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Chapter 15 MEN OF THE ROBE AND MEN OF THE SWORD

  • On the day after these events had taken place, Athos not having reappeared, M.
  • de Treville was informed by d'Artagnan and Porthos of the circumstance. As t_ramis, he had asked for leave of absence for five days, and was gone, it wa_aid, to Rouen on family business.
  • M. de Treville was the father of his soldiers. The lowest or the least know_f them, as soon as he assumed the uniform of the company, was as sure of hi_id and support as if he had been his own brother.
  • He repaired, then, instantly to the office of the LIEUTENANT-CRIMINEL. Th_fficer who commanded the post of the Red Cross was sent for, and b_uccessive inquiries they learned that Athos was then lodged in the For_'Eveque.
  • Athos had passed through all the examinations we have seen Bonacieux undergo.
  • We were present at the scene in which the two captives were confronted wit_ach other. Athos, who had till that time said nothing for fear tha_'Artagnan, interrupted in his turn, should not have the time necessary, fro_his moment declared that his name was Athos, and not d'Artagnan. He adde_hat he did not know either M. or Mme. Bonacieux; that he had never spoken t_he one or the other; that he had come, at about ten o'clock in the evening, to pay a visit to his friend M. d'Artagnan, but that till that hour he ha_een at M. de Treville's, where he had dined. "Twenty witnesses," added he,
  • "could attest the fact"; and he named several distinguished gentlemen, an_mong them was M. le Duc de la Tremouille.
  • The second commissary was as much bewildered as the first had been by th_imple and firm declaration of the Musketeer, upon whom he was anxious to tak_he revenge which men of the robe like at all times to gain over men of th_word; but the name of M. de Treville, and that of M. de la Tremouille, commanded a little reflection.
  • Athos was then sent to the cardinal; but unfortunately the cardinal was at th_ouvre with the king.
  • It was precisely at this moment that M. de Treville, on leaving the residenc_f the LIEUTENANT-CRIMINEL and the governor of the Fort l'Eveque without bein_ble to find Athos, arrived at the palace.
  • As captain of the Musketeers, M. de Treville had the right of entry at al_imes.
  • It is well known how violent the king's prejudices were against the queen, an_ow carefully these prejudices were kept up by the cardinal, who in affairs o_ntrigue mistrusted women infinitely more than men. One of the grand causes o_his prejudice was the friendship of Anne of Austria for Mme. de Chevreuse.
  • These two women gave him more uneasiness than the war with Spain, the quarre_ith England, or the embarrassment of the finances. In his eyes and to hi_onviction, Mme. de Chevreuse not only served the queen in her politica_ntrigues, but, what tormented him still more, in her amorous intrigues.
  • At the first word the cardinal spoke of Mme. de Chevreuse—who, though exile_o Tours and believed to be in that city, had come to Paris, remained ther_ive days, and outwitted the police—the king flew into a furious passion.
  • Capricious and unfaithful, the king wished to be called Louis the Just an_ouis the Chaste. Posterity will find a difficulty in understanding thi_haracter, which history explains only by facts and never by reason.
  • But when the cardinal added that not only Mme. de Chevreuse had been in Paris, but still further, that the queen had renewed with her one of those mysteriou_orrespondences which at that time was named a CABAL; when he affirmed tha_e, the cardinal, was about to unravel the most closely twisted thread of thi_ntrigue; that at the moment of arresting in the very act, with all the proof_bout her, the queen's emissary to the exiled duchess, a Musketeer had dare_o interrupt the course of justice violently, by falling sword in hand upo_he honest men of the law, charged with investigating impartially the whol_ffair in order to place it before the eyes of the king—Louis XIII could no_ontain himself, and he made a step toward the queen's apartment with tha_ale and mute indignation which, when in broke out, led this prince to th_ommission of the most pitiless cruelty. And yet, in all this, the cardina_ad not yet said a word about the Duke of Buckingham.
  • At this instant M. de Treville entered, cool, polite, and in irreproachabl_ostume.
  • Informed of what had passed by the presence of the cardinal and the alteratio_n the king's countenance, M. de Treville felt himself something like Samso_efore the Philistines.
  • Louis XIII had already placed his hand on the knob of the door; at the nois_f M. de Treville's entrance he turned round. "You arrive in good time, monsieur," said the king, who, when his passions were raised to a certai_oint, could not dissemble; "I have learned some fine things concerning you_usketeers."
  • "And I," said Treville, coldly, "I have some pretty things to tell you_ajesty concerning these gownsmen."
  • "What?" said the king, with hauteur.
  • "I have the honor to inform your Majesty," continued M. de Treville, in th_ame tone, "that a party of PROCUREURS, commissaries, and men of th_olice—very estimable people, but very inveterate, as it appears, against th_niform—have taken upon themselves to arrest in a house, to lead away throug_he open street, and throw into the Fort l'Eveque, all upon an order whic_hey have refused to show me, one of my, or rather your Musketeers, sire, o_rreproachable conduct, of an almost illustrious reputation, and whom you_ajesty knows favorably, Monsieur Athos."
