The Musketeers' Establishments

When D’Artagnan had left the Louvre he was advised by Athos to order a good repast at the Pomme- de-Pin, by Porthos to engage a lackey, and by Aramis to provide himself with a suitable mistress.

The repast was carried into effect that very day, and the lackey waited at table. The repast had been ordered by Athos, and the lackey furnished by Porthos. This fellow was a Picard, whom the vain musketeer had picked up that very day and for this occasion on the bridge De la Tournelle while he was spitting in the water to make rings.

Athos, on his part, had a valet whom he had trained in his service in a very peculiar fashion, and who was named Grimaud. He was very taciturn, this worthy signor. Be it understood we are speaking of Athos. During the five or six years that he had lived in perfect intimacy with his companions Porthos and Aramis, they could remember having often seen him smile, but had never heard him laugh. His words were brief and expressive, conveying all that was meant, and no more—no embellishments, no embroidery, no arabesques. His conversation was matter of fact, without any ornamentation.

Although Athos was scarcely thirty years old, and possessed of great physical and mental beauty, no one knew that he had ever had a mistress. He never spoke of women. His reserve, his roughness, and his silence made almost an old man of him; he had then, in order not to interfere with his habits, accustomed Grimaud to obey him upon a simple gesture, or at the mere movement of his lips. He never spoke to him but upon the most extraordinary occasions.

Porthos’s character, as we have seen, was exactly opposite to that of Athos. He not only talked much, but he talked loudly, little caring, we must do him the justice to say, whether anybody listened to him or not. An old proverb says, “Like master, like man.” Let us pass then from the valet of Athos to the valet of Porthos, from Grimaud to Mousqueton.

Mousqueton was a Norman, whose pacific name of Boniface his master had changed into the infinitely more sonorous one of Mousqueton. He had entered Porthos’s service upon condition that he should only be clothed and lodged, but in a handsome manner; he claimed but two hours a day for himself to consecrate to an employment which would provide for his other wants. Porthos agreed to the bargain; this arrangement suited him wonderfully well.

As for Aramis, whose character we believe we have sufficiently explained—a character, moreover, which, like that of his companions, we shall be able to follow in its development—his lackey was called Bazin. Thanks to the hopes which his master entertained of some day entering into orders, he was always clothed in black, as became the servant of a churchman. He was a Berrichon of from thirty-five to forty years of age, mild, peaceable, sleek, employing the leisure his master left him in the perusal of pious works, providing for the two, to be sure, a frugal but excellent dinner. In addition, he was dumb, blind, and deaf, and of unimpeachable fidelity.

The life of the four young men had become common to each and all. D’Artagnan, who had no settled habits of his own, since he had just dropped from his province into the midst of a world quite new to him, assumed immediately the habits of his friends.

They rose about eight o’clock in the winter, about six in summer, and went to get the countersign and see how things were at M. de Tréville’s. D’Artagnan, although he was not a musketeer, performed the duty of one with touching punctuality. He was always mounting guard, because he always kept that one of his friends company who mounted his. He was well known at the hôtel of the musketeers, where every one considered him a good comrade. M. de Tréville, who had appreciated his worth at the first glance, and who bore him a real affection, never ceased recommending him to the king.On their side, the three musketeers were much attached to their young comrade. The friendship which united these four men, and the need they felt for meeting three or four times a day, whether for duels, business, or pleasure, caused them to be continually running after one another like shadows; and you constantly met the inseparables looking one for the other, from the Luxembourg to the Place Saint-Sulpice, or from the Rue du Vieux-Colombier to the Luxembourg.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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