Arrival in Paris

D’Artagnan’s departure from Lupiac for Paris is one of the least-known episodes of his life, and yet the event remains in everyone’s memory.

Yes, it is easy to imagine the young hero, as full of enthusiasm as he was empty of pocket, riding north on his robust steed. 

In fact, this memorable departure for Paris was immortalized in the opening pages of Alexander Dumas’ novel.

In light of his condition, the fictional account of this moment in our hero’s life was probably not far from the reality. And we can be reasonably sure that the real d’Artagnan also carried in his pockets letters of recommendation addressed to the numerous Gascons who occupied powerful positions in Paris.

The fact is that we know nothing of d’Artagnan’s life from the moment of his departure from Gascony right up until the mention of his name on the roster of the musketeers in 1633. In an effort to fill in the gaps, historians have compared the fictions of Dumas and Courtilz de Sandras (d’Artagnan’s “biographer”) with the testimony from other Gascons of that time.

ParisAnd so, we must be content to suppose that the reality resembled in some way the fiction: that of a young Gascon with just enough money in his pockets to cover his trip and his first days in Paris, along with one or two letters of recommendation for the Company of the Guards or that of the Musketeers.

We are even more at a loss for the period following 1633, the date when d’Artagnan’s name appears on the roster of the Company of Musketeers. After that point, we don’t find his name again. We know nothing of his whereabouts or his actions. We could safely conclude with his biographers that our hero was busy making war.

There again, these are all just suppositions based on comparisons between fiction and real testimony and the fact that he must have acquired somewhere the military experience necessary to join the guards of Cardinal Mazarin. It is in connection with the latter that our hero’s name reappears in 1646.

Thus, those first years of his adult life still remain a mystery.

Paris plan fin17ème - map end 17th century