  • "Athos," said the king, mechanically; "yes, certainly I know that name."
  • "Let your Majesty remember," said Treville, "that Monsieur Athos is th_usketeer who, in the annoying duel which you are acquainted with, had th_isfortune to wound Monsieur de Cahusac so seriously. A PROPOS, monseigneur,"
  • continued Treville. Addressing the cardinal, "Monsieur de Cahusac is quit_ecovered, is he not?"
  • "Thank you," said the cardinal, biting his lips with anger.
  • "Athos, then, went to pay a visit to one of his friends absent at the time,"
  • continued Treville, "to a young Bearnais, a cadet in his Majesty's Guards, th_ompany of Monsieur Dessessart, but scarcely had he arrived at his friend'_nd taken up a book, while waiting his return, when a mixed crowd of bailiff_nd soldiers came and laid siege to the house, broke open several doors—"
  • The cardinal made the king a sign, which signified, "That was on account o_he affair about which I spoke to you."
  • "We all know that," interrupted the king; "for all that was done for ou_ervice."
  • "Then," said Treville, "it was also for your Majesty's service that one of m_usketeers, who was innocent, has been seized, that he has been placed betwee_wo guards like a malefactor, and that this gallant man, who has ten time_hed his blood in your Majesty's service and is ready to shed it again, ha_een paraded through the midst of an insolent populace?"
  • "Bah!" said the king, who began to be shaken, "was it so managed?"
  • "Monsieur de Treville," said the cardinal, with the greatest phlegm, "does no_ell your Majesty that this innocent Musketeer, this gallant man, had only a_our before attacked, sword in hand, four commissaries of inquiry, who wer_elegated by myself to examine into an affair of the highest importance."
  • "I defy your Eminence to prove it," cried Treville, with his Gascon freedo_nd military frankness; "for one hour before, Monsieur Athos, who, I wil_onfide it to your Majesty, is really a man of the highest quality, did me th_onor after having dined with me to be conversing in the saloon of my hotel, with the Duc de la Tremouille and the Comte de Chalus, who happened to b_here."
  • The king looked at the cardinal.
  • "A written examination attests it," said the cardinal, replying aloud to th_ute interrogation of his Majesty; "and the ill-treated people have drawn u_he following, which I have the honor to present to your Majesty."
  • "And is the written report of the gownsmen to be placed in comparison with th_ord of honor of a swordsman?" replied Treville haughtily.
  • "Come, come, Treville, hold your tongue," said the king.
  • "If his Eminence entertains any suspicion against one of my Musketeers," sai_reville, "the justice of Monsieur the Cardinal is so well known that I deman_n inquiry."
  • "In the house in which the judicial inquiry was made," continued the impassiv_ardinal, "there lodges, I believe, a young Bearnais, a friend of th_usketeer."
  • "Your Eminence means Monsieur d'Artagnan."
  • "I mean a young man whom you patronize, Monsieur de Treville."
  • "Yes, your Eminence, it is the same."
  • "Do you not suspect this young man of having given bad counsel?"
  • "To Athos, to a man double his age?" interrupted Treville. "No, monseigneur.
  • Besides, d'Artagnan passed the evening with me."
  • "Well," said the cardinal, "everybody seems to have passed the evening wit_ou."
  • "Does your Eminence doubt my word?" said Treville, with a brow flushed wit_nger.
  • "No, God forbid," said the cardinal; "only, at what hour was he with you?"
  • "Oh, as to that I can speak positively, your Eminence; for as he came in _emarked that it was but half past nine by the clock, although I had believe_t to be later."
  • "At what hour did he leave your hotel?"
  • "At half past ten—an hour after the event."
  • "Well," replied the cardinal, who could not for an instant suspect the loyalt_f Treville, and who felt that the victory was escaping him, "well, but Atho_AS taken in the house in the Rue des Fossoyeurs."
  • "Is one friend forbidden to visit another, or a Musketeer of my company t_raternize with a Guard of Dessessart's company?"
  • "Yes, when the house where he fraternizes is suspected."
  • "That house is suspected, Treville," said the king; "perhaps you did not kno_t?"
  • "Indeed, sire, I did not. The house may be suspected; but I deny that it is s_n the part of it inhabited my Monsieur d'Artagnan, for I can affirm, sire, i_ can believe what he says, that there does not exist a more devoted servan_f your Majesty, or a more profound admirer of Monsieur the Cardinal."
  • "Was it not this d'Artagnan who wounded Jussac one day, in that unfortunat_ncounter which took place near the Convent of the Carmes-Dechausses?" aske_he king, looking at the cardinal, who colored with vexation.
  • "And the next day, Bernajoux. Yes, sire, yes, it is the same; and your Majest_as a good memory."
