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too; — ^wait!"

And regaining his perch, he overwhelmed the coachman
with every projectile he could lay hands on.

The tumult now began to increase; the street was not able
to contain the spectators, who assembled from every direction;
the crowd invaded the space which the dreaded pikes of the
guards kept clear, between them and the carriage. The sol-
diers, pushed back by these living walls, were about to be
crushed against the nuts of the wheels and the panels of the
carriage. The calls which the police-officer repeated twenty
times, of "In the King's name,' were powerless against the
formidable multitude, and seemed on the contrary to exasperate
it still more; when, at the cries, "In the name of the King," an
officer ran up, and seeing the uniforms much ill-treate<J, he
sprang into the scuffle, sword in hand, and brought unexpected
help to the guards. This gentleman was young, scarcely six-
teen years of age, perfectly pale with anger. He sprang on
foot as the other guards, placed his back against the shaft of
the carriage, making a rampart of his horse, drew his pistols
from their holsters, and fastened them to his belt, and began
to fight with the back sword, like a man accustomed to the
handling of his weapon.

During ten minutes he alone kept the crowd at bay; at last
Comminges appeared, pushing Broussel before him.

"Let us break the carriage!" cried the people.

"In the King's name!" cried Comminges.

"The first who advances is a dead man!" cried Raoul, for
it was in fact he, who, feeling himself pressed and almost
crushed by a kind of giant, pricked him with the point of his
sword, and sent him groaning back.

Comminges, so to speak, threw Broussel into the carriage,
and sprang in after him. At this moment a shot was fired, and
a ball passed through the hat of Comminges, and broke the
arm of one of the guards. Comminges looked up, and saw
among the smoke a tiireatening face, appearing at the window
of the second floor.

**Very well, sir," said Comminges, "you shall hear of me

"And you of me, too, sir," said Louvieres, Broussel's son-
in-law; "and we shall see who can speak the loudest."

Friquet and Nanette continued .to shout ; the cries, the noise
of the shot, and the intoxicating smell of powder, produced
their effect.

"Down with the officer! down with him!" was the cry.

"One step nearer," said Comminges, putting down the sashes

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that the interior of the carriage might be* well seen, and plac-
ing his swprd on his prisoner's breast, "one step nearer, and I
kill the prisoner; my orders are to bring him off alive or dead.
I will take him dead, that's all."

A terrible scream was heard, and the wife and daughters of
Broussel held up their hands in supplication to the people;
the latter knew that this officer, who was so pale, but who ap-
peared so determined, would keep his word; they continued to
threaten, but they began to disperse.

"Drive to the palace," said Commihges to the coachman,
ijiore dead than alive.

The man whipped his animals, which cleared a way through
the crowd; but on arriving on the Quai, they were obliged to
stop ; the carriage was upset, the horses were carried off, stifled,
mangled by the crowd. Raoul, on foot, for he had not had
time to mount his horse again, tired, like the guards, of dis-
tributing blows with the flat of his sword, had recourse to
its point. But this last and dreaded resource served only to
exasperate the multitude. From time to time a shot from a
musket, or the blade of a rapier, flashed among the crowd;
the projectiles continued to rain from the windows, and some
shots were heard, the echo of which, though they were prob-
ably fired in the air, made all hearts vibrate, voices, which
are heard but on days of revolution, were distinguished; taces
were seen that only appeared on days of bloodshed. Cries
of "Death! — death to the guards! — ^into the Seine with the
officer ! " vrere heard above all the noise, deafening as it was.
Raoul, his hat ground into powder, and his face bleeding, felt
not only his strength, but also his reason going; a red mist
covered his sight, and through this mist he saw a hundred
threatening arms stretched over him, ready to seize upon him
when he fell. The guards were unable to help any one, for each
was occupied with his personal preservation. All was over ;
carriages, horses, guards, and perhaps even the prisoner, were
about to be torn to shreds, when all at once a voice well
known to Raoul was heard, and suddenly a large sword glis-
tened in the air; at the same time the crowd opened — upset,
trodden down — and an officer of the Musketeers, striking and
cutting right and left, rushed up to Raoul, and took him in
his arms, just as he was about to fall.

"God's-blood," cried the officer, "have they killed him? Woe
to them if it be so."

And he turned round, so stern with anger, strength, and
threat, that the most excited rebels hustled back against one an-
other, in order to escape, and some of them even rolled into
the Seine.

"M. d'Artagnan!" murmured Raoul.

