The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers


Alexandre Dumas

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The Three Musketeers: Chapter 40 Summary & Analysis

The cardinal asks d’Artagnan personal questions about his background and his family. He also tells d’Artagnan that he knows about his fight with Rochefort in Meung. D’Artagnan is wary about how well-informed the cardinal is and does his best not to give away any crucial information, even though it seems like the cardinal already knows everything anyway.
The cardinal is an intelligent man and d’Artagnan immediately realizes that he is out of his league. Not only does the cardinal seem to have eyes everywhere, but he also knows almost everything about d'Artagnan without needing to ask questions.
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After reciting d’Artagnan’s many adventures back to him, including his mission to England for the diamond tags, the cardinal scolds d’Artagnan for not coming to see him sooner. D’Artagnan apologizes and explains that he assumed the cardinal was mad at him. The cardinal ignores d’Artagnan’s point and instead chooses to compliment him for his conduct. He even offers d’Artagnan a position in his guards if he performs well at La Rochelle.
Although the cardinal is far from forthcoming, his compliments toward d’Artagnan are not disingenuous. The cardinal respects d’Artagnan’s intelligence and bravery, even though it’s been used against him at every turn.
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D’Artagnan thanks the cardinal for his offer but he cannot accept it. He likes his current position and he knows he would be alienated from all of his friends if he accepted a spot with the cardinal. The cardinal cannot believe that d’Artagnan is willing to turn him down. The cardinal warns d’Artagnan that he’s already made a lot of enemies in Paris. The cardinal also says that he is one of the few people who can actually protect d’Artagnan. D’Artagnan is skeptical of this claim, although he doesn’t say so out loud. Despite the cardinal’s arguments, d’Artagnan still turns down the position.
The cardinal’s ego is hurt by d’Artagnan’s refusal to join his guards. However, d’Artagnan makes the only rational choice. After all, he does not trust the cardinal, and joining him would be a complete betrayal of everything d’Artagnan stands for. Unfortunately, d’Artagnan’s decision is not without consequences. Both the cardinal and d’Artagnan know that d’Artagnan’s list of enemies continues to grow by the day.
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After his meeting with the cardinal, d’Artagnan returns to his friends and assures them that everything is fine. He also tells them about his strange interaction with the cardinal. Privately, d’Artagnan wonders if he made the right choice. The next day, everyone goes to the Louvre and reports for duty. All of the musketeers are excited and ready to go, as is d’Artagnan. However, as d’Artagnan gets ready to leave, Milady plots her revenge. She pays two men to join D’Artagnan’s company. Although the exact nature of her plot is not yet clear, it is obvious that these men have been sent to kill d’Artagnan.
If it was not already clear, Milady proves herself to be a vengeful woman, capable of vicious actions. Although d’Artagnan is the hero of the novel, Milady is not an entirely unsympathetic character. After all, d’Artagnan already betrayed her trust once and could do so again by exposing her secret.
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