Twenty Years After Chapter 59 Page 9

“Then,” continued Athos, “we have another reason; it is this — listen: In France at this moment everything is poor and paltry.

We have a king ten years old, who doesn’t yet know what he wants; we have a queen blinded by a belated passion; we have a minister who governs France as he would govern a great farm — that is to say, intent only on turning out all the gold he can by the exercise of Italian cunning and invention; we have princes who set up a personal and egotistic opposition, who will draw from Mazarin’s hands only a few ingots of gold or some shreds of power granted as bribes. I have served them without enthusiasm — God knows that I estimated them at their real value, and that they are not high in my esteem — but on principle.