[from] The Three Musketeers

[Dumas presents an humorous twist on the Old Testament law that one must not reap the full harvest of field or vineyard, so that gleaners – the poor and the foreigners – may gather their sustenance through work, not charity.  Aramis, the Musketeer who had studied for the priesthood, makes the ironic connection to their current state of poverty.]


“However, the forty pistoles [Spanish coins] of King Louis XIII, like all things in this world, having had a beginning, also had an end, and since that end, our four companions had fallen into tight straits.  First, Athos had supported the association for a time out of his own pocket. Porthos had succeeded him, and, thanks to one of those disappearances to which they were accustomed, had met the needs of all for another fortnight. Finally had come the turn of Aramis, who had complied with good grace, and managed, as he said, to get hold of a few pistoles by selling his theology books…

Then tight straits became real distress. The hungry men were seen, followed by their valets, roaming the quais and guards’ quarters; gleaning from their outside friends all the dinners they could find; for, according to Aramis, in prosperity one should sow meals right and left, in order to harvest some in adversity.”

― Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers, 1844

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