"Yes, in person, and fortunately it seems for you, my young
friend. Come on— here— you others," he continued, rising in
his stirrups and raising his sword, and addressing those Mus-


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keteers who had not been able lo follow his rapid pace, "come,
sweep away all that trash for me, level muskets, present arms,
take aim — ,— "

At this command the mountains of populace thinned so
suddenly that d'Artagnan could not suppress a burst of Hom-
eric laughter.

"Thank you, d*Artagnan," said Comnunges, showing half of
his body through the window of the broken vehicle, "thanks,
my young friend; your name? — that I may mention it to the

Raoul was about to reply, when d'Artagnan bent down to
his ear.

"Hold your tongue," said he, "and let me answer. Do not
lose time, Comminges," he continued; '*get out of the carriage,
if you can, and make another draw up; be quick, or in five
minutes all the mob will be back with swords and muskets,
you will be killed, and your prisoner freed. Hold — ^there is
a carriage coming down tnere."

Then, bending again to Raoul, he whispered, "Above all
things, don't tell your name."

"That's right. I will go," said Q)mminges; "and if they
come back, fire!"

"Not at all — not at all," replied d'Artagnan; "let no one
move. On the contrary, one shot at this moment would be
paid for dearly to-morrow."

Conuninges took his four guards and as many Musketeers,
and ran to the carriage, from which he made the people in-
side dismount, and brought them to the vehicle which had
upset. But when it was necessary to convey the prisoner
from one carriage to the other, the people, catching sight of
him whom they called their liberator, uttered every imagin-
able cry, and knotted once more against the vehicle.

"Start off!" said d'Artagnan. "There are ten men to accom-
pany you. I will keep twenty to hold in the mob; go, and
lose not a moment. Ten men for M. de Comminges!"

As the carriage started off the cries were redoubled, and
more than ten thousand were hurried on the Quai, and encum-
bered the Pont-Neuf and the adjacent streets. A few shots
were fired, and a Musketeer wounded.

"Forward!" cried d'Artagnan, driven to extremities, biting
his moustache, and then he charged with his twenty men, and
dispersed them in fear.

"Ah! sir," said Raoul, "allow mc to thank you. I too, sir,
was almost dead when you arrived."

"Wait— wait, young man, and do not fatigue yourself with
speaking. We can talk of it afterwards."

Then, seeing that the Musketeers had cleared the Qua!
from the Pont-Neuf to the Quai St. Michael, and that they
were returned, he waved his sword for them to double their
speed. The Musketeers trotted up, and at the same time thp


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ten m^n, whom d*Arta^nan had given to Comminges, appeared.

"Halloa!" cried d'Artagnan; "has something fresh hap-

"Eh, sir!" replied the sergeant, "their vehicle has broken
down a second time — ^there's a curse on it."

"They are bad managers," said d'Artagnan, shrugging his
shoulders. "When a carriage is chosen, it ought to be strong.
The carriage in which a Broussel is to be arrested ought to be
able to bear ten thousand men."

"What are your commands, my lieutenant?"

"Take the detachment to quarters."

"But you will be left alone!"

"Certainly. Do you suppose I have need of an escort? Go."

The Musketeers set off, and d'Artagnan was left alone with

"Now," he said, "are you in pain?"

"Yes, my head is heavy and burning."

"What's the matter with this head?" said d'Artagnan, rais-
ing the battered hat. "Ah I ah! a bruise."

"Yes, I think I received a flower-pot on the head."

"Brutes!" said d'Artagnan. "But were you not on horse-
back? — you have spurs."

"Yes, but I got down to defend M. de Comminges, and my
horse was taken away. Here it is, I see."

At this very moment Friquet passed, mounted on RaouFs
horse, waving his parti-colored cap, and crying, "Broussel!

"Halloa! stop, rascal!" cried d'Artagnan. "Bring hither that

Friquet heard perfectly, but he pretended not to do so, and
tried to continue his road. D'Artagnan felt inclined for an in-
stant to pursue Master Friquet, but not wishing to leave
Raoul alone, he contented himself with taking a pistol from
the holster, and cocking it.

Friquet had a quick eye and a fine ear. He saw d'Artagnan's
movement; heard the sound of the click, and stopped at once.

"Ah! it is you, your honor," he said, advancing towards
d'Artagnan; "and I am truly pleased to meet you."

D'Artagnan looked attentively at Friquet, and recognized
the boy.

