Study Guide

The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Thirty-Six: In the Carriage of M. Colbert

By Alexandre Dumas

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Chapter Thirty-Six: In the Carriage of M. Colbert

  • D'Artagnan is riding at the head of all the assembled Musketeers when he spies Colbert getting into a carriage occupied by two women.
  • D'Artagnan is curious as to the women's identity and so runs his horse right next to the carriage to frighten them. They are revealed as Madame Vanel and Madame de Chevreuse.
  • We learn that Madame Vanel is Colbert's mistress. Clearly Madame de Chevreuse is now on Colbert's side in the game of political alliances.
  • Madame Vanel is dropped off at her husband's house, and Madame de Chevreuse then has time to chat with Colbert. She begins by flattering him and assuring him of her support.
  • We learn that the papers incriminating Fouquet come from Madame de Chevreuse. She asks Colbert what his ambitions are.
  • We next learn that the Queen mother will no longer come to Fouquet's defense if he is in danger, because he learned of her terrible secret.
  • The Queen mother is also out for blood with regard to Aramis. Colbert can make no promises on that front.
  • Madame de Chevreuse is angry that Colbert seems to underestimate Aramis's capabilities. She reveals that he the General of the Jesuits.
  • The two allies decide it is time to return to Paris.
  • The narrator reminds us that Madame de Chevreuse was once a devoted ally of the Musketeers'.

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