The Three Musketeers is novel based on history and adventure by Alexandre Dumas. It was published in 1844 before the 1848 revolution in France the author usually write about various injustices, abuses and illogicalities of ancient period, giving the novel a political appearance during the period France republicans and monarchist's debate is still intense. The father of the author Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, was a reputable General in France's Republican army during the French Revolution.
The first sentences in the introductory part of the book, Mémoires de Monsieur d'Artagnan(1700) was reference by Dumas as his source, a novel by Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras, Dumas discovered the novel during his research on the history of Louis XIV, published in Amsterdam by Pierre Rouge. Three musketeers was a success to the extent that it was adapted as a serial in three different period by BBC.
The three musketeers is a combination of Romance, Action and History, the mastery of the romance used in the book still works today.
The story commence with a young man called D'Artagnan leaving his family in Gascony (a province of France) in search of a greener pasture. Some parting gifts was given to him by his father; which includes a horse, fifteen crowns, and a letter that will introduce him to M. de Tréville (the head of the King's Musketeers). His mother gave him the ingredient of a medicine that can cure all wounds. In a town called Meung, D'Artagnan meets a man who insults him and his horse. He challenged the man to a duel, which cause his sword to be broken and he was beating by the man's slaves, his letter of introduction was stolen by the same man.
D'Artagnan discovers that the man is meeting a woman called Milady, who is instructed to return to England and spy on the Duke of Buckingham. With courage, D'Artagnan proceeded to Paris he went to M. de Tréville house. There he meets a group of musketeers, including a handsome tall man named Porthos and a learned man named Aramis that want to become a priest. He notice that, the musketeers respect King Louis XIII, but hate Cardinal Richelieu and mock him whenever they have the opportunity; they rival for power in the realm, with Richelieu having the upper hand.
D'Artagnan is allowed into the inner chamber of M. de Tréville, but before he could say anything, M. de Tréville summons Athos, Porthos, and Aramis into his chamber to scold them for recent scuffle not because they were fighting, but because they lost to the cardinal's guards. Wounded Athos, is not present, but came in later trying to hide the pain. After the three had left the office, Tréville tells D'Artagnan that he cannot admits him into the musketeers because he has zero military experience, but gave him the chance to join the Military Academy and monitor him for the future. Tréville doubt D'Artagnan thinking he might be a spy of Richelieu and He put him to test but finds him frank and honest.
At the end of the interview, D'Artagnan spots the nobleman who had insulted him in Meung through the window. He rushes out of Tréville's house in pursuit, but on his way he came across Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, they all challenge him to duels because of his action towards them. Meanwhile, he lost the nobleman. Thinking he is about to die, he fulfils his promise with Athos, but find out that Porthos and Aramis are his seconds. He is ready to fight, but they were attack by the Cardinal's guards, and D'Artagnan joins the musketeers in flash decision, which they win easily, with D'Artagnan beating two of the Cardinal's best soldier. Because of this the three musketeers make D'Artagnan their friend. The following day, before they could meet with the King, one of the cardinal's soldiers attack D'Artagnan. This leads to a riot, which the musketeers win again. Louis XIII honoured them, but Richelieu was not happy with them and wants revenge.
After receiving a reward from the King, they eat and drink together, and then hire a servant for D'Artagnan, the servant name is Planchet. After that day, D'Artagnan knows more about his friends, their homes and their servants. But he never knows their real names, because their real name is not Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Due to of M. de Tréville's favour, D'Artagnan was admitted into the guards as a cadet. On a faithful day D'Artagnan's landlord, M. Bonacieux, came to his house informing him that his wife Constance, who was one the Queen's ladies in waiting, has been kidnapped. D'Artagnan discovers that the abductor is the man he met at Meung. Constance has been abducted by the man who happens to be the Caedinals agent, in order to get information about the date of arrival of the Duke of Buckingham to Paris, who is in love with the Queen, so that he will be arrested.
