D’Artagnan befriends his fellow musketeers by siding with them against the cardinal’s men in a battle. Together the men succeed in combat and their experience forms the basis of their friendship. It is a friendship based on the group’s mutual loyalty, which in turn is characterized by their ability to compromise their individual needs and desires for the good of their group. This attitude is summed up in the famous motto of D’Artagnan and his friends: “All for one, one for all!” This phrase doesn’t sacrifice the individuality of the members of the group, but it does demand a sort of collective accountability. It does not expect group members to act selflessly at all times, but it does require sacrifices on occasion.
There are many examples of this mentality on display throughout the novel. For instance, the musketeers always back up one another in battle. Throughout the novel, d’Artagnan and his friends often get themselves involved in duels. Any time an individual member accepts a duel, the rest of the groups act as seconds and fight alongside their friend. Because of their ability to coordinate and work together, the musketeers win all of their duels. Additionally, this group dynamic is exemplified by the manner in which the musketeers handle their finances. Whenever one of the musketeers or D’Artagnan receives a hefty sum of money, it is always dispersed among the other members of the group in accordance with their individual needs. Likewise, should a member of the group fall on hard times, the other members do their best to support him. For instance, the musketeers often buy one another meals. However, in doing so, they are not merely acting selflessly. One musketeer supports the others because he knows he will need their support in return sometime in the future.
Friendship and Loyalty ThemeTracker
Friendship and Loyalty Quotes in The Three Musketeers
Panics were frequent in those times, and few days went by when an event of this kind was not recorded in the archives of one town or another. Noblemen fought among themselves; the king was at war with the cardinal; the Spanish were at war with the king. And then, besides all this secret or open warfare, there were robbers, beggars, Huguenots, wolves, and lackeys, who were at war with everyone. The townsmen always took up arms against robbers, wolves, and lackeys, often against noblemen and Huguenots, sometimes against the king, but never against the cardinal or the Spanish.
Athos’s arrival had caused a sensation in the anteroom, for his wound was known to everyone despite all efforts to keep it a secret. The door had remained ajar, and Tréville’s words were greeted by a joyous hubbub. Two or three musketeers, carried away by enthusiasm, drew back the door curtain and looked into the study. Tréville was about to rebuke them sharply when he felt Athos’s hand tighten in his own and saw that he was about to faint.
They were so closely united that they shared whatever they had and each was always ready to help the others, even at the risk of death. They made plans together and carried them out either individually or as a group; they were like four arms that sometimes joined in a single attack and sometimes separated to ward off danger from any direction. Four men like that could surely overcome all obstacles in their path, using either force or guile, and reach any goal they chose, no matter how distant or well defended it might be.
“All for one, one for all.”
And since every good deed has its reward, d’Artagnan’s leniency had the effect of giving him back the peace of mind he had lost. He felt there was no longer any need for him to worry, because one of his two attackers was dead and the other was now devoted to him.
His serenity proved one thing: he did not yet know Milady.
“Monseigneur,” Milady interrupted, “I’ll trade you a life for a life, a man for a man; rid me of this one and I’ll rid you of the other.”
“We are conspirators, Monseigneur,” said Athos, “but as you saw the other morning, we conspire against the enemy.”
“You’re young,” said Athos. “Your bitter memories still have time to turn to sweet ones.”