Twenty Years After Chapter 63 Page 9

courage in both hands and hear what this gentleman in black is going to say about his sovereign, with full license and privilege.”

Never till then had a more brutal accusation or meaner insults tarnished kingly majesty.

Charles listened with marked attention, passing over the insults, noting the grievances, and, when hatred overflowed all bounds and the accuser turned executioner beforehand, replying with a smile of lofty scorn.

“The fact is,” said D’Artagnan, “if men are punished for imprudence and triviality, this poor king deserves punishment.

But it seems to me that that which he is just now undergoing is hard enough.”

“In any