Chapter 2 Summary
Monsieur de Tréville, the captain of the King’s Musketeers, is a bit like an older d’Artagnan, a man of “insolent bravery” and extreme loyalty. King Louis XIII values both of these qualities highly—especially the loyalty, which is rarer. Tréville is devoted, but he is highly intelligent and capable of navigating the various intrigues and power plays that are common at court.
Tréville is loyal, and he demands loyalty from his men. The Musketeers are, basically, a bunch of rogues who run around drinking, chasing women, and wreaking havoc. However, they fear and respect Tréville, and they would do absolutely anything for him or for the King.
Cardinal Richelieu is officially the most important adviser of King Louis XIII, and he is widely known to hold all the real power in France. The people of France are fiercely loyal to both men, but the Musketeers are primarily loyal to the King. The Musketeers count themselves as enemies to the Cardinal and his separate group of bodyguards.
When d’Artagnan arrives at the headquarters of the Musketeers, he is amazed at the bravery, gallantry, and recklessness of the men he sees there. On his way to Monsieur de Tréville’s office, he sees four men fighting on the stairs, not with dull fencing blades, but with real swords. He finds this impressive.
D’Artagnan’s admiration turns to outrage when he arrives at the room outside Tréville’s office and hears people ridiculing Cardinal Richelieu. In Gascony, people are equally loyal to the King and the Cardinal, so d’Artagnan has never heard anyone speak disrespectfully of the latter. As he listens to the Musketeers make fun of Richelieu’s appearance and his mistress, d’Artagnan wonders if he might be arrested just for hearing this.
While d’Artagnan waits to speak to Tréville, he notices two of the Musketeers particularly. Porthos is a tall gentleman wearing an expensive gold cloak over his uniform, and Aramis is a slender fellow who seems obsessed with his own appearance. As he listens to these men’s conversation, d’Artagnan learns that Aramis wants to become a priest someday.
While d’Artagnan listens, Porthos and Aramis begin a strange argument. They mention many illustrious people, including the Queen of France, her friend Madame de Chevreuse, and a prominent English nobleman named the Duke of Buckingham. Both grow angry, but D’Artagnan is not sure why. When his name is called to see Monsieur de Tréville, he rushes into the man’s office, grateful to get away from this uncomfortable discussion.