The Forty-Five Guardsmen

by Dumas, Alexandre

Etiamsi omnes !Le 26 octobre de l'an 1585, les barrieres de la porte Saint- Antoine se trouvaient encore, contre toutes les habitudes, fermees a dix heures et demie du matin.A dix heures trois quarts, une garde de vingt Suisses, qu'on reconnaissait a leur uniforme pour etre des Suisses des petits cantons, c'est-a-dire des meilleurs amis du roi Henri III, alors regnant, deboucha de la rue de la Mortellerie et s'avanca vers la porte Saint-Antoine qui s'ouvrit devant eux et se referma derriere eux ; une fois hors de cette porte, ils allerent se ranger le long des haies qui, a l'exterieur de la barriere, bordaient les enclos epars de chaque cote de la route, et, par sa seule apparition, refoula bon nombre de paysans et de petits bourgeois venant de Montreuil, de Vincennes ou de Saint-Maur pour entrer en ville avant midi, entree qu'ils n'avaient pu operer, la porte se trouvant fermee, comme nous l'avons dit. S'il est vrai que la foule amene naturellement le desordre avec elle, on eut pu croire que, par l'envoi de cette garde, M. le prevot voulait prevenir le desordre qui pouvait avoir lieu a la porte Saint-Antoine. En effet, la foule etait grande ; il arrivait par les trois routes convergentes , et cela a chaqueinstant, des moines des couvents de la banlieue, des femmes assises de cote sur les bats de leurs anes, des paysans dans leurs charrettes, lesquelles venaient s'agglomerer a cette masse deja considerable, que la fermeture inaccoutumee des portes arretait a la barriere, et tous par leurs questions plus ou moins pressantes, formaient une espece de rumeur faisant basse continue, tandis que parfois quelques voix, sortant du diapason general, montaient jusqu'a l'octave de la menace ou de la plainte. On pouvait encore remarquer, outre cette masse d'arrivants qui voulaient entrer dans la ville, quelques groupes particuliers qui semblaient en etre sortis. Ceux-la, au lieu de plonger leurs regards dans Paris par les interstices des barrieres, ceux-la devoraient l'horizon, borne par le couvent des jacobins, le prieure de Vincennes et la Croix-Faubin, comme si, par quelqu'une de ces trois routes formant eventail, il devait leur arriver quelque Messie.

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The Forty-Five Guardsmen

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The Forty-Five Guardsmen

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The Forty-Five Guardsmen: An Historical Romance.

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Forty-Five Guardsmen : A Sequel to "Chicot the Jester"

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