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i started reading The Three Musketeers as a way to get a retrospect perspective on the way that Steven Brust wrote his Khaavren Romances. I haven't gotten that far into it, but it's already interesting to see what Brust was modeling after and how he applied it to his universe.

one passage in particular struck me dealing with principles passed down from father to son.

The Three Musketeers:

Monsieur d'Artagnan the elder continued, adding parenthetically that it was an honor to which his son's ancient nobility entitled him, "be sure worthily to uphold the name of 'gentleman' which has been dutifully borne by your ancestors for more than five hundred years. Do this both for your own sake and for the sake of your people - I mean your relatives and friends. Endure nothing from anyone save the Cardinal and the King. Nowadays a gentleman makes his way by courage - do you understand? - by courage alone! Whoever trembles for but a second has perhaps lost the bait which fortune held out to him in precisely that second. You are young. You ought to be brave for two reasons: first because you are a Gascon and second because you are my son! Never avoid a quarrel: seek out the hazards of high adventure. I have taught you how to wield a sword; you have muscles of iron and a wrist of steel. Fight at every opportunity, the more blithely because duels are forbidden and therefore it will be doubly brave of you to fight."


The Paths of the Dead:

"I give you my word," said the Viscount, "that I will be inspired and guided by your examples, and I will always hold to those principles by which I have been raised."

"Well," said Daro, "let us hear those principles."

"You wish, then for me to recite them?"

"Exactly. We will see what you have learned."

"Very well. I think you will not be disappointed. I will recite them now."

"I am listening. What are your principles?"

"To seek understanding before taking action, yet to trust my instincts when action is called for. Never to avoid danger from fear, never to seek out danger for its own sake. Never to conform to fashion from fear of eccentricity, never to be eccentric from fear of comformity. To preserve the honor of my name and House, and to cherish the memory of the Empire. To always care for my horse, my lackey, and my equipage as if they were part of my own body. To hold myself to higher standards of conduct than I hold another. To never strike without cause, and, when there is cause, to strike for the heart. To respect, love, and obey those whom the gods have made my masters, for their sake when deserved, for my sake should my masters be unworthy, and for the sake of duty at all times. To be loyal to my House, my family, my name, and the principles of the Empire."


The parallels and the contrasts are striking, and probably tells me a good bit of what character changes are bound to happen with D'artagnan (i don't know anything about the three musketeers story) based on what i know happens with the Viscount of Adrilankha.

funny how that works, how i can use the stylistic writings of Brust as an imitator to help me get some ideas of the big picture in the classic tale that he's imitating.


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March 2017