The Vicomte de Bragelonne: 161 Years After

Document Sample
The Vicomte de Bragelonne: 161 Years After Powered By Docstoc
					The Vicomte de Bragelonne: 161 Years After

         Based on Alexandre, Pere Dumas`s novel (1850)
                     Epics & Illustrations by:
                     Richard Matevosyan (9 years old)
                    & Naira R. Matevosyan
                  Copyright © 2011 , Naira R. Matevosyan

                   ISBN: 978-1466315068
                       ABOUT THIS PROJECT

 Immersed with 35 enchanting and composite illustrations of the opulent
 medieval scenes, this collection of 17 epics retells Dumas Pere`s novel that
 breathes life and vigor into the monarchical debates of the 17         - century
                            France and England.

  Richard, the co-author of this project, is a nine-year-old boy. Quite a
    medievalist, he finds the 'Vicomte de Bragelonne' the most historical
                   amongst the D'Artagnan`s adventures.

Alexandre Dumas Pere`s timeless and flawless masterpieces sometimes are not
visited by a junior reader due to their large volumes. It worths a mention that
this particular volume [1850], so witty, colorful, and agreeable, has not been
 animated since its first French/Italian production [1954]. It is "The Man in
   the Iron Mask" - the last volume of this novel, that has been released in
motion pictures [1939, 1976, 1998]. It's been 161 years since Dumas wrote
  this novel. Current project converts and condenses the original 416-page
        prose of 75-chapters into a 159-page collection of 17 epics,
      meantime keeping the narratives, plot, and sequence unaltered.
Prologue   Twenty years later                 Page 4

Epic 1     The King of Sun                    Page 6

Epic 2     The message                        Page 8

Epic 3     Blois                              Page 14

Epic 4     En route to Spain                  Page 18

Epic 5     Giulio Mazarin                     Page 38

Epic 6     Rendezvous with Marie de Mancini   Page 47

Epic 7     Between the duty and ambition      Page 49

Epic 8     The deed with Planchet             Page 58

Epic 9     The Treasure                       Page 72

Epic 10    Lady Henrietta Stuart              Page 83

Epic 11    The deal with Monk                 Page 85

Epic 12    The State affairs                  Page 92

Epic 13    Nicolas Fouquet                    Page 120

Epic 14    The cabaret                        Page 129

Epic 15    Belle-Isle-en-Mer                  Page 137

Epic 16    The bishop of Vannes               Page 145

Epic 17    The gift                           Page 152
                     PROLOGUE:     Twenty years later

                                  Here are our men twenty years later,
                                Remaining united in the royalist matters:

                              Athos, a retired nobleman of fantastic feats,
                                The bravest swordsman, Comte de la Fere,
                                          Owns an estate near Blois,
                                   Built for his son Raoul, the Vicomte.

  Porthos, the new Baron du Vallon,
 The heir of Coquenard from Belle-Isle,
   Builds a Fortress for M. Fouquet,
An edifice of the secret hexagonal shape.
   Aramis, the D'Herblay, is an abbé now,
  A former Gascon is the Bishop of Vannes-
Shedding musketeer's cassock for the priest robe,
         And all he owns is a diocese!

                                  Now comes our hero, chevalier     d'Artagnan,
                                      Trailing his sword in aid of Charles II,
                                   Restoring the Stuart dynasty to the throne.
                                      He is the Captain of the Musketeers,
                                     Owing his taste for splendor to Athos,
                                      Verve to Porthos, and lure to Aramis.
   Epic 1: The King of Sun

 Louis the Great, or Louis le Grand

Was born in Saint Germain-en-Laye;

   His reign started at age four,

  Lasting over seventy-two years.
                     Renown as the King of Sun, 'le Roi-Soleil'
                   Due to the splendor of his court at Versailles,
                  The absolute monarch Louis 14th liked to state
                        'L'Etat, c'est moi,' - I am the State!

             Succeeding Mazarin and the regency of Anne of Austria,
            Louis was immensely popular since the minority of Fronde.
                  He won many wars, conquered Nicolas Fouquet
              Established the Civil Code, revoked the edict of Nantes.