Bonacieux promised D'Artagnan free rent in exchange for the favour. They again spot the abductor on the street but are unable to follow him. Later that day, four stewards arrive to arrest M. Bonacieux, the musketeers do nothing to stop them, realizing it's a trap. In the succeeding days, they watch the house and notice that everyone who entered it is being questioned by Cardinal's agents. The day Constance arrive, D'Artagnan immediately intervenes and rescues her, then take her to a safe place, in the process he fell in love with her. Thinking of visiting Aramis, D'Artagnan is surprise to see Constance approaching Aramis house, discussing with a woman. He walks towards her, and she said she does not know Aramis, and asks him to escort her to her next destination. When he got home, he noticed that Athos has been arrested by guards who misplace him for D'Artagnan. He set out to find Porthos and Aramis, and on his way, again meets Constance, this time with a strange “musketeer” who happens to be George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham. Constance then take Buckingham to a secret meeting with the Queen, where he express his love to the queen. In return queen gives him a small rose box containing two diamond stone gifts she receive from the king.
In confinement, Bonacieux is threatened by the Cardinal's agents so that he can tell them what he knows of his wife's behaviour, he gave out important information to Richelieu and being persuaded into becoming his spy. Athos is being treated in same manner, but he did not reveal anything. During the interrogation, it was discovered that the man who insulted D'Artagnan and abducted Constance is Comte de Rochefort, most trusted agent of the Cardinal. Later, a letter was sent through a messenger to Milady in England, instructing her to steal two diamond stones from the Duke of Buckingham. Meanwhile, D'Artagnan has informed Tréville of Athos' arrest; Tréville immediately goes to the King and secures his release even without the Cardinal's consent. In the absence of Tréville, Richelieu told the King that the Duke of Buckingham is in Paris for the last five days.
The King was angry, thinking that his Queen has betrayed him; Richelieu assures him that she has not dishonoured him, but instead she is planning with the enemies of France. Richelieu implore the King to have the Queen's court and person searched to get some incriminating information, and the search reveals a plot with the King of Spain, the Queen's brother; the King is now relaxed, because the thought of infidelity worried him than the fear of treason, believing it can never happen. He is very happy and he decided to have a party in honour of the Queen, and Richelieu suggests that he should tell the Queen to use the diamond stones he gave to her for her birthday. When Louis inform the Queen about the party and the diamond stone, she almost panics, but Constance, who overheard them, suggest that they should send her husband to Buckingham to retrieve the stones. When she gets to her husband, she noticed that her husband is now on the side of Richelieu, so she cannot trust him with the massage. D'Artagnan, overhears the conversation from his apartment, said he will deliver the message. Constance agrees to send him, she gave him the money her husband had received from the Cardinal, but they overhear her husband talking to Rochefort and planning to betray her and the Queen.
D'Artagnan, knows full well that he must travel to London immediately, goes to Tréville and requests for two-week leave. Tréville agrees, but insists that he should go with his other friends. The four friends are on their way, going to the coast, the three musketeers are distracted by different incidents. When they reach Calais, the young Gascon steals a travelling permit from the Comte de Vardes, crosses the Channel, and locates Buckingham. At the palace of the Duke, D'Artagnan informed him of the news and Buckingham notice that two of the diamond stone is missing. He immediately seals all English ports to prevent the diamonds from leaving England, then command his goldsmith to produce duplicates and gave them to D'Artagnan so that he may take them to the Queen, supplying him with fast horses as gifts to him and his friends, and secure a route that take him safely to Paris.
At the party, the Queen presents herself without the two diamonds, and Richelieu was very happy that is plot is working. But after the Queen go back to dress, she returns with twelve diamond stones, foiling Richelieu, who hoped to trap her by giving the King the two diamonds that had been given to Buckingham, which was stolen from him by Milady. D'Artagnan, who helped them out, was rewarded when Constance guides him through the Hotel de Ville and he was allowed to kiss the Queen's hand in the visitor's room of her bedchamber, where she gave him a valuable ring. He desire that Constance will feel the same way he feels about her, but she did not maybe for future time.
