|[The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas]@TWC D-Link bookThe Three Musketeers|
3 THE AUDIENCE
You, Aramis, why the devil did you ask me for a uniform when you would have been so much better in a cassock?
And you, Porthos, do you only wear such a fine golden baldric to suspend a sword of straw from it?
And Athos--I don't see Athos.
Where is he ?" "Ill--" "Very ill, say you?
And of what malady ?" "It is feared that it may be the smallpox, sir," replied Porthos, desirous of taking his turn in the conversation; "and what is serious is that it will certainly spoil his face." "The smallpox! That's a great story to tell me, Porthos! Sick of the smallpox at his age! No, no; but wounded without doubt, killed, perhaps.
Ah, if I knew! S'blood! Messieurs Musketeers, I will not have this haunting of bad places, this quarreling in the streets, this swordplay at the crossways; and above all, I will not have occasion given for the cardinal's Guards, who are brave, quiet, skillful men who never put themselves in a position to be arrested, and who, besides, never allow themselves to be arrested, to laugh at you! I am sure of it--they would prefer dying on the spot to being arrested or taking back a step.
To save yourselves, to scamper away, to flee--that is good for the king's Musketeers!" Porthos and Aramis trembled with rage.
They could willingly have strangled M.de Treville, if, at the bottom of all this, they had not felt it was the great love he bore them which made him speak thus.
They stamped upon the carpet with their feet; they bit their lips till the blood came, and grasped the hilts of their swords with all their might.
All without had heard, as we have said, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis called, and had guessed, from M.de Treville's tone of voice, that he was very angry about something.
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