With divine rights of kings and a centralized state
    Louis made France and Navarre the most
                 powerful states,

  His personal rule and rivalry with Fouquet
    Became this novel's two major subjects.
              Epic 2: The message

      In 1660, mid May, at nine in the morning,
  A cavalcade composed of three men and two pages
Climbed the steep acclivity entering the bridge of Blois,
  Blowing the horn at twenty paces from the castle.
            The one who hurried at once so melancholic and majestic
                   On the saddle of the Flemish crimson velvet,
               Was the son of Henry IV, the Orlean Prince Gaston,
         A bored fellow, since the accession of Mazarin to financial reign.

      The life of this prince was quite soporific,
Each morning, following parties on banks of Beuvron,
He had his breakfast at Chambord, crossing the Loire,
   Then disappeared till the next day of hawking.

       When the prince signaled with his horn,
          Eight guards ran to their halberds.
  Gates were opened, the valets escorted Monseigneur
     In his solemn entry to the lounge of the castle.
             The next day a 'messenger' appeared,
         A good-looking fellow aged twenty-four years
        In a picturesque military costume and footwear;
 He checked in and declared: "A message for his royal highness!'

       The courier was Raoul, the Vicomte of Bragelonne
          On part of his highness le Prince de Conde,
Was gladly invited to maitre d'hotel by Monsieur de Saint-Remy,
    And introduced to the Prince with proverbial politeness.
    Raoul Informed the Prince about the royal proposal,
           Was about to leave, when on his way
      Was called back by Mademoiselle de Montalaise,
       And secretly escorted to Lousie de la Valliere.

          Two hearts met in the fear and passion,
   Embed with feelings without an assisted single glance,
        That is why they trusted it; on that occasion
     They knew that would balance their lives one day.


        THE BOOK (159 pages) IS AVAILABLE AT:

https://www.createspace/3686112 or by title/author`s name

            search at

              Epic 4: En Route To Spain

   At that time, Cropole`s hostelry had a single traveler,
   A tall, handsome, but austere man aged thirty years
Dressed in black velvet with white collar and jet trimmings,
With a thin mustache that barely covered his disdainful lips.
 The stranger spoke to people looking in their eyes without affectation;
   His long, tender, white hands eloquently spoke of his good descent.
  A man of a few words, he warned the host about an expectant visit
 Of a person named Parry; in that event he had to be instantly attuned.

  The psychognomist Cropole gave him the best room for the lodging,
                Offering the suit with the largest salon,
               A price worthy and reprehensible option.
           His aim was rapacious: "A big money I will claim!"

  Since the unknown arrived, he did not interact with any vital soul;
        He scarcely touched any repast served in the chamber,
 Preserved a silence so profoundly that Cropole was almost offended,
Then woke up early morning placing himself at the window of the salon.

By gazing sadly he saw the cortège of Monsieur returning from hunting,
  Then again, partook of the tranquility, until Cropole approached him
       Informing the king's planned visit for that day, and asking
         If seignior intended to book the room for another day.
         After the 'consent' Cropole warmed up and declared
        That he didn`t want to misjudge his guest's resources;
          Therefore he increased the lodging rate of the day
     To one louis, with refreshments and the charge for the horse.

       The French court supposed to sleep that night in Medici,
       The rates increased, the charge of the day was reckoned;
    From now on the price was two louis for each three chambers
          In total six louis plus one-that the guest still owed.

              Unprepared stranger emptied his pockets;
With heroic bravery he drew a purse embroidered with a coat-of-arms,
    Containing three double-louis which amounted to the six coins,
         But it was seven that the host persistently wanted.

        Having nothing remained in his thin and flabby purse,
      The stranger plunged his hand into his 'haut-de-chausses'
     Containing a small pocket-book, a gold key, and some silver,
    But, for an additional day of lodging Cropole demanded more.
         Left with no monetary resources, the stranger asked Cropole
       Either to sell his precious diamond ring, or to hold it in pledge.
        Cropole looked at the diamond so long that the man reflected:
     "I prefer your selling it; for it is worth three hundred pistoles. Begone!"

