, and for the honor of the corps even, the poor young
men are obliged to defend themselves."
"Listen to Monsieur de Treville," said the king; "listen to him! Would not one say he was
speaking of a religious community? In truth, my dear Captain, I have a great mind to take
away your commission and give it to Mademoiselle de Chemerault, to whom I promised
an abbey. But don't fancy that I am going to take you on your bare word. I am called
Louis the Just, Monsieur de Treville, and by and by, by and by we will see."
"Ah, sire; it is because I confide in that justice that I shall wait patiently and quietly the
good pleasure of your Majesty."
"Wait, then, monsieur, wait," said the king; "I will not detain you long."
In fact, fortune changed; and as the king began to lose what he had won, he was not sorry
to find an excuse for playing Charlemagne--if we may use a gaming phrase of whose
origin we confess our ignorance. The king therefore arose a minute after, and putting the
money which lay before him into his pocket, the major part of which arose from his
winnings, "La Vieuville," said he, "take my place; I must speak to Monsieur de Treville
on an affair of importance. Ah, I had eighty louis before me; put down the same sum, so
that they who have lost may have nothing to complain of. Justice before everything."
Then turning toward M. de Treville and walking with him toward the embrasure of a
window, "Well, monsieur," continued he, "you say it is his Eminence's Guards who have
sought a quarrel with your Musketeers?"