"Not more so than your Majesty," was the frank reply.
"Yes, your Majesty, she answered, "for I was born in the North Country."
"Scratches himself?" inquired the duke, "what does your majesty mean?"
"I say, sire, that the minister of police is greatly deceived or I am; and as it is impossible it can be the minister of police as he has the guardianship of the safety and honor of your majesty, it is probable that I am in error.
"For that purpose, yes, sire; your majesty will be at the head of ten thousand men in less than an hour."
"If I am guilty, I place myself in your majesty's hands."
Three of my best soldiers, whom your Majesty knows by name, and whose devotedness you have more than once appreciated, and who have, I dare affirm to the king, his service much at heart--three of my best soldiers, I say, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, had made a party of pleasure with a young fellow from Gascony, whom I had introduced to them the same morning.
"I do not accuse them, sire; but I leave your Majesty to judge what five armed men could possibly be going to do in such a deserted place as the neighborhood of the Convent des Carmes."
I cried out instantly, `His Majesty's musketeers!' And, besides, that was shown to be true, sire, not only by your majesty's not saying I was wrong, but proving I was right by going out at once."
"Has your majesty told me all?" asked he, in a tone we cannot describe, but which, without appearing to solicit the royal confidence, contained so much persuasive frankness, that the king immediately replied:
As the news of my arrival spread through the kingdom, it brought prodigious numbers of rich, idle, and curious people to see me; so that the villages were almost emptied; and great neglect of tillage and household affairs must have ensued, if his imperial majesty had not provided, by several proclamations and orders of state, against this inconveniency.
(for so I interpret the words QUINBUS FLESTRIN,) "after the strictest search, we found only one great piece of coarse-cloth, large enough to be a foot-cloth for your majesty's chief room of state.
"I have provided for everything; a carriage below is waiting for your majesty."
"Your majesty has given me the control of this business; we had better wait and see what they want."
"The price of the irresistible gun would have been much greater, your Majesty
, but for the fact that its missiles can be so effectively averted by my peculiar method of treating the armour plates with a new- "