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D’Artagnan daydreams of Madame Bonacieux on his way to Crèvecoeur and quickly reaches his destination.
At the inn where he left Aramis, D’Artagnan is informed that Aramis is with some men from the church, and is planning to join the priesthood.
D’Artagnan heads to Aramis’s door, which is blocked by Bazin, who wants his master to become a churchman.
D’Artagnan shoves the servant aside and goes into Aramis’s room. It’s filled with theological iconography and two men dressed in black. Aramis says hi, but that his mind is elsewhere.
Aramis asks D’Artagnan if he thinks his thesis should be dogmatic and didactic or ideal.
D’Artagnan is confused: his talents lie with sword fighting, and not with academics!
Aramis and his visitors have a theological discussion peppered with lots of Latin phrases.
Finally, the two men leave, promising to return the next day to ordain Aramis into the church.
The two friends are left alone. D’Artagnan lets Aramis talk first. The man defends his life choice, telling D’Artagnan that joining the priesthood has long been a wish.
Aramis invites his friend to share a spartan meal of vegetables.
We then learn about Aramis’s background.
He was in a seminary from the time he was nine until he was twenty. When he was at a "house, which I frequented with much pleasure," a man insulted him for reading some verses to a lady.
Aramis was supposed to respond and fight, but he did not know how. The incident continued to gnaw at him until he received permission to delay his formal entrance into the priesthood. Aramis went to Paris, learned how to fence, and then killed the man who had insulted him.
Needless to say, this caused some controversy, so it was necessary for Aramis to lay low for a while.
D’Artagnan asks for the reasons behind re-entering the church now.
Aramis explains that the wound he sustained has turned his thoughts to higher concerns, but D’Artagnan calls him out, asking if perhaps a woman had made a deeper wound.
Aramis scoffs at this claim, asking what woman could possibly have that effect.
Aramis complains about life, calling it dull and coffin-like.
D’Artagnan produces the pretty, perfumed letter. Aramis reads it and undergoes a complete change of heart—the world is suddenly beautiful, he no longer wants to join the church, and he tells Bazin to fetch them a proper dinner with lots of meat.
The chapter ends with the two enjoying four bottles of wine.