Getting back to his house, he meets a letter from Constance requesting him to meet her at a secret place that evening. He is very happy, but when he tells Tréville about the story, Tréville warn him to beware of betrayal and advised him to leave the city and find out his friends fates. D'Artagnan insists on meeting Constance first, but his servant Planchet told him that, when D'Artagnan was speaking with M. Bonacieux that morning, the landlord had a cunning look on his face, warning D'Artagnan about a possible trap. They both set out to meet Constance, but before getting there D'Artagnan leave Planchet at a cafe. He moves on alone to the location, but finds only a plundered room. After interrogating a neighbour, he deduces that Constance was abducted again by Rochefort, with the help of her deceitful husband.
The following morning he set out to know what has happen to his friends. He finds Porthos recovering from a wound he sustains in a fight in the cafe where he left him. While he had been recovering, he had accumulated a huge bill, which he was unable to pay because he had gambled with all his money, and because his lover, a middle-aged wife of a lawyer named Coquenard, was not willing to give him any money. Meanwhile, his servant Mousqueton has been feeding his master and himself with stolen food and wine. D'Artagnan pays his debt for him and goes in search of Aramis. He finds him at the lodging where he left him, also recovering from his wounds, and in serious conversation with two clerics who are teaching him on how to become a priest. After the conversation with the clergymen, D'Artagnan gave Aramis a letter from his lover, the Duchesse de Chevreuse, and he quickly revives and abandons the thought of leaving the musketeers for priesthood. D'Artagnan then moves on in search of Athos, who has locked himself in the basement of the lodging in which both of them was attacked. The owner of the lodging has realized his mistake and had appeal to Athos to come out, but he refused and was beating the publican out of house and home. D'Artagnan persuades him to come out, after which, Athos relay the sad story of his marriage as a young man he had married a beautiful girl, the brother of a curate, but discovered on a faithful day that she had on her shoulder, the mark of the Royal Executioner.
Upset by this discovery that his wife was a criminal, he hangs her on a tree, but she escape. On their way back to Paris, the four friends gamble with or sell the magnificent horses that were given to them by Buckingham. Getting back to Paris, they find out that D'Artagnan will soon join them as one of the King's Musketeers, and that the King is planning a war against La Rochelle. They need money to properly equip themselves remembering D'Artagnan diamond (his present from the Queen). They went searching for money, and Porthos beg his lover by first making her jealous in church by playing with a beautiful strange woman; D'Artagnan, who is snooping on him from the back of a pillar, recognizes her as Milady and trace her. When he finds her, he notice that she is communicating with the Comte de Vardes, from whom he had stolen a travelling permit, and is the sister-in-law of Lord Winter, Baron of Sheffield, the Englishman who gambled with Athos and win his and D'Artagnan's horses. After some unfriendly conversation, D'Artagnan challenges, Lord Winter to a fight that evening.
During the fight, the four friends defeat Lord Winter and his English companions, with Athos killing his opponent because he made him to show his true identity. D'Artagnan had the chance to kill Lord Winter but spares him, and Lord Winter invites D'Artagnan to dinner at the home of Lady Clark (Milady). She receives him politely, but he observes that the expression on her face is dangerous whenever she thinks he is not looking. He visit every day, but did not observe admiring glances he receives from the maid of Lady Clark ‘Kitty'. Porthos, meanwhile, goes to dinner at the house of his lover and her husband, but finds them extremely stingy; he is served with a small food and she promises to equip him for the wars by getting him reduced price on the things he needs, in addition to giving him 800 livres. D'Artagnan continues to visit Lady Clark every day and falls in love with her, one day Kitty, Milady's warned him about the hatred Milady have towards him and want a revenge for a reason unknown. Kitty is in love with D'Artagnan, and D'Artagnan decides to use Kitty fondness to win Milady, but after he overheard the conversation between them, he changes his plan and decides to use intimacy, which works on Kitty, to gain his own revenge.
