The Three Musketeers HTML version

The Antechamber Of M. De Treville
M. de Troisville, as his family was still called in Gascony, or M. de Treville, as he has
ended by styling himself in Paris, had really commenced life as d'Artagnan now did; that
is to say, without a sou in his pocket, but with a fund of audacity, shrewdness, and
intelligence which makes the poorest Gascon gentleman often derive more in his hope
from the paternal inheritance than the richest Perigordian or Berrichan gentleman derives
in reality from his. His insolent bravery, his still more insolent success at a time when
blows poured down like hail, had borne him to the top of that difficult ladder called Court
Favor, which he had climbed four steps at a time.
He was the friend of the king, who honored highly, as everyone knows, the memory of
his father, Henry IV. The father of M. de Treville had served him so faithfully in his wars
against the league that in default of money--a thing to which the Bearnais was
accustomed all his life, and who constantly paid his debts with that of which he never
stood in need of borrowing, that is to say, with ready wit--in default of money, we repeat,
he authorized him, after the reduction of Paris, to assume for his arms a golden lion
passant upon gules, with the motto FIDELIS ET FORTIS. This was a great matter in the
way of honor, but very little in the way of wealth; so that when the illustrious companion
of the great Henry died, the only inheritance he was able to leave his son was his sword
and his motto. Thanks to this double gift and the spotless name that accompanied it, M.
de Treville was admitted into the household of the young prince where he made such
good use of his sword, and was so faithful to his motto, that Louis XIII, one of the good
blades of his kingdom, was accustomed to say that if he had a friend who was about to
fight, he would advise him to choose as a second, himself first, and Treville next--or
even, perhaps, before himself.
Thus Louis XIII had a real liking for Treville--a royal liking, a self-interested liking, it is
true, but still a liking. At that unhappy period it was an important consideration to be
surrounded by such men as Treville. Many might take for their device the epithet
STRONG, which formed the second part of his motto, but very few gentlemen could lay
claim to the FAITHFUL, which constituted the first. Treville was one of these latter. His
was one of those rare organizations, endowed with an obedient intelligence like that of
the dog; with a blind valor, a quick eye, and a prompt hand; to whom sight appeared only
to be given to see if the king were dissatisfied with anyone, and the hand to strike this
displeasing personage, whether a Besme, a Maurevers, a Poltiot de Mere, or a Vitry. In
short, up to this period nothing had been wanting to Treville but opportunity; but he was
ever on the watch for it, and he faithfully promised himself that he would not fail to seize
it by its three hairs whenever it came within reach of his hand. At last Louis XIII made
Treville the captain of his Musketeers, who were to Louis XIII in devotedness, or rather
in fanaticism, what his Ordinaries had been to Henry III, and his Scotch Guard to Louis
On his part, the cardinal was not behind the king in this respect. When he saw the
formidable and chosen body with which Louis XIII had surrounded himself, this second,