          With disinterested confidence Cropole replied, that
             He didn`t know diamonds, but their accounts were settled.
     He then bowed profoundly, and left the room with a stupefied air,
     While the stranger locked his door, and was engaged in his papers.

The unknown resumed his place in the balcony, remaining there annihilated
 Until the sunset, when the first flambeaux traversed the enlivened street.
   Cropole brought the good news; the diamond had been well-valued,
  The jeweler of S.A.R. wished to buy it for two hundred and eighty pistoles.

       Cropole thoughtfully asked if the stranger still wished to keep it,
             Thus it should be held until he was again in funds,
            But the unknown insisted with elegance of nobility:
               "Pay yourself, and put the rest on that trunk!"
                 With mutual trust the deal was concluded,
           Cropole deposited a tolerably large bag, as directed -
            After he took the amount of six louis of his reckoning,
     And served with a glass of wine, a morsell of bread, as requested.

                        ANOTHER PREVIEW FRAGMENT:

    Meanwhile, Giulio Mazarini was budgeting the expenses of his guards.
          He had fifty of them for serving his personal demands,
The side of the castle destined for cardinal was brilliant, light and cheerful
          Mounted with guarding musketeers before every door.

        Twenty men were on duty with the queen-mother Anne,
          On the king's side were darkness, solitude and silence;
    The king was leaning on his elbow at the window, when he heard
      A noise of approaching incognito from the hostelry des Medici.
  The stranger who came to see the king was stopped by a musket,
            Was attuned that the king was already sleeping;
         Regardless, the unknown still asked for an entrance,
              Or for a permission to see their Lieutenant.

          The Lieutenant looked attentively at the unknown,
         At the man of a high distinction in an ordinary dress;
         But explained that seeing the king would be a madness
               As his majesty might be already undressed.

         For an entrance permit the king`s consent was needed
              The stranger assured: "The king will consent!"
         On the musket's question with whom he was speaking,
The answer followed: "Charles II, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland."

            The Lieutenant uttering a cry of astonishment,
         Drew back with the most poignant emotions and said:
               "I may ought to have recognized you, sire."
          "Where?" asked Charles. The answer was "The day...
It was the day when I saw your father, Charles I, at the terrible moment."
        "So, then..." the king persisted. "Can you announce me?"
     "Pardon me, monsieur," said the officer, "I shall inform the king."
 Permission was granted, the British king was asked to give up his sword.

          "My brother!" cried Louis XIV, dismissing with a gesture
       "I was going to Paris, in hope of seeing you," replied Charles II,
         "When a report informed me of your sudden visit in Blois.
                  I came here to tell you something special."

      "Perfectly well," said Louis XIV. "I think no one can hear us here."
            The king Charles II began telling his deplorable story:
         "You know, sire, that being called in 1650 to Edinburgh,
    During Cromwell's expedition into Ireland I was crowned at Scone."

                         ANOTHER PREVIEW FRAGMENT:
Mazarin`s 'courtesy' question aggravated the king`s juvenile stubbornness:
 "Yes, I think so!" he outcried, "when you know the object of my request.
We shall aid Charles with 200 men." "Sire," said Mazarin, "I studied policy
       For thirty years, under the auspices of le Cardinal Richelieu!

 This policy has not always been honest, but it has never been unskillful.
      Let me remind you that you entered a treaty with Cromwell,
    That is to say, with England, since, when you signed that treaty
  Cromwell was England!" The king opposed, "But... Cromwell is dead."

      "Exactly!" warmed up Mazarin, "after the death of his father
       Richard inherited two things: England and the abdication.
  Therefore, the treaty remains as valid as ever. And please remember,
         You are the ally of England, sire, and not of Charles II.

            It was doubtlessly wrong, to sign a treaty with a man
         Who had cut off the head of your father's brother-in-law,
   Or to contract an alliance with a parliament, called yonder the Rump,
                      But politically, it was not unskillful.
          Indeed, it was unbecoming, but not unskillful,
    Thanks to that treaty I saved your majesty, then a minor
         From the trouble and danger of a foreign war,
        Which the Fronde might have fatally complicated.