After interrupting several love letters from Milady to the Comte de Vardes, he plots to wreak his vengeance by pretending to be Count in Milady's bedchamber. As D'Artagnan forestall his plan for the evening, Aramis has received a huge sum of money from his lover in Tours, and Porthos has gotten nothing from Madame Coquenard but D'Artagnan's old horse and a useless mule for his servant (he returns both, and chastises his lover). That night, D'Artagnan carries out his plan and, pretending to be the Comte de Vardes, makes love to Milady in her darkened bedchamber. She is very happy, and gave him a valuable ring as a symbol of love, but at the same time promise revenge on D'Artagnan who want to destroy her lover. Kitty is heartbroken, but recovers when she brings a letter to D'Artagnan from her mistress to de Vardes asking for another appointment and D'Artagnan forges an answer in which he tells her she will have to wait until he makes the rounds of his other lovers. D'Artagnan then asks for advice from Athos, who told him to avoid Milady. When D'Artagnan shows him the ring that Milady gave to him, he recognises it as a family treasure he gave his wife.
D'Artagnan avoids Milady for two days, but on the third day Milady summoned him. When he arrived, she promised him her love if he will avenge her by killing Count. D'Artagnan agrees, immediately overcome with love and telling himself that this is the most dangerous woman he has ever known. He spends that night with Milady, and after making love with her, he tells her about the earlier guise as Comte de Vardes. Milady was very angry, rise from the bed, but D'Artagnan grabs her nightgown; it tears, revealing the mark on her shoulder by the Royal Executioner. Because D'Artagnan now knows her secret, Milady wants to kill him by all means. She took a knife and wants to use it on him, but he protects himself and flees. He then goes to Athos and tells him the story they are now sure that Milady is the criminal wife hanged by Athos. Both of them decided to sell the ring she gave D'Artagnan to equip them for the coming war, and Aramis help Kitty to leave Paris and become a handmaid for his lover.
Now the four friends are fully equipped for the war, but before the war, D'Artagnan receives two messages one from Constance telling him that he may get to see her if he appears at a specific road at a specific time, he did accordingly and does see her, and the other from Cardinal Richelieu himself. When D'Artagnan visits the Cardinal, Richelieu treats him kindly and offers him a position in his own guard. D'Artagnan politely refuses the offer. Richelieu warns him that he will no longer protect him if he continues on his present course. D'Artagnan then heads to La Rochelle with the Guards, while his three friends remain behind until the musketeers are mobilizes for the war. Shortly after arriving at La Rochelle, two different assassins are been sent to D'Artagnan but he escape and capture one of the assassin's named Brisemont and finds that they were been paid by Milady. D'Artagnan spares the man and thus gaining his trust and through him learns that Milady also wants to kidnap Constance, who is hiding in a convent.
While nothing happens with the siege, D'Artagnan longs for his companions. One day he receives a letter that is being address to them (his friends), with a wine. He invites some of his fellow guardsmen to drink with him, Planchet and Brisemont were entrusted with the arrangements as the party is about to start, gun fire announcing the arrival of the King. D'Artagnan goes to meet his friends; they told him they sent him no wine. When they all return to the party, they find Brisemont dying the wine had been poisoned, the only suspect is Milady.
One night the three Musketeers are out partying and on their way home meet Richelieu. He asks them to escort him to the lodging where they had been drinking, where he is meeting with Milady, who had been escorted by Rochefort. The three musketeers, waiting below, overhear the conversation. Richelieu wants to send Milady to England to meet Buckingham and inform him that, if he continues with the war against France, the Cardinal has sufficient information to disgrace the Queen forever. If the plan fails, Milady agrees to assassinate Buckingham's and asks for absolute endorsement of her actions signed by Richelieu. She also asks the Cardinal to help avenge her to find where the Queen has hidden Constance and to imprison D'Artagnan and execute him. Athos quickly leaves the lodging, pretending to ride ahead as an advance guard on the way back to camp, but turn around and enters the lodging after the Cardinal had leave. He confronts Milady and threatened to shoot her if she does not hand over the letter she received from Richelieu then warns her that if she tries to hurt D'Artagnan he will kill her.
