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embankment it will cause fearful destruction."

**And I," said the Queen, "think that in such a case new
embankments must be raised to oppose it. Go— I will reflect."

Gondy looked at Mazarin, astonished, and Mazarin approached


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the Queen to speak to her, but at this moment a frightful crash
was heard. One of the gates began to yield.

**0h! madam,'* cried Mazarin, "you have lost us all; the
King, yourself, and me."

At this cry from the soul of the frightened Cardinal, Anne
became alarmed in her turn.

"It is too late!" said Mazarin, tearing his hair, **too late!"

The gate had given way, and shouts were heard from the
mob. D'Artagnan put his hand to his sword, motioning to Por-
thos to follow his example.

"Save .the Queen!" cried Mazarin to the Coadjutor.

Gondy sprang to the window and threw it open ; he recognized
Louvieres at the head of a troop of about three or four thou-
sand men.

"Not a step further," he shouted, "the Queen is signing!"

"What are you sa3ring?" asked the Queen.

"The truth, madam," said Mazarin, placing a pen and a paper
before her; "you must;" then he added, "Sign, Anne, I implore
you; I commiand you."

The Queen fell into a chair, took the pen and signed.

The people, kept back by Louvieres, had not made another
step forward; but the awful murmuring, which indicates an
angry people, continued.

The Queen had written, **The keeper of the prison of St
Germain will release Counsellor Broussel;" and she had
signed it.

The Coadjutor, whose eyes devoured her slightest move-
ments, seized the paper immediately the signature had been af-
fixed to it, returned to the window, and waved it in his hand.

"This is the order," he said.

All Paris seemed to shout with joy; and then the air re-
sounded with shouts of "Long live Broussel!" "Long live the

"Long live the Queen!" cried de Gondy; but the cries which
replied to him were poor and few; and perhaps he had but
uttered it to make Anne of Austria sensible of her weakness.

"And now that you have obtained what you want, go," said
she, "M. de Gondy."

"Whenever her majesty has need of me," replied the Coad-
jutor, bowing, "her majesty knows that I am at her com-

"Ah, cursed priest!" cried Anne, when he had retired, stretch-
ing out her arm to the scarcely closed door, "one day I will
make you drink the remains of the gall which you have poured
out on me to-day.

Mazarin wishe4 to approach her. ** Leave mel" she exclaimed;
"you are not a man!" and she went out of the room.

"It is you who are not a woman," muttered Mazarin.

Then, after a moment of reverie, he remembered where he
had left d'Artagnan and Porthos, and that they must have


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overheard everything. He knit his brows and went direct to
the tapestry, which he pushed aside. The closet was empty.

At the Queen's last word, d'Artagnan had dragged Porthos
into the gallery. Thither Mazarin went in his turn, and found
the two friends walking up and down.

"Why did you leave the closet, M. d'Artagnan?" asked the
Cardinal. •

"Because," replied d'Artagnan, "the Queen desired every one
to leave, and I thought that this command was intended for
us as well as for the rest"

"And you have been here since "

"About a quarter of an hour," said d'Artagnan, motioning to
Porthos not to contradict him.

Mazarin saw the sign, and remained convinced that d'Artag-
nan had seen and heard eversrthing; but he was pleased with
his falsehood.

"Decidedly, M. d'Artagnan, you are the man I have been
seeking — and you may reckon upon me, as may your friend,

Then, bowing to the friends, with his most gracious smile,
he re-entered his closet more calmly, for on the departure of
Gondy, the uproar had ceased as if by enchantment



The next morning, when Broussel made his entrance into
Paris in a large carriage, having his son at his side, and Fri-
quet behind the vehicle, the people threw themselves in his
way, and cries of "Long live Broussel!" "Long live our father!"
resounded from all parts, and were death to Mazarin's ears ; and
the CardinaFs spies brought bad news from every direction,
which greatly agitated the minister, but was calmljr received by
the Queen. The latter seemed to be maturing in her mind
some great stroke — a fact which increased the uneasiness of
the Cardinal, who knew the proud princess, and who dreaded
much the determination of Anne of Austria.

The Coadjutor returned to Parliament more a monarch than
the King, Queen, and Cardinal were, all three together. By
his advice, a decree from Parliament had summoned the citizens
to lay down their arms, and to demolish the barricades. They
now knew that it required but one hour to take up arms again,
and only one night to reconstruct barricades.