One Frenchman, that is the nation; one uniform, that is the army;
        Suppose sire, you are having a war with Holland
          Which, sooner or later will certainly happen;
          Or perhaps with Spain, if your marriage fails.

      Epic 6: Rendezvous with
               Marie de Mancini
 Louis XIV opened himself the heavy
         door of the carriage
Drew Madmoiselle Mancini out with so
              much ardor
 That she was in his arms before she
         touched the ground.
Mancini was upset of the king`s planned
             visit to Spain.

    Her eyes shined in the sun with
         brilliancy of a dagger.
"You have done nothing in favor of our
           love?" she asked.
  "Marie! How could you believe that?
I threw myself at the feet of my mother;
  I begged her, I implored her, I even
            threatened her.

                   Epic 8: The deed with Planchet
    "Monseigneur, our money-box does wonders!" reflected Planchet.
"The twenty thousand livres I had of you, are still employed in my trade,
         In which they bring me nine per cent. I give you seven,
    So I gain two by you. Now tell me, have you brought me more?"
       "Better than that!" said D`Artagnan, "but do you need more?"
  "Perhaps you`re right, I don`t. Everyone trusts me now, I play a banker.
  I buy goods of my needy brethren; I lend money to those with unpaid dues.
   But sometimes even helping is not easy: I was recently accused in usury.

   It concerned a loan. The borrower gave me in pledge some raw sugars,
   On condition that I should sell if the timely repayment was not made.
        I lend a thousand livres. He did not pay and I sold the sugars
   For thirteen hundred livres. Learning that, he claimed a hundred of crowns.

I refused, pretending that could not sell for more than nine hundred livres.
This old guard accused me in usury. I called him to talk behind the boulevard.
        Once he came, I passed your sword through his left thigh.
     Thirteen hundreds is my tolerance threshold. Above that I fight!"

              "Tu dieu! what a banker!" exclaimed D'Artagnan.
        "Take only twelve, and call the rest premium and brokerage.
        Now, I will offer you a capital profit, four hundred percent!
          But I`ll lay it at the lowest. Twenty thousand livres each.
   Bank it for a month and you`ll have fifty thousand livres each profit.
  But... you would be obliged to leave your family, your business in Paris."
         "Where is the business," asked Planchet. "It is in England!"
 "A country that I know well... So, what is the cause of this grand profit?"

  D`Artagnan swallowed a glass of wine: "We shall restore the Whitehall!"
     "In a month?"- Planchet was confused. "Oh, yes, I am in charge!"
"But, I know only a little about architecture." "Don`t be modest, Planchet,
  You`re an excellent architect! As good as I am, for the case in question.

 The only problem I see, is the opposition. Our enterprise will be disputed.
 It cannot be my friend, that you haven`t heard of his majesty Charles I?"
"Monsieur! In spite of your assistance, he fell dragging you down in his fall."
        "Exactly so, what else you know?" "It was Grimaud related:

 You sailed half of a night in a scuttled vessel, when you saw Mordaunt
   Floating on the water with a gold-hafted dagger hidden in his breast."
               "I need to tell you, that Charles had a son."
                     "But he has two," said Planchet.
          I saw the second one in Paris, M. le Duke of York,
             And was told that he was not the eldest son."
"That`s the point," warmed up D`Artagnan. "He`s now styled Charles II,
    Formerly called the Prince of Wales, and the king of England."

             "A king without kingdom?" replied Planchet.
  "Yes, and also, the poorest man lost in the worst quarter of Paris."
    Planchet tried hard to see in this politico-sentimental project
     Any sign of the commercial idea: "Let`s come to our business!"

                      ANOTHER PREVIEW FRAGMENT:

      "If for this affair I had my smart Athos, my brave Porthos,
My cunning Aramis, the business would be settled; but they are all lost.
     Thus, I`ll do it alone. Do you find the investment propitious?"
               "More than needed!" " What`s your hint?"