When the three musketeers return to D'Artagnan, the four want to discuss secretly, but find no safe and quiet place to do so. They make a bet with another group of soldiers that they can hold off the enemy for at least an hour. When they get to the stronghold, they find dead soldiers, takeoff their ammunitions, and settle down to eat. They easily turn aside two attacks by the enemy, meanwhile informing D'Artagnan of Milady's conversation with Richelieu and resulting meeting with Athos. After weighing various options, they decide to send two of their servant, Bazin and Planchet, to warn Lord Winter and the Queen of the assassination plots trap by Milady and the Cardinal. They then calmly return to camp being hail and to the cheers of thousands French troops. D'Artagnan was promoted to corps musketeers as a reward for his bravery by Richelieu, despite his frustration with the four friends, D'Artagnan finance the servant journey by selling the diamond he received from the Queen, and the two servants safely complete their missions.
Milady arrives in England after Planchet had delivered the message, and she is arrested by the order of Lord Winter, who now knows that her marriage to his brother was unlawful because she already had a husband in France. Winter told Milady about this revelations and informs her that she is to be held and she will not be allow to talk to anybody for three weeks, then be sent into exile, never to return to England or Europe. He leaves her in the care of John Felton, a loyal lieutenant and a dependable puritan thought immune to Milady deceit. Back at the war front, the war continues constantly. One day, Richelieu finds the four friends and their servant relaxing on the beach and tries to get some information from them, but not successful, though Aramis had just received a letter from his lover informing them that Constance was hiding in a convent in Bethune.
In England, Milady is trying everything possible to get out of captivity. Every day, she works on the feelings of the young officer who is her prison guard, convincing him that she herself is a Puritan being persecuted for her faith by the Buckingham, who stole her virginity after drugging her then put a mark on her so no one would believe her story, and Lord Winter wickedness. Lieutenant Felton believes her story, and she convinces him to release her and kill Buckingham. Lord Winter sends Felton away, but he returns that night and open the window bars of Milady's prison, allowing her to escape. He then murder Buckingham; after being capture, he sees her ship far off on sea and realizes that all was a lie. The King becomes tired with the war at La Rochelle, he requests that musketeers should escort him back to Paris; the four friends are with the escort. After escorting the King safely back to Paris, they immediately set for Bethune to rescue Constance, knowing that Milady is on her way there to kill her.
On the way, D'Artagnan again spots Rochefort, but is unable to pursue him. In few days Milady arrives at the convent in Bethune. Judging that the Mother Superior is not in support of the Cardinal's, she buy her over by lying that she is being persecuted by Richelieu so the Mother Superior then introduces her to a fellow victim, whom she realizes is Constance. She easily convinces Constance that she is a friend of D'Artagnan and Constance discloses to her the news that D'Artagnan is arriving that day. Soon a man arrive at the convert on a horse, this man happen to be the Comte de Rochefort. After receiving news from Milady, he goes to deliver it to the Cardinal, and Milady prepares so that Rochefort's valet will transport her from the convent to Armentieres. She persuaded Constance to go with her, but before they could leave, they hear the sound of the musketeers' horses. Milady prepares to escape through the convent garden, but Constance is reluctant to go with her. She poisons her, and then escapes through the back door. When D'Artagnan and his friends arrive, Constance condition is beyond help, she died thereafter.
Soon Lord Winter arrives; the four friends and Lord Winter depart the convent in search of Milady. They find a note stating that Milady departed for Armentieres which was drop by Rochefort, valet, Athos said he is ready to undertake task alone because she is his wife. Four valets were sent to Armentieres by Athos instructing them to take different route in order to know Milady's whereabouts while he visits a strange man in a red cloak. The following day, the five men and the strange man in red set for Armentieres together. They meet Milady in a secluded house, where they tried her and all her crime are being narrated. The man in red is the slayer of Lille, his brother happen to be a young priest which was seduced by Milady, to steal from a church, and was mark for his theft, but flee with Milady to de La Fère's estate, where he pose as her brother. After Milady marriage to Athos, he return to find his brother in imprison in his stead. He turned himself in then commits suicide. The slayer caught Milady and marked her the same way he was forced to mark his own brother. Base on all the incriminating evidence, they sentence Milady to death. After being forgiven by her accusers, she was taken to the shore of river Lys in Switzerland by the slayer, where she was beheaded and her remains was dropped into the river.