D'Artagnan profited by a moment of calm to send away
Raoul, whom he had had great difficulty in keeping shut up dur-
ing the riot, and who wished positively to strike a blow for one
party or the other. Raoul had offered some opposition at irst;

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but d'Artagnan made use of Count de la Fere's name, and, after
paying a visit to Mdme. de Chevreuse, Raoul started to rejoin
the army.

Rochefort alone was dissatisfied with the termination of af-
fairs. He had written to the Duke de Beaufort to come, and
the duke was about to arrive, and he would find Paris tranquil.
He went to the Coadjutor to consult with him whether it were
not better to send to the duke to stop on the road, but Gondy
reflected for a moment, and then said :

"Let him continue his journey."

"But all is not then over?" asked Rochefort.

"Good, my dear Count; we have only just begun."

"What induces you to think so?"

"The knowledge that I have of the Queen's heart; she will not
rest beaten."

"Come, let us see what you know."

"I know that she has written to the prince to return in haste
from the army."

"Ah, ha I" said Rochefort, "you are right. We must let
Beaufort come."

In fact, the evening after this conversation, the report was
circulated that the Prince Conde had arrived. It was a very
simple and natural circumstance, and yet it created a great

That night was secretly agitated, and on the morrow the
grey and black cloaks, the patrols of armed shop-people, and
the bands of mendicants had reappeared.

The Queen had passed the night in conference alone with the
prince, who had entered her oratory at midnight, and did not
leave till five o'clock in the morning.

At five o'clock Anne went to the Cardinal's house. If she
had not yet taken any repose, he at least was already up. Six
days had already passed out of the ten he had asked from
Mordaunt; he was therefore occupied in correcting his reply to
Cromwell, when someone knocked gently at the door of com-
munication with the Queen's apartments. Anne of Austria
alone was permitted to enter by that door. The Cardinal
tiierefore rose to open it.

The Queen was in a morning gown, but it became her still,
for Anne of Austria enjoyed the privilege of remaining ever
beautiful ; nevertheless, this morning she looked handsomer than
usual for her eyes had all the sparkle which inward satisfaction
added to her expression.

"What is the matter, madam?" said Mazarin uneasily. "You
have quite a proud look."

"Yes, Giulio," she said, "proud and happy; for I have found
the means of stifling this hydra."

"You are a great politician, my Queen," said Mazarin; "let
us see the means." And he hid what he had written by sliding
the letter under a sheet of white paper.


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"You know," said the Queen, **that they want to take the
King away from me.**

**AlasI yes, and to hang me!"

"They shall not have the King."

"Nor hang me."

"Listen. I want to carry off my son from them — ^with your-
self and myself. I wish that this event, which, on the aay it
is known, will completely change the aspect of affairs, should
be accomplished without the knowledge of any others but
yourself, myself and a third person, M. le Prince, who has just
left me.^

"He will aid this project which is his own."

"And Paris?"

"He will starve it out and force it to surrender at discre-

"The plan is wanting not in grandeur, but — have we money?"

"A little," said Mazarin, trembling lest Anne should ask to
draw upon his purse.

"Have we troops?"

"Five or six thousand men."

"Have we courage?"


"Then the thing is easy. Oh! do think of it, Giulio! Paris^
this odious Paris, awaking one morning without Queen or
King, surrounded, besieged, famished — shaving, as an only re-
source, its stupid Parliament and their bandy-legged Coadjutor."

"Charming! charming!" said Mazarin. "I see the effect, but
it will be war— civil war-r-furious, burning, and implacable."

"Oh! yes, yes. War," said Anne of Austria. ^Yes, I will
reduce this rebellious city to ashes. I will extinguish the fire
by blood! I will perpetuate the crime and the punishment by
making a frightful example. Paris! I hate it! I detest it!"

"Very fine, Anne; but take care. It is dangerous to go to
war with a whole nation. Look at your brother monarch,
Charles L He is badly off— very badly."

"We are in France, and I am Spanish."

''So much the worse ; I would much rather you were French,
and myself also; they would hate us both less."

"Nevertheless you consent?"

"Yes, if the thing be possible."

"You torment me, Giulio, with your fears; and what are you
afraid of, then?"

Mazarin's face, smiling as it was, became clouded.