"Ah, 'tis you, rascal!" said he, "come here. So you have
changed trades; you are no longer a choir-boy, or a tavern-
boy; but a horse-thief."

"Ah, your honor, how can you say so!" exclaimed Friquet.
"I was seeking the gentleman to whom this horse belongs —
an officer, brave and handsome as a Caesar," — then, pretending
to see Raoul for the first time, —

"Ah! but if I mistake not," continued he, "here he is; you
won't forget the boy, sir?"

Raoul put his hand in his pocket


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"What are you about?" asked d'Artagnan.

**To give ten francs to this honest fellow," replied Raoul,
taking a pistole from his pocket.

**Ten kicks!" said d'Artagnan; **be off, you little rascal, and
forget not that I have your address."

Friquet, who did not expect to be let off so cheaply, made
but one bound, and disappeared. Raoul mounted his horse
and both leisurely took their way to the Rue Tiqetonne.

D'Artagnan shielded the youth as if he were his own son.

They arrived without accident at the Buck Hotel.

The handsome Madeleine announced to d'Artagnan that
Planchet had returned, bringing Mousqueton with him, who
had heroically borne the extraction of the ball, and was as
well as his state would permit

D'Artagnan desired Planchet to be summoned, but he had

**Then bring some wine," said d'Artagnan. "You are much
pleased with yourself," said he to Raoul, when they were
alone, "are you not?"

"Well, yes," replied Raoul; "it seems to me that I did my
duty. I defended the King."

"And who told you to defend the King?"
^ "The Count de la Fere himself."

"Yes, the King; but to-day you have not fought for the
King, you have fought for Mazarin; it is not the same thing."

"But you yourself?"

"Oh, for me, it is another matter. I obey my captain's
orders. As for you, your captain is the prince. Understand
tfiat rightly ; you have no other. But has one ever seen such a
wild fellow? continued he, "making himself a Mazarinist, and
helping to arrest Broussel! Breathe not a word of that, or
tile Count de la Fere will be furious."

"You think that the count will be angry with me?"

"Do I think it? I am sure of it; were it not for that I should
thank you, for you have worked for us. However, I scold you
instead of him, and in his place; the storm will blow over
more easily, believe me. And, moreover, my dear child," con-
tinued d'Artagnan, "I am making use of the privilege conceded
to me by your guardian."

"I do not understand you, sir," said Raoul.

D'Artagnan rose, and taking a letter from his writing-desk,
presented it to Raoul. The face of the latter became serious
when he had cast his eyes on the paper.

"Oh," he said, raising his fine eyes to d'Artagnan, moist with
tears, "the count has then left Paris without seeing me?"

"He left four days ago," said d'Artagnan.^

"But his letter seems to intimate that he is about to incur
danger, perhaps of death."

"He— he — ^incur danger of death! — ^no — be not anxious; he
is traveling on business, and will return ere long. I hope you


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have no repugnance to accept me as a guardian in the in-
terim ?**

"No, no, M. d'Artagnan," said Raoul, "you are such a brave
gentleman, and the Count de la Fere has so much affection
for you!**

"S'death! love me too; I will not torment you much, but
only on condition that you become a Frondist, my young friend,
and a hearty Frondist, too.**

"Well, sir, I will obey you, although I do not understand

"It is unnecessary for you to understand; hold,** continued
d*Artagnan, turning towards the door, which had just opened,
"here is M. du Vallon, who comes with his coat torn.**

"Yes, but in exchange,'* said Porthos, covered with per-
spiration, and soiled with dust, "in exchange, I have torn
many skins. Those wretches wanted to take away my sword!
Deuce take *em, what a popular commotion!'* continued the
giant, in his quiet manner; "but I knocked down more than
twenty with the hilt of Balizarde; a drop of wine, d'Ar-

"Oh, 1*11 answer for you," said the Gascon,* filling Porthos'
glass to the brim, "but when you have drunk, give me your

"Here is M. de Bragelonne, who determined, at all risks, to
aid the arrest of Broussel, and whom I had great difficulty to
prevent defending M. de Comminges."

"The devil!** said Porthos; "and what would the guardian
have said to that?**

"Do you hear?** interrupted d'Artagnan; "be a Frondist;
my friend, belong to the Fronde, and remember that I fill the
counts place in everything;" and he jingled his money.

"Will you come?** said he to Porthos.

"Where to?** asked Porthos, filling a second glass with wine.

"To present our respects to the Cardinal."

