of this pony rattled a sword of respectable length, and as over this sword gleamed an eye rather ferocious than haughty, these passers-by repressed their hilarity, or if hilarity prevailed over prudence, they endeavored to laugh only on one side, like the masks of the ancients.
D’Artagnan, then, remained majestic and intact in his susceptibility, till he came to this unlucky city of Meung. But there, as he was alighting from his horse at the gate of the Jolly Miller, without anyone–host, waiter, or hostler–coming to hold his stirrup or take his horse, D’Artagnan spied, though an open window on the ground floor, a gentleman, well-made and of good carriage, although of rather a stern countenance, talking with two persons who appeared to listen to him with respect. D’Artagnan fancied quite naturally, according to his custom, that he must be the object of their conversation, and listened.
This time D’Artagnan was only in part mistaken; he himself was not in question, but his horse was.
The gentleman appeared to be enumerating all his qualities to his auditors; and, as I have said, the auditors seeming to have great deference for the narrator, they every moment burst into fits of laughter.
Now, as a half-smile was sufficient to awaken the irascibility of the young man, the effect produced upon him by this vociferous mirth may be easily imagined. Nevertheless, D’Artagnan was desirous of examining the appearance — helm on head and partisan in hand.
And Monsieur de Nogaret de la Valette, what do you say of him? He is a cardinal likewise.
Ask his lackey how often he has had to prepare lint of him.” “Alas!” sighed Bazin. “I know it, monsieur; everything is turned topsy-turvy in the world nowadays.” While this dialogue was going on, the two young men and the poor lackey descended. “Hold my stirrup, Bazin,” cried Aramis; and Aramis sprang into the saddle with his usual grace and agility, but after a few vaults and curvets of the noble animal his rider felt his pains come on so insupportably that he turned pale and became unsteady in his seat.
D’Artagnan, who, foreseeing such an event, had kept his eye on him, sprang toward him, caught him in his arms, and assisted him to his chamber. “That’s all right, my dear Aramis, take care of yourself,” said he; “I will go alone in search of Athos.” “You are a man of brass,” replied Aramis. “No, I have good luck, that is all.
But how do you mean to pass your time till I come back? No more theses, no more glosses upon the fingers or upon benedictions, hey?”
Read more about Stirrup : But there as he was alighting from his horse at….: