The Three Musketeers

Contents:
Author: "Alexandre Dumas, père"  | Date: 1844

AUTHOR’S PREFACE: In which it is shown that, notwithstanding their names ending in "os" and "is", the heroes of the story we are about to relate have nothing in common with mythology

ABOUT A YEAR AGO, while making some researches at the Royal Library for my History of Louis XIV, I came across the "Memoirs of M. d’Artagnan," printed- like most works of that period, when authors were desirous of writing the truth without incurring the risk of imprisonment in the Bastille- at Amsterdam, by Peter Rouge. The title took my fancy, and with the kind permission of the librarian, I carried the book home and eagerly devoured it.

It is not my intention to give an analysis of this curious work; if any of my readers should care for a description of those days, they can easily refer to it. They will find there portraits drawn with a master hand.

Still, it is a well-known fact, that what constitutes an attraction for the poet, does not always possess any charm for the general reader. And while we admire, as others no doubt will admire, the details we have pointed out, the fact which struck us most vividly is certainly one that has escaped notice.

D’Artagnan relates that on his first visit to M. de Treville, the captain of the King’s Musketeers, he met in his anteroom three young men of the famous corps he was desirous of joining, namely, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

We confess that these strange names struck our imagination, and we at once supposed that they were all fictitious names, under which d’Artagnan had most probably concealed some illustrious individuals, unless, indeed, the bearers of these names had themselves chosen them.

From that moment we could not rest till we found, in a contemporary work, some trace of the extraordinary names that had aroused our curiosity.

The mere catalogue of all the works we perused to attain this purpose would fill an entire chapter, which, though it might prove instructive, would certainly be far from entertaining to our readers. We will therefore merely state that at the moment when, discouraged by a series of fruitless investigations, we were about to abandon our research, we at last found, thanks to the advice of our illustrious and learned friend Paulin Paris, a folio manuscript:

"Memoirs of the Comte de La Fere, concerning some of the events that took place in France toward the end of King Louis XIII’s reign and the beginning of that of King Louis XIV."

Our readers may imagine our delight when, on turning over this manuscript- our last hope- we found at the twentieth page the name of Athos, at the twenty-seventh the name of Porthos, and at the thirty-first that of Aramis.

The discovery of a manuscript still unknown at a time when historical research has been carried to such a pitch seemed almost miraculous. We promptly craved permission to have it printed, in order to present ourselves to the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres with some borrowed literary baggage, in case we failed, as was highly probable, to enter the French Academy on the strength of our own productions. The permission was graciously granted.

Contents:

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: The Three Musketeers

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: The Three Musketeers

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Alexandre Dumas père, "Author’s Preface: In Which It Is Shown That, Notwithstanding Their Names Ending in Os and Is, the Heroes of the Story We Are About to Relate Have Nothing in Common With Mythology," The Three Musketeers Original Sources, accessed April 22, 2021, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D5A6MPBRE84T8VS.

MLA: Dumas, Alexandre, père. "Author’s Preface: In Which It Is Shown That, Notwithstanding Their Names Ending in "Os" and "Is", the Heroes of the Story We Are About to Relate Have Nothing in Common With Mythology." The Three Musketeers, Original Sources. 22 Apr. 2021. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D5A6MPBRE84T8VS.

Harvard: Dumas, A, 'Author’s Preface: In Which It Is Shown That, Notwithstanding Their Names Ending in "Os" and "Is", the Heroes of the Story We Are About to Relate Have Nothing in Common With Mythology' in The Three Musketeers. Original Sources, retrieved 22 April 2021, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D5A6MPBRE84T8VS.