Porthos swallowed the second glass with the same ease with
which he had drunk the first, took his beaver, and followed
d'Artagnan. As for Raoul, he remained bewildered with what
he had seen, having been forbidden by d*Artagnan to leave
the room until the tumult was over.


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D'Artagnan had calculated that in not going at once to the
Palais Royal he would give time to Comminges to arrive there
before him, and consequently to make the Cardinal acquainted
with the eminent services which he, d'Artagnan, and his friend,
had rendered to the Queen's party in the morning.

They were indeed admirably received by Mazarin, who paid
them numerous compliments, and annoimced that they were
more than half on their way to obtain what they desired,
namely, d'Artagnan his captaincy, and Porthos his barony.

Whilst the two friends were with the Cardinal, the Queen
sent for him. Mazarin, thinking that it would be the means
of increasing the zeal of his two defenders if he procured them
personal thanks from the Queen, motioned to them to follow
him. D'Artagnan and Porthos pointed to their dusty and torn
dresses, but the Cardinal shook his head.

"Those costumes," he said, "are of more worth than most
of those which you will see on the Queen's courtiers; they
arc the costumes of battle."

D'Artagnan and Porthos obeyed. The court of Anne of
Austria was full of gaiety and animation; for, after having
gained a victory over the Spaniard, it had just gained another
over the people. Broussel had been conducted out of Paris
without resistance, and was at this time in the prison of St.
Germain; and Blancmesnil, who was arrested at the same time,
but whose arrest had been made without difficulty or noise, was
safe in the Castle of Vincennes.

Comminges was near the Queen, who was questioning him
upon the details of his expedition, and everyone was listening
to his account when d'Artagnan and Porthos were perceived
at the door behind the Cardinal.

**Hey, madam," said Comminges, hastening to d'Artagnan,
"here is one who can tell you better than myself, for he is
my protector. Without him I should probably, at this moment,
be caught in the nets at St. Cloud, for it was a question of
nothing less than throwing me into the river. Speak, d'Ar-
tagnan, speak."

D'Artagnan had been a hundred times in the same room
with the Queen since he had become lieutenant of the Mus-
keteers, but her majesty had never once spoken to him,

"Well, sir," at last said Anne of Austria, "you are silent,
after rendering such a service?"

"Madam," replied d'Artagnan, "I have nought to say, save
that my life is ever at your majesty's service; and that I shall
only be happy the day that I lose it for you."


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**I know that, sir; I have known that," said the Queen, *a
lon^ time; therefore I am delighted to be able thus publicly
to mark my gratitude and my esteem."

"Permit me, madam," said d'Artagnan, **to reserve a por-
tion for my friend; like myself" — (he laid an emphasis on these
words) — "a Musketeer of the company of Treville, and he has
done wonders."

"His name?" asked the Queen.

"In the regiment," said d'Artagnan, "it was Porthos" (the
Queen started), but his true name is the Chevalier du Vallon."

"De Bracieux de Pierref onds, " added Porthos.

"These names are too numerous for me to remember them
all, and I will content myself with the first," said the Queen,
graciously; Porthos bowed. At this moment the Coadjutor
was announced; a cry of surprise rang through the royal as-
semblage. Although the Coadjutor had preached that same
morning, it was well known that he leant much to the side of
the Fronde ; and Mazarin, in requesting the Archbishop of Paris
to make his nephew preach, had evidently had the intention of
administering to M. de Retz one of those Italian kicks which
he so much enjoyed giving.

The fact was, in leaving Notre Dame the Coadjutor had
learnt the event of the day. Although almost engaged to the
leaders of the Fronde, he had not gone so far but that retreat
was possible, should the court offer him the advantages for
which he was ambitious, and to which the Coadjutorship was
but a stepping stone. M. de Retz wished to be archbishop
in his uncle's place, and cardinal, like Mazarin; and the popu-
lar party could with difficulty accord to him favors entirely
royal. He, therefore, hastened to the palace to congratulate
the Queen on the battle of Lens, determined beforehand to act
with or against the court, accprding as his congratulations were
well or ill received.

The Coadjutor had, perhaps, in his own person, as much
wit as all those together who were assembled at the court to
laugh at him. His speech, therefore, was so well turned that
in spite of the great wish felt by the courtiers to laugh, they
could find no point upon which to vent their ridicule. He con-
cluded by saying that he placed his feeble influence at her
majesty's command.

