His Majesty King Louis XIII

This affair made a great noise. M. de Tréville scolded his musketeers in public and congratulated them in private; but as no time was to be lost in gaining the king, M. de Tréville made all haste to the Louvre. But he was too late; the king was closeted with the cardinal, and M. de Tréville was informed that the king was busy and could not receive him. In the evening M. de Tréville went to the king’s card-table. The king was winning, and as his Majesty was very avaricious, he was in an excellent humour; therefore, perceiving M. de Tréville at a distance,

“Come here, captain,” said he—“come here, that I may scold you. Do you know that his Eminence has just made fresh complaints against your musketeers, and with so much emotion that his Eminence is indisposed this evening? Why, these musketeers of yours are very devils—fellows to be hanged!”

“No, sire,” replied Tréville, who saw at the first glance which way things would turn—“no, sire; on the contrary, they are good creatures, as meek as lambs, and have but one desire, I’ll be their warranty; and this is, that their swords may never leave their scabbards but in your Majesty’s service. But what are they to do? The guards of the cardinal are for ever seeking quarrels with them, and for the honour of the corps even the poor young men are obliged to defend themselves.”

“Listen to M. de Tréville,” said the king, “listen to him! Would not one say he was speaking of a religious community?

“La Vieuville,” said he, “take my place; I must speak to M. de Tréville 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 towards M. de Tréville, and walking with him towards the embrasure of a window,

“Well, monsieur,” continued he, “you say it is his Eminence’s guards who sought a quarrel with your musketeers?”

“Yes, sir, as they always do.”

“And how did the thing happen? Let us see, for you know, my dear captain, a judge must hear both sides.”

“Good Lord! in the most simple and natural manner possible. Three of my best soldiers, whom your Majesty knows by name, and whose devotion you have more than once appreciated, and who have, I can assure the king, his service much at heart—three of my best soldiers, I say—Athos, Porthos, and Aramis—had made a party of pleasure with a young cadet from Gascony, whom I had introduced to them the same morning. The party was to take place at St. Germain, I believe, and they had appointed to meet at the Carmes-Deschaux, when they were disturbed by De Jussac, Cahusac, Bicarat, and two other guards, who certainly did not go there in a body without some ill intention against the edicts.”

“Ah, ah! you incline me to think so,” said the king. “There is no doubt they went thither with the intention of fighting.”

“I do not accuse them, sire; but I leave your Majesty to judge what five armed men could possibly be going to do in such a retired spot as the environs of the Convent des Carmes.”

“You are right, Tréville, you are right!”

“Then, upon seeing my musketeers, they changed their minds, and forgot their private hatred for their corps feuds; for your Majesty cannot be ignorant that the musketeers, who belong to the king, and to nobody but the king, are the natural enemies of the guards, who belong to the cardinal.”

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