  • "Come, how shall we decide?" said the king.
  • "That concerns your Majesty more than me," said the cardinal. "I should affir_he culpability."
  • "And I deny it," said Treville. "But his Majesty has judges, and these judge_ill decide."
  • "That is best," said the king. "Send the case before the judges; it is thei_usiness to judge, and they shall judge."
  • "Only," replied Treville, "it is a sad thing that in the unfortunate times i_hich we live, the purest life, the most incontestable virtue, cannot exempt _an from infamy and persecution. The army, I will answer for it, will be bu_ittle pleased at being exposed to rigorous treatment on account of polic_ffairs."
  • The expression was imprudent; but M. de Treville launched it with knowledge o_is cause. He was desirous of an explosion, because in that case the min_hrows forth fire, and fire enlightens.
  • "Police affairs!" cried the king, taking up Treville's words, "police affairs!
  • And what do you know about them, Monsieur? Meddle with your Musketeers, and d_ot annoy me in this way. It appears, according to your account, that if b_ischance a Musketeer is arrested, France is in danger. What a noise about _usketeer! I would arrest ten of them, VENTREBLEU, a hundred, even, all th_ompany, and I would not allow a whisper."
  • "From the moment they are suspected by your Majesty," said Treville, "th_usketeers are guilty; therefore, you see me prepared to surrender m_word—for after having accused my soldiers, there can be no doubt tha_onsieur the Cardinal will end by accusing me. It is best to constitute mysel_t once a prisoner with Athos, who is already arrested, and with d'Artagnan, who most probably will be."
  • "Gascon-headed man, will you have done?" said the king.
  • "Sire," replied Treville, without lowering his voice in the least, "eithe_rder my Musketeer to be restored to me, or let him be tried."
  • "He shall be tried," said the cardinal.
  • "Well, so much the better; for in that case I shall demand of his Majest_ermission to plead for him."
  • The king feared an outbreak.
  • "If his Eminence," said he, "did not have personal motives—"
  • The cardinal saw what the king was about to say and interrupted him:
  • "Pardon me," said he; "but the instant your Majesty considers me a prejudice_udge, I withdraw."
  • "Come," said the king, "will you swear, by my father, that Athos was at you_esidence during the event and that he took no part in it?"
  • "By your glorious father, and by yourself, whom I love and venerate above al_he world, I swear it."
  • "Be so kind as to reflect, sire," said the cardinal. "If we release th_risoner thus, we shall never know the truth."
  • "Athos may always be found," replied Treville, "ready to answer, when it shal_lease the gownsmen to interrogate him. He will not desert, Monsieur th_ardinal, be assured of that; I will answer for him."
  • "No, he will not desert," said the king; "he can always be found, as Trevill_ays. Besides," added he, lowering his voice and looking with a suppliant ai_t the cardinal, "let us give them apparent security; that is policy."
  • This policy of Louis XIII made Richelieu smile.
  • "Order it as you please, sire; you possess the right of pardon."
  • "The right of pardoning only applies to the guilty," said Treville, who wa_etermined to have the last word, "and my Musketeer is innocent. It is no_ercy, then, that you are about to accord, sire, it is justice."
  • "And he is in the Fort l'Eveque?" said the king.
  • "Yes, sire, in solitary confinement, in a dungeon, like the lowest criminal."
  • "The devil!" murmured the king; "what must be done?"
  • "Sign an order for his release, and all will be said," replied the cardinal.
  • "I believe with your Majesty that Monsieur de Treville's guarantee is mor_han sufficient."
  • Treville bowed very respectfully, with a joy that was not unmixed with fear; he would have preferred an obstinate resistance on the part of the cardinal t_his sudden yielding.
  • The king signed the order for release, and Treville carried it away withou_elay. As he was about to leave the presence, the cardinal gave him a friendl_mile, and said, "A perfect harmony reigns, sire, between the leaders and th_oldiers of your Musketeers, which must be profitable for the service an_onorable to all."
  • "He will play me some dog's trick or other, and that immediately," sai_reville. "One has never the last word with such a man. But let us b_uick—the king may change his mind in an hour; and at all events it is mor_ifficult to replace a man in the Fort l'Eveque or the Bastille who has go_ut, than to keep a prisoner there who is in."
  • M. de Treville made his entrance triumphantly into the Fort l'Eveque, whenc_e delivered the Musketeer, whose peaceful indifference had not for a momen_bandoned him.
  • The first time he saw d'Artagnan, "You have come off well," said he to him;
  • "there is your Jussac thrust paid for. There still remains that of Bernajoux, but you must not be too confident."
  • As to the rest, M. de Treville had good reason to mistrust the cardinal and t_hink that all was not over, for scarcely had the captain of the Musketeer_losed the door after him, than his Eminence said to the king, "Now that w_re at length by ourselves, we will, if your Majesty pleases, convers_eriously. Sire, Buckingham has been in Paris five days, and only left thi_orning."