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The Musketeers Project > The Three Musketeers - Chapter 6-10

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message 1: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited Sep 06, 2020 09:07PM) (new)

Robin P | 2114 comments Mod
We finally meet the king (though not the cardinal, who we continue to hear about). We learn that the official policy of no dueling takes a back seat to proving the musketeers are better than the Cardinal's guards. D'Artagnan is so concerned about his upcoming audience with the king that he drops out of the tennis game to spare his face any injury, and ends up in a new duel. Was this predictable, from what we know of him already? What do you think of Treville's diplomacy with M de La Tremouille and with the king?

We learn about the home life of d'Artagnan's new friends. They all have secrets - Athos' sword, Aramis' disappearances, even Porthos, who seems open, never invites anyone into his home. How do the servants match each man's temperament? Besides the treatment of women, we could be upset by how servants and other lower-class people are treated in this book. For instance, d"Artagnant decides to "thrash" Planchet to get him to stay, and that engenders the admiration of all, including Planchet. I feel like Planchet is a character in the tradition of French comic servants, such as Figaro, not easily squelched. Of course it turns out to be a good bet to stick with d"Artagnan for a bright future.

I love how these young men, some with obvious familial connections, are often broke and use their creativity to deal with it - getting dinner invitations, gambling, borrowing, whatever is needed. D'Artagnan is struck by the idea that this powerful foursome could do more with their energy and he gets his chance after the unexpected visit from his landlord.

In Chapter 9, "D'Artagnan Begins to Show Himself", we see our hero's mind at work, amidst high praise from Athos that the young man is the sharpest of them all. The landlord is a bit of a comic character himself, whose concerns are easily dismissed, knowing the plot involves people much higher up. The comedy comes in the way he works in the issue of rent and later sends up his best wine. The story Aramis tells of being mistaken for the Duke is typical of him, containing some humorous obfuscation and hints that he moves in high circles. Were you surprised by d'Artagnan's maneuvers?

In Chapter 10, d'Artagnan meets and rescues the beautiful (of course) Mme Bonacieux. The fact that she is married is irrelevant, her husband being older, rather stupid and conveniently out of the way. I found fascinating the trick with the clock that "runs slow". I doubt that this detail is in any chronicle that Dumas read, rather it is a sort of early detective story element he created.

I am reading the Ellsworth translation and also referring to the French version. It is interesting to see when the musketeers switch from the formal you -"vous" ' to the informal - "tu". Athos does this when he tells Porthos he is a simpleton. Aramis uses the familiar to both Porthos and d'Artagnan when praising d'Artagnan's plan. Both Athos and Aramis use the familiar when they tell Porthos to put out his hand and swear to their motto "all for one, one for all". D'Artagnan in this chapter always uses the formal, which makes sense with his friends being older and more experienced than he is. I am curious to see if that changes as d'Artagnan becomes one of them.


message 2: by Ana (new)

Ana (__ana) | 134 comments Robin P wrote: "I love how these young men, some with obvious familial connections, are often broke and use their creativity to deal with it - getting dinner invitations, gambling, borrowing, whatever is needed. "

That was one of my favorite parts as well :)

Unfortunately I don’t speak French, but I’ve read the book in Bulgarian and in English. It’s very interesting to switch back and forth just to see the subtle differences ‘lost in translation’.

I loved the chapter about the domestic affairs of the musketeers. We get to know D’Artagnan’s new friends and their servants a little better. Porthos is vain, loud and enjoys bragging. Athos has a melancholic side and some vices (drinking and gambling), but he never talks about women. Aramis always has ‘something or other to do’ & he uses theology as a code/excuse for his amorous adventures. He is either studying theology at a professor’s house, writing a treatise, translating passages or writing poetry and meeting with his ‘editor’. Several ladies are mentioned as his potential love interests - Madame D'Aiguillon, Madame de Bois-Tracy and Madame de Chevreuse.
(* Madame D'Aiguillon is also said to be the cardinal's mistress)

For a while D’Artagnan seems to have it all - new friends, a position at the king’s guard, a new servant and a generous landlord. The only thing missing is a ‘suitable mistress’ → in comes Madame Bonacieux.

I like how Dumas gives us several hints that Aramis may already know the mercer’s wife.
In chapter 9, he cautions D’Artagnan not to grow too warm about the fate of Madame Bonacieux.
In chapter 10, Constance has in her possession the same handkerchief Aramis previously had.
These clues, combined with his reputation as a ladies man, make the reader question whether Aramis is romantically involved with Constance.

Were you surprised by d'Artagnan's maneuvers?

Yes, I was initially surprised that D’Artagnan so willingly surrendered his landlord to the guards. At this point Bonacieux seems like a nice guy and I felt bad for him. I guess that makes me a simpleton like Porthos ;)

Somehow I’m not shocked at the fact that Athos and D’Artagnan occasionally ‘thrash’ their servants. I don’t necessarily approve of it, but it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal in the book.


message 3: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1817 comments Mod
This section gives us a better understanding of the Musketeers different personalities, and suggests that not all is as it seems in their personal lives.

d'Artagnan shows himself to be quite the tactician, which will likely serve him well as the tale progresses.