"Anne," said he, "you are but a woman, and as a woman
you may insult man at your ease, knowing that you can do it
with impunity; you accuse me of fear; I have not so much as
you have, since^ I do not flee as you do. Against whom do
they cry out? is it against you, or against myself? Whom
would they hang— yourself or me? Well, I can weather the
storm; I, whom, notwithstanding, you tax with fear, not


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with bravado, that is not my way, but I am finn. Imitate me ;
make less noise, and do more. You cry very loud, you end by
doing nothing; you talk of fleeing

Mazarin shrugged his shoulders, and taking the Queen's
hand, led her to the window.

"Look!" he said.

"Well?" said the Queen, blinded by her obstinacy.

"Well, what do you see from this window? Your doors are
guarded, the air-holes of your cellars are guardec^ and I could
say to you, as that good La Ramee said to me of Beaufort,
you must be either bird or mouse to get out**

"He did get out, however."

"Do you think of escaping in the same way?*

"I am a prisoner, then?"

"Rather! said Mazarin, "I have been proving it to you this
last hour."

And he quietly resumed his despatch at the place where he
had been interrupted.

Anne, trembling with anger, and red with humiliation, left
the room, shutting the door violently after her. Mazarin did
not even turn around. When once more in her own apartment,
Anne fell into a chair and wept; then, suddenly struck with an

"I am saved!" she exclaimed, rising; "oh, yes! yes! I know
a man who will find the means of taking me from Paris; a
man whom I have too long forgotten." Then, falling into a
reverie, she added, however, with an expression of joy, "Un-
grateful woman that I am, for twenty years I have forgotten
Siis man, whom I ought to have made Marshal of France. My
mother-in-law expended gold, caresses, and dignities on Concini,
who ruined her; the^ King made Vitry Marshal of France for
an assassination ; while I have left in obscurity, in poverty, that
noble d'Artagnan, who saved me!"

And running to a table, upon which were placed paper and
ink, she began to write.



It had been d'Artagnan's practice, ever since the riots, to
sleep in the same room as Porthos, and on this eventful morn-
ing he was still there, sleeping, and dreaming that a large yel-
low cloud had overspread the sky, and was raining gold pieces
into his hat, whilst he held it under a spout. As for Porthos,
he dreamed that the panels of his carriage were not spacious
enough to contain the armorial bearings which he had ordered
to be painted upon them. They were both aroused at seven


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o'clock by the entrance of an unliveried servant, who had
brought a letter to d'Artagnan.

**From whom is it?" asked the Gascon.

**From the Queen,** replied the servant.

"Ho!** said Porthos, raising himself in his bed, **what does
she say?"

D'Artagnan requested the servant to wait in tha next room,
and when the door was closed, he sprang up from his bed,
and read rapidly, whilst Porthos looked at hun with starting
eyes, not daring to ask a single question.

"Friend Porthos," said d'Artagnan, handing the letter to
him, **this time, at least, you are sure of your title of baron,
and I of my captaincy. There, read and judge.**

Porthos took the letter, and with a trembling voice read the
following words:

**The Queen wishes to speak to M. d*Artagnan, who must
follow the bearer."

"Well!" exclaimed Porthos, "I see nothing in that very ex-

"But I see much that is extraordinary in it," replied d'Artag-
nan. "It is evident, by their sending for me, that matters are
becoming complicated. Just reflect a little what an agitation
the Queen's mind must be in, for her to have remembered me
after twenty years."

**It is true, said Porthos.

"Sharpen your sword, baron, load your pistols, and give
some corn to the horses, for, I will answer for it, something
new will happen before to-morrow."

"But stop; do you think it can be a trap that they are laying
for us?" suggested Porthos, incessantly thinking how his great-
ness must be irksome to other people.

"If it is a snare," replied d'Artagnan, "I shall scent it out,
be assured. If Mazarin be an Italian, I am a Gascon."

And d'Artagnan dressed himself in an instant.

Whilst Porthos, still in bed, was hooking on his cloak for
him, a second knock at the door was heard.

"Come in!" cried d'Artagnan, and another servant entered.

"From his Eminence, Cardinal Mazarin," he said, presenting
a letter.

D'Artagnan glanced at Porthos, and said:

"It is arranged capitally; his Eminence expects me in half
an hour."


"My friend," said d'Artagnan, turning to the servant, "tell
his Eminence that in half an hour I shall be at his command.

"It is very fortunate," resumed the Gascon, when the valet
had retired, "that he did not meet the other one."

"Do you not think that they have sent for you, both for
the same thing?"