During the whole time that he was speaking, the Queen ap-
peared to be well pleased with the Coadjutor's harangue; but
terminating as it did with such a phrase, the only one which
could be caught at by the jokers, Anne turned round, and di-
rected a glance towards her favorites, which announced that
she delivered up the Coadjutor to their tender mercies. Im-
mediately the wits of the court plunged into satire. Nogcnt-
Beautin, the fool of the court, exclaimed that the Queen was
very happy to have the succor of religion at such a moment
This caused a universal burst of laughter. The Count de VH-


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leroy said that he did not know how any fear could be en-
tertained for a moment when the court had to defend itself
against the Parliament and the citizens of Paris, his holiness
the Coadjutor, who by a signal could raise an army of curates,
church porters and vergers and so on. ^

During this storm, Gondy, who had it in his power to make
it fatal to the jesters, remained calm and stern. The Queen
at last asked him if he had anything to add to the fine dis-
course which he had just made to her.

"Yes, madam," replied the Coadjutor; "I have to beg you to
reflect twice ere you cause a civil war in the kingdom."

The Queen turned her back, and the laughs recommenced.

The Coadjutor bowed and left the palace, casting upon the
Cardinal such a glance as is understood best between mortal

"Oh!" muttered Gondy, as he left the threshold of the palace;
"ungrateful court! faithless court! cowardly court! I will
teach you how to laugh to-morrow — ^but in another manner."

But whilst they were indulging in extravagant joy at the
Palais Royal, to increase the hilarity of the Queen, Mazarin, a
man of sense, and whose fear, moreover, gave him foresight,
lost no time in making idle and dangerous jokes; he went out
after the Coadjutor, settled his account,^ locked up his gold, and
had confidential workmen to contrive hiding-places in his walls.

At a quarter of six o'clock, Gondy, having finished his busi-
ness, returned to the archiepiscopal palace.

At six o'clock the Curate of St. Merri was announced.

The Coadjutor glanced rapidly behind, and saw that he was
followed by another man. It was Planchet.

"Your holiness," said the curate, "here is a person disposed
to serve the cause of the people."

"Most undoubtedly," said Planchet. **I am a Frondist from
my heart. You see in me, such as I am, my lord, a person sen-
tenced to be hung."

"And on what account?"

"I rescued from the hands of Mazarin's police a noble lord,
whom they were conducting again to the Bastille, where he
had been for five years."

"Will you name him?"

"Oh, you know him well, my lord: — it is Count de Roche-

"Ah! really, yes," said the Coadjutor, **I have heard this
affair mentioned. You raised the whole district, they told me?"

"Very nearly," replied Planchet, with a self-satisfied air.

"And your business is "

"That of a grocer in the Rue des Lombards."

"Explain to me how it happens that, following so peaceful a
business, you had such warlike inclinations."

"Why does mty lord, belonging to the church, now receive


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me in the dress of an officer with a sword at his side, and
spurs to his boots?"

"Not badly answered, Tfaith," said Gondy, laughing; "but I
have, you must know, always had, in spite of my bands, war-
like inclinations."

"Well, my lord, before I became a grocer, I myself was three
years sergeant in the Piedmontese regiment, and before I be-
came sergeant I was for eighteen months servant of M. d*Ar-

"Lieutenant in the Musketeers?" asked Gondy.

"Himself, my lord."

"But he is said to be a furious Mazarinist."

"Pooh!" said Planchet.

"What do you mean by pooh-poohing?"

"Nothing, my lord; M. d'Artagnan belongs to the service;
he makes it his business to defend the Cardinal, who pays him,
as much as we make it ours — ^we citizens — to attack him, whom
he robs."

"You are an intelligent fellow, my friend; can we count upon

"You may count upon me, my lord, provided you want to
make a total upset in the city."

" 'Tis that exactly. How many men, think you, you could
collect together to-night?"

"Two hundred muskets, and five hundred halberds."

"Let there be only one man in every district who can do as
much, and by to-morrow we shall have a tolerably strong army.
Are you disposed to obey Count de Rochefort?"

"I would follow him into hell; and that is not saying a lit-
tle, as I believe him quite capable of descending there."


"By what sign to-morrow shall we be able to distinguish
friends from foes?"

"Every Frondist must put a knot of straw in his hat."

"Good ! Give the word."

"Do you want money?"

"Money never comes amiss at any time, my lord; if one has
it not, one must do without it ; with it matters go on much

Online LibraryAlexandre DumasTwenty years after → online text (page 19 of 38)