    "Monseigneur, to me my home in the midst of my sugar, prunes,
  And cinnamon is my gigantic project; my shop seems a palace to me.
 When a man has had the honor to belong you, he knows nothing of fear;
       And he holds his tongue good, when bound up within bonus."
"Stay well; Planchet! In a week I`ll depart England. Is the money, then ready?"
         "It will be tomorrow; will you wish have gold or silver?"
"Gold is most convenient. You`ll have the receipt." "Monseigneur, in case
You`re in trouble, I should be so afflicted that should not think of money."

    "That`s nice of you! But no matter, we shall act like two clerks,
In bound of an agreement, that is our deed." D`Artagnan moved the pen:

     "Between M. d'Artagnan, ex-lieutenant of the king's musketeers,
   residing in the Rue Tiquetonne, Hotel de la Chevrette; and the Sieur
       Planchet, a grocer, residing in the Rue des Lombards, Pilon d'Or, it
      has been agreed: A company, with a capital of forty thousand livres,
         formed for the purpose of carrying out an idea conceived by M.
        d'Artagnan and approved by Planchet, will place twenty thousand
        livres in the hands of d'Artagnan. Neither repayment nor interest
      will be required before the return of M. d'Artagnan from a journey in
         England. On his part, d'Artagnan undertakes it to find twenty
  thousand livres, which he will join to the twenty thousand already laid
     down by the Sieur Planchet. He will employ the said sum of forty
     thousand livres to his judgment. On the day when d'Artagnan re-
    establishes his majesty King Charles II upon the throne, he will pay
                 into the hands of Planchet the sum of - "

  "...a hundred and fifty thousand livres, " Planchet interrupted.
 "Oh, the devil!" cried the Gascon. "The division cannot be by half."

"But Monseigneur, we lay down in equal!" "All right, let`s try again!
- Nevertheless, as M. d'Artagnan brings to the association, besides his
   capital of twenty thousand livres, his time, his idea, his industry, and
      his skin, he will keep of the three hundred thousand livres, two
    hundred thousand livres for himself, which will make his share two-
                                   thirds. "

"Deal!" said Planchet. "One third to me is totally just. Monseigneur,
      I give you six weeks instead of a month! But what if...."
               "You mean, if I die? Let`s then, amend:

 In case of M. d'Artagnan dying in this enterprise, liquidation will be
     considered to be made, and the Sieur Planchet will give quittance
 from that moment to the shade of M. d'Artagnan for the twenty thousand
               livres paid by him into the hands of the said company."

   This last clause made Planchet knit his brows. "Monseigneur," he said,
   "I have the confidence, I would not give my hundred thousand livres
        For ninety thousand livres down." "You`re right, you a devil!"
      Laughed the Gascon, took the candle and went to his bedroom.

                         ANOTHER PREVIEW FRAGMENT:

          From Boulogne the Gascon followed the coast to Calais,
Arriving the hostelry of "Le Grand Monarque" at half past four in the afternoon.
 There he chose his ten men among the sailors playing at dice in quarrel.
The recruits audited their leader: "Folks, gather here, I have a word to declare!

               I intend engaging you in a glorious enterprise.
      In laboring for me you labor for the king. But I warn you this;
             If you allow anything like today`s your fight appear,
                     I shall be forced to crack your skulls."
                                                One of them approached:
                                                  "We are poor Picard
                                                fishermen, thrown upon
                                                 the coast by a storm.
                                                 Our business is to learn
                                                 and report to monsieur
                                                 le surintendant of the
                                                finances to what extent
                                                  English smuggling is
                                                 injurious to the French

                     ANOTHER PREVIEW FRAGMENT:

                       Epic 9: The Treasure
       "What brings you here? continued the distrustful Monk.
         "My lord, I came to speak to you on my own account.
For a long time I lived here, in Newcastle, in the times when Charles I
   Was given up to Cromwell by the Scots. I hided here a treasure.
On the eve of the battle, I concealed it in the principal vault of this castle,
      In the tower, summit of which is silvered by the moonbeams.
  My treasure remains interred here. Permit me to withdraw it before
An upcoming war, mine, or caper destroys this building, and scatters my gold."

     The psychologist Monk saw in this man the reason, the energy,
      Circumspection for revelation this Frenchman had made him.
   "Monsieur," he said, "you have augured well of me. But is the sum
Worth the trouble to which you expose yourself? Is it larger than the risk?"
 "I do not doubt, monsieur; for it is a million enclosed in two barrels."
       Monk`s mistrust returned. He asked why the Frenchman
  Did not approach General Lambert who also resided near the abbey.
He doubted that the gold could be there after 12 years had rolled away.

 But Athos was certain. Monk invited him for a supper with fresh fish.
 While supping Monk asked him to update the last events of the Fronde,
          The reconciliation of the prince Conde with the king,
  And the probable marriage of Infanta of Spain with the French king.

    Monk avoided, as Athos avoided, all allusion to political games
   Which united, or rather disunited, France, Holland, and England.
In one thing Monk was certain: he dealt with a man of high distinction,
  He could not be an assassin, and the thought a spy was repugnant.

           Monk offered his company and two other escorts,
      Who would dig and remove the earth. Athos refused any aid
         Except of the Monk`s presence. He knew well the place:
            "General, there is no picking or digging required.
       The treasure is buried in the sepulchral vault of the convent,
             Under a stone in which is fixed a large iron ring,
              Under which there are four steps leading down
    To two casks covered with a coat of plaster in the form of a bier.

   There is an inscription which will enable me to recognize the stone:
  'Hic jacet venerabilis, Petrus Gulielmus Scott, Canon H. Conventus Novi
Castelli. Obiit quarta et decima Feb. ann. Dom. MCCVIII. Requiescat in pace.' "
        Monk admired this man: his profess, duplicity, and style.

          "Very well," he said, "the adventure appears to me swell;
I shall carry the torch." He girded on a short sword, placed a pistol in his belt.
    In contrary, Athos unfastened his poniard, unhooked his sword-belt,
     And showed beneath his cambric shirt his naked, weaponless breast.

      In the dark, they walked among the tents, and posts composed
    Of one hundred and fifty Scots; no camps of Lambert were detected.
 After a while they noticed a shadow following them. Monk was alarmed.
     He thought if there was a link between Athos and the fisherman.
          "I think we should meet the French sailors," he suggested.
  "Do as you think best," replied Athos pretending that he had no preference.
  They approached the sailors asking for a light. A fisherman joined them
    In the walk to Newcastle. The door was broken opened by hatchets.

 Four men, sleeping in the post at the entrance, roused up at the first steps.
      Monk gave them the password. They entered. Monk walked last.
      Following the detailed directions they found the Latin inscription.
There the sailor was released. Athos confessed that the gold belonged to Charles I.

  "This is the property of King Charles II," continued Comte de la Fere,
"Exiled from his country, the orphan at once of his father and his throne,
       Deprived of everything, even of the honor to kiss this stone,
    Upon which 'HERE LIES CHARLES I ' the murderers have written.

          Here I am, the last and only friend of the abandoned king,
         Placing myself unarmed and naked in your hands, my lord,
  If divided success alarms you, if my complicity annoys you, you are armed
   To finish me right here, closing the last loop on your foe Charles Stuart.
 Otherwise, take this million and serve Charles II, and God is our witness."
      Monk turned pale, he was paralyzed of the nobility of this man.
   At last he broke the silence: "Monseigneur, you are one of those men,
 To whom it is impossible to refuse the attention and respect their merit!"

    "General, let`s recognize Charle`s throne. Let him present himself!"
"Monseigneur," Monk made a statement, "I am only a servant of the parliament,
I fight wherever I am directed. The welfare of my England is before everything,
     God who gave me the power to rule, gave also the discernment.

   Therefore I obey and suggest you to take this money back to Charles!
 Lambert leads an army devoid of homogeneous principles; I taught my soldiers
  To consider my authority subordinate to another, therefore, after me,
My death or retirement, they will know how not to act as headless shadows.