On returning to the war front in La Rochelle, Rochefort arrests D'Artagnan and took him to the Cardinal. He was accused of treason by Richelieu, without the idea of Milady's death. D'Artagnan informs him of the incident then produces the note Athos had taken from Milady proving that his deeds had been done by the authority of the Cardinal. Richelieu, who had by then develop admiration for the young Gascon, drops the charges and honour him with a blank lieutenant's commission in the musketeers. D'Artagnan offers it to all his friends, but they all reject it on different basis Athos because he did not intend advance, Porthos because he intends to marry his recently widowed lover and Aramis because he want to leave the musketeers to become a priest. D'Artagnan accepts the commission and serves for many years with honour. During which he fights Rochefort three times and he was victorious in all, they later become friends. After a yearlong war La Rochelle falls.
D'Artagnan - the major character of the novel, D'Artagnan is a young man, from Gascony who comes to Paris for a better life. He is brave, honourable, aspiring, crafty, and intelligent. He is controlled by love and ruled by loyalty, but sometimes fall into immoral behaviour.
Athos - he is like a father figure to D'Artagnan. He is oldest of all the friends, still a young man. Athos is different in every way intellect, appearance, bravery, swordsmanship, yet he is downhearted, the cause no one knows.
Aramis - a young Musketeer, he is a handsome young man, quiet and self obsessed to a certain level. He has the plan to leave the musketeer to become a priest. He has a lover whose identity he is trying to hide from his friends.
Porthos - the third of the Three Musketeers is loud, brash, and self-important. He is extremely vain, and like dressing handsomely; but he is a valiant fighter and a courageous friend. His mistress is Madame Coquenard, the wife of a wealthy lawyer.
Lady Clark - she is a beautiful and dangerous woman and full of evil, she is an agent of the Cardinal. D'Artagnan was obsessed with her, but later she becomes the greatest enemy of the four friends.
Constance - wife of Bonacieux and lady in waiting for the Queen. She is loyal to the Queen. D'Artagnan falls in love with her but she did not return the feeling until her death.
Bonacieux - landlord of D'Artagnan's and Constance's husband. He originally comes to d'Artagnan for help but later become the Cardinal's agent.
Monsieur de Treville - the captain of the King's Musketeers. He is an honorable and distinguished gentleman, and close friend of the King. He acts as father to all the Musketeers. He rivals the Cardinal for favor and influence with the King.
King Louis - king of France. Louis is less a ruler, and is controlled by his advisors, majorly Cardinal Richelieu, the most powerful man in France. He is ill temper and somehow irrelevant person, those that are successful around him are those who have learned to manipulate him.
Cardinal Richelieu - the King's most influential advisor, Richelieu is a powerful and important man in France. He wants to be at the central of all decisions, but he is an effective leader of the state. Richelieu helps in maintain the reputation and power of the king.
The Queen - queen of France. She is Spanish, she have a divided loyalty between her Spanish tradition, her position as Queen of France, and her love for the Duke of Buckingham. She does not have the trust of the King.
George Villiers - the Duke of Buckingham, he is an English man, handsome, brave, wealthy, and powerful. He is in love with the Queen of France. He always wanted to please the Queen.
Lord Winter - lady Clark's brother-in-law. He is a gentleman that loves fashion, he is not that fascinating, but meet up with expectation when he needs to.
Comte de Rochefort - the Cardinal's private spy, a dangerous man.
Comte de Wardes - a Cardinalist agent; Milady is in love with him.
Kitty - lady Clark's maid.
John Felton - a British Officer, ward of Lord Winter; a Puritan.
Planchet - D'Artagnan's servant a very intelligent, reliable, and a brave man.
Grimaud - Athos' servant. Athos trained him to talk less.
Mousqueton - Porthos's servant, he love beautiful things of life.
Bazin - Aramis's servant. His only desire is for his master to become a priest.
Madame de Chevreuse - Aramis's secret lover, and a close to the Queen.