Ten Years Later

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Authors: Alexandre Dumas
Tags: Fiction, Historical
young men had something to say to each other; and the second, that he ought not to walk in the same line with them; and therefore he walked behind. "Are you mad?" said De Guiche to his companion, as soon as they had left the Hotel de Grammont; "you attack M. d'Artagnan, and that, too, before Raoul."
    "Well," said De Wardes, "what then?"
    "What do you mean by "what then?""
    "Certainly, is there any prohibition against attacking M. d'Artagnan?"
    "But you know very well that M. d'Artagnan was one of those celebrated and terrible four men who were called the musketeers."
    "That they may be; but I do not perceive why, on that account, I should be forbidden to hate M. d'Artagnan."
    "What cause has he given you?"
    "Me! personally, none."
    "Why hate him, therefore?"
    "Ask my dead father that question."
    "Really, my dear De Wardes, you surprise me. M. d'Artagnan is not one to leave unsettled any
he may have to arrange, without completely clearing his account. Your father, I have heard, carried matters with a high hand. Moreover, there are no enmities so bitter that they cannot be washed away by blood, by a good sword–thrust loyally given."
    "Listen to me, my dear De Guiche, this inveterate dislike existed between my father and M. d'Artagnan, and when I was quite a child, he acquainted me with the reason for it, and, as forming part of my inheritance, I regard it as a particular legacy bestowed upon me."
    "And does this hatred concern M. d'Artagnan alone?"
    "As for that, M. d'Artagnan was so intimately associated with his three friends, that some portion of the full measure of my hatred falls to their lot, and that hatred is of such a nature, whenever the opportunity occurs, they shall have no occasion to complain of their allowance."
    De Guiche had kept his eyes fixed on De Wardes, and shuddered at the bitter manner in which the young man smiled. Something like a presentiment flashed across his mind; he knew that the time had passed away for
grands coups entre gentilshommes
; but that the feeling of hatred treasured up in the mind, instead of being diffused abroad, was still hatred all the same; that a smile was sometimes as full of meaning as a threat; and, in a word, that to the fathers who had hated with their hearts and fought with their arms, would now succeed the sons, who would indeed hate with their hearts, but would no longer combat their enemies save by means of intrigue or treachery. As, therefore, it certainly was not Raoul whom he could suspect either of intrigue or treachery, it was on Raoul's account that De Guiche trembled. However, while these gloomy forebodings cast a shade of anxiety over De Guiche's countenance, De Wardes had resumed the entire mastery over himself.
    "At all events," he observed, "I have no personal ill–will towards M. de Bragelonne; I do not know him even."
    "In any case," said De Guiche, with a certain amount of severity in his tone of voice, "do not forget one circumstance, that Raoul is my most intimate friend;" a remark at which De Wardes bowed.
    The conversation terminated there, although De Guiche tried his utmost to draw out his secret from him; but, doubtless, De Wardes had determined to say nothing further, and he remained impenetrable. De Guiche therefore promised himself a more satisfactory result with Raoul. In the meantime they had reached the Palais Royal, which was surrounded by a crowd of lookers–on. The household belonging to Monsieur awaited his command to mount their horses, in order to form part of the escort of the ambassadors, to whom had been intrusted the care of bringing the young princess to Paris. The brilliant display of horses, arms, and rich liveries, afforded some compensation in those times, thanks to the kindly feelings of the people, and to the traditions of deep devotion to their sovereigns, for the enormous expenses charged upon the taxes. Mazarin had said: "Let them sing, provided they pay;" while Louis XIV.'s remark was, "Let them look." Sight had

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