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This article examines a striking incident in Alexander Dumas’ novel Vicomte de Bragalonne from the perspective of the law of attraction to see what it reveals about principles of human accomplishment. Charles II, the son of King Charles I, who was executed by Cromwell, is heir to the throne in England. He is living impoverished as an exile in Holland while his mother, the queen, and sister, being of French ancestry, are residing without even fuel for heating as the guests of young King Louis XIV at the Louvre in Paris. Following Cromwell’s death, there is a power vacuum in England. Civil war breaks out between General Monk who supported return to Parliamentary governance and General Lambert who seeks personal power. On Cromwell’s death, young Charles sees the last hope of returning to power. He travels incognito to France in order to seek aid from King Louis XIV. Though still very young, he feels certain this is his last possible opportunity to restore the throne to his bloodline. He arrives at a hotel in the small town of Blois. Having spent the last of his meager funds coming to France, he is forced to sell his last royal possession, a diamond ring, in order to pay for the hotel. According to the message of The Secret, the key to high accomplishment is to intensely aspire for what you seek and then wait for the universe to respond. Charles is moved by such an intense aspiration that he has risked his life traveling unguarded into France, where any of his innumerable enemies would find him completely vulnerable. His willingness to part with this ring, the last token of his royalty, against the qualms of pride and vanity, demonstrates the power of his determination to accomplish in spite of the seemingly impossible odds against him. This determination and the rejection of egoistic motives qualify him for success. Suddenly Charles hears the clamor of rejoicing filling the streets of Blois. To his utter amazement, he learns that King Louis and the entire court are passing through Blois and spending the night nearby. Life, the universe, has brought to the very door of this poor disempowered youth the king of most powerful monarchy in Europe. The sound of rejoicing which Charles hears at a time of despair is an indication from life that he will ultimately succeed in his effort, though not necessarily by the aid of Louis who he thinks is his last resort. The next day Charles calls on Louis and requests support either in the form of 200 knights with which he can return to England and muster support from royalist forces or one million in gold which he can use to purchase support from one of the two warring generals. Louis wants to help, but Cardinal Mazarin, who is the de facto ruler, persuades him that it is not possible, so Louis turns Charles away empty-handed. Charles takes this last refusal as the final act in his life and abandons all faith in human initiative or aid from his fellow men. As he is leaving the palace, he whispered to himself, “I have asked help from the greatest king on earth and failed. Now I will go and ask a miracle from God.” Unknown to Charles and Louis, their conversation has been overheard by the D’Artagnan, Captain of the King’s Musketeers, who was on guard duty at the time. Already disenchanted because his 35 years of heroic and dedicated service to the French throne have gone unrecognized and unrewarded, D’Artagnan is outraged when Charles’ request for aid is rejected. At the same moment, he hatches a plot that can fulfill both the aspiration of Charles for the throne and his own personal aspiration for monetary rewards at the end of his distinguished career. Unknown to Charles, already the universe has responded to his aspiration and set in motion forces to fulfill his aspiration.
Charles leaves the palace without hope or intention and travels by horseback toward Holland with his father’s old attendant, Parry. As they are traveling, they pass a rural estate and are observed by an attendant of the estate, who immediately recognizes old Parry and then observes that the facial features of his young companion closely resemble those of the dead Charles I. The attendant calls out to Parry and beseeches the travelers to enter the estate, which he explains is that of the Count de la Fere, earlier one of the three musketeers known as Athos. In Twenty Years After Dumas has already related the story of how Athos and his friends attempted unsuccessfully to save the life of Charles I and in the process were revered by the dying king and his family. Charles II goes to meet Athos to offer his gratitude for the service rendered to his father. At the moment he has given up all hope and anyone in his position would be completely absorbed in self-pity, Charles has the magnanimity to express gratitude to Athos for the service rendered to his father. From that moment onward life begins to act in his favor.
Charles narrates to Athos his failed attempt to obtain aid from King Louis and announces his abandonment of all hope. Athos then reveals to Charles a secret that is known to no other human being. Moments before his execution, Charles I confided to Athos the existence of a treasure of one million in gold which he had secretly buried beneath the chapel at Newcastle. He requests Athos to inform his son Charles of the treasure at the appropriate time. Athos then explains that he was planning to set out for Holland the very next day in search of Charles who has now come to his door!
By what luck, fate or law of life has this incredible coincidence taken place? Indian spiritual wisdom, which is restated in the teachings of The Secret, tells us that it is not a matter of chance or fate. It is a matter of choice. Charles’ genuine, intense aspiration fulfills itself when he rejects the last vestiges of faith in the power of his authority, in reliance on the goodwill of Louis, and his own abilities to command and persuade. Unconsciously he has rejected the claims of ego, an especially difficult task for one born to a rule a mighty country! When he does so, universal powers – in this case social powers of loyalty to his deceased father and the institution of monarchy -- immediately are called into play.
Charles listened in utter disbelief to Athos’ incredible story, but even then is unprepared to believe in his own great good fortune. He despairs of ever collecting the treasure that lies buried waiting for him. Even if it has not been already discovered and stolen during the intervening 12 years, the chapel at Newcastle lies directly in the middle of the battlefield where the forces of Monk and Lambert are presently facing each other to finally settle the future governance of England. Therefore, it is inconceivable that anyone could reach the treasure and extricate it in time, even if it is still buried there. Athos offers to undertake that task on behalf of young Charles.
The story from here on has already been related in the last issue, so I will only briefly recap it. Athos goes to England, approaches General Monk, obtains permission to seek the treasure, finds it, wins the respect and admiration of the General along with his promise to consider offering support for the restoration of Charles. Meanwhile, unknown to either Athos or to Charles, D’Artagnan travels to England, kidnaps General Monk, transports him secretly to Holland and presents him as a captive to Charles II.
The acts of Athos and D’Artagnan have prepared the ground for accomplishment. But the final and most essential act is performed by Charles himself. To D’Artagnan’s amazement and despair, Charles refuses to take unfair advantage of his enemy Monk and orders his unconditional release! In doing so, Charles acts with the confidence and magnanimity of a king – he acts as though he had already been restored to the throne and could not consider doing anything that is beneath the dignity of an English king. Monk is so impressed by the high character and values which Charles demonstrates by this act that he swears his allegiance to him and arranges for his restoration.
The final outcome is that Charles II gets the one million in treasure, he gets the support of Monk’s entire army, and he recovers the throne of England, without even spending the one million. At the point when Charles had exhausted his finances and every possible action that he could take on his own behalf, life responded and delivered to him all that he aspired for without his having to take any action or spend any money at all. That is how life responds to an exhaustive effort when the supporting atmosphere is positive. Charles’ sole asset was the goodwill of a few Frenchmen who came unasked to his rescue and the strength of his own character and high values which prevented him from compromising his principles or his dignity when brought to the point of desperation.
As one of the world’s greatest novelists, Dumas has related a fascinating tale based partially on historical fact and partially on creative imagination. But regardless of its historical authenticity, his novel is a perfectly accurate portrayal of life and human accomplishment and confirms essential teachings of The Secret.
- Aspiration always accomplishes.
- We create luck or good fortune by our own determination, not by favorable external circumstances or reliance on others.
- Offer gratitude for what you have already received.
- When we shift our reliance from faith in ourselves and others to a higher power, universal forces are called into motion to fulfill our aspiration.
- The universe acts in the measure we renounce the pride, vanity, claims, petty qualms and other expressions of the ego.
- Feel and act as you would after already having accomplished and that accomplishment is assured.