Louise de la Vallière by Alexandre Dumas | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
LOUISE DE LA VALLIERE

LOUISE DE LA VALLIERE

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by Alexandre Dumas
     
 

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Chapter I. Malaga.

During all these long and noisy debates between the opposite ambitions
of politics and love, one of our characters, perhaps the one least
deserving of neglect, was, however, very much neglected, very much
forgotten, and exceedingly unhappy. In fact, D'Artagnan--D'Artagnan,
we say, for we must call him by his name, to remind

Overview

Chapter I. Malaga.

During all these long and noisy debates between the opposite ambitions
of politics and love, one of our characters, perhaps the one least
deserving of neglect, was, however, very much neglected, very much
forgotten, and exceedingly unhappy. In fact, D'Artagnan--D'Artagnan,
we say, for we must call him by his name, to remind our readers of his
existence--D'Artagnan, we repeat, had absolutely nothing whatever to do,
amidst these brilliant butterflies of fashion. After following the king
during two whole days at Fontainebleau, and critically observing
the various pastoral fancies and heroi-comic transformations of his
sovereign, the musketeer felt that he needed something more than this to
satisfy the cravings of his nature. At every moment assailed by
people asking him, "How do you think this costume suits me, Monsieur
d'Artagnan?" he would reply to them in quiet, sarcastic tones, "Why,
I think you are quite as well-dressed as the best-dressed monkey to
be found in the fair at Saint-Laurent." It was just such a compliment
D'Artagnan would choose where he did not feel disposed to pay any other:
and, whether agreeable or not, the inquirer was obliged to be satisfied
with it. Whenever any one asked him, "How do you intend to dress
yourself this evening?" he replied, "I shall undress myself;" at which
the ladies all laughed, and a few of them blushed. But after a couple
of days passed in this manner, the musketeer, perceiving that nothing
serious was likely to arise which would concern him, and that the king
had completely, or, at least, appeared to have completely forgotten
Paris, Saint-Mande, and Belle-Isle--that M. Colbert's mind was occupied
with illuminations and fireworks--that for the next month, at least,
the ladies had plenty of glances to bestow, and also to receive in
exchange--D'Artagnan asked the king for leave of absence for a matter of
private business. At the moment D'Artagnan made his request, his majesty
was on the point of going to bed, quite exhausted from dancing.

"You wish to leave me, Monsieur d'Artagnan?" inquired the king, with an
air of astonishment; for Louis XIV. could never understand why any one
who had the distinguished honor of being near him could wish to leave
him.

"Sire," said D'Artagnan, "I leave you simply because I am not of the
slightest service to you in anything. Ah! if I could only hold the
balancing-pole while you were dancing, it would be a very different
affair."

"But, my dear Monsieur d'Artagnan," said the king, gravely, "people
dance without balancing-poles."

"Ah! indeed," said the musketeer, continuing his imperceptible tone of
irony, "I had no idea such a thing was possible."

"You have not seen me dance, then?" inquired the king.

"Yes; but I always thought dancers went from easy to difficult acrobatic
feats. I was mistaken; all the more greater reason, therefore, that I
should leave for a time. Sire, I repeat, you have no present occasion
for my services; besides, if your majesty should have any need of me,
you would know where to find me."

"Very well," said the king, and he granted him leave of absence.

We shall not look for D'Artagnan, therefore, at Fontainebleau, for to do
so would be useless; but, with the permission of our readers, follow him
to the Rue des Lombards, where he was located at the sign of the Pilon
d'Or, in the house of our old friend Planchet. It was about eight
o'clock in the evening, and the weather was exceedingly warm; there
was only one window open, and that one belonging to a room on the
_entresol_. A perfume of spices, mingled with another perfume less
exotic, but more penetrating, namely, that which arose from the street,
ascended to salute the nostrils of the musketeer. D'Artagnan, reclining
in an immense straight-backed chair, with his legs not stretched out,
but simply placed upon a stool, formed an angle of the most obtuse form
that could possibly be seen. Both his arms were crossed over his head,
his head reclining upon his left shoulder, like Alexander the Great.
His eyes, usually so quick and intelligent in their expression, were
now half-closed, and seemed fastened, as it were, upon a small corner of
blue sky that was visible behind the opening of the chimneys; there was
just enough blue, and no more, to fill one of the sacks of lentils, or
haricots, which formed the principal furniture of the shop on the
ground floor.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012860194
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
03/10/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
433 KB

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