Chapter 1 Summary
For the second time, Aramis, ex-musketeer and current Bishop of Vannes, is in the Bastille. The prisoner asked for a confessor, and Aramis is here for that and another reason. The prisoner is allowed just enough freedom and access to the outside world to convince himself that he is content; his face and voice combine “a martyr’s resignation with an atheist’s smile.” As his confessor, Aramis asks the young man what crime he committed to be placed here; the prisoner says he is not a criminal and scolds Aramis for not revealing why he is really here.
Aramis asks the prisoner if he desires more than he has or craves things beyond his station in life; the young man answers with assurance that he is content. After a silence, Aramis accuses the prisoner of concealing remembrances from his childhood because he does not trust his confessor. That is not surprising, according to Aramis, for if the prisoner knows what he ought to know, he should distrust everyone.
Finally both men speak a bit more plainly. Aramis says he is the musketeer, in the service of King Louis XIII, who used to accompany a lady wearing black silk to the place where the prisoner grew up. The prisoner remembers the woman in black silk. The young man also remembers a time when he was not a prisoner, though he has always lived a highly restricted life. Aramis begins to tell the young man some truths about his life. The prisoner has always thought both his parents are dead; however, his mother is still alive, though she is “dead for him.” He has a very powerful enemy, someone more powerful than his mother, who put him in the Bastille and had his nurse and tutor killed, something the prisoner has always suspected.
The prisoner was raised and tutored as a nobleman and therefore assumes he was not always meant to be locked away in prison. The unsuspecting boy was happy and diligent in his studies. He...
(The entire section is 743 words.)