   I am the magnet - the sympathetic and natural strength of the English.
     I attract to myself all those scattered irons sent against my troops.
       Go, then, Compte, and let it be done, as has been agreed upon."
               On their way back Monk disappeared in darkness.
                     ANOTHER PREVIEW FRAGMENT:

Colbert was a man in whom the historian and moralist have an equal right.
Thirteen years older than Louis XIV, his destined for trade. He`d been a clerk
To a merchant, then to a procurer Biterne. Now he was the court's accountant,
Mastering the art of drawing up an account, more precisely, complicating it.

              The clerk was acquainted with all accounts of Mazarin
                Without the latter ever having spoken about them.
         This secret between them was a powerful tie, and this was why,
 Before his death Mazarin was desirous of a good counsel in disposing the wealth.

  "Let us converse," said Mazarin. "You know that I have amassed a little wealth."
Colbert confessed: "I know the known number of 40 millions, 5 hundred and 60
 thousand, 200 livres, 9 cents, 8 farthings. But besides, monseigneur, there are
   Thirteen millions that are not known." "... We shall then meet in the ruelle."
The father Theatin arrived for the cardinal's revelation. The latter declared:
"I have allowed myself so many things to pass which the Lord might reprove."
              Theatin commented: "Sinners are forgetful beforehand,
And scrupulous when it is too late." "This is my first sin," continued Mazarin:
   "I have allowed myself to descend from two old Roman consuls, S. Geganius
 Macerinus I, Macerinus II, and Proculus Macerinus III, of whom the news break."
   "In your having been born of a family of fishermen I see nothing injurious;
    For - St. Peter was a fisherman, too. Pass on that one!" said the priest.

   "I have exhausted pride with expressive manners, tormented the prince,
Slept with queen. I had too much ambitions. I sold Cambria to the Spaniards.
    I loved to win and cheated a little..." "Pass on, pass on," cried Theatin.
"I ended my revelation," said Mazarin. "Indeed? Let me then assist your memory."

Theatin coughed several times: "You said nothing of avarice, nor of the millions."
    "What millions, father?" "Those you possess, my lord," was the answer.
 "That money is mine, why should I confess?" "See here, our opinions differ.
     Your wealth was gained in the service of the king. That is the state.

 The state is the king! Show me a list of the riches you possess. Let us reckon.
  How many properties you own?" "The abbeys of St. Clement, St. Arnould,
 St. Vincent at Metz; St. Denis in France; St. Cluny; St. Medard at Soissons..."
"The last one only, brings you a revenue of one hundred thousand livres yearly.
   Further, St. Victor at Marseilles -a good million per year! In ten years
    That is twenty millions. Put it out at fifty per cent give by progression
   You have twenty-three millions in ten years." "Father, conclude at present."
 "I conclude that your baggage is too heavy to allow you pass the gates of haven.

  You`ll be damned, if you don`t make restitution." "But to whom, good God?"
  "To the owner of that money, - to the king." "The king did not give it to me."
     "But he signed the ordinances, correct?" "Please, absolve me for this sin."
 "I can`t. Doing so I `d commit a sin, for which the king would not absolve me!"

 Colbert entered after he heard his master`s revelation: "Theatin, monseigneur,
  Is a bad judge in matters of finance." "I should consider restitution of a part,
 His majesty's part." "I would not suggest, for it has danger. At this moment,
The king does not possess a hundred and fifty thousand livres clear in his coffers."

 "That is not my affair," yelled Mazarin, "that belongs to Fouquet, whose accounts
     I submitted for your revision." "My lord," said Colbert, "during ten years
  I reviewed all the figures, and columns in France; my brain rivets them so well,
           From the sober Letellier, to the secretive and prodigal Fouquet.
         I can recite, figure by figure, the money spent in France
From Marseilles to Cherbourg." "And what you suggest?" Mazarin attacked,
 "To throw all my money into the coffers of the king?" "My lord, that`s not
     What I meant. Your eminence, absorbed by disease, lost your sight."

       "Of what?" " ... of the character of Louis XIV." "Go on - that is?"
    "Pride! Pardon me, but the kings have pride, that's a human passion.
Immediately, give all your money to the king." "For what?" "Because the king
 Will not accept of the whole. He will refuse a certain form of the donation."

