“These cannot be for us,” said Athos.
“Why not, sir?” asked Charles.
“Such are for royalty, and we are simple commoners.”
“Speak not of crowns. I shall not find amongst them such great hearts as yours. No, no, you do yourselves injustice; but I am here to do you justice. On your knees, count.”
Athos knelt down and the king passed the ribbon down from left to right as usual, raised his sword, and instead of pronouncing the customary formula, “I make you a knight.
Be brave, faithful and loyal,” he said, “You are brave, faithful and loyal. I knight you, monsieur le comte.”
Then turning to Aramis, he said: