D’Artagnan (dahr-tahn-YAH[N]), a quick-witted, high-tempered young Gascon who has come to Paris to seek his fortune at the court of King Louis XIII. Having proved his bravery by fighting duels with Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, all members of the King’s Musketeers, he becomes friends with each. Through the agency of his landlord’s wife, Constance Bonancieux, with whom he has fallen in love, he and his friends are induced to go to England to reclaim two diamond studs that the queen has imprudently given to her lover, the duke of Buckingham. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are waylaid by agents of Cardinal Richelieu, but D’Artagnan is successful in completing the mission and saving the honor of the queen. In revenge, Milady, an agent of the cardinal, poisons Madame Bonancieux and tries to poison D’Artagnan. Having failed to prevent the assassination of the duke of Buckingham and having served gallantly at the siege of La Rochelle, D’Artagnan and his friends avenge themselves on Milady by having her beheaded. At the end of the novel, D’Artagnan is made lieutenant of the King’s Musketeers.
Athos (ah-TOHS), the name assumed by the Comte de la Fère while serving in the King’s Musketeers. When young, he had married a beautiful young woman, only to learn that she had been branded as a thief. She reappears as Milady.
Aramis (ah-rah-MEES), the name taken by the Chevalier d’Herblay when, as the consequence of fighting a duel, he gives up his intention of entering the priesthood and becomes one of the King’s Musketeers. At the end of the novel, he is about to return to his religious vocation.
Porthos (pohr-TOHS), the third of the King’s Musketeers who welcome D’Artagnan...
(The entire section is 793 words.)