"I do not think it, I am certain of it"


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"Quick, quick, d*Artagnan. Remember that the Queen
awaits you ; and after the Queen, the Cardinal ; and after the
Cardinal, myself."

D'Artagnan summoned Anne of Austria's servant, and an-
swered that he was ready to follow him.

The servant conducted him, and d'Artagnan was ushered into
the oratory. Emotion, for which he could not account, made
the lieutenant's heart beat; he had no longer the assurance of
youth, and experience taught him all the importance of past
events. Formerly, he would have approached the Queen, as a
young man, who bends before a woman; but now it was a
different thing; he answered her summons as an humble sol-
dier obeys an illustrious general.

The silence of the oratory was at last disturbed by a slight,
rustling sound, and d'Artagnan started when he perceived the
tapestry raised by a white hand, which, by its form, its color,
and its beauty, he recognized as that royal hand, which had one
day been presented to him to kiss. The Queen entered.

"It is you, M. d'Artagnan," she said, fixing a gaze full of mel-
ancholy interest on the countenance of the officer, **and I know
you well. Look at me well in your turn. I am the Queen;
do you recognize me?"

"No, madam," replied d'Artagnan.

"But are you no longer aware," continued Anne, giving that
sweet expression to her voice which she could do at will, "that
in former days the Queen had once need of a young, brave, and
devoted cavalier; that she found this cavalier; and that, al-
though he might have thought that she had forgotten him, she
had kept a place for him in the depths of her heart?"

"No, madam, I was ignorant of that," said the Musketeer.

"So much the worse, sir," said Anne of Austria, "so much
the worse, at least for the Queen; for to-day she has need of
the same courage, and of the same devotion."

"What!" exclaimed d'Artagnan, "does the Queen, surrounded
as she is by such devoted servants, such wise counsellors, men,
in short, so great by their merit or their position, does she
deign to cast her eyes on an obscure soldier? '

Anne understood this covert reproach, and was more moved
than irritated by it. She had many a time felt humiliated by
the self-sacrifice and disinterestedness shown by the Gascon
gentleman, and she had allowed herself to be exceeded in gen-

"All that you tell me of those by whom I am surrounded,
M. d'Artagnan, is doubtless true," said the Queen, "but I have
confidence in you alone. I know that you belong to the Car-
dinal; but belong to me as well, and I will take upon myself
the making of your fortune. Come, will you do to-day
what formerly the gentleman whom you do not know did for
the Queen?" ^


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"I will do everything which your majesty commands,*' re-
plied d'Artagnan,

The Queen reflected for a moment, and then, seeing the
cautious demeanor of the Musketeer, —

"Perhaps you like repose?" she said.

**I do not know, for I have never tested it, madam.**

"Have you any friends?"

**I had three, two of whom have left Paris, to go I know
not whither. One alone is left to me, but he is one of those
known, I believe, to the cavalier, of whom your majesty did
me the honor to speak to me."

"Very good," said the Queen, **you and your friend are
worth an army."

"What am I to do, madam?"

"Return at five o'clock, and^ I will tell you: but do not breathe
to a living soul, sir, the appointment which I give you."

"No, madam."

"Swear it."

"Madam, I have never been false to my word; when I say
no, I mean no."

The Queen, although astonished at this language, to which
she was not accustomed from her courtiers, argued from it a
happy omen of the zeal with which d'Artagnan would serve
her in the accomplishment of her project. It was one of the
Gascon's artifices to hide his deep cunning occasionally under an
appearance of rough loyalty.

Has the Queen any further commands for me now?" asked

"No, sir," replied Anne of Austria, "and you may retire
until the time that I mentioned to you."

D'Artagnan bowed and went out /

"The devil!" he exclaimed, when the door wais shut, "they
seem to have a great need of me here."

Then, as the half hour had already glided by, he crossed tb
gallery, and knocked at the Cardinal's door.

"I come for your commands, my lord," he said.

And according to his custom, d'Artagnan glanced rapidly
round him^ and remarked that Mazarin had a sealed letter
before him.

"You come from the Queen?" said Mazarin, looking fixedly
at d'Artagnan.

"I! my Iprd, who told you that?"

"Nobody, but I know it."

"I regret, infinitely, to tell you, my lord, that you arc mis-
taken," replied the Gascon impudently, strong in the promise
made to Anne of Austria.

"I opened the door of the ante-room myself, and I saw you
enter at the end of the corridor."

"I know not, it must have been a mistake."

"How so?"


