The Three Musketeers
Concerning A Court Intrigue
In the meantime, the forty pistoles of King Louis XIII, like all other things of this world,
after having had a beginning had an end, and after this end our four companions began to
be somewhat embarrassed. At first, Athos supported the association for a time with his
Porthos succeeded him; and thanks to one of those disappearances to which he was
accustomed, he was able to provide for the wants of all for a fortnight. At last it became
Aramis's turn, who performed it with a good grace and who succeeded--as he said, by
selling some theological books--in procuring a few pistoles.
Then, as they had been accustomed to do, they had recourse to M. de Treville, who made
some advances on their pay; but these advances could not go far with three Musketeers
who were already much in arrears and a Guardsman who as yet had no pay at all.
At length when they found they were likely to be really in want, they got together, as a
last effort, eight or ten pistoles, with which Porthos went to the gaming table.
Unfortunately he was in a bad vein; he lost all, together with twenty-five pistoles for
which he had given his word.
Then the inconvenience became distress. The hungry friends, followed by their lackeys,
were seen haunting the quays and Guard rooms, picking up among their friends abroad
all the dinners they could meet with; for according to the advice of Aramis, it was
prudent to sow repasts right and left in prosperity, in order to reap a few in time of need.
Athos was invited four times, and each time took his friends and their lackeys with him.
Porthos had six occasions, and contrived in the same manner that his friends should
partake of them; Aramis had eight of them. He was a man, as must have been already
perceived, who made but little noise, and yet was much sought after.
As to d'Artagnan, who as yet knew nobody in the capital, he only found one chocolate
breakfast at the house of a priest of his own province, and one dinner at the house of a
cornet of the Guards. He took his army to the priest's, where they devoured as much
provision as would have lasted him for two months, and to the cornet's, who performed
wonders; but as Planchet said, "People do not eat at once for all time, even when they eat
a good deal."
D'Artagnan thus felt himself humiliated in having only procured one meal and a half for
his companions--as the breakfast at the priest's could only be counted as half a repast--in
return for the feasts which Athos, Porthos, and Aramis had procured him. He fancied
himself a burden to the society, forgetting in his perfectly juvenile good faith that he had
fed this society for a month; and he set his mind actively to work. He reflected that this