      "And you guarantee, that if I give my forty millions to the king..."
    "Saying certain things to him at the same time, he will refuse them."
"But, what if he accepts?!" Mazarin was confused. "Then there would remain
  Of thirteen millions for your family, and that is a good round sum, I guess."

"But I don`t see my gain?" asked Mazarin. "It is enormous! Gaining your legacy,
          You'll not be accused," Colbert concluded. Mazarin was dying.
  Colbert held his head, meditating the tenor of the donation he would make.
   At the first interval of pain he persuaded Mazarin to dictate a donation.
 "About to appear before God, I beg the king to resume the wealth
  Which his bounty has bestowed upon me, and which my family
Would be happy to see pass into such illustrious hands. Julio Mazarin"
      Colbert sealed the packet, and carried it to the Louvre.
                      ANOTHER PREVIEW FRAGMENT:

                                   Epic 17: The gift
      The Minister standing on the threshold met the carriage of Aramis.
"Dear friend!" said Fouquet, "you so soon!" "Yes; monsieur! I`m bruised, battered."
 "Speak quickly," said the master locking the doors. "Are we alone?" asked Aramis.
"Perfectly!" "Did M. du Vallon arrive?" The reply followed: "Yes, I got your letter.

       The affair looks quite serious; it necessitates your attendance in Paris."
      "Did M. du Vallon tell you nothing, when he delivered the letter to you?"
        "No; I heard a noise, went down, and saw at the foot of the perron
   A horseman of marble. He handled the letter to me; his horse fell down dead."

  "And he?" "He fell with the horse; but was lifted, and carried to an apartment.
   I went up to him, in hope of obtaining more information; but he was asleep."
        Aramis asked if Fouquet knew D`Artagan, describing how the latter
      Intervened in hanging of their friends; about his secret service to Louis.
He reported that the Gascon was in Belle-Isle, to disclose the plan of fortification.
  He assured that D`Artagnan in the hands of the king, was the utmost danger."
  "I wished to attach him to myself," regretted Fouquet. "We shall buy him back."
       "It`s too late," Aramis suggested, "we have allowed the time to go by.

 Being dissatisfied with the court, he passed into England, and aided Charles
     In restoring the Stuart`s throne. There he gained a fortune. After all,
 He returned to the service of Louis, because, now he`s well paid in that service."
"We will pay him even better, if that is all," said Fouquet. "He is the man of word.
     Once engaged he keeps it. At present, the principal thing is to parry
       A dangerous blow," concluded Aramis. "But D'Artagnan will come
     To render an account to the king of his mission." "We still have time."
    "How so? You are much in advance of him, I presume?" "Nearly ten hours."

  "Ten hours is an ample time." Aramis interrupted: "D`Artagnan moves faster
 Than the clouds. He is the wind that carries them. Porthos arrived quite early,
Leaving on his way eight dead horses. D`Artagnan is even faster. If his horse falls,
   He runs further. He will reach in an hour. You have to see the king before."

       "And what shall I say to the king?" "Nothing, just give him Belle-Isle."
     "Monsieur d'Herblay! " cried Fouquet, "what projects crushed all at once!"
"Once one fails, the others lead to misfortune. Please go to the Louvre, Monsieur."
 "Be that! D'Artagnan has everything except my English horses. I shall be at the
                          Louvre in 25 minutes, sharp!"

                      THIS WAS A FREE PREVIEW ONLY.
                    THE BOOK (159 pages) IS AVAILABLE AT:
          https://www.createspace/3686112 or by title/author`s name
                         search at

Description: Immersed with 35 enchanting and composite illustrations of the opulent medieval scenes, this collection of 17 epics retells Dumas Pere`s novel that breathes life and vigor into the monarchical debates and controversies of the 17 th-century France and England. Alexandre Dumas Pere`s timeless and flawless masterpieces sometimes are not visited by a junior reader due to their large volumes. It's been 161 years since Dumas wrote this novel. Current project converts and condenses the original 416-page prose of 75-chapters into a 159-page collection of 17 epics, meantime keeping the narratives, plot, and sequence unaltered.