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"Because I was shown up the private stairs."

Mazarin was aware that it was not easy to make d'Artagnan
reveal anything which he was desirous of hiding, so he there-
fore gave up, for the time, the discovery of the mystery which
the Gascon made.

"Let us speak of my affairs," said Mazarin, *| since you will
tell me nought of yours. Are you fond of traveling?"

"My life has been passed on the high roads," said the sol-
dier, bowing.

"Would anything retain you particularly in Paris?"

"Nothing but superior orders would retain me in Paris."

**Very well. Here is a letter which must be taken to its ad-

"To its address, my lord? But it has none."^

"I regret to say," resumed Mazarin, "that it is a double en-

"I understand; and I am only to take off the first when I
have reached a certain place?"

"Just so — ^take it and go. You have a friend, M. du Vallon,
whom I like much; let him accompany you."

"The devil 1" said d'Artagnan to himself. **He knows that
we overheard his conversation yesterday, and he wants to get
us away from Paris."

"Do you hesitate?" asked Mazarin.

**No, my lord, and I will set out at once. There is one thing
only which I must request, that your Eminence will at once go
to the Queen and merely say these words : *I am going to send
M. d'Artagnan away, and I wish him to set out directly.' "

"Tis clear," said Mazarin, "that you have seen the Queen."

"I had the honor of saying to your Eminence that there had
been some mistake."

"Very well; I will go. Wait here for me," and looking at-
tentively around him, to see if he had forgotten any keys in
his closets, Mazarin went out. Ten minutes elapsed ere he re-
turned, pale, and evidently thoughtful. He seated himself at his
desk, and d'Artagnan proceeded to examine his face, as he had
examined the letter he held; but the envelope which covered
his countenance was almost as impenetrable as that which
covered the letter.

"Eh! eh!" thought the Gascon; **he looks displeased. Can it
be with me? He meditates. Is it about sending me to the
Bastille ? All very fine, my lord ; but at the very first hint you
give of such a thing, I will strangle you, and become Frondist
I should be carried in triumph like M. Broussel, and Athos
would proclaim me the French Brutus. It would be funny!"

The Gascon, with his swift imagination, had already seen
the advantage to be derived^ from his situation ; Mazarin gave,
however, no order of the kind, but, on the contrary, began to
speak softly.

"You are right," he said, "my dear M. d'Artagnan, and you


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cannot set out yet. I beg you to return to me that despatch."

D'Artagnan obeyed, and Mazarin made sure that the seal was

**I shall want you this evening," he said. "Return in two

"My lord," said d*Artagnan, **I have an appointment in two
hours, which I cannot miss."

"Do not be uneasy," said Mazarin; "it is the same."

"Good," thought d'Artagnan; "I fancied it was so."

"Return, then, at five o'clock, and bring our worthy M. du
Vallon with you. Only, leave him in the ante-room, as I
wish to speak to you alone."

D'Artagnan bowed, and thought, **Both at the same hour;
both commands alike; both at the Palace. I guess. Ah!
Gondy would pay a hundred thousand francs for such a

"You are thinking," said Mazarin, uneasily.

"Yes- I was wondering whether we ought to come armed
or not.*

"Armed to the teeth!" replied Mazarin.

"Very well, my lord, it shall be so."

The Musketeer bowed and hastened away to carry reassur-
ing words to his comrade which would fill him with delight.



When d'Artagnan returned to the Palais Royal at five o'clock,
it presented, in spite of the excitement which reigned in the
town, a spectacle of the greatest rejoicing. Nor was that surpris-
ing. The Queen had restored Broussel and Blancmesnil to the
people, and had therefore nothing to fear, since the people had
nothing more to ask for. The return also of the conqueror of
Lens was the pretext for giving a grand banquet. The princes
and princesses were invited, and their carriages had crowded the
court since noon; and after dinner the Queen was to form her
pole of quadrille. Anne of Austria had never appeared more
brilliant than on that day— radiant with grace and wit. Maz-
arin disappeared as they rose from table. He found d*Artag-
nan waiting for him already at his post in the ante-room. The
Cardinal advanced to him with a smile, and taking him by the
hand, led him into his study.

"My dear Monsow d'Artagnan," said the minister, sitting
down, "I am about to give you the greatest proof of confidence
that a minister can give to an officer."

"I hope," said d'Artagnan bowing, "that you give it, my

Online LibraryAlexandre DumasTwenty years after → online text (page 21 of 38)