I can't help thinking that, in these pre-Antibiotic days, any scratches or wounds sustained in all this easy fighting would be potentially fatal. I shudder at how easily everyone resorts to fighting-can't imagine many of them survived into old age!


message 4: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2114 comments Mod
Perhaps d'Artagnan's mother's salve for wounds contained some kind of natural antibiotic and that's why it was so effective.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (tarnmoor) | 19 comments It's interesting that in these chapters d'Artagnan comes across as the brain among the Three Musketeers, yet was incredibly naive toward all in last week's reading.


message 6: by Ana (new)

Ana (__ana) | 134 comments Just a few questions for the group:

I’m curious :)


1. Who is your favorite musketeer?

2. Who is your favorite character (other than the musketeers)?

3. Do you think any of the movie adaptations do the book justice?
Which is your favorite Musketeer movie?


message 7: by Anne (new)

Anne | 93 comments Ana wrote: "Just a few questions for the group:

I’m curious :)


1. Who is your favorite musketeer?

2. Who is your favorite character (other than the musketeers)?

3. Do you think any of the movie adaptatio..."


1. I don't really have a favorite musketeer. I find them each to be flawed, but interesting and often likable characters. Athos is generally good, but he is cruel when his servant doesn't read his mind. Porthos is a lovable buffoon who is self-conscious about his financial situation. Aramis is a hypocrite who uses his overt religiosity to conceal his affairs with (sometimes married) women.

2. Most of the characters haven't been introduced at this point in the novel, so I'll save my answer.

3. I don't know that any of the movies are particularly good, but I do enjoy the rather campy one from the 90s with Kiefer Sutherland. Mostly, that is because I saw it as a teenager, and it was my first real introduction to the characters. It was what inspired me to read the novel for the first time, and I fell in love with the book.


message 8: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1817 comments Mod
Ana wrote: "Just a few questions for the group:

I’m curious :)


1. Who is your favorite musketeer?

2. Who is your favorite character (other than the musketeers)?

3. Do you think any of the movie adaptatio..."


So far I'd have to say Athos is my favourite-I tend to like the strong silent type, perhaps with a secret broken heart in the past. (Agreed, the tendency to thrash his servant is a little off-putting).

So far I'm intrigued by Mme Bonacieux-as a player in the intrigues of her mistress I'm going to assume she has some spunk (the fainting during the capture, however, does not bode well) and hope there will be at least a couple of interesting women in the book.

I'm afraid I haven't seen any of the Musketeer movies so can't comment.


message 9: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2114 comments Mod
I guess I favor Athos, but I quite like D'Artagnan for his fast thinking and impulsiveness, which is a weakness of mine.

We haven't seen much of Planchet yet, but he becomes a clever fellow in his own right.

I like the movies from the 1970's which captured both the squalor of the era and the humor of Dumas. A lot of famous actors were in it and seemed to be having a good time.


message 10: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 8 comments Great news, I loved these chapters! After the very superficial interactions of the first 5 chapters, I feel we're now diving below the surface and heading deep into the Dumas type writing that I know and love.

I was heartily laughing (albeit i was a bottle of wine deep) when I read the following passage:
'Please note that the phrase, 'd'artagnan awakened Planchet," should not be taken to indicate that it was night, or that the day had not yet begun. On the contrary: the church bells had just sounded four in the afternoon. Planchet, two hours earlier, had asked his master for dinner, and d'artagnan had responded with the proverb, ''who sleeps, eats." So Planchet had been eating by sleeping.

😂😂😂

I also raised a brow when Mme Bonacieux was making eyes at d'artagnan, but then I remembered the novel 'Queen Margot' and recalled that extramarital affairs were pretty much the norm in the french court around then 🤷🏻‍♀️

As this is my first reading, I don't feel I know enough to pick a favorite yet! But I will let y'all know as soon as I firmly establish a preference.

Officially excited to read on!


message 11: by Ana (new)

Ana (__ana) | 134 comments Kelly wrote: "...I remembered the novel 'Queen Margot' and recalled that extramarital affairs were pretty much the norm in the french court around then 🤷🏻‍♀️ "

I agree. It seems that marriages at that time were always arranged for political reasons or out of convenience and love had nothing to do with it. I guess that's why everyone had affairs.
I have accepted this as the norm in all of Dumas's books.
:)


message 12: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2114 comments Mod
That was certainly his personal view. He never let any little detail like marriage get in the way of his own liaisons.


message 13: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1320 comments Mod
I was thinking the same when reading Old Goriot by Balzac. Like, doesn't marriage mean anything to you people? But I guess, in that time and place, it really didn't (at least among the upper classes).


message 14: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 8 comments Completely agree with all!

I’m just starting 5-11 and right in the beginning of chapter 5 he describes the present as “these times of easy morals” 😆


message 15: by Daniela (new)

Daniela Sorgente | 123 comments I am reading an Italian translation so I have the vous and tu of the Three Musketeers dialogues same as in French. :-)
My favourite musketeer in this moment is Athos but maybe in the future I will like D'Artagnan better (still undecided, I did not like his too sudden interest in Mme Bonacieux).


message 16: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1817 comments Mod
Daniela wrote: "maybe in the future I will like D'Artagnan better (still undecided, I did not like his too sudden interest in Mme Bonacieux).."

He is a young man, and likely to have sudden and strong passions. I will forgive him this, particularly as she is a lovely young woman of 23 married to a 50 year old who is rather unworthy or her.


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