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Chapter 26: The Last Adieux. (continued)
"That is the subject of my severest pain; that is the deepest of my wounds. I have, believing in infallible success, drawn Porthos into my conspiracy. He threw himself into it, as you know he would do, with all his strength, without knowing what he was about; and now he is as much compromised as myself - as completely ruined as I am."
"Good God!" And Athos turned towards Porthos, who was smiling complacently.
"I must make you acquainted with the whole. Listen to me," continued Aramis; and he related the history as we know it. Athos, during the recital, several times felt the sweat break from his forehead. "It was a great idea," said he, "but a great error."
"For which I am punished, Athos."
"Therefore, I will not tell you my entire thought."
"Tell it, nevertheless."
"It is a crime."
"A capital crime; I know it is. Lese majeste."
"Porthos! poor Porthos!"
"What would you advise me to do? Success, as I have told you, was certain."
"M. Fouquet is an honest man."
"And I a fool for having so ill-judged him," said Aramis. "Oh, the wisdom of man! Oh, millstone that grinds the world! and which is one day stopped by a grain of sand which has fallen, no one knows how, between its wheels."
"Say by a diamond, Aramis. But the thing is done. How do you think of acting?"
"I am taking away Porthos. The king will never believe that that worthy man has acted innocently. He never can believe that Porthos has thought he was serving the king, whilst acting as he has done. His head would pay my fault. It shall not, must not, be so."
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