The Man in the Iron Mask
Alexandre Dumas, Pere
Part 12 out of 12
principal bastion; his ears, already deaf to the sounds of life, caught
feebly the rolling of the drum which announced the victory. Then,
clasping in his nerveless hand the _baton_, ornamented with its _fleurs-
de-lis_, he cast on it his eyes, which had no longer the power of looking
upwards towards Heaven, and fell back, murmuring strange words, which
appeared to the soldiers cabalistic - words which had formerly
represented so many things on earth, and which none but the dying man any
"Athos - Porthos, farewell till we meet again! Aramis, adieu forever!"
Of the four valiant men whose history we have related, there now remained
but one. Heaven had taken to itself three noble souls. (14)
End of The Man in the Iron Mask. This is the last text in the series.
1. "He is patient because he is eternal." is how the Latin translates. It
is from St. Augustine. This motto was sometimes applied to the Papacy, but
not to the Jesuits.
2. In the five-volume edition, Volume 4 ends here.
3. It is possible that the preceding conversation is an obscure allegorical
allusion to the Fronde, or perhaps an intimation that the Duc was the father
of Mordaunt, from Twenty Years After, but a definite interpretation still
eludes modern scholars.
4. The dictates of such a service would require Raoul to spend the rest of
his life outside of France, hence Athos's and Grimaud's extreme reactions.
5. Dumas here, and later in the chapter, uses the name Roncherat.
Roncherolles is the actual name of the man.
6. In some editions, "in spite of Milady" reads "in spite of malady".
7. "Pie" in this case refers to magpies, the prey for the falcons.
8. Anne of Austria did not die until 1666, and Dumas sets the current year as
9. Madame de Montespan would oust Louise from the king's affections by 1667.
10. De Guiche would not return to court until 1671.
11. Madame did die of poison in 1670, shortly after returning from the mission
described later. The Chevalier de Lorraine had actually been ordered out of
France in 1662.
12. This particular campaign did not actually occur until 1673.
13. Jean-Paul Oliva was the actual general of the Jesuits from 1664-1681.
14. In earlier editions, the last line reads, "Of the four valiant men whose
history we have related, there now no longer remained but one single body;
God had resumed the souls." Dumas made the revision in later editions.
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